Title: The Man in the Mirror
Author: Eight Hisamatsu
Sal is the next head of the Senba clan. The family is well-known for their talents in Ikebana, the art of flower arrangement. Every year, the Senba clan takes part in a competition where they display their art and always come out with high praise. It’s Sal’s turn to participate, and his victory will mark his official takeover as head of the Senba clan. While Sal loves flowers and enjoys arranging them, the pressure from his father is almost too much to bear, and his arrangements are suffering as a result.
While in his workroom, he is stressed out and puts his hand against a floor-length mirror in the room. To his surprise, the mirror’s surface gives way beneath his touch, and when he completely passes through, he finds himself in an entirely new place. It’s full of beautiful, and in some cases tropical, flowers, but the most beautiful thing by far is the man standing among the blooms. He is the prince of the country Sal finds himself in, and before he can learn who the prince is, he is told of a cultural custom: if they share each other’s names, they will be officially engaged.
Sal and Prince Shaal come up with nicknames for each other and go back and forth to each other’s countries through the mirror. Shaal gives Sal the thing he was missing for his work: inspiration. More than that, Prince Shaal stirs something else in Sal. Could this be love?