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~


gKouya, right? Are you from the suburbs?h
Kouya felt very happy to be called his name. Overwhelmed by bliss, Kouya turned back, and pointed his fingers to the mountain above the woods that protruded towards the sky.
gSo you live at Mt. Kongou. The Yellow Sea -- not there I guess? It is said that humans and beasts cannot get in that place.h

Kouya said, and the man broke into a smile.
gReally, you live at the cliff? So you understand my language. What a bright kid!h
The man praised, and put his hand on Kouyafs head again. This time Kouya let the man pat as he pleased.

gHow old are you? Around twelve?h
gDonft know.h
gYou have no parents?h
Kouya nodded.
gThere are many children thrown into the Black Sea to reduce the burden of the families. So you are one of them. Lucky that you survived till today.h
g...It is rokuta...h
Kouya turned back to the youma, and the man followed his glances to the youma which was sinking its teeth into the deer.
gHow surprising! So you are brought up by a youma. And he is called rokuta, I suppose?h

The man smiled, and then noticed Kouyafs left wrist.
g--Oh no. You are hurt! And the wound is infected.h
Kouya nodded, and fixed his eyes on the man while he held his wrist.
gThe spearhead is left inside the wound. It must be treated.h
The man stood up. Kouya looked up at the man in pain. Is he going to leave me?

--But the man held out his hand.
gCome. You should live a normal life for a little longer, Kouya.h
gMy name is Atsuyu (R). I live in Ganboku (p). --Do you understand?h
Kouya cocked his head.
gCome to my residence. You need treatment to your wound, new clothes and education.h
gIs rokutac coming with me?h
Kouya sheepishly asked, and the answer was given with a dazzling smile.
gOf course.h


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