Horizon:Volume 1 Chapter 05
 Chapter 05: Those Reunited Under the Fair Sky
At that time.
To that person.
What should I have said?
Point Allocation (Emotion)
"--But I would never have thought that I would meet you in this kind of place."
That voice, tending to look downwards, was brought to life in the graveyard.
The owner of the voice, Masazumi, was crouching in front of the graveyard next to the main road adjoined with the greenery.
She was weeding.
"Is P-01s cleaning? It's often said that automatons really do like to clean no matter where they are."
"Jud., as one theory, that does exist. The cleaning of this place is a daily routine."
P-01s, plucking the weeds of the nearby graveyard in the same manner as I, answered.
When the taken weeds had become a certain amount, P-01s took the trash that was clumps of dirt and fallen leaves along with the piled up weeds, bringing them to the gutter adjacent to the path.
As if responding, the lids of the gutter was lifted, and from below, pale black algae stuck their faces out.
"Useless? Natural materials?"
Opposing them, P-01s lifted her index finger before her nose and gave the trash to the algae. With that, the algae bore that atop their heads and once again descended into the gutter.
Masazumi was speechless in response to the feeding actions which had been happening behind her back since a while before before.
She had noticed it from a while before, but somehow, below the gutters, the black algae creatures of the sewage pipes seemed to have gotten used to P-01s.
Furthermore, the shared opinion between P-01s and the black algae creatures seemed to be that it would better were it not leaked that the black algae creatures were going outside.
...Even for the black algae creatures, it was because it was them slacking off from their work...
"Not leaked? OK? Alright?"
"Jud., I can judge that it is alright. Our activities are perfect."
...Aside from that being completely without basis, it's been perfectly leaked...!!
While thinking, I pulled on the weeds, and suddenly a voice came from behind me.
"Masazumi-sama does the maintenance of this gravestone quite often."
"Ahh, that's because it's my mother's. There's not even any remains, so mementos are inside...even if I say that, would that be hard to understand for automatons?...You're born from souls, so you don't have anything like a mother."
"Jud. I will frankly state my thinking--Masazumi-sama loves her mother."
I was told a sudden thing.
Because it was a rather direct statement, Masazumi lost the timing of her response.
'No', or, 'that's right' without giving back an appropriate response, affirmation or negation, without which feeling should she have to be correct to herself being certain, Masazumi just looked down, looking at the flowers in the bucket beside her.
White flowers. When she dedicated that colour to her own heart, P-01s voice could be heard from behind.
The voice was-
"--Let me pass--"
A sudden song.
What was audible was a song that even Masazumi knew. A well-known children's song.
The song named "Song of Passage". From the throat of an automaton, that-
----Let me pass, let me pass.
If I go, if at some point it becomes a narrow pathway.
The narrow pathway, which goes toward God.
Though you say 'Thine thoughts art useless, thou cannot pass'.
To celebrate this child's tenth birthday.
I go to dedicate two offerings.
The path there is calm, the return is fear.
"Is it the passage of the fear in me--"
From her ears, which heard, to Masazumi's chest, something akin to trembling came. A trembling of excitement, a trembling of pleasure came, a feeling which seemed as if the depths of her skin were being wrung.
Before, there was something which she had heard from the shopkeeper. That P-01s' soul was in her throat.
Then, that voice of song was the trembling of P-01s' soul. However-
...This song is...
I know it. No, if one lives in the Far East, then anybody would know it.
According to the descriptions of the Testament, the original song of the Song of Passage began to be sung during the 17th century, but a hundred years before informed by the Testament, there was an experiment where a song had original versions in many places.
That experiment was the Song of Passage.
At the time where the provisional control of each country was established, this became a song which brought the people of the Far East together.
From about thirty years ago, the versions of the songs were collected, and now it was being used as a song to put children to sleep, children sang it, and it became something for the sake of playing the game matched to the song 'I wonder if it's a passage'.
However, Masazumi had no memories of singing this together with everyone.
She had only heard from afar that other children had sang and played.
However, hearing it from nearby, it had happened that she had sang it.
It was something from her youth. At the time where her awareness of her surroundings was not yet certain-
...Mother had, as a lullaby...
At the moment she thought that.
"Is there something wrong, Masazumi-sama?"
Being asked, she was unable to respond immediately.
Masazumi sucked in a breath, adjusting an uncertain trembling within her body.
The breath she exhaled softly trembled just once. Of how to respond to what, Masazumi thought-
"I remembered a little bit of something from the past."
With that, Masazumi put power into her knees.
'What comes after this is something that does not need to be said, but-' she said such a preface to her heart-
...People who hear it and will find meaning in it are not here.
Therefore, I will dare to say it.
"I've spoken about this before, haven't I? Originally, I was in Mikawa, below us. I'm of the name Honda. The lowest of the vassals. And, for Matsudaira, two Hondas are needed."
She took in a breath. while remembering the face of the other Honda, the person whom she had not really exchanged words with after middle-schooling-
"The first Honda is one of the Four Heavenly Kings, the Martial-type Honda family who represents Honda Tadakatsu. The other was the Governmental-type Honda family who represents Honda Masanobu. I was not of the Martial-type, so my father--"
"Your father inherited the name of Masanobu-sama?"
Masazumi rested her hands and spoke.
"Other people, not of the Honda family, even changed their name, inheriting the name of Honda Masanobu. At that time, father was too honest. Therefore, I--"
What was I like?
Told by my father, did I myself wish for what had started? I don't even remember the reason, but-
"A child of Masanobu should try to inherit the name of Masanobu, he thought. And, for the sake of that, he thought that he would do anything, and he did do anything."
The words which had just spilled from her lips had not been uttered till now.
'This won't do,' her heart thought. However-
...People who hear and will find meaning are somewhere, but not here.
A place of rest where my mother isn't present. An automaton. Black algae creatures--were they still under the gutter? If it was a young girl, inside her own room, she would consult with her own precious doll about the hateful things which had happened today, but is the situation of now the same as that?
'A stupid complaint, isn't it' Masazumi thought, and she realized that she had never even leaked that out.
Whatever the case, in Musashi, no matter where and no matter when, it is noisy. The schools, the roads, no matter where, there is always somebody.
Therefore, if one has no friends that one can talk about various things with, one can't do anything but search for a place where one can become alone. There is nothing to do but find a place where one can spit out stupid complaints by oneself and hide. And now, here, finally-
"--Ten years ago, the Matsudaira family carried out the 'clearing out' of their vassals. And, many vassals were demoted were relieved of their duty...ever since, all of Matsudaira's vassals and commercial groups were taken up by the automatons mass-installed by Sagami."
Facing P-01s, an automaton, she thought that she wanted this not to become distasteful complaints. Therefore, she let that be the end to the incident about the automatons.
"You know, I-"
Masazumi touched her chest with her hands. The uniform she was wearing was a one for male-use. Masazumi, pressing her hand deep into that chest, opened her mouth whilst feeling a strange dryness of her throat-
"When I was fighting for the right to inherit the name, so that I did not become disadvantaged, I had an operation when I was a child--Had an operation where, that I was a woman would be changed such that I was a man. And, they removed my breasts...and at the time when they were deciding whether to also change the sex organs into a male's, the sudden 'clearing out' made everything meaningless."
Father went to Musashi, and myself, whose body had become weak due to the influence of the surgery was left on the ground with my mother.
That I lost my breasts was something I wished for myself. However, because of the sudden 'clearing out', the goal was lost in its entirety. Without the things I did being affirmed or negated, my goal merely vanished, and a sense of powerlessness where all that was left meaningless. As if, having decided my way forward, when I worked hard in my studies for the test, the thing which was the way forward disappeared.
In challenging the inheritance of the name, if I failed, I would be able to understand.
I felt as if 'what you did had no meaning' was said to me.
The myself from before, the myself that was left in my memory was always apologizing. Without being able to start things by myself, without being able to answer my father's expectations, I caused trouble for my mother. That mother too was lost in the mysterious disappearance that was the "Noble Disappearance"-
"Why...was it all just letting go..."
She muttered. At that moment.
Suddenly, something spilled out from the corners of her eyes.
Thinking 'Damn', Masazumi dried her cheek with the sleeve of her uniform.
"Crying is unsightly."
"Is that so?"
At P-01s voice, audible from behind, Masazumi nodded. Was it weakness or relief, still not being able to understand-
"Aah...if it was possible, I'd want to hide somewhere, but here, I can't do that either, can I."
"Jud., thank you for your awareness. And now, one question about Masazumi-san has been resolved."
"? That is?"
'Jud.', P-01s voice could be heard.
"If I were to speak frankly, wearing male uniforms was not Masazumi's hobby, was it. That."
Masazumi was returned to reality in an instant.
...Wait a second. I was hiding the fact that I was a woman, though?
Should I get mad? No, rather, is it resentment? What is it, this strange feeling which is welling up in the pit of my stomach? It's definite that it isn't love. If I were to speak with the power of expression which I practiced in my specialized essay classes, I first am supposed to indicate my conclusion; if I were to say it in one sentence, this would be "like hell it's that." Furthermore, what on earth is that 'That' at the end, an exclamation as if just stuck there. Even further, the black algae creatures-
Who was it who taught them those kinds of words, or is it racial memory?
Rather, I forgot myself. Because this was a place where I could be alone, even if there was a doll that would hear my idle complaints, this doll inserted an amazing Tsukkomi. However,
The black algae creatures asked P-01s her name in confirmation, and Masazumi felt surprise.
Responding, P-01s also hid the black algae creatures from me, and while starting to act as if she was plucking weeds-
"Jud., she is Masazumi-sama. Do you remember? Before, when Masazumi-sama was starving and collapsed, that you were nearly crushed unknowingly?"
Masazumi thought. From this time onwards, let's check the surroundings when I fall. And-
"Masazumi ・ Seijun?"
"Jud., that is correct, she is a politician. To help the people, she exploits taxes and her occupation is a working conservationist."
It would have been better to deny it, but that too again seemed to be like a lie, so Masazumi was silent. With that, the black algae creatures asked some words.
"--Jud., if that is what is said about the both of us acknowledging each others' existence."
"Able to become ・ Friend?"
'That is,' P-01s stopped speaking, and there was an indication that she was looking this way. So, Masazumi turned her back on them, and while acting as if looking at the sky-
"Recently, I've wanted some friends."
"Jud.--speaking frankly, Masazumi does not have many friends, so this is a chance. In other words, it is easy. Do not worry, Masazumi-sama is a politician, so she loves the management of things like sewage."
...What's with that faulty way of saying things!!
She thought that when it suddenly came. It was above her head-
The sky split. The colour blue suddenly spread outward before her eyes, bursting open-
It wrapped around the entire surroundings in an instant. The blue sky was the proof of the disengagement of stealth flight. Indicated by that was-
"...Have we arrived at Mikawa?"
Below, there was a mountain range. The other side remained unseen, but eventually, visible in the colossal valley was a continental port for Musashi's use and the adjoining open-air type common use flat continental port should be coming into view. And on the other side of those, the village of Mikawa where she herself had once lived was there.
...'I've returned', was something she could not say.
She herself was already a resident of Musashi, Mikawa too had continued to change from the time she had been there. Nowadays, it was rumoured that in the large workshop which had 4 Earth Pulse Reactors, they were making a gift to P.A. ODA, in this one year, Mikawa had changed greatly. Because a warp in the Earth Pulse, caused by the Earth Pulse Reactors, made Phenomena happen frequently, accompanying the 'cleared out' political policy-
"How many people left in Mikawa?...the other Honda's second generation should be there."
She herself had come to Mikawa, but most people had, while thinking that the incompleteness of business functions in the city center because of the 'clearing out' and danger of the Phenomena was inconvenient, not left Mikawa for many reasons, and were living in the outskirts.
"I wonder how it's become...Well, I'm just sending President Sakai today, so I'll just be looking on from afar."
The sound of the wind could be heard. The trembling echoes of the wind hitting the wind-protection Ability which Musashi had.
However, that was not all.
Above, directly in front. As if exiting the area above Musashi's Center Leading ship, Musashino, a single ship had come.
An Aerial passenger-Ship, its entire length around 120 meters. From above Musashino, it was trying to circle to the area above here, Okutama. If compared to all of Musashi's ships, it was a size which did not even fill up one tenth, but looking at one, it was a ship which had a size large enough to the extent that its shadow swallowed up one of the horizontal passages.
Judging from its trajectory and speed, it was a trip meant merely to pass by above. If there wasn't some sort of mistake-
...It was a flight which wanted to see all of Musashi.
Masazumi, thinking, looked at the side of the passenger ship. On the other side of the rustling leaves of the trees. On the side of the passenger ship, where waves streamed from its water line, a family emblem was there.
In the midst of the sun's reflection, what could be ascertained was that it was the family emblem of a three-petaled sunflower.
The only family able to use that emblem was the Matsudaira family. If that's so, then that is-
"--Matsudaira's lord, Lord Motonobu's ship!?"
Ten years ago, Lord Motonobu, right before Musashi had been renovated, he had descended to Musashi, but ever after, he had not come to Musashi. Ten years ago, when the provisional alliance with P.A. ODA had become a formal alliance, as proof of taking a neutral standpoint, it was forbidden by the Testament Union to board Musashi, able to become a mobile fortress. But, however-
...That's why doing this, Lord Motonobu has come to welcome Musashi?
I know very well Lord Motonobu's tendency for a service focus. Also, Lord Motonobu's face and voice too. If it were to be said why Masazumi knows that,
"--Hello, it's been a while, Musashi's residents. Do you remember Sensei's face?"
From Musashi's every outside speaker, a man's voice resounded.
That was not all. At every shrine, on top of the hall which housed the shrine, Torii-shaped enormous signframes appeared. Reflected in the middle of the frame was a single man whose back was facing the bridge of some ship.
Long black hair with a scholar's cap to which glasses were hung. To the announcing device which was the mic, held by the right hand with pinky finger outstretched was-
"Thank you for continuing with us, I--am Mikawa's lord, Matsudaira Motonobu. It'd be great if you called me Sensei."
Sagging her shoulders, Masazumi thought. Motonobu abnormally loves making appeals with the Divine Transmission.
Originally, because people were leaving Mikawa's core due to the Phenomena and clearing of people, it seemed that it was something he started so his voice could reach the outskirts. At some point in time, it had become established within and without as a performance which was performed at any opportunity.
It's specialty was a one-sided rambling, and that he called himself 'Sensei". Even now, going along with that-
"--with that, because of the Testament Union's instructions, Musashi's residents cannot descend to Mikawa. But, do not worry. We'll be bringing in lots of things from Mikawa, and the people who've come to sightsee will talk about it, right? So everyone, U want you to use your shrine's Earth Pulse Divine Transmission or connection to have an exchange with Mikawa. And if it's possible, Sensei also wants to know: now, what kind of life are all of you living and what you want to do from now on--I'd like for you to let me hear that. That's all. Then, let's start. There's lots of time. Let's use it all effectively."
"Tonight, I've prepared something special. At night, it would be nice if you could look in Mikawa's direction. Because, I've prepared some fireworks. Then--today's lesson is, first this!!"
Along with his words, the Divine Transmission disappeared, and the display frame above the shrine's also closed and disappeared.
Now, Motonobu's ship was passing by overhead.
Masazumi chased the passing figure of the ship with her gaze, and she turned towards her back-
"Really, not just Mikawa, even here the Lord has come--"
'hasn't he', those words which were Masazumi's stopped.
Her gaze was fixed upon P-01s, behind her.
P-01s' back was facing this way, and was waving at the ship traversing the sky.
When the question leaked out from between her lips, the small black figure at P-01s feet panicked and hid in her shadow.
However, P-01s remained waving. Eventually, the ship showed its behind, and crossing the sky of Ariadust Academy, towards the right, towards the East, the bow turned, and until it took its path back to Mikawa, all P-01s did was wave.
The wind moved, and the automaton's hand was lowered. However, opposing P-01s, who did not turn around, Masazumi-
"...You're doing something like what sightseers from the country do, aren't you."
"Jud., on the bottom of the ship, someone waving his hand at me from the other side of the glass was there."
Who that was was unknown to Masazumi. It should have been unknown to P-01s too.
However, P-01s said this.
"He was looking this way and smiling."
Along with those words, a sound could be heard.
The sounding of a bell. The sound of Ariadust Academy finishing its fourth period and entering its lunch break.
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