Horizon:Kimitoasamade 1B Chapter 5
Chapter 5: Socializer at a Place of Learning
What in the world
Are they doing?
Point Allocation (Spreading Flames)
Adele sat in the second seat from the front in Class 2-Plum’s classroom.
That was near their teacher, Oriotorai, but Masazumi sat in front of her because she understood Adele’s nature as a vassal would distract her from the lesson if the teacher looked her in the eye.
The seats in front of the teacher’s desk were filled by Itoken and Nenji on the left and Shirojiro and Heidi on the right.
The manly slime and cheerful incubus acted as a buffer between her and the teacher’s desk. They would promptly answer the teacher’s questions and they used their proximity to the teacher to pass on the atmosphere of the lesson to the others. And if Suzu was ever silently overwhelmed by the awful classmates who had a tendency to go a little overboard, those two would restrain everyone with gestures and warnings devoid of ill will or harshness.
From her position by the window, Adele could diligently accept the lesson thanks to them. She would sometimes feel sleepy from the sun coming in through the window, but…
…Everyone behind me seems kind of noisy today.
She glanced back and found Rank 1 Musashi Knight Mitotsudaira.
That female knight could be seen as Adele’s boss. That may have been why she had always been seated nearby Adele.
Adele appreciated that consideration.
As a vassal, she would be placed under Mitotsudaira’s command in an emergency. If none of the Chancellor’s Officers were present, she only needed to act as Mitotsudaira’s assistant, so it made her duty nice and simple.
They got along and Mitotsudaira tried to look after her. Adele used her speed to charge at the enemy while Mitotsudaira took on a defensive role, so their strong points fit together quite well in combat.
…I really am in a blessed environment.
Most of the vassals in the same or lower years had no interactions with the knights. During emergencies and group training, those vassals would be given a knight to follow for the time being, but when they could not work together well, that relationship tended to fall apart.
A vassal was meant to pave the way for, protect, and assist their knight. When a knight lost, responsibility fell on the vassal first and foremost.
Adele knew that Mitotsudaira had been more of a lone wolf in the past. She looked pretty much the same as she had back then, though.
…Oh, but that isn’t a reference to her breasts. Yes, it just means that she went wild without wearing anything flashy.
Adele had known her for a long time, so during that first half of middle school, responsibility had often fallen on her as Mitotsudaira’s vassal. Then again, that was mostly people asking her to stop the half-werewolf since Mitotsudaira had prided herself in never losing.
“Don’t ask the impossible…”
She had been able to scratch her head, smile, and say that, so it had not been much of an issue. Mitotsudaira had occasionally spoken with her and Asama and she had always said the same thing: Thank you for all your help.
It had been a little much to write off as a “rebellious phase”, but it had definitely been an “angry phase”.
Compared to back then…
Today, Mitotsudaira was especially active. Kimi was sitting next to her, Asama had slid her seat over, and the three of them were having some kind of strategy meeting in the middle of class. As for what they were strategizing for…
“Um… What is this date I keep hearing you three talking about?”
“Heh heh heh. You want to know, Adele? You do, don’t you!? If you want me to tell you, then spin around five times and say woof. …Five!! I win! You’re disappointed you didn’t get to become a dog, aren’t you!? If you want to try again, then go for it!”
Kimi’s engine was revved up hopelessly high.
They had a map opened in a sign frame and they were drawing lines along it with their fingers. Adele had a thought as she looked back to Mitotsudaira.
…Back then, I never would have thought we would have such peaceful times.
Asama’s thoughts were racing.
She had to entertain Kimi and Mitotsudaira, satisfy them, and pull them toward her side. But she was well aware that she was strict with herself and very Shinto-focused. So…
…I don’t know how to take someone on a date! I’m done for! It’s already over!
But she did know that a date was about escorting someone.
In this case, that was Kimi and Mitotsudaira.
It was strange to ask them how she should entertain them, but…
“So what should we do after leaving the academy this afternoon? Should we go take a quick break somewhere?” she asked.
“Heh heh. I wanted to suggest karaoke, but then we would be stuck on the band topic. How about visiting a shop people are talking about?”
“Do you know a good place, Kimi?” asked Mitotsudaira.
“Judge. In Tama’s underground, there is a K.P.A. Italia gelato shop called The 31st Chamber of Ice Cream.”
“That shop was introduced in Aun-Aun recently, so it has long lines now.”
“Heh heh. I wasn’t finished, Mitotsudaira. You know Murayama’s central atrium park? A couple who trained with the wooden men of the 31st Chamber have opened a shop there. It’s called the Seventeen Articles of Ice Cream. It tastes pretty much the same and has some interesting curveballs, like yuzu and chili pepper flavor or mirin and mackerel flavor. The plum milk flavor has apparently been popular recently. …Oh, and I believe they have a thick milk stew flavor you would like, Mitotsudaira.”
Asama had trouble following the conversation. When she thought about it…
“Oh, I’ve never actually eaten any frozen treats like ice cream.”
When she raised her hand and made that confession, Naruze shot to her feet in the back row.
“W-wait a second, Asama! What are you saying!?”
She turned her crop mark frame Magie Figur around so Asama could see what she had drawn there.
“I just finished drawing you sucking on a popsicle while meaninglessly brushing up your hair! Stop creating plot holes!”
“How am I supposed to know what you’re making…?”
“You just don’t get it. I was about to continue the storyboard onto the ‘Oh, this Shinto popsicle doesn’t melt very easily, so it feels great when I stick it between my breasts’ scene so I could enjoy the masochism of realizing I can draw this kind of thing so easily now! But you had to mess it all up!”
“It’s not like I can help it…”
Meanwhile, Mitotsudaira and Kimi exchanged a glance. After communicating through eye contact, Mitotsudaira spoke.
“Have you never had ice cream for religious reasons?”
“I see.” Urquiaga nodded from the back right of the classroom. “Thou shalt not eat ice cream! Religions regularly tell their musicians not to eat pork or beef or not to drink alcohol. It would not surprise me at all if Shinto bans ice cream. After all, they already drink alcohol. Add sweets on top of that, and you have a double whammy leading straight to diabetes.”
“No, we don’t have any rules like that. Shinto doesn’t ban any kind of food.”
Anything was clean once purified, so it was safe to eat. There were some foods the gods especially liked, but Shinto generally let people eat anything.
She had another reason for not eating ice cream.
“It just hasn’t been a part of my eating habits. And a while back-…”
A voice interrupted her from the right.
“That is unacceptable!!”
It was Ohiroshiki.
His family ran a well-known restaurant, he was part of the cooking club, he had started working with the farming club even though he was only in the second year, and he ran a food stand meant for the students. A third year representative of the club actually ran the business side of things, but Ohiroshiki seemed to take care of most everything on the scene.
Asama assumed he was going to give his opinion as a cook, but…
“Listen! Children love ice cream! So I too love it! Surely no one disagrees with that, right? But…oh, sorry. I got a little fired up there. Asama-kun, Mitotsudaira-kun, and Aoi Sister-kun, you are all older than ten, aren’t you? You old hags… Why are you all glaring at me? Anyway, I don’t care what you do since you are so far outside my strike zone. I shouldn’t have said anything. I apologize for interrupting.”
“I’m not entirely sure what you were talking about, but since I’m on the Public Morals Committee, I’ll report it to the guards, okay?”
This time, a voice reached them from the front of the classroom.
It was Adele who had been focusing on them for a while now. She had been looking up at them and quickly facing forward again whenever their eyes met, but now she looked back with her eyebrows raised.
“Don’t worry, Asama-san! Ice cream is a luxury! It’s something you almost never get to eat! Isn’t that right, Masazumi-san!?”
Adele turned to the transfer student from Mikawa who sat in front of her.
Honda Masazumi was a crossdressing girl. Her father was an influential member of the Provisional Council and she apparently hoped to be a politician as well. She spoke without turning back toward the others.
“Actually, my father buys it on occasion. It’s probably just the leftovers from an important guest, but he occasionally gives me some.”
“Ehhh!?” shouted Adele.
Nenji and Itoken turned her way.
“Keep fighting,” said Itoken with a serious expression.
“That’s right, Adele-dono. If we get serious, we can win ourselves a bright future.”
“That would be nice…”
She must have it tough, thought Asama.
…Now, what am I supposed to do?
Planning a date was not easy. She could tell the others why she had never had ice cream once they got there. With that decided, she asked about something else that bothered her.
“Kimi, Mito? How can you come up with these plans so easily?”
Asama heard Kimi speak.
“Well, I read a lot about it in magazines, but I’ve also had some practice with my foolish brother. …Right?”
She turned around to find him sleeping in the back row by the window.
He was not fast asleep, but his relaxed face was resting on his intersecting arms. He had likely tried to follow the lesson for a while because his textbook could be seen on the floor.
It was the usual scene.
When Kimi spotted the textbook, she picked it up and placed it on his sleeping head.
Asama heard everyone let out a quiet breath when they saw him like that.
She then turned to Mitotsudaira.
“Mito, do you read those magazines too?”
“Eh? Y-yes, judge. That would…yes, that’s it.”
I see, thought Asama. Maybe I should try reading those too.
But Kimi narrowed her eyes and poked at Mitotsudaira’s arm with her elbow.
“Heh heh. …Going on imaginary dates, are we?”
“Wh-what are you talking about!? I-I just read the magazines is all!”
“Eh? Wh-what do you mean?” asked Asama.
Mitotsudaira frantically clasped and unclasped her hands.
“I-it’s not like I…imagine who it’s with…or, um…”
Her voice grew quieter as if she did not want the others to hear. The way she was acting and blushing clued Asama in.
While Kimi was taking her brother out on “dates”, Mitotsudaira could only imagine. She most likely did not have a set partner in mind, but…
“You imagine it would be with someone important to you, don’t you?”
“I see.” Kimi nodded and glared at Mitotsudaira. “I notice the dates I’ve been on and the ones you were imagining are awfully similar…”
“Wh-what about it?”
Mitotsudaira’s voice grew even quieter than before.
“Heh heh. Wouldn’t that mean the ‘important person’ you were imagining…is a lot like the person I was with?”
Half in tears, Mitotsudaira grabbed at Kimi, but Kimi dodged out of the way. When her hand grabbed at empty air, the silver wolf created a fist of protest.
“Wh-why would you make a connection like that!?”
“Because it makes me happy.”
Mitotsudaira was speechless.
Asama and Mitotsudaira both listened as Kimi opened her mouth to speak.
“If we all have similar tastes, it means we can all have fun together, doesn’t it?”
“But, um, I don’t really know much about dates…”
Hearing that, Kimi faced Asama.
“A date is simply when you enjoy your time together. …And in doing so, you can grow closer, increase the time you spend together, and gain a better understanding of what you can share.”
“But I think we know each other pretty well already.”
“Do we?” Kimi smiled. “There are some things you can’t understand specifically because you are so close to someone.”
Suzu listened to Asama and the others.
She did not actually know what a date was. She had never gone on one, but she did have some vague knowledge.
At home, her parents would often watch the divine television during meals. She could not see the image, but she could imagine most of what was going on from the sound. And if something was expressed too much through the image, she could ask her parents.
But during the date scenes on dramas, she generally ran into a difficult problem: her parents would fall silent.
But on occasion…
“When we were young…”
“Kids these days move so fast…”
The way they whispered about it, Suzu could only guess that adults did not approve of dates very much.
The other day, her parents had said the following during a scene when the music grew especially intense:
“He’s nearly biting at her.”
She had been incredibly curious what was happening but had been hesitant to ask.
…Will they be okay?
Would Asama, Kimi, or Mitotsudaira be biting someone?
And since Mitotsudaira had something like a small dog with her today, it might do the biting.
However, Asama seemed to be enjoying herself.
She had the day before too. There had been a slight trembling of unease in her voice then, but today it was trembling in anticipation.
It felt like she was heating up.
Even if they were doing something inappropriate, doing something indecent, or biting at someone…
…I hope they have fun.
The date plan they settled on was to start at Takao’s nature district, take a break at Mount Takao, continue to Murayama via Oume, eat ice cream at the atrium park, take a bath at Suzu’s bathhouse, and then figure out where to eat dinner.
Asama wanted to think of ways to entertain Kimi and Mitotsudaira along the way, but…
…I often go to Mount Takao for work.
It was connected to the Asama Shrine via an ether pathway. In the context of Musashi’s ether supply, they were something like the landlord and the tenant.
Starting somewhere familiar was nice, but she had a feeling she would have difficulty getting out of her work mindset.
Will this work out? she wondered as class continued.
Finally, sixth period came to an end and the party began.
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