"'But you're a general of the kingsmen, so I'm sure I'll see you again,' Taiki looked up at Gyoso, forcing a smile - but the general merely frowned.
'I'm not returning to the kingsmen. I intend to relinquish my sagehood and leave Tai.'
Unconsciously, Taiki clenched his fists. 'But why? Why would you do that?'
'I am...unaccustomed to shame.'
Taiki's eyes opened wide; then, understanding washed over him.
'I'm not blaming you, my lord. If I'm an unsuitable vessel for kingship, there is nothing to be done about it.'"
Ono establishes pretty clearly that Taiki and Gyoso's upcoming fall is at least partly Taiki's fault. He's riddled with self-doubt and, although he has great power, he doesn't know how to consciously use any of it. I agree that Taiki's issues played a part in the Kingdom of Tai's future problems.
This is the first time I've read this and decided that Gyoso is at fault as well. He just had a conversation with one of the oracles in which he admitted that he was worried about Taiki's future and hoped that Taiki would have more time to adjust to the idea of being a kirin before choosing a king. Then, instead of preparing himself to wholeheartedly support Taiki and his future king, he decides that he's going to give all that up and just go off and become a mercenary or something. Never mind that he's widely respected and that his support would go a long way towards helping Taiki and his king. Never mind that he knows Taiki will need all the allies he can get. Nope, Gyoso is quitting because he's ashamed that he wasn't chosen to be the next king, even though he and everyone around him expected that he would be.
I remember not quite liking Gyoso the first time I read this book. This was due in large part to Taiki's initial fear of him, but I think I've come back around to not liking him again. Gyoso recognizes Taiki's weaknesses but doesn't realize that he has several of his own.
Ugh, I want Ono to finally complete Taiki's arc. I want some reassurance that he survives and comes into his own as a kirin. Considering what happens to him in the next book in his arc, though, I have serious doubts that a happy ending is possible. :-(