|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 3174 characters|
|Translator: Immortal Dreamer||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 2148 words|
“Lily…” Apathetic as she was, at this moment, even Shimizu had shed a heartfelt tear as she kneeled down and sat in front of Lily to hold her hand firmly…
The route back to her house was short, but Lily felt like she had walked for a long time. On the way back, she did feel happy that she formed a close sisterly bond with Shimizu, but she felt ever more worried about her.
Sister Shimizu is bearing too many things on her shoulders. Will her feeble body be able to hold on?
“Even if it’s an arduous task, aren’t I, her training sister, there to support her?” Lily strengthened her resolve to help Shimizu as much as possible. She felt that although Shimizu was very powerful, she might have been putting up a strong front on the surface.
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After Lily returned home, she took proper rest.
On the next day, when Lily woke up, she discovered that the sun was already up in the sky and shining its rays into the room.
“Hyah!” Lily got up in a flurry, “Oh, no! I’m going to be late again! It’s long past early morning now! I have to make it there as soon as possible. I vowed to Sister Shimizu just yesterday and am already late today, so it might be hard to escape the punishment this time.”
Lily’s face flushed up.
She freshened up in a hurry, but still took the time to dress up nicely and then left her home.
Just after she went outside, she saw Yoshiko, Shimizu’s maid, waiting for her.
“Miss Kagami, Milady instructed me to wait here for you and inform you to visit her house right away. She is waiting for you there.”
“Ehhh?” Lily felt stunned. Are we proceeding to the punishment directly? Fortunately, I cleaned myself in the morning.
Lily arrived at Shimizu’s house, yet discovered that Sakiko was also present there. The two of them were sitting face to face and discussing matters.
“Ah, Lily. You’re here. Come in quickly,” Sakiko told her.
Lily noticed that both Sakiko and Shimizu had solemn expressions on their faces, so they seemed to be discussing some important matters. Hence, she went ahead to take a seat beside them, obediently.
Sakiko continued the conversation, “Lily, news arrived from the Ashikaga family just now. At the morning hearing today, Lord Kamakura has sent down the decree against the Fuma clan. Now that this has happened, our side must also prepare to go out into battle.”
“Go out into battle?” Lily couldn’t understand what she meant.
Sakiko explained, “This decree was sent out by Lord Kamakura, the sovereign of the entire east of Heian Dynasty. It’s a clan extermination decree! The most dreadful and stringent decree of all! However, all the samurai clans must send troops to carry out this decree by Lord Kamakura. The decree was sent to the Ashikaga, Uesugi, Takeda, and all the prominent retainer samurai clans of the Eastern Nations. The Ashikaga will act as the commander and set off from Kamakura while the other clans will join the expedition along the way.”
“Hence, we, the Genji, also have to send samurai to join the battle. However, the Genji samurai are tasked with important responsibilities, so there aren’t that many people we can send out. Hence, our dojo will also be sending out samurai this time. After negotiating with the Genji elders, it was finally decided that the Genji will send Minamoto no Kenki as the general, and Shimizu will be second in command. Lily, you will also be accompanying Shimizu!” Sakiko enunciated while looking at Lily.
“Ehhh? Me?” Lily voiced out dumbfoundedly.
“Indeed,” Sakiko continued, “Lily, you have racked up a rich battle experience from outings, but there’s a huge difference between a real battle and fighting alone. As one of the branches of the Genji, our samurai must all establish merit on the battlefield to prove themselves as true samurai! This is an opportunity as well as a means to gain experience for you!”
“Moreover, you were the one who discovered the most pivotal clue for this case. Lord Kamakura made such arrangements to provide a chance for Shimizu to establish prestige amongst the Genji. This will lay the foundation for the heavy responsibility the Lord plans to delegate to her in the future.”
As expected, Lily saw the calm-faced Shimizu nod at her silently. The Ashikaga were taking command, and the Uesugi, Takeda, as well as the other retainer samurai clans were also dispatching troops. So, there was simply no reason for the Genji to send troops as assistance. They were only doing so to maintain the internal balance of the merit and rewards given post-battle.1
Shimizu naturally had no reason to refuse such a clear-cut opportunity to elevate her status. Since she was going, Lily also planned to go together with her.
This matter was a major military mission and wasn’t an ordinary mission. Since Lily was ordered to go into battle, she had to, her intentions didn’t matter. Although this was equivalent to delivering merit, it was also a military order.
As Lily accepted the order with a bow, a suppressed smile popped up on her face.
“Humph! Fuma clan, you might have tried to assassinate me because you accepted a mission from the Daidouji clan. However, by colluding with the Land of Hundred Demons to hunt the mirror girl, you have now become the thorn in my side.”
In fact, Lily was also one of the pivotal, hidden driving forces behind this time’s expedition to exterminate the Fuma clan. Although it appeared as if she had no influence, candid and straightforward as she was, she had connections to the Genji, Ashikaga, and Uesugi, three of the prominent samurai clans. This was a considerable amount of influence that couldn’t be underestimated. Moreover, it was also tricky for others to perceive this incredible influence she held.2
This was because everyone just considered Lily a young girl who matured pretty quickly but was oblivious to the military and official matters.
If Lily hadn’t proposed to let Shiu give testimony, the Genji might not have found the resolution to exterminate the Fuma even though they resented the Fuma a lot. And the matter would have ended just like that.
Sakiko got up and said, “You better make your preparations then. As the headquarters of the expedition, the troops of the Genji from Kamakura will head out the earliest. We will begin the march early in the morning three days later. I also have a lot of matters to deal with, so I will be leaving first.”
Lily felt inquisitive and excited about going out into battle.
Although she had a lot of experience with fighting monsters and risking her life in the wild, Lily had never truly experienced a war.
After Sakiko left, Lily asked Shimizu, “Sister Shimizu, what kind of preparations are needed for going out into battle?”
Shimizu chuckled. Although she had never participated in a war until now, the children of the Genji all received special education right from their childhood, and this naturally included knowledge regarding warfare.
“Do you have armor?” she asked.
Shimizu explained, “Be it in a duel or outings to gain experience in the wild, the speed, and dexterity with which samurai handle their katana takes precedence. So, they neglect their protective equipment usually, and fight in normal, lightweight attire. However, things are different on the battlefield. An enemy can appear from any direction, and no place is safe. Just because you have beheaded your opponent, it doesn’t mean you have won as a stray arrow or spear might end up taking your life. The charging cavalry is something to watch out for too, so protective equipment is of utmost importance in a formation. Therefore, it’s necessary to wear armor when going out to battle.”3
“Is that so?” Lily wasn’t fond of armor as it was heavy. However, as everyone would be wearing armor, if she alone weren’t wearing one, she would end up becoming the target of the arrows and firearms.
“But, I don’t have armor…”
Shimizu shook her head, “I know you don’t.4 Although the Genji warehouse also offers basic armor, their defensive abilities aren’t that good since they are made for foot soldiers. All samurai have their own armor. For them, armor is a treasure more important than a katana on the battlefield. Killing one opponent more might not change the tide of the battle, but if you end up dying, everything will come to an end even if you have killed a lot of opponents before that. On the battlefield, surviving comes first, merit second.”5
Lily also nodded to express her approval of those words.
“Go buy a set of armor and then get it modified to your size. There should be enough time for that,” Shimizu suggested, “But armor is pretty expensive, do you have that much money?”
“Money? I have enough of it,” Although Lily was running low on magatama fragments, she actually had no shortage of money. She still had 10,000 kwan left in her savings.6
“Sister Shimizu, what other preparations are required?” Lily asked.
“That depends on the person now. Do you have a horse?”
“How about a set of bow and arrows?”
“I don’t have those too.”
Shimizu looked at Lily somewhat helplessly and said, “Fine. Go buy all of them then. Anyways, you are just one person and have no soldiers or retainers, so these should be enough. If you had soldiers, you would have had to prepare rations too.”
“What will I eat then?”
“You just need to act alongside me, I’ll keep you well-fed,” Shimizu placed her finger on Lily’s lips impatiently to shush her and almost put it inside her mouth.7
“Mhm…” Lily blushed, and turned about while squirming to escape the embarrassment, “I will go prepare them then.”
Armor, horse, and a set of bow and arrows.
These were all essential equipment samurai needed when going out into battle.
Lily was already familiar with Kamakura city now. The main dojo here didn’t have a store like the one that existed in Takeshita town, because the equipment worn by the disciples here weren’t things that were obtainable in stores. High-grade equipment also didn’t need to be replaced that often, so it was hard to do business with these disciples.
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Therefore, Lily arrived at Kamakura’s city market along with Shiu.
Fortunately, the weather was beautiful today, so Lily was in a relatively good mood.
They first went to the horse ranch that was in the southwestern part of Kamakura city.
As for the reason they had decided to procure a horse first, it was so that they could make it carry the things they purchase after that. Besides the armor, they also needed to purchase maintenance tools as well as spare parts for the armor, so all of it would amount to a lot of things. It was vastly different from purchasing a few clothes that they could just carry.
Lily had never practiced horse riding. Although she had ridden a Nioh, she wasn’t the one who was driving it back then, so she couldn’t find the best horse to buy even after spending a reasonable amount of time there.
After checking out the horse ranch for some more time, they ended up getting a healthy, white, grade 3 warhorse.
The grade 3 warhorse was just a few dozen kwan, which was really too cheap a price. Although Lily would find it challenging to ride a grade 3 horse with her skills, as she could just overpower it with her strength, she only needed to adapt to it slowly.
After that, they arrived at an armor store. Shiu’s inquiries suggested that this place was the best armor store in Kamakura.
A big-bearded blacksmith received them.8
“Hello, pretty ladies! Are you two samurai here to buy armor? Although there aren’t that many places which sell armor for women, my place has a lot of them! I, Soufune Toshirou, am pleased to serve you beauties!”
“Mister Soufune, what kinds of armor do you have here?” Lily felt dazzled after seeing all kinds of formidable-looking armor arranged in the store. However, most of them seemed to be for men.
“I wonder which grade of armor you are looking for, lady?”
“What’s the best you have here?”
“What?” Soufune Toshirou hunched his back slightly and reached out with his head to look at Lily with suspicion, “The best one?”
Lily also knew it wasn’t easy to procure top-quality armor in the market, so she asked for the best one directly.
“Naturally. Since Milady plans to purchase armor, she will have the best one. What’s your best one?” Shiu added.9
Soufune grinned, “Of course, I have something. The best armor for women I have is a superior grade 4 armor.”10
- Robinxen: I am….totally lost. Politics!
- Robinxen: Exactly! If they’re not female how can they possibly be seduced by your yurification aura!
- Silva: Oooo, and here I thought armor don’t exist and they’d go to battle with frilly kimonos xD
Robinxen: Reality is soul crushing
- Robinxen: Then why bother asking?!
- Silva: Too bad she don’t absorb human anima eh, she can’t make use of her sword maiden ability to recover spirit power here.
- Robinxen: Bold of you to assume that’s enough. You literally have no idea on the value of armour.
- Silva: Lewd~~
- Silva: (A dwarf?)
- Robinxen: This aside, asking for the best is a good opening move for both parties in negotiation. First it lets you see the highest quality the other can produce, preventing any wasted time on checking if standards are met, it also sets the bar for the highest price. Which is beneficial for both parties also. If the customer can afford it then you skip time consuming negotiation and if the customer can’t, then the other party can offer a cheaper alternative. This kind of switch will seem more ‘agreeable’ to the customer and will be more inclined to purchase it. So in this case it’s actually strange that the blacksmith was surprised that they asked about the best first. Why do I know this? I have no clue.
- Silva: Now then, I wonder how much will it cost?