Matsuda Nagahide brought Lily and everyone else to a wide plain, away from the residence.
Even though it was daytime, Lily felt that the forest at the side was filled with negative aura. She felt alarmed and restless as long as it was a place where sunlight did not reach.1
And in a small stream not far away, there was something that occasionally popped its head out of the water to observe her from within the cluster of reeds.
Perhaps this was because Lily’s intuition had become sharper due to her transformation, she didn’t notice that there were so many unfathomable creatures hiding in this mountain woods when she came here with Hojo before.
However, as for how to measure the penetration force, Lily was still brooding about it. In the modern world, there was the Punching Power Machine, but how could there be one of such things in this ancient Heian Era.
Everyone waited for a while in the plains. Lily was also full of curiosity, she was wondering what kind of methods they used to measure the penetration force.
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After a while, they saw Kimura Tetsuo —who was not accompanying them earlier— running over furiously with a wooden box that somehow maintained its balance atop his hand. It was a rather strange sight.
Kimura ran over and stopped in front of everyone, he passed the wooden box over to Matsuda Nagahide. This was a wooden box with very fine details. It looked very inharmonious with Matsuda clan’s simple-styled residence.
Matsuda Nagahide took the box and opened it very carefully. The only thing in the exquisite box was a small paper doll with some scribblings on it.
Nagahide clumsily used his rough-looking hands to slowly take out the paper doll. It seemed like he was handling some kind of item he could not understand. He looked at everyone, then took a deep breath as though he was mulling over something.
Kimura and Kanzaki, who were at his sides, also looked very tense. They were holding their breath and had a very exaggerated expression as they cheered their master on with pumped fists.2
Matsuda Nagahide made an earnest show by taking the horse stance3 and threw the paper talisman towards the open space in front. Then he pointed at the paper talisman floating in the air as he shouted in a flurry, “S-S-Slash Force Sensor!”
It was followed by a moment of silence. Nagahide almost showed disappointment on his face.
“Bang—!” A large quantity of white smokes was dispersed as though a steaming rack was turned over.
A red-colored Daruma Egg4 about half the size of men was swaying as it emerged from the smoke.
A pair of ridiculously big eyes and beard were drawn on the Daruma Egg. It was swaying to and fro on the plains like a roly-poly, and written on its red belly was a big “斩5” character!
Lily had a sudden flash, Who wrote this word, it appears to be unusually artistic. If there is anything special about this strange Daruma Egg, it’s got to be this character.
“Miss Kagami,” Nagahide said, “This is the Slash Force Sensor. It is a precious magic tool granted to my Matsuda clan by Lord Hojo Hayamasa.”6
“Magic tool?” Lily was shocked.
“This is an artificial magic tool manufactured by an onmyoji7 from the Heian Capital. It is manufactured by using supernatural arts to imitate the power of a shikigami.8 It only possesses a little bit of their spiritual power, so of course, it cannot be compared to the real shikigami of folklore. Nevertheless, this Slash Force Sensor is a treasure all samurai clans love to use as it can accurately measure their penetration force!
“Exactly!” Kimura said, “This Slash Force Sensor can be sold in the Heian Capital for 100 kwan!9 You may not even be able to get it for 150 kwan in Kamakura City! Every time the stocks arrived, it would be snatched by every major samurai clan! It’s a 100 kwan y’know, it is almost equal to half a year of our master’s salary!”
“Don’t speak out of turn.” Nagahide didn’t seem to be too willing to speak about his salary in front of outsiders.
According to Lily’s understanding of 100 kwan, it should be copper coins worth three hundred and seventy-five kilograms of weight.10
Lily felt slightly concerned when she looked at the happy-go-lucky face of the big, swaying Daruma Egg, “Elder, this thing is so expensive, what happens if it breaks?”
Nagahide replied, “That you don’t have to worry. Slash Force Sensor is made for the purpose of measuring penetration force. As long as you are using a wooden sword, there’s no need to worry about breaking it.”
“Master!” A snotty brat ran over and said, “I haven’t measured my penetration force for half a year already! Look how strong is my muscle now, let me take the measurement! Let me do it!”
Nagahide frowned for a moment, but he still nodded, “Might as well, you can demonstrate for Miss Kagami and show her how to measure penetration force.”
That snotty brat was more or less 1.5 meters tall with tanned skin. He looked to be around the age of thirteen to fourteen and had a thin build with robust muscles. As the brat picked up the wooden sword, he channeled his power and shouted “Hiyaaaaah” as he ran forward and slashed the Daruma Egg that was taller than him.
That Daruma Egg bounced back like a roly-poly and hit the brat that didn’t manage to stop in time. The brat sprung back with his face looking skyward.
Nagahide also slapped his forehead in shame. In his heart, he really didn’t want to admit this was his apprentice.
After swaying for a while, the big Daruma Egg finally came to a stop. It was still wearing that happy-go-lucky expression on its face. Then, all of a sudden, it produced a resounding theatrical voice of a man, “Pene~tration~ Force— Twenty Eight Kwan!”
As Lily heard the strange voice reverberating in the mountain woods, she looked at the unchanging expression that was drawn on the face of the Daruma Egg dubiously. Is this thing dead or alive? How did it make a sound?
“Twenty-eight kwan! That’s great! Master, this is three kwan higher than half a year ago!” The snotty brat happily hopped around.
“Not bad!” Those two narrow-eyed samurais who were always watching at the side patted the brat’s head, and said with a smile, “A grown man normally only get around thirty kwan of penetration force. You are still so young, yet already comparable to the adults!”
“Don’t be self-satisfied by this kind of result!” Nagahide sternly criticized, “You should know that the bottom line of passing the samurai qualification test is 80 kwan penetration force! You are still too far away from your goal! Even becoming a full-time foot soldier requires 50 kwan!”
Lily was doing mental arithmetic at the side, 80 kwan equals to 320 kilograms. Penetration force is not the same as punching force. Rather than attacking with full power from the front, we use a slender sword to cut instead. 320 kg of power is already very strong! Moreover, the destructive power of 320 kg behind a sharp katana and a punch is on a whole ‘nother level!
On the other side, Taro was sneering as he thought to himself, ‘These brats are really nothing but fodder materials. Even if they become adults, they will just barely pass the standard for the foot soldier. Increasing the penetration force is not as simple as raising brute strength. And I myself have already reached 75 kwan! I am very close to the bottom line of a samurai’s standard! It’s just that my speed and reaction are falling a little behind.’
“Miss Kagami, you should have understood by now right?” Nagahide said, “Then, please go ahead.”
Lily nodded in silence as she grabbed her three feet long wooden sword with both hands, then she got in front of the Slash Force Sensor. Although it was to measure the penetration force, Lily had no intention to swing desperately. If she lost her balance and cut the empty air, then that was the same as her giving the opponent an upper hand. What’s the point of having so much strength if it missed? That would only be her lying to herself.
If she wanted to cut, then she must cut with the style for actual combat!
Besides, a wise lady should have the gracefulness of a female samurai. Lily would not approve of a slash that was not beautiful.
Lily lifted the sword and took a deep breath. Those towering breasts were swaying accordingly.
Lily’s eyes suddenly flashed as she took one fast and powerful step. The longsword in her hands burst forth along with the rhythm of her slender waist.
The sound of the heavy sword strike echoed in the quiet mountain woods.
That Daruma Egg was mercilessly knocked against the ground before it shot back violently. Its round bottom almost left contact with the ground as it rocked fiercely.
The whole place became quiet. After all, every person here was a sword practitioner. Just hearing the sound, they could feel that the weight behind this slash was abnormal!
Furthermore, Lily’s posture was not disturbed at all. She was totally capable of doing a follow-up attack or defend. If she was doing battle at the moment, that would make Nagahide even more shocked.
“Wow— Pe-ne-tra-tion Foooooooooooooorce—” That Slash Force Sensor dragged on the force word to a ridiculous degree. The samurais at the side were so irritated they wished to go up and give it a good kick!
“Seventy— two kwan!”
Everyone present became speechless.
Matsuda Nagahide squinted his eyes to look at Lily’s slender arms. It was hard to believe, just how did this young lady exert so much power from her slender arms?! Moreover, she was still maintaining a battle-ready stance. In other words, this was still not the most powerful swing she could muster!
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“Th-this… mother ⓕⓤⓒⓚⓔⓡ… I’ve seen a ghost, is she really a girl or a monster?” Taro’s mind was also in complete shambles, “Ⓢⓗⓘⓣ! The great me only has 75 kwan, and yet this smooth-skinned frail-looking lil gal actually got 72 kwan?!”
The two subordinate samurais and the group of brats were so amazed that their eyes were wide open and mouth agape.
Matsuda Nagahide exhaled one long breath, then he stepped forward and said seriously, “Miss Kagami, if you really want to learn fencing, this humble servant will pour out his all to teach you!”11
- Not sure if it was referring to just Lily or everyone present. But I think it is more fitting if it’s just referring to Lily. After all, she just went through the night parade…
- Wh-what’s with all the exaggeration? It’s even making me nervous…
- I took the liberty to leave this in raw, but it basically means slash or cut
- Not sure if Hayamasa is really a name, I’m really bad at differentiating names from context
- So… they not only use kwan for measuring strength, but also for money? Well, just as fatty Taro said, 1 kwan is equal to the weight of 100 ryo, so I guess 100 kwan = 10k ryo?
- well, the raw says copper coins that weighted 100 kwan, but I thought using modern term should be easier to understand
- This chapter feels so satisfying!