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

  1. #61
    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
    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 )
    Well, that shall completely depends on whether Ieyasu survives . . .

    I wanted Nobuyuki to be naive, I want him kind. Because I want Nobunaga to see that in his brother and keep him like that, because he knows what he is, who he is. He doesn't want Nobuyuki ending up like him. I believe Nobuyuki will be the thing that keeps Nobunaga compassionate, after all the pain he deals with, he still sees his brother as 'pure'

    Nobuyuki is, at this point and time, eight years of age! I believe I mentioned that in the previous chapter, but not too sure.

    Thanks for the rep!

    Tigellinus




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  2. #62

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

    Thanks for clearing that up about his age, I am rather forgetful these days (god that sounded old!)

    I think they stuff you have planned for Nobayuki and Nobunaga is great. Its going to be great seeing Nobayuki's reaction to the stuff, some of his brother will do but I think that you shouldn't keep him like that for the whole story. He should slowly develop an understanding of how war works and that the world isn't stories and stuff and I think when that point comes, the reader will truly feel like they have been on a journey with Nobayuki. Kinda like Sansa in GOT (or aSoIaF, if you're pedantic about that stuff) but without the bitchiness and annoying attitude.

  3. #63
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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
    Thanks for clearing that up about his age, I am rather forgetful these days (god that sounded old!)

    I think they stuff you have planned for Nobayuki and Nobunaga is great. Its going to be great seeing Nobayuki's reaction to the stuff, some of his brother will do but I think that you shouldn't keep him like that for the whole story. He should slowly develop an understanding of how war works and that the world isn't stories and stuff and I think when that point comes, the reader will truly feel like they have been on a journey with Nobayuki. Kinda like Sansa in GOT (or aSoIaF, if you're pedantic about that stuff) but without the bitchiness and annoying attitude.
    I cannot spoil anything

    But, I will say I rather like what I have planned for my characters.

    Indeed, I hope Nobuyuki shall not turn into Sansa!

    Thanks

    Tigellinus




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

    Another good chapter I'm still enjoying the subtle way you're portraying Nobunaga. Good to see a bit more of Nobuyuki too; adds a fresh dynamic to the piece. Looking forward to seeing how Nobunaga and Ieyasu fare next!
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Seven Updated 10/07/2014

    Thank you, Hitai!(Nice new name, de Bodemloze )

    I am very glad you are enjoying it!

    .............................

    A small thing to everyone. My friend is very, very busy, and as such is unable to continue the Shimazu half of the AAR.

    So, I have a question for you all. I have permission to continue it, I know the main outline of the story. Of where he meant to take the character, so, should I do it? Should I do Nobunaga and Takahisa? Or should I simply focus upon Nobunaga?

    I shall say this: It was intended for there to be two sides of the story.

    Thanks

    Tigellinus




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  6. #66

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

    I think having two characters so far apart with no real connection to each other might only take away from the story and confuse the reader. Furthermore, I think it would also slow down Nobunaga's story as you have to write for two characters, instead of one and Ill think that'll only slow the down the AAR.

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    Hitai de Bodemloze's Avatar
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Seven Updated 10/07/2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigellinus View Post
    Thank you, Hitai!(Nice new name, de Bodemloze )

    I am very glad you are enjoying it!
    Thanks

    Sorry to hear your friend won't be continuing with his side of this. What you decide to do is entirely up to you. I'd personally probably stick to the Oda perspective for the time being. You can always keep the Shimazu stuff up your sleeve in case you ever need it.
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Seven Updated 10/07/2014

    I am so sorry for not replying to these quicker! I have been busy lately!

    I have to say, I think time away from focusing on Chapter Eight was good for me, I now know exactly how I want it, and I think I know how to get it there, too!


    Thank you both for your suggestions and advice, and I will indeed keep the Shimazu up my sleeve. I have a plan for this, though whether it all fits into place will be seen soon!

    Thanks

    Tigellinus




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  9. #69
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Seven Updated 10/07/2014

    Chapter Eight is completed!

    I will do editing and then I shall add the rest of Chapter Eight to trey already completed parts!

    Then I will immediately start on chapter nine!

    Chapter eight is around six thousand words (in total) so I hope it was worth the wait!

    Thanks

    Tigellinus

    EDIT: Its up! Chapter Eight is completed, and up! Finally!

    Enjoy all!
    Last edited by Tigellinus; November 21, 2014 at 01:56 AM.




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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Eight Completed 21/11/2014

    Here is chapter nine for all of you!

    Enjoy!

    Small update In the Light of Dusk has now passed the thirty thousand word mark! I'm quite pleased!

    Thanks

    Tigellinus

    …………………………………………...
    In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Nine 23/11/1014

    Chapter Nine

    Winter came and went, the icy cold being replaced by the kiss of spring. The air was fresh and warm, and the daylight made my armour gleam like fire. I smiled, embracing the warmth. The Takeda forces had stayed at Hima for three months, while the villages and the people of the region became accustomed to the new rule of the Takeda. For the first few days after the battle I barely got any sleep, and instead spent most of the nights reading books, or practicing the blade with Himichiro and Ieyasu. I am anxious to return to Owari, and I am fearful for my soldiers and people.


    I was flanked by two retainers, and the soldiers bore their duty with pride, however nothing could hide their restlessness. I told them that we would go home, and yet we sit here, training and reading and laughing. We do not act. I do not act. “ Summon Himichiro and Ieyasu, if you will.” One of the retainers turned swiftly on his heels, and marched off, to do as I bid him. I peered at the bright sky, listening to the hum of the air, and beat of the wind, the rustle of the leaves and the chirp of birds. Nature is beautiful, and yet the world is tyrannical.


    Ieyasu was the first to appear, his feet seemed to glide across the stone, more so than walk. That one is agile as a cat, and as fierce as a tiger. He nodded to me, his face was passive, and yet his eyes could not hide his curiosity. His Yari was starpped to his back, as always. When I had spoken to him of it he replied that he was not armed when Mikawa had been attacked by my father. He declared that he would never be unarmed again, as a foe could take you unawares anytime. That is a good sentiment, one I should adopt. “Thank you for coming so swiftly, Ieyasu-san. “ he nodded, but did not reply, I saw that his eyes were cast down, as if he was afraid of looking me in the eyes. Odd that he defers to me, as we are of the same rank. “The Oda will soon enough be rulers of Owari once more, Nobushige has sworn it. However, we have not discussed you. Ieyasu-san, I must ask, are you my foe?” Ieyasu’s eyes narrowed, and his head rose up like a viper.



    “Your foe, Nobunaga-san. That depends, are you asking me whether I seek to kill you? To avenge my family as you do yours? It is true that I held resentment and hatred towards you at the beginning, and yet I see that you have suffered the pain and loss that I have. You spoke truly, it was not you that burned Mikawa, it was not your father that put my people to the sword. But, it was your family that killed my father, it was your father whom ordered the death of soldiers I had known since I was a babe, and it was your father whom took me captive, a hostage so that the Tokugawa could not ever rise to power again.” He strode forwards, and he grabbed the Yari, drawing it forth. My retainer went forwards immediately, a yell on his lips. Yet Ieyasu moved the yari swiftly, slamming the shaft of the yari into the man’s head. He aimed the point of the blade at my heart. “I am not your foe, Nobunaga-san, Daimyo of the Oda. But I will not kneel before you, when I return to Mikawa I will raise my men and I will battle alongside you. But I shall not serve you, I shall not bend the knee. For now I am powerless to do anything but obey and serve, but that does not make me broken.” I am not broken, you may well not be. But I am, I lost my father, my mother, my family. My arrogance burned Owari, my foolishness killed my mother and my lust for glory killed my people. The Yari moved from my chest, and a sigh escaped my lips. Footsteps appeared behind us and Himichiro entered, followed by the retainer. He looked at the man on the ground and immediately went for his blade, stepping between me and Ieyasu. “Calm, Himichiro, there is no danger here.” Yet the man did not deter, his blade and Ieyasu’s yari met, and a grin appeared upon Ieyasu’s face. “Dueling you would be an honour, Himichiro-san. However I have other duties to attend to.” he spun away, and placed his yari back in its sheathe. He nodded towards me, his eyes once again clouded and meek, instead of fierce and wrathful.


    “Ieyasu-san, you have my word.” I will not kneel, I will not break, father. “You will never kneel to anyone again. When we battle we shall fight as allies. I shall never ask that you bend the knee.” I turned away. “However, both our peoples are enslaved by the dogs of the Imagawa. While I will not make you swear an oath of allegiance to me, I fear that the Imagawa will not be so kind to you. After all, your father was a vassal to them, and he followed their heels like a dog.” A sharp intake of breath from Ieyasu answered him. Good, so he is not without anger. “Should I lose, and that possibility is a high one, then you will once again have to answer the call of the Imagawa, I will be dead.” For moments only the soft chime of the wind was all that answered him, and then Ieyasu spoke.


    “I will not kneel before the Imagawa, I will never allow my people to be cast to that fate again.” He snarled, but I turned back. We seek the same goal, freedom for our peoples, and yet I am willing to commit henious acts for my people’s freedom, is he willing to do the same? “And how would you help your people rise? How would you break the chains they hold them? Would you be willing to order your soldiers to kill sleeping foes? Would you be able to execute those dearest to you, all for strength?” No answer came from Ieyasu, but Himichiro’s gaze met mine, and his eyes held a clairty to them. Yes, my friend, I would let you die for the good of the Oda. I would throw myself onto a wall of spears if it brought my people hope and happiness. We will never bow again, we will bend, and never break.


    “We are the Oda.” I spoke to Himichiro now. “I will sacrifice anything, anyone, for the betterment of the clan.” The wind blew, and once again I felt the chill of winter. But this is spring, so why do I feel so devoid of warmth now?


    Ieyasu strode away, the sunlight glinted off his armour. I let him leave, making no move to call him back. I sighed. “Leave me.” I spoke softly, speaking only to the retainers. The two men bowed, and strode away, Himichiro turned to leave as well. “No, not you, stay, please.” Himichiro did so, I could feel his gaze on me.


    “We’re so close.” My voice was a whisper upon the wind. “We have the means, the soldiers, Takeda yari, katanas and yumi.” I stopped, shuddeirng I turned around, “and yet, for all that. I do not feel any better. Thousands will die while I rage a war to retake my home, and after that, will it be worth it? The Imagawa will march on us once more, and I will not have the men to repell them, let alone beat them on the field.” The wind roared then, screaming at me, bellowing, raging. Yet it spoke no words.


    “Then, perhaps . . .” Himichiro sighed. “Then perhaps you should sheathe your blade, and kneel, to the Imagawa.” My fist lashed out, but he caught it calmly. His eyes looked sorrowful. “We don’t have the men, Nobunaga-sama.” He whispered softly. “Victory would be impossible.” He released my hand, and I turned towards him. Coward! bastard! Traitor! “You bastard! Was it not you that spoke, saying I was their only hope for survival, for victory!” Himichiro opened his mouth to speak, but my words overtook him. “Was it not you that told me to fight? To defend my people?”


    Himichiro’s voice washed over my own. “Indeed it was, and sometimes defending your people mens kneeling to a foe, sometimes that is the only path you can take, the only path that will save your people. Nobunaga-sama, I am not asking you to kneel forever. Gain your strength while the Imagawa believe you serve them, make political allies within their ranks, and break them from within!”


    I roared, shoving him backwards. “Are you so cowardly? I trusted you! Bastard.” I spat. “Leave my sight, coward, and do not deign to suggest such actions to me again.” Himichiro’s face was grave, he nodded, and walked off, heavy in his steps.


    I turned away, the wind roaring around me. “I will not kneel!” I bellowed to the wind. “I will not break! I will fight!” The wind gave no answer, and so I yelled more words. “I am of the Oda clan! I will avenge my father, I swear that to you! All those that died at Owari, all those that have been felled by Imagawa blades, I will avenge you!” I thought of Yoshimoto, of my dead mother, of my father, of my people, and of the pain Ieyasu must have felt. He hides it better than I do, but he is as lost with rage as I am. “Yoshimoto, I will kill you, I will plunge a blade into your black heart and I will tear out your throat with my hands for what you’ve done.” I will kill them all, every last one of them.


    The warhorns blew, and a call went up from the soldiers. “We’re marching home!” a few of them called. “To Kai!” A few men bellowed about seeing their wives, to whom others replied about their daughters, and the men laughed. I felt water upon my cheeks, yet looking at the sky I only saw blue sky. Tears, but what do I cry for?


    I’m going home, but first I must go to war.


    ***Ieyasu

    The column of marching soldiers made good pace across the country side, he watched as Nobunaga-san rode with Nobushige, the two spent most of the days talking to each other, despite this there was no warmth, no laughter from the two. They speak of warfare, of death and of sorrow. He had noticed that, while Himichiro kept close to his young charge, that he and Nobunaga were cold and distant. Odd, did Nobunaga play the fool? Or did Himichiro suggest surrender? He looked at the aging man, his stance was relaxed, yet you could see that he would react at a moment’s notice. He has the reflexes of a warrior of a hundred battles. Ieyasu had not personally witnessed the man’s feats, yet even so he knew that he was a dangerous warrior. Fighting him would indeed be an honour, and would most likely also bring about my death. Yet Himichiro’s face was aging, wrinkles lined his face, and scars crisscrossed his brow. He is old, likely he asked Nobunaga to give up the war.


    He kicked his heels into his horse’s ribs and trotted forward, following the column. He looked at the banner and imagined his own, the banner of the Tokugawa, flying upon their shafts, bristling within the wind. Soon enough. He told himself. Soon I will be back in Mikawa. His eyes drifted to Nobunaga. But what then? When I am home, what shall become of me? Nobunaga will undoubtedly wish to meet Yoshimoto in the field. Ieyasu was not the greatest of tacticians, but even he could see that Nobunaga’s fight may well be futile. If I joined with Yoshimoto, and struck at the Oda from behind . . .


    “No!” He cursed aloud, a few of the marching soldiers took such a fright that they leapt backwards, one of them stumbling into his horse making it rear and nicker. A few other soldiers went to the aid of their friend, pulling him away from the horse. Ieyasu looked down on them, a fire in his gaze. The soldiers bowed. “Sorry, Ieyasu-sama, pardons.” They ran off to join back on with the column. He sighed, and rode alongside them. He looked around him, the trees that guarded the roads were dark and large, towering into the sky. They make beautiful sights, if ominous. He shook his head. I must think to the future of my clan, Nobunaga thinks of nothing but vengeance, he does not think for what will happen to his clan afterwards, and that is his downfall. He rode alongside the column, trying to reach Nobunaga and Nobushige. Should I join forces with Nobunaga-san? If we defeated Yoshimoto in the field, then we could build the strength of our clans, defeat the Imagawa, but thousands would die. His head throbbed as he thought, yet he did not curse. Silence is a deadly weapon, those that speak too much give away their nature. The more a foe knows of you, the larger a threat they are to you. Knowledge is the world’s greatest weapon.


    Nobunaga turned when he heard the hoofbeats, he smiled at Ieyasu when he saw him. He motioned for Nobushige to slow. “Got bored of marching behind the column?” Nobunaga chided, a small smile came to Ieyasu. “Not quite, I need to think to the future of my clan.” He stated this cautiously, Nobunaga turned his horse towards him. “The future of your clan is warfare, Ieyasu. That is the plain truth of it, and of this cruel world. Once we defeat Yoshimoto, do you believe that his sons will not wish vengeance? And after that, the Hojo may decide to make us a foe, or vice versa. Our lives will be filled with warfare, we have to embrace it, to adapt.” He heard Nobunaga mutter after this. “To bend, do not break.” Ieyasu raised a hand stopping him there.


    “No, Nobunaga-san, I mean the needs of my clan. The future of the Tokugawa may not include your visions of conquests and grandeur.” Their gazes met, and anyone looking upon them could see the battle of will, Ieyasu’s gaze, frozen over like ice, and Nobunaga’s eyes, burning with a rage. Neither of them gave. Yet Nobunaga replied, a hint of anger in his voice. “And why would that be, Ieyasu-san?” Nobunaga’s voice was soft, almost distant. Nobushige looked between them, a frown upon his face. “You are both children, playing at war. Leave the politics for when they are needed, for now, neither of you are home, neither of you have won your wars.” Nobunaga laughed at that, but there was little mirth to be held in his voice.


    “Nevertheless, Ieyasu-san, I swore to you that I would bring you home, and Yoshimoto’s blood. Plan your clan’s future as you will, but I will see my oaths fulfilled.” Nobunaga began speaking with Nobushige again. “Will the Saito join us? Should we liberate them from the Imagawa . . .” Nobushige waved a hand. “Liberate them from the Imagawa and submit them to the Oda? You may well be a more gracious and kinder lord than Yoshimoto, however a lord is still a lord, and they will not see it as liberation, simply as conquest.” Nobunaga looked enraged at this, and Ieyasu saw his fists clench.


    “Curse them, then! Perhaps I should simply ride passed their bloody city and attack Owari as swiftly as possible.” Nobunaga mused, and Ieyasu noted that Nobushige did not speak, allowing Nobunaga to either see the flaw in that tactic, or live with its follies. Nobunaga growled. “That would be a foolish move on my part, unless I wanted the bloody Imagawa garrison to take me in the rear when I struck at Owari. No, defeating the Saito at Mino is unavoidable.” He sighed, shaking his head. “So be it, then, I will bring fire and sword to the people of Mino.”


    For the rest of the day they rode in silence, they made swifter time than they had on the way coming, as they no longer had to march in near waist deep snows. The air was warm, and the breeze was not unpleasant.


    Ieyasu looked at the marching soldiers, looked at the steel tipped yari that rose in the sky, looked to the katanas that hung from their belts and the bows that were hung over their shoulders. I wonder, how many of those soldiers will die in Nobunaga’s quest for vengeance?


    He smiled. Best to enjoy the kindness of the world while it lasts. Closing his eyes he embraced the softness of the wind, and the warmth upon his back . . .


    ***
    Nobunaga

    They came upon Kai in the night, the column marching strong and proud, the light from the troches giving each man an ominous glow. It took us a month to reach Kai. I was exhausted, too many nights in the saddle, my thighs were raw and aching. Yet upon looking at Kai my pain disappeared, to be replaced by immense joy. Brother, I will take you home. I smiled at the thought. Home, I must have hope that I can reach it. Should I befall to sorrow, should I wallow in defeat, than hope will abandon us, and with it our chance of victory.


    The gates opened to a cheer from the gate soldiers, all of Kai had heard of our victory. Though it was late at night, many wives and children ran out to the marching column, though the soldiers were not yet permitted to break ranks, many of them ran towards their wives and children. A few of the wives called out, clutching at their children, trying to find their husbands. “Please, I do not wnat my child to grow up fatherless!” A woman yelled, wailing, but behind her a man came up and kissed her upon the cheek. The woman screeched, but in recognising her husband hugged him tightly. I smiled. Good, enough pain has been caused, and more sorrow will come.


    Nobushige ordered his soldiers to break ranks, declaring they could return to their homes and families. A few soldiers continued following them, they would sleep in the barracks, while most of the soldiers would return to their loved ones. We reached the Palace, the moon was shining with a fierceness. A figure draped in yellow and black ran towards me, I dismounted, smiling as Nobuyuki launched himself towards me, hugging me. A smile lit across his face. “Aniki! How was it? How was the battle? The war? Were you brave? DId you kill a man?” The realisation came to me with remorse. I did, brother, I ended a man’s life, took him from his family. I killed a man that stood to defend his home. Yet the smile stayed upon my face. “All in due time, Nobuyuki-san. We will speak of this when the sun rises, you have my word. For now, you must rest.” I nodded to the retainers that stood behind my brother. He smiled, and grabbed one of the men by the arm. The retainer nodded to me, a half smile upon his lips.


    “My brother is a better man than me.” I stated, both Himichiro looked at me, it was Himichiro that spoke first. “You have your strengths and he has his, Nobuyuki-sama is kind and benevolent, while you are vicious and stalwart, like fire.” Ieyasu replied shortly after, sounding exhausted, but with mirth within his tone. “I wouldn’t exactly call him a man, yet, Nobunaga-san.” He waved his hand towards Nobuyuki, his small eight year old legs bounding alongside the tall and graceful retainer. I laughed, shaking my head and striding forward. “Come, my friends, we must speak with Shingen and Nobushige, undoubtedly.


    We heard the conversation before we entered the room. “And so you swear my troops to some child? So that he may sate his lusr for murder?” I heard Shingen roar, and Nobushige’s voice retorted with as much ferocity. “No! I swore your troops to a man whom saved my life! He has proven himself honourable! I would have died should he not have acted.” Shingen laughed, it was cruel and heartless. “Good! Maybe if you’d been killed we wouldn’t be having this argument at this point in time!”


    The door opened and I entered, not having knocked on the door, or bidding leave to enter, it was the height of rudeness. I do not care for manners at this point. I will go home, I will take back Owari and I will butcher the men they betrayed my family. Shingen looked at me incredulously. I nodded towards him. “Considering this conversation decides my fate, that of my men, Ieyasu and my brother. I decided it would be best if I stated my case.” Shingen looked as if he was about to kill me, his eyes bulged and his face was purple with rage.


    “Nobushige swore he would grant me the soldiers to retake Owari. That is all, he did not give me soldiers to defend it. But I have a request. I will take Mino from the Imagawa, so that I am not attacked in teh rear when striking at Owari. Mino will go to the Oda clan, to help fuel our economy and bolster us so that we may defeat the Imagawa.” Shingen opened his mouth but I raised a hand. “However, to get there I must first march through Kiso lands in South Shinano, I will take the castle there with fire and sword, after that I will leave a token garrison of Takeda retainers, South Shinano shall be donated to the Takeda, it grants you the security of the mountain-pass, as well as grants you an extra province. After I have defeated the Kiso at South Shinano I shall defeat the Imagawa at Mino, and free the Saito from those bastards. I will then march upon Owari, rubble it may well be, but I will retake it, and build the Oda to something great again. After I have retaken Owari I request that the Takeda forces stay with me for a period of one month, after that you will be granted your soldiers once more, and we can speak of the terms of an alliance, or trade.” I stopped for a moment. “Or we may go our seperate ways, and never cross paths again. But I swear this to you, for teh aid you will grant me in retaking my home and securing my alnds, whenever the Takeda are in need of aid, send for me, and I will march with blade, yumi and yari to your aid.” I bowed, and turned to leave, to allow them to discuss. The die is cast, will Shingen take this how I suspect? Or will it all go awry?


    “You . . . you are arrogant, impudent, foolish, brash, and an imbecile, for suggesting such things to me.” Shingen’s face gave way to a smile. “Yet I must admit you have a certain amount of arrogance that is contagious.” He sighed. “My men will rest for two weeks, to reacquaint them with their families, their loved ones and allow for them to spend their spoils of warfare. After that, I grant you three thousand foot-soldiers and one thousand cavalry. You will command them, my brother, nor I, will have any part no this campaign. Should you lose then I will use my remaining soldiers to aid Yoshimoto in eradicating you, so as to keep my people safe.” I nodded, relieved. I will march home. I will defeat the Imagawa in the field or I will die.


    I knew that it would not be South Shinano, nor Mino, and not even Owari that would be the challenge. Mino would be lightly defended, and had never been a terrifying stronghold, the castles at South Shiano, while being formidable, would be scarcely defended, the Kiso were not a wealthy clan, and could not pay for large amounts of troops. And Owari, if what Nobushige said was true, Owari will have rubble for walls, and defeating the Imagawa there should be simple enough. But defeating Yoshimoto in the field. Twenty five thousand soldiers . . . I will meet my death with fire and sword, and any man that can hold a blade, or bow, or yari will be conscripted into the army that will face him. I strode through teh halls of Kai, Ieyasu bid me farewell and went to his quarters, but Himichiro followed me, as my sensei, as my guard. I am sorry, my friend. For what I said of you, I realised the truth of your words, even then. But I cannot face defeat. I tried to speak, to make amends for teh words I spoke, but none would come forth. I cannot admit defeat. I sighed. “We’re going home, Himichiro-sensei. We’re going back to Owari.”


    Across the hilltops the sun was rising. Has it truly been so long? I laughed. Nobuyuki will wish to hear of the battle. “Best to tell him lies of it.” I mused to myself, Himichiro did not answer. “He must be kept innocent, while I am savage and corrupt, he must be kind and gentle.”


    I looked to the sun that graced the sky. “People of the Oda clan, I will return to you, I swear it.”


    ***
    Nobunaga

    The sun was bright and gazed across the field, it had risen behind me and my forces. Kiso banners flailed in the rushing wind down below me. They are more numerous than us, I was wrong. Would my fight for home end here, when I was so close to victory? The Daimyo of the Kiso Yoshiyasu, had requested I treat with him, so that we may try to discuss a peaceful solution. Weakling, peace is for those that have no stomach for the fight. “So, the broken Daimyo treats with a weakling, fitting, I suppose.” I msued to myself, yet Ieyasu looked at me questioningly, and I replied to his gaze. “I could kill him during the negotiations, his men would be shattered, to find their Daimyo had been butchered by a child, whilst drinking tea.” A small smile crept upon my lips. Of course, such an act is like to lose me my own men also, but let us see how Himichiro and Ieyasu reply.


    “Such an act would be . . . questionable, Nobunaga-sama. But, shall you order it, I will see the deed done.” Himichiro’s voice was grave, and his face looked as if it had aged considerably in the last few months. I insulted him, and still his loyalty is mine. He is a good man, and I must make amends for my wrongdoings. Ieyasu’s reply was a lot less composed. “Try to murder that man in his tent, while drinking his tea, and discussing terms of peace? Should you live long enough to escape the clutches of his forces, you will be killed by your own soldiers for that act. Should you not die by their hand, no head of a clan will ever treat with you again, making foes where once you could have found allies. Such an act would be foolish, Nobunaga-san.” I don’t think I’ve ever heard you speak so many words, Ieyasu-san.


    “You have grown a taste for Nobushige’s honour, I see.” I smiled. “Good, one of us needs to have a good heart.” For mine is already black. A few retainers came up the hill, accompanying my brother. He looked eager, but frightened as he looked over the Kiso soldiers. “Brother, may I accompany you while you negotiate with the kiso?” My brother’s language sounded so formal, so noble that it took me by surprise. He is a scholar, not a warrior. “Indeed, Nobuyuki-san. It is past time you begin to understand the concerns of governing a clan, making peace treaties and war.” Ieyasu looked at me with an eyebrow raised, and the message is clear. And who shall teach him, pray? You? With all of your experience? I smiled slightly, just enough to put my brother at ease. There are worse people to train my brother. Ieyasu is a good man, and he seems fond of Nobuyuki’s kind nature. I took Himichiro and Ieyasu aside from the others, taking them into the woods that surrounded both our armies.


    “Himichiro, position the cavalry within the forests, I want them close to the Kiso encampment, we will strike when the negotiations are over.” I stopped for a second. “Also, I feel . . worried, I suspect treachery.” Ieyasu smiled, shaking his head.


    “What of me, Nobunaga-san? Will I be accompanying you to these negotiations?” He sounded curious, undoubtedly he wished to see the Kiso Daimyo for himself, and evaluate the man. I looked towards him. “No, to you I give command of the foot-soldiers. Strike on my order, and attack swiftly should we be betrayed.” Himichiro looked worried, his face was creased in a frown, and his features were grave and grey.


    “Will I not be accompanying you to the negotiations? Nobunaga-sama?” I’m sorry my friend, I know it looks as if I am casting you aside, but you and Ieyasu are the only ones I trust. I need you here, to lead the cavalry. “I trust you will avenge me if I am killed by the Kiso Daimyo.” I smiled, and laughed. “You have command of the cavalry, Himichiro-sensei, you will know what to do.” Himichiro did not look appeased. “Besides Himichiro-sensei, I will be guarded by all of my retainers, and those of Nobuyuki’s as well!” Yet none of them match your skill, nor your loyalty, my friend. The facade must be kept.


    Himichiro nodded, and rode away towards the cavalry, to position them. Ieyasu and I rode for a while in silence, before turning back to camp. “If you suspect treachery, why do you bring yourself and your brother to your foe? Why not keep one with the army and one with the Kiso Daimyo?” Why indeed? It endangers both of us, and should we both perish then all hope is lost.


    “Because I do not fear death, if I am to die at the hands of Yoshiyasu, if my brother is to be felled by Kiso blades.” Never, I will die before I allow harm to Nobuyuki! “Then it will be because fate decrees that my cause is lost.” I sighed. “Come, it is past time we make arrangements to head towards the White Tent.” I scowled. White stains easily with blood . . .




    I rode towards the White Tent, Nobuyuki at my side, and nigh forty retainers at my heels. The White Tent was not guarded by Kiso men. They will be on the inside. I knew, the tent was large, magnificently so, large enough to hold about thirty men. “impressive.” I muttered, Nobuyuki laughed beside me, such as the child he was. “We’re going home!” He laughed and smiled, I turned towards him. “Soon.” I promised. “but not yet, first we must win the day here, and at Mino, and then at Owari itself.” Yet Nobuyuki was not deterred, he looked at me, and said matter-of-factly. “You’ll beat them all, brother! You swore to take me home, and you always keep your word.” He rode ahead of us. Always keep my word, if only that was true, brother. Why does he look to me so? Why am I a beacon of hope for him? I could not understand it. I will win, Nobuyuki, or try to, at least.


    When we reached the entrance of the tent I bid Nobuyuki to enter, and went in with half a dozen retainers behind me, the rest stayed outside. The interior of the tent was even more magnificent than the exterior, lined with velvet on the sides, katanas, yumi and yari hung from the sides, each of them cleaned so that not a speck of dust touched them. A few of them held ornately done hilts and shafts, one of the yumi was black as a moonless night. Impressive, mayhaps I was wrong about the wealth of the Kiso. That disturbed me. A miscalculation could mean the death of every one of my men, and my brother. I hid my worry behind a smile, and bowed before the Daimyo of the Kiso. “Kiso Yoshiyasu-san.” I spoke softly, and took one of the free seats, there were two. Nobuyuki took the seat beside me, he was silent, which was unusual for him. Perhaps he realises that it is I whom must speak during this negotiation, and so does not wish to make a fool of himself. I looked around, the Kiso Daimyo was guarded by eighteen soldiers. Triple my own defenders in this tent. Perhaps it is he who fears betrayal. After all, I am outnumbered, and killing him in this tent would be a mighty blow towards his soldiers. “And so you are cunning.” I spoke softly, soft enough that he could not hear my words.


    “Oda Nobunaga-san.” he spoke just as softly, and his eyes held a cool intensity to their gaze. “You are a child, surely you do not believe you can defeat me upon the field?” He boasted, he was old and looked frail, but his eyes held a deep light to them. To this I smiled warmly, my gaze locking with his. “I believed this was a tent of negotiations, not for boasting?” The man’s smile curled on his face.


    “Listen here, boy. Bloody braggart that you are, you are like dirt beneath my boots, nothing! Do not think I could not crush you if I wished it.” he had risen from his seat, so he now stood taller than I and my brother. Nobuyuki looked fearful, frightened by the man’s outburst. I myself was anxious, but I kept my composure as much as I could. “Should you wish to crush me, prove it upon the battlefield instead of making idle threats across a table. Should you wish to negotiate sit down and state what you will, else my party and I shall leave, and we shall battle this very day.” The old man looked as if he was about to burst,m his mouth was agape with astonishment. It has been a long time since anyone has taught you manners, yes? Yoshiyasu sat back down, and look of pure contempt upon his lips. Yet he spoke softly once more. “The Kiso clan will aid you in your struggle against the Imagawa, you can even keep that foul smelling city of Mino, if you want it. But in return the Oda will be vassals to the Kiso, and will pay us yearly tribute of -” My hand crashed upon the table, and I rose swiftly, my retainers went forward, drawing their blades. “The Oda will bow to no man! Bastard! I will not bend to you!” I snarled at him, growling , teeth bared like an enraged dog.


    “You are like a wolf, a wolf without a pack. Cornered, you fight because you have nothing else to do.” Yoshiyasu mused. “The Wolf of Owari.” he laughed and then did a mock howl. Laughing again. “lower your weapons.” His men did as bid. But my men still held their own at the ready. I sighed, bowing my head in disgrace. “Sheathe your blades.” I spoke softly, but my soldiers did as bid. Nobuyuki looked between me and Yoshiyasu, obviously trying to decide whom had won that stand. Yoshiyasu won that one, brother. I sighed. “I guess battle is our only option.” I nodded towards him, and turned to leave, walking towards the tent’s exit. Yoshiyasu smiled. “Well, not our only option.” He smiled at me, it held a devilish nature within it. “Kill them.” He spoke two words, and yet with them my hopes died.


    My soldiers drew their blades, but were not swift enough, two of them were cut down before they could unsheathe their blades, the other four battled, but were swiftly cut down. I stepped between Nobuyuki and Kiso soldiers. My own katana was at the ready, but behind me I heard shouts from my men as they drew their swords, I heard soldiers yelling for them to surrender. We are surrounded. I thought, dazed. How could this have happened.


    The Kiso soldiers turned their blades towards me, some of them dripping with blood, I looked to the six corpses upon the floor. We were going home, home! I snarled at them, and at Yoshiyasu. “I will die before I allow you harm my brother!” Nobuyuki was behind me, on the ground, looking down at him I saw his face was pale, the blood had drained from his face at the site of corpses. He is only eight! A child! Bastaard!


    Turning back towards Yoshiyasu I saw a smile upon his lips, he cocked his head and laughed at me. “Indeed, you shall die.” His tongue flicked across his lips, like a serpent. “Kill him.”




    Proudly under the patronage of McScottish

  11. #71

    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Nine Updated 23/11/2014

    Wow just wow. Sorry I didn't reply earlier but I forgot you already uploaded part of Chapter 8 so i was waiting for you to post it and then you posted Chapter 9 and I was like wait what? But then I realised my mistake.

    Great stuff. Chapter 8 was wonderful, the battle descriptions were exemplary and I loved Ieyasu's parts. Thought his character was well written and interesting. Chapter 9 was great too but now you have to upload soon with that cliffhanger.

    Also, one small side note. The grammar and spelling was good except for the occasionally teh instead of the so just go through it again with control F to iron out those little bugs.

    Great work and its wonderful to see you writing again.

  12. #72
    NCR's Avatar Libertus
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Nine Updated 23/11/2014

    Excellent. Love the interaction between Ieyasu and Nobunaga. It's thrilling and the part with the Kiso is great.

  13. #73
    Tigellinus's Avatar Citizen
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Nine Updated 23/11/2014

    I am hoping most of those tee's are in Chapter Eight! I will go through them and iron them out later tonight!

    Thank you both for the comments and support, and I have a question for you both, if you could answer!

    Do Ieyasu and Nobunaga sound . . . similar? In dialogue and thoughts, I mean? or is their a difference to them?

    Thanks

    Tigellinus




    Proudly under the patronage of McScottish

  14. #74

    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Nine Updated 23/11/2014

    There is a definite difference between them. I think what is so good about both the characters is that they are different but they are similar which I find is good. Both want to go home and thats clear but they want to do that in different ways and once they are home, they want different things. Its an interesting relationship because you have the feeling that it kind of is a friendship of necessity. And while Ieyasu seems against war, Nobunaga both wants it and doesn't, which reflects his confused state of mind.

    And their fight in Chapter Nine was well done and written and it was a visible representation of the tension going on between them. And I'm very intrigued on whats going to happen once they do retake Mikawa and Owari, well if they do....

  15. #75
    Tigellinus's Avatar Citizen
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Nine Updated 23/11/2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Merchant of Venice View Post
    There is a definite difference between them. I think what is so good about both the characters is that they are different but they are similar which I find is good. Both want to go home and thats clear but they want to do that in different ways and once they are home, they want different things. Its an interesting relationship because you have the feeling that it kind of is a friendship of necessity. And while Ieyasu seems against war, Nobunaga both wants it and doesn't, which reflects his confused state of mind.

    And their fight in Chapter Nine was well done and written and it was a visible representation of the tension going on between them. And I'm very intrigued on whats going to happen once they do retake Mikawa and Owari, well if they do....
    Thanks, Merchant! I was quite petrified that they were too similar, having the same voice and such! Thank you for clearing that up!

    We shall see! Nobunaga seems in a pretty precarious state! Mayhap's it will only be Ieyasu taking Owari and Mikawa, out of duty to fulfil Nobunaga's dream of conquest and grandeur, the Tokugawa Shogunate will be born?

    Thats actually not a terrible idea, ha. But, I am going different places with this

    Thanks again Merchant, as ever you are my grandest supporter when it comes to this story of mine!

    Tigellinus




    Proudly under the patronage of McScottish

  16. #76
    Tigellinus's Avatar Citizen
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Nine Updated 23/11/2014

    In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Ten 24/11/2014
    Chapter Ten

    Nobunaga

    The first man came at me, he wore a smile and his white teeth gleamed. His blade swished, I stepped back, trying to dodge the blow. The man laughed and came at me again, I stepped away once more, and swung the blade. he parried it easily and went forward, his hand gripped me by the throat and heaved me off the ground. I gurgled, I could feel the blood pounding in my head. The man laughed again, and his hold on me tightened. There was a swish of steel, a spray of blood and a cry of pain. I dropped to the ground, my legs crumbling beneath me. My brother stood before me, blood upon his face, he shuddered, and the katana dropped to the ground. The man still writhed in pain, screaming and wailing as his arm lay on the ground beside him. “Leave my brother alone!” He wailed, before he went to his hands and knees, vomiting at the blood he had caused.


    Kiso Yoshiyasu looked bored. “Kill them already, they’re children. Kill them!” The Kiso men came forward, but yells came from outside the tent. “Protect the Daimyo!” I heard a crashing sound as men in black and yellow armour entered the tent, two men went forwards, hurling themselves at the Kiso men, one looked so surprised that he dropped his blade, before one of my retainers took a blade to his belly. One soldier grabbed Nobuyuki, and heaved him up, putting him over his shoulder, another man entered the tent, he looked at me and hurriedly rushed to grab me, helping me up, I limped out of the tent.


    I entered a scene that was worthy of song, my retainers were battling at least three men each, darting backwards, parrying and striking, trying desperately to keep a formation. I can’t just let them die, not without fighting for them. I bellowed to a soldier, and he gave me a katana, I brandished it with as much fury as I could muster. I went towards one of the Kiso retainers emerging from the tent, my blade found his neck, the man looked shocked, surprised, his hands went to his throat, my blade still firmly lodged into it. IT looked as if he was trying to stem the flow of blood. But the man’s knees buckled and his head went forward onto my blade. I pushed the blade forwards, and the man’s head parted from his shoulders. I stepped back, waiting for the next man to come for me. I must protect Nobuyuki. I thought desperately. Looking towards him I could see my brother upon the ground, he gazed up at me, eyes dazed and unfocused, four retainers surrounded him., They will protect him, for now I must look to the safety of my soldiers. A man roared beside me, and charged, the blade was aimed at my chest. I felt a rush beside me, and one of my men ran forwards, impaling himself upon the man’s blade. His own blade went straight and up, through the man’s stomach and back, coming out at the back of his neck. The two went down together, their blood mixing with the mud of the grass and the screams of their brothers. I looked around me, on all directions my soldiers died, wherever I looked one of my men had fallen. I cursed, and cursed again. It cannot end like this, it must not end like this. There are only two men that will save me now. But I knew it was vain, to hope that my men could battle off near a hundred foes until reinforcements arrived. The battle is lost, the war is lost, I am lost.


    A man bellowed, rushing towards me, his blade raised high.


    I am dead.


    ***
    Ieyasu

    He cursed, bellowing to the soldiers to get forward. He looked forward, the Oda soldiers were already charging forward. Their yaris were gripped in hardened hands, and their faces were contorted in snarls. Ieyasu had never seen such ferocity on men. He turned to see Himcihiro’s cavalry thundering from the forest, he broke off with two hundred of them and headed towards the White Tent. The Takeda soldiers were yelling, bellowing about such a dishonourable act. ieyasu drew his yari, and his horse reared as he kicked its flanks. “Charge! Kill all in your way! Protect the Daimyo!” He wasn’t really one for words, but they needed no further encouragement, the Takeda men bounded forward, their legs muscled by countless hours marching and in the saddle, they seemed to run upon the wind. He charged forward with them, his own retainers, Oda men, two of them, kept their pace, instead of behind him they charged alongside him. It is their Daimyo who is in danger, and Nobuyuki as well. he roared. I will not let them die in such a cold fashion!


    He looked towards the white tent, the outside was now splattered with blood, he watched as the blades of the Kiso soldiers rose and fell, butchering Oda men that fought desperately to save their liege. He snarled, and kicked his heels harder into his horse's flanks. She was panting now, steam rising from her nostrils as she breathed out. Yet Ieyasu pushed his mount harder. I will reach him in time. He passed the Oda men charging, no sound came from them anymore, they conserved all their strength for rushing towards their Daimyo’s aid.


    Himichiro’s horsemen thundered, like roaring lions the sound of them c=drowned out the furious bellows of the Kiso men and the defeated screams of the Oda. Ieyasu could see Himichiro at the head of the wedge, his blade was drawn, and Ieyasu could see his lips were tightened into a snarl. He is loyal beyond any means. Should Nobunaga survive this he better damn well make amends with Himichiro! He was nearing the battle, if it could truly be called one such. Butchery, more like. He unsheathed his yari and swung it down, the sharpened blade caught a Kiso man in the skull, and struck with such force that the man’s head his body were dragged along with his yari, crashing into another Kiso soldier. He unlodged the yari from the man’s skull and surveyed the scene. Where is Nobunaga? His eyes scavenged the scene, and then he found him. Nobunaga stood like stone, amongst the dying me he stood tall and proud, his blade was lowered, before him a man charged, his blade raised to kill him. No! He bellowed in his mind and leapt into the air, springing from the saddle. He thrust his yari forward, and it collided with the man’s throat, the force of his weight and the sharpness of the Yari sent the steeled head straight through the man’s neck, and forced him into the ground.


    He landed gingerly before Nobunaga, the wind roaring around him as soldiers died. He removed his yari from the man’s head, as one more soldier charged towards him, the man swung and Ieyasu danced backwards, he whirled and his yari lashed out like a viper striking, catching the man in the leg. he pulled backwards and swung again, catching the man in the side of the head, he dropped like a stone onto the ground, and Ieyasu’s yari came away dripping with brain matter.


    “Where is Nobuyuki?” he asked Nobunaga, grabbing him by the shoulders, shaking him. “WHERE IS HE?” Nobunaga pointed, Ieyasu looked, and saw a boy amidst a slaughter. Oda soldiers surrounded him, but they were being surrounded, cut down like animals. Nobuyuki was covered in blood and gore, and yet seemed unperturbed, he just looked up at the soldiers around him. Seemingly oblivious to the fact that they were being butchered defending him. Ieyasu went forward, he struck forward with the yari, and it punctured the chest of a Kiso man battling an Oda retainer. The retainer looked to him, he nodded his head in thanks before he rejoined the fray. He stepped over a mass of bodies, most adorned in yellow and black, a few bore the colours of the Kiso. All were spattered with blood and gore, a few of the soldiers still moaned, asking for help. I’m sorry. He thought, to the Oda soldiers that battled around him. I . . . the world is cruel. He found Nobuyuki, whom grinned when he saw him, It was a morbid sight, the child was covered in bits of brain matter and blood, his face was spotted with gore and blood. Ieyasu resisted the urge not to shiver as he picked Nobuyuki up.


    When he reached Nobunaga again he was still standing in the same position, his face was forlorn and shattered. “I’ve lost, I have failed. My people are going to die.” Nobunaga sank to his knees, tears rolling down his cheeks. “I’m sorry, father, I failed, you, and the Oda clan. I was not worthy of leading us, and yet I did not know. I’m sorry!” he bellowed to the roar of soldiers, to the battle that encircled him, Ieyasu was horrified. He has never been so weak. He placed Nobuyuki onto the clearest patch of grass he could find, and grabbed Nobunaga. “YOu are stronger than this! You are daimyo of the Oda clan! Fight, Nobunaga-sama! Battle onwards Lord of Owari!” Nobunaga’s laugh was cruel and sorrowful, full of mourning and hatred, his eyes were dark and haunted. “Lord of ashes and ruler of bones and corpses! Ha! Let us all feast upon the dead, for that is the only meal I am served, betrayal and failure!” He laughed again, going into fits of laughter. He’s gone mad, the pain he’s suffered, he’s gone insane. There were bellows of soldiers and the sound of steel rasping against steel, he looked up to see Himichiro battle several soldiers,and cut them down with ease, he stepped gingerly over bodies, and cut down Kiso men in his path. “Nobunaga!” he called, Ieyasu could hear the anxiety in his voice. “Daimyo!” His blade was a whirl of red and screams, cutting down soldiers on either side of him. “Over here, Himichiro-sensei.” Nobunaga said dully, exhausted, mad. Ieyasu looked at him, Himichiro looked toward Nobunaga, and for moments worry was etched onto his face. Behind him his cavalry wrecked havoc with the Kiso, outnumbered, tired, and distraught at being surrounded. On their sides the Oda samurai armed with yari struck at them vengeance upon their minds.


    “Nobunaga-san! Look! You are alive! Your men are alive! The battle is not yet won, you must fight onwards.” Nobunaga’s eyes were dark, and shadowed with doubt, worry and sorrow. He looked pitiful for a moment, but then his face set into the stone. “Yoshiyasu is responsible for this.” He was still on his knees, but I could see his head move, inspecting the soldiers that had died, his butchered men, slaughtered. He heaved himself up, and pointed towards the tent. “I’m going to kill him.” he spoke this so simply, so without remorse and regret that Ieyasu shivered. Nobunaga picked up a katana upon the ground and strode towards the tent, fury in his steps.


    The Kiso will pay a dear toll for this. Ieyasu mused, Nobunaga was not a forgiving man by nature. The Tiger has claws, the Dragon has fire, and the Wolf has fangs.



    ***

    Nobunaga

    My head throbbed, my hands ached and I was caked in blood, whether it was my own, that of my men, or the bloody Kiso’s I did not know.
    I hope it is the Kiso’s, I hope each and every one of those bastards dines in hell. I entered the tent, from the inside you could see the shadows where blood had soaked the outside. A few men remained beside Kiso Yoshiyasu, Daimyo of the Kiso clan and lord of South Shinano province. He looked surprised to see me. “How . . how are you alive?” I gave him my best smile. “You called me a wolf, caged, cornered, you said I fight because, well, there was no other option. But tell me, Yoshiyasu, when is an animal most dangerous? Certainly not when it is being chased in the woods, hunted, but when it is cornered, and when it has no other option but to fight or die.” I flicked the blade, Ieyasu and Himichiro entered behind me, and behind them came the last of my retainers. Yoshiyasu rose from his seat, his face pale and petrified. “Kill his men, bring him alive.” I spoke softly. I want to see him writhe, to plead and beg.


    I watched Himichiro lunge forward, his blade was a flash and whir, and the Kiso men fell before him. One man charged at him, sword raised, Himichiro answered by shoving blade into the man’s stomach, and kicking his legs out from beneath him. The second man went forward and did a few strikes, all of which Himichiro blocked with ease, before slamming the hilt of his katana into the man’s temple,and running his blade across the man’s throat. The third man charged at Himichiro, bellowing and wailing. Himichiro cut through his hands, and then shoved his blade into the man’s thigh, before bringing it out and shoving it through his rib cage. He flicked some blood off his blade and turned towards Yoshiyasu.


    Ieyasu’s own flurry of attacks was just as great, sweeping forwards the shaft of his yari intercepted an attack from one of the soldiers, while the point of his yari penetrated the belly of a second. After this he flicked his yari up, bashing the first man in the head, and bringing his yari down, cracking the man across the knee with the shaft, before ramming the head of the yari through the man’s gorget and into his throat. The third man dropped his weapon and begged for his life, Ieyasu didn’t grant him that wish, but gave him a quick death, turning towards Yoshiyasu he placed the tip of his yari against the man’s chest.


    Yoshiyasu whimpered pathetically. But then he sighed. “If I must die then I will die with dignity, and honour.” I dropped the blade, and ran towards him, leaping over the table and with a crash my fist smacked into his head. “ How dare you speak of honour, you coward! After what you’ve done! After the soldiers you murdered at a parlay!” I roared at him, and grabbed him by the throat, shoving him to the tent flaps, he fell to the ground, I kicked him in the chest and he gasped, grasping for air. Then he smiled. “yes, I suppose saying with honour is a far stretch.” His smile curdled when my boot met his face. The two had an intimate connection, and blood splayed from his nose, cracked and broken as it was. You dishonourable coward, liar, bastard. I will burn your province, and butcher your people so that not even the crows will feast on their corpses! I dragged him from the tent, and looking forward I saw his army, his soldiers tried to form up, but the eight hundred men Himichiro had sent forward had crashed into their unformed left flank, and havoc had ensued, though their centre seemed firm enough.


    “Himichiro-sensei.” I smiled towards him. “Send a messenger, tell the cavalry to pull back to the forest. I have an idea.” He nodded, and a man was sent. I turned back to the encampment, soldiers were pointing towards their lord. I kicked him once more. “Kneel coward, face you death with what little dignity that remains to you.” Yoshiyasu did as bid, face bloodied and broken. One of my retainers came towards me, drawing his katana, willing to do the deed himself. But I raised my hand. “No.” I spoke softly, calmly, but inside a tempest raged. “it is my fault that this tragedy has befallen us, and I will deal with his execution personally.” The man handed me his katana, and I took it dutifully. The Daimyo of the Kiso, and the ruler of South Shinano looked towards me. His eyes held no remorse, no regret for his actions. “The Wolf of Owari.” He whispered soft as winter’s kiss, before bowing his head once more. I raised the katana, I brought the blade down with all my might. But whether the god’s were mocking me, or I unconsciously wished to cause him pain my blade missed his neck, and dug into his back. Yoshiyasu screamed, I raised my blade again, and brought it down fiercely, this time the blade cut at his neck, but it didn’t go straight through. It took me another two swings to get his head fully off. After it was finished I was bloodied and exhausted. I cannot rest, i have a battle to win, and then a war. That brought a smile to my face, though I could not say why. I am a child playing at war, and like a child, I am a sore loser.


    I turned back towards the retainers that still lived. Six, six of my own guard remain. I sighed. “Take my brother to the rear of the battle, take the Samurai from Owari as well. Keep Nobuyuki safe.” The retainers bowed and ran off, to go get Nobuyuki and guard him. Nobuyuki . . . I am sorry for what you witnessed. But I knew I would have to deal with that later, for now I must fight. “Himichiro, send another messenger to the cavalry. Tell them to maneuver through the forests to the rear of the Kiso lines. tell them to be discreet, I do not want the Kiso getting wind of our plan. Without their Daimyo they will lack a proper command structure, and will undoubtedly be squabbling amongst themselves at this moment who should lead. Tell the cavalry to wait for my mark to engage the Kiso.” Himichiro nodded, I turned towards Ieyasu. “Place all units armed with yari to be on the flanks, i want our enemies funnelled towards the centre, to where our units armed with blades meet. Have our soldiers advance under cover of archer fire.” I looked around me. “Someone bring me a horse. Himichiro, you and your two hundred cavalry will accompany me, no man bearing the Kiso armour will escape this day.” A horse was brought to me, a bay horse. I mounted swiftly, and Himichiro did likewise. Ieyasu moved off to fight with the infantry and to see the orders I had given to be done.


    Our soldiers advanced swiftly, our archers exchanged fire, but the Kiso archers were few, and mine were numerous, before long arrows only flew from my own men. The Kiso flanks were then targeted, to bunch them together. The samurai and Ashigaru advanced slowly, Ieyasu would not wish for them exhausted when they reached the battle. The sun was setting on the horizon, and it sparkled off the armour of my soldiers. My soldiers, mine.


    I rode to the flanks of the Kiso, riding behind them, the infantry collided, and the men armed with yari began encircling the Kiso soldiers, pushing them to the centre, funnelling them. I watched as Takeda men cut down Kiso soldiers, I watched as spear walls clashed and men died and screamed. I was correct in my assumption that their command structure was disorganised without their Daimyo. The Kiso men called out orders to one another, some obeyed and others did not. Now, now is the time. I grabbed the warhorn and blew. Turning to look at the forest as I did so I saw eight hundred mounted men charge from the trees. A few Kiso men turned, yelled and tried to run, but were caught by the wave of black and red.


    I beamed madly as the Kiso men screamed. Vengeance! Bastards! This is vengeance! The Takeda men bellowed and roared, slicing and cutting at the Kiso men. Now you know what it is like to be surrounded, to be afraid,and to fear. Now you know what it is like!


    Kiso banners had flown everywhere, and now that banner, only hours ago proud and strong, was trampled into the ground, being trodden on by man and horse alike, and soiled by the blood of its own soldiers. Die! You cowards! A small group of Kiso men managed to battle their way out of the encirclement, I saw them run towards the forest. Kicking my stirrups into the bay’s ribs I charged after them, and the sound of hooves tearing at the ground behind me soon followed. The group of Kiso men looked up at me, a few screamed, two dropped to the ground and pled for their lives, and the rest ran. Those that were on the ground were killed by horses rushing over them, those that fled had blades in their head. I cut at one man, and got his ear. He screamed, but continued to try and run, yet my horse was swifter. I laughed then. Yes, run coward! Die like the dog you are! I turned my horse and the man crashed into the bay, she reared, as I knew she would, and my blade came down with a sickening swish. When I looked at the man the top half of his head was missing, his eyes rolled to the back of his head and he slumped to the ground.


    I panted, exhausted, yet I had taken little part in the fighting. God damn Yoshiyasu. My mind wandered to Nobuyuki. I’m sorry, brother. I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you, I swore to, and I failed. A cheer went up from the Takeda men, and the men dispersed, cheering amongst themselves. “There will be no looting.” I tried to call to them, but my words were stuck in my throat. What honour do the Kiso deserve? I knew it wouldn’t have done any good, the common men were already taking things of value from the dead Kiso samurai. I suppose it is there right, for they survived the battle.


    Sighing I turned to see Himichiro staring at me. “We still have to attack the city.” He stated, face ecstatic. Does battle make you joyful, my friend? “More death, more destruction and more sorrow. War is cruel and it will take a cruel man to survive it.” I murmured, mostly to myself. Himichiro did not reply, but I had not expected him to. “Order the soldiers to make camp, we march for the city at daybreak. I want to catch them unawares.” Himichiro noded and rode off. I dismissed the rest of the cavalry, and found myself alone in a forest.


    A few of the trees had blood and gore spattered upon their dark trunks, one man was face down in the ground, his life-blood welling in a pool around him, it was crimson and brown, having mixed with the mud. The men that had been trampled lay on the ground bloated and distorted, their bones having being broken to having shattered by the powerful hooves of the Takeda men. I cut down fleeing men, surrendering men. The realisation came to me with anger. “I am as tyrannical as Yoshimoto!” I bellowed to the trees, bellowed to the dead. My hands clenched. “I cannot . . . I cannot be like him.” I closed my eyes, shivering. “Aniki!” a voice called, distant, far away. “Nobunaga!” Another spoke softly. he saw a woman’s face before his eyes, black of hair, brown of eyes, she was young, but not much more so than he. A smile was lit upon her lips. “The father of my children.” She whispered softly to him. “The Wolf of Owari . . .” he heard Nobuyuki calling him, louder this time, more forceful.


    “Aniki!” A voice bellowed in my ear, and I woke with a start. Looking around it was dark, fires lit the camp. “HImichiro had the Takeda cavalry and Oda men searching for you. We had no idea where you had gone! Why are you out here, aniki?” NObuyuki’s voice was solemn, grave, and curious. Tears rolled down my cheeks, unbidden, I could not stop them. He was eight! A child! He should not have seen what he saw. I didn’t know how to answer Nobuyuki. I am feeling remorse for those I murdered. Yet he knew Nobuyuki wouldn’t understand that. Perhaps Himichiro will, it is past time I make amends for my words. Wordlessly I rode towards my brother, his dark eyes lit up like pools, I nodded towards him, and rode back to camp, silent and sullen. Nobuyuki followed behind, asking questions as he went.When we reached the outskirts of the camp a cheer went up. “Oda! Oda! Oda!” The Takeda men called. “Victory!” A few bellowed. “Nobunaga-sama!” More shouted. My men, my soldiers. We have fought and won, victory is ours. “The first of many.” I whispered, riding through the shouts of acclaim and bellows of pride I found my command tent. I turned to Nobuyuki. “You will have you own tent, I assume. Go, find, and get some rest.” I spoke coldly, though I had not intended it as such. Nobuyuki looked at me, sorrow in his eyes. “Have I done something wrong, aniki?” He whispered, a forlorn tone to his voice. No, dearest Nobuyuki. It is I whom have done wrong, it is I who have failed. But I did not reply, and dismounted, striding towards the tent. Oda men stood outside, the two men nodded acknowledgement to me. I turned back to Nobuyuki and spoke to one of them. “MAke certain Nobuyuki reaches his tent alright. Place a guard on him if one is not already, he is just as valuable as I.” The man nodded, and walked off towards my brother, grabbing him by the shoulder. Nobuyuki looked at me pleadingly. “What have I done?” He yelled at me, fiercely, and yet tears welled in his eyes. I sighed, and strode into the tent. I will keep you safe, brother, whether that means keeping you away from me or not does not matter. You must live.


    Ieyasu and Himichiro stood around a map, pondering silently. Himichiro looked to my entry, he stepped away from the map. His eyes locked with mine, I didn’t smile, nor did I nod. “Has word been sent to Kai to inform Shingen and Nobushige of our victory?” Ieyasu was the one that answered, speaking briskly and with some heat in his voice. “Not of yet, we’ve won this battle, but not yet taken the city.” he and Himichiro exchanged a glance. “Nobunaga-san, may I ask. What do you intend to do with the city?”


    I smiled now. “What does one do to those that threatened his family?” Ieyasu remained silent, but Himichiro’s eyes widened. “Nobunaga-sama, you can’t! - “


    “You burn their homes to the ground, you strip away their woman, and you scourge their land. The Kiso will have nothing left when I take that city of theirs..” Himichiro protested but I raised a hand. “Do not speak to me of this matter again, Himichiro-sensei, please. But, there is one that I wish to speak to you of. Ieyasu-san, leave us.” My friend looked at me, incredulously, his eyes were cold and brittle as stone when they met mine. For moments I believed he would not do as I had ordered, but then he nodded, and strode out of the tent. I turned back to Himichiro, his face was grave, and his mouth jerked. “Nobunaga . . .” he spoke softly, but the gaze I turned on him could have wilted winter, he stopped speaking.


    I am turning friends against me, and striking at my allies, rather than my foes. South Shinano belongs to the Takeda, or so I swore. But, should I forswear that oath, take Kiso for myself and burn it, then who is to say they are not within their rights to betray me, and sell me to the Imagawa? “Himichiro-sensei.” I began, trying to muster a warm tone. “I felt remorse, for the Kiso. I felt . . vile, cutting down fleeing men.” I had seen the horrors, looked upon their sights of death and destruction, seen the bodies of the Kiso men. I had seen the mutilated corpses, some bloated and blue, others torn apart, as if an animal had mauled them. My doing, on my orders they were butchered. “Even after all they did to me, men that have surrendered do not deserve to die. When a foe is armed he is a threat, but on his knees, begging for his life. Can we truly write his murder down as an act of the battle? They threw down their swords and we trampled them!” A fury entered my tone. How can I be so cruel? Gods, but I must be cruel. Or must I? Can a strong man be just and benevolent? What path to I take? What road do I endure a journey upon?


    “Men die in battle, Nobunaga-sama.” Himichiro replied, softer than before, a kind look had entered his eyes now. Something I had not seen for a long while. “SHould the fates will it I will die defending you and yours. Protecting those that I swore to, I will die with honour. All men die, all women too, those that are children will grow up, and die. Their children will grow up, get married, have children of their own, and die. The world ends in death, and that is the way of it. Do not mourn their loss, but use that remorse for the coming trials you must face, remember how you felt. Remember your sorrow, so that you may show kindness and mercy to men, when others may have shown the blade and tyranny.” Himichiro bowed his head. “It is late, Nobunaga-sama.” Indeed it was, looking from the tent I could see that most soldiers had retired to their tents, and only a few fire remained. “Do I have leave to return to my tent?” I nodded towards him to go. I looked to my own bed, teh own coverlets. I was too exhausted to get out of my armour, and so I lay down in it, feeling clunky, and heavy and old. Remember your sorrow so that you may show kindness and mercy. I smiled, and then sighed, remembering my words.


    You burn their homes to the ground.









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  17. #77

    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Ten Updated 25/11/2014

    Thrilling chapter, really edge of your seat stuff. I loved the fight descriptions, it's really a strong point in your writing. I was a bit confused though with Nobunaga's intentions. He questions why they butchered the Kiso men but still wants to burn the towns to the ground and kill innocents. Just a bit odd

  18. #78
    Tigellinus's Avatar Citizen
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Ten Updated 25/11/2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Merchant of Venice View Post
    Thrilling chapter, really edge of your seat stuff. I loved the fight descriptions, it's really a strong point in your writing. I was a bit confused though with Nobunaga's intentions. He questions why they butchered the Kiso men but still wants to burn the towns to the ground and kill innocents. Just a bit odd
    I know, which is why it will be explained next chapter! Well, that particular oddity will be sorted out, at least!

    Thank you! I take a personal pleasure in being complimented

    WSIT. Hey, Merchant, do you have any suggestions/opinions on Ieyasu? Anything you think I should add to make him a more diverse/interesting character?

    If anyone else has any suggestions they are welcomed!

    Thanks, Merchant!

    Tigellinus
    Last edited by Tigellinus; November 25, 2014 at 03:01 AM.




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  19. #79

    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Ten Updated 25/11/2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigellinus View Post
    I know, which is why it will be explained next chapter! Well, that particular oddity will be sorted out, at least!

    Thank you! I take a personal pleasure in being complimented

    WSIT. Hey, Merchant, do you have any suggestions/opinions on Ieyasu? Anything you think I should add to make him a more diverse/interesting character?

    If anyone else has any suggestions they are welcomed!

    Thanks, Merchant!

    Tigellinus
    Well, I do really like Ieyasu but I feel there are some good opportunities to further his development. He is currently missing a love interest so you could add one or explore why he doesn't have one. Also, it would be interesting to see if someone came in-between Ieyasu and Nobunaga maybe a combined love interest?

    They're just some things of the top of my head, if you want more Ill definitely try and think of some more.

  20. #80
    Tigellinus's Avatar Citizen
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    Default Re: In the Light of Dusk - Chapter Ten Updated 25/11/2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Merchant of Venice View Post
    Well, I do really like Ieyasu but I feel there are some good opportunities to further his development. He is currently missing a love interest so you could add one or explore why he doesn't have one. Also, it would be interesting to see if someone came in-between Ieyasu and Nobunaga maybe a combined love interest?

    They're just some things of the top of my head, if you want more Ill definitely try and think of some more.
    Hmm! Not a bad idea, I already have the ideas for Nobunaga's and Nobuyuki's love interests, or at least wives, yet Ieyasu I have not thought of!

    If you come up with anymore, feel free to share them!

    Thanks

    Tigellinus




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