Horizon:Volume 3 Chapter 03
Chapter 03: Hard Worker of the Unfamiliar Site
In a place one does not know
To make a living
What should be done
Point Allocation (Ability to Take Action)
“Wow, a pear tart from below in IZUMO?”
Inside the grounds of a shrine which possessed an atrium as a ceiling, the blonde with a scarred face turned around with a surprised voice.
The location was the third underground floor at the rear of Okutama. Within the atrium established using the two side streets, the ascending stairs there led to the torii arch, where there was a grove and a shrine.
The name which was bestowed on the large torii archway on the bow side was “Asama Shrine”.
Through the waterfalls formed by the rivers falling from the surface section and the sunlight entering from the atrium, shadows and light intersected several places within the shrine grounds. Inside those shrine grounds the one who had spoken the previous words was the priestess-styled inner-suit figure of Mary.
While taking the paper box offered to her, she said:
“Is it all right? Lady Adele, is it alright for me to accept this?”
Judge, the one who nodded was the blue jersey clad figure of Adele.
“These are provisions provided by ‘Musashi’ and the others to the official positions and important offices. Earlier when purchasing tableware from down below, ‘Musashi’ asked me to carry them with me once I returned in order to reduce her load. Please have it together with the 1st Special Duty Officer. —Hey!”
Adele who was speaking, directed those final words to the surrounding pack of shadows jumping around.
It was the dogs.
There were dogs on leashes and off leash as well as young, adult and old. With single word from Adele, the dogs, with a stray white dog in the middle, sat down all at once. Adele faced the dogs and said.
“This is where you get your water from, okay? Anything else is prohibited. The toilet is also at the prescribed location.”
The dogs let out a single loud bark as if to nod.
Good, Adele nodded and began to provide the feed she had received from pedestrians in orderly fashion. Turning around and looking, Mary was there smiling.
“…However, well, I would never have thought that you would take a part-time job as a priestess at the Asama Shrine.”
She began to think that if you thought about it historically, this was definitely a chaotic situation; also…
…These are the 1st Special Duty Officer’s tastes.
She also wanted to say that aloud; however, Adele remained silent. After all, she being a normal individual meant that she was not someone who should become too deeply involved with royalty or deviants.
However Mary, with a white inner suit as the base and red tights while shaking the tail ballast with the broom which hung at her waist could be definitely seen to look good.
Mary showed a smile her way.
“I am only doing things such as cleaning, tidying and preparing the store. I think it would be good if I could work more… However, I lack a proper understanding of Shinto, so I’m depending on these a little.”
There was a small computer hanging from the hard point on her waist. What was displayed there was an explanation of Shinto formulas and spells. She was studying in her own way, and after Adele understood that, she said:
“After all, to continue your inheritance of Mary’s name you are unable to discard the Catholic religion. However, being on board Musashi and continuing like that would be a bit of a difficult situation… That’s why I suggested you to use the “Hidden” Catholic setting.”
“Judge, normally it seems the “Hidden” setting was used for believers of Shinto who wished to believe in Catholicism; however since my situation would be the reverse, it apparently makes the application complicated.”
So she was working at the shrine to “demonstrate her belief” in order to lessen the application conditions.
However, Adele thought, like she who only believed in Catholicism, she was able to respect her beliefs in everyday life; and if Asama was there acting as an intermediary it was simple to achieve messaging. But…
“Why did you say that you wanted to understand Shinto?”
Eh? After forming the words, Mary hesitated and her cheeks reddened.
“If I’m the same as Master Tenzou, there will not be many inconveniences…”
If any of our class were here at the moment, the fate of the 1st Special Duty would have been sealed tomorrow. I’m glad it was me. I’ll let him off with just spreading it over the net.
However, Mary bowed her head in her direction.
“—In any case, thank you for everything back in England.”
“Eh? Ah no, after all I didn’t cause a ruckus at the Tower of London nor had any real activity during the Armada Battle. I was waiting for maintenance on my mobile shell so it was pretty easy-going for me.”
“Mary, how are you feeling at the moment?”
“Judge, I can talk with the neighbors, I can work here, cook food and sew; there’s a lot I can do. The Far East also has many books which allows me to enjoy my time here.”
“Have you descended into IZUMO?”
No, she showed something like a troubled smile.
“My free time did not match with Master Tenzou. He has his job down at the engineering section, after all.”
That guy, leaving behind his blonde large-breasted wife in priestess clothes, what exactly is he doing. Adele who was about to mentally enter a preaching stance, instead lightly stopped her breath at Mary’s next words.
“Also, even if it is only IZUMO, as someone who was born in England I feel some difficulty when it comes to the territory of Hexagone Française. I am also meant to have gotten married in Hexagone Française after all.”
Hearing the difficult content of those words said without any hesitation, Adele thought of the word “consideration.”
Her mother and father were both from Hexagone Française, however she was born on Musashi. There was also her father who had lost his place within Hexagone Française and taught her to place a greater value on her existence as a vassal over her country. She was a Catholic, a vassal and from a lineage of Hexagone Française; however, she was a resident of Musashi.
That is why she realised that Mitotsudaira and Mary were keeping a distance from each other. Like her, they both held the thinking of the era of knights, however following her birth one held a different type of awareness towards her home country. That was Mitotsudaira.
There was probably a similar situation for Mary. She bitterly smiled.
“…At the point when you feel that you should not be aware that it is already hopeless, you then think once again that is also hopeless; however you wonder if it is truly hopeless, and it goes around in repetition.”
“I talked with Master Tenzou about going down to IZUMO, —I asked about a variety of purchases at IZUMO, and he will help on a later date. It was something easy to solve.”
Adele thought, that 1st Special Duty is doing quite well.
Arguably, she was moved emotionally. That is why Adele first went to go about her business.
“So, umm, I’m sorry, where’s Asama?”
“Eh? Umm, earlier she was peering under the veranda and then doing something about the arrangements for a seal… However, now she said something about stacking firewood out front towards the staircase so she is doing the cleansing of firewood in the forest around the back.”
Something happened with someone close…
She nodded on the inside, however it would be better not to let Mary know the particulars.
However Mary, who was tilting her head, looked to the dogs then.
“Adele, you were at IZUMO for shopping… and walking your pets?”
“Eh? Well I run during the morning and evening. However, since I’ve been doing it for a while the dogs thought I would play with them and started to follow me. Then they gradually continued to increase in number, and lately this has become some sort of routine with people who have a habit of throwing them treats when I pass; and people who seem too busy to take theirs for a walk, leave it to me.”
“Judge. It is very lively.”
Receiving an appropriate follow-up was something to be grateful for.
“And this was something that Asama’s father thought up: attaching talismans to these dogs and have them run which would then conduct the ship’s tuning. By using the purification talismans ‘space’ created by the practitioners of Shinto as a rudimentary training… well even if they are badly made, we attach these which are gathered for free and attempt to remove the localized distortions within the vessel. In short, guard dogs to prevent the occurrence of phenomena.”
However, if Asama was busy dealing with the misconduct of someone close…
“I guess it will not be happening today. Well, lately and due to the repair of Musashi, even if there is a distortion the poor part should have disappeared, so it should be okay.”
I also wish to view the new tableware I bought to replace the tableware that was placed on the table and broken during Musashi’s full turn the other day. That’s why Adele thought she would return home; however, Mary said…
“Lady Adele, it is almost time for my break, so how about this?”
She held up the box with the pear tart.
“Will you have it together with me? We can have Asama and other part timers join us.”
There is a god…! Adele thought from the bottom of her heart. That a suggestion with no downside would bring about such sense of awe! Ah, after this long time Adele was glad that this person was not executed.
Then in front of her, the goddess directed a smile her way.
“It is quite large after all. I shall have what is left over together with Master Tenzou.”
While she was wondering whether this was all right, black wings descended from the sky.
Descending and spreading her wings as if striking the atmosphere and regaining her posture before touching the ground was…
“? …Are you working?”
“Judge, can you give this to Asama for me? —It’s nothing important.”
“T-That’s a strange way of describing something…!”
“Oh, Naruze, we were just thinking about having some tea; however…”
Hmm, Naruze looked at the paper box that Mary was holding. Then she directed her gaze below to the dogs that were looking up at her wings with great interest.
“We received ours a little while ago, but I guess it would be fine to have that tomorrow. —Okay, while it isn’t a Technohexen tea party I’ll join you for a bit.”
“4th Special Duty, what about your work?”
“Margot should also currently be taking a break.”
Naruze pointed in the port side direction, towards Tama.
Then she pointed at Mary with a smile on her face and said…
“—Judge, over where your husband and Naomasa are working.”
"To continue training even though it is your break time is admirable, Muneshige-shi."
A single voice echoed around the outside front wall section of Tama which basked in the sun of the second day of the month.
As a result of damage to the outer wall, this location was one of the places where footholds had been installed for repairs. There were many people being hired, not just in the maintenance or the repairs section, as the entire engineering division was conducting repairs throughout Musashi; however…
“Well, it is good that I have found a place to work where I can also complete my training. Don’t you agree, Tenzou?”
Judge, holding his hand to the white steel wall was the jacket-less figure of Tenzou.
“The fact that Naomasa and Mitotsudaira also participate is something to be highly appreciative of. Well then, about today’s training it’s fine, right Muneshige-shi?”
When he turned around, in front of him was a single young married couple who were on top of a widely created foothold.
Muneshige was wearing a work vest and Gin was clad in a Tres España uniform.
Tenzou thought as he looked at the two of them.
…Well, it is surprising that we managed to join together with the Tachibana married couple.
After all, it was only about two weeks ago when those two were still considered the enemy.
However now those two had submitted an application to Tres España for the removal of their inherited names. While Muneshige’s had been accepted, it was heard that Gin’s was still pending.
…That is because Gin's father is also a member of the Tachibana lineage.
Masazumi had made a deal with Tres España such that if the individual in question wishes to be one of Musashi’s crew, they will treat them as a resident of the Far East, and that settled things with Tres España. In other words, as long as they remained on Musashi, they were neither residents of Tres España or Musashi but “Far East residents” as the original Tachibana clan.
In reality it could be said that Gin’s future was depending on what she wanted to do with herself.
This was not Gin’s comment. However, if Gin chose to remain with the Muneshige who had his inherited name revoked… he was thinking about doubling his efforts for the time when he would once again inherit the name.
Anyhow, Tenzou stopped that train of thought and went to deal with the issue at hand. What needed to be done now was…
“Advancing the rehabilitation training of Muneshige-shi’s legs to the next stage.”
“Is it all right?”
Tenzou lifted his hand slightly in the direction of Naomasa. With that, Naomasa cut one part from the rolled paper-like object she was gripping with her artificial arms and formed a pipe.
Tenzou caught the somewhat heavy solid paper pipe which was tossed over to him. Then when he held that rolled up paper-like object and showed it to the Tachibana couple. Gin tilted her neck and spoke.
“…A Shinto deity talisman to repair damaged metallic parts. It provides an artificial life force to metal and using ether as a basis, conducts an automated repair. It is however considered a prohibited technique by Catholics due to being similar to the act of God…”
Gin shifted her eyes to the side. Where she shifted her eyes there were multiple white talismans attached to the wall. All of that white was identical to the one Tenzou was holding.
Then Naomasa also tilted her gaze towards the white horizontal line.
“Honestly, this is an ineffective method of repair. Well, it can be useful for emergencies and light damage such as light scratches where it would be wasteful to replace the plating.”
“Judge, normally you assemble a foothold and then attach them horizontally in an orderly fashion—”
Tenzou pointed to a position approximately twenty meters above. Floating there on a broom it was someone with golden wings who waved her hand in this direction. It was Naito. She raised her hand next to her mouth and said.
“From what I can tell the repairs in this area aren’t done properly.”
Naito poked a section of the outer wall with the tip of her broom. Seeing that, Naomasa nodded.
“Since this area is my responsibility, do you think you could give it a try?”
With that question, Muneshige looked up at the wall which seemed perpendicular.
“You’re telling me to climb this?”
No, Tenzou spoke.
“—I’m telling you to run.”
I see, Gin thought. There was really value in consulting with the ninja 1st Special Duty Officer who seemed knowledgeable about occupations that could be used for training.
“At first, when I heard that it was work that could serve as training, I thought it was simply manual labour like carrying materials and assisting in creating footholds…”
Gin looked up at wall.
“That served as basic training, with the next stage being running up this near perpendicular wall?”
She asked Muneshige who was beside her as he directed a sharp gaze towards the ninja. The question was…
“—Without a run-up?”
Gin was envious of the way that he was already seriously looking at this ninja conduct. There the ninja lightly nodded in response to Muneshige and, with his head, indicated towards Muneshige's legs.
“Looking at the way that you are walking, you seem to be overly conscious of your knees.”
“—Certaintly, since I damaged my ligaments I have developed a tendency to protect them.”
“I see. Then I wish for you to answer the next question honestly.”
“—Have your injuries completely healed?”
Gin heard Muneshige’s answer in response to the ninja’s question.
Previously he had replied with Tes.
However, now both he and I are different.
Not different, we have just tried to start our new selves. Thinking that was a meaningful answer, Gin slightly lowered her head to the ninja.
“Do not worry, please provide me with instructions without holding anything back.”
“Judge, in that case I will have you understand the main aim here.”
Saying that, the ninja vanished.
The reason Gin reflexively looked upwards was not a result of her sense of sight, but a matter of intuition.
Sure enough, there looking above her head at the surface of the wall, the shadow of the ninja was already running at a position higher than ten meters.
He was not climbing. The ninja was running on the wall as if he was floating with every step.
It was martial arts. It was pure martial arts with no ether light at all being emitted.
However, usually if you were to climb, you would lose momentum and fall back to the ground. That’s why…
“—Muneshige-sama, that martial art…”
“Judge, in order to continue going upwards, it is important to keep accelerating faster than you are falling.”
To achieve that…
“Compared to a normal running style, you do not use your legs to kick. Instead, you use the sole of your forward leg to hang onto the wall, and then, so as to not to lose momentum, you repeatedly pull yourself forward in a short cycle.”
It was not kicking behind and propelling the body forward but rather hanging on and pulling the body forward.
I see, Gin thought.
…Up until now as a result of carrying materials in an unstable environment, the kicking and pushing was done as rehabilitation and now, this pulling movement was the next stage of his rehabilitation.
Gin, who was going to say that it made sense, suddenly stopped.
“Is this it?”
In the sky beside the nodding Technohexen, the ninja was standing on the wall.
In front of Gin’s gaze the ninja was standing on the surface on the wall.
He had his right leg slightly lowered and while making his body seemingly slightly fall onto the wall, he apparently stood on the wall with a relaxed atmosphere.
In front of her, momentarily dumbstruck, was Musashi’s 6th Special Duty Officer who folded her arms and formed the following words:
“—Ninja are apparently able to always stand on top of a still blade. Well, even though he looks like that, here on-board Musashi he is one of our most highly talented ninja; so it is always good to observe him.”
While those words continued, the ninja, who while continuing to talk to the fallen angel, tilted his body slightly forward towards the wall. Thinking that he was going to fall…
“There is some damage over here.”
The ninja remained on the wall like nothing and moved to the left.
Then as if following the fingertips of the Technohexen, he attached a talisman to the wall, then using his fingers and grasping the slight thickness of the talisman, he rotated his body in the opposite direction.
“Naito, here you go.”
From his breast pocket he pulled out a bamboo can of “Saint Max George Coffee” and passed it over to the Technohexen. In his movements there was no sense of him rushing or hurrying. He moved with an air of composure.
From there, the ninja turned his body and fluttered through the air.
Without any sound or lowering his body, he simply descended onto the foothold.
The unstable foothold did not shake or make a sound.
Musashi’s 1st Special Duty Officer usually served a decoy role during battles and even at England’s Tower of London he had not participated in any direct combat. However even then…
“I see, I understand.”
Seeing the ninja who was approaching this direction, Gin muttered.
“What saved Mary Stuart was not just the actions of those around him.”
“—Hmm? Is there something wrong?”
I wonder if the ninja who tilted his neck had not realized his ability. No…
…If he had not realized it, then there was no way he would be displaying it.
He had self-awareness about his own abilities. However for those around him, this was a matter of fact. That was why it was not pointed out by them.
With respect to that fact…
“…It is the same as us in the past. I wonder if this is also that kind of place, Muneshige-sama.”
“Judge, so it seems.”
While saying that, he moved forward.
With that sudden movement, she looked up and in the corners of Muneshige’s mouth there was a smile that seemed as if he was trying to tolerate something.
…Good grief. Even if he had only just received permission for everyday activities from the treatment facility.
This person likes this kind of stuff; being challenged.
Muneshige, while nodding to Tenzou’s words who said the area was right beneath the target, stood in front of the wall. Then sending a fleeting glance in the direction of Tenzou, said.
“—Thank you for all the arrangements and such.”
Don’t worry about it; there Tenzou waved his hand from side to side.
“I don’t have the personality or the position to be teaching people. That’s why after this assignment, I want you to learn on your own, is that all right?”
In other words that was…
“…In the 1st Special Duty Officer’s opinion, by the time I am able to complete this task, it will be that I have achieved a sufficient ability?”
It is also that, however Tenzou while scratching his head shrugged his shoulders.
“If you can complete this, then the places where you can work aboard Musashi will increase, you know?”
Judge, Muneshige laughed. He had realized lately that Musashi was constantly facing a lack of personnel, so engineering, maintenance and repairs jobs were always available. Among those jobs, the ones with the good pay were work on the outer wall or in high places.
Muneshige’s thinking was that the most necessary thing for newcomers was money.
…In that case, the challenge will be whether my legs can take on those tasks.
Muneshige placed his right leg on the wall. Then…
Muneshige ran up the wall.
He was beginning to understand the method. By the third step, he had grasped most of the tempo.
That’s why he thought he could do it, however…
At the seventh step he suddenly began to lose speed.
He understood the reason quite well.
He was holding power towards the leg which he was using to pull his body up for too long.
…His leg power had decreased by a lot.
He thought that if it had been the past him, he could have gone further.
Actually he thought that in his current form, he could still go about three more meters, making a total of twelve meters, however Muneshige…
At the ten meter mark of the twenty meters that he was meant to run he kicked the wall.
He did a backwards somersault, entered a landing posture and there from far above his head the Technohexen exclaimed.
“Ah. —Even though I waited with the coffee.”
Before he could assert he was sorry, he landed on the foothold.
Together with a banging sound, the wooden floor and the strengthened bamboo of the foothold let out a screeching sound. Thinking that it was an unsightly landing, he stood up and looked and there was Gin who had come with a towel.
He realized that his entire body was covered in sweat.
Tenzou also finally came.
“Okay. How splendid. Getting that far on your first time is pretty good. As expected.”
In response to his words, Muneshige went to say something. However…
There was a weight from the depth of his chest.
It was oxygen deprivation. As a result of extreme tension and movement, light oxygen deprivation symptoms had occurred and the depth of his chest felt heavy.
…After all, surprisingly enough I don’t do these types of movements much.
Muneshige looked upwards at the ten meter position, and carved it into his heart. He could make it up to that position.
There before he could say anything to Tenzou who had come to his side, Gin who was next to him lightly bowed her head.
“…Thank you very much. However Muneshige-sama, it did seem like you could have gone a little further—”
At Gin’s prompting words, Muneshige nodded his head. He breathed air into his lungs and lightened his body.
“Judge. —However I have to land afterwards.”
Muneshige thought back about his last landing. He had lowered his body to its limit, however the shock from his soles had not disappeared. That was to say that the springs of his muscle strength and sense of balance had decreased.
“It think that if I had gone any higher than that, something would have gone wrong with my landing.”
“Judge. —The best way is to not try the impossible, if you can manage that, then afterwards you will improve on your own. In no time you will be better than you were before.”
Tenzou said that and looked over everyone.
“Well then, shall we take an official break? I believe we can do something about drinks—”
“Ah, shall I go buy them? Even though I’m like this now, I used to be a deliverer in the postal service.”
“No, no. Have this." Tenzou waved his hand around his waist and returned it.
Seeing several bamboo cans were hanging from his hand, Gin muttered:
“…You’re not saying you did that just now with all that weight attached?”
“…Almost as if you’re a speedy gofer all the time.”
“G-Gin, wasn’t that a bit harsh! Ah, I’m sorry!”
“No, that way of being at ease is also more comfortable for me.”
Saying that, the ninja paused for a moment. Then he looked in the west direction.
There was IZUMO and the path leading to it.
There was a flow of movement on the dirt path. With the tremor of a brown hair that could also be seen as a gathering of brown wind…
“Would that be Kimi-dono?”
Kimi was heading in the direction of IZUMO. However, she walked towards a suburban house which was along the way.
Beneath the afternoon sky danced a brown color.
It was hair. The girl who was wearing a Far East uniform modified into something suiting a dancing girl was looking up at the sky.
It was Kimi.
The place where she was basking in the western wind was a garden of a suburban house at IZUMO.
The spacious garden was enclosed by a fence. It was a fence which was entwined with Japanese Morning Glory shoots that still had no flowers.
Raising one’s face and looking up from there it was possible to overlook everything in the surrounding scenery.
To the east was Musashi, to the south was the countryside and forest; and then to the north and west there was the city of IZUMO, where a massive multistory shrine combined with a white development center could be seen.
In this garden which took a distance from all of these was a house with a southern facing thatched roof.
It was just one of the many farm-like buildings in the suburb. It was that kind of house and farm.
Then after Kimi had looked in all four directions she directed her gaze to the east, towards Musashi.
Beneath the blue of the early summer and the low clouds, there was a massive black and white ship. From her current position, the whole aspect of the starboard side looked as if a cliff of great length.
The dancing girl, while entwining her hair that was being blown about by the wind around her arm, let out a small laugh.
“Looking from below makes it seem so large. Don’t you think so, Uzy?”
Calling out, there from the gap in her chest a wavy-haired little girl Mouse crawled out and nodded.
She clapped her hands once and pulled out a sign frame. The contents were…
Silver Wolf: “Kimi, Horizon has headed that way. Can you see her?”
Wise Sister: “Easily wolf. From just now though.”
As if following Musashi’s outer wall, Kimi moved her sight downwards.
On one of the several bridges connected to Musashi, there were two shadows on the road heading in this direction.
There, coming along between the shelter-belt forest road which had a slight heat haze was…
“Haha, as I thought, foolish brother chose to pass. With a lady attendant as your escort, you seem to be on your leisurely way, Horizon.”
While still far away, Kimi saw the silver hair which seemed as if it was immersed in the heat haze come along. Well then, without changing her posture Kimi, turned her back on Horizon and Futayo.
Wise Sister: “Mitotsudaira, in that case you should come down here as well. Have you longed for your mother’s scent so much that you can’t come down? You being too considerate of Mary is also something you should avoid…”
Silver Wolf: “This way of speaking…!”
Aha, Kimi softly laughed, however she lightly lowered her eyebrows.
Looking at the sign frame, she said.
“Well, do your best.”
Leaving a voice which wouldn’t reach, she then looked forward, to the north.
There was a city.
In the surroundings there were rice-plant paddies and irrigation channels; within the north side there was a town, with a Shinto torii gate and a group of research facilities that could be seen as a massive fortress. On the far side of the Shinto Arch there was a staircase which spanned over several kilometers, and above that a shrine which was…
“Izumo-Kitsuki-Taisha. —The core of the Large Company IZUMO; from the age of the gods it has been the large financial support of the gods and is now what the citizens of the Far East rely upon… Hmm.”
She took a breath.
“I wonder what Horizon will think meeting my grandmother who lives in a place like this?”
“‘Lives in a place like this’ is quite a thing to say, Kimi.”
From the depths of the house, from the direction of the tatami mat floor which received the rays of the sun there was a voice.
It was a woman’s slightly subdued voice.
“How many times before you understand do I have tell you that either Mitsu or Grandma are fine. I’m not someone who needs that much respect.”
Appearing from the house frontage there was an elderly woman who was wearing the clothing of the Far East with the front closed as many married people had it, and whose hair had faded to a light brown.
“So? Horizon is alive? I heard about Mikawa and the rest. Here and there were disturbances and wariness. Well then, the reason you came here wasn’t to learn about ritual techniques or smiting, was it? —What did you come here for?”
“As far as we know, for the moment we want to hear the oldest story that we can.”
What stories? In regards to her grandmother’s question, Kimi answered like this:
“About Horizon’s mother. Mother would not talk about it… however, what about Grandmother? Is there anything that you can say in front of Horizon herself? After all, Horizon may have lost her memories but it is not like she has lost her past. There is a lot she should know—”
“She should know?”
Haha, Kimi nodded her head.
“Horizon might experience sadness if she were to suddenly come to face her past without knowing anything, you know? If that happens, foolish brother might become discouraged. That is also something that I do not wish for.”
That’s why Kimi directed her gaze to the silver hair which was walking there from far away and said.
“For the sake of Horizon who knows nothing… Will you let her hear your words so that she can confront that past?”
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