Horizon:Volume 3 Chapter 15
Chapter 15: One who Invites the World
What should one do
To get someone
To turn toward them?
Point Allocation (Lesson)
Satomi Yoshiyasu had passed out drunk, but she sensed warmth within herself while the meeting at the restaurant continued.
She was long-lived and they grew quickly while young to ensure their survival, even if the growth was still not as quick as the half-lived or humans. However, that did not mean their bodies matured quickly. It was an unstable thing that prioritized their visual form.
The alcohol had confused her body and she simply felt vaguely warm.
I’m so immature, she thought to herself.
…That’s why I wasn’t able to draw Murasamemaru after sister died.
Murasamemaru had not wanted her to use it. But for some reason, the one who had killed her sister had managed to draw that sword associated with the eight virtues and Yatsufusa had also obeyed him.
She did not understand any of it.
When she had finished her training and exams, her sister had been the student council president and that sister had given her Righteousness, the god of war that had belonged to the previous vice president. It was one of the Eight Dog gods of war that were positioned below Yatsufusa.
Her sister’s god of war had originally been Honesty and…
…That guy had Loyalty, but…
Loyalty referred specifically to one’s loyalty to their ruler.
…So why did he murder his ruler after she returned victorious from Yatsufusa’s first battle and why did he take over her name and Satomi?
She had thought she had come to an understanding about all that, but she decided it was the heat within her that was causing it to come bubbling up once more.
But why was she sleeping here with such a sweltering core?
Had she caught a cold? It was shameful, but her sister had always been by her side when she had caught colds in the past.
She opened her eyes a little and bright light met them.
However, she could see something blocking out the lights. It was the top half of a human body looking down at her.
Her head was resting in someone’s lap.
And the great shadow produced by that person’s chest showed just how voluminous that chest was. However, the volume of this shadow was not that of her sister’s in her memories.
“Oh, have you woken? You were muttering the word ‘sister’ over and over.”
“Nwaaaah! Houjou Ujinao!?”
Yoshiyasu frantically sat up, but she stopped when her forehead hit the bottom of Ujinao’s breasts.
“Just to be clear, this automaton body is an underestimated simulation of what my original body would have looked like if it had developed normally. After all, an overestimation would have destroyed me.”
…Why does she piss me off so much!?
She pulled herself toward her waist and sat up. She found herself on two benches lined up next to each other in a corner of the restaurant. She also noticed the others having a meeting at a table in the back.
Satomi Yoshiyori noticed her and raised a hand.
“Yoshiyasu, you should thank Lady Ujinao. She gave you a charm to counteract the alcohol.”
“No need to thank me. Everyone is powerless and cute while asleep.”
Yoshiyasu felt her face grow warm and a teacup was carried to her from the kitchen.
“Here, this should warm you up. It has a little alcohol in it, but that should make it easier. Drink it all and be refreshed.”
“Testament. Thank you very much.”
Yoshiyasu looked at who was handing her the teacup. It was a naked boy.
It took a while before her scream died down.
“I will admit that is about how most people would react if they aren’t used to him.”
Masazumi gave that comment while breaking a wheat cracker between her lips at the back table.
“To be honest, you got used to him a lot faster than the rest of us,” replied Naruze while glaring at her.
“Please don’t say that.”
While watching the naked boy enter the kitchen and begin cooking, Masazumi looked at the sign frame on the surface of the table. It was a Far Eastern one opened by the Satou Brothers and it currently displayed a map centered on Kantou.
Until a moment ago, she had been asking the various representatives about their forces.
“I see. So the Satomi clan’s academy is on the Bousou Peninsula which represents the Far Eastern nation of Awa and the nation of Joseon Dynasty Korea, but that has now become a land of war.”
“Testament.” Yoshiyori crossed his arms and nodded from across the table. “The Bousou Peninsula is a portion of Kantou. Because Edo is still only weakly established as Matsudaira land, this land is being invaded by Houjou, Takeda, Sviet Rus, and smaller nations such as Yuuki. Satomi was originally founded by long-lived of the Minamoto clan that scattered upon the destruction of the Kamakura Shogunate. Most of them went to Oushuu, but the forefathers of Satomi settled in Awa because they liked the fishing there. Or to put it another way, Awa is a good land, so people have long been fighting over it.”
Those actions doubled as the foundation of Joseon Dynasty Korea and the fighting between Korean dynasties before that.
“Yes,” said Naruze while tapping the bottom of her pen against her head. “The Korean Peninsula is pretty amazing too. At first, many different kingdoms were founded and the Far East even ruled a portion of it. Of those, Silla, Goguryeo, and Baekje, which had close ties with the Far East, brought about the Three Kingdoms period. Those three kingdoms fought fiercely, but Silla destroyed Baekje with support from Tang. However, Silla also broke apart and the kingdom of Goryea that rose from within it came to rule the peninsula.”
“You should add another ‘but’.”
Naruze nodded in agreement with Yoshiyori.
“Judge. That’s right. After all, when Yuan was destroyed and Ming came into power, the confusion spread to Goryea and a coup d’etat led to the Joseon Dynasty. And…”
She took a breath and gave an upturned look around the table.
“You all understand why I’m talking about this, don’t you?”
Masazumi said “judge” and the rest said “testament”.
“Hashiba’s expedition to Korea,” she said with crossed arms.
“Exactly,” agreed Yoshiyori with a nod. “Hashiba has three chances to come to Kantou. One is the attack on Odawara to destroy the Houjou clan. The other two are the two expeditions to Korea in an attempt to control our nation of Awa. Those two campaigns are of course meant to regain the control of Korea that they had long ago, but from our perspective…”
“Yes,” said Masazumi as she pointed at the Bousou Peninsula. “Not even Kantou is safe from P.A. Oda.”
Masazumi moved her finger from the Bousou Peninsula on the map and tapped Kantou instead.
“Hashiba can find some reason to send troops into Korea twice. And if they justify their actions with the history recreation, the Testament Union can’t stop them. The eastern nations, the Kantou forces, and Matsudaira aka Musashi, which will eventually make its headquarters in Edo, will certainly be threatened by Hashiba twice. That’s what this means.”
Of course, she did not think that would happen right away. Hashiba was currently preparing to attack Mouri and the remaining forces of M.H.R.R. were deployed around IZUMO. More importantly, the expeditions to Korea occurred after Nobunaga’s death and once Hashiba had conquered the Far East.
…But they will definitely happen eventually.
“That is why Satomi and Houjou asked us to grow stronger, isn’t it?”
Ujinao replied with a gentle nod.
“Houjou will eventually be destroyed by Hashiba, but the attack on Odawara means Hashiba’s forces will arrive very close to Edo. If Musashi opposes P.A. Oda, we predict they will carry out one expedition to Korea simultaneous with the attack on Odawara. That way, they can perform a pincer attack on Edo,” she explained. “There is also Sekigahara and the campaign to Osaka, but we think Odawara will likely be the true direct confrontation between Hashiba and Matsudaira.”
“I would like to say judge, but that would end up being Musashi against the various nations under Hashiba’s control.”
She swallowed a sigh and a comment about how hopeless that sounded.
This was not the time or the place to be saying that. After all…
“Satomi Yoshiyori, is this the pressure that has been with you all this time? Do you see yourself having to lead Satomi’s academy against Hashiba, P.A. Oda, and the various other nations?”
He started speaking with bitterness in his tone, but Yoshiyasu turned toward him from the other table where she ate toshomen to wake herself up.
“It was to handle that sort of situation that my sister first created the Eight Dog gods of war, and then created Yatsufusa and Murasamemaru. That way we could stand up to them even as a single nation and a single academy.”
Masazumi heard the girl place down her bowl and shake a bottle of pepper.
“And in her first battle using it, my sister proved the effectiveness of Yatsufusa. She shot down three of Ujinao’s aerial ships and returned. But then…”
She trailed off there. After a moment, she swallowed her words and her shoulders started trembling, but someone from the kitchen held out a plate for her.
“This one’s on me. It’s seaweed meant as a ramen topping.”
“Hold up, you idiot,” called out Masazumi with a frown. “You didn’t put that seaweed anywhere…unpleasant, did you?”
The idiot pulled a textbook from the cupboard, threw it to the floor, and pointed at her.
“What kind of terrible person assumes the worst of people like that!? Sure, I did do it! And yes, I was going to grab it away before she ate it if you hadn’t said anything! But why do you have to assume the worst of me!? That hurts, you know!?”
“I don’t feel like dealing with you, so hold your hands out and go to the police box.”
Jonson and Walsingham hooked their arms under his and dragged him outside. Left behind, Yoshiyasu had already lifted the seaweed with her chopsticks, so she lowered it with disgust and reached for a new set of chopsticks.
“Yatsufusa is a symbol of Satomi’s spirit to defiance.”
Masazumi thought to herself while listening to the girl who spoke without looking at her.
She turned to Yoshiyori and saw him nod with a bitter smile.
“More or less.”
It seemed to be a complicated issue, so she simply nodded and said “judge”.
She then turned to someone else.
“Lady Yoshitsune, I would like to speak with you.”
…I want to make an ally of this being named Yoshitsune.
Masazumi slowly thought.
Dealing with this ruler was tricky, so she needed to find some bait to draw her in.
“Lady Yoshitsune, I would like to hear your opinion on a certain matter.”
Yoshitsune looked up from the adzuki parfait she was eating and she turned to Masazumi while letting #7 Unno wipe her mouth with a handkerchief.
“Okay then. Why should I give you my opinion and what matter do you refer to?”
“Judge. Your Qing-Takeda and Kakura Academy will be the first to clash with P.A. Oda and you will also be the first to be involved with Musashi due to the Battle of Mikatagahara. Now, you have said the trends of short-lived people like us are of no consequence. You said who lives and who dies and the trends of nations are meaningless. However…”
“Lady Yoshitsune, taking all that into account, I would like to ask you about a certain matter.”
She wanted to make an ally of Yoshitsune with her next words.
She would draw in this person who had lived more than four centuries and had the ability to bring empires into being.
And they had the bait needed for that.
…Yes, I can do this.
The idiot had given a hint earlier.
…Even a frigid long-lived with vast amounts of experience has difficulty making new decisions about things that would normally never happen.
Musashi was dealing with one such thing.
Masazumi made up her mind and decided to go in for the attack.
She had to avoid building a meaningless barrier between the two of them. So…
…I need to greedily ask for what I want to know.
With that thought, she said what was on her mind.
“Ending the Apocalypse has become a clear issue for the world since Mikawa.”
Needless to say, the Apocalypse was an otherworldly phenomenon that was completely removed from the categories of politics, economics, or human lives.
…But working toward a solution to that problem has to be a first even for Lady Yoshitsune.
Masazumi placed a hand on the sign frame map and slid it. She displayed Mikawa and the giant bay that had already formed there.
The displayed information seemed to be based on an investigation made by Qing-Takeda’s Oat religion which was closely related to the ley lines. As such, the yellow lines indicating the flow of the ley lines were more heavily represented moving north from Mikawa.
Masazumi placed her hand on that map.
“In Mikawa, Lord Motonobu said, ‘aren’t crises fun?’ …Now, Lady Yoshitsune. The idea that the world is coming to an end has existed in the Far East before, but what we are facing now is not a mere idea. It is the truth. And Lord Motonobu also said the destruction of the world is the ultimate entertainment for every student in the world.”
In that case…
“Lady Yoshitsune, you are a chancellor and student council president, so you are one of the students on that stage. For that reason, I ask you this,” said Masazumi. “Was Lord Motonobu’s ‘lesson’ in Mikawa enough to make you a student of this world?”
“Are you saying a man of only about fifty was looking down on me as a student?”
“Well, in that case,” she said. “Do you happen to know a way of stopping the Apocalypse?”
Masazumi saw Yoshitsune’s expression change at that straightforward question.
The corners of her mouth rose diagonally.
They lifted as if splitting her face open and she took in a quick “heh” of breath.
“You Musashi children don’t know fear, do you?”
“I believe I understand how to show respect and how to speak the truth.”
She tried to remain calm enough to say that and so she spoke further.
“A certain student thinks she stands above the teacher without actually surpassing that teacher, so I am simply nudging her in the side.”
“Well said,” replied Yoshitsune. “But you know what? If the Apocalypse truly does occur, my kingdom and my lifespan will indeed reach their end. That’s certainly inexcusable. When I die, it’ll be on the tatami mats, not at someone else’s hand. But you know what?” she repeated. “Listen. If I want to discuss the Apocalypse, I could just as well meet with P.A. Oda instead of you. They’ve begun something called the Genesis Project and I’ve heard that Genesis Project was brought to P.A. Oda by Mikawa.”
Masazumi realized what Yoshitsune was doing.
…So she is interested in the Apocalypse.
If she were not interested, she would not have brought up the relationship between Mikawa and P.A. Oda or the Genesis Project.
…That means she’s comparing us to P.A. Oda right now.
…She came all this way for that singular purpose.
What a complicated person, Masazumi realized anew.
She knew she had to give the reason why Yoshitsune had come to this meeting to compare P.A. Oda and Musashi.
But she also wanted to be careful.
After all, this person did not hold her true thoughts within.
It was not that she was hiding those true thoughts. She had lived for so very long that she had lost all reason to carry anything inside and she simply followed the natural flow of events.
When one hid thoughts inside, they had to act on them to carry out those hidden thoughts. That was why Yoshitsune’s style was to act on any thoughts as soon as she had them.
…So I need to give the reason why she came here and therefore create a mutual understanding.
That was how not to be swallowed up by Yoshitsune’s “nation”.
“Lady Yoshitsune,” said Masazumi while thinking.
…Why did she come here?
Had the Satou Brother’s suggested it? No, the previous discussion suggested they had no real direction in what they wanted. They had simply followed Masazumi’s lead.
In that case, it could be sympathy for Satomi and Houjou, but that kind of emotion was present in people but not in “nations”.
Another possibility was in reaction to a possible invasion by P.A. Oda, but Yoshitsune did not care about human life.
…In that case…
After recalling what Yoshitsune had done since arriving, Masazumi realized a certain fact.
…Oh, so that’s it.
“Are you listening?” she began.
She had the perfect words to draw Yoshitsune in.
“Lady Yoshitsune,” she said. “Siding with Musashi would be more fun.”
Masazumi spread her arms as if scattering bait and she traced those hands over the map of the Far East on the table.
“Listen. At Mikawa, Lord Motonobu asked a certain question: ‘What type are you? Are you a critic who only enjoys mocking the world or are you the type who enjoys the world? Or…are you the type who will head off to construct the world?’ ”
She almost felt like that question was specifically directed at Yoshitsune.
Then again, it could likely fit any of the “students” in the Far East. After all…
“You claim that nothing will bring out your emotions, but there is one thing that must interest even you.”
“And what is that?”
“The Logismoi Óplo.”
The reason for that was simple.
“Lord Motonobu presented those as the most obvious example of the teaching materials he left for ending the Apocalypse. And he created the Logismoi Óplo by turning a girl’s emotions into those teaching materials. That means Horizon Ariadust, the one who will save the world by ending the Apocalypse, is starting out with even fewer emotions than you.”
Masazumi was very glad they had visited England before this.
“In England, Horizon Ariadust gained an interest in her emotions and she decided to seek a solution to the Apocalypse to prevent everything from being lost. And for that reason, she will take back her emotions.”
She took a breath and wondered if she was saying too much.
“She has accepted that she lost everything, so she is the opposite of you who has given up everything.”
“And so I must want to see where Musashi ends up?”
“That is not for us to say. It is your problem. But one thing is clear.”
Masazumi zoomed out the sign frame map until the entirety of the Far East was displayed and she tapped on that landmass.
“Once we overcome the Apocalypse and create a kingdom that seeks out and creates emotion, it will stand parallel to your emotionless kingdom. I can’t say whether that kingdom will last a hundred, fifty, or even ten years, but even if it is a short time as far as you are concerned, the entire world that is the Far East will be based in emotion and it will completely reject your emotionless kingdom.”
She recalled the end of the confrontation on the bridge in front the academy when they were in Mikawa. Despite having won, the idiot had continued on all on his own. And what was it he had said then?
…He said it was enough to know there was a way to save Horizon.
This was the same.
“I guarantee that your ‘kingdom’ can take a form other than a state of emotionlessness. You are surrounded by more than just a cruel cycle of loss. There are other ways for you to live, but you are choosing to live this way. …We will prove that to be the case.”
They had no clue how to gain the power they needed as a nation or how to retrieve all the Logismoi Óplo, but their greatest objective was clear.
“We will end the Apocalypse and conquer this world.”
That statement caused Yoshitsune to pause briefly.
After the span of a few breaths, she finally spoke with a sigh.
“Wait just a moment.”
She stirred up her adzuki parfait, drank the rest, placed down the container, sighed again, and had #7 wipe her mouth.
“Satou Brothers! Yes, yes. Both of you can do this one. I can’t tell you apart, so don’t bother trying to show off. Where’s your answer?”
“Good. If you can hear me, then return to the ship and prepare for our trip home! We’re returning to Qing-Takeda tomorrow morning.”
“There’s no reason to stay here any longer.”
She waved her hand as she spoke.
“The negotiations are complete.”
The negotiations were complete.
That announcement from Yoshitsune caused Naruze to frown.
Masazumi, however, raised a finger toward her to tell her to wait.
This was no time to panic. After all…
…Yoshitsune only acts when she has reason to.
That meant something had been set in motion within her.
She then spoke up as if replying to Masazumi’s thought.
She turned toward her with a direct and almost glaring look in her eyes.
“Listen. You said all you idiots would act on your own to show me some new kind of ‘kingdom’ even if I didn’t do anything. That’s what you said.”
The long-lived woman spat out a laugh.
“So you’re going to show me a parallel version of myself, are you? That’s certainly interesting. The Apocalypse is supposed to happen this year, but to me, waiting a little longer for this is no different from a few more seconds. And if waiting that little bit more can expand the possibilities of my kingdom, I’m not a fool who would give up learning something new and I’m not a coward who would cover her eyes when someone shows it to me. So, Masazumi.”
“Well.” Yoshitsune kicked the Satou Brothers’ legs below the table. “Let’s deal with the battle of Mikatagahara once you enter Qing-Takeda territory. That way, the Testament Union can’t interfere. And while we’re at it, it might be fun to interpretively use the duels of that battle as the qualifying rounds for this year’s Olympics being held in Hexagone Française.”
“I thank you.”
“No need. …That word means nothing to me.”
After a quiet laugh, Yoshitsune crossed her legs on top of the table.
“We’ve decided our overall plan. Kantou will accept Musashi, but only once Musashi grows more powerful,” she said. “But the biggest problem is how you will escape the current situation. You can see this, can’t you?”
Yoshitsune indicated the sign frame the Satou Brothers had opened.
Masazumi could indeed see the information written on their sign frame and Tsukinowa quickly opened a sign frame with the same information.
The information she and Naruze looked at included a statement from Heidi.
Marube-ya: “We’ve got a bit of an emergency here! Neshinbara isn’t any use because he’s too busy taking pictures, so I accepted the information instead. At any rate, we’ve received a notification from the Testament Union.”
“Hexagone Française is going to attack the Musashi at 3:00 PM tomorrow!”
Heidi had sent Masazumi a notification that the Testament Union had sent Musashi.
It said the following:
“Beginning tomorrow at three o’clock in the afternoon, as long as the Musashi remains in Hexagone Française airspace or on their borders, it will be attacked to eliminate any possible interference with in the history recreation.”
It also included M.H.R.R.’s approval of the contents.
Three o’clock was the shortest guess Heidi had made for when the materials and fuel would be fully loaded on the Musashi. And Neshinbara had made the following prediction:
“I think Hexagone Française will at least give Musashi a chance.”
That left them with a single conclusion.
“So what are we going to do?”
Even if they fled here and made their way to Kantou, the hostile situation with Hexagone Française and the Testament Union would remain. That meant fighting was their only option, but how could they fight? And more importantly…
“What route will the Musashi take to reach Kantou?”
That would be the next central topic of discussion at the restaurant.
|Back to Chapter 14||Return to Main Page||Forward to Chapter 16|