Book 4: Chapter 92: Four Gates
“If used by my brother, this move is enough to shatter mountains and overturn rivers with the flip of a hand. Unfortunately, I’m not as strong as my brother and this move will consume most of my spiritual energy1. Although I didn’t want to use it, your demonic arts leave me no choice!”
Pale flames flickered in Tamuramura’s eyes and warped his perception of the world in front of him. Instead, he was tranced by the scene of an ancient expeditionary army as they galloped across the plains.
The world reflected in his eyes— this was a profound insight in the domain!
Tamuramura’s entire body trembled and his firm muscles bulged as if he was exerting himself to the limits.
Four bronze-colored samurai apparitions emerged from Tamuramura’s back! Their hulking spirit forms overflowed with azure light and each held a large tachi in one hand.
The aura they exuded was no less than that of Tamuramura, and their figures, appearance, and demeanor were also quite similar if one disregarded their height, which stood around four meters tall.
“Yūryaku · Four Gates!”
Tamuramura’s voice quavered as he shouted, looking incredibly drained.
The four samurai spirits steadied their swords and rushed towards Lily in unison. They split into pairs and launched a pincer attack to restrict her area of movement.
“Cat demon, kill the main body!” Lily quickly retreated to avoid being surrounded by the four samurai spirits.
Heeding her call, the four-tailed cat demon rushed over with the ferocity of a fierce tiger. Its huge body zipped across the battlefield and pounced towards Tamuramura, claws extended.
Kiuchidera Tess.h.i.+n and several other spirit jade samurai immediately responded to the threat, however:
Whoos.h.!.+ Whoos.h.!.+ Whizz! Wanyūdō fired missiles of scarlet spiritual energy to intercept Kiuchidera’s attempts.
Meanwhile, Yuki-Onna condensed a slender sword in her hand and flew over to fight the remaining spirit jade samurai.
Lily took a single step back before shouting, “Now!”
She then jumped up.
Behind her, the giant carp smashed through Tamuramura’s ‘Ancient Realm · Tenpyo Houji’ domain with a resounding ‘bang’! Since Tamuramura directed all his power to fuel the four samurai spirits, he didn’t have enough energy to re-exert his domain.
The carp spirit floundered onto the sh.o.r.e despite the rough terrain and Lily fell on top of its head. Brandis.h.i.+ng their swords, the four imposing samurai spirits turned to attack the carp that s.h.i.+elded their target.
“Brocade Life Koi · Soul Possession!” Kagura suddenly unsheathed the exquisite tachi on her waist and a pink, crystal clear koi fish flew out from its blade. The small koi fish seemed slow, but it swam very quickly and merged into the giant carp’s body. Immediately after, the carp spirit emitted a s.h.i.+mmering light and turned red all over.
The now red carp opened its big mouth and spat out bubbles of spiritual energy. It kept shaking its body and swinging its tail which somehow receded the lake, forming turbulent waves which plunged towards the four samurai spirits and disrupted their movements.
After transforming into a red koi fish, the carp spirit was able to use water demonic arts, and due to its huge size, the output of power wasn’t weak at all!
Kagura’s Brocade-Patterned Koi was originally embedded with the will of a legendary koi fish. Although it wasn’t a complete koi soul, it felt rejuvenated after blending with the giant carp— like a fish in water.
Roiling waves flooded the sh.o.r.e and the carp frolicked in its familiar element. The carp shook its head and flipped its tail, once again rousing a terrifying wave that rumbled towards the samurai spirits.
“What a bluff! Kill that woman for me!”
The four samurai spirits were unexpectedly quick, jumping onto the carp’s back one after the other.
The one that hopped up first raised its long tachi and hacked it down at Lily.
Seeing that the other party was a pure spirit body, Lily guessed that soul attacks would prove useless. She stored away Crescent Moon and clashed with Yasutsuna instead.
Clang—!!! The power behind the enemy’s slash rivaled Tamuramura’s all-out attack. Lily was directly swatted away, shattering the already damaged screen of the domain behind her.
“How terrifying! I didn’t expect the strength of these four samurai spirits to be on par with Tamuramura.” Not only Lily, but those who witnessed her sudden meteoritic fall into the lake were shocked.
The onlookers on the island were able to see the battle again through the partially collapsed domain. Their jaws slackened when they saw the devastation within. Only a few warriors remained of the originally brave Maro Dojo samurai and countless corpses littered the battlefield.
Although Lily hit the water pretty hard, she was spared from any injury. The four samurai spirits rushed after her, followed by the carp that squirmed its way back into the lake. Swinging its huge tail, the carp swept a ma.s.sive wave that disrupted the unrelenting pursuit of the samurai spirits.
At the same time, the cat demon jumped over the warriors who were stalled by Yuki-Onna and Wanyūdō, pouncing straight for Tamuramura.
Tamuramura barely managed to draw his sword to resist. He was scratched and beaten back several tens of meters by the cat demon’s flurry of claw swipes, leaving splatters of blood along the way.
“The weakness of these four gates is the main body. After using this strenuous technique, the power of the caster is significantly reduced!” Lily surfaced from the water and sharpened her focus.
The carp spirit dove into the depths of the lake according to Lily’s will before shooting upward. It gathered momentum and whipped its tail towards Lily, serving as a spring that flung her into the distance. Like a deadly arrow, she arched through the air and fell towards Tamuramura.
“Not good!” Tamuramura showed some panic. His current strength was not enough to fend off Lily’s strange katana, which would surely spell his doom if he got struck. If it was a one-on-one fight, the four samurai spirits channeled through the four gates were enough to deal with her. However, the aid Lily received from her s.h.i.+kigami and summoned demons dictated the battle in her favor, for the most part.
The four samurai spirits turned to chase Lily who flew over their heads, but because they were surrounded by water, they were constantly hara.s.sed by the carp spirit. Although the carp’s efforts weren’t enough to completely stop them, their progress was slowed by quite a bit!
Crescent Moon appeared in Lily’s hand as she heavily descended towards Tamuramura. Even if he parried her strike, his soul would get seriously injured in the process. From then on, his acc.u.mulated wounds would further burden his ability to resist Lily’s follow-up attacks!
“Impossible, I am Sakanoue no Tamuramura!” The man’s eyes brimmed with defiance.
Whizz! Suddenly, silver threads spun over from the pine forest and entangled Lily’s feet, tugging her straight into the ground.
“Hahaha! The heavens are looking after me!” Tamuramura laughed joyfully.
Not too far away, Ui rushed out from the pine forest while plying the silver threads with both hands. She shouted a resentful cry mixed with bitter sadness, “Die, Mirror Girl! I will avenge Big Brother Tamurakonoe!
At this exact moment, the four daunting samurai spirits broke through the carp’s obstruction and rushed ash.o.r.e, leaping towards Lily who was only a few meters away.
Sensing her current predicament, Lily immediately released her spiritual energy to annihilate the silver threads snarling her legs
“What?!” Lily was shocked. These silver threads weren’t the regular ones like before— they were firm, seventh-grade threads empowered with spiritual energy! The thin yet tough threads squeezed deeply into her thighs and she couldn’t forcefully break free.
“Hahahahaha, Kagami Lily, how dare you kill my Big Brother! He was the only brother in the world who treated me well! Die and go to h.e.l.l!” Although it didn’t seem necessary, the enraged Ui rushed to slay Lily with her own hands.
The cat demon wanted to help Lily, but was hindered by several spirit jade warriors who barred its path, some even desperately hugging its tails. No matter how the cat demon thrashed its tails into the ground, they didn’t let go, even if it meant they would die. As long as they held on, they could buy enough time.
“Kagami Lily, this is the end for you!” Sakanoue no Tamuramura plastered a sinister grin.
The four ancient samurai spirits jumped above Lily, each flowing with power far greater than hers. Maybe she could somehow handle two of them, but handling all four while her legs were bound was simply impossible. Her s.h.i.+kigamis were also too far away and wouldn’t be able to help her in time; it was too late!
“Kagami Lily, you killed Big Brother Tamurakonoe! I want you to pay with your life!” Ui took Tamurakonoe’s long tachi and chopped it towards Lily, “Hahahahahahahaha! I want you to die, die, die!”
Tamuramura eyed Lily with cold eyes and remained behind. After all, Lily’s movements were restricted and the four gates were enough to finish her if Ui failed. His current strength was also limited and there was no need to take any risks.
The old man had experienced numerous battles and was extremely calm at this time. He was just as eager as Ui to avenge Tamurakonoe, but he long learned how to restrain his heated emotions.
“Master!” Kagura spun her sakura parasol.
Bam! A seriously-wounded samurai of the Maro Dojo suddenly slashed at Kagura’s parasol and knocked it to the ground, disrupting her actions.
Yuki-Onna was also kept in check by Kiuchidera, and Wanyūdō had rolled too far away that it was unlikely to return in time. What’s more, neither one of them was capable enough to stop the four gate samurai even if they tried.
“This is bad!” Kazama Mayuzumi who was watching the battle from afar was alarmed, “That sister is going to die!”
He was too late to save her even if he wanted to.
“No way! Is this the end of Eastern land’s female samurai?” The miko samurai revealed hints of worry and Kyori subconsciously covered her eyes, daring not to look.
Four samurai with strength comparable to the peak Permanence Stage fell from above to execute Lily at the same time.
Lily didn’t have time to sever the threads that wrapped her legs with Yasutsuna. It was clear to her that she couldn’t resist the four samurai spirits with only two swords, and once the battle undergarment’s defense was broken, she would die.
Despite all of this, Lily didn’t feel any fear or panic, nor did she fall into the depths of despair due to imminent death. The burdens she carried and her reasons for living also didn’t cross her mind.
Looking ahead, she saw Ui rus.h.i.+ng over, her tearful eyes glinting with hatred and endless sorrow. The girl’s pet.i.te body partially obstructed Lily’s view of Tamuramura who stood behind in the distance.
“Kagami Lily, go to h.e.l.l! You deserve death for killing Big Brother Tamurakonoe!!!” Ui clutched Tamurakonoe’s sword, her face distorted in madness!
For some reason, Lily could not hate the girl, though she plotted against her multiple times and nearly cost her life2.
“I’m sorry Ui; I must live!”
Lily threw Yasutsuna towards Ui’s head with great speed. Because her legs were entangled, the power behind her throw wasn’t very strong. Moreover, Yasutsuna wasn’t a weapon conducive to such an unorthodox method of attack.
“Die struggling! I’ll cut you to death you Eastern b̲i̲t̲c̲h̲! Hahahahahaha!” Ui’s reaction was remarkably fast, slightly lowering her head while running. Yasutsuna consequently flew over her head, spinning straight for Tamuramura behind her.
Tamuramura was surprised. Ui’s figure had blocked his line of sight, and when he finally reacted to the approaching threat, it was already in front of him.
Though caught off guard, Tamuramura was a master swordsman in the end. He strained the residual strength in his body and tried his best to deflect Lily’s spinning katana.
Clang! Yasutsuna was about to stab Tamuramura’s upper chest but was blocked by his sword with great effort. He shuddered a little, “This woman’s final struggle is frightening. It’s a pity such a genius will also fall before the feet of this old man.”
The four samurai loomed over Lily, and her hands were empty. She no longer had any power to resist, nor did she try. Each of the four swords slas.h.i.+ng towards her slender waist embodied Tamuramura’s full strength.
“You’re dead, Kagami Lily. Hahahaha! After you die, all your treasures will belong to this old man.” Tamuramura revealed a greedy smile.
The four samurai spirits dissipated into specs of spiritual energy.
“What??!” Why did the four gate samurai disappear just as they were about to chop Lily into pieces? Tamuramura continued to gawk, “This is impossible!!!”
He gradually felt a bitter chill in his chest that seeped into the depths of his soul.
Tamuramura lowered his head and found that a katana glowing with blue-purple light was deeply inserted into his left chest, right into his heart.
“What’s going on…?” In the direct line of path between Tamuramura and Lily, Ui stood frozen with a dumbfounded expression. There was a hole in her chest through which the sword pierced.
Behind her, Crescent Moon was stuck into the heart of Sakanoue no Tamuramura, whose soul had perished without a trace. His eyes rolled back and his body leaned to one side, falling to the ground with a ‘thud’.
“So cold…” Ui stiffly raised her head to look at Lily, seemingly recalling the time she spent together with her in the cave, by the warm bonfire3. Her eyes soon dimmed.
“Little Ui…” Lily closed her eyes.
- LazyButAmbitious: A typical case of ‘Villain Talk Too Much Syndrome’. Now she knows that you’ll be weak after using it.
- LazyButAmbitious: which is the case yet again.
- Robinxen: Was I supposed to feel sad?