Horizon:Volume 6C Chapter 46
The Siege of Odawara (Review)
Toori: Sis! Sis! Your introduction of the Siege of Odawara just slipped from my mind! Slipped right on out! Sliiiip!!
Kimi: Heh heh heh. Slippery brother, this is the general lay of the land for the Siege of Odawara, so make sure you remember it.
[Map is same as the study from 6-B.]
Toori: Ohh! It hasn’t changed at all! But I’d forgotten it! Which is it, me!?
Kimi: Hey, it doesn’t really matter, but this is only getting started. Stay focused as a spectator, foolish brother.
Chapter 46: Relatives on the Bench
This is tasty!
What is it!?
Point Allocation (480 Yen)
The zenzai cost 480 yen.
Kani’s monthly allowance was 3000 yen. From that perspective, it was a steep price.
But she was sure her parents would let it slide with no more than a bitter smile.
After all, this 480 yen was allowing her an unbelievable experience.
…I’m talking with Mogami Yoshiaki-sama…!
A first-year name inheritor like her would not normally have the opportunity to speak with a major daimyo who helped lead the Warring States period. It might be a simple enough thing for the daimyo, but their environment and the timing would not allow it.
But this was different. While Kani drank tea and ate delicious food…
“And that Shigenaga who is fighting here is surprisingly insensitive. She should really be cleverer on the battlefield, but she looks at everything so straightforwardly.”
“Is being straightforward a bad thing?”
“If all you do is go straight forward, you’ll run into things, right? You know how to deflect forces, don’t you?”
“Yes! I do! So I need to focus on that!?”
“What a clever girl.”
With that, Yoshiaki gave Kani a dumpling.
Kani knew not to hesitate when a superior gave her something.
“Good, good. If only Yoshiyasu was as honest as you.”
“Is that your son!?”
“No, she is the Satomi Student Council President who is also here. You could say she wears her stubbornness like clothing.”
“I bet she’s just shy because you’re such an honored figure!”
Yoshiaki narrowed her eyes at that, but her eyebrows lowered a little.
“You are a good girl.”
She rubbed Kani’s head and then asked a sudden question.
“Do you think you can win?”
“No! I was told to watch the flow of battle!”
“And what does that mean?”
“I don’t know! So please tell me!”
“Now that is a tricky question.”
Yoshiaki laughed. It was a “ko ko” from the throat.
She is wonderful, thought Kani. My mom and dad run a greengrocer, my mom is kind of chubby, and my dad is kind of skinny. Lady Yoshiaki is an adult just like them, but she’s clearly on a different level.
But she was her mom and dad’s pride and joy and she had finally come this far. Her parents had signed her name inheritance application while saying they wanted a better life for her, so she wanted to give them more than just her thanks. She wanted to bring back some incredible stories to tell them.
And she knew she was about to be a part of an incredible story.
She could tell her upperclassmen about it too. So…
“I’ll do my best!”
“Yes, you will.”
I need to experience some things that will make a good story, she thought while looking down at her bowl of zenzai.
She had gotten so excited she accidentally ate all of the mochi first.
Grabbing the adzuki beans with the chopsticks was difficult, but she did not want it to get cold.
However, Yoshiaki suddenly turned around and spoke into the café.
“Excuse me…you, automaton. I have an additional order.”
“You mean meeeeeeeeee!?”
“Sorry about the trouble so soon after you arrived, but I would like zenzai for both of us. Oh, but just extra mochi for her.”
“My zenzai is hooooooooooooooooooot! And the mochi are fried nice and crispyyyyyyyyy!? Ohhhhh! Time to roast these mochi to deeeeeeeeeeath!”
“I’m glad the service here is so good.”
Hearing that exchange, Kani looked up and saw Yoshiaki smiling at her.
“Are you sure!?”
“Seeing you eat it made me want to try some. Odawara is a southern rice-producing region, so seeing how its rice compares to Mogami’s would be worthwhile for the upcoming trade route. Also…”
“I can’t just have you wait for me before we fight. So after we eat this, let’s finish our tea and begin our duel.”
Kani nodded. It was almost 1:10 PM.
Back at the academy, it would have been the lunch break.
Humans would react to a loud noise in one of two ways: cover their ears or ignore it.
Masazumi chose them both.
She was to the northeast of Odawara Castle. When facing west, the forest and hill were right in front of her and the mountains of the Izu Peninsula were visible beyond that.
Several curtains were set up as partitions and the Musashi group was holding a festival there.
Stands were lined up and the scent of cooking food hung in the air.
…Now, what to do?
“Hey, Vice President! Can you hear me!?”
“Yes, I can hear you, I can hear you. What were you saying? That your lunch was good? What’d you eat?”
Ookubo’s character sure has changed, she thought.
Masazumi listened to the periodic reports from the sign frame following her around and she view the prices displayed on the stands. Those prices were reduced by wartime support taken from the Student Council’s budget, but…
…It’s all so expensive…
She could get this much food at the Blue Thunder for free because “we’d just have to throw it out otherwise”.
No, she did not eat much, so she was not hoping for much. But when she compared the prices…
…This is not good.
Masazumi thought, I need to learn what it’s like to be one of the common people.
After all, most of the common people ate more expensive food than she did. The common people did not live lives of searching out free food and being willing to collapse from hunger if they could not find any.
As a politician, she needed to look at things from the common people’s viewpoint.
“Hey, Ookubo. How much do you spend on lunch?”
“Huh!? About 1500 yen!?”
Masazumi closed the sign frame. She felt she had to.
She looked up at the displayed prices and saw a “50 yen” display.
…Ookubo, you can’t do that.
For Masazumi, it was the difference between free and 50 yen. For Ookubo, it was the difference between 1500 yen and 50 yen.
Ookubo had the greater difference.
Besides, 1500 yen could buy two or three brand new books. Or 15 used ones.
What are you doing, Ookubo? You can’t be like that. Yes…
“Hey, Tsukinowa, you agree, don’t you?”
That sounded like a question, but the response means he agrees, right? she concluded.
Meanwhile, Adele and Mitotsudaira approached from the right with roast tofu on skewers.
“Vice President, how is the Representative Committee Head doing?”
“Oh, she seemed fine. And she ate an expensive lunch. She said it was 1500 yen.”
Someone agreed with her. She decided to ignore that Mitotsudaira looked the other way. But then Heidi approached from the other side.
“Oh, Masazumi. I heard from the Sagami merchants that…Houjou Ujiteru, was it? That he lost to Sviet Rus’s Honjou Shigenaga.”
“I already knew that, so I’m not paying.”
Heidi threw her receipts-and-payments sign frame to the ground and tried to pick it back up, but it broke.
“Ah,” she said. “Pay for that, Masazumi! It broke because of you!”
“Tsukinowa, did you get a video of that? We’ll use that in court.”
“Dammit! The Mouse is making this so much harder than last year!”
“Anyway,” said Mitotsudaira while buying a skewer of dried meat from a nearby stand. “What is happening out there that will affect us?”
“Well,” said Masazumi to Mitotsudaira.
She thought about the situation as she formed the words.
“As Heidi mentioned, Houjou Ujiteru lost to Honjou Shigenaga. That one’s pretty painful since we want a victory over Houjou.”
Even if Houjou Ujiteru would rejoin the battle, he had to wait an hour.
Ujinao and Kotarou were still inside Odawara Castle and they could not track down Katou Yoshiaki. But…
“Rumor has it that Houjou Ujikuni aka Genan is fighting in the city, or at least preparing to.”
I wonder who his opponent is.
Ookubo sure is full of energy today, she thought while closing the sign frame that popped up.
But if none of the Musashi fighters could battle Ujikuni or Ujiteru right away…
“Are there any groups other than Houjou it would be beneficial to defeat?” asked Mitotsudaira.
“Mouri. …Because we have to face them at Sekigahara.”
Mitotsudaira smiled a little at that. Adele reacted the same way, so…
“What’s so funny?”
“The way you immediately responded to that. You’ve given this a lot of thought, haven’t you?”
“Yes, I suppose so.” Masazumi nodded. “But our fighter against Mouri is, um…”
“Judge.” Heidi nodded. “It’s Hassan. What about it?”
“Well…will he be okay?”
Masazumi tilted her head while opening a map of Odawara.
There was a blue dot to the northeast and it was labeled with Hassan’s name. The red dot facing it had Mouri’s emblem over it.
“He’s up against the Reine des Garous. What is he even supposed to do?”
She opened a divine transmission and had Asama share the transmission to Hassan with Class Plum and other related people.
“Now, what are they doing there?”
The Reine des Garous placed a hand on her chin.
One of her daughter’s classmates stood in front of her.
He was Indian. He had the yoga look and, if the stories were to be believed, that meant he would be able to extend his arms and legs or float in the air.
But he showed no sign of that. In human terms, he was clearly on the weaker end of things.
Unless it was to teach a lesson, a royal prided herself in not crushing the weak. That might change if he had brought a weapon with him, but…
…What is with this?
She had a reason to fight, but she could not give herself approval. So she tried asking a question.
“Now, how exactly do you propose fighting against me?”
“Judge. I am a messenger of god.”
“My, so will you be hunting nonhumans?”
“Oh.” He shook his head. “My god is not dangerous.”
“My, a pacifist!? Is this an Indian god, like your appearance would suggest?”
“I am Shinto.”
Oh, realized the Reine des Garous.
She had researched Shinto due to where her daughter attended school.
“Shinto. …How nice. From the very beginning, they have two innocent people join together, drive the heavenly spear into something white, and churn it. Not many parts of the world have such pornographic legends.”
“Oh, that interpretation is not quite right.”
“Judge. …That story references a certain action.”
“And not a sexual one?”
This was a new theory. If the previous theory was just a personal interpretation, then so be it, but if an actual Shinto musician was saying so, then she would have to believe it. So…
“Um, what are you saying the churning legend is about?”
“Judge.” He nodded. “It is about curry.”
The Reine des Garous was shocked.
Was he saying the Shinto creation story was actually about making curry? But…
“W-wait just a moment. Um, then, what was the white liquid?”
“That is the steam coming from the curry pot.”
“Then what was thrusting in the heavenly spear?”
“They had no ladles or spatulas, so they used their hunting weapons instead.”
“I see.” The Reine des Garous placed a hand on her cheek. “I should have expected this from my daughter’s classmate. …You know a lot about Far Eastern legends.”
Mar-Ga: “Should we stop just listening and join in?”
Gold Mar: “You don’t mean by drawing a doujinshi, do you?”
Silver Wolf: “W-wait, there is a lot I want to say to my mother right now!”
The Reine des Garous realized they were getting sidetracked.
She needed to course correct.
“Um, may I ask something else? In the ‘joining together’ I mentioned, the man does the thrusting while the woman lacks the proper equipment. What part of curry does that correspond to?”
“Oh.” Her opponent shrugged. “That is a metaphor for the mixing of curry powder.”
He turned to the side and placed a hand on his chest.
“Oh, honey, there is an opening in my body.”
He was playing the woman’s role. But he held a large container with an opening at the top. He put curry powder inside it. And…
“There is something sticking out from my body, so let us bring those things together.”
He then pulled out a pestle and began mixing the contents of the container.
“Do you understand now?”
“So it is teaching people how to make curry as a joint effort between a man and a woman?”
“Judge. The mixing of curry powder requires the spices to be split and crushed into a powder, which can be difficult for a woman. So there is an old tradition of the woman mixing both of them together and then the man crushing them.”
“This lesson was forgotten after the introduction of curry roux.”
“And that’s when people started giving the Far Eastern creation story a sexual interpretation?”
“Sigh.” His shoulders fell as he sighed. “Times…change.”
Inside a small Western room, Miriam and Azuma sat side by side on the lower bunk watching a sign frame.
Miriam slapped her forehead when she realized something about the text scrolling by.
“Eh? For what, Miriam?”
“You know how we’ve been borrowing different books of legends and reading them to this girl ever since you heard Sanyou-sensei’s lesson in the library?”
“Yes, yes,” said Miriam as she held the translucent girl by her side.
Then she looked to Azuma.
“I lied to her. …Y’know, that Far Eastern creation story is actually, um, about a man and a woman, uh…”
“Uh, well, um, you know.”
“Oh,” said Azuma as he watched her blush. “The curry thing isn’t true.”
“I mean.” Azuma could not let Miriam feel so ashamed. “I wasn’t taught that back in the imperial palace. Looking back, my teacher automatons taught it to me as a proper story.”
“A proper story?”
“Yes. I didn’t really get it at the time.”
“But it’s about sex.”
Miriam threw a slap from the shoulder and hit Azuma.
It made a surprisingly loud noise.
“Wh-what was that for, Miriam!? What did I do!?”
“You didn’t really do anything, but you put me through a lot of mental anguish! And with like a triple setup!”
“Papa, mama, don’t fight!”
Miriam held the girl as she began to cry and pressed their cheeks together a few times.
“Sorry, sorry. It’s just that papa brought unreasonable shame on mama.”
“It means he’s a pervert.”
“Wait just a second! Wait! There’s been a misunderstanding!”
“Huh?” Miriam and the girl both glared at Azuma. “What is wrong with this heir to the indigenous faith?”
“No, um, let’s try harder to understand other cultures. Okay, Miriam?”
“Sex!” suggested the girl.
Miriam froze and then smiled at the girl.
“Y-you mustn’t say that when we’re outside. Not ever.”
“So we have sex while at home?” asked the girl.
Miriam froze again and Azuma sensed an awkward atmosphere.
“Okay, I think I’ll go buy us some drinks…”
“D-don’t you try to escape! Explain this to her!”
“Papa and mama will have sex at home! Yay!”
The girl cheered and Miriam spent three seconds collapsing onto her side on the bed.
“I don’t even care anymore…”
“M-Miriam! You can’t just give up on raising her!”
“Hmm.” Miriam turned just her head toward him. “Tea. Plain. …That will rekindle my motivation. So take care of it. Also…”
“Hmm.” She delayed answering, but she did not avert her gaze. “Calling you the heir of the indigenous faith was going too far. …You didn’t ask to be born into that position. So I’m sorry. I won’t forgive you for the rest of it, though.”
“Yeah, that sounds like you… Yeah…”
“Silly boy.” Miriam smiled bitterly. “When a girl shows even the slightest weakness, you need to go for more. …Now get going, papa.”
“Um, may I ask something…?”
The Reine des Garous asked about curry in the afternoon sun.
“I have a question about the Far East’s creation story being about making curry.”
“Judge. What is it?”
“If the creation story is about curry, then who is the god of curry?”
“Judge.” Her opponent nodded deeply. “Izanagi and Izanami are the gods of curry creation, so their descendants are all gods of curry. Because curry is a family food.”
“Even Amaterasu the sun goddess?”
He said even more to answer her follow-up question.
“Listen. Amaterasu is a goddess. Now think back to the heavenly spear story. The Far Eastern ladle is said to have been developed in the 8th century.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Judge. The ladle was developed in order to allow the ill empress to more easily eat the food offered to her as a prayer for her recovery.”
“The empress was a woman, so she and Amaterasu are seen as one and the same.”
The Reine des Garous performed a quick divine network search.
And she found,
<Far Eastern Ladle: Developed by the Taga Taisha Shrine as a prayer for the empress’s recovery. Offered to the empress along with kowameshi so she might recover.>
“Ladles had already existed and it was thought the soul resided in the round indentation in the center. What we know as a Far Eastern ladle was a strengthened version of it. Curry mixed by one truly is a medicine. It can even bring an empress back to health.”
“But this says she ate kowameshi. They did not have much rice-cooking technology back then, so it would have been steamed, wouldn’t it?”
“Kowameshi is a dish made with glutinous rice. Sekihan is one example. But when you think about it, kowameshi is really just rice with cooked meat and vegetables added for flavor.”
“It is dry curry. Normal curry is too greasy for the sick. The Taga Taisha Shrine which offered the ladle is located where Izanagi sat in Far Eastern mythology. He had trouble stirring the pot with the heavenly spear, so they developed a cooking utensil there.”
“Wait just a moment.”
She had a question based on the data she was reviewing.
“The time periods don’t match. …Far Eastern mythology was compiled into the Kojiki in the year 712.”
Gold Mar: “…Ture-yan, you’re starting to pick up his accent.”
Silver Wolf: “Don’t worry about it! Just ignore it and keep going!”
“But,” said the Reine des Garous. “That empress reigned from 715 to 723. The Nihon Shoki was compiled in 720, but the Kojiki containing the creation story predates that empress’s reign. The Kojiki is too early to view Amaterasu and that empress as one and the same.”
Uqui: “…They’re too early, huh?”
Smoking Girl: “Don’t just repeat that.”
Silver Wolf: “She just pronounced it a little wrong is all!”
Scarred: “Um, Master Tenzou? I don’t really understand, but you’re talking about the Kojiki, aren’t you?”
10ZO: I don’t really understand either, but you’re safe! Yes, you’re safe!”
Silver Wolf: “I feel like that was a third option there…”
Vice President: “Anyway, the time periods of different documents is always important to Koji-keep in mind.”
Me: “…Who wants to go get some stick gyoza?”
Almost Everyone: “…Sounds good.”
Vice President: “Wait! You’re just ignoring me now!? And if they have free samples, then I’ll go too!”
The Reine des Garous was hit with a puzzle.
…This anachronism is only limited to the ladle, but it pokes a hole in the credibility of his theory.
Her opponent had eloquently provided his argument.
If there was a mistake in his reasoning, it could damage the rest of the argument preceding it.
So she asked a question.
“How could the Kojiki give the Taga land – origin of the Far Eastern ladle – as the land in which Izanagi sat if it was compiled before the ladle was invented?”
She smiled and placed a hand on her cheek before continuing.
“If it turns out you were making it all up, I can always use brute force as a method.”
Oh, no, thought Masazumi in front of the stick gyoza stand.
“Hm? What is it, Masazumi? …Do you want one?”
She did, but she wanted to avoid anything garlicy when she was going to have to do a lot of talking. However…
“There’s trouble with Hassan.”
Naito turned around where she and Naruze were waiting for their stick gyoza to be cooked.
“…Trouble to him or caused by him?”
“To him at the moment.”
It had been the other one a bit earlier.
But this is not good, thought Masazumi. His argument was clearly nonsense. While she could hardly blame the Reine des Garous for wanting to throw him to the ground after it fell apart, that could kill him.
“Futayo, you were the one that authorized Hassan’s participation. How much can he do?”
“Judge. Looking back at his accomplishments…he repelled Tres España’s Secretary, sank a ghost ship, annihilated the Kaga Millionen Geist once, and partially destroyed them a second time.”
…Was he really that incredible…?
“See?” Asama smiled and nodded. “Shooting down an enemy ship here and there is perfectly normal.”
“You do it an awful lot!!”
After joining everyone in that comment, Masazumi took a breath.
“…So, can Hassan demonstrate his strengths here?”
“Judge. Easily. He already did so earlier.”
The idiot nodded at her question.
“Hassan will be fine.”
“Yeah. …Before, when you couldn’t decide who the last person should be and were talking with the others, we all played rock-paper-scissors. And Hassan beat us all in the very first round.”
“What did you play?”
“We all played paper.”
“All of you are hopeless in more ways than one!!!!”
…What am I supposed to do about this?
The Reine des Garous sighed.
It would be disappointing to learn the Far East’s creation was not about curry.
The shift from the world’s most explicitly pornographic creation story to a loving family curry story had seemed nice to her. It would give her an excuse to make curry with her husband while doing those explicit things. Hooray for Shinto.
But if the curry was a lie, she would lose her excuse to make curry with her husband while doing those explicit things. Boo to Shinto.
“I will learn the truth. …How do you explain the Kojiki’s early date?”
“Oh.” He shrugged. “That is simple.”
“The current world has the Testament. The Testament lets us know about things 100 years in advance.”
“They knew about the future invention of the ladle when they compiled the Kojiki.”
I see, the Reine des Garous started to think. But…
“Wait just a moment.”
She had realized something. It was a new and even deeper question.
“Then does the Testament mention that the Far Eastern myth is about curry?”
“The Testament does not mention it.”
“Then isn’t everything you have said only your own interpretation?”
“No, it is not.” The curry boy shook his head. “During the Age of the Gods, I agree the Far Eastern myth was probably meant to depict a sexual act.”
“But don’t you think that alone would be insufficient for the second time around?”
“Judge.” He nodded. “When you have nothing prepared on the dinner table, when your stomach is so terribly empty, and when you want to gather your family around the table, it is time for curry. So curry corresponds perfectly to the myth. …Wouldn’t anyone think the same?”
Gold Mar: “It…ended…nicely…?”
Bell: “Hassan-kun is…incred…ible…”
Flat Vassal: “I’ll admit that was incredible, but I feel like he just kind of forced that through. Or, um…”
Vice President: “You don’t need to find a nicer way of saying it.”
“Testament. That was lovely. Would that be scored highly in your class?”
The Reine des Garous swore to herself she would make curry and do explicit things with her husband once she got back. For now, she checked her signe cadre clock. 10 minutes had passed since their duel began.
She had benefited from this duel and he had taught her a lot. So…
“We will call that a negotiation. And I benefited from this first 15 minutes. …So how will you challenge me during the next 15 minutes?”
“That is simple.”
He walked over to the house across the road. There was a portable stand in front of it. It was a boxy arch that was carried on the shoulders.
The table in the middle had ingredients and dishes stored on either side.
“This is my partner.”
He was ready to go. And his combat style was…
“Can you eat all of the curry I make within the time limit?”
Huh? thought Suzu.
She had a question about something she sensed in Hassan’s line.
Everyone around her was hanging their heads. Except for Horizon who was working to consume all of the stick gyoza.
Suzu tried asking them.
“Wouldn’t it…normally be…a cooking competition?”
“Suzu-sama.” Horizon turned toward her. “It is quantity over quality, Suzu-sama.”
Should a Blue Thunder worker really say that? Oh, now I’m sweating awkwardly. But this is probably just due to the summer heat. I need to drink some water later.
But Horizon did not hold back.
“Quantity over quality. Yes. Adele-sama is happier when we give her a bucket of leftovers than a mere bag of leftovers.”
“N-no! Those are for the dogs! Honest! Chancellor, why are you smiling at me as if to say you understand!?”
Adele was not trusting enough. However, someone else had tensed up.
“No, we can leave those to Adele. …Um, challenging my mother to an eating contest is a bad idea.”
“She can easily eat enough to drive a newly-opened yakiniku shop out of business!”
I see, thought the Reine des Garous.
Challenging the highest-level Loup Garou to an eating contest showed a lot of guts for a human.
…I should have expected this from one of Nate’s classmates.
Former Delinquent: “Hey, be careful. We have intel saying he’s powerful enough to sink a warship and wipe out an enemy unit.”
Still Got It: “I can do both without breaking a sweat.”
She then spoke to her opponent.
“I accept your challenge. …So will it be curry?”
“Judge. It will be curry.”
He suddenly did a little dance. He wiggled his arms upwards and bent his body.
Just then, the door to the house behind him automatically opened.
There was no one inside. But there was something inside.
…Lots of insulated containers…!
The house was lined with insulated containers made by cutting short slices of the bamboo used for the bamboo spear launchers. If he could pull pots out of those, he would easily have more than 20.
Curry was made half from the roux and half from the rice, so…
“You come well prepared.” The Reine des Garous nodded and stood in front of the curry stand. “Testament. A standing eating competition? …That is rustic, but I kind of like it.”
The scent of curry aroused her hunger. And that gave her more than enough of an advantage.
“…Now, bring it on.”
- Kojiki can also mean beggar.
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