Horizon:Volume 1 Chapter 41

From Baka-Tsuki
Jump to: navigation, search

Chapter 41: Those Facing Each Other from Parallel Lines[edit]

Horizon1B 687.jpg

Wait a sec

What am I supposed to do?

Point Allocation (What do I do?)


Masazumi stared up into the sky from the western plain that acted as an entrance to the land port.

The Tres Españan aerial ships had stopped firing and were slowly turning and traveling to the southwest.

Similarly, the Tres Españan warriors had parted from the K.P.A. Italian warriors and started to leave the battlefield.

Was I at least a little useful?

She had negotiated via the command center. Now that Tachibana Muneshige had lost and he could not use the Logismoi Óplo to prevent the Musashi from taking off, she had suggested Tres España should preserve their power in order to protect the pope-chancellor during his return.

After bringing out various conditions and making various compromises, she had convinced them to stop everything but the extraction of the Logismoi Óplo in the interrogation ship.

The command center had sent a transport ship to carry their people back to the Musashi and the Musashi would soon leave and begin stealth cruising. An armed fleet from the Tres España-controlled Tres Portugal had already arrived in the east and it was clear the current situation would not last much longer.

We need to quickly prepare to withdraw.

She heard repeated heavy metallic noises behind her. When she turned around, she found a red Heavy God of War and a girl equipped with silver chains approaching. Naomasa, the girl with a false arm standing on the God of War’s shoulder, spoke.

“We’ve quieted things down over here. How are things on your end?”

“Stithos Porneia is keeping us from attacking and the pope-chancellor is using spells like crazy.”

Masazumi followed Mitotsudaira’s gaze and looked forward.

“But it seems Aoi has reached the interrogation ship.”

That was only a guess, but she soon received confirmation.

It came in the form of a sign frame. That torii-style frame appeared in front Mitotsudaira and Naomasa’s faces and it showed a certain scene.

The video came from below the interrogation ship’s bow. Toori stood in front of the Andamio de la Ejecución, which was enveloped in light.

It was being filmed by one of the half circle of students protecting him. It was most likely the Broadcast Committee member in charge of the land port.

And the sign frame displayed a number.

That number gave the time remaining and it was currently at five minutes. At 6 PM, the Andamio de la Ejecución’s preparations would be complete and Horizon would be disintegrated in an instant. The number was likely being displayed as a time limit.

Masazumi lined up next to Mitotsudaira and watched the lowering number and Toori’s back.

“It’s up to you now.”


The area around the interrogation ship was filled with countless sounds.

To sum it up, they were the sounds of the battlefield. They could be described both as lively and as noisy.

But Toori ignored it all and faced forward.

A wall of light lay before his eyes. He thought about touching it, but there was something he had to say first.

“Hey, Horizon! Are you in there!?”

But his shout received no response. Instead, several sign frames appeared.

“Um… Why are you treating this so normally?”

“Just go save her already, idiot. You are wasting both time and money.”

“If you need an extra push, eat some curry.”

“Shut up, all of you! I’m nervous, y’know? Nervous.”

As he yelled back, he saw motion in the light.

The motion had a human form. As it approached, it turned into the silhouette of Horizon in her personal clothes and finally turned into Horizon herself.

Oh.

Only a single wall of light separated them and they were less than two meters apart.

Horizon stood before him. This was the automaton who had gone by the name P-01s until the day before.

When everyone saw her approach, sighs of relief and astonishment came from the surrounding students and sign frames.

In front of him, Horizon tilted her head and held a book under her left arm.

“…? Do you need something?”

“Y-yes.” Toori nodded, stuck out his right thumb, and gave a huge grin. “I’ve come to rescue you!!”

For a moment, Horizon did not react.

After a few seconds of silence, she looked at him expressionlessly as if she had rebooted.

“I will bluntly give the best decision for this situation,” she declared. “Who are you? You are nothing but a bother, so please leave.”


Back in the command center below the evening sky, Neshinbara turned toward all those gathered.

While smiling, he lowered his hands, said “three, two, one”, and raised them.

“Ehhhhh!?” they shouted in unison.

The force of their voices almost caused Suzu to topple backwards, but Kimi caught her from behind.

“Heh heh heh. Suzu, if it was a shock, feel free to collapse. Look, you have an even better cushion than before.”

“Oh, th-thanks. U-um… Why does…this cushion…feel evil?”

“Heh heh heh. Feel free to call me evil. Yes, I am bad! I am a bad girl!”

“Kimi, I think you should give it a rest, face reality, and watch Toori-kun.”

“Ahh, ahh,” said Kimi as she covered her ears and looked away.

The others ignored her and watched their sign frames.

As Horizon tilted her head, Toori turned toward the screen while trembling.

“Th-that was a close one! Just a bit further and I would’ve felt sad and died just like a rabbit! I-I’ve recovered though, so someone praise me! Bring on the praise! Bring it on!!”

As Toori continued his cries of “bring it on”, everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

“Tch. So that isn’t enough to kill him. The idiot’s got more endurance than I thought.”

“Whose side are you on!?” he shouted while Horizon once more tilted her head behind him.

“At any rate, I am scheduled to commit suicide, so there is no rescuing me. Please leave.”

“W-wait a second!! H-hear me out!”

As Toori frantically turned around, Horizon nodded expressionlessly a few times.

“I have determined you are a stubborn person.”

Everyone in the command center hung their heads and exchanged glances.

“I get the feeling they have terrible compatibility. If I did a Schwarz Techno fortune telling, I’d probably get ‘go die a painful death’.”

“You’re right, Margot. It would lead to a murder. With a Weiss Techno fortune telling, it would probably be ‘could you perhaps go die’.”

“After seeing this, I bet a normal confession would have failed too.”

“Okay, okay!” shouted Toori. “That’s enough fun fortune telling results and thoughts on the past! This isn’t over yet! I can still make a comeback! I’ll make back double what I lost!!”

As Toori spoke, Horizon tilted her head and turned her back. Everyone in the command center saw her disappear behind the light as if to say the conversation was over.

“You idiot! Behind you! Behind you!!” they shouted.

“Eh? Huh? Oh? Hey, Horizon! I’m not done talking!!”

“To be honest, I see no purpose in speaking any further. It would accomplish nothing.”

She did not even return to the wall of light, so the command center group hung their heads again.

“Seeing a final boss this wonderful makes me want to pay out some money,” said Shirojiro.

“Hmm. Final bosses in games these days tend to be logical, but for some reason won’t let you settle things with money.”

“I am starting to wonder if that idiot did something to her in the past,” said Urquiaga.

“St-stop giving your thoughts and figure out a way to deal with this!” shouted Toori.

Everyone in the command center used their sign frames to exchange glances with those on the battlefield and then they all nodded.

“How about you apologize?”

“W-wait a second! Why are you assuming I did something wrong! And Horizon! I was a customer at your shop! Can’t you at least greet me!?”

A few seconds after his complaint, Horizon arrived once more and bowed expressionlessly.

“Thank you very much for your patronage, but we are currently closed. …Now, then.”

“You’re welcome. …Don’t leave!!”

“What is with you? This is unreasonable.”

That last word caused everyone to look toward the ground once more, but Toori was not discouraged.

“U-um, I was a customer and I went quite a lot. A-are you sure you don’t remember me?”

“His method of picking up girls is worse than a porn game protagonist,” commented Ohiroshiki.

“Eh? Eh? I just got here,” said Azuma. “Can someone explain the situation?”

“W-well… I-I think it…might be hopeless…” explained Suzu.

“What happened to all my allies!?” shouted Toori. “Is no one on my side!? Where did this cruel atmosphere come from!?”

Horizon suddenly untilted her head.

After a moment, she lightly struck her left palm with her right fist.

“I just remembered. You are the customer who would often come during my morning shift.”

“Y-yes, yes! You remember!? Ohhh! I’m so lucky!”

Toori turned toward the sign frame and pointed at it with a triumphant look.

“Did you see that!? You did, didn’t you!? That’s right! You and you and you! My uncontainable charm creates such harmony in people’s memories that…um…well, you get the picture! Do you get it now!?”

“Why is this idiot always so hard to look at? Is it because he is poor?”

“Hm… I think it’s just that his soul’s blood pressure is high.”

“In novels and plays, this kind of character always loses in the end.”

“Oh? Oh? What are you all saying?” he started again. “Heh heh. I can handle this much scorn just fine! After all, Horizon understands me! Isn’t that right, Horizon!? You remember me, don’t you!?”

“Judge. I also remember speaking with the owner of the shop about you.”

“For real!? You gossiped about me!?”

“Judge. I told her there was a boy who always held my hand when I gave him his change. I said his hands were always sweaty, so the owner of the shop gave him the Urban Name of Wet Man.”

“Sorry, but that’s kind of disgusting. I’m Schwarz Techno disgusted.”

“Yes. And I’m Weiss Techno disgusted. We should have kept him confined yesterday when we had the chance.”

“How did he think he could confess to her after doing that?” asked Urquiaga.

“Wh-what’s with all of you!? What’s wrong with wanting to touch the girl you like!? Just like this!”

Toori reached out toward Horizon’s chest, but Horizon quickly spoke up.

“I failed to mention earlier that this wall of light will supposedly instantly kill anyone who touches it.”

“Ohhhhhh! And my fingernail was just about to touch it!! Tres España, wh-why did you create such an exciting contraption that sounds like something an elementary school kid would think up!? Is it cause you’re perverts!? Murderphilia is just the worst!”

Toori turned back toward Horizon and spoke as if only just then noticing something.

“What the hell!? Tres España! Doesn’t the inquisition normally chain people up while naked!? This isn’t right! This isn’t right at all! Keeping everything decent is the worst!”

“You have now said perversion and decency are ‘the worst’. Please stop holding double standards.”

“Horizon, have you never heard of flip-flopping? …Ah, I’m sorry! Don’t leave! Please don’t leave! L-look, I brought a letter for you! Here, I’ll read it. Um… ‘What I Want to Do – Asama Tomo’.”

“Waaaah!” shouted someone back at the command center. “Why do you have my essay with you!? Read any further and I’ll shoot!”

“Shut up!” shouted Toori as he returned the essay to his pocket.

“What is he doing?” muttered everyone else.

However, a small laugh came from the command center.

Everyone turned toward it and found Kimi pressing the back of her hand to her mouth to suppress her laughter.

“Oh, sorry,” she said once she noticed everyone watching her. “But doesn’t this exchange seem familiar?”

She spoke quietly as if seeking confirmation.

“That’s Horizon, isn’t it? Yes, that exchange is definitely Horizon.”


Masazumi was watching the situation through Mitotsudaira’s sign frame.

“Really?” she asked.

Mitotsudaira simply stared at the sign frame as if waiting for what Kimi would say next, so Masazumi stopped speaking as well.

“Isn’t that right? If you do not whitewash your old memories and do not naively think anyone my foolish brother would confess to is ‘normal’, this should not seem out of place. You should remember there used to be two people who spoke like this.”

“She might be right.”

Masazumi thought she sensed some disappointment in Mitotsudaira’s voice as the wind whipped at her hair.

“What do you mean?”

“It is an issue of the right person for the right job. There used to be a foolish boy who would do nothing but cause trouble for everyone around him, but he was able to continue acting so foolishly because there was a girl by his side who that foolishness had little effect on. There was just the one girl who could get the boy to listen to her.”

“She was an obedient girl,” continued Kimi. “She would always read books in some corner or another, but she would reach out a hand to anyone in a bind and she was truly harsh on my foolish brother and only my foolish brother.”

“That’s right,” said Urquiaga. “Whenever Toori would make a gag, she would expressionlessly ask him to explain what about it was supposed to be funny. It was truly frightening.”

“Yeah…”

For some reason, everyone hung their heads and nodded.

“She was really harsh on him.”

“W-well, Kimi is right and it did seem like she was trying to kill Toori-kun, but you all know how important he was to her, right? So it must be the same for this Horizon.”

“It’s possible the only reason she seems the same now is because she was a very automaton-like girl back then,” warned Mitotsudaira.

“Then…” said Asama.

Mitotsudaira nodded and the two of them spoke in unison.

“That automaton might be able to fill Horizon’s role perfectly.”


“That’s right,” muttered Toori on the battlefield.

“To be blunt, I do not understand what exactly you are saying is ‘right’.”

“Just wait there. I’m gonna rescue you now.”

“Do you not understand that my death is best for the world?” she immediately replied. “I wish for the best choice which will not inconvenience the world, so your intervention is not needed. That is the correct answer.”

“What?”

Toori crossed his arms behind his head and looked at Horizon.

“I don’t care what it means for the world. It would inconvenience me if you died.”

“A question: which is more important, you or the world?”

“Which do you think?”

“To be blunt, the world.”

“That settles it.” He took in a breath. “I just have to become a king who rules the entire world. Isn’t that right?”


In the many places around the world where the divine transmission reached, those who were interested in him watched and listened.

“With your Logismoi Óplo, saving the world from the Apocalypse and becoming the king of the world isn’t just a dream. And the Logismoi Óplo are your emotions, so we can bring back your original self if we gather them all.”

So…

“I will… Are you listening? I will – definitely will – conquer the world with you. We can free everyone from the Apocalypse and flirt a whole bunch while I take back everything you lost because of me.”

He then addressed all those listening.

“So I have something to ask of you, world. You only have to do it to deal with the apocalypse, but could you give me your Logismoi Óplo? If you say no, then let’s fight a war. And if you don’t like the word ‘war’, it can be a fight, a clash, a confrontation, a negotiation, or whatever else. I don’t care what method it is. If it gives you a reason to hand over Horizon’s emotions, anything’s fine.”

Yes.

“Let’s take Shintoism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism, the Anglican Church, the Russian Orthodox Church, Dunhi, Oat, Technomagie, sword fighting, martial arts, gun fighting, mechanical horses, mobile shells, Gods of War, mechanical beasts, mechanical phoenixes, mechanical dragons, aerial warships, humans, non-humans, normal citizens, knights, vassals, samurai, ninja, warriors, kings, nobles, rulers, sovereigns, emperors, popes, the Far East, K.P.A. Italia, Tres España, Hexagone Française, England, Sviet Rus, P.A. Oda, Qing, the Indian Alliance, money, authority, negotiations, politics, the will of the people, military might, information, divine weapons, Logismoi Óplo, Testamenta Arma, the Five Great Peaks, the Eight Great Dragon Kings, Chancellor’s Officers, Student Councils, men, women, those who aren’t either, the young, the old, the living, the dead, the Musashi which can confront you with all these powers, our feelings, our reasons, our thoughts, your feelings, your reasons, your thoughts, and everything everything else that I don’t know about,” he said. “And then we’ll see who’s the strongest.”


Masazumi gasped.

That’s crazy!

This was the worst possible time to be instigating a war. The Testament Union and all the other nations would grow cautious and become their enemies. And yet he continued speaking.

“Whether it’s resolved peacefully or by force, the one who wins in the end is king of the world. After all, he’ll save the world from the Apocalypse.”

The idiot had linked ruling the world with saving it from the Apocalypse.

“What do you think?” asked Mitotsudaira with a smile and with the sounds of battle behind her. “You have most likely joined the most worthwhile academy in the world.”

Masazumi was unable to respond, but Toori’s voice continued.

“How about we play by those rules? In other words… Huh?”

What has him confused now?

As she watched him through the sign frame, he hesitantly glanced over and tilted his head a few degrees.

“Huh? Um, I was trying to confess, so why am I announcing plans for world domination? Huh? This makes no sense.”

“Think before you speak!!”

Everyone single person on the battlefield, enemies included, shouted at him. Horizon then gave a confident nod.

“I see. I have determined that reasoning is clear and easy to understand.”

“Eh!? For real!?”

“Ahhhh! Don’t encourage him!!” shouted Masazumi.

But…

“But to judge fairly, that is your reasoning and not mine. As we hold parallel views, this is ultimately a nuisance for me.” She shook her head. “Please leave. I wish to avoid harming the Far East with my existence.”

“Even if I say I don’t want to lose you?”

“Why do you not want that?”

“Eh? W-well… Um… Saying it in public is embarrassing.”

“Stop that bashful fidgeting!!”

After Masazumi’s comment, Tenzou appeared from the right side of the sign frame. He was initially in hiding, but he soon showed himself.

“Toori-dono… Huh? You still aren’t done? H-hurry up and get out of there! The pope is enjoying himself so much we can barely hold him off. Reel her in! Reel her in!!”

“What, are you here to make me rush this? Fine then.” Toori took in a breath and spoke clearly to Horizon. “There’s a lot to it, but it of course comes down to the fact that I love you.”

The girls at the command center let out excited cries.

But Masazumi heard Horizon nod twice a moment later.

“Judge. I am truly sorry, but as an automaton, I have no emotions and cannot understand what you mean. Please leave.”

“Waaah!” everyone shouted. “After all this, she turned him down!!”


At the command center, Suzu collapsed once more.

“H-here, Suzu-san. Th-this cushion isn’t evil.”

“Heh heh heh. This shrine maiden has a shock-absorber on her chest. And what do you think? Doesn’t she seem even more Horizon-y than before?”

“Y-yes, I agree. I never thought her ability to handle Toori-kun would increase this much.”

“I-I won’t lose!” yelled Toori. “If I gather the Logismoi Óplo, your emotions will return. When that happens, I’ll make you regret what you just-… no! Bad words! Anyway, uh, sorry. Give me another chance.”

“Oh? Now you are behaving more modestly? An excellent decision. But it is no use because I will die.”

The conversation seemed confusing to all the others, but Horizon simply glared at Toori.

“Also, I have never heard of someone confessing to an automaton before. I am a doll, you know?”

“D-don’t be stupid! You really are stupid! I’m A-OK with an automaton!” Toori spread his arms. “I wasn’t so sure myself when I first saw you, but when you bring food out to people at the shop, you crouch down like this to pick up dropped spoons, right?”

“Checking my memories, I would indeed crouch like that.”

“Yeah. Well, one day I realized I was instinctually peeking between your legs from a low interior angle. My instincts didn’t care you’re an automaton. And when Mitotsudaira let me fondle her bra-less chest, I learned I have no problem with a hard chest! It’ll totally work!!”

“St-stop spreading lies!!”

Horizon ignored Mitotsudaira’s interruption and nodded expressionlessly.

“Ha ha ha. To be blunt, you are the worst.”

“It’s over,” muttered someone and everyone hung their heads in agreement.

But then they heard Horizon speak once more.

“I have determined that you and I currently hold parallel views.”

For some reason she looked somewhat relieved.

“We are parallel, so I say this: please leave.”


Masazumi looked up in surprise when she heard that.

“Aoi!!” she suddenly shouted. “Don’t give up!!”

If their views are parallel…

She had to tell him that she knew what Horizon wanted.

She understood and so she opened her mouth to speak.

However…

“Don’t worry, Seijun. I understand too. This is where we wear down each other’s arguments, isn’t it?” he said. “We’re parallel, so I say this: I will bring you back with me.”


Toori took a step forward and stood as close as he could to the wall of light without touching it.

Horizon approached as well and she spoke.

“We are parallel, so I say this: there is nothing we can both agree on.”

He opened his mouth to reply and gave an “um” of thought.

“We’re parallel, so I say this: I know something I can get you to agree to.”

She continued.

“We are parallel, so I say this: there is nothing you can do.”

He followed.

“We’re parallel, so I say this: I think I can do something for you.”

She answered.

“We are parallel, so I say this: I desire death.”

He replied.

“We’re parallel, so I say this: I want you to live.”

“We are parallel, so I say this: I do not have a human life.”

“We’re parallel, so I say this: I know you have a human soul.”

“We are parallel, so I say this: automatons have no emotions.”

“We’re parallel, so I say this: I will return your emotions.”

“We are parallel, so I say this: this is all meaningless.”

“We’re parallel, so I say this: I don’t think anything about you is meaningless.”

“We are parallel, so I say this: an automaton’s decisions are perfect.”

“We’re parallel, so I say this: I don’t think your decisions are perfect.”

At that point, Horizon let out a sigh.

“We are parallel, so I say this.” She let out a breath. “I do not want to hear your answers.”


In that moment, Masazumi shouted from an end of the battlefield.

“Aoi!! Don’t let her go!!”

She then heard him slowly speak as if checking over his own words.

“You don’t want to hear my answers?” he said. “But that is just another way in which we are parallel.”

So…

“So I say this as your parallel.” He took in a breath. “I want to hear your answers.”

Horizon responded to that with a simple nod.

It was a deep nod of approval.

“Judge.”

And she looked up.


Everyone in the command center silently watched their sign frames.

On those screens, Toori’s body relaxed as he stood before the nodding automaton.

“Um,” he thought while Horizon was visible through the light.

“She is waiting to see what he will ask her, isn’t she?” commented Asama.

True enough, Horizon did not urge him to speak or ignore him. She stood without moving.

“Go ahead. As we are parallel, I have an obligation to provide an answer to what you will say.”

“Is that so?”

Toori nodded before continuing.

“It’s all parallel,” he began. “So I say this: your decisions are perfect.”

And…

“We are parallel,” she began. “So I say this: I must be wrong.”

That statement of her own error caused everyone to gasp.

“Automatons always make the best decision, so why would she say she’s wrong?”

“It’s the nature of automatons,” said Neshinbara. “Automatons respond with the best decision. That is why Ariadust-kun says her death is the best option for what she should do here. But the best decision is not necessarily the decision the automaton originally wanted. There would have to be several other options below that best one.”

So…

“She may have been waiting for someone who did not follow the best option which she was powerless to resist, who would not be persuaded, and who would convince her to give up. …And that idiot realized it.”

And her answer was…

“When dealing with someone who won’t go with the best, giving the opposite of the best becomes the best.”

The conversation on the divine transmission continued just as Neshinbara had indicated.

It seemed to work back through the previous exchange.

“We’re parallel, so I say this: you think everything about yourself is meaningless, don’t you?”

“We are parallel, so I say this: I do not want to think that everything about me is meaningless.”

“We’re parallel, so I say this: you might not actually have any emotions.”

“We are parallel, so I say this: I believe I do have emotions.”

“We’re parallel, so I say this: you might not actually have a human life.”

“We are parallel, so I say this: I have a human soul.”

“We’re parallel, so I say this: you desire death, don’t you?”

She responded.

“We are parallel, so I say this: I want to live.”

He answered.

“We’re parallel, so I say this: you think there’s nothing I can do, don’t you?”

She continued on.

“We are parallel, so I say this: there is something you can do.”

So he did not stop.

“We’re parallel, so I say this: there is nothing we can agree on, is there?”

She opened her mouth, took in a breath, and spoke as if pleading him.

“We are parallel, so I say this: I know something we both agree on.”

“And?” asked Toori. “Where is that, Horizon? Where is the point that these two parallel people can agree?”

“Judge. That would be the place where parallel lines cross and differing thoughts converge,” she answered. “That would be the borderline.”


Toori ignored the sounds of the battlefield and everything else as he asked a question.

“And do you not want to go to that borderline?”

“No, I do want to go there.”

“Do you not want me to take you there?”

“No, please take me there.”

“I see. But I thought there was nothing I could do?”

“No, you can do anything.”

“I see. Will you not let me fondle your boobs later?”

“What in the world are you talking about?”

“Th-that’s what you really think! I got an honest answer instead of a parallel!!”

Comments started arriving via the sign frame.

“You need to die.”

“That really wasn’t the time for that.”

“Listen. If I display it on a graph, your value started to rise and then plummeted.”

“Sh-shut up, all of you!” he shouted back. “Wait. Are you mad, Horizon? You are, aren’t you?”

“Do not decide things for me. Let me be very clear: I am not mad at all.”

“You’re definitely pissed!!”

However, Horizon remained standing on the other side of the light and she clasped her hands together.

“You are intent on rejecting everything I say, aren’t you?”

“You can reject what I say, hit me, and play the role of tsukkomi all you want.”

“In that case,” said Horizon. “The best choice is for me to be the ruler of the Far East. However, I also wish I could have been a snack shop worker. What do you have to say to that?”

Toori tilted his head.

“Hm?”

He tilted it further and finally spoke.

“I know. Even if you’re our ruler, you can still work at the snack shop.”

After all…

“I’m chancellor and Student Council president, but I do all sorts of stupid stuff.”

Hearing that, Horizon opened her mouth and nodded.

“Judge! To be honest…”

She nodded even more vigorously and gave voice to her thoughts.

“I want that to be the best choice!”

Toori nodded in return and a smile spread across his face.

“Yeah. So do I, Horizon!”


Toori immediately pointed at the wall before him.

As Horizon looked at him curiously, he smiled at her.

“Hey, this wall’s in the way, isn’t it? Or would you prefer I didn’t destroy it?”

“It is not in the way, but please destroy it. Or do you not want to be here with me?”

“I want to be with you. I want to be all over you!”

“You are the worst.”

“You’re the best.”

He held up his left hand. His left shoulder moved a bit awkwardly, but the pain was gone and his body was beginning to forget the past. He clenched his fist.

“How do I destroy this wall? Or is it just an illusion?”

A female student’s voice came from the speaker on the wall within the Andamio de la Ejecución.

“That wall recreates the sin of whoever touches it and uses it to kill them.”

“And how do you destroy it?”

“You cannot deny a sin from your past, so you can only die.”

“I’m asking how to destroy it. Please, I don’t have much time.”

The clock on the sign frame was down to one minute and was closing in on half of that minute.

“The wall itself is not solid. If you touch it and deny the sin from your past, you will reject the ether making up the wall and it will vanish. But that is something no one can do.”

Suddenly, the wall of the battlefield audibly collapsed.

“Quit wasting your time and accept your judgment! Isn’t that the normal thing to do, hm?”

The pope-chancellor had used repeated spell attacks to break through the Musashi students who had been focused on defending. He smashed the repeated spell shields and limitless defensive divine protections that the students gained from Toori’s ether supply.

“No one has touched that wall and returned alive! If death is seen as the end of the performance, it is your duty to the world to let the curtain close with your judgment!”

“Hey, everyone,” said Toori as he reached for the wall without turning around. “Stop that guy. He’s keeping me from flirting with Horizon.”

“Damn you!”

Innocentius produced spell light from the charm floating alongside his Mouse and he raised Stithos Porneia.

“Any power you might use to destroy that wall is an attack! In that case, I can stop you with Stithos Porneia!”

The bell-like sound of Stithos Porneia activating rang out and the air was split in a straight line.

“!?”

But once the sound of shattering glass followed it, everyone changed what they were doing.

The unusable weapons of the Musashi students produced noise.

“Is this…?”

And they came together while showing no sign of coming apart once more.

Stithos Porneia was no longer active.

“I cut it with Tonbokiri.”

At some point, a female warrior had appeared amid everyone else. She was catching her breath, kneeling, and holding a spear. Her clothes were cut all over, leaves and branches had caught on her, and cuts decorated her skin.

“Honda Futayo, Temporary Vice Chancellor of the Far East’s Musashi Ariadust Academy. I have arrived in response to my ruler Horizon Ariadust’s desire to live!”

Even after speaking, she did not stand. She had to have run full speed across the mountain between the land port and the eastern mountain barrier. It was similar to a sprinter running a long distance.

She could not move. Innocentius realized that and frowned once he noticed Lypē Katathlipsē on her back.

“Retrieve that, Tres España!! It belongs to you! And our troops are not to let the Far East have the power of a deadly sin either!!”

The enemy let out a cry and approached. Futayo groaned as she tried to stand up, but her knees gave out.

“Protect our commander!!”

The guard unit charged forward, surrounded her, and defended against the enemy.

All of them were injured and deeply exhausted, but they had come this far as Musashi’s guard unit.

And…

“Today, we have gathered all our Chancellor’s Officers. This is a good day!”

Mitotsudaira drew midair arcs with her silver chains and both Noriki and Tenzou lined up to strengthen their defenses.

Futayo looked up in surprise and found the second-in-command and all the others forcing smiles.

“You are being reckless,” she said blankly.

“Don’t say that. The Far East has lasted 160 years, so what’s another thirty seconds or so?”

That produced a shout from Innocentius.

“Then I request a confrontation! I will settle this in a confrontation with Musashi’s chancellor!”

“You must first defeat me, the vice chancellor!”

Futayo raised her voice while supported by all the others. Her expression was one of pure exhaustion, but she smiled a bit when she looked at the others around her.

“Sorry. I made you worry for me and support me, but I cannot even rely on you here.”

But…

“I too can easily last another thirty seconds or so.”

When the temporary vice chancellor declared she would buy them some time, Innocentius gnashed his teeth and Toori smiled.

“Mr. Pope, this won’t take long, so just wait there.” He pointed at Horizon. “And I have a prior engagement with her, so surely you can wait until that’s over. Of course, if you want to flirt with me that badly, I’m willing to hear you out.”

Everyone watched Toori’s hand.

The finger pointing at Horizon was sticking into the wall of light. It stabbed right through it and pressed against Horizon’s chest on the other side.

Everyone froze in place, Toori looked over at his hand, and they all yelled in unison.

“Sexual carelessness!?”

Immediately afterwards, Toori vanished from before the wall.

He had been thrown into the space the wall had created to recreate his sin.