Horizon:Volume 3B Chapter 33
Chapter 33: Persuader in the Chaos
What is going on here?
Point Allocation (Nothing to Do)
The commotion was located on Tama’s second underground floor. A residential wide block on the starboard side contained a scattered circle of people with a certain individual in the center.
Asama, who wore her shrine maiden suit, and Kimi, who carried a wrapped loaf of bread, arrived just as Horizon was attempting to break free of the people.
The two of them ran past the circle of Musashi’s public morals committee which was armed with defensive equipment and they stopped five meters from Horizon.
In front of them, Horizon locked her room and reached for the two objects leaning against the wall: Lype Katathlipse and Aspida Phylargia.
With the two Logismoi Óplo in hand, she noticed the travel backpack at the bottom of the wall.
Her hands were full, so she faced forward.
She stared directly ahead and took a breath.
“How very clumsy. What is the meaning of this, everyone?”
“Sh-she shifted the blame to all of us!!”
Asama stepped forward as she watched the girl try to put the bag on her back without putting down the two weapons.
“Um,” she began. “H-Horizon? Where are you going?”
“Isn’t that obvious?” she asked. “To save Toori-sama.”
Asama thought about what Horizon meant.
What she wanted was clearly impossible.
…But how can I convince her of that?
She had not left with Tenzou and the others, but that was likely because she had not felt ready. Now that she had the equipment she deemed necessary, she would join them.
What should I do? wondered Asama.
“You see, Horizon. We’re not flying over Hexagone Française anymore, so you missed your chance.”
“But I have determined I should rescue him.”
“Tenzou-kun and the others are taking care of that.”
“If I go too, I could help them.”
Asama groaned and was not sure what to say, so Horizon lifted up one of the Logismoi Óplo for the others to see.
“Look. I have Lype Katathlipse. It has not been of any use lately; I am beginning to suspect it will never actually hit anything again, and – to criticize myself – it feels like a bottom tier Logismoi Óplo, but it should be of some slight help.”
Gin’s shouting voice could be heard from beyond the crowd.
“Master Muneshige! Master Muneshige! Why have you fallen to your knees!?”
Being its former bearer can’t be fun, thought Asama as Kimi stepped up next to her.
“Horizon, calm down.”
“Judge. I have determined I am exceedingly calm.”
“Then think about this more carefully.”
“Judge. I have thought about this exceedingly carefully.”
“Then aren’t you hungry? Want some bread?”
“Judge. I ate a proper meal earlier. I am perfectly prepared.”
Kimi nodded and placed a hand on Asama’s shoulder.
“You take care of this.”
“Y-you are completely useless! I can say that now, can’t I!? And why were you trying to tempt her with food at the end!? Did you give this any thought at all!?”
“Oh? Then you must have a great idea. If so, just tell us what it is. …Heh heh heh.”
“Y-you’re laughing because you don’t think I can, aren’t you!?”
She ignored everyone muttering “you’re letting her mess with you” and she began to think. And after five seconds…
…Okay! I found a great plan!
“Asama, I doubt any idea you came up with that quickly will work.”
At any rate, she prepared to persuade Horizon by putting on a false smile and raising her right index finger.
“Now, are you listening, Horizon?”
“Oh? What is it?”
“You see,” she began. “This time, Tenzou-kun and the others are in charge of saving Toori-kun. Unfortunately, you are not part of that group.”
“Oh? And why is that?”
“Because Tenzou-kun and the others can handle it just fine, of course!”
Asama gave a huge smile. This is what you call shrine maiden persuasion! she told herself while thinking this was sure to make her argument more effective.
In front of her, Horizon responded with an expressionless nod.
“I see. But can they really handle it?”
Asama paused for just an instant when asked that. Oh, no, she thought while maintaining her smile.
“O-o-o-of course! Of course they can! Tenzou-kun and the others can handle it easily!”
…Ah! The specifics are hard!!
She paused again. I’ve messed up now, she thought while still maintaining the smile.
“W-well, they have Mary with them and Naito too!!”
Uqui: “May I ask why you shifted away from Tenzou so quickly?”
Still smiling, she karate chopped the sign frame that appeared to her right.
…If the idea that Tenzou-kun and the others can handle it won’t work, I have to turn that idea on its head!!
With that conclusion, she spoke to Horizon with a smile.
“You can wait to go until Tenzou-kun and the others have been wiped out!!”
Mal-Ga: “You have guts to include Margot in that. I’m gonna make a doujinshi out of you.”
Wise Sister: “And how will we know they’ve been wiped out? Are you stupid?”
Marube-ya: “C’mon, everyone, be nice. Asama-chi has gone crazy again, so she can’t help it.”
What do you mean “again”!?, she thought, but now was not the time to respond.
“I see, I see,” nodded Horizon. “You have guts, Asama-sama. But how will we know they have been wiped out? Have you perhaps gone crazy? Are you okay in that sense, Asama-sama?”
…She just summarized all three of their complaints!!
Asama very nearly fell to her knees, but the heir to Musashi’s representative Shinto family could not back down from persuading someone.
…I have to argue my way out of this one!
“Asama, is it just me or has your goal here shifted a little?”
“Calm down,” she said while patting Kimi on the shoulder and facing Horizon again. “Why do you want to go save Toori-kun?”
I can persuade her after hearing that, she thought.
After hearing Asama’s question, Horizon glanced up at the ceiling in thought.
“Well, to sum it up in a single word…”
The girls and everyone else leaned forward in expectation. Asama did the same. As she wondered what the answer would be, the mass of worldly thoughts to her side brought her hands to her cheeks and wiggled back and forth.
“Heh heh. It’s ‘love’ or ‘romance’, isn’t it!? But ‘perversion’ or ‘sex’ work just as well! Wonderful!!”
Horizon nodded toward Kimi and gave her answer.
“ ‘Perverted love’?”
“That isn’t a single word, but it’s still lovely, Horizon!”
Kimi placed a hand on Asama’s shoulder with a smile.
“Help me out here.”
“Wh-why!? You set that up, so you deal with it!”
“Ehhh? But isn’t this how we do things?”
“I will admit I feel like I’ve always been cleaning up after your mistakes.”
Asama sighed and took a step toward Horizon. The girl did not seem to grow cautious, so Asama continued forward while dragging Kimi along.
She ignored Kimi’s strange and exaggerated cries of, “Ah, wait! C’mon, Asama. You’re so forceful. Stop trying to take me by force.”
“Do you not understand why either, Horizon?”
She stood in front of Horizon even as she thought this was a lot like dealing with a child.
…But that’s exactly why she’s so serious.
Horizon tilted her head.
“Well, Toori-sama can be a pain, but when he is gone…”
“Oh? How does it make you feel?” asked the girls.
As their representative, Asama leaned eagerly forward at the front of the crowd. She of course ignored Kimi’s shouts of, “It makes you feel lonely, doesn’t it!? As your sister, I feel I’m a step away from hitting the jackpot!”
Horizon raised the hands holding the Logismoi Óplo and tilted her head.
“When Toori-sama is gone…”
“Y-yes? How does it make you feel when he’s gone?”
There was a three second pause.
“I have nothing to do.”
“You just use him to pass the time?”
Kimi tapped Asama’s shoulder with a dramatic expression, but Asama continued to ignore her.
Horizon however faced Asama and continued to speak.
“Mary-sama, Mitotsudaira-sama, and Naito-sama have gone to rescue him, but given the excitement this afternoon, they are clearly outmatched.”
That did seem to be the case, so there was nothing to say.
…That’s a hard idea to overturn.
Kimi tapped her shoulder from behind again, so she finally turned around and glared at her.
“She didn’t mention Tenzou!”
Without even tilting her head, Horizon glared back.
“S-see! I didn’t say anything because I knew she would react like that, so why did you have to bring it up!? And all while Tenzou-kun is doing his best to camouflage himself in the forest so he’s as plain and invisible as possible!!”
“You’re pretty awful yourself!”
She followed Kimi’s lead and danced out of the way of everyone’s shouts before facing Horizon again.
Horizon held up Lype Katathlipse.
“Listen,” she began. “I am Musashi’s greatest firepower. Opinions of this Logismoi Óplo may be dropping like a rock, but…
“Ah, Master Muneshige! Why did you fall to your knees again!?”
“But even this poor Logismoi Óplo should be useful as a long-range surprise bomber. I have determined it would be best to travel there and destroy the area in question.”
Asama suddenly looked at the other Logismoi Óplo she held.
The indicator on Aspida Phylargia showed how much ether fuel it had stored inside and that indicator was about a third of the way full. However, she had supposedly used all of its fuel when firing on Hexagone Française’s nudist and student council president.
Aspida Phylargia transformed any “pain” felt by its bearer into ether fuel, so…
“Horizon, you have been reading criticism directed at you on the divine network, haven’t you?” asked Kimi.
“I still lack 7/9 of my emotions, so I have determined it is not causing all that much damage. As an automaton, I find myself mentally pointing out any theoretical errors in the criticism of the student council and I find myself agreeing with the logical criticisms. That is why it took so long to accumulate this much. So-…”
Asama cut off Horizon.
“You must not fill Aspida Phylargia like that.”
Asama saw Horizon tilt her head.
“Why not? I only feel 2/9 of the emotional pain and we need the power at the moment.”
Asama understood what she was saying.
It was true the pain was lessened by Horizon’s lack of emotion and it was true they always needed the Logismoi Óplo to be ready. But, thought Asama. This isn’t a humanitarian issue.
“It is wrong for you to bear it all yourself, Horizon.”
“Why? I am the representative of the Far East. Or at least one of them. I am also Vicereine of Musashi. So why should I not take action or prepare to rescue Musashi or its representative?”
She continued speaking.
“In Mikawa, I could have bought the Far East’s destiny with my life. In that case, shouldn’t I save the Far East even if it means harming that life?”
“Now that you mention it, I do agree that is a possible path for a ruler.”
She squeezed the hand Kimi placed on her shoulder.
She took a step forward.
“Please remember this. What we did at Mikawa ensured that you did not have to do that.”
“This is the same. We will not sacrifice you alone. This is the path we chose at Mikawa and it is the path you chose at England.”
Horizon tilted her head in confusion, so Asama continued.
“You are the one that suggested saving Mary and we all acted on that suggestion. If someone is about to be lost, we will stop it. You are not the only one with that idea. We all want to do that.”
“Then,” said Horizon with a further tilt of her head. “If you want to do that, why are you not heading out to save Toori-sama?”
…She had to go there, didn’t she!?
That was a difficult question to answer. She could simply say they were using everyone where they could help the most, but…
“What’s this, Asama? Do you not care about my foolish brother?”
“Y-you’re working against me, aren’t you, Kimi!? You’re definitely trying to complicate this!!”
She took in a breath and placed her hands on Horizon’s shoulders.
“Um, I would only get in the way of the others who went to save him. …I’m just not powerful enough.”
Everyone else seemed to be working against her too because they all pulled back in surprise. Horizon, on the other hand, nodded.
“Oh, of course. Because you are not officially allowed to fire on people.”
“When you say that with your expressionless face, I can feel my own Aspida Phylargia meter rising.”
“You’re so silly, Asama. And listen, Horizon.”
“What is it, Kimi-sama?”
Kimi circled behind Asama.
“Listen. Asama has a job to do here. She has to use these breasts to counterbalance the people here who are severely lacking in that department.”
“S-stop that. Don’t try to lift them up from behind. And stop nodding in understanding, Horizon. …Ah. Sanyou-sensei!? Where are you going!?”
“Anyway,” said Horizon. “To sum up, I am being forbidden from leaving despite my strength because…”
“Yes, because we sent out people more suited for the job.”
She’s finally calmed down, thought Asama with a mental sigh of relief.
“The people most suited for the job have already been sent out.”
At that point, footsteps and a voice reached them from behind.
“That’s right, Horizon. There is a good reason to keep you here on the Musashi. This is the best place for you right now.”
It was Masazumi.
Asama realized persuasion duty had finally been removed from her as Masazumi arrived next to her.
Horizon stared at Masazumi’s chest.
“I see you too are putting a burden on Asama-sama.”
“Eh? W-well, she does help me out a lot.”
Horizon set down the Logismoi Óplo, placed her hands on Masazumi’s shoulders, and squeezed just once.
“Do not worry. Some people are into crazy things.”
“I’m not sure what you mean… What is this, Asama? Does it have anything to do with the breast enhancing poses the Aoi sister is making behind you?”
“No, no, no.” Sweating uncomfortably, Asama asked a question. “More importantly, why exactly do we need Horizon here?”
Masazumi looked to Horizon’s tilted head and placed a hand on her shoulder.
“It’s a simple matter. Horizon is the Vicereine. She takes on that responsibility in Aoi’s absence. Having the same authority as him makes her temporary chancellor and student council president.”
“And,” said Masazumi. “I only received word on the way here, but the Magdeburg representative wishes to hold a meeting. What a pain.”
With that last comment, she patted Asama’s back, Kimi’s back, and then Horizon’s shoulder.
“Things are rough up here and down below. Horizon, if you’re worried about things down there, you should worry about things here as well. We sent the best people we had for what needs to be done down there and you’re the best person we have for what needs to be done up here. …That’s all there is to it.”
Thank goodness, thought Asama in silent agreement.
…We all have something to do.
Toori had been taken, they did not know how the pursuit was going, and they were on their way to Magdeburg which would be sacked. Everyone was definitely worried and they needed to be distracted from that.
“We all need something to do.”
Asama’s thoughts soon turned to the people who had descended to the Hexagone Française forest. They had to be even more anxious than the people on the Musashi.
“I hope Mito is okay.”
Mitotsudaira suddenly came to.
An instant later, she realized she was in a dark and cold place.
She could sense her surroundings by scent more than sight; so she knew that this was a forest at night, that she was lying on a bed made of plants, and that she was naked for some reason.
“Okay, Mito-tsan. How about I get your clothes on?”
Naito’s upper body leaned forward from the right. She held a Far Eastern uniform.
The girl’s proposal to put the uniform on her prevented her from grasping the situation. Instead of feeling the girl was being kind, she was worried what the girl might do to her.
“No, um… Margot? Why are we out here? And I can…”
She stopped before saying “dress myself”. She had tried to sit up but found herself unsteady.
“You’re probably a little loopy from the pain reduction.”
“Yes, yes. Right, right.”
Naito nodded and showed no concern for what she was trying to say. She pulled Mitotsudaira the length of a lap closer and gave a pure smile.
“You were pretty beat up, but you heal nice and fast. I saw that side of you in England and this is mostly bruising, so you shouldn’t even need the pain reduction by tomorrow.”
Mitotsudaira leaned forward, found she could not stop herself, and collapsed. Ah, she thought as her chest and chin fell into the plant bed. Her legs fell out of place as well.
…Th-this doesn’t mean my chest only sticks out as far as my chin!
Arguing when no one had said anything was a sad trait of someone in her class. She felt a little depressed when she wondered if that would stick with her forever, but she slowly managed to sit up again.
“If I have to get dressed, does that mean…?”
“Judge. We are in a Hexagone Française forest right now. Tenzou’s our leader. He says we have to move at night since they might notice the movement in the trees if we do it before the sun sets. But he says our pursuers will only move at night for the same reason, so we’ll be moving during the same time period and they can’t catch up.”
“Judge. Then, um, can you cut the pain reduction?”
“Eh? It’ll hurt a lot.”
“It will help me wake up a bit.”
Naito nodded and Mitotsudaira saw the Far Eastern uniform and tights in the girl’s hands.
“Um… I think I want to get dressed.”
“How about I help you?”
“No, I can do that on my-…”
“I really don’t think you can with the pain reduction.”
She approached while smiling and repeating “don’t worry”.
“I’ve practiced on Ga-chan. I like doing motherly things like dressing people up. It’s cute when they struggle.”
She moved behind Mitotsudaira and wrapped her arms around her.
“Here, let’s start with the tights.”
“No, um, wait! Don’t grab my legs- hyaaah! Wait! Um… Nn!”
Seeing her reaction, Naito’s mouth curved up in satisfaction and she nodded several times.
“I’m so glad I didn’t reduce your ticklishness. And I’m so glad I came to Hexagone Française.”
Tenzou and Mary were inside a pit in the forest. He had chosen this low area to the south because he predicted their pursuers would come from the north. In the center of the five meter space, he used an unlit sign frame to explain to Mary the surrounding terrain and what they would do.
“And that is why Hexagone Française will not be waiting at the Reine des Garous’ safe house. She is acting entirely on her own and has made sure everyone else stays away. That is why we must lose the pursuers before going there, but I will probably need your help when we travel. However, I will take the lead and the rest of you will follow in this order: Naito-dono, Mitotsudaira-dono, and then you. That way…”
Mary was listening intently, but he glanced down at her waist. “Eh?” she said while twisting her thighs together and adjusting the sides of her suit at the stomach.
“Um, did you see something strange?”
“Eh? N-no, not at all! Not in the slightest! I-I, um, was looking at Excalibur.”
The two Excaliburs floating at her hips moved. One moved to Mary and the other to him. They rubbed their cheeks against their elbows.
“Um, Master Tenzou? What did you want to say about these little things?”
Little things? he thought. Oh, she’s treating them like pets.
For the time being, he spoke to the right half that had come to him.
“Can I ask you to protect Mary-dono?”
After floating for a moment as if in thought, it rubbed its cheek against him again.
It did not return to Mary, which meant…
“It’s taken a liking to you. It must know that you were the one that drew it.”
“I want to avoid leaving you unprotected, though.”
She narrowed her eyes in the starlit depths of the forest and rubbed the scar running from above her nose and to her cheek.
“I can fight well enough on my own. In fact, I would prefer to leave that one with you. Not to mention that Lady Mitotsudaira is injured. I intend to look after her too.”
“I am glad to hear it. Please do so without pushing yourself too much.”
“Thank you,” she said while bowing.
He lowered his head even further.
“No, thank you, Mary-dono.”
“No, thank you.”
“No, no. Thank you.”
“No, no, no. Thank you.”
“Why are you two throwing yourselves on the ground toward each other?”
Hearing Naito, Tenzou frantically straightened up. Mary glanced toward him with a bitter smile, but he only shrugged and spoke.
“How is Mitotsudaira-dono doing?”
“Judge. I am right here.”
Mitotsudaira was leaning against a broad-leaved tree to the south.
“You must be exhausted,” he said. “Are you feeling all right?”
“Well, um, that is a different issue…”
She sighed and faced him.
“Do you have anything I could eat?”
The Protestant Reformation – Protestantism and Catholicism
Toori: Sis! Sis! What is this Protestant Reformation thing!? Did the flat-chested people “protest” and demand their breasts be “re-formed” into something bigger!?
Kimi: Heh heh heh. Chest brother, during the Age of the Gods, the Protestant Reformation was when the unified Christian Church split into the Catholics and Protestants. It was caused by corruption in the church.
Toori: Had they fallen into what people call a decadent lifestyle!?
Kimi: More or less. They were interfering with politics, finding ways of making money, and – even if the lower levels weren’t – the upper levels had become a privileged class that ate and drank whatever they wanted and didn’t even follow the rules of the religion.
They even started making money off of the normal people by selling indulgences, which were supposed to purify your sins after you died if you bought them.
The witch hunt was also going on at the time, so there was a fear of being labelled a witch if you didn’t buy indulgences or donate to the church. The people were really left with no choice but to pay the church.
Toori: Doesn’t sound much different from the Yakuza.
Kimi: Right. Some serious people within the church began speaking out against the hypocrisy of what they were doing. Soon, sects began popping up here and there trying to correct the actions of the upper levels of the church that they claimed were wrong.
Toori: Huh? But I thought Luther started Protestantism.
Kimi: You seem mistaken about something. Protestantism simply refers those who were “protesting”, so it wasn’t just a single group. Luther is the representative of one major group, he was the first to spread the Protestants’ shared ideas of restoring the Bible and clearing out the corruption, and he disliked conflict. That is why the churches and the lords that supported them decided to treat him as the representative of Protestantism.
And even if we call it all Protestantism, the different sects inside it have different precepts.
Toori: I see. So what did Luther do as their representative?
Kimi: Basically, he acknowledged Protestantism and defined its ideals. In other words, he made it an official sect when the church was going to treat them as heretics and he decided on their “teachings”.
- The pope is the head of the church and has the highest authority. Faith in God is guided by the pope.
- Worship of icons (the cross, images of Christ or the Virgin Mary) allowed.
- Sins are forgiven when confessed to the church.
- Divorce and contraception forbidden.
- Must periodically attend mass at a cathedral.
- Mary viewed as a saint.
- Has official priests for guidance.
- Primarily calls its buildings of worship “cathedrals”.
- The words of the Bible are the teachings of God and have the highest authority. Faith in God is guided by reading and understanding the Bible.
- Worship of icons forbidden.
- Confession not practiced.
- Divorce and contraception allowed.
- Mass not necessary outside of important ceremonies.
- Mary not viewed as a saint.
- No official priests and little organizational structure. A representative local believer is selected as a pastor.
- Primarily calls its buildings of worship “churches”.
Toori: That’s a lot of differences. Although it looks like they both have their pluses and minuses.
Kimi: Well, if you look past the differences, they both have the same objective to their faith: peace and love. So it feels like they could get along as long as they believe in that part. Protestantism is said to excel on the frontier and in business, but that might be because it is more compact since it lacks mass and you could handle confession in your own heart.
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