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Chapter 88 – Samurai Morality

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3067 characters
Translator: LazyButAmbitious English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1851 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

The representative of the dignified annihilation dojo and the fastest sword among the younger generation, Sakanoue no Tamurakonoe, had died.

The spectating crowd fell into a long silence.

His breath vanished— anyone with some degree of strength didn’t need to inspect his body to confirm. This life and death duel was concluded. Although there wasn’t a fixed rule that the losing party must die, in case of death or injury, the victor was absolved of any responsibility. No grievances should be pursued at the end of this duel; this was agreed upon by both parties before the battle!

The scene just now happened too quickly. Both fighters were reigning figures in their respective places. Tamurakonoe, in particular, was a fount of countless legends and was classified as a genius by the samurai community.

But…in an instant, this genius fell

The section occupied by the Maro Dojo was silent; they were all speechless. Even the usually casual Ui was shocked, staring blankly at Tamurakonoe lying in a pool of blood.

At this moment, the two other powerful groups consisting of the blue and white-clothed samurai and the navy blue samurai also exhibited subtle yet shocked emotions.

The girl-like young samurai gawked at Lily, full of surprise and disbelief.

“Why? Just now, I clearly felt that Tamurakonoe overwhelmed this woman in all aspects. How did she manage to pull off that final strike? Tamurakonoe’s sword was just a hair’s breadth away from hitting her vitals, so how did she manage to make a calm judgment in that perilous situation?”

“Also, how did she predict the trajectory of his attack? Tamurakonoe’s sword moved much faster than his past attacks, even I might not be able to block it. How did this Eastern female samurai dodge it? Can she accurately see Tamurakonoe’s swordsmanship, or was it good luck? Impossible, luck can only take you so far. Isn’t it self-comforting to chalk it up to luck?”

The youth tried hard to replay the scene in his head, but he couldn’t see how Lily was able to avoid the attack, let alone swing her sword without any interruption or disturbance in her rhythm. Her sword was slower than Tamurakonoe’s, but this gave her enough space to launch a counterstrike.

If both their swords were swung at matching speeds, their blades would have most definitely collided. Alternatively, there was a chance that the two sides would have hit each other. Killing the fastest sword among samurai below the Permanence Stage with a relatively slower blade was an incredible feat.

“This woman…seems capable of arousing my attention!” The pretty boy inwardly evaluated, “But…she is also really beautiful and tall…”

Not far away, Makoto Oniwa and his female assistant were unable to speak for a while.

Oniwa’s grim gaze swept over Lily, “This woman houses a remarkable power in her body. Most samurai risk their lives on a daily basis, but you rarely see a samurai with such a strong desire to live. She seems to crave life yet has no fear of death. Why do these two contradictory feelings exist in a single body?”

“Master Makoto, to think that Tamurakonoe would die like this,” The woman beside him said, “Anyway, doesn’t this mean one less opponent for Milord in the upcoming Heian-kyō festival?”

“No, I feel that Tamurakonoe’s death will make this once every ten years festival even more strange and exciting.” Oniwa’s pale face revealed a ghastly smile.

At this time, Fujiwara no Kazuo looked around, a little flustered. Although he lacked powerful strength, he wasn’t an ordinary person. He retained the physique of a middle-stage sword master and possessed strength rivaling an upper elementary stage onmyoji. Naturally, he could confirm Tamurakonoe’s death.

In the current state of shock and disbelief, he should be the one to step up and say something. He was invited by the Maro Dojo to witness and host the duel, but their young master was the one who died in the end. What should he say?

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Although Fujiwara no Kazuo had a high status, he had to give these three dojos some face. After all, the current Heian Dynasty was rampant with demons and needed to rely on these samurai. The status of samurai was comparable to those in the Heian era in Lily’s previous world. Many public officials and nobles befriended powerful samurai and dojos to enrich their power.

However, the samurai world had its own rules. A bigwig like Fujiwara no Kazuo understood that if he acted partially now, he would be treated with hostility by the whole samurai world. Moreover, it was meaningless to favor a dead person.

He stepped forward and shouted with a slightly awkward, high-pitched voice, “Ah, this life and death duel is concluded. Kagami Lily from Eastern Land – wins!”

No one cheered.

It wasn’t that the samurai didn’t agree with Lily’s victory or felt that her performance was lackluster, but this matter was a really big deal.

Although a decisive sword duel usually ended without much open animosity, the loser wasn’t an ordinary person— he was the only son of Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, the Master of Western Swordplay!

Who would dare to applaud?! That was akin to slapping the face of the Maro Dojo or rubbing salt in their wound.

Everyone felt the seriousness of the situation and was too scared to speak.

Even the women who came to cheer for Tamurakonoe were hushed into silence.

The fatal sword strike that ended his life was so fast they could barely see it. Their brains lagged for a while as if trying to comprehend this unexpected reality.

“Eh…agh…ahhh-!!!” A female admirer’s trembling whimpers soon erupted into a full-blown scream which then spread to the surrounding girls, leading to a cacophony of cries.

The screams made Lily’s heart even more uncomfortable.

Although Tamurakonoe had chased her relentlessly, he always insisted on fighting her one-on-one without using any underhanded tricks; she considered him a true man in this respect.

Lily put away her katana, clasped her hands, and silently prayed for the safe transcendence of Tamurakonoe’s soul.

Of course, Lily wasn’t familiar with the Buddhist scriptures. She only chanted a sincere prayer in her heart.

Victory was already decided and Lily felt no need to stay here any longer. After giving the spectators on the island an indifferent look, she turned to leave, her hair fluttering in the lake breeze.

“Stop!” Sakanoue no Tamuramura suddenly stepped forward and barked, “You want to leave?”

Lily halted her movements and turned to look at the gray-haired samurai. The aura emanating from his presence was far heavier than that of Tamurakonoe!

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With a single gesture, a dozen samurai from the Maro Dojo surrounded Lily.

“What is the meaning of this?” Lily asked coldly.

“Hmph! Kagami Lily, you killed Lord Tamuramaro’s only son. Although it was in a life and death duel, this matter cannot be resolved so simply without meeting Lord Tamuramaro face to face! Since I’m here, do you think I’ll allow you to leave after seeing my nephew get hacked to death?!”

Lily frowned slightly, “Lord Tamuramura, although Lily doesn’t know much about Western land, you should be an elder of the Western dojo, right? This was a decisive sword duel between me and Tamurakonoe, and no matter the outcome, there should be no complaints. What is the reason for surrounding me and trapping me from leaving? Do you samurai of Western land see no value in samurai morality and righteousness?

Tamuramura wrinkled his brows and spoke with a murderous face, “Kagami Lily, we may value morality, but you didn’t kill any random person. You killed the only son of Sakanoue no Tamuramaro! Who is Lord Tamuramaro? He’s the master of swordplay who tops all Western samurai. Even the Emperor has to give Lord Tamuramaro face. You, a small Eastern b̲i̲t̲c̲h̲, killed his most beloved only son. This is no different from stepping on Lord Tamuramaro’s reputation and severing the heir to the dojo! Do you still want to just leave? Of course, we acknowledge that this was a duel to the death so we won’t avenge Tamurakonoe. We only ask you to come back to the dojo with us and talk to Lord Tamuramaro in person!”

Tamuramura, as well as Kuichidera, Ui, and a few other high-ranking samurai from the Maro dojo, all exuded a tremendous murderous aura.

Come back to the dojo to ‘talk’ and resolve the matter? Only a ghost would believe such a travesty!

Lily didn’t know about the Nara ancient domain or the annihilation dojo of the Sinless Domain. However, would she still have a way to survive if she went to such a desolate-sounding place together with them?

The other party could use insidious means to kill her and then push away all the blame. On the surface, it wouldn’t be regarded as subverting the life and death agreement of the duel.

Lily wasn’t stupid.

The Maro Dojo was the opponent’s lair; she absolutely couldn’t go with them.

“Lord Tamuramura, Tamurakonoe was indeed an amazing samurai. If I had hesitated even a little bit, I might’ve been the one who died. Although this was a life and death duel, I do not want to kill anyone. I didn’t have the ability to defeat him while ensuring that my blade wouldn’t take his life. Since you wanted me to talk with Lord Tamuramaro, just bring those words to him. Lily still has important things to do so I really can’t accompany you, goodbye!” Lily explained and turned to leave again.

However, the samurai in her way did not move.

“Please move aside.” Lily lowered her head and said. She also fought with her life on the line to attain victory. They clearly stated that retaliation against the winner was prohibited, yet they were being so aggressive. Lily’s heart surged with anger, leaking killing intent.

“Kagami Lily, you can save your nice words for when you meet Lord Tamuramaro in person! Otherwise, don’t even think of stepping one foot off this island!” Tamuramura’s expression was fierce and implacable.

Lily’s frown deepened, and her eyes were icy-cold. For a time, the atmosphere was suffocating.

“Sigh, what does it mean to you— what does it mean to be one of the three major dojos in the Sinless Domain?” The girl-like boy interceded. Although his voice sounded a bit feminine, his confident demeanor was enough to deter any disdainful gazes

The beautiful young man walked up from his group of samurai, followed by the sturdy dark-skinned man.

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He looked at the samurai surrounding Lily and then at Tamuramura, “Our Western dojos embody courtesy and elegance, but we also adhere to our word and integrity. Accepting defeat without complaint in life and death duels is the iron rule of the way of the samurai. Tamurakonoe has killed many opponents in life and death duels and so became famous in Kansai, but did anyone find trouble with him afterward? Now that it’s one of your people who died, are you going to make things difficult for the winner? Is your dojo that bad of a loser?”


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