Horizon:Volume 3 Chapter 10
Chapter 10: Cheerful People under the Night Sky
This brings smiles
To people’s faces
Point Allocation (Gathering Place)
“Kimi, don’t you have to go to that table?”
Suzu sat next to Asama, Kimi and Adele sat across form her, and an extra grill had been placed in the center. Asama was preparing seven-grain fried rice for everyone.
She asked her question while looking behind Kimi at Mitotsudaira, Horizon, Naito, and the plate holder one table over.
But Kimi did not even turn around.
“Heh heh. As long as my foolish brother is getting along with them, it does not matter. If he was feeling lonely, that would be another matter. Incidentally, Horizon has changed quite a lot.”
“Yes. Her restraint towards Toori-kun is vanishing more and more. Perhaps this is due to the greed.”
“Hm…” groaned the four girls as they lowered their heads a bit.
A waiter brought out the ingredients for the fried rice. Asama had brought the metal plate for the grill, but it would have been rude to bring her own ingredients to the restaurant. She had instead bought freshly cooked rice from them and would fry it herself.
“Um, I will set up a barrier on that side of the grill, so please grill your meat and vegetables there. The barrier has a purifying effect though, so it might lose some flavor.”
“Oh, I don’t really like liver, so that might actually help me eat it.”
“Heh heh heh. Adele, why not go be a child at Asama’s house?”
Kimi grabbed a chicken skewer from the grill while watching her Mouse, Uzy, fly up from her cleavage and dance in midair with Hanami.
“But Masazumi and Naruze have it tough. They have the meeting now and then what comes afterwards.”
Kimi placed the chicken skewer on Suzu’s plate and took another for her own plate.
She turned toward IZUMO’s city where the important meeting was taking place.
Asama turned in the same direction and used the night-vision option of her Konoha left eye to see through the darkness.
Somewhere in the lights of IZUMO’s city, Masazumi was having her meeting. She had a divine transmission connection, so she could ask for help in an emergency.
We need to stay focused, Asama told herself before seeking a consensus with the others while mixing the fried rice.
The topic at hand was of course the situation aboard Musashi.
“Based on the prayer questionnaires at the Asama Shrine’s contract locations and household shrines, the battles at England and the ships surrounding us today are making the people uneasy and fearful. Masazumi had determined our victory in the armada battle would prevent war-weariness, but…”
“War…weariness?” Suzu tilted her head. “What is…that?”
“War-weariness? What is that, Makiko?”
Sanyou’s voice filled the open-air terrace.
This terrace belonged to a beer garden on the starboard-side deck of Takao, Musashi’s third starboard ship.
Oriotorai had come with Sanyou and she now opened her mouth to speak while leaning her long sword against a table on a part of the outer edge of the deck with a nice view.
“Well,” she began while looking out at IZUMO’s nighttime scenery. “It’s the feeling of wondering how long the war is going to last. You could call it growing sick of war. While fighting, you’re full of energy, so you don’t get that feeling very much. It mainly comes out when you lose or enter a stalemate. After all, war is a lot of trouble and it brings a lot of unease.”
Sanyou looked up a bit.
…It is true that day after day of wondering if we will win or not is exhausting.
Sanyou placed her bag below a table made from a large slice of a log and finally nodded.
“I suppose you normally do want war to end as quickly as possible.”
“Judge. That’s why we need to balance out that unease by clearly gaining something from the war. Once people start thinking we would be better of quitting, their cooperation will drop. Governments used to release only the convenient information to prevent that feeling of war-weariness, but these days, people can obtain information on their own using the divine network and other methods.”
Oriotorai pulled out a chair at the table and looked toward Tama.
“So to prevent war-weariness, we need to at least keep winning. ….Oh, Mitsuki, is this table okay? You’re afraid of heights, right?”
“This is fine, Makiko. So, um…”
As Sanyou turned toward Tama as well, she noticed a large number of people at an open-air dining area in the diplomatic deck there. It was hard to tell from a distance, but Oriotorai’s gaze told Sanyou who they were.
…That is Class Plum.
The students who lead Musashi were there.
She had once told them something that had essentially been a lecture. Her thoughts had not changed since then, but she had an additional thought now.
…They have begun to fall into step, so I hope they can continue on to the end while remaining true to themselves.
But when Oriotorai spoke, her voice contained a sigh.
“The situation isn’t exactly good right now.”
As Sanyou watched, Oriotorai looked away from Tama. She sat in a chair and raised a hand toward a waiter.
“Speaking of war-weariness, the other countries have it easier. They only have to fight if Musashi, their enemy, arrives. On the other hand, Musashi has to keep fighting. We’re at a disadvantage there.”
“Judge.” Sanyou nodded. “That is why our victory in the armada battle was so important, right? Now that we have defeated Tres España’s fleet, which was considered the strongest of the age, the other countries will not be rushing in to pick a fight with us.”
The people had been in high spirits despite Musashi being repaired because they felt the possible long, drawn-out war would be easier from here on. They saw the repairs as preparations for that.
Sanyou sat in a chair and looked up into the sky.
To the east, west, south, and north, two great fleets were spread out across the night sky. Their identifier lights showed which were from Hexagone Française and which were from M.H.R.R. and some had their main lights on to show off their presence.
Sanyou sighed and continued speaking as she saw those groups of shadows looking down on them.
“But now two countries have us surrounded. Not only that, but they are supposed to be enemies in the Thirty Years’ War and they have another antagonistic relationship as the Mouri clan and Hashiba clan.”
“Musashi’s repairs are only 70% complete. And the great size of the ship means it will take half an hour between takeoff and leaving the airspace, even with preparations.”
“It was quite a shock when Regno Unito used that opening to target us at Mikawa.”
It frightened Sanyou how Oriotorai could say that with a smile.
The waiter arrived and Oriotorai made the dangerous order of “everything on this page, in order”. Sanyou was worried if the other woman had enough money.
…She has been in a cheerful mood ever since visiting IZUMO this afternoon.
She had said she had met her teacher who was an important person to her, but Sanyou had difficulty imagining what kind of person that was. Meanwhile, she made her own order.
Once the waiter left, Sanyou once more looked up at the ships surrounding them in the sky.
“This time, it is not a single ship like Regno Unito. And I have a feeling they will view us as having ‘left IZUMO’ and begin targeting us from the moment we takeoff.”
“What are we supposed to do?”
That question was likely being asked all across Musashi.
Oriotorai’s expression changed to a slight smile.
“Don’t worry. It’s their job to figure that out and we’ve done a lot and are still doing a lot to make sure they can do so.”
Sanyou started to say she did not think she had done a very good job, but she stopped when she saw the other woman’s smile.
…If I don’t do a good job, why even have teachers?
“Being a teacher isn’t easy.”
“Really? You just have to teach them what you can, and then leave it up to them. Make sure they don’t let the important things get away, Mitsuki. And look. We aren’t the only ones they’re relying on.”
Oriotorai used her chin to point toward Tama where more figures were gathering around the tables.
“Comrades have a way of gathering together. Do you think that’s Naomasa and her group?”
…I’m surprised they could make it during this busy time.
Asama piled fried rice on a plate for Naomasa who had wiped off the bare minimum of filth. She heard Mitotsudaira yelling “More!? Eh!? Really!?” behind her, but she ignored it.
Naomasa had oil on her cheek and her shoulders shook as she looked around the area.
“Don’t look so down during this chance to eat out. If you’re down, it’s up to us in the engine division to cheer up Musashi. After all, we have to work all night so we can leave tomorrow. We came here to boost everyone’s spirits.”
“Thanks,” said Asama with a nod. She then noticed a small figure wearing a lab coat. “Oh, it’s that underclassman who transferred in.”
The girl’s name was Mishina Hiro. The nervous way the ponytailed girl said “hi” had an innocence to it, but Naomasa slapped her on the back.
“Oh, c’mon. On the way here, you were boasting that you weren’t at all afraid of Musashi’s strongest shooter shrine maiden. Did you lose your nerve upon seeing the real deal?”
“N-no, Masa. It’s just…she’s bigger than I expected.”
She must mean my height, thought Asama to reassure herself.
“Wait. When did I become the strongest?”
“Eh? You’re the only one in the genre of ‘shooter shrine maidens’, so you’re the strongest by default.”
“Oh, that makes sense.” She started to nod, but then frantically shook her head. “Wait! That’s not right at all.”
“Calm down,” said Naomasa while waving her false arm.
She took up her position leaning against the partition dividing the passageway and then she turned toward Adele.
“Sorry, Adele, but Musashi’s maintenance has taken priority, so we haven’t had a chance to work on your mobile shell. We have to get everything done as quickly as possible to leave tomorrow, after all. Sorry.”
“That’s fine. It only lost a bit of the armor in England, so I can use it as is in an emergency. But what about you? Are you fine without parts for Jizuri Suzaku? IZUMO wouldn’t sell us lightweight combat parts for a female god of war, right? What you got were only work parts.”
“I showed off too much at Mikawa and in the armada battle, so it seems the Testament Union is counting it as a weapon now. Although, you need a lot of power to maintain Musashi, so the combat parts were a lot more convenient.”
“Masa, does that mean you can’t send Jizuri Suzaku into battle?” asked Asama.
She nodded back and stopped moving.
“I don’t like it. I do realize providing backup and providing assistance on Musashi with the engine department helps plenty in a battle. I know heading out onto the front lines isn’t the only way to fight,” she said. “But I feel my responsibility is up front.”
“Heh heh. You are the type of woman that is prepared to do what it takes, aren’t you?”
“That’s just my nature,” said Naomasa with a small smile.
Seeing Kimi return the smile, Asama had a sudden thought.
Not even she was sure what about it was nice, but Suzu was also turned toward the two of them with a relaxed expression.
It had given her some kind of relief.
…That’s why it is nice.
They had comrades who drove away their unease.
With that in mind, Asama breathed a silent sigh of relief.
“Heh heh. What is so funny, Asama? How about you say it? You do not have to tell us, but we will ask.”
“No, it’s nothing really. It’s so common I can’t think of the right words. …But I know two things for sure.”
“And they are?” asked Kimi immediately.
Asama nodded and split the pile of fried rice with the spatulas so she could immediately carry it to a plate.
“First, Masazumi, who is at her meeting in IZUMO, and Toori-kun, who has been made into a plate holder over there, have more than just us with them. And second…”
What is the second one?” asked Mitotsudaira from the other table.
Asama nodded with a serious expression.
“A tragedy is about to occur!”
Mitotsudaira looked around in confusion.
…What kind of tragedy?
And then she saw it. In the center of her vision, a large number of people were entering.
They were the rest of the engine division and…
“What’s this? I received a message about free food. Mitotsudaira-dono, the field operation group and I must thank you.”
Futayo, the rest of the former Mikawa guard unit, and Musashi’s field operation students who trained under them all entered.
“W-wait! What is this!? This is way too many people!” shouted Mitotsudaira.
“Don’t you get it, Nate? This is a test!” said the plate holder.
Mitotsudaira silenced the idiot by slamming down a large pitcher like a hammer. She then counted the number of people arriving and calculated the damage with a calculator sign frame.
“C-can I just pay half! Please let me just pay half! I have no idea what is going on today!”
Asama, Naito, and the others nodded and spoke.
“It’s pretty unusual to understand what goes on around here.”
…I feel like there is a lot of noise coming from Musashi.
Masazumi grabbed a dango while sitting on a bamboo bench placed in the night time street.
Two benches were set up so the negotiation parties could face each other.
Masazumi sat on the store side while her opponents sat on the street side. Naruze and Houjou Ujinao sat to her right while Satomi Yoshiyori and the Satou Brothers sat across from her.
The Sanada Ten Braves were acting as Yoshitsune’s bodyguards and Takeda held authority over them, so the Sanada clan was not taking part in the meeting. Jonson and Walsingham of England had moved back to the counter and showed no sign of joining.
…That means this meeting will take place between Musashi, Takeda, Houjou, and Satomi.
“Now then,” said Masazumi. “As Musashi and the Kantou forces have ‘just so happened to meet here’, how about we exchange information?”
The Minamoto Clan and the Taira Family 2
Toori: Sis! Sis! What happened to the Minamoto clan and the Taira clan after the Genpei War!?
Kimi: Heh heh heh. Clan brother, to be honest, explaining that would get a bit long. After all, the Minamoto clan began the Kamakura shogunate, but the Houjou clan eventually took control of it and they were descended from the Taira clan. But it was Ashikaga Takauji, a Minamoto, who defeated the Kamakura shogunate and started the Muromachi shogunate.
Toori: Oh, wow. It’s like a never ending curse, isn’t it?
Kimi: The Satomi who are currently here in IZUMO belong to the Minamoto clan. After they were defeated along with the Kamakura shogunate, their descendants went on to rule in Awa. The Houjou who are also here are very distant relatives of the Houjou clan that controlled the Kamakura shogunate, so they are not directly related to them. However, they are also from the Taira clan. They originally called themselves the Ise clan, but when they overthrew their ruler and conquered Sagami, they took the name Houjou in reference to the Kamakura Houjou.
Toori: Wait a second. So even in the Sengoku period, all these commanders were descendants of the Minamoto clan and the Taira clan?
Kimi: They were like a kind of brand name. One’s “status” based on tradition and old documents was important in that age. The Minamoto and Taira clans contained imperial blood, so they were a lot like the saints of Europe. That is why a lot of commanders and warriors would falsely claim to be from one of the two clans. Being from one or the other clan also caused disagreements between daimyos and military commanders. The fact that the Minamoto-ruled Muromachi shogunate defeated the Taira-ruled Kamakura shogunate influenced a lot of things.
Toori: I can see why they called it the warring states period. They were settling all the issues from the past.
Kimi: That’s right. But interestingly enough, there were some differences between the Oda, Hashiba, and Matsudaira clans that put the Sengoku period in motion.
Oda: Descended from a political or Shinto family of the Fujiwara or Inbe clan. Later professed to be from the Taira clan.
Hashiba: Professed to be from the Taira clan as the successor of Oda, but later joined the Fujiwara clan upon becoming chief advisor to the Emperor.
Matsudaira: Professed to be from the Minamoto clan but was actually descended from a Shinto group of the Kamo clan.
Toori: They just made it up as they went along, didn’t they?
Kimi: Well, one’s surname was one’s role in that age. Now, to take the position of chief advisor to the Emperor, Hideyoshi was adopted into the previous advisor’s Konoe clan (Fujiwara clan), but he later changed his surname to Toyotomi. This was due to a tradition of the chief advisor being from the Fujiwara clan and being a noble. On the other hand, Matsudaira needed to be from the Minamoto clan to become shogun, so he claimed to be from that clan. Both of them were focusing on the meaning of their surname and clan. That is what you need to keep in mind when thinking about the “Three Positions Recommendation” that the Imperial Court gave Nobunaga, who claimed to be from the Taira clan, just before Honnouji. They told him he could take the position of chief advisor, shogun, or chancellor of the realm, so it’s quite an amazing story.
Toori: Oh, no. I don’t have a joke this time.
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