Horizon:Volume 7C Chapter 77
Chapter 77: Interrupter of Reminiscence
That is someone from the past
Who cannot move past their era
They simply look back
Into the morning sun
Point Allocation (A Truly Shining Genji)
Onitakemaru restored his functions by resetting himself after the hit.
…Damn, this body is not easy to use!
His current body was a mobile shell. He could sense it as his body, but he could not move it himself.
Having a body but being unable to move it felt weird, so he had not been digitizing his senses.
But that was why the previous attack had caught them unawares.
With his senses restricted to the mechanical functions, he had been unable to sense the presence of and distance from the enemy on the battlefield. Even when not much was going on around you, the entire battlefield was in motion. He should have been able to detect the movement of the aerial ships using what he could sense of the air.
His vision was simply dark at the moment. And…
Onitakemaru: “Hey, little girl!”
He did not know if the girl named Shima Sakon was okay or not.
Neither one knew the other well and their divine protections had not been synced, so he could not tell anything about her condition.
He was fine. The hit must not have been a direct one, so he was not damaged.
They had apparently been blasted away by the shockwave, but the shell fragments and the impact itself would have had a serious effect on a human body.
He could predict that Shima Sakon would have taken significant damage.
Especially because she had such long arms and legs.
The impact would have propagated up her limbs, but the extremities still would have burst open.
His vision swayed. Whatever was covering his sight devices fell away and he realized it was dirt. Then he found himself looking up into the sky from the grass.
“Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow.”
A tense breath left her as she sat up.
Onitakemaru: “How are you?”
“Eh? Oh, testament. I’m fine.”
“Really?” he sighed.
Onitakemaru: “Then you were awfully lucky. Can you stand? If so, we need to get back to it.”
She stopped breathing for a moment. Or it seemed that way to him. Then a hand abruptly moved into his field of vision. It was a white and even beautiful hand, but he should have been seeing his own body there.
Onitakemaru: “Hey, what happened to your gauntlet?”
“Oh, um…it must have been blown away.”
Onitakemaru: “I can’t believe you. You still have your sword, I hope. If not, I will activate a spell and you can fight with that. Okay?”
The hand clenched a few times and they stood up.
Then he heard the roar of artillery fire from the sky and gunfire from the surface.
Sparks scattered well ahead of them.
Onitakemaru: “Is that Yoshinaka?”
“It’s Tomoe Gozen.”
“It’s both,” he muttered while sensing his wearer moving forward.
“Um, we need to…”
Onitakemaru: “Yoshinaka is handling Tomoe Gozen, so it would be best for us to attack her surface unit. We should head north and join the mobile shell unit pursuing them. Go!”
Tomoe Gozen saw a tall mobile shell leaving the western forest.
…Yoritomo has emerged!
However, this mostly confused her. She was puzzled about that tall mobile shell’s wearer, Shima Sakon.
Tomoe Gozen kept her in a corner of her vision while she fought.
“She isn’t hurt?”
Her inner suit’s sleeves and stomach were torn, exposing the skin below, but there was no sign of injury.
Even though she had taken a direct hit from a shell.
A light warship’s pseudo-anti-ship cannon should have done a lot of damage to a human.
But that could change if her mobile shell was an autonomous model. The armor would move at the instant of contact to redirect the impact. By cancelling the guidance spell connections, the wearer could be protected at the cost of the armor.
So Tomoe Gozen had assumed the mobile shell might be entirely destroyed depending on how the artillery shell hit.
But as far as she could see…
…The mobile shell isn’t damaged either?
She could only imagine the mobile shell had moved to avoid the impact. The artillery shell must have been diverted by the mobile shell but it hit nearby and the shockwave had damaged Shima Sakon’s suit.
That seemed like the best explanation for this. And…
Her opponent was on the move in front of her.
…I don’t have time to focus on anything else.
Light raced by.
She did not overlook that beam. She forcefully struck the ground with her right hammer.
With a roar, clumps of dirt flew skyward and a power appeared before her.
It was a Testament copy. That barrier of ether blocked the beam of light, and a breath later…
“It won’t last.”
It burst and ether light scattered across the morning field.
She pulled her hammer from the ground and used that motion to dodge Yoshinaka’s sword. Then she raised her hammer.
“We have 10 minutes until 7AM. Not quite enough time for 500 years’ worth of complaining!”
Tomoe Gozen was using a physical buffing spell.
Protestant spells were holy spells, so they were honestly a bit of a burden on her spectral body. That was why she would first cast a ghost preservation spell meant for spirit manifestations.
That allowed her to buff herself just like anyone with an ordinary physical body, but there was one problem there.
It made her body heavy.
Ghosts were data entities, so burdening herself with the data of a spell increased her weight.
Only buffs and divine protections could rid her of that weight.
But using those would only add to the burden.
…Which brings you right back where you started!
It was important to keep it all balanced. More than that, you could not use any unnecessary buffs.
She only had to outdo her enemy’s speed and have enough strength to smash through their armor. Then she could fight using her experience.
She knew this opponent very well.
After all, she had learned how to fight in the earliest stage of her life by training against him.
“And do you remember that I had the higher win rate, Yoshinaka!?”
He did not reply, but there was a response.
He responded with his actions. The movements of his arms and his footwork were not strictly the same as the Yoshinaka in her memories.
The ghost in the shell must not have had much of his regretful memories remaining.
But that was his skeleton there and he had artificial muscles and tendons in the appropriate places.
The movable range of a skeletal animal was determined by the flexibility of their bones and muscles.
And with each movement, the mobile shell’s movement management system gained a better understanding of that range, allowing him to make the shortest possible movements and to balance himself.
The trick to combat was to understand your body’s movable range and strength and to move in accordance with that.
Yoshinaka had always done that.
And this mobile shell was the same. Over the course of the battle, it was reaching an understanding of its frame made from his skeleton and it was optimizing its movements accordingly.
It was reproducing what movements had been possible for Minamoto no Yoshinaka.
But there were a few points that had arrived at a different optimization than what he had used.
…Like when I make this attack.
When she had made a horizontal swing of her weapon, Yoshinaka had always twisted his body and fallen back.
But this opponent moved straight back.
Back then, Yoshinaka had made good use of that habit. He had avoided her attacks.
But she hit this mobile shell.
I see, she thought in reference to his skeleton. She had of course not seen it back then, but his entire skeleton was revealed to her now.
A portion of the skeletal frame was misshapen or incomplete.
He had been a demon. Different demons were different sizes and even relatives could look entirely different thanks to deformities. Yoshinaka’s skeleton was mostly well-formed, but one part of him was surprisingly asymmetrical.
“If only I had been able to see this back then.”
She could have beaten the snot out of him even easier.
But a part of her did not know how to react to this.
After all, her fighting style meshed well with this opponent.
But not perfectly. There was a fair bit lacking there, but that helped her grow weirdly accustomed to it.
…I can’t believe this.
Her time with Yoshinaka, Ishi, and that group had been so much shorter than the time since.
I only spent 30…no, let’s say 20 or so years with them. Yes, that’s a much better number.
However, the people she had spent time with afterwards decorated the rest of her life.
But, she thought.
Her fighting style had been created in her training against Yoshinaka.
Her interactions with people afterwards had given her further strategies, weapons, and fighting styles that matched the era at the time, but the foundation of all those ideas and actions came from that starting point.
The very first thing she had learned was special to her and it was engraved in her memory.
…It’s a lot like a book.
It was so nostalgic.
Then something occurred to her. The history creation system based on the Testament may have been the same.
All things could only have the one starting point.
She had just come in contact with hers again as her current self and while equipped with the current technology.
Was the world the same?
But, she thought while swinging her hammer and striking metal against metal.
“Something is missing.”
She crossed the grassy morning field with footless footwork and spun herself around.
“Why are you here after so long? Ishi is not here.”
Tomoe Gozen moved forward.
She pushed. She slid the hammer’s handle in her hand a bit to adjust its speed and where it struck.
She had not used this sort of weapon back then.
She had used a club. She had been trying to make a wooden sword, but it had been roughly hewn and overly long, so Yoshinaka had laughed at her for it. But when she hit him for that, it had worked really well, so she had continued using it for practice.
Maybe that was not all that different from now. But still…
“You are an outdated relic, Yoshinaka. You are not living here in this age.”
She knew that much.
He had been asleep all this time and then he was awoken and used as a component of this mobile shell.
She had no right to speak out about the usage of human souls for tools of war. Spells were linked to the saints and god and she would have to rethink their usage of spiritual powerups and divine protections.
The spirits did have some rights.
…In most cases, you sign a contract with them or pay them money.
They would be given more peaceful sleep or be allowed to ascend to a higher plane.
If Yoshinaka really had no memories left, then he would have been little different from some random spirit. By defining him as Yoshinaka again here, she might be able to give him his official sleep as Yoshinaka.
After all, his head had been stolen after he was slain.
There had been a burial mound for his head.
That must have been dug up to restore this skeleton.
P.A. Oda had set up his and Yoritomo’s resurrections. It would have been done by Niwa who managed Houjou, Akechi who held Kyoto, and Maeda who had mastered a spell to resurrect the dead.
Yoshinaka had been resurrected like this, but the existence of a burial mound for his head meant the modern world viewed him as a traitor.
No one viewed him for who he had been.
When a ghost was not treated right, they would generally end up haunting people.
But, said Tomoe Gozen in her heart.
…You never haunted anyone.
I bet you were too proper for that.
I won’t say that’s what I did, but you could have been more selfish.
You could have resented the imperial advisors and Imperial Palace.
And not just you. Ishi too.
Ishi, you died of your illness, but you were replaced since your history recreation was not complete.
No one even remembers you. Of course they don’t, when it would now seem wrong to count you as “you”.
Yet you left us and went peacefully to sleep in some unassuming grave.
Did Yoshinaka not appear where Ishi was because she had left with no regrets?
Then why did you never appear where I was?
Does that mean my words actually got through when we parted ways?
She did not know. There was no reply. But there was a response.
When she struck, his metal weapon rang out. That was the usual result of that. But…
She asked him a question.
She had to ask.
“Why didn’t you resent me?”
The people who should have resentfully remained behind had left and gone to sleep.
And the one who should have left without resentment had remained behind due to her regrets.
She could accept that and she had remade herself to fit the current age. And yet…
“Why are you here now!?”
Tomoe Gozen stepped forward.
She held her right hammer close in and raised it as if pressing it to her shoulder. She thrust her left hammer out like a spear.
That left hammer intercepted Yoshinaka’s right arm as he swung his large sword.
While he swung the weapon down, she stuck the Testament hammer below his arm and accurately struck his elbow.
She felt the impact.
But that was all part of the setup. What really mattered was her right arm and the right hammer it held in close.
“The other arm!”
As soon as he realized his sword had been stopped, he swung his other arm.
He was either trying to deter her from acting or trying to capture her.
She sent out a right attack against it.
Her hammer accurately struck his palm on the interior of his gauntlet.
With a solid sound of impact, the hammer was knocked back, but his arm was as well.
Both of them were knocked backwards.
His face turned her way above his bent body.
His mouth opened and he unleashed a roar.
There was light. A beam of it was targeting her. However…
“That’s obsolete, Yoshinaka.”
Tomoe Gozen did not fight her body’s backwards momentum. She swung her right hammer back over her shoulder.
“I am now the leader of the Protestants.”
As soon as the hammer slammed into the ground, a Testament copy barrier rose up in front of Yoshinaka just before he launched the light.
This was not just close range; it was point-blank range.
“First of all, you can blow yourself up, Yoshinaka.”
An ether light explosion soon followed.
“Wow,” said Sakon as she watched the explosion to south.
She was currently rushing toward the enemy with sword in hand.
She could not tell if she was moving quickly or slowly, but she could hear the M.H.R.R. assault unit over the divine transmission.
“Help us out!”
“We can target them from the side, so you just have to break through the corner of their formation!”
“Testament,” she replied while crouching low to speed up.
She followed her training and the mobile shell assisted her just like the one during training.
So as she approached the enemy firing on them while falling back to north…
Onitakemaru: “I will defend you, so you charge on ahead!”
“Um, okay! I will do that!”
But even as she charged in and accelerated, she was worried about things behind her.
Someone in a mobile shell was fighting Tomoe Gozen.
The same kind of big weird book she had torn up from the ground had grown from the ground like a trap in a retro game and hit the person in the large mobile shell. Or so it had looked.
In reality, it had simply grown up right in front of them.
It had not hit them, but their roar had hit the book and that roar had exploded a breath later.
More and more explosions triggered in a chain reaction. The book had caused all of the roar’s power to appear right there and explode.
All of its energy was slammed into the person in the large mobile shell.
“Ow, ow, ow. That has got to hurt.”
Only after saying that did she realize her vision could see a warning lernen figur in the sky behind her.
…What is this?
Onitakemaru: “Look where you’re going!”
“But, um, uh.”
The shell was definitely aimed for their allied unit. So…
“They haven’t noticed!”
Onitakemaru: “I am aware of that!”
Onitakemaru shouted back.
Onitakemaru: “We already knew some of the others would take damage! You must focus on what you can do as a name inheritor!”
The warning behind her grew even louder.
When she heard that incoming shell alert, she looked at her own hands.
They were not all that large. As tall as she was, her hands, feet, and face were ordinary sized. But she made up her mind while looking at that white skin.
“Onitakemaru-san. I am sorry.”
Onitakemaru: “Damn you!”
She did not hear him out to the end. She immediately spun herself around, twisting her body through the air.
…This is going to hurt!
The shell scored a direct hit.
The M.H.R.R. assault unit heard a loud crash of impact.
Sakon had been running alongside them and charging toward the enemy unit, but now she had been slammed into the ground behind them.
They knew what had happened.
She had noticed the incoming shell and risked her own wellbeing to protect them.
They all gasped at the intensity of the hit.
She had been hit by a shell once already, so she had been working to catch up with them on her own. That would be why she had noticed the shell before they did. They had been distracted by the anti-imperial unit they were pursuing, so those in the rear of their formation were only now reacting to the shell.
If she had not done something, those in the rear would have been hit.
They were all safe, but that meant that Sakon was not.
The countless sounds of impact and bending metal reverberated deep within each and every one of them.
The few beginning to raise defense barriers toward the sky in the back of their ranks squeezed out their voices.
“She didn’t have to do that for us!”
Sakon lay collapsed on the ground that had been badly torn up by the blast.
She was not moving. From this distance, they could not even tell if she was still in one piece. However…
They made sure to bow toward her once before facing forward again.
“Testament,” they replied while launching themselves forward.
“We have to do enough to warrant her protection, boys and girls!”
As if responding to their cries, ether light scattered across the southern field behind them.
The Testament copy hit by Komaoumaru’s beam explosion had been completely destroyed.
Tomoe Gozen saw it happen.
The roar had exploded after hitting the Testament copy barrier.
That attack had to have come at the best possible time.
She wished she could have directly hit him from below, but that would have allowed the roar beam to reach her. So she had instead caused it to detonate. However…
She could see that enormous mobile shell past the ether light smoke.
He had taken damage. Some of the armor had shattered and a few of the artificial muscles on the surface had snapped.
But he was moving.
…He has excellent instincts.
Did that come from the mobile shell’s program or the ghost’s memories?
In a split-second decision, he had used his right arm.
That was the arm she had struck to keep him from using it. He had pushed it against the hammer.
That had forcibly pushed the hammer down.
The hammer had supported his right arm from below like a cane and he had used that arm to push his body.
He had only managed to move a single step.
But that had made the point-blank explosion only a close-range one.
The blast had hit him, but not as directly. Plus…
He unleashed a second roar.
She had just slammed her right hammer into the ground behind her, so she could not stand back up right away. However…
“Are you stupid?” she said. “I said you can blow yourself up ‘first of all’, Yoshinaka.”
She took action. She pulled her body in toward the hammer behind her on the right and slid her right leg back. She crouched down on her right leg to give herself more momentum upon moving forward.
And she forcibly pulled her left arm back toward her.
She held something in that left hand.
“Do you know why I let go of your right arm!?”
It was her left hammer.
He had been using it like a cane, so it was standing up as she pulled it back. The striking head was lifted up in between them.
The roar beam scored a direct hit on that striking head.
The hit area immediately exploded. And in that moment…
“You can blow yourself up second of all too, Yoshinaka.”
She used the power built up in her right leg to spring forward.
She swung her body forward and slammed the left hammer into him.
The hammer’s explosion was driven into her opponent like an augmented hammer strike.
She seemingly pushed the explosion into him.
It was going to hit.
But in that instant, he made a certain move.
She had seen this a few times in the past. He twisted his body to dodge while falling back.
She focused on that old idiosyncrasy and habit.
She was distracted for that one crucial moment.
Tomoe Gozen realized it too late.
She had made her attack with her full strength and it should have hit. The explosion would damage her too, but she had been willing to accept that if it would defeat him.
But nostalgia had created an opening.
She had not seen that movement before and that was one of the reasons she had assumed this mobile shell was not really Yoshinaka, but now he had done it.
Did he have his memories, or had the program simply figured that out as an optimized movement for his skeleton?
She did not know.
But she had held back in her attack upon seeing that familiar movement.
It had surprised her because it happened so abruptly.
Because she had wanted to believe its absence meant this enemy was merely a program-controlled mobile shell and not Yoshinaka himself.
But after seeing that movement, she had hesitated.
And so it hit her.
While he fell back, he used the reaction of his backwards movement to send out his left arm.
He swung that large sword.
He had distanced himself from the explosion positioned right in front of her.
And instead, he sent his sword in along a diagonal slash from the left.
He had not entirely dodged the explosion. He was prepared to take the close-range blast to get in this attack.
She pushed her left hand’s hammer toward his sword.
She would be launched backwards by the impact, but she would technically dodge the blast.
Which one would be more injured afterwards? And more importantly…
…Please make it in time.
But it was too late.
She had created an opening and he had continued resisting throughout. That allowed his blade to reach her.
But just before it did, a kick from the left slammed into her face and sent her flying.
…What are you doing!?
After crossing the city wall and racing along the grass, Mitotsudaira saw Unturning Centipede kick Tomoe Gozen through the air
Narumi must have been trying to support the woman.
That was why she had crossed the city wall and glided on over, but…
Unturning: “I can’t say I expected her to suddenly raise her hammer and pull herself toward it.”
Uqui: “Out of curiosity, what was your plan assuming she did not do that?”
Unturning: “To block that weird beam with my leg. I can replace my leg easily enough after all.”
Mar-Ga: “I seem to recall someone kicking Tomoe Gozen through the air at Magdeburg.”
Tonbokiri: “I did not kick her. I was trying to stop myself and her face just so happened to be in the way. So it does not count.”
Almost Everyone: “Yes, it does!”
Have we been inadvertently picking a fight with the Protestants? But…
A chain reaction of explosions began.
Narumi had moved too far west, so the hammer was behind her as it exploded in front of Yoshinaka.
Pieces of his metal frame were launched skyward, but he reacted.
The force of the explosion pushed his swung sword back.
And he launched a horizontally sweeping beam toward Narumi.
As soon as Narumi dodged out of the way, Mitotsudaira saw explosions race out across the path of the beam.
…I should be able to leave that to Narumi.
She had to continue north to reach the Nagaoka estate while catching up to Tomoe Gozen’s unit, which was falling back in a defensive formation, and the enemy assault unit, which was pursuing them while angled diagonally.
The enemy fired on Tomoe Gozen’s unit while occasionally charging in at them.
With each sound of impact, Tomoe Gozen’s unit would collapse more. And based on the extent of that…
“They will be in trouble if this keeps up.”
At this pace, the enemy assault unit would have greatly worn down Tomoe Gozen’s unit by the time they arrived at the Nagaoka estate.
She had to stop that if she was to support her king. Because…
“Protecting Tomoe Gozen is my duty here!”
She sprinted forward to attack the rear of the enemy ranks.
“Here I go!”
She held two Silver Chains in each hand, all of which held a sword. Those were mandible swords Narumi had given her.
With four fangs and spares hanging at her hips, the wolf pursued the enemy.
She was worried about her ally facing Minamoto no Yoshinaka behind her, but that was Date’s Vice Chancellor. She was as cement-like as any of the classmates Mitotsudaira had known for much longer. So…
“This is in your hands, Narumi!”
Narumi had already begun her battle.
Her opponent was Minamoto no Yoshinaka.
She had begun this duel after having weary Tomoe Gozen fall back to the city wall, but…
…He has such accurate movements.
He was enormous, but his balance control and footwork were surprisingly precise.
Had he developed the technique needed to fight opponents smaller than him?
This certainly isn’t going to be a boring fight, she concluded. She turned to place her right leg out front and held his actions in check while stepping forward to make an attack of her own.
Lady AM: “Hey! Are you sure you can handle this after barging in out of nowhere!?”
Unturning: “Can you explain to me how you intended to survive that and how you intended to win after losing one of your weapons?”
Lady AM: “What would you do if I could explain that?”
Unturning: “I would say ‘I see’.”
That woman could not deal with this opponent right now.
That had been obvious from watching Tomoe Gozen earlier and Narumi could sense it all the more now that she was facing the enemy herself.
…I can just barely keep up with two swords.
He made very frequent attacks.
You would think he would swing his sword wide given how large it was, but he moved himself along with his attacks to never stay in one place for long. He also switched which hand held the weapon to slash back and forth very rapidly.
“And that roar!”
A blast of light swept horizontally toward her.
She pulled her left foot back and made a backwards turn before dodging.
She avoided it.
The problem was the explosion that light produced after a short delay. That meant she had to dodge the initial attack and then worry about the secondary attack that would soon arrive.
It was really annoying to have that double attack contained within a single enemy.
Fighting him made him feel like he had no openings.
…So I’ll have to create an opening for myself.
There were two ways of doing that.
The first was to increase her mobility, continue circling around his attacks, and make her move when he missed.
The second was to attack more often, stop his attacks, and make her move then.
She chose the latter. She raised her right sword in front of her to hold his movements in check while she moved in. However…
…He sure is fast.
The hand switching and the constant movement allowed him to respond to both her mandible swords.
But when he used that roar cannon of his, she had a chance to attack.
The enemy had three forms of attack.
Tomoe Gozen had had an advantage in knowing him very well.
Makes sense, decided Narumi. So…
Unturning: “Tomoe Gozen. Can I ask something of you?”
Lady AM: “What is it? Do you want to know how to attack Yoshinaka?”
“No,” she replied before making her real request.
Unturning: “If I give you a mandible sword, will you take my place here?”
Gold Mar: “Changing her mind already?”
Uqui: “Incredible, Narumi. I didn’t think you would even opt out of battle if it was too much of a pain.”
Flat Vassal: “Um, this isn’t like cleaning up your room.”
“I am not a swordswoman,” replied Tomoe Gozen with a sigh. “We can come up with another idea if you cannot defeat him.”
She was honestly exhausted. As a ghost, she did not experience much physical exhaustion, but the emotions and mind that supported her spectral body, which was a data entity, were tired. She could tell that now that she had a chance to relax, but…
…I can’t move for a while now.
I’ve grown too soft, she thought while watching Narumi and Yoshinaka’s battle.
That was Date Narumi. She had never before seen the Date Vice Chancellor fight in person. Sviet Rus and P.A. Oda existed between M.H.R.R. Protestant territory and Date territory, so she did not know much about that clan.
But the way she used a mobile shell to fight was fascinating.
This was a battle between two swift opponents with long reaches. A lot had changed from when she was fighting.
When Narumi rushed in with her right sword out in front…
…Yoshinaka responds differently.
Was that the mobile shell program adapting? He used larger sweeping motions than against her, but those attacks and movements were probably about right for a mobile shell opponent.
Tomoe Gozen was curious about the quick changes to his fighting style.
Her curiosity was centered on how much of Yoshinaka was in there.
Some ghosts had memories and some did not.
The ghosts that M.H.R.R.’s Maeda Toshiie summoned with money were weak spirits that would have found peace without the money, so they had almost no memories.
Similarly, weak spirits could reside in objects and begin acting like that object based on the ‘mold’ of that object’s memories. Most automaton souls were like that, as were most Tsukumogamis.
For mass-production and quality control purposes, automatons would first have a soul mold prepared that was well suited for the body. That mold would be exposed to the ley lines and the ether would be concentrated into a soul, or an existing soul would be placed within.
Someone’s soul might reside in their own possessions or remains after death and that could also be used as the “core”, but…
“What about you?”
Which was it for Yoshinaka, and how much of his mind and memories remained?
His previous actions and movements were hard to judge from because of the optimization being made from his skeleton, but also…
…I have so many emotions tied up in this question that I can’t trust my own opinion.
Lady AM: “Date Vice Chancellor, I have a question.”
Unturning: “What might that be? I am kind of busy at the moment.”
Lady AM: “Do you think that opponent has a mind and emotions of his own?”
She received an immediate response.
Unturning: “Have you considered what you want to do after you receive my answer?”
Tomoe Gozen froze at that. After a moment, she scratched the side of her head.
…I forgot about that.
That was true.
This was not a test she was being graded on.
She had to decide for herself what she would do once she knew the answer.
In that case, she thought while raising her remaining hammer in front of her.
Lady AM: “Do it.”
Unturning: “No need to ask. That was already the plan.”
Lady AM: “And if I ask anyway?”
“Well,” said the girl.
Unturning: “I will say ‘I see’.”
“But,” she continued.
Unturning: “I will make sure to defeat him.”
Unturning: “You think about what you want to do once you see the result.”
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- Shining Genji is a reference to Hikaru Genji from The Tale of Genji.