Horizon:Volume 3C Chapter 90
Chapter 90: Mercenary of the Nostalgic Sky
What to do?
Point Allocation (Come)
This really takes me back, thought Toshiie as he commanded the Sunomata in the sky above Mikawa’s bay.
He never fought in aerial battles, but he was still quite attached to this ship. He had helped build the ship in enemy territory for the history recreation to make a name for Hashiba.
…Wasn’t that because our enemy, Saitou, had set up a barrier for anti-air defense?
As a part of the history recreation an actual castle on the ground would have worked just as well.
By using prefabricated parts, they could have had giants and demonic long lived carry in the pieces and set it up in only four hours.
But either due to the Musashi’s influence on the current age or to show off the Far East’s aerial ship technology, having an aerial ship for a castle was a sort of status symbol in the Far East.
So as rare as it was for her to do so, Hashiba had insisted on building a ship.
And she had been the one to put in the most effort.
She had worked hard to gather the personnel and materials needed to build Sunomata Castle quickly enough to warrant the name “One Night Castle”.
At the time, aerial ships had taken months to build, but she had used cloth-covered logs to build something that would at least float.
…That was really more of an aerial raft than a ship.
But she had indeed built it in a single day.
When it had appeared floating above enemy territory, most of the enemy had laughed and called it a piece of junk, but no one in the Oda clan had laughed. Building an aerial ship in a night meant they could immediately send a surprise attack fleet into enemy territory as long as they had the personnel and supplies needed to surpass the enemy’s anti-air barriers.
“Ever since then, Shibata took a real liking to Hashiba.”
The Sunomata had bordered the Nagara River, so Toshiie himself had sent supplies downstream on rafts for Hashiba to collect.
There had been weak points in Hashiba’s design, so he and Narimasa had guided the reinforcing parts down the river.
Hashiba still talked about it and tried to repay them even though she had already helped them countless times. Still, she insisted that she could never fully repay them because they had supported her when a single mistake would have ended everything for her.
It was all so nostalgic.
This ship had been the starting point for the Oda clan’s current cooperative spirit.
The exterior had completely changed and it was now a proper high-speed striking ship instead of a mere raft, but it still contained traces of its original form.
It had not originally had cannons, so they had used personal anti-air cannons and spells. At the time, they had laughed at how they were all commanders and yet were stuck acting like common soldiers on that ship.
“How about we circle around above them?”
It would have stalled out back then, but…
Those two words alone were the same.
“It’s so light!”
From Okutama’s surface, Yoshiyasu watched the enemy flip through the sky.
The Sunomata seemed to fly freely around the Musashi rather than through the sky. It was powered by the ghost ship which borrowed the Musashi’s speed, so it could fly up, down, far, close, front, or back.
Its cannons fired homing shots. That homing ability was weakened by their speedy flight, so its aim was careless.
But few of the shells missed. Because the careless trajectories were hard to predict, they struck the Musashi and sent gravity barrier light scattering everywhere.
…If only I could send out Righteousness!
She could not because the Musashi was flying so quickly. She technically could send it out, but a God of War could not sustain this speed as long as the massive ship. Flying alongside the Musashi would drain her fuel and send her crashing to the ground in just a few minutes. Righteousness also needed some repairs, so she had left it in Musashino’s maintenance hangar and made her way up to Okutama’s surface.
“I thought I could get some information if I visited the academy.”
On the way, she had spotted a few people on the floor. They had not fainted from injuries. Most of them were ether-related non-humans who had grown faint from the strange ether disturbance.
…Is that the tingling I felt when we passed over Mikawa’s bay?
The ether disturbance caused by the loss of Mikawa was still strong. It had even delayed and slowed down the Musashi.
The shellfire had not let up.
A gravity barrier shattered overhead and shell shrapnel fell on the city with dry metallic sounds.
“Is there any anti-air equipment around here?”
She looked around and spotted two people approaching. Looking back, she saw a pure pair of huge breasts and a wicked pair of huge breasts.
“The shrine maiden and the dancer?”
“Eh? Oh, um, yes, I suppose you could say that.”
“Where are you two going?”
“Heh heh. Long-eared flat girl, do you really not know? Now, tell me the answer!”
“You can ignore that idiot, okay? We’re on our way to the academy. What about you?”
“I was headed to the academy too. I wanted some information and I’d heard your vice president had gone there.”
“Then let’s hurry.”
The shrine maiden pointed forward, so the three of them started jogging.
The shellfire continued and light was shattering in the sky both horizontally and vertically from them. Those fragments illuminated Yoshiyasu as she ran.
“About this shellfire… There’s an enemy fleet pursuing us from behind, isn’t there?”
“Yes, but the enemy is out of time. After all…”
Once the shrine maiden said that, a massive amount of light rose from the earth far beyond the opposite coast and stabbed into the sky.
The light was as bright as midday and it revealed the shape of the landscape.
More than one pillar of light rose toward the heavens. Several dozen of them surged upwards like a reverse waterfall.
“That’s about thirty kilometers away… Is that anti-air fire from Qing-Takeda and Lady Yoshitsune’s heavy mechanical cavalry unit!?”
The shrine maiden explained what was about to happen.
“If we reach that point, the Battle of Mikatagahara begins. Everyone else will be kept out, so what will the Sunomata do? After all,” she said. “I’m sure P.A. Oda will do something about it.”
Toshiie gave a single instruction from the Sunomata’s deck.
“Continue firing. Use the cannons more than the ghost ship and continue targeting the opened hull instead of the surface area.”
He opened a lernen figur and faced forward.
The light rising toward the heavens from far beyond the opposite coast of Mikawa’s bay was already vanishing.
But Qing-Takeda’s main fighting force was definitely there.
That anti-air fire had been enough to pierce the sky and light up the earth. Toshiie knew perfectly well why they had shown off that firepower.
…They’re warning away P.A. Oda for the history recreation of the Battle of Mikatagahara.
“And also warning us about the Battle of Nagashino which begins the fall of the Takeda clan.”
Oda’s musket unit was supposed to destroy Takeda’s cavalry force and P.A. Oda intended to recreate that using the shellfire of an aerial fleet. That was why they had strengthened their aerial forces and used Lake Biwa’s stealth dock to its fullest. But…
“It’s true Takeda’s cavalry soldiers were armed with guns, but turning that into anti-air cannons is quite the interpretation.”
Qing-Takeda was not going to go down easily.
Just in case, Toshiie positioned the Sunomata above the Musashi to use it as a shield.
Below, the ocean was coming to an end as they moved from Mikawa to Suruga.
There was land below, more ocean to the right, and…
…Qing-Takeda straight ahead.
Massive bonfires and countless giant figures were visible in the depths of the distant darkness. Those heavy mechanical horse gunners were the history recreation of Takeda’s gun-wielding cavalry.
They were definitely intended for the Battle of Nagashino.
“And they’re starting by seeing how I will react.”
Toshiie spoke into his lernen figur.
“Qing-Takeda! This is M.H.R.R Treasurer Maeda Toshiie aka Wallenstein representing both P.A. Oda and M.H.R.R.! I am currently pursuing the Musashi in the Sunomata, so cease your attack!”
“He wants us to stop? Who does that kid Maeda think he’s talking to?”
Yoshitsune looked up at the silhouette of the Musashi visible in the western sky.
The right of the Satou Brothers behind her called the Sunomata with a sign frame.
“P.A Oda ship, you are about to interfere in Qing-Takeda’s Far Eastern history recreation. In other words…”
“Satou, send this to Musashi too. …Oh, and show a little more spirit when you tell him.”
On Yoshitsune’s instructions, the Satou Brothers exchanged a glance and began anew.
“Aiyaaaaahhhh! P.! A.! Odaaaaaa! Ship! You arrrrrrrrrrrrreeee! Hiyaaaahhhhh!”
“You’ll burst a blood vessel if you force yourself.”
The Satou Brothers clearly wanted to say something, but Yoshitsune ignored them and crossed her legs on top of Shizuka’s fuel tank. She then looked low in the sky ahead.
“Hey, Maeda. You’re getting in the way of the history recreation, so get lost.”
She received a response via the Satou Brothers.
“But Lady Yoshitsune…”
“What kind of fool speaks to me without introducing himself?”
“My apologies. I am honored to you would speak with me. I am M.H.R.R. Treas-…”
“I hate long introductions.”
“Then I will send it all to one of your people afterwards.”
Yoshitsune smiled a little.
“I’ll hear you out since you went along with that,” she said. “Do you want the Musashi that badly?”
Her question received an immediate response.
“No,” he denied. “The Musashi has threatened M.H.R.R.’s history recreation. We wanted to avoid any external influences when M.H.R.R. is in such a complicated situation, but they went against our wishes by traveling through our territory. Therefore,” said Toshiie. “We will punish the Musashi for interfering with the history recreation.”
Toshiie said more from the Sunomata.
“The M.H.R.R. Catholics would like temporary permission to enter Qing-Takeda’s airspace to punish the Musashi. This is to settle the history recreation of Magdeburg, so it has higher priority than the Battle of Mikatagahara.”
“And if I say no?”
“Then…the Testament Union will likely punish Qing-Takeda.”
“I see,” said Yoshitsune with a hand on her chin.
She thought to herself with a nasal “hmm”, and…
“Well, in that case…”
At that point, the Satou Brothers held out a new sign frame from behind her. This one displayed Musashi’s vice president.
“Wait! This is Musashi Vice President Honda Masazumi! I would like to say something concerning that reasoning!”
The night wind washed across a hill.
It was a rough, stormy wind. It heavily shook the tree branches and blew the clouds through the sky.
The clouds covering the night sky had opened, bringing the moon into view and covering the hill in clear light.
Several large ships and countless figures could be seen on the moonlit hill.
They were Hexagone Française’s aerial fleet, the Magdeburg transport ship, and their crews.
But another figure stood on the hill’s slope some distance away from them all.
It was the Reine des Garous.
She was looking at two signe cadre displaying the information Mouri-01 had sent her from Hexagone Française’s flagship, the Pension Versailles. The larger one was a map containing the positions of the Hashiba and M.H.R.R Catholic ships in M.H.R.R. or the Seto Inland Sea plus some other predictions.
“This is the predicted distribution of the P.A. Oda aerial forces within P.A. Oda territory. There are a lot of unobservable regions inside P.A. Oda, so we can only predict based on the information gathered elsewhere.”
“They really have moved toward Qing-Takeda, haven’t they?”
“I would like your opinion. Especially concerning this document sent from K.P.A. Italia.”
The Reine des Garous looked to the other signe cadre which displayed a document signed by a woman.
“They must be plotting something to send a secret letter only to the Tsirhc Testament Union nations.”
With that said, the Reine des Garous looked eastward. She narrowed her eyes into the dark night.
“The Musashi is in trouble.”
“You think so too?”
A voice reached her from the top of the hill. She turned around and found Tomoe Gozen standing in the windy grass. The woman’s arms were crossed as she too faced east.
“That idiot Yoshitsune is in trouble too…but this isn’t easy. This is going to demonstrate that siding with the Musashi will make an enemy of someone truly formidable.”
The Reine des Garous nodded and gave a few instructions while noting how little practice she had typing on a keyboard.
“Mouri-01, I think we will soon need a signed document from Louis Exiv and Mouri Terumoto. There’s somewhere I want to contact in a hurry.”
“Testament. Where is that?”
“Somewhere that used to be your enemy.”
After sending a quick write-up of her plan, the Reine des Garous looked east again.
“I just hope we make it in time!”
Masazumi began her negotiations on the bridge in front of the academy.
Based on what she had heard from the divine transmission relayed by Yoshitsune, Maeda Toshiie was trying to demonstrate his justification for attacking them.
…If I don’t interfere, our position will only grow worse!
Shells dropped, impacts rang out, and countless lights scattered through the sky. They were not up against a large-scale fleet or a large ship, but the Sunomata was using a ghost ship to constantly pursue them.
The attacks themselves were not the biggest problem.
…As long as we’re under attack, Hashiba still has us caught in a state of combat!
Masazumi knew that, as long as this battle continued, the Hashiba forces would continue pursuing the Musashi even if they escaped to Kantou. It would all be in the name of an “unavoidable movement of the battlefield” while punishing them for interfering with Magdeburg’s history recreation.
They could even accuse Musashi of dragging other nations into the battle to assist their escape.
Masazumi needed to avoid that.
After all, Toshiie had claimed Musashi was threatening M.H.R.R.’s history recreation, but…
“Hashiba is trying to blame us for their attack and pursuit! And all while completely disregarding our point of view!”
She could not let them use the history recreation as a shield.
If the history recreation was threatened, all of the Testament Union nations would join M.H.R.R. and Hashiba in opposing them. So…
“I insist you hear me out!”
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