Chapter 3:

III: The Lioness' Pride

Everywhere at the End of Hololive [HoloEnd]

May 26, 2023

1:31 pm, Fukuoka Prefecture

"Who sent you here?! The Resistance Army?! Are you here to threaten my life?! Bad move, kid," The lioness pinned the rabbit girl to the wall while pointing her butterfly knife onto the girl's neck. Despite her threathening expression, combined by being surrounded by other guys with MP5s on their hands, she kept her composure as she let out a sigh.

"No no no, I think we're having a misunderstanding," Pekora shook her head.

"Shachou!" Moona was about to open the guitar box to grab her shachou's sword, but the armed men aimed their guns onto Moona, making her freeze from her position, not wanting to escalate the situation.

"No, Moona. She's our ally," the lioness slowly lowered her knife, raising her eyebrow as her confusion can be seen from her face, "Let me explain first, Botan."

'Why did we end up in this predicament?'


6:39 am, Military Base, Sulu, Philippines.

"Fuck, I forgot to hire some assets. How can we set up a counteroffensive team if the invasion happens? Or how do we get intel from the enemy side, peko? Or how... Argh!" Pekora groaned, slamming her head onto her desk.

"It's okay. But you know, we've been here for like 3 days. We can just send other personnels to recruit some assets," Moona patted her back to comfort her.

In the midst of her mental crisis, Pekora came up with an idea. She slammed the desk as she stood up, "That's it! We're going back. I know someone who could help me."

Moona smiled and raised her hand, "Lemme join. I'm in."

"Eh? You're wasting your time. You're going to be in charge of the base when I'm gon-" Pekora was about to complain

"Shush. I'm your bodyguard! And I would be wasting my time if I stood here, doing nothing. Besides, I made a promise to protect you everytime!" Moona exclaimed, cutting the rabbit girl's words.


"I insist," Moona demanded.

"Gee, fine," Pekora held her forehead. After a short period of reflecting, she actually needs a bodyguard.

"Suit up, we're leaving now," She took out a guitar case, grabbed her sword and placed it inside. She also changed her clothes. White sleeves with black necktie, blue checkered suit and skirt. She also wore a pair of sunglasses.

"Can you even play a guitar?" Moona asked with a curious tone while also changing her clothes. Black T-shirt, blue and white jacket, and jeans.

"Disguise. I don't wanna scare people with my sword hanging on my side," she also grabbed a Glock 19 and placed it on her drop leg holster hiding behind her skirt.

"For precautionary measures," She started carrying the guitar case, "Bringing anything?"

"Nah. I'm good... Well, you know what? Let me carry that for you," she took the guitar case.

"Let's go then."

12:58 pm, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan.

"There's so many people here. Can we find what we're looking for?" Moona struggled to follow Pekora through the tight crowd, "It feels like we're sardines inside a can."

Pekora held her hand and pulled her away from the crowd, "Come here, I found it."

Moona's cheeks heated up from the thought of Pekora holding her hands. She came back to her senses when they stopped in front of a ramen shop

Menya Botan, the name of the shop written on the logo.

"Wait.. Huh? We gon' eat?" Moona gave a puzzled look.

"Yeah, peko," Pekora nodded but her facial expression can't hide the fact that she had some other plans in her mind.

As they enter a typical-looking ramen shop, it was filled with customers. It seems like they're on a roll.

They sat 3 tables away from the counter. Moona grabbed the one of the menu book at the table and started searching for dishes to order.

"There's so much food to choose from! I mean, I thought they only serve ramen, literally. But man I was wrong," she then gazed on Pekora who seems to be focusing on the counter.

"Ms. Botan... I know you're here."

"Uh, shachou?" Moona tried to drew her attention.

"Oh, yes. You're right, peko," she swiftly grabbed another menu book on the table.

Moona was clueless at first on what were they doing in a ramen shop, until a hint inside her mind made her facepalm in realization.

The waiter arrived, wearing a white shirt, red apron with the logo of the ramen shop infront of it, "Welcome to Menya Botan, ma'am. May I take your order?" The waiter asked Moona.

"I would like to order this..." She pointed to one of the food in the menu book, "and this one too."

"Any beverages?"

"Water is fine," Moona replied.

"How about you, ma'am?" The waiter then switched his gaze to Pekora.

"Uhm... Same as hers. By the way, can I talk with your manager. No I'm not gonna complain about anything. I have something important to talk about," Pekora requested with a serious tone.

"Okay, ma'am," The waiter bowed and left.

"We're going to meet the manager? You mean the manager's the one we're going to meet?" Moona leaned forward to Pekora.

"Yeah," she gave a nod.

Several minutes later...

The waiter came back with the food they ordered. Following beside him was a girl with greyish hair with lion-like ears, wearing white sleeves and red apron. It seems like she was the manager.

"Here's your order, ma'am. Enjoy your meal," he placed the food onto the table

"You may leave now, I can handle this," the greyish-haired 'lioness' told the waiter.

"Yes, ma'am," she bowed to the lioness manager and both Pekora and Moona and left the three of them

"Hello, ma'am, I'm Shishiro Botan, the manager of this restaurant. How can I help you? Any feedback or suggestions?" the lioness asked cheerfully

'Oh, she doesn't look hostile or something, good grief,' Moona let out a sigh in her mind.

"I have a request for you, Apex Predator of the Highest Order of SSRB Force." Pekora stated while looking at her food.

Botan gave a shocked expression, which changed into anger after a moment. Her fists were clenched and she gritted her teeth.

"Meet me up at the alleyway beside the restaurant," she said in a cold tone and left the two of them.

Moona felt chills in her spine and gave a worried look, while Pekora seemed unfazed, and already eating.

As Moona gazed on the counter, she saw Botan whispering something to her employee. The employee nodded and rushed inside the kitchen

"Hey Moona, you haven't touched your food yet. This is actually good. You should try it."

"Okay, shachou," she cleared her thoughts as she started eating.

10 minutes later...

"Damn, I'm full," Moona patted her stomach, "Who's going to pay? Oh wait, I have money, neverm-"

"I'm going to pay," Pekora stopped her from grabbing her wallet.

"Geez," Moona leaned from her seat, staring at the ceiling, "Should we pay on the counter or should we wait for them here."

"Neither of those," Pekora stood up, "We're paying them in the alleyway. Grab that case," Moona nodded in reply.

They went outside the restaurant and walked through the alleyway. As they saw the lioness, the store employees jumped around them, surrounding them while holding an MP5 on their hands.

"Shachou, we're surrounde-"

"Don't move!" one of the staff yelled at them.

"Let me talk to you, Shishiro Botan."

"Wait, shachou," Moona was about to stop Pekora but the rabbit girl blocked her with her arm.

"I can handle this," The rabbit girl patted her shoulders and started walking.

But Botan grabbed her and pinned her in the walls.

Present time

"You already know the former Minister of Defense, right? The one who set you free from all the crimes you committed?" Botan released the rabbit girl, folding back the knife and placing it inside her pocket.

"Put your guns down, she's an ally," sighing in relief, the lioness commanded her staff and they immediately obeyed without hesitation.

"Shachou," Moona rushed and hugged Pekora. She's glad that nothing bad happened to her shachou. She wanted to protect her, but at that moment, she can't do anything.

"It's okay, Moona," The purple haired girl let her go from the hug.

"He chose me to lead the counteroffensive forces against the Resistance, and he also recommended you to be an asset, an ally. You have a lot of potential to help this country win the incoming war-"

"No," the lioness declined.

"Why? Is it because of your past?"

Botan punched the wall beside Pekora, startling her.

"That's why we don't talk about Apex-san's past, understood?" a staff member whispered to his coworker, still audible to others in the scene.

"No. I don't have potential at all. I let my friend die, no. I let my friends go. I didn't do anything good for them. I might let the country down..." Botan sobbed as she remembered that day.

The day when her so-called family broke...

Oymyakon, Russia

It was snowing. The five girls are running in a blizzard, wanting to survive not because of freezing temperatures. They're chased down by a massive group of enraged villagers. Struggling to walk through the deep snow, the pink haired succubus knelt on the cold ground.

"Go, Botan. They're after me. Leave me alone. I don't want you to get harmed. You're only putting yourself into danger if I still join you," the pink haired succubus begged her lioness friend.

"But I am the danger myself!" The lioness exclaimed, "A guy opens his door and gets shot and you think that of me? No. I am the one who knocks. I can live with death by my side. I should be the one saving you all. I'm endangering all of your lives because of my duties," she also knelt to hug her friend.

"But I'm a demon. I harm humans. I'm the enemy of humanity," the succubus cried in her chest.

"You're a demon? I don't care. You're different from them all. You harm humans? No. for your entire life, you did nothing but help all people who're in need. You're the enemy of humanity? No. In fact, you're more human than any other human. Remember that time when you literally saved almost hundreds of civilians using those demon powers of yours? Or when you save Lamy from dying to her own curse? Keep this in mind, If the world is against you, then I'm against the world," the lioness stood up and reached out her hand, "Let's go. They're waiting in the forest."

"Maybe you're right," the succubus wiped her tears, held her hand and also stood up, "We're in this together for life..."

" matter what happens, we're still five..."



Things are happening so fast. Botan didn't realized someone threw a garden fork at her. The succubus pushed her away, causing it to hit her instead. The fork stabbed her from the back and penetrated all the way to her chest.

Her friend was lying on the ground...

She's shaking in disbelief. It was supposed to hit the lioness. She was supposed to die, not her. She ran towards her friend's body, hugging her and checking her heartbeat.

There were none...

"No... Don't leave us... You just said no matter what happens, we're still five.." She shook her body but there's no response.

She's gone..


"Woah," the only reaction Pekora gave when that punch left a big crack and blood on it.

"Manager's hand is bleeding, go get a med kit!" a staff commanded his coworkers.

"Yes, sir," they immediately rushed inside the restaurant.

"Moona, we should leave. Botan, here," she gave a calling card, "Call it when you're accepting my request. I'll give you time to think about it. Give it a shot. Bye."

Pekora and Moona left, leaving Botan and some staff at the alleyway.

"Wait, you're not forcing her to join? Then why did we waste our time here?" Moona questioned.

"It's bad to force people into doing something they don't want to do. Besides, it's my fault for probably hitting her past or something. If I recall correctly, there was an incident in Russia related to the death of her friend," Pekora grabbed her phone from her pocket, looked for an article and started scrolling.

"What happened?" Moona tilted her head to her right.

"Her friend was killed by an entire village, and according to rumors, she was a demon, specifically a succubus. Also, there was a report where an entire village was frozen to death. No one knows the reason but just like I said, they are related to the incident," She then turned her phone off and placed it back in her pocket.

"That's horrible. I mean, demons are bad, well, not all demons, but did they really need to do it to Botan-san's friend?" Moona scratched her head, "What are we going to do now?"

"We're going to stay here in Japan for a day or two, I'm going to visit a childhood friend of mine, if she's still here," Pekora took a look at the skies.

"We will meet again, don't forget about me, nye~" the pink-haired girl reached out her pinky finger.

"I'll come back for you," the blue-haired rabbit girl locked her pinky to the other one's pinkies, making a pinky swear gesture.



"I'll be back for you," Pekora murmured and smiled as they started walking through the streets to find hotels where they can rest for a day.


7:01 pm

"Okay, guys. Time to wrap it up. Work's done. Y'all guys can go home now," the lioness annouced to her staff.

Well, they just celebrated, as usual and started leaving.

"Manager, does your hand still hurt?" A staff member asked her.

"Nah, not a bit. I've experienced worse than this," Botan stared at her hand wrapped with bondages, "You can leave now. They already left."

"But how will you close the store with that hand," the staff asked worriedly.

"I can manage. Go," She commanded.

"As you wish, Manager. See you tomorrow," The staff member bowed at her and left, leaving Botan alone, sitting on a chair in front of the counter and resting her head on it. She grabbed the bottle of water, poured it on a glass and stared in it.

"Aloe, a lot of things happened in my life. I wished you never died. I wished you were here beside me. I wished we were still complete," she took a sip on her glass. Since that day, she blamed herself for letting her friend die. The guilt inside her heart renounced her from forgiving herself.

Botan suddenly heard footsteps entering the restaurant. She lifted her head to see the person's face

"We're already closed.Come back tomorro- Nene?!" She was shocked upon seeing one of her childhood friends.

"Long time no see," Giving a sweet smile at her, Nene waved and sat on the chair beside her.

"Yeah, long time no see," Botan turned her attention back to her glass of water.

"You still can't drink alcohol," Nene stared at her while leaning her head to her hand.

"Obviously. So, what brings you here? And how did you find my restaurant?" Botan stared back.

"You know there's a method called 'asking,' right?" Nene took a deep breath and rested her head onto the wooden counter, "Lamy is in Japan."

Botan stood up in shock, "WHAT?!"

"Yeah. I don't know if I'm imagining things, but I saw her in Hokkaido when I visited there last month. Well, I didn't follow her since it was crowd-" Botan held her shoulders, cutting her sentences.

"Isn't Hokkaido a territory of the Resistance Army? How did you manage to enter there?" Botan leaned forward, having a small distance between Nene's face and hers.

"Uh, yeah. They allowed tourists before but they restricted anyone from entering Hokkaido last week," Nene moved her head backwards, almost falling from her chair.

"I have to bring her back. I have to keep my promise to Aloe. We're still five, no matter what happens," Botan released the blonde girl.

Nene stood up and started walking outside, "Then accept their offer. Serve the country and save Lamy."

"Wait how did you kno-" Before she even finished, Nene was gone.

"I lost my pride when I failed to save you, Aloe. But I will never fail again. For you... We will be five again."