Shinsengumi Hiyokuroku Wasurenagusa 2 – Itou Kashitaro
CV: Hirakawa Daisuke
It was 1864. The questionable rumours about the city of Kyoto often travelled as far where I lived in Edo.  There, men who called themselves Choshu  loyalists violently wielded their swords and there was no end to the random killings carried out by savage men. However, the city of Edo had a lively atmosphere which was nothing like that violence. The people of Edo forgot the rumours of Kyoto almost as soon as they heard them.
However… The Ikedaya Affair  took place on July 8th. As soon as that terrible news reached Edo, their name immediately became known as a symbol of fear.
The Shinsengumi. They are an organisation of cold-blooded assassins. It is said that those who oppose them are mercilessly killed. While they are secretly ridiculed for being the dogs of the shogunate, no one confronts them directly. If it is the Shinsengumi who control Kyoto, then I suppose that I’m glad to be in Edo. A supporter of the emperor like me is without a doubt an enemy of theirs. I pray that they don’t leave Kyoto.
That was what I thought. However, things suddenly changed. In early autumn, an old friend of mine, Toudou Heisuke, came to visit me. Heisuke enthusiastically recommended that I join the Shinsengumi. I turned him down at first, but I eventually decided to accept his invitation, with a specific thought in my mind.
November 26th, 1864. I became a member of the Shinsengumi. The organisation which is known as the Shinsengumi in the bloody city of Kyoto, whose only similarity was their desire to expel any foreigners.
Ah… I’m incredibly excited. I wonder what will happen from now on. There’s only one thing I want to achieve here. Right now, it’s still a secret.
Excuse me! My name is Itou and I’ll be living here from today.
I’m going round to introduce myself to everyone and I was wondering if I could have a moment of your time…
I’m coming in then.
Oh? You’re a woman!
Hello. Pleased to meet you.
Ah… I didn’t think there’d be a woman here.
I heard that this place was an unrefined one because of all the men here, but I’m happy to be proven wrong.
Ah… I’m Itou Kashitaro. I’ve come here as an adviser to the Shinsengumi. It’s nice to meet you.
And you are…?
Ah… You’re working here as a maid.
I think someone pretty like you could find a job without having to work around all these dangerous men. Why’d you come to work with the Shinsengumi?
I see. You got caught up in what happened at the Ikedaya and ended up all alone, hmm.
I’m sorry to hear that. I apologise for asking you about something difficult.
In that case, the Shinsengumi certainly does have to take responsibility for you.
Now that I’ve joined, I want to help you to feel happy, even if it’s only a little.
Don’t be shy. There’s no greater honour for a man than helping a woman to be happy.
I want you to let me help you.
But… As for what I can do…
Hmm… Ah, that’s right! Why don’t you study with me?
You see… If you’ve got lots of things to do, then it’ll distract you from feeling sad, won’t it?
Working without thinking is fine, but gaining knowledge is something enjoyable.
Yes! I’ll teach you anything.
I said I came here as an adviser, but I also have the position of a literary instructor.
If you like, I can teach you a lot of different things, without anyone else around.
I was joking. Unfortunately, you wouldn’t be the only student.
The members of the Shinsengumi are gradually going to increase.
However, there are men among them who haven’t had enough education, aren’t there?
It’s my job to teach them many different things.
I’ve also got some knowledge of how to wield a sword.
But it seems that people here are expecting me to teach instead of fighting with a sword.
So I plan on giving you plenty of knowledge, if that’s what you want.
What do you think?
I don’t mind you agreeing so easily, however…
Well, that’s fine! If you’re interested in studying, then come to my room. I’m planning to have study sessions every morning after breakfast. I’ll be waiting.
See you later then.
Ah… That’s right! I forgot something.
Give me your hand.
It’s a sign of our friendship.
See you later.
 Edo was the former name of Tokyo until 1868 and was also the seat of power for the Tokugawa shogunate which ruled Japan.
 The Choshu was a powerful clan which was attempting to overthrow the shogunate.
 The Ikedaya Affair was a raid carried out by the Shinsengumi against anti-shogunate rebels who had gathered at an inn called the Ikedaya.
Hey! Have you got a moment?
I’m coming inside.
Are you busy right now?
I’d like to ask you a favour.
Ah… You’re sewing, hmm?
I want to go shopping now. I was thinking that you could show me around the city if you weren’t busy.
I’ve been here half a month already, so it’s a little embarrassing.
I wanted to get to know the other men, so I was concentrating on that and didn’t have much time to go into the city.
Because of that, I still don’t know my way around Kyoto.
How about it? Would you be able to come out after you’ve finished sewing?
Ah… There’s no need to worry. I was the one who invited you out all of a sudden.
If you can’t do it today, then what about tomorrow?
That’s good. I’m going to speak to Kondo-san and Hijikata-kun to make sure you won’t be given any other errands tomorrow then. It seems that you’re being given plenty of errands every day, you see.
Oh? That’s not true?
Hmm… Then why haven’t you ever come to my lessons?
I’ve been waiting for you every day, thinking that “I’m sure today will be the day”.
I’m not trying to criticise you.
But I just wanted to know the reason why.
Is it because you’re suspicious of me?
Hmm… So that’s why you hesitated to come!
Just because you’re not one of the soldiers?
You should stop thinking that way from now on.
You’re not one of the soldiers, but you’re still a member of the Shinsengumi, aren’t you?
The vice-captain and leaders of each troop are under the command of the captain. There are also advisers such as myself, spies and ordinary soldiers. Then there’s also you, a maid. The Shinsengumi includes all those people.
You should believe that if anyone, including you, was missing from the Shinsengumi, then it wouldn’t be complete.
I don’t plan on treating you differently just because you’re a maid. I think the other men feel the same way too. So there’s no need for you to hesitate about coming. I’d actually like it if you were motivated to come!
Being reserved and humble is said to be something virtuous, but I don’t particularly like those things. I want to spend my days wisely, without any regrets. You’d like to do that too if you could, wouldn’t you?
Alright. It’s good to be honest.
Ah… But if you’re not coming because you’re not interested in studying, then it’d be a different matter. I’d have to think of another way, to do things you see.
You don’t understand?
Well… Seeing as there’s a woman here, I’d like to get to know her.
Choosing a different way would actually be easier. Maybe you’d prefer that too?
Hmm… Where would be good this time?
After having kissed the back of your hand… Next would be your lips…
No, maybe it’s too soon for that. What about your forehead then? Your neck?
Right… Your fingers would be good.
Hey. Show me your hand.
Now, now. I believe in doing things like this in a specific order.
I’m not going to suddenly push you down.
Alright, caught you!
Stay still and show me your fingers.
Ah… Poor you. They’re all rough. It must be difficult because you have lots of chores to do, but you have to put ointment on your hands.
This must hurt. I’m going to relieve your pain.
If I gently lick your fingers like this, then doesn’t the pain mysteriously fade away?
You’ll be in trouble if the others hear you, won’t you?
I’m sure your hands will look beautiful when they’ve healed.
I think that the most beautiful part of a woman’s body is her fingers.
So I can’t bear your fingers being rough.
I’ve finished licking all your fingers.
I wonder why people only have ten fingers. If there were even more, then I’d lick them all.
Maybe I’ll lick your toes next?
Will you show me your feet too?
You don’t want to do it…
I like your reaction. It makes me excited.
I’m not going to lick your toes, so let me lick another part of your legs instead.
I think the second most beautiful part of a woman’s body is her legs.
When you run away while blushing, it really makes me want to corner you.
There’s nowhere for you to run though… Where are you going?
See. I’ve caught you again.
I’d actually like to lick your thighs, but you won’t let me do that yet, will you?
What if I gently touch your ankles and calves?
Hmm… Your legs are beautiful.
Yes, they’re exactly my type. I like them.
They don’t look like it, but your legs are quite disobedient.
Though if you struggle like that, your kimono will come loose and I’ll see something.
Would you be happy with that? Or are you actually trying to show me?
You look cute when you’re struggling like that, but it’s also cute when you’re obedient too.
I’ve got to lick this other leg too. It’s only fair, isn’t it?
I’m not scared of you glaring at me when your face is all red.
It actually makes me want to do even more.
Did I do too much? I’m sorry.
You even look cute when you’re angry though.
Hey. I’ve got a good idea.
I want you to be my lover.
Oh? Why are you so surprised?
You don’t have to think so hard about it.
You can do it for fun or just for the experience.
Hmm… You turned me down quite strongly.
I see. If there’s no room for negotiation, then there’s nothing I can do about that.
I’ll give up for today then. I wouldn’t want to interrupt your sewing any further either.
Ah… But I’d still like you to be interested in me.
Remember that I confessed to you today.
See you again tomorrow.
The weather is great! It’s a perfect day to go shopping!
You think so too, don’t you?
By the way, why are you walking so far away from me?
Did I do something to you?
Hmm… You’re asking me to think about it?
Well, I licked your fingers and legs, then kissed your hand and cheek, didn’t I?
Ah, I licked your ears a little too. I think that’s about it…
Oh? What was so wrong with that?
It’s not as if I hurt you, or forced you to go all the way.
I was trying my best to be considerate. That wasn’t any good?
That’s no good… You’re glaring at me as if I was some kind of beast.
Hmm… That makes me sad. My heart really hurts.
I’ve been excited about the thought of going out with you since this morning. It’s too bad.
Hmm… Are you really sorry about it?
Then I want you to hold my hand and heal my heart. Alright?
Yes, this is enough to heal me.
Oh? That’s no good! I’ve found an excuse for us to hold hands, you see. I’m not going to let go.
And I told you that we’d become lovers, didn’t I?
Now that I’ve confessed, I’m going to do things that’ll draw your attention to me, so that we can be lovers. So let’s spend the day holding hands.
Of course I’m serious! That’s because I’ve fallen in love with you.
Ah… The Shinsengumi regulations, hmm. Isn’t Hijikata-kun in charge of those?
Hmm… It’ll corrupt everyone’s morals? Isn’t he thinking too hard?
Hijikata-kun has a somewhat old-fashioned way of thinking, doesn’t he?
Trying to control the romantic relationships between men and women is too conceited.
Even though you can’t do anything to control people’s feelings. You get punished or have to commit seppuku  if you break the rules… Ruling people with fear too often isn’t a good thing.
Hmm? Are you worried about me?
You’re a kind person. Thank you.
But it’s alright. Kondo-san is fond of me, so I don’t think I’ll have to commit seppuku, even if Hijikata-kun hears a few criticisms about me.
Anyway, I think you should gradually start speaking your mind. The Shinsengumi is an interesting organisation, but the regulations are too controlling.
I want to live freely, without being controlled by anything.
Of course, there have to be some boundaries though.
You still look concerned. Are you that worried about it?
But it really isn’t anything for you to be worried about.
Well, for example… I don’t mind doing things like this in front of other people.
Ah… That hurt! You didn’t have to push me so hard, did you?
Anyway, you’ll draw attention to yourself if you make a fuss.
Oh? Is it something to get so angry about?
I’m trying to take the right steps to become lovers.
Confessing, going out for the first time together, holding hands, kissing when I think it’s the right time… See, I didn’t do anything that suddenly, did I?
It seems like I’ve made you angry. I’m sorry.
I’ll buy you something as an apology then. Come here.
Don’t turn me down so quickly. You’re not even going to give me a chance to redeem myself?
It’s alright, I’m not going to do anything else. I promise.
If I do anything else, you might go home without showing me around.
Will you let me hold your hand though?
We’re supposed to be walking together, so if I turned around and you happened to have disappeared, then I’d be completely lost.
To tell the truth… My sense of direction is quite bad. I might not be able to get back to the headquarters if I get separated from you in a city I’m not familiar with.
So… Let’s hold hands.
Well… I’d like to go to a street with plenty of shops. Where would you recommend?
Ah… It really does have a completely different atmosphere to Edo.
Edo is much more lively, but Kyoto is a refined place. The things you can buy are elegant and eye-catching.
Hmm? That shop…
How beautiful! Why don’t we have a quick look?
A vidro… 
This is my first time being able to look at one carefully.
Hmm… When you were a child?
Then you must be pretty familiar with them.
I’m not. I’ve seen one, but never played with one.
Alright. Why don’t we try playing with it?
Hmm… It’s not making a sound.
Ah, yours made a sound!
How much air you breathe into it?
Hmm… I’ll try one more time then!
It really isn’t making a sound. Never mind.
Not being able to play won’t cause me any trouble. It’s nothing to be proud of either.
Anyway… This is boring!
Let’s go over there! Aren’t they selling something much better than toys?
Hey… Was everyone around you always able to play with a vidro?
Hmm… I see. So it’s a toy that even children can easily play with.
I just had a slight feeling that it needed some kind of special skill.
It’s not as if I want to be able to play with it. I was just a little curious.
Alright! Let’s talk about something else.
If you don’t stop laughing, then I’ll break the promise I made earlier and kiss you again.
Somehow it feels complicated when you stop laughing so suddenly.
Ah! That shop has some nishiki-e.  Can we have a look?
Do you like art?
I particularly like nishiki-e. I collect the ones I’m interested in.
I don’t know that much about them. It’s not as if I can talk about them in that much detail.
But among the nishiki-e, I think the azuma nishiki-e  are particularly wonderful works of art.
Some of the prints use such deep colours that I’m surprised by how brilliant they are.
They capture people’s hearts. I’ve had that experience many times before.
I hope this shop will have some prints like that.
Ah… How about this one?
Yes. It’s a nice picture. The setting sun in the sky looks lovely.
You’re right. It looks beautiful.
It really does catch your eye.
It even makes you feel as if you’re dreaming that you’re a bird flying through the landscape in the picture.
Yes, I like everything that’s beautiful.
Artistic images bring colour to your daily life, you see.
I like this one, so I think I’ll buy it. What about you, is there one you like?
If you want to see it, then come to my room. I’ll show it to you whenever you like.
Alright, that was a good shopping trip!
I’ve got to show this to the others when I get back. Sannan-san and Hijikata-kun might be interested. They like nishiki-e too.
The world would be a simpler place if people could get along with one another by simply having the same interests.
The things made in Kyoto really are wonderful, aren’t they?
Even the simple stalls in front of houses have a different kind of elegance which catches your eye.
Ah! It looks like they’re selling brushes at that shop. Can we look inside?
Hmm… This is a big shop, isn’t it?
Big shops have a wide range of products and it’s worth choosing something.
Ah… Do you have your own brush?
Let’s have a look at them together then. The handles have many different thicknesses and lengths. Depending on what you’re using the brush for, the hairs are different too. You can touch them and see what they’re like.
By the way, I like the brushes made from goat hair. They’re good at picking up the ink, you see.
You won’t know what a brush tip is like without testing it, but a soft one is good for when you’re writing things.
See, try and touch the brushes that are around here.
What do you think?
Hmm… You like that one? Isn’t that one fine then?
It’s not as good quality as the goat hair brushes, but brushes made from cat hair are soft and easy to write with.
Ah… If you haven’t got a brush, then you don’t own a writing box either, do you?
It seems like there are some inside the shop, so let’s have a look.
When buying a writing box, you should just get the one you like the craftsmanship of.
If you like the design of it, then you’re more likely to take good care of it.
The ones without any pictures on them are for people who appreciate the look of the wood.
However, I like the ones that are more brightly coloured. What about you?
Really? In that case, the two of us might have similar tastes. I’m happy about that.
Ah. Did you find a box you liked?
This is… It’s a picture of a ground cherry.
Yes. It’s a good choice! It’s unconventional and eye-catching.
Let’s buy this writing box and the cat hair brush then.
Don’t worry about the money. Look at this instead. It’s a box to keep letters in. The maple looks beautiful. It’s a similar colour to the sunset in the nishiki-e I bought earlier.
You think so too! I’m also going to buy this letter box.
Hmm? Why’s that? You said all these things were nice, didn’t you?
The reason I’m buying them for you? You’re worried about something insignificant like that? Even though this is the perfect chance to own the things you thought were nice! There’s no need for you to hesitate. If you insist on having a reason, then call it a reward for accompanying me all day.
Alright, Mister. Could you wrap these all up?
Ah, wait a minute. These bookmarks have been dyed a beautiful colour. If you saw one of them sticking out of a book, then wouldn’t it make you want to pick it up and immerse yourself in reading it?
If I had one of these, then I probably wouldn’t end up leaving a book unread for days on end.
Hey, which colour do you like?
Why can’t you choose? You don’t like these bookmarks?
Ah… So you can’t choose because they’re all so beautiful?
Hmm… I understand that feeling. Then why don’t we buy all the bookmarks from here to here?
Is that so? Then you’d better choose the one you like quickly.
It’s this one, isn’t it? Then I’ll have this pale blue one. It’s the colour of the Shinsengumi and the sky.
Could you also wrap up these two bookmarks, Mister?
That was a good shopping trip! It feels great when you can spend money extravagantly.
Are you that bothered about it? It really is fine! I just wanted to buy you those things, you see.
Something you could do in return?
Hmm… I’m the type who buys things by themselves if they want something.
Ah… That’s right! Come to my classes then. It’s better to use the equipment you’ve bought instead of just leaving them lying around.
Alright! Now that’s decided, we’ll have to buy the rest of the equipment that you’re missing.
Of course! The only thing you’ve bought to go inside the writing box is a brush.
So are there are other shops aside from the one we just went to which sell ink stones and ink?
I’d like to see the products other shops have if that’s possible.
Ah. They’re over there?
Alright, take me there then. I’m looking forward to seeing which things you like.
 Seppuku is a form of ritual suicide that was originally reserved for samurai. It was used voluntarily for samurai to die with honour instead of being captured by enemies or as a punishment for samurai who had committed serious offences or done something to bring shame upon themselves.
 The vidro or bidoro is a glass toy which makes a popping sound when it is blown into.
 Nishiki-e is a type of multi-coloured woodblock printing. It was invented in the 1760s, and before this time most prints had been in black and white or coloured by hand.
 Azuma nishiki-e refers to nishiki-e which were produced in the city of Edo (modern day Tokyo).
Oh my. The sun has already begun to set.
The evening really did come quickly. Shall we go home then?
If there’s something we’ve forgotten to buy, we can just come again another day.
Ah… My shopping?
Hmm… To tell the truth, there wasn’t anything in particular that I wanted to buy.
I wanted to go out with you and I used going shopping as a reason to do that.
Well… I bought a nishiki-e and a bookmark, so it’s not as if I wasn’t telling the truth.
Oh? Why do you look so troubled?
Were you thinking of me as a liar? I’m sorry if you did.
Next time I lie, I’ll make sure you can’t tell. Can you forgive me?
You say some amazing things. How can you live without lying? That’s impossible!
People find that lying is as natural as breathing. How much they lie depends on the person though.
And if I tell lie that makes someone happy, then it doesn’t matter, does it?
You didn’t feel bad when I said I loved you, did you?
No, it’s true. Everything I’ve said to you is true.
I love you so much that I can’t bear it.
Why did you let go of my hand? Are you trying to make me get lost?
Ah… She’s gone. Maybe I teased her too much? Not knowing when to stop is one of my bad habits.
But it’s also her fault for being a good person to tease. Her reactions are so honest that I can’t help wanting to do it.
Oh my… It seems that she can’t be left alone.
The moment she ended up alone, she got caught up in something.
Hey! What are you doing? Have you already found a different man because you’re not interested in me?
I must say that you’ve got quite bad taste in men.
I was talking to her just now. Who are all of you?
You’re so noisy. Don’t shout like that.
It’s so unrefined.
So what were you going to do to her?
You were going after the woman I’m interested in… You’re unrefined, but it seems you have good taste.
Aren’t you aiming too high though?
Oh my… You’re acting like that just because you’re a little worked up.
You’re foolish, aren’t you? It must be incredibly difficult to live with such a short temper.
By the way… It seems to me that you’re the men responsible for the terrible acts of violence that have been happening quite often over the past few days.
You’re nothing more than thoughtless hooligans. Isn’t that right?
In other words, you’re the type of people who will only cause harm if you’re alive.
I’ve made up my mind. I’ve got to get rid of anyone that gets in the way of another person’s love.
Isn’t that right?
Ah… I’m not going to let you escape either.
Oh… How beautiful… The ground is completely red…
I think the sight of blood spraying out is an artistic one.
It would be wonderful if I could display this scene in my room…
Hey… You should look carefully too. Don’t you think that this is a captivating piece of artwork, just like the nishiki-e?
It looks so beautiful…
Is that so?
There are people who understand though.
I think Sano-chan said that sprays of blood were like flowers.
Even the most worthless hooligans are made from the same things we are, you see. I’m sure there’s no harm in praising the beauty of the flowers they create at the end.
Ah… But I suppose I shouldn’t have talked about that in front of someone who only just lost their parents. I’m sorry. I got excited.
Ah… It’s not as if just cutting anyone down can excite me.
For example… When I kill men like them who enjoy mocking the weak and show off by criticising others… That’s when I can’t help being excited.
I feel as if the world improves a little when I kill pests with my own hands. It makes me so happy that I’m excited enough to come.
On the other hand, when I hear about the death of someone who is loved by many people and an honest person who has contributed to society, I can’t bear the pain in my heart.
Even the Shinsengumi are all promising men who are passionate about their beliefs.
Ah… If they were to die, then I wouldn’t be able to stop crying…
You feel the same way? I’m happy to hear that. We get along very well with one another.
I wonder about that… Wouldn’t you feel excited if you could kill pests too? It isn’t good to make up your mind about something by simply thinking about it. You should test whether you really feel that way. You’ll realise whether you’re different from me when you kill someone, won’t you?
If you would like… Why don’t I find someone who would be good for you to kill? I’m sure I’ll find someone right away.
Is that so? That’s unfortunate.
Well, let me know if you change your mind.
Shall we go back then? Something bothersome will happen if we keep staying here.
Oh my… You’re welcome. I didn’t think you’d thank me for helping you.
I’d actually like you to say you’re sorry.
Listen up. You got into that situation because you let go of my hand without asking.
It’s alright as long you understand.
Hey… Anyway, what did you think of me earlier? Didn’t you fall in love because of how amazing I was? I’d really like it if that were the case.
You always deny things straight away! Isn’t it alright for you to give me a little hope? You’re so unkind.
Alright, that’s enough for today. Thank you for your hard work, everyone.
Oh? Why are you sitting all by yourself? Have you got a question for me?
You’re an enthusiastic student, you see. I’m happy that you’re getting good use out of the equipment I bought you. I enjoy teaching students like you.
Tell me right away if any of your equipment gets worn out or breaks, alright? We’ll go and buy some more.
I’m sorry. I was happy because we haven’t been alone together for a while.
Hmm… Have you got a question? Or are you finally ready to confess your feelings for me?
I wonder which one it is.
Judging by that expression on your face, it’s not the answer that I’m hoping for.
Alright. What did you want to ask me?
Hmm… The atmosphere in the headquarters has changed since I got here?
Ah… In what kind of way has it changed?
I see… Heisuke seems to be worried about something and there’s something strange about Sannan-san too?
That’s not a particularly specific observation. But I suppose you could say it’s a perceptive one.
Isn’t it unkind of you to say it’s my fault though? It’s as if you’ve decided that I’m a bad person.
I see, so you don’t feel that way. I’m happy to hear that, but you are unfortunately right. I’m probably the one who is most responsible for the strange atmosphere in the headquarters.
There’s no need to have such a scary look on your face. It’s only natural that my presence would change the atmosphere in the headquarters.
You see, I joined the Shinsengumi because Heisuke asked me to improve it.
Yes, the atmosphere actually seems to be getting worse. Isn’t that why you think of me as a bad person who is throwing the Shinsengumi into confusion?
You want to hear my side of the story first?
Hmm… That’s a good answer. I’ll compliment you for not giving a hasty response.
Well done. As a reward, I’ll tell you a little about why I’m here.
I’m trying to give the Shinsengumi a good future. I’m sure the Shinsengumi can become even better, you see.
Well… Things are quite troublesome though.
How I’m going to improve them? Why do you want to know that?
You’re right. I certainly did say that you were one of the Shinsengumi.
I see. So that’s why you want to do something for their sake. In that case, I’d like you to put even more effort into your studies. I’m sure that’s something you can do for the sake of the Shinsengumi.
Haha. You just keep on asking questions.
Why would putting more effort into your studies help the Shinsengumi? I’ll let you answer that question in your own time. Will you tell me when you know the answer?
Hahaha. Is that so? You might be able to answer it by yourself, even without knowing what I think.
I’m interested in what kind of answer you’ll come up with. Maybe it was a little difficult though.
I’ll give you a hint then.
The way Kondo-san and Hijikata-kun do things is too forceful.
They get rid of the men who are drifting away from the Shinsengumi due to their differences in opinion. However, the men of the Shinsengumi are nothing like the worthless ruffians you can find anywhere. They’re not the kind of people it’s acceptable to kill like that.
There’s no need to be so surprised, is there? You said you didn’t know how I felt. I told you how I felt because I thought it might help you answer the question I gave you. I’d like it if you were happier about that.
Right! Why don’t you tell me how you feel if you can? Then the two of us will be able to understand each other better and become closer to one another.
Hey. What did you think about what I just told you?
You don’t look well.
It’s alright then. You can answer that question in your own time after all. Saying you don’t know isn’t a bad thing. Anyone can find an answer if they think carefully. Make sure you think about it properly.
You even look cute when you’ve got a worried expression on your face. May I kiss you?
You don’t have to run away so quickly! I’m not going to chase you.
See you tomorrow. Make sure you look where you’re going!
I did it again. I wonder why I always try to make a move on her.
There are plenty of women in the red light district. There shouldn’t be any reason for me to get involved with a maid from the Shinsengumi. Even so…
Ah… This is troublesome. I can’t help feeling excited when I see that woman.
I wonder why that is… Perhaps it’s because I enjoy her reactions…
This is the first time I’ve felt like this. Trying to solve this by going to the red light district would be an unfortunate thing to do.
For now, I’ll go out into the city and kill some ruffians for a change of pace.
Good morning! The weather is great again this morning.
Oh? What’s the matter? Your eyes are all red.
Didn’t you get enough sleep?
Staying up late is no good! I’d be really sad if it wasn’t just your fingers that got rough, but your face and legs too.
Come here. My room is right over there. You can sleep for a while.
Alright, sit down.
Can you lay your head down here?
I think a man’s lap is probably hard and uncomfortable to lie on, but isn’t that just right for a short nap?
It’s alright! I won’t do anything. I’m not the type of person who’d make a move on someone who looks so tired.
I’ll wake you up after a little while too. You don’t have to worry about oversleeping.
Come on, come here.
That’s right. Try and relax.
Close your eyes.
Anyway… This is the first time I’ve seen you looking so tired.
Why were you staying up late?
Would you mind telling me?
I see… It was because of the assignment I gave you the other day?
Have you been thinking about it all the time since then?
I see… You didn’t have to think about it this hard.
Thank you though. I’m happy you took it so seriously.
So did you find an answer?
To help you fall asleep gradually, I gently stroked your hair as I spoke.
You seemed tired as you replied slowly, carefully considering your words.
You criticised the purges carried out by the Shinsengumi for being too forceful. Couldn’t those things be replaced by knowledge and discussion?
Even a powerless person who cannot wield a sword could become strong by being a skilled speaker. So wasn’t that the reason you told me to put more effort into studying? Creating people who are skilled at speaking will eventually help the Shinsengumi.
After you said that, you began your journey to the world of dreams. I replied as quietly as possible so that I wouldn’t wake you up.
I’m surprised. You were right. You understood exactly what I was thinking. I didn’t think you’d consider it so carefully. I can’t help my heart beating faster. The Shinsengumi would become even better if there were more people like you. I’ve got to work harder too, haven’t I?
Good night. I hope today will be another good day for you.
April 1865. I was alone on the veranda, looking at the sky.
The waning moon dimly lit up the inky sky. A faint light that seemed as if it might disappear, hidden away by the clouds.
I’m sure there’ll be rain or snow tomorrow.
I simply gazed at the moon, wanting to take my mind off the things I had to think about.