Chapter 94 – The Dark Unknown Path

Leave a comment



Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3531 characters
Translator: Aoi English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 2146 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

On the lake shimmering with beautiful moonlight, a huge carp with half its body submerged in the water swam from the east.

Lily was dressed in red and holding a sakura parasol, her long hair fluttering behind her graceful figure.

As she looked ahead, the dusky horizon seemed to gradually approach, and hazy mist was faintly visible between the silhouettes of mountains and trees.

“Up ahead is Yamashiro Province. I have gone through numerous dangers and uncertainties, but I’m finally about to reach Kansai.” Lily’s open neckline revealed a triangle of whiteness under the moon, and the gentle waves added a bit of sentiment.

“Nanako, the situation in Yamashiro Province is mysterious and unclear so you should go back to the mirror space for now,” Lily said to Nanako who was holding her free hand. As for Kagura, she had gone into slumber for some time now.

“Okay, Master. If there is a problem, I’ll wake up Kagura,” Nanako replied, “Master when we arrive in Heian-kyō, can you take me out to play?”

“Mm-hmm, once I confirm that there is no danger, I will take you shopping in Heian-kyō. After all, it’s the largest and most prosperous capital in the Heian Dynasty.”

Nanako returned to the mirror. Since the carp hadn’t exhausted its spiritual energy, Lily kept riding it towards her destination. It was ten times more convenient and faster than her small canoe.

With such a huge carp as a ride, no water demon would dare to make trouble.

The demons hidden in the lake spied from a distance, terror and awe evident in their eyes. They didn’t have the guts to provoke a woman capable enough to mount the giant carp.

The carp swam ashore at the foot of a mountain forest piked with strange peaks and rocks. Lily lightly jumped and was ferried over to a stone by her spiritual energy, after which, the carp returned to the picture scroll.

Lily walked further up the shore where ancient trees towered overhead and oddly-shaped rocks protruded from the ground. Green fog drifted about the mountains and forests, and the depths of the large canopies in the distance were stained with a peculiar, cold blue color.

In the night overcast by the green forest, the ancient path was winding and the air seemed turbid with the smell of wild grass, as if the perennial holly trees were ushering in the arrival of early spring.

Lily observed the vast mountains and forests that resembled landscape paintings, relishing their winsome charm.

“This entire place is diffused with demonic auras…”

Lily held the sakura parasol and trudged forward with careful steps. There was a wide dirt path that trailed into the hilly mountains. It was uncertain whether the road was made by humans or demons. Among some of the trees, stone lanterns flickering with ghostly light could be seen. Lily approached one of the quaint stone lanterns covered with moss. Examining it up close, the lantern seemed condensed with eldritch and soul energy which served as fuel for the ghostly flames at night.

Perhaps this green-blue mist came about because of these strange flames, Lily guessed.

A warm light shone in the distance. Although Lily had superb strength, it was natural for her to feel uneasy when traversing a bizarre path by herself. She chose not to go to Port Otsu because she feared someone would ambush her. In addition, she wanted to avoid any troubles that would arise since she beat up the son of Fujiwara no Munekazu, the Lord of Port Otsu. After all, Lily still needed to meet Fujiwara no Ayaka so it was better not to offend the Fujiwara Clan again.

Lily twisted her waist and walked towards the warm light. When she came within viewing distance of the light source, she stopped with a look of surprise on her face.

(This chapter is provided to you by Re:Library)

(Please visit Re:Library to show the translators your appreciation and stop supporting the content thief!)

Under an old big tree, an orange-furred fox garbed in brown cloth was standing behind a wooden cart fashioned into a food stall and selling delicious-looking Oden1.

The light came from a lantern hung above the food stall which had the character ‘boil’ (煮) written on it.

“A fox is selling Oden?” Lily wondered if she was really in Kansai, or was this some kind of demonic spirit world?

But, to be honest, Lily had journeyed across Lake Biwa for a long time. She hadn’t eaten a proper meal in a while so she was unable to resist the temptation of the steaming hot Oden and its tantalizing fragrance.

“That fox looks fluffy and kinda cute. It shouldn’t be an evil creature.” Lily persuaded herself and hid behind a big tree to put away her sakura parasol. She then approached the stall with soft steps.

“Miss, would you like some Oden?” The fox saw Lily coming over and asked with squinted eyes. Its eyes remained in that state, never opening up fully.

“This…” Lily hesitated, but the simmering Oden continued to tickle her nose.
“Fox Oden is very delicious. One can be considered lucky for eating it.” The fox said.
“Well then, please give me a bowl.”
“Then I’ll help the young miss with a serving, okay?”
“Hmm.” Lily smiled and nodded.
While sharing the Oden, the fox inquired, “Little Miss, are you also a demon?
“Eh, why do you say that?”
“Those who can see me are either demons or practitioners. Your body exudes the scent of a demoness. This should be a kind of demonic aura, right?”
“Oh, sort of…” Lily was worried that declaring herself as a human would cause unnecessary problems so she went along with the fox’s notion.
“Well, how much? What type of payment do you accept?” Lily asked.
“Ah, although I am a fox, I have to support my family. Human currency can also be used. This serving of Oden costs a total of fifty coppers.”

“Fifty coppers…?” Lily fell into a momentary dilemma. She had converted some of her money into copper coins when she passed through Owari, but she lost them when her clothes got torn in battle. Lily wasn’t too bothered about such a trivial sum at the time.

She took out a gold coin, “Sorry, this is the smallest amount of money I have right now.”

“Aye, Little Miss, this sum is too huge. This fox cannot charge you so much for a meal. I’ll give you this bowl of Oden for free.”
“I can’t take advantage of you like that. How about you accept this gold coin in exchange for directions to Heian-kyō, Brother Fox?”
“Little Miss, you are really kind. Please sit down and enjoy your Oden. I’ll give you this as well.”

Lily sat on the bench in front of the stall. The fox gave her the bowl of Oden and an amulet with the character ‘fortune’ (福) written on it.

“Little Miss, this is a fox amulet; it will bring you good luck!” The fox squinted and smiled.

“Thank you, the Fox Oden was delicious.” Lily laughed.

“Keep going along this path and don’t turn on any forks in the road. It will lead you straight to Heian-kyō”

“Uhm, okay, thanks for your advice.”

Lily finished her Oden and got up to offer a polite bow.

“By the way,” The fox suddenly said, “Although it is a bit unnecessary to say this to Little Miss, I’ll tell you this just in case. If a human practitioner walks on this road during the night and encounters a woman calling their name, they must not turn to face the voice.”

The fox opened its eyes a little, showing a grim expression.

(This chapter is provided to you by Re:Library)

(If you are reading this from other sites, that means this content is stolen. Please support us by visiting our site.)

Lily felt that the fox’s demonic aura wasn’t too strong, but its unusual aura blended with the surrounding area, meaning it knew this place better than her. She decided to heed his caution.

“Thank you for the reminder, Brother Fox. I’ll be leaving now.”

“Little Miss, take care.” The fox waved its big fluffy tail in farewell2.

Lily continued forward in accordance with the fox’s instructions. She walked straight along the mountain road illuminated by the stone lanterns on both sides and didn’t divert her course. Sometimes, the road would bend and turn in certain directions but she simply followed along.

Although the scenery of this mountain forest couldn’t be praised as captivating, it had a deep, ancient charm to it.

Lily passed by a small shrine hidden under the cover of a large tree. The shrine was situated in such a desolate place, yet it radiated a dim, yellow glow.

However, the shrine looked too small. It seemed that a person wouldn’t be able to stand up straight if they went inside.

I don’t know what kind of shrine this is, Lily remembered the fox’s words and chose to leave it be.

Further ahead, Lily vaguely heard a strange melody, causing her to feel curious. When she got closer to the sounds, she found a low-lying area by the base of a few trees on the side of the road. There were tall flowers and grasses around the area that occasionally glowed, brightening the surroundings with resplendent light.

Many small demons danced in circles around the lush greenery. There were upright kittens, mountain pixies, green little demons carrying leaves, and others of various shapes. Although they exuded a weak demonic aura, they all seemed very happy and engaged.

Lily suddenly noticed that there was a small gong on the root of a nearby tree which was actually striking by itself. It had feet and danced along with an upright cat that played some stone-like wind instruments. Lily felt that she was in a different world separate from the ruckus of Kanto.

A tiny pixie with a turnip-shaped head and leaf for a crown tugged at the corners of Lily’s skirt, seemingly inviting her to their night dance. It must have mistaken her as a demon girl.

Lily smiled and declined.

Immediately after, there was a ‘boom’ followed by a cloud of smoke! The drum that the pixies were beating turned into a chubby, bushy-tailed raccoon. The raccoon sipped a jug of wine and drunkenly exhaled a breath of air at Lily, looking dissatisfied that she refused to join them.

Lily slightly bent her waist and smiled apologetically, “I’m sorry little raccoon. Sister still has things to do and is currently traveling to Heian-kyō.”

The raccoon blessed his eyes on the magnificent cleavage exposed by Lily’s neckline and surprisingly blushed.

“Don’t go! Heian-kyō is very dangerous!” The raccoon shouted.
“Heian-kyō, very dangerous!” The demons below echoed rhythmically while dancing.
“Danger, danger.”
“Raccoon’s friend, there is no return.”
“Oh, go without return, like the early spring in the first month— how warm yet still cold…”

The demons yipped and danced in their drunken stupor as if they had forgotten about Lily’s existence.

(This chapter is provided to you by Re:Library)

(Say no to content thief!)

Lily observed that among these dancing demons, there was a tailless cat that seemed to dance with a peculiar groove and rhythm.

She didn’t stay any longer and turned to leave, continuing her journey.

Why did those low-level demons treat her as a demon girl? Was the demonic aura on her body really that strong?

Lily lowered her head and gently pulled her lapel back and forth. She didn’t smell anything strange— there was only the lingering fragrance of a healthy young woman.

Maybe they mistook her blade maiden spirit power for eldritch spiritual energy.

“It’s better if I keep my parasol open,” Lily muttered to herself. She lifted the sakura parasol and swayed her waist accentuated by the red kimono. Vast mountains and forests flanked the graceful beauty on all sides as she trod the ancient road leading to Heian-kyō— the scene gradually merged into a painting.

Do not pity the lonely silhouette of the lonely maiden, and do not fear the spirits and demons lurking Yomi Road.

All this is for the sake of Senior Sister and my other sisters in the Heian world.

“Heian-kyō, Lily is about to see your true face.”

(End Of Volume 4)


Author’s Notes:

Lily is finally about to enter Heian-kyō.

It can be said that this foreign Heian world is a true essence beyond imagination— a distinctive world, and at its center is none other than Heian-kyō.

For the volume of Heian-kyō, I will flesh out more ideas and focus more on the characteristics of ‘Demon Sword Maiden’— a volume that fully demonstrates this charm. There’ll be strong powers, strong characters, a world of conflict, and dark secrets that appear one after another! Let’s roll!

The secrets of the Heian Dynasty will be gradually unveiled.

With this volume, I can finally untie my hands and feet and present the whole wonderful, romantic Heian world to show everyone!

What kind of incredible encounters and adventures will Lily stumble on when she reaches Heian-kyō?

The fifth volume of ‘Heian-kyō’ will be delivered soon, so stay tuned3!

Thank you for your continued support.

(This chapter is provided to you by Re:Library)

(Please visit Re:Library to show the translators your appreciation and stop supporting the content thief!)



References

  1. Link.
  2. Robinxen: I like this guy.
  3. Robinxen: Yes! In half an hour.

Support Project Gender Bender

Patron Button

Subscribing to Patreon may result in faster updates.
For more info, please refer to this: link.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
5 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Your Gateway to Gender Bender Novels

Re:Library
%d bloggers like this: