Horizon:Volume 1 Chapter 04

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Chapter 04: The Foreigner King[edit]

Horizon1A 159.jpg

Thinking about what might be wrong

Yet having no idea what to do

Point Allocation (Decisiveness)

Two figures stood in front of the entrance to a classroom.

A middle-aged man and a boy stood in the wooden corridor before a door. A door with a shrine and the Third Year Plum Class sign hanging above it.

The man was wearing white tights, a shirt with bulging shoulders embroidered with gold, and had a crown on his head. Embroidered onto the armband on his right arm was the emblem of the Testament Union and the words: “Vice Principal and King of Musashi”.

The boy next to him was dragging a travel bag in his left hand. He was clad in a male school uniform.

The boy glanced up at the man’s face before turning his gaze to the shrine above the door that stood in front of him.

“It seems like though you said they’d open it immediately, they’re taking their time, Vice Principal Yoshinao.”

“Yes, but they are mannerless commoners, Lord Prince.”

Yoshinao looked at him, the boy with the nametag “Azuma”. He spoke.

“This is preposterous. It is simply unbelievable that the class that you, the prince, will enter is the same class that you had attended last year. The school president sure is quite imprudent.”

“Well, it’s the rules, and I’m not the prince anymore…”

“No, no,” Yoshinao said.

“Though your power was sealed and your political status removed under the Testament Union’s orders, you are without a doubt the emperor’s son. As the celebrity sent from Hexagone Française of the Testament Union to be the king of Musashi, We[1] have been sincerely looking forward to your return.”

“Ah,” Azuma nodded. Beside him Yoshinao, the duly-appointed king of Musashi, spoke.

“But really, the people of Musashi are so aloof. We cannot believe that despite your return there was no one other than Us to welcome you.”

“Ah, no, the Testament said that my return should not cause a commotion. I boarded last night on a special flight, and I’d been going through a medical examination till now… A good thing too, because I like it better when it’s quiet…”

“My prince, how kind of you. To think that you would cover for your people…”

Yoshinao folded his arms and heaved a satisfied sigh.

Originally he was not one of the people of Musashi. He was from the peace-keeping organization based on Central Europe, the Union of the Testament. He had once been the lord of a small dominion on Hexagone Française’s borders; but because his abilities were recognized there, he had been sent away. This had happened in a manner similar to having been poached by another organization.

Despite this, he came here shouldering a heavy responsibility. Currently…

Currently, in the year 1648, the world could not have any multinational organizations. This was because their establishment had not been written in the Testament’s description of history.

However, when the Harmonic Divine States had collapsed all of the countries needed to maintain some form of connection.

Created for this purpose was the Union of the Testament, which made use of the church ecumenical councils that had been held in Europe since times long past.

Each time a church or ecumenical council opened as described in the Testament’s description, the representatives of the pro-Testament Testamental religions in each country would gather for the purpose of exchanging opinions and coordinating with each other. They kept in contact during the times in-between, and the branches in each country fulfilled their duties. It was a conditional, pseudo-multinational organization.

The Education Committee, which sent teaching staff to different countries, belonged to the Testament Union.

As a result, they were commonly thought of as the Teachers’ Union.

The teachers on Musashi were sent from the Far East branch, but Yoshinao was sent from the central headquarters of the Testament Union as Musashi’s supervisor. In exchange for the Far East retaining military freedom when the Harmonic Unification War ended 160 years ago, a king for Musashi was sent by the Testament Union to supervise Musashi’s governance and flight.

Because the king of Musashi made the final judgements regarding the decisions of the students’ chancellor’s officers and the student council, and because he also decided Musashi’s flight path, Musashi would be unable to get the general framework of its government and flight moving without his approval.

As such, Yoshinao thought of himself as being the “compass needle for keeping peace and order”.

“But still, the people in this class are all demons…!”

“Eh? What’s with you all of a sudden, Vice Principal?”

“Ah, nothing,” Yoshinao swallowed the words that he had unthinkingly spoken.

When it comes to these people, We, the king sent by the Testament Union…

Since Yoshinao came to the Musashi, he had no recollection of the students ever treating him with respect. Especially that particular chancellor who always made fun of him by calling him “We”.

Only We can call We, We!

We think this is all the Far East’s Board of Education’s fault.

As the Testament Union could not hold a regular conference of all the branches, one of their weaknesses was that it was easy for the branches in each country to become independent. The Far East’s branch was in Izumo. However, the academic division of the Far East’s biggest industry, IZUMO Industries, was in control and Musashi’s teaching staff was sent from Izumo.

An unacceptable state of affairs is being overlooked…!

This was true even now. Even though Azuma was returning, he could not even enter the classroom. It had been more than five minutes since the teacher Oriotorai’s voice had called through the door, saying: “Please wait a moment~”

And now the faint voices coming from within were saying this:

“M-Miss, please don’t use so much strength. Ah…the hole’s widening, I can’t hide it…”

“Ah, Heidi, no, you can’t touch it when it’s going in!”

“But Miss, the support’s…ah, eww, something sticky’s leaking from the tissue…”

“Just what kind of iniquitous sacrilege were you all transgressing in this consecrated classro…!!!”

Beyond the door, which was slammed open by the king…

In the space opened before him, a naked boy was standing with his arms raised and a smile on his face.

“!!!”

Yoshinao shut the door in reflex.

Beside him Azuma made an “Eh? Eh?” face, wondering what was wrong with Yoshinao.

“Wh-what’s the matter, Mr. Vice Principal!? Is something wrong!?”

Yoshinao, with his back leaned against the door, shook his head.

“I-it’s nothing, Azuma-kun! Yeah, it’s nothing!”

And then they heard blows as if a palm was striking the door from inside the classroom.

“Heeey We! That was you right!? Why are you staying there? Why don’t you come inside if you want to come in! No one here really hates you. In fact, nobody actually cares.”

“Hey, Toori! Will you quit strip-dancing over there and give us a hand here?”

“Ah, Sensei. We is just right outside and won’t come in. It seems he’s getting embarrassed. But I guess that couldn’t be helped. He doesn’t know what to do in this kind of situation. That We, he loves cosplaying as the king from a deck of playing cards; because of that he has trouble making friends. Hey, everyone! Next time you see We reading a manga in the corner giggling silently by himself, don’t be afraid to talk to him, alright?”

That brat… We swear We’ll lynch him someday!

Yoshinao faced his companion. Azuma was looking up to his face, flabbergasted. Realizing the situation, Yoshinao talked flusteredly.

“R-rest assured. We do have someone We can call a friend.”

From inside the classroom, Toori’s voice said.

“Oh, that’s right. Guess I was worrying for nothing. We has at least one friend, right, Neshinbara?”

Humm.

That’s right. As expected of this Academy’s chancellor, you’re quick on the uptake.

In response to Toori’s words, Neshinbara replied:

“You mean that? Last wagon sale we bought up all the stocks of that IZUMO-brand mind-training game titled ‘Essential Communication Skills for Lonely People - Make 100 Friends in 1 Week!’ and then sent all the packages in a single box to the king’s house, right? And then we put a message with it, which I wrote for all us: ‘Since your highness is distressedly friendless, please think of this as your friend. —From all of Musashi’s students.’ I see. That’s the ‘friend’ the king was talking about.”

“…So it was all your fault, that these last few days Our wife has been making a worried face every time she looks at Us!!”

Yoshinao, enraged, swung the door open once again.

The naked body was there no more, but instead there was a female teacher.

The beaming female teacher, Oriotorai, said:

“Ah, King-sama. I’m really sorry but we’re not finished cleaning up yet.”

“Eh? No, you see.”

Yoshinao directed his gaze beyond Oriotorai’s back, to the wall near the window.

“We think We saw a human-shaped hole over there and someone was gluing paper over it as if like…”

The door suddenly shut. From inside the classroom, came immediately the voice.

“Everyone! We seriously need to hurry up! The king is starting to grow suspicious of us. That guy, he is surprisingly sharp about small details.”

“Sensei! Sensei! That hole is not small at all! But whatever. Listen everyone!”

That was Toori’s voice.

“It’s too bad Seijun cannot make it today. But anyway, don’t forget we will have a meeting for my confession plan right after class and a ghost-busting party later tonight. Prepare yourselves everyone! Cause tonight will be a blast!”

“Oi, wait a minute! We’re still in the middle of class. You sure got guts ignoring me while I’m teaching here, huh? Do you wanna get slapped that bad?”

“Huh!? What, Sensei!? Just because you got nice tits, you think you can scare me with tha- ackk!?” [2]

The whole classroom shook as Toori said that last word.

“Ackk?” Azuma asked himself, pondering its significance.

And then from inside the classroom, Azuma heard a calm voice,

“Sensei. Please be careful not to break the classroom. By the way, I think I saw Azuma right outside the door.”

“Right! I completely forgot about him! I was too busy saving my hide.”

Two seconds after Oriotorai said that, the door opened for the third time. Oriotorai, beaming once again, looked at Azuma.

“Oh my~ Azuma. It has been a long time. How do you find Musashi now? You’ll be living in the dorm from now on, right? I’ll make sure to let you know where your room is once it is decided.”

“Oriotorai-kun. Watch your manners. You mustn’t refer to Azuma-kun without honorifics. You should call him Azuma-sama or…”

“Ah, right. Please pardon my lack of manners, King-sama. I’ll make sure it won’t happen next time. …So Azuma, you want to come inside? Right?”

Not giving Azuma the opportunity to give an answer, Oriotorai grabbed Azuma’s head with her right hand and offhandedly pulled him inside the room.

Yoshinao, having been left alone…

“Hold it right there!”

Yoshinao directed his gaze beyond Oriotorai’s back once more, towards the direction where the hole in the wall was. What he saw there were two figures standing in front of the wall. One was a half-naked giant wearing an iron mask, and the other one was a plump guy. If he recalled their names correctly, the giant was called Persona-kun while the blimp was called Ginji Ohiroshiki. Thanks to their bulky muscles and the rotundity of their body respectively, the wall was completely sheltered from Yoshinao’s vision.

“Oriotorai-kun. Could it be those two people are standing there to camouflage the hole in…”

“Ehh!? Wh-what are you talking about King-sama? There’s no human-shaped hole in the wall! I’m not lying, really! Actually I made those two stand there because…uhh… That’s right! We’re doing Biology class right now! And uhh… I’m showing the whole class what will happen to your body if you only eat meat or pizza everyday.”

Her face straightened.

“In other words, we’re still in the middle of class! Can you wait until later?”

The door was violently slammed shut right after Oriotorai said her last word. Yoshinao, finally left alone, felt an urge to kick the door, but managed to restrain himself. His common courtesy had successfully dissuaded him from committing a misbehavior. It was not an act a king should do.

“Seriously…”

Yoshinao folded his arms, giving the door a glare. From within came the loud cheers and claps of students warmly welcoming Azuma. And with a nod he wheeled around, turning his back to the door.

Yoshinao could hear Azuma introducing himself inside the classroom.

The sky beyond the hall windows was stark white as Musashi maintained its stealth flight.

Under the white sky, rows of stones were lined up in a wide area.

This place was a cemetery located within the memorial park near Okutama’s bow. It was a place with a panoramic scenery. Only its main road had pavement.

Within that lush greenery stood one girl, with a pail in one hand.

The name of the girl in school uniform and looking up at the sky was Masazumi.

“This is my first time coming to this place at this hour,” Masazumi said without taking her eyes away from the sky. She then scanned her surroundings.

Below the drab sky, in the elevated area of Okutama’s stern at the end of the stone steps was where Ariadust Academy Institute was situated.

“They are probably taking the fourth period by now.”

Masazumi wondered how everyone was doing. She had not been with them that long, but she had a basic idea of everyone’s character.

Masazumi got along with them very well, to the point that last year everyone in class supported her when she ran for vice president of the student council. She was on good terms with everyone, and everyone was on good terms with her; to the extent that Masazumi wondered what they were up to right now.

However it seemed that everyone in the class, or rather most of the students in the Academy were supporting Aoi Toori for some reason.

Masazumi had realized this ever since last year’s election. She was aware of how popular Toori was; and even after seeing everyone’s reaction from all the ruckus he caused, that didn’t change her conclusion.

But his popularity didn’t just come into being through name recognition, but rather his virtue and character. Then in that case…

“…It’s a popularity similar to that of an idol.”

Masazumi wished that this was not the case. A country, especially one like Far East with many interventions from all the other nations, selecting a leader based not on their political skill but popularity was…

A sign of the people giving in to provisional rule.

Masazumi, as one who aspired to become a politician, did not want to give up. In the future she hoped to work as a member of the provisional council for the Musashi just like her father.

And bring a change to the Far East, no matter how trivial.

160 years since the Harmonic Unification War, the reason why the Far East hadn’t been completely taken over was because nothing like that was written in the Testament. However, there were many ways to circumvent that. Anyone who had been in politics for years could easily think of one.

If the Musashi or its possessor Mikawa made an irrevocable mistake, Masazumi was certain that the Testament Union would not overlook exploiting it.

Currently, Mikawa acted as a bridge between the Testament Union and P.A. Oda; but…

If something big happens, the Testament Union will use the excuse of “History Reproduction Protection” to completely take over the Far East.

Favorable conditions upon resolution of land issues regarding harmonic territories, monetary assets, and the guarantee of production through labor: These were some of the obvious benefits that all the other nations would gain when Far East had been completely taken over. From what she could make out according to the accounts she had obtained from the provisional council officials, all of their stories were nothing but headache inducers.

The most problematic issue right now is the resolution of land disputes arising from the harmonic territories that occupy half the country.

Harmonic territories were caused by partially overwritten ley lines when the Harmonic Divine States collapsed to the Divine States. In consequence the Far East land had partially assimilated the other nations’ environmental conditions from the Harmonic Divine States. Because the climates inside the harmonic territories were the same as those in the very same spot in the Harmonic Divine States (for example, in the Chuugoku region we had Europe; in Mikawa we had India; in the Kantou region, Qing; in the Hokuto region, Russia), it could be said that not only the people but even the environmental conditions from the other world had migrated here.

Even though said environmental change was locally limited on the ground, its effect could reach up to the sky. For an aerial city like the Musashi which occupied the sky, those zones looked like pillars.

However, since harmonic territories were sparsely scattered within the land, the Far East and the other nations couldn’t successfully establish a distribution of territory to occupy after the Unification War.

Why? Because the land is not even stable in the first place to be fairly distributed. This fact we are fully aware of, as it was being taught in class.

However, if the Far East is completely taken over the Testament Union will obtain the power to execute the land distribution by themselves.

No… More precisely, when the Far East has been completely taken over the Testament Union can simply shove the Far East’s people towards worse lands while they occupy the lands with better conditions.

The statements that officials made regarding the Far East being “taken over” were always negative.

Taking over doesn’t only mean amalgamation or unification, or even occupation. It can mean many other things. If the Far East is taken over, its government and authority will be claimed by the Testament Union. They could even re-implement the practice of slave labor that was in place before the Middle Ages.

Currently Tsirhcs and Mlasis are forbidden to establish financial enterprises according to their religious precepts; thus, those kinds of businesses are quietly run by the Far East in their stead. However, once taken over, they can simply milk the profit out of Far East’s banks while they maintain the said compromise.

Aside from gaining a foothold against P.A. Oda, the other countries were interested in Musashi’s trade capacity as well as the technological capacities of Mikawa and IZUMO (especially the former, which built the Musashi).

Of course, if the people under this rule were to perish then the manpower would be lost and productivity would be compromised; but until it came to that, the loss-gain calculations from administrative expenses and labor revenues would be all that the Testament Union would care about. If the Testament Union could find a way to maintain the population and just let a very few people succeed historical figures as part of the history recreation, then this would be what the officials in the provisional council regard as the worst case scenario.

In other words, “taking over” ultimately means the ruler would have the power to order everything as they wished; including the rights of life and death of its subjects.

The provisional council, including Masazumi’s father, was probably conscious that all of these predictions were based from extreme assumptions. But a fragment of doubt still remained in her mind that maybe they were only trying to stir uneasiness in people.

But still, it doesn’t change the fact that the Far East has to do something to keep things from exacerbating into the worst case situation. “Whether trusting the other party’s conscience is sound policy or not, there is no need to tempt the other party by dangling bait before their face,” as her father had said.

That’s why right now, Musashi relinquishes all its armaments and focuses only on trades while keeping their heads low all the time. Mikawa’s Logismoi Óplo, for example, were not handed to the P.A. Oda but instead to all the other nations of the Testament Union as proof of taking a non-hostile stance.

But things will change eventually. That’s for sure.

According to the history in the Testament, the Oda clan will slowly dissipate after the loss of its leader Nobunaga. The responsibility of unifying the Far East will shift to the Toyotomi clan instead; and it will be successfully finalized by the Matsudaira clan later on.

No one knows when the unification of the Far East will happen since the history recreation has been disrupted ever since the Unification War; and there is the possible threat of the impending Apocalypse to boot. To give an example, this year is 1648; yet P.A. Oda announced the succession of Oda Nobunaga 8 years ago, even though this historical figure should have already been dead since 1582.

“Oda Nobunaga was assassinated according to history, so P.A. Oda had been keeping Nobunaga’s physical existence under wraps from the Testament Union in order to prevent the Testament Union from killing him through history recreation. P.A. Oda were playing skirmishes with the Testament Union here and there as they hide their leader. On the contrary, it gives them a threatening impression instead.”

P.A. Oda has been expediting its history recreation after the succession of Nobunaga, though they still haven’t caught up to its lag.

If the Apocalypse does not happen, Nobunaga will eventually come out to the world commencing his ambition of conquering the whole Far East; and then be assassinated. The Matsudaira clan will follow through on the remaining history and the Far East will finally feel the true meaning of being unified.

“When that time comes, the Far East will confront all the other nations as a unified country; but…”

Are the Far East’s people already giving up? Are they abandoning everything they have, being complacent in comfort provided by Provisional Rule?

Abandon.

The word which Masazumi hated the most, having given up everything after all.

Masazumi shifted her gaze below. Her hands were carrying a pail. It was the Hondas’ property. So was the wooden ladle, and the sheaf of flowers too.

Masazumi focused her attention on the flowers and said:

“…I don’t want to experience that same feeling again, nor do I want to let anyone else feel it.”

I wonder, Masazumi thought as she raised her head and directed her gaze to the Academy beyond.

“Aoi Toori.”

I, myself haven’t decided yet what to do in the first place but…

“What about you, Aoi Toori…? I wonder what you will do?”

I hope you…

“You were also like me, one who doesn’t want to give up…”

What if he was like me then?

So what of it?

Masazumi contemplated on that question for a while; but in the end she just shook her head.

“?”

Because Masazumi had her gaze set below, a person was standing in front of her without her realizing it. That person turned out to be a girl she was familiar with.

P-01s.

“Judging from this situation, P-01s should say ‘I have been waiting for your arrival.’ ”

A voice came, its owner approaching her way. A hand was raised, and it lifted up Masazumi’s pail.

Ah, Masazumi lifted up her head.

“What are you doing here?”

“Judge,” the automaton impassively replied, then showed the book she was carrying to Masazumi.

“As Masazumi-sama had suggested, P-01s concluded to peruse this book in a quiet place. Owing to this book, P-01s has completely grasped the current societal system as well as the sundry patterns of the national leaders. Each and every one of them resorted straight off to rash decisions. Some were arrested, and some were disgraced. Its intricacy is very engrossing.”

I wonder from what perspective you were reading that in order to arrive at that conclusion? Masazumi thought, but dropped the idea of voicing it out.

P-01s raised her free hand.

“…I have one question. Where are you headed to, Masazumi-sama?”


Notes[edit]

  1. Yoshinao refers to himself as Maro. Maro is an ancient form of “I”. Whenever he uses pronouns like “I”, “Me”, or “Myself”, he always uses Maro. So it will be rendered as the royal “we”.
  2. It seems in Toori’s head, slap means boobslap.