"How she looks upon me with the eyes of a curious girl. There is none other here with that pure innocence and sincerity. She hides nothing and does not manipulate willfully.
It is so odd for me.
When all the others are hungery for power and prestigue, she will whole heartedly sit and listen to my deepest thoughts without pause. And she responds so simply and eloquently - like the dew on the morning blossoms. I wish for nothing more than such beautiful thoughtfulness.
She does not need the pale makeup or the darkened teeth or even the ornamented hair - her eyes alone glow with the radience of a kind heart.
She is such refreshment to my dull and weary soul!
How I would love to see her in kurotomesode*," he thought with a smile.
He looked to the red moon and sighed.
"How spoiled I get from such company. It makes me melancholy not to be with her!" he added with a laugh. "Ah well, ne?"
*[kurotomesode is the black kimono worn by married women which often has an elaborate design around the bottom of cranes or flowers]
Ayame, daughter of Yukio and Keiko, sat beside her brother in their home by the bamboo groves*.
"What am I to strive for, oniisan? Mother perfected her beautifully kind and obedient personality and father had always strove for wisdom and understanding. But now that the times are as they are..what am I to find as my goal? There has been so much loss in our family.."
Her brother Shosei shook his head. "I puzzle over it. Though I am grateful for their sacrifices, I..I cannot see life as something to be so easily sacrificed like our brother [Akitsugu]. It is as if he threw away his life so vainly!"
"But if we live, what do we live for?" Ayame pressed. "At least when he died they had a clear goal to acheive and he fullfilled it to the fullest with such honor. But how can the living have such focus with its ups and downs and surprises."
"But, isn't that what makes life so enriching? Why tie onesself down with recitals of purpose when one can just live through whatever comes about? Isn't a full life worth more than an honorable death? For the dead cannot enjoy their honor.." he trailed off. On the one hand he admired his brother for his sacrifice but he was also angery at the waste of life and potential. He was so much like his father! And Shosei could tell that Ayame was asking the same questions... Her violet eyes were full of pleas and her heart ached deep within.
Shosei offered her a faint smile. "I hate to see you so torn, imootosan. Where is that hopeful and beautiful smile your mother always wore?"
"I don't know how she could remain so content while she was trapped ..."
"She had love and she was too devoted to that to do a lot of depressive thinking."
"Yes, I suppose."
"You know," Shosei said with a grin,"that Nijirou-san eyed you pretty well at court."
"He probably just liked the iris kimono. It was a favorite of mothers," she replied with a blush.
"Ahh no! The kimono is only to be admired when the one wearing it is beautiful," he said with a laugh.
"And this is why life is precious," he said. "Words sometimes don't do justice to living.."
*[Thus the name Takeshi->"take"-bamboo]