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Chapter 117 – Melancholic Haihime

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3163 characters
Translator: Aoi English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 2148 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

The snow was still falling quite heavily in the midwinter season1.

Lily rode the apparition-like white demon hound through the snow while Sakiko followed behind her on horseback. As the demon hound’s speed was much faster than a horse’s, Lily made occasional stops so that Sakiko could catch up to her.

Lily dismounted the demon hound after arriving at the mouth of Sakura Blossom Valley and it vanished into a cloud of white mist, which left even Sakiko speechless.

A young homeless woman who just had a few hundred mon on her and possessed nothing except her youthful charm half a year ago had now become able to use such magical abilities with ease.

As such, it wasn’t that surprising for Sakiko, who helped Lily back then, to feel grateful.

Lily possessed a sincere and sensitive personality and was so pious that she had bowed to Yoshitsune’s shrine back then. This action had moved Sakiko and made her decide to help Lily.

“Lady Sakiko, this humble valley is home to me and my sisters, Sakura Blossom Valley.”

Lily revealed a happy smile within the snow when she mentioned her sisters, which enabled Sakiko to feel that she was a woman who valued family a lot and treated her sisters like kin.

“Just kin, huh?” Sakiko felt a little dejected.

“Lady Lyn-hime,” the cavalrywomen on both sides of the skyline’s exit greeted the duo when they arrived inside the valley.

There was nothing special in Blossom Valley except for the distant and newly founded cottage-spotted village that had smoke rising above it. Lily and Sakiko saw that Taihara Sugiyama was in charge of the temple today when they entered the mountain deity’s temple and was in the middle of handling some work. As he was a retainer of the Saionji family, Sakiko naturally recognized him, and since she was Lily’s retainer as well now, she greeted him with a nod.

The two mountain deity statues holding up the massive stone slab, on the other hand, actually left Sakiko a little astonished.

The duo passed through the tunnel and arrived inside Cherry Valley, which was a snow-capped land with sakura trees that had thousand-year-old sakura blooming all year round.

“Who could’ve thought that such a picturesque scenery existed in these wildlands,” Sakiko felt that Lily had really chosen a nice piece of land.

“It’s not just beautiful, but also has a magatama ore vein,” Lily stated.

“What?!” Sakiko exclaimed, “A magatama ore vein?!”

So the reason why Lily had come to such a frigid and desolate region was actually the discovery of a magatama ore vein!

Sakiko sized up the tall, sleek, gorgeous, full-bosomed, callipygian woman from the back, wondering just how lucky she was.

A magatama ore vein was considered a secret by the upper class of the Genji and there were only 3 known sites in the East, most of which had been mined extensively and were close to getting dried up. They were the foundation of the East!

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However, a young woman like Lily who had just risen up over the past half-year had actually managed to get hold of a magatama ore vein!

Sakiko revealed a pleased smile, feeling that she had made the right choice this time.

Lily wasn’t just pretty, young and kind, but was also innocent and obedient, so Sakiko reckoned that it wouldn’t be that difficult to control a young woman like her. Naturally, the control Sakiko had in mind originated out of goodwill2.

Although Lily was a liege lord, she was dedicated to advancement and exploration, so after hearing that Kotoka had long moved into the valley, Sakiko reckoned that she would have to consult regarding the matters of this land with Kotoka and the other senior women from now on.

Naturally, their common motive would be to work for Lily’s wellbeing.

After arriving at the two cottages, Lily discovered that a new cottage and a linking corridor were in the middle of construction beside them, but the foundation had just been laid out and the builders were busy working on the construction. Men weren’t allowed inside Cherry Valley usually, but the miners, transmutation onmyōji, and the construction builders were specially exempt from this because of their work.

“Lady Sakiko,” Kotoka was slightly stunned after seeing Sakiko, but she seemed to figure out the reason for her arrival without any explanation and welcomed her with a benevolent smile.

Kotoka and Sakiko were both educated and well-balanced. As women versed in running a business and wading through the bureaucratic world, there wasn’t much to worry about. There was nothing the duo couldn’t figure out when they teamed up and both of them were worldly-wise on top of that.

“It’s a real blessing that you’ve also joined our Lyn family, Lady Sakiko,” Kotoka held her teacup while having tea with Sakiko and Lily before continuing, “As you know, these young women are really clueless about land management, and only know how to fight and kill. I wasn’t even able to get enough sleep because I had to handle all the work alone, but the load on my shoulders is bound to lighten up a bit with you coming over to help me manage the matters of the valley.”

Lily flushed up after hearing this, “I-I’ll leave it to you two then, madams.”

Lily then recalled something which wasn’t an easy question to ask previously, “Lady Sakiko, I heard that… you’ve always been living in the dojo. I also never heard you mention anything about your family.”

“Well… the only family I have is the grandma from Chrysanthemum Inn, who has been my caretaker ever since my childhood. I was a scion of the Kawachi Genji lineage, but I rejected the marriage proposal with the local clan in power because of my fascination with martial arts and practically got expelled from the family with grace. I came to Takeshita Town along with my grandma after that and got a job at the dojo by relying on my Genji lineage and meager sword skills and rose up the ranks gradually. That’s pretty much my story. If you wish to know whether I ever got married, the answer is no. Although it’s quite embarrassing, I have no experience in love even after becoming so old…”

Sakiko covered her blushing cheeks with her sleeves, “So, please don’t call me ‘madam’ in the future…”

“Tsk. You’re really bold, Lady Sakiko. Is there a need to act so innocent in front of Lily? Or are you hoping to experience a late first love in this Sakura Blossom Valley now?” Kotoka chuckled.

“You’re not one to ask that, Lady Kotoka!”

It seemed like there was no room for Lily to intervene in their conversation.

Sakiko and Kotoka seemed to hit it off from the very beginning and began discussing the matters of the valley soon after. Kotoka was versed in the matters of construction, production and business while Sakiko was versed in the matters of military and defense, so the two mature and highly experienced formed the perfect team.

As Sakiko and Kotoka had gotten engrossed in a heated debate where she had no room to join, Lily retired from the area quietly.

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Lily recalled that Haihime seemed to have something to say to her before she left, so she made for the farthest backyard-facing room of the cottage that laid underneath the huge tree’s shade, which was Haihime’s room.

As it was at the very end of the corridor, it rarely had visitors, and had the door in a half-open state. The moment Lily passed through it, she spotted Haihime having tea alone while leaning against the window in a white kimono patterned with blue orchids, her slightly despondent gaze fixed at the wilted flowers in the outside snow.

Lily instinctively sensed that Haihime wasn’t that happy at all.

“Sister Haihime…”

“Master?” The moment Haihime turned back, her originally sullen expression seemed to regain some of its charm again, but it still felt somewhat forced.

“Can I come in, Sister Haihime?”

Haihime chucked lovingly, “What are you even saying. You’re always welcome at my place, so feel free to come and go whenever you please. There’s no need to get my permission.”

Lily felt that the way she phrased it sounded a little strange. After all, Lily possessed a sensitive and meticulous personality and wasn’t an apathetic woman.

Lily took a seat beside Haihime after entering the room and watched Haihime look outside the window with boredom, feeling tongue-tied for a while.

“Why are you drinking tea all alone in this room instead of communicating with Madam Kotoka and the others, Sister Haihime?”

“What’s there to communicate about? Kotoka is so capable and efficient that even I’m unable to keep up with her pace and even the Itsura I brought with me are under her administration now. I feel like I’m just living as a parasite in this place,” Haihime stated in a dismal tone.

“Ah… Kotoka didn’t mention this to me.”

“What’s there to tell you when you’re absent so often? Aren’t you planning to set out on a long journey soon, too? She’s the one who’s in charge of everything in the valley in the end.”

“You can consult with me if you have any troubles, Sister Haihime. How about I return the command of the Itsura to you then?”

“There’s no need to do that. The reason I did all that back then was to win Amanojaku’s trust and am not really fond of working that hard like Kotoka. The current situation is fine as it is since I can appreciate the flowers and have tea alone.”

“How about Miss Yumi? Does she not visit you that often?” Lily questioned.

“She’s pretty close with that kunoichi called Shiu a lot recently and spends her time training Shiu in the ninja arts daily3. She came to visit me only once after you left.”

Although they clearly lived so close, Lily sensed that the relationship between the two cottages encompassed changes that she had yet to fathom.

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“Lily, I want to return to the Endless Mountains,” Haihime stated suddenly.

“Eh? Absolutely not, Sister Haihime. You were finally able to leave that nest of demons and had no aspirations to lead the demons against humanity originally, so why would you want to return back? I’m also pretty worried that a powerhouse from the Golden-Horned Tribe might come to take vengeance for Amanojaku, so there’s no way I’m letting you go back!” Lily stated worriedly.

“But I’m just extra baggage in this place,” Haihime stated melancholically while leaning against the window.

“How about associating with the villagers, Sister Haihime? You suffered in silence for that many years for them, so don’t you want to reunite with them?”

“I just wanted to fulfill my mother’s final wish. Also, the villagers and I have long got estranged after all these years.”

Lily sensed that Haihime was feeling sadder by the moment. The reason she had brought her to this valley was because she didn’t want to see her like this, so even Lily didn’t know what to do.

“By the way, I’m still perplexed about one matter, Master,” Haihime questioned at this moment.

“Feel free to mention it.”

“You clearly didn’t have any spirit power left when I caught you back then, so how did you escape from my bindings?”

“Well…” Lily wondered why Haihime had mentioned this at such a time, “I-It’s because I’m versed in the Art of Escaping Rope Bindings.”

“Oh? There’s such an esoteric art?” Haihime’s distant and depressed eyes seemed to regain their luster momentarily.

For some inexplicable reason, an idea that could cheer Haihime up emerged in Lily’s mind along with heaving of her well-bosomed chest, “How about you help me train in this esoteric art, Sister Haihime?”

“Help you train in it?” Haihime’s eyes lit up.

Lily immediately regretted it after making this proposition, but the words had already been spoken and she was afraid that Haihime wouldn’t remain behind in the valley anymore if she went back on her words.

Lily’s breathing turned a little rough and her shoulders quivered at the same time, but she still stated in a resolute tone, “Mhm… In any case, you’re the only one who is strong enough to help me train in the Art of Escaping Rope Bindings in the whole valley.”

“Oh? How do we train it then?” Haihime revealed a gentle and curious smile before having a sudden flash of realization that made her wander her eyes across Lily’s breasts, arms and waist with a piercing gaze, “Could it be that you want me to come up with all kinds of complicated rope bondage positions to bind you so that you can try escaping from them?4

“Y-Yes…” Lily stated with a blush, feeling a bit scared after seeing Haihime so spirited all of a sudden.



References

  1. Robinxen: Fun fact, November is in Autumn.
  2. Robinxen: Glad that was cleared up fast.
  3. Robinxen: Shiu training arc!
  4. Robinxen: Haihime might yet redeem herself as a harem member.

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