The Emperor of Nihon-Ja (Ranger 10) by John Flanagan

The Emperor of Nihon-Ja (Ranger 10) by John Flanagan

Author:John Flanagan
Language: eng
Format: mobi
Tags: Fantasy
ISBN: 9780142418598
Publisher: Bill
Published: 0101-01-01T08:00:00+00:00

‘Did you get that, Alyss?’ he asked. The blonde girl glanced quickly at him, not total y sure of herself.

‘It’s Nihon-Jan,’ she said. ‘But it’s a pretty strong regional accent. Makes it hard to pick up. I think he’s asking who we are.’

‘Logical question,’ Wil said.

The speaker looked at him and spat out a few words. The tone was obvious, even if the meaning wasn’t. He was angry.

‘Best if Alyss does the talking, Wil ,’ Halt cautioned in a low voice. The Nihon-Jan speaker swung his gaze back to him but as Halt was obviously the leader of this group, he didn’t seem to be annoyed that he was talking.

‘Ask if he’s seen Atsu,’ he said and Alyss spoke, choosing her words. The others heard the word ‘Atsu’ among them. The Nihon-Jan replied dismissively. Obviously he had no idea who Atsu might be. He repeated his original question, more pointedly this time.

‘He’s stil asking who we are,’ Alyss said. There was no need to translate the negative reply to her question about Atsu.

‘Tel him we’re travel ers,’ Halt said careful y. ‘Our ship was damaged and the crew left us here.’

Alyss gathered her thoughts to frame the necessary sentences. The Nihon-Jan spokesman greeted her words with a grunt. Then he fired another question.

‘He wants to know where we’re going,’ Alyss said. She looked at Halt. ‘Should I say anything about Shi–’ She stopped herself saying the Emperor’s name, realising that the Nihon-Jan would probably recognise it. Instead, she changed her question at the last moment. ‘About…the Emperor?’

‘No,’ Halt said quickly. ‘We don’t know whose side these people are on. Just tel him we’re looking for the Kikori.’

It was a tricky situation. The odds were good that these men were opposed to Arisaka. But it was no certainty. If Alyss told them they were looking for Shigeru, they could find themselves made prisoners by the usurper.

Alyss began to translate the statement. But the man had heard the word ‘Kikori’. He pounded his own chest repeatedly and shouted at them. The word ‘Kikori’ was repeated several times.

‘I assume you understood that,’ Alyss said. ‘These are Kikori.’

‘The question is, whose side are they on?’ Evanlyn asked. But Alyss had no answer for that.

Then the man turned to his fol owers and made a swift gesture. The Kikori moved in on the camp site, surrounding the five foreigners and making imperious gestures. The meaning was obvious. They were to come along. Wil noticed that the Kikori made no attempt to relieve them of their weapons, and they gestured for the Araluans and Selethen to pick up their rucksacks and other gear. Wil made a tentative move towards one of the tents but the Kikori closest to him made a negative gesture and shouted at him. He seemed to repeat the same word over again: Dammé! Dammé!

Wil shrugged.

‘I guess the tent stays,’ he said.


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