Chapter 3 – Innocents at the Table
In the Far East, where it was decided that the age limit for students was 18 years of age, no-one can have anything to do with the government after graduation. Therefore, the adults, or in other words the parliament members, were nothing but bureaucrats. Even if they had wealth, they were nothing more than wonderful taxpayers.
Furthermore, in Musashi, the Musashi King, sent by the Testament Union, holds the authority to make the final decision. He can even veto the student council and Chancellor’s Board. Because all of Musashi is under his jurisdiction, it is impossible for Musashi to achieve autocracy. And because it was only able to fly above the tentative borderlines of all the countries, it was unable to freely choose its flight path.
Even if I wanted to try and do something, it isn’t my choice.
I’ve come to realise this very well in this one year. Looking at the circumstances after Aoi was chosen to be the Chancellor, and the circumstances when he became the Student Council President, I was forced to fully realise this.
No-one acknowledges our power.
Wouldn’t it be fine to make a cursory job of everything?
If we become dependent upon the other countries’ occupation, there are certain privileges that we might receive. For example, Aoi receiving the positions of Chancellor and student council president, becoming a celebrity within Musashi in the process.
And suddenly, Masazumi thought of her father.
Her father had left Mikawa ten years ago and moved to Musashi, where he had been a member of the provisional parliament for ten years.
Masazumi knew why. It had been a year since her father had called her and she had come to Musashi. She knew that many businessmen, real estate managers and ground transport managers went to her father. If you thought of this as a privilege, the meaning in becoming a member of the provisional parliament in Musashi, a politician, and her destination as a political hopeful…
Thinking about many things, Masazumi shook her head.
It was said that the Apocalypse would be coming this year, and as if indicating this, the frequency of Phenomena was actually rising.
A present age where the immediate future could not actually be seen.
Therefore, Masazumi thought that at least during meals, she would not think of the dark future.
At that moment:
“Your hands have stopped moving…was the bread not to your taste, Masazumi-san?”
Hearing the shopkeeper’s voice, Masazumi reined in her thoughts. Startled, she drew a breath.
“Ah, no, I was just daydreaming.”
“Haha,” she laughed, but she herself felt that it was forced.
…There are just too many things to think about.
Her mother disappearing was the impetus for her to come to Musashi, but many things had happened in the year after.
She suddenly spoke.
“It’s all happened so fast. In a year, we’ve already gone once around the Far East. We’re arriving at my hometown, Mikawa. Even though Mikawa is the Far East’s representative, recently it’s become on good terms with P.A. ODA, so the Testament Union’s glaring at it. Also, because of New Nagoya Castle’s earth pulse reactor, the number of Phenomena is overflowing…I wonder if my friends from before are doing well. People like the daughter of the other Honda family’s, Lord Tadakatsu’s daughter.”
“My, my, talking about friends from your hometown? Are ya homesick?”
“No,” even as she answered, she felt a little masochistic. Therefore, she spoke.
She spoke of something that she had been thinking for a while. She spoke of one of the reasons that she often went out to do part-time jobs that started in the morning.
“…Our Academy, Ariadust, is really the Musashi resident’s Academy. I don’t really fit in. Or rather, the fact that I’m someone who competed for and failed to receive the inheritance of a name is also an issue, the fact that everyone…”
The fact that everyone was showing her care was evident
Her lips, which were on the brink of saying this, stopped.
“Do ya want to try and become friendly with everyone?”
A question came.
Uncomprehending, she pondered. After a while, Masazumi frowned.
“It’s not like they aren’t friendly…”
“Then, do ya ever feel that ya’d like to get along better with them? If ya do…”
She heard this.
“Investigate ‘Remorse Way'”
Muttering this, Masazumi tilted her head to the side. If the name she had heard matched the image in her head, she knew the road the shopkeeper spoke of. Indeed, that she knew it was a matter of course.
“Um, it’s the large starboard way in front of the Academy, isn’t it? It passes through a park, going from the right starboard till the bow…”
“Do you know why it’s named ‘Remorse Way’?”
‘No,’ Masazumi answered. She does not clearly know the reason.
What she does know is this:
…The stone slab at the entrance of that passage, the one that belongs to the girl named Horizon…
A grave-like stone slab was made ten years ago. It prays for a girl’s happiness in her next life. What meaning does it hold? If I investigate, will I learn the origins of the name that everyone normally uses, ‘Remorse Way’?”
“What could it be?”
“It’s simple…There’s a fact that Masazumi-san does not know, but over half of Musashi’s residents do. If you investigate…yeah.”
With that, the noise of the shopkeeper in the kitchen turning around could be heard.
“Ten years ago, durin’ Musashi’s Great Renovation, a certain incident happened.”
“…An incident? Does it have anything to do with that stone slab? Horizon, the name of a girl, is written on it…”
“If ya’ve noticed that, then this’ll be quick. Just a step further. Have a look. If ya do this, more of Musashi’s various facets’ll become visible to you.”
Along with the sound of her voice and footsteps, a scent came. Turning around, the female shopkeeper, plate in her hand, was walking her way, a smile on her face.
“Each of Musashi’s residents remember why the name “Remorse Way” was given to that road. So, ya should investigate. Yer worries’ll definitely lessen…Also, this.”
Atop the tray was a paper bag and a piece of bread. On top of the bread was spinach fried in butter, ham, egg and carrot.
“Before, Toori and the girl who lived close by would put what we sold on a piece of bread. With the addition of soup, our mornin’ menu…Well, rather than mornin’, it was already noon. If yer goin’ now to visit a grave and Mikawa, I’ll wrap it together with a tightly sealed paper cup, so ya can take it away.”
As her voice echoed outward, the bell that indicated the time rang out. It was the noontime bell.
Hearing this sound, Masazumi suddenly turned her gaze outside. The voice of the female shopkeeper, while putting the meal into a paper bag, continued.
“Is there somethin’ with the Academy yer interested about?”
“Jud., since today, Azuma-sama should have been returned from the Testament Union.”
“Ah, if that’s so, the King’ll be with him. The Academy’ll be busy, won’t it? So yer interested, then?”
“Well”, Masazumi said and stood up. While listening to the sound of the female shopkeeper arranging the paper bag on top of the table, she spoke.
“Once in a while, I take a guess about why that place would be busy.”
My plans today: visiting a grave and going to Mikawa.
…But if I investigate Remorse Way afterward, will I learn something?