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[ ] Converse with Yukari, Ran and Reimu; getting acquainted with them may prove vital.
[ ] After that, find Aya; maybe she can introduce you to her friends.
You look around the hall. Sure, this is the chance to interact with the guests, but your mind is focused on enjoying the party with your company. The prospect of getting to know the guests is irresistible, but you aren’t sure you’ll be able to mingle with them properly. Think, strange zaichata, think! Who do you want to spend your time with throughout the party?
You feel a nudge on your shoulder. It’s Kaguya, and she’s smiling at you. “Go on; mix with the people, you’ll need to learn of their name, anyway,” she says.
“Easier said than done. What about you?” you ask.
Kaguya giggles, even as she snatches the arm of Eirin who happens to have walked into the hall. “For now, let’s just say that both of us will have a lot of time to spend later tonight. Isn’t that right, Eirin?”
“Why, yes it is,” the pharmacist answers. “Have fun with the people, Mister Ivanov.”
You nod. “The same goes for you and Kaguya, too. It’s your party, after all. Enjoy yourselves.” You can see Eirin’s face changing slightly although she is quick to regain her composure. You wave them a salute and walk towards Yukari, Ran and Reimu, the three of whom are noticing your arrival and waving to you. “Hope I don’t interrupt whatever you’re about to commence,” you say as you take a vacant seat beside Ran.
“Not at all,” Yukari replies. “We expect you to show up, anyway.”
“I don’t want to break the mood of the party, really, but you owe me the question.” Ignoring Yukari’s pestering Reimu gives you the kind of stare that is more than enough to scare off even the hungriest bear. “How did you get here in the first place?”
You turn to Yukari, who merely hides her giggles behind the fan. “Oh, come on~ let’s just say that he found a passageway within the border and decided to investigate~”
“I don’t think there’s any disturbance with the border for many days,” Ran suggests. “If it is, I’d have sensed it and informed Miss Yukari immediately.”
“See? Even Ran agrees with me,” Yukari says. “It’s not a big deal if a person slips past the boundary unharmed, unless he intends to upset the balance. Right, Reimu?”
“Balance?” you ask.
Yukari throws you a wink. “It’s a secret only Yukarin and cute little Reimu are allowed to share~” the lady of boundaries speaks in sing-song voice. “Oh, right. Tell her of the issue between you and Marisa. I want to hear it~”
“Hasn’t he stated it during his speech, Miss Yukari?” Ran asks.
“Silly Ran. It’s just for assurance,” Yukari replies.
“Let me get this straight.” You cough once. “That Marisa hasn’t issued a formal apology for causing damage to us and almost getting one of the tenants killed in the process, and to this day she doesn’t show any sign of regret over the crime she has committed.”
“Crime, as in, stealing precious things?” Reimu shrugs. “Don’t worry about her, captain. Even if she does manage to steal it back from you, there’s no way she’ll find a way to use it. Hey, Alice!” She waves to the flustered puppeteer who happens to overhear the conversation. “You did get back the special-issue doll Marisa took from you that day, didn’t you?”
“W-well, yes, I did,” Alice answers.
“I understand the sentiment you have against Marisa, Mister Ivanov, but you have to forgive her for her tendency,” Ran says. “If her eyes spot something interesting, she’ll get it, and once she does she’s unstoppable. Kind of like a bowerbird exerting its best in decorating its nest just to impress its potential mate, you know.”
“Except that her love shack is always in mess~” Yukari’s answer causes Alice to blush more furiously, and Reimu to shoot the blonde woman an annoyed glare. “Oops. Looks like Yukarin has ticked off somebody~”
“If anything, Marisa’s only pissed at you because she thinks you have scratched her ego a little,” Ran adds. “Don’t worry. Eventually she’ll cool down and treat you as a friend. Just give her some time.”
“Alright, I get what you are trying to tell me.” You cough again. “Anyway, I’d like to personally welcome you to Eientei’s victory party. I hope you will be enjoying tonight’s celebration as much as the rest of the guests.”
“Of course we are. And I have something special just for that occasion, too~” She brings up a decorated bottle from somewhere within her domain; from the labelling it’s clearly a bottle of vodka. She produces a glass from her sleeve and pours the drink into it; she repeats the process with Ran and Reimu, although the shrine maiden is quick to decline it. “I reckon that you prefer vodka over everything else, no? This is among the finest I have in my collection~”
A smile creeps upon your face. “My gratitude for the excellent gift,” you say and lifted the filled glass. “For the Motherland.”
Hiding a thin smile with the sleeve of her robe, Yukari stretches her hand out and completes toast, together with Ran. “Hmm~ hmm~ yes, for the-”
“Hey~! What about me?” You turn to the source of the voice and can see the twin-horned girl growling at the group for apparently forsaking her presence. “Don’t forget that the captain still owes me the question!”
Reimu glances at the girl. “Suika, don’t tell me you…”
The girl laughs. “Sorry! Can’t help it, really!” She, then, turns to you, and sports a grin that is as adorable as the person herself. “Good to see you, captain! My name is Suika.”
You throw her a toast. “Greetings, Comrade Suika, and welcome to the party.”
The girl laughs again and takes a chug from the seemingly oversized gourd. A loud thud is heard when she slams it on the floor, almost knocking the table over in the process. “One does not simply enjoy a party without indulging themselves in alcohol!” she exclaims.
“True that.” Yukari pours some more vodka into your glass. “So, little soldier, while we’re at it, care if you let me introduce you to the rest of the casts?”
“Why not?” You finish the vodka in one gulp, just as Suika offers you some of her own. “The more the merrier.”
With your business with the quartet done you go to find Aya. You still owe her the interview, and you feel more than pumped up for the interview thanks to vigorous alcohol session with Suika. Your steps feel wobbly a bit but you can take care of it, so you make your way towards the tengu reporter, careful of not treading on unsuspecting individuals or falling into the women’s warm lap by accident. Not that you want to care, since most of them are too buy treating themselves with the meal, especially the kimono lady who is just too eager to gobble up the huge chunk of pork. You should have yourself acquainted with her sometimes in the party.
Finally you reach your destination. Aya is waving an empty spot close to her, in which you respond by sitting on it. “Thought you’d forgotten about the interview, captain,” she quips.
You chuckle. “Nonsense. Even in the middle of this festivity there is still room for the self-proclaimed war correspondent to shine, right?”
Aya giggles in a rather flustered manner. “I like that. Oh, let me introduce you to my friends.” Aya gestures you to the trio. “Captain, I want you to meet Momiji, Suwako and Sanae. Guys, this is the captain Ivanov I have told you earlier.”
The three of them nods, and you reply with a quick salute. “Once again, I welcome you to the party. I hope you are enjoying this celebration as much as the rest of the guests do,” you speak.
They nod again, although this Suwako keeps her eyes fixed upon you before she chuckles. “I’m Suwako, a goddess of the Moriya Shrine, and this is my shrine maiden Sanae Kotiya.” She gestures towards the blue-white. “When I first heard about your feat as drill instructor, I immediately recalled a memory of my encounter with a person not too dissimilar to you. I wonder…”
“Uhh… Suwako, can we talk about it later?” Aya clearly sounds disturbed, either by the mention of ‘drill instructor’ or something else. Either way, she quickly shrugs it off and turns her attention at you. “So, captain,” the female reporter says as she playfully nudges you. “Ready for some hot and spicy questions?”
[ ] “Readier than you’ll ever think, comrade. Bring it on.”
[ ] “I believe I have some questions to ask you as well.”
[ ] “Miss Suwako, can I ask you about that hat?”
[ ] Any questions that come to mind.