|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 3326 characters|
|Translator: Yuki||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1600 words|
The cat monster screeched out creating an eerie sensation. It was a bone-chilling cry. The cat monster jumped from the roof to the street, staring at Lily with eyes glowing in the dark.
Lily stood up from the broken tree uninjured. She felt that words could not get through to the cat monster anymore. Yasutsuna appeared in her hand, the evil slaying runes glowing on the blade inflaming the cat monster’s ferocity.
The cat monster’s swift actions belied its enormous body, with a sudden rush she slashed toward Lily with air-piercing claws.
Leveraging Yasutsuna, Lily slashed through the claws and deflected the paw to the side, with a follow-up Lily spun in the air and smashed a foot against the cat monster’s head.
“Bang!” The dense aura burst stacked with Lily’s strength and her grade 9 wooden shoes made for a frightening blow, the force sent the cat demon flying through a courtyard wall. Recovering from the tumble, the furious cat demon came running back at Lily.
“Why is this cat monster so furious? The previous tea set feels like half thievery half play. Have I provoked her somehow?”
With Yasutsuna in hand, Lily dashed down a street, in front of her a night patrolman was shocked silly by what he was seeing. Lily flashed past the patrolman and the cat monster following seemed to have lost all composure, sending a paw at the patrolman. Instantly Lily hurled out her scabbard, it flew above the patrolman’s head and smashed into the cat monster’s claws, breaking a few of them. Barely escaping with his life, the patrolman fled screaming. He was a samurai, though weak he was still able to flee. But that cat monster turned and was about to chase him.
Lily wasn’t too concerned about that patrolman’s life, but for some reason, she didn’t want the cat monster to commit more serious sins.
She slashed out a blade beam attempting to attract attention. Feeling the pain the cat monster turned and rushed at Lily. As expected. When turned into a cat monster, though the bakeneko’s power was greatly increased, she only reacted to unconscious instinct, all intelligence was suppressed.
With one hand Lily flipped her Yasutsuna over, in her other she held a scabbard. Spreading her long snowy white legs she took a steady stance in the middle of the street.
The cat monster came bounding at her surrounded by wind and eldritch clouds and slashed down with a paw accompanied by a tremendous amount of wind. A strong wind containing a concept with an unimaginable ripping power!
It was also this sort of wind that had ripped apart Lily’s clothes. The claws were easy to dodge, but the wind, that was harder to dodge. Lily was left with only an undergarment and a skirt.
She carefully guided Yasutsuna’s sword spine to collide with the claws, and heaved the claws aside, destabilizing the cat monster’s stance. When it came to strength, Lily was superior when using the first stance of the Tsukuyomi sword style. Taking advantage, Lily leaped up and readied Yasutsuna.
“Bam!” The blade spine smashed into the cat monster’s lower jaw sending the big head flying up, and instantly dashing above, Lily smashed her heavy scabbard down on that head.
The cat demon collapsed onto the ground, the stone tiles shattering under the weight. Flipping over and behind the cat demon, Lily grabbed the tails and tossed the cat monster into the air. Following with a leap, Lily led with a kick directly into the cat monster’s guts, then followed up with a whirlwind of blunt slashes from both scabbard and Yasutsuna, juggling the cat monster in the air. Howling in pain the cat monster was beaten unconscious.
Landing on the ground, Lily caught the cat monster and callously discarded the unconscious body at the corner of a wall. “Poof!” Exhausted of all power, the bakeneko returned to human form leaving a messy cat-eared two-tailed young lady.
Lily placed Yasutsuna’s edge on the bakeneko’s neck. “Time to go, I’m taking you to see Lady Ayaka.”
Slowly awakening, she looked at the blade without fear. “Just kill me, you bunch of disgusting nobles and samurai dogs.”
Confused, Lily asked, “Clearly you’ve stolen plenty of treasures and injured many samurai, yet you blame others?”
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“I will never accompany you to see the official, I won’t suffer such humiliation! My entire family has already been exterminated by you samurai! Do you imagine that I would allow myself to be caged and humiliated like a monster?”
“Monster?” Lily was surprised, few demons self-identify as monsters, “You’re originally a monster, why can’t you coexist like the night-market monsters?”
“I’m no monster! Kill me!” The bakeneko threw her neck at Lily’s blade lamenting “Yasutaro, sister’s unable to avenge you!”
Lily was startled, this bakeneko really wanted to die. She instantly withdrew her blade and pressed the bakeneko into the ground and kept her immobile with a foot.
“What do you want? Why don’t you kill me? Even if you don’t, I’ll kill myself! I won’t accept it! I won’t let myself be stripped and hung in front of the Suzaku gates! I won’t suffer such humiliation!” Bakeneko struggled desperately.
“Let me go!” Though the bakeneko had returned to human form, she still wanted to bite Lily.
Helpless, Lily tore off her clothes and skirt.
“Kya——!!!” The bakeneko cried out in shame, covering her small breasts and clamping both legs shut, a small white cloth could be seen between her thighs.
“You, what do you want?” After being stripped near-naked, she was much more honest and frightened, her cat ears laid flat against her head.
Lily shook her head “Why so shy? Didn’t I get similarly stripped?
“What similar? You still have a skirt and breastband!”
“That’s because I’m the victor!”
“Don’t be arrogant! If you send me to the officials I’ll bite my tongue and kill myself!”
Lily replied, “Before anything, first answer this question.”
“I won’t answer anything to someone who likes stripping other people!”
Lily ignored her objections, “Who is Yasutaro, and what is your relationship with Fuji-san?”
Bakeneko’s eyes filled with sadness, “Yasutaro… Yasutaro was murdered by you samurai!”
Instantly, Lily understood. Her expression was no longer fierce, but had a hint of sadness.
“Lady bakeneko… do you… do you still recognize this?”
From her mirror1, Lily pulled out the grade 7 tea set, Fuji-san.
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“What!?” When the bakeneko saw Fuji-san, she was stunned, both ears perking straight up.
“Why, why is this… why is father’s Fuji-san here with you?” she shuddered uncontrollably.
“Yasutaro handed it to me.” Lily calmly replied.
“Yasutaro… tell me, how did he die…”
Lily yanked off the remaining portion of her skirt leaving herself in white panties and covered the bakeneko’s small body with the cloth.
Lily gently replied, “Yasutaro, he was killed by Tokugawa’s swordsmen.”
“Oh……” Bakeneko’s eyes dimmed, “So those assassins were telling the truth… Yasutaro, wuaaaa——” her ears dropped as she hugged her knees sobbing.
Lily knelt down to comfort her, “Are you…are you really Yasutaro’s sister? But why can you morph into a cat monster?”
Bakeneko nodded her head sobbing, “Yasutaro, it’s sister’s fault… if only sister had this power earlier, our family wouldn’t have suffered this disaster!”
Lily placed Fuji-san into her hand,s “So you were stealing all those tea sets… just to find this?”
She held Fuji-san up to her cheeks, remembering her father’s and Yasutaro’s scent.
Lily led the bakeneko to a small river, both sitting beneath a large willow tree.
Bakeneko sat beneath the tree looking at the silver moon reflected in the river, she slowly talked, “My original name was Honami Nariaki, I grew up in Kansai. When my mother died, my father and I traveled to Kanto. He remarried, though that woman Yukiko treated me well, I still thought he betrayed mother. I ran away and traveled to Kansai in a fit of temper. On the way to Heian-kyo, I adopted a small cat, I felt she was just like me, abandoned by family. I named her Hanako. Back then, the road from Kanto to Kansai wasn’t so dangerous. I reached Heian-kyo and started learning swordsmanship from a martial court in the outskirts.”
“Only… one day rumors said father’s city had been occupied by Tokugawa. I ignored my teacher’s advice and left Heian-kyo for revenge. I didn’t imagine I would be intercepted by three Tokugawa swordsmen at Mikawa, they told me they had already killed my little brother, and they seemed to think I had Fuji-san, so they attacked. I wasn’t as skilled as I had thought, so I was defeated and mortally injured. They couldn’t find Fuji-san on me, but when they searched me they were interested in my beauty and they… humiliated me… afterward, they threw me into the wilds to die.”
“Hanako appeared, she had wanted to repay my kindness and had followed me. To save me, she sacrificed her soul and melded with me, I was reborn, just with cat ears and extra tails. I knew I wasn’t a match for Tokugawa so I returned to Heian-kyo, but I was treated as a monster and almost killed. I was rescued by my benefactor, she was very skilled. While healing me she released the hidden resentment within my body. It increased my powers and gave me the ability to incarnate as a two-tailed monster cat. She asked me to forget the past and gave me a new name Natsu Nariaki, I am no longer the daughter of a lord, but a bakeneko wandering the night-markets of Heian-kyo.”
- Robinxen: I have some concerns here, the translator didn’t know about the mirror. Well I guess that can happen when you jump into a project several hundred chapters into it.
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