You are Subaru Kurokawa, and you're pretty sure you've just entered the den of a tiger.By a curious turn of events, what was supposed to be a funeral for your father and reunion with your sister snowballed into a dinner with no other than the Admiral of the Beiyang Fleet, the head of your enemy.Hospitable and welcoming, the Beiyang Admiral made an attempt to recruit you under her wing. And though you haven't given her a concrete answer yet. It did, however, made you question what goal was she trying to achieve.Last thread: https://pastebin.com/yWEpFWHW--------------------------------Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Pacific%20TheatreTwatter: https://twitter.com/TurkroachistanCharacter Sheet (Updates as the story progresses): https://pastebin.com/0ArYxXFRMechanics and Stats (Updates as the story progresses): https://pastebin.com/KTN90pNEUpdates: 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.
>>2579612I guess my best choice was to play dumb.“We have?”Unfortunately for me, he seemed to have taken great offense at my attitude. The young Sima stormed forth angrily, grasping me off my seat by the collar.“Don’t play dumb with me. I don’t know what tricks you pulled on my aunt, but you’re not fooling me. Now spit it out, what are you doing here?”Cold sweat and the sudden adrenaline rush aside, I cannot think of a way to talk out of this situation. In fact, I probably should have thought the offer through a bit more. Admiral Sima Aiteng of the Beiyang Fleet, to dine with her meant that her nephew would certainly be close by, and considering how alerted he was of me since the first time we met… things may turn ugly pretty quickly.“Guang, where are the guests?”……Slowly, I felt his grip on my collar slip away. Like a ringside bell, Admiral Sima pinned some restraint back into her nephew, though his attitude ultimately changed little. “Do anything funny, and I’ll make you regret setting foot in this building.” He warned, shoving me back into the chair I occupied earlier. “Now get on your feet and follow.”The young Sima turned and left the room without looking back, while Tewi and I soon followed.As it turned out, the dining room was only a few steps away from the guest room.Through a wooden door decorated with the Beiyang emblem, we were lead to yet another sight to behold.The dining room shared the same palatial motif with the rest of the complex, decorated with rows of red lanterns on every wall and fine Yu porcelain vases at every corner. A large coromandel screen, with the greatly detailed drawing of the old Yu Imperial palace painted on it, stood at one side of the wall. Right the center of the room was an enormous pinewood dining table, characteristically round as with Yu tradition, with the Sima family emblem engraved at its center. “Ah, there you are.”Sitting in the main seat right across the door, was the Lord Admiral, who upon seeing the door open stood and gave us a warm welcome.“Please, take a seat.”
>>2579616As Tewi and I occupied the seats across the table from the Admiral and her nephew, servants began serving the food onto the table. By the time they were done, it was pretty much fully occupied - and to my surprise, the dishes served were not Yu cuisine, but instead traditional Zipangnese Kaiseki sets, full-course dinner typically served in festivities and formal occasions. While the usual kaiseki set would consist of roughly 7 dishes, the course placed before us easily exceed that number by a multiple of three. If anything, sheer volume, variety and extravagance of this course for one can easily compare to the Osechi my family used to have for New Year’s celebration… and that was for a family of four.“Please forgive me for the hastily prepared meal.” She said, “I hope the food tonight fit your tastes.”“Most certainly, Sima-dono…”‘Hastily prepared’, she said? Did she really consider this to be hastily prepared? Not even the most extravagant dinner our father took us to hold this amount of quality dishes.I cannot begin to fathom the kind of life the Yu royals used to live.“Oh, you must be hungry. Please don’t hold back, enjoy yourselves.”Of course, I wouldn’t be one to turn down her warm welcome.All the delicacies presented on the Admiral’s dinner table also had the backing of quality, something I haven’t tasted ever since the beginning of the war. If anything, such a wonderful dinner reminded me of the days of festivity in my childhood, where my family would sit around the dinner table to enjoy the food and each other’s company...But not to be completely drowned in my indulgence of this extravagant meal, I silently observed the Beiyang Admiral within the intervals.She watched us with a serene smile on her face, much like a mother satisfied at herself, knowing that her children loved what she prepared for them. I turned my attention back to my plate again, though I wonder… she didn’t have all of these prepared just for us, did she?Tewi warned me about the admiral’s intentions before, but now, at least now, I can say for certain that Sima Aiteng held no harmful intentions towards us.I took a glance at my sister, who by now was sending food down her throat in controlled but quick succession. Well, she’s always been more honest with her actions than her words...
>>2579622“Is there something on your mind?”That question came so out of the blue, it almost felt like she saw right through me- and she wasn’t wrong. The Admiral’s gentle, welcoming demeanor didn’t help either. In fact, the longer our eyes met, the more I felt like opening up.>Ask about her family>Ask about what exactly she sees in you>Ask about the manor and the Beiyang headquarters >Write in.
>>2579616They have already moved all the decorations here?>>2579624>Ask about the manor and the Beiyang headquarters >Ask about what exactly she sees in you
>>2579624>Ask about what exactly she sees in you>Ask about the manor and the Beiyang headquarters >Apolgize for being so out of it as well, It had been such a long time I thought about my family.
>>2579624>Ask about what exactly she sees in you
>>2579624>>Ask about the manor and the Beiyang headquarters
“I’m just… a bit baffled by this place.” I answered, placing my chopsticks down. “Is the entire complex like this?”“Just this building.” She answered, scanning the room. “Since this is to be Beiyang’s base of operation for the next while, a certain someone offered to help make this place feel a bit more like home. The rest of the base remains largely unchanged.”It could just be me, but her tone seemed to shift a little when mentioning that benefactor. Whoever that person might be, it’s most likely someone she’s not too fond of talking about.If she was averse to this topic, I should probably switch to something more suited to her states.“Sima-dono, about the proposal earlier...”“Hm?”“I’m just a fresh graduate from the naval academy who was thrown onto the frontlines in desperate times. I can hardly say I have even one-tenth of my father’s capability.” I explained humbly. “I’m honored that someone like Sima-dono view so highly of me, but… I have to ask, what exactly do you see in me?”It tied back to the offer she made back in the limousine. It was similarly something that came completely out of the blue for me.Did she really see something in me that even I can’t find by myself?Was this her way of humiliating her enemies?Has our scheme been compromised?Or, was she preparing for something else…?“Pfft.”Laughter? Not just myself, Tewi and even the Admiral’s own nephew were surprised by her sudden chuckle.“Well isn’t that interesting.” The Admiral crossed her legs. “I remember Clementine saying the same thing when I gave her the same offer.”“The foreigner from earlier?”“Yes, her.” She pointed out, taking a sip of tea. “Same expression back then, and now she leads my anti-submarine squadron. Sounds unbelievable, doesn’t it?”Half-half, to tell the truth. Big fancy warships aside, the Imperial Navy’s true strength rested in their relentless and vicious u-boat tactics. Who else can be a better candidate for anti-submarine warfare than an ex-navy from the Empire’s old administration?But at least now, I can finally sort of grasp her intentions clearer than before.“Ruohua always said I have a particular eye for finding talent.” She added, leaning back on her chair. “Someone like you shouldn’t go to waste.”She paused for a moment, letting out a short sigh.“Moreover... I see traces of my beloved nephew in you.”“Aunt!”As expected, Guang’s reception wasn’t exactly positive.“Also some qualities he lacks.” She shot back nonchalantly. The nephew, careful not to break any mannerisms, sank quietly back in his seat.“But alas, you have a lot of time to make up your mind, Kurokawa-kun.” She finished “No need to make rash decisions.”
“Th---”Our exchange was suddenly cut short by the thunderous bang of the dining room door being slammed open, with such a force that it’s a miracle the poor thing was still intact.But that wasn’t the worst part-“Ay boss!”I knew in that instant who the intruder was even without the need to turn my head to check. This was the voice that has been engraved into my memory ever since my very first shift at the cafe that fateful night."What’s this, ya’ll have some banquet without me?”I nervously gulped as I felt a foreign weight being pressed down onto my chair, followed by the strips of dyed, dirty blonde hair drooping over my vision.“Insolent! Can’t you see we have guests here!?” The Admiral’s nephew, not the one to take offenses lightly, roared angrily at the intruder. But did a prim and proper officer like him really bore the qualities to contain a beast of this caliber?The answer was no. The young Sima’s anger only enticed the intruder’s urge to toy with him even more. Snickering maliciously, she slipped behind his chair and leaned on the backrest.“Aww, handsome, missed me much?” She purred in a half-hearted seductive way, a hand reaching out to play with his hair.“Stay away from me, harlot.” With a disgusted rejection, Guang slapped her hand away.“Oh, you know you wanted this… hmm?”She leaned her face close to the disgruntled nephew, and, like a puppy picking up a scent, took a few sniffs.“Aaaah, I see~” Fuxiang chuckled with a playful, suggestive grin, with the young man responding with what can only be described as a death glare. “So that’s why you’re so…”“One more word, harlot. One more word and I’ll rip out that wretched tongue of yours.”While the young man kept his tone calm and his demeanor collected, I can almost feel the heat of his inferno rage from this distance. There was no doubt in my mind that he’s actually willing to carry out what he claimed.“Hmph, booring---!”Quick to lose interest in the irate youth, the Mad Dog of Palawan, Chu Fuxiang, immediately locked her sights on another delicious prey… me.“Oh, hi cutie~” Slipping to my side, she squeezed my cheeks with one hand, forcing my head upwards, our eyes locking onto each other. “Hmm… I feel we’ve met before...”>No, you must have mistaken me for someone else.>Aren’t you supposed to at least salute the Admiral?>Try to break free.>Write in
>>2584667>No I don't know you and if you would we are trying to eat here so please either relax or leave Ma'am.
>>2584667>No, you must have mistaken me for someone else.
>>2584667>Aren’t you supposed to at least salute the Admiral?Be deadpan.As an aside, I think introducing Aiteng was a mistake.As far as I understand, she's a fan favorite from another quest or something? In any case, because the players like her she doesn't work as an antagonist she should rigthfully be in the context of the plot. This leads to the "you can't bring yourself to hate her" teen fanfic level bullshit.
>>2584725Is aiteng the name of this dumb bitch who is the literal picture of uncivilized?
>>2584875No, Aithen is the big titty admiral.
>>2584883Oh, well it's not like she would matter for long once we steal the ship
>>2584910Judging by the number of NPC orbiting her, that's probably incorrect.
“I don’t think we have.” I denied fervently, trying to shove the criminal aside. “Ma’am, we are in the middle of a meal here, could you please back up a little?”“What if I refuse?”Her grip around my face tightened, which made me wonder if what I did only escalated the situation.“Come on, what exactly are you going to do if I refuse?”“...I may have to make you leave, ma’am.”While I figured I should stand my ground, my train of thought was ultimately distracted by the slasher smile that crept across Fuxiang’s face, like the shape of a crescent moon. She had fully taken a liking to harassing me, not that I really had any solid rebuttal for her point in the first place.“I like the attitude, but I wonder how much weight stands behind those words?” My nerves flared as one of her nail pinched into my left cheek, as she moved her face right next to my ear. “ Hmm… should we give it a try-”“Leave my brother alone!”Immediately, I was released from her grip as Fuxiang’s attention turned on someone else in the room.“Tewi!”My sister stood up from her seat, staring intensely down at the criminal. Despite throwing herself willingly into danger, she did not appear to hold a shred of fear in her eyes.“Ah, so you’re his baby sister.” Letting go of my face, Fuxiang walked up to her and stared right back into my sister’s eyes, still wearing that unsettlingly wide grin. “Aren’t you a cutie yourself-”“Fuxiang, leave our guests alone.”Aiteng’s ever so warm smile disappeared, replaced by a serious, pressuring demeanor. The volume of her voice remained the same, but every word permeated a rain of discontent that soaked the room.It was just enough for Fuxiang to reluctantly take two steps back from my sister.“Now, what business brought you here?”“Oh, that hag Yian got done with some reports or some shit. I threw it on your table.” The criminal’s answer, while coarse, did sound more reserved than when she spoke to the rest of us, careful to not agitate her superior any farther.“Thank you, but I believe Clementine has already brought them to me. Anything else?”“For real? Eh who cares. I’m done here.”Despite acting not nonchalant about it, she hurried to the room’s exit upon finishing, which seem quite unceremonious for a supposedly fearless high-profile marauder of the high seas. Though she did turned around to leave us one last message.“See you around, handsome.”She also didn’t forget to blow us a kiss.“I hope we never meet again.” The young Sima commented flatly, and for once I truly agree with him.Finally freed from danger, I slouched back on my seat with a sigh of relief.“Sorry about that, Fuxiang gets a little bit... excited seeing new faces.” The Admiral apologized, returning back to her normal self. “Are you hurt anywhere?”
Choices:>Is this what the Beiyang Fleet is like?>What place does someone like her have in the navy?>I… I’m fine.>Write in
>>2589507>No. I am fine. Thank you for your worries. >If I would take up the offer would I need to deal with her at all?
>>2589507>What place does someone like her have in the navy?
>>2589507>What place does someone like her have in the navy?>I… I’m fine.
>>2589513>>2589530>>2589568>>2590681“I’m fine, thank you,” I answered, trying to brush the distaste of the previous encounter aside with a sip of green tea. “Though if I may ask… What place does someone like her have in a proper Navy like the Beiyang?”The admiral did not respond immediately, instead of taking a brief moment of silence for herself to come up with an appropriate response.“She commands her own unit, consisting of those just like herself.”The Admiral’s words were as evasive as it can sound, but the information she conveyed was no less unnerving: it wasn’t just the Mad Dog herself, but an entire crew of perhaps equally notorious scoundrels who also swore their allegiance to the Beiyang Fleet.“While it may surprise you, they are excellent at their job.”The Admiral’s words only piqued my interest.“What exactly do they do?”“That is classified information.” The Admiral replied softly, placing her index finger on her lips.“...I see.”I expected that answer, but then it’s not hard to imagine the inglorious list of misdeeds people like Fuxiang has under their belt, which makes it even more chilling thinking that they now are a part of a legitimate military force… serving under this seemingly harmless lady right before my eyes, no less.“So if I were to enter the Beiyang, would I need to deal with her at all?”“Only professionally.” The Admiral gave me a wry smile. “There is a specialist in my circle who can handle Fuxiang in case she... gets a bit out of control.”Judging from our first encounter in the cafe, I assume she’s referring either to the exiled Imperial we encountered when we first entered the manor or the stone-cold Goguryeoan ace who was by her side… Though I wouldn’t trust the former to treat me any better than she would treat a savage from her own country, and considering that Zipang and Goguryeo were quite infamous for their centuries of never-ending rivalry before the Khaganate conquered both nations, I wouldn’t expect the latter to see me any better.“But enough with the heavy topic. Would the two of you like some dessert?” She suggested warmly. “I have something special to bring to the table today.”My gaze shifted to the rest of the table, onto the one dish we haven’t touched until now.Are those… cheese tarts?“It’s the same tarts served in that cafe.” The Admiral started, noticing my interest in this particular lineup. “I found it quite pleasing to taste, so I bought a bulk of them.”I stared at my plate, and the two tarts balanced on top of it.Didn’t I make these a day ago? Not only that, I also remembered those two couples coming in to buy two boxes to take to their workplace. So this is where it ended up.Guang shot his aunt a tired, sidelong look. He clearly wanted to say something, but couldn’t take the risk of breaking etiquette.“Come, try it!”
>"Thank you, that would be nice">”Funny, I actually made these”>excuse yourself (sneak around the complex)>Write in
>>2595639>”Funny, I actually made these myself”
>>2595639>”Funny, I actually made these”
>>2595639>"Thank you, that would be nice"
>>2595639>Funny, I actually made these
I picked up one of the tarts and placed it in my mouth, savoring the cream cheese that melted into my mouth. True to the ingredients used, it was the distinct taste of cream exclusive to the Emishi area. However, through the weeks and weeks of practice I had making them and the sheer number of unsuccessful tarts we had to dispose without wasting ingredients, I can’t really say I enjoyed it.“Funny, I actually just baked these yesterday.”“Yesterday?” The Admiral look at me puzzlingly at first, but realization quickly followed.“Ah, so at the cafe...you work there as well?”“Indeed,” I nodded, taking a look at the bitten dessert. “These tarts are far from perfect, but I am glad to have the patron of someone as esteemed as Sima-dono.”“You’re too generous, Kurokawa-kun.” Her face flushed slightly red. “I wholly enjoyed them, but frankly I’m quite surprised to know they are your handiwork.”“I’m fortunate to have a job like this.” I answered with a short sigh. “Times are hard now, and I’m glad my work can at least still bring some joy to some.”“Quite an idealist, aren’t you.” She paused, giving me a faint smile before she continued. “Say, If you work there, you must have met Ruohua and Mu as well, haven't you?”The question came quite out of the blue, and the Admiral asked without any shift in tone or attitude, yet… Have I raised her suspicion?“Are they the colleagues Sima-dono mentioned earlier?”The best choice was to feign ignorance, lest I raise any unwanted suspicion.“A female officer around my height, and a male officer a head taller than her? They’re both around my age.”“My shift is usually in the evening, but I’ve heard from my colleagues about an officer couple who often come by for coffee.” I said, recalling the last time I saw the two. “Though I was always wondering, are they…”“Married? They sure act like happy pair don’t they.” The Admiral chuckled at the mention of her two subordinates. “Many people would think the same for those two, but neither of them have no real plans for settling down just yet, as far as I am aware.”“Then Sima-dono, are you?” My sister inquired, finished with her desserts.“Me?”The same topic that sparked interest with the Beiyang Admiral was also the same one that took her aback. Her nephew, alerted by my sister’s question, shot us a malicious glare.
>>2611231The lighthearted, enjoyable atmosphere of dessert time vanished, replaced with a gloomy downpour. Aiteng’s smile also changed, her warm, gentle expression slowly morphed into a melancholic reminiscence.“I was married,” she answered softly, but did not follow up with anything else. Picking up her unfinished cup of tea, she seemed to stare into her reflection as if recalling a rather painful memory.“I’m terribly sorry.” Realizing the implications and what she had just done, my sister hurriedly apologized as if pleading guilty. “There’s no need to apologize.” she answered, “It’s been quite a while since.”While it wasn’t too surprising that the Admiral had a significant other, this was still the first time I’ve actually heard of anything on this subject.From her reaction to the topic, I also doubted if she had really gotten over it.The dinner was over by 20:00, and while the topics that were discussed on the table had not revealed much details of the Beiyang Fleet as a whole, I did get to know more about the Admiral in person. Before we parted, she did not forget to remind me about her intention to take my sister and I under her wing- though this time she added an additional term.“And if possible, could you bring some more of your tarts next time we meet? Of course, I will compensate you with the apt payment.”The addition of such a mundane request over a serious one was, oddly enough, quite endearing.
>>2611236As I walked Tewi back to our estate, I still found it hard to take my mind off the Admiral. There’s just something about her that felt… familiar.“Nii-san.”My sister punted my arm with her elbow, snapping me out of my thoughts. Together, the two of us sat on the balcony of our old home, decorated bamboo garden in front, and a full moon illuminating the night sky above us.“Drifting off again? Geez, you sure know how to relax with such a big event is looming over us.”I sighed with a mild frustration. After all that happened today, the upcoming heist was one of the few things I don’t want to be actively reminded of, at least for the remainder of today.“You’re thinking about the Admiral, aren’t you?”“Why this all of a sudden?”“She’s alot like mother, isn’t she?”……As if the last piece of the puzzle finally found its way into the frame, I finally realized why I couldn’t bring myself to hate the Beiyang Admiral.>I know...>I feel her loyalties may lie elsewhere>Someone like her doesn’t belong on the battlefield.>Write In
>>2611236Yeah, yeah, apologize for hurting the feelings of our father's killer.
>>2611258>We shouldn't forget who she really is.>Also, thinking we would go into her service was really presumptious of her.
>>2611258>She's still our enemy regardless, but I feel her loyalties lie elsewhere.
>>2611258>I feel her loyalties may lie elsewhere
>>2611259>>2611270>>2611380>>2611680“She is. ” I replied, not exactly knowing what to make of the question. “But that doesn’t change who she is- our enemy. Though... I feel her loyalty lies elsewhere.”“Elsewhere? What do you mean?”“She recruited all those people who once were enemies of the Khaganate- Goguryeons, Imperials, the pirates of the south sea... not to mention the Yu soldiers who make up the bulk of her fleet.” I explained to my sister, “And the way she reached out to us, I find it hard to believe that her loyalty lies with the Khagan.”“Hm, Understandable,” Tewi acknowledged with a nod. “I wouldn’t be a fan of someone who destroyed my country and killed my family either. Would you?” She said sarcastically, again alluding to the Beiyang Admiral as she shot me a sideways glare. “You’re not seriously considering her offer, are you?”“I was only thinking of a more amicable scenario.” I shrugged. “We gain nothing from antagonizing her.”“But still, how presumptuous that woman, thinking we would fall under her heels so easily.” My sister remarked, barely concealing her distaste towards those she considered enemies.I eyed my sister closely, and as much as I want to say otherwise, her assessment was ultimately tied to my own wellbeing. Regardless of how hospitable the Admiral may have presented herself, there were more reasons to distrust her than to side with her.“Where do you think her motives lie?”“Isn’t that obvious?” Tewi responded as a matter-of-factly. “Even if she’s not a princess anymore, she could still end up as the Duchess of Zipang and rule over us! That’s what those Yu bastards have tried to do for so many centuries, remember?”Truth to be told, Zipang and the Yu Dynasty had never been in a cordial relationship since… forever. The Middle Kingdom had longed to establish total hegemony over the Far East, and the Yu Royal family, as with all past dynasties, could not tolerate Zipang to stand in their way. The two countries had countless skirmishes and even a few indecisive wars, but to think that rivalry would end the way it did...Just as my sister said, the Admiral carries the desire to rule over this land in her blood, and having our name under her wing could make the process so much easier, however…Should I describe it as a hunch? The Sima Aiteng I spoke with at the dinner table today did not appear to be that kind of person to commit such acts but rather had her sights set somewhere else. “Don’t worry, Tewi, I have no intention to accept her offer,” I reassured her, patting my sister on the head. “But I want to discuss this matter with Suwabe-dono and the rest of the crew.”At least, I wouldn't be making my decision any time soon.
>>2617778Blushing slightly, my sister swiped my hand away.“Glad to see there’s still some common sense in you.” My sister finally smiled, “For a second I thought my brother has become some horny halfwit lusting over that thieving cat who killed father.”“Just how low of person do you think I am?” I grumbled though the person in question was, by all means, a beauty who puts the world’s flowers to shame. “However, if possible, I would like to meet with Sima-dono again before we depart.”Tewi’s expression swapped immediately from one of relief to that of concern and uncertainty again. Reflexively, my sister took hold of my sleeve, grasping my left arm tightly.“Nii-san, can you for once stop putting yourself in such risky situations?”“I’m afraid not.” I felt my sister’s head lean gently onto my shoulder. “This is our chance to get our country back, and every additional bit of intel count.”“You always throw yourself into danger,” she sighed and rested the rest of her weight on me. “Despite promising me you won’t.”“And I’ll come back in one piece as usual,” I reassured her, wrapping an arm around her. “I’ve been doing it every time, haven’t I?“I pray that’s the case.”My sister answered softly, her head now snuggled on my chest.“Stay safe, Nii-san.”“I will.”
Alright, so this concludes all the cast establishment for the quest. The next thread will start immediately with the Yamatojack in motion, and will most likely be adopting a slightly faster pacing as compared to the past threads, dice mechanics will be back, and all that.Again, thank you, readers, for participating in this little experiment of a quest story I intend to write out, and apologies for the short thread as I had to handle some stuff halfway through the week.Suggestions and criticisms are welcome, I'll be staying around till the thread automatically prunes itself. Yes, I'm aware of the Aiteng situation, she's still the main antagonist of the story (for now)Also, archived: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2579612/