"My brother," the king of the Northern Ocean said, and added, after an odd hesitation, "Goujun. I saw him in a vision."
"Mh-hm?" the bosatsu prompted.
"You said he was on the continents. Where?"
"Hard to say. He's on the road--" Gouen looked blank. "Travelling. He's never in any place for long.'
"Tell me where he's going and I'll follow him there. I must see him again."
"'Where' isn't the problem. You need to know *when* Goujun is."
Gouen's head went back. "We have returned to our oceans on earth. We no longer think by Heaven's time. My 'when' is the same as my brother's now."
"No, actually. Goujun's living among youkai and humans. Their time works different to yours. Three generations of mortal men get born and go to their graves in the half-year it takes your sons to learn to walk. He could be in your present or your past or your race's far future. Anywhere."
An appalled silence. "Then how am I to find him?"
Kanzeon tapped thoughtful fingers on hir chair arm. "He's travelling to the farthest West, beyond the borders of the western continent. He's following the sun down the river of time that flows from dawn to dusk. But dragon time is different from that too, yes?"
"Yes. Time is an ocean that spreads in all directions. A man can fly into his grandfather's past or his grandson's future unless he takes care not to."
Kanzeon nodded. "So if you set out eastward and travel against the sun, you'll be going backward-- relative to Goujun, I mean-- as he goes forward. Eventually you ought to catch up with each other."
"Try for the island at the world's end. Everybody's going there, whether they travel east or west, and everyone gets there eventually, one way or another. You may meet on the way or you may meet there, but meet you doubtless will."
"Is that the only way to find him?"
"No. You can go home and just wait for him to come back."
Gouen gave hir a look compounded of equal parts distrust and resignation. "Then I will look for this island of yours." He turned on his heel and left without another word.
Jiroushin waited until the echo of the dragon king's footsteps had died.
"Kanzeon-sama, you know exactly where and when your nephew's party is. What mercy is it to send Gouen-sama on such a wild goose chase?"
"The same mercy I showed Konzen. Travel broadens the mind, Jiroushin."