Horizon:Volume 6C Chapter 57

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Chapter 57: Preparers in the Singing Place[edit]

Horizon6-C409.jpg

This is it:

Something I really

Risked my life on

Point Allocation (Facial Care)


“Um.”

Yoshiyasu awoke to that voice.

I fell asleep!?

She remembered she was on the battlefield, but nothing more than that.

Falling asleep should have been entirely off limits. Plus…

I can’t breathe…!

Why am I only seeing white and why can I barely breathe?

Oh, no. My panic messed with my breathing and I’m not getting enough oxygen…

“…Wait, what’s with this cloth!? An assassination attempt!?”

When she tore the towel from her face and raised her head, her neck cracked.

She must have been sleeping for a while.

But she now remembered placing the towel over her eyes to hide the fact that she was drunk. She had hoped to keep people away by giving off a sense of “you’re annoying me and I’m tired” and hiding the slackness of her eyes had been necessary for that. It should have been an accurate decision.

So who had used the fact that she had fallen asleep to attempt an assassination?

“Did you do this!?”

“Eh!? That’s the Satomi clan’s facial care treatment, isn’t it!?”

Of course not!

But based on Kani’s reaction, Ookubo must have done it.

Probably to hide the fact that Yoshiyasu had fallen asleep and stopped moving. In that case…

“Exactly right.” Yoshiyasu crossed her arms and tried to sound convincing. “For Satomi’s facial care treatment, do this once a day and your chest will grow.”

“That sure is a new form of facial care!”

Oops, I let my own dream slip in there. Yoshiyasu changed the subject to avoid further questions.

“But where is Ookubo?”

Kani shrugged and pointed at the lernen figur next to her face.

Yoshiyasu called up her own sign frame and checked the Siege of Odawara information there.

“…She went and fought a duel?”

“Testament! She left earlier and it seemed like she was hinting she was going to the bathroom for #2, but it looks like she was going to fight a duel!”

The location was listed as “bathhouse”.

“A duel in the bathroom…?”

“I-I wonder how they did that!? Length maybe!?”

“The healthiness would seem more normal.”

“I see!”

While Kani nodded, Yoshiyasu decided not to go see Ookubo for a bit. However, she did not have a bad feeling about her. She had won and the sign frame said she was in her rest period. She had not withdrawn or dropped out. Ookubo was still in this.

And if Ookubo said she was fine, then she was fine. In that case, thought Yoshiyasu.

“What will you do?”

Ookubo had planned on dueling Kani and Kani had accepted it. However…

“Testament! Satomi Student Council President! Please duel me!”

“Huh?”

Yoshiyasu frowned at the sudden request.

“Um.” Kani sounded troubled. “Please look at this!”

She called up a lernen figur which displayed the earlier duel request. It listed the participants as Kani and…

“It doesn’t specify who my opponent would be!”

“Hold on. Why me? …And can’t you just cancel that request?”

“The Musashi Representative Council Head submitted it, so I can’t cancel it!”

Can’t they make these things so either side can cancel them?

Ookubo’s request was still in effect with Kani registered, but Ookubo had not registered herself and she was no longer here. So…

“You’re on Musashi’s side here, Satomi Student Council President! So please!”

“Yes, th-then I guess I have no choice.”

“Thank you very much! Let’s have a karaoke competition!”

“Huh?”

A karaoke competition?

But I’ve almost never done karaoke.


Yoshiyasu mentally held her head in her hands.

I don’t know how to do karaoke.

Kani seemed to be connecting her lernen figur to the bathhouse service and registering the karaoke program, but Yoshiyasu had no idea how to do any of that.

Of course, she had a general image of how karaoke worked.

You ordered an existing song on your sign frame, the lyrics would appear on the sign frame, and you would sing along with that.

And you would receive a score based on how well you sang.

While doing that, you would eat snacks and whatnot to just generally have a good time.

Yes, thought Yoshiyasu as she thought through her image of karaoke.

That’s the polar opposite of who I am…!

Can I have a good time by singing songs? Can I really? Wouldn’t it feel more like I’m being forced to have a good time while singing? Wouldn’t it? Isn’t that what they call peer pressure? Right? Just come out and say it. Well? Wait, who just said I have no friends!?

“…Ah.”

No, she had done karaoke once.

After a Satomi meeting, they had gone out to celebrate at a local bar called the Kujukuri Tikal Hammer.

There had been a karaoke spell set there.

Her sister had gotten oddly excited about it and she had realized her sister must do that kind of thing a lot, but when Yoshiyori (who had still been named Noritoki at the time) sang, everyone had fallen silent, a few had cried, and it had created an odd atmosphere.

She had been told to sing something, but she did not know any of the songs and she was eventually pressured into singing a Russian song with her sister. Thinking back, it was a happy memory.

Although I seem to recall having to sing about vodka up the ass…!

Regardless, that was her only karaoke experience.

“Satomi Student Council President! How much should we sing for the competition!?”

“One song is enough.”

Or rather, she was unsure if she could even sing one song.

Just to be safe, she decided to ask something.

“Kani Saizou, how much do you do karaoke?”

“Testament! I do it all the time at neighborhood association gatherings and with my friends!”

“Is that so?”

“Testament! Although my friends often start asking for life advice right away, so I tend to be the only one singing! But they buy me snacks, so it’s great!”

She’s an enemy… thought Yoshiyasu for some reason.

Yes, she’s definitely an enemy.

Yoshiyasu felt like they could get along and she did not think their personalities would clash, but the way Kani lived her life was just too different.

No, I guess that’s just how name inheritors are… Yeah…

Generally, singing karaoke at neighborhood associations and eating snacks with friends was just not in the cards for name inheritors. However…

“Ah.”

She recalled how good her sister had been at karaoke. In that case…

Am I the odd one out!? Wait!

When she started scrutinizing herself like this, it was best to think of it as her form of individuality.

But even if she kept that problem contained to herself, there was still a risk here.

“…Kani Saizou. How often do you do karaoke?”

“Testament! Four times!”

“Four times!?”

That’s not much, thought Yoshiyasu.

“Four times a week! We often go after our club activities, so it really helps me keep in touch with my friends! I’ve racked up a whole bunch of point cards that way!”

She really is an enemy, silently concluded Yoshiyasu.

Regardless, this was bad. Her opponent was an expert and she was essentially an amateur.

How am I supposed to win this!?

No, she needed to think about how to approach this competition.

What do I do!?

And while Yoshiyasu thought in the bath, Kani suddenly tilted her head.

“Huh…?”


Kani shut down the karaoke program and then reconnected via the bathhouse divine transmission line.

The available services appeared on a lernen figur and she searched through the karaoke-related options. However…

This isn’t good!

“The karaoke here only has old sarugaku!”

“Old?”

“Testament! This is system is by the Yogakara brand, but since it uses the Reizei format, it’s primarily eastern songs and has almost nothing from the west! That means none of the newer Nijo School songs!”

“For example?”

“There’s nothing new like Red-zome Emon♀’s Number 59 or Semigan’s Rear Razor Burn and it’s all songs by old people like Roman Tomonokika and Mistaken King.”

“What does that meant?”

“There’s nothing I know how to sing!”

“Judge. I see.”

For some reason, the Satomi Student Council President held out her right hand, so they shook hands.

Then Kani looked at the song list again.

Which one can I sing…!?

She had heard there were some pretty big cultural differences between the Far East’s west and east sides. She understood the subtle flavor and strong flavor difference after eating some food here, but…

The song culture is different too!

But she was not sure what to do about it.

She could not see anything on the list she could sing karaoke-style.

Was this from an older age? Or did they just have a different idea of what was new?

What was she to do?

In the hopes of finding a hint, she tried asking a question.

“Umm. …Are there any easy-to-sing songs on here?”


Yoshiyasu felt her body temperature drop in the bath.

Easy-to-sing songs!?

None of them would be easy for her. The only songs she knew were the Song of Passage and the Satomi academy song.

But it would be dangerous to let her opponent know how bad she was at karaoke.

Let Kani take the lead and she might end up challenged to a song only Kani could sing.

Kh…!

She had to think. The song did not have to be a pop song or Gagaku.

“…Oh.”

Come to think of it, thought Yoshiyasu. That vassal sometimes talks about a divine TV show. I never know what she’s talking about, but maybe I should have watched that.

She was pretty sure it was called Flying Battleship 1648. She remembered the vassal saying it had an aerial warship modeled after the Musashi firing a main canon on the Oda clan, but hadn’t a certain ship done something very similar in reality recently? A ship she had been riding, in fact.

I’m pretty sure that show’s theme song was super popular…

She sometimes heard it on the divine radio, but she only half-remembered the intro.

She did not remember the lyrics.

“Well!?”

“It seems I was thinking of a rather difficult one. Yes.”

She had to wonder just how ignorant she was here.

She could not let it get to her. If she was ignorant, she was ignorant.

But if she refused to accept that ignorance, the duel would be over and she would lose.

Now, then.

At that point a sudden thought occurred to Yoshiyasu: Wait.

She had done karaoke once.

It was an old memory and she did not remember it all that well, but it was a memory with her sister and him. She had been pressured into singing a song with her sister.

She did not remember the name of the song, but…

“…Sorry. There is a song I’m thinking of.”

“What is it!?”

“Well, I was hoping you knew. …It mentions vodka up the ass in the lyrics.”

“You mean the Cossack Enemy Footrace!?”

Yoshiyasu was shocked to find that clue was sufficient.

And she saw Kani hold up her lernen figur in celebration

“I can sing that! It was one of the theme songs for Dragoon-emon, a drama my dad grew up with 20 years ago! Do you know Dragoon-emon!?”

“Yes…the original opening song went ‘ahn, ahn, ahn, I’ve never done this before, Dragoon-emon’ and got banned almost immediately, right? In every episode of the show itself, the unit would be nearly wiped out until they pulled a mysterious holy gadget from a phase space, but that had a way of only exacerbating their problems.”

“But sometimes it would work out well, so you had to keep watching!”

Kani was only getting more excited. Probably because they were going to compete with a song her father liked.

And for Yoshiyasu, it was the song she had sung with her sister.

“Then I’ll send the lyrics page to you!”

Kani started to operate her lernen figur but came to a stop and smiled bitterly.

“We didn’t exchange divine mail addresses!”

“That’s fine. Just make me a copy of that sign frame.”

“Testament!”

Kani slid her hand to split the lernen figur in two and she passed one of them to Yoshiyasu.

Yoshiyasu accepted it and found it was a Catholic-style one. Something occurred to her as she viewed the white frame.

Not exchanging addresses there is just like me, isn’t it?

At the moment, she could justify it as being cautious. But was it thanks to her life on the Musashi that she could reflect on these things now?

Anyway, she sighed in her heart before viewing the lyrics.

Leaving footprints in the snowy white, we march through the dark night.

Dreams of romance dance before our eyes. The enemy force is ten or twenty times our size. We shout like a maniac and charge in to attack.

Once every last one has been knocked to the snowy grass, they get the vodka penalty: 120 proof up the ass.

How about that? It's like a volcano in your pants. But don't blame us; just do the Cossack dance.

Khorosho khorosho khorosho khorosho

Setting our sights beyond the tower, we march through the festival hour.

We gallop forth to claim our prize. Their sword troops are eight or nine times our size. We hit their infantry and trample them by horse.

Once every last one has been flattened on the snowy grass, they get the piroshki penalty: hot spices up the ass.

Can you feel it in your guts? The Tatars can really fight. If you can feel the battle, then it's tartar sauce tonight.

Khorosho khorosho khorosho khorosho

What is this!?

She was now questioning whether she had actually sung this before.

No, she remembered her sister hopping around, so the khorosho part was definitely real.

And what kind of music did you sing this to?

Umm.

This is an emergency, she told herself while opening a divine transmission sign frame.


“Huh?”

Asama tilted her head while sitting on a bench with Mitotsudaira, Horizon, and Toori.

“Um, Masazumi? Toori-kun and everyone else too. I just got a divine transmission from Yoshy-chan, but, um…can any of you sing the Cossack Enemy Footrace?”

Everyone turned toward Kimi.

Mitotsudaira began glaring as she spoke to Kimi.

“After causing us so much trouble this morning – and continuing to cause us trouble now – how about you be useful for once?”

“Heh heh. If you insist… Okay, I’ll show Yoshy how it’s done.”

Kimi pulled a microphone spell frame from her cleavage.


After receiving some audio data from the Asama Shrine Representative, Yoshiyasu played it on her sign frame.

She heard the Chancellor’s sister singing with some simple accompaniment. She had a habit of listening to audio spells in headphones mode so she could listen to divine transmissions while working on her god of war, but what she heard this time was different.

And as the lunatic’s voice reached her ears…

How in the world is she this good!?

The intonation carried the emotion so perfectly and there was no way Yoshiyasu could do the same. It would require a fair amount of training to even try to sing it in the same way.

I-I’ll take it as a lesson in how high level those upperclassmen are…

And this is that weird girl… she thought as an odd secondary and tertiary shock set in, so she began typing on the sign frame keyboard once more.


“Huh?”

Asama tilted her head again.

She spoke to Kimi who was drinking ginger ale with the others.

“Kimi, Yoshy-chan said your singing is too good to be any help.”

“Eh? But I did it as casually as I do when I’m playing with the children in the park.”

“I’m kind of impressed the children can keep up…”

“Really? But if I’m too godlike for her, then who else can sing it for her?”

“Umm,” said Asama as she looked to someone else. Everyone else turned in the same direction. “Masazumi.”

“Wait! I don’t know that song!”

“Oh? You don’t? The show is pretty popular and, from Mikawa to Odawara, the series tends to start re-airing as soon as a previous airing ends.”

“Maybe so.” Masazumi tilted her head. “But during elementary and middle school, I spent my spare time studying and my dad is really strict…”


“Look! Look, Koni-tan! They’re re-airing Dragoon-emon in this region!”

“Ho ho? With a total of 4712 episodes, that is an impressive undertaking! And it seems they are using a special version of the OP! …Oh, this is the episode where Lieutenant Shotaluvavich returns after escaping the collective farm, fails to suppress her fetish, and gets thrown in solitary confinement. And when they give her a Walk-Through-Walls Icon to rescue her, she ends up falling into an open-air bath full of boys and is arrested a second time…”

“Indeed it is. A lot of children must have developed odd fetishes because of this show. They should re-air it more often! How about we do it on Musashi again!? Yes, let’s do that! Let’s re-air the best episodes, Koni-tan!”

“Nobu-tan! Nobu-tan! You’re already selecting the most severe episodes, aren’t you!?”


My dad must be working hard right now, thought Masazumi with a sigh.

I guess this is part of the job too.

“Fine then. But tell the Satomi Student Council President not to expect much.”

After seeing Asama nod, Masazumi opened a microphone spell. It was for speeches, but she figured it was good enough.

She started singing while telling herself it was best to take it easy with these things.


About five minutes passed.


Asama: “Um, uh, Masazumi? I’ll try to put this in a way that won’t hurt you, but Yoshy-chan said that wasn’t what she expected and she’s wondering if hope has always been an illusion.”

Sticky King: “How philosophical…”

Vice President: “You didn’t try very hard not to hurt me, did you!? And don’t blame me! I said not to expect much!”

Me: “I just listened to that and there was a lot of clipping in the recording. Also, did you sing the whole thing in your speech-giving voice? That’s honestly kind of impressive.”

Silver Wolf: “Um, my king? I don’t think you need to criticize Masazumi so much.”


Yoshiyasu saw a third audio file arrive from Musashi.

It was titled “Bell + Adele”.

I’m skeptical…

She tried playing it.


“Oh, Yoshy-chan just said that one was fine.”

Suzu and Adele grabbed each other’s hands and celebrated at Asama’s words, so Mitotsudaira smiled bitterly.

“With both of you together, she might have been able to pick and choose which sound she liked more.”

“Judge. When it’s just me, everything tends to sound like a march.”

“A-and I…tend to be…too quiet.”

“Heh heh. Listen. That was made from both of your strong points, so you need to praise each other.”

Kimi sounded cheerful.

Then Mitotsudaira looked to Masazumi.

“As Vice President, how do you think things are going?”

“Judge. Thanks to Ookubo’s efforts, we now have two victories over Mouri. That means we can request both Logismoi Oplo from them. On the other hand…”

“Please not the udoooooooooooon!”

Summer uniformed Heidi held her head in her hands, but Masazumi only glanced in her direction and cleared her throat.

“We have a loss each to Date and Hashiba. We have an idea what Date will negotiate for, so we can keep an eye on their actions and enter negotiations. As for Hashiba…”

“That battle was fought with them as Houjou, right?”

“Judge. So I’m trying to come up with some way of using that.”

Futayo opened her mouth to speak after crunching through some watermelon seeds.

“Would we be able to get a win in on Houjou?”

“I feel like it would have been possible if the udon wasn’t out of money, but it would be difficult the way things are now. …It doesn’t look like Houjou Ujiteru intends to leave the café. That leaves Houjou Ujinao and the Mouse named Kotarou, but Mouri’s Reine des Garous and Seki should be moving on them.”

“Yes, Seki will probably duel Kotarou while the Reine des Garous duels Ujinao-sama.”

“My mother can be capricious, but she is not someone you can defeat when she actually takes things seriously.”

That was what made Hassan’s victory such an achievement.

As for the upcoming battles…

“Mogami Yoshiaki defeated Kani earlier, so Hashiba can make up for that loss if the Satomi Student Council President loses here.”

Masazumi crossed her arms. And…

“As an extra line of defense, this is a surprisingly important duel.”


“Now, then,” said Yoshiyasu as she stood up from the bath.

She climbed up to the washing area and lightly dried off her sweat with a towel.

I’ve mostly learned it.

She had memorized how the lyrics connected to the music and how to time for the intonation.

For a god of war pilot like her, this was far easier than memorizing her mission orders in one go. The route from Satomi to Houjou could be very complex when flown for an interception or invasion because it would involve lots of ascents and evasions through defended airspace.

When she applied that to the song, the tempo was like the speed and the intonation was like the ascents and descents. The volume of her voice may have been like the combat.

After checking through it five times, she had it all down pat.

“I’m ready. …Let’s do this, Kani Saizou.”

“Testament! I look forward to it!”

Kani left the bath as well.

She opened a lernen figur in her hand. It displayed the scoring for their karaoke.

It had three scored fields:

<Pitch – Volume – Likeness>

“You start with 100 points and you lose points for each mistake! Your final score is whatever you have left at the end of the song!”