Takeshita was a relatively safe place considering it was in an area where the monsters and bandits were a common sight.
That was all thanks to the protection of Genji Dojo.
And the master of these guardians, Genji Sakiko, was sitting right across Lily.
That screen behind Genji Sakiko was a painting with a snowfield and plum blossom. The artistic strokes in the painting complemented the literary and martial world perfectly. Amidst the cold winter, there was a beautiful and vivid red bloom.
The screen perfectly represented its owner.
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The furniture in the room was simple, but each item was elaborately crafted. Lily could feel the spirits of these items, and each of them had an unusual story to tell.
Lily sat in the room for fifteen minutes, but Genji Sakiko did not say a single word during this time. She just kneeled there and single-mindedly devoted her attention to spread the golden cloth in front of her. Atop the cloth was a black tea case with a vivid painting of birds and flowers.
And on top of the tea case laid a large teacup that resembled a commoner’s rice bowl — simplistic and rough-looking. Lily was drawn in not only by its ruggedness, but also by its austere, rustic, and firm feel. She felt the urge to have her slender fingers caress that sometimes smooth and sometimes coarse surface. She imagined it must feel amazing…1
“Miss Kagami is also interested in tea set?” said Sakiko as she carefully stirred the powdered green tea with a small brush.
“Ah… no, I-I don’t really understand about these things. It’s just that… this cup has quite a unique design despite its rough-looking surface,” Lily answered honestly.
“Hehe, nice insight, Miss Kagami. This Shino Teacup is part of a Grade Five tea set. When you are in distraught, fiddling with it and preparing a cup of tea is a very effective way to get your mind off your worries,” said Sakiko as she continued to prepare the tea.
“Grade Five tea set?” Lily had a confused look.
“That’s right, tea set and work of arts are the same as weapons, armors, and materials, all of them have a rank depending on their value, usefulness, rarity, and many other such factors.”
“Common items are ranked between Grade One to Three. Grade Four is premium products of uncommon origin. Grade Five is quality items of high rarity. Grade Six is priceless treasures. As for Grade Seven and above… they are the stuff of legends, even I have never seen them before.”
Lily looked at the teacup in Sakiko’s hands. She didn’t expect this cup was such a valuable item.
“Here, Miss Kagami, drink this tea,” Sakiko passed the green tea she just blended to Lily.
“This… teacup is so valuable, Lily doesn’t dare to drink from it.” She wouldn’t be able to buy a single fragment of the teacup even if she sold herself.
“Hehe, there is no need for Miss Kagami to belittle herself. No matter how valuable is the teacup, it is still made for the same purpose. Only by making contact with the lips will the spirit of the teacup be able to feel self-worth and happiness from it. Go ahead and drink it, do not deny this Shino of its purpose.”
Lily shyly accepted the teacup with her two little hands. This teacup was heavier than it looked, but its texture was every bit as she expected.
Lily lifted the teacup and placed her red lips on the rough side of the teacup. Despite staining such a valuable item with her saliva and lips-mark, she drained the half-filled green tea in one gulp.
Immediately after that, she felt her spirit getting uplifted. It was as though her mind had been soothed and baptized by an authentic flavor.
Sakiko smiled at that sight, “Hehe, Miss Kagami had such a refreshing look when drinking the tea.”
“Lady Sakiko,” Lily returned the teacup to Sakiko and bowed before she said, “Since the teacup is so rough, Lily thinks that it would a slight to the teacup’s outspoken spirit to serve the guests if I do not drain the cup in one gulp.”
“Hehehe… Miss Kagami is exceptionally intelligent. You have quite a unique evaluation of this teacup.”
“I’m sorry… Lily was talking nonsense,” Lily bowed her head with a blush.
“There’s no way, what you said was very interesting. On the contrary, Miss Kagami might have a gift in tea ceremony. Why not come to my place frequently in the future to learn more about tea ceremony?”2
Lily felt delighted in her heart when she heard these. It was as though she really desired to learn a little of this tea ceremony, however, this was not a good time.
“Many thanks to Lady Sakiko’s good intention. Although Lily is interested in the tea ceremony, I am just an ordinary girl and do not have that qualification yet. On the contrary, Lily is more interested to learn kenjutsu first,” said Lily with a serious tone as she bowed towards Sakiko.
“Hehe, Miss Kagami has the same thoughts as me. However, even if I may be the master of this dojo, I can still teach you about tea ceremony as a friend. The kenjutsu on the other hand, it is rooted with the Genji Clan and bound by a complex set of rules. I cannot lightly pass it on to you.”
“Lily understands! In order to obtain the finest sword arts, Lily is willing to do anything.”3
“Hmm…” Sakiko was getting fonder of Lily with each passing moment. Then she said, “Although I cannot lightly spread the teachings, our Genji Dojo is also very interested in a talented girl who is a master of pen and sword like Miss Kagami. I wonder if Miss Kagami is willing to join our Genji Dojo? You can sign the contract to join the dojo in advance. This will be a special case since you haven’t been formally appointed a samurai yet. If Miss Kagami is willing, then please sign here.”
While speaking, Sakiko retrieved from the wooden box a contract that was clearly prepared in advance.
“Eh?” Lily hesitated for a moment. Though she felt that it was rude towards this woman who had been taking care of her all along despite having such a high status, some things still needed to be made clear.
“Lady Sakiko, Lily has amnesia and is not able to prove my identity,” said Lily as such.
“Hehe,” Sakiko said without any concern, “What the Genji Dojo seeks for in a disciple are their talents and characteristic. One’s origin is of no importance, so long as they are not from Taira Dojo. Miss Kagami can be at ease, we will not inquire too much about your origin and make things difficult for you from now on. As long as you join the Genji Dojo, you will naturally receive shelter from the dojo. If other people are using your identity to blackmail you for no reason, our dojo will surely step up to help.”
Sakiko’s voice was brimming with sincerity. She was calm and self-confident, as to be expected from the master of the country’s strongest samurai force!
Lily also felt reassured upon hearing these. Therefore, she said very sincerely, “In that case, Lily is willing to sign the contract.”
“Hehe, Miss Kagami looks so delicate, but you make decisions fast,” Sakiko had a glint in her eyes. She pushed the contract and writing material towards Lily before she continued, “Since Miss Kagami is staying at my inn, I naturally knew that you wanted to take part in the combat examination. But you don’t even have a weapon, do you? Once you signed this contract, we can pay you 10 kwan in advance. They are originally intended as a reward for those who are formally appointed as a samurai.”4
“Really?!” replied Lily joyfully, there was a fluttery feeling in the pit of her stomach. She was indeed short on money! Even though her strength already exceeded the average samurai by a huge margin, she still didn’t have a decent sword. How would she be able to fight like this? She was still troubled over this matter until moments ago.
Lily was about to sign it immediately after taking the brush.
“What? You are not going to read the terms of the contract?”
“I reckon that Lady Sakiko must have thoroughly taken me into consideration before preparing this contract for me, there’s no need to read it,” said Lily as she picked up the brush and signed her name on the contract.
Sakiko took the contract and covered the smile on her face, “Hehehe, what if this is a slavery contract?”
“Since Lily has decided to join the Genji Dojo, I will listen to Lady Sakiko’s orders, with or without the contract,” answered Lily firmly. She herself also didn’t know why she had a feeling that Sakiko could be trusted.
“Hehe, you really are a good girl. I am liking you more and more!” Sakiko looked at her newly recruited disciple with joy and continued, “However, the contract you signed is for Genji Dojo’s disciple in-name-only. There is actually not much restriction. You are not required to come every day and can freely do the things you want to do. We just want you to remember that you are affiliated with the Genji Dojo once you’ve grown up in the future.”
“Lily will bear that in mind—” Lily bowed before Sakiko to express her utmost gratitude.
“Mhm, Miss Kagami, since you have joined my Genji Dojo, then I will just call you by name in the future, is that fine?”
Sakiko took Lily’s teacup and prepared another cup of tea. She turned the teacup around until she faced the area Lily drank from. She opened her beautiful lips and placed it directly on the lips-mark. It was not known whether she was drinking the tea or tasting something else entirely.5
It made Lily blush a little. After all, this deliberate action of turning the cup was seen by her own eyes.
“Oh Lily, I feel that you and I are brought together by fate. Moreover, seeing how much you respect our protector God prior to joining the Genji Dojo, I will personally award you another 10 kwan. Take it and go buy yourself a good sword. You not only have an affinity for tea ceremony, the sword and you have an even more unimaginable connection. Looking at it from a different angle, it’s more like the swords are your lover. Only a good sword will you be able to bring out your strength and talent,” said Sakiko as she looked at Lily with a meaningful look.
“Thank you Lady Sakiko!” Lily was very excited. She still hadn’t done anything for the dojo and yet Sakiko already granted her 20 kwan! This was a huge sum of money! This was such a huge grace. Of course, the money was not the most important part, the key point was that this money could be used to buy a sword! That was but the calling of the samurais!
Lily obviously needed to express her gratitude deeply.
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“Oh, that’s right,” Sakiko reminded, “Although Takeshita has several shops that sell swords and there is no lack of quality goods, your understanding of swords is still too shallow. I’m afraid that you might be cheated if you go outside to buy a sword. Our Genji Dojo has an internal weapon shop, swords that are Grade Two and below will be sold for half price to the general disciples. You can go and take a look. Maybe you will be able to buy one with an even more appropriate price tag. The quality is guaranteed by the dojo.”
“Is that so!” Lily had an expectant look in her eyes, “I was just worried about that. If the dojo has inexpensive and quality goods for sale, then I can be at ease.”
Lily recalled the goldfish she left back at the Chrysanthemum Inn. If her luck was really brought about by this goldfish, then it had already exceeded its initial value.
“By the way, I still have something for you,” said Sakiko suddenly with a slightly mysterious smile.
“Huh?” There’s still more? Lily felt that Genji Sakiko was treating her too kindly and felt very moved. Just what good thing was she going to give her next?
Sakiko got up and retrieved a wooden box with floral pattern from inside the house.
“Lily, I specially picked these for you with utmost care. Open it and take a look.”
Specially picked these for herself? Lily got even more curious by the seconds. The mistress of Genji Dojo even said with utmost care, it may be assumed that it must be a treasure of uncommon origin!6
Lily held back her excitement and extended her slender hands to open that delicate box with high expectation.
What she saw in the box was…… side tie panties of various colors!7
“Ehhhh?!?!” Lily’s face blushed in a flash, “W-What are these?”
The bashful girl asked while fully knowing the answer.
Sakiko’s eyes were full of satisfaction and she smiled sweetly, “We are both women, what are you acting stupid for? Aren’t these what we wear at all times? Especially for female samurais who faced dangers every day, we must pay particular attention to these kinds of things, isn’t that so?”
Lily’s face was burning up and it felt like her body was floating in a sticky paste. Her movement was a little unnatural as she said, “B-But, these are a little…”
“Isn’t it, isn’t it? Each and every one of them is so fine and delicate. White ones, black ones, red ones, blue and purple ones, green ones with gold embroidery, and even those black ones with laces…”
Sakiko moved behind Lily and grabbed her shoulders. She said with a somewhat sensual tone, “Hehe, since we are already sisters from the same dojo, why don’t Miss Kagami stop acting like a pure and innocent girl? What kind of underwear does little sister like to wear, how can this older sister not know?”
Sakiko extended her fingers into the box and displayed the underwear before Lily one after the other. It was as if she was trying to let Lily see all those embarrassing things clearly. Lily had a rich imagination to begin with, so upon seeing those panties, she couldn’t help but imagine herself wearing those. Her heartbeat involuntarily sped up and her breathing became rough.
“I-I’ve never worn this kind of… underwear before,” Lily denied without any confidence.
Sakiko got closer to Lily and squeezed her adequate breasts against Lily’s arm.
“Still not admitting it?” Sakiko’s breath gently brushed Lily’s ears, which caused her sensitive neck to wince. She couldn’t stand it, but there’s no way she could just push her away due to their differences in status. Lily only felt her body was getting hot and fluttery, she didn’t know what to do.
Sakiko leaned against Lily’s hand and said with a slightly teasing voice, “Let me tell you something sister Lily, once upon a time, someone doubted that you are a monster, it was this older sister who helped to inspect and verify your innocence! And yet you still want to continue this pretense?”
“What?!?!” Lily’s delicate body jolted. She suddenly recalled that when she just arrived at Matsuda Clan, that Hiroko wanted to frame her as a monster and said that went to Genji something dojo and… invited Sakiko to inspect her personal clothing!
‘So it was her who inspected my clothing!’ Lily had the urge to cry. That tight g-string she was wearing had been inspected in full details by Lady Sakiko, it was no wonder she knew about Lily’s type of underwear.
But this type of underwear was not chosen by Lily herself, she only had this pair ever since she arrived in this world. It was quite inconvenient as she had to go commando while waiting for it to dry after the wash. It caused the misunderstanding that she was the type that wore proper clothing on the outside but very brazen on the inside, now that it had come to this, she couldn’t find the words to get herself out of this.
Sakiko whispered in Lily’s ears, “I didn’t think much of it upon seeing sister Lily only wearing one set of kimono all along, but even the g-string that you hung out to dry was the same as the one I had seen. I believe that little sister might have her own difficulties, so I have selected some from my collections and sent someone to get a few more pairs. I want little sister to use these if you’re going to the deep mountains to suppress monsters. After all, there’s no way you can wear only one underwear in the deep mountain and go commando at night right? Just accept these sister Lily. Don’t worry, they are all brand new.”
Lily felt emotional upon hearing these. She even thought that the lady was trying to tease her on purpose, but it turned out that she thought it might be necessary for her when entering the deep mountains. What a thoughtful consideration, she even selected them according to her preference.
Even though it was not a preference Lily had voluntarily chosen, what’s done was done. It would be rude of Lily to refuse this good intention.
“T-Then… I’ll gratefully accept it,” Lily bowed her head with a blush and closed the box with a “bang”. She was too embarrassed to look any longer.
‘Then again, what’s up with sister Lily? The way Lady Sakiko addressed me is too casual,’ Lily let out a small complaint in her heart.
Lily met with Sakiko and benefited greatly from it. She even got 20 kwan from her, and then conveniently received a whole pack of underwear. It was too late to say she wouldn’t be using them now, she might as well wear them for the time being and not waste Lady Sakiko’s goodwill.
Thus, Lily bid farewell to Sakiko with a blush and left the inner dojo absent-mindedly.
Lily was feeling a little light-headed and nearly forgot that her kimono was torn. She only remembered when the wind brushed past and sent a slight chill to her thigh. Therefore, she disobediently stole a white flag that was erected at one side of the dojo and tied it to her waist. On the contrary, it gave her the aura of a capable and experienced female samurai.
“Then, it’s time to go and buy a sword!” Lily thought aloud, dangling the two strings of coins she had just received.
- Only a few paragraphs and I had to spend quite a few hours to translate these…
- Nooo!! Please don’t do that. I’ve had enough translating all these talks about teacup and tea ceremony!
- Never say “anything”, in any scenario and any case, AT ALL!
- Damn, does Sakiko has to start her sentence with “hehe” every time? According to a psychiatrist, a person who laughs whenever they start speaking indicates that they are LONELY. Well, since she’s the master of the Takeshita branch’s dojo and all, it’s not hard to imagine she don’t have much friend…
- Uh oh… she’s going to take Lily’s chastity!
- I have a feeling that it’s a new set of clothes, sexy one at that? Hrm…
- Okay… not clothes, but my guess was pretty close~