Chapter 13 – True Elites of the Army

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3201 characters
Translator: Yuki English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1916 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

Hirohikari almost fell off the bench at the news, “Even Taien Ryuji wasn’t that monster’s opponent?”

Yoshitada’s face was grim, “That Ryuji was an extreme peak-staged permanence powerhouse a step away from the throne realm. Is this Hayabusa a throned arch-demon!?”

“Impossible, didn’t the reports say that Shuten Doji and Ibaraki Doji are the only throned experts on Mount Ooe? How could this nameless opponent be a throned arch-demon?” Hirohikari refuted.

Makoto’s expression wasn’t good. “It seems like the reports from the Bureau of Divination were wrong, or it could be a companion Shuten Doji has from elsewhere.”

Taira no Shigemori said, “Commander, I think it is not the best strategy to just send one expert to deal with Hayabusa. Though our army is numerous, I’m afraid that the experts we have do not match that of the demon’s side.”

“Hmph, then you want to send the ordinary soldiers to die?” A military general retorted.

“Of course not. Generals, this time we have made plenty of preparations to invade Mount Ooe. I just never thought that we would encounter such a strong arch-demon so soon. It is time for us to use our formations!” Shigemori’s eyes were filled with pride.

Formations, a method only the most skilled of elite units could use after years of training in accordance to the instructions passed down through martial families. The army formations formed from a small number of experts with the elites of an army were especially strong.

Makoto nodded, the army formations were indeed humankind’s trump against arch-demons. If it were possible, Makoto didn’t want to use it so fast. Once exposed, the opponents could develop methods to counter formations.

Back in Heian-kyo, Lily had used her incredible movement techniques to halt the Rashomon spirit and then Abe no Seimei had used the Onmyoji great array to gather and form a single strike from combined powers of those participating and eventually injured the Rashomon spirit. This array was also a type of formation. All the onmyoji in that fight were weaker than Ibaraki Doji, even if they swarmed against Ibaraki all that would result would be their deaths, but once a formation was used, everything changed, to unify the power of the crowd.

Assuming that a permanence staged adept was ten times stronger than a spirit jade adept. But in most cases, when ten spirit jade adepts join forces, they still couldn’t defeat a permanence expert because none had the power to break through the defenses of that expert. But if the ten spirit jade adepts used a formation, then not only could they gather the powers of ten spirit jade adepts, their powers would be magnified and given special properties from the formation. With some high grade formations, only six or seven spirit jade adepts would be needed to exterminate a permanence realmed expert.

“Which lord here, is willing to lead his elite forces to form a formation for the purpose of exterminating Hayabusa?” Makoto asked.

The generals looked at each other in dismay, few martial families had brought army formations with them.

“What, formations? Do we actually have that?” Takamune asked with a face full of confusion.

This time, Lily did not secretly laugh at Takamune, she had always stayed alone and did not know much about formations either.

Shigemori looked at the group, “Since this was my proposal, then my Taira clan shall be the first to engage. One hundred eighty experts at awakened fourth stage and above will form the Tai Fire formation. This formation was passed down from Lord Taira no Kiyomori and the flames it adds are both mysterious and powerful, more than enough to kill a throned general expert!”

The other generals looked at each other and couldn’t help but nod. The Taira might be a declining clan, but in their heyday, Minamoto no Yoritomo and Minamoto no Yoshitsune were but little brats!

Even if Taira no Kiyomori retired now, his strength was not much weaker than the two top supreme masters of the imperial court.

Since this formation was passed down from Taira no Kiyomori, then the intricacies should be more than enough to deal with some nameless demon.

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Makoto replied, “Then I shall ask Lord Shigemori to engage, please be very careful.”

Shigemori nodded, “I shall take utmost caution! I depart and return.”

“Lord Shigemori!” A tall muscular fierce general stepped forward, “I am Hiroki of the Amako house! I do not know the formation, but I know it takes time to set up, allow me to hold back the arch-demon and buy time!”

“So it’s the cousin of the current empress, Lord Amako Hiroki!”

“That…” Lily felt hints of worry in heart and wanted to speak up, but Takamune stepped forward and used his fat body to block the line of sight between the commander and Lily.

Speaking up, he said, “Just in case, I shall assign the strongest of the Dewa army, Osawa Miyoshi, to cooperate in containing the enemy!”

Takamune had suffered dearly against the demons in the past and no longer dared take the lead, but once he knew that the Taira were going to use a powerful formation, he didn’t want to let the Taira clan to monopolize this great merit and stepped forward for a slice of the pie.

“Since his highness Takamune is willing then all the better. The more experts, the higher the chance.” Shigemori said while looking at Makoto.

Makoto also nodded her head.

Soon, shouting and cheering started again as the soldiers started slamming their spears against the ground forming a unique rhythm. Two huge taiko drums were erected in front of the troops as two buff shirtless men started drumming, all cheering for the elite troops of the Taira army.

This army was different from the troops gathered from the various noble clans, this army was one of Heian-kyo’s real imperial forces, the Left Imperial Guard division that guarded Heian-kyo.

Amidst the drums, the army departed, this time the faces of the generals in the tent were relaxed. Typically, aside from peak existences, the average human expert could not match the equivalent demon expert, but humans had the number advantage, and when formations were used, the demon could only suffer!

An ancient formation used by several permanence experts was enough to threaten a throned arch-demon, and this time it was a great formation formed from a hundred and eighty experts!

The sounds of drums, shouting, cheering and battle ran out amongst the forests and mountains, but the tent in the formation was silent despite the war occurring several miles out.

All the generals within the tent thought that this was a done deal. Facing a formation of a hundred and eighty experts, that demon would be seriously injured even if he didn’t die.

Minute after minute passed…

Finally, a samurai with a broken flag on his back rode in from the distance on a horse.

The horse almost ran into the formation but was dragged down by several guards as the samurai tumbled down and stumbled into the tent. “Reporting——”

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“Report.” Makoto stood up slightly worried after looking at the samurai’s condition.

“That…that…The Taira army and all the supporting troops have all…all…they have all been defeated! Lord Shigemori and Lord Hiroki were both cut in half by that demon!”

“What!??”

“How, how is this possible!??” The fan dropped from Hirohikari’s numb fingers, “That, isn’t that Tai Fire formation strong enough to kill a throned general expert? Why did they lose!??”

“The battleground was not large enough to deploy the formation1, before we could find a wide enough ground to deploy the formation our ranks were destroyed by the arch-demon Hayabusa. After Lord Shigemori was cut in two, the army collapsed!”

“What about my subordinate, Osawa!?” Takamune asked.

“I don’t know, he probably died in the chaos. Lord Hiroki was killed in an instant, and the army was trapped on the narrow mountain road and could not set up the formation…the scene was too horrible…too tragic…” Without finishing his sentence the samurai collapsed, there were three terrifying claw marks on his back.

Makoto collapsed back into her chair.

A powerful formation had the ability to kill a throned expert, but that was under the condition that the formation could be set up. The great difference in theoretical power and actual power was being displayed.

The fact that the many armies deployed here had ancient formations was why Makoto dared to come here, it was their real weapon against Shuten Doji. If it were just the power of the experts deployed in the army, they would all die if Shuten Doji personally came out.

What they relied on was those great formations.

Even if it would be difficult to kill Shuten Doji, it would be more than enough to threaten him.

Especially if they conquered port Ayabe first. Once the port was taken, multiple formations could be set, with all those formations, even if Shuten Doji came, they could fight it out.

But, that was all theoretical talk. Would Shuten Doji really be stupid enough to attack the formations directly? And even if the formations had great power, could their attacks really hit Shuten Doji?

Right now, Shuten Doji hadn’t appeared and they were already blockaded by an unknown arch-demon. The army was completely helpless here, were they really capable of battling Shuten Doji?

In their entire army, probably only Minamoto no Yoshitada was stronger than that arch-demon, but Minamoto no Yoshitada was not only the strongest in the army, he was also the vice-commander. If he had any accidents, then this sixty thousand great army might collapse.

What to do? What should they do?

Were formations useless here?

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Makoto’s face was ashen and the rest of the general were at a loss. Lily, who hadn’t had a chance to speak, spoke up.

“That… commander, should I…why don’t you let me give it a try.”

“You?” A Kansai warrior looked Lily over, “A mere troop dares speak here? Even Lord Shigemori and the Taira elite troops have all died, you want us to send you there to die?”

Takamune also scoffed, “Kagami Lily, this isn’t the demon at the borders of Tanba, this is a throned arch-demon who killed several generals of this army! You? Don’t go delivering yourself as a concubine!”

“Suicidal! Useless! So many heroes and warriors have fallen and you want us to send a woman? Are we going to put on a spectacle for those demons to laugh at?” Hirohikari had always disliked Lily, wherever there was an opportunity, he would not forget to insult her.

“Lord Hirohikari, I too am a woman.” Makoto coldly rebuked, “Lily is my adopted daughter, you will all show her the minimum required etiquette!”

With that, the generals stopped scolding Lily, but their eyes were still full of disdain. Though a few of them knew that Lily processed power, they thought that she was overestimating herself.

With a thought, a torch at the corner of the tent lifted and stabbed down into the middle of the tent.

Lily sent a wisp of flame from her finger.

Whoosh—! The torch ignited in a fierce flame, shocking the generals. The flame was created from Lily’s arcane artes and burned faster and fiercer than ordinary flames. The wooden torch shortened, burned down and carbonized at a visible rate.

Lily lightly said, “Madam Ashikaga, if I cannot kill that arch-demon before this torch is extinguished, I am willing to be subject to military law.”



References

  1. Robinxen: YOU DIDNT EVEN CHECK FIRST?!?!?!

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