|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 3082 characters|
|Translator: Aoi||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 2073 words|
Just what in the world did Sister Uesugi tell her grandfather that it prompted him to say such a thing.
Uesugi Aokage withdrew his hand after seeing the utterly embarrassed look on Lily’s face, “Haha, it was just a joke. You needn’t take it seriously, Lily. Hahahaha.”
Lily felt helpless internally. Lord Uesugi had long left the clan and become a monk, so it really made her wonder whether his smoothness with words and flirting skills were things that ran through the family.
Uesugi Aokage turned around and looked at the snow-capped landscape outside after arriving at the window, “I’m old now and devote my time solely to asceticism, so the matters of the East are all handled by Rei. However… She walks her own path and stands out from the masses, possessing both boldness and recklessness in abundance. She’s good at fighting, but she only relies on instinct, unlike me, and her aptitude to advance far exceeds mine. Yet, I’m afraid she’ll get caught in some wicked human or monster’s trap during her frequent travels because she isn’t cunning enough.”
Aokage turned his head back and his eyes seemed to become solemn when mentioning his granddaughter, “On the other hand, I can tell that you are gentle and calm, Lily. You must keep her in control in the future and prevent her from acting too reckless. Even if she treads into that perilous land fearlessly for the sake of advancement and hasn’t ever been defeated yet, no one can guarantee they’ll have such good luck all the time on the path of advancement, is it not?”
Lily became worried after hearing Aokage’s words, “Lord Aokage, did Sis go to a perilous land to train again this time?”
“Hmph! She even dared to tail a demon parade so that she can kill the demons that lagged behind, so there’s nothing she wouldn’t dare to do! I also don’t know where she went this time. She’s hated men right from her childhood and I also won’t force her to marry an adopted son-in-law to continue the Uesugi clan’s bloodline anymore. However, my sole hope is that she becomes a little calmer and now that I’ve seen you, I’m certain that only you can control her in the future.”
“Huh?” Lily was taken aback. Lord Uesugi’s words seemed to imply that she would marry Rei and his emphasis on Rei’s recklessness resulted from his judgment as her elder.
“Lord Aokage, Sister Uesugi and I are sworn sisters. She has saved my life, so I’ll naturally do all I can to protect her. Please feel relieved about her.”
“Mhm. I feel reassured when I look at you since you’re an excellent woman who possesses both wisdom and charm, the best companion for both work and childbearing.”
“Ehhh?!” Lily blushed hard after hearing this and didn’t know how to respond to such words. It would’ve been fine to end it with praise for her talent and looks, but he had gone a step further to mention childbearing. In any case, it wasn’t like she could just laugh it off and say she didn’t deserve such praise as childbearing was but one of her bodily functions as a woman… so mentioning it was unrequired.
However, the other side was Uesugi Rei’s grandfather, so Lily had to maintain a smiling face even if his words were inappropriate.
“I’ve made this visit with a request this time, Lord Aokage.”
“Well, since I’ve accepted you as my granddaughter-in-law, you needn’t ask me for anything. As long as it’s something that I have the means to give to Rei, I shall give it to you all the same without holding back, so feel free to mention it,” Lord Uesugi replied straightforwardly.
“Lord Aokage. I wish to forge a blade and require some branches of the Azure Dragon Tree from the mountains of Echigo,” Lily stated.
“What?!” Aokage was stunned, “You really aren’t simple, kid. You want to use the branches of the Azure Dragon Tree as charcoal wood? The Azure Dragon Tree is of high-grade and possesses high toughness in its charcoal form, so unless grade 8 or higher tamahagane is used as the material, the blade will actually lose its toughness and fracture in the process.”
“I know that.”
“So you actually have grade 8 or higher tamahagane in your hands? That’s a real treasure even in all of the East! It’s rumored that you fought Tokugawa, Takeda and Honda, three Spirit Jade powerhouses, alone a month ago, and managed to make them retreat. From the looks of it, it seems like the rumor is true, am I right?”
“Yes… but I’m not really that fond of warring. I was just forced into an impasse by Tokugawa and had no choice but to counterattack.”
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“Hahahahaha! No choice but to counterattack, you say?! You’re really modest, Lily, unlike that granddaughter of mine. If both you and she weren’t women, you would’ve been the perfect pair with your personalities. Hahahahahaha!” Aokage chuckled loudly.
This statement, on the other hand, made Lily feel very embarrassed.
“It’s not that difficult to arrange for those branches. Although the Azure Dragon Tree is the most valuable treasure in our Echigo Province that commoners aren’t even permitted to look at, as a grandfather, I shall back you up if you want it. Come, let’s go get it together,” Aokage stated candidly.
“You have my gratitude, Lord Aokage.”
“Sigh! Enough with the lord and all. Call me grandfather.”
Lily then accompanied Uesugi Aokage and rode to the back of Kasugayama Castle on a horse as the Azure Dragon Tree was located in a valley in the back mountain of the castle.
This location teemed with clouds and mist was covered in snow all year long and had very thin air.
However, this wasn’t that much of an issue for Lily.
As this location was a restricted area of the Uesugi clan, only Lily and Uesugi Souryuuin went this time.
Lily followed behind Souryuuin and detoured around Kasugayama to arrive at a valley halfway up the mountain behind it and saw a huge tree that towered tens of meters into the sky like a pillar supporting the heavens growing on a snow-covered mound that bordered a few kilometers.
Lily’s breasts heaved up and down intensely in astonishment when she witnessed this scene.
“It’s said that… the Azure Dragon Tree towers hundreds of meters high, but it seems like the rumors pale in comparison to its actual height,” Lily raised her head and gazed at the sky where the trunk of the tree disappeared into, making it impossible to see its crown.
“It’s said that the Azure Dragon Tree supports Takamagahara on top of it, and even though our Uesugi clan has treated it as a treasure for many generations, none of us have ever managed to make it to its crown and verify what exactly lies there. Thus, we don’t even know how tall it is. It’s also said that a dragon roams about in the sea of clouds at the summit of the Azure Dragon Tree,” Uesugi Aokage stated ruefully while gazing at the huge tree that seemed to support the heavens.
Lily nodded, “It’s a really phenomenal sight…”
Aokage arrived at the tree’s roots with Lily in tow and pointed at the roots that ran about a hundred meters in length, each as thick as a corridor’s width.
“The branches scattered here all belong to the Azure Dragon Tree and only it can shed such branches. Feel free to take as many as you need.”
Lily looked at these shrub-sized ‘branches’ that were thicker than the width of her waist and seven to eight meters long and tied about a dozen of them up with a rope without holding back so that she could take them away. After all, the status of granddaughter-in-law wasn’t just for nothing.
This bunch amounted to about a few cubic meters of wood.
However, even though she had bundled them well, the horse remained stationary as grade 9 wood was too heavy!
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“Hahaha! You really are an excellent woman who knows how to economize well enough to live a good life, but I like that. You needn’t worry, Lily. I’ll request a group of Uesugi clan samurai to carry these branches for you and load them into a carriage so that you can take them with you, all right?” Uesugi Aokage chuckled.
“T-Thank you, Lord Aokage,” Lily said with a blush.
Aokage and Lily returned back the same way they arrived and chatted about some matters of the East along the way.
“I haven’t left Echigo in a long time, but it seems like I should make some time to pay a visit to Madam Ashikaga. That Tokugawa is too insolent to even have thoughts of entrapping my Uesugi clan’s granddaughter-in-law. I would’ve definitely vanquished him if I hadn’t become a monk!”
Lily just listened to Aokage’s words silently as she could make out that he was letting out his anger.
Aokage then arranged a carriage for Lily and had the branches of the Azure Dragon Tree loaded into it and even suggested arranging an escort for her, but she turned down the offer gracefully.
After Aokage saw Lily all the way outside of Kasugayama Castle, she planned to mount the carriage, but he pulled her hand with a worried look on his face suddenly, “I’ll leave Rei in your hands.”
Lily could feel Aokage’s aged hand gripping her hand shudder as if to reflect the worry on his face and realized that he wasn’t joking about this request of his.
“Certainly. Worry not, Lord Aokage.”
Aokage’s eyes teared up and it seemed like he wanted to say something, but he refrained from doing so in the end and sent Lily off with a push.
Lily also felt an indescribable emotion, but she didn’t know what it exactly was.
After bidding farewell, Lily drove the carriage out of Echigo and went through Shinano before finally returning to Cherry Blossom Valley.
Lily only stored the branches inside the mirror after she had left the land of Echigo as it wasn’t a good thing to expose the mirror’s arcane ability to others mindlessly.
She planned to have this carriage transport goods between Cherry Blossom Valley and Izu Port in the future, which was the reason she drove the empty carriage back.
However, she ran into a problem after returning to Cherry Blossom Valley. The cart was too huge to enter inside it.
Thus, she was forced to tie it outside for the time being.
Lily exited the crevice and discovered two cavalrywomen guarding the exit vigilantly, but they relaxed and bowed after seeing Lily.
After arriving in Blossom Valley, Lily saw that it was still as hazy as ever but found a series of tents set up on the land around the mountain temple along with two wooden houses that were in the middle of construction.
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“Master!” Shiu came up to greet Lily immediately after spotting her.
“Shiu, you’re back too!”
“Let me take you to meet someone, Master,” Shiu pulled Lily along and the duo passed through the underground tunnel inside the temple to arrive at Cherry Valley which now had a few semi-constructed wooden houses in it.
The tall, ebony-skinned, red short-haired and muscular woman, Master Ehiro, was actually helping with the woodwork required to build the houses.
As most of the men in this period of time weren’t tall, Master Ehiro, who stood half-a-head taller than Lily, was actually helpful with a lot of tasks.
“Master Ehiro!” Lily revealed a nostalgic smile after seeing the muscular woman who forged a cursed katana for her in the past.
“Lily!” Ehiro stepped forth in large strides and spun Lily around after hugging her with her sweat-drenched body, making Lily, the liege lord, feel embarrassed in front of her people.
“It’s great that you’ve come, Master.”
“Of course I would! I pushed away all the jobs on my hands after learning that I can meet with you since there’s no fun to have in Imagawa. I heard that you’re a liege lord now. Why didn’t you invite me to become your bladesmith?” Ehiro questioned while staring down Lily’s soft breasts.
“I’ve always had that intention! I didn’t think we both had the same thought. I would be really glad to have you as my bladesmith, Master Ehiro!” Lily responded gleefully while pulling Ehiro’s hands.
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