Horizon:Volume 3C Chapter 73
Chapter 73: Gatherers at the Besieged City
Is it a place where everyone gathers?
Or is it a ship that heads out to gather everyone?
Point Allocation (Sky)
The M.H.R.R. Catholics had begun the Sack of Magdeburg even earlier than announced.
The Catholic Spell barrier “God Wishes for Silence” cut off all divine transmissions out of Magdeburg, so that fact arrived a few minutes late to the different factions in the surrounding areas.
Musashi was no exception, so by the time word arrived there, the siege troops had been on the move for four whole minutes.
The information was first relayed on to the student council and chancellor’s officers, but…
“Heidi, what does this mean? According to the series of smoke signals and lookouts in the Protestant cities, the M.H.R.R. Catholics have started to move at Magdeburg. And the Sack is going to begin in ten…no, now it would be five minutes?”
At the bottom of Musashino, the maintenance division had a section built on the upper floors of the engine division’s section. They worked on the god of war hangar, any parts of transport ships that were bought in, and repairs for any other equipment or machinery.
Naomasa was working with members of Satomi Academy’s maintenance division to repair Yoshiyori’s Yatsufusa and she was currently turned toward Heidi who was resting her elbow on Adele’s suspended mobile shell.
Mishina Hiro spoke up as she passed by.
“Oh, Vice Principal Yoshinao’s repairing that, so don’t touch it too much.”
“Judge, judge,” said Heidi while turning to face Naomasa. “How should I put it? …Well, it looks like they’ve moved up their timetable yet again. As you said, it sounds like the Sack of Magdeburg is just about to begin.”
“Can’t we send Musashi out?”
Heidi was not the one to answer that. A sign frame appeared in between everyone there which displayed “Musashi” with Sakai waving in the background.
“Musashi” silenced the man by glaring over her shoulder, but she soon faced forward again.
“Naomasa-sama and Heidi-sama are there, correct? Over.”
“Do you need to contact the student council and chancellor’s officers about something? Should I also contact Urquiaga who’s helping Noriki and the others carry things?”
“Judge. We have received a new warning from the M.H.R.R. Catholics.”
“If the Musashi cruises through M.H.R.R. territory, they will attack.”
Naomasa saw those around her exchanging glances.
Once they all turned her way, she asked the sign frame a question. I’m really not cut out for this, so why do I get stuck being the mediator? she wondered.
“So can’t we have ourselves towed there? They specified ‘cruising’ after all.”
“They seem to have determined that the power provided by towing qualifies as cruising. Over.”
“That ain’t good,” said Naomasa as she brushed a hand through her hair.
It would take eight hours to be towed to Magdeburg. There was no way they would make it in time for the Sack, but even that had been sealed off.
And that was why Heidi frowned and spoke.
“They’re intent on keeping the Musashi away from Magdeburg, aren’t they? Hashiba was the one that ordered the reorganization of the fleet in M.H.R.R. yesterday, so they must really want to complete the Sack of Magdeburg and have started eliminating any factors that could get in their way.”
“To put it another way, M.H.R.R. will complete the Sack of Magdeburg.”
“Hah. This merchant makes it sound like we could stop the Sack if we managed to get there.”
“Loading things up is a merchant’s greatest skill, be it hopes or merchandise.”
Heidi formed a composed smile and Naomasa was glad the girl was here, but…
“The M.H.R.R. Catholics and Hexagone Française are both being pretty bold here. They’re using their early starts and interference to fight over who takes the initiative.”
“They do both have a justification,” said a sudden voice.
It came from someone standing on Yatsufusa’s shoulder.
It was Yoshiyori who carried a heavy charm plug for running an ether engine. He looked down at them with the plug over his shoulder.
“Sorry for butting in, but Hexagone Française can claim they are there to take back Anne of Austria before the Sack and M.H.R.R. can claim that Hexagone Française might have interfered and so they began before Hexagone Française arrived to eliminate that risk. It will be a win for the M.H.R.R. Catholics as long as they can produce the results they want and their reinforcements from K.P.A. Italia are probably getting close.”
But Naomasa tilted her head.
“But Satomi Chancellor, those reinforcements won’t be there immediately. What if this early beginning gets them crushed before the reinforcements arrive?”
“I have an idea concerning that.”
A new figure had entered the sign frame displaying “Musashi” and Sakai.
It was Gin.
She bowed toward “Musashi” and Sakai before facing forward again.
She pulled up a diagram onto the sign frame.
It was a simple map centered on the city of Magdeburg on the western bank of the Elbe River which flowed south to north.
“After the confrontation with Hexagone Française at IZUMO yesterday, the fleet in the Magdeburg region was reorganized on Hashiba’s orders. The fleet is primarily made up of Kraken-class transport ships and they have been placed north of Magdeburg.”
As she spoke, silhouettes of the ships appeared on the map.
“There are eighteen transport ships in all. Six are equipped for attack and they are arranged like this.”
“You can get to the point anytime.”
Gin narrowed her eyes at Naomasa’s comment, but her lips then uttered “the point”.
“Magdeburg will fall quickly. Most likely, the first ten minutes of the battle will be crucial.”
“How will they do it?”
“Judge. Hashiba’s strategy will be both a warning and a show of force to Hexagone Française as they arrive after the fact. When the Mouri clan falls to Hashiba, do you know how their castle is said to be defeated?”
Gin gave the answer as if it were a truly uninteresting phrase.
“By flooding it.”
As he left the forest atop a hill overlooking northern Magdeburg, Tenzou saw what the enemy intended to do.
“Are they damming the Elbe River with the transport ships!?”
The crossdresser stepped up next to him and took the same pose.
“Are they damming the Elbe River with the transport ships!?”
“Ah! Why does that piss me off so much!?”
Tenzou checked on Magdeburg while doing his best to ignore the idiot who twisted his lips and body to look up at him from below.
Low in the night sky, there was movement downstream on the Elbe River and thus north of Magdeburg. Eight large transport ships had split into two rows, formed an arc, and were sinking down toward the river surface. The eight ships were almost touching, so when the front two touched the water and began to rock, those behind them helped support them.
When they struck the water, it produced the noise of crashing waves which almost sounded like a large breath being inhaled. Naito walked up behind the two boys and held up a telescope Magie Figur like a monocle.
“Ohh, that doesn’t look good. I know this area. The land around Magdeburg is lower than the surrounding region and the city’s really close to the river because of all the river trading they do. So if it’s dammed up, the city will be flooded, starting with the side by the river. And the city walls won’t allow the water to escape.”
“I see.” Tenzou nodded and turned to Mary. “I assume Magdeburg is prepared to place defensive wall spells on the river side of the city, but… Mary-dono? What would happen with defensive spell walls in a case like this?”
“Judge. The pressure of the excess water will constantly press against the defensive spell barriers along the river. Those spell barriers are made to concentrate their power when something hits them, but…”
As she spoke, the transport ship dam reached Magdeburg’s outer wall.
The eight submerged ships sprayed water up from the vents on their decks to inform the night that they had finished destroying themselves.
Next to Tenzou, Mary frowned at the movement of the eight ships.
“It looks like they positioned them after checking on the bumps and rocks of the river bottom. They’re making sure the water will escape towards Magdeburg while also making sure the ships aren’t washed away. But…most of the city’s defensive walls are being used to keep the water out. The water pressure will probably reach critical levels in about ten minutes and wouldn’t the flooding begin from the ground?”
“Testament,” agreed the Reine des Garous.
She looked to the western sky where the Hexagone Française fleet split the clouds and approached, but based on its speed…
“It will take another twelve minutes before they arrive and lower their troops. I expect they will have each individual unit rush in as soon as they can to shorten that time, but they still won’t quite make it in time for the beginning of the Sack and the flooding. Still, I expect Magdeburg will take up a defense that takes advantage of the flooding.”
“So this battle is going to be a fight against time.”
“Testament. That is why I will take this chance to ask all of you something.”
“What is it?” asked Tenzou.
The Reine des Garous glanced at her daughter who slept on Excalibur as it floated behind Mary.
“With the Musashi’s size, defenses, and transportation ability, it would be able to seize air superiority here and also evacuate the people, goods, and materials. However, M.H.R.R. sent out a warning before they took control of the divine transmissions.”
That meant the Musashi could not go there, but…
“Do you think the Musashi will come here regardless?”
The Reine des Garous faced forward, toward her daughter’s king.
The crossdresser tilted his head.
“Eh? It’s the Musashi. Of course it’s coming.”
He seemed to be asking why she even needed to ask and she realized that she was briefly confused by that attitude, but…
Her daughter and the others had come here to save that boy and they were here now, so…
“That’s right. Of course it’s coming.”
A small smile escaped onto her lips and she pointed to Magdeburg.
After seeing them all turn in that direction, she opened her mouth.
“It’s time I told you the route you can take to Magdeburg.”
“Are you listening?” asked the Reine des Garous. “If the Musashi comes to Magdeburg, the M.H.R.R. Catholic fleet will begin to move in order to punish Musashi for ignoring their warning. That will be between the M.H.R.R. Catholics and Musashi, so the Hexagone Française fleet will not be able to help. That means the Musashi can’t stay in Magdeburg.”
“You mean we can no longer have the Musashi pick us up in some safe place?”
“Testament. The warriors arriving from K.P.A. Italia will probably help attack the Musashi. After helping save Magdeburg, the Musashi won’t have time to stop by anywhere else. Hurrying to Qing-Takeda will be their best bet. And that means you all need to enter Magdeburg or somewhere else where you can reach the Musashi.”
The Reine des Garous took a breath and pointed in front of Magdeburg.
“One possible route is to the west.”
“The west?” asked Tenzou. “Won’t that be an area of intense fighting?”
“Don’t worry,” she began while pointing at the M.H.R.R. formation. “We are currently to the southwest of Magdeburg. From here, it looks like the M.H.R.R. Catholics have a five thousand man assault unit to the south as well as twenty-five thousand warriors waiting for Hexagone Française to the west.”
“The twenty-five thousand western siege troops will have to move further west to intercept Hexagone Française. They need as much space as possible so they can gradually fall back in their defensive battle against Hexagone Française and its god of war unit. So you head in on the west. You can slip behind those twenty-five thousand when they move forward. You will probably have to make your way through their formation, but their camps should be abandoned and you can slip through the empty areas.”
“We are in your debt.”
The ninja bowed but then looked toward the English princess.
The Reine des Garous’s daughter was sleeping on Excalibur behind the girl.
The daughter’s breathing had already calmed down and her wounds had healed to the point of only containing some faint heat. She was only sleeping as an adjustment to absorb what she had gained during her battle.
The Reine des Garous gave a quick bow to the English princess.
“Thank you for healing my daughter.”
“I only did what anyone would have. But…”
“Testament. It isn’t easy carrying her around, is it? I will take her until she wakes up. The rest of you head on to Magdeburg.”
“Ahh,” said the crossdresser while scratching his head. “Are you sure you’ll actually give her back?”
“I will. I have something to discuss with her, so it will be after that. Heh heh. It’s been a while since we’ve had a nice mother-daughter chat.”
She placed a hand on her cheek and smiled.
“The rest of you can get going. The Musashi is coming, isn’t it?”
“The only remaining problem is how to get to Magdeburg.”
Naomasa brushed a hand through her hair again and sighed in her heart.
…Oh, it’s because I sum things up like this that I end up as the mediator.
That belated realization filled her heart with a kind of admiration.
At any rate, she asked Heidi a question.
“Heidi, since you’re here, I take it you have some business here.”
“Judge. I have some business with this person. Horizon and I split up to search for them.”
Heidi kicked Adele’s mobile shell, which indicated a certain individual.
…Adele? No, that isn’t it.
“The Musashi King!?”
As soon as Naomasa said that, two people stepped in through the maintenance hangar’s entrance. The first wore a work uniform.
“Did we just hear you call for us!?”
It was Musashi King Yoshinao and behind him was Horizon.
“Oh!” Heidi looked up and waved to Horizon. “So he really was up there on Musashino’s bridge!”
“Judge. Vice Principal Yoshinao had the same idea we did. Now, Vice Principal Yoshinao, please use this chance to show off.”
“Judge.” Yoshinao nodded and looked to the sign frame showing “Musashi” and Sakai. “We will be sending the Musashi to Magdeburg. Is that acceptable?”
“Musashi King, M.H.R.R. has banned us from cruising through their territory. Over.”
“That’s right,” said Naomasa as she and the others looked to Yoshinao, but the man crossed his arms and proudly puffed out his chest.
“There is a single way of arriving in Magdeburg without cruising through M.H.R.R. territory. Of course, we are clearly in a bit of a hurry, but…”
He looked to “Musashi” in the sign frame.
“ ‘Musashi’-kun, how long will it take to reach Magdeburg using gravitational cruising at full power?”
“Judge. About ten minutes. However, acceleration and stopping will add to the time,” she replied. “And the M.H.R.R. Catholics have attack ships waiting north of Magdeburg. If we enter stealth cruising to slip past them…”
“That will not be necessary,” declared Yoshinao with a nod. “The Musashi will arrive in Magdeburg in just under ten minutes.”
Speechless, Naomasa watched as Yoshinao raised his eyebrows in a smile.
“Do you have any questions?”
“Well…yes. After all…”
Naomasa just about said “that’s impossible”, but…
“It is possible. We just had ‘Musashino’-kun and Mukai-kun verify it.”
With that said, Yoshinao opened a sign frame of his own and turned it toward them.
“What do you think?” he asked while holding up the plan.
Hiro ran over and was the first to read it. After checking through it, she frowned.
“…Eh!? Wait… This is actually possible!?”
“It is,” confirmed the Musashi King without losing his smile.
He then looked to Naomasa.
“Now, don’t you want to try out this crazy idea of ours!?”
Magdeburg Battlefield Diagram
Toori: Sis! Sis! Can you show me the situation and the schedule so we can help clear up the traffic jam!?
Kimi: Heh heh heh. Schedule brother, this probably sums it up well enough.
1. Direction from which the Musashi is coming
2. Toori’s Group
3. Hexagone Française
4. M.H.R.R. Catholics
5. M.H.R.R. Protestants
6. Direction from which P.A. Oda will arrive on its way from K.P.A. Italia
Right of 1: Transport Ship Dam
Above 5: Maurice Cathedral
Left of 5: City
Below 5: Orchard
Above 4: Southern Gate
Above 6: Elbe River
Far right: North is up and downstream on the Elbe River.
Kimi: Anyway, the overall schedule is as you see down here. The early start has made a lot of it overlap and remember that it’s 7:25 right now.
Five minutes later (7:30): M.H.R.R. Catholics begin the Sack.
Same Time: Hexagone Française arrives, begins deploying troops, and has each unit attack once it is ready.
Ten minutes later (7:35): Flooding of Magdeburg begins (but the walls will defend against it).
Same Time: The Musashi arrives at Magdeburg?
Twenty minutes later (7:45): M.H.R.R. Catholics complete the Sack.
Same Time: Flooding of Magdeburg intensifies (defended by the walls?).
Same Time: Hexagone Française finishes deploying troops and attacks.
Kimi: It should end after twenty minutes and the Musashi’s arrival time is a big question.
Toori: Ahh, I guess I need to hurry too.
Kimi: It sounds like you might be the cause of the traffic jam.
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