Fourth Outer World Story Series: Basilisk of Ice Sculpture - Chapter 38
Translator: MadHatter Editor: MadHatter
The next day, as ordered by Ys, I head to a shop close to the Security Organization’s headquarters to buy salt, chunks of meat, a kiribakama and Chihaya[i] as well as other items. After lunch, in the afternoon, I would begin my comprehensive instruction under Ys’ supervision in the dorm.
On a side note, Ys has said that everything I bought this time can be expensed… but I wonder is that really true. I am mildly concerned about it.
Furthermore, it appears like Toki-san and Sora-san are training with the eradication squad and should return at the earliest in the evening.
“What’s the initial move, supposing I actually engage in the training?”
[First, change your clothes, and then do a purification ceremony. Anything that is not essential or obstructive to the training should be cleared away as much as possible.]
As directed by Ys, I remove my current Security Organization outfit in the hallway and replace it with just the kiribakama and Chihaya that I had purchased earlier in the morning.
Although Ys mentioned that the Graecian priestess outfit would be preferable from the standpoint of functionality and compatibility, I didn’t have time to prepare it this time, so I used Japoterasu’s priestess attire.
The only noticeable difference is that the kiribakama’s color is now blue rather than red, though.
“Okay, I am done getting dressed. Hmm? What’s up, Ys?”
I turn to Ys after putting on the priestess attire, and she awkwardly casts a gaze at me for no apparent reason.
[Akira. You have changed into your priestess outfit without much hesitation…]
I immediately hunch down when Ys brings this up.
This is not good, not at all. I am donning a priestess’ attire, which means it is a perfectly feminine outfit. Why did I change into it as if it were an ingrained behavior in me? This is not something that can be justified by the excuse that it is for training. How did this come about? Are my mental and physical transitions into femininity occurring simultaneously? Whoa, hang on a second. That kind of conduct is unacceptable! It’s not appropriate in many ways!
[Watch out, Akira. The gender barrier is one of the most basic and permanent obstacles separating me from Akira. Once you are completely feminine to the core, even when the contract is finished, you will never go back to being a man.]
“I-I know! I understand, don’t worry! I am a man, I am a man, I am a man…”
These threatening words from Ys send me into a panic as I mutter my true gender over and over again like a curse to remind myself of it.
In an effort to extort myself, I slap myself on both cheeks after chanting the same words for a while and staying calm mentally, then I rise up vehemently.
Yeah. I suppose I am fine now!
[Then, let’s go to the bathroom. That’s the place where being wet is the least of our concerns.]
I, therefore, take two buckets in each hand and proceed to the bathroom with Ys leading the way.
“So, you say it’s a purification ceremony, but what do I actually do?”
[It isn’t all that dissimilar from the Japoterasu purification ceremony. Well, just follow my instructions and perform one step at a time.]
To avert the emergence of a “Maze,” the bathtub has been drained before I enter.
“Even I am not very knowledgeable about the Japoterasu purification ceremony.”
[Is that so… well, forget it, let’s start. First, fill the bucket with water.]
After turning the faucet to release the water, I fill the two buckets with it.
I cease letting the water out when Ys mentions that is enough.
[So, turn only the water in this bucket into ice.]
“I’m not familiar with narrowing down the range though…”
[That’s part of the training.]
Bringing the bucket to my hand, the one Ys has instructed me to use, I shut my left eye and concentrate my strength in my right eye.
I then gradually use my right eye’s power, focusing only on the water in the bucket, which turns to ice.
I have to be cautious since the water is so clear or else, I may freeze the bucket along with the water.
“Phew… I did it…”
[Break up this ice and shove it in the other bucket. And concentrate in your mind about melting it.]
When a bucketful of ice is formed after some time, I crush the ice by extending my right fingernail and touching it, then I put the crushed ice into another bucket of water.
The ice separates from the water and starts to melt when the surrounding water is deprived of heat as I keep focusing on the thought that the ice is to be melted. What eventually fills my vision is ice water that is magnificently chilled.
[Now, cover your head with this ice water first.]
[The impurities on the body’s surface freeze, remaining immobile, and are then washed away by the ice water. The most efficient method in the first place is to use ice water with actual ice outside in the snow, but this is still sufficient to eliminate the impurities. You’ll have to start over from the point of producing ice water if you don’t finish it right away.]
With both hands, I grab a bucket of ice water. The water is, of course, extremely cold—almost to the point of slicing me open.
My training won’t progress if I don’t do this, though.
I pour the cold water over my head into the bucket as I turn it over and do so resolutely.
And the sensation that I experience…
It is extremely freezing.
All at once I can feel the coldness throughout my body. I mean, won’t I catch a cold from this! Is this really fine!?
[If you’re shivering so badly, let’s get this over with.]
“P-Please, let’s move on with the next step…”
Ys sighs once and hastily issue the next instruction, and I obey it in order to swiftly wrap up the ritual while I suffer in the cold.
However, splashing ice water on my head is truly only the tip of the iceberg. After all…
[After washing your hands, produce another round of ice water in the same manner.]
[Discard the current ice water and create another one. Then rinse your mouth twice with that ice water.]
[Sip the ice water in the same way and drink it this time. This time, don’t make a sound.]
[Continue making hand signs in a symbolic style, after which you should cover your head with the remaining ice water. These are the signs.]
And well, this is something that would chill me mercilessly both inside and outside of my body.
Ugh… It is true that I feel rejuvenated once something is gone from my body, but more than that, my body feels chilly from the core and my whole body is shivering. Ys claims it’s more effective if done outside when it’s snowing, but if I do that, at best I would get a cold and at worst I would pass out.
[All right, continue on to the subsequent steps after softly wiping your hair and clothing.]
“Wait!? Shouldn’t I be changing my clothes!?”
[The water that is currently covering your body and clothing is simple holy water. You won’t catch a cold and it will repel wicked thoughts and impurities better if you leave it wet. So, don’t worry.]
“Ugh… I will believe your words… Ys.”
I move around the dorm with a few tools while sporting my priestess attire, which is still dripping with water, and then I head to the ritual hall dedicated to Ys after softly cleaning my wet garments and hair with a piece of cloth.
Check out other Outer World Story series in order: First Outer World Story: The Black Mist that Devours, Third Outer World Story: Pumpkin Sorcerer, Fourth Outer World Story: Basilisk of Ice Sculpture
[i] Kiribakama is hakama without sash and Chihaya is an ancient Japanese costume used in Shinto ritual
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