TL: Hi guys, Reigokai here!
Just wanted to apologize. I was planning on making this a double release, but real life business got in the way, hence the late upload as well.
So, promise the next week will be a double release. Look forward to it!
Enjoy the chapter! 😀
“Natsu, I heard you admitted an acquaintance of Makoto.”
“…Information runs fast with you. I wonder where you get that information from. Also, I didn’t admit them, just accepted them as students.” (Natsu)
“What is the difference?”
“Meaning that I only plan on teaching them archery. It is the girls that came to ask about Makoto; high schoolers. They are completely regular citizens, so don’t go thinking anything weird, okay?” (Natsu)
The woman responds to the man that has intruded as usual into her dojo that doubles as her home.
The place is the archery dojo that’s owned by the master of Makoto, Munakata Natsu.
There’s currently no people there, but there’s a decent amount of people that go to learn from her.
For her, admitting someone meant bow techniques and not archery, so it was the trigger for a rebuttal from her.
The man has a muscular physique, and those trained muscles were showing their presence even within his clothes.
Right now he has nothing in hand, but he works as a swordsman —in a peaceful Japan.
It could be said that Ishido Genichi lived in a special world.
“Bummer. And I was looking forward to it.” (Ishido)
“It is a mistake to think that there would be many people to your taste in this Japan. I have told you before but, when Makoto returns, I will reveal your scheme and recommend him to escape.” (Natsu)
“So cold. Then, you are just teaching them normal archery?” (Ishido)
“Of course. They are the friends of my only disciple after all. As long as the people themselves wish for it, I plan on raising them with care without pushing them into an unnecessary direction. And obviously, I won’t allow you to meet them.” (Natsu)
“Having one or two old styles wouldn’t be bad, you know?” (Ishido)
“I would have considered you meeting them if they at least had the ability for kendo. You are basically a secret path for information. If those girls were to learn that you are connected with Makoto, who knows what kind of dangerous things they will do. That’s why, forget about this matter.” (Natsu)
“It is true that I can’t be a sports instructor…” (Ishido)
“So you do understand.” (Natsu)
“…Hey, Natsu, why didn’t you…teach Makoto how to use guns?” (Ishido)
Ishido scratches his head as he shows resignation in his face.
But, as if he thought about something, he changed the topic and continued the conversation.
Just by looking, one can tell that Makoto is an archer with special talent. But he is also a person that Natsu acknowledged to the point of making him her disciple and teaching him bow techniques.
Those techniques are a martial art that has little opportunities to shine in daily life, but even so, if she has looked after him through the end as his master, it wouldn’t be strange to teach him about the usage of small arms that she herself has polished as well.
“Why did you bring that up so suddenly?” (Natsu)
“Weren’t you interested in whether that accuracy could be shown in other things aside from the bow? That’s what I am asking. And so, I was wondering if you did or not.” (Ishido)
“…I didn’t. In the first place, how and where would I manage to have him shoot a gun? Did the battlefield make you senile?” (Natsu)
Natsu looks at Ishido in disbelief and answers with a sigh added in.
On the other hand, Ishido grins while pointing his index finger down.
“The basement of this dojo, if I remember correctly, there’s a nice shooting ground there. And I also know that you own a few quarried places.” (Ishido)
“…Are you a stalker?” (Natsu)
“So? Let’s hear the reason why you didn’t teach him even though you could. You are telling me to not meet Makoto’s friends, so it should be fine to at least tell me this, right?” (Ishido)
“His talent—” (Natsu)
“Don’t come with the ‘he didn’t have the talent’ card. It doesn’t answer the part about your interest in the application of his accuracy.” (Ishido)
“…I did bring the topic to him once. He is a man, so I thought there’s no way he wouldn’t have an interest in guns.” (Natsu)
After a small silence, Natsu speaks.
“But he refused it straight. He clearly refused it saying he didn’t have any interest in it. Pretty unexpected decisiveness coming from that kid.” (Natsu)
“Makoto refusing huh.” (Ishido)
Ishido makes an expression as if saying that’s surprising.
“Yeah. I asked him if he wanted to try out guns since they are long ranged weapons like bows, but even with that, he stood ground. He said: ‘Guns are different from bows. The image of being a weapon for killing is way too strong that I don’t feel like touching them’.” (Natsu)
“I don’t understand how swords are okay but guns are not though. He said: ‘if there were a gun art, my image of it would be a little different though’,which I didn’t understand.” (Natsu)
“Even though guns have also become a sports in the present. Like the clay pigeon shooting.” (Ishido)
“Yeah. Maybe he is stuck with the part of being a martial art, or it might have been a random reason he gave that can normally be seen from pacifists. In the end, it is still a mystery.” (Natsu)
“You didn’t pursue the topic?” (Ishido)
“Listen here, it was recent that I asked him if he wanted to try using a gun. There’s no way I could ask something like that from a child that’s still in school. Do you think I want to raise a soldier boy or something? In the first place, just as you said, I was simply interested in whether his accuracy translated to guns as well. Just a whim…… I do understand that guns and Japan are not things that can correlate. It is not a skill that warrants forcing him to learn.” (Natsu)
“…Now that I think about it, I heard this from two of Makoto’s friends. Have you heard that there was a student in Nakatsuhara high school that went missing at around the same time as Makoto?” (Natsu)
This time, Natsu was the one to change the topic.
“Yeah, I do remember hearing about that. The girl that acted as the student council president, right? I don’t know her name though.” (Ishido)
“Otonashi Hibiki.” (Natsu)
“Hoh. The one who I asked to investigate it told me that it was a matter unrelated to Makoto’s disappearance, so I didn’t pay much attention to it though. So that was her name.” (Ishido)
The two let out dumbfounded voices, and then, silence.
“Old man Gen, we are talking about Otonashi Hibiki here, you know?” (Natsu)
“Yeah, and what?” (Ishido)
“…Hah… She was a disciple of yours!! I have already investigated that, you dumbass!!” (Natsu)
“D-Disciple? Uh… Hmm… Did I have one?” (Ishido)
“You don’t even remember the face of a disciple of yours? She is a third year girl in Nakatsuhara high school, and has this…straight black hair, and the length is about…this long. And well, you see, her family…” (Natsu)
Natsu tells him about Otonashi Hibiki with disbelief.
She didn’t like that, even though she tried bringing out a topic that should make Ishido show a surprised face, he instead made a dumbfounded one.
“Aah!! Now that you mention it, I feel like there was indeed a girl like that that was introduced to me through the acquaintance of an acquaintance! I just remember her dimly, but I see, so it was the girl.” (Ishido)
Dimly wasn’t enough to describe how much he remembered of her.
In the first place, for Ishido who had a shallow connection with her, she was basically only the pupil of a pupil. That’s why when she said disciple, he couldn’t connect the dots.
“What an unbelievable man you are. Seriously, why did you even take an interest in a boy like Makoto that can only use the bow? It is truly a mystery.” (Natsu)
“That guy is out of standard and interesting. He is honest too.” (Ishido)
“Out of standard? What part of him? He couldn’t even cut a straw post properly, right? I heard that all the ones that can become your disciples can, at the very least, cut a straw post in two or one stroke though?” (Natsu)
“Yeah, that’s the minimum. But conversely, Makoto could easily do things that they can’t do, you know? I didn’t tell you last time though.” (Ishido)
There’s the need for quite the technique to cut at a straw post several times in the space of a breath.
One of the minimum requirements of Ishido’s disciples is that they have to be able to swing again right after their initial one, which speaks volumes about how it is not a regular environment.
“Can’t believe that.” (Natsu)
“Hehe, he managed to do the ‘*Gogeki*’ <合撃> by only seeing it a few times, you know? I don’t know if he is treating his life lightly, but it is not something one can achieve with just that mindset.” (Ishido) <Swinging the sword five times in quick succession>
Natsu looks at Ishido with a dubious expression.
She was clearly directing eyes of doubt at him.
“Ah right, Natsu, I won’t meet them, but at least tell me how the friends of Makoto look. If I remember correctly, they are Hasegawa Nukumi and Azuma Yukari, right?” (Ishido)
“…You know their names already. Why do you want to know their looks as well?” (Natsu)
“No well, if I were to meet them, I would like to be of help. That’s all.” (Ishido)
“I feel like you would go directly to their school if I don’t tell you.” (Natsu)
“Can’t be helped. When they came last time, I got a photo of them….. Ah, this one.” (Natsu)
Natsu shows a single photo.
In there, there’s Natsu and two female students.
“Ooh! That Makoto, he is making such cute girls worry about him? What an envying youth. Give me one. I would like the girl here.” (Ishido)
“I will shoot you.” (Natsu)
“No, the woman in the middle is the best. She looks like she would be great with guns.” (Ishido)
“Do you like anti-material rifles?” (Natsu)
“If you are finished with your business, leave already. If you are piled up at that age of yours, just go to a brothel. Seriously, learn from Makoto. It is apparently the standard in the girls of Nakatsuhara’s archery club. Even with that, he has been properly sweating in his club activities.” (Natsu)
“…Hoh, so this level is normal. Understood. I will leave.” (Ishido)
Ishido moves his bear-like body and stands up from his seat.
“I told you about how they two look. Don’t go to Nakatsuhara high school even by mistake. Understand?” (Natsu)
Natsu felt uneasy, so she pushes it.
“…….My disciple is missing, so I should have a talk with them at least once too.” (Ishido)
“Former disciple, right? Moreover, you didn’t even remember she existed.” (Natsu)
“You have my gratitude, Natsu. I was about to neglect my duty. I am too worried about Otonashi Hibiki. I must go to Nakatsuhara high school!” (Ishido)
“I retract what I said! Don’t leave! Wait, you degenerate!” (Natsu)
Ishido managed to shake off Natsu and enter his eco-car with navigation that didn’t match his body.
And Natsu who had walked to outside was looking at the back of Ishido’s car that had already ran off.
Her eyes were cooled down as she saw it off.
“Didn’t even need to worry. The idiot is going the opposite direction. He should just crash onto a tree while at it.” (Natsu)
Getting lost in a car that has a navigation system.
She forgot that Ishido had that kind of special ability.
And just as she said, Ishido had arrived at the neighboring countryside.
The archery club Makoto loves had no one involving with it and the day was another peaceful one.
“Good grief. He must be bored as well with Makoto’s absence. Even when it is just Makoto gone, my everyday life feels quite different now. I thought that I had completely gotten used to the surface world…but in reality, it might have simply been that way because Makoto was there. It would be nice if he were to come back by the time the cherry blossoms bloom.” (Natsu)
After that, Munakata Natsu thought about her disciple that had disappeared with no news, and lets out a low mutter.