Horizon:Volume 8A Chapter 19
Chapter 19: Announcer from the Viewing Platform
Are you free during the break?
Do you have work to do?
Point Allocation (It Depends)
“So Musashi will be passing south of here today?”
Unno was using a water scoop to water the wooden planters on Sanada Academy’s roof.
Her injuries had yet to fully heal.
This was meant as exercise to assist her recovery and Mochizuki was helping her.
“Unno-sama, spreading your arms as much as possible while carrying the bucket would work toward the rehabilitation of your shoulders. As would not moving your wrist when swinging the water scoop. …As for Musashi, this is the third day since they left Sanuki, so we should see them between the southwestern mountains at around midday.”
“Why did I think it was a good idea to have you manage my rehab? …But why is Musashi coming this way all of a sudden? Weren’t they better off over there?”
“I doubt that information would be useful to us,” said Mochizuki while removing some weeds from the planters.
“How do they get weeds up on the roof?” asked Unno.
“This type has extremely small seeds which can be carried by the wind or birds. It is also possible the seeds were in the soil to begin with.”
“I see,” said Unno as she tapped the water scoop against her head. “Feels like I’m useless outside of combat and Shinto.”
“I apologize. I just happened to know that one is all.”
Then a few Terrestrial Dragons rose up from the forest in front of the academy. They were around 80m long and they began whispering among themselves while looking Unno’s way.
“Because Unno-san is the athletic type, you see.”
“She’s hopeless when it comes to cooking, isn’t she?”
“Should we help her out? Invite her to our next party?”
“You are very popular, Unno-sama,” noted Mochizuki.
“When you’re that big I can hear you whispering!” shouted Unno.
The dragons cried out in surprise and sank back into the forest, making Unno sigh.
“I really hope they’re actually doing their jobs. We’ve got some visitors coming for training, right?”
“Led by Katou Kiyomasa of the Hashiba Ten Spears, yes.”
Mochizuki looked southeast.
She gazed over the mountains, past the plains, and beyond the blue sky.
“Can you see it?” asked Unno.
“I have been able to for a while now. The Azuchi is there off the coast of Satomi.”
Mochizuki crouched low as was her habit when viewing a target.
“Which one is our enemy, I wonder.”
“That is a very Sanada question to ask. Some might have asked which is our ally.”
Unno thought about what that meant.
“Ha,” she laughed bitterly. “We supposedly paved the way to a new Sanada, so I’ve got to work on that.”
Just then, the door to the roof was kicked open.
They looked over to see a large man burst out and stomp on the floor several times.
“Dammit, dammit, dammit! What the hell!? Summer break was supposed to be my big summer debut. I was supposed to go to a training camp to get my mechanical horse license, meet a cute girl there, and ask her out. ‘Yes, I’ve developed a bit of a fear of girls lately thanks to some recent violence including a heel to the face. Ha ha. Oh, me? I’m Sanada Nobuyuki, Chancellor of Sanada Academy. I’m the herbivore type. Cause I live in the mountains. Ha ha ha.’ Then I flash her my pearly whites and it would’ve gone perfectly, but now the Azuchi is visiting for a training camp!? And if that wasn’t bad enough, the Musashi is coming back!? Papa is gone now and I can’t possibly suck up to both of them at the same time! Please come back, papa! Let me live on easy street!!”
Could you keep all that to yourself? wondered Unno while Mochizuki gave her a silent look that suggested she was thinking the same thing.
Then the herbivore type noticed them.
“Wh-what are you doing here!? Were you eavesdropping on me!?”
“It’s not eavesdropping when you shout it at us. And if anything, you’re the whiner type.”
“Is that any way to speak to your Chancellor!?”
A few Terrestrial Dragons stood up in the forest out ahead and waved their front legs side to side while glaring at him.
Then they sank back down into the forest.
“Damn them! I deserve more respect!! Listen, respect means you speak to me politely and do what I say while I sit down and eat like this!”
The supposed target of respect used his athletic ability to sit in an imaginary chair and then blew imaginary smoke from his mouth.
“Anyway, shouldn’t you be preparing for the Hashiba training camp?” asked Unno.
“What are you doing here?” added Mochizuki.
“Wh-what do you take me for!?”
“A survivor whose survival is honestly baffling.”
“Add that he is someone who is untouchable…while at home, Unno-sama.”
“D-dammit, you have to hit me where it hurts, don’t you!?”
Mochizuki opened a sign frame, grabbed it between two fingers, and tossed it to Nobuyuki.
“Wh-what’s this? A love letter!?”
“Wow, I’ve never seen Mochizuki give anyone that look before.”
“I am sorry, Unno-sama, but I could not help myself.”
“You two! Stop moving from one comment to another so fast! I can’t keep up! And what is this!?”
“Very well,” acquiesced Mochizuki while continuing to weed the planters. “I wrote up a list of things Sanada’s Chancellor should really get done today. As an automaton, I would appreciate it if you added ‘go to sleep and never wake up’ to the very end.”
“Oh, so you’re saying you’ll come wake me up instead!?”
“Yeah, he’s a survivor all right,” thought Unno as she glared at the man holding up the sign frame in both hands.
“Hey!” he shouted back at them.
“What is it now?”
“Thanks!” he smiled. “Papa and the others left me in charge, but I’m no good at thinking things through! I’ll use this to guide me for now, so give me another one when I’ll need it!”
“Is that any way to ask for a favor?”
“I’m the Chancellor, remember!?” He ran back down toward the hallway. “Wait for me, cuties at the training grouuuuund!”
Unno sighed at the very un-ninja-like pounding of his feet. And…
“If he comes to complain again, I recommend throwing that at him.”
“Good point.” Unno relaxed her shoulders. “How does he have so much energy during summer break?”
“That is his natural state, but it does make me want to avoid him.” Then Mochizuki noticed something. “Oh, Unno-sama, your arm is moving well.”
Sure enough, she could move her arm more than she thought. The movement was more light than smooth. She kind of felt like her arm was still being supported by a sling, but…
“At least he helped rid me of my excess tension.”
She waved the empty water scoop and stopped it in midair. It was pointing southwest.
“I wonder if Musashi has as much energy as ever.”
“Okay, it’s getting hot and we’ll be entering Kantou soon. You should be busy once we arrive, so let’s get your last retest out of the way.”
Masazumi wore her summer uniform as she listened to their homeroom teacher’s voice up at a windy spot.
Everyone was gathered on Musashino’s bow deck. And…
“Um, Sensei, we’re actually still busy this morning, so I would appreciate it if we could get this exam done sooner rather than later.”
“Huh? I thought you were free this morning.”
Augesvarer raised her hand in response while Kimi combed her mussed-up hair.
“Not only are the supplies still coming in, but the empty cargo containers from Mouri have already arrived. Then again, we’re lucky they arrived this soon.”
“That plus what we received from Sanuki should give us full use of the next 58 hours instead of just 24 hours.”
“That’s true,” said Asama while opening a few sign frames. So many different nationalities of ship are passing through the Musashi’s barrier, so I have to continue the docking procedure even as we travel.”
“Sorry about that, Asama-chi. This is making us a lot of money, so I’ll thank you later.”
“Yes, yes,” said Asama.
Masazumi knew that girl had not been anywhere other than the Student Council rec room and Suzu’s Bath for the past two days. In fact, most of them had been doing that.
…This is a huge burden on us all.
“I won’t say I’m sorry, though. Because we have a good reason for all of this,” said Masazumi. “It means a lot to enter Kantou early. Staying in the Udon Kingdom like that would have been nice too, but we have a safer and more justifiable reason to return to Kansai.”
“Are we using the Swedish Chancellor?”
“Hmm. We would need a signature for that, so we can’t be so open about it.”
“We have a number of last resorts here, which means we have other options.”
“We need Hashiba’s help as well.”
“Hashiba’s?” asked Mitotsudaira.
She had a hunch she knew what Masazumi was thinking. If they would be returning again to the west from Kantou, then they would have to use something in Kantou.
They would have to use their political position and their physical supplies for that. So…
…I can make a pretty good guess.
But she did not know how that could be used to send them back to Kansai. Their preparations for that must not have been complete. At any rate…
“We can work on that as our own problem later,” said Mitotsudaira. “Sensei, what kind of exam will this be? And,” she added. “Naomasa and the Tachibana Couple are in Satomi, so what about them?”
“Hm, we’ll figure something out for them, I guess.”
That woman was as irresponsible as ever, which did not seem ideal for a teacher.
“I ate a bit too much last night, so I’m in the mood for some exercise.”
They all tilted their heads and she smiled.
“Judge. So let’s make this a quick and simple exam.”
“I’ll run to the academy and you win if you can hit me just once on the way. We can take a break there once it’s over.”
Oriotri watched their reactions.
They did more than just tense up.
Asama hid a yawn with her left hand while raising her right.
Several pieces of metal fell from the sky. They were transport pallets made by modifying reinforced bamboo launchers for use in battle.
They contained the silver chains, Tonbo Spare, Umetsubaki, and…
“I’m tired, so let’s say this is enough, Margot.”
“I hate that Unturning Centipede was destroyed, but I can still transfer in the mandible swords and the legs.”
All of the pallets popped open and they all retrieved their weapons from within.
Then they all came at her at once.
There was no hesitation and no one had signaled the beginning of the battle. But once they had clearly-defined winning and losing conditions, they made their move. Behind them, Neshinbara already had a sign frame open and was sending instructions.
…Did he guess this would happen and worked out some strategies on the way up? If so, well done!
Oriotri dashed back and started to jump, but…
She noticed a shadow overhead and then Raging Beast dropped down at her from directly overhead.
The crash was a series of metallic impacts and wooden splintering.
Adele raised her right arm to say Raging Beast had been successful launched from the engine division.
“We did it! I’m glad I had it ready for launch at any moment just in case something happened in Kantou!”
She ran forward to find the engine division had done outstanding work. Raging Beast had actually landed on its feet.
The legs were held together for landing and not even their teacher’s gorilla-like strength could have saved her from that metallic stomp.
Come to think of it, maybe this is bad?
“Sensei! Are you all right!?”
After checking, Adele ran toward Raging Beast. She heard her classmates’ footsteps running up behind her, but as she approached first…
Their teacher was waving from between Raging Beast’s legs.
She was perfectly fine. In fact…
The following “no” was erased by the impact to Adele’s hastily-raised spear.
Their teacher had burst from between Raging Beast’s legs and swung her sword up from below. The very end of that attack had caught at Adele’s spear, lifting her feet from the deck.
She was launched backwards.
Adele suppressed her voice in the air.
She had been sent airborne by an attack. That much was fine. Well, no, it’s not. But it wasn’t right to be thrown from the deck when just the tip of a sword caught you.
…But last time, she managed to spank me with it, so I’ve improved a lot to actually defend myself!
Yes, she had gotten her defenses up this time. She had only been lifted from the deck, so she only had to stick the landing and continue her pursuit.
They had a lot of fast people, so she could continue on with them and avoid a similar mistake again.
…Like the 1st and 5th special Duty Officers!
“Okay, Mary-dono, let’s go for it!”
“My king, Horizon, I will carry you with my silver chains!”
Adele suddenly felt very lonely. In fact, she felt like those two had become a lot slower than her. Did that mean she was their class’s top sprinter because she was single? No, there was still the Vice Chancellor.
…But she acts almost entirely on a whim.
At any rate, she wanted to keep her motivation from dropping quite so rapidly. I’m doing a good job here. I nearly crushed her with my mobile shell and I blocked her counterattack.
That just left landing.
Just as their teacher slipped past Raging Beast and prepared to dash away, Adele pursued, quick on her feet. She knew she could catch up and launch an attack from behind.
Defeating their teacher would be difficult, but even if she failed at that, she could still buy some time for the others to catch up. So…
“Here I go!”
“Adele!” shouted Asama from behind.
What is it? she wondered while looking back.
“Watch out, please.”
Hassan flew in from behind her with a giant plate held overhead.
He had probably been aiming for Oriotri, but he ended up on the same path as her.
Everyone saw Hassan added to the defeated list.
He was lucky that his plate was not broken and Masazumi brought a hand to her chin while carried over Futayo’s shoulder.
“That’s the last thing Balfette needed after last night. Because-”
“Because she was hit with ‘a plate’ after being ‘up late’?” Horizon easily predicted the answer but then hit herself in the head. “I do apologize, Masazumi-sama. You were making such a clever pun based on how similar those two pairs of words sound – yes, you must have spent the last three days and three nights coming up with it in the hopes of bringing yourself closer to the rest of us – and yet I went ahead and ruined it for you. Now, if anyone is having trouble figuring out why such a lame pun is funny, allow me to explain-”
But when they all ran over, they found Adele collapsed with the large curry plate resting on her head.
“If you ask me, this looks like the corpse of a curry villain from a children’s TV show,” said Ohiroshiki.
“If so, it’s gonna explode in a few more seconds,” said Toori.
“How heavy is that curry anyway?” asked Mitotsudaira.
“Around 7kg including the plate,” helpfully supplied Hassan.
“Oh? So her head was crushed by 7kg?” said Horizon. “That means Adele-sama was taken out by curry, but that is probably how she would have wanted to go.”
“Hey, quit standing around and come after me!”
Their teacher’s voice got their stopped feet moving again. Asama sent Adele a healing sign frame and Neshinbara sent her some instructions. Then it was time to move from Musashino’s bow to the warehouse district below.
“Let’s get to it!”
Their teacher had already descended the stairs from the bow.
The class rushed after her.
Novice: “Hassan-kun has an impressive record against some truly monstrous foes, so losing him and his curry hurts a lot.”
10ZO: “Yes, I was thinking that his curry might be capable of defeating Sensei.”
Unturning: “Does Musashi think curry is like a sacred sword or something?”
Uqui: “Narumi, can you eat a sacred sword? You cannot. Does it have mild and spicy varieties? It does not. Can it satisfy an entire family? It cannot. Thus, curry is superior to a sacred sword and it is rude to curry to compare them.”
Unturning: “I appreciate the valuable lesson.”
Gold Mar: “Anyway, we’re going on ahead!”
Naito and Naruze leaped into the open air from the top of the stairs.
They had already filled their wings with air, so they only had to flap them.
They soared upwards with brooms in hand.
“Should we summon Weiss Fräulein and Schwarz Fräulein!?”
“I think these are good enough for catching up and shooting her. And,” said Naruze. “We’re not stupid enough to challenge Sensei to close-quarters combat. We’ll move out ahead and snipe her from beyond her reach. Even if we can’t hit her, we can at least slow her down.”
“We’ll set up shop at the academy before she arrives.”
“Judge,” said Naito while placing the broom between her legs. She activated its spells, placing the acceleration spells around it.
“Okay, let’s go.”
She pointed toward the academy, but…
Something grazed her cheek at high speed. She knew what it was: a large bullet made of light.
“That’s a slowdown bullet used for mock battles.”
“Indeed it is,” said a male voice while deep laughter echoed down from above. “They’re also known as decay spells used to stop violators. …This is part of my job, so let’s do this, Zwei Fräulein.”
Naito looked up to see a familiar face. No, two familiar faces.
“Almirante and Wild Kamelie!”
“If you don’t Verwandlung, I won’t either!” The woman that flew in already had an attack Magie Figur open. “Your teacher asked me to do this. Sorry if you fail your exam cause of me!!”
Mitotsudaira saw a battle beginning in the air.
She was currently racing through Musashino’s city. She was pursuing their teacher while her king and Horizon sat in silver chain chairs. However…
“Sensei, you asked for help!?”
“That’s right,” said a voice from up ahead. “It wouldn’t be much of a final exam if I didn’t up the ante a little!”
Their teacher’s voice was already growing distant. The provisional council building was located toward the bow and the business and government buildings were spread out aftward from there. The mansion used by the Knight’s League was there as well, but…
…None of it helps us stop Sensei!
That was why Naito and Naruze had gone on ahead, but those two had been stopped by enemy reinforcements.
Novice: “This is the reverse of the usual route, which poses a problem. She normally pulls out ahead in Okutama’s nature district, but we catch back up in the residential district. Because we can travel on the roofs. But Musashino has more government buildings than residences and has less foot traffic, so she can run right through the city.”
That was bad. Because…
Sticky King: “We normally end at Asakusa or Shinagawa, but this route is shorter by a ship or two!”
Obscene: “That means an initial head start can make all the difference. We’re in trouble!”
Vice President: “Um, is that true?”
“Judge,” confirmed Mitotsudaira while moving out ahead. She pulled her king and Horizon in close, so they were effectively sitting on her shoulders. “The residential and business districts let us use the roofs and they cover the center of Musashino back to the stern, along with the bow of Okutama. Sensei’s speed will drop there, but she can speed up on the rope pathway between the ships and she can make a last spurt in Okutama’s nature district right at the end.”
“With a distance this short, her stamina is irrelevant and the multiple opportunities to speed up are a problem. In that case…”
“I will take the lead!”
Futayo did exactly that.
Narumi was among the leading cluster.
The Vice Chancellor was on the left, the Mito Lord was in the center, and Urquiaga and Narumi herself were on the right.
They ran down a straight path leading directly to the residential district. And if the teacher was going to lay on the speed…
“A burst of acceleration!”
“Judge,” he said while accelerating.
That aerial half-dragon was plenty tough, but he also rivalled the fully-equipped Technohexen in speed.
Narumi crouched down and jumped onto his arm.
Half-dragons held their arms out front when flying, so he naturally ended up holding her as he flew.
…I was always comfortable with this.
She could entrust this flight with him. He even bent his elbow just enough to give her more of a seat.
Then he shot forward. His initial speed was blazing fast. He instantly passed the Vice Chancellor and Mito Lord at low altitude.
“Here we go,” said Narumi.
Go they did.
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