Horizon:Volume 6B Chapter 31
Chapter 31: Guests in the Living Room
What once was
What is no more
The reason why
Point Allocation (Distance)
“Heh heh. That’s right.”
Horizon heard Kimi’s voice.
“When Horizon and my foolish brother were taken away, everything in the room was taken to Lord Motonobu. When my foolish brother later returned, we discussed what to do with this room and never could make a decision.”
“I see,” replied Horizon.
She had no memory of the dimly-lit room, but the version of herself that had lived here had been lost ten years before. In that case…
“Leaving the room empty is wasteful for life on the Musashi.”
“You can be mad if you want. Now, hit him! Hit him, Horizon!”
Kimi held the idiot under her right arm and stuck the idiot’s butt out toward Horizon.
He initially shook his butt as if in protest, but…
“No, foolish brother! You need to stick your butt out for ten years’ worth of punishment! And flip!”
When Kimi flipped up the summer uniform’s skirt, the crossdresser seemed to gather his resolve.
“Okay, Horizon! Let’s settle this once and for all!” The idiot stuck his butt out. “Now! Bring it oooooooon!!”
Horizon borrowed Tonbo Spare from Futayo and gently stuck the blade into his butt.
“Ah, wait, you really like this gag recently, don’t you? No, no! You’re gonna make my butt crack even deeper!”
“Nooo!” protested Tonbo Spare.
“Keep at it, Tonbo Spare!” said Futayo. “Just have a little more patience!”
Horizon looked to Kimi, ignoring the crossdresser’s butt.
“Heh heh. What is it, Horizon? Are you going to stick Lype Katathlipse between my boobs!? Are you!?”
“Doing that would only bring sorrow to Adele-sama, so please be undershtanding.”
“I was expecting something awful, but did you have to attack from multiple angles at once!?”
Adele received a thumbs up for her trouble.
“But,” said Horizon. “There is something I understand now that I have seen this room.”
“Since I have no memory of the room, I am not sure what to make of the fact that it used to be mine…”
Mitotsudaira saw an awkward sweat on Horizon’s face as she turned toward Kimi.
Horizon raised her right forearm.
“Um, Kimi-sama, would it be best if I remembered some of my lost memories or found some memento of the past?”
“Hmm, that probably isn’t possible, so maybe not…”
“And I really don’t think you should be feeling any responsibility here, Horizon,” added Mitotsudaira.
“Judge, I am aware of that. Because someone here said he would take all the responsibility onto himself.”
Horizon gently pushed Lype Katathlipse into the idiot’s butt.
“Ah, wait, a second one!? That’s new, isn’t it!?”
My king, bear with it.
While Mitotsudaira watched over her king’s efforts, Yoshiyasu found something at the bottom of the wall.
“Hey, it looks like a hole in the wall was repaired over here.”
“Hm?” Tenzou crouched down to check. “Could this be linked to a memory of young Horizon-dono damaging the wall!? …Yes, from the looks of it, an arrow was fired in from the neighboring room!”
Everyone turned toward Asama and the shrine maiden was already hanging her head and raising her right forearm.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. But you know how you really want to shoot a new bow when you get it, right? Well, I set up an unwanted magazine as a target to test it out and its penetrative power was quite impressive.”
“In other words, you did this, Tomo?”
Asama raised both hands with her head hanging.
Kimi nodded once as well.
“But before that, we had already changed the wallpaper to make it a guest room.”
Mitotsudaira heard someone say, “I see.”
It was Horizon and she took a breath.
“Regardless, I used to live here, correct?”
“Heh heh. That’s right. So what will you do now?” Kimi aimed the king’s butt toward Horizon while holding him below her arm like a drum. “You’ve moved to our house, so we will give you this room again. But we are not returning it to you or reverting to the way things were. After all, you really were lost and that really did inspire remorse. …We are giving this place to you in order to start anew.”
“Judge. I can tell that you cared for me.” Horizon looked through the dimly-lit room. “Musashi has limited space. If you were running a café, you could have chosen to use this for storage. And yet you made it into a guest room.”
“Why do you think that is?”
“Good question,” said Horizon as she turned toward Mitotsudaira and Asama.
Just as confusion reached Mitotsudaira’s mind, Horizon placed a hand on her chin and spoke.
“I have determined all of you intended to renew yourselves and that is exactly what you did. Meaning…”
“You likely planned to use this room once you gained a new family member.”
Mitotsudaira of course understood what Horizon meant.
…She’s talking about someone “joining” the family.
Horizon looked to Kimi.
Horizon adjusted the position of the two blades sticking into the king’s butt.
“Are you listening?”
“Wh-what was the point of that extra action, Horizon!?” asked Mitotsudaira.
“They were about to fall out and that was bothering me.” Horizon placed a hand on her chin and viewed the two inserted blades like she was assessing a flower arrangement. “Well, that should do. Now, Kimi-sama.”
“What is it?”
“You have done enough. It is a fact that I lived here in the past. But even if you claim it was used as a guest room in anticipation of making a new family member…it shows no sign of use. I can chalk that up to that boy being unpopular, but…”
Horizon slightly adjusted Tonbo Spare’s angle.
“Sharp angle…” said the weapon.
“Bear with it, Tonbo Whatever. …Anyway, even if you and Toori-sama were focused on heading in a new direction, it can still be seen as a type of regret if it never leads to any real results. …I believe we settled some things at Mikawa, so I would like to begin a new system.”
Mitotsudaira realized something as she listened to Horizon.
…It connects back to my king’s remorse.
This was why he had carried remorse even as he faced forward and pulled everyone else along with him.
It seemed contradictory, but…
…To him, was that the Final Horizon?
Mitotsudaira looked through the room.
Horizon’s scent was not to be found there. Accurate or not, Mitotsudaira remembered her old scent as being “peony-scented hair”, but now she could only sense the “camellia-scented hair” of her king and Kimi.
Any possible memento had been retrieved by Lord Motonobu, so for her king, it must have felt like Horizon had entirely disappeared.
Horizon’s father had placed the memorial stone on Remorse Way to declare that chapter of their lives over, but…
Walking that “way” and arriving in front of the memorial stone would have meant she really was gone.
However, that king had understood the truth. The issue had been accepting that truth.
“My king,” said Mitotsudaira. “If you had thought Horizon was ‘still with us’, you would have kept this room closed, wouldn’t you have?”
But she had been “gone”.
He had understood that, so he had tried to face forward by hoping for someone new.
…I understood all this, you know?
When the Logismoi Oplo had been distributed to the nations, he had made a suggestion that they gather them so they could hold a memorial service. It had sounded like a joke, but it had held important meaning for them.
That was likely why her king had planned to descend to the mainland after graduation.
Thinking back to Mikawa, her king had initially descended the school stairs on his own after the special student general assembly.
He had not wanted to trouble his friends with his own problems, so he had likely planned to go it alone and search for someone new.
That may have been why Asama had revealed a plan of her own back then:
“I’m thinking of going around the mainland to investigate mysterious phenomenon after graduation.”
Half of it was a lie and the other half was also a lie.
So Mitotsudaira had said something as well.
“Did you know a Testament footnote about Mito Mitsukuni says he went on a tour of the Far East?”
But all that had changed when Horizon arrived.
The king was no longer choosing to go it alone.
He had decided in Oushuu that he would go with all of them. So he had settled on something in his heart.
He would not go it alone and search for someone new.
He would go with all of them and recognize what was important to him.
I’m interpreting this way too far in my favor!
Mitotsudaira wanted to put her hands on her cheeks and wiggle around like her mother, but she had to resist.
Her king had chosen to accept everything, including a new Horizon. So…
“You decided to stay here, didn’t you?”
He no longer had to feel regret, forget, or run away.
Everyone was here and he had chosen everyone.
And they would let him do that. Which meant…
“I am here too, my king.”
Suzu sensed something in Mitotsudaira’s voice.
It was a bell.
Her voice contained a resolute ring of joy and expectation that was best described as a bell, just like Suzu’s own name.
Not even Suzu produced a ring like that very often, but her friend was producing it here.
Suzu had thought Mitotsudaira usually acted based on reason rather than excitement. Perhaps due to her past, she tended to restrain herself.
But it was amazing when her excitement surpassed that restraint. Amazing enough to concern Suzu somewhat.
…Huh? Th-this might be what you call an excitable person.
But it’s not a bad thing, so that’s fine, isn’t it? Suzu asked to no one.
Regardless, Suzu thought that balance between excitement and restraint was what it meant to be a knight.
Mitotsudaira would restrain and store up her desire to go on a rampage or enjoy herself. And that discipline allowed her to ask something now:
“My king, what will you do with this room?”
How nice, thought Suzu.
Mitotsudaira-san is so cool when she’s with Toori-kun. She doesn’t try to keep up appearances and allows her true self out, which is really cool.
Also, it’s incredible that she can stay positive and face the issue at hand when Toori-kun has two blades sticking into him.
…Toori-kun has begun a new system.
Or as he would put it, he was not going to run away any longer.
And Horizon had said she wanted a new system.
That may have been because she was unsure how to react to elements of her past she had no memory of.
Besides, the two of them had faced their past and swept their relationship clean at Mikawa.
That may have been why Horizon moved now.
She faced everyone, gently fixed the position of the two blades, and nodded.
She slapped the butt Kimi held.
“Ahn! H-Horizon, what’s this? Trying to make me more sensitive?”
“Someone shut up this unsightly boy.”
Horizon muttered something about “a third one” and began to look around, so Suzu and the others ducked low to wait it out.
“Um,” said Mary from behind Suzu.
“Stick Excalibur in there and Elizabeth-dono will probably complain,” said Tenzou.
“Yeah, I would really prefer to avoid an unprecedented international incident triggered by sticking Excalibur in someone’s butt,” said Masazumi.
“…Eh? No, I don’t think so.”
She was fast.
But Horizon seemed to have concluded there were no available weapons.
“Fine then. How should I put this? I do not know if this boy is shy or just thoughtless, but while he is constantly saying more than necessary, he tends not to say the important things.”
Horizon faced Asama and Mitotsudaira. And then Tenzou and Masazumi.
She understood that those important things would reach some people even if they were left unsaid. And she understood that everyone here was that kind of person.
So she faced all of them in turn and finally took a breath.
“I have determined there is no need to confirm this with all of you. We began this before Mikawa, announced it at Mikawa, reached an agreement on it in Oushuu, and prepared ourselves for it in Sanada.”
“But,” said Mitotsudaira. “In both the past and the present, we shared in my king’s secret here.”
Mal-Ga: “Oh, sorry. I’m busy drawing Mitotsudaira’s secret place, so I’m not actually there yet. But I can hear it all, so it works out.”
Gold Mar: “Hmm. Should you really be drawing their guest room based only on your imagination, Ga-chan?”
Silver Wolf: “What are you doing!?”
But Mitotsudaira was right.
There is proof here that Toori-kun has been thinking about so many things.
Kimi-chan and Toori-kun’s mom are probably the only ones who knew.
But since he had shown it to everyone and opened it up…
Suzu heard a quiet voice.
It was Asama’s. Suzu could tell she was gently holding her own body which had a slightly elevated temperature. That voice had been one of confusion but also one she had wanted to hear herself.
She was agreeing to accept this despite her hesitation.
And in front of them, Horizon said more.
“Let us remake this into something new today.” Horizon once more faced Mitotsudaira and Asama. “This room is too small, isn’t it? I understand now why Toori-sama called for Naomasa-sama. …Naomasa-sama, are you ready?”
“Judge. You want me to remove the wall that separates this from Kimi’s room, right?”
Suzu reached out and touched the wall.
“You can…remove it?”
“Yes. Like I said before, I saw the general structure a while back,” said Naomasa. “If you remove the stopper on the hallway side and pull out the unit, you can remove it barehanded. My prosthetic arm would be best for carrying it around, though.”
That was incredible.
…We don’t have walls at home, so I didn’t know that…
Flat Vassal: “Having multiple rooms at all is pretty incredible.”
Bell: “B-but that’s because…you live alone…Adele.”
Marube-ya: “Suzu, you live with your parents, so how do you deal with the one room?”
Bell: “Nn. We use a curtain…to partition off the area below the loft. …I wanted the top, but mom and dad…said it was dangerous. They treat me like a child, but, um…is it more childish…to want to be on the top?”
Gold Mar: “I feel like everyone in our class – Ga-chan and me included – like to climb or fly as high as we can.”
Unturning: “Are you saying all of you are id-…why are all of you silencing each other with those looks?”
Worshiper: “I feel like it would be hard to find someone who has never climbed up that high. Oh, but I’m safe. I always work underground.”
Novice: “Ohiroshiki-kun, that doesn’t mean you’re working for the underworld, does it?”
Suzu did not really understand, but her stance was apparently better than digging down belowground.
But then Mitotsudaira moved. She placed her hand on the wall to the left.
“If you remove this wall…won’t that effectively make my king’s, Kimi’s, and this room into a single space?”
“Judge,” confirmed Horizon while slapping the butt once. “This will cease to be a guest room. And even if a large number of people move in here, we can divide it up with as many walls as necessary. …We only need to make a decision based on the number of people and whether they will use a bed or a futon.”
“Then should I remove it now?” asked Naomasa.
“Ah! Wait just a moment!” Asama raised her voice. “Mito’s parents are visiting today, so wouldn’t it be best to have a guest room?”
Mitotsudaira felt her face grow pale when she remembered that fact.
And Asama’s solution was indeed the best. If her parents were confined to the guest room and a voice stealth barrier was put in place, it would seem like they had settled down until the following morning. What was happening inside was a different matter.
“Tomo, that is a great idea! Today can be the last day for the guest room!”
“Heh heh heh. Okay, Naomasa, remove that wall.”
“Kimi! Kimi! You’re just choosing what you think will be funnier, aren’t you!?”
“Heh heh. Oh, come on, Mitotsudaira. Funnier? Not even I would ask for something so cruel. I just really want to see what happens!!”
“That’s even worse!”
Just as Mitotsudaira yelled that, Narumi tilted her head and raised her right forearm.
Everyone gave her a questioning look, so the Date Vice Chancellor opened her mouth.
“Is the Mito Lord marrying into the Aoi family?”
Mal-Ga: “Direct! Now that’s a direct question! Argh, I hate that I didn’t go with that for my summer event manuscript! Margot…!”
Gold Mar: “There, there, Ga-chan. Once you’re done hugging me, you need to continue inking it.”
Scarred: “Umm, uh, I am not quite sure what is going on. Could you explain it for me, Master Tenzou?”
10ZO: “Um, Mitotsudaira-dono? I would like to explain this without angering you, so are there any dangerous words I should avoid?”
Silver Wolf: “This is worse than I thought!!”
Righteousness: “Hey, I’m on my way there, but Mito is near Satomi, so I would like to hear about anything that could lead to a major change there.”
Mitotsudaira was unsure what to say.
She could not deny that things were headed in the direction of marriage. There were a variety of paths this could take, but if she and her king continued to desire each other, that would be what happened.
And she had a feeling that Horizon would be in charge.
After all, Mitotsudaira was a knight who granted her king’s wishes and she had bound that master/servant relationship with him. And with that king as their leader, Musashi wished for world domination and the return of Horizon’s emotions.
On that point, she and her king formed a team with a shared objective.
In other words…
“I will join his battle formation.”
Adele reacted to Mitotsudaira’s words.
She exchanged a glance with the others.
Then they all took a breath and faced Mitotsudaira.
“Join his wives…!?”
Mitotsudaira leaned back from their simultaneous question.
She had not expected such a powerful reaction.
And someone took a step toward her: Neshinbara.
He pushed his glasses up his nose.
“This is important, so allow me to confirm something.”
“Wh-what is it?”
“Mitotsudaira-kun, you are saying you will join as part of your king’s wives?”
Mitotsudaira frowned at that like she was confused why he was asking.
“That is what I have intended for a long time. Of course I do.”
Mitotsudaira heard everyone explode.
No, she was talking about her position in the formation as his knight.
So she could not falter here. She placed a hand on her chest and stated her intentions.
“Yes. …I will join my king’s battle formation to work hard as a knight from as close to him as possible.”
She had said it.
And everyone immediately put on serious expressions.
The silence only lasted a moment.
Horizon had walked up next to her at some point and she placed a hand on her shoulder.
Horizon expressionlessly raised her left palm to tell the others to wait.
She then spoke while sweating.
“That was an impressive announcement. Thank you very much, Mitotsudaira-sama. If you have come here with that kind of resolve, then I must prepare some things for you.”
“N-no, um, is it that impressive to say I am joining his battle formation?”
“She said it again!” said the others while tilting their heads. But Horizon…
“To be honest, I can be indifferent to such things, so if you work hard, I am not confident I will be able to stop your carnivorous feast. But fine.”
“Uh, you are talking about my battles, aren’t you?”
Everyone pulled back a bit.
And after a moment, they began whispering to each other.
“So she really does see it as a battle.”
“Wouldn’t it be predation more than anything?”
“I’m worried for Aoi-kun, but, well, this will probably keep him safe too.”
What were they talking about? But while she started to feel a little uneasy, Mitotsudaira tried asking something.
She turned toward Asama.
“Um, Tomo, you’re going to join the formation too, aren’t you?”
Asama saw everyone turn her way.
Mito, you didn’t have to ask it like that!! she thought, but it was too late now.
Making a sudden concubine announcement here seemed like a bit much to her.
But among the eyes focused on her…
There was an odd atmosphere around Mitotsudaira. She was tilting her head like she did not understand the situation or suspected she had made some kind of misunderstanding.
So Asama thought back over what had happened, trying to find anything someone could have mistaken. And…
She figured it out.
It was not wives. It was not that at all.
…She meant battle formation, didn’t she!?
Her vision briefly went dark.
It had to be that. There was no doubting it. From yesterday to today, Asama’s blood had been rising to and draining from her face more often than any other time in her life.
This time, it was fully draining. But a moment later…
Heat rose from her neck and steamy sweat followed.
She could not believe it.
How was she supposed to respond? She was the only one who had been asked this question while aware it meant “wives”.
Mito had meant it as “battle formation”, so only Asama was being pressed for an answer under the assumption that it was “wives”.
She had only just told him she would eventually say it for herself.
She wanted to hide and protect that shared secret.
But she knew something about her friend.
…I bet Mito would have answered even if she knew it meant “wives”.
But when she realized in front of everyone here that there had been a misunderstanding, Mitotsudaira would feel like she had been boasting about it as “wives”.
So Asama took a step forward to secretly inform Mitotsudaira.
“Um, hey, Mito?”
Asama was so bad at acting. But when she moved forward, she intentionally stumbled over the bump at the room’s entrance.
She lost her balance.
And Mitotsudaira reflexively moved forward.
She supported Asama without saying a word, so Asama leaned against her shoulder and spoke into her ear.
“Why, thank you.”
The first thing Mitotsudaira noticed was the emphasis.
Asama had placed an unnatural emphasis on that first word.
…What does that mean?”
She puzzled over that.
“Phew… I just tripped is all, Mito.”
This time, she emphasized the start of “phew”.
It may have been a coincidence, but then Asama’s blatant act would have been meaningless.
So what was this riddle supposed to mean?
Mitotsudaira thought about it for a full two seconds.
I will be working hard at that!? was her first thought. The word “predation” also came to mind, but she set that aside because it was too much like her mother.
That said, her misunderstanding was the problem here. Her stance as a knight was correct, but if she had gotten away from that…
…My king, I’m sorry!!!
She made ten prostrations in her heart, but when she raised her head in her imagination, he had two blades in his butt and she figured that meant he had forgiven her.
But Asama moved away and fanned her collar between Mitotsudaira and the others. She was looking a bit up toward the ceiling and she likely thought she had pulled off her performance without anyone suspecting.
Mitotsudaira wanted to make a tsukkomi about that, but Asama had saved her by pointing out her misunderstanding.
That’s right, she thought. She was prepared on the “wife” side of things too.
So she decided to say something to help out her friend. She would make her misunderstanding into the truth.
“Well, I suppose that is not even worth asking. I know Tomo is sure to join.”
“Coming together as wives is sure to be fun.”
And just as she said that…
“Well said, Nate! You win the Perfect Score Maman Award!”
A bombshell landed behind the others.
“Why are you here so soon after I drove you away!?”
Mitotsudaira could tell that something was beyond saving. Her mother smiled and nodded at the densely-packed group as she walked through them.
Scarily enough, she somehow managed to avoid letting her shoulders, chest, or even hair touch any of them.
What was the trick to that? Some kind of martial arts?
But as Mitotsudaira tried to figure it out, her mother supported dazed Asama’s shoulders from behind.
“Nate! So this flat-chested girl is the one you’re competing against!? Make sure you give it your all!”
“Stop judging everyone based on your standards!”
“Ah! Nate Maman! Wait just a second, okay!?”
The two-bladed one got up. But since Kimi was holding him under an arm, he just bent backwards with his legs in the air. That may have been why Kimi smiled a little.
“Foolish brother? Do you want me to spin you around?”
“Please do, sis!”
“If you insist.”
Kimi rotated the king vertically. She actually twisted around the arm holding him while passing below her own arm. It was a lot like a children’s dance.
And the king’s body made two vertical rotations. Once Kimi had spun around so their positions were reversed, the king was standing facing Mitotsudaira and her mother.
The crossdresser stood up. When the two blades fell from his butt, he caught them between his thighs so they pointed upwards.
“Hey, Nate Maman.”
“My king, is that any way to behave while speaking with someone?”
“Yeah, but I’m pretty easy-going.”
“I can’t exactly argue with that…”
“Try harder!” shouted someone behind her, but some things were just not possible.
At any rate, her king looked to her mother. It was impressive how he made a point of staring at her chest before reaching her face.
“Um, what will you do? Will you stay in our guest room?”
“Good question,” said her mother with a hand to her mouth. Mitotsudaira silently responded to that.
…Accept! Accept the offer, mother! Just say ‘testament’ and it will all be so much easier!
She watched as her mother nodded and replied.
“Based on what that princess was saying, I think you should remove this wall. …You mustn’t use us staying over as an excuse to fix this as a guest room.”
Mitotsudaira had not expected that from the woman.
“Mother… You can actually take things seriously?”
“Oh, Nate. I’m always serious. And Mr. King? If you can give us another room to use, it would be best if it is soundproofed.”
“Mother! You’re cutting to the heart of the issue a little too quickly!”
“Listen, Nate. Staying at someone’s house is an important situation to use.”
“You can’t fool me by saying it with a serious expression.”
But Asama had already begun using a sign frame to set up the barrier. Perhaps as thanks for earlier.
One thing still worried Mitotsudaira.
“Um, where is father?”
“Testament. He is currently at the diplomatic building. He is resting until the meeting is over.”
“Is father not feeling well?”
“Testament. We just spent a night apart, if you recall. So when we met in the diplomatic building earlier, the loneliness suddenly hit and we did some studying together…led by me.”
“Th-that is an odd way of phrasing that!”
“Now, now.” Her mother smiled with her hands still on Asama’s shoulders. “You all will be much the same before long.”
Mitotsudaira was curious about the “all”, but she knew it was better not to ask. The damage would only spread.
There was something else she had to ask now.
“Mother…are you here for the meeting?”
“No, I thought I could get something to eat first.”
This woman…! thought Mitotsudaira from the bottom of her heart, but her mother only smiled and spoke.
“But Terumoto and Ujinao will be here soon. Let’s enjoy the meeting just as the food is ready. …We can eat while we fight over the preparations for tomorrow’s Siege of Odawara and Siege of Bitchu Takamatsu Castle.”
- In Japanese, “ join his battle formation” sounds the same as “join his wives”.
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