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Chapter 13 – Empty Spirit Cave

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3150 characters
Translator: Yuki English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1611 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

Lily ventured into the training cavern alongside her sisters.

“Please go ahead,” Lily said, pausing to gaze at the imposing Lunar Blossom stone stele.

To ascend to the big dipper realm, continuing her Lunar Blossom practice was essential. The stele explained that comprehension of a heavenly path was a prerequisite for breaking through using the Lunar Blossom technique.

Lily had already fulfilled this fundamental requirement during her battle with Yamata no Orochi by aligning with the way of the heavenly moon.

The numerous conflicts in Yomi had refined Lily’s hazy lunar domain, laying a solid groundwork for the way of the heavenly moon. She was now ready to attempt the Lunar Blossom’s breakthrough to the big dipper realm.

Stationed before the stele, Lily discerned that the Lunar Blossom secret technique was not only remarkable but intricately complex.

“I need to settle there before I come back for a detailed study,” Lily mused. The complexity of the breakthrough method was beyond her expectations, and not even her considerable mental prowess could grasp it all in one night.

Aware of her limitations, Lily understood that while her strength hadn’t peaked in the throne realm, there was only so much progress she could make. Escaping Yomi necessitated a breakthrough to the big dipper realm.

At the first chance, Lily was determined to master and practice the breakthrough technique.

Lily continued her path, stepping into the training cavern.

This space was worlds apart from Yomi’s dark realms, exuding an ethereal and luminous quality even surpassing that of the Heian Dynasty.

Wispy white clouds meandered through the air, while ancient pines and boulders crafted a picturesque scene.

Each person found solace in their preferred spot, diligently honing their skills.

Witnessing this scene, Lily felt an overwhelming urge to weep.

How wonderful it would be if this were reality, not merely a realm of consciousness. Her sisters wouldn’t be without a home, she wouldn’t be ensnared in Yomi, and her senior sister could be with them too…

Presently, Ayaka, Shimizu, Haihime, Shiu, and Nanako were all immersed in their practice here.

“Hm? Where is Sister Uesugi?” inquired Lily.

Ayaka hesitated, prompting Shimizu to explain, “A few days ago, Uesugi Rei went through the Rashomon.”

“What? Sister Uesugi…”

“For some reason, I couldn’t pass through the Rashomon, or I would have gone to look for you as well,” Shimizu elaborated.

“No! You mustn’t!” Lily exclaimed in panic. “Please, promise me you won’t try!”

“Lily…” Lily’s evident distress captured everyone’s attention.

“Lily, don’t worry. We’re well aware of Yomi’s perils. Venturing there in search of you might only hinder you instead of helping,” Ayaka reassured her. “Remember, Uesugi Rei is far from reckless. If she chose to go through the Rashomon, she undoubtedly had her reasons.”

Ayaka hesitated to disclose Rei’s exact whereabouts, fearing it would distress Lily further. Despite Lily’s attempts to minimize the dangers of Yomi, they were all acutely aware of the peril she faced.

Lily merely nodded in silence. If Rei had already traversed the Rashomon, she must be at Yomi Hirazaka by now. Given Rei’s formidable capabilities, significant peril was unlikely. Unlike Lily, who had descended unprepared into Yomi’s depths, Rei’s judicious approach would likely spare her from immediate danger.

Nevertheless, should she encounter Rei within the mirror space, she resolved to dissuade her from proceeding further.

Alerted by an abrupt disturbance, Lily redirected her consciousness to her physical form.

Glancing upward, she spotted Captain Isshiki and several Rakshasa guards at the entrance. “Rise and follow me; your initial training commences immediately,” announced Isshiki.

As Big Dipper experts, the Night Parade members were adept at adaptation, yet their recent capture and ensuing ordeal had left them rattled. The abrupt call to action, just as they began to settle, understandably sparked grievances.

Disregarding the complaints, Isshiki turned and departed.

Left with no choice, the Night Parade members rose to follow.

In a clearing between the mountains and forests outside the courtyard, earth dragons awaited, their bodies coiled and emerging from the ground.

“Get on,” Isshiki commanded, leaping onto the foremost earth dragon.

Uncertain of what awaited them, they complied and mounted the earth dragons.

Ten earth dragons bore the Night Parade members and ten Rakshasa guards across the forest. Despite being within Rakshasa Dojo’s bounds and lightly guarded, no one dared attempt escape.

After two to three hours of travel, the earth dragons reached a notably low area, marked by a significant fissure from which cyan smoke and subtle fluctuations emanated.

Isshiki led the Night Parade members to the fissure’s edge and instructed, “Jump in.”

“What?” The members expressed collective shock. Their apprehension was justified; upon arrival, their spirit probes yielded no insight into the chasm’s depths. The thought of leaping into such an unknown abyss was daunting.

Lily, too, deployed a spirit probe, yet detected nothing. With a furrowed brow, she concluded that this was hardly an inviting place to plunge into.

Observing their hesitation, Isshiki watched as another guard interjected, “Save your spirit probes; they’re futile here. This is one of Yomi’s marvels, the Empty Spirit Cave, where spirit energy is null. Once inside, no form of spirit energy, insights, secret techniques, artes, treasures, or spells will function. You must rely solely on physical prowess.”

The description alone sent a shockwave through the Night Parade.

“Inside the Empty Spirit Cave, your survival will hinge on your physical strength, swordsmanship, reflexes, and instinct. This marks your inaugural Night Parade training exercise. Your objective: endure within the cave for a week. Should you persevere, exit here. Among survivors, the one with the fewest monster kills faces elimination.”

A week’s survival in one of Yomi’s enigmatic realms, devoid of spirit energy? Furthermore, elimination awaits the least prolific hunter? The Night Parade members’ expressions turned grave. Was such a harsh trial truly their introductory training?

“What purpose does this exercise serve?” inquired a tall female adept, her black skin and curled hair accentuated by exotic golden leather armor.

“From the Kunlun tribe?” Lily recalled hearing blade maidens on the earth dragon discussing this woman, hailing from a remote island where an ancient tribe of Yomi resided, distinguishable by their unique skin and appearance, vastly different from most of Yomi’s denizens and those of the Heian dynasty.

Isshiki approached and delivered a swift kick, propelling the Kunlun woman directly into the fissure. “The Empty Spirit Cave offers prime conditions for physical training. Is that concept so difficult to grasp?” Isshiki retorted with icy disdain.

The realization dawned on them; deprived of spirit energy and secret techniques, this was indeed an ideal setting for physical conditioning.

Understanding that refusal meant being forcibly sent down, the Night Parade members commenced their descent into the chasm, one after another.

Abruptly, a nearby Rakshasa guard interjected, “Hold on, we haven’t concluded. Be reminded, within the Empty Spirit Cave, it is permissible for Night Parade members to engage in combat and even kill each other.”

Before many of the Night Parade members had leaped, this directive rendered the air even more tense, prompting them to instinctively distance themselves from each other.

“You’re Lily, correct?” Despite being unsure how Tamai had learned her name, Tamai proposed, “Why not join us shortly? It would surely be safer for you this week.”

“No thank you,” Lily responded, stepping aside.

“Sigh, you simply fail to recognize a good opportunity! Take care once you’re down,” Tamai snarled before leaping into the abyss alongside her follower, the spider woman.

After nearly all had made their descent, Lily at last ventured into the crevasse.

Descending through the mist-filled chasm, Lily sensed her body becoming heavier.

“Ah…” Devoid of spirit energy or any mystical aids, the fall from such a height was daunting.

Suddenly, the ground and bizarrely shaped towering rocks emerged from the mist below.

Lily twisted her body, using a boulder to kick off and propel herself into a tumbling aerial maneuver.

With a resounding bang, she landed heavily, her body numbed by the impact.

Fortunately, Lily possessed the robust physique of a celestial maiden, fortified by the essence of seduction, sustenance from Yomi, Lunar Crystals, and an abundance of Yamata no Orochi’s blood. Even Shuten’s final curse had inadvertently enhanced her vitality. Thus, she could withstand the direct impact of such a fall.

Although the opening at the top spanned merely a few dozen meters across, the vast expanse of the Empty Spirit Cave, coupled with the fierce wind, had scattered the Night Parade members.

With Oborozuki Muramasa tucked in her sash, uncertain of her ability to access the mirror space within the cave, Lily had prudently armed herself prior to her descent. Inside the Empty Spirit Cave, she found that although storage jades were inoperable, her mirror space remained accessible, enabling item retrieval.

Surveying her surroundings, Lily observed a landscape dominated by vast mist, jagged rocks, and towering rock formations, which, through the mist, resembled ancient demon gods.

Glancing upward, she noted the mist grew denser below, limiting her visibility to a mere ten meters ahead before being enveloped in fog.

“To survive here for a week…”

Deprived of the ability to utilize spirit probes or domain senses, Lily had to rely solely on her five senses and intuition. Despite her confidence in these faculties, caution remained paramount.


No! Lily inwardly cursed as intense fluctuations coursed through her body once more, a phenomenon becoming increasingly frequent. In such a place, could this not signify greater peril?

“Kyaaah—!” A female’s scream pierced through the mist.

The scream startled Lily, yet her inherent bravery and familiarity with combat propelled her forward. Hand on Oborozuki’s hilt, she navigated toward the source of the scream, cautiously advancing amidst the rocks.


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