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…
After Katsuie-san left it was just me and Ranmaru-kun who remained.
[YUZUKI]: “… Ranmaru-kun. About Katsuie-san, do you still…”
[RANMARU]: “No… But I need to keep a watchful eye on Katsuie-san’s actions while Toshiie is on his mind.”
[RANMARU]: “Katsuie-san is simple, you see, and he might carelessly let information slip. Well, Toshiie doesn’t lose out on that either.”
[YUZUKI]: (I wonder if this is Ranmaru-kun worrying about Katsuie-san in his own way. Plus, he doesn’t really want to hate Toshiie-san and the others, does he…)
Suddenly, the time I met Toshiie-san in the castle town of Oda territory and the time at the alliance banquet crossed my mind.
[YUZUKI]: “… Hey, Ranmaru-kun, I don’t think Toshiie-san is that bad, you know?”
Even if he couldn’t forgive their betrayal, he didn’t have to hate someone he didn’t want to hate— that was what I tried to tell him.
However, Ranmaru-kun clenched his hands into fists and ground his teeth.
[RANMARU]: “… What are you saying? Toshiie-san and the others betrayed Nobunaga-sama! Moreover, they targeted Nobunaga-sama’s life!”
[RANMARU]: “Do you know just how I felt when Nobunaga-sama was shot on the way to the talks!? And yet… kgh!”
[RANMARU]: “Ah—I-I apologize. You’re just concerned about me…”
[YUZUKI]: “No, I’m the one who should apologize… I’m sorry. I’m meddling, aren’t I…”
[RANMARU]: “No, not at all! Right now, I was being one-sided…”
[RANMARU]: “… I am going to cool my head. Can you return alone to Nobunaga-sama?”
[YUZUKI]: “Yes, it’s right there so I’ll be okay. Don’t worry.”
[RANMARU]: “Alright… Thank you.”
[YUZUKI]: (Before, Katsuie-san said that it was because Ranmaru-kun thought of Toshiie-san and the others as comrades that their betrayal hurt…)
[YUZUKI]: “It’s difficult…”
It was sad how the heart could become so estranged when people disagreed with others who were important to them.
[YUZUKI]: (If there was no war or conflicts…)
[HIMEMIKO]: “—I wish for you to make Shinga a peaceful world without conflicts once more.”
[HIMEMIKO]: “—in order to return peace to Shinga, the power of your blood is absolutely necessary.”
[YUZUKI]: (The power of my blood… It’s true that Nobunaga-san and the others become strong when they drink my blood, but… do I have the power to bring peace to Shinga?)
I was looking for answers but there was no glow ever since then. Even when I tried bringing out the cell phone, it kept completely silent.
[YUZUKI]: (Is it saying I have to think about this myself?)
[NOBUNAGA]: “—Despite how a war is to begin soon, you are wandering around alone… Do you lack caution?”
I startled and turned around to see that Nobunaga-sama had come up right beside me. And then his eyes dropped to the cell phone in my hand.
[NOBUNAGA]: “That is?”
[YUZUKI]: “A cell… erm, a tool from the world I was in.”
[YUZUKI]: (Ah…! I haven’t told Nobunaga-san and the others what I found or the words from Himemiko-sama! I wonder if they’ll be angry and ask why I didn’t tell them…)
[NOBUNAGA]: “Can it be used?”
[YUZUKI]: “Um… no, it doesn’t look usable. I don’t think it’s broken but there’s no response.”
[NOBUNAGA]: “… I see.”
[YUZUKI]: (Huh? I thought he’d ask more…)
Maybe he had no interest, knowing it couldn’t be used, because Nobunaga-san didn’t ask anything more about the cell phone.
Instead, Nobunaga-san’s eyes focused on me again—
[YUZUKI]: “U-um… Nobunaga-san?”
My heartbeat gradually quickened at being watched steadily like that.
[NOBUNAGA]: “… I found you in a forest much like this, didn’t I. In the beginning, when you were placed at the castle, you were awfully frightened and you wouldn’t come close even when I called you.”
[YUZUKI]: “A-anyone would be scared and terrified if they were told they’d be killed if they ran…”
[YUZUKI]: “But now… um, everyone is nice to me and I’m used to life in Shinga…”
Unable to endure being stared at I quietly let my gaze escape to the side. However—
[NOBUNAGA]: “Who said you could look away?”
Nobunaga-san closed the distance all of a sudden and lifted up my chin with a hand.
[NOBUNAGA]: “You’re not that scared now, are you? Do not avert your eyes then.”
Nobunaga-san whispered quietly at a distance where we could kiss.
[NOBUNAGA]: “… Do you long for your original world?”