Chapter 4: Probe
She snuck out of the castle in order to find a way for her to return back to her world… but she was immediately found and confined.
However, Hanbee and Kanbee, who learned of her circumstances, took action.
[HANBEE]: “Come on, come on, keep going~. The shrine where Himemiko-sama was said to have descended from is still ahead~.”
[YUZUKI]: (I didn’t think searching for clues about Himemiko-sama would lead to walking on animal trails……)
[YUZUKI]: (As one would think, it’s a little hard to wa–… ack, I slipped–!)
My body, which was about to collapse, was supported by an arm that reached out from behind.
[KANBEE]: “…… Are you alright? Do not force yourself to rush, walk slowly.”
[YUZUKI]: “T-Thank you very much, Kanbee-san.”
[HANBEE]: “Hmmm, I guess it’s hard to hike up a mountain? How about we rest a bit?”
[YUZUKI]: “No! We can’t take a break at this level–“
[YUZUKI]: “…… Right now, there was a sound…… C-Could it be yakuma again?”
[KANBEE]: “No…… It would have been better if it were yakuma. Stay still.”
In the tense air, a man with a serious atmosphere, who I remembered, appeared from the shadows of the woods.
At the man’s words, soldiers suddenly appeared from the forest holding weapons.
[YUZUKI]: (No way, we’re surrounded……!?)
[HANBEE]: “Huh, oh no, Mitsuhide-san. If you bring this many soldiers, you’ll make this girl nervous.”
[MITSUHIDE]: “…… Of course, you aren’t surprised though.”
[HANBEE]: “Well, it’s because I thought it was around the time something would happen.”
[YUZUKI]: “Huh!? You knew?”
[KANBEE]: “When we were monitoring you, there were suspicious shadows moving around in secret.”
[HANBEE]: “They also came close when we were fighting the yakuma, right~?”
[MITSUHIDE]: “As expected… both your names are not just for show. I am glad to see you two are in good health.”
[KANBEE]: “Heh, and you appear to be pushed around as usual by the Demon King.”
[MITSUHIDE]: “…… I would love to deepen our past friendship but I’m afraid I do not have the time now, so let me be frank.”
[MITSUHIDE]: “Please hand over that woman quietly.”
[HANBEE]: “Asking such a thing, there’s no way we’d say “yep, go ahead”, right?”
[HANBEE]: “If you try to tear us apart, you’ll end up getting kicked by a horse, you know~?”
Smiling widely, Hanbee-kun’s hand held my shoulder and squeezed.
And then, in the moment his expression tightened, he yelled out in a sharp voice, completely different from normal.
[KANBEE]: “Understood, you go on ahead. I will catch up soon.”
[HANBEE]: “Let’s go!”
[YUZUKI]: “Huh! H-Hanbee-kun……!?”
While holding my shoulder, Hanbee-kun burst out into a run.
[YUZUKI]: (But… what about Kanbee-san…!?)
I turned my head to look back but Kanbee-san and the man he faced called Mitsuhide were soon hidden behind the trees and I couldn’t see them.
[MITSUHIDE]: “…… He will not be able to go that far while bringing along that woman.”
[MITSUHIDE]: “Ten men will come with me. The rest of you will take Kanbee’s head.”
[ODA SOLDIER]: “My lord, please leave this to us.”
[KANBEE]: “Ah…… I dislike fighting personally.”
[ODA SOLDIER]: “What are you muttering to yourself about! You’ll die he– guaaaagh!”
[KANBEE]: “…… What’s wrong? Were you not to take my head?”
[ODA SOLDIER]: “In an instant he killed several people……!? Bastard, aren’t you a strategist!?”
[KANBEE]: “I’ve walked the path of a warrior before. I dislike fighting, but I did not say I was weak.”
[KANBEE]: “Your cause of death is your scorn for me being, at most, a strategist. –Here I come.”
The wind that blew upwards from the cliff behind us made my body suddenly shake.
[MITSUHIDE]: “Now then… there is no longer anywhere to run. Please hand the girl over here.”
The soldiers in front of us approached slowly, closing the distance to us.
[HANBEE]: “This might be quite a desperate situation……”
[YUZUKI]: (There’s nowhere to run behind us or in front of us… w-what do we do, at this rate we’ll……!)
[HANBEE]: “Hey…… no matter what happens from now, will you believe in me?”
Hanbee-kun held my trembling hand and his voice was extremely gentle, resounding in me.
[HANBEE]: “I love you. –From the depths of my heart, I love you.”
[YUZUKI]: “H-Hanbee-kun, what are you saying all of a sudden…!?”
[HANBEE]: “I really wanted to take you somewhere far away…… to a place that had nothing to do with Hideyoshi-sama or war–“
Hanbee-kun’s eyebrows drew together in sorrow and his arms gently embraced my body.
[YUZUKI]: (Huh? Huh??)
[HANBEE]: “But I’m sorry…… it looks like this is it. It seems like I can’t protect you just by myself.”
[MITSUHIDE]: “…… Hanbee. What are you……”
[HANBEE]: “Mitsuhide… handing this girl over to you is the last thing in my mind. If I had to hand this girl over to someone……”
[HANBEE]: “–I will choose to die together with her here.”
Hanbee-kun, who embraced me even more tightly, brought his lips to my ear.
[HANBEE]: “Hold onto me tightly.”
[YUZUKI]: “…… Wha? –AAAHHHHH!?”
The moment I thought he whispered in my ear, my body dove over the cliff while being held by Hanbee-kun.
[MITSUHIDE]: “–!? Kgh… a forced double suicide……! How should I report this to Nobunaga-sama……”
(T/N: Fun fact time! So, the phrase Hanbee used about being kicked by a horse is apparently an expression used back in the day for people who got in the way of things (relationships apparently?). The modern version would be something like “I hope you get hit by a car and die” LOL or maybe “I hope you get run over”. As far as I can tell, you’re essentially cursing the other person if they go ahead with something in a “You’re gonna regret that” kind of way.)