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Arc 24: The King is Busy in Many Ways
Chapter 218: The Golden Gourd, and the Awakening 「Date(伊達)… Masamune(正宗)? Then, this person is…」(Touya)
「Our vassal, Katakura(片倉) Kojuurou(弧十郎) Kagetsuna(蔭綱)」(Masamune)
「Pleased to meet you」(Kojuurou) Slit-eyed youth lowers his head. As I thought, huh? When it comes to Date(伊達) Masamune(政宗), that person must be Katakura(片倉) Kojuurou(小十郎) Kagetsuna(景綱). They are an inseparable combo after all.
Or rather, there is something more important than that. 「By saying “take you along”… Do you mean to the castle in Osaka?」(Touya)
「Indeed. That’s because I would “love” to go and see that Hideyoshi-fellow at least once. I’m also interested in that “golden gourd” of his」(Masamune) Masamune shows a daring smile. That’s quite a teasing smile of a youngster. He must be scheming something…
Seeing that scene makes Ieyasu-san speak in amazement while sighing at the same time.
「Masamune-dono. You are probably thinking of obtaining that golden gourd and using it yourself, but it’s better to drop that idea」(Ieyasu)
「Nuh?! Why do you know what’s inside my mind?!」(Masamune)
「Masamune-sama. Your thoughts have splendidly been shown on your face」(Kojuurou) Kojuurou-san gives a warning to the faltering Masamune from behind. Is it that they call “letting the cat out of the bag”? 「I will say it in advance, but I will destroy the gourd depending on the situation. It looks like a no good artifact at all」(Touya)
「Muu…. Can’t be helped then. It’s exactly as Shirogane-dono has just said. I guess I should abide by that decision」(Masamune) Masamune says that but he then starts to grin broadly. He’s a guy that shows everything on his face. 「… You are thinking of swiping it just before he destroys it or something similar, am I right?」(Ieyasu)
「Nuh?! Why do you know what’s inside my mind?!」(Masamune)
「That’s why I’ve said it, Masamune-sama. Your thoughts are splendidly showing on your face」(Kojuurou) This master and servant are doing the same exchange as earlier. I don’t think they are a bad people though. If I’m not mistaken, it’s said that the Date Masamune of my former world liked to strategize as well. Although the point of those strategies being splendidly exposed is totally different. 「However Ieyasu-san, is it really fine to take the feudal lord of Date right into the middle of the enemy camp?」(Touya)
「You see, him wanting to go with you is now a problem of the Date household and it no longer has anything to do with us」(Ieyasu) It seems Ieyasu-san doesn’t plan to interfere that much when it comes to him even if they’re allies, but I wonder whether their alliance with Date won’t be completely annulled should Masamune die by some chance. 「With that said, I also want to go to Osaka castle. I’m not that shameless of a person as to get cocky and entrust the battle entirely to our guests」(Ieyasu) Muu. Certainly, I cannot just settle all of this by myself. 「Then, can I ask you to encircle the Osaka castle and draw the attention of the soldiers away from me? I will do something about the gourd in that gap, and then leave the rest to Ieyasu-san and you guys. My plan is something like this」(Touya)
「I don’t mind, but… there’s a considerable distance from Osaka castle to this place and… Aah, To… Shirogane-dono, I’ve heard that you can use transfer magic」(Ieyasu) Leaving this castle empty will be bad so we’ve decided to make a campaign of about 30,000 soldiers combined from both the forces of Tokugawa and Date. It will be a raid, so this amount is more than enough. 「However, will this civil war calm down if we manage to deal with Hideyoshi in one way or another?」(Touya)
「Originally, the current situation has ended up this way due to Hashiba taking over the strife that Oda has started. I think the fighting will end if we deal with Hashiba somehow…」(Ieyasu)
「However, the emperor doesn’t have the power to govern this country. Now then, on whose hands will the paper balloon of supremacy fall?」(Masamune) Masamune folds his arms and says that. Oi, your face is becoming evil. It’s a face saying that he’s certainly scheming something. You won’t be able to cross over a sly old tanuki like Ieyasu-san with this.
Now then, if I crush Hashiba who has absorbed Oda, Ieyasu-san will be the most powerful feudal lord if he moves properly.
Hm? Huh? Then does that mean that the battle which is about to start is the battle of Sekigahara? However, does this make it the Osaka summer campaign due to Osaka castle being the location? No, that happened after Hideyoshi died, and it’s winter now. It will be spring soon though.
Oh well, it’s no use thinking about it. In any case, it will also be troublesome when Hideyoshi invades Yuuron after he unifies this country. -_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-Scene Change-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_- 「Is that Osaka castle…?」(Touya) What’s with that!? Isn’t it sparking gold? The walls, the roof tiles, the stone walls, all of them shine with a golden color. Doesn’t that make it a Kinkaku-ji? The shape is also different from the Osaka castle in my memories. Just how much did it cost?
The reflected sunlight flickers in my eyes as I continue watching it.
Is Hideyoshi in there? I’ve tried the map search just in case, but nothing shows up as expected. Is there no choice but to go in and look for him?
Let’s transfer everyone that’s in here for now.
The soldiers of the Tokugawa/Date allied force appear in all directions even further outside the moats and castle walls that surround the golden castle in a circle.
Before long, I could hear the sound of a trumpet shell and the echoing beat of the war drums from somewhere. The soldiers from all directions advance at the same time and immediately start the bow and arrow firefight.
The Osaka side doesn’t seem to have anything special prepared for protection against the sudden raid. 「Alright, shall we invade the castle without delay?」(Touya)
「Heey… Osaka castle has a barrier applied, and you can’t enter it with transfer magic, right？In that case, how…don’t tell me…」(Yae)
「Of course, I will access it by flying」(Touya) Yae showed frank unpleasant face to what I’ve said. Do you really hate flying that much?
Monica, who’s riding [Gungnir], is on standby in the skies, but I think it’s faster to fly into the castle directly even if we can’t go inside it right away.
(TLC: the raw says “Rosetta”, but it should be “Monica”. Probably a typo on author) 「It’s fine to wait here if you want it though…」(Toyua)
「No, I will also go. It’s my desire to share the same fate with my husband as your future wife」(Yae) My future wife, having held both hands in front of her chest, then motivates herself. I’m happy, but I wish you’d stop talking in a way that looks like we’re going to die. 「Shall we go then? Would Yae like to ride on Kohaku?」(Touya)
「Like this?」(Yae) I cast [Levitation] on Yae who is riding Kohaku and raise them.
Taking Yae and Kohaku who are floating gently, I start flying to the Osaka castle with [Fly] without stopping. Of course, I hide our figures with [Invisible] so that we also won’t be shot by arrows.
Entering the castle tower leads us to a spacious room with a wooden floor. What in the world is this? It’s sparkling gold even inside… Starting from the ceiling, the walls and even the pillars are sparkling and glittering. 「A bad taste…」(Yae)
「I agree」(Touya) It’s said that a human who is fond of gold strongly desires to rise in the world, but carrying it this far is a little too much.
In any case, it doesn’t seem Hideyoshi is here, so let’s descend the stairs and advance.
There was no one downstairs either. However, I felt a strange sign on the way through a long wooden corridor. It was faint, but it was clearly a different presence. It doesn’t seem that Yae and Kohaku have felt it, but I’ve clearly grasped it.
By carefully going towards the presence and after opening one by one the sliding screens covered in gold, we get closer to the source. 「Eh?」(Touya)
「What’s wrong?」(Yae) I was the one who said that we should examine the situation and slightly opened the sliding door to peep inside, but then I’ve closed it immediately. Why now!? When I’ve thought my eyes were wrong, I lightly rubbed them and slightly opened the sliding door once more.
There’s a person lying down and rolling side-to-side on elevation higher than ours inside a large reception hall. His quilted silk garments are dyed with flashy colors of red and purple, and he’s flashy dressed in an extra golden male hakama and body clothes, scratching his back with crunching sounds. A golden gourd with a volume of about 2-litre pet bottle is attached to his back. Don’t tell me, is that Hideyoshi!?
Yae, who peeked inside next to me and was also lost for words, mutters in silence 「…A monkey」(Yae)
「Ah, as I’ve thought, my eyes weren’t mistaken」(Touya) In some sense, I’ve felt somewhat relieved due to Yae’s words. It meant that like my eyes didn’t become strange.
No matter how I look at it, it’s a monkey relaxing in a reception hall. It doesn’t mean that it’s a [Monkey-faced human]. It’s definitely a monkey.
He’s slightly smaller than Yae and he may even look like a Japanese macaque. He also looks like an Orangutan. Large Japanese macaque doesn’t exist though. Is it perhaps a magic beast? 「What does it mean? Is that fellow a pet that Hideyoshi is keeping?」(Touya)
『Is someone over there?』(Monkey) He talked. The monkey just talked. He turns his eyes here and claps the folding fan in his hand with a slapping sound.
It can’t be helped if we’ve been found out like this. We open the sliding screen and confront the monkey. 『Huu. An Oni, a woman, and Byakko, huh? Those are unusual guests. Are you friends with those guys making noise outside?』(Monkey)
「…Don’t tell me, are you really Hideyoshi?」(Touya)
『Kakaka, in a flesh. I am Hashiba(羽柴)Chikuzen no Kami (筑善守) Hideyoshi(秀義)』 I can hear the voice, but I can also hear the creaking monkey voice at the same time. What is this sense of incongruity? It’s like watching a shitty dubbed movie about talents. 『You did well arriving till here. I praise you for that and I’ll make you my close aide as a reward』(Hideyoshi)
「I am grateful for the praise, but I’ll have to decline」(Touya)
『You guys have no way to refuse』(Hideyoshi) Hideyoshi’s eyes glow red for just an instant. At that time, I didn’t overlook the thing that was released from the gourd behind his back.
Yae and Kohaku, who are next to me, stiffen all of a sudden and fall into a state where their eyes can’t focus on anything. It’s like they are being deprived of their consciousness during the time when a hypnosis is being placed. 「…You, what did you do? No, more importantly…」(Touya)
『Nuh!? Why are you bastard still fine！？』(Hideyoshi) The monkey stands up as if he is flustered. The monkey’s eyes glitter again, and [That] once again leaks from the golden gourd. As I’ve thought, this guy is…. 『Why!? Why doesn’t it work!?』(Hideyoshi)
「You! As expected. You are not a simple monkey, are you? And your real body is that gourd… Well, show your true colors, Subordinate God」(Touya)
『You bastard！ Who are y────ou!!?』(Hideyoshi) The eyes of the monkey dye in deep red. What’s also slightly leaking from the gourd is definitely divinity. It’s an energy that only those from World of the Gods have, but I can see that it’s muddy unlike that of Kami-sama and my sisters.
If I remember correctly, the subordinate god is a god even below a lesser god, isn’t he? Although he’s an underling, a god is still a god. He can then do something as simple as human manipulation.
I was able to resist it because I have divine power. Perhaps Kohaku couldn’t resist it because she exists on my magic power. 《Ruli, can you hear me?》(Touya)
《Yes, Lord. What can I do for you?》(Ruli)
《Search for either Karen-nee-san or Moroha-nee-san at once and tell them that the subordinate god has been found. They will immediately understand what it means》
《By your will》(Ruli) My sisters have said that they would immediately know from where the divinity is used whenever it’s being used, but I dare say this guy has surely been using his divinity so that the power being emitted is below a threshold of what could be sensed. Therefore, divine power only leaks for an instant when it’s being emitted.
Come to think of it, my divinity seems to be leaking too, but has this guy not noticed it yet? Or am I now able to control it to some extent? Should I try it out?
I close my eyes, turning my consciousness inside my body.
…Ah, I can certainly feel something different than magic power inside my body. If I’m to describe it, it’s like I can clearly understand the difference in the air. Now, to bring it outside the body instead of magic power───
At the next moment, a dazzling light was born from my body, and a vortex of light wraps around me. A brilliantly dazzling glitter dances widely all over the room. 「Uh……」(Touya) I thought the vortex had calmed down, but a faint light comes forth from inside my body before I knew it. I try to look down at my hands, being surprised and all, and something smooth drifts over my shoulders. Eh? Hair?
Placing my hands on my head makes me notice that my hair has grown until my waist. What’s the hell is that… Even its color is gold. Or rather, is this platinum? Is it even something that resembles a color!? 『B-bastard!! Th-that divinity!! Are you the envoy from the world of the gods!?』(Hideyoshi) The monkey steps back as if he is frightened. The gourd rolls down from the back of the monkey, and it gradually takes the shape of a person while emitting an impure golden brilliance.
A pair hateful eyes glare towards me as a skinny old man with a thin whitebeard stands before me.