Chapter 12 – Treasury House

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3241 characters
Translator: LazyButAmbitious English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 2055 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

Sukeya brought Lily into a yard surrounded by four buildings.

“In front of us is the guard’s quarter, you don’t need to concern yourself with this and leave the others to clean it. However, every time you enter, you must pass through here and stand in front of the Clairvoyance Mirror for inspection. You are not allowed to carry weapons and I doubt you’d have something as rare as a storage pouch, but even if you do, you cannot take them inside with you. Otherwise, the Clairvoyance Mirror will expose you. Not only you, but even me, or anyone else for that matter, must be scanned by the Clairvoyance Mirror before entering.” Sukeya explained as he brought Lily into the first building to show her the copper mirror.

“Then about my sword…” Lily asked. Before she entered the Bureau of Divination, Lily had already speculated that everyone there would be experienced and knowledgeable, thus she already changed her blade to Tranquil Soul1 to prevent unnecessary trouble.

“For today, you can leave it here at the entrance, nobody will take it. Starting tomorrow, you can just leave it in your residence yonder. You won’t need it since you’re only here to clean up.”

“Mhm.” Lily nodded.

“Go ahead and stand in front of the Clairvoyance Mirror. Though I must say, you are quite lucky. Before this, we had to do a thorough body search. I reckon a delicate girl like you would also feel quite awkward to let a man search your body. Since Seimei brought in that Clairvoyance Mirror, life has been more convenient for everyone.” Sukeya said.

“Seimei?”

“Yea… That young man has contributed a lot to the bureau, but he’s also quite a troublemaker. Well, forget it, you’ll know what I mean sooner or later as you keep working here.”

Lily got in front of the mirror, spread her arms, and spun around once. Sukeya was a little dazed as he witnessed this.

There was no reaction from the Clairvoyance Mirror.

“Very good, it seems like you didn’t carry anything you shouldn’t,” Sukeya continued, “Then I shall take you inside for a tour.”

As they entered the inner yard, Lily could see two onmyoji standing guard before each of the three buildings to the left, center, and right. There were also a number of samurai making their rounds.

“This is the most important location in the Bureau of Divination, many rare treasures of the dynasty are being kept here. It is our responsibility to keep them safe. You have a lithe and graceful figure, but I must warn you to be very careful and not break anything when you start cleaning.”

“Yes, I will be careful,” Lily answered. How hard could cleaning be? Lily had been on an epic adventure yet she had never done any housework once. However, she believed it should be a lot easier than swinging a sword, it would be fine if she just fiddled around randomly.

Sukeya pointed to his left side, “This is the Archives Hall, this is where we store the precious astronomy graph, calendar system, demon catalog, and the most crucial spirit power and arcane arts cultivation manual.”

Lily followed Sukeya into the archives hall. The inside was a bit gloomy, with rows upon rows and boxes upon boxes of books and documents. There was a musty smell in the air and dust had gathered atop many of the books due to long periods of unuse.

“I wonder if there are any incredible cultivation manuals here,” Lily thought to herself.

Sukeya then guided Lily to the building on the right side, “This is the Artifact Hall, this is where the rare antiques, uncommon tea utensils and porcelain, as well as various objects of interest from the south, are kept. Some of them are extremely valuable so you have to be extra careful when cleaning.”

“Understood,” Lily nodded.

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And finally, Sukeya led Lily to the biggest building at the center.

“And this here is the Prized Hall!” Sukeya’s tone became more excited, “The treasures in this hall are no ordinary treasures. They are genuine articles with magic power, might, and special abilities! As for the specifics, I won’t say much since I also do not have the qualifications to enter. But you on the other hand… you can enter. Naturally, you are only allowed to clean so don’t think of any funny business. If you take anything out from any of these three buildings, the Clairvoyance Mirror will find it no matter where you hide them. Do you understand? It’s a serious crime if you are caught stealing the treasure! You’ll be taken to the Ministry of Justice to be punished severely!”

“Yes,” Lily didn’t say much and simply nodded.

After the brief tour was over, Lily left the treasury houses’ yard and returned to the shabby house near the hillside.

“Mistress Kagami, you’re back!” Ofuku’s expression turned sour the moment she noticed Lily, as though the other party had offended her somehow. She approached and pointed at the black desk in the center of the room, “Well, over there is where Mistress Kagami will carry out her office work. Besides cleaning the treasury houses, you also need to manage the expenses and personnel. However, I’ll just put this out first, the uncle and aunt here might be nothing special to look at, but only those with certain degrees of background are allowed to work here in the bureau, so regarding personnel appointments and whatnot…”

“Madam Ofuku, please rest assured. You all may continue as you did before, I won’t interfere with your matters,” Besides, why should I care about the laborer’s schedule, Lily thought to herself.

“Hah! That’s more like it. Mistress Kagami is a well-educated and suave young lady! Ofuku said sarcastically.

Noticing the men were stealing glances at Lily, she shouted at them, “What’re you all looking at? Never seen a woman before?”

Feeling embarrassed, a few of them bowed their heads.

“Mistress Kagami, there’s one makeshift bedroom here for your personal use. After all, it’s not an easy job to clean the treasury houses. If you find yourself working until late at night and don’t have enough time to go home, you can stay here. As for your sword, it’s best to leave it in the room since you cannot bring it with you.”

“I understand. That said, the tools…”

“The tools for cleaning the treasury houses are specially made, it’s different from the ones we have piled up here. You can find a cache beside the house, feel free to take anything you need from there. Though I must ask, your skin is so soft and tender, have you ever done any housework before?”

Rather than answering her question, Lily walked over to the veranda.

“Hey! What’s her deal! She’s just another laborer, did she really think herself an official?” Ofuku complained.

Lily didn’t stay to squabble with the old lady and went ahead to check the bedroom. It was simple and crude but relatively clean.

She sat down in the room and pulled open the door facing the outdoors. A frown involuntarily emerged on her face when she saw the messy garden outside.

“Just what am I doing… Why did I come here to work as a high-ranking maid? So what if it’s the Bureau of Divination? Does this Onmyo no Jojo really have a similar official position as the Shojo?”

“Yo, Mistress Kagami, I know you’ve just arrived but let me remind you that,” Madam Ofuku suddenly ran into the room with her hands on her hips, “the last Jojo has retired a long time ago! In other words, the treasury houses haven’t been cleaned in a while, so you better get to work quickly. Otherwise, if the chief decided to check the treasury houses and found out how dirty it is, you will be punished!”

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Lily felt a little peevish due to the old lady’s overbearing attitude, “Fine, fine, I know, don’t need to rush me. Am I supposed to be the boss or are you the boss?”

“I- I was only thinking what’s best for you! Do you need to be so toxic? How ungrateful! Don’t look at me like this, do you know who’s my supporter? You’ll be damned if you know, you won’t be able to touch me!” Ofuku blattered like a machine gun.

Lily ignored her and rushed to the small warehouse to pick up a few buckets, mop, broom, duster, cleaning rags, and so on at random. She then walked past the middle-aged woman and made her way to the treasury houses.

Sukeya was not there by the time she returned to the treasury house again, but there was another onmyoji in his place.

“So you are the new Jojo? Lord Sukeya has informed me. Just stand in front of the mirror for a bit, then you can enter if there’s no problem.” The onmyoji said.

Lily followed his instruction and then entered the inner courtyard. These buildings are so big… just where should I start?

“Why don’t I start from the artifact hall first?” Lily made her choice callously. It wouldn’t hurt to use this chance to take a look at what they have stored inside.

As Lily approached the door, the guards let her in without question.

The inside was filled with various chests and shelves, all filled with diverse sets of items.

Lily picked up a big teacup.

“Judging by the quality, it seems to be a grade 5 teacup, not bad,” Lily put it down after a quick glance at it.

“Hm, this looks pretty good,” She saw a koi fish made of red jadeite, “It’s quite unique and unusual. I cannot tell what grade it is, perhaps 7 or higher?”

Lily took a look around the artifact hall and couldn’t see the other end with a single glance. There sure were a lot of rare items though.

However, she wasn’t here to admire them but to clean.

Let’s brush away the dust first.

Lily pulled out the duster and swept past the shelf like she was dancing. It was actually quite fun, but there was just too much dust so it filled the entire area with dust clouds.

“Cough, cough!” Lily was choked up by the dust and unintentionally stepped back. During that interval, her elbow seemed to have pushed some solid object and a “crash” sound could be heard shortly after.

A porcelain flower vase was pushed down the shelf by Lily and shattered.

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“Gasp!” Lily covered her mouth and flushed. Thinking that she was in trouble, she crouched down to pick up the base of the vase to look for the trademark, “Endowed by Emperor Shirakawa.”

“Emperor Shirakawa? Sounds like a very old emperor. This is bad, did I just destroy something very valuable?”

“Did something happen?” The guard turned their attention into the hall.

“N-Nothing!” Lily hurriedly brushed the shattered pieces under the shelf with her foot.

She got up and took a deep breath, “Why are these dust so much harder to deal with than the monsters? I was careless!”

“Seems like I’ll have to splash some water first to prevent the dust from spreading!”

Lily got out to ask the guard, “Brother onmyoji, is there a well nearby?”

“It’s behind the west building.”

After she found the well, Lily filled the buckets with water and returned to the artifact hall. She thought it’d be too troublesome to splash them bit by bit so she lifted the bucket and splashed them all at once2!

With her precise control, she spilled exactly half a bucket of water onto the entire shelf.

Satisfied with her work, she prepared the cleaning rag to start cleaning but little did she know, other than the porcelain vases, there were also some old scrolls on the shelf.

“Gasp!” Lily’s face flushed up even more and cried out in alarm3, “Oh no!”

She pulled out the dripping wet scrolls in a panic and opened one of them to check the condition. The ink marks on the lower half of the scroll had already steeped in water and became very blurry.

Lily felt a wave of hopelessness, Am I really so incapable of housework that I end up destroying other’s valuable works of art? What should I do if these get discovered…



References

  1. Silva: Wow, isn’t this like the first sword she’s got? It’s been a while since she pulled that out eh…
  2. Silva: Oh no! Not like this!!!
  3. Robinxen: Plot twist, Lily is an idiot.

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