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    Kingdom Of Styria

    Chapter 35

    Hanbei's strategy

    Translated by SoundDestiny
    Edited by SoundDestiny


    Takenaka Hanbei.


    One of his great deeds performed by him, who was known as [New Kongming](今孔明) in Japan’s Warring States period, was the “Inabayama Castle Takeover Incident”.


    Inabayama Castle was the main castle of the Saito family in the country of Mino, and was held by a warlord named Saitō Tatsuoki.


    The lord of the castle, Saitō Yoshitatsu, did not inherit the genius of his grandfather, who was known as “Mamushi”. He was known for his stupidity. He spent his days in debauchery and neglected his political duties.


    In order to remonstrate with his lord, Hanbei took action to “take over Inabayama Castle”.


    Hanbei made his younger brother, who had been held hostage at Inabayama Castle, pretend to be ill, and entered the castle with a small force under the pretence of visiting him. 


    He then took advantage of the opportunity to drive Yoshitatsu out and take the castle.


    Although the castle was later returned to Yoshitatsu, Takenaka Hanbei’s name became known to the world as the man who defeated less than 20 men at Inabayama Castle, which was known to be impregnable.


    After making a name for himself as a rare military strategist, Hanbei was assigned to the service of a man who would later become a great ruler. And who would be remembered for 400 years to come as the greatest military strategist in the world.


    “I won’t deny the idea that warfare is about numbers, but the fact that the more people you have, the more advantage you have, means that you will be caught off guard by a smaller number of opponents. When they thought that it would not be a problem to let a small number of soldiers into the castle, Yoshitatsu-sama and Hida province fell into the trap. That could be said of the enemy this time as well.”


    Sending his lord Castor off to the residence of the Duke of Caesar, Hanbei began to talk about such things.


    Hanbei, Yukimura, Vysha and the other soldiers of the Parthenos Republic hid themselves at a little distance from the back entrance of the mansion and waited.


    Fortunately, the back of the house was deserted and there were no soldiers on guard. The back gate was tightly closed and it would take some time to break down the metal gate.


    “The man they wanted so badly turned up without a single man to help him. That’s a good thing, because they’re going to get excited and let their guard down. You wouldn’t expect a female servant to be a skilled assassin, would you?”

    “Does that mean that……Hanbei-dono used Lord Castor as bait?”


    Yukimura, who has heard of Hanbei’s intentions, asks in a reproachful tone.


    Castor took on the role of decoy of his own volition. He could not complain about his lord’s actions, so he kept quiet. ……For Yukimura, an honest samurai, sending his lord into harm’s way was an unacceptable scheme.


    Hanbei proposed that Castor should go to Gilius Caesar alone.


    Kotaro, disguised as a female servant, would then open the back gate and invite Hanbei and the others to come in.


    It was a risky move which, in the worst case, could have endangered his lord’s life…….Otherwise, he decided, he would not be able to rescue the hostages in the house.


    If Yukimura, a warrior of the highest calibre, led the charge, even if he is attacked head-on, he might be able to beat Gilius’s men to the ground and overrun the house.


    But…..a desperate Gilius might use the hostages Grayson Caesar and Natalia Mazu as shields.


    This is why Castor chose to distract Gilius and Kotaro to quietly bring in his allies through the back door.


    “Don’t be angry. It was our Highness who said he wanted to save the hostages unharmed, and also it was our Highness who said he wanted to speak to Gilius Caesar. I was only suggesting the best way to fulfil his wishes. If he dies, it will be at his own risk.”


    “…Isn’t Hanbei-dono worried about our Lord? I don’t understand how you can be so optimistic.”


    “Hmmm……it’s not that I’m not worried. Maybe Yukimura-san doesn’t understand. You and I are both men who served the same lord, but……you only know the old Hideyoshi-sama, don’t you?”


    “I don’t know why you brought up Toyotomi Hideyoshi ……but you’re right, though.”


    Hanbei looks as if he is remembering something, then breaks into a huff and laughs.


    “I used to do some crazy things with Master Hideyoshi. We fought Azai, Asakura, Takeda, Mori…..and countless other powerful enemies, and we both nearly died many times. I don’t know how many times we were ready to die, especially at Kanegasaki.”




    “That’s what a lord is to me. It’s not that I don’t care about him, but he’s not someone I can protect behind my back. All I can do is to think of the best way to win. The only other thing I can do is to die with my lord.”


    Hanbei may have looked like a boy, but his eyes held the determination of a warrior who had passed through countless near death experiences.


    Perhaps this is not surprising, since his experience on the battlefield alone is far greater than that of Yukimura, who was regarded as the greatest warrior in the world.

    “If my lord dies here, I’ll die here too. This time I won’t leave my lord to die of illness. I’m not going to die of sickness or any other illness either without seeing my beloved lord.”


    “I see……. Indeed, I am in a very different position than you. No wonder it is so difficult to understand, that it is.”


    Before his death, Yukimura served a lord who had become an old man. The other was a young and inexperienced lord.


    Both were targets for Yukimura to protect and could not be expected to fight and die together.


    Yukimura became a little jealous of Hanbei.


    “You needn’t be jealous. We’re serving the same lord now. Now that we’re serving the same lord, let’s do our best to serve him from both sides.”


    “Yes, of course. Naturally, that is.”


    When Yukimura smiled and nodded, at the same time the back gate was opened from the inside.

    A familiar face appeared from behind the gate, Kotaro’s face hidden by a hood.


    “It seems that the time has come. Let’s go before we let his highness die!”


    “I agree. Let the battle of Sanada begin!”


    Hanbei and Yukimura went towards the door opened by Kotaro.


    Vysha and others followed, and …..more than a dozen soldiers broke into the residence of the Dukes of Caesar.


    The number of intruders, excluding Castor, was 16.


    Coincidentally, this was the same number of soldiers that Takenaka Hanbei is said to have led to take over Inabayama Castle.

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