Horizon:Kimitoasamade 3B Chapter 5

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Chapter 5: Evictors in a Place of Accumulation[edit]

Horizon Kimi3B 005.jpg

What do you lose

The more you tell yourself to calm down?

Point Allocation (Composed Thoughts)


Adele was a vassal.

A vassal was essentially a knight’s manager. They acted as the knight’s outrider on the battlefield and they worked as the knight’s aide. That was their role.

Of course, the battlefield and general state of affairs had changed in modern times.

They no longer fought in great clashes or group battles with a primary focus on the knights. Nowadays, both groups formed separate company-sized units with individualized roles which moved independently on the battlefield.

The vassal unit would secure the front line and stop the enemy while the knights would perform a charge.

Meanwhile, the normal warriors who could not fight on that level would use their numbers to put together a defensive formation like the Tercio in an attempt to neutralize the knights’ charge and vassal unit’s front line.

That was the standard form of modern warfare.

But that standard form is already falling apart.

In the modern knight nation of Hexagone Française, their knights were equipped with gods of war, so a human-level defensive formation was losing all meaning against them.

In the ancient knight nation of M.H.R.R., most of their vassals were quasi-knights, so they could perform a charge with the same high-speed mobile shells as their knights.

In the Mlasi-connected P.A. Oda, they had strengthened their aerial forces, so every nation was constructing city-class defense systems.

“The Far East is really falling behind with all these changes to the battlefield.”

“Not necessarily,” replied Mitotsudaira.

As a knight, she was Adele’s superior, but she was not making a charge at the moment. However, she was holding a BIZEN-made Far Eastern halberd.

“The Far East has changed how it fights on the battlefield, too.”

They were in the Musashi’s underground. Specifically, in the warehouse wide block on the sixth underground level below the academy on Okutama.

Or should I say what used to be that wide block?

The wide block had been mostly destroyed.


The former hallway in front of Adele had been widened by the destruction on the left and right. The walls had been completely blown out, creating an empty space from the unused warehouses on either side.

And that revealed…

“Heh heh. That was a little rough, but increasing the ventilation will get rid of the ley line impurity.”

Just as Kimi said, this destruction had been to eliminate a mysterious phenomenon. However…

What kind of technique destroys an entire wide block?

The culprit was the tall figure standing out front. Her black hair swayed as she looked back with a smile.

“Now, I’ll get permission from each corporation and club to apply a divine protection to preserve the rooms with cargo inside, so this won’t be a problem. Our tasks were purifying the mysterious phenomenon and acquiring instruments from the Asama Shrine’s underground storeroom. Let’s get on with it, shall we?”


After stating their objectives, Asama sighed and realized everyone was staring at her.

Eh? Why aren’t they saying anything?

She closed up her bow and waited. The others formed a scrum:

“…Who’s going to say it?”

“Well, if no one else is going to…”

Naomasa lightly raised her prosthetic right arm.

She had her kiseru in her mouth, but it was not lit.

“What is it, Masa?”

“Did you really need any of us for this mission? I feel like you could handle any mysterious phenomenon on your own just by blasting everything.”

“Oh, no. I couldn’t possibly do that.” Asama opened a sign frame showing a map of this floor and sent a copy to everyone. “I could only blow everything away like this because there wasn’t much cargo in the front and because the corporations here have a close relationship to our shrine. Further in, I need investigative authority for a lot of the rooms, so I can’t do this there. We do have permission to go inside, but we have to keep track of each one individually.”

“Then, Asama-san, did you blow this area up because…?”

“Yes, to makes sure the rest of you did not have to unnecessarily use up your stamina and focus.”

“Hmm.” Naruze nodded. “So it wasn’t to blow off some stress?”

“Huh? Huh? Do I look like that kind of character?”

The others brought their foreheads together again.

“Wait, does she really not build up stress with her personality? That makes her a lot harder to draw…”

“I feel like extended exposure to Toori-san and Kimi-san made her go crazy so she doesn’t feel stress anymore…”

“Heh heh heh. So my foolish brother and I invited Asama into a stress-free world? Doesn’t that make us sound angelic!? And he’s a nudist, so he really is a cupid! If I see him flying above me, I’ll stick a milk bottle on his dick!”

“I wouldn’t really know, but would it really fit inside a milk bottle?”

“Maybe we could stand to be that carefree, too.”

They appeared to be having some sort of weird conversation, but…

“…Huh?”

A presence moved further inside. It came from the exit beyond the vanished walls and the not-yet-vanished dust.

Suzu contacted them via divine transmission.

“Oh, yes. I heard…something.”

“I thought as much,” said Asama with a nod as the others ended their scrum and faced her.

Kimi tilted her head.

“Did you fail to kill it? You did, didn’t you!? And with that huge boom! Oh, Asama, was this your way of showing you’re a normal girl by saying, ‘Look, I’m not all that destructive’!? Do you think femininity is determined by destructive power!? What world do you live in!? But don’t worry because that world does exist! It’s right here! Jump in here! Into this boobs gap!”

“Kh…! Th-that wasn’t my intention…!”

She felt a definite sense of “don’t force yourself” from the others, but she ignored it. However…

“Duck down a little,” warned Naomasa out of the blue.

Everyone did so.

Something passed above their heads at high speed. It was…

A bullet?


Mitotsudaira had ducked down and she could tell exactly what had pierced the wall behind her.

That was a bullet, wasn’t it!?

The shot had not been aimed.

It had only been meant to draw their attention and discourage pursuit.

Of course, they were given defensive divine protections inside the Musashi and Asama had strengthened those to the level of the Hidden Dragon battle just in case, so they would only have received a painful impact had that shot hit them. However…

“Is this…a person and not a mysterious phenomenon?”

“Um, wait just a second, okay?”

Asama began a sign frame search while still ducked down.

She was the Asama Shrine’s representative. Musashi’s residents generally had a contract with the Asama Shrine and their data was shared even if their contract was with another shrine.

If someone had attacked the Asama Shrine’s representative, their contract would allow her to search them out right away. However…

“That’s odd… I doubt it’s a stowaway, but I can’t find anything.”

“Did the automatic anti-crime interception spell not react? They would normally receive a divine punishment if they attacked you, Tomo.”

“Hmmm… This is weird. It wasn’t canceled, but it’s like they managed to get around it… Oh, but more importantly…”

“What is it?”

“It’s fairly common for what you thought was a mysterious phenomenon to actually be a person. And if this search cancelation was caused by a ley line distortion, then it would still qualify as a ‘mysterious phenomenon’. But…”

Asama trailed off, so Kimi continued for her.

“A shrine maiden can’t shoot a person, right?”

“N-no, that wasn’t my problem here…”

Everyone fell silent.

And after a while, Naito suddenly opened a Magie Figur.

She held it close to her face so the others could not see what it said and she spoke in complete monotone.

“Oh, my. According to some information from the Technohexen Guild, that was a mysterious phenomenon disguised as a person that just fled.”

“Hmm.” Naruze nodded, looked at the bullet hole on the wall, and spoke in complete monotone. “It uses a gun? What a troublesome mysterious phenomenon. But since it isn’t a person, a shrine maiden would be able to shoot it, right?”

“Eh? Eh?”

Asama was utterly confused and Mitotsudaira placed a hand on her shoulder.

“Um, uh, Mito?”

“It’s okay, Tomo. …Let’s go beat up that mysterious phenomenon disguised as a person!”


Suzu sat on the front steps of the Asama Shrine’s outer shrine. The corners of her mouth bent at the sound she heard in the distance.

I-I’m…worried.

But not about the others.

I’m worried…about Okutama.


“Um, ‘Musashi’-sama? I have a feeling a certain someone is actively destroying my underground area. Over.”

“Listen, ‘Okutama’. You must not make decisions based on ‘a feeling’. And I am busy preparing Sakai-sama’s lunch. Over.”

“Umm, what kind of lunch? Over.”

“He had stir-fried vegetables and stew yesterday, so I have a feeling chicken will satisfy him today. Over.”

“ ‘Musashi’-sama, did you just create a rule that everyone else has to follow but you don’t? Over.”

“You are imagining it. And more importantly…”

“More importantly?”

“The destruction has moved much deeper. I have also detected a reading near the hull that is separate from Asama-sama’s group. Be careful. Over.”


Naito felt somewhat fulfilled.

She was deep inside the warehouse wide block. The area contained corporate goods and important property. Once in here, Asama could not use her large-scale blasts, so…

“It’s Ga-chan and my time to shine…!”

She would fire a coin bullet that followed Naruze’s guideline.

The battlefield was inside one of the warehouse rooms.

This entire district was made up of warehouse wide blocks, a lot of the wide blocks were connected into a single large warehouse, and the layout differed between management organizations. Some were a single large rectangular space and others were divided into narrower rectangles. Some were connected by curved corridors and others had a single large hallway down the center.

A lot had an atrium connecting the lower and upper floors and others had walkways across.

They were filled with large wooden containers which were in turn filled with mid and small-sized boxes, creating a layout separate from the actual corridors and rooms.

To make matters worse, most of the lights were off. The winged pair could fly over all the structures in the way, but there were boxes and dangling winches or chains hidden in the darkness.

Asama had given them night-vision charms as a countermeasure. Once activated, the charms grew transparent and the darkness was purified when viewed through them.

Wow, these have got to be expensive…

Naito was somewhat hesitant, but Naruze did not mind.

“These are more useful than light-amplification spells. We won’t be blinded even if we fly out into a bright corridor.”

“Oh, that’s right. And now that I think about it, this method is a lot like my reduction spells.”

The reduction of Schwarz Techno was a lot like the purification of Shinto in some ways. Musashi had lights on even at night, so night-vision spells were not really necessary. Even so…

“I should store a spell of my own in my broom’s Orei Metallo.”

Giving myself a wider range of spells is probably a good thing.

With that in mind, Naito held Asama’s charm vertically and stuck it between her Technohexen hat and her forehead. She had it cover her right eye which she used for targeting.

Her left eye was dark and her right eye had the power to see through darkness. It sounds like one of Bara-yan’s cringeworthy novels, she thought while moving forward.

There were two enemies. They were dressed in white full-body tights. …No, they’re mysterious phenomena made from white ether. Humanoid ones. Yes, that’s what we’re claiming, I guess.

She did not know how, but those enemies were avoiding Asama’s search while fleeing through the warehouse district.

And if they were fleeing…

Gold Mar: “Do you think they’re doing some kind of ‘job’?”

Mal-Ga: “Who knows. …Should we check out all the cargo around here?”

There was no way they could do that. And that helped them decide what to do.

They would shoot. They aimed for the path ahead of the two enemies who were moving at a decent clip. Fire a bullet there and it was guaranteed to hit. Since this was a warehouse, the cargo was in the way, but…

“Ga-chan!”

“Judge, I’m used to drawing it where I can’t see.”

Once the guideline was in place, Naito fired.

She heard the solid sound of the air being struck and she felt her broom shake.

The bullet she launched was a coin. She had given it a slight angle upon firing and that drew a curve soon thereafter.

“I really wish I could draw a three-dimensional line all the way to them.”

“If you tried to do that now, Ga-chan, you’d have to fly right up to the enemy, wouldn’t you?”

“Do you think that would be too dangerous?”

“If only we had faster and more mobile brooms.”

“I know,” agreed Naruze as she turned her back on her partner to face forward.

A moment later, the bullet reached the enemy.

The bullet dug into the back of the fat mysterious phenomenon that had been running behind the other one.

“Judge!”

The enemy was blown away with an audible impact. It disappeared behind the cargo, but…

“Now it’s our turn!”

A figure rushed forward on either side of the Technohexen.

It was Mitotsudaira and Adele.


Adele ran across the top of the cargo containers.

Once Naito and Naruze fired, it was their job to immediately secure the enemy.

Even if the enemy got away, they would continue pursuit, apply pressure, and finally capture them.

It was the relationship between the hunter and the hound.

The Extra Special Duty Officer seemed to have an issue with doing a dog’s work, but saying her job was to charge the enemy had worked as a compromise. That just left actually doing it.

“…Oh.”

The chains and cranes dangling down from the ceiling were dangerous.

She had a night-vision charm below her glasses, but that did not make the obstacles go away. They were arranged in what seemed like a random layout, so Adele could see why Naito and Naruze were being so cautious as they flew.

But Adele was short enough that those hanging obstacles were not much of an issue.

The power of the charm made the darkness look like predawn.

Nighttime maintenance would be so much easier with something like this…

She had been doing that every night lately.

She had to service the mobile shell that was the representative piece of vassal equipment.

Her father had left it for her, but it had been passed down by her ancestors, later modified into a female-model, and sometimes used for work by her father when he was alive.

So its parts have gotten really rusty and deteriorated.

Thanks to that, she had needed to dismantle it and reassemble it. She had been working on that since halfway through the previous year. Her father’s death was part of the reason this was necessary, but there was no helping that. She decided to view it all as her father’s love teaching her about the machine and how to service it.

She had earned her mobile shell license at 16 and she had even gotten the restriction on old models removed.

She hoped to make her debut as a vassal with a mobile shell during her third and final year in high school. So…

“Now is the time to prepare for that…!”

With that, she pursued the enemy. She moved across the containers and, when she came to a gap, she ran across instead of jumping. She simply lengthened her stride to cross the gap.

And she continued on.

She had seen the enemy’s location earlier. The only way out of there was the door into the passageway.

I need to hurry, she told herself just as the Extra Special Duty Officer fell behind her.

On a stack of two wooden containers, she had kicked off the edge to leap to the next row, but…

“Oh?”

She had carelessly kicked too hard.

Instead of kicking off of the container, she kicked the container behind her.

Huh?

She had meant to catch the edge with her toes to kick it, but the container spun and slammed into the ceiling.

How much power does she have? thought Adele.

Having lost her support partway through the jump, the Extra Special Duty Officer entered a downward spin and crashed into the container ahead of her.


Naruze was gently flying and occasional stepping on a container while watching the two out ahead.

The container that hit the ceiling was destroyed and shattered. Down below, something crashed into a container and smashed it to pieces with a loud noise. As for why this happened…

“Why is that wolf playing around on her own?”

“I think Mito-tsan might have some pent-up frustration since To-chan has been ignoring her lately.”

Margot explained that while loading a sniper spell in her broom, but then…

“Oops.”

She suddenly moved closer to Naruze.

“Oh, dear,” said Naruze as she supported Margot in midair. She liked feeling her partner’s body heat on her left side, but: “What are you doing, Margot? Acrobatics?”

There was something on top of Margot’s Technohexen hat.

It was a large cosmetics case. It had likely been in the container that had hit the ceiling and broken apart.

What is that? wondered Naruze as she picked it up. And from up ahead…

“—————!”

With what sounded like a roar of rage, the row of containers up ahead exploded.

“Huh?”

She wrinkled her brow and the two of them ducked to dodge a chain hanging from the ceiling. Then they moved their wings to fly to the next level of containers. There, they viewed the scene up ahead.

Mitotsudaira had forcefully plowed through the row of containers, causing them to collapse.

And they had not been pushed to the sides. They flew forward through the air.

While they listened to the cacophony of the containers breaking and bouncing from Mitotsudaira’s running speed, Margot wrapped an arm around Naruze’s waist and spoke with some admiration in her voice.

“Good.” She used the night-vision spell to view the scene through one eye. “Mito-tsan has started working off that frustration.”


Adele saw the container explosion pursuing her.

Ohhhh!?

She knew more or less what had happened.

“Extra Special Duty Officer!?”

“You pieces of junk!!”

The silver wolf had given up on moving along the top of the containers, so she was running along the floor. However, she was not avoiding the rows of containers.

“…!”

She was forcing them out of the way, sending them flying, and kicking them into the air to clear a path. As a result, her path was drawn out by scattering containers.

It was definitely flashy. Adele thought it was okay for her to destroy the containers, but…

“Wait…what is this!?” shouted the wolf as she bit at and dragged out the contents of the scattering containers.

She held a largish cosmetics case between her teeth. It was printed with a drawing of a girl.

“ ‘The Outrage of Anagni, But Spelled Slightly Differently’? Isn’t this a porn game!?”[1]


“Um, yes,” confirmed Margot as she and Naruze pursued the traveling container explosion.

Naruze gave a more thorough answer to Mitostudaira’s question while looking at the porn game box in her hand.

“The package art is kind of low quality. This is probably shoddy camouflage for the smuggled items inside.”

“They would go that far?”

“Yes, well, I’m sure they have their reasons. But…”

Naruze suddenly looked at Margot.

Her blue eye viewed Margot through the night-vision spell.

Eh?

Instead of a meaningful signal, it was…

A request?

No, it was nothing that formal. It was more of a “You understand, don’t you?”

It did not say what Margot was supposed to understand, but she knew what Naruze meant and wordlessly nodded. Leave it to me, she thought. Naruze’s eyebrows rose slightly and she smiled a little.

Then the Weiss Hexen dressed as a white shrine maiden said what that look had meant.

“If you ask me, those two enemies we’re pursuing…are definitely mysterious phenomena.”


They aren’t people? thought Adele when she heard Naruze.

The Technohexen’s words echoed across the warehouse from beyond the Extra Special Duty Officer’s violent charge.

“Adele, Mitotsudaira. These containers probably contain smuggled porn games. This warehouse district is right next to the hull after all. A few of the porn games being smuggled into the Musashi must have been carried directly here from the transport ship.”

“Hm? Wouldn’t they arrive at Asakusa or Shinagawa?” asked Adele.

“That’s the blind spot.”

“Right,” said Naito. “There are frequent firefights on Shinagawa and Asakusa when smuggling groups are discovered, right? The battles generally get pulled all the way back to Okutama, but…”

“The transport ships at Shinagawa and Asakusa will be evacuated so they aren’t caught in the gunfire.”

That was enough for Adele to mostly figure it out.

“So one of the transport ships evacuated to Okutama was actually already loaded with smuggled porn games?”

“Right, right. And by the time those idiots act as a diversion and draw the firefight over this way, all the games have been loaded in the warehouses already. And since the diversion heads to Okutama and is wiped out before arriving, no one will think of checking the warehouses here. At best, you might think they hid something on the way to Okutama.”

“Then,” said Adele as she ran. “What makes you say those white things must be mysterious phenomena and not people?”

“Umm, they’re wicked thoughts,” immediately replied Naruze. “Wicked thoughts have taken human form and turned into that.”

“Wicked thoughts?”

“Judge.” Naruze made a jump to catch up to Adele. “Wicked thoughts…can be frightening. They have great power. I mean, even if it rains during a doujin event, the weather will clear up partway through if the event has enough wicked thoughts.”

“That is dangerous.”

“Judge. Do you understand how fearsome wicked thoughts are now?”

She did not really understand, but she was not entirely sure she wanted to understand. Regardless, Technohexen knew a lot about ether, so it was best to trust them on this.

I guess this means troublesome mysterious phenomena are appearing on Musashi now.

Mysterious phenomena on the level of pranks would occasionally crop up. The divine network would list spots well-known for occasionally having a few extra steps on the stairs or for a puddle that disappeared when you looked back. However…

“Eh?”

While trying to catch up, the Extra Special Duty Officer had just attacked the last row of containers.

That caused the containers Adele was standing on to shake. And…

“…Oh?”

Adele realized she had missed her footing.

She cried out and flew through the air.


The wicked thought that had been hit by the coin bullet had only just recovered.

The other one continued to flee without stopping.

“Are you okay, Koni-tan!? If you’re going to die, do it on your own!”

“Th-that is some impressive resolve, Nobu-tan!”

Nobu-tan was sent flying when a vassal spun through the air and struck the back of his head with her heel.

The vassal continued on and collided with the containers to the side. She broke through them and seemed to have passed out.

Meanwhile, Koni-tan mercilessly fled without stopping and ran right by Nobu-tan as he tried to crawl along the floor.

“Are you okay, Nobu-tan! If you’re going to die, feel free to do so on your own!”

“I won’t give you a copy!!”

Koni-tan came to a stop.

“N-no fair!!”

As soon as he said that, the pile of containers behind him collapsed. And the Mito Lord’s voice could be heard from beyond them.

“Dosukoooooi!!”

With an exclamation from the latest trend in standing martial arts, the great mass of containers collided with the floor and walls.


“How about that!?” asked Mitotsudaira as she made two flat-handed slaps.

Honestly, I can’t believe this place existed below the academy.

The mountain of containers in front of her was slowly beginning to collapse again.

It could not keep its balance, so it fell toward the corridor on the other side, but…

“I need to get out into the corridor to check on some things.”

Now that they knew this was a smuggling warehouse, they had to open up the entire wide block and investigate it.

This is going to be even more work.

“Oh, wait, wait.”

A voice reached her from the air behind her.

Naito and Naruze had caught up.

They moved their wings, grabbed a chain dangling from the ceiling, and dropped down. They stepped on a surviving container behind Mitotsudaira and then hopped to the floor.

They went to a lot of effort in that descent, but they must have felt the need for caution in this darkness.

Naito then rushed over.

“Um, Mito-tsan?”

“Huh? What is it?”

“Well, y’see? Didn’t you go a little far with your physical attacks?”

“Eh? But catching up to them was my job and they were running away…”

“Ohh…” Naito’s mouth stretched opened horizontally and she began a conversation with Naruze: “Did she not hear?” “Well, she was making a lot of noise.”

“What is this about?” asked Mitotsudaira.

“Eh? Well…” Naito pointed beyond the containers behind her. “They escaped earlier…since they’re wicked thoughts.”

Her attack had not been as effective as Asama shooting them.

“So do you agree that ‘officially’ those are wicked thoughts?”

“ ‘Officially’ they’re wicked thoughts?” repeated Mitotsudaira with a tilt of the head.

But those two had clearly been…

“They seemed like humans to me…”

“No, they were definitely wicked thoughts. Or something like it.”

Naito sounded annoyed, so Mitotsudaira decided to just accept that.

It’s true that’s a possibility.

Was there some reason they had to view it that way? Meanwhile, another stack of containers collapsed behind them.

“Ohh,” said Naito as she looked up at the collapsed pile of containers in front of them. “Well, I suppose this did help drive them in the right direction.”

“No, we can’t look at it like that now that we know they’re wicked thoughts.” Mitotsudaira was mostly speaking to herself as she breathed a sigh. “I attacked without any anti-spirit divine protections. It’s true no one explained the situation to me, but I should have considered it as a possibility.”

The possibility of a mysterious phenomenon had been stated from the beginning, so she belatedly realized she should not have used brute force just because the enemy looked so very human.

How to fight spirits was one of the main lessons in anti-nonhuman combat classes. She had overlooked that, but there was a reason for it:

“You should have some spirit divine protections as a Loup-Garou and that should give anti-spirit properties to any direct attack you make, but I guess it doesn’t work through containers.”

“Hmm… I wasn’t thinking and just assumed they would gain an extension of my divine protections.”

Because humans and most other nonhumans lacked spirit abilities, they had difficulty touching spirits. They could use charms and spells to make up for that, but Mitotsudaira did not need those things.

That was an advantage of her species, but…

“I completely forgot I need to apply the divine protections to my weapons.”

“Well, it’s not like you have a chance to fight spirits all that often.”

She was ashamed she could only nod at Naruze’s kind comment.

Would such opportunities increase if she officially joined the Chancellor’s Officers?

Honestly.

She thought the same thing she had earlier.

I’m supposed to be a knight, but I still lack so very much.

And just as she sighed again…

“Um…”

The pile of containers in front of her spoke.

It was Adele.

“I’m completely stuck in a box near the back. Could you help me out?” she asked. “Also, based on the footsteps I heard, the wicked thoughts continued on in the right direction. So, Extra Special Duty Officer, can’t you think of this as doing your job properly?”


The wicked thoughts passed through the gate out of the warehouse wide block and entered a long block that acted as a large passageway.

They were on their way to the hull. Because…

“Now we can escape, Nobu-tan!”

“Yes, that was a close one!”

The collapse of all those containers truly had been dangerous.

They were lucky they had noticed one of the falling porn game containers was for the bonus item. The bonus item for the smuggled porn games was a handkerchief shaped like lace underwear and the container carrying them had come open in midair, so they had managed to have it land on top of them.

The bonus items inside were bulky, but they were only cloth. The two of them had managed to force themselves inside.

“Then the container protected us from the other falling containers and we were moved outside as the container was pushed out from the center!”

The two wicked thoughts raced down the passageway while wearing the handkerchiefs over their heads.

That was when they heard a voice from the center of the ship behind them.

“Hit!”


Asama had stored up her Blessings.

She had been waiting for this moment when the enemy was driven out of the warehouse by the others.

They had initially begun pursuit when the enemy had fled, but Naomasa had stopped them.

“There’s a corridor here that circles around ahead of them.”

It was not on the same floor as the warehouse.

It was a maintenance corridor located between the upper and lower floors.

Anyone from the engine division could freely enter it, so Naomasa, Asama, and Kimi used it to circle around to the long block the enemy would reach.

The enemy had tried to lose pursuit in the confusion, but that had only bought Asama’s group more time. So…

We need Mito, Adele, Naito, and Naruze to pursue them as blatantly as possible!

Their pursuit was meant to drive the enemy out here while also hiding the fact that Asama’s group had circled on ahead.

With Naomasa in the lead, they crossed a bamboo catwalk in the dim darkness. And they ultimately reached a long block near the stern.

It was a transport district which was rarely used. And nearby…

Oh, there’s our storehouse.

We need to check out the instruments on the way back, Asama reminded herself.

“There they are,” said Kimi.

About twenty meters away, a gate to a warehouse wide block on the left wall opened and two white figures ran out.

They did not notice the girls.

And there was no reason to let them notice. This was not a duel between warriors or a tournament between knights. It was the Shinto purification of some mysterious phenomena. That was all it was.

Kimi caught up from behind and amplified Asama’s spell with a dance.

Asama had already opened up Kataume and set up her firing spell.

I’ll use a diffusion-type so they can’t escape!

She could not use this technique in their mock battles against Oriotorai because it could damage the city. She had already used one to blow away the warehouse earlier, but that had been close to firing a blank.

She was now preparing a specialized arrow.

“…!”

The enemy started to look back.

But it was too late.

Asama announced that she had them in her sights and she released her power.


Kimi saw a blast of pressure rather than destruction.

Well done.

The arrow loosed from Asama’s bow came to a brief but definite stop in midair. A moment later, wind blew from the tip and spread out like an umbrella.

“Ha ha.”

The passageway created from the series of long blocks was 36m wide. This floor was primarily used for warehouses, so the ceiling was tall.

A pressure flew out and seemed to sweep across the entire passageway.

Kimi could tell her dance had amplified it. But what if?

What would happen if I added in a song too?

Asama would not be thinking the same thing. The thought came from Kimi’s love of exciting festivals.

But if Asama, Mitotsudaira, and she could mutually amplify each other with song and dance…

Wouldn’t we be able to do just about anything?

With that thought, Kimi tapped her heels as part of her dance.

A moment later, the launched pressure struck the enemy while still spread out across the entire passageway.

But even after hitting the two white enemies, the attack did not lose its momentum.

“Huh?”

Kimi did not know why Asama had tilted her head after blowing away the enemies.

“What is it, Asama? According to my brilliant prediction, that’s going to continue on and blow through the hull door.”

“W-wait! I didn’t plan for that much power!”

“It’s okay. Don’t worry, Asama.”

I wonder what the morning paper is going to say tomorrow, thought Kimi.

“If you ask me, this way is a lot more fun.”


Mitotsudaira pushed a container as she ran down the corridor from the warehouse wide block to the long block.

Adele was inside the small wooden container. It had two meter sides and was about a meter tall, so with the top lid removed, Adele could hold onto the edge and look forward.

Warped portions of the floor sometimes made the container hop upwards, but it did not topple over.

The container was filled with some necessary items.

“These confiscated porn games, bonus items, and such should be enough evidence.”

“I really want to avoid thinking about how I was buried in that stuff,” said Adele.

“What’s wrong with doing that from time to time?” unhelpfully asked Naruze from behind.

But then they heard Naito suddenly flap her wings extra hard.

“Hm? What is it, Margot?”

“Oh, um.” Naito nodded and once more flapped her six wings extra hard. “It’s just a bit dangerous is all.”

She used her main wings to flip forward and make an emergency landing. It was a rushed action that did not use her ability to hover. Naruze then flew past Mitotsudaira, but Mitotsudaira soon caught up.

“What is it!?”

“Oh, you’ll be fine, Mito-tsan.”

As soon as Naito said that, the “pressure” arrived.

All the air around them was moving.

It moved from back to front. And…

“Eh?”

As Mitotsudaira’s hair was swept forward, Adele floated up from the container.

Ehh!?

It happened so suddenly she did not have time to take another breath.

“Here it comes,” said Naito, but her voice was drowned out partway through.

It was the wind. A pressure pushed at all the air around them.

The hull was blown open!?


While waiting at the Asama Shrine with Suzu, “Okutama” felt her ship shake a little.

The reason why was obvious.

“An internal impact triggered an emergency opening of the starboard stern hull door on the sixth underground level. I was prepared for the worst with Asama-sama’s group at work in that area, so I am glad this was the worst of the damage. Over.”

“U-um, what happened…to them?”

Good question, thought “Okutama”.

The Musashi’s ships used buffering spells for atmospheric protection, so damage to the hull would not suck everything outside due to a pressure difference.

But Asama’s arrow had been a problem.

The amplified attack had also purified the atmospheric protection.

That level of attack should have been weak enough to remain inside the ship. Thus, Asama had likely concluded it was safe to use in the transport district even if it did destroy the divine protections in the surrounding space.

But it had been amplified.

The air inside the ship would have been one thing, but the door had been opened by the impact.

That had allowed the purification side effect to reach outside the ship, which meant…

“It penetrated the atmospheric protection, so a portion of the air regained its original pressure. Over.”

“Okutama” heard a sound from aft and starboard.

It was a dry sound much like a popgun.

The suction from the pressure difference had slammed into the air within the ship.


Notes[edit]

  1. The katakana spelling of Anagni is almost the same as the Japanese term for anal masturbation.