Category Archives: Demon Sword Maiden

Demon Sword Maiden Chapter 18

You know, I am quite bummed when I found out the novel page of Demon Sword Maiden is not indexed in the front page of Google when I searched for the keyword. Instead, what showed up on the first page were pages from content thieves and the announcement posts. I wonder how many potential readers I’ve already lost to the thieves. 🙁

Heck, even after going through the 2nd to 5th pages, I still don’t see it indexed anywhere. Instead, I found the novel page which I haven’t officially published on Ziru’s Musings already showing up on the 2nd page, how did that even happen? >.<

Click here to read Chapter 18 – Shikigami Sakura

Chapter 18 – Shikigami Sakura



The voice of the haughty girl continued, “If it was not because of me, you might have been torn to shreds or turned into a human puppet by the hundred demons that night! You didn’t thank me and even want to cut me with your sword?”

“Eh?” Lily was shocked. She still vividly remembered the night parade that day until now, but she still looked all over the room dubiously, “J-Just where are you? And who might you be?”

“What? You are not going to thank me? Then I will be leaving yo1.”

“Shouldn’t you at least show yourself and let me know your identity before I can express my gratitude to you? Otherwise, even if I feel grateful in my heart, I don’t have a target to express it to!” Lily panicked.

It was followed by a momentary silence.

The voice of that girl sounded a little depressed as she said, “If I have the ability to show myself, why would I be hiding?”

Lily got more confused the more she heard, “Sorry, my benefactor. I am very grateful to you. However, I really cannot understand your words. Just who are you? You said you cannot show yourself, then where exactly are you now?”

“You are so stupid… did the nutrients for your brain all went toward your breasts?”

“Huh?” Lily unconsciously covered her breasts, “A-Are you really a god? Why is your word so informal?”

“A god? Hehehe, who told you I am a god, at most, I am just a shikigami,” said the girl.

Shikigami? That gave Lily a shock. She had recently learned many things regarding this world, however, when it came to shikigami, it was only mentioned with a word or two. They only mentioned that a shikigami was a spirit with mysterious powers that could be controlled by incredible personage.

Lily thought to herself, If this voice came from a shikigami, I have already heard it many times. In other words, this shikigami has been following me since the beginning? Then does that mean I can control this shikigami?

However, this shikigami sounded a little arrogant. I shouldn’t bicker with her, it is better if I just go along with her flow. There doesn’t seem to be any danger for now. Since she has shown herself, maybe she has a motive?”

Lily smiled softly, “So it is actually Lord Shikigami… what has the Lord Shikigami descended to the mundane world for?”

“Sigh, how good would it be if you are this sensible from the start, lest I waste my valuable awakening time.”

Awakening? Lily recalled how this girl’s voice suddenly disappeared halfway after giving her some great advice. Who knew how long would she stay awake for this time.

“May I know which shikigami is Your Honor and where did you hibernate?” Lily asked respectfully.

“Hehehe, where did I hibernate? I slept in the same house as you every day, and yet you didn’t know?”

“Eh?” Lily stiffened as she heard that. Although she felt that her sleeping posture was very ladylike, there were still moments where her legs would part by itself once she fell asleep. There were also times where her clothes would slide and expose parts that shouldn’t be revealed. Thinking that this shikigami was always by her side, Lily couldn’t help but blush from ear to ear.

“Don’t show me that kind of expression will you, I am also a girl!”

“I-Is that so…” Lily felt relieved as she heard that. Since she was a girl, it shouldn’t pose any problem to be sleeping in the same room. It’s just that… she felt a little awkward not knowing about this in advance, “Are you perhaps the spirit of the mirror?”

“Wrong, think again~”

Not the mirror? Lily recalled how she only had two items when she arrived at this world. She instantly realized, “You are that…”

“That’s right, you finally remembered. That paper parasol which helped to mask your presence from the night parade is my main body. I am the spirit of that Sakura Parasol. You can call me Sakura,” said the girl.

“Sakura? So it is Lady Sakura…” Lily recalled how she was holding up a parasol that night, encountered a hundred demons and somehow managed to escape with her life. So it was that parasol’s spirit who saved her life, it was honestly all thanks to her!

Lily stood up and opened the wardrobe. She faced the parasol that was placed in the wardrobe and bowed wholeheartedly.

Lily didn’t expect that the parasol would jump-up all of a sudden, so she was scared by it and fell on her butt.

“Y-You…”

That parasol jumped out of the wardrobe and unfurled by itself. It was spinning and gracefully floated in the sky. The cherry blossom drew on the pure white surface of the paper under the parasol seemed as though they were falling gently.

She was scared at first, but after seeing such a beautiful parasol blooming, rather than fear, Lily was filled with admiration.

“Lady Sakura, this may be presumptuous of me to ask, you said that you cannot show yourself, then what do you look like…”

“I remember that I was a super cute little girl donning a parasol and a red kimono mini dress, but I cannot show my true form now that I’ve lost most of my magic power. I can only talk to you like this in my original form. Even so, I am still very weak and need to enter sleep mode frequently. The time when I’m awake is very little.” As the Sakura Parasol spun in the air, it eventually landed and reclined on the wall.

Talking to a parasol was perhaps an event that one could only experience in this world, but since she had seen a Daruma Egg which spoke with ridiculous speech pattern before, Lily could accept this more easily.

“Please excuse me Lady Sakura, for you to wake up today, do you perhaps have some pointers for me?” Lily asked with respect and modesty.

“Un, your words are quite pleasant to hear after calming down, girl. Don’t make such a fuss over nothing like that the next time all right?”

“I apologize, it was due to my inexperience,” Lily said helplessly, but she was cursing in her heart; Could you blame me for this? Who was the one going around scaring people in the first place.

“Hehe, you can actually drop the Lady honorifics, because, in fact, you can actually be said to be my master!”

“Eh?!?!?!” Lily was astounded. She was still scheming to see if she could control this shikigami, but it turned out that she was hers to begin with!

“Here you go again. Can you be a little more reserved? And here I was hoping that my master would be a wise and virtuous woman!”

Lily wanted to remain reserved if she could help it, but this… this was a shikigami they were talking about! The shikigami of folklore! How could Lily have imagined that a helpless girl like her would have a shikigami with her? How could she not be surprised!

“That’s because this parasol belongs to you and I am a spirit born from this parasol, so you are naturally my master. Anyway, my real master should be the previous owner of this parasol, but whatever the case, since this parasol has fallen into your hands, then you are my master for now.”

“Does that mean anyone can become your master if they got the parasol?”

“Of course not! This only happens when I don’t have an owner and felt that our personality match, or when the last owner met with an unfortunate accident…” Said the parasol as she folded halfway.

Lily kneeled on the ground with her lower legs spread out, then she used her slender fingers to caress the parasol and said with a gentle voice, “You and I, both of us have lost someone important in this world. From now on, we should rely upon one another.”

Sometimes, Lily just couldn’t believe how feminine every single of her own words and gestures could be… Perhaps only when she picked up the wooden sword would she be able to find back some traces of her male nature?

“Master, I woke up today because I have something to do for you.”

“Eh? What is it?”

“Master, you are training day after day lately. Your physical strength is already over the limit. If this keeps up, it will affect your growth, and it’s also bad for the skin. Master, don’t you want to become stronger and more beautiful at the same time?”

“Un… I guess you’re right…”

“Master, let me massage for you!”2

“Eh? You know how to massage?”



References

Demon Sword Maiden Chapter 17

When you pick up a new hobby, you have to give up on another.
I picked up translating and I have to sacrifice my time for my family and the time to indulge in my other hobbies such as gaming, and reading novels.

A free translation isn’t really “free”, think of the time, dedication, and sweat the translators pour into their work before you say or do anything potentially harmful. Most people take free translations for granted and demand for more, but they never once considered the work put behind the translations.

Correction:
Changed Dynasty to Empire since I felt that it’s more fitting in a fantasy setting

Click here to read Chapter 17 – Fencing, Horsemanship, Archery

Chapter 17 – Fencing, Horsemanship, Archery



The land of Heian Empire covered several tens of thousands of miles. It was a dark age full of mysterious monsters, and bloody wars could be found throughout the whole region.

Almost all the provinces that existed since ancient times were parts of the Heian Capital. They already had close to a millennium of history. As for Kamakura City though, it was only built a few hundred years ago, but due to its distance from the capital, the influence of the samurais developed more freely and unconstrained here, until it gradually became the center of activities for samurais all around the world.

The Heian Capital and Kamakura City were thousands of miles apart. Moreover, they were separated by several danger zones. Let alone the samurais, even the army wouldn’t dare to cross over lightly.

Such as the Fuji Mountain1 located at the northern side of Kamakura City. There were even rumors that the mountain was under the control of a demon nation.

On top of that, many powerful clans occupied the land between Heian Capital and Kamakura City. They were always at each other’s neck all year round, so it was extremely difficult to pass through.

In other words, for an ordinary person to reach the capital from Kamakura City, a hundred lives might not even be enough.

And yet, there were superpowers like the Genji Dojo and Taira Dojo spanning over the entirety of Heian Empire. Their dojos could be found in the territories of practically every major clan. They also didn’t participate in regional power disputes. They served directly under the court of Heian Capital. It could be said that they had hands and eyes everywhere, that their influence covered the whole of the empire!

It was for certain that other than the regular army of Heian Capital —the biggest armed forces of mankind— no other major clan would be able to fight against them head-on. It was said that even the commanders of the imperial army were under the control of Taira and Genji.

Perhaps only the number one high noble clan of Heian Empire —the Fujiwaras— could stand on equal terms with them.

Genji, Taira, and Fujiwara could be said to be the big three of this Heian Empire!

And now, at Kanagawa Prefecture —where the Genji and Taira dojo flourished the most— a completely unknown girl, who could even be said to not belong to this world, began her training as a samurai.

One pair of white clothes, one wooden sword, and a glossy black hair.

The young girl conveyed the beauty of her swordsmanship in the simplest way.

Other than kenjutsu, she learned archery from Kimura2 and horse riding from the slit-eyed Kanzaki.3

And in the afternoon, she studied Heian Empire’s history from a teacher invited from the outside. She was getting more knowledgeable about this world’s circumstances.

Today, at the backhouse4 of the Matsuda clan, an obese middle-aged woman with luxurious clothing was having lunch with a tall and fat youngster.

It was precisely Daidouji Hiroko and her darling nephew, Taro.

When eating, Taro could be said to be wolfing down his food. His mouth was full of oil and he was even downing the sake with a gurgling sound.

“Ⓕⓤⓒⓚ!” Taro threw the bottle of sake with an angry look on his face, “Ever since that girl came here, old man Matsuda hasn’t been teaching us as earnestly as before! He is always saying Miss Kagami this, Miss Kagami that! He even berated the great me when I tried to woo that girl! Damn it! Mother ⓕⓤⓒⓚⓔⓡ!”

That Hiroko was also so angry that she lost her appetite, “Exactly! Ever since that little vixen came here, that ⓑⓐⓢⓣⓐⓡⓓ has never looked at me properly! You say, how is your aunt not as good as that little vixen? Hmph, that ⓑⓐⓢⓣⓐⓡⓓ is originally an honest man, I bet it was that little vixen who seduced him!”

“That’s right!” Taro slammed the desk, “The annual samurai qualification test is fast approaching, and we only have one examination spot in our Matsuda clan. If this keeps up, I’m afraid that the spot will also be taken away by that girl!”

“What?!” Hiroko exclaimed in shock, “No way! You need to fight over that spot in a martial arts competition, how could a man as robust as a cow like you be scared of a little vixen?”

“Who says I’m scared of her! There’s no way I would be afraid of a girl! However, I’m just worried that the old man will be biased! Sigh!” Taro had a face filled with resentment.

“Taro! Are you perhaps worrying that the ⓑⓐⓢⓣⓐⓡⓓ has been driven crazy by that little vixen?! In the end, the Matsuda clan’s examination spot is also set by that ⓑⓐⓢⓣⓐⓡⓓ. It is not impossible for him to directly pass that spot to the little vixen without holding a competition!”

“Sigh!” Taro’s originally big tummy swelled even more in anger!

Regardless of fencing, riding, or archery, Lily improved very fast. Especially in archery, her accuracy was almost close to one hundred percent! Seeing that his female disciple was improving at lightning speed, Nagahide was extremely happy and praised her every day. As a result, those feral brats received even more severe scolding, saying that they could not even catch up to a girl!

How could the spoiled Taro be able to endure this kind of criticization?

“Ⓢⓗⓘⓣ!5 This is so irritating. When the old man is not around, I will lure her out and find a few brothers to finish her off!” Taro gnashed his teeth.

Since young, he was always an unparalleled fighter in the surrounding villages, how could he be willing to let a girl one up on him!

“No, that’s out of the question!” Hiroko warned, “This vixen was brought by Hojo Ujizane, you cannot act recklessly! If you must, wait until we expose her identity! Then…”

Hiroko wrote a letter and ordered someone to send it to her brother. In other words, the elder of the Hojo clan: Daidouji Akira.

Lily was completely ignorant of the conspiracy this minor samurai clan had plotted against her. She was wholeheartedly immersed in the training to become a samurai.

Not only was her body strengthened by the mysterious light of the mirror, her base physique also became better. Moreover, senior sister’s body was also originally athletic to begin with. Her coordination and reaction were very outstanding, thus Lily’s improvement speed was really fast.

When Lily was still a boy, she always felt that her mind could make a clear judgment, but her body was not able to keep up. Her dynamic vision was also very poor, which resulted in her poor ability at sports. That was also the reason why she was the target of bully. But now, with her consciousness and senior sister’s body combined, it felt as if they were a pair made by Heaven!

Only one week and she could already ride a horse in the field by herself.

As for the archery, senior sister had learned the arts of the bow before, so she already had a foundation. Lily’s archery was so accurate that even Master Kimura was singing praises of her. After all, accuracy had nothing to do with strength.

As for cultural knowledge, this was naturally not a problem. Lily came from the modern world after all, her intelligence was much higher than the people of this world. It was nothing strange at all even if she absorbed all the knowledge like a sponge.

However, it was indeed true that she was leaving the other brats very far behind.

Half a month passed in the blink of an eye. Regardless of her three major samurai skills or her knowledge of this world, Lily was like a different person compared to the her who just arrived in this world!

And she felt very fulfilled each and every day. Her body and mind felt delighted to be able to train unconstrained!

Additionally, she had a very healthy body that never fell sick. The sheer amount of time she spent on training could have left those village brats in the dust.

“Phew—” As the sun sets in the west, under the twilight of the setting sun, at the backyard, in front of a water well made of stone, Lily used a bamboo tube to draw the spring water that was drawn from the mountain to wash her face. It was very refreshing.

However, even if Lily had a healthy body, she also started to feel her back and legs aching a little.

“Nghh… I might have trained a little too much these past two weeks. Training for ten hours straight without any rest in between, it seems like signs of fatigue is starting to show up.”

Training would naturally incur fatigue, strain the muscles and the nerves. Lily saw how those brats were always massaging each other after training to ease up their muscles. However, she was a girl, so it was impossible for her to join them in the massage session. Letting Nagahide touch her would also be inappropriate. Even if granny Ayashi knew how to do it, she didn’t have the necessary strength. Lily really wanted to find someone to massage for her, but she just couldn’t find an appropriate person for the job.

Lily returned to her house all alone. Due to her backache, she only wanted to lie down on the floor. She was thinking if she should rest tomorrow.

She wanted to give herself some time to loosen her muscles and bones, continuing like this wouldn’t do her any good anyway.

Feeling helpless, she could only close her eyes to rest her fatigued body.

“Sleeping on the stomach6 is not good for your breasts yo, especially breasts as big as yours!”

“Who goes there?!”

Lily could already be considered a well-trained martial artist by now, she immediately jumped up in a half squat and grabbed the wooden sword lying on the wall.

“Hahahaha, little sister, did you forget about me already?” There was not a soul in sight, but a familiar and slightly haughty voice of a girl could be heard.7



References

Demon Sword Maiden Chapter 16

Did anyone read the news yet? If not, you should head over there and give it a quick read. The short of it; is that I will be hosting with Ziru’s Musings starting next month.

Thoughts of the day:
So apparently, my Engrish sucks in the eyes of native English speaker. Do you guys think so too? Is it really so bad that I need to hire an editor?

Click here to read Chapter 16 – Madam

Should I get an Editor?
(polls)

Chapter 16 – Madam



Lily awkwardly pulled the lapel of her yukata to prevent her breasts from being exposed.

Soon after, a shadow from outside blocked the candle flame held by granny Ayashi.

Lily raised her head only to see a short, obese woman with poor taste in clothing and heavy makeup barging into the room.

“Oh, you must be Miss Kagami?” The madam smacked her plump and glossy red lips.

“Y-yes.” Lily was still frantically sorting out her clothing as she made a bow in her seiza position.

That fat woman’s feet seemed to carry some kind of body odor. Without saying anything, she sat directly beside Lily and one could feel the entire room shake for a moment.

“I am Daidouji Hiroko, the m.a.d.a.m. of this house!”

“Greetings to the madam.”

“I’ve long received the news that a devastating beauty of peerless elegance has graced upon our house. Why have you only been associating with the men ever since your arrival and didn’t come to see me?”

“I’ve embarrassed myself, because of my interest in kenjutsu, I have asked elder Matsuda to teach me and didn’t pay a timely visit to the madam. Please pardon my rudeness.”

“Sheesh, it’s too hot! Ayashi, why are you not fanning!”

Lily tried to keep her frown in check. Even if Ayashi was a servant, was it not too arrogant to make an old woman fan for her?

Hiroko continued by saying, “I heard Miss Kagami is the young lady of the affluent Kagami clan in Kansai region?”

“That’s right, but I’m not qualified to be regarded as some young lady.”

Hiroko looked at Lily suspiciously, “Our Daidouji house’s family head, that is to say, my big brother Daidouji Akira, is the elder of the Hojo clan. Have you ever heard of it?”

“I haven’t,” Lily answered truthfully.

“You—” Hiroko was so angry that her meat was visibly shaking, but she endured it and continued, “Hmph… your Kagami clan is a prestigious house in the Kansai region, it’s no big wonder you’ve never heard of a vagabond force like our Daidouji clan. It’s just that our Daidouji clan has frequent communication with that Honjyo Temple1 close to the Heian Capital. May I know which subclan does Miss Kagami belong to? Tell us, and my big brother will naturally help you ask around so that they can send someone to receive Miss Kagami as soon as possible. Will Miss Kagami please let me know?”

Lily only stared blankly back at her. How could she know which subclan she belonged to when the whole thing was a lie? That’s why this was all she replied with, “I… can’t remember.”

“Hahahahaha! Miss Kagami, you don’t look like someone with amnesia from the way you speak. How is it possible that you can’t even remember your parents? The way I see it, Miss Kagami, you are not from Kagami clan at all!”2

Lily trembled slightly.

She felt that the madam only visited her today in order to make things difficult for her, even though Lily had never offended her before.

“Madam, I really… can’t remember. If madam really does not believe me and feel that I am not of the Kagami clan, then you can treat me as such.”

Lily originally admitted herself as the young lady of the Kagami clan only to boost her status a little so she wouldn’t be bullied by the samurais. She was not trying to use the name of an influential clan to swindle someone. If she was originally a girl from this world, lying like this was naturally inappropriate. However, Lily had experienced an air crash along with senior sister, then they were unknowingly sent to this world with the body of a girl. What other choice did she have? All she wanted was to survive!

She was amnesic anyway, it didn’t matter what she said. Lily also didn’t want to deal with this fat woman for too long.

“Hmph, don’t think you can beat around the bush by using your lost memories as an excuse! Do you not have anything that can prove your identity with?” Hiroko continued to push for an answer.

“None.” Lily did not feel like saying more than that.

Seeing Lily’s indifferent look, Hiroko became even more furious, “Hmph! Let me tell you, if not because we have asked Miss Sakiko of the Genji Dojo to inspect your personal clothing to prove that you are indeed a human, I would have thought that you are really a female monster!”

“What?!” Lily was startled, her entire body heated up due to shame.

“Personal clothing?!” Lily recalled how she slept for the whole day yesterday and after she woke up, she found her kimono as well as… her underwear were already washed and neatly folded by the door side. She was originally feeling grateful, but never did she expect they would actually take it for inspection! If they took her kimono for inspection, then that was still acceptable, but if her string panty was also…

Lily’s face immediately turned red, she lowered her head feeling ashamed.

Looking at how embarrassed Lily was feeling, Hiroko felt pleased with herself and said with contempt, “From my point of view, you are just a vixen! By looking so pretty, are you trying to seduce our lord and steal our family properties? Let me tell you, our doors are closed!”

Lily was dumbfounded when she heard these. No wonder the madam was so overbearing since the start, it was just that she was jealous of Lily’s youth and beauty. She was afraid that Lily would fight over their lord. Lily was really speechless.

Because Lily was a boy on the inside, she did not immediately associate this as the reason.

Although her face was still red, Lily still looked at this fat woman with cold eyes. She couldn’t help but feel sympathetic for Matsuda Nagahide in her heart.

“Madam, you can feel at ease, elder Matsuda is a good person,” Lily replied with indifference.

“G-Good person, you say? You only interacted with him for a day and you say that b@stard is a good person?! Just how much of a slꭒt are you?! You shameless vixen, let me tell you, don’t let my old age trick you, the reason Matsuda clan has today is mostly thanks to me! What about Matsuda is…”

Lily didn’t feel like listening to the fat woman’s blather so she shut off her words halfway through. Apparently, the people of this world did not understand the meaning of her words.

“Madam!” Lily raised her tone of voice, “I respect you as the mistress of Matsuda clan, but you should watch what you say! I will never be tempted by any men!”

A sharp, invisible aura rose from Lily’s surroundings.

Women were sensitive creatures to begin with, even though Hiroko didn’t know any martial arts, she was still scared by this little bit of murderous aura, “Heh, that’s good, as… as long as you understand! This house is managed by me, in short, don’t try anything funny here! Otherwise, y-you will regret it!”

Lily’s icy gaze gave Hiroko a fright, so she hurriedly left after leaving behind a fierce remark. Her heavy footsteps rumbled through the sidewalk.

As Lily closed the door, she felt that was more exhausting than encountering a demon. She lied down on the floor and looked at the wooden beam of the ceiling.

“I originally thought that one Daidouji Taro is already annoying enough, but now a Daidouji Hiroko has appeared! I only wanted to learn the way of a samurai in peace. I’m definitely going to set out on a journey right away once I have enough power for self-defense. Only by staying at the Matsuda clan, I have already made myself an enemy. I’m afraid that the journey ahead will be much harder than I imagined.”

“Senior sister… No matter how hard or dangerous is it, I will definitely find a way to awaken you!”

These small matters wouldn’t be able to sway Lily.

Even though she was just a good-for-nothing otaku, senior sister liked her, what more could she ask for?

Hardship? Exhausting? Dangerous?
These things were nothing compared to the joy she felt that time!



References

Demon Sword Maiden Chapter 15

So many things happened last week… so many things indeed. I had to plow the hard-as-rock earth and hurt my left thumb in the process. I had to clean the sewer and scraped my right thumb in the process. I bumped into a rock and scraped my right leg, this one really hurts. And then I sold my 8-year-old laptop for 200 bucks. Yup… more than half of these events end up with me being hurt in the process, ouch!

Thoughts of the day:
I never knew I was THIS clumsy… I’m really not cut out for physical labor…

Click here to read Chapter 15 – Details of the Samurai’s Test

Chapter 15 – Details of the Samurai’s Test



After the penetration test was over, Nagahide let his disciples practice on their own as he was having a talk with Lily in the main hall. This place was where the samurais of Matsuda clan receive their guests.

Lily was sitting in seiza on the dark-brown floor of the main hall.1 She appeared graceful, yet possessed the calm aura of a martial artist.2

And Nagahide was sitting on the seat of the family head.

Nagahide was a very old-fashioned samurai, it was quite inappropriate for a man and woman to spend time alone, much less a beautiful girl that would stimulate one’s desire. As such, he chose the main hall that directly faced the yard. There were a lot of brats making noise and training at the outside, so it was naturally not a problem.

“Miss Kagami, I have a question. May I?” Nagahide asked seriously.

“Elder, please go ahead.”

“For a young lady of an affluent family like you, why must you learn fencing?”

“As I told the elder before, I have my own reason, a reason why I have no choice but to learn fencing.” Lily’s tone carried a manly resolution.

“Oh… if Miss Kagami is not willing to say it, I won’t pursue further than this. I can see your determination from your sword intent. Since I have already promised to teach you, I will naturally strive my hardest. It’s just that… what are your plans after learning how to fence?”

“Elder, I want to participate in the samurai’s qualification test.” Lily bowed lightly. Though her gentle voice was soft, she was not fazed at all.

“Samurai’s qualification test?!” Nagahide was astounded, “You want to participate in the samurai’s qualification test? Why would you, a pampered young lady from the Kansai region, want to become a samurai?”

“Elder, this is for the same reason why I want to learn the kenjutsu.”3

“Oh…” Nagahide looked at Lily’s watery eyes that seemed to carry a hint of grief and determination. Just what had this woman went through, it was probably something even someone as experienced as him couldn’t imagine.

Nagahide decided to stop asking about Lily’s past, so he said, “Since that’s the case, I will stop hiding it from you. Your sword moved me. It’s the only reason I’m willing to teach you without any restrictions, such as making you serve the Matsuda Clan or calling me “Master”. I have been an instructor for the Hojo clan for many years, but I have never come across a person with such a sword intent. Moreover, from a girl no less. If I don’t teach you, that will be such a waste of natural talent. If you are a man, you might even become a famous samurai in Kamakura City in the future.”

“Elder, you once said there’s only attack and defend in kenjutsu, what does being a man and woman matter? I also have no intention to become famous.” Lily calmly said.

Nagahide nodded in silence, “Hehe, when you put it that way, it seems like my way of the sword has been somewhat tainted by worldly desires.”

“Not at all, Lily sincerely receive the elder’s teaching.” Lily bowed one more time.

“Since that’s the case, then I will tell you about the course of the samurai’s qualification test first. It is so that you can mentally prepare yourself,” said Nagahide.

“This samurai qualification test is divided into the practical examination and combat examination. This practical examination is set by the Heian Dynasty. Those who have the qualifications of a samurai will be tested their penetration force, riding skill, and archery in the dojo. If these three meet the standard required, they will be a samurai-in-training. After that, according to the requirement of the dojo, they will be sent to kill a monster. If they managed to bring the monster corpse back to the dojo, they will be issued a certificate. Only then will they become a real samurai.”

“Penetration force, riding skill, and archery…” Lily was overwhelmed. She was completely clueless when it came to riding and archery.

“That’s right! Fencing, riding, and archery, these three are the special skills every real samurai is required to possess!” Nagahide continued, “This samurai qualification test can be said to be the hardest trial for all who practice martial arts in Kamakura City. It is possible that not even one among hundreds of martial artists is able to pass this trial!”

“Becoming a samurai is as hard as it should be, but it comes with many benefits. You can make a considerable sum of money by being recruited by a distinguished clan or a dojo. You can also choose to wander around the world and rely on monster suppression to earn a reward! And if you have a valid reason, you can kill a person without being investigated. For example, if a thug purposely humiliates a samurai, then that samurai can kill him without feeling guilty.”

Legally killing a person? Lily was startled, she naturally wasn’t fond of randomly killing the innocent, but with her circumstances, she was afraid that it would be unavoidable to run into some hoodlum during her travel. Hmph, if anyone dares to assault me once I become a samurai, I will cut them down!

Seeing that Lily was filled with expectations, Nagahide also felt complacent as he continued, “You should know that our Kanagawa prefecture is the center of activities for samurais of the entire Kanto region! And at the heart of it all, is naturally the Kamakura City. However, the common samurai qualification test does not have a place in Kamakura City. There are two dojos eighty miles away from the city, the test will be taking place there. Those two dojos are called Genji Dojo and Taira Dojo respectively. Regardless of which, they are the two dojos with rights to hold a test and issue samurai certificates.”

When Nagahide mentioned Genji and Taira Dojo, his strict face showed reverence and adoration. From his obviously glittering eyes, Lily could tell how much this middle-aged samurai respected and yearned for the two dojos.

“Genjo Dojo and Taira Dojo huh…” Even a fencing instructor of the Hojo clan like Nagahide was so respectful when speaking of these two dojos. It seemed like they possessed great power in this Heian Empire!

“That’s right, since Miss Kagami come from a wealthy family, I suspect you are already familiar with the Genji and Taira. They are the two biggest power in the Heian Dynasty. It is not an exaggeration to say that Genji and Taira stand at the top of every samurai! They are the leaders of all samurais in the world! Their dojos can be found almost everywhere. You can find traces of those two dojos all the way from the northernmost Hokkaido to the southernmost Kyushu!”

Genji and Taira, their dojos could be found everywhere?

Lily was also a little excited after hearing these, but she still maintained her calmness and only committed this information to her memory.

After listening to everything Nagahide had to say, Lily returned to her house at the backyard to take a bath. Then she leaned on the sliding door that was painted blue by the moonlight.

She received too much information today and finally had an initial understanding of this world.

From tomorrow onwards, she would immediately begin fencing training under the tutelage of Matsuda Nagahide.

She naturally had to learn horsemanship and bow technique as well. Oh, and there’s also the cultural history. According to Nagahide, though samurai was not a high-ranking officer, their identity was still far greater than poor people so it was necessary to have some educational training.

There were still so many things she needed to learn! Since she came from a modern metropolis, she had to start from zero in regards to horse riding and archery. Besides, even her only saving grace —the penetration force— was still lacking 8 kwan. It was indeed not that easy to become a samurai.

Regarding her unexpected performance at the test for penetration force today, Lily was also very puzzled. She shouldn’t have that much power, and Lily had not learned fencing when she was a boy. However, senior sister previously participated in all kinds of sport, including kendo. Lily even went to steal a glance, her standard was apparently not bad!

Maybe it was due to this body’s physical memories that allowed her to so easily swing a sword.

But according to Lily’s estimation, even if senior sister’s body was athletic and had learned competitive kendo with a shinai4 in the modern world, it was still impossible for her penetration force to surpass 20 kwan. She was a girl after all!

And yet her strength was measured at 72 kwan. Moreover, it was the penetration force for actual combat, not one that was swung blindly for the sake of grading. Lily guessed she could surpass 80 kwan if she really swung without caring about anything!

It felt like ever since her soul entered the mirror’s domain, her body’s basic qualities had improved all at once in a single night.

Lily turned her body to let the moonlight pass through the paper sliding door and shone on her back, then she took out the mirror to look over in full details.

“This mirror might really be an unimaginable treasure! It is very possible that my sudden increase in strength has something to do with this mirror. It’s just that… I still have no idea how to send my consciousness into the mirror’s domain. Who knows, there might be a chance that my strength will increase again!”

The mirror gradually became clearer and she could see her charming reflection emerge on its surface.

Lily couldn’t hold herself back from kissing the red lips reflected in the mirror.

“My god! Just what am I doing? Am I a narcissist?”

“No… that’s not it…” Lily suddenly became depressed, “It’s only because this is the face of my first love. That’s why I couldn’t restrain myself… isn’t that right, senior sister?”

“Senior sister, your Lily is going to work hard to become a samurai. Senior sister, are you cold inside the world of this mirror? Just wait for me, senior sister…”

Lily continued to speak foolishly like that to the mirror…

Just at this time, a light source could suddenly be seen from the outside and granny Ayashi was kneeling in front of the door, “Miss Kagami, are you asleep? The madam is here.”

“The madam?!” Right now, Lily was only wearing a yukata with nothing inside. She hastily put the mirror into her clothes and sit upright.

“That’s right! Granny Ayashi did tell me there is a madam in this house. I was engrossed in fencing the whole day and didn’t pay this madam a visit, that was lacking manners of me!”

Just when Lily thought of that, the door already slid open.



References

Chapter 14 – Slash Force Sensor



Matsuda Nagahide brought Lily and everyone else to a wide plain, away from the residence.

Even though it was daytime, Lily felt that the forest at the side was filled with negative aura. She felt alarmed and restless as long as it was a place where sunlight did not reach.1

And in a small stream not far away, there was something that occasionally popped its head out of the water to observe her from within the cluster of reeds.

Perhaps this was because Lily’s intuition had become sharper due to her transformation, she didn’t notice that there were so many unfathomable creatures hiding in this mountain woods when she came here with Hojo before.

However, as for how to measure the penetration force, Lily was still brooding about it. In the modern world, there was the Punching Power Machine, but how could there be one of such things in this ancient Heian Era.

Everyone waited for a while in the plains. Lily was also full of curiosity, she was wondering what kind of methods they used to measure the penetration force.

After a while, they saw Kimura Tetsuo —who was not accompanying them earlier— running over furiously with a wooden box that somehow maintained its balance atop his hand. It was a rather strange sight.

Kimura ran over and stopped in front of everyone, he passed the wooden box over to Matsuda Nagahide. This was a wooden box with very fine details. It looked very inharmonious with Matsuda clan’s simple-styled residence.

Matsuda Nagahide took the box and opened it very carefully. The only thing in the exquisite box was a small paper doll with some scribblings on it.

Nagahide clumsily used his rough-looking hands to slowly take out the paper doll. It seemed like he was handling some kind of item he could not understand. He looked at everyone, then took a deep breath as though he was mulling over something.

Kimura and Kanzaki, who were at his sides, also looked very tense. They were holding their breath and had a very exaggerated expression as they cheered their master on with pumped fists.2

Matsuda Nagahide made an earnest show by taking the horse stance3 and threw the paper talisman towards the open space in front. Then he pointed at the paper talisman floating in the air as he shouted in a flurry, “S-S-Slash Force Sensor!”

It was followed by a moment of silence. Nagahide almost showed disappointment on his face.

“Bang—!” A large quantity of white smokes was dispersed as though a steaming rack was turned over.

A red-colored Daruma Egg4 about half the size of men was swaying as it emerged from the smoke.

A pair of ridiculously big eyes and beard were drawn on the Daruma Egg. It was swaying to and fro on the plains like a roly-poly, and written on its red belly was a big “斩5” character!

Lily had a sudden flash, Who wrote this word, it appears to be unusually artistic. If there is anything special about this strange Daruma Egg, it’s got to be this character.

“Miss Kagami,” Nagahide said, “This is the Slash Force Sensor. It is a precious magic tool granted to my Matsuda clan by Lord Hojo Hayamasa.”6

“Magic tool?” Lily was shocked.

“This is an artificial magic tool manufactured by an onmyoji7 from the Heian Capital. It is manufactured by using supernatural arts to imitate the power of a shikigami.8 It only possesses a little bit of their spiritual power, so of course, it cannot be compared to the real shikigami of folklore. Nevertheless, this Slash Force Sensor is a treasure all samurai clans love to use as it can accurately measure their penetration force!

“Exactly!” Kimura said, “This Slash Force Sensor can be sold in the Heian Capital for 100 kwan!9 You may not even be able to get it for 150 kwan in Kamakura City! Every time the stocks arrived, it would be snatched by every major samurai clan! It’s a 100 kwan y’know, it is almost equal to half a year of our master’s salary!”

“Don’t speak out of turn.” Nagahide didn’t seem to be too willing to speak about his salary in front of outsiders.

According to Lily’s understanding of 100 kwan, it should be copper coins worth three hundred and seventy-five kilograms of weight.10

Lily felt slightly concerned when she looked at the happy-go-lucky face of the big, swaying Daruma Egg, “Elder, this thing is so expensive, what happens if it breaks?”

Nagahide replied, “That you don’t have to worry. Slash Force Sensor is made for the purpose of measuring penetration force. As long as you are using a wooden sword, there’s no need to worry about breaking it.”

“Master!” A snotty brat ran over and said, “I haven’t measured my penetration force for half a year already! Look how strong is my muscle now, let me take the measurement! Let me do it!”

Nagahide frowned for a moment, but he still nodded, “Might as well, you can demonstrate for Miss Kagami and show her how to measure penetration force.”

That snotty brat was more or less 1.5 meters tall with tanned skin. He looked to be around the age of thirteen to fourteen and had a thin build with robust muscles. As the brat picked up the wooden sword, he channeled his power and shouted “Hiyaaaaah” as he ran forward and slashed the Daruma Egg that was taller than him.

That Daruma Egg bounced back like a roly-poly and hit the brat that didn’t manage to stop in time. The brat sprung back with his face looking skyward.

Nagahide also slapped his forehead in shame. In his heart, he really didn’t want to admit this was his apprentice.

After swaying for a while, the big Daruma Egg finally came to a stop. It was still wearing that happy-go-lucky expression on its face. Then, all of a sudden, it produced a resounding theatrical voice of a man, “Pene~tration~ Force— Twenty Eight Kwan!”

As Lily heard the strange voice reverberating in the mountain woods, she looked at the unchanging expression that was drawn on the face of the Daruma Egg dubiously. Is this thing dead or alive? How did it make a sound?

“Twenty-eight kwan! That’s great! Master, this is three kwan higher than half a year ago!” The snotty brat happily hopped around.

“Not bad!” Those two narrow-eyed samurais who were always watching at the side patted the brat’s head, and said with a smile, “A grown man normally only get around thirty kwan of penetration force. You are still so young, yet already comparable to the adults!”

“Don’t be self-satisfied by this kind of result!” Nagahide sternly criticized, “You should know that the bottom line of passing the samurai qualification test is 80 kwan penetration force! You are still too far away from your goal! Even becoming a full-time foot soldier requires 50 kwan!”

Lily was doing mental arithmetic at the side, 80 kwan equals to 320 kilograms. Penetration force is not the same as punching force. Rather than attacking with full power from the front, we use a slender sword to cut instead. 320 kg of power is already very strong! Moreover, the destructive power of 320 kg behind a sharp katana and a punch is on a whole ‘nother level!

On the other side, Taro was sneering as he thought to himself, ‘These brats are really nothing but fodder materials. Even if they become adults, they will just barely pass the standard for the foot soldier. Increasing the penetration force is not as simple as raising brute strength. And I myself have already reached 75 kwan! I am very close to the bottom line of a samurai’s standard! It’s just that my speed and reaction are falling a little behind.’

“Miss Kagami, you should have understood by now right?” Nagahide said, “Then, please go ahead.”

Lily nodded in silence as she grabbed her three feet long wooden sword with both hands, then she got in front of the Slash Force Sensor. Although it was to measure the penetration force, Lily had no intention to swing desperately. If she lost her balance and cut the empty air, then that was the same as her giving the opponent an upper hand. What’s the point of having so much strength if it missed? That would only be her lying to herself.

If she wanted to cut, then she must cut with the style for actual combat!

Besides, a wise lady should have the gracefulness of a female samurai. Lily would not approve of a slash that was not beautiful.

Lily lifted the sword and took a deep breath. Those towering breasts were swaying accordingly.

Lily’s eyes suddenly flashed as she took one fast and powerful step. The longsword in her hands burst forth along with the rhythm of her slender waist.

“Bang—!!!”

The sound of the heavy sword strike echoed in the quiet mountain woods.

That Daruma Egg was mercilessly knocked against the ground before it shot back violently. Its round bottom almost left contact with the ground as it rocked fiercely.

The whole place became quiet. After all, every person here was a sword practitioner. Just hearing the sound, they could feel that the weight behind this slash was abnormal!

Furthermore, Lily’s posture was not disturbed at all. She was totally capable of doing a follow-up attack or defend. If she was doing battle at the moment, that would make Nagahide even more shocked.

“Wow— Pe-ne-tra-tion Foooooooooooooorce—” That Slash Force Sensor dragged on the force word to a ridiculous degree. The samurais at the side were so irritated they wished to go up and give it a good kick!

“Seventy— two kwan!”

Everyone present became speechless.

Matsuda Nagahide squinted his eyes to look at Lily’s slender arms. It was hard to believe, just how did this young lady exert so much power from her slender arms?! Moreover, she was still maintaining a battle-ready stance. In other words, this was still not the most powerful swing she could muster!

“Th-this… mother ⓕⓤⓒⓚⓔⓡ… I’ve seen a ghost, is she really a girl or a monster?” Taro’s mind was also in complete shambles, “Ⓢⓗⓘⓣ! The great me only has 75 kwan, and yet this smooth-skinned frail-looking lil gal actually got 72 kwan?!”

The two subordinate samurais and the group of brats were so amazed that their eyes were wide open and mouth agape.

Matsuda Nagahide exhaled one long breath, then he stepped forward and said seriously, “Miss Kagami, if you really want to learn fencing, this humble servant will pour out his all to teach you!”11



References

Demon Sword Maiden Chapter 14

This chapter took more time than expected to translate due to all the unfamiliar terms, like the shikigami or Daruma Egg. I mean… I do know what they are, it’s just that the terms in Chinese are ambiguous. Had to ask around and look for references.

Correction:

Changed tael to ryo
Apparently, tael is the unit used by Chinese, ryo is the Japanese equivalent of tael.

Click here to read Chapter 14 – Slash Force Sensor

Demon Sword Maiden Chapter 13

Wow… just wow… I actually… got a patron, and two to boot!!! 😮
Thank you, you guys are awesome! But take note that the chapters in Patreon are unedited and without footnotes.
Not that I do that much editing when publishing it here anyways, the most I do are correcting some typos and changing the sentence structure so that they flow more smoothly.

Thoughts of the day:
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Click here to read Chapter 13 – Penetration Force

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Chapter 13 – Penetration Force



In this old samurai house, the ash-brown earth was filled to the brim with footsteps. Who knew just how many samurais and apprentices had been practicing their wooden sword and footwork at this place. Even the soil had become somewhat solid from being stepped on repeatedly.1

Yet a fragile girl like Lily was standing right in the middle of these samurais and apprentices. These hardened men and youngsters were all looking at Lily, but their attention was mostly focused on the big breasts and butt under her kimono. Even the earnest Matsuda Nagahide wasn’t expecting much from Lily.

As for Lily, she imitated Matsuda’s posture by grabbing the wooden sword with both hands. That long and brownish sword tip was pointing at the tree in front of Lily like an aiming scope.

Lily was especially concerned about that one word from Matsuda Nagahide.

‘Fencing is the way of life.’ Lily thought in her head, ‘Then what kind of life will my fencing point me to.’

“I have come to this dangerous world with the soul of a boy and the body of a girl. I am not really ambitious and aggressive by nature, I also do not like to slaughter. However, as I am now, I have no choice but to swing a sword with these fragile hands.”

“By the time I touched this sword, I have come to realize something in my heart.”

“Swinging a sword means you must kill!”

“Regardless of gender and looks, the moment when I swing the sword, being a girl is no longer an excuse.”

“Men and women have nothing to do with the sword! There’s only kill or killed.”

That Daidouji Taro was sneering at Lily through his nose, and said, “This great me has yet to see a girl waving a sword in entire my life, this is a first. Lil sis, be careful eh, don’t fall down—”

“Pfff—” Some of the brats were covering their mouth to hold in the laughter.

A snotty brat with duck lips2 and chubby cheeks said, “Hehe, wouldn’t it be good if she falls then, our Taro bro can touch her!”

Lily didn’t pay any mind to those jeering. Fencing is the way of life, her own way of life. Back when she was a cowardly boy, she did get bullied by those bad boys, but now that she had come to this world as a girl, she needed to rely on her own strength. No matter how many gossips or evil intentions were pointed at her, they weren’t able to affect her psyche!

Lily shut her eyes and listened to the sound of the wind blowing from the mountains behind her.3

Suddenly, her bright eyes shone.

“Swoosh—”

There was no irregularity in her sword swing. It was not light, but it wasn’t heavy either. The sword swing was fast, it was fast yet unusually stable. It was so quick that no sound was made! Only a very small amount of wind was gathered around the sword before it dissipated.

It was similar to Lily’s hair; black, long, and straight.

It was simple yet beautiful!

Those muddy-faced brats were looking at Lily without making any comment. It seemed like her swing was nothing to be made fun of. It was a clean slash, but not as mighty and powerful as brother Taro’s slash. These brats did not really understand what they just saw.

However, that ‘brother Taro’ squinted his eyes and shouted, “Ⓑⓐⓢⓣⓐⓡⓓ, this woman, is this really her first time swinging a sword?”

And those samurais of the Matsuda clan also involuntarily moved their sight from Lily’s butt to her sword. It was obviously a blunt wooden sword, yet it felt extremely sharp in that one moment!

Matsuda Nagahide sucked the air into his dry lips.4 Only after a long time later did he finally say with a pleased tone, “Miss Kagami, since you have learned such a profound sword technique, why are you deliberately making fun of us?”

“Eh?” Lily flung her beautiful hair, which was accompanied by a sweet fragrance. She blinked her pure and innocent eyes as she said, “Elder, I don’t really understand what you mean, this is my first time swinging a sword.”

That fatty Taro had an ugly look on his face, he thought to himself, “Mother ⓕⓤⓒⓚⓔⓡ! This woman really make people irritated! She’s acting like a damsel in distress and put up a delicate front, but who would have expected her sword swing was that fast. This great me still thought I have seen wrongly. I didn’t expect old man Matsuda also thought of the same thing. That mother ⓕⓤⓒⓚⓘⓝⓖ ⓑⓐⓢⓣⓐⓡⓓ!”

Matsuda Nagahide was skeptical. After thinking about Lily’s identity, he felt that it wouldn’t be good to ask too deeply, “Miss Kagami, have you ever been tested for penetration force?”

“Penetration force?” Lily had a clearly perplexed look.

Matsuda blanked out for a moment as he thought, ‘If this young lady is really making fun of us, then she is indeed a very capable actress! However, with my long years of experience, I feel like that is not the case. Don’t tell me… that was really her first time swinging a sword? No, that’s impossible!’

“Miss Kagami, the so-called penetration force is the cutting power behind your sword swing. Although it doesn’t seem like there is much movement behind your sword swing, the weight of such a long wooden sword isn’t light either, yet you actually swung it so fast and without making any sound. More importantly, it was a stable swing. I’m afraid that the power behind that swing is not light either. Miss Kagami, if you have really never tested your penetration force before, I strongly advise the young lady to give it a try,” said Matsuda.

“That’s right! That’s right!” That Kimura Tetsuo —the one who brought Lily to retrieve the sword earlier— said somewhat excitedly, “Although, in the beginning, I also felt it was a little ridiculous when Miss Kagami chose such a long wooden sword, I didn’t expect you can really swing this three feet long tachi with such swiftness and precision! I, Kimura, really want to know, just how many units of kwan5 can Miss Kagami’s delicate hands be able to score!”

“Kwan?” Lily stared blankly for a moment as she wracked her brain. She didn’t have any friends when she was a boy, so when she didn’t have anything to do at home, she would browse through some data regarding ancient Japan. If it was the same as ancient Japan’s measurement, then one kwan should be close to four kilograms of weight.

In this Heian Empire, a normal grown-up man’s penetration force was thirty kwan. That was equivalent to almost one hundred and twenty kilograms of cutting power.

“One kwan is equal to the weight of one thousand coins, that is to say, one kwan is a hundred ryo! Women are so bad at maths!” said the fatty. In fact, since he was doing self-study, his maths was the one that’s a total mess. The only thing he got going for him was his loud voice and quick response.

Lily was wondering why they were so concerned about this one swing, thus she asked, “Elder, please give advice to this little girl if my words are incorrect. I thought that as long as the sword is sharp, it can kill even with little strength. Why should we still care about the power of the strike?”

These words startled the samurais of Matsuda and even fatty Taro.

How could a slender and beautiful girl like her so easily speak out the word “kill”?

It seemed that even if this girl had really never learned how to swing a sword before, she had at least been through an unimaginable experience.

“Ⓑⓐⓢⓣⓐⓡⓓ, her words are getting more and more pretentious! This great me really can’t see eyes to eyes with this young lady!” Taro cursed in his heart.

On the other hand, Matsuda Nagahide was patiently explaining. After all, he was already not treating Lily as a pampered girl who only tried out fencing due to curiosity.

“Miss Kagami, what you said is very reasonable. It’s just that, the way of the samurai is one of the roots in my Heian Empire. After becoming a samurai, not only do have a lot of privileges and reputation, there are also the benefits given by many imperial households and big names. Therefore, it is better to have a standard. After all, you can’t always determine strength through a life or death battle right?”

Matsuda continued, “Otherwise, before even facing the demons or joining the war, more than half of the samurais would already be dead. Therefore, in this Heian Empire, the penetration force is one of the important criteria to judge if one has reached the qualification of a samurai.”



References

Chapter 12 – Wooden Sword



At this time, Matsuda finally noticed Lily, so he set his wooden sword aside and got a few meters in front of Lily before he asked, “Miss Kagami, how is your rest?”

These words caused Lily to redden with shame.1 However, this Matsuda was also quite an upright gentleman as he didn’t get too close to a young lady like Lily.

Lily covered her face and said, “Please stop teasing me.”

“That’s not it, Miss Kagami had been through an arduous journey. Seeing that your complexion is much better now, I also feel relieved.” Matsuda continued, “Just that… this place is where the feral brats practice sword. They are extremely rough and is not fit for a beautiful young lady who comes from the capital like Miss Kagami to watch.”
Then Matsuda suggested, “How about Miss Kagami go the backyard and have a chat with the madam?”

“Eh? No, no… Thank you for the elder’s concern,” Lily had no intention to find some old woman to talk about gossips. What she’s interested in, was the whooshing sound of the brandished sword. That’s why she said, “Elder, the truth is… I have always been very interested in kenjutsu. I wonder if the elder would be able to instruct me a little?”

“Miss Kagami wants to learn kenjutsu?” Surprise was clearly visible on Matsuda Nagahide’s strict face, “This uncouth, barbarous way of slaughtering, I don’t think there is a need for a graceful and noble young lady like Miss Kagami to experience it?”

Lily had a sincere gaze as she said with a dejected expression, “Elder, thank you for your compliment. However, when facing the demons and bandits, what’s the point of being graceful and noble? It’s not like every time I will be saved by a kind samurai like Master Hojo. This little girl only wishes to be able to defend herself in time of need.”

Matsuda Nagahide understood half of Lily’s intention, so he helplessly shook his head with a smile, “Alright, since Miss Kagami wants to learn, this one will naturally comply. Then may I ask the young lady to come over here and give it a try? However, most of the people who died by drowning are those who know how to swim. Sometimes, not knowing martial arts may be some kind of protection for a beautiful girl like you.”

Lily heard Matsuda’s advice and nodded, “I understand the elder’s concern, but I have my own reason as to why I must learn this kenjutsu.”

Matsuda Nagahide helplessly shook his head as he looked at Lily. From his point of view, it was probably just a momentary interest or curiosity. After all, in these troubled times, the reverence for martial skills was very deep. A lot of women were also influenced because of this. However, most of them were just flowers viewing from horseback.

Seeing that Lily was walking over with Matsuda, seemingly with the intention to mix with the boys, that fatty Daidouji Taro burst into loud laughter.

“Hahaha, everyone just takes a look, this smooth-skinned frail-looking girl also wants to learn kenjutsu? I might as well go learn singing and dancing too!” Daidouji Taro willfully looked down at Lily. He even deliberately made some ugly and comical dancing movements.

“Hahahahahaha!” The brats in the surrounding also laughed together.

“Don’t be rude!” Matsuda Nagahide chided them, “Miss Kagami is a well-bred young lady from the capital. Don’t make us Kanto samurai lose our face because of country bumpkins like you! What are you guys laughing at, women are innately weak and slow. They are not suitable to practice kenjutsu, but can you guys give birth? Can you guys take care of the house? Men plow and women knit, each has their own role since ancient times. You guys are men, you ought to be showing consideration, and cherish the women! Miss Kagami wants to learn kenjutsu, you guys just stay there and watch. Nobody is allowed to jeer!”

Matsuda also didn’t believe a slim girl like Lily could use the sword in the deepest recess of his mind. It’s just that, it would not be a good idea to turn her down directly due to her status. Since the young lady was carried away by a whim anyway, lt wouldn’t hurt to let her touch a wooden sword.

To practice with a sword, one must naturally have a sword first. Matsuda Nagahide pointed at the storeroom at one corner of the courtyard, then he said, “Tetsuo, go and retrieve a wooden sword for the young lady.”

“Why go through so much trouble, lil sis can just use mine!” That fatty Taro suddenly extended his wooden sword. It looked like he was going to give the sword to Lily, yet it felt as though he was going to hit her. The tip of the wooden sword was swaying right beside Lily’s mouth as though to provoke her.

“So fast!” Lily was startled. Though he was still a boorish and lecherous fatty, this casual swing was strong enough for the wooden sword to give rise to a wave of wind. It was brimming with power yet steady and precise. Only that, as fast as it was, Lily could still see everything clearly.

In this world, whether one was lecherous or righteous, it was not important. The most important point was strength.

Let alone evil doer, even the demons and ghost was running amok in Kamakura City.

Lily already understood all of these in her heart, therefore she was not ashamed nor angry when she was provoked. However, her delicate body also didn’t take half a step back. Her glamorous eyes didn’t have a hint of fear. If she was scared by a young thug here, how would she be able to walk forward in the realm of demons?

“What?!” Matsuda was shocked. Lily was not scared at all under Taro’s provocation. She didn’t even take any action to fall back due to a girl’s subconscious self-defense system. That Lily, if she was not foolish, then it was due to her quick crisis detection. Her grasp on space was also superb, as she could accurately judge the distance of the opponent’s sword.

“Taro!” Matsuda Nagahide shouted severely, “Step down!”

The fatty took a few steps back while swearing.

“Miss Kagami, please follow me.” Kimura Tetsuo wore a thick navy blue clothes and triangular hat. He looked rather honest and sincere.

Lily followed Tetsuo to the storeroom, this was Lily’s first time in an armory.

It was not that spacious, but it was filled with longbows and spears. There were also katanas that were arranged neatly on the desks. Although their workmanship was simple, it still made Lily excited.

These are swords, I want them! If I have one, then I wouldn’t need to be so reserved anymore right?

Lily unconsciously reached out to grab the katana that was laid out in the center.

These swords were set up with their knife blade pointing up. They were shorter than the sword that silver-haired girl wielded before. Judging by its thin width, it should be classified as an Uchigatana.2

Uchigatana’s characteristic laid in its small curvature, quick draw, and lightweight. Unsheathing the uchigatana and cutting the enemy down with it became one smooth, lightning-fast action. However, its striking power was inferior to a tachi.3

“Miss Kagami!” Tetsuo raised his voice to warn Lily, “Please be careful. Those are iron swords used for actual combat. They are very sharp! The wooden swords and katanas for practice are over there.”

They are clearly sheathed in the scabbard, what’s so dangerous about it! Lily secretly thought, This Kimura something also looks down on women, hmph. Besides, my soul is a man!

She arrived beside the wooden swords that were stacked up near the doorway.

These wooden swords were also varied in length.

She personally didn’t like short swords.

Lily recalled that female samurai who came and gone like the storm.

She went to the last row and picked up the wooden sword that resembled a tachi.

“Oh? You are going to choose that Miss Kagami? For a girl, I believe those short swords will be better…” Tetsuo advised with good intentions.

“I feel that this length is just good enough for me.” Although this wooden sword was much lighter than an iron sword, it was still quite heavy due to its length. However, after Lily grasped the wooden sword with her delicate fingers, she did not feel any weight at all.

When the brats saw Lily coming out with such a long wooden sword, they all burst into laughter. 4

Even Matsuda Nagahide couldn’t bear it anymore as he shook his head with a smile, “Miss Kagami, a beginner always tend to choose longsword because they thought the longer the sword, the safer and more advantageous it is. In fact, the longer the sword, the harder it is to swing. The requirement is very high. Even drawing the sword will be very difficult if it is too long. I advise you to pick another sword.”

“That’s right! You never swung a sword before and yet you picked such a long one, lil sis, you sure know how to pick!” Taro jeered at her again.

“Elder, please let me have a try.” Nevertheless, Lily said earnestly.

Matsuda Nagahide noticed how Lily was gazing at the sword in her hands. It felt somewhat unusual, so he said with a serious tone, “This sword is three feet seven inches long. It can be said to be the longest among the swords that people of average height hang on their waist. Luckily, the young lady is tall, so it is not impossible to use it. It’s just that… a wooden tachi this long is very hard to swing.”

Lily also looked at Matsuda Nagahide with a serious expression. Then she bowed to him, and said, “May I request for the elder’s tutelage.”

Matsuda was surprised, “Alright. Miss Kagami, I suppose you have never had contact with fencing before, so before the demonstration, I will do a simple introduction. Our Kanto region samurai’s sword skills are used in real combat!”

“Sword techniques for real combat do not have complex style nor detailed steps. To sum it up simply, there’s only attack and defend.”

“Attack! And kill your opponent in one strike!”

“Defend, that is to put everything on the line to survive and don’t let yourself get hit!”

“Real combat is just that simple, and a very cruel thing. The basic attack skill consists of wave, chop, hack, strike, pierce, and stab. You will need accuracy, quickness, determination, and ability to seize the right timing! And for a swordsman, other than skills and power, they also cultivate their mind to comprehend the way of conducting themselves! Comprehending the way of the sword is tantamount to comprehend the way of life, the way of governing.”

“Naturally, the steps are extremely important. Miss Kagami, I will demonstrate once, you look closely.”

Matsuda Nagahide got beside a tree and lifted the wooden sword in front of him. In a split second, his eyes became sharp, and it felt like there was an invisible airflow brushing against his sideburns as a vigorous sword intent welled up in his entire body.

“Haaaa!”

Along with that sword swing, Matsuda took one powerful step forward. Although the sword didn’t reach the branch, that powerful wave caused the entire tree to shake and the fallen leaves to swirl in the air!

Lily felt her whole body shaking in zeal. It seemed like she saw the invisible, overpowering sword intent!

This uncle Matsuda is indeed a master! This wooden sword might as well be an iron sword. I bet he can even split a rock in half! Or maybe even that big tree!

However, compared to how the female samurai cut down that giant Green Demon with one strike, it was so much more inferior.

“Miss Kagami, how about you also give it a try.” Matsuda Nagahide adjusted his breathing, then turned around and said.5



References