Horizon:Volume 7A Chapter 9

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Chapter 9: Noisy Girl in a Quiet Room[edit]

Horizon7-A301.jpg

Like this!? Like this, right!?

This is it, right!?

Well!?

Point Allocation (These siblings…)


“She’s going to complete the Kantou Liberation, is she?” Yoshiaki placed her fan over her mouth. “That is a bold move.”

Yoshiaki had no problem with these statements that appeared reckless. In fact, she quite liked them.

As long as you have some life in you, that’s enough.

She directed her gaze toward Uesugi’s Shigenaga as if asking for agreement and got a glare and a horizontally-spread mouth in response.

“I do not envy Uesugi their restrictive position here.”

“We are looking ahead past Sekigahara!”

The way the woman raised her eyebrows and shouted did not scare Yoshiaki.

“Yoshiaki-sama!” spoke up Shakenobe. “This Shigenaga person is jealous of your freedom, mon!”

“Shakenobe, having you around makes life so wonderfully stress-free.”

But Mouri’s choice was an interesting one.

Righteousness: “Is she trying to get us all killed?”

Nine-Tail Fox: “Not necessarily. I had my doubts, but it seems Mouri Terumoto really has abandoned vainglory.”

Yoshiaki pressed the raised fan against her lips so the laughter on her lips would not escape.

She sensed the dried lacquer flavor on her tongue before she continued.

“She appears to know what gamble she is making.”


“Honestly. Historically speaking, we really should be serving you, but we’re going to make something clear here using our behavior and our skill.”

Terumoto crossed her arms and sighed.

She had predicted this situation. It was one of the worst scenarios she had predicted.

But she had still predicted it and she had decided what to do if it happened.

There was a single source for her bad mood.

“Your demand was to hand over Mouri’s supplies, but you thought you could stop me by doing that, didn’t you?”

Hashiba did not respond on the screen, so Terumoto sent her words down at the silent girl.

“Don’t insult me.”

After all…

“Everyone describes our future as conquerors, rulers, and other grand words. So why would you be dumb enough to think something as simple as handing over our supplies would stain that title?”

In other words…

“You took the wrong tack with me. If you had tried to lift us up as kings, I might have briefly considered it and it might have just pissed me off…well, probably that second one. Yeah, almost certainly. Anyway, I hope you’re ready for this.”

“Princess? While I adore how well you know yourself, now may not be the time…”

“Sorry, sorry,” said Terumoto while dismissively waving a hand without even looking back.

If I looked back, I’d find her waiting for me in lecture mode.

I can never thank Mouri-01 enough. But that aside…

“This is what it means to bear the title of a conqueror. No matter who stands in our way and no matter what methods they use against us, we calmly accept it and crush them.”

Terumoto inhaled. None of this was vainglory. The others were all in Paris right now. Those defenders of Paris were waiting there with the true nudist as their leader.

They had won. And they were waiting for her to achieve a similar conqueror’s victory here in the east.

And since she was the conqueror’s queen…

“I won’t run away.”

Also…

“I will make sure you treat me differently in the future, Hashiba.”


“Hey, listen up. This is how I’m directing my guts. I don’t know how it’ll actually happen, but we’re starting the Kantou Liberation. Resupplying isn’t an option and the materials we do have will all be sent to Hashiba for the history recreation. You all need to survive the Kantou Liberation using what you’ve got on hand and in your ships.

“I don’t care if it’s impossible; we’re doing it anyway.

“We won’t have any supplies afterwards and we’ll have to get help from the locals, but that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Hashiba’s trying to make the Kantou Liberation impossible, but we’re gonna do it anyway. So it’s only natural for the locals to help us out afterwards.

“And you local nations and clans? I hope you’re watching. Completing the Kantou Liberation with no supplies is going to leave us damaged, but Kantou is important enough for us that we’re gonna do it anyway. We need your help in the future, so watch this. I swear to you we’ll do it. We’ll liberate Kantou, so the world’s gonna look completely different when you wake up tomorrow.”


Masazumi saw Terumoto punctuate her speech by smashing her sign frame with a horizontal punch.

Wow, she must be stressed.

She was probably the type who hated being told to do things.

That was why Hashiba had tried a trickier method of making Mouri decide for themselves that they should reject the Kantou Liberation.

Instead of forcing Mouri, the situation would make them think that was best. That was Hashiba’s plan.

In that sense, it worked to Hashiba’s advantage that Musashi had been the first to ask about the Battle of Nördlingen. That had served to apply more pressure to Mouri.

But Terumoto did not just hate being told to do things.

Flat Vassal: “I know this type. It isn’t that she hates being told what to do; she hates doing what other people want her to do.”

Mar-Ga: “Yes, those can be a pain since they won’t do it even if it makes the most sense to.”

10ZO: “Wh-who are you referring to with that!?”

Gold Mar: “Really, that applies to pretty much everyone in our class.”

Masazumi could not agree more. The biggest one of all was the idiot.

And he says he wants to create a kingdom where everyone’s dreams can come true.

For that to happen, the king would have to want the same thing you did. And if you did not like that, you would have to be make sure you were thinking something different from the king. But in that case…

You’re just embarrassed that the king was thinking the same thing as you.

It also felt like a way of telling yourself you had to do better.

Which is it? she wondered while speaking to Terumoto and the others.

“So did you predict all of this, Mouri Terumoto?”

“Testament. Although this was the most annoying of the possibilities.”

“Then I have one question. But this question is for Hashiba as well.”

Masazumi opened a sign frame.

It displayed a map of M.H.R.R. with a red dot in the south.

“This is Nördlingen. I’m assuming a Protestant and a Catholic force are headed there now.”

“Testament,” confirmed Hashiba. “The battle is expected to begin in 6 or 7 hours.”

That would place the opening of hostilities at 5-6 in the morning. It was not the best time for it.

But in order to remember it, Masazumi snapped her fingers at everyone behind her.

She was telling them to check on it.


Horizon turned toward the others after seeing Masazumi snap her gloved fingers.

They all exchanged a glance and finally Kimi responded.

“—————”

She loudly snapped her fingers. Asama followed suit, then Toori, and finally everyone else.

“—————”

They all snapped their fingers.

“Was that good enough, Seijun?” asked the idiot.

“Just to be clear, that was not at all what I wanted! Dammit, I was a fool to trust in your intelligence! I don’t care if you do that on your own, but don’t drag me into it!”

She rejected them.

Vice President: “Well, it gave me time to think, so it wasn’t all bad.”

The idiot started to cheer, so Horizon squeezed his neck to cut off the airflow.


“Now, then,” said Masazumi for the umpteenth time that day as she looked to Terumoto and Hashiba on the floor. “There is a bit of a problem with having Musashi participate in the Battle of Nördlingen.”

“And what is that, Musashi Vice President?”

“Judge. First, that is a conflict between the M.H.R.R. Catholics and related forces, so there is little reason for Musashi to be involved.”

For Magdeburg, Magdeburg Mayor Guericke had directly visited the Musashi and Hexagone Française’s Mazarin had urged them to join the fight in exchange for a temporary truce and friendship with Musashi.

But Nördlingen was different. Also…

Good, the data has arrived.

Neshinbara had summed up an awful lot of analysis and sent it to her. She accepted it and read through mostly just the subjects and predicates to confirm something.

“Listen.”

She spoke to Hashiba and Mouri as the most powerful representatives here while she scanned through the information from Neshinbara.

“Nördlingen is a Protestant city. And it must make a humiliating capita-…capitulation due to the devastating defeat of the Protestants at the hands of the Catholic forced…forces!”

Me: “Why did you just stutter?”

Vice President: “Because a certain someone couldn’t just write ‘surrender’ like a normal person!”

Novice: “Hold on, Crossdressing Honda-kun, why did you skip right past the 18 lines I wrote about the ghosts of medieval knights plotting behind the scenes of the Nördlingen vs. Catholic conflict!?”

Vice President: “Don’t include fiction! And try not to make typos like at the end there!”

At any rate, Masazumi looked back to Terumoto and Hashiba.

“Mouri Terumoto and Hashiba. That is my point.”

“You made a point!?” asked Terumoto.

“U-umm? Ehh?” said Hashiba.

Hashiba understood what the idiot meant before and even she’s stumped? So this is the power of Neshinbara. Not that it’s a useful one. Or is it? No, I guess not.

“Fine, then. If you don’t understand, I’ll have to explain it to you.”

Hori-ko: “Under the Horizon Rules, that is one win for Masazumi-sama.”

That did not please Masazumi, but it was still somehow reassuring.

But I feel like I see what Hashiba is after now.

Everyone’s idiocy could be useful as a distraction.

Vice President: “If possible, could you only start your nonsense when I give you permission?”

Me: “Oh, I know what this is! It’s the dark side of a controlled society!”

Silver Wolf: “If anything, I’d say we’re becoming the shame of a controlled society…”

Yeah, didn’t think so, thought Masazumi before saying more.

“When Nördlingen surrenders, the Catholic forces guarantee them peace in exchange for a large sum of money. In other words, they canceled out their defeat using money. That must be done in the history recreation too, so that means there will be no sack of the city. So I would like to know why we must go there.”

“Hey, now, Musashi Vice President” said Terumoto. “You’re the one that was telling everyone to call you if we’re having trouble with the history recreation. Giving up on that already?”

She really does plan to do the Kantou Liberation alone, doesn’t she?

She really lets people get her worked up, doesn’t she? thought Masazumi before continuing.

“If a loss or other problem is being forced onto you using a history recreation interpretation, then we will go. But is Nördlingen not at all prepared for the history recreation?”

“No, th-they are already prepared,” said Hashiba. “They have saved up enough of their budget to pay for their loss.”

“Then is the difference in prepared fighting forces going to lead to a slaughter?”

“Well…it will change depending on how…the battle goes. But, um, the Catholic and Protestant forces should have a ratio of, uh, about 3-to-2!”

That was a decent ratio.

The Protestants will lose, but I bet they plan to retreat when the timing is right.

“Mouri Terumoto. The way things are, sending Musashi there would only mean using us to have the Protestants win. We want to remain true to the proper history recreation and that means we would only be focused on defending and rescuing the Protestants.”

“That’s good enough. The rescuing part is especially meaningful.”

Meaningful?

Masazumi could not figure out what Terumoto was talking about.

What was this about? No…

Terumoto must know about something going on behind the scenes in the Battle of Nördlingen.

Then Musashi would have someone who could figure out what that was.

Yes, there was someone she could rely on here. Someone who could detect the “meaning” here.

She had her concerns about that person, but she decided to trust him now.

Vice President: “Neshinbara.”

Hori-ko: “Mitotsudaira-sama!”

Silver Wolf: “Judge. What is it!?”

Novice: “Waiiiiit! Why did that sequence flow as smoothly as a river!?”

I don’t even care anymore, thought Masazumi as she asked her question.

Vice President: “Is there a Far Eastern force or important individual near Nördlingen? And does that force or individual have a history recreation that the Battle of Nördlingen could correspond to? If so…”

Novice: “There is.”

Neshinbara spoke up.


Masazumi saw Neshinbara demonstrate his pride as Secretary. The others cheered.

Uqui: “It’s rare, but sometimes Neshinbara does a pretty good job!”

Gold Mar: “Bara-yan, this isn’t some story you made up, is it? It’s real, right!?”

Hori-ko: “Are you sure you can do this, Neshinbara-sama!?”

Novice: “Why do you all sound so concerned!? Listen. For my Warring States stories, I already did a thorough investigation of exactly what happens and where, so I can find the answer far faster than Mitotsudaira-kun who has to draw from her knowledge of general history and geography.”

Four Eyes: “You really hold a grudge, don’t you?”

Novice: “No, I always come prepared. Now, to answer your question…”

Silver Wolf: “Oh, I just found it too.”

Everyone fell silent. After a while, Mitotsudaira cleared her throat.

Silver Wolf: “B-but you were first, Secretary, so you go ahead.”

Me: “Hey, Neshinbara, couldn’t you have gotten your explanation out ahead of Nate if not for all the unnecessary lead-up?”

“It is not unnecessary!” insisted Neshinbara, but then he got to his explanation.

Novice: “Most of the Far Eastern name inheritors in Nördlingen, or rather in southern M.H.R.R., have started moving elsewhere in response to Hashiba’s attack on Mouri. Osaka should really be their base, but they are instead using M.H.R.R. because Hashiba’s rule has yet to begin and because Osaka is under P.A. Oda’s control.”

Vice President: “So southern M.H.R.R. is acting as a temporary Osaka. And?”

Novice: “Judge. Among those, there is one clan with a large estate.”

Namely…

Novice: “Has anyone here heard of the Nagaoka clan?”


Neshinbara looked across them all.

Nagaoka was the person’s surname in this era. They would later change their surname, but according to a note in the Testament, the changed name would be the more commonly used one later on. So…

“Does no one know?”

Hearing that, Kimi looked to Mitotsudaira.

“The nerd is making a scene, but you must know, Mitotsudaira. You did say you found it, didn’t you?”

“Shh. Provoking him will only make this take longer.”

“Now, Neshinbara-sama, Mitotsudaira-sama is holding her tongue for your sake, so hurry up and give us the correct answer.”

“I-I don’t want this kind of sympathy!”

But Neshinbara immediately raised his right hand, swung his body to the right, and spoke.

“I refer to Nagaoka Tadaoki. Although he would later become known as Hosokawa Tadaoki.”


Gin knew who that was.

She had not actually met him, but…

“Master Muneshige, you have a connection to Nagaoka, albeit a small one, don’t you?”

“Judge,” replied Muneshige while raising his right hand. “Nagaoka Tadaoki is one of the Seven Generals, a representative unit formed after Hashiba’s Seven Spears. He is fierce in combat, but also a great poet who studied under Rikyu. Also…”

Muneshige looked east.

“He participates in the Keichou Campaign just like the name I hope to inherit.”

“Judge,” agreed Gin while looking up at him.

That was an excellent explanation, Master Muneshige.

He had completed the role desired of him here. And by including the Keichou Campaign at the end, he had reminded everyone of his intention to regain his inherited name.

This was not something he had looked into for fun.

“I imagine Nagaoka is with the warriors deployed to Edo.”

“Indeed,” said the Secretary. “And-…”

“Judge,” confirmed Muneshige. “The problem is his wife, isn’t it?”

“Indeed. Because she-…”

“Judge. She is Nagaoka Tama, but a note also provides the name Garasha.”

“Indeed. But she-…”

“Judge. The Testament presents a major problem concerning her.”

“Indeed. That being-…”

“Judge,” responded Muneshige. “Her estate is surrounded by enemies while her husband is away, so she blows herself up along with the estate.”


Tachibana Wife: “Master Muneshige is very good at explaining these things.”

Mar-Ga: “You can see how much trouble he’s causing the nerd.”

Tachibana Husband: “No, this is not my doing. You should thank the Secretary for being such a good listener.”

Four Eyes: “Sounds like you can stop writing. Just listen from now on.”

Novice: “No, wait, all of you!”

Gold Mar: “Hey, Bara-yan, I think the problem is there’s so much you want to say you lose the initiative to talk, so maybe watch out for that in the future.”


Masazumi checked the notes on the Testament and history that Neshinbara sent her while silently hanging his head.

There was just as much excess text as usual, but you could decode the actual meaning by skipping the parts that began with things like “alas” or “behold”.

“Tsukinowa, can you selectively delete all the text like this or like this? …Oh, that’s too much. Way too much. You don’t have to bring it down to 17 syllables.”

“How are you summing up an entire history recreation in just 17 syllables, Seijun?”

“ ‘Tama is attacked / She will bloom before her time / in her own estate’ ”

Everyone rolled those 17 syllables around in their mouth before exchanging a look.

“Hey, hey! Where’s the seasonal word!? Is it boobs!?”

“Toori-kun, please calm down. Do I need to say it again? …Now, ‘bloom’ would be a seasonal word, but with ‘before her time’ it would refer to flowers blossoming out of season, which makes it reference to winter. It’s unfortunate that this is summer.”

“Heh heh. But referring to women as flowers is one tradition I hope never dies.”

With that established, everyone turned toward Neshinbara and Adele spoke up for them all.

“Secretary, is even the anteater better than you at this?”

“Wh-what kind of conclusion is that!? Besides, ranking explanations against each other is a pointless endeavor as all of this is purely conceptual!”

“Yes, all things are what they are and there are no truly meaningful hierarchies,” said Naruze. “But that doesn’t change the fact that we just saw a clear difference between you and the anteater.”

“Maa?”

Masazumi was really unsure if she should be praising Tsukinowa right now, but she patted him since he had done his job.

Anyway, she had a decent idea what was happening now.

Vice President: “So how exactly is the Nagaoka estate attacked?”

Silver Wolf: “During the smaller battles leading up Sekigahara, Ishida Mitsunari attacks the homes of various daimyos and commanders in Osaka, taking their wives and relatives hostage. The Nagaoka clan chose to resist that.”

Me: “Oh, yeah. Ishida Mitsunari used the situation to create his own wife harem!”

The idiot shouted the answer at the top of his lungs.

“I played that porn game like half a year ago!”

“Hey, Mitsunari-kun. I know you’re a program, but have you heard of this? A game called ‘While Preparing For Battle, I Made My Own Wife Harem 2’ has been really popular with our boys recently.”

“Th-this is news to me! And why is it 2!? There was a first one!?”

“Well, I heard the first one was a Musashi indie game and the commercial version of the second one was smuggled here.”

“You heard? And you didn’t do anything about it!? This is an outrage! Besides, I am not this smooth-looking old man who looks like he was drawn with three levels of shading! I am a proper program! Who smuggled this here!?”


“Achoo! Hey, Kuki-kun, I have to get my account book in order, so I’m headed back inside for a bit. Tell me if Ikeda-kun or the other kids from the west say anything that sounds lucrative, okay?”

“Konishi-kun, based on my observations, you seem to occasionally receive strange smuggled goods from your father on Musashi, but be careful. Musashi’s public morals are abysmal.”

“Yeah, but the lead artist is popular here too, so I can’t overlook the opportunity.”


Mar-Ga: “Oh, I’m pretty sure I did the character designs and art for the porn game the Chancellor’s talking about. I had someone else do the coloring, though.”

Vice President: “Naruze, I feel like you’re causing an international incident here…”

Mar-Ga: “More importantly, tell Hashiba to hand over all their data on Mitsunari. Now that I know she’s a girl, I can use that for #3.”

“Oh, and another thing,” said Naruze.

Mar-Ga: “I gathered some data on Nagaoka’s wife’s death for that, so I know more about it than Neshinbara.”

Masazumi was not exactly thrilled by the information source, but she could see more or less what was going on.

“Hashiba plans to start preparing for Sekigahara no matter how the Keichou Campaign goes, don’t they?”

That required following the Testament by having Ishida Mitsunari take control of “Osaka” and make hostages out of the families and relatives of the commanders there.

I see.

Masazumi understood. Both P.A. Oda and M.H.R.R. were looking past the Honnouji Incident. And they were even looking to the age beyond Hashiba.

Once she thought about it, it seemed obvious. The Testament told them what would happen later on, so everyone and every group would do what it took to minimize their losses.

Even powerful forces like P.A. Oda, Nobunaga, or Hashiba would eventually be lost.

But…

How skilled a leader was Hashiba to be personally directing things after her own death?


Masazumi thought, Hashiba’s era hasn’t even begun yet.

The Honnouji Incident still hasn’t happened.

But Hashiba was advancing the history recreation for things after her death.

Masazumi had to wonder why.

“——————”

This isn’t a simple matter, thought Masazumi.

Musashi was forcing Hashiba’s loss onto her.

They had decided to never again experience that kind of loss, but now they were forcing it onto Hashiba by speeding up the history recreation.

In a way, you could view that as giving Hashiba a taste of her own medicine.

Weren’t they just teaching Hashiba the meaning of death in order to get back at her?

Or…

I can’t believe this, said Masazumi in her heart.

It had suddenly hit her that they might be doing the exact same thing Hashiba was.

She had failed to notice because they were so busy recovering from defeat, but once she eliminated that excuse, Musashi was essentially arrogantly shortening Hashiba’s life.

They were forcing death onto her, so hadn’t Hashiba surpassed them by accepting that death and directing things after her death?

Masazumi thought they had pulled through and started making progress after their defeat, but…

Is Hashiba taking a pessimistic view based on her own death in the distant future?

If so, could they do anything other than try to catch up to her?

And in that case, they would only exist to force death onto her.

Could they really do that? And…

“Kh.”

She understood something else now too.

Why did P.A. Oda and the Hashiba forces follow Hashiba?

The girl on the screen was looking back at her with her slender shoulders swaying uncertainly.

She’s strong.

Just as the idiot leading Musashi was indomitable, this girl had accepted even her own death.

No matter the result, she would accept it and allow it.

That had to be the nature of Hashiba’s leadership.

It was a pessimistic sort of approval.

Musashi had to confront someone like that. The idiot could get by with his idiocy, but Masazumi was a normal human. Yes, that’s what I am. Normal. I have to remind myself of that a lot lately, but compared to most of our class, I’m perfectly normal. Definitely.

But how could a normal human like her confront someone with such a ridiculous level of acceptance?

Now, then.

Masazumi started considering what to do, but then…

Me: “Hey, Seijun.”

She heard the idiot’s voice.

Me: “Don’t think too much about Sekigahara and stuff right now. You’ll end up like Neshinbara.”


Mary saw Masazumi take a certain action.

She lowered her shoulders a bit in relaxation. Then she raised one shoulder at a time and cracked her neck.

“Yeah, that’s a good point,” she said. “If I want to avoid being like Neshinbara, I need to face the reality in front me and deal with things one at a time.”

“That’s true,” said Mary. “You can think about things far into the future, but a lot is going to change before you get there.”

In her case, an unexpected meeting and some misunderstandings had changed everything.

“That is just how things are even with the Testament and the history recreation rules. I think taking things one step at a time is both necessary and important.”

As soon as she said that, Mary felt a squeeze at her left hand.

It was Tenzou.

He remained silent. He did not say he understood or was thinking the same thing. Instead of those kind words, he gave her that strength from his hand. And she knew what that meant.

He remembers.

It was not about what he understood or thought. The memories had permeated him and would never leave.

It was a lot like a scar.

They remembered and trusted in the things that had happened to them, so when she spoke of them, he had reached for her hand.

That past was an unforgettable scar. It was a scar she had willingly chosen to bear.

And it would be with her forevermore.

“Master Tenzou.”

When she called his name, he turned to face her. She did the same, but…

“Um, uh.”

The realization that he was looking at her made her lower her gaze.

But, she thought. He reached out and held my hand.

This isn’t anything indecent.

At the very least, he had done it because he wanted to. So she held his hand back and took a breath.

She would not forget about that scar. She remembered it.

But she was happy now and she understood that the same as he did. So she squeezed his hand back. And…

“—————”

He loosened his grip and softly shifted his hand so their fingers intertwined.

Ah.

Squeezing was not the only way to “remember” and show he would never let go. Once all their fingers were intertwined, she squeezed his hand again. This was different from when she hugged him.

Ahh.

Mary realized that, ever since he had embraced her on top of that tower in England, she may have hugged him and they may have hugged each other, but he had not hugged her.

“Ah…”

H-have I been way too aggressive since England?

It embarrassed her to remember her behavior until the day before. And when she remembered what happened today…

Ah.

Holding hands and walking through a festival had been a rare experience, so she should have just done this instead of clinging to him so much.

“—————”

I can’t believe this, thought Mary. When the future had seemed so dark, she had forgotten to take things one step at a time, but now that she could remember the good things about the past, she could not see past the next step forward.

C-can I really keep living like this?

She felt like her happiness gauge would burst and she would die in two days’ time.

Could she really indulge in this intertwined-fingers handholding that was meant as a reminder? Or should she just focus on the lesson it carried? She was not sure, so she voiced her frustration.

“You’re mean, Master Tenzou…”


Mar-Ga: “Okay! I’m in charge! I’m in charge here! Nobody interrupt them! Let this play out! This is looking really promising! For my storyboard!”

Flat Vassal: “Hey, I was preoccupied with the fire ships, wooden stakes, and the Musashi’s loop, so I don’t really know the situation there. But Mary-san is a royal and she’s a good person, so I can just assume this is the 1st Special Duty Officer’s fault, right?”

Wise Sister: “Heh heh. Tenzou? Are you sure you can survive your wife’s happy accidents and the trouble they cause?”

10ZO: “I was restricting this to handholding so it would be inconspicuous! Why are all of you so observant!?”

Asama: “Um, Tenzou-kun? There are flowers everywhere. There was no way you could hide this.”


Masazumi noticed ether flowers scattering behind her.

That told her they had not made the wrong decision back in England.

That’s right.

Hashiba’s policy as a leader and connection to Musashi was not limited to this one moment or their past interactions. They were sure to come into conflict later as well. However…

We don’t have to take the same pessimistic view she does.

If Hashiba was trying to draw them into her own pessimism, they had to try to draw her into their optimism.

Of course, Hashiba’s pessimism from the future had an advantage since the Testament gave them a look ahead.

After all, everyone died eventually. In Sanada, the white dragon named Sasuke had taught them that death was connected to all things. So Hashiba had an advantage by looking ahead and showing off that inevitable death. But…

“I see.”

Hashiba had an advantage.

Musashi had a disadvantage.

One side looked ahead to the loss and destruction and the other side created something new as they stepped into the unknown.

It was obvious who was at a disadvantage there.

She had discussed exactly this before.

Both at Magdeburg and Mikatagahara.

She had discussed this situation and topic with someone.

Lord Matsunaga.

He had called Nobunaga and P.A. Oda the bearers of destruction and he had called Musashi the bearers of creation.

It was not that she only now understood what he meant. Instead, she felt like this connected back to what he said.

They had lost so much during the Sack and their subsequent defeat.

But destruction and creation were not just literal, physical acts.

They also applied to a leader’s policy, to how you perceived things, and how you communicated yourself. So…

“Okay.”

Masazumi slapped her cheeks to refocus herself.

When she faced forward, she saw Terumoto and she saw Hashiba’s image on the floor. And she opened her mouth to address those two bearers of powerful nations.

“If you are ready, I have mostly made up my mind here,” she said. “Hashiba…are you trying to harass us again?”


Everyone on the Azuchi Castle saw Hashiba’s mouth spread horizontally in response to the Musashi Vice President’s words.

One of them stood up: Katagiri.

“Harass you!? What are you talking about!?”

“Hm? Um, Katagiri was it?”

“Testament! I am Katagiri Katsumoto! As our liaison officer, I must call out your comment as insulting!”

Katagiri pointed at the Musashi Vice President’s image on the lernen figur and yelled at her.

“How dare you refer to our national policy as harassment!?”

“Liaison Officer, I am not speaking with you at the moment.”

“Kh,” groaned Katagiri and a stir ran through the crowd around him. They all exchanged a glance, and…

“She doesn’t want to speak with our Katagiri-san!?”

“What is wrong with that girl!? How could she not want to speak with our Katagiri-kun!?”

“Do those Far Easterners see no value in our Katagiri-sama in their mental currency!?”

“Umm…” said Katagiri as he tried and failed to find something to say. Then Koroku grabbed his hips.

“Sit down.”

“Eh? Um, well.”

“Oh, Katagiri. I guess I should mention this,” said the Musashi Vice President. “You said before you wanted to speak with our idiot again, right? Well, about that…”

“Eh?” Katagiri fought Koroku’s downward pull and shouted a question. “You mean the Asama Shrine’s busty blonde lewd shrine maiden!?”


Wise Sister: “That description has gotten awfully long.”

Me: “Wait, does this mean I’m internationally famous?”

Vice President: “You’re our Student Council President and Chancellor, so you were already known internationally!! And things are getting weird when your crossdressing form is known separately!”

Asama: “That crossdressing form has had a weird pillow made out of it and people think there’s a connection to our shrine, but I have Kimi and Toori to blame for that, don’t I? Don’t I!?”


“You have something to tell me about the Asama Shrine’s busty blonde lewd shrine maiden!?”

“Um, yes.” The Musashi Vice President nodded before continuing. “She…no, let’s go with ‘it’. To put it metaphorically, it has left the Musashi.”

“Eh?”

That sudden revelation left Katagiri speechless.

She left the Musashi?

“W-wait just a second!”

“Yeah, its head was split apart and, well, you’re never seeing it again. I can’t get into the details, but let’s just say it isn’t with Musashi anymore.”

He had no idea what she meant, but she seemed to think the discussion was over.

“Sit down.”

Koroku pulled him down again, but instead of sitting…

“Ah.”

He fell onto his butt in the middle of the group.


Me: “Hey, hey, hey. Seijun, why are you saying I left the Musashi? Is this some kind of secret plan!?”

Vice President: “I mean the crossdressing set you used. The blonde one. You can’t use it after it was sliced through by Celestial Dragon Saizou, right? But ever since you spoke with Katagiri dressed like that, he’s sent a bunch of requests to renegotiate with the crossdressed version of you.”

Silver Wolf: “Accepting that and letting him do a lengthy negotiation would be far too dangerous.”

Vice President: “Judge. The real problem is having our Chancellor and President negotiate while disguised as a no-name shrine maiden. It entirely defeats the purpose of having officers.”

Me: “Man, this all sounds like a pain.”

Vice President: “And whose fault is that!?”


“Hashiba, I know what you want.”

Masazumi looked up into the sky and Asama spoke up behind her.

“Um, the camera is over there.”

A small green torii-style emblem appeared about 10m up in the air. That marked the location of the divine transmission spell sending the video and audio to Hashiba.

Masazumi stared at the emblem as she continued speaking.

“According to our data, when Ishida Mitsunari attacks Osaka, Nagaoka Tadaoki’s wife blows herself up along with her home. And…”

Masazumi held up the sign frame below her right hand.

This is the real problem.

“Lady Nagaoka is a zealous Catholic musician. So unlike most of the Far Eastern forces there, she does not live in the Protestant city of Nördlingen and instead lives on the outskirts.”

That much was understandable, but the next part was the problem.

“Since the Testament Union was Catholic, they sympathized with the circumstances of Lady Nagaoka’s death. So, Hashiba, before you began working with M.H.R.R., Lady Nagaoka was given a second inherited name so her death could be handled as an interpretation and she could move on to that other life.”

And where would that other inherited name take her?

“Sweden. She is Christina, their current queen.”