|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 3171 characters|
|Translator: Aoi||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 2031 words|
“The winner is Kagami Lily!” Sasaki announced in a fatigued voice, expressing his dissatisfaction with the development alongside the victory announcement.
Surprisingly, most of the Samurai at the Genji faction’s viewing platform sat in seiza and showered Lily with a round of applause as well.
Minamoto no Yoshitada stood up and declared loudly, “Ms. Kagami. Although the Genji lost this match, we accept this loss sincerely. You have our gratitude for showing us the true summit of Genji Swordstyle after all these years! For showing us the Genji Swordstyle’s 10th stage that even I hadn’t seen Lord Yoshitsune use back when I was still young! Thank you for that!”
Yoshitada kneeled and bowed his head deeply as a show of respect. However, it wasn’t towards Lily and was towards Yoshitsune’s legacy.
“Kagami Lily. I have nothing to say about you executing such an ultimate move, but this move is still a legacy of the Genji. I wonder if it’s possible for you to return the Genji Swordstyle’s 10th book to us?” Minamoto no Hirohikari demanded sourly.
“Lord Hirohikari! Don’t you know how improper it is to make such a demand at this moment?” Yoshitada continued, “As long as Ms. Kagami permits it, all we need is one look to confirm whether it’s Yoshitsune’s genuine work!”
Lily shook her head poignantly, “There’s no meaning in asking me since you’ll only be able to see anything if Lord Yoshitsune wishes for it. Although I obtained the 10th book, I have no means to pass it down to others.”
“I see…” Although Yoshitada found this to be a shame, there was nothing he could do as well.
“Farewell then, everyone,” Lily turned back and sashayed down the arena.
Around the same time, the demon hound in the mirror space woke up and shook its tail as it watched an ancient book fall in the center of the octagonal room.
It went towards the book, “Isn’t this the Genji Swordstyle’s 10th book that belongs to my master? Is she so tired from the match and void of time that she just stored it inside the mirror and left it unattended? I might as well return it to her room and put it on the table then.”
When the demon hound clenched the book with its jaws gently, it flipped open and revealed its aged pages before its eyes.
The pages didn’t have a single word written on them.
“Huh?” The demon hound clenched the book again and moved towards Lily’s room, “Why does Master treat this empty book as a precious sword art legacy?”
Minamoto no Yoshitsune had indeed passed on the Genji Swordstyle’s 10th book to Lily. However, he hadn’t written a single word in it except for the title on its cover.
Back when Yoshitsune had fallen into Mt. Yoshino’s cavern, he had only created 9 books from his comprehension of the Celestial Maiden Swordstyle. He had never actually created the Genji Swordstyle’s 10th book.
It was a mystery whether he had run into a roadblock or died before he could complete it.
The so-called Genji Swordstyle’s 10th stage that Lily had used today was a move that she had created in that instant based on her past comprehension of the Genji Swordstyle and her deep understanding of the Tsukuyomi Swordstyle, which was the Genji Swordstyle’s origin.
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It wasn’t really the Genji Swordstyle’s 10th stage per se as it contained the mysteries of Tsukuyomi Swordstyle as well as her feelings of deep gratitude for Yoshitsune within it. It was impossible for Yoshitsune to replicate the same sorrow that Lily infused into the attack without having the opportunity to train in Goddess Tsukuyomi’s legacy.
Lily had stored the book away because she didn’t want to shatter the dreams of the Genji samurai by letting them know the truth of the Genji Swordstyle’s 10th book.
The extended night continued the next day as well. The skies were void of the moon and dyed in dark blue. The Yoshitsune Memorial Tournament had entered its peak phase now—the final day!
The three emperors would perform the ceremony today and the victor of the tournament would also be decided!
Minamoto Kuro Yoshitsune had received this special glory posthumously and was considered the summit of samurai. And today, a new summit would emerge from the younger generation. Would it be Kagami Lily? Or would it be Uehara no Shenzu?
It was still undecided who will become the true inheritor of Yoshitsune’s will and talent!
“Hey ho! Hey ho! Hey ho!”
The time-worn Heian Palace was brightly lit with fire beacons under the starry night, the smoke and tinder fires rising from it dissipating into the dark skies. A group of robust Genji youths with muscled bodies hoisted a massive wooden platform in their underwear with white bands tied to their heads.
There were a total of 800 single Genji youths hoisting the heavy platform, and their eyes brimmed with life as they moved uniformly with solemn yet bold steps, the flames illuminating the sweat on their muscles as they walked left and right according to the beat of the music.
They chanted the words “Hey ho! Hey ho!” in harmony along with their steps.
The 100 m wide wooden platform carried by the 800 youths’ shoulders swayed rhythmically as the group made its way towards the entrance of Heian Palace slowly.
An uncountable number of commoners and samurai had surrounded the area in a square formation and cheered alongside the rhythmic music and danced to its beat. All the top existences of the Empire, except for a few, were present in the viewing platform underneath the Heian Palace today.
The sounds of drums marking the day history would be written sounded once again!
Two rows of people formed human pathways connecting to the massive square formation by hoisting wooden slabs over their heads in the darkness.
At the end of these human pathways stood two stunning samurai women who were as beautiful as celestial maidens, and their hair swayed in the air as they sprinted across the pathways.
The duo leaped forward when they approached the square formation and flipped over in mid-air as they landed on the massive wooden platform!
“Hey ho! Hey ho!”
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The magnificent and unprecedented event known as the Yoshitsune Memorial continued its proceedings, and the massive platform that the two girls had landed on was the core of the whole memorial event.
The duo wasn’t dressed in their usual kimonos today and wore the dresses of ancient priestesses which symbolized the highest honor given to memorial participants.
Although these ancient dresses were pretty revealing because of their ancient and primitive origin, no one had any wicked thoughts this instant as it was the highest form of etiquette for the girls to expose their bodies to the deities!
Lily had tied a white headband to her forehead whose long, tied ends trailed behind her and fluttered alongside her hair.
Most of her flawless skin was exposed right now and she wore a low-shouldered and long-sleeved ancient priestess dress that was so low-waisted that it just covered her breasts properly and failed to hide her waist.
As for her lower body, all she wore was a traditional high-waisted women’s underwear whose strip was so thin that it barely sank into her curvaceous buttocks. Her thighs were covered in sweat from the exercise she had done and glistened lusciously under the fire beacons’ illumination, while her fair feet were bare as they stood on the firm wooden platform.
Lily held Yasutsuna, whose hilt had a strip of white cloth twisted onto it, in her hand.
She looked so charming that people found it difficult to conclude whether she was the priestess to the deities or their offering herself.
Opposite to Lily stood an equally tall and lean, fluffy short-haired girl who had styled her hair into a slender ponytail at the back.
She wore a dark-purple, short-sleeved priestess dress that was dyed with clear white lines. As for her lower body, the front and back were covered with two tiny rectangular dark-purple cloth pieces that were tied together with black garter strips to form a traditional loincloth-like underwear1.
She was also barefooted on the platform.
This was the tradition followed by the Yoshitsune Memorial Tournament. At the time of the decisive battle, the duelists were to wear the simplest possible clothes and face each other under the eyes of the world. As most of the duelists were men in the past, they were requested to bare their torsos and wear loose white and black dojo pant-skirts below. As for women, the region of body they needed to expose was the opposite of men. This representation embodied the inherent difference between a man and a woman, and this tradition was followed by the tournament to this day!
Lily had come to accept this as it was a special day!
“Hey ho! Hey ho!”
The two girls stood opposite to each other with solemn expressions on the platform hoisted by the 800 youths as they moved it towards the Heian Palace behind them slowly along with the beats of the rhythmic music.
The judge didn’t even have the qualifications to stand on this altar-like platform. It was made of grade 7 and higher wood material, with its pillars consisting of grade 9 materials. This was the Heian Empire’s Divine Wood Altar that had been passed on from times immemorial.
Judge Sasaki sat on a black palanquin that was pulled by a massive chained blue demon and brandished the two flagpoles in his hands to strike the drums on both ends of the palanquin to begin the announcement, “We’ve all gathered here today to witness the final match of the grand ceremony known as the Yoshitsune Memorial Tournament. Dressed in white is the world’s prettiest woman, who is the inheritor of Yoshitsune’s legacy and known by the moniker of East’s Goddess of War—Kagami Lily!”
The crowd broke out in cheers and the flames of the massive fire beacons flared simultaneously, illuminating Lily’s skin with a luscious glow!
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The crowd was enthusiastic as she wasn’t just an outstanding beauty who possessed the dream figure of all people in the Heian Empire; her strength, character, style, and sword arts had won over the people of the whole Empire!
It was so much that even the clansmen of the opposing faction were also forced to admit this fact.
Entering the finals of the Yoshitsune Memorial Tournament through the Genji Swordstyle’s 10th stage was the creation of a new page in the annals of the Heian Empire’s Yoshitsune Memorial Tournament.
The crowd was frenzied as men cheered and howled in excitement while the women cheered with reverence and admiration, giving Lily the treatment of a goddess as the gap between them and her had long surpassed the bounds of jealousy.
Although the judge had called Lily the world’s prettiest woman, it wasn’t a title that the court had bestowed her formally. Lily’s matches had just shocked him that much.
“As for her opponent. It’s the masked lady whose identity remains a mystery to this day, the one who defeated Taira clan’s best talent, Taira no Shizuru—Nanashi!”
Although the crowd cheered fanatically, the cheers obviously paled in comparison to Lily’s.
“Hah! You’re really charming, Kagami Lily. So much that you’ve enraptured all of Heian-kyo to cheer for you! However, I believe you didn’t achieve this with your strength and accomplished this feat through your luscious body. Isn’t that so?” Although Shenzu didn’t care much about a nobody’s false reputation, she obviously felt displeased that her fore had such high fame. Hence, she criticized her verbally to curb her momentum before the decisive duel.
However, Lily had heard this argument a bit too many times by now.
“The masses are free to like whoever they want and it’s their choice to believe who’s the prettier one. I have no intentions of interfering with that and nor do I plan to affirm or deny anything. However, no matter who the masses support and cheer for, it still won’t change the outcome of this duel! The victor is decided by strength, not beauty,” Lily stated coolly2.