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~


gWhere are your subordinates?h
Bokuhaku should be accompanied by several personal subordinates and servants.
gI am afraid they have also been captured. I didnft hear any rumors that they have been executed, so they should be alive. All other officials appointed by the central government should be in the same situation as mine.h

The central government had sent six officials to every province to help and supervise the provincial lord and Reiin. They were to advise the lords of the right way, educate on the history of this world, and correct the lordsf mistake, but they had become such cowards that they could do no harm or good to any province. Unfortunately, En had its hands tied up by such incompetence.

gIs Ribi all right? Did they do any harm to you?h
Rokuta asked, and Ribi gave a smile with mixed feelings.
gNothing in particular... Maybe I should give thanks: Atsuyu is not so foolish as to lose his power to reason.h

gWhat is up with Atsuyu? What happened to the provincial lord?h
gThe provincial lord is suffering from some ailment, I heard. He secluded himself at the deep bottom of this castle, and never came out to show his face. Atsuyu had been entrusted with everything.h
Ribi changed the position of the baby in her arms. The baby who was free from the youmafs beak was now sleeping soundly.

gIt was a rumor from the officials, but the provincial lord seems to suffer psychologically and cannot continue with administrative affairs. Still fearing about Kyou-ou, he would not come out of the inner palace despite surrounding peoplefs persuasion. Some time ago, the lord still gave orders to officials when he was well, but recently he was always feeling sick. He yelled at servants that take care of him and accused them as Kyou-oufs assassins. Sympathizing the lord, Atsuyu used spare time after administrative work to take personal care of the lord.h

g--So it is just inconceivable that a man like Atsuyu will do such a thing like abducting the kirin. He knows what is right from what is wrong, and he takes great care about things related to the common people.h
gReally... Ganboku is really abundant, isnft it? I am so surprised by its beauty.h
gAtsuyu is a very able officer. Considering that he has no real power, he has done a really good job using all powers he has. I am just baffled why he is doing this...h

gSyouryou is to blame. He skips his duties.h
That is not true, Ribi refuted with a troubling expression.
gYour majesty has his own way of thinking. Failing to see this point, Atsuyu proved himself as a man of short temper. Yes, he is supported by all officials and admired by the common people, but he turns a little too boastful.h
g...I wonder...h


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