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. 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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.