Book 5: Chapter 36: Kimiko’s Aid
Under the night sky, Lily arrived at the beautiful pavilion and pond. As if she knew about her upcoming visit, Kimiko was waiting at the door with a lamp.
“Lady Kimiko……” “Ah, Lily, as expected1. What has led you to my door tonight?” Kimiko laughed. “I… that… I was a bit free tonight and missed Lady Kimiko… so I came for a visit.” Lily stuttered, blus.h.i.+ng uneasily. “Hehehehe, little Lily, you’re really rambling. Clearly, you’re here to see me, why not admit it?” “Ah?” “Your visit today, is about the Bureau of Divination’s theft and the phantom thief, right?” A sly smile graced Kimiko’s face2. “Lady Kimiko!” Lily was shocked, why was Kimiko so perceptive? “Come, let’s enjoy a cup of tea, then we’ll talk.”
Kimiko led Lily into the Kiyoszawa towards the room with the view. Today, Nariaki was out, so the two talked over tea.
Seeking advice, Lily hid nothing from Kimiko, she talked about arriving at Heian-kyo, meeting the Night Parade of One Hundred Demon, how she had delivered the letter to Ayaka, and how she had been dispatched to the Bureau of Divination and the events afterwards.
“Oh my, silly Lily, this was your miss.” Kimiko covered her face laughing, “You didn’t investigate enough so you probably don’t know, but the current Heian government is incredibly corrupt. The royal family, the public officials, all factions are pursuing personal gain under the banner of the court. This large ancient Heian dynasty has almost crumbled, it only looks strong from the outside, the insides are all rotten.”
“From what I know, not only the Bureau of Divination, Defense and Finance, but all the different departments of the government are committing major fraud and filling their own pockets with stolen treasures. I think that Fujiwara no Ayaka sent you to the Bureau of Divination in hopes you would be a source of change, but to think that you would be so foolish, you’re being set up!” Kimiko explained.
“Set up!?” Lily was taken aback.
Taking a sip of tea, Kimiko continued, “If I consider the recent rumors with what you’ve told me, then I think the position you were given in the Bureau of Divination was originally to make you a scapegoat.”
“A scapegoat?” Lily could not understand. “Only, you little girl… you casually smashed apart someone’s longevity gift creating an incident. They simply took advantage and took action earlier.” “Lady Kimiko, I don’t understand… what do you mean scapegoat…”
“Hmph, I’ve long heard rumors, and I think Ayaka is also aware. But it is rumored that the Heian-kyo’s national treasuries, the royal treasury, and a few other large treasuries which include the Bureau of Divination’s treasury have been emptied in recent years. The official accounts and the actual treasures don’t match, it’s a serious issue, but no one dares investigate because it might involve the royal family’s struggle.”
“What!? The treasuries were already empty!?” No wonder Lily had felt that the treasures stored in the treasury were seriously lacking.
She thought back to the night she had arrived at Heian-kyo. She rescued prince Narinaga and was entrusted with a sealed letter to deliver to Ayaka. When she delivered the letter, she was not granted a meeting but was sent to the Bureau of Divination.
“Could it be… that Lady Ayaka sent me, an outsider, to the Bureau of Divination to help her investigate the matter?” Lily suddenly understood.
“Yes, the possibility is very high. It is as you said, you had just arrived in Heian-kyo and rescued prince Narinaga from the Night Parade of One Hundred Demons. The situation was already very strange, Lily, I’m much more familiar with the Night Parade than you are, they are all archdemons. If you had really encountered the Night Parade, how could you have fought them off? I think the Night Parade you encountered was nothing more than a bunch of fakes, probably sent by the court to a.s.sa.s.sinate prince Narinaga3.”
“Lady Kimiko, do you think the letter I delivered was related to the treasuries?” Lily’s eyes were wide open in surprise.
“The ones who know the most about the royal family’s secrets, are naturally the royal family themselves. Prince Narinaga was born weak and kind but he cannot abide such leeches, and when Ayaka was inaugurated as the Chief Advisor, she vowed to support the government. Though, there are probably more reasons why Prince Narinaga is aiding Ayaka. So, little Lily, you were entrusted with Ayaka’s hopes, the hope of cleaning up the filthy courts of Heian-kyo!”
“Only…… I was infuriated and took quite a bit of treasure and material from the treasury.” Lily muttered, her face red.
“That’s right.” Kimiko looked at Lily admonis.h.i.+ng.
“Lady Kimiko, I do not regret what I did, even if Heian-kyo has a case of corruption, I still won’t regret it. Only, I need to meet Lady Ayaka, I don’t know how to explain this to her. Please, I need some advice.”
“Hehehe, little Lily, if you were a fox demoness, I would praise you. But according to human values, what you did was wrong.”
“Even if the world says it is wrong, I would still do it! Whatever the price, or consequence, I will endure, but I will seize any opportunity to gain more strength!” Lily breathed heavily, but her heart was firm.
“Hehehe, your personality is somewhat similar to ours. For the person you care about, you will not hesitate no matter the method.” Kimiko looked at Lily with understanding and sympathy. What human girl would have such an obsession, exactly what sort of fate does this girl possess?
“Little Lily, this issue isn’t too difficult. Why don’t you just stay in the night market for now, no one will dare start anything there. This problem, let me handle it, I have a few methods that can turn the entire situation around in a few days. After that, you can leave the night markets.” “Really? Lady Kimiko……I really don’t know how to thank you!” “How about you repay with your body?” “Ah??? Lady Kimiko, please, please don’t be like that…”
“Ahahahahaha, I’m joking, don’t be so serious. Though I’m helping you, the cost is not small. But Lily, you caught the phantom thief, you could have easily handed her over to Ayaka, but you didn’t. You released her and came here to meet me. That you would prefer to face danger yourself, a young girl with a heart of righteousness, I admire such! Not to mention that Nariaki is one of my people, I should thank you for releasing her. This problem, I shall handle it.” Kimiko calmly, confidently declared.
Lily bowed gratefully, “Thank you, Lady Kimiko.”
With Lily’s clothes, her deep bow had allowed Kimiko a clear view of her full plump mounds4.
Kimiko couldn’t help but stare at the sight, “Why, little Lily, you dressed up today. And so s.e.xy at that?”
“Ah? That, that is!” Lily trembled, if she had known the situation would be resolved so easily, she would not have dressed so. No, that’s wrong… even if it were not easily resolved, what was she attempting to do with such delicate and charming clothes? Lily couldn’t help but hang her head in shame at her muddled thoughts.
Kimiko closed her eyes and took a big breath. “Eh, you also put on perfume, I’ve never come across this scent before, so delicate, so special… so alluring…”
“If Lady Kimiko likes it, I can gift sister a bottle, only, it’s been used before.” Lily shyly attempted to divert the topic.
“I think the scent suits you more, it melds well with your natural feminine scent. I love the smell when it’s applied on you.” Saying such, Kimiko sat down beside Lily, nudged forward, and smelled Lily’s scent.
“Sister Kimiko…please don’t smell me like that…”
Putting an arm around Lily’s waist, a hand softly stroked Lily’s shoulders and neck. Lily wanted to push her away, but after getting so many benefits from Kimiko, she was hesitant.
“Oh right, if you meet Ayaka one day you need to caution her. Some things, she should shut one eye to, if she reveals too sharp an edge, even as powerful as she is, in this Heian-kyo, she’ll still suffer big losses…”
“Warnings like those… someone of your stature and power would be more suitable to give that warning. I’m a small samurai from the eastern land, how could I give her political warnings?” Lily spoke while s.h.i.+vering, Kimiko’s finger trailing over the delicate skin of her shoulder.
“I’m a demon, if I go advise her, wouldn’t that look more like I’m leading her astray? Lily, as for the court situation, I can solve it for you. However, Ayaka is a very serious woman, your theft of the Bureau of Divination, no matter how you consider it, you should still find an opportunity to confess to her.”
“Eh? But you said she’s a very serious woman, if I confess, wouldn’t I be thrown into jail?”
“Hng, then you don’t understand Lady Ayaka. She has two great characteristics, one is her serious nature, the second is her protectiveness over subordinates, especially female subordinates! If you confess to her, she wouldn’t throw you into prison, hmm… she’d personally punish you at most.”
“Huh!???” Lily trembled a bit, “personally punish…what kind…”
Lily felt bitter, she had traveled thousands of miles… she hadn’t met Ayaka yet, but was destined to be punished by her.
Lily nodded her head, “I understand, thank you for the reminder. I will consider the matter.”
“Hmph, it’s only a bit of punishment, it’s not like Ayaka is me. She should be a serious and upright woman, her punishment wouldn’t be doing this and that to you.”
Lily complained in her heart, “I took so much from the treasury, though I don’t owe the court anything, I still feel guilt towards Ayaka. Since I’ve done it, then I will take the consequences. Therefore, I should accept Ayaka’s punishment. I will find a suitable time to confess… then accept Ayaka’s……punishment.” For some reason, as Lily thought more and more, her confidence depleted and her body started trembling for some reason5.
- Robinxen: Wow not hiding.
- Robinxen: Such wisdom.
- Robinxen: The author partially redeeming themselves with some decent plotting?!
- Robinxen: I take it back… Author is just a pervert.
- Robinxen: Ah… I see where this is going. Sigh.