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Chapter 2 – Surrounded On All Sides

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3124 characters
Translator: LazyButAmbitious English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1731 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

“Lily, can you update us on your current situation?” Mizue inquired, her voice tinged with concern.

“Silence!” Ayaka interjected firmly, “Please, everyone, remain silent. Lily is likely engaged in combat as we speak. Let’s not divert her focus.”

“Understood…” Mizue, attired in modest garments, bowed her head, her cheeks coloring as she spoke.

“Remain calm, everyone. Master has successfully defeated a double-soul Big Dipper Stage archdemon. We are not facing any immediate threats at the moment,” Kagura reassured.

Lily had only just arrived in this unfamiliar territory and already faced a double-soul Big Dipper Stage archdemon. While she was no stranger to combating formidable foes, such encounters were typically reserved for pivotal confrontations within the Heian Dynasty. Could entities of the double-soul Big Dipper be prevalent here?

Hearing this, the sisters remained deeply concerned.

“Kagura, could you provide an update on the external conditions once more?” Kimiko asked.

Kagura commenced detailing the external environment as she perceived it through Lily’s experiences.

The sisters listened intently, their surprise mingled with apprehension.

However, Ayaka and Kimiko’s demeanors turned notably graver.

Kimiko remarked, “Given your description of the place, with its intense heat, formidable gravity, and the presence of Big Dipper Stage demons throughout… There’s likely only one locale in the world with such attributes.”

Upon hearing this, all eyes turned to Kimiko.

“Namely, Yomi-no-kuni.”

This revelation left the sisters profoundly alarmed and troubled.

Following the defeat of the stout demon and the acquisition of his anima, Lily inspected his storage treasure, revealing it to be a grimy leather pouch. While initially disinterested, Lily considered its potential utility in deducing her whereabouts and decided to retain it.

Amidst the sisters’ concerns, the leather pouch manifested within the mirror space.

“This pouch was secured by Master after she vanquished the double-soul Big Dipper demon,” Kagura clarified.

Ayaka advanced, stating, “We should examine it straightaway to uncover any potential leads. Proceed with caution.”

“Rest assured, Lady Ayaka. Anything that enters the mirror space is incapable of harboring traps,” Kagura assured.

Given the circumstances, the thought of practice was far from the sisters’ minds. Their collective focus was squarely on Lily’s predicament, fraught with concern.

Back in the tangible world, Ayaka and the others embarked on their return journey to Heian-kyō aboard the Twelve Nioh King Sedan.

The remaining sisters, previously dispersed across various locations, made their way back to either Heian-kyō, Suno, or Cherry Blossom Valley, depending on proximity. The assault on the Ship of Ascension heralded further calamities, rendering the guarding of the prayer altars obsolete. An evacuation was promptly ordered.

The painstaking effort invested in erecting the thirty-six prayer altars had depleted what remained of the Heian Dynasty’s national strength. Yet, who could have foreseen such an outcome?

Globally, even among those well-acquainted with the situation, though unaware of the precise developments, a sense of resentment and dissatisfaction began to take root.

Given the magnitude of the forces mobilized for protection, their unexplained withdrawal raised eyebrows. The apparent silence from those in authority sowed seeds of doubt among influential families and personalities.

Even after Lily’s victory over the demon, the foes encircling her remained hesitant to act. Their caution stemmed from Lily’s notorious status on the most wanted list. Despite being the lowest at number 99, her power was evidently beyond their reach. Their own nefarious deeds paled in comparison to Takamagahara’s notice of Lily.

Lily’s prowess was undeniable, evidenced by her defeat of a double-soul Big Dipper demon with a mere slash—a feat possibly challenging for even a quintuple-soul level expert. This deterred any from rashly seeking confrontation.

The demise of the one-eyed demon served as a stark warning to the rest. Devoid of any sense of solidarity, these demons of Yomi pursued killing, looting, and capturing for pleasure without regard for the realm—be it Yomi, Takamagahara, or the human world.

Yomi was a realm of sheer self-interest, completely stripped of moral considerations.

Although alliances among Yomi’s demons might form, they were purely for mutual gain, protection against stronger forces, or seeking refuge. Selfish intentions lay at the core of these unions.

The intense heat of Yomi made even a minimal effort in battle a strenuous activity for Lily, leading to profuse sweating. Her physiological responses intensified, her flushed visage and the distinct feminine aroma she emitted carried by the wind across vast distances.

The demons of Yomi possessed an acute sense of smell, particularly attuned to the aroma of a woman in such a heightened state.

Women were a rarity in Yomi!

The scarcity was due to the few female demons, blade maidens, and adepts able to establish themselves in Yomi, and those who did were not easily approached. Human women unfortunate enough to find themselves here often perished immediately, eluding capture.

It was no wonder then that Lily, reputed as the world’s most beautiful woman and a chaste maiden who had inadvertently descended into Yomi, would incite a frenzy throughout Yomi-no-kuni.

Driven wild by her scent, several demons could no longer restrain themselves. They burst forth from their encirclement, lunging at Lily!

Lily had yet to reveal many of her capabilities, including her soul world.

Reflecting on the overwhelming display with her recent slash, Lily worried that further showcasing her power would attract even more formidable foes. Considering her encounters with a quadruple-soul Big Dipper archdemon among others, she pondered the magnitude of strength the mightiest being here would wield.

Opting for flight, Lily reasoned that until she grasped the nature of this place, defeating a few demons would serve no purpose. She questioned whether she could stand against the multitude of potent demons and spirits on her own.

Witnessing Lily’s retreat, the demons and ghosts adopted savage expressions, chasing after her with the ferocity of a pack of jackals.

Amidst the pursuit, Kimiko’s urgent message reached Lily, “Be cautious, Lily! It’s highly probable that you’ve found yourself in Yomi-no-kuni!”

“As I feared…” Lily had previously traversed Yomi Hirazaka, reaching the outskirts of Yomi-no-kuni where she barely managed to survive. However, the demons in this deeper region were significantly stronger and the conditions more severe.

“This is indeed Yomi-no-kuni, exactly as I suspected!”

Lily’s concern deepened, realizing she was likely in the very heart of Yomi-no-kuni.

In the realm of possible outcomes, landing in Yomi-no-kuni was arguably the worst scenario.

The question of whether Shizuka Gozen also survived and landed here lingered, but Lily had her own immediate predicaments to contend with.

Lily found herself questioning her exact location, the expanse of Yomi-no-kuni, and its many realms—of which she knew nothing. In the realm of the living, Yomi remained a legend, its truths known to none.

Lily resolved, “First and foremost, I must find refuge. Then, I’ll devise a way to escape Yomi-no-kuni and return to the human realm.”

Despite her limited knowledge of Yomi-no-kuni, Lily sensed that its most fearsome beings could effortlessly overpower her, a prospect with dire implications.

While nearly unbeatable in the Heian Dynasty, Lily found herself besieged by threats from every direction in Yomi-no-kuni.

With a thunderous leap, an unsightly, bloated hellhound of the Throned Saint caliber burst from a lava-filled fissure, targeting Lily’s feet. Despite its moderate strength, its survival in Yomi’s lava—a feat even Lily wouldn’t dare—underscored its immunity to regular flames and extreme heat.

Lily deftly dodged the attack and, with a graceful swing of Oborozuki Muramasa, cleaved the hellhound open effortlessly, obliterating its demonic core.

The spirit jade of a formidable demon was also known as a demon jade.

Lily persisted in her flight, outpacing her pursuers with her speed. Yet, the horde of demons, employing tactics from physical assaults to manipulating the environment by toppling boulders and inducing lava flows, thwarted her efforts to sustain her pace.

With every step Lily took, the overwhelming presence of formidable demons in Yomi-no-kuni became increasingly apparent. While they hesitated to engage her directly, the demons maintained a cautious pursuit, unwilling to let such a singular beauty escape their grasp.

From time to time, audacious demons would launch futile assaults on Lily, only to meet their demise swiftly, their strength no match for hers.

Far from being deterred, the number of demons converging on her location only increased.

The fallen demons were promptly consumed by others that swarmed in from every quarter.

In their collective pursuit of Lily, their cannibalistic behavior toward their fallen kin caused her heart to race with apprehension.

Even among the fierce demons of the Heian Dynasty, such savagery was not universal.

This was the unadulterated realm of demons and specters!

By now, thousands of demons and ghosts were in hot pursuit of Lily, with two sextuple-soul demons among the most potent, cleverly remaining unseen as they trailed her.

“Continuing this way will only draw the attention of even mightier demons due to the escalating chaos!”

“But standing still isn’t an option—how could I possibly conceal myself amidst such a multitude of demons and watchful eyes?”

“What strategy can I employ to elude them?”

In the midst of her anxious flight…

With a sudden explosion of might from the boulders and lava ahead, a group of formidable figures emerged.

Each stood three to four meters tall, their appearance exuding exceptional strength and might!

These were black bull demons adorned with luminescent horns, diminutive golden eyes, and fiery patterns across their hide!

Armed with an array of daunting weaponry—giant axes, machetes, massive golden maces, chains, and beyond—they leaped skyward before crashing down, their impact fracturing stones and trembling the earth. They encircled Lily in a semicircle, effectively barring her way.

With Lily encased by the bull demons, the remaining demons withdrew to a safer distance, hesitant to approach yet reluctant to depart.

Fear flickered in Lily’s heart as she regarded the bull demons, particularly one whose presence was notably commanding, radiating an aura both ancient and regal. The collective strength of this assembly spanned from the quintuple to sextuple-soul level, numbering seventeen or eighteen in total.

Predominant among them was a towering figure whose might ascended to the septuple-soul level!

Lily was genuinely alarmed; to claim otherwise would be deceitful.

A septuple-soul level Big Dipper Stage archdemon confronted her!

Only by exerting her utmost effort and harnessing the might of Oborozuki Muramasa could Lily potentially match the septuple-soul level in combat efficacy.

Yet, mere hours into her ordeal within Yomi-no-kuni, she faced an adversary at the septuple-soul level—a bull demon, no less?


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