Horizon:Volume 3B Chapter 44
Chapter 44: Those who Wait in a Place of Movement
Why do dangerous things
Always have to
Point Allocation (Worrier)
The battle in the forest ended and the wind blew through.
While kneeling in the underbrush, Mouri-03 looked up at the light aerial ship and at Henri who jumped down from the rear deck. When she lowered her gaze…
Her sister had lost her left shoulder and looked at the tree skewered in the ground in front of her.
It was only one meter in front of her and it had split from the impact of landing.
“Now that is an abnormal ability.”
“Yes, the Reine des Garous threw this because she predicted what would happen, didn’t she? How much strength and an eye for tactics does she have?”
“Testament,” replied Mouri-01. “The Reine des Garous is of course amazing, but her daughter is impressive too. Take that stone’s speed for example. How did she strike with greater speed than an automaton’s accelerated throw?”
“That’s a good question,” said Mouri-03 who did not know either. The information in her artificial memories told her Musashi’s 5th special duty officer used her monstrous strength to control the silver chains, but…
…There are no records of her making an attack with that kind of speed.
She wondered what this meant, but her sister sighed in front of her.
“There is nothing we can do about it here. At any rate, we have lost.”
The eldest sister readily admitted that and lowered her shoulders, but Mouri-03 had a question about the action and conclusion.
“Big sister!? W-wait!”
Her sister turned toward her, smiled, lowered the ends of her eyebrows, and groaned uncertainly.
“You probably wouldn’t accept it if I said it was because of our orders.”
“Testament. And, um… Why? What do you mean we lost!? Because you would’ve been hit if it hadn’t been for that tree?”
But in that case…
“I could intervene with my gravitational control! I could even act as a shield like our middle sister! So don’t give up on the battle! You’ll make Terumoto sad!”
But her sister raised her partially destroyed right hand with the ends of her eyebrows still lowered and she motioned for Mouri-03 to calm down.
“From a standpoint of whether we could continue to fight, we did not lose. But as far as deciding the outcome is concerned, just look at this.”
Mouri-01 showed Mouri-03 what sat on her hand.
“That’s a fragment of the projectile you made.”
“Testament. That is correct. But…”
She tossed the stone over and Mouri-03 caught the fragment.
She realized what her sister meant.
“The compression is incredibly high.”
“Testament. I increased the power used in forming the projectile to increase its attack power and to increase its stability in acceleration. So even though it was made from the forest’s materials, it can never return to that state,” she explained. “So if we were proud of a victory won with this, the forest’s spirits would have a poor opinion of us.”
“But we had to do it to win!”
“Testament,” agreed her sister. “That is why I created and used it. But now that it did not work and the battle has been stopped, I’ve realized the princess would not want us to win this way.”
“She is insistent that we do the right thing. …So now that we have not won and the battle has been stopped, this method is completely worthless. That must be why Lady Henri stopped us.”
“Testament. That is what I was told to do.”
Her sister nodded toward Henri and turned back to Mouri-03.
There was nothing she could do when her sister said that. She felt she should be the one to apologize and her sister expressed why she felt that need.
“I suppose this means our combined efforts were not quite enough.”
“Don’t say that,” said Henri as she walked over. “I have determined you did plenty to show how much victory matters to us. And I am sure the higher ups are aware of it. …I also have a message from the princess.”
“What is it?” asked Mouri-03.
Henri smiled bitterly as she answered.
“ ‘You can push yourselves, but not too much.’ ”
“Anyway, winning is fine, but not at the cost of stirring up trouble with the spirits and non-humans of Hexagone Française’s forests. City non-humans like us see things differently from them.”
Masazumi nodded as she listened to Mazarin in the light of the spell lamp hanging from the eaves in front of the diplomatic building.
She briefly glanced at Guericke who stood next to Mazarin before continuing.
“Has the Reine des Garous freed our idi-…our chancellor and student council president? I would think she would release him as soon as she received the request for a ceasefire.”
Mazarin opened a signe cadre, but soon answered.
“To be blunt, she is ignoring it.”
“Wait a second.”
The Reine des Garous was their vice chancellor, so she was required to obey the chancellor’s orders. And Hexagone Française’s student council and chancellor’s officers had unofficially approved of the ceasefire.
“If she is disobeying the request and continuing to hold Musashi’s chancellor and student council president, this is an international incident.”
“That is what makes her the Reine des Garous,” immediately replied Mazarin. “Hexagone Française is home to the greatest of all beasts. …This is no different from the kings who wished to bear emblems of lions and dragons. Any damage caused by them functions as a demonstration to other nations. Still, it is not impossible to get her to listen to you.”
Mazarin tilted her head and looked to Masazumi.
“But what does Musashi have to give us in exchange for getting her to listen?”
…She really is reliable and straightforward.
The way she goes in for an attack so strongly reminds me of our treasurer duo, thought Masazumi before answering.
“If it isn’t free, I’m not interested.”
“Why not? Your chancellor and student council president’s safety is on the line.”
Uqui: “How about you come out and tell her we don’t care about that?”
The problem is that I have half a mind to do just that, thought Masazumi as Naruze stepped forward from where she had been on guard duty. She sighed and spoke to Mazarin.
“Do you think all lives are equally valuable?”
Worshipper: “Th-that sounds like a decent thing to say, but you really are the worst!!”
“Calm down,” said Neshinbara on the chat.
Novice: “But regardless, it isn’t good that the Reine des Garous is ignoring the ceasefire on a whim. Even if this develops into an international incident, it won’t bring Aoi-kun back to us. But if she is ignoring the student council and chancellor’s officers, it’s a pretty big problem for Hexagone Française too. Vice President Honda-kun, you know what I mean, don’t you?”
“Judge. More or less. They’re the opposite of us, so…”
Masazumi looked over at Mazarin.
“Listen, Cardinal Mazarin. I would like to confirm something.”
Masazumi saw the small Mouse look her straight in the eye.
“What is it?”
Masazumi nodded at that prompting question.
“If the Reine des Garous is ignoring the student council and chancellor’s officers, it creates a certain difficult problem for Hexagone Française.”
“Louis Exiv is king of the nation that will rule Europe, but this means there is someone in his own nation he has no control over.”
“As I already explained, the leeway to let beasts run wild is one side of being a king and it also demonstrates his power to the other nations.”
“That’s probably true.” Masazumi crossed her arms. “But this is no mere beast. We’re talking about the Reine des Garous, the queen of werewolves. If that includes all of her subjects, this goes well beyond Hexagone Française. It means the non-humans of all the land she and her ancestors ruled and every member of the Loup-Garou race cannot be controlled by Hexagone Française’s student council or chancellor’s officers. And on top of that…”
“On top of that?”
“Judge.” Masazumi stared straight at Mazarin. “If nothing is done about this, it creates another danger for Hexagone Française.”
Is she luring me in? wondered Masazumi as she spoke.
“For a certain reason, Hexagone Française cannot currently make use of its full power under Louis Exiv’s rule. …That is why you shouldn’t be able to do anything that would disgrace his authority.”
Masazumi saw two distinct reactions from Mazarin.
She said “testament”, but she also shrugged.
“I have determined you understand that Hexagone Française is in a difficult position.”
Asama: “What do you mean they can’t make use of their full power under Louis Exiv’s rule?”
Wise Sister: “Well, Asama, the way I see it, international opinion of them would drop if that nudist wandered around outside too much, so they are too ashamed to use him.”
Asama: “Wow, but a certain aerial city ship isn’t doing a thing to stop that very same problem!!”
Bell: “B-but…that’s Toori-kun’s…shtick?”
Wise Sister: “Yeeeeeeah! See, Asama!? What do you have to say now!? Suzu took my side! And it’s dangerous to take her too lightly! She can use Musashi’s sensors to scan all of your sizes and grope your body in empty air! Oh, but will you do me next time? Make a sculpture! A sculpture!”
Asama: “Suzu-san? Don’t listen too much to what these idiots say. It’ll rot your brain. Now, over here, over here.”
Bell: “Eh? Eh?”
…They sure have a lot of energy for this late at night.
But if even Suzu was with them so late, it meant everyone was worried about the others. So to share her information with them all, Masazumi spoke to Mazarin.
“Louis Exiv still can’t use his authority as chancellor too carelessly. Isn’t that right?”
Mazarin remained expressionless, but her silence was a sort of answer. One could take it as a lack of denial.
So Masazumi continued to convey just how much she understood them.
“It doesn’t take much thought to figure out. Hexagone Française’s full authority has not actually been given to Roi-Soleil Louis Exiv. After all, Mouri Terumoto holds the position of student council president.”
“Can’t you view that as an intention to cooperate with Mouri?”
“Why not?” asked Mazarin.
Masazumi turned toward Takao because Mazarin’s actual body, the Palais-Cardinal, was located in its rear loading port.
“Listen. During Provisional Chancellor and Student Council President Anne of Austria’s rule, she worked to cooperate with Mouri and that is what led to the marriage with Mouri Terumoto during Louis Exiv’s rule. But…”
“You can view that in a different way. By cooperating with the Mouri clan, Louis Exiv’s presence is being set up as a foreign aspect and not a domestic one.”
“If I may ask again, why? Why would we do that?”
The answer was simple
“Because it is still not officially time for Louis Exiv to directly rule your nation.”
Masazumi spoke of the Testament descriptions.
“According to the Testament descriptions, Louis Exiv was born in 1638 and took the throne in 1643. But as a young king, his mother Anne of Austria remained as a guardian.”
“In the final year of the Testament descriptions, 1648, Anne of Austria is still alive. If all authority were shifted to him in that state, the other nations would claim you are neglecting the history recreation and would attack. Thus, he has only been given the position of chancellor for the time being. Eventually, his wife Terumoto will hand over the position of student council president or they will cooperate as family.”
She added “however”, but Mazarin remained expressionless.
“Okay,” she said. “Let’s stop this.”
“Eh!? Why!? I must ask why!”
“Because you aren’t reacting.”
Smoking Girl: “Is she some kind of performer?”
Wise Sister: “No. A performer has to continue on even if the audience isn’t reacting. That makes her a terrible performer! And with a washboard chest to boot!”
Shut up, she thought while karate chopping the sign frame apart.
She then turned to Mazarin.
“Anyway, Mouri Terumoto was present during the attack this afternoon, so I assume you had the Mouri clan’s cooperation. But using the chancellor’s authority to stop the vice chancellor would be Louis Exiv’s personal decision, so the other nations will be careful to see whether he is beginning his ‘direct rule’ early or not. While fighting M.H.R.R., it is too dangerous to use his authority as chancellor simply to pursue a rescue team for Musashi’s chancellor. Not to mention…”
Not to mention…
“Our chancellor was taken by the capricious Reine des Garous. She ignored the ceasefire and may eat our idi-…our chancellor. But if that happens, not only will Louis Exiv be unable to begin his direct rule, but his international influence will be completely ruined. Both as a result and a process.”
Mazarin remained expressionless, but she tilted her head a bit and asked a question.
“Are you assuming the Reine des Garous will eat your chancellor?”
That was not an easy question, so she held out a hand for time to think.
Vice President: “What do you think? If I just say ‘yes’, she’ll think I’m a cold-hearted vice president.”
Asama: “As long as you don’t say you’d be perfectly fine with that outcome, I think you should be fine. So just give a brief ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. Three, two, one, yes!”
Uqui: “Are you trying to get her to answer ‘yes’?”
Tonbokiri: “Wait, wait, all of you. Masazumi, you must not be so negative. Just say this: ‘Musashi’s nudist has it in him to spend the night having sex with the Reine des Garous, so there is nothing to worry about.’ ”
Wise Sister: “…”
Mal-Ga: “Wait, Kimi. You’re scary when you’re quiet.”
Wise Sister: “Ha ha. Sorry, sorry. Well, I have my own thoughts about the Reine des Garous, but I do think there is nothing to worry about…”
Mal-Ga: “Again, don’t fall silent at the end like that.”
I get the feeling I’m not going to get any worthwhile opinions out of them. No, I’m certain of it, thought Masazumi as Mazarin shrugged in front of her and spoke
“Anyway, I can see that you have a general understanding of the various problems facing Hexagone Française. We will do what we can to restrain the Reine des Garous’s hunger.”
“But Lady Anne is in charge of this and she can be fairly capricious too. Yes, I just hope she makes it in time.”
“D-don’t make me worry like that.”
“Calm down.” Mazarin expressionlessly opened a signe cadre. “The Reine des Garous does not eat children and she has not eaten humans since entering human civilization. I have determined we can only hope she takes a liking to your chancellor. …As something other than food.”
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