|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 3157 characters|
|Translator: Yuki||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1914 words|
Three days after Lily walked out of the ancient ruins, she finally reached the foot of mount Izumo’s main peak.
Looking up the skies were gloomy, clouds covered the skies and the sunlight that shone through the clouds was light gray color. It mixed in with the dark green of the jungle and reflected off the dew turning into a white mist, it felt like a celestial realm.
The path ahead was a small gravel road snaking up the towering peak, vanishing into the clouds.
“Does this road reach the top of the main peak?” Lily looked up and felt that this road looked quite peaceful if wild, and somehow didn’t look that difficult.
“Let’s go…” She gently rubbed her soft hair, and took her first steps up the path, dressed in a red outfit with a katana at her waist.
“Hey, miss, please wait a moment.” From the forest on the side of the road came a gentle middle-aged man’s voice, surprising Lily.
When she took her first step, she could feel that her spirit probe had been suppressed so much that she didn’t detect a person some ten meters away.
Turning around, she saw a brown robed monk with a hat walk out of the forest.
The monk didn’t look too tall, and was a bit on the thin side. Judging from his peaceful aura, it seemed that he didn’t intend to turn hostile with her, but she still remained cautious.
He took off his hat as he neared her, he looked ordinary, but in between his eyebrows was the deep aura of an onmyouji.
“Miss, this penniless monk is Ryuzoji Satoyasu. I know that it wasn’t easy for miss to arrive here. Miss should have encountered many dangers and I have no intention of fighting miss. I only want to ask, if miss is willing to make a deal?” The monk placed his palms together and bowed.
“Trade!?” Lily’s expression was cautious.
“Miss need not worry, I shall speak plainly, this penniless monk surpassed countless hardships to arrive at the foot of this mountain, but I do not have an invitation scroll and am unable to climb the main peak. I would like to use my treasures to exchange for miss’s hidden scroll, I wonder if you are willing?” Ryuzoji asked sincerely with a benevolent face.
“Why are you certain that I have an invitation scroll? Maybe I don’t have one either?”
“Hehe, since miss can walk up these steps without hesitation, then miss must have an invitation scroll. This mountain has a mystical power, though no one guards the path. If you attempt to climb without an invitation scroll, then you will be lost soon and when you awaken you will find yourself at the foot of the mountain. It is impossible to climb this peak, I have tried several times already.”
“……so it’s like that? I thank the abbot for the warning, though I have a hidden scroll, I have no plans on trading it.”
“This penniless monk still has some treasures, is miss not willing to look at the treasures before deciding? If miss decides to climb the peak, miss might not gain more treasures than I can exchange with you. This penniless monk is willing to trade all his treasures with you.”
“If you exchange all your treasures, what’s the use going up?”
“This penniless monk pursues the path of the heart, and not treasures or power.” The monk reverently replied, it looked like he wasn’t lying.
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Lily nodded, “I sincerely admire the abbot’s mental realm. Only, my reason for climbing this peak is not strength or treasure either. Forgive my inability to grant this exchange.” Lily humbly and firmly refused.
“I see…then safe travels, this penniless monk will await the next benefactor. I have already waited here for ten years…” He saluted Lily with both palms together1.
“Farewell, abbot.” Lily turned and walked towards the peak.
No wonder, she had wondered how such a big mountain would be guarded so that only those with the invitation scroll could enter. It turned out that the mountain itself had a mysterious power.
Having experienced the power of Mount Izumo’s Goddess Statue, Lily had no doubt that the main peak would also have such a power.
Climbing the path, Lily didn’t feel a suppression like when she was climbing the goddess statue mountain.
Only, she couldn’t judge just how high the mountain was.
But if this mountain was only high, then it would be nothing for experts, why were they unable to climb to the top?
Slowly, but gradually, Lily walked into the clouds covering the mountain.
The spirit energy here was incomparable to the world outside, it was at least ten times as dense here.
Looking around, white mist lingered around ancient trees and strange rocks, it had the atmosphere of a celestial wonderland.
“As expected of the place immortals gather, the main peak of Izumo…” Lily silently exclaimed.
At this moment, on the stone path within the mist, she vaguely saw a person.
It was a celestial looking old man in white robes. He was big and muscular, his forehead was smooth and shiny, his hair and beard came together. His fluffy and wide white hair white beard were curly, his nose big, on his large but wrinkly face was a pair of eagle-like eyes underneath sunken eyebrows. He emanated an extraordinary transcendent like aura.
The old man’s hands and feet were extraordinarily big, in his hand was an ancient wood spiked club, his robes reached knee level and he wore dark trousers and high leggings.
This outfit wasn’t something an ordinary civilian of Heian-kyo would wear.
The elder watched Lily climb up, and as he spoke, the mountains echoed with this voice.
“Little girl…have you come to tour my Izumo Mountain?”
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The voice brought a powerful and unfathomable power of suppression.
“Immortal?” Lily’s heart gave a jolt, she had never seen an elder with such temperament and aura, it was as if he had melded together with the intent and environment of Mount Izumo.
Lily stepped forward and bowed carefully, “This girl, greets senior.”
“Ahahaha, to be able to arrive here so young, you must be talented. With such beauty and yet still humble. How rare, how very rare.” The elder held the spiked club as he looked down from up high, his voice as thick as thunder.
“Thank you, you’re very kind.” In the face of this possible immortal hermit, Lily dared not be excessive and remained very humble and submissive.
“Little girl, you, where are you from? Where are you going?”
“This little girl is named Kagami Lily, I come from Heian-kyo and I want to climb to the peak of this mountain.” Lily truthfully replied.
“Ahahahaha!” The elder’s thunder-like laughter resounded around them, “Little girl, how ambitious! Do you know how little people have managed to climb to the peak in these thousands of years? That is where the gods gather, how difficult it is for mortals to reach the top!”
“Lily knows, only, there are doubts in Lily’s heart that cannot be solved, I only desire to climb to the peak and ask for advice from the gods.”
“Hohh……seeing your sincerity, perhaps you might have a chance, only it will all depend on your fortune.”
“I thank senior for your guidance.”
“Hmm…” The elder looked at Lily and was shocked after a spirit probe. “Little girl, your strength is extraordinary.”
“Lily is only a beginner.” Lily had felt the spirit probe and could instantly tell that his strength vastly overshadowed hers.
His eyes lit up as he looked at Lily with more and more satisfaction, nodding in approval. “Little girl, though this may be unnecessary but this is my duty, could you please show me your invitation scroll?”
Lily hesitated for a bit but this immortal was far stronger than she was, and he was already in the mountain. He was not going to steal her scroll, she was too vigilant and disrespectful to the immortal.
She offered the scroll with both hands.
The elder didn’t pick up the scroll and only put a big hand on the top, his eyes lit up “Ah, this is indeed an Izumo mountain’s invitation scroll. This still has the aura of the royal treasury, this was given to you by the royal family?”
Lily was stunned, this elder could tell with just a touch, how amazing. She naturally admitted the truth.
The elder was very satisfied with Lily, “This old man is guardian of Izumo mountain’s middle level, Tsubiro. The road to the top is long and difficult, since you have traveled thousands of miles here, meeting me is a chance for you. This old man would like to invite you to visit my shrine, speaking of, ten years ago there was another tall beauty called Ayaka who passed by and studied at my shrine2.”
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“Lady Ayaka?” Lily perked up, the foremost onmyouji in the world Lady Ayaka would not have been able to reach the heights she was at just from studying at the Izumo shrine. She must have found opportunities in this Izumo mountain, and perhaps even learned from immortals in Izumo mountain… Perhaps that’s why her strength was transcendental?
It was said that even if you don’t reach the top of mount Izumo, there are still many opportunities. The most powerful weapon in Lady Ayaka’s possession, the low level spirit artifact Izumomaru was obviously acquired by Fujiwara ancestors in mount Izumo. Lily’s entire trip here was filled with danger, but she hadn’t encountered any opportunities.
Though her goal was to reach the peak of Izumo mountain, she would not miss any opportunities along the way.
“Lily is but a woman of humble birth, I thank the senior for the favorable impression. Lily will naturally obey.” Lily saluted happily, though she was a samurai, it would be great if she could learn some of Izumo’s secret techniques, or celestial artes!
“Ehehehe, the little lady is gentle on the outside, but exuberant on the inside! Please——”
The muscular white haired white bearded elder Tsubiro nodded in satisfaction.
Tsubiro walked up the mountains, Lily following behind. This senior’s back and waist was strong and muscular, it looks like this senior wasn’t just proficient in the celestial arts, but also skilled in martial arts. She must look for the opportunity to ask him for guidance.
If she missed this opportunity, it would be difficult to find another one in the future.
They walked for a long time, within the mist and fog, they reached a side road, that road was steeper than the main road.
The two walked and walked, eventually reaching a cliff. Beneath the cliff, a sea of clouds writhed, yet faintly excluded a heart pounding ancient aura.
Lily followed the elder up the narrow mountain road with her back to the cliff. The elder was so big, yet he walked so steadily.
“Little girl, the mountains are high and the path dangerous, you must be careful. If you accidentally fall off, then not even I can save you.”
Although the road was dangerous, Lily’s reaction speed and sense of balance were among the best in the world. As long as she was careful, she would not be in trouble, afterall, if you don’t encounter danger, how could you get true knowledge?
“Thank you for the reminder, Lily will be careful.” Lily had adapted to the road and kept up with the elder’s speed.
- Robinxen: Wait he’s really just there for that reason… no ulterior motive? Wow. I never imagined it.
- Robinxen: What a crazy coincidence!