Horizon:Volume 3B Chapter 38
Chapter 38: New Age of Clinging
Point Allocation (Excitement)
In the diplomacy room, the two merchants began to move at almost the exact same moment.
But one of them, Guericke, was not confident of his victory.
This was not due to a lack of confidence in himself. Victory was a result and it did not occur in the middle of a process, so he needed to be confident in something else.
…I need to be confident that I am doing my very best!
If he did his very best to follow the process, he could win or he could find himself lacking, but he would not lose.
What mattered was finding where you were lacking and – whether you won or lost – always crushing those areas.
That was how Guericke viewed training.
…But Musashi’s princess said our hemispheres were the same as losing to the Apocalypse!!
He could not allow that, but did that point to something lacking inside him?
He thought as he sank down to prostrate himself.
He remembered his school days when he had decided to research the Apocalypse.
At the time, he had been convinced he could use his history recreation of the hemispheres to defeat the Apocalypse.
While researching physics at university, he had been given the opportunity to read documents on Avalon sent from England. That had only strengthened his conviction. After all, when the Fairy Queen had taken the throne, she had inspected Avalon and sent out new data on the Apocalypse.
…So I was certain I could use an interpretation of a vacuum to create an Apocalypse defense spell.
But not long afterwards, he had learned that the Apocalypse thinned the ley lines as a whole so there was no way to fight it when the defense spell itself used ether.
That had given him a new thought.
…Did everything we do only pave the way to defeat!?
No, he thought. Definitely not.
“We did everything we could to fight the Apocalypse! Don’t call that defeat!!”
Guericke moved his body and his techniques.
He had a single body, but the technique took the form of two hemispheres on his arm armor.
He activated the operation levers for the small hemispheres attached to his wrists.
…That creates a “vacuum”!
The vacuum hemispheres scattered the ether light of a Protestant Kunst and began sucking everything in toward their inside edge.
They were currently pointed down toward his feet.
His upper body was still vertical, but the hemispheres on his arms were pulled down. This produced tremendous acceleration.
His knees and butt dropped so quickly that his head and shoulders seemed left behind.
With unbelievable speed, his dropping body slipped between the table and chair. His butt moved straight down.
His hips dropped and the “vacuum” pulled his wrists to the floor.
However, he then twisted his right wrist to the right.
…A prostration does not count if the other party cannot see it!
He pointed the “vacuum” right, the soles of his shoes slipped along the floor, and his entire body slid right in a crouching posture.
He glided and his dropping hips were already lower than the chair. Now he only needed to enter the merchant’s field of vision, place his knees down, and move his hands forward.
To ensure his victory, he power slid to the right while nearly down to the floor. He almost seemed to tear into the floor.
But then a shadow appeared overhead.
To his left, Guericke saw Musashi’s treasurer grab the edge of the table and push it toward him.
The table was in the way, so he had no other choice.
But even as the boy leaned forward, his right leg shot up behind him.
“He kicked up the chair with his heel!?”
He caught the chair on his heel, kicked it into the air, over his own back, and toward his enemy.
The chair flew in a relatively slow parabolic arc. And because it was slow enough to see its trajectory, Guericke was briefly not sure how to avoid it.
…A German does not hesitate!!
He shot forward below the chair and toward Musashi’s treasurer.
He chose to sink down toward his left and challenge the boy to a point blank prostration.
He slid forward while the downwards pull of the vacuum acceleration kept him on the floor.
Musashi’s treasurer forcibly twisted his body toward Guericke.
The table’s movement also changed. It had been moving straight forward, but now it moved toward the man.
Was Musashi’s treasurer trying to hit him? No.
…Is he preventing it from hitting Musashi’s princess!?
Pushed straight forward, the table leg would hit the princess who still sat in her chair, so the treasurer had shifted its path away from her and toward Guericke’s half-lowered chest.
…An excellent decision!
The table came from the left.
But even as he felt the wind of its approach on his cheek, Guericke pointed both arms downward.
As the table approached, his body instantly sank to the floor.
It passed by overhead.
He rotated his right arm. He had leaned back to slip below the table, so he used the pull of the “vacuum” to bring himself into a spin.
He used his spread arms for a backhand strike with the arm armor and he made a horizontal kick.
…My target is the Musashi Treasurer’s legs!
Having to move below the table had broken his prostration form. He needed to buy time for his next prostration, so he used his rotating backhand and horizontal kick to interfere with his opponent’s prostration.
However, his opponent was already moving. He grabbed the edge of the table and…
Asama had not intended to watch, but it was happening almost right in front of her.
What mattered now was the intersection between the two of them.
…Mayor Guericke is below the table and he tried to sweep Shirojiro’s feet out from under him.
But Shirojiro had grabbed the edge of the table and performed a handstand.
What surprised Asama was that Shirojiro had moved toward the sky instead of the ground.
…He must have trained for this.
It seemed strange, but she stopped thinking about it because she was afraid she would understand it if she did.
Then they made their next move.
Shirojiro had dodged, so Guericke’s attack had missed.
“Ah,” said Asama just as the table shook.
From her viewpoint, the back right table leg on Shirojiro’s side broke from Guericke’s strike.
After a solid sound, the table tilted from the lost support.
It collapsed back and to the right like a closing maw.
Guericke was directly below it, so Heidi spoke up from where she had retreated to the back wall.
Asama thought that was being a little too straightforward, but then she saw Guericke accelerate.
He used the “vacuum” of his hemispheres to escape toward the back wall.
Guericke did everything he could to escape as if moving his back against the wall.
But as he turned around, he saw the enemy moving in front of him.
On top of the collapsing table, Musashi’s treasurer twisted from his handstand and took a combat stance in midair. His landing pose would place him on the tilting table and…
The enemy would make a landing prostration, slide down the table, and end up right in front of Guericke.
That would complete the prostration and mean his loss, so he made a decision.
He fired his “vacuum” toward the wall, stood on it, and moved left.
…I will make a sliding vacuum dash!
The soles of his shoes tore into the wall, but he managed to round the corner of the room while standing on the wall.
If he reached the wall with the window, he would be directly to the right of Musashi’s treasurer. That would be outside his enemy’s field of vision, so he would be out of range of the prostration.
To turn, the enemy would have to end his prostration, but by then, Guericke would have dropped to the floor and made a prostration of his own.
That would mean his win, so he tore along the wall and jumped at the corner.
He jumped above the window frame on the wall to his left. He slid left along the wall from there and he turned to face his opponent.
The enemy used his slide down the table to achieve prostration drifting. He slid his back end outwards and planted his hands so they faced Guericke. He was perfectly following the man.
He had locked onto him.
At this rate, the battle would end once the enemy’s prostration reached the floor.
“In that case…!”
As Masazumi glared at the scene before her, she saw something truly unexpected.
Guericke had been quickly circling the walls, but he tore into the wall to make a leap which took him to…
As Guericke raced up to the ceiling directly above Musashi’s treasurer, he recalled the anti-Far Eastern prostration tactics he had learned at university.
…Research says prostration is a horizontal petition attack!
That was known from Europe’s research into anti-Far Eastern negotiation. Guericke and the treasurers of other nations and cities had put together a number of countermeasures against the rule of “once a prostration is complete, the petition must be accepted” that had to be followed for the Far East’s history recreation.
One of those came from their research into the horizontality and directionality of prostration.
A prostration made a powerful appeal directed straight ahead, but as a technique, it held little meaning to the sides or back. Therefore, the most effective way of avoiding a poorly-executed prostration was to jump over the individual and land behind them.
This also meant prostrations had a blind spot directly above and they were prone to trap attacks.
Thus, taking a vertical position protected one from a prostration.
…But if I make a prostration from my vertical position, I can strike back when he looks up to confirm my position!
However, a prostration on the ceiling was fundamentally meaningless.
A prostration’s effects were entirely horizontal, so as long as the floor and ceiling were parallel, a prostration from a vertical position was impossible.
Or so it was in the past, thought Guericke as he raised his arms.
“But that age is about to end!”
He used the vacuum of his hemispheres.
“New Age Prostration! Rise, ceiling!!”
With the sounds of tearing wood and scattering wooden fragments, Guericke tore away the ceiling panel at his feet and tilted it up by ninety degrees.
This created a temporary but definite floor for him. He only had to grasp it and complete history’s first Senkrechte Prostration.
…At this moment, Europe’s petition combat has surpassed the Far East’s history recreation!
With that thought, he began his attack. The heavens and the earth had already swapped places for him and he would now tilt that by another ninety degrees.
…Soles of the feet, ankles, knees, and back.
His entire body worked in unison and he braked using the pull of the vacuum on his arms.
He knew it could not be done better as he placed his knees and hands on the ceiling and leaned his body forward.
But when he looked below, he saw the Musashi merchant’s prostration turning his way.
That meant his enemy was entering the vertical world just as he was.
He knew how. He could see the answer. However, he could not understand it, so he shouted out exactly what it was he saw before his eyes.
“The floor is rotating!?”
The floor rotated like a revolving door.
There was a storeroom below, it contained empty space and a floor, and the falling table and chairs smashed to pieces when they hit that floor.
From the open windowsill they had escaped to, Horizon, Masazumi, Asama, and Heidi watched the room’s floor rotate around the center by ninety degrees.
Asama had run over from the top of the tipping floor and she stepped up onto the window frame that was only half a safe area due to the vertical floor.
“Ah, oh. Sorry. I can stand.”
Asama turned around and Masazumi half held onto the girl’s leg while focusing on the transformation of the room and the result of the battle.
Machinery had turned the floor into a wall and Bertoni looked like a cicada as he clung to it while prostrating.
“Is he using pure physical strength to hold onto that vertical wall!?”
“Judge,” said Heidi with a nod. “He’s fully using his palms, nails, and such like a free climber. The technique comes from the history recreation of trap floors in Far Eastern ninja mansions and he incorporated it into a way of forcibly prostrating to someone who was trying to run away, but…”
She could not believe it.
“I never thought he would do it completely vertically.”
“He never tested it vertically?”
“He has apparently tried it before because he likes to test his own ability, but this is of course his first time to do it for real.”
At that point, the floor stopped.
The recoil shook the floor a bit and Bertoni’s body shook with it.
“Hang in there!” shouted Heidi. “Winning here leads down the path to true riches!!”
Guericke saw the other prostration reach completion before his own.
Below him, he saw the wall that had been a floor and the prostration clinging to it with pure physical strength.
However, the prostration did not look even slightly constricted.
…How boldly done.
Musashi’s treasurer swayed and started to fall, but he returned to his original position and continued clinging to the wall.
After a breath, he seemed to press his forehead even more forcefully into the floor.
Guericke knew the boy would fall if he waited, but…
…I already lost.
Germans did not lie, so he spoke.
He was certain of the result. He had done his very best, but he was still lacking. After all, he had attempted history’s first Senkrechte Prostration, but…
…He used only his physical strength to perform an official prostration on a vertical floor.
If a first was accomplished using reinforced weaponry, the world’s treasury techniques would lose their reliability and grow soft.
So this was for the best, decided Guericke in his lacking heart.
He spoke the most accurate words to his enemy.
“You are the correct one, Musashi Treasurer.”
“Then let us continue the conversation.”
Guericke looked down at the voice that answered him.
Musashi’s princess sat in the center of the girls who had fled to the window.
She sipped at a tea cup before continuing.
“I have already reached my own answer. Is that okay?”
The floor began to return to its original position, but Musashi’s treasurer had yet to leave his prostration. He likely intended to remain like that until the floor was a floor again.
…He takes prostration seriously.
That thought was interrupted by the voice of Musashi’s princess as she stepped onto the still-tilted floor.
“Now, I would like to sum up the conclusions we have reached here.”
…The conclusions, hm?
Masazumi realized Horizon’s words were bringing the meeting to an end, so she tried to step down onto the floor after Horizon.
She had been clinging to Asama’s leg to make sure she did not fall from the window frame, but her arm was now trapped between the girl’s thighs. Asama had likely been using her as a support, but…
…Is she not loosening her grip because she’s trained-…
Masazumi shook her head, tried not to get lost in strange worldly thoughts, and quickly worked to get her arm free.
As she did, the warm thickness of Asama’s thighs trembled with tension.
“Eh? Wait, Masazumi. Ah! That tickles!”
The problem came when Asama reflexively pulled her hips back. Masazumi still had her arms wrapped around her thigh, so she lost her balance and…
The two of them fell backwards and out the window.
Masazumi and Asama fell onto grass outside. Masazumi had fallen on her back, but the lawn outside the diplomatic building was thick.
She lay on her back and noticed a warm weight pressing on her.
She looked up and saw the colors red and white.
…What is this?
She found the answer by considering the end result of the physical motion that had taken place.
…Oh, Asama’s butt is sitting on me and it’s pointed toward me.
They had both fallen, but Asama was sitting with her butt pointed toward Masazumi’s face.
There was nothing sexy about it.
Having Asama’s spread legs and butt directly in front of her gave Masazumi a bad feeling of what was to come, so she wondered if she was in light shock after hitting her head. Or perhaps there was another reason for this sense of danger.
“Asama! Masazumi! Are you okay!?”
Naruze frantically leaned out the window and looked down at them.
“Don’t move! I’ll use this for the next cover!!”
“Th-that bad feeling just became real! Asama, get up! Hurry! This is dangerous!”
Masazumi frantically tried to get up, but Asama seemed to be a little dizzy after flipping around upside down. She tried to do as Masazumi said, but she moved slowly and…
“Eh? Ah, wait. What?”
Instead of “getting up”, she “sat up”, so she ended up sitting on top of Masazumi’s neck and face.
Masazumi tried to speak, but something else happened first.
She began suffocating
Guericke saw Naruze’s wings beyond Musashi’s princess. Naruze was leaning out the window with her spread wings catching the sides of the window frame. This caused her to fill the window, but…
“Okay, Asama. If you’re feeling woozy, that’s perfect. Just stay like that. And it looks like Masazumi can’t breathe with your butt cutting off her oxygen supply, so this is even more perfect.”
“Eh? Ehhh? …Ah, ehh!? Ah, wait! Masazumi! Ehhhh!?”
…I want to see it!! Asama and Masazumi are posing for the cover!?
He was filled with a reliable desire, but simply acting on it would lead to reliable suspicion. Fortunately, he came up with an accurate way of camouflaging his actions.
“Are you okay!?”
He expressed his worry and approached, but the aide to Musashi’s treasurer spoke.
“Okay, let’s sum things up.”
…You are reliably in the way!!
At any rate, Masazumi faced forward while climbing in the window after Asama.
Horizon had already entered the room, Naruze had come in through the door, and Asama turned back toward Masazumi.
“Um, Masazumi, are you okay? Did you hit your head or something while underneath me? If anything happened, please tell me. I can arrange for treatment at the shrine’s infirmary.”
“No, I’m fine. Just fine. Don’t worry about it.”
After stepping inside, Asama stood next to her to help support her.
…She’s so big.
She meant her height.
She glanced over at Asama as the girl checked her sign frame.
Asama had the curves to match her height. After giving a casual look across those body lines, Masazumi lightly touched her own chest.
…I’m the same as anyone else below here, though.
She had a certain thought while comparing herself to the girl next to her.
…Are those what you call feminine body lines?
The Aoi sister and Mary also had nice figures and she thought Mitotsudaira had nothing to complain about if you focused on the hips. She felt her own body was lacking, but was that simply due to a complex about her body?
…Aoi does sometimes praise my butt…
She stopped thinking there.
…Don’t start acting like his opinion matters. He’s not a butt sommelier. No, that’s not the point. Although from an authority standpoint, his decision would be what-…
“Masazumi-sama, please confirm what I am about to say.”
“Eh? Oh, judge. What!?”
Wise Sister: “Heh heh heh. What has you so flustered? Did being pushed to the ground by Asama mess with your brain?”
Asama: “Wait. Stop that, Kimi. It may not seem like it, but Masazumi is trying to be serious.”
Almost Everyone: “It may not seem like it?”
What am I supposed to do? wondered Masazumi as she pet Tsukinowa.
Meanwhile, Horizon gestured to Guericke with a hand and asked another question.
“Now, may I start, Masazumi-sama?”
“Yes.” Masazumi nodded. “You may. …So what is it you want me to confirm?”
“Judge.” Horizon nodded as well. “I have reached the following three conclusions based on our negotiations with Magdeburg.”
“First, we will not hand over any part of the Musashi.”
Guericke closed his eyes at that.
He looked both accepting and regretful and Masazumi knew why.
…This means he can’t save the actual city from the Sack of Magdeburg.
She did not think or speak an apology. After all, she had intended to reject that demand from the beginning.
If she apologized for this rejection, he might think she had wanted to cooperate.
And so she said nothing here.
If necessary, they could hold another discussion on some new topic after summing up the conclusions here.
Horizon opened her mouth to give the second conclusion.
“Second, we will take the Magdeburg Hemispheres.”
“But we will not take them aboard the Musashi yet. After all, the Musashi still has a lot to do. We can always retrieve them after that is over and development can continue in the meantime. I have determined taking them now would interfere with future development of the Hemispheres.”
…Then what are you going to do?
Guericke did not get a chance to put his thoughts to words.
Just as he tried, Musashi’s princess raised a hand to stop him.
“If you are wondering what we will do, we will have Magdeburg continue development. However, we ask that you do not give up researching an Apocalypse countermeasure whether it be the Hemispheres or something else. Whatever the result, I have determined the best possible option is constantly changing.”
She did not stop there.
“And I hope you have not forgotten, but we are currently searching for a way of stopping the Apocalypse. Our goal is to stop the Apocalypse with the Logismoi Óplo, not your sucking hemispheres. Once we complete that, your hemispheres will be usele-…”
She trailed off and bowed toward him after a pause.
“I apologize. You are doing everything you can to develop those hemispheres, aren’t you? Calling them useless goes against my policy. After all, your hemisphere obsession has led you to focus so intently on creating them that you have skipped meals, lost the understanding of your family, been betrayed by your friends, and earned the nickname of Hemisphere Kappa Boy among the people of your city.”
“Wait. I didn’t go that far.”
He was completely dumbfounded. Why hadn’t he? He had never thought about it.
…Wait. Of course I didn’t. In fact, is that really something to criticize me for?
Musashi’s vice president averted her gaze and looked out the window, so he decided he could ignore this. Musashi’s princess moved on regardless.
“Anyway, our goal is to retrieve the Logismoi Óplo and stop the Apocalypse, but even then, it sounds like those hemispheres would have a number of uses: in battle, during disasters, or when you need a wall to express yourself.”
“A wall to express yourself?”
Musashi’s princess stood, placed a hand on the wall, and started ripping it away, but the vice president and the others stopped her.
Masazumi heard Guericke laugh quietly, so she turned toward him.
“Oh, excuse me. …Yes, using it for a wall in a joke is just perfect. It cannot live up to my hopes of saving the world, so it will be used to make jokes. We can think about it like that.”
He nodded and spoke to Horizon.
“Can we both hope that the Apocalypse will be stopped and all things will have no better use than to make jokes?”
“Judge. And I would like to take the very best course of action to ensure that. Please tell the world that you are hoping to find something to save us from the Apocalypse, that you are working to develop it, and that you are continually improving it. As long as you continue developing and improving it, I can statistically predict that the world will remain hopeful.”
Horizon then turned to Asama.
“And for that, I have a request for Musashi’s maintenance division. Have them construct a fixed divine network line to Magdeburg so they can help improve the Magdeburg Hemispheres.”
Smoking Girl: Oh, that’d be my jurisdiction. …But how are we going to handle encryption of the divine transmissions?”
After Naomasa’s words appeared on the sign frame, Asama raised a hand.
“Wait. I’ll check on that.”
Masazumi understood why she was in such a hurry.
…Horizon isn’t used to political things.
Masazumi was well aware that Horizon had little experience in politics.
That was why Horizon had read books for the basic knowledge and had continued studying after Mikawa. She was only speaking so calmly and promptly because she was an automaton. In reality, she had to be making complex decisions in her head.
That was how the situation had shifted from the ideas Guericke had presented them.
Horizon had done her best to remake his demands. She had used past examples and plenty of statistical information to find what she viewed as the best possible answer.
However, they were in the middle of a meeting. Saying anything uncertain would lead to trust issues.
For that reason, Asama was checking on things before Horizon could say any more.
After a moment, Asama smiled and opened a sign frame.
“Okay. There are a few extra contract shrine devices in a wide block near our shrine. If we use those for a dedicated line and restrict all outside contact, it should be fine. There will be a time lag in the transmissions, but that will not matter if we make regular contact.”
Asama: “From a budget standpoint, I suppose Magdeburg will have to install one of our contract shrine devices. Magdeburg is a city with lots of history and they take the history recreation seriously, so they won’t have any Shinto devices. This is all assuming they’ll accept one, though.”
Marube-ya: “You’re taking this seriously.”
“Anyway,” said Horizon. “If you are working with Musashi, you should be able to find more uses and new sponsors for the hemisphere barrier. I doubt the other nations will be able to ignore a defense barrier that simply grows stronger the more power it is given, but if Magdeburg is ever targeted for the hemispheres…”
She looked straight at Guericke.”
“Destroy the hemispheres and burn all the documents.”
“The same material will be carried on the Musashi, so it will cause a delay in development but not a major problem. I have determined it will gather more attention for us and increase the number of nations who wish to ally with us. …Yes, we would be very grateful if you did that.”
Masazumi gave a mental nod at Horizon’s words. She had planned to step in as an aide if anything came up, but she had also wanted to hear someone else’s political decision. After all…
…Nothing would be better than Horizon using the experience she gains here to participate in the political side from here on.
Having someone at an even higher position participating in politics was important. It gave her someone to look to for a decision if something came up and it simply gave her more allies.
The naked idiot was there too, but he did not count.
A sudden memory came to Masazumi.
There was something the idiot had said about Horizon back when he had gone to confess to her.
…She’s a hard worker.
She was the kind of person who would work hard toward some kind of goal.
“Hm? Do you need something, Masazumi-sama?”
“Eh? Oh, um, I was just thinking about something.”
“Did I do something wrong?”
“Quite the opposite,” she said to Horizon. “Keep up the hard work, Horizon. I think you’re doing just fine.”
Horizon reacted to that comment.
Her eyes widened a bit at being told she was doing just fine.
The look could be taken as surprise, but…
Even as Masazumi filled with her own surprise at this unexpected reaction, Horizon returned to her normal expression. She simply nodded and responded with “judge”.
“Then let us get on to the third conclusion.”
Masazumi listened as Horizon took a breath and spoke.
“Musashi will handle the evacuation of Magdeburg’s people.”
Guericke looked up at that.
However, Horizon did not react and simply continued with her conclusion.
“We will likely have to be towed, but I promise we will evacuate all of your citizens.”
In other words…
“Musashi wishes to provide definite support to Magdeburg.”
When Guericke asked why, Horizon turned to Masazumi.
Masazumi knew what that look meant. This suggestion included a lot Horizon was unsure about.
…I guess that’s my cue.
However, she had something to say before adding to Horizon’s suggestion.
“Magdeburg Provisional Mayor.”
“What is it?”
“Musashi’s support of Magdeburg is…not the consensus of Musashi as a whole. However, it is the desire of Horizon who is its current leader. I want you to remember that.”
The support of Magdeburg was being offered by Horizon while asking for nothing in return.
After all, the joint development of the Magdeburg Hemispheres was being settled by sharing a lot of Magdeburg’s burdens.
As for supporting the evacuation of the city…
“Musashi’s leader does not wish for any losses from the Sack of Magdeburg. But since we can’t give you any part of the Musashi, she wants to help in some other way.”
Guericke brought hand to his chest, got down on one knee, and lowered his head toward Horizon.
“Thank you for your compassionate decision.”
But he did not stop there.
“With that settled, the city of Magdeburg will work as a Protestant city to ensure the Musashi’s safety in its travels through M.H.R.R.”
Masazumi noticed the man’s shoulders relax.
…This couldn’t have been easy.
The leader of a large nation or a national academy could use that nation’s power to negotiate in a number of ways, but even if Magdeburg was a major city for historical and other reasons, its power did not exceed that of a city.
But in the Sack of Magdeburg, it would be besieged by the major forces of M.H.R.R.’s Catholic side. There was no way they could oppose that.
However, he now knew he could protect his people.
The city itself might be destroyed, but this was still a significant result. And on top of that…
Vice President: “He’s promised to work toward our safety when we travel through M.H.R.R. after leaving Magdeburg. That’s a significant result for us. This ensures our safety all the way to the Seto Inland Sea.”
Wise Sister: “Heh heh heh. Make sure you tell Horizon that later. She doesn’t have much experience, so she can’t judge her own performance.”
Masazumi sent back a “judge” and had a thought.
…Part of this doesn’t really make sense.
Something in what Guericke had said seemed odd to Masazumi.
Novice: “This is strange.”
Wise Sister: “Heh heh heh. What is it, glasses boy? Are you worried about the lack of communication from your lovey-dovey glasses girl in England? Ahh, not being able to send immature messages back and forth is just about to drive you crazy, isn’t it!? You’ve been writing all about it in your messages, haven’t you!? Things like ‘I-I can’t restrain the throbbing of my heart!’, right!?”
Novice: “Sh-shut up. I have not been exchanging messages like some kind of child! I really haven’t been doing anything that weird, so could you stop being so suspicious?”
Asama: “Oh, sorry. The line to England has been cut off ever since we crossed the provisional border. Let me fix that real quick.”
Hanami: “Half a day’s worth of divine mail is coming in.”
Almost Everyone: “Eh!? Messages!? Really!? What are they like!? Is it half a day’s worth of love!?”
<Unopened Messages: Neshinbara has received a total of 3481 divine mail messages from Shakespeare.>
Almost Everyone: “Eek!”
Is it wrong that even I’m starting to think girls are scary, thought Masazumi as she saw another post from Neshinbara.
Novice: “Vice President Honda-kun, I think you have noticed the general idea and I agree. …So could you ‘confirm’ this?”
She sent back the word “judge” before speaking aloud.
“Mayor Guericke, I would like to confirm one thing. …Oh, and please raise your head.”
Once he stood, she asked her question.
“Listen,” she began. “The evacuation of the city’s people will begin as soon as the Musashi arrives in Magdeburg. We can’t have the Musashi just sitting around in M.H.R.R. after all. …Is that acceptable?”
…How about it?
Masazumi had her doubts about that suggestion.
However, Guericke’s response came with a nod.
“Testament. That is perfectly acceptable. In fact, I must ask that you do so.”
Novice: “That settles it. …And this has gotten serious.”
Asama saw the words Neshinbara had posted, but…
Asama: “What do you mean? What’s wrong with wanting to evacuate the people as soon as possible?”
Mal-Ga: “Oh, I get it now.”
Asama turned to Naruze but said nothing as they were still in a meeting.
Asama: “What do you mean, Naruze?”
Mal-Ga: “Judge. It’s simple. …If they evacuate the people immediately, they can’t print ‘Asama-sama Shoots 7’. …That’s just wrong!”
Almost Everyone: “Does the world revolve around you or something!?”
Asama: “And what do you mean 7!? Wasn’t it only at 2 recently!?”
Mal-Ga: “There have been a lot of events in Europe lately. …Anyway, I’m not entirely lying here. Isn’t it strange? If they evacuate everyone right away, the city can’t function. Do you understand what that means? This mayor knows something.”
Naruze gave the answer to Asama’s confusion.
Mal-Ga: “He knows that the Sack of Magdeburg is going to happen soon.”
Novice: “Exactly. That’s why he wants to evacuate the people even if it means halting all of the city’s operations.”
In other words…
Mal-Ga: “The city we’re headed to is on the verge of a battle. It’s probably already surrounded and the Sack will happen in the next few days.”
Masazumi glanced at everyone’s discussion and sighed when she saw they agreed with her.
…What is going on? Why would the Catholics choose to start the event leading to their defeat?
She did not understand, so she spoke in order to find the answer.
“There is one thing I don’t understand. Mayor Guericke, since you pressed us to hand over a portion of the Musashi, you must know that the Sack of Magdeburg is occurring soon. That is an important piece of information, but I had not heard anything about it. Due to the damage caused by the Sack of Magdeburg, the different nations were unsure whether to begin the recreation or not and Hashiba had been trying their best to avoid it.”
“According to the history recreation, the army that lays siege to the city is thirty thousand strong. Why did they choose to mobilize so many people so quickly?”
“If they are starting the Sack, when are they starting it?”
“Testament.” Guericke looked across their faces and opened his mouth. “A spy in the besieging army has informed us that the Sack begins the day after tomorrow. We do not know the exact time, but it will happen. ..There is a reason why, but it is…not an easy one to speak of.”
“Testament,” he said again. “That reason is-…”
Just as he began to speak, the door suddenly opened.
Naruze had opened it from the outside and she led someone else inside.
“We have a guest courtesy of Naomasa-kun.”
Something else followed him inside.
…A Mouse? And a European one at that.
The maid Mouse wore a red musketeer uniform over a female Hexagone Française uniform.
She looked around the room with sharp eyes and bowed when she saw Masazumi.
“I hold the name of Lady Luynes as a double inherited name, I reside within the defected Palais-Cardinal, and I have come here via an external expansion of the Palais-Cardinal’s OS. I am here as Mazarin, treasurer of Hexagone Française’s student council.”
Masazumi and everyone else fell silent at the name she gave and she said one more thing to them all.
“I have come to explain what has triggered the Sack of Magdeburg.”
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