Horizon:Volume 6C Chapter 51

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Chapter 51: Family Leading to Memories[edit]


If you do your best

Do you think

You will see something?

Point Allocation (Yourself)

Multiple explosive attacks raced above Odawara.

They were spears.

They were wielded by a single girl and they pursued a nonhuman woman who did not hide her fox tail or ears.

It occurred below the summer sun and above the city in which other battles took place.


The spears smashed up the city.

The sounds of destruction and breaking came from a group of 4m cowling spears. There were 8 of them and they continually pierced downwards from the sky as they moved ever forward, almost like a praying mantis’s front legs.

The 8 rapid-fire strikes were no longer spear attacks.

They were a cluster bombing of pile bunkers.

The first three opened holes in the roof the two fighters traveled along, the next three smashed it to pieces, and the remaining two and the removal of the others blew it away.

Kani’s speed in using them eliminated that rooftop from the Odawara city.

Meanwhile, the fox named Yoshiaki enjoyed the chase.

The spears would sometimes catch up to her, but she would read the timing of their fall from the sky, and…


With a “ko ko” from her throat, she would slide her body out of the way.

She would sometimes move as if lightly embracing the pillar of the falling spear, but each time…


Kani changed its trajectory. She would change the timing of 8 spears’ ejection and storage and alter their trajectory.

The fox would move away but laugh in her throat once more.

The fox twirled at the leading edge of the roaring wave wreaking havoc on the city.

“How about this?”

She danced.

Kani saw it.

It was a dance. Just as a shrine maiden or entertainer would dance in a festival, Yoshiaki danced at the leading edge of the destruction Kani was causing.

She spun around as she ran, leaped with rhythmic steps, and used the fan at the end of her swinging arm.

My spear…!

She hit it. What looked like a light attack with the fan provided an accent to the dance.


A loud noise rang out and the spear danced. The cowling spear rotated in the air, but it did not hit any of the others. It dove into the cluster of spears like a geometric mobile.


And it passed through to approach Kani.

The spear had been knocked back with what looked like a gentle rotation and throw, but it was definitely targeted at her as she ran.

She was ashamed to receive a counterattack from her own weapon, but…

How did she do that!?

Kani controlled the attack trajectory and everything else. They were densely packed and there was no opening between one attack and the next. Or so she thought.

But her opponent had seen through the attack, stolen one of the weapons, and used it for a counterattack.

She could not call it impossible. After all, she had just seen it happen right in front of her.

It was possible to dodge, dance with, and find an opening in the attack she had thought was perfect.

She can do it!

Incredible, thought Kani.

‘That’s incredible!”

Once she put it to words, it really did feel that way.

So she placed her hand on the approaching spear and stored it in the space behind her.

Now, what to do?

There’s still more I can do!

She was not going to hold back. She had already been spared defeat. So…

“I will make myself a worthy opponent of this incredible person!”

Yoshiaki sensed a change in the atmosphere.

Oh? Has she started thinking?

The spear movement had changed.

Before, they had stabbed diagonally down at her from above.

But now there was a slight downward swing included. Instead of stabbing, they were slashing with the bottom of the tip.

That was troublesome.

With a straight-line stabbing motion, only a small force was needed to alter its trajectory. But with even a slight downwards swing added in, it would pull down on her if she touched it.

This was harder to interfere with.

“But it couldn’t hurt to do it once, right?”

Foxes never play fair, she thought with a self-deprecating laugh while striking the spear in her dance.

She made a swift strike to the top of the falling cowling spear’s tip to roll it forward before it hit the roof. That lowered her stance, but it did not obstruct her dance. In fact, it placed her behind the spear, making it harder for Kani to see her.

The spear flew.

The trick was to rotate it. The spear’s rotating motion would allow the other falling spears past it. That provided clearance to throw it, not just straight ahead, but above it and below it as well.

So that was what she did. And Yoshiaki noticed something beyond the spear she had hit and rotated.


Kani was gone.

Yoshiaki did not look to her surroundings.

Kani was somewhere. She had used the line of spears as a shield and moved elsewhere while the spears were launched.

So the rest was simple.

Yoshiaki needed to look straight down. The cloudy sky’s light fell on the dancing rooftop.

The shadows were faint but existent.

And above her own shadow image, she saw the spears and a faint silhouette that had jumped above that.

It was Kani.

She was not directly above Yoshiaki. She was jumping over Yoshiaki, but she had also launched her spears.

They surrounded the fox’s shadow image so she could not escape.

The shadow image showed a cage of spears.

Kani had not taken her eyes off of Yoshiaki.

Even as she jumped over her, she turned her body to face her.

The 8 spears she released in the air were directed toward Yoshiaki in the center below them.


She launched them.

The spears’ positions were scattered. When looking at their shadows, they seemed to be spread out in a fan shape, but they were not actually lined up and were swung to the left and right.

If their trajectories matched, they were easy to read and there would be an opening, so Kani sent them down without matching them.


She ejected them all toward the center.

The 8 spears glistened as vermilion stakes in the summer sunlight as they shot accurately toward the enemy.

They would hit. But just as she thought that…

“You take this too seriously.”

She heard a bitterly smiling voice. And…


The fox had vanished. All of a sudden, Yoshiaki was no longer at the center of the spear tips.

Impossible, thought Kani before immediately correcting herself.

It had in fact happened in front of her.

The spears would meet atop the ridge of the roof and Yoshiaki had been at one point on the way there.

The falling spear tips had surrounded her, leaving no room for escape.

Except that was wrong.

“I am here.”

Kani was looking down, but she felt a soft tap on her forehead.

It was a fan. Its owner was right in front of her as she flew through the air. And it was undoubtedly…


She looked up and the fan pulled back.

The fox was beyond it.

Kani knew what had happened.

Yoshiaki had leaped up as the attacks had focused in on her from above.

Needless to say, the spears had been sent in from above.

But she had leaped along their descending path.

“Do you understand?”

Kani definitely heard Yoshiaki’s voice from behind the fan over her mouth.

“A concentrated attack will have gaps between the attacks at the starting point. …So as long as you follow one of those attacks to the starting point, the concentrated attack is no more than a single attack. In other words…”

Yoshiaki stepped on the butt of one spear stabbed into the roof at the center of the group.

It looked like a light step, but the other seven cowling spears were blown away.

As Kani started to land, three rotating spears passed her by and disappeared.

And just as she landed, something reached her.

“Do it like this.”

A giant spear tip filled her vision.

Is this…?

It was the strike to the face she specialized in for an initial attack.

You sent an attack accurately into the center of your opponent’s vision.

People had difficulty seeing things in the very center of their vision. When looking forward, their right and left vision intersected directly in front of the bridge of their nose, causing the information to intersect and distort.

People had a subconscious fear of things there. Once you understood that, you only had to target the bridge of the nose from dead ahead. The trick was to lower the speed of the attack to drive home the image of the spear tip. Since Sasamura was ejected, it was ideal for that kind of initial attack. However…


Kani swung her head to the left to dodge it. And she grabbed ahold of the spear shaft as it passed her by. She used the momentum of the flying spear to move herself away from Yoshiaki.

But it did not work. Yoshiaki was attached to the butt end.

Kani was holding onto the shaft to fall back and Yoshiaki was holding onto the butt to leap forward, so their speeds were identical.

Kani did not even have time to think “eh!?”

“How about his?”

Yoshiaki knocked the spear butt upwards.

It looked like a light action, but Kani’s body rotated with the spear.

The tip stabbed into the roof and the recoil caused the spear to pitch forward and fly away.

Kani was launched into the sky with the spear.


She was no match for Yoshiaki. No, that was the wrong way to put it.

This did not even reach the level of being a match for someone or not. It was better to say…

I can’t reach her…!

Her techniques were not even reaching Yoshiaki.

“Now,” said the fox standing on the roof. “Kani Saizou. …There is a certain story about you in the Testament, isn’t there? When you were training in the spear under Houzouin, the more technique you learned, the more your skill fell. And when you asked Houzouin about it, he told you to be more single-minded.”

The fox placed the fan over her mouth.

“Now, I hear you got three hits in on Houzouin. The last one was a joke, but what about the first two? Houzouin is well-known as a master spear user. In a way, the best techniques are taught at his school. So how did you get two hits in on him?”

“Well, um.”

Kani thought back to that time as she landed.

Back then, her teacher had said it was about time and then he had faced her in combat. They had dueled in the large open-air dojo, the sky had been clear, the wind had been much like today, and the ground had been packed down by many feet. However…

“I don’t really remember. I was so focused on just doing my best.”

“Ko ko,” laughed the fox. She tapped her chest. “Do not think you are a match for me. You are still just a young girl. But I doubt you will be discouraged either. So…”


“Come at me while only ever thinking of doing your best.”



Right. That was the wrong thing to say. If she was going to respond now, there was only one thing to say.

“I will do my best!”

“What is your name?”

“I will do my best!”

“What is your favorite food?”

“I will do my best!”

“Are you making fun of me?”

“I will do my best!”

“Is that all you can say?”

“I will do my best!”

“I see.”

“I will do my best!”


“I will do my best!”

“…You are awfully persistent.”

“I will do my best!”


“I will do my best!”

Kani organized her thoughts and went.

The Reine des Garous focused her ears as she ate some venison with the bone in.

A long way down the road, she heard clashing metal to the northeast.

That had been there before, but…

It has changed.

The sound was continuous, but not in an orderly row as before.

Instead of taking their turns, the sounds were intertwined while the high and low sounds rang separately. But this seemed to be the proper form for it all.

“It is balanced.”

“Oh? What is?”

“Testament.” The Reine des Garous grabbed another rice ball in both hands while listening to the distant sounds like they were the notes of a wind chime. “If you are self-absorbed in your own techniques, you will assume those techniques will have certain results on the battlefield, and your attacks will never surpass that one system. But if you become self-absorbed in your power, you will assume that power will always play out in the same way, and you will fail to see the next move in your attack. …You need the good sense to balance the two such that you have the technique to create the next move and also the power to force that technique through.”

“How does Mitotsudaira-san manage there?”


The Reine des Garous thought about that while biting into the rice ball with her lips.


“She still has a long way to go. There are things she lacks and she needs to retrain herself in some areas.”

“Oh, how reliable.”

She was offered a garnish of damp vegetables.

“These are fermented. Pickled foods go well with curry. There is still plenty more curry, so feel free to eat this along with it.”

“Thank you. But…”

The Reine des Garous focused her ears on the distant sounds.

There was one abnormality among them.

“I think they are getting help from a machine…but the series of attacks is not ending.”

Kani went all out in her battle against Yoshiaki.


Her feet were no longer kicking off the roof.

They were kicking off the spears she ejected into the air so that the force of the spears launched her.


She would launch a spear, move away, and then use an ejected spear as footing to jump back to close range.

She would move left, right, up, and down.

She was like a ball bouncing through the air. She was knocked every which way by the rackets that briefly appeared. So she would eject another spear and forcibly kick off of it to fix her trajectory.

Someone ran lightly along the roof as the spears stabbed into it.

It was Yoshiaki.

The fox was dancing with two fans.

Auditory spells appeared around her. They played the music of drums, bells, flutes, and gongs as she danced.

Her light running steps responded to Kani’s all-out attacks.

“How about this?”

The fans hit the spears, deflected them, spun them around, and sent them back.

Each time, sparks flew, noise rang, and it all provided accompaniment for Yoshiaki.

However, a change occurred between the two of them.

Yoshiaki and Kani’s dance and clash were accelerating.

Yoshiaki’s twirling sliced through the wind and Kani’s movements now included vertical and inverted movements.


The two musicians spun and moved through the Odawara city.

But there were gradual changes in a few areas.

Yoshiaki’s fans began striking Kani’s spears more often, making the impacts sound like percussion instruments.

It was not that Kani’s attacks were being hit more often. She had started increasing her number of attacks.


Yoshiaki raised her eyebrows in a smile.

“Are you willing to dance with a fox?”

Kani sped up.


Do your best.

Her body felt heavy. It felt like her body was not keeping up with her imagined self.

But do your best.

Always do your best.

Because she had yet to reach her limit. After all, she was still only 16. She would still grow taller. And her breasts would grow.

With every minute and every second, her limits were growing.

But what good was all that if she did not do her best right now?

No, not just now.

Her grandpa had said that life was one long lesson. He had clearly told her that in order to avoid the fact that he was playing shogi against her without properly explaining the rules.

And her mom had told her something while fixing her uniform’s collar before she went to the attack on Mouri.

“Do your best.”

She had replied with “I will” before correcting it to “testament”.

Her dad had told her not to push herself too hard, but that was not a problem. If she had yet to reach her limit, she could not be pushing herself too hard.

She would grow throughout her life, so she could do her best throughout her life. So…

Do your best.

She danced through the air, kicked off the spears, and moved more quickly than the ejected spear tips.

Do your best against this incredible person.

Do your best with what you have so you can face this incredible person who has spent years reaching this point.

Do your best.

She took a breath.

I’m not taking a breath to slack off. I’m taking a breath to do my best. With oxygen in my lungs, I can approach Yoshiaki-sama and her fans to…

“…Do my best!”

She would do her best and bring back a good story to tell.

But if that story was only about Yoshiaki, her parents would find it entertaining, but afterwards they would ask her something: Did you really do everything you could?

Testament. I’ll do everything I can. I’ll do it and return home with a smile. So…

“Do your best…!”

Kani made a high-speed side flip as she touched Yoshiaki’s fan. She reached out her hand and touched it with her finger.


She used her leaping speed to circle around the fox’s dance.

Here she comes, thought Yoshiaki with a smile in her heart.

Such a good girl. Children this honest were rare.

She must have been born and raised in an excellent family.

Her collar had been straight to begin with and it kept its crease even when it got out of place.

And her hair stayed together at her nape.

That’s right.

Some good parents must have sent her out onto the world stage here. So…

“Do your best.”

Kani accelerated as if to comply. She charged into Yoshiaki’s dance as if launched by the ejected spears. Her movements were rough, but she nobly did her best to approach.

“You understand, don’t you?”

It was not about technique. Nor was it about power. Everyone had something that contained both.

Everyone had something, but few ever realized they had it.

For this girl, it was her persistence in doing her best.

What was it for Yoshiyasu? She seemed to have already found something, but asking about it would be crass. And…


Yoshiaki did not think that girl had realized what she had. But…


She had supported the crumbling floating city and left with her beloved.

Since she had given a cry of parting even with all that going on, it was best to trust in her.

That girl had found something to do and the method with which to do it. And in the end, she had not hesitated.


Komahime, thought Yoshiaki.

Now that you have left, there are some children here who are struggling to find and obtain something, just like you did.

Is it a happy thing to see them, sometimes hold them close, and sometimes say goodbye?

Do not worry.

Your mother is doing well. I am not alone. And even if I was, I could not just ignore these children.

This is a fox dance. A dance of the fox fire and shadow seen in festivals.

Komahime, the next time I remember you, it will not bring me sorrow.

You are one of my children. And right now, my children must…


Yoshiaki danced as she spoke.

She spread her fans toward Kani and invited her to the dance.

Kani made her final acceleration.

She dove in close to Yoshiaki and did something with her spears.

Release cowling!

She separated the spear cowlings which provided attack pressurization and acceleration.

The plain spears in the center were launched from the cowling as if by a catapult.

This battle was focused on acceleration and this acceleration method was her last resort on that front. She used that attack to…

“…Do my best!”

Why was it she did not say she had done her best?

With that thought, Kani accelerated the spears while within arm’s reach of her enemy.

She sent them at her.

Kani felt the tactile feedback.

She had made 8 simultaneous attacks with 8 spears while jumping in and they had pierced Yoshiaki.

Except she saw something else entirely in front of her.


Her eyes widened as Yoshiaki dealt with each of the spears.

Yoshiaki did not deal with all 8 spears at once.

A different Yoshiaki dealt with each spear.

“Is this so surprising? I am a nine-tailed fox, so I can create as many bodies as I have tails.”

8 of the 9 Yoshiakis intercepted a spear each.

They used opened fans that hit with swung trajectories.

The fans’ patterns glowed fox-yellow and that light drew a trail behind them. The foxes danced with ether light tails whipping behind them and they drew light in the empty air.

“The character for fox is written with the characters for melon and beast. A melon is a fruit. In other words, a curved thing.”

Something gouged into the air.

Is this…!?

It was what Kani had seen at the start of the battle. The scale was smaller, but the power that had gouged into the city had just erupted before her eyes.

Eight arcing attacks tore spherical shapes out of the space along their path.

The spears, the cowlings, and even the air were eliminated with a great cry. It almost sounded like a fox’s cry.

The spears and cowlings were devoured in an instant. And that included all eight of them.

Kani realized she had lost her weapons, but her body was still there in the air.

This was not over yet. So…

“Do your best…!”

She raised both arms and performed a tackle against Yoshiaki.

She sent herself forward in a body press directed at the center Yoshiaki who was untouched by the spears.

Yoshiaki moved in response. She spread her arms and bent her body.

“Caaaaaaught yooooooou!”

She embraced Kani in her arms.

As the arcs of light scattered in the air and fragments of cowling and spear flew, Kani attempted to tear herself away from the fox who had caught her.

But when she bent back and raised her head…


She realized something.

Past Yoshiaki, she saw Odawara torn up and filled with holes.

I know where this is.

It was the starting point of their battle. Once she realized that, Kani thought about her enemy’s skill again.


Fukushima had told her to view the flow of battle.

She had tried to do that while dueling Yoshiaki, but her enemy had been looking at things on a larger scale.

“Incredible…!” she tried to say. She really did try to.

But her body trembled and her strength left her.


Tears spilled from her eyes and she cried out.

She buried her face in Yoshiaki’s chest to hide her tears and she wept for no real reason.

Yoshiaki held her in her arms to support her back and shoulders and patted her on the back to soothe her.

“There, there. You did your best.”


She wanted to say something – convey something. But she could not put her thoughts to words.

“Were you afraid?”

She nodded. She had been afraid her best would not reach her opponent and Yoshiaki would be disappointed in her.

But Yoshiaki gave a “ko ko” from her throat.

“It’s okay.”

She looked down at Kani’s face.

There was a single red line on her right cheek.

“You did reach one of them on the right. But you were so surprised at the end that your aim shifted.”


“After you rest, your best will be even better than before, won’t it?”


Kani hugged Yoshiaki back. She let out a tearful breath, got her breathing under control, and thought.

Mom, dad…

She could tell them what she had done.

Confident that she had done her best against someone incredible, she entrusted herself to Yoshiaki’s arms and chest.

In the relief of her relaxing tension, she breathed a long, deep breath.

Gin realized the sounds of fighting from the Odawara city had stopped.

Muneshige sat on the slope next to her and he was counting something on his fingers.

“Gin, how would you handle an octuple attack from close range?”

First of all, that question referred to an unthinkable situation. But Gin knew that someone in Odawara had made just such an attack, so she replied.

“You could handle it, Master Muneshige.”

“Eh?” said the Asama Shrine Representative as she turned around, but Gin decided to ignore her.

“Hm.” Muneshige nodded. “Judge. I could handle it?”

“Judge. I do not know what exactly you would do, but when I heard your question, I did not sense much of a threat in it. So you could handle it.”

After Gin smiled, she sensed a presence to her right.

She turned to find the Musashi Vice Chancellor doing squats with Tonbo Spare raised overhead.

“…What are you doing, Honda Futayo?”

“Eh? Gin-dono… You aren’t familiar with these? They are known as squats.”

That one hit her hard.

I must endure. The daughter of a warrior family must keep her cool. To use the Spanish, I must remain “calma”.

She shut her eyes, breathed in, and cooled her heart. She counted to three, said “okay”, and opened her eyes. Keep your presence of mind. This is the usual Tachibana Gin. And when she faced forward…

“See, Gin-dono? By making sure your heels stay on the ground, you can give your entire leg a workout.”

“I am well aware…!”

She snapped back on reflex and the Musashi Vice Chancellor stood up.

“You knew, Gin-dono!? I should have known! An amateur like me shouldn’t act like she knows what she’s talking about, huh?”

“…And I have one piece of advice.” Gin raised her right prosthetic arm’s pointer finger. “…Your form can hurt your knees. You need to hold your hands against your legs. Do you understand?”

“Judge! …Thanks for yet another warning, Gin-dono!”

When the girl laughed, Gin clung to Muneshige.

“Master Muneshige! Master Muneshige! Who was in the wrong here!? Was it me!?”

“Ha ha ha. Gin, no one did anything wrong there.”

She could hear the Chancellor’s sister and some others suppressing laughter, but…

I’m not that kind of character. I’m really not.

But when she turned back toward Muneshige, she saw someone on the slope a short distance from the others.

It was the Vice President.

She was lying on the slope with her back to the others and she was playing with her anteater.

She moved slowly and lazily while speaking to the anteater.

“Nnn. So Mogami defeated Hashiba’s Kani, huh? But it’s all meaningless if we don’t defeat Houjou. Do you understand, Tsukinowa? …Ha ha ha. You’re so cute.”

This development could cause trouble…

Gin wondered if she should say something since she had noticed. Or would someone else deal with the girl? She looked back and saw everyone else averting their gaze. The one who “noticed it” was apparently in charge of dealing with it.

And the others were whispering among themselves.

“This is because things aren’t going her way…”

“She probably wishes she had started a war instead.”

“Yeah, peace is a lot more inconvenient than you would think.”

This situation was indeed a lot of trouble for Musashi. After all…

“Almost all of the Musashi and Mogami representatives have already fought.”

Gin realized that the Representative Committee Head was the only member of the Musashi forces in Odawara who could fight at the moment.

But that girl appeared to be heavily exhausted. Even if she did fight, the odds were good she would lose.

But all the others were in the mandatory hour-long break after a battle.

It would be very bad if the rest of the Houjou fighters fought during that hour.

Then the Musashi fighters would be unable to fight them.

Then what should they do? That was a tricky question, but they were in trouble if they did not come up with something.

“Musashi Vice President.” Gin called out to the girl who needed to come up with something for Musashi. “It might be cloudy, but lying down exposes more of your body’s surface area to the sun, increasing the risk of heatstroke and dehydration. Shouldn’t you sit up?”


She gave a lazy groan in response.

At times like this, Master Muneshige would say “Okay, Gin!” and get up immediately…

She appreciated that when he was asleep and it was time to put up the futon.

During a training camp for Tres España officers, Captain Takakane and the others had complained that Muneshige had far too much energy for the early morning, but it probably had something to do with how she used to target him in his sleep and attempted to stab him with her sword. The morning energy level had reduced a fair bit in recent times. On her part.

But she could not exactly stab the Musashi Vice President with a sword.

“…She isn’t getting up.”

“Gin-dono,” said Futayo. “If you want Masazumi to get up, you can lure her with food.”

That sounded awfully insulting.

But it was lunchtime, so maybe that was all it meant.

What can I use as bait?

Musashi’s Princess carried over a daikon radish peeled to look like an artillery shell. She got down on one knee and held it up toward Gin.

“I beseech you to use this and spare her a worse fate.”

That’s ridiculous. And what does that even mean, anyway?

Gin decided the bait plan had failed.

Fine then, she sighed in her heart.

“Musashi Vice President, everyone is waiting for your instructions.”


Next to her, Musashi’s Princess repeatedly raised her arms a little bit in a “More! More! Cheer her up some more!” gesture. Gin wondered how she could understand the meaning so well. Perhaps the Princess’s gestures were just that well done.

Yes, because her arms move so much.

She wondered if hers could do the same, but she had never tried it. Regardless…

Tachibana Wife: “…But how am I supposed to cheer her up more than that?”

Silver Wolf: “Eh? That was all you had?”

Flat Vassal: “K-keep at it a little longer, Gin-san.”

Sticky King: “Indeed. I think you should stick to it some more!”

Since an expert on stickiness said so, Gin thought about how to stick to it.

“Listen, Musashi Vice President. I would rather not say this, but, well, everyone here needs your instructions right now. How should I put this? They are hopeless without you. I do not really care that much, but I think they need you with them. Of course, if you insist on continuing like this, that is fine too. I will respect your wishes. Yes, in other words…”

Obscene: “Sticking to it is pointless if you aren’t helping!”

Tachibana Wife: “I was starting to think the same thing.”

Tachibana Husband: “Gin! You are even more talented than I thought!”

Tachibana Wife: “Master Muneshige, you thought I did a good job?”

Tachibana Husband: “I did!”

Gold Mar: “…No, not at all. Listening to that was like being thrown out into the cold night.”

When she heard the 3rd Special Duty Officer’s comment, the Vice President slowly got up.

She pressed her hands against the slope to peel herself off of it.

“Naito…in the night…”

Her back shook a bit as she laughed.

“That’s pretty funny. Right…?”

Uqui: “Pleased with yourself, Naito?”

Gold Mar: “No, no, no, no, no, no. Let’s not ask stupid questions, Uqui.”

Flat Vassal: “But the Vice President got up!”

Worshiper: “In a way, I think Flatda-kun is the most troublesome character of all.”

“Hmm,” said Masazumi as she sat up.

She placed Tsukinowa on her shoulder, avoided looking at the others, placed her right elbow on her raised right knee, and looked to Odawara.

There did not seem to be any battles in Odawara right now. The initial phase was over and fighters were reporting back to their respective nations to confirm their plans for the battle.

Musashi needed to do that too, but…

“Asama, have we received any outside information?”

There was something she wanted to know.

“The situation in Paris. They should have already started their battle to flood Paris.”

“Sorry, I know we need to settle on a plan for Odawara, but I also want to hear about things at Paris.”

Below the cloudy sky southeast of Odawara, Terumoto wore a track suit and cooked some yakisoba at a festival stand. The encampment containing Pension Versailles’s white form could be seen behind her.

The divine radio next to the change counter provided information on Paris.

When she slid the volume control on its signe cadre, the lined-up students broke their ranks. They gestured each other over and formed a half-circle in front of Terumoto’s stand.

Those in the front got down on their knees and the middle group sat all the way down. Terumoto smiled bitterly at them all.

“I’ll make you some yakisoba, so stay in line! The first five people can take theirs once it’s ready!”

“Testament!” they replied as Mouri-01 poked her head out from the back of the next stand.

“Princess! I’ve made contact with Hexagone Française!”

“Okay, boys and girls! Let’s hear what they’re up to.”

She crossed her arms as the voice started playing.

The divine radio shook and played a broadcast from Ecole de Paris’s broadcast club. It was an Hexagone Française afternoon news program.

“Hello, everyone. Today’s ‘Armor-Piercing Room’ comes from the front line of the outer-edge assault unit which forms the very front line of Paris. Oh, dear. Look at all those shells flying in… Oh, my!”

The host continued in their idiosyncratic speech style.

“My, oh, my! The front line is about to begin a real clash…! They must be attempting to crush the enemy’s embankment points before the water comes rushing in,” explained the host. “Not bad. First up is downstream in the Seine. …The first clash will likely occur there.”