|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 3133 characters|
|Translator: Keissen||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1650 words|
“Princess!” The crowd of experts was stunned. It was inconceivable that Princess Asuka, the paragon of female strength in the Asuka Kingdom and an object of their reverence, had been defeated. Yansha brandished his quartet of scimitars, releasing ominous sword energies that zoomed towards the fallen Princess on Tenshu Castle’s roof. Yet, a warrior with a triple-soul Big Dipper wouldn’t go down without a fight; Asuka still had fight left in her. She readied herself to ignite her Stellar Soul for self-defense.
Just then, a streak of red light burst forth from Tenshu Castle, unveiling a massive parasol that nearly obscured the sightlines of everyone within the castle’s confines. Despite the erratic paths of the four sword energies unleashed by the triple-soul Big Dipper, they found themselves unable to bypass the expansive parasol. Colliding with the Sakura Parasol, these potent energies generated a force of enormous impact. While the parasol remained unpenetrated, the sheer power behind the impact catapulted it towards Tenshu Castle, threatening to level the structure entirely.
Beneath the soaring parasol, Lily hovered, one hand elegantly placed behind her back. With her other hand, she grasped the parasol’s handle, releasing a fierce gust of wind that shook mountains and churned rivers. Her long hair swayed wildly around her, yet she remained unshaken. Once merely a strong figure among quadruple-soul Big Dippers, the absorption of another Lunar Crystal had elevated Lily’s physical strength by thirty percent, placing her at the pinnacle of her class.
Initially, Lily’s raw power lagged behind that of her male counterparts at a similar level of expertise. However, after numerous enhancements, she likely surpassed even quintuple-soul Big Dippers who weren’t specifically focused on brute strength. Even someone as formidable as Sugawara no Michizane would find it hard to claim a clear advantage over her in terms of raw power. At her current level, Lily had more than enough resilience to weather an assault from a triple-soul Big Dipper, even without invoking her Purple Lunar Force, all thanks to her Sakura Parasol.
While the scene was unclear to most, Princess Asuka had a crystal-clear view. She had always known Lily to be powerful, but the extent of her raw strength took her completely by surprise. Compared to other adepts—even those male Archdemons at the same stage with Demon God Physiques—she appeared unmatched. This assessment, of course, was in the context of other triple-soul or quadruple-soul Big Dippers.
Lily collapsed the parasol and stowed it away. Even Yansha appeared taken aback. “What sort of artifact is this? It deflected my assault?”
He refused to believe that Lily had thwarted his strike with her mere strength; he was convinced it was all the work of the Sakura Parasol.
With an unyielding gaze, Lily responded, “I was the one who ended Kuki’s life. If you seek vengeance, direct it at me. Defeat me, and I’ll gladly accompany you to Yomi.”
“Your arrogance knows no bounds! Do you truly believe you can defeat me solely because you wield a few magical items? You wish to venture to Yomi? I’ll make sure you experience every horror it has to offer before I offer you as a sacrifice to my brother!”
With unmatched fury, Yansha lunged at Lily, brandishing his scimitars in an intricate dance of blinding speed and immense power.
“Laugh while you can! My blades thirst for your end!”
His mastery over the blades was exquisite, amplified by his own unique physical attributes. If Lily had been his equal in strength, relying solely on her swordsmanship wouldn’t have given her the upper hand.
However, Lily chose not to engage him in martial combat.
Suddenly, the compressed Sakura Parasol expanded once again, transforming into a colossal red canopy. She swung it with the might of a Celestial Battle Maiden, its expanse stretching across the night sky before hurtling towards Yansha.
Experts at the Big Dipper Stage weren’t agile mid-air; true flight eluded them, as they could only maneuver through pulsing spirit power. A gigantic object like the Sakura Parasol should have been sluggish, but Lily’s overpowering strength made it unnaturally swift.
The impact was like swatting a fly; the parasol smashed into Yansha with incredible force. Faced with a colossal projectile traveling as swiftly as his own blade, Yansha stood no chance of blocking it. Coughing up blood, he was propelled backward through the air.
“What sort of power is this?” The experts below were astounded. They’d assumed Lily could at most match a single-soul and perhaps narrowly defeat a double-soul Big Dipper. But here she was, sending a triple-soul Big Dipper—who had even defeated Princess Asuka—flying with a gargantuan parasol. Observers with keen insights quickly realized Lily wasn’t even fighting at full capacity!
“She must be a deity. Only someone celestial could possess such power.”
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“I’ve traveled for years and never heard of a female warrior this formidable. To call her a deity wouldn’t be a stretch!”
Contrary to what people thought, Lily hadn’t intended to employ such unorthodox tactics. Deeming it more effective than her swordplay, especially without using her Purple Lunar Force, she opted for this unexpected method.
As Yansha struggled to regain his balance amid the dark clouds, the demonic onlookers were in a state of shock. In their worldview, women were feeble creatures. In the realm of Yomi, they had subjected countless women to torturous deaths, condemning them to perpetual torment. They had grown accustomed to the screams and cries of anguished women.
Yet, against all their expectations, the woman before them had effortlessly vanquished their leader!
“Who are you? Name yourself!” Yansha cried out, obviously rattled.
“I’m as you said, an inconspicuous female expert,” Lily retorted indifferently.
“Impossible! Your strength defies logic. Even as a triple or quadruple-soul Big Dipper, your power as a woman shouldn’t be so overwhelming.” Yansha’s eyes widened in astonishment. “You’re evidently a slim woman, yet you wield such monstrous strength. There can only be one explanation for this. You must be a Celestial Maiden, aren’t you?”
“You’re free to think what you like,” Lily responded, still indifferent.
“Why would a Celestial Maiden meddle in mortal affairs?”
“Why do Yomi demons descend to the mortal realm to wreak havoc?” Though Lily wasn’t a Celestial Maiden, she chose not to correct him, opting instead to pose her own question.
“Ha! You think this is chaos? That’s laughable. It’s the survival of the fittest. Humans, particularly those who are adept at combat, are our sustenance! Our growth is expedited by consuming human experts. We’ve ventured into Ashihara not to incite chaos but for training. To kill and eat humans, to seize treasures and abduct female adepts—these are standard practices to accrue wealth and pleasure. Humans hunt animals, don’t they? We’re not sowing chaos; this is simply our way of life! The heavens have ordained us demons a higher existence than humans, so naturally, we feast upon them1!” Yansha proclaimed haughtily.
In Lily’s mind, Yansha and demons of his ilk were not her true adversaries. Yet, his words were a revelation. Yomi was teeming with demons eager to cross into the mortal world to prey on vulnerable humans for their survival and empowerment.
It was a harsh, unvarnished reality: Humans and Yomi demons were inherent enemies. If humans prevailed, they would annihilate demons who hunted them; if demons held the upper hand, humanity would face extinction. The world was unforgiving, brutal, and utterly indifferent.
Should even mightier demons from Yomi infiltrate this realm, an apocalyptic catastrophe would ensue. Lily surmised that beings far stronger than her, Tamamo-no-Mae, and Minamoto no Yoritomo lurked in Yomi’s depths, restricted from entering the mortal world for some unknown reason. Otherwise, humanity would have already been eradicated.
Memories resurfaced of the ancient accounts she had glimpsed. Tsukuyomi no Mikoto once led all Celestials and directed legions of Celestial Maidens. A single stroke from her had decimated myriads of demons! That was the epitome of true power. It was the cosmic battle between Celestial Maidens and the denizens of Yomi. This balance was what allowed both Ashihara and humanity to exist. But that equilibrium was now gradually eroding. She needed to ascertain Yansha’s origins posthaste.
In an instant, Lily processed these thoughts. She fixed her gaze upon Yansha. “As you’ve stated, humans and demons from Yomi are natural enemies. It’s a stark reality, a facet of existence. Therefore, you must die.”
With those words, Lily soared, transforming into a streak of blinding light. Yansha was taken aback; he hadn’t expected Lily to be as nimble in the air. He leapt onto a mountainside, hoping to engage her on more familiar terrain.
Lily closed the distance in a heartbeat. Demons encircling them prepared for an assault. But as Lily swung her weapon, Yansha could only parry by crossing his blades.
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Clang! As if a bell had rung, a forceful shockwave emanated in every direction, sending any demon daring enough to approach flying away.
Yansha found himself forced to one knee, the mountainous terrain beneath him disintegrating due to the sheer power of the attack. “This woman is unimaginably strong,” he thought.
Raising weapons in his other two arms, Yansha aimed a swing at Lily’s waist. Yet, her strike had been so potent that it left him off-balance, rendering his counterattack impotent and sluggish.
Capitalizing on this, Lily abruptly pressed down her weapon, further restricting Yansha’s ability to counter. She executed a nimble somersault, and before Yansha could even complete his intended attack, Lily was already behind him.
With a slash as swift as a swish, she cut deeply into Yansha’s leg, nearly severing it and causing him to stumble and crash onto the ground.
In a frenzied roll, Yansha managed to regain his posture, his leg already showing signs of healing. Nevertheless, his mobility was severely compromised. He lay on the ground, brandishing his scimitars like a cornered animal, eyes fixed on Lily with a mixture of awe and apprehension.