|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 3500 characters|
|Translator: Keissen||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 2083 words|
Inside the demon nest, the demons were somewhat disarrayed. Demonic carvings along the walls would burn occasionally.
“That’s enough. Miss Uesugi, then let’s talk about business.” Shuten Doji’s eyes let out a terrifying shockwave, silencing the entirety of the demon nest.
“I wonder what business you are referring to?”
“You’re asking the obvious. You’re so smart since you already know how to present wine to His Majesty. Do you want to keep pretending? Take it off. Let us see your beauty.” Akahime swayed her snake tail and approached Rei.
All the demons also stifled their breaths and stared at her.
However, Rei only smiled casually. “I’m sorry. When it comes to taking off my clothes in front of men, I’m not interested.”
“Hahahahaha!” The Lord of Mount Hiei pointed at Rei. “No woman would be willing to take off their clothes in front of broad daylight. However, do you think you can resist in front of Lord Shuten?”
Rei ignored him and only stood silently.
Shuten also looked at her with his ominous eyes. Based on his strength, he could simply remove her clothes forcefully. However, he didn’t do so because this woman was unique when compared to every other woman— she wasn’t afraid of him at all. Shuten had ruled over Mount Ooe for several centuries and tasted countless women, so he wasn’t in a hurry. He felt very interested in observing Rei and looking forward to observing her further actions.
Yet, Rei waited as the demons hollered for a long time, before flicking a strand of silver hair and kneeling down on one knee. “Lord Shuten, I’d like to become a Demon Commander under your wing.”
“What?” The demons became rowdy.
“What is this joke? A mere woman! You should become a slave since you’re taken to Mount Ooe!”
“Does this woman think she can keep her chastity? She must be out of her mind!”
The demons mocked relentlessly.
“Hahahahaha! Hahahahahahahahaha!” Shuten laughed loudly, causing the entire cavern to tremble. His laughter deeply terrified Rei and all demons, forcing them to stay silent. “Miss Uesugi, you’re very interesting as a woman. Although I understand this is your final attempt to struggle, I’ve ever seen such a move before.”
“Lord Shuten.” Rei deliberately examined the crowd of demons and said without fear, “There are many demons here, your Majesty. But most of them are no match to me.”
“What?” All the demons were furious.
Yet, Rei ignored them and said, “Including the few Archdemons under you, like these two gentlemen. I’m sure I can win over them, one on one. Since I’m this capable, wouldn’t it be a waste if I only became one of your female slaves, instead of your subordinate?”
“The audacity, Sword Miko! I will duel you!” Aokiba Takamizu was enraged after being humiliated by Rei in front of Shuten.
“Takamizu, Calm down!” Ibaraki warned.
Pakuzan said, “girl, you’re capable. Y-you can face Takamizu head-on despite being on the Permanence Stage. However, y-y-you are human. Why should us demons work with you, a human?”
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“Lord Shuten, may I use my sword for a moment?” Rei stood up and said.
“What? What are you playing at?” Takamizu sneered.
“It’s fine. Then why don’t we appreciate the performance put on by Miss Uesugi in an attempt to preserve her purity?” Shuten laughed. “Give her the blade.”
Rei waved her hand and her sword flew away from those two demons and into her hands.
Clang—! Upon unsheathing, the long sword, Nameless, emanated powerful Resentment Energy and displayed ominous patterns on the blade.
“Blade Maiden?” Ibaraki was also shocked. “Uesugi Rei is a Blade Maiden. Why didn’t you tell us before?”
He glared at Takamizu furiously.
Takamizu was terrified. “Your Excellency, chasing this woman was too tiring so I forgot.”
All those demons were also surprised.
Shuten didn’t seem to be surprised and said, “turns out you’re a Blade Maiden. Indeed, a Blade Maiden is somewhat between a demon fighter and a female samurai. There are cases of Blade Maidens turning into complete demons. However, just because of that, am I going to let go of a beauty in my grasp? Do you want me to pay you a salary as well?”
“Lord Shuten.” Uesugi said, “while I was being pursued by your underlings, I accidentally came close to Mount Ooe since I lost my direction. I once killed a messenger crow crossing my path and came to own this.”
Uesugi Rei took out a letter.
Upon examination, it was a communication letter between Mount Ooe and the Fujiwara Clan. After all, in places like Mount Ooe, aside from the rare few Archdemons like Shuten and Ibaraki who could use special voice transmission orbs, most voice transmission orbs would fail to work.
However, since codenames were used, Rei didn’t know the letter was sent by the Fujiwara Clan. However, she could read the contents inscribed within.
Rei said, “Your Majesty, you just lost a powerful subordinate. At the same time, you are also dealing with the pincer attack from Suno’s demon fox and the Imperial Army. I’m afraid that you’re not in a good situation, aren’t you? Could it be that you plan to indulge in yourself and completely ignore your territory in Tanba? Even if they couldn’t conquer Mount Ooe, by then, I’m afraid most of the territory in Tanba will fall into the hands of the Empire and Tamamo-no-Mae. Once Tamamo-no-Mae has established himself in Tanba, I’m afraid she’ll be a much tougher enemy than the Empire, no?”
“B̲a̲s̲t̲a̲r̲d̲! How did this letter fall into her hands?” Ibaraki didn’t expect it to happen.
Shuten laughed. “The Empire and Tamamo-no-Mae. Even if they come together, I’m not afraid! Besides, based on your strength alone, what can you change?”
“Your Majesty, you are wrong. Firstly, based on my personal strength, I’m comparable to any Demon Commander under you. Besides, Tanba is under your rule. Aside from demons, there are also numerous vagabond factions. Although they might’ve submitted to you, I’m afraid you’ll find it very hard to control them. If I were to lead these vagabonds on your behalf, wouldn’t we have another powerful army?”
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“Can you lead the vagabonds?” Shuten’s eyes lit up. No matter what, he knew having an Archdemon leading the vagabonds would not cultivate any loyalty. Moreover, Archdemons didn’t know how to lead humans into battle and couldn’t fully utilize the combat strength of the vagabonds.
“Your Majesty, when it comes to leading and training human soldiers. I’m afraid there’s no one else comparable to me in this place, no?”
“Uesugi Rei, the so-called Land of Snow’s Goddess of War. I suppose you’re right.” Shuten said, “But, I just don’t understand, why would you want to serve me? Why betray the humans?”
“Hehehehe!” Rei laughed uncontrollably. “Your Majesty, you think I’m a kind person? Need I explain? Nobody would disregard their reputation and serve an Archdemon for no reason, no? However, I fell into your schemes and was forced to this place due to Minamoto no Kenki’s lies. In desperation, I’ll naturally choose to live.”
“If you become my woman, I’ll still let you live. And I’ll make you enjoy life.” Shuten said lecherously.
Rei grinned. “Even a three-year-old child in Heian-kyo knows how you treat women when you’re in a good mood. If that’s the case, I might as well die straight away.”
“No. Miss Uesugi, You’re different. I can even make you my Demon Consort! In this place, I’ll grant you authority one step below my Demon Queen.” Shuten said.
“Demon Consort? If I may ask, your Majesty, who’s the Demon Queen?” Uesugi Rei asked with a slight frown.
“The position of Demon Queen is reserved for another woman1. Stop asking.” Shuten said.
“Your Majesty, I, Uesugi Rei, am not interested in worldly affairs and politics. My sights are set higher than all people in this world. Politics do not last long. Only strength remains eternal.” Rei looked up to the ceiling of the cave and continued, “I only care about my strength! I just want to ascend to the heavens! As for who I should offer my loyalty to, I don’t care. It would be best if I can preserve my moral integrity. But if I can’t, I choose to preserve my life.”
Rei added, “However… If you want me to have relationships with men, then my path of ascension will end! I, Uesugi Rei, will never accept any man. Absolutely not at all. Your Majesty, I only want to continue improving myself and preserve my dignity. Otherwise, what’s the point of desiring strength as a woman if I have submitted myself like a weakling? If you really want to force me into doing those things, then I might as well die here and turn myself into an icicle. I’d rather ruin myself, than to surrender myself to you as a woman!”
A bone-chilling intent that would damage the soul started manifesting around Rei.
She glanced at Shuten without any fear and worry. Her determination to die was obvious in her eyes.
Shuten had experience with countless women. He knew that Rei would definitely kill herself if he forced himself onto her. To deal with someone like her, he had to find the true weakness in her heart, which was anything but her life. Otherwise, it would be impossible to conquer this woman. And it wouldn’t be fun.
This woman would immediately commit suicide the moment she was humiliated. That wasn’t what Shuten wanted.
“Your Majesty!” Seeing that Shuten was probably swayed, Rei stood up and said, “Could it be that your underlings have never considered the fact that if I became your subordinates, I’ll be much more valuable to you in light of the current situation?”
“You’re probably exaggerating. Why don’t you say what value you have?” Ibaraki Doji asked.
“My Uesugi family is an important force under the Minamoto Clan, which is one of the pillars of the Empire. What if I lead the vagabonds and disguise as Imperial soldiers, and assault the demon fox army from Suno from the flank? What will happen by then?” Rei’s eyes glistened under her silver hair.
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Ibaraki also realized something after hearing those words and looked at Shuten. “Your Majesty, this woman means to…”
If an important subordinate under the Minamoto Clan attacked Tamamo-no-Mae’s army, this would shatter the relationship between the Empire and the already paranoid Tamamo-no-Mae, and nullify the threat of the pincer attack on Tanba! Shuten Doji naturally knew it as well.
Shuten reevaluated Rei and couldn’t help but think, “Hehehe, Uesugi Rei, I thought the woman I desired the most within the Heian Dynasty is Kagami Lily. However, it seems like you’re quite interesting too. First of all, using you to stop one of them will alleviate my troubles. Secondly, this will ruin the trust between the humans and the demon foxes! As expected of the Land of Snow’s Goddess of War. I almost got tempted by your long legs and big breasts. You, woman, are both beautiful and intelligent! Based on strategy alone, you’re much smarter than Kagami Lily!”
Shuten’s gaze became complex and unreadable.
He stood up and indulged in alcohol. “Uesugi Rei, your plan is definitely great! And your reasoning, although it’s nothing deep, it’s selfish and pragmatic! You act more like a demon. I’m impressed! I’ll give you an exception. You have the right to negotiate with me. However, how can I be sure that you won’t betray me the moment you leave me?”
“Your Majesty, if there comes a day where I’ve accomplished great feats, please grant me the Blood Spirit Magatama. That’s a critical item for my path of ascension!” Uesugi Rei knelt down on one knee and said.
“Hmmph. Why are there always women who want to work with me for my Blood Spirit Magatama? The Blood Spirit Magatama is very valuable. We can talk about that later. It depends on what merits you earn!”
“I’m not in a hurry anyway.” Rei replied.
“However, I can’t trust you completely based on that alone.” A purple vial appeared in Shuten’s hand and he tossed it to her. “This is a very common item. I’m sure you understand what this is. Once you drink it, you’ll have to retrieve the antidote from me once a month and you’ll be fine. But if you betray me, then based on your intelligent mind, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you what will happen to you after a month, yes2?”
- Robinxen: Fascinating… I wonder who that could be.
- Robinxen: How will this one be overturned, find out next week!