Mocca-Marocchi: Yup, poor poor Kojuro... (don't worry though, he soon adapts and became the Kojuro we known today XDD). And sadly no, that tactics is based on my imagination + strategies from the manga I've read + Sun Tzu's Art of War + Various historical and strategy books about China + etc. so I don't think it is historical =_=

Pyromystic: Battle melawan Ashina itu kilas balik. Bukan flashback sih... tapi lebih tepatnya "Gaiden" yg mengambil tempat di masa lalu sebelum pertarungan Ueda castle, semacam "Prologue Gaiden" gitu. Nanti bakalan ada lagi kalau anda mau XDD

After a long time... Kojuro Katakura's stage one is COMPLETE! XDDDD

BUT!... It ain't over yet, my friends~~ there are still 4 more stages to go XDD

Honestly though, while I have the rough concepts for both Nobuyuki's and Yoshitsugu's story and endings, Kojuro's is still a bit hazy~ =_=a

I happened to notice that some of you are a bit confused over the reading orders for last week's chap. Well, the third story took place before Ueda castle, during Masamune and Kojuro's early exploit. You should notice it if you read it carefully...

This Epilogue took place post-Ueda Castle after Masamune had unified Oshu. Hope you enjoy it ^^


For the Greater Good

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After a long, exhausting campaign, the Date finally succeed in unifying Oshu under their banner. In celebration, the Date throws a banquet, and the mood risen even further when the clan head, Masamune Date, announces his ambition to unite the land. With the clan morale at their highest peak, Masamune believed that they were ready to take on the other warlords of Japan. However...

"My lord !"

A messenger burst into the hall where Date's vassal were having their dinner, panic written all over his face. He immediately dropped to his knee and bow down in front of the officers present. "I brought urgent news! Lord Hideyoshi Toyotomi had conquered Kyushu, and is now moving to capture Eastern Japan!"

Upon hearing the message, murmurs soon began amongst the Date vassals. Any joy and festive mood now had been replaced with doubts and uncertainty. Amidst the whispers and panics, only Kojuro remains calm as he finished his dinner. Kojuro had already predicted this in advance, but kept it to himself to avoid demoralizing the clan. Ieyasu is bound to serve under Hideyoshi, which is the very reason why he wanted to avoid engaging the Tokugawa back at Ueda castle. What Kojuro miscalculated was the speed of Hideyoshi's advance.

As the messenger continues his report of how most of the clans have surrendered to the Toyotomi, leaving only the Date and Hojo standing on Hideyoshi's path of conquest. In frustration, Masamune stood and proceed to kick his food tray, causing it to nearly crashed at the messenger. After this outburst, Masamune stormed out of the hall, much to the confusion of his retainers. His wife, Megohime, looked at Kojuro for support. The both of them have close bonds, akin to that of siblings, and as a result Megohime knew that at the moment Kojuro have a better chance in calming Masamune down.

Taking a sip from his tea, Kojuro nodded and went to follow Masamune...

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When upset, one often goes to a place where they could be by themselves. For Masamune, that place is on the castle's garden, specifically around a lone Sakura tree planted next to the pond. The sakura had already bloomed long ago, and green leaves grew in it's place. The surface of the pond reflected the moon as several koi fish swam peacefully, blissfully unaware of Masamune's frustration. As the young lord paced back and forth, Kojuro looked on from afar.

"Just when I was about to conquer the land, that monkey came and ruin everything!" Masamune exclaimed, before he vent up his anger and frustration by punching the Sakura's bark. Some leaves fell off due to the blow, raining down upon the ground while Masamune catches his breath. He sat down on a rock beside the pond, sighing as he tries in vain to suppress his emotion. "If it comes to this, then the only choice is to resist the Toyotomi..."

Masamune's frustrated decision was overheard by Kojuro, and the latter sighed in respond. Impulsive and boldly arrogant of his own abilities, Masamune always refuses to bow down to others. However, Masamune's pride and recklessness would brought destruction upon himself and his clan if allowed. Hideyoshi Toyotomi is now the virtual ruler of Japan, and to challenged him would simply be suicidal. Determined to change the dragon's decision, Kojuro approached the young ruler of Oshu...

"Ah~ the cherry tree is a refreshing green at this time of the year," Kojuro began(1), "And after the winter the Sakura will bloom once more."

Masamune looked up at Kojuro as he continues. "Everyone is looking forwards for the blossoms, but if you got impatient and forced the sakura to bloom, it will wither and die. Then everyone will suffer as they can no longer appreciate it's beauty."

Kojuro stopped then turned in front of the cherry tree so that he is face to face with Masamune. The moonlight shone through the branches and leaves upon Kojuro, shrouding him in a combination of the lunar light and shadow. This somewhat mystify Kojuro's presence, but Masamune knew that the sparrow often had a penchant for theatrics when he is either acting as a decoy or having an inspiration. "Sure you would satisfied your pride when you face the Toyotomi, but your clan and your people will suffer for that," Kojuro said, smiling as he does so, "Just like what would happen if you cut down the cherry tree."

Masamune scoffs. "So what do you want me to do ? Throw away my pride and beg at Hideyoshi like a dog ?"

Still smiling, Kojuro close his eyes as he shook his head. "What I want you to do is to yield for the greater good, Masamune," Kojuro replied, "For a dragon is known not just for it's ferocity, but for it's wisdom as well."

"For now, the dragon must came down to earth," Kojuro said as he steps out of the shade of the cherry tree, "Submit to Hideyoshi, and the survival of your clan is ensured. Thus your ambition lives on."

Masamune chuckled. Kojuro do have a point, but Masamune also have other plans in mind.

"Fine, I guess I have to yield to that imbeciles Toyotomi and the monkey that is leading them," Masamune stated, "But refused to stay on his shadow! I will prove my worth over Hideyoshi's treasured retainers, and one day they will be the one under the dragon's shadow!"

Masamune stood up. "Are you with me, Kojuro ?" he asked.

Kojuro smiled as he politely bowed. "Of course, Masamune," Kojuro replied, "After all, the sparrow will fly after the dragon, until the very end of the world."

Gentle night breeze blew past Masamune and Kojuro, carrying the cherry tree's green leaves with them as they flew away under the starry skies. The Date have avoid a premature end, and a new dawn arrives as Masamune and Kojuro prepares to meet Hideyoshi. Even though their path were hazy at best, Kojuro prepares for the worst while wishing for the best...

...For he will fulfill his promises to both the late Terumune and Masamune Date, even at the cost of his own life.

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...And that's that~ ! this chap concludes the first "Stage" of Kojuro's Story Mode! Stay tune after this folks, because Eternal Reverie is coming up NEXT WEEK! And this time, I decides to put more of the playable cast on the spotlight instead of letting Yuuki, Yin Long, the "villains" and other OC from hogging it ^^

Oh, and don't forget to give some review for Nobuyuki's and Yoshitsugu's SM, for after I'm done with ER, I am going to continue the one with the most review ^^

1) Sakura (桜 or 櫻; さくら) is the flower of a cherry tree, which is called "cherry blossoms".

See you guys on Eternal Reverie XDD !