Ever since she returned from the graveyard, Anne was immediately pressed into a major task of renovating the mansion in time for the annual Christmas party. And she barely got her work started, as Remilia had (“politely”, as the Scarlet Devil preferred) ordered that the interrogation of the prisoner of war she brought along be given a top priority. It was not paying off due to his absolute refusal to cooperate, and the only information she was able to acquire was that he served with the Lunarians as a member of the expeditionary team that was sent to Earth on a reconnaissance mission. She also had to maintain a professional demeanour as the prisoner started throwing slurs on the Wehrmacht (as well as calling the Red Army weak and incompetent), and at one point she almost threatened to blow him to kingdom come when the prisoner called her a “coldblooded murderer”.
Right now, she was taking a break after spending hours breaking sweats trying to make the prisoner talk. She sighed; between interrogating prisoners and supervising the maids, she preferred doing the latter, and she would like it if she could hand over the task to Captain Ivanov. She might not know the blood feud he held against the Lunarians, but she knew he would handle the prisoner better than she did.
Before she can respond, her eyes were covered. She did not even have to make a guess as she recognized the warmth of the hands very much, and she did not even bother asking as the owner of the hands pulled her into a soft, comfortable body. She did, though, manage to pull the hands off her face and she looked up to meet the person.
“My little tiger looks very tired today,” Meiling asked. “What’s the matter?”
“I wish I could take a day break, Miss Meiling,” Anne mumbled as she was sinking into the gatekeeper’s sisterly cuddle. “I don’t know if Miss Remilia would allow it, though.”
“Well, of course you should!” Meiling uttered and tightened her embrace. “I mean, look at you! You barely had the chance to rest after coming back from the mission, and now you have to supervise the renovation! Not to mention the prisoner you brought along.” She rested her chin upon the tank girl’s scalp as the two of them were watching the fairy maids erecting the massive Christmas tree. “I even heard you screaming down there. You had me very worried, you know that?”
“I-I did?” Anne asked. She was surprised if anyone could hear her shouting in anger from the underground room, but yet again it was not her fault she flipped out. “I don’t know what to do, Miss Meiling. The prisoner would not talk, even after I threatened to blow his head off,” she muttered. “Is there anything else I can try?”
“I don’t know,” the gatekeeper said frankly. “If I were you, let’s see… I’d just give him a CQC hug.” She giggled. “It worked for Big Boss, so I know it would work on anyone else.”
“I heard that!!”
Both Anne and Meiling turned to the direction of the voice. There she was, standing in all her pride as the Scarlet Devil, folding her arms as she was watching at them from the podium, accompanied by her trusty maid chief. “Seriously, Meiling, your obsession with Metal Gear Solid never fails to amuse me,” Remilia scoffed. “And why are you hugging Anne when she’s supposed to do her work?”
“Good afternoon, Miss Remilia,” Anne warily greeted.
“But Remi, I thought I could give her some morale support,” Meiling said. “You know how tired she’s been for the past few days, don’t you?”
“Well, I’m sure she could be given a few days’ break,” the vampire girl said, “if only she’d allowed me to join her in the operation!”
“Now, now, milady, I’m sure she had her own reason on not wanting you to come along,” Sakuya told her.
“But what’s the fun staying behind the frontline when my troops are busy handing the enemy’s ass?” Remilia asked. “That Flandre… she bragged about her experience in the battlefield like it was game!” Anne had to laugh. If she were allowed to tell the truth of the operation, Remilia would have thought twice about joining a military operation.
“You know what, Sakuya? Meiling’s right. Anne should be given more time to rest,” Remilia said, much to Meiling’s delight.
“Does that mean she can take a day break?” she asked.
“But under one condition!” the Scarlet Devil continued. “I’ll let her decide on how she’d spend her day, if only she agrees to let me take over the interrogation.”
Anne could not believe what she had heard. Finally, she was given the deserved chance to rest. “Thank you, Miss Remilia,” she uttered, a delighted smile carved upon her otherwise worn out face.
“Don’t mention it. Now shoo, scram, take Meiling with you before I change my mind,” Remilia told her.
“Awesome!! I get to bring Anne for a walk!” Thanking the vampire for her unprecedented kindness, Meiling dragged the hapless Anne back to her quarters. “Just you wait! Big Sis Meiling is going to take you on a holiday trip you will never forget!” she bellowed so loud her voice echoed across the courtyard.
“A day’s break for her, too, milady?” Sakuya asked. “She will not let the chance to hug her teddy bear for an entire day.”
“You saw it already, that girl. Who am I to deny her the chance?” Remilia said. “Anyway, Sakuya, get the room ready. I’ve wanted to try out the Jack Bauer interrogation technique for a very long time.”
This story takes place after the unnamed operation at the Graveyard of the Abandoned, but before Little Soldier Lost, Day Eight. Expect cameos from main characters. As the title indicates, Anne’s the focus of this story, and since she’s now a member of the Scarlet Devil Mansion, this story will be posted her in /sdm/.
Please note that there are spoilers to Day Eight’s plot.
Before I forget, merry Christmas, TH-P.com~
Serial ATA!B3VLbNSnYA2012/12/25 (Tue) 03:43No. 54804▼
“You… you even have a matching pair for me,” Anne said in amusement.
“Yup! I tailored it especially for you~ ♥” Meiling said as she fixed the scarf around Anne’s neck. “That way, everyone can tell we’re the greatest sisters of al!”
She watched her reflection on the mirror. It certainly far exceeded what she had first anticipated, considering that the fact the only thing different about the dress she was donning was the colour. (Hers was black/white with green under-sleeves, compared to Meiling’s green/white/black attire.) Not that she wanted to complain, since she could move about freely in the dress.
“So, where does my little tiger want to go today?” Meiling asked as she adjusted Anne’s hat.
“Umm… how about we go to that place?”
“Oh, yeah, you didn’t know it yet. I’ll show you the way.” She spun on her feet once, giggling in delight at her new look. “I could wear this as my uniform~”
“I know, right?” Meiling said.
Having said farewell to the fairy maids and the housemasters, Anne and Meiling headed deep to the forest. They landed near the frozen river and walked upstream until Anne asked her to stop. “It should be around here somewhere…” she said as she dug the snow underneath her, not paying attention to Meiling who had decided to help. She kept on digging until she found the familiar shape of a gun turret. “Found it!”
“Whoa, what is this thing?” Meiling asked as Anne pulled the Tiger tank out of the snow.
“My physical body,” Anne answered and dusted its fuselage free from dirt. “I was supposed to have it fixed a long time ago, but I always forget about it.” She turned around, and couldn’t help smiling when she saw Meiling tilted her head in confusion. “I guess you haven’t been told that I’m a… youkai?”
“No way! My little tiger is a youkai?!” Meiling asked in shock. “I mean… I thought you’re a human! Or a fairy! Whoa… colour me surprised.”
“Oh, my. If it isn’t Anne.”
Anne looked to the left. “Letty!” Her smile widened, and she couldn’t be happier as she jumped at Letty and hugged her tightly.
“Hello, Miss Letty,” Meiling greeted.
“You’re Meiling, right? I’ve heard a lot about you.” Letty turned her attention to the tank girl who had loosened her embrace and looked up at her. “So, walking out in the snow?”
“Yes. I was given a day’s break by Miss Remilia, and I’m not going to miss every opportunity spending it,” she answered. “Umm… may I ask where you’re headed to?”
“To Yuuka’s place.” At the mention of the name Anne felt her stomach churning. It had been a while since she last met her. The flower lady must be upset that she hadn’t gone to see her. “On a second thought, it’d be better that you don’t follow me. Who knows what may be lurking inside her mind when she sees you.”
“Oh, alright then.”
“I know! Why don’t we invite Yuuka to the party tonight?” Meiling suggested. “And if you like, you can come too, Miss Letty. I’m sure Anne will be very happy to see you.”
“Miss Meiling, wait! I didn’t mean to- mph?!” Anne’s protests were cut short as Letty smothered her face between her ample breasts. Her words came out only as muffled voice as she was struggling to flee the Yuki Onna’s almost possessive hug.
“Ah~ it’s been a while since I felt this happy,” Letty sighed dreamily. She let go off the tank girl, adjusting her hat that had almost fallen off her head. “Alright. I’ll come over to your place. Consider this a special gift from this special friend of yours.”
“But Miss Letty, you don’t have to force yourself! I mean… it’s not often that I get to see you, so…”
“And that’s why I’m visiting. Besides…” She tucked Anne’s hair behind and planted a kiss on her exposed forehead. “I can’t believe how grown up you’ve become.”
“You’re embarrassing me! Stop it!” Anne growled.
“I’m sorry, I’m terribly sorry.” Letty pushed Anne back to Meiling and ascended off the ground. “By the way, Anne. You should transport your body here to somewhere more secure. It’s been a bother to the winter flowers for too long.”
“I… alright. I’ll have it transported to the mansion soon,” Anne told her. “Goodbye, Letty! Tell Miss Yuuka I’m sorry for not visiting her for a long time!”
The two of them bade the Yuki Onna farewell and turned their focus on the Tiger tank.
“Miss Meiling, you just had to embarrass me, hadn’t you?” Anne sulked.
“Sorry~ but I can’t help it!” Meiling threw her arms around her shoulders and hugged her even tighter than what Letty did to Anne. “You were just sooooo cute when you were blushing! See? You’re blushing even now!”
“Please, stop…” Anne pleaded, now unable to hide her brightly blushing face.
“But still~” Meiling poked Anne’s left cheek. “You didn’t tell me you’re a youkai! If you did, I could’ve asked you to be my sparring partner.”
“My strength is nowhere compared with anyone,” Anne answered.
“Come on, now, that’s not how we’re supposed to spend our day-off,” Meiling said. “How about we go to the village? I’ve always wanted to go there with you.”
Due to time constraint, this is all I can post here for Christmas. If Anon is interested in seeing this story completed, let me know.
Serial ATA!CG1CgoidvU2012/12/25 (Tue) 09:10No. 54805▼
Date: 24th December Time: 13:00 hours Location: Human Village
“Miss Meiling, are we done yet? We need to get back to the mansion before night time.”
“Not yet, Anne! I still want to try on some more of these,” Meiling answered and took another bite of the skewered meat. “Mmph! This is delicious! Grilled catfish, best eaten during winter!!” she proclaimed. “Mystia, three more pieces, please!”
“Grilled catfish, coming up!” Mystia announced.
Anne had no idea of what to do anymore. She never expected a quick stop at the village’s market would take longer than she thought, and Meiling had insisted that they try every stall they could find before they left the market. It couldn’t be helped, since both of them forgot to have their lunch. She took a bite of the meat, carefully munching it as to avoid accidentally burning her tongue.
“What do we have here?”
Both girls turned to the all-too-familiar gruff voice. “Captain Ivanov?”
“Good day, Master Wong!” Meiling greeted. “What brings you to the market at this time?”
“Still calling me that?” Captain Ivanov said in amusement. “Had an errand to do with Reisen and Tatyana, but we went a separate way.” He took a seat next to Anne and made his order. “Having vodka would be nice, too,” he told Mystia. “You have a bottle?”
“We don’t have any of that drink, sir,” Mystia answered. “But we can offer you the strongest sake to compliment the grilled meat.”
“That would be nice,” he said. He turned to Anne, who was still slowly munching on the meat. “I’d hate to ruin the mood, but how’s the interrogation?”
“He wouldn’t talk,” Anne said bluntly and put down the empty skewer. “I’ve tried every technique in the book, but he just wouldn’t budge. I just hope Miss Remilia can do it better.”
“Which is why Anne’s given a day-off,” Meiling continued. “She’s been working around the clock ever since she returned from the graveyard. You should be lucky you weren’t there when she flipped out.”
“I figured as much,” he uttered. He was handed the sake and took a chug of the beverage. “So! I heard that the vampire lady’s going invite everyone to her Christmas party tonight.”
“Yeah, but we still have a lot of works to do right now,” Meiling said. “We’ll send the invitation once we’re ready.”
“You’re coming, aren’t you?” Anne asked.
“I’m not sure if my body can handle another drinking competition… if there’s any,” he said. “But it’d be a great disgrace to my comrades if I decline the invitation. I’ll talk with Kaguya about taking her, too. She’d greatly appreciate it, I can say.”
“Thank you, captain,” Anne replied.
The trio continued their conversation until it was late in the afternoon. “Well, all of us better go back home before someone gets worried,” Captain Ivanov said.
“Not us, though,” Meiling said and pulled Anne into her arms. “We still have an adventure to be had!”
“Well, both of you go have fun exploring,” he snickered and paid for the meal. “I’ll pay for the ladies, as well. Thanks for the meal, Mystia.”
“It’s my pleasure, sir!” Mystia replied cheerfully. “Please visit my stall again!” Anne, Meiling and Mystia bade farewell to the Russian soldier before they started chatting. Apparently, as Mystia told them, Anne became insanely popular among the villagers, especially children. The revelation was enough to make the tank girl blush furiously, and she fervently insisted that she was not very attractive. “Oh, really now? Then how come I could see the men swooning over you the moment you showed up?” the night sparrow asked teasingly.
“Aw! My little tiger has gathered a lot of fans already!” Meiling squealed and tightened her embrace. “I’m so jealous of you, grr!!! ♥”
“B-both of you, please stop teasing me!” Anne moaned in distress.
A sudden gust of wind startled them and almost blew their meal off their hands. The three girls looked at the newcomer, who was as agitated as they could imagine. “Hey, where did he go?!” Aya asked. “I swear I saw him eating right here!”
“Uhh… Aya, he already left,” Mystia told her.
“What? Really? Aw, jeez! When I thought I could ask him about the operation, but it doesn’t matter!” The tengu journalist turned around and pointed her pen at Anne’s face. “You! You must be an acquaintance to Ivanov, correct?”
“Good!” Aya sat down, not even bothering to make her order. “I’d like to ask you a few questions about the military operation he carried out. Is it true that he took on an entire expeditionary unit by himself?” Before anyone knew it, Aya had started bombarding the tank girl with questions after questions, and Anne found herself dangling for dear life as the questions became more private.
“Mein Gott…” was all she could mutter.
[[TO BE CONTINUED]]
I fear this will end up becoming a full-fledged story, but who am I to complain? Anyway, I’ll try completing it before the end of this month. I hope.
>>55146 My reader is acting tsundere at me? Colour me surprised.
Date: 24th December Time: 19:45 hours Location: Scarlet Devil Mansion.
“Hurry up and get the hall ready!! We’re running out of time!!”
It was as chaotic as one could guess. As soon as Anne and Meiling returned from their lively, if not short, trip they were immediately pressed into last-minute works. Apparently Remilia had dragged Sakuya along in the interrogation, and even with Sakuya reminding her about the party she was too occupied with drilling the prisoner’s head into submission. Anne did not want to disrupt the scarlet devil’s quality time, nor did she want to remind her about the upcoming party, so with the efficiency of elite tank crew, she took charge of her maid chief’s supervision and mobilized the fairy maids to hasten the preparations.
“So, she’s leaving you to do the duties?” Anne’s attention to her work was disrupted by Reimu’s presence.
“Miss Reimu! The party is due to start in fifteen minutes,” Anne said. “We’re still preparing the dining hall, so can you wait at the guestroom?”
“While Remi is missing in action? I smell an incident in the making,” Reimu replied. “But seriously, why is she leaving everything to you? And I thought Sakuya’s supervising your works, too. Let me guess: Remi dragged her along.”
Anne shrugged. “Miss Remilia only said she’d join the patrons after she’s done with the prisoner,” she answered.
“Ah, that mission,” Reimu said and snatched a cupcake off a passing fairy maid’s serving tray.
“You’ve heard about it?” Anne asked.
“I blame Yukari for not letting me solve the incident,” she answered. “Even if I did have to do it anyway, shooting with firearms isn’t my forte. Ho well it went? I heard the captain was running amok.”
“He completely flipped out, like he was possessed by a monster or something.” She took a break as to direct a group of fairy maids arranging the buffet. “He apologized for scaring us, though, but he hasn’t spoken to us about it ever since.”
“It must be terrible to be on his side, huh?” Reimu uttered and snatched another cupcake from another passing fairy. “Good thing Marisa fell sick after we dealt with the Dream Palace folk, otherwise she’d have picked a fight with him right away.”
“Considering the fact that she lost to him that day, you can say that she’s desperate,” Reimu said. “Oh, speaking of which. Here comes the perfect maid.”
Sakuya approached them. “How’s the interrogation, Miss Sakuya?” Anne asked. “I just hope Miss Remilia knows what she’s doing.”
“You wouldn’t believe how totally immersed milady was. I don’t think a simple explanation would be enough,” Sakuya said with a chortle. “So, Anne, did you enjoy your day off?”
“I certainly did, thank you,” Anne replied.
“Good, that’s good to hear. Anyway, you better dress up for the occasion,” Sakuya said and pecked Anne’s cheek with a soft kiss. “Go present yourself in that military attire of yours~” She ushered Anne out of the hall and winked at her before taking over the work. It took her a few minutes to knock herself out of her blushing stupor, and even so she had to slap herself on the face many times to recover her sense.
“And so everybody falls in love in my little flower~” Anne turned around, and was greeted with a pat on her head. “Hello, Anne.”
“Oh, Miss Yuuka!” Anne quickly corrected her posture and bowed to the woman. “Welcome to the Scarlet Devil Mansion. You’re invited to the party, right? Please show me the invitation letter.”
“Oh, was there any letter of invitation? I was just passing by when I noticed the ruckus,” Yuuka answered. Anne stared at her strangely due to the explanation, causing Yuuka to laugh. “Oh, please~ as if my little cute flower would be able to resist me. Besides, I should complement the way you look tonight.”
“T-thank you for the compliment, Miss Yuuka,” Anne replied in panic, face burning bright red. She became flustered as Yuuka was staring lovingly at her, and tried very best to maintain her professional demeanour. It failed, and Anne ended up hiding her blushed face. “P-please treat me well tonight…”
“Ah, to see my cute little flower being all flustered and giddy~” Yuuka approached Anne and took her trembling hand, squeezing it gently. “I’m not in the mood to ruin your mood to celebrate Christmas, but please, I would like it if you could kindly be my tour guide.”
Anne looked up. For a while she was unsure of how to respond to the request, and yet her profession demanded her to look after the welfare of the mansion’s guests. “I’ll be honoured, Miss Yuuka,” she said with a smile and clenched Yuuka’s hand in return.
[[TO BE CONTINUED]]
Don't blame me for the cliffhanger, guys. I'm running out of steam right now, so yeah. Also, my apologies for not updating this for quite a while.