Chapter 15 – Port Ayabe

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3021 characters
Translator: Yuki English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1616 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

“Kill!!!” The first army of the Kansai Genji Army and 2000 elites of the Taira clan used rafts and small boats to cross the river overnight and invade port Ayabe.

The defenders of port Ayabe were three evenly matched forces, the bandit gang of Daimaku Michiei, the guard force of the former Lord Akai, and lastly the uncultivated samurais.

These forces had all surrendered to Shuten Doji, but were all still fighting over control of port Ayabe.

Afterall, even though the demons controlled the country, there was still a need for trade with other countries. Thus, the human forces were allowed to exist, of course all trade occurred under the control of the black market here.

When these three forces came under the attack of imperial forces, they could not put up any resistance.

This small, impoverished port was very soon filled with fire, corpses and battle.

Slash! Taira no Shizuru slashed and killed a panicked horseback samurai.

A soldier of the Taira clan fired towards a rooftop near an alley, killing a hidden bandit ninja before running towards Shizuru.

“Eldest miss, we’ve discovered the Akai forces’ gathering point!”
“Lead me there!”

Shizuru led her forces and broke into a ruined house. There she found a dozen men, women and children had committed seppuku, including a well dressed seventeen to eighteen years old youth.

The Akai clan had betrayed the imperial court, and to survive they had lowered their heads to the demons. When they heard that their compound had been surrounded by the imperial forces, they all committed seppuku, the Akai clan was no more.

Shizuru couldn’t help but feel pity, many humans in Tanba had chosen to surrender to the demons in order to survive, though it was cowardly, they had little choice, she would not execute them.

“Eldest miss!” A samurai ran up, “There’s a dungeon in the backyard! There seems to be prisoners there.”

“Go! Let’s take a look!” She led a group of savage samurai to the entrance of the dungeon before sending a spirit probe into the dungeon. Finding no traps or garrison units, thinking back, the Akai family were also under the enslavement of the demons, they definitely had no time to think of strengthening their dungeons.

She broke through the dungeon entrance and walked into the dungeon. Seeing wretched civilian-like people locked into cells, she ordered them released.

In front, she could hear what sounded like iron chains clashing.

Advancing with her blade out, she came to the dark depths of the dungeon. When torches were brought forward, she could see a man and woman locked up with heavy chains sealed with talismans. The man was missing an arm, and though the woman had many scars, she was still very beautiful.

Shizuru ordered her men to smash open the jail and bring out the prisoners.

“Save us! Save us! You, what forces do you belong to? Are you from the imperial court?” The man missing an arm howled excitedly yet weakly, “Hatano, we’re saved!”

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Shizuru saw that the talisman seals on the chains could seal off the spirit power of spirit jade experts, she vigilantly pressed her blade against his neck and asked, “Who are you people?”

“I, I’m Nakajou Mikazuchi, eldest son of the lord of Chubu, she’s Hatano Kana, eldest daughter of the direct Hatano clan!”

“Why are you here?” Shizuru continued asking.

“I, cough cough…let us down, I’m dying…we invaded deep into Tanba with miss Uesugi and Minamoto no Kenki. We wanted to find Mount Ooe, but we got lost in the mountains, in the end…cough, the story is long, let us down first.”

Hatano warned him, “Don’t speak too much. Miss, who are you?”

“We are the forces of the Imperial court sent to conquer Mount Ooe, I am Taira no Shizuru.”

“You, you really are the imperial court’s people! We, we’re really saved…we’re really saved, Hatano! I had thought you would be sent to Shuten Doji.”

Hatano slightly frowned at his words, “Miss Taira, please rescue us. We have urgent news we would like to report to the general of this expedition!”

“Oh?” Shizuru carefully looked at the two, and finally decided that they could be tentatively trusted.

The next day was still an extended night.

Last night, Shizuru and the Kansai Genji army had conquered port Ayabe. In this battle the imperial court only took 50 or so casualties, but had ground down a thousand of the remnant Akai, samurai and bandit forces, this could be said to be a great victory.

After capturing port Ayabe, the army started ferrying their forces across the river.

The situation that Ashikaga Makoto had worried about didn’t happen, the demons did not ambush them from the river, perhaps Shuten Doji did not have powerful water demons under his command.

As a large cargo ship docked, Ashikaga Makoto, Minamoto no Yoshitada, Shiina Airi, and the other main experts boarded the ship to port Ayabe.

Ashikaga Makoto was a bit more relaxed after the battle, but she knew in her heart that the human defenders of port Ayabe were nothing but rabble. If Lily had not killed Hayabusa, allowing the army passage through the valley, how could this victory have been achieved?

“Commander!” A Taira samurai reported, “Miss Shizuru reports that the former Akai stronghold can be fortified and used as the formation center.”

Makoto nodded, “Lead the way then.”

The main formation would be set at the Akai stronghold, and the regular soldiers could sit and rest in the courtyard, this was already much better conditions than the march.

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Makoto and the other generals sat on the floor of the main house, discussing military strategy.

“To prevent any sudden raids, Lord Yoshitada, take command of the armies and establish formations in the critical areas of the port. We need to be able to hold firm even if the demons attack.” Makoto ordered.

“I obey.” Minamoto no Yoshitada promptly stood up and left with several Genji generals.

Seeing how Makoto so simply commanded Yoshitada, Minamoto no Hirohikari’s heart was enraged.

At this time, Shizuru walked in.

“Shizuru.” Makoto acknowledged, “You did very well in conquering port Ayabe, you have gained the top merit in this battle.”

“I thank the commander, but if sister Lily had not killed the powerful enemy, then there would be no chance to capture the port. The top merit should go to sister Lily.”

“Lily’s killing of the arch-demon is naturally a merit, but it is only a partial victory. Your capture of the port influences the overall situation of our imperial court’s crusade against Shuten Doji, the top merit is yours, do not refuse1.”

“This…then the Taira clan thanks the commander.”

“With a general like you in the Taira clan, I believe that the heroic soul of Lord Shigemori can rest easy.”

“Yes…” Shizuru felt the sorrow linger in her heart, Shigemori was an elder who treated her well, unlike the other Taira clan members who often tried to punish her.

Makoto snuck a glance at Lily, and saw her sitting there at the very edge in an inconspicuous seat, a smile on her face without any displeasure.

“Right, commander, when we captured the Akai stronghold, we discovered two prisoners. They say they have something important to report to the commander.”

“Preposterous! How can the commander meet two unidentified prisoners?” Hirohikari had a bellyful of fire. The Genjis also participated in the battle yet the Taira gained the top merit, but then again…it was better than Lily getting it.

“Shizuru, who are they?”

“One claims to be a Nakajou, the other a Hatano. They claim to be disciples of lords and have come here to practice and gain experience.

“Hm? Weren’t the Hatanos the original lords of Tanba?” Makoto mused.

“Hmph, Tanba’s humans have long surrendered to Shuten Doji, Those two must be spies or assassins! It’s a trap!” Hirohikari declared.

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“Oh, right… They also said they were trapped here because of their adventure with Miss Uesugi.”

“Sister Uesugi!??” Lily jumped up.

She knew of only one Miss Uesugi who could go so deep into Tanba.

Lily ran up to Makoto, “Mother Makoto, let me meet those two!”

“Is that Miss Uesugi, Uesugi Rei?” Makoto was also acquainted with Uesugi Rei, she was also worried.

But she was very clear that Lily was much more worried.

“Very well, we shall meet them at once!”

“Hey, commander, this is now a critical moment, how can you just leave? What is the next step of our defense?” Hirohikari shouted out.

“I will be right back.” Makoto coldly replied.

Lily and Makoto followed Shizuru to the guarded annex at the back of the courtyard and entered.

Nakajou and Hatano both sat in the building, unable to do anything.

Lily didn’t recognize the two either, but impatiently asked, “Tell me, where is sister Uesugi?”

This sudden appearance of a peerless beauty shocked Nakajou and Hatano.

“You…are you Kagami Lily?” Hatano tentatively asked.

“Hm? You know me?”

“Sister Uesugi didn’t speak much, but she did mention your name many times. The most beautiful woman under the heavens, Kagami Lily2.” Hatano had felt sour when she heard Uesugi Rei speak of this, but now that she was looking at Kagami Lily, she understood. There was no need to ask, this beautiful maiden had to be Kagami Lily.

“So sister Uesugi likes this type of woman…but…I don’t think I can win over her…”

Lily stepped forward, grabbing onto Hatano’s hand, “Tell me, where is sister Uesugi? She, how is she!?”

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She was on the verge of tears3.

Lily’s body was emitting a trance-like feminine scent, making Hatano involuntarily narrow her eyes.

Makoto comforted, “Lily, calm down, let them answer.”



References

  1. Robinxen: Wow talk about bias.
  2. Robinxen: Wow she really raised her up.
  3. Yuki: Scoff- I don’t know what to say… Lily’s devoted to senior sister Rinne, yet acts like this for Rei, kissed Ayaka, seduced Tamamo no Mae….

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