Horizon:Volume 7A Chapter 3

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Chapter 3: Workers in a Place of Relaxation[edit]

Horizon7-A113.jpg

[On sign frame: House of Habsburg / Thirty Years’ War]

Unplanned

Unexpected

Unimagined

Which is the odd man out?

Point Allocation (To answer seriously, plans are more solid than expectations or imaginings)


Sakai thought while the night wind washed over him.

I’ve really been living the delinquent lifestyle lately, like being out at night like this.

He would really have preferred to be back in his house inspecting the black disk boxes and collections he had bought. That way he could take some of the workload off of “Okutama”, but…

“The other nations don’t give any thought to my leisure activities when they make their plans, do they?”

He was on top of Musashino’s bridge where a wind-blocking partition and a table had been set up. He asked “Musashi” a question from there.

“I feel like I’ve been a little too busy lately. What do you think?”

“I believe principal is a year-round job, or am I wrong? Over.”

“That’s just a title and I really think public service jobs should end at 4 to 6.”

“Judge,” said “Musashi” as she picked up a plate and a peach from the side table she had pulled over with her gravitational control. “You will be busy tonight, so you should avoid sake and instead eat some of the fruit we got at Sanada. Over.”

“There’s just no time for a good night’s sleep, is there? Masazumi-kun is pushing things a little too hard.”

“If you look at it that way, then Hashiba is pushing things even harder. Over.”

“Musashi” then opened a sign frame.

Since she was wearing gloves, she peeled the peach while it was floating in midair. She used her hands to prepare some tea while turning the sign frame toward Sakai. It displayed a map of the entire Far East.

“These are the paths of the Hashiba and P.A. Oda transport ships which have recently flown within the Far East. The information was gathered from optical observation, the price fluctuation from the influx of supplies to other regions, and information supplied by cooperative nations. This reveals something.”

Several ribbon lines were headed toward a single point on the sign frame.

“Lake Biwa. We predict that is currently a giant shipyard for P.A. Oda. Large amounts of materials are being shipped there from across the Far East. During the night and the day. It is unusual.”

“Do you think they’re building another ship like the Azuchi?”

“No, not unless they are reusing supplies. The supplies they are shipping in cannot be used for cannons or heavy armor. Also, most of the shipped supplies have already been seen. Over.”

“What do you mean they’ve already been seen?”

“You are full of questions today, Sakai-sama. Over.”

“Only because you’re full of riddles.” Sakai looked to the western sky. “Paris, huh?”

“That is correct, Sakai-sama. Over.”

“Could you maybe sound more impressed with that, ‘Musashi’-san?”

She placed the plate of peach slices in front of him.

“What made you think of Paris? Over.”

“Judge. The materials Hashiba brought in to flood Paris had to be materials within P.A. Oda or M.H.R.R. that Hashiba was free to use. At the very least, the other factions would have to be okay with Hashiba taking them away in a hurry. The reports we have received say all of those materials were aerial ship parts and armor panels.”

Meaning…

“Hashiba is using the Lake Biwa shipyard to construct a fleet of transport ships?”

“What makes you say a ‘fleet’ of transport ships, Sakai-sama? Over.”

“When transport ships get large enough, their frames and hulls have to be reinforced to the point that they are little different from warships. ‘Musashi’-san, it’s the same for you, isn’t it? Your parts are special made, right?”

“Judge. I was originally designed to have defensive capabilities making me inviolable and thus unusable by the others nations, so I was equipped with specialized frames and armor that match or surpass those of ships of equal size. Over.”

“In that case, since the materials P.A. Oda is gathering are standard grade, they must be constructing a great number of transport ships smaller than you.”

“Why are they doing that? Over.”

“Is there an answer to this riddle?”

“There is not. Over.”

“I had a feeling,” responded Sakai. “If this was Hexagone Française we were talking about, we could always say it was for their largescale settlement of the outside world.”

“I wonder what P.A. Oda is thinking. Over.”

“Got any predictions?”

“Judge. They may be creating a large merchant fleet to take control of the Far East’s economic distribution. Of course, doing that would require controlling the infrastructure of Shinto and the other religions and building a command structure would not be possible. Over.”

“Then we should probably be careful. And there is a more pressing problem.”

Sakai grabbed a peach slice with the supplied chopsticks and looked to the southwestern sky.

Several small pilot boats had left the Musashi to meet the ascending diplomatic ships.

But Sakai’s gaze was directed past them.

Odawara.

A fleet floated in the dark night sky there and a few ships had left it to cruise east.

“The Siege of Odawara is over, so that fleet is joining the Edo Hashiba fleet for the Keichou Campaign. So up through the Siege of Odawara, they sided with Mouri and Musashi to assist the history recreation, but now they will be working with Hashiba. That is what this means.”


“Musashi” heard Sakai say “being a grownup isn’t easy” with a bitter smile.

“As a 0-year-old child, I would not know, but are you saying Hashiba’s rule in Europe is all but established so the neighboring nations will have a hard time siding with Toori-sama and the others? Over.”

“Looks like I’ve found a clever child, ‘Musashi’-san. Shall I praise you?”

“Go ahead. Over.”

“Way to go, ‘Musashi’-san. You showed the insight of a 30-year-old.”

“Do you want me closer to your age that badly, Sakai-sama? Over.”

“No, that isn’t an issue. Men have low mental ages, after all.”

“Thank you very much. But what do you think the other nations will do? Over.”

“Good question.” He viewed the ships quickly flying east in the southern sky. “To be honest, this is a pain from Musashi’s point of view, but it’s the right thing to do from the history recreation’s point of view. They took part in the Siege of Odawara like they were supposed to, so now they’re taking part in the Keichou Campaign like they’re supposed to. …Mouri is the one being weird here. They sided with Hashiba during the Siege of Odawara, but now they’re turning on Hashiba for the Keichou Campaign.”

Sakai counted the ships traveling eastward and he narrowed his eyes at the emblems on the sides.

“That isn’t all of the ships we saw arrive. I think I know who is missing, but this might be a bit troublesome.”

“Are you saying this will not be an easy battle? I expect that will please Masazumi-sama. Over.”

“No, it’s not about that.”

Sakai took a breath and picked up the teacup.

He also shook the peach slice with his chopsticks.

“These are sweet.”

“Statistically, you tend to say that, so I made the tea on the stronger side. Over.”

“Musashi” nodded and looked to the ships heading east and the diplomatic ships approaching the Musashi.

“What makes you think that, Sakai-sama? Over.”

“Is there an answer to that riddle?”

“If I told you, you would dodge the question, so I will not tell you. Over.”

But she had more to say.

“In other words, I have determined my prediction was correct. Over.”


“Wait just a second! What kind of prediction is that!?”

Masazumi listened to Yoshiyasu’s protest within the bathhouse’s thick steam. Yoshiyasu had risen to her knees in the bath.

“What do you mean Musashi won’t be able to take part in the Kantou Liberation!?”

“Hm, it’s not that clear a prediction.”

Maybe I stated that too strongly.

Masazumi felt a little bad for that. But she could not remove the word “possible” from the reality of that happening.

“Listen, Satomi Student Council President. First of all, our #1 goal is the Kantou Liberation.”

They had already stated that at the beginning of the negotiation with Houjou and Mouri two evenings ago.

“That remains true. That is what we told Houjou and Mouri and it is how we set up the Siege of Odawara.”

“Then why are you predicting you won’t participate?”

“Because of Hashiba,” said Masazumi. “Hashiba will want to prevent the Kantou Liberation no matter what. Because if they can keep a military force stationed at Edo, we won’t be able to leave Kantou.”

Naruze raised her right hand.

“You say we wouldn’t be able to leave Kantou, but isn’t Sanada in the Koshinetsu region and not the Kantou region?”

“That’s a neighboring region, so it’s Kantou-ish.”

“Just admit you were wrong!” everyone shouted, but that had been a study camp.

“If they had invaded from Edo while we were participating in a student event, we could have protested it. But Hashiba is the Testament Union, so they can’t be do anything so forceful. They’ll overlook something like a trip to Sanada.”

This time, it was Naito who raised her hand.

“I have a question. If that had happened, how would we have protested?”

“Isn’t that obvious?” Masazumi went on to state the obvious. “We would’ve roughed up Edo a bit and demanded some rights or some land as a bridgehead for the Kantou Liberation.”


Uqui: “I had a feeling she meant war.”

Unturning: “So Hashiba can’t try anything because anything they do to us means war.”

Obscene: “Ha ha ha. How comforting!”

Vice President: “No, wait! That’s the normal response! Right!?”

Azuma: “I think this is more about your method than the response.”


Asama had created a virtual space for the meeting by managing the divine transmission with the boys, so Masazumi made sure her words were reaching the men’s bath before continuing.

“Now then, Satomi Student Council President. You can believe me when I say we are thinking of the Kantou Liberation first and foremost. If Hashiba tries anything, we need to see how we can steer things in the best direction for the Kantou Liberation. That is our main focus right now.”

“Then why?” asked the Satomi President while sitting back down in the bath. “Why might Musashi not be able to participate in the Kantou Liberation?”

“Because of something external to Musashi,” said Masazumi. “Because of the Thirty Years’ War.”


“The Thirty Years’ War?” asked Yoshiyasu with a tilt of the head.

She represented the Kantou Satomi clan, so she was not too familiar with European wars.

She did of course have some knowledge of the Thirty Years’ War, but she did not know why anyone would bring it up here. Besides…

“What does the Thirty Years’ War have to do with this?”

“Simply put, this is about the conflict between Hexagone Française and M.H.R.R.”

“Huh?”

Yoshiyasu tilted her head again.

Why would the conflict between Hexagone Française and M.H.R.R. be an issue now? After all…

“Haven’t they already begun that war?”

They had fought at Paris and they had clashed several times during the lead up to that.

But…

“Yes.”

Some people answered her question in the affirmative.

It was the Tachibana Couple and the Date Vice Chancellor. So did the Mito Lord, the two Technohexen, and the English Princess.

“Oh, I think I get it,” said the vassal with some uncertainty.

And on the divine transmission…

10ZO: “Judge. This might be leading in that direction.”

The English Princess responded to the 1st Special Duty Officer’s words with a hand on her cheek.

“That’s Master Tenzou for you.”

The Schwarz Hexen turned on the bath faucet to add some cold water.

Yoshiyasu had a thought as she saw their responses and reactions.

Huh? Am I dumb if I can’t figure this out?

When she thought of Class 3-Plum, words like “cruel”, “the worst”, “merciless”, and “psychological aggressor” came to mind.

So what did it mean when they could understand and predict something but she could not?

Then Musashi’s princess faced her.

“Now, Yoshy-sama, give us the answer.”

“M-me!?”

“Do not worry. I do not understand it either.”

Yoshiyasu felt like that “either” signaled her defeat. But, she thought.

Righteousness: “You’re saying ignorance is nothing to be ashamed of, right!?”

Me: “Ohhh? Is this too much for Flatty’s itty-bitty braiiiiiiiin?”

Righteousness: “Don’t you dare!!”

“Calm down,” cut in the Musashi Vice President.

She wiped her face off with a towel and then placed her anteater on her head.

“To be honest, my knowledge of the Thirty Years’ War isn’t the best either. When I first reviewed it all, I was focused on the Far Eastern side of things.”

You would say that, thought Yoshiyasu.

It was true the Musashi Vice President knew a lot about Far Eastern politics. But that allowed her to look up at the state of the world from the Far East’s perspective instead of looking down on them from the viewpoint of Europe with their provisional rule.

That was why Musashi was not bound by the unwritten rules of the other nations. And why they sought further freedom.

That was the essence of Musashi that allowed them to manipulate the other nations.

And on top of that, thought Yoshiyasu about the Musashi Vice President.

It probably meant a lot that she began diplomacy with England.

England’s Fairy Queen had shown her how a powerful nation handled diplomacy and Tres España had taught her the meaning of history.

So when she and Musashi came to Kantou after experiencing all of that, she was capable of including the whole world in her viewpoint as she negotiated with the Kantou and Oushuu nations who had their foundation in the Far East.

Now she was working to grasp and understand the European events of the Thirty Years’ War.

“I see.”

The Musashi Vice President had judged herself inexperienced and now she was trying to understand the Thirty Years’ War.

That means that war must be a turning point for the world.

“Then tell me. What effect will the Thirty Years’ War have on the Kantou Liberation and Musashi?” Yoshiyasu had more to ask. “For one thing, the Thirty Years’ War has already begun. It started quite a while ago. There was just a battle at Paris and Hexagone Française has announced the beginning of their conquest. What does any of that mean for the Kantou Liberation and Musashi?”

“Judge.”

That reply did not come from their Vice President.

It came from the Mito Lord.

That girl had the strongest connection to Hexagone Française and she directed her wolf eyes toward Yoshiyasu.

“Unfortunately, you are misunderstanding something.”

That is…

“Hexagone Française has not actually started the Thirty Years’ War.”


Mitotsudaira listened to Yoshiyasu’s question while gathering together what they had discussed on the transport ship earlier.

“Hexagone Française hasn’t started the Thirty Years’ War?”

“Judge. That is correct.” Mitotsudaira nodded. “Or to put it more accurately, Hexagone Française is not at war with M.H.R.R.”

“But they just fought.”

“Then I have a question for you.” Mitotsudaira spoke slowly to make sure Yoshiyasu understood the purpose of her question. “Is Satomi at war with Hashiba?”

Yoshiyasu started to nod, but then…

“————”

She held a hand to her mouth and lowered her gaze.

She was thinking.

And after a few seconds, she looked back up at Mitotsudaira and glanced at the others too.

“It was their alliances.”

“Judge.” Mitotsudaira smiled this time. “Hexagone Française is currently allied with nations that have begun the Thirty Years’ War and they have only fought in response to that. The attacks from M.H.R.R. have been dealt with by counting it as a later part of the Thirty Years’ War, saying M.H.R.R. was ignoring the Testament with their actions, or calling it a Hashiba attack on Mouri. You understand what Hexagone Française has set up this time, I hope?”

“You mean something they’ve set up with those alliances and with their position as Hexagone Française?”

Yoshiyasu caught on quickly.

“I can only guess, but I would assume something is at play that will draw in the Protestant M.H.R.R. principalities or nearby Protestant nations.”

“So you aren’t sure which nation we’re talking about?”

“Judge. I couldn’t tell you that much. But I can make some guesses.”

Me: “Hey!”

Vice President: “What is it, idiot?”

Uqui: “Toori, don’t interrupt.”

Flat Vassal: “That’s right, Chancellor. Try to stay out of the way.”

Hori-ko: “Okay, today I will be introducing you to the Unpopular Chancellor! You can see just how unpopular he is from the critical responses he gets. And as a special bonus, he comes as a set with the Student Council President! Twice the unpopularity at no extra cost! Call now and we will add a free printing press!”

Me: “No faiiiiiir! I can’t do that joke about myself!”

Hori-ko: “I was afraid someone else would do it first, but it seems I got it in quickly enough. …What did you think, everyone?”

Wise Sister: “Oh, dear. Horizon? Where are you planning to ship my foolish brother to? Does he have to get himself back home?”

Asama: “Um, well, in that case I would have no choice but to go pick him up just like with the guard stations. I don’t need the printing press, though.”

Silver Wolf: “No, as his knight, I will retrieve him in a flash!”

Gold Mar: “Retrieve him, not protect him?”

I had a feeling I phrased that wrong. But…

Silver Wolf: “My king? So what did you want?”

Hori-ko: “You are only going to get some lame joke in response, Mitotsudaira-sama.”

Me: “Oh, c’mon. Don’t get her hopes up, Horizon.”

Horizon used a high-speed wrist snap to launch a bar of soap and they heard something collapsing into the men’s bath. And after a short pause…

10ZO: “Um, I will answer in his place. He basically wanted to ask what the Thirty Years’ War is.”

Asama: “Oh, I’m with Toori-kun there. I know the general idea, but Europe is outside my area of expertise.”

Wise Sister: “Oh, dear. Asama, you’re saying you’re the same as my foolish brother? You are, aren’t you!?”

Silver Wolf: “…”

Flat Vassal: “5th Special Duty Officer! Don’t just smile silently like that!”

Asama: “C-calm down, Mito! You have the advantage here because you understand it!”

Me: “So, Nate, could you explain all this to me?”

Silver Wolf: “Judge! I can. It will be from Hexagone Française’s point of view, so the rest of you can make corrections where necessary.”

Mitotsudaira took a breath and opened a sign frame.

It displayed a part of eastern Europe even further south than M.H.R.R.

But that was not all.

Mitotsudaira displayed another sign frame showing…

“This has a lot to do with Holy Roman Emperor Matthias and the next Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand II, whose name he has also inherited.”


“Let’s review.” Mitotsudaira asked them all a question. “The Thirty Years’ War was a war between nations with many complexly-intertwined factors. Does anyone here have a good understanding of it all?”

No one raised their hand, but a voice did arrive over the divine transmission.

Worshiper: “I believe it was a conflict between the Protestant and Catholic parts of M.H.R.R.”

Silver Wolf: “It began that way.”

Mitotsudaira typed some words onto the sign frame.

Silver Wolf: “I will start by summing up the causes of the Thirty Years’ War.”

Causes of the Thirty Years’ War

1. Conflict between the Protestants and Catholics inside M.H.R.R. and the nearby nations.

2. Branching off of #1, some areas fight for independence from M.H.R.R.

3. War between the emperor (of the House of Habsburg) who commands the Catholics and the other houses.

Some nodded in understanding and others tilted their head.

This could be tricky, but the later meeting would be easier if everyone understood this now.

Mitotsudaira spread the one sign frame and zoomed in on a map of Europe with M.H.R.R. at the center.

“To start with #1, the conflict between Protestants and Catholics began with the work of Tomoe Gozen, aka Luther, who leads the Protestants. At the Peace of Augsburg, the Catholics and Protestants within M.H.R.R. agreed to a treaty.”

However…

“There is a principality called Bohemia to the southeast of M.H.R.R. It is large for an M.H.R.R.-controlled region, rivalling Austria or Hungary. It was Protestant land, but Ferdinand II, who was set to inherit the imperial throne from Matthias, was chosen as the king of Bohemia.”

Mitotsudaira saw everyone glance at the image of Matthias.

She then gave an explanation about him.

“It seems Matthias always planned to take Ferdinand II as a second inherited name. Looking back, Hashiba was secretly pushing for that.”

The rest was quite simple.

“Ferdinand II was passionately pro-Catholic, so he began oppressing the Protestants in Bohemia. The people responded by attacking Prague Castle, throwing five royal advisors out the castle window, and using that to signal the beginning of a revolt. That incident became known as the Defenestration of Prague and it began the Thirty Years’ War.”


Masazumi was familiar with what Mitotsudaira described.

That defenestration had of course been carried out as a history recreation.

It had happened just a few years ago.

She remembered seeing it on the news from Europe while she lived in Mikawa.

“For the beginning of a major historical war, the recreation of the defenestration didn’t get much focus, did it?”

“Judge. According to the Testament, there was a hay pile below the window, so three of the five thrown out the window were fine.”

“Judge. I can see how people wouldn’t be sure how excited to be about such an important event.”

Masazumi did not know how it had been recreated. The news reaching Mikawa had only said the recreation happened. She could probably look up the answer herself, but…

“How exactly what is recreated?”

“Judge. Five people were selected for ‘looking like someone who would get thrown out a window’, but it would be unfair if three survived and two did not, right? And it would leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth if they really did fall to their deaths. Plus, it would hurt the nation’s reputation. They knew it would gather attention due to the background of the incident, so they made sure to pile up plenty of hay and they got everyone fired up like it was a festival.”

“Oh? That sounds pretty peaceful.”

“Judge. But the festivities got a little too fired up and the hay pile caught on fire. The town hall went up in flames and so many people jumped out of it they nearly had to cancel the entire event.”

“So it was an utter failure!!”

“No, so many people jumped out the windows that they ended up choosing the five with the highest score for artistry.”

None of this makes much sense… thought Masazumi. But…

Mar-Ga: “I mean, Prague is like a connoisseur of defenestrations, isn’t it?”

Vice President: “What, is it a traditional event or something?”

Gold Mar: “Judge. There was actually a First Defenestration of Prague a long time ago. Back in 1415, the Council of Constance said the Hussites, who were the main faction in Bohemia, were heretics. The people were super mad, so they attacked the town hall and threw the German mayor and others out the window. Since this involved the Technohexen hunt, it’s known as the Festival of Prague among us Technohexen.”

Mar-Ga: “Throwing them out the window would be dangerous, so the first one’s recreation just threw them from the first floor window.”

Vice President: “That was awfully peaceful of them. Was it so the Catholics would be lenient during the Hussite Wars meant to oppress the heretics?”

Mar-Ga: “Yes. They covered up the window so the victims couldn’t see out and had secretly dug a ditch of muddy water to throw them into. And after the victims crawled up out of the muddy ditch, the Bohemian Representative apparently said ‘Welcome to Huss TV’s hidden camera show!’ …The whole thing enraged them so much the Hussite Wars ended up being harsher than necessary.”

Vice President: “What were those heretics thinking!? And how is that a ‘yes’ answer!?”

I don’t get how Europeans do things. But she had more or less seen how it had started.

“If the Protestants rebel in the next emperor’s home territory, he can’t exactly ignore it, can he? And that established a definite split between the Imperial Catholics and the Protestants within M.H.R.R.”

What happened next was clear to an extent.

“The war presented an opportunity to other nations and principalities that wanted independence from M.H.R.R., so they attacked the Imperial Catholics.”

“Judge. That is correct. But it all involved another somewhat troublesome conflict as well,” said Mitotsudaira. “”During the Age of the Gods, there was a group that could not allow the emperor to fall. They were the House of Habsburg who effectively passed down the title of emperor within their family.”


Masazumi heard someone respond to Mitotsudaira.

“The House of Habsburg!”

It was Horizon. Everyone reflexively turned toward her. And…

“Sorry. I spoke before thinking and then I could not come up with a good joke. Masazumi-sama, you handle it.”

“Me!?”

Please no, she thought, but everyone was already focused on her.

She could tell she had to say something, so she took a breath and placed a hand on her chin.

“Here’s a riddle, Horizon. What is the House of Habsburg like a good school?”

“They both have lots of kids.”

Horizon immediately answered, but then she fell silent for a few seconds.

After a while, she tapped her head with her right hand, which made a surprisingly nice sound.

“Sorry. I should not have said that. I got the ancient rules of comedy wrong.”

“Yeah,” everyone agreed as they began judging the riddle.

Tonbokiri: “Does this count as Masazumi’s joke bombing?”

Wise Sister: “It wasn’t really a riddle at all.”

Novice: “It was much too straightforward.”

Vice President: “Well, excuse me! I tried for some nice wordplay, but I couldn’t come up with anything good!”

Mar-Ga: “So you thought you could sidestep the ancient rules of comedy passed down from the Age of the Gods?”

Why is our class so strict when it comes to jokes?

I bet it’s his fault, she thought while seeing the idiot’s name on the list of divine chat participants, but glaring at that was meaningless. Also, the idiot made a new post.

Me: “Nate, what is the House of Habsburg? The name reminds me of Holstein, so is that right?”

Silver Wolf: “It’s kind of right, but not really.”

Mitotsudaira sighed at his words and opened her mouth to speak.

Silver Wolf: “You can think of the House of Habsburg as an old European family. They ruled over Germany, but they were originally from Switzerland and lived in Austria.”

“Oh?” said Futayo.

Tonbokiri: “So in terms of the Shugo Daimyo, would they be like the House of Habsburg, Protector of Germany? What do they do for Europe?”


“Judge,” confirmed Mitotsudaira.

This part can get a little tricky.

But like Futayo had said, a lot of it had comparisons in the Warring States period.

Silver Wolf: “The Habsburgs used political marriages. First, that allowed them to easily choose the Holy Roman Emperor from their own family. And once they had pretty much established hereditary succession for that position, they wed their children to other nations to establish a connection with the nations that wanted their power. So while ruling as the king of Germany, they spread their bloodline around via political marriages so they had blood relations both within M.H.R.R. and with other nations.”

In other words…

Silver Wolf: “In the preceding age, there was no international law to establish a consensus between nations, so religion played that role instead. But by spreading their bloodline around, they set up a Habsburg pipeline between those different nations.”

Wise Sister: “But did they do that on purpose? Did they have an ambitious plan to create ‘Habsburg controlled territory’ that crossed the national borders?”

“No,” said Mitotsudaira while tilting her head.

Silver Wolf: “The spread of Habsburgs was done with political marriages, so it was primarily women. It was difficult for them to wield much power in that patriarchal era. Even if these were political marriages, the Testament says most of the marriages were done willingly, the wives were blessed with children, and they lived happily with their husbands. So it wasn’t that the Habsburgs had some conspiracy to rule Europe. It just ended up that way and the men in the family tried to take advantage of it.”

Meaning…

Silver Wolf: “The Habsburg blood relation system established infrastructure and stability between nations, so the kings of those nations worked with the other Habsburg-connected nations and attacked the anti-Habsburg groups. And when those anti-Habsburg groups were facing defeat, they could avoid or mediate the fighting by establishing their own connection to the Habsburg bloodline.”

Tonbokiri: “That is very similar to the Warring States period.”

Futayo was probably only stating a fact, but her words held powerful meaning.

Blood relations.

You could find safety by establishing a strong connection with powerful people and forces.

They had seen a tragedy like that already.

Flat Vassal: “Mogami’s Komahime, right?”

“Judge,” agreed Narumi while everyone else nodded too.

Komahime had been sought as a concubine of Hashiba Hidetsugu, who was Hashiba’s #2.

If she had refused, it would have made her a burden on Mogami.

Even in the Testament descriptions, Mogami had been prepared to go to war rather than hand over Komahime, but she had convinced Yoshiaki to give in. But in the end…

Unturning: “Hidetsugu was suspected of treason and everyone close to him was executed. Connections by blood are not always a good thing. Both in the Warring States period and in Europe, the nations had to consider the risks as they made that choice.”

Masazumi took over to sum it all up.

Vice President: “There are political marriages in the Far East as well, but a much larger-scale version was underway in Europe during this era.”

“Judge, the Habsburgs were said to be a prolific house and that played a role too. After the middle ages when religion was shaken by corruption and the Reformation, many nations sought Habsburg blood as a trustworthy connection and a communication network in case of emergencies.”

“I see,” said Asama. “So the nations had a mutual understanding, didn’t they?”


Asama thought of the infrastructure privileges the Asama Shrine used and managed.

We take the divine transmissions for granted.

Just how meaningful was that blood relation system during the Age of the Gods?

“In the Age of the Gods, poor communication often led to suspicions and misunderstandings between nations, but when the power of religion waned and the monarchies grew in power, did those monarchies feel the need to establish a unique communication system with the other nations? But…”

Asama had a question.

After all, now was now. Things were different from the past. So she asked Mitotsudaira about it.

“We have the divine transmissions centered on the Shinto infrastructure, so the Habsburg blood relation system has lost its usefulness, hasn’t it? How has the history recreation handled that?”

“Judge.” Mitotsudaira nodded to confirm she understand what Asama’s question meant. “The concept of hereditary succession within a family has lost its meaning, so the Habsburg name inheritors have had their authority cut back to being the ‘original source’ of the information the Testament says they were passing back and forth. So the current Habsburgs do not have as much influence as they did at the time. But,” she continued. “The recreation of the Testament descriptions forces the world to act as it did at the time. And the Habsburgs created a strong blood relation between Catholic M.H.R.R. and Tres España. Thus…”

Mitotsudaira once more opened the map of Europe and image of Matthias.

She was back to the original topic.

The House of Habsburg, a house that had constructed blood relations across Europe, was deeply connected to the Thirty Years’ War.

“The Thirty Years’ War was initially a conflict between the Catholics and Protestants within M.H.R.R., but Catholic Emperor Ferdinand II was a Habsburg. In this age, the imperial throne was essentially passed down within the House of Habsburg, so they could not allow the emperor to lose his power. So…”

So…

“While the Thirty Years’ War was indeed a conflict between Catholics and Protestants, it was also a war between the Habsburgs, who wanted to keep their bloodline within the European nations, and the forces who opposed them. …Do you understand now?”

“Understand what?” Masazumi more or less knew what the girl wanted to say, so she asked a leading question. “What does this have to do with Hexagone Française?”

“Judge. The Hexagone Française throne belonged to the House of Bourbon, an anti-Habsburg house. So despite being Catholic, they opposed the M.H.R.R. Catholics. Also…”

Mitotsudaira explained why that was not all.

“The Habsburgs had spread their bloodline to Catholic España. Hexagone Française was surrounded by those two powerful Catholic nations to the east and west, so they could not act carelessly. And yet Hexagone Française chose to wage war against both of those nations.”


Mitotsudaira took a breath and looked across the others.

“Hexagone Française had not started the war ‘as a nation’ because they were cautious of the two powerful nations on either side of them and because they have to maintain the image of being Catholic. That is why they have only taken part in the Thirty Years’ War by allying with Protestant nations and providing defensive assistance when those other nations are attacked. But now that Louis XIV has taken the throne, Hexagone Française intends to participate in the Thirty Years’ War ‘as a nation’ and overwhelm M.H.R.R. and the Habsburg forces.”

That means the conqueror of Europe has chosen the path of conquest. And…

“And Hexagone Française is beginning to do just that.”

“In that case,” said Masazumi while pointing toward the bow. “What do you think about that unidentified ship approaching us with them?”

“It is most likely a nation that plays a crucial role in the Thirty Years’ War. That or a related nation or individual. But for some reason, they are unable to reveal their nation and negotiate. Hexagone Française must be bringing some small nation to meet us.”

“You mean…” began Yoshiyasu.

Satomi was a small nation. They were often influenced by the actions of larger nations, so she understood what it meant for a small nation to act at a time like this.

Silver Wolf: “Small nations must use larger nations’ actions to their advantage. That must be what is happening here.”

Mitotsudaira tapped the text she had typed up about the cause of the Thirty Years’ War.

Causes of the Thirty Years’ War

1. Conflict between the Protestants and Catholics inside M.H.R.R. and the nearby nations.

2. Branching off of #1, some areas fight for independence from M.H.R.R.

3. War between the emperor (of the House of Habsburg) who commands the Catholics and the other houses.

Silver Wolf: “Look at #2. To the north of M.H.R.R., there is a territory known as Holland or the Netherlands. The territory belongs to España thanks to Holy Roman Emperor Carlos I. They will begin a war of independence here. …And do you remember who disappeared before our eyes at Novgorod?”

That was…

Silver Wolf: “Holland Chancellor William.”


Yoshiyasu listened to the Mito Lord’s explanation.

“Even for cause #1, there was a lot of fighting over national territory and land in Northern Europe and Eastern Europe during this time. But Sweden, a powerful nation and representative of the anti-M.H.R.R. nations, lost their skilled leader and king, Gustav II, and his daughter is inheriting everything.”

“You mean…Europe is also made up of large nations and the small nations resisting them?”

“Judge. And then Hexagone Française, a new large nation, plunges right into that chaos. What do you think Hexagone Française wants from that?”

Yoshiyasu had an immediate answer.

“To support the nations already fighting, especially the smaller nations who are key to the Thirty Years’ War, to give their own nation greater freedom in the war. That will eliminate any trouble during the war and help provide stability after the war.”

That also described the relationship between Satomi, Musashi, and Kantou.

I see.

Something was underway in Europe even as the Kantou Liberation began here.

Hexagone Française was fully participating in the Thirty Years’ War. To put that in Far Eastern terms…

“So Hexagone Française is assisting the smaller nations in what you could call a European Liberation.”


“Judge,” responded Mitotsudaira. “Ending the Thirty Years’ War will establish the map of Europe. Most of the fighting will end, the small nations’ independence and authority will be recognized, and the growth of the House of Habsburg will be stopped. In other words, the chaotic war and the system of unwritten rules that grew from it will come to an end. Europe will be liberated to a new era.”

She tapped her sign frame to close it.

She sent its contents to everyone else while looking their way.

And her eyes finally stopped on…

“Masazumi, you understand, don’t you? Holland is working with Sweden and some other nations to oppose M.H.R.R. and the Habsburgs. Depending on who this unannounced visitor is, we might be able to learn more about the Princess.”

They had seen something in the Houjou ruins during the Siege of Kanie Castle.

The Double Border Crest was carved into the ceiling.

They did not know why it was there.

The Secretary said it was a celebration of the people reaching and meeting with the Environmental Gods and then returning once more.

How was that connected to the Princess? But they did know one thing now.

“Isn’t this great, Masazumi? We might not be out of clues after all.”

“This is just one more problem that’s still plaguing us.” Masazumi wiped off her face with a towel. “I don’t know what the ‘What’s keeping Mitsuhide-kun?’ message left by the Princess at Novgorod was supposed to mean. And there is a lot of other information that doesn’t seem to fit together. But the most troublesome thing of all is…”

Masazumi turned toward Yoshiyasu.

“Satomi Student Council President, you understand the situation in Europe now, right? Hexagone Française is facing their own troubles, so who knows what kind of unreasonable demands they will make of us. Especially with Terumoto, since she’s something of a delinquent.”

“Yeah, I get it.”

Yoshiyasu breathed an exasperated sigh.

She opened the sign frame data Mitotsudaira had sent her and searched for information on the various nations. Asama had made sure she was linked to IZUMO, so she could pull up public information related to the academies.

“Small nations are always at the mercy of the large nations.”

“Judge. But without those small nations, large nations tend to get carried away. The political decisions large nations make based on the actions of smaller nations are a way for large nations to restrain themselves.”

Masazumi looked up at the ceiling as she said that.

She helped Tsukinowa climb down onto her shoulder as she continued.

“It is important for Musashi to participate in the Kantou Liberation. I currently intend to do so. Even if Hexagone Française demands something of us, we don’t have to do it immediately. If the battle progresses as expected, the Kantou Liberation will be complete by 6 in the morning tomorrow. Waiting until after that to obey Hexagone Française’s demand makes the most sense.”

“There you have it.” said Mitotsudaira.

“True enough.” Yoshiyasu nodded and smiled bitterly. “There’s no reason to do what the large nation wants right away.”

Everyone agreed with “judge” or other words and they all smiled in a way that softened the tension a little.

Wise Sister: “Heh heh. I wonder what Hexagone Française will demand.”

Novice: “Maybe they’ll demand we give them all the credit.”

Sticky King: “They probably do want to be known as heroes in Kantou.”

“They probably do,” agreed Mitotsudaira.

But then a sign frame opened in front of Asama. And when she read it…

“Masazumi?”

“Hm? What is it?”

“Well, Terumoto-san says, ‘We’ve got some super urgent business to discuss, so get your butt out here’.”

Everyone spread their mouths horizontally when they heard that. And…

“Why is she being so unreasonable!?”