Horizon:Volume 5B Chapter 38
Chapter 38: Roller in the Night
If you are truly resolute
Will you give a good answer?
Point Allocation (Too Much of One)
Two figures stood in the night.
They stood at a slight clearing on an otherwise tree-covered slope.
One was Sanada Academy Unneeded #5 Anayama and the other was #9 Nezu.
Anayama held nothing and Nezu spread out a sign frame.
They looked overhead where the sky was dyed with the colors of night.
And something was flying there.
“I never thought the elder young master and the Principal would call Musashi here.”
“Shall we board them, Anayama?”
“Given what happened last time, I wouldn’t recommend it. Since they’re traveling to Sanada land, I imagine their defenses will be on high alert.”
“How cowardly of you…”
Anayama nodded at Nezu’s comment.
“I’m glad to see your ellipses are back.”
“Unfortunately, I already used one back at lunchtime. When the wasabi fell in my udon at the cafeteria.”
“Did you say ‘how spicy…’?”
“No. I said ‘I don’t like this very much…’ I prefer not to directly reject anything…”
“Well done,” said Anayama, but Nezu ignored him and looked up into the sky.
“The Principal is back, isn’t he?”
“The elder young master was forcibly sent back as well.”
“That guy…” said Nezu as he held his sign frame up into the sky. It displayed the Musashi from when it was on the way to Novgorod and he overlaid it with the current view of the Musashi to view the differences.
After a few seconds of observation, he jotted down some notes on the sign frame.
“The additional thrusters on the port and starboard of the front central ship are sticking out a bit.”
“If Isa-kun was here, she could probably tell us why.”
“Could you not suddenly bring up the sentimentality I was trying to forget?”
“I think the proper way to remember the dead is to mention those things until they fade away naturally.”
“You like immersing yourself in memories more than I do, don’t you?”
“Testament,” said Anayama. And then…
They heard the solid sound of someone stepping on the grass further up the slope.
It was the light footsteps of a girl. Nezu looked back and wrinkled his brow.
“Yuri. I could hear your footsteps.”
Yuri’s voice reached them from the shadows of the forest’s depths.
“Our great teacher checked the ‘pulse’ in my leg and said I should do some walking.”
“You must have walked quite a bit. And at lunchtime, you could only manage one lap of the schoolyard.”
“Yeah,” said Yuri as she stepped out into the moonlight.
She had long hair and a white uniform. She wore a scythe on either hip, but she carried a staff in her left hand.
“He told me that going to meet someone would mean walking more while also allowing them to help me if I needed it.”
“He’s too easy on you…”
Nezu breathed an exasperated sigh and lowered his shoulders, but…
“That isn’t the only reason you’re here, is it?”
“Testament. The teachers say they’re going into the ruins.”
“They went in there!?”
Anayama raised his right hand to stop Nezu.
Nezu had raised his voice and Yuri faced him with a bitter smile and lowered shoulders. And as Anayama faced both of them…
“…That’s not how you do it, Anayama-san. At times like this, the polite thing to do is gently say, ‘…Listen.’ ”
Nezu sighed again and placed a hand on his forehead.
“And I was hoping to wish our teachers good luck.”
“I tried, but Saizou-sensei laughed and mocked the idea of humans wishing dragons good luck.”
“He also said he knows we’re on their side.”
“Nezu-kun! So was this the appropriate time for a ‘—————’!?”
“What are you hoping to accomplish, Anayama…?”
Nezu sighed and walked toward Yuri.
Anayama looked up into the sky and pointed toward the Musashi.
“What about this?”
“I’ve already recorded plenty, so let’s hurry back. If the teachers have left, we need to inspect the school building. Isn’t that why you’re here, Yuri?”
“Testament. There are places the other students and I can’t reach.”
Nezu nodded and walked past Yuri. She looked back and started to say something to him.
“Yuri-kun! So was that the appropriate time for an ellipsis?”
“Are you okay, Anayama?”
“Knowing how you younger children behave is part of my job.”
“I see,” said Yuri as she and Anayama faced forward to see Nezu come to a stop.
“Hurry up. Have you contacted the others?”
“The young master told Sasuke-san and Saizou-san to go on ahead to Osaka.”
Anayama reacted to Yuri’s words.
“See? You can do it, Anayama-san.”
“So I did that right!?”
“What is that silence for, you two?”
“Well.” Yuri smiled with the ends of her eyebrows lowered. “Thank you, Anayama.”
“It’s only natural for an upperclassman to look after his underclassmen. That said, Kakei-kun and Unno-kun are supposed to be your superiors, but they’re gone at the moment.”
“I hope they can make it back soon…” said Nezu as he resumed walking.
Anayama followed from behind Yuri and responded with a frown.
“Hmm, but their mission hasn’t been called off yet.”
“If the young master is looking ahead to the Siege of Osaka, then that will be our time to shine. The Musashi might be flying overhead, but at this point, it is nothing more than a source of information to sell to the other nations.”
Yuri and Anayama looked up into the night sky and heard the wind moving gently through it.
The Musashi had begun to brake.
“While remaining wary of a battle with us, they will apparently send down a transport ship for ‘sightseeing’ and an ‘educational investigation’. Of course, our teachers have entered the ruins they will be investigating,” said Anayama. “Now, then. We can see what the future holds for us…but what about the others?”
“Roi-Soleil, isn’t it about time you got to bed?”
A voice was carried by the somewhat humid movement of air that was the summer night wind.
A large garden existed at the entrance of a building that stretched out to the east and west. The white entranceway looked like a stage and a nudist stood upon it with his flared hair blowing in the wind.
He looked back with his hands on his hips.
“Have we received word from Terumoto on the front line, Henri?”
“Testament. She said, ‘Cover up and get to sleep.’ ”
“In that case, you could say that Terumoto is both worried and hopeful for me.”
Henri briefly looked up into the sky with a serious look on her face.
Then another figure appeared next to her with solid footsteps.
“Armand. …I was just thinking how confusing people with hearts are.”
“Testament. I have thought the same thing quite a bit. …Now, Roi-Soleil.”
“What is it, Armand? Have we received further word from Terumoto on the front line?”
“Testament. …Oh, but this is actually for Henri, not you. Hey, Henri. The princess said, ‘If the idiot hasn’t gone to sleep after an hour, aim for his crotch with a wooden sword.’ ”
“Heh. Oh, Terumoto… You mustn’t leave this to others just because you have such difficulty expressing your love.”
“No, Roi-Soleil. Are you an ‘idiot’ as she claims?”
“Most every man who has fallen in love could be called an idiot.”
The Roi-Soleil crossed his arms as he spoke.
He then turned away from Henri and Armand and spread his arms.
He spread those arms as if to embrace and support something:
“This is the nightscape of Paris. …A note in the Testament says it will later be divided into different districts and mostly comprised of high-rise apartments, but in my era, it is an extremely dense collection of wooden and stone buildings. However…” He looked back toward them. “That is why I can see the people at work. I believe this École de Paris has inherited everything Anne saw day by day from her bed. And at this time of night, I wonder if all of those lights indicate the people performing a more erotic sort of activity.”
“That is something I wish Lady Anne could have heard. Oh, and I sent it to Lady Terumoto.”
“How did she respond?”
“ ‘Swing it straight down at him.’ ”
“With such a specific command, I suppose I can’t say she is simply leaving this to others.”
The Roi-Soleil turned back toward Henri, puffed out his chest, and slapped his stomach with his right hand.
“Now, do it.”
Henri immediately did so. A sharp sound of impact rang out and after a while…
With no change of expression, Exiv toppled backwards.
He remained motionless for a few seconds, but then he uttered a “heh” of laughter and stood back up.
“Unlike when Terumoto does it, I can’t really feel it in the core of my being. Terumoto’s really sticks with you after the fact.”
“Isn’t that dangerous?”
Henri sent a divine mail using a signe cadre and a response soon arrived.
“Roi-Soleil. She says, ‘Ha ha ha. You actually did it?’ ”
“Heh. Terumoto, these are the acts of a fool in love. Do you understand?” Exiv spread out his arms once more and held them up toward the moon. “Normally, you would not think of letting someone strike you in the dick with a wooden sword, would you?”
“Statistically speaking, I have determined it is indeed a strange thing to do.”
“Yes. So even if someone else loves Terumoto, this dick damage is proof that my love for her is deeper!”
“Then it would be that lack of depth that prevented my strike from reaching the core of your being.”
Henri nodded in understanding and Armand crossed his arms next to her.
“Henri. …So is this what love is?”
“Armand. …This is a special case.”
“Really?” Armand tilted his head. “I hear Musashi’s Chancellor often lets their princess punch him in the crotch.”
“Heh. That false nudist has been doing that?”
“Testament.” Armand nodded. “Roi-Soleil. Which is a sign of deeper love: a bare hand or a wooden sword?”
A room was surrounded by white walls and a white floor.
It was a white-tiled bath, but in the center…
“Lady Terumoto, I apologize that we could only supply a free-flowing bath due to the Pension Versailles’s safety standards. But I made sure the tub was made from the cypress you like, so please forgive me.”
“Yeah, don’t worry about it. In fact, this is more than I could have hoped for, Mouri-01. You and the other biological Belle de Marionnettes need to join me in here.”
Terumoto said that as she placed a towel on her head and leaned back against the edge of the tub.
Mouri-01 was wearing a towel and soaking Terumoto’s clothes in a bucket of lukewarm water.
“Lady Terumoto, you should probably get a new summer uniform before long.”
“Yeah, I tend to be pretty rough on them.”
As she said that, a signe cadre appeared next to her face. It displayed…
“Mouri-03? What is it?”
“Oh, um, Terumoto!”
Mouri-03 casually wore a summer uniform and clenched her fists as she answered.
“The Roi-Soleil sent a divine mail asking you to punch him in the dick barehanded!”
“Roi-Soleil. …She responded with a single word: die.”
“Heh. Are you feeling shy, Terumoto! But this is a battle between a false nudist and a true nudist! And it is a physical battle with love on the line.”
Armand typed that line into his signe cadre.
“Henri, should I really be doing this?”
“Why do you always question everything?”
The response arrived.
“Roi-Soleil. …She said, ‘Leave it to me.’ ”
In Musashi Ariadust Academy, they had finished the physical examination and everyone was preparing to leave.
As everyone gathered their things in the classroom while drifting toward the entrance, Asama checked the sign frame that Hanami tossed her way.
Suzu noticed her odd reaction and tilted her head.
“Oh, well, um… Toori-kun just received an odd spam message from Hexagone Française.”
“Huh? What kind of message?”
“Well, it says something about ‘my di-…’, oh whoops! I almost read that out loud!”
“Heh heh. Silly girl. Just reply with an offensive counter spell attached. They’re Catholic, but the Asama Shrine has been researching spells that will work on them, right?”
“You have a point.” Horizon gave Asama a thumbs up. “I approve.”
“R-Roi-Soleil! We just received a Catholic lightning punishment for illicit sex! I never expected a reply from Musashi to include a Catholic-style trap!”
Henri quickly activated a first aid spell as the sun nudist lay sprawled out on the ground with electricity and smoke rising from his crotch. Next to her, Armand crossed his arms.
“Since this worked on him, he must have a proper division between church and state.”
“Naming yourself emperor does come with its own risks.”
But then the Roi-Soleil moved.
He breathed air into his lower stomach and got up. He then took another breath and slowly swept his flared hair back. He also puffed out his chest and turned his sharp gaze toward the two Belle de Marionnettes.
“My eyes have been opened, Henri and Armand. This is a time of war.”
“Henri. …I think I want to say something about that.”
“You are imagining it. Don’t say anything.”
“Silence required,” added a signe cadre from Isaac.
Exiv narrowed his eyes.
“There is nothing wrong with Terumoto, so the front line must be safe. …But what about the Hashiba forces?”
“Testament. We estimate they will leave the forest region tomorrow afternoon.”
“I see.” The Roi-Soleil nodded. “Will they make it here by nightfall the day after next?”
“We have determined that is their planned schedule.”
“Then,” said Exiv as he crossed his arms and viewed his surroundings.
But instead of the city of Paris, he was viewing the hills around it.
“Will the flooding meant for Mouri’s fortress be ready by that night?”
“Most likely,” replied Armand. “The Azuchi Castle is on its way here, but it will not immediately join the rest of the Hashiba forces. It seems to be timing its journey on the outer edge of M.H.R.R. so it can join them after they pass through the southern forest and arrive above the urban region. However, nudist…I mean, Roi-Soleil.”
Henri lightly kicked Armand’s leg to get him to change how he referred to their king.
“The Azuchi Castle is traveling at low speed,” he continued. “The most urgently needed of the supplies it carries are being sent ahead to Takenaka’s unit with transport ships.”
“Do you know why they are doing that?”
“Testament.” Henri opened a signe cadre. “Roi-Soleil. …I can only provide our best guess.”
“Let’s hear it.”
“Testament.” Henri displayed an image drawn with detailed etching. “This is the Azuchi as observed from the metal tower located near Magdeburg in northern M.H.R.R. …Each ship has construction materials visibly loaded on top. And that includes the 1st ships which bear its main cannon and secondary cannons.”
“I see.” The Roi-Soleil nodded. “Do you think they will be using those materials to block off the river downstream of Paris to flood the city?”
“Testament. …Paris is a large city, so they would need a great quantity of materials.”
Henri displayed a map of Paris.
As a whole, the city was a circle. Henri drew a red arc that surrounded the downstream side.
“Paris’s radius is about 12km. To surround this much space and quickly create a dam that will not break, they will likely need to use transport ships as a dam and use the many materials to fill the holes and reinforce the dam. Now, transporting all of those materials at once would normally require a massive number of transport ships. However…”
“The ability of a large transport ship group to safely carry anything is always a concern and managing the fleet on site can be difficult. So they used the Azuchi instead. Is that it?”
“Testament. But we provided a situation that Hashiba did not expect.”
“New tactics and new weapons. …I have determined the new shells in particular could bring unexpected danger or malfunction to the Azuchi.”
“So not even you think this could bring it down.”
“…Perhaps if we joined the fight using these new tactics.”
“Heh. This is all thanks to the Reine des Garous’s crazy ideas. Her relative ignorance of standard Hexagone Française tactics allows her to come up with all of these unthinkable ones.”
“Testament.” Henri nodded and then hung her head. “It was difficult rejecting all of the unfair tactics that would have stained the honor of Hexagone Française and the princess…”
“Oh? What’s the matter, honey? Why are you covering your face and sobbing? Hee hee. Come now, I only did what I promised. Yes, just as you begged me, this time is for ‘only looking’. If you let me manipulate you just by looking at you, then you lose. If the time runs out, then I lose. …And whoever loses has to make a request to the winner. All I can do is look, so you have an incredible advantage here. There are still 2 hours to go, but I just don’t see how I can win when I can only look. Hee hee. I think I might just lose this one. Yes, and I will make sure to follow the rules. All I will do is take a look. …Yes, take a look at your flavor.”
“The Reine des Garous is willing to lie even to us, so it can be incredibly difficult to judge how unfair or proper her tactics are.”
“Yes, she is a truly free person. Anne liked that about her.”
The Roi-Soleil smiled and looked into the southeastern sky where the Azuchi would be.
“Now not even the Azuchi can carelessly enter Hexagone Française territory. This is the effect of the Reine des Garous, our new weapons, and our new tactics. They will have to remain at low speed at least until they reach flatter ground. And thanks to that…yes, we can send our front line quite far out there. But,” he added, “Hashiba is doing quite well, too. Instead of forcing their way through to flood Paris, they are using their own strategy and changing it when necessary.”
“Testament.” Exiv nodded. “Hashiba destroyed Edo and Satomi with a dragon line reactor, but the lumber used to construct the two cities would have remained in the forest regions upstream of Edo and Satomi. So Hashiba bought that up and negotiated for the reserve lumber to gather cheap materials in a short period of time. …That is a splendid strategy. After all, that gives them two cities’ worth of materials. That should be enough to surround Paris. Also,” he continued. “Even with all that, it seems to have taken two weeks to reach the amount of materials needed for the task. …But I imagine their original plan during the Battle of Novgorod was to provide supplies and support to Novgorod, carry the materials to Lake Biwa Azuchi, and load even more materials gathered from other regions there.”
“But,” said Henri. She compared what Exiv had said to the reports from the various Committee Heads. “During the Battle of Novgorod, Azuchi was unable to move due to the deterrence from Date and Mogami. Thus, they likely determined gathering materials from other regions at Lake Biwa Azuchi was not the best plan. It seems the materials at Lake Biwa Azuchi were redistributed across their territory.”
“I have not received any information about where that went. Have you?”
“No. The transport ships meant to be used for the dam were most likely distributed as well, so that allowed it to scatter around too quickly to track. That is why we do not know where it went.”
“There is no helping that then,” said Exiv as he smiled in the direction of the Azuchi.
The Roi-Soleil’s eyes then turned due east, toward Sviet Rus.
“In truth, that Battle of Novgorod gave us a bit of breathing room.”
The two Belle de Marionnettes could not respond to that.
Accepting their king’s words would mean admitting Musashi had been effective. And as those two failed to respond, the Roi-Soleil spoke quietly.
“And yesterday, the Shirasagi Castle was lost.”
That was the truth.
“As a result, we no longer need to consider one of the more troublesome ships Hashiba could have sent in to support them. A warship that can remain at ultra-high altitude for long periods of time is very difficult to deal with when defending a city.”
“Roi-Soleil, how do you view Musashi?”
“That is a difficult question to answer. Because I should probably make a joint answer with Terumoto.”
Once he said that, they heard a loud sound from the distant sky.
Henri briefly narrowed her eyes and finally nodded.
“That was a dragon. The southern clan has been making a lot of noise since the other day.” She looked to the south. “They handled the majority of the Germanic migration and nearly conquered the land for a time. After they were held in check by climate change and the Testament Cross-Borders Unit, those which sought reconciliation left to the east during the Harmonic Unification War and those who sought to rule remained in Europe but eventually stopped descending from the mountains.”
“What do you think that distant roar meant?”
“I do not know.” Henri tilted her head. “But it sounded like they were seeking more of their kind.”
Mitotsudaira was utterly exhausted.
Back in her own home, she lay face down in her bed with her butt sticking up in the air.
Returning from the academy and sending some quick instructions to her corporations was all she had managed.
…This is too much in so many ways!
She wanted to know what was going on, but she could not complain when she had been the one making it worse towards the end.
With Horizon in control, Horizon and her king were trying to take responsibility concerning the others.
…Wh-what does that even mean!?
As his knight, could she view it as serving him in his castle as an aide? Except this was more like being part of his family. Or rather…
How much was she supposed to share?
Of course, Horizon had said something about “until the day we die”, but…
She still was not sure just how serious Horizon had been.
She also wondered if Horizon would continue to think like this.
After all, she had yet to retrieve all of her emotions. But Mitotsudaira knew they could not agree to this while hoping Horizon would change her mind later.
…In that case…
“Th-this was just my king being fairly accepting of anything and Horizon could always change her mind, right!? Isn’t that all this is?”
She asked her blanket, but it did not answer her. Why had she not asked them that earlier?
I have no guts at all, she thought, but that too was an excuse.
…I am a knight.
If her king gave her something, that would be one thing, but she could not hope for it herself. However…
“My king did say he was okay with it…”
She groaned in doubt and could not find an answer.
Then she thought in silence for a few seconds.
…What would I do if my king and Horizon were serious?
Hypothetically, she thought.
“Y-yes, just hypothetically.”
She thought about it.
In their “battle formation” the day before, Horizon had been next to her king and she had been in front.
She tried to think about her king’s castle, but this was the Far East and Musashi. There was no castle. That would make the location his home, but where could they make that formation in his home?
…The Main Blue Thunder?
She pictured it as sitting across the table from him, but that was different from standing out in front of him. She could not protect him if she was facing him across a table.
If she was to do that inside the restaurant…
“I would have to be below the table at his feet…!”
She imagined herself with a collar around her neck, a rope attached to that, waiting for her king to feed her some table scraps, getting too excited, and climbing up onto his lap.
“M-my mind has been poisoned by our class’s jokes!”
She frantically sat up.
She kept her butt off the bed as she fixed her clothing and cleared her throat.
She slapped her cheeks lightly, but…
“H-he wouldn’t actually treat me like a pet, would he?”
The silver wolf placed her hands in front of her and lay down starting with her chin. She raised her butt and reached her hands between her knees.
“That’s right.” She lifted her eyebrows. “Besides, there isn’t really a place in his house where he, Horizon, and I could recreate that formati-…”
She stopped there.
…Somewhere where the three of us could recreate that formation.
“Wouldn’t that be…?”
Something came to mind. Her eyes widened a bit as she discovered the answer.
The bed in his room.
She and Asama had borrowed that bed to sleep in the other day, so she knew it was fairly spacious. Three or four people might be difficult, but they could make it work. And the floor was carpeted. If they closed the curtains, brought in Kimi’s bed from the neighboring room, and combined the two beds, six people could fit easily.
Without thinking, she closed her eyes and sniffed the bed below her. However, it did not smell like him.
She frantically brought her mind back to reality.
This was her own home. It was not the Main Blue Thunder or his room. And yet…
“Wh-what am I thinking!?”
No, this was not something she should be thinking even if she was at the Main Blue Thunder or his room, so she corrected her statement.
“There’s something wrong with me…”
That is the correct statement. Yes.
Besides, she began in her heart.
…In that case, I would be in front…
She thought about what position that would place her in.
And at this very moment, she had her butt sticking up behind her with her face half-buried in the blanket. She imagined having someone behind her while she was in this pose.
And a few seconds after she began…
“Th-that’s far too direct!”
She got up. And after lowering her hips into a sitting position, her hair felt in the way behind her.
“If I’m in front, I need to do this…”
She opened a space between the left side of her hair and her back. Would he be able to sit there? She imagined feeling his warmth enveloping her.
And she could also imagine Horizon watching her from the side. Also…
“Oh? Mitotsudaira-sama, why are you holding back? Here, here. Broadly defined, you could call this a meat dish.”
“I-I can’t be the only one doing this! You go first, Horizon!”
“Don’t you dare use a knife on my ‘meat dish’! And don’t try give it a salt massage either!? Got that!?”
“Now, Mitotsudaira-sama, say ‘ah’.”
After her imagination ran that far, Mitotsudaira came back to her senses.
She was already sitting up, so she rolled backwards instead.
“If we’re sharing him, then Horizon would have absolute control, wouldn’t she?”
But wasn’t this the same as when they had fed her yakiniku at England? When she thought about it, she realized it had been the same at IZUMO too. Not to mention when they chose her choker at Mito. Which meant…
“…Is this any different than normal?”
But in that case, there was something wrong with her “normal”.
Mitotsudaira covered her blushing face with her hands and curled up with her defenseless belly pointed up. Then she looked to the ceiling. She lowered her hands, sighed, and…
I’m hopeless, she earnestly thought.
Mitotsudaira sighed again.
She twisted her curled-up body on the bed and brought her right index finger to her mouth.
“I can’t believe myself.”
…How could I imagine those things about my king and princess?
She thought her imagination had been quite realistic, but even so…
“Getting this excited about it makes me unworthy to be his knight.”
With that, she narrowed her eyes and looked to the left and right.
There was no one around and no sign frames were appearing.
…I had a feeling a tsukkomi would be coming right about now.
Calm down, Nate Mitotsudaira. When you aren’t at the academy or on the battlefield, no one is going to make a tsukkomi no matter what you think.
So, she added.
“Am I allowed to have lewd thoughts when I’m in a private location?”
…Yes! That’s right!
My public and private lives are separate. I am free to do as I wish in my own space. And if I defile something important there, I only need to act in good faith while in public to purify it.
“Even my king thinks about lewd things when he’s alone in his private life.”
She was suddenly curious, so she sent a divine transmission to connect the private with the public.
“Um, my king?”
“Oh? Nate? What is it? I was about to play another porn game. Sis and I are planning to read it aloud together, but you wanna join us? It’s an adventure type, so it’s pretty fun.”
His insanity was a little too direct, so she ended the divine transmission.
And after a few seconds…
…Oh, that’s right…
Her king was the type to keep everything out in the open. She remembered that he was nude more often than not and he had that sister with him. Plus, if their sharing life began, Mitotsudaira would have to deal with those two and Horizon all at once.
“I get the feeling I would be powerless to resist them…”
But, she thought.
“Why am I always naked when I imagine those scenes?”
Was it because that idiot was her king? Or…
She grew pale when another possibility occurred to her.
She quickly sat back up.
“Could this be my mother’s blood…?”
That frightening possibility left her dumbfounded. And at that very moment, a sign frame from Kimi popped up.
“Mitotsudaira! The heroine is a dog girl! Come on over! C’mon! Shake! …Oh, you can do it via divine transmission if you want! Repeat after me: ‘Well done making it here. This is Koumon World, the Land of Natto.’ ”
“What are you talking about…!?”
“Silly girl. The study camp starts tomorrow, so we’re finishing up these porn games while we can! We just finished a shrine maiden porn game, so now we’re doing a national pilgrimage game titled ‘Koumon-sama’s Crest’! Ah, foolish brother! Don’t continue on without me. C’mon, Mitotsudaira. Repeat after me: ‘Mh, you’ll give me a bone? Pant, pant, gasp, gasp… No, I can’t take anymore.’ ”
“That heroine fell for you way too fast!”
“What are you talking about? That’s just my foolish brother being really good at choosing the best option! He’s the three-choice technician! The average player would have chosen the peanuts there!”
“Peanuts are from the next nation to the south! And that heroine isn’t modeled after me, is she!?”
“Oh, don’t worry about that. No, nothing at all to worry about there, so rest easy. …Yes, she looks nothing at all like you. I mean, all that hair would have been a pain to draw, so they cut it down to three drills. So she doesn’t look like you at all.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever believed something less!”
“Heh heh. You sure are lively. …Oh, what is it, foolish brother? The protagonist can’t stand it anymore after only 3 clicks? You need to do better than that. C’mon, Mitotsudaira, let’s go win over that heroine!”
Mitotsudaira ended the divine transmission, but immediately regretted it.
…If I had gone along with that, would it have opened up a brand new world for me!?
She tried groaning meaninglessly into empty air, but when she thought about it, this was normal for her. If she did try leaping into that world, it would not open up for her. People would only see it as her setting foot on the road leading to it.
She decided she needed a change of pace.
She wondered if she could discuss how she felt with someone who had received similar damage and had also been left on the outskirts of that world. So…
She heard a voice in response:
“Wh-what kind of weird noises are you making!?”
Mitotsudaira protested to keep up appearances, and…
“Eh!? N-no, you misunderstand, Mito! That wasn’t me! It was the porn game I’m poison testing!”
“Ah, you don’t believe me, do you!? I’m in the spring to maintain a purified state while I poison test it. Shall I turn up the volume so you can hear?”
This lunatic was rather impressive as well. But Asama said more, perhaps to fill the gap in the conversation.
“The character just now was a lot like you.”
“You’re playing Part 2 of something, aren’t you!?”
Mitotsudaira realized her question had been a careless one. After all, Asama briefly but definitely fell silent. And then…
“How did you know that, Mito?”
“W-well, um. uh…”
There was no point in hiding it. They were friends. So Mitotsudaira cleared her throat.
“I-I received a divine transmission from Kimi just now. She said she and my king are playing Part 1 of a porn game modeled after Mito Mitsukuni.”
“Eh? But just a bit ago, they told me they were playing one based on Konohana no Sakuya, so…”
Asama swallowed the rest of her sentence.
This time, it was Mitotsudaira’s turn to say something.
“Kimi mentioned that they had just finished a shrine maiden one.”
“Oh, so they went with the one modeled after me first…”
“Yes, and they must have gone with me last…”
When she said that, Mitotsudaira felt a strange emotion appear deep in her chest.
First and last.
Tactically, both of those were important positions. Would you head out front or stay in the back? And the same naturally applied to choosing porn games.
You could move out front and launch a high-speed attack.
You could also stay back and launch a surefire iai attack.
Had he viewed them both as important?
But she could not let those thoughts trap her. So she focused her mind on the virtue of devotion, and…
“Th-they must have been prioritizing the one modeled after you, Tomo. Probably.”
“N-no, they must have been saving the one modeled after you to be the star of the night. Probably.”
She had dug her own grave on this one. And Tomo probably felt the same way about herself. But…
“They probably have one modeled after Horizon for very last, right?”
“No, Mito, automatons and silver hair aren’t very big right now. Things will head back in that direction eventually, but probably not until around fall.”
“A sommelier! Are you a sommelier!?”
But, thought Mitotsudaira.
“I never thought I would be so emotionally involved in how my king played porn games.”
“And Kimi is with him too.”
When she thought about it…
“It would be helpful to have Horizon there too. …She could keep things under control.”
“That’s right…” said Asama before gasping. “B-but I haven’t decided I’m going! I have the Asama Shrine to deal with!”
She really doesn’t know when to give up, does she? thought Mitotsudaira while feeling rather impressed with how stubborn her friend was. However…
She heard a distant sound in the sky.
…Something is falling?
No, that was not it. This was something else. It was definitely an incredibly massive object, but…
“ ‘Musashi’ to all ships! A high-speed flying object is approaching…no, forcibly landing. Over.”
“Musashi’s” warning continued while alarms sounded from Musashino to port.
A transport ship collision could be stopped by concentrating several layers of defense barriers, but what could slip past those and then land instead of collide?
Could it be? she wondered as “Musashi” said more.
“We have identified it as a normal student from Sanada Academy. …Sanada has sent identification: this is Student #7, Kakei Torahide-sama. He is a Terrestrial-type flying dragon of the Lindwurm clan. He is approximately 120m long. Any who are capable of shipboard combat, please fight back. Over.”
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