Book 4: Chapter 39: A Crimson Flower in the Darkness
A blue spirit power the color of Omi’s waters emanated out of Asano Hiroi. As someone who had been born near the lakesh.o.r.e of Lake Biwa, his spirit aura contained a water and earth intent.
The fact that he had been able to combine his sword arts with nature proved that he had quite the high attainments.
Asano leaped forward suddenly with his hand on his broadsword, ready to let it out at any moment!
Asano focused completely on his blade draw. As monsters rarely possessed good weapons, he believed that the pole in Kyūbōzu’s hands was just a piece of high-grade wood and that it was no match for his grade 6 katana!
On the other side, Kyūbōzu just brandished the dark-purple wooden pole in hands towards Asano who had attacked him head-on.
Asano studied the locus of the pole and focused all his attention at its center instead of dodging it.
“Watch how I cut that pole with my blade!”
A vista of nature flashed through Asano’s eyes as an intense blue-green light shot out from the s.p.a.ce between his blade and hilt.
The whole area tremored.
Kyūbōzu’s wooden pole shot forward like a launched cannon sh.e.l.l!
Asano’s blade shattered and the pole deformed his body the moment it struck him!
Asano’s bones and organs shattered simultaneously and the spirit jade in his chest also shattered in the next moment!
Asano’s deformed and lifeless body shot back and cratered onto the cavern’s wall, blowing up a cloud of dust in the process while losing all semblance of a human shape.
The samurai turned silent at the fact that the best Omi swordsman of this era, an early-stage Spirit Jade powerhouse who was seen on the same level as the Furinkazan by the ordinary samurai, had perished like a weakling under a single strike from Kyūbōzu.
The Omi samurai, as well as the ones from other regions, didn’t dare to move for a while.
“Master,” Kagura called out to Lily, “That Kyūbōzu’s pole is quite extraordinary. It’s made from the best grade 9 darkwood, which is a type of ebony that forms naturally by undergoing the process of sedimentation and weathering at the bottom of a lake for millions of years and absorbing the lake’s essence. It’s much harder than the wood from the Azure Dragon Tree and can even be made into a weapon directly.”
Lily felt like sighing. Although the early-stage Spirit Jade level powerhouse was much weaker than the middle-stage Permanence level Kyūbōzu, he wasn’t that much of a fool to throw his life away despite knowing the gap between his and Kyūbōzu’s strength. He had misjudged the advantage he possessed, and it actually became his weakness because Kyūbōzu’s grade 9 darkwood was a lot stronger than his grade 6 katana!
Omi wasn’t that blessed with bladesmiths, so he just wielded a grade 6 katana that he had bought from somewhere despite attaining the Spirit Jade level.
There was a huge gap between them in terms of strength and a greater gap in terms of weapons. The praise he received as an unparalleled powerhouse from the Omi samurai had inflated his ego and caused him to make the wrong judgment by taking it for granted, leading to an utter defeat that ended with his death.
Lily reminded herself to always remain humble despite possessing strength and treasures above the par.
The water streams had almost dried up by now, but Lily noticed that the Kansai trio were still biding their time.
The water giants on the altar looked like 1 m tall youths now.
Lily had a hunch that the strength of the water giants didn’t pose a threat to Kyūbōzu any longer.
The spectating samurai were still traumatized by Asano’s death and none of them dared to step forward when they saw the bloodstained darkwood pole in Kyūbōzu’s hand as there was no sense in trying to obtain a treasure if their life was the price for it. The strongest samurai of Omi had met his death with just a single pole strike, so all they could do was just stand back and watch as the water streams turned smaller and look at Kyūbōzu as he took the treasure.
Kyūbōzu also judged that the water giants didn’t pose a threat to him any longer, so he turned back to take the treasure chest instead of waiting for them to disappear.
“This doesn’t look good!” Lily turned anxious as Kyūbōzu would undoubtedly escape via the Water-Escape Art if the treasure fell into his hands.
“Protect Mizue well, Sister s.h.i.+mizu, and prepare to aid me at any time.” “Huh?”
The samurai just watched Kyūbōzu turn around anxiously without raising a single complaint or daring to act.
However, a red shadow flitted through the dark hole at this moment.
Lily’s sleeves fluttered in the air as she landed on the iron chain. The gusts from below caused her hair and red sleeves to rise up but she was unaffected by this.
Lily glided across the chain by taking large strides with her long legs and dashed towards the ma.s.sive Kyūbōzu without the slightest hesitation.
“What?!” The samurai looked at the pretty, frail-looking, red-dressed samurai woman who had appeared suddenly with astonishment.
Tamurakonoe hadn’t taken notice of Lily until now as he wasn’t someone who indulged in the pleasures of the flesh, but even he revealed astonishment in his eyes at this moment.
“A woman?” Kyūbōzu was also taken aback by Lily’s appearance.
Kyūbōzu saw how frail Lily looked and couldn’t make sense of what she intended to do, so he continued to turn around without minding her much.
Lily’s movements were quite swift as she stepped on a samurai hugging the chain and leaped forward while switching the blade in her hand with the 120 cm Evil Slayer Yasutsuna!
A crimson mist flooded the hole along with the manifestation of endless sakura and Lily’s speed accelerated by several degrees.
Lily arrived in front of Kyūbōzu in the blink of an eye. She was so fast that he had yet to even raise his pole up.
“Hmph! You think a weak woman like you can harm me?” Kyūbōzu disdained her because he was confident in the toughness of his body.
A surge of spirit power pulsed out from Lily’s spirit jade as she drew out a crimson arc through Yasutsuna.
The blade strike shrouded the world in darkness and a luminescent crimson sword beam manifested in this darkness following a white flash and the beautiful, deadly and sharp glow slashed at Kyūbōzu’s chest!
Kyūbōzu’s glowing eyes turned as wide as saucers because of this.
Yasutsuna sliced through Kyūbōzu’s tough defense like a hot knife through b.u.t.ter and left a 12-inch deep wound on his chest, causing green blood to jet out of him!
“Argh!” Kyūbōzu’s fort-like body staggered back while he clutched the wound on his chest.
“What?!” Tamurakonoe was also stunned. He was already impressed by the fact that the red-dressed woman had dashed forward, but he never expected her blade strikes to possess such destructive power. The blade she wielded exuded an evil slaying light, yet it also exuded a seductive aura at the same time, just like the G.o.ddess of War’s otherworldly judgment that was good yet also evil in nature!
The samurai, onmyōji and the monks were all left dumbstruck momentarily.
“A domain… It’s a domain… This pretty samurai woman has actually mastered a domain!” The spectators cried out.
Lily held the advantage right now and she had no intention of losing it, so she landed on one foot and jumped again. A swift pole strike arrived from the wounded Kyūbōzu at this moment, but Lily changed the direction she jumped so slightly by using her domain to dodge the strike and flipped over in the air by stepping on the pole before slas.h.i.+ng down!
“Splas.h.!.+” Yasutsuna left a deep slash on Kyūbōzu’s shoulder.
The evil slaying power brought unbearable pain to Kyūbōzu and made him howl at her, “W-Who are you?! How dare you ambush me like this, you d.a.m.n b̲i̲t̲c̲h̲?!”
Kyūbōzu’s darkwood pole shot out towards Lily once again, but Lily opened the Sakura Parasol to slow her descent momentarily and caused him to miss again.
Lily then launched the Sakura Parasol towards Kyūbōzu, and the blow actually caused his ma.s.sive head to spin for a short while. Lily seized this chance to move about nimbly like a phantom and cleaved through Kyūbōzu’s tough body with crimson sword beams, causing Kyūbōzu’s vitality to fall continuously as his blood and flesh flew around.
Kyūbōzu brandished his darkwood pole crazily, but Lily dodged all his strikes by using movements similar to the celestial maiden’s dance.
“What?! This evasion skill…” Kiuchidera Tess.h.i.+n, who was spectating the battle, was also astonished. The power behind Lily’s blade strikes had long left him speechless, but he was much more stunned by her evasion skill, “How can a beautiful yet ingenious evasion skill like this exist in this world?”
Lily’s motto was to kill her enemies in case she made a move against them!
All her decisive blade strikes aimed at regions that would either kill or cripple her enemy!
Kyūbōzu was left at Lily’s mercy for a moment and bled out from the wounds she inflicted on him.
Yajiro, the blonde dandy, looked at the woman who he had attempted to hit on and boasted in front of with his mouth slack-jawed in astonishment.
The samurai were also utterly dumbfounded by the fact that a frail-looking girl like Lily was inflicting severe injuries on the Kyūbōzu repeatedly with swift yet vicious blade strikes.
It even made them wonder if she was facing the same archdemon who had killed a Spirit Jade powerhouse with a single pole strike.
“W-Who is this woman?”
“I know her! S-She’s the G.o.ddess of the East, Kagami Lily!” A somewhat timid and pudgy samurai yelled out while pointing at Lily, “She’s also known as Lady Lyn-hime and is rumored to be the dream lover of all unmarried samurai in the East! Although it’s my first time seeing her in person, I’ve bought a lot of her portraits from Suruga’s merchants! Blade Slayer of 13, Rain Plunderer of Tamahagane, Sakura Slayer of Dijon, Mountain and Fire Vanquisher, Ultimate Slayer of Amanojaku! I almost squandered all the taxes I collected from my land to collect the paintings of her legends!”
“The long hair, the long sword, the exceptional looks, the red dress, the pretty legs, the bountiful bosom, the slender waist… as well as this incredible and deadly power. There’s no doubt about it! She’s the G.o.ddess I’ve always dreamt about! She’s Kagami Lily! Oh, Miss Kagami!” The pudgy samurai’s expression turned reverent as he spoke of her, and he kneeled on the wooden ring by the end of it.
“What?!” The samurai sighed after hearing this. Although they hadn’t seen Lily until now, a lot of them had actually heard of her legends.
“It was rumored that the mirror girl was journeying west, but I never thought she would really come to Omi!” “It’s all over. This woman is going to write another legend of hers in Omi as well.”
The powerhouse trio from the West, Tamurakonoe, Tess.h.i.+n and Ui, were also left dumbstruck.
They were wondering whether to prioritize gaining the treasure or blocking the mirror girl, but they never expected the woman to actually show up and battle against Kyūbōzu in front of all the samurai’s eyes.
Tamurakonoe’s expression turned solemn after watching Lily battle, “I heard that she was a legendary woman, but I wasn’t expecting her to be stronger than the rumors! However, she still isn’t my match… Hmph!”
- Footnote content.