Chapter 5: Steel Tempered One Hundred Times
The location of a “sacred treasure”, which was once held by those who were permitted an audience with Himemiko, was confirmed.
Finally, she thought she would know the whereabouts of Himemiko, but…
[???]: “–san, are you alright?”
[YUZUKI]: “Nngh…? Huh, I’m…?”
[YUZUKI]: (Oh, right. I slipped on the trail…)
.[KAGEMOCHI]: “Can you get up?”
[YUZUKI]: “This voice… Kagemochi-san?”
When I opened my eyes, dazed, I saw Kagemochi-san’s face peering worriedly at me.
It seemed like I tumbled down to where Kagemochi-san was slumped over on the ground.
[KAGEMOCHI]: “It doesn’t appear like you’re injured greatly. I’m glad.”
However, as soon as I saw the wounds covering Kagemochi-san’s entire body, I sprang up.
[YUZUKI]: “W-Who cares about me, Kagemochi-san, your injuries…!”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “… Yes, I was thoroughly caught off guard. As expected of a man who continues to fight equally with Kenshin-sama.”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “In any case, you should go up the mountain and join with everyone. I do not believe Kenshin-san will have been defeated so easily.”
[YUZUKI]: “Then you should come with me too, Kagemochi-san!”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “No. It takes all that I have to stand up… with this I will only be your burden.”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “Besides– the enemy is not that simple.”
[TAKEDA SOLDIER]: “We’ve found you, Amakasu of the Uesugi Army! Kill him!”
When I looked in the direction of that sudden voice, enemy soldiers were pointing the tips of their swords at us.
[KAGEMOCHI]: “… Please escape, even if it is you alone. I will stop them here as much as possible.”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “They are not aware of your power. If you pass yourself as just a girl, Takeda surely won’t follow… Now, quickly.”
[YUZUKI]: “… No, I can’t leave you here, Kagemochi-san.”
I wasn’t any use in a fight. Having said that though, for the current Kagemochi-san to win against these numbers– I didn’t think it was possible in any way, so…
[YUZUKI]: “Kagemochi-san, please drink my blood. If you do, both of us might be able to get out of this with those injuries.”
However, Kagemochi-san immediately shook his head.
[KAGEMOCHI]: “I cannot use your power in front of the Takeda enemies. If they learn of your special power then their target will undoubtedly be transferred to you.”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “… It is my duty to return you safely to Kenshin-sama and to let you obtain the sacred treasure.”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “I cannot drink your blood to value my own life.”
Still I hesitated and, looking at me, Kagemochi-san gave a small sigh before speaking in a cold voice.
[KAGEMOCHI]: “… Listen. This is not because I am being considerate of you.”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “I called you to this battlefield to obtain the sacred treasure. Because I thought it might be possible if it was you, who holds the same power as Himemiko.”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “For that sake, it does not matter to me whether you are exposed to danger or not.”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “Only, I cannot let you die when you can possibly obtain the sacred treasure. That is all.”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “Do you understand with this? That you have no obligation to feel sympathy for me–“
[KAGEMOCHI]: “If you understand… hurry and run!”
Saying that in a shout, Kagemochi-san took up a stance with his torn up body to meet the enemies.
But before Kagemochi-san could swing his blade I broke in between them.
[TAKEDA SOLDIER]: “Who the hell are you.”
I urged on my trembling body and stood straight in front of the enemy soldiers.
[YUZUKI]: (Even if Kagemochi-san didn’t see it that way, I’ve been helped countless of times by him, so… this time it’s my turn to stand firm…!)
[YUZUKI]: (If I reveal my power to the Takeda Army their target should move to me, so–)
[YUZUKI]: “I… have the power to use the sacred treasure!”
In that instant, the enemy soldiers stopped moving completely.
[YUZUKI]: “You guys in the Takeda Army have also found the sacred treasure that shows the location of Himemiko-sama, right? But you couldn’t even get close…”
[YUZUKI]: “… Only if it’s me, having the same power as Himemiko-sama. I am the only person who can get close to the sacred treasure and use it.”
[YUZUKI]: “That’s why I was brought by Uesugi and came here!”
With those words, perhaps they knew my worth, because the enemy soldiers removed their gazes from Kagemochi-san and fixed them on me at the same time.
[TAKEDA SOLDIER]: “Leave that wounded Amakasu! Capture that woman!”
Kagemochi-san appeared to be in a panic as he repelled the swords of the enemies who attacked me.
And then, grabbing my hand, he ran away from that spot while dragging his legs.
[YUZUKI]: “… In the end, it looks like the Takeda Army is also troubled by being unable to touch the sacred treasure, huh.”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “You! How could you talk about such a thing!”
[YUZUKI]: “But with this there’s no reason to hide my power anymore. Now, Kagemochi-san, please drink my blood.”
It seemed like the reveal about me to the enemy soldiers was quite effective because, after Kagemochi-san hesitated for a while, he nodded in resignation.
[KAGEMOCHI]: “You… are a foolish person…”
[YUZUKI]: “Thank you.”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “I wasn’t complimenting you.”
[YUZUKI]: “But, even now, you’ve saved me over and over again, haven’t you, Kagemochi-san.”
[YUZUKI]: “Even if it’s all for Kenshin-san, I’ve been supported by you many times, Kagemochi-san.”
[YUZUKI]: “So I don’t want you to die.”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “… If I survive, I may use you again.”
[YUZUKI]: “Yes, that’s fine. Go ahead, if I can be of help.”
Right after I declared that clearly, Kagemochi-san exhaled as if he was astounded.
[KAGEMOCHI]: “… Good gracious. I am no match for you.”
Saying that, Kagemochi-san pulled me towards himself–
And fangs pierced my neck.
My body shivered at the sweet tingle that ran through me each time Kagemochi-san swallowed my blood.
And then Kagemochi-san, who had been obstinately refusing to drink my blood until then, seemed unable to resist his instincts after drinking once–
[KAGEMOCHI]: “Haa, ngh…”
He could only devour my blood greedily while breathing harshly.
When he did, I gradually felt Kagemochi-san’s colds hands, which were wrapped around my back, warm up.
[TAKEDA SOLDIER]: “H-Hey. This guy’s injuries are healing!? What the hell is happening…!”
Having drank my blood and awakened, Kagemochi-san’s expression was slightly more composed and he faced the enemy soldiers.
However, the difference in fighting power between us and them was clear and I knew that we couldn’t be careless for even a moment.
[KAGEMOCHI]: “… Listen well, our enemy is the Takeda Army. Although I am awakened, it does not necessarily follow that I can break through this alone.”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “I will create an escape route and so you must run away first.”
[YUZUKI]: “No, I won’t run. Because I believe in you, Kagemochi-san.”
For a second, Kagemochi-san showed a smile at my answer.
[KAGEMOCHI]: “… Someone like you. I honestly don’t know what to do.”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “Well, because it has become like this, I suppose I must not lose in any chance.”
After Kagemochi-san said that, protecting me with his back, he faced the soldiers that came to attack and swept his sword sideways in a straight line to mow them down.