#8. The Book of Burning Passion (2)

Flames are Like the Wind #8

tl by danluffey

#8. The Book of Burning Passion (2)
1: And so, two years passed...

1: Over the next two years, Takeda Shingen died of an illness, giving Oda Nobunaga a chance to launch a massive offensive!
2: Soon, the map of Warring States Era Japan had been completely redrawn.
3: Ashikaga Yoshitoshi, 15th shogun of the Muromachi shogunate, was thrown out,
4: and both Asakura and Asai's armies were defeated in Echizen and Oumi.
5: The rebellious monks from Ise Nagashima were also stamped out...
6: and the Kiriba clan...

1: drenched countless battlefields in torrents of blood, and became infamous as the cruelest ninjas in the land!
2: Lord Hiraga, I heard you claimed over 30 heads in this last battle.
3: But your men couldn't carry them all back, so they simply sliced off all the noses to show Lord Nobunaga, who was very pleased.
4: Lord Hiraga, have there been any movements from Takeda Katsuyori? Any news?
5: Umm, we should receive some today... or tomorrow...
6: Lately, the messengers have been slower than usual. A ninja's survival rests on how quickly he can receive information, does it not? Please try and have more pride in them, as opposed to how many heads you claim.
7: Yes, princess! As you wish!
8: You should have seen how many we got in Nagashima...

1: The Kiriba clan has changed so much over the past two years...
2: As of today, I, Soujin, will be commanding you in place of our leader.
3: Along with that, we will also be restructuring the Kiriba clan a bit.
4: Now, you will be able to rise as high as you wish, as long as you have the power to back yourself up.
5: On the other hand, those who are all talk, or are past their prime, will be forced to retire.
6: What?!
7: That's crazy!
8: Yeah! That's how real ninja should be! That'll make every job worth it!

1: Up until now, the Kiriba clan has been focused solely on technique and lineage, which is the very reason why we have fallen from grace!
2: From this point on, we will act as true ninjas!
3: We must be reborn... as a clan of fearsome ninjas who will stop at nothing to achieve our goals!!
4: Father, is this what you really think the Kiriba should be? Are you really OK with this?
5: Something's wrong with Uncle Soujin! You need to relinquish control from him! Father!!
6: Be quiet, Mitsuyu. I'm tired...
7: F... Father?!
8: The Kiriba need to change. It's the only way for us to survive in this warring world...
9: If we leave things to Soujn, I'm sure we'll end up just fine...
10: You must help the Kiriba as well. Along with Soujin...

1: Hey! Stop that!!
2: That's what he gets for mouthing off! We don't need the opinion of an old fart like him!!
3: He's useless! He should just hurry up and die!!
4: How could you...
5: Are you OK? I don't believe them! They think they can do whatever they want just because they're stronger!
6: B-but... it's true...

1: How...
2: did the Kiriba clan turn into this?
3: It's gotten so much harder to live here!
4: Kozue.
5: Long time no see. How've you been?
6: You're... Shirou?!

1: Shirou's back!!
2: What? Really?!
3: That's Shirou?
4: Woah...
5: Shirou!!
6: Jitoumaru?
7: I'm so glad you made it back! And you look like you've become a fine ninja!
8: Not as fine as you!
9: I heard you're a squad leader now. You've really made a name for yourself!
10: Well, yeah...

1: Did you get some time off?
2: Yeah, but I need to speak with our leader ASAP.
3: We're still watching Takeda's movements, but it's only a matter of time now.
4: Well, let's go get a drink tonight! We've got some catching up to do!
5: Yeah.
6: He's gotten bigger.
7: Both his body and his heart...
8: I'm no match for him anymore...
9: Takeda Katsuyori is an excellent general, and he's on a roll now that he just conquered Takatenjin Castle.
10: What did Lord Nobunaga say about that?
11: That he's just another stupid, foolhardy warrior.
12: Hmm.
13: We may be matching blades with Katsuyori next year, then. What Nobunaga have at his disposal?

1: It's still top secret, but...
2: he's amassing cannons.
3: And not just a couple hundred, but over a thousand.
4: I see. Yes, cannons should prove helpful in the coming battles.
5: But the Kiriba clan is still a greater weapon than any number of cannons.
6: Lord Nobunaga will be so surprised... Heheheh...
7: Now then, rest your body for a bit before you embark on your next mission.
8: Yes sir.
9: So it's true...
10: Our leader's half-retired...
11: Sensei seems to have changed somehow, though.
12: Perhaps due to the way the world has become, his eyes look colder than before...
13: The same goes for the village...
14(small): Please help us, Hiuri!

1: Please, at this juncture...
2: give us your strength, Hiuri...
3: Princess!
4: Yes?
5: He's back!
6: Who is?
7: Shirou!!
8: And he looks much manlier than before! When I first saw him, I got the shivers!
9: Kozue!
10: Don't talk like that...
11: Hm? But don't you want to hear about him?
12: Not particularly... He has nothing to do with me.

1: Gramps!
2: Who is it?
3: If you want a sword, I...
4: Grandpa Gohei! It's me!
5: Sh...
6: Shirou?

1: Is that you, Shirou?!
2: You made it back!
3: Yeah! How've you been?!
4: Hey now!
5: Heheh! You're so light!
6: You've gotten so tall... You've grown into a fine ninja!! A proper one!!
7: Come inside, now! I'll go and put some tea on...
8: My,
9: what a happy surprise. Thanks for not forgetting about an old codger like me...
10: Are you kidding me? How could I forget you, gramps?!
11: How's the smithing going? This sure brings back memories!

1: The village has really changed, though.
2: Yes... The strong dominate everything now.
3: It all started when Lord Soujin took over control...
4: Sensei must have some plan worked out.
5: It's true that our reputation has been rising outside the village.
6: We've gotten strong...
7: but we're losing sight of who we really are...
8: By the way, how's the princess doing?
9: Is she still up in the herb fields?

1: She's been very active in the senior officers' meetings for quite some time now. She's become a senior officer herself.
2: Then the fields...
3: She's left them to her maids, it seems.
4: Shirou, you shouldn't go and see her again.
5: But I just...
6: Next spring, she will be married to Lord Soujin.
7: She's going to become his wife.

1: Who is that, Soujin?
2: What? Who do you mean?
3: He smells dangerous...
4: Erase him!
5: Erase him right this instant!!
6: Haha... Don't be ridiculous...
7: He's one of my loyal servants.
8: He'll come in handy with our plan... Yes...
9: I know you will,
10: Shirou...

1: Nobunaga secretly quested to borrow cannon squads from Tsutsui and even Hosokawa...
2: What?! If he does that, then the next war will be...
3: We don't have time to sit around and talk! We need to report this in!
4: OK!
5: Not so fast.
6: Sorry, but that report would be a bit of a problem for us...
7: Would you mind keeping the news under wraps?
8: Th...
9: The Kiriba clan!!

1: Th-they're monsters!
2: Mon...
3: Bring it on, Takeda ninja! But all that's waiting for you here is an ant-lion's pit filled with Kiriba!
4: Not a single one of you will make it to Kai!!

1: It's Shirou.
2: He's good. He only just got home, and he's already rolled some heads.
3: Did you hear? He might be the next assistant leader. Whaaat?!
4: He's strong... But originally came from somewhere outside the village!
5: Lord Soujin likes him best, though, so who knows. He does have a certain intensity to him...
6: Dammit!
7(small): H-how could you do that?! Hiuri will punish you!
8(small): Ohh, Hiuri!

1: Why did you do that, Shirou?
2: That thing doesn't belong in a ninja village.
3: Shirou.
4: Good work back there. You did excellently.
5: Thank you, sir.
6: I'll hope you'll keep lending us your strength. For my sake, and for the sake of the Kiriba clan.
7: Of curse...

1: Shirou, you drinking?
2: Yeah!
3: Sake tastes the best when you drink it right after a mission!
4: Jitoumaru, what happened to your girl? What was her name... Kei?
5: Oh, yeah... She's fine. We just have to be thankful for what we have... you know.
6: As long as we can keep things going like this, I'll be happy.
7: Hah! What a gutless thing to say!
8: You're really OK with how things are?
9: That's my line!
10: I heard about the princess and Lord Soujin.
11: Aren't you going to do anything about that, Shirou?
12: Are you going to give up on her?


1: Shirou?
2: Not here...
3: Wait in the bamboo forest on the west side of the village!
4: Leave it to me! I'll bring her out there!
5: Just wait for us,
6: OK?!

1: Have you lost your mind?!
2: Princess?
3: Shirou's waiting for you!
4: I told you already... He has nothing to do with me!
5: Princess...
6: You're lying.
7: You just keep lying. I know you have feelings for him!
8: You want to meet him so badly, don't you?!

1: But you keep thinking about position and power... ever since you've been a child, you've let them tie you down!
2: I don't want you to turn out like this! It isn't who you truly are!
3: I hate you like this!!
4: What's wrong with going out to meet someone you like? What's wrong with that?!
5-6: Kozue...
7: Thank you. Please, tell me where he is.

1: Shirou?
2: My... You really have grown.
3: I didn't recognize you at first.
4: Long time no see.

1: I heard all about your exploits once you returned. I'm thankful for your hard work.
2: Just doing my job.
3: Princess... Did you stop working in the fields?
4: Yes. I've left all that in the care of Kozue.
5: I couldn't bear to do away with them...
6: What?
7: It's just so funny, Shirou.
8: You're acting so polite...
9: Well... Yeah! I've grown up, you know!
10: That you have. Forgive me.
11: You've really become
12: a fine ninja.

1: Kiriba village has changed, hasn't it?
2: Everyone's elated by how the world has finally come to fear us... But I...
3: It's good to be strong. A lot better than worshiping those weird statues, at least.
4: Are you talking about Hiuri?
5: They don't belong in a ninja village.
6: But worshiping Hiuri is something that ninja have done since long ago. He's a god that bestows power, after all...
7: Do you worship him too?
8: Yes, ever since I was a little girl, I have. I offer a light up to his altar every day.

1: Lately, the elders have been praying to Hiuri outside, but that's something different...
2: If praying makes you strong, then why did I bother to train myself?
3: That's just a way for uneducated idiots to kill time! It doesn't do anything!
4: That's probably the reason why everyone's been acting so weird around here!
5: ...Shirou?!
6: Wait! You're misunderstanding!
7: Gods aren't here so that we can beg them for things, they're simply meant to act as support in times of weakness! They're meant to be thanked!
8: Hah! 'zat so? To me, it just looks like they're praying for an easy way out!
9: And you don't do anything. No matter what happens, a war could start, you just sit here and wait to die, because you think you're going to heaven either way.
10: Gimme a break!
11: I can't even laugh at this shit!!
12: What... do you know?

1: What's so bad about praying for good fortune?
2: Not everyone is as strong as you are!!
3: When weak people run into a problem that they're too weak to overcome, where else can they look for support but to God?!
4: People are all weak!
5: We're all alone!
6: What's wrong with praying in times when nothing else will work?!
7: Without prayer, I would have...
8: In that case...

1: Why didn't you ask ME to support you?!
2: I want to help you!!
3: Shi...

1: I missed you...
2: Every day you were gone, I dreamed of you. In the morning and at night...
3: I had already given up on seeing you ever again, and yet I kept wishing for you... I thought I was going to go crazy!
4-5: I...

1: Shirou...
2: Shirou!!
3: Shirou...

1: Bring me the head of Nobunaga!
2: Right now, we must think of how the Kiriba clan can survive on its own. Our main job should not be cleaning up after generals, but throwing the world into chaos!
3: If we kill Nobunaga, the flames of the warring states will burn once more! Chaos will only breed more chaos, and the Kiriba clan will always be necessary!
4: But... are you sure we can...
5: We can now!! We needn't fear anyone anymore!!
6: Our leader agrees with me, and we will forgive no defiance!!
7: Those who disagree with us will be branded as traitors and executed!!

1: Uncle!!
2: How could you decide such a thing?!
3: I didn't hear anything about this! Please, we need to have a proper meeting!!
4: There's no need. This is a direct order from our leader.
5: My father would never...
6: Lady Mitsuyu.
7: You are merely the representative of the clan's leader. A puppet used for appearance's sake. Do not forget this.
8: All you need to focus on is agreeing with you.
9: Incidentally, I plan to entrust this mission to Shirou.
10: As of now, he's the strongest ninja in the clan. I can't wait to see how it goes.

1: Congratulations on having a kid, Kazanagi! Great job!
2: He looks just like you with his star pattern and everything...
3: OK... I'll be back soon.
4: Hey, lemme go!
5: Hey!! Kazanagi!!
6: I can't take you this time!
7: You gave birth pretty late in your life, so it's exhausted you!!

1: Your job right now is to take care of your kid!
2: OK?
3: I'll be back soon.
4: It's nothing to...
5: Kazanagi...

1: Where the hell is he?
2: Don't tell me he got scared and ran away!
3: Shirou isn't like that!
4: Hmph!
5: Sorry I'm late. Ready to go?
6: We need to make it to Gifu Castle by morning.
7: That'll be a cinch!
8: Shirou!!

1: Take this...
2: And please, come back safely...
3: Please!
4: Let's go!!

1: Shirou's group left?
2: Yes. They should arrive in Gifu this evening.
3: Since when these frightening thoughts inhabited my mind?
4: I saved the Kiriba clan from peril and made us strong again. Everything should have worked out...
5: But trying to take Nobunaga's head?
6: What will that do?
7: Why did I give such an order?
8: Soujin, what are you afraid of? This is what you wanted!
9: B-but...
10: I don't want any of them to die... I raised them all...
11: That's it.
12: That's your weak point.
13: That's your enemy.
14: Th-that's my weak point...?

1: Don't forget! Hiuri has chosen you! You are a child of a god!
2: Gwaaahh
3: The Kiriba Clan is led by a god, and therefore, it must be stronger than even the one who rules your nation!
4: Yes...
5: That's right...
6: But Hiuri, answer me this.
7: Why did you choose me?
8: Hahaha... It's simple...
9: Because you called me.
10: Now, let us go, Soujin!
11: Let us bring chaos to the world for the sake of our goals!

1: Why...
2: Why did we risk our lives for this?
3: Hahaha...
4: Show Nobunaga the true horror of the Kiriba clan!
5: Show those fools who believe they're living gods...
6: what a real god truly is!!