A Time Traveller's Guide To Feudal Japan Chapter 23 - Pleasant

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The next day at work was pleasant, as one might expect. The hostilities had ceased, and those that had played an active role in making their lives a misery over the past few days had rather docile - almost worried - looks on their faces.

Though there were a very small group of people that had not held anything against them, despite the allegations.

One of them was, of course, Kus.h.i.+zu, who greeted them warmly as they arrived and took a seat in the eating shelter ahead of the day's work.

"Haha, good show lad! That was a b.l.o.o.d.y good show!"

He patted Gengyo's shoulder good-naturedly, as though they were closer than they really were. But Gengyo did not shy away from his straightforwardness, on the contrary, he warmed to it.

"I'm glad you approve."

He said neutrally, trying to suppress the grin that was threatening to break free.

"You told me, eh? And it happened as you said."

"I think you're giving me a little too much credit. It's more like it happened how I hoped it would."

Kus.h.i.+zu nodded seriously, before breaking into laughter once more.

"You're having me on eh? Ya don't need to worry about all that humble stuff around me. Free as a bird around me, that's how you can act little man."

Now he really did smile. It seemed Kus.h.i.+zu's evaluation of him was higher than it possibly should be.

Later came a familiar pair, Aritada and Yoritomo.

They stood awkwardly, not knowing quite what to say, until Yoritomo finally spoke up.

"…Sorry for not helping you."

Gengyo instantly shook his head.

"No, you made the right choice. If I'd wanted help, I would have asked. Besides, neither of you owe me anything."

Aritada opened his mouth to protest, and then closed it again, before thinking of something new to say and finally speaking.

It was a rather amusing sight to watch - like a feeding goldfish.

"Still, it was impressive."

"Yes. Father is quite the fighter."

"I don't mean that. The planning. No doubt that was you. You pulled that thing over us, and that was in the heat of the moment. You did the speech yesterday too. It was definitely you."

He strove to prove definitively that Gengyo was the mastermind behind all that had happened, even without having him deny it in the first place.

'Well, against you it wasn't in the heat of the moment, but still, your thinking wasn't completely wrong.'

He patted his friend on the shoulder, who looked anxious to say more, and prove his idea to be right.

"Yup. I did a bit of planning. But it didn't really go as I expected, so in the end, I can't take much credit."

He looked at Gengyo in confusion at that last line, but didn't think to push it, deciding that it was merely him being humble.

Receiving such compliments from people made Gengyo start to feel awkward. It put him in a position he did not want to be in. He would rather talk freely with the people, than have them hold him in awe over something that wasn't entirely true.

And so he moved to execute that.

"How has your sword training being going?"

They turned to share a glance, before Yoritomo spoke first.

"It's been going good, but…"

"I'll come down for a while and have a look the next day off we get."

Having predicted what they were about to say, Gengyo smiled warmly.

A grin broke across their faces too.

"Thanks, Miursan. We'll see you around then."

It was later that evening, and Akiko was carrying a small basket whilst she hung from Gengyo's back.

"Aren't you curious as to what's inside?"

He had acknowledged the basket, but not asked about it as Akiko hoped he would.

"Would you like me to?"

But when he was as straightforward as that there was no way she could say yes, least she embarra.s.s herself.

After she remained quiet, he chose to speak once more.

"Its food for the lady, isn't it?"

She pouted slightly, annoyed that he had guessed it straight away, and then she supposed that it was rather obvious - what else would she be carrying? Some foreign musket?

They reached the sh.o.r.eline of the lake, which was dry and peaceful after the hot weather of the day.

Gengyo found a less rocky part, and began to sit down when Akiko motioned for him to stop, handing him the basket.

He took it, raising an inquisitive eyebrow.

"What's this?"

"Just open it."

He did as he was bid, and in it he found a thick wool blanket nestled on top.

"Oh."

He folded it into a small square for her to sit on, before moving to place it on the ground, only to be stopped once more.

"Dummy. It's for both of us."

He grinned at the dummy comment that was so rarely directed his way, before opening it wider and sitting down.

"Mhm. It's comfy. Good idea bringing it."

"Right?"

Akiko sat beside him, venturing further into the basket.

"Here."

She presented him with a little wooden box, with a pair of chopsticks nestled on top.

"Ho… A bento, eh? Did you make it yourself?"

She blushed at his ridiculous comment and all that it might imply, before giving a rather huffy "as if," in response.

He had already attacked a slice of raw salmon, and was relis.h.i.+ng the flavour. He had not tasted something so full of life in a while.

"Mmm. It's good. Do you eat this all the time?"

Akiko was more lady like in her approach, delicately slicing small, mouth-sized pieces with her chopsticks before spooning them toward her mouth.

She frowned at his mannerisms, but then she realized her father was much the same when it came to eating.

"Mostly."

He gazed toward her after that half-hearted response, still chewing on his salmon.

"Something on your mind?"

She paused awhile, not sure how to begin, or whether she should in the first place.

"It makes sense now, why you seemed down those days."

Gengyo paused in thought at the sudden change in topic.

'Hoh, she's got a good eye. I'd thought I'd hidden my feelings well.'

"I guess it does."

"But you didn't tell me, until you needed my help."

"That's right."

She looked annoyed at his casual response.

"You could have, you know? I would have listened."

Her comment made him cease his chewing, as he stared toward her, before swallowing.

She blushed under his gaze, before writing off her earlier comment and turning away from him.

"Only if you wanted to though."

He smiled at her kindness, gently touching her elbow with his fingers and offering her his true thoughts.

"Niwsan, you're far too kind."

She pouted, still looking away, but her blush grew a little more intense.

"I enjoyed our evenings together. That was the only reason I did not mention it. You helped me to forget and clear my head."

One eye looked toward him.

"…Really?"

"Yup. And you've helped me out a good deal by getting your father involved. I think I might owe you a favour."

Now that attracted her attention.

"A favour… That sounds good."

The way she phrased it made Gengyo grimace slightly, realizing that her favour would probably entail something unreasonable.

"After you see the present I brought you that favour should be worth even more."

She smiled warmly, finally finding the opportune time to give her gift. She reached once more into that basket of hers that seemed to be holding all manner of objects, and drew out ten military-grade arrows that had been lining the bottom.

She gently placed them into his bamboo quiver that was nestling nearby before handing it to him.

He could only stare at the outstretched handed, utterly baffled.

"Uhm… What did I do to deserve a present?"

She huffed at his apparent thick-headedness, before explaining it to him.

"A well done for overcoming your family's problem… And maybe a thank you…"

"Ho…"

He received the quiver that had a new weight to it, and inspected one of the arrows.

"These are some quality arrows. Thank you very much Niwsan."

He reached out and ruffled her hair out of habit from becoming accustomed to doing it with Rin. Though the response was not quite the same. With every second his hand remained, Akiko blushed a deeper shade of red, before finally exploding in a fit of embarra.s.sment.

"Please don't touch my hair!!"

She swiped his hand away, holding her head miserably.

Though her reaction was fierce, it was still incredibly cute, so Gengyo did not feel even a single drop of regret.

The time pa.s.sed with idle conversation in regards to the fight, and they enjoyed a pleasant evening together.

After sending Akiko into the trusting protection of her closest maid, Gengyo made his way home in high spirits, clutching his new quiver of arrows and his bow.

He took as much pleasure in these moments of happiness as he could, for he had no idea how long it would last.

His family life was more than he could have ever wished for, and he valued each of his relatives more than he could describe. It was a beautiful feeling he found, the feeling of belonging.

He'd even started to make a few friends - or perhaps it would more appropriate to call them allies.

And so he walked the trail home with practised ease, now being able to navigate without problem even when the darkness had discarded all the light as it had now.

He smelled the pleasant scent of smoke on the air, theorising that Masaatsu must have already lit the garden fire to dissuade bugs.

A yawn escaped his lips, instigated by the feeling of contentment that was tickling his heart.

He flicked one arrow into his hand, admiring it once more.

'Akiko has a good eye for gifts. Practical ones are definitely the best.'

He wondered how he might explain the acquisition of the arrows to Masaatsu - for he intended to allow his brother to use them, in order to aid his practice.

With such idle thoughts dancing around him, he saw his house looming in front, lit up by the outdoor fire as he had predicted.

He paused a second, allowing himself to enjoy the full view of his home.

"Are you sure this is the right house…"

Disturbing his peace, he heard what he thought to be a whisper, and glanced in its direction.

Seeing a shadowy figure crouched down, he continued to observe with a piercing gaze.

Though their behaviour was odd, he still had no grounds to a.s.sume what they might be doing.

That was, until, a torch was lit in the darkness after the sound of a fire starter flitted through the trees a couple of times.

Five figures were illuminated, and they stepped out with all the boldness of police officers.

Weapons hung at their waists - bludgeons, rusty katanas, axes, and one even held a spear in his hand.

Gengyo's breath caught in his throat as he watched their intimidating figures walk closer to the house.

He heard a voice that he thought was rather familiar, calling for the torch to be pa.s.sed to him.

The face of a bloodied Kyougoku was illuminated, twisted with rage and carrying a head full of thoughts of vengeance. It was only then that he understand how dire their situation was.

He shook, praying they weren't about to do what he deemed they would.

But the G.o.ds were not watching on that day, for the torch was thrown, landing on the thatched roof of the Miura household.

A Time Traveller's Guide To Feudal Japan Chapter 23 - Pleasant

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A Time Traveller's Guide To Feudal Japan Chapter 23 - Pleasant summary

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