Horizon:Volume 7C Chapter 85

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Chapter 85: Usurper of the Stands[edit]

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Jump

It’s silly

And meaningless

But if you can’t jump high

You’re even worse

Point Allocation (Morning High)


The city shook.

It trembled in the wind, the twin trees swayed in the night, and the illusionary light scattered like a swinging pendulum.

Niwa danced and sang while watching it all from atop the north gate.

“Power, fortune, relationships, and all else will disappear once they are forgotten.”

She sang and she danced.

Her dance pressurized the music and song. It served only to draw out this night and to let it end.

In other words, it was destruction.

“Wake up in a hundred years, a thousand, or three thousand and it will all have been forgotten.”

The sky had lost its stars, the trees were withered, the grass had dried up, and the hill became a collection of dried dirt.

Begone, illusory lights. There is nothing more for you to illuminate.

“Power, fortune, relationships, and all else will never come to fruition and will disappear.”

Yes, thought Niwa. None of us are free to do as we like and we will eventually disappear. But…

“Keep going for a hundred years, a thousand, or three thousand and you will find only refuse.”

Instead of trying to wake this world of night, she sent it toward destruction.

And while running through that performance, she noticed that destruction was having trouble getting started. And she knew why.

Musashi’s Technohexen!


Naruze shook the city.

When she created music and a voice, others placed power in those things: Kimi and the crossdresser.

The arms were moving in a weird way that was scarily distracting when she looked at it. But…

“The game of life is like a game of roulette. The wheel only spins one way, so I’ll place my bet.”

Kimi twirled to match the lyrics. Naruze had not told her the lyrics and this was all adlibbed, so it was incredible how well her movements matched. She was probably predicting what lyrics were likely to come. So…

“It was bound to happen sooner or later. So now’s the time to be the traitor.”

The others would dance on their own, so she decided to focus on her part and increased her volume.

In response, Kimi took stronger dance steps, the arms jumped up, and the crossdresser made it all the livelier.

“It’s time to be stupid, even if it’s lame. Laugh if you must, but I’m winning this game.”

The crossdresser took his sister’s outstretched hand and the two twirled out in front. Naruze noticed the arms riding on their shoulders, which made it look like a ghost photo. But…

“I’m doing this, so don’t you worry. I’ll take it all back in a real hurry.”

The two of them parted, crouched low, and added in another large spin. It all looked so light and nimble, but a lot of training had gone into how they stood back up on one leg afterwards.

“God and the world may have given up on me and you. But the goal’s right there, so there’s only one thing to do.”

They took each other’s hand again and the sister smiled and ducked below the arch formed by the crossdresser’s arm.

“Don’t worry, what we’re doing ain’t wrong. And if being stupid is right and not wrong…”

Naruze played the music as loud as she could here. The song would end once she once more went through the hook, so she did not shout the key phrase here.

But something rang out in its place: a dance step.

Kimi took a step, the crossdresser took a step, and the arms hopped up.

“Yeah!”

Nördlingen performed a dance step.


Kimi smiled at how the city shook.

And without a word, she hopped up, used that step to shake the city, and pointed into the sky.

The number of stars in the heavens had shrunk at some point, but not due to the destruction told of in Niwa and her 3000’s song.

“The dawn approaches!”

She heard the music of destruction from those 3000 and she felt a gaze.

That came from Niwa. She had to be at a very high level as an actor to manage those 3000, but…

“You know why the city shakes, don’t you? You really don’t play fair. I mean, you’re using that music, song, and dance to hide your true form. And that false form is deceiving us.”

Because…

“Music, song, and dance are not meant to express something external to yourself. It starts with the voice. In ancient times, before humanity even had language, it all began with the grunts and shouts meant to convey something. Yes, during the height of spring, that was used to say how much I love you and you and you and you and you. During the winter, it was used to weep for those who had succumbed to the cold.”

So…

“Music, song, and dance came about as a way to give form to your own feelings.”

“What is your point?”

“Is that song of yours saying anything about the feelings inside you?” asked Kimi. “My dance does. After all, my foolish brother has chosen to live on despite his remorse and to retake what was nearly lost. And I am assisting him. The music being played here pays respect to that, so I would be a very unwise sister indeed if I did not dance along.”

So…

“Hey, hey, how about it?”

Kimi took a step that shook the city.

“This way of life is so much fun. It’s silly and it has tons of downsides, but you can keep a smile on your face as long as you can dance together. You find out that they really can do it when they try, so it’s time to wake them up.”

She stepped strongly on the rooftop in time with Naruze’s music and she called out to someone.

“Dancing is so much fun, Nördlingen.”


Niwa felt the shaking of the city through her feet.

The backup dancers behind her were shaken and ether light sprayed from all around.

The theatre spell is collapsing!?

That girl was good at this. Niwa knew very well what she had done. Just like Niwa had used her dance to pressurize the music and singing, the enemy was using her dance to pass their music and singing through the ley lines.

Niwa’s was an offensive method while theirs was a defensive one.

While Niwa was striking at them from above to pin them down, they were changing things on the interior.

That was only possible because that enemy was a high-level spell user, and…

Those deep notes!

The bass notes were set up to reach the entire city, so they could also shake the city’s ley lines. Then the enemy added in the “motion” of a dance to give the ley lines a kick.

Niwa’s group had put the city to sleep with their song, but that singer and those dancers were getting the city’s heart pumping.

And it was having an effect.

Nördlingen itself was waking up as a single personality.

It really was morning and Niwa could not deny that gave the enemy an advantage, but…

“Not bad. But do you really think this will work?”

“Oh, it will. Don’t be silly. A real woman will make sure it works. So it will.”

And…

“I will make sure it works and there is nothing a liar of a woman can do to stop it.”

The enemy took another step, so…

“We will see about that,” said Niwa.

She danced, but differently from before.

“I will do whatever it takes!”


Naruze saw a change come over Niwa’s movements.

She was still dancing, but the movements she made to manage the 500 behind her were…

In the reverse order!?

She was performing the same dance as Kimi but in reverse.

Naruze knew this was a forbidden technique in dancing. Reversing the proper sequence would call in the opposite thing. It was a type of taboo.

But this reversed dance had another, even more frightening effect.

Mar-Ga: “If she establishes a reversed dance, it means the dance has been analyzed and surpassed, so we lose the divine protection provided by the dance!”

The enemy was a skilled enough dancer to pull this off. Putting together a reversed dance against Kimi was an impressive feat all on its own.

But Kimi smiled.

“Interesting. …Naruze?”

Naruze gave her a questioning look, so Kimi tossed her a sign frame while calmly dancing.

And she spoke while Naruze caught the sign frame.

“In 30 seconds, I will have reduced her to nothing.”


Niwa danced.

“Power, fortune, relationships, and all else will disappear once they are forgotten.”

She danced in the reverse order. She made not a single mistake. After all, she had seen her opponent’s entire dance during the first run-through of the hook earlier.

It helped to have an assistance team at times like this. They had recorded the enemy dancer’s dance and were playing the footage in reverse for the backup dancers.

They only had to watch that and match its tempo as they danced.

With her and the 500 supporting her, not even the most skilled opponent could stop it.

She had trained enough to ensure she made no mistakes here.

She could see signs of the enemy dancer trying to mess up her dance, but when she included those attempts into the reversed dance, the enemy tried to escape it by changing her speed and movements.

But Niwa was not shaken as she continued perfectly following the enemy’s dance in reverse.

She had to win this.

Yes. I doubt I will ever see a stage like this again.

Looking at Niwa Nagahide’s career, the only major battle remaining for her was the Battle of Shizugatake after the Honnouji Incident. But that would be fought against Shibata, so on a personal level, she was not looking forward to it.

Still, she was definitely approaching her retirement.

As an intermediary and transporter, she would continue to fight on occasion to help out, but…

That’s right.

“Wake up in a hundred years, a thousand, or three thousand and it will all have been forgotten.”

That describes me perfectly, she thought.


Niwa acted as an intermediary for the others.

Lately, she had been helping out in Kantou – especially in Houjou – and also moving further north to work with Date and Mogami.

The Niwa of the Age of the Gods had played a similar role, so she could see how he had fallen ill. It had been a stomach disease, but she was certain it was caused by the stress of that middle management job.

She had it a lot easier because the others understood her and because she could see what was coming thanks to the Testament.

But it’s still a thankless job.

“Power, fortune, relationships, and all else.”

A lot of things were in motion and being in charge earned the resentment of those who had things taken from them.

When that happened, she would blow off some steam by heading out with the others for a celebration of a job well done or for a farewell party.

They were the victors and their job was done, so what was wrong with celebrating?

They had often done karaoke. These days, she was carrying so much responsibility and flying all over the Far East, so she could not find that kind of casual but close friendship at any of her destinations.

She had often partied with the others in the past.

Maeda-kun and Sassa-kun were especially excited when Hashiba-kun built Sunomata Castle.

Everyone’s opinion of Hashiba-kun shot up then thanks to that plan and preparations that even Shibata-kun had nothing but praise for. I was the one who dragged those opinions back down by giving her those drinks at that party, so maybe that was wrong of me. She gets so lecture-y when she’s drunk. That had to be the first time a newcomer used pure logic to lecture at her upperclassmen at length like that.

But even with Hashiba-kun’s issues, she’s a top-ranking member of M.H.R.R. now and you could call her one of the main players for both P.A. Oda and M.H.R.R. The biggest problem of the Honnouji Incident remains, but if she can “take over” then, then maybe I can relax and retire.

She wanted to ask around during summer break to see what the others thought about this. After all, she was an intermediary, so it would cause a lot of problems if she retired before everyone was ready.

Like Takigawa-san did.

She must have had her own thoughts on the matter. Had that begun when she faced Musashi at the Battle of Kanagawa?

Still, it had helped P.A. Oda for her to take care of their loss at the Battle of Komaki Nagakute. That had especially changed how the next generation of newcomers viewed things.

But, thought Niwa.

“Will never come to fruition and will disappear.”

That wasn’t fair, Takigawa-san.

You never stopped mispronouncing my name as Niu-chan and then you retired ahead of me. And you’re supposed to do a lot at the Battle of Shizugatake, so how are we supposed to deal with that? Ugh, my stomach is hurting again.

But I so wish I could go partying with the others at a karaoke place or wherever.

Yes, if the Keichou Campaign had ended how we wanted it to, I would be in Edo right now, coming home early in the morning after a night out with Takigawa-san, Hashiba-kun, and the others.

Musashi, you really are thorn in our side.

I fought you once at Novgorod, but that was against Sviet Rus’s Saitou Tomonobu and Date’s Date Narumi, so this is technically my first time facing Musashi.

So let’s see.

For now, I would say they are a horribly distinctive group. They like to take advantage of the dueling rules as much as possible, but I can see signs of that stance even here.

They have their name inheritors and other powerful fighters go nuts to clear the way for their ordinary warriors.

That’s honestly an awful lot like our own methods.

But there is one major difference between us and Musashi.

These kids have way too much freedom.

Any attempt to control them is failing. In fact, it feels like no attempt is being made. That would normally mean they scatter in battle, so is the city of Musashi just that comfortable a place to live. Or is it because these methods keep winning for them?

Yes, that’s it.

Takigawa-san found an answer to this.

That’s why she hurried on ahead. If the current generation can’t handle this, she wanted to leave it in the hands of the next generation.

Now, what does that mean I should do? Can I remain here instead of hurrying on ahead to join her? But…

“Keep going for a hundred years, a thousand, or three thousand.”

That’s right, thought Niwa. All of us will eventually disappear before we can find complete freedom. So…

And you will find only refuse.”

Musashi, this will be over by the time the dawn arrives. At this rate, anyway.

Shaja.

Niwa took her final step.

She had established the reversed dance.


Naruze followed Kimi’s instructions.

There were a few different instructions, but one was as follows:

“Wait just a bit on the hook. Give the music to me.”

That was asking a lot since they were short on time, but Naruze could not defeat Niwa and the 3000 on her own.

They currently formed a team meant to oppose that 3000. That idiot girl had a plan and Naruze did not, so when she told Naruze what to do, it was best to comply.

But Niwa just completed the reversed dance!

The entertainer gods that Kimi worshiped would pick up on the thoughts contained in a performance or artwork, even if they were poorly made, but they would not provide divine protections for a performance or artwork that was stolen, plagiarized, or half-assed.

And if it was proven that “anyone could do it” and you did not even need to be an entertainer to pull it off, they would also remove their divine protection.

Having your dance performed in reverse was enough to show that the trick behind it had been revealed.

Niwa had just done that for Kimi’s dance.

The enemy – both Niwa and her 500 backup dancers – had properly reversed the dance.

Kimi’s spell and intervention would be destroyed. Then she could not dance the hook.

What do we do?

Naruze kept playing while she thought, but then she saw Kimi twirl around.

“Naruze.”

The dancer laughed and shrugged without ever stopping her dance.

“Your choice was the winner here.”

Just then, 500 people’s worth of light exploded behind Niwa.

Niwa’s backup dancers all had their divine protections destroyed, producing a great shattering of ether light.


Niwa gasped.

Why?

The first thing she checked was whether or not her own divine protection had been destroyed.

But hers was fine. Her insha kotob told her none of her divine protections or spells had been destroyed. But everyone behind her was another matter. All 500 had their divine protections destroyed as if in a chain reaction.

“…!”

They were blown away and rolled along the floor.

What did this mean? They all should have followed that dancer’s dance in reverse under her command.

Her side should have won, and yet…

“What is happening here?” she muttered while looking to the enemy. Then she noticed it.

The enemy was dancing.

That dance was definitely the original order that they were doing in reverse, but her movements were horribly accurate.

That was odd. Earlier, she had been slowing or shifting her actions to escape the reversal.

But Niwa belatedly realized what the enemy’s plan was in front of the shaking city.

“You reversed my reversal as an attack on my backup dancers, didn’t you!?”

Meaning…

“You are my mirror image! You used your movements to send a reversal of my movements to them!”


“I should have known you would understand,” said Kimi. “Heh heh. Yes, a common tactic against a reversed dance is to hit them with the proper dance that is a reversal of the reversal, but someone on your level would have noticed that.”

So…

“I created a reversal of your movements and sent it to the dancers behind you. …I did nothing at all. Your reversal hit your own backup dancers through me.”

“But…”

Kimi understand why Niwa found this so hard to believe.

“Yes, matching your dance to 500 people does seem impossible, doesn’t it? A reversal requires copying the other person’s movements in reverse, so it requires a high level of precision for everyone involved.”

But…

“Did you fail to notice you had fallen into a trap?”


Niwa realized what her opponent meant.

“The insha kotobs!”

Yes. Her assistants had sent a insha kotob video to everyone. The video showed that dancer’s dance for the hook in reverse. If everyone had been dancing according to that…

They were all mimicking her!

The dancer had not needed to consider each individual because Niwa’s side had copied her actions for her. And from there…

“That was not easy, you know? I mean, when dancing for the earlier hook, I had to intentionally unsteady myself and add some imperfections. Dancing badly is a lot harder than it looks. …But doing so let me do something.”

Namely…

“You were dancing a perfectly reversed version of my movements now by watching me live while your backup dancers were all copying my poor performance from back then, so my current performance acted as a bridge between the two. My middle-of-the-road performance allowed my god to see me as an intermediary between the two of you instead of a reversed or proper version.”

She laughed. And…

“You were too good a dancer. And you were led astray by your management skills.”

“Led astray?”

“Judge,” she replied while pointing at Niwa. “There are plenty of advantages to using more people, such as the increased sound pressure, the volume, and the attack power, but what do you think happens when you manage them all to ensure perfection? You lose any personality, heart or individuality. It’s boring. You are supposed to be expressing things outside and inside yourself, so why would you bring so many hearts together? Instead managing them by tying a rope around their necks and dragging them along with you, a true entertainer should gather everyone together and then show them a performance that guides them all in the same direction.”

For a brief moment, she moved her pointing finger to the side.

“Over there!”

She spoke that phrase with a smile.

Ah.

Everyone looked in that direction on reflex.

The strings section was there. They all knew there was no meaning behind this, but they had looked anyway.

She guided us instead of managing us!

Some music soon followed. It was the deep notes of the 6-string bass meant to target the strings section.

“It’s time to be stupid, even if it’s lame. Laugh if you must, but I’m winning this game.”

This was a bombing. The backup dancers had already been destroyed and this explosive noise destroyed the divine protections of the strings section while causing the city to hop up with a tremor.

Niwa saw the enemy dancing.

This was a different dance from before, but the dance seemed to have no form.

It looked like she was simply jumping up high and swinging her arms around. It only looked like she was celebrating.

Did that even qualify as a dance? But she was not the only one hopping into the air like that. The crossdresser was too. As were the arms and…

The Weiss Hexen!

They were all hopping up and down as they pleased while producing music and song.

“–––––”

They danced and the bombing hit Niwa’s group.


Naruze danced as Kimi had instructed.

However, she was not entirely sure this counted as a dance. She was only jumping up and down and bending her legs to smack her heels against her butt. It was more celebrating than anything.

In that jumping mosh style of dance, she kept playing her music and shaking the city as she landed.

“I’m doing this, so don’t you worry.”

She sang. She jumped, sent her bass notes stabbing into the enemy, and shouted.

“I’ll take it all back in a real hurry.”

She was a bit troubled by how a smile appeared on the corners of her mouth.

Why am I enjoying this so much?

Kimi bumped into her shoulder and she too was smiling.

“This is a festival, Naruze. A festival to rejoice the coming dawn,” said Kimi with a smile. “Ootsubaki is opening the stone cave.”

She waved her hand up into the air and Naruze followed it with her gaze to see light entering the heavens.

The arrival of dawn meant the enemy’s spell was collapsing.

“Long ago, in an age before people were people, the night was a time of fear,” said Kimi. “Everything that came from the darkness was harmful. Like wolves. They had no weapons at that time, so even if they hid in a cave, they would be wiped out if a single predator arrived. Things were similar during the Middle Ages. If the walls of your house could not resist a night attack by bandits, it was all over for you. So way back then, the coming of dawn was enough to bring happiness.”

But you know what?

“A real woman knows the night is dangerous. Which is why we enjoy the nightlife so much. The enjoyment comes from understanding the dangers of the night. It reminds you that you are enjoying yourself during that dangerous time. And when you return from the dangerous night, you are relieved to see the dawn and to find your precious everyday life once more.”

So…

“If you can’t dance and smile when you see the dawn, it means you are a terrible woman who has forgotten the dangers of the night and the importance of your everyday life.”

“What are you, an animal?”

Naruze said that with a snort of laughter, but she had her own difficulties to deal with.

“In this game of life.”

She kept up the bombing, but their opponent’s defenses were tough. She wanted to up the ante with her attacks.

Is there nothing I can do?

She wanted the dawn. The sky was growing brighter, but the hook was going to end soon.

The enemy was still holding on. Ether light exploded each time she struck and the city shook, but they could keep going yet. They had apparently switched to defensive tactics to simply survive.

“Well, that’s a cheap trick,” said Kimi.

“You don’t get to say that after your reversal trick.”

But the enemy’s theatre spell was not destroyed yet. Naruze sniped the drums section since they were crucial for the backup dancers to keep their rhythm, but…

There just aren’t enough lyrics left for this.

Should she go for another run-through of the hook? But that would dilute the impact of the performance.

Then what should I do? she wondered.

Just then, a mosh blow hit her on the reverse shoulder.

Kimi and the others were all in the other direction, so who had flown through the air to hit her shoulder?

“Margot!”


“Morning!”

Naruze saw the Schwarze Hexen smile.

Her partner was holding Schwarze Fräulein. It too had 6-strings drawn on it, but it was a guitar.

“I’ll match your chords, but we’re already on the hook, right!?”

“What in the world? Are you trying to steal the best part for yourself? This isn’t a tart.”

Honestly. She could see the others waking up as some light shined down on the city.

“You did that, Ga-chan,” said Margot. “And you know I save the tart’s strawberry for last so I can give it to you. Just like this.”

Margot kissed her. That came as a surprise, but she did demonstrate passing the strawberry, so Naruze used her tongue as well. Margot accepted it and then they landed.

“Ha ha,” laughed Margot. “Thanks for that.”

“Any time.” Naruze readied Weiss Fräulein and Margot readied Schwarze Hexen. “That’s twice the strength and a thousand times the good mood. Let’s show them what Eisen can do.”


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Niwa realized the enemy attacks had doubled.

The deep notes were now joined with higher notes.

She could have responded to that back at the beginning, but now she was worn out and she had lost so many backup dancers.

Most of them had lost their divine protections or even their instruments. The sky was also beginning to grow blue.

“Kh.”

I need to stay strong, she thought. If they endured the enemy’s hook, they could remake Twin Sal Trees. That would reset everything and a new night would begin.

The enemy had doubled their attack strength, but she would be able to deal with that. She only had to last another ten seconds, if that.

“God and the world may have given up on me and you. But the goal’s right there, so there’s only one thing to do.”

Yes, the goal was right there. So Niwa had the surviving members of the strings section create a wind.

We will outlast!

“Don’t worry, what we’re doing ain’t wrong.”

The white and black Technohexen sang. They jumped around and bumped their shoulders and wings together.

“So listen up. If being stupid is right and not wrong…”

They raised their voices as one.

“When you’re stupid, you’re stupid till the day you die!”


Even as the auditory assault hit her, Niwa realized she had endured it.

Dawn had not come to Nördlingen. The spell field had not been broken.

So she used her voice to achieve victory. She began with the first lyrics of Twin Sal Trees.

“At last, the field of forget-me-nots has been forgotten.”

The wind blew and her voice rang out as a song of recovery.

“What does the ringing of the bell mean?”

And as she sang, a bell rang in the early morning of Nördlingen.

Huh?

The spell field remained. This place should have been “asleep”.

Yet she heard the ringing of a bell.

It reached her from the distance, so this was not coming from Nördlingen.

“Don’t be dumb,” said the Weiss Hexen while smiling and hopping around. “All you summoned was the ringing of the bell. And that ringing is a sign of the dawn. So…”

The dancer shouted out and jumped high to finish for the Weiss Hexen.

“This silly song and dance shall open Ama-no-Iwato!”

The southern sky split open. White ether light scattered and the cracked spell field shattered all at once.

The battlefield sky was peeled away. The booming of artillery fire was already shattering any hope of sleep, but another sound and image was far more concerning for Niwa’s group.

They saw 8 white and black ships.

That was the Musashi.

A bell was ringing from the surface city of that enormous ship. That was what they had been hearing.

“Attention citizens of Pseudo-Bahamut-class Aerial City Ship Musashi, the ringing of Musashi Ariadust Academy’s bell and its awakening divine protection are to inform you it is currently 6:57 AM. Over.”


Suzu sighed on Musashino’s bridge.

“That was close…I think? Wasn’t it? Or was it not?”

“Whether or not it was close, I have determined your decision was a superb one, Suzu-sama. Over,” said “Musashino” while receiving a sign frame from “Musashi” saying the time announcement was complete. “But asking us to ring our bell as an alarm clock just because you were feeling sleepy was quite a dynamic decision. Over.”

“Well, um.” Suzu frantically waved her hands a little bit. “It’s…6:57? R-ringing it then will…um, it will…reach everyone even if things are…noisy down below.”

“Judge. There is a lot to focus on when it is my turn. When my ship announces the time, it is impossible to not know the time and it is fortunate that Asama-sama strengthened the divine protection for us. Over.”

Suzu nodded in agreement and shook her still-sleepy head, but then she noticed something.

On the model of Nördlingen she had created, the automatons were already starting to open defense barriers so those on the main street would not be hit by the cannon fire, but…

The north gate.

The 3000 on top had fallen to their knees and were looking this way, but below it…

Nagaoka-kun…is there.


Tadaoki saw the north gate open in front of him.

The local spirits had accepted the morning. The gate had been closed to show it was “asleep”, but now the spirits were opening it wide to return it to its normal state.

They really did open it.

There was no time. It was 3 till 7, but he still looked back.

The Musashi’s great form had descended beyond Nördlingen’s south gate and the Technohexen and the idiots were standing in front of that. The morning sun washed over them and the crossdresser called out to him.

“Hey! Nagabuto! Get going already!”

He also pointed toward the sky along with the arms on his shoulders. Those three fingers pointed toward the morning sky.

Seeing that blue color, Tadaoki realized something.

“Sky blue!? I am so kicking your ass when I get back!”

But after that, he breathed in and…

“Thank you so much!”

He bowed before turning back around and not looking back again.

I’ve gotta get going!

He could see sunlight fields to the north. There was a stream there and a Far Eastern estate beyond that.

The imperial and anti-imperial warriors were already clashing there, but he ran through it all.

He ran straight toward his own home he had never before visited.


Niwa looked to the sky.

It was colored blue and there were no stars to be seen. The blowing wind was only the one arriving from the fields to the east.

“Honestly.”

Those idiots were making a lot of noise while approaching along the main street down the center of the village. Down below, the people of the city were waking up, opening their windows, and going about their daily business while cautious of the fighting around the city.

“Now, then.”

Her lightning beast Mouse and some water spirit Mice were at her feet. They tilted their heads and thought about lending a helping hand, but…

“Without the spell field, that would damage Nördlingen,” she told them.

She sat down on the north gate. The angle and height did not give her a view of the main street. She could guess Musashi’s people were passing by below, but she would have to rely on the others for that.

Yeah.

I feel like I know how Takigawa felt now. And I get what Matsunaga Hisahide said.

They really are our opposite. Takigawa-san must have confirmed for herself what Matsunaga had realized and then she chose to leave.

Niwa could understand what she was feeling here because she had that advance information from those two.

“No fair, Takigawa-san.”

She patted the Mice and lay down on the north gate.

“Our battle here in Nördlingen is over. Everyone, get some rest and then go support the other units.” She muttered “I can’t believe this” while letting the blue sky fill her vision. “My musical expression still needs a lot of work. Just look how blue it is.”