A Time Traveller's Guide To Feudal Japan - LightNovelsOnl.com
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"It is strange how things turn out."
He mused aloud.
She could not agree more with that statement. The twists of fate were too numerous for mortal comprehension. But it felt wrong to call what had happened fate. Fate is something that was always meant to be… But with him, it could not be called that.
"You know, I was surprised when you accepted father's proposal so quickly."
"Oh? Why's that?"
"I'm not sure… you just seemed like you were happy with what you had… I didn't realize you had ambition."
He raised an eyebrow at her words.
"Mmm, I suppose you're right. This was never my goal. It more just happened. Perhaps if I had been offered the same opportunity a few weeks ago, I might have refused."
She asked softly, turning her head to look up at him.
"It's hard to describe… but in short, it was because of a feeling."
She asked, as though dissatisfied with his response.
"Aye, a feeling. A feeling I had during the battle."
"What kind of feeling?"
She pressed him, her eyes not leaving his as she locked him into answering.
He looked away as he scratched the back of his head awkwardly, wondering whether he really should make an attempt at describing it. Would she not find such a thing repulsive?
"A… This is going to sound really stupid."
"What feeling, Tadakata?"
"Euphoria… I suppose. Everything seemed to align perfectly. Even though those spears were poised ready to take my life, I did not feel fear as I charged towards them… I felt invincible. A fire was in my blood - it was such a powerful feeling, Akiko. I thought, perhaps, that if I could live my life chasing that feeling, then maybe life would be worth living."
She listened intently, as she too turned her head to ponder, freeing herself from his arm.
Seeing her actions, he grew a deal nervous, wondering whether it was the right idea to share what he had felt like that. He knew the other men had felt it too… but he wondered whether his feeling was different.
"Tadakata, is that truly what you want?"
She said at last.
"I think so."
She turned back to look at him, offering a small smile that seemed to take a great effort to force.
"Then… I will support you."
What she said evidently opposed what she felt.
"It was silly, but I had thought once the battle was over, that we might spend more time together. But soon you will be going away again… and then you will be going away again after that."
"No, no… Listen it won't be like that. We can spend time together. More than we ever might have. Through the day too - won't that be better?"
He urgently tried to rea.s.sure her, feeling a stabbing guilt as he looked into those sad eyes.
She hit his chest with her fist as tears began to fill her eyes.
"You almost died! Do you understand how worried I was? And how it felt not being able to see you? And now you want to fight even more… What if you really do die next time?"
She yelled, her tears choking her voice and staining her cheeks.
His eyes widened, startled by her outburst, before a moment later he began to smile as comprehension set in.
'So that's what it was…'
He was not smiling with joy, but from the warm feeling that filled his chest from the young woman's kindness.
"I'm sorry, Akiko… I didn't realize."
He pulled her into his chest, gently patting her back as he tried to calm her.
"You're right… I was close. But I didn't die. Nor do I intend to. Can you trust me?"
She looked at him with her tearfilled eyes.
"Y-you really intend to continue?"
"I do. But I won't die. I won't even come close."
He said resolutely, firmly believing his own words. There was not a chance he could come close to such an overwhelming disadvantage as he did on the field of battle that day. If he could survive that, then the future was limitless.
She put her arms around his back, returning the hug, burrowing her face in his chest as she found comfort in his scent. She drew deep breaths in an attempt to try and calm herself.
In that moment, the front door slid open, and Gengyo looked upwards, meeting the gaze of a rather bewildered Togas.h.i.+. They stared at each other in silence for a moment, as Akiko continued to sniffle within the young man's embrace, unaware of the other man's presence.
"…Was your bath pleasant?"
He asked lightly.
"It was, Miursan. I feel much cleaner now… Ah, forgive me, I did not realize you would be with your wife."
He hurried across the room, pointing to the stairs as though to ask for permission. Gengyo gave a firm nod, as Akiko peaked her head up, blus.h.i.+ng firmly. She looked as though she wanted to refute his statement, but in the end, she did not, and they merely watched as he disappeared into one of the side rooms, and heaved an audible sigh of relief.
"…Do you think he misunderstood?"
Akiko asked tentatively.
She giggled at his bluntness, sniffing away the last of her tears. It was not an overly unpleasant t.i.tle, so she did not mind too much.
"Are you feeling better now?"
He asked, as her face still wore a more genuine smile.
She stood up and stretched her back, sighing with pleasure from the relieved tension.
She said firmly.
"I'll trust you, Miura Tadakata, so you better do good!"
"Good? I can do a little better than good. Perhaps great? I think I'll give being great a stab, see how that turns out."
"Aha, do try!"
She laughed once more, using the sleeve of her kimono to wipe the tears from her cheeks.
TAP TAP TAP
The sound of the first droplets of rain hitting the porch. They came lightly at first, but their intensity increased rather quickly, and quite soon there was a steady torrent of rain coming down.
He acknowledged the droplets lightly, feeling rather glad to be inside.
"There is something about the rain," he began, "that makes me so very relaxed - at least, when I am inside."
"Yup, you feel happy to be at home and amongst the warmth, and it clears the air so you can sleep well."
He agreed with her a.s.sessment, wandering in to examine what he thought to be the kitchen area. There were the flickering embers of a fire that had once been, surrounded by an encas.e.m.e.nt of stone. There was a sheet of metal that slid across the top of the fire, and could be used to heat various items.
He nodded with approval.
'It's a deal better than the more primitive open fire, but it's not as though it's perfect.'
He thought to himself as he reached within a basket full of firewood, and drew two logs to try and recapture the roaring flame that had once been.
He noticed a simple iron kettle, and carefully removed the lid to see if there was any water left inside. As it happens there was, a finger inside the liquid confirmed it to be cool, and recently filled.
Beside it there were two jars both boasting a good amount of sencha - green tea - leaves.
'Jikouji really took good care of the details.'
He thought to himself.
"Would you care for some tea, Akiko?"
He called to her, as she sat fiddling with a scroll, watching him investigate the kitchen.
"I would, thank you."
He nodded, taking the order, as he filled two cups with the hot liquid.
"How are you finding the house?"
She asked as he carried the two steaming cups toward the table.
"To be honest, I haven't really explored it. But, I mean, it's nice."
"Just nice? You're so strange, Tadakata. Surely this is much grander than the house you used to live in… yet you don't even bat an eye."
He shrugged, setting the tea out in front of her, before he sat down alongside her.
"I don't know. It just doesn't excite me, you know? As long as I can eat in it, and sleep in it, and it keeps the rain off my head, then I can't really complain."
She blew lightly on her tea, shaking her head.
"So strange. Even Rin says you're weird."
He c.o.c.ked his head at that.
"Tell me more."
"Haha, wouldn't you like to know!"
He grinned, already knowing it wouldn't have been that easy.
"Still, you getting on so well with my sister is rather surprising."
"Is it? Am I really that hard to get along with?"
She asked, pouting.
"I wouldn't say so. But Rin is pretty fierce, I thought she'd probably make you cry."
"What a rude way to speak of your sister!"
She said, mock scolding him.
"Mm, in my eyes, it's a good thing."
"What? Making me cry?"
He didn't bother to correct her, as they both knew full well which part he was referring to. She giggled lightly at his humour as she toyed with the bokken that still sat perched upon the table.
"It's weirder for me that you and my father get along so well."
He grimaced at that, wondering whether he and Nakatane really did get on. He seemed to recall a good few times where the older man had hit his head.
"Well… we seem to have a certain understanding toward each other."
Was the best he could manage.
"Really? Just an understanding? He often speaks of you when we eat together."
"Everyone seems to be speaking of me. Well, do I get to know any of these things that he spoke of?"
"Mm… No. But they're mostly good things."
He remarked, a little put off by her use of the word.
He sighed, shaking his head and taking a sip of his tea, watching the rain fall down aggressively.
A sudden light permeated throughout the room, and a few seconds later the low rumblings of thunder could be heard.
"Lightning, eh?" He commented absentmindedly, enjoying the warmth of the tea.
"Is it not a bit late, Akiko?"
He asked as they sat in silence for a while longer. Her contented smile faded at his question, and was replaced by a look of realization, as she stood up anxiously, heading toward the door.
"Ah! I'd-I'd forgotten. I need to be getting back… It must be really late. Oh, what will s.h.i.+bata think seeing me come back so late!"
But the rain was too heavy. She knew that should she step outside she would be drenched in seconds, and that she would require a bath to warm up once again. It was a futile effort. She turned around to Gengyo, her eyes begging for a solution.
He stood up, nodding at her request, setting down his tea.
"Fair maiden, since you are in need, it is time I revealed my true ident.i.ty."
She looked toward him, her eyes round.
"I AM THE G.o.d OF THUNDER!"
He shouted, flaring his arms out of wide. He paused, looking toward her. That had been her queue to laugh. But instead of disbelief, upon her face he saw understanding.
"Ahem…" He coughed lightly in his hand.
He clapped his hands together, his face a mask of intensity, as he commanded the rain to cease its torrents with authority. She whirled toward the door, fully expecting the downpour to begin to slow.
But much to her disappointment, it did not, and she turned back to Gengyo for an explanation.
"I was joking…"
He said awkwardly, scratching the back of his head.
She murmured, beginning to blush as understanding set in.
Yeah... The chapter was really late today, sorry folks. But I hope you enjoyed ^_^