Book 3: Chapter 20: Challenge from a Weirdo
At night, Lily caressed her unscathed fair and beautiful face1 while looking into the mirror within her samurai house in Izu and smiled sweetly.
The face was the most important part for a girl2, so there’s no way she would have allowed that thug to hit it. Lily had manifested a partial domain as a defensive layer around her body, so Daisuke Emon’s punch had just struck the domain’s spirit barrier. As for the so-called fragrance that he had mentioned, Lily simply ignored it as her hair might have touched his fist because of the tremor or it may have been a result of her domain’s ability to imbue the lingering scent of sakura into an ordinary human’s consciousness3.
Lily looked at the simple flowers, plants and trees outside the room. Although the garden looked ordinary and mediocre, even neglected and unpolished, it filled her with different kinds of emotions.
In the past, although the scenery was better, she was lodging under another person’s roof.
But this place was her house within her personal territory.
Lily finally had a peace of mind now.
However, Lily couldn’t afford to dither here for long. She had a long journey ahead of her and no matter how long it was, at the very least, she had a home in this Heian world now that belonged to her and even had a mature, intellectual and skilled beauty like Madam Kotoka4 waiting for her in that home.
Although the house had been purchased under Madam Kotoka’s name, it was but all the same.
Madam Kotoka had sold off the Saionji family’s properties in Suruga Province and invested almost all her a.s.sets, which were worth a total of 20,000 kan, into the development of Lily’s territory. Naturally, this money wasn’t meant for Lily and was allocated by the madam for various purposes, meant to spent little by little instead of spending it all in one go.
Lily noted this favor from Saionji Kotoka deep in her heart and decided she would definitely repay her if she obtains even greater land and influence in the future.
All the administrative matters were managed by the madam, so Lily didn’t actually need to do much as the liege lord other than coming out to handle the powerful brutish thugs.
Lily was also worried about s.h.i.+mizu. Before she left for Izu, she had instructed s.h.i.+u to spend a decent amount of money to hire ninjas to look for s.h.i.+mizu’s whereabouts. In fact, it was unnecessary for Lily to do this as Lord Kamakura and the Genji were looking for this talented chosen by mobilizing all their strength as well, but she still did it.
Lily’s intuition told her that s.h.i.+mizu was definitely still alive. Unless s.h.i.+mizu’s freedom was restricted for some reason or she was trapped in some location, with her strength, the only reason she wouldn’t have hastened to return would be that she didn’t wish to return, and it was even more improbable for her to not send a letter to Lily.
“Sister s.h.i.+mizu. Where are you and why haven’t you returned…”
However, even though Lily felt pretty worried, she had plans to go out and look for s.h.i.+mizu’s whereabouts personally.
Lily had an even more resolute journey ahead of her and had to prepare to embark on it. Before that, she needed to train with her mind at ease.
As long as she obtained any definitive news about s.h.i.+mizu, Lily would seek her no matter the danger with no second thoughts. However, at this moment, Lily was clueless about where exactly s.h.i.+mizu was within the Endless Demon Mountains that spanned thousands of kilometers. Furthermore, she didn’t dare to charge head-on into the mountains even with her current strength as there were terrible legendary monsters stronger than the Furinkazan residing within. Lily couldn’t act carelessly or conceitedly as even a blessed chosen had chances of peris.h.i.+ng under the loom of danger. There was no guarantee that she would be lucky enough to overcome the next threat just because she had returned from death’s door once.
The soul of Lily’s senior sister was still dormant within the mirror, and even Kagura’s awakening had shed no clues about her senior sister’s situation.
In Lily’s heart, her senior sister’s position was paramount forever.
There was only a minuscule chance of finding s.h.i.+mizu if Lily went out to look for her aimlessly and she had a much more important thing to do, which was to save the girl who had shown no hesitation in paying with her life to save Lily.
By developing this territory, Lily hoped to obtain even more resources that would allow her to purchase or trade magatama fragments in exchange for money or items and increase her strength as quickly as possible5.
After pondering on these matters, Lily lied down and submerged her consciousness into the mirror s.p.a.ce to continue practicing the Tsukuyomi Swordstyle.
On the same night, Nanako and Kotoka were engaged in a long talk the entire night.
“… and that’s what happened. Forgive me for hiding it from you for so many years…” Kotoka explained.
“Do you know what makes me most furious?” Nanako hugged her bosom, “You obviously aren’t my birth mother, yet you frequently spanked me whenever I made a mistake! Now that I think about it, it makes me really embarra.s.sed!”
“Eh?” Kotoka never thought Nanako actually was bothered by this matter, “Hehe. Nanako, although we aren’t related by blood, I’m still your mother.”
“I know… no one said you aren’t,” Nanako pouted, “It’s just that, now, that abominable Kagura has taken your place in hitting me, you know?! Although, I can hardly blame her if it really allows me to catch up with Sister Lily’s pace…”
“Nanako, I also didn’t know about the secret of your birth. Is it really fine to trust that Kagura’s words?”
“Sigh. You won’t believe me fully even if I explain it to you like this. You’ll understand when Sister Lily takes you into the mirror s.p.a.ce in the future. However, you mustn’t tell this secret to anyone else, not even Lord Kamakura. Sister Lily cautioned against this specially.”
“But you told me, Nanako.”
“Sigh! You are my mother! Also, I asked Sis for permission beforehand.”
“Hehe. Fine, fine. I got it. I’ll request Lily someday in the future to allow me to experience your secrets.”
“Tch. Sister Lily isn’t there within the mirror6.”
“Never mind. You’ll know when the time comes.”
“Nanako,” Kotoka approached Nanako and held her shoulders, “No matter what your origins are, you have always been and will be my daughter, okay?”
“If I make a mistake in the future, will you still punish me?”
“… Yes, and I’ll be relentless in it by scolding, spanking and punis.h.i.+ng you as harshly as possible, my disobedient daughter!”
Nanako leaned into Kotoka’s embrace with a flushed face and Kotoka also hugged her in return.
The weirdo, Taira no Hachiro, strode out from the sh.o.r.e with the sun rising behind him, taking strides in a solemn fas.h.i.+on with the thugs following him from 10 m behind.
Taira no Hachiro arrived in from of the gate of Lily’s house and yelled out aloud, “Lyn-hime! Lyn-hime—why haven’t you appeared yet?! I, Taira no Hachiro, challenge you! Although you are a woman, I cannot forgive you, so appear before me at once!”
Actually, Lily wasn’t afraid of the challenge, it was just that she was really asleep because she had practiced swordplay late into the night yesterday.
However, the weirdo’s voice was pretty loud, and he even acted theatrically, so people minded it even if they didn’t wish to.
Lily had also woken up because of this howling voice and got up in a daze, “Who’s yelling outside? Send someone to break their mouth.”
Lily spoke without thinking as she was still drowsy.
Nanako entered the room at this moment and explained the situation, “Sis, Taira no Hachiro is standing outside and has issued a challenge towards you.”
“Taira no Hachiro?” Lily naturally remembered this man, who was the Third Sword of the Six Swords of the East. In the Battle of Suruga where he had teamed up with two others against Uesugi Rei, he had been defeated and went missing after that.
“Why is Taira no Hachiro challenging me at this time?” Lily felt puzzled as well.
“I don’t know, too. Sis, can you go out to take a look? Taira no Hachiro is too strong, so none of us dared to stop him,” said Nanako.
“Fine,” Lily said with a nod, “Stay indoors, Nanako. This man is too unpredictable. Send someone to tell him to stop yelling and that the lady of the house shall meet him once she finishes freshening and dressing up, so ask him to wait outside quietly until then.”
- Robinxen: Wow author. Just wow.
- Robinxen: Is this true?
- Robinxen: Ah the ultimate chast.i.ty field!
- Robinxen: Author. Author please.
- Robinxen: Lily just sees her kingdom as a method to get s.h.i.+nies…what a Lily-esque way of thinking.
- Robinxen: Well she is but also not…