Horizon:Volume 1B Chapter 42
Chapter 42: Those Facing Each Other on the Borderline
And I prepare myself
As I do that
What will you do?
Point Allocation (Remorse)
Toori smelled vegetation.
He heard people cheering.
The people lined either side of a road paved with fake wood tiles.
…This is Remorse Way.
He then noticed his own form.
As he stood in the middle of the parade on Remorse Way, he was his current self.
However, he recognized this parade.
“This is when Horizon died.”
His greatest sin was being recreated.
“This is when I let Horizon die.”
He then heard a voice from the opposite side of the road.
“This is when…I died?”
He looked up in surprise and saw Horizon standing on the other side of the crowd. She too was in her current form.
“Why are you here? Oh, is it because you love me so much!?”
“To be blunt, I do not think so. To be even blunter, I believe it is because someone touched my breast when he could have just touched the wall all on his own.”
“It’s something that simple?”
“Who can say? However, I can determine that this was entirely out of my control.”
As Horizon spoke, a familiar small form moved past Toori.
Toori gasped when he saw the boy rushing toward the academy to the stern of the ship.
“What is it?”
“I just saw my father’s mother’s son’s wife’s grandkid’s father.”
“Calculating it out, that would be you. Where are you headed?”
Toori started walking with little enthusiasm; but his pace quickened as his memories grew clearer, and he felt something heavy in his gut.
He passed between and behind the people of his memory, who did not notice him.
“Up ahead, you’ll be hit by Lord Motonobu’s carriage and killed.”
“Because I didn’t save you.”
“No, not that. Why was I in front of my father’s carriage?”
Horizon tilted her head and lined up by the road up ahead.
“After you lost your mother, you started living with us. You were really shy at first, but you gradually got used to it. On this day, my sis had an event to take part in so she left for a different parade without making breakfast like usual. I was supposed to make breakfast instead, but…”
“I overslept. When I woke up, you had already made it and you were preparing to go see the parade with me.”
Toori averted his gaze, but…
“Do not worry. I am looking at you.”
“Are you?” said Toori as he looked back at her. “The food wasn’t any good and I said so.”
“That is…only natural.”
“Yes, but you started crying and you ran off.”
As he faced forward, his former self was pursuing an unseen Horizon.
It seemed Horizon had wandered aimlessly while crying. A lot of people knew her, so Toori had been able to follow the trail of people who had seen her.
“But you were too late?”
“No, that isn’t how it happened.”
Toori saw it.
Directly in front of him, her former self stood in the middle of the crowd. When she spotted the former Toori, she turned her teary face toward him.
But she frantically moved further into the crowd of people.
“You ran from me.”
Toori slowly followed the version of himself that began running even faster in his surprise.
“I thought I had made you hate me by rejecting what you had worked so hard to make,” he said. “I thought you were running from me because I was chasing after you after making you hate me.”
He arrived at the space in the crowd through which their former selves had passed.
As he stepped in, all the surrounding motion slowed. As if it was all underwater, everything moved gently and almost seemed motionless, but it did not actually stop.
He made it through the crowd obstructing the way and entered the empty space in the middle of the road.
A carriage pulled by four horses was on the road.
The carriage appeared to be stopped.
A black-haired girl stood stopped in front of the carriage and she was looking back with her eyes wide.
A boy was leaping forward with his arm reaching for her.
The recreation of his sin was reaching its conclusion in slow motion.
Beyond that motion, the current Horizon looked up in surprise.
He looked down and realized the end of his current hand was disappearing. It was turning black like a shadow and the shape of the fingers was no longer visible.
Ah, this really is my sin, he thought as he watched himself disappear.
“I made you hate me, so you wouldn’t have died if I hadn’t chased after you.” He smiled. “But even if you hated me, I could have saved you if I had some power. I couldn’t even do that, so I really am an idiot who can’t do anything.”
He faced forward.
“Looking at this, there was no way I could have saved you. I’m jumping toward you, but I’m just too far away. I’d always suspected I was an idiot, but it looks like I really was.”
“You certainly are calm about all this. You will be dead soon and it will probably kill me as well.”
“If so, I’m really sorry.”
Toori circled around his former self and crouched down for a better look.
“Please stop trying to look up my former self’s skirt.”
“What’s your favorite color?”
“White or black.”
“Wow, you really are the same person.”
As Horizon glared at him, he stood up and tilted his head.
“This is really well-made 3D. It’s based on my memories, but does it also draw out residual traces of the past from the ether of the area? They could make some great holographic porn using this, but Tres España made this instead. Talk about a bad business decision.”
“Isn’t standard 2D good enough for that?”
“Don’t be stupid. You can look at things from different angles with this.”
“I see. After giving it more thought, this does indeed provide quite a bit more information. Now, I would like to focus on a more pressing issue: how do you plan to deny this?”
Good question, he thought.
Suddenly, his body shook and the destruction of his arm picked up speed.
Her right arm also started growing shadow-colored.
“It appears the time for my disintegration has come. What do you have to say about this?” she asked. “Is our borderline a place where we disappear together?”
Toori faced forward.
He wanted to do something, but when he looked at their former selves, he saw himself unable to reach her.
…This might be hopeless.
There was simply no way.
He could not deny the scene before his eyes and say his sin had never happened. He had to accept it.
…Then am I just going to give up?
If he felt sadness now, he would die. If he gave up and admitted she could only have died and that he had killed her, only death awaited him.
Dying with her was something he had been unable to do before, so was that their borderline?
…What is it?
But then he heard her speak as she was destroyed.
“I have a blunt question. Why did you fall in love with my present self?”
Toori tried to scratch his head when he heard that question.
…I can’t do that with this hand anymore.
He used his other hand and realized they would not last much longer.
“At first, it was your overall atmosphere. Y’know, just your general behavior. It was possible your build was what your past self would’ve looked like grown up and your behavior was similar. Masa was actually the one that suggested it to me, but I began to wonder ‘what if’.”
He took in a breath.
“When I heard you were practicing to make breakfast, it really surprised me.”
“I have no memories, so comparing it to that incident is meaningless.”
“Yeah, but it doesn’t have to do with memories. I wondered if you were the kind of person who would want to work hard and make breakfast for someone.”
“If it tastes bad, it tastes bad, but I wanted to respect that desire to accomplish something. It’s the same as how I can’t do anything but I still want something. So if there was someone who was working hard to accomplish something…”
He was unsure how to put it into words.
“Well, I wanted to be by your side while you were trying to do that, Horizon.”
“I have no memories of the past, but why did your former self fall in love with my former self?”
“My present self will give you the best answer I can find. If the reason your former self wanted my former self is the same as the reason you want my current self…” She spoke decisively. “Then even for my former self, you were a reliable partner who could deny me from a parallel position.”
Was that really true?
“Your former self ran from me.”
“According to my memories, humans do not want to be seen by others when they cry. I do not understand it myself, but when they feel embarrassed, they wish to hide.”
“My former self was confused by your rejection and ran away, but I have determined she was not running from you after you found her again. Based on my best reasoning, she was embarrassed she had run crying from you and so she tried to hide from you. Most likely, she wished to stop crying and then greet you with a smile.”
“It is a simple matter,” said Horizon. “Once she calmed down, the shock of having her breakfast criticized was a trivial matter, but she felt she had wronged you by crying. And so as not to wrong you any further and to be an equal partner, she wanted to smile when she saw you again.”
Horizon faced him from the opposite side of her former self.
“We are parallel. When you tried to save my former self, I can guess what you said to her.”
He remembered that very well.
“I told her I was coming.”
And the words from his parallel had been those of rejection.
“And my former self must have told you not to.”
“I…” he started.
But Horizon corrected her posture, shook her vanishing hair, and stood tall.
“We are parallel. And that is exactly why I told you not to come to me. If we are to arrive at the borderline together, what must you say to me? Give me your answer.”
Toori looked at his former self. He was desperately trying to save the girl.
He could never reach her, but he was still trying.
…I’m an idiot who can’t do anything.
He truly could not do anything on his own.
But he was no longer on his own. He had been saved by so many people to make it this far.
“Horizon,” he said. “I have one thing to say in order to deny the sin of my past. I may not be able to save you on my own, but…”
He reached out his vanishing hand and spoke to Horizon.
“It’s dangerous there. I’ll go to save you, but while I do, you come to me, Horizon.”
Horizon gave a small nod and Toori noticed that the former Horizon’s right hand was slightly raised.
He focused on that hand that had a toy ring on it.
…She’s trying to reach toward me.
She had not hated him. He decided to believe that.
And just like her former self, the present Horizon reached her disappearing hand toward him.
As their hands vanished like shadows, they intersected.
Like a wrapping whip, their vanishing hands regained form and grasped each other.
While bringing his own body closer, he also pulled her in toward him.
And she leaped toward him.
They pulled each other close, embraced each other, and clung to each other as they met in the center of Remorse Way.
As soon as they did, the recreation of his past sin shattered along with all the light.
Everyone on the battlefield watched as the light was destroyed and scattered about and as Toori and Horizon stood in the center.
Amidst the remains of the light which danced about like flower blossoms in the wind, Toori opened a sign frame in front of Horizon. She nodded and placed a finger on the sign frame.
As soon as she did, Masazumi’s voice came from every sign frame on the battlefield.
“Horizon Ariadust, ruler of Mikawa, has accepted her admission into Musashi Ariadust Academy! As such, she is under the protection of Musashi Ariadust Academy’s Student Council and Chancellor’s Officers and this battle has no reason to continue!! Papa-Schola! We hope to hold an official confrontation at a later date concerning the return of your Logismoi Óplo!” She took a breath. “And we will leave the reconciliation of all subsequent conflicts to the Peace of Westphalia!!”
Wind blew through the sky as a Musashi transport ship flew in from the north. As the black and white ship flew at extreme low altitude, its front hatch was open and Naomasa’s Jizuri Suzaku was already inside. The side hatches were also open and nets were lowered from them.
“Retreat!! If we don’t hurry, Tres Portugal’s armed merchant ships will arrive from the east!”
That announcement spurred everyone to begin running. The action moved south and the movement of the transport ship meant they had only once chance at this.
Those with the ability leaped directly into the front hatch and those with some time to spare held back their pursuers and then grabbed onto the nets. Jizuri Suzaku had already gathered the injured and loaded them on board, and Mitotsudaira was rather carelessly gathering those leftover.
But Toori and Horizon were delayed due to being the furthest south. Toori had stopped as if he intended to remain on the battlefield, but Horizon tugged on his hand.
“Toori-sama, given the situation, I have determined we cannot obtain the other Logismoi Óplo here.”
“I’m sorry I couldn’t make you lewd.”
“That’s not the point!” shouted everyone in the sky. “And either way, we’re out of time! Hurry up!”
That was when a roar came from the pursuing K.P.A. Italia soldiers.
“You really think we’ll let you go!? Hm!? And don’t think you can just admit your princess to the academy like that! Don’t forget that a field trip isn’t over until you get home! That doesn’t take effect until you return to the Musashi, you fools!”
A beam of light shot from diagonally below the transport ship.
The pope-chancellor had activated about a dozen charms and fired them all at the ship.
Amid the roar of the attack, Toori reached out a hand while embracing Horizon, but the net was knocked out of reach.
And then the K.P.A. Italia soldiers rushed in.
“If we gave up here, we could never face K.P.A. Italian history again!!”
But there was motion within the great din.
Jizuri Suzaku leaned out of the ship’s rear hatch, it held Persona-kun, he held a chain, that chain’s owner dangled down and lowered another chain, and someone was attached to the end of that chain.
“It seems it is finally my time to shine! I have lowered my moisture to raise my solidity!”
Nenji had transformed into a hand as he swung from the chain.
His body threatened to collapse, but he endured and caught Toori and Horizon.
And he grabbed them.
At the same time, the ship ascended and turned, spinning and drawing up the chain in the process.
With the sound of the rushing wind, the ship headed for the Musashi.
Innocentius chased after the transport ship.
But he could not catch up and it pulled away.
Just as he was about to swear, another loud rumbling came from the side.
He turned around and saw his own ship, the Regno Unito, was rising and moving forward. It had already risen about a dozen meters and was forcing itself forward. With large ships, ascending and advancing simultaneously could throw off their output balance, but the ship was taking that risk.
“Why!? What do you think you’re doing!?”
His first response came from directly to his side.
“Th-the captain and the upperclassmen said they would pursue them on their own.”
He turned toward the voice and found the girl who had been in charge of divine transmissions on the deck.
And she was not alone. A group of several hundred had gathered and all of them were freshmen or close to it.
A voice came from the ship leaving all those young students behind. It was the older captain who was in charge of the command center.
“Your Holiness, we are borrowing the ship.”
“What is the meaning of this!?”
“As long as you live and remain on the battlefield, K.P.A. Italia and Catholicism have not lost. Catholicism has persisted throughout history because the glory of the pope has never been hidden. It has always been allowed to shine.”
“We are borrowing the ship. With the large ether cannon on the front and our own efforts, we should be able to stop the Musashi.”
“Are you going to return it?”
“Testament. As long as we dedicate our Catholic bodies and souls to the Testament.”
“Testament. Then go.”
Innocentius adjusted his posture, raised his eyebrows, and raised a hand toward the Regno Unito. He saw someone in a window raise a hand in return.
“You all carve the name of Catholicism into this era and I’ll make sure it persists to the next. All follows the guidance of the Testament! Amen!”
“Your consideration has left us overjoyed!”
Regno Unito quickly moved forward.
“We have much greater power, so we can overtake a transport ship carrying a heavy burden! While the princess is being lowered to the Musashi, we will approach and fire our ether cannon!”
|Back to Chapter 41||Return to Main Page||Forward to Chapter 43|