Chapter 2: The Tip of the Blade
The war began at last with the dawning of the night. The commanders of each army attacked Motonari and the others one after another.
In order to fight fire with fire, Motonari and the others unsheathed their swords…
Even after everyone in the Mouri army leapt onto the battlefield, I hid together with Imari-kun and Motonari-san in the forest.
[MOTONARI]: “… It appears that Takamoto and Terumoto have returned. Now then, I should depart—“
[MOTONARI]: “I also have something I must do, you see. Have no worries, I will be entrusting you to the two of them, princess.”
[MOTONARI]: “I will return immediately, so wait here.”
Motonari-san smiled gently and, after giving orders to Takamoto-san and Terumoto-san when they came over, he stepped onto the battlefield.
[MOTONARI]: (Found them. Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi—)
Motonari walked slowly towards Nobunaga and the others.
[NOBUNAGA]: “You… Mouri Motonari.”
[MOTONARI]: “Indeed. I am Mouri Motonari, the general of the Mouri army.”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “… Ooh, to think the general himself would appear.”
[MOTONARI]: “It seems like you took care of my children several days ago. You punished them quite hard, didn’t you?”
[NOBUNAGA]: “Is that a complaint from the one who ambushed us?”
[MOTONARI]: “I merely… wish to protect my family is all.”
Even as they exchanged words, Nobunaga and Hideyoshi and the commanders who looked to be both their retainers had already pulled out their weapons.
[MOTONARI]: (… In the end it seems we must cross blades.)
[???]: “Mouri Motonari, prepare yourself!”
Motonari casually dealt with the two who came attacking. However, in the opportunity that arose from that, Nobunaga and Hideyoshi closed in from the left and right aiming for a small blind spot.
Nobunaga’s gun went for his head and Hideyoshi’s sword went for his heart, each person accurately targeting a part that would be fatal wound.
[NOBUNAGA + HIDEYOSHI]: “You’re mine!”
[MOTONARI]: “This was a little close just now. —Hmph!”
Dodging it within a hairsbreadth, Motonari flung back Nobunaga and Hideyoshi with his sword.
[MOTONARI]: (To think they would be able to cooperate to that extent without exchanging words…)
However, there was no change in Motonari’s superiority. Motonari gave a final notice to Nobunaga and Hideyoshi.
[MOTONARI]: “… Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. If you say you will retreat now I will not pursue you either.”
[MOTONARI]: “However, if you are to continue still… I will fight fire with fire.”
[NOBUNAGA]: “Hmph, do you think I, Nobunaga, will disgrace myself by withdrawing?”
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Unfortunately, you see, I hate losing. I’m not going to listen to your words on retreating because you won’t pursue us.”
[MOTONARI]: “… That is a shame. I warned you.”
[MOTONARI]: (As I thought, it wouldn’t go well. But even if I cut down their generals here then it will only strengthen the aggression of the roused vassals.)
[MOTONARI]: (In that case, perhaps aiming for them would be the best choice…)
[MOTONARI]: “—I’m sorry.”
Motonari reflected the sunlight with his blade and then in the momentary gap born from Nobunaga and the others being robbed of their vision—
[HIDEYOSHI]: “Wha… TOSHIIE!!”
[MOTONARI]: “Next is…”
[???]: “… Ah!”
Motonari, who had thrown a single strike at Toshiie, turned his blade to Ranmaru next.
[???]: “—LIKE I’M GONNA LET YOU!!”
Someone jumped in from the side as if to protect Ranmaru but, even still, Motonari swung his blade without hesitation.
[RANMARU]: “Ka… tsuie-sa… KATSUIE-SAN!!”
[MOTONARI]: “… It is sad, but I believe you cannot stand any longer with that injury.”
[MOTONARI]: “If those remaining do not wish to meet the same fate then withdraw at once from the front of Mouri territory.”
[MOTONARI]: (I knew this already, but… whichever way this matter ends, the aftertaste is terrible.)
Amid the screams of those who worried over their comrades, Motonari quietly left the battlefield.