Horizon:Volume 4A Chapter 17
Chapter 17: Blackboard Boy in Front of the Meeting Place
What is the meaning
Of an image change?
Point Allocation (Causing Trouble)
“This is the armor panel in question.”
Everyone looked at the armor panel Gin had carried to the front of the Main Blue Thunder.
It was ten centimeters thick, five meters tall and wide, and meant for the Musashi’s outer hull. In front of the café that was the Aoi home, Horizon, Mitotsudaira, and the crossdresser viewed the giant piece of artwork.
“At first glance, it looks like a normal armor panel.”
“Judge. If you ignore the one part that is meaninglessly abnormal,” added Horizon.
Something was printed on the bottom of the standing armor panel’s front surface.
“That is Neshinbara-dono.”
Just as Tenzou, who had returned from Tama’s Blue Thunder ahead of Futayo, suggested, Neshinbara was printed on the armor with his arms and legs held out to the side and bent. However…
“The design is fairly off.”
As Naruze inspected it while sitting on the upper edge, she pointed out that the image looked more like a comic than a photograph. But she said more while kicking the armor with her heel.
“This thing’s alive. He probably used a Michizane-style text spell to have himself ‘squished flat’ like this rather than realistically. …What do you think, Asama?”
“Yes. I tried touching it and it has faint body heat. There are Shinto spells for sealing someone in a paper image, so I think he temporarily sealed himself inside using a text description spell. However, he probably put the spell together on the fly.”
Asama tilted her head and crossed her arms.
“Hmm. Neshinbara-kun is a fairly powerful spell user, so this is could be a lot of trouble. When he came up with the idea, I bet he got all excited at how much of a genius he thought he was and cast the spell on himself at full-power.”
“Asama-san, so what exactly happened to the Secretary?”
“Well, Adele, he was squished flat.”
“Oh?” said Adele before Horizon placed a hand on her shoulder.
“I believe we could start calling him Flat Neshinbara-sama.”
Adele looked to the side with a silent smile and Yoshiyasu glared back at her.
“Miss Vassal, stop looking to me when you want someone to redirect their words onto. And I’m not sure I entirely understand, but is this similar to when someone combines with a god of war?”
“That would probably be the best explanation for a god of war pilot like you. Basically, he transformed himself into information, burned it onto the armor as a pattern, and then applied defenses.”
The nudist crouched in front of Neshinbara and started slapping at his crotch.
“Heyyy! Come on ouuuuut!”
Horizon kicked the nudist right into the armor. The sound of flesh and bone rang out, the armor shook, and Naruze fell backwards from the top. Everyone cried out in surprise and Horizon commented while still in her kicking pose.
“I see. Asama-sama was correct. That did not even scratch it.”
She gave Asama a thumbs up and then nodded again.
“Asama-sama has gained three trust points.”
As dull sweat poured down Asama’s face, the nudist peeled himself off the armor and recovered.
“H-hey, Horizon? Don’t you think you can be too blunt at times?”
“What is wrong with being direct? Now, Toori-sama, I have something to discuss with you behind here.”
“Eh!? Wh-what is it!? A hidden kiss!? Something like that!?”
Horizon calmly circled behind the armor panel and the nudist excitedly followed.
Just as everyone started feeling worried, they heard the deafening noise of the nudist slamming into the back of the armor panel.
Horizon quickly circled back around.
“It seems an indirect hit from the back is not enough to knock him out of there either. Now that the Ikyuu Method has failed, I can only determine that we should give up.”
“H-hold on, Horizon! It’s too soon to give up!”
“Judge. I understand, Mitotsudaira-sama. You wish to work off your frustrations after consuming so much pizza and meat by letting this armor panel absorb your destructive blows, don’t you?”
Horizon snapped her fingers and a lift rose in the center of the bow’s long block. It contained Adele’s mobile shell and Shouichi in the pose of a merchant introducing his wares.
Horizon waved to Shouichi.
“Now, I have used my authority as Vicereine to prepare Musashi’s greatest physical shell, so enjoy hitting Neshinbara-sama from either the front or the back. Now, now. Give it your best shot.”
“Umm… Should I really be doing that with Adele’s mobile shell?”
“5th Special Duty Officer, does that mean you want to do it if I’m okay with it?”
“No, um, Chancellor? What do you think?”
“Think he’d be back to normal in three minutes if we soaked it in hot water?”
Horizon snapped her fingers and a lift rose in the center of the bow’s long block. It contained a pot of boiling water with a four meter radius and Ohiroshiki in the pose of a merchant introducing his wares.
Horizon waved to Ohiroshiki.
“Now, there is a slight margin of error, but I have used my authority as Vicereine to prepare an udon boiling pot from the cafeteria. Toori-sama, you take a dip first.”
“Wait, wait, wait. Are you trying to kill me!?”
“Oh? It seems like a decent way of disinfecting your dick. By eliminating the root cause.”
“Um, Horizon? More importantly, won’t boiling it cause the paint to come off?”
“Mito, that isn’t paint. It’s technically Neshinbara-kun himself.”
Everyone in Class 3-Plum began giving their opinion, but two people three steps away were at a complete loss for words: Ookubo and Kanou.
…What in the world is going on?
Ookubo realized just how squarely in the “normal” category of humanity she fell.
She had been watching these upperclassmen from a distance for a while and she had thought the heir to the Asama Shrine was relatively normal, but…
“I am glad Neshinbara-kun wasn’t crushed. I really was worried. I’ve seen far too many scenes like that in monster rape porn games lately.”
For some reason, phrases like “I messed up!” or “Now I’ve done it!” appeared in Ookubo’s mind, but she resolutely ignored them all. She had something else to say here.
“Vice President, what should we do now that-…”
“Eh? Oh, the inspection’s over, so you can leave. We have a lot to go over amongst ourselves.”
“No, I was asking what we should do about the attack at the materials yard.”
“Judge.” The ninja 1st Special Duty Officer stepped forward and bowed. “The Vice Chancellor aides intend to examine the situation and use that information to put together a search team. Security measures come first, but I think we should ignore the materials yards from now on.”
“You’re going to leave the site of the attack unguarded?”
“That should not matter as long as no important personnel travel through them. Those labyrinthine areas require a great number of guards, but it seems more efficient to simply have bodyguards for the important personnel themselves.”
…He’s fairly normal at least.
What he said made sense. This attack had targeted the Secretary, so they could protect important personnel like that instead of the specific location. But…
“What if the attacker was trying to get us to-…”
“Glasses Committee Leader-dono.”
Maybe he isn’t so normal, thought Ookubo. She could hear someone behind him saying “Add on ‘phony Kansai dialect’ too!”, but she ignored that.
She did want to hear what he had to say, but first…
“The ‘glasses’ part was not necessary.”
She heard a few “Ehh?” reactions, but she ignored those as well. And…
“Was there something wrong with what I said?”
“Well, it wasn’t exactly wrong,” said the 1st Special Duty Officer. “But we still don’t know for sure there was an ‘attacker’.”
That’s true, thought Ookubo as the 1st Special Duty Officer said more in front of her.
“The mystery is not solved until the arrest is made. It is still possible a variety of elements lined up just right to create an accident that simply looks like an attack.”
“I believe your reading is most likely correct, but we must be prepared for the more unlikely possibilities as well.”
“…I see. My apologies.”
“No, no. I should apologize. Anyway, I do think I will be asking for some help from the normal students and citizens.”
“In what way?”
“The attack occurred in a hidden place, so whoever did it must want to hide. To put it another way, they do not want their identity to be known. In that case…”
“You want everyone to monitor each other?”
“No, no. Nothing as disconcerting as that. And I am sure you do not want that either.”
He’s being pretty thoughtful. Or maybe he’s just good at weaseling out of taking blame.
…That seems soft for the Chancellor’s Officers.
Oh, but this ninja is the one who stole a princess from England. He must be so calm because he knows he has the necessary strength when push comes to shove, concluded Ookubo.
In that case, he really was being thoughtful, she also concluded.
“Judge. I was careless in my remarks.”
“As was I.” The ninja bowed. “Mutual observation will not be necessary. …I simply think it would be a good idea to place normal students and citizens as gatekeepers at the long block gates. With observers like that, we will know who was in the area of any future attacks and no one will fear their neighbors are monitoring them when we have clear gatekeepers playing that role. So…”
“It would be easiest to give that job to the people who know the area and who works there.”
“Judge. For the city areas, I believe normal students would be best. For the outer hull areas, I believe the family members of those who work there would be best. With family members of the workers, they will feel less like they are being watched and it can help unify the workers.”
He really is relatively normal. He never shows his face, he wears a ninja outfit on a daily basis, and his future wife is an English princess, but that’s still relatively normal. I think.
The Vice President must have decided those two were done speaking because she raised a hand and spoke.
“With that settled, get that arranged as soon as possible. Make sure the Public Morals Committee and the other committees are prepared and make sure we can contact them at any time.”
“Oh, you know about the unofficial secret meeting we had up top earlier, right?”
“Judge. You decided to send ambassadors to Sviet Rus, Mogami, and Date.”
She had received a report on that, but there was one thing she wanted to know to help prepare.
“Who do you plan to send?”
“You’ve informed the three nations, right? Then they should give us their opinions before long. Probably tomorrow at the earliest. I’ll decide that once we have all their replies.”
“Judge. …In other words, no need to hurry? Kanou-kun, take care of the preparations.”
After seeing the automaton nod, Ookubo bowed to the others.
“Take care of the Secretary.”
Since her role was complete, she prepared to leave, but…
“Ookubo-sama, take this.”
Musashi’s princess held out a paper box.
“This is a tart that Toori-sama made. It has no seaweed inside, so feel free to take it with you.”
Mitotsudaira used her night vision to view Ookubo’s expression.
Her eyebrows were raised in slight surprise.
She then looked Horizon in the eye, stepped back, and bowed.
“Thanks… Thank you.”
Mitotsudaira smiled bitterly at the additional small bow when she took it.
…So this is the girl who has inherited the names of Ookubo Tadachika and Nagayasu.
Horizon had yet to inherit anyone’s name, but she was the heir of Matsudaira Motonobu, previous representative of the Far East, and she possessed multiple Logismoi Óplo.
That double inherited name holder could seem overly formal, but she viewed Horizon on another level entirely.
She took the box, bowed again while seeming to shrink down a little, and finally left. Everyone nodded to each other as she did.
Gold Mar: “She still acts pretty distant, so no putting her in your doujinshi, Ga-chan.”
Mal-Ga: “Judge. I have some flat glasses material to work on right now, so I want to get it done before we throw this guy in the water to soak. And I have Asama for summer, so she’ll have to wait until after that.”
Asama: “I-I don’t like the sound of what I just heard! Not one bit!?”
Mitotsudaira told Asama to calm down and then approached Horizon.
“Horizon? Wasn’t that tart for you? If you like, you can take mine instead.”
“Eh!?” The nudist started shaking his head. “No, that won’t work. I made yours into a pie with meat in it. It’s only for you, Nate.”
“Wh-what kind of bizarre thoughtfulness is that!?”
“Judge.” Horizon patted her on the shoulder. “Your daily work has paid off, Mitotsudaira-sama. He got the message that you want him to put meat in your pie. …And based on that, Asama-sama’s will have alcohol inside.”
Asama opened her box and sniffed at it.
“Ah! It does! It really has alcohol in it! And it’s sake even!”
“Judge. Adele-sama’s will have a bodhisattva-in-the-box toy with it, the Tachibana Couple’s will be made of tortilla, and Tenzou-sama’s box will have a false bottom with a busty blondes porn game and manual hidden below.”
Each of them checked and either thanked Toori or quickly stuck the hidden item in their pocket.
As everyone gave Horizon looks of wonder, the nudist stared straight at her.
“That’s amazing, Horizon! It’s like you’re psychic!”
“For me, this was an easy task. …I saw you making them.”
“Way to ruin it!!”
“U-um, but that aside, what do we do about Horizon’s tart?”
“Don’t be silly,” said a new voice.
It was Kimi. They turned around to find the Main Blue Thunder’s door open and Kimi stepping out with only sheets wrapped around her body.
“I had just gotten to sleep thinking about how much fun tomorrow would be, but this racket outside woke me up. …Now, foolish brother, I turned the oven on, so go make another one if you’re going to. I’m sure none of you are planning to leave anytime soon.”
“You read us like a book. …And we do need some time to discuss the ‘fun’ that will be beginning tomorrow.”
Ookubo and Kanou left because they were primarily in charge of making arrangements and making decisions on the scene. The diplomatic issues the rest of them were going to discuss had a different focus.
They all exchanged a glance and a nod. Seeing that, Kimi gave a somewhat sleepy smile.
She spoke to her younger brother while placing a hand on the open door for support.
“Why won’t you give Horizon the tart you left in the oven?”
“That one’s for you and me, sis. I was planning to make a new one for Horizon.
“Don’t be silly.” The corner of Kimi’s mouth rose in a smile. “Then give the one in the oven to Horizon. …I’ll make one for the two of us. Go on.”
She pointed in through the door, but then she spotted Neshinbara.
“What a weird drawing.”
Mitotsudaira and the others could only nod in vague agreement.
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