Chapter 119 – Endless Forest Labyrinth

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3129 characters
Translator: Yuki English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1821 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

The Tanba forests were long and expansive, filled with heavy fog and cold chill. The hermit led the way as Uesugi Rei and the group followed behind on the rugged road.

Raising a hand, the hermit stopped the group, “There’s a strong eldritch reaction in front of us.”

The group all showed dignified but nervous expressions, only Uesugi Rei’s cold smile remained unchanged.

Screech!! Bursts of ear piercing chirping came.

In front of them, the fog shrouded bushes swayed as black shadows the size of cows shuttled through.

Whoosh! A black shadow jumped through the fog and rushed at the hermit. Waving his staff, a yellow rune appeared around him. Spirit aura burst from his body as he brought his staff down in a counter.

Pow! The staff smashed the shadow into the ground revealing a gigantic dog. It had dark black cyan fur and a bizarre red lion head. With a quick flip it got back on its legs.

“Lion hound beast! Everyone be careful!” The hermit hollered. On the side of the path, several more lion hound beasts came flying out.

They came leaping in attack at the group.

“Not good! Hah!” Nakajou shouted out as he grabbed his tachi and slashed toward the beast. But it opened its maw and bit down on the blade stopping it in place. With a wave of its paw it smashed Nakajou onto the ground, though its claws weren’t sharp, it was extremely powerful.

“Argh——!” Nakajou screamed out as if he had broken a few of his left ribs.

Nakajou was a middle-staged spirit jade adept, and a well known practitioner of the Noto Generation. He was a practitioner of the Shinkage-ryū swordstyle, processed a threefold force amplification and had some accomplishments in the earth intent. Normal late-staged spirit jade adept could not compete against him. Those who departed and became comrades with Uesugi Rei were still outstanding geniuses of the surrounding land even if they were not from the eight major regions of Kanto.

“B̲a̲s̲t̲a̲r̲d̲! Take this!” Hatano Kana dashed back, instantly creating several meters of distance and raised her firearm. This wasn’t a regular 2nd or 3rd grade firearm, this firearm was rare even in Heian-kyo. A firearm jointly created by the southern outlanders, the firearm masters and artifact masters of the world, the Spirit Firearm!

This firearm could not only fire precious metals, but also projectiles imbued with arcane artes. The propulsion was not just simple flames, but special gunpowder imbued with magic power and mixed with the wielder’s spirit power. As an early-stage spirit jade adept, her spirit power mixed with the power of this firearm with special gunpowder and a sixth grade metal bullet, formed an extremely lethal blow.

Grade six metals, whether it be tamahagane, alloy, or flammable metal are all expensive. But projectiles are small in size and didn’t use as much material as katanas1, so Hatano still found it acceptable.

Tanba Province was the original home of the Hatano clan, but it was now overrun with demons. The gunmaiden had come here to regain her homeland.

The ancient script on her Spirit Firearm glowed orange. A dazzling flame burst within the muzzle as a glowing bullet flew at the lion hound beast.

Bam! The beast took the shot headon, a hole was struck through it as the explosion of flame charred half of its body.

But the beast had a tenacious lifeforce, though half of its body was scorched black, its strength was undiminished. It gave up on Nakajou and rushed toward Hatano. She tumbled and avoided the beast’s rush while dexterously reloading her firearm, in just a moment she had refilled the fifth grade firepowder and sixth grade projectile and reprimed her matchlock, a grade six rope that would not be extinguished by wind or rain.

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Bang! Hatano fired a second shot, but unfortunately, the hound quickly evaded, the projectile brushing past its lion head while a second hound rushed toward her from the side.

Facing two beasts rushing from both sides, Hatano was in a dangerous position with nowhere to dodge.

At this moment, Uesugi Rei moved, her silver hair fluttered behind her like a silver river in a sea of fog, her long legs blurring with incredible speed. She instantly moved past a leaping beast while slashing down with her tachi.

An orchid blade aura flashed by, within the spirit power circling that blade aura, the phantom of Bishamonten’s2 angry face could be seen!

“Pfft!” The beast’s thick neck was sliced in two by that slice, the cut was so sharp and precise that no blood was shed for a while.

Before landing, Rei swung behind her, releasing a blue flying blade aura.

Snap! The other beast was struck, its body split in half as the blade aura continued its path, flying off into the distance leaving behind chopped ancient trees.

Hatano Kana fell on her rear in fright, staring at the unrestrained figure of Uesugi Rei.

“Miss Uesugi…” Hatano Kana was a regular woman, for the sake of regaining her homeland she had continuously practiced and departed on expeditions to improve. After joining this team, she had developed a good relationship with the leader, Kenki. She considered Uesugi Rei more as a competitor, but now…Miss Uesugi was more and more stunning.

Swish swish swish—— More and more lion hound beasts came leaping out. They went attacking towards the ninja Kuki Eiji, Minamoto no Kenki and Toyama. The ninja continuously evaded, using spirit power shurikens to contain the beasts.

Kenki was flaring his spirit aura at full power, slashing at one of the beasts.

Meanwhile, two beasts pincered Nakajou from the front and back.

“No! Save me——” Nakajou shouted hysterically.

Uesugi came flying toward him, and she sent a foot flying at an unprotected stomach.

Pow! A flash of blue aura exploded, a beast was folded into a U shape by the kick, the terrifying impact destroying the spirit jade within its body.

Uesugi Rei had, with one kick, killed a middle-staged spirit jade lion hound beast.

Taking advantage of the recoil, Uesugi flipped herself onto the back of the other beast and stabbed down, her katana piercing straight through the lion head of the beast!

Jumping off the dying beast, she landed on the ground and dashed towards the other beasts like a silver electric flash. Her bladework had no flaws, each slash ended a life!

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“Arwooo——!” A huge lion hound beast with a big golden horn on its red lion head appeared and howled as it intimidated the human warriors.

“Careful! It’s the leader of this pack! Peak-stage spirit jade arch-demon!” Kenki warned while he clashed with a lion hound beast.

Uesugi Rei didn’t hesitate in the face of this ferocious arch-demon. She calmly walked forward and blocked its path.

Opening its huge jaw, it leaped with surprising speed at Uesugi Rei. It missed its mark as its jaws snapped shut on nothing as it impacted the ground creating a miniature earthquake. Rei had evaded to the side of the beast leader, but the beast’s reactions were equally quick, curling up and turning sharply, the horn on its head spearing toward Rei.

“Miss Uesugi!” The hermit warned.

Slash!

The huge golden horn seemed to have pierced Uesugi’s body.

“Uesugi!” The group couldn’t believe their eyes.

But Uesugi Rei’s eyes still held the calm cold pressure of an empress.

Taking a second look, the hermit was shocked, “What!?”

Uesugi Rei had caught that golden horn in one hand. A cold savage smile showed itself on Rei’s face. The beast leader was twice as big as an ox, and as a peak spirit jade, it had enough power and strength to move mountains, yet it couldn’t move Uesugi Rei. Tightly gripping the horn in one hand, Rei flipped upside down. As her legs emitted powerful spirit wind, she viciously swung her body down!

Crack!!!

A heart pounding sound came out!

Uesugi Rei was on the beast leader’s back, and that golden horn, harder and stronger than a grade six metal, had been broken! The beast leader let out a miserable roar and fell over, dying.

The other beasts, seeing their leader killed, fled in terror.

And the others felt fearful in their hearts recalling Uesugi’s cold and cruel, yet beautiful path of slaughtering.

After one battle, over ten lion hound beast corpses were left on the ground.

Among them, Kenki had killed one, the hermit, ninja and gunmaiden had cooperated to kill one, the rest had all been slaughtered by Uesugi Rei, including the pack leader who had been stronger than the dozen other beasts added together.

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They all looked at Uesugi Rei, who was calmly and decisively extracting the spirit jades from the beast bodies, they all had an indescribable feeling in their hearts.

They had all been trapped in Tanba’s forest labyrinth for months and their survival chances were unknown, but Uesugi Rei was unperturbed and had grown stronger so fast.

When they had formed a group to find Mount Ooe in the Tanba province, they had formed a team with members of equal strength.

But after they entered the Tanba province and the situation had turned even more dangerous, while everyone’s conditions had taken a turn for the worse, Uesugi had remained unaffected and had improved rapidly, her strength and powers rising greatly.

Not only had she attained the pinnacle-stage spirit jade state, but her combat prowess was beyond imagination! As for the others, lacking treasures, supplies and elixir, just staying alive was the best they could do, where would they find the energy or time to practice.

They didn’t think this was the result of a blade maiden’s natural ability of battle continuation. They felt that it was possible that Uesugi Rei had some strange unknown ability or energy.

“Are you fine?” Hatano pulled out a flask of water for Nakajou to drink.

The hermit looked over Nakajou’s wounds, “He’s broken four, five ribs, but we’ve used up all our elixirs, we don’t even have a clean cloth anymore. I’m afraid Nakajou will have to lay down to recuperate for several days.”

Though Nakajou was a spirit jade adept, a human’s capability of self recovery was extremely weak, add that to Nakajou’s weakening condition and his lack of spirit power. Nakajou would probably heal as slow as a regular mortal.

“Ah…it hurts, go home, I want to go home! I want to leave this hellish place, and go back to my country…I don’t want to die here3!” Nakajou’s weakened hoarse voice whispered.

“Captain…” Hatano helplessly looked at Kenki. At this time, the steady solid captain was stuck in a difficult choice.

“Nakajou, endure.” Kenki encouraged, “Who wants to remain in this place, but this Tanba province is covered in this endless forest and mountain labyrinth, and the constant danger, it won’t be easy to leave this place.”



References

  1. Robinxen: But they’re consumable!
  2. Robinxen: The angry lady from that anime!
  3. Robinxen: Who ordered this expedition anyway?

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