Hyōhaku #4

Juuni Kokuki’s side story — 十二国記外伝
(The Twelve Kingdoms)

(Drifting Ship)

By Ono Fuyumi — 小野不由美

Translated by o6asan
  First edition released on 2010.Jan.23
  Second edition released on 2013.May.29
  Third edition released on 2014.Feb.2 : Current

chapter1 chapter2 chapter3 chapter4 chapter5 chapter6 chapter7 chapter8


   “I… can’t stand this kind of life.”
   When Rokuta mutters, Shōryū also nods silently. Now, Shōryū’s wide private room is uninhabited, but this is because he ordered to leave the room for the time being, otherwise, male and female attendants are thronging around them all the time. They are disgusted about that, besides many people he ordered to leave the room still stay outside the door and the window, so they can’t settle down.
   “All is your fault, your going places here and there. I am perishing nuisance because of you.”
   “About going places, you’re no different.”
   The quality of going places is different. Though Rokuta wanted to object, same words have been exchanged many times, so repeating is also troublesome. He is already sleepy just after dinner, because he is gotten up early in the morning and he has to work on affairs of state and acquire culture etc without wasting a minute.
   Rokuta sticks to a table.
   “I need your help!”
   “…I think I can do something.”
   Rokuta jumps to his feet against Shōryū’s low voice.
   His voice by itself becomes higher with expectation and Shōryū calms down him by a hand.
   “If you have a will to conclude the negotiation for peace.”
   “The negotiation for peace?”
   “Seeing these fellows’ ways, it is obvious their assumption is you and I don’t conspire with each other. They think we will drag down each other about this thing.”
   “No wonder. I have a hard time with your by-blow.”
   “I say that is fellows’ strategies. ―Oh well. Anyway, if we collude with each other, I have something I can do.”
   “…Do you or I become a decoy?”
   “Should I say we pull the lower officials around by becoming a decoy for each other. While I play a decoy, you think about a plan which makes me escape. After a break, you become a decoy and I think about your plan.”
   “Hmmm”, Rokuta murmurs. He thinks his cooperation with Shōryū might be effective, if those three take their thwarting each other into consideration. However, if Shōryū betrays him and he is held captive by ill chance, he would find himself performing an ungrateful task.
   “If one of us fails at running away, he would get beaten up absolutely.”
   “So we do conspire with each other.”
   “It is doubtful you propose such a thing.”
   “What do you say? You look wasted away, so I will help you, I say.”
   Rokuta points his finger at Shōryū.
   “You, I cannot trust at all.”
   “Do you doubt your master’s warm-heart?”
   “More than trusting your warm-heart, it’s better expecting Shukō and the others suddenly tell me to go for fun and genuinely send me off.”
   “In the first place”, Rokuta looks into Shōryū’s face.
   “Why don’t you set me free by becoming a decoy if having a warm-heart? You don’t need to make yourself the decoy, if you had canceled your instruction for Shirei, I could let myself off in now, couldn’t I?”
   Shōryū frowns like being touched on the raw.
   “…I am thinking to have a place to visit.”
   “Oh, yeah?”
   “I promised to come again at the same season. ―Please, Rokuta.”
   ‘A woman?’ He thinks so, but ‘please’ makes him feel better.
   “What do I do? If we manage to escape, we might have very hard time when coming back.”
   “When the very time comes, I’ll do something for you by my order.”
   “Why don’t you do it, right now?”
   Shōryū raises his eyebrows like having heard a very unexpected thing.
   “They are thinking they confined us by this. We should get around them, shouldn’t we?”
   Rokuta claps his hands after a split second.
   “Yeah, right.”
   “Using Imperial orders and Shirei are the height of folly, we run away from the front fairly if running away.”
   “Is it fair to get around them?”
   “No deal?”
   Rokuta laughs satisfactorily.
   And Rokuta grabs a teaware, takes a stance lightly toward the floor and laughs at Shōryū who have done suspiciously.
   “To relax them, we should play a big fight now?”

chapter1 chapter2 chapter3 chapter4 chapter5 chapter6 chapter7 chapter8