Horizon:Volume 6B Chapter 39

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Chapter 39: Girls Thinking in the Night[edit]

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I came here

Because I thought it was important

I am here

Because I realized it was important

Point Allocation (Acceptance)


Fukushima viewed the sky.

She saw only a few clouds in that night sky, but what shapes were floating there were illuminated from below by the festival being held on the ironclad ships and by the lights of Paris.

The clouds were moving slowly. But…

Huh?

Fukushima felt the cold. And it came from behind. The back of her head, neck, back, arms, hips, butt, legs, and heels all sank into the cold like they had been grabbed.

She heard a quiet splash.

And just as she heard that sound and the water reached her ears…

“…!?”

She sat up while surrounding by spray.

Umm.

She looked around.

She was in the pool. She could see the rows of festival lanterns along the pool horizon and she saw the roofs of the festival stands below those.

Someone stood there with the scene and lights as her background.

It was Kiyomasa.

She held the combined form of Caledfwlch in her right hand and she was smiling.

“Fukushima-sama, you are wide open.”

“Oh, um, uh.”

Fukushima scrambled to her feet.

When did that happen?

She had no idea what had caused her current situation.

She only remembered leaping in to make an attack.

But at some point, she had collapsed.

She had not been hit and knocked out.

Then what…?

She did not know.

She did not understand what had happened to her. But Kiyomasa took a breath.

“I can do this as many times as it takes.”

“Do what thou just did?”

Fukushima took a crouching position on the duckboard.

“Fukushima-san! Kiyomasa-san! You started without me!”

Just then, Katagiri arrived from the stairs up to the pool area.

He quickly activated Hundred Crest Land Survey around him. He had the water trace and record their movements.

Someone else also climbed the stairs.

“Huh? You’re training even after completing your festival day quota?”

It was Hachisuka. She wore a jacket over a P.A. Oda-colored swimsuit.

“Well, I don’t mind. In fact, it’s fun to watch.”

“Testament. We will be working hard.”

With that, Fukushima moved forward. She did not understand how Kiyomasa had knocked her down, but the recorder had arrived and her spirit had not broken. So…

Will I find an answer to why I failed during the day!?

She asked herself that as she charged toward Kiyomasa.

And a splashing reached her ears.


At the Main Blue Thunder, cleanup time on the road had come to an end.

Each nation’s representatives were speaking with the others from their nation and quickly leaving.

The members of Class Plum were dismantling the fence, carrying out the tables, and gathering the trash in its appropriate place.

“Okay, you’re dismissed, everyone. Masa, we could use your help fixing the outer wall and removing the fence. Also, are Tenzou and Shiro here? You two distribute some sweets to the neighbors.”

The crossdresser gave his instructions and clapped his hands once to get everyone moving.

They all started home while thinking back on the busy day. However…

“…What am I going to do about this?” muttered Narumi on the way to Takao.

The half-dragon walked beside her. He carried a large bento box full of leftovers.

“Want some crab with cheese?”

“Sorry, but we have a similar dish in Date.”

But he was only giving her a chance to speak. Probably, anyway. She seriously hoped he was not just going to open up that bento box.

He continued to walk.

That meant her hope was granted.

Now, then.

He had started a conversation so she could speak, so how was she to respond?

Around them, the construction was still underway in central Musashino.

But after he took a few more steps…

“Should we sit down and eat?”

“…Is that what you wanted?”

“I cannot fight on an empty stomach.”

Hearing that, Narumi sighed as she walked.

“Were there any chicken dishes?”

“There was some soy sauce fried turkey.”

“Then I’ll have that.”

There were surprisingly few locations available to sit in the surface area.

She was still not used to life on the Musashi, but she did not think they could sit out front of the shops that had closed for the night. And the ones that were still open would only want customers sitting there.

“The transport district has a lot of rest benches.”

That was exactly what they found in the stern transport district that connected Takao to Musashino.

Musashino’s repair materials were still being transported, so all of the lights were still on.

This atmosphere isn’t exactly conducive to asking for advice, she thought as they found an empty seat overlooking Musashi’s cliff-like outer edge.

They had a nice view from there.

They could see Odawara Castle and the city diagonally below. The city had few lights and they were mostly along the southern coast, so the residents were probably being evacuated.

What a nice place, thought Narumi.

He apparently knew a lot of the people in this transport district. That was likely because he would work transport jobs part-time. People would occasionally call out to and greet him while Narumi placed the bento box on her lap.

Oh, this crab with cheese is seasoned with olives, isn’t it?

It was fatty and oily, which did not seem very healthy, but it provided a nice accent when eating something else.

The soy sauce fried turkey was also quite good, but she decided that was enough fatty foods.

“This egg and bean rice is pretty good.”

“Because you end up wanting a staple food.”

“Yes,” she agreed while scooting the bento box so it sat on both their laps. She was on the left and he was on the right. His right arm was in the way, so he placed it behind the bench and skillfully used his left hand to grab things with his chopsticks.

“We’re going to finish this off before we get home,” he said.

“We can always head back to the Blue Thunder,” she replied.

Then she expressed her thoughts on her current situation.

“This has become a lot of trouble.”


I’m no good at talking about myself, thought Narumi.

So she talked about the surrounding situation instead of herself.

“It’s so much trouble.”

“Because you are the only member of the Date clan here and you must fight against Musashi on Hashiba’s side?”

“You figured that out quick.”

“I sort of understand you.”

“I see you’ve learned how to be noncommittal.”

“Please, enough praise.”

She thought about that for about 3 seconds. And then she brought a hand of understanding to her forehead.

“Oh, my bad. Sorry for praising you.”

“As long as you understand. But, Narumi. …This is part of what it means to leave your clan, so you should help them out when you can. Isn’t there anything you can do? Other than money. We’re running short on that since I already ordered a porn game this month.”

“I’m aware. We share the address you use to order them, after all. …And just to be clear, I don’t have that kind of secondary armor.”

“I see…”

That was apparently a disappointment, but she was not about to keep that thread of conversation going.

She reached her chopsticks toward the asparagus in sweet soy sauce as she continued on.

“You can prepare yourself for anything, but you still end up complaining, huh?”

“Did you want Western food?”

“Yes, but that’s not what I meant.”

Narumi sighed and grabbed some boiled fish with tomato sauce.

“I don’t like how often I have to fight my own people.”

“Yes, you did fight the Seiryu back in Date, didn’t you? Without any underwear on.”

“How I was dressed is irrelevant. It’s the situation that matters.”

I’m hopeless, thought Narumi. He’s trying to be nice, but I just snapped back at him.

“Can I have these?”

“You can have two.”

He readily took three, so she glared at him.

But he did not seem to care as he spoke.

“Our class is always cannibalistic, so you don’t need to worry about it.”

“Someone could die in a duel between national representatives.”

“Oh, that’s not a big deal.”

Before she could ask how, the half-dragon calmly continued.

“We’re the kind of people who use a god of war to hit someone with a wrench during a special student general assembly.”

“You never hold back, do you?”

“Indeed. We’ve learned to live entirely in the moment. She even cursed upon seeing she had not crushed her opponent to death.”

“And what were you doing then?”

“A bit before that, I had had some fun making dust explosions. Dust explosions are great. They really clean out your windpipe.”

“What a wonderful academy.”

“You only just now figured that out?”

“Judge,” she nodded.

“So what is wrong with fighting your own people?”

“It’s exhausting.”

“Why?”

“Because you understand what harming them would mean. They’re part of the same community, so I end up thinking I’ve harmed someone who was a crucial part of holding that community together.”

“Then could you hit me?”

“I could hit you.”

“Then that is good enough.”

She did not know what he meant, so she asked a question of her own.

“Could you hit me?”

“I could.”

“Seriously? Even though I could die?”

“You would not die.”

He was confident.

“No matter what I did, you would remove your prosthetic arms and legs and use the centipede to fight back. And if that was not enough…”

“Yes?”

“I would protect you, so do not worry.”

“You would protect me from…yourself? That’s a new one. Do half-dragon brains even work?”

“Worry not. …None of my training would make my fist unstoppable.”

“Then what if I counterattacked immediately afterwards?’

“You can only stop my fist because you are not the kind of person who would do so.”

“Judge.” She nodded. “So you’re telling me to keep every last one of them alive.”

“Judge. As long as they still live, they can manage somehow. So only think about not losing anyone. And, Narumi?”

“What?”

“I believe that is what you did at Date.”

“Yes,” she said with a nod.

As long as it looked that way, she thought while keeping the thought to herself.

“Tomorrow is looking to be a busy day.”

“Some of us will be busy tonight as well.”

“Judge. Like at the Chancellor’s place.”

Narumi tilted her head toward the Main Blue Thunder which was no longer in view.

“All of a sudden moving in together is a very Musashi way of doing it.”


Asama set down her luggage in that space.

This was the Aoi home. It was the main hall built in the back of the Main Blue Thunder.

It had originally been divided into the rooms for Toori, Kimi, and a guest.

But Masa removed the guest room’s wall and Kimi removed the beds…

That had quickly created a long and spacious room.

His room was partitioned off with a curtain.

The hallway side of the room also used a curtain instead of a wall. The window side and back side had walls while the hallway side and his room’s side had curtains.

Those walls and curtains surrounded a main hall of about 12 square meters, but…

“Umm.”

Asama was unsure what to do while Horizon laid out the tatami mats on the floor. She used her gravitational control, so she could move them around quite easily and it looked very cute. However…

“Oh, Kimi-sama will use Toori-sama’s space there. As a form of inspection.”

“Wh-what kind of inspection?”

That question came from Mitotsudaira who had also carried her luggage in and stopped in a daze.

Horizon raised both her palms toward Mitotsudaira.

She then turned her body and hands toward the curtain partitioning off his room.

“Sowahhh!”

Her gravitational control pushed the curtain wall horizontally.

On the other side, they heard something fell over and something like a box rolling, but Horizon ignored it. She nodded twice.

“Yes, yes. That cleared up a bit more space. Please help me shift the tatami mats over.”

“Okay,” agreed Asama as she crouched down next to the tatami mat on which Kimi would sleep. She grabbed the edge, and…

“Um, Mito? You want to be close to Toori-kun, right? Since you’re his knight?”

“N-no, Kimi is there. …And, Horizon, are you sure you don’t want Kimi’s spot?”

“Judge, I think I should sleep in the former guest room for the time being.” She used her gravitational control to push the furthest-back tatami mat against the wall. “I will not slurrrrrrrrrrrp up my old self’s memories, but if there are any regrets there, they should be able to resolve themselves if I am there.”

Asama could not see anything in what had been the guest room. Her prosthetic eye Konoha could not detect anything either. But if that would put Horizon’s mind at ease…

Horizon must see this like a memorial service.

Even with an automaton body, certain actions could be seen as a resolution of old regrets.

She suddenly turned back toward the other two.

“Where are Toori-sama and Kimi-sama?”

“Eh?” said Mitotsudaira. “Um, since we’re moving in today and my parents are visiting, they took my parents to the Blue Thunder to buy some supplies for a party.”

“Judge. That is perfect then. I would like to discuss something important.”

Namely…

“Toori-sama.”


Toori-kun?

Asama tensed up at the direction of the conversation and the mention of that name.

For one thing, it was rare for Horizon to ask for advice concerning him.

Umm.

Asama set her luggage down by the window and hesitated a moment before sitting in front of Horizon. Mitotsudaira also approached and sat next to her.

Horizon looked to both of them and opened her mouth.

“I have determined Kimi-sama understood what was going on and removed Toori-sama from the house for our sake. So I would like to ask something.”

“Wh-what is it?” asked Mitotsudaira.

“Judge. First I would like to confirm something. …The two of you have come here because of your relationship with Toori-sama and your important positions in relation to him, correct?”

Asama appreciated that the knight next to her did not hesitate to say “judge”.

The most Asama could manage was a nod, and it was so minute that no one could see the movement. But the wolf next to her placed a hand on her chest and spoke plainly.

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“I would also like to confirm something with you, Horizon. …If we are here because of our relationship with my king, it will mean that relationship will only grow deeper. What are your thoughts on that?”

“Are you talking about eros?”

The wolf gasped and looked over, but Asama was already looking the other way.

“Tomo…? It’s too late to run away now.”

“No, um, well, yes.”

She’s learned how to handle how bad I am at giving up… she thought, but then Horizon nodded.

“Well, that is a natural topic of discussion here. And if you ask me…”

“Y-yes?”

Asama could not help but lean forward and ask. So Horizon…

“Judge. To be blunt, that is difficult for me to answer since I have yet to retrieve all of my emotions. But with the main three and Olos Phtonos…” Horizon nodded. “I am fairly indifferent about it.”

“W-wait, you need to give this more thought, Horizon!”

Part of Asama thought it would be better not to stop her, but she stopped her anyway.

She wanted to avoid anything that could be seen as not playing fair. So she took a breath, and…

“Um, you still haven’t retrieved your emotions, so you shouldn’t be able to properly grasp your feelings on us deepening our relationship with him or about yourself. I mean, your jealousy hasn’t actually activated, and, um…”

This was hard to say, but hesitating would not make it any easier.

“You don’t have lust, so isn’t it difficult for you to make any decisions about the deeper parts of love and that sort of thing?”

She asked. And…

“…”

Horizon averted her gaze a bit and fell silent.

Eh?

Horizon started sweating, so Asama began wondering if she had made a mistake.

Wh-what is this about?

“Um, Mito?”

She looked to the side and found Mitotsudaira also averting her gaze and sweating.

Not good. This is very bad, thought Asama as she started to panic.

“Um, you two? Did I say anything weird?”

“No, Asama-sama, but can I ask something?”

Still sweating, Horizon held up a hand.

“Now, Asama-sama. You said I would have difficulty making decisions about love since I do not have lust.”

“Yes, what about it?”

She received a prompt response.

“Are sexual acts how you define love?”


Mitotsudaira watched the flustered shrine maiden next to her.

“Wh-what are you talking about!? Th-that isn’t it at all. N-not at allllll. B-besides, um…right! It is because you love someone that you have sex with them! You don’t love them because of the sex! You have the order wrong there! Right, Mito!?”

“If you say so, Tomo…”

“Over here! Let’s focus over here! You’re looking at me, Mito, but your mind is focused elsewhere, isn’t it!?”

What else was she supposed to do?

But Horizon opened her mouth in front of panicking Asama.

“I apologize, Asama-sama. You have made a slight misunderstanding.”

Which was…

“First of all, the emotions that return to me are generally negative ones. They are deadly sins, so my emotions work to suppress them. Of course, that increases the actions available to me and allows me to make more decisions, but that is not because I am gaining positive emotions. Toori-sama told me in England that those are developed as an opposite reaction. Thus, I do not fear the negative emotions.”

“Then, Horizon, how do you view my king?”

“I confirmed at Mikawa and again at Sanada that he is my opposite. Of course…”

Horizon looked around the room to ensure no one else was there.

“Just like Toori-sama said at England, if I were to lose him, I am sure I would compose my feelings and eventually begin a new life for myself.”

But…

“I have determined I would gain the major bond of remorse before I reached that point.”

“——————”

Mitotsudaira could sense Asama’s tension through her skin.

The shrine maiden was practically giving off an electrical aura.

She must have imagined the scenario Horizon had described. Just like Mitotsudaira had.

“I have determined that would be a lot of trouble,” said Horizon. “Even if you are prepared for it to occur at any time, simply imagining loss can still bring sorrow. Even if you know you will eventually find a replacement, something even better, or a different set of values altogether, wallowing in your memories is always an option, which makes it very difficult.”

Then she looked to Asama and Mitotsudaira.

“You two are the same as me, aren’t you?”

Mitotsudaira noticed a change in Horizon’s expression. Or she thought she did.

She did not see it clearly, but she saw something on the automaton princess’s face.

Relief?

It looked like she smiled and relaxed her shoulders just a bit. However…

“—————”

When Mitotsudaira looked again, Horizon had returned to her usual lack of expression.

“Hm? Is something the matter, Mitotsudaira-sama?”

“No, it’s nothing.”

Had she only imagined it? Either way, Horizon expressionlessly opened her mouth.

“I must correct another misunderstanding Asama-sama made. Olos Phtonos has already activated.”

“…Eh?”

“Judge. Olos Phtonos is the control OS for the Logismoi Oplo. The Logismoi Oplo are made from my emotions, but I believe it is Olos Phtonos that processes them as weapons rather than emotions when they return to me. …I do not know what will happen when I have gathered them all, but if we include Olos Phtonos itself, my jealousy is functioning at 4/9 capacity.”

Horizon looked to Mitotsudaira and Asama again.

“I sometimes feel jealous of you two or the others. And that is why I said you are welcome to join us,” she said. “Now, time for the main topic at hand: Toori-sama.”

She nodded before continuing.

“To be blunt, Toori-sama will not last.”


“He won’t last…?”

Asama felt like parroting Horizon’s words was meaningless.

Pretty much.

That was her more honest response to Horizon’s words.

He would not last like this. She did not know if he would be lost or broken, but…

He will no longer be with us.

Horizon explained why since Mitotsudaira was holding her breath.

“He is gathering the Logismoi Oplo and stopping the Apocalypse to retrieve my emotions. That sounds simple enough, but those tasks entail much more than that. Sometimes it goes well and sometimes it does not. Sometimes we lose things like we did before and we learned a lot about how to view that while in Sanada. But…”

But…

“Toori-sama is constantly trying to look good in front of me.”


Asama knew she should probably smile bitterly at this.

But she knew exactly what Horizon meant.

There was one thing he said a lot when speaking to Horizon.

“ ‘I won’t lose’, right?”

What was he trying to defeat? Horizon’s personality? No, Asama had a feeling he could never defeat that. But that aside…

“He’s probably talking about the world domination and everything else he sees through you, Horizon.”

That was it.

He would conquer the world and retrieve all of her emotions, but…

He really is an idiot…

He was always trying to look good so he would not worry Horizon.

He never let his weakness show, he showed off his strength, and he always kept his darker parts hidden.

Of course…

“Um, Horizon? That’s partially because Toori-kun will die if he feels sad thanks to the contract he accepted on the way to save you at Mikawa…”

But anyone who knew him would know it was more than that. So…

“That was necessary to save you. So, while I’m not about to apologize for it, that was brought about by our decisions and the circumstances, not by your decisions.”

“I am glad to hear you say that, Asama-sama. But we do have a consensus on the fact that Toori-sama’s options are limited.”

Asama agreed with that.

Mitotsudaira seemed to as well:

“My king always acts the king around me…”

“But he can seek help from you, Mitotsudaira-sama.”

Asama realized what Horizon was saying.

Ah.

She finally understood what he had meant when she arrived here in the afternoon.

“Toori-kun doesn’t try to look good in front of us…”


That’s true, agreed Mitotsudaira.

Tomo is exactly right.

Neither option could be unconditionally declared good or bad.

“It seems you two already understand,” said Horizon.

Mitotsudaira and Asama nodded.

“That is how a knight’s relationship with her king works.”

“We’ve, well, always been like that…”

But Mitotsudaira understood something else too.

“You avoided bringing this up when my mother or my king were around, didn’t you?”

Even inside the study camp tent, some of it had been set aside as an issue “for later”. As for why…

“Even if he is an idiot, I saw no reason to put it to words and inform Mitotsudaira-sama’s mother of a weakness of his. Of course, there is a good chance she has already noticed, but I thought everyone could help compensate for his idiotic attempts to act tough.”

“You mean…?”

“Judge.” Horizon nodded. “I have determined he will have even more reason to act tough from here on. And I assume you will agree with me there.”

“Judge. …In the process of conquering the world, we will be more focused on results than on working out plans and policies.”

“Exactly. …A lot has already happened – much of it silly – and I have been pivotal in finding a solution on several occas-…what is that look for?”

“Oh, nothing,” said Mitotsudaira while she and the shrine maiden waved their hands dismissively.

Horizon slapped her knee.

“Listen. This is a serious topic.”

“…Sorry.”

“From here on, a great many nations will expect something from Toori-sama. A lot will be consumed in the process and he will be held responsible. …But if I am the only one by his side, he will not last. Because he will be forced to constantly act tough no matter what happens. He will have to constantly put on a brave face so as not to worry me…and keep me from losing anything. Of course, he can reduce that burden by delegating a lot of the tasks to everyone else, but carrying everyone’s impossibilities is how he rules as a king. But outside of that, as we gain more relationships and more is expected of him, people will expect more of the possible from him and not just the impossible,” she said. “It really is a lot of trouble. Looking at his results as a politician, simply using the three-nations meeting to recover from the terrible loss at Mikatagahara was more than enough already.”

“But there’s still so much to go: Hashiba, Nobunaga, Westphalia…and the Apocalypse.”

“Judge. …If only my relationship with him was simpler. But, well, how should I put this?”

Horizon glanced up at the ceiling.

After just a few seconds she lowered her gaze to them.

“…That isn’t going to happen given my personality.”

“N-nothing is ever going to change if you just accept that, you know?” said Asama.

“No, no.”

Horizon held out both hands to stop her.

Then she raised her right index finger on the right side of her head.

“I am his driving force, but if he acts tough and continues ever onward, he will eventually wear out. So…”

“You want to use our relationships with him to help him recover and build up his endurance?” asked Asama.

But she hesitated for a few beats after saying it.

Finally, she continued.

“Our relationships are not tools for propping up your relationship with Toori-kun.”


That wasn’t the best way of putting that, thought Asama with a mental slump of her shoulders.

But even after everything that had happened, she did have her pride.

This was her relationship with someone she cared for, so it would feel like an insult if it was used as a tool or treated as inferior.

Of course, that was an issue of her feelings and could change based on her interpretation of the situation. But…

“If I feel insulted, I will leave immediately.”

“Asama-sama, while we can judge the value of relationships, they cannot be ranked as superior or inferior. And…that is where the acting tough comes from.” Horizon looked straight at her. “Toori-sama is a terrible entertainer. You should know that better than anyone. I have heard about Suzu-sama’s essay you read at Mikawa.” She narrowed her eyes. “But when that terrible entertainer is with someone and he thinks it is an important moment for them, he will grow serious for that person and that person alone. He has a bad habit of only seeing that person at such a time. That is why the rulers of other nations hear him saying such silly things. Asama-sama, you have to have seen that up close countless times. …This time, you and Mitotsudaira-sama will be that someone.”

“So…?”

“Judge.” Horizon nodded. “I am already that someone. But I am his driving force and I must have him act tough, even if I know it is a burden on him. Because he wants to look good in front of me and I am not crass enough to stop him. …So I want the two of you to give him a time for indulgence. When he is exhausted, angry, or approaching sadness, please help him and allow him to indulge. Because in a way, you could say that is his true self.”

“And in those cases, you’ll send him to us while telling him to stop acting tough and get some rest?”

“Judge. …Something that you can both think of as ‘nice’ might be for the best. In that way, I have determined Mitotsudaira-sama may have the best position since he can try to look good for her as a king while also revealing his pathetic side by seeking help.”

“M-me!?”

The knight grew flustered and Asama nodded.

“My, Mitooooo, aren’t you lucky?”

“Wh-what is that mocking tone for!?”

“Although knowing you, you’ll be more licky than lucky. Yes.”

A blush instantly covered the knight’s face.

And she spread her mouth horizontally.

“Um, Horizon? What if our relationship develops to the point of, um…that happening?”

“Judge. I am the top batter, so I imagine Toori-sama would be more accepting if I was the first at bat.”

“Do we have to discuss this touchy topic like we’re managing a baseball team?”

But Asama had heard what mattered.

It is true that Toori-kun tries to look good in front of Horizon…

It was probably important that she felt a little envious of that.

He did not try to look good in front of her, but that itself was a privilege of hers.

I see.

“Horizon, this is about the directions in the battle formation you were talking about, isn’t it?” Asama finally felt her shoulders relaxing. “We describe it all with the single major word ‘relationship’, but we all have our small relationships that combine into a single large relationship.”

That was true of a family, of an organism, and of an organization.

Oh, and the relationships between the Shinto gods are like that too…

Her job made it impossible not to think of that example.

But Horizon suddenly moved her face in close.

“Listen, you two.”

Asama knew what Horizon was going to say next, so she said it herself.

And Mitotsudaira happened to say it at the same time.

“This is our shared secret. …Right?”

After asking, Asama felt like Horizon had smiled a little.

And she had to wonder how many more times something like this was going to happen.


“That’s 17 times.”

Katagiri heard Hachisuka’s announcement and another sound: a splash.

Wow.

He had swum in this pool the other day, but it now had a duckboard laid over the surface, creating a simple water-top stage.

The duckboard sank down a bit, so the people on it had their toes sinking into the water.

But one of those people was not standing in the water at the moment.

That person was Fukushima.

She had fallen over and been soaked with the splash she had created.

The other person on the water had remained standing throughout.

“Kiyomasa-san…”

She was facing away from Katagiri, so he could see her blonde hair dry and blowing in the wind.

She had yet to make an obvious swing of Caledfwlch. And yet…

“Why can’t Fukushima-san stand up to her at all?”

“Are you asking me?” Hachisuka crossed her arms and tilted her head. “I don’t know what Kiyomasa is doing, but she’s definitely keeping Fukushima from doing much of anything.”

“So it’s affecting the start of her techniques?”

“Look into it yourself.”

That told Katagiri that his fears were grounded in reality.

Hachisuka-san is surprisingly nice.

She was probably trying to be strict, but it actually made her easy to read.

She was probably aware of it, but she likely thought going further would be too much work and she must not have seen a need to make herself any more of a villain.

Katagiri knew she was watching the other two train as her way of showing concern.

Yes, Hachisuka-san is a good person.

After all, she would not barge in while he was taking a bath. Nor did she half-jokingly and casually use some kind of lernen figur to record and examine him.

Of course, he had no interest in seeing an elementary school girl’s body.

Besides, thought Katagiri. I have Musashi’s lewd shrine maiden.

“Katagiri, keep your eyes on the pool.”

“Oh, s-sorry!”

What did it mean if he was being scolded by an elementary school kid?

But he heard the same sound again.

Fukushima had attempted an attack on Kiyomasa and had been sent flying.

“18 times. If she doesn’t catch on soon, then she has it really bad.”