A Time Traveller's Guide To Feudal Japan Chapter 96 - Strangeness

A Time Traveller's Guide To Feudal Japan -

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After their talk, he left Akiko to relax, so that she might process what had been said, and process her father's death a little more emotionally.

He had been heartened to see her smile as they parted ways. And he too, left a little uplifted. He had wondered where the two of them stood for a while, but now that she felt the same way he did, he was left a little at ease.

But he was unable to go to sleep, as the others had. They had been up for longer than 24 hours, but his mind still would not allow him to rest. Within his veins still burned that anger that occupied his thoughts whenever he tried to relax. He did not wish to burden Akiko with it, but he feared she may have got a taste, despite how well he attempted to conceal it.

An old man seemed to have a similar problem, as they met one another in the garden.

"No rest for the wicked, eh?"

Such an expression seemed to have been made for the likes of them. They were fully willing to walk the path of wickedness if it meant exacting revenge for their master.

"Indeed. And the others?"

"Asleep, lad. How is Akiko?"


"I had not realized you two knew each other. At least… not quite so well."

He smiled mischievously at the end part, causing Gengyo to shoot him a questioning glance.

"Relax. I'm not going to judge you. If anything, it seems like the perfect resolution to any problems to do with the splitting of power. When she becomes your wife, her position would be most stable."

Gengyo almost choked.

"Wife? Are you not rus.h.i.+ng things ahead a little too much?"

"I wouldn't know, 'Tadakata'. Perhaps you might consider marriage after your child is born?"

He could not have cringed more heavily from the teasing way in which Jikouji uttered his name.

"…If I allow you any room to joke, there will be no end to this - but for the record, she still remains pure."

"Hoho, I'm sure she does."

He continued on with his jester-like teasing.

He shook his head at the old man's playfulness. Exhausted as he was, it was difficult to keep up.

"Since we both can't sleep, how about we get something done?"

Jikouji resumed a more serious tone, knowing that would pique the young man's interest.

"What do you have in mind?"

"Follow me."

He lead the way back into the main building, pottering through the lower floor, as they made their way through the kitchen and into a storage area.

There were numerous barrels and sacks of grain, and the area was dimly lit from lack of sunlight.

"Are we tallying food?"

Gengyo questioned, a little put off by the prospect. It was something that needed to be done, but it didn't exactly fill him with excitement.


He walked over to one of the panels on the wall, and put both hands against it. With a firm push, he slid it downwards. The panel responded immediately, sliding downwards as it disappeared into the floor, revealing a set of stairs that lead deeper underground.


The young man said approvingly. He had seen his fair share of secret doors from movies and the like, but had not seen one quite like this.

"Haha, I thought you might like it."

He led the way down the stone steps, closing the door up behind them. The area below was lit by candlelight, else it would have been impossible to see anything at all.

A few steps down, and they were in a small, musty-smelling room. The wood was rotting from the damp, but that was the last thing that drew the eye, for in the centre of the room sat a large, leather-bound chest. That was all there was in the entire room, and the contents of which seemed as obvious.

"Quite lacking as a treasure vault."

He commented as he made his way over to the chest.

"It was a little better, once, but as time went by it grew more and more empty. Now all that is left is this chest of coin."

He flung the lid back, looking a little disappointed as a layer of coin only just coated the bottom.

"300 gold?"

"Aye, around there lad."

"Mmm… Is this purely disposable money? Or is it being used to finance something else?"

"It's purely for us to have fun with."

"…Hm. 300 gold is a good amount."

"Far from enough to raise an army to take out Imagawa."

"True. But it'll be enough to create something respectable."

"You know, this excites me. We have the opportunity to build something new, entirely from the ground up. We can let our imaginations run wild."

"Aye. That is the only silver lining in all this. You know what our basis will be, do not you, old man?"

"Matchlocks. Those things are b.l.o.o.d.ying terrifying."

Jikouji guessed his thoughts straightaway.

"Exactly, matchlocks…"

He drifted off as a thought took hold.

"Will you train them as you did with the Special Forces unit? That was a powerful force."

"Mmm, I'm not sure. I will have more forces at my disposal, so I can afford to allow men to specialise."

"Aye, I suppose… but it might be worth keeping one unit to that standard. Their adaptability will be a powerful weapon on the battlefield."

His words were sensible and Gengyo took them to heart, as he ran the coin through his fingers, and contemplated their next move.

"300 gold, eh? We will need far more than this in future. It appears we have a good amount to think over. Thanks for bringing me here, Jikouji."

"No worries, it's my job as your advisor after all."


"Well, if I don't do it, who will?"

"Haha, that's true..."

He chuckled at the old man's straightforward answer. It seemed with his age also came a great maturity, as he appeared to be handling Nakatane's death better than the rest.

They left that barren treasure vault, and once more returned outside. They exchanged a few more words, before parting ways, and Gengyo wandered around, deep in thought.

He left by the mansion gates, with a nod to the two women standing guard. They returned his nod respectfully, though were unaware of his new status as their employer.

He began through the forest, and briefly wondered whether he should have invited Akiko along with him. But he decided that it would be better to leave her undisturbed, as he had promised to visit her once more this evening.

He made his way onto the sh.o.r.eline of the lake, which had remained the same since he last left it. On a whim, he took a step forward toward the water, running the liquid through his fingers as he savoured the odd sensation.

He caught sight of his reflection in the water, and flinched. It was, of course, the face of Miura Tadakata, one that he thought he had become used to. But what surprised him were his eyes. Worn, tired eyes, that squinted as though ferocious. He had not realized his face was clenched as such, and struggled to relax it.

But he found that he could not, as those eyes still stared back. He looked at himself a while, feeling a frown growing, as his anger boiled at his own body being unwilling to heed his command. But the reflection did not frown, instead, it boasted a smile, a huge, wide grin that only increased in size till it distorted his face.

He lashed out with a clenched fist, horrified, disturbing his reflection upon the water. And when it had once more settled, the face was his own again.

'Am I going mad?'

He asked himself seriously. But then he found the answer to that question was unimportant. All that mattered was whether he was fit enough to carry out the task he had set for himself. Just thinking of it filled him with a vengeful energy, as he clenched his fist, and emitted a low growl despite himself.

He only realized what he was doing after a swan nesting nearby took flight, disturbed by the noise.

'Calm down, Gengyo. We'll get the f.u.c.ker.'

He told himself, taking deep breaths to try and still his racing heart.

Suddenly, he found himself glancing toward the middle island, wis.h.i.+ng to go there. He looked around for his raft, and searched through the reeds where he had left it. But it was nowhere in sight. He a.s.sumed the thunderstorm must have washed it away.

But he wished to go there, and looked over longingly. He wondered whether this was how Akiko felt when she sat on the sh.o.r.eline, alone, imagining what she might find on that central island.

Perhaps in the past he would have simply turned away, and sighed, realizing that on that day he was unlikely to make it to the central island.

But now, he looked upon it as a personal offence. He wished to go to the central island, and so he would go.

He stepped into the water, as the cold a.s.saulted his sandaled feet. He only took a moment to acknowledge the chill, before he waded in further, getting past his knee. He ignored the water as it began to soak the bottom half of his kimono, and he continued further inwards.

The bed of the lake was covered in stones, and it felt sold beneath his feet. For a while, the depth did not grow any deeper, even as he himself grew closer to the central island. And then, as he placed his foot on a rather unstable rock, it slipped, rendering him fully submerged within the water.

He gasped at the sudden burst of cold, but grew calm quickly, as his body realized that it was still capable of breathing.

He then committed fully, diving underwater to swim with the fishes. He would have to return home in sodden clothing, but he found that he did not care. Such a thing was trivial. What was important was that he did not let anything stand in the way of his desire to reach the central island.

And so he arrived, soaked. When he got there, he wondered why he had wanted to come in the first place. All there was to see was a few nesting birds. And then, with a shrug, he had dove back into the lake and returned to sh.o.r.e.

"A bath - that would be nice."

He turned his feet in the direction of the Niwa mansion, and before he knew it, he was back walking through the woods, failing to see the point in this little walk of his, but somehow, he left feeling triumphant.

A fox had it's back to him, and barely flinched as he approached. He wondered whether it was an odd sort of fox, perhaps more tame than others, so he called out to it.

"A pleasant day for a hunt, is it not?"

The fox jumped, surprised. It took one glance in his direction, before bolting into the undergrowth.


Was his parting comment as he watched the fox run away.

By the time he reached the mansion, he had forgotten that his clothes were wet at all, and exchanged greetings with the guardswomen, with water running down his nose, and his clothes emitting small showers with each step he took. They glanced at him oddly, but said nothing. And he walked past with his head held high as though it was the most natural thing in the world.

He b.u.mped into Togas.h.i.+ on his way down the path. It seemed he was on his way to the bathhouse.

"Miura… By the G.o.ds, why are you so wet?"


It was only then that he glanced at his clothes and remembered how wet they were.

"Ah. I am."

Togas.h.i.+ looked at him with a hint of concern in his eyes.

"Are you alright, Miura? You don't look so good." Nick_Alderson

//Author's Note

This is one of the slower chapters I mentioned, where we look at Gengyo's development as a character rather than huge progress in the plot.

Personally - when I'm reading - I enjoy more nuanced chapters like this, as it gives us an insight into a character's psychological state of mind. But I think many of you might find it disinteresting. Let me know!

By the way, when I read the comments on this novel, I feel like - atleast in these later chapters - most of the things you guys write are very intelligent and insightful, and I enjoy reading them.

Thanks very much for your support! :)

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About A Time Traveller's Guide To Feudal Japan Chapter 96 - Strangeness novel

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