Book 1: Chapter 101: Suruga Province
Suruga Province, was located along the river sharing its name, which lead up to a highland surrounded by natural barriers in its hillsides and pine forests.
Like some strange-looking hands extending from the darkness, ancient pines grew along both sides of the hillside. Many stone carvings stood at along the hill. Candles that were flickering on their last life lined up in front of some of the carvings, but the scent of smoke still lingered around them.
For every ten steps that you walk, the vertical flag of the Imagawa clan could clearly be seen in the gra.s.s on the side of the road. Lily stepped on the weeds growing in the gaps of the hill road with her wooden sandals, moss could also be seen growing spa.r.s.ely on the road.This slope was wide enough that three ox-drawn carts could pa.s.s side by side.
A group of people turned a corner and arrived at the entrance along with a cart.
There was no gate into Suruga City. There were only two very large stone lanterns that acted as landmarks. However, this entrance was guarded by several fully-armed soldiers.
Seeing that the Saionji Household had returned, the Imakawa soldiers naturally did not question them.
BOOM! BOOM! B-BOOM! BOOM!
Not far away, the beating of the drums and the slightly sorrowful musical rhythm came through, moreover the music incessantly rang out through the area.
The others were naturally used to it, only Lily felt a sense of novelty. She dropped her lady-like act and increased her pace, being the first one to run through the entrance. Bypa.s.sing the stone carvings and several pine trees, she could see a wide clearing coming into view at the end of the path!
In the dark of night, the streets were illuminated, and there were a great number of shops lined up on both sides of the slightly damp stone road. They even had a few two-storey wooden buildings that were uncommon in the Heian Period.
For the most part, each and every store hung up orange lanterns to fit in with the atmosphere. Each signboard was uniquely shaped and all kinds of small banners were put on display as far as the eye can see. It seemed more prosperous than Takes.h.i.+ta Town, but also a little less elegant. It was more bustling and was filled with more travelling merchants and moving pedestrians than Takes.h.i.+ta too.
The sound of the drums originated from a small group of three to five common people on the street. They danced in ways that looked somewhat eccentric to Lily. Although they danced to the beat of the drums, their movements were slightly desolate and even a bit vulgar. They were self-indulgent in it, in a way that seemed less like they were celebrating something, and more like they were trying to forget something.
Kotoka also began to speed up to overtake Lily, with much zeal she smiled as she introduced, “How is it, the customary dance of Suruga. Every time the Chaotic Night comes around, we can’t do farm work and business is light, everyone might as well treat it as a festival and come out to dance and make merry. Miss Kagami, if you’re fond of festivity, why not join them for a dance? If your dancing is bad, you will wear loinclothhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundos.h.i.+”>1 as a punishment!”
“Eh?” Lily blushed. This Kotoka had been acting way too familiar with her from the start, she had been speaking with her the entire trip. They had probably spent a lot more time speaking than she had likely ever even spent around Nanako. It was no wonder since she was a businesswoman, perhaps that’s just her skill. However, was it part of the Saionji Clan’s tradition to abruptly include a few obscene words in between sentences?
Then, Lily noticed one of the two-storey shops on the side of the road. The storefront was as big as three shops from Takes.h.i.+ta combined. The inside were brightly lit, with numerous gorgeous female clothing and fabrics lining up on the hanger shelves.
“Ah… that, that’s….” Lily’s outfit was tattered and ruined as a result of the battle, her plump chest began to undulate as she began to take deep breaths.
“Miss Kagami?” Kotoka asked, somewhat confused.
“That, clothes, buying them….”2 Lily was now rather wealthy, she naturally put her spoils of war in the cart, but the money was kept in her own pockets. She was very excited as she immediately ran to the store.
“Hey… Miss Kagami, if you need clothes my Saionji clan has many that you could wear….”
However, before Kotoka’s word had reached Lily, the other girl had already run into the store and had begun speaking with the clerk. Even the sly and witty Kotoka was at a loss for words. She couldn’t understand Lily’s mindset. What Lily needed wasn’t just the clothes, but to go on a shopping spree instead.3
By the time that Lily had come out, she was wearing a new outfit that was white and red from top to bottom and flowed like it was made of silk. The kimono had a scarlet obi, a white top, and was embroidered with a bunch of lightly colored orchids and magnolia flowers. The new kimono was different from her old one, it was more tight around the chest that did more to display the curve of her full b.r.e.a.s.t.s, especially as the outfit did an excellent work giving a sneak peak of her side-b.o.o.b.4 Moreover, she still had a pile of beautiful clothes that must have cost her no less than thirty kan in her arms.
Other people’s money, Kotoka didn’t have much to say on the subject, but Nanako, who was walking behind her, looked very disgusted. “That cow woman, just how much does she like to buy clothes? Even with that much clothing, aren’t the parts that shouldn’t be shown still exposed to view?”
Walking around Suruga’s street, Lily dropped off the clothes that she’d just bought onto the cart. Not only did the new clothes made her chest feel cool and refres.h.i.+ng, even her mood lightened up a lot.
While one side of the Suruga province was built on the side of a hill, the other was built alongside a river. The river was different from the one in Takes.h.i.+ta, it was on the same level as the Yellow rivers of China. That is to say, many merchant s.h.i.+ps and maritime vessels anch.o.r.ed along its banks.
Walking past an open plain, one could spot the harbor in the distance.
As they walked, Lily saw a stone paved trail leading down the slope. It was almost hidden from view by the pine trees and bushes. The inside was almost too quiet in contrast to the bustling Suruga.
As Lily looked over there, she could see an unremarkable and old-fas.h.i.+oned wooden house located at the end of the trail. However, a really huge stone furnace was seen installed at the side of the wooden house. The heat of the smelting furnace could be felt all the way from the small house as well as a wave of noise from the iron forging process.
“This sound…” Lily got excited when she heard this noise It was certainly not the sound of common forging process. The sound of the strikes were vigorous and powerful, the metal echoed crisp and sharp as it resounded throughout the area. Lily felt as though each strike was stirring something in her heart.
Kotoka noticed due to her keen eyes and said, “Miss Kagami is really insightful. Even in this hustle and bustle, you could tell how remarkable is this inconspicuous blacksmith hidden in the backwoods with a glimpse. This is the shop of Munechika, who is renowned as the best blacksmith far and wide. Currently, the successor is Uehara Munechika Ehiro, although she’s a woman, she is a master blacksmith who oversees the entire Kanto region!”
“Master Blacksmith is a woman?” Lily’s heart stirred, deep in her heart she felt that she must find some time to check out that person.
“That’s right, Miss Kagami. If you look to the front there is a winehouse opened by my Saionji Household, the cuisine and wine there are much more superior to what you’d find in the winehouse of Kamakura city. Do me the honor to let us entertain you properly,” She said politely.
“T- then I’ll just have to trouble you, madam.” Lily thanked her, all the while her face turned crimson from blus.h.i.+ng. Since she finally made it to Suruga, her food and lodging would naturally be prepared by the head of Saionji house.
Kotoka let the servants bring the cart to the back to the residence first and entered the winehouse together with Lily and Nanako. The restaurant brought out a sumptuous banquet filled with delicacies of the Suruga province as well as seasonal foods. However, Kotoka was too zealous with her praise towards Lily from start to finish.
Lily was bad at accepting compliments, even though her mouth remained shut, she felt quite good in her heart.
Nanako was barely able to cut into the conversation with a couple of words. She was kidnapped, yet Kotoka didn’t ask her many questions. She sat directly opposite Lily, but was completely ignored. She was already used to it, this happened every time when her mother was in business mode.
“Miss Kagami, would you like to taste my Suruga province’s sake? It’s quite delicious, you know?” After drinking a few cups, Kotoka asked as she s.h.i.+fted her body towards one side of Lily. She then placed a cup in front of Lily.
“Eh? I…. I never had a drink before.” It was very difficult to deny her, she hadn’t said that she didn’t drink or couldn’t drink, just that she hadn’t drank before. Could that be regarded as refusal?
As Lily focused her eyes on the clear and fragrant-smelling sake, she could feel a bit of warmth at her back. Kotoka had placed her other hand behind Lily as she urged her to drink. Whether it was intentional or an accident, her hand had touched Lily’s b.u.t.t.5
If it were a man, then she could accuse them of groping her, but since the groper in question was actually the young and beautiful mother of Nanako, she naturally a.s.sumed that it was… probably an accident.
- Silva: Lily’s switch has been turned on!
- Robinxen: Lily needs therapy.
- Robinxen: Flat is justice. Flat is justice. Flat is justice. Flat is justice. Flat is justice. Flat is justice. Flat is justice. Flat is justice. Flat is justice. Flat is justice. Flat is justice. Flat is justice. Flat is justice. Flat is justice. Flat is justice. Flat is justice. Flat is justice. Flat is justice. Flat is justice. Flat is justice. Side b.o.o.b is okay too I guess.
- Yuri time.