|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 3133 characters|
|Translator: LazyButAmbitious||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1961 words|
Tomoe Gozen’s long hair drifted in the wind as she glared eastward with bitter hatred and sadness. A hint of powerlessness shadowed her face, but she soon turned to Lily, “Girl, you going to Heian-kyō, right?”
“Alas, how many heroes and talented warriors have made their graves in Heian-kyō…”
“Eh? But isn’t Heian-kyō the capital of the whole world? Why is it so dangerous?”
“Sometimes, the real danger doesn’t lie in the formidable enemies in front of you.” Tomoe Gozen looked at Lily as if seeing her younger self. Admittedly, Lily was taller and more attractive than her past self, but beauty wouldn’t provide much protection in a place like Heian-kyō— perhaps it would even deepen the danger.
“Lily will remember Madam’s teachings… By the way, there is one more thing Lily would like to ask.”
“I have to go to Ryu Island before heading to Heian-kyō. I wonder if Madam can point Lily in the right direction?”
“Ryu Island? It seems to be an uninhabited island. If I remember correctly, it should be in that direction, about an hour away.” Tomoe Gozen pointed to the vast expanse of the lake behind her.
“Thank you for your advice, Madam.” Lily bowed respectfully.
“I’m leaving; do take care of yourself. Remember, if you and Minamoto no Yoritomo stand opposite each other one day, I will help you!”
Tomoe Gozen tugged the reins, causing the eerie warhorse to stand upright on its hind legs and sputter a resounding neigh. As it trod the lake, powerful spiritual energy effused from its hooves and seemed to compress the water surface. A vacuum-like zone was formed and vigorous waves thrashed about.
Lily gazed at the beautiful, departing back of Tomoe Gozen as her steed galloped into the distance. Her ample buttocks were almost bare, and both sides of her thighs were covered by a dark green skirt armor inlaid with precious gems1.
The horse’s speed was many folds faster than Lord Kato’s ship at full power, leaving behind a gust of wind that wildly blew Lily’s hair and skirt.
“Lady Tomoe…” Lily looked at the trail of roiling waves on the lake, her heart filled with emotion.
Such a beautiful and powerful woman could only wander the desolate lake bordering the east and west while tormented by hatred.
That Tomoe Gozen is leagues stronger than myself, and I can’t grasp her exact realm at all. When I arrive at Heian-kyō, I have to be careful.
Half a day passed, but Lily didn’t encounter any form of land in the direction specified by Tomoe Gozen, only endless water.
She wasn’t worried, though. There was no need for Tomoe Gozen to deceive her for such a trivial thing.
“Hmm, perhaps the one-hour journey mentioned by Tomoe Gozen only applies when traveling at her spirit horse’s speed. In my case…it will take some time before I reach the island.”
Lily silently remembered the direction Tomoe Gozen pointed out, hoping not to get lost along the way.
She couldn’t help thinking of her Sister Uesugi at this time as the two women left similar impressions on her. They were both valiant female samurai who rode staunch mounts and possessed admirable strength.
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Her smile was soon replaced by worry, Sister Uesugi, Sister Shimizu, where are you all now? Although Lily has to travel to Heian-kyō alone, I will definitely find you…
A fast ship with red decorations headed for Ryu Island.
At this time, a considerable number of samurai and various other spectators had gathered on the island.
“Look, that’s the ship of the Maro Dojo!”
The people waiting on the island couldn’t help staring at the impressive ship.
The ship slowly lurched onto the shore, and two samurai in red and white coats hopped onto the deck and laid a wooden plank.
Not long after, a tall and elegant young man with a long tachi strapped to his back sauntered out of the cabin.
Behind him, a petite girl in a flowery dress2 and a tall masked man followed.
“They’re coming!” Someone in the crowd would yell from time to time.
“The one walking in front— the tallest man carrying the long sword is Sakanoue no Tamuramura, the only son of Master Tamuramaro!”
“They call him Swallow Counter3. It is said that he used his tachi, that is as long as a clothesline, to cut the ghost swallow mid-flight!”
“The ghost swallow is extremely fast, like a phantom. When it flies, one can barely catch a glimpse of it. It goes around pecking at the eyes of children, and even local samurai are unable to rid it. By the time it was discovered, the ghost swallow had already attacked numerous children and flew away; there was no way to stop it at all. It’s a very hated demon in the suburbs of Heian-kyō!”
“However, even with the ghost swallow’s incredible speed, that man was actually able to cut it with such a long sword. Ah, he is truly worthy of being the sword master’s only son!”
“Lord Tamurakonoe is young and talented. He’s also pretty famous among the younger generation of the annihilation dojo!”
Tamurakonoe became the focus of everyone’s attention as he disembarked from the ship.
Listening to the feverous discussion of the crowd and basking in their gazes, he couldn’t help feeling a little proud.
“Hmph, this is the effect I want. In this battle, not only will I kill the Mirror Girl, but I will also let those in the annihilation dojo know my, Tamurakonoe’s, strength! If they think that I am a person who hides under my father’s halo, they’re sorely mistaken!” Tamurakonoe said in his heart.
At this moment, far from Tamurakonoe’s group, there were some tall, uniformly dressed samurai that exuded extraordinary auras.
These samurai seemed to be divided into two groups, one with long blue and white clothes and the other with deep navy blue robes, which looked extremely fierce.
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The head of the first group was a teenager with short, pearly hair. This teenager wasn’t tall, about 1.6 meters in height. His neatly combed hair wrapped around his cheeks like a girl, and at the back of his head, his small ponytail was clipped by a golden hairpin. The young man’s big amber eyes were lined with clear eyebrows, reminiscent of a girl’s piquant charm. Two cyan bands were tied to his waist, and under his long crossed sleeves, he hid an exquisite short sword interlaced with golden patterns. He silently watched Tamurakonoe from a distance.
Next to the young man was a very tall, dark-skinned man with a bald head who stood like a door panel. He was wearing the same uniform as the teenager, but they were worlds apart. His ugly, masculine face and crude bearing sharply contrasted the teenager’s delicate appearance.
The dark-skinned man leaned forward and whispered in the boy’s ears, “Young Master, it looks like Tamurakonoe wants to hog all the limelight this time. What Eastern land genius? He’s probably just a boorish and reckless mountain man. Where’s the honor in fighting such an opponent?!”
“Tenkaiji, don’t think that the people of Eastern land are all savages. You must know that true legendary samurai like Minamoto no Yoshitsune and Kiso Yoshinaka are also from the east. There are a lot of people here so you should pay attention to your words.” The young man’s voice was crisp— a bit feminine, but his aura brimmed with arrogance.
“Young Master is right, but Minamoto no Yoshitsune is a figure immortalized by our samurai as the god of war! He was born in Heian-kyō and learned martial arts in a temple on the outskirts of the capital. It is said that Minamoto no Yoshitsune found a big Hachiman statue in the deep mountains which was extremely magical. After Yoshitsune’s daily comprehension, he achieved an extraordinary realm of strength! How can we compare the rough Kanto people to those born and raised in Kansai?” Tenkaiji replied.
“Tenkaiji, Kanto samurai may be wild, but they are brave and unyielding. They say that there is a force of Mikawa samurai that is extremely brave, but unfortunately, their secret techniques are very backward and their strength lags too far behind Kansai samurai. Hey, even if it’s the number one genius of the Kanto region, I’m afraid that this battle will end tragically. No matter how talented this genius is, he is fated to be defeated without any good secret methods or sword techniques. What a pity… Tenkaiji, I have little interest in watching this battle; let’s go back.”
“Ah, Young Master, let’s just take a quick look! Even if you already know the outcome of the duel, you might learn something from watching Tamurakonoe’s swordsmanship. After all, the Heian-kyō festival is about to begin.” Tenkaiji hurriedly discouraged.
Among the group of samurai in navy blue robes, there was a tall man4 with small eyes and brown hair which was tucked into a bun at the back of his head. He had a hawk nose, pale skin, and gave people a very cold and dangerous feeling. This man had a long and sturdy dark gold tachi on his waist. The arch of the sword seemed much smaller than average swords, almost looking like a straight blade.
“Master Makoto, Tamurakonoe looks really proud today.” A big-breasted woman beside the tall man commented. She had a purplish-red slanted ponytail and her lapel was unusually wide open, revealing her deep cleavage.
“Tamurakonoe came to this place before the Heian-kyō festival, apparently as a demonstration of our Sinless Domain’s skill and power. I would like to see the current level of the top geniuses of Eastern land, with whom we have had little contact for many years.” The sinister-looking Makoto Oniwa spoke hoarsely.
When Tamurakonoe walked ashore, it roused the screams of many noble women and young ladies hailing from rich backgrounds who came from Heian-kyō to watch the battle.
Tamurakonoe kept walking as if he didn’t care and his long robes cooly fluttered past, causing the bodies of many women to turn soft.
However, he was secretly pleased by the showers of admiration.
“Hmph, a bunch of f̲u̲c̲k̲i̲n̲g b̲i̲t̲c̲h̲e̲s̲!” Ui who walked beside Tamurakonoe was the target of many unprovoked envious eyes. She couldn’t help but whisper, “You vile fanatics are far worse than that big-breasted woman. You dare to be jealous of me? Soon, you’ll feel what true despair is and understand what it means to be sexy but not lewd; gorgeous but not vulgar.”
Tamurakonoe didn’t say much and walked directly into the spacious tent occupied by the Maro Dojo which was enclosed high up on the island.
“Tamurakonoe, you’re here!” His grey-haired uncle was sitting in the formation with a resolute countenance.
“Uncle!” Tamurakonoe respectfully greeted back. He then turned to the other people around him, “How long until the day of the duel?”
“Less than two days, Lord.”
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Tamuramura asked with a bit of doubt, “Tamurakonoe, that Eastern samurai will definitely come, right?”
“Eastern samurai value faith and honor very much; she will definitely come on time! However, whether she comes or not, the result will be the same, Uncle.” Tamurakonoe smirked coldly.
“Hahahaha, well said! How can those rabid eastern barbarians compare with the swordplay of our Maro Dojo? Your father simply regarded this competition as a guaranteed victory with no suspense and didn’t even bother to come. The Heian-kyō festival in early spring will be the stage for you to really show off your skills!”
“Well, that’s natural.” Tamurakonoe nodded, a hint of arrogance blooming between his brows.
“Tamurakonoe, I’m glad you’re so confident. Brother should be relieved, eh?” Tamuramura seemed to realize something. He paused and backtracked, “Wait, did you just say ‘she’?”
- Robinxen: Was this really necessary.
- Robinxen: I WILL ADOPT HER.
- Robinxen: Pfffffffff. Nasu, are you the author?
- LazyButAmbitious: damn, everybody is described as tall these days
Robinxen: Starting to think the author is just short.
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