Horizon:Volume 2B Chapter 51
Chapter 51: Converging on a Place of Gathering
Is to do everything for another
But you are actually following your own desires
Point Allocation (Mutual Agreement)
The night sky was overhead and the dirt ground was underfoot. That ground formed a hill leading up to a wheat field.
Wind washed over the hill which gave a view of a giant ship floating alongside the land and the cloud of mist it produced.
The sounds of the giant ship starting up travelled through the sky to reach the hill. It sounded like a rumbling or a continuous wind and two people listened to it from atop the dark hill.
One was a boy wearing a black Far Eastern uniform that had been altered into a ninja outfit and the other was a three-legged crow.
The crow wore an English uniform.
“Look, Tenzou. The seeds you planted are growing. I, Milton, have an urge to peck at the buds! The buds!!”
“Little myna-dono, those are some excellent instincts you have. But even if it is the European style to not tend to them, isn’t the village down below a little too quiet?”
“There is a battle approaching and they are in mourning.”
“It is for the three hundred who Scarred…who Lady Mary executed in the history recreation. Their families naturally lost their social status for being the family of the executed. Of course, the Fairy Queen restored their positions, but everyone here is sick of the history recreation.”
“When she first came here, it seems she was shunned a fair bit. Her history recreation had already entered the early stages of the execution. That gave her some freedom, but it seems she came here despite those shackles and it seems she managed to fit in, bit by bit.”
“Little myna-dono, you are saying that ‘it seems’ things a lot, so did you not arrive until later?”
“Testament.” Milton nodded. “I, Milton, was originally a Far Eastern resident.”
Tenzou also nodded and Milton eventually turned toward him.
“You aren’t surprised?”
“W-wow! I’m incredibly surprised! I see, I see. So you come from the Far East!”
“You are not surprised enough. I will say nothing more.”
“Why…why did you suddenly get so blunt!? Please tell me more!”
“Well, if you insist.”
Tenzou clenched his right fist behind his back until it trembled, but he already knew most of it.
“Just like Sir Walter of the Trumps, you are a remnant of the Amako clan, aren’t you?”
“Testament. There are three survivors of the Amako Ten Braves: Yamanaka Yukimori, Yokomichi Hyougonosuke, and Akiage Hisaie. I am Yokomichi Hyougonosuke. I was originally a Yatagarasu living in Izumo, but the master of the clan was willing to play around with me. However, P.A. Oda prevented the clan from recovering, just as the Testament descriptions said, so I was ultimately forced to flee to England.”
“And then to Mary-dono?”
“Our ship was pursued and it crashed. Yamanaka has…difficulty riding in ships, so that was not fun for anyone involved. Anyway, Scarred saved us and we are in her debt, but Yamanaka…”
The crow lowered and shook his head as if he did not want to accept it.
“He took the Fairy Queen’s side.”
“That is a difference in what master you decided you should serve.”
…Walter probably still feels that debt to Mary.
However, he had probably seen the qualities of one he should serve in the Fairy Queen who ruled and protected England. Meanwhile, Milton was trying to have Walter’s loyalty return to the debt they held.
Then what about Tenzou himself?
“What will you do, boy? It is near impossible to break through everything up ahead and reach Lady Mary.”
“That is fine. This is an act of selfishness on my part.”
He had realized how Mary felt about him. Unless he was imagining it, her will had made it through to him.
…But it was still me that decided to do this.
If possible, he did not want her to hear about it if he met some pathetic end.
…Oh, but I’m so plain that there’s nothing to worry about there. She’s probably already forgotten about me.
“Your mood seems to be growing darker and darker.”
“J-judge. M-my thoughts have a tendency to slip in the negative direction!”
With all his failures when it came to girls, that was hardly surprising.
However, he was giving this his all. His classmates would likely view him as irresponsible by doing something so reckless while completely ignoring their mission to retrieve the Logismoi Óplo.
But if he cast aside the meaning of that scar on his back, he would regret it. And that regret would stay with him for the rest of his life. After all, she would vanish and never come back.
…So Toori-dono might understand.
With that thought, he made one last check of the map. He had memorized the route. There were a few difficult points and they were all completely reckless for someone like him. He suspected he would need a hundred of him to make it to the end. He also suspected even that was overestimating his ability.
He groaned and a hand reached in from the side to point at a spot on the map.
“Oh, We said to buy some tea at the store here. He says it’s pretty good.”
“I see. But I doubt they are still open this late, Toori-dono.”
When he looked to the side and saw a naked boy there, he and Milton cried out in unison.
Tenzou frantically turned around.
There, he found a few familiar faces with Toori and Horizon as their representatives.
“What’s your important announcement, Tenzou? Don’t go running off without telling us.”
He had forgotten about that.
He bowed and made his announcement to the others.
“I am on my way to confess to a girl?”
It came out as a question because it did not feel real even to him, but he said what he had to say.
“And?” asked everyone else with serious expressions.
“Eh? A-and what?”
He grew hesitant, so the others formed a scrum in the darkness.
“Is that idiot copying me?”
“As a Weiss Hexen, I don’t think it counts as an important announcement if it’s something you’ve already failed at countless times.”
“To me, it looks like he has gone insane from fear,” added Urquiaga.
…Th-these people really like to take shots at people!!
But there was something he had to ask.
“B-but why are you all here!? …Ah! Don’t tell me this is some cruel plan to watch on and then laugh when I fail!”
“Hey, everyone. This plain ninja has a persecution complex now. Have we ever been the type to rub salt in the wound of someone who lost!? And even if we are, do really think we’d be aware of it!?”
“Y-you people are the worst!”
“Listen,” said Toori while patting Horizon on the shoulder. “Can you tell us one thing? Why are you on your way to save Mary? Isn’t that part of the history recreation and something she wants?”
He took a breath.
“To be blunt, even if something pushed you in this direction, couldn’t it just be your imagination?”
Tenzou thought about his days with her as Scarred, their conversations, the contact between their skin, and the kiss scene during the festival date on their last day together.
“Hey, hey, hey, hey. You sure you aren’t glorifying your own pointless past!?”
“It isn’t pointless! It isn’t!!”
However, there was one thing that was not subject to that glorification: his scar.
“I received a scar from her, so…” He thought before continuing. “I need to ask her if she will give me a scar that runs even deeper.”
“Oh.” Toori smiled and lowered the ends of his eyebrows. “So you’re seriously going to confess, huh?”
“Judge. You could say…”
He clenched his fist and chose to use the English word.
“I’ve fallen in love!”
“Oh!! You’ve fallen in love!?”
Toori clenched his own fist and gave a shout of his own.
“Then there’s no helping it! Hey, Horizon. Ask Tenzou your question.”
The white-haired automaton turned her expressionless face toward him and tilted her head.
“This will be a repeat question, but why are you going to save Mary-sama?”
It was true he had been asked that question several times already and had asked it to himself even more times.
However, the scar on his back was all the answer he needed. If he was right about its meaning…
“I plan to steal Mary-dono from England.”
“Steal her? Even though she does not wish for it and she does wish for death?”
Tenzou nodded to the repeated question.
“If I lost Mary-dono, I would be sad.”
That was all there was to it. It did not matter what anyone else – even Mary – thought.
“I do not want to be sad. …It is often said that a ninja must suppress his own emotions because the word ninja is written with the heart hidden beneath a blade. But…”
“The character for heart has not been removed from the word for ninja.”
“Then,” began Horizon. “Would someone have been sad if I had been lost when it was me?”
It was not just Tenzou who answered her question. Everyone there did.
The many overlapping voices repeating the word “judge” told him he had not made a mistake.
“In that case,” said Horizon after some hesitation. “Would I become sad again if Mary-sama were lost?”
Everyone turned toward Tenzou to ask him if that were the case.
However, he knew the answer.
“Judge. Even if you do not know her now, you will eventually learn what kind of person she was. And then I am sure you will feel it was a regrettable loss and you will wish you had spoken with her.”
“Will I be able to do that if you save Mary-sama?”
She spoke as if asking for confirmation.
“And if I choose to save all people who will similarly be lost in the future, will I be able to avoid feeling the emotion of sadness?”
…What an absurd thing to say!
Horizon herself likely did not realize it, but she was saying something ridiculous.
After all, the idiot had announced he would conquer the world and now his partner was saying she would save the world.
…And all because she doesn’t want to feel sad!
Suddenly, Horizon nodded and lowered her head toward Tenzou.
“I apologize, Tenzou-sama. I was able to bring that question to a level at which I could make a decision on it myself, so I produced my own answer. That being…”
“Toori-sama, if you will gather the Logismoi Óplo, conquer the world to end the Apocalypse, and make me happy by giving me negative emotions, then I will say this from a parallel position.”
She took a breath.
“We are parallel. I have determined I will save the world from the greatest loss that is the Apocalypse and make myself happy by never using the negative emotions I gain.”
Within the group that had gone after Tenzou, Masazumi heard Horizon speak to her.
“Masazumi-sama, my decision has come out quite nicely, so I have instructions for you. Please make an announcement to England that a group opposed to being mercenaries has broken off from Musashi’s mercenary unit and is on its way to take Mary Stuart from them.”
“Judge. Since we’re considered at war with any nation possessing a Logismoi Óplo, we don’t have to worry about our right to declare war. Also, rescuing Mary will justify the actions we took when rescuing Horizon. But this means the rest of you need to be prepared for a second round against England.”
Masazumi pulled her handheld shrine from her pocket binder. Mitotsudaira glanced over to offer the use of her sign frame, but Masazumi wanted to preserve Blessings with the coming battle. She manually dialed the address and made a voice call.
“It’s me,” came the response after a short pause.
“Hello, is this the Fairy Queen’s residence? It looks like we’re going to war with England after all. Um, I’m recording this conversation, so it’s official. Will thirty minutes from now work for you? It’ll be another set of battles between our representatives like before.”
“Eh? What? W-wait a minute! This is a little sudden!”
“You attacked us without warning last time, so you’ll accept this without running, won’t you?”
She heard a gasp from the other end, but she did not care.
“Okay, we’ll gather at the site and then each representative will go wherever they want after that. Is this getting through?”
The connection was cut off from the other side and Masazumi dropped the handheld shrine into her pocket binder.
“Is that good, Horizon?”
“Judge. I have determined that was excellent. I can relax a bit now. At the very least, I have ensured that I am not merely sitting idly by as I grow sad.”
However, the others gave Masazumi uncertain looks.
“A-are you sure you should’ve done that?”
“I did record it, so we can make it official. Or we can choose not to. At any rate, we have a good policy for Musashi now. Our visit to England had real meaning. After all, our king and princess have fully decided on their own policies. All that’s left is your challenge, Tenzou. If you can stay true to yourself, so can Musashi. We will be able to stay true to ourselves even when facing other nations in the future.”
“Go for it, Tenzou.”
He felt it might be hopeless. No, it was probably hopeless. In fact, it was hopeless. It was far too hopeless.
A ninja had no direct combat ability, so it would likely come to an end at some point.
He wanted to do enough to say to the others that he had done what he could. He wanted to give enough of an effort to suppress the sadness of Musashi’s princess as much as he could.
Just as he was going to announce his departure, the color silver appeared in front of him.
“Wait a moment, Tenzou. I will be going with you.”
“You don’t get it?” Mitotsudaira pointed at the Musashi’s silhouette floating in the sky behind her. “The Musashi is currently acting as a mercenary ship, but it would be shameful for a knight to lower herself to the level of a mercenary.”
“But what about Adele-dono?”
“She can’t exactly move much,” said everyone else while hanging their heads.
Amid them all, Mitotsudaira cleared her throat.
“Well, Adele does not have an inherited name, so she can be more carefree about that sort of thing. I will have her be a mercenary for now and I will take over for her later.”
“Take over for her? You mean you plan to join the armada battle after fighting England?”
“The armada battle will circle England, so it will remain within reach. It’s the natural choice, isn’t it? I was originally planning to spend this free time in the transport ship.”
The wolf smiled while holding up her two remaining silver chains.
“But if we’re fighting their representatives, I can go give my thanks to their hound.”
“In that case, I need to go as well. The man-eating wolf is out monitoring the armada battle, so maybe that skinny woman will be my opponent.”
The black-winged Technohexen stepped forward. She wore her uniform because she lacked Weiss Fräulein.
…Why are her cheeks swollen?
As Tenzou wondered that, Urquiaga stepped forward.
“As a Catholic, I cannot oppose Tres España. And Tenzou, make sure you come back alive. I’ll donate you a dozen porn games I have already tested for Toori.”
“Th-that’s the worst death flag I’ve ever heard!”
“Calm down,” said the group filling the area.
Among them, Masazumi smiled bitterly and spoke.
“It would be best for me to stay here to oversee everything. It would be a problem if we had no one to declare the end of hostilities. I’ll be hiding in the transport ship, so don’t expect me to fight. Also…”
“I’ll go,” said a voice they had not heard for a while.
“That’s right.” Neshinbara nodded. “According to Asama-kun, England’s third level and up are already contained inside a permeable barrier version of the theatre space. Instead of preparing stages in an alternate space like before, England itself has been turned into the stage. If England is attacked, it will be fully protected using the power of the theatre performance.”
And that meant…
“Shakespeare is here with the Logismoi Óplo. I will fight her and take it back.”
No one asked whether he could or not.
…In that case, whoever makes the biggest announcement wins.
Everyone nodded silently, so he returned the nod.
“Ariadust-kun, Aoi-kun. I’ve caused a lot of trouble for you with my absence, so I promise that I will greet you with Shakespeare’s Logismoi Óplo in hand.”
“Sure,” responded Toori before asking a question. “Did you read your old masterpiece?”
Neshinbara clenched his teeth in a smile. This had nothing to do with the king. It was all about himself, so he spoke without worry.
“I’ve always been a genius. I’d just forgotten because of all the strange people surrounding me.”
Everyone laughed and the crow faced Neshinbara and bowed.
“Please rescue Lady Mary, children.”
“Judge,” replied everyone.
Milton was an English poet and author. He would be best known for writing Paradise Lost and that reminded Neshinbara of something mentioned in the Testament descriptions.
…Milton’s wife was named Mary, wasn’t she?
Why had he chosen Milton as his inherited name?
…Was it to root for a rival while knowing his own feelings would never be returned?
Had Tenzou realized that?
At the moment, Tenzou simply looked into the sky over London.
Everyone understood he was going and they divided between those going with him, those waiting, and those returning.
At the lead of those going, Tenzou spoke.
“Milton-dono. There is something I would like to ask of you.”
Everyone wondered what it could be and the crow tilted his head just like the rest of them.
“Listen up. You too, everyone. Will you all listen to my own way of rescuing Mary-dono?”
That question gave Neshinbara a certain thought.
…If you have to ask, it probably isn’t going to be anything good.
It was 5:30 PM. Darkness already filled the southern end of England as a giant silhouette left port and travelled west.
It left slowly, but it suddenly accelerated westward.
The Musashi had used its gravitational cruising to accelerate. The wind was eliminated with a buffer spell and the ship switched over to inertial cruising after the acceleration was complete.
The wind this produced shook and rustled across England as a collapsing wall of air.
And a line of several students on the fourth level began to move as if pushed on by that blowing wind.
Someone would take a step and then the next person would follow.
When someone spoke, they all began to run with a light but lasting speed.
Their individual destinations were the locations of their confrontations.
A battle on two fronts had begun between Musashi, England, and Tres España.
For England, it was Mary’s execution and the battle to stop it.
For Tres España, it was the armada battle using the Grande y Felicísima Armada.
The sound of a bell filled the air.
That sound gave advanced notice of Mary’s execution and also indicated the beginning of the armada battle. To the members of Musashi running to London, it was a signal gun telling them to run.
A clash was about to begin on two battlefields: the sky and London.
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