I am Kala Sarpa,
As the shogun's royal prisoner, she'd be guaranteed a comfortable life in a gilded cage. But Ryô isn't the kind of girl to take the easy way out.
So refuse it she does.
And now a failed revolt against the Ashikaga shogunate has left her with a price on her head and her spurned fiancé hot on her heels.
Ryô escapes with Sen, her loyal lady-in-waiting. Atop sacred Mt. Kôya, Sen's uncle summons the mighty Kala Sarpa. If all goes as planned, the "Serpent of Time" will transport Ryo across six centuries to the present day, safely out of the shogun's reach.
But Kala Sarpa bears a grudge of its own against the Fujiwara clan and seizes the chance to even the scales. Their fates now fully entwined, Ryô must travel back to the past to save her future.
All names follow Japanese convention, with the surname given first.
It was common in medieval Japan for members of the aristocracy to refer to each other by their first names. When a shogunate retained power for any length of time, the proliferation of the same surname would otherwise become hopelessly confusing.
Romanization is according to modified Hepburn. Long vowels (such as /ou/) and double vowels (such as /oo/) are indicated by a macron or circumflex. Long and double vowels are held for two syllable counts.
Eugene Woodbury graduated from Brigham Young University with degrees in Japanese and TESOL. He has twice been a Utah Original Writing Competition finalist and is a recipient of the Sunstone Foundation Moonstone Award for short fiction. He lives in Orem, Utah, where he works as a free-lance writer and translator.
Serpent of Time was edited by Katherine Woodbury, who valiantly slashed and burned her way through a half-dozen drafts (the Word markup feature being mightier than a machete). Don't miss Lord Simon, the latest installment in the Roesia Chronicles.