Chapter 4: What Lies Beyond Your Wish
Reports were received about there being eyewitness information on Himemiko in the Toyotomi territory, and so Nobunaga had Mitsuhide head an investigation.
At Ranmaru and Katsuie’s suggestion, she went to pray for her return to her old world but…
At Katsuie-san’s suggestion, we arrived at the castle town to visit the shrine that was rumored to grant wishes.
According to Katsuie-san, it seemed to be a shrine that had legends associated with Himemiko-sama.
[KATSUIE]: “It’s a good place to pray to find Himemiko, huh.”
[RANMARU]: “Because this is also doubling as a patrol, let’s look at some shops along the way!”
Happy at the two’s consideration as they spoke to me in turn, I took a peek at the many shops that we passed.
Along the way, we dropped into a variety store and a sudden thought came to mind.
[YUZUKI]: (Come to think of it, I don’t have this world’s money……)
Even though I found a cute comb in this shop, I couldn’t buy it without money.
[YUZUKI]: (Nobunaga-san gave me a knife as a reward…… but if I said I wanted something, I wonder if it would be provided.)
As I was thinking that–
[RANMARU]: “–Um, are you alright?”
At Ranmaru-kun’s voice, I came back to myself.
[RANMARU]: “Is something the matter? Since we came out of that variety store, you seem like you’ve been thinking about something……”
[KATSUIE]: “Did you wanna buy something?”
[YUZUKI]: “Ah, no… that’s not……”
[RANMARU]: “If there’s something you want, please say it without hesitation. I’m sure it’ll be bought for you, by Katsuie-san.”
[KATSUIE]: “Why me.”
Partly because of their consideration, I enjoyed walking through the town to the fullest. And then–
[KATSUIE]: “We’re here!”
[RANMARU]: “Yes. The sun is about to set already so let us finish this visit quickly.”
When I entered the shrine grounds with the two–
I heard a familiar voice from the depths of the shrine’s forest. Immediately after that–
[YUZUKI]: (Huh? Imari-kun!?)
Around the same time that I noticed him, Imari-kun noticed us.
[IMARI]: “Awawa! Y-You can’t come here!! Please hurry and ruuuuuuun!”
[KATSUIE]: “Hey, right now… did a talking tea kettle just run by?”
[RANMARU]: “Huh? I saw a talking white tanuki though?”
[YUZUKI]: (Why did Imari-kun tell us to run–)
We all tilted our heads–
[RANMARU]: “–!! This presence!”
[KATSUIE]: “Those yakuma bastards are here, huh!”
Shuffling yakuma appeared from the forest, as if they had been chasing Imari-kun.
When the yakuma saw us they immediately attacked.
[KATSUIE]: “Che!! Praying is out of the question! –Ranmaru, I’m leaving her to you!”
[RANMARU]: “Understood! Please hide behind me!”
The assaulting yakuma were cut down with great force by Katsuie-san.
But more yakuma appeared one after another from the forest.
[KATSUIE]: “Shit! Just how many are there! –kgh! My bad! One’s going!”
[RANMARU]: “Don’t worry! Please don’t move from here.”
Dodging the yakuma’s attack, as it leapt forward, Ranmaru-kun struck it with a stroke of his sword.
The yakuma raised a voice like a roar and rushed at Ranmaru-kun again.
[RANMARU]: “This’ll be the end. HYAH!”
Ranmaru-kun cut down the yakuma in front of him and I unconsciously felt relieved but–
[SHRINE PRIEST]: “Hiieee! Y-Yakuma!?”
When I looked, what looked to be the shrine’s priest and visitors saw the yakuma and were trembling from the main temple building.
[YUZUKI]: “Don’t come out! Please stay in the building!”
Whether they heard my voice or not, the shrine’s people returned back into the main temple in a panic.
[YUZUKI]: (What do we do… if the yakuma go over there……)
[YUZUKI]: “Ranmaru-kun! There are people over there!”
[RANMARU]: “…… It appears so.”
[YUZUKI]: “I-It appears so, you say……! That’s it!?”
[YUZUKI]: “Ka… Katsuie-san!”
I looked at Katsuie-san with desperation–
[KATSUIE]: “Kgh–! It’s taking all I’ve got to protect you here! Give up!”
As he shouted back, he was taking on several yakuma at the same time alone so that they wouldn’t come to us.
At this rate, I would be the only one protected and the others would be left to die without help.
[YUZUKI]: “I-Isn’t there anything we can do!?”
[KATSUIE]: “–…… Then give me your blood!”
[RANMARU]: “… That’s… right. If we can draw out our original powers as vampires by drinking your blood……”
[YUZUKI]: “We can end this without anyone dying!?”
[RANMARU]: “…… We will do our best. Katsuie-san, please withdraw for the moment!”
When he heard that, Katsuie-san retreated and Ranmaru-kun threw several small balls at the yakuma without a moment’s delay.
The small balls hit the yakuma and exploded with a dry sound.
[YUZUKI]: “W-What’s that?”
[RANMARU]: “Cherry bombs. It’ll only be for a moment, but the yakuma will recoil.”
[KATSUIE]: “Now’s our chance then…… Even if it hurts, don’t get angry.”
Katsuie-san held me from the back–
[RANMARU]: “If Katsuie-san is over there…… then I’ll–“
Ranmaru-kun stood in front of me and brought his body close, tightly.
Being embraced by a man – moreover two at the same time – made my heart jump, whether willingly or not. And then–
Ranmaru-kun was at my neck and Katsuie-san was at my shoulder; both their fangs pierced me somewhat reservedly.
[KATSUIE]: “…… Ngh.”
The two’s hot breath, moistened with my blood, and their spilled voices brushed against my skin and ears.
Katsuie-san and Ranmaru-kun released me around the same time.
[KATSUIE]: “Your skin is really soft, huh. It’s gonna give me the habit of biting you.”
[RANMARU]: “Katsuie-san, please stop scaring her–kgh!?”
Like the time with Nobunaga-san and Mitsuhide-san, the change happened immediately.
[KATSUIE]: “–!! This is!”
[RANMARU]: “Our… original power!!”
[KATSUIE]: “–ALRIGHT! LET’S SCATTER THEM, RANMARU!”