Lily arrived at the hallway full of joy and expectations, but after thinking about it again, it would be better if she restrained her excitement and maintained the bearing of a wise girl. She walked past the winding corridor with composure and arrived at the side of the main house.
In this courtyard, Lily had experienced her first morning in this other world. Although the sun was already out, the golden sunlight that fused with the morning mist formed a scenery that’s bright yet not brilliant.
Lily’s slender fingers were placed on the thick tree trunk that was slightly wet due to the morning dew. She stood in the footpath of the winding corridor as she looked over. There were indeed people practicing swords in the courtyard.
Matsuda Nagahide was still in that barbarous outfit that exposed half his shoulder as he instructed those four or five brats.
Lily also noticed that today, there were two more youngsters, who were sitting cross-legged at the side as they watched the practice. She guessed those might be Matsuda clan’s subordinates.
There were differences between subordinates and servants, one was loyal samurais, the other was just servants, whose position were lower than ordinary people.
Lily just stood at the corner as she watched in silence, looking at those young men swing, hack, pierce, and slash. She was paying particular attention to Matsuda as he was demonstrating.
All she heard was Matsuda reprimanding the young men as he saw how they swung the swords, “Bastards! The lot of you, put some energy into it! Just look at you all, dispirited and listless! Is this how an aspiring samurai should behave?”
The loud scolding echoed in the surrounding forest, making people who heard it grow apprehensive in their heart.
That fatty, Daidouji Taro, looked like he’s just about to retort.
Matsuda stopped him by saying, “I am not talking about you! Taro, your sword waves were actually quite powerful. I am talking about you lot. You people haven’t eaten anything for a few days now, is it? Such a weak and powerless sword wave, are you guys trying to waste my time?!” Matsuda pointed at the everyone but Taro as he scolded.
“Did you guys know how hard is it to become a samurai? With your current standard, it would be good enough if you can even become a foot soldier of the Hojo clan. Or maybe you won’t even pass the qualification test to become a foot soldier, then you’ll have to go back to farming! Only when a big war is taking place will you guys be enlisted into the army. That kind of inferior army could only serve as cannon fodder in the battlefield! Even if you survived, you will only receive a very moderate amount of payment!”
It was hard to imagine the normally calm Nagahide would be so severe when berating his apprentices. Lily was a little anxious. If by any chance, she really became his apprentice, would he also scold her like this? For starters, she was just a girl. If she got insulted like this, wouldn’t it be really humiliating?
That Nagahide continued to scold them, “My lordship the Hojo clan claimed to have twenty thousand military forces! But the truth is, there are only less than three thousand official foot soldiers! Soldiers need funds and provisions, if you want to recruit, you must be able to support them! Only real men can become Hojo clan’s official foot soldiers! The funds and provisions given to the official foot soldiers are several times higher compared to the peasant household. As for the samurai… hmph, even in the Hojo clan that can be considered one of the absolute rulers in the entire Kanto region, there are only one hundred of them! In my Matsuda clan, which can be considered a vassal house of the Hojo, there are only me, your uncle Masahide, Kimura, and Kanzaki.1 There are only four samurais! And these four samurais have to guard this territory! I originally hoped you guys can share this burden with me in the future, but now, it looks like even passing the samurai’s qualification test is a pipe dream! It is already a pretty good result if only one in a hundred can pass the test! The competition to become a samurai, how fierce is it! Do you guys really understand?”2
“If you do, go and practice as if your life depended on it!”
After listening to Nagahide’s nagging, Lily also started to feel worried. So, it is that hard to become a samurai?
And it seemed like the strength disparity between the samurais were also very huge. Samurais like Matsuda Nagahide should already be very strong, but that silver-haired samurai —who split the huge demon in half with a single sword swing— was even stronger!
The path of a samurai, just how difficult and ruthless it was!
However, to her who still didn’t have enough strength, it was not worth mentioning. In spite of that, the young girl had made up her mind to pursue this path without hesitation!
“I want to take senior sister home…”
Lily was barefooted, so she put on the wooden sandals that were already laid out on the ground a long time ago, then she firmly walked towards the front yard, which originally belonged only to the men of Matsuda clan.
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