[Rochu Fanfic] A Sign from Heaven - Chapter 1

Main Pairing: Rochu (Ivan x Yao) | Genre: Humour, Romance | Rating: PG

Synopsis: Yao mistakes Ivan in a panda suit for a talking panda that's possessed by a deity. He asks the 'Great Deity' for advice on how to kick the foreign devils out of his land and gets some very strange answers indeed.

Meant to be a continuation from "Childhood Ambition", but can be read as a standalone story.

Disclaimer: The following story is a derivative work of APH and shares no relation to actual countries, political ideologies, history or events. Characters are copyright to Hidekaz Himaruya, but the storyline and writing are copyright to me. You may share the link to my blog or blog post, but you may not repost my writings without my permission.

Chapter 1: Prayers Answered

1861 AD, Beijing

Ivan Braginski whistled merrily as he trudged towards Wang Yao's house. He wished he could quicken his pace to fall in step with the jolly tune he was humming, but dragging his feet was all he could do to walk reasonably fast without toppling over in his bulky panda costume. Still, he could not wish for much better weather conditions to make his daily visit to his Southern neighbour. It was a windy morning, not too hot to make him want to hit something with his water pipe, and not wet or snowing, which would inhibit his walking greatly. Ivan could feel the coolness of the autumn air permeate his furry costume. Perfect for stalking his favourite nation in a get-up that was usually prone to heat stroke.

As he plodded along, a familiar sight made him even more jubilant - Yao carrying a beautifully lacquered wooden parasol, headed in his direction. Ivan could not see his face, for he was looking downward, which made Ivan feel rather disappointed. Ivan loved to see Yao's amber eyes light up whenever their eyes met. Well, strictly speaking, Yao's happiness was directed to Panda-san rather than him, but all the same, he was the one donning the panda outfit, so Yao might as well be smiling elatedly at him.

No sooner had Ivan voiced his inner wishes did a surprised shout of 'Aiya!' ring out from ahead. A strong gust of wind had blown the parasol out of Yao's grasp. Yao ran after it, flailing his arms to get at the umbrella.

“Oh hello, Panda-san! Windy day huh?” Yao cast a smile at 'Panda-san' as he chased after the parasol. Ivan felt his heart grow lighter from that friendly interaction with Yao, even if it was for mere seconds. Realizing that he ought to help his sweet heart, he sought to run after the parasol. Alas, the costume was simply too cumbersome, and down to the ground he went.

“Panda-san! Are you all right?” Yao knelt down anxiously beside Ivan. “You silly fellow, you ought to know full well that you aren't cut out for running aru!”

Yao placed his arms around the panda's bulky waist and helped him up.

“Aiya... that parasol was a gift from my previous boss. It was blessed by his ancestors aru,” Yao shook his head and looked up longingly at the clear blue skies. The parasol was no where to be seen.

Ivan looked regrettably at a sad Yao. Although Yao could not see his puppy dog eyes, the panda's sad eyes had cast their spell.

“Aiya~ Panda-san~” Yao cupped his fuzzy cheeks and rubbed them gleefully with his palms. “Don't feel bad for me. Bad things come in twos. That's the will of Heaven. Once I overcome this catastrophe, I'll emerge stronger and luckier than ever aru!”

Ivan cocked his head curiously, wondering what other troubles were bugging his beloved.

“You’re so cute aru!” Yao squealed as he threw his arms around the large downy body, making Ivan light-headed with happiness.

“Sigh… Panda-san~” Yao inclined his head against Ivan’s broad chest. “You’re my only friend now aru. Those Westerners are always bullying me, especially that stupid Opium. They make me sign all kinds of treaties that allow them to take my land for free.”

Ivan felt his heart sink. Poor Yao was always getting bullied. How he wished he could cheer him up! He patted Yao’s head with his paw and cleared his throat. Then he spoke, adopting a deep, rumbly voice, which he felt, sounded like what a panda’s speaking voice was like.

“Poor Yao~ But you still have Russia as your friend, don’t you?”

Yao let out a derisive sniff.

“Ha! Russia, my friend? I won’t forget the Treaty of Aigun and all the other unfair treaties that he had a hand in! Sneaking up on me and taking my land when I’m down and out, that’s utterly despicable aru!” Yao said fiercely, causing Ivan to feel upset and alarmed.

“He just wants to be closer to you~ If you’d honour your promise of letting him stay at your house, he wouldn’t have to take your land by force~” Ivan whined in a hurt voice, forgetting to disguise it.

Fortunately, Yao was too preoccupied by his own anger and appeared not to have noticed.

“I wouldn’t have to kick him out if he complied with my boss’ rules and paid me tributes like other nations do! Besides, he’s already received many concessions and robbed me of much land. He doesn’t deserve better aru!”

“But I’m not other nations!” Ivan sulked. Yao was so prejudiced! He had fussed over him when he was a little boy. Yet now that Ivan was all grown up, the Chinese nation spurned all his advances. Ivan often tried to console himself that Yao was simply jealous that he had grown taller, bigger and richer than him. But surely Yao ought to understand that his larger stature and land meant that he was in a better position to lavish Yao with greater protection.

A shout from Yao and a sudden loss of weight from his chest caused Ivan to snap out of his thoughts.

“You…!” Yao released his embrace and moved several steps backward, his eyes wide open in shock.

Ivan felt his heart race faster. Had he spoken too much? Had Yao seen through his disguise?

“You… you spoke!” Yao pointed a finger at him almost accusingly.

“Umm… shouldn’t I?” Ivan asked weakly. Come to think of it, while he had often seen Yao prattle to his panda, he had never seen the panda answer back.

The stunned expression on Yao’s face turned to awe.

“You’re a deity, aren’t you?” Yao gazed at ‘Panda-san’ with starry eyes. Ivan developed a sudden desire to rush forward and give him a hug. Then his brain registered what Yao had said, and it became his turn to stare at Yao in awe.

“You’ve answered my prayers and come to possess Panda-san’s body to help me, haven’t you?” Yao clasped his hands together gratefully.

“Uh…” Ivan looked uncertainly at Yao, trying to determine whether or not he was in hot soup.

“I’m so sorry if I was rude by touching you, Great Deity!” Yao cried. “I really had no idea. I’ll kowtow to you right now aru!”

Yao got down to his knees. In a rush to stop him, Ivan tried to get down to his knees too, and stumbled, falling face-forward.

“Aiya! I’m so sorry aru! It must be difficult to move around in Panda-san’s clumsy body, isn’t it?” Yao rubbed his hands together excitedly. He wanted to help the ‘deity’, but he felt that it was sacrilege to touch such a sacred being.

A slightly disgruntled Ivan tried to stand up with great difficulty, while a still stunned Yao watched on with a look of jubilation on his face.

“Aiya~ It’s my first time seeing a deity up front! I’m so nervous that I don’t know what to do aru!” Yao blubbered. He stuck out his arm hesitantly to help, and then withdrew it again just as Ivan was about to clutch it.

“What you should do,” Ivan rumbled, “is to help me up. Your panda really needs to lose some weight.”

“Yes, Great Deity!” Yao rushed over obediently. Then he stopped in his tracks again.

“But… is it all right to touch you?” he asked nervously as Ivan tumbled back onto the ground once more.

Trying to maintain his composure as best befits a deity, Ivan replied, “Your touch is welcome, for I can sense that your heart is sincere and your desire to help is true.”

“You are wise, Great Deity!”

Glad that he was not going to be berated for impudence, Yao put his arms around the large waist and helped Ivan up. Then he stood aside and eyed him sheepishly, scratching his head as he did. He looked so clueless and innocent that Ivan had to mentally remind himself not to pounce on him.

Yao had spoke of the idiom “A man has gold under his knees” to illustrate how Chinese men believed that kneeling in front of others was a shameful thing. The fact that Yao had without hesitation, tried to kneel in front of him, was a mark of how explicitly he believed in him. Ivan knew that Heaven was finally rewarding him for his devotion.

“Wang Yao,” Ivan said.

“Yes, Great Deity!” Yao bowed respectfully.

“Aren’t you going to invite me to your house?”

“Eh? My house is very messy aru. I haven’t had time to tidy up after that stupid Opium used my kitchen to do experiments this morning aru,” Yao said self-consciously.

“It matters not. I merely wish to dish out to you my words of wisdom. But if you think my presence would impose on you…”

“Oh, of course not!” Comprehension dawned on Yao’s face. “I apologize for misconstruing your kind intentions. Please follow me aru!”

As they walked side-by-side to Yao’s house, with Yao frequently trying to walk behind out of respect, Ivan kol’ed softly to himself. Heaven had answered his prayers, not Yao’s.

To be continued...

The second chapter is available in my Rochu doujinshi 'Our Secret History'. It will also be available in a free pdf version of the doujinshi that will be downloadable here after the book has sold out.


Himaruya doesn't do many Rochu strips, but for the few that exist, it's so fun to play around with them XD I've always felt that it was admirable of Ivan to stalk Yao in that bulky panda suit. It's really hot and bulky and I've read that people who work as mascots dressing up in heavy costumes have to go on shifts lasting minutes since it's easy to get heat stroke in these things! Ivan is such a devoted lover~

In the 1600s, Russia tried to forge diplomatic ties with China. Russia sent ambassadors over to China thrice, but the ambassadors kept getting thrown out. As mentioned in my story (in the 2nd chapter), the Chinese did not view the Russians (or any other foreigners) as equal, and would only be willing to forge any sort of diplomacy if Russia regarded China as a superior country and sent tributary gifts to China like Japan and Korea did in ancient times. Of course Russia did not want that, so cultural differences and language barriers prevented them from getting along, until both sides had ambassadors who could speak Latin.

Ivan was one of the many countries that bullied Yao in the 1860s. He didn't do it outright as the other allied powers did, but he hopped on the unequal treaties that the allied powers drew up and tried to get some benefits such as land and property ownership from Yao. In the meantime, he also tried to be a 'neutral' guy by promising to help Yao. if Yao would grant him further benefits. While infringing on his land, he still tries to get into Yao's good books. No wonder he is portrayed as a stalker of Yao. It seems he would stop at nothing to close the distance between them. XD

Topic : Axis Powers Hetalia
Genre : Anime/Manga

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