At that time, I felt no fear.
It's...because I was "a child".
Won't you let me hear your story?
Chapter 24 - The Moon and the Stars
From this time on, through good times and bad...
...my love will swell until it fills a deep, still channel.
T/N: This half of the sentence is actually a quote from Poem 13 of Ogura Hyakunin Isshu ("Hundred Poems") - a collection of Japanese poems compiled in the early 13th century by Fujiwara no Teika.
Hina didn't mention you had woman or children...
Is she one of your acquaintances?
Someone who wants to be a leader...
...should not be too narrow-minded, right?!
This girl doesn't know anything.
She's just one of my companions.
You haven't thought her manners.
She's a child I've been looking after since she was little...
Who exactly are you?
Why are you doing this?
What are you planning to do with Tsugaru?
What on earth do you want from him?
You're asking why?
The tale of the oligarchy as a pillar of this country is already told.
This is where I come forward as an alternative.
I'll get rid of those who have democracy only as their official stance.
What reason do I need to want to be on top?
I simply want Fujishima-kun to help me with the preparations. That's all.
For the sake of Japan?
So you want him to work as a spy in the war for the sake of Japan?
It's the same thing Hina-san said...
If I do that, won't he only become more impudent?
My grandfather succumbed to the shogunate and became an Emperor's enemy.
In order to be forgiven, he committed seppuku.
If he had won, it would have ended differently.
This is a battle of winning and losing between good and bad.
If you lose, you die.
This man wants to subdue the country.
You're saying too much.
She'll keep her mouth shut.
Hurry up and come to my side!
Can't you see it?
Enough with your stubbornness! I'll make good use of your head.
The view from the top?
I wonder if something happened to her.
Well, what are you going to do?
You must be worried.
No knocking on the window. She takes long to give you a signal.
Your hands are tied, because I'm here.
Rumor has it that Aizen-san works to Japan's disadvantage.
For example, why did he take over the ironworks based at the harbor?
I came to confirm whether it was truth and to impede it.
He works to one's advantage.
Did I lose consciousness?
You fell over...
But only for a little. I could count to 100...
So little time, yet it makes a difference.
My body feels heavy...but my mind is somehow...
Don't worry! It's just lack of sleep.
What about Aizen and those guys?
Earlier, a man came calling him and all three left.
Maybe something happened.
You must have felt terrible. I disappeared without saying a word.
I was sure this happened against your will.
Leaving that aside, Tsugaru...
The story from earlier...
You know, I...
I think that's stupid.
That guy is quite boastful...
...yet his way of doing is so circuitous!
He wants to make the Japan we know succumb in war and destroy it?
Ah, yeah, it does...
A war takes time. So does the demolishment afterwards.
Well, I believe he wants to rebuild the country...into his ideal.
Still, he wants to destroy a stone bridge, that's perfectly usable, and rebuild it.
A view obtained this way is...
Even though the scenery before you is beautiful...
...when you turn around, there's wasteland.
And moreover, even though I greeted that man politely, he suddenly hit me.
It's bad to sneak in without permission, but I'm not an animal.
I don't bite!
He has to take responsibility if it leaves a scar.
Well, but at least he brought me to where Tsugaru is.
One would usually be scared in such situation.
Seriously, you never lose your spirit.
...remain strong...and energetic.
You're doing things right.
I don't know whether I'm doing things right but...
I'm able to be strong...
Why is that?
...because I met you.
When my sister sank into despair at the red-light district.
When my sister died and I was wondering what to do.
Tsugaru was there.
When all those things with my brother happened...
...Tsugaru was there.
You illuminate my path in the dark night.
Like the moon.
You sure are the type who speaks her mind...
To be frank...
I felt a little tempted.
Deciding the outcome of a war is like moving pieces in shogi.
Using all my ability to @ssess the situation and the tide of war -
I have never strived for success in life.
...that's something I've never experienced. I guess I was thrilled.
Ah...looks like I was somewhat brainwashed.
It's okay now.
Long time no see, Tsugaru!
When I met Hina for the first time in a while, I saw my reflection in her.
I am no more able to have children.
Did you think I was dead?
I didn't die but...
...I was thinking about what I could do from now on.
...fell in love with that man's ambition.
Unconcerned about what's right and wrong. This person...
...reminded me so much of me.
Do I turn her down? Or do I...
What made me stop hesitating?
Don't you feel the same?
If I am like the moon...
...you're like the stars.
Like the stars in the sky the young me looked at when thinking about his path in life.
Tsugaru, it's fun.
Tsugaru, that's strange.
It's amazing, Tsugaru.
Their continuous glitter gave piece to my tormented mind.
You know, Tsugaru...
...I love you.
Seen through your eyes, the world glitters like the stars.
I like you.
Why am I acting like this?
Tsk! I can't use my hands.
I'll untie you.
Um, even if you do it now...
My hands have gone numb.
Looks like the door can't be opened from inside.
Are we trapped?
It'd be difficult to get out.
If you're there, please open the door!
If it's for you...
We need to talk.
...I can do this.
I don't know for how much longer I'll be the moon for you.
Even if a day comes when you choose someone else...
...I'll be always thinking about you.
To be continued in the next magazine issue...