Chapter 45 – The Water Route

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3273 characters
Translator: Aoi English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 2003 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

The blade strike packed explosive power and was powered by the spirit of chivalry!

Even Lily held her breath when she witnessed it. She knew Goro was quite strong, but she hadn’t expected that he had reached such a level. Although the attack looked crude, it was actually quite profound and unfathomable!

The blade strike made all the samurai speechless since it had blown away a dozen samurai along with Okado Yuzo, who was the best samurai of Echizen, and made them wonder just who this shabbily-dressed man was.

“Do you get it now? That’s how it ends when you try to take a treasure despite lacking the strength to hold onto it,” Tamurakonoe sneered.

The samurai fell back one after the other and didn’t dare to provoke Goro again. Besides, Lily wasn’t an easy opponent, either. There wasn’t a single samurai present at the scene who dared to meddle in this matter again after learning about the sworn siblinghood between Goro and Lily, and just cursed their bad luck.

A treasure like this rarely appeared every several decades and everybody knew this was a perfect opportunity that might change the fates of their clans, fiefdoms and lives. However, as this was a race for the treasure, there were bound to be both victors and losers.

An old samurai summoned the courage to question Goro at this moment, “May I know your name, lord? I hope you can at least let us know who defeated us.”

Goro replied frankly, “Tenba Kotetsumaru Goro.”

“T-Tenba Goro?!” The old samurai exclaimed, “Y-You’re Lord Tenba Goro? The fabled vagabond bestowed with the title of Jinmu Legion of Eight by the emperor?”

“What?!”

“Tenba Goro, you say?”

A lot of samurai were stunned after hearing the old samurai’s words, but there were many who knew about Tenba Goro’s fame.

“Who is he?” A few samurai from Omi asked puzzledly.

“Tenba Goro is one of the Jinmu Legion of Eight, who are also known as the Jinmu Eight. The title refers to the eight unrivaled vagabonds standing at the apex of our Heian Empire!”

“The emperor even allows the Jinmu Eight to enter the imperial palace and have an audience with him!” A monk from Kansai stated reverently.

“What?! The emperor allowed a vagabond to see him?” The Omi samurai were stupefied when they heard this as the monk had mentioned the emperor who’s said to rule the whole empire. They were shocked that a noble and godly existence like the emperor who could topple Omi with a single word actually allowed Tenba Goro to have an audience with him.

Even the protectors of Omi, Bitchu, and Echizen weren’t qualified to have an audience with the emperor or allowed to enter the audience hall when summoned, and were forced to kneel outside it. Yet, Tenba Goro, a showy vagabond possessed this qualification!

The Jinmu Eight’s status in the Heian Empire was quite clear from this. They were the pillars of vagabonds!

The apex of vagabonds!

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“Brother…” As someone from the East, Lily had no clue that Tenba Goro was such a famous hero.

“Haha, it’s just a casual title given by others. You needn’t mind it, Sister.” Goro chuckled.

The sullen and unwilling samurai felt relieved now.

The samurai were clearly unwilling to give up on the treasure, but they now had an excuse to do so since there would be no shame in laying down their blades in front of an opponent who was one of the Jinmu Eight.

Tamurakonoe and his cohort were mixed among these samurai and had no plans to make a move for now.

“Let’s go and have some drinks in that village again, Sister. I’ll treat you this time!” Goro stated boisterously.

“Alright,” Lily agreed readily.

“J-Just who is this Kagami Lily? She actually became siblings with one of the Jinmu Eight?” The samurai were shocked by their exchange.

Shimizu pulled Mizue and stepped inside the water portal.

Lily also entered the portal immediately afterward, but no one dared to stop her this time.

Lily and the others found themselves inside a luminescent, rippling lake when they exited the portal.

The trio swam up and discovered that they had actually surfaced near the shore of the village beside Lake Biwa, with the red torii gate standing close to them towards the front.

The trio swam ashore after that, and Goro also surfaced along with the emergence of a water pillar.

He then swam ashore towards the trio.

“Let’s return and change into a new pair of clothes first, Lily” Shimizu advised as Lily was still submerged inside the water in a drenched state.

“No, take Miss Mizue back first, Sister Shimizu. I’ll accompany Brother Tenba for drinks.”

“…Fine,” Shimizu left with Mizue discontentedly. Although Mizue wanted to greet Goro, she got dragged away reluctantly by her in the end.

“Hahahahaha! I’ve never met a woman as frank as you, Sister! Let’s go drink, then!” Tenba felt pleased.

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Goro and Lily went to the pub, which had scarce customers since it was noon now, and took a seat beside the window before ordering a huge jar of sake.

Lily had also thought it over. She didn’t wish to show much of her woman’s side in front of Goro because she was afraid that he might fall for her, which would put her in an awkward position since she just saw him as a sibling. Of course, she had full trust that Goro wouldn’t fall for her.

There was another reason she hadn’t returned with Shimizu. A drinking session with Goro would inevitably drench her bosom because they drank from a huge bowl, so it was pointless to change clothes first.

As the duo chatted and drank, the other samurai had also surfaced from the lake. However, there were some who embraced eternal rest at the lakebed of Lake Biwa.

“The journey to Heian-kyo is fraught with danger, Sister, and I cannot accompany you since I still have business to deal with. You must remain vigilant at all times,” Goro advised.

“Thanks for helping me out back there, Brother. I’ll protect myself well on this journey,” Lily stated firmly.

Goro nodded appreciatively, “There are three routes to Heian-kyo from here. The northern route is through Bitchu province, which is rife with steep mountains and powerful monsters. As you’re a mirror girl, you would incur the resentment of those easily provokable archdemons. The southern route is through Ise and requires you to cross Iga, which is home to ninjas, as well. Ninjas possess all kinds of tricks under their sleeves and would do anything for money, so it’s impossible to predict what they would do. It’s also the longest route out of them all. I recommend taking the water route to reach Yamashiro province by crossing Lake Biwa instead.”

“The water route?” Lily watched the calm waters of Lake Biwa and also concluded that it was the best choice since it would make it difficult for her hunters to find her once the ship sailed out.

Lily asked, “But where do I find a ship that can take me across Lake Biwa’s water route?”

“Hahahaha. You can take any ship as long as you’re sure that it won’t capsize. However, if you want to travel safely, you can take one at Port Imahama. A coastal village called Port Imahama lies about 50 kilometers south from this village, and the lord of this port, Kato Kobo is an old friend of mine. Although it’s impossible for outsiders to board the exclusive ship to Yamashiro, Lord Kato will permit you to board it if you mention my name, so you can rest assured about that.”

“I see. Thank you so much, Brother.”

“You are my only sworn sister, so it’s natural for me to help you. There’s no need for thanks.”

Lily and Goro kept drinking, but a well-dressed, charming woman arrived beside them while carrying a sweet scent with her.

Lily looked up and saw that it was Mizue, who seemed to have especially put on make-up and perfume that emphasized her charm as a married woman.

“What is it, Miss Mizue?” Lily inquired.

However, Mizue just sat down and bowed to Goro with blushing cheeks, “Thank you for saving my life today, Brother Tenba.”

“Hahaha. It wasn’t much, so you needn’t act so polite, lady. By the way, who is she, Sister?”

“Lady Mizue is a samurai woman who I rescued during the treasure hunt and is the wife of a lord from Ise,” Lily explained.

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Goro shifted a bit farther from her after hearing the word ‘wife.’

“So, it’s Madam Mizue. Apologies.”

“There’s no need for any, Brother Tenba. You are a hero of this empire and it’s an honor to have met you thanks to Miss Lily. Please allow me to pour you a cup of drinks.”

Saying so, Mizue approached Goro and picked up the jar to pour sake for him. Although she was a married woman, she was also a samurai, so it wasn’t that hard for her to pick it up.

However, Lily was put in an awkward position because of her actions. The two of them were drinking merrily, so she failed to understand why Mizue had come over.

“Madam Mizue, there’s no need for such courtesy. I’m just a wandering vagabond, so how can I trouble you to pour drinks for me?”

“A wandering vagabond? So, what? That’s pretty manly in my opinion! Heroes like you are rare in the world, Brother Tenba, and even the imperial court treats you with courtesy, so it’s a real honor for a woman like me, who’s from a remote region, to pour drinks for you. I hope you will accept my gratitude, Brother Tenba,” Mizue stated shyly with a blushing neck while squirming.

Lily finally understood what was going on. Although she was a bit clueless about such affairs, her sharp mind didn’t take that long to deduce that Mizue was interested in her brother even though she was married.

Lily smiled brightly and saw the darkening skies outside the window, “Brother, I never thought that the winter nights of Omi, which is known for its ever-pleasant weather, would be this cold. I’ll be going back to take a bath and warm up now.”

“H-Hey, Sister…” Goro found himself in a dilemma.

“Brother Tenba, you really don’t understand women. Although Lily possesses impressive abilities, she’s still a woman. It wouldn’t do her good if she catches a cold, so it’s best to allow her to take a bath and rest,” Mizue added while pouring drinks for Goro again.

“S-Sister…”

Lily chuckled inwardly and got up to leave. She believed that Goro was a young and vigorous man and since someone was willing to offer themselves to him, she didn’t intend to hinder their pleasure.

Let alone, Lily really needed to take a bath.

Lily returned to the inn after giving Mizue an opportunity and dressed in a yukata designed with yellow and white chrysanthemums after taking a bath in the inn’s women’s bath. She then intended to go back to her room and appreciate the night scenery with Shimizu yet found a crying Mizue inside her room.

“W-What happened?” Lily asked puzzledly.

“That brother of yours is really cold-hearted. I served him drinks with kind intentions and just wanted to massage his back and legs in passing for the troubles he went to, but he actually got mad and screamed at me while slapping the table, saying that I’m married woman and his sister’s companion, so how could I do such a shameless thing, and just left in anger. There were many customers in the pub and all of them looked at me mockingly, leaving me utterly ashamed to remain there… sob… sob…” Mizue explained while crying with a flushed face.

“Pfft!” Lily failed to contain her laughs with her hand, so she decided to just laugh out loudly, “Hahahahahaha!”

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“H-How could you laugh at me?!” Mizue complained in shame and sorrow.



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