Horizon:Kimitoasamade 4A Chapter 7

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Chapter 7: Beginners in a Sleepy Place[edit]

Horizon Kimi4A 261.jpg

Do I keep telling myself to hurry

Because I am running late?

Point Allocation (You Don’t Need to be a Poet)


Mitotsudaira was half asleep.

A lot had happened the night before.

Um.

What had happened and how had it turned out?

She knew she was sleeping in Asama’s room. She had been sleeping here more often than her own mansion lately. She had effectively been living here.

Asama and Kimi slept on either side of her and Adele and Suzu were nearby. Heidi must have left earlier because her futon was folded up.

Naito, Naruze, and Naomasa were not here.

That leaves…

Masazumi had gone home at a convenient time the night before.

Her father was strict and she had to work as a part-time teacher at the elementary school this morning.

“That can’t be easy…”

With that, Mitotsudaira opened a sign frame.

It was morning. The light entering through the paper sliding door was blocked by a partition, but the room was still bright.

What time is it?

The sign frame told her it was 8:29 in the morning.

After reading the number, she gave a meaningless nod.

After a while, she looked at the number again.

It was 8:29.

Asama would get up for her purification at 4:30 in the morning, so about 4 hours had passed since then.

“Honestly.”

Mitotsudaira held her left hand to the bitter smile on her lips and lightly slapped the sign frame with her right hand.

“Tomo, did you oversleep? For 4 hours?”

Then she breathed in.

It was the morning air, but the warm scent of their shared sleeping space also entered her lungs. Then the wolf gave a shout.

“We’re going to be laaaaate!”


Naruze hurriedly prepared for the day.

Crap!

After leaving their brooms with Naomasa last night, they had gone home. Then the exhaustion had hit.

But it had been a physical exhaustion, not a mental on. In fact, they had been in an incredible mood.

“Ha ha.”

She had embraced Margot, Margot had accepted it, and they had collapsed onto the floor in the back of the room.

They had not had the strength to climb into bed, but they had been in high spirits.

“Margot.”

“Nn.”

Margot had kissed her without warning. Then they had pressed their bodies together in a kneading way, like they were heated clay. They had pulled each other close, leaving no gap between them.

“We did it.”

They both said it at about the same time and they laughed.

They had used their stripped-off clothing as a bed and their wings as a blanket as they treated each other’s hands, lips, and skin like their own. They had searched for and been guided to what they lacked and all of a sudden found themselves laughing.

“I can’t believe it.”

So…

“Let’s make sure we remember this.”

Naruze did not remember who had said that and who had responded.

But when they had woken up in the morning on top of their scattered clothes which smelled of sweat and perfume, they had laughed together again.

“Ga-chan, you kind of tore my tights. You need to take them off properly.”

“And you left my shirt on, Margot. That’s kind of kinky.”

After that, their shoulders had shaken with more meaningless laughter. They lowered their heads so their foreheads touched.

“…Let’s send the tester request later.”

“Sure. But, Ga-chan.”

“What?”

Naito spread her mouth horizontally and pointed toward the room’s entrance.

“We left the door open.”

“…We were behind the desks, so we’re safe.”

They had been less safe in something other than their location.

They had heard a bell ringing.

“…Eh?”

Opening a Magie Figur had shown it was already 8:30.

12 hours had passed since the night before.

“Oh, no…”

“U-umm, let’s at least wipe down our bodies. …Okay, Ga-chan, I’ll wipe you down, so I’d love it if you stood up and let me see everything.”

“You sure are enjoying yourself this morning, Margot!”

Naruze returned the favor, so a fair amount of time passed.

They brushed their hair with a hair-washing charm comb that used an Asama Shrine purification and then they started to leave.

“Ah.”

The white feather broom had taken a lot of damage, so they had left it with Naomasa. So…

“Let’s take my broom!” said Naito. “We can ride it together!”

That sounded great.

Naito held out the broom and Naruze grabbed both it and her hand.

“Let’s go.”

They hurried out into the hall.


Asama ran up the steps to the surface area.

Adele was in the lead, followed by…

“Mitotsudaira…-san, a-are you…okay?”

“I am just fine. You are far lighter than the musical instruments.”

Mitotsudaira was carrying Suzu and Kimi was running behind them.

In the distance, they could hear the bell ringing and fireworks bursting.

I-I can’t believe this…!

Asama had rushed through the purification and only changed clothes. She had not eaten anything or made any other preparations. Fortunately, this was the opening ceremony for the Spring School Festival, so they did not have to be ready for class. However…

“I can’t believe we’re late on the very first day…”

“That’s right,” said Kimi as she came up alongside her. “I woke up in the morning and saw it was 4. And when I checked the clock, the alarm was set for 4:30, right? Well, I didn’t want to be woken up just 30 minutes after going back to sleep, so I turned off the alarm. …I wonder why we’re running late?”

“Think about what you just said and you might just figure it out! Okay!? Can you do that!?”

At any rate, the culprit had confessed, so the mystery was solved.

The end of the stairs came into view. Suzu would be going a different way so she could head home first and Adele ran off along the surface area before turning around. She looked back at them from the path into the nature district.

“Go on ahead! I’ll find us a story we can tell Sensei as an excuse!”

“Thanks!”

Just as Asama said that, a pack of barking dogs ran up from port.

They easily swallowed up Adele.

“Hyaaaaah!!”

The dogs wanted their morning walk.

That meant Adele was useless.

So Asama looked away as Adele was carried off by the wave of dogs. They were on the border between the Asama Shrine and the surrounding nature district. She looked to the path leading into the latter.

Would it be faster to take Remorse Way?

That road was near the stern on the starboard side of the Asama Shrine. It had little foot and carriage traffic, so it was useful when in a hurry. But…

“Well, we should be fine.”

They were definitely running late. So it would be better to head straight to school instead of forcing themselves to take a certain path.

So…

“Let’s go.”

Asama ran toward the academy visible in the distance. And she was confident the other two would follow behind her.


Huh? thought Naito as she flew through the sky.

The bell was ringing and some people were running along Okutama’s surface to reach the academy.

“Ga-chan, Asama-chi’s group is down there.”

“Huh? Why are they late?”

Naito wanted to say it made no sense since waking up early was one of Asama’s special skills, but…

They were there with us last night.

So she lowered the broom’s altitude a bit and flew into the sky above that group.

She could see the three headed to the academy and Suzu heading to Musashino.

Suzu was the first to notice. She looked up at the broom and smiled.

It’s a lot like Bell-rin to head home and prepare for the day first…

But the other three had not noticed, so Naito thought up a way of clueing them in.

“Kiiiin, koooon, kaaaan, koooon.”

She mimicked the bell they could all hear.

Asama noticed.

“Oh, are you two running late too?”

“If we dive into the window at super speed, you’re the only ones who will be late.”

“Ah, looks like you’re wrong about that, Ga-chan.”

Someone was running up Remorse Way to starboard. It was likely Masazumi. That place was dimly lit even during the day and it was usually deserted, but the girl was not at all bothered by it. That had to be a sign she was still fairly unfamiliar with Musashi.

I wonder what she’ll think when she finds out.

And Masazumi was not the only one in a hurry.

There was also a group to port running toward the academy.

Tenzou and Toori were there. So were Noriki, Persona-kun, and that group.

“Tenzou, what are you doing?”

“W-well, after the excitement last night, Toori-dono said something about helping Konishi-dono with a job and we ended up transporting cargo from transport ships and warehouses!”

“Oh, to earn some money for the festival?”

“Yes, I suppose that was the result. So why are you-…”

Before Tenzou could finish his question, the idiot’s voice came over the Magie Figur.

“I hear you’re ranked first now!”

Oh, word gets around fast, she thought.

“That’s incredible!”

That line sent a tremor through her body.


The word “incredible” made Naito hesitate.

H-hm?

Was it incredible? Was it really? They had both done quite well, but…

W-was it…incredible? Was it, was it? I don’t know.

Musashi had Asama, Mitotsudaira, Kimi, the Chancellor’s Officers, and the Student Council.

Naito and Naruze were proud of what they had done, but would the others really see it as…

“…Incredible?”

The idiot definitely responded to that question.

“Judge,” he began. “It’s incredible. Yeah.”

It was weird how a voice could bring such joy. But Naruze embraced her from behind.

The rising and falling of Naruze’s chest told Naito she was laughing. And…

“He says it’s incredible.”

“Yeah.”

“And if that idiot says it, I think we can believe it. I mean…idiots can’t lie.”

“Yeah,” repeated Naito as the bell continued to ring. Then she took in a breath.

Ah.

She finally managed to relax.

The tension that had filled her for the past few weeks had just left her.

She was aware of her position at a crossroads between the past and the future.

I can hear the bell.

That was the tone of their new awakening.

So a thought occurred to her: Let’s make another new song for the Gagaku Festival.

“Ga-chan. …Think we could turn this into a song?”

“Kin kon kan kon?”

Wow, that’s cute. We’ve gotta make this into a song.

Naito nodded and wrote out the music in her mind based on the notes she heard. And…

“Let’s do this.”


Naito sang the lyrics as they occurred to her. But she could not come up with anything right away.

“Kiiin kooon kaaan kooon. Kiiin kooon kaaan kooon.”

Naruze laughed behind her before taking over for her.

“Kin kon kan kon. Kin kon kan kon.”

Ohhh, that really is cute, thought Naito. But she had to take the first real line, so she thought back to that morning.

“I can hear.”

“The alarm ringing.”

That was a quick response, Ga-chan. She couldn’t come up with something else this soon, so…

“Kiiin kooon kaaan kooon.”

“…It’s coming from school.”

Next it was Naruze’s turn to start.

“Is today Sunday?”

“Are you still dreaming?”

“Kin kon kan kon.”

Oh, is she making it a pattern to do the kin kon there?

Happy that she had noticed that, Naito continued.

“It’s still Wednesday.”

It was her turn next, but Naruze quickly continued for her and their lyrics combined to form a single line.

“What about breakfast?” “We’re going to be late.”

“Kin kon kan kon.” “We need to get going.”

“Kin kon kan kon.”

That felt like it was becoming a standard response like judge or testament. That may have been why Naruze continued with it.

“Kin kon kan kon?”

“Kin kon kan kooon.”

“That means class is starting.”

She said that with a laugh and looked down at the others below. So she used that.

“Look down there.” “Everyone’s in a hurry.”

Naito sang it loud enough for the people down below to hear.

“Kin kon kan kooooon.”

Mitotsudaira looked up at them and yelled something, but Naito did not care. Naruze ignored it too.

“What a nice wind.”

So they would ride that wind. And from there, they would do the usual:

“To the classroom window.” “Dive in and to our seats~”

“Kin kon kan kon.” “It’s the others who will be late.”

“It might mean skipping breakfast.” “But if we make it in time, we win.”

“Kiiin kon kan kon.”

“The losers will be executed.”

Naito had time to think, That’s probably true. They had already left the nature district and entered the academy grounds. The stairs up ahead rose more than 30m, so they had to aim the broom upwards.

“Kiiin kooon kan kon.” “Kin kon kaaan kon.” “Kin kon kaaan kon.”

“Class is starting.”

Of course, today was the School Festival. But not so in the song. It was Naruze’s turn to start and Naito assumed it would be something about class, but…

“I’m hungry.”

Ga-chan, you’re changing direction way too much!

To get back on track, Naito hurriedly gave her own lyrics.

“We still have a lot of class left.”

See, we’re singing about that! About that! she thought, but the next line was already set.

“Kin kon kan kooon.”

Hearing that careless line, Naito thought for a moment. And…

“I have some candy?”

She pulled a wrapper from her skirt pocket and passed it back. Naruze snatched it from her hand.

She must have been happy, so Naito smiled too.

“I lick the candy.” “Adele looks back.”

We saw the dogs carrying her away somewhere, didn’t we?

“Kin kon kan kon.” “The money-lovers are smiling.”

Probably so. Heidi and Shirojiro were always in the classroom early, so she pictured the scene in the classroom.

“The quiet one faces forward.”

Huh? Is that supposed to be Nori-rin, Masa-yan, or Pe-yan?

But she did not have time to ask.

“Tenzou is serious.”

“Kin kon kan kon.” “Uqui is napping.”

“Kiiin kon kan kon.” “Kin kon kan kooon.” “Kin kon kan kon.”

“Class continues.”

“Nenji answers.” “Itoken helps out.”

“Kin kon kan kon.” “Seijun sums it up.”

“Pe-yan is silent.”

“The pedo is excited.”

Should we really be saying that? Well, it’s just Ohiroshiki. And…

“Kin kon kan kon.” “Suzu sits up straight.”

“It’s almost lunchtime.”

Naruze seemed fixated on food, but everyone was the same way around lunchtime.

“Everyone is restless.”

“Kiiin kooon kan kon.” “Sensei sighs.”

“Kiiin kon kan kon.” “Kin kon kan kooon.” “Kin kon kan kon.”

“Lunchtime is here.”

“Naomasa closes her book.”

Oh, there’s Masa-yan. And Pe-yan was mentioned, so the quiet one must be Nori-rin.

But I bet Masa-yan won’t like having her name mentioned.

So to make sure it would be fine without her, Naito wanted to mention “everyone” as much as possible.

“Hassan dances.”

“Kin kon kan kon.” “Bara-yan submits a manuscript.”

The rest was trickier. After all, it was Kimi’s group. It was hard to make that sound realistic. So…

“Too-chan has no lunch.”

She tried to make the scene as easy to picture as possible. And Naruze continued…

“He’s empty handed.”

Y-you didn’t advance the story, Ga-chan!

But Naito had their special attack:

“Kin kon kan kooon.”

She could pass it right back with the bell sound. Naruze briefly groaned, but…

“…Kimi calls everyone over.”

She managed to find a good line.

The sister often did call everyone over for her brother’s lunch. So Naruze breathed a sigh of relief at having gotten past that hard part and continued forward.

“Asama has a big bento.” “Mito-tsan has yakiniku.”

“Kin kon kan kooon.” “It’s a party by the window.”

“Kiiin kon kan kon.” “Kin kon kan kooon.” “Kin kon kan kon.”

“Class is ending.”

They decided to move the story along.

“Afterschool means work.”

It was time for work. But Naito felt like they did not need that here. They had been singing a lot of songs that focused on their Technohexen side and their work.

So she wanted to widen their viewpoint and sing about something bigger.

“Work around the school.”

Ah.

Naruze’s line showed she was thinking the same thing.

Work around the school meant it was not just their work in the sky. It was work they all shared.

“…Kin kon kan kon.”

“Everyone has their own job.”

Naruze’s line went even further ahead than Naito’s:

“The idiot is causing trouble.”

There was a smile in her voice, but was that because she was imagining the scene or because she was a bit embarrassed about widening the view beyond the two of them?

When she heard that smile, Naito’s thoughts moved to a place where they would all gather.

“Holding a meeting at the bakery.”

“Kin kon kan kon.” “Taking a break at the shrine.”

The lyrics were gradually approaching more recent times.

It was all connected to the past and that was why they had the present, but…

As long as we don’t forget that, we can focus on the present, can’t we?

So Naito sang about recent things. And not just for themselves.

She sang about the others. It felt a little embarrassing to call them friends. They were something closer.

Would classmates work?

“Singing karaoke at the bath.”

That had been an interesting sight, but as their friends had sung…

“They have their feelings.”

“Kin kon kan kon.” “But they pretend not to notice.”

Really, though. How is all of that going to work out? she wondered half in exasperation and half in enjoyment.

“Kin kon kan kooon.” “Kin kooon kan kon.” Kin kon kan kon.”

“The night wears on.”

They had arrived at the top of the stairs. They took a course past the front building and toward their classroom in the rear building.

“We will eventually.” “Go somewhere new.”

“Kin kon kan kon.” “We will all go there together.”

Naito nodded at Naruze’s line.

“Both the new people.” “And the ones you’re never rid of.”

“Kin kon kan kon.” “Are connected by the bell.”

“Listen, I hear it again.” “Every day and always.”

“Kin kon kan kon.” “The never-ending bell.”

They sang to keep the never-ending bell going.

“Kin kon kan kon.” “Kin kon kan kon.” “Kin kon kan kon.” “Kin kon kan kon.”

They kept the bell going because they did not know if they could stop yet.

This was their first song that widened their viewpoint.

But Naruze took her hand from behind and sang a new line.

“Let’s fall asleep while holding hands.”

Yes.

There was no end. It would not end as long as they kept it going. So…

“Even you are not by my side.”

“Kin kon kan kon.”

“The bell connects us.”

The classroom was in view. Naito and Naruze sang as they dived through the window.

“Kiiin kon kaaan kon.” “Kiiin kon kan kooon.” “Kin kon kan kon.”

Naruze’s voice joined with Naito’s and they ended it with the one line sang together.

“Kiiin kooon kaaan kooon.”


Asama looked up as the two Technohexen gently flew toward the academy.

Had they ever flown like that before?

It was unusual for them to share a broom, but…

They always seemed to be in a hurry.

The gold and black wings rode the wind but did not let it carry them away. Kimi watched that and spoke with a smile.

“They’re in a great mood, so they’re going to be a formidable opponent.”

“A formidable opponent in what?”

When Asama asked that, Kimi stepped up alongside her and placed her hands on the bottom of Asama’s jiggling breasts.

“Listen.”

“I would rather you didn’t do that, but fine. I’ll listen. …Actually, no. Stop slapping them from below when they fall. It kind of hurts.”

“Eh?” said Mitotsudaira. She looked dazed. “But I’ve heard massaging only makes them hurt when they’re tense on the inside. It’s supposed to be a sign that they’re about to grow…”

“D-don’t worry, Mito! Yours would hurt too if you massaged them! Okay!? Should I massage them for you!?”

“Heh heh heh. You’re so confused you have no idea what you’re saying, do you? But I’m all for any planned massages,” said Kimi. “Anyway, Asama, you didn’t actually read the Gagaku Festival’s rules, did you?”

“What rules?”

“Judge,” said Mitotsudaira instead of Kimi. She turned toward Asama as she continued. “The audience casts votes during the Gagaku Festival performances. And…”

“And?”

“Whoever gets the most has their songs go on sale…and they get a special encore.”

Asama was painfully aware of her hesitation as she asked Kimi a question.

“So when you told me to make two songs…”

“Yes, that’s right. We need one for the encore, don’t we?”

“No one told me about thaaaaat!” shouted Asama.


Naruze dived into the classroom with Margot and took a breath.

Today was the start of the Spring School Festival. The boys were mainly in charge of Class Plum’s part.

“Neshinbara, you said we were doing a cosplay café run by the idiot, but is that ready?”

“Bertoni-kun says he’s loaded a transport ship with all the equipment, so he’ll fly it up alongside the classroom later.”

Neshinbara also had several sheets of autograph paper stacked on his desk and he started checking through their frames.

“Let’s see…these are the Far Eastern ones…”

“What are you doing?”

When Margot asked, he held out two pieces of autograph paper.

“Congratulations on the #1 rank. Could you sign these for me to celebrate?”

“Fine, but…don’t tell me you’re planning to use the festival to beg famous people for their autographs.”

“The festival gives name inheritors a lot of chances to make use of their names. And I can get closer to the Student Council and Chancellor’s Officers. As a history buff, I have to take advantage of this.”

“I see,” she said before looking outside. She saw Oriotorai walking along the first floor of the walkway leading to their rear school building. Once she arrived at the classroom, time was up.

Oh?

She saw Asama’s group running along the second floor of the same walkway.

Oriotorai had already entered the building, so it was going to be a close one.

It doesn’t look like they can make it.

While Naruze wondered what would happen, Margot took the autograph papers and spoke to Neshinbara.

“Then you missed out, Bara-yan. We met Suzuki Magoichi the other day.”

“Yeah, she’s apparently a friend of the Student Council President. She’s a rare one, so I’d love to get her autograph. And there’s some symbolism here that would make it a valuable autograph right now.”

“What kind of symbolism?” asked Margot.

“The Gagaku Festival theatre ship is being cleaned and remodeled,” explained Neshinbara. “And they’re apparently going to call it the Fushimi Castle. That’s the name of Torii Mototada’s castle and it was owned by the Torii clan, so that should work out. But,” he added. “The Testament says Torii Mototada died during a siege of Fushimi Castle. …And the primary attacker was Suzuki Magoichi. He was the one to slay Torii Mototada.”

“You mean…?”

“Well, I doubt they’ll recreate that here. It’s a festival, so they would need a good reason for an interpretation to do the slaying there.”

“Yeah,” agreed Margot while Naruze nodded along with her. Just then, they heard a lot of noise in the hallway.

“Trying to race your teacher? Think again! …I’m already counting you as late! And you!”

Naruze heard a window shattering and thought, Oh, that idiot was kicked away again, wasn’t he?

But the others used that opening to slide open the door and rush in with Kimi in the lead. For some reason, Adele ran in with several dogs in tow.

“Safe!!”

“No, bringing dogs with you is not safe.”

The Cerberus on Mitotsudaira’s head barked as if she belonged there.

“We never change do we?” muttered Naruze when she saw the scene.