Chapter 6: Man Proposes, God Disposes
Organizing their preparations, they headed towards the border zone with Uesugi at last.
Their opponent was their longtime rival “Uesugi Kenshin”, one that could not be dealt with by ordinary means, and Takeda was to challenge them seriously but… what direction would the match go…!?
A few days after leaving Takeda’s castle– we were close to our destination, but we were forced to struggle with a steep mountain path.
[YUZUKI]: “Haa, haa… ah!”
[SHINGEN]: “Are you okay!”
[YUZUKI]: “Y-Yes. I just stumbled a little… no, um… it’s hard to find footing.”
I was tripping on the stones and rugged rocks that tumbled on this mountain path and bumping into branches, so it was hard to walk.
[YUZUKI]: (Haa… because I was riding a horse until we got here, my butt hurts but… this is definitely going to make my muscles sore tomorrow…)
[SHINGEN]: “My bad. I didn’t think it was going to be such a rough road…”
[YUZUKI]: “No… haa, haa. It’s not your fault, Shingen-san…”
[MASAKAGE]: “You’re breathing pretty heavily… Shingen-sama.”
[SHINGEN]: “Yeah, you’re right. Hey, everyone! We’re going to squeeze in a small break! All ranks stop!”
[YUZUKI]: “U-Um, I can still walk!”
[MASANOBU]: “No, you’re not allowed to overdo it, since the journey is still long.”
[NOBUHARU]: “Exactly as Masanobu said. The real stage is once we reach our destination. While you can, you need to save some energy.”
[MASATOYO]: “That’s right. There’s a boulder you can sit on here, so please rest your legs a while.”
[YUZUKI]: “Okay… Thank you, everyone.”
[SHINGEN]: “This is perfect. You guys, come here for a moment.”
Shingen-san and the others sat down in random places and, for some reason, started talking with serious expressions.
[SHINGEN]: “… Masatoyo, are you familiar with this area?”
[MASATOYO]: “No, not very…”
[SHINGEN]: “Then I’d like to consider this with reports from the scouts too, but in the event we sense movements by Uesugi, I’d like to slow them down even just a little.”
[SHINGEN]: “Using… this rough path.”
[SHINGEN]: “By the way, when I say using this path I don’t mean picking up rocks and throwing it like somebody, okay?”
[YUZUKI]: (H-He means that time when I just arrived in the Takeda army…)
That nostalgic and embarrassing memory of when I chased after Shingen-san, who went to exterminate yakuma, and how we ended up running away from the yakuma together was brought back.
[SHINGEN]: “What’s wrong, your face is red, you know?”
Saying that, Shingen-san peered over at me with a mischievous expression.
[YUZUKI]: “Y-You don’t have to mind me, so please feel free to continue talking.”
[SHINGEN]: “Mm? You mean you weren’t looking like you wanted to be minded?”
[YUZUKI]: “I-I’m more than fine right now.”
[SHINGEN]: “Haha, I see, I see.”
Shingen-san laughed for a while before resuming his talk with Masanobu-san and the others again.
[YUZUKI]: (… He must have tried to cheer me up because I’m completely exhausted.)
[SHINGEN]: “–So, once those guys have no choice but to get off their horses because of this rough road, we’ll ambush them with cavalry.”
[MASAKAGE]: “Oohh! That’s great!”
[MASANOBU]: “However, the place to execute that seems quite limited.”
[SHINGEN]: “Yeah. That’s why I want to call the scouts back immediately and gather information–“
[YUZUKI]: (Even though this is a strategy meeting, it’s kind of fun.)
As my exhaustion was lifted while I watched Shingen-san and the others get excited, I stretched myself all the more.
And then, while putting in several breaks, we aimed for our destination which was the place where Himemiko-sama was said to have descended.
[SHINGEN]: “Are you okay? Here, give me your hand. I’ll pull you along.”
[YUZUKI]: “Okay, thank you.”
I took Shingen-san’s hand and crossed the rocky area before Masanobu-san and the others came.
[MASANOBU]: “Shingen-sama, the scouts have convened just now, shall I send them out again?”
[SHINGEN]: “Hmm…… nah, it’s good.”
[MASAKAGE]: “Eh. Are you sure? If we don’t send scouts then won’t the risk of running into Uesugi be higher?”
[SHINGEN]: “Yeah. We’ll keep the bare minimum number of scouts. But have the rest join each unit.”
[MASANOBU]: “As you will.”
[YUZUKI]: “Shingen-san, is that also some sort of strategy?”
I asked somewhat casually and after Shingen-san showed a slight surprise he smiled broadly.
[SHINGEN]: “Yeah. It’s a plan to buy time.”
[MASAKAGE]: “… Buy time? But you’ve lowered the number of scouts, right?”
[SHINGEN]: “The one I want to stop is Uesugi’s main force led by Kenshin. It’s beyond the average person’s ability to stop them.”
[SHINGEN]: “Rather than having pointless sacrifices, it’s best to pull them back. –Now then, once there are no scouts, what do you think’ll happen?”
[MASAKAGE]: “Er… umm…”
[MASATOYO]: “If there wasn’t a single scout, when it wouldn’t be unusual to see them, then… most probably the Uesugi army would find it strange.”
[SHINGEN]: “Yeah, and then they’d think something’s up and be on the watch. And then, they’d be forced to be cautious.”
[MASAKAGE]: “Ah! As a result, the movements of Uesugi’s main force will slow and we’d be able to buy time! Awesome! That’s just like you, Shingen-sama!”
[SHINGEN]: “Haha. Our opponent is Kenshin though so I don’t know how well it’ll go.”
[YUZUKI]: “… Amazing.”
[SHINGEN]: “Hm? What, are you overpraising me too?”
[YUZUKI]: “Because it feels like you can see all of the enemy’s thoughts and movements, Shingen-san. I don’t even know where the enemy would come from…”
[SHINGEN]: “Well, that’s because I’ve fought countless of times with Kenshin.”
[SHINGEN]: “Each time you fight, things like each other’s strong points and weak points, strategies, and how they assign their men– a lot of different things come into view.”
[SHINGEN]: “That’s why I think Kenshin also knows what kind of man Takeda Shingen is, to the point of feeling fed up.”
[YUZUKI]: (They really are rivals… If they weren’t in this world of troubled times, maybe they could have been something like good friends…)
The losses of war and yakuma– in this world where human death was extremely close in many ways, it seemed cruel to me.
[YUZUKI]: (But still, Shingen-san and the others don’t hate this world and live thinking this is natural. Just that is pretty amazing…)
Regardless of my renewed surprise, Shingen-san’s face suddenly clouded over.
[SHINGEN]: “But, you know… I haven’t seen Uesugi Kenshin’s seriousness yet.”
[YUZUKI]: “Huh… really?”
[SHINGEN]: “That man, Uesugi Kenshin, is a guy who kills every single personal feeling to try and be Uesugi’s general in order to protect Uesugi.”
[SHINGEN]: “So, as long as there’s no pressing crises on Uesugi territory then he won’t come out and he doesn’t force himself to fight.”
[NOBUHARU]: “Fuhahaha! On that point, Shingen is the exact opposite.”
[SHINGEN]: “Hey, now, because I was born as a man it’s natural to take the world. For that, being somewhat reckless is–“
[YUZUKI]: “Not good. Because in your case, Shingen-san, you’re sick.”
[YUZUKI]: “Please don’t overdo it just becasue your body has been well lately.”
[SHINGEN]: “Yeah, yeah. Even I’d like go home spotless, without spitting out blood and without injuries, once in a while.”
[MASATOYO]: “Shingen-sama! We’ll be arriving at our destination soon.”
[SHINGEN]: “… Finally, huh. Masanobu, how are the preparations for the cavalry squad we just talked about?”
[MASANOBU]: “All is in order.”
[SHINGEN]: “Great. Then we’ll be intruding a little on the legendary place that Himemiko-sama was said to have descended on.”
[YUZUKI]: “This… is the place where Himemiko-sama descended?”
[MASATOYO]: “Yes. It is said that, in the past, Himemiko-sama entrusted something important to the lord of the castle here.”
[YUZUKI]: (That important something must be the sacred treasure Imari-kun talked abou– hm?)
[YUZUKI]: (Right now that was Imari-kun! It was only for a second, but he looked like he was beckoning me. It might be that he found the sacred treasure first!)
[SHINGEN]: “Now then, how should we search this… huh? Ah, hey! Don’t go alone!”
I heard Shingen-san’s voice but I couldn’t stop when I thought about how I’d lose sight of Imari-kun.
[YUZUKI]: (Erm, I’m sure he went right here…)
When I turned the corner there was a cellar with its doors wide open.
[IMARI]: “Over here!”
[IMARI]: “The other day I shamelessly asked you to get the sacred treasure, but I wanted to be helpful too so I looked around the castle.”
[YUZUKI]: “And you found it!?”
[IMARI]: “Yes! It’s at the very top of that back shelf! I can feel Himemiko-sama’s power from there.”
Imari-kun’s small finger pointed at something that was placed casually on top of the shelf, but it didn’t seem reachable just by stretching out my hand.
[YUZUKI]: “If I make a foothold with the boxes and pots around here…”
[YUZUKI]: “Still, I thought a sacred treasure would be worshipped more or something…”
[IMARI]: “Yes… actually I thought that too so I looked around for places like that at first but…”
[IMARI]: “During the long years it’s been handed over, and unused, its very existence must have been forgotten…”
[YUZUKI]: “I see. And one of those days someone might have put it on the shelf… Alright, I’ve stacked up this much so I should be able to reach it. Imari-kun, step back a bit.”
[IMARI]: “Ah, o-okay. Be careful…”
As I took care with my balance I climbed onto the footing I made.
[YUZUKI]: “Just a bit more… if I stretch… Okay, got– ah!”
My joy was only for a moment when stacked boxes I was using as footing creaked and clattered–
[YUZUKI]: (… Eh… huh? It doesn’t hurt? Someone caught me?)
Feeling the solid warmth of a person’s arms, I thought it was Shingen-san who came chasing after me.
[YUZUKI]: (Even though I told Shingen-san not to be reckless… He’s definitely going to be angry…)
I nervously opened my closed eyes–
[YUZUKI]: (…… Erm. This isn’t… Shingen-san.)
(T/N: Anyone else remembering Uesugi’s chapter where they were going up the mountain path and then Takeda cavalry came and the heroine fell off the path to where Kagemochi was? I love it when they join things up like this. Also, gotta love how Kenshin even catches heroines that aren’t his in his arms–)