Akafuyu: Swordswoman from a Distant Land

From Arknights Terra Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Operator Record
Swordswoman from a Distant Land

What is life like, far away from the struggle?

Unlock conditions

  • Raise Akafuyu to Elite 2 Level 1.
  • Have at least 50% Trust with Akafuyu.
Characters
Male Old Kuranta A icon.png
Breakfast Stall Owner
Female Lungmenite icon.png
Passerby Diner
Male Lungmenite icon.png
Excited Youth
Reserve Operator - Melee icon.png
Rhodes Island Operator
Cold Voice
Flustered Voice
Prudent Voice
Backgrounds
Abandoned Building
1
Lungmen Alley
2
Lungmen City
3
Lungmen Streets
4
Lungmen Alley Misty
5
An exiled swordsman finds herself in a foreign land. There, she spends a normal day.
<Background 1>
My Lord, our defeat is imputable only to my inadequate command and inability to see through the enemy's treacherous plot. The responsibility is mine to bear!
I know my transgressions are unforgivable, and no one should pity me even if I am to atone for them with my life, but I ask for one final chance to repay you. I swear I can—
Can what?
Even if I were to have you beheaded here and now, or sent you to your death on the battlefield, would that regain the ground we lost in the war, or bring back the men that died because of you? How will you take responsibility for any of this?
What exactly is war to you?
My Lord! I—
Akafuyu, you have no right to remain here.
Leave Higashi.
[Katana swings]
Akafuyu 998... 999... 1000...
Phew...
The swordsman sheaths her blade and takes a deep breath. Then, she takes out a dagger and adds another mark to the tally on the wall.
It has been 137 days since her exile from Higashi, and 39 days since she arrived in this strange, foreign city called Lungmen.
Before she left Higashi, she received the invitation of a company called "Rhodes Island" and was told she still had a chance to fight as a swordsman—perhaps something her master had consented to without her knowledge.
Her only duty for now is to wait here patiently until the company's handler comes to take her to her new asylum—a place far from Higashi.
The road ahead is uncertain.
Akafuyu Never before have I been negligent in my training, but I'm out of blade oil.
What to do...
As the saying goes, a vagrant swordsman is as fragile as a fowlbeast. The sharper the blade in their hands once was, the easier it is to break.
She had run into several nearly-fatal encounters before leaving Higashi, and while her journey since then had been relatively uneventful, she can't be certain her enemies hadn't followed her to this foreign land. She mustn't let her guard down.
Per the arrangement, every ten days, at the exact same time on the dot, someone comes by to leave her daily necessities by the door, and she should not freely leave the room.
[Something flapping and winds blowing]
Akafuyu Nothing out of the ordinary today...
Her temporary residence is situated in an old alley on the outskirts of the city. Completely inconspicuous, and mostly safe as far as she knows.
Occasionally, there are pedestrians of all sorts passing by, and a breakfast stall owner opens up his stall nearby at the same time everyday. There have been no other noteworthy characters, let alone suspicious ones.
From the window, she can see but a corner of this strange city. Lungmen's size is on a completely different scale compared to her hometown, though it does bear some resemblance to the stories she's heard of bizarre, dazzling cities under the Southern Court's rule.
Akafuyu I'm all out of food. The next supply drop is scheduled for today.
There could be pursuers nearby... It might not be entirely safe to head outside.
Tch... So irritating. A swordsman should never avoid a battle for fear of the enemy! Never has a warrior of Kougon had to suffer such shame!
But being adaptable is a necessary part of my training, too.
[Stomach rumbling]
Akafuyu And so is eating on time...
<Background 2>
Deep in the alley.
For the first time since a little more than a month ago, the swordsman takes a careful step outside the room and observes the area from a low angle.
The alley is closely flanked by short buildings on both sides, with only a narrow opening through which to see the sky, faintly reminding her of the shrine's low ceiling.
Akafuyu They look like a bunch of old residences, and there's nothing special about any of them. There are a lot of things hanging from the buildings, and no good vantage points for snipers.
There is only one entrance and exit. Even if I had anyone tailing me, it would be difficult for them to hide themselves. That said, if I'm ambushed and find myself outnumbered, it would be just as difficult for me to escape.
I shouldn't stay here for long—
[Something being fired]
<Background black>
[Cannon fires and gunshots]
Flustered Voice Captain! Watch for the turrets!
[Cannon fire]
Flustered Voice It's a trap! We've been had! There's too many of them, and keeping up the fight won't get us anywhere...
Akafuyu Get ahold of yourself! We'll fight our way out of here!
[Explosion]
Flustered Voice Please, you must fall back! We'll stay behind and buy you time!
She opens her eyes to find no one around her.
[sounds of cooking stir fry in a wok]
The sun shines down upon her. It's no different from the sun on that snowy day. What is different is the oily smell wafting into her nostrils from a shop facing the street.
[footsteps]
Passerby Diner Lou Ban, how come you're stir-frying vegetables this early in the day?
Breakfast Stall Owner I thought I'd change things up a little. Youngsters these days wake up pretty late, to the point that they have breakfast and lunch in one meal. Might as well follow the trends, don't you think?
Akafuyu Calm down... I mustn't lose my composure because of my past mistakes... Calm down.
Breakfast Stall Owner Lass, you haven't had anything to eat, have you? Want something?
It doesn't matter how much of a rush you're in. You still gotta eat.
Akafuyu (Your average hole-in-the-wall eatery. Both the owner and the patrons are normal folk. I sense no threat from them whatsoever.)
(Perhaps I can stave my hunger here.)
What do you serve?
Breakfast Stall Owner Dau zeong [note 1], jau zaa gwai [note 2], bao [note 3], caau min [note 4]. You name it, I got it. All our customers say we have the best cheongfun [note 5] in town. Want to give it a try?
Akafuyu I...
(These Yanese manjuu have some kind of filling inside... and who knows where they got these strange sauces. The aroma is enough to make one's mind waver...)
(No... This doesn't sound safe. I should look for something safer to eat.)
[footsteps]
Passerby Diner What was with that girl just now? Maybe she's not carrying any cash?
Breakfast Stall Owner She's an unfamiliar face. Might not live nearby.
She looked pretty malnourished, too. Must've been some time since she had a proper meal. *sigh* If she was really that tight on money, I could've treated her to something.
<Background 3>
[humming sounds]
The port.
As one of the city's most important ports of entry, it is also one of the places with the greatest foot traffic. If her handler were here, this is probably where she'd find him.
The swordsman stands at a high vantage point and looks into the distance. Large ships are swallowing up and disgorging large amounts of cargo and passengers, stopping briefly before sailing away just as quickly.
Perhaps one of these ships could also take her straight to Higashi...
Akafuyu No... It is far too soon for me to return.
I have been exiled as a defeated general, and have accomplished nothing since. Even if I do return home, I have no right to face Master...
Seafood Hawker Ma'am... Sorry, but you're stepping on my boxes...
Akafuyu Oh? Sorry...
Seafood Hawker Want to buy some fins?
have all kinds, caught fresh just today. I can cut them for you, or make them into sashimi, if you like.
Akafuyu (Sashimi... a familiar dish.)
(No extraneous preparations and no unnecessary seasonings. A safe dish.)
Yes, I'll buy a fin. Make it sashimi.
Seafood Hawker You got it. One serving of sashimi, coming right up.
[Knife hitting the cutting board]
Akafuyu (A hawker has such fine skills?)
(It's an ordinary boning knife, but he wields it with such accuracy and finesse. The strength he puts into his arm and the angle at which he's slicing into the meat both align with the principles of swordsmanship.)
Such amazing knife skills...
What's your name?
Who taught you your knife techniques? What is the name of the school? Does the blade itself have a history?
Seafood Hawker Ma'am... are you asking me?
The name's Jaye. I'm a seafood hawker, and my uncle taught me how to use a knife.
This one's used for cutting fins, and it's never sliced anything else. As for the technique... I mean, it takes all kinds of different knives and techniques to process shellshrimps and fins...
Akafuyu So it's a school that practices its techniques behind closed doors... How formidable.
I once met a swordsman who trained for ten years only by cutting straw mats at the shrine. It doesn't matter how ordinary a technique is. Once mastered, the force that can be unleashed is no less potent than any other.
You possess such fine skills, yet find yourself working as a fin hawker... You must also be a swordsman yet to find success. It seems misery loves company.
Let me ask you. What are your ambitions? Who will you serve with your prowess?
Seafood Hawker I... I'm not a very ambitious fella...
In the short term, I want to drive up business, make more money, and get a bigger storefront as soon as possible...
Akafuyu Why would you say that? Don't you feel your knife skills are going to waste when you use them only to cut these small fry?
Seafood Hawker (Small fry? Does she think this fin is too small?)
Um... I have bigger fins too, of course. They're sold by weight. I'm not trying to shortchange you or anything. Just worried it'd be too much for you to eat.
Akafuyu (Not only are his words riddled with hidden meanings, he is questioning me through my appetite?)
Surely you jest? 'My skills and techniques are as immense as my appetite.' A single fin is hardly enough to satiate my hunger! Bring me the largest fin you have!
Seafood Hawker Okay, okay!
Cold Voice Here to pick up an order.
One grass fin, three kan of shellshrimp.
Seafood Hawker Yup, all ready to go. Here.
Akafuyu Who's there?!
With light footsteps at a brisk pace, a familiar silhouette passes by in the crowd, like a fin that suddenly leapt from the water before submerging itself in the river just as quickly, leaving not a trace.
Akafuyu That outfit... A ninja from the Southern Court? What are they doing here?!
Stop right there!
[Running steps]
[Blades clashing]
Akafuyu My Lord! My apologies for my tardiness in coming to your defense. Is everything okay?!
Prudent Voice I'm fine.
Akafuyu These ninja... They plot to assassinate you again and again... Despicable scoundrels! They know they can never defeat you on the battlefield, so they resort to these craven methods!
Prudent Voice Akafuyu, do you know why these men want me dead?
Akafuyu Of course I do. You are a senior minister of the Kougon clan and its bravest commander. They fear you, and as such wish you harm.
Prudent Voice No, that reason belongs to those who sent them, not to the men themselves.
What is sad is that those who lie at our feet lifeless never found a reason, even unto death.
Akafuyu, you must not be like them.
[Fierce wind blowing]
<Background 4>
A long street.
After a lengthy chase, it is already nighttime.
The streets are lined with bright lights, and there is a sea of colorfully illuminated signs and tall buildings. She can hear cheers and laughter from the passersby all around her. Is it perhaps a holiday here in this strange, foreign land?
The swordsman stands alone in the tide of pedestrians, like a reef continuously struck by the waves. The target she was following has long since vanished without a trace.
[Footsteps]
Akafuyu Did they plan ahead of time to lure me here...?
Assassination in a busy marketplace. Typical of those wretched ninjas... It's their favorite trick.
Back alley brawls are not my forte, but losing the will to fight would only give them an opening.
Where are they...!?
[Abrupt halt and blades unsheathed]
Akafuyu Who goes there—?!
Excited Youth Bro! That outfit's so cool! It's just like the real thing!
Akafuyu turns around to find a young man fondling her shoulderguards with twinkling, excited eyes.
The swordsman is about to snap, but the innocent look on his face seems strange and foreign—How could a commoner be so unafraid to approach a fully-armored bushi?
Excited Youth Afraid? Why?
Isn't today the day that Nanboku Fuuunden preorders are open? How did you get the outfit's design already? Oh, I get it. You're an official cosplayer, aren't you?
That armor... You're a swordsman of the Kougon clan from the Northern Court, right? I heard the Northern swordsmen have high base stats, and the Southern ninjas have more maneuverability, but I think the swordsmen's gear is way cooler!
Akafuyu What exactly are you talking about...?
Wait, ninja? You saw a ninja?
Excited Youth Yeah. Look over there.
Akafuyu looks in the direction the young man is pointing. The colorful lights are dizzying. With great effort, she manages to focus her gaze on a big screen in the video game store on the side of the road.
The character in the game is equipped with a set of armor and a sword that both look almost exactly like hers, and is unleashing all sorts of moves she is incapable of to mow down exaggerated numbers of enemies.
The enemies on the screen scream as their flesh and blood fly in all directions. Likewise, the audience on the other side of the screen are screaming with joy and excitement.
She notices her reflection on the crystal clear display window, looking like an absurd outsider.
Suddenly, the swordsman laughs.
Akafuyu Hah...
You're a lucky guy, living here.
[Blade sheathed]
Akafuyu I hope you'll never have to be scared of this...
But remember. This isn't cool at all.
<Background 5>
Rhodes Island Operator Akafuyu?
Akafuyu This logo... Rhodes Island?
Rhodes Island Operator We ran into some trouble on the way here, and it took us longer than expected to arrive.
Sorry for the wait. How has life been here? Ran into any problems?
Akafuyu It is a strange place, but an interesting one nonetheless.
Wait. Are you from Ursus?
Rhodes Island Operator *sigh*... I put on a disguise to avoid trouble. Did my accent give it away? Fine, yes, I'm from Ursus.
Akafuyu They have contact with Higashi, and they hire Ursus...
What sort of place is this "Rhodes Island"?
Rhodes Island Operator A peaceful place.
There, you'll find Ursus, Higashinese, Kazimierzians, and Leithanians.
I'm not saying that we make everyone pretend that all those unpleasant things never happened. It's just that we don't operate on a logic based on hatred and violence.
Akafuyu But I was told that I still had a chance to fight as a swordsman with Rhodes Island.
Rhodes Island Operator Oh, you will. There are many excellent warriors like you aboard. We're a pharmaceutical company, but sometimes you need to fight to save lives.
But most of the time, everyone spends their time doing normal things. Eating, drinking tea, and figuring out ways to avoid situations where we have to fight.
Akafuyu Hmph...
Interesting. I will take a good look at this place myself.
Rhodes Island Operator Heh, you seem a lot easier to get along with than I expected.
Do you need time to pack your things before we get on our way?
Akafuyu All I need is this blade. Let's go.
[Footsteps]
<Background black>
Master, I will keep learning.
I will learn what it means to fight, and discover where I should be pointing my blade.

Notes

  1. Cantonese for Soybean Milk
  2. Cantonese name for Youtiao
  3. Steamed buns
  4. Cantonese name for Stir-Fried Noodle
  5. Cantonese for Steamed rice roll