Target Three: Mariazell (Austria)

"Uhhhh… Hey, guys? There's really only one problem about this." Prussia's voice spoke up in the silence, as the albino stared uneasily over the lens of his binoculars.

"What do you mean?" Spain looked down at him from his position in the tree, puzzled. By now his injuries had recovered from last chapter's escapade, as well has his depression, leaving the nation good-natured and ready to pull some curl once again. Only now, Prussia was feeling apprehensive.

"Well, it's just that… Austria's curl isn't his erogenous zone," he said frankly, shooting another peek through the scope.

"W-What?" France burst up from below, twigs and leaves stuck in his blond hair for better camouflage. "We're staking out here for nothing? Why didn't you mention this earlier?" He put a hand to his head in exaggerated pain. "Mon Dieu, and I was looking forward to it!"

However, Prussia only snickered, sending another glance into the elegant living room of Austria's house. "Well, if that's all you're looking for, you gotta touch his mole. That's the real erogenous zone, but what the curl does… I don't have a freaking clue." He shrugged. "I have dibs on it, by the way."

"To which I do protest—"

"There he is!" Spain interrupted with a sudden shout, straightening rapidly. Words were abandoned as the trio quickly lifted their lens.

Sure enough, far below in the house of Austria a certain brown-haired individual of the same name was pacing into view, looking as if to settle down at a large piano. Quite typical. And best of all, his back was turned towards them- once the Nation became involved in his music, almost nothing would distract him.

Now was the hour. Through unspoken agreement the trio slipped from their places, gliding silently through undergrowth like ghosts. All focused completely, with the exception of France; in a manner uncharacteristic of him, the Frenchman appeared to be looking around warily.

"What's with you? I thought you'd be up front," Prussia whispered, as they paused directly below Austria's window.

"It is… nothing. Just…" France frowned. "Last time I was here on a similar mission, Hungary brained me with her frying pan, shouting something about God…"

"Pfft. Lucky you we haven't seen her at all, pal."


Above them, the piano music issuing from the room inside had paused— Whether of an innocent cause, or their whispers actually drifting all the way to the aristocrat's ears, it was all the signal they needed.

With a collective war-cry, all three of the Bad Touch Trio went crashing directly through Austria's window in a shower of glass. Austria spun around violently, eyes widening as he recognized the attackers, but it was far too late for any action. In a matter of seconds, he was pinned to the ground with Prussia's weight square on his back.

"What-What in the world!" he shrieked, "PRUSSIA!"

"Spain! Camera ready?" Prussia ignored him, cackling. Spain held up the device nodding.

"Si. Sorry about the window," the Spaniard added as an afterthought to the struggling Austria.

"Get off me this instant! I swear, when I tell your brother of this—"

"The halls are clear!" France called cheerfully. The solid doors to Austria's music room were closed and barred, the lock clicking ominously.

"Keseseses! Hey Austria, remember Silesia? Those were good times…" Prussia continued to laugh, reaching for the fly-away curl… only to be stopped by a serious-faced France.

"Hey, I wanted to pull. You guys have gotten everyone else so far," he pouted. Austria continued to swear underneath them, completely ignored.

"…Ugh. Fine. I suppose this once…" Grudgingly, the Prussian pulled back. (Still remaining firmly seated on Austria, though.)

France's eyes lit up with a gleam that could only be called… startling as he crouched down, his own chuckle entering the space.

"Wh-What are you doing with me?" Austria stammered, eyes widening in horror as France loomed overhead.

"Honhonhonhon. Don't worry, this won't hurt one… single… bit!"

Of course, with this statement the three of them had anticipated for something to happen. As France's hand shot forward, the other two tensed, Prussia's stance tightening and Spain readying the camera for action.

So when absolutely nothing happened the moment after Mariazell was captured, there was a full minute of expectant silence.

"What. That's… it?" Spain blinked. "I know you said it wasn't an erogenous zone, but I kinda thought there'd be some reaction…"

"Excuse me, but what exactly are you trying to accomplish here?" Austria spoke up, completely unaffected. Meanwhile, France had lost his frightening expression, to be replaced with a look of utter disappointment as he tugged the curl once more.

"What a let-down," he grumbled, "It's just a piece of hair."

"Wait! No, it does something… quick, pull it again!"

Prussia seemed to have spotted something, and with some interest the trio watched as the hair, under pressure in France's hand, performed a curious move— once released, it straightened, going as straight and rigid as a piece of wire before relaxing back.

"Huh. Wonder if it means anything?" Spain played with the hair himself, flicking it back and forth.

"Guess this raid was a bust, guys," Prussia sigh, "If you still want a reaction you can just poke his mole or something."

"That might be better than nothing…"

Bent in examination over the strange behavior of Mariazell, the attention of all was captured enough to prevent the notice of a dark, angry aura creeping ominously through the atmosphere... and the large, black shape that appeared subsequently through the ruin of the broken

Until the black shape heaved one foot on the edge, and launched itself through.

A scream of rage rent the air, and the trio whipped around, clapping hands over their ears in pain, eyes wide as they saw…


"OH, SH—"

Bearing down on them all, was a seething Hungary. Hair billowing back, face contorted, her dreaded frying pan of doom was held aloft, and instantly the three scattered— scrambling for safety as the frying pan missed by the skin by fractions and instead created a lovely, smoking crater in the hardwood flooring.

"RUN! RUN!" Prussia yelped, although none of them needed any further bidding. France was already halfway out the window, and the albino was right behind him. They could feel the metal of the frying pan at their very heels, as together they high-tailed out the window and hit the ground running into the safety of the forest.

"GET BACK HERE! I SWEAR TO GOD I'M GONNA CLOBBER YOU ALL!" Hungary was yelling, and they ran as if the devil himself were behind them.

It was some miles before they finally stopped. They keeled over collectively, clutching stitches in their sides as they gasped for breath. For some explicable reason Hungary had chased them all this way. It seemed they'd finally lost her, but…

"Gott!" Prussia finally choked out, his lungs burning. "I've never seen her so… so… pissed off before…"

"She's not chasing us, right? We've lost her, right?" France whimpered, curled into a fetal position on the ground.

"Ahh! We really were in danger for that one, weren't we?" Spain laughed weakly, wiping sweat from his brow.

"Look, if you're quite tired, would you at least let me go? I can't believe I've been kidnapped by you ingrates!" Austria demanded, struggling against the makeshift ties around his hands.

Prussia and France did a double-take.

"WHAT THE HELL IS HE DOING HERE?" They demanded in unison, as Spain looked confused.

"Huh? I dunno, I just grabbed him before we ran. Guess I didn't really think about it." He gave them a silly grin, scratching his head sheepishly.

"Ugh. Great. Now she'll really be hunting us." Shoulders slumped, a gloom descended over the ex-nation's figure.

"Just dump him here. Problem solved," France grunted, but Spain shook his head, looking thoughtfully at Austria's curl. In the chase, Mariazell had frizzed slightly at the ends, but didn't seem worse for wear. "I'd still like to see what it does, exactly. It must go straight like that for a reason, right?"

He snatched the hair, smoothing it along his palm.

"Would you quit that already?" Austria protested, but his words went unheard for at that exact moment Hungary inexplicably came launching out of the bushes, murder on her face.



Another chase hastily ensued.

"H-How did she know where we were?" Prussia cursed, gritting his teeth as he ran with a certain aristocrat slung bodily over his shoulder.

"How should I know? M-Mon Dieu, she's a psychic!" Tears were streaming from France's eyes as a particularly close swing clipped a few strands of hair from his head.

"Y-YOU GUYS!" In a brave motion, Spain seized a handful of dirt from the forest floor, whipping it over his shoulder. Hungary spluttered, skidding to a halt as she was temporarily blinded. When her sight cleared… the Trio (plus Austria) was nowhere to be seen.

Unbeknownst to the angry nation, the three were hiding very, very quietly in the branches of a very large tree. Prussia's hands were clamped firmly over Austria's mouth to prevent his calling for help. They waited with bated breath, watching Hungary spin around, stamping her feet in frustration.

"I…I don't think there's any way out of this…" Prussia murmured, very quietly. "It was nice knowing you guys… you were the awesomest friends ever…"

"Non! Don't talk like that!" France hissed back. "Listen… I will sacrifice myself so that you two can escape…"

"No, I took Austria! I'll stay behind, you two run…"

"Shut the hell up! None of us are doing any sacrificing! We started this together, we'll go down together!"

"…That sounds rather like you're dragging us down with you, you know…"


They froze. Hungary had paused, almost directly beneath them. Austria wiggled in vain, small sounds issuing from behind Prussia's hands. Hungary was looking, back and forth, closer and closer, when…

France's eyes widened.


Hungary glanced around.

"Is she sniffing the air…?"

"No! Could it be… both of you! On the count of three, drop him and make a break for it!"

"I said no sacrifices!"

"That's not it! Just be quiet!"

France's hand was suddenly wavering above, yet again, Mariazell. He seemed to be waiting. In a moment of anxiety-ridden silence, he watched… as Hungary passed from their tree and wandered a few more feet away. Then, he pulled.

The very moment Mariazell straightened, Hungary was gone from zero velocity to impossible speeds, eyes blazing as she snapped around to stare directly at their hiding place. Then she was running, frying pan raised—

"THREE!" France roared out. Prussia's hands flew from Austria's mouth, while Spain simultaneously shoved him from their perch. The Austrian was free, but only to fall, screaming, down the height of the tree. The look in Hungary's eyes turned to alarm. As she changed trajectory to catch, only an afterimage was left of the three members of the Bad Touch Trio, disappearing well into the distance.

"…What, so his curl was some sort of… homing-device?"

Sprinting along the roads leading away from Austria, and into the regions of the Balkans, Prussia was scowling deeply, trying to wrap his head around the concept."

"Oui, I think that was indeed the case," France nodded, "Think—she only came after us after we pulled his curl. And when we were up that tree, she didn't notice until after it was pulled."

"That's just… strange," the ex-nation grumbled, "When did it get that sort of power, anyway? Those guys haven't known each other that long."

"Eheheh, I think you're just jealous."

"Shut up!"