Prince Danian from the Arra kin arrived in Chinayindu from a distant land called Yurasiu, from a kingdom whose name we will keep unknown for now. The Arra family had ruled the kingdom since ancient times, and in memory of this, representatives of this lineage were respectfully referred to as Arra-ö. The suffix ‘ö’ in the title precisely indicated then nobility that the inheriting prince lacked.
Nevertheless, the prince more than made up for his lack of noble character with his distinguished appearance. Long hair framed his pale face, as befits an aristocrat. A beauty mark adorned his cheek, unmistakably indicating the prince’s noble lineage.
Danian was not just an ordinary prince but an heir. For the prince himself, it meant that the kingdom would soon pass into his hands. However, for the king, his father, this fact brought nothing but headaches.
Prince Danian Arra-ö did not possess bravery or exceptional intelligence. He preferred indulging in leisure and revelry over diligent study and arduous training. Therefore, it was not surprising that the king chose to send his son away from the capital, so as not to cast a shadow on the affairs of the noble House of Arra.
The prince, Danian, was well aware of this reasoning and, while traveling through various lands, pondered on how he could prove himself. And soon, such an opportunity presented itself.
We won’t discuss how Prince Danian Arra-ö discovered this opportunity just yet. Let’s just say that his pursuit led him to the province of the Four Rivers. If you want to know what happened to the prince in this province, read the book titled ‘The Prince of Blue Flowers.’
In the province of the Four Rivers, Prince Danian from the House of Arra encountered Takuan. The meeting was quite pleasant for the prince but didn’t end quite as he had anticipated. However, in the end, all the unpleasantness that befell the prince dissipated, and under the clear sky of hope, he arrived at the castle of Duke Bao-Zhu, the governor of the Four Rivers province.
In the castle, or more precisely, in the garden filled with stone statues, something extraordinary happened between the prince and the duke.
To find out exactly what transpired in that garden, read ‘Takuan from Koto’ from beginning to end.
One day, to the palace of Bao-Zhu came none other than the prince from the kingdom of Blue Flowers. This country was located far to the west, beyond even the endless sands of Augaitanu. Duke Bao-Zhu had heard that the size of Blue Flowers’ treasury was beyond imagining.
It was no surprise that the prince was luxuriously dressed, his long hair neatly combed, and a noble mole distinguished his cheek. Gold rings gleamed on each of the prince’s fingers.
Three people sat at the table. A young gentleman with long hair and a mole on his cheek sat at the head, his back haughtily straightened. In thin, pale fingers he held a silver fork that certainly didn’t belong in a roadside inn. His protruding little finger stuck out to the side and up, pointing directly towards the noble origin of its owner. On his chest, there dangled a medallion with the lily engraving, and gold rings glittered on his fingers. Even his thick cotton shirt was embroidered with gold. A cape with an expensive braid lay on the edge of the table. The name of the gentleman was Danian Arra-ö, which meant ‘of the ancient Arra kindred’. His family had ruled the country of Blue Flowers for generations. Danian himself was the crown prince of said kingdom.
Prince Danian had travelled through lands and provinces of Chinayindu and was now on his way to Surin, accompanied by his court guards, whose large broadswords were attached to their belts as testament to their military rank. The pommels of these impressive weapons were adorned with the coat of arms that Takuan was already familiar with.
It was a fair remark, since it made the crown prince Danian Arra-ö visibly blush. In his own country, he was known not for the affairs of the throne and not for any noble qualities, but only due to his craving for idleness and expensive clothes. His father, the ruler of the country of Blue Flowers, sent Prince Danian to travel so that he would not display his idleness in the capital. The prince knew this reason well, but he was not going to tell the impudent wanderer. He only nodded to the guard with an important air.
On cue, the guard recited: “The prince is travelling on an important matter of state that cannot be discussed.” He had uttered the phrase far more often even than blessings to the Seven Lucky Gods.