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~


It was Ekishin who yelled. He took a defensive stance, and grab the sword at his waist. Rokuta hurriedly stopped him.
gStop it! Everything is fine.h

gBut, Taiho, thatfs...h
gIt is definitely a youma. However this one is tame, and follows what Kouya tells it.h
gHow can that be?h
gMysterious, isnft it? It is shocking, but it is true.h

Rokuta said, and Ekishin eased his defensive stance without totally letting his alerts down. However, he kept his hand on the handle of the sword. That is unmistakably a Tenken, a type of youma. Ekishin was told that youjyuu (mystical beast) can be tamed, but definitely not for youma.

gEverything is all right. See, there are people around.h
Rokuta said with a smile, and Ekishin took a look. There were several people at the youmafs side. Earlier, the youma caught his complete attention, and he didnft notice the people around.

gOh... Okay.h
Ekishin finally let go of the handle. Rokuta smiled, and turned to look at Kouyafs face.

gThe big one, he doesnft change a bit!h
gYeah,h Kouya nodded, and walked up to the youma.
g--See, it is Rokuta. Do you remember him?h

He said, and turned his glance to the people standing beside the youma.
g--You find it?h

Yes, the people replied as they lowered their head, so they must be Rokutafs servants. It is nothing suspicious for an official, Rokuta thought to himself as he looked at the people. One man in the middle held a small baby in his arms. Rokuta saw him give the baby to Kouya, and dropped his jaw.

gI canft believe it! --Is that your child, Kouya?"

Kouya smiled as he held the baby. The baby was sound asleep.
gNo, you are mistaken. I find it, so as to meet you.h

Smiling gently, Rokuta held the baby out to the youma. The youma opened its beak, complete with sharp teeth inside. Before the dumbfounded Rokuta could make a cry, Kouya put the baby right inside the beak of the youma.



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