|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 3046 characters|
|Translator: Aoi||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1945 words|
“Are there any other challengers?” Taira no Mori’s aura soared up, sparks flying around him. It was possible to sense his enlightenment in the flames even from afar as it had reached an incredibly profound level.
The crowd turned silent as challenging Taira no Mori, the Left Imperial Guards’ Commander of Heian-kyo, was equivalent to having a death wish.
Even if these worshippers idolized Lily, they didn’t wish to bet their lives on the line. However, Minamoto no Yoshitada got up from the Genji’s side at this moment.
“Sir Mori! I don’t long for Ms. Kagami, but this is a memorial of Genji’s hero. It’d feel like Genji lost if the memorial tournament’s champion is forced to kiss someone from the Taira clan! Please allow me to challenge you to this game, Sir Mori! After all, we rarely get a chance to exchange pointers as we’re both court officials!”
Minamoto no Yoshitada jumped up after saying this and shrouded his body in a golden barrier as he strode across the sky, leaving behind golden footprints in the night sky as he descended to the arena.
The spectators exclaimed in admiration successively and watched the duo with bated breaths as an incredibly high-level battle was on the verge of unfolding in the next few moments! They never imagined that the duels to win a kiss from a little lass would turn into such a huge event that’d involve a confrontation between the Left and Right Imperial Guards’ Commanders!
This was a battle that’d go down in the annals of the Heian Empire!
“Hahahahaha!” The Cloistered Emperor chucked while covering his face, “How interesting. I’ve experienced this grand ceremony so many times over the years, but this year’s event is the most magnificent and unprecedented of them all! It looks like the high-ranking military officers of my Heian Empire are still brimming with vitality!”
Minamoto no Yoritomo wore a calm expression and bore witness to everything silently.
The duel finally began!
Mori brandished his tachi wildly and sent a flaming tornado towards Yoshitada, who in turn summoned a bronze-colored, demon-faced, revolving round shield in front of him to block the flaming tornado—the mouth of the demon sucking in all the flames while emitting smoke!
Mori raised his tachi and strode forward in wide steps before he kicked the massive round shield away, sending it shattering through one of the fire beacons on the arena before crashing into a house on the streetside, destroying its wall in the process.
Yoshitada had already leaped up from behind the shield and slashed towards Mori with the tachi in his hand which was infused with earthly metallic energy!
Mori’s tachi also lit up with soaring flames.
Boom! The clash between their blades caused the color of the skies to change and the whole land shook as flames soared to the skies!
“So powerful!” Lily was also stunned by the result. Although they were dueling on a matter that didn’t have her assent, she still watched it solemnly and hoped to gain some enlightenment on the late-stage Throned Sovereign level from the fierce battle of these two experts.
Mori and Yoshitada were equally matched, so the battle was as fierce as a war between armies of two provinces. The flaming energy and metallic energy collided with each other as the duo clashed with imposing momentum, unfolding a tremendous battle.
It was quite unexpected that the Genji’s and Taira’s top experts were battling so fiercely just for a single woman, and even though they weren’t expecting to do something like this, both of them weren’t willing to lose now that things had come to such a stage!
However, the battle continued into the night without any signs of an imminent outcome since they were both equally matched.
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“The flaming energy holds a bit of a suppressive effect on the metallic energy because of the relationship between the attributes! I predict that Mori will win the beauty in the end,” The Cloistered Emperor waved his paper fan while smiling.
“This is the memorial event of Genji’s hero. We’ll lose our reputation among the samurai if the Genji lose this duel. Yoshitada cannot afford to lose the match as well…” Minamoto no Kiyomori commented, “What do you say, Lord Yoritomo?”
“Haha. I believe that this matter is unrelated to the prestige of Taira and Genji, and that the two just wish to obtain Ms. Kagami. Is there a need to take this game so seriously?” Minamoto no Yoritomo answered casually.
“Ms. Kagami is Yoshitsune’s Inheritor! We cannot allow the Taira clan to obtain her!” The Genji samurai cheered for Yoshitada fervently one after the other and some of them even stripped their upper robes before they bared their torsos and struck the drums to cheer!
“Ms. Kagami is the world’s prettiest woman! You must win and obtain her, Lord Mori! She ought to become the Taira clan’s goddess! Win, Lord Mori!”
“Win! Win! Win!” A bunch of Taira clan samurai clapped and danced with strips tied on their foreheads as a response to the Genji’s cheers!
“Sir Yoshitada, you must take the beauty back home!”
“Shut up! Sir Mori will be the one who wins!”
The samurai as well as the people drank in celebration, engaging in chatter all the more. Meanwhile, Lily’s cheeks flushed up on the platform and she found it unbearable that these people were treating her like an object.
Her eyes filled with helplessness. Although it was a celebration, so many men dueling it out to win her kiss in front of the masses made her feel incredibly ashamed.
The Chancellor of the Realm seated beside Ayaka commented in a drunken stupor at this moment, “Who do you believe will win, Lord Chief Advisor? Taira or Genji? I bet on the Taira clan winning since the Cloistered Emperor predicts that Sir Mori will win. I really want to see a proud and arrogant woman like Ms. Kagami kiss a man. In the end, women are fated to become…”
Ayaka’s sleeves fluttered in the wind as she got up.
The Cloistered Emperor, the Reigning Emperor, Minamoto no Yoritomo as well as the other imperials all looked at Ayaka.
“Ayaka. What are you…”
Ayaka jumped up to the sky gracefully before the Cloistered Emperor could finish his words and turned into a gust of scented wind, descending to the arena.
The wind caused the wine cup in the Chancellor’s hand to topple over and splash all over his body.
“Oi!” The Chancellor of the Realm wished to complain about the state he was left in, but Ayaka had already reached above the arena.
The tachi in Yoshitada’s hand shone with a golden gleam, “Give up this duel, Mori!”
Mori’s blade churned with flames, “Let’s decide who’s the stronger one among us today, Yoshitada!”
“Enough of it!” A woman’s deep voice resounded from the sky suddenly.
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A white shadow landed between the two Thrones, which was equivalent to wanting a death wish in the eyes of the other adepts!
Getting in between the clash of two Thorned Sovereigns was an insane thing to do!
However, Ayaka simply extended her arms and opened up her fingers to catch the blades of the Throned Sovereigns’ weapons while standing in between them with her hair dancing in the strong wind.
“What?!” The duo was shocked to see the Chief Advisor appear before them, but it was already too late to stop.
“Lady Ayaka!” Lily was also stunned on the platform.
Yoshitada and Mori’s blades slashed at Ayaka’s hands, whose palms generated a vortex at their center that sucked in both the flaming energy and metallic energy from Mori and Yoshitada’s blades, turning into a metallic-colored vortex and a flame-colored vortex.
A metallic and red lotus bloomed from the vortexes, following which both Mori and Yoshitada were blown away. The duo fell to the opposite corners of the arena and their katanas also left their hands, falling to the side.
Pfft! The two of them held their chests and spewed out blood from their mouths.
“L-Lord Chief Advisor. What do you mean by this…?” Minamoto no Yoshitada questioned as he got up.
“Lord. Chief Advisor… Please tell me what crime I’ve committed that has called for you to attack me without any warning?” Mori’s face paled as he asked in a shuddering voice.
However, Ayaka just wore a cold expression and said directly, “Are you going to come at me together or alone?”
The spectators were shocked by this statement.
“I-Is the Chief Advisor also going to take part?”
“D-Does that mean she’s going to fight over Kagami Lily’s kiss?”
The samurai and the officials discussed this matter spiritedly in a low voice.
“How could someone like the Chief Advisor aim for the prize with the position she’s in?”
“The Chief Advisor and Ms. Kagami are both women. W-Why is she doing such a thing? Don’t tell me she’s actually…”
The members of the Fujiwara clan wore unsightly expressions right now and didn’t respond fervently like the Genji and the Taira. After all, even though the Heian Empire had an open-minded culture, the Chief Advisor’s sex scandals weren’t much of a secret. However, it was still an entirely different matter for her to act publicly in front of the masses and the three emperors. As the Chief Advisor, it was really quite improper for her to fight over a woman’s kiss with the lower officials and samurai!
The Cloistered Emperor, Reigning Emperor, Kiyomori and the others also revealed stunned expressions on the central viewing platform. Yoritomo was the only one who showed no change in expression and drank tea like usual.
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Yoshitada grabbed his chest and said, “Keogh… I have nothing to say since you’re taking part, Lord Chief Advisor. I concede.”
Mori also spoke up, “I know that we aren’t your match even if we team up against you, so I don’t dare to offend you anymore, Lord Chief Advisor. I shall concede as well.”
Although they conceded, it was clear from the duo’s attitude that they had done it unwillingly.
Taira no Mori and Minamoto no Yoshitada raised their bodies feebly and picked up their blades, walking off the arena with heavy footsteps, completely void of the will to battle.
“Lady Ayaka…” Lily rejoiced in astonishment while sitting alone on the platform, believing that no one else would win since Ayaka had made her move.
However, she worried again after realizing that the issue still remained. It meant that she’d have to kiss Ayaka in public. Although this outcome was much better than kissing one of those two men, she suspected that Ayaka wouldn’t let it happen so simply…
Lily feared that Ayaka wouldn’t spare her with just a casual kiss and demand a deep kiss from her in front of everyone… this wasn’t something that Lily could accept. Lily’s joy waned away instantly, and her pulse raced as she began shuddering.
Ayaka stood at the center of the arena.
The samurai hadn’t expected that Ayaka, one of the three apex experts of the humans in the Heian Empire, would make a move as well. As such, no one else dared to come forward again.
The samurai were dumbfounded by this development and the emotions of envy, denial and powerlessness filled them as they chose to withdraw their intentions of taking part in the duels.
The fire beacons on the viewing platform shone upon the arena, illuminating the lone figure of the proud, number one female onmyōji of the Empire.
“Hahahahahahahaha!” A cluster of black clouds formed in the night skies suddenly, followed by a seductive laughter that resounded from the north direction.