Horizon:Volume 4C Chapter 88
Chapter 88: Ruler of the Comeback Theatre
What is this
Flowing down my cheeks?
Point Allocation (Spice)
Shellfire boomed in the sky and both footsteps and impacts rang through the city.
Katsuie saw Toshiie’s ghost warriors standing up and moving around, but he clicked his tongue.
…This right arm thing is a pain.
He was still tensing his right shoulder to tighten the muscles, squeeze the blood vessels, and stop the bleeding. If he relaxed, that strength would leave him and the blood would erupt out, but it actually helped him maintain tension during the battle.
But I really didn’t expect them to sever my arm, he thought. I’ve taken hard hits and been covered in my own blood before, but this is my first time losing a body part.
Some people would be unable to accept what had happened and die of shock from the drop in blood pressure, but…
…Well, I’m not too surprised.
This was the result of his carelessness and his opponents’ teamwork. To the opponents who had used a variety of unique conditions to produce the result, this would be a reward, but to him, it was nothing more than unfortunate.
He wanted to discard his right arm if possible, but rehabilitation with a prosthetic would be too much effort. P.A. Oda was going to start moving toward the Genesis Project soon, so he wanted to avoid anything time-consuming.
“Oh, damn… I’m really in an annoying position, aren’t I?”
“Huh? What, did you actually catch on? Did getting your arm chopped off after running out ahead finally open your eyes, you idiot?”
Narimasa stood to his right.
Katsuie slapped his own shoulder with his right arm and looked to Narimasa.
“Oh? What’re you doing here, small fry? Worried for your upperclassman?”
“What? Some idiot got carried away and got his arm chopped off, so I came to laugh at him. Obviously.”
“Oh? You were that worried for me, were you? Ho ho… Hehh… Hmm…”
“I really can’t stand it… God, you’re annoying.”
“Eh? Annoying, am I? Then what should I do, Naru Naruuu? Tell me and I’ll fix it. C’mon, just tell me.”
“And now he’s learned how to be creepy on top of annoying.” Narimasa looked forward “But…”
There were corpses there, but they were not the skeleton warriors Toshiie had summoned. They were the combined corpse warriors used by Novgorod. The elites had come out to protect Novgorod’s city hall.
“Hey, small fry. How many does this look like to you? I’ll praise you if you can answer while shaking in your boots.”
“Probably around 3000. And I think there’s about the same number behind us.”
“Wow, that reaction was boring. …Let’s take a 1000 of them together. Hashiba’s Ten Spears are probably headed for the city hall, so we can probably help by creating a diversion,” said Katsuie. “The Genesis Project will belong to their generation, after all.”
“True enough,” agreed Narimasa as he watched the wave of enemies approaching up ahead. “So how many do you think you can take?”
Katsuie swung his right arm forward and something burst out ahead of him.
“Quit darting around everywhere, you little puppy.”
He smashed some ether cannon light with Kamewari. Beyond that, he could see someone on the wall to the left of the road.
It was Walsingham, England’s guard dog.
Narimasa saw the English automaton looking their way.
That meant she had taken aim.
…Is she coming for us?
As he wondered that, Walsingham hopped down among the combined corpse warriors charging down the road. But with the way she moved, he doubted she was going to get trampled to pieces by them. And…
“Wars of the Roses.”
The guard dog’s cross spears fired countless double-edged knives into the air.
They vanished. She herself sank into the swarm of corpses and all of the knives hid behind that charging group.
“Ho ho?” Katsuie leaned back and smiled. “Nice! An assassination technique!? P.A. Oda’s assassin squad could learn from you! Lately, they keep climbing up to the highest spot they can find and just messing around up there!”
“The enemy is here!!”
Narimasa shouted and pointed toward an approaching wind. It was a gravity sword blade.
After he and Katsuie dodged the invisible blade, Narimasa looked to his opponent.
The samurai casually wore an English uniform and Narimasa showed off his teeth in a smile.
“Do you regret temporarily getting P.A. Oda’s help to restore your clan!?”
Walter did not respond. He simply walked forward while matching his movements to those of the charging combined corpse warriors.
And he sent out a sharp sword strike.
Naito sensed the battle growing more chaotic.
To keep the ships from firing on the city, she and Naruze were firing on Shibata’s fleet along with Cavendish’s ship from England, but Naito did not overlook what was happening in Novgorod.
…Maybe we’re actually pulling it off.
The overall trend appeared to be in their direction.
The skeleton warriors were headed toward Walsingham and Walter in the center, so the battlefield was shifting toward the center. And the combined corpse warriors were pushing in like a wall from the north, so they appeared to be pushing back at the skeleton warriors from the north, east, and west. But…
Mal-Ga: “More and more skeleton warriors keep appearing. And from the outer edges. They plan to attack the combined corpse warriors from behind too.”
O’Malley: “That’s because Maeda can create a limitless supply of them. …Hey, don’t land on the top of the sail. You’ll be blown away when it’s highly pressurized.”
Occasionally, guided anti-air fire would arrive from the sky. While pursued by the guiding Garudas, Naito circled to the front of Cavendish’s ship.
Gold Mar: “Would the bow work?”
O’Malley: “As long as you don’t land on the figurehead. Come to the deck and we’ll give you some donuts.”
Then a white figure turned toward Shibata’s fleet. It was Naruze.
She glanced toward Naito.
Mal-Ga: “You’re planning on holding a Technohexen tea party? Our wings burn a lot of calories, so we eat quite a bit.”
O’Malley: “We’ve got plenty of gluttons too.”
Gold Mar: “Ohhh, then bring Ga-chan and me some marzipan later.”
“Okay, okay,” replied O’Malley, but she had more to say.
O’Malley: “But anyway, we’ve got a way of sweeping up those skeletons, so let’s try it out. …Cavendish! You’ve got everything ready, right!?”
Harp Mermaid: “I would have done it whether you told me to or not. Besides, I’m here as the Number 5 representative, so I can act on my own discretion, O’Malley. So…”
Once Cavendish said that, a noise came from both sides of her ship. It was the sound of several vertical launchers cocking on the sides of the ship. And Cavendish spoke from her piloting cradle in the back.
Harp Mermaid: “Musashi Technohexen, and O’Malley too, thank you very much for keeping the enemy occupied. And Musashi’s Industrial Committee, thank you for transporting these to such dangerous airspace. My ship will now be using a new model of dropped shell on Novgorod.”
Curving lines raced through the sky. Several lines of launching smoke appeared directly overhead as the vertical launchers on Cavendish’s ship released their payload toward Novgorod below.
There were 32 in all. After rising toward the heavens, their tips pierced guidance spell sign frames and they dropped down. They fell toward the night in rapid straight lines.
Harp Mermaid: “Hit confirmed.”
The 32 lines had definitely pierced the city of Novgorod.
Harp Mermaid: “Musashi IZUMO’s 32 carefully-made bamboo spear dropped shells have hit with a margin of error no greater than 20 cm! Activating wide-range anti-ghost armaments!”
Fuwa saw what was happening on the battlefield. 20 meter pillars of bamboo stabbed into the ground as if surrounding inner Novgorod and then all of their sections opened up.
A moment later, largescale destruction hit the battlefield. It seemed to spread out from the bamboo pillars.
Toshiie’s skeletons rapidly crumbled. And they even raised their arms in joy as they were given a peaceful rest. Fuwa’s sharp gaze raced along her surroundings as the destruction and salvation of the ghosts spread in the blink of an eye.
“What is this wide-range salvation attack!? Did they create some kind of wide-range chemical weapon!?”
But then she realized what their enemy’s attack was. Something was wafting in from the distance.
She could smell it as the aroma reached her nose.
83: “Simply sniffing the smell of curry will take you straight to heaven.”
Unturning: “Eh? What is going on…? I really don’t understand this…”
Uqui: “Heh. You still have a lot to learn, Narumi. You’ll be eaten alive on Musashi if you let a little thing like this shock you.”
10ZO: “That doesn’t even begin to explain what’s happening here.”
Vice President: “And whose idea was this!? Don’t throw curry around in Russia!”
Novice: “Heh. Only after surpassing common sense can you find blood-red victory shining in the darkness…”
Vice President: “So it was you!!”
Mitotsudaira was healed by Mary behind a building in northeastern Novgorod while she watched a large group of skeleton warriors given a peaceful rest. The smell of curry filling her nose was hard to deal with, but…
“This is an effective anti-ghost attack, don’t you think, 1st Special Duty Officer!?”
“Well, we did some tests with the Chancellor’s Officers before, but how to mix this curry is a complete a mystery and only Hassan-dono can make it…”
“Wh-what’s in it!?”
It was useful, but they were unsure if it could be mass-produced. However…
“Um, Lady Mitotsudaira, please don’t move. I’ll give you something to fight the pain.”
Mitotsudaira had the chest of her summer inner suit removed. She had a red swelling below her left breast that was forming a bruise.
“The bone is broken, but I will suck it out through your back.”
“Suck it out?”
Mary demonstrated what she meant by embracing Mitotsudaira’s body. She pressed on the left side of Mitotsudaira’s back, just below the shoulder blade. And then Mitotsudaira felt something on the front of her body, just above the broken bone.
…Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow!!
I sound like Adele! she thought, but then something soft pressed against the surface of the pain. It was Mary’s lips. She was embracing Mitotsudaira’s body, and…
Just as Mitotsudaira felt the girl sucking at her skin, she felt something leaving the pained area. Nothing actually left or seeped out, but the pressure on her back no longer turned her into Adele.
The pain was replaced by an incredibly light feeling.
“Wait, 1st Special Duty Officer! What do you think you’re looking at!?”
“I-I am not looking! I’m really not! The top of my hat only shows my expression, so I see from down here!”
Mary breathed out and removed her lips. She smiled sweatily, pulled some herbs woven into a charm from her skirt pocket, and brought it to her mouth.
She wiped her mouth with it and brought something in her mouth to the tip of her tongue.
“There, that should do it. How do you feel?”
Mitotsudaira moved her left arm and tensed her side, but she felt no pain. The lightness she felt was clearly different from Naito’s pain reduction.
“Your wound caused your flow of ether to grow stagnant, so I sucked out the stagnation. I pushed an empty portion in from your back, so once you’re healed, it should spread out once more and the flow should return to normal. But while I did set your rib in place, it is still broken, so don’t push yourself too hard.”
“Set it? What do you mean?”
“I wrapped ether around it like ivy. …I practice by tying knots in cherry stems with my tongue.”
Mitotsudaira looked to the 1st Special Duty Officer, but he was already looking the other way.
Mal-Ga: “So she already knew how to tie knots. I bet someone just imagined something lewd.”
Azuma: “That kind of skill means something inappropriate? How?”
Gold Mar: “Ga-chan, Ga-chan. You can’t afford a nosebleed in the middle of battle.”
At least everyone was doing well. But even if it was temporary, sweeping away the skeleton warriors meant a lot. It would make things easier for her king and the others who had continued on to the city hall. However…
Mitotsudaira saw a large quantity of light.
Boxes of ether light rose from 32 locations in Novgorod as if forming cages. And they rapidly expanded.
…Are those two-way defense barriers!?
This was a Catholic spell, so it would not be Musashi or Sviet Rus’s doing it. M.H.R.R. had to be setting up two-way defense barriers for some reason or another, but…
“This is strange,” said the 1st Special Duty Officer. “The ghost warriors are being given a peaceful rest by the mystery powder, so why are they surrounding them with two-way barriers so they can’t escape!?”
The combined corpse warriors would be inside as well. If they could not escape, the skeletons would be under attack by the curry and corpses, putting them at an extreme disadvantage. However…
…It can’t be!
Just as Mitotsudaira realized what was happening, Novgorod was dyed in explosive colors.
Crimson flames detonated inside the 32 barriers.
The trick had been set up by hand. When he landed, Maeda Toshiie had prepared a powder of mostly flour and spell gunpowder and a few of the ghost warriors had dumped bags of it inside the various barriers.
From there, they had lured the combined corpse warriors in.
The detonation had been triggered with flint instead of a spell.
Fire had instantly raced across the powder-filled air and created a vacuum and shockwaves inside the closed space. The ghost warriors were blown away, but the combined corpse warriors were also hit by the flames and wind.
Corpses generally did not breathe. But when moving around, they would have an unmoving mass inside their body if they did not keep their lungs moving. So they would open their lungs and bring air inside them just to keep their bodies moving rather than to breathe.
Toshiie’s ghost warriors had lured in the combined corpse warriors in order to have them bring air into their lungs. And that had brought the powder into their lungs too.
Scorched by the flames and explosion, most of them burst into flames from within or had their lungs explode in their chest before they stopped moving.
Once the barriers were deactivated, all that remained were the large apes and large skeletons that had formed from the broken ghost warriors. They all rose to their feet at once in 32 parts of Novgorod.
And Toshiie’s voice rang out to support their rise.
“How about that!? I learned my lesson last time and put this strategy together! I just emerged victorious over the flavor of the gods! I conquered my fear of curry! Oh, the tears…the tears won’t stop! The spices are stinging a little!”
“Novgorod’s warriors have been halved and we’re stronger than ever! Now go get them!”
O’Malley: “Wasn’t there a mermaid around here trying to impress us about how she could act on her own discretion?”
Harp Mermaid: “Um, yes… I think there was… Want some…snacks?”
Novice: “In my defense, finding victory by surpassing common sense works for the enemy too!”
Four Eyes: “You repeated the same material and failed miserably? You’re useless.”
83: “I will not forgive whoever wasted all that curry.”
Almost Everyone: “It was you!”
Smoking Girl: “Hey, sorry, everyone! I’m dealing with the copies or whatever of that previous god of war, so I can’t help out up there! The demon warriors tried to rush in, but the skeletons showed up and now they can’t protect Toori’s group! ….Can someone else hurry over there!?”
Tenzou nodded at Naomasa’s words and analyzed the wind and the sounds around him.
They were the only ones available to help out Toori’s group. Urquiaga and Narumi were already protecting them, but the enemy was too numerous. If England’s forces would hold Shibata’s group’s attention…
…We need to regroup with Toori-dono and head below Novgorod’s center.
He did not know what was there, but it was apparently a crucial secret related to P.A. Oda’s Genesis Project. So…
“Let’s go, Master Tenzou, Lady Mitotsudaira.”
“Judge. I will be fine if you protect me, Master Tenzou. We can have Lady Mitotsudaira clear a path while we assist her.”
“Judge,” was all he could say. Mitotsudaira put her broken silver chains away in their obelisks and smiled a little while holding the two remaining long swords.
“Let’s get to our true battlefield.”
“Judge,” agreed Mary with a smile and a nod.
That was when Tenzou heard an odd sound. The next thing he knew, Mitotsudaira was looking north.
“Someone’s crying…? It came from my king’s route.”
It was a long, trembling wail.
“I heard about this during our information exchange with Sviet Rus! P.A. Oda has a battle-crazed lady who wails as she destroys the battlefield!”
“Her name is Oichi! …She is powerful enough to singlehandedly destroy the Asai clan!”
Saitou and the demon warrior elites took the Musashi Chancellor with them to Novgorod’s city hall, but he had predicted the enemy’s arrival.
It was Oichi.
The other day, this woman had singlehandedly done devastating damage to Sviet Rus’s border guard unit and the outer edge division that included the Ikkou-Ikki, so…
…I knew she would be here, but…
And here she was. Her black hair fluttered behind her as she kicked up a white spray in the south and ran toward them. She half-dragged the long sword she held and she destroyed any of Toshiie’s ghost warriors in her way.
She was crying.
How were they mean? But the slashes that arrived with her sobs answered that question. She slashed at anything and everything, enemy or ally, and…
…She’s severing their right arms as she passes by!?
Saitou knew this was revenge for Katsuie.
He had received a divine transmission earlier saying that Musashi’s 1st and 5th Special Duty Officers had fought Katsuie and severed his right arm at the shoulder. He thought that was an incredible victory, but how did the Musashi group view it? Regardless, that event had led to this wailing voice.
“What do I do?”
She stopped 30 meters ahead of them and trembled a little with her head hung low.
“What do I do?” she asked. “If Katsuie’s arm can’t be reattached, he won’t be able to kill me. …And then I won’t be able to believe in my own ending…!”
And so the woman cried. Her shoulders rose and fell as she tried to move. And then…
A hole was opened in her left chest.
A gunshot had pierced through her, creating a hole that widened as if swelling outward.
Saitou’s eyes caught the fatal attack supplied to Oichi.
The sniper shot had been fired through the gaps between the arms, shoulders, and sides of the 30 or so people behind him.
Oichi’s body wobbled and then went limp. The impact caused all of her muscles to tremble and she could not adequately gather her strength. So…
…We need to get through now.
This was an offering to the comrades they had lost the other day. This would be enough of a flower for them.
So Saitou took a step forward. But he immediately came to a stop.
Oichi should have fallen to her knees, but she had not.
She had stopped at the left shoulder. Her head was lowered and her arms and legs were limp, but her body was dangling in midair as if she were sewn there. And…
It was being repaired. This was different from healing. The splattered blood returned, the shredded blood vessels were rebound and reconnected, the flesh closed up, and…
She slowly stood up.
Immediately, three more gunshots hit her. Saitou was too focused to even hear the surrounding shellfire as the bullets slammed into Oichi’s body. But…
Her body was repaired and she got up.
“Can she regenerate?” asked someone behind Saitou.
No, he thought. After all, something behind her was rising above her head.
It was a silver ring made of feathers. It looked like a laurel wreath or an angel’s halo, but anyone at Saitou’s level had seen something like it before.
“A Testamenta Arma!”
It was shaped like a halo. According to Testament Union information, it was…
“K.P.A. Italia’s Caput Fides – Vetus!?”
But that led to a question.
“I thought the Testamenta Arma could only be used inside the nation that owned them!”
“Beginning activation of Caput Fides – Vetus.”
Inside Novgorod’s west gate, Fuwa operated an insha kotob while checking on the situation.
…Looks like this is working.
They had borrowed Caput Fides – Vetus, one of K.P.A. Italia’s Testamenta Arma, from Olimpia. Toshiie had brought it over the other day, and thanks to some research by their technicians…
“We had to settle on a forced ley line circulation pathway, but I guess it’s fine as long as it works.”
Activating a Testamenta Arma required the ether from its nation’s Testament. They had initially tried to activate it with the Sixth Testament “Fortitudo” that P.A. Oda owned, but that had failed. Instead, they had copied the ether pattern of K.P.A. Italia’s First Testament “Fides”. The foundations of an ether pathway had been imprinted in important cities and villages from K.P.A. Italia to here and that connected them to the ether of K.P.A. Italia’s Testament with a 30% drop in power.
It was a little lacking in power, but it was effective enough.
Testamenta Arma Caput Fides – Vetus had a certain effect:
“The life of one with faith will be entrusted to that faith.”
In other words…
“As long as they have faith, that person will not die from any injury or illness.”
Fuwa sighed on the battlefield.
“That’s right. Lady Oichi isn’t Tsirhc, but there is one thing she has faith in concerning the Testament.”
“What’s that?” asked the tentacle waiting next to her.
“The Testament itself. …It says she will die at the hands of Shibata. She has faith in that, so…yes, she has the faith needed to martyr herself for the Testament. That is her wish.”
“As long as she has faith in the gift of death she will be given, she cannot die and cannot even be scratched.”
Saitou saw Oichi stand up with the glowing halo floating over her head.
She had definitely been injured, but she had been repaired, clothing and all.
He had lost track of how many times he had thought that word today.
“Is this battlefield of man going to test the Zhong Kui with demons, gods, and everything else too?”
As he spoke and time passed, Oichi’s body returned to normal. She planted her feet at shoulder width and then walked forward.
She was coming.
And to do so, she threw what she held in her left hand.
It was the right arm of one of the demons in the assault unit.
The arm was as big as her entire body, but she threw it into the air, leaned forward, and started forward.
As he prepared to intercept her, Saitou thought, Honestly, I’ve had to prepare myself for the worst so often now that I’m close to retirement.
“That is unavoidable.”
Oichi would probably appear from behind the thrown arm when it fell.
Would she take the left or the right? Or above? Or would she throw a weapon? After predicting a few moves ahead, Saitou raised his defenses.
Everyone prepared to move. He did, his men did, everyone did.
Finally, he once more heard the surrounding shellfire, crashing sounds, and screams of buildings burning from the explosions.
This was the praise of the battlefield.
And the right arm fell. But without warning…
“Hey, hold on. Treat that thing with more care!”
Someone casually ran out from the side and snatched the falling right arm from the air.
It was the Musashi Chancellor.
Saitou saw the idiot dragged down by the weight of the right arm he caught before he swung it around so it did not reach the ground. But he ended up spinning around in an unstable diagonal angle.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa!”
He somehow managed to stop himself. And the idiot looked Saitou’s way while lifting the demon’s right arm in both his own arms.
“Whose is this? I had this happen to me even if I don’t remember it, but I’m sure you don’t want a scar, so raise your hand if it’s yours!”
Everyone exchanged a glance at his carefree question. And then one of the demons who had escaped Oichi to the left raised one of his left arms out of the total of three arms he had left.
The injured demon gave Saitou an uncertain look, but the idiot did not care. As if to say Saitou’s permission was not needed, he smiled, nodded, and carried over the arm.
“Man, this thing’s huge. Take care of it, okay?”
But as he approached, Saitou saw Oichi behind him.
She was there.
But she too had frozen in place at this sudden development.
She had stopped while preparing to take her first step.
…What is this?
She had lost her chance. The idiot’s intrusion had divided the battlefield layout and thrown the timing out of whack.
The woman who wept in battle was off tempo. If she had taken even one step, she might have continued on momentum alone, but that step and the arm she was using as an obstacle had been taken from her.
And so she raised her head.
Her tearful face looked forward. That teary face turned their way. Saitou gasped when he saw it. He had heard that she never came to a stop in battle, but…
…When Shibata grabs her and stops her, she returns to her senses.
The idiot had done something else. Saitou did not know if it was only a coincidence or not, but he had stopped her initial action.
…I’m not sure what to say.
I am known as a Zhong Kui, he thought. And I can use my experience to predict how a battle will go.
But, he also thought, I lack experience in a battle being stopped before it is fought.
Unable to move, the weeping voice returned to her senses.
And the idiot turned toward Oichi and spoke.
“Hurry on back so you can heal your husband.”
Oichi said nothing. She also did not feel like stopping the tears spilling down her face, so…
“Are you worried?”
She said nothing to that question, but the idiot said more.
“Is something scaring you?”
She definitely felt fear, so she inhaled and answered.
“Of course…” she said while sobbing. “Because there’s no way…that Katsuie’s arm can be fixed.”
The idiot shrugged.
“Hold on a sec,” he began. “Unlike me, your husband looks pretty tough, so he’ll be fine. I can’t prove it, though. …But if you’re gonna heal him so he can kill you or whatever, then think about it a little.”
“Think about what?”
“Well,” said the idiot. “If he’s able to kill you at any time, then just live out the rest of your life without worrying.”
For a moment, she did not know what he meant. Her heart reflexively called him an idiot, so she looked to the halo over her head.
“As long as this shines, I intend to die.”
“When will it stop shining?”
“When I am dead.”
“Then,” he said. “I hope that doesn’t happen for a long time and that it isn’t yours or someone else’s decision that leads to it. And if we could stop that from happening, that’d be even better. Please.”
“If you’re worried about that plan for the future, then we’ll help you work through that stress. I mean…how should I put it?”
The idiot handed the right arm to the injured demon and spoke to her.
“You’ve gotta be a good person.”
“You’re using his ability to kill you as an excuse, but you’re worried about your husband.”
“And I bet he’s the same. He uses his obligation to kill you as an excuse to always stay with you.”
“Stay with him always. And if that worries you…well, you must want a hell of a lot of happiness. But since we’re your opponents right now, we’ll help you work through that stress.”
“Wait,” said a voice. The enemy’s elderly commander spoke to the idiot. “Who do you think is going to be her opponent!? Surely not you!”
“Well, it’s not like I’m alone. Someone’ll come if I call for them.”
He clapped his hands twice.
His clapping received no response whatsoever.
Saitou saw the idiot tilt his head.
“Huhhhh?” he said. “Heyyy!”
He clapped again, but even after waiting 3 seconds, there was no response from anyone anywhere.
“That’s odd. They’d normally be rushing here.”
“Y-you fool! Fine, I’ll handle this!”
“Hey, hey. Wait, wait. Old man, if this was an RPG, your MP would clearly be at 0. And you’ve used up your last ‘Recovery Herb (Makes you feel good and forget the pain)’. If you die, I’ll have to make another old man with the character creator, but making an old man would stress me out, so stand back.”
He heard a laugh.
It was Oichi. She held a hand to her mouth.
“You could both take me on at once,” she suggested.
“Do you make a good shield, old man?”
“It’s too soon to give up!”
“D-d-d-d-don’t be ridiculous. I-I-I-I haven’t given up at a-a-a-a-all. Think about it. I haven’t given up on using you as a shield!”
He thought about lecturing the boy, but then a sign frame appeared in front of the idiot.
“Ah!? Seijun!? Don’t you have anyone to help me!? Wait, why are you mad at me!? No, I’d really rather not die on my own! That ain’t happening! Besides, I’ve got an old man with me~ Ah! Don’t hang up!”
The idiot continued facing the vanished sign frame for about 3 seconds before turning around. Then he placed a hand on Saitou’s shoulder.
“I’ll talk with everyone to smooth things over, so you focus on fighting, old man.”
“Curse you! Do you…!? Do you not have any idea how to behave on the battlefield!? Dammit!”
He grabbed and shook the idiot by his collar, but then something else happened.
Oichi inhaled, hung her head, and hid her face behind her hair. But instead of fully facing the ground, she showed off a red crescent moon smile through the gap in her hair. And…
She arrived lightly. She used relaxed motions that seemed to have no weight to them.
This was not what he had heard about her. He had heard she had more momentum than this and simply swung herself around using her weight, but as she charged in now…
…Is she being thrown around by her emotions!?
She felt joy mixed with unease. She raced forward with a trembling lightness.
Oichi felt a liberating feeling in her muddled heart and she saw something.
After she charged in and swung her right sword forward, there should have been two bodies collapsed on the ground.
But there was not.
Her gentle surprise and frustration was directed at what had caught her sword.
It was a spear. It had a long straight spear tip. A boy held it, and from his back…
“Thank you, Master Muneshige. Although I could have run myself, so you did not need to carry me.”
It was a girl in a Far Eastern summer uniform. She wore a brand new one and her giant false arm was painted the same color.
They seemed to push at Oichi and then they moved away.
Unable to stop her movements, they leaped backwards. After landing, they gently gathered their strength in front of her. The boy who had spoken with her earlier now spoke to them.
“Ohh! It’s Mune Mune and Mune Wife!”
“Judge. …It would seem we arrived in time.”
The couple stood up and prepared to fight.
…That must be nice.
With that thought, Oichi once more shifted her balance forward. She picked up a fallen sword with her left hand so she now wielded two.
“Two at once is perfect. …I am kind of cheating, after all.”
The wife looked to the halo over Oichi’s head and frowned.
“Is that…a Testamenta Arma?”
Novice: “An explanation! You want an explanation, don’t you!? If I don’t explain it now, you’ll be in trouble, won’t you!? I bet you will, so I think I’ll explain it for you!”
Gin used the voice input on her sign frame.
Then Muneshige asked a question next to her.
“Gin, what is that?”
“Judge,” she replied.
This was a Testamenta Arma. She knew she had to explain the details to Muneshige as best she could, so she opened her mouth and gave the most detailed explanation she could of the enemy’s Testamenta Arma.
“With that, she cannot die.”
Mal-Ga: “That nerd could learn a thing or two from such a straightforward explanation.”
“I see.” Muneshige nodded. He lowered his gaze in thought but then looked back up. “So with that, she can’t die?”
“She cannot die.”
“Kamenuki is a pseudo-divine weapon. What if I use this?”
“You will die.”
Asama: “I-I think this conversation is going to drive me crazy…!”
“She’ll go crazy?”
Gin ignored Asama’s shriek and spoke.
“Then let us go for it without holding back.”
“Judge, let’s go for it.”
So they went for it.
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