Horizon:Volume 4C Chapter 86
Chapter 86: Confirmers of the Footholds
It must continue
Whether you like it or not
Point Allocation (Constant Change)
…I need to do my best!
The remnants of the fleet that Sakuma had protected were searching for her down below Novgorod.
Mori felt they had Sakuma to thank for conquering Novgorod to this extent, so he had to extend their control by the time she came back alive.
So he moved and fought alongside the gods of war he inhabited after splitting himself apart.
He was gradually figuring out how to fight on this battlefield. The most important thing was to avoid leaving himself open to an attack, so he kept his movements compact.
“Yes, I need to make compact jabs! Quick jabs! I can’t just swing myself around! Isn’t that right!?”
“Ha ha ha. Mori, that’s really persuasive coming from you. And you can’t be swinging your tentacles around normally either.”
Toshiie had temporarily come down to check things out, but he had returned to the top of the hill.
As for their enemy…
“Date is putting up a surprisingly good fight,” commented Toshiie.
“I-I destroyed 4 of them, but the last 2 have started fighting a purely long-range battle.”
They were firing from a distance as mobile gun turrets while making sure they did not hit the assault unit reinforcements arriving from the north. They could not defeat Mori, but they could destroy the large skeletons, which was a problem. However, they could not protect the region quite as well when he pursued them.
Toshiie told him not to worry about it and that destruction did not mean death for those skeletons, so Mori stayed far enough away to dodge the bullets from the Date gods of war.
“H-how about that, Master Toshiie!? I can dodge! I’m dodging them!”
“That’s some incredible wriggling.”
…Lady Matsu really likes it…!
Mori was delighted, so he had all of his gods of war wriggle around. The Date gods of war and the Sviet Rus spell unit could not hit him with their physical bullets and spell bullets.
And even just dodging like this was valuable. Not only did it use up the enemy’s ammunition, but as long as he was here, the Date gods of war could not move forward. And without their support, the Sviet Rus warriors could not move forward either.
And whenever they saw an opening, Toshiie’s large skeletons and large apes would move forward to wear down and push back the enemy’s front line.
“Wh-what was this kind of tactic called!? A de-lewd-ing tactic!?”
“That would be a delaying tactic.”
“…Oh. U-um, Master Toshiie! I-I am not a dirty guy! Please don’t misunderstand! I-I just mispronounced it a little is all!”
“Don’t worry about it!”
Lady Matsu is so kind…! thought Mori as he fought.
He had to be careful. If the enemy moved too far away, the ships would start firing.
It was already happening. A largescale impact hit to the left and blew away several skeletons.
That was close, he thought while stepping to the right. That would’ve been dangerous if it had hit me.
“Mori! Not that way!”
Had that impact meant something?
He quickly turned around and saw something beyond the dust knocked into the night sky by the impact.
It was a feminine god of war. And…
Mori realized what the enemy had done. They had set up a predictable pattern of shellfire in order to disguise the landing of the god of war as a shell hit and catch him off guard.
In a true surprise attack, he could not actively make use of his flexibility, so he could guess the enemy had been trying to do that.
But he had Toshiie on his side and Toshiie’s words had saved him.
…I’m not alone!
With that in mind, Mori faced the enemy while turned to the side.
He sent out the left arm. It was a rotating corkscrew blow that wrapped around the enemy’s arm and threw them.
He had used this to slam the Date gods of war to the ground, so…
Toshiie saw something unbelievable as he stood at the top of the hill.
As soon as Mori touched the Musashi god of war named Jizuri Suzaku, he disappeared.
It happened too suddenly for Toshiie to grasp what had happened. In fact…
Jizuri Suzaku itself and the Musashi 6th Special Duty Officer standing on its shoulder frantically looked left and right.
It was unclear what had happened, but Mori had vanished. Well, his other gods of war were still there, but not the main one.
“Where did the thickest Mori go?”
As soon as Toshiie asked that, Mori crashed down from the sky only about 7 cm to his right.
Dirt flew into the air as he collided with the ground, but Mori immediately got right back up.
But his body twisted around and he collapsed again. A thick arm trembled 3 cm to Toshiie’s left.
“D-dammit, the impact won’t leave me! I just keep twitching. Th-there’s something wrong with me!”
“Um, Mori, this has been rather thrilling for me, so are you done?”
“Oh, s-sorry, Master Toshiie! I need to pull myself together!”
“Actually, maybe you would have fared better if you let yourself come apart a little more.”
Meanwhile, the 6th Special Duty Officer noticed them, so her god of war prepared to fight. She was about 100 meters away and the god of war tried to hide her behind its face.
Mori also noticed the enemy’s movement. Despite the distance, he stood up and…
“H-here I go!”
He sent his other gods of war toward Jizuri Suzaku. There were 6 of them and they all used their elasticity to run in a springy sort of way while attacking with their log-like arms. However…
Toshiie saw six figures fly up into the sky.
They were Mori’s alternate gods of war. He could tell Jizuri Suzaku had just barely touched them, but that was all.
…Why did that send them flying!?
Then they crashed down just 15 cm behind him.
Naomasa did not really understand.
…What is going on here?
She had tried to counterattack with a throw. She had to say “tried” because those weird gods of war had flown into the sky before she actually got that far.
Only one possibility came to mind:
…Are they actually on our side and are letting me win?
But the primary one seemed serious as it charged toward her.
What is with this? she thought while trying to perform a throw, but as soon as Jizuri Suzaku’s hand touched it…
The enemy god of war spun wildly up into the night sky.
Naomasa tilted her head as she heard it landing head-first in the distance. And…
Asama: “Um, Masa? You’re looking kind of invincible there.”
Smoking Girl: “Yeah, I’m honestly not sure what this is.”
It was sent flying before she could even throw it.
Silver Wolf: “Eh? Wh-what is that? I keep hearing these loud crashes down below, but is that Naomasa?”
Smoking Girl: “Well, it’s not so much me as it is the other guy. Oh, excuse me a moment. The other 6 are coming.”
They flew away when she merely touched them.
Hori-ko: “Naomasa-sama, are you perhaps enjoying this?”
No, wait, thought Naomasa while placing a hand on her forehead. She had to figure out what was happening between her and her opponent.
Smoking Girl: “Ohh… I think I get it.”
He flew away and Naomasa confirmed her speculation.
Smoking Girl: “I use my opponent’s own power to throw them…but this guy must already be directing his strength in the exact direction I’m trying to use. That means he’s supplying all of the power I would have used to throw him.”
So she only had to slightly touch him in that direction without actually performing the throw.
And the enemy god of war flew wildly into the sky.
Smoking Girl: “Yeah, that’s definitely it. Mitotsudaira, he’s even worse than you were back in England. Or rather, he’s really poorly matched against me in close-quarters combat.”
Silver Wolf: “I-I’m willing to spar with you again! I’ve changed a lot since then!”
“Sure, sure,” said Naomasa as the enemy began another charge.
The same thing kept happening, but…
…Throwing him through the air doesn’t seem to do much damage…
Naomasa had Jizuri Suzaku perform the throw she had originally tried to do.
With an extremely rapid spin, he flew along a sharp curve and slammed into the ground instead of flying into the air.
For the first time in his life, Mori felt an impact reach his entire body.
The rapid spin caused the blood to gather on the surface of his body. And after spinning upside-down, he thought his entire body was being crushed because…
…She slammed me into the ground!?
Not even his body’s elasticity allowed him to bounce as he was slammed so perfectly into the ground.
Instead of feeling an urge to vomit, the impact made him feel like all of his insides were being forced out.
His breathing and even his pulse were shaken, but…
He realized he was hanging upside down in the air.
His opponent had grabbed his wrist and swung him upwards to lift him up.
And then he found himself embedded deep into the ground.
Omaeda: “Mori! Mori! To be honest with you, I ran 100 meters away, but are you okay!?”
Mory: “Ah… I-I might…not make it… The ground…is so warm…”
Omaeda: “Don’t go to sleep, Mori! Stay with us! And, umm, about your opponent here. Musashi’s 6th Special Duty Officer is named Naomasa, right? Well, do you know who Ii Naomasa is?”
Mory: “N-no, sorry. I haven’t been with you very long…”
Omaeda: “Right, right. Well, according to the Testament descriptions, there was this battle called the Battle of Komaki and Nagakute, you see? And, Mori, one of Ii Naomasa’s troops snipes you between the eyebrows and you die.”
Mory: “Ehh!? What!? No one told me that! And I don’t have eyebrows! Wh-what am I supposed to do about that!?”
Omaeda: “Na-chan? You got a perfect 5 in art, so can you draw some on?”
Lily Flower: “Just so you know, I got that 5 thanks to my sculpting. Want me to carve some in?”
Mory: “No, I-I don’t like the sound of that! I like my adorable shape and coloration! B-besides, I’ve heard rumors about Musashi’s 6th Special Duty Officer!”
Toshiie asked him what kind of rumors those were, so he answered.
Mory: “Shaja! From what I heard, Musashi’s 6th Special Duty Officer puffs on a pipe, has a rude way of speaking, always has oil stains on her clothes, has a giant false arm, and is really strong when she gets to fight! You’re saying I’ll be killed by that collection of negative traits!?”
As soon as he said that, Mori was lifted up and slammed into the ground.
Mori was slammed down and felt like the breath and everything else had been knocked out of him, but he still saw something.
He saw the girl standing on the female god of war’s shoulder.
She wore a Far Eastern summer uniform, she held a pipe in her mouth, and smoke escaped her mouth as she spoke into a sign frame.
“What? I’m not playing around. This isn’t my idea of fun.”
She spoke rudely and her clothes had oil stains and scorch marks in places. Her false arm held onto the side of the vermilion god of war’s head and looked like it could punch someone to death.
Mori had previously called her a collection of negative traits, but…
Below the night sky and in the flickering light of the battlefield’s torches and fires, he saw her black hair, her angled eyes, her fit build, and her false arm.
…But that isn’t all.
He also saw the breasts contained inside the chest band and the lines of her legs and butt showing through her tights.
…This isn’t at all like what I know.
She was not like the girls he knew. And he did not mean the P.A. Oda girls he had lived and trained with. He had been forced to experience girls all too much in the past.
He briefly recalled that part of his past he wished he could forget.
During that former time in that damp space, the things that had violated him had all been slippery, soft, and on the verge of falling away. Calling it “gentle” sounded nice, but he still shuddered when he thought about how it had clung to him without ever leaving.
They had all started by dressing up, acting cute, and treating him and themselves with care, but…
…I was like a pet to them.
They had all looked down on him. And they had tried to use him however they could.
Something sickeningly kind and soft had not allowed him to escape. It had been a constant companion in that dark and damp place.
He was here now thanks to his attempt to forget about and leave that. And…
This is different, he thought. She viewed him from a height, but she did not look down on him. Hers was a sharp and hostile glare, but she was looking straight at him.
…She reminds me of that time.
She reminded him of when Hashiba had rescued him and faced him below the sky.
Because Hashiba had looked straight at him on an even level, he had not known what to do and looked away. That was why he had looked to the sky.
He was now embedded in the ground and could not move his head, so he could not look away.
This girl reminded him of Hashiba and the others from P.A. Oda, but…
Hashiba was pretty, but this girl was different. She had more strength than softness, she dressed herself in what she needed rather than what looked nice, and she spoke her mind rather than what people wanted to hear. Her body and her giant false right arm seemed imbalanced.
He felt certain that she was not in that place.
She had lived while entirely ignorant of that place.
…Is this the kind of person I was hoping for?
And as soon as he thought that…
Mori felt his pulse begin to race.
Naomasa saw the god of war suddenly bend backwards while embedded in the ground.
Smoking Girl: “Hey, everyone, there’s a weird one here.”
Marube-ya: “Does that mean P.A. Oda isn’t all that different from us?”
Azuma: “Does that mean the world’s in trouble no matter which side wins?”
We: “Azuma-kun! Azuma-kun! I feel like you have allowed them to corrupt you a bit lately!”
But as Naomasa glared at the sprawled-out god of war…
“Ah, no, i-it can’t be…! It can’t be that…!”
Mal-Ga: “What is this?”
Gold Mar: “You probably shouldn’t watch this, Ga-chan. I think it’s just a crazy person.”
Novice: “Eh? He’s not crazy! Don’t you get it!? He’s awakening to the hidden power of his blood! I suppose the rest of you will never understand the confusion that brings…!”
Scarred: “To me, it looks more like he’s filled with joy.”
Girls: “Meaning he’s just plain weird…!”
Asama: “Masa, please. As the Public Morals Officer, I beg you to take care of this.”
Smoking Girl: “I’d really rather not…”
Mori was confused.
…N-no! This i-isn’t right!
His pulse would not calm down.
He was focused on the girl standing on the shoulder of the vermilion god of war in front of him.
Looking up from below, he saw her breasts and the tight line down to her navel. Because she was turned slightly to the side to speak to the god of war, her waist was twisted and her butt stuck a bit out toward him. And as the wind blew at her skirt, he occasionally saw…
…N-no! L-looking is too indecent! …Glance. Ahh, I’m so dirty!
But her bound hair blew in the wind and came undone. And that longish hair fell down on the bare skin of her back which was left exposed to provide space for the false arm’s connection.
His pulse raced even faster.
This was not right. She was supposed to shoot him between the eyebrows. And that was not supposed to happen until later. So why was the center of his circulatory system leaping inside him like it had been shot? Could it be…
Didn’t I want to fall in love with, marry, and live out the rest of my life with a much more feminine, beautiful, gentle, and kind person?
At the very least, he had not expected to get along with someone who took part in battles, prioritized something over their own appearance, and fought people. In others words, someone just like him. Not to mention that this person might kill him. But…
I was wrong, he thought. His life plan and the ideal woman he had imagined in it might have been feminine, beautiful, gentle, and kind, but…
…That’s just like the people who once controlled me!
He had not known any other kind of woman, so when he had imagined a proper life plan, he had only been able to hope for someone just like those who had controlled him.
If this person might kill him, that was fine with him. After all, his time in that darkness had been a living death. So…
He had found a different kind of person he had never even hoped for.
This was a kind of woman he had never known before. And…
…She’s so pretty…
Her muscles and movements were different from his, but there was no waste there and they strengthened her.
So, thought Mori. "'If she would open her heart to me…
…A-and guide me…
“N-no. I-I can’t…!”
Smoking Girl: “…Not again.”
Mal-Ga: “You should finish him off already. I think he actually enjoys being hit.”
Me: “Maybe he’s fallen in love with Naomasa.”
Girls: “No, no. Not a chance.”
Smoking Girl: “And Toori. Make any more stupid jokes and I’ll beat you up next.”
Wise Sister: “Oh? I think he might be onto something there, Naomasa. Too much humility will only reduce your value, you know?”
While imagining things, writhing on the ground, and glancing up toward Naomasa’s skirt, Mori thought to himself: I can’t keep this up.
At this rate I’m going to go crazy.
But it has to be now, he thought. If I let her escape, I might never see her again. So, he continued. I need to say something. But…
…Wh-what am I supposed to say!?
He was not confident enough in his feelings to say, “I love you”. And she probably would not want to hear that right now. The battlefield was also a poor place for saying, “Please hear what I have to say.”
This was important. Yes, his future was hanging in the balance.
He needed words that would calm this enemy’s heart.
He needed some short but comforting words that would gain her trust.
He was a tentacle being. He was a fully pure-blooded tentacle. So he knew generally what to do. In order to calm and comfort her and in order to secure his future, Mori got up and made a suggestion.
“Excuse me! Please let me start by groping you!”
He was slammed into the ground.
…It didn’t work!?
Why? wondered Mori. Should I have gone for a greater impact with my head? No…
…She really isn’t that sort of person…!
“What a pain. Would this be easier?”
Eh? he wondered just before he flew through the air.
He was not slammed into the ground. She used all her strength to throw him over the edge of Novgorod and into the empty air.
His god of war had no flight device, so he could not avoid falling.
And that would lead to one thing: he would be separated from her.
He would be taken from and separated from her. That was obvious, but in that case…
He panicked. He could tell he was panicked as he was flung through the air. And so he thought, I want to confirm this.
He had only just met her. Musashi’s 6th Special Duty Officer probably only saw him as an enemy, but what did he think? He wanted to demonstrate that.
After throwing the god of war with Jizuri Suzaku, Naomasa heard it call out to her.
He had been reacting in the most baffling ways, but he definitely faced her as he flew in a parabolic arc.
“W-will we see each other again!?”
Mal-Ga: “Is he asking for a rematch? Well, he looks like a pain since shooting him probably wouldn’t do much good, so you can deal with him.”
“That’s right,” agreed Naomasa. And either way, “Sure, I suppose. You seem to be a good match for me, so I’ll take you on.”
“R-really!? We’re a good match!? Th-then…”
This guy must be a pervert who loves being beaten up, she thought as the weird god of war fell toward the end of the land.
“U-until we meet again!”
“Sure,” she replied as he dropped below Novgorod’s edge. And…
Asama: “So, um, Masa? What was that enemy god of war?”
Smoking Girl: “Hmm. To be honest, I don’t really know.”
She tilted her head. The other gods of war seemed to have split off from that one and they were still active. They could not take control of eastern Novgorod until she crushed them, so she took a breath.
Smoking Girl: “What an annoying opponent…”
With that, she waved toward the Date gods of war and the assault unit reinforcements waiting to the north.
“Anyway, I’ll clear away these obstacles! And after that…”
Skeleton warriors were rising from the ground on the south and all across the hill. If she ignored them, Toori’s group would be in trouble. So…
“We’d like to go on up now, but I’ve got to deal with these things first!”
Just as she and Jizuri Suzaku prepared to fight, an umbrella of light raced through the sky.
She recognized that light.
Novice: “Novgorod’s defense barrier was broken! Shibata’s warriors are going to attack the city for the Battle of Tedorigawa!”
“And yet Novgorod and P.A. Oda were working together for the Battle of Nanao Castle.”
Novice: “Aoi-kun’s group is getting close to the city, so P.A. Oda will want to make this an urban battle. But Novgorod hasn’t opened up the city, so they had to go for a more forceful method. They’re planning to do the history recreation of the Battle of Tedorigawa in Novgorod’s city while treating the Volkhov River as the Tedori River.”
Novice: “Shibata’s forces are finally arriving.”
It happened just a few minutes before. Atop the hill south of Novgorod, the unmoving bodies of the combined corpses had littered the ground and a largescale barrier had seemed to dig into the white birch city walls as it surrounded Novgorod in a dome shape.
But the barrier was perfectly vertical near where it reached the ground. The control line producing the barrier could not remain even if it was flush with the ground, so it was made to drop straight down underground from a certain height. So…
Someone shouted that and ran away from the southern gate.
It was Fuwa.
She had a reason to run.
She saw a shallow valley in front of her. The city was located a little bit lower than the ground at the top of the hill. The difference was about 2 meters. So straight out from the city gate was a valley with a view of the night sky.
And she saw something in sky horizontally out from Novgorod’s gate.
They had a simple way of destroying Novgorod’s defense barrier.
The fleet concentrated its fire on the vertical portion from a horizontal position.
From above or diagonally, the curved portion of the barrier would divert the power and the bombardment would not be as effective.
This strategy was only possible because Novgorod was a floating city and thus the fleet could take up a position directly horizontal or even lower.
Fuwa’s calculations said 27 main cannon class shots focused on about the same point would neutralize a portion of the barrier. Then the engineering students only had to secure a 1.5 meter space that would not receive an ether supply.
It was a simple task, but the setup was far from easy. But luckily…
…Novgorod doesn’t rotate at night!
A floating city this large would be affected by the earth’s rotation, so it would be quite troublesome if it rotated as well.
But it was night. The main reason Novgorod rotated was to distribute which areas were in the sun, so that did not apply.
Just to be safe, they had let a lot of Sviet Rus’s landing fleet arrive at the northern land port and they had made adjustments in order to damage Sviet Rus as well if Novgorod did start rotating. But now only one thing remained.
Before she could run out of the valley, Fuwa covered her ears while tripping and scrambling back to her feet.
Immediately afterwards, 27 pressures passed by, shaking the sides of the valley.
It was an explosive tremor. It knocked her butt into the air, but she still saw the bright light of the powerful impact.
The defense barrier at Novgorod’s southern gate shattered.
“So they’re here. …I thought they would use a spell or something after learning their lesson at Magdeburg, but they’re using their main fleet as a battering ram? Tactics sure have changed.”
In the city hall’s dark central hall, Marfa crossed her legs in a large chair and viewed the situation outside on a sankt okno.
“So they’ll expand the hole in the southern gate, secure a bridgehead, and then make their attack.”
She opened a sankt okno and performed some calculations that told her the enemy would begin invading the city in about four minutes.
“In that case,” she said. “I’ll defend using our warriors. …The bearers of the coming age aren’t the only ones that can set the battlefield in motion. Even the ghosts of the past can get their feelings across right now. And I’ll prove it.”
Marfa smiled as an explosion rocked southern Novgorod.
“Was that Shibata’s Kamewari? Leave it to Demon Shibata to pave the way all at once like that. He’s so forceful it’s gonna make me cry. …Cry tears of joy, that is.”
“It’s time to enjoy history as it unfolds!”
Katsuie smashed through both the enemies and the buildings near the southern gate and he walked forward through the scattering white birch fragments.
His feet were light, but each step was long.
“Nowww, then. Should I head straight there, or should I have some fun first?”
Great Upperclassman: “Toshiie, we’re doing the Battle of Tedorigawa here, but how far does that let us go?”
Omaeda: “Well, Shibata, the Battle of Tedorigawa has us retreating before we actually invade Nanao Castle.”
Great Upperclassman: “C’mon, now. Hurry up and tell me what interpretation we’re using. I’ll reach the edge just by walking at this rate.”
Omaeda: “But, Shibata, if we’re using Novgorod’s city hall as Nanao Castle, then we can’t take control of the city hall and we can’t complete Hashiba’s request to deal with the remains of the Divinely Ordained Prayer Academy below the city hall or Chancellor Prince of Orange. Which means…”
Great Upperclassman: “Which means?”
“Shaja,” replied Toshiie.
Omaeda: “I have a suggestion. We should change this battle to the Battle of Uozu Castle which comes next. The Testament descriptions for that battle have us conquering the outer citadel, so we can easily interpret our way into attacking the inside of the city hall.”
“Huh?” said Fuwa just after stepping inside the gate.
She stood behind the P.A. Oda defense unit and the M.H.R.R. warriors who were using with defense spells.
Fuwaa: “Wait a minute! If we do Uozu Castle, it’ll lead to our master’s assassination!”
Omaeda: “But if we don’t do it, Hashiba can’t make her next move.”
Fuwaa: “Eh? You mean we’re restricting Hashiba’s movements?”
What did that mean? Fuwa thought about it and looked up.
Fuwaa: “You mean she’s starting her invasion of Mouri, don’t you!?”
Lily Flower: “Huh? What do you mean by that? Explain it, Toshi.”
Great Upperclassman: “I don’t want an explanation! Who needs explanations!?”
O12: “Oh, dear. Don’t say that, Katsuie.”
Great Upperclassman: “Let’s hear that explanation! I’m all about explanations! Cause I’m not an idiot!”
Thus, Toshiie began explaining.
“Listen,” he began while Fuwa heard to the sounds of gunfire gathering in the distance.
Omaeda: “In the Battle of Nanao Castle, Hashiba withdraws in advance, but she’ll still send us supplies as logistical support. The Azuchi Castle will drop by, give us some of the supplies loaded on in Kantou, and then…”
Fuwaa: “After waiting back at the Lake Biwa base, Hashiba will begin her invasion of Mouri? …What about Tottori Castle?”
“Well,” said Toshiie while opening a lernen figur. He checked a message board that acted as a P.A. Oda communication board.
Omaeda: “It seems to have fallen bloodlessly. She seems to have taken Tottori Castle in exchange for giving the Reine des Garous the name of Masuda Motonaga, a commander of the Mouri clan. The Reine des Garous is certainly trouble, but now the invasion of Mouri can move to the next stage. But once that happens…”
Lily Flower: “Our master’s assassination, huh?”
Omaeda: “Shaja. You understand what it means for me to suggest we do Uozu Castle, don’t you? And what it means to not restrict Hashiba’s movements?”
Omaeda: “Hashiba is thinking that she can rush back from her invasion of Mouri for our master’s assassination. But…”
Omaeda: “What happens if we meet resistance from Sviet Rus at Uozu Castle and can’t head back? In fact, the Testament descriptions say that is exactly what happened. But things are different now and that is not what Hashiba wants. Hashiba is saying this…”
Great Upperclassman: “Every last P.A. Oda warrior needs to finish their preparations and go running to Honnouji?”
Omaeda: “Shaja. That’s right. Hashiba thinks that Musashi and the other nations are bound to interfere with our master’s assassination, so we all need to head there to protect P.A. Oda.”
Fuwa heard Maeda ask, “How about it?”
Omaeda: “We are not protecting our master. We are protecting P.A. Oda’s future. We are protecting P.A. Oda’s foundation so it will not break apart with our master’s assassination and can continue under Hashiba and Mitsunari. And to do that, I suggest we recreate Uozu Castle here.”
“I see,” said Katsuie as he came to a stop in the middle of a Novgorod street.
The street had grass growing in it, the sidewalks were made of white birch, and the houses made of rotting white birch created walls on either side.
It was a dead city, but…
“We’ll be using it for the benefit of P.A. Oda.”
It was true that completing the Battle of Uozu Castle here would allow them to immediately run back during Nobunaga’s assassination. But that method introduced another risk upon completing the Battle of Uozu Castle.
…The other nations and the Testament Union will tell us to hurry up with our master’s assassination.
Great Upperclassman: “Hey, small fries. …What do we gain by putting off our master’s assassination any longer?”
Great Upperclassman: “Yeah, Lady Oichi, I know. I really do know. Once our master is assassinated…we’ll be forced into a civil war within the Oda clan. Meaning…”
Great Upperclassman: “We’ll be facing the end of these fun times.”
Toshiie heard someone say “hey” on the last slope up the hill.
Down below, he could see and hear the Sviet Rus assault unit reinforcements battling the skeleton warriors, but one voice reached his ears most clearly.
Great Upperclassman: “Hey, Toshiie, small fry, and the other one.”
Omaeda: “…What is it?”
Fuwa’s voice reached him.
Fuwaa: “Maeda! Calm down…calm down a little! Why do we have to end things the way they are now!? We’re plenty strong the way we are!”
“That’s true,” said Toshiie with a bitter smile. But…
Fuwaa: “Don’t give me that! …You know better than anyone that it would be best if things could stay like this! So why are you saying it has to end!?”
Omaeda: “Because of the Genesis Project.”
Even over the divine transmission, he had a feeling all of their reactions had frozen.
So he took a breath and scattered some silver coins from his coin roll sword.
Omaeda: “If we don’t continue with the Genesis Project, the Apocalypse will arrive. At the very least, that’s the foundation of what binds us together.”
“Listen,” he said.
Omaeda: “The Far Eastern forces are just about settled. Hashiba has already made her preparations in Shikoku and Kyushu, so once she conquers Mouri, the west will be almost entirely controlled by P.A. Oda. That still leaves England and the M.H.R.R. Protestants, but they won’t be able to do much since they’ll be surrounded by P.A. Oda forces. However…”
Omaeda: “In the east, Oushuu and Sviet Rus have sided with Musashi. That just leaves Tres España and Houjou which are more uncertain and could go either way.”
Lily Flower: “So once those are settled, a clear line will have been drawn between the P.A. Oda and Musashi forces?”
Omaeda: “That’s right. …Oushuu and Sviet Rus might be lost causes, but between Tres España and Houjou, I think we can use Tres España’s Far Eastern history recreation to work out an alliance or a neutral standpoint. That leaves Houjou, but if we can control them, P.A. Oda will have its greatest possible territory leading into the Apocalypse.”
Omaeda: “P.A. Oda won’t have to worry about anything getting in our way as we stop the Apocalypse. To put it another way, there’s nothing more for P.A. Oda to do except for controlling Houjou and having Hashiba conquer Mouri. Delaying things too much will cause two problems: it will leave us with less time to deal with the Apocalypse and it will allow our enemies to build up their strength. And if we have no time or power to spare, the other nations can use their cooperation as a powerful bargaining chip.”
“So,” said Toshiie again.
He took a breath and viewed his surroundings. He was on top of Novgorod’s hill, he was surrounded by skeleton warriors, and they were battling Sviet Rus’s assault unit down below. Shibata’s fleet floated in the southern sky to his right and they were intermittently firing on Sviet Rus’s fleet which was landing beyond the hill to his left.
After seeing all those actions, he spoke.
Omaeda: “Let’s have fun with it.”
Lily Flower: “I wholeheartedly agree.”
Fuwaa: “Well, I don’t.”
Fuwa spoke quietly.
Fuwaa: “I know we have our reasons, I know we benefit from it, I know it would be better in the long run, and I know stopping the Apocalypse is the most important thing. But I still like the way things are now.”
“Probably so,” said Toshiie with a bitter smile.
Since Matsu pulled over the lernen figur displaying Fuwa’s words and gently stroked it, she must have been worried for Fuwa too. But…
Fuwaa: “Isn’t there some other way!? There has to be. Don’t make that decision here on the battlefield. We need to hold a major conference so we can all make the decision together!”
If they did that…
…I expect everyone from P.A. Oda would agree with us.
Fuwa likely knew that.
She may have had a faint hope that everyone would change their minds if they were given the time, but she was mostly driven by a refusal to accept it so suddenly and a desire to reject it.
…So maybe holding a major conference would work.
But as Toshiie considered that…
Great Upperclassman: “Hey, Fuwa.”
Fuwaa: “Eh? Wh-what is it?”
Great Upperclassman: “You should get married.”
Fuwa was just inside the city’s southern gate.
She shouted louder than the surrounding sounds of gunfire, so everyone turned back toward her.
Uh, oh, she thought. And…
Those who had been viewing the conversation on their insha kotob bowed toward her and returned to the battle.
…Wh-what was that weird sign of concern for!?
Fuwaa: “Um, Shibata! Why would you say that all of a sudden!?”
Great Upperclassman: “Because it makes every day so much fun.”
O12: “Oh, Katsuie. I can’t believe you.”
Fuwa started wondering what to do when her superiors were insane and also a couple, but then she asked a question while timing their progress.
Fuwaa: “I’ll admit it can be fun to watch you two, but I’m not sure I’m ready for-…”
Great Upperclassman: “How about with Mori? That’ll give us enough joke material to last us until the Apocalypse.”
Fuwaa: “I don’t think you could find a ruder way of making a suggestion!”
Omaeda: “Unfortunately, I think Mori is into busty girls.”
Fuwaa: “And now you’re being rude to me!!”
Why was it everyone around her averted their gaze?
At any rate, Fuwa took a breath. It was true that had taken care of her gloomy mood. And making a fuss here would not convince anyone. So who was at fault here?
…Is it Mori!?
He packed too much of a punch for a new recruit. But…
…That’s just how it goes with the Shibata group…and the Hashiba group too…
That may just have been how it was, so…
Fuwaa: “Um, all that aside…how exactly are we going to shift from the Battle of Tedorigawa to the Battle of Uozu Castle? Don’t we have to retreat once and head back in for a counterattack?”
Omaeda: “Yes, so our main force will…there’s a gate there, right? Have them step outside of that and head back in. That means we crossed the enemy’s boundary when we left and when we returned.”
Fuwaa: “Wow, that’s pushing it…”
Omaeda: “Well, Hashiba has control of K.P.A. Italia. And retreating and returning is fine, but I hear Niwa went in for healing. So…get to it, Michi!”
Now that he mentioned it, she realized she was the only one. She had found some of their men inside the gate opened in the defense barrier, but she was the only member of their main force.
So from an efficiency standpoint, the quickest route to Uozu Castle was for her to step out through the gate and then back in.
Fuwaa: “…Wait, why me!? I was the one protesting this! Sassa, get in here, leave, and then get back in!”
Lily Flower: If I did that, you’d definitely bitch about it.”
Fuwaa: “Of course I would! You have to be good for at least that much!”
Lily Flower: “Are you picking a fight with me…!?”
Then one of their main force walked through the gate.
“Hello, it’s Mori! My god of war happened to get caught on the edge, so I climbed out and crawled on up here!”
Mori was confused when Fuwa suddenly pointed him away.
“Eh!? Wh-why would you reject me like that!? I-I’m still useful without my god of war! Like when you suddenly want a tentacle on the battlefield!”
“That doesn’t happen.”
“D-don’t be silly! It has to happen every once in a while! Don’t be so mean!! Pun-pun!”
Everyone looked back for a moment before returning to the battle.
Huh? Huhh? thought Mori as an insha kotob opened in front of him.
Great Upperclassman: “Hey, Mori, do you feel like marrying that girl in front of you?”
Mori looked in front of him, but Naomasa was nowhere to be found.
Mory: “There’s a girl in front of me? Where?”
Fuwaa: “And there it is. Today’s extra helping of humiliation…!”
Mori looked in front of him again. Fuwa was there. Naomasa was not.
Oh, that’s right. Lady Fuwa is a girl, realized the tentacle. But while Fuwa had a low body fat percentage, that was due to being skinny not because she was muscular. That was not the kind of girl he was looking for after that fairly aggressive introduction. So…
Mory: “Well, um… Hmm, how should I put this? Lady Fuwa, uh, you’re my upperclassman and, to choose my words carefully….you lack a certain feminine attraction?”
Fuwaa: “Try choosing them a little more carefully next time, you tentacle!”
Omaeda: “What are you saying, Michi? He can’t help it. Mori loves busty girls.”
Fuwaa: “Yes, yes. Shaja, shaja. Do you like big ones that much, Mori?”
Mory: “Yes, I mean, having her embrace you and gently hold you between her breasts when you sleep is the dream of any tentacle! And it would be great if she would kiss me too! And, um, Master Toshiie, just so you know, my heart already belongs to someone else!”
O12: “Eh? Who?”
Mory: “Eh? W-well, um, I can’t say yet.”
Fuwaa: “Quit squirming!!”
Monkey Girl: “Oh, hello. This is Hashiba. Sorry for interrupting your fun. …Now that Mori has returned to his home unit, I will request the change from Tedorigawa to Uozu Castle.”
Mory: “Eh? What does that mean?”
Mori looked to Fuwa who pointed at him with her eyebrows tearfully raised.
“It’s all your fault!!”
Just as Mori leaned back, he sensed some darkness.
It was not a color. It was the darkness of the night. The heavens were exposed above him.
“The defense barrier…and even the reserve one have entirely vanished?”
“This…is not looking good. I was hoping to meet up with Hashiba-sama and the others at this supply zone, but…”
In western Novgorod, someone walked west along the path that ran alongside the city wall. Someone wielding twin spears followed her.
“Nori-dono, what do you think?”
“Well,” began Fukushima, #1 of the Ten Spears. “I believe the Sviet Rus forces will arrive from the opposite side. So, Kiyo-dono…”
Then she made a leap.
She landed on the tall wall made of white birch and ran toward the western gate.
After using the acceleration pressure of Caledfwlch, Katou Kiyomasa’s footsteps followed behind.
Fukushima did not turn back as she took the lead. She simply ran forward.
“I feel bad doing this to Shibata-sama and the others, but this is what Hashiba-sama wanted. …We must destroy the remains of the Divinely Ordained Prayer Academy below Novgorod and we must secure the Prince of Orange there.”
“Only secure him?”
“If we have no other choice, we can also eliminate him.”
“Testament.” Kiyomasa nodded. “Since securing him was given as the first option, it is our responsibility if we fail and must eliminate him.”
“You are always so strict with thyself, Kiyo-dono.”
“Well, my ‘teacher’ was too.”
With that, Kiyomasa nodded and Fukushima did the same.
“I am as well.”
The two of them arrived at the western gate. They could see the Jurakudai in the western sky. Fukushima raised her left hand and received some support fire in return.
That support fire hit the area around the western gate and the road leading from the gate to the city center.
The Jurakudai’s captain was currently Komahime who had arrived from Mogami.
“It would seem she has prepared herself as well.”
When the light of the shells arrived, the two girls leaped toward the road leading from the gate.
Immediately afterwards, they saw an explosion down the road, but it was not from the support fire.
“That was Shibata-sama’s…Kamewari, wasn’t it!?”
Shibata had reached the enemy. And that enemy was…
“Musashi’s 1st and 5th Special Duty Officers!?”
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