Horizon:Volume 3C Chapter 79
Chapter 79: Wolf at the Site of the Promise
The knight rely on
Point Allocation (Loyalty)
“Mitotsudaira is fighting her mother?”
Masazumi frowned on the transport ship’s deck and asked that question of Asama.
A pre-prepared divine mail had arrived from Naito who was battling Narimasa with Naruze. It provided the route Toori’s group was using, and…
“It says, ‘When we were stripping Mito-tsan and doing a variety of things to her, it ignited maman’s maternal instincts and she started asking if I knew any curses to make boobs grow, but to make a long story short, I think Adele would be first in line for that and maman will decide whether to release Mito-tsan after “testing” her.’ ”
“Messages like that have started making sense to me lately. Do you think that means I’m heading down the wrong path as a politician?”
…Huh? But it makes perfect sense to me!
Despite that thought, Asama simply smiled and ignored the comment.
She then spoke to Masazumi while thinking back to the past.
“This is going to be their third battle, isn’t it?”
“The second one was back at IZUMO, right? Then was the first one…?”
As Asama nodded in agreement, Kimi looked west from the edge of the deck as if searching for something. She stared outside of Magdeburg to the flat battlefield and the hill beyond it and she slowly opened her mouth.
“How should I put it? Was it eight years ago? My foolish brother and I didn’t know about it because we were at our grandmother’s house, but apparently the same thing happened at Bizen IZUMO.”
“Can I ask why?”
“Well,” said Asama as she looked to Kimi who nodded.
“I would like to know that, too. Even if it’s a little late to be asking.”
“If Mitotsudaira can defeat the Reine des Garous and arrive here, it will mean she has swept away her past from eight years ago. So can you tell us what happened then?”
“Well.” Asama breathed out. “Mito…tried to leave Musashi.”
“Lady Mitotsudaira did?”
Tenzou was traveling with Mary and Toori behind the supply station of the M.H.R.R. siege troops. They could hear the battlefield, but they were not actually on the battlefield.
Given the topic, Tenzou was using a ninja technique and Mary was using a spirit spell so they could converse without Toori hearing. Tenzou felt awkward going behind Toori’s back like that, but…
The crossdressing idiot was slipping in and out of the warrior camp built alongside the supply station. And each time…
“Look, Tenzou! They’ve got Western stuff! This is German-style 18+ material! It’s a treasure trove of everything from magazines to games!”
“When they return to camp, I bet the M.H.R.R. warriors will be shocked to find only their pornographic possessions have vanished…”
“? Master Tenzou, what does he meant by ‘Western stuff’?”
“Nothing, nothing, nothing.” Tenzou shook his head and changed the subject while acting like he was improving her vocabulary. “Um, to get back on topic… Well, Mitotsudaira-dono was in a difficult position.”
“With the inherited name of Mito Matsudaira?”
Tenzou checked to make sure there were no guards in the camp. Mary’s spirit spells kept anyone from sensing them from a distance, but they still could not afford to let their guard down. He continued speaking as he moved ahead.
“That was part of it, but being separated from her parents was probably a factor, too. As soon as we began elementary school, she would brag about her mother who could not come to Musashi and about her inherited family name.”
“Given the kind of person she is now, it would be wrong to say that was because she was anxious, wouldn’t it?”
Mary asked another question while arranging another invisibility spirit spell.
“When did that change?”
“I think it was about half a year after we began elementary school. …That was when she learned the truth. Mito Matsudaira was second in line to the Far East, but…”
He took a breath.
“Horizon-dono was there.”
“I see. Horizon died ten years ago, so she was with you for the first two years of elementary school, wasn’t she?”
Asama nodded and worked through the jamming and noise to see if a new divine mail or chat message had arrived.
“Horizon was…um…Lord Motonobu’s…yes, his official child, but she was a secret. But, well, despite that, pretty much everyone on the Musashi knew about it. So Mito eventually learned about it, but then she said something to Horizon.”
Should I really be saying this? she wondered while feeling pathetic that she had to look over at Kimi for permission.
But all Kimi did was mime shoving a hand between her breasts. Asama concluded nothing good would come of paying any attention to that crazy person, so she continued the story.
“She said Horizon was an unrecognized child, so she was lower than her in the Far East’s line of succession.”
Masazumi was clearly dumbfounded and Asama began to panic.
“U-um,” she began. “Th-that was a long time ago! Mito has corrected her personality quite a bit since then, we all understand that, and that was just one especially harsh point from the past. U-um, want to try shoving your hand between my breasts!? Pull out Hanami and you win one free spell contract!”
“No, uh… I was just thinking that kids can be cruel. I used to say some pretty heartless things myself.”
“Well, I once asked my toupee-wearing principal why he always had an air intake on his head.”
Almost Everyone: Deliberating.
“Hey, wait! Why do you only do that when it’s me!?”
“Calm down,” said Asama before sighing.
…Our pasts can be such tricky things.
But that thought led to another one.
…We can tell each other these things because we know each other well enough to know they’ll tell us not to worry about it.
At most, they would laugh and ask why it was even worth saying.
So Asama recalled those days while knowing Horizon would no longer remember them.
“Everyone paled when we heard what Mito said, but Horizon replied with a relieved look on her face.”
She recited the words that still rang in her ears and remained in her memories.
“She said, ‘That means it won’t matter if I disappear, doesn’t it?’ ”
Mitotsudaira thought while fighting her mother. She thought while swinging her hands around, rotating, and sending her body out in small, carving movements.
…There was a princess who was far more worried than me.
How had she felt herself?
She had been avoided for being from a Loup-Garou family and her presence had been treated as a bother, so she had held a childlike pride in making a definite place for herself and keeping anyone else from getting in her way.
But that princess had had difficulty even with her own place.
Mitotsudaira had wondered what she was doing and had not known what to say, so she had run from the classroom.
For a few days afterwards, she had not left her mansion and had feigned illness while curled up in her bed.
She knew she had done something awful.
She had demonstrated a complete lack of understanding to someone feeling even more fear than she had.
But she had soon been able to leave again. The idiot – who at the time she had only thought of as an idiot who hung around the princess a lot – had come by with the princess and the archery girl.
…He said, “Let’s go eat yakiniku by the river! My mom’s hosting. And if you say you don’t want to, Asama says she’ll shoot you with the same thing she shot at the opening ceremony.”
A knight could not allow herself to be targeted by an evil-destroying arrow, so she had gone to the river.
Everyone had been there and she had sat next to Horizon and the idiot.
…'That turned into something pretty awful.
She breathed in a bit, pursued her mother, continued pursuing her, and thought to herself.
That had likely been her starting point.
“It was pretty lively. And, well, it looked like Mitotsudaira-dono wanted to say something to Horizon-dono.”
Tenzou checked to either side as he spoke and Mary laughed quietly.
“Oh, sorry. But…my sister would often be like that. Yes… There would be no real reason to apologize, but she takes everything so seriously.”
“Judge. Anyway, Toori-dono helped push them along, and…”
He gestured for them to start moving again and mimed an action as he pulled the hand back.
He pretended to grab something with chopsticks and hold it out.
“He rigged a punishment game so Horizon-dono would have to feed Mitotsudaira-dono.”
Mary turned around and saw the idiot following them while shoving his prizes inside a rucksack he had found somewhere or other.
…He sure knows how to live a fulfilling life on the run.
But a lot changed because of him, added Tenzou.
“At the time, Mitotsudaira-dono promised Horizon-dono that she was second in line and a knight, so it was her role to protect Horizon-dono.”
She must have felt a responsibility to wipe clean her guilty conscience, thought Tenzou.
A lot had happened after that and the idiot had eventually read his dream for the future in writing class.
…Was Mitotsudaira-dono able to agree with Toori-dono’s dream?
He could not remember if she had, but that was hardly surprising.
“But after Horizon-dono’s death, Mitotsudaira-dono tried to leave Musashi.”
Tenzou nodded at Mary’s tone of question.
“Mitotsudaira-dono had been happily looking forward to the festival at which Horizon-dono died. She had heard from Hexagone Française that Lord Motonobu would be announcing that Horizon-dono was his legitimate child, so she was waiting at the ceremony hall. She probably wanted to tell Horizon-dono that she was finally first in line for real.”
“Horizon-dono never made it to the ceremony hall. Neither did Toori-dono.”
When he finished speaking, Mary hung her head a little.
The two Excaliburs must have sensed their master’s will because they lowered down on either side of her. He felt somewhat apologetic, but he continued speaking.
“Mitotsudaira-dono had to have realized she would inherit the Far East if Lord Motonobu passed away without designating a successor. And she must have felt that she had stolen Horizon-dono’s position after promising to protect it.”
“Eh? But that wasn’t her fault…”
“Everyone thinks about things differently.”
Mary may have thought of an example of her own because she silently nodded.
Tenzou remembered that time clearly.
…In the end, she must have made up her mind.
Even at that young age, she had tried to take responsibility.
“Mitotsudaira-dono tried to leave Musashi at Bizen IZUMO of southern Hexagone Française. Of course…”
“Judge. The Reine des Garous was waiting for her there and she did the same thing she did back in IZUMO.”
Even as a child, Tenzou had felt fear as he watched from the deck, but as a result…
“She was ultimately unable to leave.”
A lot had happened in the long time since then.
“For a year or two, she was pretty depressed, but she grew wilder and wilder once we entered middle school.”
Had it been to take back or preserve her pride that her mother had left in tatters? No.
“She wanted to erase her position in the Far East’s line of succession. She felt she was unworthy of that position. So she grew violent, her Loup-Garou blood started showing itself more, and she was able to use its power.”
When he thought back on it…
…She may have tried to leave Musashi because she didn’t want the rest of us to see her becoming a nonhuman.
“But even as she grew wild, she kept her distance from us and never acted violently to us. She only ever attacked the more oppressive upperclassmen ‘as a knight’.”
“That sounds like a position that would make her popular with the girls.”
“Judge. She still has a lot of fans from that time. But halfway through our first year of middle school, she was called out by those upperclassmen.”
He did not know much about that incident. Asama had still been on speaking terms with Mitotsudaira and she had been worried when she heard about it, so she had gotten Mitotsudaira to tell her where she had been called to.
…But that was a lie.
Everyone had waited there equipped for a serious fight, but they had found nothing there and searched around in confusion.
“Well… I don’t really know what happened, but by the time we found Mitotsudaira-dono behind the school building, we found her looking up into the sky and sobbing with the nudist collapsed in her lap and beaten to a bloody pulp.”
“That sounds like a serious incident.”
He could only agree. But until Asama had prepared her healing spells, Mitotsudaira had refused to leave the nudist’s side and she had returned to her old self afterwards.
The others had not asked for details, but they did know one thing.
“That was when Mitotsudaira-dono became a true knight.”
Mitotsudaira accelerated and thought about her mother’s assignment.
She was to prove what she had gained.
What was that? What did she have? What had she gained?
She was aware she had acquired quite a bit in the past, but it was all linked together by that incident with the upperclassmen shortly after entering middle school. A certain person had told her the upperclassmen would be waiting for her that evening behind the school building.
She had gone there at the designated time and found a certain person naked, collapsed, and beaten to a bloody pulp. In the distance, the upperclassmen had been leaving in tears yelling, “I-I’ll sue you! You’re the worst! You really are the worst!!” Mitotsudaira had realized what must have happened.
…Honestly, and he had pretty much left me alone up to that point.
But when she had lifted him in her arms while wishing he had minded his own business, he had spoken.
“A while back, I said I’d become a king, but a lot’s happened since then. For one thing, my well-endowed sister once gave me a lecture about looking at reality. And once we got to middle school, everyone started looking a lot more grown up. Their boobs got bigger…well, not you and Adele. Ah, wait. Don’t raise your fist. Calm down. Stay, stay… Not the fiiiiist! Anyway, calm down. Listen. Um, but… But…”
“I’m going to become a king one day. I’m not going to give up. That’s all I wanted to say.”
“So, um, yeah! …So I’ll become a king, and, uh… I’ll make a kingdom like the one we could have made with Horizon here, so…”
“I’ll make the kind of kingdom Horizon would have lived in, so you be my kingdom’s knight.”
She had found it ridiculous.
She remembered all too well how she had snapped back at him.
“Are you willing to take on all of the debts in my heart!?”
“Don’t be stupid.” He had smiled. “I can’t do anything, so I don’t care if you leave all your debts with me. So if you have anything like that, just leave it with me. If you’re ever feeling gloomy or down or you’re tormented by memories of the past, then – yeah – just leave it all with me. And you can be my kingdom’s-… Well, for the time being, just be Musashi’s knight. And once I make my kingdom, I’ll call for you.”
She had thought he was an idiot and that there was no way he could do it, but he had smiled up at her with his head resting on her lap.
“And if I make a suitable king, then you become my kingdom’s knight. I think that would make Horizon happy.”
She had thought it was all ridiculous, but then she had found herself crying.
When she had given her dream for the future, she had said she wanted to become a knight and protect people.
Horizon had been her starting line for protecting people. Her young self had decided to start with her, learn about being a knight, and then protect that princess and lots of other people.
But she had lost that starting line.
She had since drifted from that path and she had tried to forget it all because she had felt she had no other choice, but she had been unable to forget anything and that idiot had come to bring her back on track.
It was possible she would walk down a different path in the future, but she decided to hold onto her dream instead of throwing it away.
“Then if you decide to create the kind of kingdom Horizon would have lived in and I can follow you there…”
She had made a promise.
“I will pave the way for you, my king. I will make sure you can continue to hope and never give up despite your loss.”
That was right.
A lot had happened afterwards, she had begun working as one of Musashi’s knights, and they had entered high school. He had never said anything more about it, he had become the chancellor and Student Council president, and she had thought nothing would ever come of it, but…
…I’m sorry. That wasn’t the case at all.
Her king had not given up on anything.
He had not changed even when he learned Horizon was alive.
He had to be broken, too. He had to have broken when Horizon had died.
He had gained the broken feeling of losing something important to him.
So if Horizon was alive, he would try to fill that brokenness in himself. He would make sure he never lost that important thing again.
That was why he was trying to make the world his own.
Mitotsudaira carved the same words into her heart as she had before.
I hope one day, my king will be able to actually fill his brokenness instead of taking on the debts of loss the others and I leave with him.
If she was to pave the way…
She moved forward. No matter the hardship, she would move forward so her king need never come to a stop.
“I will not give up!”
Mitotsudaira charged forward.
She ran. She snapped each and every step forward at tremendous speed.
The Reine des Garous also snapped her body to launch attack after attack.
Mitotsudaira fearlessly chose to attack and evade at close range.
The Reine des Garous did the same.
They tore through the wind, smashed the ground, and collided with each other.
The Reine des Garous’s movements were instantaneous and her sharp nails accurately pursued her opponent.
Those were the movements of a wolf.
On the other hand, Mitotsudaira’s movements changed.
She essentially used the same lupine movements as her mother. She raised her initial speed to increase her movement or destructive power. However, those movements began to change and underwent a constant transformation.
She was changing from a wolf into something else.
|Back to Chapter 78||Return to Main Page||Forward to Chapter 80|