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You are Subaru Kurokawa, and your time in your home country, Zipang, are numbered. In less than half a month, your band of dissident rebels, aided by powerful allies from the East Europan Imperial Alliance, are about to pull off a heist on the most powerful battleship ever constructed in mankind's history.

So of course, you are using whatever limited time to make your last arrangements and settle some final issues with yourself. In this case, your father's funeral.

Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Pacific%20Theatre
Twatter: https://twitter.com/Turkroachistan
Character Sheet (Updates as the story progresses): https://pastebin.com/0ArYxXFR
Mechanics and Stats (Updates as the story progresses): https://pastebin.com/KTN90pNE
Updates: My updates usually come in the form of long posts, and also takes some time to write. But alas, I would try my best to put out at least 1 long update per day. Every update will receive a notification on my twitter.
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Ayafumi almost jumped out of his skin the moment I mentioned his name.
He turned to me as he hurriedly hide whatever he was holding behind his back.
“Wh-what use do you have in a place like this?”

That really should be my question, but I suppose it wouldn’t be something he would be willing to share.
After all, from how he’s acting, I might have just uncovered the one thing he preferred to have kept a secret from everyone.
“Picking offerings for my father’s funeral.” I say, wading through the many floral samples displayed in the store. “The ceremony is later today.”
“I...I see. My condolences.”

“Yeah. To think this would be the last thing I do before departing from our homeland...”

Hovering in the silence for a moment, Ayafumi took off his cap and held it before his chest.
“It is the duty of the living to honor the dead.” He stated in a manner almost mirroring that of the late Marshal Endo. “Take pride in keeping their legacy alive.”
These words were encouraging, particularly coming from someone who knew about sacrifice all too well.
Ultimately, my father’s legacy was not how good of a parent he was, but what he represented to Zipang and her people. That was what truly mattered.

“Then I shall give my father a proper send off. Can you give me some suggestions?”
“Take the white chrysanthemums.” He suggested, handing me a bundle of white flowers taken from a bouquet of violet ones. “They’re best suited for lamentation. Lilies and orchids of the same color work as well.”
“You know… quite a lot about flowers, Haruta-san.” I replied, taking the bundle he picked. “Is it a hobby of yours?”
“Hobby?” he plucks out some lilies and carefully arranged them into a bouquet. “Knowing what each flora represent should be common knowledge.”
“It is?”
“For a cultured individual.”
Ah, I almost forgot he was that kind of person.
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Bidding farewell to Ayafumi with the bouquet he assembled for me, I made my way to the Dewa Kannon Temple, where the ceremony was to be held. Located on the side of the sacred Dewa mountain in Kure’s outskirts, the temple was renowned for its good Fuusui and for its peaceful environment secluded from the bustling port city. But more importantly, it was also where the ancestral tomb of the Kurokawa family was located… where my mother was laid to rest.
While I was no stranger to the place, said location still meant it took me quite some time getting there.
Thankfully, I managed to reach my destination before the ceremony began, with enough time to place the offerings on the altar.

With the last bit of preparation completed, all that was left was-

There, standing right in front of the altar, was my sister, who I haven’t seen for three years. Naturally, her first reaction was to charge at me and…
A sharp pain seared through the tip of my toe, traveling all the way into my head as Tewi mercilessly pressed her wight onto my left foot.
“How DARE you ditch me at the port!”
Twisting her heel on my pained toe, she sent another shockwave of pain through my nerves.

“You… you never told me to pick you up in the first place!”
“What kind of moron doesn’t pick up his visiting sibling!?” She lambasts angrily. “Where the hell have you been?”
“I was preparing the offering!” I pointed at the altar and said. “There! See?”

I felt the pressure on my foot finally released in one go.
“I missed you, Nii-san”
Replacing it was a long-overdue embrace.
“I missed you too, Tewi.”
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The ceremony was held in the open. Despite all the preparations, father’s casket remained empty, as his body presumably went down with Kongou. Surrounding the hall were all the funeral-goers, mostly colleagues and surviving members of what’s left of the combined fleet.

Captain Suwabe wasn’t here as his health continued to deteriorate, an unfortunate circumstance that must have surely pained him greatly. But alas, most of the attendees were people I knew to an extent. Eventually, the funeral ended with the empty casket cremated in fire. Most stood up to leave, many with wet eyes, some offering encouragement.

Despite this, there was one person who stood out within the crowd, a woman I could not possibly pry my attention off from simply due to the fact that I instantly recognized her the moment I caught a glimpse of her face.
Sima Aiteng, admiral of the Beiyang Fleet, that was a face I can recognize anywhere. But the question was, why was she here? Not only that, she continued to stay as the rest of the crowd began to disperse, eventually leaving only herself alone along with my sister and me.

“Nii-san, that woman…”
Even Tewi had taken notice as well.

>Observe from a distance
>Write in
approach her
>Observe from a distance

“Let me handle this.”

Leaving my sister’s side, I took the initiative and approached her alone. While there appeared to be no one around but us, I’m quite sure there’s no way she would be here alone.
“Good afternoon, Lord Admiral.” I greeted her cautiously, keeping myself three steps away from her.
“Yes?” Her response was a bit delayed from surprise of being called her title out of the blue.
As she turned around, doubt immediately clouded her face the moment our eyes met.
“Oh my, have we met before?”
“A few weeks ago at that cafe near the port, I believe?”

“The cafe near...Ah! You’re Miss Hauser’s boyfriend, aren’t you?” She lightened up, “Did the two of you came to pay your respect as well?”
“Actually, I came here alone.” I said, preparing myself to finally reveal my identity. “Thank you for stopping by for father’s funeral.”
Despite appearing collected and composed, her shock was made clear from the awkward silence that suddenly engulfed our budding conversation.
As I tried to find a way to break the silence, Tewi caught up with my steps, looking confusingly at the two of us.

“Pardon me for not introducing myself earlier. I am Subaru Kurokawa.” I said, placing a hand on the shoulder of my very confused sibling. “And this is my sister, Tewi.”
“...My deepest condolences.” She finally answered, following up with a slight bow.
Scrambling my head to come up with something to say, I was caught off guard as the former royal decided to follow up with something wholly unexpected.

“Is there anything that I can help with?”
If I was confused by this turn of events now, I could only imagine how much tied Tewi’s mind was at this moment.
“Thank you for your offer, ma’am.” my sister answered. “But we can handle ourselves.”
The admiral closed her eyes, letting out a long exhale. “How about a dinner? You two must’ve had a long day. Surely a good meal can do you some good?”

>Accept her invitation
We'll have no time to acquire poison, so what's the point?
The ship we need to steal is gonna be with the fleet. This is a possible in, also an idea as to how the admiral acts. Information is key

I feel like this is some sort of trap, regardless whether or not we accept her offer.
>Accept her invitation
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I swallowed a mouthful of saliva, along with every form of anxiety built up within myself the moment I met her here. I suppose this wasn’t an offer I am in any position of refusing, but what could she possibly want from me?

“I-I’m honored, Lord Admiral...”

“Excellent!” She clasped her hands together “I will make the arrangement. Could the two of you wait for a moment while I contact my chauffeur?”
I held a hand over my chest, what in the world was I doing? I failed ask a single question, nor follow up with something that might have gotten something out of her. Instead, I just… took the offer as if it was natural. Holding a hand over my chest, I stared at the Beiyang Admiral’s back as she walked away.

“Lord Admiral?” Tewi interrogated, crossing her arms. “Nii-san, who is this person?”
“That was Sima Aiteng,” I made revealed slowly, “admiral of the Beiyang Fleet.”

With a finger placed on her mouth, I reminded my sister on our current situation.
“You’re being too loud, Tewi.”
“Are you nuts!? Wasn’t she the one who killed father?”
Despite being whispers, my sister’s wrath still bore like the fangs of a wolf.

“Yes, that’s her alright.”
“And you agreed to go to dinner with her? And dragged ME in it!?”

I placed both hands onto her shoulders, then looked into her eye with the most determined, confident expression I could make in this situation
“Trust me on this one, imouto.”
It didn’t actually pacify her wrath, but rather converted it into another emotion.

“Just why-” She began to weep. “Nii-san, don’t tell me you’re planning on assassinating her.”
“No, that would be suicidal.”

It’s not common for Tewi to lose her temper like this, but it’s perfectly understandable. However, there didn’t seem to be any other choices available at the moment, moreover…
What better place could there be to learn more about the Admiral than at her own dinner table?

“Trust me, I’m not out of my mind.” I made another attempt to reassure her, though I don’t think she would buy into it a single bit.
She opened her mouth to say something, only to be cut off as our ‘transport’ appeared over the horizon.
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Tewi and I were escorted to a rather luxurious vehicle by two towering, solid-built Yu soldiers wearing MP armbands. The two ended up sandwiching Tewi and myself as we sat at the back seat as well. There presence somehow resembled the statues of the Vajradhara that guarded the temple we were just in.

Across us, the Lord Admiral sat calm and serene, her every posture a reflection of her royal upbringing. Ever once in a while, she would have a chuckle at our uneasiness. While appearing completely harmless in her actions till now, I am quite sure she wasn’t the type to easily let her guard down.
“Easy now,” she says, voice soothing as ever. “They don’t bite. Or could it be… this is the first time the two of you rode a limo?”
I only felt my sister’s grip on my right arm tighten even harder.

“So, what do you plan on doing from now?”
“Your future.” She said, leaning back in her seat. “Young ones tend to have some aspirations. That’s what makes them endearing.”

For once, I was unable to immediately answer her question.

“Staying here? Or are you going to the Empire with Miss Hauser once her work here ends? That would be a hard road I suppose, people of your heritage aren’t exactly welcomed there.”
“Rebuilding Zipang, I suppose,” I muttered, not sure if what I would be doing counted as rebuilding the nation.

“Then, have you considered joining the Beiyang Fleet?”


Suffice to say, sister was equally as surprised as I was.

>I will consider...
>Please give me some time to think this over
>I'm sorry, this is one invitation I cannot take.
>Write in
>Would that even be possible?
>Quite an offer or suggestion anyway
>Why do you think I would agree?
>Please give me some time to think this over
supporting this
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“That was... quite an offer, I must say,” I replied, still in rather a disbelief. “But would that be a viable option?”
“I wouldn’t have given you such an offer if it wasn’t possible, would I?” she responded with a smile. “The Beiyang fleet always welcome new talent, and I can see that potential in your eyes.”

“I’m quite honored, Lord Admiral…”

While I have heard of the Khanate’s practice of recruiting specialists from conquered peoples to work for them, I always thought of it as forcing them into submission than actual recruitment like a job opportunity.
Moreover, considering she has an Imperial-in-exile, a Goguryeon pilot and a pirate under her command, it didn’t seem all that implausible for her to recruit a Zipangnese as well.

What I found particularly interesting was that she mentioned ‘Beiyang’ specifically, instead of the Khaghan as a whole.

“If your desire is to rebuild this battered nation, having the support of the Beiyang certainly would be helpful.“ She added, hand reaching for her pitch black hair. “I am always more than happy to support my subordinates in their ventures. You have my word for it.”
“So that’s what do you want from Nii-san? Being your lapdog?” My sister shoots back as if engaging in a fight to keep me on track.

The admiral’s expression froze for a second, but then immediately returned back to her smile, though this time her eyes weren’t smiling.
“I prefer the expression ‘means to an end’, young lady.”
Despite being delivered in roughly the same way she always spoke, her words felt as sharp as a dagger.

“Regardless, I understand this isn’t an easy decision to make.” The Admiral concluded as her expression softened. “Take your time, and let me know when you’ve made up your mind. Beiyang’s doors are always open for you.”
“Thank you for the offer, Lord Admiral.”
My sister’s grip now tightened even more than before, now refusing to even make eye contact with the Admiral.

The carriage pulled to a stop just as we finished our exchange.
“But alas, let the politic talk end here, there are better things to discuss on the dinner table.”

My sister and I stepped out right into the heart of the Beiyang Fleet’s headquarters. Compared to the last time I’ve been here at Kure’s port, this particular spot has undergone some significant makeovers. Preferably, the architecture was much more “Yu Dynasty” like the building resembling more like a palace than that of a living quarter.

Then again, considering Admiral Sima’s background, it wasn’t really that surprising.
“Come then, I’ll be your guide.”

>Follow her around the quarters
>Fake getting lost to try uncovering some information
>Write in
>Fake getting lost to try uncovering some information
We shouldn't agree to join the fleet. As a newbie and a Zipangese, we won't be allowed anywhere near the Yamato, and serving in a military won't give us any time for subversive activities.

>Follow her around the quarters

Man I feel dirty for entertaining this of joining.
>Follow her around the quarters
>Follow her around the quarters.
Probably not the best time to snoop around.
Considering how deep we’re in enemy territory and that Tewi was here as well, it was not the best time to snoop around.

“Tewi, let’s go.”
Tewi responded with a short nod.
Passing through the towering, monolithic wooden gates our escorts held open, we quickly followed the Admiral into the building.

Whatever doubt left lingering in our minds soon transformed into awe the moment we stepped into the entrance hall.

To say that the place was a spectacle would be an understatement. If anything, the grandeur of this ‘living quarter’ even surpassed that of our family estate.

While the general structure of the complex saw little changes, everything else was entirely refurbished to suit the style of the Yu royal family. Its wooden floor was now covered by a smooth, red velvet carpet, the furniture replaced with far more ornate counterparts which I can only assume came from the old Yu imperial palace.
The quince emblem of Zipang, once proudly held high above the entrance hall, was now replaced by the four-clawed dragon flag of the Beiyang Fleet.

However, as magnificent and glamorus it was, this place had a serious shortage of people to actually populate it. Sure, there were servants walking about handling their duties, but they were few and far between. The excessive space of its interior was only accentuated as we walked down a quiet, seemingly endless corridor, following behind the Admiral like ducklings to their mother.

One benefit of this silent atmosphere was the ability for the body to pick up every little movement around its environment, every motion, every footstep, become clearly registered in the back of my eardrums. In this case, it was the footsteps that were heading directly opposite our direction.

“Nii-san… Someone’s coming.”
I heard my sister whisper, gripping tightly onto my arm as she halted her steps. The Admiral in front did the same, as if having picked up the same cue.

From the depths of the corridor, a somewhat familiar but long-absent figure came into view.

“Oh, isn’t this Clementine?”
“M-madam Admiral!” The former imperial officer saluted her superior hurriedly, face glowing red and nearly out of breath, appearing to just have been off from some physically laborious task.
“My my, you seem quite flustered. Is something wrong?” The admiral inquired, placing the back of her hand over the young foreigner’s forehead.
“N-not at all, Madam Admiral!” Clementine replied, still struggling to catch her breath. “Vice Admiral Yian sent me to deliver her reports. I’ve placed them on your table.”
“Thank you, Clementine.” She answered with a light pat on the foreigner’s cheek. “Today must have been awfully tiring for you. Take some rest, you’ve earned it. ”

Clementine's face only glowed redder from the Admiral’s kind words.
As opposed to the normal relationship between a senior officer and a subordinate, the two felt more like close friends, or even… like family. Does the Beiyang Admiral treat all her subordinates like that?

It was about then when the Imperial noticed our presence.
“Madam Admiral, these are...?”
“They are my guests,” Admiral Sima introduced us to her subordinate, whose reception was quite less than stellar.
Gone was Clementine’s initial sense of excitement and any form of respect. Pretty as her face was, she did not bother to mask her utter contempt like the time we first met, as if the presence of us siblings alone tainted this sacred sanctum.

Looking away, she whispered something into the Beiyang Admiral’s ear. The two appeared to converse for a brief moment, ending with the Admiral giving a short nod.

“I will keep that in mind. Thank you for the reminder, Clementine.”

“Please take care, Madam Admiral.”

With one last salute, Clementine bid farewell with her Admiral. Of course, she didn’t forget to shoot Tewi and I a vicious glare before departure.

“Sorry about the interruption. This way please.”
In the end, we were let into what I would assume is a guest room. The elaborate furniture aside, there was a shelf filled with books written in the language of the Yu people. On the table was a plate of fruits, and under the glass a model of the Battleship Taishan, flagship of the Beiyang Fleet.

“Dinner will be served shortly,” Admiral Sima sat across the two of us, “Is there anything the two of you would like to have in the meantime?”
“It’s alright!” I quickly turned down her offer “You’ve been too generous, Lord Admiral.”

“There’s no need to address me by my title, Kurokawa-san.” She chuckled, “I am currently off-duty, after all. Refer to me as you would with anyone else if you will.”
“Moreover,” she added, “I am the host and the two of you are my guests. It’s my duty to make sure my guests are taken good care of.”

“We are very grateful, Sima-dono.”
Having heard this, the Admiral returned with a satisfied smile.
“I’ll send someone to notify the two of you once dinner is ready.” She stood up. “In the meantime, please make yourselves at home.”
Turning around to leave the room, she checked back at us one last time.
“Oh, I almost forgot. Is there anything in particular the two of you do not eat?”
My sister and I collectively shook our heads.
And with an acknowledging nod, the Admiral left the room, leaving us siblings alone in this private space.

Tagging me on the elbow, my sister whispered as she eyed me warily.

>You were right, it’s a bad idea coming here
>I know, her subordinate wasn’t exactly fond of us
>Sima-dono is being… more generous than I had anticipated.
>I know, her subordinate wasn’t exactly fond of us
>I know, her subordinate wasn’t exactly fond of us
>I know, her subordinate wasn’t exactly fond of us
I know, her subordinate wasn’t exactly fond of us
>I know, her subordinate wasn’t exactly fond of us
“I know, her subordinate wasn’t exactly fond of us.”
“I still don’t understand why.” She stared at me innocently, “Our ancestors gave up their backwards, barbaric culture, adopted proper names of this land and lived proudly as her people. Is that not enough?”

It may be enough in Zipang’s society, but to the rest of the world, we were still nothing but a people of a cursed heritage. No matter how much we changed, or how different we were from the savages in Europa, we will always look the same in the eyes of the world.

“Perhaps not for her. She’s from the Empire after all.”
“But... it doesn’t seem like everyone from the Empire think like that, right?”
“I suppose.”
“That’s not what I mean.”
Tewi said, giving me a suggestive look.

“What do you mean then?”

“Say, who is this ‘Miss Hauser’ ? How far have you two gone? Hmmmm?”
My sister continued with that look, her arms crossed before her chest.

“No, no, it’s not like that. Our relationship is strictly professional.”
I tried to brush off the topic by sounding as flat and uninterested as possible, though it only piqued Tewi’s interest furthermore.
“You are not answering the question at all, Nii-san… Ooh, what’s this?” Tewi came closer to examine the mark she spotted on my neck-
Oh no, this is bad.
“Hey!” I reflexively covered the diminishing spots with my hand, but even then, it was a bit too late.

“If she’s not your significant other, how are you supposed to explain THAT?”
Memories of my interactions with Margaret instantly cascaded back into my mind like a broken dam. Thinking back, there were many things we did that were quite… correction, extremely embarrassing.

What am I even supposed to say?
That Margaret has no actual idea on normal human interactions due to being secluded from the rest of the world her entire life?
That I allowed her to make this move in a botched attempt to spy on Admiral Sima’s nephew?
That we actually slept together? In our family estate, no less?
Most importantly… Nothing about the last bit was ‘professional’.

“Hoo boy, Nii-san!” She chuckled mischievously “You’ve written a new page in the family legacy!”
"First Kurokawa to woo an Imperial gaijin beauty!” She pat me on the back, “That should be written in the family zoufu, beside your name!”

>Oh, if only I’m that lucky
>Again, we are not in that kind of relationship
>I don’t think I’ll ever be able to return home after this operation, but the prospect does put a smile on my face.
>Write in
>Oh, if only I’m that lucky
Oh if only I was that lucky, but this is not the place for this talk.
>Oh, if only I’m that lucky
>I don’t think I’ll ever be able to return home after this operation, but the prospect does put a smile on my face.
>*Groan exasperatedly*
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“Oh, if only I’m that lucky.”
“Don’t worry, Nii-san! I have faith in you!” My sister followed up with a her usual tease, shortly before shifting to a more serious tone.

“In case if you do, Nii-san, you’d be set for life! So’s your kids, your grandkids and their kids!”
“Eh?” I looked on her perplexed with what was just suggested.
“Oh, you think I didn’t know?” She elbowed my shoulder “Who this ‘Eirene Hauser’ really is?”

Captain Suwabe must have told her.

“Then why did you ask in the first place?” I groaned with an exasperated sigh. “You know there’s no way I could live up to her standards.”
“Don’t say no without a fight, Nii-san!” Tewi said, patting me on the shoulder, “This isn’t just for yourself, this is for everyone in our family. Think of the children!”
“You haven’t changed a bit, have you?” I sigh, pinching my nasal bridge. “Planning out your brother’s life for him.”
“Of course!” My sister held up a finger. “Remember Nii-san, that is your duty as the only heir of the Kurokawa family. If mother was here, she’d be saying the same thing.”

“Yeah, but it would make more sense for mother to say such a thing, not---” My words were interrupted by a sudden knock at the door. Responding to the sudden intrusion, Tewi quickly shuffled to my side, tightly gripping my arms.

“Dinner is ready.” Pushing open the door came an oddly familiar face. “Please follow m-”
The moment our eyes first met, the initial smile on the man’s face suddenly evaporated like water on a frying pan. The admiral’s nephew gazed at Tewi and I, eyes wide open in disbelief.

“We’ve met before, haven’t we?”
Arms crossed before his chest, the young Sima made it clear that he didn’t want to see me here… or anywhere, for that matter.

>We have?
>Not properly, I believe
>It’s a pleasure to meet you as well
>Write in
>We have?

>We have?
>We have?
>Not properly, I believe

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