If this garden was a cosmos, then Lily would be the center of this cosmos.
Lily was in awe of the spirit world’s beauty. It felt like she had seen the truth on the other side of the world!
I really didn’t expect the spirit essence I sensed would look as brilliant as a sea of stars. And directly above the stars is the moon that looked identical to the real one. The spirit essences from the moon were virtually inexhaustible. Lily could even feel the essences of the moonlight flowing into her body.
Since she could sense such an abundant amount of spirit essences, then bon appetit.
The art of absorbing spirit essence was actually a type of breathing technique. However, not only the air duct, the spirit essences had to pass through every nook and corner of the body.
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Aside from the breathing technique, the moonlight itself contained a faint amount of spirit essences. It was also another way to absorb spirit essence. Even if it was little, it never hurts to have extra. That’s right, this 《Moon Grace》 could also use the essences of the moonlight to slightly boost the training speed.
Lily had a healthy body, so it was only natural that her affinity with spirit power was also extraordinary. Every time Lily breathed in with all her heart, she would be able to absorb a lot of spirit essences.1
It was recorded in the 《Moon Grace》 that the absorption rate of spirit essences would be fastest for the first timer.
Because the body had never been in touch with the spirit essence before, it was needless to say how much an empty vessel could absorb. In order to assimilate more spirit essences after the body had amassed more than enough, one had to first strengthen their body.
The 《Moon Grace》 also frankly acknowledged that, although this process was extremely pleasant, one could also feel fatigue after a certain limit. Consequently, Sakura’s massage could relieve fatigue, so she should be able to quickly get back to the absorption process.
An endless flow of spirit essences flowed into Lily’s body as though they were baptizing the girl’s delicate body.
Every inch of Lily’s body was strengthened by the spirit essences. This was the strengthening of the spirit and energy, it was not the kind that made her appear more robust.
Lily’s skin looked so fragile, but reality had a different story to tell! Her strength and defense values had already taken one step beyond the realm of ordinary humans!
Perhaps even Lily herself didn’t know just how much spirit essences she absorbed on this night. She felt so comfortable to the extent that she had unconsciously fallen asleep.2
After she fell asleep, Lily felt as if she was bathing in an ocean made of spirit essences. Due to her body being in a state of complete relaxation, the spirit essences she absorbed after falling asleep were several times higher than when she was awake!
None could imagine that, after Lily fell asleep completely, the surrounding spirit essences that were like a sea of stars actually converged, and gradually became voluptuous yet primordial heavenly maidens in misty figures, one after another. The figures of heavenly maidens stretched the moonlight with their hands into gentle white silks and started dancing around Lily. The dancing was clear and free, not something that would be found in the mortal world for sure. But if one were to look closely, the ephemeral convergent starlights and their enticing dance carried with them a barely noticeable tragic beauty and their fall…
However, nobody witnessed this scene. Not Lily herself nor anyone from Matsuda clan, not even the weak monster that might be hiding in the surroundings…
As for whether the flowers, birds, insects, and fishes could see this wonderful scenery with their awareness, that was a pointless question.
In the end, nobody knew whether it was true that the heavenly maidens appeared during the girl’s first night of spirit training, and were dancing with Lily as the center.
All they knew was that, on this one night, Lily’s inner strength had dramatically increased even though she looked as beautiful as before!
“CØck-a-doodle-doo—!3” The rooster crowed at the break of dawn and aroused Lily from her sleep. Although she was sleeping outdoors for a night, she had a bright face and was all smiles at the moment.
My body feels so great… I wonder why…
Lily had never felt this good before. Although she hadn’t taken a bath for one night, her body felt incredibly fresh and cool. The process of taking in spirit essences was in itself a process of cleansing the body.
She leisurely breathed out with a clear mind.
And only now did Lily notice that she was still naked. Her white yukata was still hanging around her waist.
She hastily put on her yukata and looked all around in concern. She was afraid that someone might have seen her naked when she was asleep. If she traded her purity for those spirit essences, it would be hard to say whether she had gained or lost something.
Fortunately, it was still before five in the morning. Nobody should’ve woken up at this time yet, even granny Ayashi only woke up at 5 A.M. sharp.
Therefore, Lily rushed back into her room.
It was still too early to start today’s daily training session, so Lily thought that she should at least take a quick nap.
Thus she jumped onto the bed and fell asleep.
“Miss Kagami! Miss Kagami!”
She didn’t know how much time had already passed, but granny Ayashi was knocking on the wooden door vigorously.
Lily woke up in a daze.
“Huh? Granny Ayashi, did something happen?” She sat up with slightly messy hair.
Granny Ayashi had never roused her awake with such a rude and loud voice before.
“Miss Kagami, it is already ten in the morning and you still haven’t washed your face. Everyone is already waiting for you in the front yard. Even My Lord is very angry!” said Granny Ayashi.
“What?!” Lily was shocked. She suddenly recalled how after her horse riding lesson yesterday, Matsuda Nagahide gathered everyone together and said he was going to announce something important today!
“Okay! I will be right there!” Lily got up in a hurry, but be that as it may, a girl couldn’t just go out and show herself to others like this. Even with her fastest speed, she needed at least fifteen minutes to prepare.
The morning was rather hot today. Matsuda Nagahide had a very ugly face as he stood there in the courtyard. However, as a man, he couldn’t just go to the backhouse to wake up Lily. He never thought that the Lily who he praised every day would make him lose face today.
And Taro was even more heated up as he cursed, “F***, what is that woman doing! Is she still not getting up?!”
“That’s right, I’ve never seen such a lazy woman!” Another brat said with impatience as he wiped his sweat.
At this time, Lily ran over slowly with her yukata still on. She felt that she could get over there in the blink of an eye if she ran with all her might, but it was still better if she maintained some bearing as a lady.
“What time do you think it is now?!” Nagahide had a very displeased expression.
Lily felt that the way she looked at the world now was different from before, not only was her sense of hearing enhanced, even her vision improved dramatically. She could see the spider webs at the distant corner of the courtyard so clearly. And also because she established a link with the spirits of all living things, she could still sense everything in the surroundings with her eyes closed.
“Elder… I’m so sorry…” Lily didn’t bother to explain, she just lowered her head to express her apology.
Nagahide didn’t pursue with this matter any longer. He waited until Lily got into her position, which was a little separated from the other apprentices.
Nagahide then announced seriously, “Today, I have an important announcement for you all. Half a month later, the Genji Dojo will hold a samurai qualification test!”
Hearing these few words, all the brats showed an earnest expression. Their eyes carried their longing to become samurais, but the examination this year had nothing to do with the majority of them.
Matsuda looked at everyone’s expression and continued while feeling pleased, “You need a recommendation letter in order to participate in Genji Dojo’s examination. Our Matsuda Clan has received one letter this year in exchange for serving under them for many years. I bet you can imagine its value.”
“Only one recommendation?” This was Lily’s first time hearing it. She was still thinking that anyone could freely participate in the samurai qualifying test.
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Nagahide heartily looked at Taro, then he looked at Lily and continued, “I know that all of you guys want to go, and that all of you feel you can become a samurai, but I only have one letter. I, Matsuda Nagahide, treat all my disciples fairly. This letter is in my hands, but I will not be the one to decide who gets it… You guys need to rely on your own strength to fight for it! Ten days later, we will hold a competition. All disciples are allowed to participate, the winner will get this recommendation letter as a reward!”
Competing with wooden swords, and the winner gets the letter.
All of the brats looked at Taro and thought, Is there really a need to compete?
The brats were still in their growth period. The only one who was already seventeen years old was Taro, the same age as Lily. Moreover, his body was already bigger than most adults, both in width and height. How could these brats ever hope to match up to Taro!
“Elder,” Lily bowed slightly and asked, “I can also participate in this competition?”
Taro looked at Lily with a fierce expression and cursed in his heart, “As expected, this woman also wants to fight over the recommendation letter! This is maddening!”
Taro faced Nagahide and said, “Uncle! This is our house’s recommendation letter, what does it have anything to do with an outsider like her? She doesn’t have the right to fight over this letter!”
Lily already expected someone would say this, so she just remained silent. To be honest, if Matsuda said he wouldn’t give this letter to outsiders, she also couldn’t do anything about it.
And yet Matsuda said this, “Kenjutsu will show the way to those who are suitable. Miss Kagami has come to my Matsuda Clan and learned kenjutsu from me. Since she is now my disciple, this can be considered a work of fate. As a martial artist, how can we cut off other people’s fate? Of course you can enter, Miss Kagami. However, even if you showed great results in practice, it is two completely different things when you are to do battle with someone. Whether you can win or not entirely depends on yourself. I will not side with you just because you are a girl.”
“I am thankful that the elder is willing to give Lily this chance. I will certainly win it with my own strength.” Lily bowed.
“Hmph! Fine by me! Who should I be afraid of in a fair fight?” said Taro as he got closer to Lily, “I say, Miss Kagami, are you really going to participate? Even if it’s with a wooden sword, I can break a bone or two with my strength yo!”
Lily didn’t even look at this 1.85 meters tall fatty and said in a low voice, “Don’t worry, I will take care not to overdo it.”
“That’s enough!” Nagahide chided, “Taro, if you have the ability, then show it through your sword skills in the competition!”
Although Taro was scolded by Nagahide, he still felt very pleased with himself. If they really fought, with his vitality, strength, and experience in street fight, how could he lose to this delicate girl who never experienced actual combat before! The only thing she could do was flaunt her mouth.
“There’s still ten more days. Although you brats are still young, don’t think that this matter is unrelated to you. Whether you can win or not, I still wish for you all to give it your best shot. It is not a bad thing to gain some combat experience!” Nagahide advised the other brats.
“Yes!” The brats answered with vigor. Regardless of how naughty and mischievous they were, all of them yearned to become a samurai. To the poor, it was something that’d change their life. To the rich, it could raise their family name.
“Then that will be it for today, I still have things to do so you all can go train by yourself. This is an event that only happens once a year, you guys should make good use of the few remaining days!” Nagahide turned around and was about to leave.
“Elder,” but Lily took one step forward and called out to him, “I wanted to test my penetration force again.”5
She clearly knew that Nagahide had some other matters to attend to, so Lily asked while feeling slightly embarrassed. However, she really wanted to know the result of her spirit training last night.
- meh, the author only uses spirit power/energy in the raw, but it had a weird vibe in some cases, so I had to circumvent around spirit power and essence accordingly.
- UH OH!!! She’s gonna appear butt-naked in the garden early the next morning!! Mommy, there’s a flasher here!
- Ok… when I see the quotation mark, I honestly thought someone woke up and saw Lily naked. Good thing that didn’t happen though, 9 out of 10 it will not lead to a good ending.
- Well, the raw says “Samura qualification test!” But well, it feels redundant, just the exclamation mark is enough to express their surprise.
- Oooh boy, everyone should prepare to get another shock! These kind of scenes are so cliche and overused but still so satisfying to read.