Chapter 34 – The Immortal’s Shrine

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3178 characters
Translator: LazyButAmbitious English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1997 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

Lily followed Tsubiro across the steep cliff wall to the other side. Here, there were ancient wooden buildings and towers built along the mountainside, supported by huge wooden pillars and wooden frames. In some places, large cavities were dug directly into the mountainside, and there were many shrines inside.

The surrounding cliff was covered with green pines and lingering white clouds, giving the scenery a celestial, haven-like atmosphere, which felt quite refreshing.

The towers and temples that protruded from the cliffs everywhere were connected by wooden stairs and suspension bridges. These buildings exuded an ancient, historical feeling, and they looked to have experienced vicissitudes of old.

Lily could see that, in the temples and towers above, there were several youths wearing white robes similar to the old man, who were either practicing martial arts or arcane arts.

However, instead of katanas, they used spears, naginatas, and other weapons to practice martial arts.

Tsubiro led Lily up the platforms. The youths who were practicing on both sides had graceful figures and immortal-like bearings, and they all bowed in greeting when they saw the old man, “Immortal.”

Lily was astonished. Was this old man really immortal?!

It’s just that…although the title of immortal had a long history, no one had explained to Lily exactly what it means.

What was immortal? What were gods?

It seemed that there was no clear definition in the mortal world.

The old man was very powerful, much stronger than Lily. Although Lily couldn’t detect his realm, she didn’t dare to probe at will. But what was the strength of this old man? Beyond the Throne Stage?

The existence of the legendary Big Dipper Stage?

But, although Lily intuitively felt that the old man was strong, there seemed to be a small gap between him and Kimiko, Ayaka, and Minamoto no Yoritomo. The sense of oppression he emitted felt even less than Rokuhara in the beginning.

But maybe it’s because of her own short-sightedness that she couldn’t see through this immortal, right?

“Girl, this is my Tsubiro Shrine. Most of these disciples are people who grew up in this Izumo Mountain, and some came from outside to study here.” Tsubiro said.

“Grew up in Izumo Mountain?” Lily wondered.

“Yes, since ancient times, many adepts have come to Izumo Mountain because the qualifications to enter the mountain are very strict and there is an abundance of spiritual energy, so they stay here to practice. Some people practice here for decades and even settle here. There are quite a few villages occupied by adepts in this Izumo Mountain, and these disciples were selected from among them.”

Lily nodded in a daze. It seemed that this was really a world that was isolated from outside society— a world of self-proclaimed systems.

However, after sweeping a glance at them, Lily realized that most of these disciples were not too strong, but if they were only ordinary disciples, they surpassed the average level of those in outside dojos.

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The old man brought Lily to the upper floor where there was a large wooden platform, and on one side of the platform, there was a cave chamber cut into the rock wall.

“Please come with me, girl.”

Tsubiro brought Lily into the cave chamber, which seemed to lead deep into the mountain. He pointed into the depths of the cave where there was faint, mysterious light, and said, “Inside there is the place where the disciples with relatively higher strength and the immortals practice.”

“Eh? Are there other immortals?” Lily was surprised.

“Yes, there are several immortals and quasi-immortals living in this shrine. Haha.”

Lily nodded with a look of awe on her face.

“Please look here, girl.” Tsubiro pointed to the dark side of the cave where, to her surprise, there were huge green, red and black ghost faces1.

Lily was startled when she saw it, and she felt that these ghost faces were a bit freaky.

“This is…”

“Hehe, girl, don’t just look at them as ugly things. These are magic tools specially used to test one’s mental strength. If one has a strong mind without any distractions from the outside world, their hand will not be bitten when placed into the mouth of the ghost face.”

“Oh? There is such a thing?” Lily found the idea quite novel.

“If you reach into the mouth of the green ghost face and don’t get bitten, you can learn a high-level arcane art here. If you reach into the mouth of the red ghost face and don’t get bitten, you can learn a peak high-level arcane art that is not available in the outside world!”

“If…you reach into the mouth of the black ghost face and don’t get bitten…” Tsubiro’s eyes shone with a brilliant light, “You can learn a kind of celestial art here!”

“What?! Celestial arts?!” Lily couldn’t conceal the desire and excitement in her eyes.

“What? Looking at your expression, girl, are you very interested?”

Learning celestial arts! This was something that could hardly be learned in the outside world. Lady Ayaka might know a few of them, but not even her might know the celestial arts in Izumo Mountain, right?

Finally, Lily felt that she had come here to usher in her first big opportunity.

“Although Lily is a samurai, I think I have a slight understanding of arcane arts, so I naturally want to learn more profound spells. If Lily has the chance to learn celestial arts, then of course, I would like to do so.” Lily was straightforward about her desire to seek truth in practice.

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“Hehe, girl, you are a sincere person, but although this old man admires you, the rules of this shrine are still the rules. Each adept who comes here has only one chance to choose to accept the test of one of the three ghost faces. If you pass, you get the corresponding reward, but if you fail, you must leave the shrine immediately. Naturally, the black ghost face requires the highest mental qualifications, and I can tell you that there are very, very few adepts who have ever passed the test of the black ghost face. Girl, shouldn’t you think this through very seriously?” Tsubiro reminded.

Where couldn’t Lily learn high-level arcane arts? She had to challenge herself to get the opportunity to learn celestial arts.

“Lily has thought it through.” Lily smiled confidently.

Tsubiro nodded, “Then please, girl.”

Before Lily walked up to the black mask, she silently concentrated her mind. There was nothing to worry about. If she couldn’t pass this celestial arts test, it wouldn’t be a pity to lose another opportunity.

What would happen if you got bitten by a ghost face? If one panicked and started to fear the unknown, how could such a person with a timid heart pass the test?

Tsubiro was stronger than Lily, so if he wanted to harm her, why would he go to such lengths?

Lily took a deep breath and concentrated her mind, but her heart was still like water. She slightly stretched out her slender white arm and placed it into the mouth of the black ghost face.

A frightening and incomparably terrifying aura came from the inside of the black ghost face, and Lily felt a chill in her heart and soul, causing cold sweat to break out all over her body. It was as if her hand had reached into hell.

For a moment, Lily wanted to withdraw her hand in fear, but she held back. My mind is carrying not only me. How can I retreat in such a situation!

A wave of holy light surged in Lily’s heart, dispersing the endless darkness that assaulted her.

After a while, Lily’s expression became gentle and calm, as if it would be fine even if she kept her hand inside for a longer time.

“What…” Tsubiro opened his eyes wide, revealing an extremely excited look as he stared at the seemingly poised Lily, “How is this possible… Girl, you, you…”

Lily didn’t dare to take out her hand at will, so she turned her head and asked, “Senior, did Lily pass the test?”

“Pass, pass…perfect pass!” Tsubiro spoke a little incoherently.

“Girl, this old man has guided many people here. Although there are occasionally those who pass, you are the first one who had a naturally relaxed performance without the slightest fear! Oh heavens, girl, your physique…I’m afraid there isn’t a second in the world!”

“Physique2?”

“Ah, this old man was a little too excited and started rambling. The mind is important, but of course, one’s mind and body are also closely related.” Tsubiro said with a sweaty forehead.

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“Girl, you can take your hand out.”

Lily casually withdrew her hand, which still looked white and flawless.

“So? Can senior really teach me celestial arts?”

“Certainly, of course! With young miss’s aptitude, I would be eager to teach you even if you didn’t want to learn. It’s simply a waste if you don’t learn celestial arts!” Tsubiro seemed to be more excited than Lily imagined.

Ayaka had also been amazed and praised Lily’s strong mind, but she hadn’t been so excited.

But in any case, it was something that was greatly to her advantage.

“Girl, although you have such qualifications, I am restricted by the rules of Izumo Mountain and can only teach you one celestial art. In this case, you also need to accept me as a teacher. Are you willing?” Tsubiro trembled while suppressing his excitement and said. He really never expected to meet such a qualified woman today.

They met by chance, and since she wanted to learn celestial arts, the request for apprenticeship was fair and reasonable.

Lily bent her knees and bowed, “Master is high above. Please accept Lily’s obeisance.”

This girl is really knowledgeable and sensible, Tsubiro was very satisfied the more he looked at Lily and nodded his head.

Lily got up and Tsubiro said, “Girl, come with me.”

He brought Lily into the cave, which was full of strange lights and purple energy lingering in the air. Although it was a little cold, it was indeed suffused with celestial spiritual energy.

“Only those ordinary disciples practice outside. With your strength and aptitude as a girl, you are naturally qualified to practice near us immortals.”

Tsubiro took Lily to a dark and cold cave chamber that had a diameter of six or seven meters and a stone lantern burning with a faint purple flame. There was a naturally cut stone bed and a small pond with a mountain spring trickling on the side.

“Girl, you will practice here temporarily, but once you have mastered a celestial art, you must also go down the mountain and cannot stay any longer.”

“Yes, Lily understands.”

Tsubiro took out an ancient scroll from his bosom and said, “Girl, before learning celestial art, you must first learn how to convert physical energy and spiritual energy into celestial power. Celestial energy is the fundamental power necessary to learn celestial arts. As for which celestial arts to learn, I will come back to discuss with you in detail after you learn how to convert to celestial energy.”

“Thank you, Master.” Lily received the scroll with both hands respectfully.

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Tsubiro nodded with satisfaction, “Then, girl, stay here and practice first. This old man resides at the large innermost cave chamber dozens of steps ahead. After you have successfully practiced the method according to the scroll, you can come to me to learn celestial arts. It’s not easy to grasp celestial power, but with young miss’s aptitude, I don’t think it will become a bottleneck.”

“Yes, Lily will definitely work hard and practice as soon as possible.”

“Hm,” He nodded with satisfaction, “If you need any daily necessities, you can go to the pavilion outside where everything is available. I will tend to the disciples in my spare time.”

“Thank you, Master.”

Tsubiro forcibly suppressed the excited look in his eyes, nodded deeply, and turned to leave3.



References

  1. LazyButAmbitious: Think of them like Japanese Oni Masks
  2. Robinxen: We knew her body was special already.
  3. Robinxen: Let’s see how quickly she amazes him with her learning speed.

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