Chapter 4: The Wise Delight in Water
In order to investigate the location of Himemiko, she started to decipher old books in the archives together with Kagemochi.
There she learned certain facts about the “Gekka Tribe” though…
Having come to the castle town, I asked Kageie-san, who was walking beside me, without delay.
[YUZUKI]: “Kageie-san! What should I help out with?”
[KAGEIE]: “Uhhh, umm…”
.[KAGEIE]: “What should I do? In order to let her and Kagemochi have a date–“
[KAGEIE]: “I purposefully said “there’s an important business related to Uesugi” to invite the two of them out but, for some reason, Kagemochi didn’t come and now I’m going instead…”
[KAGEIE]: “Huh? Aah, sorry! Then… f-for now, we’re getting a hairpin…”
[YUZUKI]: “Okay. Then how about we go to a shop.”
[KAGEIE]: “Hrm? But where are the hairpin shops? Mrmgh… I have no clue.”
[YUZUKI]: (… Kageie-san’s been muttering something to himself since a while ago. I wonder what’s going on?)
It was at the moment I tilted my head, curious about Kageie-san’s uneasy state and who was different from usual.
[CITIZEN]: “Hurry and run! We’ll be killed if we’re slow!”
[CHILD]: “UWAAAH! HEEEELP!!!”
Suddenly the town which had been lively until then was filled with roars and screams.
[KAGEIE]: “W-What’s going on! Hey! What happened?”
[CITIZEN]: “Y-Yakuma…! They’ve gotten into the town somehow…”
[KAGEIE]: “WHAT! Where!?”
[CITIZEN]: “Over there!”
[KAGEIE]: “Got it, I’ll go right–“
[KAGEIE]: “Mgh, but I can’t leave you…”
[KAGEIE]: “… Okay, you go back to the castle alone… ah, no, hold on.”
[KAGEIE]: “I can’t let her go back while yakuma are wandering around… urgh…”
Kageie-san seemed to be extremely troubled, but my thoughts were decided on what I should be doing.
[YUZUKI]: “I’ll go together with you, Kageie-san.”
[KAGEIE]: “Wha… you can’t! That’s too dangerous! No, I really should escort you to the castle and then I’ll come back alo–“
[YUZUKI]: “No. During the time you’re sending me back, the townspeople might be attacked by the yakuma.”
[KAGEIE]: “Mgh… that’s true. But, on the other hand, I can’t expose you to danger…”
[YUZUKI]: “If the yakuma came into town then it’s dangerous wherever I am!”
[YUZUKI]: “If that’s the case… then it’s safest to be beside you, Kageie-san!”
Maybe Kageie-san was convinced by my words because, after groaning a little, he gave a large nod.
[KAGEIE]: “Mm, mmgh… fine. Make sure to never leave my side!”
After that Kageie-san pulled my hand and ran through the town.
When we went in the direction where the yakuma were rampaging, there were many people screaming and running about trying to escape.
However, the instant we arrived, the yakuma ignored the people, as if they lost interest, and attacked all at once.
–Aiming at me.
[KAGEIE]: “As if I’d let you! Hragh!”
[YUZUKI]: “Thank you, Kageie-san…”
[KAGEIE]: “Don’t mention it! ‘Cause I’ll protect this town and you!”
Kageie-san swung his sword around heroically while saying that and cut down the horde of yakuma one after another.
Meanwhile, I turned to the people and told them to hurry and escape.
[KAGEIE]: “Kgh, there’s more than I thought… But I’m not one to get afraid at this level! Come! I’ll cut down as many as I feel like–“
[CHILD]: “WAAAAAAH!! HEL… wah!”
At the same time Kageie-san got worked up, a child tripped over his feet and fell down.
Unfortunately, the child fell right in front of me–
At that second a yakuma rushed at me.
[YUZUKI]: (At this rate, the child will also…!)
Even if I ran, I wouldn’t make it. In the moment I was at a loss as to what I should do.
Kageie-san protected the child who had been left behind and received a large wound on his back.
[YUZUKI]: (W-What do I do…! Kageie-san is protecting the child so he can’t counterattack…)
[YUZUKI]: (Now that it’s like this, I…!)
I resolved myself, picked up a fallen stone nearby, and threw it as hard as I could at the yakuma.
[YUZUKI]: (Great, I got its attention! The rest is…!)
Maybe because a stone was of no concern at all to the yakuma for it didn’t even shriek, but I ran from that place in a direction empty of people.
The yakuma chased after me as planned. Although, if the yakuma caught up to me who couldn’t fight then it’d be the end of the road.
And so I was careful not to stop my feet ever, but…
In the end the yakuma were faster and they slowly but steadily closed the distance.
[YUZUKI]: (They’re going to catch up like this…!)
Right after I told myself I needed to run faster–
Kageie-san bisected the yakuma and muttered like he was relieved.
[KAGEIE]: “Geez, you’re a reckless girl.”
After that he immediately protected me behind him and declared this boldly, full of spirit.
[KAGEIE]: “Listen up, yakuma bastards! As long as I’m here, I won’t let you hurt even a hair on this girl!”
[KAGEIE]: “–Those who want to die, come at me!”
Kageie-san fought desperately, even with a large wound on his back, to protect me.
Thanks to that, the horde of yakuma was exterminated without problems, but…
Along the way, after we parted from all the townspeople who gave their thanks and were walking on the main road to report today’s matter to Kenshin-san.
Kageie-san suddenly collapsed to his knees after moaning in pain.
[YUZUKI]: “Kageie-san!? What’s wr–“
In that instant, my breath caught.
[YUZUKI]: (This is bad! His wound is bleeding…!)
After exterminating the yakuma, Kageie-san was given emergency treatment with the help of the townspeople, but the injury might have opened while we were walking.
[KAGEIE]: “I-I’m fine. This kind of injury isn’t serious…”
Kageie-san said that and his mouth showed a smile but it didn’t look like it was fine.
So I held out my hand without hesitation.
[YUZUKI]: “… Kageie-san. Please drink my blood.”
[KAGEIE]: “! I can’t… do that.”
[KAGEIE]: “I… helped you and wanted to make you happy…”
[KAGEIE]: “But in reality it was the opposite. I was saved by you… on top of that, to do something like hurt you–“
[YUZUKI]: “Drinking my blood won’t hurt me.”
[YUZUKI]: “Instead, you suffering like this is what hurts me far more, Kageie-san…!”
[YUZUKI]: “If you want to make me happy then please drink my blood… I’m begging you.”
After Kageie-san shifted his gaze around, as if he was wavering, he seemed to resign himself and looked at me directly.
[KAGEIE]: “… Sorry.”
Immediately after that my palm was pierced by fangs and a stinging pain ran through me for an instant.
[KAGEIE]: “W-Woah… what is this…! My injury is healing…!”
[YUZUKI]: (I’m glad…)
Seeing Kageie-san return to a healthy state suddenly, I shed tears without thinking.
[KAGEIE]: “W-What’s wrong! Did sucking your blood hurt in the end!?”
[KAGEIE]: “I’m sorry! Ahh! Why am I such a useless man!”
[KAGEIE]: “Even though I didn’t want to make you sad, I made you cry…”
[YUZUKI]: “You’re wrong. That’s not the case. It’s because I’m glad that you’re safe, Kageie-san…”
After I shook my head hard and showed a smile, for some reason, Kageie-san’s face became red.
[KAGEIE]: “… Mmh? What am I embarrassed about. When this girl likes Kagemochi.”
[KAGEIE]: “There’s a part of me that doesn’t like putting these together like before… why?”
[KAGEIE]: “Aah, nothing, it’s nothing! Um… you helped! Thanks!”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “Welcome home, both of you.”
When we returned to the castle, Kagemochi-san greeted us with a smile.
[KAGEIE]: “Kagemochi! Why didn’t you come to the meeting place!”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “I thought it was a good opportunity.”
[KAGEIE]: “What was?”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “Before, did you not say that you didn’t know how to interact with her, Kageie-san?”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “I thought this would be able to resolve that even a little… How was it? The two of you going out.”
[KAGEIE]: “Mmgh… that, uh…”
Kageie-san looked at me and, after his cheeks turned red, suddenly averted his face.
Kagemochi-san chuckled at Kageie-san’s attitude and whispered something secretly into his ear.
[KAGEMOCHI]: “It appears that going out was effective.”
[KAGEIE]: “… Mmhm.”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “And, I roughly understand what you were planning, Kageie… You’re mistaken about me and this girl, you know?”
[KAGEIE]: “I-Is that so!? It was my misunderstanding… haha, geez. I didn’t know that and was thinking about this and that.”
[KAGEIE]: “Wait, what am I relieved about?”
After watching with amusement as Kageie-san was surprised, pleased, and then troubled, Kagemochi called out to me, as if he just remembered.
[KAGEMOCHI]: “That’s right. About the old texts but, after deciphering them, there is one thing I found out.”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “… Although it may be accompanied by a little danger, I thought to request this of you.”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “–In order to lay our hands on Himemiko’s whereabouts.”