Arc 2 – Tenth Year of Eiroku Era, Tenka Fubu

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Early April, 1567

An awkward silence fell upon them.
Aya looked the same as always, no, there was some reproach in her eyes.
Shizuko couldn’t bear this silence and spoke first.

“S-since when have you been standing there?”

“Since “I forgot about this problem”.”

“Isn’t that the very beginning!? Why didn’t you call out to me!?”

“You seemed like you were deep in thought, so I thought it might be rude to interrupt and waited until you were finished.”

“I don’t need that kind of consideration… Just call out to me next time, okay?”

At her wit’s end, Shizuko shouted this, while Aya just slightly bowed her head with her usual calm.

“Chamaru-sama has come.
If you have enough free time to talk about burning things down, I would request you to properly receive him.”

In a blunt display of sarcastic courtesy, Aya implicitly said that Shizuko shouldn’t shout ridiculous stuff and do her work before she turned around and walked away.

“… Okay, I will do that.”

Ultimately, Aya would just calmly refute any points she made in response, only further increasing the damage to Shizuko herself.

Aware of this, Shizuko followed Aya with her head hung low.

“Hey, Shizuko.
*cough cough*… I grew tired waiting.”

Returning home, Shizuko was met with Kimyoumaru lounging around as though he owned the place.
The tea and snacks he was consuming had probably been laid out by Aya.

“Sorry, I was having a look at the fields… Are you okay? Your face looks pale.“

Laying around on the floor, Kimyoumaru looked slightly feverish to Shizuko.
Before she could ask whether he had caught a cold, Kimyoumaru came forward with an answer.

“No.
I have a little cough.
*Cough*… It will soon be cured, I’m sure.”

“That so? You shouldn’t overexert yourself.
Keep yourself warm and sleep a lot until it is gone.”

“I know.”

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Slightly worried about him, Shizuko kept Kimyoumaru company.
In the end, his visit went like always, and he returned home in the end.
The only difference was that his daily visits stopped completely afterward.

 

 

A week had passed since Kimyoumaru’s last visit.

The first few days, Shizuko was preoccupied with her work, so it didn’t register in her consciousness.
A further week after the visit, a certain person came to Shizuko’s home.

“Is Shizuko-dono present?”

It was a well-dressed man in his fifties.
But Shizuko didn’t know him.
To begin with, the ones communicating with her were usually Mori Yoshinari or Niwa Nagahide, or rather, their messengers.
She hadn’t met this man with an educator’s atmosphere about him before.

As she was wondering who this was, the old man slightly bowed before speaking.

“I am a retainer of the Oda clan and in charge of the education of Kimyoumaru-sama.”

“I, I see… (Wasn’t Kimyoumaru the childhood name of Oda Nobutada…).
What would a person in that position require of me?”

Shizuko didn’t know that the true identity of Chamaru was Kimyoumaru.
As such, she had no idea what Kimyoumaru’s educator could want from her.

“The cough that afflicts Kimyoumaru-sama has taken a turn for the worse and he is bedridden now.
His outlook has become bleak and he fears that his last day will be upon him soon, and he would like to exchange some last words with you, Shizuko-dono.”

“I, I see….”

“I know it is sudden, but could you come back with me immediately?”

Even though Shizuko didn’t have a real choice from the beginning, this educator was earnestly prostrating himself before her as he asked this.
Kimyoumaru must be very important to him.
Knowing that was enough for Shizuko.

“Please raise your head.
From the start, I didn’t intend to refuse.
Time seems to be pressing, so let us depart right now.”

“I’m grateful to you.
Let us be on our way then.”

After that, Shizuko left matters in Aya’s hands and quickly readied herself before departing.
Having come to Shizuko’s house by horse, the educator stayed on foot on the way back to match Shizuko’s pace and explain the situation to her.

Arriving at Kimyoumaru’s mansion, a caretaker immediately took over the horse, and the educator headed directly for Kimyoumaru’s bedroom.
Following behind him, Shizuko had felt a strangeness as soon as they had arrived at this place.

(Somehow… I remember seeing this place…?)

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This sense of deja vu clung to her the entire time.
In moments, she would find out the reason for this uncomfortable sensation.

“Kimyoumaru-sama, I have brought Shizuko-sama”

“*cough cough*… let her through.”

At these words, the sliding doors were opened for Shizuko.

“You did well to come, Shizuko.”

The person who called out to her from beyond the doors, although emaciated, was without a doubt Chamaru.
To Shizuko, who was confused by what was happening, Kimyoumaru forced a small smile on his face and said:

“I’m sorry that I have deceived you.
My true name is Kimyoumaru…”

Still unable to process the situation, Shizuko was ushered into the room by the elderly educator.
As she sat down next to his bed, Kimyoumaru tried to sit up.
But, probably due to losing his strength to the illness, it only amounted to a squirming movement.

“Chamaru-kun is… Kimyoumaru-sama? The eldest son of the lord…?”

“As expected of you, Shizuko.
It is as you say… *Cough*! I am sorry I gave you a false name.”

“It’s fine, that doesn’t matter.”

In order to avoid things like assassinations, those in positions of power and their heirs intentionally used false names and names that sounded unimportant as a matter of course.

The strange names of famous peoples in the Sengoku period is a result of this as well, as precious names were believed to shorten the life of a child.
It also served to prevent any attachment from clouding their judgment in case they would need to send that child as a hostage in order to form an alliance with another country.

“As you can see, my body is ravaged by the illness.
I kept warm as you told me, but it shows no sign of getting better.”

“…”

“It’s frustrating… To think I’d be helpless in the face of something like an illness.”

Kimyoumaru muttered with a dry laugh.
There was nothing left of his usual confidence.
His face showed that he had despaired and given up on everything.
Shizuko couldn’t speak up.
All the new information swirled around in her head, delaying her response to Kimyoumaru.

“My dream of following in father’s footsteps and becoming a splendid ruler—-”

“Chop!-”

With her thought process finally having caught up, Shizuko delivered a chop to the head of the muttering Kimyoumaru.

A satisfying sound rang true.
Followed by the sound of the educator behind her drawing in a sharp breath.
Holding his head in pain, Kimyoumaru tried to say something, but Shizuko preempted him.

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“You’re talking like it’s the end of the world.
Were you always that quick to give up, Chamaru-kun?”

“B-But.
*Cough cough*… I am dizzy, my throat hurts, and my coughing won’t stop.
I have been like this for half a month.”

True, even Shizuko would feel down if she had a cold for two weeks.
But there was a decisive difference between Kimyoumaru and Shizuko.
The difference between “knowing” and “not knowing” of a working treatment.
And Shizuko knew it.
And, besides the one in her head, she also had another one that accompanied her from the modern era and had started already collecting dust in an unseen place.

(To think a time would come to use that thing we had to buy as supplementary teaching material for health and physical education.)

In the modern era, it would be easier and more reliable to go to a hospital instead of relying on something like this.
Up until now, she had only treated it as a paperweight and not considered it to be of particular importance.
But seeing Kimyoumaru’s behavior, Shizuko realized how much the vast timespan of 400 years had let several fields of research advance.

“Listen to me, Chamaru-kun.
Getting well starts with the mindset.
It might hurt right now, but it’s not the time to be weak.
Rather, I would like you to tackle the illness with the mindset of ‘Come here you bastard’.”

“Don’t ask the impossible.
Even the medicinal bath decocted by the pharmacist…  *Cough cough*  had no effect.
What more am I to do?”

“Do away with strange cures such as that.
Anyway, I have a secret weapon for this.
I’ll go fetch it from my house, so just stay calm and rest until I’m back.”

Shizuko said while rubbing Kimyoumaru’s forehead with her index finger.
The elderly educator behind her was about to faint frothing at the mouth, but Shizuko paid him no mind.

“Will my illness be… cured?

Kimyoumaru said, sounding somewhat expectant, like a drowning man clinging to driftwood.
Shizuko replied with a cheerful expression on her face.

“Just leave it to Shizuko-Oneesan!”

 

 

Borrowing a horse, Shizuko returned to her home.
Without explaining the circumstances to Aya, she shot off an order as she entered the house.

That the usually pedestrian Shizuko could ride a horse was not because she had particularly liked it in the past, but rather because Niwa had taught her.
In preparation for the worst case scenario, Niwa had taught her horseback riding, but Shizuko was not aware of his intentions and simply learned it as he had told her to.

“I brought some radish, honey, scallion, and ginger some time ago, right? Also please prepare some charcoal as well.
Pack all of that into this bag please.”

Handing over the leather backpack she was usually wearing to Aya with fluid movements, Shizuko went into her room without waiting for an answer.
Inside, Adelheit, Ritter, and Lutz were all curled up together.
They looked at Shizuko perplexedly, probably surprised by the sound of Shizuko opening the sliding door quickly.

Once they realized that it was Shizuko who had entered, the three trodded towards her with wagging tails.
After petting the three of them in turn, Shizuko walked to something sitting in the corner of her room.

(…there we…go.)

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It was the tightly sealed wooden box Aya wanted to peek inside.
Inside were the things Shizuko had brought with herself when she had traveled back in time.
Besides products of modern technology, there was something in there which she had kept a secret from Nobunaga.

After undoing the seal, Shizuko slowly opened the lid of the box.
Of course, the thing that would stick out at the first glance was a book titled “Ancient to Modern: Weapon’s Catalogue”.
Although “book” was barely appropriate as it was thick enough to club a person to death with, almost like an encyclopedia.

There was however a similarly thick book inside there.
It was a completely red book which, unsuitably for health and physical education teaching material, focused on home remedies and cures.
It covered a vast amount of maladies, depicting the symptoms and treatment methods for illnesses and injuries that didn’t need expert knowledge.

Furthermore, it addressed topics of popular interest, contained a checklist for self-diagnosis of illnesses and injuries, as well as some simple medical tools such as a thermometer.
Shizuko had no idea who the intended target audience for this book was.
Needless to say, the students of Shizuko’s school thought that they were forced to buy it due to the influence of someone owning the rights to the book.

As it was just as heavy as it was thick, and just properly going to the hospital was the better thing to do, most students held the book in low regard.
There were other reasons as well.
In Shizuko’s era, electronic books were widespread, making paper books a rarity.

In order to prevent the loss of printing and bookbinding skills despite this, teaching material for school as well as certain novels were the only books made of paper.
Everything else, be it newspapers, advertisement leaflets, manga, novels, magazines, practical, literary or photo books published by private companies, was published only in electronic form.

Shizuko was used to this as well and had many books saved on her smartphone.
But between Shizuko adding things she might like or not with a single click, and her sister Kyouko buying e-books with it, even Shizuko herself didn’t know what exactly was on her smart phone by now.

(Ah-….
I won’t get any new ones, so I can make a list now.)

She thought while putting the red book into her bag and started to close the box again when she spotted her smartphone.
She unconsciously picked it up and tapped on the screen, browsing through the data inside without any particular purpose.
Looks like two years were too short to cure a modern girl like Shizuko from the always-check-your-smartphone habit.

She skimmed through the articles she had saved locally like this for a while.
Originally, she had planned to put it away after feeling somewhat satisfied by the random browsing.
But after spying an article on a new site, her finger abruptly stopped.

“……”

It was an article about a commonplace occurrence in the modern world.
“Something” would always come into play during city reconstruction, but in truth, it was a miraculous material that resulted after many iterations.
Plus, the article said making “it” was low-cost and eco-friendly.
But that wasn’t what had caught Shizuko’s attention.
It was the ingredients needed to make “that”.
Looking at the ingredient list to make “that”, Shizuko unconsciously smiled.

“To think there was such a nice article in here.
*Chuckle* I just can’t not make use of this.”

After going over the article one more time, Shizuko switched off the smartphone and put it back inside the wooden box.
She then closed the box before resealing it.
She had intended to return to Kimyoumaru’s mansion like this, but there was something she needed to do before.

As time was pressing, she wrote the necessary things on a piece of paper, folded it in four, and left the room carrying her bag.
When she arrived at the entrance, Aya was waiting there, having finished the preparations.
Taking the baggage she had requested from her, Shizuko handed Aya the folded piece of paper.

“Please gather these things.
I would be happy if you could gather a lot of this for me.”

“Understood.
Please take care.”

“I will.
Just need to quickly cure a cold.
I will come back tomorrow morning.”

Shizuko left the house in a decidedly cheerful mood so as to not make Aya too concerned.
Expectedly, Aya sighed slightly at Shizuko’s carelessness.
But within that sigh, a small smile crept onto her face.
As though watching over a troublemaker, Aya saw Shizuko off before opening the paper she had been handed.

“… Does she want to make plaster?”

Aya unconsciously muttered while looking at what was written down.

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