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.
What’s the matter?
Ah… You’ve brought some clean clothes here.
Thank you. Put them there.
Yes. I was having an evening drink by myself.
Look. The moon looks really beautiful tonight, isn’t it?
I was thinking that it’s sometimes nice to drink while looking at the moon.
Hey. Will you talk to me for a while?
I just feel like talking to someone.
There are less men around, so your work is a little easier, right?
Even though it’s easier, it feels lonely?
You’re right. There were less men around when you first arrived at the headquarters, but we recruited more men and the number of men gradually increased. Then the number of men decreased after the Goryou-Eji left. We’ll probably never see some of those men again.
Just because your work is easier, that doesn’t mean you feel happy about it, hmm? I feel the same way. There are less people I need to supervise, but that feels strangely empty.
Well, we did live under the same roof for a long time. I suppose we became like family.
Hey. Will you pour me a drink? I think the wine will taste good if you pour it.
Yes. It really does taste good.
You really have been a great help, Little Bird. The Shinsengumi would be no good without you!
By the way, I’m not just trying to be polite. Now you help the men feel relaxed too. Everyone says that no matter how tired they are, they can keep on going when they remember the dinner you’ve prepared for them at the headquarters.
Your cooking really is delicious. I really enjoy it too.
Ah… The cooking equipment. Now that you mention it, we bought them together when you first got here.
Well, I don’t think some equipment is enough to make food taste delicious.
Have you always used that kind of equipment?
I see. So your parents used it.
You got your cooking skills from your parents too.
Thanks to that, the men at the headquarters are used to having delicious food everyday.
I should be thankful to your parents too.
Now that I think about it, it’s been quite a long time since you first came here.
So it’s been that long since what happened at the Ikedaya… It went by so fast.
It’s a quiet evening, isn’t it?
Doesn’t it sound nice to hear the silver grass swaying?
On days like this, I end up thinking about a lot of things.
Well… That’s why I’m drinking this wine to take my mind off them.
Hey… Are you the same too, Little Bird?
When I happened to look at her cheek, a single tear had rolled down.
Reflecting the moonlight, it sparkled as it fell.
I remembered having the illusion that time had stopped when I looked at her face from the side.
My chest felt tight and I gulped at the pain.
I had finally realised.
That’s right. I hadn’t seen that expression on Little Bird’s face before.
You were also smiling the first time that we met.
Your smile was always so bright that it made the men forget why you’d ended up at the headquarters.
I hadn’t really noticed it. But it hurt to see those tears and I embraced you without a second thought.
I’m sorry. I brought back bad memories.
This is the first time I’ve seen you crying though. There’s no way you wouldn’t feel sad about your parents. You always seemed so brave that I didn’t even notice you were pushing yourself too hard.
There you go. You’re a good girl. You’re always trying to be strong. Were you trying to bear it all this time?
Come on, your nose is running.
It’s alright. It doesn’t matter if my clothes get dirty.
Were you working all the time so that you didn’t have to remember the bad things that happened?
Hey… How did you fall asleep at night? What did you do when you were alone?
That’s no good. You’ve got to depend on the people around you more.
Your heart feels tired, doesn’t it?
Come on, put your arms around me. Just like this.
Depend on me like this today. You might feel a little calmer if you do.
The moment that you tightly wrapped your arms around me, I felt an intense pain in my heart.
I’m doing it again… I’m unnecessarily getting someone else’s hopes up.
Which one of us would be troubled if we fell in love? It’d be me, wouldn’t it?
But… Little Bird… I want you to believe me somehow.
Right now, you’re someone who is dear to me.
I just wanted to protect you, who seemed so small and fragile that you could be blown away.
You really are a good girl, so I want you to be happy.
But I’m sure I’m not the one who can make you happy.
Hey, Little Bird. Do you love me?
You dummy. Not like that.
Not as a person… But as a man.
Little Bird… You’re a good girl, so just do one thing that I’m asking.
Make sure you don’t fall in love with me.
I’m a member of the Shinsengumi, but unlike the rest of the men, I don’t feel as if I have to be here.
As long as I can wield a sword, then it doesn’t matter where I am.
To tell the truth, I envy everyone else for having found a place where they belong.
That’s because I’m just drifting along and there isn’t a specific reason that I’m here.
Sometimes I feel as if I’m the only member of the Shinsengumi who isn’t a true warrior.
At times like that, I can’t bear how incredibly pathetic I feel.
Even so, there wouldn’t be somewhere I wanted to go if I left the Shinsengumi.
I’m only here out of habit. I know things can’t be like this forever.
So… I’m thinking of leaving the Shinsengumi one day.
Then I’ll say goodbye to you too, Little Bird.
Were you surprised to hear me say something like that so suddenly?
I’m sorry. I might end up doing something to make you feel unhappy again.
But it’s alright. I’m not an important part of your life.
You’ve stopped crying now. Thank goodness.
If you ever feel upset, then just come to me. I can listen to you.
Sorry for stopping you so late at night.
Go back to your room and sleep.
Even though there are less men here now, your work tomorrow will be difficult.
Good night, Little Bird.
October 1867. The sense of foreboding I had felt for some time turned out to be justified.
Ah… Little Bird!
Yes, I’m going to where the Goryou-Eji are now.
Hajime came back to the headquarters last night. He reported that they seem to be planning to assassinate Kondo-san.
So… We have to stop that from happening!
Why do bad feelings turn out to be true? I’ve begun to dislike my intuition.
Heisuke is probably there too… I’ve got to protect him!
Little Bird. You be good and wait here at the headquarters.
It’ll be fine. I’m sure it won’t turn out to be that serious.
See you later then.
Little Bird! I want you to use your magic again.
So that I can come back to the headquarters with a smile on my face.
Come on. Kiss my cheek.
Hurry up. I don’t have much time.
That’s right. Thanks to you, I don’t feel worried anymore.
I can definitely protect him, right?
Alright… I’m going now!
Be good and wait for me.
Then the Shinsengumi made their way towards Aburanokoji. 
Damn it! Get out of my way!
Where are you, Heisuke?!
I was always worried that things would turn out this way, but now there’s no hesitation in the way that I fight. As I wielded my sword, I felt relieved at heart. It was as if I had been freed from a long period of suffering. I’m sure that was because you gave me courage when I left the headquarters.
I want to use this sword to protect the people important to me. I’ve finally realised that was the reason to wield a sword which I had been searching for.
You seriously listened to what a pitiful person like me had to say and drove away my doubts. You accepted everything about me.
A warm feeling is surging through my heart. I’ll be sure of this feeling once I return to the headquarters.
Until now, I was more afraid of that than anything else, but now I don’t want to run away from this feeling any longer.
Hey. I think I can make you happy the way I am now.
I can’t stand still right now!
Heisuke! Wait for me!
Your magic worked!
Yes. Before the battle, there was an order to let Heisuke escape. It seems like our feelings were the same.
You’re really happy for me, as if it was your own happiness. Thank you.
Ah… Yes. I came here because I wanted to tell you right away.
It’s alright. I’ve already given my report to Kondo-san and the others.
Sorry for coming here so suddenly.
I thought I might be bothering you, but I really wanted to see you.
Little Bird. It was all thanks to you. I’m really grateful.
Also… I’m not going to hold back any longer.
See you later.
 Aburanokoji is the street where Itou Kashitarou (the leader of the Goryou-Eji) was killed, as well as the name of the incident in which he died.
Ah… I suppose I’ve changed a little…
Anyway, stop asking me so much! Your personality is awful!
Alright, alright. Leave it alone. Anyway, your advice is no use at all.
Ah… Yes. See you later then.
He’s observant about the strangest things…
Ah, Little Bird! Are you taking a break from your work?
Thanks for your hard work.
Yes. I was talking to Sano. You didn’t hear what we were talking about, did you?
I see. Thank goodness then.
Well… He was saying that I’ve changed recently. He doesn’t hesitate to say what he thinks.
Sometimes there are things you just don’t want to talk about.
Well… We’re good friends though.
We’ve been together since we were at the Shieikan.  At first glance, Sano looks as if he’s unsociable and not thinking about anything, but he’s actually pretty odd.
The other day, he said he was going to try some kinds of food that didn’t go well together and suddenly started eating all kinds of things.
Eels and pickled plums. Tempura  and watermelon. Walnuts and salmon too.
Anyway, he ate so many different things that he didn’t even know what made him feel sick.
Just thinking about it makes me laugh.
He’s an interesting person.
Oh? What is it? Are you curious about him?
Hmm… You’d like to talk to him properly, huh.
Are you serious about that?
Ah, I see.
Hey. Let’s stop talking about Sano already, okay?
It kind of bothers me.
Little Bird… Shouldn’t you be a little more understanding of what a man’s feelings are like?
You don’t know why I’ve got you cornered against the wall?
You’re an adult too, so you should understand.
You’re going to play dumb, even though I’ve gone this far?
Hey, Little Bird. Don’t talk about other men in front of me.
Ah… We got interrupted.
But… What happened just now was your fault.
Hey… There’s somewhere I want to take you soon.
Have you got time to go there? There’s something I want to tell you, in a place where we won’t be interrupted.
Come on! We’re almost there.
It’s somewhere that you’ll like, Little Bird.
Ah… I can see it now.
Your reaction is just what I expected.
It’s a beautiful place, isn’t it? Camellias are growing everywhere in a corner of the forest.
It was just the right time to come. I really wanted to show you this.
Why are you running around like that? The flowers aren’t going to run away.
Little Bird! There’s an insect!
Only joking! It’s just a cocklebur.
Your reaction was amazing. Didn’t you have fun playing around with these when you were a kid?
Sorry. You looked so happy that I couldn’t help teasing you.
Come on, the sun is going to set soon. Let’s watch it together.
Sit down here.
This scenery really does look nice.
I found this place a little while ago, but I think it’s become more beautiful than before.
Ah… Maybe it just looks even better than before because you’re beside me now.
Hey. Can we hold hands?
Let me tell you what I was trying to say the other day.
I’ve been trying to think how to say it… But I won’t hesitate for no reason any longer.
I… I love you.
Are you surprised?
I’m happy though. Since you’re surprised, you understand that I’m serious.
Just like I said, I’m in love with you.
You might not be interested in an unreliable man like me though…
That’s not true?
You smiled and I said “I know you’re the type of man who will protect what’s important to him with all his strength. That’s why all the other men trust you. How could I dislike such a reliable man? When you told me not to fall in love with you before, I felt really sad. At that time, I realised that I was in love with you. So I’m happy.”
I looked at you in surprise when you smiled and said that. I think that when two people share the same feeling, it is the greatest miracle that can happen between them. When the person you love also loves you in return. You probably wouldn’t find this happiness, no matter where you looked.
Thank you, Little Bird. I’m happy.
Hey. So both of us feel the same way, don’t we?
I see. So I don’t have to hold back any longer, do I?
I love you.
I love you, Little Bird.
My chest hurts a little. What are you going to do, Little Bird? It’s your fault.
Ah… I don’t know what to do.
The way things are, just seeing you talk to the other men is going to make me jealous. I want to tell everyone else that you’re mine somehow.
Is it okay if I make a mark behind your ear here? I actually want to put it here instead, but that’s probably too obvious, isn’t it?
I’ve made a mark now. Did it hurt?
Sorry. I couldn’t help it though.
Ah… That’s right. Your ears are sensitive.
Did that tickle? I’d be doing a lot more if we were in bed though.
Well, you can look forward to that once we get back.
Hmm… I suppose that won’t happen. It would go against the Shinsengumi regulations, wouldn’t it?
Ah… If Hijikata-san finds out, then I’ll have to commit seppuku. 
This is our secret. Alright?
I promise to protect you forever, Little Bird. So I want you to stay beside me and watch over me forever.
Did you think I was being too serious? That’s too bad. I’m a pretty serious man.
Only around you, of course. I’ve never wanted to devote myself to a woman like this.
I’m sure that the times will constantly change, but my feelings for you will always be the same.
 The Shieikan was a dojo in Edo (modern day Tokyo) where several of the major Shinsengumi members met each other.
 Tempura is a dish that consists of seafood or vegetables which have been deep fried.
 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.
It happened not long after that. January 1868. Lord Yoshinobu  announced the Declaration of Imperial Rule.  The Satsuma and Choshu  forces established a new regime, with the emperor at its centre. Then in February, the Shinsengumi sided with Lord Yoshinobu and went to war.
We descended upon Toba Fushimi  in Yamashiro-no-kuni,  their swords in hand. The battle was begun when the Satsuma-han fired their guns at us. Our army outnumbered theirs, but they had a large number of firearms. No matter how much we attacked them, we were unable to advance as planned. It didn’t take long to realise that there was no chance of us winning this battle.
As I moved through the battlefield, I began to think about the path I should take from now on. I found the answer more quickly than I thought I would.
That’s right. I want to fight for this country in a place that I’ve chosen by myself. I don’t want to simply drift along. I want to wield my sword in a place that I’ve decided is the right one. Everything is for the sake of the people important to me and to carry out my own will.
Ah… I’m so thirsty! This is the kitchen, isn’t it?
Oh… You surprised me!
You’re still awake? It’s the middle of the night.
Hmm? What’s that? Rice balls?
What have you got those for?
Ah… You made me something to eat because I was training.
Thank you. You could have gone to sleep instead of worrying about me though.
You didn’t get much rest coming from Osaka Castle to Edo, did you?
Are you tired? Don’t push yourself too hard.
Me too, hmm?
Well, we managed to escape to Edo… But I’m sure that Choshu and Satsuma will come here after they’ve increased the size of their forces.
Things have calmed down for now, but I’m sure there’ll be another great battle. I should be on my guard until then.
Hey. Can I have that?
I just happened to be feeling hungry. Seeing as I’m going to eat, I’d like to have some tea too.
Alright. Thanks for the food.
Rice balls taste good when you eat them around this time.
You really are a genius at cooking, Little Bird.
They’re not just ordinary rice balls. I think these are the best rice balls.
You did your best making them for me too. They’re the most delicious rice balls in this world.
Hmm? I’m not exaggerating though.
I like watching you from behind. Especially when you’re standing in the kitchen like that. I really think that it looks beautiful.
I love you, Little Bird.
Tea? Yes, I’m going to have some.
I’ll drink it later. Can I talk to you about something important first?
Yes. I thought that I’d talk about this tomorrow, but I wanted to tell you sooner after all.
I think you might have noticed this, but the Shinsengumi will probably be disbanding soon. Even if the Shinsengumi is fortunate enough to avoid that, I’m planning on leaving anyway.
I’ll still continue to fight for the sake of this country though. I don’t know where I’ll end up or how long it will go on for. But I’ve got a feeling that will be my path.
It will be after the Shinsengumi has reached Koshu  though.
So… Little Bird… Come with me after this battle is over.
I’ve been thinking about this for a while.
Look this way.
Hey. You’ll come with me, won’t you?
You dummy. I won’t accept it unless you say it.
I see. I’m glad.
I’ll always take good care of you. I’m always going to be by your side.
Hmm? The tea?
Ah… I’ll drink it when it cools down.
Despite how I look, I don’t like drinking hot things. I probably can’t drink it yet.
I’m joking about that though.
Little Bird. I’m not going to let you escape again.
Sit down there.
Yes, that’s right. You just have to stay still like that.
You open your eyes a little when you kiss. Do you like kissing me that much?
In that case, it’s okay if you look at me even more.
Come on, open your mouth wider.
You closed your eyes. You’re embarrassed after all.
A kiss is enough to make you breathe harder? That’s cute.
Doing this in the kitchen feels kind of wrong.
It’s okay. Everyone else is asleep. No one is going to come here.
Even if someone does come here, they should realise what’s happening and leave.
Your skin looks beautiful as always.
When I’m touching you like this, I sometimes feel a sense of regret.
I wonder whether it’s alright for me to taint someone as beautiful as you with my hands.
But because I love you, I can’t hold back my urges.
Not being able to touch you when you’re so beautiful is like torture.
I stopped myself before, but now I want to find the places where you feel good.
There must be other places apart from your ears.
Your legs trembled. It feels good when the person you love touches your vital points.
If this feels good, then perhaps it proves that you love me.
You’ve had enough already?
That’s not true though… But it’s alright. I’ll stop for now.
I’ll do it again later though.
Having you look down on me like this isn’t so bad. Your cheeks are all red.
Maybe I would’ve been able to see better if there was a little more light here.
Ah… I wish I could tell everyone else that Little Bird belongs to me.
I’m glad we can show our affection to each other in secret, but it’s a little disappointing.
I want us to live together soon.
Then I’ll be able to show my love to you like this all the time.
That’s alright. Hold onto my arm like that. If you do that, then I’ll feel as if I’m needed. I’m happy.
It’s okay for you to want me more at times like this. Then I’ll show you affection until you’re satisfied.
When you feel lonely, I’ll hold your hand all night. If something makes you unhappy, then you can take it out on me a little. I’m prepared to accept everything about you, you see.
Let me stay by your side so you’ll always be able to have good dreams.
It’s warm. My body feels like it’s melting. Just being with you is enough to make me feverish.
Does it hurt?
I see. Thank goodness.
You feel good too? Just seeing your face is enough to excite me.
Come closer to me. I want to feel you close to me.
You’re clinging onto me. That’s cute.
You really do look cute when I’m making you feel nervous.
If only we could do this all night.
I want to embrace you until morning and make you completely mine.
I love you. I really love you. Little Bird.
Hey…You say it too.
I’m happy. Just hearing those words is enough to make me feel like I can do anything.
You look as if you can’t bear it any longer.
I’m sure that we’ll have plenty of time together from now on.
Hmm? Did that tickle?
Hey, Little Bird.
Just wait a little longer until the battle is over. There’s something I want to tell you after that. I’ll hold on a little longer until then too.
 Tokugawa Yoshinobu was the last shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate.
 The Declaration of Imperial Rule was a formal edict which declared the restoration of imperial rule.
 Satsuma and Choshu were two feudal domains who allied together to overthrow the shogunate.
 Toba Fushimi is an area between Kyoto and Osaka where a battle between the Tokugawa shogunate and the allied forces of Satsuma, Choshu and Tosa took place.
 Yamashiro-no-kuni was a province in Japan which overlaps with the southern part of modern day Kyoto Prefecture.
 The Battle of Koshu-Katsunuma was fought at Katsunuma, which is located in modern day Koshu (Yamanashi Prefecture).
After that, I took the Battle of Koshu Katsunuma  as an opportunity to officially leave the Shinsengumi. This didn’t mean that I’d become tired of the Shinsengumi. We had parted company, but there was nothing more difficult to give up than what I had gained in the Shinsengumi.
I’m honestly proud of the days that I was able to wield my sword as the captain of the second troop. The men will all take different paths from now on. Even so, there’s one thing that I’m sure of. None of them will ever forget the days they spent as soldiers of the Shinsengumi.
I created the Seiheitai  with Sano and continued to wield my sword for the sake of the country.
However, we soon discovered that the Aizu-han  had surrendered and returned to Edo. I feel as if the time in which I had started to choose my own path passed by in an instant. I’m sure that there will be less and less battles from now on. Before I knew it, the times had already begun to change.
Everyone began to feel their way forwards. The way forward was covered in mist and difficult to see. However, I hope there is a single ray of light ahead.
Hey. Will you be at the end of this empty path?
Little Bird. Have you got a moment?
Oh? You were cleaning your umbrella.
Ah… This brings back memories!
This is the umbrella I bought you when you’d only just come to the Shinsengumi, isn’t it?
It hasn’t broken yet…
I see. You’ve always taken good care of it and cleaned it like that.
Are you going to take it to Matsumae  too?
It’s something you treasure? Isn’t that exaggerating?
Well… I’m happy to hear that though.
Anyway… That umbrella still suits you.
It means you haven’t become like an adult yet.
Lipstick still doesn’t seem to suit you either.
Don’t get angry! I was complimenting you.
I like that you haven’t changed.
By the way… Will you come out for a while?
I found a place with a nice view when I was out walking. Let’s go there together!
Ah… The wind feels good. The air is clear too.
This hill is nice because you can see the ocean from here, right?
How about we sit down here?
It’s so calm. It’s completely different from before.
Everything was all about war before, but now things are completely quiet.
We lost in the end though. That’s why peace has come into this world.
You never know what might happen in your lifetime.
The first time we met, I couldn’t have imagined us being together like this.
But now you’re so important to me that I can’t imagine living without you…
Hey, Little Bird. Let’s live together peacefully from now on.
I’ve been thinking of a way for us to live together forever. There was one thing I settled on.
This is a comb. I want you to take it.
I want to marry you. I want you to stay with me as my wife.
Let’s make a family together, Little Bird. I’m going to be your new family.
I’ll make sure you won’t be alone again.
I’ll always stay by your side. I promise.
So will you accept this comb?
Thank you! We’ll be together forever.
I can be with you from now on too.
I’m sure that even if we’re together too long and your face becomes wrinkled, I won’t notice at all.
Because I see your face everyday, I won’t notice the small changes.
One day, we’ll see the way we are now in a photo and laugh out loud.
We’ll think “We got this old without even realising”. We’ll hold each other’s wrinkled hands and smile.
I want to have that kind of future with you. Let’s be happy, Little Bird.
I’m going to love you with all my heart until the very end.
I want you to think of me all the time too.
Hmm? The red light district?
I know. Of course I won’t be going there.
I wouldn’t even notice other women when I’ve got such a lovely wife.
Anyway… I haven’t been there at all since I fell in love with you. I’m telling the truth.
From now on, we’ll be husband and wife. I don’t know what the future will be like, but I won’t feel worried if I’m with you.
No matter what happens, we’ll overcome it together.
I love you, Little Bird.
 The Battle of Koshu Katsunuma was a battle between the Imperial forces and the Tokugawa shogunate. The shogunate suffered an overwhelming defeat with 179 casualties out of 300 men. The leader of the Shinsengumi, Kondo Isami, escaped from this battle, but was captured and executed soon after.
 The Seiheitai was formed by Nagakura Shinpachi and Harada Sanosuke after leaving the Shinsengumi. They were separate from the Shinsengumi, but still on the side of the shogunate.
 Aizu-han was a feudal domain during the Edo period.
 Nagakura Shinpachi’s father was a retainer of the Matsumae Clan who were given the area around Matsumae in Hokkaido as their estate.
This is Maeno Tomoaki, the voice of Nagakura Shinpachi.
The recording has just finished. Now my voice is hoarse.
I’m going to give my thoughts on playing the role of Shinpachi.
I think the others have said this, but it was really long, wasn’t it?
The script is 88 pages long. Those are all lines for one person.
The recording used a dummy head mic and you have to move around it, unlike a normal mic. To tell the truth, I’ve been talking from 4PM until 9PM. That’s just how much content this work has.
It’s been a while since I played Shinpachi in the previous series. I think everyone who listened to the previous CD probably cried at the shocking final scene.
This time, the story had a brilliantly happy ending. I’m glad Shinpachi got a happy ending.
Is there a scene you would particularly like everyone to hear?
Well… This work was created by the efforts of everyone involved, so I’d like you to listen to the whole CD carefully.
Please tell us two of Shinpachi’s good points.
Two? Why is it two?
Hmm… Well… It would have to be his kindness. In one of the lines, he said he liked being kind to women.
The other thing would be his ability to confront his own weaknesses. I think that kind of thing is attractive. This is more than two, but I’d say his strength too. He’s a very skilled swordsman. He was strong enough to be captain of the second troop. I’d like to be that kind of man.
Shinpachi loves sweet things and lined up so that he could buy some kashiwa mochi. What kind of sweet food would you most like to eat now that the recording is over?
Ah… Right… It’s already night time. The dummy head mic would be able to pick up the sound of your stomach rumbling and making that kind of noise would be no good.
I was given some mini anpan  as a snack, so I ate those to stop myself feeling hungry.
Something sweet I would like to eat right now… I think I’d rather take a bath than having something sweet to eat.
Please give everyone listening a message.
Right… Thank you very much for purchasing Nagakura Shinpachi’s CD once again.
The content of this work was incredibly long and there were many lines that I felt I would probably never use in real life, but I’d feel that it was worth working on this CD if it would be able to make you feel somewhat relaxed.
If you let the voice actors and creators know your thoughts, then there might be a continuation of this series. Perhaps even a second or third. I’ll be counting on you.
Thank you for listening for so long. This was Maeno Tomoaki, the voice of Nagakura Shinpachi. Let’s meet again.
 Anpan is a sweet roll filled with red bean paste.