Chapter 2 – Expedition

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3189 characters
Translator: LazyButAmbitious English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1985 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

Early in the morning, Lily jolted awake in her bedroom.

“Sister Uesugi…”

Although it had been nearly half a year since Uesugi Rei left for Tanba Province, Lily had never been as uneasy as she was now.

Today was the day of the expedition.

Lily got up early in the morning to take a bath before returning to her room to comb her hair.

“Master.”

Nanako’s voice came from outside the door.

“Nanako!” Lily, dressed in a white bathrobe, immediately got up and opened the door.

“Master!” Although Kagura had been following Lily all this time, it was rare for Nanako’s consciousness to come out and talk to her as of late.

“You’re back!” Lily was overjoyed.

“Kagura went with Lord Chief Advisor to find you, and when she returned, she was probably too tired from the recent round trip, so she fell asleep. I returned to the chief advisor’s manor last night.”

“That’s great, Nanako.” Lily hugged Nanako. Before this expedition, it was nice to be able to embrace her sister, who she had known since the beginning of her arrival in the Heian world.

At this time, Hoshi Murasaki also appeared at the door. Her attitude towards Lily was rather unpleasant, “Kagami Lily, Lord Chief Advisor asked me to remind you that you should go to the Shogun’s imperial palace to accept your appointment today; don’t be late.”

“Understood,” Lily said, “Thank you, Miss Hoshi Murasaki.”

“No need to say that. I’m just carrying out Lord Chief Advisor’s orders.” Hoshi Murasaki left after saying that.

“Nanako, let’s talk slowly during the expedition.”
“Okay, Master. I’ll help you comb your hair and put on your armor.”
“Mhm!” Lily smiled softly.

“Master!” At this time, there was a cloud of smoke outside the door and Shiu appeared1.

“Shiu!” Lily looked at Shiu and felt that her aura seemed different than before.

“Master, during this period of time when you were away, I have already reached the initial stage of Permanence with the help of the spirit jade and the secret ninja art that Master gave me. Although I can’t help Master too much in terms of combat power, I can pass on military information to Master.”

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Lily nodded, “Shiu, remain on standby in the chief advisor’s manor. Once Lady Ayaka has any important news, pass it on to the army. In addition, you can go back to Sakura Valley from time to time to see what is needed there. If a big event occurs when I’m not here, ask Lady Ayaka for help.”

“Yes!” Shiu accepted the order.

Taking Shiu to Mount Ooe was too dangerous unless it was necessary to pass on urgent information. Her ninja arts had yet to reach the level of perfection and she needed to remain on standby between Heian-kyō and Sakura Valley. After all, there were times when the voice transmission orb was unable to get in touch, like that time in Izumo Province, which made Ayaka mistakenly think that Lily had fallen into a natural disaster and go looking for her.

“Master, let me help you put on your armor too.” Shiu requested.

“Eh? Okay…” Lily seemed to have returned to that time in Kamakura when only Nanako and Shiu kept her company. Although it was less than a year ago, it felt like a lifetime.

“Master,” Shiu said, “The warhorse is also ready for you; it was sent by Lord Chief Advisor.”

“Hm, okay.”

Although Lily moved more swiftly on the demon hound, in the army, riding it may cause unnecessary trouble, so Ayaka specially selected a warhorse for Lily.

Everything was in order, and at dawn, Lily was ready to set off.

“Master, the warhorse is already at the gate of the chief advisor’s manor.” Shiu said.

“Mmh.”

At this time, Lily was standing in the corridor, and Haihime came over wearing a light blue yukata.

“Lily, is it time to go on the expedition?” Haihime’s expression seemed a little melancholy, as if she hadn’t slept well last night.

“Mhm… Sister Haihime, are you okay?”

“I’m fine, just make sure to be careful. Although I’m always uneasy about you going on this expedition, I know it relates to the safety of your sister, so I can’t stop you. Anyway, Lily, although it’s not good to say this before the big battle, I have a bad premonition about this journey. You must be careful.” Haihime reminded.

“I will. Sister Haihime, what plans do you have? Although I have disciplined Igarashi a little, I’m afraid that she will still seek revenge. You’d better not leave the chief advisor’s manor by yourself.”

“Lily, I plan to return to Sakura Valley. I will also visit Sakiko, Yuki Mayumi, and the others.”

Lily nodded. It was reassuring if she went to Sakura Valley.

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After saying goodbye to Haihime, Lily and Shiu walked to the gate of the chief advisor’s manor together, while Nanako returned to the mirror early.

There, Ayaka’s sedan chair was parked. It seemed that she hadn’t gone to the court yet and was waiting for Lily here.

“Lady Ayaka.” Lily hurried over.

At this time, Ayaka was dressed in court clothes and surrounded by her attendants. She was also back to her past majestic self.

“Lily…I know that you often have the most calm and correct judgment in battle. My following reminders may be a little redundant, but I must warn you, Shuten Doji’s strength and power are unimaginable, enough to fight against the imperial court. You must not be impulsive. Remember, never meet Shuten Doji unless you reach my level. It is difficult for the soul of any young woman to escape Shuten Doji’s grasp2! Remember, no matter what happens, don’t challenge Shuten Doji!” Ayaka advised with a solemn expression.

“Lily understands.”

Lily looked at the tall woman in front of her.

Suddenly, she knelt down.

“Since coming to Heian-kyō, Lily has been under the care and guidance of Lady Ayaka. My Lady even rescued Lily from prison. Lily doesn’t know how to repay such kindness!”

“Lily, there is no need to be like this. Between you and me, there is no need to talk about kindness!” Ayaka stepped forward and helped Lily up.

“I don’t want anything in return from you. I just want you to…” Ayaka’s eyes were filled with love and affection, “Come back alive.”

Although they had bid farewell yesterday, they were still reluctant to part today.

They couldn’t kiss goodbye in public, so Ayaka and Lily just held each other’s hands tightly. Even when it was time to leave, they were still linked together, and their slender fingers were interlocked until the road ahead finally separated them.

Lily mounted a tall, beautiful white horse that was prepared for her and set off first.

Ayaka, Shiu, and the others stood at the entrance of the manor and watched Lily go.

“Lily, you must come back alive.” Ayaka stared at Lily’s distant figure on Nijo Boulevard…

Lily directly spurred her horse to run through the streets, which were devoid of pedestrians in the early morning. She rushed to the Shogun’s imperial residence located in the Genji’s sphere of influence in the northeastern side of Heian-kyō.

Minamoto no Yoritomo was a mysterious man who gave her a very complicated and even dangerous feeling. But today, Lily had to ask him for orders and get specific instructions and tokens for the expedition.

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Lily came to the entrance of the Shogun’s imperial palace.

“Miss Lynne!” There was a military officer watching the gate. It turned out to be a tall, black-armored samurai, who resembled a gate god3; it was Honda Yahatarou.

“Lord Honda?” Lily dismounted immediately, “Why are you here?”

“After I was injured in the last competition, thanks to Lord Shogun’s help, I recovered quickly and received his guidance and support to make me the captain of the personal guards of the Shogun’s imperial palace. Of course, Lord Tokugawa was also very supportive of this matter.” Honda said.

Lily heard Tokugawa’s name and frowned slightly. Although Tokugawa changed his words on the spot to help her last time on the trial platform, making the matter easier for Ayaka to settle later, he always gave people a sly feeling, though he was not strong.

“Lord Honda, I’m here today to meet Lord Kamakura, ah no, Lord Shogun.”

“I know. I have already been informed that Lord Shogun is dispatching troops one by one in the manor. Go in quickly.”

“Mmh, thank you.” Without saying much else, Lily turned around and walked into the Shogun’s residence.

“Miss Lynne!” Honda suddenly called out to her from behind.
“Lord Honda?”
“Please forget all those arrogant words I said to you before…”
“…I understand.”

Lily didn’t say any more. Honda originally boasted that he would win the championship and marry Lily, but the result was such a miserable defeat, so he was ashamed to face Lily again.

“Lord Honda, take care.”

“Miss Lynne, please take care of yourself!” Honda said sincerely.

“Mmh.” Lily nodded solemnly and turned to enter the Shogun’s imperial palace.

The main hall of the Shogun’s imperial palace looked spacious and tall, with simple and unpretentious decorations.

When Lily walked inside, the light was dim.

Minamoto no Yoritomo, who was wearing a plain kimono with a high hat, sat in the middle of the dark hall4.

“Miss Kagami…you’re finally here.” Minamoto no Yoritomo said with a sincere tone when he saw Lily. His eyes narrowed slightly, as if meeting an old friend.

“Lord Shogun.” Lily bowed respectfully.

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“Since our parting in Kamakura, we haven’t seen each other for a long time. I didn’t expect you to grow up so quickly, and now you are considered a powerful person in Heian-kyō.”

“Lily dares not forget Lord Kamakura’s past support and care5.”

“We all contribute to the imperial court. The rise of a genius like Miss Kagami is a blessing for the world.” Minamoto no Yoritomo said.

“Lily obeys the order of the Shogun. Please give Lily the order to go to war, Lord Shogun.” Lily said.

“Hm,” Minamoto no Yoritomo nodded seriously, “This expedition mainly consists of the Taira Clan, the Kansai Genji Clan, and the other major powerful clans in Kansai. The court does not have many personal soldiers and the powerful clans are bringing their own soldiers and food. I wonder how many soldiers and horses you plan to bring, Miss Kagami?”

“Lily doesn’t have a single soldier, but since Lily is going, I will definitely be able to contribute to the army.” Lily said confidently.

“Good!” Minamoto no Yoritomo nodded in satisfaction, “The journey to Tanba Province will be a tough battle, and it’s gratifying to see that you are so confident, Miss Kagami. You will go with the army as a lone warrior, and you will be under my twelfth son, Minamoto Jujiro Takamune.”

“Lily obeys.” Lily knelt down and saluted.

“Hm, my twelfth son is still incompetent. This time, on the expedition, I want him to hone his skills. Take care of him.”

“Yes.” Lily also recalled Minamoto no Juzaburo in her heart, who was a flighty and domineering villain. She hoped that the twelfth son would be better.

“In this battle, I will send Minamoto no Yoshitada, the Right Imperial Guards’ Commander, as the deputy commander, and Counsellor Minamoto no Hirohikari as the supervisor.”

When Lily heard this, an imperceptible frown appeared on her face. Minamoto no Yoshitada was okay, but this Minamoto no Hirohikari plotted a lot against her back then. This time, everyone was going on an expedition for the imperial court. She hoped that he would understand the greater righteous cause and not create extra problems.

“By the way, speaking of this, the chief commander is an old acquaintance of yours.”

“Eh?” Lily raised her head.

“The chief commander sent out by the imperial court to fight Shuten Doji in Tanba Province is— Ashikaga Makoto6.” Minamoto no Yoritomo said expressionlessly.



References

  1. Robinxen: They’re all returning!
  2. Robinxen: I wonder if the gimmick for this battle will be Lily’s memories as a boy?
  3. Menshen (门神) or door gods are divine guardians of doors and gates in Chinese folk religions, used to protect against evil influences or to encourage the entrance of positive ones.
  4. LazyButAmbitious: looks like the setting a villain would have.
  5. Robinxen: Can we really call it that?
  6. Robinxen: It’s a parade of returning characters!

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