|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 2534 characters|
|Translator: Snoring Dragon||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1541 words|
The quiet Suruga town ushered in a dark dawn.
On this day, the sun still did not come out and another long night was about to begin.
Lily walked in the dark, cold street dressed up in a big red and white magnolia kimono.
She was headed to master Ehiro’s smithy with a book titled “The Record of Sword Sprite”.
“Thank you, Nanako! Although you did not agree to be my vassal, but your noble sacrifice isn’t something many other vassals may accomplish! The Drawing Concept… and sword inscription… Without you, I couldn’t have understood the connection so quickly!”
Lily took Nanako, who was already limp and couldn’t walk, back to her room and waited for her to sleep well before setting off.
In the dark, there was still some fog in the Suruga town. When Lily passed through the path down the hillside, she heard the sound of iron forging from afar and saw the bright furnace of the smithy under the tree.
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“As expected of Master Ehiro. She has been forging swords all night. Sure enough, in order to become a master of expertise in a field, it also requires such an almost relentless investment.”
Lily silently admired as she walked down the hillside.
Not long after Lily walked down the hillside path, a group of fierce samurai appeared from the entrance of Suruga town. It was headed by the great samurai Hojo Dijon who looked terrifying even from afar!
“Lily, that ⓑⓘⓣⓒⓗ! I will make sure to cut her a thousand times!!” While walking in the night, Dijon still cursed Lily. As the future governor of the Hojo family, he caused such a great loss to the Hojo clan which not only seriously affected the strength of the clan but also greatly affected the trust of his father.
“Your Highness, there are tens of thousands of people in this Suruga town. It’s hard to find where Lily is hiding in the dark night. Moreover, this is the territory of Imagawa family. We have limited manpower and cannot search from door to door.” Nagasaki said with a frown.
Hojo Dijon looked around the dark and misty Suruga town and said, “Let’s find a place to rest first. After all, our brothers have been working hard for many days. After that, I will go to Imagawa Yoshitada. It would be for the best if he is willing to help. If not, humph!”
More than a dozen murderous samurai from Hojo family walked across the ramp leading to the smithy. They also heard the faint sound of iron forging, but Dijon didn’t care. He looked up at the towering Suruga Castle and led his team to the central area of Suruga town.
At this time, Lily did not expect that her great enemy, Dijon, would walk on the ramp behind her. In her opinion, the Suruga town was safe so she did not use Spiritual Perception to scout her surroundings. She came to the smithy and knocked on the wooden door.
“Miss Kagami… for you to appear at such a time. Did it take you only a few days to understand the inscription?” She was wearing a leather apron. Her wheat skin was covered with a layer of oily sweat. It seemed she was hammering iron.
It was really difficult to picture a woman who hammered the iron but didn’t have a healthy visage of a vibrant, physically working woman.
Labour was a beautiful thing indeed.
Lily looked at Ehiro’s wheat complexion and thought so, but she replied: “Because of some coincidence, I luckily have an epiphany.”
“Haha… Miss Kagami is modest. Come in quickly.”
Lily entered the slightly sultry smithy and looked at the burning and extremely stable fire. She always felt that this fire was a little different.
“This is a fire made of fifth-grade charcoal and fifth-grade black gold coal. The temperature is extremely high but very stable. Only such a fire can be used to refine fifth-grade tamahagane! Miss Kagami, just the materials to make this fire cost at least a few dozen kwan.” said Ehiro.
“Then, I will pay for it.”
“Well, it’s not urgent. We’ll just sum it all up later. Come on, Miss Kagami is also a powerful samurai. Although you have fine skin and delicate body, your strength is not weak, right? Come and help me!” Ehiro brought a big hammer and put it on the wooden table beside Lily.
“It’s hard for me to refine fifth-grade tamahagane by myself. Ordinary apprentices can’t even hold the hammer and barely pick it up. Their control of strength cannot be compared with a samurai like you. It’s expensive to ask other senior blacksmiths to help. Besides, Miss Kagami doesn’t want to let the news of this tamahagane slip. In fact, if the Imagawa family come to know about it, they will likely come to snatch it. I am helping you to keep it under wraps.”
“If that’s the case then thank you so much for your thoughtfulness. It’s natural that I will help you. However, Lily doesn’t know anything about hammering. You can just teach me as an apprentice.”
“Well, I will even if you don’t say so. Go and change first.”
“Hahaha, why are you shy? Miss Kagami, you are not going to hammer iron in this gorgeous kimono, right? That will be too strange.”
That’s what Ehiro said.
“The clothes are placed behind the screen. You can change there. I occasionally have male apprentices to help me so there are still places for women to change clothes.” Ehiro pointed toward an old wooden screen without any decoration in the corner of the cabin.
Lily then went to the back. She found a large yellow-and-white open collar shirt and a belt there, but she did not find any bottom.
“Master…. what are you wearing below?” asked Lily.
“Ah, didn’t I put it there? Young ladies are really troublesome.” Ehiro went over and pointed at the white T-shaped four-finger wide ribbon.
“Huuuuuh???” Lily’s face turned red.
“This, this, what is this? How can this thing be worn!”
Ehiro casually said, “What’s the matter? Do you know how hot it will be when you start to work? That’s why you need this kind of clothes that can easily radiate temperature. All the female apprentices here wear this female fundoshi. As a Master, I know more about forging ironware and sword making than you do. Didn’t you just say that you will listen to my instructions? If you refuse to wear such a simple women’s iron casting clothes, how can I expect you to be reliable in the making of a high difficulty metal? This is to make a Cursed Katana for you!”1
Lily felt ashamed when she thought about it. Yeah, she was the master after all. Besides, as both of them were women, what’s there to be embarrassed about? The master had her own reason to arrange such a dress. How could she use that vulgar thought to look at this special dress for iron making!
“I see, Master. I will wear it.” said Lily with a slightly hot face.
“Mhm, now that’s a good girl.”
Lily changed clothes slowly. After a while, she came out from behind the screen timidly.
With her appearance…
“Aha—” Ehiro looked at her with bright eyes.
Lily moved sideways to get near Ehiro. The crotch part of her lower body made her feel embarrassed to face master Ehiro from either the front or the back.
She looked particularly cramped because of the sweat on her neck and face. She wiped the sweat with the back of her hands slightly. Several strands of hair were stuck on her cheeks, nose, and mouth. After that, she exhaled gently.
“What? D- do I look weird?” Lily complained slightly.
“How can it be? Unexpectedly, Miss Kagami is looking very nice. When you put on that dress, you have the demeanour of a hardworking young woman.” she said with a smile.
Ehiro went close to Lily and praised her in accordance with the facts in her ear. While talking, she breathed the natural body fragrance emitted by Lily. Under the influence of simple labour dress, Lily had a unique beauty of a plain hard-working woman.
“Master, don’t make fun of me anymore. Please start teaching me on how to hammer iron.” Lily felt hot even before she started to hammer iron.
“Well, well, well, come here and take this hammer.” Ehiro motioned Lily to the front of the thick iron platform.
Lily picked up the hammer. It was really a little heavy, weighing more than one hundred and fifty kwan. But it wasn’t immovable for Lily.
While holding the hammer a little shyly, Lily moved to the thick iron platform with small but quick steps. As Ehiro stood behind her, the hot breath exhaled from her brushed against Lily’s ear, which made her feel somewhat weak in the knees.
“Just like this, lift the hammer like this,” Ehiro wrapped her hands around Lily’s slender body and supported her wrists to teach her the hammering action.
“Keep your back straight, but make sure to relax,” Ehiro’s other hand was automatically placed on Lily’s waist as she continued, “And don’t stick out your butt…”2