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Chapter 36 – The Identity of Onigumo’s Faction

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3515 characters
Translator: Immortal Dreamer English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 2144 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

Lily and Shimizu stopped embracing since they estimated that the Ashikaga’s men who were patrolling out on the street would arrive soon.1

Lily looked at the dead body before her, “These men have straight swords on them and also use evil techniques like controlling spiders. They don’t seem like normal samurai.”

“They are ninjas, so all of them are carrying ninja swords. That spider-control skill is also an evil ninja art,” Shimizu stated, “Let’s go. We should return.”

“Eh? But our mission… is it really related to these people?”

“It’s almost certain that these guys were behind the disappearances of the girls recently and also the brutal murders. Their accomplices must still be out there.” Shimizu commented softly.

“Why are you so certain? Although, even I feel the same…”
“Their actual target was me,” Shimizu stated after a moment of silence.
“Eh?”

“It’s more accurate to say that they are hunting the mirror girls. They received information from somewhere that a mirror girl has appeared in Kamakura. Hence, they targeted all the women they suspected and murdered them after realizing they weren’t the mirror girl. Those spiders controlled by the ninja skill fed on the women’s heart.”

“What?! Did these ninjas use such a cruel method to rear spiders?” Lily covered her mouth in shock, disgust bubbled up from the depths of her heart.

“No, it’s unnecessary to use a woman’s heart for raising low-leveled monsters like these spiders. But they must have done it to strengthen the spider’s demonic powers substantially. Perhaps it’s related to how they found out the mirror girl’s location.”

“Sister Shimizu, why must they desire the demise of the mirror girls?”

Shimizu shook her head, “Since ancient times, the monsters and some powers have always been hunting the mirror girls, wishing they could eradicate them all. The rumors say that the mirror girl is the harbinger of misfortune and doom. However, the truth behind it is that the monsters and those powers inevitably implicate the surroundings while hunting the mirror girls. It’s really too malicious to push all the blame onto the mirror girls for this!”

“Getting murdered because they cannot change their fate even though they have done no wrong, this is something I don’t agree with!” Lily stated with a resolute gaze.

“Lily, you really feel that way?”

Lily nodded firmly. Just like her inevitable arrival in this Heian world, if the world considered these things as sins, then it was undoubtedly an unjust one! Lily wouldn’t adopt a hypercritical show of goodness, but she would hold on to the justice in her heart!

“Then, Lily. Are you willing to accompany me in protecting the mirror girls of the world, to fight those monsters and the evil powers acting behind the scene?” A resolute gleam flashed through Shimizu’s eyes.

“Eh? Fight?” Lily blanked out, “I don’t dare to even think about taking up such a distant righteous cause. However, if Sister Shimizu were to fall under any harm or danger, I would fight alongside you even if my strength is lacking!”

“I feel happy that you think that way, Lily, but do you believe I should hide in Kamakura forever? And defend my life while just assuming the identity of the dojo’s genius?”

“…”

A commotion sounded out from downstairs at this moment.

“Lord Ashikaga, it’s right ahead.”
“You all, go defend the exit!”

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It seemed that the geishas had sought out the Ashikaga’s samurai.

Shimizu enunciated, “Lily, I won’t hide it from you. Before long, I will do what I just told you, until the day…”

The footsteps neared.

Shimizu pulled Lily’s hand, “If you really wish to walk alongside me and train together as we journey to seek enlightenment, come to my room tonight. If you’re unwilling or have some hesitation, don’t come then, and our relationship as training sisters will end too. We will still be good friends, and I won’t blame you for it at all. Naturally, I … I truly hope that you will come.”

Shimizu turned her head away, the loneliness almost causing her to tear up.

The flickers of the candle-light in the night reflected in Lily’s eyes as she gazed at Shimizu. Although she said nothing, her heart had already decided.

A group of men came running over at this moment.
Samurai donned in robes with the Ashikaga emblem on it rushed inside the room.

The one in the lead was an exceptionally tall, thick-browed, narrow-eyed man. Although he possessed handsome looks, he also appeared a bit naïve.

“You two are…” The handsome, naïve youth felt stunned after seeing Shimizu and Lily, the two beauties donned in red and white. Although the circumstances were still unclear, he subconsciously believed these two women are on the side of justice.

“These two are the female samurai that killed these terrible men,” The geisha that had gone to report entered the room after them.

Shimizu stepped forward and looked up towards that tall samurai, “I am Genji Shimizu. These men tried to attack us while we were investigating and got killed by me and my sister-in-arms.”

“Genji… Lady Shimizu!?” There were very few samurai who were unaware of Genji Shimizu’s name in the Eastern Nations.

“I am Ashikaga Kiyoshi’s younger brother, Ashikaga Naoto. Greetings, Lady Shimizu!” That tall, handsome man kneeled right away and offered salutations.

“Oh, so you’re Kiyoshi’s younger brother. Your mother was the one who entrusted us with investigating this matter. Now that I see it, you do possess some similarities in the looks.”

“Yes! Thank you for your trouble, Lady! I have heard about this matter from mother already!”

The aftermath of the event was left to the Ashikaga’s samurai to deal with. Naoto called a carriage to deliver Shimizu and Lily back to the Ashikaga Hall. He also called a cart to bring the dead ninja and the spiders’ carcasses to the residence so they could be investigated in detail.

When they arrived at the Ashikaga Hall, before Kiyoshi even had the opportunity to come out to receive them, Ashikaga Makoto had rushed out in joy, “I wasn’t expecting you would solve the case so quickly! The Genji clan’s talented samurai are truly formidable! And you’re a girl too, that’s so lovely.”

Ashikaga Makoto ignored Shimizu blatantly, held onto Lily’s hands firmly, and checked her, “Lil’ Lyn, you aren’t injured, right?”

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“Eh? N-No, I’m not,” As they were in front of many people, even Lily felt a little embarrassed.

She didn’t understand why Ashikaga Makoto was so concerned about her, but as she was so close, Lily could smell a faint, calming fragrance from her. This fragrance resembled a girl’s, so Lily still found it hard to believe that Ashikaga Makoto was the mother of two children.

“Come, we can chat once we’re inside,” Ashikaga Makoto pulled Lily and made her way inside, but she turned around after seemingly remembering something, “Ah, right. Miss Shimizu can also come in.”

Shimizu was at a loss regarding what kind of expression she should reveal when faced with this formidable mother.

After reaching the interior meeting room in Ashikaga Hall’s rear court, all of them took seats on the floor in a circle.

Lily, Shimizu, and Ashikaga Kiyoshi were all present here, while Ashikaga Naoto went to handle the investigation. Lily felt that Ashikaga Naoto’s position in the family didn’t seem as high as his elder brother’s.

Ashikaga Makoto took short, clicking steps on the wooden floor and personally prepared tea and snacks for them. However, as she was the lady of the house, these footsteps packed quite the strength and made it seem to the others as if she were irritated a little.

“Mother, you can just let the servants do it,” Ashikaga Kiyoshi stated embarrassedly.

However, Ashikaga Makoto actually kneeled in front of everyone and arranged a lot of delicious snacks before Lily first. She then said, “I like to personally offer tea and snacks when receiving guests as that’s more hospitable. Also, Lil’ Kiyoshi, didn’t I tell you to call me mama outside of formal talks? That’s more intimate.”

Although Ashikaga Kiyoshi usually wore an inexpressive face, even he found it a little challenging to take it this time and ended up blushing.

“Lil’ Lyn, have some more food. With such a figure, you must nourish yourself well. You’ll become thinner if you starve yourself. Are you having proper meals in the dojo?”

“T-Thank you for the offer, Lady, but I’m not feeling hungry,” Lily didn’t know why Ashikaga Makoto was so cordial and caring towards her.

“Oh my, don’t keep calling me ‘Lady’ like an outsider. Right! I heard Lil’ Lyn is an orphan? It seems like you have no home to return to, so why don’t you consider this place as your home? Mhm… I might as well take you in as my adopted daughter, how about it?” Ashikaga Makoto looked at Lily with her limpid eyes.

“T-That’s…” This subject had popped up so suddenly and entirely out of context, so Lily felt baffled about it.

“Ahem! Mama, let’s discuss the proper matters first, okay? Although this matter of adoption is also critical, let’s talk about it at a later date. You proposed it so suddenly, so even Miss Kagami must have felt astonished, right?” Kiyoshi interrupted his mother.

“Ah… Yes, proper matters… right… What was it again?”

“…” Shimizu, who literally had no presence here, felt like just getting up and leaving.

But Ashikaga Makoto’s gaze turned somewhat intellectual soon. She said, “The dead bodies and spiders’ carcasses have already reached the Bureau of Onmyō, which is situated close to this hall and beside the Kamakura Imperial Palace. I believe we will be receiving a report soon, so all we need to do is wait here.”

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“So it was like that,” Lily realized that although this Ashikaga Makoto had an unusual personality, she was actually highly intelligent, which might be the reason it appeared as stupidity to others.

The room turned silent for a moment.

Ashikaga Makoto picked up the snacks and said, “Since we have to wait anyway, why don’t we talk about the matter of adoption?”

“Eh?”
“Lil’ Lyn, are you willing to become my adopted daughter?”
“Ehhh?!” Lily peeked towards Shimizu a little embarrassedly.

Shimizu replied icily, “Lily, why are you looking at me? It’s a huge honor to become the adopted daughter of Lady Ashikaga, who is one of the Furinkazan. Are you telling me you’re unable to decide it on your own?”

Lily pondered over it. Indeed. If I were to refuse such an exalted woman’s proposal, it would be disrespecting her. I can’t overlook her genuine identity just because she appears so amicable and a little weird!

Lily straightened her back and stated solemnly, “Lady Ashikaga, Lily has lost her memories and is akin to an orphan living alone in this world. If you don’t mind that, Lily is willing to become your adopted daughter.”

“Really? Lil’ Lyn, I feel so happy that you are willing to do so! Alright, let me listen to you say it then~ Call me mama,” Ashikaga Makoto narrowed her eyes while beaming with happiness. Her face lit up with sublime joy as she firmly grabbed Lily’s shoulders.

“Eh? That’s…” Although she had agreed, it felt too sudden for her to call this girl-like pretty woman ‘mama’ in front of everyone.

“Mother! Don’t embarrass Miss Kagami again,” Ashikaga Kiyoshi also felt ashamed and thought it might have been better if he weren’t present here.

Ashikaga Naoto rushed inside at this moment.

“Mother! Brother! Huff-huff…”

“Naoto, calm down and speak slowly,” Kiyoshi hinted Naoto to take a seat.

The tall, handsome man sat down then said, “The Bureau of Onmyō has already reached a preliminary evaluation. These people might be from the Fuma clan!”

“Fuma clan?!” Lily was very familiar with the Fuma clan. Her personal ninja girl, Shiu, belonged to this Fuma clan before, and it seemed that this Fuma clan also worked with the Hojo clan. Although they engaged in a lot of evil, shady businesses, Lily had never thought the Fuma clan would also get involved in the hunt for the mirror girl.

Ashikaga Makoto’s gaze turned severe, “Fuma clan? This ninja clan has committed sins too many times already. If we can ascertain it’s their doing, we can request the Kamakura Imperial Palace to pass down a decree.”

“A decree?” Even Shimizu felt stunned after hearing this.

Ashikaga Kiyoshi stated with a grim expression, “A decree is no small matter. The Ashikaga family will get reprimanded if we don’t present hard evidence. Is the Bureau of Onmyō certain about it?”

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“That’s… they are almost certain, but when it comes to hard evidence…” Naoto faltered.

Lily interjected at this moment, “If we need to ascertain whether they are really from the Fuma clan, I might have a method to prove it!”2



References

  1. Robinxen: So there were like two places in this chapter I wanted to leave my regular comments and I forgot where they were and even rereading the chapter didn’t cause me to remember what it was I wanted to say…..what a shame. My words of wisdom have been lost to the ages.
  2. Silva: It’s Shiu’s time to shine again!! Or is it…

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