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Chapter 87 – The Fastest Sword (Part 2)

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3401 characters
Translator: LazyButAmbitious English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 2053 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

The setting sun formed a beautiful ribbon of light as it gradually fell and merged with the vast horizon along the lake. The bottom of the rolling clouds glowed with golden light, resembling a swarm of demons observing the competition from above.

Who would have thought that the so-called number one genius of Eastern land was such a sexy and beautiful woman?

The huge carp returned to the lake and plunged into the deep water. Lily purposefully controlled the carp spirit to do so. She didn’t want too many people to know that it was only a painting when it eventually disappeared.

The crowd’s astonishment steadily subsided.

Fujiwara no Kazuo spoke, “In this life and death duel, artifacts, shikigami, and other treasures other than swords are disallowed. No matter what happens, both parties shall not pursue any enmity afterward! Are you two ready?”

“I have been ready for many hours,” Tamurakonoe stated coldly.

Lily looked at Fujiwara no Kazuo and nodded.

“Then, this duel between Sakanoue no Tamurakonoe and Kagami Lily officially…begins!”

The minister’s voice echoed across Ryu Island, causing everyone to gradually quiet down. Soon, only the swashes of the lake could be heard as it moved with the tide.

Tamurakonoe wore a pure white robe and stared at Lily with a pair of eagle eyes adorned with heterochromatic eyeshadows. A murderous aura brewed behind his calm facade.

Lily brooded over her situation, aware that Tamurakonoe held immense confidence in the speed of his sword. Because of the unstable setting when they battled on Lake Biwa, both of their actions were severely limited. Back then, she just had to block her opponent’s attack paths ahead of time, but now that they were on an open beach, anything could happen.

Tamurakonoe’s sword is indeed much faster than mine. What should I do?

Although Lily had been thinking about this issue during her journey, she was unable to formulate any surefire countermeasures.

This was an extraordinary opponent. Lily’s speed usually trumped her enemies as long as their level of strength ranged within her own, but Tamurakonoe was different. They were roughly on par in terms of strength, so whoever struck the first fatal blow would die. However, not only was Tamurakonoe slightly stronger than her, but his sword was much faster!

In addition, his tachi boasted a longer blade than her katana. If both sides swung their swords at the same time, Lily would make contact first. Unfortunately, whether or not she managed to score a substantial hit, she would suffer in the end.

Tamurakonoe’s slashes were extremely accurate, and would certainly target her weak points. The best outcome in such a scenario would be to die with her opponent, which was absolutely unacceptable.

She couldn’t afford to die, nor was there a reason to perish together. However, without steeling herself to die, this duel could not be won.

In this sword duel, tools other than swords weren’t permitted. Since everyone was watching in plain view, Lily couldn’t do something as brazen as summoning the cat demon to kill Tamurakonoe. If she still had the Blood Spirit Magatama, perhaps she could beckon the full strength of Kagura to kill everyone on the island1. It would have been better not to come if she resorted to such an option.

Still, Lily refused to tolerate her current situation.

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In this life and death duel, either Lily died or Tamurakonoe died.

Kneel down and admit defeat? This thought didn’t even cross her mind.

On the path to awakening her senior sister, Lily had a feeling that greater danger and challenges lay ahead. Once she conceded here, how would she muster the courage to face future battles that offered no room for retreat?

How can I be so cowardly? Win, I have to win!

Senior Sister, Sister Uesugi, and Sister Shimizu were all waiting for her— she must win!

Tamurakonoe may also have a reason why he needed to win, but there could only be one victor in the end!

This was the cruelty of the samurai world.

Who wanted to suffer humiliation under the sword of their enemies?

Who didn’t have a reason to fight? Who didn’t have a reason why they couldn’t lose?

Regrettably, perhaps in the next instant, someone had to bear defeat.

Lily’s chest began to visibly undulate, clear for a lot of people to see. Right now, she lacked confidence in her abilities.

“This Eastern woman is going to lose.” Makoto Oniwa, the tall and thin samurai with greying brown hair said with a gloomy gaze.

“What’s going on? This elder sister looked so imposing and powerful just a while ago. Harboring hesitation in her heart at this time is a big taboo.” The girl-like young samurai dimly said.

Among the spectating samurai, there were quite a few with remarkable strength. They could perceive the doubt in Lily’s heart, causing them to feel a bit complicated. Since she was an Eastern samurai, they should wish for her to lose. However, when they thought of such a beautiful woman being chopped to pieces by Tamurakonoe, they couldn’t help but feel regretful.

Tamuramura, Kuichidera, Ui, and the others also discovered the changes in Lily’s mood which tilted their perspective on the battle.

“Tamurakonoe will win for sure!” Tamuramura whispered to Fujiwara no Kazuo who stood beside him.

Although Fujiwara no Kazuzo was an official of the imperial court, his level of strength wasn’t high so he didn’t understand the situation. He glanced at Tamuramura with a little surprise. Seeing Tamuramura’s confident expression, he nodded in agreement, somewhat wistful as he looked at Lily.

Silence— a long silence, but Lily’s nervousness wasn’t alleviated in the slightest. Even ordinary women could recognize Lily’s tense state, much to their delight2.

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“Hmph, afraid? If she wasn’t confident, why did she bother in the first place?”

“This samurai sister…” Miko Yanagi Kyori looked at Lily anxiously as she naturally hoped for Lily to win. Her master3, the other miko, also wore a grave expression, though she didn’t say anything.

“What’s wrong with me?” For the first time, Lily couldn’t find an appropriate answer. Perhaps Tamurakonoe wasn’t the strongest opponent she had met, but he was the one who restrained her the most!

“I’m scared? I can’t find a way to win; I can’t find a way to beat a samurai who’s faster than me? If so, why did I come? Senior Sister…what should I do?”

“How am I supposed to deal with Tamurakonoe…?”

Lily fidgeted more and more. She felt that Tamurakonoe had long seen through her brittle defenses, and would rush over at any moment to end it all.

“No, wait, wait a little longer, wait a little longer. I will definitely be able to come up with something. I will definitely…”

Suddenly, the wind blowing from the lake seemed to stop, and Tamurakonoe fuzzed into a white swallow that slew towards Lily!

It was his sharp aura that counteracted the blowing and forced the air into a standstill!

Lily, who was still lost in thought, was caught off guard!

Tamurakonoe was so fast that he reached Lily in a flash and unleashed a deadly cut. It was too late to think!

In this instant, Lily felt the threat of death breathing down her neck.

Tamurakonoe’s monstrous killing intent seemed to transform into an unstoppable cold blade that slashed into her body, subjecting her to heart-wrenching pain!

“Live!”

The plaintive and gentle final prayer of her senior sister resonated in Lily’s heart.

Lily’s entire body erupted with a powerful battle intent and an unparalleled desire to survive awakened her shivering senses!

“Yah…!” Lily let out a high-pitched yell and shifted into a crimson phantom, breaking into a frantic dash despite her disadvantage. She charged at Tamurakonoe with all her might.

What terrible strength!

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Anyone with even a smidgeon of spiritual awareness could sense the quiet suppression of spiritual energy in the windless air.

“This battle will be decided in one slash!” Many warriors looked at the two colliding figures as if they were red and white meteors. Their thoughts all unified into one conclusion.

It wasn’t right to say that they had seen through this battle. It was better to say that the potent killing intent and obsession of the two young geniuses were directly imprinted on their souls, declaring the two’s determination!

The feeling was fleeting— extremely fast!

Lily and Tamurakonoe clashed almost instantly and both of them struck their swords at the same time!

Tamurakonoe’s eyes gleamed like those of a fierce eagle and his predator-like gaze fell on the vital point of his prey— Lily’s spiritual palace. His sword surpassed the speed and power of any single swing he had made in his entire life. The stimulation of life and death propelled Tamurakonoe’s attack to new heights and his sword moved much faster than Lily’s!

Bzzzt—!

Like a white linear flash, Tamurakonoe’s long tachi slashed at Lily, whose sword had just been lifted before the blade descended.

At the last step before they made contact, Lily turned her feet slightly. Her figure moved like that of a celestial maiden, ethereal and inviolable, as she jumped lightly. Lily’s figure floated like an illusion, seemingly sending her body towards Tamurakonoe’s merciless blade, but the small turn of her ankle caused her to avoid the monstrous killing intent.

Lily remained airborne, slightly angling to the side of Tamurakonoe’s stagnating approach. Immediately, she cut down with all the speed she could gather.

Whoosh—! A stunning scarlet light graced with a hint of silvery moonlight flitted by.

The crimson sword light bloomed just after Tamurakonoe’s lightning straight blade aura had almost finished its course.

Lily landed and paused one step past Tamurakonoe’s side.

His posture was wide open, standing quietly on his long legs.

Both sides halted in an end pose after swinging their swords with full force, and for a while, the scene seemed to be frozen in time.

Thousands of spectators on Ryu Island were silent as if holding their breaths.

One second…
Two seconds…
Three seconds…

A long-haired female samurai in red and a white-robed samurai titled as the fastest sword in Western land remained motionless. Except for the two fighters, no one knew the outcome of the duel at this moment.

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Ch-ch-! The red kimono covering Lily’s front body split open from her shoulders all the way to her skirt, revealing much of her chest and delicate skin.

However, except for the blush on her face, the exposed parts of her body were snow-white and flawless, without any trace of harm

Pfft—!!!

A fountain of blood spurted from Tamurakonoe’s chest, staining his white clothes. People’s hearts jumped and their jaws dropped. It was difficult to imagine that a person could instantly lose so much blood as if their whole body was squeezed dry all at once.

Tamurakonoe’s sharp eyes quivered, highlighted by his multi-colored eyeshadows. He turned his handsome face to glance incredulously at the female samurai in torn clothes, “Why…this is impossible…”

As his eyes rolled over and lost their brilliance, he staggered for a while before collapsing to the ground.

Lily only regained her clarity when she heard the thud. She looked at Tamurakonoe with some pity and muttered in her heart, “Tamurakonoe, you are indeed a genius. You lost to me, not because your swordsmanship was not as good as mine, but because your desire to survive was incomparable to mine. You are only fighting for yourself while my life is burdened by many people. Among these people, the least important person is myself.”

The moment when Tamurakonoe launched his surprise attack, Lily was wholly unprepared. The threat of death roused her desire to live and heightened her senses towards the perceptible killing intent of the approaching Tamurakonoe.

The moment Tamurakonoe closed the gap, Lily’s keen senses had already determined the attack trajectory leaked by his killing intent. Using the extremely agile Lunar Blossom Dance Steps, she adjusted her body to avoid Tamurakonoe’s sword in a fraction of a second. Maybe because he was too confident in the speed of his sword, he never thought about defending. His confidence wasn’t unfounded, however, as Lily barely eked out a victory. At the same time when Tamurakonoe swung his sword, Lily directed her own slash through his heart, destroying the spirit jade within.



References

  1. LazyButAmbitious: how brutal
  2. LazyButAmbitious: Silva, I can’t do this anymore. My heart can’t take this second-hand embarassment.
    Silva: Nani
  3. LazyButAmbitious: really, I thought they were sisters?

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