Horizon:Volume 6A Prologue
Prologue: Rest Area Fighter
It means to sleep
While using all the noise
As a pillow
Point Allocation (Luxury)
“My king! Horizon! I know you must be tired, but please wake up!”
Horizon awoke to Mitotsudaira’s voice.
She would always see the same thing when she got up: a wooden ceiling.
It belonged to the room she had been given in Tama’s underground.
The Blue Thunder’s manager had prepared it for her after taking her in a little over a year before. The manager’s investigation had shown Horizon had no home and the woman had been unable to just abandon her. She had needed a home if she was to provide tax money as a Musashi resident.
But this was not that familiar place from her everyday life.
“Aoi-kun! Ariadust-kun! Wake up! It is currently the second night of the study camp, we spent the day defeating two Celestial Dragons for the First Siege of Ueda, we discovered new mysteries in the ruins, and the blonde version of Aoi-kun’s crossdressing set was ruined, so I imagine you are tired and would like to rest, but it is still only eight at night and Mouri is here wishing to combine the punishment of Houjou with the attack on Mouri! Mitotsudaira-kun’s mother is also here, so we would like to hold an emergency meeting about what to do! …So wake up!”
…That’s Neshinbara-sama for you. A superb example of exposition dialogue.
But no one came inside the tent. And Adele commented on that fact.
“U-umm, why isn’t anyone going in?”
“Eh!? B-because I can’t spy on them in the bedroom.”
“B-but that’s…Asama-san and…Mitotsudaira-san’s tent…too…”
“Shhh!!!! What if my mother hears you from the clearing over there!?”
“It would probably lead to something funny,” said Naito.
“Yes. I’ll finally get to draw some mother-daughter material.”
Horizon thought about the conversation she heard.
…If everyone is satisfied, perhaps it would be best to leave it like this.
She heard the steady breathing of sleep from Toori.
If she ignored this, they could rest.
Horizon thought to herself. While glaring. There is someone parallel to me.
He was trying to retrieve her emotions and conquer the world.
She appreciated that, but he could not do any of it on his own.
They were a pair of parallel lines that both relied on others. Also…
“Toori-sama,” she said. “If we have even more difficult battles ahead of us, we must bring our battle formation together sooner rather than later. After all…”
“We cannot continue if we are missing you and there is a gap of time in what I am missing.”
Horizon shut her eyes.
She ignored everything outside.
If they set foot in here, she would get up. That was her decision.
“How strange,” said Adele with a frown.
In the depths of the night where the waterfalls and mountain stream could be heard, she raised her index finger and continued.
“If they aren’t waking up after all this yelling, it’s possible something happened.”
“Heh heh. Something!? Yes, something! What are you suggesting has happened!?”
Adele thought about it.
“What is it, Adele-dono?”
“What would you do if I jokingly said ‘murder’?”
When she asked, the 5th Special Duty Officer bent her eyes in a smile and let the silver chains dangle down from the sleeves of her yukata.
“That is not something to joke about.”
That was a close one.
I forget the king’s guardian knight is right in front of me.
…I could have ended up experiencing some chain bondage!
But why was it she could only imagine that chain bondage involving Raging Beast smashing into things and producing other violent sound effects? Probably because she had already experienced that here.
So Adele thought some more.
“What is it, Adele-dono?”
“Maybe they’re doing lewd thi-…”
The 6th Special Duty Officer hit her on the back of the head. It made a nice sound. While Adele realized she was not a lost cause, the 2nd Special Duty Officer calmly spoke up.
“If they were doing that, wouldn’t all this noise outside ruin the mood?”
“Oh? But some people are put more in the mood when they can hear people around them. …Um, b-but not me. There’s just someone I know who is like that. Yes!”
“Yeah…” they all agreed as the Vice Chancellor crossed her arms.
“Hmm,” she groaned. “Well, it seems unlikely anything dangerous is happening in there. After all, Asama-dono has not received a warning from the nudist’s vital readings, has she?”
Everyone turned toward Asama, who took a step back with everyone’s focus on her.
“U-umm, no. I haven’t gotten anything?”
“Heh heh. Then why didn’t you say so sooner?”
“Eh!? …B-because that would make it look like I was monitoring him. And I couldn’t spy on him when he’s sleeping.”
“Oh? My foolish brother will visit me when I’m asleep and the reverse is fine too.”
“Well, yes, he’ll also do that at my place…”
Everyone fell silent and looked at Asama again.
She was confused by all the focus she was getting. But…
She frantically shook her hands back and forth.
“Y-y’know, Toori-kun has access to our shrine! Because he leaves spare clothes in my room, my dad really likes him, and he hides out there when the guards are after him! Isn’t that right, me!? Yes, it certainly is. It happens all the time.”
“It happens all the time?”
When the wolf asked that with a smile, the shrine maiden hung her head.
And Kimi slapped Asama’s shoulder.
“Anyway, Asama. This is a bit of an emergency.”
“Yes, but, um, I haven’t received a passive check warning from Hanami.”
“Heh heh. Does that mean you haven’t done an active check? Don’t you want to know if they’re all right?”
“B-but, um, I can’t tell you what that says. It would, uh, violate their privacy.”
“In other words, you did check, Didn’t you!? ‘Oh, a brain narcotic reading from Toori-kun…! And Horizon too…!’ That’s what you saw, isn’t it!? How wonderful! The brain stem is a wonderful thing! It helps stem-ulate desire! Feel free to get turned on when you see those brain narcotic readings! Let’s all get doped up on dopamine!”
…She doesn’t let anyone get a word in edgewise…
Adele turned her back on Asama so she would not get dragged into this.
Then the Vice Chancellor nodded as she looked toward the silent tent.
“Regardless, it would seem nothing dangerous is happening inside. Perhaps the nudist and Horizon-sama are having sex in there.”
“…Vice Chancellor. That sounds really dangerous to me.”
“Oh? Adele-dono, are you unfamiliar with sex? Sex is by no means dangerous. …It is a very serious act that binds people together.”
Gin took Muneshige’s hand and tried to return to the clearing, but it was probably best not to interfere.
Then the 3rd Special Duty Officer raised her right hand toward Futayo.
“Which way do you mean that?”
“Judge. When I say sex, I mean sex. There is only one way you can mean it. Although if I had to specify…knowing Horizon-sama, it would be a very composed form of sex.”
“Ga-chan! Ga-chan! Don’t say a word even if something just hit you. You might be onto a new genre here!”
Adele tried to picture it.
And the image in her head was so awful that she silently apologized to no one in particular.
She had a feeling she had dirtied herself. Yes, and she had a feeling it was more than just a “feeling”.
“Anyway,” said the 1st Special Duty Officer. “What are we going to do?”
That’s the real question, thought Adele.
What should they do?
The 1st Special Duty Officer’s question earned a response from Mary who was carrying a metal pot needing washing. She looked up at him from the side.
“Master Tenzou, how can we wake them without entering the tent?”
“Judge, the best way would be to yell. Like ‘H-howaaaaa!’ or something.”
Then he raised his right index finger.
“But Mitotsudaira-dono’s mother would notice any yelling since she is currently in the clearing.”
“Judge. She is being served food by Ohiroshiki and Hassan. They were saying something about how our food supply for the study camp wouldn’t last.”
Not surprising when it’s the 5th Special Duty Officer’s mom, thought Adele.
But the food supply was limited. It could not hold back the Reine des Garous forever.
“Then again,” began Adele. “Is there any real problem with the 5th Special Duty Officer’s mom noticing this?”
Everyone exchanged a glance and Masazumi turned to the daughter.
“Is there a problem with that, Mitotsudaira?”
“M-my mother would learn I was sharing a tent with my king!”
“Oh, is that all?” said the others as they relaxed their shoulders.
“I-Is that all?” repeated the 5th Special Duty Officer. “This is a serious issue.”
But someone else responded: the Date Vice Chancellor.
She had not changed clothes since the visit to the ruins and she faced the 5th Special Duty Officer.
“If you’re living with him, she’s going to find out eventually.”
“Yes,” added Mary with a smile. “That’s right, Lady Mitotsudaira. You would feel better if you let her know and it would help us all out. Isn’t that right?”
“Yes! That’s right!”
Everyone strongly agreed, so the 5th Special Duty Officer hung her head and averted her gaze.
…Oh, she doesn’t trust us…
Mutual trust might be the biggest thing we lack, realized Adele. But…
“What should we do?”
“Judge.” The 2nd Special Duty Officer nodded. “How about I overturn the entire tent?”
“Heh heh heh. You have guts! Our things are in there too! What if my makeup, Mitotsudaira’s yakiniku set, and Asama’s Shinto ‘playing with yourself’ set end up all jumbled together! We’d have a pretty ‘playing with yourself’ yakiniku set!”
“Then what are we supposed to do?”
…You’re just ignoring all of that!?
Adele was shocked. This was the confidence of someone who already had a wife. Since Asama and the 3rd Special Duty Officer were as surprised as Adele, did that mean they were relatively normal?
But Narumi struck the 2nd Special Duty Officer’s arm armor and gave him a calm look.
“Overturn the tent? Why are you so fixated on making things needlessly exciting?”
Unturning: “He really is hopeless.”
She posted that to a girls-only chat.
Unturning: “But shaking the tent isn’t a bad idea, so I’ll guide him in a more subdued direction.”
Way to go, thought Adele.
The Date Vice Chancellor faced the half-dragon once more.
“Kiyonari. Why do you like to give everything such an exciting solution?”
“You don’t get it, Narumi? …Because it’s cool.”
“Oh?” She sighed. “It seems a certain half-dragon thinks construction work like overturning tents is cool.”
“Ho ho? Do you not know how cool construction equipment is!? Do you not know how cool diggers, wrecking balls, and rollers are!? Well, I suppose a snowy nation would make everything of snow, so it’s not your fault.”
The Date Vice Chancellor frowned at that line. It seemed to have pissed her off.
After a pause, she crossed her arms. And…
“You know,” she said. “There are far more exciting things than your proposed solution. Didn’t you know that?”
Flat Vassal: “Why would you provoke him, Date Vice Chancellor!?”
Unturning: “Sorry about that.”
Tachibana Wife: “Why do I get the feeling she’s only apologizing so we won’t stop her from continuing?”
Novice: “So it’s an apology of resolve! I can feel my blood pumping…!”
Four Eyes: “Um, I happen to be holding a love comedy that you wrote in middle school. It’s called Sambo Flight. Here’s a sample: ‘Sparkle. The night air was – swoosh – sliced by the silver of an indescribably beautiful blade. Excellent. Oh, could this be…?’ What even is this? Can I post the whole thing over divine transmission?”
Novice: “I’m sorry, I’m sorry! I really liked using sound effects back then!!”
He immediately apologized.
But back in reality, the 2nd Special Duty Officer was getting worked up.
“So what are you suggesting, Narumi? Shooting the tent!?”
“Oh? You really think simply shooting it would be ‘exciting’? If you want something truly exciting, you have to move past explosions and slashes. How about some local curved crushing using a highly-concentrated gravity mass?”
“I’m not sure that’s the best way of waking someone up.”
That comment earned Adele a sidelong glance from the Date Vice Chancellor and the 2nd Special Duty Officer. And after a while…
“I think I’ll go get some dinner at the clearing,” said the half-dragon. “They’ve fixed something, haven’t they?”
“Good idea,” said the Date Vice Chancellor. “I ate my curry too early, so I’ll go with you.”
“Y-you’re treating me like I have no social awareness, aren’t you!?”
“You all are hopeless.”
Kimi opened the tent’s entrance.
“Foolish brother? Horizon?”
She readily began to look inside, so Adele and everyone else shouted at her.
“Why didn’t you just do that in the first place!?”
Suzu had sensed the inside of the tent long before the others.
She was blind, but she could search the darkness using a combination of sound, air movement, heat, etc. She wondered if it was wrong of her, but she had the best understanding of the situation in the tent while the others peered inside.
A blanket was laid out in the tent.
It was just the one in the center.
And everyone’s things were by the walls.
…Kimi-chan’s, Toori-kun’s, and Horizon’s are by the entrance.
Mitotsudaira’s was by the right wall and Asama’s by the left.
They had all been in there together the night before.
She wondered what that had been like, and as if to answer her…
Toori was sleeping in the center.
His hands were above his shoulders as if he were dangling down from something as he slept.
Were his shoulders stiff? But his fingers were spread
…Was he trying to grope her chest?
But in this case, that was normal. As Kimi had said earlier, he used such things to provide a shared secret, so when he groped someone’s chest, he was sharing the secret of their chest size between the two of them.
When Suzu had let him grope her chest at Mikawa, had she made a mistake by reporting to everyone that they had grown? It should have been a secret between the two of them, but she had made sure everyone knew.
But she also felt like that was the only thing she could have said at the time.
Next time. If there’s a next time, she thought.
She realized it had been the same with Mitotsudaira.
When she had lent him her chest at Mikawa, she had gotten so mad at him.
…Was that because Toori-kun revealed the result to everyone?
That fit the rules, but Mitotsudaira had not understood the rules back then, so her reasons would have been different.
She was currently peering into the tent, but what had she been thinking back then?
She had probably been surprised with how sudden it had been, but…
If Toori-kun hadn’t…said anything…would you have just accepted it?
That would be why she had said what she did.
…She said he was…completely hopeless…didn’t she?
That did not seem like much of a response, but had there been actual meaning behind it?
Yes. What he did there…was “completely hopeless”.
If Mitotsudaira had known the situation, she probably would have refused. But that was just a minor discrepancy. And more importantly…
“Hm? What is it, Suzu? Do you know what’s happening in there?”
She kind of understood why Kimi had egged Mitotsudaira on.
You really…love everyone…don’t you?
That girl seemed to adjust and confirm the distance between everyone so things could continue smoothly.
And now it was Suzu’s turn. Since Kimi had prompted her to do so, she needed to know what was inside there.
“Wait just…a second.”
The group parted and she stepped forward to sense inside the tent.
There had been something odd in there for a while.
That was true. Horizon was not next to Toori.
But then she realized the truth.
Horizon was there.
But she was not at all where Suzu had expected.
In fact, she was in two places: By Toori’s head and by his feet.
Suzu closed the entrance.
She turned back toward the confused group and opened her mouth.
…If I didn’t tell them, would this count as a shared secret?
“Horizon has…her legs wrapped around…Toori-kun’s legs…l-like this?”
“That would be a figure-four leglock.”
Suzu was not sure, but she assumed that was true since Persona-kun gave a deep nod.
The others began whispering.
“How do you fall asleep like that?”
“The Chancellor probably tried something again and got hit by a counterattack.”
“I always thought Horizon was a striker, but I guess she can grapple too…”
The atmosphere seemed headed in a harsh direction.
I need to do something, thought Suzu before speaking to the others.
“What is it, Suzu-san?”
“Well, i-it’s fine…everyone.”
She smiled and explained the situation to put them at ease.
“Horizon is…holding Toori-kun in…her arms.”
Everyone let out surprised or warm breaths.
She was pretty sure she had put a stop to that dangerous atmosphere, so she continued explaining what she could sense inside.
“And Horizon’s arms…both of them? Th-they’re holding Toori-kun…like this.”
She was pretty sure it was like this.
As if embracing him from behind, she had her left arm wrapped around his neck and her right arm locking the inside of his left elbow.
She tried it. And…
Everyone fell silent.
The sudden silence caused her heart to race. Then Narumi, Mitotsudaira, and some others exchanged a glance.
“It seems Horizon really is a grappler.”
“A figure-four leglock on the bottom and a sleeper hold on the top, huh?”
“W-wait, Suzu-san? Can I ask something?”
“Wh-what is it? Asama-san?”
“Just in case it turns out you have to testify as the primary witness, remember that we’re all on your side, okay?”
She was not sure what that meant, but Mitotsudaira opened the tent’s entrance.
“My king!? Are you alive!?”
Mitotsudaira viewed the scene with the light of the lamp spell charm that Asama held up.
Two people were collapsed there.
One was Horizon who was missing her arms but performing a figure-four leglock in her sleep.
Her breathing was regular, but…
“Why is she sleeping with her eyes open?”
“That’s what we’ve been wondering ever since last night…”
But beyond the perfectly-performed figure-four leglock, Mitotsudaira’s king was being held by Horizon’s arms.
As Suzu had said, Horizon’s arms had another perfect lock on his neck.
Her king’s eyes were rolled back in his head and his tongue was sticking out.
His hands were extended into the air with the fingers spread in obvious preparation to grope something. But something else mattered more at the moment.
Masazumi’s voice reached them from the distance.
“Can you people not even sleep normally!?”
Mitotsudaira had to agree.
—We must bring our battle formation together sooner rather than later.
The Recent Course of Far Eastern History
Toori: Sis! Sis! Could you tell me what the Musashi-related history’s been doing lately and what’s gonna happen from now on!?
Kimi: Heh heh heh. History brother, with the Battle of Kanagawa and the First Siege of Ueda, we have been involved in the history recreations of other nations recently. And now Mouri is here, so you must be really confused. Well, your wise sister will give you a look at the Kantou-centric events, including the ones coming up. The parts in quotes are the result of the history recreation, okay?
- Bunroku Campaign (Hashiba vs. Korea): Hashiba’s Korean invasion as a starting point to invade the continent. ➡ “Edo and Satomi were conquered.”
- Battle of Kanagawa (Houjou vs. P.A. Oda): Houjou takes advantage of Nogunaga’s assassination to drive out Takigawa Ichimasu who Oda left in charge of Kantou. ➡ “After picking up on Houjou’s intent at the Ariake, Musashi sank Takigawa’s Shirasagi Castle.”
- First Siege of Ueda (Sanada vs. Matsudaira): Matsudaira prepares to replace Sanada’s territory, so Sanada resists. Sanada wins. ➡ “At the Ueda ruins, Musashi defeated the Sanada Celestial Dragons and had to retreat when the ruins collapsed.”
To Be Completed During the Houjou Battle:
- Tensho Jingo Conflict (Houjou vs. Matsudaira): After Nobunaga’s death and with Takigawa gone, the Kantou forces fight for supremacy. Matsudaira wins and reconciles with Houjou.
- Siege of Bitchu Takamatsu Castle (Mouri vs. Hashiba): The final showdown between Mouri and Hashiba, who is attempting to subjugate the Chugoku region. Mouri loses after being flooded.
- Siege of Kanie Castle (Hashiba vs. Matsudaira): A portion of the Battle of Komaki Nagakute. Takigawa attempts a siege and is defeated.
Kimi: That’s about it. They all happen after Nobunaga’s assassination, so we did a pretty good job with all the previous battles. After this, we also have the Second Siege of Ueda, the Keichou Campaign, and Sekigahara, but I’ll omit those here.
Toori: When did we raise all these event flags…?
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