|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 2031 characters|
|Translator: Aoi||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1381 words|
After the stone door closed completely, the headless samurai’s strong will dissipated as if he had finally executed his long-cherished wish and lost strength immediately, his hand relinquishing its grip and falling to the ground powerlessly1.
But this didn’t lessen Dijon’s hatred, so he slashed the corpse crazedly a few more times and charged inside the cave along with the ninjas.
However, it only had a wall carved with letters within it and had no traces of a door.
Dijon tried to push the wall by utilizing all of his spirit power, but it showed no reaction at all.
As such, he lifted his tachi up high and slashed down towards the wall with force.
“Clang!” Following a spark, the weapon in Dijon’s hand rebounded back and slipped through his grip, falling in a corner of the cave. As for the wall, it didn’t even move a wee bit and only had a faint mark left behind from the slash.
“T-This isn’t a normal stone wall!” Dijon exclaimed in alarm. His arms still felt numb at the moment and his tachi had obtained a few cracks as well…
Genja also entered the cave by stooping down and then inspected that wall, “It looks the same as the nearby walls and is made of normal rock, but it seems like an extremely powerful will is protecting it.”
“Is this really a dwelling of Yoshitsune? He’s the one protecting it?” Dijon was stunned.
Genja’s hideous and vile face rarely showed any human-like expressions, so he replied quietly, “Perhaps it is… However, even though Yoshitsune is quite strong, he’s been long dead, so could just a remnant will that’s inhabiting a location really manifest such might?”
Around the same time, Lily just heard a weak tremor on the other side of the wall.
She could also sense the exceptional hardness of the wall and the bizarre fusion of that stone door and the wall was truly quite mystical.
She assumed that Dijon and his group wouldn’t give up so easily and would definitely keep watch outside the cave.
Lily stroked the ice-cold wall and whispered, “Lord Matsuda… Henceforth, I shall venerate you as my father in this Heian world. Hojo Dijon, killing Lord Matsuda is the same as killing my father. I shall never forget this hatred!”
A fierce glint flashed through Lily’s eyes and a crimson grudge emanated from her cursed katana and seeped out through the sheath.
“Sis…” Nanako pulled Lily’s sleeve, perplexed about what to say.
Lily wiped her tears and controlled her breathing to pacify her emotions. She then turned around and looked towards the dark secret tunnel. It wasn’t completely dark and seemed to have a faint glow coming from the depths of the tunnel.
Lily and Nanako made for the glowing light and arrived at a cavern that was about the same dimensions as the one outside. The cavern had a regal stele that was over 3m tall leaning on the wall to one side while two ancient stone lamps that were over 1m tall rested on either side of it. Even more unfathomably, the source of the dim glow of light was the stone bench they were situated on.
Lily checked her surroundings in vigilance, but it was a completely sealed stone room and didn’t seem to have a visitor in a long time. As such, she was puzzled about why the stone bench was still lit.
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Lily and Nanako arrived in front of the stone bench and were amazed to discover that the oil lamps made out of copper receptacles set up on the stone bench seemed to have a never-ending supply of oil and didn’t diminish at all. Lily could feel that these simple oil lamps possessed a power that was far beyond her scope of understanding.
“Sis, look…” Nanako stated while pointing towards the stele.
Lily stepped back and observed that rocky and upright ancient stele with the help of the dim illumination provided by the oil lamps. It portrayed the stances of a celestial maiden performing a sword-dance.
“This is…” Lily was shaken to the core by those stances instantaneously.
Although the engraved celestial maiden’s visage seemed to have turned vaguer because of the vicissitudes of time, the lines were still bold and filled with grace and the form vivid and lifelike. The sword intent contained within the sword-dance even transmitted a profound mystery that seemed existent and non-existent within the mind.
Lily couldn’t even hear Nanako’s voice any longer right now. Her body had become drenched in sweat immediately and her breathing had turned erratic, her bosom heaving up and down involuntarily. It seemed that seeing the celestial maiden’s sword-dance that was engraved on the stele had made her fall into a certain kind of entranced and uncontrollable excitement.
For some reason, once Lily had gone through the beautiful engravings of the sword-dance of the celestial maiden dressed in light and refreshing clothes, she was actually able to comprehend the deriving laws of a sword art from within them, and the description of the sword and force within these laws seemed to resemble the Genji Swordstyle, yet they were much more profound!
“Just what is this place? And who carved such an unimaginable celestial maiden’s sword-dance here, and moreover…”
When Lily saw the final stance of the celestial maiden’s sword-dance, it invoked an intense excitement within her, as if she had half-accomplished something, but it stopped suddenly and was followed by a deep sense of loss and hollowness!
“How could it… end just like that? No! This can’t be!” Lily lost her bearings and checked the surroundings of the stele with an entranced and flushed face while breathing irregularly, trying to look for the next stance, but she failed to find anything. Whoever had carved this stele hadn’t finished carving the celestial maiden’s sword-dance on it!
“Sis! Sis!” Nanako shook the hollowed Lily who was kneeling before the stele while drenched in sweat, “Sis, are you all right?”
“Sigh…” Only then did Lily regain her senses. Her forehead had gained a sheen of sweat and her beautiful hair had become a terrible mess with strands sticking to her face. On top of that, the wide cleavage at the front of her kimono had also gained a translucent shine to it.
“Sis, look over there… the stone desk at that corner seems to have a lot of papers on it.”
Lily calmed her breathing slowly and went over there together with Nanako and saw an ordinary oil lamp that had long dried up along with some papers, brush and inkstone that seemed to have accumulated dust for an incomprehensible amount of time.
Lily brushed the dust off them gently using her slender fingers and picked up one of the papers to read, “T-This is the Genji Swordstyle!”
Lily was well versed in the Genji Swordstyle, so she recognized it at a glance.
“However, this looks different from the style I have learned. Also, there’s a lot of amendments and alterations present in it. This handwriting is…”
The illustrations of the stances had some annotations beside them while some couldn’t be called annotations and were instead doubts and ruminations that were expressed by the writer. The letters emanated a bold and powerful intent that matched the letters carved by the man on the stone wall in the outer cavern.
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Lily came to a sudden realization when she noticed this, “This is Lord Yoshitsune’s tome! This tome depicts the creation process of the Genji Swordstyle!”
Lily arrived in front of the stele along with the tome and compared them, and it was indeed as she had surmised.
“These bottommost pages of this sword tome are almost identical with the celestial maiden’s sword-dance carved on the stele and seem like a copy, while the stances changed gradually over the course of the sword tome and became more unyielding and upright while assimilating the characteristics of masculine swordplay. This is… the place where the Genji Swordstyle was created!”
“Huh? Sis…” Nanako looked at Lily dazedly.
“Lord Yoshitsune created the Genji Swordstyle that’s acclaimed as the apex swordsmanship of the Heian Empire within this dim and lonely stone room while comprehending the celestial maiden’s sword-dance on that stele!”
Lily stated with her chest heaving up and down intensely.2
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