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33708No. 33708
This side story functions as a really long prolouge of explainations of a character that is going into ACiG. ACiG will take on two PoV's once this is completed.

-----Prologue: Reflection-----

“It is not about the weapons or the tactics. It is about The People and their ideals and their morals that came together with weapons and tactics at the precise moment to produce a True Cause.”

This journey has been a long one. In this journey you have changed greatly. You, but a teenager finally turning 15 in the next week, have experienced many things that the average teenager won’t face. Things that the average teenager should never have to face. You have spent your life training for war. You have survived the war. You may be 70 years into the future, but your home country, China, has come out as a strong nation after the war. And you too, have come out as a strong and independent teenager after the war. Here in Gensokyo, after this long journey may you finally settle down and take a rest. But you feel uncomfortable. As if though something was telling you that you are missing something dire in your past, in the swirling midsts of time. You feel like you are forgetting something. What has gotten you here?

-----Chapter 1: Early Childhood-----

“Stand up!” your father shouts into the pre-dawn sky. Well, your foster father. You never truly knew your blood father, for he gave you up to the government to be put in a foster home with a lineage of martial artists or swordsmen. And that, you foster father was. Every morning, before the sun rose, he woke you up to train with the blade. And of course that is what you did. You would keep at him until you would land a hit on him. You’d get knocked down again and again, but you’d focus on what fundamentals went wrong, and improve them. That is what you father taught you. The fundamentals. And that when life knocks you down, when a stronger nation bullies China, to stand back up and keep at it until you make them pay in blood. He told you that he’d teach you the advanced techniques after you mastered the fundamentals. Unfortunately, you only got to master the fundamentals before you left for the military.

Your training continued until breakfast, where your mother would drop off books of strategy, ideology, mechanics, and various other things in the four languages you were studying. Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and German were the languages you had studied and you currently are fluent in. Chinese was the de facto language in China. Japanese was the language of the looming invaders that was Japan. Russian and German were the language of the people from the West that seemed likely to help the Chinese against the Japanese invasion. You’d need to master the four languages in the case that you happen to be fighting with a Westerner. Or if you got captured by the Japanese, so you could insult them in their own language as you bled all over them, your hands around their throat, the throat of the enemy.

After studying languages in general, you’d go eat lunch. Mother would drop you literature and works of pure strategic value. Mother would then return to her duties around the house, as per usual. All afternoon, you would study strategy. You were a genius at strategy, they had told you. Mother occasionally invited an officer or two to compete against you in Go, Chinese Chess, and even Western Chess. You beat them all. You simply had a gift at tactics. You preferred not to brute force something when you could win using tactics.

The day would progress with martial arts training after dinner. You were sent to a martial arts school. Master Wong was his name. You almost had forgotten what his name was, for life has changed so much from then. The point is that you did much better in martial arts than in swordsmanship. Martial arts were simply more to the core. It was manipulating your body as opposed to a tool of sorts. You were always able to perform martial arts, but sword training required a sword. That’s why you only mastered the basics in swordsmanship, while you excelled in Martial Arts. Not saying that you were a master of sorts, not even a high student, but you could hold your own against the high students and the Master himself. The day would conclude with mediation with Father and talking about what you have learned in your studies.

And that’s how life was for you. Until the age of 10.

------Chapter 2: Training------

One fateful day, you beat what Mother said was the head general of China in a game of Chinese Chess. You didn’t know it at the time, but that was a general very close to Chang Kai Shek. He was impressed with your strategies. So impressed, in fact, that he conscripted you into the German Trained division, the Best trained of the Chinese Military, to study tactics, marksmanship, and, of course, to increase your physical fitness. And thus an end to your childhood life had arrived.

You said your final goodbyes to you family and your few friends at the martial arts school. Master Wong gave you scrolls and an engraved bamboo book of many of his advanced techniques that you never got to. He even said that hidden within the things he gave you that there were His Ancestors’ secret to the techniques. In essence, he had chosen you to keep his legacy, his family name in martial arts, alive as well.

At the very young age of 10, you were out there training with full grown men in tactics and labour. Not that you minded. There was nothing scarring yet. No, the rules were stricter, the times to awake were earlier and the times to bed were later, but you not only survived, but thrived. While you came in last in just about any physical completion, you always beat your fellow peers in tactics. You did comparable to the German Officers in marksmanship, which says a lot because they could hit shots your peers thought were impossible. The German Officers were most surprised by your performance, and despite your young age, you were able to gain the respect of many men twice or even four times your age. A German Officer that had visited your camp and had trained you for some of his stay talked about rather interesting things compared to what the textbooks say about Germans and Prussians or what your normal German officer talked about. Strangely, he did not talk about how you should’ve been born a German and you are the kind of man that should be fighting for his “Glorious Fatherland” and cleanse the world of “filth”, nor did he preach about his Nazi ideology. Rather, he liked to ramble about other topics, and talk about Asia. He was whimsical when it came to Germany, for he kept insisting that it was no longer the same place that he fought for back in The Great War. Not only that, but he had been on a leave from his country for quite some time now, and wasn’t really supposed to be here, and this was a pit stop on his journey back to his Fatherland after an epic journey throughout the world. You think that he really liked talking a lot about other things, such as how that the people of Asia in general were kind and peaceful, even the Japanese people, but the militaries and their leaders were rather insane. He talked about how your tactics, like rushing through a point in the enemy defence and storming through their line to attack them from behind was ingenious. You simply replied that The People of the land should all be equal and free, but that one must defend what is his land from aggressor nations. You liked the guy, and had it not been for his rather short stay, you might have been good friends. He was a good man to you. You really wish that the other German officers didn’t disdain the Russians so much. You really wish you could all be friends, but you knew that war was about to tear the world apart. That German Officer left camp with some of the Oriental tea, for he really liked it. You wished that some day that you might see him again, but you knew that it was unlikely. You were about ten years and six months. The other officers that had taken the role of your mentor and guidance in the military were gone after a mere half of a year. You were on your own in the adult world again. It had been your tenth birthday when you had joined the military.

-----

So perhaps one of the rarest Germans, an officer that was a medic and someone without the prejudice, a quality that his German officer peers did not share, had left for the build up in his “Glorious Fatherland” for a war in Europe. That meant that your division would need to be trained by someone else. The Chinese General in charge folded your group into a group trained by the Soviet Russians. The Russians put you through much more brutal training. It is most likely because of them that you have survived the war. It is because of them that you have been able to run a Guerrilla movement since essentially July of 1937. They taught you a reason to fight for. All your life you had been training for the War, but you had no life to return to after it, you truly had no reason to fight it. They taught you that there was something besides constant fear and danger and war.

There was:
The Great Cause of helping each other
The Great People of all nations, races, and lands
The Great Freedom to be individual without oppression
The Great Dream of all

You would not understand these ideals for another three and a half years. Not until the Second Great War of Resistance against Japan would you understand. And the help of another Russian comrade. But back to the Soviet’s training. They had made you physically tougher, helped you practice much cruder methods of hand to hand combat, along with increase in Martial Arts training. They sent you off base to continue the Martial Arts training. You also continued your practice of the fundamentals of swordsmanship. The Russians were not oblivious to the shortage in production, not just in China, but in their motherland as well. They knew that the soldiers would not always have the luxury of having a gun. Fighting with crude weapons and no weapons at all were priorities. That is not to say that your squad did not practice marksmanship. The Russians gave you exactly enough bullets to hit the same number targets. They taught you not to rush your shots, but to make every bullet count. Go for headshots, for they are the only instant kills besides a heart shot. At night, around a bonfire, one of the Russian Officers would speak a Great Speech about both Communism and China and how Russia and China could have a Great Alliance. You valued the speeches, but only partially. You wish that you had valued them more. Chang Kai Shek was not too pleased with the speeches, but from a.... ‘request’ from his generals, he signed the treaty with the Chinese communists to create a united offensive against the Japanese that had already taken Manchuria. This meant that all People of China were now marched beneath one banner, that any non-collaborator was a friendly. Manchuria had been a hotly contested place in the last half of the century, but you knew that it belonged to China, to The People born there. The last line of emperors of China, the Qing Dynasty, had come from Manchuria. Manchuria and China were one country. You wanted to go to war with the Japanese right then and there, but your more tactical mind knew that China still did not have the unity that it needed to fight the Japanese invaders. The Chinese People were still too fractured by the old warlords and feudal systems still within the 国民党’s (Kuomintang) rather loose alliance. China simply did not have the industry to outdo the Japanese’s. One of your Generals even admitted that the last war that should have been fought with bolt action rifles, the rifles that you, the finest of the best, were using, should have been The Great War in Europe. Unfortunately, due to the lack of industry in China, the majority did not even have bolt action rifles. The ones ‘advanced’ in technology had some really old “Fire Arms” like rocket arrows. The majority did not even have that. In fact, the “Eighth Route Army”, the Chinese Communist Guerilla Forces, the First to Fight among The First to Fight, The Chinese Red Army, were equipped almost solely with the “Da Dao”, or the large sword/ machete hybrid blade, as you would find out for yourself. In fact, their few guns and cannons came from the enemy, along with their clothes, their food, and really all of their supplies. They even made a song of it. “Nothing to wear, Nothing to eat, the Enemy shall send it to us. No guns to shoot, No cannons to fire, the Enemy shall forge them for us.” Plenty of Patriotic Soviet songs were sung in the camp as well. After all, why not put your Russian to good use? The Russians also admired your tactics, but they did not have much to offer from Russian tactics. They, instead, would offer you more Great Speeches and said that China should be comrades with “The Motherland”. These ideologies would help you greatly when you fought in the guerrilla movements in China for much of the war. To be one with The People is to know The People the best. That is something that the ancient Chinese tacticians, the ones that had helped you so much, the ones you idolized, had known and written down.

You trained with the Soviets until you were twelve. Once again, despite the men being twice you age or more, they had given you quite a bit of respect. Except for the captain of your squad. While he should have had authority over the squad, your squad mates actually followed your orders over his. After all, he made some pretty idiotic tactics. You beat him in Chinese Chess, and he still refused to admit it, even as all your squad mates were secretly watching. Unfortunately, you had to leave your squad mates behind with the idiotic captain because you were offered a chance to expand your tactics at War College. You seized the opportunity for the Greater Good of The Chinese Motherland. You stayed there for a good year, until you were able to beat all your professors in tactics or expand on their tactics in a dimension they had not thought of. You could have stayed there for another three years, becoming an officer and living an easy life as The People went out to die for Mother China. But you wouldn’t let that happen. In three years, the war would most certainly have happened. The Japanese military build up along the occupied Manchuria - Free China border was already quite significant. One of the Great Strategies left by your ancestors was that fighting with The People, being one of The People, and commanding from among The People was the most effective way to win, to come out victorious. A ruler apathetic and unknowing to the suffering and the hardships of The People is most likely to fall. A life of luxury and comfort as your fellow countrymen die is not what you had trained for. You had not trained for some “Glory” or “Honour”. You fought to protect Mother China from Foreign Oppression, Invasion, Occupation, and Humiliation. You had entered college at the age of twelve and left at the age of thirteen.

Puberty had started for you when you rejoined your squad, still under the same jerkass Captain. On day, a general was inspecting your unit when he saw your Captain berating your squad for something silly. You had decided to step out and take the blame even though it was obvious that it wasn’t you. The General of your regiment saw your bravery, even as a teenager that you would be a leader someday. He gave the Captain a stern warning, and promoted you to Staff Sergeant so that you actually had some official command over your fellow comrades.

And that’s how life continued for almost two years. The Captain being a Jerkass as usual, the rest of the squad following your lead. You body continuing to finally starting to progress towards the maturity of your mind and of your tactics. Your squad had then been deployed to a village in Northern China, to counter the Japanese build up across the border. You had been deployed there in May of 1937. Your team started immediate fortifications around the house that your squad resided in.

July. 1937. You’re still unsure of the exact date, but this is the month that your life changed.

-----

Rest will be posted soon. Picture is related, and helps people with bad geography.
Expand all images
>>No. 33710
-----Chapter 3: Invasion------

“JAPANESE INFANTRY! THIS IS NOT A DRILL! ON YOUR FEET SOLDIERS! TO YOUR POSITIONS!” You wake up in the middle of the night. The Japanese have invaded Mother China. The Call to protect your Motherland has been shouted. All of the years of your life all to this cause.

You and most of your squad take positions on the top of the roof. You are all expert marksmen. Even with iron sights in the middle of the night, your bullets hit their mark. The Captain takes the lone light machine gun downstairs. You seem to be repelling the Japanese intruders fairly well, but there seem to be endless hordes of them.

-------

Three hours have passed with near nonstop fighting. The lone light machine gun downstairs in front of the house has finally run out of bullets. You and your rifle team have long ago ran out of bullets, and are using the enemy’s rifles and bullets that you collected in the small lull against their former owners. Your team’s clothes are so torn up that you and your teammates are all wearing the enemy’s uniforms. No matter how well you shoot, however, without the light machine gun, this is a near hopeless battle. You must not say that, however. You are the best of the best. You will never surrender. You must find a way to escape this fight. Tactics. That’s all your mind is on.

You hatched a genius plan: to all dress up as Japanese soldiers and pretend to be the ones to capture the house. After all, the rest of the town has fallen. When they least expect it, you will stab them in the back. Stealth was one of the great strategies used by ancient tacticians. And now, you will use it.

“Staff Sergeant, you look like the Japanese soldiers that we’ve supposed to kill” says one of your comrades.

“STAFF SARGE, WHAT’S YOU STATUS? THE LIGHT MACHINE GUN IS DOWN, I REPEAT, IT IS DOWN! AND CAPTAIN’S BEEN HIT! I REPEAT HE’S HIT! 操蛋 (****)!WE’VE LOST HIM!” Shouts your best friend, Corporal 三河(SanHe), from below.

“WE CAN’T HOLD THIS POSITION! EVERYONE, IN THE HOUSE, NOW!” You command, as highest ranked in the squad. It is almost funny how a person that is almost fifteen is suddenly put in charge of men about a decade older than him. Well, you think and strategize like a man, and you’re already at the height of the average adult in China, and still growing, so you’re no hindrance in terms of physicality or mental capacity, you’re an asset.

“Ok, whoever wants to ditch and run away can do so right now. But whoever wants to put their complete trust in me can stay.” You say in the house. You see a few of the people really loyal to the Captain leave out the front door, guns blazing. They had chosen to die an honourable death for Mother China, as did the Captain. You had nothing against the Captain. If anything, you pitied his childishness, but respected his honourable death.

“For those of you that have put your complete trust in me, I want all of you to remain silent. We will be joining the Japanese Army shortly. Do not speak of anything in Chinese. Let me do all the talking. For the few of you still in Chinese uniforms, switch into Japanese uniforms. As much as every fiber in my body wants to not do this, we shall be raising this flag over this house. But do not fret. We are tricking them. We are going behind these demons’ lines. To their land, their people, their blood.” You say as you dust off a Japanese flag, the one with the red dot in the middle, not the rising sun. You will pretend to be the Japanese forces that have captured this building. Then, you will take it behind their lines.

You raise the Japanese flag over the house. The Japanese stop firing and start cheering. They think that they’ve won. They’re going straight into your trap.

A Japanese leader walks into the house. A General nevertheless.

“Are you the one that has finally captured this house after hours of fighting, Sergeant Yume?” asks the general

“Yes sir!” you reply. Sergeant Dream eh? Weird name. Oh well.

“Good Work. We need to capture the rest of China before we can take on The West. The Japanese Empire may have the industry, but it does not have the people. We will use these Chinese Peasants as our slaves to drive our nation forward! This is a vital step in taking the world. Step Two has been initiated. We have already secured step one: supplies. Once the weak Chinese Resistance falls, we shall take on the West, and show them once again that they are not as nearly strong as our Mighty Japan! Good work, Sergeant, you can your men can take a break. Collect the supplies from the dead Chinese soldiers, and see if you can recruit any of the peasants.” says the General

“Thank you, Sir!” you reply

“The rest of you have not earned a rest. Move on to take more provinces! The Chinese Peasants Cannot Stop the Rising Sun!” shouts the General to the rest of the Japanese Soldiers. You want to put a bullet in his head, but you know that you can’t give away your identity yet.

And so all the Japanese troops left the town to the next province to ravage. Just you and your men remain in the town besides the few Japanese “Peacekeepers” and the General in his tent. The Chinese People have submitted to the rule of the Japanese. You won’t stand for this. Now that the tides are even, that General will pay. Pay with his life for his imperialist, supremacist views.

But before you do that, you will retake this house. You take the Japanese Flag and stuff it in your pocket. It will not fly over this house. That flag has fallen.

“Sarge, what the hell was that? You spoke Japanese like you were Japanese”

“I am fluent in it, and it saved our lives. Now let us pretend for just a bit longer that we are his men, grab supplies from the dead bodies. Food, Water, Guns, and bullets.” You say as you stuff your pockets full of ammunition. You grab the Captain’s Scope and mount it on the Arisaka that is now yours. You also grab the Captain’s Capitalist gun..... a “Thompson” you believe it was called. You stuff your bag, a backpack of sorts, with food, water canteens, and the Thompson’s drum magazines, and a Japanese spare uniform. You sling the Thompson on top of the pack, and head out with your sniper rifle. Right before you leave the house, though, you grab your Captain’s dog tags along with those of your other deceased squad mates. Then you hurry out the door. Your team’s waiting for you, stuffed with supplies and ammunition. Time to recruit someone. Someone patriotic. You search the houses and buildings. The Chinese People seem to be fearful of you, but you decide against telling them that you are Chinese in disguise. The ones alive are elderly or really young. You find a rundown dojo at the end of the street. You decide to press your luck and hope that there is someone here.

-------

No one on the First floor. You decide to investigate the second floor alone, and you tell your team to wait outside. If this is a trap, then you shall be the one to bear the burden.

-------

No one on the seco…..wait? Is that a Russian lying on the floor? What is a Russian doing in the Northern China? He’s not safe here to say the least. You’re going to get him out of this place.

“Wake up comrade. You cannot stay here. It is not safe. There are Japanese Patrols out there. The Japanese still do not like the Russians. Remember, the Russo-Japanese War.”

“Eh? Wh-Who are you? Where’s Master Konpaku?”

“My name is not important. What is important that you leave this place. The Second Great War against Japanese Resistance has begun. Your Russian Motherland will need you as well. Come on, We’re heading through Manchuria as well. I’ll get you to that Russian city, Vlad-whatever on the border. There you shall take the rail back to your Motherland. I do not know where you master is, but after the fighting, I can only assume that he has escaped this vile place or has died. Given that he is a master, I assume that he has escaped.”

“Comrade, we must at least make an attempt to find him. Can we ask the villagers?”

“Fine. But you must pay utmost attention to your surroundings. The Japanese have already occupied this town. I’m not sure how they did not find you, or how gunfire did not wake you, but you are safe with us, comrade. Here, wear this uniform. My squad, one of the finest Chinese Soldiers, is posing as Japanese infantry. We’ll link up to communist guerrilla forces in the north, and get you out of Asia. Whatever journey you were on has ended. And whatever you do, do not speak any Chinese until we get out of the city. Understood, my Russian Comrade?”

“Understood. What languages can you communicate in besides Russian? I can speak Japanese in addition to Russian, and I have picked up a pick of Chinese. You?

I am fluent in Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and German. Now comrade, change into this uniform. The clock is ticking.”

You leave the room and wait for him to finish changing.
When he comes out, you notice how he is a teenager like you. Perhaps two to three years older than you, but nonetheless a teenager. You both have the physical appearance height wise as men, and while you are both less muscular and hairy than full grown men, you both pass off as one under the uniform easily.

So why are you’re here in Asia anyways?

My father sent me here to study martial arts and swordsmanship while practicing the Japanese and inevitably Chinese languages as punishment for failing the Japanese competency test. He thought, as a veteran of the Russo-Japanese war, that Japan was going to be the Motherland’s greatest rival. I went from school to school, training myself to be better in both swordsmanship and martial arts. The Master that lives at this dojo was the final master on the list. It’s strange because I don’t remember his name on the list when I started. Regardless, his technique was ingenious and surprisingly fast.

That’s good to know that you have some physical, non firearm training. You’ll end up using it in a real war.

-----

“Sarge, who’s the new guy?” asks your corporal friend as you walk out with your Russian Comrade

“He is our Russian Comrade. We will be linking up to communist guerrilla forces in Manchuria and getting him to Russia. He needs to get home after a long journey of training in China and Japan. But first we’ll look for his master.”

You go from house to house asking about a “Master Konpaku” Unfortunately, no one even had heard of such a person. They say that the dojo had been abandoned since the start of the Qing Dynasty, and that no one lived there.

-----

“We are wasting too much time, my Russian Comrade. We still have a duty to do here before we send you. After we send you, we cannot aimlessly fight in Manchuria. We need to return to the front, from behind enemy lines.” You tell your Russian Comrade

“Come on, my Chinese Comrade, surely you notice there is only one house left. We might as well.” He replies

-----

You command your team to start taking positions to snipe the Japanese General as you talk to the final resident of the town. Only you and your Russian comrade enter the house. Inside is a woman in a purple, European dress with yellow hair. Her Voice. Her Face. You’ll never forget them.

“Madam, do you know of a man named ‘Konpaku’ that is an expert twin swordsman that taught at the dojo at the end of the other end of the street?” you ask her in Chinese.

“I do. He’s no longer part of this world.”

“What? Then where is his grave?”

“No, I mean that he is no longer part of this world. This world of ‘secular reasoning’ and disbelief and endless human conflict and war. Both you and your Russian Comrade will also ascend from this land. But not now. Not for months for one, and not for years of the other.” She says. It is now that you notice that she has been replying in German the entire time.

“But for now, both of you must return to this world filled with war and conflict. Fight for your Motherlands Valiantly. Make your mark on this world before it is too late. Don’t worry about Konpaku, my Russian Ace. You’ll meet him in due time. Now off you go!” she says in Russian, so that both you and your Russian Comrade understand.

“Wait! What is your name?” You shout at her in frantic Russian as she slams the door behind you.

The door opens and drops a ball of of paper before shutting again. You pick it up and unravel it. There is a sling or bandolier of sorts, along with clips for it wrapped in the paper. Upon the paper is written 紫八雲.

-----

“Comrade what was that? You understood the language of the Fascists like you were raised in it!” says your Russian Comrade in a state of shock.

To be perfectly honest, you did not quite understand what the nice lady said either.

“I didn’t quite understand it, but she said that your master Konpaku was in a better place.”

“He’s DEAD?”

“No Comrade. He is not dead. And even if he was dead, it does not matter. Remember, the Great Dream is immortal. So long as there is one man striving for it, the torch, the flames will never go out.”

Your Russian comrade seems to reaffirm his Russian Identity, and then proceed.

“Yes comrade, that’s right. Great Lenin has started the blaze, and sacrifices must be made in order to keep the flames alive. Now what was that duty you had to do?”

-----

You join up to your squad on the outskirts of the town, on a hill, with a clear line of sight to the General’s tent. Time to make the architect of China’s misery pay. These ‘Peasants’ will knock the Japanese Oppressor off their backs, off his throne of oppression, and make him pay.
Everyone has already gotten what is needed for the escape. They’ve already permanently ‘borrowed’ a pair of trucks from somewhere. There is plenty of fuel in the backs of the trucks, along with all the food and water for the round trip. Plenty of ammo crates as well as well as enough space for your squad. Your squad’s gotten small. You count that there are only six people, including yourself and the Russian comrade. You take out the Thompson drum magazines from bag, attach them to the front of your vest with some clips the Lady in Purple had given to you, and you place your bag of supplies on the back of the truck. You sling the Thompson on your back again, and go over to the edge of the hill were you small squad is waiting with your scoped Arisaka in hand.

-----

You load one bullet into the rifle. One of your comrades had picked up a pair of Japanese binoculars during the gathering of supplies. He gave them to your Russian Comrade to spot for you. One bullet. It will hit. It must hit. When an army has no method of recovering from failure, the army will fight multiples better. Burning ships. Without means of retreat, without room for err, the army shall not err. You will need to shoot multiples better for this shot. You estimate that it is about 900 meters. You take off the scope, much to the surprise of your squad mates. There is a very tactical reason you are doing this. The scope’s not zeroed. Your iron sights are.

“Why are you taking off the scope? Do you want to get us killed?” complains one of the privates

“Comrade, I do not need to see well to kill the Imperialist. The Great Cause will guide the bullet into the enemy’s head.” You reply, much to the private’s agony

You can see where his tent is, and where his head would be if he was to be standing in the middle of the tent’s entrance.

“Comrade, tell me when he walks out” you say, as you steady your aim.

“Now” says your Russian Comrade

*Bang* your gun fires into the early morning.

“Hit.” Replies Corporal SanHe with your scope in hand

“Confirmed” replies your Russian Comrade, who then adds, “The Rotten Scum is all over the tent” as he hands the binoculars over to you. You see quite clearly that it was the General and that he is more than dead. Your job here is done.

If to confirm that it was the General, the tent starts blaring something in Japanese so loud that you can hear it clearly out here, “The General is dead! Search the surrounding outskirts of any Communist Guerrillas! The General is ....”

And that’s all you and your team needs to hear. Time to get out.
Three men on each truck, one in the back, two in the actual truck. Your team drives away.

-----

The rest of the trip was fairly uninteresting. You joined up with Guerrilla movements to sabotage Japanese supplies. You and your Russian Comrade even got badges that signified that you two were of the “Chinese Eight Army” or the army that was run by the Communists. In many of the fights, your Russian Comrade used the DaDao, for you ended up fighting in close quarters quite a bit. Your Russian Comrade’s techniques were fast and brutal. Once, a Japanese soldier managed to disarm his sword, but your Russian Comrade just continued to fight with a hybrid style of martial arts, some techniques from China, some you suspect from Japan. You even saw a move that you swore that one of your high students used, that Master Wong had taught the high students. It could have been a different move, but you suspect that he has been to your school, most likely after you had left for the military. Both you and you Russian Comrade had used the Thompson as well, and while you used it tactically, he used it brutally and without mercy for the invader. He too, had the Great Spirit of Communism flowing through him. A Great Spirit that had begun to flow in you with greater force than ever before.

------

Almost two weeks of fighting, you made it to Russia. To Vlad- whatever it was called. Your team had enough of the capitalist grease to purchase a train ticket for your Russian Comrade. You have been calling him your Russian Comrade this entire time. If this may very well be the last time you ever see him in your life, a friend that has reached the level, if not surpassed that of your good friend Corporal SanHe, you might as well learn his name.

------

You’re on the boarding platform for the train. The train’s going to arrive in 15 minutes. Your whole squad has bought your Russian comrade a gift, and have already given it to him. Now is as good of a time as any.

“My Russian Comrade, we have fought the Northern War of Chinese Resistance together. Yet this is about to end, and I still know not your name”

“My name is Alek. Aleksandr Vassiljevitj Ivanov. I am but a teenage turning to a young man right now, but I am ready to fight to the death for my life, my family, my friends, and all comrades of The Great Cause against the Evil Axis of Oppressors. I understand that this could very well be the last time that we meet in our mortal lives. I understand that it will be up to us, the people that may not even be full grown, that may only be teenagers, to fight the oppression. But to not fear the oppressors. Fight the Oppressors. Fight them with your last breath. You will win this war against the Japanese. So long as you never give up. As long as you have the will to continue, the Dream will never die. I suppose that I should know your name as well, comrade?”

“My name is Peter. YeHuoHua ‘Peter’ Song. I shall write it down for you.” You say as you write your name on a piece of paper as follows:

---------------------------------------------
Family Name:宋
Given Name:夜火花
Russian Name/ Middle Name / Nickname: “Peter”
---------------------------------------------

And you hand it to him. He smiles at you.
“No matter what the distance is, we will always be together in Spirit. So long as you never give up Hope. Hope for Freedom. Hope for a better Home, for a better Land, for a better People, for a better Future and life.” Alek says to you as he hands you a necklace with a charm attached. A specially made charm. One that is a Sickle and Flower as opposed to hammer. One that has ‘Alice’ inscribed on the back.

“Why is ‘Alice’ inscribed on the back, comrade?”

“That is the name of The Great Artisan that had crafted that. That is one of a kind. My father told me to bring one gift to give to the residents of Asia in case they help me in a pinch. I had chosen a custom work from a rising Artisan of Stalingrad, ‘Alice’. Her work is a masterpiece isn’t it?”

Upon closer inspection, it truly is a masterpiece.

“Ah. So that’s why her name is on the back. I suppose that you will want to keep this gift secure as I will to this.” You say as you hand him a necklace, similar to his in that a charm was attached to it, but different in that it was a treasure of Asia as opposed to Stalingrad. The medal that Master Wong gave to you, hidden in his scrolls and scripts that he had given you as well. It was lone Chinese character. The character that was 夢.

“What does this say?” Comrade Alek asks. You had forgotten that he had told you that he was an illiterate at Japanese and Chinese.

“It is the kanji for Dream. ‘Meng’ in Chinese. ‘Yume’ or ‘Mu’ in Japanese. It was from my old and only master that had taught me Martial Arts, Master Wong. It too, is one of a kind. And it is more than just the dream of Martial Arts. It represents the Great Dream of a land where everyone can be peaceful and communal while still being individual. That is the Dream. That is the Charm’s meaning. I know that your charm means the same as well. A flower that represents peace over the hammer’s oppression.” You explain

“It indeed does mean that.” Replies comrade Alek

“And thus, this may be the end of where our roads meet and connect briefly, but never forget these times. Never forget these friendships you have made, Never forget this training that you have received, Never forget The Great Dream. Even if you forget my name, It does not matter. What matters is that you never forget about our Great Dream, the great inspiration you have brought me and this trip in Asia and this Asian War has brought you. One last cheer to The Great Cause!” You cry into the heavens above.

“URAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!” Everyone at the train station shouts, inspired by the farewell speech, until the train and Comrade Alek are out of sight. You haven’t seen him since. You’re fairly sure that you’ll never see your best friend again. It was late July, but a single leaf had fallen off a tree, and into your open palm.

----Chapter Four: The Breakout [Late July to Early August]----

The war then continued as usual. The communists in the Eighth Army had recommended you to Chairman Mao as a General for your genius tactics and raids plans you had given them as you passed by various groups of Communist Guerillas. You dismissed in your head any chance of actually getting that position though. Even if you did get that position, you’d want it to be kept hidden and continue to operate at a ground level of Sergeant and such. You did not participate in too many raids on the way back. After Alek had left from your squad, your squad was down to five men, and you could not lose anyone if you were to attempt a breakout from behind Japanese lines. When you had entered the Russian city, Alek had given you his Da Dao claiming that he would not need it anymore. He said that if he ever needed protection from the Japanese or the Germans, that he would just use his pistol. He had never used his pistol the entire war up to Russia. You had caught glimpses of the engravings on the side, and it was the name of a girl. You decided not to press it. Even in a communal world, one could still have privacy. You kept the charm he gave you in your pocket at all times.

------

Eventually your team got to the front, behind Japanese lines. You would have to perform a breakthrough with five men, and drive a truck to the nearest free rail to hitch a ride back to Nanjing. Against the numerically superior Japanese, that would be near impossible, especially if two trucks were to break out. You had figured out how to do it if one of the trucks with two people stayed behind, but not if both trucks were to do a break through. And more likely than not, the truck of two would die. You were ready to die for Mother China.

-------

“Sarge you sure that you want to be one of the two that dies?” asks your best army friend, Corporal SanHe

“I am ready to die for my country.” You state with no doubt, no hesitance. This is what you have spent you life training for. You will go down guns blazing.

“Then I will go with you” Says your comrade.

“Well then, that makes the choice easy” you reply

You call everyone over from your meager dinner of captured Japanese rations.

“Ok, tonight we are going to perform a breakout through Japanese lines. There will be two groups, one with a truck with three people and what little food, water, and supplies we have. These three people will be supported by a group of two people in the other truck, a driver and a machine gunner using the only light machine gun we have captured and what little ammunition we have for it. The three that breakout directly will go to Command in Nanjing by rail and let them know that the rest of the squad has been wiped out. Yes, this is a suicide mission. The people have already been decided.” You state in a fairly neutral tone. Your men are nervous.
“P.F.C. ZhongChuan, I hereby promote you to Corporal and put you in charge of Privates YingHu and FeiNiao. You are the three that will be taking the supplies and what not back to Mother China. Corporal SanHe and I will be the ones to pay the ultimate price” You say, as you draw a plan up in the dirt, in the late evening sun.

“B-b-b-but Sarge! You’re a genius! You need to have a better plan than this! The People need your tactics!” says a panicked FeiNiao

You shake your head as you say, “I wish I did, but all the calculations come out for this to be the best plan. Don’t count me or Corporal out of the War for good until you see my body in a coffin though. We might make it through, but you guys must complete your duty. This is an absolute order. No more questioning it.”

-----

The first truck, the one in better shape, is filled with three men and all the supplies save for the ones you and SanHe are carrying. You have the Thompson and magazines, the Scoped Arisaka that is now dialed in and rounds for it, and your buddy has his rifle and rounds for it along with the light machine gun. Your buddy San He gets on the back and mounts his machine gun’s bipod on the side of the truck. Time for Breakout or Death.

-----

The first truck approaches the Japanese security check point just as planned. You drive your truck parallel to the checkpoint and SanHe begins to lay down fire on the Japanese grabbing their attention, and the other truck drives away unnoticed. The team of three got out with the supplies. Well done.

-----

Your truck is near ruined and filled will dents, but doesn’t explode. You decided to go out big and die inflicting the most damage. And you decided to do that by driving straight through the thin fencing and checkpoint that was the Japanese Front.

“YOOOOOOUUUUUU ARRRREEEEEEEEE DDDDOOOOOOIIIINNNGGGGG WHHHAAAAAAATTTTT???????” Shouts SanHe from the back of the truck.

“BBREAAAAKKKKOUUUTTTTT!!!!! FIIIIRREEEEEEE!!!!!!” You shout the new idea that popped into your head
You hit the gas on the truck and don’t even bother with steering. Your hands are on the Thompson. Although you were taught accuracy, suppressing fire is equally important, more important here than ever before.

“CHINESE PEASANTS!” cry the Japanese soldiers that have finally noticed the truck going head on.

“JAPANESE DEVILS!” you shout right back in their face in their own language.

You unload fifty shots of glorious firepower into the area surrounding the poor Japanese in your way, making them get out of the way of the truck. Your truck runs over the pitiful wall that looked solid from afar, but was really very flimsy. Once you pass the wall, you start steering the vehicle as SanHe covers your escape with the light machine gun. He had switched from a crouching position facing the side to a prone position facing the rear of the truck. The Japanese were in shock and surprise from such a rash and direct breakthrough that they did not do much except stare at the truck and take cover once the machine gun fire was laid down.

----

You make it to the town. Some of your comrades are happy that you made it, and others are in disbelief.

“Congrats on making it through. Knew you’d make it” Says Corporal ZhongChuan

“You.....You made it. Two men. No support. Made it through the Japanese lines all alone.” Says FeiNiao who is dumb founded.

“Yes comrade. We made it. All of us are returning to Nanjing. The Northern war is our Communist brothers’ war, not ours. I hear others of the German-Soviet trained divisions are being deployed in the south. We must reach the capital now.” You state as you team loads things into the train bound for Nanjing.
>>No. 33711
File 132211105473.jpg - (405.83KB, 1000x1000, ade6b86e22d8348eb86cf28f857246f3e8cdd8ae.jpg) [iqdb]
33711
Picture marked NSFW because it is a spoiler of the following update.

-----Chapter 5: Return to the capital-----

You got to Nanjing in the middle or towards the end of August. The battle of Shanghai had started. The Generals wanted to see you immediately. You knew that something was not right when the door was closed behind you, as you entered a room guarded by strongmen.

The room is dark, lit only by one candle in the center of the table. There are a few generals that you can see. You see an imposing man that seems to be Chang Kai Shek himself, sitting directly across from you.

“Staff Sergeant Song” says the general to your left.

“Yes Sir!”

“Are you The Staff Sergeant YeHuoHua ‘Peter’ Song, formerly German then Soviet trained? The one recruited at the age of ten?”

“Sir, Yes Sir!”

“The one that has held a town against direct orders from your superior to retreat, mobilized and strategized raids on Japanese supplies all over Manchuria, fought behind Emperor Tojo’s lines, and committed a breakout that was near suicidal to you to save your men?”

“Sir, Yes Sir!”

“Well then, you can be at ease, soldier. We’re actually gathered here to tell you that you no longer need to follow our orders anymore. You’ve been promoted to general by –”

“- By ‘chairman’ Mao himself.” Finishes an imposing man. You can’t tell in the candle light, but you do believe that it is Chang Kai Shek himself.

The man you think is Chang Kai Shek continues, “So you won’t be fighting on the front lines anymore. You will be our tactician. So you have any problems with that?”

You got a problem with that. A big one.

“Sir, I do have a problem with that. I have trained my entire life for battle on the ground. My soldiers, my comrades, my fellow Chinese Countrymen are out their dying and you want me to be an armchair tactician? I am very sorry, but I can’t live with that. I’ll draw you up some big plans on how to fight this war, how to build manufacture, and how to structure the industry, but I must return to the battlefield with my squad. I do accept the honor of being nominated for a rank of Great Prestige, but I must decline it. The battlefield is where I belong, sir. If I must take the promotion, then I want to be put into my own unit of five, under my own command, with my official rank as Master Sergeant. There shall be no records of a teenage Chinese General. We will not let the Japanese humiliate us that much.”

“Then that is what you shall have, ‘Master Sergeant’ Song. Good luck. As head command of the Chinese Country, however, I command you to deploy to Shanghai, as a General of your small squad. I mean Master Sergeant. We need more men there. The Japanese have already begun their invasion there as well. Also, here are your badges. Wear which ever you like” The imposing man says as he hands you the badges of Master Sergeant and of General.

“Meeting is adjourned.” He declares

Everyone leaves the room. You walk out too, but you are in disbelief. You? General? This must be a joke of some sorts. No matter. You are a master sergeant now for sure.

“What happened?” asks SanHe

“Got promoted to Gen-Master Sergeant. Also, We’re heading out to Shanghai support the units there. Get your stuff ready in 12 hours, because I’ll be inspecting your stuff. Then we’ll be boarding the night train to Shanghai. ”

“You got permission for that, Sarge?”
“Yeah, the big guy gave me a lot of extra wiggle room before we go. Ok, see you in 12 hours. Take breaks whenever applicable. We’re heading into Hell.”

--------

Time to tidy up your bunk before you leave it for good. You take out your scrolls and books given to you by Master Wong. That’s really all of your personal belongings besides the picture of your family, the letters and papers from your family that you’ve gotten while gone. You’ve also got your certificates and what not. You know you won’t see Nanjing again the same way it is now, so you grab it all. Your room is completely clean, like the first day you entered it when you joined the German trained Division. You were a raw recruit back then, a prepubescent ten year old. Now you’ve grown to the size of a full grown man in the almost five years that have passed since.

---------

You have all your stuff packed, all the letters, the papers, the money and the lone photo in a water proof container. It is time to say goodbye to Nanjing. You’ll be on the move for the rest of the war.

------

You go to the outskirts of Nanjing. You head over to Master Wong’s Dojo. The last time you had seen him was before the war.

-----

You arrive at his dojo. It is a lot more worn down then you last remember it. You don’t hear the battle cries that you had always heard when you used to go to it. Something is different. What had changed in the last five years? You go and inspect around the Dojo.

----

You walk into the backyard of the Dojo. You spot Master Wong and a young adult girl. She is dressed in green, and has red hair and a green cap that has a gold star pin with “龍” or dragon engraved upon it. She doesn’t feel ….human? She feels as if she is a being greater than human. However, you are both students of Master Wong, so there should be no ill will between you. They are both sitting down and meditating. What happened to all of Master Wong’s high students and all of his students in general? You had brought all your stuff along with you wherever you went after leaving you room, so you had brought Master Wong’s secret techniques along with you because you wanted to return them in case you died at Shanghai. You sit down and join them in mediation. Just like old times.

-----

“Oh, come back to your old master after all this time? I was told that your unit was wiped out by the Japanese in the north. You run away?” asks your master

“No, I ran straight into and past the enemy lines. We escorted a Russian Comrade back to Russia. Then we came back, all the while doing Guerilla attacks of Japanese Supply lines and storages.”

“A Russian? Was he a teenager by chance?”

“He was indeed a teenager, a few years older than I. His name was Alek. Aleksandr Vassiljevitj Ivanov. I believe that you may have trained him.”

“I had trained him. He was a good student. Great ideals, Great motivation. He fought more than to fight the war for his side. He fought to protect his dreams and his ideals. Have you found your dreams yet?”

“I have. I want to discover how to live, not how to be a fighting machine. I’m not out there for land, for money, for god, for wealth, nor for glory. I am out there to protect my fellow countrymen, to protect The Great Dream, The Great People, This Great Land, and The Great Cause from the Evil Oppressors. And once the Evil Oppressors are gone, I plan to carry out my life, to find the childhood that I have lost. To find what is missing in my life. That is my Dream”

“You have learned well, my pupil. I suppose that you’ve already found the Dream Charm and passed it on?”

“I have indeed done so”

“Well then, there is only one thing left before you qualify as a high student. And that is to beat another high student.”

“Master, where haveth all your pupils gone? Why is there only one that remains?”

“They all haveth run off to fight the war, my pupil. You foster father has run off as well. I hate to say it, but he died. Your mother was killed and raped as well. I was too weak to stop them. To stop his reckless dash to Shanghai, where battle rages on right now. All my pupils ran off once they saw my weakness. I am but an old man, a shell of my former glory. I’m afraid that my last pupil here, Hong Meiling, has almost reached me in my own art. She is technically my one and only student right now. She is a high student. If you wish to join her as a high student, then you must beat her.” Says Master Wong solemnly.

“My fellow pupil Hong Meiling, We must fight. This is where our roads cross. To progress on mine, I must beat you.”

“I won’t go easy. You’ll be the one going home. You ditched Master Wong for the glory of you pathetic war. Now you shall pay!”
And both of you stand up, ready to fight.

-----

Both of you are in the center of the Dojo. When master gives the call, you will commence the duel. Just like old times. Just now is the last time that you’ll be here. Just now is the only chance you have to become Wong’s high pupil. This is your only shot.

“Fight!”

And Meiling begins her charge at you. You stand guard. You don’t know the extent of her power, but you know that she’d give master a run for his money, and she could easily kill you if she had a sword at that kind of speed.
She attacks with her fists.
You block.
She attacks with her legs.
You block.

-----

The ‘fight’ has been going on for a good six hours or so. It was morning when you had arrived, and now it was about half way into the afternoon. It is not much of a fight, however. You’ve been on the defensive the entire time.

“Hah! Is that all you can do? Stay on the defense? No wonder China is losing the War! No wonder your friends all died and your wimpy ass survived! Is this the kind of People that Wong had trained before the War? Some wimpy, angst filled prepubescent kids?”

She had taunted you before, but you had ignored them. That was the tactical thing to do after all. It is quite obviously a trap. You have a plan of counter attack. You’re near completion with it. You won’t fall for her trick.

“Oh? Still adamant about being silent, you pathetic human?”

You won’t fall for her trick

“Still thinking about how great you are? How much pathetic glory you’ve accumulated on the battlefield after ditching your master, Master Wong? You were damn privileged to be accepted back when he was in his glory days. And you blew it for some glory in your pathetic human war. See me? I’ve learned his real arts! I’ll show you how martial arts are done!”

You see her stance. It is just like the stance that you learned and studied about in Wong’s secret techniques. It said that it was unable to be blocked. So why try to block it?
Meiling charges at you. You feel like you got hit by fists and kicks on every part in your body.

“Not going to resist, you pathetic human? Finally realize that Master Wong’s techniques too good for you?”

Now.

Your body leaps from its battered state in the middle of her assault and you grab her by the throat.

“What? How did yo-” is all she manages to say before you start choking her.

“Yeah. Your techniques aren’t invincible. The Dream that Master Wong gives to all his pupils, regardless of level, is invincible. The dream to inspire. This had led me to another Dream as well. Once you are a power hungry demon, you are no longer Master Wong’s pupil anymore. His first class wasn’t about the fundamentals, wasn’t about techniques or stance or any of that crap. It was about the Dream. And for you to give up on his dream to inspire to be more than a warrior is to give up his technique. You moves were lifeless. Brutal, yes, but without the dream I can see right through your technique. The first punch was.... coarse, mediocre even. The first kick was pathetic and was worse than your previous kicks. Your speed, patterns, and form, or therefore lack of, were that of illogical wrath. You have no just reason to use such a high level technique. In his scrolls, he says never to use any high or secret technique without just cause, for it will surely fail. I don’t care if you are a Youkai or whatever the hell you’ve been calling yourself this entire time during the fight. As a pupil of Master Wong, you have failed. Failed more than he, failed more than me, and failed more than the people that you despise that left for the war. If you want to search for power, leave Master Wong alone. If you truly respect him and his technique, and wish to continue, then relearn the basics. Relearn the Dream. Relearn what you are missing in this world, and inspire to reach it. I am missing a life outside of war. I do not know the unknown that a life outside of war is, but I Dream and inspire to reach a peaceful world that can be on equal terms, not one where Powers like The West and Japan take advantage of China. If you have no motive except power alone, than you will have no future in this world. You need power for a just cause. To protect something that you hold dear.” You say as you finally release your clutch on Meiling’s throat.

Meiling breaks down before you. You did not need to physically outmatch her. If you can physiologically break them, then that is a victory just as well. Strategy, morals, and dreams always beat and outlive something made of brute force. You can make a throne of swords, but you can’t sit on it for very long.

Master calls “YeHuoHua has won!”

And you’re about to go and comfort Meiling when suddenly the entire roof and wall of the dojo are destroyed. What? The Japanese can’t be attacking China’s capital right now!

You look straight at who stands right before you. A girl about half a year younger than you with strange, colorful ornaments on weird twigs coming from her back that may or may not qualify as wings. She also has yellow hair. Strange considering that you’re in China.

“Stop bullying Big Sis Meiling!” She proclaims in Japanese. Japanese with yellow hair, What? Well, considering that half of the Dojo has been blown up by her entrance, you have a pretty good idea of her power. You don’t believe in all the Chinese nor Japanese folk tales, but you thing that quite clearly this isn’t human. Not close. You must be VERY CAUTIOUS.

“FLANDRE!!! NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!” proclaims a person with blue-purple hair that looks a bit older that you, running in through the place that used to be a wall. Still, all around the same age, give or take a year, putting it around the physical age of 14-16.

“Sis! This bad man was bullying Meiling! We must stop him!” cries the blond girl you figure to be Flandre.

“Flandre! You can’t do that! You’ll kill him!” pleads the older and more mature one of the two.
They continue to bicker back and forth. During this time, you are planning. Chances of survival if you engage in a physical fight? 0%. Chances of survival if you try to make her face The Truth? 0%. Other plans? 0%. 0%. 0%. No hope for survival.

While you are thinking, the verbal fight has escalated greatly.

“SISTER! YOU NEVER LET ME FIGHT ANYONE! YOU NEVER LET ME STAND FOR WHAT I THINK IS RIGHT! YES I AM A KILLING MACHINE! YES, YOU’VE SHELTERED ME ALL MY LIFE! I’M TIRED OF LISTENING TO YOU! I’M NOT GOING TO LISTEN TO YOU ANYMORE!” Shouts Flandre. She is at tears, and she’s ready to kill you.

Act now. Act now. Act now. All your instincts tell you to ACT NOW.

Faster than a deranged, delusional man and his knife that he believes can destroy the existence of something by cutting imaginary lines can swing, You throw yourself at Flandre, and give her a hug. You don’t know why, you don’t know what’s wrong with you; you don’t know what’s wrong with her. All you know is that there is some greater bond that links the both of you.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry......I know what it is like. I know what it feels like to feel that there is only war and death in your life. I too am a victim. I never meant to hurt Meiling. I’m sorry Flandre....I am sorry.....” you whisper into her ear.

Instead of ripping your heart out as you expected her too, she just stood there and cried. She cried her heart out in the ruins of the Dojo.

“Will you…..Will you come find me one day? I’ve.....I’ve never had a person hold me like this before……Everyone’s treated me like a little girl or a killing machine......No one has ever thought of me more than that….. Once a guy did, but everyone had called him a pedophile and that ended my only chance.....” sobs Flandre quietly into your ear. Is this what caring for another feels like?

“Flandre......I do not know where my fate will lead me to, I do not know what the future holds in store for me. But I’ll find you one day. Things like feelings, friendship, ideals, and dreams are above transient boundaries and borders. I know that the world is truly at its darkest hour, and rapidly heading toward its darkest minute. And I know that you are more than a child. You are a teenager. A teenager like me. A teenager like me that has seen and done many things that we should have never had to, but were forced to. I will return to you one day. One day, things will change. One day, there will be a place for a Brighter Future for me and you.”
You hold her. You are not sure for how long. But you hold her. You hold her tightly. You can feel the throbbing of her sad heart. What great amounts of underserved pain and grief had befallen her from the mouths of few. You can feel her soft hands, once innocent and white, but now forever stained with blood of the guilty. Just like you.

------

Eventually you let go of her. She returns to a cheery form of self. You talk to the person that is her sister. She says that the three of them, Meiling, Flandre, and herself, named Remilia along with a person called Patchouli, were on a journey to find a place safe from persecution. They said that they would be staying with Master Wong for a bit more of time, so that Meiling go truly learn the truth of the techniques. You were technically a high student now, but you didn’t feel like it. You felt more like a high student than a military officer to be sure, but you truly didn’t beat Meiling in Martial Arts physically. Perhaps while your physical Martial Arts may only still be that of a middle student, your understanding of the spirit of martial arts has reached the level of the high students. They said that they were looking for a place called ‘Gensokyo’ and that they are now regretting not joining it about half a century before. You said your goodbyes to Master Wong, who was just happy that his dojo was being rebuilt, and the Meiling had finally found the meaning of Martial Arts. When you had attempted to return Master Wong’s bamboo book and paper scrolls of his high and secret techniques, he merely told you that you should keep them, and that they were of no use to him anymore.

-------

You have all your things in your bag. All the things that don’t go well with water, or all of your papers, the photo of your family, the photo of you and Master Wong that Master Wong had given you along with the bamboo book of his techniques that he had also given you, all your certificates, and other papers are in a waterproof container in your bag. You got your rations, your water, and your ammo as well. And you have the Thompson over your back, its magazines around the bandolier that the kind lady in purple had given you and the Arisaka with scope and rounds for that as well. And the dog tags. You’ve got everything. Time to head out and check your team’s stuff.

------

Your well disciplined team had everything that they needed ready. They had also said their goodbyes, although theirs were much less dangerous and changing to their lives. It’s gone smoothly so far. You’ll want it to stay that way.

-------

You and your team board the train. They all fall asleep quickly, but you can’t. You are too worried that you’ll die on the battlefield and fail to keep your promise to Flandre. You shake that thought out of your head. You’ll meet her again. You will. You’ve seen some crazy shit recently, like freaking Youkai, but that can’t stop you. You have a specially connection to her of sorts. You don’t know why, but you just feel that way. And if fate tries to stop you, The Dream will prevail. The Dream and the will of the people are like a torrential wave of water, and what blocks it, be it a rock or a boulder, will always be over run. And with the thought that you’ll be seeing Flandre soon, you fall asleep.

-----

For the Record, "All red clothed younger sisters have an appearance of a 14 year old".
>>No. 33712
-----Chapter 6: Shanghai-----

“Comrades! Arise! The day has come! Do not give a single inch of land to the invading Japanese! We are now beginning the most momentous moments of our lives! We have been tasked with the goal to defend Shanghai at all costs, and to Kill The Imperialist! Kill The Imperialist; it is your mother’s prayer! Kill The Imperialist; it is your Ancestors’ Dying wish! Kill The Imperialist; it is the Cry of your Chinese Soil! Do not count the number of swings of your sword! Do not count the number of stones you must throw! Only count the number of Imperialist that you have killed! It does not matter if you are A Mongol, A Manchu, A Tibetan, A Former Japanese, A Russian, A German, A Muslim, A Wu, or A Han! All that matters is that you Kill The Imperialist! Death to The Japanese Imperialist Invaders! URAAA!”

You all go jump off the train and rush to take cover. No enemies yet.

----

You and your team have crawling slowly through the battlefield. You’ve been fighting, street for street, brick for brick, one Japanese at a time. Corspes litter the street. Buildings have been turned into rubble.

----

You’ve been fighting for weeks now. The fighting is numbing.

-----

You’re group has joined up with another group. It must be late October now. You are holding out at this warehouse of sorts. The SiHang warehouse you believe it is called.

-----

You’ve been holding the ruin from the clutches of the Japanese for days now. Waves of them come at a time trying to take it. You’ve held them off for now, but the rest of the city is collapsing around you. The Chinese are fighting the Japanese for each block, for each building, for each inch of sewer. There are mountains of dead soldiers in the streets. It is numbing. It is vicious.

-----

You’ve been ordered to retreat. Cpl ZhongChuan, Pvt FeiNiao and Pvt YingHu have all died holding the warehouse. Only you and Cpl SanHe remain from the original squad. You have all the dogs tags of the three, but it is more as tradition at this point than of vengeance. You’re mind and body is so numb from all the killing and death. The injured heroes of the house have agreed to stay behind because they can’t move too much and they man the machine guns to cover your escape. They are as good as dead. But they are real heroes. You’re no hero. You’re a teenager. A 14 year old going on to 15 sometime soon. You’ve lost track of time.

-----

You’ve escaped the building. You’ve fought in the city street for street, room for room, person for person. SanHe’s death was especially numbing. He’s been with you since your first day in German training together. He was the first person to respect you as a person and not make fun of you. His death was numbing. Not because it was different, no, he died with a Japanese bullet in his head like the rest of your teammates. No, it was even more numbing because he was the best, the finest of soldiers. He was the first at the finish line after the races, he was the one to bench press the most, and he was the one that everyone at camp loved. It was numbing because it was unexpected. You shot the Japanese bastard that had shot him in the same exacted spot on the head, and then you grabbed SanHe’s dog tags and started running. The Japanese Naval bombardment had begun. You knew that if the Japanese used their navy that even China’s finest could not stop them. Outnumbered, Outgunned, Out trained. That sums up the Chinese Army pretty well.

-----

You’re all alone. You see men pouring out of Shanghai in a disarrayed fashion. However, the majority of people have already died in this conflict. After all, you are the Sole Survivor of your group.

------

There is no more organized army. You caught wind that the Japanese are trying to encircle the entire area by invading from the south. After all, that’s what any strategist with half a brain would do to complete the wipeout of China’s armies. You also caught wind that Shanghai is officially a lost cause, and that what little of the army remained was to retreat to Nanjing, the capital, and defend it.

------

Swamps, tropical forests, mud, and mosquitoes. That is about all there is in the rural back country of southern China. No guerilla forces yet. Just days of walking through this stuff.

------

You manage to link up to a guerilla force by attacking a Japanese camp that was already under fire.
“Nice shooting out there! You all alone?”

“Yeah. My entire squad died holding Shanghai.” You say as you hold up their dog tags.

“Well then, welcome to the Eighth Route Army” He says, and then he notices your badge that signified that you were a member of the Eighth Route Army in the North. He corrects himself, “I mean, welcome back to the Eighth Route Army. We don’t have much in terms of guns or firepower, but we have the courage and bravery. You look like you need some of that, comrade”

------

He gives you a speech. He reminds you that there is reason to fight. There is Reason to Fight. The Great Dream, the Great Cause, The Great People. You cannot let them down. You may have failed them at Shanghai, but you will hold Nanjing until everyone else retreats. You feel the Great Spirit of Freedom flow through you again. A spirit that was missing since you had left Nanjing what seems like years ago. Your comrade says it is December. You’ve been fighting since late August in this campaign, but you can’t remember much more than the mountains of corpses and the rivers of blood.

------

You are late. Very, very late. You are too late. You knew that by meeting guerilla forces that you somehow had been over taken by Japanese forces, but you didn’t imagine this. Your nation’s capital is on fire. You see your countrymen being lined up on a wall and being shot to death, your women being raped out in the open, your nation’s children being buried alive.

“We’re too late” states your fellow comrade, the apparent leader of the guerilla group. You and the group are standing on a hill outside the burning city.

You only have ten bullets left for your sniper rifle. You’re going to kill ten of the evil soldiers before you leave.

-----

You take out ten of the soldiers from this distance, but you have no more shots left. There is nothing you can do except watch. One day, China will be a great power. One day. Not today.

------

Your group continues west. Your group picks up a few stray soldiers that tell you that the order was to pull back to the provisional capital of Chongqing and keep fighting. You have switched to your Thompson as the gun to be in your hands. After all, besides your body and your Russian Comrade’s Da Dao, you don’t have any other usable weapons. Russian Comrade, you have almost forgotten his name. Alek. It is Aleksandr Vassiljevitj Ivanov. You’d wonder what he was doing if you were not busy crawling through the thick jungles and swamps.

------

Ambushed. That’s all you remember. You were ambushed by Japanese looking out for stragglers. You’re separated from your squad. You are all alone now.

------

You are on the run from the Japanese, in the middle of backwater China, in a muddy swamp, with only your precious treasures in your bag. Thank god that Wong’s thing was engraved in bamboo and your scrolls, letters, photo, administrative papers, and such are in the waterproof container.

-------

Lost. You are lost. But at least you’ve lost the Japanese. You think you are heading west, but you are not even sure at this point. Lots of rain. Not that much clean water left. No food. Nearly no ammo. Nearly no sunlight reaches here. Hard to tell if you are awake or asleep, not enough food to think straight. Not enough sleep from fearing the Japanese will slit your throat in the filthy foxholes you retire at night in. Walking. The only thing you are sure of is that you are walking. Hopefully west. Definitely not north or east, because the sounds of Japanese and civilization become less and less frequent.

------

Are you still even alive? Is all you can think of at this point. Your thirst is quenched by the rain, for you don’t care if you are soaking wet anymore. You’ve eaten various plants to survive. You’ve even eaten some weird mushrooms. You were fairly sure that in your studies you had learned that they were non toxic and safe to eat, but you are cautious anyways.

------

Shrine. Shrine is humans and civilization. You see a shrine. You don’t care if it is Japanese at this point. You’re not sure if it is real, if it is a trap, or if it is just a hallucination induced by the mushrooms that you ate. You’ve been dead since your birth. All you’ve done is prepare for destruction and war your entire life. A physical death wouldn’t be too bad.

-------

“Hello? Hello? Hello? Hello?” You ask in all four of the languages you know as you open the shrine door, hoping to get a response. You are about to collapse from hunger, lack of sleep, being in the rain for the last week or month or god knows how long. At any moment now, your heavy eyelids will close over your eyes, never to open again.

And so, you collapse into the dark, purple void that was the inside of the ‘shrine’. The last thing that you remember as you fell into a seemingly endless void was saying “Sorry….Flandre….I have failed you…..Forgive my incompetence…..and the Great Dream too….”

------Chapter 7: Gensokyo------

You wake up in a shrine. You wake up. YOU WOKE UP. WHAT? YOU DIED. WHY ARE YOU AWAKE?

“This isn’t heaven if you are wondering. And yes you are alive. No, you are not in 1938 anymore. No you are not in China anymore. Yes the war is over. Yes China is safe and well. Welcome to the sealed land of Gensokyo in 2008.” Says a girl dressed in red and white in Japanese.

-----

You’d come to know many things of this land in the last few months of your residence in it. Comrade Reimu was the one that had greeted you in this land Comrade Yukari was the one that you had met in the village that time back in the northern war and had got you into the land of Gensokyo. You’ve learnt that this land was sealed off in the time before the Japanese imperialism and all the humans are nice civilized people, if a bit behind times. You’ve made friends with Miss Alice that resides inside the forest and is actually a human turned Youkai magician that lives inside the forest, as opposed to you who lives on the outskirts of the village, near the forest. You’ve also made friends with Keine and Akyuu of the village, and you strategize with them, learn with them, and sometimes just plain hang out with them. Ever since Keine introduced you to engineering, you’ve been a genius at it, as you are with tactics, and you even collaborated with your new friend, Nitori, on converting conventional firearms, like your Arisaka and your Thompson, into guns that fire danmaku so that you have weapons that can be used to defend yourself from Youkai. As for magic, you only know the very basic amount, and that is calling a spellcard and creating a spellcard taught to you partly by Keine and partly by Alice. You do not have any spellcards yet because you haven’t taken on any hard bosses yet, only the silly fairies and other residents in the forest in self defense, but you have a few blank ones so you can make one if you ever end up in an emergency. You still train your body every day, especially in martial arts. You practice the fundamentals in Swordsmanship, and you even joined a swordsman academy in the Human Village to further your skill in it. Martial Arts are something that you train on alone. You read plenty of books on Martial Arts, swordsmanship, and mechanics that you use in engineering. You and Nitori in collaboration have recently perfected the danmaku system for conversion system for guns, artilleries, airplane bombs, turrets, and more. In your free time, you translate texts that Akyuu commissions you into other languages for some extra money. The things you have learned in war are finally being used from something less violent. The Dream is very real here. Only if that man, Kaiba was it? , was less xenophobic of Youkai and outsiders. He wasn’t a bad man, but still, his oppression and arrogance of outsiders must and will be stopped one day.

You’ve also learned what has happened to the world in the last 70 years and the history of Gensokyo. Communist Regimes betrayed both their ideals and their people, and crushed their dreams. The Dream has died on the outside for good, replaced by capitalism. That’s not to say that capitalism is bad, it is just that it encourages self interest and self profit over helping others. The Communal Dream may be crushed on The Outside, but it is well and alive her inside the sealed land that is Gensokyo.

You finally think that you might have a life after the war. After this life of being trained to be nothing more than a fighting, a killing machine, perhaps even you can find what you have been missing all this time. You look at the log cabin that you have built with your own hands, along with the small field of crops you have grown. You look inside your cabin: you have a well sized bed, a desk with your journal and your box with money that you got from doing odd jobs and helping Akyuu translate, and you have all the dog tags of your fallen comrades hanging on nails on the wall. You also have a small electric lamp that is powered by hand cranking and a few candles in your one room cabin. You have a lot of empty space in the cabin. You still feel like you are missing something, and that you have forgotten something else. Miss Alice. Something about Miss Alice. And something about that mansion on the misty lake. That mansion was part of the Scarlet Mist incident, if the history taught to you by Keine fails you not. Whatever, your mind will figure it out in time. Your mind will make sense of the whirlwind of events that has happened.

Miss Alice. That’s right; you need to pay her a visit to collect the clothes you had ordered. You grab your uniform that you’ve worn since Manchuria, with the pins that signify that you are but another man of the Eighth Route Army. You have no particular loyalty to any faction on The Outside. Your loyalty is only to the dream and to friends and family. You have a sense of real loyalty to Gensokyo for some reason. You leave the pins that signify that you are a General behind. You never wanted to be one, you never acted like one, and you simply were never really one. You wear the pin that signifies that you are a Staff Sergeant. That’s who you really are. You wear your uniform over your “Synthetic T-shirt” and “Synthetic Shorts” you got at the shop run by Rinnosuke in the forest, and you grab your Arisaka with the same old scope and your Thompson and sling it over your back. You wear the bandolier just for old time’s sake, but you don’t bring extra magazines because you’ve long since converted your weapons. A lot has changed since the war. You can only wonder what had happened to comrade Alek. Did he survive the War? How about his family? If they did survive, did they escape Stalin’s Iron Fist? What about that German Officer? Was he brutally killed? Did he survive? In West Germany or East Germany? Or how about Hong Meiling? And Flandre? Flandre. That’s who you’ve forgotten. You must look out for her or what had happened to her. And the same goes for the rest of your comrades.

You walk out the door for the last time before you set out for the day. You lock the door behind you, the set out on the road to Alice’s house, on a bright new day on the path to a Brighter Tomorrow. You will mourn nor dwell in the past. You shall move onwards.

“To the Bright Future Ahead!” you say as you hold up the charm that Alek had given to you.

You return the charm back to your pocket, but notice that on the back is engraved ‘Alice’.
-------END (or Start?)------

This thread will be used to post the parts of the story where Peter is serperated from Alek's party. Update tommorrow for this or ACiG, very sleepy.
>>No. 33713
Nice story, but I've always wondered on what the SDM crew was doing in China during the war.
>>No. 33966
Here is the update I took so long on.
Part I
-----

“Geez,” you think to yourself as you pedal your bike toward the Forest of Magic. You’ve met with a friend you assumed was in a retirement home somewhere, aging away his last years of his life, only to find out that he was not just alive, but youthful as well. He too, had been displaced into the future like you. However, he had been displaced years after you had, and the result was he’s already a grown man in his twenties, while you are still in your mid teens. However, time and age cannot separate comrades, brothers, or Children of The Revolution.

You’ve found out quite a few, peculiar things about him. He seems to have only been in Gensokyo for a few days at this point, his first few days being spent knocked out. More importantly, however, is the fact that many women see the qualities in him that are Truly Inspiring. They are so inspired and attached to them, that some have developed... feelings for the man. However, this man, raised in the cauldron of war and the blood of his comrades, knows little about love. Communism speaks greatly about what political and economical changes it wishes to employ, but beyond equality and destruction of classes, it speaks little about person to person social structure.

Alek thus wasn’t even close to ready to deal with such a sudden surge of love towards him. You found this out when you spoke with Suika, who was truly captivated by Alek’s Inspiring Ideals and his Dream. But Alek had spent time with Shinki and Reimu all day today, completely oblivious to the longing of Suika, or more likely, completely overwhelmed by the whole situation. Thus, it was up to you to create time for Suika. You can only hope that she uses it wisely now. This is her time to shine through; to have a place in Alek’s heart.

Your destination is Alice’s House, up to the Hakurei Shrine, back to the school, and then to Miss Byakuren’s temple on your growing but still muscle-deprived limbs. The task didn’t seem hard at the time you came up with the plan, but you now see how far you overestimated your ability to do long journeys on a bike while still going at a fast pace to finish the task. Well, you’ll live with it. You always got the dirty work anyways; not like you cared that much. That’s your job as a tactician.

You’re like the roadie of warfare: while everybody else is in a ‘rock battle of two bands’ per say, dueling on the stage or battling out the war, you’re the guy that only appears in the foreground when absolutely necessary. You are only seen to fix something with the battlers’ stuff, staying out of the spotlight, for you are no rock star, you are no war hero. You’re the guy that fixes everything and makes sure that operations go smoothly. But unlike the roadie, whose sole job is to fix stuff, you and other tacticians have good reasoning for your actions beyond just fixing things. You plan. You are the architect of Great Plans that will hopefully fill the hearts of three or four of the powerhouses of Gensokyo, and make the Great Dream possible.

Speaking about plans, you’ve told Alek the cause and effect of each part of it. Well, all that he needed to know to complete his part. You never tell what your part in the plan is. No, for you have much work to do to ensure a happy ending. Plus, you know now that Yukari is stalking you, and the enemy is always listening and watching. Seriously, now she’s being more paranoid than you are, and roughly about the level where Stalin was in his purges. Thus, you didn’t explain the second half of the plan.

Your part is in the second half of this operation, in which you fake out of going to your home, where you expect Yukari to have set up a trap now that she thinks you’re going there. Instead, you head to Alice’s house, followed by going to the shrine, doubling back to the school, and finally hauling your bum to Miss Byakuren’s Temple to solve all of Alek’s love issues for him. Well, not all of them. All the logistical ones. Dealing with Reimu and Shinki’s ‘families’ and such.

Ah shoot, you don’t want to be seen, but chances are that you’ll meet Yuyuko and Youmu, and possibly even Mima at the shrine. Yuyuko will either conspire with Yukari to screw you over, or help you. Hopefully it’ll be the latter, but still you must plan for the former. And Youmu. You remember reading about her swordsmanship skill and her unbreakable loyalty to her master, as demonstrated in her vain last stands during the Stolen Spring incident.

No matter. You figure that the probability of a non-hostile Yuyuko favors you, given her warm reception of Alek. Furthermore, your tactician’s intuition gives you the feeling that she’s simply the normal, carefree Yuyuko she usually is, with pro-Yukari bias at heart, who only performs rather neutral actions. She is a well known figure; you know how she acts based her actions etched into the history of Gensokyo. And knowing the enemy is winning half the battle. Even if she does act out of character, which would have no logical backing given the lack of crisis, it is beyond your control to plan a response to a completely unknown action. You will have to rely on your ability to plan on the run.

Mima, on the other hand, poses a real threat, and by that you mean she’s more likely to screw you over. Yuyuko’s only vaguely likely to be drinking and overdosing on the Yakumo ‘kool-aid’ to screw you over, but Mima has a plethora of qualities eager to make your life difficult. Vengeful spirit? Check. Spirit that can stalk you, has no morals, and would show up when you wash? Check. Wanted revenge on the human race back in her day? Check. Thinks she is a goddess? Check. Not much other information known on her? Check. So not only are the known facts far from positive, but the sheer amount of uncertainty is far too much and her rumored personality is far too negative. Well, Aya’s rumors are probably the generic tabloid stuff, but they usually contain a sliver of truth.

You could do things the ‘diplomatic’ way, and kiss her ass the entire time you’re there, but you promised yourself on the graves of your comrades that The Revolution would not bow down one more day. No, The Revolution will stand on her feet; The People will rise up against oppression, and bow down no longer to Masters; no longer to Kings; no longer to Emperors; no longer to Dictators; no longer to Czars; no longer to the Tyrants. To nobody shall The People bow! Where were these people above that claimed to be leaders and saviors, the Tyrant Yakumo in particular, when the people died at the hands of parasites and savage beasts, that created the Oppression and Imperialism that led to not one, but two great wars, causing mass death and suffering for The People?

That is why you do not trust Yakumo. She touts herself as the savior of everything, when she does little more than sleep all day. Further contradictory is her actions; she causes nothing more than annoyances, troubles, and obstacles for The People while awake. Byakuren, on the other hand, makes a conscious and large effort towards redeeming people’s souls and saving them from their otherwise guaranteed fate of Hell, were they to continue on the corrupt path of pure Oppression, Hatred, and Greed they had taken before converting into a virtuous person. Some people are simply so corrupt and arrogant that it takes someone like Byakuren and her unrelenting ability to change them.

Perhaps you should really take a page out of Byakuren’s literature and apply it. You shouldn’t be so arrogant of yourself to Yakumo. If she explains her position, explains why she pisses all over everybody’s lives, The People who struggle to live each day, The People that wish to be free from such seemingly meaningless annoyances, and she somehow manages to justify it in some manner that produces a desirable result that is shared by the whole people that suffered from her, then that is redeemable. But for her to screw over everyone simply because it suits her or she thinks it is funny is simply wrong on so many levels. And if that is what she is doing, than you shall show no mercy to such a savage, brutal, cruel person. You’d then call Yakumo a demon, but that would be an offense to the citizens of Makai who are actually polite and virtuous people.

So the part where you talked to Suika. You should probably reflect on that. That is, give or take, why you are in this tight schedule to iron out all the kinks in Alek’s relationships.

Suika. Right.

A brief sitrep of what happened: Alek and Reimu ‘fell behind’ and ‘strayed’ off down the route to those grassy plains. You, Meiling, and Suika kept walking forward, either out of not noticing, or for you, observing the social situation in its natural state.

Suika then whispered to you something along the lines of wishing that she was the person alone with Alek instead of Reimu, spurring you into assuming the role of Staff Sergeant and its leadership as if though it were 1937 all over again. That in turn resulted in you issuing Meiling the task of mapping out the area. You also had her help prepare a contingency plan by using her to send a message to Comrade Alice, letting her know her role in the distraction of her mother in the case of some unforeseen event, which in your mind would definitely occur.

It seems like your paranoia has finally paid off, if just once. Suika sulked about Alek spending time with the other women, completely abandoning her by being occupied all the time without her. You, in return, thought up a giant conspiracy plan to give Suika her time; she’d better make wise use of it, because it was damned hard to open up a vacancy in a man like Alek’s schedule.

Alek’s current situation is very interesting in juxtaposition to yours. He has no free time on his hands, while you’ve had so much that you’ve turned to practicing and learning about nearly everything. Really, you studied languages, history, mathematics, science, music, and even understand magic, even if you can’t apply it from your lack of magical ability. If someone got you started on practicing magic, then you are pretty sure that you would become quickly competent at it. That’s the point of learning so much: so you can apply it. And you’ve done that with many things already that you don’t need to list it in your head.

You should get back to the Suika situation...actually, that was give or take the end of the Suika conversation. After you reassured her that you’d make time for her, you sent Suika ahead and you went to the grassy field and trailed Alek. Watched and heard Alek get confessed to by Reimu while hiding like a sniper in the tall grass. Heard Byakuren and Shinki come in, saying that there need not be competition like a capitalist society, but that this is like a communist society in which personal freedoms and rights are not bound to conventional standards. That this is Gensokyo, where logic and tradition can go sit in a corner, and each has the right and freedom to love who one wishes to, even if that means sharing. You took a mental note that this land is ripe for Revolution to the point that it need not even be a violent overthrow, but a peaceful change as it always wished to be.

After sneaking out of the grass field, you got ahead of the slow moving group to meet Suika at the front entrance of the temple, only to be greeted by a Nazi of all things.

For the love of Moriya, Hakurei, Myouren, or anyone, what the fuck was a Nazi, not the forced conscript type, but a ‘patriot’ that believed every thought of Oppression and Racial Supremacy that his dictator spoke, doing at Myouren Temple, the very Opposite of the Evils of Oppression and False Supremacy? You later found out that it was just Nue being a damn troll again, and you’ve concluded that the conversation with that person was just a waste of your time.

...Waste of your time? Did you forget to tell Suika something back then? You’ve had that blasted feeling in the back of your head for a while now...

DAMN IT, YOU FORGOT TO TELL SUIKA THAT ALEK’S HEART IS NOT A COMPETITION. FFFFFFUUUUU–

Your bike crashes into Alice’s house as you fly off of it, right into a wall. You slam into it, but thankfully the collision is more of a belly flop into a pool instead of a dive, so your head remains safe from injury. You take a quick second to check your injuries and find that you’re only slightly hurt; nothing that you can’t shake off in a few seconds. Sadly, the bike that you rode here from the school is trashed. That will have to be repaired sometime soon, or going to school and the human village in general is going to be a pain. Your plan, however, cannot wait for repairs; you will have to secure some other form of fast transport quickly.

You palm your forehead, shake your head, and sigh as your brain reminds you that Akyuu’s going to be less than pleased that you’ve ruined her early birthday present to you before your birthday.

“Peter? What are you doing here– Oh my, Are you okay?” A concerned Alice asks you as she peeks out of her front door, most likely to examine the loud sound and banging of her entire house.

Human contact. You know, that’s probably what keeps you sane. And meditation. Still, it’s not like you were even close to this paranoid before finding out about Alek’s love tangle, and the revelation that Yukari could be breathing on your neck right now. You came up with this strategic plan, yes, but worrying over all the tangential possibilities of Mima and Yuyuko, and the ‘what-if?’ of Yukari? Not at all normal. Hell, you should be ecstatic to meet the figures of history and the powerhouses.

“Heeeellllooooo? You okay there? Gensokyo to Peter, you’re still standing there blankly,” Alice says as she stands in front of you, snapping her fingers in front of your eyes. The movement and its small spark of magic bring you out of your zillionth inner monologue back to reality.

“Ah, sorry Alice; just pondering the unpleasant situation I am in that stems from Yukari in many fashions. But other than my bike, and the fact a respectable person told me that Yukari is probably stalking me as we speak, something which is driving me to the high end on the paranoia scale but not to panic, I’m doing well. How are you?” You notice that Shinki has come to Alice’s side as well.

“How am I doing? You crashed Akyuu’s early birthday present into the side of my house, and it’s still about a week before your birthday! Now it needs to be fixed, and until it is, it’s going to be sitting in my lawn. How the hell are you going to pay for this?!” Alice scolds you, and rightly so. Well, at least you can offer repayment.

“Your house? Don’t worry; I got paid today, and it’s just minor scratching, so it shouldn’t be too hard to fix,” you reply, believing that Alice’s gesture to her house meant she was pissed that you scratched her wall.

“No Peter, I meant the bike. You know, Akyuu might feel slightly offended that you, you know, RUINED her present. What if she takes that as an offense from you that you don’t like her?”

“A tactician must take every error he makes and turn it into a benefit. Crisis is made of the two characters danger and then followed by opportunity, no matter what those silly western linguists say. But that’s beside the point. Akyuu’s gotten too touchy-feely with a soldier like me anyways,” you reply to Alice. Raised in the Capitalist Regime of Nationalist China, the want to capitalize on everything, especially downfalls, still lingers in your veins. You are in a state of downfall. But what makes a person, a nation, a Revolution great is not that it never falls, but that it gets up every time it does, and returns to its striving after the Dreams it cherishes and holds dearly.

“Touchy-feeling? You’re complaining about that? I thought you two were going out!” Your mind takes a moment to process what she just said, before you understand and your cheeks burn bright red with embarrassment.

“What?” You reply to her in a state of immense shock. How could Alice not perceive your disinterest in such a union? You are a soldier, and a tactician. You live in solitude, and if you are to please anyone, it’d be Flandre. You fought war at first because you were taught to, raised to. But Flandre showed you that there was more to life; that there was something worth fighting for. You were not after fame or fortune; otherwise you’d have proudly display your status as a general. No, you were after returning to a land of peace, a land of True Communism in which there would be Freedom of Speech, Freedom to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. You fought for the day you would see Flandre’s face no longer scarred by society, mauled by containment, or maimed by a life filled with freight and devoid of meaning. The day from which you would thereon forth dedicate your life to fix her heart and soul, as she would fix you.

But that day never came. China’s Communist leader, Mao Ze Dong, became senile and crazy with age, making him an incompetent leader. His fake communist party merely raised new flags, seized the crown, then instead of fulfilling their promised dismantlement of a tyrannical government, they reinstated a dictatorship. It was even a great step backwards from the era of democracy; even Taiwan, corrupt at times and last stronghold of the Nationalists, did better. China still has the lingering effects of the Strongman government from back then, even if socialism is gone.

But Flandre. Flandre is the sole reason you have to live as something more than a dog, perhaps a smart dog, but still merely a dog, in a war of the World Leaders against the Working Class. Flandre is the sole thing you chase after.

“Are you telling us that Akyuu isn’t your girlfriend? Or at least your unofficial girlfriend?” Shinki chips in to the conversation in a way that only further aggravates the misunderstanding.

This is ridiculous. As...uncertain as you are of your feelings toward Akyuu, the warm girl of high standing yet who’s simultaneously a cold and harsh woman to those that threaten her or those important to her, you cannot say something as ridiculous as saying you are her unofficial girlfriend. Alek is someone capable of polygamy simply because the women truly love him, and you know he is a man who will not exploit them. If anything, he’s more worried that he will be unable to satisfy them all or that he will displease them. Alek has many redeeming qualities, ideals, views, and dreams. You are but a simple teenager that is unsure of his future, only sure that you must help comrade Alek achieve his happy future. One of the few things you do know is that your heart, if not soul, is reserved for Flandre. And that you must speak this voice, even if you must bullshit how you think your relationship with Akyuu will develop.

“If I recall correctly, we have an employer-employee relationship. Perhaps we are even peers, and maybe even friends, but not more. A soldier is not a suitable boyfriend to a scholar like her, much less this loner type who is a tactician and unofficial sniper. Plus, I still have someone waiting for me. After all these years, today I found out that the person I cared for seventy years ago is not only alive, but living here in Gensokyo, and is still waiting for me after all this time. Waiting on what she thought was a vain hope that a person listed Missing in Action in 1938 will finally show up as an old, white haired war veteran, but a mere human, that regrets not being able to find her until today. I cannot cheat on her. I may work in less than honorable ways, such as not telling the whole truth or plan, but I have proper justification and results for doing so. After all, no one gives a damn what the technician does back stage so long as the show, or in this case the plans, go smoothly and produce the desired result without unwanted negative side effects.

“But I am not so low as to betray the trust and caring of someone I hold...dear to me. I would never betray any of my comrades, for what point is there in achieving an objective if The People do not want it? There is no point, no motive, no logic, no reasoning. And while Gensokyo is the land where logic is highly disregarded in terms of how things work, in terms of the causes of actions, logic and reasoning is still very applicable. Furthermore, while I cannot speak for Akyuu, I feel that giving our relationship the chance to deepen would make us more like siblings as opposed to lovers.

“Thus, I cannot say that we are in a relationship of that sort you assume, for I am still not sure if she knows that my coldness towards her stems not from a cold heart, but from the fact that I am still obligated and have promised my ‘love’, as you call it, elsewhere, and that I feel she is more like a sister than a lover.” Shinki and Alice are very understanding of your line of reasoning. You simply can’t accept the affections of another when you have yet to see the face of someone you know is alive and waiting for you. Someone you promised that you’d see after the war. You’re over six decades late.

“But these are my personal love issues, and are not what I drove a bike into your house for. If you really worry about this incident affecting Akyuu’s opinion of me, then I shall have Nitori come along later to pick it up and fix it. Although the bike is currently unusable, now that I look at it more closely, the damage is rather easy to fix, and given the right tools I’m sure even I could fix it. But back to the reason I was rushing here. I’d like to talk about Shinki sharing–”

“We resolved that issue a while before you came crashing into the house. We came to the agreement that it is okay to share Alek with Reimu, and even a few others like Suika, so long as Shinki remains prominent in Alek’s heart. Shinki and I are rather happy at the conclusion we’ve reached. Shinki’s actually requested I craft a few ‘special things’ from me for Alek. I happily complied, after all, if I can help my mother that has helped me almost all of my life, if I can just repay her back in this small, small way, then it makes me happy on the inside as well.” In all the time you’ve spent with Alice, you don’t recall ever seeing her smile quite like she is now. Actually, she rarely smiles to begin with, so this is truly a momentous moment.

“See Peter, you don’t need to be so worried all the time! I’m perfectly fine with sharing Alek with Suika, if that’s what you were going to ask,” Shinki says cheerfully, as if though she knew your mind.

“Oh, so you picked up on it? Figures that the intelligent and benevolent Goddess of Makai would notice it,” you reply with a new sense of respect for the leader of Makai. Behind all her cheer and motherly attitude, she is truly as intuitive as they come.

“Oh ho? Flattering me? Do you need this goddess’s favor by chance?” Shinki speaks in a motherly tone, reflecting part of her personality other than being the Queen of Makai.

“Well, as we’ve previously discussed, Akyuu’s bike is unusable as a method of transportation, and thanks to our lengthy conversations, my tight schedule just became impossible, even if it weren’t for the broken bike. While I’m sure Nitori must have implanted a chip or five hundred into the bike when I turned away for a second, and as we speak is probably on her way down to collect and fix it thanks to an alarm that probably went off upon impact, I am still without transport. Timely, fast transport that could get me around Gensokyo faster than a bike. So I was wondering if the motherly, benevolent, kind, generous, Great Goddess of The Great Sovereignty of Makai would be so kind as to accompany me and fly me to where I need to be.” You make your request to Shinki in such a fashion, hoping that flattery will cause her already large inner flame of generosity to be bestowed upon someone unworthy of it, such as yourself.

“Oh, you just want me to fly you around? You didn’t need to flatter me; after all, you’re my boyfriend’s buddy!” Shinki exclaims before noticing her slight slip up. She touches her lips with the tips of her fingers, covering her closed mouth out of embarrassment. You give her a look that was along the lines of ‘you serious?’

“I didn’t mean say that I will force Alek to become my boyfriend, it’s just that I feel this connection to him on the emotional and spiritual level that gives me a sense of...certainty that he wouldn’t reject me. He’s a kind, honest, idealistic man that, while sometimes a bit blunt, is truly inspiring. He opened his heart to me, knowing full well that I am by all technicalities the Devil. Yet he just takes my hand and smiles at me as if I wasn’t stained by the negative stigmatism that is associated with such a title. Alek and I will one day –”

Shinki continues to fantasize with a severe blush on her face and both hands on her red cheeks. Her eyes are filled with passion, and her behavior strikes a line of fear across your heart. Such deep passion so quickly...such a thing might be the most horrific thing you’ve seen since the war. Except that this is horrific in its own right.

As much as you don’t want to disturb the goddess’s imagination about her future relationship with Alek, you must cut her short. Otherwise, the window of opportunity from Alek’s unintentional neglect of Suika might close before you can seize it.

“That’s quite alright, dear Goddess of Makai. I understand what you mean, but you ought to save this for Alek himself. Furthermore, time is still wasting away, and the window to ensure the happiness of the...community of Hakurei Shrine residents grows ever shorter. We must depart now for the Hakurei Shrine. Are the things you requested from Alice done, or...?” You ask since you’d personally like to know and to find out whether you’ll need to make a trip to Alice’s house on the way back.

“Well, there are a few finishing touches left, some of them requiring me, but I’ll send you to the shrine and pick you up in twenty minutes or so. After all, I’m in no rush, because even if Alek dies, so long as he isn’t obliterated by a god’s judgment or something along those lines, his soul will end up intact and enter the afterlife, where I’ll be able to make compromises with the other leaders of the afterlife and the Yama to get him into Makai. Does that sound like a plan, Peter?” Shinki replies with what sounds like a suspiciously specific denial to you, but you dismiss it.

Twenty minutes should be enough wiggle room in case something goes wrong on your trip to meet Genji, the turtle that is like a grandfather to Reimu. You’ll need to get his approval for Reimu over her relationship, and you are sure that Reimu is trying her best to get Keine’s approval about her relationship as well. You presume that it will take only a minute if he is for the plan, and only ten minutes even if he shows significant resistance. That gives you another ten minutes of screw up time, which should be enough to entertain Mima or sate Yuyuko in case of confrontation. So long as those bloody tangents that you hypothesized don’t actually occur. Well, you just don’t have the time to spare to prepare for the worst case scenario. You’ll just have to Soviet it out and tough out any problems that try to impede your progress towards making girls happy.

“Sounds like a good plan, Comrade Shinki. Let’s fly,” you tell her as she hauls you over her shoulder and speeds off toward the direction of the shrine. You forgot that she is friends with Mima, who is a fast flier that taught Marisa, the self proclaimed fastest in Gensokyo. You’d argue with yourself about Alek’s airplane on magic and Aya trying at full force, but you suddenly feel less than comfortable in the fireman position. Heh, it seems as if though Shinki’s hand is reserved for Alek’s.

-----
>>No. 33971
You’ve been pretty tense recently. High strung. Not calm and collected as you ought to be and usually are. So what if Yukari shows up on your way? So what if Yuyuko or Mima could screw over your plans? Being a paranoid fourteen year old who’s had twelve too many bottles of high-fructose corn syrup laden cola won’t help your plan. Revolution marches forth, into the unknown, torch and flag in hand.

Shinki lands at the top of the stairs that lead to the shrine, setting you down before flying back to Alice’s house. That was a fast flight, only 30 seconds or so. You look at the shrine. The Hakurei Shrine. Well, if you were Alek, you’d just walk into the grounds blazing with communism, but you don’t have that kind charisma. You’ll just walk in normally, but cautiously. A Communist needs to have caution; Stalin’s lack thereof and overconfidence led to the failed attempts at a counter offensive after the repulsion of Germans from Moscow. That in turn led to a bloody halt, which allowed the Germans to drive south to Stalingrad. You can’t afford such a colossal mistake.

No one’s here. Suspicious. Youmu definitely should be back here by now. The Princess is missing as well, and you don’t see a trail of missing vegetation. Then again, you’d only see that if the rumors of her being a hungry ghost are true. You need to cut back on the Aya Tabloidspropaganda machine newspapers. As well as the random asides you tend to have in your head.

As you near the shrine, you hear sounds originating from within. You confirm that these are the voices of Yuyuko and her servant Youmu, along with the sound of sizzling food. This is further confirmed by the pleasant smell that emanates from the shrine. You also hear another, muffled voice that you can only assume is Mima. Perfect. They are a self serving distraction, so you shouldn’t have any proble–

The shrine doors slide open, and your pseudo sniper eyes, trained for distance shots with no magnification iron sights, instantly pick out Yuyuko, Youmu...and Yakumo.

Yakumo. She hasn’t noticed you yet, or at least she puts on that appearance. Every muscle in your body tenses up as adrenaline rushes into your blood stream. Every single cell in your body, every single part of your soul, every single thought in your brain tell you one thing. It’s a trap. IT’S A TRAP. Run. RUN. RUN FOR IT!

You drop into a dead run for the back of the shrine. You don’t care if Yakumo notices you for it, because she’ll notice you anyways if you don’t run, and if you do run, you’ll at least be able to make good distance towards the pond in the back of the shrine. That’s all assuming that Yakumo didn’t know you’d come here. But then again, it is thought that Yakumo can find out anything if she chose to. Thus, Yakumo knows. Yakumo knows everything you’re trying to do. Of course she knows. She’s just playing with you, as if you were her toy. Still, you must seize the very small chance that this is in fact an opportunity. You must give it a shot. You must give it your all.

You sprint at full speed to the backyard of the shrine from the front yard in about half a minute, your heart pounding from both the great dash and the great anxiety. It’s a rather large shrine, contrary to your expectations. You can see the small path to the pond. You’re going to make it. Yakumo can’t stop you now. You’re going to make it. You’re going to make it–

You don’t make it.

Yakumo stops you with a mountain of mattresses and pillows that fall out of the sky in front you. You crash into the first one, and end up bouncing off it and into the resulting chain of them spread on the ground in front of the path. You land in front of Yakumo’s foot. Great. Looks like you’ll need to hit the track as soon as you get out of this predicament.

“Running from me, my little tactician?” Yakumo smirks behind her fan. That Fucking Smirk. THAT FUCKING SMIRK. Your blood boils with anger and passion, straining with the urge to fight. However, you suppress it, accepting the fact that she’s in your way and blind rage won’t help. You’re better than Alek at suppressing your rage, anger, and passion, though it’s not like Alek really needs to. His charisma assists him, turning what would be mere shouting into a meaningful speech. You lack that ability of his, but you can still give long-winded reports and explanations in the hope that the other people will understand. Now, though, you can only hope that you can reason with “The Mastermind of Gensokyo”.

“What do you want?” You sigh with weary expression upon your face. Goddamnit Yukari.

“I want to play with you, Peter~” she replies in a cheery tone, as though she were the minor in this conversation.

“Sorry, but I’m terribly busy right now. I am on a really tight schedule and I’m already behind–” you try to give a logical, civil explanation to the person that you hate the most in Gensokyo, before she cuts you off.

“Excuses, excuses. When Yukarin wants to play with you, you will play with her~” Yakumo says in such a carefree tone. It fucking pisses you off. Along with That Fucking Smirk. She’s just screwing over your life and Alek’s on a whim. She doesn’t understand that unlike her, who can obtain just about anything with a few hand and wrist movements, The Proletarians are laboring away, trying to survive.

And she enjoys it, or gives a strong impression of such. She enjoys the Misery of the Proletariat. She FEEDS on The People’s misery. Your patience runs thin, thinner even than the bread ration from the Motherland during the Great Shortage.

“Yakumo, I’ll say it again. Move it. I have no time for your antics right now.” You repeat your previous statement in a much harsher tone, hoping that she gets the message.

“Not moving until you play~” Yukari responds. You can feel your blood return to a boil. This ‘Great Yakumo’ is really getting on your nerves. If you totaled what’s at stake with Alek’s love life, it’d make someone panicking over 15 thousand nukes seem like a man panicking over a potential paper cut. If you don’t get through to Genji now, Reimu’s despair would be enough to shatter the universe about five times. A more understandable comparison would be that comparing all the nukes in the world during the height of the Cold War to the power of Suika, Reimu, and Shinki combined, would be like comparing a pebble to the might of the Red Army. You MUST get to Genji, and there’s no way you could play with Yukari in only ten minutes. You will not give Yukari one foot over your body, you will not bend one centimeter to her will, you will not crawl for what she thinks is funny.

“Yakumo, you’d best move, or else I won’t hold back from using force.” You say in a very angry tone, emphasizing that if she doesn’t move, she’d be pressing the big red button inside your head.

“Not moving~” The person worse than the Devil herself replies with a smile that only grows wider at your increased misery. It takes every moral and ideological fiber you have not to jump her right now.

“Yu. Kar. i,” you state, grudgingly pronouncing every syllable behind gritted teeth. You stare into her damned eyes she’s trying to hide behind her fan; her damned smirk laughing at Proletarians of the world. “Move. Please,” you reluctantly add, in hopes that if you give this enemy-of-the-state respect she does not deserve, then she will agree.

“Not~ Moving~” Her reply is in English; a hideous parody of your anger.

Now you are angry. Like, REALLY FUCKING PISSED that she is OBSTRUCTING The Glorious Cause to have Alek fulfill the dreams of three women that truly love him. Inside the control center of your brain, you press the Big Red Button. You’ve really been high strung this entire time because of this ‘person,’ and now she’s just blocking your path because she think’s its funny. She wants to play? Well, you’ll show her.

“Well, Miss Yakumo, if you want to fucking play, how’d you like to fucking play some fucking Danmaku?!” You swing your bolt-action rifle off your back and pull back the bolt. You could fire a special danmaku round, but it’d be a waste to use it on scum such as her, so you chamber a normal danmaku round from the magazine you converted with Nitori instead.

You’re really, really pissed off. The Motherland does not have time for this woman’s silly games! You aim straight at the Gap Demon’s face without a trace of remorse. You have not asked for much, just that she not make unreasonable demands nor expect you to be her play toy.

“I’ve got nothing against you, personally, Yukari. I do have something against your Obstruction of the Great Cause and your false lies. If only you’d changed those things, I could forgive you. We might even be friends. But you just HAVE to pick the most fucking inopportune times to make these outrageous demands, don’t you? You make no attempt to redeem yourself from your wrong doings, don’t you? Well, today, you might view yourself as righteous and high up, but I will knock you off your ‘mighty throne’.

“And to start it off, I’ll be setting up Alek in a polygamy with all of your friends, including Shinki, who is among your best friends; Reimu, the shrine maiden you hold so dear but who hates your antics; and Suika, the flat chested Oni. I did all this just to prove that your seductive body and false promises cannot make up for your corrupt name, your inherit evil, and your lies. To prove that true love, that the Glorious Cause is greater than your pathetic, corrupt control of this land and your manipulation of its Glorious People.” You speak boldly to Yukari, not afraid of her nor what she might do to you.

She reels back in shock. “You wouldn’t!”

“Yes I can, and yes I will. Watch me as I knock you off your high throne, as I bring you down to the suffering of The People that you have created, Queen Yakumo,” You snarl. You have yet to make the first move of actual violence, only using the gun to threaten her. The Motherland is not an aggressor nation.

Yakumo moves to slap you, but you duck and fire at her eyes and blasted mouth that once smirked at The Revolution. Yakumo dodges the point blank danmaku with her lightning fast Youkai abilities and seizes the rifle from your hands, but not without a fight. You grip the rifle tighter than a Soviet grips his Motherland’s flag in his hands as he charges into battle without a gun. Yakumo, however, possesses Youkai strength, and you are but a human, not even fully grown. She wrestles it out of your hands, causing something on the inside of the gun to break, probably the danmaku converter in the internal magazine.

While she’s busy disabling your gun, you snap out of the slight confusion of having your gun essentially disappear from your hands, and react to the situation by slapping her on the wrist.

She drops the rifle, growling at you. “I’ll remember this, little tactician.” She rubs the imprint of your palm on her wrist. You didn’t mean to hit her so hard, but it is too late now. She has wrecked your life, your love, and now your rifle. Your rifle that has gotten you through the hell on earth known as war.

“Remember this instead, Führer Yakumo: when I’m through, I’ll have blown a hole the size of the heavens through your own opinion of yourself. Remember that we, The People, all dream the same dream every night, and that dream is to burn down the lies that you have created!” Your voice carries your declaration to the heavens as the Gap Youkai whisks herself away.

-----

Yakumo. She’s really proficient at angering you. Not merely trolling you, but completely angering you. She took your prized rifle, the one that got you through nothing short of Manchuria, Shanghai, and Nanjing, and just broke it as if it where some cheap toy, easily replaced. The gun still functions for firing normal bullets, but the danmaku converter needs to be replaced. Well, at this point, it isn’t worth fixing it. You’ll just leave it as a normal gun on your wall at home. Maybe you could just upgrade your bolter into a semiautomatic rifle or something. Still, that blasted Yakumo.

-----

A quick conversation with Genji produces fruitful results. Persuading him that Reimu’s love should be decided by herself, combined with holding the fact that the Hakurei Lineage is at its very end over the old turtle’s head, was enough for him to accept Alek and Reimu. Boy, you feel like an ass. Sure, in hindsight you were a total ass to Yukari, but Genji never did anything to offend you. You feel like a dirty capitalist. Well, at least Reimu will be happy that there’s one less obstacle between her and Alek.

-----

Shinki arrives in a timely manner to pick you up. The flight goes on in near silence. She’s obviously happy that she finished her special thing for Alek, but you’re lost in thought about how severely you’ve worsened your relationship with the Gap Lady. Geez, you were really an ass to Yakumo. Sure, you meant every single word about ending her tyranny, oppression, and iron grip around The People, but you didn’t mean to vow to plot against her pursuit of Alek. Still, you will have to treat her as an enemy as long as she continues her arrogant Stalinist suspicion of The People, continuing to annoy them and bend The Truth.

------

Shinki speaks up as you walk towards the school. “Got in a fight with Yukari?” Her tone is abnormally serious, showing you a side of her old days as the Iron Fist of Makai, barely holding it together after civil war tore it apart. She asks the question as you walk towards the classroom where Keine and Reimu should be. You’ve got no point in lying to the Devil herself. If anyone knows your sins, she does. But you strive forward, bearing the awful burden, to make progress to the brighter tomorrow.

“Yes, and I accept full responsibility for being a massive ass to her. But while I do accept it, I do so with the intention of doing more and more to bring the ‘Great Yakumo’ down to the level of The People. Who are The People that build this land? Who are those that make the land into the glorious state it is in now? Who are those that sow the seeds of fruits, and labor to receive them? It is us, The People. The People who are sick of Yukari’s annoyance and her Oppression, distortion of Truth, and her Obstruction. This boiling blood spills out from my chest! We cannot labor for The Oppressor, we must labor and fight for ourselves, for the Truth, for our Future! We must SMASH Yakumo’s Oppression and Lies into SHARDS! And if I must be the person, The Ass, to do such, then I shall be The One to bear The Burden of Progress, Progress out from beneath Yakumo’s Imposing Shadow of Lies, Oppression, and False Supremacy.” You reply to Shinki in a fit of frustration. Goddamn it, Yakumo, why are you so frustrating?

“You’re overreacting, Peter; Yukari’s not that evil. She’s misguided, and had while she did some pretty bad actions in the past, she honestly tries to be a better person. It’s just that after living millennia without love, she’s gotten a bit crazy in order to keep satisfied by just existing,” Shinki replies in the same serious tone.

You sigh. “You’re right, I need to chill out. This isn’t like me, to be so goddamn high-strung. Yakumo can just so goddamn frustrating at times. Next time I see her, I’ll be chill, unless she drags me away from my time with Flandre.”

“Flandre?”

“Yes; she’s the person I made a promise to over 60 years ago. A Promise of safe return I have yet to deliver,” you answer Shinki as you head down another hallway, nearing the classroom.

“You’re really loyal to her, but you might want to know she’s mentally unstable,” Shinki replies, her voice showing her care for your safety.

“People can change. Flandre can become stable again with the love and caring that she’s been missing all this time. And yes, I extend that thought to Yakumo, too. But in order for her to change, I must first shatter her false impression of herself. Relentlessly and brutally smash her image, and make her take a look in the mirror. Only then can someone like Alek rebuild her life, so she can greet the dawn beside us as an equal, and not as a superior.”

“So you believe in the fact that Yukari can be a better person? Despite your cruelty?”

“Yes, after a brief period of cruelty that shatters her supremacy, or at least affects her enough to feel The People’s suffering. It is true that sometimes even I hold out a vain hope. I hope to bring Yakumo down to the level of The People, but so long as she holds her power of the manipulation of borders, a power that surpasses the gods such as Kanako, she will never feel as one of The People. I do understand that many of the things she does are for the benefit of The People, and are indeed hard tasks and trials that we would try to avoid otherwise, but there are too many times where she does something that hurts society just for her own amusement. And that can be changed. But in order for her to make progress toward the Bright Future beside you, Reimu, Suika, and Alek, her false image must be shattered. And the burden of shattering her image will be taken up by me.”

“Wait, so your massive overreactions were just an act and you plan to have her share Alek as well?”

“Yeah, the overreaction was partly a ploy to get her to stop listening to us. The other part was me being high strung from her actions. But yes, I hope that one day, Yakumo can reach her happy end as well. But not as the misguided person she is now, but as a reformed person. As Alek would say, ‘Happiness for All Comrades!’”

And with that, Reimu and Keine come out of the history classroom in front of you.

-----
More is on the way, soon.
>>No. 33973
“So Reimu convinced me that her love life is her business, and that I can’t dictate it, so I suppose you can tell Alek he’s got my approval. But geez, sharing a guy you like because you love him? I’m worried that Aleksandr might be abusive or manipulative...” Keine expresses her worries to you, and with good reason. Before the advent of Communism, Polygamy stood for oppression and inequality, standing against all of The Great Ideals. But here, love is not for social or economic status. It is not forced in any nature. It is solely voluntary, stemming from a true love that could only arise in the magical land of Gensokyo, free of most worries that The Outside faced.

“Don’t worry Miss Keine, he’s a kind hearted man. If he really just wanted to have sex with women, he wouldn’t have told them that he was conflicted in love. Nor would he, a Soviet with steel-hard sense of direction and views, be so lost as to ponder so much over his course of action. Only when something as magical as love is involved is a True Soviet like Alek lost. And he was conflicted, truly lost in the mountains of love that rose around him, and from the inner conflict within his own heart,” you respond, insisting that his uncharacteristic lack of direction can only stem from something revolutionary to him: love.

“But he is still the same strong Soviet he has been for the past five years or so of his life. When duty calls, when his friends or family are in danger, he will not think twice about using his body to take the blow, the point of a sword, or the bite of a bullet. He is lost in love, but he is not a lost soldier. He is ready to strike down the corruption and evil that stems from unwanted inequality. He is a Soviet Ace of the Skies, not a playboy of the heart. His life has been innocent, aside from a merely-rumored childhood love in Japan with a girl who has long since died. A girl that he had to avenge. Such an act only proves his undying loyalty to those that he loves,” you assert.

“You don’t hurt those he cares for, regardless of whether they’re in their teens or are as ancient as eternity itself. He himself is too afraid to hurt them, and thus, the Great Soviet Family is born: in which a man is not the leader of the family, but its protector. Where the man does not abuse women in a supposed ‘harem’, but treats them with honor, respect, and dignity. Alek must bear what the women do to him to work for the happiness of all, but a patriotic Soviet Russian such as he, who believes in the teachings of Marx and Engels, the practicality of Lenin, and not in Stalinism, can handle such a thing. The caring in his heart for Shinki, Suika, and Reimu surpasses that of mere mortality. It is Immortal.” You make a closed fist in a salute towards the ceiling.

“And contrary to what Miss Fujiwara would say, not being able to die does not mean one is no longer alive. Life is something that cannot be determined by mortality. Life, love, and prosperity are things determined through one’s actions and thoughts. There are too many that exist as blind sheep; who breathe, eat, and sleep, but are not alive. Compared to them, Miss Fujiwara is more alive by far. Instead of despairing when faced with outliving everyone she knows, she continues to live, moving forward in the face of change, despair, and tragedy.” You use Miss Fujiwara as an example, for she is Keine’s close friend, and by using her the teacher might better relate to Alek's struggle.

“Just like Alek. Alek’s first love was killed, his best friend goes M.I.A. and is presumed dead, his Motherland’s corruption is unveiled, he finds out that his Motherland has collapsed and the Stalinist government has only been replaced with a corrupt, Capitalist Strongman government, and his closest brother’s unit is wiped off the face of the planet into the confines of history moments before 65 years of his life are stolen from him and he crashes his prized plane.” You compare the despair that Alek has gone through next to that of Miss Fujiwara’s, making Keine more sympathetic instead of worried about the relationship.

“Yet in this despair, he finds hope; he finds the courage to begin anew; he finds the will to bring the Glorious Truth to Gensokyo, with his great will to strive forward in the face of change, despair, and pain. Rest yourself, Miss Keine, for Reimu is in good hands. The hands of a true communist, not one who follows the Stalinist bullshit,” you reply, quelling all of her fears in a glorious speech. You seemed to shine with charisma, if just briefly, while delivering the speech. Alek would be proud. Mokou would complain how you made her sound too formal, but eh.

And with that, Keine reaffirmed her approval whole-heartedly. Reimu was uncannily happy afterwards; according to the textbooks, she’s usually apathetic towards anything other than donations. Hmm...Alek must truly be dear to her.

-----

Status report? Good news first. Reimu and Shinki are comfortably satisfied with sharing Alek. Byakuren is going to go to do the same for Suika. Bad news? Byakuren’s making you too mellow to shatter Yukari’s image of herself. Well, you did agree to it on the basis that she’d fix your screw up of not telling Suika that Alek’s heart isn’t a competition. She’d definitely do a better job of that than you. The worst news? You’ve still got a pissed-off Akyuu and an angry Yakumo to deal with. That will be dealt with sometime down the line, though. Not now. You begin meditating as you wait for Byakuren to come pick you up and drop you off at the shrine with a small stop at your house.

-----

You arrive at the shrine after a quick flight and chat with Byakuren. You have your scope from your rifle, but you leave it at at home. After all, it is useless in danmaku and spell card fights, other than being a good melee weapon. You take a few things from your house, and are pleasantly surprised to find Akyuu’s bike resting on your doorstep, completely fixed as though it wasn’t in a crash to begin with. Furthermore, Nitori left you a few rifles and other guns that you ordered. You carry them all with you, because if you recall correctly, there is a shooting range at the shrine. Looks like you’ll be choosing a replacement sniper rifle sooner than you expected. You leave the bike inside your house, lock the door, and let Byakuren fly you to the staircase leading to the shrine.

Once there, you say your goodbyes to Byakuren, who flies back to her temple with a word of caution regarding your confrontation with Yukari. You ponder her words as you walk up the stairs, and greet Alek and the rest of the group upon reaching the top.
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