A sound argument
Is not the same thing as reality
Point Allocation (Yeah, that happens a lot)
In the northern sky of Oushuu, the Date flagship of the Aoba Castle and the Mogami flagship of the Yamagata Castle had been watching from a distant position in the sky. They had started to return home, but now they had stopped again.
Someone’s long hair blew in the wind as she stood on the deck of the Aoba Castle with the forests of Oushuu below.
It was Masamune and she opened a sign frame.
“Aunt, Hashiba has finally set out for Kantou.”
“Do you have something to say? Or something to ask? If not, I don’t need you to explain the situation.”
“Hashiba must stop Musashi. And Musashi will most likely be forced to stop. What will we do then?”
“Mogami will probably monitor P.A. Oda’s other forces in Shinshuu while discussing the future trade route with Musashi since they will have plenty of spare time on their hands.”
Masamune had said “we”, but her aunt had readily ignored that part.
She was implicitly telling Masamune to do as she pleased. So…
“Then Date will sell weapons to Musashi. And use that for trade negotiations.”
“That sounds like a good idea. Date will be indebted to Matsudaira after the wars. You need to earn debts of gratitude as well as support them now.”
Just as her aunt said that, someone else butted into the sign frame.
“Whoops! Excuse me for interrupting your conversation! It’s me! Me! You know who I am, right? Or do you not? Yes, I’m your all-important Vice President!”
Masamune broke the sign frame with a smile.
She then scooped up the falling fragments and lightly struck them to restart it. She immediately called up the divine chat with her aunt.
“Sorry, aunt. There was a bit of an interruption.”
“Yes. Katakura, right? But Masamune. You know what that glasses boy wanted to say, don’t you? It got through to me.”
“Testament,” confirmed Masamune.
At that moment, she heard something from the forest below.
She heard birds and beasts.
A flock of birds sleeping in the depths of the night suddenly took flight and soared south. They squawked in alarm and screamed as some of them ran into each other or trees.
The beasts down below were the same. Starting with the quadrupeds such as deer, foxes, and tanuki…
“So the forest beasts, swamp residents, and stone creatures have started moving. In that case…”
As soon as Masamune looked into the sky, it appeared quite nearby.
It was a straight line at least 100 meters long, but it had 6 giant wings. It was made of ether and it glowed with a dull, dark blue light.
Masamune smiled toward it as it flew past and clearly looked over at her.
“The spirit dragons are on the move.”
Masamune watched the dragon shape pass by almost within arm’s reach as it quickly flew southwest.
And there was more than one. 3 and then 4 spirit dragons passed by.
However, the Aoba Castle triggered no alarms when they appeared and approached.
“Did the dragons stop by to visit? Dragons are children of a great spirit, so I suppose they would line up for the spirit-user known as the One-Eyed Dragon.”
“They’re still looking down on me, so I don’t think that counts as lining up for me, aunt.”
“True,” said the fox with a laugh. And…
“There are two kinds of dragons: the Terrestrial Dragons which are beasts with physical form and the Celestial Dragons which are gods or spirits. But things can get confusing because when people hear the word ‘dragon’ they think of the Terrestrial Dragons in the outside world. And even then, usually the low-level ones that really are just beasts. Even you just think of them as something frightening, don’t you?”
“I have heard there are some Terrestrial and Celestial Dragons in the outside world that can speak. And I’ve heard that Tres España got their help to develop the land there. Of course, relying too much on the dragons could lead to the return of the dragon supremacy that occurred during the Medieval Harmonic Divine States, so both sides are cautious about the other.”
“Due to that, the cooling that occurred afterwards, and the limited suitable land for them in the Far East, the number of Terrestrial and Celestial Dragons living in the Divine States dropped considerably. If they had been less arrogant at the time, they would not have become such recluses and the development of the outside world would have not have been delayed so long.”
“Aunt, Oushuu contains a few areas of land that humans gave them as a form of atonement. It’s thanks to that land that I was born, so don’t view them so harshly.”
The fox laughed.
“Foxes and dragons have never got along very well. But putting humans between us as a meal and it works out pretty well. However…”
“Are they on their way to west Kantou?”
“Testament. That is one of the areas where dragons are allowed to live. It is an abandoned land with some ruins remaining. Some humans live with them there. Most likely, that group is on their way there to get or deliver some information. The Far Eastern dragons are generally distanced from worldly things, but even they must be focused on where the world is headed.”
Masamune looked to the south.
A white rectangle floated in the sky and a giant ship entered it from below.
Their presence in the sky meant something.
“Musashi has proven that they can fight Hashiba. That forces Hashiba to get involved even as they continue their attack on Mouri. Which means…”
“Musashi has stepped on one side of the scales weighing who will rule the Far East.”
On the sign frame screen, Yoshiaki opened a new sign frame so that Masamune could see.
She seemed to be intercepting the discussion between Musashi and Hashiba while also tracking those dragons.
And if she was letting Masamune see that…
…Is she telling me to do the same?
It was hard to tell whether this aunt was kind or strict, but Masamune sent Katakura instructions to take care of the interception and tracking.
“No nation or species can just watch to see whether or not this Warring States era will change.”
“How will Hashiba prevent Musashi from intervening? I think this is going to be quite interesting.”
On the Musashi, Masazumi looked at a large sign frame from atop the bridge in front of the academy.
A staticky figure was displayed there.
It was Hashiba.
She was in a mountainous region somewhere. She seemed to be on an iron-clad ship’s deck with mountains and the night sky in the background. She wore an M.H.R.R. summer uniform with long sleeves, a stole, and a monkey mask hat. She looked to the right, gestured some kind of instruction, pointed at herself, and nodded.
“Are they still preparing?”
Then Hashiba held up a microphone.
She looked left and quickly lowered her head. Then…
Some feedback rang loud, so she quickly looked left and adjusted some settings on the microphone as she was told.
Then she finally looked into the camera. A panel that seemed to have something written on her side briefly entered the screen, and once it was gone…
Masazumi realized the idiot was standing in front of her. He held his hand to his ear while turning that ear toward Hashiba’s sign frame.
“Eh? Oh, can you not hear me? PR team! Their sound!”
But the idiot tilted his entire body in an obvious way and raised his arms in some kind of gesture.
“A plug…? Oh, no, he means the volume. Raise the volume, maybe?”
Seeing the idiot’s movements, Hashiba fiddled with her mic.
He then made a hurried “raise it, raise it” movements toward the right side of the screen.
The bad feeling in Masazumi’s heart only continued to grow.
“Uh,” said Hashiba.
The idiot waved his arms at her in an exaggerated fashion. Then he beckoned her forward.
Hashiba responded by moving her face in close and holding her hand to her ear. Then the idiot…
A great blast of noise knocked Hashiba back and the sign frame turned blue.
The bottom right corner of the blue screen contained a white line drawing of a monkey polishing a gourd with the text “Please wait just a moment.”
And the idiot…
“Ha ha ha! She fell for it!”
Masazumi delivered a solid kick into his back.
A moment later, color returned to the screen. It was mostly black, but not just because it was night.
That was someone’s hair color. A black-haired boy in an M.H.R.R. summer uniform stood on the other side of the screen.
…Who is that?
Mitotsudaira saw a headphone-wearing boy with his hair worn back. Once he pushed someone off frame, he noticed them and spoke to the crossdresser.
“H-how could you do that to Hashiba-sama!? Don’t you think it’s especially wrong of a shrine maiden to pull such a ridiculous prank!?”
The crossdresser looked back at Masazumi and pointed at himself.
“Judge. I would assume so.”
“Of the Asama Shrine?”
“W-well, he would probably think so, yes.”
“I see, I see.” The crossdresser nodded twice and clasped his hands toward Asama. “Heyyy, Asamaaa! Sorryyy!”
“I-I’m scolding you later! I’m so scolding you!”
It was a little worrying how Horizon began cracking her shoulders and fingers, but, well, that was the usual way of things.
But the boy on the screen shook his slender body and pointed their way.
“I am #10 of Hashiba’s Ten Spears! Katagiri Katsumoto! I will negotiate in Hashiba-sama’s stead to correct the current state of Musashi!”
Fukushima was taking a break on the Azuchi Castle’s bridge, but she spat out her tea.
…W-wait just a second!
“Katagiri-dono! Katagiri-dono! I know thou are our negotiator, but this isn’t what we originally planned!”
“N-not to worry! They did something awful to Hashiba-sama! I’ll win this!”
“Um, I’m not really sure what you mean, but is this my fault…?”
Fukushima wanted to say that she did not understand either, but…
…I mustn’t hurt Katagiri-dono’s pride.
“Katagiri-dono? I thought Yoshiaki-dono and Yasuharu-dono were with thee.”
“Th-those two are sisters and yet they were doing things like t-taking baths together and s-sleeping in the same bed! Th-that’s not right! I think it’s wrong!”
“That’s right! I think it’s wrong too! Yes, this is the first time I’ve found someone in P.A. Oda who actually understands what morals are! And he’s even a fan of Hashiba-sama! I want to be his friend!!”
“And now the tentacle is finally asking for some BL friendship.”
“Wh-what are you talking about? Body language to become friends? Th-that sounds so dirty! Fuwa-sama, you need to stop looking at me with such impure eyes!”
“Ha ha ha. Mori-kun, your heart is so pure.”
“…Can we focus on what matters here? Like Takigawa? The Shirasagi Castle was destroyed, if you’ll recall.”
“That won’t be enough to kill someone like her. And there’s no use worrying about the Shirasagi Castle. It isn’t in our jurisdiction.”
“That’s not what I meant, Fuwa. I mean emotionally.”
Swaying black hair entered the dining hall. With a smile, its owner made an announcement.
“Listen up, everyone! Since I’ve been stuck sitting around here for so long, I made some treats. If you want some, we can have a secret party.”
“Hell yes! So she’s treating the underclassmen to some food! I’m not about to miss this!”
“Na-chan, you can take things way too seriously sometimes.”
“More importantly, isn’t anyone going to watch my future friend’s negotiation!?”
Katagiri saw Hashiba’s head wobbling as she stood by the filming staff.
How awful, he thought.
…What’s so fun about teasing someone as pure as Hashiba-sama!?
He pointed at the shrine maiden standing in the lernen figur.
“Excuse me, unforgivably mean shrine maiden!”
“He felt the need to say ‘excuse me’?”
“He seems like the type who would become our victim quite often.”
“Yeah, that’s the feeling I’m getting.”
“I’m erasing this part from the records later, okay? And Toori-kun? I’m seriously scolding you afterwards, so prepare yourself.”
“Hey,” Masazumi called over to Aoi while aware she was glaring at him.
She kept her voice too low for Katagiri to here.
“He plans on doing this with you.”
“Eh!? What!? Seijun!”
The idiot looked back and put his hand on his cheek in what he clearly thought was a cute pose. Then he pointed at Katagiri while wiggling his hips.
“That skinny P.A. Oda boy, who looks like he’d get abducted after taking only 7 steps in Osaka at night, wants to do it with me~!?”
The idiot approached the PR Committee’s camera and pushed up on his dummy boobs.
“Hee hee. What exactly do you want to do with me? You can’t touch, but do you want to?”
Masazumi was calm enough to only think, Those breasts are really well made.
But on the sign frame, Katagiri blushed and raised his voice.
“This is impure!”
“Yes, it is! Impurity is wrong! We must all live a proper youth!”
“Indeed. At the very least, acting irresponsibly will lead to unfortunate results!”
“Impure… I see. Sometimes it feels like I’m learning new words every day…”
“Why does this holy man always say things that are so hard to comment on…?”
But Katagiri remained unfazed even as the idiot grabbed the camera and had it pan lasciviously down from his wiggling breasts to his crotch. He pointed straight out at the idiot.
“Musashi’s public morals are in complete disorder! Who is your Public Morals Committee member!?”
Asama hung her head and raised her right forearm. And…
“This is Kanou, head of the Public Morals Committee. I completely understand the protest from P.A. Oda. Shall I enact Ookubo-sama’s previously proposed policy of death to molesters?”
“That would help clean up Musashi.”
It would clean it up too much, thought Masazumi.
“You have grown negligent in enforcing public morals!” accused Katagiri.
“Yes, yes, I’m sorry,” muttered Asama as she kept her head lowered and blankly apologized into empty space.
“This is why Musashi’s actions have strayed from the academy rules!” insisted Katagiri.
The crossdresser looked back when he heard that.
“Hmm, we might be in a bit of trouble.”
“Is there anything we can do?”
“We’ve been doing a lot lately to that end.”
“I see.” The idiot removed his breasts from the camera and winked at Katagiri. “Could you explain what you mean?”
Katagiri reassessed his opinion of the shrine maiden.
“I thought you were just a lewd Asama Shrine shrine maiden, but it would seem you can be reasoned with!”
“Hee hee. Well, talk is important.”
“That’s right!” shouted a girl beyond the shrine maiden. He was fairly certain that was the Musashi Chancellor’s older sister who was always dancing while half-naked.
Musashi’s public morals really are messed up, he concluded with a sigh.
He had honestly started these negotiations in the heat of the moment, but he had no real qualifications. Position-wise, he was simply “a member of Hashiba”.
…I’m glad I didn’t have to negotiate with their Vice President!
She is truly awe-inspiring, he thought even as an enemy. On the other hand, while he did not recognize this shrine maiden, she would be a normal student. Even if he did screw up the negotiation, he could pass it off as a discussion between students.
So he calmed himself and spoke.
“Musashi has strayed far from its duties as an academy!”
He raised 3 fingers.
“First of all, you have spent far too long in battle for a mere academy! And not passive battles! You have been actively starting them! That makes you a military attack base, not an academy!”
“It’s not like we can help it. That’s just what happens when we let Masazumi negotiate too much…”
“Yeah… I’m starting to feel like I have to agree with that.”
“Curry is best when you are feeling down.”
“Well, excuse me! And they technically have been passive battles!!”
“Second,” said Katagiri while raising his eyebrows. This one actually applied to Hashiba as well. “To take power from the Testament Union, the Far East has implicitly encouraged and warmly welcomed female name inheritors, but what is with Musashi!? What are the guys doing letting all the girls take the lead!?”
The shrine maiden pressed her breasts against the lernen figur, but Katagiri only frowned and ignored it.
“And you girls should show more modesty!!”
The divine transmissions were going nuts in P.A. Oda.
“U-um, Katagiri-kun, you’re the only guy in the Ten Spears, so what are you really trying to say here…?”
“I can accept putting on makeup when I’m around, but please stop changing in front of me and even asking me to help you because you can’t fit in your clothes! I am a boy! You need to show more shame!”
“Oh, um, Katagiri-dono, thou are an excellent sewer and thou always notice the little things. Oh, but I do not ask thee to help me change very often…”
“S-sorry, that one’s me. When my new clothes come in, the fabric tends to be stiff… But the real problem is that there are parts that need to be held in place at the same time. I’ll admit my detachable armor is a special case, though.”
“Kiyomasa, you need to realize this is a size issue… You too, Nagayasu.”
“W-well, I do get my measurements taken before ordering, but my chest and butt size tend to change in the time it takes to complete…”
“How many times do I have to tell you to stop talking about that kind of thing when I’m around…?”
“May I interject? Um, Katagiri-kun? That whole thing about the Testament Union and female name inheritors? That’s supposed to remain unsaid. And we’re the Testament Union right now.”
“Uuh. I-I’m sorry…”
Not good, not good, thought Katagiri as he shook his head.
He looked ahead. It was still not time to lower his fingers. So…
This was the main point.
“Musashi has not fully completed the school events needed before summer break!”
Masazumi listened to the greatest weapon of Katagiri’s criticisms.
“Listen! As stated in the academy rules, the academies are meant to teach and guide the people of the Far East. They are schools! So why are you spending all your time waging war without completing your schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and festivals!? That is your duty as students! You are to complete those things before spending any time on politics or war! Am I wrong, shrine maiden?”
The shrine maiden looked back toward Masazumi.
“Is that a sound argument?”
“It’s unbelievably sound.”
And hopelessly straightforward, she thought.
But on the sign frame, Katagiri lowered his fingers and pointed at them instead.
“It is currently late July. Before making any active international political or military actions, Musashi must complete all of its official events without delay! And of course, if you take care of those now…”
He said it.
“Summer break will arrive right around the time you finish. …And during the official event of summer break, students cannot participate in any active international political or military actions!”
“Normally thinking, that means we can’t do anything for the month and a bit between now and the end of summer break at the start of September.”
“Eh? What about Hashiba!?”
“Their attack on Mouri is a history recreation, so it takes precedence over the academy rules. That means they can complete that without anyone getting in their way. And during the break, they can complete Nobunaga’s assassination without interference by settling it all as an internal matter. Then they can spend the month of the break building up the military might needed to take us on.”
“It’s all over then… We can’t reach Hashiba or Nobunaga…”
“That was fast!!”
But at this rate, that’s how it’ll turn out, thought Masazumi as Katagiri began speaking again.
“If you forget all about schoolwork, you cannot call yourselves students! Musashi must return to its duties as students and regain a proper student life! We can speak after that, during summer break!”
He sure is fired up, thought Masazumi just before she heard the wind blowing overhead. Then “Musashi’s” voice echoed through the air.
“Everyone, a dragon is approaching from overhead. It is giving an ID signal. It belongs to…”
…A dragon with an ID signal…?
That’s rare, thought Masazumi as the answer was given.
“Sanada Academy! The dragon belongs to Chancellor Sanada Nobuyuki-sama! Over.”
Immediately afterwards, someone jumped down from the wind overhead.
The Tachibana Couple and Futayo stepped forward to face someone of medium build.
“Excuse me! I am Sanada Academy Chancellor Sanada Nobuyuki!”
The leader of Sanada inhaled and stared sharply at them.
“I’m sorryyyyy! I’m weak, so please let me be friends with Musashiiiii!”
Jump up↑ The Katsu of Katsumoto can be seen as these three kanji stacked vertically.