Horizon:Volume 4A Chapter 03
Chapter 3: Peeper in a Holey Place
This person been arrested?
Point Allocation (Too much work)
An idiot suddenly spoke up in a large space filled with light.
“Hey, Uqui and Noriki. …Oh, Adele’s here too. Virtual night begins at eight and it seems Futayo’ll be fine after some Gold Mar healing, so how ’bout we go peeping?”
The workers stopped when they heard him.
They were on top of the residential district on Musashino’s surface.
Surrounded by the torii-style goliath crane extending from one ship to the other, the Gods of War, and the echoing sounds, Adele was the first to raise her hand.
She put her wrench away in the work vest she wore over her track suit.
“Yeah, Futayo-san is pretty solid. …Now, Chancellor, what’s this about peeping and why are you asking me too?”
“What? It’ll give you something to reference, won’t it?”
“Y-you’re going for the body-type jokes already!? Can’t you show even a little mercy!?”
Adele saw the idiot hold his hands out to calm her down.
“Now, now. The work on the block around the Asama Shrine is finished, so I was thinking it was about time.”
Are you sure about that? thought Adele with a tilt of the head.
…And isn’t Asama-san’s place hidden?
The Musashi’s remodeling had continued for about three weeks inside the Ariake’s giant dock, but…
“Um, hasn’t the Asama Shrine’s spring been covered by an upper stealth field while it’s in use?”
“Oh, yeah, but we don’t have to worry about that. I asked Asama’s old man to add a small gap in the stealth. He laughed about how great youth is, so it should be fine.”
Noriki glared at the idiot and made a shooing motion.
“Just get to work.”
He gestured to everyone around him with his chin.
The surrounding people did indeed start working and Urquiaga leaned on a large wrench like a staff.
“Honestly, this is no time for peeping. We finally got the Musashi’s external armor reattached and now we’re loading in the internal blocks. Our speed is directly related to the number of people working.”
“What? Don’t be stupid. This is a way to maintain morale as we work!”
“Oh? Then let me ask one thing: are there any elder sister characters in that bath? If you’re planning to maintain everyone’s morale, you had better be catering to everyone’s personal genres.”
Are you sure about that? thought Adele as she brought a hand to her forehead.
“I guess Kimi-san, Mary-san, and the 6th Special Duty Officer would count.”
“All of them have giant breasts. …I am not a fan of large breasts. Oh, but they have to have something. As a Catholic, I prefer everything in moderation. But they have to have something. Remember that, Adele.”
“Excuse meeeee! Someoooone! Someone arrest this half-dragooooon! Please arrest hiiiiimmmm!”
Noriki turned his back and started to leave, but she was not sure whether to ignore it or not. Or should she shift focus to him to protect herself? At any rate…
“But why peeping, Chancellor?”
“Well, I’m crossdressing now, right?”
That was true. The idiot was wearing a work vest over an England girl’s summer uniform. But that did not answer her question.
“But why peeping?”
“What? …Because a girl gets to go in the girl’s bath, right? Don’t you get it?”
“But aren’t you a boy?”
“What? I’ve always had a feminine heart. So I’m innocent.”
“Um, then did you have a feminine heart when you confessed to Vicereine Horizon?”
“What are you talking about, Adele? I’m a guy. Did you hit your head or something?”
“Poliiiiice! There’s a weird person over herrrrre!!”
A few guards from the closest police box ran over asking what had happened, but the instant they spotted the crossdresser, they made a U-turn and ran off as quickly as they had come. They whispered amongst themselves as they did.
“Hey, did you see that?”
“No, I didn’t. I didn’t see a damn thing. What about you?”
“Not a thing here either. I feel sorry for Miss Flat Vassal, though.”
So you did see it, she thought as Urquiaga spoke to the crossdresser.
“Listen, you fool. Only call me once you confirm the presence of an elder sister character.”
“Do you think you can get away with anything if you make it sound dignified?”
“Can you people just get to work?” added Noriki.
The boy was carrying a reinforced wooden screw measuring two meters long and he looked to the worksite, moving Gods of War, and transport ships flying around the dock.
“The view for the past three weeks has been wonderfully diligent. We’re finally approaching the end of the work, so we’re focused on loading on the city blocks.”
That’s true, thought Adele.
This scene before us is what we need to be doing right now, realized Adele.
Three weeks before, they had lost the Battle of Mikatagahara yet been saved by the long-lived forces of Oushuu.
Ever since the Kamakura period, the Oushuu Fujiwara lineage had kept the Shirakawa Mountains as their headquarters and managed Oushuu’s distribution and affairs as mountain people. But according to Masazumi…
“They only barely exist in the Testament Union’s history recreation.”
They had no ability to interfere with history. On Yoshitsune’s instructions, they had temporarily sheltered the Ariake and the people of Edo and Satomi, but…
…Some of the Oushuu forces don’t want Musashi entering Oushuu, so the Musashi and the refugees moved to Mitotsudaira-san’s land.
Adele suddenly looked down.
About three stories below, Mitotsudaira was reconstructing a park along with Naomasa on Jizuri Suzaku. The half-werewolf wore a track suit and singlehandedly held a garden stone the same size as the God of War held, but then she noticed Adele.
“Do you need something, Adele?”
“No, no. Nothing. Are you planning out the park?”
“Judge. We were thinking of giving it a more Western style, so we’re giving the details a good bit of thought.”
The girl then smiled bitterly.
“I’d like to maintain my land down below too. Far too often, I end up visiting and immediately coming back.”
“I see. Mito down there is your land, isn’t it?”
Mito was the Mito Matsudaira land in northeastern Kantou.
If Shirakawa was seen as the deep entrance to Oushuu, then the open land of Mito to the south was the shallow entrance. It acted as cushioning between Edo and Oushuu, but it bordered the ocean and left nowhere to hide.
There had been arguments for and against evacuating there, but Mitotsudaira had made the final decision:
“Hashiba will do anything it takes to achieve their goal, but there is one rule they will follow: they always act based on the history recreation determined by the Testament Union. The Testament Union said this land is connected to the history recreation of Mito Mitsukuni, which is from the post-Hashiba age, so they cannot attack here. Doing so could be seen as an admission that their time has passed.”
With some help from the Provisional Council, they had used that as a way of holding back and confirming the actions of Hashiba via the Testament Union. So currently…
“Each ship’s residential district was loaded onto transport ships and sent down below…”
Silver Wolf: “If it’s a political issue, I can handle it. And Adele? If you’re worried about things down below, don’t be. The early confusion has died down.”
“I see,” said Adele before a message from Heidi popped up.
Marube-ya: “But there is some unrest, so you need to be careful, okay? Any non-fighter VIPs should keep bodyguards with them. …You can hire some through us!”
When she thought about it, Adele realized that was why she and the others had the same shift as the Chancellor.
She sighed and looked back to the crossdresser.
“If only the Chancellor wasn’t our power outlet, we wouldn’t need to keep him around to supply ether everywhere.”
“You can be pretty cruel sometimes, you know that?”
Can I? she wondered, but being on his shift meant she had to move all over the ships. He would almost get away from her sometimes because he knew some weird shortcuts, but that was when the dogs came in handy.
…I have been learning where some of the mystery dogs live, so that’s a plus.
“But about this peeping business, Chancellor. I don’t think you have to worry about everyone that much.”
“Now, now.” The crossdresser put his hands on his hips and began a mysterious swinging of those hips. “It’s worth risking your life over until Satomi’s Flat Girl shows up.”
“Adele,” said Urquiaga. “Personally, I think the public morals would improve if you invited Yoshiyasu along.”
“I’d just be setting her up for a trap! And I’d be a victim too!”
“Oh, but the wives are off limits since they’ve got husbands. And we’ve got that meeting with Date before long, right? So let’s hurry to the bath and-… Oh, hey, Seijun.”
With the surrounding wide blocks missing, Musashino’s surface area was essentially a midair passageway and someone turned back toward them on that passageway.
The uniformed figure was visible across the approximately eighteen meter distance of a wide block.
“Heyyy, Seijun, where are you going?”
Masazumi turned around when her nickname was called.
Atop the floating bridge of the residential district under construction, she saw Adele, Urquiaga, Noriki, and…
“…? What does an English girl want with me?”
“N-no, Vice President! That’s the crossdresser! He’s crossdressing!”
Not again, she thought.
Dealing with him never ended well, so she decided to get through this with only the boilerplate responses.
So she smiled, raised her right hand, and pointed her thumb downwards.
“Bye. I’m busy right now.”
“Oh, sure. …N-no, wait! Is that any way to treat a human being!?”
She certainly had not expected to receive a lecture from the crossdresser, but…
…He certainly doesn’t change.
She started feeling silly for all the thoughts she had down below earlier in the day, but she also knew he had to have some thoughts of his own. It was commonly said that the human heart was difficult to understand and she agreed.
Did the idiot over there still contain the idiot who had realized she was different at Mikatagahara?
Part of her hoped so, but another part felt things would be harder if that side of him rose to the surface.
So she accepted that the current way of doing things was easier for her.
She smiled and pointed both thumbs downwards.
“I shouldn’t have left it half-done. …Bye.”
“Oh, sure. …No, wait, wait, wait, wait! While I’ll take my hat off to how thorough you are, at least answer my question. Where are you going? Are you getting some food? Let’s go get some food courtesy of Nate!”
In the park three stories below, Mitotsudaira stopped telling Jizuri Suzaku where to place a stone and shouted up at the crossdresser.
“Don’t you think you already got carried away enough when we visited my city last night!?”
Masazumi noticed Naomasa averting her gaze on Jizuri Suzaku’s shoulder.
…Naomasa ate a lot last night too, didn’t she?
Unlike in Europe, Mito had plenty of vegetables and grains, which meant Far Eastern food. Masazumi had appreciated the great variety of food the night before, but…
Before she could turn toward the voice behind her, the crossdresser called out.
“Oh, Flat Girl. Where are you headed?”
Satomi Yoshiyasu turned around when her unfortunate nickname was called.
Atop the floating bridge of the residential district under construction, she saw the vassal, the half-dragon 2nd Special Duty Officer, a boy she was fairly certain was a relatively normal classmate of theirs, and…
“…? Why are you naked?”
“Eh!? Ah, the Satomi President is right! When did the Chancellor switch from crossdressing to nudism!?”
Is that some kind of magic trick? wondered Yoshiyasu.
But she knew getting involved here would end badly, so…
“Hey, Musashi Vice President. …You take care of this.”
Musashi’s Vice President slowly turned her way with a wide-eyed look. Yoshiyasu knew she had shoved an awful task onto the girl, but she was still unaccustomed to these things.
After all, she was a refugee now that Satomi had been conquered by Hashiba. She had a number of thoughts about that, but she had been thankful for the busy days Musashi’s remodeling had given her.
…Even that stupid chancellor is probably trying to help.
Meanwhile, everyone’s attempts at helping were on such a high difficulty setting that she often had no idea how to react. The other day, she had visited the Asama Shrine to change her Shinto divine protection contract and the giant shrine maiden had said the following:
“Um, you’re a God of War pilot, Yoshy-chan, so you’ll definitely need life support divine protection like body temperature regulation. I’ll give you a virtual full stomach so you don’t get hungry as much, but will a sake version work? Or maybe a sweet sake version? Oh, but it can’t be curry. Hassan does that because he likes it, not for anything Shinto related. …Isn’t sake amazing? Ours is really delicious.”
She had ultimately gotten a rice cake version, but the shrine maiden had been persistent.
The Chancellor’s sister had said, “Heh heh heh. You’ve got the makings of a great toy, so I hope you’re ready, Yoshy!”, but she had no idea what that meant. The black-winged 4th Special Duty Officer had taken some notes afterwards, but that too was a mystery.
…They’re such a strange group. But they are my upperclassmen.
She decided to show her respect, but Musashi’s Vice President glared the idiot’s way and scratched at her head. She opened her mouth to explain where they were going.
It isn’t often this girl seems so reluctant to say something, thought Yoshiyasu as the girl gestured to the left with her chin. That was to the north.
Her words began to appear on the opened sign frame.
Vice President: “The negotiator for Date will arrive for their unofficial visit in three hours.”
“Ehhh!? You’re negotiating to go on an unofficial date in three minutes!?”
…What in the world are you talking about? And that clearly said three “hours” not “minutes”.
Yoshiyasu could not believe how calmly Musashi’s Vice President responded to the idiot. Sometimes she began to wonder if bothering her was one of their permanent skills.
Anyway, she thought while facing the sign frame as the other girl typed at it.
Vice President: “I’m on my way to Asama’s place for a bath. Then I’ll get some food somewhere private so we can work out a plan for the meeting at the same time.”
Flat Vassal: “Eh!? At Asama-san’s place!? With Satomi’s President!?”
Why did she latch onto that part? wondered Yoshiyasu with a tilt of her head.
Righteousness: “That’s our plan. What about it?”
Across the way, the vassal smiled and waved hand back and forth.
Flat Vassal: “Oh, nothing. But this should help preserve the public morals.”
…Does this mean everything’s normal?
Map of the Area around the Ariake
Far Top Left: North
Top Left: Forest
Top Right: Ariake (With the Musashi inside)
Middle Left: Separated Temporary Land Ports x8
Middle Right: Fields
Bottom Left: Land Port
Bottom Right: Mito City
Toori: Sis! Sis! Can you tell me what it’s like around the Ariake!? Is it full of natto fields, peanut fields, and cattle ranches!?
Kimi: Heh heh heh. Bean brother, it doesn’t really matter, but if tofu is known as the meat of the field, then cows are the beans of the ranches.
Toori: No, um, sis, we don’t have much room this time, so can you keep it short?
Kimi: If you insist. …So it’s pretty much like you see above. Just remember that the scale is arbitrary and the Ariake is using stealth so you can’t actually see it. Also, the Musashi and the Ariake’s presence mean that transport ships full of trade goods and full of materials are flying to and from the land ports and various other areas. The repairs are keeping people busy on the surface too.
Toori: So the city continues on down to the south and eventually becomes more fields. And there’s just the forest to the west, hm?
Kimi: Continue north for a while and you reach the hidden city of the Oushuu Fujiwara long-lived. Of course, you can’t actually see it since it’s hidden, but some historical buildings still exist in the village on the surface.
Toori: I want to visit the ocean to the east, but it’s probably too soon for that! Would a month from now be best!?
Kimi: You need to stop making these outdoor plans. How about you visit the city or the ruins?
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