Horizon:Volume 1B Chapter 23
Chapter 23: Skeptics in the Meeting Session
Even if there is doubt
Will it be settled, or
Can it be settled
Point Allocation (The Cooperative Personality)
In a classroom where the sun shines in.
The eastern sunlight, still a dim ambiance, slightly lights up the classroom and the students inside from the side.
The desks in the class are mostly filled.
Yet, they are not in a state of calm, nor are they in a state of silence.
At this moment, one is standing and conveying words to the rest; Heidi, whose seat is next to Shirojiro’s.
And putting a number of sign frames into order and looking around her vicinity…
“So the ones not attending are Miriam, Mito and Masa, as well as Seijun and Azuma, then…”
“After that,” Heidi spoke as she turned to look at the seat farthest back by the window.
Toori’s figure was there, not appearing to be awake. Remaining face down on his desk, he showed no signs of movement.
Looking at him, Asama called Hanami out and typed a few letters into her signframe:
“He was taken to the police station last night, then seems to have arrived first this morning.”
Noriki, Urquiaga and Neshinbara nodded as if to answer. Neshinbara brought out his signframe:
“The rest of us were allowed to leave immediately, but Aoi-kun… He had quite a few more offenses before this so they had a lot to admonish him for.”
Everyone hung their heads hearing that message. They then brought out their own sign frames, by themselves or through their Mice.
“Well, he did climb up the trees and streetlamps without any reason a lot of the time.”
“He led the residential block admins into sticky situations every so often as well.”
“Not to mention Lane 11 of Tama’s outer shell becoming a world of cats because of his incessant feeding, as far as I know…”
“Why is everyone not choosing to follow through, I wonder?”
In response to Heidi’s message, everyone waved their hands left and right. Heidi herself mouthed the words ‘well can’t help it’, and then after a pause…
“Toori-kun doesn’t seem to be moving, so won’t the rest of us think about various things? …Come on, Erimaki.”
While surveying the members present, Heidi held her hand out in Shirojiro’s direction and called their white fox Mouse.
In response to her gesture, Erimaki ran up to her shoulder and glanced at the number of sign frames expanding before it.
“The situation then, to start. …Putting it bluntly, Horizon and Musashi are in trouble.”
Thus Heidi began.
“Musashi will be transferred as a replacement for the town of Mikawa, and we as its residents will have to go over to the Matsudaira territory in Edo. Horizon will have the Logismoi Óplo she illegally possesses extracted from her; and to take responsibility for Mikawa’s destruction, it has been decided that she will commit suicide.”
But, Heidi continued.
“Not only myself, but the Treasurer Shiro-kun, the Secretary Neshinbara and the Chancellor and President Toori-kun; all our rights are withheld by King Yoshinao, so we cannot have a say in this. The Vice President Seijun still has her authority, but as the Provisional Council has taken her into themselves she seems to be on the Testament Union’s side. Anyway, we’d like to think about what we can do about this without causing any trouble.”
Heidi collected her breath after saying all of that. Turning her head to look over everyone once…
“Then, from here onwards we’ll be hearing everyone’s courses of action.”
Heidi altered her expression into a more formal manner.
“Ignoring the many obstacles we will encounter, does anyone want to save Horizon and stop Musashi’s transfer?”
Thus Heidi asked, raising her hand.
But everyone in the classroom, even him…
“…Eh, is no one raising their hand up?”
There was a response to her inquiry. It was Noriki’s voice, who said while touching the bandage on his cheek:
“We have nothing to work with. …How about listing all of that first?”
“I see,” Kimi said while spreading out a fashion magazine and cutting important details out with a scissors.
Kimi raised her gaze and looked at Heidi with a tilted face, and said:
“The average person would be like ‘don’t get me involved, please’, wouldn’t they? Both the Provisional Council and King Yoshinao seem like they will accept Horizon’s suicide and Musashi’s transfer, no? Would the trend be, then, to let those take their course and wash their hands off where they are not involved, I wonder.”
“Anyone’s ideal situation would be: Horizon dying or whatever, just spare us this transfer of Musashi, wouldn’t it? There’s still room for discussion on that part after all, isn’t there? Well?”
“Judge,” answered Heidi. She stole a glance to the south, towards an unseen land port they would go to, obscured by the hills and mountains. Furthermore…
“You know, Horizon still succeeded as Motonobu’s legitimate daughter, informal as the ceremony is. Thus his authority over Mikawa as a monarch, his rights as the representative of the Far East to the Testament Union, as well as his ownership of Musashi; all of that has been succeeded by Horizon.”
“If Horizon commits suicide, where do you think those rights will go?”
“Heh heh heh. How silly! Do you think I can answer that!? Umm, the sky! Towards the evening!”
“Don’t just answer randomly!!”
“Hmm…” Heidi turned to face Kimi, with a smile that gives off an impression that it is not.
“You know? If Horizon commits suicide there will be no successor, and all her rights will be taken by the Testament Union. Ownership of the Far East’s core organization, the Musashi Ariadust Academy, the authority of Mikawa’s monarch that will rule the Far East; all of that will be under the Testament Union’s care.”
“Do you understand?”
“The Far East will belong to the Testament Union.”
Everyone ceased their voices at those words.
Heidi, the only one smiling, faced everyone and spoke.
“If Horizon commits suicide, the Far East will belong to the Testament Union. There will be no room for negotiations nor will there be for anything else. …That is why I think the Testament Union was in such a hurry to recognize Horizon’s succession. If they were to take hold of Motonubu’s authority as it is, the problem of Horizon’s succession will arise. But if they were to take her in, hold her accountable as his legitimate child and allow the suicide to occur, they will be able to obtain all rights to the Far East without any problem.”
“Then,” Heidi prefaced without changing her smiling expression.
“Are you getting off? Are you staying? The choice is yours.”
To those words, there was one response: Kimi’s voice. She shrugged her shoulders, and said with a bitter smile:
“So it’s not ‘Are you getting on? Are you not?’ then?”
“Judge, we are Musashi’s residents after all.”
“I see,” Noriki said, holding his arms, adjusting his sitting position and looking at Heidi with a nod.
“I have a lot of younger siblings. Even with the slight will interpretation spell the whole Far Eastern area possesses… I won’t be able to support them all in another place.”
“In that case, give me your sisters! Your sisters! By all means!”
“…This is the first time Nai-chan has heard someone say that personally.”
“Heh heh. Margot, never once did I pay a possessor of such twisted love any mind. I’ll rot if I do.”
“Look who’s talking!!”
Naruze formed a pout in response to everyone’s punch line.
Still, in the midst of the lightened atmosphere someone sounded in agreement.
“Insignificant as it is, I want to save her. I want to remain as we are now. People would have their own conflicts with the Testament Union, but if they did not… Everyone would think that way.”
“I see, definitely,” responded Heidi, forming a smile.
Then she continued, with a “well then” as a preface:
“Shall we ascertain what we do not know at this moment?”
In a dark room, a single figure rose up.
It was Masazumi, black-haired and in white clothes.
Without her outer uniform and trousers, wearing nothing other than her underwear and the short-sleeved shirt that is her inner uniform, she pulled down her blanket to her hips and drew a breath. The words that spilled from her mouth to her chest were…
Murmuring, Masazumi looked around her surroundings with eyes that did not focus on anything.
The room was spacious. It was a reception area, with sofas surrounding a table. With curtains blocking light from the windows, the pictures on the walls, the carpets on the floor, the bookshelves lined up; everything had a darkened color to them.
Masazumi wiped her face with her sleeve without thinking. The fabric absorbed moisture from the corner of her eye to the area on her cheek.
“Did I see a dream again?”
She said in a small voice, rubbing her eyes.
“From when Mother disappeared…”
Before she could finish, she put strength in her eyebrows and eyelids.
Nodding, she opened her eyes and rose straight up at the same time.
Looking around her surroundings, her gaze fell on the books on the sofas and table.
The record of the negotiations with the Testament Union that took place in the outer Provisional Council’s building from last night. Masazumi never entered the meeting room, but the secretary from her father’s group did her the favor of forwarding the decisions the meeting made to her. Various ideas were exchanged and confirmed, and before it was over the night had passed.
After her father’s group left to meet up and open the general meeting, the secretaries also went off somewhere; so Masazumi returned to her home.
Then Masazumi glanced at the single piece of memo placed on those documents.
It contained the conclusions she made herself dealing with the present case after reaching home last night. The contents were…
“…The Method to Save Horizon.”
She remembered writing while thinking it was impossible, then wiped it off right after she finished.
To face the pressure of the Testament Union, the possible ways to refute and counter, and then to convey to other countries that righteousness is, at the very least, on our side.
“It’s impossible after all.”
She was part of the Provisional Council, which holds the Testament Union’s view; and she was inexperienced. Ideas are useless without talent, she thought.
That was why Masazumi turned her gaze away from the memo and looked at the clock. It was 10 AM. She would have been late on a normal day, but she hadn’t slept more than three hours. Furthermore…
…Do not go to the Academy, huh.
Right now, out of all the Chancellor’s Officers and Student Council she was the only one retaining her authority. This was part of her father’s group’s plan to keep a grasp on the Academy’s rights. In other words…
…I am just being a convenient piece.
Things moved at a rapid pace after Mikawa’s destruction last night. Musashi had a three-part constitutional government, consisting of the Academy, the Provisional Council and the King; but the strong point here was the link between the King and the Council. Under this state of emergency, if the King and Council were to withhold the rights of the Academy negotiations would be able to proceed at a fast pace and decisions made without including any inexperienced opinion; that is what they likely concluded.
From her viewpoint, it was just a coup d’etat by the King and Provisional Council on the Academy. But…
“…If that is the best for Musashi as it is now, there’s plenty of merit in abiding by it.”
Drawing a breath, Masazumi stood up from the sofa.
She lightly stretched her body, then drew another.
Picking up the pillow that fell from the sofa and placing it on the blanket, she looked at her uniform set on the opposite sofa.
She must have been tired this morning. The sleeves weren’t even ordered.
“But still, it doesn’t seem like Father will come back home…”
Even if he did, I don’t think he’ll get mad looking at this situation. He’ll most likely keep being indifferent. This thought strongly existed in her mind.
Masazumi headed towards the corridor. This house had an indoor bath, a rarity on Musashi. It would have been a waste, but she wanted to clean her body and wash off the sweat from sleeping.
She was free until the afternoon as long as she did not go near the Academy. To have breakfast under that condition…
…The store where P-01s – Horizon – used to be, huh.
She would probably need to tell the shopkeeper about her story last night.
…What will happen, I wonder.
She couldn’t do anything last night.
Even when she was being taken away, even when she left having realized her own existence.
“No… I wasn’t unable to do anything.”
“I didn’t do anything,” Masazumi murmured. In her head, she remembered a single movement.
It was that of the boy running over, the one who tried to do something even though he couldn’t do anything.
Compared to him, I wonder what I am.
My idleness was because I was thinking about Musashi’s position.
Was that what my mistake was? Masazumi thought as she entered the corridor. Before she realized it, her gaze was on the memo she wrote lying on the table.
“Is everyone trying to save Horizon, I wonder…”
Proceedings were advancing in the classroom.
Heidi was leading the meeting, as expected. While placing her white fox Mouse, Erimaki, on her head…
“Then, first of all, let us ascertain the intentions of those who are not attending.”
She displayed the records of incoming divine mail to Erimaki, while making sure no one else saw the contents.
“Let’s see~ then~, hm, hmm, right now Azuma-kun and Miriam are being guarded by the bodyguard team and cannot leave the dorm. It doesn’t look like we’ll be able to visit her place as well today. Also, wasn’t that ghost-like girl in Azuma-kun’s care? Let’s discuss that with the police when we have the chance.”
“Ah,” Urquiaga responded. He looked up at the ceiling for a moment.
“From what I see, she was quite attached to Azuma. I don’t know why they were stuck together inside the Academy; but she’s still a child, ghost or not. With someone who can pose no harm, nothing bad should happen so long as she does not separate from Azuma. He himself probably possesses a strong spiritual aspect being a half-god, so I don’t think it will affect him either.”
As if to warn, everyone nodded to his words.
“Well, from a moral standpoint, Azuma is not a lolicon like Ohiroshiki so it should be alright.”
“You got it wrong…!”
Ohiroshiki stood up from slightly farther back into the classroom while wiping his forehead with a towel.
“I am not a lolicon! My belief is one that belongs to the major ‘life worship’ that is described in the Testament and recreated in Europe, one that values the life force of the young!”
Ohiroshiki held his right arm out.
“…It is a crime to touch for lolicons; but for life-worshippers touching is a supreme deed equivalent to being in contact with God!”
“Right, right,” Heidi nodded.
“Would it be supreme for you to stay put while in school? Ah, if you get caught we don’t know each other, alright?”
“Hmm? Did I not explain it properly?”
Everyone ignored Ohiroshiki and looked in Heidi’s direction. As for Heidi, skillfully caressing below Erimaki’s neck above her head…
“Then, for the others, first is Seijun; but in reality she is the only one whose rights as vice president have not been taken away. Right now, Seijun is the sole person among the Student Council and Chancellor’s Officers still possessing authority.”
“Masazumi-dono’s father is a member of the Provisional Council after all.”
Holding his arms together and lightly sitting on his seat, Tenzou continued.
“From the Provisional Council’s perspective, letting the compliant Masazumi-dono retain her position as if to represent the Student Council would make things easier in the future.”
“Yes, and you know? Because Seijun still has her rights we can’t hold a special general student meeting. If we were to hold one, the result would give us temporary authority; but school regulations dictate that everyone with such authority must be absent due to circumstances like war before we can hold such a meeting.”
“By retaining Masazumi’s position with her and having her on their side, the Provisional Council is not letting us have the special general student meeting, then.”
Hmm. Everyone fell into thinking.
Then, from Heidi’s head, the white fox Erimaki clapped and brought up a signframe.
“Ah, h-hey, Erimaki, don’t say that.”
“But it does feel that way, from a positional aspect. They’re the ‘ones on the other side’ after all.”
Neshinbara spoke, accompanied by a long breath. He called out a civil official Mouse, and retrieved some data via signframe.
“Making enemies out of them would be serious trouble, you know? Honda-kun’s oration talents cannot be taken lightly. She had over 70% of the votes during the Student Council election, and the problem we’re facing is of a political nature. If something does happen that causes us to face off with Honda-kun, besting her would be a difficult act indeed.”
“Besides,” he continued:
“Just like her, Mitotsudaira-kun and Naomasa-kun are not here.”
“Yes,” Asama nodded. She looked at the Divine Mail reception log Hanami brought out.
“Masa is in Musashino’s central engine room meeting with the Engineering Club. Mito is, as expected, attending the feudal lord meeting of the landowners of the ship on Musashino as the student representative. But, the trouble with Mito is…”
Asama made eye contact with Heidi. As both nodded, Heidi shrugged her shoulders.
“If Horizon were to commit suicide, the Matsudaira family would disappear and Musashi’s residents would be transferred to the Far East settlement in Edo. If this happens, the temporarily succeeding Mito branch of the Matsudaira family will become the head family. In other words…the Mitotsudaira family will become the representative of the Testament Union-ruled Far East, as our lord.”
At those words, everyone looked at each other. Then everyone started whispering to each other…
“Long ago, as her name Mitotsudaira Nate was shortened to Mito Nate, she was made fun of by being called Mito Natto, right?”
“Well that was because she herself slipped up in shortening her name ‘Nate’ and wrote down something like ‘Nato’, no?”
“Oh, hell no. What if she still has a grudge from that time… She’ll definitely get a straw roll that looks like natto and have us do the Mino dance.”
“I wonder why everyone can suspect their own classmate, I wonder?”
Everyone’s whispers stopped at Heidi’s words.
“Disregarding that,” Heidi prefaced as she looked slightly up towards the ceiling along with the white fox on her head.
“Well, I think that we’re most likely going to have to talk to her about this. After all, after the Testament Union’s dispatch, Mito bought a plot of land and came here as a means of becoming a Far East citizen. Still, she retains her status as a knight; thus…”
“As one of the few in Musashi, she has permission to possess a weapon. And she’ll become quite the force when she uses it.”
Hmm, thus everyone held their arms together.
“Long ago, she was super hostile and scary for some time, right? Now…just by how many times more can she be?”
“She’d be great as an ally, but if we are to fight her it’ll be all kinds of impossible.”
“Ah, I shouldn’t have called her Natto and stuff after all…”
“…As I said, why is everyone talking about all these guilty things?”
Heidi drew a breath.
“Well, let’s do our best to make her our ally. Then, um…”
Heidi turned to face Shirojiro who was on her side.
“Shiro-kun, is it fine now?”
Heidi faced Shirojiro, who was closing his work signframe, and stated:
“You know? …This is what I think the situation is. Musashi and Horizon are in a pinch, and with our authority taken we don’t seem to have a proper role. To abide by the Testament Union means voluntarily turning the Far East over to their control; but to oppose them will mean the crisis of all-out war with them.”
To Heidi’s call, Shirojiro sighed.
“Then, what do you want me to do?”
“Judge; from a businessman’s viewpoint, I’d like to hear the financial aspects of this situation, or something.”
“Even if you say that, I’m not that interested in that that much. I am busy at work after all.”
“You know, Shiro-kun? See, I think that this is a big business chance.”
Immediately after hearing that, Shirojiro straightened up his posture. Erimaki raised its legs and formed a signframe “Profit Meter” on Shirojiro’s head, filling five gauges in a second, with more coming in.
“Big business chance, is it! Hm, that sounds good! Money! Money, is it! Right, I’ve cleared my thoughts! Listen well, you bastards!”
Shirojiro, for some reason, stood facing towards the teacher’s desk and said:
“…I will now talk about money, which I love!”
“You’re the worst!”
In response to everyone’s punchline, Shirojiro turned around. Furthermore…
“Quieten down, my clients. See, I don’t always talk about money, but this is a conversation about money. It may not be, but I’ll make it such that it is. Understood?”
He made it clear what he is about to say. And then…
“Now, we are bargaining with the Testament Union for the safety of ourselves with our monarch Horizon’s life as well as Musashi on the line. That is our situation in my opinion.”
“See here,” Shirojiro said again.
“There is something we call ‘ransom’, a way in which things are settled with possessions like money or land, practiced in Europe. It happens quite often, say to have war prisoners returned or to compensate for a king or country’s mistakes. But in the Far East, there is a tendency to offer to throw one’s life away as a means of settlement, because of the shame. In that, we can think of this as the characteristic Far Eastern ‘life considerate financial economics’. Thus…”
He drew a breath.
“To the Far East, there is merit in loading an entire country’s responsibility onto its ruler’s life. By the cutting of his neck or stomach, his subordinates and people are guaranteed to be safe.”
In other words…
“The value of a monarch’s life in money is virtually similar to that of ownership of the country. Additionally, by ‘paying’ the other side with the monarch’s life, authority over the country can quickly be transferred and the safety and status of its people can be guaranteed. How the Far East is run, i.e. how it belongs to the emperor but management is left for the lords to handle, may have also played a part in giving rise to this process.”
“For a monarch to pay with his life, a condition must be met. This is either,
1: At the end of a war, to guarantee the safety of the losing country.
2: After an irreparable mistake he made, to not burden the country with his responsibility.
This is how it mostly is. Though considering things like coup d’etats as similar to 1 is glossing over a lot.
The reason many lords with little influence commit suicide is because they were so easily defeated in wars that would lead to 1. For 2 it’s usually because of the weak influence of the monarch, where payment by land is not possible.”
“Which one are we in now?”
In response to Heidi’s question, Shirojiro stated:
“The second one. The Far East neither invaded nor were they themselves attacked; but we did cause the loss of Mikawa, a land of importance to other countries. Moreover, Horizon holds a Logismoi Óplo which she cannot legally possess. Thus, by offering herself they will not be able to make efforts to put the blame on the Far East, and our safety will have to be guaranteed.”
“But,” Shirojiro continued.
“Mikawa was meant to fall in the first place. Even the outskirts and the bay, sooner or later they will be destroyed and swallowed up by the sea. It would just be that this method of destruction of Mikawa would not be beneficial to the Historical Recreation of the Testament.
“That is why after substituting Musashi for Mikawa we will move over to another Matsudaira territory in Edo. Then, we will return back to ‘Musashi’ as it is.”
Still, someone raised his voice. It was Tenzou, saying as he tilted his neck:
“Even if you say that, they cannot just suddenly alter the Edo settlement to accommodate us on such short notice.
“Lord Motonobu, along with IZUMO, has developed Edo specifically into a particular historical excavation site; but people are still leaving the place. We’ll have to find new places if that place is not big enough for all of Musashi’s residents, and there’s the problem with dealing with all the overwritten lands as well…”
As Shirojiro urged him on, Tenzou thought for a bit. Then, shrugging his shoulders…
“We’ll have to accommodate nearly a hundred thousand people, but… Where will we get the money to cover the expenses, considering the Musashi-Mikawa modification costs as well? For a population of 100,000 and an average of 5 per house, 20,000 houses would be needed. Also, until then…”
Tenzou brought out something covered in cloth. Held in his hand was…
“This is a camping tent complete with the essentials; a two-person version will cost up to 20,000 yen. For a 100,000 population to hold out while waiting for proper housing to be built, 50,000 of those will be needed… 1,000,000,000 yen. Other than that, we’ll have to set up water systems and toilets as well as a supply of food. How are we going to pay for those?”
“A source of income, is what you’re asking, right?”
Shirojiro stated, affirming with Tenzou.
“The people on the net are already in a panic as we speak. I’ll tell you what I know about that later. Right now, the Testament Union possesses a very large sum of money. You’ll do best to understand what I mean by that.”
“The Union is raring to do this; and for us on the other side, there will be lots of problems.”
“Heh heh heh. Miser, women will bomb all those problems as they come, you know?”
“You’ll explode, Aoi Sister. See here? The Testament Union is raring for this. They’re eager to become our enemy.”
But as a preface, Shirojiro said:
“…Now then, if we were to become enemies, let me tell you what will happen.”
“If,” Shirojiro stated.
To his side, a map of the Far East was displayed indicating the foreign settlements in each country.
“If the Testament Union were to become our enemy, Musashi will not be able to resupply at any of the Far Eastern foreign settlements that would become our ports. Do you know what this means?”
“…We won’t be able to trade? Is that it?”
Shirojiro closed his eyes at Heidi’s words.
“Almost correct. See here? Musashi’s most important trading item is food. Indeed, Musashi is a city that grows only 10% of its food, relying on importation for the rest. In other words, if they refuse to trade with us we will be in a hopeless situation.”
“…Hey, does Musashi not grow its own crops on the ship?”
It was not Shirojiro who answered the question Adele posed. Ohiroshiki did.
He stood up, wiping his sweat off with a towel.
“It’s impossible. I am part of the Cooking Club, and I know the people of the Agriculture Club caring for those plantations; so…”
Ohiroshiki called out a human-type Mouse draped in shrine maiden clothes from his pendant.
“Gu…she’s cute after all. Her design was done quite well, don’t you think?”
“Whatever, just talk! Are you falling for your Mouse as well?”
“Gu…!” Ohiroshiki grumbled, but later recovered after his Mouse calmed him down. As she produced a number of sign frames and graphs with the brush in her hand…
“It is hard to grow crops by hydroponics on Musashi, so wheat is grown in soil. According to the Testament, in this era the average European would consume over 600 grams of food per day including their staple, bread. In that case, for Dinkel wheat which yields an average of 20 grains per head, about 20 ares will be needed to feed one person for a year. That’s a 20 by 100 meter area.”
“Do we really need that much land!?”
“Well, this is where the Testament’s interpretation comes in.”
Ohiroshiki held his arms as if to hold the air, then suddenly crashed it.
“If we were to compare the land of the Far East with that of the whole Earth, we’ll find that the Far East is 1/394 the size of the Earth; so the Testament makes up for that by amplifying whatever we could harvest from our land by 394 times. Considering that, the agricultural land that will be needed to feed one person with staple food for a year will shorten down to five square meters. That would be three tatami mats, or four if you count the ridges, in Far East terms. The Far East has a climate adjusted to grow rice, so it’s not that suitable to start planting wheat here; but a lot of other countries have wheat as their staple food. In that case, the overwritten lands that hold the suitable climate to grow wheat will become important for practical use, thus giving rise to this interpretation.”
Everyone began to use their sign frames and fingers to calculate the area, as well as look outside into the school area to imagine how big the area mentioned would be. In that situation, Kimi paused her hands which were still cutting out the magazine and looked around.
“Oh? Are you not done yet?”
“T-this woman is the worst! And she’s more than ten years old! What a hag…”
“Ah!” Ohiroshiki exclaimed. Receiving cold smiles from all the women in his class, he hung his head.
After a while, with his Mouse tapping on his shoulder, he resumed.
“…Well, you know, the agriculture may be condensed but Musashi still has a hundred thousand people. Thus, even with four tatami mats per person we’ll need 400,000 mats.”
How quick, everyone said, holding their heads.
Adele put out a calculation signframe in a hurry.
“Then, for 400,000 mats, umm, the standard underground residential block’s two-person room would have four mats, so the area…”
“The area would be 660,000 square meters.”
Seeming to have done such calculations in the past, Ohiroshiki answered without looking at anything. Then…
“The standard hull of Musashi is no more than 1040 meters long and 144 meters wide per ship. Even if you dedicate a whole level into agriculture, you’ll get only about 155,000 square meters. We will require 4.3 levels for agriculture to sustain us.
“For a semiannual crop we’ll need over two levels. For a three-harvest crop, 1.5, but food isn’t just limited to staples. If we consider livestock and vegetables, there is no way we can increase the size of the animals; and it’ll be hard to cultivate vegetables in a dense manner. Particularly, to feed one person with enough livestock we’ll need more than two times the size of the area of wheat as pasture, and we can’t harvest animals more than once per year.
“Moreover, considering the storage of water needed for the crops, storehouses for the harvests and storage for the livestock feed… The Cooking Club’s trial calculation came to a requirement of nearly 20 levels, but the only ships on Musashi long enough and with enough levels are the third left and right ships with 15 levels each. Devoting one of them completely to agriculture won’t be enough; and from a personnel aspect, getting new people onto the Musashi for the sole purpose of the agricultural industry is impossible. We’re essentially establishing a new outer town for the sake of supporting the 100,000 people in our own.
“The present agricultural sector here is focusing on developing improved crops for trade, so we can’t just use it for something else.”
I see, everyone murmured. Adele, who had asked that question, dropped her shoulders.
“I feel like I lost to Ohiroshiki-san for some reason today…”
That moment, everyone affirmed and followed through with her.
“…Don’t mind it. No one would have thought that man would be in the Cooking Club rather than the Eroge Research Association.”
“Continuously calling out to little girls while hiding such a weapon in him…”
“Someone please put him in his place.”
“W-why are you all so harsh with me!?”
“Hmm, no one would hold back against a stranger with a fault, right, everyone?”
“So long as money is not involved,” affirmed Shirojiro. Gesturing thanks to the seated Ohiroshiki with one hand, he continued.
“Musashi’s emergency reserves will only last two weeks. We’ll eventually run out if we try to escape, and any negotiation that may lead to trade will be clearly visible.”
Adele leaned back her body and looked to the ceiling.
“In the end, we’ll eventually be out if we were to oppose the Testament Union.”
Haa. To those words mixed with a sigh, there was a word, ‘but’, in response.
“Oh my, is that so?”
It was Kimi, turning her body. Continuing to cut out the questionnaire corner with the scissors, she said without looking at anyone:
“You guys, you are not an unorganized mob, so do pull yourselves together for my sake. …The miser over there, stop being mean and tell us… What do we do?”
“I see that the key thing to do is simple. …We oppose the Testament Union, while protecting other Far Eastern settlements in each country and reserving our right to trade.”
“Just like that, huh!!”
Everyone slipped in the punch line. Then Adele…
“…Uh, can we do something that convenient?”
“I told you, no? I cannot give a conclusion from any viewpoint other than that of a businessman, but I can say stuff from a businessman’s standpoint. Everyone else should be the same; each of us has our own unique set of knowledge, skills and strengths, and the force that assembles these together and utilizes them… That’s what we call government.”
“Thus,” he said, looking out the window. His gaze led to the southern sky. On the other side of the sky, where a red light went up to the heavens from the Ley Lines every now and then, there is a land port. With his gaze remaining in that direction.
“There is only one method: that is to bring the one affiliated with the Provisional Council, Honda Masazumi, over to our side. Being associated with that group, she should understand the arrangements of the Testament Union. That is why, to refute the legalities of the opponent… We’ll wait until the moment we have the right to oppose them.”
“S-Shiro-kun…that scene just now may be quite cool!”
“…Hmph, do it properly and we will profit! It should not fail! The publicity resulting from opposing the Testament Union is the best! They are the ones publicizing all of this on their own after all!”
You are too honest with yourselves, everyone said, looking down at them as Heidi asked Shirojiro a question.
“Shiro-kun, but… Is there a way to get Seijun over to our side?”
“There is. But, before that…”
Shirojiro turned around and pointed to the back of the class with his chin.
The chair furthest back, by the window. Over there was…
His figure, in its uniform adorned with chains slumped over the desk on which the sun shone brightly, was still not moving.
“Even with rights or whatever; …If this idiot of a chancellor and president brings us down we won’t be able to do anything.”
At Shirojiro’s words, everyone brought about a deep atmosphere of silence.
What do we do? Everyone’s eyes met. What should we do? they inquired without a sound.
At that moment…
“…Right, I hope you’re not thinking of anything dangerous!”
A woman’s voice came from the corridor.
Taken aback, everyone turned to look at the door. Standing there was a female teacher, her figure dressed in a jersey.
Everyone looked at her.
Oriotorai showed a smile to Shirojiro, who retreated from in front of the teacher’s desk.
“Well, there is a lot to think about isn’t there? For now, we’re doing class work in homeroom.”
Then Oriotorai brought out a pile of paper from the latch on her hip and placed it on the teacher’s desk. Resounding their weight as they were placed there, those paper copies were…
“Manuscript paper. …For this morning, I’ll have you write an essay.”
“Yep, you have one and a half hours. For the rest of the time, I plan to have one of you read out their work.”
Oriotorai did not mind the ‘Geh’ sounds everyone made, showing a grin.
“The title will be ‘What I Want to Do’. Right now, everyone is thinking only about what we should do, right? While it may cool your heads, this exercise is important as well. And now, before anything…”
Oriotorai went over to the staff-use table and switched on the monitor on the shelf. A torii-type signframe appeared; before an image could clear up the static on the monitor, she looked at everybody.
Towards everyone, who wondered what she wanted to show them, Oriotorai remained smiling.
“I’m sure everyone is thinking about ‘What I Want to Do’ right now. Just for a bit, this will become a hint from a recent-development aspect, I think. So watch carefully. Look at the result.”
An image projected.
It was the scene atop a hill, where people wearing three different kinds of uniforms lined up.
“K.P.A. Italia, Tres España, as well as the Far East Defense Unit that arrived from Mikawa. These three forces are meeting each other to exchange information. …This broadcast is aiming to depict the Testament Union as friendly to the residents of Musashi and Mikawa.”
“But,” she said.
“In this meeting, there will be something Tres España will return to the Far East.”
“…What would that be?”
“The Divine Weapon, ‘Tonbokiri’.”
Oriotorai’s smile became something that remained only at the tip of her mouth.
“Now what will happen, I wonder. The one that will receive it is Lord Tadakatsu’s daughter, Honda Futayo. What the arguably unparalleled female warrior in the Far East will do, and what will happen; watch it with your eyes, and start thinking.”
“About ‘What I Want to Do’ right now.”
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