|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 2241 characters|
|Translator: Aoi||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1360 words|
Nanako and the ponytailed girl from Takeshita Town were running up a misty trail on the hill.
“Senior, please wait a moment.”
“What is it, Miss Nanako?”
Nanako looked at the cliff to the side and then at the rugged and precipitous mountain path behind before revealing a deeply worried look.
“I wish to return.”
“I’m worried that even though I left a mark behind Sister Lily and Sister Shimizu might not be able to find it in this dense mist. Moreover, I didn’t make the mark too obvious because I was afraid that our pursuers would find it. That’s why I wish to return and wait for them at the crossing. If they haven’t found my mark, they wouldn’t rush forward towards one of the paths rashly.”
“Oh, that makes sense, Nanako. I shall wait for you here, then. Okay? I… am dead tired already so I want to rest for a while,” the ponytailed girl gasped for breaths while supporting herself by placing her hands on her thighs, utterly drenched in sweat from top to bottom.
She was much weaker than Nanako and the tenseness caused by the thrilling battle coupled with the crazy sprint all the way till here had truly exhausted her.
“All right,” Nanako replied.
“Nanako, take the Sakura Parasol with you.”
“Eh, what will you do then, Senior?”
“I’ll hide in the bushes behind that rock silently. The mist is so dense, so it’s unlikely that I’ll get discovered. I’ll just wait for you here, don’t worry.”
Nanako surveyed the surroundings and nodded, “Please be careful then, Senior.”
“Mhm. You too, Nanako!”
“Mhm!” Nanako affirmed and then held up the crimson Sakura Parasol and sprinted down the trail like a petite mountain spirit before disappearing into the mist.
Lily was looking for marks on both the trails right now, but she failed to find any. However, this wasn’t because of the dense mist as Lily had exceptional vision and senses. Unfortunately though, there was no wind when Nanako had passed through this area and when the wind current manifested, it blew the piece of cloth that Nanako had tied to a shrub down the cliff. Thus, it was no wonder that Lily failed to find it. As it was a pressing situation back then, Nanako hadn’t put much thought into it. Her line of thought was pretty simple, that carving a mark on a fixed spot like a rock would be equivalent to revealing their position to their pursuers, so she thought up this way of tying a piece of her sleeve to the shrub so that Lily and Shimizu would find it and get rid of the mark later on. However, it was impossible for her to know that the wind blowing from the Abyssal Rift would be so strong.
At this moment, even Lily felt helpless. She was stuck in a dilemma and her forehead was covered in sweat too. Do I have to make a guess based on my intuition?
Shimizu, on the other hand, hadn’t participated in looking for Nanako’s tracks and instead stood silently beside the cliff and gazed at the looming darkness of the night and the bright and desolate moon.
Lily looked at Shimizu’s lonely back and said, “Sister Shimizu, I couldn’t find their tracks…”
Shimizu didn’t even turn back as she replied, “You needn’t worry, Lil’ Sis. If it’s that Lil’ Nanako of yours, she might return to look for us.”
“After all, we’re much quicker than them. If we haven’t caught up with her even after a long time has passed, she definitely wouldn’t abandon us and flee and instead return back here. So, there’s no harm in waiting here for a moment.1”
Lily felt that Shimizu’s reasoning made sense. There was a chance that Dijon and Mayumi might follow their tracks up to this point, so Lily was afraid that if they chose the wrong path Nanako would end up waiting for them here foolishly and run into Dijon and Mayumi.
Lily’s condition wasn’t that good right now as the previous move had expended ninety percent of her spirit power. Although she had a good physique, she hadn’t rested at all till now even though she had expended most of her physical strength, so it was a bit difficult for her to fight in such a state.
Lily didn’t even dare to absorb the animas of the monsters which died from that move lest that sensitive woman, Yuki Mayumi, were to see through her. As such, she was abnormally tired and was in a semi-exhausted state.
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“Lil’ Sis Lily, since there’s nothing for us to do while waiting here, come, let us appreciate the moonlight together.”
“Huh?” Although Lily was quite tired, she didn’t want to disappoint Shimizu, so she walked over towards her and stood beside her. The duo stood at the cliffside of the Abyssal Rift fearlessly and gazed upon the moonlit night with unprecedented poise.
“Lily, look. The moon is so round and beautiful today…”
“Say, do you think the moon knows what happened to us tonight? If she does, why is she so calm?”
“That… Sister, the moon’s gaze spans across millions of years and is omnipresent, so even if she witnessed what happened to us, she may not care about each and every minor lifeform like ours? To her, it’s just a momentary change, after all,” Lily’s disheveled hair fluttered within the windy night as a poignant gleam reflected in her moonlit eyes.
“You might be right, little sister. How could prideful moon that’s ever-present in the nightly sky care about the sadness of common girls like us…” Shimizu’s dark pupils reflected the cheerless figure of the moon and turned even more depressed.
“Sister…” This made Lily certain that Shimizu was still feeling heartbroken after her mirror got shattered, but Lily didn’t know how to comfort her, because Lily knew how important the mirror was to her.
“Right,” Shimizu stated in a tender yet cold tone, “Lil’ Sis, can you let me take a look at your mirror?”
“Eh?” For some reason, even though hearing such a request from a sister who knew her secret shouldn’t be that unusual, Lily felt a bit restless when she heard it at this moment.
“Haha. Don’t worry, little sister. Look how full and bright the moon is today. Didn’t you say that your mirror can reflect a clear image under the moonlight? I want to experience it too and see just how clear we both appear in the reflection.”
Shimizu’s request was quite rational and although the mirror was very important to Lily, in Shimizu’s eyes, it was only an ancient mirror with some spirituality. After considering Shimizu’s current state, Lily decided to comply, as long as it lifted her spirits.
“Mhm,” Lily nodded hesitantly, and Shimizu had taken in this hesitation.
Lily then fished out the mirror that was soaked in her warmth and scent from the depths of the sash cautiously.
“Ah—!” Shimizu’s gloomy eyes lit up when she saw that mirror and she reached out to grab it lovingly with her slender fingers, the sensation making her shoulders quiver.
“Come, little sister,” Shimizu and Lily spun and their feet almost touched the edge of the cliff, knocking down a pebble inadvertently.
Shimizu hugged Lily’s waist and raised up the mirror together with Lily, slanting it towards their faces under the moonlight.
“Ah…” Shimizu moaned from the depths of her heart, “So, I look like this in the reflection of little sister’s mirror. This is indeed quite unbelievable; the reflection is much clearer than the water mirror spell used by Onmyōji. It’s just that I look a bit pale in the reflection…”
“No, Sis is very pretty.”
“How could I be as pretty as you, little sister. You are better than me in this aspect too. You are prettier than me, healthier than me, womanly than me, sociable than me, and even talented than me. Moreover, you even have such a nice mirror, while I have nothing anymore. You are like the bright and pretty moon while I am like the desolate night surrounding the moon…”2
- Robinxen: … isn’t that … too sound?
- Silva: I don’t know, but I’m really scared of Shimizu right now, especially after that spoiler Aoi gave me…
Robinxen: I do not know of this spoiler yet, do not worry. I am in the dark with you fair readers.