In this old samurai house, the ash-brown earth was filled to the brim with footsteps. Who knew just how many samurais and apprentices had been practicing their wooden sword and footwork at this place. Even the soil had become somewhat solid from being stepped on repeatedly.1
Yet a fragile girl like Lily was standing right in the middle of these samurais and apprentices. These hardened men and youngsters were all looking at Lily, but their attention was mostly focused on the big breasts and butt under her kimono. Even the earnest Matsuda Nagahide wasn’t expecting much from Lily.
As for Lily, she imitated Matsuda’s posture by grabbing the wooden sword with both hands. That long and brownish sword tip was pointing at the tree in front of Lily like an aiming scope.
Lily was especially concerned about that one word from Matsuda Nagahide.
‘Fencing is the way of life.’ Lily thought in her head, ‘Then what kind of life will my fencing point me to.’
“I have come to this dangerous world with the soul of a boy and the body of a girl. I am not really ambitious and aggressive by nature, I also do not like to slaughter. However, as I am now, I have no choice but to swing a sword with these fragile hands.”
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“By the time I touched this sword, I have come to realize something in my heart.”
“Swinging a sword means you must kill!”
“Regardless of gender and looks, the moment when I swing the sword, being a girl is no longer an excuse.”
“Men and women have nothing to do with the sword! There’s only kill or killed.”
That Daidouji Taro was sneering at Lily through his nose, and said, “This great me has yet to see a girl waving a sword in entire my life, this is a first. Lil sis, be careful eh, don’t fall down—”
“Pfff—” Some of the brats were covering their mouth to hold in the laughter.
A snotty brat with duck lips2 and chubby cheeks said, “Hehe, wouldn’t it be good if she falls then, our Taro bro can touch her!”
Lily didn’t pay any mind to those jeering. Fencing is the way of life, her own way of life. Back when she was a cowardly boy, she did get bullied by those bad boys, but now that she had come to this world as a girl, she needed to rely on her own strength. No matter how many gossips or evil intentions were pointed at her, they weren’t able to affect her psyche!
Lily shut her eyes and listened to the sound of the wind blowing from the mountains behind her.3
Suddenly, her bright eyes shone.
There was no irregularity in her sword swing. It was not light, but it wasn’t heavy either. The sword swing was fast, it was fast yet unusually stable. It was so quick that no sound was made! Only a very small amount of wind was gathered around the sword before it dissipated.
It was similar to Lily’s hair; black, long, and straight.
It was simple yet beautiful!
Those muddy-faced brats were looking at Lily without making any comment. It seemed like her swing was nothing to be made fun of. It was a clean slash, but not as mighty and powerful as brother Taro’s slash. These brats did not really understand what they just saw.
However, that ‘brother Taro’ squinted his eyes and shouted, “Ⓑⓐⓢⓣⓐⓡⓓ, this woman, is this really her first time swinging a sword?”
And those samurais of the Matsuda clan also involuntarily moved their sight from Lily’s butt to her sword. It was obviously a blunt wooden sword, yet it felt extremely sharp in that one moment!
Matsuda Nagahide sucked the air into his dry lips.4 Only after a long time later did he finally say with a pleased tone, “Miss Kagami, since you have learned such a profound sword technique, why are you deliberately making fun of us?”
“Eh?” Lily flung her beautiful hair, which was accompanied by a sweet fragrance. She blinked her pure and innocent eyes as she said, “Elder, I don’t really understand what you mean, this is my first time swinging a sword.”
That fatty Taro had an ugly look on his face, he thought to himself, “Mother ⓕⓤⓒⓚⓔⓡ! This woman really make people irritated! She’s acting like a damsel in distress and put up a delicate front, but who would have expected her sword swing was that fast. This great me still thought I have seen wrongly. I didn’t expect old man Matsuda also thought of the same thing. That mother ⓕⓤⓒⓚⓘⓝⓖ ⓑⓐⓢⓣⓐⓡⓓ!”
Matsuda Nagahide was skeptical. After thinking about Lily’s identity, he felt that it wouldn’t be good to ask too deeply, “Miss Kagami, have you ever been tested for penetration force?”
“Penetration force?” Lily had a clearly perplexed look.
Matsuda blanked out for a moment as he thought, ‘If this young lady is really making fun of us, then she is indeed a very capable actress! However, with my long years of experience, I feel like that is not the case. Don’t tell me… that was really her first time swinging a sword? No, that’s impossible!’
“Miss Kagami, the so-called penetration force is the cutting power behind your sword swing. Although it doesn’t seem like there is much movement behind your sword swing, the weight of such a long wooden sword isn’t light either, yet you actually swung it so fast and without making any sound. More importantly, it was a stable swing. I’m afraid that the power behind that swing is not light either. Miss Kagami, if you have really never tested your penetration force before, I strongly advise the young lady to give it a try,” said Matsuda.
“That’s right! That’s right!” That Kimura Tetsuo —the one who brought Lily to retrieve the sword earlier— said somewhat excitedly, “Although, in the beginning, I also felt it was a little ridiculous when Miss Kagami chose such a long wooden sword, I didn’t expect you can really swing this three feet long tachi with such swiftness and precision! I, Kimura, really want to know, just how many units of kwan5 can Miss Kagami’s delicate hands be able to score!”
“Kwan?” Lily stared blankly for a moment as she wracked her brain. She didn’t have any friends when she was a boy, so when she didn’t have anything to do at home, she would browse through some data regarding ancient Japan. If it was the same as ancient Japan’s measurement, then one kwan should be close to four kilograms of weight.
In this Heian Empire, a normal grown-up man’s penetration force was thirty kwan. That was equivalent to almost one hundred and twenty kilograms of cutting power.
“One kwan is equal to the weight of one thousand coins, that is to say, one kwan is a hundred ryo! Women are so bad at maths!” said the fatty. In fact, since he was doing self-study, his maths was the one that’s a total mess. The only thing he got going for him was his loud voice and quick response.
Lily was wondering why they were so concerned about this one swing, thus she asked, “Elder, please give advice to this little girl if my words are incorrect. I thought that as long as the sword is sharp, it can kill even with little strength. Why should we still care about the power of the strike?”
These words startled the samurais of Matsuda and even fatty Taro.
How could a slender and beautiful girl like her so easily speak out the word “kill”?
It seemed that even if this girl had really never learned how to swing a sword before, she had at least been through an unimaginable experience.
“Ⓑⓐⓢⓣⓐⓡⓓ, her words are getting more and more pretentious! This great me really can’t see eyes to eyes with this young lady!” Taro cursed in his heart.
On the other hand, Matsuda Nagahide was patiently explaining. After all, he was already not treating Lily as a pampered girl who only tried out fencing due to curiosity.
“Miss Kagami, what you said is very reasonable. It’s just that, the way of the samurai is one of the roots in my Heian Empire. After becoming a samurai, not only do have a lot of privileges and reputation, there are also the benefits given by many imperial households and big names. Therefore, it is better to have a standard. After all, you can’t always determine strength through a life or death battle right?”
Matsuda continued, “Otherwise, before even facing the demons or joining the war, more than half of the samurais would already be dead. Therefore, in this Heian Empire, the penetration force is one of the important criteria to judge if one has reached the qualification of a samurai.”
- Yeah… hard solid ground, don’t underestimate them, I’ve just had an experience digging through the hardened ground with much effort. The shovel can’t even dig one inch into the ground. Had to use a hoe and now my hands hurt!
- Omitted: 但周围的草木，众人皆在她的心中
- There was also a mention of dry lips under the 八-shaped mustache, but that’s just redundant… we don’t need to know the shape of his mustache…
- Meh, the joy of translating, you have to research and look up for terms that are not commonly used in current days: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_units_of_measurement#Mass