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

  1. #41
    Tigellinus's Avatar Citizen
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Six Updated 6/07/2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottish King View Post
    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
    I am certainly playing as Oda

    But, there is no reason why I cannot bend the Takeda to my will

    Thanks for the rep and support SK!

    Tigellinus




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  2. #42
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Six Updated 6/07/2014

    Chapter Seven is written, I am simply fixing up some things. As well as trying to make it better!

    I will say this in advance: I owe McScottish a lot for this chapter. His advice has been invaluable in making this a glorious chapter!

    My original idea was quite cliché, and McScottish gave me a new idea, one that I liked quite well.

    So, when this chapter is uploaded and available (a few days or so, possibly tonight if I truly wish, but I do intend to fix up sentence structure and such a bit before I upload it) make sure to give your thanks to him! He truly deserves it!

    Also, something I will add. I said that I wouldn't use pictures in this. But, battles do kind of need them, or at least some of them. So you can truly envision it. The coming chapter will have two-three images, and that will be a trial run. Tell me whether you think they make it better/worse/ or don't change anything.

    Thanks

    Tigellinus




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  3. #43

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

    I am dearly sorry my friend for my long absence but certain events in real life have left my slightly disinterested in writing and TWC but I vow to turn things around.

    So far, this has been amazing writing. You have created an amazing character in Nobunaga, one which has layers upon layers and feels like a real person. I do love the parts where you show his thoughts especially portray his anger and frustration. He is also quite unpredictable which I love in a character and which helps immensely in regards to plots and sub-plots.

    I cannot wait for more and I think this will very much match Robin's amazing Takeda AAR.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Merchant of Venice View Post
    I am dearly sorry my friend for my long absence but certain events in real life have left my slightly disinterested in writing and TWC but I vow to turn things around.

    So far, this has been amazing writing. You have created an amazing character in Nobunaga, one which has layers upon layers and feels like a real person. I do love the parts where you show his thoughts especially portray his anger and frustration. He is also quite unpredictable which I love in a character and which helps immensely in regards to plots and sub-plots.

    I cannot wait for more and I think this will very much match Robin's amazing Takeda AAR.
    Thank you my friend, for your advice through PM and your support in this thread! I vow to do my best to make this AAR match your expectations, to teh best of my ability

    Real life can be irritating, I know that with all the experience a fifteen year old has I hope things improve for you

    I hope you enjoy the coming chapter! Please tell me your opinion on the pictures!

    Thanks

    Tigellinus




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  5. #45
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Six Updated 6/07/2014

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Chapter Seven

    “My friends, today is a grave day, and it is with a sorrowful heart that I tell you this: the Uesugi have declared a state of war between our clans. North Shinano is lost to us, and with it the lives of those courageous men that defended it to their last! It will be my great honour and privilege to lead you against such dishonourable foes, those who would strike without any provocation! For you’re the greatest of men, the most loyal of soldiers. They outnumber us, by a large margin, they can field fifteen thousand men against us, a strong force to be reckoned with. But that will only make our victory all the more heroic! As I am your Daimyo, I know you will fight to your uttermost strength. Come, men of Takeda, let us avenge our fallen!”


    The great mass of high ranking retainers, generals and vassals of the Takeda rose as one. Cheering, bellowing, and laughing. While some of the generals spoke of caution, Shingen soothed them with kind and confident words; speaking of the soldiers’ indomitable spirit and how he will win this battle or die upon the field.


    I rose with the rest of them, yet I did not cheer, I did not laugh and arrogantly proclaim how many of the Uesugi I would kill. Shingen could field eight thousand trained soldiers, nine thousand at best. Nowhere near enough to battle a force such as Kenshin’s. Let a man’s ambition be his own downfall, yet why must his clan fall with him?


    The generals departed, following Shingen into the inner chambers to converse and strategize, I was not allowed in. I was no strategist, merely an adopted boy. Most of them don’t even know of the adoption yet. The irony, should I die against the Uesugi than Takeda Shingen has nothing to fear.


    Himichiro escorted me to my brother’s quarters, he sat reading a book. When I entered he looked up and a fractured smile appeared upon his lips. “So you go to war? Can I come brother? Please? I do not want to be left here alone . . . not after . . .” my brother turned away, trying to hide his tears



    “Himichiro.” I spoke softly, my own voice on the urge of breaking. “Leave us.” The man did as bid, thankfully, closing the door behind him.



    “Brother, I would give anything to keep you safe, and the battlefield is not safe, not for any man.” I smiled at him, trying to reassure him. “Aniki! But you are going!” Nobuyuki yelled, his fists tight, red faced and huffing and puffing with all the might an eight year old can muster. “Because I must, Otouto.”


    I knelt, looking him in the eyes. “I want vengeance, for mother, and for father, and for all those that died defending us.” Nobuyuki looked frightened at that clutching at my arm.


    “I don’t want vengeance, aniki. I want to go home, to see the meadows of Owari again, and to see my friends. I want to train in the courtyard with you and Himichiro. I want to go home, Nobunaga.” My brother’s tears welled free from his eyes now, he buried his face in my shoulder, weeping. I kissed his cheek, and whispered gently.


    “I will take you home, Nobuyuki, I promise you.”

    ***


    The battle was a savage thing, it began when Shingen led the main host of his cavalry; and with a sudden ferocity came charging from the forests, lanterns lit their approach, hundreds of them. It seemed that each second man was drenched in an orange glow.


    The shouts went up from the Uesugi too late, the Takeda cavalry charged, cutting down fleeing men. Some of them throwing their lanterns onto tents, which swiftly caught alight. I watched as the men screamed, as they wriggled and writhed and fought to get out of their tents. Most failed, those that succeeded found a Katana in their throat for their short lived victory.


    Shingen had led his soldiers from the East, Nobushige came in with the reserves from the north and west. It was a butchery, the Uesugi soldiers that fled ran into a wall of steel and horses. There screams echoed even up to the hill where I sat atop my steed. The cries of soldiers as they fled and desperately tried to manoeuvre out of the slaughter path of Nobushige and his riders. I saw a man in purple and red armour trying to flee, he dropped his yari and ran for his life. I watched as a laughing Samurai rode him down, watched as the man’s head split in two under the force of the Samurai’s strike. Looking around I saw more men, more of them surrendering and being cut down, butchered as they fell to their knees and surrendered.


    One man was holding in his guts, leaning upon a flag of the Uesugi. I could see his mouth twitch as he moaned and groaned in agony. One of Shingen’s riders threw a lantern forth, the flag and the pole caught light together and with it the man lying beneath it. He tried to crawl away, but it fell upon him, trapping him beneath it with its weight. He screamed and cursed. He seemed to dance as the fire licked at his body. Soon his silken fabrics caught alight, and so he burned.


    I looked away, feeling bile in my throat. I felt ill, ill at this sight of cruelty. Is this how I shall fight like? A savage butchery of soldiers that cannot fight back? Even if I win against the Imagawa, at what cost? How many men will I lose? How many will I subject to such cruel and heartless deaths such as these?


    “Is it truly worth it? All the suffering it would cause? All the pain and anguish? Does any man deserve as cruel a fate as they?” I was shouting now, but my eyes bore down upon the encampment. Now largely alight, whole sections burning now. Those men, enemies? Sentenced to such a cruel fate. This is war? This is battle? This is slaughter! My mind was ravaged; tired, exhausted, and haunted by these sights worse than torture. Haunted by the screams of the fallen, and the battle cries of the cavalry.


    Himichiro put a hand upon my shoulder, a steady hand, he had a look of sadness upon his face, and of regret. I could see the look in his eyes. War is not kind. They spoke to me, reassuring. I started to ride forward, allowing my horse to guide me, rather than to actually take a direction. My arms felt limp, as if the blood had constricted and all feeling had evaporated.


    The battle was largely over, only small pockets of desperate Uesugi fought onwards. I was followed only by Himichiro and Ieyasu, who could not fathom the will to tear his eyes away from the corpses. I asked him softly “Does it not sicken you?” he didn’t turn his head, simply nodding.


    “Oh, it sickens me, to see the dead crawl, to see them burn and writhe as they die. No man should be subjected to such a cruelty.” he stopped for a second, and tearing his eyes away from the corpses stared straight at me. “Except for one.” My mind went back to the Imagawa burning Owari, to the child that was stabbed through the chest, to the women that had cried for her husband before being raped and murdered.


    I remained silent, riding through the massacre. The smoke was thick, and the air was saturated in the smell of blood and the cries of the dying and wounded. All around me soldiers lay, some eviscerated, others had their faces cleaved in half and many had spear wounds dotting their sides and back.



    We past a burning tent, crumbling down, some man was still trapped beneath it, I could see his hand reaching out, blackened and charred, he was dead.


    A contingent of riders approached us, Shingen rode upon a large black steed that seemed to tower over all of us. The smoke trailed behind him, as did the cries of those he had killed. He still held his katana, which was a bright crimson from the blood, still dripping off his blade.


    “The battle is over, we have won! This is a great victory.” Shingen’s voice held excitement to it, he was pleased, overjoyed. I spread my hands wide, indicating to the corpses, silently asking if it truly was the great victory he claimed.


    “What of Kenshin and his son?” I asked, dreading the answer. Have we truly obliterated a family today? I stopped myself, feeling foolish. Thousands are dead, many families have been destroyed this day. Am I too blind to see the carnage for what it truly is? So caught up in my own sorrows I forget the woes of others.


    “Kenshin wasn’t found.” Shingen puffed his head a little higher. “But that boy of his was killed with mine own hand, stabbed a katana right through the little bastard’s heart.” I saw the cold cruelty in Shingen then, saw that his black eyes were full so much of hate and anger and anguish.


    I nodded towards him, and turned back, not wanting to gaze at all the death any longer. The cavalry soldiers rode around, happy, pleased, cheering. Some carrying the fallen swords and armour pieces of enemies. Others were less arrogant in their displays and a few were asleep in their saddles, heads lulled forward against their chests.


    We met back at camp, the infantry bitter, and yet relieved at not having to fight that night. I was exhausted having done nothing but watch men die. I entered my tent, washing my face from the basin, trying to cleanse myself of the butchery I had witnessed.


    A man strode in, he wore a red and black kuma. He bowed his head to me. “Nobunaga-sama the Daimyo has requested your presence in the Strategos tent.” He strode out, not saying a second line of words. Himichiro’s face was that of wonderment, he rose to his feet from cleaning his katana, unused as it was.


    Out of the tent I saw the joy on the men’s faces, saw the pride they took in having killed and butchered. Mayhaps someday I will bask in that very same pride. Yet, that day is not this one.


    Two ashigaru stood outside the tent, the held their yari proudly, backs straightened as they guarded their Daimyos tent. I entered to a beam of light, large wicker candles lit up the room with an orange glow. Shingen and Nobushige stood around a map, pointing and debating.


    “If we attack from the south they’ll know our coming days ahead, especially if I only have the infantry. But, if you take it round the passes then it will be months before you reach their castle from the north.” Nobushige’s voice was firm, it was edged with a cold steel.


    “Bah. Take the infantry and attack from the south then! You’ll have enough to defeat them. I will be returning to Kai with the cavalry, to prepare for the inevitable war against our allies the Hojo. They’ve always desired our lands, and I will not hand Kai over to them on a silver platter!” He laughed, grabbed his brother shoulder for a second and then left. He gave me a devilish smile as he left, full of ambition and madness and utterly without mercy.


    “Nobunaga-san. On the orders of aniki you are to lead the left flank infantry when we attack Hida province. Your soldiers will take up the vanguard as we march, an honour many generals and retainers sought for.” His voice was calm yet I saw that he disagreed with Shingen’s decision.


    He saw the look in my eyes, and replied bluntly. “He is testing you, seeing if you are capable of assisting Takeda ambition, or whether you are weak. How you perform on this campaign determines how swiftly you reach your brother, and Owari. We leave at dawn tomorrow, so rest well.” With that he left, squelching the last breath of light as he killed the flames.


    I was left with Himichiro in the darkness. With a cold feeling hanging over my head, the weight of thousands of men. “Why Hida?” I asked solemnly. “Why are we attacking the Anegakoji Clan? What purpose does it serve?”


    Ambition.

    Last edited by Tigellinus; July 10, 2014 at 02:42 AM.




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  6. #46
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Seven Updated 10/07/2014

    If you liked the last update be sure to give McScottish thanks! His advice was invaluable.

    For the next chapter, be sure to thank Merchant of Venice

    Thanks

    Tigellinus




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  7. #47

    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Seven Updated 10/07/2014

    Great chapter and I liked how despite his longings for vengeance and his anger over the past chapters, Nobunaga seems to be disgusted with what happens in war when he comes face to face with it. I very much liked the twist and it adds yet another layer to his character.

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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Seven Updated 10/07/2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Merchant of Venice View Post
    Great chapter and I liked how despite his longings for vengeance and his anger over the past chapters, Nobunaga seems to be disgusted with what happens in war when he comes face to face with it. I very much liked the twist and it adds yet another layer to his character.
    Thank you!

    Did the pictures show up alright?

    Thanks

    Tigellinus




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  9. #49

    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Seven Updated 10/07/2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigellinus View Post
    Thank you!

    Did the pictures show up alright?

    Thanks

    Tigellinus
    The first one was fine but the second one for me was a tad too dark. Also I personally feel closeups are better than large sweepings of the battle because it gives more of an accurate representation of what the actual character is seeing not what you playing the game is seeing.

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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Seven Updated 10/07/2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Merchant of Venice View Post
    The first one was fine but the second one for me was a tad too dark. Also I personally feel closeups are better than large sweepings of the battle because it gives more of an accurate representation of what the actual character is seeing not what you playing the game is seeing.
    Very good! Thank you. I shall use that advice to the best of my abilities

    Thanks

    Tigellinus




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  11. #51

    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Seven Updated 10/07/2014

    Just wanted to drop in and say you're doing a fine job. Keep it up!
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Seven Updated 10/07/2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Merchant of Venice View Post
    Great chapter and I liked how despite his longings for vengeance and his anger over the past chapters, Nobunaga seems to be disgusted with what happens in war when he comes face to face with it. I very much liked the twist and it adds yet another layer to his character.
    I second this!
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Seven Updated 10/07/2014

    Thank you all for the comments and support!

    Chapter Eight is late, and in the works.As I ams till trying to sort a few things out with it

    Thanks

    Tigellinus




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

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigellinus View Post
    Ambition.


    Another fine chapter, sorry I'm a little late in dropping by. I'm liking the young Ieyasu in particular; hope to see more of him.

    I'm not a huge fan of the film reel borders you're using, if I'm honest. Seem a little out of place to me.
    Last edited by Hitai de Bodemloze; August 21, 2014 at 03:44 AM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by f0ma View Post


    Another fine chapter, sorry I'm a little late in dropping by. I'm liking the young Ieyasu in particular; hope to see more of him.

    I'm not a huge fan of the film reel borders you're using, if I'm honest. Seem a little out of place to me.
    Thank you!

    You shall be seeing more of him, I promise! He becomes a very intriguing character, to be sure :3

    They're temporary! Or, at least, hopefully are. I am working on getting better borders and such. But, my Photoshop skills are savagely limited. But, if you knw of any place I can download Feudal Japan styled borders?

    Thank you!

    Tigellinus




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

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigellinus View Post
    They're temporary! Or, at least, hopefully are. I am working on getting better borders and such. But, my Photoshop skills are savagely limited. But, if you knw of any place I can download Feudal Japan styled borders?

    Thank you!

    Tigellinus
    I personally used the borders from the in game events which I felt suited the period nicely

  17. #57
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Seven Updated 10/07/2014

    Oh, didn't think f that!

    Thank you for the idea!

    Update: Chapter Eight is still in the works, but progress IS being made! Luckily, thanks to Merchant of Venice and McScottish for their brilliant help and ideas!

    However, I am sorry that I have been unable to publish Chapter Eight in full.

    But, what I do have I like very much, and as such. I hope you enjoy it! The rest of Chapter Eight will be posted in the same update, when it is complete. I hope this can tide yo over until then!

    ......................................................................
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Chapter Eight

    I rode alongside Nobushige-sama. The snow had fallen heavily the night before, and I had little sleep due to the cold, and my own fright at leading men to war. My horse left large holes in the ground, heavy and sodden it trekked through the snow. The men were less than excited to be marching in such cold weather. They were fresh, but the slog of marching through the snow, as the cold and wind both tore at them savagely, was disheartening.


    The only cavalry we had at our disposal was mine and Nobushige’s own guard, the latter having only half his own guard due to being in the thicket of battle the previous night. Ieyasu and a few Takeda retainers had been sent forth as the vanguard. An honour he had dutifully, if not regretfully, taken. He had marched off with half a hundred samurai, he held his yari in hand, he was near as skilled with it as Himichiro was with a blade.

    The sun had not woken them at morning, only a dull grey mist had loomed over them, a few of the men whispered it was a warning, a coming sign that a terrible defeat would befall us at Hida. I did not believe that the fog heralded anything other than rain. If we lose it will be due to poor leadership and faint of heart.

    Shingen had waited little time to head to Kai, he had mounted his horse as we marched off, and the two parties had gone their separate ways; one to the north and the other to the south. Nobushige had been silent the whole morning. He did not speak with any man, not his generals, retainers or captains. When I had tried to speak to him once the stare that I received was sharp enough to kill a tiger. I had stayed silent since then. Feeling it would be unwise to try and wake the tiger in him.

    “We’ll be there in a year at this pace.” Himichiro whispered under his breath, he was not too fond of the cold. I laughed at that, a thing I had not done in what seemed like a long time. Nobushige turned around, a small frown upon his face. But it gave way to a small smile.

    “You have never led men to battle before, what do you intend to do?” Nobushige’s voice was near silent, soft. I looked back at Himichiro and my retainers, as well as my samurai that marched in the midst of the Takeda ranks. “I intend to win.” I spoke bluntly, perhaps even harshly. But it was truthful.

    “So you care nothing for their wellbeing? Nothing for their lives?” Nobushige’s voice held contempt for me, his tone held a cold edge to it. “Their death in battle would bring them more honour than dying in a sickbed!” I retorted, hoping that my point made sense and held merit.

    Nobushige laughed. “The words of a naive child. My brother was a fool to give you a command.” He growled, and he bowed his head forward, thinking.

    “Your brother was no fool to give me a command, I am worth his trust!” I spoke sincerely, knowing that what I had said previously had been foolish. “I will do what I can for these soldiers, and I will not disgrace the Oda clan in battle.” Nobushige’s eyes turned towards me, back to teh stale grey cast of steel.

    “Is that so? You believe you can lead soldiers to war? Then lead, boy, and fight.”

    He rode ahead, followed by his guard, doing teh rounds of teh soldiers, seeing to their wellbeing.

    I will lead soldiers into war, and I will avenge my father, and my mother and all those I failed to defend.

    “For the Oda.” I whispered sullenly. “I will prove myself.”


    ***

    Nobuyuki


    The candle that lit his bedside was nearly out. He had spent nearly the whole night reading through books and tomes. Like his brother and his father he had an avid fascination with warfare, but unlike his brother he had no wish to spill the blood of thousands. He longed to tell his brother of the great warrior Benkei and his exploits. The legends spoke of how he defended his lord against a thousand blades and yumi. How he had stood upon a bridge with his naginata and killed three hundred soldiers. How he defended against an onslaught, before finally died standing upon the bridge, riddled with arrows. It was known as the ‘Standing Death of Benkei’

    He was intrigued by the great heroes that had come before, and he could not help but feel a similarity between them and Nobunaga. The grandeur of their quests. The ambition and loyal and honourable men that they were.

    He looked from the window, darkness had well and truly fallen as he read. Yet off in the distance he saw a large column of mounted men approaching. His heart skipped for a moment as he saw the banners of the Takeda fly high. The column was immense in its stature. Nobunaga has returned.

    He ran from the room, wrapping his kuma tightly around him. “Bring me my horse, quickly now, my brother has returned!” His retainers followed, and the servants went to do as they were bid. She was brought to him quickly, and he mounted his steed roughly, excited to see his brother and ask him how the battle had gone, what was it like? Had he killed a man? He was also quite excited to see Himichiro, and ask him of a few combat styles he had read about in his books.

    He rode off to the gates, the wind whipping through his face, he felt elated at seeing his brother again. Maybe we can go home now, maybe we can see Owari again, the fields, and the flowers. The peace. The thoughts made him smile. His brother had only been gone for three days, but still he missed him sorely.
    When the Takeda vanguard entered Kai there was a chorus of cheers. The men chanted of their victory, and the people chanted their praise. Wives ran to husbands, mothers ran to sons. Some wept at not being able to find her husband or child. So taken by grief was one woman that she broke down in the middle of teh street, sobbing uncontrollably. Nobuyuki dismounted, and swiftly ran through the mud and dirt, he grabbed teh woman by her arm, and put his arms around her. He looked up to one of his retainers. Take her back to the palace see she is cared for, give her whatever she needs.” the man nodded, a frown of surprise upon his face.

    “I have to find Nobunaga.” He mounted his horse once more as the lady was being led away. Shingen rode through, followed by all the extremity of his guards, he sat proud upon his horse, towering over the lesser men. Nobuyuki rode up to him, his horse slowly trotting forward.

    He greeted Shingen cool, sharing his brothers distaste for the man. Shingen’s brother was not with him for a change. “Where is my brother? Shingen-sama?” He asked quickly, a tinge of fear in his stomach at not seeing his brother riding amongst the men.

    Shingen looked at him, a smile lit across his lips. He grabbed at Nobuyuki’s arm, and yanking him forward, along with his horse, spoke with pride. “Nobunaga is going north with my brother, to bring the feeble Anegakoji to Takeda rule! I personally selected your brother for command of the left flank. He will command our loyal samurai and people as they courageously battle the Anegakoji! It is an honour many men wished for, you should be proud of him.” Shingen let go of him and began riding forward again, clasping the arms of his soldiers, laughing and chanting along with them.

    Aniki was given a command. Nobuyuki laughed with excitement and surprise. My brother is going to became one of those heroes I read in the books! I must write to him!

    He rode swiftly back to the palace, and ran to his chambers, calling for a quill, ink and paper. All of which were swiftly brought for him. He dabbed the quill in ink, its brown feathers light to the touch, and began to write.

    Nobunaga

    I hope this letter finds you well, and I wish you a sure and swift victory. I know you will be worried of me, you were always like that. So fierce in the eyes of the soldiers, even in the eyes of father. But you were always kind to me.

    I am well, dear brother, surprised to hear that you are to become a commander of men in the coming battle. You must have proven yourself a very good leader of men! How did the battle go? Was it swift? Was it full of the heroics of men? Did you lead a grand cavalry charge on the Uesugi flanks?

    Speaking of heroics, I’ve been reading about some very interesting people, have you ever heard of Saito Musashibo Benkei? He was a great hero, a very loyal man! He reminds me of you, brother.

    I wish you well, brother. I hope we may go home soon, when you return?

    Brother

    Nobuyuki

    ***
    Nobunaga
    The camp was made three miles south of Hima, Nobushige positioned the army as best he could, but many of the soldiers had to deal with the cold and little shelter from the wind and rain that troubled us that night.


    I lay upon my bed, the fire from the brazier doing little to warm me or ease my fears. How do I lead soldiers? How do I inspire the men? I had planned every second of the speech I would make to the soldiers the following morning. I had chosen each word with the care a tailor gave his needlework.


    The tent flap opened, the sky had darkened considerably since we had made camp. Himichiro’s figure was illuminated by the fires from the darkness. He nodded to me, eyes glancing me over. “Nobushige has requested your presence in the command tent.”


    I sighed, but I rose from my bed, dusting off the feeling of fear and dismay. “What shall I do, Himichiro? How am I to lead soldiers, I am a child playing at war, that is something I have realised. For all my speeches of how I will have vengeance for the death of my family, for the devastation of my home, and for the slaughter of my people. “ I shuddered, feeling the cold air blow in from the outside. “I fear I am not worthy, not good enough, to fight this war. How cn I promise vengeance when we are fighting in a war we have no business in? We shouldn’t even be here, Himichiro! We should be in Saito and Owari, recruiting soldiers in the darkness to take back our home!”
    Himichiro smiled, but shook his head. “No, those are the ravings of a boy. You are indeed a child, but it is your decision to act like one. The power of choice is yours, choose who you shall be, choose the manner you shall adapt, and fight or fall. If you choose to fight, than victory is possible. Should you wallow in the thought of defeat than defeat is all that shall greet us upon the battlefield. Nobunaga-sama, the fate of victory or defeat for the Oda rests with you.”


    I nodded, not deigning to reply. I strode from the tent, composing myself as I did so. I must seem as if I am not a swirling tempest of dismay and anguish. How can my men have hope when I do not? Himichiro and I strode through the mass of tents, the camp seemed empty as men took shelter from the rain, the ruckus that had accompanied the camp under Shingen was light and full of sake and joy, Nobushige’s seemed dark and ominous.


    The rain slid off my kuma, I felt the cool droplets pelt my face, it was refreshing, in a way. To feel the cold, the rain and the howling winds. I must take the Oda home, and yet I march to a war that is not my own. We made swift pace to Nobushige, and it was not long before we reached the command pavilion of Nobushige. The Ashigaru ushered us in, “The one you summoned awaits you.” announcing my presence. Nobushige answered bys waving his hand, yet he did not look up from the map that was spread before him.


    “When a tiger prowls around its prey, it is faced with the choice of fleeing or standing against the beast. They call my brother the Tiger of Kai, a title he has earned through battle after battle, after felling each foe that stood against him.” Nobushige stepped away from the map, and I watched as a frown appeared on his face. “He is my brother, I descend from the same blood as he. I am Takeda, I am as much a Tiger as my brother, and I shall show the people of Hida my fangs.” He whispered these words, as if he did not wish for me to hear them.


    Does he wish to comfort himself? To reassure himself he is every bit as worthy of holding the Takeda name as his brother is? I could not reply, many a time had I questioned my own self worth at being able to handle the situations I was put through, and I could empathize with him. But I had never had an older brother to compare myself to. Does Nobuyuki look to me as he does to Shingen? With envy and spite? Does he look to me as a brother, or a threat?


    Nobushige’s gaze cleared and he looked up at me. “You are to have command of two thousand Ashigaru and Ji-Samurai, General Yamonada shall control another two thousand, and shall hold the left flank. I shall command the thousand more experienced and better equipped soldiers, to take the brunt of the attack. You and your men must scale the walls to flank behind the defenders that me and mine have engaged.” He looked back at his map, as if he was deciding something. “We will deploy from the south and west, you and your men shall deploy on the western banks.” I nodded acknowledging his orders.


    Nobushige seemed stressed, pinpointing one place on the map, and then another, and then another. I thought against questioning such actions. He will do what he will, and I shall prove that I am worthy of the trust Shingen has placed in me.


    Nobushige turned to me suddenly. “You are young.” He spoke bluntly, yet looked as if he was processing this fact himself. “You will have ambitions and dreams of grandeur and glory. Do not be deluded by such dreams, do not stray from the plan, whatever the outcome, whatever the situation. Do not follow these delusions, they lead to death. Do not, Nobunaga-san, be a fool.”


    He waved me from the tent, musing to himself as he continued to stare frustratedly at the map. I strode away from him and his thoughts, my own mind was dark and haunted. I am exhausted, but of what? My own self?


    The shallowness of men is the downfall of their ambition, and the worry of generals the the burden for their brilliance . ..

    ***
    Ieyasu

    The yari connected, catching the samurai in the stomach. Ieyasu swiftly moved, bringing the blade of the yari up, a centimeter away from the throat of the man. The samurai looked dumbfounded, shocked that he could be bested by a child. “Who are you?” he asked, exasperation and respect in his tone.


    Ieyasu did not smile, he did not reply. I am here to learn, to fight, to command. Whom I am, what purpose I serve, is of no importance.. He turned, and strode away roughly from the man, he relaxed his grip upon his yari, which had become strong and hard, instead of loose yet firm.


    The rain fell heavily behind him, yet the sounds they omitted as they hit the ground were soft, harmonic, in a sense. He strode towards the Oda side of the camp, the soldiers there seemed cold and hard. They spoke softly amongst themselves, a few played dice and others drank sake. But there was a profound difference between their ranks and those of the Takeda. Ieyasu knew what that difference was, the clarity of it was difficult to miss. The Oda have felt defeat, they have felt sorrow and anguish. They have seen their homes burned, their families massacred, and they have been hounded from those they loved. The Takeda have tasted victory and luxury, bounty and loot. They are fat on their arrogance.


    An Oda Samurai walked up to him, nodding and smiling, handing him a waterskin of sake. Ieyasu took it, drinking it until it ran down his lips. He sighed, smiling, “thank you for the kindness.” He spoke softly, his tone devoid of warmth, but also of bitterness.


    “Ieyasu!” A commanding voice called, he turned to see Nobunaga-san motioning for him to follow. Ieyasu sighed, but strode towards the young Daimyo. For all his dislike of being commanded, he had to admit that the young man was worthy of at least some respect. Nobunaga-san may well be the only hope the Oda have, and I, too. I must see my home again, I will see it again. I must. He remembered the beauty of Mikawa, when he was younger he would walk down to the coast with his friends, a few of them were not of noble birth, and so conversing with them was not strictly status quo. But he had found them enjoyable enough, and he was loathe to ignore an opportunity to get away from the dark indoors of the study, where his father made him read and learn to the late hours of the night. He remembered the bustling state of Mikawa, the sounds of the town. The laughter of the children as they played upon the road, and the roars of merchants directing wagons and caravans. The clink of coins, the chatter of loved ones. Home, Mikawa. He also remembered when his father had summoned him to inform him that the Oda had mustered a large force to attack them. His father had held him by the shoulders then, embraced him. He had told him that he would defeat the Oda in battle or he would die. He died, upon the Tokugawa border his blood seeped into the ground as Nobunaga’s father trampled him to the ground. Not for the first time did he wonder why he was on Nobunaga’s side, what loyalty did he owe him? He had asked me to kill him, he had given me the chance to avenge my family. What stayed my hand?


    “Ieyasu, you have proved yourself a friend of the Oda, and I promise you, someday I shall repay you with the blood of Yoshimoto, as well as returning you to Mikawa when we are victorious. If you have some prayer, or ritual, or some other sign of respect to attend to before battle, do so now. For on the morrow our blades will be bloodied by the first stepping stone to returning home. We will go home, Ieyasu, I swear that to you.” Nobunaga turned away, Ieyasu heard him mutter to himself. “We will be victorious, I must be, for father, for Nobuyuki, and for all those that died.”


    Home, Ieyasu thought warmly. I will go home.

    * * *
    Nobunaga
    The snow was falling heavily, and it had been doing so since the sun had breached the mountains guarding the East. I shivered slightly, the gleam of the sun doing little to warm me through the cold. I looked to the sky, hoping to see some break to the damned cold, yet the clouds were grey, and the snow fell just as heavily as it had been doing moments ago.


    Sighing I turned as I heard hoofbeats, soft through the snow. Himichiro went forward, and a letter was passed to him, he opened it, riding back to me his face was set in a frown, cold and hard. The winter ice is warmer than that look. “Nobushige wishes for us to flank when his own soldiers have reached the top. He also notes that there are fewer defenders than we first thought. Be on your guard. He writes that when his forces have the Anegakoji engaged and they’re committed to a full fight you are to flank them, he writes. Then and only then.”
    I nodded. Then I shall wait, as you command, Takeda. I watched as Nobushige’s soldiers marched forward, the Takeda flag could be seen everywhere, and the Samurai walked proudly beneath the black and red banner of their lords. Pride? Or arrogance? I thought, intrigued. The victories that have greeted them may have left them with delusions. “Yet that is not my concern.” Himichiro looked at me questioningly, one eyebrow raised in mocking. I glared, but a smile broke from my face Yet the cold swiftly froze a frown upon my lips once more. Many men will die today, and I smile? I am either a fool or a madman.


    I gripped the reins of my horse tightly, my horse nickered slightly, and turned away from the sounds of screams. The Takeda have reached the walls. The Anegakoji were fighting bitterly, hot oil and arrows were loosed upon the climbing soldiers, many lost their grip on the ice covered holds and fell to their doom, though they were immediately replaced by others whom climbed. The sound of screams soon gave way to the clash of blades and the bellows of men.


    I watched, my eyes scanning over the white terrain. I noticed that Nobushige had not begun climbing yet, but most of his men were climbing the wall, Nobushige sat proud atop his mount, his back was straight as an arrow, around him his guards watched carefully as the soldiers marched passed, to climb the wall and battle the Anegakoji soldiers.


    I heard a thump, and a thud, and then the resounding sound of hooves pounding through snow and bush. Himichiro turned, blade in hand. My guard drew their katanas swiftly, hearing the sound. The soldiers that had accompanied me from Owari surrounded me, and they lowered their spears protectively. Yet the cavalry did not burst from the treeline behind me, but behind Nobushige.


    The man moved swiftly, turning his horse as he drew his blade. I watched as a few of the marching Takeda soldiers turned, and ran towards the cavalry with yari lowered and blades drawn. yet it made no difference, those that weren’t trampled had a sword cut at their head of a yari throats. A few of the marching Takeda soldiers broke ranks, trying to hurriedly get to the wall and climb, hoping to escape the slaughter of the Anegakoji cavalry. But more of the soldiers charged towards Nobushige, if they could not battle with him then they would die with him.


    I turned to my guard. “We must help him! There are barely a hundred horsemen, we can defeat them!” I kicked my heels into my horses’ ribs and he charged forward. But a voice called out. “Nobushige ordered us not to divert from the plan, whatever the cost, whatever the situation. Nobunaga-sama.” I stopped, and turned back towards the voice, it was Ieyasu. I nodded, understanding. Do not, Nobunaga-san, be a fool. I remembered his words. But I cannot just leave him to die, I cannot simply leave Nobushige, to be butchered amongst the snow and blood of his soldiers.


    “Ieyasu, take command of the soldiers, continue the plan, kill every Anegakoji that is within those walls.” I turned towards my guard, Himichiro, and the loyal samurai that had followed me, hounded from their homes. “All of you, we will battle this new menace that the Anegakoji have thrown at us. We will save Nobushige-san. For the Oda!” I turned back towards the sounds of battle and charged. I will not leave you to be felled by one of these dogs, Nobushige. You and I may have our differences, but I shall not let you die like this, in the cold, in the snow. Not like this.


    The call was taken up behind me. “For the Oda!” And the army split in two, those of the Takeda whom would battle the Anegakoji , and my own soldiers that would defend Nobushige-san. Himichiro appeared at my side, a slight grin upon his face, his blade in hand.


    I saw Nobushige amongst the fray, his guards fought ferociously around him, taking three foes down for every one of them that was felled. His ashigaru and Ji-Samurai who fought alongside him were less impressive being cut down by the Anegakoji soldiers. They are no different from myself, they are fighting for their home, for their families, and for those they wish to protect. Yet I will send them to their deaths, and they will die amongst their brothers.


    My guard was like a fist, smashing through the Anegakoji ranks like a scythe through wheat, the counter attack had come unexpected, undoubtedly they had hoped to kill Nobushige and retreat a fear way, and harass the backs of the Takeda lines. I heard my horse scream and wail as a spear pierced its chest. But my blade took the hand of its attacker, and then his life. I leapt from the grey horse that dropped to the ground, going to its knees. It appears my uncle was correct, about that at least. A yari blurred passed me, missing me by a hair. But Himichiro charged at the man, cutting him down with a single strike. I went forward with my katana, blocking and parrying blows that came and striking back at my opponent. A few had been unhorsed, and one man came at me, growling like a wolf. His blade was like a blur, and it came at me in swift and ferocious swings. The man bellowed as I dodged, stepping back, allowing him to charge forward, my own blade swished once, then twice, and his throat opened up. His blood sprayed over my armour and face, coating me in warmth and red. I cut down another man, and then another. Behind me I heard the bellows of the Oda soldiers that had joined the battle, their yari getting their Anegakoji in the stomachs, backs and slaying their horses, before their yari punctured their hearts. I found Nobushige unhorsed, fighting fiercely with the remaining of his retainers. Our eyes met for a second, and for a moment there was rage in his eyes, then gratitude, and then he went on killing.


    The Anegakoji fled, barely a dozen remaining, they ran towards the forest, abandoning their families and friends to fend for themselves. A few of the soldiers went after them running or riding, they howled like wolves on a hunt for their prey. Looking around I saw the sight of slaughter, Takeda men lay upon the ground, some with yari pointing from their bellies, others with their limbs upon teh ground beside them, throats slit. A few of the Anegakoji were dead under horses, trapped as the bloodthirsty Oda and Takeda soldiers fell upon them with a ravenous roar. I saw a few men adorned in yellow silk and iron armour. Every man I lose is one less who I can take home. The thoughts swarmed my head and the sorrow made me infuriated. If I had not stepped in, if I had let Nobushige die, then perhaps . . perhaps these soldiers would still be alive. A men stepped up beside me, Himichiro cleaned his blade upon one of the dead men, sheathing his katana he looked to me with a gleam in his eyes. Blood cloaked his armour and face, it gave him a daunting and frightening appearance. “We have won.” He spoke softly, though I could hear the pride in his voice.
    “Won? This small skirmish is not the battle, Himichiro-sensei.” My sorrow for the dead men made me furious. How can he believe we have won? this is nothing, and thousands more will lie dead before we are home, thousands. Himichiro sighed. “Perhaps, but it is one small victory, Nobushige-san is alive, though most of his guard are dead.” he looked up. “It sounds as if Ieyasu and Yamonada have engaged the remaining Anegakoji forces.” A smile crept upon his face. “Shall we join them?”

    “Not yet.” A man spoke before I could answer, Nobushige was bleeding from his left shoulder, a blade had sliced through his armour and nicked his shoulder. He strode towards me, and his three remaining retainers fell in behind him, panting with exhaustion. “You saved my life.” for a moment he said nothing more, his eyes burned with something I had not seen in him before. Admiration? Loathing? Is he outraged at being saved by a boy? A child?

    Nobushige clasped a hand upon my shoulder, a smile was upon his lips. “Perhaps I misjudged you.” he mused, and then turned away. “You disobeyed a direct order, however. We will speak of this later. For now, the battle is not yet over, though it is close to its climax.”

    I sighed, but the sound of battle drowned out any thoughts I had. The clashing of swords and the bellows of men, the cries of the wounded and the wail of the dying.

    The battle is not yet won, yet with this small victory I am one step closer to avenging my father.

    I will go home.

    ***
    Ieyasu
    The Yari entered a man’s throat, and he gurgled as he died, his throat torn in half when Ieyasu removed the blade. He danced around another soldier that charged for him, driving the point of his yari into the man’s leg, before leaping behind him and stabbing him through the back. The man’s back arched and he cried out, but Takeda swords fell on him before he could scream.


    The battle was a massacre, teh Anegakoji soldiers fought like animals, caged and fighting to their last. But it wasn’t enough. The Takeda men were enraged by the dishonourable attack on their lord. If I recall, Nobunaga used that same tactic. A smile crept to his lips, realising that the young boy’s use of the tactic had been more successful than that of the Anegakoji. Although, Nobunaga was near death at the time the tactic had been employed. His yari was a blur as he swung it, batting one man’s blade aside, while skewering his friend. He then turned away, stabbing the point of the Yari into the second man’s stomach. His blade dropped from his fingers, and his eyes bulged in surprise. Odd, that men never expect to die, are all so foolish to expect that death will not come for them?


    The Anegakoji circle of defenders had diminished to such an extent that now a wave of red and black flooded them, cutting them down before they could raise their blades to defend themselves. That brought a frown to Ieyasu’s face. Mne should be allowed to fend for themselves, not be cut down like rabid hounds. “War is inhumane, and yet it is a necessary evil.” he whispered softly. Amongst teh screams of the dying men, the pleads of the yielding, the wind was icy cold, and its kiss was bitter to the throat.


    When the last foe had been vanquished a cheer went up from the Takeda soldiers, so livened by this victory. Many soldiers embraced each other, began to laugh and cheer, and promise drinks of sake to their friends that had survived the battle. A few other Takeda soldiers sat upon teh ground, resting their heads against the walls of the Anegakoji castle. That was when a Takeda soldier called out. “Where is Lord Nobushige-sama?” The laughter drifted to the void immediately, as the soldiers realised that their beloved lord may have been slain. A few of the soldiers went to the sides of the wall, and then a call went out for the gates to be opened. Ieyasu turned his head, the gates had been mostly unharmed, though a few soldiers had fought in the gatehouse, as could be seen by the soldier’s body slumped half way out of the window, blood having frozen on the wood. The gates opened and soldiers marched in, most of them Oda. At the front of the column came Nobushige-san and Nobunaga-san. On Nobushige’s side was a soldier clad in black and red, on Nobunaga’s stood Himichiro. All of the soldiers looked exhausted, and all were still covered in the blood and gore of their desperate fight.


    Nobushige went to the centre of the castle, and the soldiers quietened as he began to speak. “My loyal friends, my grand soldiers. We have been granted victory! This is no small feat we have accomplished today, the dead will be honoured, and the living will be rewarded!” A small cheer went up from the soldiers. “However, my friends, I would have lost my life today were it not for one man and his courageous soldiers. Oda Nobunaga, Daimyo of the Oda Clan, rightful ruler of Owari fief, saved my life. Honour to Nobunaga-san! Honour to his soldiers! Honour to the Oda!” A great chant came from his soldiers, and they bellowed with an intensity and ferocity. “Oda! Oda! Oda!” Then the crowd dispersed, the soldiers rejoicing and making merry once more, a few went off to secure the castle, and the town. Ieyasu turned towards Nobunaga and Nobushige, he strode towards them. Nobushige motioned for him, Nobunaga and Himichiro to follow him. The four men strode inside the castle, the servants cowered and bowed to them as they strode past, a small contingent of Nobunaga’s retainers followed his every step. They are weary since the assassin, and their hopes lies in him. His brother is too young to take up the sword and be a leader, but Nobunaga might just be strong enough.


    They were led to a small study. Nobunaga bid his men wait and strode inside. Ieyasu followed after, as he was not one of the commanders it was not befitting for him to enter first. The study was lit by a few torches, and the four men spaced themselves around the desk that was in the centre of the study. Himichiro’s face was devoid of any emotion, in contrast Nobunaga’s eyes gleamed like fire and burned with an intensity. Of course, with this victory he is one step closer to going home, one step closer to avenging his father, and one step closer to taking his brother and his soldiers home.


    Nobushige addressed him. “Tokugawa Ieyasu-san, a few of my soldiers tell me of how you were the first over the wall, and how you strike swifter than a serpent and with the ferocity of a tiger. They speak of your courage with great esteem. Be honoured, and welcomed at my table whenever you wish it. “ Ieyasu noded, though he did not speak. He did not know how he should react to the praise. Nobushige swiftly turned his attention towards Nobunaga. “You saved my life, and you disobeyed an order. I should award you for one and have you whipped for the other.” he stopped speaking for a few moments, Ieyasu saw Himichiro’s hand drift towards his blade. But Nobushige glanced and shook his head. “have no fear, I do not mean you harm. You have saved my life, and that debt must be repaid.” he stepped away from the desk, and turned around, the light from the torches made his crimson and black armour look immaculate. “You need blades, yumi and yari to retake your home, to avenge your father and kill Yoshimoto of the Imagawa clan.” His tone was matter of fact and he gave no time for anyone to answer. “The Takeda will provide these soldiers, as well as the weapons, you will have full command of them, and the Takeda will not interfere with you after that. We will not aid you, but we will not hinder you, either. You will go home, Nobunaga-sama.” Ieyasu noticed the honorific that Nobushige used. Is he deferring to him? But then he thought. Nobunaga will fight! And he will have the men to do so, I can go home.


    “Can . . can you do that? Will Shingen-sama allow it?” Nobunaga was cautious, but there was a sense of glee in his voice. He does not want his hopes raised exceptionally high, for he fears that they could be shattered. Nobushige turned back to face them. “I will make my brother give you those blades, the yumi and the yari, and the soldiers to wield them. You have my word, on my honour as a member of the Takeda clan. You will go home.”


    There was a rap upon the study door, and a messenger came in. He bowed low and reported that he had been sent to carry a letter to Nobunaga-sama from his brother, Nobuyuki. Nobunaga took it eagerly, he opened it and read, smiling he passed it to Himichiro, who then passed it to him. He laughed when he read it, and he listened as Nobunaga whispered, softer than the wind and colder than the ice.


    “I am no great battle commander, brotherr. But, we will return to Owari, I promise you. We will go home.”


    Home.





    Last edited by Tigellinus; November 21, 2014 at 02:50 AM.




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  18. #58

    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Seven Updated 10/07/2014

    Great update with the chapter, I liked the dialogue between Nobunaga and Nobushige as well as the part from Nobayuki's point of view, he had an interesting sense of naivety, much in contrast to his brother. However, for future, I think it would be best if you gave us some indication that it was changing view points as I got confused at first. You could easily just split the chapter in two or just put the character's name before his or her part starts in order to show that we're switching character.

  19. #59
    Tigellinus's Avatar Citizen
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Seven Updated 10/07/2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Merchant of Venice View Post
    Great update with the chapter, I liked the dialogue between Nobunaga and Nobushige as well as the part from Nobayuki's point of view, he had an interesting sense of naivety, much in contrast to his brother. However, for future, I think it would be best if you gave us some indication that it was changing view points as I got confused at first. You could easily just split the chapter in two or just put the character's name before his or her part starts in order to show that we're switching character.
    Thank you!

    Nobunaga and Nobuyuki are great! I am looking very much so to developing the relationship between them. (No, not shudo.) and the two have a very linked storyline.

    Thank you! I thought I had done so already, but I shall add that in now.

    EDIT: Merchant, in your review you said you were hoping for various viewpoints of characters. May you tell me how you think I did?

    Thanks

    Tigellinus
    Last edited by Tigellinus; August 30, 2014 at 05:31 AM.




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  20. #60

    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Seven Updated 10/07/2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigellinus View Post
    Thank you!

    Nobunaga and Nobuyuki are great! I am looking very much so to developing the relationship between them. (No, not shudo.) and the two have a very linked storyline.

    Thank you! I thought I had done so already, but I shall add that in now.

    EDIT: Merchant, in your review you said you were hoping for various viewpoints of characters. May you tell me how you think I did?

    Thanks

    Tigellinus
    Yes, I believe shudo in this case would be bordering on Game of Thrones-esque (and not in the good, unpredictable, backstabbing plot way either).

    I think you went well in incorporating other character's view points in the story. I think Nobuyaki was one of the better choices to go down this line so you already passed your first hurdle. It would be interesting, if he survives, to have further down the line chapters based around Ieyasu though. Apart from my previous comments, I think you should just ensure you actually switch characters when you do write in Nobuyaki or another character's perspective. By 'switch' I mean make sure you write in that character's tone not the one of Nobunaga. You did it well this chapter and I really felt Nobayuki's naivety come across well. Again, how old is Nobayuki at this point. I'm just asking because I don't know if its mentioned in the story or not (it probably is but its late and I can't be bothered looking for it )

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