Horizon:Volume 1B Chapter 43
Chapter 43: Continuous Adherent
When someone moves forward
What is the driving force behind those who receive them?
Point Allocation (Emotion)
The giant white ship with the name “Regno Unito” on the side travelled through the sky in which the Musashi floated.
Its mobility was one of the foundations of its usefulness as a corazzata.
It would use that high speed to plow its ram into enemies and then fire from that position. Aerial tactics had long been based on the massive and unstoppable weapon that was a nave.
As the white ship approached the Musashi, the ram at the front was aimed at the Musashi’s first starboard ship.
When raising its speed and ramming them, there was no need to target the center of the enemy and the Musashi was created from eight smaller ships. Destroying even one would greatly diminish its ability and that specific ship was a cargo ship, so its destruction would prevent them from travelling too far without resupplying. They would eventually have to stop.
And so the white ship continued forward.
They did not use any of their cannons or other equipment that would use the ship’s etere alimenta. They poured it all into propulsion and the 3 meter caliber ether cannon attached below the ram.
Once they arrived within three kilometers, the Musashi became visible as it floated up above the mountain.
Someone muttered their astonishment, but the Regno Unito did not slow down. The Musashi looked like a rising mountain, but they sped up in a direct line toward it.
The Musashi started to turn so that it faced west.
Water sprayed into the air from about halfway down the giant ship and a line trailed after it.
The ship was sliding to the side as it turned, but its own weight made it a slow process. They had likely started the turn while rising, but the actual motion of the ship had only just now begun. However, the Regno Unito could not make large course corrections either. The Musashi’s bow was now at too acute an angle for the ram to hit.
But even so…
Even the pressure of the wind caused the white ship to creak as it accelerated.
The Musashi transport ship which had gone ahead now gently lined up to their left. They had caught up to it.
“Here it comes!!”
Musashi’s students could be seen clinging to walls and ropes inside the opened hatches of the ship. The scene wobbled as it drew closer.
And it struck.
The creaking intensified, sparks flew, a rumbling began, the clouds split, and armor scattered.
The screech of metal continued on and on as the collision continued and the impact assaulted both ships.
“How dare you touch His Holiness’s ship with your heathen ship!!”
The ether light from the white ship’s rear accelerators strengthened as it accelerated.
The Regno Unito sped up as if forcibly peeling away those clinging to them.
In the instant they pulled away, a cry rushed from one ship to the other.
A female warrior held a spear in the center of the open hatch while all the others supported her.
The cutting power caused the white ship to shake violently. Its armor split and the outer shell of the hull burst off along a straight line.
The inner shell bulkhead was now exposed and the transfer pipes inside the outer shell had been broken or bent. The leaking water and etere alimenta created a mist in the air.
The mist wrapped around the Regno Unito’s port side like smoke.
But the light of acceleration continued and wind spread out like waves.
The Regno Unito moved away from the transport ship all at once.
With less than a kilometer to go, the ram had been diverted a bit to the right; but it could be corrected.
Shinagawa, the Musashi’s first starboard ship, had not managed to turn in time.
“All hands, brace for impact!”
Just as that announcement filled the ship, the navigator gave a confused report.
“Asakusa, the enemy’s first port ship, is turning to the east!”
All of them wondered why it was not turning west. After all, Shinagawa and all the other ships were turning in that direction.
As they wondered why, something arrived from Asakusa.
A group of straight lines was fired from every point along Asakusa. They looked like white beams of light, but they were actually ropes.
Some were meant for mooring, some were meant for towing, some were meant for transporting, and others had other purposes. Some were fired from the derricks and deck and others were thrown by Gods of War. Ultimately, all of them flew through the sky and reached the Regno Unito.
“It can’t be!”
The ropes had metal hooks and anchors on the ends. Some of the ropes wrapped around the ship, some caught somewhere along it, and some stabbed into it; but almost all of them grabbed onto the white ship in some way or another.
“They’re trying to pull us off course!!”
And that was exactly was happened.
The ropes pulled taut and began to groan. The power at the other end tugged on the Regno Unito.
And they altered its course.
But the Regno Unito accelerated and continued forward to snap the ropes or remove their foundations so they flew off into empty air.
The Regno Unito twisted and groaned as it sought the front of Shinagawa.
And then the derricks broke. Two of the four on Asakusa broke at the foundation and one had the arm extending from the mast snap off.
As everyone on Asakusa cried out, the ropes snapped like a tearing perforation.
The white ship twisted as it continued on with what looked like countless harpoons in its side.
But it did not make it. As Shinagawa turned its bow, the white ship’s port side crashed into its armor and gouged into it but then scraped along it and passed by.
The Regno Unito was pushed out of the way.
The outer edge of Shinagawa’s port side was badly torn up, but the difference in mass had deflected the white ship.
With the sound of two bundles of metal crashing together, Shinagawa and the Regno Unito were repelled and moved apart.
The Regno Unito turned hard to the right so it did not capsize, and then it faced forward.
Musashino, the Musashi’s first central ship, was there.
Damaged and with capturing ropes trailing from it, the white ship charged forward with a smoke-like mist rising from it and armor fragments scattering about.
The Regno Unito faced the Musashino which could be called the Musashi’s flagship and it opened the hatch to the ether cannon below the ram.
“Fire while we ram them!!”
It charged right down the enemy’s throat in an airspace in which no one could stop them.
“For the continued glory of Catholicism, K.P.A. Italia, and the Papa-Schola!”
As it went, it fired.
At the same time, someone passed over it and arrived at the Musashi.
The transport ship passed over them, a chain dangled down, and two people stepped down onto Musahino’s bow.
They were Musashi’s chancellor and the princess who ruled Mikawa.
They held each other’s shoulders as they faced the light of the ether gathering in the Regno Unito’s cannon.
The two of them supported what the princess held in her right arm.
“This is the Logismoi Óplo ‘Lypē Katathlipsē’.”
A moment later, the two blasts crashed between the two weapons.
The clash of power began with both sides equal.
The ether cannon’s beam produced a steam-like sound and the tearing of Lypē Katathlipsē resembled a gathering of black lightning. They struck in the center and created an explosion of spiraling light and darkness.
The white attack attempted to burst through. The repeated black attacks circled around and tried to pierce through. A tearing sound filled the air with the wavering of heat, a clear sound filled the air with a chilly fog, and an explosive pressure became a field producing a distortion in the power of ether.
The air shook and the wind wrapped around the two ends. One end was Horizon standing on the front of Musashino. Toori supported her from behind as she held Lypē Katathlipsē as if pushing it forward.
Lypē Katathlipsē shook and raged. It roared as if trying to cry and scream.
…Can I control it!?
Horizon did not know what this weapon meant to her, but it had automatically activated as soon as Futayo had given it to her before.
“Owner : Horizon Ariadust : Confirmed”
“Individual Emotional Expression : Normal Drive – Overdrive : –––––– : Combat Proof Able : Resolving Self Evolution”
The two layers of safeties and the initial settings had all been carried out automatically.
…I can’t feel its weight.
It apparently had a weight of about seven kilograms when held by Futayo or the others, but it felt light to her. It felt no different than carrying a glass of water.
When they had seen the white ship named Regno Unito complete its preparations to fire, Toori had made the decision.
“Let’s shoot like crazy! It’ll feel great, Horizon!”
She did not quite understand.
…But if the Musashi cannot fly, everything will return to how it was.
Neshinbara and Masazumi had backed the decision because having her settle this would show her power to the other nations.
And so she had arrived here.
For a while now, sign frames had been appearing and disappearing between her and Lypē Katathlipsē. According to Futayo, that had not happened when its previous owner or she had held it.
That may have meant it truly was Horizon’s.
“Toori-kun! Lypē Katathlipsē is being pushed back!!” came a report over Toori’s sign frame.
“Eh? Th-then w-we need to push back.”
“A quick question,” cut in Horizon. “Why are you squeezing my butt?”
“We’re seriously in trouble, you two!”
As the voice from the sign frame said, the wind before them was being pushed their way. As black and white clashed, their black was clearly weaker.
The ether fuel gauge on Lypē Katathlipsē still had red remaining.
“Individual Emotional Expression : Overdrive : Output : 60”
But the output would not rise above sixty.
“Horizon-sama : Please Release the Third Safety ‘Soul Activation’ ”
Her soul was in her throat, but what did it mean to activate it?
She understood what a safety was from cooking tools and fire spells. By releasing it, the object’s true function could be used. That meant this Logismoi Óplo used her soul as a safety.
…If that is not removed, I will lose!
But she did not know how to activate her soul.
Meanwhile, the white light approached and threatened to envelop and crush them.
…I will lose.
She thought about what would happen if she lost.
…I will disappear.
She thought about disappearing.
She stood an instant away from that happening, but her gaze moved toward the world beyond the clashing white and black.
Below the evening sky, she saw mountains, a bay, and the ocean.
…That bay is where my father died.
She understood what the word “father” meant. The night before, he had died and his authority had transferred to her.
But she did not understand what it meant to lose him.
She did not know what emotion to feel when she was told she had lost him.
But she still looked back in her memories.
She had seen her father recently.
Yesterday when she had been singing in the graveyard, someone had seen her from a ship flying overhead and they had waved at her. She had waved back, thinking it was the polite thing to do.
…That was my father.
He had smiled when he saw her, yet she had not known who he was.
If she had known he was her father, how would she have responded?
If she had known he would die that night, what would she have done?
She heard a light noise in her heart. Or she thought she did.
An instant later, she understood the tremendous fact that she had lost someone precious.
And she understood the meaning of the awkward yet powerful strength embracing her shoulders.
“Don’t worry. I’m with you!! Aoi Toori is with you!!”
For the first time, she understood what it meant to have someone with her.
So she raised her voice. As if giving herself into what was spilling from her eyes, she let out a cry to reach her father’s smile from the day before and to express the meaning of the one who stood by her side and supported her now.
She dedicated it all to the sky with her crying voice.
“ ‘Soul Activation’ Safety Release : Confirmed”
A great number of sign frames opened all around her.
The black sign frames were made from both crosses and torii. Instead of scrolling text, they initially showed a small shadowy image and the text appeared an instant later.
“Logismoi Óplo Control OS : Phtonos-01s : Initial Connection : Initialization : Confirmed”
“Welcome to the Genesis of Emotions – Go to the Middle of Nowhere”
…What is this?
Horizon saw countless lines of text scroll past at high speed and a new sign frame appeared.
“Fifth Weapon ‘Lypē Katathlipsē’ : Confirmed”
As she held Lypē Katathlipsē in her right hand, it began emitting black light.
New sign frames began to appear around Lypē Katathlipsē and they displayed the process for securing power and firing.
“Ether Fuel Compensation : Searching : Supply From Toori-sama : Accept? Y/N”
Horizon turned her teary vision toward him and he nodded, so she reached out and pressed the “Y”.
As soon as she did, the black light exploded out.
Lypē Katathlipsē’s black tearing doubled. The claws grew sharper and longer. The movements of the fingers grew deeper and more piercing.
Thousands of black fingers wrapped around the white light. They turned their claws back toward her, but then…
Exactly that happened as the giant beam of light was torn into.
The recoil reached her. As if sorrow was pressing down on her, all strength left her body and she began to tremble.
The sounds surrounding her resembled weeping and wailing and she realized the same sounds existed in her own chest. Her throat trembled and she thought it would burst out, but a strength supported her from behind and she heard his voice.
“Sing, Horizon. Sing the song that will grant us passage!!”
She knew what song that was, so she opened her mouth. Her throat trembled, but she used that emotion along with his support.
She raised a voice into the sky that was approaching night. She sang the same song she had presented to the sky when she had met her father. She sang slowly but loudly.
“Let me pass, let me pass
If I follow this narrow path, where will it take me?
This narrow path leads to the gods in heaven
Your opinion is not needed. You cannot pass through here
I have come to celebrate this child’s tenth birthday
By dedicating these two talismans
Going may be easy, but returning is frightening
Can I pass despite my fear?”
Her ringing song overlapped with the cry of sorrow as they stabbed into the sky.
In an instant, the black claws tore through the sky as lightning, devoured the light, and pierced through.
She arched back and let her hair fly as she cried into the sky. As that cry came to an end, the attack broke through the white ship.
That giant ship that resembled a white whale was destroyed. It shook as if punched and it fell from the sky.
Musashi ascended and she received the white ship from Musashino’s sharp bow.
The ship was sliced in two from bottom to top.
Sounds of destruction, great impacts, fragments, light, and smoke came from the two sinking halves.
Evacuation ships spilled into the sky from the halved white ship, but the Musashi did not even look back as it ascended and turned to the west with its few injured on board.
The ship’s bow held a girl crying into the sky and a boy embracing her.
As she looked into the dark sky, Horizon threw Lypē Katathlipsē to the deck.
Trembling overcame her body and an emotion in her chest shook her more than she could bear.
She forcefully turned her lowered head toward the boy behind her.
Obeying the question filling her heart, she asked him that question with her forehead pressed against his chest.
She sobbed and weakly beat his chest. She took in a breath and opened her mouth wide.
“Are emotions really this painful!?”
The boy did not immediately reply.
Down below and quite a ways behind them, the remains of the white ship crashed loudly into the land port.
Amid the rumbling and slight wind that caused, Horizon felt his arms reach around her shoulders and to her back.
“Cry, Horizon,” he said in that light embrace. “I’m here with you, so let out that painful emotion.”
She heard him speak.
“Once you get everything back, there will only be happy things left for you. So for now, enjoy this painful thing with me.”
He smiled a bit.
“Listen. I can’t cry anymore, so you cry and weep for me. And…”
He held her more tightly and she raised her head.
His lips reached the corners of her eyes that were wet with tears. She closed her eyes and let him do what he would. His lips wiped away the tears in both eyes and then they lowered.
They covered her lips.
He left them there for a few breaths, but finally, slowly removed them.
He remained close enough to exchange breaths, he looked her in the eye, and he spoke.
“You taste like sorrow, Horizon.”
“Then,” began Horizon as she looked at him through slightly-teary eyes. “Will you teach me what other flavors there are?”
He deeply embraced her once more. He held her tightly as if pulling her into his chest. Above that chest, he lowered his head and nodded.
“I will. I’ll return your emotions. Let’s go find the deadly sins that bring you together and let’s gather them on our borderline. If we do that…”
If they did that…
“You can follow all your emotions and smile along with me, Horizon.”
|Back to Chapter 42||Return to Main Page||Forward to Last Chapter|