The Two Princesses of Sui-no-Sato
To hear that Hisui might soon open her eyes fills me with joy beyond belief.
Her recovery, however, will mark the end of Her Grace's travels, for she will be required to return to Shisui of the Violet Tides and resume her place as Ruby Princess.
Forename, Master Inban has yet to arrive with the elixir, but we must not allow ourselves to grow impatient. He will come to us as soon as it is ready.
The longer we wait, however, the more I worry about Hisui. Shiosai assures me she is doing well and that, thanks to one of our own ancient remedies, her bones and muscles remain strong. Even so, I feel compelled to confirm this with my own eyes. Let us go to her.
I am having her brought from her room. It should not be much longer.
Looking upon her, I am reminded of the Ruby Princess from the faerie tale... <sigh> What causes you to continue sleeping, my friend?
Initially, I had feared the voidsent that possessed her had driven her soul from her body.
Now I suspect Hisui's spirit has simply gone dormant. It is attempting to recuperate from the trauma it endured. Master Inban's elixir will likely restore what vitality has been lost.
Indeed, that is correct!
I have brought the elixir!
In the olden days, we would sprinkle this over the eggs that refused to hatch. It would serve to strengthen the soul of the Kojin within.
Sprinkle? Do you mean to say Hisui does not need to drink this remedy to recover?
Drink it!? There is no need for that! All we need do is pour this over your friend. Here. I made plenty.
You are awake! Thank the kami, you are finally awake! I am sorry for everything.
...Princess. I...I... What are you talking about?
To think that you had to travel so far and overcome so many obstacles to save me... I know not how to thank you.
Nay, 'tis I who must thank you.
Think nothing of it, princess. As your lady-in-waiting, it is my duty above all else to ensure that you are protected.
Oh, Hisui... Truly, I am blessed to have you in my life.
The girls─they are identical. I cannot, for the life of me, tell them apart.
Indeed. There is a great resemblance.
Master Surname, now that Lady Hisui has awakened, Her Grace must return to the palace and resume her duties there at once.
While I will ask that you say your farewells to her here, I do hope that this is not the last you will see of each other. I have watched Her Grace blossom into an intelligent and capable young lady under your care. It has made me think that being sequestered in a castle is not the best way to raise our rulers.
You have saved us in more ways than I can count and taught us so much. Sui–no–Sato is forever changed because of you. Thank you. Thank you for everything.
...So it is here that our grand adventure together draws to a close. I, however, would like to enjoy your company for just a bit longer. Please allow me to escort you to the gates.
As you like saw for yourself, Lady Hisui and Her Grace are near identical. Even I sometimes struggle to tell them apart.
We must return to the palace soon. Were the people to learn that the Ruby Princess left the palace, we will risk losing their trust.
I shall forever cherish my memories of our travels together. Whenever I look back upon them, they will fill my heart with a serene happiness.
You came from afar and braved the depths of the sea all so that you might rescue a sleeping princess. The story has a familiar ring to it does it not?
Indeed. And just as with the tale of the fisherman, mayhap someone somewhere has recorded our story, too.
Sadly, this is where I must part ways with you. It is time for me to return to the palace. Farewell, Forename, farewell, Sui–no–Sato─or rather: until next time!
With me to take Her Highness' place while she is away, I do not imagine it should be too hard for her to sneak out whenever she pleases.
Even Shiosai has difficulty telling us apart. All we need do is exchange clothes and no one will be any the wiser!
To prove my point, here is a quick test for you─look very closely and tell me: Am I Kurenai...or am I Hisui?
|You are Princess Kurenai!||...You must be Hisui.|
Now, truly, this is where I must leave you. Life is a long and winding journey, and I am certain our paths will cross once again in the future. Until then, I ask that you keep on smiling and maintain that wonderful disposition of yours! Fare thee well, my friend!
|The answer to the last question is that she is Kurenai. They had no time to switch outfits.|