Book 3: Chapter 11: Lily in Serious Trouble
Nagasaki Takaki, an official of the East whose authority was second only to Lord Kamakura, had lost consciousness after getting kicked by Lily.
The disciples of the dojo who stood on Lily’s side initially were all frightened out of their wits now as this wasn’t a matter to kid about! Even if the perpetrator were a chosen of the Minamoto clan, although they wouldn’t have been ordered to commit suicide through disembowelment, they would’ve been punished severely for the crime!
“Miss Kagami. H-How could you hit Lord Nagasaki?” Even Kondo had lost his cool.
“If not, should I have just let them take me away and dishonor me? Although the laws and ranks of Kamakura are quite important, a samurai’s honor cannot be besmirched.”
Although Kondo shook his head helplessly, he had no words to say. He knew Lily was right. The consequences of allowing these men to take her away would’ve been too horrible to even imagine and it wouldn’t be easy to demand justice from Lord Kamakura in the future for the wrongs she would have been subjected to today. The laws of the East were actually pretty lax, and the feudal lords even warred against each other to annex the territories of their foes, so they couldn’t always involve Lord Kamakura to reason things out.
Sometimes, the outcome depended on who possessed higher strength.
However, no matter the circ.u.mstances, Lily was in serious trouble this time.
When Sakiko and Kotoka returned to the dojo to console Lily after being informed by a disciple of her return, they discovered a huge crowd gathered around the entrance. Even the green-haired Kaidou Akira who rarely showed up in public had arrived at the dojo with his sword on his back to spectate.
Kaidou Akira, the Green-Haired Swordsman, was acclaimed as the youth closest to the Six Swords in terms of strength. He had gained his fame by killing three degenerate brats from prominent families who his girlfriend had committed adultery with.
He was even more low-profile than s.h.i.+mizu and held onto his position of 2nd rank within the dojo firmly. He knew he wasn’t s.h.i.+mizu’s match, so he had never challenged her for the 1st rank until now. In fact, he spent most of his time training in a remote corner of the dojo and appeared so rarely in public that Lily hadn’t even seen him until now.
However, this time’s matter had blown up so huge that even Kaidou Akira had come out of seclusion.
“Kaidou, what’s going on here?” Sakiko questioned Kaidou. As an honest and low-profile person, Kaidou narrated the entire course of events truthfully.
“This Lily! I didn’t think she was so impulsive! Even though the Inspector’s methods were inappropriate, he is in the end, an Inspector! How could she… Sigh!”
Sakiko stepped forth and ordered the disciples, “Take the Inspector and the injured to get treated immediately! As for the rest, disperse right now. You’re forbidden from revealing what happened here today! Any violators shall be punished severely!”
However, as so many samurai had gotten hurt, it was simply impossible to conceal this matter.
When Sakiko and Kotoka entered Lily’s house, they found her in the middle of having tea with Nanako.
Lily had taken out Fuji-san, the grade 7 tea set.
This tea bowl had a simplistic form in the shape of a tiny cup, yet it had an exotic combination of two colors. The top was white while the bottom was bluish-black, just like Mt. Fuji which was covered in snow all year long, and that’s the reason it was named after it.
The grade 7 tea bowl exuded an overpowering aura similar to that of Mt. Fuji and this made Lily’s heart quiver.
“It would be pretty beneficial if this tea bowl were used to practice the way of tea,” Lily caressed the externally crude yet warm teacup fondly and remarked internally, “Although I was entrusted to hand it over to someone else, I don’t know where his sister is. It should be fine if I use it for some practice first.”
Kotoka was stunned when she saw the tea bowl, “Isn’t this Fuji-san?”
When Lily and Nanako saw Sakiko and Kotoka enter inside, they got up swiftly and bowed towards them.
“Mom!” Nanako felt pretty moved when she saw Kotoka yet was also filled with complex emotions.
“Nanako, go out first,” Kotoka ordered in a stern tone.
“Huh? Mom…” Nanako had a lot of things to say to Kotoka right now, but Kotoka wasn’t aware of that, so she wanted her to leave the room for now.
Nanako looked towards Lily, who nodded gently, following which she left the room obediently.
Sakiko felt that she couldn’t predict Lily’s actions anymore now. Once she had confirmed no one was nearby, she questioned in a solemn tone, “Lily, this is Lord Tokugawa s.h.i.+gemori’s most treasured tea bowl. How come it’s with you? Did you rob it? Oh Heavens!”
“Instructor Sakiko, I didn’t rob it. It was entrusted to me by a youth in the final moments of his life…”
Lily narrated the entire matter to Sakiko and Kotoka.
Sakiko nodded sullenly, “I’ve met that kid Yasutarou once before… He’s a good kid. Sigh. I blamed you wrongly, Lily. Hon’ami Koetsu was indeed the owner of this tea bowl, but Lord Tokugawa killed his entire family in order to obtain it and even forced himself on Koetsu’s wife, Yukiko… Forget it. Perhaps, this was destined. Since you have obtained it, you must hide it well, Lily, and never let anyone else see it, or else Lord Tokugawa will never forgive you. I said that you were too kindhearted previously and you have indeed shown the proper demeanor of a kindhearted samurai by accepting the final wish of that kid, but you are too impulsive in your actions sometimes. How could you kick Inspector Nagasaki like that?”
“Does Instructor Sakiko also believe it’s my fault that the monsters killed so many disciples this time?” Lily questioned in a slightly displeased tone.
“What are you saying, Lily! I’m just worried about you!” Sakiko continued in a concerned tone, “That Nagasaki Takaki has a lot of influence among the samurai of the Taira clan, and the land of Hojo that Lord Kamakura granted to the Genji was originally under the administration of the Taira clan. They already had a lot of grievances before, so I’m just afraid they’ll use this as an excuse to blow things up!”
“Instructor Sakiko. If I hadn’t resisted, I’m afraid I would’ve been subjected to unspeakable tortures in his prison by now. Do you think I should have allowed them to do so?”
“Sigh! That’s also true. Nagasaki Iss.h.i.+tsu, a general under the Hojo, is Takaki’s nephew, so it wouldn’t have been good if you fell into his hands. I’m just saying that you didn’t need to kick him. That old man is pretty weak, so even if you didn’t go with them, he couldn’t have taken you away forcefully. You should have just delayed him until we arrived, and we would have dealt with him.”
“Forgive me, Instructor Sakiko, for acting a bit impulsively,” Lily apologized lightly.
Kotoka interjected at this moment, “Since it has already happened, it’s best if we think of something to deal with it.”
Sakiko shook her head helplessly, “We can’t stick our heads into this matter, so it depends on what Lord Kamakura’s intentions are. However, I’ll make a trip to Madam Makoto’s residence a bit later. She’s the only person who can help speak in your favor right now.”
As.h.i.+kaga Makoto was Lily’s adoptive mother, so she naturally wouldn’t just sit back and watch her adoptive daughter get imprisoned.
Sakiko pulled Lily’s hand anxiously at this moment, “Lily. Where’s s.h.i.+mizu? How come she hasn’t returned with you?”
Lily turned despondent after hearing this question. She naturally wouldn’t reveal that s.h.i.+mizu had accidentally pushed her down the cliff as she believed in her and didn’t wish for others to doubt her for this.
“We were attacked by powerful monsters and got separated from each other as a result. However, I’m certain that she’s still alive. I thought she must’ve returned to Kamakura first, but I didn’t expect that she hasn’t returned yet,” Lily lowered her head gloomily.
Sakiko also shook her head, “We will send people to look for her as soon as possible. s.h.i.+mizu’s pretty strong, so she’ll be fine as long as her illness doesn’t act up again. Since even you were able to get away, she should be able to escape as well.”
Kotoka inquired Lily at this moment, “Miss Kagami. Just what kind of dangerous enemy did you run into that you were separated from s.h.i.+mizu?”
Lily lifted her head and stated with a cold gaze, “Hojo Dijon.”
“What?!” Sakiko and Kotoka were both shocked, “Hojo Dijon?”
Lily then narrated all the events that took place while she and s.h.i.+mizu traveled along with the training group, skipping past the event where s.h.i.+mizu’s mirror was shattered and the section where she got pushed down the cliff. Lily felt that she didn’t have the qualifications to speak about the matter of the mirror getting shattered as it was a huge disgrace for s.h.i.+mizu.
Sakiko shook her head worriedly, “Hojo, that b̲a̲s̲t̲a̲r̲d̲! He killed his father and has even become a demon now, claiming the lives of so many young lives! They were the future hope of the East! However, besides the Furinkazan, only someone like Uesugi Rei can match his strength, so I’m afraid we will be suffering a tremendous loss again sometime soon.”
“You needn’t worry about that, Instructor Sakiko,” Lily sipped a mouthful of tea from Fuji-san calmly.
“Why do you say that Lily?” Sakiko questioned.
“I’ve already killed that Dijon in Mt. Yos.h.i.+no,” Lily stated.
“What?!” Sakiko and Kotoka were taken aback again.
“Don’t make irresponsible remarks, Lily! Hojo Dijon’s strength excelled yours in the past and you even mentioned that he has become a demon. His strength has far surpa.s.sed s.h.i.+mizu’s in that case! H-How could you have killed him?!” Sakiko questioned anxiously while clutching Lily’s arm.
“Instructor Sakiko and Madam Kotoka, it’ll be a long story to explain this matter. I entered a cave accidentally after getting forced into desperate straits by Dijon’s group, but never did I imagine that the cave was a former dwelling of Lord Yos.h.i.+tsune…”
Sakiko and Kotoka were both genuinely on her side, so Lily didn’t hide anything and told them about her fortuitous encounter. Naturally, she only mentioned that she had obtained a mystical sword art and didn’t mention anything about the enigmatic matter of the Ancient Mirror and the rest. It was mainly because she was worried that she would put them in a tight spot in case they were interrogated by the upper echelon of the Genji or Lord Kamakura.
Although Lily revered Lord Kamakura, she instinctively felt that it was best to not let him know about the real secret of the mirror as well as deeper secrets like the matters about Suzuhiko-hime, Kagura and Tsukuyomi Swordstyle.
“Hahaha,” Sakiko chuckled after hearing Lily’s words.
“Why are you so relaxed all of a sudden, Instructor Sakiko?” Lily inquired.
“Lily, that Nagasaki Takaki acted pompously and even hara.s.sed me oftentimes. I didn’t have the courage to scold him even though he didn’t keep his hands in check, so you did well in kicking him this time!” Sakiko’s att.i.tude made a complete reversal.
Kotoka also picked up Lily’s teacup and took a sip, “Uh-huh. It’s my first having tea from a grade 7 tea bowl. It tastes pretty good. Lily, we needn’t worry much about this matter and just need to wait for Lord Kamakura to deal with it.”
Sakiko said relaxedly, “Lily, you don’t need to call me ‘Instructor’ from now on since your strength has long surpa.s.sed mine.”
“How could I do that, Instructor Sakiko? You will always be my instructor. By the way. Instructor Sakiko, Madam Kotoka, why are you so not worried about my matter all of a sudden?”
“Haha, Lily,” Sakiko continued with a chuckle, “Isn’t that pretty obvious? Although I don’t know how strong you are right now, since you were able to kill Dojo, it means that your strength has long surpa.s.sed the sword saint rank. In all of the East, less than ten people possess such strength! Besides Lord Kamakura, you are just weaker than the Furinkazan and it’s hard to say who between you and Uesugi Rei is stronger. Moreover, you are a disciple of the Genji Dojo, which means that you are the second strongest powerhouse in the main branch of the Genji in the East. Even Lord Kamakura would have to devise every possible method to rope such a talented samurai woman of the East, so there’s no way he would truly punish you! Hahaha! That Nagasaki Takaki suffered this kick all for nothing!”
“Indeed! At most, he would punish you lightly to quell the complaints, so you just need to act concertedly at that moment and give Lord Kamakura a way out,” Kotoka stated while fanning herself relaxedly.2
- Silva: Yea, I know, if I didn’t know better from the context given in previous chapter, I would have reacted the same way with their complete 180
- Silva: Tsk, the t.i.tle’s a bait!