Horizon:Volume 2 Chapter 17

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Chapter 17: Recluses around the Corner[edit]

Horizon2A 489.png

Is the surprise upon meeting someone

The same thing as expectation?

Point Allocation (Second Time)


Someone walked along a hill.

It was Scarred who wore the usual hooded cloak.

He walked toward the end of the seaside path where the transport ship and diplomatic ship were. That area had become an inlet. Scarred was still a good distance away, but the two ships were clearly visible. The villagers greeted him along the way.

“Oh, Scarred. Do you want some of the fish I caught this morning? I can put it on a coral skewer.”

“The weather is nice today, so I can prepare some water for you if you want, Scarred.”

He gave simple replies and waved while continuing on. His waving hand held the metal stake connected to his ankle by a chain, but the people seemed to view that as a standard part of his greeting and waved back.

Scarred nodded, turned his back, and continued toward the inlet.

“If the graveyard can’t be fixed, it will have to be moved.”

Scarred thought about the graveyard. It was located beyond the beach which had become an inlet after the transport ship’s crash had caused the crust to sink.

I must look after that graveyard that is made up of three hundred swords and stones.

However, the area around the crashed ship had been cut off, so that twenty square meter area on the edge of the hill had been off limits for the past two weeks. Scarred had viewed it from a distance and it seemed the break in the hill had caused a crack. Either that crack would have to be fixed or the entire graveyard would have to be relocated.

He also had to worry about the water lilies he looked after at a nearby spring.

“I wonder what happened to them.”

Scarred continued on to the hill visible from the two ships.

He saw some small figures appear from the new grass ahead.

They were brown kobolds that were only about fifteen centimeters tall.

If the worker kobolds are out, the ley lines must not have been disturbed.

Scarred suddenly slowed his pace. The path ahead was blocked by a structure growing from the crust. It looked like a hunk of metal.

“This is from when Tres España made a quick assault a while back. That spear is one of San Mercado’s new products.”

Spears, axes, and pieces of ships were growing from the ground. There were quite a few of them. At the bottom was a piece of metal several meters across that looked like a piece of a ship’s foundation.

“The ships I sank were trapped by England’s structure, disassembled by the ley lines, circulated through them, and incorporated into the surface of the ground. I think the crew was sent to the higher levels and exchanged for an exorbitant ransom. Once I’m sure everything is safe, we can dig this up and sell it to the upper levels as scrap metal.”

As he formulated his plan, Scarred continued on.

He waved toward the kobolds and they lowered their heads. They did so in order from biggest to smallest, so it formed a sort of wave.

As they greeted him, Scarred took the book in his left hand and lightly pressed its edge against his face. Scarred then rubbed it across the scar running from the top of his nose to his left cheek.

“The day still hasn’t come that I can be proud of this scar or any new scar. I can only hope to satisfy them by supporting England with my life. But…”

Scarred looked up toward the sea to the left.

“I never expected to receive guests like these.”

He could see the transport ship and the diplomatic ship stopped next to it.


Scarred was already about to pass by where the two ships were. The rising sun was visible behind them and he could see their decks.

About an hour earlier, they seemed to have been having a class on the deck.

I had heard the chancellor’s officers and student council were gathered here, but it looks like they form a single class.

They were no longer visible. The transferred cargo was being fixed to the deck, but that work was almost complete.

Scarred could see no motion, but he could hear noises coming from within the ship. Nails were being hammered, wood was being sawed, and occasionally a large object would cause a great impact as it was set in place.

Some sea-horses in the nearby sea were looking up curiously.

The crew of that transport ship still can’t leave here.

That was why they were altering the interior of the ship to make it easier to live in.

Scarred thought while walking along the path which was covered with less grass than before. He thought about the ninja who had disappeared inside that ship.

What was that about?

He thought about the fact that the ninja had stopped him. Rumor had it he was their 1st special duty officer. Someone of that level should have been able to accurately judge the power of Scarred’s spell simply by viewing it.

So why did he stop me?

Thinking about it did not help. Only that ninja himself would know the answer. And…

“I still hold the answer to those three hundred people’s questions of ‘why’.”

Once he passed the hill, the path turned gently inland and the inlet lay ahead.

The hill to the right had a steep slope and it obstructed one’s view of the path around the inlet. Scarred naturally turned toward that path which led to the graveyard.

“Eh?”

Someone was walking down that path which could not be entirely seen due to the slope to the right.

It was that ninja.


They both uttered a quiet “ah” and stopped walking.

Scarred took half a step back.

“Why?” he muttered without thinking.

The ninja frantically shook his hands back and forth.

“No, um. I can explain. Over this hill, there is a graveyard with a lot of swords set up in it. I could see it from the ship and the ground seemed damaged from the crash. I just checked on it and was about to go inform your village.”

The ninja held up a memo. It contained a simple map, directions on repairing the graveyard, and a few other options.

Why?

Scarred almost asked that question which referenced many different things, but he held his tongue.

He needed to say something else before asking questions.

They had saved the children. Scarred had made a hasty conclusion and slapped him. He had protected Scarred from a fragment of the ship and been injured. There was something Scarred had to say regarding all of that.

“I must apolo-…”

But before he could finish, the ninja spoke up.

“Are the children doing well?”

“Eh?”

Scarred was at a loss for words, but it seemed the ninja was already waiting for an answer. Scarred realized he had lost his chance to apologize.

“Judge. They are doing fine. Their mother is a banshee, so having her cry could have led to further deaths.”

“Judge. Then I am even more relieved we could save them.”

“Judge,” replied Scarred again.

He was relieved to find he was speaking normally with the ninja. He was doubly relieved that the ninja showed no hostility.

“About you saving the children…”

The ninja gasped and started to say something, but Scarred asked a question before he could.

He asked something he had been thinking about for a while now.

“Why did you stop me?”


Before the ninja could cut in, Scarred added to his question.

“I have heard you are Musashi’s 1st special duty officer. Someone in that position should have been able to comprehend my spell, so why did you stop me?”

“Well, uh…” The ninja scratched at his hat and finally gave an answer. “I don’t know much about spells, so I didn’t notice you were using one.”

“What? That is completely ridiculous.”

As he rejected the ninja’s answer, Scarred had a single thought.

Why is he denying what he did?

He had to have a reason. The spell had produced ether light, so it was unthinkable that he could not have noticed. The ninja may have looked calm, but that was obviously a hastily constructed lie.

And if he was going to lie, why would he say he had made a mistake? If he had some reason for his actions, Scarred would have accepted it.

The ninja was not blaming him or denying him. He was merely saying he was careless.

He is essentially saying I did the right thing.

“Why are you trying to make this your failure?”

As soon as Scarred realized what he had said, he clamped his mouth shut. He looked at the ninja, but the ninja’s expression was hidden by his scarf and hat.

Scarred wanted to ask so many things, but he could find no way to begin. And this time, the ninja acted first. He began with a quick nod.

“I was careless is all.”

He was sticking with the idea that he had not noticed. He then began to walk past Scarred.

After a moment of hesitation, Scarred stepped aside to let him past. He watched the ninja take the first step.

Is this really okay?

Something felt wrong. He felt something similar to guilt.

In the ninja’s mind, the conversation was already over, but Scarred felt differently.

Why?

The feeling may have been a misunderstanding, but Scarred felt as if his heart had stumbled.

Why was that ninja choosing his own failure? Scarred thought back on that question.

Why is this ninja sacrificing himself? Willingly offering yourself up as a sacrifice is the same as-…

Scarred’s thoughts were about to bring forth more words, but he was interrupted.

“Hey, Tenzou! Can’t you just settle this with that gentleman in the cloak?” shouted someone on the transport ship.


Who is that?

Scarred and the ninja turned toward the vertical transport ship. A naked boy stood on the edge of the deck with his toes turned inward. He was swinging his hips back and forth as if guiding the work.

“Tenzou! You said that graveyard needs to be fixed or moved, right? What was it you said? ‘Their souls cannot resteth in peace like this’?”

“Th-that is not how I speak! And you’re using it wrong anyway!”

Scarred did not understand what this meant, but he assumed it was some form of Far Eastern custom.

But who was that naked boy? He was standing around swinging his hips while everyone else was working, so he may have been a new type of spirit that exceeded human understanding. He appeared to have seaweed in both hands and on his crotch, but if he was a spirit indigenous to the Far East rather than a human, it made sense that Scarred had never seen anything like him. The seaweed in his hands suggested he was a type of water spirit. Scarred decided to name him Wet Man.

Meanwhile, Wet Man looked over at Scarred.

“Well, anyway, that settles that! Okay, you in the cloak! What are your plans?”

The spirit’s friendliness sped up the conversation. Scarred held up a thick book he had been carrying in his pocket.

“I intend to check the graveyard, decide whether to repair it or move it, and carry out whichever action I decide on.”

“Okay, that simplifies matters. Tenzou, you go help him.”

“What? But I was planning to help with the work on the ship.”

“Don’t be silly. With me here, what more help do they need? …Eh? What is it, Asama? Why are you smiling with your veins bulging out? …Everyone, stop Asama! She’s pulled out her bow!”

If that Far East shrine maiden is trying to purify him, he might be an evil spirit, concluded Scarred.

Wet Man shouted out toward them while searching for a place to hide.

“Um, well, this is an opportunity for some cultural exchange! Tenzou, you fix or move the broken graveyard with the gentleman behind you. You said the flowers by the nearby spring needed some work too, didn’t you? No one’ll notice if you swipe some tools right now, so take whatever you need.”

Scarred saw the ninja scratch at his hat as if he did not know how to respond, so Scarred spoke up behind him.

“Judge!”


The ninja turned around in surprise, but Scarred did not mind.

This was his punishment for lying and trying to run.

The ninja noticed Scarred was ignoring him and looking up into the sky, so he turned back toward the ship.

“Um… I…”

He was unable to form words of protest and he trailed off. Wet Man smiled.

“Okay, this will be some cultural exchange on the local level. Tenzou, you used your survival skills to build simple living spaces and barricades, so fixing a place like that and gathering useful plants should be a piece of cake, right? You also said you were worried about the water lilies by the spring, so go check on them too.”

So…

“That gentleman knows the land, so get his help and do what work you can. That’s your job for today.”

Scarred nodded and lightly tapped the ninja’s shoulder to say “let’s go”. As he made his way toward the inlet, he suddenly recalled something else.

That ninja had seen him crying.

What should he say about that?

I shouldn’t apologize.

He could not find an answer and he heard the ninja walking behind him. He also heard the sound of something being fired on the ship, but he decided he had misheard because the situation was too peaceful for that.

Peace, hm?

Scarred wanted an answer that was not a lie. He walked on the path to the graveyard while wondering how to receive that answer.


As noon approached, the color white reflected the sunlight coming from high in the sky.

The reflection came from a white domed building with the emblem of Tres España’s Alcalá de Henares. The building was labelled “Medical Division” and its outer perimeter was lined with hospital room windows. Clotheslines made of rope hung in the windows and the white sheets, towels, and clothes also reflected the sunlight.

The color red suddenly moved within all that white.

A female student was hanging laundry out to dry in a south-facing window on the building’s third floor. She was short and had two false arms, one of which wore an armband reading “3rd Special Duty – Tachibana Gin”.

Gin finished hanging up all the laundry in the basket by the window and let out a breath.

She turned back toward the rest of the white room and looked at the bed.

A young man slept in that bed. He was tall, had short blond hair, and his eyes were still closed. Gin moved aside from the window so he could see the sky. She circled around to the other side of the bed and looked up at the blue sky while he slept.

“When will you finally wake up, Muneshige?” she muttered. “What am I supposed to do from now on?”


Really. What am I supposed to do? thought Gin as she asked her question.

She sighed and looked down at Muneshige.

The white cloth placed over him had white crosses extending from the side and from the holes opened in it.

“Your injury is so bad even the cross-shaped medical Testamento Firma heavy charms do not last long.”

The crosses which were sticking into his body like stakes were made from combining charms with metal or wooden panels with spells written on them. They were hard, additional functionality could be added through their sockets, and they could be used continuously so long as ether fuel was supplied. The same type of system was used in Gin’s false arms, her Arcabuz Cruz, and other devices like gods of wars. The medical ones being used here primarily substituted for and strengthened the circulatory system, metabolism, and digestive system. It would purify and regulate the blood, efficiently circulate the digested materials, and eliminate waste.

The additional charm attached atop the cross driven into the base of his right leg was turning black.

Gin pulled a replacement charm from the hygienic wooden box on the bedside table. All she could do was remove the old charm, throw it away, and attach the replacement.

“My happiness to have something to do may show just how helpless I feel.”

After finishing the replacement, Gin checked the other heavy charms, but none of them needed replacement. With nothing left to do, she opened her mouth to speak.

Come to think of it, I actually have something to say.

She had spoken about the attack on Musashi countless times over the past two weeks, but there was also plenty to say about her daily life.

“This morning, the Nappa cabbage at the market was at a good price.”

According to the health committee, four months would be needed to fully heal Muneshige’s legs. His right leg was especially bad after kicking off the air twice.

They said he might never walk normally again. If that happens…

He would lose the inherited name of Tachibana Muneshige. The inherited name of the postman Garcia could also be lost if he could not walk.

He was being kept asleep to help him recover and that would apparently continue for another two weeks.

What would his position be once he opened his eyes? Or hers for that matter?

But once he could move again, he could make some kind of decision no matter how insecure his position was. That was why Gin had decided to hope for him to wake up but to not reject him.

The health committee had decided to wait until he woke up on his own rather than trying to force the issue.

“And until then I am supposed to speak to him to give him some kind of relief.”

He was being healed. His body was recovering and he was able to dream, so she took the time to call out to him and speak to him so he could wake up at any time.

They told me to make sure he had some connection with the outside world.

She wanted the same thing, so she told him so many things.

She did not actually like speaking and was not very good at it. She did not know how her father had felt about it, but he had not taught her how to make daily conversation or how to laugh. He had instead taught her how to use a weapon and how to fight.

For the history recreation, Tachibana Gin had to have the skill necessary for her father, Dousetsu, to accept her as his heir despite being a woman.

She had trained to fulfill that role. Her father must have had incredible resolve to fulfill the history recreation with his small daughter who never seemed to grow any taller or more muscular.

In the end, she had earned the inherited name.

“But now I am a girl who does not know how to speak with people.”

Her everyday life had been focused on training and maintaining her strength. If she had not done so, she could have lost her inherited name. At first, she had been afraid to lose the protection of her father.

And later, I was afraid to lose that identity because it was all I had.

As a result, she knew nothing else. She did not know what it was like to play with, speak with, express herself to, or head out with girls her own age. She had needed to recreate history, so it had been crucial that she maintained the strength that her father, the Peerless in the West, expected of her as Tachibana Gin.

And so…

“I wonder if he understands what I say to him?”

She was only giving him reports, so she was not entirely confident that she was actually speaking to him.

When she thought back, she realized he had spoken a lot. He had said so many things to her.

At first, I found it annoying to have him tell me about other people.

But she now realized that she had gotten quite used to it.

He had spoken when they woke up in the morning.

He had spoken when they ate meals.

He had spoken at school.

He had spoken on their way home.

He had spoken as they shopped.

He had spoken as the whole family sat together.

He had spoken as they bathed.

He had spoken as they went to bed at night.

At some point, she had started to forget how important any one aspect was.

“Is this what people call everyday life?”

Suddenly, Gin noticed the facial hair on his cheeks was getting a bit long.


“…”

Tachibana Gin understood that she was a perfectionist. Otherwise, she could never have lived a normal life using those giant false arms. Also, combat required both speed and accuracy.

When did I shave him last?

Three days ago. That meant it was about time to shave him again. She pulled a cloth, a razor, and a stick of soap from the bedside table’s drawer. Her preparations were complete.

“Testament.”

However, shaving was quite difficult. The size of her false arms was of course an issue, but there was a bigger problem: her perfectionism meant the razor was perfectly sharpened. The slightest mistake would cause a fatal cut.

But there was nothing to be worried about. That same perfectionism meant she could operate her false arms perfectly. Using that thought to give herself confidence, she held the blade toward him and prepared to shave.

She brought the blade down toward Muneshige’s neck.

“…”

But he suddenly stirred.

“…!?”

Gin frantically drew back the blade because his unexpected action had brought his carotid artery toward it.

He continued breathing calmly and stopped moving, but she was sweating and breathing heavily.

Wh-what a frightening person!

She brought the hands of her false arms to her cheeks.

“Even while unconscious, you make my heart race.”

She had read in a book that one’s heart racing at someone’s casual actions was a sign of lovesickness.

She had just received that exact symptom here. Plus, he was asleep, which far exceeded the level of “casual”.

Taking that into account, this must be great love or even extreme love. This lovesickness is on the level of the plague!

Gin regulated her breathing, prepared the razor again, and brought it toward Muneshige’s neck once more.

“…”

For a second time, he stirred a bit and brought sticky sweat to her brow. She realized she had lost her chance to attack due to being lost in love and she felt all the more embarrassed.

“I was careless!”

Love is not needed here. I am shaving his beard, she thought. But he does seem full of openings today.

This had happened before. Before the attack on Musashi, she had decided to give him an especially close shave as she would not return for a while. He had moved a surprising amount that time.

I held his chin in place with my left arm, but the Valdés siblings arrived and stopped me.

The first time she had tried it, she had decided to attempt it head on. A health committee member had stopped her once she mounted him. The razor in her hand had apparently led the boy to think she was trying to kill Muneshige. She was still not sure how someone could make such an extreme misunderstanding about a scene from everyday married life.

However, she had to learn from her mistakes and better herself. Also, finding an efficient method was the duty of a good wife.

“Today I will experiment with a two-bladed approach for improved efficiency.”

For some reason, Muneshige seemed to grimace and tilt his head away, but she decided she was imagining it. While holding a razor in each false arm, she leaned over him.

“Here I go.”

She held up the razors.

“D-do not make a rash decision, Tachibana!” cried a sudden voice behind her.

Someone tried to restrain her, but ended up pushing her and knocking her off balance.

“Ah.”

The two razors forcefully stabbed forward.


Gin looked forward.

Muneshige’s face contained a look similar to resignation. The razors had stabbed to the right of his neck and above his left ear. They were stabbed into the bed, but their blades were less than a millimeter from his skin.

I have to say, my aim was perfect.

Gin pulled out the razors and turned around. There she found…

“Felipe…Segundo? That is to say…chancellor?”

“The short, late middle-aged man looked up and backed away when he heard his name. He did not bother to fix his worn-out uniform and shirt and he grabbed the bucket and mop he had brought to the door.

“Um, well… Do you mind if I clean in here?”

“I can handle that, chancellor.”

This is the same as ever.

After holing up in his room to complete his work running Tres España, the chancellor would clean the academy’s buildings and grounds with an apologetic look on his face. When he went out to the city, he would speak with the people while acting like a normal citizen.

Gin wondered if it was hard doing all that, but there was something else she wondered even more.

Does he have no time for himself?

She had once never had any time for her own life. She had never left her father’s mansion and she had spent all of her time on training.

But the chancellor spends all his time on others. And if you try to tell him that, he merely smiles as if he has no other choice.

His expression told one he did not want time for himself and that this was his only option.

Gin did not like delving into other people’s business. Just as she was skilled at certain things, her experience had told her everyone had a place they fit best. That was why she did not say anything more about the chancellor.

“Testament,” she said instead. “This room was left to me, so you can continue on to the next room.”

Or…

“Or do you think it is inappropriate for me to remain here with Muneshige now that his inherited name will be removed?”

“No, I do not think that,” said Segundo with a shake of the head. His voice was surprisingly clear. “I do not think it is ever wrong for someone to want to be with someone.”

“Even if they are a stalker?”

When she saw Segundo lower his head in thought, Gin admonished herself for speaking without thinking. She had a bad habit of seeking a perfect answer like that.

“Was the one who decided to remove his inherited name-…”

“Testament. Juana made that decision. I believe she had a few different reasons, but one of them was definitely Tres España’s finances.”

“If the title of Peerless in the West is damaged, will fewer people invest in Tres España?”

“Testament. Even in our own country, people will stop investing in wartime goods and weapons. After all, the reputation of the Peerless of the West is related to the trust people have in brands like San Mercado.”

“Then you hope giving someone else the name will hold on to that trust and the clients it brings?”

“Testament.” Segundo nodded, pressed the mop against the edge of the bucket, and wrung it with his foot. “It will also create a good opportunity for San Mercado and the other domestic brands to renovate their weaponry. Redoing the overall design can help with PR and meet the demand for domestic manual labor jobs. Most importantly, it is a good opportunity to redevelop the weapons which have become overly focused on gunfights due to our conflicts with P.A.Oda over the past few years. We can cheaply sell the old weapons in emerging nations and the New World.” He took a breath. “And the people who are stuck in the way of the old wars can renew themselves as well.”

That comment caused Gin to gulp.

This man really is the chancellor.

She knew that was an insulting thing to think, but she had to ask about it.

“If you are thinking about all this, why do you also do the routine jobs like cleaning? If you took the lead and instructed Lady Juana to carry out the ideas you just mentioned, she would…” Gin hesitated but decided to go through with it. “She would not look down on you so much.”

“You are overestimating me. Also… I have to follow the Testament descriptions and support our decline.”

Segundo gave a resigned smiled.

“Everything I just said is common knowledge in the newspapers and the divine network. Also, there is something else Juana and the others know about…”

“Yes?”

“The next inheritor of the title of Peerless in the West will not be from Tres España.”

Gin froze in place for a moment, but finally spoke.

“Testament. In other words, the Tachibana family will move. According to the Testament descriptions, Tachibana Muneshige leaves the Ootomo clan and begins serving the Toyotomi clan which is now known as Hashiba.”


Gin saw the man standing before her nod.

“The general consensus is that Hashiba will still be willing to pay a fair amount for the title of Peerless in the West.”

“Testament. I understand,” said Gin. She had her own understanding of what it meant for Muneshige to lose his inherited name. “When P.A.Oda or Hashiba from M.H.R.R. arrive, we could have stood up to them under the flag of the Peerless in the West or negotiated the transfer of that name.”

But…

“But Muneshige lost and the value of that name has dropped. Hashiba no longer desires it so badly. So instead of opposing them with the next inheritor of the name, we can show our friendship with Hashiba by selling them that Urban Name.”

“Testament. If we do not choose the next inheritor, we will show we do not wish to oppose Hashiba, M.H.R.R., or P.A.Oda. They will owe us a favor and they will be unable to attack us or oppose us as easily. The stability and expectation that brings will stimulate investments in the non-wartime side of the economy. We have focused on war and the New World for so long that our mainland has been hollowed out, so bringing investments to our internal economy is exactly what we need.”

Segundo paused for a second and sighed.

“Sorry. I know this is not how you want things to go.”

“Testament. Hearing that is enough,” said Gin. “By the way, have you discussed all of this with Lady Juana?”

“She can handle it all without being told anything.”

“Testament. But I think it would make a difference if she knew her superior thought the same things and made the same conclusions.”

She was going to add “and she might not look down on you so much”, but he cut in.

“I don’t like ordering people around.” He gave the same resigned smile as before. “I just have no confidence after I failed so severely in the past.”

“Would you mind telling me about it?”

“I’m not sure.” Segundo placed the mop on the floor, squeezed the handle, and lowered his forehead onto his hands. “You know the vice chancellor and 2nd special duty officer, Takakane and Fusae? That ghost duo died due to certain circumstances, but they remain with us because they held certain regrets toward each other.”

“Testament. I heard they both died during the double reproduction of the Battle of Lepanto and the Battle of Itsukushima. From what I hear, many people with inherited names were lost during that fierce battle.”

“Testament. That’s right. It happened before you were born, didn’t it? That set Tres Portugal down the path to a union with Tres España, but those two are still supporting Tres España as ghosts. And…” Segundo scratched at his head. “If you died, would you still stay with him?”

Gin looked down at Muneshige.

Well…

She had a sudden thought about what Segundo had said. He had not asked if she thought Muneshige would stay with her if he died. That had likely been out of consideration to the fact that she was looking after him as he recovered. Gin decided to respond to his consideration.

“Testament.”

She answered in the affirmative and Segundo looked up.

“That is a good thing.”

He gave a slight smile and Gin was able to guess something from that smile.

Could it be?

“Was that not the case for you, chancellor?”


Gin’s father had once told her that many sacrifices had been made during the Battle of Lepanto and Itsukushima.

During the battle, Tres Portugal and Tres España’s militaries had wanted to create a formation to the east. To do so, they had built a city on the coast of the inland sea and had their families live there.

But that city had been targeted.

A lot of people lost their families.

That had accelerated the spread of people who insisted on pure blood and wished to abolish all immigration.

“It’s hard to say.” Segundo gave another resigned smile, turned his back, and placed the bucket in the hallway. “You take care of this room. I’ll start out here. …Oh, and don’t bother telling me if you are going anywhere.”

He turned back as he walked out into the hallway.

“I think the time is coming when you will have to make some kind of decision. But no matter what Juana says, try not to hold a grudge. This is all because I haven’t done a proper job.”

“Testament. Do not worry. I am not ignorant of Tres España’s current state. …But if I were to accomplish something before long, would it be possible to restore Muneshige’s inherited name?”

“He would end up going to Hashiba. Are you sure you want that?”

“Testament. As long as I am with him, nothing else matters.”

Gin faced the chancellor’s back as he began mopping the hallway and she spoke a truth of her own to match the truth he had told her.

“After all, he is the one who cut off my arms and gave me an everyday life in their place.”



Study:

Horizon2A 518.png

Map of England

Toori: Nee-chan! Nee-chan! We’ve made it to England, but what does it look like!? All this confusing stuff about blocks and levels has me really excited, so could you tell me!?

Kimi: Heh heh heh. Excitable brother, listen to your sister’s explanation and feel the excitement fade away. This is more or less what England looks like.


Top right: Scotland

Top left: Ireland

Middle left: Wales

Bottom left: England

Upper right: Oxford Academy

Middle right: London (Anglia)

Lower right: River Thames

Bottom: Musashi


Kimi: The entire kingdom is four territories and the representative one is England. And while England is in charge, the other territories currently oppose them. The different colors represent the four levels with the darkest being the fourth level and the lightest being the first level. Each level is not a pure slab. Amid the color divisions, the layers overlap and split apart. Also, a shallow ocean surrounds the fourth level, so the gaps seen here are actually almost impossible to see.

Toori: Nwooooh! It’s all so confusing I can feel the excitement fading away, away, away!

Kimi: Could you try to lose interest more quietly?