|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 2087 characters|
|Translator: Silva||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1389 words|
“Y- you can speak?” Lily gripped her weapon tightly, retreating to the furthest corner she could, but even though she stood tall, she was still dwarfed in front of the Demon Hound.
Chilling blue moonlight sprinkled down on the enormous trees atop the valley, illuminating the heads of the beautiful young woman and the dying beast alike, forming an intense yet strangely beautiful contrast.
The Demon Hound’s abdomen, upper body, mouth, and even its ears were all continuously streaming with blood. Its seemingly already-halted body was still staggering endlessly.
Lily firmly gripped the Seiwa Tamashi and kept her guard up. Despite feeling an incomparable shudder in her heart, she calmly observed the Demon Hound’s state, considering the possibility of fighting back or running away.
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As if the Demon Hound could see through Lily’s expression, it said, “Abandon those thoughts. Even if I won’t last another few minutes, I’m still strong enough to kill you a hundred times! If I wanted to kill you, I’d have bitten you earlier to snap your backbone.”
Nevertheless, hearing this, Lily doubted it. “You don’t want to kill me? Then why chase me?”
Lily vigilantly lifted her weapon in front of the Demon Hound’s terrifying mouth.
“Such a distasteful young woman, you stole my treasure, and you’re still asking questions?”
Lily covered her exposed breasts and said, “You want your treasure back?”
If she really could have been spared this way, Lily would surely have returned it. After all, if she was dead, what did she need the tamahagane for?
The Demon Hound suddenly closed its eyes and spoke with a grin in a terrifying voice: “I’ll die imminently. Even if I wanted to take back the treasure, I’d have no way to protect it. I won’t kill you, because I can smell the scent of that old mirror on you.”
“Old mirror?” Lily said blankly.
“That’s a kind of ancient device. A girl carrying an old mirror, you’re the mirror girl, so I hesitated before killing you.”
“A mirror girl? What is a mirror girl?” Lily was completely puzzled.1
“You don’t need to know too much, I also don’t know too much about them. What I can tell you is that us dog-type monsters can smell those mirrors from a distance.”
Lily suddenly recalled how she had never exposed the mirror when she first arrived in this parallel world and during the battle before, but the dog-type monsters were still able to sniff out the mirror. Those monsters wanted to seize mirrors, but this Demon Hound didn’t seem to have that intention.
The Demon Hound started vomiting blood, and it spilled out for a while. Its body tilted to one side as it barely remained standing, “I was originally raised in Heiankyo2 by Ms. Fujiwara Ayaka. Due to the exposure of too much Demon Fury, I rampaged and bit the woman’s own vassal. I was thrown out for it, but I’ve always wanted to return to her residence. Even if it’s rainy and windy, I dither outside.”
“But who would have known the Six Poirots treated me as a monster and chased me away from the Heiankyo. I kept running and received serious injuries a few times, then I eventually arrived at the relatively safer Kanto region. But even then, I was being pursued closely by the Hojos. Hmph, if not because of my injuries, the Hojos are nothing. I can single-handedly wipe their clan off the map!”
Hearing the Demon Hound narrating its own life’s story made Lily feel a little lost. However, she was very concerned about the name Fujiwara Ayaka, that’s the rumored top onmyoji in the country! Even a mere dog raised by their home was already this terrifying…
“As for that tamahagane, I plundered it from some high-ranking officials while in the midst of fleeing, it was my revenge towards the humans. It was supposed to be a gift for some kind of emperor3. It wasn’t originally mine anyway,” The Demon Hound continued;
“Even in death, I want to return to the side of Ms. Ayaka. When I was still a pup, I saw Ms. Ayaka save quite a few mirror girl from the dreadful darkness. That’s why I was reminded of Ms. Ayaka’s kindness when I saw you. If others were to know her pet had disobeyed her aspiration, I’ll bet Ms. Ayaka would feel sad too.”
Lily was aghast, she had really taken such a huge risk this time. If not because the Demon Hound coincidentally had such a past, she might already be dead.
“Hey, if you weren’t going to kill me, why did you chase me? Just to tell me this stuff?” Lily asked curiously.
The Demon Hound’s gaze hardened. “My death is inevitable. After I am dead, my anima will fall into the Hojo’s hands, and this will be my greatest humiliation. You, young woman, have Blade Maiden Spirit Power, yet braved death to plunder this tamahagane, I suppose you’re a Blade Maiden desirous of forging your very own Cursed Katana?”
Considering that the Demon Hound had lived in the Grand Onmyoji’s household, the fact that it had this knowledge was not strange.
The Demon Hound’s eyes were full of resolution as he spoke, “Kill me.”
“Huh!?” Lily said, shocked. Had this hound gone mad? It had chased her all this way not because it wanted to kill her, but because he wanted her to kill it?
With an ashen face, the Demon Hound spoke: “After I’m dead, my noble anima will be exploited by that hateful adversary Hojo. I would die without closure! Girl, after you kill me, take my anima and hold onto it until you’ve made a Cursed Katana, and then blend my soul into it. Use that sword to personally kill Hojo, and let my soul taste my foe’s blood! This is my desire.”
Blood flecked from the hound’s lips as it gnashed its teeth in rage, its nose wrinkling as it displayed its boundless hatred towards Hojo.
“You want me to avenge you, right?” Lily finally understood the Demon Hound’s way of thinking: that it would rather kill itself than let its soul fall into the hands of Hojo and become a bountiful harvest for him to reap. And because Lily was a Blade Maiden capable of Spirit Tempering, its soul could remain stabilized in the Cursed Katana, and one day it would finally kill its enemy!
“This is my final request. Will you accede?”
A cold breeze blew into the canyon. A huge demon that was about to fall was standing right before a beautiful young girl. Her eyes were sharp and her hair that was reflecting the moonlight was lightly caressed by the breeze.
With how powerful Hojo Dijon was, how could weak little Lily ever dream of killing a powerful Sword Saint of the Eastern Nation’s Six Swords?
Lily remained quiet for a while. Then she spoke calmly without a hint of deceit and fear, “I promise.”
The Demon Hound’s gradually darkening eyes lit up when it received her answer. It could tell that Lily made this promise earnestly after taking a while to consider. It wasn’t a lip service meant to keep her own life. This woman would definitely keep her promise!
“Girl, my eyes see much farther than you think. If you are a mirror girl, not to mention the Hojos, it is only a matter of time before your power shakes the whole of East Nation. However… you’ll know sooner or later that the threat Hojo brings is nothing compared to your fate… So long as you can keep on surviving under that harsh condition, your future prospects on the samurai’s path shall be limitless. Ah, to speak of the fate of a mirror girl, it is truly an incomparable hardship. I suddenly feel that to end this way, compared to the fate of a mirror girl like you, I should rejoice my fate!”4
The Demon Hound’s eyes became darker and darker, and his voice gradually weakened. Its life seemed to be reaching the end of the line, but it drew back its lips and said, “No mirror girl can live long enough to become strong. Perhaps living one’s last years in obscurity is a relatively safer route to take! I pray that you… you can overcome that fate…”5
- I wonder if I should just translate this as mirror girl (镜女) or Kagami-onna.
- or Heian Capital.
- Robinxen: “some kind of emperor” OI THIS SOUNDS IMPORTANT!
- Silva: That sounds… very ominous…
- Robinxen: I get the feeling that mirror girls are other people brought in from other worlds, with incomparable talent, but quickly snuffed out due to inexperience.