Horizon:Volume 7C Chapter 76
Chapter 76: Hurrier in the Circle
Come to think of it
This is a very roundabout
Point Allocation (Does She Even Need Raging Beast?)
Tomoe Gozen watched as defense barriers were repeatedly destroyed south of Nördlingen.
…Musashi is here!
What they were doing was idiotic, but incredibly they seemed to be enjoying it.
Did we used to be like that? she wondered. Because…
“At least it isn’t boring!”
A beam shot her way.
But it was different now. Instead of aiming for her face like before, this one swept horizontally to catch her on the torso.
This was no accident. She was confident he had changed tack after she had dodged a few shots at close range.
This was definitely harder to dodge, so was he learning? Or…
“Hoping he’s remembering would be wishful thinking, wouldn’t it?”
He would fire a beam and then explosions would trigger along the beam’s path.
Yoshinaka had once told her the explosions did not appear immediately so he would not hurt the roof of his mouth and to eliminate the recoil.
He had also said that was a biological thing and he did not actually control it.
They both belonged to species that had existed since the Age of the Gods. Since they were what remained after the adaption and selection of evolution, she felt like god had done a decent job on them.
Always remember to show respect for god.
No, wait. Tsirhc’s god rejects evolution and only creates completed products.
Given how the flavor of pork and beef could only be described as a completed product, she had to agree with that. The god that had created the pork and cabbage hotpot was a genius in her opinion.
An attack arrived.
It was a horizontal slash of that big sword. The blade dropped down toward her.
She could not move back to dodge it. She could not fill the distance between them that way.
So she stepped leftward.
She chose left because Yoshinaka held the sword in his right hand. That put it on the left from her perspective. He could not move the blade back to that side immediately, so if she moved past it on that side, his right arm and the sword would act as cover for her.
No attacks came her way, so she calmly swung her Testament copy hammer.
She struck from below and aimed for the elbow of the right arm swinging his sword.
She wanted to destroy the elbow joint. However…
He released the sword’s hilt from his right hand.
And he swung his targeted right arm toward his inner left side.
At the same time, he moved his left hand to grab the falling sword’s hilt.
Both his elbow and his sword had dodged the hammer blow.
He lowered his hips with his right shoulder turned her way. His face looked over his shoulder toward her.
He made a sweeping blast.
Meanwhile, she swung her right hammer upwards.
A horizontal sweep from the right was tough when she had just extended her upper body upwards.
She had acted on reflex more than expected.
She accelerated the vainly swinging hammer to send it above and behind her.
She was a demonic long-lived, so she had plenty of physical strength.
Which she used to leap.
After rushing into Nördlingen ahead of the others, Futayo viewed the city from midair.
She looked west while leaping over the gate and wall and she saw someone she recognized making their own leap there.
“I know her! I kicked her through the air back at Magdeburg!”
What was her name again?
“I believe she had the same name as a judo move.”
Close but not quite! she concluded while reaching the peak of her jump.
That has to be close. I can just feel it. But even if I am wrong, I deserve an A for effort, right?
…But I am pretty sure it was a judo throw. So…
That is a good guess, she thought. Ippon! Even if I am wrong, it feels like a very satisfying answer.
At any rate, Ippon Gozen was soaring through the air.
This was not a normal jump. She had leaped simply by swinging her hammer.
Some big person in front of her had fired a beam from his mouth – which seemed utterly absurd for the Warring States period – so she must have been dodging that.
She used her strength.
With one arm, she had swung that giant hammer around with enough speed to send herself flying.
Futayo could not do that herself. If anyone in our class can, it would have to be Mitotsudaira-sama.
She realized this was the level of heroes to be found on this battlefield.
“I hope I can watch this a while longer.”
Behind Futayo, Mitotsudaira ran through the city while considering changing course to approach Tomoe Gozen. She saw Futayo make a sudden jump.
She kept her body stretched out with her arms lowered at her sides and used the jump to take a peek over the western city wall to their left.
It was an impressively high jump, but…
…What in the world are you doing!?
They were running down the city’s central road because the enemy fleet in the eastern sky would fire on them if they were visible, yet Futayo was looking back in midair while carrying Nagaoka on her back.
“I saw her! It’s Ippon! I saw Ippon!”
Has she gone insane again? wondered Mitotsudaira. Actually, when isn’t she insane? Then again, I’m used to insanity thanks to Kimi. Based on Kimi’s standards, jumping around randomly is pretty tame, so maybe this doesn’t count.
But some light did appear. It was a defense barrier. The Musashi had placed it in the air along their path through the city.
The part of the eastern M.H.R.R. fleet they had caught in a tornado earlier was now launching shells.
Adele saw light scattering through the sky.
The defense barriers and the shells striking them produced mutual destruction.
The Musashi caught all of the incoming shells with defense barriers and they both shattered.
A similar situation had occurred aboard the Musashi when they were arriving at Magdeburg. Takigawa had fired at extreme close range from the warship passing above the Musashi.
The Musashi had defended against it by activating gravity barriers along the surface cities and on the inside of the bridge-shaped ship’s bridge.
Thanks to Futayo’s desperate fighting, Muneshige’s charge, and Adele’s falling tackle, they had successfully repelled Shibata Katsuie and Sassa Narimasa.
Thinking back, her tendency toward tackling things seemed to have begun there.
“But this is a lot thicker!”
The enemy was only targeting them this time.
Whether or not they were hit was entirely up to the Musashi. On the Musashino’s bridge, Suzu was quickly creating a model of this main road and the western passageway while the automatons were making distributed use of their spare processing power to quickly adjust the location of the defense barriers.
Suzu was perceiving and dealing with the situation in the city in real time.
That yawn was concerning, but while Adele continued running…
As a vassal, there was something she had to do more than the others headed toward the Nagaoka estate.
“1st Special Duty Officer!”
The 1st Special Duty Officer had chosen to run along the rooftops once the artillery fire had begun and he was holding onto Mary’s hand to escort her.
“Watch out for the third building to the east!” he shouted back at her.
She accelerated toward that third building.
She had used Raging Beast a lot since Mikawa, but they were in a hurry here. Since the 5th Special Duty Officer was headed over to support Tomoe Gozen, she could not use that heavy mobile shell here.
She was confident in how quick she was on her feet. The Vice Chancellor, the 5th Special Duty Officer, and Muneshige were ahead of them all now, but based on unassisted running speed, she was second only to the 1st Special Duty Officer.
Her acceleration spell was Catholic. She threw her legs forward, caught the stone pavement with her heels, and pulled her body forward.
Then she leaned her body forward.
“Vassal Adele is on the move!”
A moment later, someone stepped out from behind the third building.
They wore a P.A. Oda track suit uniform. It was an ambush.
…I knew it!
The enemy had more than just the artillery fire to stop them.
Novice: “Kh. An ambush. I knew it!”
Four Eyes: “If you knew it, why didn’t you have a plan ready for it?”
Novice: “I do! That was just my dramatic spirit flowing forth! So, um, deal with this! If we tried to sneak through the city in hiding, they planned to attack and force us to act in a way that justified firing on us with their fleet!”
Tonbokiri: “I see! In other words, my peeking jump ruined their plans!”
Novice: “Technically speaking, yes, but this would have been easier if you hadn’t!”
Glad I’m not in charge of strategy, thought Adele, but she had to respond to things here on the scene.
She moved herself to within a few steps of the enemy.
She slid her lance’s grip back in her right hand to hold it closer to the front.
She stabbed it straight out much like a long sword but also held it below her arm. In that moment she got a good look at the enemy.
…There’s three of them!
And their weapons were unique. They were holding…
Adele had a thought.
…Are those acoustic weapons!?
Those weapons produced sound pressure that covered an entire surface and attacked by manipulating the vibration of the air.
Instead of using bullets, they used ether fuel and their divine protections made sure they did not affect the city or their allies.
Musashi had some members of the music clubs registered to use those weapons and they had even assisted in a mostly defensive role during the Armada battle and such.
Adele hurried along.
…This is dangerous!
If the enemy managed to blow into or strum their acoustic weapon, it would produce destructive power.
In that instant, the enemy took action. They raised their instruments by the handles attached, and…
“You’re physically hitting me with them!?”
She hit them with a merciless attack of her own.
Asama stood with Masazumi and the others on the transport ship in front of Nördlingen’s main gate.
Shinagawa and Asakusa’s long bows were descending on either side of them to guard them from the distant artillery fire.
That blocked their view to east and west, but they could still view Nördlingen from the diagonally-tilted deck. It looked like a giant circular hall.
The others were running through there. Kimi hung back from the group and sent them an image of it all.
Toori was the most incredible of the bunch.
He had called it a date, so he started off holding the hands of the two arms. Looking at the image reminded Asama of how far they had come in such things. It scared her how accustomed to it she had become.
But the arms seemed to have other ideas. The right one stayed in place while the left one grabbed the right one’s shoulder to form a single long arm.
“Ohhhh! Not so faaaast!”
The left arm crawled along the ground and the right arm attached to it dragged him along as they began to run.
It looked something like an overexcited dog pulling its owner along, but that was not how the people of Nördlingen saw it while watching the battle from their doors or windows.
“Eeeeeek! That arm!”
“Look, mama! An arm is crawling there!”
“Kyaaahh! That arm is dragging some weird guy into the depths of the earth!”
They quickly shut everything up tightly.
Asama: “So can I view this as Toori-kun helping people tighten up their security?”
Wise Sister: “Oh, dear. Is my foolish brother actually doing a public service for once!?”
Gold Mar: “The Chancellor and Horizon sure do like to stand out, don’t they?”
Two figures moved out ahead of the rest up above.
It was the two Technohexen. They had completed an abbreviated form of their flight preparations on the Musashi, so now…
“Time to go. We’ll head on to the Nagaoka residence.”
A defense barrier opened on each of their backs in place of a deflector.
They were leaving. Meanwhile, Asama heard the tones of a brass instrument coming from the city.
“Instruments?” asked Naito with a tilt of her head.
“Yes,” said Asama. “Adele ran into an enemy instrument unit while scouting things out with Tenzou-kun.”
Adele gave herself a single task while approaching this enemy.
…I can’t slow down!
So there was no intricate interplay of attacks. She simply crashed into them to break through.
Come to think of it, that’s what the Raging Beast hammer is, so do I go for the same tactics no matter what I’m equipped with?
But her speed allowed her to make the collision near instantly.
She hit the first enemy.
She targeted their brass instrument. As soon as they raised that armored hammer, she made a leap to strike at the hammer’s pommel.
The enemy had just raised the weapon up and back, so they could not produce the force needed swing it forward and down.
The music hammer slipped from their hand and slammed into the face of the second enemy behind them.
The second one was blown away by the impact.
He held a music hammer based on a string instrument, but it slipped from his hand.
Adele leaped past the first enemy, viewed the music hammer that fell from the second enemy’s hand, and also kept the third enemy in view.
The third one launched an attack on her from behind the collapsing second one.
They wielded a percussion instrument music hammer and they swung it horizontally in from the left.
As soon as Adele landed, she spun back and to the right.
The lance she held close in with her right hand had lost its momentum with the previous attack, so she shifted her grip toward the back end, which acted as the outward point of her full-body spin.
…A backhand blow!
While spinning the back end of the lance’s shaft, she first struck the music hammer that had fallen from the second enemy’s grasp behind her.
With a solid metallic sound, that music hammer flew back through the air.
The first enemy’s face was right there as they turned around to face her.
The string instrument’s armor crashed into them below the right cheek.
But Adele did not stop. She twirled in midair, and…
She spun herself to the right.
The third enemy had swung their weapon horizontally from the left. If it hit, it would be perfect for a line drive.
She matched her spin to that swing.
It grazed her left forearm, but she dodged it. She was glad this was her summer uniform. The weapon would have gotten tangled in her winter one’s baggy sleeve.
But she had avoided it.
From there, she continued rotating and held her lance while accelerating the righthanded backhand blow with continuous snapping motions.
“And that’s three!”
Her horizontal blow landed on the third enemy’s face.
As soon as the enemy was sent flying, she let go of the lance. That prevented the impact from reaching her own arm.
She calmed down, landed from her midair spin, and took a solid step forward.
She took care not to lose any of her speed as she leaned forward.
The lance was still vibrating in midair and she grabbed it near the tip.
But just as she started to resume running…
The third enemy managed to hold their ground even while their body shook.
She had failed to take them out.
They had managed to avoid the full impact of her blow because they had been in the process of swinging an attack at her.
Adele had already sent herself forward.
She could not do anything about this.
The enemy grimaced at the blow to their face and staggered, but they also managed to forcibly bring themselves back upright.
“Why do you even know something like that!?”
But an attack brimming with power was sent her way as she ran.
The enemy was using a percussion instrument. A closer look showed it was a bongo hammer.
She was extremely curious what kind of sound it would make if it hit her, but if she was hit while running, she would lose her balance and it would be a disaster all around.
It flew toward her at the perfect height to hit her right in the butt. In other words…
“Eh!? What’s this!? You’re getting a bat to the ass, Adele!?”
A weirdo passed by her while dragged around by a running arm. How was that allowed?
Regardless, she did not want to get hit by this.
Mar-Ga: “A bat to the ass? What are you getting shoved in there, Adele? Heh heh heh.”
Gold Mar: “Ga-chan! Ga-chan! You’re so sleep deprived you’re drifting off altitude!”
She would never live it down if she was hit by this. But…
“It’s going to hit!”
Just as she shouted that, the enemy’s bongo hammer was destroyed. Also, the attack that destroyed the percussion instrument moved in toward the enemy.
It hit them.
They were blown away with several times the momentum with which they had approached her. She had made a light jump to prepare for the hit, so…
…Eh!? What was that!?
Something had flown in from the upper left and hit the hammer and enemy.
She could now see what had spun through the air while soaring off back the way it had come.
She looked up to the left to see Mary waving her way.
Mary breathed a sigh of relief while seeing Adele accelerate once more.
Tenzou was holding her hand to escort her along the rooftops. When jumping between roofs, he would tug somewhat strongly, but that only gave it a more reliable feeling. That was a problem, though, since she was spilling flowers everywhere when she was supposed to be a scout.
After seeing Ex. Collbrande return to her empty hand, he spoke to her.
“A well-executed assist, Mary-dono.”
“Oh, n-no. That was very violent of me.”
“No, no. You did that because you did not lose sight of what had to be done. That is what matters most.”
He praised her.
She blushed, but she had a legitimate reason for what she had done and it had paid off.
He probably found it easier to speak with her right now since it counted as part of their scouting job. His tone was light.
“Also, I am impressed at how well Ex. Collbrande responds to your instructions. Maybe you should give that attack a name at some point.”
“Oh, um, uh, but.”
It suddenly occurred to her that she already had one named attack.
…But the Master Tenzou Love Love Homerun is such an embarrassing name.
She had wondered when she would ever be able to tell him about that, but now she felt like she could say it.
“U-um, Master Tenzou?”
But he took a sudden action.
With a comment of “excuse me”, he grabbed Ex. Collbrande from her hip.
He threw it with plenty of speed toward the road below.
“Th-thank you very much!”
It tore through the enemies who had appeared in Adele’s path.
…That’s Master Tenzou for you. He’s so quick to action.
Impressed, she watched as Excalibur returned to them. He grabbed it from the air, held the hilt out toward her, and laughed out loud.
“Since it returns to you even when I throw it, perhaps the best name for the attack would be Our Love Love Boomerang.”
Mar-Ga: “Whaaaat!? Again! Could you say that again!?”
Asama: “Yes, I would like to hear it again for Mary’s sake and so I can register the name.”
10ZO: “O-once was all I could manage! I’m spent! And who the hell registered Master Tenzou Love Love Homerun in Musashi’s internal dictionary!? Someone is going to pay for this one!”
Musashi: “And how exactly do you suggest I ‘pay’? Over.”
10ZO: “Oh, well, um…could you maybe give it a simpler definition?”
Tenzou heard Mary say “my”.
She hugged the Excalibur that had returned to her along with the other one still at her hip. He took 5 mental snapshots of how they sank into her chest, but then she began speaking.
“Master Tenzou. Are you saying that is ‘our’ attack?”
Mary takes precedence right now. I can think about everything else later, he decided before responding.
“I am, Mary-dono. Excalibur is two swords in one. In a way, that is a nice metaphor for us. I must thank your parents and the spirits for this.”
“Judge.” Mary nodded and then hung her blushing head while holding out a trembling hand. “Th-then…w-we need to get to work. Together.”
Gold Mar: “It’s like they’re cutting the wedding cake!”
Asama: “It is honestly impressive that Mary can run along the rooftops so quickly while hanging her head in embarrassment.”
Musashino: “ ‘Musashi’-sama, we are ready to register Our Love Love Boomerang. Over.”
10ZO: “Wh-why must you all make everything so difficult! I never get any peace!”
Tenzou held Mary’s hand while she held out the sword and then he pulled back.
He shook her wrist and intentionally unbalanced her body.
“Ah, M-Master Tenzou.”
He was not tripping her. He also pulled upwards to lift her.
“This way will be easier.”
He moved his left arm below her back and butt to support her with that one arm.
To help her balance, he had her place her right arm around his back.
“U-um, Master Tenzou? What is this?”
“We are working together.”
His right hand and her left hand held Excalibur. And…
“We are finally at each other’s eye level.”
She faced him with look of surprise.
It felt like forever since he had looked straight at her face. She must have felt the same.
Although she did immediately hang her had so her bangs hid her face.
“I-I will do what I can to make sure we can continue working together.”
“As will I.”
“You will too? But…”
“It is true you were the one that threw us off balance, Mary-dono.”
“It was me that caused you to do that.” He squeezed her hand. “So rebalancing ourselves and enjoying the swaying movement that causes is a job for both of us.”
“Are you not enjoying this?”
She quickly shook her head to say she was.
“P-please don’t be so mean, Master Tenzou. Just look at all these flowers it’s creating from me.”
“But those flowers are so pretty.”
He pulled her closer to him with his one arm and jumped between rooftops.
“And I bet those flowers will be even prettier if we enjoy ourselves even more.”
With those words, he glimpsed her blue eyes through her bangs. And…
She nodded and kept her head lowered, but she pressed her face against his shoulder and kept it there.
She had found her spot.
Tenzou mentally sighed in relief at Mary’s nod.
…I-I’ve finally managed to start fixing things between us!
He was glad they had managed to communicate while he kept his charming mask on.
His relief must have reached her because she sighed and smiled.
“I feel a little bit better now.”
…So do I!
He had most feared returning home while she still could not look him in the eye. A lack of communication would be a critical blow to their everyday life together and she must have understood that as much as he did.
She took a deep breath and the tension left her hand. She gasped and quickly raised her head.
“S-sorry. I got distracted.”
“Think nothing of it. It was probably the lingering effects of compressed sleep. More importantly…”
Flat Vassal: “I’m going to clear out the main road with some support from Itoken-san and Nenji-san.”
Sticky King: “Indeed. If you are in need of booby traps, look no further than me!”
Obscene: “Okay, everyone! You can go on ahead!”
I cannot thank you enough, thought Tenzou before noticing a sound.
He heard explosions shaking the air from the beyond the wall to the west.
…Is that Tomoe Gozen and Minamoto no Yoshinaka’s battle!?
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