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~


Kouya stared into the youmafs face from very close. He called repeatedly, "rokuta, rokuta."
gOnly if you wouldnft attack people. If so, we could together go to Kankyuu.h
Small one, the youma cried.
gNo! Call me Kouya. Kouya.h
Small one, the youma repeated. It was a sound to invite him to go out together.
gIf you donft call me that, I will forget again. Just like how I forget my original name.h
His mother who once took Kouyafs hand and walked with him definitely called Kouya with some name.
gCall me Kouya!h

Kids who ran around the city. The squeals that shot from their mouth. The hands that raise the kids. The hands that slapped on the kids as punishment. Everything is so enviable for Kouya. The only hands that Kouya remembered where from his mother who abandoned him in the mountains, and the callused hands from the man who took Kouta to the sea.

Why hadnft Kouya been touched by such warm hands? Why did people treat other children so well, but chased Kouya away? There was the legendary land called Hourai (H) at the other side of the sea. If only he could get there; he would be pursued no longer, and would meet those warm hands. If he searched there, he might be able to find a city where even Kouya can live comfortably.

He listened to Kouyafs words. He shared food, and patted Kouya. He gave Kouya the name. He invited Kouya to go with him. If Kouya did go with him, Kouya might be able to talk even more, and be called by his name more. Kouya might be able to play with him, just like other children playing in the city.

g...If only I could go with Rokuta.h
However, this youma was the first living creature that didnft try to get rid of him.
Kouya put his arms around the youmafs neck, and buried his face in its red fur.
gcIf only I could go with him.h


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