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~


The gate of Chimon (賖) is at the foot of Mt Kankyuu. At the peak is En-tyou (, the imperial court) where the administrative hall and the emperorfs residence are located. Halfway down the hill are Nai-tyou () where the high-ranked officialsf residences and offices are, and Gai-tyou (O) where the low-ranked officialsf residences and offices are. Going further down the hill, one reaches the foot of Mt Kankyuu. There is Kokufu ({), extending from the gate of Koumon (ᦖ), the entrance of the palace, to the gate of Chimon, the innermost of Kokufu. The general public can freely get in or out between the two gates. Therefore, the gate Chimon is also called the Middle Gate (, the gate of Tyuumon).

Rokuta rushed down the mountain to the gate of Chimon. The Sky-Pillar Mountain (_R, Ryouun-san) is, as its name means, a mountain that penetrates the clouds. However, spells are cast on the roads that penetrates the inside of the mountain, so the gate is in fact of walking distance. However, Rokuta still needs time to get out, because the palace is so huge, and he must take off his formal wear.

Gasping his way into the buildings at the gate of Chimon, he saw a person in the building for visitors to rest, as told by the messenger. He was sitting straight on a chair, staring at the garden. Rokuta met him more than eighteen years ago, and the boy that had been younger than Rokuta at that time should have now become an adult man. However, the person was still young, about fifteen or sixteen years old. The personfs black hair has a light shade of blue, though.

gIs it... Kouya?h
Rokuta asked as he anxiously stopped at the entrance of the room. The person looked back.

The person kneeled down.
gI finally make it here, as I have longed to meet you. --Taiho, it has been a long time.h


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