Horizon:Volume 4C Chapter 74

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Chapter 74: Viewer at a Place of Ending[edit]

Horizon4C 0343.jpg

If you are to look ahead and change

A fixed future

Are you acquiring

An unfixed future?

Point Allocation (Decision)


Yoshiyasu listened to Yoshiaki’s words and watched her face.

“Sviet Rus might accept this. They can avoid losing their territory, after all. And Kagekatsu is still young for a demon. But…Mogami is different.”

All emotion had vanished from Yoshiaki’s face, but a tremor filled her voice.

“Komahime is already a ghost. Once her regrets are gone, she will vanish. Mogami’s revoked clanhood, continued existence, and presence as a bloodline of officers in Mito Matsudaira are all meaningless. After all, Mogami’s royal line ends. Matsudaira, you wish to create a new king and manage Mogami’s land? Isn’t that just a nice way of describing usurpation?”

No, it isn’t, thought Yoshiyasu.

Yoshiaki was trying to say Matsudaira was usurping Mogami by constructing the northern community.

But Yoshiyasu felt that was inaccurate. She did not think it; she felt it.

Yoshiaki was not talking about the Mogami clan being beholden to someone else.

You just don’t want to lose Komahime, do you?

Komahime had used her doomed destiny. In her desire for Mogami to face their destiny properly, she had taken her own life as an example and she was now a ghost who would disappear once she was cleansed of her regrets.

She would eventually disappear. And she would do so before Yoshiaki. It was her understanding of that which led Yoshiaki to say this. She understood it all too well, but that pain was driving her to this.

“—————”

Yes, thought Yoshiyasu.

My sister and Yoshiyori were probably thinking something similar.

They had used their doomed destinies. Komahime had seen meaning in that and saved what she could, but things were different for those who were left behind. That was why Yoshiyori had told them to smile.

Yoshiaki remained expressionless. She was always smiling, but she was hiding her expression now.

That’s the same as crying.

She only had tears of regret for the person who had found meaning in moving out ahead and being lost.

What about me? If I’m the same as Yoshiaki when it comes to my sister and Yoshiyori…

“…Yoshiaki.”

Yoshiyasu spoke without thinking.

The fox turned to face her, but she felt no fear in her heart.

She was the same. She and this fox queen held something similar inside. And…

So that’s it.

Yoshiyasu finally realized why she had been placed in charge of the Mogami negotiations.

No, she had already understood most of it. There were a few common factors if one compared Satomi’s history with Mogami’s. So…

“Yoshiaki, as the representative of the Satomi clan, I would like to make a proposal to both you and Musashi’s Vice President.”

“…What might that be?”

Vice President: “To me too?”

“Yes, that’s right. I am making this proposal as Satomi’s Chancellor and Student Council President, not as a diplomat for Musashi.”

The vassal next to her and the salmon seemed to feel out of place and looked back and forth between Yoshiyasu and Yoshiaki, but Yoshiyasu ignored them.

“Could we establish a joint government between Satomi and Mogami?”


At first, Yoshiaki did not understand what she had been told.

Her thoughts were currently on Komahime and Mogami’s future. And the discussion should have led to what would happen if Mogami joined their proposed northern community.

And yet…

“A joint government…between Satomi and Mogami…?”

“I will say ‘testament’ for the moment. I am not talking about anything official; this would be purely functional in nature. And beyond just Mogami, I would also like for you to take a look at Satomi’s government. And I would like to learn from Mogami’s government.”

Meaning…

“I would take a double inherited name of someone from both clans.”

Ridiculous, thought Yoshiaki. Because…

I don’t understand.

“Aren’t you just trying to take control of Mogami now that we have lost Komahime?”

She knew Yoshiyasu was not that shrewd, but someone could have put her up to it. So Yoshiaki made sure to be as suspicious as possible.

“Mogami is destined to lose much. What could you learn from us?”

“Satomi is already a ruined nation. And just like Mogami, we will eventually disappear.” Yoshiyasu spoke quietly. “I have lost my sister, someone who was like a brother, and my other comrades. …I have nothing left.”

“Then do you regret that?”

Yoshiaki moved on reflex and drew Onikiri.

You have nothing left, do you!?

If that was true, Onikiri would cut nothing. But if that was a lie or simple sweet words meant to earn sympathy…

“You will lose it all, Satomi!”

In the very instant she drew the sword, Yoshiaki cut Yoshiyasu.

That blade cut the hidden. It cut the people supporting the target rather than the target herself.

The ancient divine weapon Onikiri accurately sliced through Yoshiaki’s “hidden side”.


Adele opened her eyes after squeezing them shut.

When Yoshiaki had sent out her slash, Adele had been unable to even protect her face. That was half due to her proximity and half due to the speed of the strike.

But there was not even a scratch on her glasses.

“Um…”

Adele touched her own body while looking at Yoshiaki who had swung Onikiri in a horizontal line.

Head: check. Stomach: check. Hips: check. Chest: …Oh, wait. I didn’t have anything there in the first place.

She groaned as she checked over her body, but she found not even a hair on her head had been harmed. And…

“Satomi President…”

Yoshiyasu simply stood there. The distant festival music washed over her back as she stared at Yoshiaki who had swung Onikiri at her.

“Yoshiaki, you are mistaken about something.”

“And what is that?”

“Musashi and I are not yet comrades and not yet to the point of supporting each other. Even as inexperienced as I am, they allow me to stand alongside as we simply head in the same direction. …They are nothing more than the other people who saw what I was shown by the people I lost. They do not conform, sympathize, or scold. They are nothing more than a group of idiots who face the same direction and – even if they face some setbacks – fight the unease while never giving up on making a comeback.”

And…

“That in and of itself is important to me because I feel the need to stand alongside them eventually.”


Marube-ya: “Sounds like a group of untrustworthy people who are one wrong step away from wondering why they want anything to do with each other!”

Mal-Ga: “What are you talking about? I know exactly what I gain from these relationships. We can’t forget about that.”

Asama: “Gain!? I’m pretty sure I lose a lot more than I gain!”


Those people, sighed Yoshiyasu when she saw the ruckus on her sign frame, but she was somehow relieved to see that lively activity.

It had indeed been nice to have that noise drawing her focus after she had lost something.

Then she saw Yoshiaki returning Onikiri to its scabbard. The woman smiled bitterly.

“So rather than comrades, you see them as people you hope will someday hold that position? …It is true I cannot cut that.”

“Yes,” replied Yoshiyasu. “Please think of what I said as a suggestion. After all, I intend to take back Satomi, but it no longer exists and I have nothing certain that I can trust in.”

She indicated Murasamemaru at her hip and Yoshiaki’s bitter smile grew. She then looked at Yoshiyasu.

“In that case, we might indeed need a joint government.” She relaxed her shoulders. “But… Shakenobe, bring the vassal some sweet sake.”

“Right away, mon!”

The salmon swam through the air while expressing its joy over receiving instructions from its master. And Yoshiaki asked a question as she watched it leave.

“Why did you choose me?”

“I would like to borrow the ability that brought Mogami this far in a single generation. And I would like to learn from it.”

“Why? Once you take back Satomi, the world will be at peace under Matsudaira’s rule. …It would be best to find a teacher within Matsudaira. Why aren’t you doing that?”

“Judge.” Yoshiyasu nodded. “To be blunt, I can never tell what they’re going to do.”


Marube-ya: “Wow, who here would stoop to plotting behind people’s backs?”

Worshiper: “Evil must not go unpunished! Especially in the north, land of the young fairies!”

Flat Vassal: “Um, sorry, but could you not say things that make me want to comment out loud…”


She had given them material to work with. I need to be more careful, thought Yoshiyasu.

“I would like to have Satomi make a quick recovery once I take it back. As I said before, the Testament descriptions say Satomi too will lose its status as a clan.”

She knew that perfectly well. In 1614 after Sekigahara, the Satomi clan lost its heir and lost its clanhood.

“Before then, I would like to help Satomi recover to ensure the livelihoods of the people gathered there and to show them a future. So I have abandoned the idea of building a nation in a peaceful world. I must make sure Satomi recovers as quickly as possible to show everyone that we can make a comeback.”

“Then let me ask you this, Satomi. What do you intend to do after that?”

“Well,” said Yoshiyasu. “Even after Satomi loses its clanhood, the Satomi bloodline will remain in the region. For example, many of our people will serve as officers in Mito Matsudaira. Yes, in Mito where the Mogami bloodline also ends up. Do you understand what that means?” she asked. “Satomi is a small nation. It could disappear at any time. So we have long discussed at our academy how to leave behind as much as possible. And I make my suggestion as a modification of that plan. I will establish a joint government with Mogami and, Yoshiaki, you teach me your style of governing. I will watch you as you help Satomi recover and I will learn from it, but you can also watch me and…”

She hesitated, but she said it.

“If I become a suitable politician in your eyes, then please give me the name of your heir.”

“—————”

“You understand, don’t you?”

Mogami Yoshiaki’s heir had a certain name…

“That name would be Mogami Yoshiyasu, wouldn’t it? …That would be the perfect name for my double inherited name.”


You fool, thought Yoshiaki.

She had never expected the name of that Yoshiyasu to come up here.

She really is a fool.

Yoshiaki knew that Mogami’s heir, Mogami Yoshiyasu, died before inheriting the clan.

And due to the plotting of a treacherous retainer, Yoshiaki and Yoshiyasu were on poor terms and Yoshiyasu eventually committed suicide after being attacked by someone.

The Testament said they had originally gotten along well. And after Yoshiaki learned that their discord was due to a plot, he had wept when Yoshiyasu’s head had arrived and he had searched out and punished the treacherous retainer.

That series of events was why Komahime had not also inherited the name of Mogami Yoshiyasu. She had certainly never expected someone to show up now and attempt to take Yoshiyasu’s name.

“Do you know who the treacherous retainer was who brought discord between Mogami Yoshiyasu and me?”

“He bore the surname Satomi, didn’t he?”

When the girl answered with a bitter smile, Yoshiaki could only say, “Correct.”

Yoshiyasu knew it all and yet she still wished for the name. If she did inherit the name, she intended to handle it all herself.

Yes…

Yoshiaki had considered it before. What would she have done if the Testament Union had insisted that Komahime also inherited the name of Mogami Yoshiyasu?

There was only one answer: she would have done whatever it took to protect Komahime. So…

“If I do consider you worthy, I could indeed give you the name of Mogami Yoshiyasu…”

“Then…”

Yoshiaki continued with a bitter smile.

“No. …That’s right, Yoshiyasu. And Musashi Vice President. I will not go along with your proposal. After all, Komahime is still in view. There are still too many uncertainties about the future of the world. So Mogami will…”

This was her answer.

“Mogami will…put off this decision and do as we wish until Sekigahara.”


Masazumi breathed in and then out.

“You have my thanks…Mogami Yoshiaki.”

Mogami’s decision was essentially the same as accepting their proposal. She was holding off on answering because nothing would be clear until after Westphalia. So Mogami would…

Nine-Tail Girl: “We will do as we wish. Yes, we will aim for expanding our territory just like Sviet Rus. And…Satomi, you do as you wish as well. If you wish to take me as your teacher and model yourself after me, then aim for Mogami Yoshiyasu’s name if you like. That future is also a possibility.”

But…

Nine-Tail Girl: “Not today.”

However…

Nine-Tail Girl: “When I wish to look even further into the future, I will remember this northern community and Satomi’s request. And that may be the kind of future Komahime wants…”

Those words reminded Masazumi of her mother.

She recalled her past in Mikawa.

That’s right.

Her mother had always cooked for her, did the laundry, and did other housework without saying anything about it. She had stayed by Masazumi’s side when she had a cold, she had worried about Masazumi’s father, and she had stayed by his side as well.

How much time had she spent with her mother? And how much of her mother’s time had been spent on her?

Whether that was good or bad was not a question she could answer, but…

“Yoshiaki.”

She had something to say.

“Musashi can promise you one thing about the coming battle with Hashiba. …If we are within reach of Komahime, we will take her back. We will not allow anyone to be lost. That is Musashi’s policy and what we swore at Mikatagahara. So…”

So…

“I don’t know what will happen, but you can wait and see how well we do before making your decision.”

Nine-Tail Girl: “You’re raising my expectations too high. But…”

Yoshiaki paused for about three breaths.

Nine-Tail Girl: “I will at least remember your consideration.”


They had their answer from Mogami.

In the meeting hall, Tenzou saw Masazumi’s “judge” on the sign frame he shared with Mary.

As the Vice President and leader of the discussion, Masazumi’s acknowledgement indicated the end of that topic. Which meant…

Sviet Rus and Mogami have both decided to expand their territory.

Their actions were correct in terms of the history recreation. But there was a difference from before.

“They intend to do so without worrying what Hashiba thinks…”

Sviet Rus and Mogami would both “expand their territory” in accordance with the Testament descriptions. But they would not obey Hashiba’s instructions or warnings even though Hashiba had conquered Edo and Satomi.

Both nations would set their sights on Matsudaira establishing their territory after Sekigahara and on the future northern community.

They were not cooperating in any obvious way in the present, but Musashi knew that the two nations would not support Hashiba and would ultimately fall in line with Musashi.

It was a pseudo-cooperation that looked to the future.

There were of course plenty of problems and one of those was especially large.

“The fight against P.A. Oda.”

Sviet Rus was in the process of discussing that.

The Musashi group had been given chairs and waiters had lined up tea and snacks on a side table. When they looked around, they saw the Committee Heads, Saitou, Shigenaga, and even Kagekatsu standing in a circle and holding a quick meeting.

Tenzou could read their lips to grasp some of what they were saying.

P.A. Oda.

Sviet Rus would no longer focus on Hashiba and would continue on to Sekigahara while expanding their territory and settling things through discussions as they had before. But that implied opposing and defying P.A. Oda and Hashiba who were holding Sviet Rus and Oushuu in check.

P.A. Oda was a powerful nation. They controlled the Testament Union now, they had a large aerial fleet, they had dragon line reactors, and they were served by many skilled commanders.

Currently, that nation held more than half of the Far East in their hand.

That was who Sviet Rus and Mogami would be making an enemy of.

That could only be called reckless, but they had a reason for doing so.

“They’re going to use the history recreation as a shield, aren’t they? According to the Testament descriptions, the Oda clan’s invasion of Uesugi was never completed and they never did invade Oushuu.”

“Master Tenzou, will P.A. Oda really obey the Testament descriptions?”

“They must. But as things are, they will use the greatest interpretations they can manage.”

Tenzou showed Mary a sign frame. It displayed a map of the Far East. Long arrows started in the central Kinki region and extended to the west, north, and east. A few smaller arrows appeared as if to fill in the gaps.

“These are the invasion routes P.A. Oda is currently taking. They extend nearly to the entire Far East, but they have not taken it all. …Hexagone Française, Tres España, the Kyushu and Shikoku forces, Kantou, and Oushuu have yet to fall.”

The idiot turned Tenzou’s way while he, Mitotsudaira, and Horizon ate a castella with a layer of adzuki beans.

“But aren’t things going pretty good for Monkey Girl and P.A. Oda?”

“Their invasions are creating discrepancies between the history recreations of the world nations and the Far East.”

Tenzou zoomed in separately on the K.P.A. Italia and Sviet Rus regions.

“For example, now that Hashiba has invaded K.P.A. Italia, Mouri can invade from the north and crush Hashiba.”

“Then why don’t they?”

“Because Mouri has no such history in the Testament descriptions.”


“Listen,” said Tenzou to the idiot. “Let us say, Toori-dono, that Mouri crushed Hashiba’s invasion even though the Testament descriptions say nothing of the sort.”

“Yes, what happens then, Tenzou-dono?”

Why does that piss me off so much!?

Then the idiot turned toward Mary and she smiled toward Tenzou.

“What happens then, Tenzou-dono?”

Why does that warm my heart so much!?

“Toori-dono, I have the heart of a saint right now, so it would take a lot to get under my skin. Give it your best shot.”

“Oh, that’s good to hear. To make sure Asama didn’t find out about the porn games I bought, I had them sent to your parents’ house in your name, so can you hold onto those for me?”

“You are the worst! People might consider those things, but no one ever actually does them!!”

Tenzou took a breath.

“Anyway, if they do something not found in the Testament descriptions, it at least gives their opponent a justification to do something equivalent to them. Crushing Hashiba’s invasion isn’t worth exposing themselves to a retaliatory invasion not found in P.A. Oda’s history, right? It is the same for P.A. Oda. They cannot force things through too much.”

Tenzou took another breath.

“Also, P.A. Oda must be very careful about their history recreation. After all, it is about time they must face a historical turning point. …And no turning point is greater than the assassination of Oda Nobunaga.”


Nobunaga’s assassination really is P.A. Oda’s greatest turning point, thought Tenzou.

That is the fall of a superpower’s leader.

The time was approaching. Several events from an age beyond that were already being recreated.

“The time will eventually come for Nobunaga to disappear. So P.A. Oda will want to control when that time comes. Thus…”

“They will follow the different regions’ history recreations to ensure they do not create an opening for others to interfere, right?” asked Mitotsudaira.

“Judge. That is exactly right. …That is likely why Sviet Rus was able to side with Musashi. After all, Sviet Rus’s battle against P.A Oda’s Shibata forces ends when the Shibata forces retreat due to Nobunaga’s death.”

So…

“A largescale battle with Sviet Rus would only bring P.A. Oda closer to Nobunaga’s death. The standard choice would be to avoid a battle or keep it small, so I doubt they will make a major invasion.”

As soon as Tenzou said that, an embodiment of love with short sleeves, short pants, and glossy skin ran in from the corridor on the right. He spun around, clapped twice, and put on a carefree smile.

“It’s an emergency! Shibata has made a major invasion!”

“That is not the standard choice.”

Tenzou felt the need to immediately point that out to prevent the damage against him. Mitotsudaira averted her gaze and the idiot and Horizon both glared at him, but Mary alone tilted her head.

“What does this mean?”

Tenzou thought while looking to the Sviet Rus group. That’s right, he realized before speaking his conclusion aloud.

“They likely predicted the three nations would side with Musashi and acted accordingly. They must hope to gain the upper hand by taking action before the meeting between Date and Musashi is complete.”

Meaning…

“There haven’t been any responses from Date or Musashi for a while now. …Date is likely in negotiation and Musashi must have seen the movements of P.A. Oda’s Kantou division as they responded to the actions of the Shibata forces.”

Tenzou looked down to see a divine transmission from Musashi. It said, “Emergency Situation: On Alert”

The Kantou P.A. Oda group was on the move.