Chapter 9 – Contact

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3073 characters
Translator: Silva English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1910 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

Daytime has become increasingly rare in Heian-kyo. Though she didn’t know it, Lily was actually very lucky to be able to welcome the dawn on her first day here.

The old yet civilized capital was shrouded in a light mist, endowing it with an illusory feel.

It was still roughly 5 AM in the wee hours so there weren’t many pedestrians on the road at the moment. Lily strolled past the dream-like Suzaku Avenue alone.

‘What should I do now?’ For the time being, Lily could only wander aimlessly. She planned to ask for the location of the Genji Clan when pedestrians started appearing so she could go pay them a visit.

To this day, Lily still had no idea why the mastermind behind the scene wanted to prevent her from traveling west. However, now that she had arrived, would they just leave it at that?

While Lily was in deep thoughts, some commotion came from Nijo Boulevard.

Lily turned around to check it out and saw a rather imposing group. All of them were in black court dress and even had foot soldiers and horseback samurai paving the path for them.

In the middle of the procession was a big palanquin carried by eight servants in hunting clothes. The palanquin had a rather simple design, with decorative black wood and white curtains.

‘I wonder who it is?’ The group of people marched forward from Nijo Boulevard in neat formation.

“Hm?” Lily noticed that all the servants carrying the palanquin were pretty girls of the same height and they were wearing white hunting clothes designed for men. And before these girls were two black-clothed elderly men, one fat and another thin.

One of them was apparently the old man who she met at the chief advisor’s manor.

Who else in this capital would be able to come out with such a grand procession? Moreover, the one following them was clearly that enigmatic old man.

“Fujiwara no Ayaka!”

There wasn’t a shred of doubt that the one sitting in the palanquin must be Ayaka.

If she sought out the Genjo Clan to write an invitation for her, there was no guarantee the other party would even consider it, would she really keep waiting like this? Lily wasn’t that stupid.

That wasn’t how Lily did things.

She withdrew her parasol and stepped forward with small steps, stopping right in the middle of Nijo Boulevard and directly blocking the path of the imposing procession.

Although the road was very wide, a female samurai in red standing in the middle of the road was impossible to miss. The procession was also traversing in the middle of the road and definitely wasn’t about to step aside to walk past Lily.

“Who goes there! This is Lord Chief Advisor’s succession! Get out of the path!” The horseback samurai yelled as he approached.

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“It’s Ayaka’s procession as expected!” And yet, Lily celebrated in her heart.

She suddenly knelt down and shouted, “I am Kagami Lily from Kamakura. I have an important matter to discuss with Lord Chief Advisor!”

“The audacity!” The horseback samurai yelled back, “How can a nameless female samurai from the East meet with Lord Chief Advisor so conveniently! Scram!”

“Lily really has a very important matter to discuss! I must meet with Lord Chief Advisor!”

“Preposterous! Someone get this shameless woman off the road!”

Two horseback samurai spurred their horse forward and stopped in front of Lily. They got their whip out and readied to lash at Lily.

Even if they were the chief advisor’s subordinates, Lily had no intention to let them lash her as they pleased.

Lily brandished her closed parasol and easily rolled up the two whips. She then pulled in the opposite direction to forcefully dismount the two sword saints and make them collide in midair. The two crashed to the side due to the impact of the collision.

“Who are you?! How dare you act so brazenly here! Are you tired of living?!” The seated general pulled out his blade which prompted the dozen other soldiers to encircle Lily with spears or polearms in hands. This consequently caused the palanquin at the back to come to a halt.

Lily ignored these people and directly made her plea to the palanquin at the back, “Lord Chief Advisor! Lily is here to deliver the prince’s letter! I must deliver this to Lord Chief Advisor personally!”

Since it had come to this, Lily didn’t care about being discreet anymore, the rise and fall of the Heian Dynasty had nothing to do with her. What matters most was that she gets to meet Ayaka.

“You brazen madwoman! Stop spouting lies! Take her down!” The general pointed his sword at Lily while the soldiers swarmed in.

“Halt—”

A mature, intellectual voice of a female came from within the palanquin. Although the voice was very soft, it somehow spread clearly through the whole boulevard.

Even though the soldiers were making a big fuss, all noises aside from this woman’s gentle yet intellectual voice were muted. Those soldiers had their mouths wide open, yet no sounds could be heard coming out from them.

That voice was like a revelation from a goddess. It directly transmitted into Lily’s mind and soothed her soul.

For a moment, Lily felt as if her strength was being sapped away.

“Lord Chief Advisor,” That thin old man turned towards the palanquin and saluted, “This is merely a madwoman. She’s just here to cause chaos like the rest before her, there is no need for the lord to be alarmed, allow me to go and take care of her.”

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“No, let her come,” The mature voice stated.

“Yes, my lord,” Since that was Lord Chief Advisor’s decision, the old man could only obey.

He turned back to face the warriors and commanded, “Step aside.”

The warriors were all loyal to Lord Chief Advisor without any questions asked, so they stepped aside in succession.

The two old men and the rest of the female-in-man-clothing servants also did the same, after they put the palanquin down, that is.

Now that she was face to face with the palanquin, Lily was starting to get nervous unknowingly.

Behind those white curtains was the one person she traveled all this way to Heian-kyo to meet.

Lily put away the parasol and made her way forward in a very humble manner. After reaching an appropriate distance, about a few meters away from the palanquin, Lily knelt down reverently.

She knelt down with both knees touching the ground to show her greatest respect.

The first thing Lily did was to bow down as a show of courtesy. That sudden change in her bearing and movement caused no end of surprises to the two old men.

Lily slowly strung her words together, “Lord Chief Advisor, this one is Kagami Lily from Kamakura. The prince has entrusted me with a very important letter that I must personally deliver to you.1

A short silence followed soon after. Nobody dared to make any sound until that woman in the palanquin made her judgment.

“Come over, make your way to the palanquin.” That was what the mature woman said.

The voice was so gentle and warm like the flourishing flowers of early summer, and that made it hard for Lily to refuse.

Showing no anxiety, she got up gracefully and made her way towards the palanquin with grace, then she made her way to the side.

With the morning light shining through the white curtains, Lily could see the flowery decorations on the curtain, as well as the figure of a tall, beautiful and gentle woman with a high hat.

So this is Lady Fujiwara no Ayaka? …I wonder how she actually looks behind the curtain.

However, just from the action of approaching the palanquin and watching this figure, Lily felt exceptionally nervous. This felt just like the time when she was secretly observing her senior sister from the shadows.

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Naturally, Lady Ayaka’s figure also carried a hint of a mature woman’s charm. However, compared to an ordinary young married woman, she seemed a lot more capable and experienced.

There was a small window at the side of the palanquin, it slid open slightly and a slender hand soon stretched out from the said window.

A faint feminine fragrance leaked out from the palanquin.

“Huh? She won’t face me?” Lily was apparently a little disappointed.

“However… that’s a beautiful hand,” Lily’s breasts involuntarily undulated as these thoughts crossed her mind.

“Hand it over, the letter.” The figure in the palanquin said. Through the curtain, Lily could tell that although the woman was the only one in the palanquin, she was still sitting very upright. And although she was wearing a formal court dress, the size of her breasts was undeniable. Perhaps, they were even one size bigger than Lily’s.

Lily retrieved the letter from her sash. Only now did she notice that the letter was now a little wrinkled, and it even carried her body temperature and smell, so she was a little embarrassed.

The slender jade white fingers pinched the letter. Possibly due to Lily’s tense state, their fingers touched for a bit. Both of their fingers were equally dainty and long.

“Ah!” As if she was shocked by electricity, Lily let out a soft cry as she pulled back her hands reflexively and she started fidgeting like a maiden in love.

However, as she was lost in her daydream, that hand already pulled the letter back into the palanquin and the curtain was dropped.

“W-wait, Lady Ayaka! Lily still has something to ask of your ladyship!” In a moment of desperation, Lily has accidentally referred to Ayaka by name.
“Insolent! How dare you refer to Lord Chief Advisor by name?!” Both the old men emitted an incomprehensible aura as they were about to punish Lily.
“Don’t mind it,” the woman in the palanquin said, “just let her go, you two are not allowed to harass her.”
“As you command.” The two obeyed.
“Raise the palanquin.” The woman commanded.

Seeing the palanquin being raised and advanced, Lily also started to panic. She hadn’t asked the most important question yet. Thus, she followed after the palanquin and pleaded, “Your ladyship, Lily still has a matter to ask for guidance! Please…”

The woman in the palanquin waved her hand. Seemingly understanding her intention, the palanquin came to a halt. A short moment later, the woman said, “To the northwest of Heian Palace, you can find the Bureau of Divination2 there. Go there and make yourself useful.”

“What?”

The palanquin once again started to advance, leaving Lily standing there in a daze. She watched on as Ayaka’s palanquin moved further away along with the big group of people. The only one left behind was a woman who could be considered the prettiest in both the East and the West.

Lily knew that her rude behavior had reached its limit, not only had she blocked the chief advisor’s palanquin, she even beat up her bodyguard and kept pestering her over and over. She felt that continuing down this path wouldn’t lead to any favorable results.

However, what did Ayaka’s last words mean?

Did she want her to go work at that whatever Bureau of Divination?

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It wasn’t like she came here to beg for work, what she wanted to know was the mirror girls’ secret.

Or could it be that there was something deeper within her words?3



References

  1. Robinxen: I still wonder what this letter is.
  2. https://www.japanese-wiki-corpus.org/history/Onmyoryo.html
  3. Robinxen: Dundundun.

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