A Time Traveller's Guide To Feudal Japan Chapter 175 - Into Toyokawa

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"What will we do now, Miura? Will we go home, back to Toyone?" Kitajo asked. Their families were back home and they had not seen each other in a good few weeks.

But Gengyo shook his head, as he stood in front of the congregation of his troops, and of his fellow men at arms.

"No. We march forward, and seize Toyokawa!" He announced firmly, locking his eyes with every soldier that he could, allowing his pa.s.sion to become their pa.s.sion. "Through the efforts of our men, and their piracy attempts, the city guard no longer exists, nor does their commander! An empty castle, waiting to be ruled. Indeed, we will march forward."

He had not overlooked the significant achievements of the piracy crew. Alone, they had a.s.serted supremacy over the fleet of the city guard. The loot they had secured was substantial, and all that was left was to auction it off and collect the coin. And then, there was the surprising advance in the s.h.i.+p's capabilities, thought of and executed by the men themselves. It had surprised him to see that, but then he supposed he might have been looking down on them all this time.

"My old comrades, will you take to the s.h.i.+p once more, so that we might control the waters as well as the land when I and our new friends march through the streets?"

"It would be our honour, Miura." Togas.h.i.+ responded humbly, setting a good impression in front of the new soldiers that stared towards him with keen interest. There was a story here, both parties knew, but it was Gengyo they waited on to share it.

"Aye, we'll get on it lad." Morohira responded more casually, being not quite as thoughtful as Togas.h.i.+. The new men looked towards Gengyo wondering whether he might punish him for such casual annunciations, but the man, as fitting of his monkly attire, merely let it wash over his shoulders like a warm summers breeze.

"Jikouji, stay with me a while. I'll have you update me on certain things as we ride." He called out, as he saw the old man also turn to leave. He caught Akiko's eye as well, and let out a soft smile, and a nod. They would speak to each other soon enough.

"As you wish, master Miura." Jikouji was attempting as Togas.h.i.+ had to put their master on an even higher platform than he already appeared, so that there would never be a soldier who would question his authority.

With one final glance back, the old crewmen disappeared down the side of the cliff once more, and began preparing the s.h.i.+p for the short voyage ahead.

"What of us, Miura?" Morojo asked, standing awkwardly off to the side, with Isabella, Takes.h.i.+ and his sons in tow.

"We'll have horses prepared for you all, and you'll come as well. There is nothing to fear. I dare say that there will be no fighting. Or whatever fighting there might be, it will be entirely minimal."

As he uttered those words, a dispatchment of the more conscientious soldiers moved to do his bidding, and a few moments later, a suitable amount of horses had been placed in front of them, along with a white stallion for Gengyo to mount.

"White now? It was always black before." Kitajo commented. It had become somewhat iconic the image of the boy on his black horse, as he charged into battle against Toda.

"White, indeed. I didn't pick it out, but he's a good enough horse, so I suppose it will be white from now on." He replied, petting the stallion between the ears. With a slight nudge to the side, he spurred the horse forward, at a slow walk, and with him, the entire army began to move.

"So then, Jikouji, is there any interesting you'd have me know?" He asked, as the old man rode up alongside him. He'd been away for quite a while after all.

"Mm…" Each week with the boy's parting, he had always thought of things that he would tell him once he returned, but now the opportunity finally presented itself, his mind went blank. If he did not catch Takes.h.i.+ out of the corner of his eye, perhaps he would not have been able to say anything at all. "Oh, that man there is Takes.h.i.+. He's the one who made the design for a rotating cannon a reality."

Being called out like that made the timid smith immensely uncomfortable, and he looked down at the floor as he muttered his reply. "I-it's a pleasure to meet you… Master Miura."

Gengyo had seen him around the campfire the previous day, and given that he was the only person that he did not know, then he had a.s.sumed him to be the smith, despite his stature that was wholly unsuited to the profession. But still, confirmation was worthwhile.

"Good to meet you, Takes.h.i.+. You and I will be having a conversation later on, after this business is cleared up, so do expect that." He nodded his head toward the timid smith, and forecast his intentions so that the man might mentally prepare himself.

"You've done well with your gold as well, I've heard. We'll make arrangements to get it sold off immediately. Aside from the small hiccup in regards to that girl, you've all done remarkably well."

"Aye, they did. I was not involved for the majority of the time - merely in the logistical side. It is Morohira and Togas.h.i.+ who have been taking the lead. They've been doing well enough, though I do think your father is borderline insane."

Gengyo chuckled at such a blunt statement. He was certainly one of the oddest men from that little village of theirs. He was violent and impulsive and almost impossible to predict. But as well as being his greatest weaknesses those were his biggest a.s.sets. He did not think before he did, he merely did and never thought. In the end, it worked though.

"And what of you, Miura? How did you manage to gather… This amount? What is it, like five hundred?"

"Five hundred and fifty. None of these men are from the peasantry. There is a collection of peoples that hover around the Menryo-ji area, seeking to polish their skills. I was given their location by one of the master monks, and well… the rest was relatively simple. They do not crave gold, but glory and progress."

"And you've promised them that? Progress?"

"I have. I will attempt to teach them some of what I have learned, and have promised them various things upon the capture of this province. They are good men, I think - loyal."

He decided. Their likes knew much of bus.h.i.+do, and it would be uncommon to see them stain their honour merely for material gain. Some had lost their masters in previous battles. Others had never served a master at all. But the quality of the troops was something that should not be underestimated. It was something that he could never have dreamed of recruiting had he not have trained in Menryo-ji.

"Do they not shy away from the use of guns? We samurai are particular when it comes to dishonourable instruments."

"No, they will use matchlocks gladly if it means they are able to improve even a fraction of their swordsmans.h.i.+p."

"I suppose that's true…"

He looked back on them. For troops that had been hastily gathered, they were working well together, and maintained the lines as they marched. They showed no displeasure nor discomfort, and on their faces, he could have sworn he saw some sort of resolve.

The entrance to Toyokawa soon neared, and their many feet pounded the ground as they drew closer. Civilians on the street looked down along the road to see their march, and with haste, they fled inside.

Gengyo trotted slightly in front of his men, to lead them down the cobblestone roads by the front. The crowd parted and hastily slammed shut their doors. Soon, all that stretched out in front of them were empty streets. Their streets.

He rounded the corner and continued down towards the port, that was still alive with trade and tradesmen busying themselves, but that busy scene slowly ground to a halt, and all the noises gradually died down, until a silence reigned.

His aura radiated outwards, and his robes blew lightly in the wind. His face was an expression of the utmost serenity, yet there was still a sharpness to his gaze that sort to pierce all their hearts. It was like a war G.o.d had descended down from the heavens, and taken human form.

"Who is that man?" They whispered. They had yet to see the army that followed him, but they could hear the many feet stamping down the street.

With the silence, he continued forward, until he stood in front of all the crowd.

"Traders of Toyokawa, welcome to a new era."

He spoke, with a gentle smile on his face. He then pointed outwards, towards the sea. All followed his arm, and turned around to see what he was pointing at.

"That black-flagged s.h.i.+p is a Red Feather s.h.i.+p. These waters are ours. This very soil that you stand on - we are here to claim it. The commander of the guards has fallen, and so we look to take his place."

No one dared to speak, but a quiet discomfort permeated out from each of them. European traders, and j.a.panese alike. If the leaders.h.i.+p of this area had been compromised, what was to stop this new attacking force from butchering them all where they stood, and seizing their wares - after all, was that not what they were doing on the sea?

He held up an open palm to calm their chaotic minds. "Do not fret, and do panic. You are safer now than you've ever been. With the fall of the city guard, our black-flagged s.h.i.+p will no longer rob you of your wares, but will stop others from doing the same. A new age, for each of us. Let us aim for prosperity."

They looked at him, unsure as how to react. He was a monk, it seemed. He had that monkly calm about him, and his words were soothing. But they could not simply throw their hands in the area and proclaim: "oh, thank goodness! You mean us no harm - let us continue."

And so, as his men began down the city streets, he dismounted, and walked through the packed crowd that parted before him. He approached a nearby jewellery stand, with his every action being watched and scrutanized.

The store owner looked ready to die of a heart attack, seeming to think he was about to be robbed. But instead, a question came.

"My good man, how much for this gold ring?" He asked, holding up a ruby encrusted golden ring.

"Ah… F-for you sir, it's free…" The trader said meekly, not able to risk offending him.

"No. State your price, I say."

"One gold coin…" He kept it low, still fearful of doing him a disservice.

"You are too kind. Ten gold coins, then." He reached within the sleeves of his robe, and withdrew a pouch of coin.

"A fine quality golden ring indeed - only to be found here, on the streets of Toyokawa."

A Time Traveller's Guide To Feudal Japan Chapter 175 - Into Toyokawa

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