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A Time Traveller's Guide To Feudal Japan Chapter 217 - The Grunts Of A Piggie

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He'd been rising later and later with each pa.s.sing day, trying to ready his body and mind for war. The look on Oda's face still haunted him. That smug visage, as he'd been forced to turn away. He had no current obligations. He left it to his subordinates to prepare what was necessary.

Imagawa was a large man, there was no question about it. He dwarfed his four-poster western-style bed, enjoying its luxury. It was one of the few things - as he put it - that the west had got right. His serving women were in constant fear of being crushed, as this walrus of a man turned over.

With his lack of true responsibilities and activities to fill his day, he turned his hand towards experiencing newer and greater pleasures, and as such, pleasuring the Daimyo had become quite the dangerous task indeed, as he resorted to more exotic, and violent methods of satisfying his l.u.s.t.

S.e.x, and food. His two great pa.s.sions. Before his father had died, he had engaged in daily studies and swordsmans.h.i.+p, but after the old man had pa.s.sed, he declared himself a master, and put such burdensome things aside.

Showered in compliments daily, he felt no insecurity about his size. Devoid of situations where he truly needed to exert himself, he was unaware of how unfit he truly was, and thus, did not care about it in the least. There was a severe poverty of honest men about him. In every aspect, he truly believed himself to be perfect, and so, this whole ordeal with Oda was that much more irritating and perplexing.

How did he manage to win? How? How? How!? It dominated his every waking thought, and he grew impatient to once more proceed on campaign. The Takeda had rejected his offer of military alliance - news that he received with a good deal of scorn. There was a loose alliance, or agreement of peace between their two clans, but once this was over, and he seized Kyoto, he planned to make the Takeda pay for their arrogance.

It mattered not, anyway. He had sent for more men from the other provinces, and soon, the full might of his colossal army would once more be at its peak, and then, he would truly be able to crush the Oda this time. 

Word had it that Oda was managing to secure a few alliances of his own, but with meagre and insignificant clans - it would not pose a threat to them, so he set such problems outside of his mind, and sat up on the side of his bed, pus.h.i.+ng the women out of the way with a meaty arm.

"I'm ready to dress!" He called out, irritation already lacing his voice. For everyone else, the day had begun hours ago, but for the head of the Imagawa clan, it began only minutes before, when he opened his eyes.

Two maids ran in, carrying a bowl of warm water each, and a cloth. Imagawa raised his arms wordlessly, and let them begin work scrubbing the entirety of his body, taking care to raise the rolls of fat where sweat was fond of gathering.

"Quickly." He said sharply. They were already going as fast as they were able, but it was not fast enough for the Lord, and they had to go faster still, at the risk of making a mistake.

Another set of women came in, a team of three, carrying the Daimyo's kimono. When the others were finished, he stood, not missing the opportunity to complain as he did so. "If this kimono is as itchy as the day's previous, then I will be having your heads." He made such threats so casually. They were routine for him. A man born into power, with nothing else of substance.

As he dressed himself, one of the more esteemed servants came in. A man of position. In charge of delivering news to the Daimyo. Of course, he did not deliver every single bit of news. Only that which he knew would please the man. Or, in extreme situations like this, news which could not avoid being shared, because he was liable to find out by himself if it was left any longer.

"The men are gathered and ready to begin the campaign toward Kyoto, my Lord." He professed, bowing deeply.

"Good." He replied rather aggressively, expecting as much, reaching for a bowl of goodies that lay nearby, bringing to his mouth a chunk of freshly roasted chicken, and tearing the flesh from the bone. The women worked hurriedly as he held his arms up, threading the kimono - which was at least the size of a bed sheet - round, folding it in the middle, and then getting the belt in position to hold it all, breathing a sigh of relief once it was done. It was certainly an ordeal trying to hold that flab back with cloth alone.

He stretched. That would provide the verdict as to whether their job was well done or not. It was often just as dependant on his mood as it was the work they'd actually done. Today he said nothing, and once more, a sigh of relief escaped their lips, before they bowed and left the room, leaving him to discuss further business with his advisor.

"What? You're still here?" He commented with distaste. When he lingered too long, it was more than likely that something irritating would be brought up, and he wavered his hand, attempting to dismiss him, as he waddled from his room, and made to go outside. There would be provided some brief entertainment, as he watched the soldiers train. It was often the case that he would make a certain pair fight to the death, for a sum of coin. It was a b.l.o.o.d.y affair, and always entertaining, no matter how many days he pa.s.sed witnessing it.

His advisor trotted after him, attempting to be as meek as possible. Everyone knew the Daimyo to be a dullard. Easily lied to, easy to manipulate and direct as pleased. But powerful he certainly was. If they did not keep on their toes, and slather him with praise, then it might just be they that ended up with their heads in baskets, rather than their political rivals.

"Have you scented today, my Lord? You smell particularly fine on this morning. There's a degree of a problem, in regards to that dog, Matsudaira."

"Matsudaira?" Imagawa whirled around, his mouth curled in distaste. From the start, he had never been fond of the man, but he was unable to take his life without adequate reason, as though supressed under the might of the Imagawa clan, the Matsudaira clan was still quite useful when left to semi-independence. Or so he had been advised.

"Indeed, my Lord. You sent him to deal with that five-hundred-man rebel force a few weeks past. Do you recall?"

"I a.s.sumed such business to be over with and concluded! Do you mean to tell me that he has not arrived back yet? Is our campaign to be delayed by yet another day? Go to their village! Tax it! Take their rice as punishment! Insubordinance will not be tolerated!"

"There is a slight problem there, my Lord…" The advisor began carefully, knowing him to be touchy in regards such as this.

"Do you mean to disobey me too!?"

"I would not dare to do so, yet, I fear that this dog Matsudaira lies dead, after his defeat at the hands of such a meagre force."

Even Imagawa was startled into silence after such news.

"…How? To be defeated by such a small force… Even for him, that's pathetic."

The advisor struggled to hold back his smile at the hypocritical nature of Imagawa's statement, but continued nevertheless. "This force holed up in Honkaido, and managed to outwit Matsudaira, or so it seems."

"Pathetic!" Imagawa repeated vehemently. "Honkaido is a ruin, how can that provide any sort of defence? What of the Matsudairan men? Do they make their way here?"

"Much of the men were killed in combat, it would appear. We are unsure as to how it happened, but indeed, a thousand men survived and are making their way here only…"

"What incompetence! You dare to call those men scouts? How can they fail to get information on such a large-scale battle? Ask the villagers of Honkaido! It's simple, even an idiot could do it." He was growing red in the face from his continued shouting, but very much did he wish to get his point across.

"In there lies the problem, my Lord. Honkaido is not the ruin we a.s.sumed it to be. It has been repaired, or rather, improved, and now is a structure rivalling even Okazaki. When out scouts went to approach the villagers, and ask for this information, they were met with closed gates, and were unable to get inside, even as they a.s.serted that they were servants of Imagawa. And the thousand men that march here, they do so under that unknown man's command - they mean to attack s.h.i.+geto!"

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