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…
Leaving the hidden cave, Shingen-san and I once again ran away from the yakuma together.
[YUZUKI]: “Shingen-san! Behind you!”
[SHINGEN]: “Haa… haa… I’m fine here! Run!”
.[YUZUKI]: “G-Got it!”
[SHINGEN]: “… Haa… haa. Hey! Can you follow!?”
[YUZUKI]: “Haa… haa. Yes!”
[YUZUKI]: (… That’s strange. Just a while ago, when he was carrying me and running, he wasn’t this out of breath.)
Shingen-san coughing out blood and having collapsed– the sight I saw in my dreams flashed in the corner of my mind no matter what.
[YUZUKI]: (And he’s fought a lot of the yakuma during the time we’ve ran to this point, his body is surely at its limits–)
[SHINGEN]: “Haa… haa… Geez, stubborn… things. If we can join up with Nobuharu-san and Masakage at least…”
[SHINGEN]: “If you want to be cut down that badly then group up and come at me–… kugh!!”
Stabbing his sword into the ground, Shingen-san barely managed to avoid collapsing, but–
[SHINGEN]: “–! *cough cough*… *cough cough*!”
[SHINGEN]: “Dammit! At this time…!!”
[YUZUKI]: “Y-You can’t, Shingen-san! Don’t overdo it!”
[SHINGEN]: “Hehe… if our surroundings weren’t full of yakuma even I’d want to lie down and rest… But if I don’t do my best here, we’ll be given an eternal sleep.”
[SHINGEN]: “Hey, listen up.”
When Shingen-san stood up, sword in hand, he showed a fearless smile with the corner of his mouth faintly smeared with blood.
[SHINGEN]: “I might not be in the position to say this but… I’ll absolutely protect you.”
Shingen-san declared that without any hesitation and his back was resolute to the point where one wouldn’t feel as if he was inflicted with an incurable disease–
But, at the same time, it seemed to bear a fleetingness that made me unable to find any words.
Shingen-san swung his sword powerfully and restrained the yakuma who were sidling closer.
[SHINGEN]: “–I’m not gonna die in a place like this. And I won’t let you die either.”
[SHINGEN]: “So, this time, believe in me and run.”
[YUZUKI]: (This is probably the place where I’m supposed to nod. But…)
A cold sweat was flowing down Shingen-san’s neck as he glared at the yakuma.
[YUZUKI]: (He must be in considerable pain just standing… and to run away alone when I know that…!)
[YUZUKI]: “Running away alone… I don’t want to do that! It’s not about believing or not believing, I don’t want to leave you behind and run away!”
[SHINGEN]: “Thanks… but that’s unreason–“
[YUZUKI]: “Please use my blood–“
[SHINGEN]: “Your blood…”
[YUZUKI]: “If you won’t drink it then I’ll stay here and fight!”
Wanting him to know I was serious, I already picked up a rock at my feet.
[YUZUKI]: “Even if I can’t swing a sword, I can support you!”
[YUZUKI]: “I know this is unreasonable and reckless. But… it’s always better than not doing anything and running!”
[???]: “Ha ha ha ha! Well said!”
[???]: “Meh, not bad for a woman.”
[YUZUKI]: (Huh…! These voices, no way…)
[SHINGEN]: “You guys!”
[NOBUHARU]: “Thank you. It was because of that grand argument that we were able to know where you two were.”
[MASAKAGE]: “Well, it was just by chance though. Looks like you were a bit of help… I’ll change my opinion of you, only a little though.”
[SHINGEN]: “Geez, you guys came at a good time… *cough cough*!”
[MASAKAGE]: “Hey, hey, a sick person should rest. We’ll finish this lickety-split.”
[NOBUHARU]: “We’re leaving Shingen to you.”
[NOBUHARU]: “Now then, you things. How bold of you all to corner the general of our army.”
[MASAKAGE]: “I’ll have you guys taste a suffering beyond hell!”
[NOBUHARU + MASAKAGE]: “HRAAAAGH!”
[SHINGEN]: “… My bad. It looks like I still have a ways to go…”
[SHINGEN]: “I thought women were to be protected. No… I was convinced about that.”
[SHINGEN]: “But, watching you, I understand that’s not necessarily the case.”
[SHINGEN]: “Geez… if I’m bound by these stereotypes, I’ll never be able to surpass Kenshin.”
[SHINGEN]: “… Hey. Can I… rely on you a bit? It doesn’t look like I can walk on my own, so lend me a shoulder.”
I stood immediately beside Shingen-san and his arm touched my shoulder.
[SHINGEN]: “Haaa~… it’s strange to still be alive. Thanks. No, seriously, I appreciate it.”
[SHINGEN]: “Haha… ’cause it was due to your loud voice that Nobuharu-san and Masakage came.”
[YUZUKI]: “T-That’s… not a compliment, right?”
[SHINGEN]: “No, it’s a compliment, it’s a compliment.”
[NOBUHARU]: “Ohh. While we were desperately fighting, there seems to have been some developments.”
[MASAKAGE]: “Shingen-sama! It wasn’t just her loud voice that was the reason we found you, you know!?”
[MASAKAGE]: “We saw a tanuki-looking thing running around with yakuma while screaming, and it was while we were exterminating them that we heard a girl’s voice–“
[YUZUKI]: (A tanuki-looking thing… It must be Imari-kun!)
[YUZUKI]: “E-Excuse me! Imari-ku– I mean, what happened to that animal!?”
[MASAKAGE]: “Huh? Our duty is killing yakuma. I was beating up yakuma while searching for Shingen-sama, so how could I go tanuki hunting.”
[YUZUKI]: (Meaning Imari-kun is safe. Phew…)
[MASAKAGE]: “More importantly, Shingen-sama, what are we gonna do? I think most of the yakuma in this area have been cleaned up though.”
[SHINGEN]: “That’s right… Honestly, my body hurts. So, at any rate, right now… I wanna eat sweets.”
[SHINGEN]: “Yeah. I’ll treat you so buy whatever you like and let’s go home.”