Chapter 165 — Grand Ceremony

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3225 characters
Translator: Aoi English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1965 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

“Kagami Lily wins!” Judge Sasaki announced excitedly on the palanquin.

The crowd rejoiced as well!

The 800 Genji samurai shouldering the arena sighed in relief with their brows beaded in sweat. Although it wasn’t that much of a difficult feat for them to lift the arena, the shockwaves from the two girls’ battle were too intense and if it weren’t for the help provided by Minamoto no Yoshitada and others, it would’ve been impossible for them to keep shouldering the arena.

As for Shenzu, she lay powerlessly on the arena’s floor and even if she had strength left, she had no intention of getting up since she had lost her will to fight completely.

“Is this real? I won?”

After hearing her victory announcement, Lily woke up from her trance.

The massive Charm Intent that Lily had unleashed moments ago had consumed her in return and made her show unusual behavior towards her female opponent. This filled Lily’s heart with worry as even though Charm Intent was one of the Grand Pathways of body refinement for women, it called for utmost caution in exercising control over the intent. This was especially true for Blade Maidens who harbored a powerful grudge within them.

Although Lily could fortunately use Lunar Force to neutralize the grudge with its powerful purification trait, Lily had a premonition that the Violet Moon had strengthened a lot from its earlier White Moon form while the Lunar Force’s purifying powers had weakened in comparison1.

Lily’s head finally cooled down and she felt an intense sensation of fatigue assail her.

Although she had reached the next level, she had little spirit reserves left. Her body was filled with scars from wounds and her willpower had reached its limits as well

Lily’s knees faltered to the floor, and she was forced to strut her body up with her cursed blade.

“Lily!” Ayaka leaped to the arena with no regard for everyone else and hugged Lily.

“A-Are you all right? Look how wounded you are. Let me check them,” Ayaka ran her eyes over Lily’s tattered dress and musk-scented sweaty body which looked fine except for the few regions that had reddened.

This was thanks to the defensive abilities of the celestial maiden underwear as well as the efforts that Lily had put into refining her body.

However, Ayaka knew that Lily had a narrow win and almost died under Shenzu’s hand. The situation was so severe that it had even made Ayaka consider falling out with the court to rescue her. Even if she rescued Lily forcefully, it wouldn’t really turn the court to her enemy, but even she couldn’t predict the repercussions.

“I’m fine… Lady Ayaka…” Although Lily thought that having the Chief Advisor hug her openly would incur the jealousy of some people, she had weakened so much that she couldn’t even push her away. The infinite power that filled her had vanished the moment the duel ended, and she had become as soft as a marshmallow now.

“Men!” Ayaka ordered icily, “Capture Yoruko’s murder suspect and send her to the Ministry of Justice for interrogation!”

Shenzu was powerless to even move at the moment and no one was willing to speak for the loser. A few Genji samurai climbed the arena and pulled her up, chaining her hands and feet with fetters on the scene before pushing her down to the floor again despite the sorry state of her dress.

No one spoke up for Shenzu and even the spectators cheered at the scene.

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Only Lily showed some pity in her eyes as she saw Shenzu pushed down in such a humiliating state. Unfortunately, Shenzu didn’t seem to notice that. Shenzu was in a completely disheartened state right now. She had lost so miserably and pathetically yet no one refuted her treatment or showed pity to her.

“I really hate you humans!” Shenzu clenched her lips tightly as she lowered her head, her despair gradually turning into hate towards all humanity…

Minamoto no Yoritomo’s sight fell on Shenzu, but his expression remained unchanging.

A few Fujiwara maids climbed up as well, “Lord Chief Advisor. Can you hand over Ms. Kagami to us? We shall have her treated.”

However, Lily rejected the offer, “I’m fine… I’m just… a bit tired.”

“Lily. Do you still plan to continue taking part till the end and receive the championship title by attending the Yoshitsune Memoria’s Grand Ceremony?” Ayaka asked worriedly.
“Mhm. Of course,” Lily chuckled, “But my dress is…”
Ayaka interjected, “Take Ms. Kagami down so she can rest and prepare her for attending the Grand Ceremony after that.”
“Yes, Miss,” the maids acknowledged.


The final night of Yoshitsune Memorial Day took place on the same day.

The Grand Ceremony had finally begun!

The arena rested on the earth now and the Onmyōji had summoned master-level shikigami smiths that restored the damage it had suffered with a rapid pace. Once they had fixed it up, they constructed another tall platform in front of this arena, which was where the ceremony would take place.

The three emperors, the chief advisor, and the shogun offered sacrifice to Yoshitsune, which was then followed by the ‘Old Beast’ from the Taira clan, Taira no Kiyomori. As Yoshitsune’s adoptive father, he too had come to offer sacrifice on this occasion.

The people sang and danced in festive dresses’ on the arena below the platform while the court officials kneeled in worship beside the platform.

“Let us welcome the brave woman who has received the title of Yoshitsune’s Inheritor by advancing into the final battle of Yoshitsune Memorial Tournament and winning the championship, Ms. Kagami Lily, onto to the platform so that she can offer sacrifice towards Lord Yoshitsune!” The high priest from the Imperial Shinto Shrine, an old and gray-haired man with a long beard, announced on the elevated platform.

The spectators turned silent after hearing the announcement and saw the red-dressed Lily walk to the center of the square-formation of kneeling officials.

Her long-sleeves dragged behind her skirt and dress’ length was thrice as long from her usual one, making her look like a captivating celestial maiden that had descended into the dark, mortal world.

Lily’s long hair was tied up neatly until her waist and she looked divine with the two jade medals in her hands as she climbed the platform solemnly.

“Please do the honors, Ms. Kagami Lily.”

Lily placed the jade medals on the violet wooden pedestal and received the oil lamp from the high priest’s hand before she arrived in front of the simple yet mystic memorial and prayed in silence with joined palms while kneeling solemnly.

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“Lord Yoshitsune. You showed me the light when I had just arrived in this Heian world and guided me through the darkness, so I’ll do everything in my power to fulfill your long-cherished wish. Even though you told me that you’re waiting for me at the destination, I have no clue where I am supposed to go. However, I’m looking forward to the day I meet your heroic spirit.”

“Please forgive me for my boldness in wearing Lady Shizuka’s dress today. I have no other intentions and just thought that it’d please you…”

Lily lit the censer on the memorial altar using the oil lamp and bowed by following formal imperial etiquette, showing her utmost sincerity. All her bows were filled with deep emotion and her solemn divineness hinted at a trace of sorrow.

The masses felt touched by her appearance, “This is the heartfelt reverence she holds for Lord Yoshitsune!”

An aged yet youthful voice resounded from the sky at this moment, “You have my gratitude.”

The clouds gathered momentarily for a short rain shower as the people raised their heads, “It’s Yoshitsune!”
“It’s Lord Yoshitsune’s spirit!”
“Lord Yoshitsune expressed his gratitude to Ms. Kagami!”
“A phenomenon like this has never occurred in past memorial ceremonies!”

Even the Cloistered Emperor behind the curtain, as well as Minamoto no Yoritomo, who sat beside the three emperors, also looked at Lily in stupefaction.

“This woman actually triggered a reaction from Yoshitsune’s heroic spirit?” The Cloistered Emperors’ gaze fell on the dainty, red-dressed girl, “I wonder if she still remembers the perfume that I gifted her? I wonder how the others would feel if they knew that I had made such a super move when she was still completely unknown. Hahahahahaha.”

Yoritomo also looked at Lily in silence before shaking his head as he remarked internally, “Although others might not know about it, I still recall that this dress is the ceremonial dress of Lady Shizuka, my little brother’s beloved wife… Does this rain represent your tears, Yoshitsune?”

Yoritomo reached out to catch and hold the rain showering from the sky with his gruff palm, his eyes filling with sorrow and complicated emotions as he gazed at the skies.

Lily continued to kneel virtuously on the platform under the people’s focus after offering sacrifice. However, the high priest didn’t command her to descend even after some time had passed. Lily also didn’t intend to ruin a solemn event like this, so she remained still instead of acting without permission.

Even the people below the platform became puzzled when there was no change for so long.

The high priest finally moved at this moment, but he actually descended the platform, leaving Lily alone on it, which deepened her puzzlement.

Judge Sasaki walked into the arena while dressed in a green kimono that was gaudier than Lily’s dress, “Ladies and gentlemen! The Yoshitsune Memorial Grand Ceremony formally ends! It’s now time for the grand celebration that everyone’s been waiting for!”

“Let us drink a toast for our Guardian, Lord Yoshitsune, for our Cloistered Emperor, for our Emperor Emeritus, for our Reigning Emperor, for our Imperial Court, and for our people! Let us drink a toast for our new champion, the prettiest, smartest, strongest, and cutest young woman of this generation—Ms. Kagami Lily! It’s celebration time, people!”
“Oooohhhh!”
“Oooohhhh!”

The crowd bustled with excitement and began singing and dancing fervently. It seemed that everyone except Lily had prepared for this celebration.

Classical music sounded through the arena as court attendants and Genji attendants brought in carts filled with food, drinks and fruits, which the people enjoyed. This was the true feast mentioned in tales!

As for Lily, even though it looked as if she was at the center of this banquet, she was sitting silently on the platform and couldn’t even have a single taste of these delicacies.

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Sasaki spoke up again after a while, “Please calm down, ladies and gentlemen. Let us move on to the prize of this celebration now! Just as all the earlier memorial ceremonies’ celebrations followed, the champion of the tournament is awarded the right to kiss a girl of their choosing and the girl isn’t allowed to refuse this kiss even if she’s married!”

“Oooohhhh!” The crowd cheered even more fervently.

“What?” Lily was dumbfounded on the platform, “There’s such a rule?”

However, the cheers turned into puzzlement soon after as the crowd discussed the problem this time.

“Silence, please,” Sasaki continued, “I know what puzzles you, ladies and gentlemen. The prize seemed proper since all the previous champions were men, but this time’s champion is a stunning woman instead. It doesn’t seem proper to award her with the right to kiss a random man now, does it? Therefore, the prize for this time’s celebration was changed after negotiation between the Cloistered Emperor and the Genji elders—The final winner who is still standing in the arena after going through unrestricted one-vs-one duels without killing the opponent will gain the right to kiss Ms. Kagami2!”

“Oooohhhh!” An explosive spell of excitement overcame the crowd!

“HUHHHH?!” Lily blushed embarrassedly in shock on the platform amid all this excitement.



References

  1. Silva: Hmmmmmmmmm…. does that mean Lily will be more lew… I mean, become much cooler in the future? Personality change?
  2. Robinxen: Oh no…. they just turned the yuri magnet on the entire city!

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