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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~

(3)

Rokuta was brought to deep within the castle. Going down as low as the very bottom of the Sky-Pillar Mountain, there was a room. When the door to the room was opened, a lady stood up from the other side of the metal grating.
g--Taihoh
g...Ribi (鋛Z)h

Ribi was the Bokuhaku (q) that was appointed to Gen Province, to supervise provincial lords at the order of the emperor. It is also correct to say that Bokuhaku were to share the administrative workload with the provincial lords and Reiin that had their power frozen. Eight Bokuhaku in total were appointed to the all provinces, with the exception of Sei Province which Rokuta himself administered. The Bokuhaku and their suborindates, together with the subordinates under Syukou, Itan, Seisyou () and others, were the team of close subordinates supporting Syouryou amidst wicked officials.

Lifting the metal grating, Kouya and others shoved Rokuta into the room. Rokuta gave a sigh.
gSo even Ribi was caught. You are Syouryoufs hound, after all.h
gEven Taiho...h
gYeah. But bear with it. This is just what Syouryuu deserves.h
gThatfs not true...h
gThe situation turned into something like this, because that guy just wandered around playing. We both should just take it easy in here.h

Ribi looked at Kouya.
gYou dare not move a finger to Taiho!h
Kouya just smiled.
gOf course I wonft do any harm. But Rokuta, you should know that you have become a hostage.h
gIfm prepared.h
gCome over here.h

Kouya signaled him to come, so Rokuta obediently walked to the Kouyafs side. Kouya took a bundle of red thread and a white stone from his inside pocket. Kouya put the white stone onto Rokutafs forehead, and Rokuta abruptly withdrew his body.

g--Stop!h
gOh no. Stand still. --There is the boy.h
Rokuta gave an eye to the youma sitting at the entrance. The youma opened his beak as if to show off its inside, and a small arm could be seen.

gIfm not really resisting. --But I feel sick.h
gThatfs because your forehead is where your horn is. But I would like to seal your horn, because I canft be too careful about your shirei (g, lit. servants).h

 

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