|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 3167 characters|
|Translator: LazyButAmbitious||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1710 words|
Within a deep cave dozens of miles away from the Imperial Army.
Ibaraki Doji, Kamaki, Kotoban, and Aokiba Takamizu stood within the dark empty cave. These four were all members of Shuten’s Ten Demon Enforcers. Ibaraki was the leader of the ten and also a member of Four Fiendish Kings.
Kotoban was a gray ugly demon wearing a tattered shirt. He was hunchback, bald, and one eye was shut as if blind and the other was open so wide, it looked like it couldn’t close.
Among these four arch-demons, the weakest was Aokiba Takamizu, a mid-staged throned general.
Kamaki and Kotoban were both among the mightiest of the Ten Demon Enforcers. Kamaki was a peak-staged throned sovereign! As for Kotoban, he was a late-stage throned sovereign.
The leader Ibaraki Doji, was a terrifying throned monarch arch-demon, unfathomably powerful!
Ibaraki Doji started speaking, “The human army may be trapped in the forests of Tanba, but their numbers are significant, we must prepare.”
“Ibaraki, it’s only humans, even if we allow them passage to Mount Ooe, they would only be running towards death.” Kotoban let out an almost perverted hissing noise and his long tongue peeked out.
“Mount Ooe does not fear the humans, but Kameyama castle is less than two hundred miles away from them. It might be an abandoned castle, but it will be troublesome if they discover the mines there!” Ibaraki refuted.
“Hateful! I can only say these guys came at a bad time!” Kotoban hissed, “We are in the midst of breaking that ancient mine seal with full force, and for some reason the imperial army decides to attack that ruined Kameyama castle at this time!”
“Human armies always like making castles their goal, it is not strange.” Ibaraki responded, “Those mines were opened by ancient celestial war goddesses, though they died long ago, the seal they placed on the mine was specifically designed to counter eldritch energy, even Shuten Doji is reluctant to risk going in. Now that we’ve invited the monks of Honganji Temple and spent several years on this, we’re very close to success, the humans must not be allowed to interrupt! Lord Shuten sent us here for this reason.”
Kamaki voiced his opinion, “Even if there was no mine, we should take advantage while the humans are trapped here and raid them from time to time! The meat and souls of human experts are all delicacies! Ahahaha!”
To cultivate the demon god physique, it was necessary to swallow other experts to strengthen oneself, but swallowing other experts wasn’t that rare amongst demons.
Ibaraki commanded, “We will continue to raid at night. We shall gradually weaken and erode them! Eat them bit by bit! Our great army is still at Mount Ooe, we lack the forces to take out the imperial army in one bite, afterall, they have invited two members of the Yamato’s Eight Legions and the number of their experts is not small.”
“Lord, let us raid them tonight! I will definitely capture that little girl Kagami Lily and eat the other experts! This little girl I will play with and then eat…” Kamaki had a ferocious and lewd look on his face.
“Fool! Kagami Lily is Lord Shuten’s woman, you can only capture her, you may not mess around! Understand?” Ibaraki warned.
“This…I know…but such a stunning beauty…sigh! Never mind, I will definitely get a huge reward handing her to Lord Shuten.”
“Of course.” Ibaraki coldly laughed.
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In the valley where the imperial court army rested, the winds and rains of a heavy storm devastated the area.
Many of the soldiers were moving their luggage and tents to higher terrain to avoid the water. Many muddy streams were overflowing due to the storm.
Ashikaga Makoto stood on the hillside worrying as she watched the soldiers relocating the formations.
As for Lily, she sat upon the demon hound, having traveled here from the frontlines. Seeing Makato, she dismounted and walked over.
“Mother Makoto,” Lily held up a parasol and looked down at the thousands of troops in the valley. “The army has been advancing in circles, unable to advance or retreat, the situation is considerably dangerous.”
Makoto nodded, “I have already deployed all the ninjas to scout the path, but most have not returned.”
“Perhaps I should go scout for the Kameyama Castle location.”
“I’ll take the demon bird and scout from the sky. The Kameyama castle is such a huge building, I don’t believe I won’t be able to spot it.”
“What if you find the castle, and lose connection with us?”
“If the army lights up smoke signals around five miles away from the formation every other day, I should be able to see it from the sky, plus I should remember the way back. Since we can’t locate the Kameyama castle, the army might as well stop this meaningless march and find favorable terrain to build temporary defenses and formations. It will make dealing with night raids easier.”
“In that case, wouldn’t the fate of the entire army rest on your shoulders alone? What if you can’t find a way… the commanders will probably blame you.”
“Mother Makoto, tens of thousands of lives are in danger, do you really care if they blame me? Besides, even if they blame me, what can they do?”
Makoto carefully looked at Lily while considering before nodding, “Lily, you were originally a solitary warrior maiden, if you want to go, then go, but you must be very careful.”
“Yes, please don’t worry much.”
Lily turned to leave, but halted and returned, “Mother Makoto, one more thing……”
“It’s…can you spare Hatano? I don’t think she had bad intentions1, who would have known that Tanba would have such complicated terrain.” Lily pleaded embarrassedly.
“I will not release her, imprisoning her within the formation is a form of protection. At most she’ll suffer a bit, but outside? Several ten thousands of samurai hate her, who knows what will happen? Besides, she deserves punishment.”
“So it was like that, I understand.”
It was currently early morning and Lily wanted to take advantage of the daytime to scout as fast as possible. Once an extended night appeared, nothing would be visible from the air and all she could do would be to return to the camp.
Although the Hundred Record demon bird could replace her in scouting, the range would be only dozens of miles, therefore she needed to ride the demon bird and conduct a larger investigation.
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Walking to a cliff, she summoned a huge demon bird and jumped on. The bird immediately launched and began scouting, however, the current weather was heavy rain. Lily quickly discovered that visibility was extremely poor and she could only see a few miles away. Regardless, it was better than walking.
Lily manipulated her domain, and within her mirror space, she controlled a pen and paper and began to draw her flight path, approximately 50 miles for each inch drawn. She naturally flew in a straight line, as for the direction, she didn’t care.
Within the forests, two arch-demons were traveling.
“Lord Kotoban, let’s separate now, I shall attack the rear of the human army, with this heavy rain, I might be able to guide a mountain torrent to wash away all the food and grain!” Aokiba said.
The beast-like Kotoban was two meters tall even while hunchbacked, he nodded and agreed, “Good, since Kamaki insists on night raiding the vanguard to capture that woman, then let him go. I shall raid the human’s main formation at night, maybe I can kill their chief commander! Would that not be the easiest victory?”
“Then success to you, Lord Kotoban.”
Kotoban and Aokiba separated.
Kotoban wasn’t in a hurry, he stayed ten miles away from the formation, and rested beneath a tree to wait for night.
“Hm?” He looked up into the air as he felt an unusual aura in the sky.
Jumping onto the branches of a thousand year old tree, he spotted a demon bird flying in the air.
“A demon bird? Those are rare in Tanba.” He was about to ignore it, but suddenly felt something was wrong, “Why does that bird have the aura of a blade maiden?”
Looking again, he saw a female human sitting on the bird, long haired, red clothed.
“This… isn’t that?” His only eye spread wide and his long tongue involuntarily poked out, “Isn’t that the woman called Kagami Lily? Is my luck so good? Ehehehe, Kamaki, you fool, you completely missed your target!”
Currently, Lily had not activated her spirit probe or domain exploration. To find a castle, neither of those was needed, good eyesight was enough, plus, if she activated either skills, would that not be telling the enemy where she was? Who knows where Mount Ooe was, what if Shuten Doji and his subordinates were coincidentally passing by, it was just too dangerous.
But she suddenly detected a spirit probe sweeping over her.
“No! I’ve been discovered!” Lily was startled, but kept her mount flying as if nothing had happened. Keeping herself alert, she wondered, ‘Maybe that person thinks I’m just a big bird, or have I been discovered?’
A tattered javelin appeared in Kotoban’s hand, the head of the javelin glowed green and hissed as it touched the air, the smoke it released corroded the air.
Kotoban’s muscular long arms bulged as blue veins expanded.
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Boom—!!! An extremely powerful throw was released!
“Not good!” Lily was shocked, the javelin flying towards her was extremely fast and the power contained within was terrifying!
Reacting fast, she controlled the bird to bank and dodge, but the bird’s evasion speed was much slower than the javelin..
Bang! The bird was struck head on. The powerful blow blew a hole in the bird and directly dismembered it. The tattered body of the bird evaporated into ink and a mist of hissing poisonous smoke was left behind.
Though the painted incarnation wasn’t vulnerable to poison, the immense power of the javelin was enough to destroy the incarnation.
As for Lily, she had evaded to the side and was falling down. Before she hit the ground, she pulled out the Sakura Parasol and controlled her descent speed, landing smoothly on a tree branch.