|Traveler of the Blue Road|
|Title||Traveler of the Blue Road|
|Romaji Title||Sōro no Tabibito|
|Illustrator|| Makiko Futaki|
| Preceded by|
Guardian of the God
| Followed by|
Guardian of Heaven and Earth
|Publisher|| Kaisei-sha (hardcover)|
Traveler of the Blue Road (蒼路の旅人, Sōro no Tabibito) is the sixth novel in the Moribito series written by Nahoko Uehashi. The story is second novel within the "Tabibito" strand that features Chagum as the protagonist.
Following the events of Traveler of the Void, Sangal is being engulfed by forces from the Talsh Empire, which now draws nearer to the New Yogo Empire. In order to protect his country, Chagum must make a perilous journey alone.
Plot Summary Edit
Word comes to the Mikado that Sangal's Karsch Archipelago is about to be attacked by the Talsh Empire, and New Yogo must send aid. A fleet is dispatched to help, led by Chagum's maternal grandfather, Admiral Tosa. Meanwhile, Chagum receives a letter from Princess Saruna, whom he met in his previous travels to Sangal, that the Karsch islands have already been overrun, and the Yogo fleet is sailing into a trap. When Chagum begs his father to recall the fleet, the Mikado becomes angry. He sends Chagum to go fix the problem himself, accompanied only by a small escort.
Since the events of the first novel in the series, Chagum has become very popular with the people, leading to a rift between him and his father. Because the Mikado now has another son by his third wife, he sees this as an opportunity to eliminate Chagum, whom he considers a rival. He assigns two Hunters, Yun and Jin, to be Chagum's bodyguards, but gives them instructions to kill Chagum. Chagum's tutor, Shuga, meanwhile, separately gives Jin instructions to protect Chagum.
Chagum rendezvous with the fleet and tells his grandfather about the trap, who feels honour-bound to complete the mission. Tosa sends the entire Yogoese fleet home, save the flagship, which is sailed straight into the Talsh fleet. While Chagum and the crew evacuate from the ship, Tosa remains aboard and sets the ship on fire, ultimately going down the ship. Soon afterward, Chagum and the others are intercepted by the Sangalese fleet and taken to shore.
During the night, Yun attempts to smother Chagum, but Jin stops him and tries to organize an escape. The escape fails, resulting in Chagum's capture by a pirate captain and Talsh spy Hugo Arayutan, who was responsible for setting the trap for the Yogoese fleet. It is revealed that Hugo has been charged with bringing Chagum back to the Talsh capital to meet Second Prince Raul of the Talsh Empire, who intends to use Chagum to take control of New Yogo without a fight. During Chagum's meeting with Raul, the Talsh prince explains that the Talsh Empire keeps its power by constantly expanding. It annexed Old Yogo long ago (which is where Hugo is from) and now has its eyes set on Sangal, New Yogo, Rota, and Kanbal, which are all comparatively small countries. Talsh spies have learned of Chagum's popularity, and Raul wishes to install Chagum as a puppet ruler over New Yogo, under his own command.
As Hugo's ship sails for New Yogo to put Raul's plan in action, he reveals to Chagum that the only alternative to annexation is for New Yogo to join in an alliance with its three neighbors; without all four countries working together, they are too weak to face the Talsh. Chagum resolves to go to Rota and form an alliance. During the night, he tells Jin his plan, then jumps overboard, pretending to commit suicide. Instead, he swims for shore. The book ends on a cliffhanger.