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

Copyright Fuyumi Ono, Koudansya, 1994


~ Chapter Three~


The boy who was just named Kouya (X) was living at the inner side of Mt. Kongou (R) at that time.
Mt Kongou was a range of mountains that reached the Sea of Clouds (_C), and enclosed the Yellow Sea (C), the center of the world, in a circle. Youma's nests were built in small caves at the steep cliffs of Mt. Kongou, and the enormous mountains stretched down to everywhere, probably all the way to the Yellow Sea.

In the cave that was soaked in rotten stench, Kouya peered into the youmafs eyes.
gKouya is my name! Call me Kouya from now on! If you donft call me that, I may again forget my name.h
The youma gave a sound of gI understand.h
gYou want a name, the Big One?h
The youma just cocked its head.
g--How about rokuta(낭)*? Then I will not forget Rokutafs(Z) name as well.h

Rokuta was the first person Kouya met that is not an enemy. He didnft come to hunt down Kouya or the youma. He didnft escape. He just came by Kouyafs side, exchanged conversations with him, and gave him the name Kouya.
Kouya hugged the youmafs neck.
gIt would be nice if rokuta could speak a lot like the human Rokuta.h

Kouya had already reached the age of knowing what glonelinessh meant. Crossing the sea and reaching the land, Kouya found lots of cities, within which lots of people lived. People that were bigger than Kouya always took the hands of people who were as small as Kouya, or carried them in their arms. Kouya liked to look at them, but at the same time he felt great pain. It was always unbearably lonely to watch parents walking with their children or children running around, but when Kouya left the cities, he was again unable to bear the desire to look at the people once more.

His foster parent hadnft brought its friends along with it even once. It fought with other youma the time they met, so maybe youma was such creatures in nature. Therefore, Kouya and the youma were always alone.

If he went to the city to satisfy his desire to meet people, the youma would attack the people. Huge chaos would definitely follow, causing Kouya to be chased away by swords and spears. He begged the youma not to attack people, but the youma would ignore his plea if it was hungry. Even if the youma did not attack people, on the sight of Kouya and the youma, people would scream and run, or wave weapons to chase them away.


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Translators' Note:

From now on, rokuta and Rokuta are different. rokuta (originally written in hirakana in Japanese) is the youma's name -- in the translation it would be written in all small letters. Rokuta (originally written in kanji in Japanese) is the kirin's name -- in the translation it would be written in first capital letter.