Horizon:Volume 6B Chapter 37

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Chapter 37: Usurper of the Gathering Spot[edit]

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When I am called for and arrive

How do I want

Everyone to greet me?

Point Allocation (I Want Them to Rely On Me)


“Ko ko,” Yoshiaki laughed in her throat.

Shakenobe approached in the air next to her and passed her a glass of sake.

“This is last year’s batch. …This is such a fun time of year because I can sit and watch the season’s ears of rice growing. So it would also be nice to watch the growth of those children who passed through our land.”

Yoshiaki used her fingertips to toss her fan into the air above and grabbed the glass instead.

“Now, let us go. …Yamagata Castle.”


“Cook some more food to be ready in three hours’ time. I quite like chicken.”

As Yoshiaki spoke and smiled on the sign frame, the sky moved behind her.

Neshinbara looked up at that and breathed in.

Not good, not good.

He could tell how excited he was.

But not just because history was on the move.

He was moving it.

Yoshiaki moved away in the image. And if she could produce a sign frame like that…

Asama: “Masazumi, I’m going to open a divine transmission line so Mogami can join the divine chat.”

Vice President: “Judge. …Do the same for Sviet Rus.”

A new sign frame appeared in response and the connection settings scrolled across it.

That meant he held the station that linked Oushuu, Sviet Rus, and Kantou.

This is so exciting!!

Neshinbara swung his left hand forward and threw his words toward Ujinao.

“Now, you have a choice, Houjou Ujinao.”

“What might that be?”

“Judge.” He nodded. “Date, Satomi, Sviet Rus, and Mogami. …That’s four battles, but are you going to fight them?


Masazumi caught on to what Neshinbara was doing.

Oh.

So that’s it, she belatedly realized.

Behind the scenes while he was proposing his number of castles and negotiating over them, the others had been contacting Mogami and Sviet Rus and urging them to cooperate as part of the history recreation.

Even with the history recreation as a justification, those other nations would not necessarily take part. They had only decided to do so because they had concluded that the Kantou Liberation and this battle would give their nation an advantage in the world.

She had sent some information to Sviet Rus and Mogami: what the Reine des Garous had told her about Hexagone Française’s situation and that Date Narumi and Satomi Yoshiyasu had decided to participate.

Mouri had already made a major move.

Contributing to the changing of the world and gaining power would give them a superior position in the next age.

If Mouri was moving in the west, Kantou had to make their move as well. And if they failed to produce results, they would have less authority when speaking to Mouri in the age to come.

Narumi had already decided to join the battle for Date and Satomi had done the same.

Masazumi felt that was probably the reason why.

It’s too soon to think Uesugi and Mogami are doing this to help us.

The world was not that kind.

But it was what it was. Whatever their reasons might have been, they were helping Musashi.

She wanted to be thankful for that.

That just leaves this meeting. But…

She knew what Neshinbara was doing.

His strategy was to use non-Musashi forces for 4 of the 7 castles.

He would concentrate those four powerful forces there instead of having Musashi’s forces fight.

Righteousness: “To be honest, I think I’m the weak link in this lineup.”

Unturning: “If you fight based on that assumption, you’ll do fine.”

This was her final fight against Houjou, so Yoshiyasu might be the most likely to achieve victory. But…

Not necessarily.

Neshinbara was negotiating so they would not have to fight in the end.

Because if they used such powerful outside forces for 4 of the 7 battles, the numbers would determine Houjou’s defeat. Even if Musashi lost all 3 of the remaining battles, they would still have 4 wins and 3 losses.

They had not discussed whether it would be best 4 out of 7, but looking at the possible benefits and losses, Houjou would receive no benefit from this.

Honestly.

He had bought them enough time to prepare these external forces.

Just how much had he bet on guiding Houjou Ujinao and restricting this to the field of the history recreation?

Masazumi thought, I bet he would do anything if it would make things more interesting.

“Now,” Neshinbara said to Houjou. “Who do you want?”


“…Huh!?”

Masazumi raised her voice at that unexpected question.

“Wait a second! Neshinbara! What does that mean!?”

Neshinbara turned back with a “what kind of question is that?” look on his face.

“Houjou doesn’t have enough people to cover for 7 castles, right? Since we’ve called in external forces, it’s only fair for them to do the same if they don’t have enough.”

So…

“We need to make sure we all have a real blast together.”

“Wait!!”


Asama: “Oh, wow! Masazumi is trying to stop a war!”

Azuma: “Has she gone crazy?”

Gold Mar: “Hmm. Imperial boy, isn’t that being a little too direct?”

Vice President: “Stopping war is the normal thing to do!”

Wise Sister: “Oh, this girl. She’s jealous that someone else is starting the war, isn’t she!?”

Me: “Don’t steal my warrrr!”

Vice President: “Stop confusing me by giving me too much to respond to!”


“W-wait a second, Neshinbara!”

Masazumi had to ask something.

It was true what he said followed the current rules.

But he was being too honest.

Politicians are supposed to minimize our own damage!

She had thought he was trying to do just that, but now he was multiplying the enemies.

What do we do now? she thought while getting her mind racing. But just then…

Someone reacted.

Houjou Ujinao clenched and swung both her hands.

“That’s perfect! Let’s do that!! Yes!”

Did your character just change?

But this had to be a godsend for Houjou. Musashi had dug in their heels and just about reduced the number of castles to 3, but now the number was left at 7 and Houjou could bring in powerful allies from other nations. So…

“Now.” Ujinao breathed in, straightened her posture and expression, and spoke in a plain voice. “Houjou will follow that plan.”


Unturning: “…I think she might fit in on the Musashi surprisingly well.”

Flat Vassal: “I thought she was a pain when things didn’t go her way, but it looks like she’s still a pain when things do go her way…”

Vice President: “…”

Marube-ya: “Oh, she’s thinking. She’s thinking.”

Vice President: “Well, yeah. I have to think about this one…!!”


Masazumi thought.

But a voice reached her before she could gather her thoughts.

“————”

It was a distant voice from an external loudspeaker or something.

A ship broadcast?

A voice was being sent her way from somewhere in the distance. But…

“Where…?”

Everyone exchanged a glance and looked around, but even as they all looked each other in the eye…

“…Where? No…who?”

It was Mukai who asked that and turned around.

She had her hands to her ears which were equipped with Noise Neighbor. Even she was curious where this voice was coming from.

She seemed to be holding her hands southward, but…

Where? It has to be a loudspeaker from the city, but…

Masazumi did not know. However…

“—————”

She felt like some kind of voice was reaching her.

What is it? she wondered while noticing Naomasa opening a sign frame above Mukai’s head and writing something there: Try using Musashi’s auditory devices.

Asama nodded and raised a sign frame.

And then…

“Um, Suzu-san?”

“Nn.”

Sign frames appeared by Asama’s hand and near Mukai’s ears.

Just then, Mukai said “ah” and pointed south.

The sky had passed scarlet and was fading from purple to the dark blue of night, but there was a sign frame there in the distance. Masazumi could tell it was a Catholic sign frame, but…

What is it?

“Umm, I’ll try zooming in on that, okay?”

After seeing everyone nod, Asama opened a single large sign frame in front of the Main Blue Thunder.

It displayed the sign frame in the air. And on it…

“Can you hear me!? Can you hear me, cowards of Musashi!? I know you must be inside that stealth barrier, but answer me if you can see out!”

Asama formed a circle with her fingers to say it was okay to respond, so Masazumi sighed at the familiar voice.

“Ootani, huh?”


Masazumi saw someone she had seen just a few hours before.

But now he was small like a Mouse.

Is that the ocean behind him? So is he standing on an embankment or something?

“Asama, why is the sign frame so far away?”

“Well, after the incident earlier today, I increased Musashi’s data defenses. The divine transmission defenses kick in at a 3km radius around the Musashi.”

Oh, so that’s why.

It’s for our safety, but it sure is inconvenient, she also thought. However…

“Are you listening, Musashi!?”

The cameraman did not seem very experienced. Mouse-sized Ootani wandered in the frame.

“As the observer sent by Hashiba-sama, I approve of that idea!”

“Oh, the one about ending this with only 3 castles? I thought that was a great idea too.”

“No! How cheap can you be!? I meant the one where multiple nations take part!”

“Did we say anything about that? I think you must have misheard.”

“You did say it! Your Secretary did!”

“You must be hearing things. Our Secretary tends to do that to people.”

Me: “Isn’t that a little forced?”

Vice President: “Do you want to do this!?”

Righteousness: “I do not envy you here…”

Vice President: “…It does a surprising amount of damage when someone is understanding…”

But Ootani crossed his arms and shifted his position.

There were skewers of dumplings on the embankment which may have belonged to the cameraman.

He walked in front of those dumplings and lifted up one skewer with nothing left on it.

“Listen. I have been listening in and you have been using all sorts of nonsensical arguments.”

“Crossdressing Honda-kun, please tell him not to be so rude.”

Don’t ask the impossible.

But she understood what Ootani was trying to say.

“You want us to use as many agents as possible for the Siege of Odawara?”

“Testament! We were already thinking of asking Sviet Rus to fight for us. And, Musashi, we have business with you as well.”

Masazumi thought about what he said there.

Business?

She was confused and she looked across the others.

For some reason, they all looked away so quickly she could have sworn it made a noise.

“Hey.”

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Gold Mar: “Aren’t you glad we’re at our sniper posts, Ga-chan? We might’ve been dragged into that otherwise.”

Tachibana Wife: “Master Muneshige, I hate how I’m gradually getting used to this…”

Tachibana Husband: “Not to worry, Gin. It is for your own safety.”

What does that mean?

But it looked like Masazumi had to ask about this herself.

“Ootani…have we done anything wrong? I honestly can’t think of anything.”

Worshiper: “Didn’t we send him flying with a table and then hit him with a shell?”

Unturning: “Oh, that’s nothing really…”

Silver Wolf: “N-no, um, that was a sort of solution! Isn’t that right!? It was a solution to a problem!”

Oh, right. That did happen… thought Masazumi as Ootani pointed the skewer at her from the sign frame displayed on the giant sign frame in front of her.

“I did not mean it like that. …Musashi! You have forgotten one thing! You joined Houjou’s side during the Battle of Kanagawa. And it was so you could oppose P.A. Oda. That means you are Houjou as far as P.A. Oda is concerned.”

With that said, Ootani shook his small body.

He pointed the skewer at her again while ether light scattered from him.

“As the Siege of Odawara’s observer acting on Hashiba-sama’s behalf, I demand that the Matsudaira forces fight the Siege of Odawara as an agent of Houjou!”


Ootani saw Wakisaka give a thumbs up on the other side of the broadcast lernen figur.

Next to her, Yoshiaki somewhat glared at him while using her finger to write on her own Magie Figur:

“I think you did well.”

It’s transparent, but it’s still hard to read backwards…

This is odd, thought Ootani. I am a pure, just, and honorable virus, but I feel like these two have a very low opinion of me.

Regardless, he had a job to do. His lernen figur gave an overhead view of the Musashi. He thought he knew where his targets were located, but he was not entirely sure.

It should be fine as long as they can hear my voice.

Even a messenger of justice lacked confidence here. He was worried his directional voice was accidentally hitting some other nearby house. Or was he overthinking this? Regardless…

“I heard you say that the Siege of Odawara will be fought using 7 castles. Meaning 7 battles.”

Musashi’s Vice President responded to him:

“Did we say that?”

“You did! Are you trying to dodge the issue after all this!?”

“No, I’m not dodging the issue. You might not really understand what’s going on, but I don’t really understand either, so that’s fine.”

“Nothing about that is fine!”

“Oh? It’s not fine? Then just give up on this.”

She ended the divine transmission from her end.

Eh?

Without thinking, he came to a stop and Wakisaka peered down at him through the broadcast lernen figur.

“Umm.”

She diagonally karate chopped through the lernen figur.

The lernen figur shook, and…

“Nh!”

Ootani rolled across the embankment.

Yoshiaki tilted her head as he rolled a few times.

“…Is that fun?”

“I-it is not fun! That lernen figur is synced with me, so be gentle with it!”

“Yay!”

Wakisaka grabbed the lernen figur on both sides and shook it up and down.

She thought Ootani would dance through the air along with it, but…

“Why are you slamming yourself against the embankment…or sinking into it?”

“I cannot just fly, so I’m set to remain at ground level!”

“Oh, so you can’t fly…”

“Wh-what is that glare and thin smile for!?”

“So you can’t fly… Sigh.”

“You added a sigh this time, didn’t you!?”

Yoshiaki pointed the lernen figur toward him as if telling him to calm down.

He just about slid across the embankment to match the motion, but he cut off the syncing. And then…

“It happened in the final moment. I’ll replay it so just watch… Look, right here.”

There was a circular silhouette on the right of the freeze-frame Yoshiaki stopped on.

“Is that a coin bullet…!? Was this their Techno Hexen’s doing!?”

“…Shooting a 1m square from more than 3km away is pretty reckless.”

Yoshiaki sighed and looked to the south where the Musashi floated in Odawara’s sky.

She patted the cat that approached by her feet, perhaps hoping to be fed.

“Now we have room to intervene.”


Neshinbara worked to calm his heart while hearing the Vice President whispering “Wrap it up! Hurry!” from behind him.

In the overhead sign frame displaying Sviet Rus, Uesugi Kagekatsu placed a hand on his chin.

He was thinking in silence. He was likely calmly considering where the situation would lead.

In the one displaying Mogami, Yoshiaki was laughing and dancing. The two leaders were contrasted sharply, but…

“Lord Kagekatsu, please make a decision. …At this rate, you will be on Hashiba’s side.”

“Testament. There is no avoiding that. Ha ha…! So you face a military contest against us, Musashi…! Would this be an unavoidable confrontation?”


Lord Kagekatsu really is so cool! thought Neshinbara.

A Warring States commander had to feel their heart dance at the thought of battle, no matter their position or their relationship with the opponent.


KageV: “Wh-what do we do!? I was thinking it would be nice to head south and get some sun, but now we’re looking at a major battle with Musashi!”

Shigeko: “Oh. Well, if that happens, I’ll take care of it.”

Tomo-no-Bu: “Wait! That would be a job for me! I must strike back against that insolent nudist!”

Shigeko: “I really doubt Musashi would send their Chancellor out to fight.”

Tomo-no-Bu: “…Never mind then.”

KageV: “Saitou-san, you’ve really taken a liking to the Musashi Chancellor, haven’t you!?”

Shigeko: “Anyway, Kagekatsu-sama, we need to check on a few things concerning this. First and foremost, what kind of political deal can we make with Musashi using this. After all, we would lose a lot if we simply acted as Hashiba’s pawns. I was thinking we could find a way to leave Musashi owing us one after this.”

Love Man: “Ha ha ha! I’m back after getting injured again!”

KageV: “You bastarrrrrrrrrrrrrd!”

Mayoress: “Hey, you lot. I’ve made some borsch using a cow corpse, so come line up in the dining hall. Form two lines.”

KageV: “Good! Dinner is right on time, Marfa…!”


“How could you do this just before dinner, you dung beetle!”

Lord Kagekatsu began a live scolding on the Sviet Rus sign frame and he sent Naoe Kanetsugu bouncing across the room.

As Mitotsudaira watched…

Silver Wolf: “I-I see he still rules with an iron fist…!”

10ZO: “Judge! You can tell why he got the ‘the terrible’ moniker…!”

Novice: “You all got to see this live, didn’t you? I’m so jealous…!”

“There is no place for you heeeeeeere!”

It was a very intense display, but it scared Mitotsudaira how used to it she had become.

Well, I’m sure the people there are even more used to it.

Meanwhile, she saw someone approach the screen while the lightning flashes and sounds of impacts continuing behind her.

It was Honjou Shigenaga. She wore a summer uniform and pushed her sunglasses up her nose.

“Kagekatsu-sama is busy showing kindness to a subordinate, so I will speak on his behalf. First of all, I will say that we would like to participate in the Siege of Odawara.”

“…You mean you will be our enemy?”

Shigenaga looked up at Mitotsudaira’s comment and looked straight at the silver wolf.

“We will head south. …That is what I mean.”


KageV: “Yes! South! Because it’s summer! I want to buy a lot to prepare for the long winter here! The animals we gathered for the zoo still aren’t used to our land, so I want to buy the perfect feed for them! We also need books for the children!”

Love Man: “Kagekatsu-kuuun! O-over here! Hit me on this shoulder!”

KageV: “Diiiiiiiie!”


They sure are getting worked up, thought Masazumi.

She had only spoken with Sviet Rus via divine transmission, but…

I could use this as an opportunity to meet them directly.

Then pulling this off was worth it for both of them.

“Neshinbara, if we are going to fight a battle against Sviet Rus here, do you have any suggestions?”

“The Keichou-Dewa Conflict. That would be the most efficient.”

Me: “Kate owed a…what?”

Vice President: “Everyone, ignore him.”

Me: “Ah! Curse you! But I know Horizon won’t ignore-…why are you glaring at me like that!? This is new!”

Glaring at him like what? Masazumi wondered, but it must have been something new.

Vice President: “I think Crossunite touched on the Keichou-Dewa Conflict during the three-nations meeting. …It’s also known as the Punishment of Aizu. Simply put, Uesugi joined the Western Army at Sekigahara, so Matsudaira attacked them.”

But they had support in that attack.

Vice President: “Mogami and Date assisted the invasion of Uesugi. …Sviet Rus advancing south differs from that, but we would benefit a lot if we had that apply to the current situation.”

Silver Wolf: “Because if we fight now, we won’t have to fight against Sviet Rus during Sekigahara?”

That was exactly it.

Nine-Tailed Girl: “Then would I have to fight on your anti-Uesugi force?”

On her sign frame, the fox laughed from her throat.

Mogami would also benefit here. Which meant…

“Include me and our respective positions are going to be tricky,” said the Date Vice Chancellor.

And it was not just her.

“Will you work us into the Siege of Odawara too? …On the side opposing Hashiba’s agent. In other words, opposing Musashi. Mouri forces were in fact sent to the Siege of Odawara and provided sea transport support, so we have the right to participate.”

Mouri Terumoto crossed her arms and smiled as she spoke.


Yes, I had a feeling this was coming.

Masazumi watched as Mouri Terumoto breathed a sigh that seemed to say “finally”.

And Terumoto waved a hand behind her.

The Belle de Marionnette named Mouri-01 responded by preparing the things they had brought along.

Terumoto spoke as she did so.

“We all have our own sides and objectives here, so how about we make a bet? Our top objective is of course your Musashi forces. And here’s what we’re willing to bet on it.”

The maid Belle de Marionnettes had instantly removed everything from the table in front of her. Mouri-01 then placed two things on the table.

They were largish transportation containers.

They were about the size of a person’s upper body, so big enough to hold a large musical instrument.

What are those?

Just as Masazumi wondered that, one person responded from the confused group.

It was Horizon.

“Are those…?”

“Testament. I suppose you would know.”

Terumoto snapped her fingers and Mouri-01 both nodded and opened the containers.

A white gas expanded as the containers automatically opened up and several “seal” signe cadres appeared.

The containers revealed their contents:

“Our Logismoi Oplo: Phos Hyperephania and Phos Kenodoxia.”

The shapes were formed from the two colors of white and black. They resembled shoulder blades and a pelvis and they emitted bluish-white ether light in front of Horizon’s eyes.


Terumoto heard a question while everyone gasped and stirred.

“Why?”

The question came from Houjou Ujinao.

“Those are a crucial trump card against Musashi…no, against the world.”

“Now, now. …They don’t mean all that much to us.”

Terumoto spread her arms and tapped the back of the containers.

“I mean, after the Siege of Bitchu Takamatsu Castle and Sekigahara, we never lose. We only need to march down the path of the conqueror, so our own pride and vainglory will be enough.”


“Of course,” said Terumoto. “We have our Testamenta Arma back home. That’s enough to protect our nation. But if we’re going to use these unneeded Logismoi Oplo as bargaining chips…”

Terumoto felt a smile on the corners of her lips and looked to the Musashi forces.

“It would be best to use them to make peace with you after the Siege of Bitchu Takamatsu Castle. So that’s where we’ll use these.”

She tapped the containers once more.

“If you beat us, then we’ll force these onto you and refuse any further negotiation. If we win, we’ll give you these, so do something for us.”

Meaning…

“Whatever the official reason is, take our side during Sekigahara and Westphalia, Musashi.”


Masazumi felt like she had finally heard what Terumoto really wanted.

What she had said about the Kantou Liberation and settling the outside world was likely true.

But both of those were projects and positive dreams.

They could be seen as the wishes of vainglory.

But this was different.

Take their side, hm?

Mouri had said that their own pride and vainglory would be enough.

That had to be coming true within them.

And that had to mean they would no longer need an external source.

So she had come out and said what she really wanted.

Mouri Terumoto was telling them to rely on and help Mouri. So…

“Judge. I understand what you want out of this battle, Mouri Terumoto. …Mouri may participate in the duels for tomorrow’s Siege of Odawara.”


“Good,” said Terumoto with a nod.

Then she nodded a second and third time and Mouri-01 whispered to her.

“That was an excellent negotiation, Princess. …It was the second best you have ever done.”

“What’s the first?”

“When you accepted the Roi-Soleil’s confession.”

“Is that so?” Terumoto felt no need to feel bashful. But, “That settles it then!”

She strongly slapped the Logismoi Oplo containers on either side of her.

The noise and vibration were Mouri-01’s cue to close them.

It bothered her how Musashi’s Princess was trying to peer inside, but…

“That’s fine, I guess.”

Just as she said that, the closing containers caught on something.

With a metallic noise, the containers shook and a white glowing mist sprayed out. They tried to close several times, but…

“Princess! Something is trying to get inside the containers…!”

“What?”

Terumoto leaned over the table, and…

“—————”

The containers quickly closed.

Huh?

There was nothing there and the glowing mist had vanished.

The only things on the table were the white tablecloth and the closed containers.


Asama and everyone else looked to the ground.

Specifically, the ground next to Horizon.

Two objects came crawling out from under the table there: a right arm and a left arm.

The two arms arrived at her feet.

“…”

And they disappointedly shook their raised hands side to side.

“That did not work out,” said Horizon. “But we might be dealt a better hand later.”

Vice President: “Oh, a better hand. Because they’re hands.”

Tachibana Wife: “Master Muneshige, wh-what am I supposed to do…?”

Tachibana Husband: “Gin, you do not need to force a laugh.”

Tonbokiri: “…Oh, I just figured it out! So that’s what happened!”

Righteousness: “Also, don’t try to steal them!!”

Mal-Ga: “Eh, these things happen.”

They did on Musashi, anyway.

But the two arms grabbed onto the ground to do a handstand. They bent their elbows and wrists and then jumped up to Horizon’s shoulders. Everyone made sure to hide Horizon from view throughout.

Asama: “Mito! T-turn your hair this way more! You can hide the entire right side! Kimi, this way! This way!”

Hori-ko: “Thank you for your assistance, everyone.”

Horizon shook her shoulders a bit, perhaps to check on the arm connections. Asama worked at recording the negotiation while that happened.

Asama: “Um, from the Testament perspective, this is divided between Houjou and Hashiba, right? And then we added Mouri into it…”

Righteousness: “Mouri is Musashi’s enemy, so should we think of them as Hashiba here?”

Wise Sister: “Calm down! There is no way Mouri is Hashiba. Hashiba is Hashiba, Musashi is Hashiba, Mouri is Mouri and Hashiba, Uesugi is Russia and Hashiba is, um….”

Asama: “Please stop confusing yourself when you’re trying to confuse us!”

But this meant there were multiple battles being fought here. Just like during the Battle of Kanagawa.

Asama: “If we think about where each group belongs, does it come down to something like this?”

  • Siege of Odawara: Houjou, Musashi, and Mogami vs. Ootani, Date, Mogami, Uesugi, and Mouri
  • Siege of Bitchu Takamatsu Castle: Mouri vs. Hashiba (Musashi)
  • Siege of Kanie Castle: Takigawa and Sanada vs. Musashi
  • Keichou-Dewa Conflict: Uesugi vs. Musashi, Date, and Mogami.

“Since we have Yoshy-chan, Mogami will be seen as part of the Musashi forces. But how to view Musashi is trickier.”

They could be seen as either Hashiba or Houjou. With this triple and quadruple battlefield, they could be someone’s enemy or ally depending on which battle you looked at.

“I see Ootani-dono gets to be an entire genre to himself,” said Futayo.

“Who said you could name me specifically!?”

The energetic virus had appeared on a sign frame once more and Masazumi tilted her head toward it.

“Huh? Ootani, you won’t be fighting?”

“My repairs will take another 27 hours!”

Neshinbara turned toward everyone else.

“Did you jot that down?”

When everyone (including Mouri and Houjou) nodded, Ootani froze in place on the sign frame.

“Ah,” he said after a while. “That leading question was just cruel! You really are an evil group! And since I’m small, you could call this mini-cruelty!”

Silver Wolf: “Um, I’m sorry, but I just had a very unkind thought.”

Righteousness: “I kind of feel bad for him since he has to deal with you horrible people so soon after being rolled out…”

Tachibana Wife: “I doubt anything he learns here will help him with a normal opponent.”

Asama had to agree, but she changed Ootani to Hashiba on her list.

What did that leave to do?

“Now.” Neshinbara spread his arms to say his negotiation was complete. “Who will you send to the Siege of Odawara? Musashi also has to send people to Takigawa’s Siege of Kanie Castle, so we can’t fight 7 battles. That is why I hope to only send 3 people to the Siege of Odawara, but to help adjust the number of fighters from each nation and to decide who opposes whom, let’s bring it all together.”

Meaning…

“Let’s not talk about 7 castles or 2 battles. We should bring all the battles together into a single series of duels. …How about it?”