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…?
[YUZUKI]: (… Huh?)
When I headed towards the kitchen in order to prepare dinner, I heard the sounds of something hitting each other from nearby.
Curious, I went to look at the noise and there stood Motoharu-san and Takamoto-san with wooden swords.
[MOTOHARU]: “Brother, you’re hesitating.”
[MOTOHARU]: “And the power behind your strikes is weakening.”
[MOTOHARU]: “If you bring that into a war of attrition, you’ll be cut down and killed in no time.”
Maybe they had been training for a long time already, because Takamoto-san’s kimono was dirty and he himself had a lot of scrapes and bruises.
But, indifferent to his state, Takamoto-san—
[TAKAMOTO]: “I will do my best next time, so… Motoharu, please. Can you accompany me for one more round?”
Maybe he was respecting Takamoto-san’s will, because Motoharu-san took up a stance again.
[MOTOHARU]: “Alright, if you wish for it, I’ll train with you however many times you want.”
[MOTOHARU]: “However, brother, may I ask one thing?”
[TAKAMOTO]: “Mm? What is it?”
[MOTOHARU]: “Why are you so passionate about training?”
[TAKAMOTO]: “Because it’s clear to me that I want to be strong so as not to be embarrassing as the next Mouri general.”
[MOTOHARU]: “!… Oh.”
[TAKAMOTO]: “Haha, you don’t have to hide your reaction. You think it’s surprising, don’t you… But me too.”
[TAKAMOTO]: “Until now, I’ve always thought that Motoharu and Takakage were better suited as Mouri’s general over me.”
[TAKAMOTO]: “But I had a thought. Isn’t there something that can be done because it’s me?”
[MOTOHARU]: “… I see.”
[TAKAMOTO]: “That being said, I’m not intending to ignore the things I can’t do currently. If I am to be the next general then I have to compensate for what I am lacking in.”
[MOTOHARU]: “So, that’s how it is. And that’s why you came to me… to ask for training.”
[TAKAMOTO]: “Yes. Because I still don’t have the strength to protect everyone…”
[TAKAMOTO]: “Therefore, I want to hurry and become strong, even just a little quicker. I want to be someone who doesn’t cower when there’s a battle.”
[MOTOHARU]: “If that is what you intend, brother… I understand. I won’t take it easy on you.”
[TAKAMOTO]: “Right… I’m counting on that!”
Takamoto-san gripped his wooden sword again, as if psyching himself up.
[YUZUKI]: (Takamoto-san is working really hard… Alright, I have to do my best in what I can do too!)
Feeling enthused, like I received some of Takamoto-san’s motivation, after seeing their interaction, I started to head to the kitchen.
Along the way, when I passed Motonari-san’s room, I heard voices talking from inside.
[???]: “—That is the case, so may I entrust this to you alone?”
[???]: “I don’t have the choice of refusing from the start. After all, the only person who can do that work is me.”
[YUZUKI]: (That work…?)
[YUZUKI]: (Ack, at this rate I’ll be eavesdropping. I need to hurry and finish my own work…!)
After finishing dinner, I returned to my room with Imari-kun, and we talked about Himemiko-sama while preparing for bed.
[IMARI]: “Himemiko-sama… I wish I could see her soon…”
[YUZUKI]: “There’s still no direct clue, but… I’m sure we’ll find some new information like we did with the stone slab.”
[IMARI]: “You’re right…”
[YUZUKI]: (It’s said that the other armies are obtaining the sacred treasures, so clues are hard to find… Imari-kun must be anxious…)
[YUZUKI]: “We’ll work hard tomorrow too and search for Himemiko-sama. So, let’s sleep for tonight, okay?”
[IMARI]: “Mm, good night…”
Saying that, Imari-kun immediately dropped off into sleep. But I couldn’t really settle down and it was hard to feel sleepy.
[YUZUKI]: (… Maybe I’ll go feel some of the night air.)
However, the moment I opened the sliding screen and stepped out, I crashed into someone who was crossing the front of my room—
[???]: “Woah there.”
As I staggered and was about to fall I nearly missed being caught.
When I raised my head, surprised, Takakage-san was supporting me and peering at my face.
[YUZUKI]: “Takakage-san!? I’m sorry, and thank you…”
[TAKAKAGE]: “Hehe, good grief, you surprised me by coming out so suddenly. Be more careful. Anyway, see you.”
Saying that, Takakage-san started moving to the castle gates in an extremely good mood.
[YUZUKI]: “Huh? Isn’t your room in the other direction…?”
[TAKAKAGE]: “I’m going for a short stroll. You shouldn’t stagger around and go to sleep early.”
Takakage-san waved his hand as he said that and, in a blink, walked off.
At the same time I thought I heard the ringing of something hitting the ground.
[YUZUKI]: (Takakage-san seems to be happier than usual…?)
My gaze dropped to my feet as I thought that and then I noticed that coins had fallen onto the ground.
[YUZUKI]: (Does this possibly belong to Takakage-san…?)
[YUZUKI]: (If so, I should go and hand it back, shouldn’t I.)
Thinking that, I picked up the coins and chased after Takakage-san—