Here is the update I took so long on.
“Geez,” you think to yourself as you pedal your bike toward the Forest of Magic. You’ve met with a friend you assumed was in a retirement home somewhere, aging away his last years of his life, only to find out that he was not just alive, but youthful as well. He too, had been displaced into the future like you. However, he had been displaced years after you had, and the result was he’s already a grown man in his twenties, while you are still in your mid teens. However, time and age cannot separate comrades, brothers, or Children of The Revolution.
You’ve found out quite a few, peculiar things about him. He seems to have only been in Gensokyo for a few days at this point, his first few days being spent knocked out. More importantly, however, is the fact that many women see the qualities in him that are Truly Inspiring. They are so inspired and attached to them, that some have developed... feelings for the man. However, this man, raised in the cauldron of war and the blood of his comrades, knows little about love. Communism speaks greatly about what political and economical changes it wishes to employ, but beyond equality and destruction of classes, it speaks little about person to person social structure.
Alek thus wasn’t even close to ready to deal with such a sudden surge of love towards him. You found this out when you spoke with Suika, who was truly captivated by Alek’s Inspiring Ideals and his Dream. But Alek had spent time with Shinki and Reimu all day today, completely oblivious to the longing of Suika, or more likely, completely overwhelmed by the whole situation. Thus, it was up to you to create time for Suika. You can only hope that she uses it wisely now. This is her time to shine through; to have a place in Alek’s heart.
Your destination is Alice’s House, up to the Hakurei Shrine, back to the school, and then to Miss Byakuren’s temple on your growing but still muscle-deprived limbs. The task didn’t seem hard at the time you came up with the plan, but you now see how far you overestimated your ability to do long journeys on a bike while still going at a fast pace to finish the task. Well, you’ll live with it. You always got the dirty work anyways; not like you cared that much. That’s your job as a tactician.
You’re like the roadie of warfare: while everybody else is in a ‘rock battle of two bands’ per say, dueling on the stage or battling out the war, you’re the guy that only appears in the foreground when absolutely necessary. You are only seen to fix something with the battlers’ stuff, staying out of the spotlight, for you are no rock star, you are no war hero. You’re the guy that fixes everything and makes sure that operations go smoothly. But unlike the roadie, whose sole job is to fix stuff, you and other tacticians have good reasoning for your actions beyond just fixing things. You plan. You are the architect of Great Plans that will hopefully fill the hearts of three or four of the powerhouses of Gensokyo, and make the Great Dream possible.
Speaking about plans, you’ve told Alek the cause and effect of each part of it. Well, all that he needed to know to complete his part. You never tell what your part in the plan is. No, for you have much work to do to ensure a happy ending. Plus, you know now that Yukari is stalking you, and the enemy is always listening and watching. Seriously, now she’s being more paranoid than you are, and roughly about the level where Stalin was in his purges. Thus, you didn’t explain the second half of the plan.
Your part is in the second half of this operation, in which you fake out of going to your home, where you expect Yukari to have set up a trap now that she thinks you’re going there. Instead, you head to Alice’s house, followed by going to the shrine, doubling back to the school, and finally hauling your bum to Miss Byakuren’s Temple to solve all of Alek’s love issues for him. Well, not all of them. All the logistical ones. Dealing with Reimu and Shinki’s ‘families’ and such.
Ah shoot, you don’t want to be seen, but chances are that you’ll meet Yuyuko and Youmu, and possibly even Mima at the shrine. Yuyuko will either conspire with Yukari to screw you over, or help you. Hopefully it’ll be the latter, but still you must plan for the former. And Youmu. You remember reading about her swordsmanship skill and her unbreakable loyalty to her master, as demonstrated in her vain last stands during the Stolen Spring incident.
No matter. You figure that the probability of a non-hostile Yuyuko favors you, given her warm reception of Alek. Furthermore, your tactician’s intuition gives you the feeling that she’s simply the normal, carefree Yuyuko she usually is, with pro-Yukari bias at heart, who only performs rather neutral actions. She is a well known figure; you know how she acts based her actions etched into the history of Gensokyo. And knowing the enemy is winning half the battle. Even if she does act out of character, which would have no logical backing given the lack of crisis, it is beyond your control to plan a response to a completely unknown action. You will have to rely on your ability to plan on the run.
Mima, on the other hand, poses a real threat, and by that you mean she’s more likely to screw you over. Yuyuko’s only vaguely likely to be drinking and overdosing on the Yakumo ‘kool-aid’ to screw you over, but Mima has a plethora of qualities eager to make your life difficult. Vengeful spirit? Check. Spirit that can stalk you, has no morals, and would show up when you wash? Check. Wanted revenge on the human race back in her day? Check. Thinks she is a goddess? Check. Not much other information known on her? Check. So not only are the known facts far from positive, but the sheer amount of uncertainty is far too much and her rumored personality is far too negative. Well, Aya’s rumors are probably the generic tabloid stuff, but they usually contain a sliver of truth.
You could do things the ‘diplomatic’ way, and kiss her ass the entire time you’re there, but you promised yourself on the graves of your comrades that The Revolution would not bow down one more day. No, The Revolution will stand on her feet; The People will rise up against oppression, and bow down no longer to Masters; no longer to Kings; no longer to Emperors; no longer to Dictators; no longer to Czars; no longer to the Tyrants. To nobody shall The People bow! Where were these people above that claimed to be leaders and saviors, the Tyrant Yakumo in particular, when the people died at the hands of parasites and savage beasts, that created the Oppression and Imperialism that led to not one, but two great wars, causing mass death and suffering for The People?
That is why you do not trust Yakumo. She touts herself as the savior of everything, when she does little more than sleep all day. Further contradictory is her actions; she causes nothing more than annoyances, troubles, and obstacles for The People while awake. Byakuren, on the other hand, makes a conscious and large effort towards redeeming people’s souls and saving them from their otherwise guaranteed fate of Hell, were they to continue on the corrupt path of pure Oppression, Hatred, and Greed they had taken before converting into a virtuous person. Some people are simply so corrupt and arrogant that it takes someone like Byakuren and her unrelenting ability to change them.
Perhaps you should really take a page out of Byakuren’s literature and apply it. You shouldn’t be so arrogant of yourself to Yakumo. If she explains her position, explains why she pisses all over everybody’s lives, The People who struggle to live each day, The People that wish to be free from such seemingly meaningless annoyances, and she somehow manages to justify it in some manner that produces a desirable result that is shared by the whole people that suffered from her, then that is redeemable. But for her to screw over everyone simply because it suits her or she thinks it is funny is simply wrong on so many levels. And if that is what she is doing, than you shall show no mercy to such a savage, brutal, cruel person. You’d then call Yakumo a demon, but that would be an offense to the citizens of Makai who are actually polite and virtuous people.
So the part where you talked to Suika. You should probably reflect on that. That is, give or take, why you are in this tight schedule to iron out all the kinks in Alek’s relationships.
A brief sitrep of what happened: Alek and Reimu ‘fell behind’ and ‘strayed’ off down the route to those grassy plains. You, Meiling, and Suika kept walking forward, either out of not noticing, or for you, observing the social situation in its natural state.
Suika then whispered to you something along the lines of wishing that she was the person alone with Alek instead of Reimu, spurring you into assuming the role of Staff Sergeant and its leadership as if though it were 1937 all over again. That in turn resulted in you issuing Meiling the task of mapping out the area. You also had her help prepare a contingency plan by using her to send a message to Comrade Alice, letting her know her role in the distraction of her mother in the case of some unforeseen event, which in your mind would definitely occur.
It seems like your paranoia has finally paid off, if just once. Suika sulked about Alek spending time with the other women, completely abandoning her by being occupied all the time without her. You, in return, thought up a giant conspiracy plan to give Suika her time; she’d better make wise use of it, because it was damned hard to open up a vacancy in a man like Alek’s schedule.
Alek’s current situation is very interesting in juxtaposition to yours. He has no free time on his hands, while you’ve had so much that you’ve turned to practicing and learning about nearly everything. Really, you studied languages, history, mathematics, science, music, and even understand magic, even if you can’t apply it from your lack of magical ability. If someone got you started on practicing magic, then you are pretty sure that you would become quickly competent at it. That’s the point of learning so much: so you can apply it. And you’ve done that with many things already that you don’t need to list it in your head.
You should get back to the Suika situation...actually, that was give or take the end of the Suika conversation. After you reassured her that you’d make time for her, you sent Suika ahead and you went to the grassy field and trailed Alek. Watched and heard Alek get confessed to by Reimu while hiding like a sniper in the tall grass. Heard Byakuren and Shinki come in, saying that there need not be competition like a capitalist society, but that this is like a communist society in which personal freedoms and rights are not bound to conventional standards. That this is Gensokyo, where logic and tradition can go sit in a corner, and each has the right and freedom to love who one wishes to, even if that means sharing. You took a mental note that this land is ripe for Revolution to the point that it need not even be a violent overthrow, but a peaceful change as it always wished to be.
After sneaking out of the grass field, you got ahead of the slow moving group to meet Suika at the front entrance of the temple, only to be greeted by a Nazi of all things.
For the love of Moriya, Hakurei, Myouren, or anyone, what the fuck was a Nazi, not the forced conscript type, but a ‘patriot’ that believed every thought of Oppression and Racial Supremacy that his dictator spoke, doing at Myouren Temple, the very Opposite of the Evils of Oppression and False Supremacy? You later found out that it was just Nue being a damn troll again, and you’ve concluded that the conversation with that person was just a waste of your time.
...Waste of your time? Did you forget to tell Suika something back then? You’ve had that blasted feeling in the back of your head for a while now...
DAMN IT, YOU FORGOT TO TELL SUIKA THAT ALEK’S HEART IS NOT A COMPETITION. FFFFFFUUUUU–
Your bike crashes into Alice’s house as you fly off of it, right into a wall. You slam into it, but thankfully the collision is more of a belly flop into a pool instead of a dive, so your head remains safe from injury. You take a quick second to check your injuries and find that you’re only slightly hurt; nothing that you can’t shake off in a few seconds. Sadly, the bike that you rode here from the school is trashed. That will have to be repaired sometime soon, or going to school and the human village in general is going to be a pain. Your plan, however, cannot wait for repairs; you will have to secure some other form of fast transport quickly.
You palm your forehead, shake your head, and sigh as your brain reminds you that Akyuu’s going to be less than pleased that you’ve ruined her early birthday present to you before your birthday.
“Peter? What are you doing here– Oh my, Are you okay?” A concerned Alice asks you as she peeks out of her front door, most likely to examine the loud sound and banging of her entire house.
Human contact. You know, that’s probably what keeps you sane. And meditation. Still, it’s not like you were even close to this paranoid before finding out about Alek’s love tangle, and the revelation that Yukari could be breathing on your neck right now. You came up with this strategic plan, yes, but worrying over all the tangential possibilities of Mima and Yuyuko, and the ‘what-if?’ of Yukari? Not at all normal. Hell, you should be ecstatic to meet the figures of history and the powerhouses.
“Heeeellllooooo? You okay there? Gensokyo to Peter, you’re still standing there blankly,” Alice says as she stands in front of you, snapping her fingers in front of your eyes. The movement and its small spark of magic bring you out of your zillionth inner monologue back to reality.
“Ah, sorry Alice; just pondering the unpleasant situation I am in that stems from Yukari in many fashions. But other than my bike, and the fact a respectable person told me that Yukari is probably stalking me as we speak, something which is driving me to the high end on the paranoia scale but not to panic, I’m doing well. How are you?” You notice that Shinki has come to Alice’s side as well.
“How am I doing? You crashed Akyuu’s early birthday present into the side of my house, and it’s still about a week before your birthday! Now it needs to be fixed, and until it is, it’s going to be sitting in my lawn. How the hell are you going to pay for this?!” Alice scolds you, and rightly so. Well, at least you can offer repayment.
“Your house? Don’t worry; I got paid today, and it’s just minor scratching, so it shouldn’t be too hard to fix,” you reply, believing that Alice’s gesture to her house meant she was pissed that you scratched her wall.
“No Peter, I meant the bike. You know, Akyuu might feel slightly offended that you, you know, RUINED her present. What if she takes that as an offense from you that you don’t like her?”
“A tactician must take every error he makes and turn it into a benefit. Crisis is made of the two characters danger and then followed by opportunity, no matter what those silly western linguists say. But that’s beside the point. Akyuu’s gotten too touchy-feely with a soldier like me anyways,” you reply to Alice. Raised in the Capitalist Regime of Nationalist China, the want to capitalize on everything, especially downfalls, still lingers in your veins. You are in a state of downfall. But what makes a person, a nation, a Revolution great is not that it never falls, but that it gets up every time it does, and returns to its striving after the Dreams it cherishes and holds dearly.
“Touchy-feeling? You’re complaining about that? I thought you two were going out!” Your mind takes a moment to process what she just said, before you understand and your cheeks burn bright red with embarrassment.
“What?” You reply to her in a state of immense shock. How could Alice not perceive your disinterest in such a union? You are a soldier, and a tactician. You live in solitude, and if you are to please anyone, it’d be Flandre. You fought war at first because you were taught to, raised to. But Flandre showed you that there was more to life; that there was something worth fighting for. You were not after fame or fortune; otherwise you’d have proudly display your status as a general. No, you were after returning to a land of peace, a land of True Communism in which there would be Freedom of Speech, Freedom to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. You fought for the day you would see Flandre’s face no longer scarred by society, mauled by containment, or maimed by a life filled with freight and devoid of meaning. The day from which you would thereon forth dedicate your life to fix her heart and soul, as she would fix you.
But that day never came. China’s Communist leader, Mao Ze Dong, became senile and crazy with age, making him an incompetent leader. His fake communist party merely raised new flags, seized the crown, then instead of fulfilling their promised dismantlement of a tyrannical government, they reinstated a dictatorship. It was even a great step backwards from the era of democracy; even Taiwan, corrupt at times and last stronghold of the Nationalists, did better. China still has the lingering effects of the Strongman government from back then, even if socialism is gone.
But Flandre. Flandre is the sole reason you have to live as something more than a dog, perhaps a smart dog, but still merely a dog, in a war of the World Leaders against the Working Class. Flandre is the sole thing you chase after.
“Are you telling us that Akyuu isn’t your girlfriend? Or at least your unofficial girlfriend?” Shinki chips in to the conversation in a way that only further aggravates the misunderstanding.
This is ridiculous. As...uncertain as you are of your feelings toward Akyuu, the warm girl of high standing yet who’s simultaneously a cold and harsh woman to those that threaten her or those important to her, you cannot say something as ridiculous as saying you are her unofficial girlfriend. Alek is someone capable of polygamy simply because the women truly love him, and you know he is a man who will not exploit them. If anything, he’s more worried that he will be unable to satisfy them all or that he will displease them. Alek has many redeeming qualities, ideals, views, and dreams. You are but a simple teenager that is unsure of his future, only sure that you must help comrade Alek achieve his happy future. One of the few things you do know is that your heart, if not soul, is reserved for Flandre. And that you must speak this voice, even if you must bullshit how you think your relationship with Akyuu will develop.
“If I recall correctly, we have an employer-employee relationship. Perhaps we are even peers, and maybe even friends, but not more. A soldier is not a suitable boyfriend to a scholar like her, much less this loner type who is a tactician and unofficial sniper. Plus, I still have someone waiting for me. After all these years, today I found out that the person I cared for seventy years ago is not only alive, but living here in Gensokyo, and is still waiting for me after all this time. Waiting on what she thought was a vain hope that a person listed Missing in Action in 1938 will finally show up as an old, white haired war veteran, but a mere human, that regrets not being able to find her until today. I cannot cheat on her. I may work in less than honorable ways, such as not telling the whole truth or plan, but I have proper justification and results for doing so. After all, no one gives a damn what the technician does back stage so long as the show, or in this case the plans, go smoothly and produce the desired result without unwanted negative side effects.
“But I am not so low as to betray the trust and caring of someone I hold...dear to me. I would never betray any of my comrades, for what point is there in achieving an objective if The People do not want it? There is no point, no motive, no logic, no reasoning. And while Gensokyo is the land where logic is highly disregarded in terms of how things work, in terms of the causes of actions, logic and reasoning is still very applicable. Furthermore, while I cannot speak for Akyuu, I feel that giving our relationship the chance to deepen would make us more like siblings as opposed to lovers.
“Thus, I cannot say that we are in a relationship of that sort you assume, for I am still not sure if she knows that my coldness towards her stems not from a cold heart, but from the fact that I am still obligated and have promised my ‘love’, as you call it, elsewhere, and that I feel she is more like a sister than a lover.” Shinki and Alice are very understanding of your line of reasoning. You simply can’t accept the affections of another when you have yet to see the face of someone you know is alive and waiting for you. Someone you promised that you’d see after the war. You’re over six decades late.
“But these are my personal love issues, and are not what I drove a bike into your house for. If you really worry about this incident affecting Akyuu’s opinion of me, then I shall have Nitori come along later to pick it up and fix it. Although the bike is currently unusable, now that I look at it more closely, the damage is rather easy to fix, and given the right tools I’m sure even I could fix it. But back to the reason I was rushing here. I’d like to talk about Shinki sharing–”
“We resolved that issue a while before you came crashing into the house. We came to the agreement that it is okay to share Alek with Reimu, and even a few others like Suika, so long as Shinki remains prominent in Alek’s heart. Shinki and I are rather happy at the conclusion we’ve reached. Shinki’s actually requested I craft a few ‘special things’ from me for Alek. I happily complied, after all, if I can help my mother that has helped me almost all of my life, if I can just repay her back in this small, small way, then it makes me happy on the inside as well.” In all the time you’ve spent with Alice, you don’t recall ever seeing her smile quite like she is now. Actually, she rarely smiles to begin with, so this is truly a momentous moment.
“See Peter, you don’t need to be so worried all the time! I’m perfectly fine with sharing Alek with Suika, if that’s what you were going to ask,” Shinki says cheerfully, as if though she knew your mind.
“Oh, so you picked up on it? Figures that the intelligent and benevolent Goddess of Makai would notice it,” you reply with a new sense of respect for the leader of Makai. Behind all her cheer and motherly attitude, she is truly as intuitive as they come.
“Oh ho? Flattering me? Do you need this goddess’s favor by chance?” Shinki speaks in a motherly tone, reflecting part of her personality other than being the Queen of Makai.
“Well, as we’ve previously discussed, Akyuu’s bike is unusable as a method of transportation, and thanks to our lengthy conversations, my tight schedule just became impossible, even if it weren’t for the broken bike. While I’m sure Nitori must have implanted a chip or five hundred into the bike when I turned away for a second, and as we speak is probably on her way down to collect and fix it thanks to an alarm that probably went off upon impact, I am still without transport. Timely, fast transport that could get me around Gensokyo faster than a bike. So I was wondering if the motherly, benevolent, kind, generous, Great Goddess of The Great Sovereignty of Makai would be so kind as to accompany me and fly me to where I need to be.” You make your request to Shinki in such a fashion, hoping that flattery will cause her already large inner flame of generosity to be bestowed upon someone unworthy of it, such as yourself.
“Oh, you just want me to fly you around? You didn’t need to flatter me; after all, you’re my boyfriend’s buddy!” Shinki exclaims before noticing her slight slip up. She touches her lips with the tips of her fingers, covering her closed mouth out of embarrassment. You give her a look that was along the lines of ‘you serious?’
“I didn’t mean say that I will force Alek to become my boyfriend, it’s just that I feel this connection to him on the emotional and spiritual level that gives me a sense of...certainty that he wouldn’t reject me. He’s a kind, honest, idealistic man that, while sometimes a bit blunt, is truly inspiring. He opened his heart to me, knowing full well that I am by all technicalities the Devil. Yet he just takes my hand and smiles at me as if I wasn’t stained by the negative stigmatism that is associated with such a title. Alek and I will one day –”
Shinki continues to fantasize with a severe blush on her face and both hands on her red cheeks. Her eyes are filled with passion, and her behavior strikes a line of fear across your heart. Such deep passion so quickly...such a thing might be the most horrific thing you’ve seen since the war. Except that this is horrific in its own right.
As much as you don’t want to disturb the goddess’s imagination about her future relationship with Alek, you must cut her short. Otherwise, the window of opportunity from Alek’s unintentional neglect of Suika might close before you can seize it.
“That’s quite alright, dear Goddess of Makai. I understand what you mean, but you ought to save this for Alek himself. Furthermore, time is still wasting away, and the window to ensure the happiness of the...community of Hakurei Shrine residents grows ever shorter. We must depart now for the Hakurei Shrine. Are the things you requested from Alice done, or...?” You ask since you’d personally like to know and to find out whether you’ll need to make a trip to Alice’s house on the way back.
“Well, there are a few finishing touches left, some of them requiring me, but I’ll send you to the shrine and pick you up in twenty minutes or so. After all, I’m in no rush, because even if Alek dies, so long as he isn’t obliterated by a god’s judgment or something along those lines, his soul will end up intact and enter the afterlife, where I’ll be able to make compromises with the other leaders of the afterlife and the Yama to get him into Makai. Does that sound like a plan, Peter?” Shinki replies with what sounds like a suspiciously specific denial to you, but you dismiss it.
Twenty minutes should be enough wiggle room in case something goes wrong on your trip to meet Genji, the turtle that is like a grandfather to Reimu. You’ll need to get his approval for Reimu over her relationship, and you are sure that Reimu is trying her best to get Keine’s approval about her relationship as well. You presume that it will take only a minute if he is for the plan, and only ten minutes even if he shows significant resistance. That gives you another ten minutes of screw up time, which should be enough to entertain Mima or sate Yuyuko in case of confrontation. So long as those bloody tangents that you hypothesized don’t actually occur. Well, you just don’t have the time to spare to prepare for the worst case scenario. You’ll just have to Soviet it out and tough out any problems that try to impede your progress towards making girls happy.
“Sounds like a good plan, Comrade Shinki. Let’s fly,” you tell her as she hauls you over her shoulder and speeds off toward the direction of the shrine. You forgot that she is friends with Mima, who is a fast flier that taught Marisa, the self proclaimed fastest in Gensokyo. You’d argue with yourself about Alek’s airplane on magic and Aya trying at full force, but you suddenly feel less than comfortable in the fireman position. Heh, it seems as if though Shinki’s hand is reserved for Alek’s.