Horizon:Kimitoasamade 2B Chapter 19
Chapter 19: Speakers on an Angled Surface
Someone tell me
How I can get used to life here
Point Allocation (Not Possible)
Torii followed the nudist through the sky and saw Musashino’s nightscape below.
“Hey! Toori! That was a pretty good one! Ah ha ha ha!”
“Yeah! Chuuko, you said you’d let me feel your boobs if I managed to steal your bra, right!?”
“True,” replied Torii as she spread her arms and enjoyed the wind. “So what’re you gonna do, Toori!? You’re gonna fall at this rate.”
The two of them laughed together with a 5 meter height difference between them.
Then Toori waved the hand not holding the bra.
“Don’t worry, don’t worry. I have a charm to control my fall!”
He then looked up above past her head.
But Torii did not look back. She knew what was up there: an investigation ship being towed to Okutama’s rear deck. After all, she had been aboard it a moment before.
And this idiot had jumped down from the towing belt ring above it.
Just as she had been fidgeting and wondering if she should jump down or not, the idiot had attacked her butt from behind for a kanchou, so she had circled behind him to hit him with a kanchou. Her mistake had been hesitating upon noticing he was naked. He had snapped his right hand back toward her chest.
But he had not pulled off her tube-shaped bra at quite the right angle, so they had both lost their balance and fallen.
That led to the present, but…
“Hey, Toori! If you ask me, we’re gonna be in trouble soon.”
“Huh!? Are you looking down on me cause I’m a 2nd year, Chuuko!? A game of chicken is all about seeing who panics and uses their spell first!”
“I’m not even going to respond.”
“Dammit! It’s always like this with people in power! You just ignore us normal students when we make jokes!”
“That’s the normal reaction.”
“Not for me!! Listen carefully!”
“The ground is getting awfully close. What’re you gonna do?”
“Huh!? Are you scared, Chuuko!? I’ve got a spell, but I’m not using it yet! Not a chance!”
“Oh, is that so? Well, Toori, is this the charm you were talking about?”
Torii pulled a charm out from her cleavage and showed it to the idiot.
The idiot wrapped the bra around his head and chin, crossed his arms, and nodded.
“Yeah! That’s it! How about that!? I came prepared, didn’t I!?”
“I swiped it from your hand earlier, but what’re you gonna do now that I have it?”
The idiot fell silent for a few seconds and then wrapped the bra around his waist.
“Give it back! Give back my spell!”
“No, I’m using it.”
“W-w-w-wa-wa-wa-wa-w-w-wa-wait, Ch-Ch-Ch-Chuuko. I-I-I’ll d-die, Chuuko.”
“Are you supposed to be rapping?”
“Could you stop calling me Chuuko?”
“You’re really rude, you know that!? So what’re you gonna do? The ground’s really close now.”
“Heh hehhh. Too bad! This is the Musashi, so it isn’t the ground! …Ah! Please don’t look up! Talk with me and give me that spell for free! In fact, Chuuko! If you don’t talk with me, I’ll wrap your bra around my dick!”
“You’ll do that and then crash into the ground?”
“Are you sure you want that!? Are you really, really sure? Think about it, Chuuko! At this rate, you’ll be known as the girl whose bra was wrapped around a dick! C’mon, listen carefully! Can’t you hear your bra crying!? ‘Noooooo, I don’t want to be a dick-braaaa!’ ”
“You’re gonna die soon. I’ll be nice and give you some advice: why not go crying to ‘Musashi’?”
“Oh, right!” The idiot struck a meaningless pose. “ ‘Musashi’! I’d be really happy if you save me right away!”
A sign frame appeared.
“You are on Musashino, so please ask ‘Musashino’. Over.”
“Sorry. I am busy right now. Ask ‘Nishi-Kokubunji’. Over.”
“I am busy as well. Next up is ‘Kokubunji’. Over.”
“Next up is ‘Kunitachi’. ‘Kunitachi’. Over.”
“Please make your stop at ‘Tachikawa’. Over.”
“Please start deadheading. Over.”
“Wait! Wait, all of you! You’re trying to cause me trouble by pretending to be train stations, aren’t you!? You are, aren’t you!? Do you love me that much!? I’m gonna blush!!”
A defense barrier opened below the idiot.
Adele looked out the window while everyone ate the vegetable soup the manager had made.
She looked into Musashino’s sky.
“Um, I’m seeing quite a lot of defense barriers being broken over there…”
“Yes,” said Mitotsudaira, Kimi, and Asama as they looked over at the same time. “My king.” “Foolish brother.” “Toori-kun.”
As they said that, the bottommost sign frame disappeared and decorated the nighttime city.
Torii looked around below the scattering light.
He was in one of Musashino’s surface blocks. It was a student residential district filled with student dorms. The students around him were more puzzled by the light of the defense barriers bursting in the air than they were of the fallen object.
While they all looked up instead of down, Torii sighed in relief that no one was paying any attention to them. And so she spoke without panicking.
“Oh, Chuuko. Over here! I’m over here!”
She turned back and saw the idiot’s upper body poking up from a human-shaped hole in the middle of the road.
“Did the defense barriers not stop your fall?”
“The last one disappeared before it caught me, so ‘Musashi’ must be pretty mad.”
Torii approached the idiot who sat there like he was in the bath, leaned back against the edge of the hole, and looked up into the sky.
“You really are dumb.”
When she crouched in front of the hole, the idiot looked her way and did not hesitate to stare right between her crouching legs.
“Stay like that! Just like that! It’s bright up above, so my eyes haven’t adjusted enough to see through the darkness there!”
“It’s just the panties part of my inner suit. You see that all the time. How about a pose? I’ll thrust my hips out like this.”
“It’s no good if it’s fake!”
“Aren’t all performances fake?”
“Don’t test me just because you’re high-level and I’m mid-level, Chuuko.”
“I see,” she said before laughing.
She got into the hole legs-first and sat across from him like it was a bathtub.
“Ow, ow, ow! It’s too cramped, Chuuko! If you wanna get in a hole, make your own.”
“You’ve got a pretty skinny body. I bet you could do some killer crossdressing material.”
“Oh, judge, judge. I was short on points when qualifying for the mid-level, so I went with that! Asama judged it with the most hilarious look on her face, but sis absolutely loved it.”
“What about the Koumon girl?”
“Nate couldn’t bear to watch!”
Torii looked up into the sky. The sky itself was covered by the stealth barrier ceiling, but she could see the observation ship being towed below that. However, it was mostly hidden by the light of the broken defense barriers.
Torii stared at the Musashi in the sky.
“Did anything good happen to you?”
“Judge,” said the nudist. “All sorts of good things happen to me every day.”
“Are you bragging?”
“Yep. I’ve got friends who’ll hang out with me and cause a fuss, and there are others who will at least worry for me. It’s great to just have something, you know?”
“That’s a pretty low bar.”
“I haven’t forgotten to dream big.”
“You mean that old promise?”
“Yeah.” The idiot also looked into the sky. “Everyone’s so amazing. You saw that today, didn’t you? They defeated a dragon.”
“Doesn’t that make us pretty amazing, too?”
“Then you come with us too, Chuuko.”
Torii fell silent at that, but it did not last long.
“If it works out and I feel like it.”
They both leaned back while facing each other, but the idiot soon spoke up.
“Ah, wait, wait, wait. Chuuko, your butt’s hitting my mosaic!”
“Ohh, I thought that was a piece of the ship, but it’s yours, huh? Since you’re against fakes, I guess you must really be aroused.”
“You idiot, you’ve got a knife stored near your butt, don’t you!? That and your butt are holding my emblem of power like a vise.”
“It’s sheathed, so you’ll be fine. It’s only a decoration to use in my dances anyway.”
Torii then got back on topic.
“I’ll ask again: What was so great that happened to you?”
“Well, it was like I saw nothing.”
The idiot watched the light in the sky gradually fade and thin out.
“We share our dreams. We don’t know how far we can go or how it’ll turn out, but we still go for it, you know?”
“It’s true your class has always stood out and it’s grown even more striking of late.”
“Yeah, so me and the others always had our dreams, but I’ve started noticing someone who doesn’t have a dream, doesn’t have anything to enjoy, and doesn’t have anything good happen to her.”
“But she does seem to have something she can work at in the present.”
“Sounds like a machine.”
“Horizon would’ve said the same thing.”
“Hey.” Torii looked at him instead of the light in the sky. “If you’re gonna go back to how you used to be, I’ll kick your ass.”
“That’s not it,” said the idiot. “Right now, I have everything. I have friends who will make my dream come true. They’re preparing to do that now and I haven’t forgotten it. But there is something we don’t have.”
“We don’t have ‘nothing’.”
“If I could show something to her, then I could say that my…that our promises and dreams are the real deal.”
“Have you fallen for this person?”
“Nothing could happen unless I have.”
“True,” agreed Torii. “You have to fall for someone to get things started, but then no one’s going to fall for you.”
“What do you mean? Oh, sorry. I just said the first thing that popped into my mind to sound cool, but you answered seriously. Um, and I’m getting a little hard, but you can just stay like that.”
“Go to hell. And anyway…”
She sighed and wondered if he really understood.
“You share so much with the others, so if you’ve fallen for this girl, then the others will probably notice her…charm? And fall for her as well. And if that girl falls for you, then she’ll also fall for the others. You’re all in this together, right? …I mean, you’re already sharing more than just your dream with Kimi and a few others, right? You’re sharing a way of life, aren’t you?”
“Those who you’ve gone as far as sharing a way of life with will also share their way of life with the girl you’ve fallen for.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Don’t make a girl say it.”
She could only smile bitterly, but the idiot thought for a bit and spoke.
“Oh, I get it! Sis and the others will steal this girl from me! And that’s why you brought up crossdressing earlier, Chuuko! I get it now! I need to become a girl and share everything with them!”
“Hmm. Then should I help you become a girl?”
Torii twisted the idiot with the knife handle and her butt.
While the nudist arched his back and shook violently, Torii sighed and looked into the sky once more.
Darkness had already returned to the sky, but it was still somewhat bright due to the stealth barrier.
“So even when it’s dark, it’s bright.”
“I’ve got so much to think about. I have a feeling I need to make the festival pretty exciting.”
A meeting was held at the Blue Thunder.
In the center, Asama tore off a piece of her rice bread and used her chopsticks to grab some bacon and onion fried with ginger.
She also spoke about something she could only mention here. It included too much speculation for someone from the Asama Shrine.
“I can only speculate, but it seems to me that the Non-Dragon Sword, Hidden Dragons, and Mito’s Cerberus are all related.”
Mitotsudaira looked to the 3 barking heads on top of her own head. She cut in half one of the hunks of bacon sliced extra thick for her and she placed it between two pieces of bread.
“You mean there’s a connection between this Cerberus and those Hidden Dragons?”
“This is a conflict between the local gods and a stagnation. …Well, um, that’s what I think anyway. Yes, it seems that way.”
“Local gods?” asked a puzzled voice. It came from a sign frame showing Suzu tilting her head while drinking some milk in her bathhouse’s changing room. “They…fight?”
“That’s right. Local gods are something like nameless spirits. They work below the earthly gods who rule over that region and the primary gods of the temples, so they generally leave any conflict to those higher gods.”
“I don’t like saying anything about un-worshiped gods, but those local gods are much closer to the ley lines than the systemized Shinto gods or the other gods. They take the primitive form of spirits, so you could say they’re a lot closer to ether than the gods who were originally deified humans.”
“Heh heh. And what does that mean?”
“They can detect the future through the flow of the ley lines. In the legends, it is those local gods who move out ahead of the gods when they march into battle, but that means they are the guides to the ‘future’. So…”
Asama gave the conclusion of her speculation.
“They must be here to protect the Musashi.”
Naruze had been viewing a drawing thread on her Magie Figur, but now she asked a question with bread in hand.
“The stagnation,” said Asama. “I can’t say for sure, but I think a ley line stagnation has followed the Musashi from the Mikawa region.”
…Just saying a stagnation is following us is probably a little confusing.
Asama doubted the others would understand just from that. After all, the ley lines and stagnations were invisible things. So she opened a sign frame, placed it horizontally so it could not be seen from outside, and placed it in the center of the table.
It displayed a map of the Far East. The area from P.A. Oda’s Kinki to the Kii Peninsula was blank, but…
“I’m seeing a really tall red pillar at Mikawa,” said Naito.
“These are the statistics on the appearance of mysterious phenomena. It’s only the ones IZUMO knows about, though.”
Asama sensed everyone gasp. That was hardly surprising. After all, the pillars only rose finger height from the other areas, but at Mikawa…
…It rises up to our eye level.
“Tomo, wait a moment.”
“Oh, you noticed, Mito? …What about you, Kimi? Have you noticed?”
“Judge. …It’s not just the size of your pillar that matters. Isn’t that what you meant, Mitotsudaira?”
Mitotsudaira placed her hand on the top of the mysterious phenomena pillar rising to eye level.
“This is a cumulative amount. But some mysterious phenomena like strange noises are instantaneous, while others like hauntings are continuous. So if all of these were instantaneous, the greater numbers would not actually do much damage. And in Mikawa specifically, the Atsuta types should be purifying them with prayer song attacks and with keystone carpet bombings. But if you look at the continuous ones…”
As Mitotsudaira spoke, the height of the pillars began to change.
Asama had changed the display setting. She had removed the low-level or instantaneous mysterious phenomena.
Hanami spun around as the pillars shrank. Mitotsudaira’s eyebrows rose in a smile as she watched it.
“Yes, that’s right. Even if things seem ominous around Mikawa, it’s hardly a lost cau-…”
She came to an abrupt stop.
The pillars had stopped shrinking and Adele commented on the remaining height.
“More than half of it wasn’t swallowed up?”
“Since the pillar is red, maybe it thought it was tomato juice.”
But Mitotsudaira looked at Asama from beyond the pillar.
“This is cumulative, remember? Oh, I’ll show just the ones that have continued for more than week. I can also show you the ones that are longer than a month.”
They all shook their head and P-01s arrived to give them more bread. Adele and the two Technohexen took it and Mitotsudaira modestly asked for more meat.
“Um, I would like a shoulder roast ham steak…”
“N-no, of course not. Make it 1 inch.”
That really is modest, thought Asama, but she also asked for something more.
“Do you have any seasonal fruit?”
“Whole or hand-squeezed? For the latter, I grab it on either side like someone’s head and…urah! No, I do not actually say ‘urah’. That was an imaginary voice. Now, what would you like?”
“Um, whole is fine…”
“Judge. That is too bad.”
P-01s’s shoulders drooped and she left. Then everyone sighed. Naito spoke first while looking out the window.
“Asama-chi, I was kind of hoping you would order it ‘urah!’, so now I’m bored.”
“That’s right, Margot. I’m feeling Weiss Techno bored.”
“You’ve turned into such a boring girl, Asama…”
“Is everyone my enemy!? Is everyone here my enemy!?”
“But,” cut in Mitotsudaira. “What does this mean?”
Asama nodded at the question Mitotsudaira asked with lowered eyebrows.
“It looks quite unusual like this, but this accumulation of mysterious phenomena is not all that harmful, so the Shinto organizations are not treating it like a big deal. These ones only lead people astray, confuse morning and evening, or bring rain at unnatural times, so they don’t mess with an entire region and don’t create a hotbed of the monster-type mysterious phenomena.”
“Mikawa is continuing its policy of clearing out all the people and populating itself with automatons. …There are a lot of mysterious phenomena around New Nagoya Castle, but its ley line reactor is very attractive to the other nations due to the items produced there, inventions developed there, and experiments run there. So with most of the residents living outside the city, the other nations are turning a blind eye to the mysterious phenomena.”
“And Tres España is more or less stationed at Mikawa’s land port, presumably to get at their products,” said Adele as she spread butter on her rice bread. “They claim to be protecting Mikawa’s land port as an intermediary port for Tres Portugal’s trade with Kantou, but they’re probably planning to take over Mikawa in an emergency. …But, Asama-san?”
“Tres España, Holland, and England visit Mikawa to trade with Kantou, but do they end up with those giant dragon mysterious phenomena like we did?”
“They have never ended up with any that large.”
Asama responded while opening a sign frame, displaying the trade fleets that had left Mikawa, and showing the number of mysterious phenomena that had occurred within them.
Several red pillars rose, but…
“When I divide it out by time, they have barely any after leaving Mikawa. But when they arrive in another port after leaving, the number rises. Mikawa’s stagnations get into the fleet’s ‘mold’ and reacts when they arrive in a different land. But most of them are tuned while in flight, so it does not lead to an emergency.”
“Then, Tomo, why did we get that Non-God Sword and dragons this time?”
“The Non-God Sword was a stagnation from Aki. Our stagnation was used by the local gods to create the Cerberus.”
“Then,” said Naruze. “What about the Hidden Dragons and Non-Dragon Sword?”
“I think the Hidden Dragons came from a stagnation that pursued the Musashi from Mikawa. Look.”
Asama stood up and displayed a map of the Musashi on the sign frame in the center of the table.
She displayed the ether pathways that started at the Asama Shrine in the center and connected to IZUMO and the other shrines. She also displayed the ether defenses, buffering spell defense barriers, and the divine protections placed inside the ships, individual rooms, and passageways.
“Musashi has very strong defenses against ley line stagnations, partially to preserve the ship itself. At least while inside the stealth barrier, our anti-mysterious phenomena system is on the same level as the K.P.A. Italia capital of Rome, Hexagone Française’s Paris, and the center of England’s London. But…”
“Judge.” Naito nodded. “None of that matters outside the defenses, so the stagnations are drawn to where the defenses aren’t.”
“Right. In Aki’s case, Rome is so perfectly defended that the stagnations tend toward Aki. Aki had not sent yesterday’s theatre ship out in a while, so it was the perfect material for a stagnation to attach to. Similarly…”
Asama hesitated for a moment but said it.
“If the Musashi travels near a stagnation large enough to envelop it, it will attract the stagnation like a bug zapper and that stagnation will stubbornly follow us around. Anything within range of the Musashi’s defenses – so us and the ship’s equipment – will be just fine, but if the stagnation is large enough to envelop all that, we can’t fully purify it.”
“And how did we not notice a stagnation like that?”
“The biggest reason is that it was outside the range of our defenses. But…”
Asama nodded and drew a circle around the Musashi.
“It looks to me like the stagnation is surrounding the Musashi like this. Oh, and the stagnation isn’t inside the circle; the line is the stagnation. Think of it like a balloon full of holes. Everything inside the circle really should be a stagnation, but…”
“Heh heh. You can brag if you want. Tell us the Asama Shrine has erased the stagnation inside the circle and pushed it out to the edges, creating that giant hole.”
“That’s right. Most of the stagnation was already carved away by the Musashi. But…when something happens, the balloon-like film gathers in one spot.”
She gathered the circular line together with her finger.
That formed a stagnation the size of a small ship that directly faced the Musashi.
“So it’s like how scraps of paper don’t look like much, but seem like a lot once you ball them up? Even a thin film can create a dragon when you gather it together.”
“Yes, it’s a common pattern with stagnations. For example, those that cause strange noises in your house or that cause water or rocks to fall from the sky. They’re normally quite thin, but when something happens they gather together all at once and manifest themselves. I’ve never heard of it happening on as large a scale as this, but the Hidden Dragon’s appearance was a lot like that of strange noises. This is just on such a large scale that it should be able to recover very quickly.”
“Then,” said Suzu in the sign frame. “What do…we do?”
“We purify it.”
“Heh heh. Are you going to shoot it!? You’re going to shoot it, aren’t you!? You’re going to shoot like crazy outside the Musashi’s defenses, aren’t you!?”
“No, that wouldn’t work here. Besides, the stagnation had a dragon ‘mold’ this time and, as you could see from the Hidden Dragon flying toward the Kojima Peninsula to recover, the stagnation is like a giant clump. So…”
Everyone nodded and answered in unison:
“You’re going to shoot it?”
“Let’s get our minds off that, okay? What we need to do is…”
At that point, the Blue Thunder’s door opened and someone walked in.
“Judge.” The automaton bowed. “At the request of the Student Council and with Principal Sakai’s approval, I have come to probe you about something. Over.”
“Probe?” said Kimi as she lightly struck Asama’s breasts.
Asama raised her right fist, so the idiot sister escaped while shouting, “There’s plenty in there! It was nice and firm!” But that did not matter, so Asama asked a question.
“Do you have a request for the Asama Shrine?”
“I believe you more or less know what this is about, but…it concerns the Gagaku Festival. Over.”
“I see.” Asama nodded. She did more or less know what she had to do. “At the Gagaku Festival, you want me to fully extract the ley line stagnation around the Musashi and then purify it on the theatre ship, don’t you?”
“Musashi” nodded to tell Asama she was correct.
“ ‘Okutama’ examined the previous incident and we have determined that there is most likely an extremely thin ley line stagnation remaining around the Musashi. So this can all be solved by using the Gagaku Festival’s ley line gathering and tuning process to gather and tune the stagnation. Over.”
“Musashi” saw someone raise their hand. It was Mitotsudaira. The Cerberus on her head also raised its front paw and she spoke to “Musashi”.
“What if the gathered stagnation becomes a Non-God Sword or Hidden Dragon?”
“Based on yesterday and today’s cases, it will likely manifest itself using a ‘mold’. So if that happens…”
“Musashi” gave her thoughts based on their cooperation and the records of them defeating the Hidden Dragons.
“I believe all of you will do something about it. Over.”
“Musashi” saw everyone’s mouths spread horizontally. She had intended that as a compliment, but they apparently did not see it that way. It was a rare reaction, so she made sure to record it.
“But,” she began while looking to Asama. “We received a request from the Vice President earlier. It is for you, Asama-sama. Over.”
“Eh? For me? …What is it?”
“Judge. It asks you to take part in the Gagaku Festival. The stage is the closest location to the extracted stagnation, so it would mean a lot for the Asama Shrine Representative to be there. Over.”
She looked down a little and seemed hesitant to speak, so “Musashi” spoke instead.
“It can be hastily thrown together, but a position has been opened for you to perform either solo or in a band. You will be given the final performance. Here is your entry sheet.”
“Musashi” opened the divine transmission entry sheet on a sign frame and then tossed it to Asama with a finger.
“Ah,” she said as she caught it and stared at it instead of “Musashi”.
“If you are going to perform in a band, please provide the band name before you submit it. Over.”
- Chuuko can mean “used”.
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