|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 2577 characters|
|Translator: Silva||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1657 words|
Barring her only way back to Suruga was a man who was unable to withstand a single blow from her yet the one man she couldn’t hit.
That man was her first instructor in the way of the sword, Matsuda Nagahide.
On his dark and stalwart face was a pair of clearly sentimental eyes. Nagahide’s beard shook a little as he opened his mouth to speak, “Miss Kagami, I’ve waited for you.”
Lily didn’t bother asking why he was waiting at this place. With his power level, it was a simple matter for Lily to crash her way through, but Lily wasn’t that kind of person.
This was the only man who didn’t harbor wicked thoughts about her and selflessly taught her swordsmanship ever since she came to this otherworld. At that time, she was but a powerless girl with no backing. It might seem like nothing special, but that was a crucial first step for her towards the path of samurai.
There was no way Lily could attack the good and honest instructor who she owed a favor to. Sending him alone was more effective than dispatching hundreds of random samurai to block her path.
Lily walked forward and stopped a few meters in front of Nagahide. That was because she noticed the other side was placing his hand on the sword handle.
Bowing ninety degrees defenselessly, Lily said respectfully, “Instructor.”
Nagahide remained expressionless. After being deceived by Lily, he was unable to feel any goodwill towards her. He asked with a deep tone, “Lord Hojo Motoshige, as well as Master Akira and their underlings, did you kill them?”
Lily remained silent for a bit, then she answered calmly, “Yes.”
As the mountain wind blew past, the trees rustled and withered leaves fluttered.
“Are you not going to explain why you killed two important figures of the Hojos?” Nagahide finally couldn’t restrain himself from asking.
“I thought the instructor would understand me. Lily is but a mere little girl, I have no backings whatsoever in Kanto, if I wasn’t forced into it, why else would I kill someone from the Hojo clan and risk getting on their bad side?”
“Then why didn’t you rebut the charge and readily choose to commit a shameless lie?”
“Instructor, aren’t you more familiar with Hojo Dijon than I? If I really did that, do you think I would be judged fairly?”
“……As a samurai, you should die by honor. Whether it was fair or not, let the Heavens be the judge. Don’t you even understand this basic code of chivalry? Just how did I teach you?”
“That Akira tried to harm me over and over again, then he worked with Motoshige to kidnap the Saionji house’s daughter, who also happened to be my sister, to threaten them. They have already deviated from the code of chivalry a long time ago. Even so, Lily had planned to let them go on behalf of Hojo Ujizane’s kindness. But they set up a trap to kill me, so I had no choice but to behead them. Lily admits that I don’t abide by the code of chivalry as much as the instructor, Lily has a clear conscience when doing things.”
“And what would that be?”
“Lily’s attachment to this world is a lot weaker than the instructor could have imagined, but Lily has a reason that she cannot die,” On Lily’s charming face was a pair of determined eyes. They were carrying such a deep attachment that even Nagahide found them incomprehensible.
For a moment, Nagahide was moved.
“Then, for the sake of survival, will you attack your master if I am to block your only path?”
“……” Lily hesitated, it felt as though she was burdened by something heavy as she answered, “Instructor, please don’t force me to answer this question.”
She was grateful to Nagahide, but for Lily, this body wasn’t really her own. She was also harboring the fate of her senior sister who was slumbering in that ice-cold stone room in her soul state.
Even at their last moment during the air crash, senior sister tried to protect him with no second thoughts. Even if he was a good-for-nothing, senior sister had been secretly crushing on him.
No matter how many sins Lily had to shoulder, she wouldn’t let any harm fall onto senior sister again. She must revive senior sister at all costs!
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Kindness might be an innate tendency of Lily, but she also had a bottom line. For senior sister, she could abandon everything without the slightest hesitation!
Nagahide was shocked at Lily’s display. Just how much burden was this seemingly delicate girl shouldering by herself?
It felt as though he could feel Lily’s pain and struggle for himself. This was definitely not the conduct of one who fought only for themselves, this girl might really have a reason she’d go that far, a reason far beyond his imagination! And it wasn’t as if he was not privy to Motoshige and Akira’s deeds anyway.
Lily might be telling lies. However, if those two were killed by Lily, then that must mean even death couldn’t wipe out their crimes!
“Just go,” Nagahide moved aside and made way for Lily.
“Just go! We will have nothing to do with each other from now on! If you don’t go, Hojo Dijon will make his way here soon! Run!” Nagahide urged Lily to run.
Lily no longer hesitated. She nodded in silence and ran past Nagahide. She gracefully ran onto the single-log bridge and made it to the other side in just a few steps. Then, she suddenly thought of something and came to a halt. Turning around to look at Nagahide’s unhesitating back, a sad look flashed on Lily’s face.
However, without saying anything unnecessary, she just turned around to run. She quickly ran into the mountain woods that led to Suruga and disappeared into the dense fog in a heartbeat……
Nagahide didn’t turn around and shouted, “Kimura, Kanzaki, come out!”
At this time, Kimura and Kanzaki who had been hiding among the thickets on the opposite side of the bridge finally showed themselves as they silently looked at Nagahide who was on the other side.
Nagahide had ordered them to destroy the bridge if Lily had attacked him or tried to force her way through. However, it was also within their expectations for Nagahide himself to let Lily go through. After all, everyone was fond of her. It wasn’t necessarily the fondness a man held towards a woman, but one couldn’t say it was entirely not either.
“Destroy the bridge,” Nagahide ordered.
“Huh? But that’s…” Kimura and Kanzaki were astonished. Lily had already passed, yet he still ordered them to destroy the bridge. He was clearly trying to stop Dijon from pursuing Lily! That was nothing short of a capital offense!
“Stop dawdling! Get chopping! If you guys still consider yourself the vassals of the Matsudas, follow my orders! Destroy the bridge, then go back to Kamakura by yourselves! Did you get that?!” Nagahide turned his head to glare at them.
Despite knowing the consequences of doing as they were told, Nagahide’s teachings were deeply engraved in Kimura and Kanzaki. They could only comply with the orders.
While holding back their tears, they chopped off the log bridge with a howl that reverberated throughout the mountain woods. After accomplishing their order, the two prostrated to show their greatest respect to Nagahide.
And right on time, the blue-clothed giant finally made it here with a group of samurai.
“Uncle Matsuda, have you seen that woman?! We didn’t…” Dijon stopped when he noticed the log bridge was no longer connecting the few hundred meters wide valley. It was clearly destroyed by someone. He didn’t find anything strange with that since that was what he originally ordered him to do. But seeing that Nagahide was sitting cross-legged in the middle of the road with a grave expression, he felt something was not right.
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“Matsuda, that woman didn’t come through here?” Dijon asked.
“No, Miss Kagami has already crossed the bridge quite some time already,” Nagahide answered calmly.
“What?!?!” Dijon shouted furiously, “Did you let her through?”
“That’s right, I have let her go. In addition to that, I ordered my vassals to destroy the bridge. That was my instruction, it has nothing to do with my vassals, they were only following orders.”
“Matsuda Nagahide!!! Did you know what you have just done?! You actually let the woman who killed my brother and Akira go! The one who stole the treasure and the Demon Hound’s anima! Why did you do it?!?! How are you going to take responsibility for this?!” Dijon was infuriated. If not because Nagahide was his father’s comrade-in-arms, he would have killed him by now.
“Lord Dijon, even when all is said and done, Kagami Lily was still my student. Her mistake is my responsibility as the teacher, allow me to bear the punishment on her behalf. As for Motoshige and Akira, I believe you are very clear of what shady business they had been up to. Hereafter, I only wish Your Highness can finally shape up to be a proud and righteous man.”
Stopping right there, Nagahide retrieved a wakizashi from his inner clothes. His expression suddenly became savage as he grimaced, “The way of the sword depicted one’s life! I, Matsuda Nagahide, has defied the Hojo clan! I will naturally atone for myself!!!”
Nagahide firmly turned the blade of the wakizashi to himself.
The short sword made a deep cut on his belly.
Nagahide’s expression instantly turned lifeless. His body fell forward, but the trembling hands were still holding firmly onto the wakizashi as he violently pulled it across his stomach!1
Matsuda Nagahide had performed suicide by disembowelment!
On the other side of the valley, Kimura and Kanzaki were bawling in the ground.
For a moment, even Hojo Dijon’s face had stiffened.
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