These are the books Kayo received from the book lender merchant during the Tokaido journey. Each of the books unlocks a short story for the guards, and you can find them in the game’s “rewards” section. As shown by the icons, the theme for these stories is body swap… or more like outfit swap, actually. It took me quite a while to finish these, but I hope you’ll enjoy! This is a commission for Jess and Yuki.
(Note: Each of the book’s titles literally means “(color name) picture scroll“. However, some of them are Japanese color tones which have no equivalent in English. For that reason, I decided to leave the titles unaltered. Instead, I color-coded them for those who are curious about the colors.)
Kurobeni no Emaki-mono ~Tsuzuramaru~
I faintly sense light beyond my closed eyelids. Ah, so morning has come. This isn’t good, I have to wake up and get dressed.
The reason is because right now, I am guarding the wedding parade. It is my duty to protect the princess, so I need to wake up soon and make preparations.
Alright, it’s time to slip out of bed… Huh?
What? There’s no bed. No, it looks like I wasn’t even lying down to begin with.
“H-How… did I end up in a place like this…!?”
There is no such thing as beds here. If anything, I happen to be standing in front of the stable before I even knew it.
Just… what is the meaning of this? Last night, I finished practice, took a bath, and quickly went to sleep. There’s no doubt about it.
Then why am I now standing in front of the stable? I’m all in a muddle.
“Hmm, what’s going on here…”
“Sorry to keep you waiting!”
Hearing the sound of sandals, I turn around to see the princess coming from afar. She seems to be carrying something under her arm, but why is she running out of breath?
“Princess! Is something wrong?”
“Eh…? I brought the medicine you asked for.”
“…The medicine I asked for?”
The horse inside the stable neighs. The princess nods as she gives me a container filled with medicine. It looks like some kind of ointment, but…
“U-Um… Princess? This is…”
“Ah, did I bring the wrong medicine? I did as you asked, though, and brought the medicine to heal horses from fatigue.”
“…The medicine to heal horses from fatigue.”
“Yes. You said you were going to treat the horse, so you asked me to bring the medicine from inside. Didn’t you, Suzukake-sama?”
The princess tilts her head as she looks at me.
…Why is she mistaking me for Suzukake? Do we really look THAT much alike? No, no, no. I don’t think we look alike at all!
Even my kimono is different from Suzukake’s. As we all can see, mine is this jet black travel wear…
With that in mind, I look down at my outfit… only to find a vivid, bright green hakama.
“W-What!? Isn’t this Suzukake’s kimono? Why am I wearing Suzukake’s kimono?”
“Is something wrong, Suzukake-sama?”
“Princess, could it be that I look like Suzukake in your eyes…?”
“Eh? You ARE Suzukake-sama, right?”
W-When exactly did I turn into Suzukake? Do I have to continue living as Suzukake from now on?
That’s not good! Not good at all. After all, I… uh… No, actually it’s not that much of a problem, is it?
“Suzukake-sama. If it’s alright, I will help you treat the horse.”
“Yes. The horse is carrying me after all, so I want to do something for her.”
The princess fondly looks at the horse inside the stable. Seeing her from the side, I am so captivated by the sight that I completely forget about the current situation.
The princess… She really is a kind-hearted girl.
“…I understand. I’m not sure if I can do it as well as Suzukake does, but let’s try giving her a treatment.”
Let’s forget about Suzukake for now. The horse seems to be waiting for me too. Once we’re done here, I can just go and ask Saneaki about what to do.
After all, it’s not like me to brood over what already happened. Alright. Now that I’ve made up my mind, it’s time to take action!
“So we’re going to treat the horse in the stable, right? Let’s give it a try!”
“Y-Yes… Um, somehow you seem to be different than usual, Suzukake-sama…”
“Oh no, please don’t mind me. I’m just being the same old me!”
Inside the stable, the horse—who has been waiting for us to come—is closely staring at me.
Her legs must be tired after our journey. Wait there for a while, I’ll apply the ointment now.
After crouching down, I take a handful of ointment and rub it on the horse’s foreleg.
A-Am I doing this right? Hmm, as I thought, this is awkward…
It seems like the princess is treating the other foreleg. She’s applying the ointment skillfully.
“Ooh… You’re pretty good.”
“Really? It boosts my confidence to hear those words from you, Suzukake-sama. Though it’d be nice if the horse is happy too…”
“Haha. If we look at the horse, we can tell that she really is happy.”
「Yes, it feels nice.」
“See, even the horse herself says it feels nice… EHHHHH!?”
I definitely didn’t mishear that. This horse really did talk just now!
“You… can talk?”
「Please rub it on my hind legs too.」
“A-As I thought, this horse is a talking horse…”
The princess is looking at me with a worried expression. Could it be that she can’t hear the voice? Even the horse lets out a puzzled snort.
「It’s weird that you get surprised today, we usually chat all the time.」
“What? Do I really talk to you all the time?”
「You do, right?」
“I-I see. I’m sorry, seems like it completely slipped my mind.”
Hmm, lately I’ve become really forgetful. That’s not good. I see, I see. So I can talk to horses.
“Wait a second, that can’t be true! W-What is the meaning of this!?”
“Suzukake-sama, um… Are you not feeling well after all…?”
“No, Princess, that’s not it. I really can hear the horse’s voice… Huh? ‘Suzukake-sama’…?”
Oh, right. I’ve turned into Suzukake.
I still don’t know much about Suzukake, but he’s been friendly with the horse since the very first time they met. It may be possible that he has mastered a skill which allows him to talk to horses.
“…Well, it doesn’t hurt to be able to talk to horses. Hey, horse. Where should we apply the ointment next?”
「The joints on my hind and forelegs are sore.」
“Over here, then. Alright, hold on a second.”
Huh? I wonder what’s wrong. For some reason, the princess seems to be having a good time.
“Ah, I’m sorry. When I think about how you can really talk to horses, I find it very heartwarming.”
“Yes. It’s so wonderful somehow.”
W-What… a lovely smile. When I see the princess’ radiant smile, I can’t help but feel embarrassed.
But the fact that she’s praising Suzukake and not me is rather… It’s similar to the feeling when you got a small bone stuck in your throat…
“That’s right, Suzukake-sama. I received some apples from the inn staff. I thought we can share some of those with the horse… What do you think?”
“Ooh, I think the horse would be happy. Hey, you like apples too, right?”
「Yes, I love them.」
“She’s saying she likes them.”
“I’m glad to hear that! Well then, please wait a moment.”
The princess washes her hands with the water taken from the well and wipes them on a towel. Then she holds out an apple towards the horse. The horse happily starts eating it. Looking at the way she mutters ‘so good, so tasty’ while chewing, I guess she must really like the apple.
…Somehow, I’m starting to get hungry too.
“Uu… Even after turning into Suzukake, I still get hungry… I guess it’s only obvious…”
“Are you alright? If you don’t mind, Suzukake-sama, how about taking one too?”
The princess sincerely holds out one of the apples for me.
“Is it okay!?”
“Yes, by all means. Please open your mouth.”
Ah, no, I see. I haven’t washed my hands after applying the ointment.
B-But still, for me to eat it directly from the princess hand…!
No, is it alright? Right now, I am Suzukake. So even if I do something like this, it probably won’t be considered weird.
“W-Well then, please excuse me… Thank you for the treat!”
I sink my teeth into the apple. Yes… The sweet and sour taste spreading in my mouth is just perfect. It’s fresh, juicy, and truly delicious…
Or at least it’s supposed to taste like that.
“How do you like it?”
“I-It’s delicious… Truly.”
To be honest, I can’t even think about the taste. As I thought, eating food directly from the princess’ hand… m-makes me nervous!
But before that! Does Suzukake always get this sort of treatment from the princess!? H-How unfair… Wait, I mean, a man should eat with his own hands!
“P-Princess, in any case…”
Just when I open my mouth to speak, the horse pokes me in the back with her nose. It might have been fine in any other situation, but since I’m all flustered, I lose my balance and end up clinging onto the princess.
…W-What? C-C-Clinging onto the princess!?
“I-I’m s-so-sorry, Princess!”
Oh no! How did I end up touching the princess’ body!? How should I even apologize to her? S-She will definitely be angry.
“…U-Um, Suzukake-sama. You shouldn’t do this too much, people will be surprised…”
What’s with the princess’ reaction? Is she letting her guard down because I’m Suzukake? Now that she mentions it, Suzukake does have the habit of clinging onto everyone… Is that why she’s used to it? That makes me feel uncomfortable in its own way…
No. In any case, Princess, please shove me away! W-What should I do?
The princess’ body is so small she easily fits into my arms, not to mention she’s really soft…
Quietly, I stroke her hair that’s fluttering in the breeze. As if not to let go of her warmth, I tighten my arms around her a-and…
“A-As I thought…”
As I thought, I can’t do this!
I sit up with a start, peeling my blanket away. Around me, everyone else is still lying on the floor—sleeping soundly.
“W-Was that… a dream?”
O-Oh… So it was just a dream… That really got me… I’m drenched in sweat from head to toe.
What kind of dream am I seeing!? Even if I looked like Suzukake, how could I do such a thing to the princess!
But… it feels like the sensation still remains in my palms. The way it felt when I hugged the princess in my dream.
The sensation of the slender, soft, warm princess…
“Wait, what on earth am I…!”
Stop, stop! What am I thinking. It looks like I should cool down a little.
It’s still dim too outside… Alright. Let’s do some practice swings and calm down.
Upon taking my sword, I swiftly get on my feet. I should forget about that dream before everyone wakes up. After all, today, too, my duty as the princess’ guard awaits.
But even if it was only in my dream…
“Shouldn’t the princess be a bit more cautious of Suzukake…?”
I can’t help but feel that way.
Kouji-iro no Emaki-mono ~Kei~
I hear the sound of something dropping.
My body awakens from slumber in an instant as I jump out of bed. I cautiously take a look around, but…
“Hey, why am I the only here?”
The six of us were supposed to be sleeping in a huddle at the inn, but I don’t see the others. Where did they go?
No… The sun is already rising. Did I oversleep!? But there’s no way they’d leave me behind without even waking me up.
Right, it’s just too strange. Maybe we’re having an unusual circumstance.
My sword… is here by the pillow. First, I have to take it and check the situation. But isn’t this too huge?
“Isn’t this Sagihara’s sword!?”
That surprised me. Where did he go while leaving this giant sword behind? And where are my swords!?
…No. Wait. Isn’t my kimono weird?
Why am I wearing Sagihara’s kimono!?
W-Wait, wait. Calm down. Calm down, me.
I see. I’ve been wondering why it’s so hard to move, so this is why. Wait, this isn’t the time for that! How can I possibly calm down!?
“What is going on… The others are nowhere to be seen, and I’m dressed like Sagihara…”
I don’t get it at all. Someone please explain.
“In any case, I need to grasp the situation. But before that, I have to take off… this fluttery kimono…”
Damn, this isn’t going well. The sleeves are so damn long. This kimono is so hard to handle. So Sagihara is always wearing this super troublesome kimono…!
“Argh! Damn it!”
At this rate, it’d be faster to just rip the whole thing! Just as I think about doing so, I sense a presence behind the door.
“…Who is it.”
“Ah, it’s me.”
A woman’s voice… Oh, so it’s just you. I feel like an idiot for getting nervous.
Well, if the princess of the wedding parade is here, everyone else should be somewhere at the inn too. For now, that makes me feel relieved.
“May I come inside right now?”
“Yeah, sure… Wait, what!?”
No way she can come in! If she sees me in this girly kimono…! I’d rather be seen bare-naked!
“N-No…! Don’t come in!”
“Then can you please come out? They’re already here, we have to hurry!”
Already here? Is she talking about bandits?
“Damn, then I shouldn’t be grumbling here…”
It seems like I don’t have any time to take off this kimono. This isn’t the time to be worried about mere appearance. I don’t know what the others are doing… but I can’t let anything happen to her. I have no choice but to go out!
There’s nothing but Sagihara’s sword here, but I have to give it a try.
“Hey, what happened!?”
After making up my mind, I open the door.
“Let’s go, Sagihara-sama!”
I thought she’d have a desperate expression, but what’s this? Why are her eyes sparkling… Didn’t bandits come to attack?
No, no. Wait. More importantly… Did she just call me “Sagihara-sama”?
“Come on, Sagihara-sama. Over here!”
“N-No, wait… It’s true that this is Sagihara’s kimono, but I…”
“We have to hurry…!”
“W-What’s going on!?”
Don’t pull me that much! A-Anyway, it seems like right now I look like Sagihara in her eyes. I have no idea how that works, but it seems that way.
Otherwise, she’d never come to talk to me so easily without getting scared.
…That actually makes me sad.
“Where are we going?”
“Did you forget our promise? Sagihara-sama seemed interested as well, so we promised to go together right?”
“Ah, please don’t worry. As long as I’m with a guard, I’m allowed to go outside for a bit.”
No… it’s not that. What… is she talking about?
Before I can figure anything out, she takes me to the inn’s inner garden. For some reason, there’s a huge crowd gathering there. It seems like the peddlers are opening a small market, each putting their goods on sale.
“So this is what you’re after? And I panicked thinking we’re under attack…”
“Come on, let’s go!”
After I put Sagihara’s sword on my back, she pulls my hand and takes me into the small market.
Why do women love shopping that much?
Or rather, is this really alright? She’s still mistaking me for Sagihara. Wouldn’t it be better to call him here and send him to go shopping with her?
“It looks like they brought famous local products and are selling them to travelers. Seems like they also have pickles.”
Even if you say so…
“Okay, fine. It’s good since you’re not going out of the inn, but I’m not interested. Just look around on your own.”
…Hmm? What? She suddenly looks sad.
“I’m sorry… You seemed happy when I asked, so… Am I troubling you?”
“I thought it might help to take things off Sagihara-sama’s mind, but… Did I do something unnecessary?”
So she didn’t come here because she wants to shop, but she’s doing it for Sagihara?
Good grief, she’s way too nice. She’s the princess of the wedding parade. She doesn’t have to be concerned about the guards.
“…No need to apologize. You did it out of a good intention.”
“No ‘but’s. Alright, fine. You want me to look around right? Don’t make such a face!”
Now she’s smiling. I’ll just explain the situation to Sagihara later. I still don’t get why she’s mistaking me as him, but I don’t want her to look sad.
…No, not like I’m doing it for her, but…
“N-Nothing! Come on, let’s go!”
“Ah, please wait!”
As I walk off, she chases after me and naturally walks beside me. Now that I think of it, I don’t think she ever stood next to me like this…
“Wow, it’s so beautiful.”
I never saw her eyes sparkling like this either. This is my first time seeing her smiling as she talks about the fabric patterns.
So she looks like this in front of Sagihara.
“…It’s nothing. Come on, let’s go to the next stall. They’re selling crafts.”
Upon seeing a lot of kanzashi and obidome, she gasps in admiration. Women sure love seeing these stuff. She looks even more excited than before.
In this situation, should I do… that? Should I buy one for her?
“Hello! The young lady over there! I think this obidome would look good on your kimono!”
What’s with this shopkeeper. He suddenly called me. Why is he promoting his stuff to a man like me instead of women? Is he plotting something?
Hey, wait. Why did the shopkeeper match it with MY kimono instead of hers?
“W-Wait! I’m not a girl!”
“Eh? Ah, I’m really sorry. It’s just that you’re very beautiful, so…”
How creepy! Which part of me is beautiful!? Wait… Do I also look like Sagihara in this shopkeeper’s eyes?
“Hehe, just as expected from Sagihara-sama.”
“Y-You’re kidding right… L-Let’s go!”
I pull her arm as we move away. I seriously got cold sweat…
This must be the local vegetable vendor. They’re also selling premade side dishes and pickles.
“How is it, young ladies? I’ll lower the price for beauties like you!”
“…Hey, I’m asking this just in case but… by ‘young ladies’, do you mean…”
“Oh no, I don’t mean to force you to buy anything! You two are so beautiful, so I can’t do any dirty business tricks!”
“As I said, I’m NOT a girl!!”
This isn’t good! I don’t want to spend much time here!
I feel bad for her, but I’m leaving now!
It happens just before I can say it.
“Help! A thief!”
Someone shouted. At that very moment, my body moves. It’s a roundsman’s instinct.
As people stand in shock, the thief makes his way through them. It’s rather hard to move in this kimono, but he can’t run away from me.
“You’re under arrest!”
I take the sword on my back without drawing it out from its sheath, and I swing it down. The thief instantly collapses when the sword smacks him hard on the head. I pin him down to the ground.
“Seriously, don’t cause any trouble. Do you think you can escape from a roundsman? Hey, someone give me a rope.”
After tying up the unconscious thief, I throw him away. Let’s just leave the rest to the local officials.
…But still, Sagihara’s sword is so hard to use. I couldn’t do anything other than smacking the thief with it.
“Ah, sorry for leaving you alone.”
I couldn’t pay much attention since I was chasing the thief, but I ended up leaving her side… even though I’m her guard. What the heck am I doing.
“Oh no, please don’t apologize. You were wonderful!”
What? Don’t look at me like that. She looks so happy and her cheeks are turning red, but… I don’t know how to answer.
“No… I just did what had to be done…”
“But still, you were brilliant. Everyone is happy too!”
Before I knew it, all the shopkeepers and guests around us are giving applause.
“Ooh, I’ve never seen such a strong young lady before!”
“I did think that you’re a beautiful woman, but wow… you’re brilliant!”
“You sure put men to shame, hahaha!”
“No, wait… As I said…”
“Girls these days sure are strong~”
“I’M SAYING THAT I AM A MAAAN!!!”
My head hits something with full force. Damn… what is it? Oh, it’s my swords that I put next to my pillow. What a relief, they really are my swords.
Wait… where am I?
When I try getting up, I find myself in the large room at the inn. Suzukake—who was supposed to be sleeping across of me—has rolled to sleep next to me for some reason… but aside from that, everything else is normal.
“Ah… so it was… a dream…”
Suddenly I’m starting to sweat. Seriously, why do I have to turn into Sagihara in my dream… Not to mention everyone comes over to treat me like a girl… What a nightmare…
(…It was a nightmare, right?)
When I try recalling the dream, her smile comes into my mind. She never smiles like that when she’s with me. It’s not a hindrance for my job as her guard though, so it’s not a problem. It’s just for some reason, I’m not happy with it…
It’s still too early to wake up, but I don’t think I can calm down and go back to sleep. I’ll just go do some training and wait for morning to come…
Before leaving the room, I give Sagihara a slightly reproachful look.
“…You should at least do something about that kimono of yours…”
I leave the room, completely taking out my frustration by blaming him.
Kikyou-iro no Emaki-mono ~Kuroba Saneaki~
Upon sensing a presence, I open my eyes to find something strange.
Last night, I was supposed to be on the floor of the inn visited by the wedding parade…
But why am I now sitting beside a bed laid out on a tatami room?
What am I doing in a place like this?
…It seems that my memory is slightly in disarray. First, I need to grasp the situation.
This is undoubtedly one of the rooms at the inn. The time is… hard to tell from here, aside from the fact that it’s night-time. Before my eyes, a bed has been spread out. The person lying there is…
Cold sweat rolls down my cheek. I can’t do anything other than feeling entirely distressed, unable to even move.
There’s no doubt about it, the person sleeping before me is none other than the princess.
Why? Why am I sitting in a woman’s bedroom? Not to mention it’s the princess of all people.
(Wouldn’t this be… a night visit?)
No, that’s absolutely wrong. There is no way I would do something so scandalous. I swear that’s not it. Please believe me.
…Who am I even making excuses to?
Calm down. First, think about what needs to be done. That’s right, at times like this I should take a deep breath.
Is it even possible for one to choke themselves just by inhaling!? If I’m making this kind of noise, the princess would wake up, wouldn’t she?
“…Is something wrong?”
She really did wake up.
With her innocent eyes, the princess looks up at me from the bed. Somehow they seem to be glistening with tears, though I wonder if it’s caused by the lamp’s light.
W-What should I do. No, I am definitely not here for a night visit. I am innocent. Right, let’s make that clear first.
“Enishi-sama… If you’re tired, you really should rest for tonight…”
She beats me to it.
No. More importantly, it’s weird. Did the princess just call Enishi-dono’s name? When I take a look around, I don’t see anyone other than the two of us.
Could it be that she’s still half-asleep?
“Is there something in this room? Is it, by any chance, a youkai or something…?”
“Ah, no. It’s nothing. Don’t worry.”
“Hehe, you’re so weird, Enishi-sama… You’re being somewhat quiet too today. Please don’t worry so much. The fever is nothing serious.”
“Did you forget, Enishi-sama? After I ran a fever in the evening, you offered to stay by my side. To keep an all-night watch… like this.”
I see, so it’s the fever that caused her face to be somewhat red, and her eyes to be moist with tears. Still, is that enough reason for her to mistake me for Enishi-dono?
Honestly, it’s relieving to know that I’m not here for a night visit, but… I can’t keep deceiving her like this. I will state my name like a man. Tell her that I am Kuroba Saneaki.
“How is the princess doing, Enishi-dono?”
The door suddenly slides open, and once again, I fail to grasp the chance to tell her. Hanzou-dono, too, always comes at a bad timing.
But why is Hanzou-dono referring to me as Enishi-dono too? Could it be that all this time, I really am Enishi-dono?
No, impossible. Even if this is just a dream, that is the one thing I wouldn’t want to happen.
“…Enishi-dono, what are you doing? You said you’re going to nurse her. Please, quickly hand that pail to me.”
When I glance to the side, I do find a pail of water. Ah, they must be using this to cool the towels before putting it on the princess’ forehead. Following what Hanzou-dono said, I take the pail and am about to hand it to her… but it’s strange.
My reflection in the water… is weird.
I stare at my face reflected by the glassy surface of water. An extremely flashy scarlet coat, one that you would never forget once you’ve seen it. This is…
(Isn’t this Enishi-dono’s…!?)
Why am I wearing that person’s kimono? Could it be… Is this the reason why they didn’t realize that I’m Kuroba Saneaki?
If that’s the case, it means the princess and Hanzou-dono tell us apart based on the colors of our clothes. Oh, the flashy red one is Enishi-dono. The one with frills on his chest is Kuroba-dono. Like that.
Wouldn’t that make us… really pitiable?
“Is something wrong, Enishi-dono?”
“No… I’m getting dizzy.”
“You must be joking. Enishi-dono, we can’t have you falling sick too while the princess is feeling unwell. The new towels are over here. Now I shall leave to get the medicine.”
“It seems that Suzukake-dono has brewed it, so now I’m going to take it.”
“No, wait. I’ll go.”
It’s absurd for me to keep staying here in the princess’ bedroom. I have no idea what and where the medicine is, but let’s leave that aside for now. For now, my priority is to get out of this room.
“No, you should stay here, Enishi-dono”.
Doesn’t Hanzou-dono feel anything about leaving a man by the princess’ side? Not to mention it’s Enishi-dono of all people.
Unaware of the pleading look in my eyes, Hanzou-dono quickly walks out.
…Could it be that I am currently tested?
“I’m sorry, Enishi-sama. This is all my fault…”
“…No need to worry. More importantly, are you feeling unwell?”
“No, it’s not that bad.”
Despite what she says, her face is red. Her breathing is shallow too, and she seems to find it hard to breathe. For now, we should keep her forehead cool. After dipping a towel into the water, I wring it out and put it on the princess’ forehead.
“How does it feel?”
“It’s cool and nice…”
Her expression softens up a bit. Before long, the towel should turn warm too due to her fever. I should go and prepare more.
I wonder why. While the princess seems to be in pain, somehow it also looks like she’s holding back her laughter.
“…Is there anything funny?”
“No. You might get angry if I say something like this, but for some reason, you’re being really serious today, Enishi-sama.”
She’s right. If the real Enishi-dono behaves like this, people would surely wonder if he’s the one who has a fever.
“I actually thought that you would tease me, saying ‘shall I help you change?’ or something along that line.”
…The princess already formed such an opinion about Enishi-dono, even though it’s only been a short while since they first met each other. How am I supposed to feel about this?
He would look like a normal, proper person though, if only he controls his words and deed…
No, wait. Right now, it seems that I look like Enishi-dono in the princess’ eyes. Does that mean I have to at least say ‘how about I help you change’?
“H-Ho… Ho… Ho…”
“Ho… How are you feeling?”
“Yes, I feel much better.”
There’s no way I could help her change! If I say that and she replies with ‘please do’, what would I do!?
No, calm down. That’s not what I’m supposed to think about.
“…What is it?”
“The towels… You don’t have to prepare so many of them.”
When I look at my own hands, I see a mountain of wet, cold towels that I subconsciously made.
…What am I doing.
“Since you have prepared the towels, is it alright for me to use them? I’m sweating…”
“Ah, it must be difficult for you to sleep. It would be better if we wipe off your sweat properly. I’ll help.”
It must be hard for her to get up on her own. I put my arm behind her back and help her sit up. Our eyes met when I put one of the towels in her hands.
…Oh no. Her nightwear is slightly loose, exposing her skin. It didn’t matter since she was sleeping, but helping her to sit up like this wasn’t a wise move.
My arms holding her in an embrace, her loose kimono, our hands touching through the towel. There is absolutely no scandalous thoughts in my mind, but anyone would misunderstand if they see us in this state.
Even more so because right now, I look like Enishi-dono.
“Ah, um… Enishi-sama…”
“No, I’m not going to do anything. I am simply helping you to get up, so…”
“Y-You’re right… But…”
“Y-You usually tease me, Enishi-sama, so when you look at me with such a serious expression, it’s… How should I put this…”
The princess’ eyes are glistening with tears.
…Is it because of the fever? Or is it because she gets flustered to be in this sort of situation with Enishi-dono?
Why is it that I want to clear up the misunderstanding, to tell her that I am not Enishi-dono?
“No. I am not Enishi-dono.”
The words naturally come out; I don’t want her to talk about Enishi-dono any further. Just as I’m about to continue…
The door behind my back suddenly opens.
“Princess, Enishi-dono, sorry to keep you waiti…”
When I turn around, I find Hanzou-dono trembling all over.
…No, this isn’t what it looks like. I definitely wasn’t planning to do anything to the princess.
That’s what I want to say, but my mind has turned as blank as a white snow field, and I end up saying…
“…No, I am not Enishi-dono.”
The very next moment, Hanzou-dono throws the medicine bottle in her hand at me.
“Enishi-dono! What do you think you’re doing!?”
An agile movement worthy of the shinobi title. Brilliant.
Frozen in place, I take the hit with the top of my head. The world is turning dim.
Ah, this must be a punishment for my sin. I thought of it as false accusation, but in any case, I don’t think it’s possible for me to make any excuses.
G-God… please forgive me…
“P-Please have mercy… Huh?”
The world suddenly returns to me. This is… the large room at the inn?
I can hear Tsuzuramaru-dono snoring and Suzukake-dono talking in his sleep.
I see, now I understand.
…What happened just now was all a dream.
(What a horrible dream…)
I feel like my head really hurts where it got hit by the medicine bottle.
“Uh… Hmm… Princess… Just a little bit more…”
“Good grief, you’re so carefree…”
If only your everyday conduct is righteous and proper, I wonder if I could have spent the dream in tranquility and peace?
I feel like throwing a pillow at him, but I give up on the idea. It is not right to take out the frustration from my own dreams on others. After all, Enishi-dono didn’t do anything wrong.
“Uhmm… Princess… Let’s just… ignore Saneaki~…”
Taking my words back, I flip Enishi-dono’s bed with all my might.
Karakurenai no Emaki-mono ~Enishi~
Normally, when I open my eyes, the first thought that comes to mind would be: ‘Ah, so that was all a dream.’
To know that you’re dreaming while you’re IN a dream is an unusual thing.
“I never thought said unusual thing would happen…”
With my bandaged left arm, I scratch the back of my head.
This place seems to be the inner garden of the inn we visited yesterday. If I weren’t in the middle of my wedding parade duty, it’d be unlikely for me to dream of staying at an inn in Tokaido.
That means those guards and the princess must be inside.
But still, even if it’s a dream, why am I standing around at a place like this? And what I don’t get above all else is this appearance of mine.
A kimono as black as a raven. Would I wear such a gloomy outfit? No. No way I would.
“No matter how you look at it, this is Tsuzuramaru’s kimono, isn’t it…”
The kimono alone isn’t so bad, but even my left arm has been carefully wrapped in bandage. This doesn’t look like a simple case of wearing the wrong kimono. I wonder what could have happened to cause me to disguise myself as Tsuzuramaru.
Well, in a way, this is interesting.
This is MY dream, so I can do whatever I want.
“Alright then, I wonder what’s going on here… Oh?”
Before long, I hear the sound of footsteps. These light steps must be… No way!
“There you are. I have been looking for you.”
Well, well! Who would have thought my beloved princess to make an appearance so quickly… Just as expected from my dream, it’s meant to be beneficial to me.
“Princess, did you go out of your way just to see me? I’m so happy~”
When I give her a light, spontaneous greeting, she looks surprised for some reason.
“Tsuzuramaru-sama? Um… I never thought that you would be so happy.”
What did the princess just call me?
“Could it be… Hey, Princess… My name is?”
Ahh~ …I see. So it’s not just my appearance, but I have turned into Tsuzuramaru entirely.
Oh, dear. This is my dream, and yet I don’t even appear as myself.
“I’m sorry, did I disturb you? You were busy with sword practice, weren’t you?”
“Eh? Ah~ No, not at all. Not that I was practicing or anything.”
“No. I mean, I was just thinking of taking a break. I’ve been practicing for hours after all, so I got tired.”
“Is that so? You’re always so enthusiastic, Tsuzuramaru-sama.”
A compliment from the princess is supposed to make me happy, but having her calling me Tsuzuramaru makes this harder than anything else.
It feels like she’s talking about another man… Well, she IS talking about another man. It makes me feel uncomfortable.
That’s right… I have an idea.
This is a dream. It’d be boring to do the same stuff I’d do in reality, so…
“Ah~ Um, it’s an honor to receive a compliment from you, Princess. It encourages me to focus on my training even more.”
How about that? Tsuzuramaru is like that, right? If I’m going to do this, I shall do it thoroughly. After all, it might lead to something interesting.
“I’m happy that you came to watch me, Princess. I could float off to paradise any moment now.”
(Note: I translated this as ‘paradise’ to follow the original text, but it actually means ‘heaven’.)
“T-That much? Somehow it makes me feel terribly sorry…”
Oops, I guess I went too far.
“A-Ahem. Ah~ I shall resume my sword practice now.”
“I see. Ah, in that case, would you mind waiting for a second? I think it’s about time for you to get hungry, so…”
Oh? Could this possibly be…
“When I asked the inn staff, they made some rice balls for me. I’ll bring them over now!”
A present from the princess! Ughh~ That Tsuzuramaru, does he get to enjoy pleasant moments like this all the time?
Well, since things are going like this, I might as well be grateful and accept it. If everything goes well, I’d be able to have lunch alone with the princess. Right, right. That’s not bad at all.
“Well then, I will go and get them now. In the meantime, please do your best with your training!”
The princess walks away, leaving me staring at her back. I see, so I have to practice while waiting for her…
Ah~ I don’t have a choice, do I? It’s to meet the princess’ expectations too, so I guess I’ll give it a go.
“Man, I normally wouldn’t take practice swings seriously like this…”
What does my dream want me to do? No, I’m Tsuzuramaru right now. There is nothing I can do but convince myself and swing my sword.
After all, the princess’ rice balls are waiting for me~ It makes me sad that it’s made by the in staff, so it’s not handmade by the princess, but… Even so, it’s worth doing if it means I can get a present from her. Right.
…Still, that Tsuzuramaru, how many hours per day does he usually spend on practice?
That guy is a swordsmanship freak after all~ Ah~ Can I stop now? No, no. I have to endure it until the princess comes back… Endure it!
Please come back soon~
Thank goodness, she’s back! Ah, now I can finally be free from practice.
“Here are the rice balls, sorry to keep you waiting.”
“I’ve been waiting for you, Princess~!”
“W-Were you THAT hungry?”
No, that’s not it, but I don’t care anymore. Well then, let’s accept the princess’ present with gratitude.
Before that, I think it’d be alright to hold her hand and look into her eyes while thanking her…
…That was close, I almost pulled her into an embrace. Right now, I’m Tsuzuramaru. If I do something like that, she’d be surprised. Man, this sure makes it hard.
“Is something wrong?”
“Oh, no. It’s nothing. Well then, over here, Princess.”
I lead the princess by the hand and set myself down on a nearby rock. She looks clearly bewildered.
I thought this much would be fine though, even for Tsuzuramaru. That guy is inexperienced after all. He probably can’t even hold a woman’s hand, can he?
No, wait. That’s what I thought, but he tends to blatantly stay by the princess’ side without even realizing it. That sort of person is, surprisingly, not one to be taken lightly.
“That makes him a troublesome opponent.”
“Who are you referring to?”
“Huh? Oh no, I was just… talking to myself. Well then, may I take the rice balls?”
“Of course. Please help yourself.”
The princess looks lovely too when she’s smiling gently. Being able to stuff my mouth with rice balls by her side fills me with bliss!
When I think about how they were prepared by the princess, these plain, ordinary rice balls taste like the most delicious thing in existence.
“They’re so good! These are the most delicious rice balls I’ve ever eaten in my life. They heal me from the fatigue caused by practice.”
“Hehe, I’m happy to hear that.”
“Ah, I’m sure they would taste much better if you were the one who made them, Princess…”
“In that case, please allow me to treat you next time.”
Yay! The princess’ home cooking! …I wanted to cheer with joy like that, but wait a second.
In this situation, does that mean Tsuzuramaru will be the one who eats the princess’ home cooking?
Damn it, how dare he steal a march on me! Well, right now I AM Tsuzuramaru, but still…! That really, really annoys me.
Now that I think about it, the princess is currently smiling at Tsuzuramaru too, right? Not me.
The thought makes me sad.
This is just a dream, right? If this is my dream, it should give me some pleasant moments to enjoy.
“…That’s right. This is a dream. I can do as I like, right?”
“Tsuzuramaru-sama, is something wrong?”
“Wait a second, Princess.”
Setting the rice balls back onto the tray, I take the princess’ hand and meet her gaze.
“I’m sorry, Princess. I’m not Tsuzuramaru. I’m actually Enishi.”
“And it seems like this is a dream. So please let me get a taste of happiness with you, Princess, at least in my dream.”
“I told you, I’m Enishi.”
I lightly put one hand around the princess’ back, pulling her closer. My other hand touches her chin, lifting it up…
Her lovely lips are the color of cherry blossom. This is a dream after all, so doing this much… should be fine, right?
A striking sound is heard as fireworks explode in my eyes.
Ehh~… Hey… Wait a second. This is my dream, so why do I get slapped by the princess in this situation?
“Ah…! I-I’m sorry, Tsuzuramaru-sama! I was surprised…!”
I can hear the princess’ voice, desperately apologizing in her panic.
(In the end, it still turns out like this even in a dream…)
If I get this sort of result in reality, I can understand. My high ability to recreate things completely traced and carried that into my dream. How charming.
“P-Princess… If I may say one thing…”
“W-What is it, Tsuzuramaru-sama!?”
“At least call me Enishi-sama… *flops*“
I told you, I’m Enishi. That’s what I want to tell her, but her voice suddenly sounds very far away…
Ah… If I could die on the princess’ lap, I would be very satisfied in a way… In my dazed state, that was the last thing on my mind before I lose consciousness.
I sit up with a start. This is the inn, isn’t it?
The ones snoring around me are, of course, not the princess, but the filthy, familiar guys I saw before I went to bed.
Obviously, I don’t look like Tsuzuramaru.
(…So it really was a dream.)
Still… I never thought that I’d get slapped by the princess. Even if it’s just a dream, it honestly gets me down.
Does she hate me that much? Even in a dream? Not to mention she didn’t call my name up until the end.
(No, no. Wait a second.)
I see. The princess mistook me for Tsuzuramaru the whole time, didn’t she? That means the one who got slapped was also Tsuzuramaru.
(So in other words, the princess wouldn’t like it either if Tsuzuramaru makes a move on her. In that case, I might still have a chance.)
Right. That’s definitely the case. Which means that was a nice dream!
Alright, I should go back to sleep. This time, I shall accept rice balls from the princess as myself.
I turn to look at Tsuzuramaru, who is still in a dreamy state.
“Uhm… *mumbles* …Rice balls…”
…Don’t tell me he’s turning into me in his dream. In that case, I will NEVER ever allow him to take the princess’ lips.
That night, the thought fills my mind as I stare at the half-asleep Tsuzuramaru.
Hanada-iro no Emaki-mono ~Sagihara Sakyou~
“What is the meaning of this…”
I am standing in shock. My face probably looks slovenly like Enishi-dono’s.
However, it’s only natural in this situation. I’ll accept it. Yes. Falling into the same rank as Enishi-dono is a shame that will last for eternity, but I’ll accept it just this once.
It’s only obvious. Because for some reason, I woke up to find myself standing on the river bank.
“It can’t be… Did I walk from the inn to the river in my sleep…?”
No, calm down. Last night, I definitely went to sleep at the inn.
Even though walking with the wedding parade was tiring, I definitely went to sleep as usual.
So why did I wake up on the river bank? I have no absolutely no idea. Which means…
“C-Could it be that I… I sleepwalked? If the others find out about this disgrace…”
“There you are. Is something wrong?”
They found out right away!
I look up upon hearing the familiar voice. Ah, it’s the princess. I never thought she would find me… What should I say to her?
Look, the princess looks dubious. However, I, Sagihara Sakyou, did not pass through dreadful situations for nothing. Allow me to prove that I can convince her with ease.
It happens when I smile with that thought in mind.
“Kei-sama? Are you alright?”
“…What did you just say?”
I thought I misheard it, but the princess tilts her head and answers.
“I said ‘Kei-sama, are you alright?’…”
For a moment I wonder if she’s half-asleep as well, but it doesn’t seem to be the case. When the cold wind touches my back, I realize that something is wrong.
“Wha…!? Why do I, look like…”
I am wearing an unreliable, fluttering outfit that shows my shoulders and back. This kimono does not fulfill its role as a kimono, and it’s impossible for me to mistake it for something else.
“Why am I wearing Kei-dono’s kimono!?”
It has a disgraceful shape that slightly shows your hips and upper thighs. This can only be Kei-dono’s kimono.
Why am I wearing his kimono? That moment, the final blow comes from the princess’ words.
“Kei-sama, are you feeling unwell?”
Ah, could it be that it’s not only the kimono…? Right now, do I look completely like Kei-dono? That dark-skinned, impertinent man… That man with a nasty look in his eyes and an equally nasty tongue…
“Kei-sama, why are you holding your head and leaning against the tree?”
“I am not Kei-dono.”
This isn’t the time to be feeling dizzy. This might be a mononoke’s spell. How careless of me… I have to turn back into Sagihara Sakyou immediately. But if I look like Kei-dono, what does the real Kei-dono look like?
“Could it be… me? That violent Kei-dono, turned into me?”
I have to avoid that… at all costs!
“Princess, where are the others?”
“There was a suspicious figure earlier, so they’re out patrolling.”
“…I see. Princess, please do not leave my side.”
That suspicious figure might be the youkai that put me under this terrifying spell.
I have to drag it over no matter what and stab it with Hotarumaru, or else I won’t be satisfied.
“…or so I thought. Hotarumaru is not here! W-Where is it!?”
“Um, Kei-sama. If you’re looking for your swords, they’re on your hips…”
“I am not Kei-dono.”
Ah. Just as the princess said, two swords are hanging around my hips. I nearly fell into panic because my beloved sword, Hotarumaru, is not on my back… but right now I am Kei-dono.
“But I feel defenseless without Hotarumaru on my back…”
This is just too different from usual. For a samurai, having a different weapon is a serious issue. At this rate, I’m not sure if I can protect the princess properly…
“I have to get used to it before facing the enemy…”
“Ah, there’s something over there…”
“…Why can’t I get at least the time to do that!?”
Does that youkai want to die that badly!? Fine. As you wish, I shall give you a taste of Hotarumaru… I mean, Kei-dono’s swords as much as you want!
“Kei-sama, over there…”
“I am not Kei-dono. That’s… not a youkai.”
But the figures carry a threatening air, different from normal townspeople. After asking the princess to stand back, I hold my breath and observe.
There are three unkempt men… It seems like they have noticed us, as they’re coming with a vulgar smile on their faces.
“Hey, you guys. If you don’t want to be stripped of all you have, leave all valuable things here and get lost.”
They must have a lot of free time to do this in town, so early in the morning. Since the princess is scared, I smile at her before turning back to our brutal guests.
“I don’t have any time to deal with you right now.”
“Hey, hey. How arrogant. You must have a very important business, huh?”
“Indeed. I have turned into Kei-dono, but I am not Kei-dono. So I have to change from Kei-dono back to myself and prove that I am not Kei-dono.”
“As I said, I have become Kei-dono but I am actually not Kei-dono. I have to change from Kei-dono back to myself, so I can prove that I am not Kei-dono.”
“W-What’s this guy saying?”
“Tsk, this isn’t going anywhere.”
I don’t have time for this. Since we have to settle this quickly, I draw out the swords.
…Or at least I… want to draw them out.
“Ugh. I-It’s so troublesome that I have to draw both at the same time…”
“K-Kei-sama, are you alright?”
“I am not Kei-dono!”
“Hey, this is our chance. Attack!”
They resort to the dirty trick of attacking at once. Somehow I manage to pull out the swords I am not familiar with, and I turn them against them.
They’re nothing more than robbers. Even if they come at once, I shouldn’t have any difficulties.
I send out a full-force strike, but…
Since I was handling them like how I usually use my long sword, the blades didn’t reach the opponents. They sadly cut through thin air.
I can’t believe this…!
“I got you!”
One of the men swings his sword above my head. Knowing that I won’t be able to dodge it, I cover my face with my hands.
The princess’ scream echoes along with the sound of clashing metals, and then…
“…That was close, but I see. So you use them like that.”
My hands, which I crossed above my head, are holding Kei-dono’s swords. Both of their blades firmly stopped the man’s sword.
“Princess, don’t worry. Please calm down and wait over there. That, and I am… NOT Kei-dono!!”
Before the man recovers from his shock, I deliver a kick to his solar plexus. It’s an impossible movement unless you’re wearing this kimono.
Of course normally I would never resort to this savage way of fighting, but right now I look like Kei-dono.
“If it’s Kei-dono, he’d look good even with a vulgar way of fighting.”
“Y-You! You’ve done it!”
“Indeed. I apologize.”
I smile and use the swords to mow them down. Now that I have grasped the essentials, men who spit out petty lines like them are no match for me.
“But… It seems like Hotarumaru is a good match for me after all.”
Even as I thank these two swords that have protected me, I’m missing my sword. Please forgive me.
As I put the two swords back into their sheaths, the princess runs up to me with a surprised expression.
“Amazing… Just as expected from Kei-sama!”
“As I said, I am not Kei-dono… Oh, forget it.”
Maybe it’s because of the short exercise, but I’ve calmed down. As for how am I going to turn back into Sagihara Sakyou, I’ll think about it after taking a bath and wash all this sweat.
“Princess, let’s go back to the inn and wait for everyone else. For now, it might be better if we meet up with them as quickly as possible.”
“Right. Um… Somehow, Kei-sama feels different today.”
Obviously, because it’s me inside.
However, I got a bit curious as the princess’ cheeks are turning red.
“…Which part of me looks different from usual?”
When I calmly smile at her and ask, she looks puzzled.
“Can you please tell me? How am I different from usual?
“Hmm… let’s see…”
After thinking for a while, the princess shows a gentle smile and answers.
“You talk to yourself more than usual!”
When I jump awake, I find myself at the inn. In the room where we’re all sleeping together in a huddle. I stay still to catch my breath while listening to their noisy snore and mumblings.
“…S-so it was a dream…”
The moment I realized that, cold sweat are running down my back.
That’s right. No wonder weird things kept happening before I could even think… Good grief. Thanks to that, now I’m drenched in sweat.
I have absolutely no idea why I saw that dream. Am I nervous because of this journey?
No, it’s meaningless to think about it. It’s only a dream after all.
In the dark room, I glare at the ceiling with thoughts swirling in my mind. Eventually, my eyes are starting to feel heavy.
When morning comes, we all have to depart for the next station. No one knows when I have to draw out my sword to protect the princess. For now, I have to sleep and get as much rest as possible.
As I turn in bed and prepare to go back to sleep, I remember something.
“Wouldn’t it be better for Kei-dono to fix that disgraceful kimono of his?”
Yes, I’ve decided. Tomorrow morning, the first thing I have to do is to complain. I’ll tell him to wear a more normal kimono.
Chitosemidori no Emaki-mono ~Suzukake~
When I get up and rub my sleepy eyes, the sensation is different than usual… Hmm, it feels weird somehow.
I wonder why? There’s something prickly around my neck… Not to mention my legs are heavy too for some reason…
“Wait, huh? Eh!?”
I jump to my feet in surprise. My kimono is different than usual!
The area below my neck is frilly. My legs are tightly wrapped, and my footwear… They’ve changed into leather shoes that extend all the way up to my thighs.
Huh? I’ve seen this outfit somewhere before. Let’s see, if I remember correctly… this is Saneaki-san’s kimono? Why am I wearing it?
Even after I look around, there’s no one in sight… The wedding parade hasn’t departed yet, right? I hope they didn’t leave me behind while I was asleep at the inn…
When I get up in a rush, the hem of my coat floats up and billows like a paper balloon. The frills under my neck also flutter in the wind.
“Ahaha, this is fun!”
If I spin around like this… See, it’s so fluttery and fun! It’s a really strange kimono, but it’s easier to move in that I thought.
I wonder how this outfit is made? As I flip the coat over and fiddle with the tight collar, the door behind me slides open.
“Ah, Princess! What a relief. So the wedding parade hasn’t left after all. I thought I was the only one who overslept and missed the departure.”
“Ahaha, are you surprised? Here, take a look! Does this look good on me?”
Seeing that it was the princess who came, I spin around in front of her to show the kimono.
Huh? The princess is surprised. I wonder why?
“Kuroba-sama…? Um, it suits you really well. Just as always.”
“Eh? As always?”
The princess seems strange somehow. What’s the matter?
Kuroba-sama is Saneaki-san, isn’t it? Even if I’m wearing a different kimono, there’s no way she would mistake me for Saneaki-san…
Did she accidentally say the wrong name?
“Well, I guess it doesn’t matter! Hey, what do you think? Does this really suit me?”
Once again, I twirl around to spread the coat.
“Ah! Kuroba-sama, over there… Your kimono is slightly frayed.”
“Eh? Where is it?”
She’s right. The kimono is a bit torn. Maybe it was me who carelessly caused the damage…
“This might be a problem for Saneaki-san later on… but I’ve never seen this shape of kimono before, I wonder if I can even mend it?”
“Are you not good at sewing, Kuroba-sama? You are a samurai after all.”
“No, I think I’m pretty good at it. After all, there are times when I have to do something similar while treating wounds.”
“But this is my first time seeing this kind of kimono, so I’m not sure if I can do it right… Are you good at sewing, Princess?”
“Well, it’s not something I can proudly show to others, but if it’s only a little…”
Right. The princess seems to be good at it, so it might be better to leave it to her! Holding both of the princess’ hands, I decide to ask her for help.
“Princess. Would you mind mending it in my behalf? Can you do it?”
“K-Kuroba-sama? Um, your hands… Really, what has come over you today?”
“Ah… Is it difficult after all? You’re right, Princess. It must be your first time too seeing a kimono made of this kind of fabric.”
Oh no… Still, we can’t just leave the kimono like this…
“Um… We only have to mend the frayed part, right? Please… wait for a while.”
After saying that, the princess draws closer to me and carefully observes my collar. Her eyes are serious.
“Looks like it’s only frayed a little. If it’s only this much, I might be able to fix it.”
“Really? Can I ask you to help?”
“Yes, but would you mind if I sew it using the method I know?”
“Of course not! Please do!”
Right. If I apologize to Saneaki-san after the kimono is fixed, he’ll surely forgive me, won’t he?
At my enthusiastic answer, the princess smiles and starts preparing the sewing kit.
“Well then, I will go outside for a while. Please call me when you’re done taking the kimono off.”
After handing a kosode to me, the princess turns around to leave the room. Alright then, let’s take this kimono off and… eh? H-Huh?
“Ah, wait! Princess, what is this?”
I quickly grab the princess’ kimono to stop her. After all, I don’t know how to remove this round clip on my neck.
“If I remember correctly, that’s… an ornament called a button. Isn’t that what you told us before, Kuroba-sama?”
“Is that so? I thought of removing this first, but… how do you do it?”
“Um, doesn’t Kuroba-sama usually take it off without any help?”
“Yeah, you’re right.”
(Note: For the confused. Kayo refers to Saneaki as ‘Kuroba-sama’ without switching to second-person pronoun to address him directly, so Suzukake thinks Kayo is talking about the real Saneaki, not him.)
“If you do it like that, I think you should be able to remove it…”
“I see, you have a point!”
“But I don’t know how to do it…”
“Kuroba-sama knows how to do it, right?”
“Yeah, he does.”
The princess looks really troubled. I must be the one who’s causing her to make that face, right? Hmm, what should I do?
“If even Kuroba-sama doesn’t know how to do it, um… Shall we try removing it together?”
“Really? Thank you!”
As I thought, the princess is so kind. To make it easier, I quickly take off the topmost coat.
It’s a bit too large for me, so it doesn’t take long for me to slip out of it. Well then, next will be the frills…
“Ah, please wait! If you pull it that hard, the clip would come off…”
Together with the princess, I remove the frills very, very carefully. Huh? Oh, so the frills aren’t tied to the kimono underneath. Looks like it would’ve worked just fine even if I didn’t take them off.
Saneaki-san’s kimono is so difficult… Well, I was able to take it off, so I guess it’s all good.
After removing the frills, I move on to the kimono under the coat.
For some reason, this is really complicated. So Saneaki-san does this everyday… Amazing.
“Somehow, we managed to take everything off.”
It took us quite a while, but there’s no damage aside from the frayed part. In any case, I’m relieved.
“Well then, I’ll mend it, so… Ah.”
The princess averts her gaze. For some reason, her face has turned red. Is something wrong?
“Uh… Um… Please put the kosode on… I don’t know where I should look…”
Ah, I see. She’s right, I AM half-naked right now.
“Oh, sorry. But I don’t mind, so it’s alright.”
“E-Even if you don’t mind, Kuroba-sama, I do! A-Anyway… Please move away a little and wear something…!”
She doesn’t have to get THAT flustered though.
“But I often play with Madara and Hachimoku… ah, I mean my friends, in the river looking like this.”
“Playing in the river!? You, Kuroba-sama!? B-But those friends of yours are all male, right?”
“Hachimoku is a boy, but Madara is a girl.”
“W-W-With a woman…?”
Huh? The princess is making a weird expression. Did I say anything strange?
“…I see. Well, Kuroba-sama is an adult after all…”
“Yeah, he is!”
“My opinion of Kuroba-sama… has changed a little…”
“Is that so?”
Is she alright? She looks rather pale. I’m a bit worried; I should take a closer look.
T-That surprised me… Just when I took a step forward, I tripped on the coat I slipped out of.
Ah… What should I do, I fell over and dragged the princess along!
“Sorry, are you alright?”
“But… doesn’t it hurt?”
“Um, it doesn’t, so can you please move away from on top of me…”
“Right… Eh? Huh? The string ornament on my hip is stuck.”
If I make the wrong move, I might end up ruining the princess’ kimono.
“What should I do, Princess?”
“E-E-Even if you ask me…”
“Ah, that’s right! We should have called for help right from the start.”
“Saneaki-sa~n! Someone~! Heeelp~!”
“P-P-Please wait! If someone sees us like this… Ah.”
I thought I saw the door sliding open with full force, but… huh? Why am I lying sprawled on a bed?
Where’s the princess?
When I look around, Saneaki-san and the others seem to be sleeping soundly. It’s still night-time.
“Ah~ So that was just a dream.”
No wonder it was so strange. Looks like there’s still some time before morning comes, so I guess I’ll go back to sleep.
“But if it was a dream, I should have watched it continue for a bit longer.”
It was fun to wear an unusual outfit, and the princess was really cute too…
Right, the princess was cute. She was blushing as she looked at me.
“…For some reason, I feel depressed…”
It’s weird. Why is it? When I think about the princess in my dream, I feel strange.
As I throw a glance around, my eyes catch the sight of Saneaki-san’s bed.
The white-collared kimono I took off with great effort is lying next to his pillow, neatly folded.
“Ah, that’s right! Next time, I’ll secretly ask him how to remove a ‘button’!”
Yeah, I must be depressed because the ‘button’ is weighing on my mind. I’ll ask him first thing in the morning!
Well then, time to go back to sleep. I hope I’ll be able to see a fun dream again this time.
(If possible, I hope the princess appears in my dream again…)