Book 2: Chapter 63: Duel
If Tokugawa s.h.i.+getsugu knew Lily possessed such strength, he probably wouldn’t have taken such an action before.1
s.h.i.+getsugu absolutely wasn’t willing to place his life on the line in a duel with real swords. Even though he believed he was stronger than Lily and was 90% confident in winning the duel, he wouldn’t take it up as long as that 10% chance of losing remained, because the most probable outcome of such a duel wasn’t death, but rather a disability.
The odds were the same for a dojo duel, but s.h.i.+getsugu knew that even if Lily managed to defeat him through luck, it would only cause his rank to fall by a little, and he could recover his fame using his strength with much ease, so the actual losses weren’t that huge.
“All right. Since that’s how you feel, I’ll agree to have a dojo duel with you, Kagami Lily,” s.h.i.+getsugu stated calmly.
The expressions of the disciples observing s.h.i.+getsugu filled with disappointment because he had agreed to a dojo duel instead of the duel with real swords proposed by Lily. This clearly showed that he was afraid of dying. However, s.h.i.+getsugu didn’t care about the opinions of others at all and didn’t feel ashamed of it because he believed that a dead man would have nothing in the afterlife.
“Humph! You truly deserve your name, Tokugawa s.h.i.+getsugu. This is indeed a choice that reflects the att.i.tude of a samurai from the Tokugawa family,” Lily sneered.
“Kagami Lily, I just didn’t want to kill such a rare beauty like you, and that’s the only reason I agreed to have a dojo duel with you. This is for your own good, so don’t get the wrong idea about it now,” s.h.i.+getsugu countered.
“You might as well set a time for it instead of making excuses here!” Lily had no intention of arguing with s.h.i.+getsugu.2
“Since you want to duel, let’s do it right now!” s.h.i.+getsugu knew it would be hard to avoid this battle, so a ruthless glimmer flashed through his eyes.
“Senior Tokugawa,” a disciple summoned his courage to interject, “Miss Kagami had just returned from the expedition, so she must still be tired. Isn’t it too unfair to have the duel right now?”
“It doesn’t matter!” Lily yelled, “Delaying it would only lead to more troubles, so we might as well do it now!”
Although Lily felt a bit tired because she had partic.i.p.ated in the campaign and the raid in succession, Lily wasn’t afraid of facing s.h.i.+getsugu who was taking advantage of this.
“All right! Go call the instructors to act as the adjudicators for the duel!” s.h.i.+getsugu flung his muscular arm sideways bravely with momentum.
Soon after, Kuroko, who lived near the dojo as well as two other sword instructors, including the one who got scared away by Lily, arrived in the dojo.
A few students pulled the lightly injured Tsunemoto Torayasu who was still stuck in the floor out and dragged him to the side.
The white-haired instructor looked at Lily with fiendish delight. This girl really doesn’t know her place. She looked down on her teacher and even made a futile attempt to provoke Tokugawa s.h.i.+getsugu into dueling with her. She’s just asking for trouble!
After the grounds were cleared up, Lily and Tokugawa stood opposite to each other with a wooden sword in their hand. Lily had a slender wooden sword while s.h.i.+getsugu had an incredibly bulky wooden sword in his hand that was practically the same as a club. Kondō had also arrived by borrowing the shoulder of a disciple with a bandaged chin.
The instant he saw the scene before him, he knew he had arrived too late to prevent the duel from happening and couldn’t help but direct a worried gaze at Lily. Miss Kagami, s.h.i.+getsugu doesn’t just have superior height and strength, but also an extremely calm rational and is callous to the ends. I fear you may not come out victorious out of this duel, Miss Kagami…
Lily had a feeling that Instructor Kuroko seemed a little taller and stauncher compared to before, so it made her wonder if it was just her misconception.
Kuroko directed his gaze at s.h.i.+getsugu and asked, “Tokugawa s.h.i.+getsugu. You are ranked higher than Kagami Lily, so you won’t be able to obtain any rewards even if you come out victorious in the duel. On the other hand, you’ll have to surrender your 3rd rank to her if you lose. Are you still willing to duel her even if this is the case?”
s.h.i.+getsugu nodded, “I am aware of this, so there’s no need to remind me again, Mister Kuroko. I agreed to this duel mainly to guide my juniors, but the blade had no eyes, so please don’t blame me for bullying a woman in case I accidentally injure Miss Kagami’s frail body.”
Kuroko nodded, and then looked at Lily, who also nodded solemnly.
Kuroko withdrew a few steps and raised the flag in his hand, “Well, then. The duel — begins!”
Everyone turned silently and the disciples spectating the duel also retreated back in succession, leaving behind a 10 or so square meters of vacant s.p.a.ce for the two people.
Lily and s.h.i.+getsugu didn’t attack rashly and approached each other instead while walking in circles, looking for an opportunity to make a move.
The dojo turned so silent that even the breaths of everyone as well as the soft footsteps of Lily and s.h.i.+getsugu were clearly audible.
Lightning and thunder flashed outside the windows all of a sudden! A glimmer of light flashed across Lily’s eyes as she moved in a split second and turned into a red shadow, her speed so quick as a majority of the disciples failed to register her movements.
“Whoos.h.!.+” Lily dashed closer to s.h.i.+getsugu and swung her blade towards his left flank.
Although s.h.i.+getsugu had a hulking stature, he reacted quite quickly and heaved his ma.s.sive wooden sword with force.
“Bang!” A powerful stream of air rippled outwards from the point of collision of the two swords.3
A numb sensation pa.s.sed through Lily’s hands and made her feel like her opponent possessed a humongous force. Just a single exchange of moves had blown Lily back while s.h.i.+getsugu remained as steady as a mountain.
Lily flew back a dozen or so meters and almost knocked into a disciple, but she barely managed to fix her posture and glided a few meters back after her legs touched the floor.
Her hands were still feeling numb even now.
“Such great strength! This s.h.i.+getsugu’s strength is at least 40,000 kan or higher!” Lily tensed up as she couldn’t find an obvious flaw in the Tokugawa Swordstyle that placed emphasis on strength and steadiness.
s.h.i.+getsugu closed in on Lily at a steady place with his sword in hand.
And then, his brows locked up as he suddenly broke out with strength and heaved his heavy wooden sword towards Lily and caught her off-guard with the swift, whistling speed of the sword.
She immediately rolled to the side and this caused s.h.i.+getsugu’s heavy sword to smash into the floor with a booming sound. He then twisted his arm and heaved the sword towards Lily under the cover of the dust!
Lily barely managed to block the sword that had already reached before her eyes!
“Bang!” The heavy blow sent Lily flying, blood seeping out from the corners of her mouth, as she crashed into the rack of wooden swords at the corner of the dojo and smashed them into pieces.
As for s.h.i.+getsugu, he still possessed a tenacity as steady as a mountain and his sight firm as a rock.
The spectating disciples sighed in tandem, and the white-haired instructor smirked, “Humph! This Kagami Lily possesses a decent strength to be able to receive two moves from s.h.i.+getsugu, but the difference in their strengths is pretty clear!”
Lily immediately got up from the floor and dashed towards s.h.i.+getsugu without a moment of rest. This alarmed him a bit and made him heave his sword towards Lily’s flank.
Lily’s wooden sword, on the other hand, struck at s.h.i.+getsugu’s right arm!4
Although Lily’s strike possessed quite the force behind it, it couldn’t hurt s.h.i.+getsugu’s muscles that were as hard as steel because of the spiritual power’s augmentation. This was the essential difference between male and female samurai. Although s.h.i.+getsugu was only 30-40% stronger than Lily, his endurance exceeded Lily’s by a lot!
If it were a real sword, the strike just now would have inflicted a heavy injury on s.h.i.+getsugu’s arm, but no matter how much strength the strike of a wooden sword contained, it couldn’t bring much harm to his rugged muscles.
s.h.i.+getsugu then turned his wrist around and punched Lily’s shoulder with the back of his fist, which caused her to lose balance and fall to the floor. Meanwhile, s.h.i.+getsugu, who usually showed calmness, revealed an almost beast-like savage madness as his wooden sword struck at Lily consecutively, making her dodge them by rolling on the ground, leaving behind huge holes on the floor in her wake.
Forced to a corner, Lily propelled her body up with her hand and kicked the wall to pa.s.s over s.h.i.+getsugu’s head, causing his sword to smash on top of the wooden window. However, he didn’t pause and followed up with another attack by twisting his arm, and almost grazed across the back of Lily’s waist. The fierce and swift wind carried by the sword ripped that section of her clothing apart and exposed her fair and beautiful back.
However, Lily showed no weakness and swung her sword mid-air, leaving behind a b.l.o.o.d.y scar on s.h.i.+getsugu’s face.
Lily then turned over and landed on the floor a few meters away from s.h.i.+getsugu.
She gazed at the herculean man before her with an icy look in her eyes.
s.h.i.+getsugu also glared at Lily fiercely with a savage murderous intent in his eyes.
“Nanako, as your elder sister, I absolutely won’t let all the suffering this despicable sc.u.m put you through be in vain!” A decisive glimmer flashed through Lily’s eyes.5
She took a deep breath suddenly and sprinted towards s.h.i.+getsugu with all her strength without any sign!
As for s.h.i.+getsugu, he seemed to have become as tall as a mountain as he raised his heavy sword before him.
Lily’s gaze flickered the moment she arrived closer to s.h.i.+getsugu, and she changed the direction of her sword to attack s.h.i.+getsugu’s lower flank with the hope that he would find it hard to protect such a location because of his tall height.
However, s.h.i.+getsugu seemed to have read through her intentions by the look in her eyes and struck the sword in his down with all his strength!
“Crack!” The heavy wooden sword smashed Lily’s wooden sword into two pieces and stabbed into the wooden floor and resulted in the overturning of ten wooden planks, followed by splinters and dust sweeping across in all directions!
At the moment her sword broke, Lily mustered strength in her foot and jumped up, following which, she gathered her crimson spirit power in the broken sword within her hands, and spun around mid-air!
She shouted loudly as she jabbed the broken wooden sword forward with all her strength, making it turn into a poignant-looking crimson blur!
The sword lodged itself deeply into s.h.i.+getsugu’s shoulder.6
“AARRGGHH—!!!” s.h.i.+getsugu howled mournfully.7
All the spectators were shocked and drew in cold breaths.
Lily turned over mid-air and landed on the floor with one of her feet before she launched a roundhouse kick with her other foot that caused her hair to dance wildly.
“Wham—!” The kick landed on s.h.i.+getsugu’s face and sent him flying back, making him crash through the layers of the wooden wall, leaving behind a muddy trail full of wooden splinters as he slid across the mud in the rain on his back.8
The wound on his shoulder where the broken wooden sword had dug into deeply seeped out blood unceasingly.
s.h.i.+getsugu’s ma.s.sive figure laid within the rain and gasped for huge mouthfuls of air with his eyes wide open, unable to move even an inch.
Even Kuroko was stunned by the outcome for a moment but regained his senses soon after and raised the red flag right away, “Kagami Lily — Wins!”
The spectators hushed up and observed Lily in absolute silence.
Lily also knelt on the floor with one of her knees and supported her body with her hand on it as she gasped for huge mouthfuls of air.
“Haahh… Haahh… Haahh…”
A translucent bead of sweat slid down Lily’s face, trailing down her neck before it disappeared into her cleavage. She then raised her head and looked at the incapacitated s.h.i.+getsugu who laid in the rain and finally relaxed.
She had won.9
Although none of the spectators dared to cheer for her victory, they felt the utmost respect for her.
However, the merciless decisiveness she showed at the final moment invoked a sense of fear in the dojo’s disciples and instructors alike.
The empty-handed Lily walked to the wall and picked up her Crescent Moon. She then faced Kuroko and bowed towards him.
“Kagami Lily, through this duel, your current rank has ascended to the 3rd position from beyond the 50th! As today is the end of the month, you will most probably receive the allocation of magatama fragments per your current 3rd rank. Furthermore, you’re the first one to have ever jumped across so many ranks with a single duel in the history of this entire dojo. This is a unique achievement, so you will also obtain a huge amount of bonus reward for it. I shall personally deliver all these to you once they have been calculated properly within the next few days.”10
“You have my grat.i.tude, Mister Kuroko.”
Today was the end of the month, so unless the lower-ranked members of the dojo challenged Lily, the newcomer, she would obtain a share of magatama fragments befitting her unprecedented achievement of achieving the 3rd rank.
However, after witnessing the final attack of Lily today, none of the members probably dared to challenge her for the time being.
- Robinxen: Excuses.
- Robinxen: Ooof. Lily with the burns.
- Robinxen: What kind of wood is this?!
- Robinxen: No seriously! What wood?!
- Robinxen: Exactly! Imoutos should be cherished! Take him down!
- Robinxen: YES!
- Robinxen: SERVES YOU RIGHT! YOU Sc.u.m!
- Robinxen: ONE MORE!
- Robinxen: “Won”
- Robinxen: Yeah there’s no bias here at all.