Shinsengumi Kekkonroku Wasurenagusa 1 – Okita Souji
CV – Suzuki Tatsuhisa
Three years after the Ikedaya Affair , the Shinsengumi name was not only known in Kyoto, but all over Japan too. The rumours began to call us by notorious names such as “group of assassins” or “a band of murderers” more often.
It didn’t feel right to hear the townspeople who we were meant to protect criticise us like that, but on the other hand, it meant we had killed many of those worthless men who believed in revering the emperor and driving out foreigners. Strangely enough, it doesn’t feel so bad when I think about it that way.
But Kondo-san is very concerned about the Shinsengumi being criticised. Even though there’s no need for anyone to be troubled by that. We… No, at the very least, I am wielding my sword for the sake of Hijikata-san and Kondo-san alone. No matter what anyone else says, I won’t be troubled at all. If I were to feel troubled, then it would only be for a single moment. I think I will die at that time. When I die, my spirit will be torn apart before my body disappears.
The death of my body or the death of my spirit. I don’t know which will come first, but I hope it will be my body that dies first. At this moment, that’s all I’m wishing for as I live.
Ah, it’s so dusty! Hey, you still haven’t finished dusting yet? I can’t believe it. You’re always so slow. I told you that you should have finished dusting, mopping and cleaning the furniture before I came back from training. Why couldn’t you do such a simple thing? You’re far too useless.
My goodness. Didn’t you think that you should start by mopping a dusty room before dusting it? Otherwise the dust would spread everywhere.
Haa… Don’t tell me you didn’t notice. Goodness… You still can’t even clean up properly. Aren’t you ashamed to call yourself a maid the way you are?
You’re sorry? Is that all?
Hmm… I see. How ridiculous.
I don’t have anymore use for you, so please leave. I’m going to get changed and rest. I feel sick after breathing in all that dust. Never mind about the cleaning. Hurry up and get out.
I wonder why my body just isn’t getting any better?
Wha… What is it? Why’d you come back?
You brought a towel and a change of clothes? I’ve got those things in my room already. You didn’t have to bring them here…
Eh? These are better because they’ve just been dried?
Is that so? Ah, you’re right.
They’re still warm.
Well, I’ll accept them gratefully then. I didn’t ask you to do this though. I’m only accepting them because you went to the trouble of bringing them here.
Hey. Don’t open the closet without asking. I can put out the bed by myself. Why are you suddenly so motivated to work? It disgusts me.
Hmm… You’re still an inexperienced maid, but you want to do well as my assistant anyway? I see. In that case, I’ll have to test you too. You’ve been a maid for three years and you’re still inexperienced, so I think that shows just how good of an assistant you are too.
Well, how about you work hard as my assistant?
I know I can’t insist that I don’t need an assistant anymore.
Hmm? No, I didn’t say anything. Aren’t you hearing things? I don’t mind you hearing things, but please don’t get me involved. It’s annoying.
Anyway, seeing as you’re back, can you help me wipe off my sweat? I got too carried away in training and I don’t like the feeling of the sweat on my body. I want to wipe my body properly, but my body feels so heavy right now.
Please help me.
Why are you looking away? It’s no good acting like an innocent girl now. Isn’t it good to look at my body somewhere light for once?
Come on, wipe my body properly. Do it more gently. That’s right, do it gently.
That tickles. Did you just do that on purpose?
Your finger just brushed against my skin. Was it just a coincidence?
Hmm? Instead of letting this opportunity pass by, I’m going to make a move on you.
That’s right. You’re not the type to make the first move. Do you want me to do it then? I can give you a kiss if you nod honestly. Why are you blushing and tense like that? You never get used to this, do you?
Oh well. This is an apology for earlier. I want you to accept it.
What’s that surprised look on your face for? Did you think I was going to kiss you on the lips? You should know your place. A kiss on your forehead is enough.
Ah, could it be that you didn’t know why I was apologising?
You’re always so slow. Now I seem like a fool for worrying about it. I was apologising for what I did when you hadn’t finished sweeping earlier. You happened to be here when I came back angry, so I took things out on you.
Now that I think about it, I suppose I said a little too much just because you hadn’t finished cleaning.
I was no different from usual? Ah, I see.
So you weren’t concerned about your little finger brushing against me then? Doesn’t that make what I did just now a meaningless apology?
It’s very brave of you to make me feel as if my apology was meaningless.
Hey, how are you going to make up for this?
You can make it up to me right now…
You don’t have to look like that. I wasn’t coughing because of the dust. I was coughing during training too and Hijikata-san told me to get some rest. I’ll be fine if I rest a little. I caused trouble for him because the training had to be stopped. But don’t you think it’s unlike the demon vice commander to tell me to stop just because I coughed a few times?
I know I’m a vital member of the Shinsengumi, but he’s been too overprotective recently. He doesn’t have to worry so much, I’ve got plenty of energy.
Ah, that’s the sound of music from a festival.
Come to think of it, there’s a festival today.
Ah, I don’t understand why anyone would willingly go into a crowd like that. You think so too, don’t you?
Why are you so nervous? You’re not going to tell me you’re interested in the festival, are you?
I see. So you’re not interested then? I’m surprised that there are times when we share the same opinion.
Well, I’m going to lie down for a while. I can change my clothes by myself, so you get back to your work.
Alright. Good night.
You’re a bad liar, aren’t you?
 Ikedaya Affair – A raid launched by the Shinsengumi against rebels who opposed the Shinsengumi.
Are you here? I’m going to open the door.
How annoying. You’re still not ready yet? How about you hurry up and get ready?
You want to know where we’re going?
The festival, of course. Weren’t you looking at me like you wanted to go? I’ve had some rest, so I thought I’d go along with you.
But if I’ve misunderstood, then it doesn’t matter. Shall we forget about going then?
Well, I knew what you’d say when I asked. Hurry up and get ready then. I hate being kept waiting. Don’t take too long.
Wow… This is an amazing crowd. There are people everywhere I look. I can’t see anywhere for us to walk.
Hey, we’ve already been at the festival for a while. Can we go back now? It annoys me to think of going into this crowd.
Hey…wait a minute! Why’d you hold my hand without even asking?! Don’t pull me along like that! Fine! I’ll go!
My goodness, you’re so pushy.
Ah! Don’t stop all of a sudden! Did you find something?
Ah… They’re pinwheels.
Hmm… They look beautiful. By the way, I can make pinwheels. I often played with the children near the headquarters, you see.
Back then, I learned a lot about origami. I made lots of pinwheels. Well, I couldn’t make beautiful pinwheels like the ones displayed here though.
Eh? You want to make them too? Are you trying to say you want me to teach you? That’s not why I brought up the subject. I’m not going to do it.
Why? Because you’re clumsy, aren’t you? You manage the cooking, laundry and cleaning somehow, but you’re slower to improve than other people. I can see myself getting annoyed at teaching you. I don’t have as much patience as other people do.
You’re being unusually stubborn. Do you like pinwheels that much? I think you should just buy the ones they’re selling here then.
It’s not like that? You want us to do origami together? What are you talking about? You say some pretty childish things. I know we’ve never tried doing the same thing together for fun, but are you even good at origami?
I knew it. I can’t believe you’re asking me to do origami with you when you don’t even know how to fold a crane.
Fine. I’ll buy some origami paper then. Please ask me once again when you’ve learned a little more about origami.
I’m not interested in teaching you from the very beginning. I don’t have time for that.
Here you go. I’ve bought it for you. Take it.
What are you smiling for? Are you that happy about me buying you origami paper?
It makes me uncomfortable. Hurry up and put the paper away.
Hey… Why aren’t you letting go?
Ah… You dropped your candy apple. This happened because you got too carried away buying food.
Why are you only using one hand to hold all those things?
You should let go of my hand and hold them with both hands.
You don’t want to do that? I suppose that can’t be helped then. Alright, I’ll tuck the origami paper into your sash instead.
Come on, hold this for a little while. It won’t get crushed here, will it?
Aren’t you carrying too much though? You look as if you might drop something and it makes me nervous to even watch.
Me? That’s right. I’ve bought quite a lot too.
It’s been a while since I’ve attended a festival and I got carried away by the excitement. I spent more than usual. But I’m fine. I only bought as much as I could carry with one hand. Of course I’m hungry enough to finish them all too.
This grilled squid tastes as good as I thought it would. I’m glad I bought two. I’ll give one of them to Heisuke.
Ah, but in that case, it’d be more important to get something for Hijikata-san and Kondo-san.
I completely forgot.
Kondo-san and the others might not like what the shops here have though. But there might be something good over there…
Eh? This doesn’t mean I’m enjoying the festival! Stop thinking strange things, alright?! It’s annoying.
If you’ve got time to talk about such useless things, then we’ll go round the shops one more time. Come on, take care not to drop the things you bought. How about you eat something so you’d have less to carry?
Eating the bean buns right now is fair enough, but there’s bean paste around your mouth. Be more careful when you eat.
Or did you put it there deliberately so I’d wipe it off, just like that that man is doing to that woman over there? If you did, then that’s a foolish idea. There’s no way I’d do that, is there?
You’re so messy. Hurry up and wipe it off.
My goodness. Just like Saito-kun says, you’re more interested in food than romance.
Have you finished eating? It looks like you’ve got a little less to carry now. Let’s go and choose some presents then. Hold onto my hand tightly so you don’t get lost.
There’s no one around here, is there? Perfect. Shall we rest for a while? I’m a little tired of walking. I’m glad we were able to buy something for Kondo-san and the others. Thank you very much for coming with me. I suppose it’s right for me to thank you.
But even though we bought lots for the others, we haven’t got anything for ourselves. All we’ve got is the food we excitedly bought at the beginning. We should have planned things a little better.
You don’t think that’s true?
Well, I did buy you the origami paper…
But it was just origami paper? You must be a really simple person if that pleases you…
I told you not to grin like that, didn’t I?
Well, I’m glad that you enjoyed yourself. It wasn’t as boring as I thought it’d be either. But I’ve got no intention of saying I’m glad I came either. You annoyed me and you kept on dropping the things you’d bought. I got tired for no reason.
Do you actually understand that?
I won’t be satisfied by an apology from you now. Right, you should at least give me this…
That’s not enough yet. Give me more.
Come to think about it, this is the first time we’ve done this kind of thing outside. No one’s around, but strangely enough, it makes your heart beat faster, doesn’t it?
Hmm… You look unusually beautiful right now. I wonder if it’s because of the moonlight? It seems as if you’re trying to tempt me.
Ah! Make sure to stand up properly so you don’t stumble.
I told you, didn’t I? I’m tired. Even if you do fall, I’m not confident I can catch you. That’s right. Hold onto me tightly.
Your hand is all sticky. It probably got like that when you dropped the mizuame  you couldn’t carry.
I knew it. Were you so embarrassed that you hid it?
Give me your hand. I’ll make it clean.
That’s no good. Don’t take your hand away. It’s not clean at all. Come on, stay still.
It tastes sweet. Do you want to try it too?
I see. I’ll let you taste it too then.
Does it taste good? It looks like you want more. Alright then, here you go.
Oh? It seems that it’s not just on your hands, but your neck too. You accidentally touched your neck with your hand, didn’t you?
You really are a hopeless person. I don’t have a choice. I’ll clean there too.
Your neck seems to be fine now. If you think it’s still sticky, then I can lick you again.
But open your mouth once more before that. I’ll let you taste even more of the sweet mizuame.
Is there anywhere else?
I knew it. It’s really careless of you to get sticky everywhere. It’s like you did it on purpose because you wanted me to lick you.
Where do you want me to clean next? It’s alright. Tell me anywhere you like.
We’re outside, where anyone could see us at anytime, but if you don’t mind that, then tell me where you want me to lick you.
I’m in a good mood right now, so I’ll listen to your request for once.
What’s the matter? Why are you so nervous? Isn’t there somewhere else that feels sticky?
It’d be unfortunate if you didn’t answer me. I rarely ever listen to your requests, you see.
Don’t look at me so sadly. It makes me want to tease you even more.
You look incredibly beautiful tonight. I’d like to keep going until the end if I could… But I think I’ll save that for another time.
So be satisfied with this for tonight.
Sometimes it’s good to do something else for a change. I know you’re unusually excited. You and me both.
You look quite attractive when you’ve got such an indecent look on your face.
Don’t look away. I want to see your face.
You look so sad. I like that expression. Go ahead, don’t hold back at all.
Did you enjoy that? I’m glad we made a good memory together.
Hey. The time we spent together outside and the time we spent going around the shops. Which did you like better? I want to hear your honest opinion.
Come on. Answer me. Which did you enjoy more?
Hmm… You can’t answer me? So the right answer would be that you’re too embarrassed to answer?
I see. I don’t hate it when you’re like that.
 Mizuame – A syrup that has to be kneaded into a fluffy texture before it can be eaten.
Alright, get up instead of sitting on the floor. Let’s go home soon.
Ah. Come to think of it, they let off fireworks at this festival. I forgot about it.
Do you want to see them up close? I suppose it’s alright…
But your kimono is a mess. How careless. Were you going to let other people see you like that? You should be aware of your appearance. You’re so annoying. I’ll fix it for you. I think it’d take a while for you to do it.
You’re my assistant, so I don’t know why I’m the one helping you out.
Hmm… This looks like a good place. Come on, come closer. You can see the fireworks well from here. Don’t you think it’s better to watch here together instead of going back into the crowds?
Well, I don’t like crowds, but if you insist that you want to go back into the crowds and see the fireworks more closely, I suppose I can think about it.
That’s right. It’s better to watch from here. We’ll do that then, shall we?
They’re beautiful. Fireworks, hmm.
I wonder what people think when they see fireworks. Do you think of them as strong and gallant flowers, or fleeting flowers which scatter in an instant?
When I saw fireworks during my childhood, I thought that I wanted to grow into a strong and brilliant flower that would keep on blooming.
But no firework can shine forever, can it?
I could have a small and long lasting sparkle like a handheld firework, but I would rather be a rocket. Shining brighter than anyone else for a moment, and then disappearing without a trace. A life like that might be better than you’d think. But it seems that my moment will be the shortest of all. I…
What is it? Don’t hold my hand all of a sudden! Do you really like to hold hands that much?
I’m not going anywhere.
Don’t look at me like that. Everything I just said was a joke. Were you surprised? I like telling bad jokes. You know that, don’t you?
That hurts. Don’t hold onto me so tightly.
Hey. There’s something I remembered after meeting you, something that I haven’t thought of in a while. Do you want to know what it is? I remembered that people feel warm.
Ah, it’s you. What are you doing here?
Eh? A bath?
I was wondering what you might say. You seem to be making a big deal of this. My illness isn’t so serious that I need to bathe in a medicated bath.
It’s not possible for the captain of the first troop to leave the headquarters for a recuperative hot spring trip either. You’re going to make too much fuss and say something like going to every doctor in Kyoto or buying some suspicious medicine. You worry too much. How long will it take you to understand that I don’t need you interfering?
Stop looking at me like that. I’m telling you that I’ll feel better if I rest a little. Why don’t you believe me?
You’re not the only one. It’s Kondo-san and the others too. Everyone has that expression on their face when they look at me recently. Everyone has times when they don’t feel well. So why do they look at me in such a pitiful way?!
Anyway, I’ve explained the situation, so don’t make such a big fuss of me from now on. Got it? My illness is nothing serious!
Haven’t you got anything better to talk about? I feel depressed when I see that sad look on your face. Talk about something to distract me.
Eh? Origami? Ah, the paper I bought for you at the festival…
Can you fold anything now?
A rice ball and a goldfish…
Hmm… I know how to fold a rice ball, but not a goldfish. How do you do it? Show me.
You bought the paper with you, hmm? You’re well prepared.
So how do you fold it?
Fold it in half, then use the fold line to…
Ah, I see. Hmm…
So it’s done now?
Hmm… I just want to check… This is a goldfish, isn’t it?
This is a goldfish?
This is too much of a mess, even for you! It’s unbelievable! I think you did this as a joke! What an ugly goldfish.
I’m laughing so much that my stomach hurts. The more I look at it, the harder it is to believe. You were trying your best and it turned out like this?
Why are you sulking? Do you think you’ve got the right to be angry when all you can fold is an ugly goldfish? For your information, your folding is a mess.
Of course it’ll turn out a mess if you don’t line up the edges when you fold. You’re even worse than the kids around here. Please do it more seriously. I won’t teach you how to fold a pinwheel if you don’t do this more neatly.
Well, it might be alright to compliment you for successfully distracting me.
Why do you look so happy? I’m telling you that your origami wasn’t worthy of any compliments at all. I’m not complimenting you. I’m making a fool of you.
Right, there’s something I’ve been wondering about. How are the Shinsengumi doing these days? Kondo-san and the others insisted that I rest so I haven’t left my room much recently. I can sense a nervous feeling in the headquarters, but I don’t know the specifics. Something happened, didn’t it?
Come on, talk about something to make me feel better! Like when the Shinsengumi interrupted the Sonno Faction  meeting during the Ikedaya Affair and arrested them. Or when Kondo-san and Hijikata-san fought like demons. There’s plenty you can say, right?
You don’t know anything? What are you talking about?
Hmm… It seems that several important events took place, but you don’t know the details? Well, you’re just a maid, so you might not get to know everything about the troop. But I think you would’ve heard some information from the soldiers’ conversations.
You haven’t? Hmm… Doesn’t it seem like they’re keeping things from you so nothing will get to me? Something they don’t want me to know might have happened.
I’m thinking too hard? Well, isn’t it alright for you to think that? My goodness, you’re too laid-back. I see it’s no good trying to ask you anymore. I’ll find some time to ask Kondo-san or Hijikata-san about the current state of the Shinsengumi. But if something important has happened, then I’m sure Kondo-san and Hijikata-san must be busy.
How have they been recently? Are they at the headquarters?
You haven’t seen them recently? I knew it, they must be having some kind of meetings outside the headquarters. Or are they collecting information?
Damn it! My body just had to be in a bad state at a time like this! I can’t believe I’m useless! If I don’t get well soon and help them… I know they’ve always praised my abilities and have treated me kindly. I shouldn’t be sick at a time like this.
I heard that Hijikata-san is taking charge of my troop. I’m completely useless. I’m causing trouble for them at a time like this. It’s unthinkable. If only there was something I could do to help. I can’t do anything.
It’s better to do nothing and get lots of rest so I can recover quickly? Do you honestly think so? In that case, your opinion is completely missing the point. I live to be useful to Kondo-san and the others. So I don’t want to just lie here and do nothing. No matter how sick I am, I have to help them, even if it means only doing a little.
Why is this happening to me?
What is it? No one thinks that way? Is that what you want to say? You don’t need to tell me that!
Everyone is kind, so they’re worrying about me and telling me to get lots of rest instead of exerting myself. That’s what kind of people they are.
I know that… But I’m really scared that there might come a day when they say they don’t need me any more! I can’t bear just lying still and waiting for that day.
Hey, when Kondo-san comes back to the headquarters, make sure to get him to meet with me. You’ve got to do it. I’ll think of a way for me to help right now. So arrange for me to see Kondo-san. I want to talk to him. Otherwise my fear will leave me crushed and unable to breathe. I don’t want to die yet.
 Sonno Faction – A group who supported restoring power to the emperor and expelling foreigners from Japan.
Who is it?
Ah, it’s you. Come in.
You brought some hot water?
Thanks. Leave it there.
It’s colder tonight. I won’t put on any more clothes. I don’t need a brazier either. I don’t care anymore, you see.
You’re asking me why? Haven’t you heard?
I see. In that case, I’ll tell you. I’m useless now.
I saw Kondo-san earlier today. You organised that, didn’t you? Kondo-san came to my room and said he happened to have something to tell me anyway.
I was so happy and told him not to worry, although I’m taking a while to recover. I told him to attend the next raid, because I would definitely be present too.
What do you think Kondo-san said then? He told me “I don’t want to push you too hard. Leave the headquarters for a while and concentrate on recuperating.”
I’ve finally been told to leave, as there is no place in the Shinsengumi for someone useless. That’s what it meant, didn’t it? I always thought this day would come. The day when I would no longer be useful. The day when I would be abandoned for being useless.
What? What do you mean it’s not true?! No matter how you put it, that’s how it is! Stop trying to comfort me in such a useless way!
The Shinsengumi have abandoned me and I’m even more worthless than you! Everyone has known that for a while, haven’t they?! Even I know how things are!
That’s right. Kondo-san has known for a long time too. That my body is so ruined that I’m past being cured.
Hey! Can you understand this feeling? The sword I was so used to handling is gradually feeling heavier! When I am somehow able to pick up my sword with one hand, I start to breathe harder right away. There’s no way my body could be any use.
I… I don’t have anything left.
So how can you tell me it’s not true? Don’t lie to me! What can a person like me who has no future do?! No one needs me! Isn’t that right?
Tell me it’s true!
Why? Why is this happening to me?
Answer me! Hey!
Even you don’t need me either, do you?
Everyone does nothing but lie! No one is worried about me. They just want someone useless like me to hurry up and leave. That’s what everyone thinks.
They’re lying. They’re lying. They’re lying.
I don’t care anymore. I don’t care about anything. Tell me you don’t need me either. Come on, hurry up and say it. Say it. Say it!
I see. You’re going to deny it completely. You’re pretending to be kind. Pretending to care about me. You’re acting as if you’ll stay beside me forever.
Ah, I see. I understand. I’m going to test how long you can keep that hypocritical expression on your face. I’ll make you regret it!