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~


Rokutafs shout turned into a shriek. The youma accurately split Ekishinfs throat, and bit off his flesh. Blood and flesh flew. Rokuta was shielded from such a dreadful scene as a pair of arms hugged Rokutafs body and drew him away.

gOh no, Taiho!h
A female voice cried. The arms hugging Rokuta were covered with white scales. A pair of white wings enveloped Rokuta and hid his face. --It was Rokutafs another shirei.

Even though Rokuta was shielded by the wings, he knew what happened by the ominous sounds of Ekishinfs broken screams and the pungent smell of blood. Then, a loud thud of a body dropping on the ground sounded, and Ekishinfs breath of life vanished. After that, the sound of eating was hidden by the baby's sudden cry.

g--Why, Kouya? ...h
gTo take Taiho to the province of Gen.h

The province of Gen, Rokuta whispered to himself.
gPlease order your shirei to behave themselves, if you pity for the kidfs life. I have never thought of harming Taiho. I just want to invite you along to meet my master.h

Didnft Syouryuu mention the province of Gen before?

gHe is the vice lord of the province of Gen.h
g--Atsuyu, isnft he?h

Rokuta pushed off the wings that hid his face. Standing beside the youma, Rokuta stared at the ever-smiling Kouya.

gOh you know Keihaku (, the rank of Atsuyu) already.h
g... What is the province of Gen plotting?h

Kouya remained silent to Rokutafs question. Only the invisible sound urged the people around.

gTaiho,h a questioning voice could be heard from the back. Rokuta shook his head.
gNo, Yokuhi (). Donft do anything.h
gLet me go.h

Rokuta ordered, and the white arms that hugged Rokuta lost hold. Rokuta turned back, and showed a nod to the worried nyoukai (, female monster, such as Sanshi for Taiki).
gStep down, Yokuhi.h

The female with white scales, white wings and lower limbs of a crane looked confusedly at Rokuta. Drawing a deep breath, she shook her snake tail slightly and disappeared. She had returned to Rokutafs shadow. Rokuta double checked, and turned to face straight at Kouya. Kouya smiled gently.

gThat is what I expect from Taiho. How deeply generous you are.h

~ End of Chapter Two ~

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