Chapter 6: The Path To Take Should be Ours–
A direct showdown with Yukimura!
The moment the contest was thought to be ended…… yakuma appeared in the shrine.
Who was it that obtained the “sacred treasure”…!?
The instant I pulled out the “sacred treasure” stabbed into the rock… countless yakuma descended on us from the depths of the shrine.
[YUKIMURA]: “Run! Hurry, over here!”
At Yukimura-san’s urging, I ran to the invisible wall… towards the two.
[YUZUKI]: (It’s no use…… they’re catching up……!)
I was about to reach Masamune-san when– at that moment, due to the weight of the “sacred treasure” in my hands, my body tilted greatly.
Unable to regain my balance, I fell down on the spot. The “sacred treasure” left my hands and rolled across the ground, clattering–
[YUZUKI]: (I’m going to be killed……!!)
[MASAMUNE]: “Get down!”
I saw Masamune-san running over here and then, at the end, my sight was filled with the yakuma swarm.
[KOJUUROU]: “…… Just now, did you not hear Masamune’s voice?”
[SASUKE]: “Heheh. He must be pissed losing to Yukimura.”
Both the Date and Sanada armies were waiting in front of the shrine for the two to come out.
[KAMANOSUKE]: “Someone… is coming out of the shrine……”
Everyone’s attention focused on that spot at Kamanosuke’s words. Eventually, from the shrine–
Yukimura, covered in blood, came out alone. In his hand was a naked long sword, dazzingly decorated.
[SASUKE]: “Yukimura, are you hurt!? It can’t be that Date Masamune–“
[YUKIMURA]: “…… No, that’s not it. Yakuma appeared in the shrine. All of this is their blood.”
[SHIGEZANE]: “Yakuma…? Then what about Masamune and Yuzuki!?”
[YUKIMURA]: “…… There were too many yakuma, we got separated. If they still haven’t come out then they’re probably……”
[SHIGEZANE]: “Wha…! Fuck! Just wait! I’ll go save you guys!”
[KOJUUROU]: “Wait, Shigezane! Don’t jump in alone!”
As Shigezane and Kojuurou ran into the shrine, Yukimura thrusted the long sword he held into the ground.
[NOBUYUKI]: “Yukimura. Could that sword be……”
[YUKIMURA]: “…… Yeah. This is the “sacred treasure”.”
[SASUKE]: “If you came out with that…… that means you were chosen, Yukimura!?”
[YUKIMURA]: “Ah… no, that’s……”
[SAIZOU]: “Amazing, Yukimura. As expected of the man that someone like me approves of.”
[YUKIMURA]: “Wait. You’re mistaken, this is……”
[KAMANOSUKE]: “The one to govern Shinga… is Yukimura, huh……”
[MASAMUNE]: “Are you okay?”
[YUZUKI]: “Yes, somehow……”
I, who was attacked by the swarm of yakuma, was saved by Masamune-san and we were hiding in the shadow of a rockface.
The yakuma surrounding us were sniffing at the ground, looking for us.
Inside the cool shrine, the body temperature from Masamune-san, who was right beside me, felt burningly hot.
[YUZUKI]: “…… Um, can I ask one thing?”
[YUZUKI]: “When I picked up the “sacred treasure”, why did you tell me “you choose”?”
[MASAMUNE]: “We’re on the brink of living or dying. What does asking that have to do with anything.”
I said nothing and simply waited silently for an answer.
[YUZUKI]: (It’s true that this isn’t the place to ask that, and even I know that but……)
[YUZUKI]: (It’s because we might killed here by the yakuma swarm that I’m asking……)
[YUZUKI]: (I want to hear Masamune-san’s feelings from his own mouth.)
Maybe because he lost to me staring at him, Masamune-san spoke after a while of showing hesitation–
[MASAMUNE]: “…… It’s because I thought you might be happier being protected by Yukimura.”
[YUZUKI]: “Huh…? Why would you think that……”
[MASAMUNE]: “…… I met you, who came to Shinga, earlier than any other army.”
[MASAMUNE]: “But that’s it.”
[MASAMUNE]: “Maybe if you had met Yukimura earlier than me, then you’d surely……”
Saying up to that, Masamune-san lowered his head. His bangs hung down and hid his expression.
[MASAMUNE]: “And when I met you…… I carried you off against your will and imprisoned you.”
[MASAMUNE]: “Like that guy…… like Yukimura said, I don’t think someone like me has the right…… to be together with you.”
[YUZUKI]: (Masamune-san thought that……)
[YUZUKI]: (I didn’t notice because he’s always saying things different from how he feels……)
[YUZUKI]: “…… It’s true that ever since I met Masamune-san and the others I’ve gone through scary things and thought it was unreasonable.”
[YUZUKI]: “…… But whenever I really wish to be saved, the person who comes running faster than anyone, is always you, Masamune-san.”
[YUZUKI]: “When I slipped out of the castle and was attacked by yakuma, it was you who saved me, Masamune-san……”
[YUZUKI]: “And just now you saved me without paying any attention to the “sacred treasure”.”
[YUZUKI]: “Saying something like… if I had met someone else earlier than you and the others, Masamune-san…”
[YUZUKI]: “I can’t say anything about that possibility. But I can say this clearly.”
[YUZUKI]: “To come to this world and meet Masamune-san and the others first…… I’m really glad about that.”
[MASAMUNE]: “I see……”
[YUZUKI]: “So…… something like me being happier going over to Yukimura-san’s side is–“
I couldn’t finish my words to the very end.
Because Masamune-san clutched at me tightly.
[YUZUKI]: “U-Um… Masamune…-san……?”
[MASAMUNE]: “Hey. Will you continue to come with us from here on too?”
At my answer, Masamune-san embraced me even harder.
For some reason I felt like his strong arms were insecure and so I wrapped my arms around Masamune-san’s back and stroked his smooth hair.
[YUZUKI]: “And, um… Masamune-san.”
[YUZUKI]: “…… It hurts a little.”
Masamune-san released me in a flash. He hurriedly turned his face away, but I thought it was somewhat red.
[MASAMUNE]: “Let’s stop this chatting here, and get out of this shrine quickly.”
I knew those words, which were spoken bashfully, was his way of hiding his embarrassment but I nodded deeply without saying anything.
[MASAMUNE]: “Don’t speak so loudly. Do you want to be noticed by the yakuma and killed?”
[YUZUKI]: (Haha, Masamune-san is completely back to himself.)
[YUZUKI]: “Sorry… but there’s yakuma all around us. How do we get out?”
[MASAMUNE]: “Naturally, we’ll cut them down and head for the exit.”
[YUZUKI]: “Eh… but even for you, Masamune-san, that many enemies is–“
[MASAMUNE]: “Do you think I could be beaten by something like yakuma?”
Masamune-san gave me a sharp look with cold eyes and then unsheathed his sword.
[MASAMUNE]: “Don’t worry stupidly over things and follow behind me closely. If you get separated, I’ll leave you behind!”
Masamune-san jumped out from the shadow of the rockface. In the blink of an eye, he cut down the yakuma that attacked.
[MASAMUNE]: “We’re running to the exit! Follow me!!”
[MASAMUNE]: “This is…… the last one!!”
Following Masamune-san’s back, when the shrine’s exit was visible–
All the yakuma that had been there were slain by Masamune-san.
[YUZUKI]: “Wow… there were so many and now there’s none left……!”
[MASAMUNE]: “I told you, didn’t I. That I wouldn’t be beaten by the likes of yakuma.”
[SHIGEZANE]: “–Masamune!! I’m so glad!!”
[KOJUUROU]: “You two are unhurt…… that’s a relief……”
[IMARI]: “Are you okay!? You aren’t hurt, are you!”
I saw Shigezane-san, Kojuurou-san, and Imari-kun come running our way. Everyone looked at us and showed relieved expressions.
[MASAMUNE]: “Obviously we’d be fine. Geez…… everyone is looking down on me.”
[SHIGEZANE]: “Ahaha, my bad, my bad.”
[MASAMUNE]: “…… Whatever. Let’s hurry and leave the shrine. I’m curious about the “sacred treasure” we lost sight of.”
[IMARI]: “Ah… that’s right! We have a huge problem! The “sacred treasure” for finding Himemiko-sama’s location is–“
[MASAMUNE]: “Sanada. So it was you who took the “sacred treasure”.”
[NOBUYUKI]: “As you can see, the one chosen by the “sacred treasure” is Yukimura. As promised, we will have you hand over that girl.”
[YUZUKI]: (Huh…? Yukimura-san wasn’t chosen by the “sacred treasure”, right…? And I didn’t choose Yukimura-san……)
[NOBUYUKI]: “This was the contest you proposed. You can’t possibly say that you are breaking what was decided upon now, right?”
[YUZUKI]: “U-Um…… please wait. The “sacred treasure”–“
[MASAMUNE]: “Oi, don’t say any more.”
[MASAMUNE]: “No matter what you or I say, these Sanada men won’t believe us. To them, we’re enemies who invaded their territory.”
[NOBUYUKI]: “What are you whispering about over there. As promised, that girl–“
[MASAMUNE]: “Hmph. Did you think someone like me would honestly protect a promise made with the enemy?”
[MASAMUNE]: “You know, I think this girl is too good to be given to you guys…… Shigezane, Kojuurou. We’re going to force our way through!”
Masamune-san unsheathed his sword and Shigezane-san and Kojuurou-san followed him.
[SASUKE]: “Date Masamune……! How cowardly are you!”
[NOBUYUKI]: “It is a matter of course that the “sacred treasure” chose Yukimura. You… don’t have the right to call yourself a general!”
[MASAMUNE]: “Do you think I’d be hurt being insulted by the enemy?”
[NOBUYUKI]: “You bastard…! Everyone, pick up your weapons! Kill Date Masamune and secure that girl!”
Hearing Nobuyuki-san’s words, the Sanada Army’s commanders pulled out their blades.
[IMARI]: “Please don’t worry! ‘Cause I’ll protect you!”
Imari-kun ran to my feet to try and protect me.
Masamune-san and the others did not show any faltering and, instead, raised their swords to meet the Sanada Army–
Suddenly, Yukimura-san raised his voice and the movements of everyone in that spot stopped.