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

Copyright Fuyumi Ono, Koudansya, 1994


~ Chapter One~


gIt is so green.h

Rokuta lazily gazed at the lush green of Kankyuu(֋|) through the sea of clouds on the palace patio.

The new Emperor has been enthroned for twenty years. The kingdom has also been gradually reviving.

This is Mt. Kankyuu(֋|R), a city of the Kingdom of En. On top of this mountain stands Genei Palace(p{), the imperial palace of En. It is a small island floating in the boundless sea of clouds.

At the high sky, the sea of clouds (Unkai, _C) shields the sky above from below. Even when one looks up from the ground, one cannot see that water exists at the sea of clouds. One can only see clouds, which are the wave crests beating the peak of the Sky-Pillar Mountain. Looking from the sky above, the sea is transparent with a very faint blue, and it seems to have only the depth of a personfs height. However, if one dive in to see, it is impossible to reach the bottom. The water is transparent, and one can look straight through it to the ground. The lush green sea of wheat fields. The revived green on the mountains. The many trees that protects the huts and the towns.

gWell, you can also say that eTwenty years and thatfs all?fh

Rokuta folded his arms and buried his chin within his arms. The water from the sea of clouds hit the foot of the balcony, resounding beating noises as it washes up the smell of the tides.


gWell, even thatfs just it, it is really some accomplishment. When I entered Genei Palace I could see nothing else except the dark black ground...h

It was once a vast piece of charcoaled land. Thanks to the last twenty years, the Kingdom was back on its feet, and the lush green stood out like now. Those people who escaped to other kingdoms gradually moved back, and the praising chorus from the farmers became louder and louder every year.


g... Yes?h
Rokuta turned back with his arms still folded. A commissioner (Tyoushi, m) carrying some papers was smiling gently.

hMy gratitude to my dear sir, as this yearfs wheat harvest is abundant. Taihou has also been spreading his concern to the ground even within his busy schedule, and I must give thanks to my dear sir on behalf of the people. However, it would be even happier for me, if my dear sir can give a little more concern to my reports right now.h

gI can hear you. Continue.h

gIt might sound rude, but it would be appreciated if I can borrow just a moment from my dear sirfs ears.h

gIfm serious. Serious.h


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