This has been mostly fun, though I'm not shipping it super hard.
Heh, looking at the walkthrough all the choices are, like, "Don't say it" instead of "Be honest", or "Say something" instead of "wait". Time to be sneaky and bold!
MC tracks Kyoichiro down and they both smile blandly and pretend last night didn't happen, but MC leans in as she leaves and whispers that she wants to talk to him in private.
MC: I want to join forces with you.
Kyoichiro: I hate shinobi. The idea of working with a ninja like you make me sick >:/
MC: But you still met with me. And we share a common enemy: Iga.
To her surprise, he agrees with no further negotiation, but just smiles when she tries to figure out his angle.
The next day they leave for Kyoichiro's base in Kiyosu, which is controlled by Nobunaga.
MC is impressed by how natural he seems at being a merchant, and asks how he got into it.
Kyoichiro: Yeah, I can't think of a good reason to answer you. I'd be obliged if you kept your business to yourself and allow me to do the same.
MC: Not even some crumbs of information?
Kyoichiro: Why not reveal some of your own secrets first?
Kyoichiro: That's a ninja for you :) I don't mind working with you if you prove your worth. But I don't intend to be your friend. And if you cross me, I may just sell you to Iga.
I just got Kyoichiro's first castle lottery, and the items are: Goemon's paper cranes, European vegetables, Beloved European Clock, Candy from Hideoyoshi, Letter to Sasuke, and Raita's Hiding Place. The last one is a set of samurai armour.
It's funny going back to this having JUST played the anniversary story where he talks about how if you'd told him when he met MC that he'd fall in love with her, he'd say you were insane.
I tend to imagine these characters in my internal dub with Australian or maybe American accents, but Kyoichiro sounds English. Specifically, like Nicholas Boulton (I mean obviously they're all actually speaking Japanese, and that's not what his canon voice sounds like, but this is the dub)
MC admires his shop, and Kyoichiro says "Don't break anything, you couldn't afford to pay it off. Especially if you tried your womanly wiles, with that body of yours."
HER BODY IS FINE. MAYBE A LITTLE SKINNY, BY THE STANDARDS OF THE DAY, BUT FINE.
MC thinks this was uncalled for, and ignores him.
Kyoichiro: Pipe down, I was barely gone a minute. Why not greet me sooner if you missed me that much?
MC: Oh, is this fox your companion animal?
Kyoichiro: Nah, he's not that useful. Since you're both freeloaders, I'm sure you'll be fast friends :)
MC: Charming :/
Kyoichiro: See her, Raita? She'll be feeding you from today :)
It turns out he's expecting her to basically be his maid in return for his help. And since she doesn't want to reveal her actual useful skills with medicine, she decides she has no choice but to go along with it.
I don't like the digs at her appearance, but I don't mind him disliking and resenting her, considering his history and what we've seen of the average Iga ninja.
MC: Stupid Kyoichiro insulting my PERFECTLY GOOD cooking, I'll show him...
Poor child: Yay, money from Goemon! Now I can eat! He's our hero!
Magistrate: HE'S A THEIF *stomp*
MC: Here, I'll heal your wounds with this salve. Don't worry, I'm an apothecary.
Child: Wow, my pain's all better! But I can't pay...
MC: No charge :)
Kyoichiro: That seems like quite the salve :)
She tries to understand the contradictions of this man, who is a fugitive ninja like herself.
MC: Why have you created the Goemon persona?
Kyoichiro: No real reason. I just do what I please.
MC: That's not an answer.
Kyoichiro: And I'm not obligated to give you one.
MC: Isn't it dangerous though? Standing out could put hunters on your tail.
Kyoichiro: Are you suggesting I hide in shame and fear? Pass. I live my life free, as I see fit. Nothing can bind me, not like when I was bonded to family, to a master.
MC gets excited about some European medicinal herbs languishing in the back of the shop, and Kyoichiro squees a bit about how interesting Europe is before getting annoyed at himself for revealing any vulnerability.
MC: You have these European spices and haven't used them...wait. After giving me all that hassle...can The Great Kyoichiro not cook at all? :D
Turns out he gets Kaede to cook European foods for him when they're in town together, which I guess she learned from Radiance!MC's restaurant.
He mocks the very idea of MC being able to do it, so she becomes determined, and he agrees that if she somehow makes something good he'll apologise for underestimating her and even answer her question.
She decides to cook a rice dish called "nanban reuri", all the google results I can find are...posts about the Kyoichiro path, but 'nanban' is a general Japanese term for cool foreign stuff and here's a fun post about what paella-y dish MC might have cooked by some slbp fans.
MC just thinks he's a regular customer, and offers to fix his injured leg with a new treatment she just came up with. He wants to pay but she says she just wants to hear about how it worked.
When MC finds out who he is, and that he's come to invite Kyoichiro to meet with Lord Nobunaga, she begs to come along, to see how such negotiations work.
Kyoichiro: Sure. But you know that if you incur his displeasure your head will fly faster than I can send you to the Iga :)
Aw, Kaede sent a message via her flying squirrel with the recipe MC wants...which she then burns. Kyoichiro dubiously eats some of the un-burned parts...and has to admit it's not terrible.
To MC's horror, Nobunaga remembers her from them meeting for like a minute way back in the prologue. He draws his sword?? I have totally forgotten why he would do that...
Hideyoshi: Wait, Your Lordship! She really is a healer! She healed my leg!
MC: Uh...yes! I am working with Master Narukami to work with European herbs!
And then Kyoichiro distracts Nobunaga with a pretty glass bowl with a fancy backstory, and while he stays respectfully on his knees he is fairly informal and even implies merchants are better than samurai.
MC: (Nobunaga is going to kill us D:)
Nobunaga: Lol. Show me the next item.
Kyoichiro: It's used in European religious rites. But I know you dislike religion.
Nobunaga: Only those monks who get in my way. They force people to have faith when they have done nothing to save them.
Kyoichiro: Maybe they should believe in Ishikawa Goemon.
MC: (WHAT IS HE DOING????? D:)
Nobunaga: I have no interest in sneak thieves. Next!
Afterwards Hideyoshi checks that MC is feeling ok after nearly dying.
Kyoichiro: You're very practiced at dealing with Lord Nobunaga :)
Hideyoshi: I just said what I thought :)
MC: ...is Master Narukami always like that with Lord Nobunaga? D:
Hideyoshi: Yes, Lord Nobunaga takes him as he comes, a unique privilege.
Hideyoshi goes on about how great a lord Nobunaga is.
Kyoichiro: For the time being. Power can change a person.
I'd say "the idea of Nobunaga being even worse is terrifying" but...from what I know of the history he will indeed get worse /o\
MC: And amongst the sparring warriors, I spot my childhood friend...
Me: Inuchiyo? Aw, a cute reunion!
MC: Sakuya. Who wants to kill me D:
Me: Ah, right /o\
Kyoichiro, noticing MC's reactions, asks Hideyoshi who he is, 'casually' moving so that Sakuya won't be able to see MC.
Hideyoshi: Ah, that's Sakutaro, a samurai with ties to the Shibata clan. He's still young, but has promise.
Afterwards Hideyoshi invites MC to come visit him to discuss medicines.
The next day Sasuke comes to visit, and the moment he recognises MC starts shipping her with Kyoichiro. Instead of expressing surprise that they know each other, Kyoichiuro just shoos MC out the door, clearly more concerned about keeping his past with Sasuke a secret than digging into hers. MC feels the other way around, much to Kyoichiro's annoyance, but lets herself be shooed.
Once MC is gone, Sasuke and Kyoichiro discuss Iga (also called Momochi?) being after Kyoichiro. And then Sasuke just tells Kyoichiro MC's entire backstory? And Mr 'let's not pry into each other's lives' Narukami is totally fine learning all this.
Sasuke: Now you know how valuable she is you should cosy up to her.
Kyoichiro: Unlike you, I'm not interested in philanthropy.
Sasuke: *pointed raised eyebrow* lol.
"It's been a few days since Sasukle came to live with us and our life of two has become a life of three"
He really is just shippable with everyone...
Haha I gain points with Kyochiro by agreeing with Sasuke that MC has it rough doing all his housework.
On her day off, MC bumps into the creepy magistrate who always hits on her and "her fingers twitch for a kunai" but she decides she doesn't want to attract attention.
She is saved from the conversation by Hideoyoshi, who implies she's his girlfriend to scare off the guy. He asks her out to a teahouse and she's all "YES. THE PERFECT COVER FOR GATHERING INTEL"
Hearing of an upcoming battle, she asks to make medicines for Hideyoshi, hoping to create a place for her village in Nobunaga's plans, and he gives her a knowing look and agrees. He explains that his loyalty to Nobunaga stems from Nobunaga recognising Hideyoshi's potential as a peasant and rasiing him up.
New lottery is all Raita stuff, including a letter to Kaede's familiar, and a beatup Tanuki doll.
Sasuke gives a dubious MC some advice about understanding the kind intention behind Kyoichiro's insults. Sasuke makes MC realise that Kyoichiro is actually quite lonely, and asks her to look after him.
MC successfully makes rice that Kyoichiro is forced to admit is good. He smiles and says he'll explain why he works as Goemon...if she's brave enough to come with him.
The target is the creepy magistrate who kept hitting on MC. MC follows Kyoichiro's lead, they end up pressed together hiding from a guard and MC is unexpectedly Into It. Watching him leave the proceeds by a poor shack, MC is struck by how admirable he is, but then notices his uncharacteristically vulnerable expression.
Kyoichiro says she did a good job "for a country bumpkin" and gives her a crane of her own since "she was Ishikawa Goemon too". But when she gets too happy about it he's all "I guess it suits your mental age".
MC: I understand why you're Goemon now. You have a mouth on you like I've never seen before, but underneath you're a good man.
Kyoichiro: No I'm not. Don't make me laugh. I became Goemon because I wanted to make arrogant louts pay >:)
MC: Say that all you want. You aren't the sort who relishes hurting others. You're sarcastic and harsh with Raita and me, but still coddle him and take excellent care of me. The real you is kind-
Kyoichiro, putting a finger to her lips: Shut up. I'm not that person. I became Goemon to bring myself relief from this sick churning in my stomach. Not to save people.
Man I hope MC isn't going to be 100% ok with the insults from now on. The fact he's nice underneath doesn't make them not dickish.
Sasuke: You lost this round.
Kyoichiro: 'Suke, you eavesdropping deviant. This is why I hate shinobi.
Sasuke: Aren't you one too? Don't say such sad things, Kyo. This entry was originally posted at https://alias-sqbr.dreamwidth.org/797273.html. There are comments.