V2 Chapter 79: The Four Brothers of Nakayama (Part Two)

The appearance of King Azuma of Nakayama is ordinary compared to his three brothers.

He does not possess the overwhelming aura that Dogu has, commanding legions of troops, nor does he give off the impression of remarkable acuity like Hakuro. Furthermore, unlike Kagari, he does not project an indomitable spirit that faces any adversity head-on.

Of course, there is no way a mere ordinary man could have rebuilt Nakayama after its decline. The eldest of the four brothers, who turns thirty this year, is undoubtedly a man of distinction.

His brows, as if indicating his fair character, are refreshing, his demeanor gentle, and his eyes bear a light of rationality. Asked about his hobbies, he would reply with “official duties” – he is a workaholic, but his physique is sturdy and does not hint at frailty. In fact, Azuma, when taking up a sword, was among the top ten in Nakayama.

Despite Azuma excelling in both civil and martial matters, it could not be denied that he lacked a certain amount of forcefulness as a ruler who unified the Demon Realm after fifty years. Compared to his brothers, who are like dazzling stars, he is inevitably overshadowed.

There exist harsh criticisms such as, “King Nakayama is a foolish elder brother who does not match the youngest brother Dogu in martial arts, the second brother Hakuro in wisdom, or the third brother Kagari in magnanimity.”

Such malicious gossip would undoubtedly enrage the brothers if they heard it, but in reality, there were not a few within Nakayama who shared similar thoughts.

At the forefront of these was none other than Azuma himself.

He acknowledges his brothers’ talents more than anyone, values their achievements more than anyone, and expects more from their future than anyone else. That was the kind of person King Azuma of Nakayama was.

This very nature of Azuma’s was the reason why the Nakayama royal family has achieved greatness, but these subtle nuances are rather difficult for others to understand.

Those who were once hostile to Nakayama often schemed to sow discord among the brothers, but there wasn’t a single instance of such a scheme succeeding.

“Oh, you’re back, both of you!”

Recognizing Dogu and Kagari’s figures, Azuma, who had been working at his desk, rose and greeted the two with outstretched arms.

While not as tall as Dogu, Azuma was still in the category of tall men. However, his expression and gestures didn’t betray any martial stiffness, and his voice was gentle. The long robe he wore contributed to his appearance more of a civil official than a warrior.

But, as mentioned earlier, beneath that robe was the sharply honed body of a warrior.

Now he leaves the command of the army entirely to Dogu and seldom goes to the battlefield, but until Dogu bloomed as a military commander, it was Azuma who led the Nakayama army. He always stood at the forefront of the troops, directing his forces, and it wasn’t unusual for him to charge into the enemy forces himself.

Furthermore, for critical battles, even now, the king himself often leads the front. In the recent decisive battle against Mount Ganzan, Azuma had crossed spears with the enemy army.

Azuma, who doesn’t indulge in luxury even after becoming the ruler of the Demon World, and disciplines himself strictly. His brothers admire such a brother, but as mentioned earlier, Azuma’s appearance is that of a civil official, and to those who do not know Azuma as well as his brothers, he inevitably appears unreliable.

The Kijin tribe, many of whom value martial prowess, wanted their king to embody the martial arts, a king whose appearance embodies martial prowess.

Specifically, this would refer to a towering body, limbs like logs, a dignified face that makes armies tremble with awe – in other words, someone like Dogu.

Under normal circumstances, Azuma might have been jealous of his younger brother and seen him as a hindrance, and Doga might have harbored ambitions to surpass his elder brother. It was only natural, in a way, for foreign nations to plot to drive a wedge between the brothers.

However, to Doga and Kagari, the voice of their elder brother, his presence, was the very epitome of the comfort of returning home.

The four brothers each had a five-year age gap between them, so from Doga’s perspective, Azuma was five years his senior, and Kagari was a whopping fifteen years older. They seemed more like a father than a brother, but regardless, Doga’s loyalty towards Azuma remained unclouded.

If there were those who wished to harm his elder brother, he would not feel any remorse even after slaughtering nine generations of their family.

“I’m back, brother,”

“I’ve returned, brother Azuma.”

“Good, both of you are safe. Kagari, you seem to have grown taller.”

With a disarming smile, Azuma responded to his brothers, causing Kagari to reply with a wry smile.

“Brother Azuma, no matter how young I am, I can’t visibly grow taller in a month or so.”

“Well, you never know. It is said that one should look with fresh eyes at a boy after three days. Don’t you think so too, Doga?”

“Indeed. Kagari is indeed at the age of growth. His height, and his martial prowess, will surely grow beyond what we have seen so far. Whenever I see Kagari these days, I am deeply moved by how that little boy has grown into such a robust man.”

“That’s true. When our father passed away, Kagari was only three years old. Now, he has grown into a fearless and distinguished warrior of Nakayama. How fast time flies. Indeed, time is like flowing water.”

As the eldest and second eldest brothers reminisced with nostalgic expressions, Kagari squirmed uncomfortably.

While Kagari respected his brothers from the bottom of his heart, he was not very fond of their occasional tendency to grow old and reflect on the past.

To break the awkward atmosphere, Kagari quickly posed a question to his brothers.

“Nevermind all that, Brother Azuma. Why did you call back Brother Doga and me from the front lines? There was nothing written in the letter, and from the looks of the city, it doesn’t seem like anything serious has happened.”

“Ah, about that, we will explain once we have called Hakuro. Sorry to keep you on edge, both of you, just a little—”

He had meant to say, “Wait for me,” but before Azuma could finish his sentence, the fourth brother appeared.

“Hakuro, I have arrived, eldest brother.”

The man who quietly entered the room could only be described as a “pale-faced nobleman” personified. If there was such a thing as the golden ratio in human appearance, Hakuro was the embodiment of it, without a fraction of a deviation.

The breathtaking beauty devoid of any human scent gives off a neutral aura, uncategorizable as male or female.

Hakuro, who enjoys immense popularity among the court ladies working in the royal palace, is a celebrity in the capital city, and portraits depicting him sell out faster than those of any of his four brothers. Whenever he appears in the city, women of all ages rush to him, forming a crowd in no time.

At the appearance of his brother, Azuma blinks in surprise.

“You’re early, Hakuro. I was just about to send for you.”

“I apologize for my presumption. After receiving a letter from my eldest brother about our second brother and Kagari, it was easy to predict that I would rush back at full speed. I anticipated that they would show up today, and I had previously ordered the gatekeeper to inform me as soon as they did.”

“Ha ha, your arrangements are always thorough. So, the tea and sweets are prepared, I presume?”


At Hakuro’s signal, experienced court ladies come in and start arranging various drinks and sweets on the table.

At this point, Azuma glances at Kagari as if he has just remembered something.

“Should we prepare a proper meal for Kagari?”

“I believe it’s unnecessary, eldest brother. Knowing Kagari, he probably ate something before arriving at the palace.”

“Brother Hakuro, I don’t think it’s right to make assumptions without evidence.”

As Kagari raises his objection indignantly, Hakuro narrows his eyes sharply, studying his younger brother’s face.

The third son of the Nakayama royal family is not just a pretty face. Although he may appear fragile, he’s undefeated on the battlefield, and enemy generals who underestimated Hakuro were invariably left as corpses on the battlefield.

Moreover, he is an extremely intelligent individual, especially in administrative affairs, outperforming others. As the de facto Prime Minister of Nakayama, Hakuro oversees the national politics, working day and night to maintain the strong stance of Nakayama.

When being stared at by Hakuro, who is equally skilled in both literary and martial arts, Kagari shifts his gaze uncomfortably. Kagari didn’t particularly dislike his immediate elder brother, but he couldn’t deny that he found him intimidating — this time, apart from finding it intimidating, the guilt of actually snacking before the meeting made Kagari feel inferior.

Additionally, Hakuro doesn’t necessarily dislike Kagari. He believes he should be strict because his eldest and second eldest brothers are indulgent towards their younger brother. Too much of anything is bad, and this holds true even for familial affection.

While keeping his gaze fixed on Kagari, Hakuro slowly opens his mouth.

“If you need evidence, look, isn’t there sauce from skewers around your mouth?”

“Eh, no, I wiped my mouth properly before meeting brother Azuma— Ah.”

With a look of realization on Kagari’s face, Hakuro shook his head in disbelief.

“This is what they mean by ‘not caught in asking, but caught in speaking’. Kagari, and you too, second brother. You’ve just returned from the battlefield, so I wouldn’t tell you not to eat. However, it’s rather lamentable that both princes of Nakayama would stoop to eating from street stalls. If you had only said something, I would have gladly cooked for you.”

In response to the statement of the youngest brother, who was also an expert in cooking, Doga scratched his head and offered an apologetic reply. As for Kagari, while he followed Doga’s example, he added a comment of his own.

“Brother Hakuro’s food is delicious, but it takes too long to prepare. Even when I say I want something simple, it’s not uncommon to wait for half an hour.”

“Meals are the source of vitality. And vitality is the fuel for leading a fulfilling life. Neglecting it is unthinkable.”

Having made his point with resolute attitude, Hakuro seemed to realize that the conversation had strayed, and he cleared his throat.

“We’ve gotten a bit off track. Let’s get down to the main topic. Everyone, please take a seat — I will explain about the recent rebellion in Mount Ganzan.”

Liked it? Take a second to support WordyCrown on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!