Fourth Outer World Story Series: Basilisk of Ice Sculpture - Chapter 39
- Fourth Outer World Story Series: Basilisk of Ice Sculpture
- Chapter 39 - Separating Salt Ceremony
Translator: MadHatter Editor: MadHatter
“So what am I going to do now?”
After getting into the ritual hall of Ys, I lower the temperature in the space by placing icicles I had created in the bathroom at each of the room’s four corners.
In addition to serving as Ys’ main channel of communication with Takamagahara, the ritual hall may also be utilized for regular training sessions.
[The separation of the salt is the first step to be performed. It’s both an effective way to practice and a useful thing to have as an outcome of the ritual.]
“Well then, please direct me accordingly.”
Seated in the center of the ritual hall, I lay out the knife, a large quantity of salt, thin paper, and other tools that I have brought in advance as requested by Ys.
With these tools, I will now perform the ceremony of separating the salt, despite my lack of notion of what kind of ritual it is.
[First, spread the broadest piece of paper out, and then use both hands to scoop the salt out of the bowl and pile it in a heap.]
In accordance with Ys’ instructions, I spread out the largest sheet of thin white paper, plunge my hands into the bowl of salt, and scoop out as much salt as I can. I then transfer the salt I have just scooped out onto the sheet of paper I have just laid out, forming a heap with it.
[Then, let’s begin the ceremony of separating the salt.]
[Make a hand sign before washing the knife in ice water and dividing the salt into two halves with it.]
Ys’ instructions resonate in my head.
After the symbolic hand sign in front of my face is done, I pick up the knife and dip it in the ice water.
I divide the salt in front of me into two equal portions after that.
[Put the knife in your mouth, move one of the salt heaps to a separate piece of paper, make two signs, rinse the knife in the ice water, and then cut the transferred salt pile into three pieces.]
[Make four signs, wash the knife in ice water, then split the salt pile into five pieces after uniformly transferring each salt pile to a different sheet of paper in the same way.]
The salt heaps get smaller and smaller as the procedure goes on, with the sound of the salt pile being cut and Ys’ voice resounding around the ritual hall.
[The salt pile is divided into seven parts once again by making six signs and then washing the knife in ice water after moving each salt pile onto a separate piece of paper.]
Eventually, 14 pieces of paper lined out in front of me, each with a different-sized salt pile on it. In order to remove the salt from the knife’s surface, I wash it in ice water before laying it out horizontally in front of me.
Even if the smallest salt pile is too small to be classified as a heap, if you cluster them all together, they will appear to be a heap.
[Now, after uttering the words I will say, fold up the papers with the salt heaps on them in the order of size, then fold them up as per the directions I provide you.]
“[Otomanimoniitoni isegasashinnisoshisha aherokku.]”
Folded and formed like a bag, the first piece of paper has the most salt on it.
“[Arakitoniara isegasashinosagarera waerokku.]”
The following two larger sheets of paper are folded into a slightly smaller sack, each with roughly the same quantity of salt on it.
“[Arisahonibusumia urusogusho oor sagareawaeroku.]”
The four pieces of paper that have been sprinkled with salt are then folded to form a small bag.
“[Oisonemoiku urekojirisowaiji umoshihinitsuagarera aeroku.]”
Six of the seven pieces of paper, each bearing a pinch of salt, are finally folded into a small bag.
[Then, once I have finished speaking, make eight signs, then dissolve the remainder of the salt from the salt pile in a glass of water, and drink it.]
As I pour the well-cooled water into the wooden cup, I concentrate intensely in order not to screw up.
In reality, the combination of the cold temperature and all the bizarre incantations I have been using to pronounce words… has given my tongue a rather strange feeling right now.
“[Ootokatta edonomikoikagigonoku uosemisaherau.]”
“Even if you don’t tell me, I know what to do.”
Once the incantation has been uttered I make a sign, I then add every last grain of salt from the pinch on the paper to the water before downing it all in one gulp with the completion of the chant.
It is an odd feeling… if I may use such expression.
Despite the fact that it should just be water with a bit of store-bought salt, I start to feel mysteriously invigorated. It appears… as though my body has been cleansed of all harmful toxins.
[Hey, what are you doing, Akira?]
“Oh, my bad, my bad. I just felt strangely refreshed.”
[That proves that the salt separation ritual went well. Let’s go on with the other ritual.]
[Technically, it’s an extension of the salt separation ritual. Well, you’ll just have to do some minor procedures as I tell you to do.]
Following Ys’ instructions, I put the salt paper in a different place and bring the necessary items in front of me instead, because Ys says there is one more task to be done.
Let’s see, spices, chunks of meat, and the largest pile of salt on a piece of paper… huh?
[Then, Akira. You will start cooking according to my instructions.]
The remark from the incredibly happy-looking Ys leads me inadvertently raise my voice.
No, hang on a minute, where is the sober atmosphere you had earlier! Isn’t this just something that you just want to eat!
[Hmm. This ritual uses salt that has been purified through the salt separation ceremony to make offerings to the Gods. However, in Graecian, only half of these offerings are actually presented to the Gods; the other half is consumed on festivals and other festive occasions.]
Ys insists with utmost earnestness.
“Can someone even eat an offering made for a God…”
[Of course, sharing and savoring the divine food with God and others is ideal.]
“Is that the way it is…?”
[Exactly. So let’s move on before the meat spoils.]
However, noticing what seems to be drool dripping from your mouth corner… Your explanations won’t be convincing, Ys.
Well, the concept that both God and people should enjoy their time together is one that sounds agreeable to me, so I’ll proceed with the work.
To be more specific, several spices and a lot of salt are all mixed well in one tub, before being added with the chunks of meat.
It is covered in salt after thoroughly rubbing salt and spices into its surface, as well as a small amount of water is then added to help the salt solidify swiftly.
After that, the tub is slowly turned over and the surface of it that comes out is frozen and sealed with my right eye power.
The only thing left to do is apparently keep this for a few days to a few weeks in an appropriate cool, dark place.
Huh… Isn’t this just basically preserving food with salt!
[What are you talking about, this is an important ritual.]
[Well, anyway, that concludes the training you have to do today. It’s almost sunset and we’ve got to clean up.]
While inwardly thinking that I absolutely would have to eat Ys, I pack up my things and walk out of the ritual hall to change out of my drenched priestess outfit and back into my original clothes.
“Hmm? Welcome back, both of you.”
When I come across Toki-san and Sora-san, they are directly outside the ritual hall.
It seems that before long, both of them have returned after today’s training.
Or rather, why is Sora-san quivering in little tremors? Did something occur during the training?
“A wet and show through onee-sama has shown upppp!!”
At the moment such a thought flashes through my mind and I try to talk to Sora-san, a strange voice erupts from her and her face breaks out in a sort of expression that I shouldn’t be able to describe. She subsequently leaps at me with movement that leads me to suspect she is closer to a monster than a human being.
There is no time for me to escape.
Her expression and speed genuinely remind me of the woman in military uniform, albeit slightly, causing me to cower perfectly.
While I am fearing for my future and powerless to do anything about it, a hand comes up to my body and just before it touches me…
[Well, with that face of yours, there is no wonder that you would be judged that way.]
Something like a blue-white electric shock rushes through Sora-san’s whole body from the priestess garment I am wearing, and she collapses on the spot.
At that time, what pops into my mind is what Ys says after the purification ceremony that the water on my body and priestess clothes now is simple holy water.
I may or may not want to know why Sora-san had become the target of the interception, but one thing is for certain.
The efficacy of holy water is astounding!
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
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