Chapter 3: Spring: Among Showers of Blossoms

Connecting three towns 2

Looking at the data, Nakata asked, "How heavy is the train of the costume Ryoko-san is wearing?" Kanalu was taken by surprise.
"Wait a second, I'll find out. I think it weighs 200 grams."
Nakata talked with his contact in Turpan. "Hey Kanalu, the train of the costume of Turpan weighs roughly 800 grams, and it's 4 meters long. It seems that the materials are very different. Turpan's material seems to be rather thick silk."
"My costume is made from thin silk gauze and it is very light," Ryoko said. "That makes the difference in the movements. But I am wondering whether we'll be able to find such thick silk material."
Oharu groaned, "Why didn't I notice that? I used to use a heavier cloth for the train. In the old days we used to spin silkworm cocoons into threads at home."

Kanalu, who had been standing to the side with his arms crossed, said, "Please wait a moment," and left the room. When he came back, he had a length of rose-colored shiny cloth in his arms.
"Yesterday I was going through some of Ruica's personal belongings and found this among her clothes. I didn't pay it much attention. I thought it was just a shawl but it wasn't. It's very solidly made."

Ryoko took the cloth cautiously, knowing it had been Ruica's. It had a faint odor of incense. She wondered whether Ruica had worn it when she danced, and whether Kanalu had seen her dance in it. Ryoko nearly threw down the costume and ran from the room but she controlled her emotion and draped herself with the cloth. When she put it on, she felt the smoothness and the heavy texture of the costume throughout her senses. The passion of people in Turpan, the passion of Oharu, the passion of Kanalu and Ruica: Ryoko decided to accept all their passions.

The music started and Ryoko began to dance relentlessly. The costume helped her maintain her balance and stabilized her steps. It seemed to blow a mysterious wind through the room. Nakata watched his computer display. The data of Turpan and Takafu-cho gradually matched. The ancient dance that was performed over a thousand years ago was reproduced in the two towns tens of thousands of kilometers apart. Both dances were combined into one. Kanalu, whose name was taken from "Canal," and Ruica, whose name was used for RUICA, meaning "bridge," were both destined to connect the two cultures and two values. The passion of the two began to turn to something new beyond the centuries.

Oharu nodded, satisfied with the dance. Kanalu gazed at Ryoko and murmured, "Ruica, Ruica." Ryoko heard him and felt as if her heart was silently bleeding. She continued to dance, closing her eyes so that no one could notice her tears. The wind arose from her movements and influenced everything it touched. It was like the legendary long flowing cloth that dispelled evil, as described in the Record of Ancient Matters, the Kojiki, the magical lore of the past.

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