Chapter 2: Good Medicine Tastes Bitter
Everyone returned home to the castle… for a brief moment. Shingen immediately went out to exterminate monsters called “yakuma”.
When she was worried about his body…
In order to escape the yakuma, Shingen-san carried me and ran into the forest like the wind.
[SHINGEN]: “Now then… those guys are…”
[SHINGEN]: “Che… still chasing us, huh.”
.[YUZUKI]: “Um… isn’t it better if I run on my own? Then both your hands would be free, Shingen-san…”
[SHINGEN]: “Nah, it’s not a problem. I want to do this.”
[YUZUKI]: “Er… what do you mean…”
[SHINGEN]: “Woah, we need to run before they catch up… Now that it’s come to this, we should hide ourselves and let them pass by.”
Shingen-san gently placed a hand over my head while carrying me.
[SHINGEN]: “Sorry, but could you keep your head down? You might hit a branch.”
[YUZUKI]: (… This isn’t the time to feel embarrassed.)
But even though my heart was already racing from just being carried by a man, in order to keep my head down I had to cling to his neck.
[SHINGEN]: “If I remember correctly, around here… ah, there it is!”
Shingen-san, who seemed to be searching for something in the forest while running away from the yakuma, suddenly stopped and changed directions.
[YUZUKI]: “What did you find?”
[SHINGEN]: “A cave. The entrance is mostly hidden by trees so if we hide ourselves there the yakuma should pass by.”
[SHINGEN]: “Besides, in the worst case, even if they come in they’ll be limited by the width of the passage. I’ll be able to eliminate them easily one-to-one.”
[SHINGEN]: “It might be dim and creepy but… please bear with it for a short while.”
[YUZUKI]: “Yes, of course.”
[SHINGEN]: “The moss is slippery so watch your feet, okay?”
[YUZUKI]: “Okay. I’ll be fine– ow!”
[SHINGEN]: “What’s wrong!?”
[YUZUKI]: “Ah, sorry. I thought about walking with my hand on the wall but… the rocks are sharp…”
[SHINGEN]: “Oh, what. In that case… here, hold onto me.”
[SHINGEN]: “And don’t get too close to the wall. I’m worried about you getting hurt, but also your clothes will get caught on those rocks.”
[YUZUKI]: “But that’s the same for you, Shingen-san…”
[SHINGEN]: “I’m fine. We’re sturdy, unlike humans, a small injury isn’t a problem.”
I was pulled along by Shingen-san’s hand inside the dark cave and, along the way, we found a crevice that seemed to be able to hide us, and so we concealed ourselves there.
[SHINGEN]: “Come closer.”
Shingen-san wrapped an arm around my waist and lightly pulled me towards himself.
My head just so happened to touch Shingen-san’s chest.
In the completely silent cave, I could hear and feel Shingen-san’s heartbeat.
[YUZUKI]: (… He’s warm. And, somehow, there’s a nice smell.)
[SHINGEN]: “Hey, is something wrong?”
[YUZUKI]: “Huh… ah, um…”
[YUZUKI]: (I can’t say something like, oh there’s a nice smell from you, Shingen-san…)
[SHINGEN]: “… Are you possibly scared?”
Shingen-san seemed to feel that when he saw me unable to answer.
[SHINGEN]: “At times like these… ah, I’ve got something good.”
When Shingen-san said that, he took a small pouch out of his breast pocket.
[YUZUKI]: “That… smells good!”
[SHINGEN]: “Yeah, it’s a satchet. I quite like them and I make them myself whenever I have free time.”
[YUZUKI]: “Wha, Shingen-san, you make them yourself!?”
[SHINGEN]: “Hey, hey, is it that surprising? Oh well, anyway, hold onto it for a while. I’m sure it’ll distract you from feeling scared.”
[YUZUKI]: “Thank you so much.”
[YUZUKI]: (It really smells nice…)
Inside Shingen-san’s arms–
I was enveloped by this kind scent and a feeling of security that seemed to make me forget even the fact that we were being chased by yakuma.
[SHINGEN]: “… Phew. I can’t hear the yakumas’ voices or presence anymore.”
Saying that, Shingen-san loosened the arms that held me a little.
[YUZUKI]: “Looks like we got away with this well, huh… What will we do from here?”
[SHINGEN]: “Let’s wait and see a while longer. They might still be hanging around close by… Hm? What’s wrong? You’ve been staring.”
[YUZUKI]: “Ah… um, I thought it was surprising for us to have run… and you’ve said how it wasn’t like you to not fight.”
[SHINGEN]: “Aah. What I said when I was leaving the castle, huh. –That’s right. Whether I run or fight depends on the time and place and situation.”
[SHINGEN]: “I do go to battles personally but if there’s no probability of winning then I’ll negotiate for peace or look for paths aside from fighting.”
[SHINGEN]: “The only thing I’ll never allow is losing. Because I bear the lives of my comrades and my people.”
[SHINGEN]: “There’s no meaning to falling in a reckless fight. Even more so if there’s something you must protect.”
[YUZUKI]: (… He’s a person who can’t leave others who are close to him alone, huh. Even a person like me who he still barely knows…)
But that’s exactly why an apologetic feeling rose up deep within my chest.
[YUZUKI]: “… Shingen-san, um, I’m sorry. Although I was delivering medicine, I came chasing after you.”
[SHINGEN]: “Hey, hey, I thought we’re done talking about that already? You don’t have to worry about it.”
[YUZUKI]: “But… because of that I’ve gotten in your way, Shingen-san…”
[SHINGEN]: “… You really are a kind one.”
Shingen-san’s large hand gently stroked my head and combed through my hair.
[SHINGEN]: “You’ve been more than enough of a help.”
[SHINGEN]: “Thanks to your arrival, ah, how should I say this, it’s like the flowers have bloomed? The atmosphere in the army has changed a bit.”
[SHINGEN]: “Until now, it was just a group of men and the feeling of being completely devoted to war, but well now it’s softened a bit…”
[SHINGEN]: “Masakage says this and that, but there’s no doubt that this has been a good catalyst for us. So, honestly, thanks.”
[YUZUKI]: “Thank you. That you think that way makes me really happy… but…”
[YUZUKI]: “… But I can’t just let it be like that. I don’t want… to stand around doing nothing…”
[YUZUKI]: “I don’t want to only be protected, I want to be helpful to everyone…”
[YUZUKI]: “Just watching everyone fight desperately is… So, if I can’t personally be helpful then my–“
If my blood can be useful then… I tried to say that but–
[SHINGEN]: “–THAT’S NOT ALLOWED!”
As if he knew what I was about to say, Shingen-san interrupted with a sharp voice.
[SHINGEN]: “… Sorry for shouting suddenly. But… let me say this.”
[SHINGEN]: “I don’t want you to get dragged into this too much. If you get involved in this world of war, you’ll definitely have hard times.”
[YUZUKI]: “Of course, I’m saying this knowing that–“
[SHINGEN]: “No, absolutely not. You… don’t understand.”
[SHINGEN]: “Once, when I just became the general, I lost an important person…”
[YUZUKI]: “An important… person…?”
[SHINGEN]: “Yes. I don’t want to go through those feelings ever again. That’s why–… tsk!”
[SHINGEN]: “Geez… you guys are damn stubborn!”
[YUZUKI]: “You did it…!”
[SHINGEN]: “–… No, not yet. There’s a bad air to this… Looks like it’s better to get out of here.”
No sooner had he said that than Shingen-san grabbed my hand and rushed out of the cave.
(T/N: I’m a broken record always mentioning this once in every army LOL but Shingen’s voice is amazing here. It’s so soft ;w; and also !! weh all the skinship.)