Horizon:Volume 1 Chapter 04
Thinking about what might be wrong.
Yet having no idea what to do.
Point Allocation (Decisiveness)
Two figures stood in front of the classroom with a 3-Plum signboard hanging above the door.
A middle-aged man and a young man.
The middle-aged man is dressed in white-tights and a significantly extra large jacket decorated with gold. A crown is perched on top of his head. Around his right arm fastened an armband bearing the emblem of Testament Union with embroidered words, "Musashi King and Vice Principal".
The slender young man next to him, dressed in Murashi Ariadust uniform for male students, was lugging a traveler's bag with his left hand.
The young man looked at his companion. After redirecting his gaze to the door before them, he spoke,
"She said she'll be back right away, but she sure is taking her time, Yoshinao-kyoutou[1E 1]."
"Indeed. These commoners should learn the manners of not keeping our crowned prince waiting."
Yoshinao faced the young man with the name tag, "Azuma".
"This is preposterous. I can't believe they are throwing you into this kind of class upon your return to Academy after a long time of absence. Principal Sakai sure is quite imprudent."
"This is the best conclusion in pursuant with law. Also, I'm not a crowned prince anymore..."
You've got to be kidding, Yoshinao replied.
"Although the Testament Union had sealed your powers as they ordered and even stripped your political authorities, it still doesn't change the fact that you are the son of the emperor. Honestly, a celebrity king like me[1E 2], who was dispatched by the Testament Union from Hexagon Francoise, is quite delighted by your return."
Uh-huh, nodded Azuma. Yoshinao continued,
"However, you can't refute the coldness of Musashi citizens. To prove that, no one came to pick you up on the day of your arrival besides myself."
"Oh, no. The Testament Union figured it might turn into a commotion if they let Musashi know of my exact arrival time, that's why I came here in an express plane. And I actually prefer this way. No ruckus. Everything going smoothly."
"You're very kind, Azuma-kun. Covering up for your people."
Yoshinao folded his arms, nodding in satisfaction.
Yoshinao is not originally from Musashi. He used to be a feudal lord somewhere in the outskirt of Hexagon Francoise. His ability was recognized by his locals, so he was chosen by the Union to become Musashi King for a certain deal.
...Still, I came here shouldering a very big responsibility. Why? Because right now--
1648, the present year, the world currently has no established international organization because nothing like that was written in the Testament. However, solidarity between countries is absolutely necessary after the collapse of Harmonic Divine States.
For that very reason was the Testament Union founded, a religious meeting that has always been held since old days in Europe.
Whenever a holding of religious conference was stated in history, the representative of each nation in the Union uses that opportunity to gather together, exchange opinions and makes some adjustments. Other than that times, they also make sure to keep in touch with each other as nation branches conduct their businesses.
In short, this is how they established an artificial international organization, albeit restrained by various conditions.
The Board of Education that dispatches teachers are actually associated with the nation's branches.
...People sometimes refers to it as Board of Education Union.
The Far East's Board of Education had dispatched Yoshinao to Musashi to act as supervisor. 160 years since the end of the Unification War, in order to circumvent political and military suppression, a King was delegated by the Testament Union to supervise Musashi's administration and management instead.
Since the Musashi King has a power over the Chancellor's Board and Student Council, as well as rights over Musashi, without Yoshinao's approval, administration and management in Musashi wouldn't function properly.
Therefore, Yoshinao thinks of himself as "The Director of Peace and Order".
"Yet, everyone doesn't give me even a tiny bit of respect."
"W-What's wrong, Mr. Vice Principal?"
"Ah, it's nothing", Yoshinao rendered the words he accidentally let slipped inconsequential.
Ever since Yoshinao came here in Musashi, he has no recalling of students treating him with respect. Especially that particular Chancellor who always makes fun of him by calling him "Maro".
...Only Maro(myself) can call Maro(me), Maro! (T/L refer to note 2)
This is all the Far East's Board of Education's fault!, he thought to himself.
The nation's branches were liable to act in their own accords because the Testament Union couldn't arrange a periodical meeting. Far East's branch is in Izumo, which is under the jurisdiction of the guidance committee, so the dispatch order came in from there, but...
...They are overlooking a very dire situation!
Azuma, the son of the emperor just came back, and they won't let him inside the classroom. The door is kept shut, and a voice of the advising teacher inside just said, "Give me a few minutes!".
Five minutes has passed and it's still like this. What the two could make are whispers of students coming beyond the classroom, like,
"S-Sensei don't exert too much force there. Ah, see? the hole just got bigger. At this rate, we'll be unable to completely cover it."
"Careful Heidee! That part with a crotch impression, don't touch it with a bare hand or you'll get contaminated!"
"But if I don't, the support will... Eww, gross. What's this sticky liquid dripping from the bottom of the paper?"
"Just what kind of iniquitous sacrilege were you all transgressing in this consecrated classro----!!!"
Yoshinao immediately swung the door open, yelled his reproach but was unable to finish it. What appeared before his eyes is a figure of a naked man, standing upright with both fists thrusting upwards towards the ceiling.
Yoshinao shut the door in reflex.
Azuma beside him is making a "Eh? Eh?" face, wondering what was wrong with Yoshinao.
"Wh-What's the matter, Mr. Vice Principal!? Is something wrong!?"
Yoshinao, with back leaned against the door, shook his head.
"I-It's nothing, Azuma-kun! Yeah, it's nothing!"
And then they heard blows as if a palm is striking the door from inside the classroom.
"Heeey Marooo! That was you right!? Why are you staying there? Why don't you come inside if you want to come in! No one here really hates you. In fact, nobody actually cares."
"Hey, Toori! Will you quit strip-dancing over there and give us a hand here?"
"Ah Teach. Maro is just right outside and won't come in. It seems he's getting embarassed. But I guess that couldn't be helped. He doesn't know what to do in this kind of situation. That Maro, he loves cosplaying as the king in a playing cards, because of that he has trouble making friends. Hey, everyone! Next time you see Maro reading a manga in one corner giggling silently by himself, don't be afraid to talk to him, alright?"
...That brat... I swear I'll lynch him someday!
Yoshinao faced his companion. Azuma is looking up to his face, flabbergasted. Realizing the situation, Yoshinao flusteredly said,
"R-Rest assured. I do have someone I can call a friend."
From inside the classroom, Toori's voice said,
"Oh, that's right. Guess I was worrying for nothing. Maro has at least a friend right, Neshinbara?"
That's right. As expected of this Academy's Chancellor, you're quick on the uptake.
In Toori's words, Neshinbara replied,
"You mean that? Last wagon sale we bought up all the stocks of that IZUMO-brand mind-training game titled, "Essential Communication Skills for Lonely People - Make 100 Friends in 1 Week!", and then sent all the packages in a whole box to the King's house, right? And then we put a message with it, which I wrote for all us, "Since your highness is distressedly friendless, please think of this as your friend. ---From all of Musashi students.". I see. That's what 'his friend' the king was talking about."
"...So it was all your fault that these last few days my wife has been making a worried face everytime she looks at me!!"
Yoshinao, enraged, swung the door open once again.
The naked body is there no more, but a female teacher.
The beaming female teacher, Oriotorai said,
"Ah, King-sama. I'm really sorry but we're not finished cleaning up yet."
"Eh? No, you see."
Yoshinao directed his gaze beyond Oriotorai's back, to the wall near the window.
"I think I saw a human-shaped hole over there and someone was gluing a paper over it as if like---"
The door was suddenly closed. From inside the classroom, came immediately the voice,
"Everyone! We seriously need to hurry up! The king is starting to grow suspicious of us. That guy, he is surprisingly sharp about small details."
"Teach! Teach! That hole is not small at all! But whatever. Listen everyone!"
That was Toori's voice.
"It's too bad Seijun cannot make it today. But anyway, don't forget we will have a meeting for my confession plan right after class and ghost-busting party later tonight. Prepare yourself everyone! 'Cause tonight will be a blast!"
"Oi, wait a minute! We're still in the middle of class. You sure got guts ignoring me while I'm teaching here, huh? Do you wanna get slapped that bad?"
"Huh!? What Teach!? Just because you got huge tits, you think you can scare me with tha-ackk!?"[1E 3]
The whole classroom shook at the same time Toori said that last word.
"Ackk?", Azuma asked himself, pondering its significance.
And then from inside the classroom, Azuma heard a calm voice,
"Sensei. Please be careful not to break the classroom. By the way, I think I saw Azuma right outside the door."
"Right! I completely forgot about him! I was too busy saving my hide."
2 seconds after Oriotorai said that and the door opened for the third time. Oriotorai, beaming once again, looked at Azuma,
"Oh my~ Azuma. It has been a long time. How do you find Musashi now? You'll be living in the dorm from now on, right? I'll make sure to let you know where your room is once it is decided."
"Oriotorai-kun. Watch your manners. You musn't refer to Azuma-kun without honorifics. You should call him Azuma-sama or--"
"Ah, right. Please pardon my lack of manners, King-sama. I'll make sure it won't happen next time. ---So Azuma, you want to come inside? Right?"
Not giving Azuma the opportunity to give an answer, Oriotorai grabbed Azuma's head with right-hand and offhandedly pulled him inside the room.
Yoshinao, having been left alone,
"Hold it right there!"
Yoshinao directed his gaze once more beyond Oriotorai's back, towards the direction where the hole in the wall is. What he saw there, was a figure of 2 person standing in front of the wall. One is a half-naked giant wearing an iron mask, and the other one is a plump guy. If he recalls the name correctly, the giant is called Persona-kun while the blimp is called Ginji Ohiroshiki. Thanks to the bulky muscle and the rotundity of their body, the wall is completely sheltered from Yoshinao's vision.
"Oriotorai-kun. Could it be those two people are standing there to camouflage the hole in--"
"Ehh!? Wh-What are you talking about King-sama? There's no human hole in the wall! I'm not lying, really! Actually I made those two stand there because... uhh... That's right! We're doing Biology class right now! And uhh... I'm showing the whole class what will happen to your body if you only eat meat or pizza everyday."
Her face became straight.
"In other words, we're still in the middle of class! Can you wait until later?"
The door was violently slammed close right after Oriotorai said her last word. Yoshinao, finally left alone, felt an urge to kick the door, but managed to restrain himself. His common courtesy had successfully dissuaded him from committing a misbehavior. It is not an act a King should do.
Yoshinao folded his arms, giving the door a glare. From within came the loud cheers and claps of students warmly welcoming Azuma. And with a nod, he wheeled round, turning his back against the door.
Yoshinao can hear Azuma making a self-introduction inside the classroom.
The sky beyond the hall windows are stark white as Musashi maintains its stealth flight.
Under the white sky, rows of stones were lined up in a wide area.
This place is a cemetery located within the memorial park near Okutama's bow. A place with a panoramic scenery. Only its main road has a pavement.
Within that lush greenery stood one girl, with a pail in one hand.
The name of the girl in school uniform and looking up at the sky is Masazumi.
"This is my first time coming to this place at this hour.", Masazumi said, without peeling her eyes away from the sky. She then scanned her surroundings.
Below the drab sky, in the elevated area of Okutama's stern, at the end of the stone steps is where Ariadust Academy Institute is situated.
"They are probably taking the fourth period by now."
Masazumi wondered how everyone is doing. She had not been with them that long but she has a basic idea of everyone's character.
Masazumi gets along with them very well, to the point that last year, everyone in class supported her when she ran for Vice President of Student Council. She is on good terms with everyone as how everyone is on good terms with her, insofar as Masazumi wonders what they are up to right now.
However, it seems that everyone in the class, or rather, most of the students in the Academy are supporting Aoi Toori for some reason.
Masazumi had realized this ever since last year's election. She is aware of how popular Toori is, even after seeing everyone's reaction from all the ruckus he causes, this doesn't change her opinion.
But his popularity didn't come into being through name recognition, but rather his virtue and character. Then in that case...
"...It's a popularity similar to an idol."
Masazumi wishes that it was not the case. A country --especially one like Far East who receives various intervention from all other nations-- selecting a leader based not on their political skill but popularity is...
...A sign of people giving in to the provisional ruling.
Masazumi, as one who aspires to become a politician, does not want to give up. In the future, she hopes to work as a member of Provisional Council for Musashi just like her father.
...And bring a change to the Far East, however trivial I can produce.
160 years since the Unification War, the reason why the Far East hasn't been completely taken over is because nothing like that was written in the Testament. However, there are many ways to circumvent that. Anyone who had been in politics for years can easily think of one.
If Musashi or its possessor Mikawa, had made an irrevocable mistake, Masazumi is certain that the Testament Union will not overlook that for their exploitation.
Currently, Mikawa acts as a bridge between the Testament Union and P.A.ODA but,
"If something big happens, the Testament Union will use the excuse of 'History Reproduction Protection' to completely take over the Far East."
Favorable conditions upon resolution of land issues regarding Harmonic Territories, monetary assets, and the guarantee of production through labor. These are some of the obvious benefits that all the other nations will gain when Far East had been completely taken over. From what she can make out according to the accounts she obtained from the Provisional Council officials, all of their stories are nothing but headache inducers.
...The most problematic one right now is the resolution of land issue arising from the Harmonic Territories that occupies half the land.
Harmonic Territories were caused by partially overwritten Leyline when the Harmonic Divine States collapsed to the Divine States[1E 4]. In turn, the Far East land had partially assimilated other nation's environmental condition in the Harmonic Divine States. Because the climates inside the Harmonic Territories were the same as the climates in the very same spot as they were in the Harmonic Divine States (for example in Chuugoku region, we have Europe. In Mikawa we have India. In Kantou region, Qing. In Hokuto region, Russia.), we can say that not only their people, but even the environmental conditions from the other world have migrated here.
Even though that environmental change is locally limited on ground, its effect can reach up to the sky. For aerial city like Musashi who resides in the sky, that zone looks like a pillar.
...However, since Harmonic Territories were sparsely scattered within the land, Far East and other nations couldn't successfully establish a distribution of territory to occupy after the Unification War.
Why? Because the land is not even stable in the first place to be fairly distributed. This fact we are fully aware of, as it was being taught in class.
However, when Far East had been completely taken over, the Testament Union will obtain the power to execute the land distribution by themselves.
"No--- More precisely, when Far East had been completely taken over, the Testament Union can simply shove the Far East people towards the worse land, while they occupy the lands with better condition."
The statements that officials makes regarding Far East being "taken over" were always negative.
...Taking over doesn't only mean amalgation or unification, or even occupation. It can mean many other things. Once Far East has been taken over, its government and authority will be claimed by the Testament Union. They can even re-implement the practice of slave labor during Middle Age period.
Currently, Tsirchs and Murasais are forbidden to establish financial enterprise according to their precept, thus, that kind of businesses were vicariously executed by the Far East in their stead. However, once taken over, they can simply milk the profit out of Far East's banks while they maintain the said substitution.
Aside from gaining a foothold against P.A.ODA, other countries were interested in Musashi's trade capacity, as well as the technological capacities of Mikawa and IZUMO (especially the former which built Musashi).
Of course, if the people under this rule perishes, then the manpower will be lost and productivity will be compromised, but until it comes to that, the loss-gain calculations from the administrative expense and labor revenues are what the Testament Union all cares about. If the Testament Union could find a way to maintain the population, and just let a very few people succeed historical figures as part of historical reproduction, then this will be what the officials in the Provisional Councils regards as the worst case scenario.
...In other words, "taking over" ultimately means the ruler will have the power to do everything as they wishes, including the rights of life and death of its subjects.
The Provisional Councils, including Masazumi's father, were probably cognizant that all of this presumptions were all based from extreme lights. But a fragment of doubt still remains in her mind that maybe they are only trying to stir uneasiness to people.
But still, it doesn't change the fact that the Far East has to do something to keep things from exacerbating into the worst situation. Whether to trust the other party if their conscience is sound or not, there is no need to please the other party by dangling a feed before their face; as stated by her father.
That's why right now, Musashi relinquishes all its armaments and focuses only on trades while keeping their heads low all the time. Mikawa's Deadly Sin Armaments for example, were not handed to the P.A.ODAs, but instead, to all the nations of the Testament Union as a proof of taking a non-hostile stance.
But things will change eventually. That's for sure.
According to the history in the Testament, Oda clan will slowly dissipate after the lost of its leader, Nobunaga. The responsibility of unifying the Far East will shift into Toyotomi clan instead, in which it will be successfully finalized by Matsudaira clan later.
No one knows when the Unification of Far East will happen since the history recreation has been disrupted ever since the Unification War, and there is the possible threat of impending apocalypse to boot. To give an example, this year is 1648, yet, P.A.ODA announced the succession of Oda Nobunaga 8 years ago, even though this historical figure should be dead already since 1582.
"Oda Nobunaga was assassinated according to history, so the P.A. ODAs had been keeping Nobunaga's physical existence under wraps from the Testament Union, in order to prevent the Testament Union from killing him through history recreation. P.A.ODAs were playing skirmishes with the Testament Union here and there as they hide their leader. On the contrary, it gives a threatening impression instead."
P.A.ODA has been expediting its history recreation after the succession of Nobunaga, though still haven't caught up to its lag.
If the apocalypse will not happen, Nobunaga will eventually come out to the world commencing its ambition of conquering the whole Far East, will be assassinated later, Matsudaira clan will follow the rest of history, and then Far East will finally taste the true meaning of being unified.
"When that time comes, the Far East will confront all the other nations as a unified country but---"
Are the Far East people already giving up? Are they abandoning everything they have, being complacent in comfort provided by Provisional Rule?
The word which Masazumi hated the most, having given up everything after all.
Masazumi shifted her gaze below. Her hands are carrying a pail. It is Honda's property. The wooden ladle too, and the sheaf of flowers too.
Masazumi focused her attention to the flowers and,
"---I don't want to experience that same experience again, nor want to let anyone taste it."
I wonder, Masazumi thought as she raised her head, and directed her gaze to the Academy beyond.
I, myself haven't decided yet what to do in the first place but...
"What about you, Aoi Toori...? I wonder what will you do?"
I hope you...
"You were also like me, who doesn't want to give up..."
What if he was like me then?
...So what of it?
Masazumi contemplated over that question for a while, in the end, she just shook her head.
Because Masazumi had her gaze set below, without realizing it, a person was standing in front of her. That person turned out to be a girl she is familiar with.
"Judging from this situation, P-01s should say, 'I have been waiting upon your arrival.'"
A voice came, its owner approaching this way. A hand was raised, and it lifted up Masazumi's pail.
Ah, Masazumi lifted up her head.
"What are you doing here?"
Jud., the automaton impassively replied, then showed the book she was carrying to Masazumi.
"As Masazumi-sama had suggested, P-01s concluded to peruse this book in a quiet place. Owing to this book, P-01s had completely grasped the current society system, as well as the sundry patterns of national leader. Each and everyone of them, resort straight off to head-long decision. Some were arrested, and some were disgraced. Its intricacy is very engrossing."
I wonder in what perspective you were reading that to arrive in that conclusion?, Masazumi thought, but dropped the idea of voicing it out.
P-01s raised her free hand,
"---One question. Where are you headed to, Masazumi-sama?"
 Translator's notes and references
- honorifics used when addressing Vice-Principals.
- Yoshinao refers to himself as Maro. Maro is an ancient form of "I". Whenever he uses pronouns like "I", "Me", "Myself", he always use Maro.
- It seems in Toori's head, slap means boobslap.
- Remember, Divine States is Far East's old name.
|Back to Chapter 03||Return to Main Page||Forward to Chapter 05|