Chapter 59 – Twelve Moon Phase Instrument

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3080 characters
Translator: LazyButAmbitious English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 2041 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

Hoshi Murasaki took out a black paper scroll. The black paper seemed to be made of special materials and an exquisite Fujiwara Clan crest was embroidered on the outside. Hoshi Murasaki unrolled it in front of Lily, but most of it was blank. Only a golden plus sign was written on the upper left corner1.

“This is a merit sheet. Each plus represents five points of Fujiwara Clan merit. There is a merit room on the southwest side of the manor’s outer courtyard where you can spend or exchange merits for magatama. The Fujiwara Clan’s staff will erase the golden powder using special means. They also keep records so don’t try to inscribe your own merits by yourself.” Hoshi Murasaki handed the black paper scroll to Lily.

“How could Lily do such a thing? I’m afraid that Miss Hoshi Murasaki is looking down on me.” Lily was still polite, though she didn’t know why Hoshi Murasaki was displeased with her.

Hoshi Murasaki took out a red jade coin the size of a button, “This is a jade coin for comprehending the Twelve Moon Phase Instrument. The red one represents one night.”

“Thank you, Miss Hoshi.” Lily accepted them.

Hoshi Murasaki looked at Lily with some disgust, “I’ve done everything that Lady Ayaka ordered me to do, otherwise, I wouldn’t even bother to concern myself with you!”

“Eh?” Lily was stunned, “I wonder how Lily has provoked Miss Hoshi?”

“Hmph, Kagami Lily, you pretend to be innocent in front of Lady Ayaka, but it won’t work on me. You are just a new servant, yet you have the audacity to ask Lady Ayaka to let you live in this study room. How dare you live in the study where Lady Ayaka often stays. What is your intention2?”

“Miss Hoshi, I’m afraid you have misunderstood. Whether it’s staying at her residence or living here, it was Lady Ayaka’s own wishes. Lily wasn’t the one who took the initiative to ask for it. If you don’t believe me, you can ask her.” Lily was scolded for no reason and was naturally upset. She retorted with a cold tone.

“Hmph… wasn’t it you who used despicable means to seduce the Lady!” Hoshi Murasaki glared at Lily before turning and walking away.

“You…” Lily was left baffled.

However, Lily wasn’t a petty woman. Hoshi Murasaki left and Lily soon forgot about the incident. It was the middle of the night, but she was still eager to practice. She wanted to find the Twelve Moon Phase Instrument but had forgotten to ask for the specific location. The garden was very large and was divided into two sections— the inner and outer courtyard. It wasn’t long before Lily got lost in the middle of the night.

“Not good… Looks like I’m lost.”

It wasn’t surprising that she got lost. Firstly, the trees and landscapes in the garden were interspersed and complex, especially in the middle of the night. Secondly, the garden was shrouded by a mysterious force. Lily’s spiritual detection was ineffective and even her general sense of direction was affected to a certain extent.

As she walked, Lily came to a deserted place that seemed to have been left unattended for a long time. Here, the stone path was almost covered with weeds and dead leaves, surrounded by tall grass and bushes.

Lily wanted to turn back but felt that she had already walked too far. She might as well move forward and maybe she would be able to get out faster. After a while, she came to a remote area between some old trees and a broken shrine. The clearing under the trees was covered with weeds and leaves, but Lily felt that there was some kind of faint power pulsing under her feet.

She tried to use her domain to sweep away some of the fallen leaves and an ancient stone carving was revealed.

Where have I seen this style of stone carving before?

Lily used the power of her domain to sweep away a large area of fallen leaves and a circular ancient stone formation appeared under her feet.

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“This is!” Lily was startled and she suddenly remembered something.

Lily hurriedly took out the ancient map drawn with sorrowful intent that was left behind after the mirror girl clan was slaughtered in Mino. She then took out the map of Heian-kyō that she had bought at the night market. After comparing them, she found to her surprise that her current location was very similar to the location of the Kansai stone formation drawn on the mirror girl’s ancient map.

“The Divine Sun Formation!” Lily was shocked.

“Master, you feel it too?” Kagura said from inside the mirror, “This stone formation emits a fluctuation that corresponds very well with Sakura Valley’s Divine Moon Formation. This Divine Sun Formation should be the counterpart of Sakura Valley’s Divine Moon Formation3!”

Lily also made the same conclusion!

When Lily arrived in Heian-kyō, she was so focused on meeting Lady Ayaka that she had no time to think about this matter. Who knew that she would find the Divine Sun Formation in the backyard of Ayaka’s manor.

“Master, even so, you must not activate the Divine Sun Formation at will.”
“I understand.”

Although Lily trusted Ayaka very much, there were other people in the manor and this formation directly connected to Sakura Valley where her sisters and the precious mineral veins were located. Before she could guarantee absolute safety, Lily naturally wouldn’t activate this divine formation which led to her base and potentially threatened the lives of her sisters.

Lily silently took note of this place. With this, she could instantly travel thousands of kilometers between two places and go back to see her sisters. Alternatively, her sisters could come to Heian-kyō at any time. Lily’s mood was greatly improved.

However, Lily was not in a hurry to activate it. She decided to wait until everything was settled before doing anything. Besides, this was Ayaka’s private residence and it would be inappropriate to open up a gateway to Kanto in her courtyard without asking for permission.

Lily left the area and exited the deeper parts of the courtyard, unknowingly coming to the outer courtyard. Not far away, she saw the skinny old doorkeeper walking towards her direction with a lantern in his hand.

“Elder.” Lily greeted.

“Miss Kagami, Missy has already said that this place is like your own home. You can come and go as you please without needing to be formal.” The old man said.

“Missy?”

“Haha, Old Brother Kazumi and I have served the Fujiwara Clan for a long time and we have been the Lord Chief Advisor’s attendants since she was very young.”

“So it’s like that. Elder, Lily has gotten the permission of Lord Chief Advisor to gain enlightenment from the Twelve Moon Phase Instrument, but I don’t know where it is.”
“I see, I know where it is. Follow the path behind me and go up the hill to the north of the courtyard. The Twelve Moon Phase Instrument is at the top of that hill.”
“Thank you, elder.”
“Well, I still have to finish my patrol tonight so you can go up on your own.”

Lily followed the old man’s directions and walked for some time before coming to the hillside of the courtyard. From here, she could see the whole garden of the chief advisor’s manor which had lush greenery and a few elegant buildings lit with dim lights in the dark.

There was a red torii on top of the hill and a fat old man was sitting by the torii while drinking wine.

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“Excuse me…”

“Oh, Mirror Girl, aren’t you the Missy’s new lover?” Before Lily could finish her sentence, the fat old man drunkenly said, “You must be here to gain enlightenment from the Twelve Moon Phase Instrument, right?”

Lily looked embarrassed. What lover?

However, this wasn’t the time to care about such questions. Lily replied respectfully, “Lily is here to observe the Twelve Moon Phase Instrument.”

“Give me the jade coin.” The old man stretched out his fat, stubby hand. Lily took out the red jade coin and placed it in the old man’s hand.

“Go stand under the torii and I will send you to the Twelve Moon Phase Instrument.” The old man said.

“Thank you, elder. By the way, apart from this jade coin, Lily had also received permission from Lord Chief Advisor to gain enlightenment for an extra night every month. I wonder how that will be arranged?”

“Lord Chief Advisor has already informed me regarding this matter. I have my own records so you can come on any day of each month as long as no one else is gaining enlightenment.”

Lily was relieved and walked under the torii.

The fat old man mumbled an incantation, causing a wonderful light to appear in the torii and teleport Lily away. Lily felt a dizzying sensation that surpassed the times when she entered the mirror space. After coming back to her senses, she found herself in a dark space.

She stepped on a small suspended copper platform which slowly started to move. There were faintly visible ancient copper rings around it which gradually rotated according to a certain pattern.

Lily found that one of the copper rings had a sphere with a mysterious pattern engraved on it. The sphere was illuminated by a floating ancient metal lantern, forming a circle of white moonlight that resembled magatama.

“Why does the moon appear when this lantern shines on the dim sphere?” Lily wondered in her heart and looked around, but didn’t see anything else.

“No!” Although she couldn’t see it, Lily felt that there were many large iron spheres revolving in the darkness around her. It was the projection of the iron sphere that shone onto the copper sphere and the remaining parts looked like the moon4.

Lily was from the modern world and had a very good understanding of this principle, but for the ancient people, it would take a long time to gain a similar level of understanding. However, the cost of enlightenment was very high here.

“Hmm?” Lily vaguely felt that a heavy dark iron sphere was flying towards her position, but she intuitively felt that she shouldn’t bump into it.

Unexpectedly, the circular copper platform under her feet changed its trajectory and grazed past the iron sphere according to her will. Lily once again tried to control the operation of the copper platform, but felt that her influence weakened a lot!

At this time, Lily looked at the moon phase sphere which was also rotating according to its own pattern. She felt that she was in a very ancient, huge and complicated mechanism5.

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“This was definitely not something the craftsmen of the Heian Dynasty could have made!” Lily was certain of this in her heart. Where did this sacred relic come from and what kind of existence created it? Lily didn’t even dare to imagine.

Even with the technology of Lily’s original world, it was absolutely impossible to create something that can run without power. Deducing how this sacred relic was created wasn’t something Lily could attempt with her current knowledge; she knew this well.

“What I should perceive now is the kind of power this Twelve Moon Phase Instrument represents.”

Since it relates to the phases of the moon, it should be the power of the moon, right? But what was the relationship between the power of the moon and this Moon Phase Instrument?

Lily knew that she couldn’t rush things and decided to sit on her knees. She looked at the moon phase sphere and began to quietly observe and comprehend.

“Why look at this moon phase sphere instead of looking at the moon directly?”

At this point, Lily felt that she had to find the answer. She felt that this moon phase instrument was more esoteric and complex than the Himemiya Sen-no-hana Painting!

At least Lily could directly feel the eldritch intent from the Himemiya Sen-no-hana Painting, but until now, she couldn’t detect a trace of moon power from this Twelve Moon Phase Instrument.

“Just what is the relationship between this moon phase instrument and the power of the moon?”



References

  1. Robinxen: And I return, hopefully that commenter, once they read through the three volumes they need to catch up on (they left the comment on Volume 2 a couple of days ago) will appreciate the fact that I gave them a chapter free of inane commentary.
  2. LazyButAmbitious: The real question is: What is Ayaka’s intention?
  3. Robinxen: I TOTALLY FORGOT ABOUT THESE MACGUFFINS.
  4. LazyButAmbitious: I am the one who translated this but I don’t get it…
    Robinxen: I guess this is supposed to be one of those magical astronomy aesthetic observatory type things. I can’t say what the original translation was to help you fix this explanation, my apologies.
  5. Robinxen: Is this this realities version of the antike….. Antikythera? That old greek mechanism for recording the solar system.

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