Horizon:Volume 2B Chapter 46
Chapter 46: Performer in an Unrivalled Field
If it is not others
That you wish to hear you
Then who is it?
Point Allocation (Self-Declaration)
While the waiters and reserve warriors screamed, Matsu’s entire body stiffened.
“M-Ma-chan!? Ah wah wah. What is it!? Are you going to give a cute ‘kyah’ scream!?”
A moment later, Matsu let out a shout that did indeed begin with a “k” sound.
“Ah wah wah wah wah! Ma-chan, that’s a bit hard hitting!!”
But amid the shouting, the half-naked boy made sure to strike poses as he looked around cautiously.
“Wh-what’s all this!? What’s going on, everyone!? Ah! Don’t tell me…”
He pointed one hand at Toshiie and the other at Velázquez and Gin.
“This is your doing, isn’t it!?”
“It’s you, idiot.”
Masazumi and Horizon both threw kicks at him from the side. In the time it took him to roll, hit the wall, and bounce back, Gin nodded twice.
“I just remembered. This is how things were at Mikawa and during our attack.”
“Wait a second, Gin. Aren’t you getting used to this a little too quickly?”
Before Gin could answer Velázquez’s question, Masazumi grabbed the idiot’s collar. She wanted to lecture him, but her gaze stopped on the uniform he was wearing.
“Th-this is mine, isn’t it!? What have you done!? What have you done!!?”
“Oh, right. I took off your dress in the girl’s changing room and sat around drinking some tea in the nude, but then I spotted a guy’s jacket and assumed it had to be mine.”
“W-wait, Toori-kun! Th-the girls’ changing room!?”
“What’s the matter, Asama!? I didn’t look around for the clothes that contain those criminally-large boobs of yours or anything! They’re so criminal that I tried on those clothes to lighten your crime, but the chest space was just plain amazing!”
Asama fired an arrow and the idiot broke through the wall. Silence fell while she sighed and wiped sweat from her brow. However, the leader of the English warriors had run over to deal with Toori and he suddenly looked up in realization.
“I-I need to confiscate that! I need to confiscate that bow!!”
“Eh?” Asama suddenly realized what she held in her hands. “Nwoh! Wh-when did this get here!? U-um…uh…a-about this…”
She raised the bow.
“It looks like a bow, but it isn’t!”
“Oh?” The Fairy Queen gave an interested nod. “What a novel new argument. If it is not a bow, then what is it?”
“W-well, i-if you take it apart like this, um…look! This part is a one-string guitar and this is the bow you use to play it. D-do you hear the beautiful music?”
The sound of straining metal sent the many gathered people writhing in pain and Asama used that moment to casually put the bow away in her skirt. However, the Fairy Queen merely moved her eyebrows a little.
“I cannot believe you brought something like that to this meeting hall.”
“W-wait just a moment,” cut in Masazumi.
Everyone turned expectant gazes toward Masazumi with the vague desire that she “do something”.
…Why am I always the one stuck doing things like this?
Nevertheless, she could not let the meeting fall apart here, so she feigned calm.
“To a shrine maiden, a tool such as that is necessary for a variety of rituals. It is a necessity. And look. That idiot remains unharmed despite being shot by it.”
He only remained unharmed due to the boke spell of his god of performers, but that did not matter if the excuse worked.
However, the Fairy Queen looked to the half-naked boy standing next to Masazumi and gave a firm nod.
“And how do you explain his state of dress?”
…Why’d you have to bring that up!? Or have I just gotten too used to it!? Is that it!?
She groaned and many different thoughts filled her mind. She considered negative options such as giving into death or giving up on the entire meeting, but her sense of duty won out in the end.
She began sweating below her clothes just as much as Asama.
“Th-that is because…um…”
She tried to think up an excuse and hesitated to speak.
“It’s based on the Testament descriptions. Y’know, the story about the clothes that idiots can’t see.”
…That’s really more of a fairy tale or folklore. If this doesn’t work, I’ll kill that idiot and then myself.
With that thought, she waited for the Fairy Queen’s response. The queen first exchanged a glance with the vice chancellor and vice president to her left and right.
“O-oh? I-is that so?”
…She believed it!? Oh, or are fairy tales acceptable here in the fairy kingdom!?
In that case, Masazumi needed to follow through with it. She smiled and faced Mitotsudaira who stood by the right wall.
“Isn’t that right? That fabric is truly…something else.”
“Y-yes, th-that’s right. Um…he bought it from Heidi’s shop, didn’t he?”
“Kh! Y-yes, yes. Judge, judge. The new clothes made from it caused a fair bit of confusion since idiots could not see them!”
Silver Wolf: “Ma-sa-zu-mi!!”
Marube-ya: “You too, Mito! Both of you are meeting me in the teahouse after this! Don’t you forget it!!”
…Shut up. I’m standing on the front line here. Try to imagine how I’m feeling.
“So…um…Oh, Mr. Jonson. You are a literary man, so surely you can see it.”
“Eh? Oh, yes. Testament. It has an excellent black luster.”
“Oh? But I am holding a white fabric here.”
“Ah! Of course, of course! The light played a trick on my eyes!!”
…I can go this far, can’t I? It feels so satisfying.
Masazumi sighed, looked to the Fairy Queen, and lowered her head.
“There seem to have been some misunderstandings, but the people of Musashi knew they were attending a meeting with the Fairy Queen and would never think of bringing weapons with-…”
She heard something solid hit the ground behind her.
Wondering what it was, she turned around and Horizon looked in the same direction.
Lype Katathlipse had fallen to the red carpet on the floor.
The look on Masazumi’s face brought a thought to Asama’s mind.
…I never knew a human could be so surprised.
However, the Logismoi Óplo had fallen almost directly in front of Asama.
…Y-you mean I have to do something about it!?
Masazumi made eye contact with her and Horizon merely tilted her head.
…Eh? Ehhh!? But I don’t even have an official position!
As she thought, she heard voices around her.
“Ma-chan, is that what I think it is?”
“Mate, is that I think it is?”
Asama frantically picked it up and shoved it into empty space.
But she got the position wrong.
She instead ended up swinging around a giant gunblade and gathering everyone’s attention.
She forcibly held it to her chest for no real reason and an unpleasant sweat covered her body.
“Oh, th-this!? U-um, it looks like a Logismoi Óplo, but it isn’t!”
“O-oh. …Wh-what a novel new argument. Th-then what is it?”
Thank goodness the Fairy Queen is playing along! she thought from the bottom of her heart.
“I-it is, um….O-oh! A body pillow! It’s a body pillow! L-look. You put your head here and-… That is a very sharp blade!”
…This is painful! This silence could not be any more painful!!
Anyway, she thought while forming a desperate smile. I need to go through with this even if it kills me.
“B-but looking at this isn’t any fun! I’ll do a magic trick instead!”
This time, she really did shove Lype Katathlipse into empty space and then she held her clenched fists out toward the Trumps.
“Now! Which hand is the body pillow in!?”
“Um…” muttered all of the Trumps while lowering their heads.
Without raising their heads, they chose a sacrifice with their gazes. Finally, Howard let out a sigh.
“I…believe it went into the space behind your prin-…”
A shout from a shrine maiden who recited Shinto prayers daily was enough for Howard to give in. With his head still lowered, he pointed at one of the hands.
“Right!? Right, is it!? Oh, wow! There’s nothing in the right hand. Ah! And nothing in the left either. Then where is it!? Oh, dear! And now a Mouse has come from between my breasts. Oh, my. Oh, my. The body pillow has transformed into a Mouse! Ah ha ha ha ha ha! How about that!?”
“C-clap, clap,” added Hanami.
A scattering of applause followed.
Silver Wolf: “Poor thing.”
Gold Mar: “Yeah, I feel bad that this was broadcast pretty much everywhere.”
Flat Vassal: “I guess a cruel fate can await even those without an official position.”
Asama: “A-and whose fault is that!? Whose fault!?”
Actually, whose fault is it? she wondered to herself.
She then heard a voice from the right. It belonged to Velázquez, Tres España’s secretary.
“Come on now, Musashi. Stop getting so worked up and answer our question.”
Before Asama could recall what that was, the vital question for Musashi arrived.
“Aren’t you going to war to rescue Mary just like you did your Princess Horizon?”
Both England and Musashi groaned at that question.
But a sudden voice filled the hall.
“Wait, wait, wait. I don’t get this! Why do we have to go to war!?”
It was Toori.
Asama heard her childhood friend place his hands on Horizon’s shoulders and give a piercing shout.
“Why do we have to…um… What was it!? Out with it!! I might even listen!”
…Th-this could not be worse!
Velázquez scratched at his head.
“This is actually about you. You said you were rescuing that princess at Mikawa, remember? So I’m asking why you aren’t rescuing Mary who is in the same circumstances.”
The idiot’s eyebrows really did twist in confusion, so Asama whispered in his ear.
“That Scarred person who rejected Tenzou-kun turned out to be royalty and about to be executed by England.”
“Oh! That guy who made us suspect Tenzou’s gay!! He’s being executed? Why?”
Please listen! thought Asama as she looked toward Horizon.
Horizon may not have understood what “the same circumstances” meant because she only tilted her head.
And so Asama explained just the main points.
“It’s a little more complicated than this, but her execution is one of the factors leading to the armada battle. That’s why Tres España is asking if England is misusing the history recreation to execute her just like with Horizon.”
“Oh, is that it? Old man, you need to explain these things properly. Asama was way easier to understand.”
Asama saw the corner of Velázquez’s mouth stiffen and she began to sympathize with him, but he went on to speak.
“What are you going to do? You being an idiot actually speeds this up. No matter what excuse you make, this execution is still a misuse of the Testament descriptions and you therefore must go to war to rescue Mary. After all, you did the same to us. You can’t attack us and then not attack England.”
“Hm, hm,” muttered Toori with his arms crossed.
…Is this really okay?
Asama gave a slightly worried look and Toori tilted his head and turned to Horizon.
“Hey, Horizon.” He asked a question. “You were the one saved, so what do you think about this?”
“Judge. That is a good question.”
Horizon thought for a moment, but she eventually nodded and turned to Velázquez.
“There is one thing I do not understand.”
“Oh, what’s that?”
“You say this is a misuse of the history recreation just like with me, correct?”
“Testament. That’s what I said.”
“In that case,” she said. “If the executed individual is prepared for her death, isn’t that using it effectively rather than misusing it?”
“Based on human rights and the weight of a life, loss of life should be avoided. I understand that we should prevent loss of life so that mankind’s total population will not drop. But if there is a single exception, that would be a death determined by the history recreation. After all, it is ‘correct’ for that person to die there. It has already been decided by history and that person’s death is within acceptable ranges as far as mankind’s total population is concerned. If the history recreation is accurate, that person’s death fits into the flow of events that allows the world to continue on. In fact, that person’s survival could disturb the flow of history and create even more loss. The human rights of the bearer of an inherited name are based in the historical recreation rather than in the person themselves. Those are the rules. Therefore…”
“If the individual undergoing a death in the history recreation wishes for that death, can it truly be a misuse of that recreation to go through with it?”
Horizon’s words brought a chill to Asama.
…Is she saying what I think she’s saying?
She was saying it was not a misuse of the history recreation to offer up the death of one who wished for their death.
They were giving that person what they wished for. Looking at it that way, she was right.
But Asama noticed a smile on Toori’s face and it looked like he had found a good answer.
Just as she began to wonder what that was, he spoke.
“That’s right. You don’t have your emotions, do you?”
“Judge. I have determined it is an unfortunate thing, but I do indeed lack my emotions. As such, I can think about this in the optimum fashion. …Tres España, why are you attempting to stop a part of the history recreation that is desired by the affected individual?”
“Please answer me.”
Her piercing words seemed to urge the long-lived man on.
“You are stopping someone from doing what they wish to do. On what basis do you determine whether that is good or evil?”
Asama realized why Horizon was confused and why Toori was smiling. And that realization formed words in her heart.
…Horizon is interested in emotions!!
Why had they stopped the death that Horizon desired at Mikawa?
That death had been her proper destiny and she had been prepared to accept that death, so what had made them turn from that proper destiny and oppose it as evil?
…There was justice, the weight of a life, human rights, and plenty of other arguments.
But for him, it had not been anything cool or complicated like that.
…It was simply because he loved her.
He had loved her and that had colored his view of what it meant to lose her.
…From his point of view, it was an evil thing!
And so he could not allow it.
That was hopelessly selfish. She had wanted it and those around him were telling him it was the right thing to do, but he had gone to stop it simply because he did not like it.
And it would have been fine had he done so because he thought it was just, because of the weight of a life, or because of her human rights.
…But he did it because he loved her.
One wrong step and that was nothing but a troublesome misunderstanding.
But, thought Asama. Everyone believed that was the right thing to do.
“I do not understand how you determine whether it is good or evil. If Mary-sama is prepared for her execution, then is it not the right thing to do?”
“Tres España, I apologize, but please stop making this my fault when I do not even understand it. But at the same time…”
Asama understood this as well. If Horizon was willing to ask about this, it meant she was interested in emotions. And so Asama knew what Horizon would say next.
…She would become the same as us!
“If I understand what creates that division between good and evil or I come to understand it and it is not too late, the Far East and I will go to war with England to rescue Mary-sama.”
If she could understand emotions, she could understand the meaning behind stopping death.
And if she understood that, she would do so.
When she saw Toori smile and nod, Asama gave a bitter smile in her heart. He was always worrying about Horizon, but he intentionally avoided teaching her the important things.
…He waits for her to figure them out on her own.
She was not sure if that qualified as trust.
…But I hope the rest of us can trust in something like that too.
“Isn’t that great, Toori-kun?”
“Ah? What, is your motherly side overpowering you again? More importantly, did you hear Horizon’s answer, Tres España?”
“Testament,” replied the girl with two false arms with a bow. “That answer could be viewed as proof she does not understand the importance of the history recreation, but it also proves she does understand the importance of interpretations.”
“It is simple,” said Tachibana Gin.
She narrowed her eyes and gave a glance toward the Fairy Queen and Futayo.
“We understand that Lady Mary’s execution is very nearly unavoidable now. As such, we must send Tres España a report telling them to prepare a declaration of war.”
“I guess that is how it’ll have to be,” said Toori. “But as for whether this Mary business is a misuse of the history recreation, if she wants for it to happen, then even I understand that it’s up to us. I was involved in this kind of thing before, after all. But that’s exactly why I have to say this.”
He pointed at Velázquez.
“Old man, don’t decide for someone what they think or force them to think a certain way. Not doing that is the standard for pure love porn games. I may be legitimately stupid, but I understand that letting others make your decisions is something different than being an idiot. And on that note…”
“If Mary does want to be saved, you can turn to Horizon. If someone falls for this Mary person and Horizon understands what that means, we’ll definitely go to save her. Definitely.”
“Heh,” laughed the Fairy Queen. “Looks like we can’t let our guard down.”
“And keep it that way. After all, Horizon’s emotions are enough to take on the entire world. If possible, you want her to rejoice, don’t you?”
A voice from the south answered that question.
“You know that joy will spread chaos throughout the world, don’t you?”
The south wind carried that question and that sea breeze sent a cloak fluttering about.
He spoke with the winged Matsu on his shoulder.
“Now then. Tres España may have backed off, but what about me? England, I have everything set up to go to war with Musashi.”
Toshiie had asked his question.
…This sure is troublesome.
Currently, P.A. Oda had almost entirely unified Kinai and was conquering westward. According to the history recreation, once Hashiba conquered Mouri, they would be done with the Setouchi and Chugoku regions.
But the history recreation had another event occur almost simultaneously with the conquering of Mouri.
…The death of our master.
In 1582, Oda Nobunaga was assassinated by Akechi Mitsuhide during the Honnouji Incident. That meant they had to tread carefully in their attack on Mouri. Their plan was to leave Mouri’s primary castle alone while conquering Kyushu and thus setting the general trend in the other areas before fully conquering Mouri. Hashiba was allowed a personal division known as the Ten Spears because warriors needed to be sent to all those different places.
Toshiie had entered M.H.R.R. to assist Hashiba and he had gained the second inherited name of Wallenstein to use Wallenstein’s military might and scope of influence to provide backup for Hashiba.
…When moving as many different units as Hashiba does, it’s easy to end up attacking in lines, so I need to cover the larger surfaces.
That was also why he was in England now. A relationship with England was needed to suppress Mouri and Hexagone Française from the northern front.
“That was a close one. If England had been swayed by Musashi, it would have ruined a lot of our plans.”
He continued the conversation that had been interrupted by Tres España and Musashi’s discussion.
He raised his right hand and Matsu did the same on his shoulder.
“Give the order to attack the Musashi, Fairy Queen.”
As soon as he spoke, a voice cut in.
“Not so fast, Maeda Toshiie.”
That voice of rejection came from directly in front of Toshiie and it did not belong to Musashi’s chancellor or princess.
“This is a meeting between Musashi and the Fairy Queen. Outsiders will be treated as such.”
Musashi’s vice president kept her back to him, but she turned her head to face him. She shot a sharp look that threatened to stab into his eyes.
He found it cute how Matsu trembled a bit on his shoulder.
…Oh, no. She shouldn’t be afraid of anything now that she’s a ghost.
If she was afraid…
…It means I’m still inexperienced.
He sank into thought and the other members of P.A. Oda’s student council, chancellor’s officers, and Demon Army came to mind.
“What a terrible deal.”
According to the history recreation, he would survive the longest of all the Oda clan’s retainers. That was why a ghost body had been chosen to ensure that he “would not die”.
That led him to feel jealous when listening to Tres España and Musashi’s exchange. He was jealous of their freedom to discuss the preservation of life rather than the prevention of death.
But at the same time…
…All of the people around me will die before me, and yet they’re so amazing.
Out of the Oda clan’s retainers and the Demon Army, he was deemed the least successful militarily. How did it make any sense that he would live longer than those who could do so much more than him?
For that reason, he wanted to live his life to its fullest for the sake of all those others who lived now.
And part of that was how he could help them here.
…Musashi could bring chaos to our actions, so it stands in our way.
“Who is the real outsider, Musashi?” he asked. “You are an outsider to our history.”
“So what if we are?”
Musashi’s vice president turned fully toward him and he spotted a crumpled memo pad in her hand.
“Communication is difficult without sign frames. Let me say one thing, messenger of P.A. Oda, possessor of Mercenary King Wallenstein’s army, and ruler of the Maeda clan.”
She pointed her right finger at him.
“You will soon be fully excluded from this meeting hall.”
“Don’t be ridiculous.”
Masazumi ignored what Toshiie said. Ridiculous or not, she would win if it worked.
…And the true victory here is the rising balance between those who play the leading parts.
Crushing your opponent would create resentment and being crushed would lead to loss. Treating meetings like a battle would put other nations on their guard, eliminate possible negotiation partners, and eventually make enemies of many different nations.
So a true victory was to make a deal that benefited both sides.
The meeting would benefit both of them and allow them to rise higher. That was best.
…In that case…
Who was she holding this meeting with and who should she benefit alongside?
Tres España? No.
P.A. Oda? No.
The Fairy Queen and her. England and Musashi. Those were the leading parts of this meeting.
So she first had to apologize for turning her back on the queen and…
“Fairy Queen, due to the change in the situation and interactions between nations, forming the trade alliance has become difficult. I would like to withdraw that suggestion. Will you allow that?”
“Testament. I would like that as well. In fact, that was always just a brief aside, was it not? It was a fantastical story meant to entertain this theatre-loving queen. After all, if we were to form a trade alliance like that, England would make great advances and incredible profits in the name of the Fairy Queen. What the other nations said or did would change nothing. I would be waited on by servants much younger than the old, worn-out Trumps while I bathed in gold coins, ate pudding, and was otherwise marvelous and successful. However, that would violate the history recreation and we can’t have that.”
Masazumi heard the Fairy Queen stand and swing her arms. The Trumps fixed their posture, so she had likely glanced over at them.
Masazumi then heard Elizabeth speak from behind her.
“The Trumps are enough for me. So what do you have to offer besides that fantastical story? Answer me, Musashi Vice President. I am fond of reality. I am the child of fairy and man, but I prefer the real world to the world of dreams in which the fairies live. So give me your demand. If it is realistic, I will grant it.”
“In that case,” said Masazumi while looking straight at Toshiie. “I would ask that you cancel your contract with Mercenary King Wallenstein.”
Toshiie could not understand what Masazumi was after.
…Are you stupid!? It’s my recruiting that will allow them to fight the armada battle!
Matsu nodded repeatedly on his shoulder.
“I know, right!? You can go ahead and call her utterly stupid, Ma-chan! C’mon, nice and loud.”
Matsu pointed at Elizabeth
“Ugly old hag!”
“Ah wah wah wah wah! Insulting our employer is simply too wonderful, Ma-chan!”
“What is the meaning of this, Musashi Vice President?”
The Fairy Queen also did not seem to understand the meaning behind the girl’s request.
Elizabeth frowned as she looked at her back. The glare would also occasionally reach him over the girl’s shoulder, but he decided that was within the margin of error.
“You understand the situation, don’t you?” asked Toshiie. “England needs a large force of warriors to defend their land and fight the naval battle. That is why they are using the mercenary recruitment system to make temporary students out of non-students and building up their forces. And I intend to make up for the rest with my Kaga Millionen Geist. England’s plan for the armada battle is to use my Kaga Millionen Geist mercenary force to fight at sea and the recruited temporary students to fill out their ground defenses. In other words, it is my ghost mercenaries that will be fighting the actual battle and England’s warriors will be the rear guard. That will reduce the number of dead and injured among the English citizens and eliminate the postwar burden. But if they cancel all that preparation…”
He took in a breath and spread his arms.
“Who will take the place of my mercenaries in the naval battle?”
“Judge. First, I would like to check with you about that mercenary system, Mercenary King Wallenstein.”
“Testament. What would you like to ask this mercenary expert?”
“Judge.” She nodded. “You are opposing my request for England to cancel. Does that mean I can think of your mercenary force as a type of business?”
“Testament. War is an economic activity. And to harvest victory, the fertilizer and seeds of personnel are necessary. The warriors I can prepare with money allow one to make a transaction to ensure the success of the harvest festival of war. As such, mercenaries can belong to any nation so long as they are paid and they will even kill each other if divided between enemy and ally. It all comes down to money and there is nothing particularly wrong with that thinking.”
Musashi’s vice president nodded once more.
He nodded as well, but he had something else to say.
“It is possible for Musashi to hire me as well. Of course, I would be taking twice what England is paying.”
“That is an interesting offer, but where are we supposed to get that money?”
“I thought as much,” said Toshiie before turning back to the Fairy Queen. “Now, Fairy Queen. What will happen if you do not sink the Musashi here? Another nation could do so and take the credit for themselves. After all, the Musashi cannot fight. Even if it is resupplied and repaired at IZUMO, they will then be flying over enemy territory with very few convenient locations like that. They will eventually be worn down and sunk. Which is the better option, Fairy Queen? With me here and with your decision, the result is assured.”
He stretched out his arms to urge her on.
“Come on! Come on! Protect England’s students by sinking the Musashi and fighting the armada battle using my mercenaries! Act now and the sinking of Musashi will be reduced to the point that it is free! Wallenstein is bleeding money with this free service! Then again, I’m a ghost, so I don’t bleed!”
He took a breath.
“What will it be!?”
After he asked, Musashi’s vice president cut in between him and the Fairy Queen.
“Then let me say one thing. I, Honda Masazumi, have a suggestion as Vice President of Musashi Ariadust Academy.”
She took in a breath and spoke slowly.
“We will supply the Musashi as part of the English fleet during the armada battle.”
“She’s planning to treat the Musashi just like a mercenary force!! She is, isn’t she!? Hm!? According to the Testament descriptions, the Far East had warriors without masters who could be hired to work for money. In the Far East’s reservations, that’s interpreted as being mercenaries and used to strengthen the border defenses of the nation with provisional rule over them, but she’s using that method with the Musashi!”
Innocentius grabbed both sides of the cornice firma to peer more closely at the Musashi vice president it displayed.
“Mercenaries are a business! Wallenstein can be seen as embodying the mercenary system itself, so she had him assure her of that fact so that Musashi can engage in the mercenary business as part of their trade!”
“And what does that mean, former boy?”
“The Musashi is assumed to be disarmed! But when it’s hired by another nation and made a part of that nation’s fighting force, it is no longer the Far East’s Musashi and becomes a mercenary warship hired by that nation! After all, mercenary soldiers can be hired by any nation because their nationality is considered irrelevant!”
The mercenary business eliminated one’s nationality and made them a part of the hiring nation.
That meant Musashi’s disarmament would vanish when it was under another nation’s control.
“That is the same as entering the other nations’ protection without forming an alliance!”
Galileo then spoke his thoughts.
“And if they take part in the history recreation like with the armada battle, they can avoid being freely manipulated by the hiring nation.”
“Testament. That’s right. If they only take part in history recreation battles, the mission is over once the recreation is complete. The Musashi will not be used for other selfish ends. And there are plenty of nations who have their hands full preparing the military force they need for the history recreation. However, what matters more is what they gain by being hired as mercenaries.”
…It’s been a while since my imagination has made me gulp.
“The Musashi can acquire weaponry as ‘necessary businesses materials’. Isn’t that right?”
“It depends how far they can ‘interpret’ the disarmament forced upon them.”
“We’ll both use it to our own benefit to the best we can. But…”
Innocentius sighed and sat back down in his chair.
“This resolves all the problems between England and Musashi in one fell swoop.”
“I would like to use England’s stockpiles of weapons for the Musashi. All other expenses will be free of charge. In exchange, I would like permission to trade with the ships of other nations that visit England’s ports while we are trading with England. That should allow for some small-scale intermediate trade on England’s part. Also, the Musashi will fight the armada battle in place of England’s fleet.”
Masazumi nodded as she spoke.
“Maeda Toshiie, can you offer a better product to our employer?”
Maeda Toshiie took a deep breath and finally looked up at the ceiling.
“Musashi Vice President.”
“I can’t leave empty-handed. The others will laugh at me if I do. Niwa pretending to cry and sympathize with me is the worst. If you believe her, she’ll reveal it all on the divine network and leave a scar in your heart.”
Yeah, I know where you’re coming from there, thought Masazumi. This guy has a tough life too.
“We will give you appropriate thanks for cutting into your business.”
“In that case,” he said. “I would like to ask one thing. Although it might end up being a hint to you.”
That question was…
“Have you ever been to Avalon?”
She had heard that word before, but where?
As soon as she started to think, the Trumps to her right suddenly grew defensive.
This reaction from England reminded Masazumi.
…I heard it from Scarred…no, Mary!
She had heard that word when asking about the Princess Disappearances while eating yakiniku on the beach. It was a meaningful enough term to produce a reaction from England.
…What is going on?
But Toshiie used both hands to calm them down and then faced Masazumi.
“Let me guess, you know of it but have never seen it. Testament.”
In that case…
“So you have only made it that far.”
Toshiie did not respond. He merely took a step backwards.
“Thank you for the valuable information. I now know that you still do not know everything of the Far East. You have been circling around and around and around the Far East, but that is all you have been doing. Westphalia is looking a long ways off.”
With that, he dropped a coin from his hand. Its falling motion produced a giant white arm that swallowed him up and…
Behind him, the collection of bluish-white flames surrounding the Musashi formed a certain shape.
“The Double Border Crest!?”
“Ha ha.” Toshiie’s laughter rang with the nighttime crest in the background. “Farewell. Fairy Queen, I will be taking the recruiting preparation money as my cancellation fee. Also…”
“Have a good war, those who still know nothing.”
With that, he vanished.
The pattern of blue flame surrounding the Musashi also vanished.
It had passed by.
“Ohhh, this isn’t good,” muttered Segundo as he watched the cadena firma in the darkness.
He then turned to Fusae who was staring out the window.
“Thinking of escaping?”
“Testament. How did you know? Looks like our chancellor really does understand women’s hearts.”
“No, it’s because I wanted to escape through there too. But…”
He sighed and sank back into his chair.
The cadena firma was already showing a close up of the Fairy Queen who was announcing the end of the meeting, Musashi’s chancellor who was raising a hand, and Velázquez.
Musashi’s chancellor must have violated Tres España’s moral regulations because he was entirely covered by a mosaic.
“Old man! I’m waiting for the new game! Don’t make it a sad one, though!”
“Just put on some clothes, you idiot. I’ll make you a character with a route, if you don’t.”
“P-please don’t make a porn game modelled on Musashi!”
“What kind of conversation is this?” asked Fusae with a tilt of her head.
Segundo also tilted his head.
“Velázquez sure is young. Oh, but now we don’t need to send out a ship. You can still take the bottle, though. Say hi to Takakane for me.”
“Testament. But can we really let the Musashi act as England’s fleet?”
“Tres España has strengthened its Grande y Felicísima Armada too. Also, not all of the Musashi’s personnel are combat-oriented and they can’t modify it into a full warship if they start arming it now, so there’s room for interpretation. They’re using M.H.R.R.’s mercenary system, so it’s difficult for M.H.R.R. to say anything without rejecting their own system. Also, the other nations will only be watching carefully since it is limited to the armada battle. They probably want to see the Musashi’s actual situation as well as our Grande y Felicísima Armada. Fusae, what is your opinion of having the Musashi as an enemy?”
“Well… If we view them as a giant city, we can bomb them since we can fly too. They may be large, but we have the advantage when it comes to attack since we can move above and below them. After all, smaller ships are faster and a smaller target. Also, the armada battle will be fought while circling England, so the Musashi will not be invading the Tres Españan mainland. In that case, we don’t need to face them head-on to stop them. If we bomb them from above and destroy the weapons on the top surface, we can board them and end it.”
“Testament. With the short time they have, they will only be able to load weapons on the top. Yes… They may be large and difficult to sink, but they have little offensive power. What tactics of theirs do we need to watch out for?”
“I’d like to hear your opinion on that, chancellor.”
“Well…” Segundo crossed his arms. “I’m afraid of them ramming us with their gravitational cruising, but the Musashi is not a warship and thus has thin physical armor. Damage from ramming would hinder their ability to move afterwards, so they will likely primarily use cannons. However, the Musashi can ascend quite easily, so I think it will be surprisingly difficult to bomb them from above. Instead of ordinary bombing…”
He made a wave-like motion with his hand.
“We should focus on attacking in waves that including a retreat. If we repeat the process by creating a circular formation and rotating it, the battle is ours. And if we add in additional movement, the Musashi will grow fragile. It’s a basic wheel formation. There’s nothing new about it.”
“It’s plenty new once you start controlling that circular formation at high altitude. We only have about ten more days, so we need to do some training.”
“Don’t you know what to do better than me?”
“And I’m saying I agree with you. All that’s left is what modifications to make.”
She took a breath and cracked her neck to the left and right, but then the student council room’s door flew open.
Juana stood in the light of the open door. She held a basket of water bottles and took a step forward.
“About what England just decided…!!”
She trailed off when she saw Segundo with Fusae.
“Hi there,” said Fusae with a raised hand, but Juana only looked back and forth between them.
She took in a breath and frowned while tears welled up in her eyes.
“Adultery!? How impure can you be!?”
She slammed the door shut and ran away.
“Wait, wait, wait!”
Segundo beckoned toward her and Fusae spoke with a tone of admiration.
“Ju really is funny. And she’s pretty popular despite that.”
“I think it might be because of that, not despite it.”
At any rate…
“After a short break, she should logically reject that possibility and return, so you take care of things then, Fusae.”
“What about you?”
“Testament.” Segundo opened the window and stuck a leg out. “I’m running away. Juana has probably found out I used all the money she was saving.”
The next day, the Musashi was modified in England while the festival continued and several meetings were held relating to the Logismoi Óplo and the Peace of Westphalia. The modifications to the Musashi were carried out with each ship in stealth mode so that the information would not be leaked out. The people enjoyed the festival while watching on in interest as sounds of construction came from empty air.
Musashi grew quite busy with the festival and the multiple days of meetings, but things returned more to normal once the residents of the transport ship were allowed to return to the Musashi. However, Naruze had been badly enough injured that she was still sleeping in the sick bay and she would only recover just before the armada battle.
As Tenzou recovered, he also assisted with the repairs and modifications and never tried to disembark to England alone.
Everyone had their own thoughts about the situation as the days of the festival and the Musashi’s modifications continued.
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