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Takakane Hironaka (弘中・隆包, Hironaka Takakane) is a student of Tres España's Alcalá de Henares Academy, Vice Chancellor of Chancellor Board, Head of the Baseball Club (野球部主将, Nodamabu Shushō) and Fusae Era's husband. He was killed alongside his wife during the Battle of Lepanto and now lives with her as a ghost.

A short statured and brusque man. He is a specialist in bunting, fights using a mace that resembles a long baseball bat and is also the owner of the Testamenta Arma 「Crus Temperantia Vetus」. His wife affectionately nicknames him "Taka-san".

AppearanceEdit

Takakane is a sturdy and robust but small man with brown hair ending in long sideburns, bushy eyebrows and face dotted with stubble. He wears a modified Tres España baseball uniform marked with a T initial on his helmet, sport bag and baseball bat cover. He usually carries a baseball glove and a long bat.

His shirt is short-sleeved and lacking usual ornament in spanish attires like the kerchief, giving it a more sporty look. The trousers are similar to the ones in a tracksuit and less loose than the official clothing. Alcalá de Henares emblem appears both on his helmet and top.

PersonalityEdit

The Baseball Club captain is really a poor talker suiting his rugged outward appareance, but even so he got the adamant support of his team members, comrades and Tres España students, showing his popularity as Vice Chancellor.

He's really the opposite to a show-off, saying that his style is to be there hitting the hardest balls just to let the his fellow friends and students to get the glory and the spot-light. He's also a very determined man to his duty and his country as seen during the Battle of the Armada, not doubting to risk his new life as a ghost to fufill his mission.

BackgroundEdit

As is common on his country, he's a Double Name Inheritor of both Takakane Hironaka (弘中隆包, Hironaka Takakane), one of the retainers of Yoshitaka Ouchi and Pérez de Guzmán (ペレス・デ・グスマン, Peresu de Gusuman) commander-in-chief of the Spanish Armada.

In 1623 TE, Takakane and his wife, Fusae Era, fought alongside Felipe Segundo on the dual recreated conflict of the Battle of Lepanto (レパント海戦, Repanto Kaisen) and the Battle of Itsukushima (厳島の合戦, Itsukushima no Gassen), with Tres España and P.A. ODA as main belligerents. History Recreation was not properly carried by the Ottomans, so Tres Españan casualties were heavy, being an unprecedented massacre that even if ended with the nominal Tres España victory, P.A ODA was the one that got strengthened by the conflict resolution. Both Takakane and Era died during the Battle of Lepanto, coming back as ghosts due to their lingering regrets for how it ended, wanting to see the glory days of their country to the end.

Today, he enjoys the little time he has left in this world with his wife and still training diligently with his team everyday. Even so, his nature as a ghost makes him unable to participate on Tres España Baseball Team tournament matches, as the umpires "cannot determine when he stepped on the base".

PlotEdit

Musashi in Tres España DomainEdit

May 4, 1648 - Testament EraEdit

Takakane is part of the army of students who arrive to intercept the Musashi, which now flies within the territory of Tres España in Shimonoseki. He joins his wife Fusahide Era aboard the San Lorenzo, the primary attack ship of Tres España and initiates an offensive against the fleeing vessel.

The Armada BattleEdit

June 4, 1648 - Testament EraEdit

June 5, 1648 - Testament EraEdit

AbilitiesEdit

Takakane Hironaka is the baseball team main warrior on land assaults. His vigorous daily training made him a master of bunt attacks and winning by retiring and thanks to his superior technique he's able to hitting and knock back all kind of attacks, being bullets, ether-based attacks or God of War strikes with his long bat. As he says, he can properly bunt any ball that comes his way and has he's around his comrades will be the ones to rack up the runs and win the glory.

His position is higher than Muneshige Tachibana's because he developed a defensive technique that allows him to fully defend against his opponent's attacks. He got a compact swing, a bunt, right-handed hitting, left-handed hitting, and plenty more. Takakane would change his position in respect to the weapon and even swap whether he held it to the left or right. To speed up the process, he would even let go of the weapon to lighten his body.

Takakane can accurately bunt any ball. When he was aiming for a spot as a regular, he practiced every day by hitting balls numbering at more than five digits so he got to a level where he could receive and deal with rapid-fire bullets and God of War attacks. Even as a ghost, he still hit three thousand balls a day. His fighting technique is to repel any and all attacks so his subordinates can score the points. In other words, to defend against everything that thrown at him while leaving almost all of the attacking to his comrades. That's how Hironaka Takakane fulfill his role as vice-chancellor. He embodies the defense and assistance meaning of the "vice" of vice chancellor.

As his strategy is to win using defense, he is the polar opposite of Futayo Honda and Tadakatsu Honda. While Futayo worked to take on an entire army on her own, he would support the whole and guide his army to victory. He does not stand out, but their victory is assured while he was there. Takakane was the vice chancellor and Muneshige Tachibana had been the 1st special duty officer because Muneshige had shown his true skill while receiving Takakane's assistance.[1]

He was able to fight against Honda Futayo toe-to-toe and during the Battle of the Armada, he fought Shirojiro Bertoni while trying to get to Musashi's main bridge to force the ship to stop. Takakane was the strongest fighter of the two and was able to repel all Shirojiro money barrages, but the merchant was only buying time till the boarding assault was repelled and Takakane was forced to retreat when Nate Mitotsudaira and F. Walsingham came to serve as support to Shirojiro. Even so, he was able to fend off both Nate and her Silver Chains and Walsingham and her War of the Roses and forced to retreat when he desperately tried to reach the bridge leaving his back wide open to attacks, only to be saved by his baseball team.

  • Divine Weapon: Long Bat (長尺バット, Chōshaku Batto) - A wood-made big baseball bat that Hironaka Takakane carries on his back. His favourite bat, this Divine Weapon is able to repel even ether attacks and bullets. Takakane, with own skills in conjunction with this bat, is able to potentially drive back an endless repetition of attacks. It's thanks to this that Takakane was able to become the Vice Chancellor. Shirojiro Bertoni was only able to break it after countless barrages of money empowered by a tenth of the offensive power of all Musashi's students in the battle, only shattering when it hit the last coin Shirojiro had, a single coin propulsed by all the power given to Musashi's Treasurer by the students.
  • Testamenta Arma: Crus Temperantia Vetus ("身堅き節制・旧代" 「クルース・テンペランティア・ウェトゥス」, "Mikataki Sessei Kyūdai" Kurūsu Tenperantia U~eto~usu) - One of the Testament Arma given to Tres España, it has the shape of a finely ornamented long sword and represents the Virtue of Temperance. Vetus has the power to slow down the speed of enemy attacks by half in a radius when is used. Used alongside with Novum, it creates a very favorable field to Tres España combatants.

Inherited NamesEdit

Hironaka Takakane (1521 - 1555)Edit

Hironaka Takakane (1521 - 28 October 1555) was one of the Warring States Period warlords in the Western regions of Japan. Servant of the Ōuchi family. The Hironaka clan was a combination of Seiwa Genji groups, whose ancestry was a warlord of Iwakuni which constituted its territory after the battle of Dannoura (1180-1185). The clan became the center of support Ōuchi clan daimyo during the Muromachi period, then subsequent generations served in key positions, including executive positions and military judiciary. Hironaka was also the clan who occupied the shrine of Iwakuni.

Hironaka increased positions thanks to his feats of arms at young age while and great reputation as a general with the defense of Saijo castle. His assistance in the battle against Mori Motonari with the Yoshida clan, led to a deep friendship between the two enemies, both public and private. In addition, Kikkawa Motoharu and Mori Takamoto, who praise at the same time when both the hostage son were held hostage Motonari making their close relationship.

In 1551, Sue Harukata leads a rebellion that drove Ouchi Yoshitaka to commit seppuku and be replaced by Ouchi Yoshinaga. Hironaka opposed the rebellion, but because his many years as a loyal vassal of Ōuchi clan he accepted the result. In 1555, just before the Battle of Miyajima, he moved to 20000 men to Itsukushima. The Ōuchi clan's army fell into the trap hatched by the Mori clan, and meanwhile, the Mori clan took advantage of Sue's absence to seize the Sakurao castle. This will be know as the Battle of Itsukushima, one of the most famous ambushes in the history of Japan.

With a secure boarding point, Mori Motonari enlisted the help of local pirates who agreed to transport troops to Miyajima. The fleet carried Mori clan forces during a thunderstorm so their approach was obscured. Motonari and two of his sons, Kikkawa Motoharu and Mori Takamoto, landed on the east side of the island, behind Sue forces. Meanwhile, the third son of Motonari, Kobayakawa Takakage, sailed straight to Miyao castle in a feint, then retreated so that he might be able to return the next day, synchronizing his attack with the ground assault. At dawn, Motonari and 1500 men approached Takakage troops in front of the fortress and the battle began. Takakage rushed to the front door of the Miyao castle, while Mori and his troops attacked Ōuchi rearguard. Taken by surprise, most of the troops Ōuchi clan flew in disarray. Hundreds tried to swim to the mainland and were drown in the attempt while many others saw that defeat was inevitable and commited seppuku. Sue Harukata escaped from Miyao castle, but when he saw that his escape was impossible, he committed seppuku. A defeated Hironaka Takakane went to Ema-ga-dake in Komagabayashi and also commited seppuku.

Don Alonso Pérez de Guzmán y de Zúñiga-Sotomayor (1550 - 1615)Edit

Don Alonso Pérez de Guzmán y de Zúñiga-Sotomayor, 7th Duke of Medina Sidonia (10 September 1550 – 26 July 1615), Grandee of Spain, a Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece since 1581, was the commander-in-chief of the Spanish Armada.

His father was Juan Carlos de Guzmán y de Aragón, deceased 1556, two years before his father, Juan Alfonso Pérez de Guzmán, 6th Duke of Medina Sidonia died and not inheriting the ducal title, therefore being only 9th Count of Niebla. His paternal grandmother was Ana de Aragón y de Gurrea, deceased 1528, one of the daughters, "born out of sin", of Alonso de Aragón y Ruiz de Iborra, Archbishop of Zaragoza, Royal bastard of king Ferdinand II of Aragón. She married twice in the year 1518 with a Duke of Medina Sidonia, first with Alfonso Pérez de Guzmán, 5th Duke of Medina Sidonia, deceased childless, 1548, formally declared "mentecato", (out of his mind, unfit to reason properly), and then again, in the same year 1518 with the 5th Duke brother, Juan Alfonso Pérez de Guzmán, 6th Duke of Medina Sidonia, (24 March 1502, + Sanlúcar de Barrameda, province of Cádiz, Spain, 26 November 1558). His mother was a most powerful and wealthy lady, Leonor de Zúñiga y Sotomayor, herself daughter of a powerful duchess, Teresa de Zúñiga, 2nd marchioness of Ayamonte, 3rd duchess of Béjar, 4th countess of Bañares, 2nd marchioness of Gibraleón, so it was her name Zúñiga, the one to be passed to the family, as she was married to a "Sotomayor" of a less endowed with nobility titles, county of Belalcázar, something by no means unique in the High Spanish Nobility of the time. As his father, Juan Claros, had already died in 1556, Don Alonso became Duke, and master of one of the greatest fortunes in Europe, on the death of his grandfather in 1559, aged only around 9.

The 7th duke was betrothed in 1565 to Ana de Silva y Mendoza, who was then four years of age, the daughter of the Prince and the Princess of Éboli. In 1572 when the duchess was twelve years of age, the pope granted a dispensation for the consummation of the marriage. The Dukes of Medina Sidonia had a son, Juan Manuel, who succeeded his father. The scandal of the time, for which there appears to be no foundation, accused Philip II of a love intrigue with the mother of the young girl, princess of Eboli. The unvarying and unmerited favor he showed the duke has been accounted for on the ground that he took a paternal interest in the duchess, Ana de Mendoza daughter.

Don Alonso made no serious effort to save his mother-in-law Ana de Mendoza, Princess of Éboli from the later persecution she suffered at the hands of Philip II. His correspondence is full of whining complaints of poverty, and appeals to the king for pecuniary favors. In 1581 he was created a knight of the Golden Fleece, and was named Captain General of Lombardy. By pressing supplications to the king he got himself exempted on the ground of poverty and poor health. Don Alonso was also the patron of don Jerónimo Sánchez de Carranza who wrote the premier text on the Spanish system of swordplay which was called the 'True Art' or the Verdadera Destreza. He was asked by King Phillip II of Spain to lead the Spanish Armada.

When the marquess of Santa Cruz died, on 9 February 1588, Philip insisted on appointing the 7th Duke to the command of the Armada. He had prepared his orders to the Duke of Medina Sidonia already three days before the death of Santa Cruz. The motivation of Philip's decision is unknown, but it may have been grounded in his consideration of the duke's very high social rank, administrative competence, modesty and tactfulness, and last but not least his reputation as a good Christian. The micro-managing king probably wanted a commander who would obey his instructions to the letter, which was less likely to happen if Santa Cruz was in command, or either of the most experienced officers in the Armada, Juan Martinez de Recalde and Miguel de Oquendo.

The disadvantages of this choice were highlighted by himself in his own letter to the king, in which he stressed his lack of military experience on land and at sea, his lack of information about either the English enemy or the Spanish war plans, his poor health and tendency to sea-sickness, and his inability to contribute financially to the expedition. Philip II may never have seen this letter, for his secretaries Don Juan de Idiaquez and Don Cristobal de Moura replied to the duke that they dared not show it to the king.

Historians have speculated that Medina Sidonia himself did not believe in the success of the Armada, and that this motivated his attempt to reject the command or his later letter to the king in which he advised to seek peace or at least postpone the operation. The opinion of the duke is unrecorded, but skepticism about the fate of the Armada is known to have existed among senior Spanish officers and informed foreign commentators. The opinion of modern historians on Medina Sidonia's efforts to prepare the Armada is generally favorable. He reorganized the fleet, rationalized the chaotic distribution of loads and guns, and increased the ammunition supplies from 30 to 50 rounds per gun. The permission of the king to add the Castilian galleons of the "Indian Guard" to the Armada nearly doubled its first-line fighting strength. Under the duke's command the material equipment of the Armada was much improved, although the delay had a negative impact on the number of skilled sailors and the quantity and quality of the available food supplies. He managed to establish good relationships with his subordinate commanders.

Medina Sidonia's behavior as a fleet commander in the ensuing series of fights with the English has come under more criticism. Lacking military experience, he showed little initiative or self-confidence, instead cautiously obeying the instructions of the king, and relying on the opinion of his advisers and subordinate commanders. This tendency was reinforced by the senior adviser appointed to him by the king, Diego Flores de Valdes, an experienced sea officer but also a man renowned for his caution. Medina Sidonia also seriously underestimated the difficulty of coordinating his actions with the commander of the Spanish forces in the Netherlands, Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma, who was supposed to launch his invasion fleet to meet the Armada at sea. However, this problem was fundamental to the operational plan imposed on the two commanders by Philip II.

Allowing for the limitations inherent in a total lack of command experience, Medina Sidonia fought the battle courageously and intelligently. His health suffered badly as a result of the campaign, and after his return to Spain the king finally relieved him of his command and granted him permission to return home to convalesce. Later, he served the Spanish crown for another two decades in various functions. The duke's reputation suffered, because several popular accounts, notably the one written by the monk Juan de Victoria, placed all blame for the defeat on him. Informed commentators and modern historians have put most of the blame on Philip II himself for imposing an impractical plan on his commanders, and on Diego Flores de Valdes for badly advising the duke. Philip II himself did not single out his chosen commander to bear the responsibility for the defeat. He stated "Action without cause is illegitamate of reason" in respone to public outcry on re-sending a fleet to Britain. The duke retained his posts of admiral of the ocean and captain-general of Andalusia, and continued to serve Philip II and later Philip III.

The popular image of the duke in later years was strongly influenced by propaganda surrounding the Armada, including an English account which claimed that the Duke of Medina Sidonia was a fool and a coward who hid below decks in a specially reinforced room. This story became a lasting part of popular descriptions of the battle, in which the Duke of Medinia Sidonia was frequently portrayed as an incompetent buffoon. When an English fleet attacked Cadiz in 1596, his allegedly slow response was blamed for giving the English enough time to sack the city. In 1606 the obstinacy and folly of the duke caused the loss of a squadron which was destroyed near Gibraltar by the Dutch. He died in 1615. This event made the duke a satirical target of Miguel de Cervantes.

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon 2A - Chapter 4: Those who Intermingle between Heaven and Earth

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