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/qst/ - Quests

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The year is 1943 EC. While the continent of Europa has enjoyed a relative peace after the Second Europan War, a similar hellscape coated and ravaged the nations of the Far East.

You are Subaru Kurokawa, son of Vice-Admiral Kagetora Kurokawa of the Zipang Combined Fleet, and the current acting captain of the exiled super battleship Yamato. With your country under the subjugation of an ascendent Tengar Khaganate, the remnants of Zipang’s military establishment, along with powerful allies from the East Europan Imperial Alliance, came up with a daring plan to restore your country’s independence: Operation Ten-Go.

Despite hunted down relentless by both Beiyang and Nanyang Fleets, your crew was ultimately successful at escaping farther down south, into the Gallian East Indies. However, this success came at a lofty cost of people you held dear.

But grieving could come later, not until you've secured some valuable allies in the bizarre Gallian Colonies.

Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Pacific%20Theatre
Twatter: https://twitter.com/NytoObelisk
Character Sheet (Updates as the story progresses): https://pastebin.com/FtzLDyHr
Mechanics and Stats (Updates as the story progresses): https://pastebin.com/ZCzrjrcL
“Since a direct conflict with the Khaganate is inevitable, may I assume that the Gallian mainland would be involved in this operation as well?”
Upon the mention of the ‘Gallian mainland’, Lynn suddenly halted her footsteps just a couple of meters short from reaching the top of the dirt hill.
“Right, about that…”
Lynn turned around to face us, her eyes wavering to the question.
“Our high command has yet to receive any decisive words from the mainland.”
The mere mention of a ‘high command’ confirmed my speculation from earlier. Perhaps I can finally learn of the details Glascon had previously eluded?
“Could you please elaborate, lieutenant? Who is in charge of the defense of the East Indies?”
“Sir Claudius von Roswell, Commodore of the East Indies Fleet. He and Governor von Metternich have been negotiating with the mainland on the matter of reinforcements, but so far the responses were... not supportive.”
The Darcsen bit down on her lip, addressing the last part with visible anxiety.

“So that’s the ‘bureaucracy’ your commander brought up earlier.” Itaru nodded in acknowledgment. “Honestly, I thought Gallians would be a bit more…”
“Patriotic? Nationalistic? I assure you our fighting spirit burns as brightly as ever.” Lynn tensed as a surge of emotion washed over her like a tidal wave at the mention of her nation’s well-established identity.

“We Gallians are a hardy bunch, just like the little country we inhabit. Everyone’s more than willing to pick up a rifle, head to the frontlines, and if need be, get torn into shreds to defend our homeland.
Why? Because we were born here, grew up here, and are sure as hell willing to die here if that’s the last thing we do.”

Her expression softened as she paused her words as if the emotions had suddenly dispossessed her.

“But the Civil War… The wounds it left our people to have far from healed, even after all these years.”
From her tone, I could tell those words were delivered with a deep sense of helplessness.
“By the end of it, my homeland has grown exceedingly weary of war. Coupled with the current political environment in the States-General and our geographical distance from the mainland...”
Lynn took a deep breath, then summed up her accounts.
“The odds are stacked against us, to say the least.”

Lynn’s conclusion brought a look of concern onto Itaru’s face. While we were not expecting much foreign aid with our mission, losing the prospects of receiving what little support we may have was still disheartening.

“But rest assured, we will not be short on manpower.” She assured us with a smile. “The East Indies is by no means small, and the local populace is more than willing to take a stand for their homeland.”
“I cannot believe a nation would just willingly abandon her dominion and people as easily as that,” I replied, finding the notion that Gallia, of all nations, surrendering without contest quite curious.
“Surely there must be some members of the States-General willing to lend a hand and support the cause?”

“I would like to believe so as well, but god knows what’s going on in the minds of those running the show in Randgriz.” She let out a disappointed long sigh then shook her head. “They seem more interested in building statues to glorify her majesty's heritage than in the safety and prosperity of her foreign dominions. Surely, those funds can be better spent on proper uniform and boots for her East Indies garrison?”

Her tone took a significant downturn the moment she mentioned the politics in her own country. It was rather apparent that Lynn was displeased with her homeland’s neglectful attitude.

The last time this little Europan nation made international headlines was the conclusion of their civil war, which partially stemmed from their monarch proclaiming herself a Darcsen rather than a descendant of the Valkyrur. With the loyalists and their Imperial allies decisively defeating the rebels, it was sensible that the whole nation was now firmly under the control of those who were all too eager to embrace their monarch’s new Darcsen identity. While I’m not the one to judge, one has to question the viability of creating a national identity based around such a primitive culture.

“I suppose the only thing we can do now is to focus on our duties and hope for the best.” Itaru interrupted suddenly with his cheery voice, instantly breaking up the moody atmosphere that has arisen from this topic.“Lieutenant Lynn, shall we proceed?”

“Ah, yes, Of course!” Itaru’s words instantly brought the Darcsen lieutenant out of her melancholy and back on track to her more professional demeanor. “Please follow me, we have a few more facilities ahead I would like to show you.”
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Upon reaching the top of the hill, I immediately noticed a rectangular patch of flat clearing right ahead, its borders clearly marked by bricks. Two long rods were erected in the middle of the clearing, surrounded by several green metallic canisters marked with different colors. The shorter antenna mast carried an anemometer and wind vane, revealing the purpose of the device.

“This is our automated weather station. The commander likes to call it the weatherman.” Lynn walks up close and taps on one of the canisters. “It records a reading every two hours, and with these batteries, the system could operate out here for a whole week. We have fifteen of them set up throughout the Palawan Islands.”

“What kinds of information does it record?” I asked, taking a closer examination of the structure. The canisters were painted in olive drab while the rods were encased in a dark brown coating, likely as a form of camouflage against the grassy opening it was erected upon. From afar, it could easily be mistaken for a dead tree.

“Temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity, and atmospheric pressure.” She answered, unlocking the canister with red markings with a small key to retrieve what appears to be a data-log placed within.
“We station our men on the island to keep track of these records and keep the fleet updated with the radio in the cabin. We call it weatherman duty.”

“Who’s on this duty now?” Itaru asked while examining the intricate machine, “Seems like no one else is on the island but for us.”
“That would be the crew of the torpedo boat that brought you here earlier. They’ve joined the rest of the fleet earlier to welcome your arrival, and will be returning to their usual duty soon enough.”

She then walked over to the edge of the clearing and tugged on what looked like a vine, revealing a large searchlight concealed within.
“We use these to signal friendly units and ships at night.” Lynn continues, pointing towards the top of the cliff on the northern tip of the crescent-shaped island.” We have another one placed on the cliffs there, and one more on top of that old fort earlier.

Lynn flicked the switch of the searchlight on then off, releasing a momentarily powerful flash of light that's blinding even during the day.
“They’re also used to send out coded messages to our friendlies.”
This was something that I was much more familiar with. The Combined Fleet deployed similar means of signaling during sorties as an additional form of communication.
“There are some facilities at the foot of this hill as well. Please follow me.”
With this part of the tour completed, Lynn took the two of us back down the hill into the jungle, descending down a different path from the one we came from. As the dense jungle foliage cleared, we found ourselves back in familiar territory- right behind the cabin.

“This is the other route back to the cabin. Here’s where the showers are. ” She said, pointing some small, secluded trees to the side, next to with some bricks laid on the ground to form makeshift elevated platforms. Each of the trees had a large water jug fitted with the head of a watering can be tied onto protruding branches, serving as the water source. The need for privacy was fulfilled by a simple sheet wrapped around two long poles which, when rolled open, would serve as an obstructing screen.

“We obtain clean water through the distillation system in front of the cabin.”
She points to the two oddly placed barrels we saw earlier before entering the cabin, finally revealing their purpose.

“But this… is the best we could afford.”
Compared to the weather station and the searchlights earlier, Lynn was significantly less eager to present these facilities- and it was not hard to see why. With the exception of certain pieces of dedicated military technology, most of the facilities on Basco were either outdated or makeshift in nature. This definitely corroborates with her earlier claims about the lack of funds, but at the same time, I’m also quite impressed by their adaptability.

“And over here…”
Lynn never got to finish that sentence, as the unexpectedly loud, familiar-sounding grunt got hold of our attention.
“That sounds like your commander,” Itaru commented offhandedly, pointing to our east towards the other side of the cabin where the sound came from.
Lynn looked towards the same direction for a second, then sighed and calmly addressed the two of us.
“I’m sorry, but I’ll have to go check on him, lest he did something stupid again.”

“No worries,” Itaru responded, shooting me a glance as if asking if we should join.

“We’ll come along too. Lieutenant Koishimizu is with him too, and their safety is imperative to our operation.”
I gave Itaru a firm nod as I replied. While I don’t doubt Hibari’s abilities in dealing with unforeseen happenings, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
“Thank you, please follow me.”

Lynn darted off right around the cabin and headed eastward as we followed closely behind. We soon found ourselves stepping out of the jungle’s edge, and back in the open beach where the Gallian autogyro was parked. While the vehicle was sitting idly as we first saw it earlier, the two that had come to inspect the aircraft were now in a much different state than when we left them.
The Gallian officer was lying flat, face down on the sand, right next to the aircraft. There was no immediate sign of injury on the man, and the minute movement of his chest signaled that he was still breathing- which begged the question, what could possibly have knocked him to the ground?

On the other hand, our petite ace pilot stood just a few meters away, facing the ocean and her back turned to us. Her waist-length, silky pinkish hair flowed freely in the gentle tropical breeze, glistening like waves of the ocean under the cloudless blue sky.
Had it not been for the presence of a downed Glascon nearby, I would have thought she was posing for a magazine cover photoshoot.

“Ñaño!” Lynn took no moment of hesitation before rushing forth to tend to her downed commander, interestingly calling him not by his rank, but by a word I do not recognize, presumably a nickname. The Darcsen knelt by the man’s side, carefully checking his pulse then gently tilted his face sideways to secure his airway, to which he responded with a prolonged, painful groan.

“He’s fine.” Lynn breathed a sigh of relief and commented upon checking his vitals. Even though the Darcsen officer often used harsh or disfavorable words when referring to her commander, her actions spoke volumes of her fondness towards him, despite his grand list of shortcomings.

With Glascon in no need of assistance, Itaru and I turned our focus onto Hibari, who continued to stare into the horizon as we approached.
“Koishimizu-senpai, what happened here?” I inquired as mildly as I could, careful not to raise the ire of the ill-tempered ace.
“Things.” Hibari replied flatly as she turned around, hands crossed before her chest. Much to my surprise, she did not display outright murderous anger, just mildly irritation. Perhaps her anger had simmered down a little by the time we got here?
“Ha, I guess he rubbed you the wrong way?" Itaru began with a straight-up tease, to which the pilot simply glanced at him with a pout.

“Eh, back so soon, hermana?” Back by the autogyro, I noticed Glascon talking to Lynn while still lying on the sand. The Darcsen shook her head, then with a simple flick of the hand helped the man flip over.
“Ow-owww!” The Gallian officer grunted, holding his left hand over his neck as he rolled over like a ragdoll.
“What did you do this time, tonto?” Lynn stood up beside him and asked interrogatively.
“The seniorita sait she wanted ay closer look at the rotorrs,” Glascon sat up, still holding his hand over his neck. “So, I gave her a lift-”
“Who said you could touch me, asshole!?"
His recounting of the events was then completely cut short by rage-filled outbursts from Hibari which bolted out all other noises for a brief moment.
“Ah! Krakowa! Shiwataki!”
Now in an attempt to evade the reprimand he was about to receive, he immediately sprung back up on his feet as he addressed the two of us. Then, ignoring his irate subordinate, made a beeline toward Itaru and me, with Hibari breaking off from the group, opting to distance herself the man.
As he approached, I couldn’t help but notice the large, reddened bruise over the portion of his neck he was covered earlier. Coupled with the stumbling in his steps, it seemed he had already suffered the consequences of his misdeeds by the hands of our feisty little termagant.

“I’ve been dinking bout de communication problem you brought up earlier, ant...” He dusted himself off as he joined us, doing his best to ignore the Hibari’s vicious glare while pretending nothing had gone amok earlier.

Lynn quickly caught up from behind, still intending to reprimand him for the alleged inappropriate behavior.
“Commander! You cannot go around harassing…”
But she did not get to finish- as soon as she was within reach, her superior unexpectedly stepped right beside her and wrapped his right arm over her shoulders.

“Lynn, why don’t you join our new friends here and stay aboard deir ship?”

He didn’t even bother addressing Lynn by her rank anymore.

“Wha… Why?”

“Coordination, of course! What better way to improve our trabajo en equipo dan to send one of our people to deir care, and one of deirs to ours? ” Glascon, proudly presenting his proposal, turned to face me to seek my opinion. “Don’t you dink so, Krakowa?”

Though the proposal seemed little more than a distraction to release himself from the whip, the plan itself was sound nonetheless. Having Lynn aboard our ship could help us navigate and fight in these unfamiliar waters much more efficiently, and would no doubt improve our capability of working with the locals. On the other hand, having a member of our crew serving with their fleet may give us an insight into how their navy functions, as well as help in improving the communication between our two parties.

The question is, who would be our best candidate?
“Igor would do.”
The mere mention of ‘Igor’ raised the eyebrows of my comrades, where Itaru puzzlingly tilted his head while Hibari stared at me in complete disbelief. Understandably, Glascon picked up on the responses of my fellow officers.

“Who is this... Igor, if I may ask?”
“He’s a… combat specialist the Empire sent to assist us on our mission.”
I replied with a smile, putting up my best car salesman performance and carefully avoiding the downsides of our Imperial ‘ally’- the fact that he doesn’t speak any word besides ‘yes’ and ‘no’ in his mother tongue.

Glascon rubbed his chin, nodding to the suggestion as he pondered. Perhaps he was slightly taken aback by the fact that he would be sent a former enemy?

“He is quite a skilled fighter. As a matter of fact, he single-handedly took down a whole elite guard unit with nothing but captured equipment and a knife! Surely, he would be helpful in combat situations.”

I doubled down on my effort, trying to sell the appeal of the Imperial agent.

Truth be told, I’ve wanted to keep Igor off the Yamato since the beginning of this operation.
While I never doubted his combat capabilities on land, he and his group of troopers are the only members aboard the Yamato who did not serve a dedicated function. Additionally, there is the question of his allegiance- the notorious NKVD and Margaret’s highly dubious brother, to which I have minimum trust.
Sending him away meant there’s one less pair of eyes from Margaret’s brother on the ship.
It’d be hitting two birds with one stone.

“Okey, we shall organize dis staff exchange immediately”
He blinked twice while remaining somewhat doubtful, but nevertheless nodded to the arrangement.
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As the torpedo boat pulled closer to the Yamato, ropes rained down from the deck above, landing onto the topside of the small vessel as well as the waters surrounding the boat.
Lynn grabbed one of the ropes and skillfully holstered it onto a stump on the bow of the boat, while her crewmen did the same in the stern. With the boat’s engine turned off, the Gallians and our deck crew pulled the vessel closer to the accommodation ladder the Yamato had lowered, allowing us to board.

Steadying my feet on the torpedo boat bobbing from the wave, I made a small leap and landed on the lowest step of Yamato’s accommodation ladder. I then spun around and held out a hand for Lynn, pulling her aboard while Itaru did the same for Hibari.

“Please wait here,” I assured the rest of Lynn’s crew as Hibari and Itaru started ascending the ladders. “Our envoy will be joining you shortly.” The Gallian sailors gave a glance to their comrade, then gave me a nod, and after a brief exchange of farewell, Lynn joined us up the platform

“Welcome aboard the Yamato, Lieutenant.”
Upon reaching the top of the ladder, I presented the battleship with open arms, pointing towards the nearest watertight door leading to the interior of the ship. “This way, please.”

This door led us into the lower deck and onto the artery of the battleship- the long, straight corridor that ran lengthwise through the vessel, connecting all stations on board. The staircase to the bridge, in this case, was situated around the middle of the corridor.

As we strode down the passage, I noticed Lynn walking at a much slower pace than she did on land earlier. The Gallian officer gazed left and right like a bewildered tourist in foreign soil, admiring every little detail of the Yamato. Wonder and awe glittered in her eyes as we moved past station after station, each brining new wonder and fascination on the brief moment we brush past their doors.
“Quite fancy, yes?” Itaru flashed her a wink as we continued walking down the long, metallic corridors, brightly lit by fluorescent lamps on the ceilings alongside the ever so faint azure glow from the walls.
“It... it is. I’ve never been abroad a battleship of this caliber,” She muttered in acknowledgment, marveling at the spiral engravings coating the ceilings and walls of the corridors and the pulsating energy emanating through the crevasses. “Lest one that looks like the interior of a Valkyrur temple.”
“Yeah, the guys who built our ship had a very particular preference when it comes to aesthetics,” Itaru replied with a shrug, though I’m not sure whether the words were meant to be a compliment or a jab.

She cautiously traced a finger through one of the crevasses of the spiral engravings, just as the pattern brightened with dim blue light for just a second before returning to normal.
“It’s a bit more than peculiar.” She said, eyes still fixated on the ceiling and walls as we continued down the hallway. “It’s almost as if it’s…alive.”
“Creepy, I know.” Hibari jested, amused by the bewilderment of the Gallian officer. “You’ll get used to it.”

In a short while, we found ourselves halfway through the length of the corridor, on the bottom of the staircase leading into the elevated bridge.
“We’ll head up from here,” I announced to the group, yet as I stepped onto the first flight of stairs, I felt a grasp on my shoulder holding me back from my steps.

“Hold up,” Itaru interjected, his voice serious and concise. “If you’re going to proceed like this directly, you’re bound to have another shouting match with Isao.”
This made me raise a brow, skeptical of his assessment.
“Why would that be?”

“Because that man is stubborn beyond belief.” Itaru shrugged at the mention of his acquaintance. “He follows all military protocol to a T, particularly the restricted access of the bridge to authorized personnel only.”
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“We are returning from a diplomatic mission. Not..”
He raised a hand, signalling me to pause as he stealthily gazed towards Lynn, who stood next to us looking somewhat confused.

“She is their envoy. She has all the world’s right to be here.”
“And he wouldn’t know that, which could only lead to trouble,” Itaru said, finally reaching the point he was trying to make. “We could avoid all of this by appealing to his logic.”
“Which is?”
“We’ll just inform him of our envoy beforehand.” He presented his plan, pointing to a small intercom on the wall right next to the stairs.

“Who does he think he is? I am the Captain, and I must abide by his principles?”
“He does run the bridge.”
Hibari sharply pointed out the one fact I could not retort.
“Think of it as respecting his workstation.” Itaru did his best to find a remedy amongst the wave of rising emotions.“We’re all on the same boat, are we not?”

“Fair enough.” I replied with a dissatisfied groan and pressed the button next to the intercom. At the end of the day, we’re better off leaving a good first impression with our envoy.

“This is Kurokawa reporting in. We’ve brought an envoy from the Gallians aboard. Permission to enter the bridge.”
“Permission granted.” The familiar, no-nonsense voice sounded off from the audio, followed by the sound of a watertight door creaking open from the other end of the intercom.
Walking up the stairs and through the opened door, the four of us were greeted by the curious eyes of the entire bridge crew. Unsurprisingly, most of the gazes were focused on our Gallian envoy herself.
Standing on the central platform next to the Captain’s chair was the first officer himself, turning around as he noticed our presence in his station. Wearing his usual expressionless poker face, Isao Nishihara stepped away from his position, descending from the elevated platform to greet a baffled Lynn.

“You must be the envoy.” The cyclops said, his voice monotone and expressionless as usual. Isao’s piercing, single-eyed glance and colder than ice demeanor stunned our Darcsen envoy, with the latter standing hopelessly still like a lemming spotted by an owl.

“Y-Yes!” As if snapping out of the shock left by Isao’s imposing presence, Lynn hastily collected herself and gave the man a salute. “Lieutenant Lynn of the Gallian Pacifica Fleet, Palawan Garrison. I shall be in your care for the time being.”
“Lieutenant Commander Isao Nishihara, First Officer of the Yamato.” Isao returned her salute and gave her a nod. “At ease, Lieutenant.”
After dismissing Lynn of her stance, Isao wasted no time to shift his gaze to the three of us. Thus, the briefing began.

“We were brought to the Gallian outpost on this island to meet with their Commander, Glascon Trastamara. The Gallians have set up an extensive defensive network of naval mines in all waters surrounding the entire Palawan Archipelago. Their plan is to stall the Khaganate’s main fleet until typhoon season, where the waters would then become too hostile to sail.”
Isao nodded as if he was giving a subtle approval on the plan. However, that’s where the good news ends.

“The rest of their hardware, however...” My sight flickered to Lynn for a moment, then back to Isao. “are in dire need of maintenance or require replacement. Additionally, Mainland Gallia is unlikely to send reinforcements or material support due to their distance.”
Crossing his arms before his chest, Isao maintained his poker face as he listened on.
“They’ve also suggested we sending an envoy of our own to them,” Itaru added, giving Lynn a quick nudge. “Could improve communication that way.”

Isao did not appear to be pleased by the arrangement, yet at the same time showed no sign of protest.

“Igor.” I quickly answered, prompting a series of small gasps from the bridge crew.
“The NKVD agent?” Isao inquired with a brow raised, his skeptical reaction was not much different than when I first brought this up to Itaru.

I spared a glance to our envoy the moment those words exited Isao’s lips crisp and clear, enough to catch her taken aback by utter disbelief.
“I believe his talents would find more use on their side than ours right now.” I answered, waiting patiently for his response.

Isao placed a hand under his chin to ponder for a brief moment. He then slowly turned around and walked to intercoms, fetching the microphone in his right hand.
“Agent Igor, report to the bridge immediately.”
The announcement was simple, concise, and echoed throughout the entire battleship, taking the suggestion I had made. Much like Captain Suwabe and the rest of the crew, I doubt Isao has much trust in the Empire’s intentions in sending agents from an establishment with a less than savory reputation.

However, I did purposely omit Igor’s allegiance during our exchange earlier, and I’m not quite sure how well Lynn was taking this revelation.

>Offer to take Lynn on a tour
>Return to boiler room and spend the day with Margaret as promised
>Return to the captain’s quarters and continue decoding the rest of the cipher.
>Write in.
>Offer to take Lynn on a tour.
>Return to boiler room and spend the day with Margaret as promised
Supporting >>3974426

Also, QM(s), you can try posting parts that you've already finished instead of tossing the whole package in one go. It keeps the thread more alive that way.
>Offer to take Lynn on a tour
>Return to boiler room and spend the day with Margaret as promised
No sign of character development from Subaru by the way.
Agree, but I would say that's more due to the glacial pacing of the quest itself.

On hindsight we should have sent Akane or Satoru instead.
>Offer to take Lynn on a tour
>Return to boiler room and spend the day with Margaret as promised
>Offer to take Lynn on a tour
>Return to boiler room and spend the day with Margaret as promised
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With the orders passed down, the eyepatched man wasted no time to return and attend to our guest. “Lieutenant Lynn, you may want to familiarize yourself with the Yamato.” He said, displaying a rare moment of hospitality.
“I’ll show you around, lieutenant.” I volunteered for the task while taking another good look at Lynn.
With the shock and confusion still fresh on her face, I felt the immediate need to hammer out any sort of rifts that might have arisen from that revelation.
I was the one that named Igor to be our envoy in the first place, all things considered.

“Need a hand, Kurokawa?” Itaru cheerfully offered himself for the task too. Unfortunately for him, his old academy acquaintance had other plans in mind.
“Shirataki, Koishimizu, return to your stations.” The suggestion was shot down just as quickly as it was brought up, as Isao singled me out as the only one to handle the job.
“This way, please.” I gestured Lynn towards the exit and guided her out, back into the staircase.

‘Highly volatile’ couldn’t be a more accurate way to describe the atmosphere right at this very moment.
Back on the bridge, we were all treated to an audience, and as such an external pressure was present, keeping Lynn from doing anything impulsive. That barrier has ceased to exist the moment the watertight door into the bridge sealed shut, and now I found myself in a hard spot to start any conversation.

“Um, should we start with crew quarters or the mes-”
“W-what do you mean by NKVD?” The Darcsen girl erupts in both anxiety and disbelief. “THAT NKVD!?”
“Yeah… yes. That NKVD, the Empire’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs.” I answered as soothingly as possible, trying not to agitate her further. “Please, let me explain-”

However, that too seemed like a lost cause.

I could pinpoint the moment her disbelief combusted into the mighty, intense flames of ethnic grievances.
“And you are okay with this? After what those monsters did to our people during the Europan Wars? Hunting us down like some sort of vermin, treating us like animals... ”

Our people?

“Excuse me, Lieutenant. I believe you may have been mistaken” I interrupted, tone growing cold as I felt an unexpected surge of anger striking my consciousness like a brick. “I am Zipangnese, not Darcsen.”
Lynn’s eyes widened as she froze in place, not anticipating this sort of response.
“W-What are you saying? You are-”
Her eyes darted around, first on my hair than to my face, before finally meeting directly with mine.

“I have a last name, so did my ancestors.” I stepped forward, enunciating every word with emphasis. “Stop referring to me as a Darcsen, Lieutenant, and stop bundling me with the likes of you--

A tangible silence befell the corridor as the last word lingered in the air.
Lynn froze at the spot like a deer in the headlights, hands clutched before her chest and her dark blue eyes staring wide into mine.

What have I done?
I stepped aside and pinched the neck of my nose, hard as my sense returned.
With the passion and anger burned away, all that remained was guilt and disappointment at myself.
This was a complete blunder, and if anything, only worsened the situation instead of mending any rifts.

“M-my apologies, Captain...”
Lynn’s concession only drove that stake deeper through my heart.

“Lieutenant,” I took a deep sigh. “I know your country may have some past grievances with the Empire, but the Empire is also my country’s close ally. Without them, we wouldn’t even be here. Right now, we’re all on the same team.”
“I understand.” She acknowledged with a nod, though her tone was deflated like a balloon.

“Here, allow me to show you around.” I turned towards the staircase heading down and strode forth, followed by Lynn’s distant footsteps.
Not only isn’t this going anywhere, but the circumstances have also deteriorated to a point where I don’t even know if we could properly converse. I couldn’t help but bite down on my lip, cursing myself for causing this deadlock.

I’m not sure if this was because I’m feeling tired out, but I probably should hand this task to a more appropriate candidate before things worsen. Lynn, at the end of the day, was our guest, and this was the least I could do to not utterly fail as a host.

>Hand the task to Amile, they could share a room
>Hand the task to Ayafumi, his eccentric mannerisms can be entertaining for her.
>Bear through it
>Write in.
>Hand the task to Amile, they could share a room
Did I miss something earlier or, does mean Subaru hates himself for being born with Darcsen blood?
Oh Subaru you pitiful ass-weasel.

>Bear through it
We took up this task, we have to finish it.
At least Subaru seems to understand that he fucked up.

He considers himself to have risen up above his "savage ancestry".
That's what internalized racism looks like.
>Bear through it
IIRC Darcsens in Zipang were given equal rights under the law at the cost of shunning their own culture or something like that. Tewi expressed similar views and I suppose Akane feels the same way too.
>Bear through it

To be fair, within the series people have hated and persecuted them for far more petty reasons. Subaru, Tewi, and Akane are a result of generations of institutional brainwashing following a forced cultural conversion.
No, Subaru Kurokawa, you volunteered for this duty. No matter how bad circumstances may become, the responsibility is yours and yours alone to see through the entirety of the tour.
Done giving myself a little internal pep talk, I gave myself a light slap on the cheeks before turning around to face Lynn once more.

“We should begin with the mess deck,” I explained calmly, distancing myself from the earlier outburst. “It’s just a few stations down the corridor.”

On our way down the hall, I noticed the consequences of our blunders earlier had taken a tangible form. Lynn has deliberately kept a noticeable 3-meter distance from me as she followed my footsteps, while any attempt at conversation had ceased entirely.
There were a few stations down this route that came before the mess deck, specifically the shell storage, loading mechanism chamber, and the gun control room for the third turret of the main battery, as well as one of the secondary power generators. Lynn would give me the same exact response every time I tried to explain these stations - a slight nod of acknowledgment as she eyed the watertight doors with mild curiosity, but not once did I notice her looking my way.

I quickly came to realize how difficult being a proper host has become with the current atmosphere. The solution on the top of my mind is to recruit help from someone who Lynn might be able to converse with, lest the whole tour be as dull and deathly quiet as it is now. The question is who?

“Here’s the mess deck.” I presented, opening the watertight door leading into the vast dining area filled with tables and stools fixed to the floor. As the hall is not serving at this hour of the day, the room was completely vacant and the lights were dimmed to conserve energy.

“Please wait at one of the seats, tables,” I suggested to the Gallian officer before heading deeper into the dining area and towards the serving counter.

“Haruta-san?” I leaned into the counter and called, receiving no response in turn.
“Haruta san! Shinjou-san?” I called for Ayafumi again, this time also including ‘Saya’ while raising my voice; but even so, the army man was nowhere to be seen.

For a second, it seemed as if there really was no one around, until I caught a glimpse of the silhouette of a person hurrying out of the kitchen to staff the empty counter.
“Sorry, we’re not serving right now- Kurokawa-san?” Amile correctly identified as we came face to face.

Wait, speaking of candidates for, isn’t Amile currently the most available member of the crew? Considering how close in age the two were, perhaps she could be the one Lynn would feel more at ease to speak with.
“Don’t worry, I’m not here for the food.” I explained, gesturing to Lynn. The Gallian was still adamant at keeping that three-meter distance away from me. “That’s Lieutenant Lynn, an envoy from Gallia. I’m on a duty to show her around the ship.”
“Ah, I see. So how may I be of service?”
“Well” I sighed before progressing, “We had a… bit of an argument earlier, and now we’re having difficulties conversing normally. Furthermore, I intend to show her the crew deck next, so I was wondering if you could-”
“Ah, I understand,” she clasped her hands and glanced at me with her beady, inquisitive eyes. “Let me see what I could do.”
“Please wait a minute, I’ll go inform Haruta-san and change my clothes.”

The princess retreated back into the kitchen and shortly after returned in a set of oddly familiar civilian attire. It did not take me long to recognize why they felt familiar, as I realized these were clothes my sister had worn during her younger years.

“Tewi…” I helplessly muttered her name under my breath as my mind was swirled back to that moment.
“Kurokawa-san, is something wrong?”
Amile’s words of concern snapped me back to reality, as I realized I’ve been staring right at her for a good while.
“No, I'll introduce you to our guest.” I rubbed away some moisture on the corner of my eyes. For once, I’m happy that the room was as dark as it was.

“Lieutenant, let me introduce a member of our crew.” I notified the envoy sitting on a stool as the two of us rejoined her side.
“I am Saya Shinjou” Amile stepped forth and spoke of her alias, presenting herself with a curtsy, slightly lifting the edges of her dress.
“L-lieutenant Lynn of Gallia’s East Indies Fleet. It’s a pleasure, um...”
Lynn saluted in response to the greeting, quite taken aback by the undercover princess’ non-militaristic greeting. “May I ask how I should address you, Miss Shinjou?”

“Please don’t be so formal, lieutenant.” She asserted Lynn with a smile. “I’m just a volunteer from Formosa.”

“Miss Shinjou will be joining us for the rest of the tour.”
Consistent as before, Lynn did not respond with words but rather nodded in silent acceptance.

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“Our next destination would be the crew quarters,” I declared once Amile and Lynn had accustomed themselves to one another. “It’s on the lower deck, so please follow me.”
Taking the lead, I stepped out of the mess deck and headed for the nearest staircase, with the two ladies following closely behind.

Now that Amile has joined the group, Lynn’s mood has taken an apparent upturn, much to my relief. While the Gallian envoy maintained her distance, she has taken a newfound interest in Amile’s company. This made it much easier for the princess to start up a cordial conversation with her.

Despite the distance making it difficult for me to make out the contents of their talk, I noticed Lynn’s expression gradually brightening up along the way. By the time we reached the lower deck, the sound of small chatters had returned to the halls.

“Here we are,” I turned around towards the ladies and declared as I stopped my footsteps, having reached our destination.

This level is where the bulk of the crew quarters are located, save from the few groups with specialized tasks that had to lodge at their workstations. At the moment, the three of us stood at the end of the corridor near the stern of the ship, before a section marked with a line on the wall, alongside the bold letters that read “Officer Quarters”.

Unlike the cramped crew quarters with bunk beds and small communion spaces, officers aboard the Yamato each enjoyed a small single bedroom-sized private space of their own. As this place was out of bounds for most crewmen on the ship, additional intercoms were also set on the walls at the entrance for general communication.

In distinction with the metallic walls on the rest of the ship that sporadically gives off the Valkyrian azure glow, the walls, floor, and ceiling here were decorated with an extra layer of wood lacquer, giving the area an appearance much more similar to a sailing ship during the Age of Exploration. The quarters were further equipped with a separate restroom, lounge and even a small bar for the officers’ leisure.

The left-hand row of rooms within the quarters sported an extra makeshift sign on the wall, which read “Girls’ Chambers”. It appears that the Beiyang Fleet never bothered with making a separate sector for the female crew members, hence we have come to the conclusion of repurposing half officers’ quarters as well as the restrooms here for their use.
Perhaps they never intended to have many female crew members aboard, which I found quite curious considering the composition of their high command.

The ‘Girls’ Chambers’ are, as the name implied, the private rooms of the ladies aboard, I am morally prohibited from entering. Hence, bringing Amile here was necessary.
“Miss Shinjou will be showing you where you would be lodging,” I said, gesturing at Amile to which she gave me an acknowledging nod.

“This way please, Lieutenant.”
She answered with a curtsy towards Lynn as if she was the concierge of a high-class establishment welcoming Lynn as an honored guest.
Lynn, taken aback by the notion, looked puzzlingly back and forth between Amile and me.
“Why, were you not sent to stay aboard?”
Perhaps our perception of an ‘envoy’ had been different from the Gallians’, but from our perspective, we were expecting that she would be staying with us for the duration of this cooperation.
Considering everything Lynn had brought aboard were the clothes she was wearing, perhaps I should call Glascon again to send in her luggage at the same time as they come to receive Igor.

“Shinjou-san, would you kindly pick a room for our guest?”
“But… I didn’t bring anything!” Lynn exclaimed, frowning in confusion.
“Don’t worry, we have spare clothing.” Amile flashed her an assuring smile before the Darcsen could question any further while hooking her arm around
“Th… Thank you?”
Dragged with the flow, an enthusiastic Amile half forcibly dragged the Darcsen officer into one of the rooms, the latter still uncertain as to how she should access the situation. The door shutting behind Amile and Lynn granted me another small window of solitude as I waited at the entrance.
Bringing Amile along was the right choice to make, I figured. Though it did little to repair my relationship with Lynn, having her do the talking more or less saved this diplomatic mission.

I shouldn’t pat myself on the shoulder too much, as the tension never should’ve happened in the first place.
Lynn was but a foreigner and thus was reasonably unaware of the cultural intricacies within my nation. I should be well aware of this fact, yet I lost my composure anyway. This was the sort of mistake Tewi would scold me dearly for, even though we both held the same beliefs- she was always better with people, better than I can ever dream to be...
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“Subaru? Whatcha doing here?”

My mind snapped back into reality as I was unexpectedly greeted by Yanagi walking out of the room right next to the one Amile and Lynn had entered. Strolling casually towards me, I could see that she was not wearing her officer uniform, but instead casual civilian clothing, all the while holding a bathing bucket in her right hand.
“I thought you were on the bridge?” I inquired, only to quickly notice that I had not seen her during my previous visit at the location.
“I’m off my shift, dummy.” She playfully poked me on the cheek. “I can’t be on duty 24/7 now, can I?”
“True.” I nodded in agreement.

While we’re certainly not in the most comfortable position right now, this temporary respite in the harbor was still incredibly valuable. It’s not something that we could enjoy under the Khaganate’s relentless pursuit.

“So,” she continues with curious eyes. “What brought you here?”
“I’m showing our envoy from Gallia her temporary stay,” I answered. “Since I’m not supposed to go past this point, I went and got some assistance.”
“From Akasaka-san?”
“No, from Shinjou-san,” I replied, then pointed over the room Amile brought Lynn into.

“Oh, I see.” Yanagi reflectively looked towards the door, perhaps also noticing the faint chatter coming from within, before suddenly turning back at me with surprise as the name ‘Shinjou-san’ registered in her mind.
“Wait, isn’t Shinjou-san… I mean, is she up to the task?”
“So far, she's doing the job just fine.”

“Oh, that’s good.” She mused, somewhat relieved, before maintaining a more serious composure. “Subaru, something’s on your mind, isn’t it?”
“You won’t be spacing out like this if everything’s sailing smoothly.”
Eck seems like I couldn’t hide anything from her.
“Was it always this apparent?”
“Um-hm. It’s written on your face.” Yanagi placed a hand over my cheek. “Come on, spit it out.”

>Open up on what happened with Lynn
>Ask if she has noticed anything weird about yourself recently
>Divert her to another topic, such as the Gallian’s comms issue
>Write in
>Talk about how Amile's clothes reminded us that we have to take revenge on Aiteng, as well as Isao and Satoru and we need to make plans for that. How should we go about finding and killing one of her family members?
>Open up on what happened with Lynn
Then vent about Tewi as >>4004234 suggested.

As absurd as it is, it's healthier for Subaru to vent out his grief than to let it collapse in on him. Also, we /should/ confront Satoru on this.
>Ask if she has noticed anything weird about yourself recently.
Still the best girl IMO.
>Open up on what happened with Lynn and Tewi's passing.
I don't really think that's even needed considering Aiteng and her nephew are coming after us and not the other way around.
Seconding >>4005053

That's because so far she's the only person Subaru could fully trust. He's not that close with Itaru, Hibari and Isao are cunts, Akane seems content with emotional blackmailing, and Margaret answers only to her brother.
>Open up on what happened with Lynn

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