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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.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
ishitori
Jul. 10th, 2014 02:47 am (UTC)
THANK YOU SO MUCH ヽ(´Д` )人(´Д` )人(´Д` )ノ〜♪

And thanks for leaving a message, too!! I actually usually check every day (yikes) but yesterday I didn't make my daily rounds ( ´艸`)
sarah3161
Jul. 12th, 2014 02:29 am (UTC)
waaa >_< Takaya is so cold here i feel sorry for Naoe REALLY T_T
imagase
Jul. 12th, 2014 08:28 pm (UTC)
Wow, thank you very much for your hard work, I've always wanted to read this part of the story, so painful yet so intense!^^
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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