|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 3275 characters|
|Translator: Immortal Dreamer||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 2104 words|
Perhaps Shimizu and I differ from the patrons of Kabukicho.
Just how many faces have this dimly lit, gaiety street, filled with dissolute patrons, marred with tears?1
Lily gazed at that bare-breasted woman again, who had no more tears left to shed after a long life of prostitution. She wore a business smile on her dry-skinned face and assumed an overly seductive expression. Yet none of the patrons passing by showed appreciation for her. A woman has abandoned all the shame in her heart. Is this not a protest towards this pitiless world?
Lily’s sight suddenly focused on a dark lane in the corner of the street. She pulled Shimizu and walked over there.
A girl donned in crimson clothes laid on the ground in this dark, secluded lane. Her empty gaze reflected the sky in them, her clothes torn, dyed in clotted blood from the massive wound on her chest. The blood had coagulated, implying that she had no life left in her.
Shimizu crouched down to inspect and said, “She didn’t get violated, but has a lot of bruises on her body. It seems like her clothes got ripped apart forcefully, but this really isn’t a sexual assault, and feels more like a brutal mugging.”
“The purse is still here, though it isn’t much money, the assaulter didn’t take it. No matter what they took, they still killed her,” Shimizu continued, “The wound is at the heart’s position. Just what kind of weapon has produced such a terrifying wound?”
Lily stated, “I know what they took from her… It’s her heart.”
Shimizu’s complexion turned paler after hearing this, “It’s neither an assault nor a mugging. They dragged a woman forcefully to this corner, in such a central area, and carved out her heart. This doesn’t feel like a crime a human would commit.”
“A monster,” Lily also arrived at such a conclusion.
“Have the monsters’ claws already reached Kamakura?” Shimizu’s expression turned grave.
The Ashikaga samurai neared them from close-by.
“Let’s go. It will be a pain to explain things to them here.”
Lily and Shimizu withdrew from there.
“Only a few hours have passed since that woman’s death. The monster is perhaps still lingering near Kabukicho,” Shimizu muttered.
“But there are thousands of people here, how will we find it?”
“There’s no hurry. There are two things to mull over. First, why did this monster come to Kabukicho, which has powerful samurai, to kill a girl? Second, if it wants a human heart, why does it specifically need a girl’s heart?” Shimizu pondered.
They suddenly heard a ruckus from nearby.
An old man got thrown out from the entrance of a gorgeous-looking building by two men.
“Yuuko! Return my Yuuko!” Unwilling to give up, the old man crawled while trembling, intending to crawl inside the building if he had to.
But he got beat up midway. A few kind souls dragged him to a nearby street corner.
Shimizu stepped forward and looked at the battered old man who kept mumbling the name ‘Yuuko’ even as he bled from his mouth. She asked him, “Uncle, who is Yuuko? What did they do to Yuuko?”
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“Yuuko…” The old man spoke in a trembling voice, “Yuuko is my granddaughter. Her parents left this world early on, so I raised her up, but I am just a common peasant… She wished to break free from the poverty-stricken life, so she came to Kamakura to learn the trade of a geisha. Although I tried hard to stop her, she didn’t listen to me.”
“Cough…” The old man coughed blood while talking.
Shimizu poured some spirit power into the old man’s chest to relieve his pain. He continued speaking, “Yuuko is a good girl, but which girl of her age didn’t pursue a vain life. She wanted to buy pretty clothes, beautiful jewelry and longed for a better life. Therefore, she left the village and came here to become a geisha. Three days ago, I even received a letter from her, but when I arrived here to look for her at the address it came from, they told me such a person didn’t exist here! I searched everywhere, but I couldn’t find Yuuko! I insisted on going inside to look for her, but they beat me up. Yuuko… Where have you gone?!”
Shimizu took out a silver coin and said, “Uncle, take this and return first. If we find Yuuko, we will tell her to look for you.”
“Can you help me rescue Yuuko?”
“That’s hard to say. You have also said it. Didn’t Yuuko wish to become geisha willingly? If this is her dream, then she must hope to see you approve of it. She will surely return to see you if she’s still…”
Shimizu didn’t finish her words. After handing the silver coin to the old man, she left along with Lily.
They arrived in front of that gorgeous-looking building but then saw a notice there which had the words ‘Building for Sale’ written on it.
Shimizu stepped forward, bowed slightly, and asked the man standing at the entrance, “Excuse me, may I ask if this place is for sale?”
The man scrutinized Shimizu, then looked at Lily. His sight lingered on Lily for a long time, staring at her with a fixed gaze. But when he saw Shimizu’s expression turn sour, he moved his gaze away, “If you wish to inquire about this matter, lord, I will go bring over my master.”
Soon after, the geisha house’s owner, a short and stout, pencil mustached man dressed in luxurious clothing exited the building, “Which lord wishes to inquire about purchasing the building?”
Shimizu advanced forward, “Hello, I hail from Mutsu province and wish to do some business in Kamakura. I felt this building in this flourishing district possesses elegance and is also at an excellent location, so I wished to inquire about it.”
The geisha house’s owner had seen countless people. One look at Shimizu and Lily’s smooth skin and ornate clothing had made him conclude their identities were far from ordinary. Hence, he smiled at them, saying amicably, “Please enter, let’s chat inside!”
Shimizu and Lily entered inside. It looked splendid since the floor, screen, and decoration were of top quality.
Seeing that the owner still held some doubts, Shimizu took out a gold coin and said, “I’m not in a hurry to talk about purchasing this building. This is my first visit to Kamakura, so I’m quite interested in the geisha’s performance here. I must ask you to arrange the best room for me. It’s not too late to talk after drinking a few cups. Also, I wish to buy the geisha and servants here all together with the building.”
A gold coin equaled one hundred kan! Although this place was one of the costliest ones in Kabukicho, spending one hundred kan for just a casual visit was too ostentatious! It was no longer important whether they had really come to purchase the building.
Although the geisha house’s owner was a wealthy merchant, his eyes opened wide when faced with such a tremendous sum of money. The owner wondered which elite clan’s prince Shimizu was. He had heard that Mutsu province was prosperous with abundant gold. Is he a member of the Fujiwara clan?
The owner arranged the biggest and the most luxurious room immediately. He then invited Shimizu and Lily inside. After that, he told the maid to serve the house’s best beverages and desserts and also instructed the geishas to prepare.
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“May I ask what they call you, lord?”
“Kitabatake Shin,” Shimizu stated.
“So it’s a lord from Mutsu’s famed Kitabatake family! No wonder you possess such lofty ideals. And this goddess-like girl is…”
Shimizu glanced at Lily, “Are you not going to introduce yourself?”
“Eh?” Lily felt stunned. Shimizu is so bad. To think she wants me to say it myself. She gets respect for calling herself a member of a significant family. Meanwhile, I am stuck with this fabricated identity of a geisha.
“I’m called Lynne,” Lily didn’t say much.
Shimizu added to it, “Lynne is a geisha I train and is also my woman. If I buy this building, she will become the head geisha here and also the proprietress.”
“Hah?” Lily felt bewildered, “What proprietress and head geisha? Is this considered as praise or sarcasm?”
The geisha house’s owner also showered praises for Lily, “Lady Lynne possesses an otherworldly beauty. If Lady Lynne were to proclaim that she is second, no geisha in the Heian Empire would dare proclaim they are first, let alone this house.”2
“Hehe. Mister, I’m unworthy of your praise,” Lily smiled helplessly.
Soon after, six to seven women dressed in all kinds of magnificent kimonos, each with face powered white and red-dotted beside the brows’ arch, took the stage. From the perspective of womanly charm, although this wouldn’t attract men, it possessed a unique elegance and artistic nature.
As members of the best geisha house in Kamakura, each of them had extraordinary talents such as singing, dancing, playing the harp, zither, lute, side drum, and so on.
A few of them performed for Lily and Shimizu, while the prettiest geisha stepped forth to pour sake for Shimizu. She had specially trained these movements of pouring sake.
Shimizu asked, “Mister. Before I arrived here, I heard there’s a young geisha called Yuuko here. I wonder if she is present among these women?”
Hearing Yuuko’s name, the owner felt shocked. But he covered up his expression and answered evasively, “Yuuko is just an apprentice, so she isn’t qualified to perform on the stage. Also, she disappeared two days ago.”
“We also sent people to look for her and reported it to the Ashikaga’s representative official. But we still haven’t found her,” The owner also appeared genuinely concerned about it. It seemed like he was anxious about Yuuko too.
A retainer entered inside at this moment and whispered into the geisha house’s owner.
But Lily and Shimizu’s sharp senses naturally caught them, “Mr. Touzou, Lord Onigumo3 has arrived…”
The owner’s face changed colors when he heard the name ‘Onigumo.’ He glanced at Shimizu and Lily apprehensively and spoke in a trembling voice, “Lord Kitabatake, please enjoy the performance here. I’ll come right back.”
“Onigumo?” Lily and Shimizu looked at each other. They had heard the name too, and no matter how they looked at it, it didn’t seem like a name that would usually appear in Kamakura. Also, the whispering made it even more suspicious.
After the owner left, Lily and Shimizu continued enjoying the performance.
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“Lynne, how about having a cup?” Perhaps Shimizu was still putting up a pretense, but it placed Lily in a tight spot. If she refused, it would make the others doubt their relationship. Therefore, she picked up the sake cup and downed it in one go.
But after this one cup, Lily couldn’t stop anymore. She had a few more cups in succession, and shortly after, her entire face flushed up.4
The singing and dancing never stopped, and Lily’s breathing turned even more rushed. Her sight became a little blurred, and before she knew it, she found Shimizu becoming prettier and prettier.
The room’s door got opened roughly at this moment, without the least bit of warning.
This was a disrespectful action towards a high-paying patron like Shimizu.
A tall, herculean man whose height almost reached as high as the door stood at the entrance. He wore the attire of samurai and wore a sword at his waist, a chokuto, the so-called straight sword. His dress had a spider embroidered on it too. A few ferocious-looking samurai followed behind him, and all of them possessed straight swords. As for the owner, he stood at the corner with his forehead covered in sweat, “Lord, didn’t I say it? There are already patrons in here.”
That herculean man looked inside the room. His gaze fell on Shimizu and then on Lily. After that, he walked inside directly and looked down on Shimizu, who was drinking sake while sitting down as he questioned in a deep and rough voice, “Who are you?”
The owner rushed in to explain, “Lord Onigumo, this is Mutsu province’s…”
“Shut up! I want him to say it himself,” Onigumo glared at the owner. Those eyes appeared human, yet also seemed lifeless.5
“I’m Kitabatake family’s Kitabatake Shin,” Shimizu replied without even lifting her head.
It didn’t sound like a family of the Eastern Nations. Once he saw how weak Shimizu looked, Onigumo pointed towards Lily and said, “We want this room. Leave the woman behind and then scram!”6
- Robinxen: This chapter was fun because the other notes on it made me laugh.
- Robinxen: I mean looks mean nothing if the service sucks. Girlfriends are like that.
- Silva: This name literally translates to “ghost spider”…. reminds me of a certain Night Monkey… but yeah, that name sounds ominous… is he the demon? Will the author really make it so obvious? Let’s find out…. soon(?)
Immortal Dreamer: The name’s a pretty obvious hint imo, but yea. Let’s see how it goes. In this context, it’s actually “Demon Spider” tho. Kinda reminded me of Inuyasha tbh.
Robinxen: Hmmm yes. I see. Understood. I totally know all this stuff too.
- Silva: Uh oh… drunk Lily appears… bad news, abort, abort!
Immortal Dreamer: LOL. Don’t worry. Author will c••tblock her. XD
Robinxen: My time to shine? Shimizu it’s your turn for lewds! #JoinTheDiscordToVote!
- Silva: Mhm… must be a demon, the author is even hinting at it…
Immortal Dreamer: Ye
- Silva: CLIFFFFFFFFF—
Immortal Dreamer: Kek
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