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Chapter 42 – Iyo Island’s Foremost Expert

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3092 characters
Translator: Yuki English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1482 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

“Lily, don’t think you can deceive us! This matter concerns the fate of nations; I won’t let a foolish woman like you mess it up. Men, kill her at once!” An old minister’s voice reverberated through the hall as he pointed accusingly at Lily.

Several heavily armored ninjas exploded into action, swords unsheathed with a metallic ring. A black shadow materialized in a blur in front of Lily, and a black blade sliced through the air with a slashing sound that silenced the room.

“Do you dare to touch my sister?” Shimizu sneered, brandishing her bloody cursed blade, while coyly covering her mouth with a long black kimono sleeve.

“Who are you? Committing murder in this hall? Are you trying to assassinate the king?” The Prime Minister’s accusatory tone pierced through the tension.

Lily stared coldly at the Prime Minister, fully aware of the seditious intentions hidden behind his words.

“Traitors!” the king roared, pointing at the Prime Minister and his conspiring officials. “You aim to muddle right and wrong? You think you can conceal your crimes by killing me?”

“Your Majesty, your loyal minister only wishes to protect you,” the Prime Minister commanded, his eyes flashing ominously as he signaled for the attack.

“Secure His Majesty and eliminate the traitors!” The ninjas’ armor clanked as they lunged forward in a coordinated assault.

“Intending to eliminate me as well, Prime Minister?” Asuka gritted her teeth.

“Execute them!” The Prime Minister’s eyes turned icy.

As the heavily-armored ninjas charged toward the head of the hall, their swords descended with ruthless precision, cutting down uninvolved old officials and guests in a hail of deadly strikes.

“Have they planned this from the start? They won’t spare anyone,” Lily mused as the room erupted into chaos.

“What?” King Akira collapsed, overtaken by despair. “Has my entire kingdom betrayed me?”

“Royal father, stay strong; I’m here,” Asuka called out, pulling out her golden trident and short blade.

“Princess!” Reika unsheathed her weapons and took her position next to Asuka.

In this tumultuous moment, Ayaka descended gracefully beside Shimizu and Lily. With a wave of her wooden wand, arcane spells erupted like explosions, catapulting numerous ninjas into the air1.

“Release the arrows!” The Prime Minister commanded, filling the air with a sense of urgency.

Obeying unspoken rules, the ninjas refrained from firing any arrows or hidden weapons toward the king. Instead, they aimed their volley at Lily’s group from multiple directions, piercing walls and gates. Among the barrage of spirit arrows and various hidden weapons, several insidiously poisoned arrows took flight, their lethal tips pointed directly at the king.

The truth unfurled in that moment—assassinating the king was clearly one of their objectives.

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“Hmm,” Ayaka hummed softly as she shook her wand. A dance of white lotus petals appeared around the group, effortlessly blocking the rain of projectiles.

“What?!” The Prime Minister’s army was visibly shocked. Cold sweat dotted his forehead. He had initially perceived Lily and Asuka as formidable opponents, but now realized the immense strength of Lily’s sisters, especially Ayaka.

The roof gave way with a booming sound, and suddenly, the left and right Feudal Generals, flanked by a large number of ninja reinforcements, descended upon the scene.

“Eliminate the traitors! Escort His Majesty! Kill those holding him hostage!” The Feudal Generals shouted their orders, their aggression tapering into caution as they locked eyes with Lily.

Ninjas surged into the room, breaking through the ceiling in a daring aerial assault aimed at King Akira. Asuka and Reika sprang into action, skillfully fending off the descending attackers while safeguarding the king.

Ayaka unleashed a large-scale arcane art that eradicated swathes of ninjas in an instant. Those fortunate enough to escape the blast were swiftly eliminated by Shimizu.

The Heian envoy scrutinized Ayaka, growing increasingly convinced of her identity. Initially, he had dismissed the possibility, reasoning that it would be impossible on Iyo Island. Yet her appearance, aura, height, and power were unmistakable.

“Fujiwara no Ayaka!” he abruptly yelled, pointing at her. “She’s Heian’s most wanted criminal, the traitorous chancellor!”

A collective shock reverberated among the King’s followers, the princess’ entourage, and even the Prime Minister’s camp. A flicker of confusion crossed the Prime Minister’s eyes before a sinister glint took over. “So, it’s Heian rebels! Protect his majesty!”

Internally, the Prime Minister celebrated. Though these formidable women had introduced numerous complications, Fujiwara no Ayaka’s presence provided a perfect scapegoat for any future suspicions. “Kill them!”

The Heian envoy’s eyes next fell on the red-clad woman behind Ayaka, making a swift connection. “If that’s Fujiwara no Ayaka, then the tall, stunning female samurai behind her must be—”

“No!” He interrupted himself, his voice tinged with dread as he pointed at the maiden in red. “That has to be Kagami Lily, the third most wanted criminal!”

The Prime Minister’s face lit up, his thoughts already racing ahead. “Even if the King were to die, with all these fugitives here, I could easily deflect blame.”

But the envoy wasn’t done. His voice shaking, he continued, “She’s the Kagami Lily who killed Shuten Doji!”

The air seemed to freeze. “Killed Shuten Doji?”

Given the strained relationship between Heian and Iyo, it was understandable that news did not flow freely between them. Still, who wouldn’t know of Shuten Doji, one of the three supreme arch-demons, a menace that had plagued the Akitsu Shima continent for a millennium? Yet here was the claim that this young maiden had vanquished him.

“She killed Shuten Doji?!” The Prime Minister’s face was a mask of disbelief and dripping cold sweat as he stared at Lily. Initially elated at the appearance of these Heian outlaws, his emotions had now flipped to sheer panic.

Cursing inwardly, he realized too late the gravity of the situation. Shuten Doji was an entity of nightmarish legend; his arrival on Iyo Island would have spelled doom for the entire Asuka Kingdom. No one there could stand against him. And now, he learned this young maiden had vanquished that demon? How could they possibly confront her? But regrets aside, there was only one option left: to fight.

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“My son, heed my command! Eliminate the demon girl, Kagami Lily, and the traitorous Fujiwara no Ayaka! Secure the King’s safety,” ordered the Prime Minister.

Naoya wore a furrowed brow, struggling with his thoughts. His recent encounter with Lily had revealed her unfathomable strength. As Iyo Island’s top warrior, he felt he could handle her, but if she had truly killed Shuten Doji, how could he contend with such power?

Meeting Shuten Doji would mean certain death for him—unless he fled. “No, it can’t be! I trust my own judgment. Kagami Lily may be formidable, but to kill Shuten Doji? It must be either a baseless rumor or a fluke2,” he concluded. Doubts or no doubts, belief was all he had left.

What kind of strength would it take to kill Shuten Doji? Even the legendary Tamamo-no-Mae might possess the power to overwhelm him, but to actually kill him?

If Kagami Lily had such capabilities, then Tsukuba Naoya had no other option but to face his own mortality. Why not give it a go?

A monstrous aura erupted from Naoya, causing the very walls of Tenshu Castle to tremble. The seismic shift even elicited a rare show of seriousness in Lily’s eyes.

Naoya was no ordinary man; he was the foremost expert on Iyo Island, and the only human there with a quadruple-soul Big Dipper constitution.

“First, eliminate that female onmyoji,” Tsukuba Naoya growled. Fearing that Ayaka might bless Lily or restrict him with arcane techniques, he made a decisive move.

Accelerating to an almost supernatural speed, he cut through the ninjas obstructing his path as he zeroed in on Ayaka. His blade descended with the swiftness of lightning.

Lily moved with fluid grace to Ayaka’s side, her Crescent Moon blade appearing just in time to intercept Naoya’s strike. Ayaka, for her part, was far from defenseless, summoning her naginata, Fubuki, into her hands.

Though Lily succeeded in blocking the assault, the pent-up energy in the blade exploded outward, shattering pillars, reducing walls to dust, and tearing open ghastly fissures in the floor. This was the unmistakable power of a quadruple-soul Big Dipper.

A second eruption of force sent the upper floors of Tenshu Castle soaring into the air, leaving the top half of the structure a swirling mass of debris. The aftershock obliterated rebels and officials alike, leaving a tableau of devastation.

Such force could easily have ended the king’s life, but Asuka had wisely cast a protective shield around him. Shimizu and Reika, both endowed with throned saint-level strength, were unharmed.

“Aghhh!” The Heian envoy and his two samurai escorts were catapulted into the air, their limbs flailing wildly.

Seizing this momentary advantage, Lily activated her domain. Ethereal blades of sakura appeared, swiftly and silently reducing the airborne envoy and his escorts to nothingness.



 

Footnotes:

  1. Yuki: You’d think that with Ayaka’s realm… it wouldn’t be blown into the air, but blown into pieces…
    Silva: Savage much, aren’t you? She likely didn’t hit them directly. To blow someone into pieces, you’d have to blown them from within.
  2. Robinxen: Well yes but actually no. We call it plot armour.
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