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”…!?
Masamune-san and the others’ plan was a success and the Sanada Army made the unidentified group retreat.
Masamune-san showed no pride at the enemies retreating due to a plan he formulated and, after looking at things as if it were a matter of course, he made his horse run again.
[MASAMUNE]: “Now, it’ll be a long journey but… we’re going home to Date territory.”
.[YUZUKI]: “Eh…? Going home, but is it okay not to say anything to everyone in the Sanada Army? We received their help……”
[MASAMUNE]: “There’s no need to say something like thanks to enemies. Besides, I have you and the “sacred treasure” here. Now’s the opportune time to get away with these.”
[YUZUKI]: “In the end, Masamune-san is going to be Masamune-san, huh……”
The Sanada Army, having made their enemy retreat, celebrated their victory. During that, Yukimura looked around his surroundings.
[NOBUYUKI]: “Hm…? What’s the matter, Yukimura. You seem to be searching for something?”
[YUKIMURA]: “Yes, brother. You haven’t seen Kojuurou and Shigezane, have you? You know, those two from the Date Army.”
[NOBUYUKI]: “Hrm…? Now that you mention it, I don’t see them.”
[SASUKE]: “If you’re talking ’bout those two, they slipped out in the middle of battle. Aren’t they running?”
[NOBUYUKI]: “…… Well, to the Date Army, this is a chance to escape with the “sacred treasure”. Date Masamune would have no compunctions on doing that.”
[YUKIMURA]: “I see… sorry, brother, I’m going to head out for a bit!”
[NOBUYUKI]: “Oi, Yukimura, where are you goin……”
Without listening to Nobuyuki’s response, Yukimura straddled a horse with an impatient air and dashed away in a flash.
Masamune-san, making the horse that Imari-kun and I were riding run, made haste towards Date’s lands.
[YUZUKI]: (Is it okay to head home with just us…? What about Kojuurou-san and Shigezane-san…?)
When I tried to ask Masamune-san that I heard a familiar voice in the distant and the sound of hooves.
[SHIGEZANE]: “Heeeyyy! Oh, Imari’s with you guys too! Is everyone unhurt?”
[KOJUUROU]: “Good grief… I did not think you would, but you left us behind on your way back…”
Shigezane-san and Kojuurou-san, who came galloping on their horses, kept pace with ours.
[YUZUKI]: “Shigezan-san!? And Kojuurou-san too! How did you know we were here?”
[SHIGEZANE]: “Hm? Well, Kojuurou, he’s the one who said Masamune would pass through this area to head home.”
[YUZUKI]: “Um… is it always like this? There’s no meeting place arranged or…”
[MASAMUNE]: “Because you can surmise who is where. It’s a waste of time to decide on every place to meet.”
[YUZUKI]: (They know each other to that extent…)
[YUZUKI]: (Everyone is connected with a really strong bond, huh. The Date Army men are amazing…)
[KOJUUROU]: “Incidentally… hey, Masamune, I have something to say to you.”
[KOJUUROU]: “I’m always telling you not to put a plan you just thought up into action! Put yourself in the shoes of those who have to connect with you!”
[KOJUUROU]: “And, if you’re planning on returning home, say so from the beginning! I’m the one who has to predict your actions and determine the route that allows us to join up again!”
[MASAMUNE]: “The plan went well accordingly and you were able to join up again too. Don’t complain about things after.”
[KOJUUROU]: “That is simply based on hindsight! You are always–“
[YUZUKI]: (Rather than calling it a bond, it sounds more just like Kojuurou-san’s hardships…)
[SHIGEZANE]: “Anyway, it’s good we didn’t have to hand you over to the Sanada Army.”
[KOJUUROU]: “…… Well, I still have many things to say to Masamune, but indeed it is a relief that you are safe.”
[YUZUKI]: “Yes, all because of everyone. Thank you.”
As everyone talked to each other like that, the sound of thundering hooves in the distance approached.
[???]: “Heeeeeyy! Wait a moment!”
[MASAMUNE]: “Hm? What is it?”
When we turned back to look in the direction of the voice, Yukimura-san was coming closer to us on a horse.
[MASAMUNE]: “… This is bad. Pursuers?”
[KOJUUROU]: “Shall we run? Masamune.”
[SHIGEZANE]: “Hold on, this is strange for a pursuing party. If they wanted to catch us, would a general be coming alone?”
While Masamune-san and the others spoke to each other, Yukimura-san rapidly approached and eventually ran side-by-side to our horse.
[MASAMUNE]: “… Why did you come. Are you here to steal the “sacred treasure” and this girl?”
[YUKIMURA]: “Nah, no way. I thought I’d hand this over.”
Saying that, Yukimura-san turned to me and passed something over.
[MASAMUNE]: “What did that guy give you?”
[YUZUKI]: “Looks like… a rolled up cloth.”
[YUKIMURA]: “It’s the war flag the enemies that attacked us were carrying. If you take a look at it, you’ll know who it was that attacked us.”
[YUKIMURA]: “Those guys are targeting her and the “sacred treasure”. If they’re going to show up again, it’ll be the Date Army. You should know their identity and prepare for an attack.”
[MASAMUNE]: “Why are you going out of your way to tell me, an enemy, that?”
[YUKIMURA]: “That’s obvious, isn’t it. I need you to protect Yuzuki-san and the “sacred treasure”.”
[MASAMUNE]: “… I see. Hey, give me that war flag.”
[YUZUKI]: “Ah, okay. I wonder who it was that attacked us–“
Before I finished speaking, Masamune-san threw away the rolled up cloth without even spreading it out to take a look.
[YUZUKI]: “Wha!? What are you doing, Masamune-san!”
[MASAMUNE]: “I don’t plan on accepting an enemy’s charity. We can protect you without fail without borrowing Yukimura’s power.”
Yukimura-san shrugged his shoulders and smiled at Masamune-san who declared that flatly.
[YUKIMURA]: “… Well, I had a feeling you’d say that.”
[YUKIMURA]: “Then, Masamune, be sure to protect this girl. Until the time I come for her.”
[YUKIMURA]: “That’s how it it so, until I come to pick you up, please stay healthy in the Date Army.”
[YUZUKI]: “No, um, I… don’t intend to leave the Date Arm–“
[MASAMUNE]: “Hey, you don’t need to reply to an enemy.”
Masamune-san said that coldly and increased our horse’s speed. Yukimura-san did not follow that and stopped to see us off.
[YUZUKI]: (He really did come after us just to tell us information about the enemy…)
[YUZUKI]: “… Yukimura-san is a good person, huh.”
[MASAMUNE]: “Would it have been better to be with that guy?”
[YUZUKI]: “Eh!? No, that wasn’t what I was saying…”
Unexpectedly, Masamune-san embraced me from behind while holding the reins still. He whispered into my ears.
[MASAMUNE]: “… I cannot be like him.”
Masamune-san’s voice was insecure somewhere, unlike his usual firm tone.
[MASAMUNE]: “I refuse to fight fair and square and, in order to win, I’ll even lie. I plan to use any means possible.”
[MASAMUNE]: “But still… you chose me, and not him. Right now… you don’t regret that?”
Masamune-san waited for my reply with an uneasy voice. I answered without the slightest hesitation.
[YUZUKI]: “No matter how many times you ask, the answer won’t change. I’m glad the first people I met in this world were you all.”
[MASAMUNE]: “… I see.”
In that instant, I could somehow sense Masamune-san smiling but I didn’t turn around.
Because I was sure that Masamune-san would hate for his smiling face to be seen.
We parted from Yukimura-san and all of us safely returned to the Date castle.
[YUZUKI]: “When it was decided for just us to infiltrate Sanada territory, I had wondered what would happen… but we’re all together and we’ve safely returned to the castle.”
[MASAMUNE]: “Hmph, naturally. It’s because I came up with a plan that would succeed.”
Saying that, Masamune-san lifted me up and lowered me down from the horse.
The moment I took the “sacred treasure” in hand again, the blade started to emit a dazzling light.
[SHIGEZANE]: “The “sacred treasure” is shining! You’re amazing!”
[KOJUUROU]: “I see… so the “sacred treasure” reacts like this when it’s touched by someone who is worthy of meeting Himemiko…”
[YUZUKI]: “Huh, um… somehow… the “sacred treasure” is moving on its own–“
The “sacred treasure”, which was shining light, started to move on its own and changed directions with force, raising itself up.
[SHIGEZANE]: “Uwah!? That’s dangerous! Don’t swing sharp things around!”
[YUZUKI]: “But I’m not doing anything… it’s moving on its own like it’s being pulled…”
While we were watching, the tip of the “sacred treasure” pointed to the sky.
Eventually the bright light that stretched from the tip pointed precisely to a point.
[KOJUUROU]: “Is this possibly…”
[MASAMUNE]: “If I remember correctly, it was written in the old documents that the “sacred treasure” shows the location of Himemiko.”
[IMARI]: “Then this light is pointing to…!!”
[YUZUKI]: “Himemiko-sama’s location…?”
My hope rose at this new clue. Where this light pointed to… if I went to Himemiko-sama’s location, I might find a way to return to my old world.
[IMARI]: “It’s great that we found a clue to Himemiko-sama, right!”
Imari-kun stared at the end of the light happily with sparkling eyes.
But Shigezane-san and Kojuurou-san were looking at the direction of the light with difficult expressions.
[KOJUUROU]: “Of all places, that direction…”
[SHIGEZANE]: “Although we came back safely from the Sanada Army, with a lot of trouble, it seems like we’ll have to tread on dangerous ground again…”
[YUZUKI]: “Eh, um…? Is there something in that direction?”
[KOJUUROU]: “Yes. In that direction is the lands of the Uesugi Army, a force equal to Takeda in Shinga.”
[SHIGEZANE]: “Before, Masamune came home badly injured after a battle, right?”
[SHIGEZANE]: “The opponent he fought at that time… was the general of the Uesugi Army, Uesugi Kenshin.”
The figures of wounded soldiers covering the floor and Masamune-san, who had suffered an injury that would have killed him had he made one mistake, crossed my mind.
[YUZUKI]: (The lands governed by the person who… drove the Date Army and Masamune-san to the corner like that…)
[YUZUKI]: (In order to meet Himemiko-sama, we have to go to such a dangerous place…?)
When I looked at Masamune-san, driven by feelings of uneasiness, he alone was looking at the direction the light pointed to with a fearless smirk.
[MASAMUNE]: “Heh, Uesugi Kenshin. Perfect.”
[MASAMUNE]: “While we’re acquiring Himemiko, we’ll defeat Uesugi Kenshin, famously known as the God of War–“
[MASAMUNE]: “It’s the perfect opportunity to let the name Date Masamune be known throughout Shinga.”
I felt the beginnings of new troubles at Masamune-san’s broadly smiling expression.
(T/N: I’m feeling the beginnings of burnout so I’m going to take a short break after this ;w;/ each chapter part kept hitting 130+ lines and that was destroying me, aha.)