Chapter 146 – Start of the Competition

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3280 characters
Translator: Yuki English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1841 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

“If we can find that stronghold, not only can we rescue Hatano, we may also find a path out of this forest.” Minamoto no Kenki calmly rationalized.

“As long as we find them, I should be able to rescue Hatano.” Although Rei was exhausted, her condition was far better than the rest.

“Are we going to be attacking that stronghold with crutches and stretchers?” Toyama scoffed.

Rei walked over to the stretcher, lifting one side up, “Brother Kenki, please help.”

Kenki nodded and lifted the other side.

“Brother Toyama, please track Hatano’s trail.” Rei requested.

Seeing Rei, who was usually aloof and as prideful as a queen, pleading and unwilling to abandon a comrade silenced Toyama’s protestations. He could only nod, “Ok…”

……
……

This day was the opening day of the Yoshitsune Memorial, it was a dark day, the sun did not come out.

No one knew how long the extended night would last, but for those who were looking forward to the memorial, the darkness cast a gloom over their hearts. Yoshitsune was a hero who symbolized light and righteousness, and it was depressing that the sun could not be seen on his memorial day.

But the memorial could not be postponed, they would just have to be more enthusiastic and display the determination of mankind to fight against the darkness and evil spirits.

The Heian palace was lit bright today, like a mirage in the blue mist.

In front of the palace was a square stage. Lanterns were lit all around the stage, a large group of masked men and women carried totems and instruments, parading through the streets, leading the people to dance and shout to the beat.

Many red railed performance stages had been built, and many female entertainers sang and danced on top, the performances spreading hints of sadness to the atmosphere.

This Yoshitsune Memorial was held to an unprecedented scale, not only were the civilians of the city watching, but in the darkness, some demons had been lured. They hid in the darkened streets, roofs, or behind trees to peek at the grand ceremony.

“Brother Yuuta, what is that?” Under an old willow tree, a female racoon hid with Yuuta and asked as they peeked at the multiple parades. Among them was a gigantic defensive formation of which was carried by a bunch of loincloth wearing Genji warriors. Only on this day, would these noble samurai appear in such a shameful dress, yet not care.

On top of the defensive formation rested a newly decorated Yoshitsune statue, he was encased in armor and wearing a white mask painted with eyes and eyebrows. The face painting was a bit dull, but it suited the solemn and trancelike atmosphere. The statue was carried through the square, followed by a large number of Genji maidens all wearing long sleeve kimonos, dancing and singing. These noble maidens were like civilian girls today, their faces were bare and unveiled.

“Shhh, don’t be discovered, nowadays these humans want to kill all demons! That is Yoshitsune’s statue, the greatest human hero.”
“Brother Yuuta, if he was the greatest human hero, why did he die1?”
“……”

In this dark morning, the performances and festive entertainment came to an end. In front of the palace, one huge tournament stage facing the palace was lit up by strings of lanterns.

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Facing the stage, in front of the palace gate, was a high stand with a built-in roof connected to a covered bridge. This was where the various high status dignitaries of the Heian court would be watching from.

And the civilians did not have any seats or platforms, they could only stand around the platform and watch.

At this time, the platform was already surrounded by guards.

Lily sat within an ox carriage arranged by Ayaka, under the guidance of and flag of the Chief Advisor’s guards, her carriage was led to the platform.

Below the stands, there was a fenced off underpass, this was where the 8 finalists would enter from. After the bridge were small rooms, on both sides were 4 rooms set aside for the competitors and the other rooms were for medical.

Lily’s carriage arrived at the competitor entrance. The competition was guarded heavily inside and out, only after her identification had been verified multiple times was she allowed to enter.

Every contestant had a pre-arranged room. Listening to the melodus drum rolls and music, Lily stood in the underpass to the stage where the audience could not see.

“Miss Kagami!”

Having only arrived, Lily saw Minamoto no Hiromasa walking towards her with one hand covered in bandages.

“Lord Hiromasa, this is…”

“Haha, I took an injury during the qualifiers.” Hiromasa rubbed the back of his head and laughed carefreely, “I’m the first to battle and my opponent is the young genius of the Taira clan, Taira no Shizuru. Facing her, heh, I know that even if I wasn’t injured, I can’t win. I’m only here today to learn and experience.”

Lily smiled slightly, Hiromasa’s attitude was not bad.

“Kagami Lily!”

Suddenly, from behind a cold gloomy sensation appeared. Turning around, she saw under the lanterns that covered up Nanashi. She was dressed in a dark blue sleeveless top and a high slit front back form fitting skirt.

“Miss……Nanashi.” Lily politely responded, this Nanashi made her feel a sense of danger.

The only eye that was exposed glowed with chilling hatred.

Why? She and Nanashi did not know each other, so why did she show so much hate?

But this presence? It had some distinctive differences, yet it was familiar?

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“Since you’ve come here, Kagami Lily, you have two paths. Die on the way to the finals, or——die at my hands!”

Nanashi pushed Lily against the walls, lifting a leg to pressing without restraint between Lily’s legs. Lifting one hand, she gripped Lily’s chin and stared straight into her eyes.

When Nanashi pressed Lily into the wall, her aura, her scent, all made Lily understand.

“Hmph, then you had better make it into the finals!” Lily’s eyes turned harsh instantly and retorted instantly.

“La, ladies!” Seeing the situation turn bad, Hiromasa rushed to intervene, “We’re all samurais serving the imperial court, the tournament is only sparring, let’s not get angry ehehe…”

Seeing Hiromasa come over, Nanashi gave one last harsh glare at Lily before leaving.

Though there were four rooms on both sides for the contestants, they were all jointly connected to the underpass where they could freely walk around. Naturally, private combat was strictly prohibited in the underpass.

Hiromasa looked at Nanashi with a hint of uncertainty, “Who, who is she? Why is she so aggressive?”

“……the ghost of a jade maiden.” Lily silently whispered.

“Ah?” Hiromasa’s eyes widened in confusion.

Lily’s chest bounced2 as she took deep breaths.

To think that the accomplice to the murder of Madam Yoruko, Uehara no Shenzu would appear once again, and actually come to this competition, and Lily had clearly destroyed her power source, how did she recover? But her goal was obvious, she was here for revenge.

What to do?

Should she report to Ayaka, and let the court arrest her?

But that would not be the proud behavior of a samurai, to have her opponent arrested before the finals, Lily disdained such behavior.

Also, since she dared come, then it wasn’t as simple as a mask and fake name. She must’ve been fully prepared with contingencies.

Though Rokuhara Tandai had admitted to killing Yoruko, Lily had no evidence proving Shenzu was an accomplice. If Rokuhara wasn’t captured for testimony, it would be difficult to prove.

Also, Rokuhara Tandai was a man of power and influence in the imperial court. Who knows how many forces were beholden to him, if they really wanted to arrest him, the result would be uncertain.

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“Shenzu, since you haven’t died, then come! On the tournament stage, I shall have you atone for your crimes!”

Outside, the drums and music roared as high ranking officials arrived.

The tournament was about to start!

In the center of the competition stage, a samurai stood dressed in an elegant outfit wearing a high cap. This was the high judge, Sasaki. He waved his hands excitedly and spoke with an exaggerated tone, it was as if he was doing a performance.

After a long speech, the crowd quieted down as two flags appeared in his hands. “Next…the martial tournament shall start right now! May the first two competitors——enter the stage!”

The drums and music sounded as the cheers and shouts shook the sky. The judge looked serious, but his eyes betrayed his excitement and anticipation.

The middle row of the viewing stand was empty, for the beginning of the tournament, the three emperors, the chief advisor and the shogun had not arrived.

Walking onto the tournament stage from opposite sides. One was a graceful young pretty girl in a yellow short skirted hunting outfit, she had long white socks and brown footwear.

“This young girl, like a yellow oriole3 in the night sky, is the number one genius of the Taira clan, Taira no Shizuru!” The high judge Sasaki was unlike the other expressionless judges. Not only was he elegantly tall and well versed in the rules of the tournament, he also had a talent for entertainment. The Yoshitsune Memorial could be said to be a type of celebration, and for most people, the martial competition was a form of entertainment and catharsis.

The crowd cheered and shouted——

“On this side!” Sasaki pointed at the handsome buff young samurai with an arm bound in bandages. “He’s a famed Genji warrior and a duo partner of the legendary onmyouji, Abe no Seimei! Said to be the source of sunshine and justice in Heian-kyo, Minamoto no Hiromasa! Only, brother Hiromasa’s injury is a little bit worrying today.”

Whispers and pointing mixed into the cheers of the crowd.

Hearing his introduction, Hiromasa’s forehead coated with sweat, he complained in his heart, “What do you mean duo partner… I, Hiromasa, am a straight man with a wife! And if I had any thoughts of cheating, it would be toward Miss Kagami…ah! What am I thinking of? Competition, competition, even if I know I have no chance, I will go all out as a samurai!”

Minamoto no Hiromasa and Taira no Shizuru were both respectful and saluted each other.

“Competition——Start!” Sasaki waved the flag.

Shizuru placed one hand behind her back, “Brother Hiromasa, you’re injured, I will not take advantage, I will fight with one hand!”

“Miss Shizuru is admirable, I shall thank you then!”

Both sides drew their weapons and charged at the same time!

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After a few rounds, Hiromasa was on the ground with Shizuru’s sword point held against his neck.

“Miss Shizuru’s fame is well deserved, I accept this loss.” With his words, he pulled out a handkerchief and waved it.

“First round, winner——Taira no Shizuru!”



References

  1. Robinxen: All heroes die. Or become villains.
  2. Robinxen: AUTHOR!
  3. Robinxen: Not to be confused with onahole.

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