Horizon:Kimitoasamade 3B Chapter 7
Chapter 7: Reporter in an Official Place
You pass it on
You ask about it
It isn’t all gathered together until later
Point Allocation (Because You are Obligated to Report)
“So Suzuki Magoichi actually showed up.”
There was a nature park in an underground atrium on Murayama.
The person who spoke there was identified by another voice calling over from an ice cream stand.
“Torii, don’t do anything rash.”
“I won’t, Suga. Besides, there’s no way I could win against someone like that.”
That was from Torii who rested her elbows on the stand’s counter and ate an ice cream cone. She wore a girl’s uniform with only a chest band for the top and she looked to Oosuga who was preparing some cream beyond the counter.
“How many wives showed up today?”
“It’s amazing that you can actually answer that, Suga. …Were they all regulars.”
“Two were new faces.”
“Did you check them out?”
“Memorizing the faces of my customers is my most important hobby as a businessman.”
“At least try to hide it.”
“But my hobby is also my job.”
“Ohh,” said Torii with a nod. She then looked around where preparations were underway for the spring school festival. Lanterns were being hung in the park and a uniformed guard would occasionally pass through for security.
When they noticed Torii and Oosuga, they would nod, but when Torii saw that, she looked over at Oosuga.
“So when’s the arrest happening?”
“Of my manager, you mean?”
“I see him getting dragged off to the guard station from time to time, so I don’t think there’s anything to worry about there.”
“Then it’s you? What in the world did you do? …No, wait. Don’t tell me. I don’t want any part of this.”
“…Y’know, you sometimes take things even further than me, but could you stop that? Please?”
“I have no idea what you mean, but you’d better pay for what you ate.”
Torii stuck a hand in her pocket and then froze in place.
She suddenly removed her side skirt and placed it on the counter.
“Keep the change, Suga.”
Oosuga stared at the skirt sitting on the counter.
It was black with white hemming and lining.
“What is this?”
“I don’t have any money.”
“Again, what is this?”
“You can sell it.”
“No, thank you.”
Torii frowned at his rejection.
“Why? Musashi’s Chancellor and Student Council President just stripped it off. That’s sure to be worth a lot.”
“Yeah, but it’s not from a wife.”
“What would you do if it was?”
“Instead of selling it, I would keep it as my personal-…no, I mean I would confiscate it.”
“Why haven’t you been arrested yet…?”
Torii then removed her tail skirt and placed it on the counter.
“Fine, then. You can have the full set.”
“Y-you can be cruel sometimes, you know!?”
“Pipe down. Besides, these won’t fit in the register.”
“Sell them! Were you planning to use them to barter!?”
“How am I supposed to trade some idiot’s stripped skirt for money that has been touched by a wife’s bare hands?”
“I’ve kept quiet about this until now, but that is creepy… Really, really creepy…”
Torii took two steps back along the counter and Oosuga glared at her.
“A girl trying to sell her skirt has the nerve to criticize a love of wives?”
“Okay, I’ll admit we’re both just as bad, so just take my skirt in place of money.”
“You do not match my belief system, so that is not valid payment.”
“Umm.” Torii thought for a bit. “Oh, I get it! So my skirt would be valid payment if I was a wife!”
“So you figured it out. Clever girl. Now go get married.”
“No one needs to be your idea of clever, so come on over here and be normal!”
“A normal person wouldn’t try to pay for ice cream with her skirt!”
“Then…then what am I!?”
Torii struck a dramatic pose and raised her voice, so everyone in the park turned their way.
After a pause, some applause began and she bowed.
And then she rested her elbows on the counter again. She also pulled a mic from somewhere.
“So to interview myself, what am I supposed to do about this?”
“About paying for your food?”
“No, not that.” Torii sighed. “Magoichi takes everything so seriously, so she can be such a pain.”
“So you met Suzuki Magoichi’s name inheritor, did you?”
The evening light entered a wooden room. The large and longish room was lined with faculty desks.
This was the faculty room on the first floor of Musashi Ariadust Academy’s front building. Adele had arrived to report to Oriotorai whose seat was at a desk near the entrance.
She was reporting on the mysterious phenomenon job in Okutama’s underground.
Asama had gone to report to the Asama Shrine, Mitotsudaira had gone to the Knight’s League, and…
…As a vassal, I have to report to the academy.
The transport district and warehouse district where the action had occurred were classified as ports that aerial ships could stop at, so they were managed by the Port Management Office which had a transportation official among Musashi’s Public Morals Committee.
Oriotorai and the Asama Shrine had informed the Public Morals Committee about this job in advance and that was why Adele’s group had been given the authority to do the work there.
And now that it was over, they only had to report to Oriotorai and the Asama Shrine who would then submit a formal report to the Public Morals Committee.
…That’s more or less how it works.
So Adele opened a sign frame and displayed the route they had taken. It showed where Asama’s group and her group had split up in the warehouse district and it showed where they had met Suzuki Magoichi.
“That should about cover it.”
“Oh, yes. That’s plenty. It matches what Asama submitted, so it should be fine.”
Adele could not say that she had actually been given quite a bit of data by Asama.
…This homeroom teacher probably knows that…
After all, when Oriotorai reached for the submitted sign frame…
“Hanami’s auto-mapping really is incredible… We’ll be doing some dungeon training during the summer study camp, so maybe I need to ban Mouse mapping…”
She did not even try to hide it.
But the report itself was complete. And in addition to their witness accounts and reports, Konishi and Masazumi’s father had been watching from outside and they had submitted a witness account that no mysterious phenomena had appeared outside.
“That’s everything I have to tell you, Sensei.”
“You blew up a warehouse and canceled a long block’s buffering spell, but it was to get rid of a mysterious phenomenon. It was all to ensure the safety of Musashi’s flight. Also…”
Oriotorai picked a plain wooden box up from the desk.
“You also discovered a porn game smuggling warehouse.”
“So was it all a net gain or loss?”
“From an official standpoint, a gain.” Oriotorai placed the box back on the desk and smiled. “For the Asama Shrine and the academy, this was a lucky result.”
It was a relief to hear a teacher say that.
Thank goodness, thought Adele once more. But…
…There’s still a problem.
That was what they had discussed at the Blue Thunder the night before.
The Musashi was surrounded by mysterious phenomena right now.
…A thin film of mysterious phenomena has formed something like a spherical barrier and it causes them to gather and appear without the Musashi detecting it.
From their perspective, it was like they could purify the mysterious phenomena as many times as they wanted, but more of them would show up.
And there was a problem with this incident:
“We never did get any final proof that the mysterious phenomenon was purified.”
Hearing that, Oriotorai looked her way and nodded.
“Are you talking about Asama’s report from last night about the mysterious phenomena surrounding the Musashi?”
She did not hesitate to nod.
She did not care if it made her seem anxious. Because she was.
“It might come back even after being purified and it’s really hard for us to detect. …Looking at them like that, these mysterious phenomena are a pretty big problem.”
“Yes,” agreed Oriotorai. “They come from ley line disturbances, so even if you think they’re gone, they might have just scattered and will gather back together elsewhere. And you don’t know when they do appear because it happens outside of anything the shrines or spell users can detect. In that sense, the term ‘purification’ seems quite apt.”
“The term ‘purification’?”
“Judge. That’s right. I mean, we aren’t erasing or destroying them. We’re wearing them away to make them clean again.”
Adele understood what that meant thanks to all the time she had spent with Asama and Shinto in general.
What was it Shinto would do about a mysterious phenomenon like the one today?
“Instead of ending it by destroying it like the Catholics do, Shinto tries to end it by tuning the ley line it comes from, right?”
“It’s like cleaning up. Even if the mysterious phenomenon has a physical form, there’s no need to defeat it. After all, tuning the ley line will leave it with nowhere to live any longer. …If you think of the Catholics as using symptomatic therapy, then Shinto uses a complete cure therapy. So…”
Adele knew what Oriotorai was saying, so she finished for her teacher.
“Yesterday’s Hidden Dragon and the Non-God Sword before that were really troublesome.”
Adele saw Oriotorai nod.
“A mysterious phenomenon on that level creates a ‘field’ for itself. They contaminate the area you cleaned up and make it so they can continue living there. …Of course, the mid-level ones use up all their stamina simply creating the ‘field’, so they are annihilated all on their own. But…”
She opened a sign frame and held it up a little. The pale evening light from the window shined on it, but the diagram on the screen was perfectly visible.
“This is what Asama sent me last night. …It’s an estimated diagram of the spherical barrier of mysterious phenomena surrounding the Musashi. It’s been with us since Mikawa and it settled down a bit when you punished it last night, but it can apparently create something like a Hidden Dragon with ease. If that’s true…”
“We’ll have to use some symptomatic therapy in addition to complete cure therapy, won’t we?”
Adele glanced to the left and right.
There was no one else here. The clubs were not yet done with their activities.
Once she knew no one else was listening, she continued speaking.
“Just so you know, ‘Musashi’-san sent a purification request to the Asama Shrine. She wanted them to use the Gagaku Festival to purify it all at once.”
“This is Aki…so should we ask the Catholics to do a demon exorcism?”
“It sounds like a good idea to me.”
Oriotorai’s eyebrows rose and she placed her finger on Asama’s diagram. She moved her finger around the three-dimensional image of Musashi and the spherical barrier surrounding it.
“Here and here. And maybe here too. …I think it could work if they placed Catholic forces at about 16 locations and performed a summoning followed by an exorcism. It would certainly be exciting.”
Can I really trust what she says? wondered Adele, but Oriotorai continued regardless.
“Making it exciting is important. K.P.A. Italia has been in a bit of a depression, so letting their warriors battle a dragon would probably improve their national morale. …I bet the Roman Student Council’s Conference Division would send out their Council for Justice and Peace.”
“Don’t they report directly to the Pope-Chancellor?”
Well, this is their land, so I guess it makes sense. However…
“Would they be able to pull it off after coming all the way out here?”
“They would. Or rather, I bet the Pope-Chancellor would stubbornly make sure they did.” Oriotorai spread her mouth horizontally in a smile. “But, Adele, you aren’t serious about this, are you?”
Adele came back to her senses when she immediately replied with a smile.
Not good, not good. She felt like she had been set up with this exchange, but…
…I do wish we could resolve this ourselves.
She felt like that was impossible and she shook her raised hand back and forth.
“That’s a pretty dangerous thought. Yes.”
“A second year vassal thinking of resolving an incident that required international-level fighters? I think I’ve let our victories over the past few days get to my head.”
“Really?” Oriotorai closed the sign frame and narrowed her eyes. “I haven’t been teaching you so you could let a mid-level dragon get the better of you.”
“I don’t think egging me on is going to help.”
But then something occurred to Adele.
She had a single reason for her confusion and Oriotorai provided it.
“You really did defeat the dragon, though. …You need to have more confidence in yourself. Otherwise, my job won’t seem worth doing,” she said. “Also, you’ll be third years next year, so you’ll be out there on the international stage. Keep that in mind, okay? …I imagine Asama’s group will be preparing for the Gagaku Festival at the Asama Shrine, but what will you be doing after this, Adele?”
“I have my part-time job and Suzu-san will apparently be working at the bathhouse. You guessed right about Asama-san’s group, but I think Naito-san and Naruze-san went shopping. …Oh, and Naomasa-san received an interesting request.”
Naomasa sighed as she viewed a sign frame in her room.
Her room was in Takao’s underground area.
“Honestly,” she said there. “I didn’t think I would have preparations to make, too.”
She added “what a pain” as she stood on the dirt floor of the small room.
After returning from the mysterious phenomenon hunt and changing at the Asama Shrine, she had returned home for work.
She appreciated that job because it had paid decently. Her god of war, Jizuri Suzaku, was used for work on the Musashi, so she only had to cover a third of the parts and maintenance costs, but…
…It’s still pretty expensive.
So she wanted money. And the sign frame in front of her might help there.
“An idea for modifying Naito and Naruze’s brooms, hm?”
Even if this was between friends, she was a professional when it came to maintenance and machine work. They understood that, so they had made an official order asking for an estimate and listing the limit of what they hoped to pay.
They had handed her this information on the way back from the previous job.
Tonight, she was not going to participate in the Gagaku Festival the others were holding at the Asama Shrine.
And since they had surreptitiously passed this to her…
…I guess it’s supposed to be a secret.
Naomasa did not know how keeping it a secret would help, but she kind of understood why they would want to do so.
Technohexen had a lot of pride. In fact, given their internal hierarchy and history, they could not get by without pride.
The engine division used the services of the delivery businesses which were primarily run by Technohexen. They would use transport ships and transport systems for large materials, fuel, and lubricants, but it was faster to get a Technohexen for hard copies of diagrams or for small parts.
Based on what she had heard from those Technohexen and from Naito and Naruze, their internal hierarchy was quite strict.
They each had their own turf or had dibs on a certain portion of the work.
“And at the lower ranks, they aren’t allowed to travel between ships for deliveries. It really sounds like a pain.”
Of course, the engine division was much the same.
Newcomers were only allowed to work at one station, but as they gained experience, they could move on to other work on the same ship or floor. And if they gained even more experience, they could move on to work on different ships or floors. Eventually, they would be made the manager of a station they excelled at.
Naomasa was a manager. Taizou, the engine division’s chief, had notified her of that when she entered high school.
But even as a manager, she tended to do more actual work than managing since she had a god of war which could do a lot of work other people could not. Although you could say she was still effectively a manager because she was allowed to do the maintenance work she excelled at on each ship.
And since she had reached her current position like that…
“I do somewhat understand that Technohexen environment.”
The broom modification order was primarily to reinforce both their brooms.
That would make the brooms heavier, but it was not a bad idea. Technohexen accelerated using spells. There was only so much acceleration the broom itself could provide, but they just had to control the peak line using the spells.
Technohexen flight started off quite fast, but that was because the reinforced brooms were designed to withstand a lot of speed all at once.
Naito and Naruze were already flying like that.
They had probably already reinforced the brooms using commercial parts. That would be why Edel Brocken had tried to recruit them as testers.
But if they wanted even more reinforcements from Naomasa…
“That probably means adding in a pretty intense acceleration spell.”
She continued staring at the sign frame, but then she suddenly moved.
“Oh, it’s time.”
She grabbed the metal pot hanging on the wall and placed it on the stove installed in the dirt floor.
She had of course modified the tall stove. She had made it more airtight to increase the heating power and she had made sure she could manipulate the air intake. After putting some charcoal inside, she reached for the sign frame.
She was preparing to close it, but…
She left it open and reached her prosthetic arm behind her instead.
The rice inside a container on the tea table had cooled. She dropped it into the pot and then added in some sesame oil and seaweed.
She frowned and glared at the sign frame.
“I was so distracted I went to the egg ration pickup and forgot to get any. Naito and Naruze probably went to the Blue Thunder, so maybe I can have them bring me some…”
Masazumi met an unexpected customer.
She was in the Blue Thunder. She had gotten to know the manager and automaton there shortly after arriving from Mikawa. That was why she often came here to eat, but there were a few other customers there now. And that included…
“Oh, you come here too, Naito and Naruze?”
“Oh, yes. It’s kind of like a friend’s place for us.”
Naito entered the café and Naruze circled around outside and arrived at the window.
Then someone walked up from the back of the café.
It was P-01s. She bowed toward Naito and Naruze.
“You have guts returning here after what happened last night, Naruga-sama and Nargot-sama.”
Hearing that, Naito and Naruze looked to Masazumi.
Masazumi raised her left hand next to her face and averted her gaze.
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