Once again, Lieutenant Colonel Tanya von Degurechaff cracked her eyes open to greet another day on the Ostfront. Of course, her recent 'arrangement' with a certain First Lieutenant had altered her morning routine considerably. For one, she no longer woke up frozen half to death every day. Instead she was afforded the luxury of being comfortably warm, courtesy of her bedmate's body heat. That change in particular far outweighed any annoyance she may have felt at the fact that she no longer had a steaming mug of coffee awaiting her the moment she awoke. After all, it was rather difficult for her adjutant to leave their bed without waking her when Tanya insisted on holding her so close.

To do otherwise would be counterintuitive to the goal of sharing warmth, would be the blonde's rationale, no doubt.

It was for that reason, then, that the sight Tanya awoke to was one of Viktoriya stretching and letting out a yawn as she attempted to extricate herself from her commander's grasp. Noticing said commander's blue eyes peering up at her, Viktoriya smiled down at her. "Good morning, Tanya."

Another consequence of their arrangement was that they no longer used ranks to refer to each other when they were alone. The habit had started with a slip of the tongue by Viktoriya that Tanya hadn't bothered to correct. It was a small thing, but it seemed to make the older girl happy. If she cared to justify it, Tanya would consider it to be an allowance made with consideration to morale. "Good morning, Visha."

With their morning greetings exchanged, she relinquished her grip on her adjutant and allowed her to get up. Promising to be right back with coffee, Viktoriya headed off towards the kitchen of the small house they had commandeered as their billet. While cosy enough, the bedroom before Tanya's eyes served as an unwelcome reminder of Kampfgruppe Salamander's current situation.

Winter was almost over, and with spring would come campaigning season. Even under normal circumstances that would mean more fighting for her unit, but for some reason the Reds had retreated under cover of the fading snow. The General Staff, in its infinite wisdom, had elected to send Salamander, along with several other Kampfgruppen modelled after it, ahead to secure the territory the Federation had abandoned. It was ostensibly to prepare it for use as a staging point for the upcoming spring offensives, but all Tanya cared about was the fact that her Kampfgruppe was now isolated and at the very edge of the army's logistics train.

I don't usually expect competency from Communists, but doesn't this situation seem a little familiar? she thought, rubbing sleep out of her eyes with a scowl on her face. She was in the process of sitting up on the edge of the bed and trying to smooth out the wrinkles in her uniform-the nightclothes issued by the Imperial military were not suited to the climate at all-when Viktoriya returned with the coffee.

Accepting the drink, Tanya took a sip and allowed herself a moment to savor the taste, before rising to her feet and moving towards the door. Without being asked, Viktoriya retrieved her superior's coat and draped it over her shoulders, earning a bemused look.

"I haven't forgotten how to dress myself, you know," Tanya drawled, raising an eyebrow.

Viktoriya pouted in response. "I know, but you have your hands full at the moment."

Hm. A fair point, Tanya considered. "Well, you've already started, so you may as well help me get my arms through the sleeves," she conceded.

Her pout turning back into a smile, Viktoriya leaned in to do just that. First she got Tanya's left arm through, and then once the mug of coffee was transferred over, the right arm as well. For her part, Tanya moved her arms as was required and continued sipping at her coffee. I wonder if this is how a married salaryman feels getting ready for work?

A moment later, she froze as she realized exactly what she'd just thought.

"...Is something wrong?" Viktoriya asked, pausing in the act of donning her own coat to look at her commander with concern.

Tanya slowly shook her head. "Just an idle thought, don't worry yourself about it."

Marriage...I suppose that's the natural evolution of a long term relationship. Come to think of it, how does the Empire feel about homosexual relationships, anyway? Tanya wondered as she momentarily handed off her drink to Viktoriya so she could button her coat and don a pair of gloves. I should probably look into the matter. It's reckless of me to have this relationship without understanding the potential consequences.

The two of them finished dressing themselves, and headed out the door, Tanya still enjoying her coffee. As they stepped out into the cold, they shifted mental gears, once more becoming merely officer and adjutant.

Even at this early hour, with the morning sun cresting over the horizon and dyeing the sky orange, the rural Russy town that the Kampfgruppe was in the process of fortifying was a hive of activity. The original inhabitants had long fled, so the traffic bustling up and down its dirt roads was uniformly Imperial. Everywhere she looked, a soldier of the Reich was making himself busy, carting around ammunition or piling up sandbags around key houses and intersections.

It seemed that the rank and file did not share her concerns, however. She could hear their laughter and joking as they worked, trading quips about this and that. Well, she supposed that to an infantryman's mind, unconcerned with notions of grand strategy, all that mattered was that they were advancing and the enemy was retreating. If only she could afford to be so naive about the situation.

Soon enough, their destination loomed ahead. Despite its rural nature, the town had apparently been 'generously gifted' a brand new government building by the Communist Party. It was a horrifically Brutalist example of architecture, barely more than a hollowed-out concrete brick, but it would serve the Kampfgruppe well enough as a headquarters.

That didn't stop Tanya from sneering at the building as she approached, however. Seriously, this thing makes the Nakagin Capsule Tower look like the Imperial Palace by comparison.

Striding up to the entrance, she exchanged a salute with the pair of guards flanking the doors. They seemed oddly uneasy as they returned the motion, but she chalked it up to discomfort at being forced to stand out in the cold for so long, and headed inside. From there it was a short walk down the hall to the room she had ordered converted to a command center.

As she stepped inside, she couldn't help but feel uneasy at the sight of so many radios receiving and transmitting. Back on the Rhine, a collection of signals this size would invariably attract the attention of the Francois, and shortly thereafter, their artillery. Unfortunately, with the weather and how extended the Kampfgruppen assigned to this little take-and-hold mission were, there was no other way to stay in contact. She had done her best to ensure that common sense measures were taken, but she could only minimize the risk, not eliminate it entirely.

Shaking off the feeling, she scanned the room until her eyes fell on a familiar face amidst the crowd of radio operators and logistics staff. "Major Weiss, I see you've started breakfast without us!"

Matheus Johan Weiss, Tanya's trusted Vice Commander and leading officer of the 203rd Aerial Mage Battalion, looked up at her from his seat at one of the few tables in the room not covered in either maps or communications equipment. "You're not missing much I'm afraid," he called back, shooting a grimace at the losing battle he was waging with his rye bread and potato stew. "Logistics still insists on sending us K-Brot as rations instead of the lumps of raw iron we requested."

"How unfortunate," Tanya remarked, moving to stand across from him and setting her mug down on the table. As nonchalantly as possible for the somewhat humiliating act, she slid a wooden crate into place with her boot for Serebryakov to set a stool on, and then took a seat. "Well, if the Kaiser demands we eat K-Brot, we must obey. Serebryakov, please fetch me a meal, and one for yourself should you wish to join us in our suffering."

"Of course, Colonel," the Lieutenant replied, amusement clear in her voice. She took her leave, and Tanya turned to face Weiss with a resigned look.

"So, how bad a shape are we in?" she asked lowly, leaning forward with her elbows on the table, hands together.

Weiss sighed in response. "It could be worse. The replacements for the men we lost in the hunt for the Queen of Anjou are finally settling in, and the General Staff was nice enough to not force us to reorganize an entirely new Kampfgruppe, but that's about the extent of the good news. The infantry situation is still a mess, we're running out of fuel for the Panzers, and for once Meybert's right about us not having enough shells."

"And still we're expected to perform miracles," Tanya grumbled, voice dripping with distaste, before reaching for her coffee. She went to take a sip, only to notice that all that was left was cold dregs. She pushed the mug away in annoyance. "What about the extra Mage Company they sent us? They really seemed proud of themselves for being able to provide such amazing reinforcements," she continued, her sarcasm as plain as day.

Weiss shook his head. "Barely-trained cadets again. I think the brass is just hoping that by putting them under you, you'll somehow turn them into a bunch of elites like you did with the 203rd."

"Great, I've been promoted to chief babysitter," Tanya complained. Do a good job, and your reward is even more unreasonable tasks. What a joke.

"Well, it's not all bad," Weiss said, finally conceding defeat to his meal and setting it aside. "They at least show some potential, and in the meantime they can take some of the observation duties from our veterans. They're actually in the air right now on dawn patrol."

Tanya made a small noise of acknowledgement. She continued to ask a few idle questions about the state of the Kampfgruppe and their fortification efforts, but it was mostly smalltalk until finally Serebryakov returned.

"Here you go, ma'am," she said with a smile, carrying two trays of food over to the table. She sat one down in front of Tanya, before pulling up a seat next to her commander and placing her own down.

"Thank you, Lieutenant," Tanya nodded, picking up the wooden spoon provided with her stew, only to pause as she noticed exactly what was in it. "...Lieutenant, correct me if I'm wrong, but these do not appear to be the dried vegetables supplied to our unit."

"Ah, no, they're not," Serebryakov admitted sheepishly. "I added in some canned and pickled preserves, to help with the taste."

"I see," Tanya noted, fishing out a carrot with her spoon and taking an experimental bite. It does taste noticeably better, she mused as she chewed and swallowed. "And where did you get these preserves, Lieutenant Serebryakov?"

"Er...I...won them in a card game before we left the main lines," the brunette explained, ducking her head. Across the table, Weiss snickered.

Letting out an exaggerated sigh, Tanya shook her head. "I really should be trying to warn you of the dangers of excessive gambling, but to be honest, I'm afraid that if you stopped it would have a catastrophic effect on our budget." In other words: I can't praise you directly, but good job.

"Ahaha…" Serebryakov laughed, still looking sheepish.

Weiss chose that moment to speak up. "Using your hard-earned spoils to prepare a special meal for the Colonel, Visha? If I didn't know any better, I'd say it looks like you're trying to bribe her with food."

"Weiss!" Serebryakov whined. "I am not."

"Well, either that, or it looks like you're her wife," Weiss continued, chuckling.

Serebryakov froze, her face going bright red. She tried to stammer out some kind of response, but failed to produce anything coherent. Hearing her subordinate's meltdown made Tanya look up from her meal, and upon seeing the look on the older girl's face, she had to suppress the urge to sigh.

He's clearly joking, but if you keep acting like that… Tanya grumbled mentally, before remembering her earlier thought. Actually, this might be a good opportunity to sound out how tolerated such things are in the Empire. After all, I doubt there are any convenient surveys on the topic that I could consult.

Course of action decided upon, Tanya let her mouth curl into a smirk. "Oh? Are you upset at the idea that I might have stolen her away, Major?" As long as it's framed as a joke, I should be able to gauge his reaction to the idea without risk.

Serebryakov, however, didn't seem to grasp that. She turned to her superior with a look akin to panic.

For his part, Weiss just grinned. "I think I speak for the entire Battalion in saying that I salute her sacrifice."

"Well, you heard the man, Lieutenant. It seems you're mine now," Tanya stated matter-of-factly, lifting another spoonful of stew to her lips.

A series of strange, unintelligible noises came from Serebryakov at that.

Seriously, you need to control yourself or he really will get suspicious, Tanya thought. Well, I suppose I should do something to calm her down.

Reaching over under the table, she put a reassuring hand on the older girl's leg. To Tanya's bewilderment, however, she only seemed to get more flustered.

Weiss glanced between the two, opening his mouth to speak, but he was interrupted by a shout from one of the communications officers.

"Colonel, message from Lieutenant Haas! They've detected multiple Federation units closing in on our position from the north-east!"

...These Reds have the worst timing, Tanya narrowed her eyes, unconsciously clenching her hands in annoyance. For some reason, Serebryakov squeaked beside her, but she had other things to worry about at the moment. "I need something more specific than that! Get me numbers!"

The officer had a hurried conversation with his set, before he turned back to Tanya. "They report a Mage Regiment, at least three Staffeln-worth of aircraft, and a Division of infantry!"

Before Tanya could respond, another voice spoke up. "Kampfgruppen Moltke, Westerwald, and Freischütz report that they are under attack as well!"

They're using our own tactic against us. I'd insult their lack of originality, if only the General Staff hadn't walked right into it.

Shooting Weiss an apologetic look, she gestured with her free hand at the door. "I hate to ask so much of you, Major, but could you take the Battalion and see our unwelcome guests out?"

Rising to his feet with one sharp motion, Weiss snapped off a salute. "Of course, Colonel!"

Letting him go on his way, Tanya returned her attention to the radioman who had first spoke. "Tell Lieutenant Haas to pull his Company back and set up a high altitude cordon around HQ. And get our fighter command on the line! Have them send us support as soon as it becomes available!"

"Understood!"

Frowning, Tanya went back to her meal. All she could do now was wait for the situation to develop, so she might as well finish eating. It would be rude to let Serebryakov's specially acquired preserves go to waste, after all.

"Um, C-Colonel…" the girl in question whispered, her face still a bright cherry red.

"Yes, Lieutenant?" Tanya inquired in between bites.

"Your hand…"

Tanya paused. One hand was firmly grasped around her spoon, which meant that Serebryakov was likely referring to her other hand…

...which was currently gripping the Lieutenant's thigh through her coat and uniform trousers.

Carefully setting her spoon down, Tanya slowly withdrew both of her hands, settling them in her lap. "...Sorry."

...Does what I just did technically count as workplace harassment? she thought to herself, expression blank. This isn't good. I'll have to take the time to explain to her that it was an accident, to prevent any misunder-

"J-Just...not with so many people around, okay?" Serebryakov mumbled, derailing her train of thought.

...what? Hold on, what is that supposed to-

"Colonel!"

Son of a…

Tanya turned to the radioman, who momentarily froze under her glare. She gestured for him to speak, and he quickly stuttered out his report. "I-it's Lieutenant Haas again, ma'am. He reports pair of high altitude bombers headed for this location!"

A pair of bombers? Just two planes? Tanya thought in confusion. Level bombing from that high up was done with large formations for a reason, with only two planes the chances of them hitting anything was miniscule. Unless… "Check those planes for magic signatures! Set your instruments to maximum sensitivity!"

It only took a moment for the results to come in. "Confirmed! Signatures detected, Battalion strength!"

Tanya grit her teeth together. A decapitation strike by Mage Battalion? The Commies really were stealing their tactics wholesale. "Get Major Weiss on the line. Can he afford to split off a Company to deal with the threat?"

The response wasn't promising. "Not without exposing our infantry to air attacks."

Shit. Against a full Battalion with guaranteed altitude advantage, a Company of rookies would be slaughtered. And if Weiss was right about the General Staff sending them to her to babysit, they'd have her head if she let them die. I'm trapped again, with no choice but to put myself at risk. Why does this always happen to me?

Standing and stepping down from the box propping her stool up, she adjusted her cap. "Someone get Captain Ahrens down here and tell him he's in charge! Serebryakov, with me! We'll deal with this ourselves."

"Yes ma'am!" was her adjutant's reply, her face once more a mask of professionalism as she instantly accepted her commander's plan to engage an entire Battalion with essentially two mages. Tanya was torn between being pleased at her loyalty and wanting to tear her own hair out at the girl's apparent lack of basic self-preservation instincts.

With no one questioning her decision, she had no choice but to march out of the command center and to where their aviation gear was stored. Soon, the two of them were setting their coats and caps aside, and donning their jumpsuits and flight equipment. Checking the feed of her submachine gun and loading a fresh magazine, Tanya marched out of the building with Serebryakov in tow, peering up at the morning sky in the direction that the Russy aircraft were approaching from.

Even as the commander of an entire Kampfgruppe, I still have to fight, Tanya complained to herself as she considered the absurdity of it all. Her Type 97 Computation Orb, nestled right next to the cursed Type 95, activated and propelled her into the sky.

Her hand went to her throat mic. "This is Salamander 01 to E Company. Form up for long range supporting fire, we're going to keep them occupied for you."

At least I've finally escaped callsigns like 'Fairy' and 'Pixie', Tanya consoled herself as Haas' affirmative rang in her ears. She was climbing fast, with Serebryakov close behind. Two thousand, then three thousand, then four, their Type 97 orbs pushed them onward. The Federation's countryside stretched out beneath her, the quaint rural town they were defending sprawling out across the frozen plains. In the distance, puffs of smoke and flashes of light signalled that Weiss had begun his interception.

Entrusting that part of the battle to him, she turned away and continued her ascent. She could see the small forms of Lieutenant Haas and his men entering formation above, and beyond them, a swarm of black dots disgorging from two larger shapes.

Tanya switched her transmitter to Serebryakov's personal frequency. "It's just us two today, so I'm counting on you, Lieutenant."

"I won't let you down, ma'am," came the response over her radio.

They blew past E Company, continuing to climb even as the Federation mages began their final dive. "We'll disrupt their formation, then get in among them. I'll focus on the left, you take right."

"Understood."

Cursing her luck one last time, Tanya raised the barrel of her gun towards the rapidly approaching enemies. "Prepare explosion formulae!"

Adrenaline flooded her system.

"Fire!"

Her weapon sounded out its staccato, sending a spray of formula bullets ripping through the enemy force, while Serebryakov's rifle joined in from behind her with a series of sharp cracks. The Federation mages broke into evasive action and began to return fire, but against a barrage of area effect spells, it was difficult for them to do both at the same time. Near misses battered the enemy and sent them careening out of position, while a particularly unlucky individual caught one of her rounds directly to the chest and vanished in a fireball.

Despite the disruption to their formation, the Rus continued their dive. Spotting one coming straight for her, Tanya drew her combat knife, her mana coating the edge. She didn't even bother going for a swing, instead simply twisting into the man's path and extending the blade out to her side. Their combined momentum did the rest, and he went tumbling towards the ground in a spray of red. Another came down on her right, but a single bark of Serebryakov's rifle snapped his head back and sent him down to join his comrade.

Stowing her knife, Tanya broke left, and the dogfight began in earnest. Bullets skimmed past her or shattered against her barrier as she dove and rolled, raking any foe that got too close with automatic fire. She downed another two Rus in quick succession, and then grinned in satisfaction as a volley of sniping formulae punched through the enemy from below, claiming a third.

A moment later, her grin vanished as half of the Rus broke off and began to dive for E Company.

If I go after them, I'm letting the rest get on my tail, Tanya realized. But if I don't, the rookies are dead meat. And then the brass will have my head...

"Fine. I guess I've got no choice but to play the hero," she spat, before keying her mic. "Serebryakov, regroup! They're still going after the rookies, I need you to watch my back while I deal with the situation."

"On my way."

Out of the corner of her eye, Tanya caught a sudden flurry of movement as the form of her subordinate came weaving through the chaos with a pair of illusory decoys by her side, heading in her direction. Content that her rear was as protected as it could be under the circumstances, she lunged forward, emptying the remainder of her magazine in one burst. She swung the barrel in an arc as she held down the trigger, the resulting spread of explosions clearing a path through the Rus mages between her and her targets.

Loading a fresh magazine, she accelerated towards the gap. Shots came at her from behind as she rocketed past the enemy, but none even came close to hitting her, the reason for which becoming apparent as Serebryakov's rifle cracked again and again from right behind her. Ahead, the mages targeting Haas' Company continued to dive, flying almost completely straight as they began to line up their shots. Unfortunately for them, even just her Type 97 far outstripped their orbs in performance, and with one last burst of speed, she fell upon them in their moment of vulnerability.

With near-mechanical precision, she let loose one burst after another, not even waiting for her previous shots to connect before moving down the line of foes. The Federation mages below her had no chance to react as half of a Mage Company perished in an instant. The survivors broke off their attack run, and were just beginning to pull out of their dive in an attempt to shake her when she slammed into one like a human bullet. The jolt to her knee made her wince even with her defensive shield and strengthening formulae, but the effect on the man's head was even more pronounced. There was a sickening crack, and he went spiraling down, either dead or unconscious.

She spun to her left with her gun at the ready, intending to finish off the remaining Rus, but she needn't have bothered. The rookies just below them finally got their act together, and fired another volley. At that range, they could hardly miss.

Satisfied, she turned to check on Vi-on Serebryakov. To her relief, she was still flying, having seemingly broken off from tailing her commander after Tanya made her attack. Unfortunately, while Tanya was off saving the rookies, it looked like the enemies she had left behind had taken the opportunity to surge forward and surround her subordinate.

Her eyes narrowed. Hands off my Lieutenant.

Once again she ascended into the enemy, her gun blazing. Once again, the Rus reacted too slowly to the changing situation, and she reaped a toll from them. They scattered before her, pulling back from her approach, only to break into a full retreat as Serebryakov and E Company joined in with fire of their own. Tanya was initially surprised, but a quick headcount revealed that they had downed well over half of the enemy Battalion.

...I didn't even have to use the Type 95. I guess the Empire aren't the only ones rushing their training.

As she contemplated that, her radio crackled to life. "Salamander Control to Salamander 01, do you read?"

"Salamander 01, copy. What is it?"

"Air Command has vectored a nearby fighter Gruppe to assist us. ETA is 300 seconds."

A pleased smile broke out on Tanya's face. "Excellent. Let them know that once the skies are clear here, I've got some ducks flying east for them to hunt."

"Copy. Salamander Control, out."

Mood lifted by the wonders of delegation, she began to descend back towards solid ground. Offering a jaunty salute to an awe-struck Haas as she passed his men, she radioed her wingman. "That's enough fun for now, Serebryakov. Let's go back."

"Roger that, ma'am."

They made it back to the ground safely, touching down just outside the headquarters. As Tanya flicked the safety on her weapon and swept a few loose locks of hair from her face, she realized that her subordinate deserved some sort of acknowledgement for her performance. Even though the situation couldn't be helped, she felt bad about constantly having to ask unreasonable things of her troops. A bit of praise was the least she could offer in return.

"Well, that was nostalgic-" Tanya began, turning to face her adjutant, only to freeze at what she saw.

"...Colonel?"

Just below Serebryakov's right eye, a thin red line slashed along her cheek, slowly dripping blood. Tanya stared at the wound, expression blank. "You appear to be bleeding, Lieutenant."

Serebryakov blinked, before raising a hand to her face. "Oh, this? Don't worry, ma'am, a shot just skimmed me, I'm fine," she assured, giving a smile.

The smile was wiped away instantly as Tanya glowered at her. "A bullet made it through your defensive shell, hit you, and you call that fine? Why didn't you say anything?" she hissed.

"I…" Serebryakov shrunk back. "I was focused on keeping the enemy off you…"

You've got to be kidding me. Of all the members of the 203rd, I never thought you would be the one to get cocky. I have to shut this behaviour down hard, I can't afford to lose my best soldiers to avoidable mistakes.

"My shell was still completely intact!" Tanya exclaimed. "You should have pulled back the second yours was starting to fail! A few inches to the left and that shot would've been between your eyes!"

Serebryakov continued to wilt under the tirade. Seeing the frightened look on the girl's face, Tanya paused. ...This isn't helping. Maybe if I just explain it rationally, then she'll understand.

Sighing, she continued in a softer tone. "Listen. The General Staff can send me new mages, but they can't send me a new Lieutenant Serebryakov. You're irreplaceable."

"...Oh," Serebryakov said quietly, a faint blush on her cheeks. A look of understanding seemed to flash in her eyes.

Good, it looks like I've gotten through to her, Tanya thought.

"So! Consider this an order, in force in perpetuity from now on. You are to stay alive, Lieutenant!" she declared, arms crossed. No more stupid heroics. I don't need martyrs in my Kampfgruppe.

"Yes ma'am," Serebryakov replied, the corners of her mouth curving upward slightly as she saluted.

"Good, and make sure to get that cleaned and bandaged-" Tanya said as she turned towards the entrance to headquarters, only to once again pause. The two door guards, who had been watching the entire scene, stared back in abject terror. "What are you looking at?!"

Ignoring their stammered responses, Tanya marched inside. What a day. To think Serebryakov almost died to a bunch of Commies.

She scowled.

...I need to remember not to eat right before a flight in the future. My stomach's doing flips.

As Viktoriya put a fresh bandage in front of the bedroom's small mirror, she considered the day's events. Really, the whole thing had been a needed wake up call for her. Ever since Tanya had confessed to her, Viktoriya had been pushing herself harder and harder to be useful to her commander. She just couldn't believe that someone like her could be good enough for Tanya von Degurechaff, and so she felt like she had to be better.

But then Tanya's possessive behaviour all day, culminating in her words after their sortie, had made Viktoriya realize how foolish she had been.

The General Staff can send me new mages, but they can't send me a new Lieutenant Serebryakov.

Tanya had spelled it out for her, made it so obvious. She had called her irreplaceable. Tanya had made it clear that it was Viktoriya she wanted, not some kind of tool. That wasn't to say that she could slack in her duties, of course, but she didn't have to work herself to death trying to meet some imagined standards.

I didn't know she could be so romantic, though, she thought with a giggle. Irreplaceable, she said!

"Is something amusing, Visha?" Tanya asked as she sat down on the bed.

"No, it's nothing," Viktoriya replied, stifling another giggle as she moved to join the blonde on the bed. They got into their usual position, but before Tanya could pull her close, Viktoriya seized the initiative by wrapping the younger girl in a hug.

"Visha?!" Tanya yelped in surprise, squirming slightly in her subordinate's grasp.

"I'm sorry that I made you worry," Viktoriya murmured.

Tanya's struggling stopped, and she simply sighed. "...Just don't do it again."