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…
Katsuie-san and Ranmaru-kun, who had both received blood, swung their swords with liveliness, like fish that had received water, and all the yakuma were destroyed.
[KATSUIE]: “Alright, with this we can pray safely.”
As I replied, I was relieved.
[YUZUKI]: (The two of them are unhurt, and I’m glad the shrine people weren’t caught in danger……)
[SHRINE PRIEST]: “Everyone, you have my deepest thanks for saving us from danger here.”
[RANMARU]: “You are……?”
[SHRINE PRIEST]: “Ah, yes, I serve as this shrine’s priest. I feel as if there is some special fate at our meeting here. If it pleases…… please accept this from us.”
[KATSUIE]: “What’s this… a scroll?”
[SHRINE PRIEST]: “Yes. It is a miraculous scroll that has been handed down at our shrine. It is but a meagre show of our gratitude. Please, I hope you’ll accept this.”
[RANMARU]: “Then, we will receive it happily.”
The shrine priest bowed to us deeply before returning to the main temple building.
[KATSUIE]: “A magical scroll…… huh. What’s written in it?”
[RANMARU]: “Let’s see……”
When he spread out the scroll, there was a beautiful picture of a mirror drawn.
[RANMARU]: “Ah……! T-This is one of Himemiko’s sacred treasures!”
[YUZUKI]: “Himemiko-sama’s sacred… treasures……?”
[RANMARU]: “They are legendary items that were said to have been gifted to the lords by Himemiko in the past.”
[RANMARU]: “This is an amazing discovery! It’s said that these sacred treasures hold special powers, and it might be a clue to finding Himemiko!”
[KATSUIE]: “Oh? That really does sound amazing! Once we get back to the castle, let’s report to Nobunaga-sama.”
[RANMARU]: “Yes. I wouldn’t have thought that a clue to Himemiko would be this close!”
[KATSUIE]: “Aren’t you happy. With this, your road home might be opened, right?”
[YUZUKI]: (On that subject, I wonder if Imari-kun is okay after that. We defeated all the yakuma chasing him so he should be safe, right……)
I was worried about Imari-kun but I couldn’t talk about his existence to these two.
As soon as we finished praying – our original purpose – we returned to the castle immediately, and then headed to Nobunaga-san’s room like that.
[NOBUNAGA]: “…… This is certainly interesting.”
This was the first thing Nobunaga-san said when he looked at the scroll.
[NOBUNAGA]: “…… But right now I am prioritizing vigilance against Toyotomi. Until Mitsuhide brings back information, I am not sending people to search for something aimlessly.”
[YUZUKI]: “I…… see……”
[NOBUNAGA]: “Leave this scroll with me. –Dismissed.”
Ranmaru-kun and Katsuie-kun, who accompanied me to report to Nobunaga-san, left Nobunaga-san’s room together with me.
[YUZUKI]: “Even though we finally found a clue on Himemiko-sama……”
[KATSUIE]: “Well…… Nobunaga-sama’s goal is to unite the country. If it’s feasible with you here, then Nobunaga-sama wouldn’t think about searching for Himemiko in the first place, huh.”
A sigh unintentionally leaked out and Katsuie-san clapped a hand on my shoulder.
[KATSUIE]: “Well, he did say he wouldn’t search for something aimlessly, but I think it’s too early to give up completely.”
[RANMARU]: “I agree. At this time, we shouldn’t rush.”
[YUZUKI]: “…… Mm.”
While I was happy at the two’s consolation, my feelings remained gloomy.
Remaining gloomy, I spaced out and the sun set completely.
[YUZUKI]: (Haa…… when will I return to my old world……)
When I sighed alone–
[RANMARU]: “May I intrude on you for a little while?”
[YUZUKI]: “Ah…… sure. Come in.”
I knew it was Ranmaru-kun immediately from his voice and replied without hesitation.
When I did, Ranmaru-kun entered the room with his hands behind his back, hiding something.
[YUZUKI]: “…… Ranmaru-kun, what do you have?”
[RANMARU]: “Hehe… this.”
Saying that, what he showed me was a black box, and in it–
[YUZUKI]: “Ah, this is…! That comb from that shop we went to today, right?”
[RANMARU]: “Yes. You were looking at the comb really hard, so I guessed that you wanted it……”
[RANMARU]: “Although it was a coincidence, you went through a scary experience.”
[RANMARU]: “And then I thought you might still be down about the sacred treasure matter, so I bought this in a hurry.”
[YUZUKI]: “…… Thank you, Ranmaru-kun. I’ll use it with care.”
[RANMARU]: “…… Ah, that’s right! Since I’m here, I can comb your hair.”
[YUZUKI]: “Huh! I-I can’t let you do that.”
[RANMARU]: “I want to do it…… won’t you let me?”
I simply couldn’t refuse him when he started at me with eyes glittering in anticipation.
[YUZUKI]: “Then, I’ll take you… up on that.”
Ranmaru-kun gleefully settled himself behind me–
[RANMARU]: “When combing your hair, first you lightly comb through it with your fingers, and gradually change from a rough-tooth comb to a fine-tooth comb.”
As he explained, he ran his fingers softly through my hair.
Occasionally, as Ranmaru-kun combed through my hair with his hand, his fingers brushed against the back of my neck, and each time my heart leapt with a thump.
[YUZUKI]: (I can’t believe a man is combing my hair……)
After that, my hair was ran through with many combs carefully, and my hair became shockingly glossy.
[YUZUKI]: “Wow! I can’t believe this is my hair!”
[RANMARU]: “No, this is your hair’s original beauty.”
[RANMARU]: “If you so wish, I will comb your hair at any time.”
[RANMARU]: “And for your studies, I can teach you infiiiiinitely more gently and kindly than Nagahide-san. So, please rely on me at any time, okay?”
[YUZUKI]: “Okay. Thank you for everything.”
[RANMARU]: “No, it’s nothing. Then, I will see you tomorrow, good night.”
[YUZUKI]: (Ranmaru-kun… is really kind, huh.)
My depressed mood had been completely driven away, and as I placed my precious comb into a box–
[YUZUKI]: (Ah… this sound……)
[IMARI]: “Ah, phew, you’re safe!”
[IMARI]: “I’m sorry, because the yakuma were chasing me, I got you caught up in danger……”
[YUZUKI]: “No, we just happened to be there…… Imari-kun, why were you over there?”
[IMARI]: “There’s a scroll about Himemiko-sama’s sacred treasure in that shrine. But along the way the yakuma found me and I ended up not being able to look for it at all……”
[YUZUKI]: “Ah…… we received that scroll from the shrine priest. As thanks for protecting them from the yakuma.”
[YUZUKI]: “Mm. There was a picture of a mirror drawn.”
[IMARI]: “A mirror…… do you remember seeing that somewhere in this castle?”
[YUZUKI]: “Eh…… in this castle? I haven’t noticed but… why?”
[IMARI]: “Actually, I’ve been feeling the presence of a mysterious power similar to a sacred treasure near you……”
[YUZUKI]: “You mean… there’s a sacred treasure close by!?”