|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 3180 characters|
|Translator: Aoi||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 2187 words|
However, when Lily arrived at the inner sector of Izu Port, it was vastly different from its distant appearance.
The carriage turned around after dropping Lily and Nanako in the port, and they traversed through the chaotic, noisy and messy street which had dilapidated wooden houses and thatched huts on either side, the beach sand beneath acting as the road. There were a lot of fishing boats berthed at the shabby wooden dock and the air reeked of a pungent fishy smell.
Izu Port was an important fishing port for the Kamakura administration and the sole trade port of the Izu Peninsula. Even in such a tumultuous and recessive era, it was prosperous to a certain extent. However, the port had always been embroiled in deep chaos and the Hojo clan which didn’t attach much importance to the sea also never bothered to govern it seriously as they believed trade through ports didn’t conform to the traditions. In truth, the sea routes leading to Kansai were isolated by unpredictable and eclectic sea current, so no one except fugitives possessed the courage to sail towards Kansai. In contrast, the border coasts of Kanto and the eastern section of the Mutsu Province both had relatively safer sea routes.
Lily simply employed a spirit probe after arriving inside the coastal town without any hesitation. At her realm of power and mastery of Lunar Blossom’s profundities, it was impossible for a weaker party to detect her spirit probe unless she wished it.
“Hmm?” Lily discovered several sword masters in the port and even detected a late-stage sword saint powerhouse!
“No wonder this region is so chaotic. The Hojo might have failed to control this region even if they had spent a high price for it. However, can Madam Kotoka truly control the situation over here?1”
Lily probed with her spirit power and soon found Madam Kotoka’s aura in a house nearby to the sea on the other side of the port.
Lily walked over towards Kotoka’s location along with Nanako and sensed a few men amongst the peddlers tailing her as she passed through them. Although she had discovered them, she didn’t do anything about it since they just consisted of a few ordinary-looking sloppy hooligans.
The two of them arrived at the sector where Kotoka resided, which was situated atop a seaside hill. It was a somewhat old house covered in overgrown wild plants about 100m away from the market whose entrance seemed to have been tidied up recently. There was still some wood stacked aside and a considerable amount of noises were audible from the interior of the residence.
Lily and Nanako entered inside and saw a busy scene where numerous craftsmen were either sawing timber logs or renovating the building with hammers and nails in hand. There were also a few people working on designs and engaging in a discussion on the steps.
“Oioioi. Handle it with care, that chest has porcelain in it! And you, that sawed log looks a bit slanted, saw it a bit more at the upper-left section!” A young samurai was in the middle of ordering the workers in the house.
“Sugiyama!” Nanako called out after seeing the samurai.
Taihara Sugiyama turned around after hearing his name and yelled out loud after seeing Nanako, “Miss? Miss! It’s really you, Miss!”
Sugiyama broke down into bitter tears as he sped towards Nanako and then kneeled in front of her, “Miss, it’s been too long since we’ve met. Sob-sob.2”
Nanako felt bemused by his response, “Tch. Is there a need to overreact like that? It’s just been a few months since my departure, okay? By the way, where’s mother?”
Sugiyama bowed towards Lily thereafter, “My liege!”
Lily felt awkward once again, “Can you not call me that way…?”
Lily still hadn’t decided on how her vassals would refer to her in the future and decided to take some time to ponder on it properly later on.
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Lily and Nanako took off their footwear while Sugiyama picked them up deferentially and placed them on a straw mattress underneath a corner of the steps lest someone stepped on them accidentally. As they were the footwear of the liege lord and the lady, they demanded appropriate respect in terms of treatment.
Kotoka was seated in a seiza in front of a small table and was in the middle of assessing the accounts right now.
Lily and Nanako arrived in front of the entrance of the room which was open at the moment. As the liege lord, Lily naturally wasn’t required to announce her arrival in advance.
“Miss Kagami! Nanako!” Kotoka stood up in astonishment and glee, “Since you were able to arrive here, my liege, does it mean the Kamakura side didn’t trouble you?”
“You can say that…” Lily recalled Ashikaga Makoto’s punishment. Although she hadn’t been troubled, it was a pretty embarrassing memory for her and felt even harsher than a real punishment.
“Oh, yes. Please don’t call me that way, Madam. You can just call me Lily in private. As for the formal appellation… give me some time to decide on it.”
“Haha. So be it. I’ve also always felt that it made us seem a bit distant, Miss Kagami.”
“Mhm. It’s been truly hard on you these days, Madam.”
Kotoka said, “The taxes from the lands have been collected and I’ve also collected all the deeds and related documents for you.3”
“Please check this,” Kotoka pulled Lily in front of the table and unfolded a drafted design, “This is the design for this house. As Izu Port is pretty backward and chaotic, I was able to purchase it for quite a cheap price and am planning to renovate it so that you can use it as your residence and courthouse for the time being. However, the estate still requires a lot of expansion and needs a courtyard, training grounds, as well as residences for the vassals and retainers on top of buildings like storerooms and the like. The firearm and gunpowder depots need to be built in isolation and made damp proof and a tearoom also needs to be prepared for you…”
“Hah. Your preparations are well-thought, Madam Kotoka.”
As Nanako watched Kotoka explain the design to Lily with flashing spectacles, she found it hard to interject into the conversation.
“Follow me. I’ll take you to the main room that’s already been renovated so that the samurai of the Saionji family can see their liege.”
Kotoka arrived in front of the main hall of the courtyard ahead of them along with Lily and Nanako.
The screen at the back had been arranged already and it was patterned with endless pinewood trees and blossoms drawn in the ukiyo-e style.
“Please take the seat of honor, Miss Kagami.”
Lily still felt a bit awkward. In the past, she had been one of those who kneeled underneath, but at this moment, she was seated above in a regal position and faced those underneath. Lily didn’t possess a dominant nature, so she surmised that she could only adapt to it slowly in time.
Lily followed proper etiquette as she sat down. Although she didn’t really need to pay much attention to things like etiquette as the liege lord, as a woman who was about to become the center of attention of the crowd that had gathered, she minded her posture a lot.
Lily’s seated appearance carried an innate charm that couldn’t be explained with words. Kotoka sat in a seiza beside her while Nanako sat down on the other side. To the front were the father and son duo of the Taihara family, Yukimichi and Sugiyama, who were also seated in a seiza.
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Sugiyama then went outside to instruct the laborers and soldiers, who then laid down the work in their hands and kneeled on the courtyard ground in front of the steps to gaze upon their liege.
While she was seated in her position, Lily felt a phenomenal sensation, and although there weren’t that many people underneath, becoming the target of veneration of a group of people filled even a woman like Lily who didn’t care much about authority with a sense of sheer grandeur.
“Well…” Actually, it wasn’t really proper to start her first address as the liege lord to her retainer family with ‘well,’ but Lily truly wasn’t habituated with such occasions, “The duties Madam Kotoka has accomplished for me have really moved me.”
“So, listen to Madam Kotoka’s instructions properly hereafter, okay?”
Seeing the stunned looks on everyone’s faces, Lily felt that perhaps she shouldn’t have ended her speech with a question as their ruler since it made her appear a little unconfident.
“Thank you, my liege!” Kotoka bowed towards Lily solemnly to offer her gratitude, which brought relief to Lily’s embarrassment.
After that, Kotoka advanced forward and raised the back of Lily’s hand before bowing her head down to kiss it firmly.
The sensation of soft and moist lips touching her skin made Lily wonder if this was the etiquette followed when acknowledging allegiance to the liege lord.
“Alright. That’s all I had to say,” Lily followed up hastily4.
“Eh?!” The group was left dumbfounded.
Lily pondered for a moment before continuing, “Oh, right. I almost forgot to mention it, but although I’m the liege lord, I’m a woman, so you are to call me by the appellation of Lyn-hime during formal occasions from now onwards.5”
The members of the crowd gazed at Lily, who possessed the grace and beauty of a princess, as well as an innate nobleness, and felt that the appellation ‘Lyn-hime’ was truly apt for her.
While the members of the group gazed at the beautiful visage of their liege, Lyn-hime, from the distance, another group was approaching this courtyard.
This group consisted of local thugs with wild manners and savage-looking appearances6.
Their leader was a tall man with a full beard donned in brown vest who had a hideous scar running across his face. The open vest had a bundle of thick chest hair underneath and his shoulders were tattooed with an Azure Dragon and a White Tiger each. He had a fiendish appearance and held a blade of grass in his mouth with an odachi pressed against his shoulder.
“Boss, that’s the residence of the newly-arrived samurai,” A hunchbacked ugly hoodlum beside the bearded man pointed towards Lily’s courtyard house.
The bearded man grinded the blade of grass in his mouth and said, “A samurai? Hmph! Izu Port has people from all trades such as thugs, prostitutes, and gangsters, but the one thing it doesn’t have are samurai! Let’s go take a look!”
The bearded man also had a slightly hunched back, but because of his tall height and muscular figure, his gait looked a bit ridiculous as he walked over towards the entrance of the house.
Lily wasn’t used to the sensation of being the center of attention and was just about to end the speech when she saw the group of thugs arrived.
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There were a total of 30 extras, out of which a dozen or so had entered inside.
Their leader stuck his waist out arrogantly and ran his gaze across everyone before stretching his head out to question, “Who’s the one in-charge of matters here?”
“Who are you all?! How dare you enter a samurai’s residence without permission!” Taihara Sugiyama got up and chided him.
“A samurai? Where’s the samurai? All I see are a few immature brats and b̲i̲t̲c̲h̲e̲s̲ in here,” the bearded thug commented as he and his underlings looked around. On Lily’s side, only five to six people carried swords on them while the others were all local laborers who were frightened out of their wits when they saw the group of thugs, especially the bearded man, and turned mum immediately.
“How dare you?!” Sugiyama got down the steps and arrived in front of the tall, bearded man. Although he was shorter in height compared to the other party, he questioned dauntingly, “Do you know where this is?”
“What?” the bearded man nevertheless pushed Sugiyama away. Although it looked like a casual push from a thug, it actually pushed a middle-stage samurai like Sugiyama to the ground.
Lily’s brows rose up when she saw this.
“Allow me to handle this local thug,” Kotoka leaned towards Lily and whispered into her ears.
As such, Lily kept silent for now and allowed Kotoka to handle the matter.
Kotoka, who was dressed in a pale-yellow kimono, got up and made towards the group of thugs in a refined manner.
She descended the steps and arrived in front of the bearded man and asked, “May I know what you are called, Mister?”
The eyes of the bearded man lit up with decadence when he noticed the charming figure of Kotoka and said, “Me? Hahaha. You dared to come to Izu without even knowing who I am?”
The ugly hunchbacked man to the side added, “This is the famed Sir Daisuke Emon of Izu who is known as the Black Tiger of Izu, and is also the boss of us brothers!7”
- Robinxen: Obviously not or else there won’t be any conflict for your arrival!
- Robinxen: The poor ninja is probably going to drown herself in tears at this rate then…
- Robinxen: Ah paperwork, the best gift for a young lady.
- Silva: That’s it? That’s all you got to say? Lily’s quite the passive type eh.
- Robinxen: Anyone else just get the mental image of Lily playing an MMO and a bunch of guys simping for her with items?
- Silva: Ah yes, of course… the classic local thugs invading the newly appointed liege lord, only to get thrashed to show an “example” to anyone who dared to oppose the lord in the future.
Robinxen: It’s funny because I read a story where the protagonist deliberately hired some thugs to do this just to follow the scripted events.
- Robinxen: Woah this mob has a name!