Horizon:Volume 8A Chapter 7
Chapter 7: Vertically Separated Comprehenders
It is time
It is distance
It is status
Point Allocation (Mutual)
Terumasa saw his old friend’s face in the evening sky.
But right now, she was smiling bitterly.
“ ‘Oh, Nabeshima’? That’s all you have to say? …Anyway, how are things going?”
“They’re not. This thing is busted.”
“Isn’t that why we called you in to fix it up with your spell? Or is it too bad for that?”
“But why do I have to do it?”
Oops, she just got after me for complaining. But it’s so easy to complain when I don’t want to work.
Still, she must have understood how he felt.
“Yeah, sorry about this. Kiyomasa left me in charge of this since you were coming. If you need someone to really motivate you, I could call the upperclassmen over. Should I?”
“I don’t want to bother them.”
He knew his position here. He was not a fighter and he had only been able to watch the Keichou Campaign, yet here he was with everyone who had fought and lost that largescale battle. So…
…I feel so out of place.
Meanwhile, some people lined up on either side of Nabeshima. Five in all.
They were old men of varying heights and they all had their arms crossed.
“Looks like you could use some motivation!”
“Lucky for you, we’re here. Because…”
“We are the Four Heavenly Kings of Ryuuzouji!”
Oh, these are the people Nabeshima was talking about, he thought, but he also tilted his head.
“What? You got a problem with the Four Heavenly Kings of Ryuuzouji!?”
“There are five of you.”
“Indeed, the five of us are the Four Heavenly Kings!”
“Why not call yourselves the Five Heavenly Kings?”
The men exchanged a glance and then were at each other’s throats.
“This is all your fault!”
“H-how dare you make that young man doubt us!”
“Wait, everyone, try to stay positive here! This means we’re famous enough that some kid knows who we are! We must take pride in what our lady has accomplished! Nevertheless, this is still all your fault!”
Since a fistfight broke out over his suggestion, Terumasa concluded the Five Heavenly Kings was not a valid option. Nabeshima glared over at them and waved her hand to tell him not to worry about it, so this must have been the exhausting norm for them.
But at the same time, Terumasa noticed a bandage around her hand.
…She was injured?
Terumasa relaxed his shoulders.
…This is tricky.
While he sat around doing nothing at all, things changed and his friends got hurt.
Of course, he doubted he could have changed any of that if he had been there. But still…
“I was called here, wasn’t I?”
He told himself to focus on the reality around him. He had to be aware of the current situation.
Above him, Nabeshima was smiling while watching the Four Heavenly Kings fight.
She had a nice smile. He much preferred seeing that than when she had been worrying over her future without confiding in anyone.
He knew that smile well, but this time it was thanks to her current life at Ryuuzouji. In that case…
…None of them need me around to do their best and achieve their goals.
He had recently decided to stop worrying so much. He was surrounded by talented people and the people working for him were surprisingly considerate given that he was younger than them.
The ordinary people and his parents were the same. No one saw an inexperienced name inheritor like him as any more than an instructor or someone to advance their interests.
Besides, receiving flattery from someone else – even a superior – did not actually improve your skill. If you wanted compliments, you had to prove your skill first.
That meant he had to stop worrying about his presence here. No one else cared. And if anyone did, it was because they were overly sensitive about their own presence here.
…I love to get after myself, don’t I?
But it really gets to me when someone else does it.
That was why he had trouble with combat since the results and responsibility arrived immediately. With construction, he could take his time and, if there was any kind of problem, he could say “B-but look how nice this part is! This pro more than makes up for that con, right!?” In fact, he had used that trick twice during the practical part of his name inheritor exam.
So he had to do this. If he did make a mistake…
…My pros will make up for the cons. Probably.
“How long do I have?”
“They told me ASAP.”
I see, he thought. There was a lot he had never before attempted with his spell, so there were a lot of unknowns. He appreciated that the higher ups had taken that into consideration.
But he knew one thing thanks to his construction education.
If he did this the normal way, it was a 2-week job. Repairing it to a barely working level would take 10 days and a complete repair would take 2 weeks.
He wanted to reach that first level, but doing it by August 10 would be difficult. Since he was involved, he knew he had to shorten that somehow.
Nabeshima placed a hand above her eyes to look down at him.
He could see the bandages on that hand. They bound it all the way to the wrist. She waved her hand to say she was fine, but the healing charm would be reducing the pain. Also…
…It was enough for her to agree to a bandage.
She did not like to let this kind of thing show. The general mood here had probably helped make it easier for her to accept, but…
“Hey,” he asked. “Where’s Asano?”
“I see,” he said.
…Nothing out of the ordinary there.
He opened a lernen figur and…
A humanoid white Mouse emerged from his neck hard point part.
“Huh? A new pet?” asked Nabeshima overhead.
“No, this is the Shirasagi Castle’s controller. She’s homeless right now and she’s pretty useful when it come to repairs, so I’m keeping her with me.”
“Hm, so you were picking up chicks while we were out fighting? I’m impressed.”
“Look, now you’ve made her mad. Please try to keep her in a good mood. Because…” Terumasa crouched down and handed the lernen figur to the Mouse. Then he pointed to the giant thruster in front of him. “Osakabe-hime, can you read this?”
The Mouse, Osakabe-hime, instantly regained her original form. She became a tall girl. Her white hair spread out in the air before fading away and creating several lernen figurs.
Immediately, an alarm sounded in the sky above the stern.
This specific alarm was for an intruder alert, but…
“Hm? They caught me-me-me-me-me?”
“What did you do!?”
“Extracted the plans-ans-ans-ans-ans.”
Now that she mentioned it, he noticed the lernen figurs were displaying the plans for the Azuchi’s thruster and the surrounding structure. He had intended to give her a general outline of the current structure, but…
“Nabeshima-sama. Nabeshima-sama,” said a shipwide announcement. “Please contact Azuchi Repairs HQ right away. Shaja.”
“What the hell did you do, Ikeda!?”
“It was kind of me, but it wasn’t me me!”
“It was you!”
Terumasa copied the diagram Osakabe-hime had produced and put it in a folder labeled “For Submission”.
…Can I manage to repair the general components in 7 days?
If he managed that, would the praise manage to overpower his own self-consciousness?
“Anyway, my general rating of our first term would be ‘don’t ask me how, but everything worked out well enough in the end’.”
“Way to toot your own horn there, Seijun!”
“I’m talking about all of you too!”
Masazumi’s voice rose into the evening sky.
They stood on the stairs in front of Musashi Ariadust Academy.
It was only evening, but during the summer that meant it was already nearly 6PM. She saw the two Technohexen flying up into the sky for their evening shift and she adjusted her grip on the paper bag full of her things.
They had somehow managed to finish cleaning up the Student Council rec room.
…I had a surprising number of spare clothes there.
But she still had less than the others, but was that because the others were sloppy or because she just did not own many clothes? It was also worrying that Futayo was only carrying Tonbo Spare with her. We aren’t going to get back from summer break to find her desk full of mold, are we?
“Vice President, you’ve been muttering to yourself a lot today.”
“Yeah, a lot of the usual stuff happened today. Don’t let it get to you, Balfette.”
She looked up into the sky to see the two Technohexen were no longer looking their way. They were flying next to each other on their way to Murayama’s shipping port to accept a delivery from Sanuki.
As for the group down here…
“I guess we have our party to go to.”
“Who wants to eat for free at the Udon Kingdom!” shouted Horizon while raising both hands.
Everyone else raised their hand too, so…
“Let’s leave our things at home and then gather on Okutama’s bow deck at 7. We can celebrate the entire first term and that we got to skip the Kantou Liberation. Since the Kantou group hasn’t joined us yet.”
“Then let’s make it a celebration for Nördlingen!”
Gold Mar: “In that case, tell us where you’re going. We’ll stop by during our dinner break.”
Art-Ga: “We’d also appreciate it if you told us where you’re headed after that.”
“Oh, I’ve been looking into places, so I’ll make a reservation for us.”
Balfette was quick. She must have done a lot of research, thought Masazumi.
…But I’m no good at this stuff.
Then another thought hit her.
“We’re carrying all our stuff from the first term out of the academy and we’re planning a party, so why doesn’t it feel like summer break to me yet?”
“I-it doesn’t for any of us, which is why we’re trying to remedy that with the party, Vice President!” said Balfette.
“Masazumi-dono, you are the one who told us we weren’t getting a summer break,” added Crossunite.
She did not have a rebuttal for that one. But…
“Anyway, we have a plan, so everyone in charge of a task needs to send regular reports to either the Student Council rec room or to me directly. I’ll be in that room every day except Saturdays and event days.”
“You aren’t going to take any time off, Masazumi?”
“Listen up, everyone!” cut in the idiot. “Seijun-kun is lonely and has no friends, so let’s figure out how to make sure she gets invited along with everyone else!”
“Shut the hell up!”
“In fact, you can just invite her yourself, everyone. I know any of you can get everyone to show up if you try.”
So can you, thought Masazumi, but she knew it was best not to say anything here.
“Vice President, do you want to be in the rec room at all times because you think something is going to happen?”
The Date Vice Chancellor asked that more for confirmation than as a pure question and Masazumi nodded.
But first, she pointed down the stairs. Balfette had made their reservation, so it would be unnatural to stop walking here. In fact, the people at the bottom of the stairs and in the park below were already reacting.
“Eek! Th-they’re looking this way!”
“Are they plotting to overthrow another enemy nation!?”
“Wow! This is just like when they decided to fight back against the Testament Union!”
The scary part was how none of it was exactly wrong. Well, except for the part about looking their way. They were imagining that. But…
“We’ve made our plans for summer break, but I bet the other nations are holding their own emergency meetings. Assuming their leaders aren’t just dictating whatever they want.”
Horizon raised her hand.
“Masazumi-sama, what do you mean by dictating?”
“You don’t know something as simple as that, Horizon!? C’mon, tell her what it means, Sis!!”
“Dick-tasting!? Masazumi, you have such a dirty mind! You really think the leaders of the other nations are using summer break to master their skills with chicken skewers!? With salt!? Or with sauce!? No, if you want to do it hardcore, you need to add chili powder! That makes it so super spicy it’ll knock out both participants!”
“Can you all please just shut up!?” shouted Masazumi.
“I am disgusted with this boy for passing it off to Kimi-sama instead of making his own bad joke,” added Horizon.
“Yay!” celebrated the idiot and his sister with a high five. Horizon, Asama, and Mitotsudaira did the same for no real reason. It looked like they were sharing the happiness, but…
“C’mon, Masazumi, you too!”
“No, I’d rather not.”
She felt it was best if she did not grow too friendly with that group. However…
“Anyway, Masazumi, what is the most dangerous plan the other nations could take against Musashi?” asked Mitotsudaira.
“Judge, it can be easy for us to overlook it because the problem is actually too big, but it’s this.” She pointed straight down. “The Musashi’s current location is a problem. As I’ve said several times today. We were told to return to Kantou by August 10, but we don’t want to do that. So…”
“Someone from Hashiba is bound to show up here. In order to force us to go to Kantou.”
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