|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 3189 characters|
|Translator: Aoi||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 2019 words|
Lily looked at the distant moderate-heighted yet uncharacteristically stocky silhouette standing within the snowstorm. At present, Tokugawa Shigemori was donned in dark blue and bronze decorated full-body armor and looked unusually massive. The crown of his helmet was shaped like a tower and was remarkably tall, about 70 cm in height, and beside him stood Takeda Tsunenobu, dressed in red and gold. Takeda wasn’t particularly tall, but he was much taller than Tokugawa and had quite a formidable appearance.
In addition, an exceptionally tall and gallant samurai donned in black armor and an antler-horned helmet, Honda Yahatarou, stood behind Tokugawa.
There were about 400 to 500 valiant Kai and Mikawa samurai as well as cavalrymen stationed behind the trio in a battle formation and all of them had their weapons—katanas, spears, bows—pointed towards Lily’s group.
Lily looked at this huge army incredulously and spun her thoughts tensely, “Just how? How did Tokugawa and Takeda learn about this place?”
“I probed my surroundings in intervals as we made our way to this temple, but I never discovered any pursuers or any trackers within a few kilometers from us!”
“So, why have they appeared here so suddenly?”
Yukiko and Yumi also became nervous and scared.
As for Shiu, she hid within the temple in accordance with Lily’s instruction and peeked her head out frightenedly.
Tokugawa, who was donned in tortoise shell-like full-body heavy armor, showed some astonishment after seeing Lily, and then yelled towards Lily’s group after a moment of rumination, “Hehehe. Yukiko, Yumi, you never expected this, right? That mine and Brother Takeda’s army would appear in this place! We waited outside for a long time, so how did it go? From the looks of it, you must’ve obtained the treasure already, right? Yukiko, I can give you one last chance for the sake of the marital affection between us husband and wife. Hand over the treasure quickly and I might spare you sisters from death!”
“Hmph! Spare us from death? Then what? Do you want us to offer ourselves to you and suffer humiliation under you? We’ve already completed our mission, so we would rather die than submit to you. What I don’t get is…” Yukiko still held fear towards Tokugawa, “How you found this place. Even I didn’t know where the treasure was hidden, so how did you find this place without the treasure map?”
“Heh! Although you are a bit clever, you are in the end, a naïve long-haired woman, Yukiko. Even I hadn’t expected the situation would turn out this way. My original plan was to find out the location of the treasure map via threats and torture as well as methods you feeble women can never even imagine, but I also considered the possibility of you escaping and left some insurance behind. I made an onmyōji cast a spell on the dagger I presented to you and almost all your clothing articles. This spell allows me to find where you are as long as you haven’t left a range of 50 kilometers with the help of a special spell cast on Brother Takeda’s beacon towers situated all over in Kai Province! After fleeing, you neither fled to Kamakura nor the Land of Hundred Demons, and made for such a bizarre location, so I was certain you were seeking the treasure. Thus, Brother Takeda and I shadowed you leisurely while maintaining a distance of 5 kilometers and waited for you pretentious women to obtain the treasure so that we can seize it from you forcibly! Hehe. I always think of all the possibilities when I act, but this time’s result is much better than what I expected. Hehehehe. How about it, Yukiko, Yumi? Do you have anything else left to say now?”
“Such… cunningness,” Yukiko and Yumi wore grim looks simultaneously. Tokugawa alone was much stronger than them, yet he even had the company of Takeda’s army as well. This far exceeded their ability to resist and if they were to fall into Tokugawa’s hands again, the consequences of that… were beyond imagination. Although the two women were fully determined to go all out and bet their lives on the line in this battle, they couldn’t prevent fear from filling their hearts… and their womanly feebleness was laid bare at this moment.
“We can’t win. Tokugawa alone is pretty fearsome, and we sisters aren’t his match in any way, whether it be strength or intellect. In addition, there’s Takeda and the army as well…” Yukiko’s nearly despaired.
The tall Honda, who stood behind Tokugawa, had his attention fixed on the red-clad Lily, and yelled out spontaneously without even getting an order from his lord, “Why are you here, Miss Lynne?! Why did you deceive me?!”
Lily was taken aback by Honda’s question as she was just about to question Tokugawa.
“Hmph, Yahatarou,” Tokugawa continued, “This woman’s appearance was out of my expectations as well. She’s probably Yumi’s accomplice.”
Itagaki hadn’t come this time, but Amari, who was donned in dark green armor, alighted from his horse from within Kai’s cavalry formation and strode to Takeda and Tokugawa, “My lord, Lord Tokugawa, we found a maid bound in the storeroom of the castle tower, an unfortunate result of the guardsmen’s’ negligence. This Lynne isn’t a maid of ours and is undoubtedly an infiltrator from outside!”
“I… I know her!” A black-bearded samurai donned in lavishly decorated armor yelled out while pointing at Lily, “Elder Brother, I know this woman! S-she’s no Lynne, she’s Kagami Lily! The same blade maiden sent by Lord Kamakura to investigate Tsutsujigasaki Castle secretly! I saw her in Kamakura Palace during the awarding ceremony for the Battle of Odawara!”
The one who said this was Takeda Mitsuyori, a younger brother to Takeda Tsunenobu. He had attended the previous awarding ceremony in Tsunenobu’s stead, so he naturally knew Lily from back then. It was just that he hadn’t appeared in the meetings with Tokugawa.
“What?!” Tokugawa, Honda and the others were all shocked, the sole exception being the purple-complexioned Takeda, who didn’t show that much of a huge reaction.
“Kagami Lily?!” Tokugawa pointed his brush-like huge finger at Lily in fury, “So, you’re the woman who injured my son! No wonder I discovered my magatamas and gold were all gone after Yukiko escaped! I thought Yukiko took them with her, but I’m now certain that it was you who did that! Yukiko isn’t a materialistic woman, so it can only be you since you are accustomed to robbing others! You stole Dijon’s tamahagane once and you’ve stolen my treasure now. You are a really vile and shameless woman, Kagami Lily1!”
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“Lynne,” A raging golden spirit power lit up behind Tokugawa, “How could you deceive me so badly, Lynne?! What orphan of the Ogasawara clan, you’ve really betrayed the trust with which I sent you outside the city. On top of fleeing, you even stole the lord’s treasure and deceived me to such an extent with lies…”
The focus was spearheaded at the Midō sisters initially, but it was concentrated on Lily now.
“Hmph! What a Lynne you are! Who could’ve imagined that the genius of the East who was granted a peerage recently, Kagami Lily, was actually a vile woman who steals and lies often! I thought you were just Yumi’s subordinate, but it seems like I was utterly mistaken about this bit. From the looks of it, you were the mastermind behind the incident!”
“You’ve stirred up a lot of trouble ever since you’ve appeared in Kamakura, Kagami Lily. Do you know how many eminent samurai have died because of you?” The yellow-faced and black-armored General Sakakibara standing behind Tokugawa criticized Lily straightforwardly.
General Sakai was also flushed with anger and though he looked inebriated, he rolled his eyes sideways towards Tokugawa and reminded, “My lord, if this woman really is Kagami Lily, it would mean that Lord Kamakura sent her. Would it really be fine to eliminate a woman who Lord Kamakura values this much?”
“Hmph. That’s exactly the reason why I cannot let you leave alive, Kagami Lily. You overheard the discussion between me and Brother Takeda, so the only option left for me is to kill you. I can take my time to find the treasure slowly after that!” Tokugawa grinned.
Now that things had come to such a stage, even Lily didn’t feel like hiding her identity any longer. She stepped forward and confronted Tokugawa from a few dozen steps away fearlessly regardless of whether she was their match as fear was of no use at this moment.
She eyed the intimidating, black-armored army from left to right with the same cold and flamboyant gaze as usual.
She then chuckled mellowly with grace, “Hehehe. As expected of Tokugawa, the wily old fox. It is as you’ve said, I’m indeed the mastermind. I eavesdropped on your plan to rebel against Lord Kamakura, instigated Yumi to help Yukiko flee, and also took your magatamas and gold while I was at it. I’ve obtained the treasure, and the Fuji-san teacup that Yasutarou risked his life to take back from you, his father’s killer, is in my hands as well! I admit that I am not as noble as how I’m made to be, but what about you, Tokugawa? Do you believe you are qualified to admonish me? You killed hundreds of people just to obtain a tea master’s teacup, stole his wife, and even killed his son, so can’t I take your treasure as well?”
Yumi, who stood behind Lily, looked at the tall and slim back of the woman in front of her. She was the one who had schemed to rescue Yukiko, so she couldn’t understand why Lily had taken all the blame onto herself. Although Lily was a woman like her, Yumi didn’t get why she was so responsible and unafraid of the formidable Tokugawa.
“Enough of the sophistry, Kagami Lily! You’ve really saved me a lot of trouble by admitting everything and saying that you possess the treasure!” Tokugawa continued, “Your vain cleverness has caused your own undoing. There’s no way for you to escape from our palms now, so you better surrender and hand over the treasure immediately. I will grant you a somewhat dignified death if you do that!”
Lily, however, remained calm and spoke to Takeda Tsunenobu instead while ignoring Tokugawa’s words, “Lord Takeda, I won’t say much as you’ve pushed me to a dead end. The only thing left is for us to battle now! However, do you have a reason for participating in this battle? If you’re worried about me divulging the contents of your secret talks, I promise that I will act as if I haven’t heard anything as long as you stop now. I don’t wish to fight a senior respected by Sister Uesugi if possible.”
The gold and red armored Takeda with a white-furred helmet finally responded in a sluggish and mechanical voice, completely bereft of the valiance and wisdom of the Tiger of Kai who’s renowned as the top of the Furinkazan, “Kagami Lily. That person also desires your death2.”
“What?!” Lily felt shaken to the core, “Lord Takeda, please make it clear. Who desires my death?”
“Brother Takeda! There’s no need to waste time speaking with this vile woman. I bet she’s trying to pull some trick by stalling for time. Let me get rid of this calamity as soon as possible!” Tokugawa interrupted Takeda’s words, fully intent on acting without delay.
“Please wait!” Honda, who was behind Tokugawa, stepped forward suddenly and stopped Tokugawa.
“What are you trying to do, Yahatarou?” Tokugawa’s thick brows furrowed deeper.
“My lord, no matter what her identity is, she’s the Lynne that Lord Takeda and you bestowed to me, and the blame lies on me for allowing her to leave! Please let me deal with this matter personally in your stead!” Honda requested with a desperate bow.
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“Hahaha! I thought you were going to defend these s̲l̲u̲t̲s̲! You really are my most loyal retainer, my dear Honda! Fine, then. Kill this woman and show them the might of the East’s samurai!”
- Robinxen: Well I mean he’s not entirely wrong…
- Robinxen: Probably that really high up guy who the entire comment section believes sent you on multiple suicide missions? You know that one.
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