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~


g...That is because you and I are assistants. Maybe your majesty simply likes those who talk back.h

Syukou laughed at Itanfs remarks.

gReally, that may be the case.h

From his laughter, Syukou changed his expression. That was because he heard coming footsteps.

It was the prime minister (n, tyousai) and his subordinates (, gekan) who approached them. Syukou and Itan politely gave way, and bowed lightly as the prime minister and others passed through. From above their lowered heads came a voice.

gWell, I believe that this road leads to the inner palace.h

This, a subordinate raised his voice towards Syukou and Itan, and said.

gWhat are you both doing in such a place? Donft tell me that you got lost.h

Syukou and Itan didnft answer. There are restrictions on which officials can enter the inner palace. Because of Syukou and Itanfs ranks, they were originally forbidden from entering the inner palace. The two gained permission directly from the emperor, but this treatment is only specially granted to them. There are people who were jealous of their special treatments and used sarcastic words on them. Syukou and Itan were already used to such sarcasm.

gSo you are heading to the inner palace, arenft you?h

Yes, Itan answered briefly, and the prime minister and others gave a deliberate sigh.

gWell, well, so there goes the time for your majesty to attend to government affairs.h
gNow is the time for playing with those your majesty is interested in, isnft it?h
gDonft interfere, or you will get scolded. God knows when my majesty can go back to attend to government work.h
gBecause there are lowly swindlers somewhere.h

The ridicule echoed pass the two who were bowing. The prime minister and others must be heading to their offices at the east. After the retracing footsteps died down, Itan raised his head. He let his sight follow the stone pavement that linked the buildings.

g...Who are the lowly swindlers here? That bunch who bought their position from Kyou-ou!h

Itan gave a bitter smile. To call those as evildoers is no exaggeration. When Kyou-ou lost his way and showed no interest at government affairs, the officials exploited their power to the fullest. Some people bought positions with money, and emptied the government treasury with expenses other than ordinary salary. To win the favor of Kyou-ou, the evildoers encouraged the emperorfs tyranny instead of stopping it, making the kingdom more desolated day by day.

gLet them go. They are just people who have no ability except satire.h

gThey think that the emperor indulges in playing around because we incited him! We are treated as the bad guys because that man is so easygoing!h

In front of Itan with gritting teeth, Syukou only continued his bitter smile.
gWe canft help it even if we are treated as the bad guys.h

Itan was chief of land affairs, and his rank was just a middle Daibu (v) . The prime minister is ranked Kou (), four ranks higher than chief of land affairs. However, even chief of land affairs and others were granted privileges, while the prime minister himself needed to go through all the permission requests just to meet the emperor. No wonder the prime minister couldnft withstand him. Syukou was ranked lower Daibu, which was even lower in rank than Itan.


<< PREV :: INDEX :: Page 12 :: NEXT >>