Next is Unchou, also known as Guan Yu, one of The Five Tiger Generals in Shu. I know the image doesn’t fit since the original Guan Yu is often pictured as being similar to Zhang Fei in terms of size and looks, but there’s a reason for everything. And this time, it’s unexpected.
Unchou is Gentoku’s right-hand man, as well as a major military general in his army. He pledged brotherhood along with Gentoku and Yokutoku, and called him Gen-nii as well. When they found Hana in the mountains, he was suspicious and suggested that they take a further look before taking her back with them. Even after they did, he still didn’t believe her easily.
Before Hana made a decision about joining their army, Unchou tested Hana’s knowledge regarding the current situation throughout the land. Even when she proved it by answering his questions correctly, his treatment towards her was still strict. He didn’t want Hana pledging loyalty to Gentoku easily if she doesn’t know what it really means.
Apparently Unchou is nearsighted. He said that it’s not that bad, but he often had to narrow his eyes in order to focus, which made Hana thought that he’s scowling at her. She lent him a pair of glasses she picked up in the library, just before she was taken to this world. He used it for a while before returning it to her.
After the Battle of Red Cliffs, Unchou was thrown back in time along with Hana to the Yellow Turban period. He wasn’t really surprised though.. and instead told her that he wanted to search for a certain person in Rakuyou. He also asked Hana to call him Chousei during their stay in the past.
Just before the rebellion broke out, Hana met another person named Kan Unchou in town. She remarked that she knows a person with the same name, and eventually they worked together to chase the rebellion out of town. However, Hana was kidnapped when walking alone and was taken to the rebellion camp.
Soon she was rescued by both the Unchou she knows and Kan Unchou. Hana noticed that there’s something wrong in how weird Unchou was whenever they were with Kan Unchou. When they returned to their inn, Unchou told her that he is actually a person from another world, just like her. He is not the original Unchou, the Kan Unchou whom they met earlier is the real thing.
Unchou had stayed in this world for so long that he couldn’t remember his past anymore. Who he really was and what kind of life he had before, he couldn’t recall any of it. He was picked up by the original Kan Unchou after arriving in this world, and he was the one who gave him the name ‘Chousei’.
However, during the rebellion he lost the book in a fire. When the book disappeared beneath the burning pillars, Kan Unchou also vanished along with the book in front of his eyes. From that time, somehow he was recognized by people as Unchou. He had no choice but to take his place ever since, playing his role in the war until he was eventually executed by Chuubou.
That was supposed to be his death, yet he found himself at that night when Kan Unchou disappeared and he was pushed into his role. After that no matter how and when he died, he kept getting thrown back to that night. He was trapped in a time loop because he lost the book, and so he became one of the pawns in the book.
It was his fourth “life” when Hana appeared. By this time he already met some people who were taken to this world by the book, just like her. He already tried going back home a lot of times, even trying to go home with one of those people but in the end he couldn’t leave. He told Hana that he has given up trying after experiencing so many failures already.
The next day, they visited Kan Unchou in his house and found out that he was nowhere to be seen. People around them didn’t seem to know who Kan Unchou is as well. He disappeared once again, erased from existence as Unchou takes his place in history.
Soon after, they were taken back to the original time and Hana noticed that the pawns in the book were complete even though one is supposed to be missing because of the missing Kan Unchou. To this, Unchou said that even though the pawns are complete there is still only one Unchou, and that is himself.
After thinking about it, Hana figured out that if Unchou’s wish when he entered the book is fulfilled he would be able to go back. Hana was about to be taken back herself since her wish of seeing the Battle of Red Cliffs was fulfilled, but since she renewed her wish when she thought of helping Unchou, her stay in the book was prolonged.
When Hana told Unchou about this, he refused despite her persuasion to keep hoping. He thought that Hana wouldn’t be able to understand how it feels when all of your efforts of going home just end up in failures. He eventually said that it’s none of her business, and that he should never have told her about his origins.
During the battle of Chousa, he accepted a duel and fought recklessly, not putting his heart into it, despite Hana and his soldiers’ worries. Hana later asked him why he did that since it’s not like him at all to behave like that. Unchou said that Hana didn’t know anything about him, and asked her not to approach him anymore since being with her made him confused about his own identity.
Hana refused to give up and said that she wants to be with him, yet he said that it’s only causing him disturbance and she shouldn’t force her own feelings onto him.
Eventually Chuubou’s army attacked Keishuu, the battle that could end in Unchou getting captured and executed. Unchou insisted to be a decoy and urged everyone to flee, including Hana. She knew that she had to do something to protect his life, so she gave him the book and told him to use it to go home. Before he could stop her, she rode his horse (Red Hare) to lure the enemies away.
Chuubou’s soldiers didn’t notice that it was her who was riding Red Hare, and they went after her thinking that she was Unchou. However, her arm was shot during her escape and she fell off the horse. She was taken to the enemy camp but refused to give out any information.
Soon the camp was ambushed and Hana was left alone as the soldiers ran out to fight. A soldier, who turned out to be Unchou in disguise, then came and rescued her.
When they were escaping, Unchou told Hana that after meeting her he started to hope once again. His memories are also starting to come back, but he was afraid that Hana would find out about his real, pitiful self.
In their home world, his father and grandfather were strict and expected a lot from him and his brother. While his brother was their pride and joy, he who once failed an exam was scorned and treated as if there’s nothing valuable about his life.
During his third year of junior high, he found the book. He has always loved Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and driven by his desire to escape the harsh reality, he made a wish that he could change history and the death of his hero — Kan’u, the real Kan Unchou.
After all this time all he did was running away from life and giving up, but after meeting Hana he started to move forward once again. Unchou then said that he loves her, as she was the light who came into his repeating lives.
After meeting up with everyone, Unchou told Gentoku everything. Gentoku replied that he would just think that Unchou is already dead and wished for their happiness. Hana and Unchou then prepared to go back home after saying goodbye to everyone. She asked if they will meet again after they go back to their world, and he promised that he will search for her no matter how long it takes. They shared a kiss before the book took them back to their home world.
The next day, there was a transfer student to Hana’s class. He introduced himself as Nagaoka Kousei, and their eyes met. Hana thought about how he narrows his eyes to focus, making her think that he’s scowling at her. He said that he dropped his glasses yesterday, and Hana answered that she picked up a pair of glasses in the library yesterday. She didn’t realize it, but he dropped it when she bumped into him the day before she was taken inside the book.
Her memories from the book world were gone, but when she saw him it flashed back to her mind one by one. The conversations they had during their time together. The promise they made before going back home. Remembering what they went through together, she realized that he is Unchou. He smiled and told her that he convinced his parents to let him transfer to her school, knowing that there’s something he had to do.
He finally found her, fulfilling their promise. Their story has just begun.
Hidden megane chara! :D
Anyway, he is a key person whose route explained the whole thing with the book.