|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 2099 characters|
|Translator: Aoi||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1434 words|
A middle-stage Spirit Jade level powerhouse, and a horse rider on top of that. The horse also possessed powerful eldritch energy, making a bad match of an opponent for Lily.
Lily had detoured around the really dangerous zones in these Endless Demon Mountains over the past few days by following the route on Yumi’s map faithfully, yet she still ended up running into a lot of monsters and went through no less than ten battles of varying scales. However, Lily could vaguely sense that this opponent’s strength was even higher than Tokugawa’s!
Lily had thought of traversing through these Endless Demon Mountains by using the Sakura Parasol’s power initially and only make a move when she wished to fight or when she desired a treasure as that would be much safer and easier.
However, Lily’s understanding regarding the Sakura Parasol had also deepened along with Kagura’s awakening.
The Sakura Parasol replenished its power via the full moon during the full moon cycle, that is, the 15th day of the lunar month. Its maximum usage time was only 36 hours and its power would get exhausted if this time limit were crossed and the parasol would lose its veiling effect.
Also, the Sakura Parasol couldn’t be under sunlight and was only effective under gloomy weather and rainy days.
The rest was what Lily knew initially. It wasn’t effective towards humans and Kagura had also told her that the Sakura Parasol wasn’t effective towards deities, deity-type shikigami, normal creatures, natural-born powerful mutant beasts, divine beasts and so on.
As Lily’s trip to-and-fro from the Endless Demon Mountains on this occasion would take at least over a month, she didn’t plan to use the Sakura Parasol that lightly and only planned to use it when really needed.
The regal samurai urged his horse to pace around in its original location under the moonlight and stated towards Lily, “Ashikaga! Hast the Ashikaga sent thee to pursue me?!” The heavily armored undead samurai actually spoke in human speech.
“Hmph! Pursue you? You’re the one who pursued a woman like me through the depths of the mountains with a company of horsemen!” Lily wasn’t afraid of fighting and she also didn’t fall behind on arguing back.
“I am Kitabatake Kouka. The despicable Ashikaga schemed and ambushed me with their army, resulting in my death! I shalt killeth all people related to the Ashikaga and avenge myself and my father!” The samurai donned a shroud of intense grudge.
“You’ve got the right person then. I am the adopted daughter of Ashikaga Makoto.”
“Ashikaga! Ashikaga!” The fearsome, heavily-armored samurai riding the huge warhorse raised his tachi and charged towards Lily with an explosive momentum!
Lily also didn’t show any timidness and stood still, slashing towards Kitabatake Kouka the moment the rumbling demon horse charged past her!
A fierce and bright spark appeared within the darkness of the night as the blades clashed against each other in this first exchange, and Lily was sent flying back into the underbrush.
Lily felt the web between her thumb and forefinger as well as her arm remain numb even after getting up, “He’s strong! The combined thrusting force of a Spirit Jade powerhouse and a demon horse outputs a strength that far exceeds mine! It’s higher than Tokugawa and Takeda’s strength!”
Kitabatake Kouka was also much faster than Tokugawa since he rode a horse.
Kitabatake Kouka urged his horse to turn around after charging down the hill and attacked again. Lily dodged his attack this time, but she failed to slash him as well because of his excellent sword arts, so both of them ended up attacking in vain.
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Kitabatake Kouka didn’t rush down again after riding to the top of the hill and took out a bow and arrow from his back instead, shooting an arrow towards Lily after pulling the bowstring to its limit!
Lily had never faced a Spirit Jade samurai who used a bow until now.
The arrow was so fast that made it impossible for anyone to react in time and was also accompanied by strength enough to shoot through a mountain!
The arrow almost brushed past Lily’s chest!
“Boom!” The grudge-filled arrow flew down across the hill and bore into a rock a thousand meters away!
A huge hole sliced open on Lily’s kimono over her chest, revealing a few inches of her cleavage and almost her nipples as well, so she was forced to cover her chest with her hand.
Kouka, however, gave Lily no time to arrange her clothes and pulled the reins of his horse immediately, prompting the demon horse to dance its forelegs up in the air along with a long, creepy neigh that resounded throughout the darkness of the silent hill.
Kouka then charged towards Lily again while releasing all of his eldritch energy and the vague phantom of an elegant and wise yet pale noble, perhaps Kouka’s father, who harbored resentment towards the whole world manifested behind him.
Lily felt that it was difficult to determine who was in the right and who was in the wrong in conflicts between samurai families. The sole truth to this matter was that the winner was always in the right, and this Kouka was just a misfortunate person of these dark times.
Lily manifested a series of sakura around her with her as the center in response to Kouka’s assault and her Crescent Moon also began to blossom with an elegant crimson glow.
The phantom of Kouka’s father behind him revealed a pained and resentful expression under the domain’s suppression, and Kouka’s speed was also affected by it.
Although this effect wasn’t that huge, it was enough to create a fatal opening in a battle between two experts.
Lily could see through the locus of Kouka’s sword, yet she didn’t dodge his fatal slash and slashed towards him from the bottom-up obliquely after adjusting her posture and position slightly.
Kouka’s strike packed enough strength to deliver a fatal wound, but it missed Lily’s body by a hairsbreadth in the end. The resulting wind from the slash shook Lily greatly, but Lily’s strike possessed higher reach and accuracy, so she managed to behead Kouka in a single strike!
The demon horse continued sprinting ahead a few hundred meters with the headless Kouka before his body finally lost balance and fell to the ground.
A long interval of stillness followed after it.
Kouka wasn’t a monster like the Aobōzu who possessed an extremely powerful lifeforce. Although he was an undead creature, his body hadn’t demonized, which was the reason he still retained his martial arts and dignity from when he was still human, but he didn’t possess a regenerative ability like the Great Demons.
Thus, although Kouka’s Spirit Jade was still intact, he still ended up dying after getting beheaded.
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Lily arrived in front of Kouka and clasped her palms together to perform rites for him to transcend to the otherworld.
“It really is a dark and hopeless world. You really aren’t a bad person, Lord Kitabatake Kouka and neither are you a loser… It’s just that you lacked luck. May your soul find peace in the next reincarnation and I hope that you will continue with your aspiration to help the people and the world and break free from the cycle of hatred. I shall not devour your soul with my cursed katana, farewell…”
Lily suppressed the soul-controlling power of her cursed katana and Kouki’s noble soul loyal to the empire floated up from his chest gradually. It expressed neither gratitude nor grudge towards Lily and just transcended up towards the sky and disappeared slowly.
The silhouette of an elegant noble with pale complexion and dark eyebrows donning an Eboshi hat and holding a fan in his hand appeared behind Lily at this moment and gave Lily a thankful smile in his son’s place.
Unfortunate as it was, Lily was a blade maiden who couldn’t accrue merit at all.
Kitabatake Tomohusa’s silhouette also disappeared into the night slowly.
A gust of wind flew by and turned the body and armor of Kouka who had died hundreds of years ago into ashes, just like a burning tinfoil and the specks of ashes flew about within the darkness, depicting a sorrowful yet heroic ambiance.
Lily observed the ashes drifting in the wind and felt reverence towards this gallant, elegant and loyal samurai noble.
Lily discovered a shining object under her feet at this moment, and found a flawless, translucent, bluish-green magatama within the ashes below.
She stooped down and picked up this magatama and stored it in the mirror.
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