Horizon:Kimitoasamade 3A Chapter 1

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Chapter 1: Noisy Girls by the Window[edit]

Horizon Kimi3A 035.jpg

It is noisy girls

Not violating girls

Or violated girls[1]

Point Allocation (I Knew That)


There was a white and black structure in the white sky.

It was a giant aerial ship composed of eight smaller ships and it existed at the center of a giant stealth barrier.

Each ship’s bow was printed with the name “Musashi” and they floated motionlessly inside the white stealth barrier they produced themselves.

But in place of movement, there was noise. For the most part, it was the sound of the virtual ocean crashing at the waterline as it kept the Musashi afloat. And in addition to that…

“———————”

There were sounds of striking metal and shouting voices.

Those noises came from the rear deck of the first port and starboard ships, the road in front of the stairway to the academy at the back of the central rear ship, and in the plaza below that stairway.

Construction was underway in those places.

It was nothing largescale. They were only constructing and decorating festival stands and stages in the streets and plazas. In some cases, they hooked up power cables and added lights.

All the construction had a single purpose:

“The spring school festival? I am pleased to see we likely have another success on our hands this year, Sakai-sama. Over.”

On Okutama’s bow deck “Musashi” served Sakai a teacup below the morning light that arrived through the stealth barrier.

“But if anything, it appears today’s preparations might end with only pulling the materials out of storage. Over.”

“Yeah, I hear a lot of the location assignments haven’t been ironed out yet,” said Sakai while viewing Okutama’s city from the bench. He saw some people begin the work by removing the signs that decorated Okutama’s shopping district and streets. “This event is used to redecorate the city from spring to summer. How many years have we been doing it now, ‘Musashi’-san?”

“You might be intending that as a trick question, but I was only installed as overall captain nine years ago, so I can only answer for that nine year period. Over.”

“No, no. That wasn’t what I meant, ‘Musashi’-san. If you check the records, it will show this seasonal tradition has been around since the academy was made 30 years ago.”

“The records…?” “Musashi” tilted her head. And a moment later, “I have retrieved the data. …I have confirmed that this seasonal tradition was established even before 30 years ago. Over.”

“Really? Before there was an academy?”

Sakai raised his eyebrows and “Musashi” gave a deep nod. And…

“Would you like some more tea? I can provide some breakfast too. Over.”

“Oh, I think I’ll take you up on that. What’s for breakfast today?”

“Something made by removing the nutrients from unpolished rice and steaming it, something made by cooking a wild fish alive, and something made by sterilizing rotten beans with salt, turning them into a paste soup, and placing it over high heat for a bit. Over.”

“Could I get a giant chicken cell with that?”

“Judge. I thought you might ask, so I had one prepared.”

“Musashi” snapped her fingers and something fell from the sky behind her.

It was a sword. The long weapon was drawn. A large bento box wrapped in a cloth was tied to the hilt and it had been thrown by…

“ ‘Asakusa’, I have determined that was well done. Over.”

“Musashi” looked to where the blade had stabbed. It had pierced the seam between two of the hardened wooden panels forming the deck and, even after she pulled it out…

“I have determined the gap would have vanished had the ship shaken. Over.”

“That’s incredible, ‘Musashi’-san.”

“ ‘Asakusa’, Sakai-sama just praised you. Over.”

“Judge. Thank you very much.”

But when “Asakusa” appeared on the sign frame, she continued before saying “over”. And she did so while expressionlessly tilting her head.

“Um, ‘Musashi’-sama. Making sure the ship does not shake is quite difficult, so I would prefer you did not make me do that again. Over.”

“Judge. Understood.” “Musashi” gave a deep nod. “Then I shall control the ship next time. Over.”

“Eh? Over.”

“What was that ‘eh’ for? Over.”

“Um,” hesitated “Asakusa” before finally answering. “I have determined your gravitational control is superior to mine. Over.”

“Judge. It is my duty to support all of you, so that is only natural. Over.”

“But,” said Sakai as he moved next to “Musashi” and peered in at the sign frame displaying “Asakusa”. “Is there some kind of a problem with ‘Musashi’-san controlling the ship?”

“Judge. ‘Musashi’-sama is generally managing all of Musashi’s ships at all times. Of course, that is the job of her main body, the Integrated Decision Reactor inside Musashino’s bridge, but her artificial intelligence as an automaton is constantly working at full power as the foundation of all our various decisions. Over.”

“Really? Then even now, are you keeping the Musashi afloat and managing the various functions across the ship?”

“Judge.” “Musashi” nodded. “Musashi is a floating city and it requires strict management to pay for that floating power with taxes. I am constantly managing the state of every nook and cranny, from the sewers to the undersides of the passageways and vital part. Over.”

“Then are you monitoring when I sleep?”

“It is not my job to monitor the Principal who possesses the right to manage the Musashi. And I also omit that sort of work when it comes to those I have decided are trustworthy. Over.”

“Then what do you with the people other than me?”

“I generally monitor their physical condition and location. If anything is unclear or suspicious, I can either send in the guards or request a divine protection from their shrine. The weight management of the ships also allows me to instantly locate any stowaways. Over.”

“Umm, then do you manage my health?”

“Is there a problem with ‘Okutama’, the others, or me providing you with three meals a day? Over.”

“You do do that, don’t you?” Sakai placed his kiseru in his mouth. However, “Oh, I just like the feel of it in my mouth. I’m not smoking it.”

“You have yet to eat, so I am aware. …Now, ‘Asakusa’, what problem is there with me controlling the ship? With the Musashi’s power, multitasking is a simple matter. Over.”

“Um, ‘Musashi’-sama, I would not mind answering in a clean state, but I believe there will be noise. Over.”

“Noise? Over.”

“Asakusa” thought for a moment about that question from “Musashi.”

“Umm.” She briefly looked to Sakai. “This will never end otherwise, so let’s try a practical demonstration. ‘Musashi’-sama, I am about to launch another sword, so make sure it lands in the same place as the last one. Over.”

“Musashi” replied with “judge” while spreading the breakfast out on the table next to her. The transported bento box contained bamboo containers fixed to a heating pallet and ‘Musashi’ opened them to reveal grilled fish, pickled vegetables, and miso soup. She placed steaming rice in a bowl and set down an egg and some chopsticks.

“Here, Sakai-sama.”

“Judge. Thank you very much.”

Sakai exaggeratedly brought his hands together in thanks and then began eating. At that very moment, a dry bursting sound came from up ahead to port. “Asakusa” had launched a large sword.

The sword was difficult to see despite its size and “Musashi” watched Sakai with her hands folded in front of her waist instead of looking back. Sakai cracked the egg on the side of a small bowl and glanced up at her.

“Are you sure this is okay, ‘Musashi’-san?”

“I have locked onto it. This will not be a problem. Over.”

“Musashi” nodded and so did Sakai. And as he stirred up the egg with the chopsticks…

“Oh, soy sauce.”

He looked up and reached for the soy sauce pitcher on the table.

At the same time, “Musashi” also reached over. As a result, their fingers tangled together in front of the pitcher.

“Oh,” said Sakai.

“Oh, dear,” said “Musashi”.

And immediately afterwards, the large sword stabbed into the center of the table, right in front of their hands.


“Waaahh!!”

Sakai grabbed the automaton’s hand and pulled it back from the sword that continued to vibrate even after piercing diagonally through the table.

It had not hit them, but ‘Asakusa’ was glaring from the sign frame.

“That is what I mean. Do you understand now, ‘Musashi’-sama? Over.”

“Judge.”

“Musashi” calmly nodded and pulled the sword from the table.

“That is within the margin of error. Over.”

“Refusing to admit your mistake, ‘Musashi’-sama? Could you talk some sense into her, Sakai-sama? Over.”

“Well, uh…”

Sakai let go of “Musashi” and turned his hand palm up. He glanced to the side and “Musashi” placed the soy sauce pitcher in his hand. She had grabbed it with her gravitational control when the sword fell.

He poured some of the small porcelain container’s contents on the egg bowl as he answered “Asakusa”.

“I’m used to this sort of thing.”

“Are you used to them because of ‘Musashi’-sama? Over.”

“No, because of my friends back home. Although lately I haven’t seen them even when we go to Mikawa.”

“Do you mean Honda Tadakatsu-sama and the rest of Matsudaira’s Four Heavenly Kings? Over.”

“Have you ever met any of them, ‘Asakusa’?”

“No,” said “Asakusa” and “Musashi” together. But “Musashi” continued, “To help accomplish work in Mikawa and understand the area, some automatons are sent to Mikawa when we stop at the land port there. We have received their shared memories of Mikawa. The memories must be converted to make up for differences between automaton models, but that information includes-…”

“Is there any from the years I didn’t see them?”

“Judge. If you make a request, I can use the bridge’s data processing to playback an artificial video. Shall I do so? Over.”

“No, you don’t have to. It’s not like I’ll never see them again. But I bet it would be interesting if ‘Asakusa’ or ‘Shinagawa’ met Kazuno.”

“Kazuno… That is the head maid automaton that works for the Honda family, isn’t it? A unique model. Over.”

“Right, right.”

Sakai roughly poured the egg on the rice bowl. After drawing some dark brown stripes, he pushed down the front portion with the chopsticks to reveal the untouched rice below. He stuck the chopsticks beyond the untouched portion, used that to push the rice forward, tilted the bowl toward his mouth, and brought it to his back teeth.

After chewing a bit, he swallowed.

“Ah, this is good stuff.”

“The egg is from a Nagoya chicken. That supply will likely be used up during the Gagaku Festival. Over.”

“What about the soy sauce?”

“I don’t mean to brag, but I made it myself. You are a busy man, so I refine some low-salt soy sauce below Musashino. Once I remove the bitter flavor from the recipe I am testing on you, I should be able to sell it to the general public. Over.”

“I see.” Sakai nodded a few times. “Am I being managed?”

“Even if I think it is a perfect batch, you will fall silent if you find it to be even slightly unpleasant, so I believe you are the one indirectly managing me. Over.”

“Am I that selfish?”

“… Over.”

“Sakai-sama, please stop provoking ‘Musashi’-sama. Over.”

But then “Asakusa” sighed as an artificial expression of emotion and she spoke with her usual expressionless look.

“I am receiving some records concerning Kazuno-sama. They are not much, but I can estimate that she is an expert at close-quarters combat using gravitational control. Over.”

“Yeah, the gravitational control is really more of a way to support her real skill. I mean, she was originally-…oh, whoops. If I say that, Da-chan might kill me. But, well…Oku, who used to hang out with us, would do things just like that flying sword back when she was alive.”

“Are you sure you are not altering your memories as humans are wont to do? Over.”

“ ‘Asakusa’. Over.”

“Musashi” stating her name shut “Asakusa” up and “Musashi” bowed toward Sakai.

“My subordinate went too far. Over.”

“No, no. I was just wondering the same thing myself. But, y’know what?” said Sakai. “One of our second years, who doesn’t even hold an official position, jumped down from Musashino’s bridge, right?”

“The other day, he tried to swing down from Shinagawa’s derrick, lost control, and crashed into the side of Musashino’s bow. He has an excellent entertainer’s spirit. Over.”

“Yeah, but that isn’t all. …We’ve even got some kids who defeated some dragons.”

“What are you hoping for, Sakai-sama? If you ask me, peace would be best. Over.”

“Yeah,” said Sakai again before swallowing some more of the rice mixture in the bowl. “People often alter their memories to take a kinder view of the past, but what about the future? When viewed from the future, do we take a kinder view of the inevitable present than we should?”

In the sky, they could hear the delivery workers beginning their morning work after eating breakfast. Sakai raised the corners of his mouth as he listened to them soaring through the wind and flying every which way in that cramped sky.

“Now, then.” He held his right palm out toward “Musashi”. “I’m not done eating yet, but I’d like some tea, ‘Musashi’-san. They’re doing the physical examination at the academy today, so it’s no boys allowed. That means I have no choice but to take it easy out here.”


Asama was in the morning classroom.

There were three rows of desks and Asama’s seat was in the middle row. That put it a bit back from the front.

Mitotsudaira’s seat was by the window to her left and Kimi could sit behind Mitotsudaira if she used an unused desk.

“I’d like to go through with the strategy meeting we couldn’t do at the spring.”

“You seem a little out of it.”

“And whose fault is that?”

She was not actually drunk, but her body’s core felt a little lacking. The sake’s purification was washing away a lot inside her. She had considered using a spell to fix it, but it was harmless and it would go away with time.

And if it comes to it, I can always fix it with the hair of the dog!

Not even she knew why that idea excited her so much, but it was always good to have something to look forward to. And…

“Mito, are you okay?”

“Nn~. I’m still a little woozy.”

The silver wolf was leaning back a bit in her chair and that stirred up a protective instinct in Asama, but the Cerberus on her head seemed worried about its master.

“…”

It would occasionally growl at those around her, so it may have seen itself as a guard dog. They had pampered the thing at Takao yesterday, but it seemed to know the proper pecking order.

Good girl, Asama thought of both the wolf and Cerberus before focusing to the left.

“Did it not affect you, Kimi?”

“An athlete gets drunk fast, but they sober fast too.”

She was perfectly fine. She smiled a little while resting her head in her hand and staring at Asama.

“You two should increase your basic exercise load to improve your actual body instead of relying on divine protections. You don’t want to realize how much you’ve slipped during the physical examination today, do you?”

But, well…

“I was a little careless. Sorry about that. …So what should we do about the strategy meeting? Get it done real quick here?”

If Kimi was inviting them to do that, then doing so was a good idea. However…

“Why?”

“Heh heh. Well, you see, there are a few things we lack. If we’re going to gather those things while also practicing, I think we should get it done afterschool today.”

“A few things we lack? …Like what?”

“Judge.” Kimi nodded. “There are three things.”


Kimi looked back and forth between Asama and Mitotsudaira who had tensed up a little.

“First, instruments.”

“Didn’t we check in the Asama Shrine’s storeroom yesterday?” asked Mitotsudaira.

“Even if we have the actual instruments, we still have to see what happens after we tune them and actually play them, right? Old instruments are sometimes not practical because they work fine for the first song, but they have to be tuned again for the second or third song.”

That was true. String instruments in particular could have the strings loosen and the sound would deteriorate after a few songs.

They had seen plenty of instruments at the Asama Shrine the day before. They had all been on the level of antiques, so while they had tested some of them out, they would have to play several songs in a public place as well as use them over and over in practice.

What will happen then?

Gagaku tended to end after playing a single song and musical instruments were handled with extreme care during Shinto rituals.

But at the Gagaku Festival, they would have to play several songs in a row. And Kimi would also be dancing, so they had to take a rough, high-speed playing style into account. And in that case…

“We will be managing our instruments individually. That isn’t easy, you know?”

“You mean someone might try to steal them since they belong to the Asama Shrine?”

Kimi shook her head at Mitotsudaira’s question.

“I’m talking about something much simpler: They can sometimes break even inside their case.”

But…

“That’s just the way it is, so you have to be prepared to deal with it if it happens. I’m just saying it would be nice to have instruments that can withstand that kind of usage.”

“Then what’s the next thing?”

“Judge,” replied Kimi. “The three of us need to practice together. Naito and Naruze are having difficulty with that one too.”

“What? I heard my name.”

Naruze turned their way, so Kimi nodded back at her.

“When the two of you perform together, how you present yourselves is a real challenge, isn’t it?”

“It’ll be three people for you, right?”

That was obviously true, but…

She’s saying she knows from experience that it will be an even greater challenge for us.

That was what Naruze’s line meant. When Asama and Mitotsudaira realized that, they exchanged a glance. Asama spoke quietly so the rest of the class would not hear.

“Have the three of us ever done anything together like that?”

“There was that folk dance back in sixth grade.”

“Oh, that was the Genghis Khan Dance, wasn’t it? I remember the Testament description being pretty vague. Something like, ‘There is no evidence this was actually danced in the original era’. But that’s pretty common for folk dances.”

“Judge. There’s also the Oklahoma Mixer that’s only mentioned in the notes on the New World. The name alone isn’t enough to know what kind of dance it is, but it was described as the ‘sudden impact’ style, which only made it more of a mystery. …And during elementary school, the boys started playing a game they called the Oklahoma Mixer and it was pretty dangerous, so at morning assembly they issued an official ‘Ban on the Oklahoma Mixer’. Do you remember that, Mito and Kimi?”

“I do, I do.”

Asama remembered it quite well, too.

“But,” sighed Asama. “Those dances are fine, but we’re Shinto and we don’t even do the bon dance during temple festivals…”

“Heh heh. A band that does folk dances and the bon dance on stage!? Now that would be popular!!”

Despite what she said, Kimi was worried about their future.

They really need some training.

But they were motivated, so they would probably manage somehow. Still, that left the final problem.

“And the third thing.”

Asama and Mitotsudaira moved their gazes and foreheads toward her, so Kimi paused to raise their expectations and answered with a smile.

“We have our academic exams during the preparatory period, but if we fail any of them, we have to take a supplementary exam during the festival.”

And just to be clear…

“I can be pretty capricious.”


Oh, that’s right, thought Asama.

“You’re not allowed to fail, Kimi.”

“Heh heh heh.”

“No, not ‘heh heh heh’…! Mito, you say something to her!”

“Judge,” said Mitotsudaira. “This is a pain, so let’s make a deal, Kimi. A deal to get you to study.”

“Eh? What’ll it be? It takes many offerings to placate the goddess of beauty!”

“Then…Tomo will give you sweets every day, so go study at the Asama Shrine every day.”

“Eh!? Me!? I have to do it!?”

They ignored her. And…

“Heh heh.” Kimi laughed and bent backwards. “That isn’t going to cut it.”

“Then,” said Mitotsudaira. That word filled Asama with hope.

Is Mito going to bring sweets, too!?

Asama had quite liked the crepe she had eaten the day before. It was fattening, though.

For the next few days, she would look after Kimi while saying “Oh, I’m going to gain weight” but still eating the Far Eastern sweets at the shrine along with the Western sweets Mitotsudaira brought over. That was how things tended to be in the lead up to a festival.

It’s like Shinto heaven…!

“Tomo will wash you at Suzu’s bathhouse every day.”

“Wh-why me? You wash her, Mito!”

“Using me is a last resort.”

“…Y’know.”

It was Naito that spoke to them. She was using a spell pen to censor Naruze’s manuscript displayed on a crop mark frame Magie Figur.

“Ga-chan and I use Suzu’s Bath every day, so that would just be a nuisance for us.”

Asama gave a deep nod in response.

“Right? Using our bubbly bodies to wash each other would just be terribly inappropriate, wouldn’t it?”

“No, not that. Just having you there would mean Ga-chan could never finish her storyboard and the new book would never actually be released.”

“Margot… I’m sorry… But I’m at an age where I can’t help but leap at any good material I see.”

When will she reach a calmer age?

“By the way,” said Asama. “Is it just me, or is that me I see on that manuscript there?”

“It’s fine.”

“Is it?”

“It’s fine.”

“Is it not?”

“It’s fine.”

“W-wait, please give me a serious answer, Naruze!”

“What does it really matter?” asked a voice behind her.

She looked back and found the idiot girl had spread out a magazine insert on the desk. It was labeled “Musashi Sweets Map”. And she breathed a few nasal laughs.

Kimi faced Mitotsudaira.

“So when will you play your final card?”


Adele looked away from the commotion caused by the three girls behind her.

They always seem to be having fun, she thought just like yesterday, but she was busy herself with the vassal unit’s public training and other things at the spring school festival.

Fun and busy mean the same thing, don’t they? she thought while glancing around the classroom.

Huh? Was it always this big?

Class 2-Plum was on the third floor of the rear school building. Spring was coming to an end, but the light coming in through the windows was faint and unreliable since it came from the stealth barrier.

The amount of sunlight felt a lot more like dusk, but more of it got in than usual.

She knew why: the boys were not here.

Just having Persona-kun, Urquiaga-san, and Ohiroshiki-san gone changes a lot…

She then began to wonder if it was wrong of her to say it was “just” having those three gone. They were quite significant as far as size was concerned.

Anyway, her seat was near the window, but just by looking across the classroom a bit…

“I can see everything a lot better.”

“I sit in the front row and I haven’t known the rest of you for long, so it’s hard for me to tell…”

That comment came from Masazumi who sat in the seat in front of Adele and was turned back in her seat for once. She looked around at the others in their seats and then faced Adele.

Her well-formed eyebrows could not hide her doubt as she asked a question.

“What are we going to do today?”

“Oh, the physical examination.”

“Now? Although I suppose it is true we haven’t had one yet…”

“Judge,” nodded Adele.

Now that she mentions it, that might be true, she thought, but she understood why.

“Musashi gets people from every nation, but that creates some slight margin of error. We’re generally in Mikawa during April, so that’s when the transfer students arrive. But there are always some that can’t make it to Mikawa.”

“That’s true,” agreed Masazumi. “Mikawa is near the center of P.A. Oda. That makes it a difficult place for Tsirhc people to go.”

“So, well, it’s partially to accommodate Europe, but some people transfer in at around May when Musashi goes to Europe. That’s why we wait until then to do all the events other academies would do at the beginning of spring.”

That was not limited to the physical examination.

“During the preparatory period for the spring school festival, we use the mornings for the physical examination and the educational exams. You probably already know, Masazumi-san, but a lot of this has to do with our bodies and we have to change clothes a lot in preparation for the festival, so Musashi Ariadust Academy is currently split between boys and girls.”

“No, I didn’t know that.” Masazumi smiled a little. “I thought it would be best to learn about the school festivals and events once I got here.”

“Oh, so you’re a hands-on kind of learner.”

“I’m not so sure. I might just be a procrastinator.”

The way she lowered her eyebrows in a smile suggested she could think of an example in her everyday life. I’m the same, thought Adele.

“So does that mean there are only girls in the academy during this period?” asked Masazumi.

“The boys use the underground gym and the various branch schools to change and prepare. If that isn’t enough, they’ll set up tents on the second schoolyard down below.”

“So the girls get all the advantages…”

“If you run for next year’s student council, you could probably get a lot of the boys’ votes if you demand some changes concerning that.”

Masazumi’s reaction changed when she heard that. Her smile did not so much disappear as it grew clear.

“——————”

She stared straight at Adele, but not in a disagreeable or hostile way.

“That’s an interesting idea.”

Masazumi’s tone was resolute. Oh? thought Adele with a hint of admiration.

So she isn’t denying that she’ll be running.

She did not deny it or dodge the issue. Nor did she claim it had nothing to do with her or pass it off as some casual political talk.

It was like she thought such topics were naturally relevant for her.

Yes.

She was the daughter of a Provisional Councilor. She had worked in the past toward inheriting a name and she had the surname Honda.

Over the past month, Adele had only seen her as a politician’s daughter and an excellent student, but this was different.

“Masazumi-san.”

“Hm? What is it?”

Masazumi replied with her usual serious expression, but Adele sensed some kindness there. However…

“You hope to be a politician, don’t you?”

She asked for confirmation.

That was something everyone already knew. After all, she had mentioned it while introducing herself after transferring in at the start of spring. And when she had…

“Another influential person in our class!? Are you trying to corner me!?”

“Toori-kun, I won’t ask what you did, but how about you go to the guard station and accept your punishment?”

“Um, Tomo? Isn’t that normally ‘you don’t have to go to the guard station, but how about you tell me what you did’?”

“If you ask me, you try that with him and he’ll just start bragging about his criminal escapades.”

“Then, Uqui-dono, wouldn’t it solve everything if you just punished Toori-dono before he said anything?”

“Ga-chan, Ga-chan, tell me what you just imagined. That’s an impressive nosebleed.”

Toori and the others reacted in the usual way: incomprehensibly.

But given that Masazumi dreamed of becoming a politician, Adele wanted to support her. Their class had a bit of a soft spot for dreams.

And so she had asked about Masazumi’s dream to let her know that. But…

“Ohh…”

Masazumi scratched her head with a troubled look. And then…

“Judge.”

Adele only received that brief response.


Adele was confused by Masazumi’s noncommittal reaction.

?

Did it mean she was not confident? Or did it mean that was not what she really wanted?

The reaction suggested Adele had touched on a topic she wanted to avoid.

There was a small smile on Masazumi’s face. It was a distancing smile that perfectly matched her short response and hesitant tone.

Unlike before, it was a vague expression that tried to dodge the issue.

Yeah, this is a really awkward pause…

Adele realized she had probably made too many assumptions about Masazumi’s character. Hoping to be a politician and being a politician were two different things. That was obvious, but Adele had not understood the emotions contained there.

That had been a mistake.

She dug back through her memories and realized that Masazumi had only briefly touched on this topic while introducing herself at the start of spring.

And that was why Toori had followed up on it.

Asama’s precise but cruel finishing blow would have been for the same reason. Asama had been in charge of inspecting Masazumi when she boarded, so she had likely understood all that.

But…

“Sorry.”

“Eh?”

“Hoping to be a politician isn’t that easy, is it? I shouldn’t have brought it up so casually.”

“Eh? No, um, I was the one that told everyone about it.”

But…

“It’s true it isn’t easy. I can believe it will happen just fine, but when other people say it too…how should I put it? I guess I feel more responsibility? There isn’t actually any, but I feel like I won’t be able to live up to that.”

“Oh.”

Adele understood. If someone else asked her and she said yes, then it would become a lie if she did not make it happen.

Yeah.

She takes things really seriously, thought Adele.

And she hides it within herself.

She had said it while introducing herself to provide a consensus, but she had not made it a part of her identity yet. She hid it inside herself and simply believed in it. That was Masazumi’s true form at the moment.

Adele hoped Masazumi did not think she had been teasing her for that, but she felt that defending herself any further would only be for self-satisfaction. I’d only be justifying my actions by apologizing.

So Adele said something else instead.

“If you ever need something, just say so. We all love helping out.”

“Judge. That’s been pretty obvious.”

Masazumi nodded, so Adele decided that was good enough and breathed a sigh of relief. And then…

“Okay, okay. Are you all here, girls?”

The classroom door opened and a voice called in.

It was Oriotorai in her track suit. She held an attendance sheet and a bundle of charms, both of which she placed on the teacher’s desk.

“Now, the boys will be heading down this morning and working hard on the spring school festival preparations. We, on the other hand, will spend the morning on the physical examination in here. We have plenty of time this year, so the health exam will be on a different day, so don’t feel rushed. But we will swap out with the boys in the afternoon, so don’t be too slow.”

“Judge,” said Adele and the others.

Oriotorai then turned Adele’s way. No, she was technically facing Masazumi.

And she spoke to Masazumi.

“Do you have a track suit?”


Masazumi felt her pulse racing, but she also felt relief.

When Oriotorai faced her, she had honestly thought the teacher was going to say something about her body.

Because I tried to become a boy for the inherited name, but never finished the process.

That was necessary information for the physical examination and it could be a bit of a sticking point for Masazumi.

So she had thought Oriotorai was going to mention that up front: Can you take the physical examination?

That had happened several times at Mikawa already. Each time, she had said she could.

She knew they were trying to be considerate, but…

“Oh, yes, judge, I do!”

This was the first time she had to answer this question.

And that may have been why she answered a little too forcefully.

“Oh, that’s good,” said their homeroom teacher. “So you won’t have to borrow someone else’s?”

“Sensei, is anyone in our class the same size as Masazumi?”

That blunt question came from Naruze. Musashi is from Matsudaira, so does her name come from the Naruse clan? wondered Masazumi as the Non-Fallen Angel looked across the others.

“Asama…is out of the question. Why did I even look at her? Probably for the joke. Yeah…”

“What kind of roundabout rejection was that!?”

“Now, now,” said Heidi before smiling over at Masazumi. “If you ever need something, I’ll lend it to you!”

“No, thanks. Borrowing from you would leave me indebted in more ways than one.”

“Then what about mine?” asked Mitotsudaira. But…

Wait, wait, wait. A future politician borrowing a track suit from the first in line to ruling the Far East!?

She felt it was a personal failing that she was not decisive enough to think of this as an opportunity. But the Aoi Sister, who was sitting behind Mitotsudaira, tapped on her shoulder through her hair.

“You can’t, Mitotsudaira. Masazumi has a surprisingly big butt.”

“Oh, I see… Wait, what does that say about me!?”

Do I? wondered Masazumi. Maybe it only doesn’t feel restrained because I wear boy’s pants, she thought. Regardless, it seemed no one here matched her body type.

Well, I have one, so it isn’t that much of a problem.

Just as she gave a mental nod of self-satisfaction about her own preparedness, Mukai suddenly spoke up.

“Toori-kun’s would…fit. Probably.”


“Huh?”

Masazumi expressed confusion at Mukai’s unexpected comment.

But Mukai only blushed a little and nodded.

“Yes.”

That seemed to be the end of her explanation, so Masazumi felt left behind.

What was that about that idiot?

She had an intensely bad feeling about this and the others decided to prove her right.

“Oh, yeah. I bet his would fit. I agree.”

“She’s a little stiffer, but I guess the base is about the same. And Masazumi has long legs, so she would only have to adjust the top.”

“That is certainly unexpected, but it might actually work…”

And as they all started agreeing, Adele joined in.

“If Suzu-san says so, then it must be true.”

“R-really?”

“Judge. Suzu-san has always been good at sewing and she even tailors her own uniform. So when I buy used clothes, I always get Suzu-san to retailor it for me.”

That’s an unexpected talent, thought Masazumi, but she had another question.

“Um…”

She had a feeling this was a dangerous question and she had already heard about the likely answer, but she asked anyway.

“Why…Aoi’s?”

“Oh, Toori-san crossdresses, so he’s sure to have at least a track suit.”

Do you not find that at least a little odd!?

Or was this an old habit of his?

Whether he was being a nudist or crossdresser, she could only say there was something wrong with him, but in this class – and probably in Musashi as a whole – people just seemed to accept it.

When she thought about it, she realized the falling nudist had not caused a big to-do the night before. She had checked the newspaper and it had only been given as additional information concerning the Hidden Dragon extermination:

“Last night, the Chancellor and a nudist fell from a ship in the sky above Musashino’s bridge, but they were unharmed.”

He could do such ridiculous things, but no one made a big deal out of it.

That may have been Musashi’s nature as the only official Far Eastern territory.

There had been nothing like this at Mikawa. In fact, there was no real way to fall from that kind of height there.

At Mikawa, the worst you came across was the training for the Atsuta Shrine’s prayer song attack. Two competitors would sing adlibbed songs and if your opponent’s adlibbing ended first, you were free to punch them.

There were a lot of mysterious phenomena in Mikawa, but looking back, it had been a lot safer…no, saner.

Yes, Mikawa wasn’t exactly safe.

After all, her mother had disappeared due to one of the mysterious phenomena in Mikawa. That was what had led to her coming to Musashi, but it was also why she had trouble feeling proud of her hometown after arriving here.

But while it may be safer here, it’s really abnormal.

She was sometimes asked to tell stories from her life back at Mikawa, but whenever she did they would only respond with some light agreement and understanding: “Sounds like Mikawa has its own troubles.”

Naruze had said, “That story needs more of a punch,” and Naito had tried to rebuke her: “Don’t say that, Ga-chan. Seijun is doing her best to fit in.”

But thinking back, that might be when I did start to fit in more…

The Seijun nickname was something that idiot started without meaning to, wasn’t it? she recalled before speaking to the others.

“Anyway, everyone, I have a track suit, so I’ll be fine. I’ve only been sitting out of gym class because it hadn’t arrived yet. If you need help with any of the preparations, just call me over.”

“Judge,” they all agreed. Naomasa looked up and groaned in thought, so she might have been figuring out where she could use Masazumi.

The others seemed to view her as one of them more than she had thought.

But there was one thing that came to mind here.

I’ll probably get a much better picture of these things during the festival and all the preparations.

She would be able to see how the various people acted and what happened afterwards.

She had seen a lot of it already. For example…

“Asama, will you three be busy preparing for the Gagaku Festival?”


Asama quickly looked up when Masazumi asked her a question.

Ah.

Oh, no. I wasn’t paying attention.

The sign frame in front of her was why. It displayed the band ideas that Kimi had sent her and it was their most important task at the moment.

She thought it was wrong to bring their personal time into the classroom, but she also thought it was fine since this was for an academy event. However, she had taken it too far if she had lost track of the conversation.

Masazumi’s question had not reached her ears. “Umm,” she said while trying to figure out what to say, but then a post appeared on the experimental divine chat that she was testing out with a special connection.

Wise Sister: “Asama, over here.”

Hoping for a hint, she turned around. Kimi opened the chest of her own uniform and stuck a handkerchief between her boobs.

Wise Sister: “Look, a tissue box.”

Relying on a crazy person had been a mistake. So…

“Um, sorry, I wasn’t listening. What is it, Masazumi?”

“Eh? Oh, I was only checking on your current situation.”

My current situation?

She looked to Kimi who nodded with her eyebrows lying flat. She then grabbed the straw paper printout containing the day’s schedule and stuck it in her cleavage.

“A shredder.”

The straw paper was sucked down into her cleavage, so Uzy was probably pulling on it from below.

More than the joke, it was imagining Uzy’s effort that did it.

“Pff.”

“Ah, she laughed! She laughed! …Masazumi! This is what it looks like when someone laughs at your joke!”

“I don’t know what this is about and I don’t particularly care, but why would you think no one ever laughs at my jokes?”

“——————”

Dead silence.

No one said a thing and Asama felt it was the teacher’s job to break that silence, but…

Sensei.

She looked up at Oriotorai who was using a sign frame to place a delivery order for lunch.

She was completely ignoring everything.

Sensei?

Questioning their teacher’s abandonment of her duties would accomplish nothing. This much was to be expected. If Asama did not think of it that way, her mind would never survive intact.

That meant she was the one who had to help the room’s atmosphere recover.

But breaking a silence was a dangerous act if she thought of it in terms of kotodama. The words she sent into that silent space would determine the atmosphere from then on.

And everyone understood that it was a shrine maiden’s job to do such things safely, so…

Um.

The safest option was, “Let’s start the physical examination.”

But that did not seem entirely accurate. They had to change first.

“—————”

This is surprisingly difficult, she realized.

That was when she saw Kimi reach for the paper being sucked into her chest and pull on the top to retrieve it. But the internal pressure was too great and the paper’s movement caused her breasts to swell up above the shirt portion. As a result, the chest band slipped below her breasts and the bare chest parted the shirt portion like peeling two grapes.

“Oh, dear.”

In order to stop them from being fully bared, Asama franticly raised her voice.

“Mito! Take care of Kimi’s boobs!”


Ehh!?

Mitotsudaira had partially turned back toward Kimi to discuss the Gagaku Festival. That left her turned to the side and facing Asama, so the other girl’s words scored a direct hit.

A shrine maiden’s words were absolute when it came to creating an “atmosphere” out of silence. And when that shrine maiden was the #2 of the Asama Shrine and Musashi’s Shinto representative, Mitotsudaira could not just ignore it as the provisional name inheritor of Mito Matsudaira.

So she quickly took action.

“Kimi!”

She reached out on reflex to hide Kimi’s boobs.

The clothing had not fully left her breasts, so she moved to grab the collar and hold it together.

This will work!

But just as she thought that, Kimi did something, perhaps in an attempt to be considerate.

“Here.”

She got up and mischievously leaned on top of the silver wolf.

By the time the term “counter boobs” came to mind, the distance between them had shifted.

Ah.

Oh, no, she thought as her hands nearly passed by below Kimi’s breasts. She made a quick course correction, sending her hands further upwards, and…

“Ahn.”

Kimi cried out and Mitotsudaira realized her ten fingers were digging into Kimi’s boobs.


What is this!?

Mitotsudaira’s first impression was a shout.

She had tried to support Kimi from below as the girl leaned onto her, so Kimi was completely draped over her, even if there was a desk between them.

Kimi had lost her balance, so she loosely wrapped her arms around Mitotsudaira’s head to support herself.

“Ahhn, oh, you’re so cute, Troiko…!”

Is this any time to be loving on my Cerberus!?

That said, the three-dimensional masses in front of her eyes were far too monochrome. She was just barely holding the cloth in place so it did not come off, but that applied extra pressure which caused a part (or rather, two parts) of Kimi’s body to change shape.

They were entirely deserving of certain choice sound effects.

They were huge. She could see why Kimi was known as the runner up after Asama in Class Plum’s boobs caste system. Seeing them like this proved how huge they were. Groping them like this proved even more how huge they were.

They sometimes looked bigger than Asama’s, but she now understood how that worked. Kimi must have been a lot more fit due to dancing, so the top of her breasts swelled out in a larger curve.

Looking at pure volume, Asama would win out.

But Asama’s had a somewhat downward-facing volume due to their own weight. Viewed three-dimensionally, they stuck out to the front and were more focused on the bottom.

But Kimi’s swelled out at the top, so they had an excellent three-dimensional shape on the top and the bottom. That accentuated the breasts more and made them look bigger than Asama’s.

Shape fraud!?

No, you can’t call it fraud when they really are this big. In a way, Tomo is the one guilty of shape fraud because hers lull you into a false sense of security and then reveal themselves to be even bigger than they looked. However…

“…!”

Mitotsudaira realized that their shape could make them look big even if they were small.

I won’t point out that it doesn’t actually change their size!

After that quick self-tsukkomi, Mitotsudaira began estimating what kind of shape she would need to make her breasts look big.

“…”

It was not possible.

Without voluminous weapons on Kimi’s level, it simply was not possible. So to gain that appearance of extra volume, you needed some foundational volume to start with.

To put it another way, making your boobs look bigger was a privilege of the big ones.

You needed a starting sum if you were to earn more.

Heh…heh heh. Am I talking about investing all of a sudden?

God, please give me a starting sum of boobs. She knew more or less where this was going to end if she was thinking that, so she stopped trying to gather her thoughts and ejected them from her mind. All that remained was…

“Kwah wah wah wah wah.”

The skin color in front of her eyes had not resolved itself while she was indulging in escapism.

Hyahhh!!

She realized anew just how huge they were. Just like with Asama, even one of them was more than wide enough to cover both her eyes at once. They would only be an obstacle in battle, but she was fairly certain Kimi’s dances included defensive techniques.

Did that mean those were techniques born from figuring out how to protect her entire body despite those breast obstacles?

I can’t beat the busty. I thought that yesterday too, but…y-yes, there’s just nothing I can do… Wh-what is with me lately? I keep crying.

At any rate, this was not the time to be groping and supporting some giant boobs.

For one thing, it was morning homeroom. She could not keep doing this forever, so to create an opening between them, Mitotsudaira raised her eyebrows and…

“W-wait, Kimi!”

To break them apart, she pushed with both hands against the masses in front of her eyes.

Wait, no!

She gasped as she remembered the mental scars she had suffered yesterday when she tried to push back and her fingers had dug in so deeply.

She was currently up against the Kimi version of that shock-absorbing booby armor. So…

“Kh.”

Since she did not want to push, she reflexively did the opposite and pulled. That was a mistake.

Kimi’s altitude quickly lowered.

The sudden action must have caught her by surprise.

“Eh?”

With a rare voice of confusion, Kimi entrusted herself to Mitotsudaira.

Mitotsudaira did not want to just let them both collapse. Her hips bent back a fair ways, but she managed to support Kimi.

B-back to the original idea!

She pushed.

Her fingers dug in.

Nh.

It’s different, concluded the silver wolf based on the sensation surrounding her fingers.

This was different from yesterday.

With Asama, her fingers had softly dug in and the flesh had flowed out.

With Kimi, the flesh pushed out between her fingers like it was about to burst.

I, Nate Mitotsudaira, am becoming a real connoisseur, she thought, but…

“M-Mito! Why do you keep losing yourself in thought each time you move a little!?”

“B-because I am a philosopher! Probably!”

At any rate, the most important task at hand was to push Kimi back, so she pushed with her entire body. And…

“Ah, you idiot, don’t push on the outside.”

“Eh?”

Not properly holding the spheres from the center had been a mistake.

She was still holding the two sides of the collar, which slipped along the outside of Kimi’s skin and forced her arms to spread to either side.

As a result, Kimi’s breasts were fully bared, Mitotsudaira’s arms were spread wide, and…

“Ahn.”

Kimi let out a sweet cry as she fell between Mitotsudaira’s arms as a counterattack.

Mitotsudaira was aware her face was buried between those two breasts.

They both froze in place, Mitotsudaira with Kimi’s arms around her head and her own arms loosely around Kimi.

Mitotsudaira’s face was buried in that resilience, heat, dampness, and pulse.

Oh, I can actually breathe fairly well.

She tried to calm herself. How was she supposed to escape this blatantly abnormal situation? She commanded herself to come up with an answer and soon.

Then she heard Kimi’s voice.

“Oh, c’mon. Were you that desperate for some boobs? You’re so spoiled, Mitotsudaira.”

Heh heh.

“They’re yours to do with as you wish. So what do you want to do?”

“I want to cryyyyy!!”


Notes[edit]

  1. The second and third lines use an alternate interpretation of the kanji.