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Chapter 25 – Lord Kamakura’s Order

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3566 characters
Translator: Aoi English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 2454 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

“Don’t tell Lil’ Sis Lily that… I’m here,” No matter how worried Shimizu was for Lily, she still didn’t have the courage to face her right now.

“Don’t tell Lily about what I told you just now then,” Uesugi Rei replied.
“Hmph,” the two women kept their distance and smiled equally coldly.

Shimizu didn’t return to Lily’s house along with Rei and instead chose to lodge into a house nearby and watch over Lily and others while traveling incognito as she still hadn’t resolved herself to see Lily.

Uesugi Rei returned back and felt a little scared when she reached the entrance of the house. As for what it was that she feared? Was it perhaps the warmth of the light oozing out from the windows?

Or was it the ever grief-laden yet sensual smile of Lily’s that softened her?

She didn’t know the answer to these questions. It seemed that she cherished the present forevermore when she was together with Lily, but that wasn’t the path she was meant to tread.

To tread on the wind and cleave the moon, the path she walked was a bold one.

What happened to the Blade Maiden who moved unimpeded amidst the Night Parade of One Hundred Demons in Kamakura?

Would she really halt her journey because of emotional entanglements with a woman?

I may have to part with Lily tomorrow. There’s a lot of things I have to tell her tonight and a lot of things that I could do with her.

When Uesugi Rei opened the sliding door of the room, she saw someone else inside. It was Shiu.

“Shiu?” Uesugi Rei was taken aback1.

Shiu also seemed to have just arrived and was seated in a seiza at the center of the room. She called out to Lily and explained the reason for her arrival, “Sis, I’ve come here with haste to deliver Lord Kamakura’s order.”

“Lord Kamakura?” Lily and the rest were a little astonished that Lord Kamakura had sent Lily a direct order.

Shiu continued, “Lord Kamakura sent a handwritten letter via his personal aide.”

Shiu handed the letter over to Lily.

Lily looked at the inscription on the letter and curtained that it was undoubtedly from Lord Kamakura.

The intent hidden within the penned letter contained an unfathomable and valiant aura that overwhelmed her even now.

Lily opened the letter and read its contents—

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“Lily,

I am wholly pleased after learning that thee hath slain Hojo Dijon. It is truly laudable for a trustworthy young samurai like thee to exist in the East and you shalt receive ample rewards in due time.

However, the Takeda clan of Kai hath shown unusual movements in recent times and it makes me feel uneasy. I must trouble thee to go in advance and investigate the situation in secret with caution. If the situation is urgent, thou shalt act immediately in my name.

In case thee discovers that the issue shalt harm the core of the East, thou shalt make a decision as the situation decrees.

—Minamoto no Yoritomo.”

Lily felt perplexed for a while after she finished reading it as even though she was a samurai, she had always devoted her mind to training. Other than participating in a battle once, the overall situation of the East didn’t have much to do with her.

However, Lord Kamakura had sent down an order to her personally this time, which was something really unexpected for her.

As the people present in the scene were all on her side, Lily handed the letter over to Rei and Kotoka to look.

“Hmph. Lil’ Sis Lily, there’s no need for you to feel so astonished,” Uesugi Rei explained, “Lord Kamakura has overseen the East for so many years and his rule is as stable as a mountain. He doesn’t just rely on his strength to maintain his hegemony but is also exceptionally skilled in political and military strategies in comparison to an ordinary person.”

“Lil’ Sis Lily, you are no longer a novice samurai woman now. Just the ability to slay Hojo Dijon has already placed you amongst the top-ranked powerhouses of the East, and Lord Kamakura has finally recognized that value of yours. It’s because he considers you this valuable that he has sent down an order via a handwritten letter that’s filled with appreciation.”

“In that case, should I go or not?” Lily asked innocuously as she had gotten accustomed to a carefree life.

Kotoka panicked a bit after hearing this, “My dear lady, Lily, this is a handwritten letter from Lord Kamakura. Although the contents of the letter feel like a request, it is actually an unquestionable order. To disobey Lord Kamakura’s order means to go against Kanto and is the same as a rebellion! You’d have to commit hara-kiri to atone!”

“Eh… but I have yet to become Lord Kamakura’s vassal formally.”

“As long as you are from the East, even the bottommost samurai are required to follow Lord Kamakura’s orders as Lord Kamakura is the leader of all samurai in Kanto,” Even Kotoka, who always had a smooth tongue, acted quite solemnly at this moment.

“Lily,” Uesugi Rei stated, “It’s hard to cut off interpersonal relationships these days and Lord Kamakura’s order is the same as the Emperor’s orders, so it mustn’t be defied. Naturally, there’s no harm in delaying it by a few days if you wish to.”

“Since it’s the same as the Emperor’s orders, and you must obey it, it’s best to set off earlier than later,” Kotoka interjected, “Lest you fall victim to a plot because of condemnation for tardiness.”

Lily felt that Kotoka’s words made sense, but she looked at Rei reluctantly, “But I want to spend more time with Sister Uesugi.”

“In fact, I was originally planning to set off on a long journey tomorrow morning,” Uesugi Rei stated.

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“Eh?”

“Lil’ Sis Lily. I was planning to return to Echigo originally, so why don’t we set off together early in the morning tomorrow? I shall accompany you to Kai,” Uesugi Rei suggested.

“Wuh…” Learning that she would have to part with Uesugi Rei so soon made Lily feel really despondent.

“I thought Lord Kamakura’s order would be about sending me to rescue Sister Shimizu but ordering me to investigate the movements of the Takeda clan is truly troubling.”

“Just don’t go if it’s too troubling. Is it really an order from Lord Kamakura?” Nanako also questioned a bit reluctantly.

“Lil’ Sis Lily,” Uesugi Rei stated, “You don’t need to worry about Shimizu. I received news that she’s fine just recently and that she has already left the Endless Demon Mountains. She’s pretty safe right now.”

“Eh? Sister Shimizu is fine?” Lily felt jubilant at the news, “But, where is she? And why hasn’t she returned yet…”

Lily arrived at a realization after asking these questions as they were perhaps needless questions. The reason Sister Shimizu isn’t willing to return even though she’s fine might be because of me, because she’s unable to face me.

“Sister Uesugi. Where did you obtain this information from?” Nanako questioned a bit glumly as the happiness on Lily’s face made it seem as if she had forgotten what had transpired on the cliff that night.

“I have my ways, this information is absolutely reliable,” Uesugi Rei stated with certainty.

Lily had complete trust in Uesugi Rei. Thus, she sighed in relief, “It’s all good as long as Sister Shimizu’s fine.”

As for whether Shimizu would return, even Lily wasn’t certain about that.

But are you aware, Sister Shimizu? I never doubted or misunderstood you and neither am I angry at you. Actually, I can’t even muster an iota of anger against you because that incident was an accident!

After consulting with the others, Lily decided to set off early in the morning on the next day2.

Nanako, however, was to remain behind with Kotoka this time to aid her in managing the matters of the port. After all, Nanako had studied bookkeeping and commerce a bit previously and wasn’t like Lily and the others who only how to fight and kill.

Lily also consented to this and even though the parasol’s Kagura was somewhat unwilling, Lily felt that she should give the mother-daughter pair some time to spend with each other as she, Nanako and Kagura would embark on a journey sooner or later. In this time’s trip to Kai, the investigation took precedence, so Shiu was the better choice of company and there was also no reason to include Nanako in the journey, too.

Before the meeting ended, Lily also raised the issue regarding the thugs. With regards to this, Uesugi Rei stated that Shiina Airi would arrive in Izu Port to act as her guide so she wouldn’t lose her way back, so she would make some arrangements at that time.

As it was late into the night, everyone took a bath and retired to rooms to rest.

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Lily also donned a white yukata and returned to the new bedroom that truly belonged to her and lied down. However, she tossed around in bed repeatedly and was unable to get even a wink of sleep.

A soft voice came from the outside at this moment.

“Can I come in?”

A tall shadow was visible outside the sliding door, who Lily presumed could only be Rei.

“Come in, Sister Rei.”

Uesugi Rei was also donned in a white yukata and her beautiful silver hair was cascaded down her shoulders just like the tears of the moon.

“Are you unable to sleep as well, Sister Uesugi?” Lily inquired.
“I hope you won’t laugh at me, but that is indeed the case.”

Uesugi Rei was a goddess of war who could fall asleep immediately within a tent even if she were in the middle of a war, but on this night, she tossed around in bed repeatedly and was unable to fall asleep.

Each consecutive meeting between them was briefer and each consecutive parting sadder.

“Can we sleep together?” Uesugi Rei asked calmly.

If it were any other day, Lily would’ve definitely refused Rei, but that wasn’t because she hated it.

However, on this day, after seeing the tranquil expression on her face and her starry gaze, Lily didn’t feel like refusing Rei.

“Okay.”

Lily knew that this was really just a normal sleepover between two girls.

The rain poured down at a normal pace and issued pattering sounds when the raindrops crashed against the eaves. The night of this late autumn season was a bit colder than usual.

Lily gazed at the rain falling outside through the window while lying down as Rei hugged her from behind. The two of them lied underneath the white bedding, one in the arms of the other.

Lily’s gaze remained calm and shone with light even on this cold and desolate autumn night.

Uesugi Rei placed her chin on Lily’s shoulder from behind and breathed in the sweet scent of Lily’s beautiful hair, her eyes filling with unfathomable emotions, making it hard to distinguish whether it was joy, contentment or reluctance that lied within them.

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The two slept like this the entire night, one within the arms of the other, without saying a single word3.

It seemed as if saying even a single word more would waste the precious time where they could feel each other’s warmth in mutual embrace.

Although the sky hadn’t lit up at the crack of dawn on the next day, the samurai women knew that it was time to set off.

Uesugi Rei combed Lily’s hair while Lily combed Uesugi Rei’s hair. The two of them used such minor and ordinary matters between girls to communicate with each other silently.

With Crescent Moon fixed at her waist, dressed in red, Lily set off together with Rei.

Although she seldom did it, Rei changed into a long-sleeved kimono patterned with gorgeous orange leaves and petals from the deep-blue miniskirt she wore usually.

Uesugi Rei rode the gigantic Nioh whose hoofs created splashing sounds within the rain from time to time while Lily rode behind her this time and held the Sakura Parasol up for the two of them.

Kotoka, Nanako and the Taihara father-son duo came out to send them off.

A parade of heroic cavalrywomen galloped over towards Rei’s Nioh from the distance at this moment.

And the one leading them was none other than the intellectual vice-general donned in amethyst armor who only wore a violet thong to cover her underbody4, Shiina Airi.

“Airi, you shall move along with Shiu temporarily and travel with me,” Uesugi Rei ordered.

“Understood,” Airi affirmed.

Uesugi Rei then looked at the 20 or so katana-wielding armored cavalrywomen who were either ranked sword masters or higher standing behind Airi.

“You shall remain behind and follow the orders of this lady, Madam Kotoka, and guard this liege manor of Izu Port,” Uesugi Rei ordered.

“Understood!” The cavalrywomen affirmed in chorus swiftly.

In truth, when Airi turned her horse around, Shiu really felt a bit embarrassed to ride behind her after seeing that she only wore such a thin, string-like underwear to cover her butt5.

On the other hand, Lily felt a lot relieved after seeing the cavalrywomen scatter to guard the interior of the house and patrol the road as her home would be safer with them guarding it.

Although the presence of these 20 or so cavalrywomen wasn’t a measure of absolute safety, attacking these cavalrywomen was the same as declaring war on the Uesugi clan and no samurai or bandit in the East dared to do such a thing.

“Madam Kotoka, Nanako, we shall be leaving then. Take care of yourselves and don’t overwork yourself, Madam,” Lily said gently.

“Be careful on the way!” Kotoka pulled Nanako’s hand and replied in such a way.

Be careful on the way, huh? This really feels like leaving home, the feeling of a home.

Lily’s heart filled with warmth.

Uesugi Rei pulled the reins and the Nioh neighed in response before walking towards the north with its two riders. It traversed along the mountain road beside the coast and galloped into the woods. Airi and Shiu followed behind them while riding a white horse.

At the same time, other than the Saionji mother-daughter pair, there was yet another shadow nearby behind them that followed Lily with their eyes, gazing at them while holding a black parasol.

Perhaps it was so that Rei could spend more time with Lily, the Nioh didn’t break into a sprint and just walked forward steadily.

At such a speed, it wasn’t that much of a difficulty for a transcendent like Shimizu to keep following them from behind secretly at a distance6.



References

  1. Robinxen: YOU’RE ALIVE?!
  2. Robinxen: That was a fast shift.
  3. Robinxen: So jealous…
  4. Robinxen: Is this really needed author?
  5. Robinxen: I take it back author, you are most cultured.
  6. Robinxen: Cute.

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