Horizon:Volume 6A Chapter 17

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Chapter 17: Departer on a Ship[edit]

Horizon6A 523.png

You say you will be going

They tell you to come on back

And with that

You are on your way

Point Allocation (Seeing You Off)


"Okay, you all take care of things here until I'm back."

With that, something was raised into the air.

It was a fist.

And it belonged to Noriki.

But it was not another fist that bumped into it.

It was a spread hand.

It belonged to Toori who spoke with a straight face.

"I win...!"

Horizon casually struck him with a karate chop from behind.

She ignored the idiot who cried out like a squawking chicken and she raised her right hand toward Noriki.

"We will be on our way to Houjou for some hyahah-ing, but you are leaving before then, aren't you?"

"Yes, I am."

"Judge. We may not have known each other long, but I am in your debt, Noriki-sama. Umm..."

Horizon fell silent there.

She also grew motionless.

They were up in the sky, on the transport ship's deck.

The eight ships of the Musashi spread out below them.

The transport ship was descending toward Okutama.

But Horizon sweated motionlessly as the wind blew by.

"..."

After a few seconds of this, Noriki felt an awkward sweat of his own.

"Hey," he said, but Horizon quickly held her right palm out.

"No hint please."

"Okay then..."

He heard Naito saying "You can't just accept it!", but there was no meaning in that.

Horizon used one arm to hold back the idiot who tried to grope her chest.

"...It happened the other day."

"Oh, you've remembered?"

"...Let us speak of a hypothetical situation." Sweat covered her expressionless face. "The other day in the plaza in the vicinity of my room in the underground area in Tama in..."

"Horizon!" said Mitotsudaira. "You're so shaken that you're saying 'in' an awful lot!"

"It is within the margin of error. An automaton could not possibly feel flustered-ered-ered-ered-ered."

Mal-Ga: "Then would you call this an impressive level of ability?"

Flat Vassal: "No, because Vicereine Horizon only has an automaton body."

"Calm down," said Horizon while checking a sign frame. "Anyway, Noriki-sama. And at that time, who was it I saw dragging around a roast squid stand? Why, it was-..."

"That would be me!" said a different boy.

"Yes, it was Ohiroshiki-sama. Good job not falling for the trick question."

"Are you okay?"

"I am indeed. ...Ah." Horizon adjusted her iron claw to hold the idiot down from above. "You set up our tent, didn't you?"

"So you remembered."

"Judge. My memory is excellent, so there was never anything to worry about. That concludes my mission concerning you. Have a good trip. Um, your destination is..."

Horizon stopped moving again, so Naomasa cut in.

"Su – wa. He's going to Suwa. And because boys never like doing things the easy way, he was planning to go there by land. Still, it's sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime event. ...So go do what you have to do."

"Judge." Noriki nodded and then looked at everyone around him. "The rest of you will be continuing the study camp in Okutama's nature district, right?"

"Judge. Even if this is a travel day, we want to avoid giving them any reason to find fault. The history recreation might take precedence over school events, but we need to do as much of it as we can," replied Masazumi. "Although we'll only be doing that until this evening. ...Still, we should arrive in Houjou in the afternoon and then we have our meeting with Mouri. We need to find out what Mouri is really after here."

And...

"I personally want to avoid a war if possible."

Everyone looked shocked.


Gold Mar: "Some things are just too far-fetched to believe..."

Unturning: "Should we pretend we didn't hear that?"

Tachibana Wife: "Don't be ridiculous, Date Vice Chancellor. The Musashi Vice President is suppressing her true desire here. We need to recognize her incredible resolve by fully supporting her."

Marube-ya: "Yes, yes, yes! This is the awful pressure I was waiting for!!"

Vice President: "I don't know what this is about, but you all need to learn how to believe in people! I can't believe you people!"

Almost Everyone: "How about you take your own advice!?"

Bell: "Eh? Eh?"

Asama: "Umm, here, Suzu-san. I'll explain that horribly twisted logic for you."


"Wait," said Masazumi.

The Reine des Garous was with them here.

...So we can't exactly talk about the meeting.

But that woman was really blending in with them. That was obvious from the fact that Futayo was no longer focused on her.

If there was any hint of hostility at all, Futayo would have been by her side, but Futayo's gaze was fixed on another ship approaching theirs.

The approaching ship had gray armor and belonged to the engine division.

"Is Noriki taking that to Suwa?"

"That's right," said Naomasa. "Suwa is the land of a combat god. It's also where the engine division gets various ores for the Musashi. That's what the transport is officially being sent for." She nodded toward Noriki. "So don't hesitate to take it. And don't thank us. It's headed there on engine division business and you're just hitching a ride."

"Judge. ...I'll just assume I was lucky."

"Sure thing," said Naomasa with her teeth visible through the corners of her mouth.

"How rare," said Masazumi when she saw that.

"Huh? What is?"

"Oh, nothing."

By then Naomasa's smile had vanished.

But a sign frame appeared, limited to just the girls.

Asama: "Masa doesn't really like it when people thank her. She mostly doesn't react or gives a quick response. In some cases, she actually sounds annoyed."

Smoking Girl: "That's just how I am. You're used to it, aren't you?"

True enough, silently agreed Masazumi.

But Naomasa's behavior did not come from a dislike of other people. According to Suzu and Adele...

Bell: "Naomasa...-san is...happy when I...mend her clothes?"

Flat Vassal: "And she doesn't say a thing when you pass her a printout."

"Right?" said both Suzu and Adele while exchanging a glance. Naomasa responded by bringing her hand to her forehead.

The boys all tilted their heads, but this was a shared secret among the girls.

...Oh, so I'm on the girls side...

Masazumi belatedly realized that, although realizing it did not really mean anything. But to get back on topic...

Vice President: "I don't like having other people in my debt either."

Of course, she did not know how Naomasa really felt or how great a difference in magnitude there was between them. But Naomasa probably preferred the casualness of doing something that was "useful but does not require thanks" over something more major.

That's the opposite of normal, thought Masazumi.

Most people wanted to earn other people's gratitude and to show just how much of an influence they were on the other person.

...No.

Only shallow people are like that, she corrected herself.

If you engaged with other people only because you wanted to be something important for them, then you were reliant on them.

That was why Masazumi asked a question, while feeling like she had brought the issue full circle.

"Noriki."

"What?"

She asked her question.

"It might be a bit late for this, but let me ask you something. ...Are you listening? Let's say you gain something while at Suwa and return to us with it. And let's say you face Houjou Ujinao in battle afterwards."

In that case...

"Do you intend to settle something for yourself?"


Masazumi was not sure if he would understand what her question meant.

...Questions like this are tricky.

But she needed to ask it.

After all, Noriki was a resident of Musashi.

He had a connection to Houjou and he was attempting to gain a decisive method for the battle against them.

But, thought Masazumi.

"You are a resident of Musashi. So am I. We all are."

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Mary embrace Crossunite's arm. Naruze surreptitiously circled behind them with a Magie Figur open, but that was perfectly normal. Don't look at me.

But they would all know what this meant.

"Noriki, you are free to settle things with Houjou. If you can defeat one of our enemies, that would be a benefit for the nation of Musashi. But I would rather you did not see what you are doing as an important event for Houjou."

Listen.

"Do not view your actions as important to Houjou."

"Why not?"

"There are two reasons."

"Tw-...!"

Just as the idiot tried to shout "two" and lift up Horizon's breasts, he was hit and knocked into the air by a no-motion uppercut.

"Foolish brother! That was a nice aerial boke! You went so beautifully limp! I give you 9.7 artistic points!"

Was that how it worked? And shouldn't the points be awarded to Horizon instead?

Masazumi continued speaking while ignoring the idiot landing on the deck head-first

"First, this is a war we are facing here, not an avenue for you to convey your feelings for Houjou."

And the other reason...

"Doing something important for Houjou...is for me to do."


Azuma: "Is she talking about declaring war?"

Worshiper: "You are surprisingly harsh, Azuma-kun!!"

Novice: "But can we really call it important when everyone is expecting it?"

Vice President: "Oh, shut up! I will declare war if it's necessary! I really will!"


Masazumi-san is...so much more emotional...than she used to be, thought Suzu.

She had not quite been silent in the past, but Suzu had thought she had a mature sort of quietness to her.

And that impression may not have been wrong.

Bell: "People really can...change."

Scarred: "Judge. That's right. People become what they earnestly hope to be."

Mal-Ga: "Yes, people get more and more infected..."

Gold Mar: "Ga-chan, that has a bit of a different nuance to it."

Suzu had to agree.

At any rate, she thought it was a good thing if people changed in a good way, but also good if there were parts that did not change.

Everyone would have their own way of changing.

Some people would whittle away parts of themselves and others would add more onto themselves. It sounded like she was talking about chest size, but that was not what she meant.

And now...

...Noriki-kun is changing too.

No, he had changed before this too. During middle school, he had been so busy with part-time work to support his family that he had barely been sociable at all.

But after entering high school, he had been more sociable and had fought on the front line since Mikawa.

He claimed that was because his younger siblings had grown enough to reduce the burden on the family, but...

...He let his socialization with us fill the opening that created.

Did that count as changing or going back to the way he was?

Suzu did not know.

But she knew what change he was trying to obtain now.

"Are you going...to save...Ujinao-san?"

Noriki turned toward her.

He briefly opened his mouth and started to say something, but then...

"I'm not that conceited," he said. "Also, this is a process. The process of me 'earnestly hoping' to be something."

"Judge." Toori nodded, placed a hand on Noriki's shoulder, and stood alongside him. "...This is a process. The process of me 'earnestly hoping' to be something."

"Hey, I didn't put that dramatic pause at the start."

Suzu very much agreed.

Neshinbara was saying something about "But that's what makes it so great!", but she did not really understand.

Regardless, Noriki's shoulders relaxed and he lightly tapped on Toori's side.

"I'll be going."

"Come on back."

"Judge," he replied with a nod.

Just then, they heard a voice from the engine division transport ship approaching theirs.

"Heyyy! I was hoping to leave soon! Is that okay!?"

Suzu had not heard this voice in a while. It belonged to...

...Mishina Hiro-chan?


Naomasa viewed the large sign frame opened on the engine division transport ship.

In the usual engine division style, the contrast and brightness were turned up and it displayed an enlarged image of Hiro who stood below it.

"Hiro, will you be his guide?"

"Judge! I sometimes visited Suwa to procure some parts back when I was in Qing-Takeda! I'll be the one to gather and prepare the cargo!"

That was a good choice, thought Naomasa.

Hiro had a connection to the Ariake and that connection would make her an honored guest. If she was guiding Noriki, their transport ship would be protected by Suwa.

...Also...

Musashi would begin a battle the following day.

Novice: "If they can leave now and be back tomorrow, we will essentially receive some supplies during the Houjou battle. Odawara Castle is ground-based, so it will primarily be a ground battle, but it is still possible the Musashi itself will take damage. ...If we will have some supplies arriving from outside, we can reduce the Musashi's weight, so this is nothing but a plus for us."

347: "That's why I've loaded the transport ship with old armor panels meant for the old Musashi. They're too heavy for the current Musashi Mk. 2 and the ether pathways aren't up to our current standards, so I plan to trade them for other parts at Suwa."

Almost Everyone: "This girl knows what she's doing!"

"No, no," said Hiro with a dismissive wave of her hands.

But Heidi averted her gaze and spoke quietly.

"Thanks to that, the armor panels we stocked up on are going to be useless..."

"Huh?" said Naomasa. "We buy our armor panels from IZUMO, so the Marube-ya has nothing to do with that."

"No, no. These are for VIPs' personal ships. We put a lot of effort into that this time around, but then your engine division goes and buys up a whole bunch of them. We couldn't jack up the prices after that, so Shiro-kun is back to earning a bit of money with vegetable sales."

"Maybe Shirojiro-dono should just stick to selling vegetables from now on."

"Not to worry, not to worry. We've found another deal that will pay off at an even better rate. We'll have ten times the money by tomorrow."

"That sounds extremely risky!"

The ship arrived while they all provided that tsukkomi together.

The other deck approached and...

"Whaaam!"

The ship came alongside theirs more forcefully than expected.

Hiro's voiced sound effect came from a little lower down. The people boarding her transport ship's deck were likely meant to jump to it.

Several sign frames appeared between the ships to buffer them. They absorbed the impact and noise before breaking. It was a simple buffering method, so it did not fully eliminate the bounce-back and the ships would soon drift apart again.

Their transport ship slid a bit, as if pulling their legs out from under them. And while that happened...

"Okay, I'm off."

Noriki jumped to the engine division transport ship with a sack of luggage on his back.

Naomasa watched him go and saw that everyone else was doing the same.

...I really have gotten more relaxed.

Several years ago, she would not have watched him go like this.

Since he would be back, she would not have bothered. And if he had never returned, it would not have really bothered her either. That left her with no real reason to watch him go. It was like a mere ceremony. She would have preferred to spend that time on something more useful.

That was how she used to be.

But what about now?

"..."

She breathed in.

They were approaching a battle.

...And they say the Genbu showed up in Hexagone Française.

As the Suzaku's owner, she had to wonder how that would turn out. Meanwhile, Masazumi spoke up behind her.

"Okay, everyone. We need to complete the rest of our study camp at Okutama while planning for tomorrow and beyond. I will-..."

"Testament. This afternoon, Terumoto will prepare a ship for the meeting and arrive with the Houjou Representative."

Those were the Reine des Garous's words. It was Asama who responded.

She looked back in surprise.

"She will be preparing a ship for the meeting?"


Naomasa understood why Asama was in such a hurry to question that.

Naomasa turned toward the Reine des Garous and asked a question.

"Between that meeting ship and the Musashi, which do you think would have greater divine transmission security? The Musashi would clearly be safer."

"You want Houjou and Mouri to hold a 'closed-room meeting with strict security' with our supposed enemies at Musashi? The Testament Union would take issue with that."

She had a point.

Masazumi nodded and turned to face Asama.

"Judge. Asama, sorry, but can you handle the divine transmission support and record-keeping?"

"Understood. I think I will set myself up as a mobile shrine."

Horizon nodded and Toori responded too.

"Seijun, you take care of the meeting. This sounds like it's going to be about some big stuff. ...I can see why they felt they had to send Nate Maman in first."

"...My king, don't say that while looking at my mother's chest."

But while they said that, a silhouette moved through the sky.

The engine division transport ship was slowly ascending.

The large sign frame open on their side of the ship showed Hiro waving and someone else behind her:

...Noriki is finally on the move.

"This sounds like it will be exciting," said Naomasa.

She also knew they were going to be busy with the battle beginning the following day.


"I know you're busy, but we need to head out with Weiss Fürstin and Schwarz Fürstin right away! Our IDs are Hashiba-10-03 and Hashiba-10-04, our route is to eastern Houjou, and our objective is arrival and observation!"

The cold wind blew through the sky.

Two masses of metal whipped up clouds of fog on a hardened wood runway floating there.

They were Katou Yoshiaki's Weiss Fürstin and Wakisaka Angie's Schwarz Fürstin.

They were already seated in the upright position and they ignored the ether light escaping from gaps in the metal panels.

"Kanitama!"

"Y-yes!"

Wakisaka spoke to Kani who stood to her left.

"This is Sakuma's aerial ship, but it plans to arrive near the combat area. You come to Houjou after us, observe the state of things there, and use that to decide whether or not you will join the battle."

With that, Wakisaka grabbed a charm and spread it to the left and right.

She placed the charm over her eyes without waiting for it to gradually grow transparent and become something like sunglasses. She then asked Kani a question.

"Kanitama, are you nervous!?"

The intensity of the ether light, noise, and wind threatened to drown out their voices, so they naturally found themselves shouting a lot. Kani gave a firm nod.

"This is my first time on an aerial ship like this! And an aircraft carrier at that!"

"I imagine so! This thing launches the P.A. Oda cooking team on the battlefield!"

"The cooking team!? Why!?"

"Testament! Long ago, a Persian sultan found a chef's cooking so disgusting that he sent him to the battlefield with an anchor pile, but the chef did surprisingly well. Ever since, they've sent the cooking team in first...except none of that is true, okay!? Did you believe me!? Kanitama, you don't seem like you can recognize a joke, so are you okay!?"

"Angie! If you're going to make a joke, you can't start feeling sorry for her and give up partway through!"

"Then what do they launch from here!?" asked Kani. "The track team like Tres España!?"

"The tea ceremony club," said Yoshiaki.

"Th-that's just another joke, right!? Right!?"

"If you think so, then look down at the catapult lane's sole hook. It's shaped like the setta that Sen no Rikyuu invented."

Kani looked down and saw the mechanism that locked onto the feet of the person being launched by the catapult. When she looked carefully at the shape...

"...W-wait, this isn't a setta. It's just a flat panel!"

"..."

"Wh-why aren't you saying anything!?"

But while she said that, lernen figurs lined up along the deck.

They were takeoff instructions.

The two Technohexen adjusted the charms in front of their eyes.

The transparent charms weakened the sunlight. And then the Schwarz Hexen spoke.

“Okay, Kanitama. Will you be able to catch up with us?”

“Oh, testament! Sorry about all the trouble!”

“You were light and you didn’t move, so it was no trouble.”

“Yes, the sky was so pretty! I was like ‘wow’ and then there it was!”

“I see,” said Yoshiaki with a nod.

She saw the instruction to move from the apron to the runway.

“Sounds like we can actually throw on some speed next time you ride with us.”

“Eh!? You can go even faster than that!?”

“Kanitama…”

“Ah! Wh-what is that pitying look for!?”

“In that case.” Wakisaka suddenly put on a full-faced smile. “Kanitamaaa~!”

“Celebrating for no reason is just confusing!”

Kuro Take: “Um, stop that. Don’t tease Kani-kun so much.”

AnG: “Yeah, but she’s like our first underclassman. …Although I guess we’re really just doing the same stuff we do to Kacky.”

□□凸: “Th-that really hurts, you know!? And what you’ve done to me is far worse, so let’s just end the discussion here!”

6: “Why are you getting jealous?”

□□凸: “That’s the kind of thing I was afraid of…!”

“Come to think of it, Shouroku is the youngest one of us all,” muttered Wakisaka before turning to face Kani again. “Okay, we need to get going! And I’ll give you a nice piece of info first.”

“Eh!? What is it!?”

“Well,” said Wakisaka as she stepped from the apron to the runway.

She lined up alongside Yoshiaki and slid Schwarz Fürstin into the air as she continued.

“This aircraft carrier launches the sword fighting club. …It was originally developed for Tres España, but M.H.R.R Chancellor Charles V was their Chancellor too, right? It was meant for mechanical phoenixes, but it was remade for mobile shells and sent to M.H.R.R. instead.”

“And thanks to that, it’s now a useful aircraft carrier that can launch Technohexen too.”

“Right?”

With that, the Schwarz Hexen and Weiss Hexen stepped out onto the runway proper.

They were going to take off.

They had no cargo and they were to fly full speed toward Houjou in the southeast.


Yoshiaki took a breath at the stern of the aircraft carrier.

They sometimes used this aircraft carrier to resupply. It flew at more than twice Zwei Fürstin’s standard cruising altitude, so it could be a pain to reach.

But the thrill of being launched from the catapult and the view from this altitude are both so wonderful.

Sakuma appeared on a lernen figur in the air. The small figure wore an M.H.R.R. girl’s uniform.

“Sakuma, thanks for your hard work at Novgorod.”

“Sure, sure. I’m ashamed I couldn’t keep things up as ‘Retreating Sakuma’ until you got there.”

AnG: “Surviving the sinking of your ship is pretty impressive, don’t you think?”

Kimee: “Everyone judges themselves by different standards, Angie.”

But she had something to ask.

“Sakuma, will you be coming too?”

“That depends on the situation, but probably not. Yeah, I really doubt it. I might support you though. Want some candy?”

“Testament,” said Yoshiaki with a nod as she placed her hand on Weiss Fürstin’s control flap.

She fixed the flap in its usual position. The show only truly started once she felt the metal clicking into place.

“Weiss Fürstin is prepared for standard cruising.”

The pressure of her fingers moved the rear vector nozzle and the pressure on the rest behind her thighs opened and closed the nozzle.

Next to her, Angie went through a quick check on a Magie Figur.

“Okay. Both crafts are currently on the deck of the Sakuma Fleet’s Narumi Castle aircraft carrier. Any higher priority flights?’

“No, no,” said Sakuma. “The captain herself is controlling your flight, so I hope you’re thankful. It’s just cause I’m bored, though. Oh, but a supply ship will be rising off of starboard, so don’t break to the right.”

“Testament. Course confirmed. …Releasing spell choke clip!”

Behind them, the Magie Figur that had been holding them in place shattered into light.

Immediately, light filled the rear thrusters.

It’s so different when we have a ship supplying us with power.

This was not just a warship. It was an aircraft carrier that specialized in aerial forces. Even on the Azuchi Castle, they had to take off and land under their own power, so a specialized aircraft carrier really was different.

“If only this could come with us to Houjou.”

“We need to place our hopes elsewhere, Kime-chan.”

“Testament,” agreed Yoshiaki while Sakuma reached for the controls outside of the lernen figur screen.

“Activating two of the spell catapults. Beginning Eastern European Technomagie conversion of Holy Spell. Zwei Eisen, connect your rear clutch to the catapult hook.”

“Testament. Zwei Eisen has confirmed Zwei Fürstin’s anti-air anti-surface same-level interception equipment. Weiss Fürstin includes extra compression equipment and Schwarz Fürstin includes extra reduction equipment. Requesting authorization for emergency combat usage near your ship.”

“Testament,” was the reply. “That’s fine, I guess. And keep up that energy level. …Oh, I have confirmation of launch weight. You check on your end.”

Their weight appeared on a lernen figur.

“Huh…?” said Angie. “I’m heavier now?”

“You were carrying my luggage on the way here. Because I was carrying Kani.”

“Hiii!” shouted Kani while waving at them. She apparently intended to watch them take off.

Well, fine. That’s a “testament” for the weight confirmation. They pressed the sign button on the lernen figur. And…

“Good, good,” said Sakuma. “This is a pain, so I’m just raising the catapult hooks now.”

On the panel below Yoshiaki’s feet, an anchor rose up behind her to support her legs from the heel to the back of the knee.

Similarly, a lernen figur appeared behind Weiss Fürstin such that it stuck into the device a little.

That was to hold it in place. Weiss Fürstin was lightly fixed in place while the trembling noise from the rear acceleration system grew louder.

“Now that’s a nice sound!”

Angie shouted over the noise as a new light appeared below their feet.

They were Magie Figurs. This was an anti-G cradle created by converting a Holy Spell into Technomagie. It surrounded both Weiss Fürstin and Schwarz Fürstin.

“The anti-G spell cradle has opened. Our bodies are fixed in place. The bows are fixed in place.”

With the sound of a watch crown turning, the cradle split into a top and bottom version. Then each one adjusted its position to measure the cardinal directions.

And as soon as that was complete…

The final preparation.

“Control! Raise the blast deflector!”

With that, a metal panel stood up behind Zwei Fürstin. A Holy Spell acceleration spell was written on that acceleration light reflector panel. But it was set counterclockwise, upside-down, and in reverse.

It had been built on opposites for Technohexen use.

So Yoshiaki nodded. She exchanged a glance with Angie by her side and they spoke in unison.

“Zwei Eisen, full power.”

The noise and light passed by them from back to front.

They could not move forward because their devices were fixed in place.

So they did not fear to squeeze the control flaps.

“Weiss Fürstin, full power, all green!”

“Schwarz Fürstin, full power, all green!”

That received a response from Sakuma.

“Okay, okay. Zwei Eisen, you have authorization to take off!! …Launching spell catapults!”

The deck beneath them raced forward with enough force that they passed by their acceleration light.

They had been launched.


Ohh.

Angie felt like the front of her craft had been tugged forward.

The catapult gave them a speed of 300kph. That was 93m/s.

It was not enough to reach Zwei Fürstin’s max speed, but the catapult got them up to speed more quickly.

The flight deck was about 300m long, so they would clear it in 4 seconds at their current speed.

They were moving so fast.

This speed used to scare her.

After all, the catapult structure meant the acceleration came from below their feet first. It made her feel like she was going to fall onto her butt. So she used to lean forward, cling to Schwarz Fürstin and let the catapult do all the work.

But no longer.

There was a spell cradle behind her. When she knew that field was supporting her body, there were things she could do in that short period of time.

She could not just cling to Schwarz Fürstin.

She had to hold it and pull it close. She had to use that action to squeeze the control flaps.

“Accelerate…!”

There was something she wanted to do: surpass the catapult’s acceleration over these 300 meters.

She adjusted Schwarz Fürstin’s acceleration settings to focus on initial speed.

“Go…!”

She gained powerful speed. She felt the wind.

There was something here she could not find when flying in the sky: the deck.

Even when they flew at speeds rivalling the catapult’s, this floor was not there.

Was this what it would feel like to fly along the surface?

The lift produced by the deck, the craft, and her own wings felt like it was going to send everything up and away. But the buffer fixation spell kept them on the catapult.

There was only one type of movement allowed before reaching the end of the deck.

Accelerating forward!

To avoid accidents, the fixation did not prevent forward movement.

So Angie accelerated.

Schwarz Technomagie worked through reduction. For acceleration, she used repulsion gravity to move through the sky.

“Kh…!”

The end of the deck was only a breath away.

It was so short.

It would be so much different with another 100 meters.

The Null Vier must be nice!

On Musashi, the Technohexen liked to play a game similar to this. In recorded footage and from a distance, she had seen Technohexen setting up buoys across a 400 meter space of sky and holding an acceleration competition through them.

Musashi’s Zwei Fräulein had trained themselves in that environment. So…

“We have to do it in 300…!”

She squeezed out as much acceleration as possible.

The wind blew past and the noise thinned out.

“————”

The deck ended.


“Wow…!”

Kani covered her ears because of the two loud noises ringing across the deck.

Sakuma spoke to her from the cross-shaped control bridge standing up from the side of the deck.

“Hey, hey, new girl. Did you see that?”

“Oh, yes! I did!”

“I see, I see. Then make sure you remember it.”

Sakuma watched the thin lines racing into the southeastern sky.

“While they didn’t completely pull it off, they broke the sound barrier under their own power before reaching the head of the deck. …Even in the Technohexen Null Vier, you don’t often see the sound barrier broken before 400m.”