|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 3256 characters|
|Translator: LazyButAmbitious||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 2076 words|
Ui’s sleeves danced and weaved six silver threads that bloomed like swirling flowers, each end adorned by a jade ball.
She leaped back to distance herself while the six jade balls spun and flew towards Lily.
“What?” Lily knew the general concept of kendamas. It took a lot of skill to play them well. This girl could actually manipulate six jade balls simultaneously— truly a marvel of skill.
“Hmph, a strange skill to please the rich!”
Lily quickly ran across the wooden roof of the ship building.
The six jade balls were spinning and flying at the same time, naturally slowing down a little bit. If not controlled properly, they were likely to intertwine and knot themselves together.
Of course, for Ui to be confident in using the kendama as an offensive weapon, such a mishap was unlikely to happen unless she was placed under immense pressure.
Ui held a kendama in either hand, each having three silver threads connected to them. She was like a puppeteer controlling her puppets, stringing them along with every turn and shake of her arms. Every time she flung out the six jade balls, they would fly halfway before spreading in Lily’s general direction. Although they weren’t fast, the silver threads constantly fed the jade balls with spiritual energy which gave them enough power to smash a city wall.
This kind of impact wasn’t too threatening for Lily, but she would rather dodge than suffer the constant beating and pain.
In addition, the kendama was a weird weapon to face. She wanted to study and figure out its attack pattern.
At this time, Kiuchidera had sneakily made his way back up to the ship. He gathered and organized the remaining samurai for the second round of attacks while conjuring ways of dealing with Lily.
On the other side of the smoke that had yet to completely disperse, Shimizu and Tamurakonoe stood facing each other.
“The strongest among the Six Swords of the East Nation? I have heard of you. Instead of staying honestly under the protection of Lord Kamakura and acting your role as the well-behaved genius girl, you chose to travel west with the Mirror Girl? Do you want to die?” Tamurakonoe’s pair phoenix eyes narrowed, highlighting the heterochromatic eyeshadow lacing his eyelids
“Who are you? It would be a pity to kill a nameless person.” Shimizu’s long hair swayed gently in the wind and her Unsmiling Blade hummed menacingly within its sheath. Her blade was more dangerous sheathed than when it was drawn.
“Nameless person? Hahaha! A mere eastern barbarian dares to scoff at a samurai from the Sinless Domain?” Tamurakonoe sneered.
“Sinless Domain?” Shimizu frowned slightly. Lily may not know, but Shimizu had heard of the Sinless Domain, “Nara Sinless Domain?”
This term originated from the abandoned old capital of Nara. The ancient city of Nara and its surroundings were dark, desolate, and chaotic. The former dynasty became the den for outcasts and criminals, referred to as ‘hell on earth’. Not even the Heian Dynasty could govern the area. As the words ‘Sinless Domain’ suggested, no matter what atrocities an individual committed, they would not be subjected to punishment by court laws.
Many annihilation dojos were formed in the Sinless Domain which consisted of disorganized forces of rogue ronin that escaped the persecution of the Heian Dynasty.
“Sure enough, you have some written knowledge after all. However, I have to warn you, little girl, facing a samurai from the Sinless Domain is not as exciting and interesting like in your stories.”
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“Who are you, really? The Sinless Domain does house very terrifying experts, but there is no lack of powerful and fairly skilled people.”
“My name is Sakanoue no Tamurakonoe. You may not be familiar with me. However, as a samurai born in Genji, it’s naturally impossible for you not to know the leader of our Maro Dojo, Sakanoue no Tamuramaro. He’s my father.
“Sakanoue no Tamuramaro?” As cold and arrogant as she was, Shimizu’s heart still trembled at the mention of the name.
She concealed her nervousness and brushed her fluttering hair to the side, “If Senior Tamuramaro, the master of Western swordplay, was the one to come, I could only stand down and retreat. But for you, a pompous young master who needs to bear the name of his father, what is there to fear?”
“Minamoto no Shimizu. If possible, I don’t want to kill a direct descendant of the Genji’s. However, if it comes down to it, I don’t mind killing a Genji or two. Compared to a chaotic world, becoming an enemy of the whole Genji is a minor inconvenience. My sole target is the Mirror Girl, Kagami Lily. If you back off, I won’t hurt you.” Tamurakonoe’s eagle-like eyes radiated a palpable warning.
“If you wanted to kill me, maybe I would’ve considered retreat as an option. But if you want to kill my sister, I won’t take even a single step back. Come! Let me see how the swordsmanship of your Kansai dojo differs from ours in the East!”
Shimizu turned slightly to the side and lowered her posture into a quick-draw stance.
Tamurakonoe sneered, “I really don’t understand you Eastern women. Kansai women are willing to crawl and hug my thighs just to earn a bit of my favor, but you want to risk your life for another woman?”
“Shut up and put away those disgusting words of yours. My Sister Lily has defeated two Permanence Stage great demons and I, Minamoto no Shimizu, will also conquer a Permanence Stage powerhouse today.”
“Oh? Minamoto no Shimizu, you seemed to have gotten the wrong idea.”
Shimizu stared intently.
Tamurakonoe pressed his lips into a smug smile, “I’m also in the Spirit Jade stage.”
“What?!” Shimizu was startled. In the Spirit Jade stage; while exuding an aura comparable to the Permanence Stage?!
Such a revelation was more horrifying than facing a regular, bonafide Permanence stage expert. This meant that Tamurakonoe, especially in the Sinless Domain, was also considered a genius.
To an extent, his talent was a given. He was the son of Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, the greatest master of his generation. Some extraordinary blood was bound to flow in him.
Shimizu suppressed her surprise and nervousness, “So what if you’re a genius? The number of geniuses that my sister has killed is uncountable. Naturally, I can’t be too far behind.”
If she didn’t have talent and strength rivaling Lily’s, how could she conquer, control, and make Lily submissive to her?
Although Shimizu had overcome her jealousy for Lily, she still felt obliged as the elder sister to be better than her. She used this motivation to spur herself onward, practice hard, cultivate, and challenge the peak!
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“I’m the elder sister. I must be stronger than my younger sister to protect her! Even if you’re the son of some grandmaster, you’ll still be defeated by me, Minimoto no Shimizu!”
“Minamoto no Shimizu, you’re not Kagami Lily’s match. I have seen her fight with my own eyes. Although she’s not my opponent, I admit that she’s a real genius. As for you? Hahaha! You don’t deserve your title!”
“Hmph, that makes both of us then, right? When Tenba Goro was laughing wildly in all directions, did you, the son of the great Tamuramaro, dare to say a word? Yet you come mocking me for a false title? I think that you’re just borrowing your father’s name and you have no strength of your own!”
“Superficial woman! How many years have I been practicing? Not much more than you. How can I compare with one of the vagrants who can dominate the world— that madman, Tenba Goro? However, dealing with a jealous and poorly gifted woman like yourself is beneath me. I advise you to get out of the way and obediently watch the battle between me and your talented sister by the side.”
“Shut up! I won’t let you pass through this smoke unless I fall!” Shimizu resolved her mind and condensed the black resentment within her blade. She harbored no intentions of retreating.
Tamurakonoe’s eyes turned sullen but he still kept an arrogant smile, “Okay, so be it.”
Shimizu’s gaze focused on the extra-long tachi strapped to Tamurakonoe’s back. Because the sword was tailored to his height, it was even longer than Uesugi Rei’s, but it didn’t look as thick and heavy.
Shimizu once lost to Uesugi’s rough and wild tachi, but this time, she would not fail again, nor could she afford to. Right now, she wasn’t fighting for her own glory and honor, which now seemed meaningless, but for another woman.
The woman was her sister, whose life meant everything to her!
However, Tamurakonoe only took out a short bamboo knife from his storage pouch.
‘What?!” Shimizu was startled, “What do you mean by this?!”
Tamurakonoe smiled coldly, his beauty comparable to graceful flowers, “I still hold true to my word. I don’t want to kill Genji’s direct lineage, especially when she’s a beautiful genius girl. I don’t fear the Genji but I don’t want to provoke them either. It’ll give me too many future troubles. This family of yours is all over the world, after all. Today, I will only kill the mirror girl. As for you, I’ll just teach you a lesson.”
“Shut up!” Shimizu got anxious, “You and I are both in the Spirit Jade stage. Do you think you can win against me with such a short bamboo knife? You samurai of the West are unscrupulous, but we samurai of the East value honor and reputation a lot!”
“Hahahahaha!” Tamurakonoe laughed loudly, “Then what if you lose to me with this short bamboo knife? Won’t you lose your reputation? If you know what’s best for you, I suggest you leave while you still can. I’m already giving Genji enough face by sparing your life and dignity.”
A stern look flashed across Tamurakonoe’s face.
“Compared to face and dignity, I care more about Sister Lily. I would do anything for her! Since you insist on courting death, come on!” Shimizu’s spiritual energy erupted and billowed with a resentful aura. It seemed to overflow with the sorrow of an unrequited lover.
“Die!” Shimizu’s figure blurred as if an illusion and her afterimages all closed in on Tamurakonoe’s position.
Tamurakonoe’s cold eyes didn’t flinch. He stood motionlessly like a sculpture while pointing the short bamboo knife in Shimizu’s direction.
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At this time, Lily seemed to feel the familiar spiritual energy on the other side of the smoke, causing her heart to thrum in worry, “Sister Shimizu?”
“Focus, you big-breasted country woman! They all say you’re a goddess of the Eastern Nation, but in my opinion, you’re just a big-breasted and big-a̲s̲s̲e̲d̲ lewd woman!” At first, Ui seemed like an innocent and naive girl but her mouth said otherwise. Her eyes shone with playfulness as she flicked the kendama towards Lily. The gap in strength between the two was large so it was easy for Lily to dodge the six jade balls. However, Ui continued her pestering by jouncing the entanglement of threads back at her.
Annoyed, Lily closed the distance and flung a blade light in Ui’s direction.
The blade light was strong, but Ui used her silver threads as leverage to jump around swiftly. Although her strength was lacking compared to Lily’s, her agility and dexterity allowed her to keep a safe distance while constantly dishing out attacks. An ordinary blade light simply didn’t have enough reach or speed to hit the lithe girl.
Lily activated her domain to oppress Ui which hindered her speed. Just as things were leaning in her favor, a charm flew from the distance and circled Ui’s body a few times. The charm emitted streaks of spiritual light that garbed her in a green hue. Ui’s speed instantly skyrocketed, surpassing her previous speed even while under the suppression of the domain. With this newfound speed, she easily avoided the barrage of crescent blade lights sent her way.
“What kind of spell is that?!” Lily noticed Kiuchidera who floated above the building while surrounded by a lime-green spiritual spell.
“This guy! How dare he cast that acceleration spell on Ui.” Things became really difficult when an onmyoji offered support to other warriors! Lily got increasingly irritated. Although her raw strength far outclassed the two people combined, she had trouble escaping the entanglement of their attacks.
The methods of these Kansai samurai are so bizarre!