Chapter 0: The Gallant Figure
When she woke up, she found herself in a world she had never seen before called Shinga.
Unable to leave a girl alone in the mountains, it was a werewolf called “Uesugi Kenshin” who offered a helping hand.
[YUZUKI]: “Mn, nngh…… huh? When did I…… faint……”
Astonished at the sight that leapt into my eyes, I blinked with surprise.
[YUZUKI]: (A forest?)
There were thickly grown trees as far as my eyes could see. There weren’t any street lights or buildings to be found in the area.
[YUZUKI]: “Why am I in such a place……?”
There was no one to answer my question. Only the sound of wind and swaying tree leaves could be heard.
I was alone in an unknown place. And there was no presence of anyone. The moment I realized that, I was assaulted all at once by uneasiness.
[YUZUKI]: (What on earth happened!? What’s become of me!? What should I do from here–)
[YUZUKI]: (…… No, nothing’ll be done by being troubled.)
I urged my trembling legs on and forced myself to walk.
[YUZUKI]: (In any case, I have to get out of here! There must be a station or bus stop close by. And maybe I’ll meet someone along the way……!)
However, without any clues, only time passed–
[YUZUKI]: (Strange…… I must have walked a lot and yet… is this really the right direction?)
[YUZUKI]: (There’s no signs or landmarks anywhere so I don’t know……)
As I wandered around through the forest, I steadily became discouraged.
Even so, knowing I had to do something I mustered my courage and took one step, and another step, forward.
And then, the forest which had continued on for a while, was interrupted–
[YUZUKI]: “Rather than a town, it looks more like a village……? It feels like something you’d only see in a historical drama……”
[YUZUKI]: “But if there are houses then there’ll be people, so I should go anyway!”
[YUZUKI]: (Hm? Just now I thought I heard something like a roar……)
The moment I turned around I gave a small scream. Because large monsters that I had never seen before were surrounding me……
[YUZUKI]: (What… are those……)
The monsters’ legs tensed. I stepped back reflexively, lurched, and then my body tilted backwards.
[YUZUKI]: (Oh right, this was a cliff!)
[YUZUKI]: (What do I do, I’m falling–!)
[YUZUKI]: (Am I going to die here……?)
Suddenly, a human shape leapt in and, in a flowing movement, cleared away the monsters.
In a flash, that person grabbed my hand with his empty one and yanked me up.
Unable to land properly, I fell on my butt but, thanks to that, everything ended without me falling off the cliff.
[YUZUKI]: (Thank god, I’m saved……)
[YUZUKI]: (Wait, this isn’t the time to be relieved! First, I have to thank him……)
[???]: “Are you unharmed, girl.”
Fluttering silky silver hair and a dignified appearance. A gaze like ice pierced through me sharply.
[YUZUKI]: (It’s a bit scary…… but beautiful……)
While I was deeply fascinated, I heard another roar.
Suddenly realizing that, I turned my eyes to the noise and saw a monster, having the same appearance as the others before, leap towards the man.
[YUZUKI]: “Watch out……!”
The man turned around slowly. But, by that time, the monster was already closing in on him–
[YUZUKI]: (No, he’s not going to make it!)
[YUZUKI]: “…… Huh?”
The monster, which had leapt at him, was bisected in an instant.
[???]: “Kenshin-sama! Are you unharmed!?”
[KENSHIN?]: “There’s no issue. You saved me.”
[???]: “Don’t mention it, this is nothing.”
[???]: “When we saw the yakuma, there was a moment of fright though.”
[???]: “Right? Who’d have thought they would appear this close to the castle……”
[???]: “It’s good we killed them before they attacked the people.”
[???]: “…… By the way, Kenshin-sama. Who is that lady?”
[KENSHIN?]: “An unknown girl. She was attacked by the yakuma.”
[???]: “She’s wearing strange clothes to be a girl from the village at the bottom of this cliff. Hey, girl, which village are you from?”
Because I hadn’t caught onto the situation yet, I didn’t know how I should answer, and then the man called Kenshin-sama suddenly turned on his heel.
[KENSHIN?]: “Yakuma may still be around. If you do not wish to be eaten, return home quickly. Farewell.”
[YUZUKI]: “Eh!? Um, please wait!”
[KENSHIN?]: “What is it?”
[YUZUKI]: “Thank you for saving me. And, um…… I’m called Yuzuki.”
[YUZUKI]: “I don’t know where this place is and I don’t know how I should get back home.”
[YUZUKI]: “So, please! Can you help me……?”
When I lowered my head desperately, a short time passed before a reply came back.
[KENSHIN?]: “Very well. For a short time, you may live under the roof of my castle.”
[YUZUKI]: “Really……!? Thank you!”
[???]: “But, Kenshin-sama, is it not dangerous to invite someone whose identity is unknown into the castle?”
[???]: “Just by looking at her she’s dressed suspiciously too.”
[KENSHIN?]: “However, we cannot abandon her in the mountains.”
[KENSHIN?]: “Foremost, those with power have the responsibility to protect those who do not. If they request help, then we cannot refuse even more so.”
At those words, the two looked at each other and then shrugged their shoulders in exasperation.
[???]: “…… Understood. As you say then, Kenshin-sama.”
[???]: “You’re lucky, girl. Be grateful to Kenshin-sama’s generous heart.”
[YUZUKI]: “Yes, thank you very much! Um…… Kenshin-san?”
[???]: “What!? Don’t you know this man’s name? There shouldn’t be anyone in Uesugi’s lands who doesn’t know him…… Hey, you aren’t a spy from another territory, are you?”
[YUZUKI]: “Wha, no I’m not!”
[???]: “Then answer me.”
[YUZUKI]: (Even if you say that…… Hmm, Kenshin…… Uesugi…… I feel like I’ve heard that somewhere–)
[YUZUKI]: “…… Ah! Could it be Uesugi Kenshin? That Sengoku period feudal lord……”
[???]: “Oh, so you do know him! Indeed, this man is the Uesugi Kenshin! The man who governs this Uesugi territory!”
[???]: “Kageie, talking about such things with someone whose identity is unknown is……”
[KAKIZAKI KAGEIE]: “Well, it’s okay, isn’t it? This much won’t be disadvantageous to Kenshin-sama! Besides–“
[KAKIZAKI KAGEIE]: “…… It’s not like I trust this girl.”
Receiving an evaluating gaze, I unconsciously stiffened.
[UESUGI KENSHIN]: “Kageie, Kagemochi. Leave it at that, and let us return to the castle. Girl, if you are coming, then follow us.”
[YUZUKI]: “O-Okay! …… Huh?”
[UESUGI KENSHIN]: “What is wrong.”
[YUZUKI]: “I’m sorry, I can’t stand up……”
It may have been because so many unrealistic things happened in succession.
[UESUGI KENSHIN]: “…………”
[YUZUKI]: (He’s staring……! What will I do if he ends up saying that he’s going to abandon me……)
Contrary to my insecurity, Kenshin-san crouched and placed his arms behind my back and under my knees before casually lifting me up.
[YUZUKI]: (Eh!? This position… it’s……)
[YUZUKI]: (A bridal carry!?)
[YUZUKI]: “Um, you don’t have to do this much!”
[UESUGI KENSHIN]: “Why? You cannot stand, correct?”
[YUZUKI]: “Yes, but……”
[UESUGI KENSHIN]: “Let’s go.”
Kenshin-san said only that and then started to walk.
[YUZUKI]: (I can’t get a sense of Kenshin-san, but he doesn’t feel like a bad person……?)
[YUZUKI]: (His way of speaking is cold but he’s nice, so maybe he’s really a good person……)
[UESUGI KENSHIN]: “You may use this room as you wish.”
[YUZUKI]: “Okay! Thank yo–“
[YUZUKI]: (Huh, he’s gone!?)
[KAKIZAKI KAGEIE]: “Oi, girl, Kenshin-sama said that but don’t do anything strange. ‘Cause I’m going to be standing watch outside of this room!”
[YUZUKI]: “Huh!? What do you mea–“
[YUZUKI]: (…… He left.)
[YUZUKI]: (Umm, I was lent a room, but with Kenshin-san and Kageie-san’s attitudes being like that, maybe I should be quiet……)
[AMAKASU KAGEMOCHI]: “You can think of this as your own room and relax.”
[AMAKASU KAGEMOCHI]: “It is cold at night. I will prepare something for you to put on over top.”
[YUZUKI]: “Kagemochi-san, thank you for being kind.”
[AMAKASU KAGEMOCHI]: “Haha, it is because you are someone Kenshin-sama has invited into the castle. It’s natural to make you welcome.”
After smiling gently, Kagemochi-san whispered quietly close to my ear.
[AMAKASU KAGEMOCHI]: “…… as long as you do not cause harm to Kenshin-sama, that is.”
[AMAKASU KAGEMOCHI]: “Now then, I will bring a change of clothes. You aren’t allowed to walk around alone.”
[YUZUKI]: (That surprised me…… Kagemochi-san’s tone became cold for a moment……)
[YUZUKI]: (They said I could relax but I don’t think I feel like that anymore……)
When I sighed, the sliding screen opened quietly.
[YUZUKI]: (Did someone come back?)
[YUZUKI]: (Hm? No, that’s not a person. What is that white thing.)
[???]: “I’ve finally found you! The “girl from another world”!”
[YUZUKI]: “Eh…… a tanuki? The tanuki… is speaking!?”
[IMARI]: “Ah, I’m sorry for shocking you. I’m called Imari!”
[IMARI]: “You’re the “girl from another world” that Himemiko-sama spoke of, right? I’m glad to meet you!”
[YUZUKI]: “W-Wait a minute. Himemiko-sama? Another world? What do you mean?”
[IMARI]: “I’ll tell you everything in order! Umm–“
Apparently, this place was “Shinga” a world resembling the Sengoku period.
Right now, “werewolves” and “vampires” called the “Gekka Tribe” were fighting for supremacy over “Shinga”.
[YUZUKI]: (Werewolves…… come to think of it, I couldn’t ask at the time but Kenshin-san and the others have ears like a wolf.)
[YUZUKI]: (So, let alone coming to the Sengoku period, I came from another world!?)
Belatedly, a sense of danger swelled up.
I keenly felt the reality of the situation I was placed in more with Imari-kun’s explanation.
[YUZUKI]: “Hey, Imari-kun. How do I return back to my world?”
[IMARI]: “I’m sorry, I don’t know……”
[IMARI]: “But if it’s Himemiko-sama, who foretold you coming to “Shinga”, then she might know!”
[IMARI]: “U-Um, about that, right now no one knows where Himemiko has gone……”
[IMARI]: “But, just before Himemiko-sama disappeared, she spoke about how, if anything were to happen, to find and rely on the “daughter who came from a parallel universe”.”
[IMARI]: “If these words are the only clue connected to Himemiko-sama then I can’t overlook it!”
[IMARI]: “So, please! Please look for Himemiko-sama together with me!”
[YUZUKI]: (If there’s no way to return home other than finding Himemiko-sama then……)
[YUZUKI]: “Mm, I understand. I’ll help, Imari-kun.”
[IMARI]: “Really!? Thank you! Um……”
[YUZUKI]: “I’m Yuzuki. It’s nice to meet you, Imari-kun.”
[IMARI]: “Yes, let’s work hard together!”