Chapter 2: Hostilities
The war of allied armies began at last—
Hideyoshi and the others readied their preparations to intercept the Takeda army. However, something unexpected interrupted…?
[YUZUKI]: “Hideyoshi-san is late, isn’t he. I wonder if the war meeting is still going on…?”
[HANBEE]: “Hmmm, well the contents are what they are.”
Sanada Nobuyuki-san had broke off from the Sanada army and joined the Oda army— a war meeting regarding that was underway in the Oda camp.
Apart from Hideyoshi-san, who was participating in the meeting, Kanbee-san and Toshiie-san were on guard beside the Oda army’s main camp as bodyguards just in case.
[YUZUKI]: (… I wonder what exactly they’re talking about?)
[HIDEYOSHI]: “—Ooh. So, you’re saying you really split with Sanada Yukimura, right?”
[MASAMUNE]: “…… Heh.”
[NOBUNAGA]: “If he claims a meritorious deed in tomorrow’s battle then Nobuyuki will officially be welcomed into my army.”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Nobunaga-sama, you’re a real oddball. Do your best to take care so that you don’t get betrayed again, okay?”
[RANMARU]: “Wha! How dare you play innocent…!”
[NOBUNAGA]: “Enough. Drop your words… We’re continuing with the main subject.”
[HIDEYOSHI]: (Nobuyuki explained that he broke off because he ran out of patience with Yukimura’s naive thoughts, but…)
He couldn’t toss out the possibility that Nobuyuki was a spy sent by Takeda, Uesugi, and Sanada.
[HIDEYOSHI]: (I also wonder how serious Nobunaga is being… Either way, there’s gonna be an effect on tomorrow’s battle. Once I go back, I guess I’ll have another strategy meeting with everyone.)
[YUZUKI]: “I’m sorry, Hanbee-kun! I can’t believe I yawned…”
[HANBEE]: “Uh-uh, it’s reasonable~. There’ll be a strategy meeting after Hideyoshi-sama comes back, so you should sleep first.”
[YUZUKI]: “But… for me to be the only one to sleep when everyone’s still working…”
[HANBEE]: “The battle’s going to start come morning, so resting to prepare for that is an important job, you know?”
[YUZUKI]: (… Compared to everyone I don’t have any endurance. If I push myself here and then drag everyone down tomorrow that’ll be too horrrible of a sight…)
[YUZUKI]: “Alright. Then I’m going to sleep first for tomorrow.”
[HANBEE]: “Mm, good night~.”
[YUZUKI]: “Yes, good night.”
I left Hanbee-kun and started walking towards the sleeping area everyone prepared in advance.
[YUZUKI]: (Oh, I might be able to talk to Imari-kun who has been hiding now. I need to tell him about this situation…!)
Holding the teakettle so that no one would notice, I came to a place a little way away from the sleeping area.
[YUZUKI]: (I should be okay here, right…?)
[YUZUKI]: “Imari-kun, it’s okay to come out.”
[IMARI]: “Puwah! Finally, we can talk!”
[YUZUKI]: “Sorry, I’ve had you hide in my luggage all this time.”
[IMARI]: “Please don’t apologize for that! You aren’t at fault.”
[YUZUKI]: “Thank you. Um, Imari-kun, there’s something I want to tell you—“
[IMARI]: “Wha! Another allied force is approaching!?”
[YUZUKI]: “Yes. And we’re going to counterattack them before entering Mouri lands.”
[YUZUKI]: “So… this place might become a battlefield too. Imari-kun, you need to run far away right now so that you don’t get involved.”
[IMARI]: “Whaa!? I can’t do something like leaving you here and running away alone!”
[YUZUKI]: “I’ll be okay. I’m together with Hideyoshi-san and the others after all.”
[IMARI]: “But… but…”
I gently petted Imari-kun who seemed unbearably concerned.
[YUZUKI]: “Thank you for worrying. I really appreciate your feelings, Imari-kun.”
[YUZUKI]: “What’s wrong?”
[IMARI]: “… I’ve decided. I’m going to head to Mouri territory first and collect information!”
[IMARI]: “I’m a little afraid to go alone but you’re doing your best, so I want to do my best together too.”
[YUZUKI]: “Imari-kun… Okay, but don’t push yourself too hard.”
[IMARI]: “Yes! You too, please be safe. We’ll definitely meet again!”
I firmly grabbed back the small hand that was held out. And then I watched as Imari-kun left.
[YUZUKI]: (First, we need to safely get through tomorrow. If it’s Hideyoshi-san and the others, I’m sure we’ll be okay!)
The sky was covered by the darkness of a deep night, but I told myself those words so that my heart would not become dark.