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Chapter 97 – Impasse

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3263 characters
Translator: Aoi English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 2284 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

Trails of black smoke dissipated under the cover of the azure skies and Dijon, who was covered in wounds all over stood up as if nothing had happened to him. The deadly sakura and the heat spawned from the spirit power explosion had only managed to destroy his armor. Even though Dijon was riddled with flesh wounds, they weren’t that deep and were in the middle of recovering gradually, which made him look even more demonical.

“Kagami Lily. Your swordplay contains no substance. To think you wasted so much spirit power for such a useless move. Hmph! You’ve lost already!” Dijon stated fiercely.

“Wrong!” Shimizu had witnessed the entire event. Lily’s move was actually pretty powerful and if she were given some more time to train, it would have reduced the gap between their strengths and Dijon would’ve died by now. However, Dijon’s defense was too strong and was simply on an inhuman level, his skin and flesh tougher than that of an ogre.

Lily gasped for breaths. It wasn’t as if she hadn’t anticipated this outcome, but she could only try it out. She had a feeling that the injuries she had inflicted on Dijon with this move of hers weren’t as light as he portrayed them to be, but it was true that Lily’s killing blow had failed to overcome the critical points of Dijon’s defense and recuperative powers.

Lily simply didn’t bother to respond to Dijon’s sarcasm and didn’t hesitate to turn around and kill her way into the mob of demon soldiers now that she had exhausted most of her spirit power.

Dijon failed to comprehend her intentions and wondered, “Are you planning to flee?”

“Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!” A crimson shadow flitted across the mob, following which the demon soldiers and demon samurai fell one after the other.

A few breaths later, Lily had replenished her spirit power to the max by means of the spirit manipulation technique and recovered her vigor once again.1

“What?!” Dijon was taken aback for a moment before coming to a realization, “Oh, yes. It’s rumored that blade maidens can summon and manipulate spirits, as well as replenish their spirit power by absorbing animas. It’s my first time witnessing it!”

Lily pointed her flickering Crescent Moon at Hojo and muttered softly, “Sister Shimizu, both of us aren’t Dijon’s opponent. We can only deal with him if we team up.”

Although Shimizu had recovered a lot by now and though she was unwilling to put down her pride, as they were at such a critical juncture, she nodded in agreement silently.

“Come!” Dijon stated loftily, “It would save me a lot of trouble if you two team up!”

However, a peal of laughter emerged from behind Lily and Shimizu at this moment.

The indigo-robed Yuki Mayumi appeared from the darkness of the cavern and walked towards them in a slow yet sensual manner.

“Heh. You’re quite cunning for a prey, but the wisdom of prey can never match up with those of the hunters. Mirror girls, did you think I won’t be able to cross the chasm if you destroy the bridge? Oh, mirror girls. You are a prey fated to be hunted and massacred forever!” Yuki Mayumi smirked complacently.

Lily and Shimizu’s backs shivered when they heard Yuki Mayumi’s voice. Although Lily and the others hadn’t destroyed the bridge, when they departed from the chasm, they had indeed fallen under the illusion that Yuki Mayumi would be unable to chase after them through this route, especially so after the phantom ice spider had fallen into the deep chasm.

However, Yuki Mayumi and her subordinates were ninjas and possibly had tools meant for climbing and the like on them. A wide gap that was difficult for samurai to cross was naught but commonplace for a ninja!

After Yuki Mayumi emerged from the cavern, ten red Hannya masked demon ninjas with the auras of early-stage sword saints filed out from within as well.

Dijon barred their path at the front along with hundreds of demon soldiers and an unrecognizable powerful demon at the rear.

On the other hand, a demon kunoichi more powerful than Dijon stood behind them along with ten sword saint ranked subordinates.

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Lily and Shimizu gazed at each other and seemed to have realized it was difficult for them to flee from this predicament. They truly have fallen into an impasse right now.

Nanako and the pony-tailed senior who were hiding behind a nearby rock didn’t even dare to squeak and shivered in fear with cold sweat drenching their entire backs.

Although Yuki Mayumi had noticed Nanako and the other girl, she simply didn’t care about these unrelated girls as they were too weak.

“Yuki Mayumi, you’ve finally arrived!” Dijon became elated after seeing Yuki Mayumi arrived and knew instantly that Lily and Shimizu were truly screwed this time.

“Lord Dijon, how could I miss such a banquet where we hunt the mirror girl? We ought to enjoy this beautiful moment together!” Yuki Mayumi sashayed forward enchantingly while uttering such vicious words.

“Dammit!” Lily contemplated, “No matter whether it’s Dijon or that demon kunoichi called Yuki Mayumi, Sister Shimizu and I are unable to defeat both2. And there’s so many troublesome monsters, demon soldiers and demon ninjas on top of that. Is there really no way out of this situation?”

What do we do now?

Lily and Shimizu gazed at each other.
They seemed to have come to an understanding the moment their gazes met each other.
What could they do?
Fight!

No matter whether it was Lily or Shimizu, both had received the heavy influence of the samurai of the East. Especially Shimizu, she was a progeny of the Minamoto clan and possessed an intense fighting spirit at her core.

Lily and Shimizu didn’t even respond to their taunts and acted directly!
Lily dashed towards Dijon while Shimizu dashed towards Mayumi.
They had to fight even if they weren’t their opponent’s match!
If they didn’t fight, they would truly have no way out of their predicament!

A fierce wind rose up under Lily’s feet at this moment, breaking into a flight-like sprint with the brave and elegant demeanor of a samurai woman oozing from her countenance.

She charged towards Dijon because if she didn’t do so, she would be exposing Shimizu’s back to this devil in human skin.

Lily slashed at the ground in front of Dijon and propelled the soil and weeds up to block Dijon’s sight momentarily and then stabbed towards Dijon’s heart through the flying soil according to her prior calculations. No matter how strong Dijon was or how dense his muscles were, an all-out attack from Lily was bound to stab through the heart, and that meant he would die!

However, Dijon was no amateur. He swung his blade and knocked Lily’s blade sideways and then kicked towards the soil that blocked his vision and almost managed to kick Lily!

After the dust settled, Lily continued to attack Dijon desperately and the sudden burst of momentum she showcased even left Dijon a bit unprepared for a while, so he could only retreat and parry her rapid successive attacks.

A moment later, Dijon was finally able to adjust his stance and managed to deliver an all-out strike with his weapon.

“Clank!” The clash between their blades gave rise to sparks, following which Lily was blown away by Hojo’s sword strike.

Dijon also leaped towards the direction she flew into and chased after her.

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Meanwhile, Shimizu had employed a similar offensive strategy of gaining the upper hand by making a show of strength and trying to catch the enemy off-guard. Shimizu and Mayumi’s exchanges were so fast and violent that even the red Hannya masked ninjas could only watch from a distance by encircling them and avoid getting involved in the fight.

Naturally, they knew that there was no need for them to intervene with how strong their Lady Mimori was.

Yuki Mayumi was different from Dijon. Although it seemed like she was on the defensive as well, she still retained control of her footwork and merely shifted her body back and sideways to dodge while blocking Shimizu’s attacks with the straight sword in her hand with ease.

“Hmph! Daughter of the Genji, you’re acclaimed as the number one samurai among the younger generation of the East yet your swordplay only amounts to this much,” Yuki Mayumi commented nonchalantly while blocking Shimizu’s attacks.

“Shut up! You witch!” Shimizu forced Mayumi back with a slash and sheathed her sword, preparing to unleash an Iai quickdraw.

However, Mayumi just smirked in response and leaped back while throwing two azure shurikens at Shimizu.

Mayumi’s shuriken contained an abnormal amount of power, so Shimizu was forced to draw her sword to block them!

“Clank! Clank!” The two shurikens crashed against the rock mountain wall and produced a series of explosions that resulted in a rockslide.

“Shameless woman…” Shimizu gasped for breaths. The reason she had attacked so impatiently was that she didn’t want to waste too much spirit power to defense. She was different from Lily, and now that she had expended more than half of her spirit power, she had no means to replenish it.

However, Mayumi wasn’t in that much of a hurry. She whittled away at Shimizu’s strength gleefully, “Minamoto no Shimizu. Everyone in the Land of East knows you’re a woman with an undeserved reputation. Your Lord had placed high hopes on you and tasked you with protecting the elite disciples of the major dojos from the Land of East during this training excursion, but they’ve been wiped out completely now. What face have you left to return now?”

“You will just get punished and be treated as the disgrace of the Genji, so why not lay down your blade and surrender? Lady Haihime only commanded us to kill that Kagami Lily, so your life can be spared based on the circumstances. You just need to hand over the mirror and beg for forgiveness while kneeling down.”

Shimizu found Mayumi’s sudden persuasion to be ridiculous, “Stop kidding me! The Genji has no samurai that surrender! To think you would actually say such reckless words to me. Can it be that those who join the Land of Hundred Demons become idiots?”

“Hmph. You’ll come to understand my words soon,” Yuki Mayumi smiled enigmatically and didn’t say anything further. A short silver flute with a stopper in the shape of a small sculpted Hannya mask appeared in her hands in the next moment. She brought the mouthpiece to her lips and blew into it gently, producing a ghastly energy fluctuation that Shimizu could sense despite being unable to hear it.

At the same time, a commotion rose up in the nearby woods, following which groups of snake women, giant tsuchigumos as well as blue and red demons that towered 4-5 meters high and were on the same level as the blue demon Uesugi Rei had killed in Kamakura during the Night Parade of One Hundred Demons emerged out from the woods while shrouded in powerful demonic energies and approached the duo. It seemed like they were being manipulated by the flute in Yuki Mayumi’s hands.

Although Dijon had no control over these powerful monsters, it seemed that Yuki Mayumi could control them through the short silver flute.

These powerful monsters and demons joined the hunt for the two mirror girls as well.

“Wham—!” Followed by a flickering spark, Lily was blown away once again by a heavy strike from Dijon. She had barely managed to block his attack this time and even coughed up a mouthful of blood from the internal injuries.

“Urgh—!” Lily groaned in pain and almost fainted midair. As such, she wasn’t able to control her landing and crashed onto the grassland on her back, sliding across it until she knocked into the foot of a huge blue demon.

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The blue demon opened his wide jaw which had sharp teeth the size of a human hand with saliva dripping off from them and enunciated in a gloomy voice, “Kill… Mirror Girl…”

Lily was forced to regain her senses from the dizziness yet the first thing she saw was the big and hairy feet of these blue and red demons and the weird, inverted human-faced dogs underneath their legs.

They also spoke in a hair-raising broken human speech, “Get… the… mirror… eat… the… woman…”

These inverted human-faced dogs looked even more fearsome than the one Lily had encountered during the Night Parade of One Hundred Demons after she had awakened in this world of Heian. Each one of these dogs possessed the auras of superior mid-ranked monsters and although they weren’t that strong, the miasmic breaths which made Lily’s soul feel despondent persecuted her soul like a maelstrom of blades.

“Go away!” Lily screamed in desperation.

The blue demon behind it raised its huge foot and stepped down towards Lily, who rolled aside to dodge it but ended up landing in the middle of an encirclement of numerous human-faced dogs.

“Mirror… mirror… give… us… the… mirror…”

“You… are… a… woman… who… isn’t… supposed… to… remain… alive… in… this… world…”

“Clatter! Clatter!” The soul-rending voices produced by the occasional clatter from the teeth of the human-faced dogs brought pain upon Lily’s soul.

“GO AWAY—!” Lily brandished her Crescent Moon and sent a crimson beam of sword light from her blade, killing the human-faced dogs nearby to her. However, the blue and red demons had already encircled her and stretched their gruff and powerful hands towards Lily.

These huge hands and towering ogre-like bodies obstructed the skies and the surroundings, making it such that Lily didn’t even have any space to stand up!3



References

  1. Silva: It is a bad move to fight Blade Maiden with numbers
  2. Robinxen: Can I just say how happy I was reading this sentence. I didn’t need to correct it to “name and I” from “me and name”. Translator knows English!
  3. Silva: The situation is now looking more and more hopeless ‘an ever, how will the our poor protagonist get out of this in one piece. What kind of plot armor will the author use, even I can’t predict the outcome.
    Robinxen: If this was a shounen the theme song would start playing.
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