Oda Nobuna no Yabou:Jakigan Chapter1
The First Seal : Bontenmaru Debuts!
On the mountain route between Echigo and Yonezawa, a beautiful princess-knight was riding her white horse.
With a body of snow-white skin, the princess-knight's features truly fit the country of snow, Echigo, where she was born.
She had long hair that extended towards her waist, with her fringe set nicely and in order.
Her sharp eyes made others have a deep impression of her, but in actual fact she was only a child around twelve or thirteen years old.
Her true age was unknown even to her.
Her birth date was a mystery.
As a young war orphan, she was selected by the princess-daimyo, Uesugi Kenshin, to be her aide due to her talent. After which, due to her sharp mind and excellent skills; she was recognised and specially promoted.
She recently became the heir to the famous clan in Echigo, the Naoe Clan and changed her name to Naoe Kanetsugu.
What this meant was the stray girl who did not even know the appearance of her parents or her own birthday in the span of a few short years became a clan elder of the Uesugi Clan.
A confidante of the Uesugi Clan.
This was the 'Young Genius', Naoe Kanetsugu.
Naoe Kanetsugu also had huge confidence in her own talent.
As for the reason why Naoe Kanetsugu was alone, riding to Yonezawa, this was because of an intriguing order from her lord, Uesugi Kenshin.
"It seems there is another dragon in Oshu."
Even though the ruler of Echigo, Uesugi Kenshin was still a young princess-daimyo, yet she had a unique thought process different from ordinary people. She relied on her instinct or maybe it would be better to call it a sixth sense to deal with military matters and administration.
And when Kenshin heard the news that Oshu seemed to have 'another dragon', she appeared to pay particular attention to it.
Uesugi Kenshin was called, 'The Dragon of Echigo', and together with 'The Tiger of Kai' Takeda Shingen. They were both called the Sengoku era's strongest generals, and were the subjects of awe.
Kenshin possessed outstanding military and combat capabilities, her commanding skills were on par with the gods of war and was even capable of forcing the strategist Takeda Shingen to the brink of death and defeat numerous times. She was also a person who did not have any selfish interests or desires, and only wanted to restore order and justice to the chaotic times, a pure and innocent general fighting for justice.
Even though Naoe Kanetsugu's belief and admiration that Uesugi Kenshin was truly the reincarnation of Bishamonten was the same as the other Uesugi Clan generals, she was still unable to discern the true meaning of such command.
"I don't think that there is a heroic person who can match Kenshin-sama in Oshu... ..."
The north-east region during the Sengoku Era was split into two provinces.
By right, these two provinces should be collectively known as 'Ouu', but it was usually referred to as 'Oshu'.
Incidentally, due to the fact that the northernmost tip and southernmost point of Oshu was extremely distant, therefore the region closest to Kanto, in other words the current Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures were called South Oshu, distinguishing it from North Oshu.
As for the problem of what to do with this vast state of Oshu, Uesugi Kenshin gave that task to Naoe Kanetsugu.
Therefore, this trip focused on inspecting Oshu.
However, exactly what kind of existence was Oshu's dragon.
"The Fujiwara Clan that was once-prosperous in Oshu has lost much of its influence there. Currently, Oshu should be in the state where countryside daimyos are divided into several factions and warring against one another as a result of a complex web of marriages between clans."
Using Yamagata Castle as his main base in Dewa Province which was located next to the Sea of Japan bordering Echigo, Mogami Yoshiaki would initiate some conflict against the Uesugi Clan in Echigo from time to time.
"Even though Mogami Yoshiaki is a warrior blessed with both martial strength and intelligence, he is a tyrannical man, according to rumours he even fought his biological father and clan members. Furthermore, he also attempted to invade the northern part of our Echigo, such a person can never be forgiven."
However, according to Uesugi Kenshin's intuition, in Yonezawa not far off from Yamagata, there existed a hidden hero who was superior to Mogami Yoshiaki.
On a map, Yonezawa was in the southern tip of Dewa Province, but due to geopolitics, it was classified under South Oshu.
Even though it also belonged to Dewa Province, but should Yamagata's Mogami Yoshiaki continue to expand his territory, he would inevitably clash with Echigo to the south of Dewa and also facing the Sea of Japan. However, Yonezawa could only expand towards South Oshu in the direction of the Pacific Ocean, moving away from Echigo instead.
This was due to the fact that the road towards the Sea of Japan had been sealed up by Yamagata Castle, furthermore, Mogami Yoshiaki's sister Yoshihime married the head of the Date Clan, Date Terumune, which caused both Clans to establish an alliance of marriage.
Marriage alliances like this were exceptionally common in Oshu, the complex marriages among the various countryside daimyo was so complicated that even the prodigious scholar known as the 'Uesugi Clan's confidant', Naoe Kanetsugu was unable to fully grasp that knowledge.
"It's said that the heir of the Date Clan of Yonezawa, Bontenmaru, is called a prodigy as she exhibited intelligence far superior than that of a normal person even though she's a child."
Naoe Kanetsugu was en route to meet with the prodigy Bontenmaru.
"However also according to rumours, Yamagata's Mogami Yoshiaki might actually harm the child of his own sister. To him who is contemplating pocketing the Date Clan for himself in the future, the prodigy Bontenmaru's birth is not a piece of good news..."
'If Bontenmaru is really a prodigy, and really the dragon, then please protect her properly from Mogami Yoshiaki's conspiracies, and guide her in the right direction.' This was what Uesugi Kenshin ordered Kanetsugu to do.
This was for the future of Oshu.
Uesugi Kenshin seemed to harbor great expectations towards Bontenmaru, a prodigy she had not even met once.
Even though Kanetsugu, who had caught the eye of Kenshin and was raised to her current position, felt a little jealous, the accuracy of Kenshin's predictions were actually quite high.
Also, for Bontenmaru who was seen as a thorn in his side by her own uncle, her plight made others unconsciously sympathize with her.
'Let me protect her temporarily,' Kanetsugu thought.
"Speaking of which...giving a child the name of Bontenmaru is going a little overboard isn't it... it is a majestic and magnificent name but taking it too far is a bit..."
Brahma is a patron saint and a pillar of Buddhism, before the establishment of Buddhism it was already embraced and worshipped as a god in India.
The Date Clan's young head, Date Terumune was a kind hearted man, so even when Mogami Yoshiaki pushed his sister Yoshihime to him, when Yoshihime was already pregnant with another man's child, he did not turn down the wedding. That kind of rumours had also been circulating in Echigo.
This was because when Yoshihime married into the Date Clan and took up residence in Yonezawa, she gave birth to Bontenmaru soon after in Yonezawa.
If she was truly the child of Date Terumune, it would have been too quick.
Therefore that rumour, was probably the truth.
"Giving a child burdened with such a fate such a grand name of Bontenmaru, Date Terumune was a really virtuous man."
Naoe Kanetsugu bent her head and entered a dango shop in Yonezawa.
In the dango shop, she treated pedestrians to a meal while inquiring "Where is Bontenmaru's place of residence?"
Collecting information about current affairs in the city first was Kanetsugu's method of infiltration.
"You're asking about the whereabouts of Bontenmaru-sama?"
"It's said that once a month she would come to Yonezawa to have a meal with her parents."
"It's not that day today."
"Ah, another plate here please."
"...A generous Princess-knight."
"So where is Bontenmaru-sama today?"
"Probably in her own residence"
"She rarely goes out. The residents of Yonezawa have never seen her."
"It's said that even her retainer group rarely see her as well."
Using modern language, it would seem that Bontenmaru is a hikikomori.
"Even though I'm not very clear, but there are rumours that Bontenmaru-sama is a prodigy."
"We have no idea as well about her being a prodigy or whatever."
"However the fact that she is a very shy Hime-sama is definitely true."
Even if she was shy, she could not be written off as rubbish.
Furthermore, though Uesugi Kenshin whom Kanetsugu admired was slightly different from being introverted, she usually disliked people approaching her and would often lock herself in the hall of Bishamonten.
It seemed like the Uesugi Kenshin's intuition stemmed from her loneliness.
"I heard that Bontenmaru-sama is not the real daughter of His Excellency, Date Terumune?"
"You'll be punished if you don't watch your words..."
"The head of the Date Clan can be said to be kind lord..."
"However he is particularly sensitive to this rumour..."
"Like that huh... anyway I should first go to Bontenmaru-sama's residence to take a look, exactly where is it?"
"I think it is best for you to not go there, samurai-sama"
"It is an unpleasant, spooky house."
"She keeps exotic monsters from the Nanban ships, in the courtyard of her home there are piles of skeletons. In short, there are many strange rumours about her residence."
"... ... Those are suspicious rumours that nobody would associate with the residence of a prodigy."
"Maybe it's because Bontenmaru-sama never goes out so those kinds of rumours keep spreading..."
"Or perhaps the reason is that her residence is at the peak of the mountain and thus always shrouded in a fog... but still it's indeed very spooky."
A Nanban haunted house huh... ...I haven't seen any Catholic missionaries here in Oshu though, what exactly is the situation here.
Catholic missionary activities from the Nanban ships were most prevalent in Kyushu and in the region near Kyoto, while Eastern Japan remained untouched.
Perhaps it could be said that this was the evidence of the advancement in Bontenmaru's thinking.
Naoe passed a bag of gold over to the passers-by and left the dango shop.
Due to the fact that the sky was beginning to darken, so she decided to stay a night, before heading to Bontenmaru's residence the next morning.
Riding along the mountain road, there was indeed a spooky residence shrouded in fog at the location where she was told.
On the fence, a large number of black cats could be seen meowing. It was truly a bad omen.
One could glimpse a Nanban cathedral beyond the fence clustered with black cats.
At the roof of the Nanban cathedral stood an inverted cross.
It was completely opposite with the cross of the Christians.
Under the influence of Uesugi Kenshin who thought of herself as the incarnation of Bishamonten, Kanetsugu had studied about Buddhism and was very familiar with it, but at the same time, she had done a simple study of Christianity as well.
"That's strange, why is the cross flipped over?"
Anyway even if one wanted to enter, there was no one in sight to open the gate.
DONG... DONG... In the midst of the fog, the sound of a bell could be heard.
It was probably to signal the arrival of dawn. Different from the bell used in Buddhist temples, there was a distinct Nanban feel about it, yet the sound it produced was a little ominous...
The black cats began to meow again.
Even though Kanetsugu was a prim and proper princess-knight, yet in front of Bontenmaru's residence which exuded a spooky aura, she was unable to bear it.
Furthermore Kanetsugu's personality was also a little egoistical, she disliked waiting for long periods of time in front of people's doors.
"There's no other choice, I'll just go in uninvited."
She thus dismounted from her horse, crossed the fence and entered the courtyard of the residence.
This was the beginning of Naoe Kanetsugu's misfortune.
The prodigy of Yonezawa, Bontenmaru's mornings started rather late.
In the depths of Bontenmaru's residence that was called a Nanban haunted house, a certain sound came from a room ——
Similar to the sounds of a dying cat, yet it seemed to be somewhat different, anyway, the unknown growling could even be heard from the foggy courtyard.
"Hime, it's already morning, please wake up."
"Wuuu, Okaa-sama. Please let me hug my Okaa-sama's soft chest and sleep for a while more."
"Hi...Hime, you dreamt of your mother... ...then I'll just let you hug for a little longer."
"Wuuu... ... Okaa...Okaa-sama... ...added poison to my meals... ... again..!"
"Hime?! You dreamt of your mother poisoning you again?! This Kojuurou will immediately wake you up!"
"... ... Oh so what she put in was a piece of nutritious garlic... I thought it was poison Okaa-sama. Bontenmaru likes Okaa-sama's dishes the most kukuku."
"... ... Wuuu. Even in her dreams, she has a good relationship with her Okaa-sama, Hime... ... I understand, I Kojuurou will temporarily be Hime's bolster, and let you remain in this posture and continue hugging me."
"I suddenly realised that garlic is a deadly poison for a Nanban demon like me! I-I'm going to melt away Wuuuuu! O-Okaa-sama~!?"
"Woo. Since just now, you've been over there laughing and crying alone... it's so annoyingly noisy Kojuurou. Gugugu."
From Bontenmaru's custom Nanban bed, a small cat... ... no, upon closer inspection it's a small girl... ...flew out and fell on the floor.
"Woo, what are you doing Kojuurou?"
"Don't say such a bad joke the minute you wake up, Hime."
"As my bolster serving me in bed, you dare to fling your master off it. It seems that you're attempting to seize my throne and title of the demon king by force right?!"
The petite girl who was thrown onto the floor was wearing a white set of Nanban pajamas revealed a set of white teeth as her mouth crooked into an evil grin.
While rolling around, she spread her arms to form a "Debut!" stance. This was not something ordinary people with normal motor skills could do, perhaps she was truly a cat.
The unique pose of 'Debut' was something that resulted due to the petite little girl contemplating the question of "How to make myself look even cooler."
The young girl was also quite strange, she who still had an immature young body had a head full of shining gold hair that was the same colour as the Nanban, and her left eye had a deep red colour that was similar to red wine.
"Hime. Please stop teasing me already, enough is enough! In actual fact you were awake from the start!"
The criminal who threw Bontenmaru off the bed, was Katakura Kojuurou who served as Bontenmaru's aide and played the role of her bolster.
Even older than Bontenmaru.
Katakura Kojuurou who was hailed as the Number 1 Bishounen in Yonezawa, to the extent where among the Date Clan retainer group, the samurai who were homosexual formed a personal guard squad for her, was actually a girl.
Date Terumune, the head of the Date Clan who lorded over Yonezawa Castle sent Kojuurou who was made to cross-dress as a man to accompany Bontenmaru around as an aide so as to prevent people with evil intentions from approaching and getting close to the important heir of the clan.
While Bontenmaru was very delighted with the educated Kojuurou who had no desires, be it her meals or baths, she would always be with Kojuurou to the extent where she used Kojuurou as a bolster to hug at night.
Kojuurou then sighed, 'When can I be able to go back being a girl... ...' and was filled with anxiety about her future. Yet on the other hand she was unable to stay away from Bontenmaru who possessed a head of gold hair as well as a pair of shining eyes which made her as cute as an angel.
Furthermore if she stayed away, she had no idea what Bontenmaru would do.
In any case, Bontenmaru was the revered prodigy, with the construct of her brain different from ordinary people.
Although she was still young, but because her father, Date Terumune said that, "This child is a genius" and imposed an education that emphasized on excellence on her. She was long familiar with ancient Buddhism, Shinto, Taoism, Confucianism, Mathematics, The Art of War and History. Recently lamented "I'm already bored with Japan's knowledge" and started learning Nanban theories.
However the result was as shown, Bontenmaru already turned her residence into a Nanban haunted house.
As for the Nanban cathedral, Bontenmaru had never seen a physical cathedral before, relying on information and intelligence as well as her own delusions to design and construct such a building.
Furthermore what was worshiped in the cathedral was not the God of Christianity, but Nanban's demon, there was even the skull of a goat in there, and it was Japan's first anti-Christian church. In the foggy courtyard, she even built a Nanban styled cemetery as well as included an inverted cross for decoration, she also mass reared black cats as they were considered to be the demonic messengers of the demon clan.
Generally, in this era the only form of Nanban culture that the Japanese experienced came from the Christians, yet the prodigy Bontenmaru whose mind spun so fast that it had already spun around the world in that small frame of time as she came to the conclusion that 'The Demons of the Nanban are really quite cool gugugu', finally placing her interest in Anti-Christian things, eventually even coming up with her theory of "I am the demon who was summoned by the Nanban to destroy Japan."
To put it nicely, one could call her a prodigy. But in actual fact, if she was to take a step in the wrong direction... No, even without taking a step in the wrong direction, Bontenmaru belonged to the category of eccentric, strange weirdos.
The wails of the black cats in the courtyard sounded out.
"Oh? The roars of the demons today seem like thunder, ringing loudly in my ears gugugu. Wuahhhhh~"
"Please don't create a ruckus with the cats. Did you hear what I said, Hime?"
"Of course I heard it, that's right, when on earth did I tease you?"
"Weren't you just teasing me just now when you were pretending to be dreaming?"
"I was always sleep-talking just now until Kojuurou threw me onto the floor."
"You liar. I'm a coward despite my appearance, so please stop teasing me."
"I don't want to. Kojuurou is simply too easy to trick, not teasing you is really such a waste."
"Then please allow me to resign from my position as your bolster today."
Suddenly, the eyes of Bontenmaru who was in front of Kojuurou started watering up.
"Wuahhh~. How can that do! Without Kojuurou around, I won't be able to sleep~!"
"In that case, please let your little sister Megohime-sama serves as your bolster. Megohime-sama is very active and is a suitable candidate for this position.
"Wuu. Even though Megohime is very cute but her chest is so flat, it doesn't make me happy to hug her. Up till now, the girls who I go to bed with who have been constantly changing are like Kojuurou, with tender and elastic young breasts... as expected, they're the most comfortable gugugu."
"As a young girl you shouldn't be talking like those merchants who sell women into brothels. It's giving me goosebumps."
"Saying that I'm a young girl and whatnot is a little too rude Kojuurou. I am already an adult, I'm just a little short that's all."
"If you're an adult you don't need someone to serve as your bolster and should be able to sleep by yourself."
"What? If I sleep alone, then what do I do if I want to use the toilet in the middle of the night?"
"Then go ahead."
"Wuahhh? I can't do that, I'm afraid of ghosts you know, I'd rather wet the bed."
"The one who transformed the residence into a Nanban haunted house was you, Hime.~"
"What happens if a terrifying, low level demon springs out from the magic array inside the Nanban cathedral I built in the courtyard! I will definitely wet my pants and then faint."
"Then directly wetting the bed would be a better choice."
Bontenmaru leapt forward with her lightweight body and grabbed Kojuurou's head.
"Wuwawa! Kojuurou, don't abandon me! Wuu... ..."
"Yes yes, I will never abandon you. Absolutely."
"Absolutely. No matter how troublesome Hime is."
"Kojuurou~! Sure enough, my bolster can only be Kojuurou! I wanna hug you! Let me hug you!"
Bontenmaru also had a childish side of her that was appropriate for her age.
Kojuurou helped Bontenmaru change clothes while lamenting with a sigh, "Haa... ... If only an authentic missionary came to Yonezawa, then Hime could be more normal..."
Bontenmaru raised both her hands and let Kojuurou fiddle around.
Because she was a prodigy, or maybe because it simply was her original personality, but Bontenmaru was a lazy girl.
Especially for her, it was particularly difficult to get up in the morning.
Kinda like low tension.
"I've really had enough of your behaviour. If Hime wants to be an adult, please change yourself."
"... ... Under the sun's rays in the morning, my demonic power drops to one tenth of its original level."
"Yeah right, it won't drop like that. Instead, you should go out and bask in the sun more, or else it's not good for your body."
"I don't want to. Moving outside in broad daylight will scare others... ... "
Bontenmaru who had exotic blond hair and different coloured eye pupils since birth was especially sensitive to the stares of others.
In Yonezawa situated within the mountain ranges of Oshu, many of its inhabitants did not even catch a glimpse of the sea in their lifetime despite Japan being an island nation surrounded by seas.
The number of people who had seen a Nanban person in Yonezawa was but a mere handful at best.
When Bontenmaru was still very young, she once overheard the retainers discussing "Hime is not our Lord's biological daughter. Her real father must be a Nanban person which would explain her unusual eye-colour since birth."
Since then Bontenmaru was afraid of appearing in front of people, taking the initiative to evade others.
Even if she had to go out she would cover her face completely with her Nanban cloak.
Therefore the number of people who had not seen Bontenmaru before made up the majority of the retainers.
Using modern language to describe her, Bontenmaru was a Hikikomori-hime
Perhaps it was because she basically did not leave her home for long periods of time which resulted in her having an extremely vivid imagination as well as caused her to have constant delusions.
Vivid to the extent where she often said things like "I am the demon from Nanban.". This could be the first case in all of Japan's history that a person was affected with the anti-Christian chuunibyou disease.
Kojuurou, who watched over Bontenmaru as she was growing up, was currently gently stroking Bontenmaru's blond hair while mentioning today's schedule to her.
"Hime-sama, after breakfast today, Priest Kosai is to give you a lecture regarding Buddhism."
"Buddhism is too outdated, it isn't fashionable at all. I want to listen to the lectures of Nanban Missionaries."
"Even if you say so Yonezawa doesn't have any missionaries."
"Then all we need to do is call a missionary over to Yonezawa. Someone who holds the rank of anti-namban demons while being strong and knows all the names of his ultimate skills will be fine~nya."
When Kojuurou imagined the expressions of the Nanban missionaries who risked their lives to float all the way across the sea from the other side of the world and face Bontenmaru who only asked about the minute details of the demons from Nanban for a whole day, she could not help but weep.
In this case, the missionaries were really too pitiful.
Betting their lives in other to travel to a foreign land in order to spread the teachings of God, yet only allowed to discuss anything demon related all day.
"Hime, I think the things that the missionaries teach are probably not related to demons and whatever."
"Then what is it that they teach?"
"Er... ... Love... and the like?"
"If it’s love, can't it my sister's name?"
"If it's love, I am more knowledgeable than the missionaries. During the baths, I will washed myself extensively like how a cat licks all over it's body.
"Didn't I tell you not to speak like an old man when you are a young girl Hime!"
"Ah it's about time I went to the toilet, Wuuya~"
"No, you can't if Hime goes to the toilet now you won't come out till noon."
"That is where one can feel the most pure! There are no guests today and it's also a great place to consider today's menu!"
Unexpectedly, Bontenmaru's interest was cooking food.
It was probably because she basically did not leave her house and remained cooped up at home, and so she developed an interest in cooking and became a gourmet as well.
When there's something wrong Hime hides in a small and narrow place exactly like a cat..."
"Well black cats and I are all from the Nanban demon clans gugugu... ... oh, this morning my demon eye is also starting to sting a little."
After allowing Kojuurou to place a Nanban cloak over her head and properly secure it, Bontenmaru exclaimed, "Sunlight is really the natural enemy of demons... ... Today will have to be spent in black too." before revealing an evil smirk, rising and walking in her Nanban boots.
The Nanban cloak as well as the Nanban boots did not seem to fit Bontenmaru's size and thus seemed baggy when she wore it.
"Hime, you can't wear boots and walk inside of the room."
"It seems that in Nanban homes, people don't remove their shoes Kojuurou."
"Like this the residence will become dirty. No matter what in the halls and rooms it's better to remove your shoes. There no need to do everything in the style of the Nanban... ..."
Just as the knowledgeable Kojuurou began to preach, at that exact moment, Bontenmaru's sister Megohime suddenly barged in.
"Onee-sama, Kojuurou, things don't look good."
Megohime was younger than Bontenmaru by one or two years, dressed in a Nanban cloak that complemented her beloved Onee-sama, with a piece of cloth hanging down from her head, tying up one of her hands.
Thin and slender arms and legs were wrapped in bandages, not because she was injured, but purely for the appearance.
Her hanging hand too was not because of a fracture but was purposely left like so in order to inconvenience her.
Megohime had a slightly different form of the chuunibyou disease compared to her sister Bontenmaru.
If a term had to be used to describe it, it'd be the bandage wrapping type chuunibyou disease.
However Megohime's face was as adorable as a kitten yet she normally had no expression on her face, this was not intentional but rather it was because she was born this way.
Incidentally, the one responsible for feeding the army of black cats was Megohime.
Bontenmaru was a lazybug and thus did not have the perseverance to feed the cats everyday.
"Megohime-sama, good morning, just what exactly doesn't look good?"
"So it's like this eh. Megohime has finally become a woman... ...Kojuurou, we're having Sekihan tonight! Huhahaha."
"This is exactly why I told you not to speak like a perverted old man when you're a young girl Hime, I'm getting goose bumps already."
"I'm not a young girl! I am an adult! An adult! Adults should say what adults normally say!"
"What adults normally say doesn't equate to what old men usually say."
Megohime then muttered quietly with a blank expression on her face.
"This morning, someone fell into the trap set inside the Nanban cathedral."
"Ah! The trap that Hime thought of, the wicked trap where one will fall into a hole when stepped on?"
"Is what fell inside a deer or a bear?"
"It's a human."
"Ehhh?! Hime this is bad! It will cost someone their life!"
"People who dare trespass into the demon king's residence deserve their due retribution gugugu."
"It's alright Kojuurou. I placed a bunch of soft feathers into the bottom of the hole. Originally I should have put poisonous snakes or scorpions inside, but it's too much trouble to take care of live animals gugugu."
"But the hole is dug quite deep. It’s almost impossible for a human to climb up without the appropriate tools..."
"The depth is only about five times of Kojuurou's height."
"Could Hime have dug this trap with the intention to kill people?!"
"It was originally to catch bears, after all I want to eat bear hotpot sometimes~"
"Leave the hunting of bears to me instead, please permanently fill that trap."
"No thanks. The demon king who dominates the anti-Christians needs to have enchantments and traps in their church. Oh and tonight I want to eat chicken, Kojuurou."
"Well it seems like Hime doesn't have much interest in bear hotpot. Actually it's just an excuse to set up a trap isn't it?!"
"Please just say that it's an excuse that I made up because someone was annoying me gugugu."
"If we continue to increase the notoriety of this Nanban haunted house, there will be a day where the nearby residents will burn it down."
"How I wish for it. Being hunted by humans is but a demon's fate Kojuurou."
"No even though Hime is a little short in stature, but you're still a normal human."
"Once the demon hunt starts, my true blood of the demon king will also probably awaken. Using some inexplicable but very powerful sure-kill technique, making the foolish humans cry out like a bunch of chickens and then die."
"I seem to think that Hime would be the one who would be beaten up by the gang and then cry out pitifully like a little kitten before passing away."
If you left Bontenmaru and Kojuurou like this without interfering, most probably they would continue their manzai like that.
"I've brought over the person who fell into the trap."
Megohime really could not bear it any longer and decisively interrupted Bontenmaru and Kojuurou to introduce the victim to them.
"I am Naoe Kanetsugu who serves Echigo's Uesugi Kenshin! Ju-just what was that Nanban cathedral?!"
This unfortunate person was precisely Naoe Kanetsugu who sadly fell into the pitfall trap and then was stuck at the bottom of the hole shouting, "It's so cold!" while shivering and enduring her empty stomach.
"Why would a Nanban cathedral have a goat's skull as a decoration on the altar? Why are there a great amount of bats on the roof? It caused me to accidentally fall into that hole!"
The stunned Naoe Kanetsugu was watching the petite Bontenmaru while thinking, "I who is known as the Uesugi clan's confidante actually fell into the trap of this little kid?" and was plunged into a turmoil.
Meanwhile Bontenmaru was thinking...
'It would seem that this is a serious and somewhat arrogant person, there is some value to teasing her gugugu.'
She had a look of impure motives locked onto Naoe Kanetsugu.
If Kanetsugu could suppress her turbulent emotions, quietly asking for compensation, perhaps the history past this point would have changed.
"What is a retainer of Echigo's Uesugi Kenshin doing at this demon king's residence gugugu?"
"What demon king? The person I came to see is the heir of the Date Clan, Bontenmaru!"
"I am Bontenmaru-sama's aide, my name is Katakura Kojuurou."
Kojuurou who was dressed like a man was releasing a unique aura.
Kanetsugu who thought Kojuurou was a young boy could not help but blush, as she restrained that anger.
"This blond-haired princess is Bontenmaru-sama."
"Th-this brat is Bontenmaru? Yo-you must be joking right?"
"Even though Hime looks petite but she is a prodigy!"
Naoe Kanetsugu issued the loudest shriek in her life.
"Gugugu, Kojuurou doesn't lie."
"She didn't lie! This cool, cute, gentle girl is Bontenmaru Onee-sama."
If you'd ignore the bandages wrapped around her body, it could be said that nothing could better describe the purity of Megohime. After hearing the pure Megohime say such a thing, Kanetsugu could only clutch her painful head while muttering, "How can it be... ...this little brat is... ..."
Faced with the pathetic Kanetsugu, Bontenmaru stood in front of her while chuckling "Gugugu."
Kanetsugu gritted her teeth while thinking, 'You might as well kill me and get it over and done with."
"I am the fifty-third king of the Nanban demon clan, Bontenmaru!"
"Nanban... ... what? I didn’t quite catch that. Can you repeat that again?"
"Okay! I am the red dragon demon king that has been guarding the seventy-seventh level of Nanban hell, Bontenmaru!"
"Why do I feel like it uses the same lines as just now?"
"Never mind. I just casually said whatever was on my mind at that time, since I never repeat myself."
'This damn brat... ... does she want to be executed... ...' The hot-headed Kanetsugu finally was unable to contain the fluctuations in her killing intent.
Bontenmaru on the other hand was thinking, 'This person has a great deal of teasing value in a different sense compared to Kojuurou.' and was full of joy.
While facing Kanetsugu, Bontenmaru who was usually extremely introverted, felt that the negative sides of both of them were very compatible and started to slowly get carried away.
"So, the person called Kane-tan..."
"Originally the people who peeped at my demon eye without my permission, should be executed according to the rules of the Nanban demon clan..."
"Don't call me Kane-tan! By the way, what's this demon eye?"
"What a rude fellow. Obviously I'm talking about my left eye. You've seen it already yet you still don't understand! Look at it! Using the Nanban language to say it, —— Go!"
Bontenmaru shrieked while pointing at her left eye and its red iris.
It eventually became too high-pitched and became like the wails of a cat.
Kanetsugu did not fully comprehend it and so she tilted her head.
"That I understand, but why is it a demon eye?"
"Don't make me have to explain everything to you. My eye's red iris is the symbol of me being cursed by the Nanban demons."
The block-headed state of Kanetsugu made Bontenmaru even more infuriated.
As she started to swing her arms.
Fiercely swinging her arms.
"In Yonezawa, it has always been fixed like this! People who have seen my demon eye will have their souls pulled out of them, so everyone is always terrified!"
"So it's like this...in other words the people in Yonezawa are a bunch of country bumpkins who feel frightened after seeing your eye with its red iris."
"In Echigo, there is no such idiot who believes in this kind of superstition. You might as well say that a red iris is a symbol of divinity. Only those that have been selected by the deities are born with that red iris, talents that will have a great destiny."
"What...why? Is there really the existence of such a strange country?”
"It’s not really that surprising. Yonezawa is quite a rural area."
“So, the reason why Kenshin-sama said that 'there's another dragon' is because of this red iris of Bontenmaru's eye,” As Kanetsugu starts to understand for some unknown reason.
"However this is the first time I've seen someone with only a red iris. Bontenmaru, perhaps you possess the heart of a human as well as the soul of a deity."
"Well said, but the truth is it's slightly different. The past me had a demon king's soul as well as the heart of God gugugu, but for the current me, the demon has already completely won!"
"Wait, where did the human heart run off to?!"
Kojuurou as well as Megohime were standing at one side while exclaiming, "Echigo is really advanced!" "How can Onee-sama be an apostle of God." respectively and exhibiting two extremely different types of attitudes.
While Bontenmaru went, "Wait... ... a deity? Not good, deities are bad!" and then started clutching her left eye and howling in pain.
"Uooohhhh, I am the cursed demon king who will always have the destiny of engaging in a life-or-death battle against God forever. My soul has already attained the red demon eye, in other words the demon in me won! How can I allow it to be taken away by the mere existence of something known as God!"
"Don't you feel that your life is very empty when you repeat this act by yourself every single day?"
"Shut up, you bastard! Could you be the person sent to rein me in from the faction of God?"
"How could I be that kind of troublesome messenger?!"
"Then why exactly did you come?"
'Ah, finally we can have a pragmatic talk.' Kanetsugu was so overjoyed she started tearing up.
"Listen up, my lord, Uesugi Kenshin-sama ordered me to come to Yonezawa and protect the prodigy, Bontenmaru."
"You're under whose orders? My soul has long fallen into the grasp of the demons, a mere powerless aide who engages in hypocrisy and is interested in God can never save me gugugu."
"Don't interrupt me halfway!"
"Ha.Na.Shi... ... where's the back in these kana?"
"... ... Even though I don't think you're a prodigy, but Uesugi Kenshin-sama ordered me to protect you from Yonezawa's neighbouring country, Yamagata's lord Mogami Yoshiaki."
"Ah that fox like uncle."
Bontenmaru muttered while scratching her ear, seemingly uninterested.
Mogami Yoshiaki. Bontenmaru's mother, Yoshihime's biological brother.
For some unknown reason - most probably it was because Bontenmaru's biological father was a Nanban - in the past up till now the irritating uncle with a fox's face had always regarded Bontenmaru as a thorn in his side.
Most probably he was contemplating on various ways to win over the current head of the Date Clan, Date Terumune and then devour the entirety of the Date Clan, this fact was obvious to everyone who watched it.
"That fox is indeed my natural enemy, but why would Echigo's Uesugi Kenshin want to protect me, the demon king of Oshu?"
"Kenshin-sama fights in order to ensure there is justice in this chaotic era."
"Can you please be a little more interested!?"
"Forget it. Anyway, Kenshin-sama feels extremely hurt because of Mogami Yoshiaki's various evil deeds that are destroying the order and peace in Oshu. However, Kenshin-sama is currently engaging Kanto's Hojo Clan and Kai's Takeda Shingen in a battle now, and is unable to withdraw and directly come to Oshu as she is in a fierce fight against two diabolical forces."
"You mean to say that Oshu is a rural countryside that is full of grass and nothing else right?"
"Maa~, leaving that aside. Therefore I'm here in place of Kenshin-sama, sent here in order to protect Oshu and enforce justice and ensure order."
"Gugugu, Kenshin is really a troublesome and depressing person."
"What exactly did you say?! You bastard, what did you take Kenshin-sama's good intentions for!?"
"Hmph, what a nosy person. Problems in Oshu should be left to myself and the demon clan of Oshu to handle."
"It should be 'Left to the people of Oshu to handle, Hime," Kojuurou corrected.
"In any case, before Mogami Yoshiaki makes a move, I'll be staying in Yonezawa"
"Before that you'd probably first fall for my trap and lose your life."
"Shut up! 'Because I fell into a hole that's why I fled back to Echigo,' can I really report this to Kenshin-sama!"
"Mego, prepare a room for Kane-tan. Since she is a follower of God, just prepare a space in the stables for her gugugu."
Megohime was extremely clingy towards Bontenmaru, no matter what Bontenmaru wished, she would faithfully realize it.
"I'm not a follower of God, I'm human! Also, don't call me Kane-tan!"
"I despise Bishamonten. Bishamonten's legend from another perspective can be said to be equivalent to someone trampling over evil fiends, the enemies of Buddhism. Because they refuse to convert and are thus constantly trampled over, have you ever considered the feelings of these fiends Kanetan?"
"Don't call me Kane-tan!"
"Because Oshu's demons who refuse to remain secluded and are thus hunted down, as well as the fiends trampled under Bishamonten's feet, I can smell the scent of similarity between the two parties!!"
"You should say 'The people of Oshu' there instead," Kojuurou corrected.
"Bontenmaru, just give me a room for a person to live in! Or else I really won't be able to tolerate this any longer!"
'Don't be like that! If Kane-tan who has a flat chest says something like this I will feel bad."
A critical hit from Bontenmaru!
Kanetsugu's weakness was exposed.
While Kanetsugu was depressed, going "AHHHH", it was time for a meal. The petite Megohime smiled at them and exclaimed "Please enjoy."
"Mego, I'll share my snacks with you, come over here and sit on my knees."
"Yes. (Chew Chew)"
"The way you eat is not bad. Mego is really cute, gugugu."
"Onee-sama is even cuter. Ha... ... Mego staying alive is really painful."
Megohime and Bontenmaru's relationship was extremely good, especially Megohime who was extremely clingy towards Bontenmaru.
As for Kanetsugu who didn't understand anything about family, she was unable to hide her confusion.
"Hime, you can't be this rude to a retainer of the Uesugi Clan, it's best if we give her the highest quality room we have."
Kojuurou who was the only one among those eating that had common sense made such a statement. Bontenmaru happily replied, "Indeed that's true."
'Even if it's Bontenmaru, she seems to candidly accept Kojuurou-dono's words... ...' was what Kanetsugu was thinking.
"In that case, I'll loan to you the room which I put a lot of thought into when building it, it's an extremely high quality room, gugugu."
As to why did Bontenmaru's evil grin contained large amounts of joy in it, Kanetsugu was unable to detect it.
So Kanetsugu finally was able to acquire a room.
However that room was a pitch black secret room on the second floor of the Nanban cathedral. Furthermore on the black floor, a huge hexagram was painted onto it in red paint.
There were not only the mounted specimens of apes, deer and horses on the walls, but there was also a painting of a human male wearing the black skull of a ram directly opposite a Nanban bed.
What a suspicious room.
The only light came from candles which provided scant illumination, once the sun set, the interior could be said to be the equivalent of the demon world, pitch dark and bleak.
'Is this even a room fit for humans... 'Kanetsugu wailed while hugging her knees to her chest on the Nanban bed.
From the inside of the ceiling came sounds.
The legion of black cats chorused.
It would seriously seem like there's no way to sleep this time.
Unexpectedly by the side of the pillow Bontenmaru's hand written letter was placed.
'How is it Kane-tan? This is a special room that I built in order to summon the demon clan. Originally it wasn't for visitors to stay in. But still for someone with extraordinary bearing like you, other places beside special rooms won't be able to satisfy you right. Huahahahahahaha.'
The hot-headed Kanetsugu's blood vessels bulged.
'Look at the hexagram magic array painted on the floor. Maybe during the next full moon, a demon can be summoned. I hope you can become a valuable living sacrifice.'
"Wh-wh-wh-what an impudent bastard!"
'Should you really insist on coming over to my bedroom to sleep with me, then you have to meet the necessary condition to become my bolster, please don't take offence, well in any case, it's impossible to hug your flat chest.'
The last phrase of 'flat chest' gave Kanetsugu a decisive blow!
'Besides, she actually wanted to make me, who is known as "The confidant of the Uesugi." and is feared by the people of Echigo into her bolster, this is really too insolent!'
Kanetsugu's face turned red as she became increasingly enraged and began to tear apart Bontenmaru's letter while yelling in a fit of anger.
'One more thing.'
"There's still more?!"
'This demon king predicts that at this time Kane-tan will definitely yell "Damned Bontenmaru!!" Gugugu.'
'T...To think I was being toyed with in the palm of her hand!! By that damn brat... ...!! I, the confidant of the Uesugi Clan... ...!!"
"Wuuuu! I... ... won't admit defeat!"
For coming to this accursed place... ...Kanetsugu felt extreme regret, but to the warriors of Echigo, Kenshin's order could be said to equal a divine command.
'How can that Bontenmaru ever possibly be assassinated!? Kenshin-sama, just this one time I cannot accept your command! That damned brat has already fallen onto the path of the demons. You should immediately send soldiers in a punitive expedition against Yonezawa and bury Bontenmaru deep inside the mountains!'
Naturally, she could not say this to Kenshin. The serious Kanetsugu could only crawl into bed and could not help but begin to complain.
"Ahhh. I really shouldn't have come to this accursed place."
Late at night in the area near the Nanban cathedral.
"The Nanban cathedral doesn't have a toilet at all, geez~, what a hassle."
Recently, the nights of Yonezawa were much colder than usual.
Kanetsugu who had woke up due to the extreme cold got up to find a toilet, but there was none in the cathedral.
"I really can't fall into a trap again... ..."
Entering the main building where Bontenmaru lived, she silently moved along the long corridor leading to the toilet, passing the door of Bontenmaru's bedroom.
'She can't be in the middle of a suspicious Nanban ritual or something right?'
Kanetsugu could not help but go over and sneak a peek, and as a result, saw Bontenmaru hugging Kojuurou on a Nanban sofa.
'EHHH?! To think Kojuurou and Bontenmaru had such a relationship? How can it be, Bontenmaru is still a child.'
'A-ah, to think that she'd use her authority to force the kind Kojuurou-dono into submission —— s-sh-she cannot be forgiven!'
Kanetsugu continued peeping in order to ascertain that they did not do any more shameful things.
However what she saw was——
"... ...I don't want to go see Okaa."
"Hime, muster up your courage."
"Okaa she... hates me, because I'm not Otou's child, I don't want to see her."
"That is a misunderstanding on your part, Hime."
"Kojuurou. Why am I not Otou's child."
"If I was Otou's child, Okaa would definitely love me."
Bontenmaru stopped speaking, and trembled in Kojuurou's embrace.
After stripping off Bontenmaru's fake demon king mask, she was but a pitiful, scarred girl.
Only in front of the trusted Kojuurou, would another side of Bontenmaru be revealed.
Kanetsugu could not help but hold her breath.
'The colour of her hair, and the sole red iris. No matter who took a saw it, they would probably think that she is not Date Terumune-dono's biological daughter. It's impossible for the intelligent Bontenmaru to not be unaware of her own wavering position in the Date Clan.'
The main reason why Bontenmaru proclaimed herself as the demon king of the Nanban demons, was probably also to first consider herself as an abnormally in order to protect her wounded soul.
'If Bontenmaru did not believe that she was from the Nanban demon clan, an existence that came here from somewhere outside this world, she probably would be unable to remain cheerful and able to laugh this joyfully. For Bontenmaru who doesn't even know the features of her biological Nanban father, she is also unable to find her sanctuary in the Christian faith and its teachings.'
Because she was born a prodigy——
Precisely because she was born in this country that was covered in snow and surrounded by towering mountains——
The reason why Kenshin-sama referred to her as 'Another dragon' and expressed great concern seemed to be understandable now.
'In any case, Kojuurou-dono who is encouraging Bontenmaru is so gentle. If I could have an older brother, I want somebody like that.'
Just when she was planning to quietly leave the corridor, she bumped into a small figure.
It was Megohime.
Sure enough, she was also on the way to the toilet.
"Mego-dono? I do apologize."
"Kane-tan, what do you think of Onee-sama?"
"What do I think of her... ...hmmm, I've only met her so I don't really know what to say. But in Mego-dono’s eyes, she must be a good Onee-sama right?"
"Let me secretly tell you this here. I think that even though she treats her family well, but her attitude towards outsiders is really too rude, furthermore, she also stays in her house all day, as the heir of the clan that does cause a great deal of problems." Kanetsugu who did not know how to tell a lie bluntly stated.
"Please don't hate Onee-sama."
Megohime's eyes were shining with tears.
"I-I apologize. Whenever I start talking my mouth just won't stop."
"Mego is not a child of the Date Clan."
"What did you say Mego-dono?"
"Mego is from another Clan who sent me to Yonezawa as a hostage."
To Kanetsugu, this was an unbelievable revelation.
From how Bontenmaru acted, one could not tell that Megohime was a hostage.
"To me who had been brought to Yonezawa while sniveling all the way here, Onee-sama had very gentle. She smiled at me and said, 'As long as I, Bontenmaru, is around, I will protect you for a lifetime, so you don't need to worry. Come, give me a smile."
" 'Even if we're not related by blood, Mego will still be my little sister,' That was what she said to me."
"That Bontenmaru, huh..."
"Onee-sama is actually an extremely gentle person. However, that kind of attitude was what made her enemies. Everywhere, in fact, everyone misunderstood Onee-sama."
Kanetsugu was shocked.
She was completely unaware.
Whether it was Bontenmaru's attitude towards Megohime, or Megohime's feelings of Bontenmaru.
She had no doubts that the two of them were a pair of sisters that shared a wonderful relationship.
"Mego-dono has a good Onee-sama."
Thus, Kanetsugu was determined to stay in Yonezawa to protect Bontenmaru properly.
This chapter had been translated by Arker Jones and his team. Show your thanks by thanking them personally in our facebook group. For more info on updates, please visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/OdaNobunaLN.Eng/
Translator's Notes and References
- Ouu(奥羽) here is a combination of characters from Oshu(奥州) and Ushu(羽州).
- Brahma (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahma) in the raws is (梵天) while Bontenmaru's name is written as (梵天丸) so Bontenmaru is named after Brahma which explains the majesty...
- Recall that Bontnemaru is a Christian or at least bases most of her ideology from the bible (refer to earlier volumes)...yet it's clearly stated that there are no missionaries in the area...so Bontenmaru must be very intelligent since she managed to grasp the concept of Christianity herself and quote from the bible when nobody was around to teach her.
- Megohime is originally Masamune's wife, but if I recall, there's a tradition in the earlier volumes where alliances can be formed through marriage or taking the other person as a sworn sibling(If same gender) so Megohime is Bontenmaru's sister here.
- The dude's full name is Kosai Soitsu, unfortunately I can't find a Wikipedia page for him so try sourcing for him yourselves... He is supposedly a great teacher and one that influenced Masamune greatly
- Bontenmaru's sister Megohime's name is written as (爱姬) the first character is the kanji for love.
- manzai（漫才）= comical dialogue
- What's written here is 話の腰 (hanashi no koshi) which roughly means interrupting their words according to the Chinese raws
- Back is written as 腰 (koshi) and hanashi is the pronunciation of 'speech' 話 so it's just a play on words.
|Back to Jakigan Illustrations||Return to Main Page||Forward to Chapter 2|