A Time Traveller's Guide To Feudal Japan - LightNovelsOnl.com
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After sleeping on a temple floor for the length of time he did, being back in a mansion's bed was infinitely more comfortable. And what made it all the better, was the woman who slept by his side. Her naked chest pushed against his arm, and her head rested on his shoulder, still asleep.
Her warm breath tickled his chest, and her soft hair swept across his flesh. Even the way she smelled was comforting. As he glanced down at her, in the early morning light, a smile of contentment swept over his face.
This had been too long in the making. It was due to Menryo-ji that he felt the desire to push things forward. That talk with himself, and all that made him up. It seemed as though he'd finally found what was good for him.
He was a man with immense responsibility, and with grand ambitions. Every moment of his life should be laced with stress, and worry, there should not be time for anything else.
But through zen he had learned to love his art, so that the stress soon faded. He had learned how foolish a pursuit worrying was. And he had learned not to neglect what it meant to be a man. Every man was destined to have a woman at his arm. Any man of age who did not was simply deprived, and could not truly be happy. Of course, it's a good deal more complicated than that, but in essence, that was where his answer lay.
She was his wife and soon to be the mother of his child, should their efforts bear fruit. He'd fallen to thought of the future as of late. It was quite possible that soon he would become a father, and he fell to wondering what kind of child he would bring into the world. If a son, would he be like him? Or would he be more terrifying?
He thought he liked the idea of teaching a child about the world, but he wasn't completely sure. Either way, he would continue with his philosophy that had been bestowed on him at Menryo-ji, and live as much in the present as he was able.
He gently kissed her forehead, as he freed himself from her grasp. He pulled the covers back, so that none but he would behold her in her nakedness, and then he dressed himself in his new dark black kimono, with two large crossed red feathers embraided on the back.
Today was the day he had spoken of. Though the sun had yet to fully ascend into the sky, and though the soldiers had yet to get up, it was time for him to begin his duties as a general.
He pulled back the door, and b.u.mped into Jikouji as he was walking down the mansion's corridors as well. It seemed the two were of the same mind. Gengyo quietly closed the door behind him, before turning to his right-hand man.
"Have a good night?" Jikouji asked, already knowing that he had.
"The best." Gengyo responded, beginning down the corridor. "We had better get you a woman as well Jikouji, before you grow too old to be able to hold her."
"I'm far too old for that already lad. The battlefield is all that's left for these withered old bones."
"Nonsense. There are widowed women all across j.a.pan who are looking for a man of your stature. You could make a sad old lady very happy."
"Only a sad old lady, eh? That alone tells me my time has pa.s.sed." He responded bleakly.
"Oh, I mean, it's possible to get you a younger woman, but with so many years between you, would she not be unable to keep up with your immense wit?"
"You're depressing me." He replied back bluntly. This kind of talk was quite obviously a sore spot for him.
"Well, consider it, Jikouji. On the battlefield, no one cares whether you're young or old. We could all die at any second. If you think of it like that, why me, and not you?"
"All I need in my life lad, is to be able to rise before the soldiers, so that I can enjoy waking them up."
"I would call you sick, but I'm rather looking forward to that too."
The two shared a devilish grin, as they began down the steps, and picked up an iron pot each. Through the rows of men they walked, in opposite directions, counting to three before they began bas.h.i.+ng the pot as loud as they could.
"RISE AND s.h.i.+NE, IT'S ALMOST NOON!"
"WAKE UP YOU LAZY LOT!"
Soldiers' eyes flickered open, but instantly closed again, as they put their hands to their ears, regretting not having gone to bed earlier. The majority had a hangover as well, after raising drinks in the name of their commander's marriage. A good couple of hours and a hearty breakfast would be enough to sort them out though, even with the battle ahead.
The noise Gengyo and Jikouji were creating was enough to begin disturbing the civilians in their houses as well, and people began to poke their heads out of the window, wondering why they were getting up so early. They might have shouted out of irritation, but they were not insensible folk, and didn't quite fancy getting blood on their new flooring.
The men awoke, and crawled toward the already roaring campfires, staring at the meal in front of them, and being unable to fathom how they were meant to eat that. The majority simply wished to vomit, and the mere smell of the food was enough to send them retching.
The two met up after their lap of the camp, and admired their handiwork with a grin. The men were in a bad state.
"There's a battle coming up, do you think they know?" Jikouji asked with a s.a.d.i.s.tic grin as he pa.s.sed by one of the tents, allowing the men to overhear his conversation.
"Whether or not they know, they will certainly soon find out. I tend to prefer not throwing up whilst I'm engaged in combat, but they might find that it helps them."
"They had better hope it had."
With a few hours, the army had their tents packed in carts, and their food supplies were all stored away as well. Akiko had arisen, and donned her armour, after going in search of her husband.
He had much the same thoughts as well, as they met each other as they went to collect their horse from the stables.
"Good morning, wife." Gengyo said with a smile, enjoying the new word upon his tongue.
"Good morning, husband." Akiko replied with a slight blush, recalling the frantic events of the previous night.
He slid his arm around her waist and kissed her forehead. He was wearing the trademark black armour of the red feather, as was she. All their crew would be. And all of them would be mounted. Instead of simply being their armour, it was now a symbol of their position.
"The battle is today. How are you feeling?" He asked.
"I'm ready. Perfect condition." She replied firmly, not daring to give him a reason to leave her behind. They needed to be strong for each other, so they would not have to worry on the battlefield, when such thoughts could prove fatal.
"You're used to the new firearm now? And you remember the techniques I taught you?"
"Tadakata. I'm fine - really." She a.s.sured him, putting her hand to his cheek.
"Aye… you're right. Let's get mounted and greet the men, then."
He helped her up to horse after they saddled it, and rode side by side down to their army of men. The governor was waiting for them - also mounted, on her chestnut mare - to see them off. The roads were packed with civilians as well, all eager to catch a glimpse of this new army in unified action, even if it was just them leaving by the gates.
As Gengyo came into view, the men stepped in as one, and slammed their fists against their sternums.
"RESPECTS TO LORD MIURA!"
"…Did you tell them to do that?" He asked Jikouji as their neared. It was certainly not something that he had taught them himself.
The old man looked back at him baffled. "No. I thought it was you."
The two could only stare at their men with confusion, wondering where this seemingly spontaneous action had come from. Their crew stood mounted in front, all donned in their black armour. Morohira had a red ribbon wrapped around his arm, to signify his position as captain. He too was beginning to win the respect of the new recruits.
"ATTENNNNNNNNNNTION!" Morohira barked on their behalf. The men withdrew their fists, and held their rifles firmly, ready to march. The captain then nodded toward Jikouji.
"Are we off then?" Jikouji asked Gengyo before he gave any orders.
"That we are."
"ABBBBBOUUUUUUT TURN! BY THE FRONT, QUICCCCCCCKKKKK MARCH!" He bellowed, hardening his vocal cords. You would not think it by his ordinary speech, but he had a great bellowing voice that was perfect for being heard of the battlefield.
The men turned on their right heel as one, before slamming their left foot down, so that they were facing the gate. They paused for a moment, before extending their right leg, and marching as one. They began to call out the time, so that they would each be in step with in each other.
"LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT."
They observed the men leave by the gate, along with the rest of the populace who were gathered. Before they left after them, there was one final person who needed to be spoken to.
"Miura Tadakata." She responded evenly, as though knowing his name gave her some sort of power.
"I know Okazaki to be in safe hands. For the good of your people, I trust that you will make the right choice in the time to come." He spoke kindly, though he was delivering a threat.
"I will do what I must." She replied, neither saying this nor that.
"I know you will. But there is one old man who would be very disappointed if, after all this, we had to return here to execute you as a traitor."
"…" There was silence for a moment, until Jikouji realized that it was him they were talking about. "What? No! I couldn't care less whether she lives or dies - I've only just met her." He responded aggressively, growing red.
The governor looked at him with a raised eyebrow, which only severed to make him more embarra.s.sed.
"Er… I mean… I would prefer not to have to… but…"
"Haha, the old man and I will carry on hoping for favourable news. Until then, governor." He wheeled his horse around, and began after his army, as his wife, and most trusted subordinates followed behind him.