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Arc 24: The King is Busy in Many Ways
Chapter 217: The Running Horseman, and the One-eyed Warrior We run through the enemy’s camp, while I mow down the enemies standing in my way with the swings of my spear. The roar Kohaku makes blows off the soldiers in front with a shockwave, making way. We then cut across the enemy’s camp without stopping by running through them.
Afterwards, I make a U-turn and take a stance with my spear once again.
Uhaa. Look at how many of them there are. There’s still a whole lot more of the swarm remaining.
A hail of arrows comes pouring down on us, swooshing through the air. 「Shield」(Touya) I react to them by deploying a defense barrier. The incoming arrows are being stopped one after another and fall down to the ground.
Now then, shall I run through the camp once more? Kohaku was about so start running again when a young warrior riding a horse suddenly appeared from the enemy’s camp. 「Yaa Yaa, I’m a retainer of Hashiba, thou own nameth is Fukushima Masanori! I’m peerless in the whole world with the spear, and thither’s nay on who is’t surpasses me! What kind of person of sorts is this oni warrior!? i win’t hark to thy nameth, cometh now」(Masanori)
The young warrior who has made a long self-introduction falls down unsightly from his horse due to me getting rid of the friction coefficient of the saddle.
I wonder, is he a fool to do something like introducing himself in the middle of the battle? Even in my world, it was said that it hadn’t been done that much since the mongol invasions of Japan, but I don’t know about this world though.
I’ve heard words saying that I’m a coward, that I should fight them fair and square, and so on and so forth, but those things have nothing to do with me.
Silently, I plunge into enemy’s camp causing the soldiers to escape and scatter in all directions while screaming “Waaaaa!”. What’s that? How dare he call me a coward when they act like that!
Yet there are still some people coming at me despite the situation they are in. I push down the horse riding warrior while conversely dodging the incoming spear.
Being crowded had made me irritated so I used a spell. 「Oh wind, coil around, tempest whirlwind, Cyclone Storm」(Touya)
「Uwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!?」 A tornado rises in the enemy camp, and the soldiers are being blown up to the skies. As expected of a windstorm. I then swing my spear and defeat the army of Hashiba before my eyes in succession while glancing at the storm attack. 「Wait! Yaa Yaa I am one of Hashiba vassals, Katou」(Katou)
「Uhyowaaaaaaaaaaa!!?」(Katou) Katou-someone (a certain someone) vanishes high up in the sky. Like I’ve said, such things have nothing to do with me. 「What are you doing!? The enemy is just one person. Surround and skewer him all at once!」(???) The cry of the commander, who’s riding a chestnut horse, causes the foot soldiers to surround me from all directions and unleash their spears toward me at the same time.
However, Kohuku, being faster than that, jumps vertically, and we start to dance in the air. 「Oh sand, come, blinding sandstorm, Blinding Sand」(Touya)
「Guwaaaa! My eyes!」 The soldiers faint in agony as sand enters their eyes, and they get blown off in a circle with the shockwave Kohaku releases underneath her.
Kohaku immediately starts running once she lands, and, matching her, I pull out my spear and tumble down the enemies one after another. 「Oh wind, pierce, Helix Sharp Blade, Spiral Lance」(Touya) I push the spear which is clad in wind upfront, and it becomes a spear of the storm, thoroughly blowing the army of Hashiba in a straight line. 「I-it’s an O-oni! It is an Oni warrior!」
「We will be killed! Everyone will be killed!」 Disrespectful person. They only look as if they’ve died, but they just can’t move because they’ve become paralyzed.
Suddenly, a roar from the direction of the castle gate can be heard while I’m being angry. 「The army of Tokugawa is attacking! Fight them back!」
「Not good! The formation of the right-wing is collapsing! They can’t intercept the enemy!」 Oh, did Yae inform Juubei-san and the rest about me?
The army of Hashiba, which I’ve badly thrown into confusion, is already turning into a disordered mob, and most of them have lost the will to fight. As result, 「P-pull back! Withdraw! We are retreating!」
「Everyone, retreat!」 The military commanders riding the horses are running at full speed, with only the sound of hooves being heard. Not being late behind them, foot soldiers have also begun fleeing from this place. Only the paralyzed soldiers that couldn’t move remain behind.
“OOOOOOOOOooo!!” cheers rise from Tokugawa/Date allied army and victory war cries are echoing all around. It seems they will not pursue the retreating enemy. 「Guess we’ve repelled them for now, right?」(Touya)
『Seems so』(Kohaku) I jump down from Kohaku and put the spear inside [Storage]. I then look toward the castle gate and see the figures of Yae and Juutarou-san rushing here. 「To…！」(Yae)
「Shhhh！」(Touya) I gesture Yae to hush when she’s about to carelessly yell my name. I talk to the two in a low voice after they’ve approached me. 「Long time no see, Juutarou-san」(Touya)
「Touya-dono, we are indebted for your assistance.You really saved us」(Juutarou) Yae’s elder brother, Juutarou-san, bows deeply. I guess he’s still formal as always. 「In any event, this appearance…」(Juutarou)
「I more or less have a position of sorts so it will get troublesome if Brunhild becomes entangled. Therefore, I’m here as a mysterious oni warrior」(Touya)
「Haa……. Well, we don’t mind it, but what should we call you in that case?」(Juutarou)
「A name? Hmm… then, call me “Shirogane”」(Touya) It’s simple but, oh well, it’s fine I guess. Everything is black though except the mask. 「More importantly, is Ieyasu-san alright? I heard that he was injured」(Touya)
「Ah, yes. The feudal lord has been injured by an arrow to the shoulder, but it’s not life threatening」(Juutarou)
「Can you let me meet with him then? I believe I can help him with recovery magic」(Touya) Most of the people from Ishen don’t have magic attributes, just like Yae. There are even less of those who have the rare light and dark attributes.
It’s not like they don’t have any magic power since they’ve developed something like their own unique simple magic sorcery. Like artifacts or ninjutsu. Tsubaki-san’s voice hoping into a cat is this kind of skill as well. 「I’m grateful for that. He’s waiting with Father in the castle. Let’s go, To… Shirogane-dono」(Juutarou) Being led by Juutarou-san, I pass under the castle gate with Yae who got on Kohaku while attracting the attention of Tokugawa’s soldiers. =========================Scene Change==================== 「No, I am sorry. I owe To… Shirogane-dono yet another favor」(Ieyasu) I’ve cured the shoulder injury of Ieyasu-san with recovery magic, and I also cure the wounded people while I was at that.
Ieyasu-san and I face each other in the reception hall inside the castle. The chief vassals have also gathered in the surroundings. The figure of Yae’s father, Juubei-san, is among them as well. 「The rumors about how you’ve been doing things in quite a flashy manner have even reached as far as Ishen」(Ieyasu) The eyes of the small-mustached Ieyasu-san, who’s talking in low voice, are filled with light which one can call as the “being immensely curious” kind of light. He surely has the same kind of aura as the King of Belfast and the Beast King of Misumido… 「Incidentally, what kind of rumors are those?」(Touya)
「About how you’ve been capturing the princesses of various countries, annihilating the devil’s army all by yourself, destroying an entire country by manipulating giants and so on and so forth. There’s no end to them if I bring them all up」(Ieyasu) Listening to Ieyasu-san’s stories made me show a cramped smile. It’s hard to deny those rumors as the truth is subtly mixed in. Those stories have probably been handed down in a strange way, with details being omitted, and exaggerations being made.
Well, I will ignore it since it’s unrelated right now. 「Lord. Who in the world is that person…?」 Voices of doubt rise from among the chief vessels. Of course, won’t you also be vigilant if a suspiciously powerful man wearing a mask comes? 「Ouu. This one is being called Shirogane-dono. He’s a guest of Kokonoe Juubei over there. Everyone saw not too long ago that his strength is unrivaled, truly one Oni able to match thousands strong warriors. He has purposely come rushing to us after learning of our crisis」(Ieyasu) Everyone’s eyes focus on Juubei-san so he slightly nods, showing his affirmation towards. Yae can also be seen standing next to him. By the way, Kohaku has turned back to her small form and is curling on Yae’s knees. 「Aa, Ieyasu-san. Now then, how is the situation of the war going?」(Touya)
「We are at an overwhelming disadvantage. The forces of Hashiba exceed us in numbers by far. We have no choice but strike against our opponent’s weak unity if we are to gain victory」(Ieyasu)
「I did say the forces of Hashiba, but those forces are mostly soldiers who are originally from Oda, Mori, Shimazu and Chosokabe. It means that the majority of them don’t follow him due to their loyalty. Everybody only fears Hideyoshi’s power」(Ieyasu) I’ve thought that controlling with fear was a franchise that Oda Nobunaga had monopolized.
Oh well, I guess Hideyoshi doesn’t lose in cruelty either. If I remember correctly, he made his nephew Hidetsugu, who had served his purpose, commit seppuku simply because his son Hideyori had been born. Moreover, Hidetsugu’s wife, concubines and their children, approximating around 30 people had been beheaded.
However, cruelty is probably not unusual for military commanders of the warring states period. Even Tokugawa Ieyasu ordered the punishment of his vassal, Ouga Yashiro, by sawing him when he found out about his secret communications with Takeda.
He doesn’t overlap very much with Ieyasu-san in front of me, and it seems Hideyoshi is different. 「In that case, why does everyone obey Hideyoshi? Is he that strong?」(Touya)
「They say Hideyoshi uses a golden gourd with a strange jutsu. No one can go against that power, and it seems that everybody has no choice but obey him. There’s also a rumor that even the assassination of Oda Nobunaga-dono has happened due to Mitsuhide Akechi being controlled by that power」(Ieyasu) A golden gourd…? Perhaps, it might be an artifact. Don’t tell me it is similar to the [Jewel of Immorality] wherein something had fallen from [Warehouse] again?!
I take out my smartphone in panic, and open the missing items list of [Warehouse]… No, there’s no article corresponding to that gourd. If that’s the case, maybe it’s the work of another person the same as during the dragon king incident. 「Then does this mean that the other side will just collapse if we somehow manage to do something to Hideyoshi’s golden gourd?」(Touya)
「Probably. Although I’ve said that, Hideyoshi doesn’t even take a single step outside of his castle. Even I, being the same feudal lord as him, didn’t see his appearance. Though it’s just a rumor, it’s being said that he doesn’t feel like appearing in front of people because his face looks like that of a monkey」(Ieyasu) Monkey face, you say? Will he become a bald mouse if he loses his hair?
However, a shut-in feudal lord? He’s a person with unknown lineage in the first place and it’s definitely strange for him to be promoted to a feudal lord all of sudden.
A man with monkey face has happened to pick up a golden gourd by chance and has gotten inside Oda using that power. Eventually, he has manipulated the emperor as well. He has waived his hand and has then been raised into a feudal lord, right…?
However, isn’t it hard to manipulate an emperor…? Ah, I see. The emperor’s power is only a front in Ishen.
He has thereupon crushed Oda that became a hindrance after serving his purpose and has taken over his clan. I don’t think the picture is that necessarily disconnected, but I do wonder how much it’s disconnected. 「And, where’s Hideyoshi?」(Touya)
「Inside the golden Osaka Castle he has built」(Ieyasu) Is it made from gold? It looks like what Hideyoshi would do, but it’s too flashy.
I project an aerial map from the smartphone and start searching. The surrounding chief vassals raise voices filled with surprise but I ignore them.
“Chi~”, Barriers have been carefully spread out on this castle. I guess it will be impossible to jump in with [Gate], right? Then in that case, shall I go in directly with the flying boat [Gungnir]? 「To…Shirogane-dono. What exactly on earth are you planning on doing?」(Ieyasu)
「I’m thinking of striking Hideyoshi directly. …Would it be bad to crash straight into the castle tower with Gungnir?… Everything will probably get blown off. It’s troublesome, but is there no other way for me to get inside the castle?」(Touya) Ieyasu-san says something as if he’s astonished towards me who’s mumbling something. 「I know it’s already late to ask, but can you do something like that?」(Ieyasu)
「I can because I have a lot of mysterious skills at my disposal. As for the strategy, I will search for Hideyoshi after getting inside the castle. All that’s left is to do something about the golden gourd…」(Touya)
「Can you also take me along in that strategy?」(???) Everyone’s eyes gather towards the sudden voice coming from the corridor.
The one standing over there is a boy about the same age as I am and who’s being accompanied by a tall slender follower. He has a black armor on a black hakama with a purple polka-dotted Jinbaori. What stands out the most is not his clothes being gaudy but the eyepatch over his right eye.
Could the one-eyed person that has just come be…? 「Are you the one being called Shirogane-dono? The battle earlier was truly magnificent. Although I am late, I’m the feudal lord of Date called Date Tojiro Masamune. Pleased to make your acquaintance」 As I’ve thought.