Chapter 160 – The Decisive Battle Under the Starry Skies

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3339 characters
Translator: LazyButAmbitious English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 2151 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

The emperors of the Heian Empire, that is, its upper echelon, were all present on the hundreds of meters tall viewing platform right now.

The viewing platform was divided into multiple floors with the topmost floor located at the center of the whole platform and it had three pedestals on it, each one of them having an exquisitely crafted room constructed above it that had a white curtain parting its inhabitants from the outside world.

A bald, old man was seated within the tallest room in the middle and was the true supreme leader of the Heian Empire—Cloistered Emperor Go-Shirakawa!

A man and woman sat to the left of the Cloistered Emperor, and they were the Emperor Emeritus and Empress Dowager.

A tall, lean, and virtuous woman dressed in a long-sleeved kimono as well as a petite and feminine youngster dressed in a white formal court dress sat within the left room, and they were the Reigning Emperor, Emperor Go-Toba, and his wife, Empress Amako Chishiro. The empress looked like she was in her twenties and was much older than the emperor, seeming much more mature than him. Although Chishiro was a beauty famous for her good manners as a lady in Heian-kyo, the ordinary people didn’t dare to look straight at her as the imperials were considered divine descendants. They were traditionally required to hide their visages behind the curtains even during such a memorial ceremony.

Fujiwara no Ayaka was dressed in a white court dress as well and sat below the emperor’s seat while the Shogun, Minamoto no Yoritomo, sat to the right side of the Emperor Emeritus.

The Eboshi-capped Yoritomo was dressed in a grayish-blue formal kimono.

The various court officials and lords were seated on either side of the pedestals with one side consisting of high-officials from the Taira faction and the other side consisting of samurai from the Genji faction.

The judge on top of the palanquin brandished the flags in his hands as a show of humanity’s strength!

He announced, “Please quiet down, everyone. I formally request the Reigning Emperor to declare the beginning of the match now!”

The masses calmed down and looked at the petite silhouette behind the white curtain on the high-pedestal seat.

However, the silhouette didn’t say anything and whispered a few words to the inner palace official standing by outside the curtain instead.

Emperor Go-Toba’s voice was too feminine, so he thought that the masses would lose trust in the court if they learned that the emperor had such a voice.

The inner palace official announced loudly, “The Reigning Emperor says, ‘This is a memorial ceremony for the hero of the Genji, so I request Yoshitsune’s elder brother, the leader of the Genji, Shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo, to declare the beginning of the match.’”

The public found this quite reasonable and turned towards Minamoto no Yoritomo.

However, Minamoto no Yoritomo remained silent for a short while before shaking his head in refusal, “No. I believe that Yoshitsune is the hero of people in the world, so the Genji won’t monopolize this special glory. I request the Reigning Emperor to make the declaration.”

Such a response wasn’t a contraction of the imperial order and was in accord with etiquette.

However, this placed the emperor in a tough situation. He obviously wanted to announce the beginning of the Yoshitsune Memorial Tournament’s decisive battle, but he didn’t dare to reveal his girlish voice in front of the masses.

He was worried that it would fill the masses with unease and distrust if they were to learn that the Reigning Emperor was an effeminate boy with no hint of manliness at all.

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Ayaka also furrowed her brows and interjected, “Lord Shogun. Although you represent the Genji, you are also the guardian of the Empire’s people. There’s no need to turn down the emperor’s kind intentions now, is there?”

“Hahaha. How about you make the declaration then since you also represent the people, Lord Chief Advisor?”

“That’s…” If Ayaka were to declare the beginning of the Yoshitsune Memorial Tournament’s decisive battle, she was bound to incur the resentment of the Genji and other samurai clans.

Although the masses couldn’t hear their conversation, Lily had picked up Ayaka’s and Yoritomo’s exchange with her sharp hearing, so after she heard the emperor’s womanly voice, it didn’t take her long to figure out that Ayaka and the emperor were troubled now.

She stepped forth and looked towards the center of the viewing platform before kneeling respectfully and stated in an intentionally loud voice so that everyone could hear her, “I’ve received no small favor from the Genji when I was in the East and feel grateful for the support that Lord Kamakura has shown me. I request the Shogun to declare the beginning of the decisive battle for my sake!”

Lily bowed deeply as she made this request. Although her movements were decisive, her actions still comprised a charming pride distinctive to those of humble women as she made this undeniable request.

Lily’s popularity had reached an unprecedented level right now, so much that just one statement from her was enough for the Genji samurai and the masses to orchestrate a harmonic chant that requested the Shogun to make the declaration as well!

Yoritomo smiled at Lily bitterly, “Well… How could I decline a request from you, the celestial faerie of this tournament, Ms. Kagami?”

Yoritomo sat in seiza and faced the battle arena, “I declare the beginning of the match now!”

The reverberance within Yoritomo’s mild voice prompted the crow to cheer loudly. However, the match excited them even more than that!

“You’re too shameless, Kagami Lily! How could you compel Shogun to do your bidding by exploiting the masses’ affection for you!” Shenzu felt infuriated when she saw Lily help the emperor get out of trouble and make a demand to Yoritomo.

Her reaction was so baseless that Lily felt she’d earn Shenzu’s disgust no matter what she did.

“I have no need to explain it to you. Are you here to duel or talk?”
“Let’s duel as you wish then!” Shenzu flashed towards Lily instantly.
“She’s so fast!” Lily was taken aback. This was Shenzu’s true speed as she had held back a little even when she was fighting Shizuru.

However, Lily had also hidden her true skills in her battle with Tsukawa.

The dual gold-hilted nodachis manifested in Shenzu’s hands and she slashed at Lily with one of them at a speed that was much faster than Tamurakonoe!

However, Lily’s powers had also advanced in comparison to when she had engaged in the decisive battle on Ryu Island. She side-stepped swiftly to dodge the attack and released an elegant crimson sword beam towards Shenzu from her Yasutsuna.

Shenzu strode towards Lily like the wind and leaned forward greatly to dodge her blade, fully making use of her exquisite skills and talents.

She then followed up with a stab from her other blade, which Lily parried with a downward two-handed sword strike. At the same time, she gathered her strength at her ankle and opened her thighs wide to spin around and deliver a roundhouse kick to Shenzu!

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Although she wasn’t wearing her grade 9 wooden sandals, the power packed in her thighs generated a powerful vortex of spirit power.

Shenzu flipped over to the sky like a fish out of water to dodge Lily’s low roundhouse kick and slashed towards the latter’s other foot that was supporting her body now.

Lily dodged Shenzu’s blade with a short, spinning jump and landed her foot on the smooth side of the latter’s blade, stomping it towards the wooden arena’s floor.

She then launched a scissor kick towards Shenzu with her other foot.

Bam! The kick landed at the side of Shenzu’s chin and sent her flying across the arena. However, Shenzu still managed to release a phantasmic azure sword beam towards Lily while she spun across the arena.

Tear! The attack split the top of Lily’s dress and deepened her cleavage even more.

Shenzu directed the hilt of her blade towards the floor as she completed a few spins and made a perfect landing. She touched the region where Lily had kicked her and felt resentment fill her.

Lily also felt resentful towards Shenzu for splitting open her dress’ top.

“It seems like you haven’t had enough exercise. Did you not have enough fun with the Genji samurai below prior to the match?” Shenzu mocked Lily.

“Hah! Do you think I am you?”

“Shut up! You’re nothing compared to me!” Shenzu went on the offensive once again and Lily also met her attacks with full strength.

Shenzu’s dual blades blitzed like lightning, dancing in a swift and nimble fashion, as they released azure sword beams one after the other at Lily

Lily moved like a phantom as she utilized the Dance of the Bell Maiden’s footwork to leave afterimages behind, each one of her footsteps leaving behind a crimson energy ripple on the wooden floor.

“J-Just what kind of footwork is this? How is it so elegant yet elusive?” Minamoto no Yoshitada sighed.

“The answer to that is simple. It’s just like the process of a lotus’ birth,” Taira no Mori was seated beside Minamoto no Yoshitada today as both the Genji and Taira descendants had already lost the tournament. This was the first time the two clans’ samurai sat in accordance with their official positions without any kind of estrangement between them.

Shenzu’s attacks were incredibly fast, and she also had a longer reach because of her nodachis. However, Lily’s mystic footwork allowed her to dodge each one of Shenzu’s attacks!

“Nanashi’s sword arts are truly incredible! Just who is she?” Yoshitada stated admiringly, “Tsukawa would’ve probably lost to her even if he had managed to defeat Lily.”

“Haha! It seems like there was a fair reason our clans lost. It’s incredible that two geniuses, who are stunning women on top of their talent, have reached the finals of the Yoshitsune Memorial Tournament!” Mori added.

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“Sigh. Based on the vast gap between their looks and manners, the chances of Kagami Lily winning are higher. What do you say, Lord Mori?”

“Huh?” Mori looked at Yoshitada in slight astonishment. Although he held a similar opinion as Yoshitada, Mori wasn’t expecting him to defend Kagami Lily.

Around the same time, Ashikaga Makoto, who was dressed in a virtuous elegant-colored kimono, sat beside Shogun Yoritomo in the top seat of the viewing platform and served tea to him deferentially.

She looked at the dazzling sword exchange that was taking place between Lily and Shenzu in the arena with a confounded look, “You’ve reached such a high-level, Lily? I saw you grow up from a weak and budding samurai woman. You’ve advanced at an incredibly fast pace in these past six months…”

Shenzu threw in a feint into one of her attacks to force Lily to dodge and waited for the perfect timing to launch a deadly slash towards her.

The samurai on the viewing platform were all frightened when they saw that the blade had almost reached Lily’s body!

However, Lily’s figure remained stationary and dissipated into the wind slowly. She had left an afterimage behind once again using her swift and exquisite footwork.

At the same time, Lily unleashed a heavy slash towards Shenzu using Yasutsuna after arriving behind her!

Bzzt! The blade shone with a bright and poignant glow.

However, no one imagined that Lily too had just slashed Shenzu’s faint afterimage. Shenzu had moved to Lily’s side with a whoosh and spun her dual blades to launch revolving slashes at Lily!

Lily didn’t even turn her head to look at the attacks and simply leaned forward to dodge the dual blades by a hairsbreadth, following up with a stab to Shenzu’s waist after blitzing closer to her.

Shenzu stepped back suddenly to dodge Lily’s attack, but the latter’s blade still managed to have a close run-in with the former’s smooth abdomen, and the wind pressure generated from it lifted her underwear up, flashing her black, triangular piece of inner underwear outside.

Taking advantage of their proximity, Shenzu struck her blade’s hilt towards the crown of Lily’s head. However, Lily seized this chance to lean forward and performed a handstand to execute a spinning hook kick that landed on Shenzu’s forehead!

Bam!

Shenzu staggered from the kick, but she stabilized her footing by relying on her flexible body and kicked towards Lily’s neck in response, which Lily blocked with her arm after disengaging the handstand.

Bam! An azure sword beam sent Lily sliding across the floor after a tumble.

Shenzu’s face suffered yet another kick while Lily’s elbow ached from the former’s kick.

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The spectators exclaimed in astonishment as they watched the rapid and intense exchange between Lily and Shenzu. Their breaths turned rushed as all of them felt the same thought fill them, “A-Amazing!”



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