Oh, this is from the side story for ep 11.
"It's probably a cold," Seiran placed his hand against Shuurei's hot forehead. Shuurei was laying in bed with her face bright red, and her eyes bloodshot and watering. She was breathing raggedly. "Jumping into the river in the middle of winter...... you're really lucky your heart didn't stop right then."
"......Hot... I wonder..... how many years it's been since my last cold......"
"Please don't talk. I'll go make you a warm drink and an ice pack, so please wait a moment."
Seiran's gentle voice was very comforting on the ears. Even so, since it had been so long since she'd last been sick, it may be that a part of Shuurei had gone back to how she was as a child. She unthinkingly grabbed Seiran's sleeve as he turned to leave. Seiran looked a little surprised at the feel of his sleeve being pulled. He sensed the fingers withdraw quickly and smiled wryly.
"......I'm sorry...... I'm being childish."
While listening to that hoarse voice, Seiran brought a chair over beside the bed, and sat down. He gently brushed aside the bangs that were stuck to her forehead. Wiping the sweat from her brow with a cloth, he gently murmured, "I'll stay with you. So please get some sleep."
"......Your hand...... is so cold, it feels nice......"
At those words, Seiran, who'd been about to move his hand, placed it on her forehead instead. Shuurei closed her eyes as though in relief at that cool sensation.
When Shuurei fell into a childlike sleep, Seiran slid his hand from her forehead to her cheek, and then to her ear. *****
"......I'm being childish......" Remembering Shuurei's words, Seiran lowered his long lashes. Shuurei's childhood had been all too short. Since the death of her mother, Shuurei didn't allow herself to be coddled. The servants who left one after another, all the possessions that they'd stolen, the reality that had been thrust upon them... the first one to come to grips with it, was Shuurei.
One day, with her small hands, she made dinner, cleaned, did the laundry, and she pulled Shouka and Seiran, who were still stunned from the shock of losing someone so important, along. The results of Shuurei's work proved to be pretty sad. Rice that was more like porridge, broth that was too salty, a mountain of books stacked raggedly to the side of the room (cleaned up), and soaking wet laundry, but it was enough to finally bring Seiran and Shouka back to their senses.
'If only I'd pulled myself together better.' Even now Seiran regretted things. If he'd been the first one to recover, Shuurei would've been able to still be a child to be protected. He still felt that he was pathetic for not knowing what to do then.
He smiled as he remembered the feel of having his sleeve pulled. It was something that young Shuurei had often done to him. While only slightly, probably the only ones Shuurei would ever allow to coddle her were Seiran and Shouka. It was something that Seiran was very happy and proud of.
Seiran bent down and whispered something in Shuurei's ear.
The young child crawled out and stretched out a hand to the young boy who'd turned to leave the room when suddenly, she tumbled from the bed. The boy turned in surprise at that sound. His normally expressionless face crumpled slightly. Taking long strides, he easily picked up the young child.
"......I told you to rest quietly." There was little feeling in his voice, but even so she laughed happily. "......You have a fever, so please don't go rolling around all over the place. And pull the covers up."
"Saying that sort of thing with such a serious expression to a three or four year old child... You really are amusing aren't you, Seiran," the bright laughing voice said from behind. Seiran, who'd been putting the young child back to bed, turned.
"Madam, the medicated infusion?"
"I brought it with me. But Shuurei really has taken to you, hasn't she."
Seiran's expression didn't change the slightest, and so she calmly reached out a delicate hand and pinched his cheek.
"......What are you doing"
"I thought I told you not to look so sullen. Afterall, you have a cute face. It's such a waste."
"It's up to me whether I smile or not. It's not like it'll change anything."
"Really? At the very least, I think it would stop Shuurei from crawling out of bed."
Seiran turned in surprise to find that Shuurei had once again crawled out of bed.
"Seiraa. Smile. Smile..."
"Go on. Hurry up and do it. We ordered you to smile at least once a day." The woman deliberately sat on the bed with Shuurei to watch. Seiran shook slightly.
"Hmm? Is it time for the smile?" Shouka, who'd brought an ice pack, looked amused as he also joined the viewer side.
"......I-I can't smile being watched like this"
"What? I think it'd be much more foolish to smile by yourself"
Since Seiran wouldn't smile, Shuurei went into a sulk.
"My, my. It seems that the princess' feelings have been hurt."
"She's hard to handle when that happens. Seiran, take responsibility. Here. Have her drink this infusion, chill her head, and make sure to put her to bed. Otherwise, her fever will go up again at night."
After pressing the medicated infusion and ice pack on him, Shuurei's parents left the room. Seiran looked at the small back that was curled up in a sulk. He tried to get her to look up, but Shuurei clung to the bedcovers and wouldn't let go. Seiran made her along with the covers, look upwards. The young child's eyes widened at this unexpected strategy. She then looked at Seiran and smiled.
At that moment, for the first time, Seiran realised he was smiling. Bringing his hand to his mouth, he exhaled. Even though he'd always had adults eating out of the palm of his hand, it was completely ineffective against the people of this house. Even so, it wasn't an unpleasant feeling.
"......Now, please rest quietly. And drink all your medicine."
Shuurei drank from the sipping dish much more obediently than usual. Putting it in her mouth, she scrunched her face. But even so, she did her best to drink it down. It seems that since Seiran smiled, while she was young, she felt that she too had to do her part too.
After covering her with the bedcovers, he started to stand when she grabbed his sleeve. She looked at him with her watery eyes, and Seiran sat down on the chair again.
Being needed by someone. Liked, sought to be spoiled from, relied upon. All from innocent feelings. --They made him very happy.
And then he remembered - That there'd been someone who'd turned to him with such feelings before.
His young brother, the only one at the palace, who was earnestly attached to him.
Because of her fever, her hand looked like a pudgy maple leaf, as she reached and pat Seiran's lap gently.
"Seiraa...... don'- cry......"
Seiran had been trying to forget so many things. He'd been trying to throw away and leave behind so much. The important things too along with all the rest. But while being in this residence, he was slowly reclaiming those important things.
His smile was one of those things.
"Shuurei, your medicine's ready. I improved it so it's sweet."
Shuurei happily took the sipping dish and drank. But the next instant, she spat the medicine out.
"Aaa, Madam, what did you give her?! Having her drink some unknown liquid again..." Seiran angrily snatched the dish and licked the liquid. he instantly went pale.
She's always saying "It's bitter. It's bitter." so I tried making it sweet this time. ......I wonder why she spat it out."
"...... S-sweet...... this, is too sweet. Just how did you get it this sweet?! I- I feel sick. ......I think I'm going to throw up."
"Sheesh...... Kids are really particular about flavour. Shouka just smiled and said it was sweet."
"Please don't make things based on the master's sense of taste! And I'm not a child!"
"What? You're a child. If you want to know why, it's because Shouka and I decided you're a child." As soon as she said that, the sound of an explosion echoed through the residence. The Lady of the House looked in the direction of that sound unconcernedly. "Come to think of it, Shouka said he'd make a ginger drink. It seems like it's ready."
"Why are there explosions when making ginger tea!?"
Seiran looked livid as he ran to the kitchen. The lady of the house smiled gently as she watched him leave.
p153 - Reishin brings medicine
"......Reishin, you brought too much. Sheesh, as always you go from one extreme to the next. That and this medicine... Why is there medicine to increase virility, that time of month, and even something against labour pain?!"
"---I'll have the herbalist beheaded imediately."
p156 - Shuuei in an aside with Seiran
"......If this many people have all gathered...... it's strange that *he* hasn't come."
"Shall we make a bet, Seiran. Over how much longer it'll be before he comes."
"Okay. If I win, you're never to enter the red lights district again for the rest of your life."
"......I think I'll pass afterall."
p162 - Between Reishin and Shouka
"When I learned that you'd gone to find the exiled prince, I sent assassins a number of times to eliminate the previous emperor."
Shouka calmly munched on some pickles. They were well flavoured and delicious.
"Hahaha. That rotten bastard (Shou Taishi) stopped them all, didn't he."
"Yeah. Just what is he? Some sort of racoon spirit?"
"Hmm... I think the racoon spirit might've been better"
p168 - searching for Ryuushin
"Let's go. It's all right. I'm sure I'm more familiar with this mountain than Ryuushin. I've been coming here together with her ladyship for over ten years to gathered edible wild plants and medicinal herbs."
Kouyuu and Shuuei reeled as they felt defeated for the umpteenth time. They remembered making dinner under Seiran's strict direction. Sheesh, those fine strips are weak, too much salt, stir the pot, don't throw away the radish leaves, remove the scum from the pot, what, are those pork dumplings rice cakes? And you're the emperor's closest advisors; how pathetic.
The former prince was a perfectionist, and extremely strict, unwillingly to compromise even for amateurs. Even Kouyuu couldn't bring himself to complain. In order to try and meet Seiran's high standards, he worked with Shuuei and started cooking. ......If Seiran had taken the throne, they had an idea of what sort of ruler he'd have been.
The boy who'd been considered the most capable prince, no doubt after joining the citizenry, he'd further expanded to his experience. No doubt his ability at gathering medicinal herbs was close to top in Saiunkoku.
~p170 summary while looking for Ryuushin
Shuuei asks if there weren't a couple of holes in the area they were in and that, while they were difficult to spot, kids might have found them and made them play spots. When asked how he knew about that, Shuuei explains that the Uringun often go to Mt. Ryuu for training exercises and that, one time, in the fall, they'd gotten into an edible plant gathering contest. Apparently it was pretty hard work, not only did they go through major training, they also ran full speed from the bottom of the mountain to the top and back, and then had to gather plants until sundown with it being a contest between the left and right companies. Apparently the night before the training, the entire left uringun borrowed the archives and spent the entire night studying which mushrooms were good to eat and which were poisonous, where different plants grew, etc., and the right uringun were next to them doing the same.
However, on the day of training, while picking mushrooms, the two daishoguns unfortunately bumped into one another, and somehow they decided that the final battle would be to see which one could dig a horizontal hole the deepest and fastest. Before the contest was started though, they put a time limit on the contest, and according to Shuuei, they put moles to shame. When they ran into a boulder they break it with their fist, or if the ran into tree roots, they'd chop them off. If the time limit hadn't been put on the contest, then no doubt, they'd have kept digging until they reached the other side of the mountain. As it was, Shuuei along with Kou Shogun of the right uringun, planted some brush by the mini caves that ended up being dug in an effort to hide what had happened (and to bury the memory).
p178 - Shuurei catches a glimpse of hell. Ryuuki adds Dr. You's medicine to the drink dish he found in Shuurei's room...
"Shuurei, pull yourself together."
Shuurei automatically drank from the dish that had been brought to her mouth. The next instant, her eyes went wide as she snapped awake. And then a scream, as though one had seen hell, echoed through the Shouka residence.
"What is it, did something happen!?"
"Shuurei, what's wrong!?"
Responding to that terrible scream, Seiran, Shuuei, Kouyuu and Shouka stampeded into Shuurei's room. They found a tearful Shuurei, her face contorted as she gripped the front of her light night wear tightly closed, and a thoroughly flustered Ryuuki. And for some reason, his sleeve was torn.
Any way you looked at it, it was "the image of the young man come for an evening tryst attacking Shuurei who was unable to move." In that instant, murderous intentions swirled through the room. As to whose feelings they were, Kouyuu obviously couldn't tell, but even the eminent officer of the Uringun, Shuuei, having been frozen to the core, couldn't tell.
Or rather, he didn't want to know.