Horizon:Volume 3B Chapter 27
Chapter 27: Mother and Daughter in the Mist
Why do you
Become so spellbound?
Point Allocation (Y-Youth…?)
An island wrapped in mist floated in the sky.
This floating island extended north to south and was located in the air northwest of the island nation known as the Far East.
The north of the floating island contained a giant shrine bearing the company name IZUMO, Hexagone Française warships were docked to the west, and an aerial city ship named the Musashi was docked to the east.
The two fleets to the east and west were using IZUMO’s central land to battle.
However, the Musashi had produced thick mist between them which hid the people and gods of war.
On the Musashi end where the mist was thinning out, a certain confrontation was underway.
A woman held a boy wrapped in a chain and a girl faced her.
They were mother and daughter.
The mother went by the title Reine des Garous and the daughter…
“Now, what will you do, Nate? …Or should I call you Mitotsudaira Nate as you are an official member of Musashi?”
The Reine des Garous held the boy forward by his shoulders.
His pants were lowered down to his knees.
“Yes, this boy is Musashi Chancellor and Student Council President Aoi Toori, isn’t he?”
The mother laughed and spoke to her unmoving daughter.
“If you won’t do anything, I’ll take him for myself.”
“Hold on. Now, that’s what you call a genuine monster. What am I supposed to do about this?”
A voice filed the sky above the sea far north of IZUMO. In an aerial ship’s open-air command center, a Hard Wolf crossed his arms and looked at a sign frame.
He was Drake, 5-1 of the Trumps, and he scratched his head in annoyance.
“It was an accepted fact that the Reine des Garous had been hunted down. …I even believed my grandfather and the others about that.”
He thought while speaking.
…Although they didn’t talk about it much since Loup-Garous aren’t really the same thing as Hard Wolves like us.
“I wasted my time feeling bad for the Loup-Garous.”
“Testament,” said the bitterly smiling mermaid in the sign frame.
Cavendish opened a new sign frame to gather the official statements from Hexagone Française.
“Hexagone Française gave a report saying the Reine des Garous had been hunted down and they enacted a policy to protect the Loup-Garou race in order to secure a fighting force for themselves. The noble family that became the base of the Mitotsudaira family – that is, the minor noble who took a Loup-Garou as his wife – was one of the families given protection at that time. Because the wife later became pregnant with Nate Mitotsudaira, she was called to Paris where she was treated kindly and served Anne of Austria.”
“In that case,” said Drake. “When the Reine des Garous got pregnant, she must have made a deal to become vice chancellor during Louis XIV’s rule in exchange for protection during her pregnancy.”
There was likely more to it than that, but it was not worth worrying about any further.
He guessed he would eventually hear about it in the form of rumors.
“Drake, just how powerful is the Reine des Garous?”
That question came from Hawkins in his swimsuit and scarf on a different sign frame, but Drake shook his head.
“Even more than you?”
“That’s a good question,” he said with a bitter smile.
He was unsure whether Hawkins was trying to flatter him or analyze the enemy’s data.
“Listen. Both of us may be lupine races, but Loup-Garous have some differences from us, especially the pure-blooded ones. Hard Wolves like me are either humanoid wolves or a fusion between wolf and man, but Loup-Garous are the wolf-possessed.”
"Do you understand?"
“Wolf-possession is a spiritual phenomenon. Instead of a human going mad, it’s a wolf spirit possessing a human. And…”
“Just like standalone spirits, spiritual beings can easily surpass the abilities of those who live in the world of men. Do you understand? Don’t let how Loup-Garous look fool you. They’re no different from a spirit with a human form. And the moonlight fully draws our their true nature, turning them into a monster. They were the gods of fear itself in ancient times. After all, the Loup-Garou is the oldest monster in Europe.”
Drake asked “do you understand?’ again.
…She really is a lot of trouble.
It was said his race came from the people who were transformed into a wolf by a Loup-Garou but could not return. To put it another way, the Loup-Garous were their origin.
“The Loup-Garou race is pretty amazing.”
He recalled what his grandfather had once told him.
“If they possess a human and devour other humans long enough, they eventually gain a true spiritual body. Once they can leave their host and still influence the real world, they’ve reached the knight class. When those intermingle, they give birth to a Loup-Garou with an actual body that can continue to devour humans and become a noble class. Above that are the royals and the highest royal is the queen. After all, it is women who control the moon. That is the peak of the Loup-Garou race. Although, I’d heard they had almost entirely died off due to killing each other after the split between England and Hexagone Française for the Hundred Years’ War.”
He scratched his throat fur and swore.
“This is just like with Joan of Arc. After all, the previous Reine des Garous controlled the left wing group which was opposed to the ogre named Gilles de Rais.”
“What does that mean for this confrontation?” asked Cavendish.
Drake shook a hand as if to say “don’t worry about it”.
“It’s not worth recording. Just eat some meat and sleep. After all, any records are going to be worthless. She has ether defenses that can deflect any and all attacks and godlike strength. And this Reine des Garous took a human husband and hid her identity, so…”
“She’s clearly a capricious person. She’ll kill if she feels like it or let them live if she feels like it. Rules don’t work with her. There’s nothing to record except that ‘it’s over’. That’s how I see it, anyway.”
On the battlefield, the confrontation between mother and daughter continued without the slightest movement.
Mitotsudaira suddenly spoke up and her mother tilted her head.
“What is it, Nate?”
Mitotsudaira nodded at her mother’s reaction, but…
…What am I supposed to say?
Her mother was capricious and she had often been manipulated by her even as a child.
Plus, there was one definite fact when it came to her mother.
…If you anger her, it’s all over.
She knew that fact firsthand, so she took a slow breath and tried not to provoke her mother.
“We are a…normal Loup-Garou family, aren’t we? So…why would you suddenly joke about being the Reine des Garous?”
Her mother backed away in surprise.
As always, she went overboard in expressing her emotions. The smile on her face was the same as the one Mitotsudaira remembered.
And with the same expression, same smile, and same tone she remembered, her mother spoke.
“Now, Nate. Think about this carefully. A normal Loup-Garou family would never pass down an item like those silver chains.”
Asama: “Is she implying anyone who didn’t pick up on that is an idiot?”
Mal-Ga: “So accepting what your mother tells you at face value makes you an idiot? That’s a pretty harsh rule.”
She used shared voice settings when out on a mission like this, so she hoped it would not leave any unwanted records behind.
“Um,” she began. “Well, it is true you told me the details of the silver chains, but…but I always thought that was because an ancestor was part of the main force back then. I never thought…”
“Testament. This new revelation is quite sudden, isn’t it? Try to stay focused, Nate.”
Marube-ya: “That’s quite the amazing mother you have there.”
…I agree with that. In fact, why hasn’t she changed at all after so much time?
However, her mother brought a hand to one cheek and sighed.
“To be honest, I was planning to have some fun on my deathbed by surprising you with this. Yes, just like my mother with me.”
Still restrained by the chains, the chancellor turned toward her mother with a tilt of the head.
“Nate Maman, how surprised were you when you heard?”
“Testament. I said I had never heard anything about that and that she must be joking, but she said that a normal Loup-Garou family would never pass down an item like those silver chains. She even lectured me on the verge of death.”
The entire Musashi side reacted with comments about how similar the entire family was and Mitotsudaira began to sweat uncomfortably. The chancellor nodded a few times, but she had to wonder why he turned toward her with a curious look in his eyes.
At any rate, her mother sighed again.
“But our identity could not be revealed to the public, especially in this generation. Anne of Austria, Hexagone Française’s previous provisional Chancellor, ordered it. According to her, if the other nations learn that the Reine des Garous is on the people’s side in Hexagone Française, it would lead to political maneuvering. After all, it was the non-human unit that overturned the power balance between England and Hexagone Française during the Hundred Years’ War.”
“Then,” asked the chancellor. “Why did you identify yourself as the Reine des Garous now?”
“Testament. Because Hexagone Française has completed its preparations toward becoming the ruling nation.”
The Reine des Garous formed words while convinced she was explaining the obvious.
“Hexagone Française has great national power, a powerful king, and prosperity ensured by the Testament descriptions. With those things, the Reine des Garous is no longer a source of political maneuvering against us but a source of political maneuvering against other nations. That is simply how powerful a name it is.”
…This is only natural.
The world of men obeyed the Testament Union and the Testament descriptions. Since the Reine des Garous had left the forest and joined the world of men, she had no objections on that front.
…But that means I will use this to its fullest.
Wolves gave their all when having fun and when eating.
“But,” said her chain-wrapped prey with a tilt of his head. “Doesn’t that mean the nation has put a collar on the wolf?”
The meaning affected her more than the words themselves.
She felt her own blood throb.
Ahead in the mist, she heard her daughter gulp and sensed the girl’s pulse racing.
…You understand, don’t you?
A werewolf was a wolf, they would eat when hungry, and they would otherwise choose to eat or play on a whim.
They were a free beast. The Reine des Garous was their representative and treating her like a pet in a collar was a definite provocation.
Had her daughter realized that?
That daughter remained motionless.
She held her breath, took a defensive stance, and did not move. She did nothing.
And so the Reine des Garous had the same thought once more.
…You do understand, don’t you?
…After so long, you have realized anew that you cannot stand up to me.
It was not even a question. The girl had dropped her hips down in a low stance, but that was no different than a beast curling up its tail in preparation to flee.
That meant her daughter was no obstacle.
Therefore, she looked away from the girl and faced her prey. That boy was the one who had defenselessly asked that provoking question.
How interesting, thought the Reine des Garous while asking a question of her own.
“Listen. You just accused me of wearing a collar.”
“But if that is a bad thing, then why did you put a collar on my Nate?”
Mitotsudaira looked toward the chancellor and heard his questioning tone.
She saw him turn toward her.
The action was so quick that she lowered her head without thinking, but his gaze was on her neck and the black leather choker she wore there.
She had worn it for a long time now and had decided to always wear it from now on, but to her mother…
“When I last saw you eight years ago, you were not wearing that. From the scent, I take it you have been wearing it for five or six years now, Nate.”
“No, um, this wasn’t from the chancellor.”
“Are you saying you turned yourself into a pet?”
Her mother did not even look at her and she could not help but think back over what the choker meant.
It was true someone else might see it that way.
…But this is…
She hesitated and lowered her head, but a sudden voice reached her from directly ahead.
“Wait a sec, Nate Maman. You can’t just berate her like that while treating a choker like a collar. Plus, a collar doesn’t immediately mean a pet either. Surely you know that.”
“Sure,” he said with a nod to her.
H then spoke speaking to her mother while wrapped in chains and with his pants pulled down.
“Some people are just into that kind of thing. Surely you know that.”
Mitotsudaira saw her mother give her a look of disbelief. Eh? she thought before grasping what he meant.
“Wh-what are you talking about!? I am not ‘into’ that kind of thing! Don’t give me that look, mother!”
“No, um, Nate? Even if I can’t, well, understand other people’s preferences, I will still respect them. Um, yes, that should cover it.”
“That’s right,” said the chain-roll next to her mother. “Besides, just look at her, Nate Maman. Don’t you think it’s suspicious just how desperate she is to deny it?”
“N-now that you mention it, you’re right. Maybe giving her the silver chains was a mistake. I never thought it would give her a bondage fetish.”
Her mother and the chain-roll both looked back at her and nodded.
“You can wait until you’ve calmed down, but try to explain it to me sometime. Not what exactly your preferences are, but how you turned into such a fetishist. …The lecture comes after that.”
“N-no! You have it all wrong!”
“Yeah, that’s right, Nate! It isn’t a fetish! You just happen to like it!”
She wanted to hit him with something, but she could not provoke her mother.
…B-but isn’t the chancellor turning against me here?
“Well, whatever,” said her mother with a shrug. “My current state is not a collar.”
She formed a small smile as she continued.
“It is repayment for my blessing.”
That question came from the loading entrance on Tama’s starboard side that had become a giant hole now that the bridge was gone. Asama tilted her head among those gathered on the edge to see.
“What blessing did the Reine des Garous receive?”
She was answered by Kimi who stood with Horizon. She crossed her arms and shook her shoulders in a laugh.
“Heh heh. Isn’t it obvious? What is the one true blessing a woman can receive from another?”
“Heh heh heh. Silly girl. Something another can take from you is not a true blessing. A true blessing is something only that person can give you and that not even that person can take from you.”
Kimi looked down into the still thick fog.
“That blessing would be a child.”
“Yes,” said the Reine des Garous with a smile. “Previous Chancellor Anne allowed my relationship with my husband. And when I had my child, I was given a blessing.”
She turned to her daughter who was still looking back in a human-style defensive stance.
“So Nate, you have Anne to thank for your birth. When I was pregnant, she placed me by her side as a maid and urged me to speak with her about so many things.”
She heard an impressed “oh?”, but it did not come from her daughter.
It came from the chain-roll next to her. He faced her with a smile and spoke in a tone of understanding.
“So your situation now is in thanks for the fun and happiness from back then.”
“Testament. …I am the Reine des Garous, so I can live a wild and enjoyable life on my own. However, there are a few people who have made me desire them and enjoy myself with something other than strength. There is my husband, Anne, and…”
There was no need to say any more at the moment, so she nodded toward the chain-roll.
“It was a fun and happy time, and that is why…”
She nodded again, recalled many things about the past, remembered making it through those things, and spoke to her prey.
“Yes, this rebellious non-human will use her strength to pay back for everything she was given.”
“We are enemies here.”
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