Let's see, Nine month or so, that's such a long time since... well, last update. For everyone still following this, I cannot show enough gratitude other than do my best to fulfill your expectation. Not enough words to express my apology, and thus the author notes will be short.

This chapter will conclude the first Emperor saga (Ichika storyline), which will continue after Tatenashi show up, I can NOT promise when I will update, but you can trust me, until I said it's dead, it's not dead yet.

Blitz 1/2: "Rejoice Sacred Twins fans, for your update has come!"

Zero: "TWINCEST FOR TEH WIN!"

The usual: Read and review


Addendum:

I've received at least three review and two PM regarding the writing quality, particularly grammar issue. Bear in mind, I'm not even an English speaker to begin with. I trust my co-writer, and what you see is what you got.

However I'm not closing my ears to objective critics, if anyone, ANYONE want to fix this chapter themselves, go to animesuki forum Infinite Stratos. Or PM me here with a legit account. well discuss this as sincere and as serious as possible. If there's anything I've learn: getting a beta is hard.


Infinite Stratos

-Sacred Twins-

Co-written with Blitz1/2

Disclaimer:

Izuru Yumizuru & Okiura

TBS, 8-BIT, MF Bunko

And everyone else!


V2 Chapter 4: Bloodstained Silver Throne


~RAN POV~

Everything started with a blur, before I knew Ichika-san and Onii-chan already within their reach. They simply step aside in a way that made it easy to counter, and they swiftly deliver.

*WHAM* *BAMF*

It was like… Inhuman, I could not track the speed of their movement at all. It's like Onii-chan and Ichika-san on different world.

"Damn you"

Though, it's seems that Ichika-san is more hesitant, whereas Onii-chan was confident with himself "Hey, listen you miserable son of a bitch. You know you will be outclassed and yet tried to attack us? Are you mad?"

Taking the bait but not quickly reacted, the delinquent retaliated "Still cocky as always huh? Right hand of the dictator!"

What was he talking about? Why was he calling-?

Before I knew, Madoka-san ditched her shopping bag and carried me on her shoulder, such amazing strength-no, why?

My chest hurt, my body simply froze in fear. I once feel this kind of fear when Onii-chan is really angry about Ojii-san. Even Kaa-san unable to calm him down.

Then-

"Madoka-san?!"

"Best we comply with them" she look aside with an assuring smile, somehow capable of keeping her composure as we zig-zag toward a general direction, the nearest populated area "I don't know much about this either, but I knew they would answer when we're safe"

Even though she's saying that, this place is simply sinister, like a labyrinth full of death traps, there were blockades everywhere, apparently to keep people from getting lost or injured.

This district was abandoned for a good reason, their constructions were exceptionally fragile, and one big earthquake is enough to shake the resident out of fear, even if the damage is considered light so far.

(Why exactly Ichika-san choosing this route again? Oh right, the sun…I even forgot to remind them. Stupid me!)

I think the only convenient route was indeed shaped like a snake.

However, Madoka-san stopped abruptly, made my stomach turned upside down. It's even worse than in the simulator even.

"Tch" she spat, then I realize our escape route has been blocked.

"So this is the new cronies of the Silver Thrones eh?" the leader, who seems to be a female, cracked her fist. Her ears were full of piercings, and her smile, such a devilish smile, it made me shiver.

This was the worst kind of delinquent, not the troubled loner kind, but the one that prey on the inferior one. There are not much people like that in my school, and if there is one, I might not know personally.

Madoka-san simply dropped me gently, putting her bigger physique in front of me. "Out of my way"

"Hah, as expected" that yankee waved her arms and several boys charged at us in response.

*THWACK*

"Stupid" Madoka-san smacked two of the boys' aside right on their head, without even flinch. Within her hand, I can see something like… a gun, no it's an automatic pistol!

Madoka-san chuckled a little as her expression began to match that of her enemies, the confident, wide grin, eyes that look down on her foe, overwhelming aura of superiority. No, this was even worse than the yankee, and she might have realized it as well.

Still, I don't afraid of Madoka-san, especially after she deliver yet another comforting smirk.

"You know, this is not a real gun, but sure as hell it's weighed like one, so, wanna try getting smacked with this?"

What I can see, she's not going to surrender.

"Apparently, this bitch doesn't only talk eh?"

A glistening sound creeping through my skin, she unleashed a pair of knife from her sleeve; it's something like a folding knife Onii-chan had-

*STAB*

"KYAH!"

I wonder what happened just now when I fazed a little, Madoka-san is holding my shopping bag, now it had a knife embedded in.

I felt like crying, but I couldn't be a worse burden than I am now, I'll at least stand on my own, even if Madoka-san is the one protecting me.

"What? You expect me to get in unarmed?" with all the mockery gesture she can deliver, the yankee unleash another knife toward us. This time, it's toward our feet.

I feel yet another goosebump as Onii-chan's arm hooked my frail body, and rolled aside while protecting me.

"Too bad Ryoko, your new goons were even less competent than before" Ichika-san commented with a no-nonsense tone as he appears beside Madoka-san.

The freakshow, she licked the knife on her hand "Well, number does have their advantage. In less than a minute, this place will be crowded with familiar face, Darling"

For a moment, I feel the same overwhelming aura again, almost pushed me to the ground. I feel my feet almost gave up, but it was Onii-chan who calmed me down.

"Now I regret why I didn't tore your arms altogether" Ichika-san growled.

"Why, yes you should, you can just carry that regret forever… in Hell"

*KLANG* *BRAK* *CRASH*

Ichika-san somehow pick a nearby, rusty trash bin to deflect those knifes. The throw it at her direction, she move just as fast, kicking it so hard the bin crumpled! How?!

"EVER SINCE THAT DAY! ORIMURA! I'VE FORGED MYSELF NOT TO LOSE TO YOU! SO COME ON!"

"Not today"

*WHOOSH*

Four of us… well, three of them really, managed to escape by jumping across the shortest blockading fence. I wonder, is everyone around me always this strong? Or maybe…

"You think we'd lose them?"

"Nah, knowing that bitch… she's too honest and naïve… in a bad way"

"Ichika-san, Onii-chan, what-"

"I'll tell, but not now" Onii-chan tossed my body like a rag doll, but Ichika-san managed to hold me proper on his shoulder, those two and Madoka-san didn't seem to have a problem running like this either.

Ichika-san pull out his phone "Hello, this is Ichika Orimura… yes, that one, no, this is not a prank… check my numbers if you don't believe, please calm down, I need to inform you that there are gang-induced riot in the abandoned district-"

Ichika-san continue to talk until he had convinced the person on the other side that he is not lying, and finally managed to, he then mutter something about glad that he had charged his battery.

"Learned to be pragmatic eh, my dear Emperor?" Even though Madoka-san said that, she used tone of concern and slight anger as she spoke.

"From the way you're in a hurry for the explanation"

"Well, a lot of it"

"Well, shoot, we're trapped like a couple of mice"

What Onii-chan refers to, we're arrived in a large, unoccupied land with only three roads, and all three are now occupied.

"Now, now, why are you in a hurry, Darling"

It was… that bitch again. She's sure in persistent, besides her trying to kill us; I don't like how she acted like she knew Ichika-san well.

"Not enough practice dummy" Ichika-san simply shrugged, how can thirty people not enough?! In front of us, all we can see is hazardous mass of bloodthirsty people. Why he could say it so calmly?!

"But that little twerp, no matter how you look at it, is your weakness, amirite?"

She even dare to point at me.

But…

She was right, I am proud of my accomplishment in athletic, but… there's no way I can fight them by myself. Once I was caught, it's the end. They're beyond my league, I was useless.

Even though the Orimura twins flinched, Onii-chan simply stepped out aside me, crossing his arms proudly. "Over my dead body"

His back is so wide, he's easily towering all of us, including Ichika-san. Even though he's kind of slender, I realize just now that Onii-chan's body is really strong.

"Well, then, we'll kill you first"

Why…

Even though I tend to disrespect him, he stood so valiantly. Even though I sometimes being selfish and annoying, he would still listen to me.

And even though I'm so weak…

His long, thin fingers gently ruffled my hair with a reassuring rhythm. Something he often did back when we're still a kid. "Don't worry, Ran, you're not alone. Onii-chan is here"

By then, I can't even hold my tears anymore.

"I'm sorry, really sorry"

"Ha, the Damsel finally stop pretending, now let's be pragmatic and get her firs-"

*THWACK*

Her words left unfinished as something smashed onto her at high speed, it was a girl, a girl who I knew very well, and resent.

Huang Ling Yin

Even then…

"You-"

"Payback, bitch" was the first and only sentence came from the brown-haired, petite Chinese girl, before delivering a swift strike to the yankee's jaw squarely, thrown her back.

(She's about as tall as me, how could be-?!)

"Ling?!" both Onii-chan and Ichika-san said with a mix of surprise and relief hinted. However, they waste not much time either, quickly ransacking the bunch of her minions easily.

Ichika even fought a man over a head taller, with bulk to match. If I have to exaggerate, one punch from him will tore through a car from one side to other. It's really like that legend of Goliath and David! Ichika-san, be careful!

"Fuck you Orimura!"

"Did I know you? Guess not"

*DRAP*

Ichika-san stomped the ground firmly, changing his combat stance, and then, he swung his arm at incredible speed, fist meet fist.

*CRUNCH*

And the giant of a man howling in pain as he grabbed his elbow, landed on his bottom. His arm, which had clashed with Ichika-san's own, seemed to be limp and livid.

"There's no use of muscle if you don't have proper joint and technique," Ichika-san then use the same hand to crush his enemy's nose with a palm strike. Such magnificent show of strength… Ichika-san is really a true warrior.

Appearing before Ichika-san was another boy, he simply grabbed the giant and then gracefully, yet brutally, swung him down like a weightless pillow; it was a gold-haired man of small stature, slightly shorter than Madoka-san. I notice he's a foreigner as well due to his facial shape, and purple eyes aren't something common either.

"Charles too huh?"

"Well, just to make sure" the blond boy twisted the other arm by pulling it, *CRACK*

Another scream was heard. Now, my fear has been replaced by pity, and of course, confusion. It's a total chaos, there's so much to think, and so many things to ask "Don't worry, I just dislocated it"

*POW*

"Well, please be merciful" Ichika nodded before casually backhanded a girl who tried to smack him with a pipe "My bad"

"Pimp hand, of all times?" Onii-chan asked in disbelief… why is he trying to salvage some humor from decidedly serious situation?! But then again, Ichika-san did that as self defense.

(It's like I don't know them anymore, but at least, I don't sense his killing intent like before)

And they keep their words, even Onii-chan and Madoka-san. It's a slaughter, a merciful slaughter, but still! Now, I wonder which one I should fear more.

Not enough of that, tiny plastic ball began to rain down upon the sky, all I can see is a figure stood upon a sunset, model gun on her hand, she continuously shot with unbelievable accuracy.

It was a high powered BB gun, I once saw that on a magazine, it's seems that they're mostly harmless unless hitting vital places, but still painful nonetheless. A good reason why the players use padded cloth and hardened plastic armor.

And then…

*CLANG* *CLANG* *WHOMP*

It was a wooden sword that magnificently deflects a pipe and a baseball bat in one swipe, one handed. A majestic, tall female not unlike Madoka-san walked in front of me. She hacked them all without batting an eye, I could even see it, eyes burned with sorrow and anger.

"Houki, hold your strength a little!"Ichika-san cried.

"Should not spare mercy for people like this" she chided.

"Hey, I'm trying to make as few victims as possible" Ichika-san said "Think about the law!"

This dangerous situation had turned into a slapstick fest, and I'm not excited at all.

This is horrible! Somebody stop this! I COULDN'T STAND IT ANYMORE!

I slumped on the wall,

It was dawn, and the fight has reached its end. I don't know how long I covered my eyes and ears, but then, I don't hear anything even after I loosened my palm, it was a little dark, but I still can see everyone clearly.

The yard has been littered with bodies, I lost count after thirty, no, it was definitely more than forty.

That china twerp actually locked into a standoff, exchanging blow with the female leader, clearly, she has upper hand, even though the later had knifes on her disposal.

Her face was bruised; Rinrin's face remains untouched at all. Though, her skin was wet and her clothes look pretty damp. It erased my doubt that she's

"How do you feel? Eh? Why don't you just bow down and beg me for forgiveness"

I knew that side of her, her angry, threatening voice. It's not the kind of anger that caused by one small thing, it's a feelings of hatred nurtured for months, maybe years even.

"FUCK YOURSELF!"

*BAMF*

Fist met face, once again. Though, Ling-Ling doesn't let her go at all. Her curly lock is grabbed fiercely; her body limped because the sheer amount of punishment she received.

"I… forgive you"

I could feel it was sincere, there's no anger or hatred anymore, but is there's any reason holding her like that?

*SNIKT* *SCRACH*

Lingyin took a knife, and in one slice, shafted the hair she grabbed.

Once proud delinquent queen, she is now a pitiful, sobbing wreck of a woman.

"Settled the score, for my burnt hair" Rin said, letting the wind to scatter the unnaturally colored, twisted strands of hair "Don't you dare to show your face again"

Police siren whined, closer as closer, as Rinrin buried her face in Ichika-san and Onii-chan's embrace, crying soundly like an innocent child. Everyone has settled down as well, half of them, I don't familiar with.

A pair police helicopter hovering over our location, signaling something I don't understand.

"So you already planned it huh?" Onii-chan cracked his neck, I can see few scratches but he doesn't seems to mind.

"As the only male pilot, it's only normal to have some sort of diplomatic immunity" Ichika-san murmured, wiping a little blood out of the corner of his lips "In the end, the same tragedy repeated again and again. And yet, I never receive my karma"

I don't want to see Ichika-san like this, he look so… weak, so fragile. Either that or he became monstrously frightening. I don't want to see either, I want to see the usual Ichika-san, who always smiled cheerfully and friendly with us.

I began to talk as my throat loosened, after the shock and fear left me. "But… still you want to shed a little blood a possible, Ichika-san… fighting is bad, I won't justify it at any rate, and you're really scary there…"

"You want to continue twerp?" That darned flatchest pushed me angrily, but Madoka-san held her on the bay. And thus, I continue "However, I am glad you feel regret about it. Because if you don't, you're not Ichika-san I knew anymore"

"Che, how much you know about him anyway" Even though she talks like that, she is smiling, showing her little and unthreatening fangs in the process "Let this Onee-chan enlighten you"

"Onee-chan my butt, my chest is larger than yours"

"You-"

I actually mocked her! I think it's because the euphoria, I don't know anymore. Our face was at close proximity after the first, hostile headbutt.

"What?"

"Bah, you're too pathetic and insignificant for my fist; go away, you made my eyes sore"

"Please? I'm more eye-catching than you in so many ways~!"

"SHADAP! YOU'RE LITTLE INSIGNIFICANT MODERATE-SIZED BURGERS DOES NOT COMPARE TO THOSE OUTSIZED BUNS OVER THERE! LOOK! AT! THOSE!" Rinrin pointed at the other three girls, who reacted differently, but collectively covered their chest in response.

It was strange, all of them are far beyond me, and yet…

I don't know, maybe it's because of Ichika-san, maybe it's Ling Yin, I feel a strange sense of familiarity. Somehow, I'm not afraid anymore…

~CECILIA POV~

Just like Ichika-san said, we were released without much problem from being involved. Even though we done lots of damage ourselves, our record has our names listed as witnesses.

That is, the exception was Ichika-san himself.

It was crystal clear that some of the policeman resent him somewhat, even though they could not do anything to number 1 male in Japan, and quite possibly in the world. It was like, their words were intended to corner him and blame him.

Well, not all of them at least, in fact, the commander seems to be kind enough. Coincidentally, Ichika-san and the red haired boy seem to know him, personally.

"Well, I guess I could never escape from the karmic circle of violence" he noted sheepishly as we left the police station "But I hate when my dearest people got involved"

"The only way is to let them go, but then again, that makes you a loner. You definitely aren't one" his taller friend said sheepishly "Although; it would be hypocritical for me to say that anyway"

I wonder, it's seems that the situation is worse than simple riot, how those deviant has long standing problem with Ichika-san.

We're greeted by Orimura-sensei.

"You are reckless; you failed even the simplest issue about your own value toward your country"

"Back when we're shopping, we're practically unrecognizable" Madoka-san, as usual, came into his defense. However, Ichika-san stopped her swiftly "While Madoka was right, it was my fault for taking a shortcut"

And then, it was the little girl "No, Chifuyu-san, it was my fault for staying too long, besides-"

"Blaming yourself won't solve anything!" Sensei's voice overwhelm the melancholic situation surrounded us, even then, it wasn't tense at all. She, for the first time I swear, shown a great concerned expression on her face.

In fact, it's greater than what she shown during the attack of mysterious machine weeks ago.

Such honest and pure emotion, even she was human after all. She gently put her hands over the two girls in front of Ichika-san.

"It was part of human life to make mistakes, what you need to think is not what you failed to achieve, but what you should achieve. Remember that, and Ichika"

"Yes, Chifuyu-nee"

"People reap what they sow; you cultivate the hatred… you had to endure the result… doesn't that feeling is enough self-punishment for you?"

"I don't think so," Ichika-san calmly noted, as if he had released a lot of burden "I am very sure that I will just cultivate yet another problem this time, but no matter what, there won't be any regret"

Orimura-sensei raised her eyebrow in response, but Ichika-san kept silent afterwards, then switched to talk about something else with his male friend carefully.

Chifuyu-san then jumped into the front seats of the large Van, aside a man I don't recognize (his white hair betrayed his young, fairly handsome face).

Ichika-san, Charles, and his friend sat on the rearmost, while Madoka-san pitted between Ling-san and the little red haired girl, trying to defuse the situation uselessly, I myself sat with Houki-san on the second row.

"Ichika, you owe us explanation" Houki-san murmured with moist eyes, probably trying to keep her emotion down.

"As soon as we settled somewhere safe, sure"

I don't understand, why Ichika-san can be so nonchalant about it, all the while his eyes reflected all the sadness behind it. Oddly, it was like he was relaxed at last.

~ICHIKA POV~

I had a dark side which I rid of myself recently. But, I had left a path of destruction especially during my school years.

Once Houki transferred away and I became more of a loner, but I struggled to keep a smile, most of it was simply a fake, a mask to show that my current self was a mere shell.

It was not until that I met Dan and Tomoki that we became some of the best of friends.

We were a chatty bunch amongst ourselves but we always got into trouble, not into malicious trouble but I could never doubt that we would not get into schemes or otherwise.

Soon, Rin transferred into my classroom. She was a loud one, much in contrast to the younger Houki, but she had a lot of energy, that's for sure.

My classmates did not take the fact that she was a Chinese transfer student very well, foolish pride or whatever.

She was bullied much, even in her first class. Most of the bullying took place after the teacher had finished the lesson, but it was too apparent that the constant snickers about the "twin tailed chink" were flying over the classmates.

Dan, Tomoki and I did not bother with the bullies at first…But I know that it wasn't a mistake….right?

It had been 2 months since Rin's bullying continued, and it got worse. Even my guilty conscience had a limit; Dan and Tomoki were also thinking the same thing.

*SLAP*

Rin was more of a person who dealt with problems "hands-on" if I were to say, she had snapped but nonetheless came to know the consequences too late as in a second later, the next thing that came towards her was a fist to her stomach.

She coughed up bodily fluids, of which I do not want to comment much on. But, her physical defiance also weakened, but her eyes lost none of its spirit. But it was then that her eyes spilled tears of anger and vengeance towards her bullies.

Was it her tears that caused me to spring into action? The parallelism with Houki's situation was all but certain for me.

My friends cried out to me, but I was too embroiled in my emotions to stop, I held the arm that was about to hit the Chinese girl.

"That's enough, isn't it?" My voice rang out strongly to the group of classmates. Whatever mess I got myself in, I have to learn to get myself out of it.

"Orimura is it?" The taller boy sneered, "Are you this Chink's friend?"

"…" I haven't even answered as one of the boy's companions tackled me to the ground, before then. I had resisted…

My right fist went across my attacker's jaw and sent him back towards the nearest table, of which he tripped.

"Damn you Orimura!" The previous taller boy, now surrounded with his friends came at me.

Even with my training of kendo, there's no guarantee that I could take on 3 guys on a similar physique as mine. I wasn't putting up much of a fight as these guys had teamwork as well as surprise attack, often attacking my vulnerable spots.

Luckily, I was saved…

A battle cry was all that I needed to hear, Dan intervened on my behalf and the odds were improved, but at least we weren't losing as much as I was alone.

As much as being a hero of justice was concerned, it was not easy and not just playing games and acting a role. We put ourselves on the line.

Being showered with punches and retaliating on our own, it was still evident that we were fighting a slow and a losing battle.

It was only with the call of the bell and the teacher arriving that all action was stopped, and all of us had earned a detention for the rest of the day.

I had regretted nothing and neither did Dan, and as we walked out only to catch the bewildered looks of Tomoki and Rin.

But this day was a wakeup call. As if a fire lit in our hearts, we knew that in order to prevent this tragedy from occurring, we needed strength…

A lot of strength…

The following day following the incident, both Dan and I worked endlessly to improve both our teamwork, and our physical strength to the point of exhaustion.

Unfortunately, without both of us knowing. The seeds of darkness had already started to grow within us.

Six month has passed, while upholding justice, we practically took it into our own hands, seeing as the teachers and classmates are completely passive, while we defeated bullies left, right and center. Rin was a bit unaware of the situation, seeing that I intentionally did not show her my inner corruption whenever she was closeby.

It was within a year that I have earned a title. It was a title fashioned by the students, it sounded nice at first. But that was before I understood the true meaning.

An emperor was merciless and powerful, much like how I forced the school to coincide with my justice and to balance the scale between the strong and the weak, and that I was the weight that would balance against the strong opposing the prey.

"Facing us means annihilation, and so, most so called teen gangs avoid making trouble in our vicinity."

"But the distance between Tomoki and the two of us grew bigger, because unlike us, he did not have a strong spirit and yearly-trained body until it was too late… the rest of the gang is not much better. You can't just gain strength instantly like that without proper foundation and support, too easy."

It was another incident that truly forced me to face the reality. It was the last day before the former bullies of Rin graduated, and had went to intimidate her one last time in my absence.

"At the time, we justified it with the reasoning that the guys harassed Rin, physically that is." He didn't say it to defend himself for sure.

"Yeah, I've remember that, I had to endure the stupidity for years before I had to take my revenge" gulped, Rin had a mixed expression of anger and fear "The last one is the worst I can remember, you're being reprimanded and suspended for two weeks because everybody all backed you two and vetoed your expulsion, and I myself are too afraid to ask. Meanwhile, the five guys harassed me are expulsed and was sent to rehabilitation center"

How they accomplished it? Setting her twin tail on fire… that's really above and beyond pranks.

"And Ichika being Ichika, going so much as insulting his friend and families result in a roar, and hurting them physically same thing as sending yourself to the ICU. Of course, I've not much better at the time, going along with the flow and just like to spill my excessive energy in fistfight, I was there as Ichika's poisonous sidekick"

Dan swiped his hair upside, revealing his rather large forehead, due to the disappearance of his signature headband. It must be painful to remember the old shame for him. That aside, there's a good reason why he always wore a headband.

A fairly long scar caused by a knife to his face, drawn almost horizontally from the left side of temple to other. It was miracle that no major artery has been cut, and the surgery becomes much easier… at least when compared to worst case.

"Paving our way to the top… we gathers the so-called underdogs under Ichika's flag… virtually creating the strongest gang in the school based on number, tactics, and information network, 'Silver Throne', unnoticed by most student and teacher because our member also consist of important people from Student Council and Disciplinary Committee. Irony aside, you know what Ichika's title is at that time?"

"Emperor of the Silver Throne" he said, a mixed invocation of pride and regret is thick in his statement "And I was called Red Right Hand of the Dictator"

"And then… that time has come, when we're forced to see…A friend being horribly maimed… a friend who has his logical minds twisted by false courage spread by none else but me and Dan"

Its way worse than Houki's bullying from the past, they pulled on her twin tails, stepping on her hair once she was pushed down. And this time, the bullies already beat her physically to the point that she couldn't resist.

One of the female bullies smacked her lips as she brought out a lighter. "This will teach you for living in our land, foreigner!"

The remaining bullies stepped aside as the elder girl began her devious deed. Rin screamed out my name, which I heard, but I already brought my followers which I gained during my time in school.

I sprinted to the area, where Rin's hair started to singe as the bullies laughed cruelly at the misfortune of the Chinese girl, who was in a state of helplessness and shock.

I grabbed my water bottles and threw the contents at Rin, which the flame was close to reaching her scalp. The hair wasn't burnt too badly, seeing as how fast it was put out.

My eyes were now blood red with rage, I ordered 2 boys to carry Rin away as I dealt with them personally.

"Now, I assume you know what happens when you cross me?" I taunted them, but giving them the opening move before I finish them off. Dan also took off his gloves while the remaining boys formed a circle to prevent the bullies from leaving.

I looked at the girl with the lighter; I charged towards her first, kicked the device away and punched her jaw, sending her to the ground.

"Ryoko!" One of the bullies went for his fallen girlfriend when I sent an abdomen punch his away, knocking the wind out of him. I felt no remorse as I followed up by a fast flurry of punches that nearly caused him to lose conscientiousness.

The other 2 attacked me while Dan took the former leader, of which both were completely tied.

I fought evenly, even against 2 opponents.

A kick caused a rock to lightly scrape my face, but that wouldn't hurt, nothing compared to Rin's pain.

"Orimura, you motherfu-!" He didn't even end his sentence as I kicked him in the chest. But he still fought on, not bad…

However, it didn't even catch my eye that the girl I beat earlier had a knife on her (it was a swiss knife, and it was easily concealable) and stabbed my arm with it.

I yelled out in pain, and some of my followers were stunned. Their image of the invincible emperor started to disappear as I took an injury, even though it was unexpected. I dodged another slice towards the gut.

Words would do no good, I am sure this girl had the intention to kill, or if not, to maim me and to torture me. I really wish I had that bokken or shinai with me right now…She charged again with the knife

But, it didn't end there, once Tomoki saw that I was injured, he jumped in with a renewed vigour. "Ichika, I am here to help!" He tackled the girl, while holding the knife, causing Tomoki's hands to bleed. Unfortunately, she still had a good grip and didn't let go.

"Tomoki no! Are you insane?! This is dangerous!" I yelled at him.

"I am going to show you and Dan that I am NOT a coward and that I am strong. I will not back down from this. I will pave my way along with you guys." He stood defiantly against his attacker, even as he tried to clench his teeth from the pain. But this was a moment that would engrave into both Dan and my mind forever.

Tomoki tried once more to attack, but that would prove to be a fatal mistake for him…

His opponent, in a panic, swiped the knife to the side, which sliced deeply into Tomoki's fingers, sputtering blood everywhere and followed up with a stab to the stomach, of which Tomoki collapsed. His blood started to stain the floor with red.

In the meantime, one of my followers already went to get the teachers while I watched as one of my best friends fall.

Tomoki looked weakly at me, "Long live Emperor Ichika…" and his voice faded, he was losing a lot of blood.

Dan finished off his opponent with renewed rage.

I looked murderously at the girl as I sneaked behind her and grabbed her right shoulder and the arm holding the knife and I twisted it HARD.

I heard a yelp of pain, I continued to twist…

"Please, let me go. I won't do it again!" I continued twisting it.

"This hurts a lot!"

"It better hurt." My cold voice rang out.

*SNAP*

That signature sound was the evidence that I had dislocated her shoulder or worse, fractures, and she spun briefly and crashed down face up. I wasn't done with her yet.

I deliver a soft kick to her stomach, sure thing it's not hurt as much as the one I did before, but it would very much humiliate her just as well.

"Please… please forgiv-"

I reached out and began lift her one handed, rough hands digging on soft, squishy skin on her face. Even the other bullies were too stunned and did not help her. I felt the girl continued to struggle upon me, it was useless.

Such beautiful face, yet beneath it, pitch black heart is exposed clearly. In my mind back then, there's only one raw, primal desire to crush it, tore it away to expose the hidden, twisted expression of an alpha female who think she can do as her wish.

As the two guys frantically tried to help, they met the end of my knee and temple respectively, result in cracked ribs and mild concussion in the process.

By that point, everyone else simply doesn't want to be involved, whether because they're on my side or too afraid to interfere.

I threw Ryouko aside, that miserable bully is now but hollow mess, consumed by undiluted amount of terror.

Terror that I brought as retaliation.

I threw her aside like a rag doll, no one cared. The two guys just now, I think it's their share.

"I… Ichika, sorry, just… please-"

My answer came from my leg

*KACHAAK*

Thus one of them slammed to nearby window, cracked it, I smiled serenely as he dropped unconscious, with major bruise on his jaw. At the time, I think it'll be better if that window breaks, but I'm not bother to kick twice.

The other one already suffered from losing a rib or two, though for whatever reason, I feel it's not enough.

*KRAAAAK*

So I stomped on his knee, the sound of major dislodgment resounded though the eerie silence despite the crowd.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGHHH!"

"THAT'S ENOUGH ICHIKA!" Two voices snapped me out of my trance, it was Dan, who came back with the teacher, and both too shocked for words. The other one was the teacher.

Back then, I wonder why the teacher even bother, the adults never cared about how much of a hellhole this school is. No one cares, not when the weak are bullied, not when I snatched the throne.

I finally let go of my victim, for my blind anger had all but diminished.

But, I finally realized the darkness that I had unleashed, one that was fully awakened once I saw my friend in mortal danger.

I became the very monster I always hated, the very monster I always fight. I became a dictator, using strength to enforce my belief and justify my action; using the great number and overwhelming force of my friends and sacrifice them for my benefit.

I am Orimura Ichika, Emperor of vigilante gang Silver Throne.

That afternoon, I threw down my title with a heavy heart…Dan and Rin followed me, but remained completely silent that day.

"Tomoki!"

"It's okay; I'm not the weak Tomoki you knew"

"And then we think, how many kind hearted guys we converted into monsters and how I had turned into the very monster I despised. After that certain incident, I and Dan quit fighting and lucky that at the time, the discipline and rules has been refined and no brutal fight occurs after that, around the same time Rin left…"

"What hit me the worst is that most of the student in the school vouched for my safety and keep their mouth shut, as if they told me just to forget it and start anew. It just doesn't work like that, it made me feel even worse, don't know how to pay for all my sin"

"Well… it's better an organized dictator than anarchy, they yearned for authority, and they get one-"

"Dan, you-"

"Your rampage caused a revolution in the school policy, that's a start" Lingyin nodded as she smiled "'We built a new country on top of the scorched remains of the old one', Principal said that soon after the situation cooled down, and with 90% of the student made a veto"

Not you too, Ling.

"This fist of mine by no means clean, and for ByakuShiki turned into a silvery white gauntlet, it's quite Ironic" biting his lips, Ichika-nii muttered "Madoka, I'm sorry I'm not telling you"

"I… It's okay, everyone has their own secret right?" Madoka said, just like always, trying to justify my stupidity "Besides, if most of the student feel grateful for your actions and the discipline being refined, which means your sacrifice is not futi-"

I scoffed at her ramblings; I am really that much of an ass eh? "What sacrifice? Me? No, I never sacrifice anything, it's all for self satisfaction. Tomoki made a sacrifice, Rin made a sacrifice, I don't"

Apparently, Dan is fed up with my rant himself and shook me violently, then punch me on the right shoulder. It hurts me mentally than it is physically, he's really pissed.

"Listen you whiny idiot. I'm just as guilty as you are, I'm not called right hand of the dictator for nothing, and I'm practically the evil ass-kissing Minister in the eyes of our detractors. Our teachers are blind sons of bitches for acting like idiots and sacredly cat, not wanting to intervene."

"Even Tomoki damn well realized that every drop of blood he spill was his fault, his blood and enemies alike. The rest are too weak or scared to do anything" Dan shook my shoulder fiercely again, until light returned to my eye

"Open your eyes, the world is unfair, it's a miracle we got a second chance. Tomoki and Rin is safe and sound too, things get better and better"

"I knew that but still-"

One thing is sacrificed for another directly or indirectly; it's all give and take, a cycle of equivalent exchange. I will never find the solid answer of why, or what exactly I lost in that ordeal, but I'll treasure the precious people around me.

"You're hopeless" Rin sighed "I knew, it's not easy to forgive yourself, even now… I still… I still think how much of an Idiot I am, but it was you, damn it. You taught me to open yourself, so don't be a hypocrite! We're still your friends aren't we?"

Without further ado, I and Dan pit her between us, sharing our grief together, she cried in our stead, and we prevent her from showing it in front of everyone.

~CHARLES POV~

Carrying burden of secret for the one you love eh?

Lingyin-san did not like to look weak… that much I already knew. So, she calmed herself outside of the Gotanda's, feeling the wind dried her tears and soothed her sore eyes.

"It wasn't like I didn't know that all Ichika did is for the sake of my safety. I'm weak, and yet too boisterous on my own. This is why the moment I got my strength, I forget why I need that in the first place. Fighting with Ichika reminded me again, that no matter how strong I am, I'm still a coward"

"I don't think that's bad"

"Your logic circuitry needs to be checked" she chided at me.

"It's not humanlike not to have fear; even Ichika himself has his own doubt and weakness right?" I smiled at her innocuously.

And everyone had their own secret… that much is true. I don't know, I like Ichika-san as person, and… sort of having a crush on Bodewig, and for some reason or other, now I formed a pseudo-friendship with Huang Ling Yin.

Even then, I don't have freedom to choose, and doesn't deserve the right.

I am a traitor after all.

I was introduced by Ichika-san to his friend, this time, properly.

The red haired brother and sister were Dan and Ran Gotanda, close friends of Ichika, and apparently, Ling Yin-san as well (though she denied vehemently in Ran-san's case).

Madoka-san introduced Houki-san and Cecilia-san to Gotanda Ran, and I don't know what possessed them, but apparently, she has a special power of influencing older girls in vicinity to act like cool big sister, Ling Yin-san being an exception apparently, then again, it's because their rivalry over Ichika.

(I am honestly pitied her though, Houki-san and Cecilia-san doesn't even see the younger Gotanda as equal rival, Madoka-san on the other hand simply milk it for her own amusement. Well at least she got a moment of peace)

Dan Gotanda insisted not to call him with honorific. He's a nice guy, I think, he also seemed to realize about Ichika's subconscious will to be oblivious to romance.

Its 09.00 P.M. and time for us to return… Orimura-sensei had returned with the van, along with a white haired man that introduced himself as Iori Senbei.

I took a mental note to remember, this man obscured himself from scientific community years ago, being around the age of Orimura-sensei meant he's still very young for a scientist, but actually ahead of everyone else in terms of knowledge and technique when it comes to Infinite Stratos.

And I've realized for the second time, what a dangerous circle I've been slipped into.

I sent a message to Louise about my finding.

She replied with a note that the top brass was satisfied with my findings; apparently the design for the sub-power plant could bolster the economy of France without being dependent on I.S. industry.

With such a result, my hope for salvation finally buried under the filth of my betrayal.

I looked at the beautiful sky, and still wondering, was my existence even worth living? What I am struggling for?

Perhaps the answer will come in time, but all in all, it's too late


Next chapter will follow canon storyline... with the twist you expect from Sacred Twins.

Kudos.