Chapter 7: Past Mistakes and Resolve for the Future
Nobunaga, who obtained a sacred treasure, set up a meeting with Toyotomi as his next move.
Chosen as the emissary, Mitsuhide headed to the Toyotomi territory prepared for death in order to settle the past, but……
On the day we were to depart for negotiations. Everyone gathered under Nobunaga-san.
It seemed like a small number of people would head to the Toyotomi territory; Me, Mitsuhide-san, Katsuie-san, Ranmaru-kun, and a few soldiers.
[NOBUNAGA]: “…… Mitsuhide, do as you please. I entrust everything to you.”
[MITSUHIDE]: “My lord. I will carry out my master’s orders without exception.”
.[MITSUHIDE]: “…… Nagahide, I leave things to you in my absence.”
[NAGAHIDE]: “Aa, leave it to me…… Don’t fail.”
[MITSUHIDE]: “…… Yes. I will settle the problem this time.”
Mitsuhide-san said that and gave a firm nod. His expression was extremely serious…… but it wasn’t dark.
[MITSUHIDE]: “Now then, we’ve had enough rest. Let us proceed again.”
It has been a while since we departed from the castle. After this break, which was one of many, I was about to ride Mitsuhide-san’s horse again when……
[KATSUIE]: “…… H-Hey, Mitsuhide. Your horse must be tired constantly carrying two people.”
[KATSUIE]: “Maybe she can ride behind me for a while?”
[RANMARU]: “Wha, that’s not fair! In that case, I want her to ride behind me!”
[MITSUHIDE]: “I refuse. It is my responsibility to protect this lady.”
[YUZUKI]: (W-What do I do… It’d be strange if I said something, right…?)
[YUZUKI]: (Umm… anyway, I’ll wait until everyone’s conversation calms down…)
For a while we continued our journey in a friendly atmosphere, but since we entered the territory of the Toyotomi Army, tension began to appear on everyone’s faces.
And then, on the night we were to arrive at Toyotomi’s castle tomorrow, as we camped outdoors, we had our last talk about conference tomorrow.
[MITSUHIDE]: “First, we must absolutely keep secret the power of her blood.”
[RANMARU]: “If the other side were to know, we wouldn’t be able to avoid a conflict, huh……”
[MITSUHIDE]: “Yes. There is a possibility that, in the event the secret of her blood is discovered, they will try to forcibly steal her.”
[YUZUKI]: (…… My blood might become the kindling for a war, huh. I’ll have to be careful not to let them know for sure……)
[KATSUIE]: “Ah, yeah, her blood reminded me but, um, what’d you do with the sacred treasure?”
[YUZUKI]: “Right. Nobunaga-san told me to always carry it so I have it even now.”
[RANMARU]: “Meaning, in the worst case, both you and the sacred treasure might be handed over to Toyotomi’s side, hm……”
[KATSUIE]: “That’s no problem. Before this girl or the sacred treasure can be taken, I can just knock them all flat, right?”
[RANMARU]: “…… Katsuie-san, Mitsuhide-san will be doing the negotiations, so please don’t say anything unnecessary.”
[KATSUIE]: “Hah!? I’m no help in using my head! But I’m not dumb enough to drag down my friends!”
[MITSUHIDE]: “…… If you’re aware of that, then please be quiet.”
[KATSUIE]: “Haha! Well, if it comes to that I’ll protect you all, so you can depend on me one hundred percent.”
[YUZUKI]: “Ahaha, please and thank you.”
…… And then, finally it was the day of the conference with Hideyoshi-san. We stood in front of the castle gates and were welcomed by the vassals of the Toyotomi Clan.
[HANBEE]: “Heehee, everyone came. We’ve been waiting~!”
[YUZUKI]: (Wow, he’s really cheery… I kinda imagined the Toyotomi Army was filled with scary people so this is a bit unexpected……)
[TOSHIIE]: “Yo, Katsuie. It’s been a long time, eh.”
[KATSUIE]: “If it isn’t Toshiie. It’s been a while. You been training still?”
[TOSHIIE]: “Duh. You wanna test it out here and now?”
[RANMARU]: “Hold on, Katsuie-san! That wasn’t why we came here today!”
[YUZUKI]: (Somehow… the atmosphere isn’t as strained as I thought it’d be……)
[HANBEE]: “Anywayy, let’s catch up later because Hideyoshi-sama is waiting in the castle~!”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Yo, you properly came as well, I see!”
The minute I entered the room, Hideyoshi-san turned to me and called out in a happy voice.
[YUZUKI]: “Ah, uh… umm……”
[MITSUHIDE]: “…… If I could have the pleasure of having the conference started?”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Yeah, yeah… Well then, let’s start.”
When Hideyoshi-san declared that with a calm attitude, the expressions of everyone gathered in that place tightened. In an instant, the air in the room became serious.
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Now, I read the letter from Nobunaga, so I know what you came to talk about but……”
[KATSUIE]: “That guy dropped Nobunaga-sama’s honorific……!”
[RANMARU]: “…… Katsuie-san. Do. not. interrupt.”
Seeing Katsuie-san become silent, Hideyoshi-san continued his words.
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Since you came all this way to the castle, won’t you tell me again what you came for?”
[MITSUHIDE]: “…… Nobunaga-sama’s request is this: “Starting with the separation, all the battles and the swords that have been crossed, everything will be overlooked. In exchange, you will return to the army”.”
[MITSUNARI]: “…… We haven’t done such a thing as separating. We declared a protest.”
[KANBEE]: “Indeed. Regardless of these false charges, traitors must be punished.”
The vassals of the Toyotomi Clan said this and pressed Mitsuhide-san, as if they were glaring at him. Unconsciously, I peeked at Mitsuhide-san’s expression but……
[MITSUHIDE]: “…… It appears that you gentlemen have misunderstood.”
Mitsuhide-san was unfazed. On the contrary, unlike his usual gentle appearance, he stated that in a cold tone.
[MITSUHIDE]: “It is true I caused a rebellion, however Nobunaga-sama’s decisions are everything in the Oda Army.”
[MITSUHIDE]: “As long as Nobunaga-sama overlooks it, I will not be charged with crimes.”
[MITSUHIDE]: “However, you gentlemen are different. Nobunaga-sama recognizes the actions of you gentlemen as a violation of orders. Therefore, you gentlemen are the traitors.”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Now, now, now, calm down Mitsunari.”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “…… And, if we return under Nobunaga-sama’s jurisdiction, he’ll forgive eeeverything, is what you’re saying?”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “If we don’t return?”
[MITSUHIDE]: “We will destroy the Toyotomi Army with our full strength.”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Hmmm. How? We’ve fought countless times up to now, and I’d think there isn’t that much difference of strength between the Oda Army and Toyotomi Army now?”
[MITSUHIDE]: “No. If we fought now, our army would be victorious without a doubt.”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Feels like you’re full of confidence, huh…… Aah, could it be that you’ve found a sacred treasure?”
[YUZUKI]: (……! Hideyoshi-san really has noticed something? No, I can’t be shaken……!)
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Hahaha! If you’ve found a sacred treasure, that’d be a huge problem.”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Well, alright, I don’t mind. We can return to Nobunaga-sama’s place.”
[YUZUKI]: (Wha, really……!?)
[HIDEYOSHI]: “However, there’s something nonnegotiable for us, you see……”
The moment I was celebrating alone, the expression on Hideyoshi-san’s face disappeared all of a sudden.
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Mitsuhide, if you die, we will surrender to the Oda Army unconditionally.”