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Chapter 66 – Big Dipper Stage

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3125 characters
Translator: Aoi English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1880 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

Even if Bishamonten was weaker because of her injuries, it was still hard for someone to deceive an expert at her level.

Many heavenly forces and archdemons had received Bishamonten’s wanted notice some time ago, and Shuten Doji was one among them. However, he did not act impulsively despite hearing rumors that the celestial battle maiden was hidden in his territory.

Shuten feared that Bishamonten would see through his magic no matter how powerful his spell was. However, there was still one thing that even celestial maidens from Takamagahara could not see through—the human heart.

Shuten scoured Tanba, as well as its surroundings, and finally found a pair of lovers, both samurai, that were deeply in love with each other.

Shuten did not bewitch them with any spells and simply took the woman hostage, threatening him to do his bidding if he wanted to save his lover.

Therefore, it was only natural that Bishamonten had failed to see through Shuten’s plot.
The young man’s sincerity moved her because everything except for the fact that Shuten had coerced him to do his bidding was the truth. Shuten had also never actually appeared in front of the young man. He just had one of the monsters under him kidnap the young man’s lover and threaten him instead. As such, even the young man was not aware that Shuten was behind all of it. Bishamonten also would not have let him leave to rescue his lover if she knew that Shuten was behind everything.

Nothing would have been lost that way.

The pair of lovers were useless to Shuten now that Bishamonten had fallen into his trap, though, so he killed them immediately.

An incredible battle unfolded after that.

Although Bishamonten slew several demons and armored soldiers from the Heavens, the resurgence of her old injury and the impossible odds she faced tired her out eventually. The unknown force from the Heavens captured her in the end and dragged her back to Takamagahara.

The memories contained within the white dagger ended after the seriously hurt Bishamonten got taken into the dark clouds by the unknown force, and the world returned to normal, almost as if nothing had happened.


Rei felt stabs of pain in her heart as these painful, tragic memories flashed through her mind.

Her eyes flashed with the icy flames of vengeance within the secluded demon lair.

“Shuten Doji, you crook! You deserve death for playing with the hearts of humans and entrapping my mother!”

Rei summoned all her strength and stabbed at Shuten Doji’s chest, which was the weakest part of his body.

Crack!

An unfathomable power prevented Rei’s blade from reaching Shuten’s chest when it was just a hair’s breadth away from it.

Shuten’s well-built, demon hand had actually caught Rei’s dagger with its claws.

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Crackle… Crackle…

An icy aura emerged from the gaps of the gigantic hand.

It was not Shuten’s human form’s hand and was much thicker, majestic, hairy and hideous demon hand.

The headless Shuten had changed half of his one arm into its demonic form.

“What?!” Rei exclaimed in shock, unable to make sense of why Shuten could still move his hand when she had already beheaded him.

Rei tried to stab further with all her strength, but the difference in strength was too much. A samurai at her level was simply no match for Shuten’s demon hand.

Shuten’s wild laughter echoed from behind Rei at this moment. It was a laughter that she could never forget and resembled the one that flashed in her memories when her mother got captured.

“Hahahahahaha! Hahahahaha! As expected of Bishamonten’s daughter! I never imagined you would plot so much to kill me, Uesugi Rei!”

Shuten’s red-haired head gigantified suddenly and turned into a hideous, devilish head.

The devilish head had red-glowing eyes and jagged teeth that seemed capable of crunching everything in their way.

Shuten’s voice also turned heavier. “You are the first person to have beheaded me since time immemorial, Uesugi Rei, so you can feel proud about this monumental feat, young hero! Hahahahahaha! Hahahahahaha!”

Shuten’s rough, heavy laughter echoed throughout the entire cave.

Even Rei, who always had an expressionless look on her face, morphed her expression in extreme surprise at this moment, a cold sweat forming on her forehead as she did so.

“Just why…? This makes little sense!” She even lost all cool and denied the reality unfolding in front of her. “Why are you still alive when I’ve already beheaded you?! Just why?!”

“Did you think I’d die just because you beheaded me1? Heh. How foolish! Now that you mentioned it, I must thank your mother for this!”

“What?!”

“Since you are so desperate to kill me, I guess you must’ve already found out that your mother got taken back to Takamagahara! It’s all thanks to the young human I sent to deceive your mother! I forced him to tell me the heavenly art that Bishamonten imparted to him before I killed him and was able to level up my Demon God Physique to the third stage from the enlightenment I received! Severing my limbs or beheading me isn’t enough to kill me now!” The devilish head said.

Rei narrowed her eyes and looked at Shuten’s head with rancor. “You shameless demon!”

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“Hahaha! You should just give up now that things have come to this. Although the Demon God Physique’s third stage allows me to live even when beheaded, it doesn’t allow me to retain my senses, making it troublesome to retrieve my head in this darkness. However, attaining the Big Dipper level allows the ascender to split their soul into multiple pieces, going all the way up to seven pieces according to the legends! Although I’ve only split it into five pieces until now, that’s more than enough to let me control six parts of my body. I can feel my limbs even in a beheaded state, so dealing with you is as easy as crushing an ant for me, you dumb woman! Did you think I would’ve let you behead me if not to see what ace you have hidden in your sleeve? Doing this is somewhat draining, you know? Hahahahahaha!”

Shuten willed his body and a kick landed on Rei’s belly the next moment, sending her flying like a projectile. Rei’s body crashed against the stalagmites on the roof of the cave before she fell to the ground, and even her dagger got taken away by him.

The hand which Rei held the dagger in previously was frozen now and her palm was covered in blood. However, the pain from having her palm’s skin scraped off was still nothing compared to the pain she experienced from receiving Shuten’s kick.

Rei still tried to stand and put up a resistance despite taking a blow from a Big Dipper leveled opponent.

Chains shot out of the demon god statues within the cave at this moment, though, and restrained Rei’s limbs, as well as her neck, pulling on them tightly.

“Arrggghhhh!” Even someone as staunch as Rei could not help but scream in pain.

The chains continued pulling on Rei and suspended her in the cave.

The chains were made of eighth grade black iron and had been enchanted with a spell, so Rei could not break free from them even if she used her full strength, let alone in a severely injured state.

Shuten’s devilish head returned to his neck and regained its devilishly handsome human form once again, his hand transforming back at the same time. Shuten believed that he was the most handsome man in the mortal world, and would have never shown Rei his demonic form if not for her beheading him.

He then took out a wine pot and took a chug on it before saying, “How tasteless. I must say that the sacred wine you offered me had a memorable taste regardless of whether it really came from Takamagahara. Tell me. Who gave you this wine and advised you to do this?”

Rei remained silent, as she had no plans to reveal anything even if she had got caught.

“Hmph. Planning on remaining silent, are you? I know you aren’t normal and that it’s just a waste of time to use torture on you to make you speak. In fact, I don’t care who gave you the wine. You and Lily are the ones I really care about!”

“What?!” Rei’s pupils contracted.

“Did you think I don’t know anything about you? I know everything about you humans, to be honest, and even have plenty of spies among you! Although I never imagined you would scheme so much, I never believed you from the moment you surrendered to me, Uesugi Rei! I just wanted to beat you at your own game and make use of you!”

“That’s the reason I acted as if I had fallen for your scheme and allowed you to lead the troops disguised as the imperial army, which added further credibility to the disguise! I was able to destroy the alliance between the imperials and Tamamo-no-Mae thanks to that, you dumb woman! Hahahahahaha!”

“You heartless devil!”

Bam!

Shuten swung his arm, and wind resulting from the pressure landed on Rei’s face, rendering her dizzy while making her mouth bleed internally.

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“Did you become dumber after getting caught? As a demon, it’s natural for me to scheme against humans!” Shuten used his powers again.

“Aaarggh!” Rei’s index finger got outstretched forcefully, and the ice ring adorned on it got pulled out from it, making her scream from the pain caused by it.

The ring then flew towards Shuten and landed in his palm.

“You really schemed deeply! You adventured with Minamoto no Kenki for nearly half-a-year, yet you still did not let anyone discover that you owned a storage treasure. This ring isn’t that bad. It must be your mother’s since even I failed to make it out as a storage treasure at first look. You pretended that you did not have a storage treasure and even allowed the blue demon to take your weapon away to make me lower my guard and assassinate me with the blade hidden in this ring, didn’t you? You must’ve found the sacred wine in it as well. Not finding Minamoto no Kenki as suspicious and pretending to get caught were all part of your grand plan to assassinate me!”

“It’s a pity that no matter how much you schemed, it was still impossible for you to factor in something as incredible as the Demon God Physique. That’s your limit, Uesugi Rei! Your mother spent so much effort to train you, but it looks like her teachings were nothing much. She was just as kind and dumb as you are!”

“Shut up!” Rei thundered at Shuten, “Don’t you dare insult my mother now!”

Shuten pulled out the ancient paper scroll in Rei’s sash.

“Heh. I would’ve never obtained a reward from Takamagahara if it weren’t for this wanted notice2. This is the same notice I obtained back in those days and no mortal can copy it. Aren’t you curious how it found its way to you?” Shuten’s eyes flashed with an evil glint.

“What?!” Rei showed a stunned expression, and a terrifying thought flashed through her mind.



 

Footnotes:

  1. Robinxen: Hahahaha, he did the line.
  2. Robinxen: I’m starting to think that Takamagahara itself is the one that’s going against the heavens now.
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