Chapter 21 – The Trapped Tsunaga Sisters

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3062 characters
Translator: Aoi English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1916 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

Lily allowed the demon bird she summoned to fly around freely to avoid arousing suspicion and even made it pass by the eldritch energy rich region to the front occasionally while she entered the mirror space.

A long time had passed since Lily had last visited Rinne.

Lily’s soul still took a boy’s form as her soul still had not accepted her gender change completely yet.

She had dreamed about Rinne waking up whenever she entered her room several times until now, but Rinne still remained fast asleep on the bed.

Lily had even prayed to the gods for a way to wake Rinne up, but all she got as a reply was retribution in the form of divine lightning.

Her heart filled with sadness the more she looked at Rinne, wondering if the divine lightning from back then was just a natural disaster. If not, it would mean that the difficulty of awakening Rinne was much harder than she imagined.

Although Lily had a chance of waking Rinne up after ascending to Takamagahara, this was no easy task as very few had succeeded in ascending to Takamagahara since ancient times.

No matter how talented Lily was, she still could not compare to the true heroes of the past

Ascending to Takamagahara was a truly difficult task.

There was also no guarantee that Lily would be able to rescue Rinne right away after ascending to Takamagahara, and would need to become stronger first, perhaps even become as strong as Goddess Tsukuyomi.

Lily even dared to covet divine power if required and would spare no effort to rescue Rinne.

Although Lily had a knack for training, the more she trained, the more she felt that rescuing Rinne was an impossible dream. She was just a single woman, a speck of dust when compared to the entire world, so bending the heavens to her will was just a fool’s dream.

Although becoming the omnipotent Goddess of Creation to rescue Rinne sounded great and all, it was easier said than done.

What Lily needed right now was a clear-cut, practical way to wake Rinne up.

“I’m really useless, senior sister… I might’ve actually found a way to give your body back to you recently thanks to Minamoto no Yoritomo. Since he can create a clone, I’m pretty sure that I can do it as well and am willing to do anything to obtain the arts related to it. I’m even willing to beg Yoritomo for it even if it goes against my principles… The two of us can have bodies for our souls as long as I can create a clone, that’s what I imagined. However, all this is meaningless unless I find some way to wake you up. Although I’m giving it my best, I feel that I’m getting farther and farther from waking you up, senior sister…”

Lily accompanied Rinne for a while and then exited the room. Kagura and the others seemed to be resting within their room, so she did not disturb them and came to the second floor of the cave with the stone monument.

There were six massive pedestals here, but only two of them had stone monuments on it.

The first stone monument depicted a celestial maiden performing a sword dance, and Lily had long perfected it.

The second monument depicted a celestial maiden performing various sword movements.

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Lily had come here to practice the sword movements for the umpteenth time, but she was still far from perfecting it.

“Let me give it a try again.” Lily was pretty confident this time since her current level allowed her to comprehend things on a deeper level.

Lily sat on the ground while drenched in sweat two hours later.

“Why haven’t I made any progress?! Just why?!”
“Just what is Tsukuyomi Swordstyle’s Second Path? Why am I unable to feel anything even though I’ve mastered the movements on the stone monument?”
“They feel meaningless, but that’s just not possible!”
“Don’t tell me the Second Path is fake, just like the previous nameless swordstyle?”
“No, that can’t be! The second stone monument gives off the same aura as the first stone monument, and I can even sense that it has a richer aura! It has to be real!”
“Why am I unable to comprehend anything, then?!”
“I clearly had a high level of comprehension of the First Path!”
“Don’t tell me…”

Lily returned to the room with the celestial maiden’s raiment, applied makeup on her face before changing into it, and then returned to practice the sword movements on the second floor of the cave room.

“Hmm?”

Lily felt like she was on the verge of grasping something, but it still seemed unattainable to her1.

“Aah…” A night passed by, yet Lily’s efforts produced no results.

Lily collapsed onto the hard, icy stone platform feebly from the fatigue.

“This won’t do… Even though I made some progress, it’s just insignificant progress in the end. I haven’t been able to take even a single step forward towards the next level…”

Optimistic as she was, Lily did not fear hardships as long as there was room for improvement. However, she was under panic right now because she felt that there was no meaning in practicing like this.

“Don’t tell me… this is the limit of my talent?”

She was scared, not because she might have reached the limits of her talent, but rather because she would lose all hope of waking Rinne up if she could not attain the next level.

Lily’ heart throbbed wildly.

She spent all day and night practicing the next day, but she still made zero progress.

“Why have I lost my talent so suddenly? Just why?”

“Waah…” She collapsed from exhaustion and sobbed on the ground.

Lily was not the type to give up that easily, though.

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“No, I’m probably doing something wrong!”
“I can’t hurry things. Maybe I should think about something else instead of racking my head over this bottleneck! Something like… Ah!”

Lily suddenly recalled that she had actually set out to rescue the Tsunaga sisters.

She knew her greatest weakness was that she would forget about everything else whenever she got engrossed in training. She had just intended to spend two hours practicing the Tsukuyomi Swordstyle initially while her summoned beast investigated the region, yet she had wasted two whole days here.

The sweat-drenched Lily opened her eyes, feeling exhausted physically and mentally.

Lily’s summoned beast had already dispelled from using up its energy reserves, but its drawing within the Record of One Hundred Demons still retained its memory.

Lily understood the circumstances once she looked at it.

The Tsunaga sisters were trapped in Jokoji Temple, a long dilapidated temple that was on a tall mountain approximately five kilometers away from where Lily was right now.

As her summoned beast could not probe its surroundings with spirit power and could only rely on its sharp vision, Lily did not know how many of the Tsunaga sisters were still alive. Although the temple seemed to have a lot of people taking refuge in it, most of them looked injured and had pretty low morale.

Thousands of monsters had occupied the hills and valleys surrounding the temple, and all of them looked quite powerful.

There was no doubt that none of the Tsunaga sisters would make it out alive if the monsters attacked the temple.

“Why haven’t they attacked the temple, though2?”

Lily continued to check the summoned beast’s memories. The demon bird did not just have excellent vision, it also had exceptional hearing.

Lily listened to the conversations of the majestic blue demons.

It seemed that they had not attacked the temple yet because they were planning to capture the girls alive.

Lily guessed that it was to satisfy the perverse desires of Shuten Doji, and worried for Rei more than ever.

Shuten Doji did not just like to violate women, he actually relished in the pleasure of killing women brutally using perverse methods.

Rumor was that he liked to slice off a virgin’s lower lips, and it was not for some evil magic either, but rather just for fun.

His behavior was really outrageous.

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“I can’t let him harm Sister Uesugi or the Tsunaga sisters! I need to act immediately! I almost made a huge mistake because I got stuck up over the bottleneck I’m facing. Luckily, the monsters haven’t made a move yet.”

There was no opening in the encirclement of the monsters around Jokoji Temple, so it was pretty much impossible for Lily to reach it without getting discovered. If she took the land route, that is.

Lily got up, climbed to the peak of the cliff, summoned the demon bird again, and leaped onto its back before commanding it.

“Go. Fly to Jokoji Temple.”

The demon bird flapped its powerful wings and took flight, making towards the distinct, dilapidated temple on the tall, distant mountain whose peak was covered in clouds.

Lily had a moment of eureka the next second. “Why don’t I let the demon bird look for Mt. Ooe?”

As matters stood, Lily did not give a damn about how much magatama it would consume.


Jokoji Temple had been built on a mountain filled with lush woods, a majority of it existing on a cliff one hundred meters away from the mountain peak, while a small shrine existed on the peak.

Ijuin Reira was seated on the steps in front of the temple with a blank look in her eyes. Her armor was in a damaged state and only half her skirt remained intact now.

“We’ve already run out of magatama, charms, food and other supplies, Ms. Ijuin… Although there’s a spring on the mountain, I’m afraid that we won’t last long by just eating leaves and wild herbs.” A beautiful woman dressed in a tattered kimono with bandages on her thigh stepped forward to report.

A bunch of samurai women in tattered outfits and revealing armors had their backs against the fence on the open field in front of the temple right now. They had already run out of arrows in their quivers and also had also used up all the gunpowder in their possession.

They had not eaten proper food for days and had sustained themselves using the spirit power that they had absorbed from their surroundings. However, their energy reserves were also running low from the endless battles which turned them weaker each time. It was quite likely that they would fall into the hands of the monsters if they got attacked again.

“How could this happen…” Ijuin recalled how spirited they had been when they had set out into battle. Although they had won the battles and decimated some trivial monsters after they had entered Tanba, the strength and number of monsters they came across shot up the deeper they traversed into its woods, making it difficult for the Tsunaga sisters to progress ahead. They had entered too deep into the enemy line by the time Ijuin thought of calling a retreat and had slowly gotten surrounded by the monsters. The monsters chased them to no end and drove them all the way to Jokoji Temple, where they had bastioned up to make a last stand.

Ten days had passed since then. Although 300 of the Tsunaga sisters were still alive, most of them were either injured or were close to running out of energy reserves. They had no means of resisting another attack from the monsters.



References

  1. Robinxen: This chapter seems to be focusing a lot on Lily’s gender identity.
  2. Robinxen: Because they’re bait for you.

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