|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 3355 characters|
|Translator: Aoi||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1963 words|
The octagonal stone room had eight walls to it with a door on each, and all of them were shut right now.
“Eh?” Lily wanted to check up on his senior sister right away, but he felt that he should fully understand the situation spanning out before him first. Thus, he questioned, “Forgive me, Nanako, but I don’t get it. What did you say? Shikigami?”
As he looked at the Nanako before him, Lily noticed that her amber eyes had a sharp golden sheen to them unlike her usual violet-amber eyes.
“Are you really Nanako?” Lily asked in doubt, feeling puzzled momentarily.
“Hehehehe. You’re really something, Master. Have you failed to recognize my voice?” The girl with shimmering golden-amber eyes questioned.
“Huh? This…” This laughter as well as the girl’s voice felt very familiar to Lily. Now that I think about it, this voice doesn’t seem like Nanako’s, no, it was different right from the moment Nanako entered a trance.
The Sakura Parasol on Nanako’s shoulder flew up and spun beside Nanako.
At the same moment, Nanako’s gaze turned dull before the golden sheen left her pupils, returning them to their original violet-amber color. She looked all around in puzzlement and then at Lily who was currently in a boy’s form.
“W-Where am I? W-Who are you?” Nanako asked a bit agitatedly.
“J-Just what is going on?” Lily sat down on the floor and gazed at Nanako then at the Sakura Parasol floating beside her1.
The Sakura Parasol closed and flew to Lily’s side, swaying beside him, “Master, can you turn around? Your butt needs a spanking!”
“Huh?” Lily was alarmed, “Y-You’re really Sakura? What are you saying? Just what did you do? Why do you know my identity? And why are you and Nanako able to enter this mirror space? Also, what happened to Nanako just now?2”
“Master, it’s your own piece of work, so why are you asking me?”
“My work?” Lily was even more puzzled after hearing Sakura’s answer.
“Uhm,” Nanako still felt a bit dizzy and hadn’t cleared her head yet, “Why are you calling him Master, Sakura? Wasn’t Lily your master? Also, where are we?”
Sakura spun in between Nanako and Lily and unfurled, emanating a faint golden sheen as she stated, “Alright, let me explain it slowly then.”
“Master, do you remember what I told you once? I told you that I’m a shikigami,” Sakura stated.
After Sakura mentioned it, Lily seemed to recall a vague memory of it, so he nodded, “So, you have recovered your memory?”
Sakura flew up higher slowly towards the summit of the stone room that seemed to possess a faint golden sheen that made the surroundings appear dark, yet it made Sakura look holier and ethereal.
Her voice also turned distant gradually, “I am Kagura, a shikigami who traveled all of Heian along with my master, free and unfettered, enjoying the romance of life. However…”
Sakura’s voice turned sad, “For someone on the level as me and my master, it was impossible to avoid getting involved in the great battle that occurred decades ago, and so, my master and I had fallen one after the other…”
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The Sakura Parasol seemed to have the ability to influence people’s souls, so Lily and Nanako were able to feel her sadness as well. Their expressions turned respectful instantaneously.
Just hearing the term ‘fallen’ made it evident that Kagura and her master weren’t on a level comprehensible by commonfolk as such a term wasn’t used for the ordinary.
Perhaps it was only appropriate to use the term ‘fallen’ for those who stood on an equal level with the stars.
Sakura continued, “My master wasn’t willing to accept defeat and perish just like that, so she used her remaining power to perform a spell of immortality, the spell of reincarnation, on me, and sealed my will inside this mirror space so that I can avenge her one day.3”
“However, that battle was too intense, so her spell suffered an interference, resulting in it only leaving part of my will within this mirror while the rest scattered into my treasures which then got separated after the battle. As such, my memory of the past became fragmented.”
“Until this moment, when Master granted me my divine parasol, garments and sword, and assembled them together with this ancient mirror of unknown origins, my will finally merged, and my memory also recovered as a result! Although my master had originally sealed my consciousness within this ancient mirror, it didn’t belong to her.”
Saying so, Sakura descended on Nanako’s shoulder, who then grabbed it in a daze.
And now, Nanako’s eyes turned golden again while she spoke in Kagura’s voice, “Although the treasures survived that battle and were damaged to some degree, they gradually restored themselves after absorbing the spirit power of the world. However, my body perished eternally.”
“Nanako is the body my master reconstructed for me using the spell of reincarnation before perishing! Nanako has no mother nor father, she was birthed by the world on a moonlit night during a snowstorm after several decades and was then coincidentally adopted by Lady Saionji. Thenceforth, she became Saionji Nanako and coincidentally met with Master again.”
Lily’s mouth opened wide as she nodded blankly, “I-Is this true…”
If someone else had told her this normally, she definitely wouldn’t have believed them. However, Nanako and the Sakura Parasol were able to enter this unfathomable mirror space, so it explained that this matter was pretty mystical and couldn’t be explained by mortal concepts.
“My consciousness melded with the ones within the sword, garments and the mirror and this allowed me to recover my complete consciousness along with my memory of the past.”
“So, you were originally a part of Kagura’s consciousness? And now that your consciousness has merged, you have recovered the complete consciousness of Kagura?” Lily confirmed.
“It is indeed so. You are so smart, Master.”
“W-What about Nanako then? Will she disappear?” Lily asked worriedly. He didn’t need any shikigami no matter how powerful she was if Nanako would disappear.
“Hehehe. That’s why I wanted to spank your butt, Master, even if you have a boy’s body right now,” Kagura grumbled powerlessly.
“Eh? Why though?”
“Originally, my consciousness would have melded with Nanako’s consciousness when my will recovered. However, her consciousness wouldn’t have disappeared as our consciousnesses would have just merged, but when I tried to meld with her, I discovered that the soul had formed a powerful will that rejected me4, so much that I can only use some means to control her temporarily and even this takes a toll on me, making it simply impossible for us to merge. Her soul has incredibly transformed into the form of a western garden’s sparrow and harbors a strong affection for you which prevents me from merging with her ever again… Do you know how much of a huge trouble this will create for me? When will I be able to avenge my master this way?”
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“This…” Although Lily sympathized with Kagura’s worries, he actually felt pretty glad about it internally.
“Forgive me… Perhaps the ukiyo-e painting of ‘The Plum Tree Which Blossoms in Frigid Winter and Western Garden’s Sparrow’ that I drew on Nanako’s back formed some kind of bond between our souls via the painting intent,” Lily soliloquized.
Lily had learned the painting skills of Grandmaster Hishikawa Moronobu that enabled the engravings made on a lifeless sword via painting intent to turn into sword soul runes. As such, it wasn’t unimaginable that when Nanako performed a self-sacrificial act by allowing Lily to practice painting on her body, it formed a bond between their souls, and this selfless sacrificial mentality ended up preserving Nanako’s independent will5!
“Thank goodness, Nanako!” Lily thought gleefully in his mind.
“Alright, Master. Bend over now and pull up your yukata so that I can spank your butt!”
“Oi! What’s with spanking this and that? Stop playing around now!” Lily said in a slightly angry tone and asked, “But I still don’t get why only my soul can enter this mirror space. Even if the Nanako before my eyes is just her soul, where is your soul, Kagura? Shouldn’t there be the souls of two girls here? How did you look in the past?”
“Since I reincarnated, the current Nanako naturally looks the exact same as my former self. However, it’s wrong to call her a soul Master. You have indeed entered this space with your soul, but Nanako entered it with her real body.”
“Real body?!” Lily was stunned, “H-How though? And why can’t I enter it with my real body? Don’t tell me the Sakura Parasol, sword and the garments, these treasures are also real?”
“Naturally! The reason you cannot enter it with your real body is that you are a low-leveled lifeform. In short, tsk, your aptitude is too bad!”
“Huh?!” It was Lily’s first time hearing someone say her aptitude was too bad.
“Hmph! Master, don’t think you have a pretty high aptitude just because you have a well-endowed bosom and booty!”
“W-Who would think it’s because of those!” Lily blushed hard.
“Your constitution that’s just twice as strong as an ordinary human simply isn’t qualified to enter this mirror space! On the other hand, Nanako’s body is my reconstructed body, and possesses a celestial maiden’s physique, so she’s qualified to enter this exceptionally pure mirror space. As for the treasures, as long as they reach a certain level, they can enter and exit this space as well.”
“Nanako possesses a celestial maiden’s physique?” Lily asked.
“Hmph! My master used the spell of reincarnation on me before perishing. As such, Nanako was created via the guidance and convergence of the spirit power of the world and naturally possesses a celestial maiden’s physique. It’s just that the training method of a celestial maiden differs greatly from that of a mortal. Nanako trained in the arts of the Saionji family, so she simply wasn’t able to manifest the best qualities of her physique and was thus so weak!” Kagura answered.
“What will happen to Nanako now, then?” Lily asked worriedly.
“Nanako already possesses an independent will and although I can enter her body using Kagura’s will, it would place too much of a burden on me, so I can’t maintain that state for long. On the other hand, my will has dwelled in this Sakura Parasol for a long time, so I’ve become quite habituated to it. It’s just that I can’t remain still without avenging my master’s grudge. As such, I plan to train Nanako in all the arcane arts that I have learned and remembered during all my life inside this mirror space so that I can complete the mission my master handed down to me in the future.”
“Train… Nanako? What about Nanako’s opinion?”
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“I will ask her that personally. If she’s determined to refuse the training, I can’t do much about it. However, based on my observation, Nanako possesses the unyielding heart of a samurai, so it’s unlikely that she would refuse the training as that would only make her feel depressed and perplexed. Also, if we really begin this training, it will also need your help, Sister Lily.”
“My help? What kind of help?” As long as Nanako was willing, Lily was ready to do her best to help Nanako become stronger.
“A shikigami with a celestial maiden’s physique is in essence a shikigami of the highest level6. However, although this body was reborn, it’s still far from possessing even 1/10000th of the power I had back then. Besides my knowledge and guidance of the arcane arts, comprehension and cultivation, the training also requires a huge number of animas. So, we’ll need to rely on you for that, Master.”7
- Silva: Wao, this is getting so confusing! Author used Confusion, it’s super effective!
- Silva: What indeed, so Nanako is Kagura, Kagura is Sakura, Sakura is Nanako, oh my, is this an I think therefore I am moment?
- Robinxen: Oh phew! I thought there was gonna be some time travel shenanigans.
- Robinxen: Yuri trumps all!
- Robinxen: Yuri trumps all!!!
- Robinxen: Is Nanako going to enter a contract with Lily?
- Robinxen: Oh that’s more mundane than I imagined.
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