Horizon:Volume 4C Chapter 71
Chapter 71: Allocators of the Points at Issue
It is a lonely
Path of travel
And path of passage
Point Allocation (Rejection)
…Our demands, hm?
Masazumi responded to Kagekatsu’s statement by moving her three main sign frames out in front and taking a breath.
…I guess this means we’re starting with Sviet Rus.
Vice President: “Representatives of Date, Mogami, Sviet Rus, and the minor clans, thank you for holding these three simultaneous meetings with us. I am Musashi Ariadust Academy Vice President Honda Masazumi. Currently, Musashi is carrying out the history recreation by acquiring the cooperation of the other nations and also engaging Hashiba in battle. I would like for us to continue based on that assumption. And…”
She inhaled, raised a hand in her heart, and spoke from her throat.
Vice President: “Date, Mogami, Sviet Rus, and the minor clans… Musashi would like your cooperation. I would like to start by discussing that.”
Mitotsudaira heard a deep voice cut in.
She saw an old man standing in front of the committee heads on the right. She was fairly certain his name was Saitou Tomonobu. He walked toward them with folded rectangular panels on his back and he stroked his beard.
“I understand you would like our cooperation. I understand that quite well after you expressed your policies during the earlier special student general assembly. But that is what you want. What we want is something else.”
Saitou called out to Kagekatsu.
“Chancellor, tell them what it is that Sviet Rus wants.”
KageV: “Eh!? Wh-what we want? Wh-why do you have to ask the impossible!? No one ever told me about this! What is going on here!? You can’t do this!!”
Shigeko: “Um, wait! What are you doing, Saitou-san!? Please stop showing up late just to say things we didn’t discuss in advance! What are we supposed to do!?”
Tomo-no-bu: “Ehh!? Oh, I’m so sorry. I’m so, sooooo sorry! Umm, PR Committee Head! Send all the information to the Chancellor right away!!”
Masazumi saw Sviet Rus’s response.
The Terrible: “Heh heh heh. People of Musashi… My Sviet Rus is currently combating the warriors of P.A. Oda’s Shibata forces in our southwest territory. And in the east, Shigenaga there is enduring attacks from Mogami… Do you know why that is?”
Yes, thought Masazumi.
…I do know.
Vice President: “Sviet Rus has realized that Hashiba’s Taiko Kenchi land survey has reached Jouetsu, so you are including Hashiba’s history recreation with your own.”
“That’s right,” added Neshinbara.
Novice: “After Nobunaga’s death, Hashiba begins to take over the Far East and bans all war in the nation. Oushuu was given a ban on armed conflict, but Mogami attacked Uesugi, Date got involved, and it led to the Battle of Jugorigahara.”
Novice: “Even though Mogami and Date ignored Hashiba’s ban on war, they supported Hashiba when he attacked Houjou and swore allegiance. And during Hashiba’s punishment of Oushuu after Houjou’s destruction, their territory was assured. The same is true of Uesugi, so all three of them will gain plenty of territory and become great nations.”
Perhaps that meant the Oushuu and Jouetsu forces were simply good at dodging blame. Or perhaps Hashiba’s influence had been unable to fully reach Oushuu since he was based in Kinki. But…
“That is bad news for the current three nations.”
If the three nations sided with Musashi now, they risked having their territory reduced or having restrictions placed on them during Hashiba’s reign. Also…
Novice: “The Uesugi clan fights against the Matsudaira clan during the decisive Battle of Sekigahara. After that battle, they are ordered to move to other land and their territory is reduced. And of course, those orders come from the victors: Matsudaira.”
Masazumi knew that.
Their territory was settled once during Hashiba’s generation and again by Matsudaira after Sekigahara. Those were two different versions of Oushuu and Sviet Rus’s territory.
Sviet Rus was doomed to have their territory reduced after Sekigahara because they would ultimately oppose Matsudaira. So they could not afford to oppose Hashiba here and now.
…If they did that, they might get their territory reduced twice.
Mal-Ga: “Don’t worry. …We can solve all of this through war.”
Vice President: “Dammit! This time! This time I won’t do it…!”
Gold Mar: Is it just me or is Seijun getting more and more hopeless?”
She unfortunately had to agree. But Sviet Rus was not the only problem.
Vice President: “You mentioned attacks from Mogami. Mogami, don’t you have something to say about this?”
“That’s right,” said Yoshiaki as she listened to the festival music in the light of the two moons. “Mogami and Date don’t care too much about Hashiba’s territorial decision. After all, we assist Hashiba in their attack on Houjou, so our territory is assured. But…”
Yoshiaki raised her cup and Shakenobe poured sake into it.
“After that, Mogami and Date betray Hashiba, mon! Lady Yoshiaki has to get back at them for Lady Komahime, mon! That’s right, mon!”
“I can live such a stress-free life with you around, Shakenobe.”
“You’re making me blush, mon!”
“Ah,” said the vassal before quickly typing at her sign frame.
Flat Vassal: “Um, Vice President, you can’t say anything about Shakenobe pouring sake!”
Vice President: “Please, Balfette. Stop making me laugh while I’m trying to think.”
She has a low boiling point, thought Yoshiaki, but she continued speaking. She took a sip of her drink and enjoyed the heat of the sake on her throat more than the flavor.
“We battle the major nation of Sviet Rus. The Battle of Dewa is the final largescale battle for Mogami, Date, and Sviet Rus and it is paired with Sekigahara. On Matsudaira’s orders, Mogami and Date attempt to stop the Sviet Rus forces headed to Sekigahara for Hashiba. …But the battle has no clear winner,” explained Yoshiaki. “However, that brings an end to Oushuu’s time as a region of war…but that also means our borders are set and we can no longer focus on expanding our nation. Do you know what that means, Satomi?”
“Judge. After Sekigahara, Matsudaira has opened up Kantou and Satomi is left to defend it. But…”
Yoshiaki responded to Yoshiyasu’s look with a smile.
“Yoshiaki, how far out are you looking?”
“Eh?” said the vassal with a tilt of the head.
Yoshiyasu started to say something.
But she closed her mouth and looked away, so Yoshiaki smiled.
“Satomi, you have political thoughts of your own as Satomi’s President, don’t you? In that case, you can say it then. I generally enjoy seeing people struggle.”
“Um, what are you talking about? …Does something happen in Mogami’s future?”
When the vassal asked her question, Yoshiyasu glanced over at Yoshiaki and Shakenobe twisted around with a troubled look.
Yoshiaki smiled bitterly, sighed, and told them to calm down.
“The thing about Mogami is…we have trouble finding an heir, a civil war breaks out…and our title as a clan is more or less revoked.”
“Even though you worked so hard to survive the Sekigahara era and gained so much territory!? Wait a minute!”
The vassal typed on her sign frame’s keyboard.
Flat Vassal: “Um, Vice President! Isn’t there anything we can do about that!?”
I know what you mean, thought Masazumi. Mogami had had a decent foundation, but they had still acquired a large amount of territory and settled things inside their territory in more or less a single generation. That was due to Yoshiaki’s political skill and decision-making ability, but the issue of an heir had been unavoidable.
Novice: “One castle per domain and the revocation of clanhood… Those were the laws for warrior clans established by Matsudaira after Sekigahara. Even a pro-Matsudaira clan has to follow the laws.”
Vice President: “To add to that, Matsudaira seemed to care about and place some importance on Mogami. According to the Testament descriptions, Mogami was relocated so they had some way to survive.”
Silver Wolf: “That’s right. After Mogami’s clanhood was revoked, the non-heir members became retainers of Mito Matsudaira. …And according to a footnote, one of them becomes the chief retainer who acts as my inspector.”
“But,” said Gin from down the stairs. She was likely monitoring their surroundings for security purposes because her patrolling footsteps could be heard with her voice. “Mogami still loses all of the territory they had built up.”
When she added “they failed to stick the landing”, the Tachibana Husband looked up from the top of the stairs.
“Yes, I know. …That is the way of the Warring States period and the destiny of all warrior clans.”
“No, I was going to mention how kind you are to worry about someone other than Tres España.”
…What is this atmosphere!? Is it love!? And Asama and I are in between you two! Should you really be doing this now!?
But no one else seemed to notice and the sign frame displayed a comment from Naomasa in the engine division.
Smoking Girl: “Komahime died and is now a ghost, right? If she’s on Hashiba’s side now, that means Mogami no longer has an heir…”
That’s right, sighed Masazumi.
Vice President: “But that is why Mogami is free to act. They have no reason to obey Hashiba, so they can do whatever they want. …That’s what it means.”
Silver Wolf: “Then when Mogami started firing yesterday before you called out to them, was that a change in their mental state?”
It isn’t just that, thought Masazumi.
Vice President: “It was Komahime.”
This was going to be a cruel thing to say, but she could not get this started without saying it. It had to have been the same for Yoshiaki, so Masazumi relaxed her shoulders and continued.
Vice President: “Komahime committed suicide before going to Hashiba. …But that wasn’t because she didn’t want to go to Hashiba. Isn’t that right, Mogami Yoshiaki?”
“That is correct.”
Adele saw Yoshiaki smile with her eyebrows raised. But…
…That wasn’t why?
She knew Yoshiaki did not have a simple personality. Looking at her history and yesterday’s battle, it was obvious she could do harsh things, but she seemed endlessly kind to her own.
She’s a ruler, was how Adele viewed it. But Komahime was the greatest of Yoshiaki’s own, so why had the girl committed suicide?
“You mean it wasn’t because she didn’t want to be separated from you and made into Mogami’s enemy?”
“Vassal…that is most likely correct, but you have it in reverse.” Yoshiyasu sighed next to her. “Komahime was as stubborn as me, wasn’t she? …If she did go to Hashiba, she assumed you would be unable to oppose Hashiba, didn’t she?”
“Komahime understood and believed that Matsudaira would ultimately rule the Far East. She knew Mogami had to side with Matsudaira and have the clan’s fate handled through interpretations. And so she felt Mogami needed to oppose Hashiba.”
“That would mean…” muttered Adele as she realized the meaning of Komahime’s actions. “Komahime-san really cares for Yoshiaki-san, doesn’t she? If she was worried what would happen to Mogami after she was gone, she was essentially worrying for Yoshiaki-san. That’s why she committed suicide, isn’t it? With her dead, she was telling you to oppose Hashiba…”
Oh, thought Adele. So that’s why Komahime bowed after Yoshiaki’s attack yesterday. That attack and bow meant Yoshiaki did what Komahime had wanted. As for why…
“Komahime-san wanted you to remain just as strong and cool as you’d always been, didn’t she?”
“Vassal, you enjoy romance, don’t you?”
Yoshiaki smiled, but slowly covered her face with her fan.
She then took a deep breath and released a trembling breath. After that, Mogami’s ruler filled her lungs once more.
“Komahime also loved that sort of story. She was always begging me to tell them.”
“Let me tell you a story now that Komahime has left. It is the story of Mogami Yoshiaki. I will show you how the Fox of Ushuu acts. That is the way of Mogami. …What about the rest of you?”
“We of the Date clan…”
Suzu heard a voice. The dance time had ended and they were now in Sendai Castle’s great hall which contained a stepped platform.
About ten meters in front of her, Masamune sat in a throne atop the platform. A short sword for self-defense sat in her lap and she held it in both hands.
“…naturally hope to establish an amicable relationship with Matsudaira.”
It was a short statement, but it held great meaning.
…That means…they will side with…Musashi.
Just like Mogami, Date would become a great nation of Oushuu and was choosing their long-term benefit. They were looking at the borders established by Matsudaira more than the territory established by Hashiba. But…
Novice: “That phrasing does not mention when they hope to establish that amicable relationship. And ‘hope to’ implies some conditions must be met first.”
“But,” added Neshinbara and Suzu understood why.
No one around her had reacted to Masamune’s statement.
The members of the minor clans had been sent from the hall earlier.
Only Katakura, Narumi, and the committee heads were here. They were all the Date clan’s inner circle. They were all here for the meeting, but none of them was tense in the slightest.
There was only one explanation.
And Masamune gave that explanation.
“As you know, the Date clan will soon be quite busy. …Including our cooperation with other clans, we must go through the process to disinherit my brother Kojirou. Once that is complete, we can begin focusing on working with Musashi.”
…I knew it.
Urquiaga spoke quietly while standing behind her on the right so he could protect her at a moment’s notice.
“So her memories are being consumed.”
Vice President: “But, well, this was expected.”
Vice President: “In the previous negotiations with my father and the others, they had concluded that they did not need to take into consideration anything unrealistic that Lady Masamune said.”
I see, thought Suzu with a mental smile of relief.
…That may be true.
The “reality” that Masamune saw was not the same as the one everyone else saw. She did not remember Suzu even after meeting her twice before.
Negotiations could never progress if they took her statements at face value. So Suzu could only think one thing: Sorry.
…Kojirou-san must have been important to her.
They were discussing things with the knowledge that Kojirou had been killed. Suzu had to avoid thinking they were deceiving Masamune, but it was true they were leaving her behind for their own convenience.
Was she too soft if she felt guilty? But…
Vice President: “Sorry, Mukai. This business with Lady Masamune is placing a real burden on you.”
Bell: “Um, no, I-I don’t…mind. Masa…mune-san…will speak with me…whenever I see her.”
It would be sad if she stopped speaking with her, but that was not the point. Even after losing her memories, Masamune would still speak with her each time they met, so she did not mind.
The burden was on Masamune. She had lost her memories and the person she most wished to speak with was no longer in Date. So…
…Is there anything we can do…for her?
As soon as she wondered that, a sign frame appeared near her face.
<Date Clan Network: Divine transmission from Vice President Katakura>
They intended to hold a second meeting without Masamune. As the ambassador, she had to accept, so she quietly did so and the line connected.
Kagetsuna-kun: “Looks like you’ve connected. I’m so grateful I might just cry. Anyway, we’ll be holding the real meeting here. Got that?”
Suzu nodded and Masazumi’s words appeared on this sign frame as well.
Vice President: “Judge. We will leave this decision up to you, Date.”
That signaled the beginning. They were looking to the three nations and Musashi’s futures, and Sviet Rus and Mogami had already given their opinions. And now that Date was giving theirs without Masamune…
…It’s really beginning.
With that thought, Suzu quieted her breathing as Katakura’s voice gave the opening statement.
Kagetsuna-kun: “Now, allow me to give Date’s view.”
An emotionless voice spoke beyond her held breath.
Kagetsuna-kun: “The Date clan will obey Masamune as our leader. All of our decisions will be based on what she hopes for. They come from a time when Kojirou still lived and not from the current environment. In other words, it is all based on the way things were two weeks ago. That is all.”
For a moment, Suzu did not understand what Katakura meant.
They would view Date and the other nations as they were two weeks ago.
That meant they were viewing Musashi as they had been two weeks prior.
Their decision was one of rejection.
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