|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 3144 characters|
|Translator: Aoi||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 2086 words|
Lily’s heart throbbed intensely, though it was a wonder if it was because of the excitement of finally seeing the treasure or because of the nervousness from the denser than ever eldritch energy.
The group arrived at a wide clearing after leaving that long and narrow valley and saw a spacious slightly upward-sloped flatland that was a few hundred square meters in size.
The summit of this slope housed an old and dilapidated temple underneath tall vegetation and towering rocks.
Although it looked dilapidated, Lily could sense that this temple which stood in the snowstorm was far from normal even from a distance.
The girls checked the surroundings and discovered that this sloped flatland was enclosed entirely within hundred-meter tall precipitous rock walls that had lush vegetation growing all over them with just a single ray of light descending down from the roof of the valley.
The location of this flatland was a match to the treasure spot from the map in Lily’s memories, so once she had confirmed that there wasn’t anything special about the surroundings, Lily became certain that the treasure was related to the temple at the summit of the slop and became excited as a result.
The girls walked until the flatland and waded through the densely accumulated snow on the slope.
“Let’s investigate that dilapidated temple first, Master!” Shiu suggested.
“Wait,” Lily stopped Shiu, “Although nothing looks odd, this place houses an intense eldritch energy.”
Almost as if to validate Lily’s statement, the snowstorm turned stronger and the clearing was covered in a vortex of snowflakes immediately!
“Hehehehehehe! Hehehehehehe!” A childlike innocent and naïve laughter echoed in the clearing enclosed within the rock walls.
“A child?” Lily voiced out puzzledly in the snowstorm, but her conjecture missed the mark.
Although the voice was childlike, it contained an exceptional penetrative force that pierced through the snowstorm and seemed to loom over Lily’s soul.
“It’s a monster!” Lily held the handle of her katana and looked ahead vigilantly.
Lily saw two bundles of snow rise up on the snow-capped slope in front of the dilapidated temple which began spinning at the spot as if they possessed a life of their own and turned into two snowballs. The snowballs then began circling on the snow-covered slope jovially one after the other and began growing in size gradually with each consequent revolution, reaching the size of a human in just a few breaths.
“Hahahahahaha! Hahahahahaha!” The childlike laughter of indeterminable gender kept echoing within the clearing along with the revolution of the snowballs, and soon, the two snowballs had become as big as a house and finally stopped spinning momentarily before rolling down towards Lily’s group from the slope’s summit.
The snowballs gained momentum pretty quickly and caused the flatland to tremble along with their movements as they charged over towards Lily’s group!
“Watch out, everyone! Dodge them quickly!” Lily warned her group members and dodged to the side while pulling Shiu along with her. Yukiko and Yumi, on the other hand, were bearers of considerable strength, so they were able to dodge by themselves without any issues. Thus, the two snowballs dashed through the center of Lily’s group while bringing in a veil of mist along with them and tumbled all the way to the bottom of the slope with a boom.
The two snowballs didn’t stop after reaching the bottom and actually began to hop back up again while leaping uphill directly in large jumps!
(This chapter is provided to you by Re:Library)
(Please visit Re:Library to show the translators your appreciation and stop supporting the content thief!)
As they still had yet to make sense of the situation, Lily and the rest could only keep dodging the insistent pursuit of the two snowballs that switched between chasing after Lily and Yukiko interchangeably.
As they couldn’t keep getting chased like this forever, Lily came to a sliding stop on the slope and said, “Hide on the trees, Shiu!”
Saying so, Lily turned around and faced one of the snowballs coming towards her while supplying Crescent Moon with crimson spirit power, creating quite an eye-catching scene within the snowy flatland.
“Sakura Fall—Iai!” Lily unsheathed Crescent Moon instantly!
A resplendent crimson sword beam flew across the snowy flatland in the next moment and blew the giant snowball into uncountable pieces that were sent flying in all directions with a bang.
Yumi also unsheathed her straight sword and caught up with the snowball attacking Yukiko from its flank before delivering a few swift hits to it.
“Boom!” The other snowball also exploded resultantly.
The two snowballs turned into mere bundles of snow just like that.
“Is… it… over?” Yukiko asked with a ragged breath.
However, Lily’s expression was still as grim as before, “The eldritch energy hasn’t lessened at all.”
A sharp whistle pierced through the snowstorm and two bundles of snow began to rise up once again, turning denser within the snowstorm with each passing moment.
Two snowmen-like creatures manifested inside the snowstorm gradually.
“Hehehehehehe! Hehehehehehe!” and the childlike laughter echoed across the flatland once again.
The two snowmen-like creatures transformed into two four-meter tall and chubby 3-year-old children with innocent smiles, but their gigantic size and their intricately realistic smiles depicted a really strange scene.
The two gigantic children were donned in blue onesies patterned with designs found in common households, but the scarier part was that the two children were suspended in the sky with clouds of mist floating around them and frolicked around each other in circles. If it weren’t for the intense eldritch energy and the previous attack, Lily would’ve thought that they were celebrating the first snowfall of the year.
“They are snow children!” Yukiko cried out in alarm, “It’s said that the first snowfall of the year is always accompanied by the manifestation of snow children. We really have bad luck. If we had arrived a few days earlier, the treasure might’ve been completely unguarded!”
It was Lily’s first time seeing childlike monsters, so she questioned the Midō sisters with a blank look, “Yukiko, Yumi, could these snow children be related to you…?”
“Of course not!” Yumi answered incredulously.
(This chapter is provided to you by Re:Library)
(If you are reading this, that means this content is stolen. Please support us by visiting our site.)
Although Lily said such things, the two snow children with childlike appearances were actually 7th-stage Awakened monsters! Thus, Lily couldn’t be careless at all.
“Hehehehe! Will you play with us, pretty sisters? Hehehehe!” the two snow children maneuvered in the air in circles while approaching Lily and the others rambunctiously.
One of the snow children pounced forward suddenly with an innocent and naïve mercilessness as if it had found its favorite toy and jumped towards Lily with a wobble.
Its speed far exceeded anyone’s imagination!
Faced with this gigantic snow child who wore an innocent and naïve smile as it jumped towards her with curiosity, Lily felt a deep sense of dread from its innocent smile that resulted from the strange juxtaposition of its size.
“It doesn’t matter whether you look like a child or an old man, as long as you’re a monster, I won’t show you any mercy!” Lily held Crescent Moon firmly and took a firm step ahead in the snow.
The crimson-lit Crescent Moon danced across the sky and a beam of sword light sliced forward.
“Swish!” a cloud of pink mist spattered in the sky, portraying an incredible image.
“Argh! Wah! It hurts! It hurts so much!” The expression of the child who Lily sliced twisted in pain and its body also expanded while deforming completely, turning from a monstrous toddler into a grotesque monster with a wrinkle-filled face and long, veined hands with sharp ice claws. The snow child landed on the ground and pounced towards Lily on all its limbs like a dog!
Faced with the snow child’s crazy and bizarre attack style, although stunned, Lily didn’t risk dodging it immediately and blocked the snow child’s sharp claw with her katana instead!
“Clang!” Lily’s body sunk into the snow and formed a depression in it after blocking the clawed attack, but she still didn’t dare to make a move yet.
Although the snow child and Lily were both 7th-stage Awakened, as a monster, the snow child possesses higher innate strength, but Lily also had the strength boost from her transcendent physique and Tsukuyomi Swordstyle supplementing her!
“Hmph! Naughty kid, it looks like you are no better than a child in front of me. You better fall back or else I’ll punish both of you severely!”
Lily used the Tsukuyomi Swordstyle and doubled the output of her crimson spirit power instantly!
“Hyah!” Lily pushed her katana against the snow child’s sharp icy claws and snapped a few of the claws off from its hand. She then slid to the rear side flank of the snow child and spun around to strike at its waist!
Although a majority of the snow child’s body was made of snow, Lily’s strike contained quite the impact, so the aftershocks of the attack ended up injuring the origin core in the depths of its body directly, a snowball filled with spirit power which was the main body of the snow child!
“Argh! Wah! Argh!” The snow child felt a piercing pain after its main body received a hit.
(This chapter is provided to you by Re:Library)
(Say no to content thief!)
The other snow child was held up in a battle with Yumi and Yukiko as well. The dagger that Yukiko wielded was actually just an ornamental piece as she stopped carrying the Midō clan’s weapon on her long ago in order to dismiss any suspicions that might fall on her. This time, however, Tokugawa had shown a rare display of concern and presented this exquisite grade 6 dagger to Yukiko with the justification that he was concerned about her safety in the monster-infested Kai Province.
However, this snow child stopped battling with Yukiko and Yumi and returned to its original malevolent appearance in a frenzy before pouncing towards Lily!
Alas, Lily had already seen through their strength and dodged the joint attack of the two snow children with her elegant footwork easily. These snow children possessed low-intelligence, so even though Lily couldn’t adapt to their attacks initially, she soon discovered that they were as naïve as children and unlike the enemies and beasts that she battled usually, which left Lily in a conundrum.
As such, Lily looked for a chance to attack the two snow children while dodging their attacks constantly.
If Lily used her entire strength, the battle would’ve ended pretty quickly, but she wanted to take her time battling them as she hadn’t run into such powerful monsters in a long time and treated this fight as a fun, warm-up battle.
Yukiko and Yumi, on the other hand, looked at Lily battle with the snow children skillfully and easily from afar.
Yumi was the most shocked among the two, “If it were me, I definitely can’t handle those two snow children alone. Has Lily already reached a level where she can handle two snow children with so much ease?”
“Argh!” one of the snow children screamed mournfully as Lily’s katana pierced deep into its core from its back accurately.
“Save me, Mommy! Mommy!” the other injured snow child transformed into a snowball and began rolling away, turning smaller and smaller with each revolution with the intention of hiding in the snow.
However, Lily didn’t let it have this chance and struck it down like a cannonball after catching up with it, which was followed by a soul-wrenching scream!
Lily then absorbed the animas of the two 7th-stage Awakened monsters into Crescent Moon straightforwardly.
The snowstorm lessened in intensity gradually and the dilapidated temple a dozen or so meters away became visible once again.
Yumi’s chest heaved up and down intensely with a ragged breath, “Why is that Minamoto no Shimizu and even this Lily possess such rapid speed of advancement?! I could push them around with ease just a little while ago, but I’m no match for either of the two now. Especially Lily, although she’s a woman, the strength packed in that strike of hers is too intense and is expansive, fierce and accurate on top of that. Just seeing it gives me the jitters… Could Lily really be as talented as Haihime who was once hailed as a genius swordmaster? Does she really have the qualifications to become my master?”
Lily employed a spirit probe to investigate the temple and its vicinity and sheathed her katana in relief after discovering no other intense eldritch energy readings.
“Let’s go in and see who exactly is enshrined in this temple hidden inside this snowstorm,” Lily spoke to Yukiko and Yumi, as well as Shiu who had descended from her hiding spot.
Support Project Gender Bender
∴ Subscribing to Patreon may result in faster updates.
For more info, please refer to this: link.