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…?
Unchanging, the messengers from each unit came into the main camp of the Toyotomi army without end. In the middle of that, there was one worrying piece of information.
[YUZUKI]: “—Hideyoshi-san and Toshiie-san have withdrawn from the front line?”
[MITSUNARI]: “Yes, a messenger reported that. As planned, they should have skirmished with Shingen and his retainers, but…”
[YUZUKI]: “No way, what if either Hideyoshi-san or Toshiie-san was hurt…?”
.[MITSUNARI]: “It is dangerous to come to a conclusion on a speculation. Even if Shingen is their opponent, they wouldn’t be defeated that easily.”
[YUZUKI]: “But if they’re in a state where they need help…”
[YUZUKI]: “Oh, that’s right. If I remember correctly, Kanbee-san and Hanbee-kun would go running if something happened, right? If those two are there—“
[MITSUNARI]: “That should be the case, but it is not desirable in this war situation. According to a report that came in earlier, Sanada Nobuyuki appears to have returned to his own army.”
[MITSUNARI]: “Upon the report that ‘a traitor has appeared’, an unrest ran through our soldiers and the front line has become slightly disordered. Kanbee and Hanbee are filling in the gaps there.”
[YUZUKI]: “Then you’re saying they can’t run to Hideyoshi-san and Toshiie-san…!?”
[MITSUNARI]: “That… would be the case. Ggh… if only I could rush to them at this time…!”
Mitsunari-san’s expression twisted with frustration and he clenched his fists. Looking at him, I unconsciously opened my mouth.
[YUZUKI]: “Mitsunari-san, why don’t we go to help Hideyoshi-san and Toshiie-san?”
[MITSUNARI]: “Huh… but that’s…”
[YUZUKI]: “If I go then, if the two are hurt, I believe I can heal them. Even now—“
[MITSUNARI]: “Are you a-aware of what you’re saying? You’re talking about going to the battlefield, you know?”
[YUZUKI]: “I know.”
[MITSUNARI]: “… You will see a large amount of blood and death. To say nothing of perhaps putting your own life in danger.”
[YUZUKI]: “I understand. To be honest, I’m scared… But I can’t stay still here and continue not knowing whether Hideyoshi-san and Toshiie-san are safe or not.”
I was always protected by everyone… that was precisely why I firmed my will and begged Mitsunari-san with my eyes.
[YUZUKI]: “Please! I want to do what I can do right now!”
[MITSUNARI]: “… You haven’t lost the will to fight even under this situation, I see.”
A faint smile slipped out from Mitsunari-san and then his expression tightened.
[MITSUNARI]: “It is my duty to protect you and I should avoid bringing you into the battlefield. However…”
[MITSUNARI]: “Clarifying the whereabouts of Hideyoshi-sama and Toshiie is connected to raising the morale of our soldiers. So, even if we are taking risks, this should be prioritized.”
[MITSUNARI]: “—Let us go. We will save Hideyoshi-sama and Toshiie.”
[YUZUKI]: “Mitsunari-san! Thank you!”
[MITSUNARI]: “I am the one who should give thanks. Owing to you, I have resolved my mind.”
[MITSUNARI]: “I will protect you with my utmost strength. So, please come with me.”
After that, Mitsunari-san conveyed something to a messenger and formed a unit with small numbers.
[MITSUNARI]: “A horse would be conspicuous, so we will move on foot. Please be sure not to leave my side.”
[MITSUNARI]: “We’ve advanced smoothly up to here. It seems like Kanbee and Hanbee are doing well.”
[YUZUKI]: “What do you mean?”
[MITSUNARI]: “You see, before we left the main camp, I informed them that we were moving—“
[MITSUNARI]: “I requested that, if possible, they were to reduce the enemy soldiers coming this way. —Ah, speak of the devil.”
[HANBEE]: “Right there, right there~!”
[KANBEE]: “Both of you appear to be unharmed.”
[MITSUNARI]: “Yes, as you can see. More importantly…”
[HANBEE]: “About Hideyoshi-sama and Toshiie, right? According to messengers, they look to be safe. It’s just—“
[KANBEE]: “A worrisome matter has occurred. It seems that people, thought to be of the Mouri army, have appeared.”
[YUZUKI]: “The Mouri army!?”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “… Oh, there he is, there he is.”
[RANMARU]: “Hideyoshi! And Toshiie!?”
[TOSHIIE]: “Yo, Ranmaru!”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Looks like it’s a bit of a bad situation.”
[NOBUNAGA]: “… The Mouri army.”
As expected, Nobunaga also seemed to realize this. Hideyoshi nodded, cutting to the chase.
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Well, let’s be friends here and pull through this together. I believe Kanbee and the others should notice soon and send support over here… Huh!?”
[NOBUNAGA]: “… It appears we do not have the time to talk leisurely.”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “This presence… It can’t be—“