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Volume 11, Chapter 10 (full)

I proudly present to you:


Volume 11, Chapter 10 : The Surrendering Loser

This was the eve of the end? ..

Night had enveloped the dark veil of water of the Inland Sea. On this small island there were no traces of people, only in the western rocky coast on the edge of the cliff was a glowing beacon. The entire forested island resembled a small mountain, which had grown out of the sea.

On the shore of one of the edges of the island could be seen a flickering light. On that narrow strip of sand rested a shallow cave where someone was burning fire. A man sat by the fire. The fluctuations of the flame increased his trembling shadow, behind on the rocky wall of the cave.

His wet dripping hair and clothing had almost dried up from sitting long by the fire, but the fabric of the shirt was soaked sea salt and was stained with blood in several places, perhaps he was wounded? His hair was in disarray, and a few strands of hair were falling over his forehead, his eyes were closed.

Takaya was lying beside unconscious, motionless, as if dead. Only by touching his mouth half open, you could feel the faint breathing. Somebody had removed his clothes, except underwear and a black jacket covered like a blanket, from under which bare legs were visible. Naoe was sitting next to him with his eyes closed, like a sentinel, his left hand on a bent knee in a protecting gesture.

There was silence around, broken only by the lapping of waves and occasional crackle of logs. The flickering glow of the fire covered the face of Noe, keeping him from the darkness.

“This is the eve of the end?..”

His heart was full of anxiety and foreboding.

"The sign announcing the beginning of the fall?"

Nobunaga’s power had reduced the steam ferry severed into pieces, turning it into a pillar of fire. If anybody else survived there it was unknown, but the possibility was vanishing.
Nobunaga was reborn himself... but Naoe was surprised at how little this shocking fact disturbed him. He felt strangely calm. It was not that he knew or foresaw - no, nothing like he had expected. Perhaps there was no more strength to be shocked, that's all. It was a strange calm...

Under his eyelids, his internal screen scrolled the film: the tongues of fire, the cruel smile Yuzuru ... no Nobunaga’s smile. It was the last thing he saw.

“Poor him” he thought about Takaya. Thought distantly, as if it was something that absolutely does not concern him. It seemed Takaya remembered about who Yuzuru actually was – but this truth he had not entrust even Naoe, his right hand. But for him, judging by the reaction, in the guise of Yuzuru, appearance of Nobunaga came as a surprise.

"That is the Devil's Grain ..."

The freezening had stopped to function - that was the only conclusion.
Carrying in himself the Grain of Devil, he had become a puppet of Nobunaga. Now Nobunaga Grain controlled via Yuzuru, who was not only Takaya’s friend, but also the object of protection for some extremely important reason.

“I guess your fate is cursed...”

Yes, I should say curse why else, would such a villainess misfortune, be tossed on you.

"I pity you..." - Naoe tried to say these words, full of frivolous sympathy for what only a bystander was capable of. He, who was present in his condition, was a observer of direct road to it.

“And I can do nothing...”

Even the usual Samoyed smile turned to be so helpless. Naoe raised his left hand to his forehead, then bridge of his nose and then bowed his head. In him there was not a drop of strength he could not now budge even a small pebble.

“You took it, huh? .. A scared man who dared to challenge you, and you forced on him spell of powerlessness ...”

How it would be nice to state everything in reality on such a mythical scenario.

Then, even exhausted, he could take comfort in the fact that he was able to inspire fear in Kagetora, and it would satisfy his lust for superiority. But what good was this wishful thinking. The deeper he drowned in the fruitless fantasies, the more pathetic and useless he felt ... Kagetora was not even a drop afraid of him.

Moreover, Naoe had completely and irrevocably lost. Until now, he could even protest, fight Kagetora when he exerted pressure, and had therefore not been an ordinary loser he was ‘the loser who resists.’ He admired Kagetora, but he could not forgive himself for what he had given to him. He had lost, but running away did not appeal. He saw before him a perfect ideal, to pursue him he may have had to hurt himself to death, but he had still tried - struggled to achieve and surpass it.

He knew how to make their lives easier. Just had to leave the competition and just "worship"; forget about the desired victory, looking sideways and revelling in his own merits. Why had he not done so?

Could I not have accepted the fact that there was someone out there to whom I was inferior? Yes, he had. Had he wanted to become the centre of the universe, the centre of everyone's attention? It was also that, but most of all ... had he not wanted to become Kagetora’s special? Among the many admirers and losers, did he not want to become the ‘only’? Must had, so he tried to give his defeat meaning ... or maybe wanted to rise above the other losers to that alleged victory that lulled the helpless of sense, of worthlessness.

To receive as compensation, so to speak.

“Did I really resist you?”

But here he finally saw what people smarter than him had guessed from the start. He had refused resistance, not because he had lost power, not because he had become less stubborn ... he just had realized that he could never win, and had decided to lay down his arms.

The rest long had been aware, it just came to him now and so he had became the same as everybody else.

“Is that right? .. So? ..” He asked himself. “How sickening is my own stupidity already...”

The sound of the surf echoed, knocking on the stone walls of the cave. Feeling that someone was standing at the entrance, Naoe looked up, but the one who entered spoke first:

“Has Saburo-dono already recovered?”

The voice belonged to Fume Kotaro. Naoe took a deep breath and turned back towards Takaya.

“No, still unconscious.”

“If he does not wake up and it turns out I just saved you, then it's totally meaningless.”

Kotaro came to the fire; his long hair swaying to the beat of his steps.

Kotaro had pulled him out with Takaya when the ferry exploded. Kotaro having put all the energy into the mental shield, and Takaya in repelling Nobunaga, and when all three were in the water, Shinobi last effort to help them had been by swimming them to the nearest island.

“You have really lost power” Kotaro said, sitting on the other side of fire facing Naoe. “You could not even create a shield, and were trying all the same to cover up Mr. Saburo. In protecting him, I had to unwittingly protect you.”

“Expecting I will say ‘thank you’?”

“Why do I need your thanks? I did not do it out of kindness.”

“Oh yeah, you saved your new master - a man who claims to have two masters he will ...”

“Do you want to ask about Yuzuru Narita?”

Naoe cocked his head; but his eyes were closed at the same time.

“Grain of the Devil, to think ... now he's in the hands of Nobunaga, that is fraught with consequences as soon you had it ... do you not wonder who he really is?”
“And you, you know?” Naoe asked warily. He did not allow himself to be careless against Kotaro.

“Our Lord Ujiyasu knows everything” he answered his flat voice low. “Everyone, including the true intentions of Kenshin.”

“Your baseless statements ...”

“Of course, they seem unfounded to you, because you are nothing but dedicated. It seems Kenshin forbade Saburo-dono to talk to anyone else about Narita. But then all of this is only part of his ingenious plan? What else would your actions be in this case?”

Naoe frowned.

“The expulsion of spirits is suddenly just an excuse to use you?”

“‘Banishing force’ allows you to subdue and restrain the spiritual generals. Uesugi are able to do it, having the patronage of Bisyamonten. However if you can manage to take control of the power of Yuzuru Narita and freely dispose of Oda, Takeda or you will not need to be afraid. All the spirits of dissension generals bow to Uesugi.”

“Watch your mouth, you bastard ...”

“I say, Naoe I know what was your use” Kotaro coolly smiled. “But from now on there is no use of you...”

Naoe sat breathless, with hooded eyes, fully concentrating on the words Kotaro. While Kotaro watched him over the flames of the fire, and then said:

“Moreover, you cannot even move independently. You have lost ability to fight and very soon you will lose the right to be among yaksh Uesugi.”

Naoe remained silent.

“So what are you going do?”

“The answer is known” Naoe slightly lowered his head, turning to the lying Takaya. “Choice has been made, decision has been made.”

That silenced Kotaro. Quietly the twig snapped in the fire; the sound of the surf broke soundlessness night, echoing under the arches of the cave.

Kotaro looked at the man's face in front of a calm and thought ‘Just as on Lake Asinoko I cannot understand just what is his choice.’

‘A strange man ...’

This man was constantly losing little by little as though someone was pinching off pieces from him. Kotaro again wondered what was going on in his mind. Not that he sought to truly understand Naoe but he interested him as one of the specimens of human species. At heart Kotaro was cool and calm, and he was at peace with other; but Naoe touched a chord in him, in spite of everything.

“How strange ...”

Naoe did not seem worried, his question was exact:
“You said Yuzuru Narita is not a man ... is he maybe the embodiment of Buddha or some inferior deity?”

“Why do you think so?”

“For several reasons ... In Sendai, he called two meo1, Dayitoku and Gozanze and managed them himself. A man cannot command the Buddha, nor borrow the power of the Buddha. One need’s to surrender to God's will, one needs to perform a special ritual, but he did not do anything like that and did not call a blessing himself. Consequently, it initially possessed ... Buddha’s grace was his strength.”

Meo - deity of Buddhist pantheon, immediately follow the bodhisattvas (chain bodhisattva Buddha Meo celestials). In the text referred to two out the five Great Meo.

Kotaro was silent.

“And for Buddha there is no difficulty clean up the lost soul to. When the spirits were filled with revenge in Kaske, Yuzuru Narita easily cleaned them for all to see” Naoe turned to Kotaro. “If he is not a man, then there is one conclusion: he is Buddha.”

Kotaro smiled and nodded:
“I see you've already guessed everything ...”

“So, am I right?”

“The problem is what kind of the Buddha ...” Kotaro crossed his arms and leaned back against the rock. “His strength, it is a double edged sword.”

“How is it? ..”

“It can either save the universe or destroy it.”

“Saving the universe ...” Naoe frowned. “In what sense? Could it be ...”

He was interrupted by a low moan which sounded from nearby. Naoe leaned over to Takaya, who was obviously regaining consciousness. Now he was seriously tossing from side to side.

“Takaya-san ...”
He winced, not opening his eyes, as if he dreaming something.

“Saburo-dono ...” Kotaro called. Takaya threw his head back, his straining neck damp with sweat, struggling he shook his head. It seemed that the dream was not pleasant.

“Uh ... ...”

“Takaya-san!”

“Y. .. Zura ... - Takaya clutched his chest with both hands, almost tearing the skin and curled into a ball. Then he threw out his hand, as if pleading for help, and when his trembling fingers slid on Naoe’s shirt, who immediately took his hand in his own.

First thing that Takaya saw as he opened his eyes was Naoe nearby. Panting Takaya stared at him with dilated pupils.

“Awake?”

“Naoe ...”

Takaya muttered his name hoarsely, slowly looked around and found himself lying on the floor of some cave.

“Where are we? ..”

“Unknown. On an island but cannot say the exact position. Are you all right? You were having a nightmare?”

“Creepy nightmare ...” Takaya sat down and in a frightened gesture grabbed Naoe shirt. “As if Nobunaga appeared as Yuzuru and wanted to bury us in flames ... just like thirty years ago, only now, when he laughed, he had the Yuzuru’s face...”

“Takaya-san ...”

Hearing the sympathetic note in Naoe’s voice, Takaya was confused. With a puzzled look, he again looked around to notice the flickering flame fire, and immediately behind it the figure of Kotaro.

“Kotaro ..” he exclaimed, instantly tensed, but the next moment his expression changed. Takaya concentrated his look at the lazy fire, unwinding the tangled thread of memory, and soon joined the surrounding reality finally in his head with the preceding events.

I am Oda Nobunaga, Lord of the sixth heaven ... very thankful for our meeting and to celebrate the soul!

“So it was not a dream ...” Takaya’s face changed in and he bit his white lips. He mumbled something, and placed his head in his hands and nuzzled his knees.

He was silent for some time perhaps Nobunaga’s revival greatly shocked him. But an even bigger shock was that Nobunaga appeared in the form of his friend ...

“Yuzuru ...” Takaya moaned through clenched teeth, and then suddenly lifted his head. “What happened to him?”

“Takaya-san ...”

“What happened to him then?”

No one answered him. Takaya opened his eyes and turned toward the entrance.

“I have to save him ...”
“Saburo-dono.”

“I'm going after him immediately. Where is he? I have to save him!” Takaya tried to rise to his feet, but Kotaro blocked his way.

“Out of the way, Kotaro!”

“Saburo-dono this is folly. Besides, now late at night you cannot move freely.”

“Well, what, what folly! .. I have to! I'm not going to let Yuzuru remain the plaything of Nobunaga!”

“You” there was suddenly a voice behind Naoe “should save him because Mr.Kenshin ordered so?”

Takaya turned.

“Naoe ...”

Slightly opening eyes, Naoe said:

“Calm down. You are so agitated that you are incapable of making sensible decisions. How, for heaven's sake, you're going to look for him in the middle of the night?”

This seemed to anger Takaya. He stared Naoe in the face with a angry scowl:
“ I can order anything. And the way to look for him. I will send gohododzi, and can use the conga-ray. Even if I cannot move to align with gohododzi and fly to the rescue.”

“Do not be silly. It's Oda Nobunaga. Right now Yuzuru-san is in his complete control even with gohododzi you are unlikely to release him.”

“But I can release him!”

“It will not work.”

“It will!”

“I will not let you stick your head in a noose!”
Takaya raised his eyes and looked at Naoe. He tossed at him without lifting his eyelids:
“They are now linked. It would be okay if it was only Nobunaga’s force but now he manages Yuzuru’s force too. Do you understand what that means?”

“Naoe ..”

“You should understand, and much better than me, because you know the truth about him. Nobunaga has added him to his power, the situation is much worse than thirty years ago. Now his power has increased so much that we will probably have nothing to oppose it. If you get hit in the forehead, then nothing can save you. If you succumb to emotions now, you will part again with life, I think it's still a affluent body.”

Naoe, you ...”

“Hakonha Nobunaga, backed by the power of Yuzuru, is now even more terrible. I repeated before you today appeared Oda Nobunaga. Our battle with him ... begins anew.”

Takaya silently lowered his eyes; his mouth had turned into a thin line. Again he pulled his knees to his chest and hunched, bowing his head.

“Frankly, I expected that you would be more nervous. I'm glad I was wrong.”

“I do not understand how can you be so calm ...”

“No matter what happens, no matter what situation we might be, I only need to do one thing.”

Takaya raised his head, but Naoe did not respond to his opinion. He had left only thin slits between the eyelids, in attempt to avoid eye contact. Takaya tilted his head, puzzled.

“I need to do everything for your protection.”

“Naoe ...”

“And failure in this, I cannot tolerate.”

And Takaya finally realized what was wrong, and his face took on a shocked expression.

Naoe did not raise his narrowed eyes from the ground and never once during all this time did he look directly at him.

And Takaya’s heart sank. In a wooden voice, he asked:
“Why are you not looking at me? ..”

Naoe’s jaw twitched.

“Why are you not opening your eyes? ..” Silence. “Look here. Look at me, as always Naoe ...”

But he did not answer.

“Look, how you always look straight into my eyes ... Naoe! ..”

Though it cost him tremendous effort, Naoe slowly raised his eyelids and Takaya saw the completely unfocused gaze and the empty pupils. He was frightened even more when he stretched out his left hand, but Naoe did not respond to this motion, although he was supposed to have seen it. Takaya brought his hand to his face, but Naoe had not noticed. In dismay Takaya touched his cheek, and only then, feeling the touch of his fingers, Naoe flinched. Takaya grabbed his chin and stared at the pupils still trapped opposite.

“You cannot see me ...” he managed. “You do not see? ..”

Naoe was silent, not noticing the aspirant glare at him clenched his lips together, as if fighting the pain, and did not utter a word. Takaya could not bear and grabbed him by the collar and with the other hand pulled his jaw.

“ Can’t you see? .. Naoe! .. Can’t you see?”

His voice began to fall apart.

“Saburo-dono!”

“Answer me, Naoe! Can’t you see anything at all ...! .. Absolutely! ..”

Naoe gritted his teeth and endured his jaw being tugged. Takaya opened his eyes and let his hand on the shirt slid helplessly down, and he froze, with a motionless gaze stared into them, forgetting all the words ... But at some point his fingers involuntarily clenched into a fist.

Naoe was completely, totally blind.


***


The moon illuminated the noisy waves crashing on the shore. It was late at night, but Takaya had no idea of the time, his wrist watch had stopped from the explosion. Kotaro had brought Naoe out of the cave, and helped him stay at a nearby rocky area.

From the sea, the wind was blowing. His hair was tousled and his skin cold (Takaya came out in his shirt, which was just great for him), but the cold did not seem unbearable. Kotaro stepped forward, reaching the edge of the wet rough rocks, stopped, and then turn around.

Takaya looked pale and haggard. He never once opened his mouth must be, because he could not recover from the shock. Nobunaga was revived, he controlled Yuzuru that had already been more than enough, but now ... things got worse. Naoe had completely lost sight.

“Why is he blind? ..” Takaya muttered, stopping on the rocks. “Eyesight ... even lost sight, why? ..”

“Probably, from the shock of the energy strike. Or the strong waves and sea salt ... Well, if it will pass nothing can be stated with certainty.
If dysfunction is caused by psychological shock and is temporary in nature, we can hope for recovery. Worse, if the retinal detachment happened - then he will need surgery. Maybe still, his sight might not recover ever ... In any case, one thing is clear now: instant improvement will not happen.”

Takaya strongly squeezed his eyes shut and bit his lower lip. Kotaro flatly continued:
“He did not let you out of his hands the whole time. Since then, as we were in the water, in those crazy waves, and had not yet got here, he never opened his hands.”

“Kept me? .. All the time? ..”

“Despite the fact that he was without power ... I believe he did it unconsciously, probably the habit of many years has even penetrated into the flesh ...”

Kotaro turned a indifferent glance at the sky, where the horizon was drawing the thin moon.

Takaya braced his shoulders and stared into the darkness.

“Are you saying that it's my fault?”

Kotaro looked at him in silence.

“What is it that I have done to him? I had brought him? You are also saying that it's all my fault!”

“Not what I said Saburo-dono” calmly replied Kotaro.

“You're lying. You also accuse me. Laugh - they say, you reap what you sow. But I'm not guilty ...” Such trembled and shook his head slowly from side to side, like a frightened child. “I did not do anything ... To torture him so ... I did nothing like that!..”

“Saburo-dono.”

“I'm not guilty ...” Takaya's eyes were unfocused, “ ... that he lost power ... that he went blind ... I had nothing to do! .. I'm not guilty, that he is bent!”

“Saburo-dono?”

“I have nothing to do ... I did not mean to ... I did not do anything ... He bent himself ...”

“Saburo-dono, if you would please calm down.”

“How could he do this to me!” Takaya broke. “He rebelled! He himself fell in love! He himself threw a noose around his neck! Is this revenge? After everything, what he did ... after everything, he forced me to say ... he said he wants to win! So what? Loses his power, loses his sight ... This is the most cowardly, the most vile revenge in the world!”

“Saburo-dono!” Kotaro quickly took his wrist and squeezed. Takaya started in surprise.

“Kotaro ...”

“It seems you are experiencing more than the victim. Pull yourself together, do not be anxious. Breathe deeply.”

Takaya through sheer strength closed his eyes.

“Sorry. Let me sit down over there.”

Kotaro sat him down on a large boulder. Takaya took another deep breath. Looked like he had calmed down a bit.

“I do not know what came over me ... I'm sorry.”

“What are you going to do with him?”

Takaya ran his hands over his face, pulling his hair, grabbed his head and was silent for a while, staring at his feet. Then hoarsely, in a stationery tone said:

“If you are familiar with any first aid, do it. Once we get out of here, I'll take him to the hospital with the normal equipment, where they can diagnose and prescribe treatment.”

“And then?”

Takaya's face became unhappy. He did not answer immediately, but the answer was obviously known.

“I will remove him from the line of battle, now he has no power to serve Uesugi. We have become one yaksha less - regretful, but it cannot be helped.”

“I will become your assistant instead.”

Takaya looked at Kotaro in amazement.

“You will? ..”
“Yes. From now on I'll be your right hand. We will return to our lord Ujiyasu and then move against Oda and Yuzuru Narita.”

Immediately Takaya’s all suspicions came back, and he stared at Kotaro’s face with a sharp look.

“All the same, what is your purpose here...”

“Now, when the two will merge, the Uesugi would not defeat them alone. And behind me there are many allies, together with which you may well be able to withstand the new enemy.

In addition, you must break all ties with Kenshin and return to Mr. Ujiyasu, to protect the universe from the threat posed by Yuzuru Narita.”

“Shut up, Kotaro!” Takaya snapped. “Have no illusions! I believe in Mr. Kenshin, and I do not care what you say - even if it is the word father, it will not convince me. Mr Kenshin’s ambitions are unknown. Father is wrong!”

“Then you're wrong, Saburo-dono. Wake up, you are simply being used. Return to the Hojo, and you will discover the true face of Kenshin!”

“I will not return to the Hojo!” Without thinking, shouted Takaya as he had yelled many times before, and curled his lip bitterly. “I was hoping that with these words gone forever ...”

“I repeat, leave Kenshin. Do what your father commands you. Destroy Ode and Narita together.”

“I cannot.”

Kotaro’s cold stare became even more harsher than usual.

“Obey Mr. Ujiyasu.”

“I cannot ...”

On the rocky shore their eyes locked in the moonlight. A wave passed over, crashing, splattered a white cloud in the space between them. The moon highlighted the water droplets hanging in the air like a sparkling veil.
“I see that your decision will not change ...” said Kotaro finally. “Tomorrow my people will arrive for us. Until then I suggest you reconsider everything properly again.”

“My answer is the same.”

“In any case, tomorrow you will stand facing one very serious choice.”

“What? ..”

“Do not you worry” said Kotaro, heading away. “You are my Lord, and I will not do anything that would cause you harm.”

With these words, Kotaro walked toward the cave, and escorted Naoe. Takaya gave a long intense look at his broad-shouldered figure.

End of Volume 10, Chapter 9 (Full)

Tasha: Woooohoooo finished Volume 10 completely!!! Lets Celebrate!



Chapter 9 : The Sea Devil

“Who are you? ...” Takaya muttered, frowning suspiciously. He and Kotaro had not yet met in this life. Perhaps in Hakone he saw him briefly in the mirror, but it was not enough to remember the name.

Kotaro approached and suddenly dropping before on one knee to Takaya, in the unmoving bow of vassalage.

“Head of House Fuma, Fuma Kotaro-but-bows to you. Many years have passed, Saburo-dono ...”

“Kotaro ...” Takaya whispered, eyes wide. Naoe moved, covering him back strongly, and said cautiously:

“It means you survived.”

After the battle, nothing was known of the sanctuary of Futarasan Kotaro... As before, his face was like a mask, it was completely devoid of emotion.

“I was looking forward to the day when I could see you. Do you remember me? We met only once, in Odawara castle when you were young.”

“Yes, I remember ...”

It had happened in the evening when it was decided to give the sons to foster with Gennanu. Kotaro had been present during the conversation with his father Saburo Ujiyasu, and his brothers, Udziteru and Udzimasoy. Shinobi were rarely allowed to sit next to the masters, so the meeting was deeply etched in his memory. Of course, in the current form Kotaro had nothing to do with the big bearded man, Saburo remembered.

Takaya stiffened even more.

“ And what are you doing here shinobi of Fuma clan? The Hojo were your masters, but the Hojo is no more. Why are you here - alone, without a overlord?”

“That's right, the Hojo is no longer. Because you Saburo-dono, destroyed it with your own hands.”

Takaya grimaced painfully, stung by those words. Before his eyes once again rose the pictures of that hot fight in Nikko – the trembling person with anger of Udzimasy, the affectionate smile of Udziteru, the voice of Genna, the dragon image of his father. Takaya squeezed his eyes shut, driving away the unwelcome memories, and turned away. Instead Naoe spoke with him:

“What are you doing here, shinobi, who has lost his masters?”

“Are you still with Mr. Saburo?” said Kotaro in a low flat voice. “Did not think you'd hold out beside him for so long. But, it turns out, loyalty is not hard to cultivate, as I thought...”


“What are you doing here?” Naoe did not retreat. “ Why did you come?”

“To ask Saburo-dono to take us into his service.”

Naoe's eyes widened.

“What other service? ..”

“Saburo-dono – is the only member of the manor, who survived. We decided to swear allegiance to him.”

“Do not fool my head off” Takaya said. “Shinobi Fuma serve only one master, I know it well. You served my father, and you are not going to listen to anyone else.”

“You are absolutely right. But what if this was your father's orders?”

Takaya was dumbfounded.

“Father? .. That is father commanded you? ..”

“ ‘Now that the the Hojo are in the next world, Saburo will be your master. Serve him and nobody else’ so Ujiyasu commanded me himself after the battle in Nikko.”

Takaya could not believe his ears. After all, he had not succeeded in exchanging a single word with his father ...

“It's true, Kotaro? .. Really? ..”

“Very true. And he gave a message for you.”

Kotaro lowered his voice.

“Do not be mistaken by choosing a path.”

“What? ..”

“He who protects you so once will destroy the universe. Offspring of the devil cannot be left alive. Kill him immediately.”

Takaya and Naoe, frozen, listening to the mechanical voice of Kotaro.

“Do not be deceived by voice of Kenshin. Cut your heart to the truth and kill 「Yuzuru Narita」 by your own hand.”

“What!” Takaya pushed Naoe aside and jumped to Kotaro. “My father told me to kill Yuzuru? He said so!”

“Open your eyes, Saburo-dono. You know perfectly well how dangerous it is. Kenshin has warned you to a false sense of justice, and that motivates you to defend him. This creature has no right to live, and you are protecting him ... His devilish force will destroy us all, destroy the whole world ... You have to kill it before it's too late.”

“Shut up!” Takaya could not hide his agitation. “I will not let you speak evil about Mr. Kenshin! Why would my father say such... Why?”

“You know yourself who is right” Kotaro remained calm. “You know on which side is justice. Kenshin just concealed himself by these words, pretending to be a deity, but in fact he is the main culprit. What if he decided to capture Yuzuru Narita in his own hands and rule the world?”

“What do you have reason to say that?”

“Why else would he have reconciled with such a threat? Only for great ambition.Kenshin told you to defend it in order to himself one day join the battle - it's as clear as day. Saburo-dono, you are being deceived.”
“Deceived? .. How dare you! ..”

“Kenshin is using you for his own selfish purposes. Do not let yourself be fooled by his beautiful words, look at the truth. If you really want to put an end to the war, do as father tells you to do - kill Yuzuru Narita. That would be true justice.”

“Shut up, Kotaro!”

“Kagetora-sama!”

Takaya rushed toward Kotaro, but Naoe held him back. Trying to escape, Takaya shouted: “Let me go, Naoe! Kotaro! If I hear such nonsense once again...”

“It's not nonsense, it's true. You believe Kenshin too much and do not want to notice it, that's all. Your father is worried about you. Accept your vision Saburo-dono, for heaven's sake.”

“Kota ... po! ..”

Suddenly, the strong arms wrapped around the back of his shoulders, pulled and squeezed him. Takaya turned his head and stared at Naoe in focus. Holding him in a vise, Naoe approached Kotaro:
- Do you know who Yuzuru Narita really? .. How much do you know, Kotaro?

“Naoe ...”

“Ujiyasu-sama is also aware of the carefully stored secret? Why lord Kenshin ordered him to defend this man?”

“Yuzuru Narita is not a man” Kotaro coldly stated. “He's the devil that will destroy the world.”

“The Devil? ..”

“Not true, Naoe!” Takaya shouted, pulling away from the circle of his hands. “Yuzuru’s not any devil .. He ...”

“He? ..” Naoe's eyes flashed, and tightened his grip. “Well, who is he? What are you hiding?”

Takaya gritted his teeth.

“Who are you protecting? What in the name of...”

“Boom” - there was a crash somewhere below, and the ship shuddered from bow to stern. Takaya, Naoe and Kotaro, lost thier balance and flew to the floor. Immediately after this came from the lower deck someone’s death cry.

“Yuzuru!”

Takaya jumped to his feet, but the next moment froze in his tracks. In a cloud of unbearably bright golden light on the stairs, rising towards them slowly was a boy.

Takaya saw his face and swallowed.

“Yuzuru ...”

Yuzuru’s right hand held the dead body of one of the shinobi. He climbed onto the deck, dragging him along, came up, stopped close by and with a thud threw bloody corpse on the floor. Yuzuru then looked at them and grinned - a cruel smile, whichhe never had before.

In his left hand he held a silver hoop-like collar. Chuckling to himself, he threw the hoop in front of him. The metallic collar with sound rolled across the deck and stopped at the feet of Kotaro.

“Look at what you are thinking, minnows,” tossed Yuzuru and arrogantly raised his eyebrows. “Hamakaze* ? Did you really hope to seal my force with this? Fools, you have forgotten your place.”
*Hamakase - limiting force.

No one could utter a word in the face of the sudden change that hit Yuzuru.

And it was not Yuzuru at all. Tiny red Bindi was burning on his forehead, making him look like the bodhisattva, but in the ominous glow there was not a drop of Holiness. Who was it?..

“Uesugi Kagetora... how many years, how many winters.” Yuzuru looked at Takao. “Thirty years and thirty winters, if I remember. I never thought to see you again. I Remember, those were pleasant days...”

“W - what?..”

“But who would have thought that you're still in this world ... My hakonha ** should have dispelled your life to the wind, and yet here you are. Ah yes Kagetora ... Well, you were worthy of honor called my enemy. I applaud you.”

**Hakonha - literally "wave that destroys the soul." Nobunaga's special attack, killing the soul forever.

The voice choked Takaya up. He shivered, small and nasty as for fever. A deeply buried memory slowly but surely rose to the surface, causing a sickening feeling. This voice... This tone... He remembered. Such things were impossible to forget...

The tongue was not willing to obey. The skin was covered with cold sweat.

“It can't... be...”

Yuzuru's eyes opened to their fullest extent and the voice full of dignity rapped out:

“I am Oda Nobunaga, Lord of the sixth heaven, awakened from sleep by the craving cries coming of my subjects. Happy day today, Kagetora! Let us give thanks the same fate for our meeting and celebrate the soul!”

Kotaro snapped, Takaya immediately took a fighting stance, but Yuzuru was faster.

“Come on!”

From his hand fell power ball. Takaya tipped a mental shield, but Yuzuru did not give up, only increased the pressure. It exploded like the bomb.

“Kagetora-sama!”

“Ha ha ha! Well, Kagetora ... you have absolutely withered away, you cannot endure even a little of this kind? You fool! ..”

Takaya hunched while dodging a furious attack. Naoe had covered himself with a protective cap, but ... it had not worked. No protection happened at all.

“Naoe!”

A direct blow to Naoe hurled him backwards. With full force he hit the wall, and then fell to the floor. Kotaro joined the battle, covering them with a vigorous counterattack.

“Naoe, hold on!” Takaya shouted, running up to him. “Hold on, do you hear?”

Naoe groaned. There was a crash again, the blast pushed in the back. Kotaro had erected a ower barrier, somehow managing to defend them, but the boat was hit in several places and took the flame. Yuzuru’s power was pouring out like water from an overflowing Cup, not knowing its limit. On the other side of the fire, behind the veil of black smoke, he flashed his cruel smile, and then he came and stood near. Takaya raised his head and glared at him.

“You are still the same, Kagetora. Your eyes ... have remained the same, I see them, even insomeone else's eyes ... I look into your tiger pupils, and my blood ignites in thirst for battle.”

“Nobunaga ... “Takaya growled, “ ... where did you come from?”

“Oh, how good, this is nice, Kagetora! .. Your eyes brings me back to life! .. They infuse power, ambition ... breathes in my soul! You resurrected me so I will go and conquered all living things, and perhaps ... I'll start with you directly!”

The blow was so strong that the space around them bent ...

The ferry blew up, fling up to the sky, a pillar of fire and water. The explosion shook the previously calm sea Seto to the bottom, and it was turbulent, as if in a storm. The wreckage of the ship, which was carrying Takau and his companions, with noise and splashing, disappeared under water.

Volume 10, Chapter 8 (Full)

Tasha: You know what I think Naoe and Takaya's couple is kinda perfect bcoz no one can put up with them except each other....so Takaya's being kinda cold mostly but worry not Naoe knows how to melt him (^_-)n ***wink, wink, nudge, nudge*** seriously Naoe can be......so explicit sometimes, I almost had a nosebleed at their conversation at end :P



Chapter 8 : The Agenda of the Dead

The next morning, Naoe arrived for the meeting with Aida accompanied by Ayako. She was searching the missing passengers, but substituted today for Kagetora.

“ He’s late ...”

They were supposed to have meet half an hour ago. Ayako once again impatiently looked toward the entrance until the waiter poured a second cup of coffee.

“Maybe he overslept?”

“Maybe he forgot about the meeting.”

“I'll call into his room.”

Ayako rose from the table and went to the desk. There the clerk helpfully dialled the number for her, but ...

“I guess he is still resting” said the clerk shaking his head. He tried to connect a few times, but no one picked up the phone.

“Maybe he's not in his room?”

“He has not left the hotel.”

“It is possible that he mixed up the place,” thought Ayako, and they decided to wait for another twenty minutes, but when Aida did not appear they became suspicious. They phone, but he did not answer, so they, along with the porter went upstairs.

The bell rang but nobody came out. They knocked, called, but could not hear a single sound from behind the door. Became concerned the porter said:

“Should I open ...”

“Yes, please.”

He turned the key in the lock, but the door was locked from the inside with a chain.

“Haruya”

Ayako pushed the attendant aside and removed the chain by the power of thought. The door swung open, letting them into the room, and inside ...

“Aida-san!”

Dressed in a bathrobe Aida lying on the bed, half-down half-up. When they lifted him, it became clear that there was no blood in the deadly pale face and his body was cold to the touch.

“Quick! ..”

The porter fled, and Ayako continued calling the elderly man by the name, at the same time trying to find the pulse. There was no pulse

Aida was dead.

“Naoe!” Ayako called in a strained voice. He looked up and saw a vague white light.

“Naoe it is Aida-san.”

Ayako discerned it clearly. The ghost was standing in a puzzled way looking as if he could not believe his own death.

“Aida-san, what happened to you?”

The ghost opened his mouth as if he wanted to say something. Ayako concentrated her chi in an attempt to hear, but his voice did not reach.

“Kure ...” she managed to read his lips.

Naoe asked. addressing the invisible ghost: “What's in Kure? You go there? Maybe you ...”

Ayako suddenly shrieked - from behind Aida appeared a hand. Black with gold stripes on his sleeve ... in a military uniform? .. Aida turned in surprise when the hand squeezed his hand.

The ghost standing behind was a tall, well-built man. His features were similar with Aida. On the uniform jacket (it was an old naval uniform) adorned a magnificent order. Perhaps the man belonged to the officer corps.

“What's the matter, Haruya?

“Behind Aida stands another. About forty years in appearance, in the old military uniform, looks similar to his face.”

“What? ..”

I dream about my uncle.

“Is it the same uncle?”

The man in the uniform, still holding Aida’s hand, looked straight at them, slowly raised his right hand to his head with clenched fingers and saluted. And then both the ghosts disappeared. At the spot where they stood, out of thin air came down an old piece of paper on the dead body. The paper was yellowed, torn in several places.

“Agenda” Naoe and Ayako read the word written the top.

“Aida-san ...”

Aida’s lifeless body was hard and cold.


“Yamanaka Sikanoske” Takaya muttered, after hearing the story from Chiaki about the night incident, and grinned. “Interesting people ... important thing is that we will not fall into thousand misfortune, for their company.”

“But, thanks to them, "Koji Kikkawa" and "manju" ceased to be a mystery. After all, girl possessed by the mysterious woman, Yang Guifei spoke about it being at Miyajima.”

In the morning the hotel was noisy. The students after having breakfast, were preparing to leave. He watched his friends hanging up and down the stairs, Takaya thoughtfully said:

“The Pearl of Tide and the Pearl of Receding tide...”

“It seems that using them Mori can be defeated. The stones control the tides - it is unknown, however, whether their miraculous power will effect the ghost ships, but it is unlikely that these guys would say, without adequate justification.”

“And Yang Guifei knows where Manzo, Pearl of the Tide is?”

“So they said. And yet, Yang Guifei, from where, in Japan?”

“Somewhere, I do not remember where, I heard the legend that she was able to escape from China and get to us ...

According the same legend, there is a tomb of the famous concubine in Japan. According to the official version Yang Guifei was hanged on the outpost of Mawei while fleeing from the capital, captured by the rebel An Lushan. But rumour says that they did not hang Yang Guifei but her twin; supposedly the real Empress managed to escape and move to Japan.

Of course, this all happened a very long time, over eight centuries before the era of dissension, it says that Yang Guifei died in the 756th year.”
“Do you think, it is real after all?” drawled Chiaki. “You can never tell, really ...”

“Her whereabouts are unknown, right?”

“So. But we know that she is with Kikkawa Motoharu. However, if we do not find Motoharu,” He shrugged off the remaining.

“Misen at Miyajima ...” Takaya muttered and thought.

“‘Go at Misen,’ Hokamura Narumi said. Does this mean that she's there? If they want to make her a receptacle of the spirit, then the spirit must be there.”

“But Miyajima is now headquarters of Sue. For Yang Guifei, accomplice of Mori, to be at the centre of enemy territory? I doubt it ...”

“Exactly ... The place, maybe unexpected, but hiding would there be complicated. Yes, this is another uncertain point.”

After a brief pause Takaya suggested: “The Syuho cave where it first time hooked with her?”

“So the spirit tried to get rid of strangers. Perhaps she lived in a cave. On the other hand, if it takes the form of a phoenix and can move freely, it is unlikely she would have been all the time to stay in one place.”

“Red phoenix bird... I wonder why did she drank energy? .. And only female. What's the point?”

“Maybe it's fuel for ‘Yamato’?”

“This is a different view” Takaya said, leaning against the wall of the corridor. “‘Yamato’ needs life energy, and it took the girls energy of the soul. Only the girls, that's weird.”

“Don’t tell me that Yang Guifei is a demoness, feeding on other's energy and thus prolonging life.”

Chiaki ran his fingers through his hair and pursed his lips. At this point, Morino Saori noticed them as she passed by.

"Hey, you're lazing around here? We are going soon, are you ready?”

"Hey, Marino-San.”

“If you are ready, then go directly to the bus. Look, don't be late!”

As befitting a member of the organizing committee, she zealously watched time. Today they had a long bus ride - first to Iwakuni, to look at the Kintayke bridge and from there to Tsuwano. Saori was jubilant, because her and Yuzuru’s seats were quite near to each other.

“Ah Ogi-kun! I almost forgot. Let Narita-kun and you swap the seat when you will sit down. Let him be in the aisle.”

“What for?”

“Because. Suddenly you will start to feel sick, right next to me... oh exchange, please!”

Her motives were absolutely transparent. Takaya made a disgruntled face.

“And if you will not change, I will tell the teacher that you flagged the girls in the Museum.”

“What?!”

“The whole class talking about it. How long can you tolerate your disgusting tricks? Act normal, finally!”

“And exchange!” "she said finally, before angrily walking down the stairs. It was obvious that yesterday's incident was interpreted wrongly and had acquired rumours. Takaya groaned, clutching his forehead. Chiaki looked at as if he was mad.

“How many times have I told you - do not bother with what’s none of your business, you idiot ... when will you learn? ..”

“Takaya!”

Yuzuru popped out of the room, wearing the uniform, and ran to him. He looked alarmed.

“What happened?” Takaya asked.

“Ayako-san, wants you on the phone. Quickly.”

“Ne-San?” *

*Ne-san - Addressing a girl (unknown or older than themselves). Usual method of Takaya adressing to Ayako.

They immediately went back into the room, and Takaya picked up the phone. Ayako quickly and anxiously spoke on the other end.

“What? .. Aida-san? ..”

Having listened to the end, Takaya hastily put down the receiver.

“What?” asked Chiaki.

“Aida Kengo died” Takaya said shortly and quickly began to gather things. “Chances are that the death was provoked by the spirit of his uncle, a naval officer. In any case, I'm going there, and you're with me.”

“You go first, I'll catch up.”

“Chiaki?..” Takaya turned inquiringly, putting his arms in the sleeves of his jacket.

“I'm sorry, but for us the tour, it seems, has come to an end. We cannot leave without few tricks, our absence will not go unannounced and it will create too much hassle for everyone.”

Chiaki was going to impose hypnosis on all before leaving. On Takaya's face a shadow passed over, but then he gave a slight nod in agreement.

“Go,” said Chiaki. And your things, I will bring them. The hotel, of yesterday, huh?”

“Thank You, Chiaki.”

And Takaya left the room. At the door, he was confronted with Yazaki from the same group, who called after him: “Hey, we will soon be leaving! .. Sre you going to the toilet, or what?”

“Chiaki!” Yuzuru said in a serious tone, “cover my absence in hypnosis too, please.”

“Your? Why?”

“I'm going with Takaya, he allowed me yesterday. He cannot find Hokamuru Narumi without me. Please.”

Chiaki looked into his eyes and saw the determination that would not to be shaken only by threatening.

“And do you agree ahead of time to finish your expedition?”

“Takaya has me till the end.”

“You will not visit the Hagi, you will not see the bridge Kintayke ...”

“I'll see it another time” Yuzuru did not yield. “I need to be with Takaya, for his own good. I will not get in the way, I promise. I have some ability, I will be of some use. I mean, I cannot leave him. I do not know what it is, but ... if I do not support Takaya now, I fee….something about Takaya is going to snap ....”

“But it's, you know ...”

“Chiaki, please!”

Chiaki hesitated, but then thought about Takaya and realized that he completely agreed with Yuzuru. Eventually, he sighed and said:

“Okay, take your things. You need to leave while everyone is busy leaving.”

Yuzuru rejoiced and quickly began to gather his stuff. By itself, the imposition of hypnosis was not difficult, but remembering what kind of mood Saori had been in, Chiaki felt a slight twinge of guilt.

“Poor Morino-san ...”

“If someone is destined to become the object of her hatred, let it be ‘Ogi-kun’ requested Chiaki and crossed himself.


***

Ayako, Naoe and Takaya met at the hotel, later joined by Chiaki. Kengo Aida’s body had already been taken away. Some of the staff to be on the safe side had also summoned the police, but, judging by the circumstances of death, it was not a murder or suicide - rather like a heart attack or any other attack. So it seemed at first glance, but ...

“It is very possible that he invited the ghost of his uncle” Takaya said, when Naoe passed him the torn agenda. “We know that the spirits of sailors are going in Kure... I guess they decided to fill up their ranks.”
Takaya raised his head.

“It is possible that they really want to revive the Combined Fleet, making "Yamato" their flagship. Mori and Murakami were going to use them as their own military force, but one single sufficient mistake and they will gain their independence and will go out of control. If that happens, they will become far more dangerous.”

Takaya looked at Ayako.

“Haruie, go to Kure, watch the actions of the sailors. If anything happens, call me immediately.”

“Got it.”

“Chiaki you take care of the search for the people kidnapped at sea. I will send nokizaru to help you, you need to save people as soon as possible.”

“Why me?” Chiaki protested. “I'd rather be searching for Yang Guifei - I think I will succeed faster.”

“I'll search for the missing” added Naoe.

“No,” followed an uncompromising response. “I cannot trust you.”

“I am able to act independently. I ran this thing from the start, and I want to continue it.”

“You're good for nothing!” Takaya snapped, and Naoe stiffened. Takaya meanwhile ruthlessly continued: “Now you're not able to save anyone. Suddenly you need to use force, and you cannot - what's the point? .. So you'll do it, Nagahide.”

Chiaki looked suspiciously from one, to the other, then quietly asked:
“What does all this mean, Naoe?”

Naoe adopted a indifferent expression and silently looked away. Chiaki looked at Ayako and at her hard face and guessed everything.

“Okay. But where can I find them? And even if I find them, how do I pull them out? Without much hustle it is unlikely to succeed, if I go from outside ...”

“There is a simple and fast way” calmly replied Takaya. “Let yourself be taken by the attackers themselves.”

“Offer myself as a bait?”

“But figure out everything quickly and surely. The Murakami pirates do not recognize you.”

“And what if, out there is Kosaka?”

Takaya looked at him with an absolute arrogance of a monarch and with a cold smile said: “Are you that deprived of brains that you are unable to cope with some Kosaka?”

“ What!” Chiaki leapt, but Takaya did not wait for him to break into an angry tirade.

“I do not want to hear your whining. Remove any, as you know. And we go to Miyajima on Misen to seek Narumi. Right now.”

Naoe did not say anything to this, just casted a look to Takaya, and in his indifferent eyes and face flashed something very like hatred. Takaya blinked for a moment, as if in pain, and then turned around, as if brushing it away, and darted out of the room.

Once on the street, near the door, he noticed Yuzuru and Satskaya waiting for him.

“We are also going to Miyajima to look for Narumi-san.”

Takaya just looked at them with a stark, almost frightening expression, and then lowered his head. He did not want anyone to see his face now.

“Do what you want” He tossed as he passed by, and went forward. Naoe stood behind him in the doorway.

“Naoe-san! ..”

“Yuzuru-san.”

Yuzuru ran over and all but grabbed his sleeve.

“Something strange is going on with Takaya... it is as if he is changed, what happened?”

Naoe said nothing. At that moment he felt nothing but resentment and hatred.

So he just stood there and watched Takaya’s back - that overbearing, arrogant back - without any obedience, with a angry, hating stare.


***


It was decided to go to Miyajima on the ferry from the port of Hiroshima. Takaya said he wanted to conduct reconnaissance of the local waters.

Before leaving Chiaki handed him congo ray** with the words:

** Congo-ray - Buddhist ritual practice tool, looks like a metal bell with solid handle.

“Take it just in case. If you suddenly get lost with Narita, so that you can find it. Once we could count on Naoe, but not now, so better be prepared in full” Chiaki warned before leaving with Ayako in Kure.

While the ferry was still standing at the pier, Takaya sent forward the Ken Gohododzi to scout the situation on the island.

Miyajima was not far up to twenty minutes by ferry. Satskaya was visibly nervous, and after Takaya went up on deck, Yuzuru asked: “Are you okay? Do you get ill on ships?”

“No, it's not that” Satskaya sat on a bench and looked toward the island. “Just thinking, if it is really true that Narumi is on Miyajima ... if it is true that she's still alive ... It seems terrible to me somehow.”

Satskaya complained that because of yesterday's disturbances she could not sleep all night. Judging by the dark circles under her eyes, so it was.

“Do not worry. I'm sure she's fine” comforted Yuzuru and Satskaya clasped her hands in her lap, like locking her anxiety inside.

“She's the first person in my life, which I can call a friend. “

Yuzuru fell silent in amazement.

“No, I always had friends, but they were not serious friendships - to take a walk together, have fun ... but with Narumi it was different. For the first time there was a person who understands me. At home it is not really going well ... money that has nowhere to go, my father keeps a mistress. Mother does not care about the family and goes off to work - every man for himself ... from the child they still want something and impose their ideals ... no one actually cares about me or my character” Satskaya clenched her fists. “I was so sick of it, so I started to party up.

God knows what is happening ... I came across different people, but I looked at them and thought, "No chance you could understand me." But Narumi understand ... and stood on my side.”

Why Satskaya all of a sudden had started talking about this with Yuzuru was unknown, but she spoke very warmly.
“Narumi was able to what nobody else was able to. That is why she means a lot to me, so I want to save her! .. You know? You have to understand ...that there are people whom are more expensive than anything in the world ...”

“I understand” Yuzuru nodded gravely and whispered: “There are people who you cannot lose ...”

In his mind Takaya’s face appeared, alien and distant; they had not exchanged a single word since they left the hotel. Takaya was becoming powerful and ...selfish. This quality was strengthened every day. He did not ask to draw support - used it, but never counted on it. For Yuzuru it was very hard to see these signs of his growing power.

“I do not want to lose...”

Yuzuru looked at the horizon, where loomed the silhouette of the distant island. His face stiffened into a stern expression, that of a warrior before battle. And at this moment, behind them rose a few figures.

“Yuzuru Narita-san?”

Yuzuru turned around and saw a tall man, dressed entirely in black. Under the sunglasses as he took them off, revealed a typical average male Japanese person with well molded features, the correct proportions resembling a Greek statue. The expressive face was unfamiliar to Yuzuru. However, the most unusual thing of the man was his hair - long, tied back in a ponytail.

Yuzuru man looked at himwith suspicion. He already had a chance to stopover once in the hands of the kidnappers, and it had taught him caution in conversations with strangers.

“Who are you?” He asked warily.

The young man replied flatly, without any emotion on his face:
“A acquaintance of your friend. Very old acquaintance” and his fist, rising with incredible speed, stuck Yuzuru in the stomach. Yuzuru briefly groaned and collapsed on the floor.

“Hey .. What are you doing?”

“Shut her mouth.”

“Let me go!” Satskaya yelled when another man grabbed her from behind. “Take your ... ah! ..”

A blow laid her down straight on the bench.

“As soon as the boat will catch up, throw her overboard,” said the young man to his subordinates. “Continue according plan. Do not forget the power limiter.”

“Yes, sir. Where are you going, Kotaro-sama? ..”

“To say hello” here on his heartless face that looked like a cruel steel mask, flashed a faint smile. “and pay my respects to our master.”



***


Takaya was on the uppermost deck, leaning on the railing, and watched as the ship cuts through waves with its nose. The gusty sea breeze ruffled his hair. A little further, stood Naoe obliquely - Takaya felt him on his back. He was completely focused on this feeling, though his eyes never left the water. Naoe did not move - he had set himself at a distance and was not going to cut it. Takaya slightly lowered his eyes.

“Tell me ... do you want me to leave?”

Silence.
“Do you want get rid of me?”

“So what are you trying to check in such a way?” quietly asked the man behind. “What is it this time? .. there is nothing more to check inside me...”

Naoe unbuttoned his jacket and pulled out a gun from his holster. He shook it in his the palm, sampling, deftly in a motion of charge.

“Feel my devotion?” He said, raising his eyes. “Or my submission? ..Forever you require obedience. Contrive to crush my pride, pin me to the ground - the only thing that gives you confidence ... The method worthy of one year old baby.”

Naoe put the gun away and grinned coldly.

“I'm not a nanny and , you'll never get a unselfish love from me.”

“Start talking clearly, Naoe.”

“It is your bad luck to have me with you... I'm only thinking about one thing - how to get you into bed. I replay it in my head - how to initiate you, in what position to put you, the angle at which to enter you, how many times to finish ... What to do to break you ...”

Takaya turned round with a blazing face filled with rage. Naoe dispassionately met his eyes at close range.

“When I cannot protect you anymore, will you let me go?”

Naoe did not take off his eyes from him. Surely he was the only person in the world, capable of supporting its suffocating look without flinching ... Takaya too was silent and did not move.

Suddenly, from the lower deck came a girlish scream and brought them both back to reality. It was Satskaya screaming.

Takaya raised his head “Yuzuru! ..”

“So you're both here …”

Naoe turned to the voice that suddenly sounded behind him, and reflexively overshadowed Takao. And then they saw the man standing before them and gasped.

“You! ..”

The face without emotion, like a porcelain doll, with his hair tied behind the back swaying in the wind. In Nikko, in the sanctuary Futarasan they thought that had left him forever ... And yet here he was - the leader of the Fuma shinobi*** clan, Fuma Kotaro.......

***Literally "furtive" - so called Japanese ninja.

Volume 10, Chapter 7 Part 3 (End)

Tasha: You know whats the toughest part while translating: its translating others scene when I reallllly only want to read about is Naoe and Takaya misery and progress :P



After saying goodbye to Ayako at the Namiki street, Chiaki headed back to the hotel. He walked Sintenti block at night where there was light from the neon lights, and along the streets were taxis waiting for customers. Soon night will pull the public to go home.

“Oh, where have I drifted ...” Chiaki sighed inwardly. Where have you seen a visiting student returning to the hotel after midnight, walk up in the block at night? He was not going to pat on his head for this.

However, he had gone with Ayako knowing. They ate okonomiyaki, and she even ate two portions - very large, by the way - which had produced his involuntary admiration.

“It is not possible to war on an empty stomach. It is necessary to prepare for the work ahead” Ayako said and cleaned up the plate. Chiaki did not compete with her.

"Okay, how do I get to there? .."

Two drunken men marched past unsteadily. Chiaki had visited Hiroshima many times and knew the city, but ...

“Taxi?”

It never even occurred to him that students arriving at the hotel by taxi, too, generally, wass not allowed. Chiaki decided to pick up the car on the main street and turned into the alley to get to it by the shortest route.

They had gone in the alley and waited.

Two shadows separated from the wall and blocked his path. Chiaki stopped slowly and cast a watchful eye on them, and quietly asked:

“Who are you?”

And received a counter question: “Are you the Uesugi man?”

Chiaki slowly studied the strangers. One was a young man, of medium height, but without the softness of youth. The shape of lips and eyes betrayed landing him a Southerner. The second was a little older looking woman. Oval shaped face with regular features, framed by long, smooth hair cut - she really suited such a hairstyle. Tall, big eyes, short dress, overalls and red high-heeled shoes ... Her whole appearance was breathing wildness, forcing to recall a young wolf. These in front of him were not ordinary people, Chiaki realized that by the chi emanating from them.

“A foolish ambush” he grinned. “Who would attack suddenly, not realizing the power, that could be seen a mile away. You are either very sure of yourself or exactly the opposite.”

“Get out of Aki*” Obvious menacing waves scattered around the man. – “Only you here are lacking to us... Immediately leave the Inland Sea.”
*Aki - the name of the feudal province in place of the current Hiroshima Prefecture.

“That will depend on your behaviour” said Chiaki slowly accumulating force in the body. “First, identify yourself ...” Before he could finish, as a flash flickered before his eyes.

“Chiaki barely managed to shield his face. His forearm received a electric shock, and he saw that the woman (was attacking) holding a power web like fishing.

“Leave there is no time to fish” warned the man, but the woman was not listening. She threw a cluster plasma of motion again, which filled up into a web. Chiaki clicked his tongue in annoyance and responded with protective wave.

At the moment it became as bright as day around. Then Chiaki was struck by his own reflected pulse, and he flew backward, swept uphill and heaped against the wall of beer crates. The woman struck again, but this time a white, steel light which flew past him and went straight into the dark shadow that had been hiding behind him. The shadow shrieked, burst into fire, and crumbled into a handful of ashes.

“What ... ah! ..”

Without losing a second, the woman formed a web again and entangled Chiaki from head to toe.

No matter how he tried, he could not break free and, in the end, glared at strangers from the bottom up.

“What is this? Remove at once! I look like an idiot ...”

“ That will depend on your behaviour” the woman said with an indulgent smile, and squatted down beside him. “Sorry for our rudeness, but we need to protection against your "expulsion force." Who knows when you will decide to use it, and it will be the end for us. Therefore, we talk cautiously.”

“Who did you just finish off?”

“He was following us. I did not want him to overhear our conversation.”

“What kind of a conversation, it is interesting that prior to it you bind hand and foot ... offering to feed me to "Yamato"? Thank you very much.”

“Sinking "Yamato". How do you look at this proposal?”

Chiaki shivered and eyed the man with searching gaze, which he met directly and without hesitation.

“We want to destroy the floating monster.”

“Destroy "Yamato"? ..” Chiaki paused, and then nodded his head. “I see ... you serve Sue.”

“Not serve” The man cut off. “They are our allies, but not overlord. Sue became friends with Oda and had imagined him to be like a mother wolf. But they are only fox in wolf's clothing, and Ode one day will take them all. We are an another matter.”

“Another matter? ..”

“We want to put an end to the arbitrary Mori put in place Zaznaev Murakami, Aki and protect the land from predatory thoughts of Oda and Takeda.”

Chiaki made a puzzled face. Not Mori, not Murakami, not Sue ... Of course, not Oda and Takeda ...

“Who is it? ..” The body-sharing spirits who do not belong to any of the parties ...

“I see that you care about our origins” The man guessed.

Chiaki snorted

“If you are going to ask for anything, I have to know who I'm dealing with.”

“If we call, will you fulfill our request?”

“Despite what request.”

“I know. We have behaved rudely ...”

The woman tried to protest, but the man threw her: "Do not worry," and turned back to Chiaki.

“We are - vassals of Amago Clan, once fallen due to machinations of Mori. We crave revenge on enemies who trampled on our dreams.”

“ ‘Amago’, you say?”

“We were called the ten heroes of Amago. Our goal to implement was unfulfilled in life: to revive the clan Amago and end all Mori.”

“Revitalize Amago clan ... - murmured Chiaki and cocked his head. - Are you! ..”

“Have you heard of me?” The man proudly squinted. “Yamanaka Sikanoske. And this is - the Isar-hime, our friend. Let's get acquainted.”

“Yamanaka Sikanoske!”

Chiaki nearly whistled. Who has not heard of him ... He was called the most loyal vassal of era dissension. His boundless devotion to the defeated Amago clan, for whom’s sake of revival he put his life, had become talk of the town and even got into school textbooks during the Second World War, where he was praised as the "knight of loyalty."

Yamanaka Sikanoske born in the family whose overlord was Amago Haruhisa ruler Izumo**.

**Izumo - feudal province on the site of modern Shimane

At that time Amago had great power in the Chugoku, along with Mori from Aki and Ouchi of Suo. Ouchi Yoshitaka fell due at hands of Sue Harukata and the influence Mori enormously increased. Then Mori set his sights on Amago and, as a result of their elaborate intrigue Amago were defeated.

Yamanaka Sikanoske rose to struggle for the revival of Amago Clan. First he went to Kyoto, where he found the heir of the lateral branch Amago named Katsuhisa, who was a monk. Sikanoske persuaded him to return to the worldly life and began to seek recovery of the clan, without sparing the stomach.

Over the next twelve years - until, until he was captured and killed Mori - Sikanoske showed wonders of perseverance and courage. He was not scared of failure. Having suffered defeat, he rose again and rushed into battle with the sole aim to revive the clan of his overlord.

In the era of dissension intra-clan coups were commonplace. And if a vassal saw overlord losing ground, he immediately switched to the other side, to a stronger master. But Yamanaka Sikanoske not only did not overthrow his overlord in trouble - he devoted his life to the restoration of his clan. It is well known legend about how he thought about the revival of Clan Amago, praying to the moon, “If you can, send down upon me a thousand misfortunes.”***

*** It should be understood as request send for tests and trials, in order to strengthen the spirit.

In every age, this legend touched the hearts of people. And Yamanaka
Sikanoske, "Knight of loyalty" was in person, standing in front of Chiaki.

“Why do not we join forces, Uesugi?” Sikanoske began in a rich voice.

“Drown the floating monster Mori together! You cannot leave such a weapon in their hands, otherwise not only Aki, but also all the surrounding land - Suo, Nagato, Iwami, Izumo, Hoki, Mimasaka, Bizen, Beatty, Bingo ... all provinces in Chugoku and adjacent seas will be all at their mercy! This cannot be allowed, do you agree?”

“I thought so, it's Mori pulling the strings ...”

“Help us.”

Sikanoske lowered on one knee in front of Chiaki, so that their eyes were on same level.

“Ode has set his sights on the Chugoku, it's clear as day. Do not give them that chance ... And we can trust you, because you are the knights of justice. Help us. Fight with us shoulder to shoulder.”
“So, you want to revive the Amago clan... “Chiaki was not so trusting. “And then what? Are going to be Chugoku masters instead of Mori?”

“To revive the clan overlord” Sikanoske said firmly, “that's all I want. I do not think more.”

“You fool” thought Chiaki. Because if it really was their only goal, then they were not planning ahead. Worst Mori would hinder the implementation of this goal, so it will kill them. Chiaki looked at Sikanoske eyes - eyes of the deer****, but in a tiger - and saw the power, clean in its simplicity, and the absence of doubt.

**** The first character in the name Sikanoske - "sika", means "deer".

“Would work” decided Chiaki. Why would it not, as they both sought to destroy the "Yamato". There was a coincidence of interests, so why not use people of Amago who know the area?

“I suppose you're looking for the missing at sea ... We will tell all that we know about "Yamato". And about who kidnapped the girl.”

“Do you know?”

Sikanoske exchanged a significant glance with his companion. The one that was called Isar-hime, nodded slowly.

“The kidnapper is Kikkawa Motoharu of Mori clan.”

“Who?”

Like a jack-of-the-box jumped out another famous name, and Chiaki was stunned into silent. Kikkawa Motoharu was the second son of Mori Motonari. His adopted family of Kikkawa, and his younger brother, Takakage was of Kobayakawa family. Lifelong those two supported the native clan and each for its part, had been dubbed the "two tributaries of Mori".*

Takakage commanded the fleet on the Inland Sea, by Sanyo, while Motoharu commanded over the army in the area Sanin **. In the last resistance in the battle was nicknamed the Devil Kikkawa.

* The character "kava" in the names of both brothers translated as "river" - hence the comparison.
** Sanyo / Sanin - the so-called West and East coast of the Chugoku region. Sanyo, literally "the sunny side of the mountains" - the side that goes to the Inland Sea. Sanin or "dark side of the mountains" the side that overlooks the Sea of Japan.

Motoharu repeatedly crossed swords with Amago soldiers, and had shared set of common battles with Yamanaka Sikanoske. During the famous battle of the citadel Gassan-Tada, and later, during the battle for Izumo in 1570, got Sikanoske nicely. You could say that Motoharu was Sikanoske’s archenemy.

“I see ... no wonder Mori called them the three tips of the arrow. The brothers had now also returned and could not leave the main house unguarded ...

“Yes, both revived and re-created ‘Yamato’ led by Kobayakawa Takakage.”

“That is our grey cardinal ...” ***

***Someone who is a Grey Cardinal exerts power behind the scenes, without drawing attention to himself or herself.

Little by little, everything was falling into place. The fleet Kobayakawa was directly subordinate to Mori ...

“Well, why does Kikkawa need the girl? And Yang Guifei here?”

“To became Yang Guifei, ...” murmured Isar-hime. Her voice seemed a mockery to Chiaki. “Yes, that's it, they chose a virgin receptacle of ‘Yang Guifei’ spirit.”

“So this is a real empress? She, perhaps, was then flying as the red phoenix?”

Isar-hime frowned and dropped her face.

‘Hiding something’ thought Chiaki.

“Hear my plea, Uesugi,” she said at last, raising her head emphatically. “Only one weapon will act against "Yamato". One thing, and Yang Guifei knows where it is hidden. Please, track down and get her to name the place.

“What kind of weapon is it?”

“The two magical crystals, Manzo and Kanji. They are called the Pearl of Tide and the Pearl of Receding tide; they command the movement of water.”

Isar-hime pulled out of from jacket pocket a round crystal stone. “This is kanji the Pearl of Receding tide.”

Chiaki inadvertently found it fascinating. The crystal shimmered with rainbow colours when the light fell on it.

“Magical, you say?”

“Yes, but it alone is not enough. Without the Pearl of Tide it will not cause effect. If we have two crystals, we can easily drown "Yamato" and destroy the Mori - Kikkawa knows this and fears.”

“Is why Yang Guifei hid the stone, that we have found. Alas, we do not know where to find her as well find the necessary. Find out where Manzo is. If Kikkawa has it – steal it. And when Yang Guifei tells everything” Isar-hime's eyes flashed, “kill her on the spot.”

Sikanoske gave her a surprised look.”

“Isar-hime ...”

“Let him! .. Hear ME Uesugi? Do me the favor.... exorcise her.”

Chiaki paused, looking at the woman coolly. Something wass behind this, he thought, but oh well.

“Okay, I agree.”

“Truely Uesugi!”

“As you said, the girl was kidnapped by Kikkawa’s henchmen. That means, Yang Guifei obeys him?”

“As far as I know, Motoharu directs her every move.”

“I see,” said Chiaki, took a deep breath, and then grinned defiantly “Well, I will hunt for Yang Guifei. Man, it sounds settled to kill the first ever beautiful wiman. To begin with, firstremove this net ... and then you Sikanoske-dono, show me how fights the illustrious ‘Knight of loyalty’.”

Volume 10, Chapter 7 Part 2

*** WARNING WARNING WARNING*** NOT FOR FAINT HEART, KAGETORA RAPE SCENE, READ WITH CAUTION......

Followed by some confusing rambling of Takaya


*** WARNING WARNING WARNING - BEGINNING***

It had happened in Sagami, on the seashore. At night, on a deserted sandy beach he had been abused by several men. He was fifteen years old.

Undoubtedly it was a carefully thought-out plan. The ringleader, one of Hojo vassals, he knew well – he had been in his service (though Saburo was not particularly important person), and had served him well. He had always been there and had took care of him since he had returned from Takeda. And other times Saburo had encountered him outside the castle.

He remembered the purple disk of the moon, seen it through the tree branches. As lust had distorted the face of the man whom he had known as a good and faithful servant. There had been a carnivorous smile on his lips while he raped him, and joyed at the act of trampling on someone else's pride.
It was impossible to forget the pleasure with which he, the servant, had mocked his master, with reviled dirty words, and how many times had smeared his muddy seed inside and outside, enjoying the victory plenty.

Trying to get rid of the pain of the unbearable memories, Takaya struggling dug his nails into his hand.

They had just did with him. Even the thought of this brutality made him feel dirty again, and he had several times been on the verge of fainting. He wished he could lose consciousness, it would be easier.

They had laughed at him. They had crushed his dignity. They had tortured him, they had took him again and again, so that it was no longer understandable where whose moisture was on his body. They had squeezed him till the end, and he had began to think that, in fact, he was going to die.

The moaning, raspy breathing ringed in his ears. Wild pain, again and again - and so countless times. Someone pulling up and thrusting behind - Takaya was disgusting remembering the feeling and closed his eyes. Suddenly he was caught in the headlights, and memory drowned in a white flash, leaving only the circles on the surface of the senses.

*** WARNING WARNING WARNING END***


Then those people had abandoned Hôjô and disappeared from Sagami. He had never seen them.

Perhaps for some reason they had hated his family and wanted to take revenge so ...

Meanwhile, the wound left by them on his heart, ran deep. In desperation, he had began to drink, and even earned his father Ujiyasu’s rebukes, but had never told anyone about what happened. Never let go of pride. He did not want anyone else to found out about his shame and humiliation.

That trauma had remained untreated, later severely affecting his attitude towards people.
“Yes, Naoe” Takaya whispered stubbornly, hugging his chilled shoulders, “I will not give you anything.”

“You do not want me to give it to you.”

Naoe, a proud man, did not want to be a hand-out winner. He wanted to win by himself - to win Kagetora that was his only desire. Or maybe it ought to be said: he wanted to be Kagetora. It would probably be more accurate.

As Kagetora frightened him, he wants to be a threat to Kagetora. As Kagetora was admired by him, he wants to become an object of admiration for Kagetora. The same way, as Naoe always resisted Kagetora, he wants Kagetora to resist him. And eventually Kagetora –the loser was under the heel of Naoe – the winner and has tasted the bitterness of defeat, would feel bounded and suffer from it; would take on the sin of soul, and then begged for forgiveness, prostrate prostrate, weeping, shouting his name ...

And then, when they would have fully swapped places ... when Kagetora would be Naoe, and Naoe would be Kagetora... only on that day Naoe would be able to say that he won.

That day, I give myself to you.

Winner and loser ... It appeared that he and Naoe could not live without this relationships.

One wins, the other loses - maybe precisely this was precisely what tied them to each other and kept so for four hundred years.

Equality between them was impossible. If they become equal, Naoe probably get rid of the four hundred pain, but then what would hold him back? Love alone was not enough, it did not tightly bind people. Not enough hatred. Not enough desire, Not enough kindness. To direct everything, even the darkest feelings on Naoe alone, Kagetora himself had no choice but to be a "winner." So he might bind the man completely, forever ... but he could not.

Same goes with the"victim". The victim connects the hangman sense of guilt therefore, as a victim, Kagetora was the winner. It was the last chain he had locked on Naoe’s neck. It turned out to be a absolutely unbreakable leash, one that Kagetora would hardly be able to remove now – it was too frightening.

If the bottomless abyss, which lay between the winner and the loser was the only link - then they could not connect. Although the price was high ... Did this mean that they themselves preferred to be eternally linked, rather than dissolving in each other?

The winner, and the one who opposes him, would never be able to merge, but the winner was granted the ability to embrace - Kagetora knew this. And the moment would likely come, when resisting the desire to resist would lose, and... it would become impossible to not embrace. Probably, Kagetora was afraid of it.

But Naoe does not want equality. Naoe craved to put him on his knees, he would not be satisfied with the compromise. In that case, Kagetora need not to worry. And so everything was ok as long Naoe wanted to trade places with him, of course ...

But suppose if he succeeds then what? Then he will immediately lose interest in the defeated Kagetora!

“So I'll continue to win.”

There is nothing left. If Naoe did not heal, so be it. Let him be doomed to lose, it would hurt, but what other shackle could chain him (Naoe) up to him forever? Only the victory.

“Chain him up? ..”

Takaya seemed to wake up from sleep, amazed at his own thoughts.
“But I never wanted to chain him...”

Nothing from Naoe was necessary, absolutely nothing ... Then why were his nerves strained? Why this commotion? ..”

"I Lose ... I lose him forever ..."

Something compressed inside quivered, and Takaya froze, stunned by the strength of the surging feelings. He was afraid! His anxiety came from the fear of losing the person whom he resisted, and it was not just fear. It was horror.

“Why ...”

But that prospect suddenly became utterly real. Naoe, who had lost power ...Naoe, who was trying to overcome his addiction ... to say such Takaya felt uncomfortable – it meant saying nothing. He was so afraid, his knees trembled.

Naoe was trying to throw all away. He wanted to get out, collapse the loop that united them - doing what scared Kagetora exactly more than anything else.

If in which situation they were, still did not change, then he would lose Naoe.

Kagetora knew it, but could not get rid of Naoe’s pain. Could not even think of himself about making him free of it. To take his hand and break the thread stretched to limit which had eternally bound them... was the right thing, the only possible state ... No, it was beyond his power.

Now he is at the limit. Just a little more ...

Takaya froze middle of the sidewalk, as if rooted to the spot. He could not manage to make a move - neither forward nor backward.

So he stood on the sidewalk, alone, as the night reigned over.

***

Volume 10, Chapter 7 Part 1

Hello everyone, once again I am on roll and just can't stop wanting to read more MOB so I have started translating the next Chapter....so here you guys go....

PS. Okay hot and healthy thinking by Takaya toward the end, finally progress :P


Chapter 7 : Knight’s Allegiance
Takaya returned to the hotel ten minutes before lights out, when the building staff had to turn off the overhead light. In the lobby, a disgruntled Yuzuru was waiting for him.

“You still ran away!” was the first thing Takaya heard from him.

“Yuzuru ...”

“Why did you not tell me? I searched the entire hotel, you weren’t here. I thought you might have disappeared ... Where have you been? And where is Chiaki?”

“So, Chiaki has not returned yet” Takaya said, “I came for the evening roll call ... I could not wait before, to go at late night.”

“Well, to hell with it, I am better than this ...” Yuzuru grabbed his shoulder and whispered in his ear: “The girl, Matsuyama-san, called.”

“Matsuyama Satskaya?” Takaya raised an eyebrow. “What did she say?”

“She wants you to come immediately. She says she saw the ghost of Narumi-san.”

“Ghost?”

“Uh-huh. She was hysterical, I did not understand half, but ... I think she is afraid that Narumi-san died. Rather, let’s go to her.”

“Wait a minute ... what, with you?”

“Well, of course, with me. I arranged with Yazaki, somehow he will answer for us on the roll call. I already promised Matsuyama-san and... quickly, before anybody notices.”

Yuzuru tugged him out, and Takaya was back in the street, where he was instantly seated in the cab. Watching as Yuzuru hurriedly dictated the address to the taxi driver, Takaya wondered how deftly he was taken into motion. Yuzuru caught his look of surprise and pinned:
“You know how to push me in the corner.”

Takaya had no choice but to nod submissively.

They arrived quickly. They had just gotten out of the taxi, Satskaya jumped on both of them, she had been waiting in the bushes near the front door - sitting in the hotel must have become unbearable for her.

“How long does it take to get here! ..”

Rather than a school uniform, she wore a violet polo shirt and a tight skirt too short for a decent girl.

“So what is it about the ghost of Narumi?”

“It was was right in front of me ..” Satskaya wailed, almost in tears. “it seems no one saw except for me, but I knew immediately something! .. It was a ghost! .. Because she did not have legs, and then she disappeared suddenly... does this mean, Narumi died, huh?. . She is no longer present, huh? ..”

Takaya tried to calm the girl, and then asked again:

“Did she say anything? Maybe she had any message for you?”

“Message? .. How should I know, she was crying ... What should I do, eh? ..”

“Takaya!” Yuzuru called suddenly and, following his gaze, Takaya froze.
A ghost was looking at them from under the ornamental shrubs, silent and incorporeal, like a hologram. Like her pictures, Hokamura Narumi was very beautiful.

Most of all her appearance stirred Satskaya.

“Narumi ...”, she murmured, stammering at the sad look on her friend. “Narumi, what happened? .. Why are? .. Are you already dead? ..”

Narumi looked at her with such sadness that Satskaya would have thrown herself into the bushes, if Takaya had not kept a hold on her.

“Wait, Matsuyama. This is not a soul, it is a mental message: Narumi is projecting her image here, but she is not here. She is alive.”

“Is it true? The truth?” Satskaya could not hide her relief. “Oh, Narumi, thank God ...”

But Narumi, as if not noticing her joy, still continued to look as sad with tears in her eyes.

“What, what happened?” Broke Satskaya. “Do not cry ... Did you want tell me something? Tell me, I'll help, I promise, just tell me where you are?!”

There was still no response.

“Come on, Narumi! How do I understand if you say nothing?”

“Shh! .. Hush ...” interrupted Takaya in a whisper. “The signal is too weak, and that's not audible. Her strength is barely enough to transmit the image, but she clearly wants to tell you something ... Concentrate, try to hear.”

“It is easy to say ...”

Satskaya did not understand what to do. She struggled to listen, but could not hear anything. Takaya also failed, but oddly enough, Yuzuru succeeded.

“Miyazdima? ..”

Takaya and Satskaya looked at him in amazement. Maybe his mental wave length coincided with Narumi? ..

Yuzuru muttered, repeating to himself in audible words: “Misen on Miyajima? .. The famous mountain ... You're there?”

“Yuzuru ... You heard what she said?”

“It is not that very good but she keeps repeating – Go to Misen, Misen ...”

“Narumi are you on the Miyajima? If yes, then nod!”

Narumi opened her mouth, but then her strength dried up and the image began to melt.

“Narumi, wait, do not go! ..”

But no screams could hold her back, and soon the ghostly figure disappeared completely. Satskaya lowered her hands, and then clenched them into fists, angry at herself for not hearing her friend’s voice.

“Damn ... Damn! ..”

Satskaya repeatedly kicked the flowerbed. Takaya looked at her in silence, and then turned to Yuzuru: “She said: Go to Misen on the Miyajima, right?”

“Yes. Kept repeating it, so we go to Misen.”

“So she said ‘go’?” Takaya's face was puzzled. “‘Go’ and not ‘come’?”

“Absolutely, I am certain.”

Takaya was thoughtful, as if something bothered him. But then Satskaya swooped on them: “I'm going to Miyajima, now! To Narumi save!”

“Have you looked at the clock? No ferry is going to sail now.”

“But Narumi is calling for help!”

“Calm down. I am going to Miyajima tomorrow. The night here is useless, everything is closed. I'll wait, in the morning I will go to Misen, and you go back to hotel with him - you can come back tomorrow.”

“Hotel? What next! .. I'll go with you! Narumi is my friend! If not for me she would not have appeared here now!”

“Who has heard the voice of Narumi? I. What is the use if you go alone, and are not able to find it? ..So I go, no questions asked. If you will not take me, then Satskaya-san and I go together.”

“Why do you have to get it into your head?”

“I am getting it into my head! Stop being selfish!”

But Takaya, too, was braced.

“What do you mean by selfish? It is dangerous, you know? You cannot go there.”

“It is dangerous, but for some reason you can? .. So can we.”

“You cannot. For anything.”

“I'm still going!”

“Do you have a head on your shoulders? You're not a kid anymore!”

“No, I'm not a kid, but I do have a head on my shoulders!”

Yuzuru had a truly asinine stubbornness, but Takaya now was not in the mood to take it easy. He paused, and then gave up: “Well, fine.”

“What? ..” Yuzuru did not understand.

“Do what you want. Want to drag along, get in the way - please. Want to make sure how much useless you really are – lets go for God's sake. I do not care if you have to unintentionally fight and get killed. Not my concern.”

“What did you say?..” Satskaya snapped up, and was about to lash out at him with her fists, but Yuzuru held her back.

Takaya was behaving strangely.

“Takaya ...”

Rather than get angry, Yuzuru was alarmed. Takaya never talked to him in that tone. He wanted to ask what had happened, but Takaya looked away, as if moving away from the answer.

“I'll meet you tomorrow.”

With that he turned and walked down the street. Yuzuru now had no doubt that his friend was concerned with something and he was still feeling very upset about it - hence the rudeness. He wanted to go after him but could not – his receding figure seemed to alienate everything. Yuzuru could only look to accompany him until Satskaya next to him angrily muttered:

“Fine, does not give a fig ... Who does he think he is? ..”

"What happened , Takaya?" Yuzuru thought, looking after his departing friend, but he knew that he was not destined to know the answer.



Takaya was haunted by a phrase he had heard once from Chiaki.

He will not survive long.

For the umpteenth time the memory of those words echoed in his heart and hindered his thinking.

If it goes on – it’s the end. His mind will not sustain and his soul would simply end ...

Meeting Naoe today, horrified Takaya – he was not a man but like a candle that was about to be snuffed out. He had been anxiously watching the fatigue growing in Naoe’s soul, but what had appeared before his eyes today ... Naoe had looked like a fatally pale and emaciated, dying dog.

The change had almost not touched his appearance, but Takaya could observe the weakening of the spirit with every second and understood that it was at the final stage of exhaustion.

In all his life he had not seen anything like this.

I have been waiting for you.

Takaya grimaced - the memory still hurt.

You extort feelings of people but have never given anything in return!

"Exactly,” he mentally retorted, “You will not get anything from me in return.”

But Takaya did not notice, as he ignored what was in front of him despite his cunning. How he was avoiding listening to his heart, and did not want to recognize the true nature of feelings lurking there. Meanwhile, today a strong feeling threatened to bury everything under it.

You will sooner or later lose Naoe.
The barbed words were stuck into his brain. Takaya tried to not to listen to them, shut them out, but to no avail - they seem to have become his inner voice.

Will certainly lose.

“What good is it for me to talk about it? As if I can do anything...”

Takaya did not understand himself. It would seem, he had come to the conclusion that Naoe needed help. To get rid of the pain it was possible only by breaking the attachment, and this nobody will do for Naoe, he must do it himself.

I decided to quit on being obsessed with you. I realized how stupid it was to cling to a man like you.

Takaya closed his eyes.

“But clinging the same for four hundred years.”

Takaya had no doubt that the pretense had been a sheer sham. If it had only been so simple - a little contempt, and no more feeling, would it have to lead up to complete loss of strength of oneself?

Or it could have been exactly the opposite, and Naoe’s retained power flowed through the sieve of the soul along with the rest powers? What if he told the truth ... that in fact he was able to discard what had bound him, and he had stopped fighting, and stopped rebelling ...”

“You were going to defeat me, remember? Triumph - you wanted me most of all ...”

I want to triumph over you ..

“And you are saying that you threw it away? Your strongest, most indestructible desire?”

It can’t be ... Or can it?

The memory of the violently imposed caresses scorched flames of fire on his skin. Naoe feelings, his deepest pain had transmitted with every ruthless touch as if imprinting on the body, and his body could not forget.

“Why ...”

Takaya stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, shivering as he recalled the feel of Naoe’s hands and lips on his skin.

Again he was frightened as every time it was followed by a other hated feeling unknown to the current body, but too familiar to the soul. The memory about the violence he had gone through in the past – it was more savage, more obscene, could remember it so clearly ... Takaya would have liked to say "it was not", but could not.

Since then he had lost count of the nights, when he jumped out of bed in cold sweat. The event that had left of the deepest wound in the heart of Kagetora, now revived in the soul of Takaya again and again.

P.S.S.S.S Crap too much translating is not good either....just started the next part and its Kagetora's rape memory. I remember the ova and kinda knew but I know now why it was so hard for him to rely on Naoe to help him get past such a cruel event (T_T) So warning rape scene next part

Volume 10, Chapter 6 (Full)

Tasha: Hello everyone! Long time... well classes are done for a while so I have been translating new chapter in bits and pieces and now its done !! ...Woohoo...Ps. Great fight coming up between the scorned woman.... aka Naoe and the arrogant hero Takaya....

I present you the full Chapter 6:


Volume 10, Chapter 6 : In Anticipation of Yamato

The attack of Murakami’s fleet on the passenger ferry failed. The ship moored to dock at Kure, and journalists who were travelling on the ferry rushed to call the police, while the office of Maritime security quickly launched an investigation - in short, an unprecedented buzz rose. Naoe met the man waiting for him - Uesugi Chief of Intelligence, Nokizaru Commander named Hakkai.

“You were attacked by pirates of Murakami? ..”

After leaving port, they had gone to the Ondo Park in Seto. The Ondo canal of Seto – seventy meter strip of water between the island and the southern edge of Kurahashi Kure city - was considered a difficult place for the passage of vessels due to strong currents. The two banks were connected by a red spiral bridge with good view overlooking the park located on the hill.

“Who are, among other things, conspiring with Takeda? .. They leave us badly condemned...” Hakkai lived in the body of a man of about forty, with pointy facial features. He wore a gray suit, was stingy with emotions and gestures, akin to crouching in the shadows.

“Since Murakami are bearing them on to "Yamato", we have to deal with them”, said Naoe making puff and absentmindedly looking at the moving ships in the sea. “I'm worried about the fate of the kidnapped people. I want to know where they are kept. You know nothing about it?”

“Murakami Takeesi is strengthened by Nozime. Our men searched the island, but found no trace of the prisoners. Approximately sixty people are missing. On Nozime there is simply no place to keep so many people locked up.”

“To hide sixty people, large space would be needed, hidden from prying eyes. Finding a place ...”

“...will not be easy.”

Naoe frowned and blew smoke.
“Or they are dead ...”


That was very likely. Life energy - the energy of warm, breathing body. If the human energy was taken away, it best would lie in the long without moving. It was easier to dispose of the body than to hide it somewhere.

“But you need to understand” Naoe muttered again under his breath, and turned to his companion. “Okay, first of all we will seek the missing. Hakkai, gather the nokizaru and immediately send them for searching. Keep an eye on Murakami, make it impossible for them. It is unknown what mess they may do with Takeda ......”

“Yes, sir.”

“And continue gathering information about the "Yamato". Check whether there are more warships in the Gulf of Kure...”

“Naoe-sama” - Hakkai interrupted tonelessly. “You still have not noticed?”

“What?”

“What is happening in Kure?”

Naoe frowned and looked at the scout with suspicion.

“What is going on here?”

Naoe felt as if Hakko’s expressionless eyes flickered with shock.

“Now, right behind you”, Hakkai spoke softly, barely strained words, “stands the spectre of a naval officer.”
“What!”

Noe was horrified at the fact that only now, looking back, could he see behind a vague shadow. And he was appalled at the fact that he had not felt the otherworldly presence.

“And there, under the tree ... And beside the car, heading straight across to you ...”

In vain Naoe rubbed his eyes.

“You had not seen the ghosts”, spoke Hackkai. “You can almost not see it.”

Awareness of the terrible changes entered him into a state of stupor. He realized with horror that the power was gone. His sensitivity had dulled to such an extent that Naoe could no longer perceive the energy. It turned out that now he was not much different from the average person? ..

“You do not see”, stated Hakkai. These quiet words pierced Noe in the heart like a knife slicing him.

And Hakkai continued, without worrying about how to soften the blow:

“In Kure the spirits of seafarers began to gather who perished in that war. Died at sea or during the attacks - all drawn together here. So much that they hinder the inhabitants.”

“Why sailors?..”

“They're going to board the "Yamato".”

Hakkai’s bony face did not express any feelings. A face-mask, which move its lips only – was not a pretty sight.

“According to them, "Yamato" returns to Kure and should be here on the twentieth day after the date of his death. He drowned on the seventh of April, that is, they are waiting for him exactly a week, then that would be twenty-seventh of April.”

“Waiting for the "Yamato" ...”

“To get on board, then? .. They think of replaying the war fifty years ago? Are they going to attack someone?”

“You must enhance the surveillance of ghosts. If anything happens, we'll be immediately cast out.”

“Is everything alright with your health?” Hakkai showed more surprise than concern. “If you have lost power, perhaps you should not participate ...”

“You're saying that the warlord who has lost power, has no right to be captain?”

“Sooner or later, you will be denied that right.”

Naoe looked up. No matter how hard it was to admit it, Hakkai was not wrong.

“A invalid warlord becomes an easy target for enemies. Kagetora-sama will not allow that to happen. If you do not get better as soon as possible, then, in the worst case, you will not be able to stay among the Uesugi.”

Naoe stretched his lips in a sneer.

“If the power does not come back to me, I spare you from my presence myself.”

Hakkai paused, watching his face, then reached for his shirt, pulled out an object and placed it into his hand. Naoe looked down and saw a Tokarev gun in his hand.

“In case of danger,” said Hakkai. “ So you do not feel completely defenseless.”

Naoe looked at the dimly glowing metal side and smiled wryly.

“How kind of you.”

“Today Kagetora-sama enters Hiroshima.”

Naoe’s smile disappeared, like it never existed.

“Yasuda-sama with him. Kakizaki-sama will arrive in the evening. You should also ...”

“Yes ... - Naoe turned his cold look beyond the horizon. “I have no choice but to go to the meeting ...”

The cold winds now walked over the sea in April.

***
Ayako called to the hotel in the evening, when they had just got up from the table.

“Is it not early?” Chiaki fumed. “I could eat oysters at some good place ...”

Takaya had liked the hotel restaurant, they had fed them quite well, given the size of the group.

“Meeting at eight, the Grand Hotel. Are we going?”

“Yes ...” Takaya looked furtively at Yuzuru, who was watching television merrily with Yazaki and the other guys.

“Go out slowly…”

“Oh, we will be discreet.”

After dinner and before bedtime they were entitled to free time. It was possible to relax, take a bath - do anything, except going out of the hotel.

Takaya and Chiaki quietly slipped out the door, easily violating that prohibition and left behind the hotel with its lively voices and plunged into the web of night streets.

Ayako had chosen to meet at a international high class hotel, very close to the castle, but a thirty minute walk from their hotels.

They still had time left so they had decided to go on foot.

“Because of this thing, I haven’t even gone to the " Okonomiyaki Village " ...”

It seemed Chiaki worried that, having arrived in Hiroshima, they still have not tried the okonomiyaki (famous dish served for dinner).

“However, could have been worse. The baseball field, for example ...”

Just now on the illuminated arena Jupiters City Stadium was a night match in which "Yakult" of Tokyo played. In the street area of the Ayoy bridge the screaming fans could be heard.

“It is better to not to tell Haruie about it, she starts to yell Tokyo's limericks ...”

“Is she a fan of "Swallows"?”

“Uh-huh. And I am a fan of Hiroshima ...”

Takaya and Chiaki arrived a few minutes to eight. Ayako was already waiting for them at the bar, at a corner table.

“Here, here.” She waved a hand. Naoe sat nearby in his usual dark suit.

Having noticed Naoe, Takaya’s face darkened. Chiaki watched Naoe’s face, but there was no response.

Takaya slightly closed his eyes.

“Long time since all four of us were together,” Ayako said cheerfully, but the atmosphere remained tense. Takaya did not say a word and Naoe did not smile or even look.

Chiaki and Ayako looked at them and looked at each other gloomily.

“The intelligence investigation showed that mysterious lights around the inland sea are nothing but the ghost ships - namely, warships from the era of dissension. I am convinced that spirits of-generals are involved here ... See here”, said Ayako unfolding map of the Inland Sea.

“Red bar where there were mysterious lights and in blue where the people disappeared.

”Red crosses are concentrated in the central Seto around the archipelago* Kie: Innosima, Mukaydzima, Omisima - Islands the pirates Murakami. And the next place clusters of lights appeared ...”

* archipelago: a group of islands

“Miyajima? ..” Takaya looked puzzled at the map. - Strangely, there were no visible sea fortresses ...”

“I suppose they are ships of Sue” intervened Naoe. He looked at somewhere to the side of the map, avoiding to meet Takaya’s look. “The ones that were sunk in the Battle of Itsukushima. The location of lights coincides with the military information.”

“Battle of Itsukushima?” voiced Chiaki. “ The showdown between Mori Motonari and Sue Harukata ... It seems the main action unfolded right in front of the sanctuary ...It was a famous battle. Sue served as the daimyo governor of Harukata Outi in the province of Suo. Ouchi a powerful clan ruled all the lands of Chugoku and Kyushu, but the then head Ouchi Yoshitaka was too fond of science and literature. The family was threatened by the loss of valor and concerned about the fate of the clan, Harukata mutinied. After forcing Yoshitaka to commit seppuku, Harukata became the de facto head of the clan Ouchi. That happened in 1551.”

“The news of the rebellion of Harukata resounded thunder on all the surrounding provinces. Mori Motonari went in war against him, and that war did not stop for four long years until finally the first two forces the Chugoku agreed at Itsukushima Shrine in 1555. In this decisive battle Harukata was completely defeated, and Sue clan disappeared from the face of the earth.”

“Strong fleet in the region now possessed by Murakami and Sue. And Sue strengthened by Itsukushima.”

“They had never been so strong in the sea, to compete with Murakami.”

“Were not but now have become. Guess why?”, Ayako lowered her voice. “Sue teamed up with Oda.”

“With Ode? You mean iron ships under the command of Kuki Yoshitake?

“Exactly.”

Takaya and Chiaki, of course, had heard nothing of the sort. Naoe remembered the ships, and the strange couple that had pushed back the pursuit of Murakami flotilla.”

“That's it ... So, they were people of Sue ...”

“What do you mean? Is something wrong?”

“Nothing. I just had the pleasure of seeing those same ships. I did not know that they had allied with Sue ...”
“Sue ... Itsukushima ... - Takaya rolled the words in the language and thought. “ Miyajima and Itsukushima Shrine - different names for the same Islands ...”

“And just after Hokamura Narumi saw someone at Miyajima. A strange
Woman with strange conversation ...”

“Yeah, I thought about it. "Yang Guifei" may be one of the generals of Sue.”

“But then what is there at the Syuho cave? Sue was not standing closely there.”

“Really ...”

Takaya paused again, and then suddenly turned to Naoe:

“What about the disappearances. Did you find out what happened to the missing? Are there at least some leads?”

“There is reliable information that they were taken by pirates of Murakami.”

“ Murakami? .. Why?”

“For fuel of the tsukumogami "Yamato" they have created. In order to move the ship, they need living energy.”

“Yamato ... A huge battleship that sank in the American Kagoshima?

“ It was reborn as tsukumogami and now appears in different parts of the Seto. However, it is not alone - other military vessels have been spotted, and apparently of the same nature.

“Are you saying Murakami created them?”

“I cannot say with certainty, but since pirates are kidnapping people, and they seem to have created tskumogam, they are involved. But the initiative does not necessarily come from them ...”

“In what sense?”

“Firstly Murakami– are pirates. And every commander has a tendency to concentrate forces on one pre-selected targets. Is it necessary to defeat the pirates of Ode as indicated by their extensive preparations? Yes, they have not forgiven when Kizugave was defeated, but it does not extend beyond petty feud. The current plan for this is too carefully thought out ... And then, why the boarding craftsmen, who always preferred smaller vessels, now choose the giant "Yamato"? This is, at least, strange. They were proud of their tactics and believed in its success. Yes, Kizugave tactics did not pay off, but why would Murakami pirates rely on a large ship in their native, controlled waters?”

“So, you're saying that someone is behind them.”

“Only if the "Yamato" is designed to withstand the united army of Sue-Ode. For whom it is a necessity to defeat both of them?”

It dawned on Chiaki: “Mori! ..”

“The likelihood is very high”, Naoe nodded. “Murakami previously fought with them on one side - troop of form-wearing spirits supported Mori at the Battle of Itsukushima. So Mori may well be the initiator of the plan.”

“And there is still Murakami Takeda,” said Ayako and fell silent.

“The Union of Mori-Murakami-Takeda - so what?”

“Plus Ikkosyu”, Takaya alerted them all. “Nokizarus’c convey that Mori Ikkosyu joined, and for all costs Ikkosyu Keenan - Akechi, Matsunaga, monks from Mount Hiei ... have already formed front against Ode...”

“Will be hot...”
“...yes it will be. In any case, the problem should be solved in order. First search the people kidnapped at sea and the missing Hokamura Narumi.”

“And what about "Yamato"?”

“"Yamato" has not yet entered the stage of fighting - there was no attack on Ode or on Sue. The ship is probably not quite finished, or there is not enough fuel and ammunition.”

“Ammunition?” asked Chiaki. “What type of ammunitions?”

“Filled with the will of ghosts. I heard the dead sailors gather in Kure - perhaps they call them specially. Their ghostly body will become the armor, their spirit will fill the guns , and they will use it for their own purpose. And then the Battleship "Yamato" will be born -
huge, with the scarred souls of men, that no one can withstand ...”

Naoe frowned.

“Then, we must destroy it before it enters the Kure ... Otherwise it will be too late.”

“That's right,” Takaya nodded and asked: “You know, when it will be?”

“Twenty-seventh day of April, exactly one week.”

“This week they will need to finish the body that the spirits can enter. We must not allow the monstrous ship out to the sea. I'll toss all nokizaru in search of the docking place or somewhere it might be ... We will catch "Yamato" and destroy it there.”

Takaya looked around at his aides.

“The work will be difficult, but I hope that you will give your all.”

All three answered with a affirmative nod, while bitterness only appeared on Naoe’s face.
***

After the meeting, Ayako set off to dinner, taking Chiaki along for company. It looked to Naoe like they were lurking in the doorway, arguing loudly about okonomiyaki, and then went toward the elevator to go down to the underground parking.

Takaya stood in the hall, leaning against the wall with his arms crossed over his chest - as though waiting for him. He looked at Naoe as he approached and began without preamble:

“You have lost power.”

Naoe flinched. It turned out that his problem have not gone unnoticed.

“How long has it been?”

“I'm just a little tired ... the work is not affected.”

“So tired that you have to carry a gun?”

Naoe looked at him and said nothing. Takaya, too, was silent, his eyes downcast, and then asked quietly:

“I thought you wanted to win? How are you going to do it?”

Naoe glared at him, but Takaya met his look calmly, as if absorbing in itself - his eyes had such an amazing property.

“I decided to quit being obsessed with,” Naoe replied indifferently. “I realized how stupid it was to cling to a man like you ... foolish idiocy ... No, you do not worry me anymore.”

Takaya looked at him with narrowed eyes. Naoe’s face was flat and expressionless like a polished mask.

“So, you do not care anymore.” he said coldly. “Is that why you have lost your powers?”

Noticing a glimpse of some emptions in the eyes fixed on him, Takaya changed his tone to business-like: “To what extent have you you’re your abilities? Not all, I hope?”

“ And if I say "absolutely"?”

Takaya was so startled that his shoulders jerked. Naoe very attentively watched his face.

“If I say that I have no ability left what you would do with me?

“ Are they left or not? ..”

Naoe tilted his head slightly. Takaya’s eyes darkened. His face took on
A concentrated expression, as if he was trying to unravel the changes taking place in Naoe, which had lost his soul. Finally he faced Naoe, looking harsh in the lights lit.

“If the powers do not return to you in a while,” said Takaya harshly. “I will be forced to remove you.”

Naoe stiffened. Takaya meanwhile continued decisively and heartlessly:

“He who has no power, he cannot fight. One who can’t fight is not fit for service. Such a person will only get in the way , or worse – endanger his comrades. He has no place in the war. Therefore such a lapsed person is suspended immediately, even if he were one of yaksh Uesugi,” Takaya's eyes glittered coldly. “For the sake of secrecy, his memory might be adjusted. If the unfit soldier is taken prisoner, the enemies will come to use him... at the slightest threat of such, a head of the clan must banish with his own hand.”

“You will... exile... me?” Naoe asked quietly.
Takaya did not answer immediately. He stared in Naoe's eyes, and then said in a almost cracked voice: “In the most extreme case ... ...”

Naoe waited in silence.

“If we are unable to serve, we lose the right to live. Life was given to us in exchange for the promise to fulfill the mission - only this justifies our existence. We are only staying here for this for the past four hundred years. Without our power, our life is meaningless and worthless ... it has no right to continue.”

“To fulfill the mission?” Naoe demanded in a rebellious tone. “Have you really lived four hundred years only for this?”

“What...”

“It was different for me. I have not lived for the sake of the mission nor in order to fight for justice, the meaning of my life was different... I lived for you, because of you!..” Naoe said, his eyes blazing flames of darkness. “I have repeatedly chosen life, continued to be reborn only due to the fact that you have always and in all were in front of me!”

“Naoe ...”

“Because I wanted you, because I detested that I hadn’t gained triumph over you ... did you really live only for a cause, then you are nothing but a paragon of virtue ...”

Takaya however was no longer confused or embarrassed by the contemptuous words.

“Then it's time for you to be afraid - I do not need a talentless person. You seem to have imagined that I need you? .. You're wrong. Nobody is irreplaceable, and there exist as many candidates to take your place.”

Naoe sucked in his breath.

“Hakkai, Nokizaru leader – can help in being reborn, and he will perfectly fit in the vacant niche. Mr Kenshin, I'm sure would not mind ...”

“In my place? ..” Repeated a stunned Naoe. “Someone else ... you do not ... you will not care? ..”

“I do not need useless people.”

“You will really not care? ..”

Takaya tightened his lips and looked away. Naoe waited for an answer, and Takaya finally said indifferently:

“I told you, I'm not stopping you. I have never had the slightest desire to bind you. You attached yourself to me, you invented the rubbish about the "winner" and "loser" ... I do not care for it.”

Naoe turned pale and dug his nails into the palm he had not even noticed when he had managed to clench his fists.

“Yes ... you have always not cared ...” he whispered, barely squeezing out the words. “You really do not care who it is ... another in my place who would be afraid of you, or would rely on you with no doubts or regrets - I can imagine how it would be nice. After all, you are so fond of being revered ... for your lovers you stash the most gentle smile, as though Buddha on a pedestal, but you never keep them close.
You are a cowardly soul, you are afraid that if they see your true face - with its peeling cheap gilt – they all will be disappointed in you ... you know, I feel sorry for you. You are conceited, you are excessively proud and you despise yourself - and therefore not capable of normal human relations.”

Takaya listened to him without interrupting. His face was blank.

“You do not know how to give. You just take, take, and never return. You know why? Because you do not believe in yourself. You know your own weakness all too well and fear you would earn widespread contempt on an oversight not prevent, so you prefer do nothing. Of course, being an idol is much easier. Easier, more pleasant, and importantly, it does not get hurt. However it is not called relations. You do not know how to communicate with people on equal. Specifically, you require one that gives you his all for free ... gives all and does not even think of gaining anything in return ... You have lived four hundred years, but you still remain a child: like human love, though you do not love anybody. You cannot - you are afraid, as if you have not seen the truth ... You are selfish, a pretender, how can you love? .. You flatter yourself! .. You extort people feelings even before they have learned to feel themselves. Come to your senses! .. Or does your arrogance knows no bounds at all?!!”

“I feel sorry for you,” Takaya finally interrupted. “Look who's talking about arrogance ... I did not force you, I do not want your feelings. And I will decide myself to give something back in return or not. You spit venom because you cannot get reciprocity from me - I am able to still understand that. But what you are rattling off, it's not me. Worship, worship ... Do you not have anything else than to crave love?”

Naoe did not know what to say.

“Making a scene here... I'm sorry to disappoint you, but you that did not impress me. I did not ask to love me and do not understand why on earth would I owe anything to somebody.”

“You ... you simply ... so”

“Vanity is characteristic of insignificant people ... Being an idol on a pedestal and bask in the glow of universal love - this is what you dream of, Naoe, I do not ... That's just worthless.”

Naoe clenched fists shook. Takaya noticed it and smiled coldly: “What, you want my blood again? Want but your hand does not rise ...”

His eyes flashed strangely, he closed his eyes for a moment, and then looked at Naoe sidelong glance from under his lashes - and stabbed:
“You can rape a female, but you cannot kill a beast? Insignificant…”

Naoe felt as if a sword entered the body - so strongly stung his words.

Takaya raised his chin, loosened his hands and pulled away from the wall.
“I am tired of you clinging to me - please do not cling. I repeat, I do not care.”

Naoe stood, staring into space, unable to utter a word. Takaya took a couple of steps, then looked over his shoulder: “To make the final decision about your abilities, I need to watch you. Starting tomorrow you will pair with me to search for Hokamury Narumi – I can no longer put anyone you. I have also no particular desire to drag behind useless baggage, so unless you want to finally go to the dump, think about how to soon regain strength.”

There was a heavy silence. Finally, Takaya turned and was about to leave, when suddenly a voice came near:

“Tachibana-san!”

Naoe was surprised to hear his name. A middle-aged man wearing a suit, smiled warmly at him from the opposite side of the corridor - it was Aida Kengo himself.

“Who is it?” Takaya asked.

“The man who saw ghost ships. He was on the boat when it sank in the Bay of Osaka... But why is he here? ..”

Naoe made an effort for Aidu who approached and greeted him with a courteous smile:

“Aida-san, hello! What an unexpected meeting.”

“Indeed, its unwxpected! I often travel to Hiroshima on business ... But I did not think that you travel here! .. All these strange happenings at sea ...”

“You also heard of them?”

“You know, somehow I began to follow the events after the accident ... And cannot help but hear, since everyone is talking about it. My colleagues and I were suddenly feeling alarmed, but if we stop going to the sea - what will happen to the business? ..” Aida volunteered. His speech echoed with the relaxed sound and positioning of the local dialect.

“No, indeed I just came in the last couple of days to think ... I began to remember the war... Our old home in Kure went to the elder brother, and after the death of our parents, I have almost not been here - and then suddenly I wished to come here... I must be getting old.”

"Ah, you come from Kure... I just come from there, a beautiful town.”

“I grew up in the city of shipbuilding ... my fate is forever linked with ships,” Ida smiled, speaking of his old home.

“Here I have even started having old dreams ...”

“About the past?”

“Yes ... I had an uncle, a naval officer. He often played with me when I was a kid - well, I admired him ... He died while in the month of July, during the big raid, and now I began to dream about him. They are strange dreams ..”

“Strange, how?”

"Well, uncle... he says wonderful things. Like, the combined fleet will be revived, come on with us, Kengo, so we'll fight on "Yamato"...”

Takaya and Naoe involuntarily looked at each other.

“The combined fleet will be revived? ..”

“Nonsense, right?” Ida shook his head and smiled sadly. “I exactly dreamed it ...I guess, in dream I go back to my childhood - I, like all then was raised in a aggressive patriot country ...”

Ida looked at his watch and checked himself: “Oh, I have got go, I have a meeting ...”

“Aida-san” Takaya quickly said. “Can you tell us more about what your uncle told in a dream?”

“What? ..” He stared down in confusion at the unknown young man. “Well ...”

“In the evening I meet with a client, so I will be busy tomorrow ... Now, if say, in the morning ...”

“You're staying here?” Naoe said. “What time do we come, whenever you are comfortable.”

“Well, then half past seven in the area ... I will be going downstairs for breakfast. Will it not be too early?”

“No problem. Sorry to distract you from your work.”

“No, it is alright” Aidan said with a calm smile, waved goodbye and walked quickly to the door, where his companions were waiting for him.

That was the last time Naoe and Takaya saw him alive.

Volume 10, Chapter 5 Part 3 (Final)

Volume 10 : Chapter 5

Part 3

“How many times I have to repeat? Yang Guifei took Narumi! I saw it with my own eyes! ..”

Matsuyama Satskaya seethed with indignation. Sitting in the lobby of the hotel, surrounded by police, she was repeating her story the tenth time to them, but the police were stubbornly unwilling to understand.

“So who is this "Yang Guifei"?”

“Yang Guifei – The Yang Guifei! Have you people not read the books? A historical celebrity, she was still very beautiful! ..”

“So what?” A middle-aged police officer was ready to grab his head. “Where have you seen her, in a dream?”

“That's it, in a dream! While I was unconscious, I saw Yang Guifei take Narumi, and Narumi did not want to go! So save her, ASAP!”

The police looked at each other. "The girl is out of her mind" could clearly be read on their faces.

“So, have you actually seen someone kidnap Narumi-san? Or did you only see it in a dream.”

“Yeah, so what? Narumi is truly gone! I'm telling you, it's Yang Guifei! ..-”
But the police did not pay any attention to her, they rose from the couch.

“Thank you, Matsuyama-san. I'm sorry we took your time, you can go back to the room” and the man turned to leave. Satskaya hurriedly jumped.

“Hey, stop! You do not believe a damn thing I say! Wait, I am telling! ..”

The police left her without any attention to her indignant cries and, talking quietly, left the building. Takaya and his companions passed them at the door.

“Well girl’s gone now... And what just is going on in their heads? ..”

“Yes you see, what is it ... That you take from her? ..”

“A cry - it was, cry ... Maybe this Narumi herself escaped under cover and is now somewhere in the city of having fun.”

“I bet that she will come back at night.”

Hmmm, Takaya thought, I could not help overhearing the conversation. Good investigators are scratching tongues at the person behind their back ... No, the police could not be counted on.

The hotel building – was beautiful, with a spacious lobby - facing the Prospekt Mira. It was a too expensive hotel for a school trip.

“Here what means the school for the noble - not that we have ...”

“Look, is that not her?”

The girl, which Yuzuru pointed out, sat in a chair next to the counter and was smoking a cigarette.

“How noble...”
The guys headed towards her. Satskaya raised her head and looked at the approaching trio.

“Do I ...”

“Hello, Matsuyama-san!” - Chiaki greeted her with professional smile, which, however, failed to make any impression on Satskaya.

“Come girls are glued together? Then you can stomp right back.”

“We came to talk” - interrupted Takaya - “about Narumi-san and Yang Guifei, who kidnapped her.”

Satskaya flinched and grabbed him.

“Tell me again what you told the police” - Takaya asked, sitting down in the chair opposite.

“And why should I? As if you can do something... I remember you, I saw your spectacle at the Museum”

“Turns up I, too, am a guardian of order ...”

Takaya raised an eyebrow and just stared at her with an unblinking gaze.

Satskaya was confused, but Takaya taking advantage of her confusion quickly reached out and pulled out the cigarette from the mouth of the girl.

“What the ...”

“Do you want to save your friend?” Takaya said, not taking his eyes off her. “Then tell me what you saw in detail” and he crushed the cigarette in the ashtray.

Under his gaze Satskaya was suffocating. A pause dragged. Satskaya felt that if she did not free from his imperious gaze, she could not talk.
Unable to withstand the pressure, she broke the silence first.

“Okay, I'll tell. Anyway the police did not believe me - so they are not listening to me, as if it should be judged on appearance, the fools ...”

Satskaya, irritably, repeated the story she had told the police. With every word she ignited more, and in the end even her fists were shaking.

“So, Yang Guifei appeared while you were unconscious? And why do you think this is it? How did you know she was supposed to look like?”

“Well ... her clothing was like an ancient Chinese woman. And then she said so - I'm, like, Yang Guifei.”

“She introduced herself?”

“That's right, imagine! Here clearly a fool ... She grabbed Narumi from the back, rose into the air and flew away like Feechka ... Then I opened my eyes and I saw Narumi really was not there ... And they ask what it was ... you explained to me what it was! ..”

Satskaya repeatedly banged her fist in anger on her knee. Takaya gave Chiaki and Yuzuru a questioning look.

“There were no witnesses, right?”

“It seems so. Hell knows what’s going on.... Then, the girl could have managed ... Well, if the perpetrator – was a man, he needed a car or other means of transport. The witnesses should have stayed there. The problem is so-called "Yang Guifei" ...”

Takaya turned back to Satskaya.

“Before losing consciousness, did you feel any smell?”

“Smell? By the way, yes ...” – Satskaya’s face became thoughtful. “Indeed, there was smell of incense, and it immediately crippled me, and my head got dizzy ... Listen, find Narumi, eh? She was strange all yesterday evening.”

“How strange?”

“In the evening she left the hotel and went to the shore alone.”

“At what shore?”

“We spent the night at Miyajima, well, there is a enormous shrine close by. And Narumi went to view the sea alone, it was strange, and I saw ...”

“What did you see?”

“Narumi there met with a strange woman, she was young and eerily beautiful - well, purely Julian. And they talked some kind of nonsense. Something about Manju and Maurice, and even about Koji Kikkawa ... And they talked in an unusual old-fashioned way, like it happens in historical films.”

*Miyajima - one of the islands in the Inland Sea, off the coast of Hiroshima. Famous for the Itsukushima Shinto shrine and a large gate-tory, "floating" in the water during high tide.

**Julian - a Japanese fashion model.
*** Koji Kikkawa - Japanese musician and actor.

Chiaki and Yuzuru looked at each other. Manju? Maurice? Koji Kikkawa?

“Still I was surprised that while they were talking, the sea was full of lights. Well, just a lot of ... What are they called? Mirages? No, the "Phenomenal fires," that reminds me that I heard ... here in short, were thousands of them immediately - it is awful, of course, but also beautiful at the same time.”

“And then what did Narumi-san do?”

“Uh ... She and the woman were arguing about something. How was it? .. Something somewhere "Sui", then "oda" ... did she mean Oda Yuji? And again manju, manju ... "Momiji manju", or what? We had them in lunch in the afternoon but did not have time to buy more ..”

**** Oda Yuji - Japanese actor.
***** Momiji manju - special cakes (manju) in the form of maple leaves (Momiji), a local product of the island of Miyajima

“Then she went back to the hotel?”

“Yeah. In the morning I asked her, but she denied it – said that she did not go anywhere and did not remember anything. All of it was suspicious...”

Chiaki and Yuzuru listened and shook their heads. Takaya thought for a moment, and then asked:

“Have there been more times when Narumi-san behaviour seemed weird?”

“Yes, there was such a incident ... When we went into the cave Syuho.”

“Syuho, the famous cave in Yamaguchi?”

“Yeah. We went there on the second day, on the way from Hagi. At the bottom Narumi became ill, she fell down, began to shake as epileptic, and then opened her eyes and began to cart some sort of nonsense:

"Go away, strangers! Immediately! ", she made such a terrible face, we all began to shake in fear. It was as if she was someone possessed ... but then she dropped again, afterwards was, well, normal.”

Chiaki nodded, glanced at Takaya. He also seemed to have come to conclusion.
“Find Narumi, please” - Satskaya spoke fervently, leaning forward. “Her folks are of modest means, they do not have the money for ransom ... Help me, huh?”

It seemed Satskaya was a loyal friend.

“We will try to find as soon as possible - Takaya said. “As soon as I hear anything, I will call, so just sit here and do not go anywhere.”

***

They left the hotel and went on Prospectus of the World Motoyasukavy aside, then turned onto the street Rydzy to take the tram.

“That's a beauty - Chiaki handed, looking at the photo Hokamury Narumi, they had not forgotten to ask. “Interesting, as Yang Guifei... ha ha. A pity if she the same bad manners ...”

“This girl may have become the receptacle of the spirit”- Takaya muttered, stepping forward. “Nine to one, that her behaviour in the cave Syuho and Miyajima was caused by the spirite. Apparently, it liked her to instil its spirit in, and chose her receptacle, and therefore abducted her.”

“Well, who, who possessed it? Yang Guifei did not, in fact ...”

“The key to the solution could be the woman to Miyajima,” Takaya said, stepping into the crosswalk. “She probably knows something.”

“And yet, what does it mean? Julian Maurice, manju, Koji Kikkawa, Oda Yuji ... Complete gibberish.”

“Well, it’s how you see” - Takaya looked over his shoulder. “"Mori", "Kikkawa", "TMN", "ode" ... what on earth it could be?”

Chiaki and Yuzuru repeatedly uttered the words themselves and then with one voice cried out:

“ Mori, Kikkawa, Sue, Oda!”

“That's it” – Takaya took a deep breath. “Mori Motonari, Kikkawa Motoharu, Sue Harukata, Oda Nobunaga. It looks like she is in a serious bind.”

Chiaki and Yuzuru frowned. "Yang Guifei" could be anyone, not just an ordinary ghost.



Author note: Phew finally done....I don't know any Japanese or Russian, so the translating and making sense of sentences is problematic, hence the slow update.. anyhow here you guys go....

PS. University's starting in 4 days...I am going suuuuper crazy, any tips for successful next 4 years???