Chapter 38 – Archery and Horsemanship Test



Saikanji Nanako was so amazed that she stood up from the bench.

“No way! How is that big-breasted woman so strong?”

At this time, Nanako unwillingly imagined Lily emphasizing her breasts and saying, “The size of the breasts equals to one’s strength,” in a very annoying fashion.

“That shameful woman, that’s why I hate women with big breasts and long legs. We only just met and she’s going against me in all respects!”

Lily was neither servile nor overbearing, her breathing was very calm. She respectfully put the wooden sword back to its original spot and bowed towards the examiners before leaving the test site.

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For her penetration force to reach that value, it was also out of Lily’s expectation!

From her constant meditation under the moonlight and her physical training, Lily’s base strength was on the rise. Without any fears of getting muscular, she had close to a devilish amount of stamina from doing all those push-ups. Moreover, through that shoddy katana, Lily’s strength had increased by yet another level from absorbing all the true essences within tens of meters.

Only with all these combined was she able to achieve the extraordinary result of 389 kwan!

And Lily’s result was quickly reported to the master of Genji Dojo. Even for the Genji Dojo, it was just as uncommon for an ordinary examinee with no particular background to achieve this kind of result.

All those who criticized Lily before had apparently been overwhelmed by Lily’s powerful shadow and were unable to unleash all their strength.

In the end, Lily’s 389 kwan came in the first place without any suspense. Nanako’s 267 kwan occupied the second place. As for the giant monk, Daidouji Takano, who was originally everyone’s target of admiration and fear, his 150 odd kwan ended up in third place. It was a pretty good result in the first place, but due to his premature flaunting and judgment, he had become a laughing stock.

Daidouji Takano was really furious in his heart. Due to Nanako’s family background, he didn’t dare to provoke her. However, Lily had slapped his face too hard, he naturally concentrated all of his resentment towards Lily.

At the moment, he still had no way to know that he was not the only one in his family who hated Lily to the core.1

“Then moving on to the second round of the examination, the archery test.”

After that, all the examinees who passed the penetration test followed the female disciple into the shooting field. They bypassed the inner courtyard’s wall through a winding corridor and headed towards the east side where the shooting field was located.

“Miss Kagami, that slash just now was truly beautiful.” On the way, Yusuke took the initiative to walk beside Lily and said, “If Miss Kagami passed the following practical examination and combat examination, I am willing to write a recommendation for Miss Kagami to join the Genji Dojo. What are your thoughts regarding this?”

Lily felt delighted in her heart, but she still remained calm and collected. After all, as a girl, it was a little shameless to shake her butt and agreed immediately at a man’s invitation.

“Many thanks to Mister Imakawa’s good intention. However, I still haven’t taken the remaining tests, it is still unknown if I will be able to pass. Besides, this is not a trivial matter, I need some time to think about it,” said Lily.

Yusuke looked at Lily and felt admiration for her. Not only did she have the strength, but she also knew how to be reserved. Though that may be the case, he was a bit confident that Lily would accept his invitation. Seeing that Lily was a woman with self-restraint and from her tone of voice, he could deduce that Lily had almost certainly reached an answer.

The archery test was more time consuming so the examinees would be shooting side by side. One would pass the test based on their personal grades.

“In the archery test, you will pass if you can land a hit within seven rings three out of five times,” explained the female disciple.2

It was not known whether their line-up was arranged due to the results from the penetration test or they did it intentionally, Lily and Nanako were lined-up in the last row.

And Daidouji Takano, who was in the second last group, performed poorly due to the event earlier from spoiling his mood. He was originally not that adept at archery to begin with, so he only landed one arrow within seven rings and got disqualified.

“Ⓢⓗⓘⓣ! What you are competing in actual combat are strength and martial skills, what ⓕⓤⓒⓚⓘⓝⓖ use is there in the archery test! The great me will go to Maple Institution to test for Martial Monk!” Takano glared at Lily hatefully.3

“It was all this woman’s fault for spoiling my mood! Hmph, I dare you not to leave Takeshita! Otherwise, this great me will ⓡⓐⓟⓔ the hell out of you!” Takano unreasonably placed the blame for his poor archery skill on Lily.

Only Lily and Nanako remained.

“Hmph! This time for sure, I will not lose to this woman!” swore Nanako in her heart.

“The last group, begin!” declared the female disciple.

“Hey!” said Nanako who looked especially small when standing side-by-side with Lily, “Let’s make a bet, if you lose to me in archery, you will become my slave servant!”

“I’m sorry, I don’t gamble,” said Lily softly as she thought to herself, ‘Did this little girl think before she speaks?’4

When the test began, the two drew the bow with a very standard and graceful posture. Those who laid eyes on them couldn’t help but admire their posture.

“Round one; Nanako, 8 rings: Lily, 9 rings!”

“Tsk!” Nanako was exasperated, she was unable to understand how the bowstring could pass through Lily’s big breasts so smoothly.

“Round two; Nanako, 10 rings: Lily, 9 rings!”

“Hahahahahaha!” Nanako laughed with glee.

“Round three; Nanako, 7 rings: Lily, 8 rings!”

“Tsk! Damn it!” Nanako was getting anxious as there were only two rounds left. She was very proficient in archery so she should be able to bring out her full potential if she remained calm.

“Round four; Nanako, 9 rings: Lily, 9 rings!”

Nanako got agitated, ‘Why won’t this woman make a mistake! Not good, I am but Saikanji Nanako, I absolutely cannot lose!’

During the last round, Nanako became unexpectedly focused. As for Lily, she was the same as ever. This was not a knockout competition, she only needed to display her own level of skills.

Both of them released the arrow at the same time and Nanako’s eyes flashed with a bright gleam.

“Round five; Nanako, 10 rings: Lily, 8 rings! Both are excellent in archery, pass!”

“I win!” Nanako hopped in joy, then she pointed at Lily and said, “Kagami Lily, you have to keep your promise!”

“Huh?” Lily had a confused look.

“Hmph! You lost to me, therefore, you are my slave from now on!”

“…Miss Saikanji, can you please stop fooling around? Since when did I make that kind of promise with you?” said Lily with a cold tone as she turned around and left.

“Hey! Stop right there! Big breasted woman, you dare to go back on your word?! Stop, I forbid you to ignore me!”

Lily completely disregarded Nanako’s endless pestering. She only followed the female disciple towards the next test location after she finished recording the results. There was a small hill in the dojo and the horse riding field was north of that hill.

Lily ranked the third in archery test. Nanako was the second. As for the first rank, it was seized by a 40 odd years old middle-aged hunter.

But these results were insignificant, real experts in archery would guide their arrows with Spirit Power. Their accuracy was almost hundred percent within a certain distance, and they pack quite a punch too. Although Lily and Nanako knew how to utilize their Spirit Power, they never learned guided archery.

The horsemanship test was conducted in an empty area between the north perimeter wall and a small stream just outside the inner courtyard. Just one look at this horse riding field and Lily could seemingly feel the echo of clashing metals from the ancient battlefield.

In the end, Lily performed favorably and was able to pass smoothly. The result was more than she expected. She originally thought it was good enough if she could just meet the required standard, however, not everything would go that smoothly. That fine stallion Lily was riding during the test suddenly went wild. Even though Lily did not fall from the horse, it’s violent outbreak caused Lily’s skirt to tear apart. It was a very embarrassing episode for Lily.

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The convenient part of Lily’s kimono was that it had a slit up to her mid-thighs for easy movements. But now, one side of the skirt had a slit up until the waist…

It was smart of Lily to unfurl the parasol to hide the exposed parts.5

During such a critical time, Lily held the parasol with one hand to hide her thigh while urging the horse to jump over the obstacle with her other hand. She was able to complete the test in such a condition and gave the examiners quite a shock. Although her horse riding skill was still somewhat lacking, her ability to adapt to critical situations left a deep impression on them. This was a very important gift on the battlefield, such was the evaluation of the examiners.

As for Saikanji Nanako, she was rated excellent and was the only one with a perfect score in horsemanship test. Lily was indifferent to the result and pretended that she didn’t see the complacent look Nanako had when she looked at Lily atop the horse.

Though Lily must admit, that Saikanji Nanako was indeed really good. If it was not because she had killed four people and absorbed a large quantity of the forest’s true essences that night, even her penetration force might have fallen behind.

However, Lily’s only goal was to become a really powerful female samurai and have enough strength to travel in this dangerous world freely. It was not her purpose to compete with others to see who was stronger.

There were only a little more than ten people who passed all three aspects of the test. There were hundreds of examinees who came to take the test this morning, and yet ninety percent of them had been disqualified. There were the elites who managed to get the recommendation letter no less. It was clear from this just how difficult was the samurai qualification test. Moreover, this wasn’t even the end of the examination yet.

Imakawa Yusuke gathered everyone on the lawn and announced, “Congratulations. Everyone that is still standing here has passed the practical examination of the samurai’s qualification test! We will distribute the Pass Certificate to everyone in a short while. All of you can go back first after receiving the certificate and make preparations for the combat examination! The details of the combat examination will be announced at the dojo’s main gate in three days later!”

After receiving the Pass Certificate, many examinees felt like a weight had been taken off their mind. Among them were men who already had graying hair. There’s also those who had many scars on their face. In order to become a samurai, it was hard to imagine just how much had everyone been training for!

‘I did it! Senior sister, I have finally taken the first step!” All sorts of feelings welled up in Lily’s heart. It was not easy for others, but it was even more so for her!

For a weak and gorgeous girl without anyone to depend on, this world was full of dangers and it was frightening at every step. But now, she was finally at the starting point. The feeling she was having then, just how many people could put themselves in her shoes and truly understand how she was feeling?

Just who would be able to know her secret and how much responsibility she was carrying.

However, this was only the first step. She was still much too weak. Not to mention that Genji Ieyoshi, the gap between her and the silver-haired female samurai was likely to be very hard to imagine. It should be to her best interest not to think too much and just become stronger one step at a time. All in order to achieve her heartfelt dream!

Lily planned to go back home as soon as she received the Pass Certificate and make preparations for the upcoming combat examination.

“Miss Kagami,” Just when Lily was about to go home, Imakawa Yusuke walked over and called her out, “Please come with me, someone wants to meet you.”6

“Eh?” Lily was surprised. Someone wanted to meet her and even had the chief examiner to pass on the message. It seemed like this person had quite a high status in the Genji Dojo. It was very possible that was indeed the case.

Nanako who had just received her Pass Certificate wanted to find Lily and force her to acknowledge that bet. Either that or to apologize to Nanako in public and admit that she was a bad girl who didn’t keep her promise. But upon seeing that Lily had been called out by Yusuke, even Nanako had a face full of doubts.

“Hmph, she only has high penetration force because of her big breasts, what’s so special about it! I will let you off for today!”

“That… young lady, I don’t think that has anything to do with her big breasts…” said the Tairaha father and son duo helplessly.

When Lily was following Yusuke on the winding corridor.

“Miss Kagami, to be honest… the one who wanted to see you is the master of this dojo.”

“Eh? The dojo’s master,” Lily was shocked. When Yusuke extended the invitation to her earlier, she was still evading it. Could it be that the dojo’s master was going to invite her personally?

If that was the case, then she might as well accept it. She originally planned to join the Genji Dojo in the first place.

Since people were giving her so much face, she shouldn’t make things too difficult for them.

‘What “just say no when receiving invitations from a man,” that kind of thinking can go to the dustbin, my mind is still that of a boy alright?!’

She followed Yusuke along the winding corridor and enter the inner yard through a small door.

This place didn’t seem like a dojo at all. There was a pavilion on the water surface connected by a bridge, trimmed bush and rugged pine trees. There was also an interesting arrangement of the stones. This was nothing more than a secret garden.

The two of them arrived in front of a house where the scenery of the river7 could be seen. They stepped onto the platform deck after taking off their shoes.

In front of the wooden house’s sliding door, Yusuke said, “Miss Kagami, please enter. The dojo’s master is just ahead.”

Yusuke left after relaying that message. In this spacious secret garden, there were only Lily and the master of this house left.

Seeing that there was no sign of activity for a while, Lily called out, “I am Kagami Lily, one of the examinees who took part in the examination today. I have received a summon from the dojo’s master, awaiting instruction.”

“Just enter, no need to be so formal,” the gentle and mature voice of a woman came from inside the house.

Hearing this voice, Lily felt a sense of deja vu.8

Lily sat in seiza and then lightly shifted the sliding door. What she saw in the wooden house, was a beauty sitting in seiza in front of a white screen. She was wearing a red kimono with an updo hairstyle.

“Ah—” Lily intended to be courteous and reserved, but she still let out a shout in shock, “Y-You are… the owner of Chrysanthemum Inn?”9

Lily felt incredulous. The one sitting in the house was without a doubt, the young woman she encountered at Genji Ieyoshi’s shrine and the Chrysanthemum Inn!

Lily was so shocked that her words became incoherent. After realizing it, she immediately bowed, “I apologize for my lack of manners, Lily didn’t know you are the master of Genji Dojo!”

“Hehe, Miss Kagami is so cute and lively. No need to stand on ceremony. Allow me to introduce myself again, I am Genji Sakiko, the mistress of Takeshita branch’s Genji Dojo.”10

After the beautiful young woman finished her introduction, she gracefully bowed towards Lily to return a greeting.



References

  1. Daidouji Daidoujo Daidouji, that’s why you guys will always be an upstart clan. Don’t go hating someone just because they’re better than you.
  2. This explained a lot, glad I looked up the scoring system of archery, I always thought the ring count from inside to outside, but it’s the opposite.
  3. Lily ain’t done no ⓢⓗⓘⓣ to you. This is misplaced resentment I tell ya. Is everyone in Daidouji so unreasonable?
  4. I am liking Lily’s personality more and more. Not only is she humble, but she also doesn’t make reckless bets.
  5. Wow, imagine the difficulty to hold a parasol while riding an out-of-control horse.
  6. I bet I know who it is… how about you? *smirk smirk*
  7. Not sure if it’s a lake, a river, or whatever, the raw only mentions “water”.
  8. Yep… it’s definitely her!
  9. Nailed it!
  10. Oh… I guess she must’ve known about Lily for much longer than we initially thought. Remember the female general who Hiroko asked to inspect Lily’s personal clothing?

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