Horizon:Volume 2A Prologue
Prologue: Lecturers Surrounded by Tranquility
What kind of time
Is a time of peace?
Point Allocation (Exposition)
Several ships were surrounded by the white sky.
They sailed through the sky while surrounded by cocoon-like walls of white fog.
Both the left and right had three ships front to back and the center had two ships front to back. Altogether, the group of ships measured approximately 8 kilometers in length. Written on the bow of each ship was the name Musashi followed by the individual ship’s name.
Some students were listening to their teacher in a large park on the second portside ship, Murayama.
As they sat on the grass, they could hear the chirping of birds from the surrounding forest as well as the words of their track suit wearing teacher named Oriotorai.
“Okay, that’s enough for today’s morning training. I see all of you can keep up with me until Murayama now.”
The students sitting on the grass in front of her were panting and gulping down their sports drinks.
“After a five minute break, we’ll have first period out here. Okay?”
The students exchanged a glance and nodded once.
Their voices rang out into the white sky in unison.
That was their word of response.
One of the students, the track suit wearing Honda Masazumi, let out a breath and reached for the bamboo bottle attached to a hard point at her waist.
She wet her throat with water she had drawn at Musashi Ariadust Academy back at the rear central ship of Okutama. She wished she had been able to bring a sports drink like her classmate Ohiroshiki or old acquaintance and vice chancellor Honda Futayo.
…But I don’t have the money.
During second period, she would be working as a lecturer at the elementary school on Tama. She felt no guilt because she had completed the substitute exam for the lessons she was missing, but she felt she had to do her best to play the role of the teacher. Also…
…I should stop by the wholesale store on Tama and pick up that item father reserved.
The item was the cleansing toilet seat “Rapid Fire” which had become popular lately. It was an IZUMO product, but an anti-ship bombardment version had been released as a tie-in with the TV anime Netagashima and it was constantly sold out.
Her father had somehow managed to acquire one and she had assumed he would use it as a bribe during a business negotiation, but it seemed he would be using it at home. She thought it might be a status symbol for him. That morning, he had told her, “I am going to be busy with negotiations today, so you go pick it up for me. If I asked Konishi, he might take it for himself.”
“Well, at least he’s started coming back home recently.”
As she muttered to herself, she undid her hair which had been tied up while she ran. She wet her lips with water and poured the extra water into the ditch cutting across the grass. Some brown algae creatures appeared from within the ditch.
“Thank you, Masazumi.”
She found it amusing how they would appear almost anywhere, but she was not sure what to make of that last one.
Masazumi sighed and looked up into the sky.
The sky was white.
Musashi was wrapped in the color white, but it was not due to the clouds.
“Let’s see… We’re sailing along the northern coast of Tres España in stealth mode, right?”
This has been a lot of trouble, thought Masazumi. It’s been two weeks since the Mikawa incident, hasn’t it?
“Our environment really has changed.”
Masazumi decided to sit on the grass.
…A lot has happened.
Mikawa had been destroyed two weeks before, they had rescued Horizon the next day, and they had announced they would resolve the Apocalypse.
…Musashi has more or less picked a fight with the Testament Union.
Ever since Mikawa, Musashi had remained in stealth mode except when stopping at a reservation. They were travelling in order to resolve the emergency of the Apocalypse, so they were not informing the Testament Union of their course. The marker signal used to indicate their location was sent to a set point that relayed it on.
And Musashi’s destination while hiding like that was…
“England, the floating island above the Sea of Japan.”
England did not have provisional rule over any Far East territory and had once acted as an intermediary between the Far East and the other nations. Masazumi had decided England would be the safest place to learn how the other nations had reacted.
To avoid travelling along the northern coast of the Seto Inland Sea which was lined with European powers, Musashi had travelled clockwise along the southern coast from Shikoku to Kyushu.
They were currently travelling east between the islands of Tsushima and Iki near the Kawajiri Cape on the northern coast of Shimonoseki which corresponded to the Iberian Peninsula.
In stealth mode, it would take another two days to reach England, but they were apparently close enough to view the floating island of England from the bow.
Masazumi thought this was a lot of trouble, but she also thought it was necessary. After all…
…We already announced we would resolve the Apocalypse.
She herself had given that as a justification for Musashi and the Far East to rescue Horizon.
But the Logismoi Óplo based on Horizon’s emotions worried her. Their creator, Lord Motonobu, had said they could influence the Apocalypse, but she did not know how exactly they would resolve anything.
But despite not knowing, Masazumi thought to herself while taking a sip of water from her bamboo bottle. Despite not knowing so much, she knew what had to be done.
There were three things:
1: Do not take any actions that will provoke the Testament Union.
2: Retrieve the Logismoi Óplo.
3: Gain the approval of as many countries as possible to gain an advantage during the Peace of Westphalia.
If they could do that, she felt they would approach a solution to the Apocalypse. She just wished they had some kind of feedback to know they were on the right track.
The coming of the Apocalypse could be seen in the strange phenomena and disappearances, but it still felt unreal to most people.
Wanting a sense of crisis to consolidate those within Musashi was a dangerous idea, but at the same time…
“Masazumi, what are you thinking about?”
Masazumi quickly turned around and found golden eyes looking at her.
It was Mitotsudaira.
Masazumi had become lost in thought, so she relaxed her shoulders and turned her focus to the outside world.
When she looked around, she saw her various classmates taking a break.
“They all have their own way of staying hydrated, don’t they?”
As Masazumi looked on, her classmates drank their drinks and caught their breath.
Treasurer Bertoni and Heidi were drinking blended health tea. Secretary Neshinbara had taken a slow pace, so he calmly typed some text into a sign frame without drinking anything.
As for the special duty officers, Crossunite the ninja was discussing a cross review of a porn game with half-dragon and fellow special duty officer Urquiaga. One-armed Naomasa was smoking something smelling of mint in her kiseru.
Mitotsudaira, who had werewolf blood and still wore her uniform, was drinking tea from a tea set she had taken out from somewhere. The Technohexen combo of the descended angel and fallen angel Naito and Naruze were…
“What? Is Naito asleep?”
The blonde-haired and gold-winged Naito had fallen asleep while leaning against the black-haired and black-winged Naruze’s shoulder. Naruze looked worriedly at her partner.
“Work has been putting a large burden on her lately. …The flight parts of my Weiss Fräulein were completely broken, so I can only work on land. I’m saving up as much of my internal auspuff in an Orei Metallo as I can for her, but it looks like Margot isn’t using it.”
Neshinbara nodded when he heard that.
He glanced over at the black-haired Technohexen.
“We’re giving you a lot of trouble. …And it is thanks to your victory that we are here now.”
“Was that meant to be a compliment, four-eyes? Are you telling us to just accept the damage done?” asked Naruze with half-lidded eyes.
Her words were a bit harsh, but no one bothered to turn around.
…I guess comments on that level aren’t serious.
Unlike Masazumi, the others in the class had apparently been together since elementary school.
They understood the trick to dealing with each other.
Meanwhile, the slime named Nenji and the incubus named Itoken were speaking.
“Hm. When I run around and work up a sweat, I lose weight and my volume shrinks!”
“I know what you mean, Nenji-kun! My body is made up of gas, so running around lowers my overall density a bit!”
…You two need to take better care of your bodies.
Hassan’s bamboo bottle contained curry.
…What a close group.
As Masazumi thought this, she was approached by Asama who wore the red and white track suit only used by shrine maidens.
“Oh, Masazumi. I’m about to make sports drinks for Kimi, Suzu-san, and the others. Do you want some?”
These days, tea ceremony club members fire arrows and have all sorts of other idiosyncrasies, don’t they? added Masazumi silently.
She then turned her attention to Aoi, the president of both the academy and the Student Council, and the automaton who was both a Logismoi Óplo and princess of Matsudaira.
…There’s such a thing as being too close, Horizon.
Horizon gave Aoi a bamboo bottle containing the drink she had prepared.
“Judge. As you made a request yesterday, I woke up early this morning and tried my hand at a powdered drink. It has the shop owner’s endorsement, so how about a cup, Toori-sama?”
“Ohhh! You put some effort into this! The problem with powdered sports drinks these days is how they all go for some confusing joke like the cucumber flavored Doctor Kappa. Anyway, I’m thirsty, so I’ll take some!”
“Judge,” said Horizon with a nod.
Aoi took a large swig from the bamboo bottle and Horizon gave a calm comment with expressionless half-lidded eyes.
“It is sports corn soup.”
Aoi spat the drink out into the center of everyone else, so they began to scream and flee.
Aoi trembled and said, “Nwoh! Wh-what is with this…u-um…let’s call it an original flavor! The hot corn and the saltiness hit you as soon as it enters your mouth, but it has a lemon flavor too!? Amazing!”
“Toori-sama, it smells of vomit.”
“Wh-what!? How did you so perfectly hit the word I went out of the way not to say!?”
“Judge. The shop owner praised it as perfectly recreating a morning with a hangover.”
“Please listen to what people tell you! And aren’t you being awfully detached about this!?”
“What are you talking about? I am merely being kind. Now, finish it off before it gets cold.”
“I-I don’t like this kindness!! …By the way, Horizon, what’s in your bottle?”
“Judge.” Horizon held her bamboo bottle out toward Aoi. “This one is a normal sports drink, so it is a bit boring.”
“There’s nothing wrong with that,” said Aoi as he took the bottle and took a swig to cleanse his palate.
“This one is a normal sports corn soup,” said Horizon calmly.
Aoi spat it out into the center of everyone once more. As he trembled, Horizon spoke with half-lidded eyes.
“I made too much. It is merely repeating the same joke, so I thought I would be boring.”
“Huh!? Huh!? That’s what you meant by boring!? That!? Am I the one at fault here!?”
“Now, please dispose of it all before it gets cold.”
“Enough of this partial kindness! And you told me to ‘dispose’ of it, didn’t you!? Didn’t you!?”
As Aoi lay collapsed on the ground after disposing of both bottles’ worth, Oriotorai watched on.
She nodded to herself twice.
“Okay. With that, Masazumi will give today’s lecture.”
“H-how did you reach that conclusion, sensei!?”
“Don’t worry about it,” said Oriotorai while waving her hands and smiling. “During second period, you work as a part-time lecturer at the elementary school on Tama, right? There’s not that much difference between elementary school and high school, so try it out.”
Oriotorai’s instructions were to give a lecture on the origin of Tres España.
There was a good reason to have a lecture on Tres España while on the way to England.
…England and Tres España are enemies.
So before arriving in England, it was worthwhile to know about England’s troublesome opponent.
So I have to talk about world history, thought Masazumi as she glanced over at Horizon and Aoi, who lay unmoving next to the automaton.
“Everyone, Toori-sama is taking a nap. Please remain outside this line so as not to disturb him,” said Horizon.
She proceeded to draw a chalk outline of his collapsed body.
Once they finished passing through Tres España, they would arrive in England.
…How that idiot acts in England will determine everything from here on.
Musashi’s overall objective had been decided during the battle of Mikawa, but they had not yet shown how they would act when faced with other countries.
Aoi had said he was prepared to take over the world in order to regain the Logismoi Óplo which were made from Horizon’s emotions. However, they had not decided how to confront the other nations when it came down to it.
Their meeting with England would be used to test them. And how they dealt with England would be used as a basis for how Musashi dealt with the other countries.
For that reason, they had to be prepared to confront England in negotiations, battle, or whatever else was needed. If possible, Masazumi wanted to show Aoi how Musashi should deal with England. That policy would remain the same for the other countries, but…
…This is the last chance to change our mind or turn back.
She did not think it would be easy, but she thought they had a chance with England. After all…
“Aoi, wake up. You will eventually have to make a decision and I will prepare the stage for that decision. But you need to have the proper knowledge to make the decision.”
First, there was the enemy nation giving England trouble.
“I will now give a lecture on Tres España. Can someone assist me with a sign frame? I only have my handheld.”
“Judge. I will do it,” said Mitotsudaira with a nod.
She walked in front of the others, stood next to Masazumi, and expanded a torii-shaped sign frame measuring a meter square. Oriotorai gave a nod when she saw it.
“Okay, the two of you can give the lecture. Mitotsudaira, you go first so you can show Masazumi how to use the sign frame.”
“Judge,” replied the two girls before taking a breath.
At the same time, Mitotsudaira called up a map of Tres España with Shimonoseki in the center.
“I shall begin then,” she said with no shyness.
Mitotsudaira began her explanation below the afternoon sun. She placed a hand on Shimonoseki displayed on the sign frame.
“The western side of Honshu centered on Shimonoseki and the northern side of Kyushu make up the country known as Tres España. Tres España did not originally hold north Kyushu, but they indirectly control the territory of the Oouchi family after the unification of the Oouchi and Ootomo families. Both Oouchi and Ootomo were dependents of the Kamakura Shogunate. And do you know what that means?”
Kimi suddenly stood up and waved her hand invitingly.
“Heh heh heh. Female knight, are you challenging someone as wise as me!? Fine, I will answer! But I am so clever I know things that one could never know! I am super clever! However, the stripping rule is in effect for the beautiful, so I hope you are prepared! They say the beautiful die young, and the beautiful’s relative lack of clothing makes that very true for the stripping rule!”
What a waste of oxygen, thought Mitotsudaira as she cleared her throat.
“Anyway, let us continue. Let’s see… Their dependency on the Kamakura Shogunate brings us back to the Genpei War. When mankind descended from the heavens and created the Harmonic Divine States, humans were not the only ones to remain in the real Divine States as residents of the Far East. Interestingly enough, an investigation of bloodlines discovered non-human races included in the bloodlines of Far East residents. They chose to remain in the real world. And during the history recreation, two of those races prospered after being given a family of their own. Those two families were the Minamoto clan and the Taira clan. The Minamoto clan went to the long-lived race and the Taira clan went to the giants. At this time, the environment was still too harsh for humans to…”
Mitotsudaira cleared her throat and added, “I mean people.”
…This kind of consideration may actually make things worse. Still…
“Anyway, the environment was still too harsh for people to easily live in, so they got help from the long-lived race and the giants. After all, part of the recreation led to the word ‘apocalypse’ being used quite a lot in that era as well.”
Toori tilted his head. As Mitotsudaira wondered what that was about, he folded his arms, stared at her, and asked a question.
“Nate, I’m an idiot, so I wouldn’t know. Was there an Apocalypse a long time ago too?”
“Judge,” replied Mitotsudaira. “Each country, including the Far East, has experienced a period known as the Apocalypse a few times in the past.”
Mitotsudaira opened a new sign frame and reversed the display.
“In the Far East, it was said an age in which the teachings of the Buddha would no longer apply would arrive 1000 years after the establishment of his religion. Using the Western calendar, it was thought to begin in the year 1052. People long thought this ‘apocalypse’ was coming. However, it did not refer to a literal destruction of the world. It was thought to be a lawless age without peace.”
Mitotsudaira began writing years on the sign frame.
“However, this period in the Far East saw the end of the age of nobles and the beginning of the age of the samurai. Every nation entered a period of war and the world fell into chaos. This had a negative effect on the ley lines, so it seems strange phenomena began occurring frequently across the land. The effects appeared in the harmonic world as well, so the knights and your ancestors appeared on the orders of the current leaders, the Testament Union, and the emperor. For a period of time, the history recreation was ignored and attacks were made across national borders.
“For the purposes of the history recreation, the successors of that 700-man unit were treated as if they did not exist. All information on them was deleted and it is said they took on the role of an elite unit called the Testament Cross-Borders Unit. A framework for this remains in each country’s academy as a post, so-…”
Mitotsudaira realized she was drifting off topic.
The Testament Cross-Borders Unit was thought of as an urban legend-like existence. Each country had an official position for it, but no records were kept as they existed outside the rules of the history recreation. As such, their activities were always spoken of like rumors.
…I often heard those rumors when I was in Hexagone Française.
However, their actions had stopped producing even rumors after the Harmonic Unification War. That combined with the lack of records had caused knowledge of them to fade. Due to the weak connection between nations due to the Testament Union and the development of spells, weapons, transportation technology, and divine transmission technology thanks to interpretation of the history recreation, their role had dropped to merely providing aid between regions.
Currently, stories of them were passed by word of mouth and derivations of them were classic contents of doujinshi and the like.
“Now then.” Mitotsudaira looked at the others and brought the conversation back to the main point. “Back to the Genpei War. As the world saw an ‘apocalypse’ on the horizon, the Taira clan used military might to subjugate the world. However, the Buddhist power they attacked expanded, stole the authority from the nobles, and the world was ultimately thrown into chaos.
“It was the Minamoto clan that suppressed this. After the Genpei War, The Taira clan was destroyed and the Minamoto clan created the Kamakura Shogunate; but it was destroyed due to internal conflict. However, some dependents of the Kamakura Shogunate remained in places. Some of those were the Oouchi and Ootomo families. As they came from Kamakura, they were primarily made up of the long-lived race.
“When Tres España arrived to conquer them, they sided with Tres España earlier than anyone else. This was partially due to knowing Tres España would prosper in the history recreation, but it was also because Tres España historically contained a lot of the long-lived race that possessed Celtic blood.”
Mitotsudaira turned to Masazumi.
“Now, as for the origin of Tres España, I believe Masazumi will be explaining that while including the political aspect. Please give us a quick lecture.”
As the lecture was passed to her, Masazumi thought.
…I can speak about the political side, but the history is a bit difficult.
Then again, she had been planning to do it all herself originally.
“I will start with the main point. This is how Tres España came about.” She took a breath. “Many different clans and nations took turns controlling the Iberian Peninsula on the western end of Europe and ultimately the Catholic Reconquista unified the area.”
Masazumi stepped in front of Mitotsudaira’s sign frame. She found it easier to speak while in front because it was similar to having her back to the blackboard during the elementary school classes she taught.
“Is it set up so I can write on it?” she asked Mitotsudaira.
“Judge. You don’t mind if the device is a bit rough, do you?”
As Mitotsudaira operated the device, Masazumi drew a white circle around the eastern mountainous region and coast.
“Just like England, the Iberian Peninsula was originally ruled by the Celts and various other clans.” Masazumi tapped a finger on the central area and the eastern mountains. “Different areas were cut off by the Pyrenees and the other mountains in the area; so even when Rome arrived and conquered, the people only lived on the coast and near the mountains. The central area remained empty. However…”
Masazumi drew an arrow from the east to the west. The arrow pointed to the southern coast.
“However, after the Roman rule, the Germanic tribes traveled eastward en masse.”
…This part gets a bit tricky.
“What you have to remember is that the ‘Germanic tribes’ are not one single group. The term refers to all the various tribes that lived in the Northern European area of Germania.”
A uniform culture had spread throughout the Far East, so they did not have a concept of “tribes” which held unique cultures and civilizations.
Also, the Far East was primarily filled with farmers so they tended to settle in a single location. The Germanics were hunting tribes, so they would stay on the move. They would travel vast distances without building villages and they would hunt and wage war all the while.
Rome had tried to get along peacefully with them when they passed through or collided, but…
“Among these tribes were a people known as the Goths. They built up so much momentum that they passed right through the Romans to the west and ended up on the Iberian Peninsula.”
Masazumi smiled at how well her explanation was going.
“In other words, you could say the Goths ‘gothed’ too far.”
That joke slipped out.
Masazumi froze in place while still smiling.
She had prepared this lecture for the elementary school, so she had prepared some jokes she thought they would like. It would also make a good mnemonic for them to remember it with. However, she received only silence from this class that often derived its humor from harshly mocking each other.
…I just stuck myself out there as a target!
Just as she thought that, a certain idiot forcefully stood up.
“Everyone! Everyone! Don’t attack Seijun too much! Listen! She’s doing her best to fit in with all of us! The way she’s putting up such a desperate attack is quite noble! Okay, I think we should appreciate her efforts. Isn’t that right, Seijun!?”
Masazumi swung her fist up and the idiot frantically hid behind the others. She sighed and continued.
“Th-the Goths created the Visigothic Kingdom, but it became very Roman due to interaction with the Romans. This continued even after Rome’s destruction. They were sealed in the Iberian Peninsula by Clovis, the founder of the Frankish Kingdom which became the foundation of Hexagone Française. They managed to live in peace, but then…”
On the southwestern edge of the Iberian Peninsula, Masazumi drew an arrow coming from the south and a stick figure.
“Internal conflict over money and the position of king threw the Visigothic Kingdom into chaos, and the Mlasi crossed the ocean into the Iberian Peninsula after extending their influence to the northern coast of Africa. These Mlasi were a group driven away by the other Mlasi forces; they conquered the Iberian Peninsula and named it the Caliphate of Córdoba.”
Masazumi then had Mitotsudaira bring up a new sign frame. She wrote the following sequence on it:
Celts and other tribes -> Roman conquest -> Migration of Germanic Tribes leads to the Visigothic Kingdom -> Internal strife leads to the Caliphate of Córdoba
“Judge. Do you all understand? England has the Norman Conquest where the Normans conquered England, and Tres España also has several layers of ruling powers over its history.”
“Seijun… I’ve always thought the Norman Conquest sounds really erotic. Don’t you agree?”
“How about you die in two seconds?”
“Well, it makes it sound like you have to mount them. And what about the Normans themselves? Do they mount men?”
“So what does that make the Germans? Do you think they’re made of gel?”
Everyone turned to Nenji.
“Where were you born?”
“I have been on Musashi as far back as I can remember.”
Everyone took that to mean he was a Musashi German. Masazumi could only sigh.
“The remnants of the other kingdoms were driven to the northern edge of the Iberian Peninsula by the Caliphate of Córdoba. They later received support from France and gained enough power to drive the Mlasi force to the south over a few hundred years.
“That was the Reconquista. It ended in 1492; but earlier in 1469, representatives of two of the allied kingdoms recovering the Iberian Peninsula, the prince of Aragon and the princess of Castile, married and became the Catholic Monarchs. That formed the foundation of modern Tres España.”
“The child of those Catholic Monarchs was the woman who became known as Juana the Mad. Juana married M.H.R.R.’s Duke of Burgundy, so her son Carlos I ruled both Tres España and M.H.R.R. He was the previous chancellor of Tres España. His children were Felipe II and his younger sister, the second Juana. They are the ones who have inherited the positions of Tres España’s chancellor and Student Council vice president.”
Masazumi snapped her fingers and Mitotsudaira copied down the following family line.
The Catholic Monarchs
Juana the Mad (Political marriage with M.H.R.R.’s Duke of Burgundy)
Carlos I (Karl V – M.H.R.R. Emperor-Chancellor and Tres España president)
Felipe II (Tres España chancellor)/Juana II (Tres España Student Council vice president)
“Needless to say, these people are not actually all related. They all inherited their names.
“After the death of her husband, the first Juana became known as the mad queen and was kept confined. The son Carlos I, who was the previous chancellor of Tres España, was quite active after her death and was a complicated person.”
Masazumi manipulated the screen to display the area to the east of Shimonoseki. It now showed the northeastern portion of Izumo.
“This is the Netherlands or Holland. Tres España controls the area, but Carlos I was born here. M.H.R.R. had been shaken by a religious revolution, so they saw meaning in giving power to Tres España which was prospering as a Catholic nation. Tres España wanted to prosper as an emerging nation, so they saw meaning in gaining the name and authority of the Emperor-Chancellor which was an old representative of Catholicism.”
“Judge,” said Urquiaga with a nod. “That is about when my grandfather lamented of the poor crops and left Tres España. The first Juana’s marriage and Carlos I ruling two nations was one thing that supported Tres España’s later success.”
“Judge. That’s right. Carlos I became the chancellor of España and, according to the history recreation, also became the Emperor-Chancellor of M.H.R.R. as Karl V. He was a powerful chancellor whose rule spread across Europe and even into Africa.”
…This part gets tricky.
“Carlos I traveled across Europe as the chancellor of Tres España and as Carlos V of M.H.R.R., but he primarily lived in M.H.R.R. And once the inheritor of the name Felipe II was officially determined, he retired. That is why the current leaders of Tres España have no direct connection to Carlos I. To strengthen their influence, they include a lot of those who have a second inherited name from the Far East and a lot of the long-lived race. I’m sure some of you already know this, but here is a list.”
<Tres España, Alcalá de Henares: List of Representative Students>
Chancellor: Felipe II – Also inherited the name Oouchi Yoshinaga. Also holds the position of Student Council president. Far Easterner. Likes office work.
Student Council Vice President: Juana – Also holds the position of treasurer. Far Eastern long-lived woman. Logismoi Óplo user.
Secretary: Velázquez – Far Eastern long-lived man. Painter. Testamenta Arma user.
Vice Chancellor: Hironaka Takakane – Also inherited the name of Army Leader Peréz. Captain of the baseball team. Ghost. Testamenta Arma user.
1st Special Duty: Tachibana Muneshige – Also inherited the name of Postman García. Currently retired?
2nd Special Duty: Era Fusahide – Also inherited the name of Naval Leader Álvaro. Captain of the track and field team. European long-lived ghost.
3rd Special Duty: Tachibana Gin – Tachibana Muneshige’s wife.
4th Special Duty: Pedro Valdés – Baseball team. Flores’s older brother.
5th Special Duty: Flores Valdés – Baseball team. Pedro’s younger sister.
“That should sum it up.”
Aoi suddenly raised his hand and pointed at the center of the list.
“What are these Testamenta Arma things on the list?”
What were the Testamenta Arma?
Naruze was the one to answer his question. She pointed at Horizon.
“They are divine weapons that were once distributed to the countries which possessed a Testament because they were meant to protect the Testaments. They used each country’s Testament as a fuel source, so they could only be used above the ley lines in that country’s territory. Even so, they could be used continuously to a certain extent. They were likely used as a model for producing Horizon’s Logismoi Óplo.”
“You know a lot about this, Naruze-sama. I have determined you are doing quite well.”
“I suppose,” said Naruze. She smiled bitterly when she looked at Naito sleeping while leaning against her, but she quickly began speaking once more. “There are seven different types of Testamenta Arma because they were modeled after the seven cardinal virtues that correspond to the seven deadly sins. However, there are two Testaments, the Novum and the Vetus, so there are a total of 14 in all. And the seven sets of Testaments each have one of the seven cardinal virtues. So…”
She drew on a sign frame with a pen to display the Testaments’ corresponding cardinal virtue and the nation that possessed them.
1st Testament: Fides (Faith) – K.P.A. Italia
2nd Testament: Spes (Hope) – Sviet Russia
3rd Testament: Caritas (Charity) – M.H.R.R.
4th Testament: Prudentia (Prudence) – Hexagone Française
5th Testament: Justitia (Justice) – England
6th Testament: Fortitudo (Fortitude) – P.A.ODA
7th Testament: Temperantia (Temperance) – Tres España
“These countries all possess the Testamenta Arma corresponding to their cardinal virtue. Before the Logismoi Óplo were made, these Testamenta Arma formed the power balance between nations. However, the non-Testament countries gained power through economic means and the history recreation, and the Testamenta Arma were difficult to use even as defense when faced with a member of the Testament Alliance because those weapons used the Testament as a fuel source. Overall, they were difficult to handle. However…”
Neshinbara took over here.
He spoke while continuing his own work on his sign frame.
“Then the Logismoi Óplo appeared which could replenish their fuel and could therefore be brought outside the country. This drastically increased the power of Testament countries. And now Musashi has showed up to take those back,” he said. “While inside Testament countries, they will likely bring out their Testamenta Arma to prove that their fight is just. Those weapons are difficult to use while Musashi is travelling along the national borders, but our enemies can use them as much as they want within their borders. We need to be careful.”
“I see,” said not just Aoi but everyone.
Masazumi nodded and lightly pointed back at her sign frame.
“Okay. Tres España’s chancellor, Felipe II, inherited the Netherlands from Carlos I when he was designated chancellor. However, due to being overworked with managing Tres España and not understanding the foreign language, his management of the Netherlands has been sloppy. There have even been revolts and independence movements in response to the exploitation of the bureaucracy in charge. Holland’s war of independence against España is known as the Eighty Years' War.”
Naito reacted to those words while fighting back a weary yawn. She blinked her eyes and nodded a few times.
“Right, right. That’s near my hometown, so I know about it. That war of independence is still ongoing, right?”
“Yes. Do you remember what I said while confronting the Papa-Schola? The Peace of Westphalia includes the resolution of the various wars and Holland’s independence. In other words, when we go to Westphalia and begin the conference, Tres España will lose Holland. And…”
“Heh heh heh. Enough insinuations. How about just getting to the point?”
“Judge,” said Masazumi with a nod. “Holland’s independence is supported by England which is fighting Tres España. Holland and England are both protestant and England has been stealing Tres España’s wealth by obstructing their trade with the New World using privateers. Holland still has no clear military might, but they are expanding their reach via trade. While England and Tres España fight over them, we show up holding the key to the Peace of Westphalia and therefore Holland’s independence. Things have remained calm so far, but they will grow much busier soon. After all…”
At that point, Neshinbara unexpectedly spoke up once more while continuing his own work.
“After all, England and Tres España are preparing for the Naval Battle of the Armada.” He took a breath. “England will win this battle and it is said to begin soon. Musashi’s arrival in England is sure to be used as an opportunity.”
“Armada…?” asked Suzu who wore a track suit.
She tilted her head in confusion and Neshinbara continued speaking without turning around.
“That naval battle is said to settle things between Elizabeth of England and Felipe II of Tres España. Tres España constructs a new fleet and begins a landing operation against England. Both sides send out over 100 ships. It begins in complete confusion, but Tres España begins withdrawing counter-clockwise around England. England wins the battle, but with the ‘interpretations’ allowed in the history recreation, I doubt Tres España will accept defeat so easily.
“It is being said that Tres España will most likely put on an act of being thrown into confusion and then retreat so as to prevent any damage to their fleet. They will then carry out a landing operation on England to show the other countries they have the ability to invade. That way, they will come out essentially victorious despite ‘losing’ the battle. On the other hand, England is still a weak nation and they have not put together a proper fleet. I have heard they are planning to use the pirate privateers to strengthen their fleet.”
“With the Naval Battle of the Armada so soon, we should find opportunities to negotiate if we go to England. After all, Musashi holds high potential for trade. An offer of replenishing their goods can be used as an effective bargaining chip.”
Neshinbara gave Masazumi a look that said, “Isn’t that right?”
“You have to see a way we can take advantage of this situation, Honda Masazumi-kun.”
Masazumi had a single answer to that. She gave a deep nod and spoke.
“I would like to stay out of the Naval Battle of the Armada if at all possible.”
“As you can see, Musashi is currently in a dangerous situation,” said Masazumi as she tapped at the sign frame displaying a map of England and Shimonoseki. “A lot is still unknown, so I cannot say anything for sure. However, we will soon be deciding what we do next, and that includes our negotiations with England. And so…”
Masazumi glanced over at Aoi.
…If only he was a bit more level-headed.
She had thought the same thing earlier.
Musashi had announced it would resolve the Apocalypse, but it had not yet made it clear how it would deal with the other countries.
…We have an objective, but we have not set a clear policy as to what methods we will use.
What relationship should they build with what countries? Would they make an enemy of some or all of them? Or would they ally with them? Would the basis of who was an enemy and who was an ally fall to who had the Testament and who did not?
Together, they would surely be able to present the elements needed to make all these decisions. However…
It will be that idiot making the decision. And if he does not make a decision, we will not be able to unify our thoughts on this, thought Masazumi. And most likely, the other countries will not understand unless he does.
She was aware of how drastic a thing they had done at Mikawa.
After all, she had been the one to initially create that path. And so if things did not go as that idiot wanted as he walked down that path, it would mean her path had been too vague.
“Well, there is a lot I want to say, but we can make those decisions in England,” said Masazumi. “We need to understand our relationships with the other countries, we need to know what those countries are doing at the moment, and we need to understand why they are taking those actions. Also, we need to determine what we should do and we need to determine how we can do it.
“Due to England’s relationship with Izumo and the fact that they did not directly take part in the Harmonic Unification War, we can at least talk with them, even if we are not on friendly terms. That is why we are on our way to England. We must learn what we can and then make our decision. Do you understand?”
“Judge,” replied some. Others nodded.
Masazumi and Mitotsudaira then turned to Oriotorai and Oriotorai smiled and nodded.
“Judge. Well done. Thanks. To be honest, I get the feeling I never need to teach another class.”
“Heh heh heh. Sensei, I do not recall you ever teaching many classes.”
“C’mon now,” said Oriotorai with a smile instead of giving a proper response.
She then clapped her hands together to clear the atmosphere.
“Okay. We’ll end class here. This had a lot packed into it, so you should read back over everything if you recorded it. We should be getting involved with England, Tres España, and Holland soon. And with that…”
Just as she spoke, they heard a bell ring. That bell indicated the end of first period. Oriotorai continued speaking with the bell ringing in the background.
“Let’s get back to the classroom. Second period is Modern Japanese. Ohiroshiki will be giving the lecture and…let’s see, a few of the academy officers will be on lookout while the AM course marker is being dealt with, right?”
“Judge,” replied Mitotsudaira and Tenzou. Naito raised her hand.
Mitotsudaira then turned toward Masazumi.
“I will be on lookout from Shinagawa, so how about we walk together part of the way?”
“Judge,” replied Masazumi before having a sudden thought.
…Am I fitting into this class a bit now?
Full Musashi Diagram
Toori: Nee-chan! Nee-chan! What is Musashi’s general shape like!? I asked “Musashi”, but I only got a nerdy response that I didn’t understand!
Kimi: Heh heh heh. Foolish brother, that is a surprisingly good question for someone who doesn’t look nerdy at all yet is obsessed with porn games. It looks like this when viewed from above. I will explain the details individually if I ever get a chance, but it is made up of two ships in the center and three on both the left and right. All of the ships are connected with towing belts, rope passageways, and transport pipes. Also, transport ships are always wandering between and around the ships. The ships directly in front of or behind the other overlap quite a bit and are very close together, but don’t worry because they move away during turns.
Toori: Nee-chan! Nee-chan! What are those grid-like patterns on the decks!? Are they spell missile launchers!? ♪Mi-mi-missile la-la-la-la-la-launcher!
Kimi: “Foolish brother, it takes courage to not say anything when you find it boring. Anyway, the grid-like patterns running front and back along the center of the ships are the divisions of the different sectors on the surface. Can you see the lines of wide blocks and long blocks? Musashi Ariadust Academy covers the entire back of the central rear ship, Tama, from port to starboard.
Toori: Wait, wait, wait. Aren’t we being pushed way back there? We’re like chickens on a poultry farm.
Kimi: You may be the rooster, but do you want your breast to be cooked up and eaten?
- The Japanese term usually translated as “apocalypse” technically refers to the Latter Day of the Law in Buddhism.
- The “man” of Norman and the “co” of Conquest create “manko” which is Japanese slang for vagina. In addition, the “nor” of Norman is written as “noru” which is Japanese for “to mount”.
- The “ger” of German is written the same as Japanese for “gel”.
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