Jammerg55 here, we all know what time it is… Time for a new action packed arc with a twisted version of the Waring States period! Who woulda thunk it? Lol Anyways Enjoy!
Arc 8: The Holy Country Ishen
Chapter 55 Oedo, and Takeda’s Grand March
I went back home and waited until Elize came home then prepared and departed to Ishen again.
The party consisted of Yae, the Elsie-Lindsey sisters, Yumina and Kohaku, and also Rin and Pola.
Guided by Yae, we left the forest and the sky which had slowly started to open suddenly came into full view.
We let out a voice of admiration. What appeared before us were rice fields extending from a village on a small hill. A castle had been built there as well. It looked like a castle from Himeji or Osaka. Though it seemed rather small.
「This is my hometown, Oedo~degozaru」
Oo, it’s not Edo but Oedo. At a glance it was easy to tell that it was different between this town and the one in the historical dramas.
In the first place, it was a fort town. There was a large moat in front of a tall white wall that refuses invasion. There was a sentinel that stand on the rampart, I hear that there were Bow soldiers along the walls in places. Although there were houses around the rice fields, the majority were built up inside the rampart.
Ishen is not a big country at all. There tentatively seems to be a king, but it is in name only and local lords seem to be having their own way.
There are nine feudal lords to govern the provinces (though there seem to be skirmishes) and through the management of the figure head king, the country seems to retain its form.
As for the feudal lords there were Shimatsu, Mouri, Chousokabe, Hashiba, Oda, Takeda, Tokugawa, Uesugi, Date…Hey wait, Oi.
Those names were so familiar to me I just had to retort to them.
What is this? Is Ishen in the Warring States Period? I asked Yae but she told me there had been no large scale wars for the past several decades.
Is it a coincidence? ……A coincidence?
Oedo, where Yae’s families’ home is, is in eastern Ishen, in the territory that Tokugawa family governs. He seems to be a gentle rich lord who governs the territories people.
「So, Where are the ancient ruins that you want to go to Rin?」
Even if you were to call it small, Ishen is a decent size. We can’t just go looking around randomly.
「I don’t know the place. Just the「Ruins of Niruya」」
「Do you know about them Yae?」
「Niruya…?I haven’t heard of them. Father may know about them though」
For the time being, Yae guides us to town. We cross over the wooden bridge, lowered by the solders, and enter the ramparts.
Upon entering the town, the town is absolutely like an old Japanese one. The houses were almost entirely single-story wodden houses, with tiled roofs. Doors were pasted paper sliding doors and the shops all had curtains with signs hanging at the entrance. (The characters on the signs above the doors were not Japanese though)
The people were wearing kimonos as they walked to and from, there were even casually dressed wandering samurai. Unfortunately no one was sporting a topknot but rather they all wore ponytails.
「Uwa, what is that? What are people carrying?」
Elise who was looking down the street, was flabbergasted as she watched two people come this way.
「That’s a rickshaw. People pay money to get pulled by other people. They take the place of a horse drawn carriage」
I answered, and Elsie and the rest kept staring at the rickshaw. There certainly isn’t any of that culture that they’re used to.
「…Why do people have to go out of their way to pull them? Horse drawn carriages are easier and faster……」
What Lindsey says is justified. Oh yeah why is that? The difference in culture is the only……
「As for Ishen, the roads are not as maintained as they are in Belfast. There is a lot of uneven parts where it makes it difficult to drive a wagon, there are also steep inclines and declines so it is difficult for horses to traverse ~degozaru. Also horses are considerably expensive ~degozaru」
I see, so that’s why. The land here and the land there have lots of differences don’t they.
「Touya-san, that person, he’s wearing wooden shoes?」
「Wooden shoes? Aa, the clogs」
「That tower over there, why is there a bell hanging like that?」
「That’s a fire alarm lookout tower……」
「…What a beautiful sound… Huh, what are they selling?」
「Windchimes. They bring enjoyment when the wind blows…」
「……For someone who wasn’t born in Ishen, you’re well informed, Touya-dono」
Well of course. I was quite influenced by Jiichan’s historical dramas you know.
But …what is it. The town’s people don’t seem very happy. Or rather it looks like they’re scared of something, something toward insecure……?
Yae guided us to Shrine archway across the road from the bamboo forest, it opened up into a large residence.
「Kokonoe Mana Style Fencing Dojo Mansion」was written on a splendid sign board that we saw as we passed under the gate. As we arrived at the door of the house, Yae yelled.
「Is anyone there?!」
After a short while, the beating of feet could be heard from within, a woman a little over 20 years old in a maid uniform with dark hair came out.
「Yes yes, here I am……Well, Yae-sama!」
「Ayane! It’s been a long time!」
The maid called Ayane runs up with a presently surprised smile and takes Yae’s hand.
「Welcome home, Yae-sama! Nanae-sama! Yae-sama has returned!」
Ayane calls towards the inside of the house, and more footsteps could be heard noisily headed this way, this time a woman in her late 30’s wearing a light purple kimono appeared. She looks a bit like Yae.
「Mother! I have just returned!」
「Yae…you’ve returned safely……welcome home」
She was Yae’s mother after all. After reuniting after a long time, mother and daughter embrace each other with tears in their eyes.
「Yea, who are these people?」
「Aa, these are my companions. They have taken great care of me」
「Well well, that is that is…… Thank you for caring for my daughter」
「W- well, we didn’t really do anything…we have also been helped greatly, please lift your face」
Sitting on the floor, Yae’s mother bows deeply and we respond hurriedly. She has great (parental) feelings for her daughter it seems. Nanae-san’s feelings were conveyed from that posture.
「By the way mother, where is father? Is he at the castle?」
At Yae’s words Nanae-san and Ayane-san glanced at each other, their expressions clouded. Before long Nanae-san stood, looked at Yae and slowly opened her mouth.
「Your father is not here. He went with Ieyasu-sama…to battle」
Yae let out an extremely surprised rough voice, she stares at her mother. Battle is nothing pleasant. Wasn’t this country tentatively ruled by a king?
「Just where on earth did they go!?」
「Takeda. Several days ago, there was a surprise attack at the Shrine of Katsunuma in the north, and they seem to be marching toward Kawagoe. To head them off master is going to Kawagoe fort」
To Yae’s question to Nanae-san, Ayane-san replied in her stead. Apparently an adjoining feudal lord suddenly attacked.
「Elder brother is headed there as well……? But I don’t understand. Why did Takeda suddenly begin an invasion……? I cannot think Takeda’s lord to be a fool……」
「Recently, there is a strange strategist near Takeda’s lord. Yamamoto something they say. A person with a single eye with dark skin and uses a mysterious magic……? It’s possible that that strange person has something to do with it」
While listening to Nanae-san’s story, I think for a little bit. Takeda’s strategist is Yamamoto they say, it has to be him. Yamamoto Kansuke. One of Takeda’s 24 generals. If Nanae-san’s story is correct, then he’s become some kind of strange mage. Well, it’s not certain that that is the case huh? But there are some startling similarities.
How is the battle progressing?」
Rin, who had been silent, suddenly asks. Pola who was at her feet tilted its head. Kohaku who was also close by does the same. They look so cute. Oops, to time for that now.
「It was so abrupt that they didn’t really have time to gather much war potential, and it’s only a matter of time before the fort falls, or so they say」
「Then father and elder brother are……!」
At Ayane-san’s assessment of the situation Yae’s mouth drops in horror. But rather than going pale with insecurity, in her eyes, burns the flame of determination. Yae is not the kind of girl that stands by silently while her precious family is in peril, we know that well.
「Touya-dono! If Kawagoe Fort is on a ridge not far from here, I wish to go! Please……!」
「Alright. Let’s go」
I grasp Yae’s hand and nod strongly in agreement. I look at everyone else, Elsie, Lindsey and Yumina give a small nod in agreement as well.
「I never thought we would go to battle. I understand your feelings so I’m going as well」
Rin shrugs her shoulders and gives a laugh. Her trusty companion Pola also gives off the feeling of being rearing to go, and starts shadow boxing. Was that movement「Programmed」as well?
「Yae, please imagine the ridge」
I grasp both of Yae’s hands and place my forehead lightly on hers as she shuts her eyes. Because the situation was as it is, there was strangely no embarrassment like there was before.
The scenery comes into my mind. A large Japanese cedar stands and in the distance was a castle……no a fort was seen. That’s Kawagoe fort?
I release Yae’s hands and open the「gate」in front of the house door. Yae plunges straight through, then one after the other Elsie and the others disappear on the other side.
The two left at the house stare in blank surprise at the spectacle and I call to them.
「We will save your husband and Yae’s elder brother without fail. Everyone will come back safely, please do not worry」
「Just what are you……」
To Nanae-san’s question, I am not really sure how to respond to it so I laugh in response, I also go through the「Gate」