At the main temple hall, Dosan was having second thoughts. Was this a big mistake? Is he really the "Fool of Owari?" Dosan was walking impatiently as he was for his son-in-law. Nobunaga was taking his time on purpose since he knew psychological warfare was part of the game. Then the Saito attendants started to hear footsteps on the creaking wooden floor. "Who goes there?" Doku yelled with a snobbish attitude. Then Doku gasped for air. "Oh my! It is your son-in-law my lord." The "Fool of Owari" was a new man. He was dressed as if he was an aristocrat. His attire was brown colored with a white tunic. His hair was nicely done and now looked handsome. Dosan quickly noticed Nobunaga's nagabakama that stretched almost three feet long.
"I am Hotta Doku, a retainer of the Saito. Lord Nobunaga, please take your seat." Nobunaga acted as if nothing happened as he took his seat. The Doku introduced the Viper to Nobunaga. "This is Lord Saito Yamashiro Dosan." Nobunaga responded in a pompous voice, "Is that so." Dosan and Doku's faces expressed more disbelief. Then Nobunaga replied in an elegant matter. "I am Oda Kazusanosuke Nobunaga. It is a pleasure to finally meet the 'Viper of Mino' at last." Dosan shook his head in agreement.
After the introductions, the two began to talk. "Father-in-law, on my way here earlier today I noticed someone hiding in abandoned cabin. In fact, I think it was you." Beads of sweat started to form on Dosan's head as Nobunaga embarrassed him. Dosan had no choice but to create a story as he laughed quietly. "You are mistaken by someone else. I used to be an oil merchant in my younger days." Dosan knew he had to change the subject quickly before the conversation went out of hand. Then Dosan noticed the dagger he gave to Lady Noh before the marriage on Nobunaga's sash. "How is my daughter? "She is fine. Not only Noh is beautiful, but she is the best wife in Japan. Dosan was delighted to hear Nobunaga's answer. "Nice to hear that my daughter is safe." The situation was much calmer and the two felt very comfortable with each other. Then Dosan ordered Doku and the rest of the attendants to leave, as he wanted to have a private discussion with his son-in-law.
The two started to eat their meal. While they eating, Dosan began the dialogue. "Nobunaga, it is okay to leave your guard down. I have no ill will towards you. Your father Nobuhide was a brave man and admired his courage." Nobunaga thanked Dosan and then replied in a much serious manner. "The Imagawa are a threat not only to me, but you too. They can march to Kyoto at any moment and I must meet them head on." Dosan did not have any faith in the Imagawa, as he knew the Matsudaira were being used. Nobunaga continued, "I would rather fight and die against the Imagawa than submit to them. Look at the situation in Mikawa. They are used as pawns." Dosan nodded in acknowledgment. Then told his son-in-law that he would help him fight the Imagawa. "Nobunaga, I will assist you against the Imagawa. Just let me know and I will help you." "Thanks! I am counting on your support."
The end was near then Dosan asked Nobunaga what he thought of him. "What do do think of me?" Nobunaga replied with enthusiasm. "Oh that is easy. The 'Viper of Mino.' What about me?" Dosan answered back with a smile, "The Fool of Owari." Both were laughing out loud that it could be heard throughout the temple precincts. both were elated that they were able to meet each other. Dosan rapidly knew his son-in-law was no fool and was an extraordinary man who could survive Sengoku Japan.
Dosan escorted Nobunaga's army for a few miles. Then he spoke from the heart, "Nobunaga.... I am glad that I had the opportunity to meet you. May our friendship continue to grow. Again, I will assist you against the Imagawa." Nobunaga merrily replied, "Thanks. As I said before, Noh is the best wife in the entire nation. When the Imagawa decides to attack, let us both send them to hell!"
As Nobunaga's army headed back to Nagoya, Dosan again noticed the Oda spears were twice as long. He shook his head in disgust, but knew the Imagawa could not be trusted. "Nobunaga is a damn fool my lord. He did not have any attendants with him and he was rude." Yelled Doku. Another Saito retainer, Inoko Takanari said something similar. Dosan answered quietly with mixed emotion. "Doku, you are loyal to the Saito house and I thank you for that. However, Nobunaga is a rare bird. He has the ability to conquer Japan. My children are no match for him. Regrettably, my children will come to him begging. Doku and Tango, if I leave this world unexpectedly, serve Nobunaga." Doku and Tango were taken aback by Dosan's answer. they could not believe that their lord admired Nobunaga. However, they had no choice but to accept Dosan's request. It was either Nobunaga or the Imagawa. Both Doku and Tango knew the Imagawa could not be depended on.
As the Oda marched home to Nagoya, Tsneoki wondered how the meeting with Saito Dosan went. "How as the meeting my lord?" Nobunaga nearly fell down laughing as he made his father-in-law submit to him. "The Viper's venom was sweet. However, Dosan is a remarkable man. He is a self-made man just like myself. He is the only parent I have at the moment and will be a great help against the Imagawa." The Oda army finally arrived at Nagoya Castle in full glory and Nobunaga was greeted by his wife who was deeply worried. The two later viewed a beautiful garden on the castle grounds. Lady Noh then put her arms around Nobunaga tighter and tighter as she was elated that her husband returned safely. "Noh, I am glad that I met your father. The Viper is a fine friend and respect him a lot. The alliance will continue with full steam ahead." The sun was setting as the two sat and viewed the lovely garden. As for Nobunaga, his bright future to unify Japan was about to begin.
Tenka no tame!