Chapter 3: The Warm Light Dwelling in One’s Heart–
Shigezane was wounded in the yakuma extermination.
She caught a glimpse of their family-like “bond” in how Kojuurou listened calmly to the situation and admonished Shigezane and how, in his own way, Masamune showed his appreciation for others.
When I arrived at the courtyard inside the castle, Shigezane-san and Kojuurou-san were already facing each other with wooden swords.
[SHIGEZANE]: “I’m gonna end this training quickly.”
[KOJUUROU]: “If you make me admit defeat then it’ll end immediately.”
.[SHIGEZANE]: “Fine. That much is easy–“
[KOJUUROU]: “However, as long as I haven’t admitted defeat, then we will continue training until the next morning.”
[SHIGEZANE]: “WHA!? Hold on, I didn’t hear about that!”
[KOJUUROU]: “Why are you panicking? Is it that you aren’t confident about making me admit defeat?”
[SHIGEZANE]: “You…… I’ll do it! Don’t blame me if you get hurt!”
[KOJUUROU]: “Aa. Come at me from any direction!”
[YUZUKI]: (Huh… what the……? Shigezane-san disappeared……?)
[KOJUUROU]: “Too slow!”
[YUZUKI]: (In an instant Shigezane-san is aiming at Kojuurou-san’s chest…… He was so fast I couldn’t see him……)
[SHIGEZANE]: “There’s still more!”
Shigezane-san drove in blows with his wooden sword at Kojuurou-san, too fast for my eyes to follow.
[YUZUKI]: (Shigezane-san is amazing…… But.)
[YUZUKI]: (Shigezane-san’s attacks… Kojuurou-san is blocking them all with one hand……)
[SHIGEZANE]: “…… Ahh, damn! Why are my techniques being seen through!?”
[KOJUUROU]: “Is that a question, Shigezane? I believe you said you didn’t need to be taught by me though.”
[SHIGEZANE]: “You…… Don’t look down on me!”
[KOJUUROU]: “…… Ah.”
Kojuurou-san, who took a step back at Shigezane-san’s fierce attacks, stumbled.
[YUZUKI]: (He tripped over the stone at his feet……!)
His posture crumbled and when Kojuurou-san sank to a knee, Shigezane-san thrusted the tip of his wooden sword at him.
[SHIGEZANE]: “Haha! It’s my win! If this was a real battle, you’d be dead by now, you know?”
[KOJUUROU]: “…… Good grief.”
He sighed and then in the next instant.
Kojuurou-san recovered his posture in a flash and struck a blow against Shigezane-san’s torso.
[SHIGEZANE]: “Kugh, ugh! You pretended to trip! That’s cowardly, Kojuurou!”
[KOJUUROU]: “Cowardly? Would you say that in a real battle?”
[SHIGEZANE]: “You bastard……!”
Shigezane-san struck at Kojuurou-san furiously. However, again everything was blocked by one hand.
[KOJUUROU]: “It’s a bad habit of yours to relax your guard the moment you think you’ve won.”
[KOJUUROU]: “If you don’t fix that pride, one day you will surely–“
[KOJUUROU]: “…… Oi, Shigezane, I’m still talking.”
[SHIGEZANE]: “Hehe. Would you say that in a real battle?”
[KOJUUROU]: “Good grief…… a person like you……!”
[YUZUKI]: (Kojuurou-san is attacking… for the first time!)
[KOJUUROU]: “Listen well, Shigezane. You swing with all your might and it is too easy to read.”
[KOJUUROU]: “Once your swordsmanship is read, it is simple to handle it like how I am showing you.”
[SHIGEZANE]: “Shuut uppp!”
[KOJUUROU]: “Look, you have weak defenses, Shigezane! Concentrate more!”
[SHIGEZANE]: “Right back at you, stop chattering and concentrate on this practice!”
[YUZUKI]: (Somehow… it feels like the argument is getting more intense rather than the fight……)
The two’s training continued on without rest until the sun was setting.
While they were dripping with sweat, the even match continued–
[SHIGEZANE]: “…… GOTCHA!”
For the first time Kojuurou-san was caught by Shigezane-san’s blow. Kojuurou-san stabbed his wooden sword into the ground and dropped to a knee.
[SHIGEZANE]: “Haa…… haa…… how was that, Kojuurou……”
[KOJUUROU]: “Haa…… haa…… I admit defeat. This is my loss.”
Shigezane-san threw away his wooden sword and jumped up and down before looking at me with a face covered in sweat and mud.
[SHIGEZANE]: “Hey, did you see that just now!? It was an awesome attack!”
[YUZUKI]: “Yes! You made Kojuurou-san admit defeat, that’s amazing!”
[SHIGEZANE]: “Hehe. Right?”
Shigezane-san grinned innocently like a child. Kojuurou-san, who was watching, also smiled.
[KOJUUROU]: “As promised, today’s training ends here.”
[KOJUUROU]: “…… Shigezane, you are certainly strong. Even distinguished commanders who have made a name for themselves in other armies–“
[KOJUUROU]: “Were not as strong as you are at your age.”
[SHIGEZANE]: “Obviously! Do you finally know my awesomeness!”
[KOJUUROU]: “I’ve known how amazing you are since we were young. However…… that is exactly why I worry.”
[KOJUUROU]: “If you are strong, you will draw that much more attention on the battlefield.”
[KOJUUROU]: “In the future you will be fighting commanders who are much more experienced than you are now.”
[KOJUUROU]: “There is no limit to excellence. Do not be satisfied with your current self.”
[KOJUUROU]: “Do not be outdone by the distinguished commanders of other armies, because you will be a commander who supports the Date Army.”
[SHIGEZANE]: “…… Aa, I know. I promise.”
[SHIGEZANE]: “I’ll never overestimate my own strength and I won’t ever sacrifice our people or comrades again.”
Kojuurou-san gave a strong nod at Shigezane-san who said that with a serious look.
[KOJUUROU]: “You finally understand. Then from now on you will take your training seriou–“
[SHIGEZANE]: “Well, I don’t have to practice with you anymore though, right, Kojuurou-san. ‘Cause I’ve already won against you.”
[KOJUUROU]: “Hey, Shigezane. What I want to say is……”
[SHIGEZANE]: “Anyway, I’m gonna take a bath before our meal!”
[KOJUUROU]: “Good grief…… it appears that it will take some time to fix his hatred for training……”
[YUZUKI]: “Ahaha… seems like it. You worked hard, Kojuurou-san.”
[KOJUUROU]: “And same to you, thank you for your work. It helped to have you accompany our training.”
[YUZUKI]: “Huh? But all I did was watch……”
[KOJUUROU]: “That is true. However, that Shigezane-san was unusually persistent today at engaging in training–“
[KOJUUROU]: “Was because you were watching, I believe.”
[YUZUKI]: “Ummm…… what do you mean?”
[KOJUUROU]: “He couldn’t possibly lose to me and leave in front of you.”
When I tilted my head, not understanding his meaning, Kojuurou-san smiled wryly.
[KOJUUROU]: “In other words, men–“
[KOJUUROU]: “Want to look good when they’re in front of a woman they are fond of.”
[YUZUKI]: “Fond of……”
[KOJUUROU]: “It means he likes you.”
[YUZUKI]: “I-Is that so……?”
[KOJUUROU]: “Yes. If that were not the case, when he won against me he would not have looked at you with such a happy expression.”
Shigezane-san’s innocent smile suddenly crossed my mind and, for some reason, my heart skipped a beat.
[VASSAL]: “Pardon me, Kojuurou-sama! Have you seen Masamune-sama?”
[KOJUUROU]: “Hm……? Masamune? No, I haven’t seen him. Is something the matter?”
[VASSAL]: “As a matter of fact, he went out on his horse some time ago, but he has not returned.”
[KOJUUROU]: “…… I see.”
[YUZUKI]: “That means… he’s gone missing?”
[KOJUUROU]: “No, I have a general idea of where he’s gone. I will go and see.”
[YUZUKI]: “Um…… Can I come as well? He just recovered from his illness, so I’m worried……”
[KOJUUROU]: “Eh…… No, that is…… I wonder…”
[YUZUKI]: “Oh… sorry, I’m intruding, huh.”
[KOJUUROU]: “Ah, no. That was not my meaning.”
[KOJUUROU]: “Alright, then let us go meet Masamune together.”