Persistent Dedication

Persistent Dedication

a Honkai Impact 3 fanfiction by The Overlord Bear

Summary: After the Otto-Serpent Honkai War, Bianka pays Ragna’s grave a visit with Rita and Himeko.

Previous Part: “Grown Dedication”

First Part: “Childish Dedication”

“Hey, Ragna. Sorry for getting your hopes up about that reunion. If it’s any consolation, though, well, I’m mostly mechanical now.”

It was like that childhood day when I first met Himeko Murata when she insisted on accompanying Rita and I to a certain grave all three of us had not visited in a long while. As calm and composed as I tried to be when it came to work, something about that older woman put me off, especially whenever I was around her. But contrary to what most people would think, the core reason was not something like her flirtatiousness around men and her penchant for alcohol, although they did remind me of that reason.

“I got Bianka and Rita with me. They’ve grown pretty well. Bigger than you and me, even. You should see all the love letters they get everyday!”

I hoped Rita felt the same way as I did, but I could not read her expression. She just had her eyes closed and her hands held together in front of her as she stood straight in the background.

“Still…I gotta apologize. We…haven’t really gotten along these past years.”

And then I saw Rita’s hands tighten. It was an almost unnoticeable tell, one of many that our friendship had me privy to.

“Otto was a bigger dick than we thought, basically. And our two little girls here had the guts to stick with him even as they knew that. I probably would’ve done the same…except I realized that I became way closer to someone other than these two. Or, well, I became the evil Herrschers’ slave, if you wanna be blunt about it.”

I could not help clenching my fists at Himeko’s awful joking manner. I held no resentment for our Herrscher comrades, nor did I miss the former Overseer that much, but…

“And I know that I disappointed two of the children you inspired because of that. I should’ve apologized to them already, but I just…”

She fell to her knees. Then she put a hand over her eyes.

“…I guess I still hate the fact that you had to leave us. To leave me. Just like my stupid dad. Just like these two stupid girls behind me.”

There it was. A woman who could not move forward. Who could not grow from student to teacher.

“I can see that they still hate me even now. Of course they’d outgrow me. How can I call myself a teacher if I can’t accept that fact? It took narrowly escaping death for me to realize that. Well, that, and some time. I honestly felt some disappointment when I found out that I survived and that more of my kids left the nest for good, you know?”

A woman who did not deserve her leadership rank. Not only that, she also had a personality that would have gained more honor in death than in life.

“Were you just like me too? Ah, why am I asking these stupid questions? But I don’t have a beer or wine or even any sort of alcohol this time. I want to face you…sober. Yeah…Shit…”

This time, Himeko used both hands to wipe her tears away.

“I’m really sorry, Ragna…We all knew that Schicksal wasn’t as great as it seemed, much like any other big organization, but we promised to stick with it no matter what like the soldiers we’re supposed to be. And we promised to give our infected friends and loved ones the mercy of death…but…I guess I was too attached to one of my girls after Bianka and Rita. I definitely deserved her calling me out, then, especially since I taught her about the mercy kill thing too.”

Even now, those results of Himeko’s efforts seem like miracles to me. But I am not unwelcome to those results.

“And my actions caused another one of my girls to turn traitor. She did come back, but damn, I still feel bad about all of that. Maybe she had good reasons, but still, I feel like a crappy teacher for inspiring my students to be renegades with little respect for authority in general.”

Now that had me wondering: If Ragna had survived that mission, would Rita and I have become very much like this Himeko we resented? That question gave me a mixture of emotions.

“I don’t know what you’d think, but I do know that Bianka and Rita are way better students than I am. And you never even trained them personally! I guess I deserve them stealing one of my girls away, too.”

That made me remember the surprise and jealousy I felt when I saw Bronya hug Himeko in their long-awaited reunion. Rita felt more or less the same, but she held herself back better than I did. Come to think of it, Rita and I need to apologize to Bronya as well as soon as possible.

“What else…? Well, I guess that’s that? I mean, I can’t stay here forever, right? I got a second chance to be a better teacher, and I promise that I won’t waste it like I did before. And I might just be killing the last bits of your better students’ patience, so…”

Himeko gave us a teary grin over her shoulder.

“…who’s next?”

“Please do not expect the maid to step ahead of her master, Master Himeko,” Rita replied with a shallow bow, an open eye, and a small smirk.

“And do not leave without my permission,” I decided to further resonate with my best friend, even daring to smirk.

Himeko then let out a hearty laugh and faced the grave again.

“Look, they’re my teachers now!”

Rita and I could not help having the happy smiles that followed. With that, the two of us stepped forward and knelt down with our flowers.

I closed my eyes.

Thank you, Ragna,” the three of us suddenly managed to say in unison.

With that, we shared smiles and laughter.

Author’s Note: So I happened upon English fan posts about the Durandal visual novel, and then I found out about Himeko, Rita, and Bianka’s connection through Ragna, which got me writing this.

Also, Owl had me imagining how Himeko’s body would be after the Otto-Serpent Honkai War. And while I do ship Ana and Owl enough to ask miHoYo for a second chance for them along with further APHO development in the latest Version Satisfaction Survey, I do freaking regret not asking for a Himeko Augment as well.

Next Part: “Weird Dedication”

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