Horizon:Volume 3B Chapter 49
Chapter 49: Bringer of Calamity on the Ship
What shows up
Without an invitation?
Point Allocation (Surprises)
After jumping down from the galley, Narimasa landed in the streets toward the bow of Musashino.
Far behind him in the sky, the white galley moved away from the Musashi to turn around.
“Once that comes back, it’ll pick us up. …That’s going to take some acrobatic flying, but it should be easy for Takigawa.”
He ran along a long Western-style business building. His destination was past Musashino’s arch-like bridge at the back of the ship.
He picked up running speed and opened a book-style insha kotob that displayed a map of Musashi’s surface.
“Oh, dammit Matsu. You only marked the tailors, hairdressers, and graveyards!”
He continued running while muttering, “What should I do about breakfast?”
He maintained his speed as he jumped over the first road.
He took a great leap.
After lightly landing on the opposite roof, Narimasa began running again.
From what he had seen of the street below, they were on full alert. The doors and windows were all closed and ether light was coming from the gaps. Those were defense barriers. As for below the deck and inside the ship…
…Is that an atmospheric barrier!?
That was a spell which weighed down on all of the air inside the ship to slow down anything moving inside. It was less of a burden than the defense barriers and it had likely been developed from the spell used for elevated work inside and outside the Musashi. It was a trap that would slow him down and slam him into the wall if he carelessly broke through the floor.
What a pain, he thought while picking up speed. A giant form was moving two buildings to his right, but it was more taking long strides than out-and-out running. It was a demon-horned man with a black M.H.R.R. uniform stitched with the numeral “1”.
He carried a long case on his back and turned to Narimasa.
“Hey! What’s the matter, Narimasa!? You going without breakfast!? Well!?”
“Yeah, that’s right, Shibata. The edamame I got from Matthias was too much work to eat, so I left it behind.”
“C’mon, you need to eat what a superior gives you.”
Shibata pulled a large rectangular case off of the hard point on his right waist. It required a full arm to hold and he opened it while running.
“Look! This is Lady Oichi’s love-filled box lunch! Just look at it! Hey! Over here!!”
“God, how annoying.”
“Ahh!? What’d you say!? You got a problem with Lady Oichi’s handiwork!?”
“No, I was calling you annoying. Not Lady Oichi.”
“Oh, me!? That’s okay, then!! I’ll be as annoying as possible! That’ll teach you!!”
Narimasa brought a hand to his forehead and pushed up his sunglasses. Meanwhile, Katsuie began digging into the lunch.
With a bamboo bottle of tea hanging from one of his demon horns and shaking as he ran, Katsuie asked a question.
“Who do you think is gonna show up? And do you want any of this lunch? You won’t be able to fight well on an empty stomach. Well?”
“Hm, I’d guess the most likely one to show up is Honda-… Huh? Or maybe not. I broke her spear yesterday.”
“On Musashi, do vice chancellor level fighters let enemies run freely through their streets?”
“Well, they’ve apparently got a pretty good strategist here. Something a little different from Hashiba’s Takenaka. It’s possible they might just let us run on through.”
A book-style insha kotob appeared next to both of them. It was a divine transmission from the bridge of the galley turning around in the sky behind them. It displayed a woman. She had armor wrapped around her forehead and wore a P.A. Oda girl’s uniform modified into a ninja outfit.
She used a hand to brush aside the Garudas and wind spirit Djinns flying around the bridge.
“If you two take your time, I’ll fly right by and leave you there.”
She crossed her arms which lifted up the cloth around her chest and she let a Garuda land on her shoulder.
“I have to get to my next mission after checking out the Musashi.”
“You mean bowing down to old man Akechi? Having the main dock in Kyoto sure isn’t easy.”
“Show some respect. He’s the vice president which is higher than you.”
“Don’t say that, Ichimasu. Narimasa falls under me, the vice chancellor. We have so many arguments with the student council over our budget that it isn’t surprising he would have some hard feelings. …He just isn’t as tolerant as the rest of us.”
“Takigawa, this annoying upperclassman has gotten even more annoying after his marriage. What am I supposed to do about that?”
“Why not try getting married? I kind of want to see what you’re like when you’re annoying, Nari. I feel like it would drive the world insane.”
“Now things are doubly annoying.”
Narimasa sighed as he jumped over a street and Katsuie followed. Katsuie spoke while he was airborne.
“Ichimasu. Give this starving delinquent a map.”
“Eh? Sure, if you want. The one Matsu made, right?”
“I already have that one! That’s the exact one I’ve got right here!!”
After landing on the opposite roof, Katsuie resumed the long strides of his running. He grabbed a Western-style fried shrimp with his chopsticks and faced Narimasa.
“Hey, you want a fried shrimp?”
“What’s this sudden change of heart? But I need to eat what a superior gives me, right? I can’t exactly say no, so shaja.”
“Shaja,” replied Katsuie before raising the shrimp over his head. “Cooooome and get it!”
“You… Ah! You really ate it!?”
“Damn, that’s good! Lady Oichi’s a genius! Hey! Narimasa! Why are you running up ahead and ignoring me!?”
“The enemy’s here!!”
He pointed forward where someone was charging toward him along the rooftop ahead. And they were not alone. Ichimasu sighed when she noticed the enemies.
“I’ll be recording this while I approach from behind. Make sure to do this right.”
“Shaaajaaa. This leaves us with only one choice. …Narimasa, you take care of things up there. I’ll be back here eating this work of art Lady Oichi made. Yes, you have a noble duty to protect her artwork.”
“God, you’re annoying…”
“You’ve gotten really impertinent for someone who isn’t even a real man! Well!?”
“If I’m not a real man, what does it matter if I’m impertinent?”
With that, Narimasa ran on ahead.
…If I hang around with these adults, I end up feeling like the normal one.
The enemy arrived from the front and one took the lead.
“Musashi’s 2nd special duty officer!!”
Urquiaga charged in on a path between Narimasa and Katsuie.
He travelled through the air. He was a half-dragon with armor, wings, and powerful acceleration, so he had the highest odds of surviving a one-man attack on Narimasa and Vice Chancellor Shibata Katsuie. Neshinbara had been the one to make that decision.
He would not overreach. He was only a special duty officer. A normal commander was one thing, but he was a step behind a combat-oriented vice chancellor.
He understood the gap in power between a vice chancellor and a special duty officer and he understood where that gap came from.
…Combat-oriented vice chancellors are all combat-obsessed idiots who never think about anything other than combat!
They might have an everyday life, but it was a small part of their lives. Whether it was thinking, relationships, eating, sleeping, or bathing, it was nothing more than a means of training themselves.
Even when they slept, they would think about the best position to recover from their weariness and the optimal amount of sleep for their metabolism to strengthen their muscles.
They were like a wild beast that had learned how to train.
Compared to them, Urquiaga felt he was a normal person. He had an everyday life, he trained as an inquisitor, he would finish off his horrible classmates if they showed an opening, he played elder sister porn games, and he researched the divine network to find out how to register and post on walkthrough sites without triggering a Catholic moral violation.
The divine firmware had gotten quite harsh lately, but that was just a part of god’s trials and tribulations. It gave him a reason to research even more.
But at the vice chancellor level, they did nothing but combat training all day without any of those other things. There had to be something wrong with their brains. It saddened him.
“You poor thing!” he shouted as he attacked.
His weapon was the chain dangling down from his hands. Both ends contained counterweights modelled after the Virgin Mary giving a drill kick. As he flew in, he rotated it around in both hands.
“You may be M.H.R.R. Catholics, but that is not a problem if you are here under your Far Eastern names! Inquisition Set No. 637! Binding Chain 11: Taladro Maria!”
The Virgin Mary threw a kick toward the chests of both enemies.
As he ran, Narimasa did not dodge the chain’s counterweight. He simply gave a powerful swing of his right arm.
The roof was not the most solid footing, but he did not choose to break his running form to dodge.
He used the strength of his right arm. The glowing lily emblems on his shoulder, elbow, and wrist carried that strength and one last emblem appeared at the end of his opened hand.
The power gathered on the tip of his middle finger. When concentrated on one tiny spot, even the strength of a single arm was plenty powerful.
So he deflected the flying counterweight. A solid sound filled the air and the Lily Flower scattered.
…That worked perfectly!
He then looked to Katsuie.
“What’ll you do, Shibata!?”
He saw the counterweight strike Katsuie.
Naruze heard the solid sound as the attack hit Katsuie.
She was at the entrance to the arch forming Musashino’s bridge.
In the distance, the galley had finished turning around and was flying back in. Much closer, Narimasa and Katsuie were running her way.
…But the counterweight hit the big one!?
The counterweight was just a hunk of metal and she had assumed he would dodge it. She had certainly never expected him to be so busy shoveling food into his mouth that the lunchbox created a blind spot. The counterweight flew right between the diagonally-held lunchbox and his lowered head and it hit him square in the face.
So Naruze fulfilled her duty. She was already equipped with Weiss Fräulein. The pen was covered in its ship’s hull and she held it under her arm as she aimed from a rooftop.
She drew a new guiding line toward her enemy’s position.
That left firing Weiss Fräulein’s guided coin bullets.
The shot produced recoil and scattering ether light. She had fired four coins. Two ten-yen coins drew arcs of light toward Narimasa and two toward Katsuie.
But that was when she saw sudden movement.
Katsuie looked up from his food and turned to the left and right. He almost seemed to be asking if something had happened. But first and foremost…
…What happened to the direct hit of the counterweight!?
The counterweights and chain had moved behind them as Urquiaga flew past them.
The half-dragon’s high speed attack had had a lot of force behind it, but…
“It didn’t damage Katsuie at all!?”
Even as she shouted that question, two of her coins flew toward Narimasa and two toward Katsuie. Narimasa would dodge his two, but Katsuie had his head down in his lunchbox again.
Suddenly, he turned toward Narimasa with an expression that seemed to be showing off how good the food was.
The two coins scored direct hits on the side of his face.
Narimasa chose to leap out of the way of the white Technohexen’s two shots.
He gathered Lily Flower on the tips of his toes and kicked off the roof.
He used his jump to dodge.
But he had to do more than just jump. After all, this Technohexen had used her guided shots against aerial ships during the armada battle.
…They track your movement and shape more than your ether reading, right?
So when he reached the end of the roof, he kicked down on the very edge.
Pushing down there caused the roof to rise like a seesaw.
The straw of the thatched roof scattered everywhere as it sprang up like a wall. And it swallowed up his presence as both motion and shape.
“That should do it.”
The tilting of the roof took a lot of the force out of his leap, but he turned sideways and flipped to the side in order to hang in the air longer and to make his shape harder to grasp.
The enemy’s bullets flew right past his spinning back and stomach.
They did not hit.
He heard the two overlapping sounds of them striking the risen thatched roof behind him and he smelled burning straw.
He landed on the next roof. His feet made contact just as the roof behind him exploded, but he did not feel like turning around.
Just as he began to run forward again, he looked to the right.
Katsuie ran along while covered in ether light smoke from the two shots that had hit him.
…He doesn’t even try to dodge!
But he decided to say what he could.
“Shibata, you should probably look where you’re going.”
“Shaaajaaa. But what’s going on here? Is it some kind of festival?”
Katsuie came into view as he broke through the glowing smoke. He continued his long strides and his uniform was torn to pieces, but there was not a scratch on his black skin or face.
He was unscathed.
Narimasa had a thought as he saw Katsuie unharmed and nearing the end of his lunchbox.
…This is why he’s so damn annoying.
Katsuie was from the combat tribe of the demonic long-lived. He was large compared to a human, but he was one of the smaller members of his tribe.
However, being small meant something different with him.
He had trained and fought on the battlefield from a young age, so the bodily ether defenses that normally appeared as an adult had manifested when he was still young.
That had stunted his body’s growth and development, but it had also given him something else.
The flesh and bone that was meant to swell out as he grew had been trapped densely inside him.
His entire body was compressed, so there were no gaps in his defenses and he could pour overwhelming bursts of power into his attacks. However, that made it difficult for him to hold back and people had a tendency to keep their distance if not avoid him entirely.
…All of that used to be kind of cool, but…
“Hey, look! Lady Oichi put tangerine slices in here! They got warm in with the other food, but I think those little bits of carelessness are great! What do you think!? I’m gonna eat them!”
He’s beyond saving, thought Narimasa.
At the Oda clan’s council meeting at the beginning of each year, it was customary to unreservedly give advice to superiors and inferiors alike to help correct each other. That turned into a hellish scene every year, but this year, the lower levels had chosen Katsuie as the #1 most liked superior.
…Old man Akechi kicked a locker since he’d always won that title in the past. I never knew he cared that much about what people thought of him.
“Anyway,” said Narimasa as he landed and started to run. “Shibata, the next enemy is coming.”
Wind blew in to catch them as they landed and that wind named itself.
“Sanada Academy! Unneeded #1: Sarutobi Sasuke!”
“Unneeded #2: Kirigakure Saizou!”
A ninja in a vest rode in on the back of a female wind spirit.
Katsuie glanced over at the battle between Narimasa and the two leading members of the Sanada Ten Braves. Fighting while running along the rooftops took quite a bit of skill.
…Narimasa’s gotten pretty good lately.
The Sanadas’ movements were good too.
…They named themselves to show what they can do before eventually joining us, didn’t they? But…
“Unneeded, hm? There’s no need to put yourselves down like that.”
Katsuie called out to them.
“Hey! Is Seikai with you, too? I never returned the manga ‘Flushed Cheeks’ I borrowed from him ages ago, so I should probably speak with him.”
A demonic monk quickly stood up and raised his arms atop Musashino’s bridge.
“Th-that was a rare revolutionary romance story and you just took it!”
“Oh, there you are. From the title, I thought it was porn, but it was nothing but a guy and girl talking on and on about boring crap! If you keep reading things like that, you’ll lose sight of reality.”
“I can’t believe you! I just can’t! And after you stole it from me!”
“Shut up,” said Katsuie as he ate more of his lunch. “Ahh, that’s so good.”
…I’m so glad I got married.
…Oh, c’mon. Don’t get in the way of my Lady Oichi festival.
Futayo jumped up from between two roofs for a surprise attack and she used Tonbokiri from a distance of thirty meters. That was right at the edge of the range the spear allowed her.
…And with the greatest range of effect!
While using it to cut scrap wood to help with Musashi’s repairs, she had realized it cut wider the farther away she was.
Of course, stepping back and trying to cut numerous targets would reduce its effectiveness, but she did not always need to fully cut through everything and the reduction was slight when she only had a single target.
And at farther range, the enemy could not cover the blade to stop the cut.
…So I realized long-range attacks are easier!
Father! I will become a long-range samurai who wins with projectile attacks! she thought as she used the cutting power on Katsuie.
She aimed for his legs. An attack on his torso would have reduced effectiveness due to his lunchbox shield, so she chose his legs. The distance would weaken it somewhat, but she would win if she could get a cut in on his knees.
But Tonbokiri did not respond.
“Are long-range attacks not allowed, Tonbokiri?”
“Attack currently impossible.”
That answer confused Futayo.
…Attacking is currently impossible?
She had been able to cut the scrap wood at a distance without issue, so why was it suddenly impossible?
Without an answer, she moved in closer. Thinking something might change if the distance was shorter, she held Tonbokiri up toward Katsuie at a range of fifteen meters.
That was when three things happened.
The first came from the two Sanadas clashing with Narimasa to her right.
“What is this!? I’m being stopped!?”
Saizou cried out and moved away from Narimasa.
The second came from Narimasa as he watched the Sanada forces move away. He turned toward Katsuie.
“Shibata! Does that count as ‘running’!?”
There was a hint of anger in his voice.
The third came from a boy in glasses who appeared in a sign frame next to Futayo’s face.
“Spear Honda-kun! This is most likely a Testament Arma! A passively-activated Testamenta Arma is in effect!”
When she had approached, the Testamenta Arma’s field of effect had opened up. Even if Tonbokiri could destroy a Logismoi Óplo’s field of effect, it could not do so from inside that field.
She did not think she had made a mistake. Something unexpected could not be called a mistake.
And so she thought about what the enemy’s Testamenta Arma did.
…What is this!?
She first noticed that Tonbokiri had stopped.
…And everything around us has gone quiet.
All noise and motion had vanished from her surroundings. For fifty meters around Katsuie…
“The gravity barriers have stopped!?”
On Musashino’s bridge, Suzu sensed “Musashino” had stopped moving her arms.
“What…is it?” she asked.
“Judge,” replied “Musashino”. “My gravity barriers are being stopped in the instant of defense. Normally, I would carry out minute adjustments, but they collapse at that very instant…and then again when it is time to open the next one. Over.”
“What does…that mean?”
They were stopped for an instant. She had no combat experience, so she could not say what that meant in this situation. However, she could sum up what was happening below.
“All attack…and defense…is being stopped…for an instant?”
“Judge. That is correct. The only information we had on M.H.R.R.’s Testament Arma was that they are both defense related, but it seems we are seeing one of their abilities. In other words…”
“Musashino” faced forward and opened a sign frame to contact the entire ship.
“I have determined the enemy’s ability is to stop all of their enemies’ offensive and defensive actions for an instant! And be wary of the gap in the gravity barriers created around the enemy vice chancellor! The galley might try to fire into the area of ‘stopped’ gravity barriers! Over!”
Futayo saw the distant galley perform a rapid roll as it approached.
In accordance with the history recreation, its cannons were located on the sides instead of the top or bottom, so it twisted for a revolution and a half to point its starboard side down.
Still at a distance, it fired its starboard cannons down toward the Musashi.
Futayo was impressed by the group of physical shells that cut through the air.
The galley was apparently captained by Takigawa Ichimasu, a P.A. Oda commander. She was a military commander, but she acted mostly as a ninja and she excelled at commanding fleets and constructing fortresses
With her, Katsuie, and Narimasa, three P.A. Oda leaders had gathered here.
The world is such an interesting place, thought Futayo.
“Anti-shell defenses! Over!”
As if in response to “Musashino’s” words, the shells wrapped in trembling air soared toward Musashino. They slipped through the gap of gravity barriers that seemed to hesitate and vanish.
Buildings were smashed and roads split. Wood flew, wind blew, and…
“Ahh, now that was a meal.”
Katsuie ran through the gaps in the explosions and looked up from his lunchbox. He closed the case and attached it to the hard point on his waist. The action was one seen anywhere in everyday life, but he accomplished it instantaneously.
…That was fast!
Sensing danger, Futayo tried to put some distance between them by jumping to the side.
“Hey, stupid. You probably shouldn’t run. That counts as a defensive action.”
Her movements stopped just as she rose up to jump.
She concluded this was a lot like the pope-chancellor’s Stithos Porneia, but that was limited to attack because it only destroyed weapons. This only stopped things for an instant, but it worked on both attack and defense.
…Did Tonbokiri say attack was impossible as an automatic safety to prevent an explosion caused by a forced shutdown!?
Tonbokiri had decided it was too dangerous to activate without understanding the enemy’s ability. And…
She could move again. Her jump had only been stopped for an instant and she had not lost her momentum, but…
“See? You won’t make it now.”
Katsuie opened the case mounted on his back hard point. He pulled out a silver tower shield resembling a wing and he attached it to his left arm.
“Testamenta Arma: Animus Caritas – Novum. This thing took a liking to me, so I had no choice but to inherit the name of General Tilly. It’s a pain in the butt, but it’s a cute little thing. Not that I really need it.”
“I have this!”
He drew a large sword from his waist. It was a thick blade encased in a cowling.
“I don’t know how it stands up to the cutting power of your Tonbokiri, but my divine weapon isn’t half bad. This is Kamewari.”
Not good, thought Futayo.
She did not know what this divine weapon’s ability was, but there was still a distance of five meters between them. However, he still swung the weapon.
It was a swift attack. He had only just drawn the blade, but he was already close to completing his swing. She barely noticed he had even done it.
The blade had not reached her, but…
…Does it have a long-range attack like Tonbokiri!?
He had a defensive Testamenta Arma and an offensive divine weapon. And as for the power of that weapon…
“Get her, Kamewari.”
He swung the attack down toward her and it split Musashino.
Battlefield Diagram 2
Toori: Sis! Sis! What’s going on up on the Musashi!? Everyone’s running and jumping around, so I’m confused as hell!
Kimi: Heh heh heh. Hell brother, this is more or less the situation. Take a good look.
Upper Left: Zoomed In (Front Middle Ship – Musashino)
Below 1: About ten kilometers
Lower center: Zoomed Out
1. Ichimasu’s Galley
4. Musashino’s Bridge
Toori: Wait, are you guys okay? You get into so much trouble without me around, don’t you?
Kimi: While we are in trouble, having you around is another kind of trouble entirely.
- Pronounced similarly to the Hojoki, an old work of Japanese literature.
- Means “Jar Breaker”.
|Back to Chapter 48||Return to Main Page||Forward to Chapter 50|