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Chapter 51 – Naoto in Peril

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 2254 characters
Translator: Aoi English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1666 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

After scrambling here and there all night, Lily could feel that her entire body was drenched in sweat again. However, there was no place for a woman to take a bath within the army camp. Although the camp was beside a riverbank, as there were around 20,000 troops stationed here, she would be seen in all her glory if a man were to approach the river at midnight to relieve their boredom.

“I hope Shiu isn’t that bothered by the heavy womanly fragrance…” Lily returned to her tent and pushed the flap aside, but she didn’t see Shiu inside.

Where did Shiu go? It’s so late already.

“Lady Lily!” A middle-aged samurai called out to Lily from behind.
“Hmm?”
“The Commander requests your presence at the army headquarters as soon as possible,” The samurai’s voice sounded a bit anxious.
“Me?”

Lily rushed towards the headquarters right away.

When she entered the headquarters, she discovered Shiu was actually here along with Uesugi Rei and her second-in-command, Lady Shiina Airi1.

Ashikaga Makoto stood up anxiously as soon as she saw Lily and called out to her, “Lil’ Lyn!”

Looking at her expression, even Lily could sense that something had gone wrong.

“What happened, Mother Makoto?”

“Lil’ Lyn, I received a report from a ninja just a few moments ago. The troops Naoto led to eradicate the Fuma Clan encountered an ambush and were defeated. The troops suffered from disastrous casualties while the severely injured Naoto got taken captive!2

“What?!” This was a very shocking bit of news to Lily, “D-Didn’t Lord Naoto take 2000 elite troops of the Ashikaga and plan to attack in two fronts by acting together with the Mido clan? The Fuma is just a common ninja clan, so how could this have…”

“The intel got leaked somehow, and the entire Mido clan was captured by the Fuma clan beforehand. The elders were all executed while the whereabouts of the ninja girls are also unknown. When the Ashikaga troops led a forward assault, they encountered an ambush within the mountain woods and were caught off guard… this led to their defeat, and according to the information brought back by the ninja, Naoto was severely injured and got captive… It’s unclear whether he’s dead or alive!”

Saying so, Ashikaga Makoto revealed an anxious expression. Although she was the Commander, it was hard for her to remain calm when her son had run into such a crisis, so she kept shuddering in anxiety.

“Mother M… Commander. You must have summoned Lily to mobilize. Please send down the order!” Lily took a step back and kneeled with one of her knees.

“It would take too long to mobilize 20,000 troops over there right now,” Ashikaga paced around and returned to her seat. She then calmed her breathing and ordered, “Uesugi Rei, Kagami Lily, I’m dispatching you to conduct a night raid on the Fuma clan’s dwelling, the Redwood Mist Village, at once. You have to rescue Ashikaga Naoto at all costs. The army will be sending 5000 elite troops to support you later, and I’ll be leading them personally to flatten the Fuma clan!”

“Lady Ashikaga, there’s no need to mobilize such large forces,” Uesugi Rei suggested in a rather solemn tone, “Lil’ Sister Lily and I can just lead my unit of cavalrywomen to wipe out the entire Fuma clan and rescue Naoto. The main forces can just wait here for the report of our victory.”

Ashikaga Makoto sighed in relief after hearing Rei’s words, “In any case, we will reach there as soon as possible. I’ll be leaving everything in your hands, Lady Uesugi. Naoto, he…”

Ashikaga Makoto was about to say something, but she refrained from doing so as she didn’t really wish to mix in personal feelings into official work too much.

“C-Commander, please allow me to participate in this battle too!” Shiu suddenly kneeled before Lily.

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“Shiu! Stop talking and return to the tent,” Lily berated her.

“Forgive me for refusing to do so. Although Shiu’s strength is lacking, the Fuma clan is Shiu’s former home, so Shiu knows the situation inside better than anyone else. If you allow Shiu to lead, it would be possible to evade all the ambushes and traps laid by the Fuma clan! Moreover, if all the Mido clan’s elders were really executed by the Fuma clan, Shiu also has a reason to participate in this battle!”

Shiu had provided solid reasoning this time, so even Lily couldn’t refute her words.

“Indeed!” Ashikaga Makoto nodded, “This is also the reason I’ve summoned both of you. We lost the previous battle because we underestimated the Fuma clan too much. Since they are colluding with the Hundred Demons Nation, their strength might not be the same as a typical unit of ninjas. Lady Uesugi, you must act with utmost caution too.”

“Please feel relieved, Commander,” Uesugi Rei didn’t feel like saying too many words. A distinct, savage expression floated upon her face, yet, it also seemed to possess some composedness to as she spoke the following words, “Lily, Shiina. Let’s go!”

It was an emergency military situation right now as Ashikaga Naoto was in a state of peril after getting captured. Hence, Lily didn’t argue too much as she wasn’t an unreasonable woman. She packed her items to set off and didn’t even have the time to say a word to Shimizu.

“Lily, you and I will be riding the Nioh.”
“Ehhh? But I have my own horse.”
“No, I’m just worried… that I’ll lose my way since the Nioh’s speed is too fast…” Uesugi Rei looked in another direction while blushing a little.
“Ah? All right then… Sister Uesugi can sit behind me, and I’ll just guide the way…”

Although they were a unit of cavalrywomen, they acted swiftly. All of them had finished assembling in less than thirty minutes, and the unit silently left north of the Odawara plains towards the Fuma clan’s stronghold!

Riding on a tiger on top of the cliff, Itagaki Nobuyoshi watched the unit of cavalrywomen move with unbelievable speed and sighed internally, “Although Lord Takeda and Uesugi Aokage3 are equally matched in strength, my Takeda family’s troops really fall short in comparison to Lady Uesugi Rei’s cavalrywoman unit. I feel so ashamed… but Lady Uesugi… is really cute!4

Although Itagaki Nobuyoshi had a mature appearance together with a parted pencil mustache, as a man who was still in his twenties, a slight blush floated across his face. The tiger that had a head full of white fur also shook its tail as it stood on top of the tall cliff.

And right now, Shimizu had rushed to meet Ashikaga Makoto at the headquarters after hearing the army was mobilizing again, “Commander, you have dispatched my sisters, but why haven’t you sent me along with them?”

“Ahh… That’s…” Ashikaga Makoto felt a little embarrassed for a moment, “I heard that you weren’t feeling too well in the evening, Lady Shimizu. Although you’re strong enough, there’s a chance of something going wrong while you’re infiltrating the enemy’s stronghold…”

“Commander! Lord Kamakura and the Genji have placed high hopes on me. If I let my health bother me, how would a woman like me be able to undertake a greater role in the future? I will eradicate all my enemies even if I end up coughing blood as a result! Even though I have a frail body, my resolve as a samurai doesn’t lose to anyone else!” Shimizu kneeled before Ashikaga Makoto immediately.

Shimizu’s words had touched Ashikaga Makoto, so she helped her stand up and said, “Forgive me, Lady Shimizu. I failed to consider things properly because my son was taken captive. Do accompany me when we set off to exterminate the Fuma clan in a while!”

“You have my gratitude for listening to my words, Commander!”

Shimizu left the headquarters after that and had a rather unsightly expression on her face along the way back to her tent, “Why has Commander Ashikaga given that woman an opportunity to spend time together with Lily? Would that dangerous woman really let this opportunity to make advances on Lily slip by her… Humph! The Commander’s mind is also a mess because her son got taken captive!”

The towering redwood tree of the Redwood Mist Village that was surrounded by precipitous mountains and ridges couldn’t even be seen in the early morning, akin to a wedged bamboo shoot in a steamer basket that had been opened moments ago. The village was hidden by the mist that made it impossible to see past a distance of ten meters clearly.

Hence, it wasn’t surprising that the Ashikaga troops had fallen to an ambush because of their imprudence.

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Uesugi Rei sat behind Lily on her mount and raised her hand to signal everyone to stop.

“Since they captured Naoto, they must have anticipated that the Ashikaga would send troops to rescue Naoto and made prior preparations for it. If we wait for the army to arrive, the Fuma clan would undoubtedly abandon this stronghold and flee into the depths of the mountains. After all, no matter how devious they are, it wouldn’t make sense for them to confront Ashikaga Makoto here in the woods. Hence, it’s up to us to rescue Naoto,” Uesugi Rei commented.

Shiu rode Lily’s white horse on one side of the Nioh while Rei’s second-in-command, Shiina Airi, rode her white horse on the other side5.

Shiina Airi hadn’t even reached the age of twenty, yet she looked a bit mature because of the beauty mark at the corner of her lips.

“Airi, tell everyone to dismount and tie their horses to the trees here. Just arrange a team of 2-3 to stay on watch here. Since the Nioh will be here, it will be impossible for anyone to steal the horses.”

Saying so, Uesugi Rei hugged Lily’s waist6 and lowered her down the mount, and then, she also dismounted, “We’ll be walking on foot hereafter.”



References

  1. Robinxen: I doubt I’ve ever said this, but I really love the name Airi. Actually Airis is a name I use often for characters in stuff, like games or my novels and that.
  2. Aoi: I have a hunch that Naoto is the traitor
  3. TLN: Rei’s grandfather, one of the Furinkazan. Previously translated as Uesugi Sohei.
  4. Silva: Wait, wut? Butwhy? Nobuyoshi falls in love?
  5. Robinxen: Leaders using white horses are stupid. It’s like shouting “Hey look at me, I’m important! Aim here!”
  6. Robinxen: After all that’s happened huh.

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