Chapter 78 – The Besieged Light Canoe

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3237 characters
Translator: LazyButAmbitious English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1977 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

After finishing the main body of the canoe, Lily retrieved the remaining branches from the mirror space and cut them into paddles.

Lily pushed hard, propelling the canoe into the water, and leaped atop its bobbing frame.

The boat was really narrow, impelling Lily to stand with one foot behind the other. As the canoe drifted offshore, she briefly looked back at the deserted island. Although she still harbored an extravagant hope that her sister remained or would eventually return to the island, Lily wasn’t a weak, impractical girl. Deep in her heart, she knew that Shimizu had already left. As for where she went, Lily had no idea.

Lily sighed helplessly as she paddled with forlorn strokes, heading into the deep waters of Lake Biwa.

She studied the position of the sun to roughly discern her direction and rowed towards the west.

When Lily reached a certain distance, the underside of the boat started to rattle. A bizarre undercurrent slugged the boat, forcing her to increase the strength of her paddles.

Lily also discovered that a slightly larger raft was rushing her position. The raft surfed the flow of the cold currents and sped towards her direction.

On the raft stood a tall, handsome man with a long tachi strapped to his back.

It was Sakanoue no Tamurakonoe!

“Sure enough, our meeting was inevitable!” The other party rode the current while Lily wanted to break through it. Lily wasn’t skilled in rowing so it would prove difficult to shake off the pursuit.

She held no intentions of running anyways.

“Hahahaha! What a surprise, Kagami Lily!” Tamurakonoe chuckled deeply, “You really are an incredible woman. It seems that you also discovered the secrets of the trees on that island! But as smart as you are, I bet you’re cursing your bad luck, right? I can’t believe that you ran into me like that!”

Lily was actually a little ashamed in her heart. In what way was she incredible? All she did was listen to her sister’s advice.

Sister Shimizu…

Lily recalled that Shimizu got knocked unconscious by Tamurakonoe on the deck of the ship. Perhaps the defeat contributed in stimulating Shimizu’s desire to leave and embark on her own path of advancement!

“Whether it’s my bad luck remains to be seen!”

“Hehehehe! Kagami Lily, did you know that your sister is also on the island. Maybe she has already died in the ancient tomb, but don’t worry, you’ll see her soon.”

“Tamurakonoe, I also have some news for you! That nasty little girl of yours is also on the island. Her soul got injured and it’s unknown whether she’s dead or alive.” Lily shot back, showing no signs of weakness.

“Oh? I’ll go find her after I kill you!”

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Regardless of Tamurakonoe’s approach, Lily didn’t want to stay trapped in the turbulent current. She angled the boat in preparation for impact while attempting to escape the cold currents.

Unfortunately, the strong current grappled to keep her in place, causing the canoe and raft to collide with each other.

The raft’s stability and momentum almost capsized Lily’s canoe. She quickly spread her legs to maximize full control over the canoe and pressed her weight near the stern. The canoe’s front promptly lifted and spun in a half-circle to diffuse the impact before splashing back into the water.

Under the influence of the cold current, the canoe and raft flowed in parallel to each other.

Tamurakonoe held his paddle in one hand and clasped the hilt of his sword with the other.

He was known as the fastest sword among samurai of the same level!

However, both he and Lily had no way of directly clashing swords while riding the surging current.

Whizz—!

Suddenly, a flash of light sparked from Tamurakonoe’s direction. His hand blurred, and before Lily could react, the blade was already cutting towards her with lightning speed!

Clang—!

Lily was shocked. If she hadn’t drawn Yasutsuna beforehand, she probably wouldn’t have been able to block the attack in time.

If they were battling on solid ground, Tamurakonoe could have executed follow-up attacks aimed at her weak points. Luckily, they were balancing on unsteady crafts which limited their attack range and flexibility, otherwise, she wouldn’t have gotten off so lightly.

Lily adopted a defensive stance and readied her katana to parry any strikes. No matter how fast her opponent was, it was useless in their current situation.

Although his sword was fast, Tamurakonoe couldn’t exert his full power. Another sword clash sent rippling waves through the water and widened the distance between the two.

Tamurakonoe had to paddle closer to Lily.

The nearer he got, the faster and fiercer his blade became, causing Lily to have palpitations.

I can’t react fast enough so I can only defend in advance. If we fought on land where there’s plenty of space to maneuver, things would’ve been more difficult for me!

Cold sweat trickled down Lily’s back. Unexpectedly, Tamurakonoe’s attacks were still so fearsome even when burdened with so many restrictions. If the carp spirit hadn’t disrupted their battle on that rainy night, it was hard to say whether she would have defeated Tamurakonoe or not.

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No wonder he managed to take down Sister Shimizu with only a bamboo knife. It wasn’t that she was weak, but Tamurakonoe was too strong!

Lily could understand why the proud Shimizu was underestimated and knocked unconscious with only a bamboo knife.

If one suffered such a disgraceful failure and encountered a rare opportunity to gain strength, would they refuse?

Sister Shimizu, you must train and return safely. Lily will avenge you for being humiliated by this man!

Lily firmed her mind. She aligned the canoe with the flow of the current and tilted it to one side, skidding in Tamurakonoe’s direction. Just as they were about to collide, Lily stepped onto the stern and launched the canoe into the air at high speed, causing it to fly over the raft.

“What?!” Tamurakonoe was taken by surprise.

Lily knelt on the canoe to steady herself and slashed at Tamurakonoe’s face.

This time, Tamurakonoe was the one to defend. With his speed, he was naturally able to block, but he was still surprised at Lily’s skill in maneuvering the canoe.

The two continued to clash with their swords, more or less equal in strength. Suddenly, the canoe swept past Tamurakone’s raft and rushed out of the cold current. He wanted to immediately chase but was slowed by the opposing current.

This Kagami Lily is really a genius. This should be the first time that she’s using a canoe, but she’s able to maneuver it as comfortably as walking. For her to demonstrate such control without the need for any special tools or artifacts is strange but very admirable! Tamurakonoe couldn’t help thinking as he watched Lily escape the cold currents.

He snapped out of thoughts and increased his efforts in paddling, but still couldn’t catch up. Realizing this, Tamurakonoe swung his tachi backward, rousing a wave of water that pushed his raft in pursuit of Lily.

After leaving the vicinity of the cold current, Lily had no intention of running away. She turned the bow of the boat and faced Tamurakonoe directly.

The canoe and raft floated only a few dozen meters apart.

Tamurakonoe didn’t expect that his battle with Lily would take place in a water environment where none of them excelled.

In this case, Kagami Lily holds the advantage since she’s better at adapting to changes, Tamurakonoe looked grim, I’m stronger than her, but if I’m encumbered by any external factors like the water currents again, wouldn’t I be risking the death of my illustrious name?

However, the two crafts were already facing each other and it was impossible to tuck tail and retreat.

The proud Tamurakonoe never lost faith that his sword would strike down Lily in the end!

Suddenly, waves surged in the distance, and large swathes of powerful demons emerged from the depths.

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They consisted of kappas, murlocs1, and other water demons, as well as a huge flying bird that circled above the sky.

In addition, two notable splashes occurred, revealing the majestic figures of the new arrivals. They were the carp spirit and Kyūbōzu!

The huge bird continued to circle about, boasting colorful feathers and a wingspan of more than 20 meters. It emitted an aura of the Permanence Stage and was surrounded by a flock of smaller bird demons.

The carp spirit pointed at Lily and roared, “Woman, hand over the treasure! Be my and Kyūbōzu’s slave and we might consider sparing you from death!”

“Mirror Girl, your luck ends here! Let’s see how you’ll escape from us by floating on that broken piece of wood!” Kyūbōzu wielded a heavy harpoon paired with a big net.

“Damn, why now…” Lily wasn’t even confident in a one-on-one fight against the carp spirit much less the cumulative strength of this many demons. Furthermore, the formidable Tamurakonoe blocked her path of retreat, cornering her in a hot spot.

“Hahahaha! Lily, even the gods want you to die! All you have to do is choose between dying by my hands or becoming a slave to those demons!” Tamurakonoe laughed.

“Tamurakonoe, it’s said that you have the fastest sword among experts of the same realm in the Western Land. Are you taking advantage of my precarious situation? Don’t you have any dignity as a samurai?”

“Kagami Lily, don’t you think it’s naive to lecture me about dignity in this situation?! Hahahaha…”

The group of strange birds flew past the kappas and other water monsters, ignored Lily, and rushed towards Tamurakonoe2.

“It’s you! You are the human male that killed my brother. Today, I will avenge my brother!”

Tamurakone’s laughter instantly muted. This Permanence Stage archdemon seemed to be the legendary leader of the bird demons on Lake Biwa! Unexpectedly, he had killed the brother of this archdemon.

“Pffft~” Although he was an enemy, Lily couldn’t help but chuckle, “It looks like your luck isn’t much better than mine!”

“Mirror Girl, don’t gloat too soon. Your fate is also sealed!” Tamurakonoe clenched his teeth.

However, pressured by the flock of flying birds, droplets of sweat couldn’t help but form on his forehead. At this moment, Tamurakonoe would rather work together with Lily than aid in her death. After she was dealt with, the demons would most likely set their sights on him. The gain simply wasn’t worth the loss.

“Kagami Lily, you are also a famous female warrior of the Eastern Land. Do you dare to agree on a decisive sword duel to the death with me?” Tamurakonoe shouted to Lily.

“What’s this duel you’re talking about?” Lily didn’t want to get caught up in this chaotic battle. Even if she could kill Tamurakonoe in the chaos, the remaining demons would besiege and overpower her.

“Today, it would be difficult to showcase our true level of swordsmanship by fighting on water. We will call a truce and deal with the enemy demons separately. There is a small island called Ryu Island near the west bank of Lake Biwa; let’s meet there fifteen days later. If you make it there alive, we’ll use it as our battleground to fight to the death, how about it?”

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“Ryu Island near the west bank of Lake Biwa? Okay, but will the duel be one-on-one?” Lily asked.

“Of course! Regardless of whether you win or lose this battle, our Maro dojo will no longer prevent you from entering Heian-kyō. However, if you end up dying by my sword, you have no one to blame but yourself. If you have any honor as a samurai, don’t shy away from battle!”

Lily’s long hair fluttered in the lake breeze, the overwhelming battalion of demons serving as her backdrop.

She calmly nodded, “I will definitely go to Ryu Island in fifteen days.”



References

  1. Robinxen: Never thought I’d see these here.
  2. lol, i was wondering why he felt so secure surrounded by a bunch of demons

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