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Chapter 67 – Old Friend

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 2187 characters
Translator: Silva English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1563 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

The next morning, Shimizu got up with a slight blush, all but forgotten was the dream she had last night.

She was adorned with white clothes as she looked out the window and was greeted by the sight of the warm sun.

“Yoshiko, why didn’t you wake me up earlier?”
“Lady Shimizu, you had taken the medicine last night and seldomly slept in late, I wanted to let you rest some more. Oh, and Miss Kagami visited earlier.”
“Of course, she’s here to seek me out for sword practice, that’s why I asked why you didn’t wake me up,” Shimizu questioned with a huff.

She hurriedly washed her face and finished her preparations before putting on a blue kimono with bamboo and chrysanthemum design, then she headed out to where Lily was.

Just a few days prior, the house was finally repaired, so Lily and Nanako finally moved out. Since it was just a few dozen steps away, it was still equivalent to almost living together, thus Shimizu didn’t urge them to stay.

By the time she arrived at Lily’s house, she only saw Nanako reading a book and practicing writing by herself.

“Sister Shimizu,” Nanako greeted Shimizu politely upon noticing the latter.
“Good morning, Nanako. Where’s your Sister Lily?”

“Ah… about that, Sister Lily is going out, she was going to say goodbye to you early in the morning, but your maid said that you were asleep, so she asked me to pass the words.”1

Going out? Where is Lily going? Could it be that she’s going on an adventure on her own?”

“No, I’ll be worried too if Sister Lily is going out on an adventure. She only told me she had some personal matters to take care of and will be back in a few days’ time. She won’t be entering the deep mountains for adventure, so there won’t be any danger,” Nanako answered while blinking.2

“Oh… is that so. By the way, Nanako, are you feeling better now?”
“Mhm, I’ve already fully recovered, I should be able to go practice at the dojo soon,” Nanako answered with a brilliant smile.
“I see, that’s good,” Shimizu smiled sweetly, “then I’ll be taking my leave first.”3

As Shimizu left Lily’s home, she felt somewhat distraught with anxiety. She originally wanted to find Lily to have a good talk with her and ask her about the secret of her quick improvement, but Lily unfortunately happened to be going out at this time. She couldn’t have gone to find Uesugi Rei could she?

Shimizu started to get anxious as she thought about the two of them getting together. If it was her, she would have taken the opportunity to hold Lily in her arms and whisper sweet nothings to one another… As such, she hurriedly made her way towards the dojo. Uesugi Rei’s cavalrywomen were still stationed at the outskirts of Kamakura as they were still waiting for the Lord to confer the rewards.

“If Lily dares to go have a tryst with Uesugi Rei, I’ll drag her back and question her,” Shimizu angrily walked with small but quick steps. However, she unexpectedly ran to Rei at the dojo entrance.

“Huh? What are you doing here?”
Rei replied with a smile, “Hehe, Lady Shimizu, I am also one of the Genji samurai with a free pass into the main dojo. I went to the mountains to hunt with my troops for the past few days and had just returned. I wonder if Lil’ Lyn is around.”
“Huh? You’re also here to look for Lil’ Sister Lily?” Shimizu was surprised. Apparently, Lily hadn’t gone to find Rei, then where did she go?

And on this fine day, the sun shone down brightly on the picturesque chrysanthemum field. It was a fine weather so the beautiful flower field was filled with colorful butterflies and honeybees fluttering about.

Lily was wearing a white kimono with red autumn leaves embroidery as she walked down this path alone. She had been thinking of taking this trip for a long while now. Her new clothing was fitting of the current season and she was in quite a good mood.

By the afternoon, she had reached atop a hill so scenic as though it came out of an ukiyo-e painting itself. Below the hill was a row of houses that belonged to the Matsuda clan.

A beautiful smile presented itself in Lily’s heart. The second day since she came to this world, she had been living here and set up her foundation at this hillside. She had vowed to keep on living for her senior sister’s sake, and now, she had become a late-stage Sword Saint capable of traveling around Kanto unhindered. To an ordinary person, a sword saint was already an existence bordering on legends.

Since Lily had accomplished her goal, she was finally able to take some time out of her training to come to visit old friends.

Uncle Matsuda’s strength was nothing to write home about to the current Lily, but he had shown her kindness when she was still a weak little girl who knew nothing of the world, and he even let her slip off in spite of facing Dijon’s anger. However, she hadn’t heard from him ever since and he didn’t participate in the Odawara campaign, so Lily wondered how he was doing now.

Lily actually still held this uncle in high regard.

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She arrived before the entrance full of joy and expectations, but upon noticing the overgrown weeds outside the door, she felt that something was wrong. It was as though nobody had lived here for a long time now.

Lily walked towards the half-opened door and pushed it lightly. The wooden door made a creaking sound as it opened. However, it soon fell apart due to how damaged it was.

Upon entering the premises, she noticed that all the buildings were empty, and the weeds in the courtyard were so tall they could cover up the kids who used to practice swords here with her. Even the platform was full of dust and spiderwebs filled all the gaps between the roof beams.

After looking around for a while, she made her way towards the backyard where she once lived. This was the place where she sensed the spiritual energy for the first time. The weeds were also overgrown in this area and showed no signs of human habitation.

“Lord Matsuda, Lord Matsuda…” Lily called out repeatedly, but no one answered as expected. Clearly, there was not a single person left in this house.

“Just where did Lord Matsuda go? Even if he’s not here, how about Kimura, Kanzaki, and the servants? Even Taro is fine, just where did they all go?”

Lily felt a bit lost as she left the premises and headed to a nearby village to ask around. Matsuda was the feudal lord of this territory, so the villagers should be more or less informed of his whereabouts.

Not long after Lily entered the village, she could hear the hoarse voice of a young man singing a short poem in the farming area ahead.

“Catch myself a loach from a paddy field ‘fore supper~ ‘fore supper”
Then the other villagers, male and female alike, also sang along: ‘fore supper~
That sounded like Kimura’s voice.

Hope reignited in Lily’s heart as she ran with small steps towards the field. And sure enough, it was none other than Kimura. His back was facing the clear sky as he toiled away on the paddy field, singing along with seven or eight other farmers.

“B-brother Kimura!” Feeling emotional, Lily shouted his name.

Kimura froze in that posture for a while before he finally lifted his head to look at Lily. Upon spotting the latter, however, he didn’t view her with the same adoring and happy look on his face. Instead, his face appeared somewhat awkward.

“Miss Kagami?”

Just from observing Kimura’s expression, Lily already had a bad premonition.

As the sun sets in the west, Kimura brings Lily before a grave located at a tranquil, picturesque hillside. It was a grave made with a simple wood tile, but it was clearly being taken good care of.

These words were carved on the old wooden tile that was erected atop the mound, “Lived as One with the Sword, here lies Matsuda Nagahide.”

Soon as she saw that, Lily stopped in her tracks and her uncontrollable sadness spilled out in the form of tears.

Kimura stood beside Lily who was half a head taller than him with an indifferent look and explained, “Dijon had arrived soon after you left. He gave Lord Matsuda a chance and questioned him in respect of his loyalty to the Hojo clan. But who would have thought, Lord Matsuda didn’t even explain and committed seppuku. He must’ve made up his mind already when he let you go…”

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After listening to Kimura’s explanation, Lily silently stepped forward and kneeled on the ground, ignoring the fact that the mud would smear her pure white silk dress. She then bowed three times to express her greatest respect for Matsuda Nagahide.

“Uncle Matsuda… you lived as one with the sword and died as a warrior, may your afterlife too be filled with glory and brilliance!”

The teardrops that fell from Lily’s face reflected the ray of the setting sun and shone with a divine halo.4



References

  1. Silva: Hmmm so she’s finally going to find Matsuda huh… I wonder how the whole clan will treat her now that their master sacrificed himself in her place… or will Matsuda clan still even exist? I can’t help but feel that Dijon would’ve destroyed them by now…
  2. Robinxen: Nanako…I can’t tell if she told you the truth or if you were tricked. Also did this loli always have this personality? Hmmm….her tsun levels have fallen?
  3. Robinxen: Hmmmm…looks like they’re not connecting. At least not yet? I was expecting them to hit it off more. Or at least for Shimizu to care more.
  4. Robinxen: Hmmmmm…did this chapter feel off to anyone else?

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