Chapter 5: An Awe-Inspiring Resolve
Knowing every army has begun to obtain the sacred treasures, everyone could feel the presence of an unavoidable war.
Among them is the glum look of Takamoto, appointed as the next general. The real intention behind that was…?
I sighed as I swept the courtyard. What floated across my mind was the events at the forest with the stone slab.
[YUZUKI]: (Everyone didn’t seem to be that shaken though…)
I was concerned over Takamoto-san’s words about how the defenses of Mouri territory might have been breaking.
Even more, it was said that every army had begun to obtain the sacred treasures… Weren’t they gathering the sacred treasures to aim for uniting Shinga? That was Motonari-san and the rest’s guesses.
And now, wanting clues to Himemiko, those people were gradually approaching Mouri territory.
[YUZUKI]: (If that happens we might not be able to avoid a battle… But will we really be okay fighting allied armies…?)
When I turned around to the direction of the sound, there stood Takamoto-san pressing a hand against his stomach with a pained face.
[YUZUKI]: “Takamoto-san, what’s wrong? Does your stomach hurt…?”
[TAKAMOTO]: “Ah, no… I apologize for causing you concern.”
[TAKAMOTO]: “How do I say this, my feelings have just affected my body a little…— ugh.”
Unable to just watch, I hurriedly ran over to Takamoto-san when he crouched down.
[YUZUKI]: (Come to think of it, at that time, Takamoto-san was told by Motonari-san that he wanted Takamoto-san to bear the role of Mouri’s commander.)
[YUZUKI]: (In the end, we returned home to the castle without him replying…)
[YUZUKI]: “Takamoto-san… have you been troubled over this the entire time…?”
[TAKAMOTO]: “Haha… I apologize for showing you a pathetic sight.”
[TAKAMOTO]: “But, after seeing this sight, you must also be thinking it, aren’t you… ‘Will we be okay with a general like this?’ or something.”
[TAKAMOTO]: “Among us three, who were given as foster children, I’m the oldest so I became the eldest brother… But Motoharu and Takakage are much better than I am.”
[TAKAMOTO]: “Compared to them, I hesitate to hurt another person, even if they’re the enemy…”
[TAKAMOTO]: “If one hesitates in war, then they expose their comrades to danger. It can’t be a good idea to have someone like me be the general.”
[YUZUKI]: “But, back then, didn’t you challenge and defeat a huge amount of yakuma right in front of us, Takamoto-san?”
[TAKAMOTO]: “That was because Terumoto was about to be in danger.”
[TAKAMOTO]: “My body moved automatically when I thought Terumoto was going to be hurt in front of me. It would be nice if it was always like that though…”
I didn’t know what to say, but then I heard footsteps running over here from the gates.
[MOURI SOLDIER]: “Takamoto-sama!”
[TAKAMOTO]: “… Is something the matter?”
[MOURI SOLDIER]: “My lord! A villager would like to request a meeting with you, Takamoto-sama…”
As that was being said, a child ran over from the other side.
And behind, chasing the child in a panic, was a woman who looked like the mother.
[TAKAMOTO]: “Huh? You are the child from back then…”
[MOURI SOLDIER]: “Hey, I haven’t said you could come in yet.”
[MOTHER]: “I apologize sincerely…!”
[TAKAMOTO]: “No need for concern. I will hear them out.”
[YUZUKI]: “Takamoto-san, do you know them?”
[TAKAMOTO]: “Yes. It was when Motoharu and Takakage were chasing the spy…”
[TAKAMOTO]: “I found this lost child while I was arranging the guards and helped him.”
[MOTHER]: “Thank you very much for your actions that day. This is but a little gift… please accept it.”
[TAKAMOTO]: “Oh no… I simply did what ought to be done, please do not keep it in mind.”
[MOTHER]: “No, to me this child is an irreplaceable treasure.”
[MOTHER]: “The moment we were separated, my heart felt like it was torn apart…”
[MOTHER]: “The one who saved me then was you, Takamoto-sama. So, please, I ask that you accept this symbol of my gratitude.”
[TAKAMOTO]: “—Alright. Then I shall accept this gratefully.”
Takamoto-san was slightly at a loss but, seeing how earnest the mother was, he accepted the item.
[MOTHER]: “Now then, please excuse us.”
[CHILD]: “Takamoto-sama, thank youuu! See youuu!”
The child waved his hand at Takamoto-san and the mother bowed before they left.
After we saw off those two, I found myself smiling.
[YUZUKI]: “… Um, Takamoto-san, I think that the next general should be you in the end.”
[YUZUKI]: “You saved Terumoto-kun when he was about to get hurt at the risk of your life and you helped that small child…”
[YUZUKI]: “It’s something that was done because you’re kind, Takamoto-san. You might think that kindness is getting in the way, but…”
[YUZUKI]: “I believe kindness is a strength. A special strength that not everyone has.”
[YUZUKI]: “If Motonari-san said he wanted you to be the next general, Takamoto-san, then isn’t it because he is looking for that strength…?”
[YUZUKI]: “S-sorry! I’m saying pretentious things out of my own imagination.”
Coming back to myself, I apologized but Takamoto-san gave a gentle smile and calmly shook his head.
[TAKAMOTO]: “No, because of you I have some more self-confidence.”
[TAKAMOTO]: “If, as you have said, kindness is a strength then… maybe someone like me can protect everyone.”
[TAKAMOTO]: “No, I have to protect them, don’t I. As the next general.”
Saying that, the lack of self-confidence from Takamoto-san’s face faded—
And a strong will to protect Mouri to the end overflowed in those eyes.