|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 2051 characters|
|Translator: Yuki||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1076 words|
Shuten’s laughter had a resonating quality, seeming to permeate everything around. It bounced off the ancient, untouched mountains of Suno, creating a haunting echo. At this audacious display, the faces of Fujiwara no Ayaka, Tamamo-no-Mae, Uesugi Rei, Minamoto no Shimizu, and all the women hardened in steely determination.
Rei, in particular, was quite visibly affected. Her breaths were ragged and uneven, her complexion tinted a flushed red, and her body glistened with a thin sheen of fragrant sweat. Standing slightly to the rear, she was evidently in a state of considerable distress.
With the sharp acuity of Shuten’s gaze, it took him a mere moment to assess Rei’s condition. Nevertheless, he disregarded her as inconsequential. In his eyes, letting her succumb to her poison-induced suffering was of no significant consequence.
Yet, amidst his scrutiny of the group, Shuten found himself puzzled by the absence of one particular individual – Kagami Lily. “Surely, given the circumstances and her fiery spirit, she’d be the first to confront me. Could it be that she’s not here?” He mused, his disappointment palpable.
Despite this setback, Tamamo understood that the adversaries had approached with an astute comprehension of their circumstances. Threatening them wouldn’t be a simple task.
With her clan members and villagers mercilessly slaughtered, and herself gravely wounded and weakened, Tamamo was consumed by a surge of unbridled rage. Yet, she knew all too well that mere fury was insufficient to inflict any significant harm.
Addressing her nemesis, the rage in her eyes undeniable, Tamamo asked, “Shuten Doji, do you genuinely wish to escalate this to a full-blown confrontation?”
Shuten merely responded with a mocking guffaw. “Ahahahaha! Tamamo-no-Mae, are you still trying to bluff? Look at that feeble aura, that delicate body. Isn’t it a struggle just to face us?” As he taunted her, he unleashed a powerful spiritual and soul pressure towards Tamamo.
Though Tamamo appeared unfazed, the relentless pressure from Shuten, a certified quintuple-soul big dipper, was far from trivial. Especially considering her weakened state. “I must hold on… I can’t let them perceive my weakness…” A cold sweat trickled down her body as she struggled to suppress her involuntary shivers.
“Ah……” Suddenly, Tamamo staggered, crumpling to the ground.
“Lady Kimiko!” Shizuru and Nariaki dashed forward to steady her.
Tamamo’s face was ghostly pale, her mouth slick with blood…
Upon seeing Tamamo incapacitated by merely Shuten’s spiritual pressure, Ayaka was filled with dread. She muttered, “Tamamo…”
“Ahahahahaha,” Amidst a thunderous bout of laughter, Shuten mocked, “Tamamo-no-Mae, how long can you maintain this facade? You can barely protect your own life, and yet you aspire to safeguard Suno?”
Undeterred by her trembling form, Tamamo’s gaze remained fixated on Shuten. “What… What exactly do you want?” she demanded.
Maintaining a respectful demeanor, Shuten replied, “Lady Tamamo, we are old friends, having resided in the west for centuries. Honestly, I’m reluctant to resort to this. Hand over Fujiwara no Ayaka and Kagami Lily! In exchange, I can guarantee the safety of the residents of Suno. But for your life, you must surrender all your treasures! All of them.”
Observing Tamamo’s weakened state, Shuten seized the opportunity to heighten his demands1, effectively cornering her2. The prospect of obtaining unknown ancient treasures and stripping her of any possible defenses intrigued him3.
Defiantly, Tamamo retorted, “Dream on! I assure you, Lily isn’t here, and even if she were, I wouldn’t surrender her! Any person who enters Suno is my guest, and you shall not lay a finger on them!”
Countering Shuten’s audacious demands, Ayaka threatened, “Shuten Doji! Today, you exploit our vulnerability to sow chaos. But remember, we will regain our strength. Have you considered the repercussions of provoking us?”
(This chapter is provided to you by Re:Library)
(Please visit Re:Library to show the translators your appreciation!)
Unfazed, Shuten jeered, “Ahahaha, Miss Ayaka, that day will never dawn. Today, you will meekly accompany me, and who knows? You might even find yourself falling for me, ahahaha! At that point, the tables might turn entirely.” This statement incited a chorus of raucous laughter from his gang.
“B̲a̲s̲t̲a̲r̲d̲s̲…” Suppressing her mounting anger, Ayaka felt her body trembling with the urge to retaliate. But she reined in her impulses, fully aware that their current strength paled in comparison to Shuten’s. A pre-emptive attack would be unwise.
In the midst of the escalating tension, Tamamo sent a voice transmission. “Endure and bide our time, Lily must be en route back.” Only a short while back, Lily had connected with them via the voice transmission orb, notifying them of her impending arrival.
Shuten, growing impatient, interjected, “Enough, Tamamo-no-Mae! I tire of this banter. I offer you one final opportunity. Surrender Fujiwara no Ayaka, Kagami Lily, and all your treasures!”
“You… I need some time to contemplate4…” Tamamo’s words, delivered through gritted teeth, reflected her desperate situation. She was a millennia-old arch-demon, an ancient divine beast. Her pride was beyond most beings. But she was left with no choice but to yield to these demands. Fully aware of her dire condition – complete depletion of eldritch energy and total humanization – she wondered if she could ever regain her original form.
Biding her time was her only recourse. Currently, Lily was their sole glimmer of hope. And even upon her arrival, Lily might not be able to confront Shuten directly. But, their chances would surely improve with Lily present. Regardless of how potent Suno’s numerous ancient formations and treasures were, they necessitated a powerhouse to function. In the past, she would control and activate those formations, but now…?
Trying to activate them would be akin to a feeble woman attempting to pull an excessively weighty chariot. A hopeless endeavor.
A frown creased Shuten’s face. Tamamo’s indecision was uncharacteristic. ‘I must not be fooled. She’s a millennia-old fox demon, cunning personified. Is she concocting a scheme? But who in this world could assist her? Or is she simply stalling to activate the ancient formations?’ His thoughts raced, a sinister expression on his face.
‘Given her current capacity, activating a powerful formation is out of the question. I need only be wary of some unheard-of ancient treasure, but she’d have already used it if she possessed one. My power matches hers pre-transformation. How can she hope to suppress an equal adversary relying solely on treasures? It’s nothing but a fantasy! Unless she possesses a mythical treasure. Yet, it seems unlikely that she owns such an artifact.’
“Then, Tamamo-no-Mae, you sly old fox, what kind of game are you playing? Trying to buy time5?” The wicked glint in Shuten’s eyes betrayed his suspicion.
- Robinxen: Idiot.
- Robinxen: You literally said you wanted to leave her an out last time, this is cornering yourself too, she’ll have nothing left to lose if you push it further.
- Robinxen: This feels like a ChatGPT line…
- Yuki: Seriously? This is the response of a smart, sly, thousand year old fox powerhouse?
- Robinxen: Duh?!?!?!