|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 3441 characters|
|Translator: Silva||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 2296 words|
In the early morning, Kashima Hajime strolled through the garden, with one of his arms lopped off and heavily bandaged.
It was impossible to connect severed arms with ordinary healing arts in the Heian period. Although it might be possible for the eminent monks of Heian-kyo to do so, there was no longer a safe path that led to the capital city. Even for an emergency measure, the travel expenses to Heian-kyo was worth more than a mere Kashima’s arm. Besides, there was no guarantee they would make it in time.
Tokugawa needed one month to recuperate, but Kashima would be disabled for life. Therefore, it was natural that he detested Lily to the last. It hadn’t yet been determined who was right or wrong in this case, but Lily had gained whopping military merit so the public opinion was inclined towards her. Additionally, Shimizu and Sakiko also spoke up for her to the higher-ups, so even Tokugawa Shigetsugu was in dismay and ordered him to stay put for the time being. How could a mere Kashima stir up any huge waves by himself?1
As he looked at his now gone arm that he used to wield the sword and did many evil deeds in the past with, he was filled with rage! However, there was nothing he could do about it.
He couldn’t beat her in a fight, nor could he set her up or win against her in an argument, even Tokugawa had to temporarily admit defeat despite his backings, so what could Kashima even do by himself?
Kashima peeked at the vacant space behind the dojo hall through the bushes; Lily was currently training with Shimizu. She was able to carry herself with natural and unforced movements, and Kashima was not so incompetent that he couldn’t tell Lily’s swordplay and strength were improving at visible speed day after day. She had already far surpassed him in both aspects, even to the point that she could exchange dozens of rounds with Shimizu’s casual attacks!
“Damned Kagami Lily! One day I will definitely r̲a̲p̲e̲ you before killing you! I will pay back this shame with your blood! B̲i̲t̲c̲h̲! I will slowly torment you and let you die an excruciating death!”
As anger took hold in his heart and the blood rushed to his head, Kashima’s wound began to throb in pain. This pain caused his face to wrap and become more vicious!
“Kagami Lily! Just you wait! I will return to Mikawa and tell my father! We’ll see who’s the one laughing in the end, heh-heh-heh!”2
Kashima glanced at Lily with a vicious glare and left silently.
And during these past few days, Lily had been practicing swordplay with Shimizu in the morning, then in the afternoon or evening, she’d take in roughly a dozen or more grams of the magatama fragments. Her strength was clearly rising with each passing day.
Half a month passed in the blink of an eye, Lily had used up all the magatama fragments without a single gram remaining.
Although her power increased slower as she went deeper up the curves, Lily’s base power still reached 6500 kan. In addition to her Mirror Space Bonus, Blade Maiden Spirit Power and Genji Swordstyle, it reached an astounding 65,000 kan!
In other words— Late-Stage Sword Saint.
It had been five months since Lily had been at the Heian Empire. She was nothing more than a frail girl who wouldn’t even protect herself, but all her past experiences had brought her to where she stood today and she had finally broken into the realm of late-stage Sword Saint!
Even if one scoured through the entire history of the Heian Empire, it was hard to say if they could find another person to have reached the realm of late-stage Sword Saint in merely five months.
Lily, wearing a red kimono, was taking a walk on the three-tiered pagoda located at the back of the dojo. She was feeling sentimental as she took in the view of the dojo from atop the pagoda. Her plump chest was pushed out and her hair was gently brushed by the pleasant breeze.
“Late-stage Sword Saint… not so long ago, that Hojo Dijon seemed like an insurmountable wall I could never surpass and win against, but now, though there might still be a small gap between our strength, I should at least be able to fight against him!”
“After surpassing the Sword Saint, I will be able to cross the land of Hundred Demons! Just how much longer will it take before I can set out for Heian-kyo?”
Lily questioned herself, it was just that, however, what kind of existence was beyond the Sword Saint, how to surpass the Sword Saint, she had no idea.
After all, even the gap between late-stage Sword Saint was enormous in itself. A junior Sword Saint like Lily, for example, only had the strength of approximately sixty thousand kan. However, those who stood at the apex of Sword Saint, such as Dijon, could have over a hundred thousand kan of strength! It was unknown just how strong Uesugi Rei and Shimizu really were, but they should at least be a lot stronger than Dijon!
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Be that as it may, an actual life or death battle wasn’t as simple as a contest of strength. Even if one side had a higher penetration force, they would still get pierced if their defense was lower than their opponent’s attack power. If they got hit in the vital parts, they would still die.
But power still played a huge role, if a Swordmaster ran into a Sword Saint, how could they continue to fight if their bones were fractured from a single strike?
Moreover, Sword Saint continued to polish their battle styles instead of pursuing pure strength like the Martial Monk did. By the time a Sword Saint achieved a hundred thousand kan of penetration force, their speed, swordplay, and reaction speed simultaneously increased with their base power. The difference was astronomical, they were better in every aspect so there was fundamentally no competition to be had.
During these periods of time, Lily had been practicing with Shimizu while receiving her advice, she had learned a lot and this had been somewhat helpful in comprehending her own ultimate move.
The early morning three days from then, Lily was standing in the water with a flimsy white yukata. The splashes of the waterfall nearby wetted Lily’s long hair and clothes, causing the translucent clothes to stick close to Lily’s skin and outline her captivating figure.
Lily, however, wasn’t concerned about that as she kept fixing her gaze on a huge boulder in the distance.
Spirit power swirled around Lily unconsciously, causing the water under her feet to rise and form a whirlpool. Meanwhile, the Crescent Moon in her hands was flickering with a crimson light.
This move was the acclimation of her Sakura Fall intent with the Spirit Power. By combining her strongest sword strike with her understanding of intent, Lily intended to create a sword skill.
This ultimate move shall be known as “Sakura-Clad Moon”.
As its name implied, the sakura’s pink-ish color slowly permeated the blade of Crescent Moon, causing it to shine with a faint layer of light as a few petals materialized amidst the intense spirit power.
Lily’s pupils turned crimson red as she lifted Crescent Moon above her head. Soon, countless spirit powers identical to the pistils of lycoris radiata wound around the blade. As the domain gradually expanded, the surrounding atmosphere was dyed in the same crimson color. It was as though, at this very moment, nature itself had become the background of Lily’s stage.
“Sakura—Clad Moon.” Lily chanted softly with her pink lips. Her eyes carried a hint of melancholy, but she brought down the sword in her hands with all her strength without the slightest hesitation.
She looked like a fairy as she threw her long sleeves out and the sakura-embroidered fabric fluttered in the air. Her sword danced like a crimson ribbon as it inscribed delicate arcs and a lone slash flew towards the enormous boulder.
“Fsssh—!!!” As the sword light neared the boulder, it suddenly scattered into several dozens of crimson blades and frenziedly cut the boulder! Each and every one of those blades took the form of a petal!
The crimson petals instantly hacked for hundreds of times and turned the ten meters tall heavy boulder into tiny fragments.
A ten meters hole was left behind and the pond water slowly filled it up.
Beads of sweat constantly flowed down into her cleavage as she gasped for breath. She had fused the Sakura Fall intent with her spirit power and successfully created the first ultimate move she could truly claim to be her own!
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Although this move was a long-range attack, its destructive force was much higher than directly hitting a target with her sword! This move had encompassed both the hardness and sharpness of the Crescent Moon!
Inside the range of 50 meters, the full might of Sakura-Clad Moon was equivalent to three times the power of Lily’s normal strike!
With an ultimate move up her sleeves, Lily now had an extra safety measure. She could surprise her opponent if she suddenly exposed a destructive power far exceeding her original strength during the key moment.
However, to execute this move, Lily had to pull open a certain distance from her opponent. Sakura-Clad Moon was an extension of Lily’s intent, it could only be launched in a curved line but it could change direction in accordance with Lily’s will to ensure the target was hit. Nevertheless, as it was a long-distance skill, the consumption rate was also excessive, more or less about one-third of Lily’s total spirit power!
Having said that, a Blade Maiden had the ability to continuously replenish their spirit power. As a result, if they were to use this to slaughter a big group of enemies, they could replenish their spirit power quicker than they were spent.
If she was facing a powerful opponent in a one versus one duel, however, this ultimate move could only be used in crucial moments.
If she couldn’t secure victory once revealing this move, then it could get very dangerous for Lily.
“Sakura-Clad Moon is very powerful, especially when it splits into dozens of petals and attacks simultaneously, its attack power is a lot higher than my normal attack. If they’re hit, even Hojo Dijon would be cut into pieces if he didn’t have an outrageous armor and merely rely on his natural defenses!”
Lily was slightly confident in this conjecture.
After learning this ultimate move, Lily was in a pretty good mood. She squatted down at the river bank and soaked the towel to wipe her body. After all, she sweated a lot after a long period of training. It felt quite refreshing to wipe her breasts, lower abdomen and armpits with the cool towel.
However, while Lily was wiping her body and basking in the joy of her accomplishment, Shimizu was in a secluded, dusky dojo specially reserved for her personal use. She was kneeling on the floor, panting and breaking out in cold sweat.
“Why! I have been stuck at this bottleneck for a while now… no, not only have I not improved, I even feel like I have regressed, am I thinking too much?”
“For some reason, Lil’ Sister Lily has been getting stronger at flying speed recently. I knew she had received plenty of magatama fragments, but the effects should be getting weaker the stronger she gets. Upon reaching twenty thousand kan, it should only be one-fifth as effective, but why do I feel that Lily is improving by several thousand kan per day!3 She only has 300-350 grams at most! Yesterday, even my arms started to feel numb after receiving her continuous assault, it’s starting to put more strain on me! She’s like a different person compared to when she just enrolled into the dojo!”
Shimizu had a lifeless look in her eyes as she gasped for breath, “Why is it that Lily improves so quickly and yet I continue to stall here?!”
“I have already vowed to protect the mirror girl and confront the hundred demons, but why is the mirror still not giving me new strength, new enlightenment?! Why?! Why can’t I master the 7th stage of the mysterious swordplay that the mirror had bestowed me?!”4
“Could it be that I do not have enough talent? Or that Lily is more talented than me? No! Lily already has such a perfectly healthy body and exceptional beauty, and you are saying even her talent is higher than me?!”
‘Bang!’ Shimizu hammered the ground with her pale fist, “A healthy woman with a feminine fragrance like Lily should be dominated by this one on the ground! If that kind of woman has more talent than me, then isn’t Heaven favoring her too much? That’s just unfair!”
Shimizu suddenly thought of something and her eyes turned gloomy, “Don’t tell me, is she also hiding some sort of secret? And she’s concealing it from me?”
“No, impossible!” Shimizu shook those thoughts away, “Lil’ Lily is so pure, she’s like a ray of sunshine, both cute and sexy… I understand that kind of perfect woman the best, there’s no reason for them to use trickery to get the blessing and fondness of everyone in their surroundings. She has no reason to hide anything from me, I shouldn’t suspect Lil’ Lily.”5
“But… maybe I should try to casually ask her about it when I see her next time.”
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- Silva: For some reason… this feels like a flag…
- Silva: uhh yea… ok…. go and tell your daddy then. I really hate villains who go to their daddy to complain they got bullied for their own undoing. They’re so childish.
Robinxen: Ah, he must belong to the Slytherin House!
- Silva: Well… that’s because she’s a cheat, no, really… her original power is only 6.5k
- Silva: She’s a bit obsessed… I mean, I kinda get she’s a bit of a narcissist when she was first shown with the “fake” mirror, but… I’m not sure if I should feel pity for her if she knew her mirror isn’t the real deal…
Robinxen: Didn’t Lily already established that the reason was because Shimizu was too fixated on gains and losses, while the swordplay was detached from the world?
- Silva: Problem is, she does have lots of secret…
Robinxen: I don’t get her logic here at all, you can keep secrets without ill intent too.
- Robinxen: Well at least she’s forward about it?
- Silva: I don’t really get Shimizu… her mood is very unstable…