Horizon:Volume 4A Prologue

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Prologue: Those with their Feet in a Winding Stream[edit]

Horizon4A 0021.jpg

Where is the final destination

Of all those twists and turns?

Point Allocation (Liberalism)


Light poured down from high in the sky.

It was the sunlight of an early summer afternoon.

More than warmth, it carried a stabbing heat, and it cast deep shadows across the land.

Those shadows created waves on a three square kilometer grassy field surrounded by forest.

A faint breeze washed across the mown grass, creating waves.

But there was a gap in the waves. A small stream cut south to north across the middle of the field.

Two figures sat on the northern downstream bank on the southern end of that stream of shadowy water. Their legs were cooling off in the water nearly up to the knee, but neither of them had human form.

One was a girl-character bedsheet with legs growing from it and the other was a body pillow.

The body pillow kicked up the water with its normal legs. It was a carefree motion. With the movement of a long acquaintance, it turned its air hole toward the sheet.

“Wow, it’s already the afternoon and the water’s still cold! I feel like a child again, Koni-tan!”

“Yes, it’s a shame no one else could escape the temporary provisional council building, Nobu-tan!”

Still sitting, they both swayed back and forth while singing an anime OP.

“♪Don’t you look down on yourself like that. Overthrow yourself so you have to look up at yourself. You can argue your case with incredible ease. Trust in yourself and your dreams will come true. If you’ve hit a dead end with the lesser cuckoo, just show your purity with a Ha-Ra-Ki-Ri♪”

After singing, the body pillow sighed and the suddenly looked back to the north.

A few white and black forms were visible beyond the tall grass hiding them. They were large transport ships bearing Musashi’s emblem. The body pillow spoke up when he saw them in the sunlight.

“Since the Musashi is being remodeled in the Kantou Izumo’s Ariake dock, the residents, facilities, and companies not needed for the remodeling are being carried out.”


The body pillow continued speaking.

“Even those of us on the Provisional Council are using the temporary Provisional Council building at the first land port along with the Musashino’s ships.”

As he spoke, the wind blew. A few ships measuring a dozen meters were ascending from the ships docked at the land port to north.

But they stopped after reaching a certain height.

As the body pillow and sheet watched, cargo was carried out from the floating ships’ decks and side hatches. The altitude differences were used to send the cargo along the thick rope passageways connecting the ships.

“So the early afternoon cargo transportation has begun. Mito’s land ports were originally divided up so other nations could use them, but now they’re being used by the transport ships providing living spaces for the Musashi’s eight ships. The Musashi’s cities have rearranged their wide blocks into transport ships that have docked at those land ports separated by the forests. As for the Musashi itself…”

The body pillow looked even further north.

Green mountains were visible in the distance and the sky could be seen twenty kilometers away.

“Shirakawa, the entrance to Oushuu. The Ariake is remodeling the Musashi there.”

“Only because Date holds eastern Oushuu and they won’t let us move any further north because they’re ‘busy’. And we can’t move into Siberia in western Oushuu because Mogami and Sviet Rus’s Uesugi are also putting off making a decision. Time passes, but little else happens.”

The sheet sighed, but the body pillow said that was not necessarily a bad thing.

“Time is useful. The Musashi’s remodeling will be complete soon and we can get somewhat used to living in these divided temporary homes. It wasn’t a bad decision by the Student Council after the loss at Mikatagahara.”

“True.” The sheet swayed as it sighed in a different way from before. “They moved the people from the Musashi so they wouldn’t see the damage and split them up into eight groups so they couldn’t form a union of negativity. And by sending them down to the surface and giving them a busy lifestyle they aren’t used to, they get a nice change of pace and can’t lose themselves in their negative emotions.”

“And they were also given the choice to leave the ships and live in Mito’s castle town. …Also, the manufacturing districts are making parts for the Musashi and volunteers can return to the Musashi to help with the remodeling for some bonus pay. They’re given a way out and their overall unity is given a chance to recover.”

“Was that Masazumi-kun’s decision?”

“Mostly,” said the body pillow. “But some of the arrangements were not made by her. That was done by the Student Council’s underclassmen.”

“I see. Do you mean Ookubo and Kanou?”

“Yes.” The body pillow nodded. “That’s Ookubo-kun’s daughter. …She is the daughter of a colleague who inherited the Ookubo name before Mikawa was cleared out. Afterwards, he came to Musashi like I did. I had thought he was living a fairly low-key life, but his daughter has done enough to inherit the names of Ookubo Tadachika and Nagayasu. Add in Kanou, the inherited name automaton that came with them from Mikawa, and they are certainly skilled. …Not as much as Masazumi, but they are some people to watch among the second years.”

“Kh… I can’t stand how you hint at the connections you have there.”

“According to the Testament descriptions, the Honda and Ookubo clans have some political battles. It would help me quite a bit if Masazumi could get along with them. But…politics is more than a domestic affair. Isn’t that right, Koni-tan?”

“Judge. You mean Hashiba’s warriors which have stopped moving north for the history recreation of the Korean invasion in Edo and the reactions from Date, Mogami, Uesugi, and the other Kantou powers?”

“Yes. And do you remember what Lady Yoshitsune said during the Battle of Mikatagahara?”

“Judge.” The sheet nodded and turned its air hole toward the body pillow. “Make allies of Date and Uesugi.”


“That means it would be best to actively try to make allies of Date and Uesugi.”

A boy in glasses drew a map of Oushuu on the blackboard.

The armband on his short sleeve read “Secretary – Neshinbara Toussaint”.

Well, they probably already understand all this.

He looked across the sparsely filled classroom. This was Class 3-Plum of Musashi Ariadust Academy at the back of Okutama, Musashi’s rear central ship. He could see all of the Musashi outside the window. He could also see the interior of the Ariake, the specialized dock the Musashi had sunken into.

The Ariake looked like a vast hole from here. Large land bridges passed by on either side and lifts covered the walls and ceiling, but it was mostly an IZUMO land port with a roof.

The Musashi was contained within, but this was different from before. Many objects covered the surface of the eight ships, scaffolding surrounded them, or pieces were missing.

It’s being remodeled. And this time, it’s getting weapons.

Below the coverings, it was being remodeled on the pretext of acting as a mercenary for other nations. Some were meant for defense and they had apparently reached the testing phase.

I wonder how this will turn out. I hope it’s cool. I hope the cannons have names, thought Neshinbara as he heard a woman’s voice from the side. It was Oriotorai who had removed her track suit jacket. She was checking over some datasheets on where the restaurants on the Musashi’s surface and interior had moved.

“Okay, okay. Just because you’re using the self-study time for a meeting is no excuse for getting distracted. Asama, Mitotsudaira, Masazumi, and everyone waiting for work may be out, but make sure you do this right. …So Neshinbara, what do you think about joining forces with Sviet Rus’s Uesugi?”

“Oh, judge.” Neshinbara continued speaking. “According to the Testament, Date joins Matsudaira for Sekigahara and Uesugi joins Hashiba, so the standard thinking would be to assume allying with Uesugi will be difficult. The powerful nation of Mogami stands between them, but since it shrinks after Sekigahara, going for time-limited cooperation would be useful.”

Someone spoke up from the back of the classroom. It was Naito, with her six gold wings. She was using a Magie Figur to communicate with Naruze who was helping transport cargo outside.

“Mogami declines and then Date becomes the ruler of Oushuu, right? So would we be getting Date’s support and using their influence to get Uesugi on our side?”

“I doubt it would be that simple. Date, Mogami, and Sviet Rus’s Uesugi have had connections for a long time and they have continued their history recreation through discussions rather than battle.”

That comment came from Crossunite who sat next to Mary, who wore an English summer uniform.

He opened a sign frame by the ceiling so everyone could see. It displayed a bird’s-eye-view map of Oushuu to Jouetsu, but it contained several large red circles and geometric shapes.

“These are the many Harmonic Territories that Oushuu and Sviet Rus are well known for.”

They almost entirely filled Oushuu and Sviet Rus. More of the map was covered in red than was not. Ohiroshiki sighed and spoke up while looking almost straight up at the map.

“Sviet Rus, Mogami, and Date have all fortified themselves behind these natural defenses, haven’t they?”

“Judge. They have techniques for living in the freezing cold that were cultivated in the Harmonic Divine States. And they use them to live in those vast Harmonic Territories. Not even the Musashi can approach without using the safe corridors. When the Harmonic Divine States collapsed, the few regions that collapsed first ended up like this; but Oushuu has more than anywhere else and has become very self-sufficient.”

Yes, Musashi’s ability to trade is difficult to use here, agreed Neshinbara.

Oushuu has long been wary of outsiders.

They had historical connections from long ago, so they had been able to handle everything through peaceful discussions.

“In the Age of Dawn before the Testament was made, Oushuu is said to have been the site of the most intense fighting in the war over the Far East’s land. That fighting was treated as an early recreation of the later eastern expeditions of the successive imperial courts, so a relatively peaceful age began on the Far Eastern side of things. But with the confusion of the Kamakura Shogunate’s establishment and the Harmonic Unification War, it became a dangerous region once more. Especially since the collapse of the many Harmonic regions caused a resonance that affected the surrounding Far Eastern ley lines. That attuned the Far Eastern land with the Harmonic regions, making them just as frigid.”

So…

“Because the Musashi would normally have such a hard time getting in, the Provisional Council and the heads of committees will be sent in first. But we can’t spare any time on foreign diplomacy with the remodeling going on, so we can’t send anyone out to the other nations. …Musashi has to effectively cut off all diplomacy at the moment.”

“Isn’t that bad?”

The nudist was sitting in his desk wearing swim trunks.


Neshinbara considered ignoring him.

But the musician of an entertainer god built up internal Blessings by offering up performances, so that was probably what this was. It was not just his personal preference. That had to be it. And so Neshinbara answered the idiot.

“Musashi has not interacted with any other nation for about three weeks now. The Hirazumo hidden city of Oushuu Fujiwara gave us some initial supplies, but they’ve only been watching since.”

“I see.”

Seeing the idiot pout his lips and lose himself in thought, Neshinbara smiled in his heart.

He had shown a lot of interest in these meetings lately.

Of course, he never seemed to actually be listening. It was less about him understanding what was being said and more an interest in what everyone was involved in and what they were doing. But…

I wonder.

Long ago, he had said he wanted to create a kingdom to make everyone’s dreams come true. And by rescuing his princess, he had started moving in that direction; but he was watching what the rulers of other nations did, asking the Reine des Garous about it, and had overcome the defeat at Mikatagahara.

I really do wonder.

They were acting on the world domination and retrieval of the Logismoi Óplo he had started at Mikawa.

Since they were on the move, in a way, he was not with them. His objective remained unchanged, so he only needed to watch.

But, thought Neshinbara. What if he found a way to do more than watch and actually took part? Would we no longer have anything like Mikatagahara happen?

I do wonder. Am I viewing him as too much of a hero? But he’s still peeping and doing stupid things. When he leaves these meetings, he keeps smiling and doing weird things like he always has.

I wonder.

“Yes.”

Neshinbara nodded and spoke. He inhaled, changed his line of thought, and glanced over at the idiot for just a moment.

“This is pretty bad, but we do have an intermediary even with diplomacy cut off. Oushuu has always been a resistant land, but once you get close, they treat you like family. …The merchants on both sides are secretly trading to keep business booming, aren’t they?”

“Judge.”

Heidi nodded from right in front of the teacher’s desk. Shirojiro was out working and she was assisting him via divine transmission.

“We’ve mainly been dealing in food. But the most valuable items are the Oushuu-made Orei Metallo. Konishi-sama of the Provisional Council is handling most of that. We’re doing our best to see if we can steal some of that business from him.”


“I’m not about to lose to the Student Council. This deal is going to make me a lot of money, after all. I can buy the Orei Metallo from Date and Mogami’s ruins and sell them directly to IZUMO. It’s especially profitable with the remodeling going on.”

As the sheet spoke with its legs soaking in the small stream, the body pillow sitting next to it nodded.

“We need to show them that we are still their superiors. …But Koni-tan, you started to say something before we all began dancing in the viewing room, didn’t you? What happened in the Date clan? …Two weeks ago, Hashiba visited Date, Mogami, and Sviet Rus to ‘check on their history recreation’. Sviet Rus is being invaded by P.A. Oda’s Shibata, but Mogami and Date both stopped everything they were doing, didn’t they? Of course, I’m sure that was meant to show that Oushuu couldn’t rely on Musashi and to show what a threat Hashiba is to them.”

“Judge.” The sheet kicked at the water. “The Date clan and Mogami have stopped moving. But based on some observations, there are occasional massive thunder clouds at night so aerial ships cannot pass through. Also…”

“Also?”

“Judge. This is an unrelated matter, but both Date and Mogami sent out a ship bearing signs of mourning. They were both sent south, toward Azuchi Castle.”

“Date and Mogami sent someone who died to Hashiba? Did someone have to take responsibility when faced with the threat of Hashiba?”

“I don’t know.” The sheet swayed gently to the side. “But Hashiba’s forces responded by sending a ship to Kantou. Are you familiar with the Jurakudai? That castle belongs to Hashiba Hidetsugu, Hashiba’s nephew whose name had supposedly not been inherited yet. In other words…”

“Don’t say it all. Someone has inherited the name of Hashiba Hidetsugu.”

The body pillow’s words suddenly grew icy.

“I see,” he said before slowly turning toward the sheet. “You understand, don’t you? Ha ha. This is very dangerous.”

“Yes. This is quite dangerous, but it is also a chance to influence some great historical upheaval.”

“Ha ha ha.” The body pillow bent over in laugher. “Is this Hashiba’s thoughtfulness or thoughtlessness? Either way, history is on the move and Hashiba has a blade against Date and Mogami’s throats. Masazumi and the others have their work cut out for them.”

“Judge. Based on my investigation, if you include that fox woman’s movements, this is actually the opposite-…”

As soon as he said that, something flew their way from the north.

“Oh?”

It was a purifying attack using an exorcism arrow.

The sheet and body pillow rapidly went on the defensive and stomped their feet as the glowing attack arrived.

“Seppuku Barrier!!!”

Then their air holes exchanged a glance.

“Run away!!”

It exploded.


Horizon4A 0035.jpg

“Did you get them, Asama?”

After leaving the first land port’s forest on Mito land, Masazumi was blinded by the bright sunlight.

When she called to the archer in a summer uniform who stood on the grass up ahead, that other girl tilted her head while finishing her follow-through. Her Mouse, Hanami, and her own black hair fluttered in the slight breeze.

“Hmm. The homing doesn’t seem to work well when you don’t know their identity. I blew away everything in the area, but it’s hard to say I actually hit them. We need to check the corpses.”

“Judge. Sorry about all the trouble. The residents reported some white figures dancing in the temporary government building. …I assume it’s some new kind of mysterious phenomenon.”

“Agreed. With the remodeling of the Musashi and the cities split up, our shrine’s divine protection is split between them too. We’re managing with some help from the local Kashima Shrine, though.”

Asama nodded, folded up her bow, and stowed it inside her side skirt through the slit.

We sure have been busy since changing to our summer uniforms, thought Masazumi as she watched.

Then again, the only difference for Masazumi was the lack of a coat and the short sleeves.

However, she had worn a boy’s inner suit for previous years, so she had had some extra room around the chest and had worn pants.

The boy’s one always felt drafty, but the girl’s one feels chilly in its own more sudden way.

The girl’s suit was fit to her body, so she could feel her sweaty skin cooled by the air. The temperature difference between sun and shade was much more noticeable this way.

Mukai can sense the temperature around her as well as the sound, but is that due to this inner suit?

She wondered if it bothered any of the others as she looked over at Asama.

“Now, let’s go check the site of the blast.”

“Yes,” agreed Asama just as someone else stepped between the two of them.

Masazumi voiced her surprise at the sudden appearance, but this new figure only brushed her plentiful silver hair back into place. Then she turned her gold eyes toward Masazumi.

“I, 5th Special Duty Officer Nate Mitotsudaira, am here to protect you, Vice President. …This may be my territory, but aren’t we acting a little too freely?”

Mitotsudaira’s warning was given with a bitter smile in her voice. The chain-supplying obelisks were attached to the hard points on either side of her waist and she shrugged while looking to both Asama and Masazumi.

“Then again, it is important to show off that the Vice President and the Asama Shrine are working to maintain peace. According to Neshinbara, the drop in the Student Council’s approval rating is showing signs of stopping.”

“That’s because everything that’s making it drop is over now. Now it will naturally recover, starting from the areas of economic activity.”

“Heh heh. You learned that from Heidi, didn’t you?”

“I’m busy, so I choose to rely on anyone I can.”

Masazumi took a breath and pointed toward the site of destruction on the southern end of the waterway. Mitotsudaira started forward, Asama followed, and she took the rear.

They began to walk.


The site Masazumi found was less damaged than expected.

“I detonated it in midair, so the stream shouldn’t have been damaged. It only took out some of the grass.”

“There’s only two centimeters of grass on the river bank.”

Masazumi did not entirely understand, but based on Mitotsudaira’s expression that must have been impressive accuracy.

At any rate, Asama covered her right eye and checked around with her false eye while Mitotsudaira began to wiggle her nose. Meanwhile, Masazumi had nothing to do but look around.

This is a pretty large area of land.

All of the land, including the land ports, belonged to Mito Matsudaira and thus Mitotsudaira. The land had not been well taken care of since Mitotsudaira lived in Musashi, but they were using it now after maintaining it.

The Testament Union recognized the land as Mito Matsudaira land, so it was actually land from after the Matsudaira clan’s reign began, but…

That means Hashiba can’t easily interfere since she’s from a previous era.

That was partially why they had escaped to Mito.

It felt like they were abusing their connections, but Masazumi shuddered when she considered what would have happened without Mitotsudaira. Mitotsudaira simply smiled bitterly, but…

“It’s a pretty good solution for us.”

Masazumi felt like she was doing nothing but rely on others, but her job was to make political decisions and negotiate. With no way to negotiate with Oushuu or Sviet Rus, she was of secondary importance.

She approached enough to catch the scent of Mitotsudaira’s hair.

“By the way, how are the appeals from the different ships going?”

“Eh? Oh, right. Mary and the 1st Special Duty Officer are scheduled to go around this afternoon. Those two should be able to listen to the representatives of the ships’ residents well enough.”

“Judge. If it was me, I’d probably try to dissuade them on the spot.”

Masazumi heard two bitter laughs and felt a slight warmth in her cheeks. She told herself to assume it meant they understood her, but it also felt like they were treating her like a child.

“I wonder if I’m using Mary here. She does seem like the best person for the job, though.”

Asama turned her way.

“I think Mary was delighted to be made the 1st Special Duty Officer’s aide.”

“Judge. I know that, but there’s a subjective and an objective way of looking at it.”

“Then,” said Mitotsudaira. “Stop using a negative subjective way of looking at it, Masazumi.”

Mitotsudaira remained facing forward as she spoke without a smile on her serious expression.

“Leave anything negative to our king.”

To him? thought Masazumi. But at the same time…

“…Our king, huh?”

Aoi seemed the same as always. He was always smiling, doing stupid things, and half-helping half-hindering people’s work. He did have a way of helping people relax, but that was the same as always too. Yet she always thought the same thing when she looked at him.

You need to pull yourself together.

She thought that to herself, not to the idiot.

Aoi had admonished her during the Battle of Mikatagahara. He had said she was not her usual self.

Since then, she had not had a chance to test her usual self.

And the fact that they had lost the battle weighed on her heart.

She understood. Everyone was continuing their usual lives by remodeling the Musashi or living at the land ports and there were few complaints, but that was because they had a goal and because they were simply keeping their worries unsaid. So…

“I need to pull myself together.”

She knew she would find herself at the negotiating table or in a meeting once more. And once that happened, she wanted to avoid doing anything like what Aoi had admonished her about.

And what about you?

That idiot had supported her and pulled her along at Mikawa, so what did he think about their loss at Mikatagahara?

She wanted to ask if she could, but first…

“I need to do what I can. …First comes the remodeling of the Musashi and the return to the international stage.”

Meanwhile, the wind blew in. It was a slight breeze from the mountains. She felt its chilliness through her hair and summer uniform, but…

What is this?

She could not put it in words, but something still seemed different in the bottom of her heart.

She wanted something other than this cool breeze.

She had been busy and had gotten little sleep since Mikatagahara, but this still was not it.

What is it?

What should she do about her stewing self and what should she think about the others?

She did not want a cool breeze, so…

“I…”

“Eh?”

Asama turned around in surprise and Masazumi quickly swallowed her words, but Asama simply tilted her head.

“What’s the matter, Masazumi? Did you go crazy again?”

“What do you mean ‘again’!?”

And don’t look so disturbed, Mitotsudaira.

But before anyone else could react, two forms stepped out from the grass remaining to the south.

“Oh, dad? And Konishi-sama?”


Asama saw Masazumi correct her posture. She placed a hand on her chest and lowered her head.

“We had heard two beings thought to be mysterious phenomena had fled here from the temporary Provisional Council building. Are the two of you all right?”

“Masazumi, use your brain. Why do you think we are here?”

Masazumi’s father grabbed the cigar in his mouth and blew out a sharp line of smoke. Mitotsudaira stepped back a bit from the scent of the smoke and Konishi crossed his arms.

“We were pursuing those very beings.”

“Eh? Th-then you weren’t caught in that blast were you?”

No, think carefully, Asama Tomo. If they had been, they wouldn’t be speaking with us right now. That’s just how serious I was. Yes. So I need to give them a salesman’s smile.

“Of course you weren’t caught in the blast! Yes, that couldn’t possibly have affected you! I would never carelessly fail to check where I was shooting or anything! Let’s just go with that!”

The two adults gave her expressionless looks.

“…”

Owwww!! This silence is painful!!!!

As a dangerous sweat poured down Asama’s face, Masazumi’s father suddenly turned toward his daughter.

“Anyway, it seems those mysterious phenomena have vanished. You can exterminate them some other time.”

“Judge.” Masazumi nodded. “The two of you are very important, so please do not push yourselves too hard.”

“Ha ha. No need to worry, Masazumi. We were students once, you know?”

That’s true, thought Asama. One’s student life ended at eighteen in the Far East, but if those two had been in a position to reach the Provisional Council…

They must have been plenty powerful as students.

She nodded and spoke her conclusion.

“Yes. So in other words, I don’t have to worry about firing on the two of you in the future.”

They don’t look happy, but doesn’t that contradict what they just said? Yes. And don’t you give me the same look, Mito and Masazumi.

I’d better change the subject.

“So you say the mysterious phenomena have vanished? I’ll have to finish them off next time.”

“Um, Tomo? You seem to be in a good mood, but if we’re done here, shouldn’t we head back?”

“Eh? Oh, right, right. Let’s head back.”

The two adults nodded and said “judge”, but Masazumi’s father suddenly spoke up.

“Masazumi, if you tell the people we dealt with the situation on your orders, you can score some points.”

“Judge. I’ll do that. Also…”

Masazumi looked up to the east.

A moment later, a large humanoid form flew by with the wind.

It flew down nearby, so Asama looked up in surprise to see a heavy God of War with a blue dog’s face. The wings on the back remained open and a sign frame appeared next to the face.

The sign frame displayed the virtual cockpit and a long-lived girl. She appeared to be sitting in a small Far Eastern-style room and Masazumi nodded toward her.

“How are you doing, Satomi Student Council President?”

“You can call me Yoshiyasu if you want. …Righteousness is doing really well. Hurry onboard. The Student Council room has apparently been cleaned up, so they want you to check over it during the lunch break.”

The Student Council room? wondered Asama with a tilt of the head, but she quickly remembered where that was.

“Oh, that room right above the academy’s main entrance. That’s where Toori would stand naked in the window drinking milk in the mornings. That probably was pretty filthy.”

“Tomo! Tomo! That’s the room we’re going to be using at school from now on!”

Yes! A new purification job! she celebrated in her heart, but then she looked to Masazumi.

She saw the tension leave the girl’s eyebrows.

“Are you feeling better?”

“Right now, it’s important to have a place of our own. …Now, then.”

Masazumi stepped up onto the outstretched hand of Yoshiyasu’s God of War.

Suddenly, a sign frame appeared next to her face.

Marube-ya: “Masazumi? It’s Heidi. I just received word through some trade connections that the Date clan wants to hold a secret meeting.”

“What?” said Masazumi while glancing over at her father and Konishi. Her father nodded back and pointed into the sky where the Ariake had to be.

“Hurry on back. We can no longer take things easy. The situation surrounding Oushuu, Russia, Kantou, and most importantly Musashi, has begun to move all at once. First, you must take on Oushuu, the land that experienced the conflict from the Age of Dawn and is now a solid rock of resistance and talking things out.”

“This isn’t going to be easy if we have to deal with Sviet Rus at the same time.”

“Ho ho.” Konishi laughed quietly and placed a hand on the side of his mouth. “To face P.A. Oda, Uesugi has gone through internal reform and placed ‘Man of Love’ Naoe Kanetsugu as their Vice Chancellor and Vice President. …And to face Date and Mogami, they have placed the brave general Honjou Shigenaga as their 2nd Special Duty Officer. But the real problem lies within.”

“You mean…?”

The look in Mitotsudaira’s eyes said “people who talk this much can’t hide anything, can they?”, but Konishi probably knew that perfectly well. He then pointed northwest.

“Listen. Novgorod is a large floating city like IZUMO located in west Sviet Rus. Eight years ago, Sviet Rus Chancellor Ivan the Terrible carried out a great purge there and the Musashi has not visited since. …But that city is clashing with Shibata’s P.A. Oda forces.”

“So if we get involved with Oushuu and Sviet Rus, we might have to deal with Shibata’s forces too?”

“Most likely. I also have word that the Jurakudai, castle of Hashiba Hidetsugu whose name shouldn’t have been inherited yet, has arrived in Edo. …Well, do your best, I suppose.”

“Judge.” Masazumi nodded. “Thank you for all the important information.”

She gave a quick bow, so the other two girls did as well.

“We’ll be going.”


“Yes. This land has a history of resistance. You should proceed carefully.”

Masazumi heard those words from her father.

This was not something he had done in the past, so she wondered if it meant he recognized her skill a little now.

No, I still have a long way to go. He might be trying to help me out because of that. After all, Musashi still hasn’t left the shadow of our loss at Mikatagahara.

Once they returned to the Ariake, they would find the Musashi being remodeled, the working people, and their training classmates.

Let’s get back, she thought. She wanted to get back and begin searching for the way to recovery. And she wanted to check on this secret meeting with the Date clan that could help them find that way.

“Let’s go home, Asama, Mitotsudaira, and Satomi President. …And for now, that means the Ariake.”

The idiot would be waiting for them too.

He was their king.

And he was a king who she had worried when she was supposed to be supporting him.