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Chapter 46 – Iyo Demon Realm Mountain

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3098 characters
Translator: LazyButAmbitious English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1703 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

Lily and her companions stood at the base of the imposing mountain, which emanated an overwhelming aura of malevolence. Towering high above them, the peak of the mountain remained obscured, blending seamlessly with the heavens.

An old trail, worn down by time, beckoned them forward, winding its way precariously up the mountainside before narrowing to a mere thread, lost amidst the dark, foreboding trees above.

“Dream Eater Baku is nestled deep within this mountain,” Lily declared resolutely, her determination to rescue Ayaka unwavering. She prepared to tread the path that lay ahead, but Ayaka quickly restrained her, “Wait.”

“Sister Ayaka?” Lily questioned, wondering if fear had gripped Ayaka.

“This mountain is ensnared in an ancient and massive formation. We must not proceed thoughtlessly,” cautioned Ayaka. Though fear gnawed at her, her expression remained stalwart. Her expertise in formations surpassed Lily’s limited understanding.

Lily admitted her limitation, saying, “Formations aren’t my strong suit.”

“What should we do, Sister?” The challenge of the formations seemed insurmountable, given Lily’s unfamiliarity with them.

Ayaka stepped forward, pulling out her wand. “I need to inspect it first.” Concentrating, she began an incantation. The space around her shimmered with faint runes that soared towards the mountain.

Moments later, she ended her spell, concern evident in her features. “This is concerning…”

Lily’s eyebrows knitted in confusion, “What is it, Sister?”

Ayaka exhaled deeply. “It’s an intricately ancient formation. Even with my expertise, breaking it without the right tools and guides could take a significant amount of time. And by that, I mean extensive study and analysis.”

Lily inquired, “How extensive are we talking about?”

Ayaka hesitated, “At the very least, half a year. And that’s a conservative estimate.” She sighed, thinking of the formidable Dream Eater Baku who had held dominion over the demon realm of Iyo Island for ages, amassing power and secrets beyond their understanding.

Shimizu, attempting to lighten the mood, quipped, “Half a year? Planning to set up camp here permanently, Sister Ayaka?”

Ayaka gave a weak smile, “Not really my intention. It’s just the grim reality.” She continued, “While Tamamo-no-Mae did grant me some treasures, many are not suited for this task. They’re tied to the practices of a divine nine-tailed fox, distinct from human onmyoji techniques. And typical tools that human onmyojis consider essential? Tamamo-no-Mae likely didn’t see the need for them.”

Lily sighed, thinking of her own arsenal. “I don’t have any formation-related treasures either1.”

Ayaka had inherited the treasures of the Fujiwara Clan’s School of Onmyo. This collection represented the accumulated wisdom of human onmyojis over millennia. Regardless of the treasures Lily possessed, they couldn’t rival the significance of that inheritance.

Pondering their situation, Lily inquired, “What if we attempt to forcefully breach this vast formation?” If there wasn’t a clear strategy, she was prepared to use brute force. After all, in the presence of immense strength, intricate formations could appear as fleeting as clouds.

Yet, Ayaka cautioned, “Despite your formidable strength, Lily, these aren’t ordinary formations. They’re ancient and intricately complex, likely established over countless years.”

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She continued, “Lily, Shimizu, based on my observations, there are layers to this formation. Specifically, three ancient formations spanning from the mountain’s base to its peak. Penetrating them won’t be simple. And while they’re undoubtedly intricate, they aren’t flawless. It’s as if Baku borrowed them from another source. He might have placed them here as barriers, but he doesn’t truly wield control over them.”

Seeking clarity, Lily questioned, “What exactly do you mean, Sister?”

Ayaka responded, “At this point, I can’t entirely discern the deeper formations. The initial formation at the mountain’s base is the Eternal Spirit Dampener. It’s powerful. If we don’t dismantle it before entry, it’ll be challenging to counter its mystical energy. However, it has a shortcoming: it doesn’t differentiate between allies and adversaries.”

“Doesn’t differentiate?”

“Precisely,” Ayaka confirmed. “Since Baku can’t adjust this formation, it doesn’t discern between him and potential threats. This formation’s core ability is to neutralize spirituality.”

Lily sought confirmation, “Neutralize spirituality?”

Ayaka nodded, “Indeed. Within its confines, one cannot utilize spiritual energy, true intentions, comprehensions, or even magical techniques. Mystical treasures too become inert unless you’re vastly more powerful than the formation’s creator or possess superior-grade artifacts. Evidently, the architect of this formation possessed profound skill, making it difficult for us to oppose it directly.”

She added with a grave expression, “To put it bluntly, once inside, every individual, regardless of their prior strength, will have to depend solely on their physical prowess. This can be especially challenging for female adepts.”

Lily, undeterred, asserted, “Physical challenges? Maybe I once shied away from such confrontations, but now, when it’s about raw strength, I stand unafraid.”

Recognizing Lily’s determination, Ayaka added, “That’s indisputable. Your physical prowess is exceptional. However, if we decide to venture forth, Shimizu and I might become liabilities. And though you possess immense strength, without the backing of your overall capabilities, confronting numerous adversaries can become perilous.”

Lily, without a hint of hesitation, declared, “We’ll proceed. To free my sister from this haunting dream, I’ll traverse any peril2!”

Ayaka, moved by Lily’s resolve, softly muttered her name. A blush crept on her face.

Lily, having absorbed the power of three lunar crystals and possessing the celestial maiden physique, had also been fortified by Yomi delicacies. She felt ready to face any challenge.

Leading the way, she began the ascent along the mountain path, with Ayaka and Shimizu close behind. Given their current situation, both Ayaka and Shimizu swapped their spiritual artifacts for lighter ninth-grade weapons.

Lily’s Yasutsuna, despite being a mid-tier spiritual artifact, had been crafted as a ninth-grade weapon and retained its original weight. It had always been easy for Lily to wield, even more so now.

As the trio journeyed along the path, the ambiance grew dense. A blanket of fog enveloped the trail, and from the depths of the mist, eerie noises occasionally echoed. Suddenly, rustling sounds arose nearby. Emerging from the foliage were two towering demons, each standing around two meters tall. The thick black smoke they emitted seemed purely cosmetic since, in this environment, spiritual techniques were rendered impotent.

“Hehehe! Today must be our lucky day. Three beautiful ladies delivered right to our doorstep!” The demons leered.

“Brother, consider that any woman who makes it here is no ordinary being. They must be formidable experts. We’re only at the Permanence Stage; it might not be wise to provoke them.”

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“Why the caution? We’re inside the Eternal Spirit Dampener. No spiritual energy can be harnessed here. With our robust bodies, these delicate ladies should be easy prey.”

“You’re right! Silly me for forgetting.” The demon laughed, and with thighs twice as thick as Lily’s waist3, they moved closer.

“Hehehe, ladies, now that you’re here, why not embrace your fate?”

Lily stared back, icy and unflinching, as Ayaka and Shimizu took a few steps back.

“Why not come and enjoy some time with us? Come, let uncle give you a warm embrace.” One of the demons reached out, attempting to grab Lily.

In a swift motion, even without her spiritual energy, Yasutsuna’s blade gleamed brightly, severing the approaching hand.

The demon’s hand was abruptly severed, flying through the air.

“What?!” The demon exclaimed in shock.

With incredible speed, he lashed out with his other massive claw at Lily’s face. However, Lily moved with an ethereal swiftness, effortlessly evading the demon’s attack. She danced around to his side and, without hesitation, drove her sword deep into his body. The demon collapsed, lifeless.

“This woman’s swordsmanship is nothing short of incredible!” The other demon, alarmed, retrieved a heavy mace from his back and hurled it at Lily. In the confines of the formation, traditional techniques and storage treasures were rendered useless. Thankfully, Ayaka and Shimizu had anticipated this and had equipped appropriate weapons.

Sparks erupted as Lily’s Yasutsuna met the heavy mace. Holding the blade with her delicate arms, she managed to halt the mace’s momentum, sending a numbing shock through the demon’s hand.

“What??! How is this possible… How much strength does this petite woman have?!” The demon’s astonishment was evident.

With an assertive push, Lily sent the demon reeling backward, his mace along with him. He hadn’t expected this kind of strength from her. Seizing the moment, Lily lunged, her sword slicing through the air, and cleaved his chest.

“Amazing!” Ayaka whispered, her cheeks flushing with admiration. Typically, she wouldn’t be so affected by displays of spiritual power or skill. However, seeing the raw physical might of someone she deeply respected made her heart skip a beat.

“Lily truly is in peak condition… she’s incredibly robust,” Shimizu observed. Despite her unique celestial maiden physique, her form was naturally fragile. Even if her power was amplified five times over, she’d pale in comparison to the demons, let alone Lily.

With a determined look, Lily spoke, “Sisters, let’s move on.” She knew those of the Permanence Stage were no match for her.

As they continued, a group of mummified demon onmyojis blocked their way.

“Humans? Here?” One mused aloud.

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Their eyes darted to the swords the women held, causing a ripple of unease among them. With the formation suppressing spiritual energy, they couldn’t gauge the strength of their adversaries.

“Onmyo Chief, these are samurai women. They’re within the Eternal Spirit Dampener, set by the master,” one of the onmyojis reasoned. “Even though we onmyojis aren’t as robust as typical warriors, given our number, we surely can overpower these women!”

Another, noticeably portly onmyoji chimed in, “Indeed, Chief. I’ve trained in the past. These women might have been formidable once, but charging into this formation is a death wish. Let’s seize them!”

A mummified demon with a distinctly greenish hue barked out his orders, “Enough talk! Capture them!”

Heeding his command, the onmyojis unsheathed various swords and magical tools, charging at Lily and her companions.

“Hmph,” Lily responded with a disdainful smirk.

In the ensuing clash, the mountain path was stained with the blood of the onmyojis. Around twenty lay defeated, their life force extinguished. Their blood painted the stone steps, a grim testament to their fate. None could withstand even two blows from Lily, and many bore the marks of multiple slashes from her blade.



 

Footnotes:

  1. Robinxen: Brute force it is.
  2. LazyButAmbitious: immaculate rizz
  3. Robinxen: Given how narrow Lily’s waist is usually described is that really an achievement?
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