|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 3160 characters|
|Translator: Aoi||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 2078 words|
A volley of countless arrows shot towards Lily and Honda through the snowstorm.
The two were still engaged in battle even then as it wasn’t possible for them to stop such a high-leveled battle that easily.
“Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!” The arrows struck Honda’s back like raindrops, but as Tokugawa stated, they failed to even leave a scratch on his heavy armor, let alone break through his dharmic diamond physique, and just sprang down his back.
On the other hand, Lily was forced to dodge the arrows flying towards her while dealing with Honda and the arrows simultaneously with her katana.
A few arrows ripped through Lily’s top and skirt, which ended up affecting her formerly immaculate movements slightly.
This was practically unavoidable as Lily was dodging the arrows by a hair’s breadth!
“Boom!” As a result, Honda was finally able to deliver a heavy strike to Lily’s arm, and she was then sent back flying with a scream.
“Hmm? I was able to hit her?!” As Honda was too engrossed in the battle, he only noticed the arrows just now.
“My lord! Why did you shoot the arrows?” Honda questioned after turning his head back.
As for Lily, she landed at a corner of the mountain temple’s outer wall after being sent flying.
“Aim at Kagami Lily! Shoot a thousand arrows at once and kill her!” Tokugawa commanded viciously.
Lily got up difficultly with a ragged breath and swung Crescent Moon to block the arrows.
“Lady Lily!” Yukiko yelled out Lily’s name in deep worry.
“Don’t come over!” Lily ordered as these arrows were no threat to her.
However, Takeda Tsunenobu also ordered his army at this moment, “Heed my orders. Shoot her down for me!”
“My lord?!” The Takeda clan’s retainer, Amari, was left shocked after hearing this order as well.
The samurai of Kai pulled the bowstrings to the extremity and shot arrows that numbered several folds more than the Tokugawa clan’s archers towards Lily.
Even for someone like Lily, it was a bit difficult to counter so many arrows at the same time.
Fortunately, Yukiko and Yumi rushed to Lily’s side suddenly in spite of Lily’s orders to stay back and helped her block the arrows with their weapons!
“You two…” Lily felt pretty moved, but she didn’t say much and blocked the rain of arrows with them.
“Master…” As the weakest among them, Shiu didn’t possess the strength to block these arrows, so all she could do was hide inside the temple silently and pray for Lily’s safety. She knew that she would only cause trouble for Lily and the others if she rushed out at this moment.
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“My dear Honda! Stab that woman quickly while the arrows are restraining her! Stab her to death!” Tokugawa commanded.
“What?!” Honda trembled and turned his head back to look at Tokugawa, “My lord… Lynne and I engaged in a fair duel. Wouldn’t it be too dishonorable to do that as a samurai?!”
“I know you are quite brave and loyal, Honda, but don’t you know that loyalty and honor can’t walk side-by-side? You just need to follow my orders, and even if it’s too dishonorable to do that as a samurai, the blame shall lie with me as it’s unrelated to you. You just need to focus on stabbing!” Tokugawa justified his actions astutely.
Honda’s thoughts crashed for a moment, and he felt that Tokugawa’s words did make sense.
But his conscience still made him hold back from attacking after watching hundreds of powerful samurai shoot arrows at Lily and the other women.
“What are you blanking out there for, Honda Yahatarou?! There’s a limited number of arrows, so why haven’t you stabbed her yet?! Are you going to disobey my orders?” Tokugawa chided.
“But… my lord…” Honda gripped his pike firmly and took a dashing stance, but he was unable to take a step forward in the end.
“Stab her!” Tokugawa pressured.
Lily blocked the arrows while observing Honda silently and said, “Lord Honda, although I ended up deceiving you, the trust you placed in me helped me escape danger once. Let me repay that debt to you. Please focus on stabbing. I won’t let you do something that will harm your reputation as a samurai!”
“What?!” Honda was taken aback, unable to understand what Lily meant.
Lily shifted her ferocious gaze towards Tokugawa, Takeda and the huge army behind them and an incredible intent originated from her before enveloping the entire army instantly when she opened her lips slightly.
“Sakura Blizzard!” Lily uttered softly, and the surroundings turned pink slowly as myriad sakura petals manifested in the air. As they were mixed in with the huge number of real snowflakes within the snowstorm, it also became pretty difficult to distinguish between them.
An invisible power loomed over the skies now.
“What?!” Tokugawa, Takeda and even Honda looked up in fright with pale complexions.
The volleys of arrows that aimed at Lily were all swallowed up by sakura-shaped blades that ripped them apart into pieces, resulting in broken arrows dropping to the ground powerlessly like dead tree branches.
“I-It’s … a domain!” Amari looked at the crimson hue in shock, “It’s a domain!”
The countless blossom-shaped blades then shot towards the Takeda-Tokugawa army out of the blue.
The sakura fall was meant for appreciation initially, but the wilting intent they carried made them into death blades with each blade containing power comparable to an early-stage sword saint’s normal attack, and such blades present everywhere in the surroundings like a blizzard of sakura! They were the incarnation of the blade maiden’s judgment and fury as they swirled vortically in a poignant and merciless manner, starting a slaughter inside the army.
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“Splotch! Splotch! Splotch!”
The army was dominated by screams and cries one after the other and a foul mist of blood formed within the snowstorm momentarily as the troops were sliced into pieces!
All the samurai and soldiers who were weaker than an early-stage sword saint were unable to resist these blades and collapsed under the vengeful onslaught of the countless sakura blades.
There were a few samurai who still had a conscience within the ranks that hadn’t shot arrows because it was too cruel an order, and the sakura blades passed by them silently as if they knew where they were going.
However, none of those who shot arrows managed to escape alive.
The mighty and oppressive Takeda-Tokugawa army from a few seconds prior had been annihilated in mere moments and the resultant scene of carnage looked like a river of blood under the ode of the beautiful sakura.
By the time the blizzard of sakura blades came to a stop… there were only a few dozen men still standing alive from the massive army that had encircled Lily and the others initially as the remaining army had turned into cold corpses!
The only creatures still alive in addition to the remnant troops were the huge number of horses that had lost their masters and paced around aimlessly now.
All the troops weaker than a sword saint from the elite Takeda-Tokugawa allied army had been annihilated entirely!
Other than the late-stage sword saints like Amari and Sakakibara as well as the other middle-stage and early-stage generals who sustained injuries of varying degrees, they lost almost all of their battle force.
Even the world seemed to turn silent momentarily.
Tokugawa was unable to restrain his anger any longer after seeing this scene, “It’s… a f̲u̲c̲k̲i̲n̲g realm! I considered so many things yet missed this one thing! You hid this ace really well, Kagami Lily! What a vile woman you are!”
“Wasn’t it your vile orders that caused their deaths, Tokugawa?” Lily countered rhetorically in a cold voice.
“No wonder Lord Kamakura holds her in high regard…” Takeda Tsunenobu continued, “It’s an exceptionally rare offensive realm. I wouldn’t have brought the army if I knew about it before as numbers are useless in front of such a realm and would just lead to their vain deaths.”
Honda Yahatarou watched all the Mikawa samurai who grew up alongside him die in Lily’s hands and was flooded with rage, “Lynne! I know you were forced to do it, but the men you killed were my brothers who grew up together with me and my fellow elders! As matters stand, we need to settle things between us once and for all!”
The phantom image of Great Bodhisattva Hachiman appeared behind Honda as he charged towards Lily in a mad fury.
“Yukiko, Yumi, get away from here quickly!” Lily rushed towards Honda while gliding across the snow!
She controlled her realm and hounded Honda with the countless sakura blades after that. Although they were unable to injure him, they worked to restrain his spirit power and movements well. However, Lily could sense that the Great Bodhisattva Hachiman behind Honda provided him with some resistance towards the suppressive effect of her domain.
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Still, as Honda fell short in terms of tactical combat and was also under the suppression of the domain, he was overwhelmed with each passing moment. Lily either dodged his attacks or blocked them with perfect counters and chipped away at his armor piece by piece, leaving him wounded with each counter. However, Lily still failed to deliver a fatal hit to Honda as he possessed a really strong physique, but it was also perhaps because she couldn’t bring herself to direct a true killing intent towards Honda.
Even then, the bleeding wounds of Honda weakened his drive slowly while Lily possessed an almost endless reserve of spirit power as she had learned her lesson from last time and stocked up on a huge amount of anima before setting out this time.
Tokugawa watched the battle and remarked internally, “Damn it! Yahatarou will have a disastrous end if this continues!”
Tokugawa unsheathed the weapon on his back, a freakish demon-headed bronze cudgel, and shouted loudly, “I’ve let you run rampant long enough, Kagami Lily!”
Tokugawa’s massive figure then charged towards Lily and caused the earth to quake momentarily.
Although Lily was engaged in battle with Honda, she rolled sideways to dodge Tokugawa’s violent and ferocious charge when she spotted him, but she felt a cold wind attack her back the moment she stood up.
Takeda Tsunenobu had unsheathed his mighty tachi—Ko-Bizen Sanetoshi—and slashed at the back of Lily’s neck with its sharp edge.
Lily felt death loom over her instantly as she would undoubtedly die if a Spirit Jade powerhouse like Takeda were to behead her.
There wasn’t enough time for her to turn back and block the attack, so she borrowed her current momentum to fall to the ground momentarily before raising her katana above her head subconsciously.
“Clang!” The heavy strike that followed after nearly broke Lily’s stance and left her elbows an inch away from snapping off.
The snow underneath her sunk to form a huge hole and the blasted chunks of snow fell on Lily’s hair and garments.
Lily had taken precautions against a plausible attack from Tokugawa, but she never expected a renowned master like Takeda Tsunenobu would actually ambush her in such a situation. A 3 versus 1 battle was something that maligned the chivalric code of samurai greatly and though she imagined Tokugawa would do something like that, she never thought a senior respected by her Sister Uesugi would actually do something like this as well!
Lily felt that she was in real danger now.
“My lord, Lord Takeda, what do you mean by this?” Honda, who was about to stab Lily, paused at this moment.
“She’s a very cunning and dangerous woman, Yahatarou! We must join hands and kill her as soon as possible, or else it will cause us a lot of trouble! Don’t tell me you still bear kindness for her even after she has killed so many brothers and elders of yours?!” Tokugawa chided.
“B-But still, my lord and Lord Takeda are apex powerhouses of the East’s noble Furinkazan. If you add me into the fray on top of that, we’ll be besieging a woman in the Awakened Stage with three men in the Spirit Jade Stage. This is something that really goes against the chivalric code of samurai!” Honda steadied his pike on the snow to express that he didn’t intend to battle further. Although he wanted to attack, he didn’t want to attack in such a dishonorable way.1
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