Shinsengumi Mokuhiroku Wasurenagusa Volume 1 – Hajime Saito
CV – Takahashi Naozumi
It was the first year of the Genji era  and I intently wielded my sword in the name of the Shinsengumi. The titles of the captain of the third troop and fencing master are my reasons for living. Those titles are something absolute and unique given to me by the Shinsengumi.
There were times when I had to fight my former comrades in order to purge them, but I was able to fulfil that duty without hesitation because of my loyalty to the Shinsengumi. It was possible because I’ve decided to devote my soul to the Shinsengumi. The drops of blood falling from my blade strengthen my will even further. And that day, the fifth of June, the Ikedaya incident  took place.
I was assigned to the troop led by Hijikata-san and we patrolled the footpaths leading away from Yasaka Shrine .
Tch. I can’t believe our prediction was wrong. No matter how powerful Kondo-san and Okita-san are, we’re still at a great disadvantage. I don’t think they’ll die that easily, but if I waste my time here, they might take all the glory. I’ll go back right away and assist them.
Hijikata-san dealt with the situation, while I headed towards the Ikedaya with the rest of my comrades.
Hey, woman. What are you doing there?
What? Your parents were killed by rebel samurai who came from the Ikedaya?
Damn it. Those damned rebel samurai. I can’t believe they involved some innocent townspeople!
Were you the ones who just killed some innocent people?
Tell me your names!
You don’t even have names to speak of?
You should be ashamed!
So that’s the last of them?
Hey, woman. Can you stand up?
You can’t stand up at all. You seem to be badly hurt.
I suppose I don’t have a choice.
Hey, you over there. Carry this woman to the headquarters. She seems to be hurt. Please tend to her injuries too.
This kind of violence has been possible because we didn’t deal with the remnants. We’re partly responsible for this. I’ll leave the rest to you. I’m going to follow Hijikata-san to the Ikedaya. Here I go!
 Genji era – An era which began on February 1st, 1864.
 Ikedaya incident – A raid launched by the Shinsengumi against rebels who opposed the Shinsengumi.
 Yasaka Shrine – A Shinto shrine in the Gion district of Kyoto.
Ah, you’re the woman from the other day.
How is your injury?
I see. Come to think of it, you became our cook after that.
No, you don’t need to thank me. Dealing with those remnants is my duty. I only did what was expected of me.
Anyway, take care of yourself. You’ll be in trouble if you don’t take a sword injury seriously.
Hmm? What is it? Do you want something else from me? If you do, then make it quick. I’m about to go and do some training.
Hey. Why are you looking away?
Never mind. If you’ve got nothing to say, then I’m leaving.
Hmm? So you want something after all? I won’t understand anything if all you do is bite your lip and look away.
Tch. What an annoying woman. I’m telling you to talk if you want something. Won’t you hurry up?
You’re not going to say anything? How annoying. This is a waste of time. I’m going now. Don’t approach me again unless you want something.
Hmm? Who’s there? Come out here!
You’re not coming? I’ll come over there, but I’ll kill you before I even get a chance to look at your face. Is that still alright?
If you value your life, then come out here by yourself. I might hear you out, depending on the situation. Come on, come out here!
What are you doing here at this time?
Your suspicious movements are drawing attention to yourself. What do you want? Answer me.
So you really can’t answer? It can’t be…are you a spy for the Choshu ? You know what might happen, depending on your reply, don’t you?
Hmph. You don’t seem to be a spy.
Why do you look surprised?
You’re asking me how I knew that? If you’re a spy, then why are your legs trembling? You’re afraid to die here, aren’t you? No spy in this world would fear death.
Honestly. If you don’t want to create unnecessary suspicion, then leave immediately.
Why are you staring at my sword? Are you interested in it? Your family were killed by a sword. You yourself might be killed by one someday.
Hmph. You’re trembling even more now. You’re such a simple woman to understand.
This is a sacred place where training is carried out. It’s unacceptable for a servant woman to be here. Leave immediately if you don’t want your blood to be spilled!
She’s gone, has she? What on earth was that about? What a confusing woman.
You seem to be distracted by something, woman.
Hmm? Don’t be so surprised. Even I call out to other people sometimes. Especially when that person is doing something suspicious.
Don’t be so scared. I can see you’re doing your job as a servant.
You look thinner than you were the first time we met. Is living here that difficult?
Well, it probably is. Looking after all these untidy men must be hard work. And there’s what happened to you to consider too. Don’t you feel tired mentally as well as physically?
We Shinsengumi have finally been acknowledged by the shogunate and are trying to change a little from the inside. It’s really unlucky that you came at this time.
Just give up. You could have ended up in Shimabara , but you’ve found this job as a servant.
Look up. I didn’t call out to you to blame you.
Ah, I heard the other soldiers saying that the tea you make tastes good. Don’t be discouraged.
You look quite relieved now. You’re such a simple woman. Unfortunately, I haven’t tried the tea you make. I don’t know whether it really tastes good or not.
You’ll make tea for me sometime? I wasn’t really asking you to do that.
Anyway, there’s something I’ve got to tell you. Your parents won’t be coming back, but if you’ve got somewhere you can go, then you don’t need to stay here.
I see. Then work hard at fulfilling your duty here. Everyone will allow you to stay here if you do.
Hmm? There’s no reason for you to be thankful. You’re so strange.
Well then, I’ll be leaving.
Ah, right. Has your injury from that sword healed now?
I see. That’s good. Sometimes, when an inexperienced person underestimates those things, it turns out to be fatal. I wouldn’t feel right if a woman I saved once died for that kind of reason.
Well then, do your work properly.
Alright. That’s enough for today.
I know you’re hiding over there again. Come out here.
So it really is you. You’re so persistent. Listen up. Where you go and what you do is none of my business, but to be honest, you’re annoying me.
If you want to say something, say it.
Ah, you always keep quiet whenever I ask that. I won’t let you leave until you tell me what it is. How about that? Come on, say it!
Hmm? You want to see me wield my sword? I was wondering why you’ve been following me around recently. So that’s the reason.
I refuse. Sword skills aren’t for show.
You’re annoying me even more. I would have killed you if this had been a battlefield. Leave if you don’t want to get killed!
What’s the matter? Why’d you move all of a sudden? Do you think I’m going to overlook you forever? You’re very mistaken.
Listen up. It’s true that I saved you that day, but what happens to you from now on is nothing to do with me. That is something you should choose. Whether you die by the roadside or become rust on a blade now is nothing to do with me. Remember this.
You’re still not going to move? Hmph. It seems that you’ve got a reason to be that strong-willed.
What did you say? You want me to teach you how to use a sword?
Can you hold a sword with such frail arms? I think you have enough trouble even picking up a broom.
Why are you frowning like that? Are you angry? Well, no matter how angry you are now, you’re no match for me. Why would a woman need to carry a sword anyway?
Ah, I understand. Are you planning on getting revenge for your parents’ deaths? You hate the Choshu who killed your parents, don’t you?
I see. It seems that I’m right. Your parents were killed in front of you, and your mind was overcome by revenge. How pathetic. I really won’t be able to teach you how to fight with a sword after all.
You’re asking me why? That’s because, no matter how determined you are now, you’re the type who’ll hesitate when it comes to taking the life of your enemy.
I can tell just by looking. You’re not the type who’d take someone else’s life, but the type who’d get killed. The desire for revenge will put your life in danger too. You’ll probably die in vain. It might be more compassionate for me to kill you now.
You’re still not going to move? You’re a really stubborn woman. I can’t be bothered to make you leave anymore. Fine, I’m going to observe how determined you are.
It’s too soon for you to be happy. There’s a condition. Instead of teaching you how to kill, I’m going to teach you how to survive.
You don’t seem to be happy about that. But that’s all I’m going to do. If you’re not happy about that, then give up.
You want to know why I’m going to teach you that? I saved your life, so now your life belongs to me. What do you have to say to that?
Hmph. You seem to agree with me. In that case, hold onto this sword.
Hmm? You’re asking me not to hold back just because you’re a woman? I never had that intention. It seems that you’ve underestimated me.
Listen up. Now that you’re going to be learning from me, there’s no way for you to escape. I won’t forgive you, you matter how much you cry or shout.
I’m surprised you haven’t decided to run away now. You seem to be quite courageous. I’ve accepted that you’re prepared for this.
Oh? You’re already out of breath. You don’t even have the energy to complain anymore. At this rate, you won’t be able to do any training and my time will be wasted.
It’s as if you’re not putting any effort into it. I get bored watching you. You’re nothing but a weak woman after all.
Don’t glare at me like that. You’re still inexperienced. At this rate, you definitely won’t survive this difficult era. You won’t be able to protect anyone else, never mind yourself. All you’re capable of is dying in an unsightly manner. If you’re going to reject that fate, then follow me persistently! Don’t make me bored. I don’t have the time to accompany someone without any spirit.
What if you were attacked by an enemy now? You’d be helpless.
What’s the matter? Can’t you move anymore? You’ve got no discipline!
Why are you looking at me like that? Have you got something to say?
Hah. This is why women are annoying. They cry too easily and they’re weak. But you’re doing this to be able to protect yourself, aren’t you? Isn’t that true? Get up if that’s true! Get up when you’ve fallen and feel as if you’re unable to stand!
That’s right. Pick up the sword. Focus on the enemy in front of you and swing the sword!
That woman really is strong-willed.
 Choshu – A clan that was an enemy of the shogunate and the Shinsengumi.
 Shimabara – A district in Kyoto that was designated a courtesans’ district in 1640.
Hey! Hey, you!
Hey! Hey, you!
You’ve finally woken up? I’m surprised you had the courage to fall asleep during the day. You’ve got to be pretty skilful to sleep standing up too.
You want to know how long I’ve been here? I’ve been calling your name for a while now, but it seems that you really didn’t notice. This is completely ridiculous! Are you trying to ruin the Shinsengumi name?
Hah. It’s irresponsible of you to be unable to do your job as a servant. If you’ve got an excuse, I’ll hear you out. Well?
It seems you haven’t got one.
Hmm. I see. I’m glad you aren’t using your training as an excuse. But that doesn’t change your clumsiness. You won’t get any more training until you do your job as a servant properly. Understand?
I wondered who was here, and it’s you. What are you doing here so late at night alone? I told you there’d be no training today.
You wanted to swing your sword around to take your mind off things? I see. Do you think about that day when it’s late at night and quiet like this?
Alright, I’ll accompany you. I just happen to be feeling awake.
You really are unlucky. You could have been a happy woman and not ended up here, if you didn’t live in this era. Do you regret being born in this era?
I see. You’re right. Regretting it won’t change a thing. You’re trying to face your fate without complaining, aren’t you? I usually think that your earnest ways are a little strange, but now I can understand. Now I understand, I want to train you even more. Come on, come over here.
Stay still. Concentrate on what I’m saying. What happened to all the energy you had earlier? You got discouraged all of a sudden. Stand up straight.
That’s right. For starters, you’re holding that sword the wrong way. This is how you do it. Your hands really are small. They seem like they might break if you exert any effort. Don’t forget this position, not even when you’re in front of an enemy. Well, keep swinging your sword until you’re satisfied tonight.
Hmm? You’re finally awake, are you? What is it? Don’t get up so suddenly! I’m the one who’s surprised!
You want to know why you were sleeping in the dojo? Are you telling me you don’t remember? You probably meant to take just a short break last night, but you ended up sleeping quite soundly. You didn’t wake up, no matter how many times I called your name, so I waited for you to wake up. I think you’re the only woman who can make me wait like this.
Nothing will change if you apologise now.
I couldn’t help looking at your face while you were sleeping though. You had quite a silly look on your face.
Don’t get so angry, it’s your fault for falling asleep. Well, your tiredness has probably been building up recently. Get a good rest in your room tonight.
Now that you’re finally awake, I’m going back to my room. You should go back to yours too. Or will you come to my room?
It was a joke. There’s no need to blush. We wouldn’t be able to stay here if you came to my room.
Hey. So this is where you were. I’ve been looking for you.
You want to know why I’m here? Well… Hijikata-san complimented your hard work recently. You should be honoured. That’s what I came to tell you. That man is feared like a demon, and it’s unusual for him to praise anyone, let alone a woman. You made a slight mistake the other day, but now you seem to have recovered. You’re doing well.
Hmm? Why are you looking at me like that? Are you surprised by what I said? I didn’t say it for your sake. I just came to give you a message from Hijikata-san. It’s no good for you to misunderstand. Never mind. Let’s stop talking about this.
There’s a message from Kondo-san too. I don’t understand it at all. I wish that it hadn’t been from him. Listen up.
Why do I have to take you outside? Something must be wrong with Kondo-san. Why do I have to take you out for a break just because you’re doing well at your work?
I know I did save you that day… But still…
Hey, you! Where are you going? Don’t go off and do things by yourself. Keep quiet and walk behind me.
Don’t get upset at every little thing! You’re so difficult to deal with.
Fine. Do what you want.
So you want to eat those dango?
I see. Unfortunately, I’m not interested.
Alright, choose what you want. I don’t want anything.
You’re telling me to have some too? I said I don’t want any! You’re such a persistent woman.
It’s difficult for you to eat them all by yourself? You’re annoyingly persistent! Alright, I’ll do as you say.
Which ones do you want? Hmm? You’re going to eat that many?
No, it’s alright. Choose the ones you want.
You really do eat a lot. Here. Eat mine too. Don’t be shy.
She really ate them.
Hey. I know you’re eating, but you’re spilling food around your mouth.
Come on, look this way. Are you a child? You’re completely different from the first time we met.
But you probably haven’t been able to relax because you’ve been training and working every day.
You haven’t been doing that much? Don’t pretend. Everyone knows you’re working really hard. People would know, even if you tried to hide it. Don’t act so tough. You don’t have to worry, you’ll get used to things as time goes by. But that doesn’t matter right now. Come on, have some more. Eat up. Eat up and get strong!
Hmm? What is it? Is there something you’re interested in?
There isn’t? Then why did you stop just now? You must have stopped because you were looking at something. Tell me what it was! I don’t like annoyances.
Hair pins? You’re interested in that shop? I don’t really understand women. I don’t think hairpins are beautiful, but you can look at them if you want.
Don’t be shy. Kondo-san ordered me to accompany you while you go out and relax. I’m just following orders. I’ll be waiting here. You do whatever you want.
What? You’re asking me which one of those is better? It doesn’t matter which one! Just pick the one you like. It’s got nothing to do with me.
I can’t say something like that. Hmm…to be honest, I can’t tell the difference between either of the things you’re holding.
What’s so strange about that? Hairpins aren’t made for men to look at! It’s got nothing to do with me which one would look better on you! Neither of them look bad, do they?
Alright…the one on the left. I think the one on the left is better.
Why do I have to do this?
So why are you leaving the shop? Aren’t you going to buy one?
Why are you so surprised? I choose one, so it’s only natural that you buy it. That’s what you were planning on doing, weren’t you?
You were just looking? This is why I don’t understand women. If you want something, then make sure to get it! This is the hairpin you want, isn’t it?
What? You’d like to spend more time looking if you’re actually going to buy something? Just do whatever you like! Don’t worry about me, this is just one of my duties. It’s an important mission given to me by Kondo-san himself. Still…women are so annoying.
What is it? You’ve been looking at your hairpin for a while now. Do you like it that much?
I don’t understand, but it’s fine as long as you’re happy.
Well, do you feel relaxed now?
I see. That’s good. It was worth me going with you today then.
I don’t need your thanks. I’ve told you this several times, but I was just following the orders Kondo-san gave me.
What’s so funny? There’s nothing funny about this, you say? So why did you just laugh?
No, it’s no good pretending.
Never mind. This is just making me seem like a child.
You didn’t smile at all when we first met, but now you’re a strange woman who eats a lot, smiles a lot and is impatient.
This is a good opportunity, there’s something I want to ask you. Do you still want to pick up a sword because of revenge? I understood something when we started training. You’ve always been an honest and pure person. If the events of that night hadn’t happened, you would have been a normal woman who never picked up a sword and you wouldn’t be here.
You can still go back to the way you were before. Even though your parents won’t return, you can live a normal life without having to pick up a sword. I’m sure there’ll be plenty of men who’ll accept you. Well?
You refuse? Hmm, you really are a strong-willed woman. But I think you might understand now. Listen carefully. Revenge creates a chain of misfortune. I carry my sword for the sake of the Shinsengumi, as well as to calm the people and make this a better country. So don’t let your heart be overtaken by revenge. Even though you’ve been through troubled times, your heart is pure.
Why are you looking at me like that? Is it strange for me to talk about things like this?
This is unthinkable! I’m done talking about this!
But there’s one more thing I’ve got to tell you. I was planning on teaching you regularly, but I’ve got to leave the Shinsengumi for a while to go on a mission.
Don’t look at me like that. This kind of thing happens often. It’s nothing for you to worry about.
Hmm? You look as if you’re going to be lonely.
You are…? You say such strange things. Once I go out on a mission, there’s no certainty that I’ll return. But I’m well aware of that. I can’t do anything about it, even if you look at me like that.
Honestly, what is the matter? I went to the trouble of taking you out to relax, but I won’t be able to face Kondo-san if you look at me like that!
Does this make things better? I didn’t think there’d be a day when I held you. Have you calmed down a little?
Why’d you go quiet all of a sudden? You’re so strange.
You’re scared that I’ll disappear too? Don’t worry. There are plenty of people who can replace me. The other men in the Shinsengumi and the other servants.
Are you still worried, even after all I’ve said? Honestly, I don’t understand what you’re thinking. But I’ll stay like this for a while, until you’re satisfied.
I know this isn’t like me, but when I’m like this, I almost can’t believe that I’m killing enemies every night.
I see. So I ended up being the one who was sent out to relax. Kondo-san did something unnecessary again.
No, it’s nothing. Don’t worry about it. Just stay still and let me hold you. As long as I fulfil my mission, I don’t care about throwing away my life. Perhaps I might be looking for somewhere to die. I’m sure that place will be cold, dark and completely disconnected from the warmth I feel from you. I’m teaching you ways to protect yourself. But I use this sword to kill. Someday, I’ll surely accept that sin. But this is the only way for me to live. I know that.
I’m sorry. I talked a little too much. Forget what I just said.
You don’t want to forget it? You say such strange things. But I don’t have a bad feeling about that.
Alright, let’s go back now. I’ve got to report to Kondo-san anyway. There won’t be any training today. Take your time resting.