Chapter 20: The Mino Triumvirate

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3456 characters
Translator: Aoi English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 2283 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

“Is that a laugh of desperation, eh, mirror girl? If you’re willing to surrender and give me the ancient mirror you possess, I could let you live. After all, you can be called the prettiest woman of the Heian Empire in this generation, and it would be too much of a pity for me to kill you as a man who’s sampled countless women,” Ouchi Koreyoshi grinned as he looked at Lily with a salacious gaze.

“It seems like you think everything revolves on the palm of your hand, Viper. But this world still has things that you can never fathom!”

“You needn’t act so stubborn now. You might’ve been a threat to me if you hadn’t drunk the spring sake, but a woman is rendered feeble for sure once she drinks that sake, let alone have the power to fight with powerhouses in close combat. I had actually planned to let Momiji make you choose between three poisonous sake and a truly harmless and delicious sake so that you would discover the poisons with the powers you possess and choose to drink the harmless one. Yet, all of it was just a smokescreen for our assassin to assassinate you. A normal person is actually deceived by their so-called insight once they are assured that they’ve solved the mystery. You too ended up believing that you will be able to rescue the mirror girl successfully with the abilities you possess, which became the perfect chance for the disguised assassin to assassinate you! However, I never thought that Momiji would take it upon herself to mix in a powerful grade 7 aphrodisiac into the harmless spring sake and nearly mess up the whole plan! Fortunately, you were unable to discover it because of your inexperience and ended up drinking it, which ultimately turned out to my advantage albeit accidentally,” Viper stated coldly1.

“You’ve really schemed pretty deep, Viper! I did discover the poisons in the other three sakes2 as you said, but that doesn’t mean I readily believed that the harmless spring sake you prepared for me wouldn’t have any problem with it.”

“Oh? Why did you still drink it in that case?” Viper asked puzzledly.

Lily straightened her back and raised her blade to the front while giving off a mesmerizing yet fanatical glow, “It was just a gamble.”

Lily held absolute trust in Kagura in comparison to the doubts she possessed.

Since Kagura had stated that it wasn’t harmful to her and might even provide Lily with benefit, she trusted that was truly the case! Even if there were dangers that Kagura might have failed to detect, Lily possessed the resolution and courage to bear responsibility and deal with it!

A risk-taker had to accept the risk of losing. Lily had made the choice to drink the sake that Kagura believed was beneficial to her body because she trusted her sisters. Therefore, she had no regrets even if she were to fall into an inescapable quagmire as a result of that.

Let alone… Lily held a certain throbbing and longing for this spring sake deep in her heart at this moment. Although she was unable to explain this sensation, she decided to comply with her body’s reaction and intuition.

While it seemed like she had lost the gamble on this occasion by consuming the powerful aphrodisiac, it had actually brought along a silver lining too and allowed her to realize the ingenious use of Suzuhiko-hime’s amorous dance. It was possible that the Suzuhiko-hime’s legacy that had been seared to Lily’s memory deeply, which she had never faced squarely until now because of the shame, had subtly induced her to drink the spring sake despite knowing it was problematic even though she hadn’t been coaxed to do so. The spring sake seemed quite enticing for Lily’s body.

Lily even had a feeling that the benefits of the amorous dance of Suzuhiko-hime that she had begun comprehending provided to her advancement and body wasn’t just the phantasmal footwork she had obtained right away.

Lily had still shown a bold demeanor to Momiji in order to rescue the mirror girl even so as refusing to drink the sake despite knowing that it was harmless would’ve implied that she was actually afraid of her.

Ouchi Koreyoshi was taken aback after hearing Lily’s words and laughed out loudly, “Hahahahahahaha! Fine. I admit I wasn’t able to foresee that you possessed such a mindset. It’s practically impossible to manipulate you completely no matter what scheme I use if you’re really someone who leaves fate in the hands of luck! Unfortunately though, it seems like you’ve run out of luck this time.”

“That might not be the case. I actually think I’ve lucked out quite well this time.”

“Interesting! I really wouldn’t have wanted to kill you if it weren’t for that eminence’s orders since there are no grudges between us. Actually, I hold quite the admiration for you even now!” Viper slapped his thigh.

“That eminence, you say? Just who is it that has set up obstructions for me everywhere with the intentions to kill me in order to prevent me from journeying west? I might let you live if you answer me.”

“Hahahaha! I expressed my admiration for you just moments ago, so don’t you expose such naiveness this quickly now. You’re affected by the aphrodisiac currently and have no chances of winning, so let’s end this senseless charade now. Kill the mirror girl for me, Mino Triumvirate!” Ouchi Koreyoshi ordered.

Lily gazed at the trio with her proud and charming set of eyes, “Inaba Shigekado of the Mino Triumvirate. You seem like a righteous man to me. Don’t you find it disgraceful to besiege a drugged woman like me with thrice the numbers as a samurai?”

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“Enough with the tricks after you’ve killed so many of our men, you witch!”

The red-armored Ujiie Huzen thundered while pointing his blade at Lily.

Inaba Shigekado, however, showed some struggle, “It’s impossible for loyalty and righteousness to coexist, mirror girl. I won’t say that you are wrong, but my absolute loyalty lies with my lord!”

“I never imagined that the majestic Mino Triumvirate would actually choose to pledge their loyalty to a viper that colludes with monsters! You keep speaking of loyalty and righteousness, but have you actually forgotten your loyalty to the Heian Empire along with the righteousness in the world?! What’s the point in mentioning loyalty when you’ve betrayed the people?” Although Lily’s breathing had quickened, she still oozed charm every now and then as she uttered these words out. Her determination, however, was as firm as ever and made her look imposing.

Although these words sounded commonplace, they struck at the core of the contradiction and rendered Inaba speechless momentarily.

It was really as Lily had said. Loyalty wasn’t an excuse for colluding with the monsters and betraying both the Emperor and humankind.

“There’s no need to exchange any further words with this witch! Kill her and avenge all the brothers and clansmen that fell under her hands!” Viper bellowed.

Viper’s words roused Lily’s desire to win intensely! He had exploited her kindness and compassion to nearly murder her and almost harmed her senior sister as well!

Although it wasn’t possible for her to defeat the Mino Triumvirate using Suzuhiko-hime’s phantasmal footwork in the state she was in right now, it was still possible for her to find an opportunity to elude them and kill the 4th-stage Awakened level Ouchi Koreyoshi.

However, Lily didn’t intend to do that.

As she had become a victim of Ouchi’s scheme, she intended to overturn the situation with her wit! A crazy idea formulated inside her mind…

“Die!” Ujiie Huzen slashed his golden, dragon-marked tachi at Lily yet she fended it off by spinning her Sakura Parasol against it, resulting in sparks going off and taking Huzen aback!

“The people need to carry demon charms on them whenever they go out, which is equivalent to bowing their heads to the monsters. How could you even call yourself a samurai when this has become the norm? You have no reason to wield a blade since your wife and children are safe from harm under the agreement with the monsters, or could it be that the blade you wield is meant to deal with samurai women like me who refuse to bow down to monsters?!” Lily dodged the attack from the blue-armored Ando Morimasa’s naginata with a spin of her body, perspiring beads of translucent sweet-scented sweat with a quickened breath as she questioned the trio staunchly.

Unlike the other two from the triumvirate, Huzen had a lovely wife and cute daughter.

However, his wife and daughter had gone missing while traveling to Gifu from their territory for the first time despite possessing demon charms on them, and never appeared again.

“Shut up! Mino’s far more peaceful and prosperous than the times samurai warred with each other now!” Huzen slashed at Lily with his tachi consecutively.

“A false peace built under the loom of monsters paints a much darker future for humankind even if temporary peace is achieved now. Isn’t that so?”

“Clang!” Lily’s legs were pushed down when her Evil Slayer clashed against Huzen’s tachi and she was pushed back after being forced down to her knees. However, a huge nick opened up on Huzen’s tachi as well.

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“Enough of the empty words now!” Inaba Shigekado was against this scheme that exploited the conscience of others, yet he had no choice but to obey his lord’s orders as his samurai despite losing his father and sword instructor to the monsters.

“You mentioned loyalty, Inaba Shigekado, but where does your loyalty actually lie? Ouchi Koreyoshi had long joined the Hundred Demons’ side, so does your loyalty lie with the Hundred Demons as well?”

“Enough of the nonsense!” Ouchi roared, “I’m just using the Hundred Demons!”

“You were the one who told me there are no grudges between us. Yet here you are trying to kill me under the orders of your master from the Hundred Demons,” Lily emphasized.

“That’s just preposterous! That eminence isn’t from the Hundred Demons…3” Ouchi paused midway in his words.

“Isn’t from the Hundred Demons?!” Lily was quite shocked by these words, “Who is it, then?”

“Someone who’s close to death has no need to know it!” Ouchi declared.

“Milord!” Inaba Shigekado turned back to ask, “Just under whose orders are we killing this mirror girl? The three of us would like to know it as well if possible!”

“Inaba, what do you mean by that? Are you calling my orders into question?”

“Milord, the three of us decided to assist you for your ambition and dominion! You are the wisest man in Mino, and we hope to see you become the overlord of these lands, not some hidden plotter’s minion, let alone a pawn of the power that brings disaster to the world!” Although the short-bearded Inaba possessed unswerving loyalty, he still had his stubbornness as a samurai of the East.

“Indeed, milord! We hope to see you become the overlord of Kanto and lead the world instead of obeying Momiji, that s̲l̲u̲t̲t̲y witch readily!” Ando Morimasa also turned back to say his piece.

A mesmerizing womanly scent had permeated the air along with Lily’s dance movements and though this scent couldn’t suppress the enemy like a domain, it possessed the ability to influence the enemy’s mind unnoticeably.

However, even Lily wasn’t aware of this effect, and two of the Mino Triumvirate had actually begun wavering because of it, prompting them to question their lord.

“Shut it now! What would meatheads like you know?! It takes pragmatism and flexibility to become an overlord. Do you think it’s possible to become an overlord with just recklessness alone?!” Ouchi Koreyoshi screamed hoarsely with his timeworn voice and a glare in his eyes. The Viper of Mino obviously had his ambitions, but he knew well that it wasn’t the right time to make a move now. He was still far from having the power to resist against that eminence and the fact that these foolish meatheads refused to understand this filled him with even greater rage.

“Serve the East by pledging yourselves to Lord Kamakura, Mino Triumvirate, and you will be able to see an overlord without bowing your heads to monsters! Lord Kamakura is the true overlord who’ll lead the world and the sole ruler who stands against the monsters!” It was as if Lily’s voice imbued extreme longing for Lord Kamakura, which formed an intense contrast between her curvaceous profile and unshakable resolve as a samurai woman, searing this look of hers into the observers’ memories eternally.

“I have no need to hide it now that things have come to this…” Lily spun the parasol by resting it against her shoulder and stated with a composed pair of eyes, “I, Kagami Lily, am the special envoy sent to Mino by Lord Kamakura.”

Her mesmerizing gaze caused the three samurai’s hearts to palpitate. They were clearly captivated by Lily’s charm.

Lily put the red parasol away suddenly and waved Yasutsuna like a lightning blitz, causing the oil lamps in the premises to waver and change the surroundings.

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Her voice became resolute, imposing and stern, “I suspect that Ouchi Koreyoshi has strayed from the chivalric code of samurai by colluding with the monsters! There’s undeniable evidence towards this since you admitted it personally! What else is there to argue about now? Mino Triumvirate, I order you in the name of Lord Kamakura to detain Ouchi Koreyoshi at once!”

The air was now suffused with an invisible yet rousing4 scent emitted by the dazed yet witty Lily from her dance movements.



References

  1. Silva: Wow, do people actually talk this much in the middle of a fight?
    Robinxen: You learn to deal with it.
  2. Silva: Other three? Were there actually four sakes in total? My memory is muddled…
    Robinxen: I thought there were three in total…maybe somewhere a mistake was made.
  3. Robinxen: Is it Lord Loserface for real then.
  4. Robinxen: Rousing or arousing. That is the question.

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