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File 13556330476.jpg - (1.33MB, 1920x1080, Medal-of-Honor-Warfighter-banner.jpg) [iqdb]
25600No. 25600
// somewhere… //

“So… he’s still alive.”

“Yes, sir. All reports are pointed to him living in exile in the sealed land.”

“How can that be possible? The Soviet Red Army is not supposed to exist in modern days.”

“That’s what I first thought, sir, but he lives. In fact, he stumbled across the expeditionary team and led an attack on them.”

“He fought them?”

“Yes, sir, with the help of his… non-human team. I don’t want to give him credits, sir, but he… he completely annihilated our troops.”

“Impossible. Our technology’s supposed to be superior to that of Earthlings.”

“It was no match against his ferocity. He mauled them like a beast possessed. A beast… from the depth of mankind’s history.”

“Was there any survivor?”

“Only one, sir, but he was captured. What should we do now? We’ve lost a whole unit, and with the Lunarian administration cutting our defence budget, it’s going to take a while before we can replace them.”

“Continue the observation. Make sure he doesn’t learn about our participation in the war. And make sure they don’t know, either. I’ve run out of bulls to feed them already.”

“Understood, sir.”

The command centre fell quiet. With the last staff signing off for the day’s work, the chief director continued watching the video feed of a skirmish that was taking place in the junkyard. His eyes were fixed on a soldier donning futuristic combat suit, who was leading the attack alongside his fellow combatants. His eyebrows furrowed, as if he was trying to remember anything related to the soldier.

“Yuri Ivanov…” He uttered the name once, and then shut off the monitor. He leaned against his chair and closed his eyes. “Survivor of the Great Patriotic War… the ghostly hunter of Stalingrad.

[c] To be continued in the next post, please wait warmly.
Expand all images
>>No. 25601
File 135563427744.jpg - (351.66KB, 800x572, e9daf477c5049ab6423c2578838e1011.jpg) [iqdb]
25601
>>25600

// loading… //

You wake up with a strange sensation inside your head. You had a very weird dream last night, and from what you can recall, you were proposing Kaguya to marriage when Alfred suddenly came back from the dead and uncharacteristically demanded that you fight him “like a gentleman”. You obliged, and as it turned out you transformed into a medieval knight and exchanged blows with your Prussian friend who had turned into a dragon that spoke in coherent Japanese. Things became utterly bizarre as a young Alice showed up and summoned a gigantic Shanghai in frilly dress, which combined with Alfred’s dragon form to become an oversized robot; even you found yourself transforming into a super soldier that shot cucumber-shaped rockets from his backpack. The Shanghai/Alfred combination uttered something that vaguely sounded like “cast in the name of God” and withdrew a pair of equally oversized kitchen knives, but before both of you could get into action the dream was cut off at exactly that part.

You shake your head in wonder. It was a good thing the dream ended there, because you don’t know if you could wake up at all.

“Good morning, sleepyhead.” You turn your head to the right. A lazy smile creeps upon your face as you find out who your greeter is. “I know you’re still sore from last night’s New Year party, but that doesn’t mean you can sleep all day long.”

“It would’ve helped if the oni didn’t challenge me to drink an entire box of vodka,” you answer. You rise to a seated position, and a deep groan escapes your mouth as you feel your bones crackling everywhere.

“Oh, let me help you.” Kaguya scoots close to you and squeezes your shoulders. You shudder in pleasure, as she starts massaging your back and stretching your limbs. “Feeling better?”

“Very much so,” you answer. You feel Kaguya’s chest pressing against your back as she leans forward, and as you turn around to see her she kisses you on the cheek. “What was that for?” you ask, unable to prevent yourself from blushing.

“Can’t I give you a morning kiss?” she says coyly. “I’ll be waiting for you at the kitchen. You go take your bath first.” She kisses you once again and leaves the room. After sitting down idly for a few minutes, you decide not to make her wait.
-
-
After taking your bath, you head to the kitchen where Kaguya’s preparing breakfast with Mariel. You take your seat, and are immediately served with what you think is the most luxurious meal you can ever imagine. “Here you go. Cinnamon pancake with honey coating,” she says. “I’ve wanted to make this for you ever since we met.”

“It’s only because her majesty insists that you be treated with such,” Mariel remarks.

“Hush you, Mariel,” Kaguya growls at her.

You dig in and take a bite. You’re stunned. The marvellous taste of the pancake, glazed with high-grade honey, the tenderness of its soft texture. Everything about this meal is sinfully delicious you thought you’re already dead and sent flying to the heavens. Wait, you can’t die now! You still have unfinished business to do in Gensokyo.

You’re sent back to earth only because Kaguya is calling your name aloud. Shaken and definitely stirred you stare at the moon princess who seems to bewildered by your reaction. “Sorry, I was just being overwhelmed,” you tell her nonchalantly.

“I don’t think so~” Mariel says in sing-song. “Mister Yuri is obviously enjoying her majesty’s handicraft.”

“Come on, Mariel, stop being a tease already,” Kaguya tells her. You don’t want to barge into their ‘friendly’ argument and continue enjoying the meal, yet your attention on the delicacy is distracted when she calls you. “So, Yuri, is there anything you want to do for today?”

“Why are you asking me?” you ask.

“I don’t know, that’s why I’m asking you,” she replies.

Let’s see…

[ ] Stay at Eientei.
[ ] Go visit somewhere.
- [ ] Scarlet Devil Mansion.
- [ ] Human village.
- [ ] Youkai Mountain/Moriya Shrine.
- [ ] Hakurei Shrine.

If staying at Eientei…
[ ] Write-in.

System:
Date:
January 1st
Location: Eientei
Time: 07:00 hours

After some consideration, I decided to start Day Eight (and hopefully, the final) with the not-so-ominous intro. You can now start speculating on an unfinished business between Yuri and the L________. Also, my apology for the absence; blame it on my miserable real life.
>>No. 25602
[x] Stay at Eientei.
-[x] Enjoy the morning with Kaguya before the moment's ruined.
-[x] Check on how the rabbit trainees are doing.
>>No. 25603
[x] Stay at Eientei.
-[x] Enjoy the morning with Kaguya before the moment's ruined.
-[x] Check on your forces. Ensure that they are ready for...another incursion. There is unfinished business.
>>No. 25604
[X] Stay at Eientei.
-[X] Enjoy the morning with Kaguya before the moment's ruined.
-[X] Check on how the rabbit trainees are doing.
-[X] Check if all your equipment is operational. Never hurts to make sure.
>>No. 25605
File 135600125364.png - (1.21MB, 1024x768, 51aadcd248f588b1928b710b19ae52a0.png) [iqdb]
25605
Alright, writing now. Updating later.
>>No. 25606
File 135709708795.jpg - (497.44KB, 827x689, 4a84a8dc7d1a46cabc95c0115a60aa4c.jpg) [iqdb]
25606
[c] Stay at Eientei.
- [c] Enjoy the morning with Kaguya before the moment’s ruined.


You chug the last piece of the pancake. “How about I stay here first?” The argument comes to a grinding halt, and both Kaguya and Mariel stare at you in disbelief. “What? Am I not allowed to start my day normally like everyone else?”

“Did you just say normally, Yuri?” Kaguya asks.

“Why, yes I did,” you retort. “I said ‘normally’, so is there a problem with that?” You realize the word has slipped past your mouth unknowingly, and you fumble while trying to construct replacement words.

“Oh, look. Our trustworthy captain has erred.”

“Sheesh, Mariel, stop the teasing already.”

“But I can’t, therefore I’m sorry~”

Breakfast ends quicker than you’d thought. Mariel leaves the kitchen to wash the laundries, leaving you and Kaguya to do dishwashing. She informs you that because you were asleep, she missed the chance of joining the household in their annual visit to Hakurei Shrine. You feel guilty for holding her up while Eirin and the rest, and you quietly wonder if you should take her there after this. “Well, I’m still not sure if I really need to go outdoors at this time of the year,” you say.

“Come on, Yuri, you know it’s not your habit to stay locked indoor,” Kaguya tells you.

“So says the princess who insisted that she stayed behind.” Your response is quickly met with a punch on the shoulder, and you glare at her who doesn’t notice your piercing gaze as she showers you with soap and bubbles. “You don’t make a mess on someone with soap,” you utter.

“Serves you right for making a bad example from me,” Kaguya retorts and continues showering you with dishwashing soap.

You grab her wrist to make her stop, ignoring her surprised yelp as you tighten your squeeze. “Will you stop that already? I already had my shower, and I don’t want to do it for the second time,” you tell her.

“Then go take your shower again,” Kaguya replies.

“Must I waste my time cleaning my body again?” you retort and yank her hand.

For a moment, you thought you’re having a fever of sort. It doesn’t take too long before you realize the reason: your face is dangerously close to Kaguya’s blushing face. The back of your head is commanding you to let go off her and resume the work, but the rest of your body doesn’t respond as you stare deep into her eyes. You soon notice your head descending towards her, and time seems to stand still as you make way to claim her mouth, parted invitingly…

It lasts only for a few seconds, but it feels as if it’s going for eternity. Her warm breaths, her tilted head, her soft moans. Your fingers slowly intertwine with hers, and she gasps into your mouth as the kiss deepens, as you feed yourself upon the heavenly savoury of her lips. You’re sinking into the deep sea of desire, and you no longer care whether you’re drowning in it. You want this moment to last; you want to make sure it stays.

Eventually the lack of oxygen forces you to pull away. The shocked look on her face as you stare at her is telling you that she had not seen it coming. You smile and pull strands of hair that’s covering her eyes. “That shut you up,” you say.

“Yuri, you… you philandering whatsoever!!” Finally she flips out. That took longer than you’d expected, but it’s a relief to see her responding to your advances as always. “Are you trying to embarrass me to death?!” she asks angrily.

“I certainly didn’t,” you reply and let go off her hand. You’re done with dishwashing, anyway, so you spend the rest of the time cleaning the kitchen. “Say, Kaguya.”

“What is it, Yuri?”

“Sorry for what I did earlier,” you apologize.

“For what? Kissing me without my consent?” She’s fallen silent, and you can see at the corner of your eyes Kaguya trying her best not to blush. “…trying to sneak-kiss me in the morning… you do know someone could be watching us, don’t you?” she asks.

“I’ll just send them to the labour camp if they did,” you answer bluntly. Putting down the wiping cloth, you approach her and hug her tightly. She stiffens in yours arms, and you stay still as to allow her to relax. “Like I said, I’m sorry for scaring the hell out of you,” you apologize again.

After a moment, you feel her bury her face in your chest. “What an idiot,” her muffled voice mutters. “Taking advantage of my feeling for you… you should be ashamed of yourself.”

Deep in your heart, you want to confess to her profusely, but you refrain from doing so. The timing is terrible, and you don’t want to ruin it. “I know that. You don’t have to remind me many times.”

A short while later, Kaguya pulls away, sighing in relief. “God, I’ve missed that feeling ever since. Anyway, it’s New Year’s Day today. If you don’t have any plans, do you mind if I ask you to accompany you to Hakurei Shrine?”

“Of course I don’t mind,” you answer. “But can that wait for a while? I need to do some check-up first hand.” You’re slightly worried when her enthusiasm dies out, and you assure her you won’t take too much time.

“Alright. I’ll be waiting at the courtyard.” She hugs you before leaving you in the kitchen. You’re done cleaning the kitchen, so you make haste to the warehouse. You walk past Tatyana and several rabbit trainees at the shooting ground, being supervised by Tewi (strange, you thought she’d join the households to Hakurei Shrine). The skirmish at the graveyard makes you realize how limited your firepower compared to the enemy’s was, and if your soldier’s hunch is to be believed, you have an unfinished business with them.

You walk into the warehouse and waste no time checking on your equipment - save for the battle suit, which Nitori had retrieved after the operation. From all weapons you own, only the PPSh-41 and the Dragunov have been refitted with danmaku modulator as you did not have the chance to retrofit the rest of the arsenal. Since navigations and all related tools are already built into the battle suit, your weapons are probably your biggest concern of the moment. You might want to consult Nitori (and the Moriya Shrine, to an extent) about the weapon cache later.

There’s another issue. You’re going out with Kaguya, and the possibility of someone attempting to provoke you into a fight is always nigh. You want to avoid confrontation, but it never hurts to be prepared; the worst you can think of is to accept spellcard challenge, and you’re very certain your black-white rival is very itching to pick a fight with you.

“Sir, her majesty is awaiting you,” Mariel informs.

“I’ll be there in a moment.” After some consideration, you pick one of the weapons on the shelf. It’s a folding sub-machinegun, and you’ve modified it (with the help of Nitori) so it can fire danmaku rounds. You back it up with your trustworthy handgun, and satisfied that everything else is in working order, you leave the warehouse and meet up with Kaguya at the courtyard. “Kept you waiting, huh?”

“Not too long,” Kaguya replies. “Are you ready?”

“I always am.” You focus your attention on Mariel. “Should anything happens in my absence, let me know as soon as possible.” She nods and excuses herself to leave. You turn around to face Kaguya, noticing with alert that she’s smiling. “Alright. What’s up with that smile?”

“I hope you don’t mind me doing this, Yuri, but…” She bows to you. You’re surprised; does she want to apologize for yelling at you back then? “Please continue to treat me well this year, Yuri.”

Guess not. “Well, yeah. Same goes to you, too.”
-
-
There seems to be a commotion at Hakurei Shrine as you and Kaguya make a touchdown. Reimu is seen having a discussion with Eirin and Reisen, while Suika is doing her best in distracting them with her antics. Seeing that you have recently arrived, you don’t want to immediately barge in, but Kaguya wants to join them. “I’ll wait near the donation box,” you tell her.

“Alright. See you later, Yuri.”

You make haste to the offertory box, trying not to attract too much attention. Your efforts, however, are in vain as a familiar voice greets you, following a cold gust of wind. “Oooh, how rare to see you awake, captain!” Aya speaks as she starts taking pictures of you.

“What are you doing, Aya?” you ask.

“Taking your pictures, duh!” she replies.

Amidst the confusion as the tengu journalist is circling around you and Kaguya, you spot two figures descending from the sky and landing near the arc. “Good morning, Mister Yuri,” Alice greets you as she and Marisa are approaching you. “Thought you’d be too smashed to even wake up and visit Reimu. Did something inspire you to get up early?”

“You just didn’t know the whole story, Alice,” Marisa remarks. “Well, it was fun seeing how long he could last against the drunken master Suika.” On Alice’s head, you can see Shanghai and Hourai giving their sympathetic looks. Thanks for the moral support, dolls.

You spot another figure floating above the area, holding an umbrella coloured in dark purple. She touches down on the pavement and salutes you. “Kogasa reporting in, sir!” the karakasa obake says cheerfully.

“It’s like the whole Gensokyo is conspiring against me today,” you grumble.

“Oh, don’t me so mad, captain! Here, I’ll be your entertainer,” Aya offers and takes out her notepad. “So, captain, tell me about the whole operation. Every bit of it.”

“You call that ‘entertainment’?” you ask.

“What else you want me to do? Dance on the floor?” Aya retorts.

[ ] Entertain the war correspondent, alright.
- [ ] On her term, of course.
- [ ] Do it on your term: good ol’ Russian way.
[ ] “I have no time to justify myself to your reviewers. Now excuse me, I have an urgent matter to do.” Pick one:
- [ ] Join Kaguya.
- [ ] Donate.
- [ ] Talk with the girls.
-- [ ] Alice.
-- [ ] Marisa.
-- [ ] Kogasa.

inb4 Yuri dancing on the floor in pink armour.

Touhou seen:
+ Reimu
+ Suika
+ Eirin
+ Reisen
+ Marisa
+ Alice (and Shanghai & Hourai)
+ Aya
+ Kogasa

Current equipment (Yuri):
+ Winter uniform.
+ Pilotka hat.
+ Kriss Super V w/ Fore Grip & Danmaku Refit, conveniently tucked beneath the coat.
+ M1911A1 (7+1/28)
+ Spellcards: Sniper Sign [Precision Shots], Artillery Sign [Curtain of Flak], Counter Sign [Operatsiya Uran], Counter Sign [Stalingrad].
+ Old Soviet currencies.

I almost forgot, but it’s been three years since I started posting stories in TH-P (and especially /Eientei/) as a writefag. Time surely flies very fast, though I have to admit I missed the good old time. Anyway, Happy New Year, everyone. Please take a great care of this useless and only good for his laziness appeal writefag.
>>No. 25607
[x] Entertain the war correspondent, alright.
- [x] Do it on your term: good ol’ Russian way.
>>No. 25608
[T] Entertain the war correspondent, alright.
- [T] Do it on your term: good ol’ Russian way.
--- [T] Impose the condition that she will not publish the account until 50 hours later on the basis that before then, the Operation is classified information. Threaten that any leak before this designated print time shall be regarded as 'treason', and Aya shall be dealt with accordingly.
>>No. 25609
[X] Entertain the war correspondent, alright.
- [X] Do it on your term: good ol’ Russian way.
--- [X] Impose the condition that she will not publish the account until 50 hours later on the basis that before then, the Operation is classified information. Threaten that any leak before this designated print time shall be regarded as 'treason', and Aya shall be dealt with accordingly.
>>No. 25610
[X] Entertain the war correspondent, alright.
- [X] Do it on your term: good ol’ Russian way.
>>No. 25611
File 135761603260.jpg - (1.23MB, 2000x1426, fbccd6ed5d509c7ea2e5045b69ce723c.jpg) [iqdb]
25611
Alright. Writing now.
>>No. 25612
File 135824028864.jpg - (126.10KB, 299x300, this_picture_is_unrelated_to_story.jpg) [iqdb]
25612
[c] Entertain the war correspondent, alright.
- [c] Do it on your term: good ol’ Russian way.
- [c] Impose the condition that she will not publish the account until 50 hours later on the basis that before then, the Operation is classified information. Threaten that any leak before this designated print time shall be regarded as ‘treason’ and Aya shall be dealt with accordingly.


It’s the dawn of a new year, and the last thing you have in mind is to have anyone interviewing you, and yet this intrepid war correspondent already pegs you with one. She could have asked you about anything, but why it has to be the yet-named Operation in the first place? You suspect that she’s just toying with you, but knowing her she means business. Well, she said she wants you to entertain her, so why not?

“Alright, I will honour your request. I can’t afford to jeopardize my relation with the “public relation department” can I?” At that instance Aya pumps her fist victoriously. “However, we’re going to have the interview on my term:” and you grin almost as wide as your face as you continue: “the good ol’ Russian way: vodka.”

“Did somebody just say VODKA? Because I think I heard somebody saying VODKA!” So saying the two-horned petite Oni appears behind Aya, clinging onto her back in her usual drunken stupor. “Hey there, captain! Happy New Year!”

“Happy New Year to you, too, comrade,” you reply. “Good timing, because I was thinking of inviting Aya for a drink.”

“Captain, with all due respect, I’m here to have an interview with you, NOT a drinking session with you,” Aya interjects.

“What? Surely you don’t mind taking a chug or two, eh Aya?” Suika asks as she dangles her gourd beside Aya’s face. “Or should I tell everyone how you completely flipped out and flashed Hatate and Momiji during the party?”

“Uhh… Suika, let’s not discuss that matter, shall we?” Aya asks.

“Alright, it’s decided!” you declare. “We’ll have an interview AND drinking competition. Winners will earn the right to treat the losers however they please!”

“Cool! Meet me at the balcony after this!”

After Suika has left, you turn your attention to the clearly mortified Aya. “I don’t care if you’re intending to publish this interview; everyone has the right to voice their opinion, I can’t deny it. However, you must remember that this Operation was – and is – supposed to be classified. Any leak before the designated print time shall be treated as ‘treason’, and if I find you publishing the account in the next fifty hours,” you pause only because you’re staring deep into her widened eyes, “I will personally lead a raid on your house and confiscate all your belongings. Your camera, your reports, your food supply, your clothes, and your modesty.”

“I take offence to that last one, captain!” Aya objects.

“What? Do you think I’ll let the public be aware of this operation and jeopardize the lives of my crew?” you respond and point at her face. “Besides, Miss Shameimaru, it’s been a damn long time since you last joined the training camp. How about I drill that sorry ass of yours until you can no longer and have to beg me to stop?”

“Fine, fine!” she replies and heads for the balcony. “I will not lose to the likes of you! Mark my words!”

The three of you (or five, if you count Shanghai and Hourai) watch her join Suika at the shrine. “Confiscate her modesty? That’s harsh, Mister Ivanov,” Alice utters, unable to keep herself from giggling.

“A breach of conduct is a breach, regardless of her intention,” you tell her. “And yes, she shall be dealt with accordingly.”

“Man, you really have a bad grudge with her, aren’t you?” Marisa asks.

“She needs to learn to respect someone’s private space, or she’ll be in a world of pain.”

You join Suika at the balcony, who has prepared the necessary items for the said session, including – to your surprise, the very same vodka cache that was your ultimate undoing during the New Year drinking face-off. “Thought I wouldn’t go unprepared, would I?” she asks with that comical grin on her face.

You take your seat between Suika and Aya. You take one vodka bottle and hand Aya another. “First thing first, what do you exactly seek for from this interview?” you ask and start drinking.

“Everything. From the name of the operation to the nature of the operation to those who were involved,” Aya answers. “I can’t publish this article and have my readers asking what on Earth what was going, you know.”

Naming the operation? Come to think about it, you haven’t thought of doing, and you never thought such trivial matter would be important. “Alright.” You’ve finished your first bottle, and fetch another one. “In honour of brave soldiers of the Red Army, my comrades in arms,” you say and raise the bottle. “I shall refer to it as Operation Volga Guardians.”

Aya scribbles the name on her notebook. “There, all done! Alright, we can start the interview right away.” You begin by laying out the details of the operation, its objective and the strength of the opposing force your team was facing. You find yourself having a hard time keeping up with many seemingly ‘trivial’ questions Aya’s asking, but there’s nothing a bottle of vodka can’t fix as you quickly remind her about the drinking competition.

The interviews ends half an hour later. By now, Aya is lying on the wooden floor, completely smashed from drinking bottles after bottles of vodka, more than you can possibly count. She’s really serious about out-drinking you and winning the competition, but it doesn’t really matter as has agreed not to publish the article for the next fifty hours. You’re still on the right track about dragging Aya into training regiment, though, and you make sure she will be treated as such in the future.

“Still drinking, I see.”

“Didn’t notice you’re here, Eirin,” you greet her, hiccupping at the end of the sentence.

“Are you alright? You look like need to take hangover medication,” Eirin says.

“No, I’m fine. I can still last for another round,” you tell her with another hiccup.

“Alright. I’m returning to Eientei with Udongein. Kaguya’s staying with you here in case you’re planning to go anywhere,” Eirin tells you. She snickers as Suika (and later, Kaguya) rubs you on the back. “To think that you still manage to out-drink a tengu after drinking so much vodka…”

Eirin and Reisen leave the holy ground. You lie on your back, while Suika carries the unconscious Aya back into the shrine. You’re going to kill your poor liver sooner or later, but old habit dies hard, there’s nothing you can do about it.

“I take it that you’re done with the interview,” Kaguya says.

“Pretty much.” You groan when you feel your head start spinning. “I’ll have to send her to Siberia if she posts the articles within fifty hours, though.”

“I know what you mean.” She lifts your head and rests it upon her lap, and applies gentle massage upon your scalp. “Silly Yuri. You think you can beat tengu and oni in drinking competition and get away with it? I should confiscate your vodka supply as a punishment.”

“Hey, that’s not fair,” you retort.

“Why not? It’s only fair that a soldier needs to learn his limits,” she replies.

You sigh. “Whatever you say, your highness.”

Now what, captain?
[c] Wait until the alcoholic effect dissipates, then you can continue with your plan.
- [ ] Ask Kaguya where she wants to go next.
- [ ] Donate. One does not simply visit Hakurei Shrine and not fill the donation box with some offering.
- [ ] Meet Alice. Let’s settle our score at Stalingrad, once and for all.
- [ ] On the other hand, is that the sound of camera clicking behind you?
>>No. 25613
[c] Wait until the alcoholic effect dissipates, then you can continue with your plan.
- [x] Donate. One does not simply visit Hakurei Shrine and not fill the donation box with some offering.
- [x] Meet Alice. Let’s settle our score at Stalingrad, once and for all.
-- [x] Though as if Kaguya minds the trip.
>>No. 25614
[T] Even in your drunken stupor, you recognize the sound of a camera clicking. If the person clicking is not Aya, determine the threat level of spy and deal with accordingly:
- A relatively benign copycat of Aya will receive a relatively mild punishment: she will receive a harsh warning, have the 50 hour ban enforced upon her, and will have alcohol force-fed as punishment. If she is knocked out by the alcohol content, she will also then be conscripted into the camp.
- If it is a true spy, he/she will suffer the wrath of Drunk Russian Soldier.

[c] Wait until your alcoholic effect dissipates, then...
- [T] Donate. One does not simply visit Hakurei Shrine and not fill the donation box with some offering.
- [T] Ask Kaguya where she wants to go next.
--- [T] If she lacks an answer and merely asks you the same question in return, suggest meeting Alice and avenge Stalingrad, once and for all!
>>No. 25616
[c] Wait until the alcoholic effect dissipates, then you can continue with your plan.
- [X] On the other hand, is that the sound of camera clicking behind you?
- [X] Ask Kaguya where she wants to go next after checking it out.
>>No. 25617
File 135918890683.jpg - (166.67KB, 600x401, lonely_soldiers_under_the_rain.jpg) [iqdb]
25617
[c] Deal with the immediate threat first.
[c] Then settle down, and let the alcoholic effect dissipate.
[c] After that, donate. One does not simply visit Hakurei Shrine and not fill the donation box.
[c] Ask Kaguya where she wants to go next.
- [c] If she asks the same question in return, suggest meeting Alice.


You groan. If it isn’t for that damned camera clicking, you could have had a peaceful rest at Hakurei Shrine. It doesn’t matter, as you’re going to handle this problem the way you know best. Getting off your back, you confront the intruder – a twin-tailed girl with chequered skirt and wings on her back. “Your name, rank, division and reason for coming here.”

The girl tilts her head, seemingly confused. “Uhh… sir, I was told to fetch Miss Aya. It was supposed to be Miss Momiji’s job, but she’s assigned to the Moriya Shrine.”

“So you’re an acquaintance of Aya Shameimaru?” you ask.

“That is correct, sir. My name is Hatate Himekaidou.” You’re not sure if you can buy her explanation as you notice the camera-thing she’s holding. “Oh, umm… I’m sorry, it’s just my impulse as a reporter,” she apologizes.

Oh, damn, not another one? One interview is enough, and now you have to go through another? “Look, I appreciate your concern, and I respect your rights to gather information, but taking pictures of someone without the person’s consent is an offence on its own.” You lift a finger, just as this newcomer is about to open her mouth. “I could force you to drink vodka, have your valuable items confiscated and send you to a boot camp.”

“But I didn’t even do anything,” she protests. “Forget that, what’s up with those, umm, punishments?”

“Yuri just has… bad blood with war correspondents, so to speak,” Kaguya says. “But don’t worry about that, I’m sure he will tolerate you. Oh, I know! You haven’t met him, have you? Let’s use this opportunity for a proper introduction, shall we?” She nudges on your rib, telling you to introduce to her.

“Fine, since you asked for it,” you grumble. “Captain Yuri Ivanov, former member of Third Guards Rifle Division, Soviet Red Army. I’ll be frank here; I’m intending to punish you for publishing any article related to me just because you happen to be a reporter. Since this is our first meeting, however, I will ask you to not pictures of mine within fifty-metre radius for fifty hours. Is that fair enough?”

“Hey, that’s not fair!” The three of you turn to the voice and see Aya standing near the sliding door. “I had to drink all those vodkas and obey the fifty-hour ban or be sent to the gulag and have my belongings taken away, and you asked her not to take pictures of you instead? I take offence to that, captain!!”

“Aya.” You grab her arms and pin her on one of the pillars. “You do not taunt a Russian soldier when he’s drunk. You do not want to know how capable a drunk Russian soldier really is,” you speak while staring deep into her eyes. “If you still insist, however, how about you let me drill that ass right here, right now?” You let go off her, correct yourself, and head back to Kaguya and Hatate. “As you can see, had she acted like a professional and paid respect to my privacy, this kind of issue would not happen.”

“Oh,” Hatate replies. “So all I just have to do is to stay away from you for about fifty metres for fifty hours, right?” You fall back onto the balcony. The pain in your head is unbearable, almost as if it’s going to split your cranium from within. “Are you alright? You don’t look very fine to me.”

“Da, I am fine and all merry,” you dismiss. “If you don’t have anything else to do, I suggest that you leave me. I… I think I need a few minutes. Spare me some privacy, alright?”

After lying down for a few minutes, you’re free from the alcoholic effect.

“Alright, I think I can function again,” you announce and stand up. Paying no attention to Aya (who is, amusingly, prostrating in front of Hatate and crying in despair) you walk to the donation box. Remembering that you need to donate to the shrine, you search your pockets for anything you can donate. You’ve found them: old Soviet currencies from the Second World War. You don’t have a need for them anymore, so you put them into the box and offer a prayer to whatever deity of the shrine is.

“I only accept modern-day cash,” Reimu retorts as you meet up with her.

“At least I donated, that’s the most important thing,” you tell her.

“Yeah, and you call threatening to strip Aya off her dignity important. Give the girl a break; she just wants to do her job,” Reimu replies.

“I find it funny to hear that from you,” you say.

Reimu shrugs. “Whatever, captain. So, you’re going anywhere after this? I suppose you’re visiting Remi or Sanae since you know what.”

“I don’t know. I better ask Kaguya first,” you say.

“Eh? Me?” You and Reimu nod. “Well, I… I don’t know. I’ll go wherever Yuri is going.”

“So much for planning on your date, eh Captain?” Reimu asks.

“You don’t say,” you grumble. “Wait. Is Alice still here?”

“Right here,” Alice replies as she and Marisa appear beside you. “I got this feeling that you’re here not to just donate to Reimu.”

“You’re not, Yuri?” Kaguya asks.

“Huh? I think I forgot to tell you about it,” you reply. “But I guess it’s no use hiding it from you or everybody else.”

“Go on, tell. I have the whole day to listen,” Kaguya tells you.

You clear your throat. Then you turn your attention to Alice. “Alice.” You hesitate for a while, but you press on. “Do you remember Stalingrad?” Her eyes widen; if it’s because you’re talking to her in Russian or you’re mentioning the place, you don’t know. “Alice, please. Answer my question. Do you remember Stalingrad?”

“I… I don’t even…”

“Goddamn it, Alice! 1942! Stalingrad! The Great Patriotic War!” you scream. “Alfred! Ivanov! Illiyich! The tunnel escape! The jetty! Do you remember all of them?”

She’s staring at you, shock and disbelief coursing over her. Then, after a long time, of silence, she covers her mouth, as tears start forming in her eyes. “No… it can’t be…” Her voice is shaking as she asks you in your language. “Are you… really…”

You just nod. “Da, the one and only. Surprised to see me after sixty years, I bet?”

For once, she doesn’t hurl at you, or even yell at you, as you would expect. Instead, she just stands there, struggling to keep the tears from flowing down her face. “I never thought you’d be the Mister Ivanov of Stalingrad,” she mutters. Kaguya pushes her forward and into your arms; in an instant she cries, but you know those tears are the tears of happiness, shed by someone who has been reunited with someone very important to her after years of separation. “I thought you wouldn’t make it out…” she mutters.

“If I can survive Stalingrad, I will survive everywhere else,” you speak while soothingly rub her back. “Stop crying, Alice. I don’t think someone will take it very lightly when you’re using my shoulder.”

“You’re not Alfred.”

“I’m sorry for that.”

“Hey, hey! Why the hell are you talking in a language I can’t understand? Speak Japanese, damn it! This is Gensokyo!” Marisa interjects.

She pulls herself away from you. “Tell me, Mister Ivanov… Alfred… he was dead, wasn’t he?” You nod. “I got this feeling you didn’t tell me the whole story.” She stares at you, and for the first time in your life you can see the spark of hope in her eyes. “Tell me, and please be honest to me, Mister Ivanov. How did he die?”

You take a deep breath. “I guess it’s no use keeping it secret from anyone.” You sit down, taking Alice with you. You take a few more minutes before you begin. “We were headed for the Volga when we were reunited with Alfred’s men. They were Prussians, and just like Alfred, were forced to join the Nazi against their will. They agreed to take us to the river, but before we could even move out we were pinned down by enemy sniper.”

“The Russians?” Alice asks.

“No, Alice, although the Red Army would be more than happy to see them dead, Prussians or not,” you answer. “Anyway, I had tried everything I could do to break the stalemate, but it wasn’t working well for us. One lone sniper was able to deny movement to a whole army division, just think of how effective it is.” You take a deep breath. “I was thinking of making myself a decoy to lure the enemy out, but Alfred beat me to it first. It was a success, and I-”

“Alfred took the shot…” Alice mutters. “And you didn’t even do anything to stop him…” She grabs your collar, yanking you so hard you think she might break your neck. “That means you killed Alfred!! Murderer!! Give him back to me!! Give back my friend!!”

“…Alice, you need to understand this: it was not supposed to be that way. I was supposed to be the one who landed that shot on him, and that’s because it was my duty to defend the Motherland from the fascist invaders.” You put your hands over hers, asking her to calm down. “He wasn’t the only one: I had been personally picked by Comrade Stalin himself to carry out the assassination mission. Illiyich and I were supposed to just set up a post, wait for him to show up, and make the shot. That was it.”

“But Alfred!! He… he…”

“Do you think I’m not the only one who wants to avenge his death? Do you?!” you suddenly yell at her face. She jerks away, but your firm grasp on her hands is preventing her from stepping back. “How can I ever forget his smile when he was dying in my arms that day? Do you think I, who was up to that point never had any problem in killing Germans, was able to sleep peacefully in the night and not having flashback of his death?”

“Alice, every time I close my eyes, I can see the faces of my victims. The colour of their eyes, the wrinkles on their forehead, the unaware look they had just before they met their demise. Just thinking of it makes me grateful I didn’t have to know my victims in person, because it would affect my decision in whether I should pull the trigger or not.” You let go off her hand. “Listen, Alice, I won’t blame you if you’re going to hate me for taking Alfred away from you. It’s alright if you want to hate me forever, I deserve it.”

You stand up and walk away from the shrine. “Well, I have granted your request, and I don’t see myself telling you anything anymore. Let’s go, Kaguya. We’re heading to the Youkai Mountain.” Your steps come to a halt. Standing in front of you is Marisa, and she is angry as you can imagine. You pay her no attention and walk past her, and that’s when you hear Marisa shouting your name. You turn around, only to find yourself eating her fist in your face. You stumble on your feet but not falling into the snow, although you’re taken off guard by her move.

“Bastard!! You’re going to just walk away and not having any sympathy for Alice?!” she shouts. She punches you for the second time before she grabs your collar and drags you towards Alice. “Apologize to her!!”

Slowly you approach Alice. She’s on all fours, crying out all of her heart’s content. Seeing her like this is making a dent on your heart, and it immediately reminds you to when she cried in your arms near the Volga. “Alice, I…”

“Go away!” You take her hand, only to be pushed back. “I said go away!!”

You sigh. You grab her hand, pull her off the snow and bring her to you face-to-face. “You want to avenge Alfred’s death, don’t you?” You take out the handgun, place it in her hand and have her guide it at your chest. “Pull the trigger. Put a bullet right inside my heart. It will end right here, right now. If I have to pay with my own life, so be it.”

You wait for her. Everybody waits for her. Then, after what has to be the longest minute in your entire life, the handgun falls off her trembling hand and into the snow. Tears profusely flow, as she buries her face into her palms. “…I can’t do it…” she mutters. “…I just can’t…”

“Then I’m sorry for not bringing Alfred home,” you apologize. You pull Alice into your arms, and in an instant she breaks into the most soul-crushingly depressing cry ever. You can actually feel your own heart shattering into pieces, broken beyond repair, slowly getting blown away by the cold winter wind and disappearing into nothingness…



……

………

“This should be alright, shouldn’t it?” you ask, even as you softly pat Alice’s head as she’s sleeping upon your lap. “She cried all her heart out, and then fell asleep on me. I should’ve reminded her I’m not to be used as a pillow.”

“I blame you for making her cry,” Reimu states.

“You are not helping, thank you very much,” you retort.

“Well, I did do my part in not letting Marisa flip at you,” the shrine maiden replies. “I mean, look. You were looking for Alice, and then all in a sudden you told her some kind of story even I didn’t get. And after that this suddenly happened.” She folds her arms. “Seriously, soldier, you should quit drinking already.”

“You aren’t going to replace whoever Alice’s friend is, are you?” Kaguya asks.

You shake your head. “I will never be able to replace him. He understood Alice, and only he alone can understand her.” Alice stirs, but is otherwise not awakened by the sudden movement. “I’m sure he’s happy to see her from up there, though, because I believe he wants her to live happily even without him.”

Taking a deep breath, you throw your sight into the now clear blue sky. You have settled your debt with Alice, although you don’t know what will happen after this. You snicker; well, does it matter right now?’

“All’s good, isn’t it?” you mutter under your breath. You empty the vodka bottle in one gulp and bring the empty vessel upward. “Cheers, comrade Alfred.”

Where to go after this?
[ ] Go back to Eientei.
[ ] To the bat cave Youkai Mountain.
[ ] Let’s visit the Scarlet Devil Mansion.
[ ] Pay visit at Human’s Village.

I had to tell myself not to cry when I was writing this update, especially the part when Yuri had to comfort Alice. I’m sorry, Alice… ;_;
>>No. 25618
File 13591890525.jpg - (726.12KB, 1920x1200, goodwp_com-15365.jpg) [iqdb]
25618
>>25617

I almost forgot to post status update, so here it is.

===============

Name: Yuri Ivanov
Rank: Captain
(Former) Unit: Third Guards Rifle Division, Soviet Red Army
Allegiance: Eientei (but especially to her majesty Kaguya)
Health: 95%, slightly intoxicated
Magic: Medium
Stamina: High
Emotion: High

Skills
+ Machinery I
+ Night Warfare I
+ Camouflage II
+ Danmaku II
+ Firearms II
+ Flight II
+ Leadership II
+ Outdoor Survival II
+ Public Relationship II
+ Spellcard II
+ Urban Warfare II
+ Close Quarter Combat III
+ Marksmanship III
+ Sniping III

Team Members:
+ Reisen U. Inaba
+ Tewi Inaba
+ Kogasa Tatara
+ Tatyana Inaba
+ Anne-Marie Braun

Allies:
+ Eirin Yagokoro
+ Rinnosuke Morichika
+ Mokou of Fujiwara Clan
+ Reimu Hakurei
+ Marisa Kirisame
+ Yuyuko Saigyouji
+ Alice Margatroid
+ Youmu Konpaku
+ Suika Ibuki
+ Yuugi Hoshiguma
+ Kawashiro Nitori
+ Byakuren Hijiri
+ Remilia Scarlet
+ Koakuma (love rival?)
+ Patchouli Knowledge
+ Comrade Fairies (Anastasia, Ekaterina, Sasha)
+ Hong Meiling
+ Flandre Scarlet
+ Yamato, Musashi & Shinano

Inventory:
+ A water bottle.
+ A pair of boots (equipped)
+ Clean clothes.
+ A photograph of your comrades.
+ Bayonet.
+ Small diary.
+ Lucky charm, crafted from a Bf109’s 30mm bullet.
+ Winter uniform (equipped)
+ Pilotka hat (equipped)
+ Old Soviet currencies (about to be donated)

Primary weapons #1:
+ Mosin-Nagant with PEM Scope & Danmaku Refit
+ PPSH-41 with Extended Magazine & Danmaku Refit
+ Dragunov SVU-AS with PSO-1 Scope & Danmaku Refit

Primary weapons #2:
+ PKMS with Bipod
+ Saiga 12
+ AN-94 with Red Dot Sight

Primary weapons #3:
+ L115A1 with Leopold Scope & Bipod
+ Kriss Super V with Fore Grip & Danmaku Refit (equipped).

Secondary weapons:
+ M1911A1 (equipped)
+ Colt .44 Magnum (currently owned by Reisen)

Equipment:
+ Vodka
+ Stun grenade
+ Fragmentation grenade
+ Smoke grenade
+ Molotov Cocktail
+ Night vision goggles

Attachment
+ Danmaku Refit (unlocks Suppressive Fire perk)
+ Aperture Sight
+ Variable-zoom Sniper Scope
+ Bayonet
+ Extended Magazine
+ Rabbit Shield
+ Fore Grip
+ Tactical Knife

Spellcards
Sniper’s Sign「Precision Shots」
Be professional. Be polite. Be efficient. Have a plan to kill anyone you meet.**

Artillery Sign「Curtain of Flak」
Unleash the rain of destruction upon the enemy and liberate the free sky.**

Counter Sign「Operatsiya Uran」
Use your speed and precision shots to overwhelm the enemy of the Motherland. Ura!**

Counter Sign「Stalingrad」
Surrounded. Suppressed. Starving. In these darkest hours, you learned what the Red Army was truly capable of.**

**this is what I can come with for the descriptions, but I’m all open for suggestions.
>>No. 25619
[x] Pay visit at Human’s Village.

I think this might change the mood around best.
>>No. 25620
[X] Pay visit at Human’s Village.

Might as well.
>>No. 25621
[x] To the bat Mountain
>>No. 25635
File 136141590590.png - (1.06MB, 970x1359, 531cbaa9ad2fb1cd6458fc3e0783ebc8.png) [iqdb]
25635
Sure is quiet around here.

[c] Pay visit at Human’s village.

You’ve stayed at Hakurei Shrine long enough to settle all debts from the past. You need to continue this trip, as you have planned. You wake Alice up, telling her that it’s time you go, and she reluctantly moves aside, even apologizing for using your lap as a pillow.

“Say… Mister Ivanov?”

“Alice, for the sake of Alfred, just call me Yuri, okay?” You wonder if it’s time to drop the formality once and for all.

She nods. “Okay. I was wondering if you could come over to my house for evening tea. We… I believe both of us have a lot of stories to share.”

You shrug. “As long as Kaguya doesn’t mind, that is. Oh, one more thing.” Warily you turn to Marisa. “I’ll let her know that she will need to settle her blood feud with me once and for all.”

“You want me to give up the fight? Pfft! You’re chickening out, aren’t you?”

“Marisa, please,” Alice pleads. “You can fight him all the way you like, but not today.” You’re about to leave when she asks you to approach her. As you’re a couple of inches away from her, she leans up and does the unexpected: brushing her lips upon your battle-scarred cheek. “спасибо.” She steps backward, pushes you back to Kaguya and waves to you. Not understanding why she gives you such a farewell gift, you wave back at her and quickly leave the shrine. It’s only after you reach the bottom of the stairs do you flip out and frantically ask Kaguya whether she’s alright with Alice kissing you.

“Calm down, Yuri,” the befuddled princess tells you. “You’re acting like it’s the end of the world. What’s wrong with you? It was just as kiss.”

“Yeah, then how come you didn’t flip out?” you ask.

“What were you expecting from me?” she asks back.

“Well, I don’t know! How about you kiss me instead?” And she does, as she mashes her mouth against yours, kissing you as deeply as you can possibly imagine. You’re frozen in your spot, stunned by the uncalled for action. She lets you go after a full minute, staring at you long enough for her to giggle.

“Come on, I’ll forgive you for that,” she says. You’re about to open your mouth when you hear shutter clicking. As you turn to the source of the interruption, your face turns pale.

“Jackpot,” Aya announces.

Oh, for fuck’s sake. “What the hell?”

“What? What’s wrong with taking pictures?” Aya interjects.

“I’ve made myself clear about the prohibition, have I not?” you ask.

“Prohibition or not, I’m going to publish this no matter what!” Aya sticks her tongue at you and launches herself off the ground. “Hasta la vista!”

“Well, umm… please enjoy your day.” Hatate bows to you before following Aya’s lead.

“Damn you, Aya!!!” you scream, shaking your fist to the sky.
-
-
There’s a gathering at the middle of the village as you arrive. You know it’s not unusual to see the crowd of this capacity during this special day, but for some reason your hunch is telling you to steer away from the gathering. “Let’s find somewhere else to rest,” you tell Kaguya.

“I think I just saw the Moriya goddesses leaving from there,” Kaguya says.

“They’re here?”

“They’re goddesses, I think they’re here to gather more worshippers,” she answers. “You want to check on what they’re doing?”

You shrug. “I don’t see why not.” You head to the middle of the village, where the villagers are gathered around the divine couples. Apparently Kanako is delivering a speech while Suwako’s staying at sideline, but where’s their priestess?

You feel your shoulder tapped from behind. “Hey, captain! Fancy meeting you here,” Nitori greets you as you turn around. “Happy New Year!”

“Yeah, a happy new year to you, too,” you reply. “I guess you’re with the Moriya folk today.”

“Not really, I’m just passing by.” She folds her arms, a silly grin plastered upon her face. “Actually, I’ve set up my booth not far from here. Want to check it out?”

You turn to Kaguya. “What about you?”

“I’ll go with you, sounds like fun,” she replies.

“Alright, it’s decided! Follow me!” You follow the kappa to the other side of the village, where her fellow kappas are setting up several apparatus around the booth. There are several recognizable people at the booth, and they, too, are curious about the booth.

“What’s your plan this time?” you ask.

Nitori smirks. “I’m sure you’ve heard of the term ‘shooting gallery’.” You turn your attention to the said ‘shooting gallery’, though the way Nitori’s setting it up makes it look more like an obstacle course. “I was thinking to perform a demonstration on my own, but since I’ve found you, why don’t you give it a shot?”

[ ] Well, why not?
[ ] Decline. You don’t like the feeling of this…

People seen/spotted:
+ Anne
+ Meiling
+ Sakuya
+ Remilia
+ Flandre
+ Rinnosuke
+ Byakuren
+ Shou
+ Iku
+ Tenshi
>>No. 25636
[x] Decline. You don’t like the feeling of this…

I'm a bit worried about this that and there's other plans for the day.
>>No. 25637
[X] Well, why not?
>>No. 25638
[X] Politely decline. It's a nice offer but we wouldn't want to accidentally hurt ourselves again and give the princess undue worry.
>>No. 25639
[X] Politely decline. "Perhaps another day, but not today."

We must save our stamina for the real fight.
>>No. 25646
[ ] Decline. You don’t like the feeling of this…

Better keep that stamina for now.
>>No. 25666
[X] Politely decline. "Perhaps another day, but not today."

Yeah, not shooting today.
>>No. 25670
File 136236955199.jpg - (414.80KB, 800x1000, 62c34b809061d5e824b0105a4e43a579.jpg) [iqdb]
25670
Alright, calling it for declining Nitori's offer. Writing now.
>>No. 25672
File 13626592168.jpg - (29.87KB, 640x369, atm_se10.jpg) [iqdb]
25672
>>25670
One of these days, I swear I need to overcome the tendency to give in to writer's block.

----------

[c] Decline.

“Can’t I just do it on another day?”

“Oh, come on, captain! I’ve prepared this just for you,” Nitori answers.

“I’m not against doing demonstration, but the time isn’t right for that,” you tell her. She sulks, and you’re suddenly feeling guilty for letting her down. “Maybe later today? Or tomorrow, when I’m free?”

“Alright, tomorrow then! I’ll be here when you need me.” She pushes you into the shooting gallery. “At least let me know if I need to do some improvement, okay? Knowing you, I’m sure you want to add in some genuine challenges.”

Nitori takes her leave and Kaguya shows up seconds afterward. “Let me guess: another weapon demonstration,” she says.

“I’ve told her to postpone the demonstration until tomorrow,” you answer.“I don’t think I want to have any weapon testing right now, so what’s your plan?”

“Me? I’ll go check the booths after this. You want to come with me?” she asks.

“I’ll catch up with you later,” you tell her.

“Alright, but be careful,” she reminds you.

You walk in and out of the shooting gallery, trying to find any flaw that will jeopardize the upcoming demonstration. You stumble across Remilia and Sakuya at one section of the gallery, the former examining a set of mannequins with utmost interest. You greet them, asking them whether they know anything about the demonstration. “I didn’t recall anything about a demonstration, but I do find it very interesting,” Remilia answers.

“Just letting you know, that’s all,” you say.

“By the way, Mister Ivanov, if you’re planning to see Anne, she’s at Mystia’s food stall,” Sakuya informs.

“I appreciate it, thanks,” you reply.

You bid farewell to them and continue the inspection. You come across a group of children next to the entrance door, apparently without the supervision of an adult. “I thought this place is off-limit to all of you. Leave before anyone gets hurt,” you tell them. They refuse to budge, and instead surround you while looking up at you.

“I think this is the guy,” one of them murmurs.

“You mean the “Soviet sniper” that came out in the newspapers long time ago?” another child asks. The children must be talking about the brawl between you and Yukari, but it was supposed to be forgotten… unless they read about it from the publication. Goddamn it, that tengu journalist.

One of the boys points at the sub-machine you carelessly take out of the trench coat. “Say, Big Brother, do you know what that is?” Ah, damn, not at this time. Seeing many curious eyes fixing themselves upon the weapon, however, you realize you have no choice but to entertain them.

“Let’s get out of here. It’s not safe for all of us to stand in.” You head to one off the booth with the children following you and unfold the sub-machinegun. “My knowledge on modern-day technology is very lacking, but from my observation, this is an advanced, foldable sub-machinegun that fires 45-calibre bullets, a true man-stopper. You could bring down a bear with it, too, provided that you take aim at the right spot.” You let the children touch the weapon. “Its recoil is also manageable thanks to this contraption that redirects its recoil downward instead of into my shoulder. You can mount all types of gadgets on it – flashlight, forward grip, laser sight - although I doubt anyone would fit a sniping scope on a sub-machinegun. With the help of my friend Nitori, I’ve converted its firing mechanism to allow it to shoot danmaku.”

“That means you can shoot danmaku, right?” the boy from earlier asks.

“A soldier has to adapt to the ever-changing battlefield, even if it means he has to learn the tactics of his adversary,” you answer.

The children stare at you in awe. “You look like you’re coming straight out of a comic book or something. Are you a superhero, Big Brother?”

“I’m not a hero.” You shake your head. “Never was, never is, never will be. I’m just a soldier, given orders to defend my homeland.”

“Hey, public demonstration of weaponry is forbidden!” The children immediately disperse, leaving you alone with whoever is yelling at you. “Seriously, who has the bright idea of setting up a shooting gallery in the middle of the village?” Keine asks as she and Mokou approach the venue.

“Hello, Mokou, Miss Keine,” you greet them.

“Oh, if it isn’t the captain,” Mokou replies. “‘Sup? Has the soberness gotten into you by now?”

“And I thought you’re opening your shop today. Has laziness gotten into you by now?” Kaguya jibes. Oh, you didn’t even notice her presence beside you.

“Cheer up, princess! I didn’t mean to make fun of you and your significant other today, ahahaha!” Mokou laughs. “But still, this whole setup was your idea, wasn’t it captain?”

“Why would he?” Kaguya cuts you off. “For your information, Fujiwara no Mokou, he has to get my permission before he can participate in a military exercise. Only after he gets my approval does he take part in such activity.”

Mokou keeps on laughing “Kaguya, if you really are worried over his safety, why don’t you ask him to marry you?” she asks.

“Mokou! W-why are you suddenly bringing that out here?!” Kaguya yells.

“Admit it, Kaguya, you like him, and he obviously likes you.” Your stomach churns in a sudden when you hear the words. “Jeez, I can’t believe you two are actually thick-headed! Come on, confess right here! Keine and I will be your witnesses, if you like.”

You hear someone yelling from faraway. Immediately you leave them and head to the source of the yell. A group of hunters is seen harassing several customers at Mystia’s booth, and you recognize one such customer as your team-mate. The law of engagement prohibits you from using firearms in public area, and even if you can overpower them with your CQC technique you’re severely outnumbered, not to mention the risk of collateral damage. You can’t just let the hunters do whatever they please, not when it involves a soldier (and a young woman).

Do something, captain!

[ ] Interfere.
[ ] Interfere.
[ ] Interfere. URA!!
>>No. 25673
[X] Nothing stands between a russian and his vodka comrades.
>>No. 25674
[x] Outnumbered or not, you will not idly standby as your comrades are harmed! Rush in and shove the harassers away, pushing them over and literally throwing them if necessary. If they persist, club them with your PPSh-41’s stock and use CQC to knock them out.
>>No. 25675
[x] Notify Keine as you attempt to reason with them if anything to make some space and to get some back up to arrive if something goes afoul.

no idea what "URA!" means.
>>No. 25676
[x] Notify Keine as you attempt to reason with them if anything to make some space and to get some back up to arrive if something goes afoul.

"Ura!" is a Russian battle cry if I recall. Don't quote me on that though.
>>No. 25677
[x] Notify Keine as you attempt to reason with them if anything to make some space and to get some back up to arrive if something goes afoul.

"URA!!" goes with "OOORAH!" and so on. Battle cry, yep.

>One of these days, I swear I need to overcome the tendency to give in to writer's block.
That'd make two of us.
>>No. 25689
File 13630867453.jpg - (862.67KB, 3300x1800, stuffslikethis.jpg) [iqdb]
25689
Alright, I think the votes are enough to initiate writing. Working on it now.

>>25674
We didn't have our PPSh-41 with us, unless you want us to bash the harassers' head with our Kriss Super V and risk breaking it. The CQC option is still viable, though.
>>No. 25690
File 13632707918.jpg - (522.16KB, 1714x1200, 7449b64338297d7638640781c55e974a.jpg) [iqdb]
25690
[c] Outnumbered or not, you will not idly stand by as your comrades are harmed! Rush in and shove the harassers away, pushing them over and literally throwing them if necessary. If they persist, club them with your PPSh-41’s stock use CQC to knock them down.
- [c] Notify Keine as you attempt to reason with them if anything to make some space and to get some backup to arrive if something goes afoul.


“Mister Ivanov, what’s going on?” Keine asks; it seems she, along with Kaguya and Mokou, has followed you when you suddenly broke away from them.

“Miss Keine, those men are harassing a fellow soldier of mine.” You step forward as to approach the booth but are stopped by Keine. “I’m not going to stand by while they are harmed and harassed! Do you expect me to abandon my responsibility as a squad leader?”

“That’s not what I mean-”

“I should go.” You rush toward Mystia’s booth. Without giving the hunters early warning you yank one of the men away from Anne, just before he aims his hand at her face. The commotion causes the rest of the group to turn their attention at you. You have saved Anne and the rest of customers, but in turn you have made yourself a target.

“What the hell are you doing, man!?” the hunter demands.

“No, what are YOU doing,” you reply.

“What? Can’t you see we’re giving her a piece of advice?” the hunter asks.

“While trying to slap her face? Didn’t your parents teach you about giving respect to women?” The hunter acts aggressive and throws a fist at your fist; you parry it, and seize his wrist. “You’ve made five critical errors. One: you’re issuing physical and verbal threats to Anne. Two: you’re insulting her heritage as a soldier. Three: you’re doing one and two in front of me. Four: you’re doing one, two and three in front of Mystia’s booth. Five: you’re initiating the act of aggression.”

“But she’s a monster!” The hunter yelps when you dig your fingers deeper into his skin. “You’re hurting me, man! Let me go!”

“And what’s your problem with monster?” you ask. You twist his hand, securely locking him in a sleeper hold. “Unless you apologize to her, I’m afraid I’m going to hold you like this for hours.” It’s only after Anne pleads you to let him go you loosen the grab around his neck, before you kick him back to his compatriots. “Apologize. Now.”

“Get him!” One of his buddies charges at you. Too easy. You step aside to avoid the oncoming punch and follow up with a knee attack onto his gut. Another hunter jumps at you, and you effortlessly parry his punch before stopping him dead on track with a jab on the jugular. A loud yell catches your attention, and you see the hunter from earlier pouncing at you with an axe in hand. It misses, and in anger the hunter swings the axe at your face, narrowly missing your nose. You catch his hand before he can attack again, and you sweep him off the floor before performing an arm bar. You let go off him only after he taps out, and kicks him to the rest of the hunters, who have started panicking.

“See? This wouldn’t happen if you’re willing to swallow your ego and apologize to Anne, but NO! You just had to show off your bigotry in public area!” you yell. “Do you think I can tolerate such behaviour? Do you??”

“Freaking load of bulls! Who the hell are you?!” the hunter asks.

Keine steps between you and the hunters. “Stop, all of you! I demand this to cease right now!” she barks. “Akito, didn’t I tell you to stop terrorizing lesser youkai?”

“But Keine-sensei, that weirdo freak started it!” the hunter protests while pointing accusingly at you.

“That’s enough, Akito. I will speak to your parents and the elders over your behavioural misconduct and have you put under home arrest.” The hunter moans in protest but is ignored as Keine turns her attention at you. “As for you, Mister Ivanov! Your nose’s bleeding!”

“Uhh… I am?” You must have been under adrenaline rush during the brawl, because only now you feel warm fluid trickling down your cheek. At the same time you feel your head reeling, and you find yourself losing balance before Anne catches you and props you onto the bench. “Ah, crap,” is the only thing you utter.

“Yuri!” Kaguya and Mokou rush into the scene. “Are you alright? Oh, god! You’re hurt! Who did this to you?”

You wave your hand dismissively at her. “I’m alright, Kaguya, I have everything under control,” you speak.

“Don’t move too much, sir,” Anne says as she applies bandage on the injury.

Despite the chaos, peace is restored, and Keine is giving the hunters a stern warning before she tells them to apologize to both you and Anne. Much to your amazement, visitors and villagers applaud you for the display of bravery, and the children you met at the shooting gallery even tell them to call you ‘a hero’. Mystia seems to owe you for saving her business because she’s offering to treat everyone in your group free lunch, and giddily praise you for your heroic act. You don’t care much for anything: everyone’s merry, and you get to fill your stomach without having to pay.

“But still, butting in and yelling at the hunter? You’re pretty gutsy,” Mokou says and chugs a mouthful of beer.

“I did what I had to do,” you reply.

“Hah! The next time those hooligans make a fuss at my booth, I’ll be damn sure to kick their ass in your name,” Mokou boasts.

“I’d really appreciate it if you don’t start selling my name everywhere,” you reply, wincing as your nose twitches and pulsates. “At least they deserved it for insulting a fellow soldier under my nose.”

“Thank you for what you did, sir,” Anne speaks.

“And here I thought you were prepared to defend your pride as a soldier, what happened?” you ask.

“I was taking a break at Miss Lorelei’s place when they showed up. At first they were making lots of noise, until the youngest of them started throwing insults at Miss Lorelei.” She must be talking about this ‘Akito’ person. “I asked him to stop saying bad things about her, but instead he threw verbal abuses at me.”

“Well, at least you could shout back at him,” Kaguya says.

“I wish I could, but I was afraid I would lose control over my power if I did,” she answers.

“Oh, wait. You’re that kind of youkai,” Mokou points out. Anne nods solemnly, and suddenly the atmosphere turns dull. None of you are saying anything, and the mood is so depressing even Mystia stops singing.

You decide to change the topic. “How’s the interrogation, Anne?”

“So far, the soldier’s willing to cooperate – and that’s only after Miss Remilia agrees to grant him asylum,” Anne answers.

“Asylum?”

“Yes, he said… so long as he can avoid ‘them’, he will give more information about his unit.” This latest development isn’t looking good. Perhaps you should personally question the soldier about his unit’s presence in the junkyard. “Oh, I almost forgot. Miss Meiling has expressed her wish to have a friendly spar with you, so perhaps you could drop by at our place this evening?”

“I’ll think of it. Haven’t done any physical sparring in a while, too. Wonder if my skill’s become rusty,” you utter.

The lunch goes normally after that. Mystia continues treating you with free meal despite your insistence to ask for tabs, and Mokou continues teasing you over your relationship with Kaguya. Kaguya, in turn, lashes at Mokou, claiming how years of living a rough, unruly life has made her a lonely girl, and if it isn’t for you interfering they would have thrashed the booth (and perhaps, the entire village). Anne thanks you and Mystia for keeping her company and returns to the Scarlet Devil Mansion. Mokou and Keine have had the fill and take their leave, and with everyone departing only you and Kaguya remain at the booth. After a long time of silence, you apologize to her for worrying her once more. “Well, I have to admit you’ve crossed the line many times,” she utters.

“You’re angry at me, aren’t you?” you ask.

“Even if I am…” She giggles and clenches your hand. “I’m so proud of you.” There’s nothing to be said, and you decide to let time pass by as the two of you finish the remaining dish, listening to Mystia’s singing voice, and watching people passing by…

Choose your next activity.
[ ] Let’s meet the Moriya Family.
[ ] Visit the Scarlet Devil Mansion.
[ ] Go to Alice’s house and see if she has returned home.

System:
Date: January 1st
Location: Human Village
Time: 15:00 (estimate)
>>No. 25691
[x] Let’s meet the Moriya Family.

I'm not sure if it'd be better to go spar now compared to tomorrow (after a nice night's rest)
>>No. 25692
[X] Let’s meet the Moriya Family.
>>No. 25696
[x] Let’s meet the Moriya Family.

I see no reason not to.
>>No. 25703
[x] Let’s meet the Moriya Family.

Sure, let's take it easy for the day instead of going picking fights
>>No. 25730
[c] Let’s meet the Moriya Family.

You leave Mystia’s food stall. You don’t have any reason to prolong your stay in the village, and you want to end your New Year tour before night time. Visiting Meiling and doing other plans for the rest of the day will have to wait, but you make a mental note of doing them on the first sign of tomorrow’s sunrise. First, you’re going to check on the Moriya family and see what they’ve been up to.

“And that, children, is how you kill a vampire lord!” Sanae’s boastful voice can be heard as you’re approaching the crowd. You have no idea on what kind of story she’s telling, but the crowd’s apparently awestruck by her demonstration. She seems to be holding a whip in her hand, and she’s dressed up in what you can recognize as a vampire hunter’s outfit.

“Since when she became Van Helsing?” you ask.

“Since she got her first copy of Castlevania.” You and Kaguya turn to the voice and see Suwako approaching you from the market. “She’s been collecting Castlevania stuffs for many years before we moved out to Gensokyo.”

“I don’t get it,” you answer.

“Ah, don’t worry about it, she’s just reliving her childhood memory,” Suwako dismisses.

“I see she’s enjoying this very much.”

“Can’t be helped, really. It was she who insisted to hold the public sermon,” she shrugs. “So! You’re here to join the crowd, or was there another reason behind your presence in the village? It’s kind of unusual to see soldier of the Soviet Red Army mixing with the public.”

Former Soviet Red Army, you mean,” Kaguya corrects.

“No, no, he’ll forever member of the Soviet Red Army,” Suwako corrects. “It is not wrong to march forward into the future, but one must not simply leave his root behind. Keep that in mind, soldier.”

You nod. “Thanks, though.”

“Speaking of which, we heard a lot of noise from the market area, did something happen?” she asks.

“Someone thought he could get away with insulting Anne, so I had to drill some sense into his head,” you tell her.

“That should explain the bandage on your nose,” the goddess chuckles. “If I were you, I would’ve sent him to the outside world and tell him to try fighting the terrorists. Kids today, can’t they show some respect to the soldiers?”

“I see what you mean,” you say.

The three of you turn back to Sanae. She’s taken out a wineglass and is holding it in a rather peculiar way. “Once she taps into her inner Belmont, you can’t stop her,” Suwako adds. “She’s been raring to promote her favourite video game to the people ever since we moved out here.”

“Her inner what?” you ask.

“You don’t know who the Belmont is, Yuri? You’re too outdated!” Kaguya interjects.

“Come on now, princess, he’s still living in the forties, he doesn’t know what the game is,” Suwako points out.

“That’s it! For this year’s resolution, I’m going to make him play all Castlevania games nonstop!” Kaguya declares so loud her voice actually diverts the crowd from Sanae. “And that includes you, and you, and you, and you,” she says while pointing at each of them, “and also you!” before she ends by pointing at Sanae.

“Oh, if it isn’t Miss Suwako and the Eientei household, is there something the matter?” the shrine maiden asks as she leaves the crowd.

“Begone! This world was not meant for the likes of you!” Kaguya blares. Why in the world she suddenly become dramatic?

“Excuse me? I don’t understand what you’re- oh!” She takes her composure, brings the glass close to her face and makes the most sinister-looking smirk you’ve ever seen. “My own powers did not bring about my resurrection. It was greed, the greed of you men which summoned me back. And is justice not defined by the mighty?” she speaks.

“Such a selfish claim!” Kaguya replies. Humanity is guided by our shared principles. We only want to come together, and move forward.”

“Oh, but the truth is that humanity also bears burgeoning desires within them, which leads them to submit to their religious creeds, yes?” Sanae continues.

“Mere power is not what leads mankind. Respect and generosity; these are what truly guide humanity!” Kaguya answers.

“Preposterous.” Suddenly, out of the blue, Sanae smashes the glass into the ground. “Which one of our claims is true? I shall give you the answer, along with death’s embrace!”

You and Suwako watch in amazement as both Sanae and Kaguya jump into the air and start exchanging fireballs and other forms of projectile. You didn’t think that they’d harbour such a deep passion for Castlevania, but now you’re seeing it life. “Oh, boy, this could last for hours,” Suwako whistles.



……

………

As soon as Sanae and Kaguya finish exchanging their thanks after the intense mock duel ends an hour later, you waste no time yanking her away from the Moriya family and making haste to the main gate. “We’re done with this village, we’re going home,” you tell her when she asks why you’re rushing out.

“Yuri, wait! What about Alice?” Your steps come to a screeching halt. “Are you forgetting her invitation?” Ah, damn, you’re so focused on calling it a day you’ve totally forgotten about her. “I don’t know about you, but I believe it’s best that you go spend the day with her.” You bat an eyebrow, staring at her in intrigue due to the response. “I-I didn’t mean in that way! Jeez, Yuri, always so conclusive! Plus, both of us haven’t even-”

“Both of you haven’t even what?” Speak of the devil, here comes Alice and her dolls. “Fancy meeting you, Yuri, Kaguya. May I know what’s going on?”

“Awesome! I was thinking of dropping by at your place, but it would be better if we do this right away,” Kaguya says and pushes you toward Alice. She shushes Alice before she can say anything and tightly holds her hands. “This is the best opportunity to make amend to your past. Make every second of it count, okay?”

Mokou appears from nowhere and pulls Kaguya away from Alice. “Sending the captain off to somewhere? Good, because I was thinking to borrow Kaguya for the whole night,” she says. “You fine with that, captain?”

“Mokou, must you mention that when he’s here with us?” Kaguya grumbles.

“Hey, when else I can tell you about it?” Mokou replies. “Not today, not tomorrow, not next week, and definitely not whenever.”

You chuckle. “Both of us have our own need to look after.” You give Kaguya a pat on her head and push her toward Mokou. “Don’t worry about me! I’ll be fine on my own!” Both of them nod at each other and fly off to somewhere only they know.

“That was… uncalled for,” Alice finally speaks. “Are you sure you’re with them killing each other?”

You shrug. “Once you’re getting a hang of it,

“You should be lucky to not show up here a couple of hours earlier,” you reply.

“Actually, I was at the market. I thought I could buy some groceries to complement our evening tea,” she answers.

You stare at her. “Tell me you didn’t see everything.”

“I’m sorry, but I did.” She laughs, and you can only palm your face in despair. “It’s not that I wanted to. It’s New Year’s Day, after all, so I’m bound to see lots of activities. Well, I was supposed to open a booth of my own today, but…”

“{Forget about that,}” you sigh. “{That bag looks heavy. Should I carry them for you?}”

“Yuri, please, you don’t have to be this generous- wait a minute. You want us to speak in Russian?” she asks.

“{Da. Besides.}” You take the grocery bag from her anyway. “{When there will ever be the chance for us to speak in our mother’s tongue?}” You smile at her. “{Come, Alice, home awaits no one. Or would you like to go somewhere else first?}”

She shakes her head, smiling as well. “{You’re right, Yuri. Home awaits no one, let’s waste no more time.}”

For convenience, conversations between Yuri and Alice will be spoken in Russian, therefore they will be marked in {brackets}.
>>No. 25731
>>25730

You’ve arrived at Alice’s house with a mixed feeling. The first time you were here was to retrieve your stolen lucky amulet from Marisa, and it did not end well despite the success of the operation. Alice doesn’t seem to notice your doubt as she asks to follow her into the building. “{Please come inside. It’s unsafe for even a soldier to stay outside,}” Alice says. “{Unless you’re the kind who prefers to camp outdoors.}”

“{At the face of someone who’s generously offering me a shelter? No, thanks.}” You can’t help noticing Alice blush over the question, though she’s quick to hide it from view.

“Oh, we have a guest?” You turn to the sound and come face to face with her, a woman in dark red and blue garment and silvery hair that’s tied to form a side ponytail. Immediately you can feel the aura of authority that demands respect; she must be a high-ranking person, though it’s somewhat jarring to see her wearing pink apron with the quote “Make love, not war” on its front side.

“Yes, mom, we have, so please watch your manner.” How strange to see Alice reminding her own mother to behave, but you digress. “Yuri, this is my mother, Shinki.”

You throw her a salute. “Captain Yuri Ivanov, former member of the Third Guards Rifle Division, Soviet Red Army.” The woman tilts her head to the left. “Ma’am?”

“Oh, oh! You’re the Soviet sniper! I’ve read stories about you on the newspaper, you’re one fascinating person,” Shinki says. “You’re also the guy Marisa’s complaining about to me.”

“Mom, she’s persistently looking for a fight from Yuri, so he has every reason to defend his honour and pride,” Alice answers.

“Why would she do that, though…” Shinki scratches her chin before she makes the all-too-understandable gasp. “Alice, don’t tell me… both of them are fighting over YOU?!”

“Mom, quit that! He’s just a friend!” Alice barks.

“Really now?” Shinki stares at you long enough to make you sweat. “From the look of it, he could make himself a perfect husband for you.”

“Mom! Not in front of him!” Alice yells, her face burning brightly. “Not when he already has a girlfriend!”

Shinki stare back at you in disbelief over the answer. You clear your throat and explain: “My allegiance is to Eientei, but I am especially indebted to Princess Kaguya Houraisan.”

“Ah… oh.” It takes a while for her to digest the information, but when she does she’s furiously blushing. “I assumed that you’re her husband-to-be since you’re pretty close to her,” she utters.

“It’s a long story, Ma’am, but I think we can talk about it while I’m here,” you answer.

“Anyway, Mom, here are the stuffs you asked.” Alice gives the grocery bag to Shinki and pushes her back into the kitchen.

“Do I have to prepare tea, too?” Shinki asks.

“Of course you have to. Now go, please, just resume your work, okay?” She hastily brings you to the guestroom and invites you to take a seat. “{Seriously… she refuses to stop poking me about my private life, even after all these years. I hope you didn’t take her claim seriously, Yuri. She’s just…}”

“{Such a strange person,}” you comment as you adjust your own seating.

She takes a deep breath, trying to get over the fact that she’s been mortified by her own mother. “{I know, but please, don’t let her eccentricity bother you too much. She may act as such, but she’s still my mother. Well, adoptive mother.}”

Right, she lost her parents in Stalingrad; this may explain her apparent awkwardness with the woman. “{Tell me, how did you find your way to Gensokyo? I still remember Alfred mentioning something about his contact in Berlin.}”

“{Yes, I did meet his contact there. You won’t believe who the person was, but go ahead, make a guess.}”

There’s only one name in your head, and that name belongs the person who must have taken you away from Kursk. “{It’s her.}” She nods. “{Alright, I won’t ask anything about her, but I don’t get one thing. You’re supposed to be Russian, and you’re pretty much a Russian to me. Yet Alfred treated you as if you’re one of his own. Just… what are you exactly?}”

Her gaze narrows, as if she’s expecting the question. “{I’m a Russian, yes, and my parents too were Russians. But we’re not pure Russians, though; my father’s great ancestor was a Romanian, and my mother herself was the descendant of German artisans who moved in to Russia in the late 1800s.}” A person of mixed ethnicity, now that’s something you don’t see often. “{And as you may have guessed, they too were artisans, just like me.}” She even looks adorable from the way she’s placing her hand on her chest, and it’s even cuter considering that Shanghai and Hourai are mimicking the gesture. Wouldn’t it be convenient to have a palm-top assistant of your own?

Shinki shows up, carrying on a silver tray a set of teacups and a plate of cookies. You thank her for the courtesy and offer to fill a cup for Alice. “{And what about you? I reckon you have an interesting history to share.}” It’s her turn to ask.

You scratch the back of your head. “{What to expect from me? My family bears the blood of the soldiers who had fought Napoleon… or so my father often said.}”

“{Ah-ha… the Patriotic War of 1812,}” she speaks in almost full admiration. “{Yes, I’ve read about it. Napoleon and his troops marched across the Russian plain lands in order to crush Moscow, but got trounced by General Winter.}”

“{Yeah, my father would talk about it in all its triumphs, and he’d even goad me into continuing the legacy of my forefathers,}” you speak. “{Even after the defeat of the Imperial Russia in Ruso-Japanese War, he still insisted that Russian military remains the strongest.}”

She nods. “{You’re speaking in eastern coast dialect right now. Such dialect can only be heard in areas around Vladivostok.}”

“{You can tell? Yeah, my late father and I were often camping near the Sea of Japan; I got to learn the dialect from local people. I was even stationed there prior to my redeployment to Stalingrad. I would have fought alongside my comrades at the frontline had he not assigned me to a secret mission. Couldn’t say no to him, though.}”

“{Stalin, right? I know, it’s… very hard to believe that he’d choose to sacrifice his own people.}” She sighs. “{I mean… we knew the city would be under attack, and Papa and Mama had taken every precaution to keep us safe. We had escaped death many times, and managed to outwit both Germans and Russians. It was the artillery attack that we didn’t take into account.}”

“{If you knew that would happen, why didn’t you leave?}”

“{I don’t know. Maybe it was because the building was our only home back then?}” she quips. You understand better, because you know Stalin prevented civilians from leaving the city in the belief that their presence would encourage greater resistance from the city’s defender. And it showed. “{Anyway, a group of Soviet soldiers was sent to defend the building, and their ferocity was enough to convince us that we would make it out alive.}” You mentally picture the situation, the bravery of your fellow soldiers, and most of all, the little Alice’s determination to stay alive. “{And then I met him. I never got to learn his name, though, but he had sworn with his own life that he’d protect my life. Yuri, may I ask you something?}”

“{Yes, go ahead.}”

“{When you told me that you failed to save Alfred, would things be different had you did? I understand that you and he were enemies, so…}”

You take a deep breath. “{Alice, he was the only person that I held with greater respect than, maybe, my father. I’m sure he would have said the same thing about me.}” You pause, only because Shinki’s refilling your empty cup. “{We might be fighting for different sides, and we might be ordered to slit each other’s throat, but that didn’t stop the fact that Alfred and I were soldiers. In the end, we fought for what we believed in: the future of those we had sworn to protect.}” You pause again, as to allow the aroma of the tea to seep into your nose. “{Yes, things would have been different had he not taken the shot. I might have killed him as required by the assignment. He might have survived war and spent the rest of his life in German countryside. Or he might have retired from the Wehrmacht and became a doctor, and I might end up becoming his frequent client. Who knows?}” You put down the teacup. “{On the other hand, Alfred would wholeheartedly disagree. I’ve seen enough of the war, he would say. The war or my life. One of this must end, it must not be both. Maybe that was why he was smiling at me when I told him I was sent to assassinate him.}”

“{Yes, he even told me he would not allow his personal judgment affect his Prussian heritage.}” She sighs. “{I’m sorry. Let’s… not talk about this matter, alright?}”

Both of you nod, and decide to spend the rest of the time enjoying tea. It’s been a long time since you last had tea time like this; you’ve forgotten how many kinds of tea you had tasted throughout your entire life, or the quality time you and your late father would spend. And here you are, together with Alice, quietly contemplating the past, remembering the violent war that has shaped both of you in many ways.

“{Would be nice if he was here with us, wouldn’t it?}” she speaks.

You can’t help chuckling. “{Knowing him, he’d endlessly lecture us about the proper way to prepare a cup of tea. Every. Single. Piece. Of. Detail.}”

“{I know, right?}” Alice giggles.

“{Our friendship was forged with tea, and it would forever be strengthened by tea,}” you continue. “{Hell, he could’ve used tea to convince me to switch side and fight with him.}”

“Jeez, why can’t both of you speak Japanese?” Shinki asks.

Alice giggles again. “Sorry, Mom. Old habit dies had.”

“Don’t worry about us, Ma’am. We’re just keeping our heritage alive,” you tell her.

“Heritage or not, you don’t have to hide everything from me, Alice,” Shinki says almost matter-of-factly. “I’m so sorry, Mister Ivanov. My daughter’s so good at hiding I didn’t even know she was a Russian until Yukari told me last year. I was like, ‘gosh! I wish I had taken a language course back then’.”

“Mom, please… it’s the thing of the past,” Alice mutters.

“Speaking of Yukari, I didn’t know if you’re aware already, but apparently she’s planning something with those weapon crates the kappas found,” Shinki says. “I don’t want to see another war in my lifetime. Not after the one that devastated Makai.”

“Is Yumeko alright? I haven’t heard from her for a long time,” Alice asks.

“She’s busy keeping our mansion clean and safe. She hasn’t had the time for holiday break, but one of these days I’ll drag her out of her work and bring her here,” Shinki answers. “You know, Alice, wouldn’t it be nice if we bring them together? Both of them are very similar in some sense.”

“I don’t think they’d appreciate that. At least… not until he’s done with his training.” You wonder who or what they’re talking about, but you decide on not asking and focus on refilling your cup. You’re so focused on drinking tea that you don’t notice Shanghai and Hourai fighting for a spot on your head.

“Oh, dear, I hope they’re not bothering you,” Alice says as the dolls are now vying to get your attention.

“What am I to both of you? Watchtower?” you ask. Both Shanghai and Hourai pout at the question and poke your face in unison. Alice laughs, and you, too, laugh with her even as you’re struggling to keep your face from their tiny fingers.

“Who would have thought they’d fight over a piece of property on someone’s head? Say, I still remember you grabbing me and keeping my mouth shut when we encountered the German patrol. And you even protested Alfred’s suggestion that we disguised as war journalists.”

“Look, Alice. That was a necessary measure to maintain our cover,” you reply. “And yes, that idea was totally unnecessary, and did I ever tell you that everyone looked ridiculous in those outfits?”

“Come on, Yuri! You and your grudge with news reporters, stop that.” She chuckles. “I do admit that Aya sometimes brings us nothing but trouble, but she’s just doing what she likes the most.”

“Oh, whatever.”

Evening tea goes on to the night. By this moment, Shinki and Alice are preparing for dinner, and you spend your time examining family portraits and a multitude of crafts kept neatly inside glass cabinet. Shanghai and Hourai are checking your belongings, and they’re particularly interested in your firearm. It doesn’t take too long before you become bored, and you realize you need to do something productive.

[ ] Go help Alice and Shinki.
[ ] Interact with Shanghai and Hourai.
[ ] Go outside and sit on the rooftop.
[ ] Others (please specify).

==========

Alright, these posts should do for now. Voting is open until I call the votes.
>>No. 25732
[x] Interact with Shanghai and Hourai.
>>No. 25733
[X] Interact with Shanghai and Hourai.

Not entirely productive, but certainly entertaining.
>>No. 25736
[x] Interact with Shanghai and Hourai.
- [x] Then, go help Alice and Shinki if they still need help.
>>No. 25738
File 136541129377.jpg - (199.01KB, 680x600, cc4d668d43778138244c18644700e3fb.jpg) [iqdb]
25738
[c] Interact with Shanghai and Hourai.

They may be dolls, but Shanghai and Hourai are the most advanced automatons you’ve ever come across. You remember meeting Shanghai for the first time, and since that time both of you have been close friends. You can’t quite understand why dolls, an earth rabbit and a living umbrella would vie for your attention, but you digress. As long as they can keep you company, you have to be content with their shenanigans.

As you keep on watching them, Shanghai tries to pull the sub-machine gun from Hourai, while Hourai refuses to let go and pulls it back to her. Soon the two dolls are caught in a heated catfight as they’re trying to gain control over the firearm. Oh, dear, this is getting a bit out of control, so the best course of action is to take the weapon away from them.

“You should know the danger of playing with live firearms, you know,” you tell them while holding the gun high over your head. Shanghai and Hourai protest and try getting the gun back from you. “Didn’t Alice teach both of you about illegal possession of weaponry?” They refuse to listen to you and insist on giving your firearm back. “You think I can allow someone to play with my gun unchecked?” you ask. They move back from you, seemingly frustrated that they’re not allowed to entertain themselves with your belonging. You hope they get your point, because the last thing you want to see is two automated dolls gunning down people and demolishing a house-

“OOFPH!”

-and then you find yourself pinned down on the floor. Damn it, you’ve made a critical error of exposing your back. You wrestle your way out of the dolls only to find yourself surrounded by Alice’s other dolls. Shanghai and Hourai are approaching you with lance and hammer in their hands, and you realize their intention of not letting you go with your firearm. Looks like you have to fight to protect your personal belonging.

“Hey, fetch!” You toss your snow cap over Shanghai and Hourai in an arc. Distracted by the unexpected action, both of them drop their weapons and chase after the hat. You roll under the dolls line-up, tucking your firearm close to you, and immediately make haste for the kitchen. Your escape is cut short when three dolls of similar design to Hourai block your way, and you’re forced to make a detour to the front door. Three more dolls are blocking the door, again forcing you to escape through the window. Shanghai and Hourai chase you to the green pasture outside the house, and immediately coordinate a two-prong attack, aiming for the firearm between your arms. “Why can’t you just give up?” you shout while dodging each of the dolls’ attack. They ignore your plea and press on the offensive and they’re quickly joined by the remaining dolls that, too, are attacking you en masse. You jump over the treetop; you vault onto the rooftop; you even fly over the forest. Everywhere you go the dolls are pursuing, relentlessly attacking from all possible directions. With Shanghai and Hourai aggressively taking the lead, you don’t have enough room for counterattacking, and even if you do there’s the risk of damaging the dolls and upsetting Alice.

The chase ends with the dolls surrounding you on the rooftop. You are outnumbered and outgunned. All escape routes have been closed, including those over your head. You look at Shanghai and Hourai, who are closing in with their weapons aimed at your arm. You realize you should just let them play with your firearm instead of having to go through this, but it’s too late to turn back.

Your eyes close. Your arms wide open. You smile widely. You will face defeat with dignity. Tonight will be remembered as the night you surrendered to Alice’s finest creations.

“Shanghai!”
“Hourai!”

They toss their weapons and hurl themselves at you, startling you as they hug you together. Does this mean they’re calling off the attack and seeking for a truce with you? You totally did not see this coming.

“Shanghai…”
“Hourai…”

You can’t help chuckling over the way they’re staring up at you. Then they scoot closer to you, until their faces are practically filling your view. Damn, you know they’re just dolls, but they feel so unbelievably soft and warm, and those hairs look and feel so real, too. You can’t imagine the possibility that may come if they were created as a full humanoid.

“Come on now, if you two have something to say, why don’t you tell me right away?” you ask and sit down. “Tell me. Which one of you is the elder sister?” Both of them pull away from your arms and float in front of you, and Shanghai points to Hourai, who proudly folds her arms. “You’re very proud of that ‘elder sister’ title, aren’t you?” Hourai nods and places both hands on her hips. “Well, as expected of Alice’s most prized dolls.” They shake their heads and point straight at your face, as if asking you to correct the statement. “So… children? That makes Alice your mother, correct?” They nod and high-five each other; that should explain the maternal atmosphere you sometimes notice from her.

By now the rest of the dolls have all but dispersed, leaving you with Shanghai and Hourai. You’re content with them sitting upon your shoulders, and even let them use your head as makeshift pillows. You should be getting used to having non-human companions, and by all accounts you should be proud to lead the only multiracial Special Forces in Gensokyo. You know there’s some potential with having automatons in your team, but you need to learn to learn to how effectively use them in combat.

Shanghai and Hourai jump onto your lap. “What’s the matter?” They pull your hand and scribble a name on it. “Alice? What about her?” They step backward and makes several hand and body gestures. “You’re asking me for an opinion about Alice.” They nod. “She’d probably aware that my loyalty is for Kaguya alone, and I believe you should know about it already.” They shake their head furiously. “That’s not what you two are talking about?” They nod again. “Then what is it?” They join their hands together to make a heart gesture, and it takes a few minutes before you finally get the message.

Oh.

“Listen, Shanghai, Hourai, I appreciate your concern, but don’t you think this isn’t the right time to ask? I mean, I’ve already regarded Alice as an important ally, so any feeling we have for each other is exclusively mutual.” They squeeze your hand and stare at you, almost as if they want you to answer their question. Your common sense is reminding you that they’re dolls, and any action they perform is an extension to Alice’s, but as you gaze into those hopeful eyes, you really wonder if it’s alright to let them hear your honest opinion.

“Alice is…”

[ ] “…a close friend. A really close friend.”
[ ] “…a younger sister I’ve always wanted.”
[ ] “…someone whose wartime struggle I can understand and relate to.”
[ ] (Write-in.)

What to do in the future:
[ ] Honour Meiling’s request by sparring with her.
[ ] Take over the interrogation from Anne.
[ ] Do weapon demonstration at Nitori’s behest.
[ ] Go meet Reimu. She wants to talk to us, remember?
[ ] Ask Alice if it’s possible for you to draft Shanghai and Hourai into your team.
>>No. 25739
[X] “…a close friend. A really close friend.”
[X] Ask Alice if it’s possible for you to draft Shanghai and Hourai into your team.
>>No. 25740
[x] “…a close friend. A really close friend.”
[x] Ask Alice if it’s possible for you to draft Shanghai and Hourai into your team.

I would have gone with little sister but Alice is no longer a little sister.
>>No. 25741
[X] “…a close friend. A really close friend.”
[X] Ask Alice.
>>No. 25742
File 136548386072.jpg - (526.88KB, 1200x767, 126040481517.jpg) [iqdb]
25742
[X] “…a close friend. A really close friend.”
[X] Ask Alice if it’s possible for you to draft Shanghai and Hourai into your team.
The Dolls: the true THP overlords
>>No. 25744
Here's the update, sorry for the wait.

=====================

BGM: any appropriate piano version of 蓬莱伝説 (Legend of Hourai).

[c] Votes.

“Alice is… Alice is a close friend.” You pause, only because both Shanghai and Hourai are staring up at you expectantly. “A really close friend. I don’t know why I’m even saying this. I mean… I understand what close friends really mean, but… maybe it’s because both of us had gone through the hell that was Stalingrad and lived to tell the tale about it? Or… maybe it was because of him that our paths came together?” You laugh weakly. “Sorry. I’m the kind of guy who’d rather let actions speak for themselves. I know this fact better than anyone else.”

“Shanghai…”
“Hourai…”

“But that doesn’t change the fact that my loyalty is still to Kaguya, so if anyone is thinking of persuading me to change side…” You, then, trail your eyes to Shanghai. “They should know the answer already.”

“Shanghai!!” the doll protests.

“What? It was you who asked the question, so I was in the right position to answer it accordingly,” you point out. Shanghai retaliates by punching your nose, and is followed quickly by Hourai poking you between the eyes. “So! You two want to fight with me again? Alright, then!”

In a move you did not anticipate from them, both Shanghai and Hourai perform a pincer manoeuvre and tickle you on both side of the waist. Trying very hard to not give in to the assault, you misjudge your steps and slip off your feet, holding, taking the dolls with you as you roll down the roof-

FWUMP.

-and crash right in front of Alice.

Oh, damn.

“What is going on here? Yuri? Shanghai? Hourai?” She’s at the door, wrapped in frilly apron that’s highlighting her feminine figure, is holding what looks like wooden spoon in her right hand, and isn’t looking amused by the situation.

And you realize you need to answer her inquiry.

“Hello, Alice, we’re just –getoffmyface!- having a lively discussion with these –nowstayput!- fair ladies.” You offer her the most honest smile you can muster. “Da! Just a lively –whywontyoustaystill!- discussion! Right, Shanghai, Hourai?”

For a minute or two, the three of you are staring at Alice in hope to hear a reasonable answer from her. “Lively discussion.” You and the dolls nod. “Right,” she shrugs. “Anyway, dinner’s ready, so come on in.” Shanghai and Hourai hurriedly leave you and follow their master from behind, but not before they turn back and stick their tongue at you. damn it, these dolls…
-
-
Dinner is as lively as you can imagine. You and the household endlessly exchange stories about your exploits of the past, and you never expect Alice to share stories about her “new” life with her adoptive family so briskly, in spite of her wartime trauma. You ask Alice about the possibility of letting Shanghai and Hourai be recruited into your team, and although her unwillingness to lend her ‘children’ is disappointing (and you can’t blame her for that) she’s willing to create new, general-purpose dolls for your team.

“So… Mister Yuri?” Shinki asks.

“Yes, ma’am?” you reply.

“I’ve been wondering about the nature of your relationship with the Eientei princess. You know that she’s an immortal, and yet you don’t seem to mind living under the same roof with her.”

“Ma’am, I owe my entire life to her,” you answer. “It doesn’t matter if she’s an immortal or a moon princess. What matters is that I pledge new allegiance to her, and that’s that.”

“Oh, alright. I was curious, sorry for asking,” she apologizes.

“Don’t be so sorry, ma’am, you have the rights to ask,” you tell her. “If you’re curious about how I feel for her, though-”

“Mom, he still hasn’t confessed to Kaguya,” Alice cuts you off. “I suppose it has been… two years since both of you met, yes Yuri?”

“What? Really, Alice? He has not?” Shinki asks.

You cough in unease. “I’d appreciate it if we don’t discuss about this during dinner,” you remind her.

“Yuri, I may respect your decision to not talk about it, but do you think the rest of the girls will? Flandre’s rooting for you, Sanae’s rooting for you; hell, we even saw how obvious it was at the shrine,” Alice adds. “Think about it for a minute: she must have been waiting for your answer since the day you met.”

“But what am I supposed to do? Propose her to marriage?” you ask.

“Why, of course! A man must not make a woman wait any longer!” Shinki adds. “The longer you wait, the more painful it is! Or is it because you’re not ready to open your heart for her yet?” She gasps. “Oh, dear! We have a dire situation right here, Alice.”

“It is a desire situation, Mom. I’m starting to wonder if we should bring this matter to discussion with Miss Eirin,” Alice says with a dangerous glee in her eyes, in which Shanghai and Hourai are all too eager to imitate. You should leave these two would-be matchmakers and head back to Eientei…
-
-
After that dinner continues as normal, and you offer to help Shinki and Alice with washing the dishes when you finish; as usual, discussions about your relationship with Kaguya arise, although with less teasing and more advices. After dishwashing, you head to living room and sit on one of the couches, allowing your stomach to settle in. It has started to rain at the outside, and with the oncoming downpour you’re going to spend your night here with the family. You hope Kaguya is doing fine with Mokou, and you let your body sway into slumber as your mind starts thinking about her…

“Oh, falling asleep already?” You open your eyes and see Alice next to you, holding blanket in her hands. “You can sleep in my room tonight; I’ll share the bed with Mom.”

“Thanks, but I think I’ll do fine with sleeping on the couch,” you tell her.

“Oh, you’re being too humble with me,” Alice laughs. “But I have to ask you again regarding your request to have Shanghai and Hourai recruited into your team. Is it that necessary?”

“I’m sorry for suddenly asking about it, but yes, my team could use some more experts,” you reply.

“You know, instead of having military-grade dolls in your team, why don’t you have an actual puppeteer as team specialist?” She sits down on the couch. “Maintaining them after each battle isn’t going to be cheap and easy, not to mention someone has to provide replacement parts for the dolls.”

“Are you implying that you want to volunteer, Alice?” you ask.

“Military operation isn’t just about bringing superior firepower to the enemy, is it?” she replies.

“I’ll consider your role in the team, but I have to discuss with my team-mates about this matter,” you tell her. She doesn’t answer, but instead closes her distance between you and her, until she’s essentially rubbing her arm against yours. “Alice?”

“You don’t mind, do you?” she asks anxiously.

“…please, make yourself comfortable.”

“Thanks.” After what you assume as long sigh of relief, she rests her head upon your shoulder, adjusting her position so that she doesn’t slip off you. It’s still awkward to think of her as merely a friend when you can see how close both of you are right now, and you want to disagree with yourself.

“{Are you disappointed in me, Yuri?}” she asks.

“{You know this will only complicate this already… delicate matter,}” you utter and pat her on the head.

She chuckles. “{I’m sorry.}”

You can’t help smiling. “{Oh, well. Goodnight, Alice.}”

She nods. “{Goodnight, Yuri.}”

The two of you fall asleep, and before you know it you are quickly accompanied by the likes of Shanghai and Hourai, and soon everyone is basking in the warmth of the hearth as rain continues to pour down…

POV Change?
[ ] Yes.
[ ] No.

If yes, pick one:
[ ] Kaguya.
[ ] Anne.
[ ] Sacchin.

If no, choose what time to wake up:
[ ] 06:00 hours.
[ ] 07:00 hours.
[ ] 08:00 hours.

{{OPTIONAL}} Tonight you’ll be dreaming of…
[ ] …hand-to-hand combat.
[ ] …your heydays as ‘the ghostly hunter of Stalingrad’.
[ ] …Charge Of The Light Brigade.

Date: January 1
Time: 22:00 hours
Weather: Rainy
Location: Alice’s residence, Forest of Magic.
>>No. 25745
[x] No.
[x] 06:00 hours.

Get the day started nice and early. Though not sure about Alice or Shinki's usual wake up time.

{{OPTIONAL}} Tonight you’ll be dreaming of…
[x] Kaguya in Koa's outfit.

I know this might not be accepted, but with Kaguya being talked about and such, it's natural for her to come up. And I'm not expecting anything too racy, just Kaguya being herself.
>>No. 25746
[x]no
[x]07:00 hours.

I vaguely recall something about 9 hours of sleep being a good rule of thumb.

{{OPTIONAL}} Tonight you’ll be dreaming of…
[x] Kaguya in Koa's outfit.

I think that this is a reasonable dream for the weary soldier.

>Two years
Can I get an year on the date?
>>No. 25747
[X] No.
[X] 07:00 hours.
>>No. 25748
[X] Yes.
-[X] Sacchin.

She's being forgotten. Again.

[X] 07:00 hours.
[X] …Charge Of The Light Brigade.

Is this from the point of view of the Russians firing on the British?
>>No. 25749
[x]No
[x] 08:00 hours.
[x] Heydey...

Man how in heaven is he gonna do all her impossible requests? I think 'killing Mokou' was added somewhere down the line but I sure hope that was fanon.
>>No. 25750
>>25749
that would imply she would have him do that still. The exact intent and whoever thought of the plan in the first place in regards to those requests are unknown.

I doubt Kaguya would in this as she doesn't seem to be fond of doing stuff like that.
>>No. 25751
[z] No.
[z] 07:00 hours.
[z] …your heydays as ‘the ghostly hunter of Stalingrad’.
>>No. 25752
[X] No.
[X] 07:00 hours.
[X] …your heydays as ‘the ghostly hunter of Stalingrad’.
>>No. 25753
File 136798353557.jpg - (88.72KB, 480x480, 2beeec72ac672642931548826b4c3feb.jpg) [iqdb]
25753
POV Change:
[c] No.

If no, choose what time to wake up:
[c] 07:00 hours.

Tonight you’ll be dreaming of…
[c] Kaguya (in Koa’s outfit).
[c] …your heydays as the ‘ghostly hunter of Stalingrad’. {ON HOLD}




……

………

“S-stupid!”

She’s on the verge of tears. Eirin and Tewi are glowering at you. Reisen is offering you her sympathetic gaze. Tatyana and her compatriots are hiding behind the sliding door. You’re in despair. All because you accidentally spilled the tea on Kaguya’s expensive silk garment, and accidentally blurted your wish to see her wearing the assistant librarian’s uniform. Now they demand you to apologize for the mess you had created.

“This is so disgusting!” Kaguya moans. “Who in the world would wear this indecent outfit?”

“No! Not the poor clothes!” Koakuma protests. “They’re so innocent, so pure, they have so much potential!”

“Oh~ I do believe the princess’ trying to make her advance towards her significant other~” Shinki hums.

“Mom, please don’t tell me she wants to undress right here,” Alice adds.

“What? Why the hell should I shame myself with such behaviour?!” Kaguya protests.

“Yes~ strip to all your heart’s content~ let him see you in all the barest glory~” Flandre sings.

Wait a minute. This is Eientei, so how come Flandre, Koakuma, Alice and Shinki are seated with the rest of the household? To hell with it, practically all of Gensokyo are eavesdropping!

“Well, why don’t all of us ask mister soldier right here for a second opinion?” Mariel asks.

“Yeah, let’s ask him!” Flandre cheers.

Everyone (bar Kaguya) turns to you. You glare at them, who are obviously awaiting your answer. Hang on. This is a dream, so do you expect yourself to act accordingly? To hell with that! You will dictate the progress of this dream!

You stand up. You approach Kaguya, and no words are needed as you sweep her off the floor and carry out of the guestroom. After you walk into your room, you drop her onto her feet and pin her against the wall. “Yuri, what are you-mmph!!” You seize her parted lips, kissing her deeply and fervently while keeping her still. She moans in protest and tries pushing you off her, and her body shudders as you coax her into returning the kiss. Slowly, she begins to give in to the passion, and her lips voluntarily part, allowing you to delicately prod the recess of her mouth with your tongue. She doesn’t resist anymore, even letting out a pleasant sigh as your hands roam down her supple body and pull her close to you. Eventually the lack of oxygen forces you to break the kiss, though the two of you don’t let go off each other.

“Jeez, what was that for?” Kaguya murmurs, her face flushing red and her breathing hot.

“I don’t care what they say about us,” you mutter and kiss her once more. “Damn it, Kaguya. All these times, I…” You bring your lips to the crook of her neck, nuzzling and inhaling the alluring scent of her perfume. She hums approvingly as you unbutton her dress, and a husky moan escapes her mouth as you gently nibble her exposed shoulder. She brings your face back to hers and reclaims your mouth, and all chitchats and scandalous talks are promptly ignored as the two of you are slowly consumed by the utmost desire you have for one another.

The kisses break off once again, thick trails of saliva following the ascent of your tongue as you pull away from Kaguya. You don’t realize it until now, but her hands are rested upon your bare chest, and that her clothes are all but undone. This is getting a little too steamy, but you don’t care. You’ve ignored your own feeling and pretended that your relationship with Kaguya is merely platonic, and this has been going on for far too long.

“Kaguya.”

“Yuri?”

“I should’ve told you this a long time ago. I…”

“Captain!!”

You turn around. You’re greeted with a glimpse of eggplant-

“Parasol Fairy Formation!!”

-seconds before Kogasa and the Russian fairy maids tackle you out of the room. All of you are tumbling across the ground before coming to a halt in the obstacle course. “Oh, for Pete’s sake, what the hell?” you groan as you’re being pinned down by the energetic girls.

“Wake up, captain!” Kogasa tells you. “Here! Take this bunny and bring it to enemy HQ!!” She, then, gives you a bunny, and you reluctantly accept it. It’s one of the Inaba rabbits, and upon a close inspection you notice dynamite sticks tied around her waist.

And she’s grinning sadistically at you.

“Surprise, fool!!”

And the bunny self-destructs.



……

………

Your eyes storm wide. Goddamn it; that was one hell of a dream. It was as if someone had cast a magic spell upon you while you were asleep. Whoever was responsible for the drug-induced dream, the sequence with Kaguya was frighteningly real you can actually taste her lips upon yours. Is it a foreshadowing of things to come?

Looking at your chest, you’re greeted by Shanghai and Hourai who are looking at you in sympathy. “Uhh… morning, Shanghai, Hourai.” They massage and pat your head in unison, and you can’t help smiling weakly at them. “Treating me like I’m your new master, what’s up with you two?” The dolls pay no attention to the question as they continue patting your head before pulling you off your lying position.

“Good morning, Yuri,” Alice greets you as she walks out of the kitchen. “My children notified me of your erratic behaviour while you were sleeping. Had an interesting dream, I guess?”

You outstretch yourself. “I’d rather not talk about it, thanks. What time is it?”

“Seven o’clock.”

You groan, feeling your head pulsing as you try to get all your senses working. “I guess I should head back to Eientei.”

“You should. It’s not polite for a man to overstay at another woman’s house,” Alice says. “Especially since the man in question has committed his life and soul to a woman he hasn’t confessed to yet.”

“Alice, let’s not talk about it, okay?”

“I kid, I kid. Cheer up, Yuri! Don’t be so gloomy this morning; it’s bad for your health.” How cheerful, considering the gravity of the words she has spoken a minute ago. “Anyway, want to join us in breakfast?”

“I need to take my shower first, if you’re fine with that,” you tell her.

“Alright. Shanghai and Hourai will show you the way to the bathroom. Don’t be shy to ask them for assistance,” Alice says. “Oh, and… if you don’t mind, you can keep your outfit here. I’ll lend you some spare clothes.”

“Thanks, I’ll appreciate it.” The dolls pull you off the couch and ask you to follow them upstairs. You ask them to leave you alone as you walk into the bathroom, and you can hear them making all sorts of noise as soon as the door’s closed, perhaps upset that you didn’t ask for their help. A few minutes under the sprinkler is all you need, and you don’t need to stay in the bathroom longer than required.

After making sure the bathroom is clean, you grab your belonging and head to the nearest room to change your attire. The dolls have already prepared the clothes for you, and upon a closer inspection you can’t help smiling when you reveal the clothes to be WW1-era Prussian army officer uniform, complete with trench coat. This must be the clothes Alice lends to you, and you wonder if it was given to her by him….

You quickly dress up and head downstairs to the kitchen, where Alice and Shinki are already seated around the table. “My, oh my~ he really looks like a Prussian gentleman,” Shinki says in compliment. “But I think he’d look better in Wehrmacht uniform.”

“I don’t think he wants to wear the uniform of his sworn enemy, Mom,” Alice says. “Why? Do you want to see him posing as Al Capone’s henchman?”

Shinki giggles. “Oh, no. That wasn’t a part of the plan, Alice dear. Anyway, please have a seat, Mister Yuri.” You thank her for the hospitality and sit down directly opposite of Alice’s position. Breakfast’s quiet, likely because you’re going to leave, though Shanghai and Hourai are still with their efforts to set up a watchtower on your head. The rest goes without a note, and you head outside afterwards.

“Thanks for the accommodation and these clothes, Alice. And thanks for the breakfast too, ma’am. The bread you made me think of my hometown,” you tell them.

“Oh, no. I’m just doing my best to please my guest,” Shinki replies. “Come, Alice. Don’t you want to say farewell to him?”

“Whatever, mom.” Alice steps forward and kisses you on the cheek. “Yuri, I should be thanking you for coming over. I shall cherish every minute we’ve spent together.”

“Come on, Alice.” You take off the hat and put it on Alice’s head, fixing it so that it fits snugly. “Don’t lose my uniform, okay? They’re the only remainder of those days I have left.”

“I will take care of it, Yuri. Definitely.”

“Mister Yuri?” Shinki calls you.

You turn back at her. “Yes, ma’am?”

The woman smiles. “She’s waiting for your answer. Don’t make her wait any longer.”

You merely nod. “Thanks.” You bid farewell to the family and fly to the direction of Eientei. You make a landfall on the snowy ground just at the outskirt of Eientei and continue the rest of the trip on foot. You finally arrive at Eientei, and the first thing that welcomes you is Kaguya standing near the pond. Carefully you approach her, until she’s within an arm’s reach, and-

“Gotcha.”

-poke her on both sides of her waist.

“Eep!!” Kaguya jumps off her feet. “What on Earth was that for?! Oh, it’s you!”

“What? You were expecting Mokou to show up?”

“What? I did not!” Kaguya protests. “And that was so mean, Yuri! Trying to sneak a poke is bad! Very bad!”

Resisting the urge to re-enact the dream, you have to settle with giving her a hug. “I’m home, Kaguya.”

“W…welcome home, Yuri,” she mutters shyly.

“Thanks. Sorry for not coming home last night,” you apologize.

“You missed a lot of stuffs, you know.” She sighs and wraps her arms about your waist. “But you’re here, so all’s forgiven now.” After holding onto you for God-knows-how-long, she lets go off you and leads you back into the building. “I bet you’re hungry right now. Want to have breakfast with me?” You almost want to tell her you’ve already had yours at Alice’s place, but it’d be better that you don’t let her know.

“Did something happen in my absence?” you inquire.

“Not that I can remember, though Anne showed up last night with a message from Meiling,” Kaguya answers. “Nitori and Reimu were also here, though they left when we told them you were at Alice’s place.” Damn. The friendly sparring with Meiling, the weaponry demonstration at human village, and the meeting with Reimu. You’ve almost forgotten about them.

“Hope they don’t mind me going there late,” you say.

“They will understand, Yuri,” she replies. “How was your stay at Alice’s place? I see you’ve even given a present from her. I understand her intention.”

“Sorry,” you apologize.

“Didn’t I tell you earlier, Yuri? All is forgiven.” She turns her face upward, looking up at you with doe-like upturned eyes. You’re slightly bothered by this new development, more so since she cranes her neck forward, bringing her vulnerable face to yours. You open your mouth as to ask what’s happening to her, but all words get stuck inside your throat the moment she seizes your mouth. Eyes widen in shock, limbs and body stiffen, and your mind sizzles, as she thrust her tongue past your lips, as she holds your head to keep you still. It’s like the dream is repeating itself in full force, except that you’re on the receiving end of the fervent assault. And that you’re mistaken on one thing:

This is not a dream anymore.

[ ] Do nothing. Let her take the lead.
[ ] Kiss her. Let your emotion flow.
[ ] Pull away. This isn’t right. This is not right.

----------------

Had to put the option of dreaming about our heydays in Stalingrad on hold, but I'll make sure to have it included in future updates.
>>No. 25754
I get the feeling it's related to the dream, but how to exactly respond.

Letting her take the lead sounds like the reverse of the dream.

Taking the lead might work if the dream was a hint of what to do.

and the last while a seemingly 'safe' option is likely to backfire the most.
>>No. 25755
[X] Do nothing. Let her take the lead.

Somehow Kaguya seems a bit too forward, but that might be just me...
>>No. 25756
[x] Kiss her. Let your emotion flow.
Don't make her wait any longer.
>>No. 25757
I hope you guys thought hard about the choice as it seems what's going on is somehow related to the dream. A screw up would be disastrous.
>>No. 25758
[x] Pull away. This isn’t right. This is not right.

Something's seriously amiss here. First the weird feeling Yuri had upon waking up, then Kaguya's unusual insistance on the words "all's forgiven" that and the way she vaguely referenced his plans but not saying much about them.

The pace is wrong as well as she'd likely start with smaller talk (about the things he missed/etc) before getting into a romantic mood.

Should this go wrong, I would say it's due to the writer being painfully obtuse and cryptic about this.
>>No. 25759
[x] Pull away. This isn’t right. This is not right.
- [x] Figure out what is going on to make Kaguya abnormally sexually aggressive

Later:
[x] Kiss Kaguya when she’s returned to her normal self.

Reasoning:
“It was as if someone had cast a magic spell upon you while you were asleep. Whoever was responsible for the drug-induced dream, the sequence with Kaguya was frighteningly real you can actually taste her lips upon yours. Is it a foreshadowing of things to come?”

Dream: Kissing then a suicide bombing bunny.
Kissing: Embodies love between Kaguya and Yuri
Bunny: symbol for ally of Eientei / ally of Yuri / Kaguya
Suicide bombing: embodies betrayal, for this bunny was supposed to help Yuri, not blow him up. Combined with the bunny, this symbolizes a betrayal by someone in Eientei, or at least some other ally of Yuri / Kaguya. Alternatively it can embody disaster, being an explosion that creates a rift and destroys the union of Yuri and Kaguya. Regardless, the symbolism is obviously negative.

The first derivative test shows that the rate of relationship change was increasing (positive)previous to this critical point then would theoretically undergo a sign change and become negative at the point t = bunny exploding if we can use the dream as the function of prediction, thereby determining that a local maximum would occur and that the relationship would continue to decrease without another critical point whose t value we have no control over, and may not come.

I interpret this as blatant foreshadowing by the author (he even uses the word) that if we let the “spark” event in the dream occur (making out with complete disregard to the fact that everyone’s out of character), then the cascade of events leading to disaster that follows will also occur.

>Letting her take the lead sounds like the reverse of the dream

It is reverse in terms of who is leading whom, but it is not reverse in the absolute value of the action: Yuri and Kaguya are kissing. Although the perspectives are opposite, the action of kissing under what I suspect to be “under the influence of a magic spell/drug” is the same. Furthermore, Yuri points out that it is “It’s like the dream is repeating itself in full force”, showing the character’s own perceived insignificance of the difference.

Thus, I come to the conclusion that this is a trap/dream/not-normal-Kaguya, and therefore think that this situation must be escaped from. We can kiss to our heart's content once everything is normal again.
>>No. 25761
File 136849995357.jpg - (1.05MB, 600x3094, a46bc8e2dd5fd6d50fd2edddbd83203c.jpg) [iqdb]
25761
>all responses.
I have one specific word for you guys. Welp. Anyway, here’s the long-overdue update.

[c] Pull away. This isn’t right. This is not right.
- [c] Figure out what is going on to make Kaguya abnormally sexually aggressive.

Later:
[c] Kiss Kaguya when she’s returned to her old self.




……

………

This isn’t right.

This is not right.

Being on the receiving end of a passionate assault is bad enough, although you can probably live with it. To know that Kaguya you know so much is acting brazenly, and being sexually aggressive, is totally unacceptable. There’s no way she would resort to this shameless act, and she’s not the kind of woman who would do such thing. You have to react quickly before you get carried away.

Luckily the lack of air comes to aid. You pull away, just in time Kaguya breaks off the kisses to catch her breath. Grabbing both her shoulders, you yell her names a few times as to shake her off her delusions. She seems to regain her sense, because her eyes widen when she looks down at your coat, the upper half of its buttons are already undone. “I… I’m sorry!!” With her face blushing hard, she pushes you out of the way and makes haste to the kitchen. She must have been mortified by the act, which is a relief, but before you can chase after her you’re dragged into a corner by the likes of Eirin, Reisen and Mariel.

“Good grief, I thought for sure we’d lost both of you back there,” Eirin speaks as they bring you to the garden.

You fold your arms and glare sternly at them. “Alright, now. You better have an explanation for this. Otherwise, I’m going to call you out for conspiring against me.”

“Well, you see… it’s obvious that she just wanted to welcome you, wasn’t she?” Mariel says.

“Y-yes, that’s right! I’m sure she’s worried you didn’t come back last night,” Reisen adds.

“That doesn’t explain her sudden ardent behaviour, because Kaguya I know would welcome me home with chitchats and such, not passionate kisses. Unless anyone of you can come with a valid answer, I’m afraid I have to put all of you under house arrest,” you speak.

“Oh, alright. We’ll talk,” Eirin grumbles in concede. “Yuri, if you’re willing to believe me, did you know that she had a talk with us this morning about her dream?”

“What kind of dream?” you ask.

“She dreamed about you,” Eirin answers. “Everything about you from the day she met you. Everything both you and she had done and will do in the future, including those she’d never even think of doing with you.”

“Things she’d never even think of doing?” You’re curious; does this mean she had the same kind of dream as yours? “I need details about the last part.”

“As a pharmacist, I’m forbidden from sharing information of my client with unauthorized people,” Eirin says.

You groan. “You’re not helping, but whatever. What do you want me to do, then?” you ask.

“We don’t know! Hug her, comfort her, tell her what she did is not right, ask her not to worry about her mistakes, you know what to do,” Mariel answers, followed by fervent nods from Reisen. “Anyway, I believe I should go check the princess. Wonder why she was headed to the kitchen instead of her room~”

“Uh-huh, and she reminds me that I have those prescriptions to organize,” Eirin adds.

Both of them leave, leaving you with Reisen as the only person you can talk to. After staring at each other for a couple of minutes both of you shrug and sit on the balcony. “This has to be the most screwed up morning I’ve ever had,” you begin your conversation.

“I’m sorry, we totally didn’t see that coming,” Reisen apologizes.

“But still… don’t you think it was because I kept it hidden from her for too long?” you speak.

“I’m sorry?” Reisen asks.

“My feeling for Kaguya. I know I shouldn’t say this, but… suppose that I have the choice to confess to her, do you think she’ll act accordingly?” you tell her.

“Sir…” She stares at you, tilting her head as she does. “Don’t tell me you were dreaming of doing ‘this and that’ with Miss Kaguya.”

After an awkward silence, you sigh. “…yes.”

“I knew it! Looks like both of you are in the same boat.” Reisen laughs weakly. “But what benefit I can do from answering your question? I’m just a moon bunny who’s not very good at everything-”

“Reisen. I’m serious.”

“Oh, I’m sorry! I shouldn’t get carried away,” she apologizes. “But isn’t it normal for two persons who like each other to share such a dream? I don’t know, maybe it’s a sign that you should take the initiative.”

“I’m… I’m not the kind of guy who can easily confess to a girl I like.”

“Then you should go out for a date! A real date! A date with an actual meaning behind it!” She pumps her fist enthusiastically. “Don’t worry, sir. Whatever happens, you have my faith. You can count on it!”

You can’t help smiling over the assurance. “Thanks, Reisen.”

“Oh, yes, Miss Kaguya got this letter from Anne,” Reisen informs and hands the envelope to you. You open it up and pull out a letter written in Chinese characters; while some of the characters are too archaic to be recognized, you’re able to work out the rest of them. “What does it say?” she asks as she glances over your shoulder.

“I, Hong Meiling of the Scarlet Devil Mansion, issue a formal martial art challenge to Captain Yuri Ivanov of the… Outer Heaven? What’s up with this name?” Reisen shrugs her shoulders. You shake your head and tuck the letter in your coat. “Looks like I’m going to be out in the field for a whole day. This, Nitori’s weapon demonstration and what’s-going-on-inside-Reimu’s-head.” You sigh. “Will I ever get the break I so desperately need?”

Both you and your subordinate continue chatting for a few more minutes before you decide to check on Kaguya. You stumble across her who has walked out of the kitchen, but instead of greeting you she walks past you. “Kaguya, wait.” You don’t know if she has stopped walking, but you continue. “What you did to me was wrong, and it upsets me that you acted uncharacteristically.” Turning around, you slowly approach her and wrap your arms about her shoulders, pulling her to you. “Why did you do it? Is it because you’re afraid of losing me?” Her hands come to rest upon yours, holding them tightly as she buries her face beneath the sleeves of your coat, and it prompts you to tighten your embrace.

“…I’m sorry…” Your heart sinks when you hear her chocked voice. “…I should be so selfish…”

“Then don’t,” you mutter softly. “Nobody likes act of selfishness. You should understand it better than I do.”

“What should I do? I’m so confused by what I have done…” Kaguya speaks, her voice almost muffled by the sleeves. You loosen your embrace as to turn her around. You lift her face, wiping all traces of tears with your hands. “I’m so sorry…” she apologizes, unable to bear herself from crying. You brush your lips upon her forehead, between her eyes, her flushed cheeks, and finally her lips, and she stiffens when you softly devour her mouth. You make no effort to let go off her lips even as more tears start flowing down, though you’re not quite sure whether those are tears of remorse or happiness.

“Feeling better?” you ask. She nods weakly and buries her face beneath your coat. “You must be really tired right now.” She nods again and asks that she be brought to her room. You comply and carry her to her room gently laying her on the mattress and throwing the blanket over her. “Is there anything you’d like me to do?” you ask and sit down next to her.

“Won’t you… stay with me?” She hides half of her face beneath the blanket. “I know I’d get yelled at for being selfish again, but…” Shaking your head in amusement, you drag her out of blanket and pull her onto your lap. She doesn’t even resist as you reclaim her lips in yet another kiss, and a smile is formed on her mouth as she returns the kiss deeply and with tenderness.

The kiss breaks, and both of you stare into each other’s eye longingly. “…we’ve been very reckless, haven’t we?” Kaguya murmurs over your mouth.

“Perhaps I am to be blamed for this, too,” you answer. You’ve had enough with the kissing, so you have to settle with cuddling Kaguya, and she seems to understand as she lets out a content sigh and rests her head upon your chest.

“Aren’t you supposed to attend those meetings today?” Kaguya asks.

“I think they can wait,” you answer. “I want to get enough rest right now.”

Kaguya hums happily, even as she shifts her position so that she can return the hug. “Really? I think we’d end up cuddling each other all day long,” she says, her voice suddenly taking on a playful tone.

“Come on now, I just got back from Alice’s place, there’s no need to rush everything,” you answer.

She beams up at you. “But what if I tell you so?” You don’t want to argue with her, not after the mess you have gone through, but what the hell. You have a decision to make.

Depart now?
[ ] Yes, immediately.
[ ] Nah, let’s take our time. Kaguya cuddling time.

If we decide to depart now…
[ ] Go on our own.
[ ] Bring Kaguya along. Remember moon bunny’s advice, everyone: treat it as an actual date.

Prioritize on which place to visit first.
[ ] Scarlet Devil Mansion. CQCSparring with The BossMeiling.
[ ] Human village.
[ ] Hakurei Shrine.

{{OPTIONAL}} Bring your equipment? All items will be selected at the start of the next update.
[ ] Yes.
[ ] No.

Date: January 2nd
Time: 08:00 hours
Weather: Cloudy
Location: Eientei
>>No. 25762
[x] Nah, let’s take our time. Kaguya cuddling time.

Let's make it up to her. I'm lucky this didn't turn out as badly as it could have.
>>No. 25763
[x] Nah, let’s cuddle
>>No. 25764
[X] Yes, immediately.
[X] Bring Kaguya along.
[X] Hakurei Shrine.
[X] No equipment.

I'd rather follow Reisen's advice: make it a nice date, no sparring or weapons demonstrations.
>>No. 25765
[X] Yes, immediately.
[X] Bring Kaguya along.
[X] Human Village.
[X] No equipment.

Let's dine with her.
>>No. 25766
>>25764
Who to say that can't be done after cuddling?
>>No. 25796
File 137041093120.jpg - (1.03MB, 700x3000, 29cd5fe3d8ef585f443303b04590bc46.jpg) [iqdb]
25796
Jeez, where on Earth is everyone? Anyway, cuddle first, date later. Writing now, updating later.
>>No. 25818
File 137335691210.jpg - (663.59KB, 729x871, peacewalker_picture.jpg) [iqdb]
25818
[c] Update. Sorry for the delay, guys.

You tighten your embrace. Kaguya stiffens and looks up at you. “What are you doing? Don’t you have the invitation to consider?” she asks.

“Can’t we just stay like this for the entire day?” you mutter so low even you can barely hear your own words. You’re not sure if it would answer her question, but you don’t care. All you want to do is to cuddle Kaguya and forget everything that has been thrown at you.

“Are you not going?” Kaguya asks.

“After all these craps I’ve had to endure? I better stay at home and let time pass by,” you answer.

“Wouldn’t that mean you’re not fulfilling Meiling’s request?” she asks. “I may allow myself to be cuddled like this, and personally I like it very much since it’s you who’s doing it. However, I will not allow an invitation to rot in my presence, and especially not when it involves you.” She pushes herself off you and looks up at you. “As the princess of the Houraisan Clan, I hereby order you to fulfil the invitation.”

You really want to explain the ordeal you have to go through, but this time you choose not to object her. “…fine, let’s go to the mansion,” you grumble.

“Yay~”

“But only if you come with me.” The cheering stops. “Yeah, you heard me right. I’ll go only if you come along.” You get up, holding her hands as you pull her off the floor. “We need to make up for the lost time, and I’m not sure if we can have this opportunity again in the future.”

“Are you still having doubts, Yuri?” She clenches your hands in return. “We have the whole time in the whole universe with us. We’ll always have the opportunity to make up for the times we’ve lost. Get it?” She giggles and leans forward, tipping on her toe as she lightly kisses you. “Now, I understand if you want me to accompany you, so do you mind if I get dressed first?”

You nod. “I guess I should look for proper clothing, too.”

“Yes, you should. Nobody wants to see you walking around in German uniform, anyway.”

“Very funny.”

You head to your room and switch to more casual winter attire. As you examine your reflection in the mirror, you mind reels back to your conversation with Alice and Shinki. If what they told you about Kaguya is to be believed, then you shouldn’t make her wait for your declaration of love. Perhaps you should use the opportunity of this visit to confess before it’s too late.

“Yuri, are you not done yet?”

There’s no time to waste. You grab some items and head out. What greets you is nothing short of astounding: Kaguya, donning wool-blend tweed coat that covers knitted woolen black inner dress, with matching set of black gloves and tights. The only thing that’s missing is a snow cap, but that can be fixed later. “Thought I could try something different, so I searched inside the closet and found these.” She spins on her feet. “How do I look, Yuri?”

“You… you look marvelous.” You’re stammering; it’s not the first time you’ve ever hit an obstacle, and it’s annoying that your mouth doesn’t say what your mind wants to speak. “I mean… whoa. Never thought you’d look good in something other than your royal clothes.”

“Why, thank you, Yuri! And you’re absolutely dashing, too~” she giggles. “Oh, but your scarf’s a bit crooked. Here, let me fix it for you.” She steps forward and takes the scarf off, and she smiles at you as she wraps it back around your neck. She’s so close; so close that you can smell the faint whiff of her perfume. You close your eyes, not knowing whether her hands are doing their supposed job or are resting upon your chest, or whether time is slowing down around you. Though it’s kind of nice to be this close to her…

“There! All done.” She gives your scarf a firm tug before stepping back, nodding to herself as to compliment your new look. “Well, then. Is there anything else you want to do before we go?”

You take a quick glance over your shoulders. Reisen, Eirin, Mariel, Tewi and the rest of the tenants are peeking from behind the corner. You dismiss them and turn back to Kaguya. “No, nothing at all.” You, then, take her hand. “Shall we walk, or shall we take to the sky?”
-
-
It’s begun to snow by the time you and Kaguya arrive at the human village. You come across Mokou, who is staring at Kaguya wide-eyed before she later dismisses it as mere daydream. Then you meet the other denizens, each with their own reaction to your appearance and the fact that you’re on a date with Kaguya. You also meet the village guardians, who inform you that Nitori has moved the shooting gallery back to Youkai Mountain “due to some technicalities”. After a quick visit to the school, where the same group of children who hailed you as their “hero” greets you with enthusiasm, you head to your main destination: the Scarlet Devil Mansion.

But there’s no one at the gate to greet you. To top it off, the mansion’s quiet. Awfully quiet. It’s like all the inhabitants are setting up an ambush. Or maybe you’re too paranoid and need to chill.

“So, what now?” Kaguya asks.

“I’m not going to walk in without being invited, that’s for sure,” you reply. “So we wait.”

“But what if they didn’t remember the invitation instead?” Kaguya asks. You didn’t even think of that before; there’s the possibility that either Meiling or the housemaster forgot that you’ll be visiting. Nevertheless, it’s still early in the day, so…

[ ] Let’s continue waiting.
[ ] Do something that will attract someone’s attention. (Specify what.)
[ ] Screw waiting. We’ll…
- [ ] …walk in.
- [ ] …go somewhere else. (Specify where.)
- [ ] …go back home.

---------------

This should do for now before this upcoming Ramadhan (well, it's actually tomorrow over my place, so yeah). Picture because I just got my hand on a copy of MGS:PW. Go me.
>>No. 25819
[x] Let’s continue waiting.

Let's wait some before we try anything. That and this might be the opening for the sharing of I love yous.
>>No. 25820
[x] Let’s continue waiting.
Patience, comrades.
>>No. 25821
[z] Let’s continue waiting.

Let's kill some time i.e. by more cuddling.
>>No. 25823
File 137379109217.jpg - (191.90KB, 342x880, tewi_and_big_boss.jpg) [iqdb]
25823
This may spoil LSL’s future events, but I can’t resist the urge to post these snippets here. As interesting as they may be, the rule of CYOA only permits for one scenario to take place, and no guessing on what happens at the end of each scenario. Sorry, no scenario for our very own fairy maid army. And now you’re hearing Yuri in David Hayter’s voice. Manually.

inb4 Touhou’s equivalent to Outer Heaven.



……

………

“Who are you people?”

“We’re the tengu patrol.”

“On what purpose would a tengu patrol visit me?”

“You’re a soldier, aren’t you? A part of your training includes close-quarter and hand-to-hand combat discipline, isn’t it?”

“Do I look like someone who would neglect my own limbs and rely solely on my equipment? They do say that a sword is an extension to one’s arm, but one has to improvise when said extension is removed from equation. Sometimes, when all you have is your good old fisticuff, with proper technique you can hold up an entire division.”

Forget that. You want to know their actual reason of visiting you.

“So, what do you want to seek from me?”

“We’ve heard about your exploits, and we’d like to confirm whether you’re as good as they say.”

In other words, they want to challenge you in closed quarter combat.




……

………

“Who are you people?”

“We’re this village’s guardians.”

“On what purpose would the guards of the village visit me?”

“You may not realize it, but the villagers are looking up at you as their role model, especially the children. Well, some of us might not be willing to forgive you for hurting Akito and the hunters, but in a sense you did the right thing by showing them their place in the community.”

“It wasn’t a big deal. They created a mess in public area, and I just happened to be in their way. Although… if you start to look up at me as their… role model, then don’t. I’m no role model, and I’m certainly no hero. I’m just a soldier doing what a soldier always does.”

Forget that. You want to know their actual reason of visiting you.

“So, what do you want to seek from me?”

“Your skills prove very invaluable for us guardians. Please share them with us, sir. Be our teacher.”

Be their teacher? Aren’t the guardians properly trained for their intended job?




……

………

“Who are you people?”

“We’re hunters.”

“On what purpose would a bunch of hunters visit me?”

“We heard about what you did to Akito and his troupe.”

Ah, damn. These guys must have a grudge of sort against you.

“Guys like them often give us a bad reputation. Just because you’re a hunter doesn’t mean you can terrorize lesser youkai. We were surprised that someone had the balls to come face them, though. It takes guts for an outsider to take on fully armed hunters and win.”

“…if that’s a compliment, I should thank you for that. But one thing is for certain: they insulted my fellow soldier. It doesn’t matter whether my comrades are youkai, human or ghost, because in a battlefield we’re supposed to look after one another. In the Red Army, all comrades are brothers, and don’t brothers look for each other?”

Forget that. You want to know their actual reason of visiting you.

“So, what do you want to seek from me?”

“Well, we don’t know much about this ‘recruitment’ thing, but you’re fine if we join you as volunteers, aren’t you Big Boss?”

Now they even call you Big Boss. What’s up with that?


Now get back to voting, guys.
>>No. 25824
[x] Let’s continue waiting.

I can't help but think Byakuren would welcome our actions since they are furthering co-existence between humans and youkai.
>>No. 25836
[x] Screw waiting. We’ll…
- [x] …walk in.
We have waited long enough.
>>No. 25858
File 138371009969.jpg - (1.31MB, 2205x1254, cf8501f1085256757d163f32733b5571.jpg) [iqdb]
25858
>>25836
And I'm sorry for the delay.

------------------------

i][c] Let’s continue waiting.[/i]

“Let’s wait. It’d be unwise to walk into a castle when the owner didn’t invite us in.” You head for the lakeside and sit on a log. Kaguya follows you and sits next to you. You don’t even flinch when she rests her head upon your shoulder, though you should’ve known better.

“Yuri.”

Not looking back at her, you answer her: “What is it?”

“Say ‘I like you’.”

Why would she expect you to say that? “Uhh… I… like you?”

She groans disapprovingly at the half-hearted response. “Please say it again.”

You shift your position a bit, allowing you to throw your arm over her shoulder. “…alright. I like you.”

“No, no! Say it again! I like you. I. Like. You. Put your heart into it!” She punctuates every word, almost as if it’s the most important thing she wants to hear from you. “Jeez. Is it that hard for you?”

“N-no, I just…” You suddenly get the gist of the situation. She wants you to confess. Confess. You’re not exactly the kind of person who would speak his mind, at least not loudly. So you do the best thing you can do and wrap your arms about her waist. She stiffens at first, but then she relaxes and giggles as she rests her hands upon yours.

“Not very vocal, aren’t you?”

“I prefer to let action speak for itself,” you answer and tighten the embrace. “You should understand.”

“Oh, okay~” More cuddling. And then Kaguya looks up at you. “Yuri.”

“Yeah?”

“Supposed that you’re out of job, what are you going to do?”

“I don’t know. Maybe opening a training school, becoming weapon instructor, writing a survival guide.” You tighten your embrace. “Why do you ask?”

“Why? Am I not allowed to know~?” She leans against you and throws her head backward. “Remembering something?” she asks when she notices the placid look on your face.

“Yeah, kind of.” Your arms tighten around her waist. “It’s been a long time…”

“A long time since when?” she asks.

“Since that time,” you solemnly answer. “When my father and I would sit next to a frozen lake, sharing stories and tips about how to live through the harsh Siberian winter.”

“And then?”

“And then? Of course we’d go hunting.”

“In the middle of winter? You surely are tough.”

“Well, we all are.”

You kiss her. Briefly, this time, and it’s nothing like the one you last had. You simply want to savour the warmth of her lips. She shudders in your arms and shifts her position, causing you to break the kiss. “Don’t you think we’re staying out here for too long?” she asks in shivering voice.

“Yeah, we should get in and see what’s holding them up.” You head to the gate, and are greeted by the fairy maid who’s in duty. When inquired about Meiling’s whereabouts, the only answer you get from the fairy maid is that she’s engaged in a demonstration at the main hall.

“Do you think it has to do with the invitation?” Kaguya asks.

“I have no idea if it is,” you answer.

“Captain Ivanov?” Everyone turns to the voice. It’s Anne, and she’s approaching the post in haste. “We’re very sorry! We thought you wouldn’t show up. Please follow me.”

You salute to the fairy maid and follow Anne’s footsteps. “What’s the commotion? The fairy maid told me that there’s a demonstration,” you inquire as she leads you and Kaguya to the main hall.

“Yes, Miss Flandre insisted that this mansion organize a martial art demonstration,” Anne answers. “We’re very busy setting up the arena that we almost forgot that you’d be visiting today.”

You arrive at the main hall. Or what used to be a hall, as it’s being transformed into a massive arena. Everywhere you can see fairy maids rushing to prepare the hall, and there are also several groups of people gathered near the reception desk. If this is supposed to be a martial art demonstration, there must be participants but you don’t see anyone eligible to take part.

At least you can identify one redheaded girl in tank top and pants as she drops the log she’s carrying and rushes to meet you. “Oh? Oh! It’s Big Boss!” she exclaims.

“Busy, I see,” you point out.

“You did remember! I mean…” She panics for a while before she regains her composure. “I thought you wouldn’t treat the invitation seriously, but you did!”

“You think? Of course I do,” you answer. “An invitation is an invitation, who am I to refuse it?”

“I wish I could chat with you a bit longer, but I have to make sure the arena’s ready!” she says enthusiastically. She salutes at you and goes back to carry the log. “Just you wait, Big Boss! This is going to be the most significant day in our life!” she yells at you before she shouts at several fairy maids in Chinese to get out of the way.

You notice Kaguya looking at the gatekeeper before she turns her attention at you. “Big… Boss?” she asks in utter confusion.

“It’s her thing, don’t let it bother you,” you assure her.

Anne approaches you and asks you to follow her to the waiting room. “Please have a seat. We’ll inform you once the demonstration’s about to start,” she informs, before taking her bow and leaves you inside the room.

“Alright, what now?” Kaguya asks.

“I don’t know. Like Anne said, they’ll inform us if they’ve started the demonstration,” you shrug. The truth is, you’re not the kind of person who wants to sit down and do nothing. At least there’s something you can do to kill the time. Like meeting the people you saw at the arena.

Let’s find…
[ ] Meiling.
[ ] Koakuma.
[ ] Anne.
[ ] Remilia.
[ ] Flandre.
[ ] Momiji (and several wolf tengu).
[ ] Nitori.
[ ] Shou.
[ ] Youmu.
[ ] Kogasa.
[ ] Suika and Yuugi.
[ ] Humans. They must be from the village.
[ ] Touhou Fuhai. Nope, not gonna happen.
[ ] You remember seeing Anne speaking with a woman who carries a trident. Perhaps you could go and meet her.
[ ] You didn’t think you’ve met the scythe-wielding woman before, but she’s there, towering above her partner.
[ ] Do nothing. Just sit down and contemplate your entire life.
[ ] Forget that. You’re with Kaguya. Alone. Inside the room.

I didn’t think we had the chance to meet the folks from Shinkai (with the exception of the brief encounter with Kyouko) so I omitted them from the list.
>>No. 25859
[x] Forget that. You’re with Kaguya. Alone. Inside the room.

While Komachi and Koa are tempting options, I feel this is a chance to take advantage of the moment.
>>No. 25860
[T] Forget that. You’re with Kaguya. Alone. Inside the room.
>>No. 25861
[x] Forget that. You’re with Kaguya. Alone. Inside the room.
>>No. 25862
[x] Forget that. You’re with Kaguya. Alone. Inside the room.

No proper (gentle)man would leave his lady alone to go mingle with other ladies.

Also, yay! It's back!
>>No. 25863
>>25862
Thank you, and I'll try my best to be on schedule.

---------------------------

[c] Forget that. You’re with Kaguya. Alone. Inside the room.

“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” You follow the direction of her eyesight; she’s watching the snowfall outside. “You know, this is the first time I’ve watched snow fall like this; standing beside a window, looking to the courtyard, and admiring the seasonal change. Well, not really, since this is something I’ve had for so many times before, but…”

Looking back and forth between her (who doesn’t seem to notice she’s being watched) and the snow outside, it’s only after a few seconds that you realize the situation you’re in. Surely this is your best opportunity to confess and let her know how you feel for her, which would culminate into you spending some “quality time” with her, while no longer caring for the demonstration or anything else, isn’t it? You fervently disagree; you’re way too dignified to take advantage over her, and the last thing you want to go through again is to relive the dream.

To hell with history repeating itself.[./i]

Without a single word you turn her around and wrap your arms about her shoulders. You lean forward and pepper her face with featherlike kisses, marking her cheeks and foreheads with soft smooches. She places her hands upon your chest, and you brace yourself for rejection. Instead, she pulls your head down and presses her lips against yours. A pleasant sigh escapes her as the kiss deepens, and you feel her chest press up against you as you tightly hold her. You let go off her mouth to catch a few deep breaths, but she whimpers in protest, almost as if she wants the kiss to last longer. You answer to her impatience with another kiss, savouring her moans, feeding her with your emotions, letting your feeling reach hers.

You break the kiss. Gently you caress her face, feeling its warmth seep through your palm and into your vein. Both of you stare into each other’s eyes, sharing this tender intimacy, never wanting this precious moment to end.

“Yuri?”

“Yes, Kaguya?”

She giggles. “You really are a man of a few words, aren’t you?”

“I’m sorry if I can’t convey my feeling through speeches,” you apologize.

Shaking her head, she takes hold of your hand that’s still touching her face. “It’s alright if you can’t say it outright. It takes time, and I don’t want you to force yourself.” She buries her face beneath your coat, and you can picture her smiling contently as she clings onto you. “To have you with me is enough, Yuri. I feel happy just by being with you.”

[i]How you wish you could tell her you’re feeling the same for her, too…


A loud wail blares out of the PA speaker, snapping both you and Kaguya from your reverie. You look everywhere for the speaker, but you only hear Anne’s voice a minute later. “May I have your attention, please? The first Scarlet Self-Defence Art Expo is going to start in a few minutes, so we would like to invite all guests and participants to the main arena for the opening ceremony.”

“That’s our cue,” you utter. “Come, Kaguya. Let’s go.”

Both of you leave the waiting room and head for the arena. You notice the crowd standing around a makeshift stage, pushing against each other to get the best front-row view. You choose to stay way behind, because you can easily head for the exit door if the opening ceremony starts to drag.

“Look, Alice! He’s going to do it, after all~”

“Come on, mom. I don’t think he’s ready for that yet.”

“Aw, Alice! Why not?”

“He’s the kind of gentleman who would prefer to propose to his lady under the moon.”

“Alice, you’ve been reading too much sappy romance novels again.”

You recognize the voice. Turning around, you greet the mother and daughter. “Hello, Alice, ma’am. You’re being invited, I presume,” you say.

“I blame Marisa for wanting to butt in, but at least I can go to the library after this,” Alice answers.

“How is it going, Mister Yuri? Did you finally tell her?” Shinki asks. You’re reluctant to answer the question and instead, you let them see you and Kaguya holding hands. She gets your message and nods understandingly. “Well, if you need more advice on openhearted proposal, you know who to seek for~” she giggles.

You feel your sleeve being tugged down. You turn your head to see Kaguya hiding her face. Is she embarrassed? “P-propose, Yuri?” she asks in stammering voice.

“Not in the middle of this madness, that’s for sure,” you tell her. “Oh, look, here comes the chairman.”

Flandre steps onto the stage and approaches the mike stand. After a few minutes fiddling with the microphone and looking over her shoulders, she suddenly snaps the stand in half and holds its upper half in a peculiar position. Either she has lost her mind, or she’s simply playing a gimmick, because everyone is staring at her with eyes wide open and jaws dropping to the floor.

The impromptu performance ends after a few verses and Flandre returns to her previous state. “Alright, guys, to hell with the unnecessary speech and let’s get straight to the point.” She points her finger at the audience. “Go kick ass. That is all.”

No response from the audience. Flandre ignores them and hops to the left of the stage while singing; you can catch one of the verses being sung by her as “I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike” but the rest is drowned when Kogasa and several fairy maids start clapping. The rest follow suit, in what has to be the most unenthusiastic applause ever.

“And there was much rejoicing,” Alice comments sarcastically.

The crowd disperses a few minutes later. You and Kaguya head to the relatively quiet corner of the arena and sit on the bench. The first activity of the day, as you note, is a martial arts demonstration. Your expectation to see Meiling showing off her kung-fu skill is shattered when you see Mokou taking the stage, and you’re pretty sure you’re not the only one whose lower jaw has dropped onto the floor.

“Such incredible technique,” you mutter in amazement when Mokou jumps off the floor and kicks a piece of board that’s dangling way above a normal person’s reach. She does several more kicking and punching motions – mostly kicking – before she ends by throwing a taunt at the audience. Wait a minute; did she just taunt Kaguya?

“What a show-off,” Kaguya retorts.

“Pretty sure she meant well,” you tell her.

“You think? She always has the upper hand in barehanded fight. And to think that she’d pick Muay Thai of all things…” she scoffs.

A few more demonstrations take place, but none of them pique your interests. You ask Kaguya if she wants to go somewhere else, and she points to a food stall at the far side of the arena. You head for the food stall and are greeted by Kogasa, Shou and Youmu. Several groups of people are gathered nearby, and most of them are looking at your direction. You dismiss them as being merely curious, but you start feeling uneasy as some of them are actually assessing you.



……

………

[ ] Who are these people to assess you?
- [ ] The villagers. They seem to be fidgety.
- [ ] The scythe-wielding woman. Maybe she wants to know about you?
- [ ] Wolf tengu, but where’s Momiji?
-- [ ] Aya and Hatate are here, too? Hell, is the entire Mountain looking for you?
- [ ] Oh, hello there Miss Extravagant Earmuffs.

[ ] Ignore them and talk to someone else:
- [ ] Kogasa.
- [ ] Shou.
- [ ] Youmu.
- [ ] Whoever is in charge of the food stall.

[ ] You’re supposed to be dating with Kaguya. Dating!
- [ ] Go outside and find somewhere secluded.
- [ ] Leave SDM and go somewhere else (specify, as long as it’s not Eientei).

Alright, guys. With the exception of Komachi and Miko the first option basically refers to the preview I posted here: >>25823 There’s nothing very special about the second option, while the third basically tells you to FOCUS on Kaguya.
Unless, of course, if Anon wants to increase those Social stats.

Update will be ready after I get sufficient votes to consider.
>>No. 25864
[x] You’re supposed to be dating with Kaguya. Dating!
- [x] Go outside and find somewhere secluded.
>>No. 25865
[X] You’re supposed to be dating with Kaguya. Dating!
- [X] Go outside and find somewhere secluded.


Get some food that's easy to bring along and find a nice secluded place to eat in peace.
>>No. 25866
[x] Who are these people to assess you?
- [x] The scythe-wielding woman. Maybe she wants to know about you?
Because boobs. They are a tactical liability.
>>No. 25867
[T] You’re supposed to be dating with Kaguya. Dating!
- [T] Go outside and find somewhere secluded.
>>No. 25877
[x] You’re supposed to be dating with Kaguya. Dating!
- [x] Go outside and find somewhere secluded.
>>No. 25883
File 138681309398.jpg - (375.82KB, 566x800, 66a9537de7f998caaad7be3f73d14a95.jpg) [iqdb]
25883
Date: January 2nd
Time: 11:30 hours.
Weather: snowy
Location: Scarlet Devil Mansion.

[c] You’re supposed to be dating with Kaguya. Dating!
- [c] Go outside and find somewhere secluded.


What on Earth are you doing? This is supposed to be a date, and you’re supposed to be dating with Kaguya. Dating! There’s no way you can spend your quality time with Kaguya in this arena, with many eyes watching you from all directions possible.

You lean toward Kaguya. “We should go somewhere quieter,” you whisper into her ear. “I think I saw a small hut outside when we were going in. We’ll stay there for a while.”

“Okay,” she says, not knowing the situation you’re dealing with.

After getting food and drink from the food stall, you and Kaguya head for the exit and leave the arena. The situation you’ve faced earlier has made you wary, and you don’t want yourself to be caught in anymore confrontations. You want to spend this day with Kaguya, and you’re going to do that no matter what.

You and Kaguya head to the hut you mentioned earlier. It’s moderately sized, probably with enough space to accommodate two people or more. You sit down on the bench while Kaguya takes her spot next to you. It’s a shame that everything is in snow, otherwise you’d be gazing at the flowers. Or maybe you could make a bouquet for Kaguya-

-you remember hearing stories from Anne that Meiling is very protective towards the flowers she’s attending to. Very, very protective.

You throw the idea way, far away and focus on the drink. You groan inwardly; isn’t there anything you can do?

“Yuri, why are we outside again?”

“I just remembered that we’re in the middle of a date,” you point out.

“A-ah, yes, of course! I’ almost forgot about it, ha-ha…” Both of you quietly enjoy the meal while contemplating on watching the snow fall. There’s also the occasional singing between the two of you, from Russian folksongs to traditional Japanese songs.

“Yuri.”

You put down the drinking cup. “Yes?”

“Please hug me again. Just like the last time.”

Again. Just like the last time. You’re not in the mood to argue, nor do you intend to ignore her. You ask her to come close toward you, and you throw your arms around her as she’s within reach. This time, there are no kisses to be shared; it’s just two persons hugging and holding onto one another. As always, she’s so warm, so soft, and so cuddly.

“You really like to be hugged, don’t you?” you ask and lightly brush your lips upon her scalp.

She giggles and snuggles up in your arms. “You’re huggable. And you’re warm, too.”

You chuckle silently and tighten your embrace, but it isn’t long before you start shivering. It seems the weather’s become colder than you’d anticipated, so you and Kaguya head back into the mansion. The exhibition is still on, and from what you’re seeing there’s no sight of its end – at least, not for today. You’ve also been in the mansion for a couple of hours, so you might want to spend more time here before going elsewhere.

“Hello, Captain Ivanov.” A familiar, charismatic voice greets you from the staircase. You and Kaguya turn around to see Remilia walking toward you. “I see you and your faithful companion are, what should I say, enjoying your stay.”

“Yes, we are. Thank you for the hospitality,” you tell her.

“I am very grateful to hear that. Oh, I wish you were here to listen to my rambling, but alas!” She throws her arms dramatically. “I hardly knew you, poor Yorik! Poor, poor Yorik, always having your skull crushed into smithereens.”

You have no idea why she’s suddenly quoting Shakespeare, but you don’t want to ruin the mood. “Do you have any problem with that?” you quiz.

“Who, me? I’d rather spend my time enjoying a cup of wine and watching the snow fall.” She approaches you and beckons at you to lean toward her. “Besides, I find the idea of having a martial art exhibition in my place is plain ridiculous, don’t you think?” she whispers.

“At least it keeps your sister busy and entertained, I suppose,” you answer.

Remilia suppresses her laughter. “Ah yes, entertained.” She even makes air-quotes at the word entertained; she must find the whole affair amusing, if not ridiculous as she said. “Regardless, my dear guests, what can I do for you? Please, don’t be shy. Just tell me what you have in mind~”

“We’re doing fine, Remilia, you don’t have to burden yourself,” Kaguya says. “If you don’t mind, though, would it be a bother if I request that Yuri and I have dinner here, at this mansion?”

“Ah, a table for two.” Remilia giggles knowingly. “I see, I see. I can have that arranged – in fact I shall be honoured to reserve the entire mansion just for you. Sakuya!” In the blink of an eye Sakuya appears and is standing beside Remilia. “Please prepare the dining room. I do believe our guests are planning to spend their night romantically~”

“Romantic night, milady?” Sakuya glances at you, then smiles knowingly and bows her head. “I shall have the preparations ready.” She disappears in less than a second, and you finally have the chance to speak.

“Seriously, I did not expect that,” you mutter.

“Why? Don’t you want it?” Kaguya asks, looking dejected.

“I thought it’s usually the guy who’s supposed to ask the lady out for dinner,” you point.

“No, no, Captain Ivanov, I think it’s you who are too reluctant to take the initiative,” Remilia says.

“Am I to blame for this entire affair now?” you ask.

“If you ask me for my sincere opinion, the answer is yes,” she answers. “That doesn’t mean you have to be so bold and carry Kaguya into the room for you-know-what, no sir. That’s too lewd.” Kaguya blushes, while you cough a couple of times in unease.

“What am I supposed to do now?” you ask.

Remilia beams at you and draws an imaginary heart in front of her. “You cannot deny your feeling, Captain Ivanov. You can pretend to ignore it, and you can pretend it doesn’t even there in the first place, but sooner or later it will reach out for you. And when that happens…” She draws an arrow across the heart. “You will realize how much your love for your significant other is.”

“Never thought to be given advices on love from you,” you sigh in defeat.

“So!” She claps her hands, smiling ever so brightly. “Tonight will be a special night for both of you, and I promise it will be a night to remember.” You force yourself to laugh; want it or not, you cannot say no to her generosity. “Speaking of which, I think your second-in-command wants to see you.”

You follow the direction of Remilia’s pointer and see Anne approaching you. She seems to be in distress, so you thank Remilia for the lively conversation and meet up with her. “What’s the issue, lieutenant?” you ask.

“I need to discuss with you right now. Please follow me.” You follow her to the anteroom, and sit down on the chair while she closes the door. “Ah, Miss Kaguya, I’d like to ask you to leave us for a while,” she says when Kaguya wants to walk in.

You lift yourself off the chair and look at Kaguya. “It’s okay, Yuri. I’ll be waiting at the arena. Meet me there, okay?”

The door is closed, and Anne takes her place in front of you. “I hope you have a reason on why you’re locking me out,” you speak.

She heaves a deep breath of resignation. “I’m very sorry for the inconvenience, sir, but I wish to not let details of this conversation leak out of this room,” Anne says. “Miss Remilia and I have extracted vital information about the unit the prisoner was serving.” You lean forward, suddenly very eager to hear this latest development. “40th Lunarian Foreign Expeditionary Unit, created to monitor Soviet Union’s military activity. Their first theatre of operation?” She pauses again, but this time she stares straight into your eyes. “Stalingrad.”

What. You did not expect this.

The Astral Eyes, as their reporting name suggested, primarily served as frontline reconnaissance unit, gathering intelligence from both sides of the warring factions. Their tour in Stalingrad was supposed to end on Christmas Day, 1941, but as the prisoner had informed us, a sudden turn of event forced them to extend their deployment.”

“What kind of event?” you ask.

“He only mentioned this codename: the ghostly hunter. Does it ring a bell to you, sir?”

Your throat suddenly becomes dry. Blood quickly fills your eyes. It would take minutes before you allow yourself to sink into the softness of the chair. “The old flame refuses to die out, it seems,” you mutter.

“Sir?” Anne looks at you quizzically. You can only mutter “Chyrot…” and throw your sight into the ceiling. For a fleeting moment your mind is clouded with memories of Stalingrad… and him.

“Sir? Are you alright?”

You look up at her. “Take me to the prisoner, Anne.” She jumps out in surprise at your words. “I won’t be at peace until I ask him by myself, and he won’t be at peace until this is finally settled for good. Those bastards, they think they can avenge their defeat in Stalingrad…”

“Sir, please hear me out. At this moment, the prisoner is not ready to meet anyone-”

“Do I look like someone who’d waste his time while his new homeland is under threat?” you speak. “Who knows how many more of them might be out there? Who knows what they might be planning now?”

After what seems to be an intense eye-gazing contest, finally Anne gives in and breathes in deeply. “Very well. Please follow me.” You follow her out of the anteroom and head to the west side of the mansion. After a trip down the spiralling staircase, you and Anne arrive at a dark chamber, and she points at a cubical box made of glass and steel frames at the middle of the chamber.

“There he is, sir.”

Locked up inside the glass prison, the prisoner of war is lounging about while lying on the bunk, oblivious of what’s happening around him. You and Anne approach the box, and the prisoner quickly gets off the bed to greet you. “Looks like I have guests,” he says with a cynical smile.

Anne unlocks the door. “He’s all yours, sir.” You walk into the box, and the door behind you is locked, leaving you with the prisoner.

“I don’t believe I am scheduled for a meeting with a former Red Army sniper, yes?” You glare at him, completely annoyed by his apparent lack of respect. “What can I do for you, sir? Oh, I forgot. You’re not my superior officer, so I don’t have to address you! Hah!” He snorts and sits on the only chair in the glass prison. He careens his head, and he snickers at what he’s seeing before he focuses at you. “She’s a cute girl. Her name is Anne, right? Wish I could take her for a date, but she always gives me a cold shoulder. She needs to… “warm up”, you know what am I saying?”

“40th Lunarian Foreign Expeditionary Unit. Stalingrad, 1941. What can you tell me about it?” The prisoner stops lolling and stares at you. You repeat the question, but instead the prisoner gives you a ‘do I give a fuck about it’ face. “I say it again, and I will say it only once: what were Lunarian soldiers doing in Stalingrad?”

“I’m sorry, I can’t quite hear that. Could you repeat that again for me?” Goddamn it, he’s taunting you. Bastard!

Choose one.
[ ] Words.
[ ] Fists.
[ ] Kicks.
[ ] Full frontal assault.
[ ] Devise your own response. It can be your own, too!

Well, that’s quite an unexpected turn of event, isn’t it? As usual, next update will be written once I get sufficient votes. Don’t worry about the whole “table for two” affair, guys. After the interrogation’s done, we will be having fine romantic dinner with Kaguya~
>>No. 25884
>“I hardly knew you, poor Yorik! Poor, poor Yorik, always having your skull crushed into smithereens.”

Someone likes castlevania?

[x] Words.
>>No. 25885
File 138686020839.jpg - (211.50KB, 560x295, rorschach.jpg) [iqdb]
25885
[X] Words, then Rorschach.

We shall remain civil, for now.
If he's still cheeky after that, we get creative.
The fact that he's this mouthy suggest that they've only aggressively questioned him.
Yuri doesn't have time for playing around like that. He's got a romantic dinner to attend to.


>>25884
As mentioned in the update, it's a reference to Shakespeare (Hamlet Act 5, scene 1).
The Castlevania enemy by the name of Yorick is also a reference to Shakespeare (same play, same scene).
She's getting it completely wrong, though. The actual quote is "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio".

Don't know about that whole "skull getting crushed" business though. That might be related to Castlevania, since Yorick's skull is never harmed in the play. (In fact, the pianist André Tchaikowsky, upon his death, donated his skull to the Royal Shakespeare Company to be used as Yorick's skull in that particular scene.)
>>No. 25886
>>25885
The skull getting smash is hte castlevania-ish part as some players go out of the way to smash the skull (before or after they defeat the main body) and then there's the comical trick in CV AoD with the skeletons tossing their heads (random chance if you let one live long enough) at you, which you can hit for a comical sound effect.
>>No. 25887
>>25885
I like how you think sir. I cast my vote for this as well.

[X] Words, then Rorschach.
>>No. 25888
>>25887
The best part is that he'll do it with a russian accent as well.
*crack* "Now that I have your attention. Why were you in Сталинград?" Pause. "I asked you a question." *crack*
"...I have a dinner to attend and you're keeping a леди waiting, you know."


Russian words are:

Сталинград, pronounced "Stalingrad" (meaning "Stalingrad". Obviously)

леди, pronounced "ledi" (meaning "Lady". With a double meaning, because it means "Lady" in the meaning of "gentlewoman", or "nobility".)


He could also call him ублюдок, if we want to get really Russian. (It's a word I picked up from a random image on the internet. Means "bastard", but apparently also translates to "mongrel" implying "impure" or "mixed" blood, not "being born out of wedlock". Making it a double insult as lunarians are generally depicted as human/rabbit hybrids.
For our prisoner the insult would probably mostly come from the implication that his mother shagged a human, but either way it works.)


Courtesy of google translate, I couldn't speak Russian if my life depended on it.
>>No. 25889
>>25888
That'd be a lunar rabbit actually which are more a sort of slave chaste in Lunarian culture from what I understand. It wouldn't be completely outside the relm of possibility to call the Lunarians themselves very much of the Arian mentality. They do have a seemingly unhealthy obsession with purity so insults and such to that effect would be sure to strike a nerve. My memory on the matter is fuzzy so take that all with a grain of salt.
>>No. 25890
>>25888
Not sure if it'd work as a typical Lunarian would think anyone on earth is "pig impure disgusting" while this guy talked about wanting to date Anne.
>>No. 25891
>>25890
He might have just said it to put up a front of bullshit and not-giving-a-fuck, rather than seriously mean it. Try to get Yuri off balance and take control of the conversation, instead of the other way around.
>>No. 25893
File 138845974219.jpg - (146.15KB, 1000x1453, 6822137aa9f084be836206215b6a148d.jpg) [iqdb]
25893
I'm still alive and kicking, everyone. I just recovered from post-convention blues and am struggling to get out of massive writer's block. I'm liking the ideas of Yuri going Rorschach on our POW, though I had to do some research on this guy (the only knowledge I have on him is from that movie Watchmen, sadly.) No actual update for now, though, as it's nearing the end of 2013 over my place, and I'm a bit jaded at the moment. So please bear with it (the same also goes to Winemaker & Stardust Halley).

Happy (early) New Year, TH-P.com.
>>No. 25894
>>25893
When I said "then Rorschach" I was mostly referring to the casual way he was using violence to get answers, but doing some research to make it even more Rorschach-y is great. It's not for no reason that he's considered the greatest character of The Watchmen.

Also, happy new year (Google Translate says "С Новым годом!") and all that. Hope you have another good year with lots of adventures for little lost soldiers.
>>No. 25895
File 138914889499.jpg - (504.51KB, 800x600, imagineifwewenttothisguysdirection.jpg) [iqdb]
25895
>>25894
Thanks, and I hope I manage to pull out the Rorschach out of Yuri in this one. Also, sorry for the delay, as usual.

------------------

[c] Words.
- [c] Go Rorschach, if possible.


You exchange glares with him. “Do I look like someone who’d like to repeat for you?”

“I don’t know, but you don’t look like that kind of man,” he shrugs.

“Alright, then.” You kick him off the chair and flip it around so that you sit with your arms resting on its backrest.

“My ass hurts, shit!” he curses.

You ignore his rants and tell him to sit on the bed. “Allow me to repeat my question. What were you and your unit doing in Stalingrad?”

“Why do I have to answer that question?” he asks.

“Playing tough, I see.” You reach forward, and suddenly snatch him by the pinkie. “I know how to break a tough guy like you.” Slowly, so slowly, you twist the little finger, all the while you ignore his plea. You continue twisting his finger until…

Crack.

“Arghgoddammityouandyourmothertohell!!!”

You let go off his maimed pinkie and proceed with his ring finger. “Now that I have your attention. Why were you in Stalingrad?” Pause. “I asked you a question.”

Crack.

“Notmyringfinger!!” he screams again.

“Still not answering. Too bad.”

Crack.

“Ithurtsfuckyou!!!!”

“…I have a dinner to attend and you’re keeping a lady waiting, you know.” Another pause.

Crack.

“Ohshityouremutiltatingmesomebodysaveme!!!”

“Nobody is going to save you.” You grab his thumb. “You’d better answer my question, before someone’s starting to lose his hand.”

“Okay, okay! I’ll talk, so please let me go!” Your grab loosens. “Please?”

Crack.

“NOOOOOOOO!!! Oh god no, why would you do this???!!!”

You finally let go of his mutilated hand. You tell him to suck it up and ask Anne to get the medical kit. As she starts looking after his injuries, you order the prisoner to start talking. After a brief period of silence, he begins.

“40th Lunarian Foreign Expeditionary Unit, the Astral Eyes. Like you said, we were indeed deployed in Stalingrad – but only as an observer. Our task was to monitor the war between your country and the Third Reich, but we were forbidden to assist either of them.” He winces in pain when Anne fixes his broken fingers. “Like I told her, our tour was supposed to end on Christmas Day, and we were ready to leave Earth until we received new orders from High Command.”

“What were the orders?”

“We were supposed to capture Colonel Alfred von Hillenbrand and interrogate him about his relationship with the Watatsuki Sisters.” He flinches when you glare at him. “But we had nothing to do with the attack on him and his men! It was another unit, I swear!”

“Alfred never told me anything about having an affair with Lunarian royals. He said that he was fighting a war with your kind for his entire life.” You lean forward. “Tell me more about it.”

“It was 1924, and the entire palace went apeshit when they went missing. My unit was assigned to find and retrieve them, and we found them, alright.” There’s a slight pause, and he throws his sight outside the cubicle. “In British India. With Hillenbrand.”

What. You did not expect this.

“Our order of the time was to kill Hillenbrand and bring the princesses back to the capital city, but circumstances of the time prohibited us from executing the order,” he continues. “First, High Command did not want to provoke war with the British Empire. Second, we were not equipped for assassination mission. Third…”

There’s another pause, and is it you or is this prisoner actually smiling? “You’re not going to believe this. They were dating with him. Or was it dating? Is it really a date when you’re dating two women at the same time?”

“Thus, your unit was in Stalingrad to capture Alfred, aside from monitoring the war between German and Russia.” The prisoner nods to answer your statement. “But you weren’t able to accomplish the task. Tell me what happened.”

“Like I said earlier, our objective was to capture and interrogate Hillenbrand, but the palace thought they had a better idea instead.” He shakes his head, seemingly in disbelief. “I mean, come on! Why would they waste their time sending the royal guards to kill him? Focusing their entire resource on one man in the middle of world war on Earth? I call total bullshit!”

“And so we watched helplessly, from a distance of course, as the royal guards faced him and his men in the open area. It wasn’t just the infantries that were sent to kill him; mortar squad, heavy gunners, snipers, the palace was sending every men they could find just for this one man. He fought everyone, but of course he wasn’t alone: he had his fellow men to back him up.”

“Then you saw it.”

He nods again. “With our very own eyes. Hillenbrand was shot, his partner avenged him, and we watched him given full military burial; we saw everything.”

“We pulled out of Stalingrad the following day. Our unit disbanded shortly after Christmas, and most of us were dispatched to different locations around Earth under different units. I myself was stationed in the Pacific to monitor the war between United States Navy and the IJN.” He jolts in pain when Anne tightens the bandage, though he later thanks her for the first-aid. “Hillenbrand’s files were closed, and neither our unit nor High Command spoke of it anymore.”

“What about the ghostly hunter you told Anne?”

The ghostly hunter of Stalingrad… that name was the only thing we managed to learn before our departure.” He shakes his head. “Once again, the palace stepped in and wanted this man dead, whatever reason it might be. High Command refused to send anymore soldiers to Earth following the incident, so the palace decided to take this thing into their own hands.”

“So the soldiers my team and I were fighting in the junkyard… they’re from the royal guards?”

“The crème de la crème. The best of the best. The only one.” He pauses again, as to allow Anne to put his arm into a sling. “Even after sixty years, the palace is still fearful that the ghostly hunter might come after the princesses. Or their own butt.”

“Then why were they in Gensokyo?” Seeing his refusal to answer the question, you grab him by the collar and violently shake him. “Answer my question! How did they find their way into Gensokyo?!”

“How the hell should I know?! And what about you? Don’t you already have your own homeland to look after? What do you care about Gensokyo?”

You lift him by the collar and slam him on the wall. “Listen to me very, very, carefully.” You press your arm against his throat. “This is my new home, and I care about it as much as I care about its people. If anyone tries to invade it – and I don’t care if they’re humans or aliens – I swear by the name of Glorious Motherland I will defend this land. Do I make myself clear?” He fearfully nods. “I’ve wasted my time with you. Now if you excuse me, I have a dinner to attend.”

You let go off the prisoner and leave the cubicle with Anne. Both of you head back to the waiting room, and you slump onto the couch. The interrogation has been too exhausting, and everything about it was as dumbfounding as the information you got. This entire fiasco was caused by the palace wanting Alfred dead for dating their most important individuals, and you never even had the chance to learn about it from him. Not only that, you have just learned that you, Alfred and his Prussian brethren had fought what were basically Lunarian elite soldiers. There’s also the matter of invasion by foreign forces, and it shows just how vulnerable Gensokyo is despite its isolation.

“Anne, did you have everything recorded?”

“Yes, sir. I even recorded previous interrogations, too.”

“Good. Just in case he turns against us.”

She sits down in front of you. She looks fidgety, probably due to the revelation. “So, uhh… what now, sir?” she asks.

“I need to discuss this matter with Yukari or Eirin. Sooner or later, I have to take up arms and defend this land I call home.” You stare at her. “You’re with me, right?”

“This is my home, too. I have the responsibility to defend it, so I’m with you, sir,” she answers.

After spending a few minutes inside the room, both of you head back to the main hall to check on Kaguya. Apparently, she has decided to practice barehanded techniques with Meiling while waiting for you. You approach the mat, wave at her, and she meets you with high enthusiasm. To your delighted surprise, she’s switched to tank-top and gym pants that highlight her appraisable figure.

“I see you’re enjoying yourself.”

“I can’t let myself be bored while waiting for you, can I?” she answers. “But what took you so long?”

“Just had a heated discussion with Anne. Military stuffs, so don’t ask,” you tell her. It’s a lie, but it’d be better you don’t let her know about the interrogation. “So, you’re up for lunch?”

“I’m not hungry yet. In fact, I’m going to spar with you right now!” She throws several punches, which you deftly parry. She’s gotten better since your last duel with her. “Nah, just messing with you. I’m tired, got to take a break. What about you?”

Pick one, captain.
[ ] Walk around the hall. Watch the demonstration. Pick a fight. Form alliance with any faction you come across. Vent off the frustration.
[ ] Stay with Kaguya. Enjoy the eye candy time.
[ ] Talk to Meiling. She looks like she’s very eager to spar with you.
[ ] Why is Momiji anxiously staring at you?
[ ] Head to the library. Ease your mind. Talk to the librarian. Flirt with the little devil. Have an intellectual discussion.
[ ] Others.

I’m so tempted to give the tank tsukumogami from Another Incursion a cameo. Thoughts?

Date: January 2nd
Time: 12:15 hours.
Weather: snowy
Location: Scarlet Devil Mansion.
>>No. 25896
[x] Stay with Kaguya. Enjoy the )eye candy and) time.

Too bad there's not much art of Kaguya outside of that outfit of hers.
>>No. 25897
>>25895
Quite a wild thing about Alfred dating the moon sisters (hard to believe as they were generally hardline anti-earth and married. I wonder what that says about Lunarian men)
>>No. 25898
[X] Why is Momiji anxiously staring at you?
>>No. 25900
[X] Why is Momiji anxiously staring at you?

>tank tsukumogami cameo
I'm not sure what the point of this would be. There's already one in the story and you've established that there are several more.
>>No. 25901
Just a reminder: This is supposed to be a date with Kaguya and Yuri just came back from doing something.
>>No. 25902
[X] Stay with Kaguya. Enjoy the time.

It would be hypocritical of us to leave our lady waiting around after we've just reprimanded the lunar rabbit for it.


If you want to do a cameo, then do so. It's your story, write it the way you want to.
>>No. 25903
[T] Give Kaguya a piggyback ride as you casually walk towards Momiji.

We should not simply make Kaguya wait around/ abandon her.
We should not avoid an apparent crisis.
One does not force Kaguya to walk when she’s tired.

Therefore, this is my solution.
>>No. 25964
File 139442496178.jpg - (169.93KB, 1074x758, e8a414c412ca00332d22191c1a66ae67.jpg) [iqdb]
25964
[c] Stay with Kaguya. Enjoy the eye candy time.
- [c] First thing first: let’s go meet Momiji.


It’d be too rude to just leave Kaguya behind and do your own stuff. Plus, you have a very enjoyable eye candy right in front of you, why the hurry?

You beckon at Momiji to approach you. She hesitates for a while before she walks toward you. “Captain, sir, I-”

“Yuri. No need for formalities at this time.”

“Oh. Okay. I mean,… uh, alright. Yuri, I, Inubashiri Momiji, hereby propose you to a friendly match.”

“Is is this going to be like the last time we sparred, Yuri?” Kaguya asks. “That’s cool! I want to see you kicking ass in close quarter combat again.”

A friendly match. So the reason behind her restlessness is because she was looking forward for a spar with you. You almost want to accept the offer, but then you remember Reisen’s advice about enjoying your date without any hiccups. Plus, wasn’t it Meiling who first proposed you to formal martial art challenge?

“Alright, I’ll honour your request, but could you give us some privacy first?” You have to apologize to moon bunny for breaking her hope after this.

Momiji looks at you, confused at first. As she turns to Kaguya, however, she gets the message and bows to you. “I’ll be waiting near the booth over there,” she informs. You and Momiji bow to each other before you head to the food booth.

“Jeez, Yuri, you don’t have to be so shy about it,” Kaguya teases.

“Come on now. I just got here, there’s no need to hurry.”

Come to think about it, what you did to the captive is probably a solid proof of your new allegiance. Of course, it is still speculative whether or not you should pledge your loyalty to your new homeland, but then you remember your oath in front of the prisoner.

‘This is my new home, and I care about it as much as I care about its people. If anyone tries to invade it – and I don’t care if they’re humans or aliens – I swear by the name of Glorious Mother Russia I will defend this land. Do I make myself clear?’

That brings you to another point: if you’re really serious about protecting Gensokyo, you should just form an army, but you don’t have the resource for that. You might as well recruit the natives, though you doubt they’d be willing to forgo their difference and work under one leadership. There might also be politics involved, and it’s the last thing you want to involve in. You should discuss this with Yukari whenever you have the chance; she knows Gensokyo better than you do.

“Thinking of something?”

You shake your head. Maybe it’s not the best time to come up with such plan. “No, not really.” Kaguya harrumphs at your answer but pays her attention back to the arena. You never saw her in anything else but her regal wear, and it’s a delight to know that the gym outfit is showing off her good-looking figure. Even her chest becomes noticeable, and you find yourself staring at the particular part of her body. It was a good idea to leave Kaguya behind while you and Anne interrogated the prisoner, after all.

“My eyes are up here.” Kaguya’s retort breaks your concentration. You look up at her and see her in her cute pouting face. “Pervert.”

“I’m sorry. It was a… nice eye candy,” you apologize.

She giggles. “Have you not had enough already?”

“That’s not what I mean.” It’s your turn to retort.

“You’re so fun to tease~”

The crowd is slowly filling the hall, as though they’re anticipating an afternoon exhibition. By the time both you and Kaguya are done with lunch, three-quarters of the hall is packed with people and they’re already eager to watch sparks fly. You head off to see Momiji, and find her with Meiling near what looks like a weapons rack.

“Good afternoon, Meiling, Momiji,” you greet. “What did I miss?”

“Good afternoon, Big Boss!” Meiling replies. “Momiji and I had some discussion about our upcoming fight, and she told me that she wished to challenge you in a duel. So, I decided that it’ll be easier if the three of us fight each other at the same time.”

“We’re going for melee a trois?” you ask.

“Well, I could arrange for us to take turn during the fight, but that would be too time-consuming.” She, then, leans forward and whispers so that only you, Kaguya and Momiji can hear. “And did you notice the crowd? They want to see a gladiatorial fight.”

Crowd thrilled by a fight to the death? Sounds like a repeat of your duel with the goddesses of Moriya Shrine way back.

“Okay, the responsibility falls upon us,” you press on. “What’s the rule of engagement?”

Meiling pulls back from you and regains her composure from before. “It’s fairly simple. Magic and other abilities are off-limit. Projectile-based weapons and explosives are not allowed, too.”

“Rest assured. I wasn’t planning on using them today. What else I need to remember?”

“All forms of martial art are allowed, meaning that you can choose to whether use grappling moves or just kicks and punches.” She smiles cheerfully. “In other words, we’re going to do CQC! Sounds fair?”

You have no idea why she’s very eager about it, but you don’t point it out. “Fair enough. What about those?” You, then, point at the weapon rack. “Are they allowed?”

“Yes, if we have an agreement. Don’t worry, Big Boss! I’ve asked Miss Patchouli to magically enchant them so that they can’t injure you during the fight.” Her smile widens once again. “Go on, pick one!”

You, Kaguya, Momiji and a couple of curious visitors examine the displayed weapons. If what Meiling said is to be believed, you don’t have to worry about sustaining serious injuries during the exhibition fight, but you cannot be too certain. Who knows when things are getting a bit too heated up?

[ ] Katana.
[ ] Chinese broadsword.
[ ] Sword/buckler set.
[ ] Rapier.
[ ] Tonfa.
[ ] Nunchaku.
[ ] Simple staff.
[ ] Three-section staff.
[ ] Lance.
[ ] Combat knife.
[ ] Thrusting dagger.
[ ] Brass knuckle.
[ ] Hidden Blades. And maybe throw in some throwing knives, and a crossbow, and a grappling hook, and a broom, and a shovel, and a…
[ ] Others.
[ ] No, thanks. I’ll go barehanded.

[ ] Gladiatorial fight? I don’t think this hall can hold the three of us.
- [ ] Suggest we do the exhibition fight outside the mansion.
[ ] But Meiling, choices like that are forbidden.

Completely optional: team roster
Name: undecided, suggest anyway for the sake of it
Type: special operations forces (this is just a throw-in; suggest anyway for the sake of it)
Allegiance: varies with individual, but the whole team serves for the betterment of Gensokyo.
Modus Operandi: undecided; will be planned along with new updates.
Notable/active members:
• Yuri Ivanov. Rank: Captain.
• Reisen Udongein-Inaba. Rank: Lieutenant.
• Anne Marie-Braun. Rank: Sergeant. (I mistakenly gave her the rank of Lieutenant in the last update, by the way.)
• Yukari Yakumo. Rank: Base Commander.
• Kaguya Houraisan. Rank: Trooper. using British SAS ranking system, because I cannot into Russian Spetsnaz ranking.
• Kogasa Tatara. Rank: Trooper.
• Tatyana Inaba. Rank: Trooper.
• Flandre Scarlet. Rank: Trooper.
• Nitori Kawashiro. Rank: Trooper.
Emblem: undecided; will dig up random pictures off the ‘Net.
>>No. 25966
[x] Tonfa.
[x] But Meiling, choices like that are forbidden.

Too bad the Kaguya bit wasn't longer, damn those hooks.

That and I'm not sure if a three way battle would be a great idea or not.
>>No. 25968
[X] Combat knife.
[X] Suggest we take it outside.

If the want a gladiatorial battle, we need proper room for showing off.

Also, I'm thinking Yuri would probably be most familiar and comfortable with whatever kind of trench knife the russian army used.
He's not specially trained in any melee techniques other than what the army taught him, and what he picked up on the battlefield, so some sort of (for him) exotic weapon would probably just be a liability rather than an asset.
>>No. 25972
[x] No, thanks. I’ll go barehanded.
[x] But Meiling, choices like that are forbidden.

If we are within range to attack with a knife, we are also well within range to get hit by a melee attack from the youkai. If we go with no weapons for anyone, we at least deprive Momiji of her sword skills and force her into hand-to-hand combat.
>>No. 25973
>>25972
Using a knife is way different than using a sword so Yuri would have the advantage there since he is familiar with knives from being in the army.
Only way Momiji would have the advantage is if we actually choose the sword and buckler.
>>No. 25975
>>25973
What about, you know, her being superhumanly strong and fast? And who the hell doesn't carry a backup knife?
>>No. 25976
[z] Combat knife.
[z] But Meiling, choices like that are forbidden.


Roster Name: Gold Hammer
>>No. 25979
File 140461935328.jpg - (227.25KB, 600x800, 87333da803f8e2a5285505365a536172.jpg) [iqdb]
25979
Alright, guys, I just want to tell everyone that this story is still alive and kicking. I'm currently in the process of writing its update, so please bear with me.

>>25976
Did you choose this name out of whim, or did you pick it from somewhere? I swear I've seen that roster name before.

Have a soft operator.
>>No. 25980
If the call sigh Gold Eagle rings a bell, then yes, I sort of based it off Shepherd.
>>No. 25991
File 140496477327.jpg - (870.67KB, 1920x1200, 7ebde09b71fd10524e2bb01370c2b577.jpg) [iqdb]
25991
>>25980
Five years ago, I lost thirty thousand men in the blink of an eye, and the world just fucking watched. ut, tomorrow, there will be no shortage of patriots, no shortage of volunteers. I know you understand.

Anyway, enough talk! Have an update.

-----------------

“Something bothering you?” Kaguya asks.

“No. I was just thinking.” You reach for the nearest weapon you can get and grab it. “If we should take the fight outside. There’ll be no way this hall can handle a three-way battle that’s guaranteed to run out of control.”

“A knife?” There’s a genuine look of disappointment on her face.

“You expected me to use any of these fancy weapons? No, thanks,” you retort. “And don’t tempt me to sweep the fight with a broom. It’s too early for spring cleaning.” Ignoring her rants as she checks the shelf, you practice several stances with the knife. Years of fighting and skinning Siberian wildlife with knife (under your father’s guidance, of course) proved valuable when you were drafted into the Red Army, and it showed especially during the siege of Stalingrad. Fighting in closed, claustrophobic spaces meant soldiers were often forced to resort to their fists and whatever tools they could grab on to kill each other, and you know all too well about such brutality.

“Are you done, Boss?”

You put the knife in your coat. “Have you thought of moving the arena somewhere else? Like near the lake or at abandoned warehouse?” you inquire.

“No, not that I have thought about it first. Why?”

“I have doubts that this mansion can handle a soldier, a gatekeeper and a patrol trying to kill each other.” You take another knife and spin it in your hand before holding it in reverse grip. “Though at least putting restriction on magic and projectiles has put me at ease.”

“Aw! Stop sulking! I’m sure you have an ace up your sleeve, right Boss?”

“…my body is not ready for this.” You’re about to pick yet another knife when a shout from within the crowd distracts you. You turn around and see them getting pushed aside, giving way to… oh, it’s Nitori.

“Has the fight started? No? Good! I think arrived just in time! Hi, captain! You got a minute?” You wait for her to recollect her breath, and there’s the look of confidence as she looks up at you. “Remember when you were unable to test the obstacle course on that day? Well, you can compensate for that by wearing the battle suit!”

“You came all the way from Youkai Mountain just to see me in that,” you remark.

“It’s my best invention, and what’s better to show it off than to lend it to the best operative? Give me your hand.” You do as she’s told you, and she hands you a metal briefcase. “I modified it again to make it fit in there. To activate it, you simply have to press that button.”

“This one?” There’s an audible ‘zing’ followed by a loud ‘wrrrr’ as you press the button on the briefcase. It shakes violently and suddenly disintegrates, its many tiny bits clinging onto you and forming an extra layer of skin underneath your coat. You can only assume that whatever you’re wearing underneath the coat gets replaced by the bits, which has clung onto you snugly. The bits gather around your head and form a helmet, and despite the sudden flux of information on its visor you quickly familiarize yourself with it.

“I take it that this is the same suit I wore during the operation at the junkyard.”

“Bingo! The one and only,” Nitori answers. “What do you think about the briefcase? Convenient, isn’t it? With it, you can take the battle suit anywhere and deploy it anytime you like.”

“Do I look like someone who has the time to carry a box around?” you ask.

“Are you saying that you want me to compress it into a wristwatch instead?” You try to open your mouth in objection but the spark of excitement in her eyes kills all your objections. “Challenge accepted, captain! Just give me a week or two, and it will be done!”

You poke around the helmet. The visor retracts, allowing you a clear view of gobsmacked Meiling and bewildered Momiji. “I didn’t expect Nitori to show up, to be honest,” you say in her defence. “But I’d take any advantages if it can equalize the odds.”

“Well, I don’t see that as breaking the rule,” Meiling says. “But wow! Powered armour? It’s like I’m in a CRYSIS game right now!”

“I’m sorry, but what is CRYSIS?” Momiji inquires.

“It’s a game, don’t you know? The one with nanosuit like the one Boss’ wearing.” Momiji stares at Meiling sceptically due to the answer, but the gatekeeper quickly dismisses the wolf girl. “Come, both of you. The crowd is getting anxious ready. We must not make them wait!”

You and Momiji followed Meiling to the centre of the arena and stand facing each other. The crowd has gathered, and your helmet quickly picks up chatters from them. Meiling clears her throat to get the attention of everyone. “It doesn’t hurt if I repeat the rule of engagement again, but I’ll do so in case there are people who have just recently come. This is strictly melee-only combat, so magic and other abilities are off-limit. That includes flight and protection spells. Projectile-based weapons and explosives are not allowed, either, and anyone caught using them will be promptly disqualified. To minimize injuries, close-range weapons like swords and shields have been magically enchanted, meaning that they can’t leave a scratch on you and won’t break under stress.”

“You know that clause is moot now, if you take this armour into consideration,” you point out.

“The captain’s right. And Meiling and I both are youkai, so uh…” Momiji continues.

“Come again?” Meiling does a double-take. “You know what? Screw the safety measures. We’re going all out.” The crowd cheers at the declaration. “Do you hear the crowd, Boss? They want to see us fight. Moreover, they expect us to fight.”

“I beg to differ,” you reply and press a button that raises the visor. “A fine lady is waiting for a dinner with this soldier, and I’m very certain she has the rights to disagree.”

“Jeez, Boss, you’re backing out already? You’re no fun!”

“I should remind you that I do not take taunts very lightly.” You withdraw both knives and hold them in reverse grip. Momiji mirrors your action and opens her stance, sword and shield deployed.

“You don’t? What a shame.” Meiling readies herself with her weapon. A Chinese halberd; she must have chosen it out of respect to her ancestry. The crowd suddenly becomes silence, and they watch as you and your opponents slowly walk in circle, weapons held close to your body.

“So, what’s going to happen if anyone of us is disarmed?” you ask.

“The fight is not over until there’s only one of us left standing,” Meiling answers.

“There can be only one?” you muse.

“There can be only one,” Meiling agrees.

“Uh, can we get the fight started?” Momiji asks anxiously.

“Funny that you asked.” Your steps come to a halt, as so too are your opponents. Everyone holds their breath. It’s now a game of waiting, as you and your opponents are sizing each other up before-

“I go first!”

Meiling suddenly thrusts the halberd at you. You dodge the incoming attack and stomp the floor, kicking several marble tiles toward Meiling. Her response is to swing the halberd in a wide arc, smashing all the tiles in one pass. “Well, somebody has to start somehow!” she says in her defence.

“Point.” You jump at Meiling and aim your knife at her head. Her reaction is instantaneous; she tilts her head and allows the knife to miss its target, though it does manage to take a few stray hairs with it. In a split second, you follow the attack with a roundhouse to her torso.

“Saw that coming!”

She catches your right leg between her upper and lower arm.

“Oh? How about this?”

You jump off the floor and swing your left leg at her exposed head. It hits hard, and you’re certain it would give Meiling one hell of a concussion. Her arm lock loosens, this is your chance! You pull away from her grip, wrap your legs around her -

“Hey, what are you- UWA!!!”

-and bring her down to the floor in a scissor lock.

“Didn’t see that coming, did you?” The lock tightens, and you exert your upper body strength to pick Meiling up and throw her across the floor. Your peripheral vision spots Momiji coming down on you, sword lifted up for an overhead smash. With very little time to react, you turn around and cross the knives in front of you-

CLANG!

And stop the incoming blade. The knives shatter on impact, some of their pieces bouncing off your helmet. Like that will stop you! With a loud roar you push back and throw a fist at the wolf girl. The shield automatically rises, and a loud bang echoes inside the arena as it stops your punch dead on track.

“Captain! Not so rough!” Momiji shouts from behind the shield.

“Yeah? Well, thanks for breaking the knives!” You throw another punch on the shield. It doesn’t leave a dent, although it surely forces Momiji to stand her ground. “Now I have to fight you and Meiling empty-handed, too.”

“I’m sorry for that, if that’s the case!” Momiji apologizes. “Captain, behind you!”

Too late! Meiling has already caught you in a chokehold and is dragging you away from Momiji. Damn it, you didn’t even notice her during your bout with Momiji!

“CQC lesson number one: never expose your back to the enemy,” Meiling says as she tightens the choke.

“Are you teaching me the basics of CQC?” Your response is to slam your elbows onto her side. The choke loosens, and you grab her shirt to initiate a throw. “I’m not sure if I can appreciate that.”

“You will, because CQC is fun!” She straightens up, and you double your effort to throw her. When that fails, you crouch low and propel yourself off the floor; she has somehow anticipated that manoeuvre when she spins in the air and uses the momentum to throw you toward Momiji. Not intending to let the wolf girl ‘cushion’ your crash with the shield, you do a back-flip and land feet first on the shield. You jump off the shield and land on a spot across the floor, just as Meiling has come down from the air and lands next to Momiji.

“Yuri! Catch!!”

Turning around to the voice, you see a shovel being thrown at you. You firmly catch it bring your sight to where the shovel came from. You see a hopeful Kaguya, an observant Nitori, a half-hearted Alice, a cheerful Shinki and energized Russian fairies rooting for you from the sideline. Okay, they wanted to give you the upper hand, and you should thank them after the fight, but why a shovel?

Wait a minute.

Didn’t your training include using shovel as improvised weapon?

“Aw, he’s acquired a shovel. Now we’re screwed!” Meiling moans in disapproval.

“Excuse me, but I don’t follow?” Momiji inquires.

“Don’t you know? Soldiers of the Red Army are trained to use their shovel as a weapon,” Meiling answers. “They aren’t afraid to use it to disembowel and decapitate their enemy.”

“Ew,” Momiji belches.

“Enough chatting, girls.” You hold the shovel and open your stance. You have been rearmed, now it’s time to teach them a lesson on how Red Army soldiers fight. “Let’s do this.”



……

………
>>No. 25992
File 140496492122.jpg - (426.03KB, 1280x812, maid-at-work.jpg) [iqdb]
25992
>>25991

---------------

((POV switch: Anne, in first-person view. Anyone missed her?))

“Good work, everyone. You can now take five minutes’ break.”

“Thank you, Miss Anne!”

I bid the fairy maids farewell as they scurry to the kitchen and continue my journey down the gallery. Today is a busy day, and everyone’s hand is on deck trying to make sure that the self-defence expo is running smoothly. It’s Miss Flandre’s brainchild, and she’s vying to gather Gensokyo’s best martial artists under one roof. It must have been her first experience in battlefield that inspired her to organize this event, and she’s not the only person who’s very excited about it.

I heard that Miss Meiling finally got the chance to fight with Captain Ivanov, and as her close friend I am glad that her dream to challenge a Red Army soldier has come true. The circumstances did not go as I would expect, though, what with the wolf tengu taking part and the fight becoming a three-sided duel. The crowds aren’t complaining, and neither are the combatants, so I guess everything’s fine and dandy.

…I’m downcast.

I wish I could join the fray, showing Miss Meiling and Captain that I am also a capable close-quarter combatant. How I wish I could show the world that my wartime experience is not just for show. It’s not that I don’t enjoy taking care of domestic affairs while everyone is kicking the hell out of each other. It’s just that… sigh, I was originally trained as a soldier, and as such the transition into a civilian life is not easy for someone like me.

Not to mention the unsettling revelation of Lunarian clandestine missions in Gensokyo. I mean, to have an outside force actively plotting against Gensokyo just because they have a bad blood with one of its residents, I find such notion very ridiculous. What’s past is past, they should just let it go and live for the future.

Uh, why I have to be very pessimistic today? I am the maid of Scarlet Devil Mansion, such behaviour is very unbecoming! No, no, no, no, no. I must remain strong!

“What’s the matter, sweetie?”

Turning around, I find myself looking into Miss Sakuya. I pout. She’s so mean, always appearing out of nowhere and addressing me as ‘sweetie’. But she’s very friendly, and it’s the only reason I can tolerate with her.

“Ah, nothing, I was just…” I stop walking and approach the edge of the gallery. I notice that Captain Ivanov has acquired a shovel and is holding it like a rapier. Is that how you’d handle a shovel? “That looks fun, don’t you think Miss Sakuya?”

“I wouldn’t say that if I were you, sweetie.” My eyes close as Miss Sakuya’s arms drape around me. Oh, she feels so warm, so gentle, and so soft. While Miss Meiling’s hug is like a bear, Miss Sakuya’s is very comforting. She always knows how to make everyone feels safe in her arms, too. “And even if I were allowed to join, I’d be stealing Meiling’s limelight. It’s her moment to shine today, let her be.”

“Well, yes, you’re right.”

“Come, let’s go outside.” I let myself go off Miss Sakuya’s hug and follow her to the garden. The sudden shift of temperature causes me to sneeze, and I suddenly regret myself not wearing winter outfit today. “So! Is it the fight that’s bothering you, or is there any other reason, sweetie?”

She calls me ‘sweetie’ again, and she always has the audacity to say that moniker while bringing her hand to her face. How can I ever resist her and that affectionate gesture? Ah, but I’m digressing. She asked me, so I must answer her. No wait, I will ask her instead.

“Miss Sakuya.” I kneel down and draw a circle with my finger. “If someone were to threaten this mansion, who would you protect first?”

“Hmm, let’s see now…” She presses her finger on her chin as she’s contemplating for an answer. “Firstly, my loyalty is for Lady Remilia, so protecting her is my top priority. Then the households are next. Why, sweetie? Is there something wrong?”

I frown. I really, really, should not reveal the result of the interrogation to anyone. Neither Captain Ivanov nor I spoke of it, but we had a mutual understanding that whatever information we obtained from the prisoner must not leave the mansion.

“Come on, just tell me. I won’t bite, I promise.” She even says that with that teasing wink of hers, that Miss Sakuya! But she said she won’t bite, right?

“Uh, okay.” I take a deep breath. “Remember the prisoner I brought in?”

“Yes, yes, I remember. If only he learns to keeps his sharp tongue in check, I’d have allowed him to court me.” I laugh at that idea; Miss Sakuya is too elegant for that prisoner. Perhaps Miss Remilia would be interested in him instead? She did praise him for his, in her own word, wittiness. “What about him?”

I take another deep breath. “He’s a Lunarian.” Just like that, the warm smile drops off Miss Sakuya’s face. I now fear myself the repercussion of invoking her wrath, but I brave myself and elaborate. “He’s one of the soldiers we fought at the graveyard. We managed to keep them from approaching the gate, though, but who knows if there are more of them out there?”

“How many of them you were fighting?” It’s Miss Sakuya’s turn to ask.

“From what Captain Ivanov said during the debriefing, there were enough of them to upstart a revolution.” I begin filling the circle with dots and crosses. “I may not know the bad blood between Captain Ivanov and the Lunarians. And I may not know why he was very angry at the prisoner, but…” I, then, mark the circle with arrows and reticules. “I get the feeling that it had to do with his… previous life.”

In a way, both Captain Ivanov and I are similar: we were spirited away from the battlefield before we could accomplish our mission and had to cope with the reality of living in post-war environment. I bet Captain Ivanov’s heart was broken to pieces when he learned that he would be unable to return to his country and fight alongside his comrades. I know that feeling all too well.

“What am I saying here is, uh…” I’m finished with the rough sketch of Kursk, my last major battle before my unit was reassigned to France. “There’s a threat out there, just bidding time to reveal itself, and whoever’s posing the threat must have thought that Gensokyo is… is…”

“An easy picking,” Miss Sakuya fills in for me.

I dryly nod. “…Miss Sakuya.”

“Yes?”

“Please hug me. I… I kind of need it.” I can’t hear anything from Miss Sakuya. I feel like my heart’s going to eject itself out of my throat and into the snow. I wait for the inevitable…

…before a pair of arms lift me off the snow and pulls my face into warm, soft mound.

“Bweh? Miss Sakuya, s-stop! I can’t breathe!”

“Aw, you have no idea how badly I wanted to do this~!” Miss Sakuya squeals girlishly as she presses my face in her chest. “And Meiling’s always talking about her little tiger this, little tiger that, little tiger here, little tiger there while doing this and that! Do you know how madly jealous I am?”

“Uh, I don’t?”

“Sweetie, you’re not helping me~!” Miss Sakuya whines playfully and tightens her arms even more. Listening to her joyful voice makes my heart skip many times. It’s not what I’d expect from her, and yet… it’s what I wanted to hear?

The smothering calms down, though that doesn’t stop Miss Sakuya from tightly holding me. I can do nothing but to hold her in return. I can’t resist her. She’s just… so kind to me. “Though in all fairness, your presence has brought much happiness in me. I mean, who else in the mansion I can be this affectionate and giddy? Certainly not to Lady Remilia or Lady Flandre. And certainly not to Meiling! Oh, no! Not to her!”

“Well, if you’re happy, then I’m happy.” I doubt my sole presence would bring that much happiness to her, but I don’t want to argue about it. Miss Sakuya’s happiness is also my happiness. “…I’m sorry.”

“What for, sweetie?”

“For telling you this. I… I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t help it. They had crossed the border, and that means they can invade Gensokyo anytime now. As a soldier, am I supposed to stand down and do nothing while they’re violating my homeland?”

“No, a soldier isn’t supposed to stand down.” I slightly giggle when her soft, moist lips are brushing my hair. I like it when Miss Sakuya does that, and alongside with her delicate fingers combing my tresses, it shows that she holds high regard in me. “A soldier does what she always does, and that is to protect whatever objective she’s given to.”

“Does that mean?”

“Yes, sweetie. I will fight with you, to protect the mansion I have dedicated my heart and soul to. After all, we’re maids. Isn’t taking care of domestic affairs our specialty?”

I bury my face in her dress. I agree with her on this one fact; we are maids, and it is our duty to keep the mansion clean and in order. “Mmm… Miss Sakuya, you feel so nice…” Miss Sakuya hums happily and embraces me in return. This is actually good, holding onto this mansion’s chief maid – no, scratch that, my sister figure and enjoying her warmth. I find myself sinking in sea of nostalgia, as memories of my sisters-in-arms begin to resurface…

And that’s when a world-shattering explosion knocks everyone out of their sock.

“What just happened?!” I jump off my feet as another explosion rocks the surrounding area. “Who planted a bomb!?”

“I don’t think someone planted a bomb. Look.” I follow the direction of Miss Sakuya’s fingers and see two figures leaping out of a freshly made hole in the wall. I quickly identify them as Miss Meiling and Captain Ivanov, but where’s the wolf tengu? Oh, there she is, jumping out of the hole and charging at the-

Hold on. Is that Miss Flandre?!

“It seems the fight has gotten heated up,” Miss Sakuya comments.

I almost want to agree with her when I remember an urgent matter. “The civilians! We must get the civilians to safety! Miss Sakuya, please lend me a hand!”



……

………
>>No. 25993
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25993
>>25992

-------------------

((POV switch: Yuri. A few minutes before…))

The fight has reached its most intense moment. You have exchanged blows with your opponents, you have parried many punches and dodged countless kicks, and many obstacles have been destroyed in the process. You and Meiling have been disarmed and are resorting to kicks and punches, and that leaves Momiji as the only combatant with weapons, though it doesn’t really help her in this situation as your barehanded attacks are too fast and too furious for her to catch up. At the corner of your eyes, you can see the crowd getting more agitated the more violent the fight becomes, just as Meiling has told you earlier. You’re not intending to drag this fight, however. Who knows how long this suit will hold out against a dragon and a wolf?

“Captain! Can you hear me?”

Your attention is shattered by Nitori’s voice in the earpiece. “Nitori, I have no time for chatters. What do you want?”

“You have a minute to spare?”

“I have no time for that!” you reprimand.

“Oh, okay. I’ll cut this short, Captain. Just shout this phrase: MAXIMUM STRENGTH.”

“What? You’re expecting me to say that?”

“It’s voice command! I added the feature so that you don’t have to manually switch between modes during combat!”

“Boss! Are you talking to yourself?” Meiling asks.

“Uh, Captain? We can hear that loud and clear,” Momiji points.

“Just say it! Hurry!”

MAXIMUM STRENGTH.

A surge of power seeps through the augmented skin. Oooooh, what is this strange feeling wrapping your legs? You feel like you want to jump into the air and drop kick onto your opponents. In fact…

“Hah!!”

You leap upward. So high that you almost hit the ceiling. You plant your feet on the ceiling, bend your knees, and propel yourself back to the floor. You quickly somersault in midair, extending your legs so that both your boots are aimed at your opponents.

“Holy shit!” Meiling and Momiji roll out, and a crater is formed as your drop kick makes contact with the floor. With no regards of dust and debris, you leap out of the crater and charge at Meiling. You throw your fist at her face, forcing her to plant her feet firmly on the floor as she blocks the strike with her arms crossed.

“Hey! I call BS on that!” Meiling calls out, frowning.

“What? I didn’t use explosives, so that won’t disqualify me, did I?” you point out.

“Uh, yeah, you have a valid reason. But still!!” A fist smashes into your side, knocking the air from your lungs as you’re sent flying. You twist in the air and land in a crouch, barely avoiding a group of onlookers who have scurried to safety.

“Whatever technique he’s using, is it even legal?” Momiji asks.

“Well, he said he didn’t use any explosives or firearms, so it’s allowed,” Meiling answers. “But…”

“But?” Both you and Momiji ask.

“I guess it’s time we forgo all rules and regulations.” Her fists are glowing in bright orange colour, and she opens a stance that’s reminiscent to a crouching tiger. “This fight is supposed to be between Big Boss and I. I’m sorry if you’re involuntarily dragged in.”

“Do you want me to yield?” Momiji asks.

“It’s your choice. Neither of us wants to involve you in this. Right, Boss?” You nod.

“Very well.” Momiji lowers her sword. Seeing her doing this gesture reluctantly makes you feel sorry for her; perhaps you can compensate by issuing a formal challenge to her.

“TYRANT RAVE!”

And a loud, bone-shaking explosion rocks the arena. Almost all of the crowd are running to whatever safe spot they can find. You, Meiling and Momiji careen your head to a newly created hole on the wall and see a sinister figure walking out of the cloud of dust…

…and it turns out to be none other than the chairperson herself.

“Uh, Miss Flandre?”

“Well, I thought ganging up on the captain is kind of unfair, so I decided to even the odds!” She flicks her pointer finger at Momiji. “You! Don’t throw the towel just yet! I’ll be your opponent!”

“Uh… okay, I’ll accept your challenge, but where’s your weapon?”

“Don’t worry. I’ll handicap myself with this.” She pulls a giant lighter with stick out of nowhere. You almost want to ask her for the uncalled for action, but she merely shoots you a thumbs’ up. “Okay, captain! Show me which one is better! Nanosuit, or five thousand years of Chinese martial art?”

“Am I allowed to go all out?”

“Let ‘er rip!” Flandre chirps.

“If that’s the case.” You let out a loud battle cry and charge ahead. Maximum Speed kicks in just before you throw a burst of rapid-fire strikes at Meiling, and she’s forced to backpedal and manoeuvre to dodge this lightning-fast attack.

“My turn now!” Her fists are glowing as she mirrors the rapid-fire strikes, faster and more vicious than yours. It’s your turn to backpedal, though instead of dodging in improbable ways you throw you as many strikes as you can to nullify hers.

You over-extend yourself with your last punch, and by the time you readjust yourself it’s already too late as Meiling has sidestepped away from the blow. “Man, if the Onis see you fighting like this, they’d be ass over tits!” She drives her knee just below your ribcage. You respond by grabbing her waist and throw her up. She twists and kicks herself back toward you. Maximum Armour kicks in, and your suit absorbs much of the strike as her glowing fist leaves its mark on your helmet. “I should introduce you to Yuugi after this!”

You reel back and counterattack with a roundhouse. “You think she’d enjoy it?”

She catches your kick and places her palm on your chest. “I guarantee you! She’d appreciate a good fighter like you!” A strong burst of energy knocks you away from her, sending you through the hole. A kick lands on your chest, and you’re driven deep into the snow. You let out a very pained groan as Meiling jumps off you and out of the fresh crater in the ground. “Shit, man. I think I overdid it. Are you okay, Boss?”

“…I’m fine.” You struggle to even kneel, and even so the overwhelming strength of Meiling’s kick has done extensive damage to your suit. The helmet has stopped regenerating and retracts, exposing your bruised and battered head. “I would be already dead if this armour didn’t absorb that amount of force.”

“But you didn’t.” She offers you her hand, and you smirk at her before you allow her to pull you up. “Well? Think you can still keep up, Boss?”

“Let’s do one more round, and we’ll call it a day.” You step back, and she mirrors your steps until the two of you are out of reach for each other.

“You know, what? It’s been a long, long time since I’ve met someone who could take me head-on.” She smiles. “Okay, even if that someone kind of cheated and resorted to nanosuit.”

“And your point is?”

“I have so much fun fighting you! I mean, wow! I must have awakened a sleeping bear! This must be the true strength of the Red Army, isn’t it?” She flexes her fingers as she carefully studies your next move.

You crack your knuckles. “A bear, you say?” She merely chuckles and does the crouching tiger stance again. The orange glow appears again, not just around her knuckles but also around her foot.

[ ] She kicks, you kick. She punches, you punch. She head-butts, you head-butt. An eye for an eye. Blood for blood.
[ ] A battle is not just about brute force. Show them that you have finesse, too!
[ ] Time to apply what your father had taught from his tour in the East.
[ ] Charge! Onward! For glorious Mother Russia! URA!

Scarlet Devil Mansion exploded? Why, this is now a Touhou comic!
>>No. 25994
[x] A battle is not just about brute force. Show them that you have finesse, too!
>>No. 25995
[x] Time to apply what your father had taught from his tour in the East.

Remember the basics.
>>No. 25996
[x] Time to apply what your father had taught from his tour in the East.
>>No. 25997
[T] Time to apply what your father had taught from his tour in the East.

For many years, Siberia lay un-colonized. Long before the Russians, the vast expanses land laid sparsely inhabited, ripe for the taking by any local power house. Yet, although the Chinese dynasties, and even the infamous MONGOLS had access to the vast tracks of land long before Russia, they chose not to take it. Perhaps it was due to lack interest, or due to self satisfaction with the vast tracks of land they either owned or conquered. Yet I believe that it was simply because they lacked the will to face down the environment itself: the arctic conditions are far from hospitable in the northern regions. It took an especially hardy type of people to settle and conquer the great Siberia Taiga and Tundra, the Russian. Show them the might that was born in the cold winters of the East!

Also, Russia lost the Russo-Japanese War of 1905 primarily because of naval failures if I recall correctly, not because of land.
>>No. 25998
>>25997
I thought it lost due to its naval forces there being sent on to the ass end of the world and were barely running on fumes when they finally reached the Sea of Japan, whereas the Japanese were operating within an area very close to Japan and thus their supply lines were much less vulnerable and much, much shorter? Ironically, I heard the Japanese army was shit during the Battle and pretty much only won due to going over a rampart of their dead.
>>No. 25999
>>25998
I hope you voted already; if not you should go and do so.
>>No. 26000
[X] A battle is not just about brute force. Show them that you have finesse, too!

Show them... the bear dance.
>>No. 26012
File 140979923423.jpg - (94.24KB, 800x560, 91d3fa0f14401268a6da378cdf75b4a8.jpg) [iqdb]
26012
Welp, guys. Looks like my computer decided to die on me yesterday, which means I won't be able to do some writing for quite a long time. At least, until I get enough funding to buy myself new PC. Sorry for the inconvenience, but I had to let this be known in case people start thinking I'm dropping my stories after this incident. Good thing I've everything backed up, otherwise I'd be in total despair.
>>No. 26049
File 141904374013.jpg - (167.00KB, 567x800, fist-of-fury.jpg) [iqdb]
26049
[c] A battle is not just about brute force. Show them that you have finesse, too!
[c] Time to apply what your father had taught you from his tour in the East.


Your father. What would your father do if he was in your shoes? Would he run away? Would he yield? No, of course not. He would fight back, but he wouldn’t use just brute strength. Besides, didn’t he teach you that a battle is also about finesse?

“What did I tell you about taking an attack head on? Do not resist, because the harder you resist the harder you will fall. Be like the wind; soft yet resilient, tender yet unpredictable. After all, a gentle breeze will topple even the most firmly planted tree.”[i]

“Ready or not, here I come!”

You’re so engrossed in your mind that you didn’t notice Meiling pouncing at you, until her burning fist is dangerously close to your face. Perhaps because of your father’s advice, or perhaps of the experience of fighting in close quarters, your hand raises on its own and gently parry her knuckle, before you lunge forward to land an elbow strike on her exposed torso-

“Hah! I won’t fall into that trick again!”

…that’s when you suddenly twist on your heel-

“Wait what?”

…so that instead of elbowing her-

“You’ve got to be-”

…you both parry her follow-up kick and stand on your hand-

[i]“Gotcha.”


…kick her high into the air-

“Oh what the shit…”

…chase after her-

“Haaa!!”

…clamp your legs around her waist-

“URAAA!!”

…dive back into the ground below-

FHWUMP

And just like that, both you and Meiling are inside a snow crater. Silence envelops the area as you slowly rise into view. Looking around you, you notice the audience staring at you with eyes wide open, and that’s when you feel the ground behind you trembling. Slowly you turn around, and you find yourself facing an irate gatekeeper.

“What did I tell you about not exposing your back to the enemy?”

Meiling’s left hook finds its mark. You would’ve been sent across the ground right now if it isn’t for the nanosuit’s armour automatically deployed to absorb the brunt of the punch.

“Guess not.” A lightning fast is aimed at your throat, and you immediately dodge to the side before retaliating with a roundhouse. Meiling’s pained groan escapes her throat, allowing you to grab her neck and perform a choke slam. You quickly jump away to safety before Meiling can catch you.

“That was cheating, you know!” she complains. You shrug helplessly and open your stance.

“It’s not cheating! It’s called a change in tactics,” you point out.

“Oh, okay then. If that’s the case!” She reassumes her stance… only that instead of keeping her feet planted, she hops about like a rabbit. She even loosens her fists to the point that she’s dropped the gesture entirely. Wary of your opponent’s tactic, you bring your fists forward as you begin a steady advance towards her. She waits until you’re within a few feet before-

“WATA!!!”

A sudden rush of pain on your chest is all you’re away of seconds before you’re sent flying across the ground. You manage to correct your body before you crash, and your feet dig furrows into the earth until you slide into a halt. What just happened? You swear to yourself that you got punched by Meiling, but how could you not see that coming?

Oh fuck it!

You cross your arms to block Meiling’s fist of fury. The armour actually cracks under pressure, and you can see bits flying in every direction as whatever material that’s fused into the armour disintegrates. Meiling follows that up with a left hook on your side, knocking the air out of you.

“Your nanosuit is impressive, but it’s no match!” She kicks you on the chest. “Against five-thousand years!” Another kick on your belly. “Of Chinese history!” She does that weird battle cry again, before a powerful shoulder tackle sends you tumbling like a ragdoll.

Eventually your roll comes to a stop, and the nanosuit is all but done for as you struggle to regain your posture. Sounds of alarm buzz loudly inside your earpiece, pieces of armour fall off your body, and your limbs are shaking. Meiling is seen sizing you up, making various noises and such as she walks back and forth in front of you. Damn, if this wasn’t a danmaku battle you could’ve whipped out your spellcards and announced them right here, right now.

“Do you yield, Big Boss?”

No, not yet. There is one last thing you need to do before you throw the towel.

Keeping your stance upright, you press a button on your arm. In seconds the nanosuit separates from your skin and flows seamlessly into the ground, before it reverts into its stored form. Free from the alien third skin, you stretch and twist your liberated limbs for a few seconds before you turn your attention to Meiling.

“You know what you’re doing right now is suicidal,” Meiling says as she slowly approaches you.

“The armour’s busted, so why bother,” you shrug and make your advance towards her.

“Points taken.” Once again she halts when she’s a few feet away from you, although she doesn’t do anything this time. You remain still, carefully assessing your opponent for any subtle movement she may make.

“Can I ask you something, though?”

“Sure, go ahead.”

“I’m very certain the technique you used just now isn’t Chinese martial art. What is it called, and where did you learn it?”

She moves one step forward. “You don’t know? It’s Jeet Kun Do, it’s very popular at the outside world! Its founder is even popular! Hell, he’s my favourite hero after the Big Boss!”

You slightly sidestep to the right. “Is that strange noise a part of the, uh, Jeet Kun Do as well?”

Meiling mirrors your movement. “Why, yes! It’s practically his trademark yell, too! Say, you mentioned Chinese martial art. Do you happen to practice it?”

You make two steps backward. “A little. Learned it from my father. Came in handy during my tour in Stalingrad. Why?”

She mirrors that movement as well. “Your steps were ungainly, and your punches were off. But that can be fixed. Care to train with me?”

“I’ll consider it.” You stop moving, and she stops moving too. Your fist is now less than an inch away from hers, and they’re almost touching each other. Eyes bore deeply into each other, as you and your opponent are locked in intense staring contest.

“By the way, Big Boss?”

“What is it?”

“Did you know that the motto ‘don’t think, feel’ was originally coined by him?”

“Who is this ‘him’ you’re talking about?”

“I’ll tell you, after I beat you! WATA!!”

She punches. You block. She kicks. You jump. She head-butts, you duck. She grabs your shirt. You push yourself out of the way. She throws a hundred fists of fury. You parry all of them. Flurries of fists and kicks of fury rain down on you as Meiling pushes you across the ground, with you on the defensive all the time. Your plan is to wear her out and launch a counterattack when she runs out of energy, but with the amount of attacks she’s dishing it’s going to take a while before the window of opportunity is open.

Oh, she’s getting all riled up now. It’s just a matter of time before she falters. Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it…

She’s miscalculated her steps. She’s now bogged in the snow. An opening!!

You let out a battle cry of your own and lunge forward. A sudden rush of adrenaline is felt as you throw as many punches and kicks on your opponent as you can muster. You might have lost the advantages of the nanosuit, but your attacks come out faster than when you were inside the armour. In fact, you think all the attacks are lifting her off the ground. Maybe you should slow down a bit-

She’s caught your fist in mid-flight.

Or maybe not.

“Too slow!” Her free hand begins to glow brightly, and Meiling lifts it high over her head. “It’s my turn now! Prepare yourself!”

Oh really now? You still have your other hand freely dangling by your side. Your fingers curl into the shape of a ball, and you thrust your newly formed fist just as Meiling’s is close to hitting you-

“CLENCH YOUR TEETH!!”

Your punch on Meiling’s right cheek, and Meiling’s fist on the left side of your face.

Urgh. A cross-counter?!

Both of you are sent flying away from each other and across the arena. You crash on the brick wall, while Meiling crashes on a tree. The audience falls silent, with everyone looking back and forth between the bear and the dragon. Chatters are heard as people suddenly erupt in massive applause, but you have no idea who they’re cheering for as your sense of hearing goes numb. You no longer care who wins and who loses, and you no longer care about everything.

…oh, you’re done for…
>>No. 26050
File 141904396418.png - (617.55KB, 567x800, 149c28b9f2f27b7ed78038a3e2254fda.png) [iqdb]
26050
>>26049

“The armour’s destroyed! All my works and dedications are for nothing!”

“Cheer up, Nitori! At least you can still salvage its parts, right?”

“B-but my greatest masterpiece! I’m in despair…”

“He’s pretty gutsy, discarding the armour and taking her attacks head on.”

“You think? Hell, you should see what he did to those invading soldiers at the graveyard. Ooo, scary, scary.”

“I hope Captain Ivanov is alright. Doesn’t he have a dinner with Lady Kaguya to attend tonight?”

“He better be, because I’ll surely be disappointed if he doesn’t.”

“Oh my! Mister Ivanov is injured? Let me take care of him~ ♥”

“Touch him again, and you’re history, little devil.”

“Why? Jealous of this charming devil, princess? Say it isn’t so~ ♥”


This is becoming all too familiar; lying down on something unconscious while people are talking around you. It’s like history repeating itself all over again, and you don’t like the feeling of this. Still, hearing those familiar voices make you feel at peace; at least you are safe and sound.

Are you?

You force your eyelids open. You look up. It’s Kaguya, Mokou, Remilia, Sakuya, Flandre, Koakuma, Anne and the three Russian fairies. Just as you expected, they’re staring down at you in a mixture of worry and relief. You open your mouth to speak, only to find your throat too dry and sore.

“I think we should tell him what happened,” Sakuya suggested. Wait, what happened to you? Did you lose the fight or something? “Anne, would you kindly?”

“Yes, Miss Sakuya.” Anne steps forward and approaches you. “It was a double KO. Or was it double KO? The fact is, both you and Miss Meiling punched each other in the face and uh…” She scratches her head. “At least, you turned out to be alright! Yes, that’s it! You’re alright, that matters. Right?”

If lying down in bandages counts as alright.

“The thing is, the fight was too furious for us to follow! I mean, kicks and punches and arm-bars and head-butts!” Nitori is next. “And the captain just HAD to discard the armour and fight Meiling head-on! At least he should wear it to the end…”

“Weren’t you complaining about your masterpiece damaged beyond repair a while ago?” Mokou asks. At once Nitori’s shoulders slump and she stoops her head in despair.

“Eh, at least he’s not dead. I won’t be happy if my guest is dead and not able to attend his special dinner,” Remilia’s turn is next. “And before you ask, Meiling is alright; don’t worry about her. Got several broken ribs, had a black eye, bruised and battered, but nothing ancient Chinese medication can’t fix.” The scarlet devil places her hands on her hips. “Want to know something? You just gave her the fight of the lifetime! Nobody in my experience had ever put her on the defensive! Okay, that ‘nanosuit’ probably helped a bit, but I’ll be damned if you didn’t. hell, I could consider offering you a position as the second gatekeeper if I would.”

“He’s a bear, of course he can take them all. Right, captain?” Mokou asks.

You turn your attention to Koakuma. You feel a dry lump in your throat when her smile turns impish, almost as if she wants to pounce on you and do indecent things on you in front of the audience. In fact, she’s going to do exactly that!

“Koa, don’t,” Remilia warns.

“Not even you, Remi? Aw, boo-hoo, shame on you~” the red-haired woman complains. “Where’s the fun of having a man to yourself when you can share with someone else? Right, princess~♥”

“You’re not helping, you know that,” Sakuya points out.

“Hmph! Fine, so be it.” Koakuma turns away and walks toward the door, though not before she turns her head and blows a kiss at you (complete with hip swaying, too!). You have no idea why she would do that, or why is Kaguya trembling in utter anger.

“I swear to myself that little devil is going to cause so much trouble to Eientei sooner or later,” Remilia grumbles.

“If only because she wants him as much as Kaguya is, milady,” Sakuya says.

You cop a feel of your body. You ought to feel intense pain, and you should, but instead you only get mild sting. You’re stumped; could it be that Meiling had it easy on you? That’s impossible, because you swear you could feel the force of each punch and kick your body had taken.

…and that’s when you notice Flandre staring at you in intrigue. What is it this time?

“You look like shit,” Flandre answers your question.

Remilia and Sakuya stare at the young Scarlet slack-jawed.

The Russian fairies gasp.

Anne palms her face.

Mokou shrugs her shoulders.

Kaguya is not amused.

“Since when look do count for shit in the mansion?” you’re finally able to speak.

“It counts! Because this is Gensokyo, baby!” Flandre declares. She coughs afterwards and corrects herself. “Alright, I wasn’t joking when I said that. I tell you, Meiling’s got a fistful of fury on you! How did you survive that? You have to tell us!”

“Tell us! Tell us!” the Russian fairies say in unison.

“Everyone, it would be unwise to bother our guest anymore. Please follow me,” Sakuya says as she guides them to the door. Flandre and the Russian fairies harrumph but follow Sakuya anyway, with Mokou and Nitori the next as Anne guides them to the exit.

“Take a rest, Mister Ivanov. You’ve earned it. If you need anything, Sakuya will be ready to help.” She smiles, revealing her sharp fangs for you to see. “And enjoy your time with your precious~!” That causes both you and Kaguya to blush, and Remilia snickers at your reaction before she takes her leave. Moments of silence soon follow, as you and Kaguya stare at each other awkwardly. So awkward you’re not sure if you should just go to sleep and…

Well, maybe not now.

You throw your arm over your eyes. “…I’m done for,” you mutter.

“Serves you right, soldier.” Kaguya smiles. “That was one fine display of bravery and sportsmanship, though. I’m proud of you.”

“Thanks, princess.”

“Well, you heard the landlady! Rest up, for tonight we’re going to spend the night together.” She hurls at you, arms tightening around you in a bearlike hug, and you let out a pained yelp when your arms start stinging. “Oh, sorry! I should be careful.”

“Please warn me next time before you hug me,” you tell her.

“Nope. Not going to happen.” She hugs you again. “You’re warm, you’re cuddly, and you’re huggable. I’m not going to let anyone have you.”

…very possessive, isn’t she?

“Anyway, I want to tell you something, and it’s kind of important, but…” She trails off, and then falls silent as she clenches her hand on your shirt. “…let’s save it for the dinner, shall we?” You can’t argue with her regarding that. Wordlessly you bring your arms about her and hold her as close as you can. Everything can wait until dinner, after all.

Still, you have to ask. “Was it really a draw?”

“You might not know it, but you were declared the winner,” Kaguya answers. “It looked like a draw, and everyone thought it would end as it was, but Meiling conceded and handed over the victory to you. Said she wouldn’t mind having a rematch with you. Everyone agreed, and that was it.”

Remembering the punches and kicks you got from her make you wince slightly. Note to self: her physical strength is not to be taken lightly. “…I should go visit her after this,” you mumble.

Kaguya hugs you again, humming the first verse of ‘Moscow Nights’ – in Russian, unsurprisingly, given how fluent she is in the language. You sing along, and she giggles approvingly as you run your fingers through her tresses. “Maybe you should… after I’m done hugging you, of course~”

“You’re such a spoiled lady, you know.”

“Hey, I am not!”

All and all, it’s just another peaceful day in the Scarlet Devil Mansion. I’m sorry, were you expecting the place to blow up in an explosive grand finale? Sorry, but this is no Touhou comic, no sir.

…well, maybe next time when we go to the underground and spar with Gensokyo’s very own humanized Topol-M.


[ ] POV switch?
- [ ] Eirin.
- [ ] Reisen.
- [ ] Anne.
- [ ] Meiling.
- [ ] Shinano.
- [ ] Yamato.
- [ ] Musashi.
- [ ] Sacchin.
[ ] Skip straight to dinner. Time to maximize our points with lunatic princess. And perhaps propose her to marriage on this faithful night~

Almost tempted to write a naughty scene with Koakuma (who wouldn’t?), but I’m refraining myself from that. Anyway, sorry for the absolute delay, so here you go. Dear god, re-reading this story’s old threads made me laugh at my own incompetence as a writer back then. Good time, good time.
>>No. 26051
[x] Skip straight to dinner. Time to maximize our points with lunatic princess. And perhaps propose her to marriage on this faithful night~

I'd be more inclined for the PoV choice if not for how long I've waited for this update. As for the Koakuma thing, it wouldn't feel right in this story. My idea to get a suit for Kaguya had some unintended effects.
>>No. 26052
[x] Skip straight to dinner.

Eh, not really that interested in a PoV switch when there's romantic dinners to be had.
>>No. 26053
[T] Skip straight to dinner.

Glad you're back.
>>No. 26710
File 146475091962.jpg - (963.74KB, 1400x1050, LSL!yamatoclass.jpg) [iqdb]
26710
[c] Skip straight to dinner date. Time to maximize our points with lunatic princess. And perhaps propose her to marriage on this faithful night~

“Can’t I just choose my own clothes?”

“You’re not allowed to do it, Yuri. Not under my supervision. A special event demands special attire, and a special attire requires special attention.”

“You don’t have to jump at the chance, you know that Alice?”

“Why? Can’t I show you my appreciation? Besides, I just happened to overhear the conversation you had with Remilia.”

“You just happened to overhear.”

“Did I do anything wrong? I didn’t, did I? Now please stay still; I’m trying to take your measurements.”

You sigh in defeat. There’s no use arguing with Alice, especially when she’s as committed as right now. Especially when her dolls are manoeuvring around you to help her with the measurement, holding scissors dangerously close to your face. You have no choice but to stay still and let the puppeteer do her work.

Kaguya, on the other hand, is at the other side of the dress room with Sakuya, and you can hear the excitement in her voice as she’s trying out everything in the wardrobe. Your mind begins to wonder; what kind of dress will she be wearing? You’re hoping as hell she doesn’t pick up skimpy attire, as you know she’s not the kind of person who’s into sexy stuff. Maybe one of the traditional outfits? But she already has those at Eientei, and she’s told you once that she’s grown tired of them, so…

“Do you hear that? She sounds very happy,” Alice notes.

“You think?” you ask, dodging Shanghai as she passes by your head.

“Why are you still very doubtful, Yuri? This is your special day, and I suggest that you treasure it as much as you can.” She furrows her eyebrows when you dodge the passing-by doll. “Please stay still, Yuri. You’re interrupting my work.”

“How am I supposed to not move with your dolls zipping around?”

“Sigh… fine. Shanghai, Hourai, would you kindly?” With a flicker of her fingers, you suddenly get entangled in puppet strings. Your protests are silenced when the dolls produce their weapons and aim them at you. “Thank you, Shanghai, Hourai. Well, then.”

You swear to yourself you see cat ears popping out of Alice’s hair as she and the dolls approach you. This can’t be good…



……

………

“Is it necessary for me to wear this?” You feel completely restricted in this winter coat Alice has tailored for you. You have to admire the speed of which she took to finish the coat given the limited time she had, but you still think it’s completely unnecessary for her to go to such extent.

“For the sake of this special occasion? Yes, it is.” Shanghai and Hourai, on the other hand, have fixed the wool scarf so that it doesn’t slip off your neck. “For your sake? Of course. For her sake? Definitely.”

“You should know that I’m not used to formality and things like that.”

“What? Going out for a date isn’t formal enough for you?” Alice giggles and steps forward as to fix your hat. “Besides, if luxurious dinner isn’t your type, you can always take her out for a walk. I heard tonight’s the best time for moon sighting, so there’s your chance.”

“Are you implying something?”

“Stop being so ignorant, okay? Oh, look. Kaguya’s here.”

You turn around just as Kaguya and Sakuya have returned from the dressing room. What greets you next is nothing short of amazement: the combination of pink sweater and black tights works like a charm, accentuating Kaguya’s womanly figure for your eyes to feast upon. Her Rapunzel tresses are tied up to form a ponytail, and even so it still reaches her waist. She doesn’t seem to notice your reaction as she’s spinning on her toes, as though she’s posing for imaginary cameras (and you think you heard a camera clicking behind one of the pillars too!).

“Well, I thought I wanted to try this sweater I found. Sakuya said it suits me,” Kaguya remarks and turns around to face you. “How do I look, Yuri?”

She’s… she’s gorgeous.

“Oh~? Looks like our little soldier is spellbound by the princess’ cuteness,” Remilia says as she’s joined the gathering.

“He’s shy, Remilia. It’s written all over his face.” You can feel yourself blushing from ear to ear at Alice’s remark. It doesn’t help that both the dolls have produced a sign out of nowhere that read in Russian: “he’s not shy! He’s just waiting for the right time to jump on her! Bow Chika Bow Wow~” Dolls, what the hell?

“They always say that a girl looks cute in sweaters, milady,” Sakuya points out.

“Well, why don’t you try?” Remilia asks.

“I’ll have to pass.”

“You’re chickening out? What a shame.”

“And a bomb is a poor choice in close quarter combat, milady.”

“You quote that Jensen guy one more time, and I’ll yank those steel nerves of yours, you perfect maid you.” Remilia then clasps her hands. “So! I assume our guests of honour are ready to enjoy the night, no?”

“Actually, Remilia, I think the two of us will just go out for a walk.”

Remilia’s grin drops in an instant. “Aw, I was hoping to serve you with the best banquet this mansion can offer.”

“I’m so sorry, but we’ll have our dinner on our next trip, maybe?” Kaguya apologizes. “You see, it’s been a hectic day for the two of us, and all I really wanted after all the troubles is to enjoy one quiet night with him.”

“Special feeling!” Shanghai and Hourai again express their excitement on their signboard. Shut up, dolls…

“Ah,” Remilia nods understandingly. “A moment to be cherished with your significant other. I can see the importance of enjoying it in peace.” She would then wave her hand dismissively as she continues: “eh, even if you didn’t stay, the rest of the households are already dying to have post-convention party. All is not lost, so you don’t have to worry about—”

“Did someone say party?!” Flandre appears out of nowhere and yanks Remilia on the collar. “Come! Let us party hard and get smashed six ways to Sunday! Because in Soviet Russia, party finds you!”

“We are not communist party, Flandre,” Remilia says.

“Silly sister, it’s because we’re the scarlet devils that we’re communist party,” Flandre replies.



……

………

Snow has started falling when the two of you arrive at the village, and Kaguya immediately drags you to Mystia’s food stall. The look of amusement on the night sparrow is imminent as you’re seated down, and you respond of sort with a frown.

“Don’t be such a killjoy, captain,” Mystia chirps. “You’re here because you’re on a date with her. I can tell you’re enjoying it as much as she is~”

Kaguya seizes your hand and tightly squeezes it. “Yes, we are~ and we’re going to enjoy every moment of it!” she declares.

“Oh yes, you should,” Mystia giggles. You get the feeling that she’s meant to direct the statement at you instead. “So! What can I do for you, Captain Ivanov?”

“Whatever Kaguya’s having, I take it,” you answer. “Oh, and vodka. Can’t enjoy the outing without good old vodka, da?”

You and Kaguya are served a few minutes later and dig in. “You know, Kaguya, this isn’t the best place for our date,” you say after blowing into the hot noodle.

“What? You wanted us to stay at the mansion and get distracted by their shenanigans again like this morning?” Kaguya replies. “No can do, Yuri. I’m having none of it. Not after you almost didn’t make it through the brawl.”

“Sorry.”

“Well, don’t just make that long face. Your meal’s cooling down; that’s not good.” You take a long slurp of the noodle and top it with a chug of vodka. “Oh, now that you’re here, here’s something that may be useful.”

“What is it?” you ask Mystia.

“You know that Anne and her junkyard friends are tsukumogami, aren’t you? Well, guess what? There’s another one.”

“Another one? Tank or warship?”

“According to my reliable source, an airplane. She’s often seen hanging out with Mokou at the bamboo forest.” Mystia leans in as though the next information is very secretive. “I think the border lady is amassing an army of mechanical tsukumogami. There have been rumours of a skirmish near the Graveyard of the Forgotten, so I think she must be taking extra precautions.”

“Or it may be the case of Yukari being Yukari.”

“Well, we can never guess what’s going on inside her head,” Mystia shrugs. “But eh, it’s not that there’ll be another incident involving them. Well, except for the one time one of the junkyard sisters went berserk and attacked Anne out of jealousy.”

“The last thing I want to see is another armed conflict,” you speak. Not after the bloody fight you had with the Lunarian soldiers at the junkyard. “And I won’t let anyone threaten Gensokyo, either. Not under my watch.”

“You can say that,” Mystia sighs. “I’ve lived through Bakumatsu era, Meiji era, Russo-Japanese war, both world wars, the Great Depression, the Cultural Revolution, the space race, Cuban missile crisis, and so on… thought the world would become a better wall after the Berlin Wall fell, but nope.” She pauses as to adjust her slipping apron. “Man, I missed my time with those chummy commies! They were the best bunch of customers I’ve ever had~”

“Well, we have our very own chummy commie over here,” Kaguya suggests.

“Cut it out,” you grumble. “I don’t know whatever you girls are talking about, seriously.”

“Oh, don’t mind his grumpiness.”

“Don’t mind if I do~ dig in, you two! Treat’s on me today~”

As snow continues to fall, you and Kaguya continue talking with Mystia over random topics before you continue the trip. After paying Mystia for the meals you head north of the village to the Forest of Magic. You haven’t forgotten about your associate Rinnosuke and have decided to pay him a quick visit.

“Ah, welcome to—oh? If it isn’t Mister Ivanov and Princess Kaguya.”

“Hello~!” Kaguya waves to Rinnosuke while you give him a simple salute. “We’re just dropping by to do window shopping! Hope you don’t mind~”

“Oh, hohoho, I don’t mind at all. Please! Enjoy your stay.” He then mutters under his breath “at least it isn’t the blasted red-white and black-white again…”

“Anything new and interesting?” you ask after taking seat at the desk.

“Not much, unfortunately,” Rinnosuke answers and passes you a vodka bottle. “There have been rumours of unregistered weapon crates appearing near the border lately, though.”

“They can’t walk across the border on their own. It has to be her doing.”

“Who else but her?” he agrees. “Still carrying your weapons, I see.”

He must have noticed your firearms concealed beneath your winter coat. “Can’t be too lax all the time, you know,” you say and allow him a glimpse of your M1911.

“Well, any gentleman would know it’s worth bringing firearms to protect his lady from all harms,” Rinnosuke chuckles. “After all, she’s waiting for your declaration of protection.”

“You’re implying something, aren’t you?”

“Perhaps I am, Mister Ivanov. Perhaps I am.”

“Yuri, look! Look!” Kaguya has approached you with an ushanka. “Can I have this? Can I? Can I?”

“Since when you’re under the impression that we’re on a shopping trip?”

“Aw, but I’m starting to like it already!”

“Fine, fine. You can have it—wait. I’m not supposed to pay for it, am I?”

“It’s hers for free. Nobody would bat an eye on it anyway.”

“Coolies! Thank you!” Kaguya giggles and puts it on her. “We are now Russians! Come, Yuri let’s march down the streets of Peterskaia and sing the echelon’s song!” she declares and yanks you off the seat, dragging you as she starts dancing to who played Korobelniki on the loudspeaker?



……

………

You’re back on the road. The impromptu dance has warmed you up, and coupled with a few more vodkas courtesy of Rinnosuke you think you can take on even the harshest winter of the night. The night’s still early too, and a bit of moon sighting before going home isn’t bad, either.

You take Kaguya to the lake and stay by its side. The snowfall has stopped, though it’s still frigidly cold; Kaguya has started rubbing her hands against each other and cupped them on her face. Sensing that she desperately needs to get warm you pull her into your winter coat and tuck her underneath it. Kaguya giggles happily and wraps her arms about you, then tiptoes herself on your boot as she stares up at you. You know what she wants, so you lean down and press your lips against hers, kissing her deeply and tenderly.

“Feeling cold now?” you ask as the kiss breaks.

“Not anymore.” She kisses you again and turns around so that her back is pressed against your chest. You wrap your arms around her shoulders, holding her as closely as you can. “The moon is surely beautiful tonight, isn’t it?”

You look up to the moon. “Yes, it surely is.”

“Finally, quality time for just the two of us~” she sighs in delight. “No fairies to bother, no scarlet vampire to fight, no arenas to thrash… just you and me, standing next to a lake, watching the moon~”

“I can’t imagine a man would take you on a date like we do now,” you say.

“They all courted me just for my treasures,” she harrumphs. “All men were like that whenever they met me. Always aiming for my wealth instead of the person who was sitting right before them. Can you imagine how frustrating it was?”

You let her continue her rants, even as your hug has tightened. You’re pretty sure she has grabbed your hands and placed them on her chest, but you let that slide. It’s her moment, and you’re not in the position to ruin it.

“It’s not wrong to marry a woman for her wealth, but don’t let that be the only motivation.” You have rested your chin upon her head, silently watching the moon. “There are so many married couples out there that don’t make it to their first anniversary because both parties are never committed to each other, you know. I mean, what’s so hard about marrying a woman because you actually like her?”

“I don’t know. I was too busy serving my country to settle down.”

“Humph. You and your devotion to your country.”

“Hey. I was a soldier.”

“Sorry~”

Both of you kiss again. Feeling her moans of pleasure inside your mouth, you deepen the kiss and caress her willing body, touching everywhere your hands can reach. A shocked gasp escapes her mouth when you lightly squeeze her butt, and she murmurs something before you silence her, kissing her more hungrily than before. You break away from her before you get too carried away, and cuddle her afterwards to calm her protesting heart.

“Kaguya.”

“Yes, Yuri?”

Without any word, you pull away from Kaguya, step backward and drop onto your knee. You just remembered one of Shinki’s advices. You will not make her wait any longer. Consequences be damned, you’ll tell her tonight.

“I know you’ve been waiting for this, and I’m sorry if the waiting’s too long.” You then take her hand and clench it tightly. “The thing is… I should have listened to my own feeling, and I really should.”

“Y-Yuri?” Her face has turned bright red. Her hand is trembling. “What’s going on? What’s the meaning of…”

“There’s something I need to tell you, Kaguya. I…”

Extra Operation XX: Propose Lunatic Princess
[ ] Do it.
[ ] Don’t do it.
[ ] Genuflect.
[ ]
[ ]

Come up with the cheesiest, corniest proposal line possible for our little soldier lost here, Anonymous. Implying that he’s ready to set sail across the sea of tranquillity.

Anyway, guess what? This story is back after, like, what? Months of hiatus? Prepare for yet another delay after this update’s posted, though. Can anyone believe how long this story has taken to come to this critical moment? I know I can’t. inb4 “Yuri/Kaguya porno when, S/at/A?”

For the uninitiated, Mystia was referring to Tiger tank girl Anne, battleship sisters Yamato and Musashi and their sister Shinano. No, Anon, they are not Kancolle version of Yamato and Musashi; I conceived them way before Kancolle even existed. See attached picture. Also, airplane girl? I wonder who that might be…

As you know, fasting month is only a few days away (at least that’s what my calendar is indicating). So before I forget happy early Ramadan, /eientei/ and TH-P.com~
>>No. 26711
[z] Do it.

Well that's one long hang time unhanged.
>>No. 26712
[x] Do it.

It's been long in coming.
>>No. 26731
[X] Do it.

I can't believe it, this is still alive! I have hope in humanity once again.
>>No. 26829
File 14675198316.png - (454.17KB, 700x900, c49c633e707af0011de60f952ffa76d4.png) [iqdb]
26829
Sorry for the delay, but I'll be off on Aidilfitri vacation. I see if I can have this story ready to be updated, but until then keep on voting. We must help our little soldier proposing the lunatic princess of the moon in the best Russian way possible.

Before I forget, happy (early) 4th of July, Americans. It's been 240 years, isn't it? Have an American shipgirl.
>>No. 27976
>>26829
I am still waiting for that 'do it', CATA. Any updates?
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