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|Author: Luo Jiang Shen||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 2294 characters|
|Translator: Sigma||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1533 words|
Daidoji Akira and his group were sitting by the road for a short break as the dispirited sun looked over the downcast countryside surrounding Takeshita Town. They had quickly left the town as soon as Akira got the news, knowing that it would be more prudent even if the Fuma Clan wouldn’t reveal his identity or otherwise affect him.
Akira was sweating heavily, his kasaya damp and wrinkled. It was no wonder as he had hurriedly escaped through the night. Sitting on a rock, he gasped for his breath. “Damn it! To hell with it! I’ve calculated everything yet I missed the fact that the old woman in that Chrysanthemum Inn is the master of Genji Dojo! That ⓑⓘⓣⓒⓗ Kagami Lily was so lucky!”
Apparently, Akira thought that Sakiko’s men had killed the ninjas from the Fuma Clan. He didn’t think that Lily had done everything single-handedly.
“Brother! This time, we’ve even payed with all of my dowry!” Hiroko’s clothes were dirty with muddy dabs. She pouted resentfully.
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“That bit from your dowry doesn’t even cover any ⓢⓗⓘⓣ! To hire the Fuma Clan to murder someone in the Genji’s territory, I had to spend a whole three hundred kwan! The money doesn’t matter that much, it’s the term and conditions that matters most. If more than half of the Fuma Clan’s ninjas were killed, we’d have to sell the medicinal herbs harvested from the medicinal fields in Mount Amekoi’s valley to the Fuma Clan for cheap as compensation for the next three years. Without those herbal fields, we will have to bear significant losses in Suruga Province’s medicinal market! That Saionji House will seize the chance and cause more losses for us!” Akira was so angry he was shivering.
“Brother! Those herbal fields are our key assets. Brother, how could you just casually make such a deal with the Fuma Clan?” Hiroko flustered.
“Ⓕⓤⓒⓚ, how could I know that! I thought that when the Fuma Clan took action, they could murder that little girl as easily as flipping a hand. Even if someone got hurt, their casualties shouldn’t be more than sixty percent1! Damn, who would think they’d all be killed!” Akira was so mad he stomped his feet, shaking the ground.
The senile onmyoji was also among the dozens of the martial monks fleeing with their masters. “Master Akira, there’s no problem with my commission?”
“Great Master Hosokawa, don’t worry! I won’t miss even one coin I’ve promised you!” Akira had more beads of sweat on his forehead.
“Kagami Lily! That lowly ⓑⓘⓣⓒⓗ has incurred big losses for me. I’d spent a huge amount to invite the onmyoji to deal with Noboru, yet you snatched our heirloom! And this time, the Fuma Clan failed to assassinate you and that also cost me a big deal in my medicinal trade! I am Daidouji Akira, do you think I won’t be able to deal with a poor little girl like you?!”
Akira sat under the sunlight, gritting his teeth in anger. However, as long as Lily didn’t leave Takeshita Town, he would have no way to do anything to her! He didn’t dare to hire the ninjas. Moreover, he couldn’t bear the loss! He couldn’t afford a big loss of his family’s assets just to kill an ordinary girl!
Right when Daidouji Akira was so flustered and exasperated, not far from them, a group of people and horses with extraordinary auras were heading toward Akira’s team from the remote and barren road in the East.
This troop of men and horses included around fifty or sixty people. All of them were sturdy and well-built samurais. Although they were wearing their casual clothes, if someone knew of the rumors in Kanto, they would be able to recognize this troop immediately.
Just looking at the leader from a distance, one would think that there was a vast distance between him and the others. However, the others were riding closely behind him.
It was because the man was around three meters tall with thick eyebrows and big eyes outlined by the rough hair on his temples. Even though his face was rough, he still looked handsome. His limbs were extraordinarily larger than normal people, but his body’s proportions were fine and even more beefy. He looked like a bigger version of Hojo Ujizane, but he was more powerful and overbearing than Ujizane. His entire body emitted the aura of a royal.
This man was wearing a blue kimono. Two nodachi2 were kept at his waist, which an ordinary man would need to carry on their back.
His mount wasn’t ordinary, either. It was a beefy, red horse around 3.3 meters tall. It looked just a bit inferior to the black steed Nioh.
Looking at the man who was leading the troop from a distance, under an extremely hot weather, Akira was so frightened he was sweating a lot until his entire body was soaked. He got up in a fluster to welcome the others.
When monk Akira walked to the front of that handsome and gigantic samurai, his height of 1.9 meters seemed so small in comparison.
“Y- Your Great Highness!” Akira sat down on his knees in the middle of the muddy road to greet the other.
That man was the oldest son of Hojo Clan’s head, one of the Six Swords of the Eastern Nation, Hojo Dijon!
This troop included all the elite samurai of the Hojo Clan. Standing by Dijon was a man two times smaller than him. That man had aquiline nose and a slender figure. He was Dijon’s cousin, Hojo Motoshige.
He was also Hojo Ujizane’s brother, the one who wanted to capture Lily in the Matsuda’s. When he tried to check out Lily’s power level, she had cut the cup he darted toward her in half.
The sunset over the dojo was serene and dim. Although it felt lonely, it was somewhat comfortable.
Sakiko brought Lily, Nanako, and Shiu to the inner courtyard. It was a room deep inside the courtyard and it didn’t look as luxurious and splendid as the others. However, it had the beauty of peace and quietness.
“Miss Kagami, although this place is a little simple, it’s safe and quiet. It’s really suitable for girls like you three. If you don’t mind, just stay here for a while,” said Sakiko.
This place looked even simpler and plainer than Chrysanthemum Inn. However, it was really clean, elegant, and peaceful. Lily loved places like this very much.
“Ah no, Lady Sakiko, this place is really good.” Lily sincerely thanked Lady Sakiko.
Nanako and Shiu walked behind the two slender women. Sometimes, their eyes would wander and look interestingly at the wild, natural scenery around.
“Un?” Lily spotted several pink canopies jutting over and above the roof like clusters of colorful clouds, “Are those…”
“Haha, Miss Kagami, follow me to the backyard and check it out.”
They walked to the backyard and found an old, big, and tough sakura tree there. However, what astonished people was the sakura blooming all over the tree.
“Ah, so beautiful…” Lily couldn’t help but admire from the bottom of her heart. Ever since she had come to this otherworld, it seemed she had a close connection with sakura, and she did like cherry blossoms.
Beautiful and proud, only sakura could combine these two aspects of beauty. However, it somewhat conveyed a faint tint of sadness.
“This is a one-thousand-year old sakura,” said Sakiko, “although it’s a tree with flowers, it has spirit. This tree blossoms in all four seasons. It’s one of the beautiful scenes of this courtyard of mine.”
Lily nodded continuously. “Lady Sakiko, I… I really like this place, especially this backyard!”
“Haha, I knew you’d love it,” said Sakiko as she flirtishly patted Lily’s butt.
“Er?” Lily slightly blushed. It was fortunate that Nanako and Shiu were playing3 with the grass and flowers around and they didn’t catch it. Otherwise, her prestige as their master would be swept away just like that.
Lily was a little embarrassed. She moved half a step aside but she didn’t want to show that she was moving too much, which would reveal her discontented mood. No matter what, Sakiko was her benefactor. Even if she had harassed her a little bit, she couldn’t just fume and turn her back to the other. It would be really awkward.
Sakiko acted as though nothing had happened. She teased and said naturally, “Oh right, Miss Kagami, I’m free tomorrow. Do you want to visit me and enjoy tea?”
Though Lily felt a little awkward about the previous incident, this invitation still made her happy, “Lady Sakiko, I’ve long wanted to learn tea ceremony from you. I’ll have to bother you tomorrow then.”
Lily answered with bits of shyness.
“Tea ceremony?!” Nanako who was playing nearby finally lifted her head and said, “I also want to learn. I want to learn too!”
She ran to Sakiko and blinked her big eyes, “Lady Sakiko, can I come too?”
Sakiko smiled. “Of course you can. As the oldest daughter of the Saionji House wanting to learn, how can I not teach you.”
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- Deximus: dude, 60% is more than half. you’d still lose the fields
- Deximus: Seriously, are they children?