11 Sep

Humility and the Sunrise Part 4

They entered the palace grounds and made their way into the hall of the Empress Kogyoku.  The sound of the musicians playing their flutes, drums and bells could be heard all through the grounds.  But when Naka no O’e entered the hall, his eyes fixed on Iruka.  And there he was, sitting next to Naka’s own mother, the Empress.  Naka no O’e and his guards with him bowed low to the Empress with their faces to the ground.  She acknowledged them gladly, but her face was slightly pinched.

Naka no O’e stood first and then his guards.  They all bowed slightly towards Soga Iruka.  The Soga wore his naga-bakama which surrounded him on the floor where he sat on his legs.  Yet his face wore a broad and confident smile, his moustache perfectly trimmed.  To Naka no O’e it seemed like his enemy was gloating, satisfied in his place of power at the Queen Mother’s right hand.  Then Soga Iruka’s eyes caught sight of the swords that Naka and his guards carried with them on their belts.

“This was to be a peaceful meeting, Naka no O’e.  The invitation came to me with full assurance that there would be no weapons among the court.  Why then do you come with swords?”

“Iruka,” Naka began.  “You and your Soga have wrongfully taken power which was not given to you from heaven.  I know that you plan to overthrow the Empress and take the throne.  How could I trust that you would come unarmed?”

At this Soga Iruka frowned and the Empress put her hand over her mouth.

“We will have none of this language in the palace hall,” the Empress spoke firmly.  Her lips were already very small on her somewhat portly face, but after she said this she puckered them even more tightly.  Then she said again, “You agreed to come here in peace, my son.  And you will stop these angry words.”

“This day all plans to overthrow your rule will cease forever, my mother.”  And he bowed low to her quickly from his hips.  Then Naka and his guards after him took their own seats to the left of the Empress with her personal servants and guards.  She then called for the music to cease and the Memorials to be read.  Soga Kurayamada Ishikawa no Maro entered the room and bowed low with his dark-skinned face to the ground before the Empress.  One of her servants brought a set of wooden books to Kurayamada.  He took the first book in hand and began to read from it with much expression.

As soon as Kurayamada’s voice started to read, the sound of the palace doors shutting could be heard all around the palace hall; all twelve of them were closed quickly.

Naka no O’e turned toward his guards… find the rest on the media page: http://www.envisionmission.org/media