Chapter 6: Both Sides
The commanders started searching for the “sacred treasure” written in the scroll obtained at Nobunaga’s castle, and which might be a clue to Himemiko.
However, Hideyoshi seemed to be pondering over something…?
The mirror, which had been taken out of the warehouse, had a dignified atmosphere under the light of the sun.
[YUZUKI]: “This is Himemiko-sama’s sacred treasure, huh……”
[HANBEE]: “It’s the same as the one drawn in the scroll.”
[KANBEE]: “Hm…… judging from appearances, it does not look any different from a normal mirror. Even if you touch it directly, there is no sense of mysterious power.”
[TOSHIIE]: “Kanbee, hand it over here for a sec.”
Toshiie-san, who received the mirror from Kanbee-san, looked at it and turned it round and round.
[TOSHIIE]: “Hrrrrrmm…… no matter how you look at it, it just looks like a mirror. Hey, is this really Himemiko’s sacred treasure?”
[YUZUKI]: “Huh? What do you mean?”
[TOSHIIE]: “Well, for a sacred treasure to just be a mirror, is a let-down in the end, isn’t it?”
[HANBEE]: “Ehhh~, but this was a document that was kept in Oda Nobunaga’s personal room, you know? I don’t think it would be fake information~.”
[MITSUNARI]: “Be that as it may, the letters on the scroll were blurred, so there may be some truth to what Toshiie has said……”
[MITSUNARI]: “For argument’s sake, even if the scroll’s information was true, we cannot cast aside the possibility that this mirror was created to imitate a sacred treasure.”
[YUZUKI]: “B-But there’s a possibility that it could be the real thing, right?”
[MITSUNARI]: “Of course. To reach a conclusion, we should conduct a more solid examination.”
[TOSHIIE]: “Alrighty, then let’s try hitting it with a rock!”
[MITSUNARI]: “…… Toshiie, are you even listening to what people are saying?”
[TOSHIIE]: “Well, I mean, an examination is gonna go at a snail’s pace, yeah?”
[KANBEE]: “…… Hm, certainly, if we were to consider the situation of this one being a fake, then I understand your insistence on wanting to quicken the conclusion.”
[TOSHIIE]: “Right? If this was the real sacred treasure, then it wouldn’t break so easily–right!”
Toshiie-san picked up the mirror with one hand casually and threw it as hard as he could, aiming at a rock in the courtyard.
In front of my eyes, the mirror broke all too soon.
[YUZUKI]: (That’s…… no way…… it really broke……)
I staggered over to the broken mirror and picked up its fragments. The mirror surface glittered, reflecting the sun’s light.
[MITSUNARI]: “What have you done……!”
[TOSHIIE]: “Um, this sort of thing, it’s best to have it cleared up quickly, aha ha ha…”
[MITSUNARI]: “Are you an idiot! There’s a possibility you broke the real thing, you know!?”
[TOSHIIE]: “What’re you talking about. There’s no way a sacred treasure would be this breakable.”
[MITSUNARI]: “Aa, good grief! That’s why I’ve said you have an empty head!”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Now, now, now, calm down you two.”
Hideyoshi-san entered between Toshiie-san and Mitsunari-san and then sighed with a look that seemed troubled somewhere.
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Geez…… this really wasn’t the plan but Toshiie’s decisiveness can be really shocking.”
As he mumbled like he was talking to himself, Hideyoshi-san reached a hand into his breast pocket.
Hideyoshi-san looked at me and smiled widely as if in answer to my call–
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Ta daaaah! What do you think this is?”
He took out a mirror, the same as the one which just broke.
[MITSUNARI]: “N-No way, Hideyoshi-sama……”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “You guessed it! This is the real sacred treasure of Himemiko.”
[HANBEE]: “Huh~!? That’s mean of you to hide it~.”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Ahaha, sorry, sorry. Honestly, I was thinking about pulling it out after Yuzuki committed to saying “I’m not going home”, you know.”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “But because she looked like she was about to die just now, I had a guilty conscience.”
Hideyoshi-san smiled somewhat apologetically before he held out the mirror to me.
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Sorry for doing something so cowardly.”
I accepted the mirror while looking at Hideyoshi-san’s sincere expression. In that instant–
A light suddenly poured out of the mirror surface.
[HANBEE]: “Wah……!? What’s with this light!”
[MITSUNARI]: “The light is stretching out like a single road……”
[KANBEE]: “What is this……”
[YUZUKI]: (…… What’s this feeling…… it’s like someone is calling me……?)
My heart thudded loudly. An unspeakable emotion swirled in my chest and, before I noticed, I spoke that name.
[YUZUKI]: “–It’s Himemiko-sama……”
[YUZUKI]: “Ah…… no, um…… I feel like the light is pointing in the direction where Himemiko-sama is……”
[TOSHIIE]: “H-Hey! How do you know that?”
[YUZUKI]: “I-I don’t even really know myself…… It’s really just a feeling somehow……”
[MITSUNARI]: “You have no basis for–“
[HIDEYOSHI]: “No, I believe those words.”
Amongst everyone’s confusion, including me, only Hideyoshi-san declared that in a strong tone.
[YUZUKI]: “W-Why……? I can’t even give a reason or a good explanation……”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Because my future wife said so. Isn’t that reason enough?”
[HANBEE]: “Huh~, but because it’s you, Hideyoshi-sama, you must have another reason, right~?”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Ahaha, you’re sharp, Hanbee. My reason is, well, a lot of things…… yeah?”
[YUZUKI]: “A-A lot of things……”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Don’t sweat the small stuff! But the reason I gave earlier isn’t a lie.”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “As long as it’s your words, I might believe any kind of nonsense, you know?”
After he gave me a grin where I couldn’t tell if he was lying or speaking the truth, Hideyoshi-san turned towards everyone immediately.
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Anyway, we don’t have any other clues, so let’s believe in that feeling for now!”
[TOSHIIE]: “So, in other words……?”
[HANBEE]: “We set out in the direction pointed to by the light–!…… or something like that, right!”
[KANBEE]: “It appears we are one step closer to our goal.”
[YUZUKI]: (I see…… we might be able to finally find Himemiko-sama……!)
At this real feeling that suddenly appeared late, my cheeks relaxed unconsciously.
But, in contrast to my feelings, Hideyoshi-san and the others had expressions that were somewhat stiff.
[HIDEYOSHI]: “…… Of all things, it had to be in that direction, huh.”
[YUZUKI]: “Um…… is there something to worry about?”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Where do you think the sacred treasure pointed to?”
[YUZUKI]: “Huh?…… Ah! Could it be–“
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Yes. Over there is our longstanding enemy– Oda Nobunaga’s territory.”
[TOSHIIE]: “Aw man…… didn’t we just go over there?”
[MITSUNARI]: “Yes. However, this is incomparable to the time we sneaked in a few days ago. If we are going to search for Himemiko like this–“
[HIDEYOSHI]: “It’ll be a frontal collision with the Oda Army led by that Demon King, huh.”
[YUZUKI]: (T-That means…… we’ll be fighting the Oda Army again–!?)
The presence of a turbulent conflict had crept up to us without a sound–.