Chapter 9: A Bolt From the Blue
The Takeda army and the Sanada army, having formed an alliance, pursued their enemies with great vigour and soon began to pressure them.
Just when things were thought to be flowing smoothly, Masanobu was injured by an enemy’s surprise attack…
[YUZUKI]: (Masanobu-san’s wound healed with my blood, but…)
The area seemed to descend into even more of a free-for-all and I could hear the sounds of intense battle from the distance.
[MASANOBU]: “… There appears to be more enemies than we thought. At this rate, it will be dangerous for Masatoyo’s rear guard…”
[YUZUKI]: “Huh? If you’re at the back, isn’t it safe?”
[MASANOBU]: “Originally, that would be the case. However, now that the war front is in a chaos, the rear guard isn’t any different from the front line.”
[MASANOBU]: “But the main role of the rear guard is search-and-destroy and vigilance. Compared to the front line, it is lacking in forces. If there’s no support, it will be overcome before long…”
.[YUZUKI]: (Masanobu-san looks pained… I’m sure he’s hesitating to go and support them because I’m here…)
[YUZUKI]: “Masanobu-san. I will hide here under these tree roots. Please go and support Masatoyo-san.”
[MASANOBU]: “… I can’t do that. I can’t leave you alone here.”
[MASANOBU]: “If it’s Masatoyo, I’m certain he’ll be alright. As long as support comes from the main force soon…”
[YUZUKI]: “By that you mean… if support doesn’t come then it’ll be a dangerous situation, right?”
[YUZUKI]: “I’m also worried about Masatoyo-san… so, please.”
For a short while we stared at each other quietly.
[MASANOBU]: “… This happened before as well, didn’t it. Us being alone together in the forest.”
[YUZUKI]: “Ah, do you mean–“
[SOLDIER]: “THERE THEY ARE! DON’T LET THE GIRL ESCAPE!”
[MASANOBU]: “They came at once, huh. Let’s hurry. No matter what happens from here, don’t let go of my hand.”
I recalled how, in the past, I ran away together alone with Masanobu-san from another territory’s soldiers.
[YUZUKI]: “At that time I was protected by you, Masanobu-san, but this time I’ll be okay alone.”
[YUZUKI]: “Because even like this I’m… a member of the Takeda army.”
[MASANOBU]: “… Haha, I truly am no match for you.”
[MASANOBU]: “We’re quite far from the battlefield, but we don’t know what could happen. I’ll return immediately, so you must not move from this spot.”
Masanobu-san smiled as softly as usual.
And then he headed towards the battlefield where Masatoyo-san was.
[YUZUKI]: (… I wonder if the battle isn’t over yet. I hope everyone’s safe though–)
At that moment I heard a voice from nearby.
[DATE SOLDIER]: “… Haa, scouting is such a boring task. There’s no way anything can be this far back.”
[YUZUKI]: (That’s a Date army soldier, huh… I need to not be found.)
[DATE SOLDIER]: “Wait, hm? What’s with this tanuki… since it’s here, I’ll make some tanuki soup!”
[YUZUKI]: (… Tanuki?)
[DATE SOLDIER]: “Grr… the hell! It’s hopping around everywhere!”
Curious, I took a small peek–
Imari-kun was being chased around by the Date soldier and running in a great panic.
[YUZUKI]: (Imari-kun! Could it be… he got caught up!?)
In that instant, a sword was swung down at Imari-kun, but…
Fortunately, the blade hit Imari-kun’s teakettle and bounced off.
[DATE SOLDIER]: “Che… my blade got chipped!”
[YUZUKI]: (The footsteps are going farther… if I’m going to save him, now’s my chance.)
I quietly approached Imari-kun and picked him up.
[IMARI]: “Wawa, please don’t cut me!”
[YUZUKI]: “Calm down, Imari-kun. Let’s hide here.”
[IMARI]: “… I-It’s you!! I thought I was going to die…!”
[YUZUKI]: “Shhh… why don’t you come here and hide with me?”
I took Imari-kun and hide us in a close by bush.
[YUZUKI]: “I’m glad it looks like the soldier from earlier didn’t notice us and left.”
[IMARI]: “Yes. Thanks to you I’m saved!”
[YUZUKI]: (Phew, maybe we can feel relieved with this…?)
… However, at that time, I heard someone’s footsteps again.
[YUZUKI]: (Huh… another Date soldier…!?)
[KAGEMOCHI]: “To think you would be found in such a place… I am quite lucky.”
[YUZUKI]: (N-No way…!)
[YUZUKI]: (If I remember correctly, that commander is the one from the time I went to pick herbs with Masakage-kun…!)
[KAGEMOCHI]: “Oh my? You are… one of Takeda’s? I heard there was a savage monkey and came to exterminate it…”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “Heh, but this is just a baby monkey.”
[MASAKAGE]: “… Who the hell is a baby monkey, you!”
[KAGEMOCHI]: “Now, please come out. It’s best you don’t do something as foolish as trying to run.”
[YUZUKI]: (W-What do I do…! If I scream really loudly right now maybe Masanobu-san will he–)
[KAGEMOCHI]: “Do not even think to try and call for your comrades… you will die.”
Together with those words, a cold shining blade was pointed towards where we were hidden.
[YUZUKI]: (I’m scared… but…)
[YUZUKI]: (… He doesn’t seem to have noticed Imari-kun yet, so…)
I mustered my courage and whispered in a quiet voice.
[YUZUKI]: “… Imari-kun, run away.”
[IMARI]: “But then you’ll…!”
[YUZUKI]: “I’ll be okay, so… please?”
I ignored Imari-kun trying to hold me back and stood up from the bush.
[KAGEMOCHI]: “It is good to be obedient. Now, please come with me. You still have a role to play.”
[YUZUKI]: (Being caught here… I’m sorry, Masanobu-san… Shingen-san…!)