Shinsengumi Mokuhiroku Wasurenagusa 6 – Yamazaki Susumu
CV – Morikawa Toshiyuki
It was the third year of the Bunkyu era , an era of chaos. I joined the Shinsengumi who were responsible for guarding Kyoto. My job was surveillance and investigation. I always put up a front when I’m on a mission. I suppress my personality in front of others. Regardless of whether this may be an unfortunate thing, I abandoned my true self somewhere long ago. I don’t mind doing that for the sake of the Shinsengumi and Kondo-san, who treats me kindly.
I live my life whilst wearing a mask in front of others. At some point, I decided I would ignore the part of myself that was crying out inside of me.
In the first year of the Genji era , I became aware of the Sonno Joi faction  suspicious movements and began an investigation. I identified the place I previously had my eye on. There we found secret letters to the Choshu  and weapons. We discovered that there was a plan to burn down the imperial palace and kidnap the emperor. From further investigation, we found that the Sonno Joi would hold a meeting to discuss that plan at either the Ikedaya or the Shikokuya.
The evening of June the 5th came. I disguised myself as a medicine seller and infiltrated the Ikedaya beforehand. That was an easy thing to do because of my medical knowledge. When I confirmed that the meeting was taking place at the Ikedaya, I opened the locks and secured a path for Kondo-san and the others to take.
And when Kondo-san called out “Stop what you’re doing!”, the fight began.
So Kondo-san is on the second floor? Then I’ll deal with the men on the first floor!
I won’t let you get any closer to the second floor!
There are still more of them!
Tch! Where on earth do they keep coming from?!
How inconsiderate of you to attack me from behind! It seems that you need to be punished.
How about you attack fairly from the front? Well, I suppose it’s pointless to say anything to someone who’s about to die.
There are three more of you, hmm?
I’ll kill you all.
It’d be impossible for trash like you to beat us Shinsengumi, no matter how many hundreds of years you tried. Well, this is the natural outcome.
The battle at the Ikedaya ended in an overwhelming victory for the Shinsengumi. I felt that it was only natural for us to win. I suppose it was because of my position. I could understand another person’s feelings from their actions and expressions. The masterless samurai who tried to put on a brave face, whilst holding back with a look of fear in their eyes. There was no way the Shinsengumi who fight at the cost of their own lives would lose to cowardly opponents who were taken by surprise and begged for help.
 Bunkyu era – An era which began on February 19, 1861.
 Genji era – An era which began on February 1, 1864.
 Sonno Joi faction – A group who supported restoring power to the emperor and expelling foreigners from Japan.
 Choshu – A clan that was an enemy of the shogunate and the Shinsengumi.
Now that I see you up close, you’ve got quite a bold expression on your face. You seem as if you could be positive, no matter what, I suppose?
Alright, you try your best.
Eh? You’re asking how I know you?
I heard about you from Hijikata-san. He said an unusually energetic maid had joined. You got caught up in the fight at the Ikedaya, and came here because you lost your parents.
Ah. Me? My name is Yamazaki Susumu, I’m responsible for both surveillance and investigation.
You don’t know what kind of work that is? Surveillance means observing the people inside the squad and investigation is observing the rebel soldiers outside the squad. I keep watch over the actions of anyone suspicious and look for information. Of course I’m watching you, who suddenly wanted to become a maid here. Please bear in mind that I can’t guarantee your survival if you do something suspicious within the headquarters.
By the way, isn’t it time for you to be making dinner? Where are you going at this time?
You’re going to rewrap your bandage because your injury hurts? I’ll help you then. There’s no need to be so reluctant. Come here.
This is my room. Of course I could use the medical box in the living room, but I heard that you injured you right arm and shoulder. You wouldn’t want to treat your injury in a place where someone could come in at anytime, would you?
Please take off your kimono, just the top part is fine.
No, you can’t just take out one shoulder. You’ve got to take it off properly. Your kimono mustn’t get dirty.
Why are you hesitating? It must hurt, right? I’ll have a look. Or is there some reason you can’t take off your clothes? If there isn’t, hurry up and take off your kimono.
Your arm seems to be fine. Turn the other way.
Your shoulder… Ah, this doesn’t look good. It was close to becoming infected. I understand that you don’t want to cause trouble for others, but it’s impossible to completely treat an injury in this position by yourself. It’d be a different story if you wanted to die from a sword injury though.
Ah, the scar seems very painful. It looks bright red against your pale skin and it feels a little hot.
What’s the matter? You trembled all of a sudden.
I was just disinfecting it. I think it’d be quite painful if I used disinfectant on this injury.
Is this the first time someone has licked your skin like this? Stay still. This is treatment, you see.
Don’t struggle. Does your injury hurt that much? You can’t struggle when I hold you from behind like this, can you?
Does it hurt? I didn’t intend for it to hurt that much.
Or does it feel good?
Don’t get so angry. I was just teasing you a little.
This should be enough. I’m going to put on the medicine and wrap the bandage. You got this injury because we’re responsible for letting the remaining soldiers escape. So I’ll take care of this injury until it’s healed.
You don’t want me to keep doing that kind of treatment? Drastic methods are necessary for an injury to heal quickly. Even if that way is embarrassing to you.
Alright, I’m finished. This should be fine for now. You can put your kimono back on. Please tell me if your injury hurts again.
Eh? You want to know how I can do this? I’ve got some medical knowledge. I wouldn’t call myself a doctor, but I can do this kind of treatment. There are lots of soldiers in the Shinsengumi who get injured, so someone like me is necessary here.
Alright, you can go back now.
You’re thanking me? This is my job, so don’t worry about it. Anyway, it’s more important that you hurry back. The others will be worried if you come back late.
I don’t know about energetic, but she’s a strange woman. To tell the truth, I suspected she was hiding something, but there was nothing when I got her to take off her kimono. I shouldn’t let my guard down though. I suppose I’ll observe her a little longer.
Ah, it’s you.
It’s my day off, so I’m calmly enjoying the garden scenery. Are you used to living at the headquarters now?
I see. I’m glad.
By the way, did Hijikata-san tell you about the Shinsengumi regulations? There are strict rules in the Shinsengumi. The people who disobey them willingly cut open their own stomachs. You’re a member of the Shinsengumi too. Make sure to obey the regulations. If you don’t, you’ll be throwing away your life that was saved.
You don’t have to look so worried. You don’t seem to be the type of person who’d break the rules and throw away your life.
How can I say that? You remember what my job is, don’t you?
That’s right, surveillance. I’ve been observing you everyday since you started working as a maid. I’ve investigated almost everything.
You’re the daughter from a small restaurant that was two doors away from the Ikedaya. You don’t have any siblings, your family was just you and your parents. Sometime later, your parents were killed by a wandering samurai.
You also like animals. You probably thought Hijikata-san would be angry if he found out, didn’t you? I’ve seen you secretly giving food to birds and cats several times. There are lots of hungry stray cats near the headquarters. They probably remembered your face when you gave them food. When you see the cats, you hurry to prepare food, then leave it near the cats and quickly leave. Now that you’re hearing this, you’re surprised that I saw you. Well, of course you are. You shouldn’t have been seen by anyone, but you were.
Eh? Is there anything else I know about you?
Right… If I had to say something, it’d be that you have a habit of blinking twice when you’re surprised.
Didn’t you notice?
See, you did it again.
That’s strange. Aren’t you afraid of me?
Why? You should be scared or disgusted that someone was watching you without your knowledge.
Eh? You think I’m amazing? You’re surprised that I observe my surroundings carefully and remember them.
What are you talking about? Goodness, you really are a strange person. You seem to have the most unusual opinion I’ve heard so far.
You want me to tell you another habit you haven’t noticed?
Ah, I’m sorry. I did something strange all of a sudden. There aren’t many people who approach me to talk with a brilliant look in their eyes. That’s because it doesn’t feel right when someone is always watching you. Everyone has one or two secrets they don’t want others to know about. Investigating those and reporting them is my job.
Right. I’ll tell you something good. There’s a small mountain not far from these headquarters. There are lots of birds and animals that used to being around humans there. I think you’d enjoy it if you went when you have time.
You don’t have to thank me. It’s been a long time since I gave someone information that honestly pleased them.
No, it’s nothing. I was just talking to myself.
I’ll have a look at your injury tonight. It seems to have almost healed, so it’ll just be a check up. Please come to my room.
What’s the matter with me? I was laughing together with someone else. When I’m with her, I feel unable to understand myself. But strangely enough, it’s not a bad feeling.
Sit here. Does your injury still hurt?
Come on, take off your kimono.
There’s no need to be embarrassed.
It looks much better. It’s healed well. The scar should soon fade. It would have been unfortunate if a sword injury scarred your beautiful skin, so I’m relieved.
Your skin really is pale. A beautiful body without a single blemish.
Hmm? Why am I licking your wound when it’s already healed?
I’m doing it to make your scar fade completely.
You’re trembling. Are you cold?
It seems that you trust me a little too much. What if looking at your injury was just an excuse for me to touch your body?
Eh? There’s no way I’d do that? How can you say that?
I’m a man, aren’t I?
I wouldn’t necessarily think nothing of you uncovering your skin in the middle of the night.
I can hold both your arms like this and stop you from moving. Why don’t you resist?
I might misunderstand that you don’t resist because you’re interested in me.
You’re alright with this? You believe I’m not the type of person to suddenly force themselves upon you?
It’s said that silence is the same as agreement. You should say you don’t like something if you don’t.
Come on, put your kimono back on. Your injury seems to be fine. There’s no need to show it to me anymore.
Eh? I’m not angry.
But it really has been a long time since I haven’t felt a wall between someone and myself, so I’m happy.
It’ll be cold tonight. Wrap yourself up in your futon and go to sleep. Alright?
Well then, take care. Good night.
It seems that the Joi soldiers are around here. The ones Hijikata-san told me to spy on… Just who on earth are they?
Those guys…! Those two look like they’re doing something suspicious. I think I recognise them from somewhere too.
They escaped from the Ikedaya the other day…! What are they planning this time? I’m going to get a little closer and listen.
Hey! What are you doing here?!
You were asked to do some shopping? I’m on a mission right now! You mustn’t talk to me in the middle of the town!
You didn’t know about that rule?
Damn it! Did they see us?
At this rate, they’re going to find us! Come this way!
Stay still! They’ll find us!
We’re going to pretend to be lovers for now.
They won’t look this way if we do.
Come on, be more serious about this. Don’t struggle.
If they find out who I am, I’ll kill them right now. I’ll kill you too. Do as I say if you value your life. They’ll look this way out of curiosity if you don’t kiss me passionately enough.
This isn’t enough. Use your tongue more. We’re pretending to be passionate lovers!
We have to fulfil this mission as members of the Shinsengumi.
You understand, don’t you? If not, I’ll have to kill you.
Put out your tongue more. Yes, that’s right. Pretend that you love me.
We’re pretending to be lovers who are so carried away by passion that they don’t see what’s going on around them.
You’re holding onto my arm. That’s good. Depend on me. Please desire me completely.
It seems that they’ve gone.
Let go of my clothes. Goodness, what were you doing? I’m always working undercover when I’m outside the headquarters, so approaching me and calling my name is a terrible thing to do!
Eh? You were so happy when you saw me while out shopping, you couldn’t help it?
Goodness! Depending on the situation, I really might have had to kill you!
You couldn’t help it this time, but be careful from now on.
I still have some undercover missions to do, so please go back to the headquarters while it’s still light.
Go on, hurry up.
What am I doing? Although there was no other choice, I still did something terrible. If I hurt her… No, it doesn’t matter if she hates me.
It doesn’t matter… But then why does my heart hurt so much?
Even though I don’t have the right to love you…
You seem to be sleeping well.
Please forgive my rudeness.
I came to see you because couldn’t stop thinking about you. I didn’t come here to force myself on you.
Although it was a spur of the moment act, I still kissed you that day.
I wanted to apologise for that.
But I don’t have the courage to talk to you about that day when you’re awake. So I waited until you were asleep. I should really wake you up and apologise, but the soft and warm sensation of your lips was enough to drive me crazy. The warmth of your hand which held onto me won’t stop controlling my heart. I’m a terrible person for blaming it on you. It’s all your fault that I’m coming here like this and wanting to kiss you again.
Your face even looks beautiful while you sleep. Just like the moon rising in the night sky, your cheeks seem to be shining white. You’re beautiful. You’re not like other people. I can tell by looking into your eyes. Your gaze is completely pure.
Now I’m ashamed that I was suspicious of you, without knowing you at all. I suppose you wouldn’t understand the feelings I had when you looked at me with your honest eyes. Your purity wounds my heart. Your incredibly bright smile makes me jealous.
Although I think of doing it, I know I can’t run from you. I’ve fallen in love with you. I could never say this to you while you’re awake. Please forgive me somehow for kissing your gentle cheek. I hope I’ll be in your dreams, even for a little while.
I hope you aren’t having a bad dream. Good night.
Ah, I knew it. I’ve found you safely. Kondo-san was worried that he couldn’t find you anywhere.
Yes, it’s alright. I had an idea of where you were, so I said I’d bring you back. But I’m surprised you really are at the mountain I told you about the other day.
Although I had some idea of where you were, I’m surprised that it was so easy to predict.
Hmm? Ah, you were feeding the birds? You even saved some of your breakfast.
You don’t have to look at me like that. I’m not going to tell anyone. Even if I did, no one would be angry. But I’m not pleased that you left the headquarters without telling anyone where you were going. It’s not safe around here. Unlike in the city, no one will come to you if you call out for help. Make sure you tell me next time you come here.
I like this place too. So I’ll come with you as often as you like.
Ah. Have you seen this butterfly before? I don’t know its name, but I think it’s very beautiful.
Is it just an ordinary butterfly? No, not when it spreads out its wings. See, look carefully. It’s beautiful, isn’t it? The outside of its wings shine blue or green, depending on the angle you look from. You can see them around here every summer.
The sight of those butterflies flying into the sky all at once is too beautiful to put into words. You should be able to see it if you come here often.
I was expecting that reaction from you. The other soldiers don’t know about this place or the butterflies. It’s because I haven’t told anyone about it. I wanted to keep this scenery all to myself. Wouldn’t it be a waste to show it to others?
So why’d I show it to you then?
Who knows? I’m not sure either. But I was sure you’d be honestly happy about it. So I thought that I’d like to show you these butterflies.
I’m not even sure of what I’m saying. Don’t be too concerned about me.
You’re thanking me? Why’d you do that all of a sudden? You don’t really need to thank me.
But please promise me you won’t tell anyone else about this place. Make sure you don’t. Otherwise I might have to kill you.
It was a joke. Perhaps…