Chapter 58 – Practicing Arcane Arts

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3050 characters
Translator: LazyButAmbitious English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1988 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

Ayaka took Lily back to the study1.
“Lily, you can live in this study from now on.” Ayaka said.
“Eh? Lady Ayaka, this is your study room…”

“This place is quite big and there are two bedrooms. I’m busy with government affairs so I don’t come here every day. You can look through the books in this study at your leisure,” Ayaka took out a few simple books from her storage pouch, “These are secret books containing arcane arts. Arcane arts are different from sword arts and there are countless secret books of varying types. These are the basics, you should study them first.”

“Yes.”

Ayaka took out another book that looked thinner and relatively new, “These are the arcane arts that I created myself. They are all quite practical, but are somewhat difficult. You can practice them after attaining a good foundation.”

Lily took the book and nodded gratefully.

“I still have business in the afternoon and I’m not sure when I’ll come back. Practice well and I’ll check your progress when I return. I won’t be polite if you don’t perform well.”

“Lily will definitely practice hard.”
“Good.” Ayaka nodded with satisfaction.
“By the way, Lady Ayaka, Lily still has something to ask.”
“Hmm?”
“Lily has completed the task of rescuing Miss Amako and would like to collect the reward provided by the Fujiwara Clan. I wonder if I can go and receive it?” Lily asked.
“Of course, I am happy that you are willing to work for my Fujiwara Clan, but you have to remember that your allegiance is to me, not the Fujiwara Clan, understand?”
“Yes, Lily is aware.”

Ayaka smiled, “You don’t have to make a special trip for this kind of trivial matter. It would also be troublesome, after all, they don’t know you. I already arranged for someone to collect it and bring it to you.”

“Thank you, Lady Ayaka.” Lily found it convenient to have a backer. Now she could collect the reward without the hassle of complicated procedures.

“Also, Lady Ayaka, the reward of observing the Twelve Moon Phase Instrument, I wonder where this instrument is located?”

“Ah, this…” Ayaka smiled slightly, “The Twelve Moon Phase Instrument is a sacred relic passed down by my Fujiwara Clan. It is in this manor and I am in charge of it, but this thing involves the heritage of the Fujiwara Clan so I can’t arrange anything at will. Lily, you can go and observe it according to the reward offered. In addition, I will give you one free night of observation time every month. As my student, you have this privilege.”

“Many thanks, Lady Ayaka!” Lily kowtowed this time. She was very grateful for the kindness Ayaka showed towards her. Although she behaved a little strange towards her before, so what? Perhaps she was being too sensitive.

Ayaka had official matters to attend to and left after saying a few more words.

Lily then flipped through the books on arcane arts that were in the study. Although there were many other books in the study room, they were mostly about general history, literature, and poetry, which Lily had no time to read now.

However, Lily understood that, in the future, she needed to study tea ceremony, literature, and poetry in order to improve her artistic conception and way of the soul. Although, to be honest, Lily didn’t like studying literature, history, or poetry…

Lily opened the first book, which seemed to be the most basic book for introducing onmyojis to arcane arts. However, instead of providing general knowledge, it directly taught arcane arts.

In fact, arcane arts was only one of the many skills mastered by onmyojis. There were skills such as shikigami control, astronomy, geography, science, agriculture and forestry, divination and fortune-telling, poetry, musical instruments, among many others. Onmyojis could be regarded as treasures in the palace which could solve various complicated issues. Of course, arcane arts and shikigami control were the most important skills in battle.

Most samurai were unable to control shikigami because they couldn’t use the sophisticated shikigami record, which was a special magic tool allowing shikigami to rest outside of battle. The more advanced the shikigami record, the more capable it becomes of housing powerful shikigami, but the requirements on the user’s arcane arts, mind, and cognitive abilities also becomes higher. This was a very complex path of training. Usually, samurai had little spare time to study more and learning some arcane arts could already be considered good! After all, the human lifespan was limited, and if one wanted to prolong their lifespan, they needed to improve their realm. Whether one practiced the way of the samurai, onmyoji, or the way of the monk, improving their realm required strengthening the spirit jade in the body. It was unnecessary to learn everything, otherwise most practitioners wouldn’t have enough time to achieve sufficient enlightenment.

However, Lily was different. She had the ancient mirror which could accommodate shikigami. At present, the upper limit of the ancient mirror’s ability to hold shikigami was unknown. Moreover, Lily could control and hunt a large number of anima to replenish the shikigami’s spiritual energy so she didn’t need to worry about energy consumption. But, why did most adepts put shikigami in shikigami records instead of keeping them around all the time? In addition to convenience and combat reasons, the main reason was the lowered energy consumption when shikigami were stored in shikigami records, but once in battle, they required a lot of anima just like how people needed to eat.

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However, staying in shikigami records for long periods of time restricts movement and puts the shikigami in a muddled state. This hinders training and some shikigami’s loyalty towards their master would regress over time. In short, the shikigami record was a flawed product and shikigami didn’t like staying inside.

It was certainly more free and comfortable to stay in a real space like the mirror space.

Moreover, it was easier to comprehend secret methods in the mirror space, which was also effective for shikigami, but the effect may be slightly worse for Lily. After all, their methods of perception were different.

The first of the books that Lily got was called ‘Records of Ancient Arcane Arts’, which recorded some arcane arts inherited from ancient times. It covered a wide range of deep and simple topics.

This Records of Ancient Arcane Arts mainly described the eight attributes of arcane arts which were wind, water, fire, earth, metal, wood, thunder, and ice. There weren’t only these eight types of spiritual energy, but they were relatively more common.

Lily sat in the room and the scenery outside was pleasant. She put the book into the mirror space and her boy form soon appeared inside as well.

Although this book was basic, it was an ancient book passed down by the Fujiwara Clan. The content was not too rare, but the book itself had the artistic value of an ancient relic. This made it a sixth-grade treasure which could be stored directly in the mirror. If it was lower than the sixth grade, Lily would have to give it to Kagura or the demon hound so they could take it into the mirror.

“Ah!” Lily suddenly remembered that she forgot to let the demon hound and Ayaka meet. Perhaps to Ayaka, he was just a dog that she raised in the past, but to the demon hound, she was still very important. However, Ayaka was really busy right now so she had to wait until the next time she was free.

Now that she got the books on arcane arts and came inside the mirror, she was eager to practice and didn’t even bother to check if her boy form was a little more feminine. She went to the lunar blossom cave and started learning arcane arts right away.

One must know that learning secret techniques inside the mirror space was a hundred times faster than the outside!

Lily simply needed to read a page to learn its contents.

The speed at which she learned the arcane arts was astounding.

After reading, Lily started to practice on the spot. The spiritual energy inside her spirit body came from the spiritual palace of her outside body, but the amount of spiritual energy the spirit body could hold was small and weak. Fortunately, it could be replenished immediately after use. After all, the spiritual energy reserves of Lily’s spiritual palace was massive compared to her spirit body.

Of the eight attributes used in arcane arts, most of them were inclined towards offense, but some could also provide support and could distract opponents. Because of Lily’s fast learning speed, she managed to learn all of them.

Whoosh! Lily lifted one hand and a fireball flew from the tip of her finger, hitting the wall of the cave, but the impact showed no signs of scorching the wall.

After all, the power of Lily’s spirit body was too weak and the various materials comprising the cave wall and other things in the mirror space were unbelievably hard and couldn’t be damaged at all. Lily had tried to remove the stone lanterns from the mirror space, but was unable to do so. All the furnishings inside the mirror space itself could not be taken out. Only things such as the celestial maiden feather clothing, lipsticks, and similar items were not so difficult to move.

Lily waved her hand again and a clear, bright-blue ice cone flew out while leaving a trail of drifting snow. It struck a stalagmite not far away and caused it to freeze, but the ice soon dissolved and the stalagmite looked as sturdy as ever.

Lily only practiced for one afternoon, but had already learned seven or eight kinds of arcane arts. Moreover, Lily could instantly perform these basic arcane arts without needing to chant the incantation.

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For almost every arcane art, she only needed to recite the incantation once or twice at the beginning. After that, she would fully understand the revelation, meaning, and deconstruction of the incarnation. Once she fully understood it, she didn’t need to chant the incantation again and could perform instant mental recitation.

This was similar to Seimei’s ability. Of course, Lily believed that Ayaka could also cast most spells instantly. Previously, she only recited the incantation as a demonstration to Lily.

Unexpectedly, Lily managed to achieve Seimei’s level of skill in a single afternoon. Of course, it was all thanks to the mirror space. Otherwise, unless an expert like Ayaka demonstrated in person, Lily would have to grasp and perceive on her own which would slow her rate of learning.

Lily’s learning speed was fast and her enthusiasm continued to grow. She kept learning until midnight and managed to learn a total of sixteen magic arts.

“That’s about it.” Lily smiled and used the Art of No-Thought to return to the outside world.

Lily opened her eyes and got up. Her body had been sitting all day and she wanted to do some exercise. After all, Lily was a girl who liked all kinds of sports.

By now, it was already late at night and the bright moon was high in the sky.

“Kagami Lily.” The cold voice of a girl sounded.

Lily looked and saw that Hoshi Murasaki was standing beside the fancy desk.

“What were you doing just now? Why did it seem like your soul was out of your body?” Hoshi Murasaki asked suspiciously.

“Eh? Ah… I was just meditating and practicing.” Lily replied vaguely. It was uncertain why, but Lily felt that Hoshi Murasaki viewed her with a little hostility after meeting each other at Ayaka’s residence. Naturally, she wouldn’t casually reveal anything about the mirror space.

“Is that so… hmm.” Hoshi Murasaki threw a distrustful glance at Lily and said, “Lady Ayaka sent me to retrieve the reward from the Fujiwara Clan and give it to you2.”



References

  1. Robinxen: In honour of the guy who hated my commentary and made an entire comment asking me to stop making inane footnotes, I have decided to make no footnotes this chapter. I’ll be back next chapter.
  2. LazyButAmbitious: Wonder why she is jealous?

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