Chapter 3: Under the Clouds is a Blue Sky
Appointed as Kenshin’s “assistant”, she spent her days managing the internal affairs of the army.
Learning about each other gradually, the distance between her and the commanders gradually shrunk, and the atmosphere in the army also began to change.
[KAGEKATSU]: “… I won’t go as reinforcement for our allies.”
Kenshin-san’s request for him to go on an expedition as reinforcement so that they could respond immediately in the instance their allies were invaded– Kagekatsu-kun refused.
[KANETSUGU]: “You won’t go… What do you mean by that!”
[KAGEKATSU]: “It’s nothing…”
[KANETSUGU]: “It’s not nothing! You… why… people are worried too…!”
[YUZUKI]: “Kagekatsu-kun, um…!”
Kagekatsu-kun quickly turned around at Kanetsugu-san’s anger and while I was flustered.
[KAGEKATSU]: “… It’s like that so… tell father that I said I won’t go.”
[KANETSUGU]: “Dammit…! What’s with that guy…!”
Lost as to what to do, I ended up going to tell the circumstances to Kenshin-san just like Kagekatsu-kun said.
[KENSHIN]: “Kagekatsu won’t go, you say?”
[YUZUKI]: “… Yes.”
[KENSHIN]: “I see…”
I held a fleeting hope in front of the contemplative Kenshin-san.
[YUZUKI]: (Maybe if it wasn’t coming from me…)
[YUZUKI]: (If Kenshin-san told him directly, then Kagekatsu-kun’s thoughts might change…)
[KENSHIN]: “Then we will dispatch Kageie instead.”
I unintentionally protested at the answer that betrayed my expectations.
[YUZUKI]: “I’m sure there must be a reason for why Kagekatsu-kun said he wouldn’t go as reinforcement. So…”
[KENSHIN]: “If he has decided not to go to our allies as reinforcement, then that is fine.”
Kenshin-san declared this coldly to stop me when I tried to hang on all the more.
[KENSHIN]: “This conversation is concluded. Convey this matter of being reinforcement to Kageie.”
I left Kenshin-san’s room and, instead of heading to Kageie-san’s room, I went towards Kagekatsu-kun’s room.
[YUZUKI]: (Kenshin-san said that but… I can’t accept it.)
[YUZUKI]: (Even more so because Kagekatsu-kun didn’t say his reason for not going…)
In this situation, I couldn’t do something like asking Kageie-san for this matter of reinforcements.
[YUZUKI]: (… Like I thought, I should try asking Kagekatsu-kun for his reasons.)
[KANETSUGU]: “You! Why aren’t you going!?”
[YUZUKI]: (That’s Kanetsugu-san and… Kagekatsu-kun?)
Both of them were in front of Kagekatsu-kun’s room and seemed to be arguing over something.
[KANETSUGU]: “It’s the best opportunity to show off your abilities, so why would you refuse!”
[KAGEKATSU]: “… You don’t need to know, Kanetsugu.”
[KANETSUGU]: “Hah!? What the fuck’s that!”
[KANETSUGU]: “Say something! Hey, Kagekatsu!”
Kanetsugu-san’s menacing look was so intense that I hurriedly broke in between the two.
[YUZUKI]: “Kanetsugu-san, let’s calm down a little…!”
[KANETSUGU]: “Che, now it’s you, huh! Don’t get in the way!”
[YUZUKI]: “But… uh… um.”
[YUZUKI]: “Ah, that’s right…! I went to talk to Kenshin-san about everything just now…”
Hearing my words, Kanetsugu-san closed his mouth for a moment and then slowly asked.
[KANETSUGU]: “… And? What did Kenshin-sama say?”
[YUZUKI]: “If he won’t go then it’s fine…”
[KANETSUGU]: “… Are you serious.”
At Kanetsugu-san’s face, as he muttered that like he was resigned, Kagekatsu-kun–
[KAGEKATSU]: “… Ah.”
Murmured that in a sigh, like he was sad.
Seeing that, I felt like the true feelings of Kagekatsu-kun, who said he “wouldn’t go”, were sleeping at the bottom of his heart…
[YUZUKI]: “Kagekatsu-kun… won’t you reconsider this again?”
Those words left my mouth on the spur of the moment.
[KAGEKATSU]: “… Why?… If my father has given his permission then there’s no need to reconsider, right?”
[YUZUKI]: “That might be true, but–“
[KAGEKATSU]: “… Go home, both of you… Bye.”
Kagekatsu-kun said that and tried to return to his room, but Kanetsugu-san grabbed his arm and stopped him.
[KANETSUGU]: “Wait. At least tell me your reason. Why won’t you go?”
[KANETSUGU]: “If you have a reason, then say it clearly!”
[KANETSUGU]: “It’s because you’re always silent like this that everyone around you can say whatever they want!”
The words about Kagekatsu-kun always being silent made me feel a strange tug.
[YUZUKI]: (It’s true that Kagekatsu-kun rarely talks about his own feelings…)
The moment I felt that…
I unconsciously overlaid the image of myself, when I first came to “Shinga”, and the image of Kagekatsu-kun who was in front of me with a gloomy expression.
[YUZUKI]: (At that time I was sheltered by the Uesugi Army and only ever protected. I couldn’t do anything and I felt sorry… but I couldn’t say that…)
Could it be that Kagekatsu-kun was also…
[KANETSUGU]: “HEY, Kagekatsu! Say something!”
[KANETSUGU]: “Are you fine with being thought of as the coward who ran away from the expedition like this!?”
[KAGEKATSU]: “…! That’s… fine.”
[KAGEKATSU]: “Anyway, I… won’t go to our allies as reinforcement…!”
Kagekatsu-kun said only that and threw off Kanetsugu-san’s hand before running off to somewhere.
[KANETSUGU]: “… kgh! HEY, KAGEKATSU! WAIT–“
After I held back Kanetsugu-san, who tried to chase, I asked him a question with an earnest wish.
[YUZUKI]: “Um… could you leave this to me?”
[KANETSUGU]: “Hah? What can you do.”
[YUZUKI]: “I… feel like I understand Kagekatsu-kun’s feelings somewhat.”
[YUZUKI]: “I can’t promise how well it’ll go, but…”
[YUZUKI]: “Can you believe in me and wait for a little bit?”
When I shoved my desperate feelings into these few words, Kanetsugu-san looked at me with deeply skeptical eyes and then–
[KANETSUGU]: “Geez, fine. Do what you want.”
He said that in an exasperated tone along with a sigh.
[YUZUKI]: (… There he is.)
Finding Kagekatsu-kun standing still in the garden, I slowly approached him.
[YUZUKI]: “… Kagekatsu-kun, can I have some of your time?”
[KAGEKATSU]: “Did you come to talk about the things before again?”
[KAGEKATSU]: “… If that’s the case, it’s useless… I won’t talk to you.”
[YUZUKI]: “But I have something I want to talk to you about, Kagekatsu-kun.”
[YUZUKI]: “So… how about it? You don’t have to force yourself to respond, but will you listen?”