Horizon:Volume 3B Chapter 36
Chapter 36: Agreement at the Table
Brought everything to this point?
Point Allocation (History)
The negotiation began with silence.
Asama stood at the door to manage the divine transmissions and Naruze waited in the diplomat’s room outside.
Inside, Horizon sat at the negotiation table by the window on the ship’s inner side. From her perspective, Magdeburg Provisional Mayor Guericke sat on the right while Masazumi and the treasurer duo sat on the left.
The first to speak was Masazumi. She was facing Guericke from across the table.
…I know what he’s trying to say.
“I think I know what you’re saying, provisional mayor. During the Sack of Magdeburg, the city will be destroyed and lose most of its citizens…but you want it to take place on the Musashi instead.”
“Testament. I am glad you understand. That will speed this up.”
Guericke rested his elbows on the table. The arm armor with hemispheres attached acted like an armrest.
“I currently work under Saxony Sub-Chancellor Johann as treasurer of Saxony Academy. I hope you understand that I am perfectly capable when it comes to negotiating financial matters.”
Obscene: “Ha ha ha. What is a sub-chancellor!?”
Mal-Ga: “M.H.R.R. is made up of several principalities, so the emperor holds the position of chancellor and the leader of each principality acts as the sub-chancellor. Also, the new sub-chancellor of the principality that produces the chancellor is customarily given the position of M.H.R.R.’s student council president which puts them in a higher position than the other sub-chancellors. Rudolf II from Bohemia is the chancellor, so his younger brother Matthias is M.H.R.R.’s president and Bohemia’s sub-chancellor.”
It helps having someone from M.H.R.R. with us, thought Masazumi.
Mal-Ga: “Those brothers get a lot of gay comics made about them. Make sure you remember that.”
…I want to correct her, but I can’t in the middle of a meeting!!
“What do you say, Musashi Vice President?”
…Oh, no!! I wasn’t listening!
Marube-ya: “Now, one of the following people will give you the right answer. Try to guess which one.”
Mal-Ga: “He said he’d let us off the hook if you let him grope your truly nonexistent breasts.”
Marube-ya: “Apparently, he gets really fired up if you say ‘Leave, you piece of shit!’.”
Asama: “Calm down, Masazumi! Try to start from there!”
83: “Curry is best at times like this!”
…Those are all clearly wrong!!
Asama seems the safest, but she’s also made the least progress, she rationally concluded.
“Sorry. Things were a little noisy. Can you repeat that?”
“Eh? I was only asking if you understood my position.”
Vice President: “You all can go straight to hel!!”
Marube-ya: “Oh? You’re showing some nice initiative today, Masazumi.”
Asama: “Yes, if only she was calm enough to spell ‘hell’ correctly.”
These people, she thought while watching them calmly typing away.
“Mayor Guericke, asking to use the Musashi in Magdeburg’s place is an absurd demand, so how do you plan to continue these discussions? What kind of bargaining chip have you brought with you?”
She asked another question.
“You mentioned a means of fighting P.A. Oda, but what exactly is that?”
Masazumi saw Guericke reach into his pocket. He briefly glanced down at what he pulled from his pocket and showed them. It was a blueprint.
“Are you familiar with my history recreation? I refer to the aside given about me from ’48 onwards.”
She was not familiar with it. After all, his visit had been unannounced. During the day, the various committees and the provisional council could have worked to compile information, but they could not react as quickly for a night visit like this.
Mal-Ga: “I know what he’s talking about.”
Vice President: “Really, Naruze?”
Mal-Ga: “Judge. I believe he’s the man who caused a huge commotion in the city by pressing two balls together, sucking on them, and then tugging on them again and again.”
…What kind of explanation is that!? Someone please tell me the truth!
Marube-ya: “Judge. That’s exactly right, Naruze!”
Vice President: “W-wait! Isn’t it a little cruel to do this to me during a real negotiation!?”
Asama: “That’s right! I think it’s cruel too! I don’t know much about this either, so someone give us a better explanation!”
Naruze poked her head in through the open door, beckoned Asama over, and sent her pen racing through the air.
“You see, this went like…um…this and then they were pulled like this.”
Asama nodded several times, waved at Naruze as they parted ways, and began typing.
Asama: “I understand now, Masazumi. Guericke-san is the person who caused a huge commotion in the city by pressing two balls together, sucking on them, and then tugging on them again and again.”
Vice President: “Then arrest him! Shouldn’t he be arrested if he did something like that!?”
Marube-ya: “No, Masazumi. He isn’t some indecent person. All he did was cause a huge commotion in the city by pressing two balls together, sucking on them, and then tugging on them again and again.”
Vice President: “D-dammit! If this is how it’s gonna be, I’ll search the ship’s divine network for the truth!”
<Search Results: Otto von Guericke 1602-1686. According to an individual aside in the Testament descriptions, he was mayor of Magdeburg from 1646-1676. He once caused a huge commotion in the city by pressing two balls together, sucking on them, and then tugging on them again and again. (This article was edited by Neshinbara Toussaint two seconds ago.)>
Novice: “Phew. Barely made it in time.”
Vice President: “Y-you people are doing your best to get in the way of my work, aren’t you!?”
Wise Sister: “Heh heh. Silly girl. This is the truth, so what’s wrong with telling it like it is?”
Really? she thought. There really is some truth to this, right? she also thought.
She crossed her arms and decided to go through with this while keeping as much of her dignity intact as possible.
“I assume you refer to the incident where you cause a huge commotion in the city by pressing two balls together, sucking on them, and then tugging on them again and again.”
That statement instantly filled the room with something.
That something was silence.
All expression vanished from Guericke’s face.
Almost Everyone: “Wow, she actually said it.”
Vice President: “Every last one of you can go straight to hell!!!!”
Suddenly, Guericke cleared his throat and gave a shallow nod in her direction.
“My Far Eastern is not the best and I am having trouble understanding some of that, but that is…more or less correct.”
Wise Sister: “Heh heh heh. What a naïve man! Interpret things that kindly and you’ll have worn a hole in your stomach before your third day on the Musashi! A hole! Right through the stomach!”
Asama: “While I definitely agree with you, how about holding back? He is a beginner, after all.”
Mal-Ga: “I always have trouble with Germans. They tend to be really straitlaced and like to keep everything so serious.”
Almost Everyone: “Did you forget what nation you’re from!?”
Naruze is really strict when it comes to herself, thought Masazumi as Guericke placed his hands on the table and held up the objects on his arm armor.
Small movable metal hemispheres were attached near the wrists. They were shaped like thin bowls and almost looked like plates.
“If the Apocalypse does not happen, these will later be known as the Magdeburg Hemispheres.”
“What are the Magdeburg Hemispheres? Do you know, Miriam?”
Miriam, the translucent girl, and Azuma all lay alongside each other in the bottom bunk of the two beds installed on the wall of a ten square meter Western-style room. Azuma was watching the sign frame he had opened in the head space.
Miriam brought her hands together before answering.
“It was a vacuum experiment.”
“Is that the name of a special attack or something?”
“Boom,” said the girl.
“No,” replied Miriam while holding out her hands. “You see? Mayor Guericke was also a scientist, so he placed two hemispheres together, sucked all the air out of them, and tested their strength by tugging on them to see if they would come apart.”
“Huh? So that previous explanation about balls was…?”
“Hmm,” he and Miriam groaned together.
He then tilted his head again.
“But why would he bring up that hemisphere experiment?”
“These hemispheres can oppose P.A. Oda,” said Guericke. “As Musashi’s vice president, I believe you will know what I mean by that.”
Eh? thought Masazumi.
…I don’t know anything about those hemispheres.
What does he mean? she thought.
Horizon nodded and turned toward her.
“If we use those to suck at your breasts, they will grow, Masazumi-sama.”
She cut off Horizon with a shout and frantically turned to Guericke.
“Sh-she didn’t say anything! She didn’t say anything at all!”
Ah. I’m starting make him suspicious, she realized while mentally sweating.
At any rate, she sat back down and observed the hemispheres he had placed on the table with his wrists.
She then began thinking about the Apocalypse and if it had some connection to the hemispheres.
It suddenly came to her.
…Is that what he means?
She asked a question to confirm the answer in her heart.
“The vacuum experiment known as the Magdeburg Hemispheres causes a lot of excitement, doesn’t it?”
“Testament. However, the actual experiment does not occur in Magdeburg. It occurs in the southern M.H.R.R. city of Regensburg. The hemispheres are named as they are because the mayor of Magdeburg performs the experiment. However, it seems the metal hemispheres held together by a vacuum finally came apart after being pulled by sixteen horses.”
“I see,” replied Masazumi before asking a question. “Are you familiar with Avalon?”
Guericke simply nodded without even smiling, so she did the same.
“That technique for creating an Artificial Apocalypse was researched in England, but it would have reached you through the Protestant nation of Holland. Have you been experimenting with a defense spell using the concept of a vacuum?”
“Testament.” Guericke nodded once more and spread his arms a bit. “You should know this if you recall the Artificial Apocalypse in England, but it was kept from spreading using a spell. That spell can stop the Apocalypse which consumes ether and produces blossoming flowers, so it would make a powerful defense. …However, that barrier was made by Chancellor Henry VIII and Chancellor Carlos V and it is very complicated. England has little history with Testament Kunst, so the analysis is being done here.”
Guericke slowly closed his spread arms.
“The Magdeburg Hemispheres are a defense spell created by the greatest minds of England, Holland, M.H.R.R., and various other nations. We will provide you with all of the documents and prototype creation devices. That should give you a significant advantage in your battles with P.A. Oda or any other nation.”
And in exchange…
“We ask that you give us the Musashi. That way we can protect the city of Magdeburg and its people.”
Guericke heard Musashi’s vice president speak.
…She is less telling me to wait and more giving herself time to gather her thoughts.
She faced him with slightly raised eyebrows. Not hiding her caution was a negotiation technique. It was a gesture meant to show she would not allow any disrespect or one-sided demands.
After displaying that barrier of caution with a single expression, she spoke.
“It is my understanding that this is not an official discussion.”
“Testament,” replied Guericke. “We are simply laying the groundwork for that, so I too view it as a preliminary discussion. However, a decision here will lead to a later decision. That is how this works.”
“So I should view this on the same level as a primary meeting?”
“Testament,” he replied again.
He then had another thought about the Musashi Vice President who lowered her gaze in a nod.
…She has made sure to check on everything. She is a reliable negotiator.
That was not surprising. Musashi had many enemies at present, so they could not function as a nation without a reliable and careful vice president handling their negotiations.
He made a short pause in his thoughts and that vice president spoke.
“First, I would like to know what it is you want from Musashi. Give us specifics.”
“Testament.” He recited the statement he had prepared. “The Musashi is a city of approximately one hundred thousand. Magdeburg has approximately thirty thousand. Thus, if you provide us with roughly a third of the Musashi, that will be equivalent to Magdeburg. …Please understand that we will not be taking everything.”
This was the decision they had reached after discussing it all with the Magdeburg city council and citizens.
Musashi’s vice president backed away slightly.
“Then let me ask this: what will the actual Magdeburg be?”
“It will be a ‘harbor’. It borders a river and it can all be viewed as ‘warehouses’ if the residents leave.”
“In that case,” she said. “What will you do with the people? Twenty five thousand of those thirty thousand die in the battle. The remaining five thousand women and children receive brutal treatment and many are killed. What about that?”
“We are currently gathering a specialized group of Living Dead, Living Bones, and spectral non-humans. They have all already died, but we are especially focused on the ones who enjoy self-harm or being harmed.”
“That isn’t enough, is it?”
The aide to Musashi’s treasurer spoke while looking at the sign frame produced by a white fox Mouse.
“Many nations use mercenaries like that so as not to lose academy students, so it won’t be that easy to gather twenty five thousand of them.”
“We only need one thousand.”
Guericke used both hands to draw a half circle on the table.
“What matters is leaving behind the fact that there was a battle. Once we send that group to the front lines and have them clash with the enemy, we can have the warriors behind them escape or simply treat them as if they had died.”
“That’s a lenient interpretation. Something like that would not normally be accepted to artificially increase the number killed in battle.”
“Testament,” said Guericke while opening a document in a box-shaped Protestant sign frame. “We have a history recreation guarantee and approval signed by the pope-chancellor and other Testament Union representatives. We have received approval to recreate the Sack of Magdeburg in that way. After all, this battle turns M.H.R.R.’s Protestants against the Catholics and leads to M.H.R.R.’s defeat in the Thirty Years’ War.”
“And they want to use that to stop Hashiba and P.A. Oda?”
“That is the Testament Union’s intent,” he confirmed. “Therefore, we have one other request for Musashi beyond the aforementioned 33% of the Musashi.”
He corrected his posture before saying what that was.
“Evacuate the normal citizens using the Musashi’s remaining ships. I would like for you to seriously and reliably consider this.”
Masazumi first turned to Augesvarer. The girl gave a serious nod and turned her sign frame so Masazumi could see.
It was playing a German show about the Technohexen trials. A uniformed inquisitor made a proclamation with the moon in the background.
“In the name of the moon, I will punish you!!”
Marube-ya: “Are all Germans this serious and reliable?”
Vice President: “Naruze and Naito must be special cases.”
Mal-Ga: “Oh? I’m quite serious. I’ve never once forgotten to add in a black bar before publishing.”
Vice President: “Your problem is more fundamental than that!!”
Anyway, thought Masazumi while turning to Bertoni who sat past Heidi. If Augesvarer was so calm, then Bertoni would have no problems speaking on this subject.
The merchant nodded.
“I think it is an interesting idea. If we were to provide one third of the Musashi, Asakusa and Shinagawa would likely work. The amount of supplies they hold is equivalent to one third of the whole. They contain no residential blocks, but we could create temporary residential facilities by adding a set number of water supplies, bathrooms, and beds in each section. That would be more than enough to meet Magdeburg’s demands.”
“Evacuating the people would be possible using the decks, empty spaces, and transport ships of the remaining six ships. As long as we continued to be towed, there would be no problem there. Afterwards, the reserve storage currently handled by Asakusa and Shinagawa would need to be managed by one of the ports we visit, so we would be forced to remain in a city of a Protestant principality near Magdeburg or a neighboring Far Eastern reservation until the Peace of Westphalia. …Either one would be inconvenient, but it would be possible.”
“I see,” said Masazumi with a nod.
Marube-ya: “It’s possible, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to do it. All he did there was show off our wares.”
…I know that.
Vice President: “You’re asking me to help you get all the information we need to know if this is worth doing or not, right?”
Marube-ya: “Exactly. Remaining cautious would definitely be a good idea. After all, we’ve said handing over 33% is ‘possible’. In other words, we’re luring him in by pointing out that he isn’t asking the impossible. …And Germans are quite serious.”
Mal-Ga: “This man probably never misses a black bar either.”
Masazumi looked over at Guericke, imagined him drawing a black bar on a doujinshi, and immediately felt bad for doing so.
Guericke glanced behind him.
He saw the famous sniper shrine maiden standing by the door and past her…
…The great doujin author Naruze must be protecting us!
M.H.R.R. and especially Magdeburg’s state of Saxony had a busy printing business. The printers systematically developed and gathered by Gutenberg used metal, so they were very durable.
Not much printed material had been allowed in Catholic regions because writing was thought to belong to god.
…But in Protestant regions, we can print all sorts of things as books!
For that reason, M.H.R.R.’s Protestants had received the benefit of producing printed materials for the other nations. This had provided further expansion in a nation with already great skill in metalworking and it had made Guericke’s hemispheres and many other technological developments possible. However, one of those benefits left him curious about something.
“Who is that fallen angel guarding the room out front?”
“Oh, that’s our 4th special duty officer. She’s from M.H.R.R.”
…It really is the great Naruze!
Some of my fellow fans on the Musashi refer to her as “Naruze-tan”, but I could never show such disrespect.
After all, the workshop hired to print her popular series “Asama-sama Shoots” gets to check over the contents before printing and that has intensified the rivalry within the guild. But the workshops aren’t sure what to do now that the job comes packaged with printing the Musashi King’s ridiculously unpopular pure literary work “Our Slope”.
I do wish the great Naruze would occasionally hold back on the black bars, but that is simply getting selfish.
…Oh, come to think of it, the model for Asama is there with her!
If I could only see Suzu as well, I could complete eighty percent of my reason for coming here.
…Come to think of it, the girl sitting right in front of me is the Masazumi mentioned as a possible new character in the next issue!
I was so focused on my work that I overlooked it, but I am speaking with an individual who could soon support one of Magdeburg’s industries.
Meanwhile, Musashi’s vice president spoke.
“Do you need something?”
I need to memorize her voice and mannerisms so I can tell the local fans back home.
…Ah! I should have recorded what she said about sucking earlier!!
To make sure he did not overlook anything else, Guericke stared intently at the girl.
Masazumi drew back from Guericke’s gaze.
Vice President: “Wait! This guy’s scaring me!! He just started glaring at me!”
Asama: “He was staring at me earlier. Maybe he’s just being cautious…no, maybe he thinks we’re going to harm him.”
Wise Sister: “I’d be scared too if I was in range of an international-level gunner shrine maiden.”
Asama: “I’m not going to shoot him! I don’t have my bow with me right now!”
Azuma: “Would you shoot him if you did?”
Probably, thought Masazumi. And Asama and Azuma’s names are easy to mistake.
…But there’s a lot I need to find out here.
It mostly came down to two things.
1: Do the Magdeburg Hemispheres really work?
2: Would Musashi really gain more than they lost?
In other words, would this spell be useful in reality and would Musashi gain enough if they accepted these terms. But to know 2 she first had to ask about 1 and determine the value of the Magdeburg Hemispheres.
For that reason, she moved the discussion along.
“To make a number of decisions, I would like to hear more about the Magdeburg Hemispheres.”
“What are the Magdeburg Hemispheres?”
Guericke nodded at the Musashi Vice President’s question.
…A complicated explanation would be very German, but the Far East would likely find it difficult to understand.
He decided to lower his explanation to her level and he began with a solid confirmation.
“Are you referring to the hemispheres used in the history recreation of causing a huge commotion in the city by pressing two balls together, sucking on them, and then tugging on them again and again?”
A number of sign frames appeared around the Musashi Vice President, but she closed every last one of them. She must be receiving advice, he determined. Such excellent teamwork, he added.
“I was not talking about the hemispheres that cause a huge commotion in the city by pressing two balls together, sucking on them, and then tugging on them again and again.”
…I really should have been recording what she said here!!
He was filled with an intense feeling of loss and she continued speaking.
“Or do the anti-Apocalypse ones also involve causing a huge commotion in the city by pressing two balls together, sucking on them, and then tugging on them again and again?”
…Wait! That was too quick! I wasn’t ready!!
Oh, no. A German must not lose his cool like that.
He took a deep breath to bring some cooler air inside his body.
“The anti-Apocalypse ones have nothing to do with causing a huge commotion in the city by pressing two balls together, sucking on them, and then tugging on them again and again. Of course, their basic structure is the same as the ones that cause a huge commotion in the city by pressing two balls together, sucking on them, and then tugging on them again and again.”
Mal-Ga: “Are you sure that man isn’t just an idiot? Maybe I should stop asking him to print for me.”
Novice: “Ah, wait, wait. You get so much printed with them that we get better prices by being in the same cultural group. Let’s have a serious discussion before you do anything like that.”
Vice President: “There’s a lot of cultural exchange with other cities I don’t know about, isn’t there?”
Mal-Ga: “If I get my stuff printed in M.H.R.R. and arrange to have them look after it, I can have them bring me my inventory every time the Musashi travels through the center of the Far East. It’s a pretty good location and some people even use the silk road trade to pick up their printed items on the way to events in Edo.”
A lot goes into this, realized Masazumi before returning her focus to Guericke.
“Let’s continue talking about the Magdeburg Hemispheres.”
“Testament. As I stated earlier, you can think of them as a defense spell using the technique that holds the Artificial Apocalypse in that spring. According to our research, that holding technique creates an embankment for the directionless Artificial Apocalypse. The Artificial Apocalypse will consume everything, but this barrier is made so it ‘won’t be consumed for the moment’. As for its strength…well, you can say its strength is purely proportional to the amount of ether.”
What does that mean? wondered Masazumi until Naomasa sent a message.
Smoking Girl: “He’s saying the barrier will deflect enemy attacks for as much ether fuel as you pour into it. In other words, the more fuel you give it, the stronger it gets.”
Worshipper: “Isn’t that the same as our gravity barriers?”
Smoking Girl: “The gravity barriers can ‘deflect’, but the counterforce eats up some of the power. Plus, they’re weak against ether cannons and gravity attacks given the same directionality.”
Musashi: “Judge. When receiving attacks of that nature, we will sometimes destroy the barriers ourselves to spread the force of the impact. Over.”
Smoking Girl: “Well, you heard her. …But if what he says about these hemispherical barriers is true, they would work just as well against everything since they’re based on the all-consuming Apocalypse. You’d be able to handle any attack just by raising the output and they’d never break unless they were hit by an attack stronger than the amount of ether you’re giving them.”
Mal-Ga: “So as long as you have fuel, you’d have an invincible barrier? That’s a pretty good deal.”
“Now, then,” said Guericke while facing straight forward. “Don’t you need a defense spell that can handle any and all attacks?”
As Masazumi listened to Guericke, she was suddenly reminded of Matsunaga.
After all, she had only met this man thanks to Matsunaga Hisahide’s connections. And yet M.H.R.R.’s Catholics and Protestants were at odds and Matsunaga of P.A. Oda would be on the Catholic side.
…I see. He’s been working with some amazing people.
She had been at least a little suspicious of traveling deep into M.H.R.R. and stopping at Magdeburg on the way to Kantou, but she had discovered the meaning for the trip during this meeting.
This was a path they had to travel before Westphalia.
As everyone held their breath and turned toward her, Guericke added something else.
“How about it? Will you accept this incomparable defensive power in exchange for giving us a portion of the Musashi?”
What should we do? she wondered.
Smoking Girl: “Hold up.”
She did not hesitate when she received a sudden divine transmission from Naomasa.
She faced Guericke and spoke.
Masazumi held a hand out toward Guericke to say she needed to check on something.
Vice President: “Naomasa, what is it?”
Why had Naomasa suddenly asked for them to pause after hearing their exchange?
Smoking Girl: “Something doesn’t add up. If they have such a powerful defense spell, wouldn’t they be using it in Magdeburg? After all, they have the Sack of Magdeburg coming up.”
That was not the only doubt sent over divine transmission.
Asama: “I have another question. If this was made from the defense spell holding back the Artificial Apocalypse, couldn’t they create a barrier to save the world from the Apocalypse?”
Masazumi looked up in surprise.
Asama: “That seems like a natural idea to have, so why hasn’t Mayor Guericke mentioned it? Do you think they discovered some terrible fact while researching the Artificial Apocalypse in Avalon?”
Masazumi took a deep breath and faced Guericke once more.
“Mayor Guericke, by any chance, is this defense spell of yours still incomplete?”
After a pause, the man finally nodded.
“Testament. The Artificial Apocalypse spring has the same flaw, but we have been unable to create a large scale version of the defense spell based on our analysis of it. The most we can manage is five meters square, so it is meaningless for us in the coming Sack.”
He relaxed his shoulders.
“Also, some will likely wonder if the Hemispheres can be used as a barrier against the Apocalypse, but there is one fact regarding that which has yet to be announced.”
“Are you saying you discovered something about the Apocalypse?”
“Testament,” he said. “The Apocalypse cannot be stopped with a barrier. The very act of eliminating it with a spell is impossible.”
…You mean there’s no way to defend against the Apocalypse?
Masazumi was at a loss for words and Guericke used his hands to draw the shape of a spring in the air.
“Listen. If you have seen the Artificial Apocalypse in Avalon, then you should know that anything thrown into it is slowly annihilated. It is believed that is the same as the annihilation of this world. That is, the world will not so much vanish as it will be absorbed and thinned out. And you saw something like flowers bloom, didn’t you?”
She had. A group of flowers had blossomed around the vanishing glove.
“It looked like the Apocalypse fed the flowers ether so they would bloom and then it destroyed that seedbed.”
“Testament. But instead of simply disappearing, I believe they are consumed to allow ‘the Apocalypse’ to bloom. Of course, this entire world is filled with ether, so those flowers will not bloom on us, the people living inside it. If they will bloom anywhere, it is on the very concept of ‘this world’. However, we and the entire world contained within that concept are part of the seedbed for the Apocalypse’s flowers and we will be absorbed by ‘the Apocalypse’ before we realize it.”
Do you understand?
“All of the ether that makes up this entire world is being evenly absorbed and thinned out by the Apocalypse. Everything is connected through the ley lines, so it does not matter if you are inside a barrier or not. I have concluded that the Apocalypse is an annihilation of absolutely everything and that it invalidates all defensive measures.”
Masazumi and the others silently listened to Guericke.
“It will most likely happen sometime during this year in which the Testament descriptions end, but the world will grow too thin and we will suddenly find that it is vanishing. However, I doubt we will feel any pain as we thin out and disappear. That may be our one piece of hope.”
“That’s probably true,” said Asama via divine transmission.
Asama: “All things naturally consume ether to exist and that is not something that can be switched on and off. And when there is a hole in a ley line, it is filled and the ether attempts to maintain an even density, so if the Apocalypse absorbs ether and blooms as Mayor Guericke says, the amount of ether in the ley lines would gradually grow thinner to maintain that even density.”
Masazumi sent back that she understood and Guericke spoke in front of her.
“I do not think the Apocalypse is something we would notice right away, but once it begins, there is no stopping it and no way of preventing the world from eventually disappearing.”
Suddenly, Bertoni asked him a question from beyond Augesvarer.
“Mayor of Magdeburg, is this information on the slow progress of the Apocalypse and that it is not a sudden occurrence something you are giving us in addition to the Magdeburg Hemispheres?”
“Testament. I think it will help rid the people of their worries, but what do you think?”
“I am not so sure. What would you think if someone gave you that information?”
“Well,” said Guericke with a shallow nod.
After a pause, he replied in a definite tone.
“I would realize the Apocalypse was real and that there was no stopping it and I would despair.”
Masazumi listened as Guericke took a breath and continued speaking.
“This fact is too great a burden for Magdeburg and Saxony, so I wish to hand it over to Musashi. I believe you can put it to good use.”
He pulled back slightly.
Oh, realized Masazumi. Now that he’s said that, he’s relaxed.
He felt the relief of passing a heavy responsibility onto someone else.
She could tell from this conversation that he had discovered this truth in his research of the Apocalypse and his fellow researchers had been hiding it ever since.
…After all, it would spread despair if it got out.
Part of her wondered why he would have been researching this, but she knew he must have had no other choice.
There had to have been a great pressure placed on him and that thought brought a question to Masazumi’s mind. She asked this man who was said to have experimented with hemispheres and proven the existence of a vacuum.
“Why did you research the Apocalypse?”
“Testament. Out of curiosity.”
He directly replied to her.
“I thought I could use my history recreation to find a way to combat the Apocalypse. Then again, I may have been mistaken from the moment I tried to have a dream as a down-to-earth German.”
Asama: “Um… I’m not any kind of officer, so maybe it’s not my place to talk, but…”
Wise Sister: “Heh heh. My foolish bother, Mitotsudaira, and…um…the ninja?…are gone, so we have space for at least one person to speak. Why not just say it?”
Asama: “Yes, well, uh…”
Asama typed out what she had to say.
Asama: “Is there any point in giving us this information? Our main objective is to gather Horizon’s Logismoi Óplo and open a path to stopping the Apocalypse. So if we know the Apocalypse will definitely destroy the world if we don’t accomplish that, well…how are we supposed to handle that?”
That last part is her real question, thought Masazumi while half agreeing with the girl.
It really was more than they could manage.
…If we say the Apocalypse will destroy the world if they don’t hand over the Logismoi Óplo, the value of the Logismoi Óplo will skyrocket and the other nations will probably try to take them from us and gather them themselves.
It’s not an easy thing to handle, she complained.
But suddenly, someone to the left answered Asama’s question.
“This is a business opportunity!!”
Bertoni suddenly stood.
“Whatever the Apocalypse may be, we can turn it into a business opportunity! What other option is there!?”
|Back to Chapter 35||Return to Main Page||Forward to Chapter 37|