Chapter 10: Depart, Towards Hope!
In search for a clue on Himemiko-sama, they decided to investigate in the outskirts of the capital.
As she prepared for the trip with a mixture of anticipation and anxiousness, the commanders came to visit one after another…!?
[YUZUKI]: (I wonder what sort of place it is…)
When I was thinking about going close to the capital…
[YUKIMURA]: “That reminds me, you don’t know anything about the capital, huh.”
At Yukimura-kun’s words, everyone gave an explanation.
According to Imari-kun and everyone’s explanation…
In the past, Himemiko-sama was in the capital and governed Shinga.
However, after Himemiko-sama disappeared, it was then that yakuma made their sudden appearance in great amounts.
[IMARI]: “Yes… and even now no one can approach the capital…”
Imari-kun murmured that sadly.
[NOBUYUKI]: “Yes. After that, there was no one who tried approaching in the first place, but…”
[NOBUYUKI]: “The Date army purposefully went on an expedition close to that dangerous place…”
[SAIZOU]: “There’s no mistake in thinking that there must be an important something there.”
[SASUKE]: “Something, huh… I wonder what it is exactly.”
[KAMANOSUKE]: “That’s why you’re going looking, right.”
[YUKIMURA]: “Let’s set out… tomorrow though it’s sudden.”
Yukimura-kun said that and looked at me worriedly.
[YUKIMURA]: “You’re probably tired since the last expedition just ended but… will this be alright?”
I returned a smile at his words.
[YUZUKI]: “Yes, of course.”
[NOBUYUKI]: “Then it’s decided. We should rest early today in preparation for tomorrow.”
I nodded at Nobuyuki-san’s words and stood from my seat.
When I did–.
[SASUKE]: “Waaaait a minute!”
We all suddenly stopped at Sasuke-kun’s voice.
[SASUKE]: “Hey, originally, we were to watch the house to protect her, right?”
[SASUKE]: “But now that she’s going on the expedition, I can come along too, right?”
When Sasuke-kun said this, complaining…
[SAIZOU]: “That’s true. Putting aside Sasuke, if she is going then I should go together too.”
[KAMANOSUKE]: “It’s not fair to exclude just us…”
The three brought up their dissatisfaction one after another.
[YUKIMURA]: “I understand your guys’ feelings but…”
When Yukimura-kun stumbled over his words, as if troubled, Nobuyuki-san quietly continued.
[NOBUYUKI]: “Recently, we’ve been prone to being away from the territory and I believe the people are uneasy.”
[NOBUYUKI]: “Therefore, we’d like to entrust the Sanada territory to you all and have you remain here.”
[YUKIMURA]: “Yeah. I’ll be at ease if you guys are here!”
As Yukimura-kun and Nobuyuki-san gave that explanation…
[SASUKE]: “… Well, if Yukimura and Nobuyuki-sama say that then it can’t be helped.”
[SAIZOU]: “It is a shame to not go together with her, but if you wish to entrust the Sanada territory to me by all means then I have no choice.”
[KAMANOSUKE]: “… Fine.”
The three unwillingly agreed.
[SASUKE]: “D’you have some time?”
When I was preparing for the trip in my room, Sasuke-kun came to visit.
[YUZUKI]: “Sasuke-kun, what’s wrong?”
[SASUKE]: “You… you’re going close to the capital, are you gonna be OK?”
[YUZUKI]: “Yep, leave it to me. I’ll do my best to be of use!”
I tried to answer energetically but Sasuke-kun was restless as if he was worried.
[SASUKE]: “… M-Maybe I should secretly come along too.”
[YUZUKI]: “Huh, but–“
[SASUKE]: “Because I–“
Sasuke-kun’s face reddened as he spoke and his words stopped like they got stuck.
I tilted my head, looking at Sasuke-kun’s red face…
[SASUKE]: “Um… I… I worry!”
[SASUKE]: “That’s why… I want to… be beside you as much as I can, or something…”
While wondering about Sasuke-kun, who was different from usual and unconfident, I was happy about his concern.
[YUZUKI]: “… Thank you, Sasuke-kun. I’m sorry for making you worry.”
[SASUKE]: “N-No, it’s not something to be apologized for.”
Sasuke-kun blew out a large breath and scratched his head, troubled.
[SASUKE]: “Well… I am worried but Yukimura and Nobuyuki-sama are there, so…”
[SASUKE]: “Anyway, don’t push yourself too hard.”
Saying that, Sasuke-kun regained his calm and went back.
[YUZUKI]: (…? This time it’s–)
A while after Sasuke-kun went back I noticed that someone came to the front of my room again.
[SAIZOU]: “Excuse my intrusion.”
The person who entered was Saizou-kun, with an unusually serious look.
[SAIZOU]: “I thought I saw Sasuke come out of here some time ago…”
[SAIZOU]: “Did you speak with him?”
[YUZUKI]: “…? Erm, yes…”
When I was wondering where he was going with that…
[SAIZOU]: “It’s not just him who worries about you.”
Saizou-kun’s expression became even more serious and he stretched out a hand to gently stroke my cheek.
[YUZUKI]: “Eh… Saizou-kun…?”
That serious expression, which I had never seen, unconsciously caught my eyes.
And then there was the light sound of something popping near my ear–
[SAIZOU]: “… A present from me.”
Saying that, Saizou-kun presented a single beautiful flower.
[YUZUKI]: “Wow, thank you…”
The Saizou-kun who was looking at me returned to his normal expression, but…
[YUZUKI]: (Somehow, his presence was so different from usual I was shocked… a bit…)
[SAIZOU]: “Heh… if you stare at me so passionately, you’ll get burned.”
Saizou-kun said that in his usual manner at my confusion and then left he room.
[YUZUKI]: (Just now that was Saizou-kun’s own care… I think, right.)
When I thought that…
I felt that there was a noise outside.
[YUZUKI]: “Maybe… it’s my imagination?”
I gently opened the sliding screen but there was no one there–