|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 3248 characters|
|Translator: Myuu||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 2036 words|
“I actually saw it. I actually predicted her next move. I could have gotten her the moment she drew her blade. I obviously can draw my sword quicker. So then why?”
“And what exactly was that unimaginably violent gust of sword current?! That wasn’t Uesugi Rei’s power. It felt like it was the primeval, violent, terrifying and extremely intense grudge from the tachi…”
“Just what sort of grudge could be this fierce and intense…?”
“She didn’t even use a killing move or Domain. She defeated me with just that terrifying sword current! Is the gap between me and Uesugi Rei this huge?!”
“Am I, the best of the East’s Six Swords, just a joke?”
“Why? Why is it like this? I just don’t get it!”
Uesugi Rei picked up a piece of curtain in a shop on the street with her long tachi, then went behind Shimizu and draped the blue curtain over her shoulders to cover her body.
Uesugi Rei then solemnly made a public announcement. “From today onwards, I, Uesugi Rei, shall withdraw from the Six Swords of the East. Hence, Lady Shimizu still ranks first.”
Shimizu was trembling slightly. Her arms were still numb from the elementary yet powerful impact. She didn’t have enough strength in her legs to get up either.
She turned her head around to look at the tall and silver-haired war goddess. “Are you… humiliating me…?” She asked under her breath.
“No. You’re overthinking it. I have been planning to quit all along and took the opportunity to make this announcement. I apologize, Lady Shimizu. I failed to control my strength and embarrassed you publicly. That wasn’t intentional.”
“Shut up…” Shimizu’s gaze fell on the cold, heavy and destructive blade that Uesugi was holding. Her eyes suddenly lit up. “W-What kind of sword is this? I can feel a terrifying power dwelling within it. You have never revealed it before, even during the battle at Suruga Province. Tell me, what sword is this? Why does it contain such a terrible power?!”
“Even if you ask me, I don’t know either. I have this sword with me for as long as I can remember, although I could barely swing it until seven years ago. I have no clue of its name. Maybe it never had a name in the first place.”1
“Hmph, hehehe. Uesugi Rei, you relied on this sword to defeat me, isn’t it? Compared to your sword, my Tranquil Bamboo is just an ordinary Grade 6 sword… You only defeated me by relying on this incredible ancient sword, isn’t it?! Tell me… yes or no?!”2
Uesugi Rei didn’t reply. She turned around and walked past Minamoto no Shimizu who was on the ground. She went in the direction where the sun had set, toward the exit of Kamakura City on the other side of the street.
After a few steps, Uesugi Rei turned around and looked at Shimizu. There were pity and resignation in her gaze. “You didn’t lose to my sword. You lost to yourself.”3
Having said that, Uesugi Rei returned the heavy tachi into its scabbard on her back then calmly left the scene.
It was only then the thousands of spectators finally recovered from their shock and started whispering to each other. They gazed admiringly at Uesugi Rei’s disappearing silhouette, at the same time also with disbelief, doubt, sympathy, ridicule and conflict in their gazes on Minamoto no Shimizu.
The hot-headed and middle-aged samurai in black armor then exclaimed, “Unbelievable…! Both of them stood motionlessly for a whole day, but the outcome of the battle was decided in an instant. I was expecting a flashy battle with their swords clashing against each other for at least a hundred times since both of them were rumored to be evenly matched. I was even planning to learn something from their battle! Who would have thought… it was all over in just the blink of an eye. I-I didn’t even manage to see clearly!”
“People had been questioning if Minamoto no Shimizu was living up to her reputation of being the best of the East’s Six Swords. Guess the cat is out of the bag now. She couldn’t even withstand a blow from Uesugi Rei. Uesugi Rei’s blade didn’t even touch her, she used only that powerful sword current to defeat Minamoto no Shimizu. It was obvious that she was pulling punches. Seems like there is quite a gap between their strengths!” The ronin said in response.
“You are wrong!” A gray-haired elderly man said. “Minamoto no Shimizu isn’t weak. Uesugi Rei is simply too strong! If Minamoto no Shimizu was as weak as both of you claimed, why would Uesugi Rei play the waiting game with her! Uesugi Rei could send people like you flying in just the blink of an eye. It would seem like Shimizu is still an opponent worthy of vigilance in Uesugi’s eyes!”
“Hmph, Shimizu might just be good at bluffing.”
“Regardless, I think Uesugi Rei’s strength has probably surpassed the Six Swords of the East long ago. Looking at the entire Land of East… Lady Uesugi’s strength is probably just right below the Furinkazan.”
Shimizu could more or less hear the discussions going on around her. Even so, these comments were nothing compared to the great humiliation brought about by her defeat and nearly being stripped naked. She pulled the blue curtain tighter around her and lowered her head. Even if she had regained the energy to move, she had no courage to stand up and face the world.
She couldn’t even meet the mocking gazes around her.
The crowd gradually dispersed and the sky had turned dark completely. The chilly autumn wind blew across the empty streets, carrying the fallen leaves with it.
Shimizu sat alone in the middle of an empty and quiet street as she quietly sobbed. She didn’t really have any friends as she was always immersed in sword training. Hence, she had no one to comfort her at a moment like this.
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If Lily was here… She would never have left her alone on the street…
“Lil’ Sister Lily… Hmph, so what if I lost? As long as Lily is here to comfort me and stay with me, I don’t care if I am not the best in the Land of East. I don’t care anymore… Oh Lil’ Sister Lily, I miss you so badly. I wish to see you soon! I’m left with nothing now. All I have now is you… only you…”4
Shimizu continued sobbing on her knees there. Perhaps she would only find the courage to stand up again when the night grew dark enough to swallow up her pathetic appearance.
Lily passed through the Sagami Province under the same moon and arrived at Musashi Province, the easternmost land among the eight territories in the Kanto region.
Lily walked out of the hill and was met with a gust of sea breeze. The sea was dark and vast under the night sky, but she could still see the faint glow of the waves at the horizon.
Lily stood on the mountain path and allowed her long hair to be tousled by the sea breeze. There was a hint of salt in the air.
Ahead of the road was a small and dimly lit seaside village situated at the foot of a mountain. Lily made her way toward there.
The gloomy waves washed the gray sandy beach. Not far away, a few old sailing ships that didn’t seem like they often leave the port were moored. Rows of wooden houses were built along the road. There were a few small wooden stands with lanterns at the roadside, selling local delicacies such as oden and ramen.
Since she was already here, she approached one of the vendors and ordered a bowl of ramen. It was really cheap and delicious. She could even taste the flavor of the ocean in it.
“Miss, you must be a very impressive female samurai!” The middle-aged owner of the ramen shop told Lily.
“Huh? What makes you think that?”
“I, Shirou, have been doing business here for a few decades and I have never once seen a beauty like you. Since you dare to come here all alone, I’m sure you possess impressive strength.”
Lily smiled. “Owner, is this Edo Village?”
“Yes it is.”
Lily secretly rejoiced. Shiu mentioned before that Yagyuu residence is in Edo Village.
“Owner, do you know where Yagyuu residence is?”
“Who wouldn’t know where the famous Yagyuu residence is. Just follow this road toward the east until you see a huge manor with a tall pine about thirty meters tall standing in front of it.”
“Alright, thank you,” Lily conveniently took out a piece of silver.
“Whoa, Miss. I don’t have change for it.”
“Owner, your ramen tasted great,” Lily got up with a smile and left.
The owner held the shiny silver with the size of a rice cake as he watched Lily’s beautiful figure disappear in the distance. He couldn’t help but sigh, “Am I dreaming? A woman like her really exists in this world?”
Lily followed the direction given by the owner, walking past houses as she indulged in the scenery of Edo Village which was different from Kamakura City. Not too long after that, a tall pine tree came into her view.
Under the old pine tree was a wooden entrance with black roof tiles. White lanterns with ‘Yagyuu’ written on them hung on both sides of the wooden door.
It was late into the night, but surely people wouldn’t mind opening the door for a beauty like her, right?
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Lily went up to the door and knocked on it.
“Who’s there?” A lovely and soft female voice asked.
The door opened and a girl dressed in purple kimono poked her head out from behind it. Her hair was arranged into an updo befitting of a lady from a wealthy family.
Both girls gasped in surprise at the sight of each other.
“Shiu?” It took Lily a good while to recognize the graceful lady in front of her. She turned out to be her female ninja!
“Mas… Ah no… L-Lady Kagami,” Yagyuu Shiu blushed in surprise as a troubled expression appeared on her face.
“Shiu, who is it?!” A deep, harsh voice of a man came from inside the courtyard.
Shiu threw a dreadful glance behind her, then turned back to Lily. “Lady Kagami… W-Why are you here?”
Lily chuckled when she saw Shiu’s rather troubled face. “I came here all the way from Kamakura City to visit you and pick you up while I’m at it. Why? Am I not welcomed?”
“Of course not… P-please come in,” Although Shiu invited Lily in, she still felt ill at ease.
Shiu led Lily into Yagyuu residence. The courtyard was huge but had the simplicity of a seaside village.
Shiu introduced Lily to her father, Yagyuu Munetoshi. The three of them sat across from each other in the hall of the main house.
“So you are my daughter’s employer, that Kagami something…”
“Uncle, you may call me Lily,” Lily remained respectful and courteous toward Shiu’s father.
The man’s gray and medium-length hair was swept back, looking a little messy toward the end. He was a tough-looking man with thick arms and legs. Although slim, he was quite muscular. He wore a simple brown dojo uniform and had the demeanor of a master in swordsmanship.
Yagyuu Munetoshi seemed to be one of those rare men who didn’t admire Lily the moment he laid eyes on her. Perhaps he had seen through the vanity of life and devoted himself to swordsmanship.
He looked at Lily. “I have to thank you for always taking care of my daughter. Since you are here, there’s something I need to tell you too. Shiu won’t be going with you.”5
“Eh?!” Both Lily and Shiu were shocked.
“Father!” Shiu looked at Munetoshi anxiously.
“Quiet!” Munetoshi threw a harsh glare at Shiu. Although Shiu was upset, she didn’t dare to utter another word.
Lily adjusted her emotions. After all, this man was Shiu’s father. She must show him respect. “Lord Yagyuu, please give me a reason,”6 she asked calmly.
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- Robinxen: Oh gods. So other than Mirror Girls are there Sword Girls now that are like their natural enemy? Or is it something like Lily’s predecessors sword and that’s why it suddenly became powerful after being exposed to Lily aura? The mystery deepens~
- Robinxen: Ordinary grade six…scions think on different levels. Poor Lily getting so excited over grade three way back.
- Silva: Woah… Rei is so cool, she saw through Shimizu at once
- Robinxen: Please avoid the yandere route and just go full deredere okay.
- Silva: Should I say… as expected
- Robinxen: Damn right I need a reason! Shiu was basically abused back there and Lily saved her life after she was given an impossible mission! What right do you have to stake any claim in Shiu’s life now! FITE ME!