Chapter 8: Hidden Fangs and the True Objective
The result of the meeting with Hideyoshi was a demand for an equal alliance with the Oda Army.
At a later date, Nobunaga and the others headed to the location to enter an alliance but, in the middle of that, a single gunshot rang……
–Have Toyotomi return under his jurisdiction. Following this order from Nobunaga-san, we headed to the Toyotomi territory but failed to fulfill that order.
[YUZUKI]: (But Nobunaga-san said that the duty was accomplished……?)
Mitsuhide-san opened his mouth apologetically to me, who was confused.
[MITSUHIDE]: “…… I apologize. I did wish to speak about this sooner but……”
[MITSUHIDE]: “In truth, having Toyotomi return to us was not our original purpose.”
[YUZUKI]: “Huh!? Then……”
[MITSUHIDE]: “This time, the Oda Army’s best plan was to have an alliance brought up by the Toyotomi side.”
[MITSUHIDE]: “Thus we used a negotiation technique by daring to enter with a proposal that was hard to accept.”
[MITSUHIDE]: “I was surprised by your remarks there, however owing to you I was able to carry out the negotiations in good shape.”
[KATSUIE]: “T-That’s how it was……!”
[RANMARU]: “Katsuie-san, you knew, didn’t you?”
[YUZUKI]: (Huh?…… In other words, I was the only one not told anything!?)
[NOBUNAGA]: “You seem displeased.”
[YUZUKI]: “That’s not…… true.”
[NOBUNAGA]: “…… Indeed. At any rate, this matter is concluded. Everyone, well done.”
[NOBUNAGA]: “Rest your bodies well until further instructions.”
I returned back to my room and thought things over as I changed.
[YUZUKI]: (It doesn’t look like Imari-kun’s come back. He said he was gathering information on Himemiko-sama, so I wonder if he’s looking somewhere again.)
[YUZUKI]: (Anyway, about Nobunaga-san… why am I the only one he never says anything to.)
[YUZUKI]: (It’s like I’m being treated as an outsider…… Huh? Someone’s outside my room–)
[YUZUKI]: “Wah, N-Nobunaga-san!?”
[NOBUNAGA]: “…… Were you changing? It doesn’t matter. Continue.”
[YUZUKI]: “I can’t change in front of you, N-Nobunaga-san! More importantly, do you need something……?”
[NOBUNAGA]: “I came to cheer you up.”
[YUZUKI]: “Cheer…… wha!?”
Nobunaga-san only said that before entering my room with a natural gait.
[YUZUKI]: (T-This is supposed to be my room……)
[NOBUNAGA]: “Sit here.”
Nobunaga-san sat down on my futon and directed me to sit beside him.
Thinking that I had no choice to refuse, I nervously obeyed.
[YUZUKI]: “Um, you said you came to cheer me up……?”
Nobunaga-san suddenly took out a wrapped package from his breast pocket and held it out to me.
[YUZUKI]: (Ah, it’s dried persimmons. I wonder if he’s telling me to eat these.)
[YUZUKI]: “Umm, thank you.”
[YUZUKI]: “…… Mm. It’s sweet.”
When I unconsciously smiled at the deliciousness of the dried persimmons, I felt like Nobunaga-san’s expression softened.
[NOBUNAGA]: “And, how was Hideyoshi.”
[YUZUKI]: “Well…… he was smiling but I thought he was kinda scary.”
[NOBUNAGA]: “I see. Then, between Hideyoshi and I, who is scarier?”
[YUZUKI]: “Of course that’s you, Nobunaga-sa–…… ah!”
I reflexively covered my mouth with my hands, but it was too late.
[NOBUNAGA]: “Oh? You find this Nobunaga to be scarier, hm.”
[YUZUKI]: “I didn’t mean it in a bad wa…… huh?”
In the next instant, I was brought into his chest. In front of my eyes, Nobunaga-san had a smirk.
[NOBUNAGA]: “And here I take such good care of you. What is there to fear?”
[YUZUKI]: “That’s…… ah, Nobunaga-san!? What’re you……”
[NOBUNAGA]: “Can you not tell……?”
[YUZUKI]: “U-Um…… ngh!”
My resistance was easily stopped and Nobunaga-san’s lips touched my neck.
[NOBUNAGA]: “Futile actions. You only need to entrust your body to this Nobunaga.”
An uncanny light shone in Nobunaga-san’s eyes as he moved my collar aside and brought his face close to my chest.
And there he kissed me gently, over and over–
[YUZUKI]: “Ah… any more and……”
The moment I unintentionally raised my voice, too embarrassed, I realized that Nobunaga-san’s expression had become serious at some point.
[NOBUNAGA]: “…… Those Toyotomi men are pretending to flare up at Mitsuhide, but their real interest is you.”
[NOBUNAGA]: “Do not ever forget who it is that your blood and body belongs to.”
[YUZUKI]: “…… Huh.”
Nobunaga-san said only that before he stood up all of a sudden and left the room.
[YUZUKI]: (Toyotomi… has an interest in me? Could it be……)
Before the sensation of Nobunaga-san’s kisses on my chest disappeared, I thought about his last words……
Several days later– the Oda Army headed to the conference place prepared by Toyotomi with a few soldiers.
On the way, at a resting place before entering the mountain paths, I received instructions from Nobunaga-san.
[NOBUNAGA]: “…… From here on, you won’t ride with me, but with Katsuie.”
[YUZUKI]: “Huh? O-Okay. I understand.”
[YUZUKI]: (But why did he give me those instructions……?)
And then we proceeded into the mountain paths smoothly–
[MITSUHIDE]: “Nobunaga-sama, there is only a little more before we reach our destination.”
[NOBUNAGA]: “…… Mm.”
[RANMARU]: “Phew, finally. We only need to pass one more ridge……”
Suddenly, a gunshot rang out.
[MITSUHIDE]: “Was that a gunshot just now……!”
[MITSUHIDE]: “Everyone, stay on your guard immediately–“
Mitsuhide-san promptly gave instructions to the soldiers who had become panicked, and the Oda Army suddenly became busy.
In such noise, there was a conspicuously loud voice– it was Ranmaru-kun’s scream.
[RANMARU]: “…… N-NOBUNAGA-SAMA!!”