|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 3191 characters|
|Translator: LazyButAmbitious||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1792 words|
During this pivotal moment, Kagura appeared at Lily’s side. Armed with a sakura parasol1, she began casting spells that enhanced Lily, Yuki-Onna, and Ayaka. Kagura had recently advanced to the Throne Stage.
Despite being at the peak of the Permanence Stage, her recent breakthrough, fueled by the power of her original celestial maiden body, resulted in a significant increase in her power, propelling her far beyond the Permanence Stage and into the early Throned Monarch Stage.
Besides her celestial maiden physique, her past life’s training also gifted her a remarkable level of realm comprehension and exceptional training speed. Even though an early-stage Throned Monarch’s strength wasn’t particularly useful in the current battle, reaching the Throne Stage granted Kagura access to ancient celestial spells from her previous life’s memories that necessitated a throne palace!
These spells were notably more potent than those of the same level. Primarily enhancement and strengthening type spells, Kagura’s expertise lay precisely in these. The strength of these spells was on par with the enhancement spells cast by onmyojis at the Big Dipper Stage. Additionally, many of these shikigami-utilized spells were innate and didn’t require materials or talismans.
With Yuki-Onna’s aid and the vast painted projection of the Yomi Army, the demons on Shuten’s side were undeniably at a disadvantage. Thus, Tamamo and all the Tsunaga Sisters were temporarily free from the threat of Hagewashi’s familiars and monsters.
However, this seeming reversal ignited the fury of the ancient supreme archdemon.
“Kagami Lily!!!” Shuten roared, swinging his halberd with abandon. The resulting storm of light obliterated everything in its path – Hagewashi’s familiars, monsters, and even Lily’s painted projection of the Yomi Army!
Clink! Clink! Clink! Tamamo sprang into action, stepping in front of the sisters and conjuring a thick ice wall from the ground. The wall blocked the aftermath of the attack but crumbled in the process.
Shuten Doji, atop his massive wine gourd, hurtled towards Lily with staggering speed. Lily sprung to the side and positioned herself before the sisters. Though empowered by Kagura’s high-level celestial spells, they only helped counteract the suppression from Enkindled Desire Ibuki somewhat. The pressure was more intense in the sky, prompting her decision to fight on the ground where she could better protect her sisters.
The suppression was comparatively lesser on the ground, enabling Kagura’s high-level celestial spells to boost Lily’s strength slightly.
“Hmph, a battle on land you desire, eh? So be it, I shall grant your wish!” Shuten Doji’s figure started to contract, becoming a devilish man around three meters tall. Despite his reduced size, his power remained unchanged.
A larger form would impede his movements in a ground battle. Shuten had other strategies in mind.
Boom!!! Shuten lunged at Lily with explosive speed. Even on the ground, his speed was superior!
The tip of Shuten’s halberd sliced through space, targeting Lily. With extreme focus, Lily sidestepped at the right moment, struck the halberd’s shaft with Yasutsuna, and knocked it aside. Simultaneously, she pivoted and stepped forward, the purple lunar power on Yasutsuna flaring as she swung at Shuten.
Shuten dared not directly block the blade with his body. His robust legs kicked off the ground, propelling him away from Lily’s sword. Mid-jump, he retracted the halberd, spinning to deliver a sweeping strike at Lily’s head!
The incoming halberd distorted space and was accompanied by molten gold streams that could instantly melt giant rocks. Lily stooped, the halberd sweeping overhead. One hand on the ground, she performed a backward flip to land in front of Shuten, slashing downward with immense power.
With no time to retract his halberd and block Lily’s unforeseen attack, Shuten could only morph his left hand into a thick ghost claw, bracing his forearm against the assault!
Crack! Lily’s blade sank into Shuten’s arm. The burning pain and vengeful power wracked Shuten with excruciating pain. Although the blow didn’t sever his robust arm, it inhibited the natural healing of his wound!
“B̲i̲t̲c̲h̲!” Shuten held the halberd with both hands, retaliating with a powerful strike. However, Lily agilely flipped sideways over the halberd, dodging yet another attack from Shuten. Before even landing, she thrust her blade forward swiftly!
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Dang! The blade struck the gold-bronze beast head on Shuten’s waistband, forcing him back a few steps. A gash appeared on the beast head, and blood seeped from Shuten’s waist.
Although the wound was not deep, the area continued to bleed.
“Kagami Lily…” Shuten seethed through gritted teeth.
Lily discerned that Shuten Doji, despite his superior overall strength, was only an average halberd wielder. If she could continue evading his attacks, victory could still be within her grasp.
“Why… what is that weapon you wield?” Shuten growled. “Even if it’s a spirit artifact capable of harming me, I should be regenerating. So why won’t the wounds it inflicts heal?!”
Suddenly, Kurokinsui, his halberd, emitted a surge of golden energy that swirled like serpentine dragons.
Bzzt!! Shuten lunged forward, his halberd now rippling with the energy of twisting serpents and dragons.
Lily felt an overpowering suppressive force encumber her movements, her strength insufficient to escape its clutches. “This is bad!” she thought, as the halberd neared. Left with no choice but to parry the incoming blow with Yasutsuna, she braced for impact.
A catastrophic collision ensued, as if a meteorite had plummeted onto the ground.
Amid the bright sparks, Lily was sent flying backward.
“Ah…” Her physique, comparable to a celestial battle maiden, barely allowed her to withstand the blow. But the attack was still devastating.
Propelled backward, she crashed onto the ground, creating a deep trench and leaving her clothes in tatters. She gasped for breath, just inches from unconsciousness.
“Hehehehehe! Kagami Lily, you believe you’re my match with your proficient swordsmanship and a bit of agility?” Shuten approached with a menacing stride, his halberd gleaming menacingly. “Let me enlighten you: in the face of overwhelming strength, you’re only fit to be my slave. You’re not even worth being my adversary!”
“This is troublesome… Shuten Doji’s attack carries a suppressive effect,” Lily realized, her body slick with sweat, her heart pounding in fear. “If we were equals, this wouldn’t have mattered. But he’s far superior to me, which allows him to restrict my movements and hamper my ability to dodge in time!”
Despite the severe blow, her body, charged with lunar crystals, quickly regenerated. A short while later, she had recovered enough to move freely again.
Standing up shakily, she tightly gripped Yasutsuna.
“Huh?” Shuten looked surprised. “How can such a frail woman possess such an extraordinary body? Hahahaha, it seems I can torture you to my heart’s content without fear of killing you prematurely! Hahahahahaha!”
“B̲a̲s̲t̲a̲r̲d̲…” Lily seethed. The realization that Shuten didn’t perceive her as a real threat, but rather intended to capture her alive, filled her with dread. That meant he might still be holding back. On her part, she had exhausted all her resources and pushed her abilities to the limit. If she couldn’t force Shuten to use his full strength and remain suppressed, she would lose…
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Once more, Shuten raised Kurokinsui, causing golden dragons to ripple around him.
“Damn it!” Lily exclaimed. The area of the energy ripples was vast. Even though she tried to dodge, she was caught at the edge of the fluctuation, slowing her down.
This time, Shuten Doji’s halberd swung diagonally toward her.
Clang! Lily could only raise her sword to block, but the massive impact forced her down on one knee, causing the ground beneath her to cave in.
Pfft! Despite her celestial maiden physique, Lily couldn’t withstand the heavy blow. Blood sprayed from her mouth.
Shuten used one hand to wield his halberd and pressed down Lily’s sword, then hooked the blade with his other hand. When Lily staggered forward, he launched a palm strike filled with demonic energy, a move he had been preparing for. It hit Lily squarely in her lower abdomen!
Lily cried out in pain, blood gushing from her mouth. The intense pain rendered her unable to straighten her back.
“Hahahahaha! Hahahaahahahaha! I’ve succeeded; I’ve finally succeeded!” Shuten gloated.
“Lily!!!” The sisters screamed.
Ignoring them, Shuten retracted his halberd and grabbed Lily by the hair, forcing her to raise her head. Blood seeped from the corner of her mouth. Her face was ashen and pitiful.
“Kagami Lily,” he growled. “No matter how strong-willed a woman you are, the demonic energy that directly struck your spirit palace and permeated your body will make any woman succumb to me. From now on, you won’t resist me! In your eyes, I am your master, your ruler, your everything! You will obey every command I give!”
“Hahahahaha! Hahahahahahaha!” Shuten laughed maniacally.
“No, this can’t be…” Ayaka mumbled, her hand covering her mouth. However, she knew all too well how potent Shuten’s techniques were when dealing with women. Even at full strength, it would be challenging for her to withstand such a direct hit, let alone Lily.
Shuten Doji, however, held Lily’s head aloft, shaking her slightly. “You’re truly beautiful, the most beautiful woman in the world, and your body… such excellent form! I’m fond of you, Lily! Now open your eyes and call me master. I command you to call me master! Say it! Scream it! No woman can resist my power! Call me master, now2!”
Suddenly, Lily tightened her grip on Yasutsuna and sliced upwards with fierce determination.
Lily swung her cursed blade, spun around, and knelt down, her back facing Shuten. Her blade, glowing with the ethereal light of the purple moon, left a deep, diagonal cut across Shuten’s chest, spilling a spray of blood.
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Pffft—! Shuten’s wound was so deep it was a sight to behold, causing blood to spurt like a fountain.
Lily’s eyes gleamed with the unyielding light of determination, not wavering in the slightest!
Without a doubt, the blow that Lily had taken from Shuten, pulsing with a potent demonic energy, had the power to crush the spirit of any woman. Yet, his sinister ability, which had shattered the wills of countless females before, proved entirely futile against Lily.
“Cough…” The blood continued to spill from Shuten’s mouth, uncontrolled and relentless. The wound carved into his chest was horrifyingly deep. Had it been a mere few inches more, his life would have been hanging by a thread.
Backpedalling, Shuten stared at his own gruesome injury that steadfastly refused to heal. An icy sensation of fear coursed through him – a sensation he’d never known before. His life was in danger.
The eerie and malicious glint that once sparkled in Shuten’s eyes had faded, replaced by a vivid, blood-red glare. From the abyss of his soul erupted an ancient cruelty, a latent tyranny.
At that moment, Shuten truly desired to kill Lily3.