|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 2062 characters|
|Translator: Snoring Dragon||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1331 words|
On the mountain road from Takeshita town to Kamakura, there was a faint fog. Both sides of the road were covered with withered yellow leaves. The strangely shaped trees looked like the withered arms of the criminals in hell desperately clutching towards the gloomy and dark sky.
The bull slowly pulled an elegant and beautiful bullock cart forward. The wheels rolled up the yellow leaves which then hovered in the chilly autumn wind.
Lily, Sakiko, and Shiu were sitting in the carriage. There was an attendant outside to drive the cart. They had left Takeshita town for half a day now.
Lily naturally put away the authentic tenth book of the Genji Swordstyle and protective talisman of Yoshitsune. Before she could understand the meaning of Lord Yoshitsune, she could not even reveal this secret to Shiu.
The bullock cart was much slower than the horse carriage but it was more stable and pulled more goods. It was regarded as one of the most elegant transportation methods in the Heian Empire. This road was the shorter path to take than the avenue. Although it would pass through the mountains where the monsters roamed, these monsters were nothing to female samurai like Sakiko and Lily.
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“Miss Kagami? You look worried.” Sakiko asked. She was sitting on one side of the carriage while Lily and Shiu were sitting on the other.
“Ah? No, it’s nothing… ”
“Hehe… maybe what I said to Miss Kagami was too serious. In fact, generally speaking, the atmosphere of the Genji dojo is harmonious. Everyone is also focused on training. Small competition and jealousy are also conducive for mutual promotion and improvement. Miss Kagami doesn’t need to be too concerned.” Sakiko said.
At this time, Shiu who was leaning against the corner of the carriage while holding some luggage fell asleep in the shaking bullock cart.
Lily looked at her and shook her head helplessly. How could there be such an inattentive and negligent ninja?1
As they moved ahead, the weather outside became colder and colder.
Lily lifted the curtain and looked out of the window only to find out that there was a thick fog in the forest. She could not see anything more than ten meters away.
Such thick fog was rare in Kamakura and the speed of the bullock cart became even slower on the bumpy mountain roads.
For some unknown reason, the thick fog and the cold weather made Lily uneasy.
However, the road from Takeshita to Kamakura was not too dangerous and nor was it occupied by ridiculously powerful monsters. In addition, with the presence of Master Sakiko, Lily couldn’t think of any big danger. Maybe she was worried too much.
The bullock cart continued to move forward slowly while shaking. In fact, everyone began to feel a bit drowsy so Lily also felt like sleeping.
Time passed in a slow hazy manner. The sky eventually darkened. It seemed that the sun set earlier than expected.
Lily felt that something was wrong. She pulled open the curtain once more and looked out of the window but found that the bullock cart still seemed to be walking along the foggy mountain path with a visibility of less than five meters.
Although the mountain woods looked virtually the same everywhere, Lily always felt intuitively that this was the same place as at noon.
Shiu was still asleep and Sakiko was relaxing with her eyes closed.
Lily asked, “Master Sakiko, why are we still in the mountains?”
“Huh?” Sakiko opened her eyes and it seemed that she was also a little stunned, “I actually fell asleep?”
She spoke as though it was impossible for her to unexpectedly fall into a lethargic state.
“Master Sakiko, according to our route, even if the fog is thick and travelling speed is slow in the mountainous area, we should have definitely got out of it by 3:00 pm. After that, we should have arrived at the relatively safe fields on the outskirts of Kamakura. It’s around 7:00 pm now but why are we still circling about in the mountain?” After saying these words, Lily felt it becoming more vivid than ever. It seemed like they had really been moving around in circles.
Sakiko looked out of the other window for a while with a grave expression, “Nevertheless, it’s a little strange.”
Sakiko moved to the front of the cart and asked, “Coachman, where are we now?”
There was no answer, except the gloomy sound of the night wind and the sound of the wheels rolling over the dead leaves and stones.
“Coachman, do you hear me…” Sakiko frowned a little. She lifted the thick curtain at the front of the cart, only to find that the seat where the driver should have been seated was empty.
The old bull was pulling the cart alone. It was walking silently in the dense fog of the mountain forest where the road could hardly be seen.
“What!?” Lily was also surprised.
She and Sakiko both looked out from the front of the cart and there was really no driver.
Where did the coachman go? Why did the bullock cart which was not driven by anyone continue to move forward without stopping?
Sakiko and Lily looked at each other with grim expressions. Something was definitely wrong.
“Don’t get out of the cart carelessly,” Sakiko warned . Then she carried her sword and went through the curtain. She came to the driver’s position in front of the cart. After that, she lowered the curtain, leaving only Lily and Shiu in the cart.
For some unknown reason, this made Lily more worried. What if Sakiko also disappeared?
She pulled open the curtain and saw Sakiko’s slim waist and plump butt sitting on the cart which relieved her.
Sakiko stopped the bullock cart and went down to check.
Lily also wanted to go down to have a look, but since Sakiko said so, she decided to stay still for the time being.
After a while, Sakiko returned to the bullock cart. She took out the map and said, “We should still be in the mountain between Takeshita and Kamakura but I can’t determine the specific location. I also don’t know when the coachmen disappeared. ”
Lily gently held her arms: “Master Sakiko, don’t you think it’s very cold today?”
“Yes… I didn’t expect the temperature to drop so much at night but compared to the disappearance of the coachmen, this is not a big deal.” Sakiko said.
“What should we do? Master Sakiko, are we going back to find the coachman? Did he fall off on the road?”
“No, if he fell, it is impossible that there was no movement. The coachman has been driving for me for many years. It’s impossible to fall off the bullock cart without any reason. Moreover, the speed is very slow. I don’t want to jinx the coachman but I think he must have died on the way.” Sakiko said with a dignified face.
“What!?” Lily was startled. She didn’t feel frightened because the coachman was killed. But because someone could make the coachman disappear mysteriously right under the noses of Sakiko and Lily. Did they come across anything extraordinary?
“Shiu, wake up quickly.” Lily shook the Shiu hard.
Shiu woke up with sleepy eyes, “Huh, what’s the matter? Have we reached Kamakura?”
“No, it’s getting late. I’m afraid we won’t be able to get to Kamakura tonight,” Sakiko said.
“How… How could that be?” Obviously, Shiu had not yet understood the situation.
So Lily informed her of the situation at hand.
“What!?” After listening to Lily’s narration, Shiu was also frightened. She was trembling as she held Lily’s arm and leaned against her.
“Master Sakiko, what shall we do next? Should you and I take turns driving forward? I also know directions.” said Lily.
However, before her voice fell, the bullock cart began to shake slowly again. That was to say, the bullock cart started to walk again without permission…
- Robinxen: Shiu is like the Yurika of this novel. Constantly bullied.
- Robinxen: Unreturning Formation!