Shinsengumi Hiyokuroku Wasurenagusa 3 – Nagakura Shinpachi
CV: Maeno Tomoaki
July 8th, 1864. In order to destroy the Sonno Joui , who were planning to restore their influence, the Shinsengumi made their way to the Ikedaya. The first four of us to make our way through the cramped building were Kondo-san, Souji, Heisuke and I. During that time, I hurt my left thumb, but that kind of injury is no burden at all. A battle will excite you enough to make you forget a small amount of pain. Even when you don’t know the reason why you wield a sword.
Several days after the Ikedaya Affair , there was a report that the remnants had been found somewhere else. The second troop immediately went to a deserted house near the Ikedaya and carried out a reconnaissance mission. While we kept watch for half a month, it was discovered that those remnants were seeking revenge on the Shinsengumi. They were also destroyed right away. Then we finally completed all our missions and returned to the headquarters.
I’m sleepy. Finishing a big job really does make you more tired than usual.
It’s alright if the second troop doesn’t do any more training today, isn’t it? We’ve spent more time on missions than the other troops, so we won’t last if we don’t rest for at least a day.
Ah. Who’s that?
Huh? A woman?
Hey, you! Wait a minute!
Who’s that over there? Do you know her?
Huh? A maid who just started working here?
Ah… Come to think of it, didn’t Hajime say that he found a woman at the Ikedaya? I suppose that’s her.
Hmm… I think I’ll check her out then. She’s the first woman in the Shinsengumi, so I’ve got to welcome her.
Oh, right! Take this haori  to my room. Thanks.
Right… I wonder what kind of woman she is.
Hey! I heard you’re the maid who just started working here.
Let me have a look at your face.
Ah… You’re cute! I’m really happy that a woman like you is working here as a maid.
A woman working here is enough to make the headquarters look more brilliant.
The food and cleaning will be better when a woman does it too. Men are useless. Even when they intend to clean, the insides of the cupboards are a complete mess. I’d even like to have a welcoming party for the maid!
I can give you some advice if your work ever gets too tough! So don’t be shy about talking to me.
Hmm… That’s a nice smile! Women really are great.
After the Ikedaya Affair, the way people look at the Shinsengumi has completely changed and we’re receiving an unusual amount of praise. Even though people got all worked up about calling us an organisation of assassins… We’re no different from before though. People change their minds so easily. I wasn’t feeling good about it, but your smile cheered me up!
I’m telling the truth!
Hey, have you gotten used to being in the headquarters?
Were you able to talk to everyone else yet?
Ah… The other men definitely have been pretty tense recently. I suppose it makes sense that they seem difficult to approach. But I think that’s going to end today. We’ve dealt with the remnants, you see. I think we might just have a party today.
They’re all kind men, so you shouldn’t be scared.
Hey… Is this actually the first time you’ve had a normal conversation with any of the men here?
I see… So then I was the first one to see your cute smile!
That’s an honour. It’s nice to experience something for the first time with a woman, no matter what that might be.
I see… So I was the first man, hmm…
Hey… Are you listening?
Ah, are you curious about my little finger?
Something happened to it at the Ikedaya. I don’t think about it when I’m fighting, but it hurts when I’m doing other things.
Yes, it’s alright. Don’t worry about it…
Ah… Hmm… It’s not alright after all. It’s started hurting again…
Hey… Can you use some magic on it to stop it hurting?
When men get injured, they can be cured right away if a woman kisses their injury.
I got a kiss! Ah… Women’s lips really are amazing.
It’s unfortunate that I’ve got a bandage on though.
Your face is bright red.
Hmm? I’m not lying. I think women’s lips have got some kind of medicine inside them.
You see, I feel much better when I touch them.
Anyway, thank you. I think my injury is going to heal completely now. There’s no need to worry!
Right… My injury doesn’t hurt anymore, so I think I’ll go back to my room.
I’ll be counting on you from now on, Miss Rookie Maid!
 Sonno Joui was the name of a Japanese political philosophy and a social movement which became a political slogan during the 1850s and 1860s in the movement to overthrow the shogunate. It translates as “revere the emperor and expel the barbarians.”
 The Ikedaya Affair was a raid carried out by the Shinsengumi against anti-shogunate rebels who had gathered at an inn called the Ikedaya.
 The haori is a traditional Japanese jacket which is worn on top of kimono.
Hey, are you here?
Sorry to bother you while you’re resting.
I wanted to go into town and I thought I’d ask you to come.
How about coming if you’ve got time?
I could show you around the town too. I don’t think it’s a bad offer.
Hahaha! Of course it’s okay. I’ve got time today anyway.
Right! Seeing as we’re going out, I think it’d be nice to make yourself look cute.
That’s right. You don’t seem to wear make-up, but I think you’d look beautiful with a little lipstick on.
Alright, come to my room when you’re ready then. I’ll be waiting.
The sun feels good today!
It really is better to get some fresh air instead of staying at the headquarters on days like this.
Hey. You think so too, don’t you?
Anyway… You ended up looking the same as usual.
Jeez. Even though I told you to make yourself look cute…
Ah! Could it be that you don’t have any lipstick?
So that’s what it was. If you put on some lipstick, then you wouldn’t look so young.
Are you angry? I’m sorry.
You look pretty different to the women I’ve seen recently, so I just felt like teasing you a little.
It was just a little joke. You look cutest the way you are now.
Walking with an ordinary woman like you feels kind of like a new experience. I’m enjoying it too.
Right… Where should I show you first?
Hey. What kind of things do you like?
Now that you mention it… Your parents owned a small restaurant, didn’t they?
I heard from the other men. That’s why your cooking is so delicious.
I’ll take you to a shop which sells cooking equipment first then.
If you like cooking, then wouldn’t that kind of thing be interesting too?
Shall we go then?
Come with me.
You bought quite a lot! Your eyes started to sparkle as soon as we entered the shop, so I even felt happy just looking at you.
It’s alright! If you’ll use those things to make even more delicious food, then it’s no trouble at all!
I’ll tell Sannan-san that we needed those things, so don’t worry about it.
Come on. I’ll carry everything, so let me take those things.
You dummy. There’s no way I could let a woman carry all these things.
This kind of thing is a man’s work. It’s okay for women to depend on men.
It’s no problem at all!
Right… It feels about as heavy as an ant.
Hmm? I suppose that did seem like I was exaggerating.
Well… I’ve got that much strength, so you shouldn’t worry about anything.
Hey… You’re laughing too much. I didn’t say something that funny, so it’s actually embarrassing.
Come on! Stop laughing already!
Hmm? You’re having fun?
I see. Well, I’m glad it helped take your mind off things.
Ah! Over here! You come too!
Whoa… This material looks really pretty, right?
Did you know this is called tamamushi kaiki?  When you look at it this way, it’s blue.
Here. Try and look at it from this direction too.
See. It’s amazing, isn’t it? When you change the angle, it looks green instead.
It seems that it turns out this way when you weave different coloured threads of silk into the warp or weft.
Hmm… This is nice… It would look great if you used it to line a haori.
Hey! Don’t you agree?
You’re right. You don’t get to see the lining of clothes that much.
Ah… I see. You haven’t had much contact with men until now, have you?
You don’t understand men’s minds at all.
When a man has a close relationship with a woman, he’ll take off his haori, won’t he?
That’s when the lining will be seen for the first time. Do you understand? That kind of thing is seductive.
I suppose you don’t understand it, hmm?
Well, never mind. Innocent girls like you are cute.
You see… It makes me want to tease you like this.
You don’t have to glare at me like that, do you?
I couldn’t help it! I felt like doing it.
Come on, come this way.
Oh! I haven’t seen you for a while.
What are you talking about? Of course I haven’t forgotten!
Hmm… You’re Kosuzu-chan!
See, I remembered it!
Right… I’d like to play a different game next time!
I don’t like playing ohirakisan  because my body is so stiff.
So we’ll play a different game, alright?
I’ve got to win next time and get a passionate kiss as a prize!
Hmm? We didn’t play ohirakisan?
Oh… Is that right? That’s strange.
Anyway, I’ll come round the next time I’m free.
Sorry. I’d like to talk today, but I’ve got someone else with me, as you can see.
See you later.
Ah, I met her in the red-light district before.
Do you know what that is? It has many geisha and geisha houses.
Why are you looking at me like that? It doesn’t really matter, does it?
I’m a man, you see. Of course I go to the red-light district.
Well… I suppose I’m not that close to her though. She seems to be interested in me, but she’s not really my type. I like women who are more ladylike and elegant.
Hmm… I suppose you could say we’re acquaintances.
The red-light district is the only place men can go to take their minds off things.
Just let me go there.
Of course I’ll stop going if I find someone I’m serious about.
Or are you going to help me take my mind off things?
Why are you talking as if you’re not good enough?
Hmm… I think you should have more confidence in yourself.
Well… You certainly don’t have a seductive appearance though.
But you’re pure and you seem to be a modest person.
I kind of like women like you.
What? You don’t believe me?
I’m being serious though.
You should be a little more embarrassed.
Hey… Hmm? It’s raining!
Ah… This is no good. I didn’t bring an umbrella.
Wait a minute! Stay under that tree.
I’ll go and buy an umbrella over there.
Here you go. I’ve got one.
Let’s get under the umbrella together for now.
It’s a cute umbrella, isn’t it?
I thought this light red colour would suit you. Use this when it rains from now on.
It’s a gift from me.
Of course it’s alright. In return for that, just take good care of it.
You look really cute when you smile!
Seeing your smile made the umbrella worth buying.
Me? I don’t need anything like that.
Never mind that. Come closer, otherwise you’ll get wet.
Hmm? What is it?
I want to be kind to women. I feel uneasy if I don’t.
I’m just doing it because I want to, so I don’t want you to feel sorry about it.
That’s a good answer!
Ugh… Now it’s started to thunder!
Hey. Aren’t you afraid of thunder?
What? That’s so boring!
Women would normally cling onto men. You don’t do that?
Ah… Right! I’m scared of thunder!
I’m scared, so let me put my arm around you like this. Is that okay?
Hmm… It’s unusual for a woman not to react when I’ve gone this far…
Even though I’m so close to you, you’re not thinking “how cool!” or “how amazing!”?
I think you’d normally look at someone seductively if you did.
You don’t seem to be doing that at all… I’m disappointed, so I want to try even harder to make a move on you.
The next time we visit the town together, I’ll try a different technique and make your heart beat faster.
That’s right. Next time. I’m going to invite you again.
You’re often lonely at the headquarters, aren’t you? Even though I said you could talk to me, you didn’t come and talk to me at all. I think doing your work alone and in silence must be difficult.
So that’s why I wanted to take you out today.
Well, this is about all I can do.
I’m kind, hmm?
I just like women, that’s all.
That’s too bad.
Come on, let’s go home.
Come closer so you don’t get wet.
I told you not to run away. You’ll be in trouble if you get wet.
You don’t want to catch a cold, do you?
Hmm… Umbrellas for women are small, aren’t they?
It’d have to be two times bigger for us to share it.
 Tamamushi kaiki is a material made from silk, where a different thread is used for either the warp or the weft, which makes the colour change when light is reflected, just like the wings of the jewel beetle (tamamushi).
 Ohirakisan is a game where the participants play rock, paper, scissors and the loser has to spread their feet a few steps apart each time. The person who doesn’t fall wins the game.
You… What are you doing at this time?
Ah… You’re right. I’m sorry.
I just dropped some books.
You don’t have to worry about it though. I’ll tidy up by myself later.
You always go to the trouble of cleaning up the rooms, so I’m sorry for making a mess.
See you then.
I said it’s fine!
I’m sorry. I really am going to tidy it up by myself though, so just leave it. Alright?
I’m going to get some water to drink. You go to sleep. Good night.
Come on! What are you doing? I didn’t say that we’re done yet.
You can’t be worn out already! Do you think you’ll win any battles like that?
Come on! Pick it up!
One more time. Come at me with everything you’ve got!
You’re not tough enough! Is that all you’ve got?
Hmph. That’s why you’ll always be an ordinary soldier!
Huh? What are you doing lying there?
Get up. Training isn’t over yet!
You… What are you doing here?
We’re in the middle of training. A woman shouldn’t be here.
Fainting while training just shows that he hasn’t even trained his spirit. You can’t collapse on the battlefield! He’s not tough enough.
It’s only natural that I’m being strict. Don’t get involved where you’re not wanted.
Do you know anything about sword-fighting?
You’re annoying me. You’re just a maid, so don’t interfere!
It’s not up to you to decide whether something is dangerous.
Never mind. He’s not going to get up.
He’ll just be in the way if he keeps lying there.
If you’re worried, then take him away right now.
Tch. You two help her.
Come back as soon as you’re done.
Everyone else continue training!
All of you line up and come at me in order!
You’re there, aren’t you? Come in.
It seems like you’ve been standing in front of my room for a while now. Is there something you want to say?
I see. So he’s recovered now. Thank goodness.
Hey, come here. I want to apologise for what happened this afternoon.
I’m sorry about what happened before. I shouldn’t have said that to you.
You were scared that I said something so strict, weren’t you?
Treating a woman like that is terrible.
It’s just like you said. I went too far. I should apologise to him later too.
I’ve been feeling angry lately, so I took my anger out on other people.
That’s also why I threw the books on the floor last night.
Ah… That was really terrible.
Having a woman at the headquarters isn’t a good idea after all.
I ended up showing a side of myself I didn’t want anyone to see.
You must be disappointed in me, right?
No… I suppose you didn’t think anything about me at all.
Ah… I’m sorry. I didn’t clean up properly yet. Even though I said I’d do it yesterday…
No… It’s alright. I was the one who did it, so I can’t let you clean it up.
I see. Thank you. I’ll help you clean up.
Hmm… Just a little. There were some things I was thinking about.
This is the first time I’ve felt like this, so I didn’t know how to deal with it…
Hey… How would you feel if a friend who was really important to you said that they couldn’t see you anymore because they had a dream they wanted to achieve?
When the same thing happened to me, although I felt happy, I couldn’t be honestly glad for them.
I wanted to support them, but I couldn’t do it properly.
I wonder why that was. It’s not as if I had been betrayed.
I felt angry when I began to think that it might be because I wasn’t a tolerant person.
I’m sorry. It’s nothing, so don’t worry about it.
Thank you for worrying about me.
It’s better if you don’t get too concerned about me. I’m a dishonest man, so I’ll take advantage of that kindness right away.
On nights like this, I want to depend on someone else, so that I don’t have to think about anything.
You don’t understand? Like this…
Hey… You said you wanted to thank me for the umbrella, didn’t you?
Then could you do it now?
Just let me hold you for a while like this.
You can push me away immediately if you don’t like it.
Your body is all tense. But you haven’t rejected me.
Are you just going to go along with it then?
I’ll keep going as long as you don’t stop me.
This is your last chance to escape.
Hmm? Hey… Why aren’t you rejecting me?
Even you would understand that you had been kissed, wouldn’t you?
Saying that you didn’t have a chance to avoid it isn’t a good excuse.
Or were you thinking that you wouldn’t mind being kissed?
You’re so kind. Are you feeling sorry for me?
Then perhaps I’ll do something indecent next?
Are you going to keep your mouth closed?
That’s no good. Open your mouth.
You should keep your eyes closed when you kiss.
Or do you want to see my face?
It’s alright if you want to do that. But I think that’d be more embarrassing.
Hmm… So your ears are sensitive?
You see… Your eyelashes fluttered when all I did was talk close to your ear.
I understand. My ears are sensitive too.
Right… I like it when someone runs their fingers around my ears like this.
You do too?
Then how about here? If I bite you hard enough here, you’ll die right away.
But you’ve still entrusted yourself to me.
That feels really indecent somehow.
It’s cute how your throat trembles when you breathe hard.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen that kind of unusual reaction.
I feel like it’s an expression that only I know about and it makes me kind of happy.
Hey… How will you react if I touch you here?
Hmm? What is it?
You want to know about an even better place, don’t you?
I’ll find it for you.
If you’re going to do this with a man, it’s better for you to enjoy it.
It’s alright. I won’t let anyone find out unless you say so.
You wanted to try this too, didn’t you?
I don’t think there’s anyone who isn’t interested in this kind of thing.
Your heart is beating fast. I can hear it.
Your body feels warm and it makes me relaxed.
It’s soft and it feels good when I hold it.
So good that I wish you’d sleep beside me every night…
Hey… You say something too.
Otherwise I’m going to touch you here too.
I’m sorry. This is your limit, isn’t it?
Come on. Put your clothes back on properly.
Can you get up?
Ah… I’m worried.
You seem like the type of person who easily gets overcome by their emotions.
You knew I was doing something terrible, didn’t you?
So then you really should have pushed me away quickly…
If me or one of the other men do something like this, you really will get into trouble one day.
You’re a woman, so you need to have a sense of danger.
Alright. It’s done.
It’s late, so you should take a bath soon.
Have a good rest.
Thank you for staying with me.
What’s the matter? You can leave.
Eh? What are you talking about?
Why did you want to do something useful for me?
Ah… I’m a terrible person. Why did I try and make a move on her too?
This really is a bad habit.
Even though I’ll be the one in trouble if she falls in love with me.
I suppose a worthless man like me shouldn’t be by her side.
Just one more person! One more person!
One kashiwa mochi! 
How much is it?
Here you go.
Uh… It’s you!
Ah… What is it?
Did you come to buy something from this mochi seller too?
Hmm… What a coincidence!
Ah… So you didn’t. I thought so.
No… I didn’t ditch my duties!
I’m telling the truth! I was just having a personal break…
Well… If you report this to Hijikata-san and the others, they might misunderstand and make things difficult.
So keep quiet about it!
The way you’re looking at me… I can’t fool you then.
Ah, wait! I’ll take two kashiwa mochi after all!
What are you doing here?
Ah… Buying the food for dinner, hmm.
Thanks for your hard work.
You’ve got good eyesight though. I’m surprised you found me standing in that line.
I couldn’t help it! When I passed by, the line was… Well… It was much shorter than usual.
So anyone would have to line up, right?
That mochi seller is still pretty new, but they’re well known for their delicious kashiwa mochi!
Come on, you try one too! I’ll give you one.
Alright, say “ah”.
No. Don’t be shy. I want you to eat it. I won’t be able to bear it if you don’t.
Well done. You’ve eaten it.
How does it taste?
I see! I’m glad to hear that.
Come on, have some more.
I’m giving you this so you’ll keep quiet.
Alright, I’ve given you some food.
Okay… I think I’ll eat too.
It’s delicious! Now I know why it’s so popular!
Right… I’m surprised you came close to me. Wouldn’t you normally run away?
You see… I did something strange to you the other night.
Or have you been worried that I was avoiding you?
I thought so.
I’m sorry for avoiding you.
But I felt like I shouldn’t talk to you again, you see.
I told you, didn’t I? You should be careful because you get carried away easily.
So it’d be better if you didn’t get involved with me anymore.
At first, maybe it was because you didn’t have anyone else to talk to. But it’s not like that anymore, is it?
I often see the other men talking to you. There’s no need for you to talk to me anymore.
Even if I only lose my focus a little, that’s enough to make me take my anger out on others. I even start being rough too. You don’t have to be around a worthless guy like that.
What do you mean “I’m not a bad person”?
How can you say that? You haven’t forgotten what happened the other day, have you?
Because I was worried? I don’t think that’s a good excuse.
If I’m back to normal, then you’ll forget about what happened that day?
You’re a pretty generous person.
I asked you about what you’d do if your best friend went away, didn’t I?
The friend I was talking about was Heisuke. You heard about it too, didn’t you? Some of the men left the Shinsengumi to form the Goryou-Eji. 
Heisuke has been my best friend for a long time. I care about him like a younger brother and he loves me like an older brother too.
He had a hard time deciding to follow that path. I wanted to see him off without saying anything.
Although I felt that way, there was a part of myself that couldn’t support him completely.
No… I don’t think that’s right. At first I thought it was because I’d be lonely, but when I thought about it carefully, that wasn’t the reason. I felt as if I’d been left behind. Although he was younger than me, he’d made sure to choose his own path and was trying to open that path up.
It proves that a devoted person exists inside oneself. However, when it comes to me…
To tell the truth, I don’t think that the Goryou-Eji and the Shinsengumi will be able to get along. That’s just what I’m expecting though. I’m sure they might even cross swords one day. In other words, it’s possible that I might end up fighting with Heisuke. He is a skilled soldier, but if I’m being honest, he still has a long way to go compared to me.
If we fight against each other, then I’m sure I’ll be the one who wins. The number of members in the Goryou-Eji and Shinsengumi are completely different too. If we’re serious, then it will be easy for us to destroy our opponent. However… That’s something unavoidable.
Hey… Why do people who trust each other have to fight to the death?
Hmm? You don’t think it’s necessary? What are you saying?
I see… You’re right. If something happens, then I just have to protect Heisuke.
That’s right. Perhaps I decided to make him into an enemy just because I’d be facing him in battle.
But it’s not like that, is it?
I wasn’t able to realise something so obvious. Thank you for telling me.
This is to show my thanks.
That really surprised you!
You should be prepared for this kind of thing when you’re with me. Be careful next time.
That’s right. Next time.
There are some other things I want to talk to you about after all.
I feel like I can be my true self when I’m with you.
It’s not just women, I haven’t talked to any other men about things like this either.
I’m probably the type of person who tries to be tough all the time.
But you never change the way you act, no matter which side of me you see.
You’re a strange person, aren’t you?
So… If you wouldn’t mind… Could you still talk to me from now on?
Hmm? You still haven’t finished eating the kashiwa mochi.
Ah… You’ve got a small mouth, haven’t you? You’re only biting into it little by little.
You should just take a big bite instead of nibbling on it like that!
Go on, try it!
That’s no good at all. Your mouth isn’t open.
Hmm… Right! You’re like a little bird.
Isn’t that right, Little Bird?
Hmm? It’s not okay?
I think the name “Little Bird” is pretty cute though.
Hmm… I like it! I’m going to call you that from now on.
Anyway… It’s going to get dark soon. Get back to the headquarters quickly.
You’ll get attacked by some dangerous men if you don’t.
Don’t tell anyone about the kashiwa mochi either! It’s our secret. Got it?
Alright! I’m going to get back to work. See you later.
Ah… This is no good. Kindness which has no secret intentions is my weakness.
Anyway… She’s a maid. She’ll be thrown out for breaking the rules.
 Kashiwa mochi are rice cakes with a red bean paste filling, wrapped in oak leaves.
 The Goryou-Eji were a group created by Itou Kashitarou after he and his allies separated from the Shinsengumi.