Shinsengumi Kekkonroku Wasurenagusa 5 – Toudou Heisuke
CV: Shimono Hiro
It had almost been two years since the Ikedaya Affair . The world is changing at an incredible speed. It seems that people’s hearts also change when the world does. The Shinsengumi moved to a new headquarters and new men replaced the old. At the same time, a split gradually began to form amidst the group which should have been as one. Perhaps that was something unavoidable, or perhaps it was a punishment for surrendering to the peaceful days.
Where do I belong? Why on earth am I hesitating about the path that I believed in? I’m sure that I will lose many things someday. I prepared myself to lose something precious long ago. However, it may just be a selfish wish of mine to make sure that you alone are not hurt. As I look up at the sky, I think to myself – no matter what happens to me, I want you to smile until the end.
It’s no good. I can’t concentrate. I don’t know why I had to catch a cold. But I suppose it’s no surprise since I slept by the door on a snowy day.
Oh, it’s you. You made some porridge? Sorry for the trouble.
Ah, wait a minute. I’m just going to get up.
Hmm? What are you holding out the bowl for? Aren’t you going to feed me?
Ahh. Come on, hurry up.
It’s good. Thank you.
Hey, does it seem like I’ve got a fever? My nose is really runny and I can’t concentrate.
What do you think?
I thought I might have one.
You’re right. I’m feeling cold and my body is tired.
It’s strange that I’m feeling hungry though.
Hey, feed me some more.
I’m so cold!
I should lie down? You’re right. I suppose I’ll do as you say for now.
Ah, are you going already? Isn’t it okay for you to take care of me all day instead of looking after the other men? I’m not trying to be selfish though.
Hey, come here. Got you!
This is alright, isn’t it? I feel like we haven’t had many opportunities like this recently. I haven’t had enough of you. Let me feel you completely today.
I would keep holding onto you like this if I hadn’t caught a cold.
Alright, alright. I know that I’d be training right now if I wasn’t sick. But it’s alright for me to want you to myself sometimes, isn’t it? Even though I know it’s part of your job, when I see you talking to other men… How can I put this… I feel frustrated.
Well, I know you’re not interested in anyone else though. So today you’re all mine…
Ah, now that I think about it, colds can be passed onto other people. I guess now isn’t the time to have you sleeping beside me. I’d actually like to kiss you now, but I’ll have to hold back. You can go now.
You didn’t want to leave me? You look like you don’t.
Hey, I’ve worked up a sweat. It feels bad to have my clothes sticking to my body. Will you wipe my body?
You’ve got a cloth with you, haven’t you? Please do it for me.
Thank you. It feels a lot better now that you’ve wiped it. But I want you to wipe my chest and back too, not just my neck.
Take off my clothes.
You’ve seen my body before, haven’t you? We’ve taken a bath together, right? There’s no need to get embarrassed now. My clothes feel so cold, that it might raise my fever.
Why are you looking away? You’ve got to look what you’re doing when you’re wiping off sweat.
You’ve got tears in your eyes. Are you that embarrassed? Look even more closely at my body.
I feel cold without my clothes on.
Hey. I want you to warm me up.
Not like that. Don’t cover me with the quilt. Isn’t it supposed to be good for people to warm each other with their body heat?
Oww! Would you normally do that to someone who’s sick?! You made me go dizzy just now!
You’ve got a scary look in your eyes! I was only joking! Just now, I said you might catch my cold anyway. Don’t get angry.
Alright, I’m sorry. I’ll behave myself. I thought that was a good opportunity…
You’re going already? Don’t leave someone who’s sick all by himself! I was pretending to be well earlier…
Tch. It’d be nice if she spoiled me a little more.
I’ll try to get better soon.
 Ikedaya Affair – An armed encounter between masterless samurai employed by the Choshu and Tosa clans and the Shinsengumi.
Hey, can I come in now? Have you got some free time?
I see. Let’s do some shopping in town then! I’m done training and haven’t got any missions, so I’m not busy. You looked after me the whole day, so I thought I’d buy something for you this once.
Your eyes lit up! You’re so cheerful!
I’ll be waiting at the entrance, so meet me there when you’re ready.
Kyoto’s always so lively. I’m always expecting lawless men to turn up while I’m walking around, but it seems so peaceful when you see it like this.
Right, we walked around Edo like this before, didn’t we? You insisted that you’d lead the way but you got completely lost!
Don’t get so angry about it. I thought to myself that you were cute. That was the first day we held hands too, wasn’t it?
Hey, let’s hold hands again. This time we’ll be doing it as real lovers.
Alright. Don’t get lost.
So what would you like? Don’t hesitate to say it.
Huh? Bean paste buns? You dummy! That’s not what I meant. I want to buy you something that will last, like a hairpin or a hand mirror.
There must be something!
Ah… There really isn’t anything?
It does seem like you’ve got everything you need. In that case, I’ll look for something. There are plenty of shops. I’m sure I’ll find something that suits you.
Alright, alright. We’ll buy bean paste buns on the way home too.
Jeez, you really do like sweet things.
I don’t think I’ve ever given a woman a gift before. I don’t know what’d make you happy.
Huh? I suppose so. I can’t really help it. This is the first time I’ve felt like I wanted to give you one.
Huh?! I’m not blushing at all! You’ve got it all wrong! Jeez.
Hmm? Wouldn’t this be good? An obidome  with a bell attached to it.
At the moment all you’ve got is an ordinary rope and it doesn’t stand out. The butterfly design and bell on this one looks colourful and pretty.
It won’t get in the way while you’re working either. It looks like it’d suit you too.
How about it? Do you like it?
I see… Then see what it looks like on your sash.
Yes, it looks really good. Don’t I have a pretty good eye for these things too? We could look at the other shops too, but you seem to like this one, so it’s alright if we get it, right?
Wait a minute. I’ll go and pay for it.
Here you go. I like your smile. When I see you looking happy like that, I’m glad I gave you that gift. All we have to do is buy the bean paste buns now.
The sky is getting dark. How about we go home soon? We could stay together longer if it was summer though. Why are the winter days so short?
Ah, I hope summer comes soon. I don’t even like winter anyway. It’s cold and it’s difficult to walk when it snows. It affects our missions too. You think so too, right?
Huh? Hey! What are you standing there for?
You were looking at the obidome? You can do that when you get back to the headquarters, can’t you? Put it away.
Jeez. Something like this always happens as soon as you’re out of my sight.
Let’s hold hands.
Right… Hey. Did you know that there’s a rumour about a frightening demon which appears around here? It targets women who are alone and kidnaps them away somewhere. You’d be an easy target for it. You don’t mind if you get attacked?
You don’t? You should at least be a little scared!
Please don’t go wandering off by yourself. Stay by my side, got it?
If you understand, then everything’s alright.
 Obidome – A small accessory that is threaded onto the obijime (the rope attached to a kimono sash).
Ah… I’m so sleepy!
Hmm? What’s the matter?
Why are you so surprised? Sorry I called out to you suddenly.
Did you just finish having a bath?
You’ll get cold if you wander around now. Go back to your room quickly…
Hey… What’s with that look on your face? You look strangely tense.
Hah! Did you remember our conversation about the demon and get scared?
Haha! I was right, wasn’t I? You pretended to be brave back then, but weren’t you actually worried about it?
Don’t be so scared! It was just a joke to keep you near me…
Ah, it was nothing! Right! It’s particularly dangerous at night. The rumours say that once it sees you in town, it follows you all the way to your bedroom. Wouldn’t it be better if you weren’t alone tonight? Sleep in my room with me tonight so you can escape from the demon. Let’s go.
It’s really dark tonight. Is the moon behind the clouds?
I’m surprised you believe in stories about demons. Don’t be scared. You’ll be fine with me. Okay?
Do you feel better when I do this?
It’s alright. No matter what demon comes, I’ll protect you with my life. So don’t look at me with such tearful eyes.
I’m not going to be able to hold back.
Don’t look away. I might chase you out of my room if you do that.
That’s right. Good girl.
Hmm… Your heart is beating faster. Is it because you’re afraid or is it because of what I’m doing to you?
Don’t hide away. Let me see you.
Does that feel good?
Why’d I lick you? Well, I did it to protect you from evil spirits. A demon won’t come close if you smell like another human. Something like that, I suppose. Anyway, just surrender yourself to me.
Hey, do you believe in ghosts?
You don’t want to believe in them? Right, I guess you wouldn’t want to believe in something scary like that. I want to believe in them a little. I think that souls do exist. I’m talking about how people are unable to pass on and become ghosts when they have regrets in this world.
Right… If I become a ghost, then I’ll come and see you every day. You wouldn’t be scared, even if I was a ghost, would you?
Ah, maybe it’d be better to get reborn right away and see you again soon?
Why are you looking at me like that? I’m not talking about anything scary.
Were you thinking that I might die?
I see. I’m sorry.
All humans will certainly die someday. But don’t worry. I’ll continue to live together with you from now on. My dream is to drink tea and eat bean paste buns with you, even when we get old. That dream can’t come true without both of us being here, right?
So I’m going to protect you and make sure I won’t die either.
I’m sorry I changed the subject.
Your body has gotten warmer.
Hey, can I ask you one thing? I wanted to try this just once… Please lick me.
You don’t have to think about anything.
Sorry, I’m sweating.
Lick me here too…
Hmm? Just do it however you want. I’m just happy that you’re doing it. I’m so happy that I think it’ll drive me insane.
Look this way.
Yes, that’s enough now. Thank you.
I’m sorry though. It seems like I can’t hold back any longer.
I’m not going to let you go until morning.
Hey. Are you cleaning the garden again today? The headquarters is a big place, so the dead leaves just keep coming in. But don’t stay outside too long and catch a cold like I did.
Me? Umm… I was just talking to Itou-san . You know him, right? He joined the Shinsengumi as an officer when we came down to Edo.
Are we friends? Ah, come to think of it, I haven’t talked to you about Itou-san and myself before. When I was younger, I was a wandering samurai in Edo. I was helped out by Itou-san’s dojo back then.
I’ve known him longer than Kondo-san. We’ve known each other for a long time, so we trust each other. We have similar goals too. We often talk about the future of the country until morning. To tell the truth, I was the one who invited Itou-san to join the Shinsengumi. When we came down to Edo, I found the time to visit Itou-san. I introduced him to Kondo-san at the same time. It seems that Kondo-san liked him too.
I’ve mentioned this before, but recently I’ve been having several doubts about the Shinsengumi’s way of doing things.
I’m sure Itou-san will put those things right. I agree with the way he thinks too. But because of that, the Shinsengumi has now been divided into a faction for Kondo-san and a faction for Itou-san. Even I know that it doesn’t mean the Shinsengumi is doing things the wrong way. However, I feel as if it’s changed recently. No…perhaps it’s not the Shinsengumi that has changed, but I have instead.
Ah, I’m sorry! Things got strangely depressing.
Sorry for bothering you while you were cleaning. The Shinsengumi gave me a place where I can belong. I won’t betray them.
You’re going to make dinner soon, right? I’m really hungry! Give me something tasty to eat today too.
 Itou Kashitaro – He joined the Shinsengumi in 1864 and was admired by Kondo Isami at first, despite their different political views. After leaving the Shinsengumi in 1867, Itou was assassinated whilst returning from his visit to Kondo’s residence.
That was a good bath! Thanks for bringing me some clothes.
Having a bath when you’re tired really hits the spot! It would’ve been even better if you had joined me. But there’s hardly any opportunity for that because we don’t want anyone else to find out about our relationship.
Hey, where are you going? Are you going back to your room? It’s still early, so come to my room. I’m feeling hot after being in the warm water too long. Let’s cool down together.
Ah! The wind feels great!
Oh, the moon looks like a bean paste bun! That’s my favourite kind of moon. When I said that to Shin-san and Sano-san, they laughed at me for being weird. But I like it. I suppose that’s because I see it a lot when I’m with you.
Hey, Shin-san and Sano-san found out that there’s someone I’m in love with! Of course I didn’t say it was you.
Those two might already know though. They know me well and I can’t lie to them. That’s because we’ve known each other since we were at the Shieikan . We’ve always been together since then.
I’ve learned so much from them. Like how to fight with a sword and being able to tell what other people are thinking.
Right, Shin-san has taught me even more. Like how to seduce a woman. They’re good guys who care about me.
We made a promise long ago. We said that if one of us died, we would all cross swords with one another.
You think it’s a strange promise, right? But that’s not the truth of it. We just didn’t want ourselves to die selfishly. So as long as we have that promise, I’ve got to survive any kind of trouble.
When I remembered the two of them at the Ikedaya, I naturally thought “There’s no way I can die just yet”.
And now you’re here too. I promise that I’ll survive in this world for their sake and your sake. So can you make me a promise me too? That you’ll live with me from now on. It’s a promise, alright?
I love you. I want us to stay together forever.
It’s gotten cold. You must be feeling cold, right?
Let’s get into bed.
You dummy. Don’t go back to your room.
It’s alright, isn’t it? Let’s sleep together tonight.
I really like sleeping with you. Having someone sleep with me like this makes me happy. Come closer, so we can sense each other even while we’re dreaming.
 Shieikan – A dojo in Tokyo, where several of the major Shinsengumi members met one another.
Hey, I’m back! I got into trouble when it suddenly started to rain. Could you bring a towel to my room?
Alright, I’ll be waiting for you.
You got it for me? Thanks.
Ah, I got completely soaked. I should hurry up and take a bath.
I don’t look so happy?
Of course you’d notice.
One of the men was executed earlier. He was apparently communicating with the Choshu-han  in secret. Being a traitor in the troop, he was executed.
I don’t know whether he really planned to betray the Shinsengumi. But I can’t believe they executed him without even asking what his motives were.
It’s strange, isn’t it? Isn’t it just like not trusting your allies? Are the Shinsengumi regulations that important? I know that the Shinsengumi would be destroyed if they didn’t have any regulations. The Shinsengumi members should obey the regulations and be punished. But just how many men have died as a result of the Shinsengumi regulations?
Traitors are executed. That’s the way Hijikata-san does things. As long as we’re members of the troop, we have a duty to do that. But that man was killed cruelly. I thought of many things when I saw that happen.
Hey. I told you that the Shinsengumi was splitting up before, didn’t I? Recently, more men have been agreeing with the way Itou-san thinks. Itou-san is actually from the Joui  faction. He is different from the Shinsengumi who work for the shogunate.
Although we’re aiming for the same future, the recent negative behaviour of the Joui cannot be overlooked. They’re completely different from the Joui led by Itou-san.
And so Itou-san joined the Shinsengumi to correct that. But the more time I spend with Itou-san the less I understand myself. I wonder where on earth I should be.
Oh? I’m sorry. I ended up talking about something serious. Don’t worry about it. You don’t have to look like that. It’s nothing for you to worry about, you see.
Alright! I’m going to report everything to Kondo-san and the others. Thanks for the towel. Is the bath ready? I want to get in right after I’m done reporting. We can take a bath together if you want.
Oww! It was just a joke! Sorry I teased you.
See you later.
Make sure you keep warm too.
 Choshu-han – A clan that was an enemy of the shogunate and the Shinsengumi.
 Joui – Refers to “Sonno Joui” who supported revering the emperor and expelling foreigners.
Hey, have you got a moment?
Umm… You’ve already finished your work, haven’t you?
The weather is good today. Let’s go out for a walk together.
There’s something I want to talk about too. I’ll be waiting for you, so come to the gate later. See you.
The wind feels good. It’s gradually getting warmer, if only it would pass by spring and go straight to summer.
Is there somewhere we can rest?
Ah, let’s sit over by those rocks.
I like that sound. The sound of running water makes me feel calm. We’ve come to a river like this before, haven’t we?
Not this river, one in Edo. I remember what happened then really clearly.
It was the day you saved me. There’s no way I’d forget it. At that moment, I truly fell in love with you. You became more important than anything and irreplaceable to me. I’m sure that you mean much more to me than you think.
I’m not sure how to love someone else, so maybe I haven’t been able to tell you properly, but you’re the most important person to me. So there’s something I have to tell you no matter what.
I’ve decided to leave the Shinsengumi. I’m sure that you realised I would be leaving the troop. I’m going with Itou-san. We’re going to set up the Goryou Eji . Of course, there’s a possibility I might be executed. But I still don’t want to go against my own will.
Don’t misunderstand. I’m not planning on betraying the Shinsengumi. This doesn’t mean I dislike Hijikata-san. The Shinsengumi is more important to me than anything. I’m making this decision because they are important to me. Please understand.
Don’t look as if you’re about to cry. It’s alright. You won’t be in any danger if you continue to work for the Shinsengumi as a maid.
No. I’m not going to take you with me. The Shinsengumi and I will be taking different paths. I don’t know what will happen next. I can’t let you get involved in that. So you’re going to stay with the Shinsengumi.
You don’t want to? I’m telling you that you’ll be in danger! You’re a good girl, so I want you to do as I say. Please. It won’t matter if we are apart. Distance has nothing to do with the feeling of love. No matter where I am, I think of you and it’s as if you’re by my side. I belong to you. As long as you don’t forget that, our hearts won’t be separated.
I’ve already told Kondo-san and the others. I’ll be leaving the headquarters in a few days. I’m sorry for telling you this all of a sudden. But if I didn’t do it this way, then my determination would have faded. Please forgive me. Even if I’m gone, Kondo-san, Hijikata-san and the other men will all be here. You won’t be lonely! So everything going to be alright.
Come on, how much longer are you going to look like that? I told you that I love your smile, didn’t I?
Let’s buy something tasty on the way home. A new sweet shop just opened up. We’ll go there on our way back.
Come on, take my hand.
Ah, Shin-san went to that sweet shop before. He was really embarrassed to line up there.
Hahaha! It makes you laugh, doesn’t it? I was surprised because he doesn’t look like the type of person who enjoys sweets!
 Goryou Eji – A group created by Itou Kashitaro after he and his allies separated from the Shinsengumi.
I’ll take this with me, and this too. Alright!
Hmm? You’re still awake?
Yes, I was getting ready to leave tomorrow.
No, I don’t need you to see me off. You’d regret it if you did, wouldn’t you?
I told you not to look so sad. It’s not as if we’ll be apart forever.
We certainly won’t be able to see each other as often. It’s been decided that the men who leave to join the Goryou Eji won’t be allowed to associate with the Shinsengumi.
But you’re not one of the soldiers. I plan on writing to you sometimes. We’ll be apart for a while, but we might see each other around town. Are you still worried?
Hmm… Right! Look up at the moon when you’re feeling really lonely. When you’re lonely, I’m sure I’ll be feeling the same way. So let’s look at the same time as each other when that happens. If we do, we’ll be together, no matter where we are. That will be enough for us to feel as if we’re together. Alright?
Right! I told Shin-san and Sano-san about you.
Why? It’d be no good if someone made a move on you while I was away, right? It’s to keep things in check! I trust you not to look at another man, but you don’t know what everyone else is thinking, do you? So I talked to them and asked them to protect you. You don’t have to worry about that. I’ve got the preparations for it completely worked out too, haven’t I? Now I can leave the headquarters without having to worry.
Come here. I’m sorry for leaving you. I’m sorry I made this decision without you. But this is the path I’ve chosen. It was an important decision I made so that I could be myself. Please forgive me. I know we’ll see each other again.
When a new era comes, the things that have been natural to us will also change. We’re going to make Japan a better place. Then people will be able to live more freely.
If the barrier between the anti-shogunate faction and the Joui faction disappears, then there won’t be any more battles. I’ll be able to live with you again too.
It would be good for us to live together again. You can keep any animals you like so you won’t get bored while I’m out.
Right! We’ve got to have a big house for when we have children. I’d like to have one girl and one boy. I’ll play with the children while you make dinner. We’ll play games like tag and kite flying. Hide and seek too.
I’ve always dreamed of having a father to play with. I’m going to play with my children a lot. Just thinking about it is fun, right? I’m going to work hard to make it a reality. So just wait, okay?
Ah, you smiled! Okay! Now that I’ve seen that expression on your face, I can leave without worrying. It’s late, so let’s go to sleep. You won’t be able to work tomorrow if you stay up late.
Got it? Good night.
See you later.
Then I left the Shinsengumi and became a member of the Goryou Eji. Three days after I left the headquarters, Gesshinin  at Kodaiji Temple  became the base for the Goryou Eji. Despite what I said to you that night, we have not seen each other since then.
The weather gradually became warmer, the cherry blossoms scattered and summer came around. Just when I thought that my clothes had become heavy with sweat, the trees turned red, telling me that autumn had arrived. As I watched the leaves fall out of the corner of my eye, the season was suddenly changing to winter.
Hey, how long has it been since we last saw each other? I would most often look up at the moon and think of you on chaotic days. I wonder if you are well. I wonder if you’re smiling. I wonder whether you’re crying. I hope you won’t change. I was unable to send you any letters as I realised the split between the Shinsengumi and the Goryou Eji was deeper than I had first thought. Even if I did send letters, they would probably be destroyed and never reach you.
I will eventually have to face the Shinsengumi seriously. I’ll fight against the men who used to be my allies. I’m not completely prepared. Even so, I’ve decided that I will go my own way. That’s right. I’ve made a promise to myself many times.
 Gesshinin – A temple beside Kodaiji that was founded during 1617.
 Kodaiji Temple – A temple founded during 1606 in Kyoto by the wife of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, an important ruler of the Sengoku era (1467-1573).
Shh! It’s me.
It’s been a long time. Has your hair gotten a little longer?
Sano-san must be kinder than I thought if he showed you the way to this forest.
You don’t need to hold me that tightly. You’re making me happy enough to cry.
I missed you.
I’ve been thinking about you the whole time we were apart. I dream about you every night. When I’m awake I think about how you are doing and if you are well. I thought things would be fine as long as our hearts were with each other, but when I looked up at the moon, I couldn’t help wanting to touch you.
I wanted to kiss you and stroke your hair like this. That’s all I could think about. I’m happy to see you.
Hmm? This obidome… Is it the one I bought for you?
I can see that you treasure it. It really does suit you.
Will you still remember me, even when I’m gone, if you have that?
What am I trying to say? I meant it exactly as I said it. I’ll have to fight against the Shinsengumi in the near future. This is war. I’m sure that the troop itself will be in chaos too. But you’ll be fine if you stay put. Don’t leave the headquarters, no matter what happens.
It’s alright. I’m not going to die. There’s no way I could leave you behind in this world.
It’s alright. Everything will be alright. But I won’t be able to see you again for a while if I fight against the Shinsengumi. So I told Sano-san to get you to come here.
I’m surprised he arranged this, even though he’d be in danger for associating with me. Thank him later.
You and I would both be in danger. No one must know that we saw each other.
I can’t bear hiding among the trees any longer.
You must have been scared coming here alone, right? I’m sorry.
When I look you in the eye, I can’t believe that we’re going to be apart again. I really wish that I could hold you every day though. I’ve kept on thinking about having you stay beside me… Of course, that can’t happen just yet.
So etch this night on your memories to make sure you don’t forget it. I’ll let you know how much you mean to me.
Shh! Don’t talk too loud.
I’m finally able to touch you. Did you want to do this too?
This is your scent – a gentle scent which calms me.
But strangely enough, it doesn’t feel nostalgic. Perhaps it’s because I’ve thought about you everyday.
Whenever I saw someone who looked like you in town, I wanted to run towards them.
No matter where I looked, I couldn’t find the real you. I wanted to see you so much. When I was missing you, I held out my hands to the image of you that existed in my memories.
Do you understand? When I closed my eyes and listened carefully, I could relive the days I spent with you.
When I heard the sound of the wind, I could see you smiling at me. When I heard the cries of the insects, I remembered the first night I spent with you.
I always think of you.
It’s strange, isn’t it? I’m sure we haven’t spent that long together, but at some point, I began to think of nothing but you.
Hey. I’m sorry. I might disappear from your sight soon.
You dummy! I only said that I might. But I’m sure I’ve told you this before. Even if my body is gone, I promise to protect you from now on.
We can see each other when we close our eyes. Just like you have done for me, I want to etch my existence onto your heart. I want you to feel me, so that you won’t be lonely when we’re apart…
When I hold you, I think about what it would be like to touch you more deeply… How good it would be if I could kiss your heart directly.
The heart which keeps you living is incredibly precious to me.
Your eyes which see me… Your lips which call my name… It hurts to think of all the separate pieces which make you.
I wonder why I’m so in love with you. Even I think that my feelings for you are a little strange. This is the first time I’ve loved and been loved so much. I’m glad we felt the same way. Otherwise I’m sure I would have gone insane.
Open your mouth.
Concentrate on me.
You remember it, don’t you? The thing I have a habit of doing when I tell you I love you. I’ll make sure you know it’s me, even if your eyes are closed.
You like being touched here, don’t you? Your skin feels like silk as it always does. How does it feel when I kiss you while I do this?
It sounds like you are unable to bear it. You look cute. I want to look at you forever.
I’m sorry. I don’t think I can stop myself.
I haven’t seen that dazed look on your face for a while. When I see your face like that it seems as if my heart is being crushed. It feels as if my heart, and not just my body, is being tied up by an invisible thread. But I can’t help how comfortable it feels.
Hey. Put your arm around my neck like you did before. Bind me even tighter with your hands.
I finally became happy after meeting you. You’re the most important of all the things in this world. My legs feel so heavy and are trembling so much that they might break. But I’m happy enough to put up with that. You feel the same don’t you? You taught me everything about this world. Now that is clear to me.
You’re sweating aren’t you? Your body feels warm.
So does mine. It’s so warm that it’s unbearable. My body desires you.
Hmm? What is it? This feels even better than before? You’re breathing harder. I really like hearing you breathe as if you’re drowning. I feel as if I’m everything to you.
Shh! Keep your voice down. I don’t want anyone else to hear your beautiful voice. That sweet voice is mine alone. Your chest, back, fingers, heart all belong to me.
I feel so warm. My fringe is in the way too.
Hmm? What’s the matter? Why are you staring at my face?
The wound on my forehead? Ah, I don’t usually put up my fringe like this. I suppose there weren’t many opportunities to see my wound.
Go on, try and touch it.
It’s healed well, hasn’t it? After I got hurt, my wound ached enough everyday to give me a headache. But strangely enough, the pain calmed down when I was talking to you.
It’s strange, right? Perhaps I was in love with you from the first time we met.
I’m sure that I thought our time together was precious enough to forget the pain. This wound doesn’t hurt anymore. If you touch it, it doesn’t feel any different from normal skin. Even though I was hurt so badly, my body is keeping me alive. It’s telling me to keep on living.
Hey, even though I was hurt badly enough to leave a scar, I didn’t die. So no matter what happens, everything will be fine.
I couldn’t disappear leaving someone precious to me behind.
Turn around. Put down your hands on the ground.
There’s no need to be embarrassed. Only the moon is watching, so show me everything.
Hmm? A bell? It’s a nice sound.
To tell the truth, there were times when I worried that you’d forgotten me. But you tried to stay with me. I’m happy. Thank you.
The bell is ringing. You’re trembling. The sound of the bell resounds through the night. You might be discovered by someone if it rings any louder than that.
I don’t want anyone else to see you. You wouldn’t like anyone else to see me either, would you? Keep this to yourself. Fill yourself completely with me.
Remember me even more.
I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you more than anyone else. I’ll say it as many times as you want. Enough to make your hear it in your ears during the night.
You liked me doing this to you, didn’t you?
You’re all wet here. That’s proof that you’re fascinated by me.
I love you more than anyone else in this world. Look this way.
Oh? There’s drool on the corner of your lips. You look really sexy.
It doesn’t matter, does it? I’m the only one who can do this.
Hmm? What’s the matter? I haven’t had enough yet. Hey, accept me even more.
That’s right. Hold onto me tightly.
You’re the most beautiful person in this world. I won’t let anyone else have you.
You kiss me too.
I love you. I love you! I belong to you, no matter where I am. Let’s stay together forever from now on.
Hmm? Your fringe is soaked with sweat. Your body will get cold if you stay outside any longer. Go back to the headquarters soon.
I’m glad I saw you today. Thanks for coming out here. It might be a while before we see each other again, but you’ll be able to wait, won’t you?
Don’t look so worried. It’s alright. I’m sure we’ll see each other again.
I don’t think we’ll lose the next battle. I’ll become as strong as it takes if it means I’ll see you again. You’re supporting me and I’m going to aim even higher for your sake! So you wait a little longer too.
I’m going now. See you later.
One evening, before half a month had even passed, Itou-san was eliminated by the Shinsengumi and became a pitiful corpse. It seems that Itou-san was summoned by Kondo-san and ended up getting drunk during their conversation.
While returning to Gesshinin, he was shot with an arrow, which went through his shoulder and pierced his throat. The Shinsengumi probably knew everything about our plan to assassinate Kondo-san and made their move first. It was incredibly sudden when I heard that Itou-san’s body was being displayed at the gate of Honkoji in Aburanokoji .
Everyone there understood the situation immediately. The spreading silence felt as if it lasted an eternity. It was clear that the Shinsengumi intended to trap us and that going to Honkoji would result in a battle being fought.
At that moment, there were only seven of us, including myself, at Gesshinin. It was unthinkable for this number of people to win. But we didn’t want to leave Itou-san there until morning. It was around midnight when we pulled ourselves together and left Gesshinin. As soon as we arrived at Honkoji, we put Itou-san in a palanquin.
Alright, let’s get him to Gesshinin before morning! Let’s go!
Although I knew this would happen, my heart still beat faster when the soldiers appeared before us with swords in their hands. My breath was hurried for a moment. It was as if my mind was denying what I had feared more than anything.
My trembling hands meant I couldn’t move my body the way I wanted. But I still killed men who were once my allies with my own hands.
Drops of sweat, that were not just a result of the heat, rolled down my forehead onto my cheeks.
I couldn’t even blink.
It felt as if I could hear my heart beating right next to my ears.
I couldn’t tell where I had been cut or how deep my wound was. But I could see the night sky right before me. Because I could not focus, many more stars than usual shone brightly from far away. And a pleasant bun shaped moon, like the moon I saw with you, rose up.
It’s beautiful… I want to show you this starry sky too.
I felt as if my consciousness was somewhere far away.
I absentmindedly wondered if this was death. I wonder how long I stared at the sky. At some point, the voices and clashing swords I heard from afar faded away.
I wonder which of us won the battle. I couldn’t even tell that then.
You… What are you doing here? I told you to stay at the headquarters because it’s dangerous.
Shin-san told you I was here? I see… He’s always too kind.
You dummy. What are you crying for? Don’t look so sad. No one’s going to leave you.
Your hand feels warm. But don’t touch me too much. My blood will get onto your hands. Something dirty like this doesn’t suit you.
But you’re still holding onto my hand. I’m glad you haven’t changed.
Hey. Do you still love me the way I am now? Will you still love me even though I’m stained with blood?
I see. I’m glad. Please kiss me.
Thank you. I feel a lot calmer now that I’ve seen you.
I’m fine. It doesn’t hurt anywhere.
I’m sleepy. Can I rest for a while?
Don’t worry. I really am just going to sleep. Let’s go to Edo together again when I wake up. I’ve remembered somewhere I want to take you. It’s a place in a forest where I often used to play alone when I was young, a place where the wind feels good.
There we’ll just sit, watching and waiting for the sun to set. The sunset you can see there is the most beautiful. I really want to show it to you. It’s a promise.
The last thing I remember was the feeling of being surrounded by warmth. Your voice calling my name again and again. I wonder when my heart last felt so calm. It felt like I was sinking into a deep ocean.
I dreamt that I was laughing together with you. It was just an ordinary day in our lives. Even so, we were laughing happily. I wonder when it became natural for me to accept the word “happiness”.
I wonder when I began to feel as if I wasn’t lonely anymore. I wonder when I began to consider visiting an unknown place. I wonder when I began to buy things that a woman would like when I went into town.
Hey. Do you understand how much you’ve done that led to my salvation? How much I relied on your smile…
The night sky is beautiful tonight. A completely clear black sky able to accept everything.
I can hear the rustling of the trees, the sound of people’s feet against the ground and your trembling voice. Your tears don’t belong to a night with such a bright moon. So don’t cry anymore.
No matter how much longer we might have been apart, you didn’t think my heart had become distant from yours, did you? It’s not just time, distance is the same too. Even if you are here and I am as far away as a star in the sky, we’ll be thinking of each other. So don’t cry.
Even if I don’t open my eyes again, don’t cry. I love you.
I love you more than anyone else in this world. This feeling will never change, so just stay as you are and keep smiling.
 Aburanokoji – The incident where Itou Kashitaro was killed is named after this street where it occurred. The real life Heisuke was also killed during this incident.
Hmm… Guess who!
Yes, you got it.
That’s your reward for knowing it was me.
What? You’re not satisfied with that? Then I’ll give you another.
The weather is great today! But I can’t get used to only having to do laundry for two.
In the Shinsengumi and Goryou Eji, doing laundry meant everyone’s laundry. When I see this, I realise there are only two of us here. I’m kind of happy.
Hey. There’s only the two of us here, so we could do it outside sometimes.
The wound on my forehead has just started to heal! What if you made it open up again?! Jeez, you’re such a violent woman!
Yeah, yeah. Sorry I tried to do something weird.
Anyway, how about we go out now?
I told you there’s somewhere I went to often when I was younger, right? I want to take you there. You’re not used to this part of Edo either, so I’ll show you round some other places too.
When you’re done cleaning? When will that be? It’s not that important. You don’t have to clean every last place!
So, as the master of this house, I’m saying there won’t be any cleaning done today. You don’t mind that, do you?
This place isn’t as big as the Shinsengumi headquarters, but it’s still too big for us two. We don’t use that many of the rooms, so it should be enough just to dust it once in a while.
Why have we got such a big house?
Hey, that’s obvious, isn’t it? It’s for our children who we will see one day!
How many children do you want? I think I’d like two. A boy and a girl would be nice. I’m looking forward to it. I want all four of us to play tag as a family! I want to go fishing with my son too.
What do girls like to play? I suppose they must like ball games or playing house. I’m sure I would spoil my daughter completely if I had one.
Ah! But I might not be able to bear it if my daughter found a boyfriend!
Hey, why are you laughing? I’m being serious!
Anyway, we need enough money to start a family first. We’ve got to work hard.
Come on, let’s hold hands. The ground isn’t level here, so make sure you don’t fall.
Hmm? You’re still using that obidome? It does look good on you, but there’s no need to use it everyday.
It’s a protective charm? Well, I certainly was awoken by the sound of its bell that night.
There was no way I would’ve died and left you behind when the gift I gave you was so precious to you.
The treatment Yamazaki gave me after that hurt like hell though.
Come on, let’s go!
Oh, right. There might be lots of forget-me-nots blooming around this time. Let’s take a look at them together. They’re cute and small, just like you are. They’re like you, the person I love most in this world.