Aaaand, so the torch is passed, from the Queen of Tragedy (deathcurse) to the Stalwart Protector of Whatisnottragedy (Shigan). This epic tale of Hayate and Vivio and their unlikely romance goes on!

This story is the second major milestone in the Hayate x Vivio-verse, and takes place four years after the events in Prerogative of the Brave. Vivio is now 19 and Hayate hopelessly 32. What is there more to say? As always, I had like to thank anamatics for beta-reading this; she's gold and this be a fact.

What is there more to say?

Well, the Takamachi is strong in this one.

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The Things We Tame

By Shigan

'Men have forgotten this truth,' said the fox. 'But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.'
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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First lieutenant Vivio Takamachi-Harlaown was not enjoying herself.

This was perhaps not so surprising considering her situation. She was stuck between two piles of what once were brick walls while torrents of magic-infused bullets whined by her ears. Impressive blasts of echo-shells fell all around her, tossing sprays of shattered rock into the grey air and consequently into Vivio's hair and barrier jacket. The pulverized rock made her itch in places she didn't know she possessed but made the scorching lightning blasts more bearable. On the top of this, unadministrated world #62 was a humid planet covered by a lush, thriving jungle blessed with the fattest mosquitoes Vivio had ever seen. In other words, it was generally a great place to be if one wanted to feel like a butt. The one upside to the situation was that none of the shooting was aimed at her, at least not yet.

Whatever command wanted them to accomplish here had better be decided quick. Vivio was trained for hard battles, not for acting like a sitting duck while others killed each other. Watching the rebel fractions and the government forces hammer each other to pieces were truly starting to make her sick with frustration. Vivio was her mother's daughter, and even if the Harlaown in her understood the tactical sense of awaiting precise orders the Takamachi in her had since long grown tired of the slaughter.

Unfortunately, the negotiations with the local authorities were going slowly. Vivio understood the need to legalize TSAB interventions but she rarely agreed with the price. Behind every dead soldier was a family in mourning. There would be a dead son or daughter, an orphaned child or a heartbroken mother and for them this war would never end. Most of all, there was the hatred that came with such grief. It irked her terribly that something as fickle as politics were halting her team from action, but Hayate herself had taught Vivio combat tactics and so the young Takamachi her held position and waited.

A steady, gloved hand on her shoulder shook her out of her miserable grouse.

"Easy kid, you look like the lady just spooked ya." Officer Rhen said while crawling on all fours beside her. His olive-toned skin was covered in a fine patina of dust and mud, his otherwise blue barrier jacket looking none the better.

"Not me," Vivio grumbled, wiping the dirt off her sweaty cheeks. "She's getting a good harvest though, curse her fortune."

Rhen barked out humourless laugh as he laid down face-up beside her, trying his best to not raise any limbs over the protective mounds. Among the Defence Corps Special Task Group, or the Hounds as they were called, 'The Lady' was how one referred to death with a capital D. Vivio could see how old dogs like Rhen would treat the metaphor with a near religious reverence. She was nineteen and her two years in active interplanetary service had dragged her through her fair share of loss. Death in its simplicity and final silence was a constant presence in their work, and it only took so many deaths to make a soldier grateful for his life.

"Don't curse her Takamachi, we don't want her attention more than those poor suckers do. Just remember what to tell her when she comes for you."

A fire shell exploded above their heads like thunder. The heat wave scathed against their necks, forcing them to bury themselves even deeper into the damp mud.

Vivio spat out the words with mud and saliva, grinning as she spoke: "Not today."

"Indeed," Rhen smiled with her while he clung to his device. "Knew you weren't a baby-ace for nothing."

Both their communicators came to life in a storm of static. Vivio felt her heart quicken at the familiar sound of her commanding officer's voice coming through, announcing that their planetary presence was now considered legal. Finally! She listened carefully, meticulously, like she had been taught since she was old enough to carry a device. She memorized the words, structuring them into her own orders as she assessed their position.

In short bursts of telepathy, she divided the tasks between her officers, a good squad of six, each with their own unique devices and specialities. Sacred Heart flared to life on her wrist.

"Panserschild!"Vivio shouted over the gunfire, boosting up her protective spell and covering as many of her men as she could while they plunged into action. The stark impact of a shell dented against her spell as her mind blanked into white, adrenaline kicked in instantly as Vita's training took over. Her tracking spell sensed over a dozen of projectiles as her legs propelled her forwards between the trees. Half of them seemed to hit her shield.

Rhen, being second in command, pulled her attention with a telepathic noise, saluting her with a small wave. Vivio nodded them off and the team split into two groups of three. She watched them disappear into the thick vegetation, wishing them success and safety with all her heart. Vivio gathered the remaining two of her team and set off, determined to accomplish their objective.

There would perhaps be a day when the lady caught up with her. One day, she may be the one to stand amidst the droves of her fallen men and it would be her time to join those beyond the shade. That may be but not today.

Vivio thought of Hayate.

Not today.

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Stay tuned for one-shots we may or may not post for this universe. Check me or deathcurse's profiles for the exact timelines.