Infinite Stratos: A New Person

Chapter 4: Training him and training me

Chifuyu led Tabane to a secure room. After shutting the door shut, she faced Tabane.

"I don't have much time here. So I'll make this brief," said Tabane. Chifuyu crossed her hands, ready to listen "I was supposed to send him here right after he got his IS, but somehow, we were attacked by an IS drone," This surprises Chifuyu.

"Sabine destroyed it, fortunately. After checking the wreckage, it belonged to an IS company," said Tabane "They want the Core. I'm afraid if the company had its hands on it, they would hack and mass produce it. Can you imagine if they did that? Men would be able to pilot it. It would be sold in the black market, or worse, the world superpowers would buy it and try to apply it into their military. They would use their veto power to violate the Alaska Treaty. That was why I sent him here, to keep him safe from other threats."

Then, Tabane changed her voice to a whisper, as if she'll tell something very secret "I've tried a lot of experiments to alter the IS Core of the dead pilot. All of them failed,"

"So, you're saying?" said Chifuyu.

"Yes, his IS doesn't use an altered IS Core. I've invented a new type of Core," said Tabane. Chifuyu was shocked at the revelation "It may look and function like a normal IS. We've seen how it performed during the match and how easily it got defeated by Ikkun's IS. It's still in its experimental stage."

"How did this company know about the Core, while you were in hiding?" said Chifuyu, puzzled. She knew her friend is a master in hiding herself from the public.

"Well, that's the big question. The security was tight, but how could someone reveal our secret base's location," said Tabane "It was fortunate that the person didn't get his or her hands on the blueprint of the special Core. No one except me knew where the blueprint is. I suspect one of us is a mole."

"So, you're going to let it go?" said Chifuyu.

"I have burnt the blueprint. Plus, Susu is here. Everything will be safe. I guarantee you," said Tabane.

They kept quiet for a few seconds before Chifuyu said, "What was the real reason of you giving him that IS? You can't just give someone an IS, let alone a male. I know you have something else on your mind."

"After witnessing the massacre at Susu's place, I felt devastated. I couldn't imagine people would use them to such an extent. On top of that, my creations have created a rift between men and women. Susu just happened to be one of the victims of society. Because of that, he had a serious issue of gynophobia," said Tabane "The real reason the Bosnian government chose him as a representative was to throw him away from his country."

"Then, the claim that Kiranovich was owned by the government of Bosnia was a lie?" Chifuyu.

"They want to avoid the violation of the Treaty," said Tabane "They won't help Susu. Scholarships, accommodation and his welfare during his studies are not of their concern."

It was outrageous for Chifuyu to hear about it "How could they?"

"You can say he had committed something very offensive that landed him in deep trouble. It came from his hatred of women. He tends to…break when he's pushed too far. But don't worry, Sabine had him learn to control his fear."


Boys Bath

"Do you still feel any aches on your body?" said Ichika to Suljo. They were in the boys' large bath which was specifically made to separate the girls from the boys.

"Only a bit, but it's not that bad," said Suljo. Ichika nodded and they undressed their IS suit side by side. Ichika took a peek at Suljo's topless body. He didn't see any curves on his chest.

"Suljo's a guy, that's for sure," Ichika thought. The last thing he expects to happen was Suljo turned out to be a girl.

"Is there something wrong?" said Suljo, noticed at the stare that Ichika has given.

"Nothing," said Ichika.

The boys entered the hot tub area of the changing room. They soaked their bodies into the hot water. Both of them let out a long sigh, enjoying the hot water washing away their stress.

"Do you like it?" said Ichika.

"Oh, yes. The water is hot and relaxing," said Suljo. He waded inside the bath happily—splashing the water like a child. Ichika couldn't help but chuckle at his antics "I love swimming."

"There's the school pool," said Ichika "I don't know when's the suitable time to use it, but I can show it to you after school."

"Really? That's really nice of you," said Suljo. Ichika blushed lightly at his compliment.

"Hey, about the match against Lin Yin, you totally kicked ass in hand to hand," said Ichika.

"Thanks," said Suljo.

"Sabine's her name, right? That trainer of yours," said Ichika.

"How did you know?"

"Tabane explained everything to us during your match against Lin Yin," said Ichika.

"Oh, Taba-Neesan was here?"

"She was, but she disappeared after our match," said Ichika "So, you lived in an underground bunker all the time? Aren't you bored?"

"If you were in my shoe, you won't enjoy it. It's like living inside a military base. You know how it looks like," said Suljo. Ichika was grinning nervously. It must've been harsh for the Bosnian, but his bright and cheerful appearance didn't show any sign of it.

"Anyway, what kind of training did you go? I heard that you haven't even trained in an IS."

"Taba-Neesan said it was still early for me to get an IS. So, I had to learn the basics of combat. The match against Huang-san was actually my very first IS match. I can't believe I won," said Suljo.

"Well, you've implemented everything that you've learned," said Ichika "But still, you lost against me." He realized his slip of the tongue. It's not nice for him to say that.

"Yeah, I guess that's fair; First time winning and losing. Sabine had little time to teach me the fundamentals of handling my IS. She said I have to implement what I've learned into it. But, you know, after losing against you, I didn't think that I could be that good in an IS," said Suljo.

"Don't worry. I'm sure you can master it. Look at me; I had to fight Cecilia on my first day in this academy." said Ichika "You just have to gain experience if you want to become good at using your IS. I gained my experience through matches. If you can, try to spar with the girls. They're good," said Ichika.

"I want you to train me. I want to be strong just like you,"

"I will. Besides, that's what friends are for," said Ichika. He rests his back against the tub. It has been a while since he talked to another boy like him. Being the only boy in this academy bores him. Sure, he had a few moments that he enjoyed being surrounded by girls. He then realised Suljo was staring at him with a smile.

"You're different. I was just a stranger to you when we first met. But you showed me your friendliness. I have to say, I'm glad to meet you," said Suljo. Ichika chuckled while scratching his head, blushing at his compliment. He got out of the bath. Suljo followed him.

"Okay, let me scrub your back," said Ichika.

"What?" said Suljo.

"That's how Japanese people bath," said Ichika.

"Well, okay," said Suljo. He sat on the stool while Ichika was on his knees behind him. Ichika scrubbed Suljo's back. It was a silent moment for a few minutes before Ichika started to talk.

"It feels awkward when we bath together," said Ichika.

"We're guys. There's no need to be embarrassed," said Suljo.

"I know, but since there are only both of us, they would get the wrong idea," said Ichika, pointing at the bathroom door. Silhouettes of around five girls were seen through the glass. Ichika went to the door and slides it open. The peeking girls staggered backwards when they see Ichika clad with a towel standing in front of them "Should I alert the others that there are perverts here?"

"No," said the girls. They quickly scrambled from the place.

"Girls can be perverts," said Ichika "Most of the girls came from all-girls schools. So, they're curious about us. That's why they are very interested in us. Unfortunately, they used Yaoi comics as their source."

"What's Yaoi?" asked Suljo innocently, which made Ichika to blush. Ichika was uncertain whether to explain the boy-love genre to him or not.

"It's best if you forget it. And don't even ask the girls," said Ichika. Suljo was disappointed and had to give up.


Classroom

"Surprise!" The whole class chorused. Behind them is a big fancy looking banner with 'WELCOME TO JAPAN, SULJO KIRANOVICH' written on it. The girls cheered as Ichika and Suljo stepped into the classroom. Suljo was astounded by their surprise party and Ichika, who planned this earlier with the girls, smiled. Houki, Cecilia, Lin Yin and Charlotte are at the side of the class, showing no interest with the party. Despite the party was held in their class, students from different classes were also there.

As Ichika and Suljo stepped inside, girls began to flock around Suljo, congratulating him for his IS match. Then, Suljo was approached by a senior with glasses. "Hello, I'm Mayuzumi Kaoruko from the Newspaper Club. Do you have time for an interview?" said the senior. Suljo gave her his permission. The senior took pictures of him. Then, she interviewed him.

"Okay, introduce yourself," said Mayuzumi.

"My name is Suljo Kiranovich. I came from Bosnia and Herzegovina," said Suljo "Do I have to give my date of birth?"

"Oh, definitely," said Mayuzumi.

"1st of September,"

"Ooh, a Virgo," said Mayuzumi "So, are you single?" A few girls around started to look at Suljo with high hopes.

"What kind of question is that?" thought Ichika.

"I'm single," said Suljo. The girls cheered.

"Hmm hmm, so are you interested to have a girlfriend?" said Mayuzumi.

"I want to concentrate on my studies. Having a girlfriend is not a thing for me," said Suljo. Immediately, the girls hung their head sadly, much to Ichika's amusement.

"Oh, you'll see. Next, what can you say about Japan?" said Mayuzumi.

"It's a nice place. The people here are friendly to new people," said Suljo "Since I've never been outside Bosnia, This place is radically different than my place."

"This is Japan. Next, do you have a hobby?" said Mayuzumi proudly.

"I rear cows and sheep back in my country," said Suljo "Other than that, I collect chicken eggs, milk the cows and feed the animals." Everyone near him stared blankly at him before he continued "I was raised in a farm."

"Old McDonald had a farm, O," sang Lin Yin, snickering.

"Raised in a farm, huh?" said Cecilia.

"Okay, last question. What are your thoughts after fighting Ichika Orimura?" said Mayuzumi.

"Honestly, he's quite challenging. I'm happy to face against the first male IS pilot and since he's more experienced than me, I lost," said Suljo "I'm still new. I hope that we can learn a lot from each other."

"We do hope so. Thank you for giving your cooperation, Suljo Kiranovich," said Mayuzumi, she offered her hand. Suljo didn't shake her hand. "I guess you're the type that doesn't shake hands with girls. Anyway, I'll make this interview into an interesting article. Wait for it, okay?"

"May I know who was the girl that lost against him in the IS match? We're going to have a photo session together," announced Mayuzumi. Lin Yin's face went red in shame. With a heavy sigh, Lin Yin went for the photo shoot.

Ichika stood beside Suljo, shaking his hand while Lin Yin made a 'loser' hand sign behind him. Clicking her camera, Mayuzumi said, "Who wants to take pictures with him?" Instantly, nearly half of the class huddled in front of Suljo, asking for a picture with him. Suljo was both nervous and confused. He looked at the girls; each of them looked like a predator cornering its prey.

Ichika grabbed the poor boy's shoulders, "It's okay, I'll be on your side. We'll take it together," he said, smirking. Following the advice of the guy who has experience with the school, Suljo stood beside him. Ichika placed his hand on Suljo's shoulder. Both of them smiled at the camera. The girls stood around the boys. They happily posed for the camera. One of them grabbed the tip of Suljo's shemah, but Suljo frowned upon that and pulled the tip of his shemah away from her.

After the photo session, everyone did their own business. It was lucky that the teachers were having a meeting at this time. The students from other classes went back to their respective places. Suljo grabbed a drink and went with Ichika to Ichika's harem.

"How's the party?" said Ichika.

"It's astounding. I've never been to a party before," said Suljo. Lin Yin, expecting that kind of answer, smirked at Charlotte. Charlotte giggled.

"It does suck to be a village idiot," said Lin Yin. Suljo ignored her insult.

"You're jealous because there's no party for you when you transferred here," said Ichika to Lin Yin, which results him getting stomped on the legs.

"Excuse me, can we talk?" said Laura to Suljo.

"Yes," said Suljo.

"Can you speak in German?" said Laura.

Suljo, his eyes widened, said, "Yes, although it's a bit broken,"

Laura smiled and replied, "Ach so, das ist wunderba!" (Oh, that's wonderful!). After that, they chatted happily in German. Laura giggled and Suljo laughed at one point of their conversation. Then, Laura's face changed to serious. She talked in a serious tone. Suljo nodded slowly at the end of her talk. He replied back in a calm tone. Laura gave him a glare before turning back. Her face showed a hint of dissatisfaction.

"Wow, I didn't know you can speak in German," said Ichika.

"He learned it from his German trainer," said Laura.

"What does 'village idiot' mean in German?" said Lin Yin.

"Can it, Lin Yin," said Ichika. Lin Yin playfully whistled a tune, ignoring him.

"What were you two talking about? Why are both of you laughing back then? Is it about us?" said Charlotte to Laura.

"Nothing, his German is a bit broken," said Laura "He took a crash course in German."

"My trainer was busy that time," said Suljo.

"Anyways, Suljo and I had a conversation at the changing room. We were planning on training together," said Ichika.

"Is the training during class not enough for him?" said Houki to Ichika.

"Yes, it's not enough," said Ichika.

"Cecilia, you've been quiet for a long time. Is there something bothering you?" said Charlotte to Cecilia.

"It bothers me to know someone dishonourable like Kiranovich would enrol here," said Cecilia.

"Excuse me?" said Suljo.

"I'm just saying, that we didn't expect the inventor of IS herself would give someone like you an IS," said Cecilia, her tone proved her disappointment and disapproval "It's just weird to have a guy piloting Infinite Stratos. Men have no place to use Infinite Stratos. Infinite Stratos is an honour for us women to use, not for a lowly farm boy who rears sheep on a daily basis. Infinite Stratos is not an exoskeleton to be taken lightly!"

"'Farm boy'; that's a good one, Cecilia," said Lin Yin, patting Cecilia's back.

Yesterday, Cecilia was friendly towards Suljo. Upon hearing Tabane's story, she started to despise him. As a person who was raised in the rich environment of the British aristocracy, Cecilia knows the meaning of honour and nobility. Her father was a person constantly being dominated by her mother and eventually made Cecilia to view men as dishonourable and coward. That was until she fought Ichika in an IS match. Ichika's selfless act had her change her view. She looked at Ichika as a gentleman.

But, for Suljo Kiranovich; how he was given a special IS without any effort or gifted ability left Cecilia disgusted. In addition, while scientists failed finding ways to make Infinite Stratos respond to men, Suljo was easily given one by Tabane herself. She could say that he's lucky—A lucky bastard.

"You're pathetic, Kiranovich. You have no honour. I find your use of the altered IS Core rather… unpleasant," said Cecilia, brushing her hair arrogantly. She drank her drink before continuing, "Well, I guess since that your IS was 'specially' made, just give up on joining any tournaments, for it is lower than all the other IS. Even lower than the Training IS',"

"Hmm, I'm weak?" said Suljo to Cecilia. His tone was calm. "Huang-san must be really easy on me back then. That explained her loss."

"You're damn right I was being easy on you. I have more experience than you because I've fought a lot. When I had to fight you, I knew it was going to be an easy victory for me," said Lin Yin to Suljo proudly "Instead of winning, I gave you a chance to win!"

"That was nice of you to do that," said Suljo.

"N-next time we fight, I'll beat you to a pulp!" said Lin Yin, blushing.

"It would be an honor," said Suljo.

"You're being sarcastic, right?" said Lin Yin.

"Girls, have you had enough criticizing him? It's since day one you've been like this," said Ichika, standing between his harem and Suljo "I know you can't familiarize with a new member in our clique, especially since he's a guy. But, he's still new to Infinite Stratos. I suggest we can take part in training him. It'll be fun. In return, maybe he has something to share with us."

"You do it," said Cecilia, Charlotte, Laura, Lin Yin and Houki. Ichika sighed in defeat.

"Ichika's lucky to have a repertoire of strong and beautiful girls around him. It's a shame if they won't help his friend," praised Suljo. The girls blushed.

"We won't help you," said Lin Yin to Suljo.

"Well, don't cry if he beats you all one day," said Ichika. That only earned him glares from the girls.

"Like Hell!" said the girls in unison, sending Ichika almost off his feet.

"I know that it was dishonourable for me to have that 'special' IS, Alcott-san," said Suljo to Cecilia "The important thing is, please keep this a secret. Taba-Neesan didn't want this secret to be exposed to the public."

"We will, but shame on you," said Cecilia. Suljo gave a sigh of relief and thanked Cecilia, which in return he got a 'You're not welcome,' from her. Suljo drank his drink and pulled his face.

"What's this?" said Suljo, changing the topic.

"It's Coca-Cola," said Ichika "Never drink it?" Suljo shook his head.

"Well, that's an obvious answer," said Cecilia.

Lin Yin has a mischievous idea of a prank.

"Hey, village idiot, to drink a coke, you must shake it first," said Lin Yin to Suljo. She took a can of Coca-Cola and handed it to Suljo.

"Okay, why?" said Suljo, starting to shake the can.

"It's the way to make it less gassy when you drink it," said Lin Yin "You got to shake it faster." Suljo followed her instructions, unaware that he's being tricked. For Lin Yin, this is her first step to bully him.

"Enjoy your drink," said Lin Yin, smirking. Suljo opened the tab of the can and before he knew it, the coke burst. It didn't burst towards him, instead Houki, Cecilia and Laura, who were right in front of Suljo. Their uniforms were stained with the colour of the coke. They didn't say a word and glared at Suljo.

"It exploded! I've never seen a drink that can explode!" said Suljo. He was so shocked he fell on his bottom. Lin Yin laughed hysterically, clutching her stomach. She was laughing at how stupid Suljo looked. Ichika was trying to hold back his laughter, but he couldn't. He laughed loudly.

"How can people drink this?" said Suljo. This made Lin Yin to literally roll on the floor and laughed loudly.

"Despicable," muttered Cecilia.

"Scheise," muttered Laura.

"Idiot," muttered Houki.


Ichika brought Suljo to the school pool as promised just to survey the place. He gave him a brief tour of the school after that. Along the tour, girls that they encountered were giggling and blushing at the sight of them. This made Ichika and Suljo to also blush since most of the time they saw girls except that there was one time they greeted a male teacher who happens to walk by. At the turn of the corridor, they collided with a girl. The girl fell on her bottom. Ichika tried to offer his hand but instead, he got a glare from the girl,

"Watch where you going, pinhead," said the girl angrily. She helped herself up and muttered "Nice, now we have two thrashes in this place." Then, she walked away arrogantly.

"You see, not all girls are nice to us," said Ichika.

"Is that a senior?" said Suljo.

"I guess she is," said Ichika "Well, I can't afford to show you every place in this academy, so it's better if we train straight away."


Battle Arena, IS Academy.

Ichika and Suljo stood facing each other at the middle of the field of the arena. There was nobody at this moment. That's fine by Ichika, because the last thing he wanted was unnecessary interruptions from the girls.

"Okay, first thing that you need to learn is about controlling your IS. It is the most important aspect to be familiar with it. Adapt it like it's your own body," said Ichika to Suljo.

"Got it," said Suljo.

"But first, do you know how to perform a Partial Deployment?" said Ichika. From the looks of Suljo, he doesn't. Ichika took the time to explain that a Partial Displacement is where a person can summon a part of the IS. He demonstrated by summoning his Yukihira beam saber. "Not only that, you can turn your hand into you IS hands also." Then, his right arm materialized into a metallic robot arm.

"Now, try," said Ichika. Suljo raised his right hand to his front and concentrated. He succeeded when a buster sword materialized in his hand.

"I did it!" said Suljo, heaving the heavy weapon on his shoulder.

"Good, try summoning others," said Ichika. Suljo tried summoning his Atici beam rifle. Next, he summoned his two Keskin rifle/swords "You're getting the hang of it. We'll proceed with our IS'."

"Okay," said Suljo. Both of them transformed into their respective IS' and hovered mid-air "What's next?"

"Can you see this thing floating in front of me?" said Ichika. There was a holographic video floating in front of him "You can see anything in any direction via this video and zoom in. When you're in an IS, all of your five senses are enhanced."

"Understood," said Suljo. He activated his video feed in front of him. From it, he can see the control tower of the arena behind him. He zoomed the video and saw the interior.

"Hm, for starters, lets just fly around," said Ichika.

Ichika and Suljo flew around the arena. Then, they flew out of the arena and to the school building. Eventually, their flight course extended outside of the school boundaries to the ocean between the island where the school was and the mainland. Ichika gestured Suljo to fly to a higher altitude. Suljo was a little bit scared but Ichika managed to convince him that he'll be fine. Next, Ichika taught Suljo to do sharp turns and bank his IS.


As the sun was about to set, the boys overlooked the entire island. They're still outside the school boundaries.

"Beautiful, isn't it?" said Ichika. Suljo gave him a small nod "Do you know that this spot used to have nothing here? After the introduction of IS, the government built this island for this academy."

"You people are really impressive. Not only mankind was able to build this suit, but they also could make an artificial island," said Suljo.

"Yeah, well, lets get back. Chifuyu might not like it when she knows we're far from the academy,"

When they arrived at the battle arena, they saw a familiar figure standing in the middle of the field. At first Ichika thought it was Chifuyu. He prepared for the worse from his sister. However, the person in question was Laura, and she was in her grey IS suit. She stood there with her arms folded. She had a serious expression written on her face as she watched them landing beside her.

"Laura," Ichika greeted. He was curious with the attire she was wearing. Does it mean she'll use her IS?

"Kiranovich, let's start," said Laura to Suljo in German. Suljo nodded. Laura took her distance and activated her IS; Schwarze Regen. Ichika was surprised.

"Wait, hold on. What's going on here?" said Ichika.

"Bodewig-san and I agreed to test our strength," said Suljo.

"So, that's what your conversation with her at class was about," said Ichika "Suljo, don't go against her. She's stronger than you. You'll hurt yourself." Ichika turned to Laura, who was waiting impatiently "Laura, stop it. Your IS is on a different level than Suljo's."

"While Kiranovich was trained by a German soldier, I was raised in a German military environment since birth. I wanted to see how well this person, Sabine, had taught him," said Laura. Ichika had to comply with her. He retreated back while in his IS.

"Alright, but if anything bad happens, I'll have to intervene," said Ichika. Both Suljo and Laura nodded.

"Fertig?" said Laura to Suljo (Ready?)

"Ja," said Suljo, summoning his Keskins. The swords transformed into shooting mode.

"Starte!" Laura fired her laser cannon. Suljo flew from its range of fire and fired his Keskin. Laura raised her hand and the beam was deflected. Suljo fired two shots and strafed left before continuing with another three shots. Laura deflects the shots.

Suljo charged while swinging one of his Keskin swords. He was surprised when Laura managed to grab the sword.

"You're too easy to predict!" said Laura. An incoming uppercut came aiming towards her chin, but she dodged it easily. A beam saber extended out from her IS hand. Suljo raised one arm up to his chest, ready to block the hit. However, he didn't feel anything. The tip of Laura's blade was an inch away from him, together with her smirking.

"That's enough," said Laura.

"What? That was short," said Ichika.

"This is a disappointment to me," said Laura. She deactivated her Schwarzen Regen and turned to Suljo "Never have I fought someone as weak as you. It's a shame, because we Germans have the roughest military training regime. Yet, you lost easily."

"I have nothing to say. You were right, Bodewig-san," said Suljo, red in embarrassment. Laura smiled.

"Now, if you'll excuse me," said Laura, leaving the place.

"Suljo, are you alright?" said Ichika. Suljo shrugged.

"I lost again," said Suljo, giving a long sigh.

"Don't mope about it," said Ichika, patting his back "Come on, that was just Laura. There are thousands of girls here."

Suljo chuckled "I guess you're right."

-Chapter 4 END-