Chapter 70 – Phantom Soul Blade

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3138 characters
Translator: LazyButAmbitious English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1978 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

Ui closed her eyes and raised her chin, “Then what exactly do you want? You are merely taking advantage of my current situation without relying on your own strength. If you disregard the honor of a samurai and don’t care about the effects of the Flower Rain Cursed Seal, then I dare you to kill me. My soul was injured by that samurai so I’m not your opponent!”

“Taking advantage of the situation? You are the one who took advantage of me being knocked unconscious by the carp spirit, tied me up, and even inflicted me with an unbreakable curse. Yet, you still have the nerve to accuse me after all that?” Lily spoke flatly, “However, I won’t kill you. As for the Flower Rain Curse, I will go to Tamamo-no-Mae myself instead of begging you!”

Lily gathered the rest of her things and prepared to leave.

“What…?” Ui trembled. Tamamo was the head of the three demons in the Heian Dynasty, but Lily intended to meet her directly? Not even the brass among Kansai samurai dared to speak so casually about the three hegemons. To Ui, Lily was akin to an ant grasping at the sky— truly ignorant of the heights of the heavens.

Looking at the back of Lily who sauntered out of the cave, Ui shouted, “You will regret it if you don’t kill me now!”

Lily halted her steps at the entrance of the cave and slightly turned her head, “When I lost the power to resist, didn’t you also spare my life?”

“What are you trying to say? Do you really think that I showed kindness to you? Woman, you are too naive! I already told you my reasons for keeping you alive: to punish and humiliate you!”

Lily tossed her long hair in disregard for Ui’s words and walked out of the cave.

It was still raining outside so Lily retrieved her sakura parasol and made her way into the depths of the mountain.

She didn’t have time to tangle with Ui any longer. Since she had freed herself and recovered all her items, it was best to leave the island as soon as possible and determine her position.

Unfortunately, not a single island was drawn on Lily’s crude map.

“I also don’t have any clues about Sister Shimizu’s whereabouts…” It was almost impossible for a practitioner to drown, but she could’ve drifted anywhere after the boat sank.

Lily descended the mountainside and caught sight of the vast waters of Lake Biwa once again. Instead of swimming out immediately, she decided to explore the island first.

She circumvented the shore of the lake in order to scope the island’s overall size. Although the deserted island was large, Lily’s speed wasn’t to be underestimated. It didn’t take long before she reached the cliff on the side of the island. There, her path was obstructed by a hundred meters deep chasm. Lily wasn’t confident in jumping over, and if she failed, turbulent currents awaited her below. Her intuition also warned against attempting to swim across the raging waters— it gave her a chilling feeling.

Lily went in the opposite direction, but unfortunately, the other side was also plagued with the same predicaments.

“Do I have no other choice but to climb these high mountains?” Lily was inwardly awed by the mountain, always feeling that unimaginable dangers crawled its depths. She wasn’t too fond of the idea of climbing and wandering through it.

“Master, the phantom soul sword you kept in the mirror space is slowly dissipating.” The demon hound suddenly transmitted its voice.

“Really?” This wasn’t too much of a surprise, and Lily even harbored some thoughts of leaving the phantom sword.

She eventually invoked the demon hound.

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A stream of light flashed, spawning a big snow-white dog with fierce fangs by the lake.

“I’m going to connect my consciousness to the mirror space. Stay on guard for me.”
“Understood, Master.”

Lily knelt on the shore of the lake, closed her eyes, and relaxed her mind as the gentle breeze brushed her long hair.

Her consciousness soon arrived in the mirror space, turning into a cute boy wearing a thin white dress. His pretty appearance coupled with the flowery dress painted him in an image no different from a girl’s.

In the dark, octagonal stone room, Kagura was the only one present while Yuki-Onna was nowhere to be seen.

“Kagura, where’s the phantom soul sword?” Lily asked

“You are…ah, yes, I remember. You are the master of this mirror space, right?” The other party asked, surprise written on her face.

“Uh, what?” Lily suddenly realized, “Are you Nanako?”

“Yes, Kagura said she was tired and went to rest.”

Speaking of which, Nanako was always busy with Kagura’s devilish training routine at every waking moment, so Lily hadn’t spoken to her for a long time.

“Ah, haha,” Lily reeled in his embarrassment, “Yes, I am the master of this mirror space. Nanako, how’s your training going?”

“I’ve reached the fourth level of the Awakened Stage, but I still need a lot of anima and magatama fragments to progress further. Kagura said that there aren’t enough treasures right now so I should practice swordsmanship and secret arts in the meantime.”

“Oh, cheer up. I’ll—” Lily wanted to encourage her a little but belatedly remembered his present identity as a boy. Nanako didn’t know that he was her Sister Lily so he had to be careful with his words. For now, he didn’t have the courage to tell her the truth.

In fact, as long as he didn’t admit it, no one would be able to connect his current male-orientated soul to that of Lily’s.

“Nanako, please wake up Kagura. I have something to ask her.”

“What do you need?” Almost immediately, Nanaoko’s eyes changed, becoming sharp and distant.

“Where’s that sword; the sword from that phantom soul samurai?”
“It’s in that room.”
“Which room?”

“The phantom sword kept dissipating no matter what I tried, but strangely enough, it stopped after I placed it in that sleeping woman’s room. I was worried that the sword would disappear during my sleep so I left it there.” Kagura said.

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“What?! Why did you enter Senior Sister’s room without permission? How did you open the door?”
“Don’t forget that I’m the Shikigami of Suzuhiko-hime, the original owner of this mirror. Naturally, I’m privy to the mechanisms in this space.”

Lily didn’t bother speaking anymore, directly rushing to the door of the room. With a thought, the stone door opened and revealed the serene ambiance within the gloomy room— everything looked the usual. His Senior Sister was still laying there quietly, her figure dimly illuminated by a light blue sword that hovered by the side.

Lily felt a pang of sorrow in his heart. How could such a fierce weapon be placed in his Senior Sister’s room?

“In the future, no matter the situation, you aren’t allowed to open this door without permission! Do you understand?!” Lily harshly admonished Kagura.

“…Understood,” Kagura retracted her usual arrogance. She could clearly read the agitation and anger from Lily’s voice so she honestly admitted her mistake, “Sorry, Master…”

“Forget it, you didn’t know. Just pay attention next time.” Lily didn’t push the matter any further. He walked inside the room, pushed the sword to the corner, and closed the heavy stone door behind him.

“Senior Sister…”

She looked so peaceful, so beautiful, so silent.

As always, her presence put Lily at ease, but also drowned him in a sea of loss.

I’m afraid that it’s just an extravagant hope for Senior Sister to wake up on her own one day.

Lily knelt by the bedside and clutched her hand, guiltily recalling how he fell into the hands of female enemies throughout his journey to the west.

“Senior Sister, I really want to protect this body, but sometimes I keep getting captured and bullied by my enemies. Senior Sister…I’m sorry.”

What made Lily especially guilty was his blossoming feelings for some other women.

“Senior Sister, I will punish myself once I get the chance, and I won’t allow myself to make the same mistakes again and again.”
“Senior Sister, sleep well. I’ll be arriving in Heian-kyō soon. Perhaps, I can find the method to wake you up there. Wait for me!”

Tears flowed down Lily’s cheeks.

He held his Senior Sister’s hand and kissed her wrist affectionately.

“Senior Sister, I’m going out. I have to leave this deserted island and find a way to Heian-kyō as soon as possible.”

Lily walked over to the glowing sword and could naturally hold it in his spirit form. The samurai’s arm had long disappeared but the sword seemed to still be intact.

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After walking out of the room and closing the stone door, Lily took the sword to the cave where the stele was situated.

He suspended the phantom soul sword in the air, sat down, and observed its ethereal, half-transparent blade for a while.

This sword is capable of attacking the soul, but how does it directly bypass one’s armor and spiritual defense? If I can master its secrets, wouldn’t it count as a unique extra skill?

However, no matter how good the idea was, Lily didn’t have a clue where to start.

Soul attack…I’m afraid that this is a very profound secret method. It may have come naturally with the ancient samurai spirit’s soul form, but he doesn’t seem to have this talent…
Talent… Talent… That’s it!

The boy’s figure suddenly vanished.

After Lily’s consciousness returned to her body, she got up, released the phantom soul sword, and unsheathed her Crescent Moon. The katana hummed as she channeled her Soul-Controlling Art.

Since the phantom sword can target the soul, perhaps it’s made of the soul itself, Lily guessed.

“Sure enough!”

Just like absorbing an ordinary anima, the phantom soul sword disintegrated into particles of light that streamed and shrouded Crescent Moon, gradually covering the blade in a blue halo. In a while, the halo was completely absorbed.

“It’s done!” Lily’s heart bubbled over in joy. Since her Crescent Moon had successfully absorbed the phantom soul sword, could she now wield the ability to harm the soul?

Lily had a few reasons why she didn’t use Yasutsuna. Firstly, Yasutsuna’s soul pattern hadn’t really been completed, and secondly, most situations did not require soul attacks to kill. There simply wasn’t a need to host and absorb this new power using her main weapon.

Lily was excited to test the potency of her soul attacks on something so she marched up the mountain to see if she could find an unlucky demon.

It was still raining at this time, but Lily refrained from using her sakura parasol since it would hinder her efforts of attracting a monster faster.

As she walked up the mountain, visibility became worse as the rain augmented the drifting fog.

The towering mountains were humid and roiling with water vapor, forcing Lily to tread forwards cautiously. Although her domain played a role in her exploration, no monsters could be found as of yet.

“Why isn’t there a single demon in this mountain?”

In today’s Heian Dynasty, demons ran rampant to the point where small demons could be found roaming ordinary fields. So this was very unusual— why were there none here?

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“Huh?!” Lily forcefully extended the range of her domain by linking the sakura trees to other surrounding trees. Despite the mediocre effects, she seemed to have discovered something. Not far ahead, she sensed a wave of ancient soul fluctuations that pressured her mind.

Lily carefully followed the strange fluctuations to a deep secluded hillside. From the shroud of trees and mist, numerous ancient spirit warriors emerged, their figures cloaked in blue light.

At a glance, there seemed to be hundreds of them, and blue lights continued to populate the area nonstop!1



References

  1. Silva: Practice target, found?

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