|Author: Carrot Sauce||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 2195 characters|
|Translator: LazyButAmbitious||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1366 words|
Ayaka carefully brought the portrait of the great moon god back to the room and put it on the altar again. The portrait was affixed with the use of arcane arts so how did it get blown away by the wind? Moreover, the spell that Ayaka used to isolate the room wasn’t something that could be easily dispersed by the wind.
“Lady Ayaka, what happened just now?” Lily also felt that the sudden wind was a little unusual, but she didn’t dare to speculate.
Ayaka shook her head, “I don’t know. I have never encountered such an ominous sign before; even I cannot immediately discern what it means. Maybe I need to practice divination, but now is not the time. In any case, I don’t think it’s a good sign.”
“Lady Ayaka, could it be related to the heavenly oracle?” After all, this sign suddenly occurred after she relayed the heavenly oracle.
Ayaka shook her head again, “The heavenly oracle is related to the rise and fall of the dynasty. This matter is too significant for us to speculate on our own. We shouldn’t guess at random before I reach a proper conclusion through divination. But, no matter what, we have to act more carefully from now on.”
“Hm.” Lily nodded.
When they returned to the teahouse, Ayaka’s mood became more solemn.
Lily knew that she was under a lot of pressure.
Perhaps Lily shouldn’t have lost her temper with her just now. After all, the survival of all the people of the Heian Dynasty rested on her shoulders and there would be times when even a high-level existence like her needed to vent. During those times, she wouldn’t spend too much time considering the feelings of others…
Ayaka took the tea offered by Lily and said, “If the root cause of this chaos is really the demons…”
“What will happen then?” Lily asked, “I only heard that each of the three archdemons possess power that can shake the heavens and the imperial court is a little tolerant towards them.”
“That’s right, just like that Shuten Doji who gathered his own army of demons and occupied the Tanba Province. He simply doesn’t put the imperial court in his eyes at all,” Ayaka’s expression was serious, “If we organize an all-out attack, it will still be possible to defeat Shuten Doji, but…if the undercurrents in the imperial court and the heavenly disorder continue, years of poor harvest will ensue and make the dynasty increasingly vulnerable…”
She sighed, “If the root cause of this heavenly disorder is really the three archdemons, things will only be more difficult.”
“Can’t the imperial court be united?”
“I shall declare this critical matter to the court. Right now, there is no time for infighting. Once the heavens completely collapse, the world will perish. At that time, what value would the court, official positions, and influence have1? Some people just can’t see the big picture.” Ayaka helplessly shook her head.
She looked at Lily with a hint of tenderness. Lily was the only person she could truly be unguarded around and who made her feel that she didn’t need to speak in a conspiring or scheming manner.
“Lily, in any case, you have done a very good job. If you hadn’t risked your life to bring this heavenly oracle to me, I’m afraid this world would have missed the opportunity to resolve this heavenly disorder.”
“Lady Ayaka, the elder who sent me there, he…”
Ayaka became gloomy again, “I already know about this. Uncle Duron has watched over my home since I was a child. Dying on the path to defend the heavenly way is precisely the fate of his clan… I have ordered for him to be buried with the rites of a grandmaster, and in the coming days, I will personally pray for his transcendence. I only hope that his soul can become a Buddha…”
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Lily nodded silently and the two fell into a momentary silence with grief in their hearts. They quietly mourned for Yoruko and the old man.
After a while, Lily recalled what happened that day and said, “Lady Ayaka, I feel that there were multiple forces after my life which wanted to prevent me from bringing the heavenly oracle to you. When I returned under the escort of the old uncle, I was attacked by demons, but in today’s proceedings at the interrogation hall, there was also evidence of manipulation and collusion. It is clear that there are people in the court who want to frame me. Madam Yoruko must have also been killed by them!”
“Is there really more than one force?” Ayaka’s eyes looked a bit bleak, “Assuming that the forces which hunted you down and murdered Madam Yoruko wanted to get rid of the heavenly oracle, everything is likely related to the three archdemons.”
“Lady Ayaka, are you saying that the three archdemons or at least one of them was the mastermind behind Madam Yoruko’s murder?”
Ayaka nodded, “I can only say that it’s possible, but we don’t have any evidence at present.”
“But, although the imperial court is afraid of the three archdemons, shouldn’t they be enemies? Why would someone in the court want to frame me? Could the power of the three archdemons have infiltrated the imperial court?” Lily couldn’t help but take in a breath of cold air.
Ayaka’s eyes narrowed slightly, “In fact, I have been investigating this matter and always feel that the current imperial court is a bit strange… If someone holds influence over the imperial court, which archdemon would it be? However, we can’t only focus our attention on the three archdemons. Maybe there are other forces with ulterior motives.”
Lily nodded and fell into deep thought.
“Lily, I will go to the court in a while and use the heavenly oracle as an opportunity to establish a new policy. There are many matters in the court and I’m afraid that it will be diffuclt to investigate the truth behind Yoruko’s murder. However, I really can’t trust the Bureau of Justice…” Ayaka seemed to be in a dilemma.
“Lady Ayaka, please let Lily investigate this matter.” Lily looked at Ayaka and said decisively.
“Lady Ayaka, Lily was falsely accused by others and suffered a humiliating trial in public. Although I was rescued by My Lady, there will be a lot of criticisms surrounding your actions. After all, there is no absolute evidence that completely proves Lily’s innocence.”
“What’s more…” Lily said with a look of sadness in her eyes, “Although Madam Yoruko and Lily met by chance, she did not hesitate to give Lily so many pointers. She lived a lonely life— born to be a swordsman and leader, and died for the sake of the heavenly way… Her character and talent are greatly admired by Lily. I will never allow the culprit behind Yoruko’s murder to get away! I must, I must find the murderer myself and avenge Madam Yoruko!”
As Lily spoke, her clenched knuckles turned white.
“Lily… it seems that you have made up your mind,” Ayaka was also moved by Lily’s determination, “Well, to be honest, I don’t know who else to ask besides you. Although you are not the strongest under me, you are one of my most trustworthy vassals and I feel that you have an indescribable power2. Perhaps you can really uncover the truth of this dark world.”
“Lady Ayaka, please rest assured. For both public and personal reasons, Lily must solve this matter!”
Ayaka nodded and grabbed Lily’s shoulder gently, “If I wasn’t tied up in the dynasty’s political affairs, I would have tried to solve this matter myself…”
“Lady Ayaka has a heavy responsibility to save the world. Leave this case for Lily to investigate! Lily has also investigated several cases in Kanto.”
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“You mustn’t be careless. A power that can plot to murder Yoruko isn’t something comparable to those small demons in Kanto. Lily, you must…be careful.” Ayaka looked at Lily worriedly. Although she was reluctant to give this case to Lily, she had no other suitable candidates.
“Lady Ayaka, please rest assured. Lily has her own way of protecting herself.” Lily nodded firmly.