|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 3098 characters|
|Translator: Aoi||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 2057 words|
None of the meeting members thought that the arrival of a maid would break the balance of the meeting.
Shigemori maintained his grip on Lily’s hand and continued with the interrogation, “If you are a maid, why did you hesitate when kneeling towards me and Lord Takeda?”
Lily felt wholly shocked that this old fox’s observation skills were this meticulous even when all the others were focused on the meeting.
Even Lily hadn’t expected that it would turn out like this.
Lily definitely wasn’t the match of two Furinkazan powerhouses as well as that unfathomable, black-armored samurai, yet the current Lily wasn’t the same as before. Even if she wasn’t their match, the chances of her escaping after creating an opening were pretty high as her realm had the ability to suppress and hinder her enemies and was pretty useful for escaping.
As she had decided to undertake Lord Kamakura’s order, she couldn’t return empty-handed. Furthermore, she was pretty concerned about the party that had leaked information about her arrival to this city. Unless she solved the mystery behind why the overlord of this castle was trying to kill her, the Mirror Girl, even if she returned to her territory, she and her sisters would be at the mercy of unpredictable danger. Although a clear enemy was pretty dreadful, a hidden enemy was much deadlier.
At this moment, however, Lily didn’t provide an explanation and revealed a pitiful expression on her distressed, pretty face. It seemed as if the pain from Shigemori’s grip had frightened her senseless as she turned her face aside to cover her mouth.
“Forgive me… Lord… I…” Lily feigned an incoherent, terrified conduct.
The incapacity to provide a rational explanation instead made her act look realistic.
Takeda Tsunenobu finally interjected at this moment, “Lord Tokugawa, there’s no need to make things hard on a maid. A good number of the Takeda clan’s maids are captives that hail from territories I have conquered. This maid possesses exceptional looks and manners, so she’s probably a noblewoman and is thus still unfamiliar with serving others. I’ve seen this kind of maid several times already.”
Although Shigemori still held some doubts, he released his grip after hearing Tsunenobu’s words.
Tsunenobu’s interjection, however, perplexed Lily even further. His words sounded pretty steady, so she couldn’t figure out where exactly the issue lied.
Lily bowed towards Tsunenobu and continued serving the sake to the people at the back.
“I created the demon samurai using the arcane spells used to train demon spirit arts that I obtained from vanquishing the monsters to use the enemy’s power against them. The existence of the demon samurai legion allows us to fight the Hundred Demons with equal power—there was no other choice. Lord Kamakura wouldn’t have accepted it if he knew about it, but if we didn’t do it, the Kai Province would have depleted its entire strength. The only way we can resist the forces of the Hundred Demons invading from the Endless Demon Mountains and Shinano1 is by sending the dead samurai and soldiers back into the battlefield once again.”
Although Itagaki donned a worried and unconvinced expression after hearing the reasoning of his lord, he was incapable of changing his lord’s decision.
The final guest on Tokugawa’s side was the exceptionally tall samurai, Honda Yahatarou. Lily noticed that this handsome and gallant man’s sight had never left her.
The moment Lily laid down the shōchū, her hand was grabbed by Honda, which made her wonder if the people from the Tokugawa clan all liked grabbing the hands of maids.
“You have my apologies for the scare you went through, girl. May I know your sweet name?”
Lily’s existence interrupted the strategy meeting relating to provincial matters yet again.
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“Lord, that’s…” Lily assumed a shy appearance.
“Hahaha!” Tsunenobu chuckled at this moment, “Lord Honda, you are a rare and eccentric talent among the Mikawa samurai who appears only once every millennium. It is indeed a better thing to see you in the flesh than to know you by fame. It is truly enviable that Lord Tokugawa possesses such a general on his side. How about it, Lord Honda, do you like this maid of mine?”
“Eh? Well…” Honda was taken aback, but he still answered the question, “I do. This woman was born into beauty, so there’s no way I wouldn’t like her.”
Should you really be acting so forthright in someone else’s home? This Honda looks pretty dignified, but is he thick-skinned or lacking brain cells?
“Since you like her, I shall send her to you, Lord Honda. Consider it a greeting gift from me. I’ll arrange for her to serve you tonight, is it fine?”
“You have my utmost gratitude, Lord Takeda!” Honda felt pleased by the development and bowed towards Tsunenobu.
Lily, on the other hand, was left dumbfounded.
“Oh, yes. What are you called?” Tsunenobu questioned.
“I’m called Lynne, my lord,” Lily replied.
“All right. Attendants!”
Two obviously normal human samurai entered the room.
“Take this Lynne down and ensure that she is well bathed and dressed to serve Lord Honda tonight,” Tsunenobu commanded.
“Please hold on, my lord,” Lily interjected at this moment.
The others were all taken aback as it wasn’t a maid’s place to speak up even if she were sent to serve an ally’s vassal by the lord.
However, as she had dared to speak up, even Tsunenobu took interest in her and actually wanted to know what she had to say.
“What is it?” Tsunenobu’s eyebrows locked up in a calm yet solemn fashion.
“My lord, please allow me to finish serving this sake.”
Tsunenobu eyed Lily for a moment and nodded, “Fine.”
Tsunenobu then resumed his conversation with Shigemori, “In short, I hope we can come to a common understanding, Lord Tokugawa. It isn’t a matter of who will move under whose command. Under the watch of Lord Kamakura, the only thing we can do is maintain our current conduct.”
When Lily served the sake to the Takeda vassals, she intentionally left Itagaki out as there were only six cups of wine. In any case, she didn’t know how a normal maid would handle such a situation.
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Itagaki, however, looked at Lily with worry and perplexment, almost as if he were questioning why she hadn’t heeded his warning and even came running to such a place.
Lily warned him with her eyes as she lifted her head, and hinted to him to act as if he didn’t know anything at all as she served a cup of sake to the next vassal.
After the sake was served, Sakai and Amari began discussing matters while Lily performed a silent bow before leaving alongside the two samurai.
In the corridor, the two samurai who were castle attendants, gazed at Lily with doubt as they had never seen her before. They were planning to inquire about it, but Lord Takeda had commanded them to bestow her to one of the Tokugawa generals. They had to ensure nothing went wrong in such a sensitive period of time.
Thus, one of them questioned Lily while leading the way, “Girl, we’ve never seen you before. When exactly did you enter this place?”
Lily had already prepared an answer for them and stated that instantly, “I came here tonight.”
“Tonight, you say?” The samurai duo’s vigilance shot up.
Lily fished out two gold coins and placed them in their palms each, “To be quite honest, this little girl was arranged inside the castle by Lord Itagaki. I am actually a distant relative of his, and requested him to entrust me with the job of serving sake for Lord Tokugawa, whom I admire and desired to see after learning he would visit soon.”
The two samurai seemed to have a flash of realization after hearing this.
In such dark and chaotic times, it was pretty common for a woman of status who wasn’t exactly a true noblewoman to use all possible means in her arsenal to cling on to an overlord. Lily’s method was just a considerably smarter one in their opinion, so they felt that it was quite normal for an intelligent woman like her to take such action.
“However, you probably weren’t expecting the lord to give you to Tokugawa’s vassal, right?” One of them teased.
Lily bowed her head in response and said, “My only choice is to obey the lord’s command gratefully.”
The two samurai helped explain Lily’s history after arriving at the maids’ room at the lower story as thanks for the gold they received. The old maid in the room also didn’t dare to express her doubts after hearing the names of Lord Takeda and Lord Itagaki and arranged for Lily to get bathed and dressed in haste.
Lily insisted on bathing and dressing alone, and believing her to be shy, the old maids also didn’t insist on helping her with it.
In fact, the formal dresses of Kai were really subpar, and as a maid, the dress Lily was given was a short-sleeved kimono, and that too of the substandard kind lacking in elegance.
The pink kimono with leafed daylily-patterned short-sleeves really looked a little inelegant, but no matter what kind of clothes they were, they were elevated to a higher level by her exceptional beauty when she wore them with the impression of a sincere girl yearning for love oozing off from her.
The two samurai waited for Lily to get dressed appropriately, and when night arrived, even they were left a bit agape when they saw her again, feeling a bit unwilling to guide her downstairs to the side tower.
“Thank you for guiding me until here, big brothers. I can go by myself from here on.”
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This entire area was part of the Takeda clan castle, so it was pretty safe. As the two had received a huge amount of money from her, which likely crossed several years of their wages, they agreed with Lily’s proposal and left after seeing her approach the region guarded by the Tokugawa troops.
Although the Tokugawa troops were guarding the premises, the Takeda clan’s maids went in and out often, so they didn’t question her much and let her pass through.
It was pretty easy for Lily to make an escape from here, but she still wanted to investigate a little further, so she entered the building.
At the same time, Shiu, who had snuck into the attic of the ceiling, was in a state of deep shock. She could see two women seated in the room below through the gaps of the ceiling boards, one being Tokugawa’s wife, Yukiko, and the other being Mayumi, who was dressed in snug kunoichi attire.
Eight years had passed by now, and both Mayumi and Shiu had grown up, but Shiu had never forgotten her mistress’ countenance, temperament and aura!
“Lady Mimori…” Shiu leaned against the attic’s boards and quivered with a slacked gaze, “How… is she still alive? Is it really her? Lady Mimori… my idol and goal, Midō Yumi…”
The door of the room below slid open at that moment and Shigemori entered inside.
It was already night now, so Shigemori allowed Yukiko to undress him without the slightest scruple. This, however, caused Mayumi to don an awkward look, “Lord Tokugawa, allow me to withdraw for the night first.”
Shigemori revealed a depraved smile on his aged face, “It doesn’t matter. You may remain as well.”
Mayumi shivered all over and felt a bit nauseous, “I don’t dare to disturb your rest time. Please allow me to withdraw!”
Saying so, she exited the room and closed the sliding door.
It was at this moment that Lily had walked into the corridor outside while assuming the look of a shy and naïve maid and was just about to look for Shigemori’s room to eavesdrop on him, yet she saw a kunoichi dressed in revealing lavender-blue garments exit a room ahead of her suddenly.
In a moment of desperation, Lily opened the sliding door beside her slightly and sidestepped inside before closing it in the next moment. Fortunately, the room was dark and unoccupied.
It also seemed that Mayumi’s attention was centered within that room at that moment, so it looked like she hadn’t seen Lily. Nevertheless, it still caused Lily’s heart to pound hard.
- Silva: hmmm? Shinano? Isn’t that the name mentioned by that old woman in the lodge a few chapters back? He’s NOT human?!
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