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Chapter 28 – The Pub in Omi’s Village

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3563 characters
Translator: Aoi English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 2407 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

As Lake Biwa’s shores welcomed nightfall, the immense lake, as well as the misty mountains, produced eerie sounds of water and an unpleasant wind blew across the land while carrying the scent of the woods and the lake with it. An ordinary woman was bound to shiver in fear at this lakeside unless she was a samurai woman with a decent level of strength as the picturesque vista showed its other side at night.

No one knew just how many monsters were hidden across the vast and dark lakeshores, lying in wait to prey upon unsuspecting solo travelers.

Lily and Shimizu also felt more than a single set of eyes lock onto them and stare at them from within the tall reeds and the woods on the other side.

However, the monsters were still hesitant and didn’t dare to act rashly.

Lily and Shimizu naturally found no reason to unleash their spirit power without cause, but they still had their hands on their katanas. Even if they weren’t in combat, they still oozed a powerful grudge from their bodies unless it was suppressed deliberately, and the monsters were able to sense this grudge.

Although the two pretty girls were attractive prey, they knew that they might have to pay a terrible price if they wanted to obtain them.

The monsters thus hesitated to attack them and followed behind them while remaining hidden.

A stunning woman like Lily rarely paid any attention to the gazes directed at her from others regardless of the intent behind those gazes or the angles with which they looked at her. If she began minding about them, it would make it impossible for her to even walk through the city streets properly and the same applied to the wildlands infested with demons and monsters.

A little village was situated at the lakeside beneath the hill ahead of them and it was sparsely lit with the glow of torches at this moment. Lily noted that there was also an old and oblique torii constructed at the shallow waters across the village from where it was possible to oversee all of Lake Biwa.

“Look Sister Shimizu…” Lily pointed at the dimly lit village ahead of them.

“Who could’ve imagined that a human village existed at this monster-infested lakeshore,” Shimizu stated ruefully after seeing the village.

“Aren’t they afraid of monsters?” Lily asked puzzledly.

“By the looks of it, it seems like this village has existed for many years now. I think there might be a reason for that. We’ll know when we enter it, I suppose. If possible, I hope we can lodge in the village tonight,” Shimizu answered.

“Mhm,” Lily nodded.

The yukata-robed duo walked towards the village.

Lily noticed an oval-shaped boulder that came up to her waist beside the village’s entrance. This boulder had a rope running across it with paper streamers tied to it and emitted a faint magic.

Shimizu pulled Lily’s dress and pointed at the surroundings, “Look.”

It wasn’t just the entrance that had this kind of boulder. The whole village was actually surrounded by such boulders set at certain distances.

“It might be some kind of formation that’s able to ward off monsters,” Shimizu speculated.

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Lily nodded, but she also knew that such formations were practically ineffective towards the real archdemons. It was just that an archdemon might not actually bother to slaughter the residents of a small and barren village, just like how a liege lord didn’t find it essential to exterminate rare animals in his land that held no threat to him.

This human village was like those rare animals. They were fortunate yet misfortunate enough to survive in these wildlands protected by none.

The torii built across the shore leading to the village was constructed from wood and looked quite simple in appearance. It had stone lanterns set on both sides and had two men with harpoons guarding it.

The village was a really unusual one and had no one patrolling the road leading to it at night, just like an abandoned village.

Lily and Shimizu were thus able to enter the stone formation without a problem.

The duo arrived beneath the torii and finally saw the visages of the robust-looking men guarding it with the help of the stone lanterns’ illumination, and they seemed like fishermen from the village based on their attire.

“Where do you hail from, ladies, and what are you here for?” One of the fishermen questioned.

The fact that a villager had questioned a noble samurai wasn’t actually worth mentioning, but Lily was actually taken aback by the fact that the two villagers were both early-stage sword masters!

Although it wasn’t that high a strength, it was quite unusual for a desolate village’s fishermen to possess such strength.

This made her suspect that there might be other reasons as to why this village was able to survive until now in the monster-infested Omi protected by no one.

“We hail from Kamakura and plan to go to Iga, so we were hoping to lodge in this village tonight,” Shimizu answered.

Lily remained calm in response to Shimizu’s answer that they were aiming for Iga despite the fact that they weren’t actually planning to bypass Lake Biwa and set out south for Iga. It was just an excuse to conceal the true purpose of their travel.

“Oh, I see. I thought you were here for that underwater palace as well. Please go in, then. A gigantic bird monster flies across the shores of Lake Biwa at night and preys upon humans specifically. The village, however, is safe, so make sure you don’t wander outside the village at night,” the villager advised frankly.

“I see. Thank you for the reminder,” Lily responded politely.

The duo was thus able to gain entry into the village without an issue because of the frank villager.

“I wonder what the underwater palace that villager mentioned is. Do you know about it, Sister Shimizu?”
“Who knows what it might be. It might be a ritual of the village.”

The duo walked forward while chatting and saw a duo of short and tall samurai come towards them from the other direction while directing indecent gazes at them, especially Lily.

Lily feigned ignorance and stepped aside slightly along with Shimizu. The two samurai men, on the other hand, sauntered off smugly after seeing Lily and Shimizu make way for them.

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“What a rude bunch,” Shimizu muttered.

The samurai men had unsightly appearances and were also dressed shabbily, but one of them was a middle-stage sword saint while the other was a late-stage sword saint, so they actually possessed some decent strength.

Lily also began to suspect why such powerful samurai were in this little village out in the wildlands and soon realized that they weren’t men from this village after scrutinizing their attire.

A pub and an inn were situated ahead of them, and both were built next to each other.

“How about we visit the pub for a while first, Sister Shimizu?”

“No… let’s go to the inn first,” Shimizu stated.

Lily noticed that Shimizu looked a bit anxious for some reason, so she decided to go to the inn with her first.

The old inn had a few wandering samurai dining inside it while sitting on the floor.

The inn’s hostess was actually a stunning and curvaceous woman and welcomed them as soon as they entered it, “Are you planning to stay for the night, ladies?”

“Yes. Please give us both the best rooms you have,” Lily answered.

“I apologize for the inconvenience, but the village has seen a sudden influx of wandering samurai recently, which has resulted in a scarcity of vacant rooms. We only have one of the best rooms vacant as of now and it’s quite pricey, too.”

“How much is it?”

“It’s one kan for a night,” the hostess answered.

Although Lily didn’t care much about this amount of money, she still cursed the hostess internally. What a rip-off!

It cost one kan to book a few geisha in the best geisha house of Kamakura’s Kabukicho district, so charging one kan for lodging overnight in such an old inn was really too much.

However, Lily didn’t want to waste any further time after seeing the look of fatigue on Shimizu’s face and handed over a gold coin, “Give it to us.”

The hostess accepted the 100 g weighted gold coin and raised her brows slightly, but she didn’t show much surprise. This in turn left Lily amazed as this made it evident that the hostess was someone used to seeing a big sum.

The hostess guided Lily and Shimizu to the 2nd floor and brought them inside a room from where the lake’s vista could be seen. Although it was a pretty simple room, it was bright, spacious and tidy enough, even possessing a certain tranquil elegance to it, which made Lily admit that perhaps it was reasonable for the room to have a higher price.

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Shimizu spread the quilt a few moments later and laid down on it to sleep.

This made Lily a bit disappointed because she was quite curious about the village.

“Are you going to sleep now, Sister Shimizu?”

“Mhm.”

“Are you feeling ill?” Lily leaned over and asked concernedly.

“It’s nothing serious, my… period came,” Shimizu answered squeamishly.

This was a pretty ordinary event for a mature and healthy woman.

Lily almost felt nothing every time it occurred because of her wholesome body and just required some advance preparation to operate normally once it passed.

Shimizu’s inborn illness had healed for the most part, but she still felt weaker whenever her period arrived, which left her really downcast.

“We dipped in the lake before. You won’t catch a cold, right?” Lily asked worriedly.

“I’m fine,” Shimizu shook her head, “I was fine until recently and it arrived when we reached the village.”

Lily pondered for a moment and took out a bunch of silky white ribbons from the mirror space that had strings on both of their ends.

“I took these out from the room in the mirror space that had the celestial raiment. I use them sometimes and they’re very comfortable to the touch. You can use them, too.”

Shimizu received the ribbons and touched them gently. They were really soft and comfortable to the touch as Lily said and had a nice affinity with the skin. Shimizu revealed an emotional smile, “Okay. You’re really kind to me, lil’ sis.”

“No, not at all.”

Lily’s quick breaths and worried appearance made it obvious to Shimizu that Lily didn’t plan to sleep before she did, so she suggested this to her, “How about you go for a walk in the village and check it out first? I’ll try these out here in the meantime.”

If Lily were in Shimizu’s position, she also wouldn’t have wanted someone else in the room while changing, so she nodded knowingly, “I’ll go out for a walk, then, Sister Shimizu.”

“Mhm. Stay vigilant and don’t mess around too much. Also, make sure that you aren’t duped by some man.”

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“As if that would happen, Sis.”

Lily got up and gave Shimizu a concerned look. However, as it didn’t seem like a huge problem, she left the room and closed the door.

Lily exited the inn and made a round trip across the village. The commoners’ houses were actually built from orange logs and had thatched roofs. A lot of the houses close to the lake were actually built on platforms above the lake water and actually had fishing boats moored in front of them.

A bonfire was lit above an open space in the center of the village at night in the direction of the torii on the lake. The villagers sang and danced around the bonfire merrily with songs about the future and the present as the sadness of the past tended to turn the mood heavier and melancholic.

Lily’s eyes traveled to the pub’s top when she returned to the stairs of the inn. The pub also had a veranda that faced the lake, and the signboard of the pub was actually painted in the Ukiyo-e style, which made it look a bit wild.

It had the words ‘Pub of the Sea’ written on it. Lily knew Lake Biwa was once known as Awaumi, which held the meaning of freshwater sea, so she surmised that the pub’s name was based on it.

As it was quite early to sleep, Lily decided that she might as well check out the pub.

Lily pushed the curtain aside and strolled inside the dimly-lit pub, which had a bunch of men drinking at the tables right now.

“Hahahahahaha! This is some nice sake, hostess! Bring more of it!”

A man’s rambunctious laughter reached Lily’s ears the moment she entered the pub.

Lily had experienced a lot of things throughout her journey across the Heian Empire, but she had never heard such rambunctious laughter that seemed to laugh at the world dauntlessly.

The laughter came from a robust-looking man seated at a square table in the corner of the pub. The man was donned in shabby white training robes and had his rugged chest and arms bare outside. He also had a vivacious, square face with thick eyebrows and big eyes and a broad, powerful, shaved chin while his hair was styled as ostentatious and messy braids. He carried a dark straight sword at his waist and had a lot of emptied wine caddies on top of the short table in front of him.

The pub’s hostess was an enchanting, purple-kimono-dressed, short-haired lady, “You still plan to drink? Please pay for the sake first.”

“Huh?” The robust-looking man was taken aback, “Pay for the sake? I’ve long spent all my money. Hahahahaha! Give me sake first and I’ll pay you back with the money I make from selling the anima of the monsters I kill tomorrow.”

“That won’t do. We don’t accept a tab at our pub,” the hostess stated emotionlessly.

“Huh? Does that mean I can’t enjoy drinking sake to the fullest? Hahahahaha!” The man laughed while drinking and his laughs were as rambunctious as ever even though he couldn’t drink any more sake, which left Lily amazed.

Lily sat down at the table next to him and tapped down a gold coin on the table, “Allow me to treat this brother with a drink, hostess.”



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