Horizon:Volume 4C Chapter 87
Chapter 87: Divider of the Battlefield
Further complicates the situation
And brings strength to your heart
Point Allocation (Fighting Spirit)
Tenzou had never felt so hopeless.
He was in the middle of Novgorod’s central road, and…
…I have to swordfight Shibata Katsuie-dono to protect Toori-dono and the others as they head to the city hall!?
This should have been impossible according to the history recreation, but it was still happening because they had joined Sviet Rus as mercenaries. He honestly wanted to protest the fight since it did not follow any history recreation whatsoever, but…
“Now, 1st Special Duty Officer!”
Behind him, Mitotsudaira was totally into it, so he could not back off.
…Talk about being stuck between a demonic rock and a lupine hard place!
I just about asked ‘how Mitotsu-dire-a situation can the world throw me into’, but I don’t want to turn into Masazumi-dono.
At any rate, he was using the Ex. Collbrande he had borrowed from Mary to swordfight with Katsuie. And he would swap places with Mitotsudaira who was behind him or occasionally beside him.
The silver wolf charged in with her 4 silver chains and her own hands wielding the long swords and spears she had borrowed from the Sviet Rus assault unit. She used the total of 6 blades to attack Shibata. The silver chains thrust the blades in from multiple angles while she made sweeping and stabbing motions with the two in her hands. It was all done with the high-speed snapping motions learned from her mother.
The number of consecutive attacks may have been equal to if not greater than Futayo. But…
The rapid instantaneous movements were too much for both her body and the 4 silver chains. Mitotsudaira had never been suited for endurance running and the like, so before she ran out of breath…
…It’s my turn!
Tenzou would step in front of her or alongside her to switch from support to attack.
However, he did not use any direct sword techniques. From Shibata’s perspective, he would pop out from behind Mitotsudaira, target Shibata’s gut from below, circle behind him, and sometimes kick up the stones or sand on the unmaintained road.
He was not playing dirty and he was not choosing the methods of the weak.
…This is a ninja’s most effective strategy!
And when Shibata saw that fighting style…
“Not bad, ninja boy!”
“So you like it!?”
“Of course! It’s not a real battle if you’re not at least this dead-set on winning. And that silver wolf’s rapid combination is meant to get through to me. …How could I not like it?!”
If he liked it, then Tenzou had to give him more of it. This was a tall opponent. He used his ninja sword techniques to do more than cut at his ankles from the ground. He made upwards diagonal slashes, tactics meant for attacking an enemy on horseback, and everything at his disposal.
…It’s so incredibly hard to reach him!
Shibata was enduring it all. He would receive all of their attacks and then strike back, so he was one form of the ideal enemy.
But at the moment, they needed to keep the exchange of attacks going. That would allow Toori’s group to reach the city hall, and…
Scarred: “Please do your best, Master Tenzou. We can eat dinner when you get back.”
10ZO: “Judge! I look forward to it!”
Asama: “W-wait, Tenzou-kun! That’s a death flag!”
Scarred: “Eh? But Lady Asama, I was thinking Master Tenzou and I could watch a movie when he gets back. When I was cleaning, I found one called ‘The Tale of Igorilla’s Campaign’.”
Wise Sister: “Hm? Isn’t that the camouflage title my foolish brother gave to that busty blonde porno vi-…”
Asama: “D-don’t tell her that, Kimi!”
Gold Mar: “Right, it wouldn’t be any fun that way. We need her to play it right in front of him.”
Mal-Ga: “And what kind of multi-angle death flag is this? Are you screwing with us?”
10ZO: “Y-you all are the worst! I swear to you I’ll come back alive!”
Silver Wolf: “Focus on the battle!!”
But doing things while fighting is a standard ninja technique, he thought just as something else happened.
Katsuie began to move. But instead of exchanging attacks like before…
“How about I mess with your pattern a little?”
He stepped forward.
…Now this is fun.
P.A. Oda has ninjas too, thought Katsuie. But it looks like Musashi’s are reaching the commander level, just like with our Ichimasu.
In that way, he was enjoying this battlefield. He was glad to be alive. But…
“I can’t exactly lose to someone younger than me!”
Katsuie moved forward with Kamewari in one hand and a short sword in the other.
Then the ninja changed his attack.
He went for Katsuie’s legs. The technique was meant to stop his advance. And instead of aiming down from above, he aimed up from below, which was much more difficult to dodge.
The ninja lowered his hips and gently used his lower legs to control the distance between them. And while falling back, he struck at Katsuie’s knees, shins, and sometimes calves.
The ninja suddenly thrust an attack toward Katsuie’s right thigh.
From Katsuie’s viewpoint, it was a diagonal jab with the blade tip facing directly ahead.
The distance was hard to grasp from a three-dimensional viewpoint, so it focused more on getting a hit in than the force behind the blow. Also, this weapon could likely split his demonic armor.
…Is that Excalibur!?
Relying on the weapon isn’t a bad decision, thought Shibata. After all, he’s up against me here, he also thought. But he was not going to let the ninja hit him.
He moved his left leg forward. And he pivoted on that leg to place his left side forward.
The ninja’s jab would miss and he would end up stepping in front of Katsuie’s turned body. From there, Katsuie only had to cut him down by bringing Kamewari down in his right hand.
He would have taken one of them out in no time at all.
It was too easy, so he decided it was a trap. A ninja at this level would never be defeated by something so simple.
But he did have to try to defeat the ninja, just in case. So…
He chose to use a snap of the wrist that held Kamewari. The weapon picked up speed to slice the ninja diagonally from the arm to the torso. The ninja would be unable to dodge while so low to the ground and the attack power would be doubled since it was a counterattack.
He cut. It hit.
He felt the tactile feedback.
Katsuie swung Kamenuki and really did feel it hit.
His hand felt the blade slicing through the ninja’s body and coming out the other side. But…
The ninja had not been sliced apart. The blade had not even entered his body. Instead…
“He blocked it!?”
He had chosen defense. Instead of sending Ex. Collbrande toward Katsuie’s inner thigh, he used it along with a short sword he had hidden on the back of his waist. He had crossed them to catch Kamewari, and…
He had made it feel like a successful cut. That was one of a ninja’s most famous techniques.
There were visual, auditory, and tactile varieties, but this had been the third. The ninja had caught Kamewari between the crossed blades and pulled back while opening the two blades.
“And that reproduced the sensation of cutting flesh!?”
Tenzou executed the substitution technique with the phrase “attention to detail” in mind.
He was fairly confident in his ability to block attacks. During practice, he would rush ahead with the close-range team and block Oriotorai’s attacks.
…Although she used to send me flying when I failed to block them.
But now he could do it.
The short sword crossed with Excalibur was newly made. It had a thick grip made of a flexible material, the blade was designed for sturdiness rather than a sharp edge, and he had custom ordered it from IZUMO. He had been hesitant to make a main ninja weapon into a support weapon, but it was a good choice with Excalibur in mind.
And he had come to understand two things while exchanging attacks with Katsuie in the current situation.
The first was Katsuie’s physical strength.
And the other was Katsuie’s obsession with battle.
If that demonic man was enjoying a battle, he would go all out, drag it out, and try to have fun with it. So…
…If I make it boring for him, he won’t take it as seriously, but he’ll still make an attack meant to end it right then!
That was exactly what had happened, so he had blocked it. And he had done so with his substitution ninja technique.
A substitution was to create an illusion. The more skilled a ninja was, the less they would rely on the obvious visuals and sounds. Before, Sanada’s Sarutobi Sasuke had caused Katsuie trouble more with his movements than any kind of visual show.
So Tenzou had wondered what would happen if he provided the tactile illusion of cutting through him during this high-speed exchange.
Katsuie had definitely been deceived by the illusion, but Katsuie could slice through him an instant with his great strength. It would only create an instantaneous opening. So…
That thought was answered by the rattling of chains.
Mitotsudaira circled to his left and in front of Katsuie before making six attacks.
Katsuie saw what his enemy was after.
He was currently turned to the left.
In front of him, the ninja was blocking and deflecting Kamewari which he swung with his right hand.
And beyond the ninja, the Reine des Garous’s daughter sent six long swords toward him.
The short sword in his left hand was held out to his left side and he was swinging Kamewari, so he could not defend.
Even if he pushed his right shoulder out toward the silver wolf to guard his head, his side would still be undefended. So…
“Get them! …Kamewari!”
It was already charged. And he would be fine as long as he did not take a direct hit, so he twisted his wrist to aim Kamewari’s blade toward the blocking ninja and the silver wolf.
The smashing power raced out and detonated an area covering 30 meters.
Mitotsudaira saw a direct hit coming.
Thanks to his early morning attack on the Musashi, she had known Katsuie would use Kamewari to defend, but she had thought he could only do that just before he fled.
This time, he had only just begun his attack on Novgorod. Using an evasion method that injured him as well was simply insane, but…
…Does that mean he hasn’t given up on attacking!?
Katsuie had chosen to erase them even if it meant injuring himself.
So Mitotsudaira realized there was no defense or dodging for this enemy.
It was all an attack meant to defeat them.
At this rate, the smashing power would hit her, so she chose a certain method. Mitotsudaira did not stop her six attacks. Just like Katsuie, she chose to pierce her enemy.
“I’ll apologize to Mary later!”
She kicked up the 1st Special Duty Officer in front of her and slammed him into Katsuie.
Katsuie laughed. His breathing was too disturbed for it to reach the surface, but he laughed in his heart.
He too had once used a small fry as a shield, but this was a little different.
This was fun. He liked it a lot, so he decided to try it himself later.
Musashi’s 1st Special Duty Officer crashed into him from his right arm to his side. It looked like a light blow, but it was surprisingly heavy. There was a simple reason for that: The ninja had picked up on what the silver wolf was doing and moved to hit Katsuie himself.
They were an entertaining group.
Of course, an impact like that was not going to change his stance much.
But the problem was how he had rotated his wrist to aim Kamewari at them. The movement past his elbow was thrown off.
“Fine then! I’ll reward you for that one!”
The smashing power acted like a counterattack from the front right as he tried to move forward.
Mitotsudaira instantaneously guided things to the result she wanted.
She used the right two silver chains to guard against the smashing explosion, but she continued the attack with the two on the left.
One was deflected by Katsuie’s right shoulder. And the other…
It had likely been meant to guard against the smashing power created on his own front right, but his left arm circled up above his right shoulder and the short sword it held deflected the long sword held by the silver chain.
At the same time, the smashing power exploded at close range. It was like a pressurized wind of scattering ether light and it struck everything like a physical blow.
The very edge of it scored a direct hit on Katsuie.
The left shoulder he was using to guard was split open and cracks ran through his left arm. But Mitotsudaira also made an attack of her own. She used a snap of her wrist for a high-speed throw of the blade in her left hand.
It sliced through the wind in a straight line toward Katsuie’s right side.
His side contained his ribs and a split in the muscles used to bend his body. No matter how much he trained that area, the armor of muscle could not cover the line of that split.
So she targeted it.
But Katsuie moved within the pressurized wind. He lowered his right elbow as if to bring back Kamewari after swinging it forward.
He was using the elbow to either guard against or knock down the sword she had thrown, so Mitotsudaira immediately threw the right sword as well.
The second long sword struck the pommel of the first one in a perfect straight line.
The second strike negated the loss of speed the first one had suffered after being thrown. To Katsuie, the speed of the sword would suddenly shoot far above what he expected. Except…
…His elbow sped up!?
Katsuie’s elbow further accelerated as it took a defensive position.
He had likely lightened the elbow by loosening his hand’s grip on Kamewari.
…An excellent decision!
Mitotsudaira accepted it quickly. Given how unbelievably ridiculous her mother was, she was not surprised to find someone with similar technique and strength. So when Katsuie’s elbow knocked down the double long sword attack, she raised her voice.
“1st Special Duty Officer!”
Immediately, something shot up from the ground.
It was the 1st Special Duty Officer. After colliding with Katsuie and immediately landing back on the ground, he had raised Ex. Collbrande for…
…A second substitution technique!
As a form of invisibility technique, he made himself look like the ground.
And that was why the form that shot up from below looked like a part of the ground, even to Mitotsudaira.
The full length of Excalibur swung as if drawing the moon and it chopped off Katsuie’s right arm at the shoulder.
…I did it!
Tenzou moved his entire body forward as he nearly collapsed after escaping that extreme tension.
In the corner of his vision, he could see Katsuie’s right arm flying through the air.
That was due to targeting his armpit from below. Most of the muscles around the shoulder were placed on the top or outside, so the connection at the armpit was weak and had quite a few gaps. Aiming there, he could cut through.
However, opportunities to target the armpit from directly below were few and far between.
But something here had given him that convenient situation.
…It was thanks to Mitotsudaira-dono!
By slamming a heavy series of attacks into him, Mitotsudaira had guided Katsuie into a defensive stance.
And that had allowed Tenzou to make his attack.
For a ninja, a full body attack was the ultimate attack against an enemy on horseback. As an assassination technique, it was a sacrificial strike. But…
“1st Special Duty Officer!”
Tenzou heard Mitotsudaira’s voice.
And he saw something: Katsuie was raising a giant weapon.
He held it with his unharmed left hand, but it was…
…His right arm!?
The demonic man had grabbed his own severed right arm and was swinging it as a weapon.
With the sound of shattering chains, Mitotsudaira was sent flying and Kamewari (that was held by the right arm that was in turn held by the left arm) flew toward Tenzou like a spear.
Tenzou tried to move his body which had been thrown forward by the slash.
At this rate, he could do nothing to avoid Katsuie’s attack. Even if he drew the short sword he had returned to the back of his waist and used it to guard…
…It wouldn’t be fast enough.
The other Excalibur was defending Mary, so it would not come here.
Oh, no, thought Tenzou. Did I build up too many death flags up to this point in my life?
But if I die here, it will make Mary-dono cry. After all, the movie she’ll try to watch to comfort herself is actually a porn video camouflaged by changing the title. And I chose one that looked as much like Mary-dono as possible. I hope she would realize why I wanted it and simply conclude that boys are idiots, but Naruze-dono would probably call me pathetic and I don’t want that. Maybe I should have left a will asking to have all of my videos disposed of. Oh, but I also have that video of Mary-dono in a yukata from the peaceful festival on the Sviet Rus diplomatic ship the other day… And I’m just trying to avoid facing my approaching death, aren’t I?
I’m not going to just because you tell me to, he thought as he pulled back on Excalibur out in front of him. But instead of pulling it toward him, he was pulling himself toward it. And…
…Will I make it in time!?
Mal-Ga: “The ninja’s deeeeeead!”
Mitotsudaira heard an ominous comment from the divine transmission as her silver chains shattered and she was hit by the impact they could not fully block.
Meanwhile, she saw a beam of light deflect Katsuie’s Kamewari.
…An ether cannon!?
Mitotsudaira had been sent flying, so she kicked off the top of a nearby house’s gate wall and propelled herself to the roof while confirming the light she had seen.
She looked to the roof of a house five houses to the northeast and saw who stood there.
No one did. But that told her enough.
Mitotsudaira recognized this timing, this attack, and this stealthy movement. So she looked directly to her right on the same building rooftop she stood on.
The dull pain in her side was proof she had a broken rib.
But beyond that pain…
Tenzou blocked Kamewari’s attack while also dodging.
It was fortunate he had leaned forward as if crawling instead of standing upright.
When Kamewari’s tip was diverted upwards, it drew a diagonal line across the right side of his back.
He had his ninja instincts to thank for twisting his body and avoiding having his spine severed. The short sword sheath at his waist shattered and deflected the sword tip toward the right of his back and his shoulder blade, but…
“Delete that videooooo!
Tenzou shouted what he would do if he survived and then rolled along the ground.
He held Excalibur to his chest and used just his back strength to escape across the sidewalk and to the row of houses Mitotsudaira had jumped to.
And when he looked up, he saw someone standing on the roof.
It was Walsingham.
…Why is England here!?
But as soon as he wondered that…
“It’s a good thing I had them hurry here, Master Tenzou.”
With those words, something pressed against his back without restricting his movements.
They were giant breasts. It was Mary.
There was no point in asking how. Two great speeds raced by overhead. The white and black Technohexen were headed south to deter Shibata’s fleet. The more mobile personnel like him and Mitotsudaira had brought Toori out ahead, but once Novgorod’s defense barrier had vanished, the Technohexen must have carried Mary here. And…
…England is here because…
England traded amicably with Sviet Rus. And…
They had Mary.
England wanted to show their friendship toward Sviet Rus and to protect the heir to their throne. Elizabeth must have predicted this and sent the Trumps to Novgorod in advance.
He recalled hearing that a few different countries had been trading with Novgorod and that two countries had not sent their ships away before the battle began, so England must have been one of those.
…And they could join in once Mary-dono arrived.
At the same time…
A gravity-controlled automaton stood on the rooftop. It was Walsingham. She had created a spear by combining her twin cross swords and passing a handle through them, and that spear was an ether cannon. She was turned to the side so as not to leave an opening while firing and she aimed toward Shibata.
A straight line fired from the cross cannon, but…
“Sorry, but could you wait just a moment?”
A voice cut in and the automaton’s cannon blast scored a direct hit. But this direct hit was not on Katsuie. It was on the row of skeletons that had stood up between it and Katsuie.
The skeletons made of white ether burst and Walsingham’s cannon blast was weakened. And…
“I’ll have to do better next time. I unfortunately didn’t buy us any time at all. So…”
Someone in a vermilion M.H.R.R. uniform walked in from the road leading east. It was Maeda Toshiie. And something fell from his lowered hands.
“I’ll have to be very generous at this turning point. Let’s try 50,000 in these narrow city streets.”
With that, the city was dyed in white.
An army of skeletons appeared across Novgorod.
Tenzou saw the skeletons rising as close as a few steps away.
The skeletons did not reach them thanks to the sidewalk, but the bottom of the wooden sidewalk was struck by the bones trying to rise from below.
The nearby sidewalk was lifted up from below and around 7 skeletons grew up. Their bodies broke as they appeared, like they were being forced through too small an opening.
They were weak, but they had weapons and could injure their enemies. Mitotsudaira must have noticed that because she shouted from the rooftop.
He understood why, but Tenzou still felt a little sad she did not call his name too. But then he noticed that Mary had moved right up next to him.
He wanted her to move away for a moment so she could evacuate, so he spoke.
“You’ll get blood on your clothes!”
“I don’t mind. And I’m healing you right now. Also…”
“I won’t leave a scar. So, um, Master Tenzou? …Can you move a step forward please?”
He did not understand why, but perhaps that would keep them far enough apart. He took a step forward only for her to follow.
She did not move away.
As he wondered why, he saw the skeletons approaching. He could hear bone striking bone from all around.
And as soon as the word “swarm” reached his mind, he saw something else.
A step away, their shadows fell on the gate wall of the houses.
And then that faint dark blue shadow moved. It rippled as if it was being lightly tapped from in front.
“It can’t be…”
A samurai appeared from within the shadow.
“Trumps 1…Walter Raleigh-dono!”
Tenzou saw long bangs, hair tied back high on the head, gravity swords hanging from the shoulders and elsewhere, and a large gravity sword resting on the right shoulder. And the owner of all this bowed silently.
He then swept away everything around him and charged onto the battlefield.
“Well, we made sure to show up with the bare minimum, but maybe our help wasn’t needed.”
A single large transport ship left the trading port at western Novgorod.
But that ship had changed form. The wooden hull suddenly loosened and fell away as cloth.
And then an angular sail rose from below.
The remaining hull fell away as cloth to reveal its true form.
“This is Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley leaving port in Cavendish’s ship!”
It was a high-speed crayer. Shimmering burst just once from within the angular sail spread out up above. And as it caught the rising pressure and wind, the surrounding sky filled with loud noise.
On the bridge located toward the bow, O’Malley turned back toward the mermaid soaking in the control cradle.
“Cavendish, have we equipped the special armament from Musashi?”
“Testament. Shakespeare has also boarded, so please begin the liberation of Novgorod.”
“I see, I see,” said O’Malley as she pressed her staff against the deck.
She spread her arms and the staff gently floated while remaining standing. The intertwined ivy growing from the tip formed a ship’s wheel spell circle. That was then adorned by images of the wind blowing in four directions.
Just as O’Malley inhaled and grabbed the spell ship’s wheel, accusatory shell fire arrived from the south.
It was from Shibata’s fleet. That fleet still held their position in Novgorod’s southern sky while cooperating with the troops holding the coast, but the few ships standing guard turned their sides toward Cavendish’s ship. They were going to attack with the multiple ether cannons on the side.
“What fools. They express themselves with cannon fire? That’s so sad I think I’m gonna cry.”
O’Malley looked to the arriving shells and spoke.
“Let’s get going, all of you! Let’s go save the nation that befriended the Fairy Queen!!”
|Back to Chapter 86||Return to Main Page||Forward to Chapter 88|