Chapter 7: One Should Persist with One’s Way–
The next clue that leads to Himemiko seems to be in the Uesugi territory.
Masamune advances his army towards the Uesugi territory without delay, but a battle has started between the Uesugi Army and Takeda Army in front of their eyes!?
Early in the morning next day, we headed towards Uesugi territory.
[SHIGEZANE]: “Hold onto me tightly. ‘Cause it’ll be dangerous if you fall.”
I held onto Imari-kun with one hand and wrapped the other arm around Shigezane-san’s waist.
[KOJUUROU]: “Shigezane, please be very careful. If anything happens to her…”
[SHIGEZANE]: “I know, Kojuurou! It’ll be okay, sheesh. I’ll definitely protect her.”
I felt a warmth gradually spread in the depths of my chest at Shigezane-san’s strong words.
The moment we came out of the forest, we reached the border between Uesugi territory and Date territory, but…
[MASAMUNE]: “Everyone, get off your horses and hide. There’s guards. It’ll be troublesome if we’re discovered.”
[???]: “Nothing’s strange so far.”
[???]: “Mm… but we have to be on guard…”
[MASAMUNE]: “That’s… commanders of the Uesugi Army; Uesugi Kagekatsu and Naoe Kanetsugu, hm.”
[KOJUUROU]: “Aa, that appears so. However, what shall we do…”
[KOJUUROU]: “It’s not advisable to clash with the enemy’s encampment from the front. But if we come up with a poor plan and it’s seen through, then reinforcements will be called immediately.”
[SHIGEZANE]: “Then how’re we gonna get close to them?”
[MASAMUNE]: “It’s not a problem. I have a plan.”
Right after Masamune-san said this–
[KAGEKATSU]: “An enemy attack…! Moreover, the family crest drawn on their flags…”
[KANETSUGU]: “Takeda’s people, huh!”
[TAKEDA SOLDIER]: “It’s Uesugi Kagekatsu and Naoe Kanetsugu! If we kill them, it’s a straight line to Uesugi Kenshin’s head!”
[TAKEDA SOLDIER]: “Then we’ll defeat them with our strength! Prepare yourselves!”
[KAGEKATSU]: “Kgh… their numbers are large…”
[KANETSUGU]: “But we’re Uesugi’s protectors. We absolutely can’t let them through here!”
[SHIGEZANE]: “What’s this, a battle is starting!?”
[KOJUUROU]: “It seems like Takeda has the strength here… In that case, it’s also a plan to wait for Uesugi’s commanders to be defeated like this–“
[MASAMUNE]: “Let’s go.”
[SHIGEZANE]: “Eh? Go where?”
[MASAMUNE]: “To assist Uesugi.”
[KOJUUROU]: “Hold on, Masamune! There’s little benefit to be gained if we barge into that battle. So, why?”
[MASAMUNE]: “You’ll understand soon.”
Masamune-san only said that before pointing directly at the Uesugi commanders and declaring this.
[MASAMUNE]: “Everyone, listen! We will assist Uesugi from here! Follow me!”
Saying that, Masamune-san swung his sword easily while straddling his horse and, just like that, the Takeda Army was made to retreat.
[KAGEKATSU]: “… Date Masamune, why did you assist us?”
[MASAMUNE]: “If that was left alone, the Takeda Army would not only strike at the Uesugi Army but also bare their fangs at Date territory.”
[MASAMUNE]: “For that not to happen, I eliminated them in advance.”
[KANETSUGU]: “Ohh? And so the great general himself decided to lead a large army to scout the border?”
[MASAMUNE]: “Hey, you seem to be misunderstanding something. I did not come to wage war against Uesugi.”
[KANETSUGU]: “Then what did you come for?”
[MASAMUNE]: “I came to request help from Uesugi.”
[SHIGEZANE]: “Haah!? Hey, I didn’t hear about this? Didn’t you say we’re gonna attack Uesugi– mghgh!”
[KOJUUROU]: “Be quiet, Shigezane.”
Masamune-san’s request seemed to confuse not just the Uesugi Army but everyone who was there.
[MASAMUNE]: “The Date Army does not have a sufficient force and we cannot guard our borders.”
[MASAMUNE]: “So I would like to request the help of Uesugi who is connected to our border. The whole Date Army came for this.”
[KANETSUGU]: “… I see.”
After the two Uesugi members exchanged many words, they turned back to Masamune-san.
[KANETSUGU]: “Send a soldier from here and report to Kenshin-sama.”
[KAGEKATSU]: “Until then, please do not move from here… If you make any arbitrary actions, we will drop this matter.”
[MASAMUNE]: “I understand.”
When a messenger raced off, the area filled with a silence which made it unimaginable that a battle had just been fought here a while ago.
Still, I couldn’t understand why Masamune-san was asking for help from Uesugi.
[YUZUKI]: “Um, Masamune-san… didn’t you say we were going to invade Uesugi territory…?”
[MASAMUNE]: “We invaded them, didn’t we. But I didn’t say we would fight against Uesugi.”
[MASAMUNE]: “Roughly speaking, I wouldn’t live up to the name of being “contrary” if I had a fair and square match against Uesugi.”
[KOJUUROU]: “… I thought that was how it would be. Because it’s you, you knew that Takeda would also attack Uesugi today, didn’t you.”
[SHIGEZANE]: “In that case, say that from the beginning!”
[MASAMUNE]: “What are you saying. To deceive the enemy, one must first deceive their allies… that’s the basics of the art of war.”
[KOJUUROU]: “However, Masamune, it was fine to drive away Takeda but will Uesugi accept this alliance?”
[MASAMUNE]: “Don’t worry. They’ll definitely accept.”
In the meantime, the horse-riding messenger returned and conveyed something to Kagekatsu-san and Kanetsugu-san.
The two seemed to be surprised and then turned towards us.
[KANETSUGU]: “… This is a message from Kenshin-sama. We will accept the proposal of an alliance with the Date Army.”
[KANETSUGU]: “A letter will be sent at a later date. That will be the mark of our official alliance.”
[KAGEKATSU]: “… Is this good enough?”
[MASAMUNE]: “Aa. Then we will withdraw for today.”
[IMARI]: “Somehow, I feel like even I got tricked.”
[SHIGEZANE]: “Look who’s talking. But, yeah, today feels exactly like that.”
(T/N: Alright the last bit requires some explaining, maybe. Imari uses a saying about being tricked by a “tanuki (kitsune can be used too)” because they have reputations for being trickster spirits. But the joke is that he himself is a tanuki, which is why Shigezane is kinda like ??? dude look at yourself.)