Horizon:Volume 7C Chapter 87
Chapter 87: Supervisor of an Emotional Scene
♪Check it out, Testament Union
Nine powers and lightning-fast tsukkomi arms
Complete Combined Horizon
Point Allocation (Lyrics by Neshinbara)
Asama saw Toori come running over. To avoid a collision, she took a half step out of the way.
He dashed onward with both hands held out in front.
“It’s been too long, Horizon! Did you sleep well!? Oh, but it’s time for some unguarded groping time! I already dealt with your arms back there, so you’ll let me do it without resisting, right!?”
Horizon casually slammed her knee into his crotch.
After a horrible sound, the crossdresser fell to his knees and collapsed.
“Now, then.” Horizon lightly shook her body. “Combine!”
Her arms came running from the field of dirt to her left and right. They threw dust into the air and then leaped towards her sides while she provided vocalized sound effects.
“Da-dum da-dum da-dum-dum-dum! Doodle-oodle-oodle-oodle-oodle! Gashuuuuuuunk!”
“Horizon! Horizon! You were fully combined by the time you got to the ‘doodle’ part!”
“You must have the courage to see it through to the end. …Oh, and Asama-sama? This is when you should have a sign frame pop up to say ‘Combined Form: True Horizon’.”
“Oh, if you say so,” replied Asama while surprised to find how accustomed to this she was.
Meanwhile, he stood up while repeatedly gathering strength in his lower stomach. And…
“Horizon, have you changed?”
“Judge. When I woke up earlier, the usual routine felt like too much effort, so I sang my song to optimize and initialize myself while still inside the dressing room of Suzu-sama’s bathhouse. A sign frame appeared behind me and whipped up a mighty wind, but…”
Hori-ko: “Sorry, Suzu-sama. I decided it would be easier to get everyone else’s help, so I left it like that.”
Bell: “Oh, o-okay. Just make sure it’s done…before we open for business this evening?”
“Oh, nooooo! Horizon’s gotten even lazier and is giving us even more work to do!”
Horizon gave him a double thumbs up and then she snapped her fingers.
“Now, I made sure to give myself a grand entrance, but why is our enemy not playing along? They need to be more proactive to give me a chance to use my newly-acquired Phos Kenodoxia and Phos Hyperephania.”
“Hm, but do you really have to use them? Also, does this mean you have vainglory and pride now?”
“Judge.” Horizon nodded. And, “Watch this, Toori-sama. I will now demonstrate my pride.”
Without warning, she grabbed Mitotsudaira’s chest with both hands.
Everyone fell silent. Even Mitotsudaira only gave her a puzzled look. Then Horizon gave several deep nods while patting Mitotsudaira on the shoulder.
“Well, keep trying, Mitotsudaira-sama. Perhaps you will get there eventually.”
Everyone exchanged a glance and then…
“Yeah, that’s definitely some smug pride!”
“Wow! Horizon really has pride now!”
“How was that fair to me!?” protested the wolf.
“Calm down,” said Horizon while holding both palms out toward Mitotsudaira. And, “Watch this, Toori-sama. I will now demonstrate my vainglory.”
Oh, here it comes, realized Asama. And sure enough, Horizon grabbed her chest with both hands.
Mitotsudaira heard everyone around her fall silent.
Instead of looking puzzled, Asama spread her mouth horizontally in a bitter smile and Horizon hung her head.
Then Horizon gave several nods while patting Asama on the shoulder with a trembling hand.
“Th-th-th-this is nothing th-th-that impressive. Kh, I-I can’t believe this. The density…it’s so much more than I imagined.”
A nervous sweat soaked her face and the others began talking to each other.
“She couldn’t maintain her vainglory!”
“Yeah, her true anger was too powerful for that!”
“H-Horizon!” shouted Mitotsudaira. “Vainglory! You need to show vainglory, remember!?”
“And if that’s her reaction to me, how would she react to Mito’s mom?” asked Asama.
“Now that you mention it, the lower limit is well-defined, but the upper limit just keeps growing, doesn’t it?”
They all laughed. And…
Bell: “Th-they’re going to hit you?”
While they all panicked, Asama beckoned their king over.
When he approached, she placed his hand on Horizon’s hand.
“Okay, I’m ready with the ether supply spell, so you can go ahead.”
The two of them nodded back.
“How about you fire one too, Asama-sama?” suggested Horizon. “The bow one, I mean.”
“No, no, no. I appreciate the kind offer, but no.”
“Kind?” the others asked, but they decided to drop it.
Then the other two turned toward Mitotsudaira.
“Nate, you support us from behind. There’s not much recoil, but I still don’t like having my back wide open.”
“I can make you a chair out of my chains.”
“With that settled.” Horizon pulled a black and white arm-like gunblade from behind herself. “It is time for the Muneshige Cannon.”
She fired immediately into the eastern sky where the sun was rising.
“I am so very sleepy.”
While she tried to wake herself up with her words, the black clawing tore up toward heaven.
The Lype Katathlipse counterattack scored a direct hit on the three approaching ships.
“Master Muneshige! Master Muneshige! A report from Nördlingen says Lype Katathlipse just sunk three ships in a single shot! That’s a triple score for the hit rate! Eh? N-no, I am not talking about myself! This is your victory!”
Suzu sensed the attack’s power.
Lype Katathlipse’s overdrive was a clawing power. That first crashed into the warships’ front armor and tore away large pieces of the steel panels while passing them by.
The rest was simple.
The clawing made its way into the inner hull, where it tore away at the interior and the frame.
A long and reverberating noise spread through the sky while the torn metal bent and snapped.
All of that force smoothly propagated aft and tore a hole in the stern.
Before long, all three ships had been reduced to a perfect cylinder, but not even that lasted long.
The threat was gone.
Suzu sensed Horizon’s attack gathering together and vanishing, but something was still bothering her.
…Didn’t that attack have a…longer range than before?
She was not sure, but if it did, did it have to do with what Asama had said before about the Logismoi Oplo?
She did not know, but she decided to compare this to the previous firings. And…
…Now we only have to worry…about the enemy ships to east.
They had to collect the others quickly. That would be simple enough with a transport ship, but that ship would take a lot of artillery fire from the enemy ships. So for now…
“Hurry into… Nördlingen…everyone!”
Even as she spoke, Musashi prepared to float. A great cloud of mist surrounded it and the engines began working at full capacity.
Even within the inertially-controlled bridge, Suzu could sense the vibrations coming from the engine division.
But just then…
Musashi: “To the east! I am detecting a powerful ether signal to the southeast of Nördlingen! I have found a match for the signal pattern. By my estimation, this is…”
All of a sudden, something was approaching from there. It was located almost directly to the right of the Musashi. Someone was standing on a warship positioned behind the hill there.
Bell: “U-um, the Holy Roman…Emperor!?”
Musashi: “Judge! This matches the signal detected at Magdeburg! He is targeting us with his Logismoi Oplo – Pheugos Gastrimargia. Over!”
“I must apologize, but even a puppet cannot bear to have you quit while you are ahead. I mean, this is the one and only glorious victory of all the battles I participate in.”
With that, Matthias targeted the Musashi from the deck of the aerial warship he had stopped behind a hill.
He held a large black and white arbalest.
That was Pheugos Gastrimargia and its power was…
“Anything hit by this will overload. So if I hit the Musashi, your engines will go berserk and you won’t be able to fly for a while. Of course, it will only affect the actual ship I hit.”
But if he could stop the Musashi here, the Battle of Nördlingen would not be over yet.
Once the eastern fleet returned, he had a chance of victory.
So he made sure his aim was true.
If he was being honest, he wanted to aim for the 1st central ship because that bridge-shaped bridge was super cool. But…
“It’s not like I have that kind of skill.”
He laughed bitterly and instead aimed the arbalest toward the 1st starboard ship.
Then a forest of light appeared in front of him.
The Musashi had opened all of its defense barriers to starboard. However…
“Yeah, you shouldn’t try too hard. It makes this so much harder for me.”
Even more light burst to the Musashi’s starboard, as if responding to his words.
The imperial fleet had concentrated its fire on the Musashi’s 1st starboard ship. And…
“Here it comes.”
He heard a quiet sound of something tearing through the air far to the east.
The attack fleet that had withdrawn to the east was providing ultra-long-range covering fire with the sunrise behind them.
“Now, this bombardment is concentrated and staggered in time. It’s so cool I can’t stand it. But how long can Musashi withstand it, I wonder?”
Nari Nari Nari: “Testament. A hole will open near the center of the 1st starboard ship’s barriers in another 12 seconds.”
Incredible, he thought. I mean, that hole that Mitsunari-kun mentioned is right in the very spot I am aiming at right now.
Being a name inheritor is a wonderful thing, he thought while counting out the seconds.
When Mitsunari heard Matthias counting, she nodded in satisfaction at what she had set up.
She was on the bridge of one of the warships withdrawn to the east.
That was one of her many instantiations spread out to communicate between ships, so she had coordinated with an instantiation back in Nördlingen to decide where to target.
Nari Nari Nari: “All ships, began moving west while you fire.”
She had a single goal here.
Nari Nari Nari: “If possible, we will destroy the Musashi after it is hit by Pheugos Gastrimargia. And if that is not possible, we can still damage it while it is stuck here.”
“So,” she said while opening an abacus lernen figur.
Nari Nari Nari: “We will repay them for what they cost us at the Keichou Campaign.”
She finished her calculations while speaking those words. She had compared the shell concentration from all the ships with the maximum number and range of defense barriers that Musashi could produce at once. And two seconds later…
“Emperor Matthias, you may fire.”
Matthias leaned out from the deck to ready Pheugos Gastrimargia.
There was an opening in the direction Pheugos Gastrimargia was pointed.
The gap in the defense barriers was only about 3m wide, but that was enough. The preparations were almost too perfect.
His target was enormous and the opening was right in front of him, so he would hit as long as he fired. Even a moron could hit like this. It felt like it was being delivered on a silver platter especially for the Emperor. It was a truly idiot proof setup.
…My puppet spirit is on fire!
After all, anyone could do this, but when he did it, he would be showered with praise. Even the name inheritors and other VIPs would be shouting “long live the emperor”.
How exciting. So he readied the weapon. He placed the arbalest to his side and chin while bright ether light surrounded it.
Suzu sensed the ether bolt soaring toward them at extreme close range. They had their defense barriers up, but…
The concentrated fire had shattered enough of them to create a hole. That would be filled in soon enough, but it was still a crucial gap in their defenses if it was aimed for.
The enemy would not overlook something like that.
Suzu recognized the attack fired their way. At Magdeburg, it had destroyed Futayo’s Tonbokiri in a surprise attack while she fought Shibata Katsuie.
So Suzu shouted a name when the bolt flew in.
Mitsunari had several instantiations of herself on the scene.
Their vision saw light bursting in the sky.
She heard a solid sound accompanied by ether light splitting in two. But that was not the result of Pheugos Gastrimargia hitting the Musashi.
“Bind, Tonbo Spare!”
It had been cut.
Matthias’s ether bolt had been split vertically down the center in midair.
That was only a spare of Tonbokiri, a pseudo divine weapon, but its cutting power rivaled that of the original.
So Pheugos Gastrimargia’s bolt burst in the sky.
With a screeching of metal, the rapidly-scattering ether light illuminated everything.
Thanks to that, Mitsunari could look down and see someone running up the side of the aerial ship stopped on the hill.
Futayo ran full speed up the wall.
She had a single target.
“That Logismoi Oplo!”
That weapon had once destroyed her Tonbokiri. Her own inexperience had allowed that to put her into a slump. I was worried about my own power, hit by a hammer, attacked in a bakery, spun around by Kimi-dono, and much more, but I somehow ended up doing just fine.
But when she thought about it…
“It all started with you!”
“Do not shift the blame from yourself!”
Some kind of glowing maid shouted at her from the deck. What in the world is that? How very strange. And…
“When did you get here!?” shouted the maid.
You do not know?
“Earlier, I woke up refreshed on Nördlingen’s main street and realized that Nagabuto-dono was no longer on my back! That was quite a failure on my part, so I had no choice but to run around Nördlingen looking for him. On the way, I passed by Horizon-sama and Asama-sama, so I greeted them and asked them what was happening. Horizon-sama was as knowledgeable as ever, so she told me they would take care of Nagabuto-dono and suggested we make an attack on the Holy Roman Emperor for some light morning exercise, so I ran up along Nördlingen’s wall. The city wall is still within Nördlingen’s protection, so I figured it would prevent you from locating me.”
“Everyone! We have a terrorist treating her attack like a morning jog!”
It was too late. Futayo reached out toward Matthias as he tried to move away from the edge of the deck.
No, toward his arbalest.
She grabbed it and pulled. She kicked his arm and tried to take it away, but…
The arm she kicked transformed.
She felt a clear springiness in the sole of her foot. It felt like there were no bones in his arm.
“Sorry about that.” He smiled bitterly and showed off his arm that was bent like a whip. “I can transform a bit too. Much like my freak of a brother.”
He’s a freak of an emperor! thought Futayo, but she also lost balance.
She had screwed up. She lost her footing, her body tilted, and her hand slipped from Pheugos Gastrimargia.
Of course, she could regain her balance easily enough.
But she could not bring back her tilted body and her hand had left Pheugos Gastrimargia.
She kicked outwards from the deck railing without Pheugos Gastrimargia in her grasp. Matthias was trying to pull it back in toward himself.
So she resisted. She aimed Tonbo Spare’s butt end toward the weapon, and…
Mitsunari saw Futayo begin to fall while making a complex set of actions in midair.
Musashi’s Vice Chancellor used the extended butt end of her spear to knock Pheugos Gastrimargia into the air.
Then she pulled her spear in close and used her knee to spin it forcefully through the air.
Pheugos Gastrimargia was caught on the shaft, so she was trying to launch it toward the Musashi using the principle of leverage.
However, it did not work very well.
After leaving its owner’s grasp, the Logismoi Oplo had lost all power in midair and adjusted itself.
Its light vanished and traces of ether light burst out. That impact caused the arbalest to slip away from the Musashi Vice Chancellor’s spear.
Pheugos Gastrimargia was now falling back down toward Mitsunari.
It would not be stolen and the Musashi Vice Chancellor was falling.
Farewell, thought Mitsunari just before the girl opened her mouth.
“Nagabuto-dono! Fulfill Horizon-sama’s task for you!”
A gunshot rang out.
North of Nördlingen, a boy held a sniper rifle on a field where the fighting had ended.
Smoke rose from the muzzle and the bullet flew.
His target was a 1.5km away and in midair. It was the giant arbalest that was beginning to fall.
The bullet struck the arbalest with a solid sound.
It flew straight toward the Musashi Vice Chancellor falling ahead of it.
She ignored how close she was to the ground and stretched out her arms.
She secured the Logismoi Oplo named Pheugos Gastrimargia.
In front of the Musashi, a transport ship approached Nördlingen’s south gate. The front of the ship had been destroyed, but it could still float.
Masazumi viewed everything from its deck.
Far ahead, everyone was returning from Nördlingen’s north gate.
With one newcomer.
Lady Nagaoka was a key figure since she was Sweden’s Chancellor and provided a connection to Akechi Mitsuhide.
…We’re going to be busy over summer break figuring out how to intervene in the Honnouji Incident.
It was still unknown what role that woman would play, but she was sure to bring even more excitement to Musashi.
For some reason, everyone was singing on their way back and they were being fired on from the east.
“Hurry on back! These defense barriers aren’t free, you know!?”
But Tomoe Gozen waved Masazumi’s way while she and her unit accompanied the others.
She was sure to have a variety of thoughts about this battle, but at the moment, she was smiling with eyebrows raised and she patted everyone on the shoulder when she caught up to them.
Masazumi also saw a figure flying from the western forest. That blue dragon was Bernard.
She looked him in the eye and nodded.
His efforts against the enemy unit to the southwest had kept those warriors away from Tomoe Gozen’s unit.
Based on the battle report…
…He fought to a draw with the enemy unit and the enemy was almost entirely obliterated.
Since he still had so much of his Celestial Dragon form left, he was probably satisfied with that result.
She also saw the M.H.R.R. assault unit in the southwest forest flipping off the dragon as he departed.
The battle was over for Bernard and for those M.H.R.R. warriors.
…When we meet again, will we be enemies?
She was unsure of that while the Celestial Dragon soared high.
She smiled bitterly as she watched him go.
“That’s one thing we have in common: we make a quick getaway when we can quite while we’re ahead.”
To her left, Futayo climbed up from below the deck.
She raised the giant arbalest in both hands.
“I did it!”
“Judge. That means a lot. And.” Masazumi raised her right hand and her voice. “I, Musashi Ariadust Academy Vice President Honda Futayo, have an announcement to make as Hexagone Française’s mercenary representative!”
“Musashi accepts ‘defeat’ in the Battle of Nördlingen and will now withdraw! Hurry!”
Sakon looked up to see the Musashi ascending and becoming a giant silhouette in the morning sky.
She was on her way to regroup with the main unit west of Nördlingen.
She could have returned by transport ship, but she had sort of felt like walking. However…
Kohime: “Onitakemaru-san, why are you so heavy?”
Onitakemaru: “I can’t help it when my connections were cut! The fact that you can walk at all is honestly a miracle!”
Really? You’re a little heavy, but walking isn’t too hard.
Anyway, she had seen a lot while circling around the north side of Nördlingen to reach the east.
With the defeat of the anti-imperials, the Protestant city of Nördlingen had bloodlessly opened its gates. So…
Onitakemaru: “They are serving breakfast and other things already. Do you want to go grab a bite?”
Kohime: “No, no. That’s nowhere near enough.”
She was starving. She could guess she had left a lot splattered out there. But…
“Oh, thank you so much for before!”
A few times, someone approached her and bowed down.
“Eh? Ehh? F-for what?”
Onitakemaru: “You protected some of them by taking those shells, remember? This must be about that.”
Hearing that, she came to a stop.
Onitakemaru: “What do you mean ‘oh’?”
Kohime: “Um, uh, but…was that really the right thing to do?”
Onitakemaru: “Right or wrong, it’s what you did. And these are the results. People who ask if something is right or wrong when they’re doing it tend to only care about looking like good people.”
Kohime: “Then…then I…”
Before she could finish her sentence, a lernen figur appeared next to her face.
It dropped down and spread out to form a full body.
It was Mitsunari.
This was her first time seeing the real deal. Or a full-body image, or whatever this was.
“Um, Sakon-sama, Onitakemaru-sama?”
Onitakemaru: “Stop stammering!”
Be quiet! But her commander smiled bitterly and continued.
“You two did very well. The overall result might not look good, but I think you gave us what we needed to do better next time.”
“Um,” said Sakon while nodding. Something was bothering her. “Mitsunari-sama? Uhh, why did you team me up with Onitakemaru-san?”
Had it been related to her upbringing?
Onitakemaru: “Yes, I would like to know that as well. What was your reasoning?”
“Testament.” Mitsunari nodded. “I made the decision after performing a detailed examination of the facts. So…”
“After interviewing the two of you, I decided that Onitakemaru-sama was the only one who could restrain Sakon-sama’s personality and that Sakon-sama was the only person who could easily sidestep Onitakemaru-sama’s personality.”
Mitsunari sounded so confident that Sakon could only manage a nod.
Onitakemaru: “That is a shocking truth.”
“It is,” agreed Sakon while finding herself laughing. Then she placed her hands underneath Mitsunari’s arms and lifted her up.
She’s so cute. My boss here will trust in and value my ability no matter what. And…
Onitakemaru: “What the hell are you doing?”
This Shogun has everything I wanted and will stay with me.
It was kind of incredible. It made so many things feel so much easier.
…Why is that?
Returning home had seemed so impossible before, but she oddly felt like she could return for an occasional visit now.
“Ah ha ha.”
Her voice was loud. Everyone was looking at her. Look, look, look at my commander. She’s so little and cute, but she’s so skilled.
“What is so amusing, Sakon-sama?”
“It’s morning. It took so long, but it’s finally morning. The sun is shining and everyone is here. Is it so wrong for that to make me laugh?”
Everyone exchanged a glance and then laughed as well.
“Getting mad won’t make things any better!”
“It’s morning and the sun is shining! Why ruin that by being in a bad mood!?”
They all stood up.
“Everyone, let’s grab something to eat! It’s breakfast time! This is the last day before summer break! Don’t forget that this is the hellish day where we find our report cards on the divine network once we get back to the ship! I hope you’re ready!”
“I’m ready in spirit, but my body can’t keep up!”
“Pretty sure it’s just your head that can’t keep up!”
They all laughed at that. Sakon laughed too. She laughed louder than them all while lifting her commander up high.
She was so glad the morning had arrived. So…
Onitakemaru: “Keep laughing. You can cry when you need to, but laugh whenever you can. It’s much easier for me that way.”
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