Chapter 0: The Moment Fate Awakens
When you woke up, you found yourself in a world completely different from the modern era called Shinga.
In the moment you were suspected as an enemy and about to be killed, the one who ordered taking you back to the castle, called the worst move, was “Date Masamune”.
In the dark woods, two men surveyed the castle below them.
[???]: “Weapons and provisions are being carried out from the castle one after another…… As we thought, they intend to have a large battle soon.”
[???]: “Looks like it. Once they open the castle during battle, it’ll be the perfect chance for a surprise attack.”
[???]: “Aa…… Alright, getting this information should be more than enough. Let’s return to the castle, Shigezane.”
[DATE SHIGEZANE]: “If we get found by the enemy, there’ll be no meaning to our scouting, huh. Roger that–…… wait, huh? Hey, Kojuurou, where’d Masamune go?”
[KATAKURA KOJUUROU]: “Hm?…… He was just here a second ago–“
[name]: (Ngh…………? Huh, where is… this place……?)
Before I knew it, I was in an unknown forest. When I looked around my surroundings… I suddenly saw the surprised faces of two men.
[DATE SHIGEZANE]: “She suddenly appeared from the air……!? Is this woman… an enemy ninja!?”
[name]: (Eh…… those are… swords!?)
[DATE SHIGEZANE]: “Hey, Kojuurou, what’re we going to do with her?”
[KATAKURA KOJUUROU]: “I feel guilty about killing a woman but…… there’s no choice.”
[name]: (Kill…… wait, what are these guys doing……)
[DATE SHIGEZANE]: “I thought so. If this girl calls for the enemy, we’ll be the ones killed.”
Saying that…… the men faced me and raised their swords.
[name]: (I-I’m going to be killed…!? I don’t really understand what’s going on… but I have to do something…!)
[name]: “Um, please wait! I… I’m not a suspicious person!”
[name]: “For some reason, before I knew it, I was here, and so, um…… p-please don’t kill me!”
Hearing my words, the two men glanced at each other with suspicious looks.
[DATE SHIGEZANE]: “Hey, Kojuurou…… she’s really panicking and scared, so I feel like she’s not a ninja……”
[KATAKURA KOJUUROU]: “It certainly seems that way……”
[name]: (Phew…… For the moment, it looks like I won’t be killed–)
[KATAKURA KOJUUROU]: “However, whether or not she’s a ninja, we cannot let her leave alive.”
[KATAKURA KOJUUROU]: “Even if it is a rumor on the wind, if it’s known that we were here, our surprise attack will fail.”
[KATAKURA KOJUUROU]: “For the sake of the Date army, we have to be heartless.”
[DATE SHIGEZANE]: “For the sake of the Date army…… huh. Well, then it can’t be helped.”
Saying that, the men – with their swords drawn – walked closer to me.
[name]: (In the end I’m going to be killed……!)
[DATE SHIGEZANE]: “You’re out of luck to have seen us. –No hard feelings.”
[???]: “–Who is this woman?”
Suddenly, a voice came from behind. When I turned around, there was……
A man who stood there, with an eyepatch covering one eye.
[DATE SHIGEZANE]: “Masamune, so that’s where you were. Don’t get too close to this person. She’s a strange woman who suddenly appeared out of the air.”
[name]: (Masamune……? And that eyepatch……)
[name]: (I feel like I read about someone like this in a history textbook……)
[name]: (Let’s see, umm……)
[name]: “The Sengoku warlord… Date… Masamune……?”
[DATE SHIGEZANE]: “…… This is bad. She seems to know about Masamune.”
[KATAKURA KOJUUROU]: “……”
Their eyes took on a cold light.
[name]: (Did I… say something bad……!?)
[KATAKURA KOJUUROU]: “In that case, as I thought, we cannot let her return home alive.”
At that moment, the man with an eyepatch came to stand in front of me and looked down at me with an eye that had shadows.
[DATE MASAMUNE]: “…… Then, the best move is to seal her mouth here?”
[DATE MASAMUNE]: “…… No, there’s an even better move.”
[DATE MASAMUNE]: “Alright, we’re taking this one back to the castle, and making her spit out everything she knows. Tie her up with rope and put her on a horse.”
[DATE SHIGEZANE]: “Wha!…… Wait a minute! This is enemy territory, you know!?”
[DATE SHIGEZANE]: “If the enemy finds us here, what’re we going to do!? If we bring a burden with us, we won’t be able to escape!”
[KATAKURA KOJUUROU]: “Shigezane speaks the truth. Besides, even if we are fortunate and the enemy does not find us……”
[KATAKURA KOJUUROU]: “We’re few in number. We won’t be able to have a suitable guard. If she were to run away, that would be the worst scenario–“
[DATE MASAMUNE]: “Yes, this would be the worst move. And that is why we’re taking her back to the castle.”
[DATE SHIGEZANE]: “Aa~ah…… It came out again. Masamune’s special “perverseness”.”
[KATAKURA KOJUUROU]: “Masamune…!! Right now, we’re on the brink of whether this plan succeeds or fails!”
[DATE SHIGEZANE]: “Stop it, Kojuurou. Ever since we were young, once this happens he’ll never change his opinion.”
[DATE SHIGEZANE]: “I’m going to bring rope to tie her.”
[KATAKURA KOJUUROU]: “Good gracious……”
[KATAKURA KOJUUROU]: “…… Then, at the very least, I will guard her to make sure she doesn’t escape.”
That man walked over to me.
[name]: (Eh? Eh? What’s going on……?)
While I was confused, he lifted me up with strong arms, and placed me on the horse that was left nearby.
[KATAKURA KOJUUROU]: “Please stay quiet and obedient until Shigezane brings the rope.”
Focused on with a sharp look, I couldn’t do anything but nod.
The man called… Kojuurou, straddled the horse behind me, and gripped the reins.
With my hands tied behind my back, Kojuurou was almost holding me as he made the horse gallop.
Eventually the forest ended, and the scenery that opened up leapt into my eyes.
[name]: (The view around here…… I don’t remember this at all……)
[name]: (In the distance is a… village……? I’ve only seen those buildings in historical dramas……)
[name]: (Where exactly… is this place……?)
In order to get even the slightest clue, I looked back at Kojuurou who was right behind me.
[name]: “Um…… where exactly is this place?”
[KATAKURA KOJUUROU]: “…………”
[name]: (There’s no answer…… Maybe I should have asked in a different way……?)
[name]: (Something more easy… to answer, like a specific question……)
[name]: “Um…… the one in front of us, the person with the eyepatch, is Date Masamune… right? The Sengoku warlord–“
[KATAKURA KOJUUROU]: “Idle talk will compromise your life.”
The voice that rung from behind me was cold.
[KATAKURA KOJUUROU]: “It’s a life that was just picked up. You should treasure it.”
[name]: (…… Looks like it’s better to stay silent. If I don’t I’ll surely…… be killed.)
I closed my mouth and just had my anxieties exacerbated as I wondered where I was being taken to.
The place I was brought to was a magnificent castle, something I had only seen in historical dramas–
–And its dark prison underground.
[DATE MASAMUNE]: “Until your identity becomes clear, you will remain here.”
[name]: “W-Wait, that’s……!”
However, the man called Masamune, did not seem to hear my voice and turned his face away.
[DATE MASAMUNE]: “Don’t forget to lock the prison.”
[DATE SHIGEZANE]: “Hey, is it necessary to put her in the prison? She’s just been scared and I can’t see her as a ninja.”
The man called Shigezane stared in my direction with great interest.
[DATE SHIGEZANE]: “She’s been tied with rope, so even if she weren’t in the prison, she wouldn’t be dangerous, right?”
[KATAKURA KOJUUROU]: “No, the moment we decided to bring her back to the castle, up to the point when we reached it, she’s brought us more than enough danger.”
[KATAKURA KOJUUROU]: “We can’t run any more risks than this. You can’t be too vigilant.”
[DATE SHIGEZANE]: “Hmm. Well, I don’t care either way.”
[name]: (I definitely don’t want to be locked up alone… in this dark prison…)
[name]: “Please wait! I won’t run away so……!”
However, my words were empty and Kojuurou-san closed the prison door and locked it.
[DATE SHIGEZANE]: “See ya! We’ll send a guard over later. Ah, and we’ll bring you meals if we don’t forget about it.”
I was locked in the prison and Masamune-san and the others left like that.
[name]: (Why did this happen……)
[name]: (Where in the world is this place? And who exactly are those people?)
[name]: (What’s… going to happen to me in the future……?)
Uneasy, and at the moment my tears were about to spill…… I saw something white move on the other side of the bars.
[name]: (Huh……? What was that white thing… a tanuki……?)
[???]: “I’m so glad……! Tagging along secretly was the right choice!”
On the other side of the bars a small and young tanuki was talking to me.
[name]: “Eh…… the tanuki is speaking!?”
[???]: “Ah! I’m sorry for surprising you!”
[IMARI]: “I’m called Imari! Pleased to meet you!”
Saying that, the talking tanuki…… Imari-kun gave a polite bow.
[name]: “Umm…… I’m [name].”
[name]: (I got caught up and gave my name but… who is this boy…… no, this… baby tanuki?)
[IMARI]: “That’s a lovely name! Actually, I’ve… been searching for you forever!”
[name]: “Searching for me…… what do you mean by that?”
[IMARI]: “About that, you see–“
According to Imari-kun, this place was “Shinga”, a parallel universe that resembled the Sengoku period of the world I was previously in.
Originally, this world was governed by a person called Himemiko-sama, but that person suddenly disappeared.
Imari-kun spoke about how he looked throughout “Shinga” relying only on the words that he heard from Himemiko-sama about “looking for the daughter who came from a parallel universe”.
[IMARI]: “After Himemiko-sama disappeared, I went around looking for you…… and I’ve finally… finally found you…… *sniffs*.”
[name]: “I see… it must have been hard……”
[IMARI]: “Yes…… I’m really glad to meet you……”
[name]: “…… Me too. I’m also really happy to have been found by you, Imari-kun.”
[name]: “If I were to stay locked up here alone like this…… I’m sure I wouldn’t have been able to bear it.”
[IMARI]: “I see……”
[IMARI]: “Um…… actually, I have something to ask of you though……”
[IMARI]: “I beg of you… please look for Himemiko-sama together with me! I need your strength!”
[name]: (That Himemiko-sama person… she knew I would come to this world, right……?)
[name]: (Then maybe…… she’ll also know the way back to my world……?)
[name]: “…… I understand. If there’s anything I can do, I’ll help.”
[IMARI]: “Uuu, thank you……! You’re so kind…”
[name]: “…… But is there anything I can help with? I can’t even leave this prison……”
[IMARI]: “Please don’t worry about that, because I’ll help you escape!”
Imari-kun said that and puffed out his chest with pride.