Dragon of Echigo Uesugi Kenshin.
The Ghost Kingdom’s number one great general. No one knew where she came from, but she became a force to be reckoned with by using a “Tennyo Saber,” consecutively defeating Oda Nobunaga, Minamoto no Yoshitsune and other major lords. Since then, her reputation was illustrious, earning the allegiance of the island in one stroke. Because her history was mysterious, this new talent was nicknamed by the people, “Dragon of Echigo.”
The Dragon of Echigo Uesugi Kenshin proclaimed herself the assistant to the Empress, and because of the Empress’ decree, she established the bakufu. Worthy of mention was that this Empress of the bakufu had never been seen by the people even now. Thus, many people believed that the so-called Empress was a puppet that Uesugi Kenshin raised, or perhaps even a complete fabrication. She would do this only in order to obtain the strongest army of the Ghost Kingdom’s number one great general.
In the last few years, the Tokugawa Clan’s clan head Tokugawa Ieyasu had quickly explanded his influence. Among the Ghost Martial Cultivators, there was the title of Tokugawa Four Heavenly Kings, and there was even the support of the genius ghost hermit Hattori Hanzo. Just like that, he had the strength to contend against the bakufu.
But even so, the entirety of the Tokugawa Clan north of Kyoto was shaken by the unmatched icy aura of Uesugu Kenshin. No one knew why, but over the last few years, the Tokugawa Clan frequently moved. Already, they were beginning to apply pressure towards the bakufu. Rumor said that the Tokugawa Clan had obtained an existence that could rival the Dragon of Echigo.
The people called this legendary figure the mortal enemy of the Dragon of Echigo – the “Tiger of Kai!”
In the flickering candle flame, Su Xing sat in front of the table. On it was current information that he received from Zhu Manxiang regarding the bakufu.
This seemed quite interesting.
“Lord Husband, could it be you have taken an interest in that Dragon of Echigo?” A flowery fragrance assailed his nostrils. Wu Siyou who had just finished a bath was draped in a black and white palace robe. She was just like a black snow lotus of the heavenly mountains, alluring and enchanting yet also awe-inspiring.
Of course, a certain someone would never be awestruck.
Su Xing pulled Wu Siyou to his side and sat down. “To be able to make Zhu Manxiang say that, Siyou, what do you think?”
“To have come from Star World, Your Servant is definitely intrigued.” Wu Siyou conceded that she had thought of exchanging blows with the Ghost Kingdom’s number one great general. If it was before, she would not hesitate to do this, but ever since she signed a contract with Su Xing, her desire for battle had greatly dampened.
“We’re thinking the same thing.”
Wu Siyou wrinkled her brow. This was entirely different from what she was thinking. From her perspective, regardless if that Uesugi Kenshin was from Star World or not, antagonizing the number one great general of the Ghost Kingdom for no reason was not a wise thing to do.
“If she truly is of Star World, then she’s definitely very strong. Rashness will instead lead to us falling into trouble.” Su Xing interrupted her preoccupation. “Know oneself and know the enemy, emerge unscathed from a hundred battles.”
“As long as Lord Husband understands.”
“But to return from the Ghost Kingdom empty-handed is a bit pitiful.” Su Xing chuckled.
Wu Siyou pursed her lips and disdainfully said: “Because Uesugi Kenshin is a beauty? Does Lord Husband want to bring her back?”
“Wifey, a bit of what you said is right. It is precisely because she is a beauty who does not lose out to you, so let’s play the villain then…” Su Xing narrowed his eyes, his expression full of danger that instead made Wu Siyou feel that Uesgui Kenshin’s luck was about to sour.
In the faint moonlight, silhouettes flitted about.
A tall man knelt upon the ground and raised his head, staring in awe at the woman high above him. The dim moonlight illuminated the contours of his steely face, from the initial unyielding stiffness to the deathly pale softness, “To die at your hand, I have no regrets!” He said. The light vanished from his eyes. Finally, the man’s head sunk down, and his eyes did not open ever again.
Fire illuminated the surroundings. Countless soldiers and ghost martial cultivators rushed and flocked over. When they saw the dead man who was seemingly kneeling in fealty, each and every one of them became ashen, endlessly astonished. The man in front of them was none other than one of the Tokugawa Clan’s Four Heavenly Kings, Ii Naomasa the Red Devil!!
Everyone raised their tachi swords, wanting to take revenge, but when they raised their heads to look, that beautiful figure had already vanished, leaving only a graceful glimpse of long hair pouring like a waterfall. However, all of the ghost martial cultivators were even more shocked.
Tokugawa Clan, headquarters.
Tokugawa Ieyasu and his assistant general both had grave expressions.
“Milord, we cannot wait any longer.” The one speaking was also a Four Heavenly King, Sakakibara Yasumasa.
“Uesugi Kenshin has already used such despicable methods, could it be Milord wants to see her kill us all?” Another slim man gloomily spoke. In his eyes was an ominous glint. He was the Tokugawa Four Heavenly King Honda Tadakatsu.
“Overthrow this bakufu, and Milord will establish the Heian Period!!!”1
“The Ghost Kingdom’s martial cultivators do not need a woman standing atop our heads!”
“Kill her!! Avenge him!”
Everyone clamored about.
Tokugawa Ieyasu was instead calm, “Hanzo, what do you think?”
A monstrous figure emerged from the darkness, making many of the officers burst into a cold sweat. They surprisingly were completely unable to perceive his presence at all. The man who stepped out of the darkness was none other than the Ghost Kingdom’s currently unmatched ghost hermit, Hattori Hanzo!!
“Subordinate believes that what everyone is saying is correct. The bakufu is already gradually chipping us away.” Hattori Hanzo respectfully said.
Ever since the Tokugawa Clan’s first Heavenly King Ii Naomasa was assassinated, the same day, an important officer of the Tokugawa Clan was also murdered afterwards. All the soldiers and ghost martial cultivators who witnessed this were not even able to keep up with the enemy’s shadow, and the last impression she gave them in the night was hair long to the extreme and a chilling beauty.
Dragon of Echigo Uesugi Kenshin!
Only the legendary god of war who united the bakufu on behalf of the Empress could have such boldness.
“What god of war, to surprisingly use assassination. To take the lead over my subordinates, to break off my wings?” Tokugawa Ieyasu fumed in a low voice. “Does she believe that this is enough to make me, Tokugawa Ieyasu, surrender?!”
“Milord, send the troops in!!”
“But do you feel that you are able to face Uesugi Kenshin?” Tokugawa Ieyasu looked around at everyone, asking them in a cold tone.
The more than ten generals and the Three Heavenly Kings were all silent.
“Hottori Hanzo, what do you say!”
“Milord need only give the order, and Your Subordinate shall fight to the death!!!” Hattori Hanzo did not hesitate to answer.
“For us as well.”
“As long as we work together, we can definitely kill Uesugi Kenshin.”
Tokugawa Ieyasu was still hesitant. After all, Uesugi Kenshin’s fame was too great. At this moment, a burst of unruly and raucous laughter entered the room.
“Even when that woman wants to get rid of you one by one? Could it be that you are also prepared to cower together for the rest of your lives? In This King’s view, the time has come to overthrow this bakufu.” A man completely clad in a black robe seemed to enter the room like a ghost. Even the Hattori Hanzo who was renowned as the Ghost Kingdom’s number one ghost hermit was unable to sense him at all.
All of the powerful ghost martial cultivators felt stifled.
“You have come. Ghost King, could it be you have already finished refining the Demonic Saber?” Tokugawa Ieyasu was delighted. If he had the aid of this Tiger of Kai, then facing Uesugi Kenshin was possible.
“Almost. It seems Uesugi Kenshin is only making her move because she has sensed This King’s ghost qi some time ago. Hmph, what Dragon of Echigo, what unmatched icy god of war. She is nothing special to use assassination as her method.” The man sneered, “Just allow her to witness the might of This King’s ‘Supreme Ghost Body.’ The first thing will be to sacrifice her as tribute to This King’s rampage through this earth.” If Su Xing was present, he would definitely be shocked. The man before them was none other than the same person who he thought had been killed by Yan Yizhen’s Three Arrows Lethal Crossbow, the Ghost Cavalry King.
“Very good. “
“Your Subordinate believes that if we can capture the Empress in one move, this Uesugi Kenshin will definitely surrender.” Hattori Hanzo said.
“Very good. I order you now, immediately assault Kyoto. Blame this on Uesugi Kenshin. If she capitulates, that would be for the best. If she resists, do not show mercy.” Tokugawa Ieyasu coldly said.
“As you command.”
The deep night became no longer tranquil at this moment. The remaining Three Heavenly Kings Honda Tadakatsu, Sakakibara Yasumasa, Sakai Tadatsugu, the genius ghost hermit Hanzo Hattori, the great generals and more than a thousand ghost martial cultivators marched in the ice-cold moonlight, slinking with murderous intent.
“Ghost Cavalry King, this will all depend on you. If you can help the Tokugawa Clan topple the bakufu, in the future, we will definitely help you take revenge on the Great Liang.” Tokugawa Ieyasu earnestly promised.
The Ghost Cavalry King laughed. When he heard about the Great Liang, fury suddenly shot out of his eyes.
“Thanks to those delicious ‘snacks’ of yours, This King’s Supreme Ghost Body has recovered to peak state. The insignificant Emperor Liang can do nothing against This King. And you also presented the Demonic Saber to This King, so This King will naturally aid you…However, not only will This King trample over the Great Liang, This King also wants to kill the Majestic Star’s contractor. Do you dare?”
“Maiden Mountain’s Star Master? Ghost Cavalry King, why would you want to kill a Star Master, that Maiden Mountain…” Tokugawa Ieyasu’s expression changed.
“Afraid?” The Ghost Cavalry King sneered.
“This King has already decided now to consume all of those Star Generals. They will certainly be delicious, certain to allow This King to reach Transforming Star of Annihilation.”
“I understand.” The Ghost Cavalry King’s appetite made Tokugawa Ieyasu inwardly draw in a breath.
“I hear that Hideyoshi has a daughter who contracted a Star General. In the future, Tokugawa Ieyasu will present her to you first thing.” Tokugawa Ieyasu pledged.
“No need to wait. This King will succeed with the Ghost Path. This King already has a plan and will now go to the Toyotomi Clan and eat that girl. Then This King will devour the Dragon of Echigo…” A ghostly wind rose, and a ghastly howl shrieked everywhere. The Ghost Cavalry King became a phantom-like black smoke that vanished.
In slumbering Kyoto, the moonlight was dim, and the night was pitch-black, quiet as a tomb. The faraway bakufu’s lanterns glowed bright in the imperial city. The city walls’ magnificence looked down on the entirety of Kyoto like enormous mountains.
Imperceptible killing intent quietly flooded the city walls, the streets and alleys, directly into the imperial city. Beyond Kyoto’s shore, the lights of warships drew closer.
All of the masters of the ghost path dojos blinked their eyes from their sleep. Then, they closed them again, as if none of this was related to them. They merely gave orders for the dojos’ disciples to shut the windows and doors, to remain quiet and not enter or leave no matter what they heard.
Tokugawa Ieyasu’s most powerful generals and Heavenly Kings quietly entered the city like bloodthirsty wolves.
Suddenly, Hattori Hanzou stopped. He turned his head back and stared at a certain tower. This strongest ghost hermit’s brows wrinkled, “What is the matter, Hanzo? Why have you stopped?” Sakakibara Yasumasa grasped his longsword. “Apologies.” Hattori Hanzo helplessly apologized. It seemed that he was overcautious. How could anyone hide right in front of him without being detected.
He continued to sneak on.
After he left, in the quiet pavilion, the wind stirred.
“Lord Husband, they are thinking the same thing as you…” The beautiful and cold woman quietly said.
“En, so let’s see just what skills that Uesugi Kenshin has.” The man beside her calmly said.
When the moonlight illuminated him, he was none other than Su Xing.
- 平安時代 ↩