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[ ] don’t invite them, but let them watch from sideline.
[ ] teach Sambo to Kaguya and Tewi. Include the reluctant guards for extra measures.
[ ] help Reisen improving her combat proficiency, and subsequently gaining confidence and faith in her strength.
[ ] give Aya your version of training from hell. Don’t go easy on her; give her everything you have.
“You guys want to join?” Kaguya asks. “It’s going to be fun; plus, it’s the best morning workout anyone can do.”
“We’re not here for some ridiculous exercise, so no thanks,” Marisa answers. “Not when he is here.”
“Oh, come on! He’s a nice guy despite how he looks,” Kaguya replies. “Or is it perhaps because you don’t have the guts?”
“Jeez, what’s with everyone at Eientei this morning? Are they sick or what?” Marisa grumbles.
“At ease, soldiers.” You turn your attention to Marisa. “Now, there, whether you want to join or not is your choice. To be frank I’d like you to enlist into the Red Army just like the rest of my comrades here, but it seems neither of you is interested.” You can hear exasperated sigh coming from the soldiers, probably a sign of disdain.
“We don’t intend to sign up anyway, so yeah,” Marisa shrugs.
“Of course that doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to watch at us, so you are more than welcomed to do so.” You spot Eirin from the corner of your eye, and you grin. “Besides, I’m very certain that Miss Eirin will appreciate some companion right now.”
Marisa flinches at the sight of Eirin and the pharmacist simply throws her a smile. “Take it easy, girls. Now let’s just sit and watch the soldiers undergoing vigorous training,” she says.
You turn back at the awaiting soldiers. “Alright, comrades. Before we begin our training, I’d like to introduce to you Comrade Aya Shameimaru.” The tengu reporter stands up and salutes. “As you can see, Comrade Aya here has volunteered to take part in our training programme, and at such we are expected to show her examples of the superior Soviet discipline.”
“I… I suppose I’m not allowed to take it easy until the captain says so.” Aya gulps when she notices Kaguya and Tewi eyeing at her (is it you, or is their smile somewhat spiteful?). “Right?”
“Right, and remember: there will be no stop until I say stop,” you speak. “The Red Army always marches forward, and they will crush all obstacles under their might.”
Tewi lifts her hand. “Captain! What about these guys?” she asks and points to the guards. “Surely they need to introduce themselves, aren’t they?” You turn to the rabbits. Realizing they are now the centre of attention, they quickly correct their posture and announce their names.
“Private First Class Inaba Ichigo,” the girl to the left begins.
“Private First Class Inaba Ichika,” the girl next to her (who wears a headband of sort) speaks.
“Good to see you, soldiers,” you say with a salute. The girl with the headband gulps when you give her a stare but quickly return the salute. “The Red Army always appreciates those who are willing to volunteer themselves to the cause.”
You stumble upon a problem: how are you going to manage the training? Surely you can’t do all the works yourself and you know you’re going to need extra hands. Eirin can’t be the obvious choice, and seeing the pharmacist engaging in a rather vibrant ‘conversation’ with Marisa and Alice you aren’t sure if you want to barge in.
You shrug. “Alright, comrades. Follow me.” You head to the sparring pad near one of the course obstacles, and with the soldiers gathered around you begin the session. “As I had promised yesterday, today I’ll teach Comrade Kaguya and Comrade Tewi the basics of Sambo. This skill is essential and can come in handy when you are cornered and your weapon is rendered useless.”
Aya lifts her hand. “Excuse me for interrupting, sir, but Sambo?” Another idea strikes your head. Why don’t you give Aya your version of training from hell right here? Of course you aren’t planning to go easy on her, and there will be no way you’ll give her a face whatsoever.
You gesture at Aya to come, and with reluctance she approaches you at the middle of the pad. “Have your training regime included barehanded combat?”
Aya shakes her head. “Not if I can remember.”
“I see.” You give her your bayonet-attached Mosin-Nagant. “Here. Use this and attack me with it.”
Aya gives you a shocked look. “But Captain! This is kind of too sudden for me-”
“Do not question your instructor, soldier!” you bark. “Or are you perhaps too spineless to even perform a bayonet attack? You have to work hard if you are aiming for that interview material, comrade!”
“I am not spineless!” Aya retorts. “And do not try me when it comes to interview material! I will get it and I AM GETTING IT!”
“Then show me how much courage you are sporting.” With a nod of assurance Aya poses a stance and lunges forward, thrusting the rifle bayonet forward at you. You sidestep to the left, disarm the weapon off her hand and seize Aya’s arms in another restrain. “That’s too slow! I expected you to go faster.”
“I tried not to harm my instructor!” Aya gasps when you tighten the grasp. “I thought this is just a drill, so-”
“Soldiers in the Red Army are taught to attack with full force, and I expect you to do the same.” You murmur into her ear something in Russian followed with a trace of her finger along her spine; it does her trick in making the tengu squirm and moan in distress. “Or is it because you want me to do it up close and personal?”
You hear another click, and you’re pretty sure it’s Tewi’s doing but you’re too busy apprehending Aya to even yell at the rabbit. A quick glance to the front confirms your suspicion: Tewi giggling deviously and whispering something to Kaguya while holding the camera close to her. You can only imagine what Tewi is going to do with the photos.
You let go off Aya. “Thank you for the cooperation, Comrade Aya. You may return to your place.” You turn your attention to the soldiers, paying no notice of Aya’s disgruntled mumbles. “As you can see, this training is designed with defeating the enemy at very close range in mind. It is not a sport and it is never treated as one, so keep that fact in mind.”
You gesture at Kaguya to approach you. This princess needs to shape up if she is really serious about her intention of joining the Red Army. For a while the two of you stand still and watch at each other before Kaguya bows, in which you reply with a light nod. “I am ready whenever you are, captain,” she speaks.
“Good. Now throw me a punch.” Kaguya nods and performs the attack, and you deftly parry the fist before seizing her arm and pinning her to the floor in a slow but swift motion. She taps once and you let her go, helping her in getting back on her feet. “I’m going to throw you a punch, so I want to see you performing the move I did a while ago. Understand?” Kaguya nods. “Good. Now hold your ground.”
With a battle cry that does its trick in startling the guards and Tatyana you leap forward and aim a punch at her. To your surprise she doesn’t immediately parry or even sidestep and eats the fist in her face; you’re certain everyone else within the vicinity does not expect that, either.
“What the hell are you doing, comrade? You are supposed to parry the punch, NOT accept it!”
“I didn’t see that coming!” Shrugging off the blood trail on her lips she regains her stance, seemingly more ready than before.
You nod and aim another punch; this time she manages to dodge it although with some difficulty. Impressive, but you know she can do a lot better. You twist on your feet and attempt a backhand karate chop, which is almost instantly parried by the princess before it reaches her neck. “Not bad, comrade, but!” You see an opening in her defence and deliver a horse kick onto her torso that does nothing more than to knock her off her feet.
“Damn; she should’ve parried that, too,” Tewi grumbles.
“Very good, comrade. I’m impressed.” You offer Kaguya a hand. “Need a lift?” Kaguya nods, grabs the hand and stands up, thanking you in the process. “I see that you have learned the basics of barehanded technique before, which should explain the parry manoeuvre,” you speak.
Kaguya laughs bashfully. “Thank you, captain. You wouldn’t expect to see it coming from a princess, would you?”
You shrug and order her to return to her spot. There is one thing you need to do before you can you continue. “Comrade Reisen, I’m assigning you as my second-in-command.” At once Kaguya, Tewi and Aya’s lower jaw drops; the guards, as well as Tatyana, coo at the announcement and are quick to congratulate Reisen for the promotion. Eirin, on the other hand, has a curious smile carved upon her face although she quickly focuses back on her business with the visitors. “I know this is out of a sudden, but two sets of head are better than one, yes? After all.”
You give Reisen an assuring smile. “You should be proud that the Red Army has seen your potential, so appreciate the privilege while you can.”
“I… I…” The lunar bunny stands firm and gives you a hard salute. There is a glint of excitement coming from her eyes as she stares at you long and deep. “Thank you very much, Captain!”
“Now for your first assignment: I’m going to be busy giving Aya a very hard day, so…” You point towards Kaguya and Tewi. “I’m entrusting you to their training. Teach them everything about close quarter combat and don’t be afraid to abuse your authority.”
“What? That’s not fair!” both of them. “Reisen gets promoted that easily after only a couple of days? That’s absurd!” Tewi interjects.
You give them a deep glare, a stare that could pierce into one’s heart as deep as the bloodthirsty glare of Ivan the Terrible. “Do you have any problems with that, soldiers?”
“Ye- I mean no, sir! We don’t have any problem with the promotion! Sir!” Tewi answers (Kaguya simply nods in agreement with her partner). Aya and the guards are, on the other hands, just watching at the event in bewilderment, a quizzed look visible upon their face.
You shrug and turn back towards Reisen. “I’m expecting you to exert the best of your abilities, so don’t disappoint me and the Red Army, Comrade Reisen.”
“Yes, sir. Absolutely!” Reisen salutes you for the second time and turns her attention towards the horrified Kaguya and Tewi. You aren’t sure of what leads to the twos’ reaction, or what’s with Reisen’s vengeful smirk you notice, but with the task evenly distributed you can now concentrate on training the remaining recruits.
Who do you want to focus the training on?
[ ] the guards.
[ ] Aya.
I'm not entirely sure if guards in Eientei are ever given rank, but I decided to give it a shot and gave the
By the way, it occurs to me that Ivanov has never consumed alcohol ever since his arrival in Eientei. He should have this fixed soon before it comes back to haunt him.