|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 2127 characters|
|Translator: Aoi||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1496 words|
The ice-blue world had taken a shade of grim greyness because of the dense mist and the color of the sky.
It made humans feel that the weather felt the same as when someone experienced loss.
Even someone as proud as Lily didn’t dare to relax too much in such a chaotic world.
Although she had obtained exorbitant wealth, it wasn’t meant for partaking in pleasures of life and was instead a way to increase her strength as quickly as possible so that she could embark on the journey to Heian-kyo.
As such, Lily had embarked on a lone journey to Echigo at this moment.
Lily naturally wanted to forge Evil Slayer Yasutsuna, so she needed to visit Uesugi Rei’s grandfather, the Dragon of Echigo and one of the Furinkazan, Uesugi Aokage.
Thus, Lily had set off the moment Kotoka and the others returned.
Lily still needed ten complete magatama for her strength to reach the Spirit Jade realm. According to the extraction speed estimated by Kotoka, it would take about fifteen days to prepare the necessities for work, so the extraction would only truly begin four months later. She would then be able to obtain the magatama produced from Cherry Blossom Valley, and since the miners would’ve finished their training by then, the extraction would be much faster as well.
This interval of time was perfect for Lily to forge the blade. She presumed that dealing with Uesugi Aokage wouldn’t be that difficult but infiltrating the Endless Demon Mountains and obtaining the flames of Mt. Fuji was no easy feat. Thus, Lily thought of going to Echigo first so that she could get some Azure Dragon Tree’s wood to use as wood charcoal. She believed that it wouldn’t be that difficult a task to obtain a few branches based on her relationship with Uesugi Rei. It was rumored that the Azure Dragon Tree was hundreds of meters tall and had a history of several thousands of years. She just needed a few branches of such a huge tree, so it wasn’t that much of a loss for the other side, and if needed, she was willing to purchase it from, but discussing monetary matters with the Uesugi clan was the same as treating them like outsiders for Lily.
Lily had left Yukiko, Yumi and the whole cavalrywomen squad behind in Cherry Blossom Valley to defend it and even Yuki-Onna had remained behind at Lily’s request so that nothing would go wrong.
Yuki-Onna possessed late Spirit Jade Stage strength and was a shikigami that even the Furinkazan couldn’t necessarily match!
Kotoka also instructed the workers to chop wood to build houses first to guarantee a place of residence for the miners in the valley, and once that was done, a temporary residence for the girls needed to be built, followed by the carving of caves required for magatama transmutation. Overall, it was a pretty huge project, and even she wasn’t certain about its completion before Lily returned.
Lily had dispatched Shiu to invite the master bladesmith, Uehara Munechika Ehiro, to live in the valley in the future. She planned to request her to forge the blade and also forge weapons from the tamahagane extracted from the ore vein, but she wasn’t sure whether the master bladesmith would agree to it.
Thus, Lily had left for Echigo along with Nanako with just the Sakura Parasol in hand.
However, Nanako was inside the mirror space right now and in the middle of practice with Kagura’s persona. After all, as long as Kagura managed to recover even a portion of her former strength, it would aid Lily greatly.
Lily spent a few days traveling and arrived at Kasugayama Castle in Echigo. This location was filled with distant snow-capped peaks that formed a part of this northern province’s scenic view.
Lily was naturally stopped by the soldiers of the Uesugi clan after she arrived in front of the castle.
The ordinary soldiers gazed at Lily who was donned in a thin kimono during such a heavily snowing day and gulped down their saliva after seeing her curvaceous and risqué figure that was akin to the goddess of beauty standing in the snow before they questioned her.
“Halt! This Kasugayama Castle is a strategic location of the Uesugi clan, you’re not allowed to approach it without approval!” One of the bamboo-hatted soldiers reproached.
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“I’m Kagami Lily, a bosom friend of Uesugi Rei. I’ve come seeking an audience with Lord Uesugi,” Lily stated courteously.
“H-Her Ladyship’s friend?” The soldier was also astonished.
“H-Hold on. K-Kagami Lily, you say? Y-You’re the genius girl of the Genji who slew Hojo Dijon in Mt. Yoshino, Lady Lyn-hime?” Another soldier stepped forward in shock.
“Indeed,” Lily replied smilingly.
The soldiers kneeled down immediately after hearing her reply. The transit of information wasn’t that fast in the Heian Empire, so the information about Lily facing three Furinkazan-leveled powerhouses alone had yet to reach the soldiers working on the streets even though the upper echelon of the Uesugi clan was aware of it. However, just the previous rumors about Lily were enough to shock them to the core.
“I didn’t know it was you, Lady Lyn-hime! Please forgive me for my prior offense! However, Her Ladyship Uesugi isn’t within the city right now,” the soldier stated.
Lily stated with a chuckle, “I naturally know Sister Uesugi isn’t here. I’ve come to seek an audience with Grandfather Uesugi Aokage on this occasion.”
“I see! We shall go report it immediately! Please wait a moment, Lady Lyn-hime!” The soldier replied hastily.
A retainer arrived to guide Lily inside moments later.
The retainer guided Lily into Kasugayama Castle that was established atop a hill and took her through the wooden bridge suspended a hundred meters above the precipice that had snow-capped cedar trees at the bottom. A short row of snow-capped hills could be seen at the distance from here and this vivacious and magnificent northern scene made Lily exclaim in admiration.
The retainer brought Lily to the entranceway established at the cliff of the mountain after going through the suspended wooden bridge and guided her inside, bringing her to a hall from where the beautiful scenery of the snow-capped mountains of Echigo was in full-view. The hall’s interior was furnished in a simple yet elegant fashion and had a few ink paintings hanging on the walls and the lush trees could be seen outside the window.
“So, this is Sister Uesugi’s home…” Lily sighed internally.
“Lady Lyn-hime, please wait here for a moment. Souryuuin is in the middle of fasting at the back of the mountain and will come to see you personally after he’s done with the fasting and recital of the Buddhist scripture. I shall retire first, so feel free to do as you please, Lady Lyn-hime,” the retainer stated.
“Mhm. Thanks for going through the trouble in such busy times,” Lily replied politely.
Lily waited for about an hour or so before Uesugi Souryuuin finally arrived.
Uesugi Aokage had received the Buddhist name of Souryuuin after he had left the clan to become a monk.
The arriver was a strong and muscular 190 cm tall man with a slightly curly, thick black beard who wore a white turban on his head and was donned in a simple blue robe with a string of huge prayer beads hanging from his neck. He possessed well-sculpted facial features that had experienced the vicissitudes of life and had sharp eyes.
Lily was quite surprised after seeing Uesugi Aokage and doubted whether he was actually Uesugi Rei’s uncle because he only looked forty to fifty years old.
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“May I know who you are…”
“So, you’re Lily. You’re indeed a devastatingly beautiful woman with stunning looks. I’m Uesugi Rei’s grandfather, Souryuuin,” Aokage answered in a deep and somber voice that reflected the vicissitudes of time as well.
“Eh?” Lily was taken aback, “Greetings, Lord Uesugi. Forgive me for asking this, but are you really Sister Uesugi’s grandfather?”
“Haha. Don’t get deceived by how I look. I’m already seventy-years-old now and the reason I look like I’m in my forties to fifties is because of my ascetic practice. Practitioners possess an exceptional physique on top of having long lives and also age slower than ordinary humans. You’ve seen Lord Kamakura, right? Although he looks middle-aged, he’s actually close to a hundred-years-old now.”
“Ehhh?” Lily was astonished. She had heard about practitioners having long lives from Kagura, but it was her first time seeing one in reality.
“I’ve come with a request this time, Lord Uesugi.”
Uesugi Aokage just smiled and walked in front of Lily before raising her chin up with his massive palm suddenly, “Come. There’s no need to be in such a rush to discuss the matter you’ve come to request. Since you’re here, let this old man have a close look at my granddaughter-in-law and see whether she’s as elegant and vivacious as Rei mentioned!”
“G-Granddaughter-in-law?” Lily’s face flushed up immediately.1
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