Demon Sword Maiden

Book 3: Chapter 9: Inspector

#283 14/11/2023 2264 từ
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Book 3: Chapter 9: Inspector

Lily and Nanako entered the dojo under the cheerful welcome of the retainer-disciples.

“Miss Kagami, we clean your room every day,” A late-stage samurai retainer-disciple stated proudly, feeling glad he hadn’t believed the rumors and continued cleaning Lily’s room.

“Ah… thank you,” Lily felt a bit apologetic for that since the man was a late-stage samurai. Earlier this year, she would have had to flee if she encountered someone of this strength, just like that Daidouji Akira she had run into. But now, someone of such strength was competing just to clean her room…

Even the handsome bald sword-bearer of Lord Kamakura only possessed the strength of a sword saint. Such was reality. The strong did as they please and welcomed the cheers of people, while the weak were subjected to injustice and could only submit to humiliation. If it became a fight, most would probably die just like the young man Lily had encountered on the way back, who didn’t even have enough time to tell his name to her. However, since she had received his treasured tea set, the grade 7 tea set—Fuji-san, which was quite famous in Kanto, she believed it would be easy to figure out his background by making some inquiries.

“Miss Kagami!” A tall, thin and handsome Kondo Naotaka also rushed over after hearing the news and ran into Lily as she went through the dojo gardens.

It seems like Senior Kondo’s injuries have healed completely, both physically and mentally. Lily felt relieved as well.

“Senior Kondo,” Although Lily’s current strength had transcended the sword saint rank, no one else was aware of it yet, so she called out to Kondo and bowed cleverly.

“Miss Kagami, it’s great that you’re fine! They all said you and Miss s.h.i.+mizu, as well as the other disciples, encountered some trouble!” Kondo had a deeply worried look on his face, which only relaxed after seeing Lily again.

After seeing this look on Kondo’s face, Lily could sense that he really cared about her and felt that she had perhaps been a bit too indifferent to him in the past.

On the way, Kondo and Lily conversed about the events that took place in the dojo and Kamakura over the past few days. The decimation of the excursion group was the focus of everyone in Kamakura city right now and a lot of people had visited the upper echelon of Kamakura to resolve it.

“Miss Kagami. That Kas.h.i.+ma Hajime tried to wreck your residence multiple times these past few days, but don’t worry, we prevented him from doing it,” Kondo stated.

Actually, Lily had already entrusted all the valuable items in her possession to Sakiko, so even if her house were truly wrecked, it wasn’t much of a loss for her since it was the property of the dojo. As for Kas.h.i.+ma, he harbored hard feelings for Lily because she had cut off his arm and just wanted to vent his anger, that’s all.

“Thank you, Senior,” Lily said.

The entourage finally arrived in front of Lily’s cottage over the lake. At this moment, Kondo stopped the retainer-disciples and stated, “Everyone, Miss Kagami prefers the quiet. She needs rest after the long journey, so it’s best if we don’t disturb her much. It’s enough to drop her until here. Let’s return now.”

Kondo had phrased it really well as Lily was still pretty bad at dealing with these kindhearted admirers of hers.

“Thank you for the concern, everyone,” Lily also turned around and bowed towards everyone.

If they knew a transcendent had bowed towards them, they would probably brag about it their entire lives.

After the crowd left, another group of tall and hulky men with displeased expressions arrived from the distance.

Lily glanced at them and noticed Tokugawa s.h.i.+getsugu leading Kas.h.i.+ma Hajime and the rest behind him. There was also a short-heighted, square-faced, white-bearded old man dressed in sumptuous clothing with an Ebos.h.i.+ hat on top accompanying them.

The expressions of Lily and the others also turned solemn at this moment.

“What did he come to do now?” A disciple who knew about the bad relations.h.i.+p between Lily and Tokugawa frowned at the back after seeing s.h.i.+getsugu.

Kondo, on the other hand, wore a grim expression, “What? It’s Lord Nagasaki.”

Lily didn’t know who this Lord Nagasaki that Kondo mentioned was, but since he was being brought over by s.h.i.+getsugu, she had a feeling it wasn’t for anything good.

There were about a dozen or so sword masters that didn’t belong to the dojo following behind this group as well.

They finally stopped in front of Lily and the rest, following which the samurai surrounded Lily in a semi-circle.

s.h.i.+getsugu spoke up first, “Kagami Lily, so you’ve returned.”

Lily looked at Tokugawa and then at the one-handed Kas.h.i.+ma, and said, “Tokugawa, and whoever you are1, have your injuries healed?”

Their expressions turned unsightly immediately.

“I-I am the fabled Kas.h.i.+ma Hajime of Mikawa! How dare you forget my name, Lily!” Kas.h.i.+ma stated in a fit of fury.

“Kas.h.i.+ma, don’t show such bad manners in front of Lord Nagasaki!” s.h.i.+getsugu interjected.

He turned around and spoke to the old man with the Ebos.h.i.+ hat, “Lord Nagasaki. This woman in red is that Kagami Lily.”

“Mhm,” For some reason, Nagasaki revealed an expression of loath mixed with l.u.s.t when he saw Lily and nodded haughtily towards s.h.i.+getsugu.

“Kagami Lily! Don’t you bring our personal grievances in front of Lord Nagasaki now! He is Lord Nagasaki Takaki, one of the Four Grand Inspectors under Lord Kamakura! Why haven’t you knelt yet?!” Tokugawa stood beside Nagasaki and borrowed the might of his t.i.tle to chide Lily.

Inspectors held the most power in the Land of East next to Lord Kamakura, the Furinkazan and the upper echelon members like Imagawa and the rest. They oversaw the feudal lords and were the judiciary body of the Kamakura Imperial Palace, and they were four of them who moved and enacted justice according to the will of Lord Kamakura.

As the sovereign, Lord Kamakura naturally didn’t deal with everything personally. Thus, these four Inspectors held an exceptional amount of power. Even when Lily had joined the dojo a few months ago, it required the personal approval of an Inspector like Lady Sakaki to go through.

The rank of new feudal lords like Lily was really too low compared to an Inspector, and Lily’s t.i.tle had been appointed just recently too. Thus, in the eyes of the influential officials, Lily wasn’t a true n.o.blewoman.

“Greetings, Lord Inspector,” Lily didn’t kneel and just bowed slightly.

Sitting in a seiza was a normal practice indoors, but the meaning of kneeling outside on a stoned pathway was pretty different.

Nagasaki Takaki twisted the end of his beard in displeasure when he saw that Lily hadn’t kneeled before him. He then raised his head with a smack of his lips and said, “Kagami Lily. You and Minamoto no s.h.i.+mizu partic.i.p.ated in the excursion to protect the other disciples secretly, yet these prospective disciples of the East were all murdered by monsters and you still have the gall to return?”

Lily’s expression darkened after hearing this. As she had expected, Tokugawa really hadn’t brought this Nagasaki for anything good. She had gained a new lease of life after suffering untold hards.h.i.+ps and dangers, and returned to Kamakura, but instead of showing sympathy, he had come to investigate the dereliction of her duty. She believed there must have been a reason that she wasn’t aware of for him doing this.

“Lord Nagasaki!” Kondo stepped forth and bowed towards him, “Miss Kagami is a newcomer of the dojo, and no one had expected the Hundred Demons to set up such a huge ambush of monsters in place targeting this time’s excursion. We can only say that the Hundred Demons were too despicable and targeted the new talents of the dojos instead of facing us directly! It’s already a miracle that Miss Kagami was able to return to Heian safely after facing the attack of so many terrible monsters. How could she be blamed for this? It was the loathsome monsters who killed the disciples!”

“Shut up, Kondo! Have you gone senile after staying in the dojo for so long that you have even forgotten the duties and responsibilities of a samurai?! Kagami Lily and Minamoto no s.h.i.+mizu were ordered to protect those disciples by all of us Inspectors with the approval of Lord Kamakura, but almost all of them are dead now! The dojos of those disciples and their families want justice from Lord Kamakura! Lord Kamakura tasked me with investigating this matter just a while ago! And you dare obstruct me with nonsense? Fall back at once!” Nagasaki chided Kondo in a fit of fury.

As the Inspector had made his stance clear and since it was the will of Lord Kamakura, Kondo didn’t dare to say anything further. He said not a word more even though he felt equally indignant as the other disciples within the group.

Nagasaki places both his hands on the hips of his potbelly and stared at Lily, “Kagami Lily. Although you bear the highest responsibility for this matter, as Kondo said just now, it was the monsters who killed the disciples, not you, so I won’t request you to a.s.sume responsibility for the death of these disciples. However, I need you to come with me for the interrogation. Lord Kamakura will handle the case once the truth of the incident has been determined.”

“What?!” Everyone was stunned. She just managed to return, that too with great difficulty, and hasn’t even entered her house, yet these guys want to take her away for interrogation?

Nagasaki Takaki belonged to a prominent clan that was under the Taira clan. In order to maintain balance between the powers, the Taira clan had taken two of the four Inspector positions in Kamakura. The Taira clan and the Minamoto clan have always fought openly and covertly. Even though Lord Kamakura held the most authority in the Land of East, he needed to consider the balance of powers and take measures against the Taira clan and Minamoto clan at the same time. If not, he would be doomed before the Hundred Demons even invaded the Land of East on a large scale.

As for the reason why Nagasaki Takaki didn’t like Lily, there was another reason for it. His nephew, Nagasaki Iss.h.i.+tsu, originally a va.s.sal of the Hojo clan, had been killed by Lily, but Takaki couldn’t bring this matter up because Nagasaki Iss.h.i.+tsu was a general of the rebel army under the command of the patricidal rebel, Hojo Dijon. However, since the task of investigating the death of the disciples during the excursion had fallen on his head, it was impossible for Takaki to miss this chance to retaliate against Lily.

Lily was a new n.o.blewoman appointed personally by Lord Kamakura and there was no need to even mention s.h.i.+mizu’s status. By sending a Taira clan Inspector to investigate the crime of two Minamoto clan members, Lord Kamakura was expressing his fairness on this matter. At the same time, he was appeasing the anger of the clans whose young generation had been killed by the monsters for no reason and also calling the matter into question.

Sometimes, it didn’t matter who was in the wrong. As long as you held a position, you would have to a.s.sume responsibility for any blunders that take place. Lily was a samurai who had become a n.o.ble just recently, but unfortunately, she had been thrown into the heart of the court’s struggle almost immediately.

Furthermore, Lord Kamakura had just tasked Nagasaki with investigating this matter and hadn’t clearly mentioned how to do it or how severely to punish Lily and s.h.i.+mizu. The outcome thus depended on Takaki’s intentions as well as the struggle between the other members of the Minamoto clan. Such was Lord Kamakura’s ingeniousness.

“Come with you for the interrogation?” Lily questioned in a blatantly annoyed voice. I returned to Kamakura after barely managing to make it out alive, so what wrong have I done? Is there a need to take me to the Inspector’s residence for an interrogation under the escort of so many samurai as if I am a sinner?

“Indeed! Why are you still dillydallying instead of leaving with Lord Nagasaki, Kagami Lily?!” s.h.i.+getsugu intimidated her excitedly from aside. As long as she followed them into Takaki’s residence, it was up to them to interrogate her however they wanted! They even had plenty of methods to force Lily to confess that she had conspired with the monsters to kill the disciples! This way, they would s.h.i.+ft the anger of the clans that lost their children onto Lily and also eliminate the woman they hated the most! They would also bring this matter to a proper conclusion and gain the recognition of Lord Kamakura! This was the reason Takaki had come on board with s.h.i.+getsugu’s plan!

However, although they considered all scenarios while scheming, they had failed at a crucial step, which was the fact that they didn’t know Lily had already become a transcendent!

As long as transcendent Adepts were loyal to the Heian Empire, and not the monsters and demon samurai of the Hundred Demons, they weren’t restricted by the laws and decrees of the profane world in the Land of East where the samurai revered strength the most. This was one of the founding principles set down by Lord Kamakura when he founded the Land of East.2

  1. Robinxen: The best insult.
  2. Robinxen: There were literally no footnotes on this chapter, I made these up as I was copying to the site just to fit some in.
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