Chapter 39 – The Cloistered Emperor’s Edict

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3200 characters
Translator: Yuki English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

Reading the note, Lily didn’t doubt the information.

Who would know where she is and be capable of sending the raccoon Yuuta to her. If it’s not Kimiko, then it’d be one of her subordinates. Only she would have such detailed information in the night markets. With the exception of being a bit naughty, Lily had to admire . That woman’s methods were amazing, she said she’d handle it, and in just a few days such a big case was solved.

That middle-aged thief was obviously a scapegoat found by the Bureau of Justice. He probably committed many murders and could not escape an execution sentence, if some benefits were given to his family, what crime would he not confess to? Either way, the sentence was still execution.

The tricks the Bureau of Justice used weren’t anything special, but what forces did use to influence one of the top authorities in Heian-kyo? Was it the royal family? But no matter how powerful Kimiko was, would the royal family listen to her? When she went back to thank Kimiko, she would ask.

Lily was sure Lady Kimiko had strength beyond measure, but silently and efficiently finishing off such a large case, that was something worthwhile of admiration. No wonder that she, a demon, could live in the royal family’s backyard, or that she had created the night-markets that officials or soldiers dared not enter beneath the eyes of the emperor.

That was not doable by violence alone. That was something that needed both precisely applied violence and skillful manipulation. In this regard, Lily was too inexperienced, when she had the opportunity she should learn from Kimiko.

Now that Lily had received the news, she could let out a sigh of relief. But when she remembered that she still had to confess to Ayaka, she started trembling again.

Three days later, the bakaneko Nariaki visited. “Sister Lily, haven’t you gotten bored here? That Bureau of Divination is looking for you all over the city, Lady Kimiko says you can go back.”

“Huh? What?” Lily was still worried, but Kimiko’s advice was not to be ignored.

She suddenly thought of something, “How come you’re the messenger today? What about the raccoon Yuuta?”

“This I’m not too sure about. Lady Kimiko’s assistants said they couldn’t find Yuuta and had me come over.”
“Oh… thank you…”
“When sister Lily has time, let’s go play.”
“Mhm, sounds good.” Lily replied with a laugh.

Nariaki still had tasks assigned by Kimiko and quickly left, leaving Lily looking out the window. She viewed the cold clear sky of the night market with a bit of worry.

“Yuuta, what happened?”

When morning arrived, counting the days, it was still within Lady Ayaka’s time limit of a month. She decided to visit the Bureau of Divination first.

She dressed up a bit, wearing a set of red-sleeved short skirted kimono and no socks, her long legs bare except for a grade nine geta. Today she was prepared, she had Crescent Moon sheathed at her side, though Crescent Moon was not as powerful as Yasutsuna it was capable of initiating soul-slaying attacks, making it more effective against Kamo.

At the same time, Lily also had her shorter Brocade-Patterned Koi, after all in normal combat, using Crescent Moon would not only waste phantom soul energy but easily expose its secret, but wearing both Yasutsuna and Crescent moon at the same time would be strange. Both were super long katanas.

Lily left the night markets and found that Suzaku Avenue was peaceful and no one was following her. It was currently early morning, shops and vendor stalls were in the process of opening, but because the avenue was so wide, it still felt rather empty.

Reporting at the gate of the Bureau of Divination, she was surprised that Fuen personally arrived to welcome her.

“Gosh, Lady Kagami, these few days we couldn’t find you at all, but really, you completed such a difficult task alone and didn’t ask for any help, you really make us feel ashamed of our sub-par abilities.” Fuen started flattering Lily.

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Did this Fuen eat some weird medicine? Last month she had beaten him black and blue. People like Fuen were nothing more than local tyrants, morally unethical and corrupt officials, but they couldn’t be called savage evil villains either, after all, back when they wanted to arrest her, there was plenty of reason. Even so, Lily didn’t plan on fussing with this type of person.

She smiled slightly, “Lord Fuen, what happened last time, I apologize for offending you.”

“Ah, a misunderstanding, it was all a misunderstanding, we were all wrong! We were all wrong! How could we have known that Lady Kagami was a famous female samurai from the eastern land! Even the Cloistered Emperor has publicly commended you! Ah, the Cloistered Emperor! How many years has it been since the Bureau of Divination has received a commendation from the Cloistered Emperor! Lady Kagami, please enter!” Fuen bowed and flattered as if Lily were his mistress.

“Cloistered Emperor!? Commended me?” Lily’s heart shook in shock.

The current Cloistered Emperor was Go-Shirakawa, this Lily knew. She also knew that in the current age, the Cloistered Emperor was the real ruler. The Heian Dynasty’s number one leading figure. Even the lowest merchants selling frogs in the night market knew that the real ruler was Go-Shirakawa. The Cloistered Emperor was the current emperor’s Go-Toba’s grandfather. Go-Toba was too young and nothing but a figurehead with no authority.

Of course, this no authority was only compared to the top echelons of the court. To a tiny female samurai like Lily, the authority of the emperor was still overwhelmingly powerful.

Today’s Heian Dynasty was different from the past. When an Emperor is coronated, they can’t wait to abdicate and become the Cloistered Emperor. In the Heian Dynasty, the real ruler behind the curtains is the Cloistered Emperor. Only, the current dynasty was peculiar, three generations of emperors were still alive. The Old Cloistered Emperor Go-Shirakawa still lived, so his son, or grandson could not attain the position of Cloistered Emperor, therefore they could not attain true authority.

The few days Lily had spent in the night market had allowed her to hear many rumors about the current court situation, which also included many rumors and hearsays1. One of which was an unspeakable rumor about the current Cloistered Emperor and his grandson’s wife, the current Empress, a really unbelievable rumor, only Lily wasn’t much interested in the goings-on of the filthy inner palace.

Today, Lily heard that the supreme existence of the Heian Dynasty, the real emperor of emperors, Go-Shirakawa, not only knew of her, he had actually commended her, it was really inexplicable. But Lily felt, something so illogical, would not be a good thing.

Arriving at the Bureau of Divination’s front yard, Kujo immediately stood up.

“Lady Kagami! Come come, let us go to Lord Kamo to receive the Cloistered Emperor’s commendation!”

The two corrupt officials led Lily to the head palace where Seimei and Kamo waited.

Kamo stood up, his resolute face showed several hints of guilt and turmoil, but he quickly erased the traces and spoke seriously. “Lady Kagami, you have finally arrived. Accept the Cloistered Emperor’s edict.”

Lily was taken aback, an edict? She had never received something like that, wasn’t kneeling the proper procedure? She knelt obediently.

Kamo Tadayuki withdrew the edict enshrined in the heavenly urn and solemnly announced. “We have heard that the Bureau of Divination has lost its treasury. An immense amount of treasure was lost. The Bureau of Divination is a pillar in our fight against demons, we are disturbed by the damage dealt to the bureau. We have heard that the Bureau of Divination cooperated with the Bureau of Justice and solved the case within a month. Seimei as the greatest contributor2 shall be rewarded! Abe no Seimei shall be bestowed the title of Onmyo no Gonsuke and the position of a fifth rank official. We have also heard of Kagami Lily, the female samurai from the east, who single-handedly repelled the thief, a great contribution. We have heard of her feats in the east, she will be a hero of our Heian-kyo’s women. We shall commend her, and bestow awards. Two magatamas, five brocades, a bottle of Nanban perfume. If she remains in the Bureau of Divination and contributes more, we shall bestow rewards……”

The attendant brought the bestowed awards and placed them in front of the palace.

“Two magatamas…this cloistered emperor is sure generous,” Lily whispered in her heart, but it was the cloistered emperor’s bestowal. The significance was great so Lily respectfully received it. Only, she didn’t know why the credit for solving the case was given to Seimei.

Lily had a feeling that this edict was not a reward bestowment, but a declaration that the case was to be declared closed. The Cloistered Emperor had already bestowed rewards to the meritorious people, who would dare say anything else?

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Perhaps……

Maybe the Cloistered Emperor was not rewarding Lily, but was sealing Ayaka’s mouth. Since Ayaka’s subordinate was rewarded, then it would be difficult for Ayaka to pursue the case. She suddenly understood the Cloistered Emperor’s motives.

As for the Cloistered Emperor recognizing Lily as the eastern lands rumored whatever, that was not possible. His subordinates had gathered rumors for an excuse to close the case.

With this, Lily felt that the one who emptied most of the treasury was definitely the Cloistered Emperor. Why else would he issue a decree to end the case? But no matter what, this case had ended and with it, her dangerous situation. However the Heian Royal family spent their treasures had nothing to do with Lily, she had already gained great benefits in this situation, she would naturally not go digging into the hidden specifics.

“Lady Kagami, previously I wronged you. But to think that you and Seimei have earned such accolades for the Bureau of Divination.” Kamo also bowed and apologized to Lily.

Only Seimei didn’t say a word, his smile seemed as if he had already seen through everything.

“Seimei, why don’t you say something? These accolades were won by you and Lady Kagami. You two youngsters are not only skilled but have been named by the Cloistered Emperor himself!” Fuen showed a proud smile. “Seimei, you have no fiance, Lady Kagami, I hear you are unwed in the east. Why don’t you two get along better? It would be a great thing right?”

“Ahahahaha! That’s right! That’s right! The number of women mesmerized by Seimei is enough to fill up half of Suzaku Avenue. Only he won’t look at a regular woman, I think the only one who would enter his eyes, would be an eastern fairy like Lady Kagami. Ahahahaha!” That Kamo still appreciated and treasured his student, he also started joking.

Seimei’s sharp eyes carried deep thoughts, he looked at Lily without expressing his option, but his gaze towards her was different than the way he looked at other women.

On the other hand, Lily didn’t even look at the tall handsome Abe no Seimei, but bowed towards them instead, “I’m sorry, but Lily already has a partner.”3



References

  1. Robinxen: I couldn’t think of another way of saying rumour… Forgive me.
  2. Robinxen: Normally I’d be mad, but since Lily did the theft too I think this is fair.
  3. Robinxen: Oh she said it!

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