Chapter 1: Alliance
Having joined in an alliance with Oda and Date, Hideyoshi and the others departed for Mouri territory, searching for clues on Himemiko.
However the alliance, which was formed because of a common interest, stands on thin ice…
The sun was setting by the time the Mouri lands was just a little way away, and so the Toyotomi army prepared to make camp.
[MITSUNARI]: “According to our soldiers’ reports, the Oda army and Date army have also prepared camp.”
[KANBEE]: “It appears both armies are following the arrangement decided in the discussions between generals.”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Got it.”
.[YUZUKI]: “Army stations were decided in the talks, huh.”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Of course, since there’s problems if they’re too close or too far.”
[HANBEE]: “Yep, yep. For example, if they’re reaaaal close then we won’t know if one day they’ll surprise us from behind! That kind of worry comes up.”
[KANBEE]: “At the opposite end, if they’re too distant then messages will take time and it will become difficult to cooperate. This will delay our response when an unexpected situation occurs in any army.”
[MITSUNARI]: “It won’t be good for us to be forestalled in helping them or abandoning them.”
[TOSHIIE]: “Huh? We’re gonna abandon the Oda army and Date army if it’s dangerous?”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Nah. We’ll save them and create a huge debt!”
[TOSHIIE]: “Ooh! That’s just like you, Hideyoshi!”
[MITSUNARI]: “However, I wonder if we will have the leisure to save other armies with the Mouri army as our opponent.”
Hearing the words “Mouri army” immediately brought to mind the things Kanbee-san told me about earlier.
[YUZUKI]: “… They’re really strong, right? If I remember correctly, they’re a Gekka Tribe race of oni…”
[MITSUNARI]: “Yes. If possible, I’d like to challenge them with the Toyotomi, Oda, and Date armies keeping a firm pace with each other. But…”
[TOSHIIE]: “Ain’t that impossible?”
[HANBEE]: “It’s impossible~.”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Ahaha, ’cause we’ve joined hands for our own benefits. Mm… It’d be pretty different if we were armies like Takeda, Uesugi, and Sanada though.”
[HANBEE]: “Those generals care for mercy and righteousness even if the other person is an enemy, don’t they.”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Ehh, are you saying I don’t have mercy or righteousness? Let’s not mention Nobunaga, but I just have different priorities.”
[YUZUKI]: “What do you mean?”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “It’s simple. For example…”
Hideyoshi-san grinned and then suddenly pulled me into him.
[YUZUKI]: “Wah! H-Hideyoshi-san!?”
I looked up at him in surprise and in an instant his face became serious—
[HIDEYOSHI]: “My utmost priority is to protect you and everyone here.”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “I’ll throw my mercy, righteousness, and pride to the winds if it’s needed in order to protect everyone. I’ll even do cowardly things or be made into a laughingstock.”
[TOSHIIE]: “Hey, hey, Hideyoshi! We’re with you so we won’t let you be called a coward or clown!”
[HANBEE]: “That’s right~. Even if our opponent is the Mouri army.”
[KANBEE]: “We will overthrow the difference in military strength with our plans.”
[MITSUNARI]: “It’s as Kanbee said. Entrust everything to us!”
[YUZUKI]: “I’ll do my best too! Please use my blood when it comes the time…!”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Thanks… But, when the fighting breaks out, you have to make sure to hide yourself since it’s dangerous.”
[YUZUKI]: “Huh… but…”
Hideyoshi-san released me and then patted me on the head as if to reassure me.
[HIDEYOSHI]: “We’re going to Mouri lands to find Himemiko’s clues. It’s enough for you to do your best there.”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Just by having you here, when you have blood similar to Himemiko, is an advantage to finding clues. I’m counting on you at that time!”
[TOSHIIE]: “…… Huh? Mitsunari, those soldiers over there are calling for you.”
[MITSUNARI]: “Ah… My apologies, but I will be away for a short while.”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “See ya.”
[YUZUKI]: (The Mouri army is strong and the alliance feels somewhat strained, but…)
Maybe it was thanks to Hideyoshi-san’s words and everyone being here, but strangely enough I felt like everything would be alright.
[YUZUKI]: (Come to think of it, I wonder if Imari-kun is okay. After we decided to go to Mouri lands together, I’ve had him hide in my luggage but…)
[MITSUNARI]: “It’s an emergency! An envoy has come from the Oda army.”
Hideyoshi-san and the others’ faces became tense when they saw Mitsunari-san run over.
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Not a messenger, but an envoy?”
[MITSUNARI]: “Yes. They say there is something urgent they wish to convey to you.”
[KANBEE]: “Hideyoshi-sama, this is…”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “… It’s fine, let’s hear them out. Hanbee, hide with her just in case.”
[HANBEE]: “Righty. C’mon, let’s go.”
[YUZUKI]: “Ah… okay.”
[YUZUKI]: (Is it possibly bad news…?)
I felt my chest tighten at the sense of tension that engulfed the camp in an instant.