Book 3: Chapter 97: A Monster’s Promise
It wasn’t that hard for Haihime to infiltrate the dungeon of the temple she resided in while going unnoticed.
She arrived in the dark, torch-lit rock cellar that had a prison cell part.i.tioned via coa.r.s.e wooden logs.
“Leave!” Haihime commanded the two snake women guarding the prison cell.
The two snake women were just inferior high-ranked monsters found anywhere, so even though they were clueless about the situation, they were forced to step aside after seeing Haihime arrive.
Haihime walked to the deepest section of the cell and saw Yumi chained to the rock wall with grade 5 iron chains behind a series of logs with her forehead covered in blood.
Haihime looked at the lock on the cell’s gate and bisected it with a silver flash of her cursed katana before pus.h.i.+ng the door open and walking in.
Yumi, however, was unconscious at this moment.
“Yumi! Yumi!” Haihime shook Yumi’s shoulders gently and injected some spirit power into her.
“Ngh…” The blood-mouthed Yumi awakened slowly and spoke feebly after seeing Haihime, “Lady Haihime… leave this place quickly.”
“What nonsense are you talking about? Why should I leave?” Haihime felt puzzled and became worried after seeing Yumi’s wound-riddled body, “Just what in the world happened? Why did they catch you and beat you so badly?”
“Lady Haihime, that Amanojaku had no intentions of abiding by the agreement at all. He dispatched the Lion Mist Demon along with a huge group of demons to ambush the area near the underground s.p.a.ce’s tunnel. Those monsters plan to raid the village and kill your clansmen as long as they leave the vicinity of the village!”
Haihime felt the world before her take an ashen shade momentarily and her heart seemed to petrify.
“Lady Haihime. They are monsters in the end, and never had any sense of honor at all. Amanojaku also never planned to keep his promise even if you really became his woman!”
Haihime’s gaze turned blank as she talked to herself, her gaze unfocused from Yumi, “N-No, that can’t be. Although Amanojaku is cruel, he has no reason to kill the villagers. As far as he’s concerned, those villagers are just a means to threaten me and have no powerhouse who possesses a danger to the monsters. They have no treasure nor are they harboring any hidden secret. The villagers have no other value to Amanojaku since he’s long obtained me, so there’s no reason for him to kill them!”
“Lady Haihime, please stop continuing with this obstinate foolishness! Amanojaku is a vile monster! You must not harbor such fantasies towards a nefarious fellow like him!”
“No! No matter how vile Amanojaku may be, he’s still a monster with human intellect. He has no motive to do it!”
Haihime drew her blade out and slashed forward swiftly, cutting up the chains locking Yumi in her place.
“Yumi… can you still move?”
“Yes,” Yumi had actually received a pretty grievous injury, but she still endured the pain and nodded affirmatively.
“Yumi, please do me a favor. I need you to return to the underground s.p.a.ce somehow and warn the villagers against going out of the village no matter what happens. I’ll go demand an answer from Amanojaku in the meanwhile!”
“Lady Haihime, you cannot walk right into the trap they’ve set. Do you really believe that preventing the villagers from leaving is enough to absolutely protect them? There are no bottom lines that those monsters won’t cross.”
“However, I won’t be able to rescue the villagers before that lot of monsters and Amanojaku discover us even if I left together with you. I have to get an answer from him even if all of it is a lie like how you’ve said. I have no other choice in this matter!”
Yumi grabbed Haihime’s hand, “Lady Haihime, we might be able to escape from Amanojaku’s clutches now if it’s just the two of us.”
“That won’t do! I would’ve escaped a million times by now if I wanted to escape alone! Protecting my clansmen is the final mission my mother entrusted to me while standing at death’s door, so I can’t just give up at this moment after holding on for such a long time! Yumi, I won’t make things hard for you. You aren’t my subordinate any longer, so you’re free to do whatever you want and go wherever you want. As for me, I have to find Amanojaku!”
Saying so, Haihime flung her long-sleeves and sprinted out of the prison cell towards the surface of the temple.
The snake woman standing at the corridor ahead hissed at this moment, “Lady Haihime, what do you mean by this? This is…”
“Scram!” A flux of spirit power flashed across the dark corridor and the two snake women turned silent.
“Argh! This naïve woman!” Yumi felt pain all over her body as she watched her former master deliver herself to Amanojaku’s doorstep in such an obstinate and foolish manner. Even if she wasn’t injured, she still didn’t possess the means to stop her, and neither could she fight with Amanojaku.
“What should I do… just what in the world should I do… I can neither help Lady Haihime nor save the villagers…”
Yumi recalled her long-haired master with ethereal looks in this moment of despair.
“Master Lily! Isn’t she still inside the underground s.p.a.ce? There shouldn’t be any other paths out of that s.p.a.ce and even though there’s a considerable gap in strength between Lady Lily and Lady Haihime, she may be able to figure out the most optimal solution to this ordeal if it’s her.”
“Anyhow, I must return to the underground s.p.a.ce first. Even if Lady Lily isn’t in the village anymore and even if my actions are meaningless, I still have to carry out the task that Lady Haihime entrusted me with and go warn those villagers,” Although Yumi’s weapon and treasures got taken away, she could still use her full a.r.s.enal of ninja arts and moved within the darkness stealthily1.
Haihime rushed out of the dungeon and made for the main hall of the temple in spite of the monsters pacing back and forth across the temple quarters.
The two blue demon guards saw Haihime arrive, but they didn’t stop her.
Haihime charged inside the s.p.a.cious and dim main hall with the Thousand-Armed Buddha statue where Amanojaku was having drinks with the leaders and subleaders of the monsters.
“Amanojaku!” Haihime’s aquamarine hair danced up as she came to a stop after taking a step inside the main hall, her eyes full of unprecedented doubts and heart stifled with anger as she shuddered with emotions unlike that of fear.
Amanojaku was in the middle of a toast with the One-Horned Demon, a huge cupful of wine in hand. He looked towards Haihime and stated calmly, “Haihime? Didn’t I tell you to reflect back in your room? Why have you come here again?”
Haihime’s long hair fell onto her shoulders gently and her gaze turned sharp as she stopped avoiding Amanojaku’s gaze, “Amanojaku. Today is the day I formed an agreement with you. Do you still remember the promise between us?”
Amanojaku looked at the menacing monsters in the hall and then directed his gaze back at Haihime who had a rushed breath, “Of course, I remember it.”
“You’ll abide by the agreement in that case, right?” As matters had reached this stage, Haihime made the contents of the agreement public directly regardless of the shame, “I shall become your woman tonight and you shall release all the villagers in the underground s.p.a.ce in exchange.”
“Hehe. Is it fine for you to declare such a thing in public with so many eyes present, woman?” Amanojaku grinned.
“Indeed. She is really shameless,” the snake woman, Kokurin, rushed to comment as well.
“Answer me!!!” Haihime was no longer of the mind to keep up the guise of an immoral and promiscuous woman in this instant and screamed hysterically as a result of the emotions driving her mind mad.
“How dare you raise your voice against Lord Amanojaku like this in front of the demons, b̲i̲t̲c̲h̲?! It seems like you haven’t suffered enough yet,” Kokurin threatened.
Amanojaku, however, waved his hand and signaled her to remain silent. He then drank a huge mouthful of sake and stated casually, “It is as you’ve said. You shall become my woman after my coming-of-age ceremony’s banquet tonight and give birth to the progeny of my Golden-Horned Tribe in exchange for the release of all the villagers. I shall definitely keep my promise, Keiko, you needn’t worry about this. I wouldn’t go back on what I promised you now, would I, everyone?”
Amanojaku looked at the leaders of the monsters.
“Hahahahahaha!” The demons also began laughing heartily and this made Haihime feel things were amiss even further.
Thus, she asked in a cold voice, “Why did you send the Lion Mist Demon along with a large number of demons to ambush the area near the village in that case then?”
The expressions of the monsters in the hall turned grimmer and the entire temple fell silent.
“Lion Mist Demon? When did I send demons to ambush the area near the village? I know nothing about this, do you, you all?” Amanojaku adopted an innocent expression.
“We know nothing, nothing at all,” The demons answered in chorus.
“The Lion Mist Demon is a capable aide of yours, so how could you know nothing about it?! Don’t you think you can lie to me!” Haihime’s voice had become a little hoa.r.s.e from all the screaming.
“No, no, Haihime. You might not know this yet, but Lion Mist Demon separated from me with his tribe just yesterday. Hence, I’m utterly clueless about their destination or aim and neither do I care about it,” Amanojaku stated lightly.
“What?!” Haihime’s body stiffened.
She stared at the demons inside the hall blankly and finally realized how different these ugly shadows were from her.
“What are you saying… Amanojaku. Didn’t you promise me that villagers will remain safe?! You promised me this, right? I agreed to all your demands in exchange for this, so why do you refuse to leave my clansmen alone even now?!”
“It seems like you’ve mistaken something, Keiko,” Amanojaku’s scarlet eyes flickered with viciousness, “What I promised you was the release of the villagers on the day you offer yourself to me. As for what happens to these human trashes who are inferior to even ants once they get released, I don’t give a single d.a.m.n about their life or death. You won’t push the blame onto me if they are eaten by the wolves in the mountains now, would you?”
“Just what are you saying?” Haihime’s eyes were blank, and her body seemed to have frozen. The humiliation she went through the past decade or so seemed to incarnate in the form of a demon parade that looked at her within the temple with mocking looks.
The scene of Amanojaku stabbing a blade into her mother’s back seemed to reenact in front of her eyes once again.
“Just what in the world are you saying?! You liar… liar…”
“Haihime. That’s not right now, is it?” The obese and gigantic Kama-Oni chuckled ridiculously, “Lion Mist Demon has separated from us now, so whatever he does has nothing to do with Lord Amanojaku. The lord only promised the release of those humans and didn’t promise to look after them and protect them his whole life. Isn’t this demand of yours a bit too forceful?”
“Indeed, even a blockhead like Kama-Oni was able to understand this. It can’t be that you’re sillier than him now, are you, Haihime, and misunderstood the meaning behind our promise until now?” Amanojaku stated complacently.
“Fine… I understand. Since the Lion Mist Demon isn’t your subordinate any longer, it won’t count as a betrayal if I go kill him now, would it? I shall protect the villagers myself if you don’t intend to!” Haihime turned around to dash out of the temple.
But a large group of monsters blocked the door to obstruct Haihime.
“Where are you going now, Haihime? Have you forgotten that you’ve yet to fulfill the promise you made to me and offer the most precious first time of your beautiful, pure and healthy body to me? I have kept the promise on my end. Hahahahaha!” Amanojaku chuckled loudly while watching Haihime’s seductive back view.
Around the same time, a thousand meters underneath the temple, Lily still wore a calm expression like always and was seated in a seiza gracefully as she practiced inside the mirror s.p.a.ce.
“Soon. Quite soon… I’m going to perfect the 10th stage pretty soon.”2
- Robinxen: The Ninja used sneak. It was a critical success.
- Robinxen: It’s like a countdown to the apocalypse.