Horizon:Volume 2B Chapter 35
Chapter 35: Detective Above the Stairs
Before it became “nobody”
Who was there?
Point Allocation (History)
“Even though it is called the ‘Tower’ of London, it is actually a castle.”
Tenzou listened to Scarred’s explanation as they walked down a wide stone corridor. Earlier, they had been walking along with the visitors from an elementary school and listening to the commentary from the lead teacher. It seemed that passion had been infectious because Scarred was being quite talkative.
“Western castles are often referred to as towers,” said Tenzou. “I’ve heard that is an old custom.”
He knew most of this already, but he felt it would be rude of him to interrupt as she moved from topic to topic. It was important to hear these things from someone who actually lived here, so he listened to her explanations while walking along.
“Judge,” she said despite having avoided saying so while with the elementary school children. “That is correct. You probably already know most of this, but Western castles are often referred to as towers because they were originally watchtowers built on an important hill or a manmade motte. In other words, they did not start out as castles. They were border-defense towers surrounded by walls. But as the courtyard grew bigger to contain the soldiers and the wooden walls changed to stone and grew taller, it became more difficult to see in all four directions from the central tower. To solve this, the walls were made thick enough for people to walk along and the towers were moved to the corners of the walls. Then a large building was placed in the center to provide living space and allow those inside to persist longer. Eventually, that building became the central palace.”
“Far Eastern castles were houses and mansions for powerful families from the beginning, so they are much more focused on living space. You can really see the differences in aspects like that.”
“Judge. Western castles are an evolution of a security tower while Far Eastern ones are fortified living spaces. And look.” Scarred pointed at the tower visible out the window to the left. “That is the southwestern tower where Double Bloody Mary is imprisoned. Western castles also have areas to hold prisoners in the basement or towers. Some Far Eastern castles have similar areas, but during the Middle Ages, Western feudal lords gained the right to pass judgment over their land, so they had to prepare their own prison space. This allowed them to instill fear in the people and to look like a just lord who punished criminals. The lord of the castle could easily force anything inconvenient onto a random scapegoat.”
Tenzou looked at the lace curtain covering the tower window.
…The person in there is bearing more than just her crime.
That crime came from the history recreation. According to Scarred, this was saving her, but he was unsure how much he accepted that.
For a ninja, the word “duty” meant risking one’s life, but that only applied when protecting his master’s life or infiltrating enemy territory. It was almost entirely unrelated to his life in the academy. But if he did bear some responsibility in his everyday life in regards to the fate of the Far East…
After moving a few steps ahead, Scarred turned back. Once he noticed, Tenzou hurriedly caught up.
“Sorry.” She smiled bitterly. “Did I say something that made you worry?”
“No. I just realized how much there is to learn in England is all.”
“Judge. Thank you very much. But I think we have been the ones learning from you.”
They soon reached the end of the corridor and entered a small hall below the northeastern tower that contained a staircase up into the tower. The hall had carpets, sofas, shelves, and bows and arrows.
Scarred held a hand out toward the fireplace that had no fire at the moment.
“On cold days, the guards take their breaks here. And when they do, they sometimes see something.”
“Judge. A ghost.”
Scarred lowered her shoulders and gave an upward glance toward Tenzou.
“In every part of England and different areas of London, you can find the vestiges of the Celtic age and the lingering souls of fairies and the dead due to the chaos of the Middle Ages. These are different from the fairy races or the ghosts of those who have unfinished business after their death. Some are bound to the location of their death and some move from place to place, but they have almost no sense of self and they simply wander and occasionally attack the living.”
Kimi-dono would faint if she heard about this, thought Tenzou.
“Whose spirit is seen here?”
“The one here is Queen Anne. She supposedly appears as the spirit of a headless woman.”
“I see.” Tenzou nodded and glanced around. “Queen Anne was Henry VIII’s wife and Fairy Queen Elizabeth’s mother, but she was ultimately beheaded. Also, she was originally the maid of Catherine, the king’s previous wife.”
“Judge. I’m impressed you know that much.”
While preparing for this, Urquiaga had brought him a PC loaded with “One After Another with Henry VIII”, but he could not exactly say he learned this with a porn game.
He had decided to study due to his conversation with Scarred at the graveyard, and he had found having a clear goal made him hit the “next line” button much more quickly than usual. The next thing he had known, he had completed every character’s route, gone to a divine network walkthrough site, and corrected the many errors in the walkthrough Toori had already written. Toori-dono, that choice was “Take this! Special Attack – Defender of the Faith!” But anyway…
“You could say it is thanks to the hobbies of Far Eastern boys.”
He was not lying, but Scarred narrowed her eyes.
“Then did you know this? The previous wife, Catherine, was supposed to give birth to Bloody Mary, but she was unable to have children.”
She took a step closer and continued speaking while looking at him with upturned eyes.
“There are different conditions people can have and Queen Catherine was weak. The Testament descriptions say Henry VIII changed wives because she could not give birth to a prince, but that is hardly surprising when she could not have children in the first place. And when the Testament Union asked about it, England came up with an excuse. They said that Catherine’s child, Mary, had been hidden by fairies.”
“Then…who is the Bloody Mary who came later?”
Tenzou realized that was an odd way of putting it. According to what Scarred had said earlier, England’s Bloody Mary had inherited the name of Elizabeth’s half-sister Mary “Bloody” Tudor and the name of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland.
But if she had inherited both those names, when and to whom had she been born?
He did not know.
But Scarred seemed to notice his confusion because her smile deepened.
“I should be able to talk about that later. But with this much as an introduction, there is something I wish to show you. …Please come this way.”
He followed as she moved to the staircase at the side of the small hall that acted as a break area.
“Where does this lead?”
“The Tower of London’s southeastern tower. I wish to show you something I think you will find interesting. Oh, but this is not used to hold prisoners. It is a small reading area.”
Tenzou looked around as he entered the staircase, but there was no one around. He could hear voices coming from Oxford in the distance, but that was likely the festival. He started after Scarred who seemed somehow lively.
At that moment, a gust of wind clearly not from the ventilation brushed his neck from behind.
Tenzou sensed a human presence behind him, so he turned around.
But no one was there. The empty corridor continued on and he heard laughing children in the courtyard.
There was nothing out of the ordinary on the stairs either.
“Is something the matter?”
“Oh, uh… No…”
He rubbed the back of his neck and placed a foot on the first step. He looked back again for a moment and then followed Scarred who quickly ran up a few steps.
…What was that presence?
He followed Scarred up the stairs and sensed no further danger. Scarred turned back toward him from above with a confused look.
“It’s nothing,” he said. “I was just noticing that you can open the walls here to fire arrows out.”
“Oh, now that you mention it. I never noticed that before.”
Scarred sounded impressed as she slowly moved ahead. Tenzou followed and the color blue unavoidably entered his eyes. The blue came from a portion of Scarred that was illuminated by the light entering through the window.
…Why are butts so round?
His thoughts took a philosophical turn, but he then recalled that people had worshipped the butt god since before the Age of the Gods. I was always more of a breast man, he reminded himself.
…But I could make an exception for Scarred-dono.
He frantically shook his head. He did not need to ask why he was thinking this, but he knew he should not be thinking it. He had no idea how Scarred felt about him, so he could not look at her with such appraising eyes.
“Master Tenzou? Is something the matter?”
She twisted around which pointed the water lily in her hair toward him, so he frantically shook his head again.
However, he had definitely been looking at her.
“I was just noticing…how nice you look in that outfit.”
Her eyes opened wide, but they quickly narrowed and bent in a smile.
“Judge. Thank you very much.”
He very nearly reflexively replied with “You mean I can look!?”, but as a breast worshipper, he restrained himself.
After a few more steps, they reached a landing.
“This is the place,” said Scarred as she led the way. “I wish to show you something here.”
The tower was approximately seven meters across. About a third of that was taken up by the landing and the remaining space lay beyond a decorative wooden door.
“Is it a room?”
“Judge. It is a study of about twelve square meters.”
As he tilted his head, she pulled a key from her pocket and inserted it in the door.
The necessity of a key suggested this was not a part of the usual sightseeing course. The fact that Scarred had the key was also puzzling.
“Please come in.”
She introduced the place.
“I believe this is the most useful thing I can show you.”
“This study belonged to Henry VIII, father of the Fairy Queen, the man who changed England’s official religion to the current Anglican Church, the almighty king who laid the foundation of England’s current form, and the one who bragged he could pull out Excalibur.”
Tenzou entered a semicircular room. The wooden ceiling was at a decent height, but the room was dark.
“It is fairly cluttered, but please do not worry about it. I will open the curtains.”
Scarred walked over to the windows on the south and east walls. The walls were stone, so she had to lean out a fair ways to reach the curtains and shutters.
…Sticking her butt out like that is impeding my breast worship.
After she knocked at the eastern shutters a few times and started for the southern side, a good amount of light filled the room.
A large desk sat on the northern side and bookcases and work benches filled the rest. There were also piles of books and boxes of specimens. Tenzou also saw brass instruments, guitars, and tools such as a microscope and telescope made by K.P.A. Italia’s Fino Alba. He saw something in the shadows by the desk that looked like armor.
…But I’m most interested in what is hanging down from the center of the ceiling.
It was a map of the Far East. Red pins were stuck in at important points and capital cities.
The locations of the pins told him something.
“He must have been a tall and well-built person.”
“Judge. In the history recreation, he was often compared to Felipe II, the skinny ‘paperwork king’ who has money but holes up in his study due to a weak constitution. But of his contemporaries, he was most often compared to Chancellor Carlos I who was the paperwork king’s predecessor in Tres España and emperor of M.H.R.R.”
“I hear Chancellor Carlos I was quite a talented person as well.”
“Judge.” Scarred opened the southern curtain and leaned out toward the window. “It seems Henry VIII and Carlos I interacted a lot.”
The interactions between the great chancellors who represented Europe were something not covered in school, so Tenzou looked up.
“Is that true?”
“Judge. According to the history recreation, Catherine, Chancellor Henry VIII’s first queen and the mother of Bloody Mary, was Chancellor Carlos I’s aunt. Also, Tres España and England had already been interacting to discuss the major nation of Hexagone Française. If Tres España, M.H.R.R. and England worked together, they could surround Hexagone Française on three sides, so Chancellor Carlos I and Chancellor Henry VIII communicated to bring those three nations together.”
Scarred smiled bitterly.
“But during these interactions, Tres España sold more and more trade goods to England. The money from that and their trade with the New World resulted in a large increase in population. This led to a need for more goods, but they made more money with the New World trade than domestic industries, so everyone went there. Ultimately, they lost the proper balance between supply and demand, their level of self-sufficiency with domestic industries dropped, and they had to rely on importation to support their increased population. But that meant no money remained in their nation no matter how much they made in trade with the New World. They attempted to strengthen their trade with the New World to compensate, but…”
“But to advance their policies and to strengthen the monarchy, they eliminated all heathens which weakened their financial ability and left them with even less money, right?”
“Judge. They were investing in projects to make money in the New World, but by the time the results returned, their reliance on importation had sucked them dry and the profits went to other nations. None of the money would remain with them, so they would invest in more projects and it created a downward spiral. They are attempting to escape that spiral under Chancellor Felipe II, but they seem to be having difficulty reviving domestic industries. Their war with England is a part of that. They are attempting to monopolize trade with the New World along with Tres Portugal, but England’s privateers are opening holes in that.”
Tenzou’s classes had covered Tres España and Tres Portugal’s New World trade monopoly.
…I believe that was the lecture where Ohiroshiki-dono received his third execution.
That reference point helped him remember the lesson itself.
“That is where the Treaty of Tordesillas and the Treaty of Zaragoza come in.”
“Judge. Well done pronouncing the first one right.”
“Is it that difficult?”
“The Treaty of Tordesishas.”
Scarred froze in place with her hands on the shutters and Tenzou began thinking a moment later.
…Not good! I need to say something!!
1: My horrible classmates’ mispronunciations are way worse! → That’s just a race for the bottom.
2: That side of you is cute too! → I wish I had it in me to say things like that!!
3: Change the subject → That’s the coward’s way out.
Tenzou thought and chose #3.
“Wh-what kind of treaties were those? From England’s point of view, I mean.”
“W-well, the former drew a line from north to south in the Atlantic Ocean to the east of the New World while the latter did so in the Pacific Ocean. And only Tres España and Tres Portugal could enter within that line…in other words, only they could go to the New World. At the time, the pope was reliant on Tres España, so the treaty passed with the pope’s approval. That is why England is not using ‘English ships’ to oppose them. We are instead using criminals…that is, privateers. Otherwise, it would be an act of war that made even the pope our enemy.”
I see, thought Tenzou as he watched Scarred from behind. I am not turning my back on my breast worship. I am merely using this scene to help me remember this information.
“It seems the different nations are quite busy with all these connections and separations.”
“Yes. We are often changing between enemy and ally. And that understanding has brought a certain kind of optimism to Europe. Even if someone is an enemy during our generation, they might be an ally during the next,” said Scarred. “And during the previous generation – Chancellor Henry VIII’s generation – M.H.R.R. Emperor and Chancellor Carlos I visited England.”
“This is part of the interaction between great chancellors you mentioned before, isn’t it? One was a skilled enough chancellor that no one doubted his bragging that he could pull out Excalibur and the other was an emperor-chancellor who ruled in two different parts of Europe.”
Both were commonly used in porn games. Tenzou was fairly certain no game had ever featured both of them and he suspected that realization might be his ticket to great success.
Scarred then placed her hand on the shutters.
“But there is one interesting thing about that visit.”
“What is that?”
“When they met for the first time, Henry VIII said the following to Carlos I.”
She spoke the words with her back to him.
“Long time, my friend.”
After he spoke his question, Scarred remained motionless. She lowered her hands from the shutters and spoke into the dim room.
“Queen Catherine scolded Chancellor Henry VIII and he apparently claimed to have mistaken Carlos I for an old friend because his wife had spoken so much about him.”
“Scarred-dono, are you trying to say the two of them knew each other from somewhere?”
She did not reply with “judge”, but she did speak.
“I spoke of Bloody Mary’s birth earlier, didn’t I? Queen Catherine could not give birth to her, so England claimed she was ‘hidden by fairies’.”
“What about it?” asked Tenzou.
…This isn’t good.
They were doing nothing more than gossiping. Just for fun, they were discussing an occult story that did not matter and which could not be proven or disproven.
However, the situation made it dangerous.
…This is Chancellor Henry VIII’s study.
In horror plays, it was standard for the couple happily gossiping like this to disappear. I can’t let us die here, he thought.
…This B-grade cliché is supposed to come after the shower scene!
But he then remembered that he had already made the once-in-a-lifetime memory of bathing with her, so he realized his life might very well be at its end.
“What about the fairy excuse?” he asked in resignation.
“Judge. Do you know why that excuse was accepted?”
There was no way he could, but having already given up, he simply shook his head. He heard her laugh quietly before sighing and speaking.
“Because there was a precedent. There was an incident in which three close friends were ‘hidden by fairies’.”
“One was Chancellor Henry VIII before he inherited his name, one was Queen Catherine who had come from Tres España to study abroad for middle school and had also not yet inherited her name, and the last one was…Anne Boleyn.”
“There are no clear records of when the three of them disappeared. After all, it was before any of them inherited their names and Queen Anne was a dryad. Any records that did exist were erased by Chancellor Henry VIII after he inherited his name. Also, anyone who knew about it was distanced from him or disappeared. He said it was to prevent them from using that incident to cause political conflict. …Anyway, the rumor is that the three of them were ‘hidden by fairies’ for about a year.”
“Judge. It is not known what happened during that year and it is possible he met Carlos I during that time. But…”
“It was because of that incident that no one doubted it.”
Before Tenzou could ask “doubted what?”, Scarred opened the shutters.
The light entering from the south was bright and Tenzou looked away from her as she turned around in that dazzling backlight. He could not see her face, but she pointed to the northern side of the room.
He turned to look in that direction.
“Because of that incident, everyone thought Henry VIII would eventually return.”
Past the desk, something was drawn on the north wall and its closed shutters.
“In the Far East, you call that the Double Border Crest, don’t you? And this is what you call the Princess Disappearances. Master Tenzou, this is what I wanted to show you. Chancellor Henry VIII, England’s ‘almighty king’, vanished in the method you are investigating.”
As he looked north, she said “judge” from behind him and then spoke aloud the words written on the Double Border Crest.
“Long time, my friend.”
She took a breath.
“Was this the work of fairies, or was it something else?”
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