Middle April, 1567

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It was a fine day from the morning, and it was a perfect day for the battle.
As if it has become a routine, the dull battles repeated without interruption since early morning.
That’s why the Saito soldiers thought that things would repeat as usual.
They were already moving their body through sheer willpower, but soon the heart supporting that will would be broken.

Around half-past nine o’clock in the morning of Eiroku era (year 1567), April 14th, at long last, the Oda army launched a total attack on Inabayama Castle.

“OOOOOOOOOOO~~~!!!!”

Mori Yoshinari, the one with the greatest martial prowess among Oda’s retainers, cut through forwards as the vanguard.
His war cry was like a fierce beast, so great that the Saito soldiers rooted in place unconsciously.
Behind him, his retainers and soldiers followed.

Because The Saito clan’s generals didn’t know the situation on the battlefield, they thought that the enemy had concentrated in their place, and requested reinforcements from other places as usual.
But they were replied with ‘we are under attack from the Oda army and cannot afford to send reinforcements.’

“Don’t hold back! Thrust your pent-up frustration to those guys!”

“Soldiers! Don’t lag behind the others! hack and slash the enemies in front of you!”

The morale of the Oda army exploded with each generals’ encouragement.
And their passion was already overflowing on Mt.
Kinka.
Seeing that even the rearguard was burning with rage, the Saito soldiers finally understood.
The Oda army had launched an all-out attack with everything they had.

‘Send a messenger to the lord,’ said ‘Someone’.
But, because of the fatigue that accumulated after repeated battle, and being under an all-out attack on top of that, most of the soldiers were not able to think properly.
Not knowing from ‘who’ for ‘whom’ the order was and unable to clear their mind to think, they just kept fighting the rushing Oda army.
It was as if they all thought ‘someone else will be the messenger’ and stopped thinking.
A small mistake caused by the soldier’s fatigue dealt the fatal blow to Saito Tatsuoki.

Meanwhile, taking advantage of the chaos from the all-out attack, Hideyoshi cut a shortcut through Zuiryuji mountain in the back valley of Inabayama Castle.
He was followed by only seven people, including Hachisuka Masakatsu and the mountain hunter, Horio Yoshiharu.
Hideyoshi, who invaded the Inabayama castle from its steep cliff, was wary of his surroundings, but it seems the news about the attack hasn’t reached the castle, as they were not on alert and kept doing business as usual.
With this stroke of luck, Hideyoshi invaded further, cutting down the castle garrisons and setting fire to the woodshed.
Then he wrapped the gourd hanging from his waist around the tip of the spear of the defeated garrisons and climbed a large rock (Tengu Rock) with it in one hand.

“EIEI OOHHH!!EIEI OOHH!!EIEI OOOOOOOOOHHHHHH!!!”

Hideyoshi made a loud cry of triumph while swinging a spear with a gourd so the Oda army at the front main gate could see and hear him.

Although there was a time difference, Hideyoshi’s cry was transmitted to the people of both camps.
Naturally, their reaction was quite the opposite.
The Oda army thought that Hideyoshi had succeeded in a surprise attack and further strengthened their charge, but the Saito army misunderstood that the castle had fallen and their morale completely collapsed.
The Saito army, whose heart was broken, dropped their weapon to the ground, slumped their shoulders, and fell to their knees.
When the Oda army passed by their eyes, nobody put up a fight.

After the woodshed was burning, the front main gate had fallen, Tatsuoki and his chief retainers finally learned about their current situation.
The ‘unsuccessful’ attack from the Oda army in the last six days made them completely negligent.
They thought that the enemies wouldn’t breach the castle this time, too.
But they finally realized that wasn’t the case.
But it was too late.
Hideyoshi and his men had launched a surprise attack from the rear gate, and the Oda army was rushing from the front main gate.
With the castle being one step away from being conquered, Tatsuki had no way to resist.
There were only two options for him; surrender or suicide.

Tatsuoki’s decision was quick.
He valued his life more and chose to surrender as soon as possible without crossing blades with the Oda army.
His retainers resolved themselves to follow through with his decision to surrender, but Tatsuoki himself, as well as his hanger’s on and sycophants, had something different in mind.

After sending a messenger that he would surrender, he excused himself saying that he would get changed.
Of course, this was a big lie; he hurriedly scraped up his fortune and escaped from the castle by dressing like a soldier.
He thought that if he surrendered, no matter what he said, he would be beheaded and put on display.
In other words, he threw out his responsibility as Mino’s ruler for his self-protection.
His followers also had the same idea, as they also fled along with Tatsuoki with any fortune they could grab.
By the time the retainers who were left behind noticed, they had already descended Mt.
Kinka and sailed down the Nagara River at the castle town.
In the end, even though many retainers told him to change his behavior, Tatsuoki never reflected on it.

 

 

Nobunaga received Tatsuoki’s surrender, but after that, he quickly took action that was fairly unusual in these turbulent times.
At such time, the common practice is for the winner to run amok and pillage the castle interior, but Nobunaga banned all his soldiers including his aides from doing so, and ordered for anyone who violated it to be decapitated.
It was strictly adhered to, that five of the senior foot soldiers who assaulted women were beheaded without being allowed to speak.

Next, Nobunaga disarmed all the surviving Mino soldiers and then let them go down from the mountain.
What he desperately wanted was Mino soldiers to make up for the Owari soldier’s losses.
After the soldiers had all gone down, auxiliary combatants or non-combatants such as women, children, and the elderly were next.
Finally, after carrying out all the remaining weapons in the castle, Nobunaga entered Inabayama Castle.

Immediately after entering the castle, Nobunaga received a report that Tatsuoki had escaped, but he just laughed it off and said nothing more.
When he went to the chamber where Tatsuoki would have been before, he was met by the nervous retainers of the Saito clan.
Everyone was already dressed in white.

“You might be our enemies, but you fought valiantly, and I commend you for that.”

The Saito clan’s retainers were stunned, not understanding his words.
Nobunaga ignored them and continued.

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“But, before you cut open your stomach, let me ask you.
Are any of you willing to offer up your lives, and serve me as living corpses? I won’t force you.
It’s up to you to decide, whether to remain loyal to your lord or to serve me.”

After a final glance at them, Nobunaga quietly left the scene.
The Oda clan main retainer also took their exit next, leaving only some soldiers to watch over them.
They couldn’t hide their unrest because of Nobunaga’s words.
After all, his attitude was unprecedented.
Not knowing what Nobunaga’s purpose was, they were horrified as if they had encountered something unknown.
But as the time passed and they finally processed their situation, they regained their composure.
Moreover, after they thought it over carefully, they finally understood.

That Nobunaga was giving even them, who had lost, a chance to shine.

Nobunaga gave them due credit even when they lost.
There were various ways to receive it; like taking it as an insult, or taking it as kindness, or just being indifferent.
Therefore each of them reacted differently.
Some swore that they would triumph over Nobunaga and left.
Some held their loyalty to the Saito clan and chose suicide.
Some were interested in Nobunaga and decided to serve him.
The only thing they had in common was that no one would act for Tatsuoki.
Even those who chose suicide because of their loyalty wanted to serve  Saito Yoshitatsu, even after his death.

With Nobunaga’s final blow, their hearts were completely separated from Tatsuoki.
In the future, even if Tatsuoki tried to make contact, no one would pay him any heed.
Nobunaga didn’t even search for Tatsuoki down the Nagara River, thinking nothing to be feared would come from him.

Six years after Saito Yoshitatsu passed away, Nobunaga finally conquered the long-sought Mino.

 

 

Leaving the post-processing to his retainers, Nobunaga was about to return to his residence at Komikaya castle when good news reached him.
The report said that Kimyoumaru had recovered.
And that too just a few days after Shizuko diagnosed him.
However, Nobunaga was not surprised.
That was expected from her, thought Nobunaga.

(If she’s also knowledgeable about illness, some people are bound to be curious about her origin… But for the time being, we can pass her off as someone born to a noble family.
Although even if I drape her in the clothes of nobility, whether she can replicate their elegance and behavior is another question.)

Even though he was worried that it might be nothing but a shallow disguise, Nobunaga arranged for a set of noble clothing as soon as he returned to Komakiyama Castle.
In the worst case, he might need to hammer etiquette among other things into Shizuko, but as that isn’t something learned in a day, he thought it would be fine to work on it over time.

Not knowing of such an evaluation of herself, Shizuko was frequently visiting Kimyoumaru’s mansion.

“Mmhm.”

The reason was the documents in Kimyoumaru’s mansion.
Be it for his education or because Nobunaga had collected them, but the mansion housed hundreds of books.
Shizuko silently devoured them.
However, as she was always reading them at the same place, mountains of books started to rise around her.

“I’m bored.”

“How about taking Shizuko-sama as an example and reading a book or two yourself, Kimyoumaru-sama?”

Kimyoumaru had bemoaned his boredom while resting his chin on his palm, but the stab by his educator hit a sore point, causing him to go silent.
First of all, the reason Shizuko had gone on a reading frenzy was that Kimyoumaru’s educator had brought in books for his study when the boy was getting better from his illness.

“Hey, Shizuko.
I said I’m bored.”

“Mmhm.”

“What about your promise to talk about the great people of the world?”

“Mmhm.”

“…you, you aren’t listening to me, are you!?”

“Mmhm.”

Resigning himself that this was futile, Kimyoumaru let his shoulders sag.
At that moment, footsteps could be heard from outside.
As Kimyoumaru and his educator wondered what this was about, along with the pounding footsteps, the sliding door was thrown open.

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“It seems she really is turning into a bookworm.”

Kimyoumaru could only stare at the person beyond the sliding door, who now walked up to Shizuko and brought down a lightly closed fist on Shizuko’s head.
Alongside a dull sound reverberating throughout Kimyoumaru’s room, a sound like a crushed frog’s scream rang out.

 

 

Kimyoumaru’s cough had been cured completely by Shizuko’s devoted and effective care.
However, as she was almost exclusively at his bedside, she had left her own home empty.
Fortunately, due to the efforts of Daiichi and Kinzou, no problems with the farming had cropped up.
But there was someone who had been waiting for Shizuko to leave her home for a long period of time.

(The wolves are not here either, so…)

That person was Aya.
She could not get the heavily locked wooden box out of her mind.
Normally Wittmann and the others would be here, but as Shizuko had been away a lot, they had all moved to a waiting position near the front door most of the time.
Thus, Aya saw this as her perfect chance.
Yet it still appeared impossible to remove the lock holding the box sealed by hand.
That was not only due to the sturdiness but rather because it was made in a complicated, puzzle-like fashion.
Resigning herself that it was not to be after all, Aya noticed a small box next to the wooden box.

(I have never seen a box like this before… could this be the content of the sealed box?)

As the wolves could come back at any moment, Aya had no time to ponder over the origin of the small box.
It wasn’t sealed at all, so she could easily open it up.
Aya glanced back at the entrance of the room once.
Confirming that there was no trace of the wolves, Aya gently opened the lid.

Inside the box were several notebooks.
However, Aya was unable to understand what they were.
An unknown object to her, Aya touched them lightly as she took in their rich luster and smooth texture.
If she had known silk, she would have likened the texture of the notebooks to it.

After hesitating for a little, Aya resolved herself, picked up a notebook, and opened it.
At this point in time, she was shaken a little and hadn’t noticed the title written on the notebook:

‘Consideration of Sengoku period and modern science and technology.’

In short, it contained Shizuko’s imagination (read: dark history) of ‘What I would do if I traveled back in time to the Sengoku period.’ As such, if Shizuko were to learn that Aya had read this, she would squirm in shame and agony.
However, as it stands, it was thanks to the contents of this notebook that Shizuko had managed to survive in the Sengoku period so far, so it was somewhat ironic.

(…I, I don’t understand what is written here)

But, there was a problem.
The characters written in the Sengoku period with brush and ink, and the characters written with a modern pencil, while still the same Japanese, looked completely different.
Unless you are able to read both the modern and the Sengoku period characters like Shizuko, the content of the notebooks is undecipherable.  In short, Aya could barely understand anything that was written in the notebook of Shizuko’s dark history.

Another issue was that Aya hadn’t learned more than necessary to read and write basic reports.

However, there were passages that Aya could understand as well.
Perhaps due to her personality, Shizuko had not only written down text but also added drawings and photos to her dark history notebook.

[In case of a big harvest, storing rice in bales will not be in time.
A wooden silo will be necessary.
Silos are useful for crops like rice, wheat, corn, and soybeans.
It’s also a structure to preserve and collect livestock feed in.
Its advantage is that it allows for long-term storage of unpolished rice.
It’s a wooden blueprint, but I saved it on my smartphone.]

Next to the picture were Shizuko’s notes.
But Aya was unable to decipher what the mix of Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji was supposed to mean.

(I can somehow read this… a storage? But this drawing… it looks like someone directly cut it from the landscape… what is this… oh no, my time is running out, I better continue on.)

Thinking that she should look for pictures she could intuitively understand, Aya flipped through the pages.

[For salt production, maybe sloping salt-terrace/Ryuka-enden 1.
According to Kyoko-neechan, salt is an essential seasoning for making dried plums, miso, and soy sauce, so whether we can mass-produce salt is vital for unification of the country.
I’ve read a collection of books on the history of salt at the library so I agree.
Ion exchange membrane method would be preferable, but the tech would be difficult in that era.]

(Salt…? And what is this drawing of lined-up sticks? Ugh, I don’t understand…next.)

[Oh, you can buy the Art of War from the net with one click.
The original Sun Tzu’s one was only 50 yen so it’s cheap.
The Nanban trade was with Portugal and Spain, maybe I should also buy some dictionaries and simple lesson books? Although, conversation is probably impossible …]

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(I-It’s full of worm-like characters…is this Nanban language? Next.)

[To produce miso and soy sauce, mass production of soybeans is necessary.
If I remember correctly, Grandpa said that he had devised a special farming method that could produce 500 kg per 10 a, so… better ask him next time.
Especially for soy sauce, they’re indispensable.
Can’t imagine living without soy sauce.
It’s really important so I’ll repeat it again and again.
Soy sauce is the very soul of Japanese seasoning.]

(…Next)

[Today I talked with Kyoko-neechan about guns.
AS expected, there’s no way to skip the tech tree from matchlock.
After all, there is not enough material.
Kyoko-neechan told me to get bauxite from Australia, but… the Aluminium refinement process is really difficult.]

(Sister…? Perhaps Shizuko-sama has a sister… Can’t read… Next.)

[Looking at a construction work in the neighborhood made me remember something.
Can’t I just use concrete there? I looked up about it when I got home, and the material isn’t hard to get.
There’s even concrete made out of saltwater.
Better save the manufacturing method in my smartphone as usual.
Since using iron rebar seems impossible, can I use bamboo instead? For road paving projects, Macadam paving would be enough.
The fundamentals can be searched on the net, easy peasy.]

(What is this thing? It’s full of yellow boards… but the vividness is beautiful…)

Aya briefly sighed.
She was overworking her head more than she expected, and now her shoulders felt stiff.
She focused her mind and read the rest of the notebook.
Realizing that it would take time to read each one, Aya decided to skim the notebook.

[I found some of my old notes on how to build water-powered automatic silk reeling machine.
How nostalgic… I talked about it a lot with grandpa and the people doing sericulture in our neighborhood, didn’t I? They looked at me strangely since I tried to avoid using metal… but in the end, I had to use it anyway.
But well… as long as it works.
When I submitted it as my summer research, it really creeped my teacher out…] [To liven up Gifu, as expected we have to gather people.
And how should we do that… one is by developing transportation networks, or by establishing logistics, or setting up banks… that’s a lot.
Let’s just make a list for now…] [Rant: I was found out by the teacher when reviewing this in class.
He was going to confiscate it, but when he looked at the content, he just sighed and returned it later.
Well, sorry for filling it with chuuni-like delusions!!]

There were characters lined up which made no sense to her, but Aya ignored those and turned the page.

[It would be nice to have a hemp schlichten decorticator.
For silk, a small-scale automatic reeling machine would be serviceable.
Last but not least is cotton.
But cotton is produced in Mikawa province.
I need to get the seeds somehow.
For spinning, modifying the silk spinning should be fine.
Silk goes to the capital, hemp and cotton will be half-half; half for domestic, half for export.] [Sweet potatoes need to be spread quickly.
It won’t be labeled as a weed if it becomes common enough.
More than anything, it eliminates the need for people’s nutrition overhaul after the unification of the country.]

After reading this far, Aya finally noticed that her hands were trembling.
She had started instinctively fearing the far-too-foreign notebook.
But she kept pushing through.

[For blackboard, you can make it by coating a wooden board and then varnish/lacquer with kakishibu. 2 And the chalk is from lime plus water plus glue, was it? If those could be made, we can spread the Terakoya 3 all over the country.
Education is important, my dear Watson.] [Kyoko-neechan said that fishery technology is also important.
But technology for shipbuilding and navigation is hard… It’s easier to get those from Nanban.
For the fish, most likely it’ll be dried…] [I tried to think about forestry tech, but can you just plant trees and leave them… of course you can’t.
Let’s research it properly.

 

[I asked Kyoko-neechan ‘if we just gather up the guns, can we get closer to uniting the country?’.
And she snorted.
She said ‘where would you get the funds to gather them? And how do you prepare a lot of gunpowder? Well, certainly you can’t get them willy-nilly like in games.
For the time being, let’s put a note to investigate the saltpeter that is the source of gunpowder.] [When I asked Koyoko-neechan whether the rhythm method 4 would be good for population growth, she slapped me.
Apparently, she misunderstood that I want to have a child.
I could understand her reasoning, more or less, but that was unreasonable… oh well, I’ll just write down the method’s content below…]

And that was her limit.
Her fear for the unknown has far passed the line.
Aya closed the notebook with her trembling hand.
And as if to avoid it, she put away the notebook in the wooden crate.
But, because of her fear and impatience, added with having to worry about Wittmann and the wolves, the notebook slipped from her hand.

(Not good… the wolves will notice that sound.)

She picked up the notebook in a hurry, then quickly and carefully put it in the wooden crate.
At that moment, a small piece of paper fell from the notebook.
Apparently, that paper was caught between the pages.
Aya picked it up and tried to put it in the notebook again.

[Production method (Confidental)]

But, when she saw some words that were written on that paper, her movement stopped.
It caught her eyes so she took a closer look at the paper.
What was written there was as follows.

[Production method (Confidental)

 

Summary

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How to produce excellent quality saltpeter.
There is no other method that’s more efficient with high-quality results.
However, it’s still easier to import a large amount of saltpeter from Europe.

Ingredients

Millet, tobacco, buckwheat, saku, hemp, udo(a relative to ginseng),muratachi, kusaya, shaki, silkworm feces, human urine, fertile soil, hemp field soil.

Production method Prepare a hut at a sunny place Pile up a hill of mixed soil, grass, and manure inside After that, mix it occasionally and add some manure that has sufficiently decomposed Repeat the work above for 3 to 5 years When it becomes muddy, scrape off the soil on its surface Obtain the saltpeter by extracting, boiling, and drying it.
(The same method as the Aged-Soil method.
See the appendix) Chemical reaction

Ammonia from decomposing substances and urine→ Nitrous acid due to work by bacteria
2NH3+3O2→2H2O+2HNO2

Nitrous acid oxidized→Nitric acid
2HNO2+O2→2HNO3

Nitric acid→Calcium nitrate by combining it with calcium in the soil
2HNO3+CaO→Ca(NO3)2+H2O

Calcium nitrate plus Lye(Potassium carbonate)→Potassium nitrate (Saltpeter)
Ca(NO3)2+K2CO3→2KNO3+CaCO3

Note:
This manufacturing method is a top-secret tech.
The only other ones who know are Gokayama and Shirakawa.]

 

 

 

TL: A tannin dye made from persimmons TL: Temple schooling, like Monastery schooling in the west Knaus–Ogino method 

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