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Thread: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Eighteen Updated 25/06/2016

  1. #21
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    Default Chapter Four - Mourning

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    Chapter Four

    A sweet scent assailed my nostrils. Jasmine, the smell of Jasmine, a flower of Spring and a flower of Summer, and in Winter it dies, as do we all. My right eye opened, a darkness excluded my left, clenched tightly shut by some unseen force.


    A man, clothed in white, he wore brown slippers, his robe adorned with purple spirals, a pattern that made me growl with distaste. Why do men wear such foolish things? “No, no, do not sit up, my lord. You will only injure yourself further, and at this point in time death may still embrace you.” He smiled, his lips small and narrow, he licked them soundly. Death may embrace me? You fool, I am the only hope this Clan has. My fear from the earlier events dashed away, fleeing in place of wroth. “Listen, you bald bloody bastard. This is my clan, you do not presume to tell me what I should and should not do! Now, for the love of Buddha, what happened? Did we win? Where is Himichiro?” Yet the man showed no fear, and continued to smile further; thus increasing my anger. I prepared to shout a volley of obscenities at the man, when the doors opened to reveal a man, yellow and black armour adorned with blood upon his right side.


    “Nobunaga-sama!” Himichiro’s voice quivered as he lunged forward, kneeling before my bedside. “Forgive me, I have failed as your protector, I have failed.” He whimpered, head cast to the floor; the once proud man reduced himself to a weeping mess. Footsteps followed him, six of my retainers, all of whom looked ashamed and defeated. They have not failed me, I have failed them, to protect them and this clan. I am the one who has failed, not any other man, me alone. “Silence, Himichiro-sensei, such words are not worthy of you, my friend.”I smiled tentatively at my friend, my protector. So captivated was I by his loyalty and shame that I forgot about my anger, fear and the anguish.


    “What happened? How . . .?” I stopped for a second, unable to fathom how they had achieved victory without me, without my aid. “How did you win?” Himichiro’s head rose once more, and with a newfound grace stood within the room, blood from his armour had soaked into the bedsheets, straight from the battlefield. I laughed aloud, gaining myself a glance of dismissal from the doctor and a piercing stare from Himichiro. “Nobunaga-sama.” Himichiro’s voice was now its stern self, a tremor of violence that is waiting to be unleashed. “The man that looks over you is a doctor. Even I heard your shouting from the other side of the castle. If you have any hope of living, and you may die Nobunaga-sama, no man is immortal, it will be from his hands. His knowledge is what may save you.” His deep eyes cast down, and a frown came across his aged face. “I’m sorry I wasn’t there, to protect you.” His voice had turned soft, no longer holding its menacing stance, but no longer weak and feeble. “We won thanks to your uncle, it is told. He demanded to be set free, and in their wish to see the Oda clan survive the guards allowed his plea. He gathered the soldiers and defended the wall, while my rear strike sent the Saito army reeling. I personally cut down the Saito heir, what became of the Daimyo I do not know. His body lies with those of his men, mangled and disfigured beyond recognition.”


    I nodded, yet as I did so my face tore with contempt. They freed my uncle, without my leave, without my say. “Bring the men that allowed my uncle freedom to me, immediately. I will personally see to their execution.” Himichiro’s face quirked awkwardly. “They saved the city, without your uncle we’d all be dead. Yourself included, Nobunaga-sama!” Himichiro’s voice was still soft, but a deep pierce was in it now, a taste of authority, a bitter lust.


    I cut him off with a shake of my head. “They did it without my leave, without my permission. They released a prisoner under my charge. Such treason will not go unpunished, not for any man’s deeds. Bring me Ieyasu, I wish to speak to him as well.” The retainers bowed low, and two of the men hurriedly moved away, sprinting. “Himichiro, I will execute those men, or boys, or whoever they were. You will not interfere, else it will be you I execute.” The words that came from my mouth matched my anger, but not my soul, nor heart, nor mind. Never would I execute Himichiro.


    His face darkened. I have hounded the man that wishes to protect me as if I was his son. “As you wish, Nobunaga-sama. I will see them both delivered to you within the hour.” He spat upon the ground and strode out, fists clenched, he was the very image of fury. The retainers made no move to stop him, simply stepping aside.


    Ieyasu was brought to me swiftly, guards trailed behind him, an escort. He looked at me steadily, gaze washing over the scene, bandaged as I was, blood soaked as the bedsheets were, weak as I looked and strong as I felt. “Lord Tokugawa, now. A strange turn of events, I will admit. Here you live, a Daimyo in your own right, my captive. Here I lie, unable to fend for myself, unable to fight off any attacker.” I looked to the ground, my armour and clothes laid there, covered in blood. I saw my Tanto, and my Katana. Looking at Ieyasu once more. “Do it, the pain my family has caused you, you will wish for nothing more than my death. That is understandable. Know this, however. It was not my father that mercilessly burned Mikawa to the ground, it was not my father that turned your once proud city and clan to a smouldering ruin of sorrow and agony. It was the Imagawa, they were once your masters, once your liege lords . . .” Ieyasu’s eyes blinked, still he spoke no word. The simple movement of his eyes was all I needed to tell me that I crossed a line, speaking of how they had once been enslaved by those monsters. “Now, now they are my foes as well. Will you help me? Will you fight with me? To defend my city, my clan? So that I may avenge your clan, your city, your family? If the answer to my plea is no, then plunge that tanto into my chest and do so swiftly. I have no wish to watch my clan burn, and I cannot save them without you.”


    Ieyasu bent, gripping the Tanto in hand, I closed my eyes. I rolled the die, and I have lost. I felt pressure near my arm, I looked, he had placed the Tanto near my hand. Leaning close, I smelt his breath, it smelled not of sake, nor of women, it smelt of death. “Defend your clan, when I could not defend mine.”


    Ieyasu stepped back, he nodded to me again. “Find wisdom, Nobunaga-san. Without wisdom you will fall. You will fail, you will burn. Without wisdom, you will die.”


    It was near an hour later that two men were brought before me, both looking thoroughly outraged and frightened, a queer look at best. The doctor looked at me. “Not here, my lord. The blood may have bad diseases, and could harm your recovery.” I looked at the man, I could feel the coldness within my eyes, this darkness that illuminated from my aura.


    “You have committed treason, no matter the reasons why it was committed, you freed a prisoner, a prisoner I had explicitly ordered be locked away. The punishment for treason is death.” A shadow moved across the door and Himichiro entered, a forlorn look upon his face. I put him through agony, all so that I can prove a point. “We have done nothing wrong, my lord! We have served you and your father faithfully! The soldiers on the walls would have routed without him, my lord, please!” My gaze drank in the man, he was slim built, but looked strong enough. A good soldier. Yet, I gave a command, and it was not followed. “Himichiro, your blade will strike in my place.” the second man looked at me, he begged not for mercy, he swore not his loyalty. He simply stared at me, his eyes taking value of my soul, my values, my very existence. I sentence innocent men to death and name it justice. What facade and game do I play at? All for the want of power, all for the betterment of my clan . . .


    Himichiro nodded at my order, he drew his blade. The torch light shone off the katana, omitting a rather zealous light. The first man quivered, whimpering. Himichior’s blade touched the back of his neck and the man cried out in fear, spittle flying from his mouth as a torrent of begging and pleas for mercy sprouted from the simpering mess of a man.


    Himichiro’s strike was quick, the doctor gasped and looked away, muttering profusely of the inhygienic nature of such a thing. The second man looked at the headless corpse of his ex-comrade, a hint of revulsion within his eye, quickly masked by one of sorrow. “He was a good man, and did not need to die. All we did, Nobunaga-sama we did out of duty to the Oda.” With that the man bowed his head, preparing himself for the inevitable.


    Himichiro’s blade struck once more, and with the thud of the man’s head upon the wooden floor I knew that I had made an error. Will I truly be so foolish against the Imagawa? To neglect the advice of my most trusted friend?

    The doctor was the first to speak, ignoring the events that had happened, I could see the pained look on his face. The man swore to do whatever it takes to save lives, and now I have made him witness me taking one. “The Tanto that entered your belly, Nobunaga-san, it pierced deeply and your body will never fully recover, even if you don’t die. You may not feel weak now, as your body is still high on the adrenalin from the fight and . . .” He hesitated for a moment, but then looked me in the eye. ‘The fear that is only natural when one is in a situation such as you were, my lord.” He smiled again, ever so slightly, his lips squirmed as he smiled like a worm wriggling through the ground. “I can assure you that you will need years to fully recover, but it will only be a few weeks until you regain some of your lost vigor and can return to practicing the blade, until then your normal academic lessons will follow as usual, with the alteration of three hours of research, under the careful eye of Himichiro-sensei. Until such a time as you are hale and healthy again, my lord, you can count me as your most trusted friend and companion.” This time when he smiled he bore teeth, like a dog snarling at an intruder.


    The doctor clapped and the six retainers took up position at the door. “Leave our young Daimyo to rest, he will be exhausted, though he may not realise it yet.” a soft laugh ascended the man’s throat. Will he laugh when I tear out his throat? I think not.


    Himichiro looked to me once more, a small smile crossed his face, it held sorrow and disappointment within it. But he held his back strong, even as his head bobbed forward in his dismay.


    With the realisation that I needed sleep, even if my body didn’t truly admit it yet, I willed myself to sleep. I blinked once, twice and then did not blink again for some time . . .


    A loud scream interrupted me, it was quick, piercing within my slumber. I awoke, shaking myself from the drouse. I looked out of the window, night had fallen across Japan, and Owari was beautiful in the night, the sharp buildings, made from plaster and wood, the Oda patterns that accompanied the walls of every household, the bright street lamps which brought a shine to the cobbled roads.


    An orange glow assaulted my window, brushing the walls, licking at the wallpaper Fire? I smell no smoke, hear no cries. The doors burst open and Himichiro leaped in.


    “We’re leaving, now!” The doctor leapt to his feet, shaking himself from his sleep. Himichiro and one of my retainers bent to lift me off the bed. “No, no, no! You can’t move him! There is still a danger he will die!”


    Himichiro turned. “If he stays here than all hope of him, or any of us, living is slim. You can be certain Yoshimoto-teme will not be so merciful as to allow us all to walk away.” His voice was louder than normal, and had the sound of wroth and fear to it.


    Yoshimoto is here? I was dazed, not processing the information. Himichiro grabbed for me, roughly dragging me from the bed. “WE MUST GO, NOBUNAGA!” He slung my arm around my shoulder and the second retainer gripped my other arm, together the two men helped me limp from the room.


    I jerked violently as the pain hit me, coursing through my stomach, it was fire within my veins, death within my heart. My howl of agony made me sink to my knees, clutching at my stomach.


    My retainers rushed forward, all unceremoniously hauling me up through my agony. Through the wretched pain I saw watched as my thirty retainers formed around me, four men ran down the hall, the vanguard. The rest marched behind me, feet a soft and constant pitter patter upon the wooden floor.


    Himichiro’s hands gripped me tightly, leading me through hall, we turned left, then right and continued. Every step I took, every second they dragged me along, pain made me whimper. How weak I am, and how weak men are, to think we are immortal when we bleed like sheep. We howl like wolves when injured and whimper like babes when pierced with pain.


    When we reached the entrance to the castle the four men stopped, one of the men shook his head before they kicked the doors open Himichiro rushed me outside, the sight I saw tore out my throat, it savagely devoured all of my hope, all of my love and happiness. All that was left was sorrow and pain.



    Owari burned; the entire southern half of the city was torn by flames, entire sections ripped apart by the lustful heat. I saw buildings crumble in the streets,, rubble and debris falling upon fleeing citizens, babies cried and mothers desperately tried to save their children. Fathers cursed and battled, but who can battle fire?


    I heard the marching, heard the cheerful chanting. I watched as the main street erupted into a mass of men. The apparel they wore was the colours of blue and gold. The standard they bore upon their chest was the Imagawa’s.


    As the men went they grabbed women, shoving them amongst themselves, they ran after children and sliced their throat when they could run no more. They threw father’s to the ground, and stabbed them through the stomach with spear and blade. The Oda banner was torn from the grasp of men, set alight and plunged into the faces of the pleading.


    Arrows flew, a fierce hiss as they fell upon the fleeing people, my people, and so they die.. My thoughts were lost, I was lost, my very being was forfeit. The cry that erupted from my lips was not of physical pain, but on the sense of failure, anguish and sorrow. In agony I watched as my city burned, I watched as all I had loved, known and sworn to defend was dead.


    I looked, the Oda banner above the gates flew strong. Hope? Is there any hope that this proud banner be raised again? Flaming arrows coursed through it, holes plunging through my banner. It caught alight, as did the wooden stand it was placed upon, it crumbled swiftly, falling on the opposite side of the gate.


    The gate, it is closed. IT IS CLOSED? My people are burning and dying and their salvation is locked to them. “Open the gates.” my voice was a whimper, a tremor that passed through my body. “OPEN THE GATES! OPEN THEM! OPEN THEM NOW!” My mind burned, my heart thundered and my soul shook with anguish. “OPEN THE GATES! I WILL NOT SEE MY PEOPLE BURN!” A retainer turned swiftly, but Himichiro grabbed the man. “We’ll all die before we can get you away, Nobunaga-sama. I’m sorry. But we cannot save them, we have failed. There is no hope anymore, only you.” I’ll kill them all, every last one of them. I will see their blood wash through the rivers, see their people run in fear, I will see the Imagawa banner dashed to the ground, spit upon and burned, never to be raised again.


    Himichiro gripped me again, heaving me up from the ground. “No, no. Let me die, let me die. I have failed, and death will be a peace, let this end. I have failed, I have failed, I failed.” I will tear them asunder, I will watch their bodies melt to ashes in the flames of my hatred. They will burn, and die and scream and beg for mercy. “I shall give them death” I spoke aloud, thrown along by Himichiro and my retainers. A single Samurai unit of Yari Samurai guarded the gate, keeping it firmly locked, I could hear people screaming, hear them plead to be let in. I heard their cries as the Imagawa surrounded them and cut them down.


    Two samurai units stood to attention, trained in the art of the yari, they were deadly and precise with their chosen weapon. “Follow.” Himichiro called to them. “You will be the only men the Daimyo has, apart from his personal guard.” The men nodded, and followed in suit, marching along behind us. “Nobunaga-sama, your brother is being escorted to the stables by his own men, your mother.” He trailed off. “Where your mother was being held was overrun with Imagawa, swiftly. We had to seal that part of the castle so that they couldn’t reach anyone else. I’m sorry. There is something else you will want to know. Your uncle’s men, they killed the men set to guard him, he was seen by the gates, just before Owari was attacked by Imagawa, I sent a squad of guardsmen to bring him back, but then . . . “ He looked at teh burning buildings, and I could see he was taking in the screams, the death, the savageness of the Imagawa. “But then death happened.”


    “Ieyasu, he is coming? Bring him, Himichiro, if you have not already.” my voice was weak, but I would get every man I could out. My uncle has betrayed the Oda. There was nothing more to think on the matter, the visions of my father and his brother, the two of them had been brilliant allies, each outweighing the other. My father had the drive, the decisiveness and swiftness of any general. He had the boldness and reckless accustomed to any foolish man. His brother was the polar opposite, calm and patient. Willing to wait for the right moment to strike.


    “I gave the order already, he should be saddled and ready to leave when we reach the stables.” I nodded, my eyes were dulling now, my vision blurred from the tears I had spent mourning my home.


    I could hear the neighing of horses, and thudding of their hooves as they trotted forward. A servant rushed forward, bringing a grey horse. It has no name, much like my clan now. Even now I can remember my father telling me how the greatest horses have names, and my Uncle retorted that horses die in battles. To name one would be pure idiocy. As such as my grey steed was nameless. My brother was already there, mounted and followed by his own guard of twelve retainers. Ieyasu was also mounted, accompanied by two guards.


    I tried to mount, and failed as the pain hit me, have I not been tortured enough? Am I so cursed? Shamelessly Himichiro lifted me, steadily helping me gain my footing on my horse. How they shall all laugh at me, the clanless Daimyo, to be helped upon his horse. Ha! Such a mockery I am already.


    My men mounted around me, and the northern castle gate opened, as of yet untouched by the Imagawa. Had my people only walked around I could have saved many of them. The two Yari Samurai ran behind me, keeping pace. Ieyasu rode forward, following, he caught up to me upon the cobbled streets, deserted now. His face was grim. He is as sorrowful as the city’s loss as I am. We made it out of the city, my brother and his guards keeping pace. I looked back, my brother was a few meters behind the Yari Samurai. He was black of hair, much like myself, at the young age of eight he was already fit and trained. He would have made a better Daimyo than me, perhaps he will be the one to save them. Should there be anyone left to save.


    The northern gates opened. A few men stood upon the walls of the city. “Oda! Oda! Oda!” They chanted down to me as I rode under the gates. My mind drew a blank, my emotions faltered, I could not process what I had just witnessed. I watched as the Northern Gate closed, locking the soldiers in the city.


    I stopped, turning back, I bellowed my anguish, my rage and sorrow and hatred towards the Imagawa. Not a single word came from my lips, just a long and piercing wordless cry. I am the last hope of the Oda, The Oda are dead, I am clanless. Dead, ashes and snow, melting in winter and coiling into the flames. Hope is gone, forlorn revenge is all that remains.


    I watched as the city continued to burn, I savoured the screams, swearing to remember the pain the Imagawa had caused me and my family, my clan. I will avenge you, mother, father, everyone. I will not rest until they are dead, I will not rest until the world know the name of Oda, and knows us to be the greatest of the clans.


    I felt a wetness soaking my side, I placed there, when it came away, I saw in the light of the burning Owari my blood. The wounds had reopened.


    Himichiro looked at me, he cursed when he noticed. “RIDE! RIDE TO FREEDOM? WE WILL ALL DIE!” His laugh was cruel and hoarse. “The Oda will live, teme, teme, teme! Yoshimoto-teme!”


    The Oda may live, my dear friend. But I will not.
    Last edited by Tigellinus; May 24, 2014 at 03:48 AM.




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  2. #22
    Tigellinus's Avatar Citizen
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Three Updated 5/1/2014

    I hope the wait was worth it!

    I spent quite a long time on this chapter, and I have to say, I am quite pleased with it. I hope you are as well!

    Thanks

    Tigellinus




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  3. #23
    Lugotorix's Avatar non flectis non mutant
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Three Updated 5/1/2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigellinus View Post
    I hope the wait was worth it!

    I spent quite a long time on this chapter, and I have to say, I am quite pleased with it. I hope you are as well!

    Thanks

    Tigellinus
    I didn't know what I was missing. Awesome first person narration. You can feel his emotions swinging in the balance, especially in the last update.
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    Tigellinus's Avatar Citizen
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Three Updated 5/12/2014

    Thanks man!

    Glad to have another avid reader

    Thanks

    Tigellinus




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  5. #25
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Three Updated 5/12/2014

    That was a great update. Our your daimyo has lost everything now. This will be quite something to see how he deals will it. + rep
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  6. #26
    Tigellinus's Avatar Citizen
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Three Updated 5/12/2014

    Thank you, SK! I hope to spin this tale well!

    Just doing a Creative writing Project for school. Should be able to get another update out by the end of next week, but can't promise!

    Thanks

    Tigellinus




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  7. #27
    McScottish's Avatar The Scribbling Scotsman
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Three Updated 5/12/2014

    I cannot disgree with it being awesome, it is, but I will suggest-as I suggested to another writer- not to use the in-game named of units. It was all going well, pretty deep stuff, and then a wild 'Samurai unit of Yari Samurai' appeared and jarred with the whole imagery. Just my opinion, and a suggestion. Compelling stuff though, and I do hope to read more.

  8. #28
    Tigellinus's Avatar Citizen
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Three Updated 5/12/2014

    Thank you!

    Honestly, I thought of that! Then I decided it wouldn't matter! You've proved me wrong shall look up their actual names and change them immediately!

    Thanks McScottish!

    Tigellinus




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  9. #29
    McScottish's Avatar The Scribbling Scotsman
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Three Updated 5/12/2014

    My Gods man, that is a lot of exclamation marks! I can tell that you're serious.

  10. #30
    Tigellinus's Avatar Citizen
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Three Updated 5/12/2014

    Gods, that's what happens when I'm tired, haha.

    Seriously, I'll find the names and change them.

    Thanks

    Tigellinus




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  11. #31
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Three Updated 5/12/2014

    Interesting tale you have here Always nice to read another Shogun AAR and I can only apologize for my late arrival. Your take on Nobunaga is quite unique. He seems very selfless and idealistic. Maybe because of his youth. I'm very much looking forward to how you decide to develop him. Keep it up!

  12. #32
    Tigellinus's Avatar Citizen
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Three Updated 5/12/2014

    Selfless and idealistic, aye? Well, I'll have to do something about that

    No, I'll be showing his faults in more depth very soon, they don't really come out until we get to the main start of the story, or at least when Act One is finished. Its rather difficult to show his faults in his current scenario.

    I'll give you a hint, however, wroth is a flaw. It will play a large part on our young daimyo's development!

    @McScottish, I changed the name, or at least said it in a sentence that didn't sound generic and game like! Tell me what you think?

    Writing more of the fifth chapter now, will try have it out by about ten-ten thirty tonight!

    Thanks everyone for your enthusiasm.

    Tigellinus




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  13. #33
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Three Updated 5/12/2014

    C'est trés bon! c'est trés bon!

  14. #34
    Tigellinus's Avatar Citizen
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Three Updated 5/12/2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Stannis the Mannis View Post
    C'est trés bon! c'est trés bon!
    Thank you, Stannis! I am glad you liked it!

    Thanks

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  15. #35
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Three Updated 5/12/2014

    Chapter Five is written, and will be edited in a few hours, and then posted.

    Chapter Six is being written, I will then release both of them to make up for my tardiness

    Thanks

    Tigellinus




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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Three Updated 5/12/2014

    Here it is! Enjoy all!

    Chapter Six will be posted straight after this one.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Chapter Five
    They’re gone, I failed. Owari lies in ruins, smouldering ashes beneath the debris. It was still dark when I awoke from my haunted nightmare, the flashes of fire, the screams still rang in my ears. Even now they thundered. My eyes glossed over the countryside, untouched by the burden of war, unhindered by my woe, unhindered by my fall. I was nothing to the country, and it was everything to me.


    The lands, the grass, the mountains, the rivers, the creeks. Land I knew, land I had felt safe within, land that now held a different master. The Imagawa had not yet reached this far north, not yet had the riders appeared to herald that the land was now under Imagawa rule. I fought, I failed, and now I am undone.


    “We could never have won, Himichiro-sensei, I see that now. No matter how brilliant I thought I was, I was no rival for their severity, their brutality, their deceitful ways. I’m sorry I failed you, failed our clan, failed my mother, my father. I’m sorry.” The pain still lingered, increasing every so often, last night I had awoken the entire camp with my screams, the pain I had felt, tormented by the horrors I had seen. Is the pain I feel brought upon by my failure? Is it through me that my anguish feasts?


    Himichiro turned his head, his face was grim, eyes looked at my side. He is observing my wound, and calculating how long it shall be to my death. He turned away. “Make haste, men of Oda! For should we not reach Sagara by nightfall I cannot promise anything for our Daimyo’s life.” His head sank forward. It is his failure that haunts where it is mine that disheartens me. Not my near imminent death. Not my pain, it is the fate I have sentenced my people to. They will fight, many will die before they succumb to the rule of Imagawa, but in the end they will be beaten, in the end the Oda will be just another clan to be written off the history books. “Himichiro, answer me.”


    I saw him shudder, heard him sigh. ‘I cannot, Nobunaga-sama.” his voice was a soft whimper, he seemed shrunken, beaten, fallen. “I’ve failed you, Nobunaga-sama. I have no honour to my name, nothing to fight for, nothing to die for, but you. I failed in my sacred duty, failed to teach you, failed to protect you. What honour can any man have after that? What name does one leave his children when it is sullied by disgrace and defeat? Tyranny and betrayal?” His voice vibrated with rage, with anguish and a sense of suffering. What words can describe the loss I feel? The atrocities that I have witnessed, the abuse of my people. I watched as Owari succumbed to flames, I watched as my people writhed and begged.


    “Nothing, Himichiro.” My voice broke as I tried to be strong, my voice decayed as I tried to keep my own sorrow subdued. “We have nothing, nothing but hatred. I will do whatever I must, commit whatever evils, to avenge my people. Never again shall the Oda be as weak as it is.” My voice carried over the party, endearing others to listen. Himichiro laughed, it was a shrill thing. “Don’t you see, Nobunaga? The Oda are dead, there is nothing that remains but you. Your banner, Nobunaga-sama, is ashes. Fight onwards, you say? What is there to fight for? The Oda? Your people are chained. For Owari? Ashes, torn asunder by the fury of the Imagawa. Your family? Traitors, or dead. There is nothing, Nobunaga, nothing left. Nothing to battle for. Nothing to die for.”


    The birds whistled their song, it was soft and sweet, though held a forlorn touch to it. The dirt road seemed to shudder and sway beneath my horses hooves. The grass seemed to whip with a fury, and the trees stood staunch. “There is me, hear me, Himichiro-sensei. Hear me, soldiers of Oda, hear me, Buddha. For I am Nobunaga of the clan Oda! For I shall not rest until my family is avenged, until the chains that bind my people are cut, until Yoshimoto begs for mercy at my feet! THERE IS ME! Himichiro-sensei, will you fight for me? No, will you fight with me? Will you, Samurai? Will you battle my foes? Defend me from all that wish me harm?” The wind roared with a fury, ascending to my voice. Raising it to be mightier than all. Chants arose, the raging of Yari and the clashing of Katanas.


    I slumped within my saddle, exhausted. I am weak, pathetic. I shall soon be dust and bones, and my men with me. No matter the words I spoke; I knew that I would fail. In death lies peace,in peace lies . . . nothing? “I have nothing left, no hope, no freedom, only death awaits me. For what is death? Is it peace? Or is it turmoil? Is one forever at peace, or is one forever haunted? By the deeds he has failed to do?” I was a husk, a shell. My voice cracked and faltered, falling to the depths of depravity. When I die, it shall be with sword in hand.


    Ieyasu rode beside me, his eyes held a glint of respect. “Defend your clan, where I could not defend mine.” Those were the words I spoke, and those were the words you heeded.” He shook his head regretfully. “I’ll fight with you, Daimyo. You are the only hope, our only saviour. Should you die, Nobunaga-san, let it not be from this wound.” He touched the wetness of my Kuma, his hand came away blood soaked. “Let it be fighting, for what you believe in, for what you hold dearer than all life. Fight! Fight when I did not! Fight!”


    The forests broke away, a bridge lay before us. Its wood was light, darkened by the abandoned fields. Before it a farmstead lay, blackened and burned. I wept, looking upon the bodies that lay upon the road. A warning to all that are not seen as friends of the Saito. I breathed deeply, trying to hide the terror I felt, trying to conceal my sorrow.


    Himichiro stopped. “What do we do with them?” soft as the meadow’s wind. I dismounted, looking upon the long grass, deserted and forlorn. It looked heavy and weak. Yellow and brown, dead. “Leave them for the crows, it serves as another reminder of how I failed.” Himichiro turned, he shook his head and cursed.


    “We should bury them, please Nobunaga-sama, please, we would be -”


    “Wasting time?” My voice was barely a whisper, yet I heard the intensity of my voice, it was cold as death itself. Himichiro knelt before me. “Nobunaga, please. I swore to defend you, Do not make me die defending a tyrant! We could not save your people, we should bury them, please” The anger overtook me, I rushed forward, leaping like a lion, my arm lashed out, weak as I was I had anger upon my side. There was a spurt of blood and a crack of bone as Himichiro’s nose broke.


    “THEY BURNED IN OWARI! THEY BURNED BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T SEE ANY POINT IN HELPING THEM!: I continued to beat at his body, kicking at him. He was curled up, too exhausted to battle anymore. “I let them die, for you! For you! I let them die!” I sank to my knees, weeping. My retainers were cold, gripping me by the shoulders they heaved me up, frowns upon their faces.


    I fell to the side, crying out as the pain shook my body, it was death incarnate. It was a shadow, a hiss of death. I whimpered, shook, and gave in. My knees fell away from me. My retainers rushed, three more of them hauling me up, gripping me. There is nothing left, nothing but ashes.


    The visions assailed me, I watched as women screamed and cried, wept and shrieked. Watched as their husbands fought before them and were cut down by the brutality of the Imagawa. I witnessed as children cried for their parents, only to be stabbed through the chest. Women were raped, shared out amongst the soldiers.


    I turned around, to see myself surrounded by shadows, they leapt at me, tearing at my clothing. tearing through my limbs. I lay upon the ground, my vision blackening. I screamed, having no other answer to my cries but agony.


    Fire flew around me, horses bellowed and roared, swords sung and screamed. Around me the shadows shrieked, running before the light. I saw black upon red, red on black. Men leapt with fury, died with sorrow and wept with passion. “Shingen” the soldiers whispered to me. “Takeda.” it was a hiss, vicious, yet certain. “Saviour . . . life, death, nothing and everything.” they roared at me. “You are the guilt, the shadows, the light, the pain, the joy, everything and nothing. You are Nobunaga of the Oda, and you, are death.”


    I awoke, lurching as I did, another spasm hit me, but less so than before. I was hot, sweat drenched and exhausted. A retainer noticed my eyes, he yelled, chanted, praised Buddha and cursed my name. ‘Daimyo! The Daimyo is awake!” men in yellow appeared from the forests, rushing for where I lay.


    “Himichiro stepped between them, his face a husk of anger. Around me the grass was dark green, as if the light had been swallowed by my presence. He looked at me, eyes taking in my weakness, taking in my lethargic state, the blood that soaked my side and leg.


    “Nobunaga-sama” his voice was blunt, defined and sharp. “Anger takes you, and with it death will soon follow.” His voice was strong, wretched as he sounded. “However, it shall not be on my watch. What are your orders?” He was hesitant, worried. He has no path to follow any longer, he has lost his way. Fought and lost. I shall need to fight for him, to bring him back to who he was before. But once one has embraced darkness, sorrow and anguish. Can one truly ever return?


    “To Kai, to the lands of the Takeda.” My voice slurred, I sounded delirious. Perhaps I am, for all I know I am dead and this is my punishment for my failure. “Think not of logic, Himichiro, think that I know what I wish to accomplish, I know not what awaits us. Only that if there is any hope, it is in them. It is Shingen, his might and his friendship” My voice was hollow,devoid of any true attention to my words. I am lost within my fate, spiraling into despair. My sorrow is my madness, my madness my sin.


    Himichiro looked at me, shook his head. ”I want peace.” He nodded to me for a second. “Is there any hope you may ride?” But his eyes flicked back towards my wound and he waved his hand, knowing the answer. “The wound shall be fatal.” I spoke softly, not allowing my voice to tremble. “It shall kill me unless I reach help, and judging by the state I am in. Foreseeing one's imminent death is not too difficult when it is right before you. Find me someone, Himichiro-sensei, someone that can ease my pain, someone that can give me the strength I need to fight onwards.”


    He knelt before, gripping my hand. “Upon my honour.” He nodded towards me, and rose swiftly. “With me.” he spoke to several men, who mounted with him as he rode onward. Should Himichiro fail I will be doomed. Yet can death truly die?


    “Everyone may die, and everyone has the right to die well and every man the right to die a coward. Choose not the path of weakness.” Ieyasu's voice’s was a cool stream, when I looked at him with reproachful curiosity he laughed. “Your face writes your thoughts, you only need to read.”


    “Now sleep, young Daimyo of the Oda, for on the morrow you may wake to fire and blood.”


    …………………………………………………………………………………….


    “Nobunaga-sama!” a shout rang out through my ears. “Nobunaga! I bring a learned herbalist to treat and clean your wound, he brings Green Tea as well, to quell the pain.” A man pulled me up, gently helping me rise. The man that was before was near half my height, he was old and frail looking in hands and stature. He looks more like to die than I do.


    The man knelt before. “Daimyo.” His voice was shallow, it held little love in it. “I have been brought here to treat your wounds, as best I can.” He looked me over critically. “Fools, the amount of blood he’s lost will like kill him as much as the festering and infection. Bring me linen, from the satchel there” he waved his hand to Himichiro, signaling him to give him the items. “Lie down, young Oda.” I did as was bid, to tired to argue over the technicalities of my title.


    The man removed my Kuma with delicate fingers, he looked upon the blood soaked Linen that covered the wound, the look in his eyes spoke more than the sharpness of his breath. “The linen, give me the linen.” he spoke softly now, delicately. He tentatively took the blood soaked linen away. “Water as well, lots of it. I will need to clean the wound, and he will be parched.” Water was brought, he carefully cleaned away my blood soaked side, and cleaned the wound, it ached, yet not much. I sipped the green tea, to both delude myself in its flavour and to quell the pain which the man promised would come later. The wound was wrapped in Linen several times, it was tight and secure around my stomach and side. The man looked over his work when he was done. “It will need to be properly sewn and cleaned with sake, the dead and festering skin will need to be cut away, or burned away. I have no utensils to do so here, nor would it be particularly safe to do so in the middle of a forest. come, I will take you back to Mino, where you will eat good food, and I can properly treat your wound.”


    At his words Himichiro growled. “The Saito have no love for us, after we destroyed their forces at Owari. After we killed the ruling body of their family. There men will swarm us on site, they will kill us when they know who we are.”


    The man tsked. “Have you no more clothes than your armour? No Kuma such as his?” he pointed towards me, speaking pointedly “If you do not I shall take him myself, he will die without it being properly cared for.” My men touched their blades as he spoke, it was Himichiro that voiced their fear.


    “You think we’ll allow you to sell him to the Saito?” Himichiro’s voice, normally soft in anger, had risen to the sound of thunder. Yet the herbalist simply frowned. “It is impolite to accuse a man that is willing to help. Shall I leave him to die? Is that your wish?” The man’s voice was sweet as honey, yet held no mockery in his words.


    My voice was weak. “Himichiro-sama, leave him. I will go.” I could feel my bones aching, feel my pulse drifting from my body. I was weak, frail. “If I do not do this I will die, and you cannot protect me from everything, my friend. Besides, our world is drowning itself in war, I will have to fight it, else I will drown with it.”


    Himichiro looked at me, a soft look upon his aged face. He knelt. “I will stand watch over the gate with the men, if you’re not returned by dusk I will burn that damned city to the ground.” He turned, speaking to the herbalist. “I swear that to you, I will root you out of your hole and murder you if you betray him.” his eyes were fierce as fire, and his tongue sharper than the flint that ignited it.


    They mounted me upon a horse. The herbalist whispered to me. “We’ll go slowly, else your wound will tear even further and that will kill you quicker than infection, due to blood loss. What I have tried to do with the Linen is make it tight so that the blood stops flowing from the wound, so that you do not die from blood loss, a good lot of use it’ll bloody well do until we get it sewn, but it may help.” I didn’t answer, simply staring forward as we rode towards Mino.


    The gates of Mino were open, and two men stood guard over the gate. But we were not stopped as we passed, not halted as we rode. The guards simply nodded at the herbalist. We rode through the dirt streets, I looked around in sorrow to see women weeping, to see old men look tired and defeated. One woman was crying over her child, yelling a shrill scream at her husband’s death. Another wept into her father’s arm, a man too old to fight, at the loss of her brother. I caused this. Their sorrow is at my doing. “But I was not there.” trying to justify it to myself. “I did not fight. I did not cause this!” The herbalist turned to me in the saddle. “Best be silent, young Daimyo” He spoke softly. “You never know who’s listening.” I did not hear him, I looked back, looking at all the children that clutched their mother’s arms, all the children that would grow old fatherless, all to a battle. Am I truly so selfish as to believe it is only my life that is cursed? Am I truly so selfish to believe that it is only my people worth fighting for?


    We reached the man’s home, it was quaint and small. Dust lay upon the table, and black and red wood covered the floor, aged and rotting it appeared. The walls were dark, with a small torch hanging on the left side, over the bed. In the center of the room was a table, with a plate with some unfinished sushi, but crowded on it were blades, water and sake. Fresh linen was upon the floor. These are the living conditions of the man that will try to save my life. I will not hold out much hope. He laid me down upon the bed, and kindly looked at the wound once more. He sighed looking me over. “May I have food? I am starved.” I was deprived of food, food that I needed. “Best not, not yet, at least. The pain that will be caused during these next few hours is going to mean that you will vomit, and thats simply a waste of good food. However, I can supply you with water.” I drank, gulping down the wet, parched, exhausted, it was good to swallow water. To not feel dry and flaked within my mouth.


    The man took away the linen, already bloodied, yet not saturated. He got sake and poured it within the wound. “Normally, some sort of animal’s urine would be used for this. yet, as you can see.” He directed his hand around his small house. “I am not the richest of men.” It burned, viciously. I cried out in pain as the liquor saturated the wound. My fist smacked against the wall, with a curse the man held me down. “Stop thrashing around, it will help clean your wound, and it will help ease the feeling for when I cut away the infected flesh.” I lay motionless, if only due to my exhaustion. The pain did not ebb away, it burned still. The pain still tore at my side.


    It seemed like hours that I was in agony for, pouring sake upon my wound and cleaning away at it. Finally he took up a sharp and small utensil, as well as strapping me down, so that my writhing would not damage his work. The steel felt cold touching my skin, I tried to calm myself, to think not of the pain that I would endure, but of what I would do after I had endured it. I will avenge those that I couldn’t defend. I allowed them to die, to burn and suffer I will free them from the chains I sentenced them to.


    The pain made made arch my back as he cut away at the skin, reaching the dead, rotted and festered areas. Trying to cut it away. My screams did not make the man falter in his work. He continued to cut away, to delicately not cut out any good skin. He sliced away at my body.


    I gave way to the pain, my vision blackened as I was overcome by the crippling agony.


    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………


    I awoke to the soft murmur of voices. “He cannot be removed from here for some time, he will need his rest. He will need to garner some strength before heading onwards, else all I have done for him will be for nought.”


    “That doesn’t matter” a voice full of urgency said. “We have to get him to Kai, swiftly, on his own orders. You’ve done all you can for him, now we must do what we can, what we have been ordered to do.” Himichiro’s figure was lit only by a single candle, its flame indecent before the shadows. his Katana hung at his belt, yet he wore no armour but an old and ragged Kuma. I smelt the seat, I could feel the anger and worry. “Himichiro is right, herbalist. I owe you thanks for all you have done for me, but there is little more you can accomplish. I am fated to either die or live, and my fate is now in my own hands, at least for some small while.” I managed a sour smile, that could curdle even the sternest of milk. The herbalist looked at me, wincing at my words. “You are not well enough to do anything, Nobunaga-san.” Himichiro’s eyes looked through my facade of strength, frowning he spoke swiftly. “Whatever the case, he cannot stay here, else we will have half a hundred Saito guards on your door by dawn.” He stepped forward. “Are you well enough to walk?” The doctor hissed at his question. “Damned fool, he cannot walk, he is weak, exhausted, he needs more rest.”


    “Herbalist, you are repeating yourself, over and over. The answer I gave is what I will give again. He cannot stay here.” Himichiro’s voice was a short rasp, sharper than his blade in tone and command. The man looked defeated, he sank back onto a wooden chair, it looked older than the he himself. “Be it upon your head that he dies, for I will have no part in his death.” he dabbed his face with a watered cloth. “Go then.” He turned around, a small scowl upon his face. “et, there is the small issue of payment. I did just save your Daimyo from death, do I not deserve some compensation?”


    I rose from bed, sitting upright. “We have no koku to give, nor any supplies to offer. But, I can promise this. When I raise my armies, and crush my traitor uncle, when I butcher the Imagawa for the pain they have caused me, I will see you compensated. You have my oath.” My voice was stern and steadfast. I hope I live long enough to make good upon this promise, for I am not my uncle, I will keep my oaths.


    The herbalist laughed. “What god does promises a lifetime away do me, boy? Your ‘army’ will be corpses when the Imagawa arrive. I wish you the best of luck, to make good upon fruitless promises, do not swear me what you cannot succeed to give.”


    I nodded, understanding the man’s intentions. “I will give you compensation, when and if I can. That is all I can swear. If I live and if it is in my ability, I will see my oath fulfilled.”


    Himichiro eased me out of the bed. I still felt the fatigue from the previous days riding. I still felt the shame of failure, yet I no longer felt the agony, of a wound that would scar me forever. “He must not ride hard, beware. Riding at all may cause his stitches to open. I cannot vouch for his life at all if it is to happen again. Ride steadily, calmly. Take rests every few hours, check the Linen and stitchings, I can give you the equipment to fix them, it isn’t too hard. But you must be steady, and careful.

    “Let us ride then, to Kai.” I halted, allowing for my silence to envelop the room. “And to our hope, as well. I know we’ve been short on such things.” This time my smile was genuine, and kind. Being sullen and pessimistic will not help me, nor my men. I must see the hope, the sliver that it is. Himichiro nodded, and he helped me from the house. I looked back, saw the doctor cleaning up the utensil, seeing him wash away the blood.


    I left Saito without saying my goodbyes to the man, and with the wind roaring in my face, and the sound of beating hooves filling my ears we charged to Kai, and to the only hope we have of the banner of the Oda rising once more..






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  17. #37
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Three Updated 5/12/2014

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Chapter Six


    The grandeur of Kai was unmatched even by Owari in its days of fortitude and strength. The fortress that was Shingen’s palace, the bustling town that was the city of his loyal people. His crimson banners flew proud and vibrant from his walls. The soldiers of the Takeda had a certain stoutness to their stature. It was a stature of honour, yet underlined with a precise ferocity.


    “Halt, in the name of the Daimyo Shingen, why do you wear the colours of the Oda?” I turned, as did the men of my party, Yari were lowered, and hands placed upon the hilts of blades. The tension in the air was colder than a thousand winters. The voice came not from one of the guard at the gate but a man upon a horse, followed by half a hundred men. I looked at the man, he sat upon his horse proudly yet his face was obscured by a near shaggy mass of hair, it had a wolfish look about it, matted and tangled. To speak the truth could mean death, to lie would mean certain death. “My name is Nobunaga, I am Daimyo of the Oda, Lord of Owari. May I bid you for your name?”


    The man upon his horse rode forward, yet none of his guards accompanied him. “Daimyo of the Oda? A dead people, now. Lord of Owari? A castle no longer, the Imagawa burnt it, and all its inhabitants to the ground. I am sorry, what they did was a most dishonourable act. My name is Nobushige, brother to the Daimyo, Shingen, Lord of Kai.” He stopped for a minute. “Honour demands that we hand you over to the Imagawa, our allies. I’m sorry, but it is what is demanded of us. But, I must consult with my brother on such a matter, as I am not Daimyo.” he spat out the last sentence, it was common knowledge that Nobutora, Nobushige and Shingen’s father, had meant to disinherit Shingen and make Nobushige Daimyo.


    Himichiro went forward. “We should trust you, why? You mean to sell us to our foes? To be butchered like cattle? Are you so cruel?” Himichiro’s voice thundered, and my men roared in protest at Nobushige’s words. “Hush Himichiro-sensei. Bellowing and roaring will change no man’s mind.” I will die before I am sold to the Imagawa, those bastards, I will not subject myself, nor my men, to such an atrocity. “We will follow you, Nobushige-san. In hopes that you will find it in you not to sell us into the clutches of our foes. We have fought, we have failed. Better you kill us all than sell us to those monsters.” My tone was resigned to the decision of Takeda Shingen. But I followed him anyway, allowing myself the sweet injustice of hope.


    Kai was large, yet looked much the same as Owari, it seemed similar. Like home. The difference was the amount of horsemen that rode the streets. Instead of the normal patrols of foot soldiers, mounted patrols were accompanied by half a dozen footsoldiers, the mounted soldiers carrying the Takeda banner. It looks proud, proud and strong.


    We reached the palace swiftly, but at the gates Nobushige turned. “Only you and your retainers may pass through this point; your other soldiers will be heading to the barracks. They will be well taken care for, I assure you, for tonight at least.” Himichiro nodded but some of the most loyal of Samurai protested. “He is our Daimyo!” Some of them bellowed and roared. Ieyasu stepped forward, begging my pardon. “May I accompany you? Shingen’s decision will affect me as well, I have no wish to see any of us handed over to the Imagawa.” His tone was soft, like honeyed water. I turned to Nobushige, parting my hand in gesture of answer. Nobushige shook his head, a small frown crossing his lips. So swift I could not tell if it had actually appeared upon his face.


    I dismounted within the Palace courtyard, and with the movement of my legs in such a manner the pain rippled through me. I clutched at my horse, grunting in pain. Nobushige rushed to my aid, seeing me. “What happened? How are you hurt?” Himichiro stepped between us, shoving Nobushige away bitterly, he gripped my arm, and I leant upon him for support, barely able to speak through the haze of pain.”Assassins at Owari, before the Imagawa came, yet just as the Saito came. We never found out whether it was the Saito or the Imagawa that had hired the assassins.” Himichiro spoke in my stead, seeing that I was unable. Nobushige helped also. Honour demands he hands me over to those that wish me dead, yet he does not wish me ill.


    They entered a chamber that smelt of incense and tea. Takeda Shingen looked over heavy volumes, maps dotted the walls and volumes lay open upon the ground. Shingen looked up. “Brother.” He spoke pointedly, but with some kindness in his voice. “Daimyo.” Was Nobushige’s reply, curt and calm. Shingen closed his book, and took a cup of tea.


    “You are?” he asked, nodding towards me and Himichiro. His eyes were like black holes, deep, deprived of mercy, yet full of wisdom. “Nobunaga-san, Daimyo of the Oda, Lord of Owari, brother.” Nobushige replied before I had a chance to open my mouth. “Honour demands -”


    Shingen cut his brother short “Honour demands nothing, I am Daimyo, brother.” A smile came across his face. “The Imagawa will wish you harm, to be sure. I heard that you lost your family to them, my condolences, but in war, such things happen.”


    “Such things happen, yes. I will repay them for such ‘happenings’ I will burn their cities to the ground, I will butcher their soldiers in their sleep. I will kill them all.”


    Shingen frowned. “Boasting such plans does nothing when you have no means to accomplish them.” I went forward. “But I do have a means! You! I saw it in a dream, your men were like shadows, leaping at those that wished me harm, I heard them whisper, ‘Takeda . . . Shingen . . . Hope.’ I heard them! You are my salvation, my hope, please.” I had gone to my knees. So exhausted from running, heartsick from my failure. Have I endured pain, hardship, to arrive to a man that will help me not? Shingen looked over me, calculating. “You’ve lost your father, mother, what of your brother? What of your uncle?”


    I laughed at that. “Himichiro, I forgot to include my brother. See, see how flustered I am, how I am burdened by my failures? My uncle . .. “ my tone of kind evaporated, and my face grew darker than the shadows of my heart. “My uncle is a traitor, and deserves a slow death.”


    Shingen leaned back in his chair. “Nobushige, go fetch his brother and bring him to the Palace, find him some chambers and see he is attended to.” Shingen’s brother nodded at his words, and marched from the room.


    “My allies wish you harm, and I have a decision to make, one that will undoubtedly change your life. What is it you wish me to do?” He motioned to the balcony. “I wish to speak to you alone, if I may?


    Himichiro looked at me, I nodded to him, signaling him to leave. He bowed, and strode from the room, shutting teh door tightly behind him.


    The wind blew softly against us as we walked out into the air. Shingen pointed to all the land, the mountains, and the farm steads. “I will do whatever I must to protect them. My brother loves his honour, but what is more important? Honour? Or keeping them safe?” He sighed, leaning forward upon the rails. “You will want me to allow you to live, to save you from the death the Imagawa have in plan for you. If I protect you, I am endangering them, my people.”


    “I want vengeance, I want my men to be able to return to Owari, as conquerors. I want my uncle to bend before me, to apologies for his betrayal, and then I will kill him. I want Yoshimoto to die burning, surrounded by his family members, begging for their lives. I will kill them all.”


    Shingen laughed. “You’re arrogant, that is foolish. I will adopt you and your brother. The Imagawa cannot say anything against that. Even if they try, you will have the protection of my family. Perhaps in time, vengeance will be yours, and you will fulfil your vulgar desire of death. For a few years you will need to train, and I will teach you how to lead men, but in a few years you can return home, at the head of a host. To take back what is rightfully yours.”


    A trap? He means to betray me when I least expect it? “A few years is too long. I must kill them all by the end of this year! I will see them pay!” I roared, fuelling my voice with my anger.


    Shingen frown deepened. “Silence, being brattish, overconfident and stupid helps nobody. You must learn to be gracious when one offers their hand in friendship, else you’ll have very few friends, and even fewer breaths.” The threat did not worry me, yet I knew I had been wrong.


    “My apologies, Shingen-san. I am gracious for your offer, and your protection. Thank you.”


    “Shingen-sama, Nobunaga-san. I am Daimyo, and if you are part of my house you are not Daimyo of the Oda, not yet.” I hesitated, the rage welled inside me. I am Daimyo, old man. I will always be Daimyo. I am Oda! I am Oda Nobunaga! Yet I did not voice my qualms. “As you say, Daimyo.” I bit down hard upon my lip.


    “Shingen.” a cold voice emerged from behind us, Nobushige’s face was dark, he gave me a look that was blacker than death before turning back into the chambers. Shingen and I followed suit. “Brother.” Shingen replied earnestly.


    “You mean to betray the Imagawa? You mean to make us look like dishonourable bastards!” Nobushige raised his fist, the rage was upon him. But Shingen simply frowned at him. “Honour means nothing when it concerns the survival and growth of our clan. The Imagawa ae dogs hounding people from their homelands, burning them, killing them. Do you call what they are doing honourable? Do you? Are you a do such as they?” Nobushige charged, grabbing Shingen by the neck.


    “Never” He hissed, like a wild serpent. “Will you insult me so again, never. Honour means everything, brother, everything.” He threw Shingen back into the wall. Shingen may have the mind for strategy, but Nobushige was stronger. Himichiro entered, his feet making little noise upon teh wooden floor. He had his hands upon his katana and reached out to me, dragging me away from the brotherly conflict.


    “If we adopt him, we will be showing ourselves as dishonourable! Do you truly believe we can risk doing as such? After what you did to father? After everyone suspects you to be . .” He stopped himself before he said too much, but it was too late, Shingen rose, blood upon the tip of his lip.


    “Everyone suspects to be what? WHAT, NOBUSHIGE? Dishonourable? A coward? A traitor? Tell me, tell me what!”


    I stepped between them. “Enough.” My voice and tone were calm, content, yet intense. “You are brothers, Shingen, moments earlier you spoke of saving your people. Is battling your brother going to protect them? Be strong both of you. Use each other to protect the other’s weaknesses and shortcomings.” I knelt before Shingen. “If you adopt me, Daimyo-Shingen, I swear I shall serve you faithfully, as a true son would. I will not dishonour you or yours, and will do whatever it is required of me.”


    Shingen looked at me, a small affectionate smile upon his face. “Come, my son, we will hear no more of this. Upon the morrow I will announce your adoption to my clan. They can take it as they will. Remember what I tell you now. To achieve what you want, to battle the toughest of foes. You must strike first, make them bend and break before you. You must learn two things, in war. Learn how to win and learn how to lose. After that, learn how to win decisively and learn how to lose valiantly. If you are attacked you must bend, and not break. You must fight until you are dead. you must make it so that you have the advantage. When you battle a foe, strike first, strike hard and without warning. Make them dance to your strings, make them change their plan to your desire, for if you are in control of the battle, victory is already yours.”


    A man burst into the room, blood spattered and smelling of death and sorrow and anguish. He went to a knee before us. “Daimyo, the Uesugi have attacked! They have declared war! North Shinano is lost to us!”


    With his words my fate is truly sealed. To war, to battle and to death I march.




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  18. #38
    Tigellinus's Avatar Citizen
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Three Updated 6/07/2014

    Reserved





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  19. #39
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Six Updated 6/07/2014

    Okay, chapter Seven is half finished, I'll finish it off in the morning and polish it up, and then re-read chapters Five and Six and do some corrections.

    Thanks

    Tigellinus




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  20. #40
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Six Updated 6/07/2014

    I really liked chapters five and six. You really get across to the reader the feeling of despair. Our unfortunate daimyo has had good fortune in being adopted by the Takeda. I thought you were going to be playing as the Oda but I see now that we'll be seeing the red of Takeda soon!

    Great set of updates! + rep
    The White Horse: Hanover AAR (On going ETW AAR)
    Tales of Acamar: Legends WS Yearly Award Best Plot Winner (On-going CW Piece)
    The Song of Asnurn: An Epic Poem MCWC VI Winner (On-hold CW Piece)
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