|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 3097 characters|
|Translator: Aoi||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 2009 words|
“Lil’ Sis Lily, just how am I supposed to face you and should I really appear in front of you…” After arriving at the entrance, Shimizu felt like turning back to leave again.
“She must be hating me. No one would be willing to forgive the person who tried to snatch their most precious treasure and nearly killed them in the process.”
“Even then, I still want to see her.”
“I’ve lost my legacy, become a blade maiden, and even joined the ranks of the Hundred Demons… I don’t have anything except Lily to live for.”
Shimizu held the parasol and walked into the house within the rain in a daze timidly. She didn’t dare to enter the hall and just dithered along the courtyard, passing through the stone pavement of the garden that hadn’t been tended for years, and arrived outside Lily’s tearoom unknowingly.
Perhaps it was the mutual attraction that existed between them on an unknown level or an even more unfathomable thing that led Shimizu to Lily’s location even without using a spirit probe.
Lily’s voice echoed from within the quaint little room at this moment.
“Sis’ blade has also accumulated a lot of grudges…” Lily’s hand formed the orchid fingers gesture and she seemed much more proactive than when she was clear-headed. Her slender fingers stroked the long and rough handle of Rei’s blade as she enunciated those words while leaning her head on Rei’s shoulder.
“What? Have you also accumulated an intense grudge that’s hard to neutralize within you, Lil’ Sis Lily?”
“If I have, what should be done then?”
Although Lily could neutralize grudge via Moonlight Cleansing, she didn’t want to do that right now.
She also wanted to try melding with the overflowing grudge of someone else and get a taste of that feeling.
“Why don’t you have a taste, then? Of my travel’s and life’s accumulations.”
Rei lifted Lily’s chin and kissed her gently once, and then, she grabbed Lily’s head from behind and pushed it towards her blade’s handle.
Lily put up a weak resistance, her face turning red hot, but she relented in the end and complied.
As her head got pushed down, she curled up her beautiful hair behind her ear and exposed her earlobe and fair face from the side.
Minamoto no Shimizu stood behind the cluster of purple hyacinth flowers that bloomed in all seasons in the Heian world and looked at the scene before her eyes dumbfoundedly, her face flushing up and breath turning ragged along with her increasing heartbeat1.
She turned around suddenly and hid behind the wall a moment later.
Shimizu’s eyes didn’t reflect the rain as they were full of gloom already.
Her heart experienced a soul-wrenching pain and anguish, resulting in two trails of silent tears flowing down her face.
“Lil’ Sis Lily. I traveled such a long distance to see you, yet you were actually… with another woman!”
Shimizu’s violently heaving chest pacified gradually, and the black parasol fell to the side.
The pitch-black bangs of her hair glued to the edges of her long eyelashes under the rain and a different kind of luster manifested within her eyes as raindrops dripped from her bangs.
“Hehehehehehe,” Shimizu’s soft chuckles drowned out within the rain.
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“Lil’ Sis Lily is such a healthy, pretty and strong girl, and she even has a kind heart. Isn’t it quite natural for other women to like such a girl?”
“I am a bad woman who pushed my little sister down a cliff with my own hands. Is it right for a woman like me to still long for her little sister and wish for her to place faith in me again?”
“Who was the betrayer?”
“It was me…”
“I twisted Lil’ Sis Lily’s kindness and betrayed her for my own selfishness, nearly killing her in the process!”
“Is it right for someone like that to still long for something?”
“As long as Lil’ Sis forgives me, I don’t care about anything else.”
“I love you, Lil’ Sis Lily. I love your everything, your healthiness, your beauty, your kindness, the sashaying of your buttocks, as well as the mesmerized yet somewhat guilty sight of yours within the arms of another woman…”
“I shall stay beside you even when the other woman leaves you. I shall only have you within my eyes even when you show fickleness with another woman. I shall lick your wounds when the other woman abandons you…”
“I owe you, but… I have nothing left anymore. Even if you are a fickle Lil’ Sis, there’s no turning back for me. I can only keep on loving you… ngh…”
Shimizu listened to Lily’s voice and pressed her fingers against her mouth silently before sucking them in.
She closed her eyes and though her face was flushed, she wore an expression of dismay.
The image of the sweat-drenched Lily donned in disheveled clothes appeared in her mind.
“I love you, your everything, your good aspects, your bad aspects, your beauty, your sin… I can love all that you are as long as it’s you, but it’s impossible for me to keep on living without you… Lily.”
Lily was focused on sucking the grudge from Rei’s cursed katana, so she didn’t notice Shimizu who had appeared in front of the window.
Rei, however, was caressing Lily’s hair and managed to look at the black parasol momentarily.
“Hmm?” Although she had some doubts, she didn’t say anything at this moment2.
Madam Kotoka returned at night and Nanako was also done training for the day, so the entire household had dinner together under the warm illumination of the lamps. In contrast to the joyous and harmonious scene inside the house, the girl infatuated with the mistress of the house dithered within the lonesome darkness of the rain outside and didn’t dare to approach the room.
In her view, Lily was safe and happy here, and didn’t need her at all.
Shimizu was also afraid that she would get discovered if she remained here for too long, so she left silently. However, she didn’t go too far and looked at Lily’s house from the distant woods of the hillside while holding the parasol. She felt at ease here as she wouldn’t get discovered and could see what was happening within the house from this location.
Soon after, she saw Uesugi Rei leave the house without a parasol and walk over towards her location, so she hid herself quickly.
Rei arrived within the woods, but she didn’t tread further inside and just stood there silently for a moment. Then, she stuck out her bountiful mounds and questioned, “Shimizu. Since you’re here, why haven’t you come out to greet me?3”
A girl holding a black parasol with wet sleeves appeared from behind a huge tree resolutely.
“Uesugi Rei. Have you come to enact vengeance against me in place of Lily?”
“Huh?” Uesugi Rei was taken aback as even though she guessed Shimizu wouldn’t treat her with respect, she wasn’t expecting to hear such a thing, “Enact vengeance for what?”
It was now Shimizu’s turn to be taken aback, “Lil’ Sis Lily didn’t tell you anything?”
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“She told me a lot of things, that she killed Hojo Dijon and that she lost touch with you under the pursuit of the monsters. She was worried about you all this time and wanted to look for you, but why you speak of enacting vengeance? Did you have a fight?”
“Ah…” Shimizu’s heart filled with a raging storm of warmth, amazement and love.
“What’s wrong with you? Why are you laughing?”
Shimizu ignored Rei’s question as she found it difficult to calm down.
“So, Lil’ Sis hasn’t mentioned that matter to anyone else until now! As I thought, no matter if she hates me or not, she still defended me, this selfish and cruel sister of hers!”
Shimizu lifted her head and smiled sweetly, “It’s nothing. It’s a secret between me and Lil’ Sis Lily.”
As I thought, I am only able to smile when it’s about Lil’ Sis Lily.
Shimizu’s enigmatic reply didn’t arouse Rei’s jealousy. From the very beginning, she felt that the two had their own secrets, just like how she had something to hide from Lily.
“Shimizu, I want to request something of you,” Rei lifted her head suddenly, her beautiful silver hair still drenched in sliding raindrops.
“What is it?” Shimizu inquired, “Do you want me to stay away from your Lil’ Sis Lyn? I’m already so far, yet you still can’t tolerate me?”
Uesugi Rei’s eyes flashed with coldness and she unsheathed her cursed katana etched with purple soul runes to strike at Shimizu.
“Clang!” The sparks of metal clashing with metal manifested within the nightly woods.
Shimizu also unsheathed Unsmiling Blade, Tranquil Bamboo, and flung black parasol aside. The grudge-powered pitch-black sword runes running across the slender blade shimmered as the two cursed swords clashed against each other!
The two contended against each other, neither willing to back down!
“What, Uesugi Rei? Do you want to fight? This doesn’t seem like your style. You’ve already held Lil’ Sis and even taken advantage of her, yet are you still unwilling to let me off? Do you wish to have a battle with me where the winner shall have her?” Shimizu stated in a soft yet firm voice.
“Hmph,” Uesugi Rei revealed a satisfied smile, “As I thought, you are much stronger than before, Shimizu. I can sense the changes within you from the confrontation between us just now. This intense grudge, so you were the same as me and Lil’ Sis Lily.”
“What if that’s the case?”
Uesugi Rei pushed forward, and the clashing blades produced sparks yet again.
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Rei and Shimizu both retreated a few steps back in the next moment.
Uesugi Rei sheathed her blade thereafter and said, “I can rest assured if that’s the case.”
“I don’t get what you are trying to say here,” Shimizu expressed her perplexment.
Uesugi Rei’s chest heaved up and down violently and she closed her eyes before saying the following words, “I hope you can protect Lily in secret in my place.4”
“Huh?” Shimizu was taken aback as she couldn’t understand what Rei meant. There was no reason for such a domineering woman to place her woman in someone else’s hands.
“I’ll be going on a distant journey soon and I don’t know when I’ll be able to return5. Although the current Lily is strong enough to not need my protection, my heart doesn’t feel reassured leaving her alone as that girl is too kind and naïve. Although I’m unwilling to entrust this task to you, I have no other choice. I can feel that you are the same as me and wouldn’t turn your back on Lil’ Sis and even bet your everything on the line without any complaints if needed, isn’t that so?”
“Hmph! Uesugi Rei, my love for Lil’ Sis is much deeper than yours! At least, I won’t abandon her and leave by myself,” Shimizu stated in a calm yet slightly sarcastic tone.
“Perhaps you are right…” Uesugi Rei smiled weakly, “I can rest assured if you are willing to do it. No matter how unfathomable a woman you are to me, I can only feel at peace if it’s you in regards to things related to Lil’ Sis Lyn. You have the resolution and power required for that.”
Uesugi Rei flashed with a slight sadness and defiance momentarily before settling into an inevitable resolution as she performed a perfect deep bow towards Shimizu, “Please!”
“Huh…” Shimizu never imagined a day would come when Uesugi Rei would request something of her based on such reasoning.
That she would entrust her beloved little sister to her love rival6.
For the first time ever, Shimizu used a different gaze to look at this woman who she loathed once and soliloquized internally, ‘Uesugi Rei. Just what kind of burden are you carrying within your heart? Why haven’t you opened up your heart to Lil’ Sis Lily?7’
- Silva: Wanna make a bet? Shimizu will eventually turn away without meeting Lily
- Silva: Wait for it….
- Silva: Gasp! She knows!
- Silva: Huuuuuh? That came out of left field
- Silva: Heh? Is she going to Heian-kyo? She should take Lily along then, the more the merrier, especially a journey as dangerous as this
Robinxen: I get the feeling this is either something more spiritual or perhaps overseas. I hope the grudge doesn’t build up too fast though.
- Robinxen: I could never do it! Never! My little sisters belong to me!
- Silva: Huh… so will Shimizu always be nearby and protecting Lily from the shadow? How unexpected…
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