"Lily, you’re finally back." Kotoka finally breathed a sigh of relief.
"Lady Kotoka… Everyone…" Although the separation wasn’t long, during that time, Lily had traveled thousands of kilometers to Heian-kyō and embarked on life and death adventures again and again. She had killed the witch in Mino, slaughtered the carp spirit and Kyūbōzu, killed Tamurakonoe on Ryu Island, and defeated Shenzu as well as seriously injured the Rokuhara Tandai…
At this moment, Lily had mixed feelings when she saw everyone, as if a lifetime had passed.
Lily rushed over to Yuki Mayumi and took out a piece of life-recovery magatama to heal her.
Life-recovery magatama were precious. Although Yuki Mayumi suffered some internal injuries, they weren’t too serious. Life-recovery magatama contained strong life-attributed spiritual energy and healing power, so upon receiving its nourishment, her condition improved significantly.
At this time, Haihime and the others rushed over.
Everyone first helped Yuki Mayumi and entered the valley together.
In the big house of Sakura Blossom Valley, the sisters finally reunited. In the past few days, Lily had admittedly been feeling uneasy. How could it not be dangerous for her sisters to guard this Sakura Blossom Valley?
Yuki Mayumi was already safe and resting in the inner room.
After listening to the recent situation in the East, Lily frowned, "In just a few months, the East has unexpectedly undergone such huge changes. I always feel that the speed of the heavenly way’s collapse is accelerating."
"Alas, even the relatively peaceful Eastern land has become like this!" Sakiko also sighed.
Lily said, "I have activated the Divine Sun Formation in Heian-kyō. From now on, it will be very easy for us to travel between the Eastern and Western lands. I can’t leave Heian-kyō for the time being. Why don’t you all come to Heian-kyō to live with me? I will buy a house in the capital."
The safest place in Heian-kyō was definitely the chief advisor’s mansion. However, based on Lily’s understanding of Ayaka, if she brought so many women over, Ayaka would beat her to death.
"Lily, according to what you said before, Heian-kyō is also not safe. Furthermore, you have your own adventures and matters to attend to, so it’s not suitable for us to follow you. There are also spiritual energy ore veins here, how can we leave no one to protect this place? This Eastern land is your roots and we have to remain here to protect Sakura Blossom Valley for you. This is also a home for all of us so we naturally won’t give it up, isn’t that right?" Kotoka said.
The sisters nodded their heads.
"In that case, I will try to consolidate the defense of this place," Lily said, "Since I’m only practicing for now, I can immediately arrive in the valley from the chief advisor’s residence if there are any changes. But one day in the future, I may travel far away and it won’t be easy to rush back. Let me go and ask Lord Chief Advisor if I can buy some defensive treasures."
"In addition, this great formation has been activated. If you really encounter danger, don’t fight recklessly. Use magatama to activate the great formation and escape to the chief avisor’s residence in Heian-kyō, where you’ll naturally be safe. Anyway, the ore veins won’t fly away. If you really can’t hold on to it, we can always try to take it back in the future."
"Lily, don’t worry. With the teleportation formation, we can definitely protect ourselves!" Sakiko said.
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Even so, Lily wouldn’t be able to be rest assured if real experts came here.
"By the way, Lily, we have collected more than one hundred magatama in the past few months. You can use them if you need to practice. We have already set aside what we need for our own practice. As for the expenses, it won’t be good if we spend a lot of magatama in Eastern land." Sakiko said.
Lily nodded, "I will also go and ask Lord Chief Advisor if she can mobilize more skilled craftsmen from Heian-kyō to speed up the mining and refining process."
Lily then stood up and said, "The situation is urgent. I will return to Heian-kyō and try to strengthen the defense here first."
"Oh, why in such a hurry…? Won’t you rest for a few days before going back?" Kotoka’s face looked a bit regretful.
"Lady Kotoka, I will return as soon as I find a way to strengthen the defense of this place."
"Oh…" Lily was too impatient and the sisters could only remain quiet.
"Strengthen the defense of Sakura Blossom Valley?" Ayaka asked, "Since you care so much about your sisters, why not let them live in Heian-kyō?"
"Lady Ayaka, my sisters want to have a territory that truly belongs to them, and the scenery of Sakura Blossom Valley is beautiful and quiet. To be honest, there are also spiritual energy ore veins in the valley."
Lily had absolute trust in Ayaka and knew that she wouldn’t covet her treasures. At most, she would only covet Lily herself…
"Spiritual energy ore veins?" Ayaka was surprised, "How much reserves are there?"
"It’s hard to say. I’m afraid there are tens of thousands of square meters of reserves."
"Tens of thousands of meters??!" Ayaka was astonished, "So much? That’s hundreds of thousands of magatama and countless magatama fragments! Good heavens! This treasure, looking at the entire Heian Dynasty, there is not a single existing magatama vein today that possesses such amazing reserves. It’s just that it isn’t easy to collect magatama. How much can you collect in a year, Lily?"
"About two hundred or so."
Ayaka shook her head, "That’s too slow1."
She waved her long sleeve and two wooden boxes appeared in her hands.
"Lady Ayaka, this is…?"
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Ayaka placed the two boxes on the wooden table and opened them successively. One box contained a thick stack of little paper figurines while the other contained a dozen spell talismans.
"Lily, these paper figurines are master craftsman-level shikigami specially used to mine and refine magatama ore veins. Their mining efficiency is much higher than that of ordinary workers and they never need to rest. The shikigami naturally absorb the aura emitted by the ore veins during the mining process and can work for a long time. At the same time, you don’t have to fear the leakage of information." Ayaka explained.
"It’s surprising that there are such strange things."
"Well, Lily, you can use these master craftsman-level shikigami to mine at least ten thousand magatama a year."
"At least ten thousand?!" Lily was shocked.
"Yes, master craftsman-level shikigami are not too precious. The truly rare thing is your ore veins."
Ayaka pointed to the spell talismans in the other box and said, "As for these twelve spell talismans, you can place them according to the layout drawn on this painting. With the red dot as the valley entrance, you can stick them in the mountains and forests at the entrance of the valley, which will form a maze formation. Unless it’s a genius onmyoji like Seimei, ordinary experts and demons will get lost when they enter the maze formation. No matter where they go, they will never find the entrance to the valley. This is more effective than stationing thousands of troops. If one wants to break through or use violence to destroy this maze formation, they would at least need to reach the strength of Rokuhara Tandai to do so."
"Lady Ayaka…" Lily felt incredibly touched. She was happy that Ayaka fulfilled all her requests and reached out to collect the wooden box.
But Ayaka suddenly covered the wooden box.
"Why, Lily, I have helped you so much, but you just want to stretch out your hand and take it away?" Ayaka said with a teasing smile on her face2.
"Lily is willing to pay for it." Lily hurriedly said. These two things were very important and she had to get them no matter how expensive they were.
Ayaka smiled, "If I don’t even care about your tens of thousands of square meters magatama ore vein, do you think I would want your money?"
"Then…what does Lady Ayaka want?" Lily asked with some embarrassment.
Ayaka smiled sweetly, took Lily’s hand, and pulled her to lie across the table. She gently combed through Lily’s hair with one hand before stretching out to caress her neck all the way to her back and waist, "What do I want, you say?"
"Become my lover and I will not only give you these two things, but also send more shikigami to protect your valley and sisters? How about it?" Ayaka whispered in Lily’s ear, causing her sensitive ears to redden.
"Eh? This…" This question really made Lily hesitate for a while. In her heart, she actually had a good impression of Ayaka, so she wasn’t repulsed by the idea. Besides, if Ayaka could really protect her sisters, then… It wasn’t that Lily didn’t already have a lover in her heart, but being touched and kissed a few times wouldn’t hurt. Of course, this kind of shameless thought was involuntary and only flashed by.
"Hahaha, are you tempted?" Ayaka laughed.
"No, not at all!"
"Just kidding with you. I’m very satisfied to see that you are actually thinking with a blushing face3."
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"Take them. These master craftsman-level shikigami are not particularly valuable, but I spent a lot of effort to make that maze formation. Although it is priceless, it can be counted as your reward for solving the Shenzu case and seriously injuring Rokuhara Tandai. The reward is small relative to your merits, but you have seriously injured the third powerhouse in the court." Ayaka took Lily’s hand to help her up and stuffed both boxes into her arms.
"Lily, there aren’t manys days until the preliminary round of the Yoshitsune Memorial Tournament. It is of course important for you to go back to the East to deal with your affairs, but don’t play around and make sure to come back early to practice!"
"Eh? Yes…" Lily wanted to spend more time with her sisters, but she didn’t want Ayaka to urge her to practice, so she had no choice but to obey.
"All right, you can go. I still have things to do." Ayaka looked at Lily with a bit of affection, making her embarrassed. She hurriedly bowed and left.
Back in Sakura Blossom Valley, Lily began to experiment with the use of the master craftsman-level shikigami to mine magatama ore. In fact, there was no need to experiment. These shikigami had their own intelligence and Lily could get them to start working after a brief explanation.
However, she didn’t expect that the use of the master craftsman-level shikigami would cause dissatisfaction among dozens of miners in the valley.
"Lyn-hime! Dozens of us have left our homes and came to this desolate and cold valley to work day and night. Now that you have these shikigami, do you not want us anymore?"
"Where can we go to make a living when there is so much chaos outside?"
"Lyn-hime, don’t forget that we know all the secrets in this valley. If you push us, anything can happen!"
Lily was stunned for a while. She really hadn’t considered this aspect.
She looked helplessly at Kotoka and Sakiko. Those big and burly miners continued to protest and were about to rush over and start a riot. It was as if they couldn’t wait to grab Lily and force her to agree to their terms.
Several female cavalrymen from the Uesugi Clan had to stop them.
"No miners are allowed to get violent!" Lily naturally wasn’t afraid of these miners, but she was afraid of a real conflict and these miners getting hurt.
Kotoka stepped forward and reassured, "Don’t get agitated, everyone. I, Kotoka, was the one who brought you here to mine ores. Although your efficiency is far inferior to these master craftsman-level shikigami, how could Kotoka forget your merits at this time? I will arrange work for you in the valley and give you satisfactory compensation. After all, it is impossible to receive such a high income from working in magatama mines outside. However, please understand that this vein is enough to affect the situation in the world. If you insist on leaving, I can give you a sum of money, but at the same time, you must undergo a spell to forget everything in the past six months."