Chapter 1: Intersecting Intentions
Nobunaga and the others marched on Mouri territory, having tied an alliance with Toyotomi and Date.
The intentions of each army, seeking clues on Himemiko, intersect complicatedly…
The letter from Date Masamune became the deciding factor and Nobunaga-san decided to march into Mouri territory.
Several days later we set out from Oda territory and joined up with the Date army and Toyotomi army first. Then it sounded like a talk happened between the generals, but…
[KATSUIE]: “… Che, that Hideyoshi bastard!”
Right beside Nobunaga-san’s horse, which I was riding with him, Katsuie-san clicked his tongue for the nth time.
[NOBUNAGA]: “Are you unable to stomach Hideyoshi that much?”
[KATSUIE]: “Yeah! That dude started marching into Mouri before the talk between generals. Also, isn’t he planning to grab the initiative of the battle!?”
As a result of the discussion, it was said the Date army would arrange their formation and follow after the Toyotomi army, which had gone ahead, and the Oda army, which was in line with that.
It seemed like Nobunaga-san had some kind of plan, but Katsuie-san appeared to be endlessly frustrated at how the Oda army was acting to coordinate with the Toyotomi army.
[RANMARU]: “Well, I am the same in not accepting this, but it is something Nobunaga-sama had decided on.”
[MITSUHIDE]: “Yes. Besides, the Toyotomi army has at least said they will send a letter in advance of their march. They intend to carry out the bare minimum of their obligations.”
[KATSUIE]: “That’s actually what pisses me off! Dammit, I’d rather fight in the vanguard of an allied army.”
[NAGAHIDE]: “Are you dumb? This is a battle where our enemy has the geographical advantage, you know? It’s completely different from the Toyotomi army, whose cards we know. Plus, our enemy is that Mouri army.”
Everyone’s expression tightened at the word Mouri army and I felt a sense of tension increase all at once.
[YUZUKI]: “Um, I was told before that the Mouri army is strong, but… are they enemies that a vampire and werewolf army can’t beat?”
[MITSUHIDE]: “Ah… I apologize, we haven’t spoken about this, have we. The Mouri army aren’t vampires or werewolves, they’re a Gekka Tribe race of ‘oni’.”
[MITSUHIDE]: “As the name suggests, they have horns that grow on their heads. They seem to have adopted a principle of peace and won’t attack unless they are invaded, but…”
[KATSUIE]: “Then why’d they come at us right in the middle of that conference?”
[NAGAHIDE]: “Like I’d know.”
[YUZUKI]: “… Are we not going to cooperate with the Toyotomi army and the Date army even after an alliance was formed?”
[MITSUHIDE]: “Well, in the sense of cooperation, the soldiers who were supposed to remain behind and protect the castle have already been dispatched as reinforcements…”
[YUZUKI]: “Huh… really?”
It was a little unexpected that the soldiers who were to protect the castle had been dispatched for Hideyoshi-san and the others and so I instinctively looked up at Nobunaga-san.
[NOBUNAGA]: “He demanded for them to be handed over, so I deigned to lend them. However, if Date Masamune had not sent his letter then the result may have been different.”
[YUZUKI]: “His letter… you mean that strange letter which was pure white with nothing written on it.”
[NOBUNAGA]: “Aa. I can almost imagine what means Masamune will use to restrain Uesugi and Takeda, but… how will things turn out with Hideyoshi acting and Masamune acting? It will be something to see.”
[YUZUKI]: “Even though we’re cooperating, we’re not going to fight together with the Toyotomi army and the Date army?”
[NOBUNAGA]: “I will consider it if that is the optimal plan. However, our true objective is not to attack Mouri. This is likely for the Toyotomi army as well.”
[MITSUHIDE]: “Yes. If the goal was to defeat Mouri then, as Nagahide said, they would not risk the danger of taking the vanguard.”
[NAGAHIDE]: “But instead they marched into Mouri territory first, not caring if they were criticized for getting a head start. Their goal is likely…”
[MITSUHIDE]: “The same as us. To obtain a clue to Himemiko…”
[YUZUKI]: “Huh? Hideyoshi-san and the others also know there might be a clue to Himemiko-sama in Mouri lands?”
[MITSUHIDE]: “Most likely… The possibility is high that the Date army also knows something.”
[NOBUNAGA]: “Mitsuhide, Nagahide. Have the spies be vigilant and not remove their eyes from the actions of the Toyotomi army and Date army.”
[THE TWO]: “Yes, my lord!”
[YUZUKI]: (I was a bit relieved when I knew that Nobunaga-san and Hideyoshi-san formed an alliance and that the Date army was our ally, but…)
I couldn’t help but feel the ominous movement of clouds in the storm of this alliance that was in name only.