Book 3: Chapter 67: Lily’s Resolve
Even though it wasn’t snowing today, Ehiro was sweat-drenched all the same even on snowing days, which made it obvious how hard she worked.
The scent emanating off from her was distinctive from Lily’s and packed intense, vivacious and wild notes in it.
As a woman, Ehiro seemed to neglect her looks a bit too much, and even had well-shaped muscles, but these were a necessity to work as a bladesmith.
She had given up on feminine looks and charm in order to pursue a bladesmith’s path and a feminine body was nothing in comparison to her dedication to the art of smithing blades.
“Oh, yes. Have you found a place to live here yet, Master?” Lily asked casually.
“There’s no place to live in yet since all we have are tents as of now. It’s too early to think about such matters since the houses haven’t been built entirely. Also, stop calling me master and just call me by my name.”
“All right… Ehiro. I suppose I’ll be spending the night in the tent as well then?” Lily chuckled.
“Huh?” Ehiro brought her head down closer to Lily and seemed to breathe in the scent from her body, “So you’re saying you want to spend the night with me in my tent?”
“Eh?” Lily was taken aback, “N-No. I didn’t mean that…”
Although Cherry Valley had snow in it, it was warmer compared to the outside as it was enclosed within the mountains.
Ehiro was drenched in sweat because she had labored too much, so she suggested the following, “The sweat is making me a little uncomfortable. I heard there are hot springs here, Lily. Shall we go there together?”
“Huh? Fine,” Lily accepted the offer with a smile without giving it much thought.
Lily accompanied Ehiro to a hot spring surrounded by a cl.u.s.ter of rocks at the lowland in the southeast corner of Cherry Valley. This spot wasn’t covered in snow and teemed with steam instead. As a result, the air here was quite damp and sultry and had patches of squash-like plants growing between the rocks along with a bunch of wildflowers even though it was winter.
“This spot is pretty nice,” Ehiro stated while gazing at the steaming hot spring with an arm on her waist.
“Yes,” Lily also appreciated the sight, but as this region was too warm, a bead of sweat flowed down her breast and traced around the bountiful hemisphere before disappearing into the deep chasm of a cleavage.
“Well, then…” Ehiro’s eyes flickered the moment her sight landed on Lily’s b.r.e.a.s.t.s.
Ehiro hunched forward suddenly in the next moment and hugged Lily’s waist with her powerful arm before hoisting Lily up on her shoulders.
“Kyah! What are you doing, Ehiro?!” Lily wasn’t expected to get lifted up and flailed her legs helplessly.
“Take a bath in the hot spring with me!” “Huh? I-I don’t need to!” “You don’t need to, you say? Haven’t you hastened back from outside? You need a bath!”
Ehiro was quite powerful and had no difficulty walking on the slippery stones while carrying Lily on her shoulder. She disrobed her garments with her free hand, leaving only the diamond-shaped chest and underbody undergarments on.
Lily’s gaze also wandered to Ehiro’s ebony figure which even had abs… on top of having bountiful b.r.e.a.s.t.s. Yet, she still lacked in feminine charm a bit even with such a.s.sets.
“All right. I’ll bathe along with you. Can you put me down now?” Lily stated anxiously.
“You mustn’t run away.” “I won’t.” “What if you do?” “Argh! Didn’t I say I won’t? I’m the lord of this place, Lyn-hime! I won’t go back on my word!” “If you dare to run away in the middle, you’ll have to let me fondle your b.r.e.a.s.t.s for a quarter-hour, got it?” “… Fine. Put me down now.”
Lily thought that Ehiro wouldn’t have the opportunity to fondle her b.r.e.a.s.t.s as she intended to keep her word.
However, even so, with Ehiro acting in such a manner, Lily didn’t dare to undress in front of her and disrobed her kimono after walking behind a rock.
“Are you ready?” Ehiro’s movements were quicker than Lily’s, so she came over to peek over the rock.
“Don’t peek! I’ll be there in a moment!” Lily covered her body with a bath towel quickly.
Lily had taken this bath towel out from the mirror s.p.a.ce and it was originally an item from the room fitted with womenswear and had a very soft texture even though its material was unknown.
Lily also handed a towel to Ehiro, but she said she didn’t need it.
“Let me help you wash up, Lily,” After the duo dipped down into the hot spring, Ehiro began starting at Lily’s b.r.e.a.s.t.s blatantly.
“N-No, let me do that for you,” Lily said with a blush.
Thus, Ehiro sat down on a rock and Lily used a wet towel to help wash her back while kneeling behind her. Although Lily felt a little embarra.s.sed internally, she felt that Ehiro deserved a reward for all the effort she had put in for smithing a blade for her and persuaded herself that there was no need to feel embarra.s.sed about serving other women.
“Do you know what’s the traditional way women in Heian-kyo use to wash backs, Lily?” “I don’t… How do they do it?” “They use their wet b.r.e.a.s.t.s to scrub the back up and down.”
“Just ridiculous!” Lily blushed hard. She was just was.h.i.+ng her back normally from behind in the beginning, but her b.r.e.a.s.t.s ended up pressing against Ehiro’s back in the process of stretching her hands forward to wash Ehiro’s legs easily. Lily wouldn’t have minded it that much if Ehiro hadn’t mentioned it, but now that she had, Lily felt too embarra.s.sed to continue.
Ehiro then stretched her hand forward and said, “Mhm. I also know of a way to wash hands. Do you want to try doing it?”
“I-I don’t want to hear it!” Lily scrunched her brows.
However, her thoughts ran wild internally—Hmph! The elevation of your hand is just about the same as the height of my legs when I stand up, so how exactly do you want me to wash it? It must be some weird way for sure. Although I won’t really help you wash it that way, it’s obvious that your objective is to embarra.s.s me by making me speak the way out loud! You have no faults, but why exactly do you like teasing me so much?
The bath in the hot spring finally ended in a comparatively normal manner and was just accompanied by banter. Although Lily felt quite refreshed after returning from the hot spring, she gave Ehiro the cold treatment because of her fury.
Ehiro resumed her work after returning to the temple and though Lily felt grat.i.tude for her initially, she felt that Ehiro needed to do labor work now. Thus, Lily a.s.signed the heavy and arduous jobs to Ehiro without the slightest hesitation, but she just chuckled jovially in the end and left Lily in a bad mood.
Kotoka had brought some blankets from Izu so that Lily and the other girls could sit down on them within the temple and there was also a small table arranged inside it, so Lily sat down in a seiza on the blanket.
“s.h.i.+u!” “Yes, Master!” “I tasked you with handing a letter to Lord Kamakura while you’re on the way to Kamakura to invite Master Ehiro. Did you complete it?” “Of course, Master. How could I fail to complete your order? I’ve already handed over the letter to Lord Kamakura’s trusted attendant.”
“Mhm,” Lily’s mood turned a little better and felt s.h.i.+u was comparatively obedient and at least wouldn’t make any foolish demands just because she had tasked her with work.
As for Lord Kamakura’s side, Lily hadn’t returned to personally report to him about the completion of the mission even though she had found the truth about the strange occurrences in the Takeda clan.
The first reason for this was that she couldn’t leave such a huge treasure unattended.
The second reason was that Lily didn’t wish to return and meet Lord Kamakura personally as she felt afraid of answering someone as astute as him if he questioned her.
The contents of the letter she had written to Lord Kamakura were actually pretty ambiguous and mentioned that the Takeda clan was negligent with their nighttime security, that there were monsters nesting in the castle city and that some of the residents were in danger. She also didn’t mention a single word about Lord Takeda getting bewitched by the path of evil and though she didn’t state that there was anything wrong with him, she neither stated the reverse.
Lord Takeda had helped her in the end after regaining her senses and even gifted Lily such a huge treasure unknowingly, so Lily couldn’t find it in herself to sell him out.
As for the battle that ensued in Blossom Valley, Lily played it down by a lot and only said that they had clashed in the mountains of Kai Province because of a misunderstanding and refrained from elaborating any further.
“s.h.i.+u,” Lily continued, “Did you hear about the rumor regarding the battle in this valley on the streets of Kamakura when you went through it?”
s.h.i.+u’s eyes lit up after hearing this, “The rumor has actually spread widely in the streets. It’s being said that you fought three Furinkazan-grade powerhouses alone and even gained the upper hand in the battle, injuring Tokugawa heavily in the process! And that you even managed to cripple Tokugawa who’s best known for his defense among the Furinkazan! It’s become the talk of Kamakura city right now and this information is spreading out from there at a very quick speed. I reckon that it’s just a matter of time before everyone in the East learns of it, but some of the rumors are really too incredulous. Some say that you are the most beautiful princess of the East while others say that you’re the incarnation of a cursed katana and a great demon! According to the rumors, the children of Kamakura don’t even dare to cry at night after hearing your name, Master.”
“Eh? That’s…” Lily turned speechless, but such was the nature of rumors, they turned more ridiculous the farther they spread.
“However, there’s no mention of Lord Tokugawa getting bewitched by the path of evil among the rumors. It seems like some people have gone to visit the Tokugawa clan in order to verify the rumors, but the Tokugawa clan have kept their doors closed. On the other hand, no one desires to travel to the cold lands of Kai.”
Lily nodded, “That information must’ve been leaked from someone in the Takeda clan. Although the proper details regarding the battle have been mentioned in the rumors, there’s no mention of the conflict for the treasure and the information unfavorable to Lord Takeda has also been concealed. It’s also good that the Tokugawa clan hasn’t admitted their lord’s loss since that wouldn’t contradict the contents of the letter that I wrote to Lord Kamakura.”
Lily felt a barrier form between her and Lord Kamakura after learning that the information of her secret mission to investigate Tsutsujigasaki Castle had been leaked out. Lily was naturally certain that Lord Kamakura didn’t leak this information, but there were only a few people who knew about it. She was also absolutely sure the information didn’t leak from her sisters, and since it wasn’t from Lord Kamakura, the only possibility left was an aide of his, and this raised Lily’s vigilance.
Moreover, she also had such a huge matter to deal with right now, so she didn’t really want to return and meet Lord Kamakura at this moment.
The matter in Sakura Blossom Valley had stabilized by now and since the snowfall had sealed the mountain, the valley had become much safer in this midwinter season. This made Lily consider whether she ought to make a trip to Kamakura and meet Lord Kamakura in order to get to know the truth of the circ.u.mstances, but she brushed this thought away with a shake of her head.
Lily believed that she wouldn’t be able to tell anything even if she went to meet Lord Kamakura because of his cleverness, so rather than taking part in a futile investigation that wouldn’t produce a definitive result, she planned to engage in a much realistic and significant task.
Extracting the magatama source crystals and forging the evil slaying sword!
It would still take four more months for Lily to obtain enough magatama to advance to the Spirit Jade Stage, and even though she had obtained 3 of them coincidently during the talks between Tokugawa and Takeda, she knew that such luck didn’t come by often. However, she also couldn’t think of any other ways to obtain magatama.
Thus, rather than wait here idly all that time, she decided that she might as well go procure all the materials required to craft the blade.
Once the grade 9 Evil Slayer Yasutsuna was in her hands and she achieved the Spirit Jade Stage, her strength was bound to increase tremendously!
At that moment, she wouldn’t have to fear anyone conspiring within the shadows to have her murdered!
Out of the things necessary for forging this blade, she already had the tamahagane, charcoal and master bladesmith in her hands, leaving only the flames of Mt. Fuji to be procured.
Mt. Fuji, Land of Hundred Demons.
Lily’s gaze turned sharp as she stared into the distance, “It’s time to charge into the Land of Hundred Demons!”
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