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Chapter 87 – Kimiko

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3164 characters
Translator: Aoi English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 2021 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

Lily opened her eyes inside the dimmed room.

“The seventh step,” Lily pressed her rosy lips1 against each other softly.

She had attained the seventh step with such ease unexpectedly and would’ve continued to advance further if it weren’t for the screams from the village interrupting her meditation2.

However, this wasn’t that much of a problem as Lily was able to sense that there was nothing stopping her from attaining the eight step of Tsukuyomi Swordstyle’s first segment with her newest perception.

“Let’s go take a look at the troublemaking thing that woke my consciousness up from its practice.”

Lily walked to the doorway.

“Bam!” The pike in Yoriko’s hand got knocked away and she rolled on the ground weakly before crashing into a corner.

“Sis…” The little Yoshika’s tears had long dried, yet she still continued to sob tearlessly.

“You damned monster! Go away from this place!” A bunch of male clansmen gazed at the monster with anger and fear while wielding crude weapons, yet none of them dared to approach it.

The sinister monster didn’t continue attacking Yoriko and turned around to walk towards Yoshika in large strides instead.

“B̲a̲s̲t̲a̲r̲d̲!” Yoriko tried to get up and charge towards the monster, but the other male and female clansmen held her back.

“Don’t go, Lady Yoriko!”

“The monster will probably leave as long as it takes the child.”

“Just what are you all spouting?! Huh?!” Yoriko screamed almost hysterically.

“We really hate this monster as well, but it’s useless in the end. Little Yoshika will still die even if you sacrifice your life and die in order to save her!”

“We cannot let the village’s casualties increase!

“Also, we cannot allow you to die no matter what happens!”

“That traitor must’ve sent this monster to slaughter us for sure!”

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“Traitor… Keiko,” Yoriko recalled this name as she saw the monster open its mouth-watering jaw to consume Yoshika and hesitated no longer. After all, she possessed the strength of an early-stage samurai, so she shook off the people holding her back recklessly and picked up her pike again.

“Argggghhhhh!” Yoriko screamed her throat out and charged towards the monster desperately while holding the pike firmly.

The 3 meter or so tall monster turned around and opened its dark and dreadful, fang-covered jaw as it clawed towards Yoriko with its demonic hand that had claws sharp enough to smash a house.

Its speed was too fast and strength too overpowered, Yoriko’s pike charge was just a child’s play in comparison to this blow.

However, Yoriko gritted her teeth and followed through with the attack even though she knew this.

The huge dark claw was moments away from touching Yoriko when a purplish-blue shadow appeared in Yoriko’s vision along with a whooshing sound.

“Boom!!!”

The back heel of the wood-made sandals that adorned the long legs beneath Lily’s fair thighs smashed against the monster’s humongous head.

This back heel strike was similar to a hatchet that blotted the skies and carried mountain-splitting power behind it!

The huge monster’s head struck the ground directly and was blown into pieces, its eyes popping out as its mush-turned head.

“What?” Yoriko was left dumbfounded by this development and failed to react to the current situation momentarily, still holding onto her weapon with her trembling hands.

The nearby villagers also stood there dazedly.

Lily crossed over the huge monster’s corpse, walked before Yoriko and grabbed her trembling pike.

Only then did Yoriko lose strength in her legs and collapse to her knees.

“It’s dead? The monster that kept attacking us and ate so many of our clansmen was stomped to death just like that by this woman?” The villagers stated dazedly.

“Just who is this woman…”

“How can something like this protect this village?” Lily held Yoriko’s pike and spun around to throw it somewhere.

“Whoosh!” Her long-sleeves fluttered in the air as the pike flew towards a distant location that the villagers couldn’t see.

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A long, ancient and exquisite tachi brimming with a sharp aura appeared in Lily’s hand in the next moment.

“Take it.”

Lily dropped the tachi into Yoriko’s hands and caused her hands to drop down.

“T-This… is a real katana?”

“An arrogant samurai named Kitabatake Kouka3 used it against me once. You can consider it a reward for allowing me to learn that ancient swordstyle,” Saying so, Lily stared at the farthest depths of this space, “Tell me. Where’s the way that goes up?”

The nearby villagers all knelt down suddenly at this moment.

“Lady Samurai, please don’t leave!”

“Lady Samurai, please protect our village!”

“We’ll entertain you with all the rice and wine we have in our village, so please protect us!”

Lily looked at the villagers and saw the flames of hope that was her which had rekindled within their long desperate and helpless eyes.

“Well…” Lily wasn’t a humanitarian saintess, but even she hesitated in this instance.

At the same time, on a rock a thousand meters away from the village, the pike that Lily had thrown into the sky stabbed through the chest of a blue-skinned little demon. Although this little demon didn’t possess a strong lifeforce, its huge eyes seemed to possess an extraordinary vision that allowed it to spy upon the village from a distance at all times.

The ancient temple on the hilltop was steeped in eldritch energy like always as the night deepened and ghastly figures moved about inside it.

Amanojaku had finally fallen into a deep, wheezing sleep after drinking and eating his fill within the largest hall.

Haihime’s eyes filled with hatred momentarily as if she wanted to kill him while he was asleep.

However, she didn’t do that in the end as even though Amanojaku looked like a kid, he was actually over 500 years old and absolutely wasn’t someone to mess around with.

Haihime let out a faint, frustrated sigh and even though she couldn’t kill him, she felt much relaxed at this moment since she could at least get away from him temporarily right now.

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“Lady Haihime!” An Itsura kunoichi appeared from the nearby darkness, seemingly anxious to report something.

Haihime walked over and the Itsura whispered something into her ear.

“What?!” Haihime was astonished and left the main hall quietly along with the Itsura and arrived at the back courtyard where she had imprisoned Lily. The traces of Lily had long disappeared except for the injured Itsura kunoichi that remained there.

“Why didn’t you report it earlier?” Haihime asked infuriatedly.

“You were with Lord Amanojaku, so we couldn’t find an opportunity to report it to you without having the information leaked.”

“That cunning woman! Not only did she escape, but she also stole back the mirror and the katana as well,” Haihime vented out her anger.

“My lady, she might not be able to escape in the end since she fell into the trap on the floor.”

“Really?” Haihime’s gaze turned complicated, “So that woman fell to that place…”

Haihime’s eyes stared at the dark, empty space on the floor from where the deep underground space’s wind wafted upwards and her mind seemed to travel back about a decade ago4

The seat at night was pretty turbulent under the thunderstorm.

A series of long-wrecked boats ran aground on the beach’s shore one after the other.

A bunch of white-robed, thin and haggard, yet graceful and virtuous-looking people have washed ashore.

“Keiko! Keiko!” A samurai woman with short blue hair and a rebellious side ponytail with a southern earring on her left ear shook the still body of the young Keiko.

This samurai woman was none other than the mother of the young Keiko and was donned in a deep-blue kimono patterned with a distinct design that looked like scribblings. A white undergarment laid underneath the kimono and she exuded a vibrant and heroic manlike aura of a capable woman.

“Mom…” Keiko opened her eyes. Although she and her mother were both hit by the rainstorm and the assault of the sea waves, they had managed to survive somehow.

The rest of the people had also managed to come out as survivors miraculously from this tsunami and arrived at the land of Echigo Province in Kanto where the power of the imperial family had weakened and monsters roamed the lands.

“Mom. Are we still… alive?”

“Yes! We’re still alive, Keiko! We’re still alive. Everything will turn out fine as long as we’re alive, Keiko,” The pretty, staunch and somewhat rebellious Kimiko stretched out her tightened fists to hug Keiko, revealing the lush mountain landscape tattooed on her fair arm.

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The young and old nearby, mostly donned in simple white robes, stood up one after the other, and gazed at the landscape that was in a horrible state, but it was in fact an invaluable new world for them.

Even though the land was in a horrible state and filled with wilderness, as long as the imperial family didn’t hunt them and the monsters didn’t slaughter them, it was a sanctuary for them, paradise in a word!

Kimiko stood up and as a woman who was taller than most of the men among the survivors, she raised her fist up in a gallant and cheerful tone within the windstorm, “We’ve finally arrived in Kanto! This land is pretty good! As long as this land is able to sustain our clan, it shall become our prettiest homeland!”

Beset by hunger and cold, the surviving clansmen who still had lingering fears after facing the tsunami, also cheered while raising their fists up under the flames of hope sparked off by Kimiko’s words and the cleansing of the rainstorm.

However, the liege lord of this land disagreed to receive them, as the samurai of Kanto didn’t have a good opinion of mirror girls even though they didn’t kill them.

The clansmen traveled over land and water before finally arriving in the Endless Demon Mountains that wasn’t under the control of any samurai clan and was barren back then without that many Great Demons living inside it.

And they finally settled down in a secluded valley near Mt. Fuji.

They plowed fields alongside the hill and guided the water from the mountain to irrigate them and built houses with the chopped trees and a somewhat lively hamlet was soon established.

“Right! Right! That’s where it needs reinforcement!”

The tall and short-haired samurai woman, Kimiko, held a brush in one hand and a woodworking saw in the other as she directed the clansmen to rebuild their home while standing on a tree stump with a blade of sweetgrass in her mouth.

“This wood is pretty good. Carry it over there.”

“Mhm. Stone pavement is required here to prevent the mud road from getting washed away by a mountain flood on rainy days, got it? Don’t skimp on it!”

Kimiko dripped with sweat and got engrossed into the work along with the villagers. After experiencing the infighting in Heian-kyo that looked elegant and noble, and coming across persecution and slaughter, this simple environment filled Kimiko with an exceptionally fulfilling satisfaction.

“We’re satisfied as long as we’re able to survive even if we have to work hard.”

“Mom, look!” Keiko’s peal-like voice arrived from the distance. Donned in hunting attire, her aquamarine, long hair was tied into a pretty high ponytail, and she carried a bow and arrows on her back along with a katana fitted at her waist. The barely thirteen-year-old girl was already 160cm tall now and much taller than many of the veteran uncles of the clan5.

As Kimiko’s daughter, the bloodline had passed down the former’s height and beauty to the latter, but unlike the manly capableness and rebelliousness shown by Kimiko, Keiko’s character was vividly different from the former’s and she was a standard, virtuous beauty in the making who looked both valiant and formidable yet also possessed ample femininity.

A group of clansmen carried wild boars, elks, pheasants and the like over their shoulders behind Keiko. They had gone hunting for prey along with her, and just like her mother, Keiko was pretty talented in the sword and the bow.



References

  1. Robinxen: Starting to cringe while reading this stuff while Lily still identifies as a boy.
  2. Silva: oh so she does know, that’s good
  3. Robinxen: I’m sure this name was important at some point. Probably.
  4. Silva: …. let me make a prediction, Haihime is the so-called traitor (Keiko) right?
    Silva: Oh wait, never mind, I wasn’t paying attention in the previous chapter when Amanojaku called her Keiko!!! OMG
    Robinxen: Conclusion. Silva is dumb.
  5. Silva: Wait, 160cm at age 13?

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