Chapter 51 – Lord Kato

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3148 characters
Translator: Silva English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1991 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

In the small mountain village at resplendent Mt. Ise.

After Mizue finished teaching her child how to read in the backyard, she took him to the garden to practice swordplay.

“Mama, why are other kids learning swordplay from their papa or master, but I have to learn from mama?”

When facing her son, Mizue was always brimming with a smile.

“Because mommy is strong. You’ll never go wrong if you learn from mommy. The father of those vassals and their master can’t even compare to mommy.”

It was already dark by the time they finished their lessons. Mizue went to serve tea to her mother-in-law.

“Oh Mizue, you don’t need to push yourself,” The old lady received the tea and said, “You do not need to come to visit me every day. Would you just look at yourself, you didn’t even wipe off the sweat on your forehead.”

“This much is nothing, mother. I’ll go check on Dojin in a bit,” said Mizue as she embarrassedly wiped her sweat.

She then arrived next to her husband.

“What is it, dear? Why are you frowning? Is my cooking not to your taste?” Mizue was deeply concerned. As she massaged her husband’s paralyzed legs, an unnoticeable sadness spreads across her face.

“Mizue, I’ve let you down… I wasn’t able to fulfill my responsibilities as your husband and a city lord!”
“Don’t speak like that Dojin! This is our castle, we ought to protect it together!”
“The monsters outside are getting more active, it is getting harder to farm. I know you’re giving most of the rice to me, our son, and my mother. But we can’t keep up like this, our town will eventually fall. Without enough land tax, we can’t maintain the defense, the town will eventually be overrun by monsters…”

“That won’t happen, dear. I will think of something!” Mizue put on a sunshine-like smile.

Mizue found a vagrant from the Iga-ryu clan in the street and wanted to hire him, but that vagrant just threw back vulgar remarks at her, “Can a small town like this really afford to hire me? Or what, do you plan to reimburse me with your body?”

Mizue blushed, “P-Please show some respect, I am the wife of the lord.”

“I was just joking, pay it no mind, madam. Hahaha. But I really must go, I’ve heard rumors that Biwa Palace is going to open soon. The vagrants from various lands come from all over to vie for the treasure. It is said that you can buy a land with the treasure found in the palace.”

“There is such a treasure…” For some reason, Mizue, who had acted according to conventions since she got married, felt her heart beating faster after hearing the word ‘treasure’1.

She started wondering to herself, whether she could change the fate of this little village if she got her hands on the treasure, or if there was a chance that her husband could get up on his feet once more.

Despite her lack of experience with the outside world and the dangers involved in a treasure hunt, Mizue picked up her old katana and left for Omi with only the small baggage on her back.

Little did she know, while this treasure hunt didn’t change the fate of the village, it did change her life.

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Back to the present, Mizue left Port Imahama by herself in the middle of the night. She remained cautious of her surroundings, but she no longer felt fear. Even though she was returning to her husband and son with these magatama fragments, she would never allow herself to live as before anymore.

“Maybe I’ll never be as powerful as Miss Lily and Miss Shimizu, but even as an ordinary married woman, so long as I hold fast to my samurai’s pride, who’s to say I can’t traverse this dangerous path?”

“Everyone has their own adventurous heart, even a woman like me. Regardless of the outcome or achievement, I will never lose to anyone in this regard!”

Mizue had a fresh smile on her face as her expectation and romance for this dark yet mysterious world soared.

Lily and Shimizu walked on the path that led to the castle. At this point, it was a zig-zagging uphill path with stone pavements. At either side of the path were pine trees and stone lanterns, along with some buildings under construction. It was pretty rare to find a not-so-desolate town in the middle of the central mainland.

Deep in the pine forest, Lily could see a few axes, saws, and even some wooden desks jumping about.

Lily pulled Shimizu’s sleeve and said, “Although this place seems somewhat thriving, the eldritch energy is still pretty thick. After the laborers left, it seems even these ordinary tools had been possessed. Although these weak monsters can’t do much damage, it’s still a little concerning.”

“What, it’s just the two of us now, is lil’ sis feeling afraid or lonely?” Shimizu asked meaningfully.

“Big sis sure knows how to crack jokes. How can I be afraid of these weak monsters. I just feel that we should curb the roots of the problem before it becomes a big issue. This Lord Kato may have the ambition to rebuild the central region, but I’m afraid it won’t last long under the assault of Omi’s demons,” Lily still felt a bit worried.

“Anyway, this Lord Kato seems to be a leading figure, I just hope he can allow us to board his ship,” Shimizu scanned the surroundings as she said those.

They had finally arrived before the castle.

It was a newly built, low-lying castle with white walls and blue tiles, with half the backside established by the mountain.

The gates were already shut, thus Lily knocked on the light-colored wooden door.

Two guards came over with a torch in hand to check out the situation from the top of the rampart.

“Who is it? Why are you knocking on the castle gate in the middle of the night? Do you want to get capital punishment?”

Lily yelled, “An old friend of Lord Kato recommended us to come here. We request an audience with the lord.”

“What friend! Do you think the lord would accept an audience at any time? Come again in the morning, get lost!” The guard yelled back.

“Wait.” A fully armored samurai looked down from the rampart and used the torch to illuminate Lily and Shimizu. He couldn’t help but be surprised by their beauty, “This is my first time seeing such beautiful and alluring girls. It might be a late night, but we should at least report to the lord. Open the gate, but watch over them.”

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“Yes.”

Not long after, the wooden gate opened with a grating sound.

A few guards came out and surrounded Lily and Shimizu, not letting them in nor letting them go.

That samurai’s thought was very simple. If Lord Kato really wanted to meet them, then they should report it. Otherwise, he could accuse them of false charges to have them captured to interrogate them personally or even torture them.

If they were ordinary folks, they would long have been chased away by the soldier. However, the samurai judged from Lily’s posture and face that she was no stranger to troubles.

Soon, the samurai came over to report disappointedly, “Lord Kato wants to meet you, come with me.”

In reality, Lily and Shimizu were prepared to come back again tomorrow. They were quite surprised themselves when Lord Kato agreed to meet two complete strangers that very night.

“Nghh…” As they entered, Lily seemed to be shaking her waist more than usual and her face had indescribably blushed2.

“What happened, lil’ sis?” Shimizu whispered to Lily.

However, Lily’s whole body shivered as Shimizu’s breath made contact with her ear, “N-No, it’s nothing.”

It didn’t seem like it was nothing from how Lily was reacting, but since they were being guided by the samurai in Lord Kato’s own castle, Shimizu didn’t pry too deeply.

The two strolled along the wooden corridor until a sliding door was pushed open before them. Beyond the door was a dusky wall, with bead curtains hanging from the beams on either side. Some candles were hung on the pillars to illuminate the room and sitting directly on the wooden platform in front of them was a man wearing a square academic hat and blue sleeveless brocade.

As Lily and Shimizu entered the room, they simultaneously knelt before the man as a formality.

That was a middle-aged man, roughly forty-odd years old, he had a rigid face, thick eyebrows, a handlebar mustache, and his eyes were full of spirit. One look and you could tell he was a powerful samurai at that, but his countenance was a bit scholarly.

“So, who might these two lovely ladies be? What business you have with me this late hour?” Kato asked.

“I am Kagami Lily, and this here is my training sister, Minamoto no Shimizu. We hail from Kamakura,” Lily cooly answered. Since Kato was a friend of Brother Tenba, she needed to be sincere and not hide their identity. Besides, even though she had been concealing herself, she was still being targeted throughout the journey. It was as though they knew all her actions from the inside out.

As Kato gazed upon the beautiful faces and manners of the two, he still felt a bit fascinated despite not harboring any wicked thoughts

“Kagami Lily and Minamoto no Shimizu?” Kato was slightly dumbfounded, then he took a deep breath and continued, “Could you be the famous Lyn-hime who has recently been promoted to a liege lord in Kanto? And that over there is Miss Shimizu, one of the East’s Six Swords and the genius female samurai of Genji Clan?

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“Exactly,” Lily replied flatly, “However, this famous Lyn-hime only has a very very limited amount of land. It is nothing worthy enough for Lord Kato to be this exaggerated.”

“Hahahahaha!” Kato burst into bright laughter. He retrieved a paper fan from his chest pocket to fan himself before putting it away and continued, “Lady Lyn-hime, how can a few territories be compared to your accomplishment? You are so young and haven’t stepped into the path of samurai for that long, yet you have already surpassed Hojo Dijon and pushed back Tokugawa, Takeda, and Honda all by yourself. Your tales have fascinated me, even I get my blood boiling from listening to them. Lyn-hime is indeed a miracle girl, it is such an honor to receive Lyn-hime and Miss Shimizu in my humble lakeside castle at this hour! Hahahaha!”

“No way, Lord Kato is exaggerating. Despite being located in the wasteland, Lord Kato is able to establish a port that hasn’t ever been seen in Kanto, Lily must express my admiration for Lord Kato’s perseverance.” Lily answered back very politely. However, her face was becoming increasingly redder between her words.

Kato was apparently very happy. After all, Lily was the hottest woman in the East and possibly second only to Lord Kamakura in power level by now. Being honored by the presence of such personage at late night, and a beauty at that, who wouldn’t be happy?

Lily hadn’t even mentioned her relationship with Tenba Goro, yet Lord Kato’s hospitality had already exceeded her expectation.

Lily realized at this time, if she wasn’t traveling incognito, her name was already well-known throughout the Kanto region.

“Men! Prepare a feast! Bring me the best and freshest fish you can get. I don’t care even if you have to go and catch it now. I must properly entertain Lady Lyn-hime and Miss Minamoto no Shimizu!” Kato raised his hand and waved his hand around in high spirit.

“Yes, my lord.” A gray-haired servant in black cloth received the order and left. However, as the black-clothed elderly reached the corridor, he revealed a sinister expression on his face3.



References

  1. Silva: This must be Lily no. 2 if she turned out to be a weakling like Mizue.
  2. Silva: Wuut? Did the aphrodisiac finally kick in at this time?
  3. Silva: Uh oh….

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