Chapter 2 – Izumo

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3099 characters
Translator: Aoi English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1785 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

“Do deities really exist in Takamagahara, Ms. Ayaka?” This was a very important question for Lily.

“They do. The deities are the ancestors of the imperial family. It’s said that they used to roam the lands of Heian a thousand years ago. The lands were not known as Heian back then, though. However, there are no records of the real deities manifesting in Takamagahara over the past thousand years if we exclude the minor deities.”

Lily nodded and hoped that the deities would manifest on the summit of Mt. Izumo when she reached there.

“As for the Yin artifacts, they are spirit artifacts that are specialized for women to use and have the Yin attribute enchanted to it. They are quite beneficial for training the body and gaining enlightenment in charm intent and heavenly laws suitable for women. Your domain, Sakura Blizzard, is also quite feminine in nature, so you’ll probably see a considerable increase in strength because of the bracelet’s effects and might even see some other unexpected benefits from it,” Ayaka explained patiently.

“Thank you for the explanation, Ms. Ayaka.”

“There’s no need to thank me, Lily.” Ayaka hugged Lily gently and moved her hands towards the latter’s butt.

“Oh?” Ayaka felt surprised when she saw Lily just blushing in response to her actions. “Why aren’t you denying my touch today?”

“I-It’s because I’ll be parting ways with you soon, Ms. Ayaka. I just don’t want to infuriate you before I leave.” Lily felt her cheeks burn as she answered Ayaka.

“Is that so? I wonder if you’ll allow me to tease you further, then?” Ayaka breathed out into Lily’s ear.

“O-Of course not!” Lily struggled out of her embrace.

Ayaka grabbed Lily’s hand at once and planned to tease her further, but Murasaki’s appearance interrupted their sweet time.

“Ahem. Ms. Ayaka.” Murasaki kneeled down and called out to her with mixed feelings.

Ayaka acted as usual even though Murasaki had seen them mess around and released Lily before she answered her, “What is it?”

Lily lowered her flushed face in embarrassment, though.

“It’s time for the early spring shrine ceremony, Ms. Ayaka. The shrine master succession ceremony is set to occur at two of the shrines under the administration of the Fujiwara clan this year, namely the Izumo Shrine and Kurasuyama Shrine. The court regulations state that we need to dispatch Miko administrators to oversee the entire succession process. The Imperial Shinto Shrine wants to know who you plan to send in as the Miko administrators for this year’s ceremony,” Murasaki answered her.

Ayaka pondered for a moment and said, “The Miko administrators for the succession ceremony, huh? A lot of events have occurred in the capital recently, so I forgot about it. All the experienced priestesses of Heian-kyo have their own responsibilities, so I can’t think of anyone right away… Hold on.”

She then looked at Lily and said, “You’re heading to Mt. Izumo, right, Lily? The Izumo Shrine is right in front of Mt. Izumo, so you might as well oversee the seven-day shrine master succession ceremony as the Miko administrator!”

“Well…” Lily felt confounded as she had limited time to reach Mt. Izumo’s summit. However, she still found it hard to refuse Ayaka’s request. “I’m willing to do it, Ms. Ayaka. I wonder how long it’ll take though.”

“The ceremony lasts seven days and you don’t need to do much other than overseeing it as the court won’t recognize the succession unless it’s conducted under the presence of a Miko administrator,” Ayaka answered and continued, “The Izumo Shrine is the origin of the Fujiwara onmyōji, priestesses and priests. The Izumo Shrine and Heian-kyo are connected via a teleportation formation, so you’ll be able to reach Mt. Izumo much faster this way. Otherwise, it will take you at least half-a-month to reach it.”

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“I’d do it even if there was no teleportation formation connecting them, Ms. Ayaka. However, I have no idea about the duties of the Miko administrator.”

“Haha. You don’t need to worry about it so much, Lily, as you aren’t in charge of the ceremony and also don’t need to perform a dance on the altar. The position of a Miko administrator is the same as that of a court supervisor. All of them will show you respect and give you the same treatment as a court supervisor. You don’t really need to do anything other than overseeing the entire ceremony properly,” Ayaka explained further.

“I see…” Lily nodded. “I shall undertake this task, then.”

Ayaka smiled faintly and whispered into Lily’s ear, “Izumo Shrine is where I learned magic, so it might have some embarrassing secrets related to me. Aren’t you curious about them? My first love, for example.”

“Umm. I don’t dare to make inquiries into your personal life, Ms. Ayaka…” Lily blushed as she wondered, “Ms. Ayaka’s in her twenties, so she must’ve had a first love.”

Lily felt a stab of pain in heart when she thought about this.

Ayaka chuckled when she saw Lily’s expression. “Are you jealous, Lily?”

“O-Of course not!”

“I was just kidding with you about my first love being there. My master’s there, though.”

Meanwhile, Murasaki’s expression soured when she saw Ayaka and Lily banter with each other affectionately.

The Cloistered Emperor’s Palace inside the Heian Palace was much smaller and darker than the Purple Serenity Palace, and it had several bronze tortoise statues that puffed out mist from their mouths.

Yoritomo was having an audience with the Cloistered Emperor alone, and the Cloistered Emperor was seated on the high platform behind the curtain right now.

“Is there any news about Rokuhara, Yoritomo?”

“I’m also worried about his disappearance, Your Majesty. Although Lord Rokuhara has served the court for several generations and has gone into seclusion for training often during those times, his disappearance during times like this worries me a lot.”

The Cloistered Emperor nodded, “I’m also worried about his disappearance.”

“I’ve sent people to look for Lord Rokuhara already. However, no one seems to know where he went, not even the people in his residence. We also have no idea where he trains in seclusion as it’s a pretty secretive area.”

“I see… that’s quite worrying, then.”

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The rumors of Rokuhara’s disappearance had spread inside and outside the imperial court already and the matter had left all the councilors worried.

Yoritomo remained silent for a brief period before he continued, “We don’t have enough troops to protect Heian-kyo if we dispatch troops to Tanba, Your Majesty. Should we borrow the power of the mirror girls and the sword miko?”

“I have always been worried that the cursed mirror girls would bring disaster to the empire, but it seems like we need to change our opinion of them now since they’ve received an oracle from the heavens. We need to rope in all the forces that are beneficial to our Heian Empire. Isn’t that so, Yoritomo?”

“As you wish, Your Majesty.” Yoritomo bowed respectfully.

Lily arrived at the ancestral residence of the Fujiwara clan together with Ayaka under the cover of the rain since the elders of the clan supervised the teleportation formation that was connected to the Izumo Shrine. Even Ayaka could not send someone via the formation without the elders’ permission as the Izumo Shrine was an important place of origin for the clan and was also one of the top five shrines in Heian.

They had come prepared today. The magatama needed for the teleporting Lily fell under the clan’s expenses since it was an official trip under the court’s orders. The court was just too poor to afford it.

“Lily…” Ayaka and Lily stood under the rain with parasols in their hands, one outside the formation and one inside it.

The duo looked at each other longingly.

“Be careful.”
“Mhm.”
“Lily!” Ayaka tossed her parasol aside and stepped inside the formation despite getting wet in the rain before she grabbed Lily’s hand.

Lily felt her body turn numb momentarily as she felt it hard to resist Ayaka’s sudden initiation just before she left for Izumo.

Ayaka took out an orb from her kimono and handed it over to Lily. “It’s a voice transmission orb. You can inject spirit power into it when you decide to skip court and talk to me via it.”

“Really? Thank you for the orb, Ms. Ayaka.” Lily felt pleased that she could talk with Ayaka even when they were far away.
“Just see how happy you are. Do you hate parting with me so much?”
“Not at—”

Ayaka hugged Lily suddenly and raised her chin before she kissed her.

Thud! The Sakura Parasol in Lily’s hand dropped on the wet stone formation because of this.

A thread of saliva connected their lips when they ended the kiss1, and this seemed to show how reluctant the duo felt about parting from each other. A time for separation always came in life, but the duo found solace in the fact that they could see and talk to each other via the transmission orbs.

Lily recovered her senses soon after and pushed Ayaka away when she realized that her actions might mislead Ayaka into thinking she had feelings for her. “Please don’t kiss me forcefully like this ever again.”

“Are you furious at me?”

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“I just don’t want to disappoint you since we’ll part ways today. I don’t know if you like doing this… but this is the last time we do it,” Lily answered with a flushed face and shuddering voice while the white mist from the rain shrouded her face.

“All right. I’ll be waiting for you to return, then.” Ayaka spanked Lily’s butt to push her towards the center of the teleportation formation before she left the formation to activate it.

The grand formation glowed up brightly within the mist and was moments away from teleporting Lily to a faraway place now.

Ayaka looked at Lily solemnly at this moment and pursed her crimson, lonely lips within the rain before she confessed to her. “I love you, Lily2.”

“Hah?” Lily shuddered momentarily and lowered her head demurely when she heard Ayaka confess to her.

The intense light obscured Ayaka’s face and the space around Lily warped as she entered a bright and multicolored spatial region that carried her someplace far.

Her sight returned to normal a brief moment later, but a sunny valley reflected within her eyes instead of the raining Fujiwara ancestral residence.

The Sakura Parasol in Lily’s hands still dripped with rain as Lily sensed the quietness and greenery of this sunny valley.

Her chest heaved up and down intensely and her heart raced quickly right now.

“Did she… confess to me just now?”



References

  1. Robinxen: AYAKA PLEASE.
  2. Robinxen: AY-A-KA!

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