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Higashi no Wadatsumi, Nishi no Soukai
<The Sea God in the East, the Vast Sea in the West>

Copyright Fuyumi Ono, Koudansya, 1994

 


~ Starting Chapter ~

***

He was awakened suddenly by some voices. The voices could barely creep into his ears in the pitch-darkness. The voices were from his father and mother outside their house.

Even it was called a house, it was a shabby structure of a straw mattress propped up by four sticks as the roof and walls. The gbedh was spread on the soil where insect sounds echoed, but it was just a piece of cloth for wrapping around the body. The only great thing about the bed was the warmth from his brothers and sisters nearby. They had a better home at where they had lived, but that home was now gone. It was turned into ash at a corner of the burnt-down city.

gThere is nothing we can do...h
Father spoke in a low voice. gBut,h mother mumbled.

gThis is bad, but that boy is so clever that he scares me.h

The boy shook in the pitch darkness. He knew that his parents were talking about him, and his sleepiness vanished completely.

gButch

gHe has good distinction power and a brilliant mind. The kids at his age donft even known how to talk. It is as if he is a gift from somewhere.h

gThatfs true. But he is still a child, no matter what he can do. He will never know if anything has happened.h

gThatfs not it. Letting such a kid die is like a curse to me.h

The boy held his lapels tighter together. He curled up himself and pretended to be sleeping in the pitch darkness. He didnft want to hear the two voices anymore. He knew what they were talking about, despite that he only lived for a little more than four years.

The voices continued, but the boy forced himself not to hear them. He chased the voices away from his consciousness, and forced himself to sleep.

***

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