The man unsheathed his sword.
“–However, I want to test whether or not you have a spine.”
“Test me? Fair enough. What shall I do?”
“Don’t do anything. I will swing my sword, and you will stay still. If you move even a little, you will lose.”
“So you want to test my courage? Then do it.”
I blinked slowly and then stopped all movement.
The samurai who called himself Hijikata Toshizou put his hand on his sword.
This was the art of sword drawing.
A deadly move of lashing out while unsheathing your sword.
With just the smallest tremble of the hand or a hint of murderous intent, my head would be blown off.
I prayed that this man did not intend to murder me and closed my eyes.
A few seconds later, the tip of the blade travels past my neck, with only a few millimeters separating us.
My throat would have likely been cut if I moved even a little out of fear.
Toshizou saw this and said:
“…Good. You have the courage of a king.”
I answered calmly.
“It is merely defiance. I cannot hope to conquer the world if I cannot trust a single samurai.”
“Defiant, but the right way to think.”
“But I was also confident that you would not cut me.”
“Oh? And why is that?”
“I didn’t sense the intent to murder. Right now, you have only loathing for yourself. You have the eyes of one who is only searching for a place to die. I did not think someone like you would do it when I am guaranteed to take you to such interesting places.”
“And perhaps you have noticed Eve, who is behind you. If she sensed for even a moment that you would do something strange, she would have killed you. I think you noticed that. Why waste your life in such a way?”
“Indeed. The murderous Toshizou cannot meet his ultimate end by the hands of some girl dressed as a maid. That was very perceptive of you. I think that you may just be worthy of having me as your sword.”
Toshizou said and bowed politely.
“My name is Hijikata Toshizou. I am a farmer who was raised in Bushu, Tama. I became a warrior due to certain circumstances, but I am a farmer’s son at heart. Use me as an expendable soldier.
“Hardly. I know that a warrior like you is rarer than gold. I will prepare a place for you to die one day, but do not think it will be any time soon.”
“I am grateful.”
Toshizou said and gave a very oriental smile.
And so the Ashtaroth army gained the Hero, Hijikata Toshizou.
As a commander, he would become the most vital part of the army.
He would attack, he would protect, he draws first blood, second, and third. His uniform would become so drenched with blood that he would earn the nickname, Devil Toshizou.
As strange as it was, it was similar to the nickname he had in his past life.