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Chapter: 620


Although Lily didn’t exchange her plates even once, it was possible to directly win her opponents’ silver and gold plates in the later parts of the competition, which was why she appeared on the ranking list inadvertently.

On this day, the twelfth day of the preliminary round, the rare sunlight was bright. Lily was walking in the streets of Heian-kyō with a parasol. She planned to go to a ring called Okada Pavilion to take a look. The reason she was using an umbrella in the sun was, of course, to prevent tanning. Although Lily wasn’t afraid of tanning with her current strength, too much sun exposure wasn’t conducive to her seductive intent body training that she was doing every day.

Lily soon arrived at Okada Pavilion, which was a ring built inside a large wooden shed with small flags of various colors on all sides.

Lily came early today and saw a man who only had the strength of a middle-stage sword master. He was the first to go on the ring and it seemed that he wanted to try his luck.

As soon as this person went up, a samurai made a challenge and the two fought a seemingly dull battle. A few minutes later, the samurai was hit with a shallow slash on his arm and admitted defeat.

After watching the process, Lily roughly guessed that the two must have made a prior agreement to cheat the bronze plates and sell them for money.

In that case, such people should be in a group of four. Three people would go up and lose so they could earn 150 kan.

However, this trick was not simple. Just after the first match ended, a tall warrior with some vicissitudes stepped forward to challenge. This person’s strength was also that of a middle-stage sword master, so that group of people did not fight for the right to challenge.

Lily felt that this person seemed to be somewhat familiar.

"Hojo Ujizane?"

His tattered clothes, unshaven beard, and disheveled vagrant appearance made Lily almost unable to recognise him. He turned out to be the Hojo Ujizane who helped her when she first arrived in Kamakura!

Lily silently cheered for Ujizane in her heart.

His true strength was similar to the opponent’s, but most Eastern samurai had experienced the vicissitudes of life and death, which gave them a tempered fortitude and sharp sword intent. After a few rounds of fighting, he managed to knock down his opponent.

"Odawara Yunobo wins!" The judge shouted. This was the pseudonym that the Hojo Clan gave to him. In any case, the Hojo Clan had already perished.

Lily was really happy but also a little worried. It seemed that he was only participating in the competition for the first time today, but he must win three consecutive matches in the ring before he could come down.

"I’ll challenge you!" One of the members of the group was anxious. If Ujizane really won, wouldn’t they have been injured for nothing?

However, although Ujizane was only a middle-stage sword master, he was very brave in battle and wasn’t afraid of death, and he actually managed to win two matches in a row!

There were only four people in that group. Now they had lost and were also injured for nothing. They were really angry, but Lily was secretly applauding. Who told you people to violate the way of the samurai and fake a match to cheat money? For such despicable samurai who only knew how to fight and bully the weak, how could they win when matched with a real samurai?

In one more match, Ujizane would be able to exit the ring with three bronze plates, which could be considered great luck for someone of his strength.

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However, at this time, a group of people walked into the pavilion. To be precise, they squeezed through the door one by one because this group of people was extremely tall and fat. They were all sumo wrestlers wearing loose-fitting yukatas. The leader of the group was especially tall, measuring more than three meters in height, like a mountain of flesh that exuded a tyrannical aura!

"Peak Permanence Stage expert!" Lily was shocked. The power disparity in this preliminary round was too unfair. Unexpectedly, a peak Permanence Stage powerhouse and a sword master were going to compete on the same stage.

If this person initiated a battle and attacked Ujizane with the intention to kill, he would die without a doubt.

The group of giant sumo wrestlers arrived and the others moved aside in awe.

A pale, small-eyed sumo wrestler said to the giant man in the middle, "Brother Yokota, we seem to be early today. Is this idiot on the stage out of his mind? A sword master came to die?"

The giant sumo wrestler looked incredibly majestic, with dark skin and a fleshy face, and his face was very tough and rugged compared to the other pale sumo wrestlers.

Yokota? Could he be Yokota Daizo who is ranked high on the list? Considering his strength, I shouldn’t be wrong.

Lily looked at this person and thought that a strong and dignified person like him, who was a peak Permanence Stage powerhouse, wouldn’t deign to deal with a sword master, right?

However—

"I, Yokota Daizo, will challenge you!"

"What?" Lily was shocked. This person had already earned a lot of plates, yet he wanted to challenge Hojo Ujizane for a few bronze plates?!

The huge sumo wrestler entered the ring. Hojo Ujizane was a young middle-aged vagrant with a face of vicissitudes, and with his strength, he actually managed to reach Heian-kyō. It was uncertain what he experienced on his journey, but this must be the greatest difficulty he had ever encountered.

Lily couldn’t be bothered to think about all that. She pushed through the crowd to get close to the ring and shouted, "Mister Ujizane!"

When Hojo Ujizane took a look, his eyes suddenly froze. Among the crowd, the woman who had appeared in his heart countless times during his journey was actually under the stage.

"Miss Kagami?!" Ujizane’s eyes trembled.

"Mister Ujizane, listen to me, your opponent is no ordinary person. Don’t fight with him and please admit defeat immediately!" Lily said anxiously.

Ujizane looked at Lily’s sincere and worried eyes and naturally understood that she was really worried about him. He looked at the giant sumo wrestler on the opposite side of the ring. Although he was unable to perceive the opponent’s strength, just by virtue of his vagrant’s intuition, he could feel that the other party was powerful beyond imagination!

However… Ujizane only gave Lily a manly smile.

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"Mister Ujizane?"

Hojo Ujizane actually drew his sword and faced that giant mountain.

"Mister Ujizane! Don’t you understand what I mean? That opponent… Heian-kyō is an incomparably different place. That opponent is not on the same level as Mister Ujizane! You will die! It is certainly respectable to fight with your life on the line, but for this opponent, no matter how hard you try, there is no hope of winning! Mister Ujizane…"

"Miss Kagami, it is enough to be able to see you here again. To tell you the truth, if I was here alone, I might have chosen to surrender and run away, but in front of you, I will never bow to anyone! For men, there are times when they have to fight even when they know they will lose!" Hojo Ujizane’s worn out face showed an incomparably resolute gaze.

It was a kind of gaze that was only seen at the most splendid and impassioned moment of a samurai’s life before death!

"Mister Ujizane…" Lily suddenly realized that this man valued the dignity in front of him more than his life1.

To live, one had to hold fast to their way of the samurai.

Lily trembled all over and suddenly felt that, although she was much stronger than him, she couldn’t force him to make a decision because of this.

Hojo Ujizane was a true man and he had the right to decide his own life and death.

"Odawara Yunobu versus Yokota Daizo, match— begin!"

"Ha!!!" Hojo Ujizane’s eyes were full of vigor, and although he was not strong enough, his body exploded with a strong fighting spirit that was enough to shock the souls of everyone present!

He would be the first to take down that huge insurmountable mountain!

There was a secluded medical hall near the gate of the Bureau of Divination. Usually, only ministers and warriors with status could come here for medical treatment.

"Then, Eight Hundred Bhikkhuni, please." Lily bowed to the elegant and gentle woman with dotted ink eyebrows.

"Don’t worry. Although he is seriously injured and may be disabled, fortunately, Miss Kagami arrived in time. Since he managed to reach me, he should be able to survive." Eight Hundred Bhikkhuni said.

Lily and Eight Hundred Bhikkhuni met during the sword mikos’ attack on the night market. She was with Seimei at that time, but the exact relationship between the two was unclear to Lily.

A few attendants carried in Hojo Ujizane, who was unconscious and covered in wounds, but still had a strong expression.

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Even if they were considered friends, the cost of requesting the Eight Hundred Bhikkhuni’s healing and treatment was still considerable. But of course, this price was nothing to Lily.

What made a samurai awe-inspiring was not what he gained, but what he dared to give up.

Lily settled Hojo Ujizane’s matter and went to Mizue’s place at the lodging house near the west market.

Mizue was living with Kasuga and Keiko in a rented house here at this time. Keiko was taken to the chief advisor’s manor last time and was rescued by the miko under Ayaka’s command. She had come to her senses and apologized to Kasuga, who had chosen to forgive her.

After confirming that everything was in order, Lily went to see Kimoko again. By the way, she went to study the Himemiya Sen-no-hana Painting. On this day, Lily traveled back and forth between different places, fighting in the ring to collect plates, practicing, and training the body.

The preliminary round of the Yohsitsune Memorial Tournanment had been going on for more than 20 days now.

Ujizane had also woken up and Lily went to see him once, but if he wanted to get up, it would unfortunately take a few months.

Ten days later, there was no big change in the ranking list. Basically, except for the last few, the people who could get into the semi-finals could already be determined.

—1st place: Miss Nanashi

86 gold, 2 silver, and 5 bronze.

—2nd place: Yokota Daizo

45 gold and and 1 silver

—3rd place: Honda Yahatarou

42 gold, 2 silver, and 1 bronze.

—4th place: Minamoto no Hiromasa

35 gold and 1 copper

Honda was placed third, and even if he didn’t come out to have a few matches later, he would definitely be able to enter the semi-finals. Lily was also happy that Taira no Hachiro made a surprising comeback and returned to the top sixteen these past few days.

The first place, Miss Nanashi, whose identity was unknown, was far ahead. A person with such strength should have long gotten a direct entry into the semi-finals. It was uncertain where this hidden expert was.

At this time, in the main dojo of the Genji Clan, several powerful clansmen from the Genji Clan and a group of warriors who ranked high in the preliminary round gathered here. However, although Honda Yahatarou belonged to the Genji Clan, he was considered a side character and wasn’t here.

The Right Imperial Guards’ Commander, Minamoto no Yoshitada, and Minamoto no Hiromasa were present.

Minamoto no Yoshitada sat in the middle and said to all the samurai, "Hiromasa has achieved outstanding results this time. There are five days left until the end of the preliminary round and he will definitely be able to enter the semi-finals. Congratulations!"

"No, I was just lucky." Hiromasa said humbly.

"It’s just that…" Minamoto no Yoshitada frowned, " So far, there are only four people from our Genji Clan remaining in the top sixteen. This performance is worse than the previous years, and the Lord Shogun is also dissatisfied."

"Lord Shogun…" The group of samurai couldn’t help but tremble when they heard this.

"According to the information, we still have six people between the ranks of seventeen to thirty who have a good chance of reaching the top sixteen. Starting today, we will target our rivals who are ranked in the top sixteen and find opportunities to take advantage of them!" Yoshitada said.

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"That Taira no Hachira has mediocre strength. As long as he dares to appear, we will definitely knock him down!" A young Genji samurai with thick eyebrows and big eyes said.

"And that Lynne. She doesn’t have a lot of gold plates, but she has a surprising number of bronze plates. In the rumors, they call her the Bronze Plate Witch. I think it’s probably because she is not strong enough and is afraid that she will attract strong opponents if she exchanges into gold plates and make her ranking too high. Is she thinking of suddenly exchanging on the last day and guaranteeing her advancement2?" A slim Genji samurai said.

"Hmph, dream on!" A resolute middle-aged Genji with a mustache shaped like the character ‘八’ said, "Her plan was foiled because she was forced to win many gold plates, and now her eye-catching number of bronze plates has drawn more attention to her and made her the target of everyone’s ambush. How stupid!"

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