Juuni Kokuki’s side story — 十二国記外伝
(The Twelve Kingdoms)
Translated by o6asan
First edition released on 2010.Jan.23
Second edition released on 2013.May.29 : Current
The plain below is a dazzling golden color.
On the 5th day since they having had the talking, Rokuta(六太) got shrewdly away from Mt.Kankyū(関弓山) after doing a magnificent day-long tag using Gen’ei-kyū(玄英宮) as a background.
It is only revenge that the day was one of Tenkan-fu(天官府)’s conference days. As he left Tora(とら)’s bridle to his Shirei(使令) and ran all night, Gen’ei-kyū(玄英宮) is the other side of the world though Itan(帷湍) might be surely angry. He thinks such a thing is a trivial matter when seeing this spectacle in his presence, though he might have difficulties if returning.
When he gets over the mountainous district covered with heavy green, he reaches vast plains. Tora(とら) flies at high speed in the air, so Rokuta(六太) can see an expanse of farmland from Tora(とら)’s back. It is just before the harvest, as the rainy season will be soon, the farmland looks a very shining golden color. The wind makes ripples of the golden sea’s surface. You can see the blue ocean beyond lapping waves. On borderline between the sea and the sky, it is a ridge-line of Mt.Kongō(金剛山) which rises like very thin purple-blue illusion around the Kō-kai(黄海).
Areas along the inland sea of En(雁) project like dividing into parts the Kok-kai(黒海) and the Sei-kai(青海). The division of the Kok-kai(黒海) and the Sei-kai(青海) is the Northeast gate(艮海門), and this side is Tei-shū(貞州), the opposite bank is called Kon-ken(艮県) that is a detached territory of Sei-shū(靖州) where the capital exists.
“I like this sea better.”
Rokuta(六太) says to himself. He is alone in the air as far as he can see and resembles to Gen’ei-kyū(玄英宮) that is left behind in the sea. Rokuta(六太) glances up. The clear blue sky’s looking high and the water of the sea of clouds there can’t be seen. If you rise up to the higher sky, you occasionally see the bottom of the sea of clouds like the board of crystal if looked at from different angles, but usually you cannot recognize the sea there. However, even if not seen in eyes, the sea is there and separates on the clouds and the lower world. — They are clearly separated.
“……Shōryū(尚隆) was able to get out?”
With a laugh he recalls the commotion in Gen’ei-kyū(玄英宮) and thinks Shōryū(尚隆) having made it up because he knows Shōryū(尚隆). Well, he doesn’t care about it. Because he is in the air of the lower world.
Tora(とら) goes over fields and mountains which colored richly, and reaches the sea. The mountain ahead, is Mt.Kongō(金剛山). Where going across the sea, there is the land like a sandbar projects to the foot of Mt.Kongō(金剛山), Kon-ken(艮県). One of the Four Gates to enter Yellow Sea is there, Reikonmon(令艮門).
Passing through fields and mountains which have small extent of Kon-ken(艮県), Rokuta(六太) goes into deeply and lands on a Kon(艮)’s town when the sun is going down. Though Kon-ken(艮県) is a detached territory of Sei-shū(靖州) that is Rokuta(六太)’s domain, nobody here might recognize his face. He goes to Jinmon(人門) on the southwest of the town, dismounting from Tora(とら) and pulling its bridle calmly.
Beyond the building next to Jinmon(人門), you can see the surface of Mt.Kongō(金剛山) as if it towers precipitously. Although it is not the closing time, Jinmon(人門) is already shut. Outside of Jinmon(人門), there is only Reikonmon(令艮門). Jinmon(人門) opens only on the day of winter solstices because Reikonmon(令艮門) opens only on the day. This winter solstice is still far away. So, Kon(艮)’s town in front of the gate is very quiet.
“You were born on the other side of the gate …… Do you remember?”
They pause in the square in front of the gate and when he talks drawing Tora(とら)’s neck to his face, his sūgu(騶虞) barks as if saying yes.
“Do you want to return?”
Against Rokuta(六太)’s question, Tora(とら) only purrs as if wanting to say ‘I don’t know.’
Rokuta(六太) himself wants to go to the other side. Four years passed from changing the name of the era, and the 5th year will begin soon. — Yes, he really understands the meaning of jeopardizing his own life. He wants to go, but cannot. It’s even more difficult since he saw the burnt ground had been covered with the splendid golden sea.
He breathes deeply, pulling Tora(とら)’s bridle he approaches to the building nearby the gate, and there stands a high bulletin board aside. This is the other side of En(雁) as a contact point between Kō-kai(黄海) and En(雁州国). The board is exactly the same as it was when it put up four years ago. It is enclosed by the wall and the roof like a long and slender hut and defended from wind and rain. A keeper stands idly next to the board.
Rokuta(六太) looks up the board. It is called ‘the edict of conveyance animals and poultry’ or ‘the edict of four rides and seven animals’.– It reads ‘add Yōma(妖魔) to conveyance animals and poultry’. When Shōryū(尚隆) put out this edict, Itan(帷湍), Shukō(朱衡), and Seishō(成笙) were amazed. Only Rokuta(六太) knows the meaning.
The young keeper looks into Rokuta(六太)’s face because he looks hard at it.
“What’s your name?”
Rokuta(六太) looks up the keeper’s face.
“My name? Why?”
“Ah — Well, O.K. You never look around 15.”
Rokuta(六太) nods. — Rokuta(六太) knows why he is asked his name. Because Rokuta(六太) himself has the power of a state marquis of Sei-shū(靖州) and ordered it.
“Are you looking for someone? Wanted person?”
The keeper waves to him as if saying no and Rokuta(六太) is slightly relieved. It is a same old story that “Missing person” is becoming “Wanted person” before one is aware.
“Great people look for. A person named Kōya(更夜), around 15.”
The promise was accomplished. However, he is out of contact until now. They can know Kōya(更夜) is still alive because his name doesn’t disappear from Senseki(仙籍).
The keeper laughs.
“Do they owe thanks to him? — They told us to take him to the county castle respectfully when the person named Kōya(更夜) shows up. If he refuses,”
Rokuta(六太) opens his eyes wide and sees keeper’s face. Rokuta(六太) doesn’t order ‘if’, though he gave instructions to guide Kōya(更夜) to the county castle and to report.
“Tell him a grave in Mt.Shō(霄山).”
“Mt.Shō(霄山)? — A grave? Whose?”
The keeper looks doubtful.
“I’m not given the details. — There is an imperial demesne named Hekishō(碧霄) close to the boundary with Gen-shū(元州). Ryōunzan(凌雲山) existing in Hekishō(碧霄) is an imperial park, and its name is Mt.Shō(霄山).”
“An imperial park ……”
“In Mt.Shō(霄山), might they have connection with the Ruler — both the person in the grave and Kōya(更夜).”