Chapter 9: Determination
Opposing the mysterious army together, the Toyotomi Army contracted a public alliance with Oda.
However, during the evening banquet, in the midst of harmonious conversations that were flying about, there were sparks between Nobunaga and Hideyoshi…?
[KANBEE]: “… I believe we were talking about whether or not Hideyoshi-sama lied, correct?”
[KANBEE]: “Why do you think that?”
[YUZUKI]: “That’s… because Hideyoshi-san talked a lot more than he usually does.”
.[YUZUKI]: “I’ve been allowed to join these discussions once or twice and Hideyoshi-san always sits back and listens to everyone.”
[YUZUKI]: “Yet today he was actively talking… I thought it was a bit strange.”
[KANBEE]: “I see. You’ve been watching closely.”
Kanbee-san nodded with comprehension and then looked away from me to the courtyard.
[KANBEE]: “… To be accurate, Hideyoshi-sama did not lie.”
[KANBEE]: “It is more than probable that the Oda Army used Mouri in order to bind an alliance with us. However…”
[KANBEE]: “I wonder whether Nobunaga really attacked the Mouri Army only for the sake of binding an alliance with us…?”
[KANBEE]: “It is impossible for Nobunaga not to know the terror of the “sleeping lion” that is the Mouri Army. And yet, if Oda attacked Mouri…”
[YUZUKI]: “You’re saying Nobunaga-san had another aim?”
[KANBEE]: “Aa. It is natural to think that.”
[KANBEE]: “… However, to be honest, neither I nor Hideyoshi-sama can read it.”
[KANBEE]: “Is Mouri moving on their own, or is Oda planning something…”
Saying that, Kanbee-san’s face was stiff.
[YUZUKI]: (This might be the first time I’ve seen Kanbee-san looking so grim…)
In that moment, as I worried about how it was such a dangerous situation, I suddenly realized something.
[YUZUKI]: “That’s why Hideyoshi-san didn’t tell the truth, huh. He didn’t want to make everyone uneasy.”
[KANBEE]: “Correct. In a situation where we cannot read the other party’s hand, we should not invite unnecessary disorder.”
[KANBEE]: “Which is why you should also be careful not to–“
[YUZUKI]: “… Could it be that you’re uneasy too, Kanbee-san?”
[KANBEE]: “…… kgh.”
[KANBEE]: “…… You see that?”
[YUZUKI]: “Um… your expression is a bit dark, so…”
Kanbee-san took a long hard look at me and then gave a large sigh.
[KANBEE]: “You really have been watching closely…”
[YUZUKI]: “I’m sorry. That was rude, wasn’t it…”
[KANBEE]: “Do not be concerned… because the truth is that I am scared.”
[KANBEE]: “During the battle in the day, I saw one of Mouri’s commanders.”
[KANBEE]: “They controlled their exceptional soldiers in perfect order and, as soon as they saw that Oda and Toyotomi had allied and moved to the offensive, they withdrew their soldiers immediately.”
[KANBEE]: “The speed of their judgment and withdrawal… their ability to command and skillful tactics were extraordinary. That was what Hideyoshi-sama said.”
[YUZUKI]: (In that battle, Kanbee-san and Hideyoshi-san saw that much.)
[YUZUKI]: (For these two, who have bottomless talent even among the Toyotomi Army, to evaluate that commander so highly…)
[KANBEE]: “Just from that battle, I was made aware of the terror of the Mouri Army. If they were to attack us straight on…”
[KANBEE]: “Furthermore, our enemies are not only them. If we fall into a situation where we are pincered by Oda and another army while we are distracted by Mouri, then the Toyotomi Army will–“
[YUZUKI]: “… ah.”
When the worst case scenario floated into my head and I trembled, Kanbee-san looked at me and gave a start.
[KANBEE]: “… I apologize for frightening you.”
[YUZUKI]: “No, I’m fine. Please don’t worry… Kanbee-san, sometimes you get scared too, huh. I’m a little surprised.”
[YUZUKI]: “Yes. A lot of things have happened up to now, but you’ve always been calm, Kanbee-san.”
[YUZUKI]: “So, no matter what happens, I thought you’d be thinking calmly about the next plan.”
[KANBEE]: “… You are right. I have done so naturally up to this point.”
[KANBEE]: “Similar to the time when I recommended for Hideyoshi-sama to break away from the Oda Army, I have passed through many difficult predicaments.”
[KANBEE]: “But when I think about it… I was able to do so because I did not have something to protect. However, right now…”
Kanbee-san’s eyes were directed straight at me.
[KANBEE]: “You are here. No matter what it takes, I wish to protect you.”
[KANBEE]: “But I am unaccustomed to battling while defending something… If you were to be hurt as a result of one of my plans…”
[KANBEE]: “It is a first for me to think about this. I am afraid of fighting with Mouri… and losing you there.”
Kanbee-san’s voice trembled slightly. I felt my heart become squeezed at the distressed look on his profile.
[YUZUKI]: (I don’t want him to make that kind of face. But how do I…)
In that moment, as I thought about what I should say, a familiar and bright voice was heard.
[HANBEE]: “–I see. That’s what you were troubled about, huh.”