Shinsengumi Kekkonroku Wasurenagusa 7 – Saitou Hajime
CV – Takahashi Naozumi
Your stance is hesitant.
Why are you surprised? Pick up your sword.
It’s disgraceful that you let go of the hilt during training.
I thought you would have improved while I was away, but this is what I see on my return.
Come on. Think of me as your enemy and continue training.
You’re naïve! Do you think you can protect yourself like that?
Are you playing around?
Yes, that’s it.
Hey. I don’t remember telling you it was okay to stop.
Are you crying?
You haven’t changed. My goodness.
Even when I think you’re strong, you still look as if you’re about to cry sometimes.
On that day when we last saw each other, you were like that too.
You were warm when I held you.
Sorry I kept you waiting.
Don’t say anything. Just stay like this for now…
What is it?
I’m not going to wait. Let me hold you like this.
I can still feel that you were holding a sword.
Let me forget everything else for a while.
What’s the matter?
I’m surprised this made you cry out like that.
Cry out even more.
That’s not enough. Didn’t you hear me? I told you to let me forget everything else for a while.
You’re embarrassed, but you’re not looking away.
You really are a strange woman.
I’m here now, aren’t I?
Do you think I’m a ghost or something?
Even though I’m beside you like this…
Well… If we keep doing this, you should feel it soon.
That I’ve definitely returned alive, to this place and to you.
Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to kiss you.
Or run my fingers on your wet skin like this.
Come on. Let me see your face more clearly.
Hey, why are you looking away now?
That’s no good. Look at me.
Well, I don’t mind. Your lips aren’t the only place I’m going to kiss you.
My goodness! Your clothes are just getting in my way! Take them off!
Come closer to me.
You feel warm.
That’s right. This is your body.
I often remembered it when I was alone, but actually being able to hold you like this is the best thing.
Of course I’m not going to be satisfied with just holding you.
Although there were things I should have said and wanted to say if I saw you again, right now, even those things are troublesome.
You’ve already gotten so dirty. What a shameful woman.
What do you want me to do to you? Hmm? Tell me.
Otherwise I’m just going to have my own way, like this.
Is that alright?
I can’t be with a woman when I’m on a mission you see.
Tonight I’m going to make love to you until it’s too much for you to bear.
No other woman can satisfy me.
Don’t struggle too much. It’ll make me want to hold you down.
Do you like being licked there that much?
No. I know. You cry out like that when I bite you like this.
Let me hear it even more. There’s no need to hold back.
It’s not bad for you to be embarrassed like that.
Show me more of your indecent side.
Look at me. Don’t look away.
Just like that.
Watch yourself being stolen away. So that you won’t forget.
It’s not enough. I want to corrupt you even more…
Make me the only one you can feel. Alright?
See. You understand, don’t you? I already desire you this much.
I think it’s shameful that I’m considering corrupting you with these hands that are stained with the unfading scent of blood gained from deceiving my allies.
What? Why did you kiss my hands?
You’re saying you’ll even accept the scent of blood?
I want to keep holding you.
It’s quiet, isn’t it?
I wonder how long it’s been since I last felt this calm.
Hmm? What’s the matter? Are you going to sleep for a while?
It doesn’t seem like you are. Why are you crying again?
Because I came back alive?
That’s right, I came back alive.
But that day when I said goodbye to you, although I said I’d definitely come back alive, I was certainly prepared to lose my life too.
I’m not going to apologise for that.
Even if I say I won’t die, I could die now if I didn’t have any strength. Strength is everything. But my promise to you that I’d definitely come back gave me the strength not to die…
No… The strength to want to live. I often felt that strength within my sword. You really are a strange woman.
Hey, let me hold you one more time.
The third year of the Keio era . Having left the Shinsengumi, I was together with Itou Kashitaro  as a member of the Goryou Eji . Of course, as the leader of the third troop, my sincerity lies with the Shinsengumi. Even so, there was a reason I separated from the troop. The assassination of the captain of the Shinsengumi, Kondo Isami. Of all things, Itou was secretly communicating with our old enemies, Satsuma and Choshu  to plan something like that. To be certain of that plan and to stop it being carried out was the mission given to me.
Hijikata-san wouldn’t be able to make a move. Perhaps there wouldn’t be a possibility of Okita-san making a mistake, but people would be wary of him. Therefore the choice came to me.
Even though it was only for a short time, Itou and the Goryou Eji had all been beside us as allies. However, there’s no reason to hesitate now. In the midst of the mission, there was an order from Hijikata-san. He had been planning whether Toudou, who had joined the Goryou Eji, could be brought back somehow. However, I was unable to carry out that order.
After that, we carried out the murder of the Goryou Eji, including Itou, at Aburanokoji. When I had completed my mission, I returned to the Shinsengumi.
 Keio era – An era which began during April 1865.
 Itou Kashitaro – He joined the Shinsengumi in 1864 and was admired by Kondo Isami at first, despite their different political views. After leaving the Shinsengumi in 1867, Itou was assassinated whilst returning from his visit to Kondo’s residence.
 Goryou Eji – A group created by Itou Kashitaro, after he and his allies separated from the Shinsengumi.
 Satsuma and Choshu – Two powerful clans which were attempting to overthrow the shogunate.
Ah. Did I disturb you?
So what are you doing?
Making tea for me?
It’s been a while since you took good care of me.
I see. Once again, I feel that coming home alive was a good thing.
I’ll be counting on you then.
Have I seen the other men yet?
The only thing I need to do is see Kondo-san and Hijikata-san. Would I go to the trouble of seeing anyone else? I’ve completed my mission and come back here alive. That’s enough.
What am I doing here? I can’t tell whether you’re smart or not. A man wouldn’t be cooking here like a woman.
I certainly did tell you to fix my torn uniform, but I haven’t come to get it.
That’s not it! I didn’t come here to eat rice balls.
My goodness. You’re so slow. I came to see how you are. You should think more highly of yourself.
Seeing as you’ve gone to the trouble, I’ll have the tea you’re preparing.
You…! This tea is really hot…
Ah. You were cooling it because it was too hot, weren’t you?
While we wait for it to cool, will you tell me what you did while I was away?
I didn’t have the chance to ask that the other night, you see.
Don’t look so embarrassed. You really are an interesting woman.
Right… Before that, there’s actually something I have to tell you.
No. I’m not going to tell you here. I need to tell you now.
Let’s go out right now.
The tea? Give it to Nagakura or somebody.
Come on. Hurry up and get ready.
My goodness. Why do women take so long to get ready?
She could have just come as she was.
Ah! It was nothing.
By the way, that hairpin is the one I bought before my mission, isn’t it?
Hey. Why are you surprised? Was it unusual for me to recognise it? There’s no way I’d forget. At that time, you were so worried about which one to get.
When you finally found that one, you held onto it tightly all the way home, as if it were more precious than your life.
I thought it was strange, considering it was just a hairpin.
Well, that’s fine if it’s still important to you now.
Hmm? Are you that curious about where we’re going?
You’ll know when we get there. Women should keep quiet and follow men.
Right. The Shinsengumi men shouldn’t find us now that we’ve come to a boat.
What is it? Why do you look so tense?
Could it be that you’re nervous about being on a boat?
That’s not it? You’re curious about why I brought you here, aren’t you?
Don’t worry. I haven’t forgotten why.
I haven’t forgotten it, but I…
Come on. Come closer to me.
This isn’t something anyone else should hear.
Listen up. I hate troublesome things, but I hate have to repeat unnecessary things even more.
So I’ll only say this once. It won’t happen again.
Well… I don’t particularly dislike you.
Didn’t you hear me?
You see, I meant…
Never mind, being ambiguous isn’t like me.
I’m going to say it straight.
I love you.
I brought you here because I felt I needed to tell you that.
I know I’m not in a position to be able to say that kind of thing.
But a man wouldn’t survive in a world where he couldn’t say that kind of thing to the woman who awaited his return.
That’s how I felt.
Hmm? Why are you crying?
Don’t cry, smile!
Anyway… Just don’t cry.
Even I think I’m a fool for doing this.
I thought I would say it the night I returned, but I took you all the way here instead.
Hey, don’t laugh! You’re so…
Never mind. It’s better for you to laugh like that, no matter what the reason is.
No… Wait a minute. Not all the time though.
Right… This is important too, so listen carefully.
I heard a rumour that the men in town call you “the flower of the Shinsengumi” or something like that.
You look surprised… So you didn’t know?
Remember this well, alright?
Don’t smile at men too often from now on. Even if they talk to you, just answer “yes” or “no”. That’s more than enough.
It’d also be good for you to have an unfriendly and gloomy face.
Try and do it. Come on.
No. That’s no good.
Oh? You heard the women in town talking about me?
They said I was manly?
Of course. I’m a man, you see.
Anyway, we’re talking about you right now.
Listen up. You should…
What? Are you that concerned about the other women? You’re the only woman for me.
Are you dissatisfied with that?
Don’t ask such obvious things. My goodness.
So what’s your answer?
What are you confused about?
We haven’t talked about the most important thing yet.
Well, what is it?
I’m asking about your reply.
I’m sure I told you my feelings just now. But I haven’t heard your reply yet.
Since the day we first met, we’ve been together side by side like this.
But if that hadn’t happened, maybe you would be with another man. Perhaps you would have fallen in love with someone else. Even so, that wouldn’t be particularly strange.
You’re a grown woman. That much is natural.
Don’t expect me to know without you saying anything. Even though I can wield a sword, I can’t do something like that.
Of course, no matter what you say, my feelings won’t change. But while I can be in this place by your side, I want to clearly hear your thoughts.
Hey. Why are you laughing again?
Oh? You love me too?
It was so natural that you forgot to mention it?
Ah… I’m sorry. I shouted without thinking.
But… I see. Right.
You’re a curious person.
I’m a man who might lose his life at any time.
You’re quite bad at choosing men.
Don’t get me too excited. I’ll want you again.
What is it? Are you embarrassed?
Who is going to see us here?
And… If you love me, you won’t have any complaints about whatever we do and wherever we do it, will you?
Just keep quiet and let the man you love hold you. Alright?
Damn it… What are the men doing over there?
Get down. Then they won’t notice if we do.
My goodness. Why does a captain like me have to hide?
If someone finds us, then we just have to explain we came out to relax.
But the suspicions people might have later on are no good. I don’t want anything like that to happen.
But… You actually want this too, don’t you? Be honest.
I was joking.
Well… Staying like this is fine, but I don’t want us to capsize and end up looking a mess.
Don’t worry. I’ll have plenty of chances to hold you once we get back to the headquarters. There’s no need to hold back anymore, you see.
Hey. You’re still in a bad mood?
I only teased you a little.
For starters, it’s your fault for making me feel like doing that.
That wasn’t your intention? I suppose you’re the only one who doesn’t see it, hmm?
Hey, you. You still don’t realise that even now you’re challenging me?
That’s right, that sulky look on your face. Don’t let other men see it. Not even someone like Kondo-san or Hijikata-san.
No, perhaps it’d be better to say that they’re the ones who shouldn’t see it most of all?
Anyway, that’s that.
You’re no good. I’ll get you your favourite dango. So I want you to cheer up.
Your eyes immediately lit up. I’m relieved that your appetite is the same as usual.
Come on, let’s go.
Aren’t you coming?
I don’t mind eating alone. I’m going to eat them today for sure. Because you ate the dango before.
Hmm… What shall I have?
Oh? You’re here?
I thought you were standing still because you weren’t interested in dango.
I was only joking. Come on, sit next to me. Let’s eat together.
That day, I promised I’d buy you dango again if I came back, didn’t I?
So which one do you want? Pick something.
I won’t let you be shy about it.
You don’t understand? I’m telling you to depend on me on this occasion.
Don’t make me seem like a man who could only make a woman wait and cry.
Come on! Hurry up and choose!
But… Are you really going to eat that much?
No, it’s not bad to see you eating happily.
Where did all those dango disappear to?
So are you satisfied and feeling better?
Hey, why is it only now that you’re being so gentle?
You’re a strange woman.
But it’s good isn’t it?
I thought that fulfilling the promises I made to you one by one like this wasn’t so bad.
I can do anything like having you close enough to reach, talking to you and feeding you. And today I can wipe your messy lips again.
You really haven’t changed. I want you to stay the same.
It’s already gotten dark, hasn’t it? Times passes by so quickly when I’m with you like this. There are still some things we haven’t done yet, but we should go back soon.
Nagakura might say something annoying though. Well, we just have to ignore him.
What’s the matter? You don’t have to worry about him.
What is it? You want to stay like this a little longer?
You can say cute things like that too.
But that helps me. I’m the type who can’t say things like that.
Right… Shall we walk a little longer then? There’s somewhere I’d like to take you as well.
Even when we’re walking like this, everyone avoids the Shinsengumi, hmm? That’s because the troop has been quite tense since the remnants of the Goryou Eji targeted Kondo-san.
But you’re still together with me as usual, hmm?
Here it is. Before you arrived at the headquarters, I often came to this hill by myself.
When I watch the sunset, I feel as if the excitement I have after wielding a sword calms down. I thought I would like to bring you here some day.
No, I felt that it would be good to have you by my side while I did this.
Hmm? Why’d you take my hand all of a sudden? Have you become able to read palms or something?
You haven’t? Well, I know that though. Could it be that you’re concerned about the people in town?
Their gaze seems as if they are looking at a cruel killer. That’s not even worth noticing. Forget about them.
They’re not mistaken. Because there’s no doubt that I’m a killer. At some point, I stopped counting how many I’d killed with my own hands. The nameless people I killed probably had someone waiting for them and praying for their safety.
But I keep on wielding my sword. What awaits at the end of that is…
No, it’s nothing. Come on, look at the sky. The sun will set soon. I think that moment is the most beautiful. So you look at it too.
Hmm? What is it? You could just keep looking at the sky. Why did you turn back this way?
Aren’t I going to look at it? I’ve seen it many times before.
And I’m looking at something even more beautiful right now.
What are you looking at?
I’m talking about you. Did you understand?
Why are you blushing? I don’t understand you.
Just be quiet and look at the sunset.
There’d be no point in me bringing you otherwise.
Anyway, I’m fine. If I say I’m fine, I’m fine!
Because I can come here and see it anytime.
However, that day did not come.
Due to the restoration of imperial rule by the 15th shogun of the Edo shogunate, Tokugawa Yoshinobu , the era began to change greatly. Then, due to the declaration of imperial rule, the abolition of the shogunate was announced. The new government army, centering on Satsuma and Choshu came into conflict with the former government army, including the Shinsengumi. At the same time, the new government army became the official government army and we became known as a rebel army, of all things. Amidst our despair, we ended up in defeat.
There were even more soldiers who deserted the prosperous Shinsengumi. But we didn’t even have the power left to stop them. During that time, we received a mission to stop the new government army from proceeding to Kofu . The shogunate also called Kofu “the land of the shogunate”.
But I thought it was strange for that to be happening at this point. Now the shogunate are nowhere to be found in Japan. We’re nothing more than a rebel army. Even so, the men who remained in the troop, began to make their way to Kofu, together with the sincerity in their heart.
And at the time that we left, I said a certain farewell to you. I can’t let you become involved anymore. That was what I thought.
Come out! I can’t concentrate when you’re hiding there.
Am I angry?
Of course! What is a woman doing on the battlefield?
You’ll only be a burden. Leave now if you don’t want to end up dead.
You’re still planning on following me? I’m shocked.
You’re not mistaking the battlefield for a ridiculous game, are you?
If you are, you’re making a fool of the Shinsengumi, and also anyone who wields a sword.
Well, what are you going to do?
You won’t move at all? It seems that you’ve got no intention of leaving. So this is your form of sincerity?
I thought I would reject you here. My goodness…
Come on, come here.
Be careful. It’s slippery because of the rain.
You’re so clumsy. I’m surprised you came all the way here when you can’t even walk properly on this path. Come here.
When I’m holding you like this, I remember the day that I got on the boat with you. At that time, I thought I had finally been reunited with you. I’ve run out of hope, but I don’t regret standing here. Even if I were to die, it would be my true desire. But you…
Hmm? The bandits followed you?
Stay back! I’ll take them on.
Is it over?
I carelessly got some of their blood on me. Now I won’t be able to hold you.
Hey! There’s no need to wipe away the blood. The sleeve of your kimono will get dirty.
What’s the matter? You held onto me all of a sudden.
You’re trembling, aren’t you?
Ah, you’re right.
You haven’t seen anyone die since that night at the Ikedaya, have you? It’s only natural that you’d be scared.
It’s okay. Cry as much as you need to.
But listen carefully. From now on, there’ll be so much death that you’ll tire of seeing it. Do you understand?
What? You’re going to protect me now?
You say some strange things. A woman protecting a man… I’m surprised you could think that up when you’re trembling so much.
But… Right. Even though your eyes are soaked with tears and you’ve almost closed your heart to the pain you’ve felt, you have strong eyes which seem to fight against that.
It’s the same as when you asked me to teach you how to fight with a sword. Now that I think about it, since then, I had been…
Come on, let’s go back. The night is still cold.
After that, the advancement of the troop caused us nothing but pain. The bad weather along the way wasn’t the only reason. It was because we had begun to learn that the Shinsengumi were no longer necessary in this era.
We had been defeated too. As a result of that, Nagakura and Harada left the troop. Okita had already been overcome by his illness. Kondo-san was also taken away by the new government, and when we came to Aizu, the only ally left from my days at the Shieikan  was Hijikata-san.
But Hijikata-san told us to head towards Hakodate. At that time, I decided to leave Hijikata-san. I am going to stay in Aizu. Because I thought the last people I should be faithful to is the Aizu Domain , who accepted us as the Shinsengumi. This land is an appropriate place for me to die.
 Tokugawa Yoshinobu – The last shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate. He unsuccessfully tried to reform the shogunate.
 Kofu – A city in Yamanashi prefecture which was a stronghold of the shogunate.
 Shieikan – A dojo in Tokyo, where several of the major Shinsengumi members met one another.
 Aizu Domain – They were on the side of the shogunate and were also sponsors of the Shinsengumi. The Aizu were located in modern day Fukushima.
What’s the matter?
Hmm? Is there anything you can help with?
There isn’t anything.
But… Come a little closer.
Let me see your face clearly.
I didn’t know.
So that’s what women in Aizu do?
There’s some soot on your cheeks.
Why’d you turn your back on me all of a sudden? Look this way!
Yes. That’s good.
It’s no good looking away now. I’ve already seen it with my own eyes.
Well, it wasn’t such bad makeup. Because I think so, there’s no doubt about it.
So you weren’t running around helping the women, were you?
Hmm, I thought so.
You’re still the same, no matter where you go. You haven’t changed at all.
I really wonder why you came all this way with me.
That’s no good.
Let’s go and get some fresh air.
Hey. What are you doing?
You come with me.
Don’t be too cute. We’re on the battlefield, you see.
Aizu is a beautiful place. I’m sure I would honestly think so if I was in a different era.
You and I would…
Anyway, are you getting on well with the women of Aizu? There’s a rumour that they’re quite strong-willed, but how are things?
I see. So they’re all kind. But I think that’s because you’re kind to everyone and they like you.
That’s right. Even at times like this your smile doesn’t fade. You’re that kind of woman. So…
Oh? It’s raining, hmm? You’ll end up getting cold.
Come to think of it, there’s a storehouse over there. Shall we shelter from the rain under its roof?
Let’s go. Come with me.