Horizon:Volume 4C Chapter 95
Chapter 95: Passersby En-Route
Paths that must eventually be taken
Paths that will arrive regardless
Paths that overlap and cannot be avoided
Point Allocation (Above and Below)
Masazumi gasped at the giant white and black bow standing before her.
At the center of everyone’s attention, Horizon looked up into the sky and bent her knee in thanks. She then picked up the giant bow and handled it as gently as she might a hairpin.
“Who should I test it on?”
“Why’s everyone looking at me!?” shouted Toori. “Did I do something wrong!?”
Masazumi and everyone else nodded, so Horizon fired a shot. The idiot used his fingers to form a heart in front of his chest and leaned back to express the damage, but…
“H-huh? It didn’t hurt! Horizon! Does that mean you don’t feel any anger toward me!?”
“That’s strange… Oh, the battery is dead. The indicator is blank.”
“Oh, sure enough,” confirmed Asama while watching several confirmation sign frames appearing and disappearing around Horizon. “The confirmation process is running fairly slow. I’m not sure if you would call that life-like or what… But isn’t this great, Horizon? Now hitting and criticizing Toori-kun will be all the more worthwhile.”
“Heh heh heh. Shrine maiden, do you have any idea what you’re saying? But…that makes 4. Just 1 more and we’re past the halfway mark. Isn’t that amazing!? The halfway mark! If we view the journey as the shape of a boob, then we’re on the bottom half now! Like right here on Asama! C’mon, Adele, don’t look away! Feel free to touch it! Stick your fingers in the cleavage and you’ll be blessed! Even if you’re flat yourself!”
Masazumi ignored the crazy person and looked up into the sky. She watched the Sviet Rus fleet which was still upside-down and already several kilometers away and she thought about the number of Logismoi Oplo.
“So we’ve reached the midpoint of our own task.”
Horizon was staring at Maska Orge and occasionally holding it up, which forced everyone to scream and run out of the way, so she was the same as always. But when counting Olos Phtonos, the Far East had now gathered 4 Logismoi Oplo.
…So the world might really be coming to an end.
That belated thought came to Masazumi. And…
“That thing we saw below Novgorod…”
What was it?
While holding off Kimi who was trying to shove double karate chops between her breasts from below, Asama used a sign frame to go over the events of the day.
Starting from the morning, there had been Futayo and Kimi’s training, the special student general assembly, the second meeting with Yasuhira, the three nations meeting, the sabotage by the Sanada Ten Braves, and the Battle of Novgorod.
“…Huh? How much were we cramming into one day?”
Gold Mar: “After saving Ga-chan’s life and flying into a falling floating city, I feel like the main character in an adventure book.”
Me: “Yeah, I feel like I got through it all pretty peacefully though… Oh, but I also think I ended up scoring all my points with guys and old men this time!”
10ZO: “Do old men not count as guys? Anyway, peaceful really is best. I seem to recall getting kicked by an ally while fighting Lord Shibata…”
Silver Wolf: “That was a strategy! A strategy!!”
Scarred: “Hee hee. Lady Mitotsudaira, I will heal you properly later, so could you prepare by removing all your clothing in one of the medical room’s beds? You too, Master Tenzou.”
Mal-Ga: “There goes my doujinshi sensor! Today turned out to be a great day after all!!”
83: “It was not a great day. Curry and flour should be made into roux, but it was all wasted.”
Sticky King: “Heh. But Noriki managed to make himself useful, so that’s good.”
Obscene: “That’s right! Next time it’s our turn to break through the enemy ship’s defenses!”
Worshiper: “Wait, is that something we take turns doing…?”
We’re as chaotic as ever, thought Asama as Hanami gathered a few pieces of information.
The most important was what they had seen at Novgorod. As part of the Shinto forces, information on the Age of Dawn was of great importance, especially when it involved the previously inviolable Novgorod.
She might get asked to write up a report, but she decided it would be best to make her father the investigator at Kantou IZUMO or Musashi IZUMO. As someone involved in the operation of the Musashi, she could not visit IZUMO or the main Shirasago Shrine so easily. On the other hand, that would mean she could not leave the Musashi for the time being, but…
…What a pain…
She approved the documents Hanami produced. She wondered what had been erased from that relief of the people celebrating something. Also…
…The Double Border Crest…
Why had the Prince of Orange been taken away by that? And what did he mean when he said they tried to become friends with the Princess at an academy Lord Motonobu had made?
Also, why had the crest appeared behind Masazumi and the others? Its disappearance might have been because it had been blocked by the defense spell she had prepared, but that was another unknown.
“Hmm… Ah, hey! Stop groping me, Kimi.”
“You can’t go get lost in thought all on your own again. …Discuss it with the rest of us.”
She has a point, thought Asama just before defense barriers appeared across the Musashi.
An emergency alarm sounded and “Musashi” made an announcement.
“A fleet is appearing from secondary stealth above us! It is headed from west-northwest to south. It belongs to…”
It belonged to…
Futayo looked up to the night sky.
The lingering reverberation of cannon fire seemed to remain in the Musashi as Hashiba’s fleet seemed to look down at them while facing east. They were passing right overhead.
The large ship supporting the front group was the Tottori Castle with its sand barrier.
They apparently had no intent of harming the Musashi.
But the glasses boy seemed to know where they were headed.
“They’re returning to P.A. Oda to resupply before beginning the invasion of Mouri in earnest. Since Date is waiting in Kantou to the north, they can’t send Kantou’s materials to Mouri using the Azuchi Castle. So they’ve chosen to rush over for supplies using the Tottori Castle which functions as an important base in the invasion of Mouri. …And this doubles as practice for their big return from Mouri.”
“I see,” said Futayo just before the flying Weiss Hexen spoke with a grim note to her voice.
“Hashiba is there!”
Hashiba was looking down at them from the Tottori Castle’s port side deck. And…
“Is that Fukushima Masanori and Katou Kiyomasa of the Ten Spears? Also…”
A few other people were visible behind those two. Two of them had multiple sets of wings and held Technohexen schale besen that looked like cannons. Meanwhile, back on the Musashi…
Futayo looked directly in front of her.
Horizon was raising Maska Orge. She aimed it at Hashiba overhead, raised her eyebrows, and gained a sharp look in her eyes.
So this is the princess’s wrath, thought Futayo.
The transformation was instantaneous.
The face-like grip cover raised its jaw and the absent bowstring was supplied with ether light. But instead of a simple line, it was overheated ether that flickered like a flame.
There were two reasons why Maska Orge was functioning now despite being out of fuel before.
The first was Aspida Phylargia which had activated at the same time.
The second was Toori’s ether supply lines which surrounded Horizon like a cape. And…
“Owner: Horizon Ariadust: Confirmed.”
“Individual Emotional Expression: Normal Drive – Overdrive: ––––––: Combat Proof Able: Resolving Self Evolution”
“Individual Emotional Expression: Overdrive: Power: Fully Supplied Externally”
“Horizon-sama: Please Release the Third Safety ‘Soul Activation’ ”
“Judge,” confirmed Horizon.
And then she thought, What is wrath?
She could remember something. It was a past situation much like this one.
At the Battle of Mikatagahara when they had been pursued from Northern Edo to Oushuu, they had faced Hashiba like this. At that time, they had been saved by a great many people.
This was a hopeless feeling.
It was an emotion created by loss but different from the one directed at the things that were lost.
If this was wrath, then at whom was it directed?
At Hashiba? Or at herself for being so worthless? Or…
“Horizon, use that wrath to change yourself, okay? Use it to change your somewhat imperfect self so you won’t ever lose again. And to show you’ve done that, fire. And, Horizon, you know who to fire at, don’t you?”
His voice gave her a push forward.
“At those who say we admit we will lose everything if we use this in a predetermined, desperate, or hopeless situation. At those who have forgotten how to resist destiny.”
That cleared my thoughts, realized Horizon. She had held a question in her heart ever since the Battle of Mikatagahara.
“People are a combination of resistance and recovery, of sorrow and joy. But…”
She asked that question.
“When is the right time for us to live and to die!?”
At the very least, her current self desired a certain answer. It was something like the process of elimination. Those who had left had held something in their hearts:
“Resistance against destiny!!”
“ ‘Soul Activation’ Safety Release: Confirmed”
A massive number of sign frames opened around Horizon as she pulled back the bowstring.
The black sign frames were a mixture of crosses and torii. They were initially blank, but a small figure appeared for just a moment and then…
“Logismoi Oplo Control OS: Phtonos-01s: Third Stage: Update: Confirmed”
“Welcome to the Genesis of Emotions.”
…What is this?
As if to answer her emotion, the white and black bow grew taut and the string erupted with flame-like light.
Horizon’s voice sounded loudly as she fired Maska Orge toward Hashiba.
The wrath was invisible.
But it flew in a straight line up toward Hashiba who looked down from the deck.
It scored a direct hit. Or it looked like it did. However, there was a light.
Right in front of Hashiba and along the path between her and Horizon, light scattered on a large scale.
Ether fragments spread out like an umbrella and hopped across the ship’s surface like sparks, but Hashiba stood perfectly still at the center of that light.
She was unharmed.
Horizon gasped and held Maska Orge tightly in her left hand.
“I can’t believe it…Maska Orge was dragged down to the Muneshige Cannon’s level on the very first shot!”
“Master Muneshige! Master Muneshige!!”
KageV: “Marfa! Why are you falling to your knees!? Marfa!”
“Hey, Horizon. Why are you doing so much damage to our side?”
“Just to be clear, the Muneshige Cannon blew through an enemy ship the other day. Yes, so it isn’t entirely useless.”
Horizon gave Toori a thumb’s up.
But Urquiaga interrupted while looking above them.
“Hey, look at Hashiba. Do you see what that monkey girl is holding?” He sounded like he doubted his own eyes. “Isn’t that a Logismoi Oplo!?”
Beyond the wind and as they passed each other by, Hashiba finally relaxed.
Wings grew vertically behind her like an iron fan and a single glowing feather grew from them. She also held something in her left arm:
Fukushima of the Ten Spears heard that question and lightly shook her raised hand to say “no”.
“Well, that’s casual. …But then what is that!?”
As Asama asked that, Maska Orge’s light finished scattering.
And then the Tottori Castle accelerated. It whipped up the wind as if to say they would be giving no more answers.
And it left while Hashiba got up off the deck.
She wobbled a bit, so the others quickly rushed in to support her.
They apparently had their own issues to deal with.
But that was all.
The Tottori Castle reentered stealth and the other ships followed.
They were gone.
Novgorod was no longer in the sky, the Sviet Rus and Mogami fleets had left into the northeastern sky, and Shibata’s fleet was moving toward the southern sky. The Musashi alone remained in the chilly sky.
Horizon opened her mouth on the academy bridge.
Everyone else was speechless, so she grabbed at Toori’s sleeve.
“About Hashiba-sama just now…”
She asked a question.
“Why?” she said. “Why did she have something so Logismoi Oplo-ish?”
“I’m not sure what to say about that ‘-ish’.”
Asama and then everyone else tilted their heads, but then Masazumi spoke up.
“Maybe there are Logis-more of them than we thought…”
Everything completely froze over.
In a white sky, Fukushima sighed while the winds from the surrounding stealth barrier washed over her.
Out of the many coming battles, they were focusing on the history recreation of the invasion of Mouri, so their leader Hashiba had opted to temporarily return in the Tottori Castle.
The Azuchi Castle was still waiting in Edo, but it was stuck there due to the Date clan. On the other hand…
…This is a nearly humiliating waste of time and effort.
This would give Hexagone Française some extra time to prepare. And that may have been why…
Taki: “Yeah, sorry about that, Hashiba group. I’m thinking maybe I should have sent the Shirasagi in to push back Date. What do you think, Fuku?”
First Spear: “N-no, Takigawa. We have no right to criticize thy battlefield decisions.”
Taki: “Umm, then Hashiba? You there?”
Fukushima grabbed the lernen figur displaying Takigawa and pointed it toward Hashiba. But…
As Takigawa called out to her, Hashiba crouched down by the deck railing and grabbed her hood as if holding her head in her hands.
Seeing the silent and unmoving Hashiba, Takigawa asked Fukushima a question.
Taki: “What’s she doing?”
“Testament,” began Fukushima.
First Spear: “She is feeling shy after everyone saw such an uncool side of her.”
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