Chapter 8 – Conspiracy

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Author: Carrot Sauce Original Source: SFACG Word Count: 3246 characters
Translator: Aoi English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1889 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

Kiyoko had a plethora of things to say but her words got stuck in her throat. She just shook her head in the end and looked at Lily as she said, “Forget it. It’s all in the past, anyway. Bringing it up will just make me sadder and worry you.”

Lily was smart enough to catch on to the implicit meaning of the unspoken words. However, it seemed to her that Kiyoko had misunderstood something.

“You can veto the decision if you believe that I’m not suitable for the shrine master position, Ms. Lily. I won’t blame you even if you do that since the position is a heavy responsibility for me,” Kiyoko said as she looked at the night sky.

Lily’s sight could not help but fall on her slender waist and plump buttocks at this time. Kiyoko’s figure was a bit similar to hers and was just a bit more mature than hers. This made Lily wonder if something had really happened between her and Ayaka, and whether Ayaka had toyed with her body. Lily felt a bit displeased when she arrived at this thought, but she also felt excited at the same time because of the imbalance between her mind and body.

However, Lily was not going to let this affect her judgment regarding the shrine master position.

“I can give you an answer about this question right now if you want, Ms. Kiyoko. I’m going to support you!”
“Hah? But I—”
“Ms. Ayaka would not have sent me here if you weren’t suitable for the position, Ms. Kiyoko.”

“Thank you, Lily. I don’t feel that confident about it since everyone denies me, to be honest. I feel so lost, Lily…” Kiyoko felt her pulse race as she looked at Lily and her eyes teared up. Although she revealed a lonely expression, she brought her emotions under control in the end and said, “It’s quite late now. The shrine master must’ve prepared a dwelling for you by now. Let me take you there.”

Lily showed hesitation on her face when she heard this.

“What’s wrong?”
“I don’t want to see those people, to be honest.” Lily frowned.
“Why not spend the night in this cabin then, Ms. Lily?”
“Huh?”
Kiyoko took out the key and opened the cabin’s door. “This is the dwelling where Ms. Ayaka lived during her training in the shrine.”

“Ms. Ayaka lived here?” She felt a sense of longing when she imagined the scene of a tall and lean genius girl training in the literary arts, the sword and magic alone on this secluded cliff. She wondered if she would have been satisfied with a life where she trained in the sword and magic along with her sisters in a location similar to this if she were a weak and ordinary girl.

“Have some rest then, Ms. Lily. I still need to make some preparations for the ceremony, so I’ll be leaving first. You can just return the key to me before you leave.”

Kiyoko handed the key over to Lily, which made her feel that it symbolized something. However, she accepted it silently in the end.

Lily went inside the cabin once Kiyoko left and even though it was secluded on a cliff, the loneliness did not scare her because she had enough strength to handle most stuff. She then lit up the oil lamps in the cabin and strolled through the wood-scented hallway.

“So, this is where Ms. Ayaka lived during her training. She must’ve slept peacefully on this floor.” Lily sat down and caressed the floor gently with her slender fingers.
“Ngh…” Lily felt a slight pressure in her underbody at this moment and got up to look for the detached toilet in the backyard of the cabin.

Although no one had used it for years, it was pretty clean inside.

“Could Ms. Ayaka be the only one who used it until now?”

Lily raised her skirt up to her waist and untied the string on the side of her underwear, which exposed the dense pubic hair1 underneath her fair abdomen2. She then crouched down to relieve herself.

“Why do I keep recalling her so much recently? Is it because I’ve come to a place that’s related to her?”
“I love you, Lily.”
Lily recalled Ayaka’s confession vividly in her mind.
“Ms. Ayaka…”

Lily’s thoughts ran wild within the narrow room…

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Kiyoko did not tell anyone where she was because she knew that Lily did not want to see those people.

Lily spent the night here and no one came to disturb her the next day as well. She thought of just lingering in the cabin for a while longer since the succession ceremony was still one day away.


Late at night in the residence of the Chancellor of the Realm in Heian-kyo.

Fujiwara no Renbo, the Chancellor of the Realm, as well as the other elders of the Fujiwara clan, had gathered in a secluded cabin in the backyard of the residence for a secret meeting.

The Chancellor of the Realm was present inside the cabin with a few high-ranked officials on both sides, which included Fujiwara no Arima as well. The candle flames within the cabin illuminated the nervous faces of these pampered nobles.

“He’s here,” Arima murmured.

A gust of demonic dark purple wind blew into the cabin with a whoosh and blinded everyone inside it for a moment and saw a cloaked man sitting across them when their vision recovered.

The cabin’s door had also closed without their knowledge.

“Who are you?! Show your face at once!” Fujiwara no Renbo questioned in a somewhat scared tone.

The man took off his cloak and revealed his devilishly handsome countenance under his purple hair. He had a pair of glowing purple eyes and just had one arm, but he carried a terrifying demon claw on his back which seemed to be alive. The man was none other than Ibaraki Doji, the Demon of Rashomon.

Although the man looked devilishly handsome, the demon claw on his back startled the Fujiwara officials and made them scream in fear as they covered their faces with their hands.

However, the officials revealed scheming smiles behind their hands even though they acted scared.

“How dare you appear here when the court has declared war on you! Are you not afraid? You already caused us a lot of trouble last time, so what have you come for this time?” Renbo shot him a series of questions.

“Hahaha. Don’t worry, gentlemen. I’ve brought you a nice double deal this time!” Ibaraki Doji’s voice contained a demonic note to it.

“You demons have already caused us enough harm. What kind of nice deal did you bring us this time?” Renbo thundered at him.

“I suppose you all know that my lord, Shuten Doji, has occupied the Settsu route already.”

The Fujiwara officials revealed stunned looks when they heard him mention Shuten Doji.

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Ibaraki Doji continued, “The merchants must take a huge risk if they wish to cross it.”

“You’re the culprits behind that! How is this a nice deal for us when it has affected us so much?!” Arima complained.

“Hahaha. Don’t worry, gentlemen. I’m going to tell you the reason.” Ibaraki Doji looked at everyone in the cabin with his demonic eyes and said, “We’ll allow the Fujiwara clan to use the Settsu trade route without any restrictions. What do you say?”

The officials’ eyes lit up when they heard this, and they looked at each other.

“You’re just going to allow us to use the trade route, right?” Arima asked.

“Yes.” Ibaraki Doji nodded.

The Fujiwara elders were skilled at trade even though they were weak in strength. The clan would have full control over the Heian Empire’s trade market if only they had the right to use the Settsu trade route since it was the main route that connected Kansai and Heian-kyo. This meant that prices of goods would be under the Fujiwara’s control in the future and would bring in profits from all sides. It would also deliver a huge blow to the Genji and Taira and make it possible for the clan to regain control of the court again.

Although it was just a single trade route, it came with a lot of benefits!

Even the chubby Renbo showed an excited expression when he heard this, but he feigned calmness and asked, “Shuten Doji must want something in exchange for providing us with such a huge benefit, right?”

“Hahaha. That’s the reason I called it a nice double deal just now. There’s no need for you to worry so much since our demand is pretty simple and beneficial to you. It actually benefits you more than us!” Ibaraki Doji said.

“Stop keeping us in suspense and tell us what the demand is,” A boorish Fujiwara official said.

Ibaraki’s eyes flashed with a purple light. “Lord Shuten wants a certain item.”

“What item is it?” Renbo asked.

“It’s a dossier that details Fujiwara no Ayaka’s training records from when she was young,” Ibaraki answered.

“What? Although she’s the current chief advisor and one of the apex experts of the empire, she carries all the important treasures with her. How could a mere dossier have so much value?” Arima asked in disbelief, “You aren’t trying to trick us, are you?”

Ibaraki shook his head in contempt. “Although you all are trade experts, I must say that you’re amateurs in terms of combat. The dossier details everything about Ayaka’s training when she was a young girl, and also contains information about her fatal weakness!”

The officials revealed solemn expressions when they heard this. Although they hated Ayaka for bossing them around, they were still afraid of harming her.

Fujiwara no Renbo, however, revealed a smile that was as malicious as a monster’s smile and said, “Fujiwara no Ayaka has looked down on us several times even though she’s just a young woman. Although we took it lying down, she’s just interested in creating ridiculous policies that don’t benefit us at all. It would’ve been simply impossible for a mere onmyōji like her to become the chief advisor if not for our support!”
“The chancellor is right! We have a right to be furious at her for treating us like this!”
“It’s time for us to teach that arrogant woman a lesson!”

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Ibaraki smiled internally when he heard these comments.

“We’re willing to help you with finding the dossier, Lord Ibaraki, but you must first promise us that you will open up the trade route to us in secret. You can also attack some of our unimportant carriages to avoid others from suspecting us!”

“That’s quite thoughtful of you, Chancellor. Let’s do that, then.”

“You must also promise us that you will just teach her a lesson. It’s fine if she loses her influence and strength, but you must not kill her. She is, after all, one of the Fujiwaras, so we don’t want to murder a woman from our own clan.”

“Hahaha. All right. Me and my lord never intended to kill her, anyway,” Ibaraki said with a smirk.

The officials looked at each other and nodded when they heard this.

Arima then asked, “Can you tell us where the dossier is, then? It must be somewhere you can’t reach, right3?”



References

  1. Silva: so she has pubic hair, thanks for the extra information author
  2. Robinxen: This novel was a mistake.
  3. Robinxen: Let’s see how Lily’s circumstances will collide with the behind the scenes this time.

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