A Time Traveller's Guide To Feudal Japan Chapter 133 - Victory?

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Isabella and the Morojo's had waited for hours, overcome with nervousness, willing the robbery to have been a success. And so, when they caught sight of the battered sheep making its way into the cove, they let out involuntary cheers.

"WOO! WELCOME BACK FELLAS!"

Morojo shouted, as Morohira waved at him from atop the deck, his mask off. He held a lump of iron ore within his fist, letting them all know that they had succeeded. The others joined him, with big smiles on their faces. It had been a brilliant success.

"Is it all there?"

Isabella asked, still worried. If things had not gone as she said they would, then it was likely that she would receive a good amount of animosity.

Rokkaku patted on shoulder gruffly, as he descended the ramp.

"It's all there la.s.s! And more still! It's b.l.o.o.d.y everywhere."

He spoke, motioning to all that lay on the deck. She pushed past them as they disembarked, hoping to confirm his words. And when she saw the dark lumps coating the wood just as he said, she felt a great rush of relief, and almost let out a couple of tears. She had become far more invested in this than she realized.

"Haha…"

She laughed weakly, so greatly relieved.

"Good work, Isabella! It was exactly as you said it would be."

Akiko said sweetly, as Rin seconded it with a big nod. She looked at the two of their beaming faces. Their armour was covered in blood and flesh, but they were still able to behave so innocently and kindly.

"Mhm… I'm glad."

She said, not even able to summon the will to act arrogant, as she usually might.

"OUR FIRST VICTORY, EH FELLAS?"

Morohira shouted out, holding his arms up, rather proud of his performance. He had acted as he usually might, but it seemed, that under his leaders.h.i.+p things had gone even better than planned.

In response to his cry, the men struck the arms up once more. They felt as though they had conquered the world, and were only too willing to let out loud shouts of joy.

When Morojo caught a glance of the amount of ore, he could not help but gasp. It was far more than he expected.

"By the G.o.ds! That must have taken ages to load. How did you manage to get away unscathed?"

He had noticed the damage to the front of the s.h.i.+p, but had said nothing yet, a.s.suming it was due to their collision with the iron trading vessel.

"We didn't! HAHA!"

Morohira responded, letting out a bellowing laugh as he recalled how they had been trapped by the city guard. Morojo looked at him confused, but the new Red Feather captain seemed eager to leave him in suspense, so Kitajo filled him in.

"We were caught by the city guard."

He explained.

"Then how..?"

All who had been part of the crew were listening in eagerly. Surely being caught by the city guard was something of a death sentence? Yet not a single one of them had an obvious injury.

The young lad shrugged, and nonchalantly announced the fate of the city guard.

"They were in the way, so we removed them."

It could not have been put better. They did not alter their course when confronted. They had merely charged forward, and flattened the obstacle that dared to get in their way.

Their eyes widened as they regarded the warriors. They were stained in blood - though they had by now removed their masks - yet they wore such smiles. A s.h.i.+p full of the city guard? They would have had men at least three times their number! Yet they talked about it as though it was an easy victory.

It was terrifying. They had witnessed how they trained, and they knew them to be skilled. But this level? It was unreasonable. On their very first mission, they had achieved such a powerful victory, despite having never fought on a boat before. Perhaps this was the power of adaptability? He had heard the men mention it once or twice as they trained.

'Learning a single weapon? Ha! How will you adapt when you do not have that weapon in your hands?'

He'd learned a little of their history, and knew that they had been part of a far larger force than this. One that had trained in the bow, the sword, and the spear. It was unreasonable. It was almost unfair. What would happen as they spent the gold, and recruited more men? They would dominate the sea, surely - or perhaps even the entire province.

But what was the source of all this? It was hard to tell. Old as he was, there was a wisdom to his thinking, and his thoughts drifted towards a single face - one that was not even present. He had cultivated something h.e.l.lish. It was fitting for them to wear the masks of the demons as they did, as it gave the men they fought an explanation - no men should be so ready for war.

But if Morojo knew of all that they had gone through. All that they had faced. Then he would understand. What had cultivated them - as well as their philosophy, and as well as the man that lead them - was their experience. They had overcome impossible obstacles, time and time again, at each other's sides. The weak had been filtered out, and they were what remained.

"Hehe, what's the look for old man? Jealous?"

Morohira teased, seeing the way he was staring so intently at the rocks of iron ore.

It was only then that Morojo came to his senses, and snapped out of such thoughts, almost embarra.s.sed.

"Ha! As if. But look what you've done to the s.h.i.+p. You've b.l.o.o.d.y battered her!"

He turned the topic elsewhere. The damage was not enough to hinder their journey home, but left unattended, it would be a permanent feature of weakness, that could send them sinking.

The wood was cracked, and pieces were missing. But it was high up enough that too much water was not allowed in.

"Aye! You said you wanted work, and though we were busy killing folk, I was still thinking of you, my friend. And people say I'm not a good guy? Come on! LOOK! I'M A TRUE BUDDHIST!"

He said laughingly, thoroughly amused by his complaints.

"To be honest, I think a battering ram might be a good idea at this point."

Jikouji put in.

"Aye… But it would have to be detachable, like the mast, which is a problem in itself."

Morojo lamented, hearing that even old man Jikouji was in favour of a battering ram.

"That shouldn't prove too hard, should it? Not for the Morojo s.h.i.+pwrights?"

The captain teased, jumping into the water, so he could wash some of the blood off before it dried on too thickly.

"Oh, that's a good idea."

Rokkaku decided, noticing what he was doing, before joining him. Morojo was still firmly focused on the s.h.i.+p, and was deciding how much they would need to take off, before attempting to fix it. All he knew was that it was going to be a big job.

"Perhaps we could reinforce the front of your s.h.i.+p from the inside, with steel or iron. Then you can do all the colliding you want, and you won't have to worry."

He suggested, trying to think of the path that would require the least amount of work. He was not too keen on making another detachable feature. It would clutter the deck with complicated mechanisms, and he had become rather fond of their s.h.i.+p, and didn't want to see it ruined.

"Sure, that sounds good."

Morohira agreed, not turning around, as he splashed water up to his chest, and rubbed the blood and flesh from the leather. The fish would have a grand feast later.

"Before all that… Can you guys add some stairs?"

Sasaki said a little pitifully, as he looked at the slick slope, and remembered how he had to be dragged up last time they left.

"I second that notion!"

Isabella shouted despite herself, recalling how foolish she had looked when she collapsed down.

"We'll be needing it to get the iron-loaded onto carts as well."

Old man Jikouji agreed, always thinking ahead.

"Aye, aye. We'll get onto it right now. Come on lads!"

Morojo shouted, gathering his workers. There were still a couple of hours before dark, and he reckoned he could produce some suitable stairs in that amount of time.

He began whistling, as he sawed a beam of timber down to size.

"So you're going to be taking this all back to see the boss, are ya? Wonder who'll buy it all from you?"

He called out, genuinely curious. No one could give a solid answer to his question - not yet, as even they did not know who would be willing to buy such an amount from them.

"Mm… Dunno. But we'd best send someone to go and inform the boss, eh, Morohira?"

Togas.h.i.+ reminded their captain. Also, they would be needing more carts in order to haul all the iron they collected. The single one that had was far from enough.

"Ah, true… Kitajo, do you fancy travelling again?"

He asked, agreeing with Togas.h.i.+'s advise. Last time he had looked for a messanger, Kitajo had been eager to volunteer.

"Okay. I'll just get out of my armour, then I'll head off."

He responded without complaint. Being the first to inform Gengyo of their victory would be an honour.

"Sure, lad. No rush."

It was interesting to see no one deemed it appropriate to evaluate Rin or Akiko's performance in battle. It had not even crossed their mind. By this point, they were one of them. They had fought without catching their attention, which meant they were doing their job perfectly. And any weaknesses they had in regards to strength - as they could not lift quite as much as the men - were quickly rectified between them, without slowing down the rest.

In going unnoticed, it meant that they had performed perfectly. And they themselves realized this, and were contended as they shared conversation.

"Tadakata will be pleased, huh? Neither of us got hurt."

Akiko said with a small smile, as she slipped out from her armour- it was awfully hot to wear for long periods of time.

"Yup, I'm sure he will. And I'm happy too - we're getting the experience we need so that he won't look down on us anymore, and we'll be able to fight alongside him in future."

"Exactly! That's what I think too."

She responded excitedly in agreement. There were only more battles to come. It was so much more freeing on the mind to know that she was fighting for a cause that she believed in, and would be able to be alongside those that she cared about.

"Okay, I'm heading out everyone. See you tomorrow!"

Kitajo announced, as he prepared to charge up the slick ramp. There were only a couple of hours of daylight left, so it went without saying that he would be staying overnight in Toyone.

"See you later, lad! Make sure to let him know how great we were!"

Morohira called after him, as he bolted up the ramp as fast as he could, attempting to make it to the top before gravity took hold. He did so rather elegantly, and Sasaki watched in awe, knowing that he did not stand a chance of replicating the same movement.

And so he mounted his horse at the top of the cliff, and galloped towards the Niwa residence, to inform his boss of their crus.h.i.+ng victory in Toyokawa bay, and rea.s.sure him of all the victories that were certain to come. Eagerness leant him speed, and before he knew it, he was outside of those familiar gates.

A Time Traveller's Guide To Feudal Japan Chapter 133 - Victory?

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