Juuni Kokuki’s side story — 十二国記外伝
(The Twelve Kingdoms)
Translated by o6asan
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.Kankyu(関弓山) after doing a magnificent day-long tag using Gen’ei-kyu(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’s bridle to his Shirei(使令) and ran all night, Gen’ei-kyu(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. Under Tora who goes at a run in air, there is an expanse of farmland below Rokuta(六太)’s eyes. It is just before the harvest, as the rainy season will be setting in, 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.Kongo(金剛山) which rises like very thin purple-blue phantom around the Ko-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-shu(貞州), the opposite bank is called Kon-ken(艮県) that is a detached territory of Sei-shu(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-kyu(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(雲海) there can’t be seen. If one rises up to the higher sky, one occasionally sees the bottom of the sea of clouds like the board of crystal if looked at from different angles, but usually one 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.
”……Shoryu(尚隆) was able to get out?”
With a laugh he recalls the commotion in Gen’ei-kyu(玄英宮) and thinks Shoryu(尚隆) having made it up because he knows Shoryu(尚隆). Well, he doesn’t care about it. Because he is in the sky of the lower world(下界).
Tora goes over fields and mountains which colored richly, and reaches the sea. The mountain ahead, is Mt.Kongo(金剛山). Where going across the sea, there is the land like a sandbar projects to the foot of Mt.Kongo(金剛山), Gon-ken(艮県). One of four gates(四令門) to enter Yellow Sea(黄海) is there, Reigonmon(令艮門).
Passing through fields and mountains which have small extent of Gon-ken(艮県), Rokuta(六太) goes into deeply and lands on a Gon(艮)’s town when the shining sun is going down. Though Gon-ken(艮県) is a detached territory of Sei-shu(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 and pulling its bridle calmly.
Beyond the building next to Jinmon(人門), you can see the surface of Mt.Kongo(金剛山) as if it towers precipitously. Although it is not the closing time, Jinmon(人門) is already shut. Across Jinmon(人門), there is only Reigonmon(令艮門). Jinmon(人門) opens only on the day of winter solstice because Reigonmon(令艮門) opens only on the day. Winter solstice is still far away. So, Gon(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’s neck to his face, his sugu(騶虞) barks as if saying yes.
”Do you want to return?”
Against Rokuta(六太)’s question, Tora only purrs as if wanting to say ‘I don’t know.’
Rokuta(六太) himself wants to go to that 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 not. It’s even more difficult since he saw the burnt ground had been covered with the splendid golden sea.
He breathes deeply, pulling Tora’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 Ko-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 by that.
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 says ‘add Yoma(妖魔) to conveyance animals and poultry’. When Shoryu(尚隆) put out this edict, Itan(帷湍), Shuko(朱衡), and Seisho(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-shu(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 Koya(更夜), around 15.”
The promise was accomplished. However, he is out of contact until now. They can know Koya(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 Koya 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 Koya(更夜) to the county castle and to report.
”Tell him a grave in Mt.Sho(霄山).”
”Mt.Sho(霄山)? — A grave? Whose?”
The keeper looks doubtful.
”I’m not given the details. — There is an imperial demesne named Hekisho(碧霄) close to the boundary with Gen-shu(元州). Ryounzan(凌雲山) existing in Hekisho(碧霄) is an imperial park, and its name is Mt.Sho(霄山).”
”An imperial park ……”
”In Mt.Sho(霄山), might they have connection with the O(王) — both the person in the grave and Koya(更夜).”