Chapter 10 – Bureau of Divination

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3164 characters
Translator: Silva English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 2066 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

Lily was in a daze as she paced back and forth on Suzaku Avenue alone. Although she disregarded everything to meet with Lady Fujiwara no Ayaka, she didn’t even get to see her face nor did they actually have a real talk.

Just what did she mean by that? I am a samurai, what can I even do at a bureau? They wouldn’t make me a watchman, would they? Even if that was Ayaka’s arrangement, Lily wouldn’t willingly accept it if they really made Lily watch the door.

Lily felt a little wronged, it hadn’t been an easy journey towards Heian-kyo!

Yet all she received was a cold reception.

However, Ayaka was such a distinguished existence, perhaps there might really be an unimaginable reason with her arrangement.

That said, Lily was also very curious about that so-called Bureau of Divination. After all, onmyodo was an art that could stand toe-to-toe with the samurai in Heian Dynasty.

Even if she wasn’t going there to look for work, it wasn’t a bad idea to at least go and take a look.

Lily found a deserted corner to change out of her clothes since her current garment was torn in battle. Although the street was devoid of people, it was still very nervewracking to change clothes in broad daylight.

After Lily changed into another set of red clothes with white flowers, she planned to make her way to the Bureau of Onmyo.

She had so many clothes stored in her mirror space that it beggars belief.

Following Ayaka’s indication, Lily made her way around Heian Palace’s wall and found a big avenue. Although the capital was big, it was quite easy to find the road due to its squarish layout.

This avenue was called Ichijo Street.

“For such a cultured capital, they are quite negligent in naming their streets,” Lily muttered to herself.

More and more people started to appear over time. There were some who rode oxen carts to work and others who made their way to work on foot. Some officials were also making their way to the Heian Palace on foot. This was the capital, after all, not all officials or bureaucrats could afford to get a rider to the palace.

Additionally, there were also some samurai and common folks strolling casually on the street.

Lily saw a tall, handsome man with an uncommon aura walking towards her so she approached him to ask, “Excuse me, sir, can I get directions to the Bureau of Divination?”

That man in white hunting cloth gazed at Lily with his shrewd, twinkling eyes, “Oh, never did I expect to run into such beauty this early in the morning. Miss, you want to go to Bureau of Divination?”

“That’s right, can you please tell me where it is?” Although this man was indeed very handsome and gave people a good feeling, Lily was completely immune to praises that came from the opposite sex. Thus she continued her questioning in a calm and direct manner.

“Just keep moving forward, it’s not far from here,” The man pointed directly behind him.

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“Thank you.” Lily genuflected.

Although that man didn’t harbor any wicked thoughts, he still took a few glances at Lily to appreciate her beauty before making his way again.

Following his indication, Lily headed in the direction of the Bureau of Divination.

After walking for roughly nine hundred meters, Lily arrived before a building with red pillars and a black roof. Exotic lanterns were hung all around the building and some white muslins were hung on the beams of the entrance, making this whole building look a bit mysterious. The door was wide open but one could only see a round paper window screen. That said, however, Lily could sense various profound auras coming from the inside.

Just like many other buildings in Heian-kyo, no nameplate was hung in plain sight.

However, Lily had a feeling this was the place she was looking for.

And thus, she made her way inside.

The instant she stepped through the doorstep, a tapered-off voice suddenly said, “Who are you looking for?”

Lily turned around, yet she couldn’t find anyone.

“Who are you looking for? What’s your business here?” The voice asked again.

Only after a while did Lily notice that, under her foot, there was a small paper doll with no distinguishable aura currently waving its hands and talking with her.

This was the lowest level of shikigami, though Lily had heard of this before, this was actually the first time Lily had seen a paper shikigami.

“I came here to work according to Lord Chief Advisor’s recommendation,” Lily spoke to the other party and treated them as though they were a real person.

“What? Lord Chief Advisor?!” It was quite unbelievable, but somehow or another, the paper doll clearly had a flushed face.

“Please follow me,” The paper doll led Lily into the building. The first thing that came to view was a large landscape garden with water pavilions, pine trees, and stone lanterns bestrewed about.

Surrounding the garden was a corridor supported by red pillars. The paper doll guided Lily through said corridor with lively steps.

The paper doll climbed onto the platform of a big hall that directly faced the center of the garden. Lily could see a lot of desks lined up in the house and many men with hunting or formal clothes were sitting there. Some were writing, some were double-checking their documents, and there were also some who were fiddling with strange objects.

Sitting in the middle of the hall was a big man with huge bags under his eyes. The man in black formal attire was currently running through some documents with a skinny old man beside him.

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The others were looking at Lily with curiosity. Among them were those who looked at her with a lecherous gaze. However, as they were all educated men, they merely only stole a glance at Lily. Some of them cleared wanted to steal a glance at her but acted like they were not interested in her.

However, that big elderly man first reacted with a shock when he noticed Lily before opening his mouth to ask, “Who are you?”

The paper doll spoke up at this time, “Master Kujo Nishimoto, this female samurai claimed to have been sent here to work by Lord Chief Advisor. That’s why I brought her to see you.”

“Lord Chief Advisor?” The fat, beardless Nishimoto thin lips quivered. He examined Lily with a clearly feverish gaze but that soon changed to a look of disdain as he said, “Didn’t I tell you to use your brain a little? Others said they were recommended by Lord Chief Advisor and you trust them immediately and brought them here? Take her away, I don’t care whose spoiled daughter she is, but this place is not a playground.”

The oval-faced elder at the side also stopped his work and gazed at the paper doll in disdain, “I told you the things made by that Seimei brat is unreliable, to begin with. It would even bring a random girl from some red-light district to this place. Take her away, now!”

The words from the fatty were still within reason, but Lily couldn’t accept what the skinny elder just said.

She didn’t wait for the extremely dumb paper doll to reply and answered by herself, “Your lordship, do you care to repeat that again? Who are you calling some random girl from the red-light district? I have come here under the recommendation of Lord Chief Advisor. Or could it be that you mean the chief advisor’s manor is the red light district?”

“I-I didn’t say that!” The elder’s forehead broke out in cold sweat, “It’s just that, look at what you’re wearing! You are exposing so much of your chest skin that almost half of them are revealed. If that is not how a prostitute dressed, then how do you explain your attire?”

“Alas—” Nishimoto gestured with his hand, “Stop bringing this up, miss. Nowadays, the monsters are unchecked in Heian-kyo and we at the Bureau of Divination have to work day and night. So please stop making any more troubles for these old men, just leave for now.”

“Now that’s more like human language. However, Lily was ordered by Lord Chief Advisor to come, I don’t dare to leave without accomplishing my order.”

“W-What did you say? Are you saying that I’m not a human? On the contrary, you look more like a coquettish female demon!”

“That’s enough, Mr. Toshiyuki, please keep quiet for a while, have you not offended enough samurai already?” Nishimoto shook his head impatiently, “If you’re really sent here by Lord Chief Advisor, how come I’ve not received the order? And you, if you have any recommendation letter, why aren’t you taking it out yet?”

“I apologize, I should’ve mentioned that this was Lord Chief Advisor’s spoken order.”

“Spoken order?”

“If you think I’m making this up, you can send someone to verify it. Do I dare to fake Lord Chief Advisor’s orders?” Lily said confidently with her chest propped up. She wouldn’t shirk just because someone said she was exposing too much skin.

Nishimoto pushed his paperwork to the side. Seeing Lily’s confident appearance, it seemed that she really wasn’t bluffing. After all, this matter would be too easy to expose. All the governmental affairs of Heian-kyo were settled by the chief advisor, faking the chief advisor’s orders carried as heavy a penalty as faking the emperor’s edict.

“You really are sent here by Lord Chief Advisor?”

Lily just stood there and answered with her silence since she couldn’t be bothered to answer again.

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Kujo Nishimoto and Fuen Toshiyuki bowed their heads and discussed among themselves for a while. They cast an annoyed glance at Lily from time to time, and finally, Nishimoto said, “In that case, why don’t you start by kneeling down to greet us properly?”

“Who are you two? Why should I kneel down?”

“You arrogant woman!” The oval-faced elder berated, “This is the Onmyo no Taizoku, Lord Kujo Nishimoto. And I am the Onmyo no Shozoku, Fuen Toshiyuki! The two of us performed recordkeeping in the Bureau of Divination. If you are here to work, then we are your immediate superior, how can you not greet us?”

“If I don’t, would you disobey Lord Chief Advisor’s order and not assign me to a post?” Lily replied coyly.

“You!!’ Toshiyuki was so mad that even his beard started to twitch.

“Forget it, we won’t lower ourselves to your level,” Nishimoto continued, “We will arrange a post for you. However, know that we will definitely go to verify Lord Chief Advisor’s spoken order at a later date.”

Nishimoto then asked, “Miss, what is your name?”

“Kagami Lily.”

“Oh?!” Nishimoto was surprised, “Could you be the young lady from Kansai’s Kagami house?”

“No, I came from Kamakura. I shouldn’t have any relationship with Kansai’s Kagami house.” Lily answered calmly.

Both Nishimoto and Toshiyuki viewed Lily with disdain the moment they heard that she was from Kanto. If not because she had a pretty face and a fabulous body, perhaps they really wouldn’t see any good points about her.

The two bowed their heads again to talk this over. Soon after, their eyes lit up as though they just got a brilliant idea.

Nishimoto smiled slightly and declared, “Then I will assign you the post of Onmyo no Jojo1.”

“Oh?” Lily asked, “What might the responsibility of this post entails?”

“This post is ranked second only to Onmyo no Shojo, they possess a comparatively large administrative power and is an important position. Since you are sent here by Lord Chief Advisor, we will grant you this important post without going through an assessment test. As for your responsibilities, I will send for someone to take you to your post. The staff back there will explain everything to you.” Nishimoto said.

“In that case, I offer my thanks to your lordships.” Lily turned her hips a little and performed a curtsy.

“Mmm, that’s more like it. Kagami Lily, even if you are recommended by Lord Chief Advisor, know that the chief advisor is very strict and impartial. Since you are here now at the Bureau of Divination, you must work hard, follow the rules here and obey your superiors, is that clear2?” Nishimoto clarified.

“Lily understood.”

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References

  1. Robinxen: We did do some checks for these but…Well it’s very confusing.
  2. Robinxen: Is it a trap?

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