Chapter 3: The Withered Tree Flowers
An abrupt appearance of a commander of the Mouri army. Because of that one man, Kikkawa Motoharu, Kagekatsu sustained a grievous wound. The wound was deep and even with the power of her blood it couldn’t be healed. She wished strongly to save Kagekatsu and in that moment…
Joining up with Takeda’s Kousaka Masanobu and Sanada’s Yuri Kamanosuke, we proceeded into Mouri’s lands, but discovered trees blocking the road.
[KANETSUGU]: “Why are there fallen trees piled up here?”
[MASANOBU]: “It looks like someone moved them… We can’t go on until we move them.”
[MASANOBU]: “I’ll grab this end, so you grab the other.”
.[KANETSUGU]: “Aa… Hey, what are you doing?”
[KAMANOSUKE]: “Um… moving a tree.”
[KANETSUGU]: “There’s no way you can move one alone. It’s more efficient to move them with the three of us. Help out over here.”
[KAMANOSUKE]: “… Okay.”
[YUZUKI]: (Could Kamanosuke-san have moved one alone…?)
For some reason, when I looked at Kamanosuke-san curiously, I thought that but I didn’t know the truth.”
[KAMANOSUKE]: “… Done.”
[KANETSUGU]: “Thanks for the help, Kagekatsu.”
[KAMANOSUKE]: “My name is Kamanosuke though…”
[KANETSUGU]: “… Sorry, got it wrong.”
He must have unconsciously said that name. Kanetsugu-san himself seemed to be confused while he apologized.
[MASANOBU]: “Come to think of it, the one who was grievously wounded in the Uesugi army was Uesugi Kagekatsu… wasn’t it?”
[KANETSUGU]: “Yeah… what about it?”
[KAMANOSUKE]: “… I wonder if he couldn’t have been protected.”
Hearing Kamanosuke-san’s mumbled words, Kanetsugu-san showed a surprising amount of emotion.
[KANETSUGU]: “I… Honestly, I should have been the one cut down. Not him—“
[KAMANOSUKE]: “No… I wasn’t saying that to you… I was talking about myself…”
I saw Kamanosuke-san’s dark expression as he murmured this and remembered again that the Sanada army and Takeda army also had seriously injured people.
[YUZUKI]: (Kamanosuke-san is also blaming himself…)
[MASANOBU]: “I believe everyone has their own feelings on this, but— right now, even if we regret things, there’s nothing we can do.”
[MASANOBU]: “Come on, we need to hurry on.”
Those words should have reached Kanetsugu-san, but he started walking alone without a reply.
[YUZUKI]: (I don’t know whether or not I should call out to him at a time like this… but I can’t let him be alone.)
[YUZUKI]: “Kanetsugu-san, please wait.”
[YUZUKI]: “I’ll come with you.”
Kanetsugu-san muttered this under his breath without looking at me when I chased after him.
[KANETSUGU]: “… Kagekatsu.”
[KANETSUGU]: “… Putting aside how Kagekatsu is Kenshin-sama’s successor, I’ve been together with him since we were small and he’s an important person to me.”
[KANETSUGU]: “And yet, when he was cut down by that man from Mouri, I couldn’t do anything…”
I unconsciously stretched out my hand to Kanetsugu-san’s hair. Then, like that, I slowly stroked him.
[YUZUKI]: “Before, when you did this to me, Kanetsugu-san, I felt really cheered up. So—“
[KANETSUGU]: “… How long are you going to pet me.”
I hurriedly pulled my hand back, thinking I angered him— but a quiet voice reached my ears.
[KANETSUGU]: “… But thanks for listening.”
Eventually, we arrived at a slightly open area.
[YUZUKI]: (It looks like this is the place the light is indicating, but—)
[KAMANOSUKE]: “… Is that a stone slab?”
[MASANOBU]: “Looks like it.”
[KANETSUGU]: “So that’s where our clue is, huh. Alright, let’s go check it out.”
The moment we tried to get close the sacred treasure’s light disappeared all of a sudden and three shapes, which we hadn’t noticed until then, entered our eyes.
[YUZUKI]: (People are in front of the stone slab…?)