Book 5: Chapter 72: Demon Ambush
Lily followed Yoruko to the desolate backyard. Yoruko was not a tall woman, but her Kimono revealed the charm of an adult woman.
“Lily, I have heard of your famous battles in the eastern land including your victory over Sakanoue no Tamurakonoe. Now that I think about it, your main advancement path is your swordsmans.h.i.+p. Today, I shall demonstrate a sword for you. Watch carefully, I shall only show it once, how much you can learn is up to you.”
Yoruko adjusted her breath, a soft breeze blew past, everything seemed natural and simple, but a terrifying power hid within the simplicity. A black scabbard appeared in Yoruko’s hand, the blade sheathed within, unadorned.
Her expression changed suddenly, from a charming young madam to a serious sword miko. Like a ritual, Yoruko drew her katana, the edge glinting cold, the s.h.i.+ne sending a chill through Lily’s heart.
“This…” Lily’s heartbeat quickened, “I’ve never seen such a plain yet breathtaking blade.”
“Lily, watch closely.” Yoruko turned toward the pond and waited quietly. Lily was confused, Yoruko’s momentum was incredible, a terrifying tranquillity, but what she was waiting for, she had no idea.
Suddenly, water ripples appeared in the pond, Yoruko’s eyes flashed and her body lowered into a stance, her s.e.xy rear curved gracefully, filled with feminine strength.
It was the path of purity!
The feminine application of charm, the path of purity, only a virgin could master it. It was hard to imagine that such a graceful mature woman was actually a virgin… Lily couldn’t help but feel a sense of pity, Madam Yoruko might be very lonely.
Instantly an immensely powerful sword aura converged within Yoruko’s blade, the pressure sending Lily’s skirt flapping. The pressure caused a huge red koi to jump high out of the pond.
Yoruko was like an undetectable a.s.sa.s.sin, a silent thunderbolt! A slash was flung out, but only a flash of cold light was visible.
The cold flash frightened Lily, if she got hit by this strike, there would be no hope for her. The flash had hints of solitary and holy intent, it easily sliced the giant koi in two. Through gravity, wind or some other reason, the falling koi sliced in two joined back together before dropping into the water.
The power of this slash was beyond terrifying. Lily could only admit defeat before it, only she was confused, why use such a terrifying slash to slaughter an innocent Koi?
Yoruko adjusted her breath and sheathed her sword, noticing Lily’s curious gaze, she nodded toward the lake, “Look.”
Lily’s gaze landed on the pond. “What??”
The koi that had been sliced in two, was now swimming freely within the pond with no wound or scar!
With Lily’s realm, it was impossible to have seen incorrectly. That koi had without a doubt, been sliced in two by the blade beam…but it was also swimming through the water now.
Lily could only admit defeat, “Madam Yoruko…this…really is an amazing technique.”
“Lily, this slash, is called——Rebirth. The mysteries of the interludes are endless. You are the only one who has seen my slash and still remains alive. When you go back, try your best to comprehend it.”
“Yes!” Lily bowed sincerely, the madam looked like a regular beauty, but she had such superb swordsmans.h.i.+p, Lily could only respect her capabilities.
“Then…madam Yoruko, can…can I ask for your teachings in the future?” Lily’s face flushed with excitement.
Yoruko’s smile lit up like the sun, “Of course.”
Yoruko really liked Lily, that slash was the pure essence of her swordsmans.h.i.+p. She took Lily by the hand and led her to the yard’s gate. She didn’t notice in the corner of the yard, behind the bushes, that old woman’s poisonous gaze1.
“Lily, you are burdened with the heavenly oracle. This trip, you must be absolutely careful.” Yoruko said, holding Lily’s hand.
“Madam, please don’t worry, the old man is here, there should be no problem.”
In this Heian-kyo, how many people would dare to openly attack Lady Ayaka’s trusted servants? And how many would be able to actually win over the old man.
For some reason, Yoruko’s eyes constantly showed reluctant sadness.
“Madam, I shall depart…stay well.”
Lily turned and departed through the gate.
Yoruko stepped forward and tugged on Lily’s arm, her hands trembling, “Lily.”
“Every sword miko has the same dream, the dream of creating the strongest sword in history…in this Heian-kyo, there’s a legend of a cursed blade. Its name is the Oborozuki, the most powerful cursed sword, both good and evil, a blood soaked spirit and quenched in moonlight. Only, no one has any idea where that cursed blade may be…”
Yoruko squeezed Lily’s hand, “One day, I hope you can forge the Oborozuki, and with it, slay the darkness of Heian’s future!”
“Madam…” Lily wanted to ask why she didn’t forge the blade herself, but looking at Yoruko’s sorrowful eyes, Lily didn’t ask and held Yoruko’s trembling hands.
“I understand, Lily thanks the madam for the teachings.”
Lily departed, only walking a few meters before turning and bowing deeply, then entered the ox cart.
Oborozuki… the legendary strongest cursed blade in the world, or perhaps it was only a legend. On the road, Lily could only think about Yoruko’s words.
“Both good and evil, a blood soaked spirit and quenched in moonlight.” Why did she feel that Oborozuki’s sword intent was just like her life, why was it so similar?
Either way, this was an issue far above her level, she didn’t know why Yoruko wanted to tell her this, but Oborozuki was just like the reflection of the moon, something you can only dream of.
Lily began to think of the technique Yoruko demonstrated. What sort of memory did Lily have? Just remembering was like being there again. Only, she could not understand the secrets of this slash.
This was not an aura technique, but an expression of pure swordsmans.h.i.+p!
Just like with Sakanoue no Tamurakonoe, though Lily had won, she had used her domain, relied on her aura abilities, and her instinctive critical reflexes. If they had fought with just swordsmans.h.i.+p, she would have lost badly. Her actual understanding of swordsmans.h.i.+p was still very shallow.
Lily felt that Yoruko’s sword had a few hints of heavenly intent. Just understanding this one blade would greatly improve her sword skills.
“Ah?” Lily felt a strong eldritch aura appear.
“Old man, how far away are we from the mansion?” Lily asked, opening the curtain.
The old man’s back was still as small as ever and the shadows in front loomed ominously.
“I’m afraid we won’t arrive at the mansion anytime soon.”
Lily’s heart fell, by her estimate, they should have almost arrived.
“This ox cart has entered a maze formation…2”
“Lady, don’t worry. Give me a moment and I shall be able to break this formation. Only, in a moment, no matter what happens, please don’t open the curtain again. Do not come out.” The elder warned.
“What!?” Lily was alarmed, she wasn’t an ordinary young lady. The ox cart had entered a maze formation, and they were surrounded by strong eldritch auras. They were naturally in danger, shouldn’t she fight?
“Lady, Lord chief advisor has instructed this old man to protect you as my master. I have agreed, thus I will safely send you back to the mansion. Only, do not look out or come out no matter what, leave everything to me, understand?” The old man’s voice deepened in determination.
“Yes… I understand.” Lily reluctantly responded.
But the old man’s strength was undeniable, since he had said, then she would obey. Lily let down the curtain and felt several glowing ancient runes appear on the interior walls of the cart and meld into the walls before disappearing.
Instantly, she could no longer feel the eldritch auras outside. Though she could still hear the whistling of the wind outside, the sound of wheels and hooves, and the bouncing of the cart over the road, she could no longer feel the eldritch aura or killing intent.
Lily placed a hand on her blade and prepared herself for battle. She attempted to deploy her domain, but discovered that the ox cart was under some magic spell that easily prevented her domain from pa.s.sing the cart walls. This must be a spell Lady Ayaka cast, then logically the outside could not detect her either.
It seems like Lady Ayaka had made preparations, but this was not absolutely good. Lily could not detect what was happening outside, she was completely isolated within the cart. She could only place her trust in the old man and the cart.
Though her aura senses were isolated in the cart, her other senses weren’t limited. She could hear the wind blowing and the howling of demon beasts. It sounded as if someone was calling her name, the voice so close as if it was coming from behind her seat.
“Kagami Lily——Kagami Lily——”
Lily couldn’t help but feel chills run down her back, her grip on Yasutsuna tightening.
“Bang——!!” Something hit the side of the cart, sending Lily cras.h.i.+ng into the wall.
“Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!4” Something was striking the cart constantly, the wind shrieked mournfully as the entire cart was violently jolted. Lily could only feel her vision getting blurry from the shockwaves.
- Silva: Gasp
- Robinxen: Oh, that thing. Very cla.s.sic.
- Robinxen: OOooooOOOOoohhOOOOOOOooo! Dundunddunnnnnn…
- Robinxen: Shot them down!