|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 2986 characters|
|Translator: Silva||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 2120 words|
The Heian Empire was warlike yet civilized.
Other than some rarely seen treasures or precious articles with remarkable workmanship, the katanas and tea sets were the most expensive items.
A Grade 4 teacup cost at least 400 kan, and this Aubergine teacup, just from its antiquity, designs, and uniqueness, it could be rated as a top-quality article among the Grade 4 teacups. It should be able to fetch 600 kan at the very least! However, to resell an item gifted to her would be very disrespectful to the bestower. From the way Lily saw it, this was the Saionji’s token of support towards herself!
She didn’t have any backing in this otherworld, she very much needed this kind of support. On the other hand, the Saionji house also needed the protection of a female samurai such as Lily. Although her strength was nothing to write home about at the moment, Kotoka should have already thought about her future prospects.
Aside from that, the teacup could help her relax and promote her creativity; something that money couldn’t buy.
It was unlikely for Lily to carry such a brittle item at all times, so she left it in the room provided to her by the Saionji house and had Sakura look after it. After that was done, she headed for the street. It was already daytime, but the sky was still shrouded by boundless night. There weren’t as many people on the street as expected, nobody was dancing either, perhaps everyone had gotten tired after two days straight of festivity.
Lily’s sense of direction was pretty good. She always had a good sense of direction even before she was turned into a girl, and that aspect seemed to have remained.
She arrived at the downhill trail from yesterday evening. After walking down the hill, she made her way to the smithy.
The furnace was still burning with a red-hot flame at the moment.
There was no reply even as Lily knocked on the heavy yet shabby looking wooden door.
“Are you… looking for someone?” Yet, a woman’s voice came from her back.
Lily turned around and almost revealed her surprise. That was because the woman in question was really too tall. She was even taller than Lily by half of a head. Just from visual estimation, her height was approximately 1.85 meters!
The woman was wearing a brown cloak over her shoulders. Her hair was the color of the red rose, with the bangs parted to both sides. She wore a headband which covered her forehead, and her hair was tied in a braided pigtails, each measuring up to one foot long. Her eyes were big and pretty, and she had thick lips that accentuated her sex appeal. She was obviously a tall beauty, but the way she presented herself was like that of a man. She put one hand on her hip, with the other hand holding a water barrel, and also the way she parted her long legs, it all seemed so casual.
Judging from her build, strong-looking arms and legs, Lily could already roughly guess the identity of that person.
“Excuse me— Are you perhaps the Master Blacksmith, Uehara Ehiro? I am Lily from the Kanagawa prefecture, I came here today to request you to forge a sword for me. Will the great master please hear me out?” Lily got straight to the point.
After Ehiro looked at the Seiwa Tamashi hanging on Lily’s waist, she sized Lily up and was taken by her beauty. Then she said, “The sword you are carrying isn’t that remarkable, but it is still quite a good sword. I wonder, just what kind of sword are you looking for?”
Lily was surprised by Ehiro’s insight. No wonder she was the master blacksmith, she was able to judge the value of Seiwa Tamashi without needing to pull out the sword.
Facing a master of this caliber, Lily didn’t dare to hide anything and directly speak out her requirement, “Great master, I want to forge a Grade 3 or higher katana, however, during the tempering process, I wish to carve the inscription on the blade by myself.”
“What?” Ehiro was startled, “You want to carve the sword runes? Miss Kagami, come, let us talk inside.”
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That Ehiro was truly tall. When she walked past Lily, her line of sight was only a little higher than Ehiro’s shoulder. Perhaps due to her forging ironware all day long, Ehiro had a sweaty smell.1
As she pushed open the door, hot air with the smell of iron rushed out of the workshop.
Ehiro invited Lily into the workshop. The dusky room was filled with many furnaces that were still in operation. Stacks of metal lumps, iron ores, and charcoals could be seen scattered everywhere. There were also many materials that Lily couldn’t put a name on. Moreover, on the shelves and desks, one could see all kinds of unfinished katanas being laid out on top of them. These swords might be common items below Grade 2, but each and every one of these was meticulously forged by the master blacksmith. They were premium products of items on the same level, some could even be considered top quality goods.
“Lately, wars and expeditions are breaking out everywhere. High-grade tamahagane is scarce and few in between. I have no choice but to forge some low-grade katanas to keep my hundred years smithy in business,” Ehiro poured the water from the barrel into the jar, then she casually took off the brown cloak.
With light cast from the furnace, Lily saw the silky white skin of Ehiro’s back, aside from the parts covered by her red pigtails.
“Eh?” Lily immediately blushed and turned her face away. T- that Ehiro actually didn’t wear any clothes under her cloak!2
“What’s up, Miss Kagami? Why are you so nervous?” Ehiro asked as though it was nothing to be embarrassed about.
Fighting off her embarrassment, Lily forced herself to look out of the corner of her eyes to confirm that Ehiro was properly dressed. And to her surprise, Ehiro was actually wearing an old-fashioned leather apron, though her smooth shoulders were not at all hidden from view.
“Huh?” Could she have seen it wrongly? That shouldn’t be possible, her rear view was almost practically naked!3
However, Ehiro didn’t care about Lily’s doubt, she just turned around to scope some water out from the jar to drink.
And this time, Lily saw it clearly, her bare back with only a thin strap around her neck and waist. And also… her rather plentiful butt.4
When Lily saw that, she immediately covered her mouth and her face became burning hot.
Ehiro turned back to face Lily and looked at her with a somewhat easy-going gaze. Although that leather apron did cover her front, it was still possible to make out her ridiculously curvaceous body under the light of the flame. Her every movement might be a bit on the rough side, but she had a bombacious body. Ehiro laughed brightly and said, “Hehehe, Miss Kagami, why are you looking at me like that? Do I look weird?”
Lily wanted to say something but instead, she kept this thought to herself; are you telling me it’s not weird to forge ironware while going commando in a naked apron?
“Miss Kagami, just now you said you want to forge a sword with inscriptions drawn by you personally?”
“With a quality of Grade 3 or higher?”
However, Ehiro only smiled indifferently, “Miss Kagami, I advise you to give up on that idea.”
“Eh? But why? I- I know that requesting Miss Ehiro to forge the sword would cost a considerable price, but I am serious about this. No matter how much you want, just name it.”
Ehiro helplessly slumped onto the stool and spread her legs like how a man would sit. This was a great negative for someone with such a bombacious body like her. However, she didn’t pay any attention to that and instead said, “This isn’t the problem with money. Katana is forged from tamahagane, not from copper, silver, or gold coins. And to embed sword runes on the blade, you need a Grade 3 tamahagane at the very least. Otherwise, it will be impossible for the spirit to take shape. And please excuse me for speaking bluntly, embedding sword runes into a Grade 3 tamahagane might be effective, but it cannot draw out the full power of the sword runes.”
Ehiro fixed her eyes on the flickering flame of the furnace, and said, “If you want to fully utilize the sword rune’s spiritual nature, then you will need to use a Grade 4 tamahagane!”
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“Grade 4?” Lily was honestly surprised, “T- then how much would that cost?”
Ehiro spoke in a way that kept the listeners in suspense, “That’s why I advised Miss Kagami to give up, seeing that you are only carrying a Grade 2 katana and is quite good-looking at that, I assume that you will probably not make it that far anyway. There’s no way you can take out enough money to buy a Grade 4 tamahagane. You will need at least 600 kan to buy enough Grade 4 tamahagane to forge a three feet long katana! Moreover, they are rarely circulated in the market, a Grade 4 tamahagane is treated like a treasure by the famous clans all over the place, there’s no way anyone would just randomly sell them!”
“600 kan…” Lily also felt a bit dizzy hearing the extravagant amount. If she was willing to sacrifice everything, perhaps she might be able to gather close to that amount. However, she thought of another problem, “What about a 3.7 feet sword?”
“3.7 feet? The same length as the sword you are carrying?” Ehiro was really shocked, “That… although it is only seven inches longer, it requires a much more strenuous strengthening process, and the sword blade needs to be thicker! If we are talking about a 3.7 feet tachi, hehe… I estimate it to be around 1000 kan!”
“O- one thousand kan…”
“Furthermore, where would you find such a big piece of Grade 4 tamahagane?! To forge a Grade 3 katana or higher, the materials are mostly provided by the clients. I do have some tamahagane here, but there’s no way I would have that much money to hoard such a big quantity of those expensive stuff. Besides, even if you have one thousand kan, you might not necessarily be able to find them even if you scour the whole Kanto! Looks like I am right to advise you against it. You are basically just daydreaming! What’s more, a 3.7 feet katana made of Grade 4 tamahagane weight at least 42 kilograms! Miss Kagama, with such a thin arms, how are you supposed to wave them?”5
Lily had thought that after she looted 500 kan from Hojo Motoshige and Akira, she would still have some money to spare even after selling all the spoils of war. After all, a Grade 3 katana’s market price was only around 200 kan. But who would have thought that the standard would instantly jump to Grade 4. Not only that, the price is highly dependant on the length of the sword. Goodness gracious! Just the base material would cost her 1000 kan, and that’s not inclusive of the other materials and the service fees… Lily suddenly felt poor again.
“Thank you for the great master’s advice. This little one will come back again when I managed to buy the materials. I wonder, to forge a Grade 4 katana, the service fees would be…”
“Let’s not talk about that first. It won’t be too late to talk about it again when you have the materials,” Ehiro had never believed that Lily would be able to obtain the materials. That’s why she was unwilling to say too much.
“Then, Lily will leave first, sorry to disturb you.”
“Hah! Don’t worry about it, I was quite bored anyway. Miss Kagami, even if you can’t get the materials, feel free to come and have a chat with big sister. It was quite fun to talk with you!” Ehiro laughed casually and lifted one of her thicc legs6 onto the stool.
Worried that she would expose her blushing face, Lily quickly bowed and left the workshop immediately.
“One thousand kan, regardless of whether I can buy it or not, I need to get enough money first. But where would I find the remaining few hundred kan?” Lily thought that while making her way back to the Saionji house.
“It looks like my only choice is to devote myself to training in the deep mountains.”
- Silva: Yea yea, we’ve already confirmed that the author has a sweat fetish…
- Silva: W- we have a flasher here!! Police! It’s her!!
Actually, let me take a picture first
- Silva: This be the legendary naked apron!!!!
- Silva: Wait what? This truly be the legendary naked apron with commando?!?! Ehiro’s waifu level is skyrocketing!!
- Silva: Ouch, feels bad man, when Lily is being looked down upon.
- Silva: thicc, geddit? hehehe
Robinxen: The thighdeologist approves.
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