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Chapter 39 – Fallen Celestial Maiden

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3016 characters
Translator: Silva English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1714 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

“In ancient times, a great war shook the heavens and the earth, making devils weep and gods mourn.” Kaguya-hime turned around, her gaze distant and somber. “That was the decisive battle between Amaterasu-Ōmikami and the Yomi demons.”

“Initially, the Celestial Battle Maidens, led by Tsukuyomi, held the advantage. However, the tide of battle suddenly turned drastically. I, along with a group of Celestial Maidens, including Chiya Kasumi, were ordered to guard the Lunar Palace. We were few, but upon receiving urgent news from the front, we dared to go support. Unexpectedly, we were ambushed mid-way by the vast army of Yomi demons and rebels from Takamagahara!”

“We were outnumbered and caught off guard. Many sisters were sacrificed, and those who survived were severely injured and forced down to the netherworld. We didn’t even know what happened on the main battlefield. Amaterasu, Tsukuyomi, and the other five major goddess generals under Tsukuyomi’s command… none responded.”

“The few of us who survived fell into Yomi and were immediately pursued and surrounded by enemies. During our escape, we mistakenly drank the water beneath the Bridge of Oblivion1… From then on, our memories became fragmented. We forgot many things, including the reason for this three-realm decisive battle, Tsukuyomi, and the appearances of many other sisters. We forgot much and more, including whether we could return to Takamagahara, and the identities of the Takamagahara rebels.”

“Some things we can’t remember; some, perhaps we never knew. Chased by demons of the netherworld, we fled desperately and by sheer luck reached this vast, unknown Demon Forest Abyss. This place already harbored numerous female spirits, making it difficult for male demons to enter. So we temporarily settled here to recuperate and recover from our injuries. The enemy was too numerous outside, so we gradually cleared and established this Female Queendom within the Demon Forest, renaming it the Abyss of Parting Sorrow due to our inner pain and hatred. Gradually, more suffering women from Yomi joined us, and the power of the Female Queendom grew stronger, eventually gaining the ability to protect itself.”

Lily knelt there, listening to the queen finish, but it seemed she was unable to think about what came after. Her eyes were filled with confusion, what exactly was the purpose of the Mirror Girl’s mission? Was it merely to deceive them into being captured in one fell swoop?

All of this, the deep slumber of her senior sister, and the incredible ancient mirror, what were their connections? She didn’t know, and didn’t even know where to begin searching.

Seeing Lily’s bewildered state was within Queen Kaguya’s expectations, and she even felt a surge of pity. She came beside Lily, knelt down, and pulled Lily into her arms. Lily, however, just leaned against the queen’s soft and lofty chest, her face still expressionless.

The queen continued, “Afterward, using the methods of the Celestial Maidens, we tried countless times to call upon Tsukuyomi, even directly praying to Amaterasu, but received no response.”

“We sent emissaries far and wide, seeking information, and found a few Celestial Battle Maidens who had experienced the core battlefield of that unparalleled war. Some had fallen to the netherworld, while others had died and become resentful spirits. From them, we learned that the battle had suddenly descended into chaos. Many Celestial Battle Maidens were trapped, fighting alone, unaware of the overall situation.”

“Tsukuyomi, driven nearly to madness, fought in the skies, her slain demons piling up like mountains. But later, a War Maiden-turned-resentful spirit claimed to have seen an endless darkness pursuing Tsukuyomi…”

“The army scattered, and in the ensuing chaos, she too was pursued, falling into Yomi and meeting a miserable end. Surrounded by a horde of demons, her strong resentment kept her wandering the netherworld.”

“But as for Tsukuyomi, she knew nothing thereafter. Whether Tsukuyomi was alive or dead remained unknown. She only recalled that Tsukuyomi’s power had greatly weakened, as if she had been seriously injured…”

“Tsukuyomi no Mikoto… my sister Tsukuyomi…” Kaguya-hime couldn’t hold back her tears any longer. She and Lily clung tightly together. In this dark world of Yomi, one a fallen celestial maiden leader and the other bearing the celestial maiden physique, the two maidens found solace in each other’s embrace.

“Tsukuyomi… I fear, even if a million years pass, I may never see you again…” The queen held Lily tightly, their faces pressed together, both crying inconsolably.

Lily couldn’t help but join in the weeping.

What could two women, facing a land and sky swallowed by darkness, possibly do? That night, the crying within the palace was prolonged and sorrowful…

The dawn of Yomi brought no daylight.

The queen, holding Lily, unwittingly passed the night.

“In this palace, you should still refer to yourself as Lynne to avoid further complications,” the queen said softly, patting Lily on the shoulder. “As for the Rakshasa Dojo, you needn’t return there. I will, nominally, imprison you in the palace under the guise of a dancing girl. This way, even if they do not release you, they cannot bother you.”

“I will listen to all of Your Majesty’s arrangements,” Lily replied, feeling utterly lost. The revelations of the day were too shocking, and she couldn’t help asking, “But what about my sisters? What about the mortal realm being swallowed by darkness? What should I do?”

“Lynne, I warned you that knowing all this would be of no benefit to you, only bringing more despair. Heaven cannot help you, nor can the gods. Takamagahara now may be even more dangerous than Yomi. Even I do not know what to do, so how could I tell you? If there’s anything that could help you, perhaps I could offer some guidance in your training. Having said so much, I too feel weary. You should go back and rest for now. Tonight, I will have someone call for you.”

“Thank you, Your Majesty…”

The queen thought for a moment and said, “To avoid drawing attention, when I summon you, it will be under the pretense of serving in my chambers. I hope you won’t mind.”

“I will follow all of Your Majesty’s arrangements,” Lily said.

That night was too overwhelming for Lily. As she left, she couldn’t even discern her direction, merely following the maid blankly back to her quarters.

Lily lay in her room, staring blankly at the ceiling, aware of the truth but unsure how to speak to her sisters.

“What should I do now? What am I supposed to do… Sister Rinne… when will you wake up…”

Perhaps Lily was too exhausted; lying there, without even changing her clothes, she fell asleep.

In the darkness… Lily felt as though she had returned to the queen’s palace. However, the surroundings were shrouded in mist, appearing even more ethereal and bright than before, but beyond was either light or fog, obscuring all vision.

Lily saw a solitary figure seated in the palace, radiating immense beauty. Realizing she was still dressed in her dance outfit, Lily assumed she was there to perform. As Lily began to dance for the woman, she became deeply absorbed. Her consciousness was vague, making her dance feel like a dream. Her eyes occasionally cast deep, mysterious glances.

The figure stood up and walked over to Lily, who continued to dance. But then, the figure lifted her and carried her through the vast mist.

Lily had no one to rely on and was unsure of where to go. Being held like this felt nice. She didn’t have to think. Handing over her life to another person felt effortless and shamefully blissful.

The woman gently placed Lily upon a sea of clouds, making the sky her bed.

At that moment, Lily saw the woman’s face, her body radiating a misty halo. That face, it seemed very much like her own.

“Sister Rinne?” Was the woman who placed her upon the sea of clouds her senior sister? Rinne was so beautiful, so gentle. Though their appearances were as similar as mirror images, their essences were completely different. So strong, so unquestionable. Her hand, glowing with brilliance, touched Lily’s body with such heat. Despite her pure appearance, the way she handled Lily was so composed. Unintentionally, Rinne’s hand moved from Lily’s collarbone down, gliding over her icy jade skin…


“…No… Don’t!” In the darkness, the lonely girl’s figure tensed, her hands seemingly searching for something to guard, resisting something, but in the quiet chamber, there clearly was no one else.

“Lynne, Lynne!?”

“Ah!” Lily suddenly woke up, her face flushed, her hair disheveled, and her clothes wrinkled. Supporting herself up with her slender arms, Lily’s rosy lips gasped for breath. She saw Her Majesty the Queen, standing against the light at the door, her gaze serious, complex, and somewhat embarrassed.

“Your Majesty?” Lily couldn’t help but wipe the corner of her mouth, looking down in a panic, hurriedly pulling at her clothes to cover herself, “Your Majesty… Why have you come yourself, if there’s anything, just summoning me would suffice.”

Lily, thinking back to the strange dream she just had and being caught by the queen, felt so ashamed she wished she could hide in the cracks of the floor.

The Queen was also somewhat surprised: “It seems your complexion is not bad, I was worried you might be bedridden with illness, so I came to check on you, not expecting you to be quite energetic?”

“Your Majesty…” Lily had fallen asleep feeling helpless and lost, but who would have thought that at such a time, she would have such a dream? Lily really didn’t know how to respond.

“Go freshen up first, then come see me in the inner hall.” The Queen, with a slightly flushed face, turned and left.

“Freshen up?” Lily, covering her face, felt really embarrassed.

Huh? At that moment, Lily suddenly thought back to the dream she just had… Dreaming of her senior sister, dreaming she lay upon the sea of clouds. Setting aside those matters, why was she lying on the sea of clouds? Lily remembered the last time her senior sister appeared in her dreams, leading her to discover the secret of the Biwa Palace and find the sixth stele of the Tsukuyomi Swordstyle, not marked on any map. Could this time be another hint from her senior sister?



 

Footnotes:

  1. Robinxen: Ave Mujica cameo!
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