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 unidentified group which had appeared slowly closed the distance, their weapons drawn.
[SASUKE]: “What’s with these guys!? Date Army’s reinforcements!?”
[YUKIMURA]: “No… these guys attacked the Date Army too. They’re not our allies or Date’s allies…!”
As everyone in the Sanada Army panicked over the enemy attack, me and Masamune-san and the others were concerned about Kojuurou-san who had collapsed on the spot.
[KOJUUROU]: “Uuh, gugh……”
Kojuurou-san, who had protected Masamune-san and took several arrows to his back, groaned in pain.
[YUZUKI]: (All this blood…! We need to do something… but what should we do…!?)
[UNIDENTIFIED SOLDIER]: “–Capture her.”
The unidentified soldiers, who had attacked from every direction, grabbed my arm for some reason and tried to take me away somewhere.
[SHIGEZANE]: “Huh!? … As if I’d let you!”
Shigezane-san slashed down the soldier and pulled me into him.
[YUZUKI]: “Thank you, Shigezane-san.”
[SHIGEZANE]: “Watch out. These guys look like they’re targeting you.”
[SHIGEZANE]: “Still… who the heck are these guys!”
[MASAMUNE]: “Who cares about their true identity. We’re running!”
Masamune-san lent a shoulder to Kojuurou-san and ran into the forest. Shigezane-san also ran, pulling my hand.
[YUZUKI]: “Imari-kun, you too, let’s hurry and run!”
I picked up Imari-kun who was pattering around, panicking, and escaped into the forest along with Shigezane-san.
[KOJUUROU]: “Gugh, urgh……”
When we escaped into the forest, Kojuurou-san slipped off from Masamune-san’s shoulder.
[YUZUKI]: “Kojuurou-san!? Please hold on!”
[KOJUUROU]: “It appears…… that I have bled a little too much……”
[UNIDENTIFIED SOLDIER]: “–They ran away here! Find them!”
From a distance we began to hear the voices of the soldiers and the sounds of bushes being parted.
[SHIGEZANE]: “This is bad… we’ll be found if we stay here. Let’s run, Kojuurou.”
Shigezane-san held out a hand to lent Kojuurou-san his shoulder. However, that hand was pushed back.
[KOJUUROU]: “Don’t concern yourselves with me. You should all run first.”
[SHIGEZANE]: “Huh…? Wha, what stupid thing are you saying, Kojuurou.”
[YUZUKI]: “That’s right! There’s no way we can leave you behind, Kojuurou!”
[KOJUUROU]: “However…… this is the best plan. With the Sanada Army being preoccupied by that group…… you can all escape safely from Sanada’s lands……”
[SHIGEZANE]: “Then, Kojuurou, you should just come together with us!”
[KOJUUROU]: “No…… I apologize but I can hardly get up on own anymore.”
[SHIGEZANE]: “That’s why I’ll lend you a shou–“
[KOJUUROU]: “NO… I’ve just said that! If you bring along a burden, those men will catch up!”
[KOJUUROU]: “The only ones who can fight are you and Masamune. If the enemy army was to attack, there is no chance of victory. Everyone will be killed.”
[SHIGEZANE]: “But to leave you and run, Kojuurou……”
[KOJUUROU]: “Don’t worry. I have never been afraid to die.”
[KOJUUROU]: “The only thing I am afraid of…… is the death of the Date Army, my family.”
[KOJUUROU]: “I beg you all. If you care for me then run away now……!”
[YUZUKI]: “…… No, we won’t run.”
[YUZUKI]: “Kojuurou-san, please drink my blood. If you do, then we can escape together.”
[KOJUUROU]: “That…… I cannot do.”
[KOJUUROU]: “Because we do not know where that unidentified group or the Sanada Army may be watching.”
[KOJUUROU]: “If I borrow your power here then the power that dwells in your blood will be known not only to other armies…… but also throughout Shinga.”
[KOJUUROU]: “For your safety, we must avoid that.”
[YUZUKI]: (What should I be doing……)
[MASAMUNE]: “Kojuurou. There’s no need to hide this girl’s power anymore.”
[KOJUUROU]: “…… What? What do you mean, Masamune.”
[MASAMUNE]: “I’ve already talked about this girl’s blood to Sanada. Sooner or later, it’ll be spread throughout Shinga.”
[KOJUUROU]: “Masamune…… why would you do such a thing…… If this power is known, the forces throughout Shinga will–“
[MASAMUNE]: “Is this the place for a lecture? Listen up, you need to do what you should do right now!”
Masamune-san shoved my shoulder and I was thrown into Kojuurou-san’s arms.
I looked up at Kojuurou-san who was still hesitating. Our eyes met within a breathing distance and Kojuurou-san looked at me with what seemed like embarrassment.
[YUZUKI]: “…… Kojuurou-san, just now, you said you were more afraid of your family’s death than your own, right.”
[KOJUUROU]: “…… Yes.”
[YUZUKI]: “Me too. I’m much more afraid of my family dying than my body being put in danger.”
[YUZUKI]: “I’m a member of the Date Army, your family. The one who said that to me was none other than you, Kojuurou-san, isn’t that right?”
[KOJUUROU]: “…… If you go to that extent……”
[KOJUUROU]: “…… I understand. Please give me your blood.”
[YUZUKI]: “Yes. If it’s you, Kojuurou-san, I’d be pleased to.”
Kojuurou-san brought his face to my neck with some uncertainty.
His lips touched my neck and, as if in consideration of me, his fangs gently pierced me.
[YUZUKI]: “…… ngh!”
It was a slight stinging pain. However, that pain immediately changed into a numbness that slowly but steadily spread throughout my body.
The faint sound of Kojuurou-san’s breathing and drinking of blood reached my ears and brushed against my skin.
Eventually, Kojuurou-san drew his face away from my neck.
[YUZUKI]: “Kojuurou…-san… How is your… wound……?”
When I asked, Kojuurou-san smiled kindly at me at a close distance.
[KOJUUROU]: “You can see the result.”
I looked and all the arrows that had pierced Kojuurou-san’s back had come out and, underneath his torn clothes, there was unblemished skin.
Kojuurou-san stood up and extended a hand to me.
[KOJUUROU]: “I can feel a strength overflowing in my body. If I have this strength… I will be able to escape Sanada territory together with you and everyone.”
[KOJUUROU]: “Thank you for giving me blood.”
I took that extended hand and stood up.
[YUZUKI]: “No, I’m happy to be of help to you, Kojuurou-san.”
[MASAMUNE]: “It seems your injuries have healed. But, Kojuurou, don’t fight too much.”
[MASAMUNE]: “Act like you’re still injured. It’d be a problem if this girl’s blood is discovered by Sanada.”
[KOJUUROU]: “…… Hey, wait, Masamune. Didn’t you already talk about her power to Sanada Yukimura–“
[MASAMUNE]: “That was a lie.”
[MASAMUNE]: “If I didn’t say that, then you wouldn’t have sucked her blood, right?”
[MASAMUNE]: “Did you forget? I’ll use any means necessary for my goal…… Besides.”
[MASAMUNE]: “You’re basically my brother. I’ll do any kind of dirty thing for you to live.”
[KOJUUROU]: “…… Good gracious. I’m no match for you.”
[MASAMUNE]: “Heh, you’re also proud, aren’t you?… Now, let’s hurry and escape Sanada territory!”
Following Masamune-san and the others’ backs as they started advancing through the forest with their weapons drawn, I started walking with Imari-kun.
As we progressed through the forest we suddenly heard the sounds of blades. Masamune-san signaled us to stop with his hand and looked over to the noises.
[IMARI]: “H-Has the enemy caught up……!?”
[MASAMUNE]: “No, they haven’t noticed us. That unidentified group is fighting someone.”
[YUKIMURA]: “What’s wrong? Is that all you got!”
[YUZUKI]: “That’s… Yukimura-san…!?”
There stood Yukimura-san who was fighting the unidentified group along with a few soldiers.
While he cut down his enemies, he lifted and showed a sword with dazzling decorations.
[YUKIMURA]: “The “sacred treasure” is here! If you want it, try and defeat me!”
[IMARI]: “That man… why is he saying things to provoke the enemy…?”
[YUZUKI]: “Could it be… that Yukimura-san is drawing the enemies to him…?”
[SHIGEZANE]: “Drawing them? What for.”
[YUZUKI]: “Um… to buy us time to escape… maybe?”
[KOJUUROU]: “Certainly not. Sanada Yukimura is the enemy general, you know? He should have no obligation to help us.”
[YUZUKI]: “That’s true, but……”
But, though I was with Yukimura-san for a short while, I had seen the strength of his righteousness–
I could only think that Yukimura-san, in order to let us escape, was taking it upon himself to attract the enemies.
[YUZUKI]: (But… I can’t explain that very well to Kojuurou-san and Shigezane-san who don’t know Yukimura-san……)
I sent a look at Masamune-san, who had been with Yukimura-san the same as me.
[YUZUKI]: (I wonder what Masamune-san thinks……?)
[YUZUKI]: (If it’s possible, I want to help Yukimura-san who is risking danger for us… but……)
[YUZUKI]: (I can’t say such a selfish thing when I can’t fight and when it’ll put everyone in the Date Army in danger……)
I heard a large sigh right beside me. When I looked, Masamune-san was staring at Yukimura-san as if he was completely disgusted.
[MASAMUNE]: “Is that the dignity of the general who rules these lands? Or is he atoning for having his attention caught by the “sacred treasure” and failing to save this girl?”
[MASAMUNE]: “Either way, he’s a irredeemable idiot.”
Hurling those insults, Masamune-san took his sword in hand and ran out.
[KOJUUROU]: “Hey, Masamune!? Where are you going!?”
[MASAMUNE]: “We’ll aid that idiot!”
[SHIGEZANE]: “That idiot…… you mean Sanada Yukimura!? Why are we helping him! Hey!”
Kojuurou-san and Shigezane-san seemed unable to leave their general, who had run out, and followed after him while being confused.
[YUZUKI]: (Masamune-san…! He’s going to lend a hand to Yukimura-san…!)
[IMARI]: “Let’s go! We can’t fight if enemies attack, but it’ll be safer to be beside Masamune-san and the others!”
[YUZUKI]: “Right! Let’s go, Imari-kun!”
[MASAMUNE]: “Why are you taking so much time with enemies of this extent? And you call yourself the general of Sanada.”
[YUKIMURA]: “…… Masamune!? Why did you come!”
Maybe Yukimura-san was surprised by Masamune-san and the others barging in, but he revealed a momentary opening.
Following that opening, an enemy attacked from behind. However–
[MASAMUNE]: “Why did I come, huh.”
The enemy which had attacked Yukimura-san’s back was cut down in a single stroke by Masamune.
And then Masamune-san laughed and added words.
[MASAMUNE]: “I haven’t been given the “sacred treasure” yet. Until I receive it, I can’t leave Sanada territory now, can I?”
[YUKIMURA]: “…… Aah, geez. You’re that kind of guy, huh!”
While saying that, Yukimura-san’s expression was sunny somewhere.
[MASAMUNE]: “Did you just remember now? You really are an idiot.”
While talking frivolously like that, the two confronted the approaching enemies.