A/N: Moritoki Ise is another name for Soun Hojo/Nagauji Ise. In this story, this is before Soun becomes lord of Sagami. Oshika's story might become a short series.

Prologue: Oshika

It was the twelfth year of the Bunmei era (1480).

A man sat in a luxury: the fortification of Sunpu Castle in Suruga Province. It was like he stood close to the gate of something inexplicable. Something that set his heart aflame and he had to meditate over it for days. At first, the man thought he was getting sick. A voice in his head told him that this was for the best.

Norimitsu Oshika (小鹿 範満) had an ambition that he wanted to last for many bloodlines. A boy that carried his cousin's childhood name was not of age yet. Tatsuoumaru (龍王丸) was too young. It had been four years since the death of the former leader of the Imagawa, Yoshitada. Norimitsu's cousin, the child of his uncle Noritada.

Trust was placed onto Oshika to become regent. He was the shugo of Suruga, and Tatsuoumaru's superior. He swore onto them that he'd guard the child like a father. After diplomatic talks, even the Kanto Kanrei, and a famous tactician from the Uesugi, rulers of Kanto, acknowledged to be where he was now. For years, no one would know of Oshika.

The boy Tatsuoumaru, Yoshitada's son however, would lead inevitably. But, there were too many conservative Japanese who supported both birthright and engaging in conflict for that right. Oshika hadn't made a move, his war tactics only hinging on verbal disrepute on how his relative let his guard down.

Norimitsu Oshika stood at the courtyard underneath Sunpu's towering main keep, the honmaru, with four other men. They knelt in front of him in a line, proving their necessary submission. The sight truly settled where he stood in the Imagawa aristocracy.

"Yasuochi Chigachi, son of Yasuaki, of the Iga Hattori, correct?" He spoke with all of the air collected in his chest, to further demonstrate his form of the daimyo.

"It is I, My Lord. I come to your behest in favor of the young Imagawa heir." The third man's voice made Oshika sense some promise. Yasuochi carried a voice of thirty or forty years, a tone from an animal's cave lair. The Imagawa daimyo liked the sound; he tightened his lips, folded his arms and closed his eyes, a familiar gesture of deep thought.

"Moritoki Ise, the dutiful brother of the late Yoshitada Imagawa," he paused, as if to think on his words, "must be stopped."

"Lord Oshika?!" Yasuochi suddenly blurted out. His stomach turned. The words he heard were short but plain, and they resonated. Any warrior, or historian, could recall many years of common strife among the clans. Oshika had expected some disbelief, some unease. He realized Ise's interest in the lands of Izu and Sagami, the border countries within Kanto. However, there were alliances that he had to keep.

Why did humans live in an era where they would quickly divide and draw the blood of their own blood?