Prologue – Those Lined Up Before the Horizon
Keeping a modest tone, the teacher spoke to the students gathered atop the bridge.
“Now then, the rules are simple.”
She indicated the tip of the group of ships, gesturing towards it with her chin.
“Are you listening?…Now then, I’m going to go all out and sprint to the Yakuza office at the front of Shinagawa to give them a beating, so I hope everyone can follow along. After getting there, it’ll be the start of the practical lesson, we clear?”
Hearing the teacher’s words, a collective “Eh?” burst from amidst the group of students.
The teacher ignored their outburst and smiled.
“If you’re late, I might just have you do the early morning classroom clean up…And your response? Jud?”
In answer, everyone replied with this word, which conveyed their understanding.
As they did, a tall boy raised his hand. He was wearing armband on which the words ‘Treasurer: Shirojiro Bertoni’ were written.
“Oriotorai-sensei…How does physical education relate with Shinagawa’s Yakuza? Does it have anything to do with money?”
“Don’t be stupid, Shirojiro. Physical education has to do with exercise, right? And beating people up is an exercise! It’s really quite a serious problem if you can’t grasp a simple link like that.”
A figure clad in a female uniform tugged on Shirojiro’s sleeve. The long-haired girl spoke thusly, smiling all the while. She was wearing an armband on which the words ‘Treasurer’s Assistant: Heidi Ogezevara’ were written.
“You know, Shiro-kun, Oriotorai-sensei was recently assigned a solitary house up on the surface. But as she was celebrating wildly, her land was bought up, and she was sent to the bottom level. This led to her indulging in alcohol, and then she got violent, and then she put a crack in the wall, and then she was seriously reprimanded by the teacher’s department…In short, everything after the middle of that story was entirely her fault, but…keeping in mind her original intentions, I’m thinking this is about revenge.”
“It’s not revenge. It’s just that I got kind of irritated, so I’m returning the favor.”
“That’s the same thing!”
Everyone clamoured, but Oriotorai-sensei did not seem to even care.
Taking the longsword and its sheath from her back and into her hands, she clasped it to her side. She then rubbed the emblem of the brand name, “IZUMO”, which was inlaid on the sheath’s surface, before resting her fingers on the hilt, which had a slightly twisted design due to IZUMO’s unique model, which emphasised the sword’s cutting ability.
“Is somebody absent? There’s no helping Miriam Poqou…Besides her, Azuma’s finally going to return at noon today, but as for other absentees…”
Hearing the implied question, the group looked around at each others’ faces.
Having done this, a golden-haired girl wearing a black triangular hat spoke. She was wearing an armband on which the words ‘Third Special Agent: Margot Knight’ were written. The six golden wings on her back swaying in the wind, she said this.
“As far as Nai-chan can see, Seijun [正純] and the Chancellor aren’t here.”
In response, the girl with black wings whom Knight was hugging, ‘Fourth Special Agent: Malga Naruze’ shook her head.
“Masazumi [正純] is going to Tama’s Elementary Academy as an instructor, and in the afternoon she’s going to send President Sakai to Mikawa, so she should have an excused absence for today. As for the Chancellor…I don’t know about Toori.”
“Mmm, then, is there anybody here who knows what’s going on with “Impossible” Toori?”
Hearing her ask this, the class turned to look at a single person. Standing further behind and on the steps below, a girl with brown wavy hair folded her arms, her mouth forming a bow-shaped smile.
“Ufu~ Everyone! So you want to hear about my idiot brother Toori that much? Of course you do, don’t you? I mean, he’s Musashi’s Chancellor and Student Council President, isn’t he? Ufu~ …But I won’t tell you anything!”
“Huh?!” Everyone exclaimed, confused. The girl nodded meaningfully.
“Because around eight in the morning when I woke up, he’d already left!”
“You wake up really late for someone so lively, you know!”
“Ehe~ It’s all right, my make-up was done, so I, Belle Flore Aoi, am making clear just how much composure I have in the morning. But, that idiot brother of mine, waking up early and leaving without making my breakfast…Oh how splendid it would be if at his judgement at the afterlife he’s struck by a foul ball ruling by the umpire and drops down to hell! After all, it’s about time the world ends from the apocalypse!”
At Knight’s call, Kimi turned around. Her eyebrows were slightly raised.
“Margot…not that name, you know? Aoi Kimi…a name like that sounds just like “raw yolk,” so it’s like the kind of name you’d give to something your dog ate and excreted. With that in mind, call me Belle Flore, alright?”
“Nai-chan is just wondering, but…wasn’t it Josephine three days ago?”
“Nakamura-san, who lives three houses over, named her dog Josephine, so it isn’t Josephine, at least, not anymore! That woman has a cute hobby of, with the enjoyment of an old person, attaching a collar to that animal with long and soft-looking fur just like a little girl, and training it while it’s nude! It’s frustrating just thinking about it, but next time she’ll let me give it a hug, you know!? Wait a moment, aren’t I the underdog like this!?”
Knight spoke, though she had been grabbed by the collar and was being shaken back and forth by Kimi.
As this was going on, Oriotorai was silently adding check-marks to the attendance record she had taken from out of her jersey’s bosom.
“Then, Toori is…late and unexcused…? Even though he’s the Student Council President and Chancellor…? This won’t do at all…”
Hearing her speak, everyone smiled helplessly. Some voices went, ‘W-Well…’
Oriotorai turned to face the class as they began to make excuses on his behalf, responding with a wry smile.
“Well, yeah. It’d be dangerous if Musashi’s Chancellor were to get a hold of himself…There’s a reason for him being like that, after all.”
After sweeping her gaze about, looking around her, she spoke.
“Well, this is troublesome. Even though the Divine States, below us, used to be ours, it’s now under the temporary control of the other countries, and the former residents are being chased into the Far East residency area…I can’t believe that all that’s left under Divine States’ control is this ship, Musashi.”