30: Me at the Last Moment

Oct 9th, 2013
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  1. Points: 02/10
  2. Pages: 12/27
  3. ---
  5. Chapter 30: Me at the Last Moment
  7. http://imgur.com/8W9MVTK
  9. Hmm...
  10. I wonder?
  11. Point Allocation (Things One Understands Not)
  13. .
  15. In preparation for the last duel with Masazumi, the special student general meeting occurring in the Musashi Ariadust Academy entered a period of downtime.
  16. The members of the temporary parliament arrived at the vicinity went up the stairs and gathered somewhere on the right side of the academy grounds. They have started preparing for their own meetings using the free time available to them.
  17. By the Academy, the people forming Toori's group were already gathering information from the signframes they brought out.
  18. In the centre was Neshinbara; looking at the situation in various places from the broadcasting members' footage,
  19. "Looks like the parliament's side is finally coming out to us, eh? --That's a good sign. At the very least, we'll get more opportunities to do things than if they just decide on everything behind closed doors."
  20. "I was planning to ask Seijun about that, though, you know?"
  21. Toori, in a seated position, brought his chin to rest on his hands. Then, snapping his right fingers,
  22. "Adele, you're quite fast on your legs, aren't you?"
  23. "Eh?"
  24. In addition to her own raised voice, the others looked to her in surprise.
  25. However, someone affirmed in her place. Tenzou, crossing his arms,
  26. "In last year's sports festival, Adele-dono closed quite the distance as the middle member in the normal-class relay. That fight before the anchor members was quite the spectacle, you know? Though I wouldn't expect everyone to realize, being completely spent on the laws of physics obstacle course relay before that."
  27. "Ah, well, I don't really have the stamina, and it doesn't really help me as a retainer, with my mechanical shell and all."
  28. "Anyways, I have a place I'd like you to go for me, is that alright? While you're there, can you get the dip for the Pro Cricket Hoshii {dried boiled rice} Chips? Here's the money, you keep the change."
  29. "Well, thirty yen is about the exact price, you know... Ah, thanks for the ten-yen increase, I'll get a five yen chocolate with that."
  30. Thus Adele received the memo of his request along with the change. She looked at the memo, bending her eyebrows,
  31. "? ...Are you sure you're fine with this?"
  32. "I'm quite interested in it, so it's fine. I'm sure they'll figure something out."
  33. Huh, thus Adele nodded, looking towards the academy. She was to leave the academy grounds from the rear exit.
  34. With a gesture, everyone sent her off as she left with a good speed.
  35. Then, drawing a breath, Toori spoke.
  36. "I can't do anything by myself, but precisely because of that, I have a bit of an idea of who can do what. With that, if she can get along with them, ...I'm sure we'll become an unstoppable force."
  37. "Will it be alright? Masazumi is in a rather complicated position, you know?"
  38. Mitotsudaira took a step forward from the side. Toori merely smiled in response.
  39. He extended his hand, slid his fingers into her hair and ruffled it.
  40. "You came over to our side, didn't you? Same thing. Say thanks to Bell-san, alright?"
  41. "T-That's..."
  42. "In the first place, you weren't exactly playing fair, were you? Abandoning your status as a knight and becoming a commoner, it's that, isn't it? I can't really describe it but, --You don't want to become Mikawa's next ruler, did you? You don't want to replace Horizon, no?"
  43. I mean,
  44. "You said it yesterday as well. How you didn't want to take someone's place to be confessed to."
  45. Receiving everyone's looks with those words, Mitotsudaira's cheeks reddened.
  46. Still, without taking his hand off Mitotsudaira's hair,
  47. "Preferring to be a knight rather than a king? You won't get far in this reverse hierarchy world with that mindset."
  48. "I-It's fine, really. A knight only dedicates her self to her king, after all."
  49. Still being patted on the head, Mitotsudaira raised her eyebrows and clenched her teeth,
  50. "Seriously, even if he's a perverted, carefree, idiotic, weak, poor, inappropriate with his appearance, having a deviant sister and overall the lowest of the low."
  51. Pulling her head from his hand and taking it out from her hair, she raised her body.
  52. "Being good at nothing other than being aware of such things, you're really the worst."
  53. However, Mitotsudaira let out a sigh. She then faced Toori, raising her profile.
  54. Right in front of him, with an expression of lowered eyebrows,
  55. "Still, umm, Chancellor?"
  56. "Hmm? What is it? Can't stand being on your own? There are all these weird people around you so go to them."
  57. "No, that's not it... Ah, well, I do agree on the weird part, though."
  58. Mitotsudaira shrunk her body slightly with a reddened face,
  59. "I apologize for yesterday."
  60. "Huh? For what?"
  61. "...I said something mean here: -I hope she'll refuse!- in this place."
  62. As everyone turned to her with slight surprise, the silver hair made a gesture and,
  63. "If it really turned out that way, if something even worse happened, I wouldn't know what to do..."
  64. Looking at Mitotsudaira's rather lowered head, Toori made a response.
  65. A laugh. -Haha-, his laughter joined with a smile,
  66. "I~diot, that's not something you should care about, you know? --I'm a man that will exceed your expectations, after all! That's why, if you would still concern yourself with me, lend me a hand in saving Horizon. When it's all done and over with, feel free to boast about yourself, alright? -Thanks to me you didn't get rejected-, like that!"
  67. "----"
  68. "I beg you. You're our knight after all, --Saving Horizon would be easier with you on our side. We promised we'd be together, right? --Miss Knight?"
  69. Hearing those last few words, Mitotsudaira's raised face loosened its expression.
  70. With a smile mixed in with a little bitterness from her lips,
  71. "All you remember are the things of the past, don't you? Then this is what I shall say."
  72. Not concerned with their conversation lost on the others, Mitotsudaira gestured, once again, and opend her mouth.
  73. "To your heart's content. --My King."
  75. .
  77. On the grassy plains stood a white tent as well as several tables.
  78. The tent was a wall-less stairwell-type, with the crest of Tres Espana painted on it in red. Below its roof, documents and maps were spread out on two tables, that which were also used to set up a miniscule-type church for communication purposes.
  79. Finally, the tables outside the tent were used for food preparation.
  80. Everyone has already finished eating, with tableware and cookware put aside and leftovers, both food and drink, stored in containers inside a stove dug out of the soil beside the tent.
  81. However, by the newly cleaned table were two figures still having their lunch.
  82. Muneshige and Gin. Sat beside each other, they were taking in their own dishes as well as the soy-boiled spinach salad placed between them. However, looking at Gin skillfully using her chopsticks with her giant mechanical fingers, Muneshige,
  83. "Gin-san, why are you eating your Paella with the chopsticks?"
  84. To that question, Gin turned to his wrist. Ascertaining the silver spoon held between his fingers, with lowered eyes and a smile,
  85. "...Fufu, still can't use chopsticks properly? Muneshige-sama is still a child."
  86. "T-That's different! That's not the point!"
  87. "No, it's not."
  88. Gin asserted herself. Holding the two sticks in front of Muneshige,
  89. "--These can be weapons as well. They pierce. Two pieces, with a spare."
  90. "I feel like we're drawing further away from the point here, but you think they are superior to western tableware like the fork and knife as well?"
  91. "Against such a small blade of a knife and the curved, highly air-resistant fork? Definitely."
  92. Still, a small smile appeared on Gin's lips.
  93. "How the food we have becomes more plentiful after we've left Tres Espana is a mysterious thing."
  94. Beyond the tent, the hygiene officer in charge of the food lightly held up his hand with a smile.
  95. Both of them responded, but Muneshige,
  96. "Gin-san, Tres Espana's cooking is pretty bad, isn't it?"
  97. "Most of it is okay, but..."
  98. Gin slightly raised her eyebrows,
  99. "The way the garlic is just randomly thrown in and how the rice, cinnamon and milk is just mixed together gave me a weird feeling, and how the fish, meat, beans were just put in with salt as if making olla podrida just makes me want to dunk it in miso soup if I had the chance."
  100. "That was rather conservative of you."
  101. "Muneshige-sama is just not percipient enough. Even if it's just the pickled vegetables or wasabi, --there is no contest."
  102. "I have to ask, but just what do you require in cooking?"
  103. Muneshige continued.
  104. "I myself would eat whatever you'd make, Gin-san."
  105. Gin ignored the students around them making breathing noises while fanning themselves with mats and the like. Still, after a moment, she loosened her shoulders and stated thus.
  106. "Tes, indeed. --Even that time when I served you poisoned food, you ate it already being aware of the fact."
  107. "That one tasted rather sweet, you know?"
  108. "What would you do if you died? Seriously..."
  109. That moment, the male student who was operating the miniscule-type church on the desk raised his head. Inside the tent, the middle-aged man in student uniform with a robe over it showing his position as the chief of his division started to report something.
  110. A few moments later, he lightly raised one hand towards Muneshige and Gin. In a relaxed tone,
  111. "Vice-chief, Musashi is making quite a bit of noise, but--"
  112. "Tes, from the broadcast we received, Musashi Ariadust Academy's students are moving towards reclaiming their Student Council rights, through a special student general meeting organized against the vice president, who is on the temporary parliament's side. ...Over on that side, --what is our Chancellor's Party saying?"
  113. "-Continue to guard K.P.A. Italia- they responded. We were wrong to expect any reinforcement from them."
  114. Tes, Gin nodded.
  115. "The mainland is very likely busy preparing for the fight against England. Last night's incident revealed the role of the Logismoi Oplo in deciding the fate of the apocalypse, so the meaning of the battle against England weighs ever heavier on both sides, being holders of Logismoi Oplo respectively."
  116. "Still--"
  117. The chief posed a question in a quieter voice.
  118. "What if the people of Musashi were to come for the princess who is being examined for her Logismoi Oplo in our ship?"
  119. While asking that, he looked to the rectangular, black-coloured ship in the south.
  120. On the lower frontal region, there was a place enclosed in walls of light; the room they call -Andamios de la Ejecución-.
  121. Its floor was lined with tatami before, but right now the princess was inside having the Logismoi Oplo inside her examined.
  122. The facility was originally used to analyse large supernatural organisms or criminals, being able to investigate their traits and weaknesses, intentions, and if necessary their component elements via disassembly, but in the princess's, Horizon's case, the plan is to first examine her for the Logismoi Oplo, after which will then be disassembled and extracted from her body.
  123. Light was filling that enclosed space. The analysis should be over in a few minutes. Still,
  124. "Musashi's special student general meeting would likely end before the princess's suicide. ...What do you think?"
  125. The one who answered was Muneshige. Gathering rice from the paella onto one side of the dish,
  126. "With K.P.A. Italia and Tres Espana stationed here, I would not believe they will be able to do anything at all. The princess's 'suicide' will surely go well as other nations will not be able to easily interfere considering the location where we are.
  127. Therefore, to not let the opportunity slip through, K.P.A. Italia should have also moved to prepare their defenses.
  128. --Though we would be obliged to cooperate with them in that matter, under the mainland's orders."
  129. "...Would we be alright in that case? We did suffer quite a bit if damage from last night..."
  130. "We still have the edge over them in numbers. We have enough to form a Tercio, and the other side has not received military training; we only need to hold out until the time limit to win.
  131. "Moreover, we still have one undamaged Gran Muñeca which can fly as well as several ships we can mobilize. If we have to be cautious about something, it is the Musashi's Chancellor's Party and Student Council, --as well as the Far East's Shinto Abilities."
  132. Gin raised her eyebrows in response.
  133. "Shinto Abilities...?"
  134. Tes, Muneshige nodded.
  135. "Gin-san is Catholic..., or rather, the people of Tres Espana are Catholic, aren't they?
  136. The Tsirhc religions of Catholic and Protestant, as well as the Murasai do not recognise other religions, so Shinto abilities are not recognized anywhere other than Musashi and each nation's Far Eastern setlements. ...Thus military officers and political families wanting to obtain power to influence the world have gone and naturalized into the various nations. The Tacibana family did so as well, didn't they?"
  137. Gin nodded, but then tilted her head.
  138. "Still, followers are few in number and the practice of Shinto Abilities have declined significantly, so what of them?"
  139. "Such a declined practice holds a certain ability, ...Just like how that man was able to offer money to use Abilities in the broadcast before, so long as they can pay the intermediary fee for the use of the shrines' network, Shinto users are able to use Abilities of gods other than the ones contracted to them.
  140. In addition, offerings for the intermediary fee are also accepted directly from the contracted god's Abilities."
  141. Therefore,
  142. "According to Shinto, offerings of money to financial gods, food for gourmet gods, songs for musical gods, ...even with the intermediary fee, if each and every one of them were to dedicate their own offerings to their gods, they can borrow the Abilities of the other gods.
  143. If I were to explain what this means, --any and all practitioners of Shinto, provided they can offer something to their own gods, can utilize all available Shinto Abilities whenever and however they want.
  144. In contrast, Tsirhc followers are not able to use Abilities other than the ones of saints contracted to them. To respect other saints and for discipline in money, transactions in divine power is not possible."
  145. I see, thus Gin nodded. As if to continue his words,
  146. "Certainly, Shinto practitioners who have exceled in their sanctioned art can become omnipotent through that very art.
  147. Ironic as it is, this system of transaction Shinto has adopted has only made its practitioners subjects of the nations' provisional rule through the Harmonic Unification War 160 years ago."
  148. Gin lightly crossed her arms and turned to the mountains where Musashi is.
  149. "Reduced to Musashi and the settlements, Shintou has failed to strengthen the relations of those two places, only its concept of transaction adopted by financial businesses of other nations, as well as its exploitation to develop the necessary Abilities we know and use as -Divine Abilities-.
  150. ...I hear such uses of Shinto Abilities have already happened at the time of P.A. ODA's invasion."
  151. "Though the M.H.H.R. and Hashiba, acting as dispatch forces form P.A. ODA, have yet to hand over that information to the Testament Union. The Thirty Years' War between M.H.H.R. and Hexagone Francaise has yet to occur after all.
  152. Therefore nations have collaborated with Far Easterners from their settlements to study Shinto Abilities; still, even if the theory is there, the people with the -art- necessary to put it into practice are few and far between. ...What we just witnessed, would surely become valuable data. --Perhaps this won't be the last time we'll see it."
  153. Saying that, Muneshige felt his sleeve lightly tugged on by Gin.
  154. He turned to see her tilting her head.
  155. "However, why did the Far East not retaliate despite having such power?"
  156. "The peace treaty, from the Harmonic Unification War."
  157. Drawing a breath, Muneshige turned to look at the mountain range as well, where Musashi is.
  158. "That was how thorough the treaty's -disarmament- condition was. With the prohibition of possessing weapons of mass destruction, having Shinto Abilities of the same scale was also forbidden. In any case, Shinto Abilities can freely recombine provided the offerings are dedicated, so it cannot easily be regulated. Thus, any use of Shinto Abilities other than in defense would be declared a violation of the treaty. Same applies to the Gods of War: the Testament Union would intervene in any attempts of their use for military purposes. Though the conflict we saw earlier was a matter of Musashi's internal affairs, so it would not be considered an action of military interest."
  159. "Then..."
  160. Gin looked to Musashi once again. Opening her mouth in that state,
  161. "The act of obtaining princess Horizon would be seen as hostility towards the Testament Union. At least, defensive measures would no longer serve as an excuse. In any case, a lord atoning for the mistakes of his country with his life was always the norm where history is concerned. Preventing that from happening would never be justified, especially if it would mean all-out war with the Testament Union."
  162. "I wonder, myself. They would still have other ideas in that area, you know. So let's take a look. Um, the communication... Can it receive the broadcast from Musashi?"
  163. Moments later, a signframe adorned in crosses appeared in front of Gin and Muneshige.
  164. Displayed were the blue sky and buildings of a town, interspersed with noise. The audio was,
  165. "The broadcast by Musashi's broadcasting committee?"
  166. "Tes, it must be beginning soon; the duel between the vice president and the chancellor in this special student general meeting."
  167. "Let's watch. The students of Far East have not once bet on their fate in over twenty years.
  168. If last night's Mikawa battle were to be seen as a fight of those who are no longer students, what we are about to see now is the return of Musashi into -active service- after these twenty years. All the other nations would surely have their eyes on this..."
  169. Ha, thus he drew a breath of laughter, once again taking hold of the spoon and dish that had his paella.
  170. "Depending on the circumstances, any country at all may have their view of Musashi turned 180 degrees around. So let's finish eating this while we can; the prawn and stuff harden when they're cold, after all."
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