|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 3228 characters|
|Translator: Aoi||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 2176 words|
Lily lifted her hand that was as fair and sleek as before, yet it was now filled with higher strength than last night.
The crimson magatama-shaped spirit jade situated in the spirit palace within Lily’s body was perfectly full of an abundant amount of energy and flickered aesthetically as if it were breathing.
“7th-stage Awakened…” Every inch of Lily’s body had obtained the best possible strengthening before the Spirit Jade Stage and with the boost provided by her exceptional constitution, spirit attribute and Tsukuyomi Swordstyle, Lily wasn’t afraid of challenging even a Spirit Jade Stage powerhouse.
The spirit jade existed within the spirit palace that was situated in the region underneath the navel, yet this bottleneck of forming the spirit jade that barred a majority of powerhouses from advancing further simply didn’t exist for Lily, and she just needed to continue assimilating magatamas.
However, Lily had a feeling that though her strength had increased greatly, she’d need more and more magatama along with the progressive increase in strength. According to her estimates, she’d require the essence of at least 30 magatamas to attain the summit of the Awakened Stage.
I luckily obtained 3 magatama by placing my life on the line and narrowly avoiding the danger of serving Honda, but where do I get the 30 magatama from? If I use magatama fragments instead, I’ll need an even higher amount of them and perhaps Genji Dojo’s entire stock of magatama fragments still wouldn’t be enough.
Although I have no bottleneck stopping me attaining the Spirit Jade Stage, it seems like I’ll have to slowly collect magatama if I want to attain it.
With a refreshed mind and body, as well as the sun rising up warmly, Lily’s mood turned for the better and she also felt pretty invigorated. She just needed to wait for Shiu to come out now.
However, worry filled Lily’s mind when Shiu had yet to appear even after the skies had turned bright. She wasn’t afraid of Tokugawa right now, so if Shiu didn’t appear by evening, she planned to infiltrate the castle tower again to look for Shiu.
After waiting for about one more hour, morning had already arrived.
“Hmm?” Lily saw a woman leave the castle’s entrance a thousand meters away and walk towards the woods that she and Shiu had chosen as the meetup spot.
With her exceptional vision, it just took a few moments to make out that the woman was none other than the demon kunoichi that pursued her and Shimizu back in Mt. Yoshino and nearly hounded her to death—Yuki Mayumi!
“Yuki Mayumi?!” Lily had a bad premonition, “Why’s she coming to these woods at such a time?”
She saw Yumi pause in front of the woods and from the looks of it, it seemed like she was waiting for someone, but Lily couldn’t understand the reason behind it.
“Hmm?!” The moment Yumi turned around, Lily saw a familiar ninja straight sword on her back!
“Shiroi Fugu!” Lily cried out in alarm internally, wondering why Yumi had Shiroi Fugu, Shiu’s katana.
The bad feeling Lily felt intensified even further and made her suspect whether Yumi had captured Shiu.
If that were indeed the case, Lily had a good idea who Yumi was waiting for at this moment.
“Mayumi, you may have pursued me on the Hundred Demons’ orders, but I only see you as a normal adversary. However, I absolutely won’t forgive you if you dare hurt Shiu!” Lily’s heart filled with fury as she got up and made for the woods at the bottom of the hillside.
A gust of wind swept the withered leaves across the sky as the red-dressed Lily approached Yumi from the depths of the woods.
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This red dress was the long-sleeved kimono that belonged to Lady Shizuka, so it was an exceptional item and unlike normal clothes, so it could be stored within the mirror1.
After sensing a faint grudge, Yumi turned around and looked at Lily, showing no change in expression.
“It’s been a long time, Mirror Girl,” Yumi stated with a bewitching gaze that carried an enigmatic overtone.
“Where is Shiu? What did you do to her?” Lily didn’t have the leeway to chat with her leisurely. She held Crescent Moon in her hand and questioned the kunoichi harshly.
“Hmph! There’s no need to act so infuriated, Mirror Girl. In your eyes, do I look like a demoness who would use Shiu to threaten you?” Yumi responded with a calm smile.
“Say what you want,” Lily was certain Shiu had fallen into her hands now, “But let me tell you this first. If Shiu got even a little bit hurt, I’ll make you regret hurting her for a lifetime!”
Lily’s attitude shocked Yumi to the core. This woman treats a ninja who’s practically of no assistance to her in terms of strength so importantly, but I, I was treated the same as an abandoned child by Haihime because I failed the mission. If this woman captures me, I wonder if Haihime would get angry like this and come to save me? Heh. I’m just overthinking things, I suppose.
“Oh, that sounds pretty dreadful. However, I feel glad that Shiu’s master truly values loyalty.”
“What?!” Lily was taken aback, “Just what do you mean?”
“Rest at ease, Mirror Girl. Shiu’s fine and she’s free to move as well. She’s hiding safely on roof of the building adjacent to the castle tower at this moment and she was the one who told me to look for you at this spot while bringing this katana along with me.”
“Look for me? Hmph. What are you scheming again now?”
“No matter what happens, at the very least, rest assured that I will never harm Shiu. You can say that we two are old acquaintances, so you don’t need to worry about her so much and I also don’t plan to threaten you with her. The reason I’ve come looking for you today is because I want to talk about working together with each other.”
“Hmph! I have no intention of working together with a s̲l̲u̲t̲t̲y kunoichi from the Hundred Demons who shakes her hips in front of demon crotches!”
Yumi’s face flushed up, “W-What are you saying?! I’m no such s̲l̲u̲t̲t̲y woman! Although I have indeed pledged my loyalty to the Hundred Demons, I never gave my body to the monsters like you have imagined!”
“Oh, really? So, you are telling me that you didn’t bewitch Hojo and Takeda using your body?” Lily stated coldly.
“Shut up and listen to me, Mirror Girl! I have never given my body to any man, whether it be voluntarily or compulsively!” Yumi stated impatiently.
“I wonder if that’s really true.”
“To be honest, if it weren’t for Shiu pleading me persistently, I wouldn’t have come to talk about working together with you, so don’t go too far now!”
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“Shiu pleaded you?”
Yumi looked at Lily solemnly and said, “Yes. Shiu’s a really kindhearted girl. She doesn’t want her former master and current master to kill each other and hopes that we are able to work together.”
“Former master? What do you mean?”
Yumi explained her and Shiu’s past to Lily briefly.
“I’ll talk with Shiu about this matter again later, but that doesn’t mean I believe you right now. Also, since when did a demon kunoichi like you from the Hundred Demons begin considering others’ feelings so much? Are you really going to abandon the enmity between us and betray the Hundred Demons by working together with me just because of Shiu’s wish? Don’t think I’ll believe your lie as simply as Shiu did.”
Yumi remained silent for a moment and said, “Why don’t you make a decision after hearing me out first? What an impatient woman you are!”
“Hmph. Speak, then.”
“My real name is Midō Yumi. Shiu and I were once part of the Midō clan, and Tokugawa’s newest wife, Yukiko, whose original name is Midō Yukiko, was the overseer of the Midō clan prior to me, and is also my birth sister.”
Lily’s eyes flickered after hearing this. She had already heard this while hiding in the storage room adjacent to Tokugawa’s room, so Yumi was speaking the truth.
“The overseer of our Midō clan has protected a secret for many generations, which is the location of a treasure hidden somewhere within Kai Province. Hmph. I heard from Shiu that you like treasures, right?2”
Lily didn’t plan to refute this statement, “So?”
“So, I want to make a deal with you.”
“I have no interest in the treasure, so my request is pretty simple. The Hundred Demons have long abandoned me, and Tokugawa is threatening me now to obtain the treasure. Kamakura also won’t pardon my life as I’ve committed far too many crimes, so even if I obtain this treasure, it’s useless to me as I cannot keep it with me.”
Yumi sashayed towards Lily charmingly, “But it’s not the same for you, Mirror Girl. You are a key person serving under Lord Kamakura and have a deep connection with the Ashikaga and the Uesugi clans, so it’s possible for you to obtain the treasure in its entirety.”
Lily pondered for a moment before replying, “It seems like Shiu’s really too talkative and has told you a lot of things. It is as you say, I can have the whole treasure, but what merit is there for you in doing this and what do you need me to do for you?”
Yumi turned a bit nervous suddenly and summoned a never before seen pure sincerity from the bottom of her heart while gazing deeply into Lily’s eyes, “My request is pretty simple. I don’t want money or the treasure. I wish to join hands with you so that I can rescue my sister, Yukiko, and after that, I hope that you can provide us sisters with a section of land in your territory that will allow us to live isolated from worldly affairs. Swear to the Heavens that you will shelter us sisters by placing your identity of a liege lord on the line, that you will allow us to safely… survive.”
Survive… It sounded simple, but it was a pretty extravagant term for this woman stuck in between the struggle between multiple major factions.
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“Mirror Girl. As long as you promise to help me, I’ll take you to the location of the Midō clan’s treasure and once we find it, you can take all of it as I don’t need anything at all! You just need to help me rescue my sister and shelter us, what do you say?”
Lily observed the kunoichi standing in front of her who was about the same height as her silently, almost as if she were looking through Yumi’s false façade and the seeing the anxiety and fear hidden underneath it, yet, at the same time, it also seemed as if she were validating the truths and falsehoods hidden within her sincere words.
In any case, if Tokugawa really wants to get this treasure so badly, this might be a big chance to improve my strength again and bring me closer to embarking on the journey towards Kansai. It will also provide me with another layer of protection.
Although it’s hard to determine the falsehoods regarding this matter, Lily believed there was some truth in it and that it was worth taking the risk!
“Fine,” Lily stated.
Yumi turned jubilant, “You’re going to help me?”
“Yes, Yumi. I will help you, but don’t forget that you tried to kill me not so long ago, so don’t expect me to believe you right away and sit alongside you like we are partners,” Lily stated coldly.
“Listen to me. The reason I tried to kill you previously was because I was ordered to do so, and if you remember it carefully, I never used a fatal attack even though I was much stronger than you were back then. If I hadn’t done that, you would’ve been long dead. I also didn’t kill the weak and innocent disciples, including the two girls underneath the parasol. Those innocent Kanto disciples were all killed under Hojo’s orders!”
“Yes, Yumi, and that’s the reason Hojo has perished under my blade while you are still able to negotiate with me here. Although you didn’t kill the innocent disciples, it only proves that you don’t possess a cruel nature. On the other hand, you were really trying to capture me and Sister Shimizu back then and planned to offer us to the Hundred Demons, which is the same as sending us to our deaths.”
“How do I make you believe me then?” Yumi asked worriedly.
“Prove it to me.”
“Prove to me that you come with goodwill, that you want to work together with me sincerely! Show it to me!”
“H-How do you want me to prove it?” Yumi asked nervously while blushing for some unknown reason.
Lily, however, responded as calmly as ever, “That’s up to you to decide.3”
- Silva: Oooh, dis the kimono from the cover pics?
- Robinxen: Shiu knows her master well.
- Robinxen: Take off your clothes! Is what she is saying.
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