Book 5: Chapter 14: Antiquated Anima Container
Lily finally entered the dark, rustic prized hall. It was built with enchanted wooden walls to support its large frame. There were only a few small windows letting minimal light in at the top of the walls.
The air was filled with a mixture of wood and metal, this smell was so strong it caused Lily’s chest to swell repeatedly. She had never been in such a ma.s.sive treasure-house before so she was feeling a little euphoric.
“Click—!” The door was locked the moment it was shut tight, leaving Lily alone in the big building.
The building was supported by many towering pillars and she could vaguely see various items lined up with what little lighting was available. Among them, lots of items were giving off auras that made Lily unconsciously excited, although some of them were emitting heavy or even dangerous aura.
“This is the smell of treasure!”
Lily was a woman who gets exceptionally excited to the point of losing self-control whenever she comes across a genuine treasure1.
It was mainly due to this powerful urge that Lily was able to display unusual courage in every relevant encounter.
Of course, Lily didn’t do this out of her own greed, but rather because she wanted to protect her sisters and find a way to awaken her senior sister!
What a lone girl who was transported to this strange new world by herself needed the most was strength!
“I wonder what treasure they have here…” Lily absent-mindedly swept the floor with the broom in her hands. G.o.d knows what she was sweeping as she focused her attention fully on the treasures.
The shelves near the entrance were all at least ten meters tall and required a stepladder to reach the top. All sorts of exotic materials could be seen laying atop each and every one of the shelves.
There were many wooden boxes filled with the ashes or claws of various powerful monsters. There were also some monster skulls that were placed directly on the shelves, rare lumber that gave off exotic smell, as well as dull ores and s.h.i.+ny crystals Lily couldn’t put a name on. In short, all of them gave Lily a feeling that they were no ordinary items.
“Although these materials give off a peculiar aura, what are they used for? It’s not like they can be forged into a sword like the tamahagane.” Lily soliloquized as she search through the shelf filled with rare lumber.
“Master, I didn’t expect to find so many rare materials here!” At this time, Kagura’s voice suddenly transmitted telepathically to Lily from the mirror.
“What is it? These are just the fangs and bones of some rarely seen monsters and some lumber only. Although I don’t understand much, I can’t see any especially high grade materials among them nor do I know their usefulness,” Lily said as she scanned the exotic materials.
“Perhaps they are as useless as master said, if you’re a samurai that doesn’t know arcane artes,” Kagura replied somewhat disdainfully.
“Huh? You mean that… all these materials are arcane-related?”
“Don’t forget master, this is the Bureau of Divination’s treasure-house. It is only natural for rare materials the onmyoji frequently used in their spells or incantation to be placed near the entrance. Well, not only for onmyoji, they are also very important for s.h.i.+kigami,” Kaguya explained.
“Kaguya, you’re saying that these materials are useful for you2?”
“Yes, although we’ve brought some materials with us from the Saionji house’s reserves, they are very common and not at all on par with the ones here. However… the materials here are too high level and rare, although I recognize and understand their usage, I can’t use most of them at my current level. It seems that the Heian Dynasty’s Bureau of Divination has quite a wealth of resources.”
“So you can’t use them huh…3”
“What’s the matter, master? It sounds like you’re quite disappointed.”
“Eh? What? It’s nothing,” Lily panicked, “I think I better get back to cleaning. How about you come out and help?”
“Master, that is very insulting for the s.h.i.+kigami. Only those inferior men would make the s.h.i.+kigami do odd jobs for them.”
“Aww… fine. I really only wanted your help…” Lily pouted.
“Master, aren’t you getting too used to act spoiled around other girls? That is a very dangerous thought process if you think they will help you and treat you leniently when you act like this. Tell you what, aside from my original master, Suzuhiko-hime, I will not harbor any special feelings for any other women!” Kagura said sternly, making Lily a little dejected.
“Suits yourself then…”
“I can feel a very unusual fluctuation calling out to me,” Kagura sounded a little excited. It was rare for her to act like this considering her normally cool demeanor.
“How come I can’t feel anything? It’s true that there are plenty of powerful fluctuations here, but nothing especially attracted me.”
“This is the onmyoji’s treasure-house. Besides, it is possible that only a s.h.i.+kigami can feel this sort of fluctuation.”
Yuki-Onna added on immediately after, “Lily, I can also feel it. Seems to be coming from within.”
“Where is it?” Lily asked.
“Master, just walk straight, and then turn left…”
Following Kagura’s directions, Lily walked past several shelves with all kinds of bizarre articles before finally arriving at the innermost reaches of the storehouse.
There was a wide-open s.p.a.ce there with a wooden platform surrounded by a rope barrier. In the middle of the platform was a very old ma.s.sive carp statue. The carp statue was at least five meters long and estimated to be thousands upon thousands of kilograms.
“This carp statue…” Lily observed the metallic carp and felt the fluctuation of countless animas from within, “Is an anima container?”
“That’s right,” Kaguya answered, “This is a big container capable of storing a great quant.i.ty of powerful animas. However, this isn’t what so special about it, but rather the thing inside of this container!”
“What’s inside of the container are clearly animas,” Lily replied.
“But not any ordinary anima. For some reason, these animas are calling out to me strongly,” Kagura said.
“Me too, it’s highly probable they are primal animas,” Yuki-Onna followed up.
“Primal anima? What are those?”
“Master, try taking one out and see it with your own eyes,” Kagura urged.
Just when Lily was about to touch it, Kagura shouted, “Master, stop! It is sealed with arcane artes, let me break the spell first.”
“Wow, they needed to go so far as to seal it even after being placed in such a heavily guarded treasure-house, must be some good thing,4” Lily summoned Kagura from within the mirror.
“Although I am still far from my peak stage, breaking a barrier or two doesn’t require too much strength from me. What’s important is experience and methods, breaking this kind of seal is child’s play to me.” While talking, Kagura moved her finger and released a flow of light that easily burned the talisman on the rope barrier.
Lily climbed up onto the wooden platform and rubbed the smooth surface of the giant carp, “Strange… how do I open this container?”
“Master, this is the Copperwood Carp, I bet it’ll spit out the anima with just a light knock,” Kagura elucidated.
“Is that so?” Lily attempted to knock it lightly with her fingers, but there was no response.
“Oh…” Lily spread to legs and gathered spirit power on her palm. Then, she struck the belly of the fish with a loud ‘bam’.
The copperwood carp shook greatly from the powerful impact. Its eyes and seams of the scales suddenly started to s.h.i.+ne and a few mauve-colored animas with distinctive aura popped out from the fish’s mouth.
“What, they’re just Spirit Jade level animas and below,” Lily was a bit disappointed.
“Emis.h.i.+’s Spirit!” Kagura suddenly shouted and jumped up with her eyes lighting up.
“What?” Lily was confused.
“Master, this is Emis.h.i.+’s Spirit! It is a special kind of anima that can only be obtained from the primal demons of Ezo. These kinds of anima contain the essence of ancient spirits, they are valuable animas that can rapidly increase the strength of a s.h.i.+kigami!”
“What? They are more effective than magatama?”
“That’s right! Emis.h.i.+’s Spirit is a primal anima made from the condensed energy of the spiritual world. It has a very high affinity with s.h.i.+kigami. Moreover, it contains the essence required for the s.h.i.+kigami to advance to the next level! Emis.h.i.+’s Spirit is a rare treasure even among the primal animas!” Kagura was very excited.
“It’s that great?”
“Indeed! For example, Nanako’s current strength is barely at the level of early-stage Sword Saint, but if you let me use soul eater to a.s.similate one or two of these Emis.h.i.+’s Spirit, I can increase her strength to late-stage sword saint in one go! And we’ll be able to advance to the spirit jade stage with ten at most!”
“What? For real?” Lily was delighted by the news.
“It’s a pity that… these don’t belong to the master. With the demons occupying the lands, it will be a treacherous journey to pa.s.s through the Mutsu Province to reach Ezo. It will be very, very difficult for us to obtain one such Emis.h.i.+’s Spirit. It’s true that we have lots of magatamas, but the rate of advancement is a lot less efficient than using Emis.h.i.+’s Spirits. Did you know, master? The s.h.i.+kigami who a.s.similated Emis.h.i.+’s Spirit will grow a lot stronger than other s.h.i.+kigami on the same level!”
“She’s right, Lily.” Yuki-Onna said, “Us s.h.i.+kigami are different from you humans. We cannot use power-enhancing arts. Saying it like this is kind of downplaying it, but as a matter of fact, the so-called power-enhancing arts are developed by humans to make up for their deficiency. Those big, bad demons are born with natural strength a few times, or even tens of times stronger than humans, so why would they need some power-enhancing arts? I’m just saying that s.h.i.+kigami who used primal anima can increase their base strength and grow apart from other s.h.i.+kigami who advanced with ordinary methods! It really is such a pity… that these don’t belong to Lily, we can only watch and whine. There’s no way we would do something as unscrupulous as asking our master to plunder other’s treasure right…6”
“Hmph!” Lily shut her eyes and sneered, “Kaguya, Yuki-Onno, you two can stop pretending now. If you want these Emis.h.i.+’s Spirit, go ahead and take it7.”
“Huuuh???” Yuki-Onna flushed, “Master, do you know what you are saying? It’s true that you are the only person in this treasure-house and n.o.body will find out if you only take a few, but this is the Bureau of Divination’s treasury house after all. Seeing how rare the Emis.h.i.+’s Spirit really is, they might even be the royalty’s properties!”
Lily didn’t waste her words and opened the sakura parasol to absorb the floating Emis.h.i.+’s Spirits.
“Wow Lily, this is the first time I’ve felt that you are so das.h.i.+ng!”
Lily immediately pa.s.sed the sakura parasol to Kagura, making her feel a little bashful.
Lily watched the expressionless copperwood carp and said, “Not only is this bureau full of sluggish and corrupted individuals but there are also those who’d attempt to compel me to commit those kinds of vulgar acts! It’s pointless to leave these treasures to them just so they can misuse them for their personal gains. It’s better if we use to to improve our strength and contribute to mankind by slaying demons and exorcising ghosts8.”
- Silva: Oh yes, we all know that by now, thank you very much.
- Robinxen: Oh no. The umbrella is gonna absorb it all.
- Robinxen: Crisis averted!
- Robinxen: Or terrible maybe?! What are you thinking?!
- Silva: Sorry, I can’t… I just have to do this… xD
- Silva: d.a.m.n, these two sure have lots of say, they are definitely hinting Lily to do just that, no other explanation!
- Silva: And Lily’s not dumb either ! xD
- Robinxen: Oh no…