Horizon:Volume 3 Chapter 06

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Chapter 06: The Negotiators of the Tea House[edit]

Horizon3A 0137.jpg

Did I do something

That warranted being told

Thank you for coming?

Point Allocation (After This)



There was a dim location where the light shone.

It was a tea-house which had a dirt floor with wooden tables, chairs and lined-up partitions. The entrance was open and the afternoon sunlight entered into the store. The store had only just opened for the late afternoon so there were only a few people, however…

“Mate, first of all, this store is an investment of an English corporation. I promise you safety, peace and fairness on the honour of our Queen.”

“I hope it is like that.”

Johnson and Masazumi secured a seating at the second table on the left from the entrance, which was located across the aisle from the counter.

Johnson took the seat on the interior of the store. Masazumi was in front of him alongside the wall and Naito sat with half her body on the seat on the corridor side.

Johnson formed a slight smile towards Naito, who did not put down her broom but instead continued to hold it while placing her right wing on the corridor side.

“That’s a good attitude, witch.”

“Even if you flatter me I won’t be swayed; don’t forget that, okay?”

Tes, Johnson nodded, as the tea was carried over by a disembodied hand.

The person who had brought it was the Japanese-styled lady attendant figure of Walsingham. On the other side of the Japanese-styled counter Walsingham floated a fish into the air, held in place by several double-edged knives; and with her other hand encouraged them to drink.

Please.

The contents of the teacup, which had a picture of a dog drawn on it, was red wine. Masazumi looked at the red contents.

“An aperitif?”

“Well then let’s have a cup, mate.”

Masazumi looked at Naito. However, she had already averted her gaze and was facing towards the outside. As there was nothing to be done, Masazumi stopped after taking hold of the teacup.

“I heard that there was an important story concerning M.H.R.R.”



Masazumi formed the words while listening to the sounds of the double-sided knives of Walsingham striking a chopping board.

“I want to hear your information first.”

“Why is that, mate?”

“The contents of that one-time information is something that I will eventually know. While we are talking like this the freshness of the information you possess is falling. That’s why after you show your goods, —we will also reveal our material.”

It was equivalent exchange. She had already, after she had seen the text message that had come through the intermediary Neshinbara, created a list of several pieces of exchangeable information. That’s why Masazumi called out Tsukinowa on top of her shoulder and while thinking about what she should do…

Ma—

Tsukinowa suddenly started to pull out a large quantity of lists which contained attack spells.

——!

Walsingham pulled out the cross blade of “Wars of the Roses”, which she had been using to dissect the tuna, from the beneath the counter and Johnson pulled half of his body towards the corridor side.

“Wa-Wait a minute Tsukinowa, this is not that kind of opponent! That is for friends! For use on friends!”

Ma—?

Tsukinowa tilted its neck and in the meantime folded up the pages of the spell sign frames to close them; meanwhile Masazumi, who had counted a number greater than triple digits, was breaking out into a cold sweat.

……When had Tsukinowa acquired all of those attack spells?

It would have been something that Asama had done. Anyway Masazumi paused and corrected her posture towards Johnson.

“So, —what is your reply?”

“Just now that was a clear act of blackmail wasn’t it, Lady?”

“Nope, it was just an accident, yeah.”

The one who was the most assertive was the victor. If it was the England’s Fairy Queen then this sort of spontaneous situation was possibly an everyday occurrence. That’s why with a tone to change the topic Masazumi asked.

“What about M.H.R.R.?"

Yeah, Johnson nodded and suddenly started speaking.

“—M.H.R.R. has prohibited Musashi from traveling above the entirety of M.H.R.R.”



……Traveling above M.H.R.R. was prohibited!?

Masazumi was unable to react to the words that she had been suddenly told.

Johnson, who was in front of her eyes, however composedly placed his elbows on the table and did not continue.

There was only one piece of information. This was that kind of secret conference. That’s why he raised his hand towards Walsingham.

“Bring the next ones.”

Tes

At that moment, pudding and something that seemed like barley tea was carried over by hand in their respective teacups.

While Masazumi looked at the green tea colored teacup with the shaking custard pudding, Naito, who was beside her, said the following with a serious tone.

“……Thinking about it I wonder if this store has anything other than teacups.”

“Would a bowl have been preferable, Witch?”

……Was this actually some kind of harassment that they had concocted?

While thinking that Masazumi drank the contents of the teacup, which had come with the pudding, in order to take a short rest.

It was caramel.



“.....!”

There Johnson took refuge and ducked when she reflectively spat it out.

“Nuaaaaa! I-It’s super sweet!! I thought I was going to die!!”

“Yeah I realized but didn’t say anything, was that correct? It was amusing after all.”

“Say something! Why was it filled to the brim!? I thought it was something like barley tea!”

“There’s no way there is barley tea in England, mate. You were the one who was careless.”

She thought about knocking him down but it was true that this happened due to her lack of attention. At the counter Walsingham had started to fill a large teacup with vinegar rice and was creating something like a vinegar rice topped sliced raw tuna parfait, but if possible she wanted to end this conversation before that thing was finished.

……Anyhow since we have gained information from the other side now it is our turn, huh.

Masazumi, while poking the teacup with the spoon, considered the information she should use as a card for the deal.

Then after leaving a slight pause for thought…

“I’ll say this as a result of receiving your information. ——From here the flight path that Musashi is planning to take is to travel throughout the M.H.R.R. Protestant territories…”

“—Why is that?”

……That had come, huh.

Johnson was not saying more than one piece of their information. However he was trying to obtain more details about the information here.

That was a good method.

That’s why Masazumi used words which indicated that a deal was necessary.

“I want to hear some kind of interesting story.”

Equivalent Exchange. Consequently, hmm, Johnson folded his arms and opened a sign frame. He did not strike the keyboard with his hands. Keeping his hands free, using his feet and the movement of his toes, a keyboard in his shoes served as a replacement. Masazumi thought that he was conducting permission to release information with his home country.



The English chat was in great prosperity.

Drug Poet: “Listen, mates! Musashi’s Vice President has requested from us an interesting story!! Okay, start!”

O’Malley: “Ah, well our second child is a precocious brat so in their school trip to India for their free time they decided to pay homage to an Ueno circumcision god. That was troublesome; so before they left for their trip I arranged for an executioner, a splatter type, to break in through the window during the night and make them raise a scream.”

Swimming Man: “N-no matter how you look at it that is either a painful or a pitiful story!”

Koto Mermaid: “However, men are such a pain. …We female mermaids often climb up onto the rocks for a break or to use it as a tanning salon, like those types of scenes drawn in pictures. So the male mermaids in an attempt to get close to us try to climb up as well, however since we have no legs we use our hands and climb up the rocks, right? At that time, due to the design of our bodies, the area around the hips slams into the rocks with great force. If the waves are receding then it is fine however if they are coming in the damage is doubled. So quite often it happens that for a moment they make an incredulous face and fall back into the ocean.”

O’Malley: “Ah, so when male mermaids occasionally are seen floating and making sounds in the oceans is because of that! However when I rescued one once the way they spoke was emphasizing their femininity so I won’t be saving them again. So that was because of that, hmm...”

Four Eyes: “Doesn’t it seem that this is going in an undesirable direction?”



Masazumi saw Johnson close his sign window. It seemed like he had done some kind of serious discussion. Then Johnson became silent and slightly pitched his body forward.

“Let’s confirm a consensus, mate. The current state of the world ...After Musashi has come to IZUMO what action does it seem that the other countries are taking?”

“Is it okay to start a conversation about M.H.R.R.?"

Tes, with the nod of the other party Masazumi realized the intent of this conversation. He was saying they should exchange the information of Musashi and M.H.R.R. under the pretense of confirming a consensus.

The things that were to be discussed from here on were what both sides already recognized as common knowledge. It was that kind of performance.

In that case, Masazumi who thought of confirming a consensus began listing up the knowledge she had actually acquired.

……M.H.R.R. huh.

Lately the contents of their classes had only been about either M.H.R.R. or Hexagone Française. With an atmosphere of showing respect to the other party, Masazumi spoke contents which could be described as standard.

“—Germany.”



So…


“The foundation of M.H.R.R. was the “Carolingian Empire” created by the Emperor Charlemagne to unify Europe, that at the time had fallen into a state of chaos after the collapse of the Roman Empire. After the death of Emperor Charlemagne that country split into the current three countries of Hexagone Française, K.P.A. Italia and M.H.R.R.”

“Tes.”

Johnson nodded and displayed a map of Europe. Displayed there were the three countries of France, Germany and Italy.

Masazumi, while looking at the map of the three countries…

“These three countries continued to conflict over rulership. The one in a superior position at the first was K.P.A. Italia who had the Pope. After all, M.H.R.R.’s Holy Roman Emperor required the approval of the divine right of Kings from the Pope to achieve the position of Emperor; and the network of the Church was required for Hexagone Française to consolidate their massive territory.”

However, Naito began to talk with that word. She, with a slightly uninterested tone of voice, continued:

“With the changing era and the country's increasing strength, M.H.R.R.’s Holy Roman Emperor became weary of having his status being influenced by a small country. After all, the individual territories which comprised the country known as M.H.R.R., in the case of the Far East the individual prefectures which were ‘countries’, were eager about becoming independent. The Emperor asserted his status as Emperor and went to subdue those individual territories; however the Pope predicted that and demanded a number of conditions regarding the authority of the recognition of the Emperor."

But, Masazumi heard Naito saying that.

“As a result of those negotiations continuing for a long time, the individual territories obtained strength. Eventually the representatives of the individual territories became ‘Prince-Electors’ and it was decided that the Holy Roman Emperor was to be elected and decided from among these representatives of the individual territories.

The appointment of the Holy Roman Emperor as a result of elections meant that the Pope became something unnecessary. However that also meant that the Emperor had no influence or anything, right? Conversely, since becoming the Emperor they were constantly being requested to participate in other countries' wars and became impoverished from assisting with foreign matters and their own individual territories.

That’s why eventually the current situation came, with the powerful House of Habsburg inheriting the Emperor title. That is how things are now.”

Yeah, Masazumi nodded and Johnson also shook his head vertically.

That is how things are.

The name M.H.R.R. was bombastic and they also had named themselves the pioneers of European history. However…

……In reality their individual territories were in conflict, with even the position of the Emperor being used for political maneuvering.

In the present M.H.R.R., the position of the Emperor is considered to be just a symbolic one.

“Furthermore…….”

Masazumi spoke.

“A religious revolution occurred within M.H.R.R. The individual territories, while still forming the country known as M.H.R.R., split into Catholic and Protestant and conflicted; with that conflict still continuing with the Thirty Years' War.”

“That's right. The flow of it would be something like this.”

There Naito indicated with a sign frame.

“The History of M.H.R.R.”

* Originally, after the fall of the Roman Empire, there was a large territory which was subjugated by the Emperor Charlemagne. Afterward it split into three, with one of those being M.H.R.R.

* Beginning: Since the Emperor's authority needed the Pope’s approval, the Emperor was at the service of the Pope.

* Middle: As a result of the Emperor becoming chosen through the Prince-Electors' elections, the Emperor's authority was reduced. It became hereditary.

* Present: Due to the religious revolution the individual territories split into Catholics and Protestants and are currently at war. The House of Habsburg inherits the position of the Emperor.

Masazumi, with a nodding motion at what Naito had written, stuck her spoon deep into her teacup.

Taking a look, there was Walsingham placing a take-home good into a paper box. The service here was thorough; Masazumi clenched her fists inside her heart and said the following.

“—Hashiba effectively took advantage of M.H.R.R. being in such state.”



……Hashiba skilfully took in the impoverished M.H.R.R.

While thinking, Masazumi lightly indicated the eastern side of M.H.R.R. that Johnson was displaying with the front of her spoon. Then she slowly moved the tip of the spoon south to K.P.A. Italia.

“First, Hashiba of M.H.R.R. joined together with the Catholics inside the country and began preparations to invade K.P.A. Italia. Originally the person who was meant to consolidate the country’s Catholics was the Holy Roman Emperor and Chancellor Rudolf II; however…”

Moving her gaze briefly to the neighboring Naito, who shook her head vertically, she continued:

“Rudolf II “Wahnsinniger” is currently being imprisoned by his younger brother, the Student Council President Matthias; and it is Matthias who holds the actual authority of M.H.R.R. ……Well, Rudolf II rather than politics had a trend towards Technomagi and those kinds of suspicious formulas, so there really was nothing to be done though."

In front of her eyes Johnson nodded with a peaceful face.

"—It’s as you say, mate.”

Johnson nodded.

“M.H.R.R. is being controlled by Hashiba and the Emperor’s younger brother Matthias.”



Drug Poet: “Well then everyone, the conference has continued wonderfully up to now! This is no doubt a result of my skill as a secretary…! Come now; please let me hear your praise mates! Praise please!!”

Queen: “You guys have been boisterous for a while now. Calm down.”

Swimming Man: “……”

Koto Mermaid: “……”

O’Malley: “……”

Seal Boy: “……”

Queen: “Okay, so Johnson what are you doing? —Have you written a reply to celebrate Golden-Tama Jr. who was born the other day?”

Drug Poet: “No, that is…”



Masazumi did not overlook that Johnson’s expression had become slightly sterner as he looked as his sign frame.

It was because from here on they would be talking about matters beyond the consensus. However nothing would begin if she was afraid.

Masazumi, after taking a fleeting glance towards Naito, turned to Johnson and spoke.

“It is a certainty that Hashiba has taken control of M.H.R.R.”

However…

“I am thinking that the reason both of them agreed to that was not just due to the circumstances of Europe.”

“What exactly do you mean by that, Lady?”

Judge, there Masazumi nodded and indicated beneath her feet with her spoon.

“The circumstances of the Far East side.”

Beneath her feet was IZUMO and below that was…

“It is not only Hexagone Française which is in Europe. There is also simultaneously the Mouri clan which represents their Far East side.”

Then Masazumi once again indicated the map of Europe within Johnson’s sign frame with her spoon.

“Do you understand?”

She spoke.

“Thanks to the history recreation of the Far East side, Hashiba, who are in Kinki, can advance their army into the Chūgoku region. Their objective is the subjugation of the western side of the country and in the first place to crush the Mouri clan. Consequently, that the P.A. Oda Ottomans' Hashiba will invade thanks to the historical recreation of the Far East side is something that M.H.R.R. cannot avoid; so it is a thing that the Tsirhc countries of the Testament Union are also wary of. That’s why using that, Hashiba started giving support to the remnants of the Amako as an opportunity——"

That’s why…

“—The Student Council President of M.H.R.R. Matthias devised a plan. If Hashiba was converted from the Mlasi doctrine to Catholicism and formed an alliance with him, then they could be appended into the organization of M.H.R.R."

In other words that was…

“They could bring in Hashiba not as an enemy but as an ally of the Catholics and the Emperor.”



It was approximately two years ago when Hashiba completely joined together with M.H.R.R.

It was a proposal from M.H.R.R., and that Hashiba accepted that request became a huge incident.

……That M.H.R.R.’s Catholics converted those Ottoman forces was something that would often cause a fuss for several days in the daily tile-block newspapers.

There was no one that simply could accept that truth.

However, due to the reality and achievements that happened, the Tsirhc-based countries had no choice but to accept that the weakened M.H.R.R. had gained a vast power backer in P.A. Oda; including the fact that Hashiba, with its connections to the Ottomans, had already embarked into Europe.

M.H.R.R. as well did not know when Hashiba would decide to reinstate their Ottoman side from P.A. Oda and overthrow M.H.R.R. in one go. Depending on the situation…

……It would become one where Hashiba would take over the governance of M.H.R.R.

The point of contact for that deal was the Holy Roman Emperor’s younger brother Matthias.

“At the moment it could be said that Matthias is winning his bet. Naturally Hashiba also inherited the name of the House of Habsburg which governed the territory of Austria where Rudolf II and Matthias were born ……On the side of the Far East, the Himeji Castle of Harima capitulated without any fighting thanks to Hashiba."

That’s why she understood why Musashi was being prohibited from traveling in the sky of all the territory of M.H.R.R.

……It was that M.H.R.R. did not wish to increase the number of problems within their country.

Musashi was unable to form an alliance with England. However they were able to obtain their cooperation and friendship.

England was a Protestant country. If Musashi which had gained that cooperation and provisions was to head towards M.H.R.R., then obviously the destinations would be focused around the Protestant territories; and Masazumi had indeed decided to move in such a manner.

The M.H.R.R. Protestant territories were concentrated in the northern region. If Musashi was to cooperate with the Protestants then Hashiba, who were presently preparing to invade K.P.A Italia at the Seto Inland Sea to the south, would have a dangerous situation at their rear.

……That’s why, ……they had prohibited Musashi’s travel, huh.

She could not speak of it as a consequence of it being top secret information. However, Masazumi…

Vice President: “Neshinbara, could you please send me information that only pertains to recent changes in the circumstances of M.H.R.R.?”

In order to gain information she sent words to her comrades. However…

"?"

There was no reply.



……Eh?

Even waiting for a few seconds there was no reply in the chat from Neshinbara’s “Novice”. Before anything could be said about that situation, Naito acted.

“Yeah.”

She slightly embraced her broom.

With only that little of an action Masazumi comprehended the situation.

……This was an atmosphere that there was something to be wary of.

Something was happening.

However, Masazumi thought that Naito was with her.

She was one of the prominent escorts of the Far East. Beside her was a rare level of Technohexen even throughout the entire world. In that case Masazumi believed in the fact that she could manage even if anything occurred. That’s why she readjusted her seating.

“What is the matter, mate?”

Masazumi looked at Johnson’s questioning face.

Realising that the corner of his mouth were slightly upraised Masazumi comprehended the meaning of this conference.

“Johnson.”

Masazumi while being self-aware that her eyebrows were slightly raised asked a question.

“……M.H.R.R. has prohibited the passage of Musashi over its territory. I understand the meaning behind those words. However is it all right to ask a single question?”

“What is it, mate?”

She had obtained permission. That’s why she asked:

“……That information. Why was England able to learn that information concerning M.H.R.R.?”

In the face of that question, Johnson deepened his smile and nodded with a "Tes."

“It seems that the preparations to confirm the real consensus have been finally completed, Lady.”

“……What do you mean?”

Do not you get it?, Johnson tilted his head.

“—It’s something you’ll understand immediately. Look.”

A wind arrived together with those words. It was not the warm wind of the afternoon. It was a typhoon. Turning around and looking, there the wind which ran thought the street was a single shadow which jumped into the road in front of the store.

That shadow which she saw had rotated once through the air and while falling to the ground carried out control of its stance.

“—Futayo!?”



A solitary movement occurred within the bridge of Musahino.

It was Suzu. She who had been reclining on her chair as if she was sleeping suddenly raised her body. With that movement “Musashino” nodded.

“……I have been hearing a strange noise coming from IZUMO’s northern market area from earlier. —Over”

“J-judge, There’s a-also that, umm.”

Suzu stood up and with hesitating movements made her hands dance. That direction was at first east, then south, east and circled around to the north.

“U-umm”

Suzu spoke with a troubled expression.

“What are we going to do……”