|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 3207 characters|
|Translator: Yuki||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1828 words|
Southwest of Tanba, far away from Mount Ooe and the imperial army.
An army of 15’000 from Suno marched through the vast mountains and forests and finally reached Tanba.
West of Tanba was a vast territory occupied by demons. All those territories from Tanba in the east to the great sea in the north west were all occupied by demons. It could be said that the entire western and northern territories of Kansai had been conquered and the Imperial Court was unable to do anything.
Suno was one of the rare plain type territories, it was not as large as Tanba, but it was a forbidden area to both the surrounding demons and imperial court. This territory belonged to the foremost arch-demon in the world, this was Tamamo-no-Mae’s old home!
From appearances, this army did not possess the demeanor of the largest demon army in the world. This army looked relatively ordinary, the samurais all wore Mori style armor. The squads did not have the same flags, and the marching formations were all different. If there was a similarity, then it was that each squad had a handsome or pretty fox demon leader.
The fox demon leaders were all dashing and looked very out of place with the brutish samurais behind them. They were mostly riding horses, and besides being well-dressed, they all had fox ears and fox tails.
Tamamo-no-Mae was no fool, she lived in Heian-kyo, how could she not be aware of each and every movement the Imperial Court made?
Since the Imperial Court did not dispatch their most powerful warriors then neither would she.
Moreover, her control over Suno was uncontested, and therefore, the army was in truth, not very strong. This army was composed of the various forces that had surrendered to the fox demon clan, it was not an army with powerful combat power.
As for the fox demons, their strengths laid in illusions and tricks, they were not suitable leaders when it came to conquering territories. The current commander of this army was the younger brother of the Mori clan head, Mori Shingo. The Mori clan had neither surrendered nor was subordinate to Suno or the Imperial Court, the reason they had sent troops was to give face to Tamamo-no-Mae. They were considered an allied force and they just happened to have some grudges against some subordinates of Shuten Doji.
Riding beside the army commander Mori Shingo was a handsome three-tailed fox demon with chestnut colored hair, Ina.
Mori Shingo’s head was covered in a blue turban and was dressed in a mixture of battle armor and furs. His dress combined with his goatee made him look particularly strong and wise.
“Mister Ina, you said with Lady Tamamo’s divine abilities, the location of Mount Ooe is definitely known?”
“Under these skies, there is nothing concerning the demons that Lady Tamamo does not know.”
“Then why did she not tell me the location of Mount Ooe, but instead asked us to march on our own?”
“Ehehe, Lord Mori, if Lady Tamamo told us the location of Mount Ooe, would it change anything?”
Mori Shingo halted for a second before laughing, “Ahaha, how true, that’s right. If we really attacked Mount Ooe, with just our forces, we wouldn’t be enough to whet one of Shuten’s claws. I just don’t know if this is a good thing or not?”
A burly general behind Mori Shingo asked, “Lord Mori, if we accidentally encounter Mount Ooe, should we fight?”
Mori looked at the fox demon beside him, “What does Mister Ina think?”
“We can set up formations on the outskirts of Mount Ooe, but we must not attack. At the same time, transmit our location to the imperial court’s army and watch if they initiate the battle, after that we’ll consider.”
“Ahahaha, wonderful! Wonderful! If they don’t dare fight, then they cannot blame us! If they really battle against Mount Ooe, then there will be an opportunity for us!” Mori Shingo was delighted, the Mori clan had originally wanted to take advantage of the situation, who would want to work for the Imperial Court or other great powers?
Suddenly, from the bushes and forests on both sides of the path, a large number of black armored samurai appeared, they were all armed with long bows and they released arrows at the advancing Suno army.
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Swish! Swish! Swish! Within moments, arrows rained down!
Multiple Suno samurais fell beneath the arrow rain.
“Enemy attack! Enemy attack!”
Disturbance ran through the Suno army, this was their first large-scale battle after entering Tanba.
The members of the Suno army were not savage by nature, but they were still tough and brave samurais. They grabbed their weapons as their roars shook the skies.
On the hillside, Uesugi Rei looked at the chaos spreading through the Suno army. She was mounted on the demon beast-like black horse, Nioh.
She drew her tachi and roared “Kill!” as the thousands of vagabond cavalry behind her rushed down the hill.
“What!?? The enemy are samurai??”
“Why are human samurais attacking us!?? Are they vagabonds?” Mori Shingo was shocked at the development.
“Impossible! I’ve never heard of any vagabonds with this number, and so daring as to attack an army of ten thousand!” Ina refuted with a frown.
Mori saw the flag behind those cavalry and exclaimed “That, that’s the Uesugi clan flag!”
“My Lord! We were deceived! That’s the Imperial Court’s army!” A samurai exclaimed with an arrow in his shoulder.
“Wait…” Ina halted them, “It’s possible that the vagabonds put up that flag to impersonate the imperial court’s army!”
“Mister Ina, you said they could not be vagabonds and now they might be a fake imperial army. Exactly what are they?”
“This…” Although fox demons were good at trickery, army command was not one of their strengths. Ina’s natural suspicions at everything put him at a loss for a while.
But there was no time for contemplation, from both sides of the hill, thousands of samurai came rushing down, charging into the Suno army.
Within the Suno army, there was a squad formed of a hundred demons. Uesugi’s mount, Nioh, jumped high and came down within that squad, trampling several demons to death while Uesugi Rei’s tachi danced among the demons. Under the silver streak, countless demons were killed.
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These demons were forced to participate under the intimidation of Tamamo-no-Mae, when they met this powerful female samurai, they broke and fled for their lives.
Not far away, Mori Shingo could only look at Uesugi in shock.
“Such a terrifying female samurai?”
“My Lord!” Suddenly a samurai behind him shouted, “This, this woman is Uesugi Rei! I heard rumors about her when I had an audience with Lord Kamakura. A huge black horse, long silver hair, a beauty, and wielding a tachi like a slaughtering war goddess! That woman is the eastern Genji genius female samurai, Uesugi Rei!”
“What!?? Is that true…” Mori Shingo was speechless.
Ina stared with eyes wide in shock, “Such a large and well-trained army, and it’s led by this female samurai with the power and bravery to dominate the battlefield. Shuten Doji doesn’t have this sort of army, this must be an army from the imperial court!”
Hearing this conclusion, Mori shouted out, “The female samurai there, are you not Miss Uesugi of the eastern land? We are reinforcements from Suno, why are you attacking us?”
Uesugi’s attention was drawn to Mori and a mad smile appeared on her face. Nioh reared up as Uesugi Rei swung out, sending a gigantic silver blade light crashing towards Mori Shingo.
Quickly responding, Mori met the blade light with his naginata.
Boom!!! The blade light crashed into him with incomparable power, directly crushing the four legs of his mount and throwing him back.
Ina quickly chanted and a foxfire shield appeared to help Mori resist the blade light, but the shield only lasted a brief moment against the blade light and continued with tremendous momentum at Mori. He desperately rolled on the floor and barely evaded the blade light.
“Why, why is this woman so strong!?”
He looked around, it seemed that only the Mori army was continuing to resist, the other forces had all fled within the first few moments of combat.
“Why, why is the imperial army attacking us?” The entire situation was hard for Mori to understand.
At this moment, from the hills came several hundred powerful demons rushing down and joined in with the vagabond army.
“What!??” Mori watched in shock as a blue demon fought a fox demon. The blue demon had strength while the fox demon had speed. The fox ceaselessly continued to bite and spit fox fire at the blue demon, in an instant it had taken the advantage.
But nooses came flying at the fox from behind, it dodged a few but was eventually trapped and beaten to death by the blue demon.
“That’s Shuten Doji’s demon army!” Ina couldn’t believe his eyes.
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“What!? Humans are working together with Shuten Doji to ambush us!?? What attack Mount Ooe, this is nothing but a human trap!” Mori shouted in fury.
“Retreat! Retreat! We were betrayed by the humans! We must escape this death trap!” Mori roared out, commanding the army.
“We fell into the human’s trap!”
Jumping onto a warhorse, Mori immediately turned and fled, the fox demons behind him were in great disarray.
Ina’s forehead was covered in sweat as he complained, “As expected, you cannot trust the humans and their imperial court! Why didn’t Lady Tamamo listen to my warnings?” He threw walls of foxfire to delay the enemies as he also fled on a horse.
Many of the fox demons directly abandoned their horses, turning into foxes and fled into the forests.
A burly blue demon at the peak of permanence proudly laughed out loud. Three demon foxes hung upside down on his huge spear, “Ahahaha, a mere Suno dares to be our enemy? Those fox demons are nothing but weak powerless wastes, let us peel their skins off! It is all top quality leather! Ahahaha!”
Uesugi Rei raised her tachi, “No need to chase.”
She watched the fleeing Suno army with a cold smile before turning her horse around and leaving.
This so-called imperial army was formed of vagabonds and demon vassals gathered from all over Tanba. In only seven days, Uesugi Rei had trained this ragtag force into an army equal to an imperial court army1.
Although they were far from the elites of the imperial court their opponents lacked battle intent and were only here to speculate. When ambushing a group such as the Suno army, victory was not surprising.
The Suno army’s two top members were Mori Shingo and Ina. Mori Shingo was a peak permanence expert and Ina had the powers of an early-staged throned general but neither had the will to fight, so naturally they would not gamble their lives against the ‘Imperial Court’ army.