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

Copyright Fuyumi Ono, Koudansya, 1994


~ Chapter Two~


Rokuta gave up on his investigation, and turned himself to face the boy.
gBut it is good news that you didnft die in the end. After that you live in the cave all the time?h
gSometimes I go out for meals.h

gDo the big one eat humans?h
Rokuta asked, but he knew the answer already. Rokuta was standing some distance away from the youma, but he could still sense a strong odor of blood. The odor of human blood.
g...Yes he does. If not, he will be hungry wouldnft he?h

Rokuta swallowed faintly.
g...And you eat human too?h

The boy shamefully lowered his head.
gI donft. Neither human nor beasts. ...I told the big one not to eat as well, but he just wouldnft listen.h

Well, the boy said as he threw a begging glance to Rokuta.
gHuman are in nature afraid of attacks from other people or beasts. So the big one often gets chased off by people. Everyone chases us off and does mean things. Otherwise, they just run for their lives.h

I can imagine that, Rokuta said as he nodded. He forced himself to pat on the smiling childfs head.

gBut that is very great. It is wrong to eat humans.h

gOkay... Rokuta, where do you come from? This side of the sea?h
Yes, Rokuta nodded. The boy leaned forward.
gSo, do you know Hourai?h

Rokuta looked at the boyfs face.
gBy Hourai, you mean...h

hThe country at the very east of the sea. Over there, no one quarrels or does mean things. Dad is over there. Maybe mom is over there as well. Thatfs why Ifm searching...h
Tears swelled at the boy's eyes as he spoke. Rokuta looked at the boy painfully.

-- Most probably, the boyfs father is already dead. The mother, unable to tell that to they boy, lied to the boy that his father had gone to Hourai. --That is just too common a lie. Even such a mother could not but abandon her child, and the abandoned child still believed in his motherfs words up to this moment, and continued searching for that mythical land.


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