Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: The Art of Warfare
CHAPTER 2.06: The Gathering Part 2
Disclaimer: I don't own IS: Infinite Stratos OR Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei but I own this fiction and any other OC's in this story
"You finally have your legs back." The Empress commented with a small smile.
"I have Ichika-kun to thank for that." A beautiful woman commented while bowing before the Empress of Japan. "Still, I am surprise. To think, one of the most infamous Bounty Hunter in the final years of the Asian war happens to be the youngest son of the Orimura clan."
"I could already see the proud smile on Isa-chan's face." The Empress chuckled at the thought of Isane's reaction if she discovered her favorite son's reputation.
"If only I wasn't crippled five years ago, he and I would probably have many battles together." The woman commented sadly.
"You have regained your legs now. You can challenge him; see how far his skills measure up to yours." The Empress suggested but the woman merely shook her head.
"I have challenged him; I was not a match against him." Strangely, the woman merely smiled. "That is to be expected, after all, I have not use my legs for combat for five years, and he is a prodigy worthy of being called the son of Japan's devil."
"Did he not provide you prosthetics two years ago when you started working for him?"
"Incredibly advance prosthetics, and yes he did, but using those things to fight makes my movements awkward." The woman explained calmly. "As of right now, I am merely a half of the soldier that I was five years ago."
"I am saddened to hear that, but you are still young." The Empress pointed out in a wise fashion. "You can still recover what you lost, and you can still grow stronger."
"I know that, and I intend to be stronger, after all." The woman then shifted her gazed to a picture frame. "I have a new master to serve."
Their lips met tenderly, unhurriedly, lovingly. She was his world, his reason for living, his everything. It was because of her that he was still among the living, and it was because of her that he found himself complete, which is why he was kissing her with more urgency, more emotion, more of who he was. She writhed beneath him and her breasts rubbed against his chest in ways that made him want to take her faster than he was allowing himself as they lay on the bed in the pale white room in the jet that they were currently in.
She was the only one, the last person who could make him feel like a human being.
It was funny, it really was, Ichika thought as his mind wonder of while his body focuses on showering his lover the affection and love that she deserves.
Ichika found it difficult to comprehend that he was in the position that he was today with his younger, half-sister no less. It was a funny, and slightly ironic considering what Setsura was to him in the past.
The first time they met, Ichika viewed Setsura as a being whose beauty was something that can never be immortalized on a canvass.
When he discovered that she was his half-sister, born from his father's affair, Ichika viewed her as a person who he was responsible in raising and nurturing. This was also his way in proving to himself that he can be a better man than his father by being a good father-figure for Setsura.
After the two kidnapping fiasco, the first resulted in Madoka distancing herself from him, and the second resulted in Setsura and Ichika being closer than before, Ichika treated Setsura as his little sister, in hopes to fill the void that Madoka left when she decided to not want anything to do with him anymore.
In all pretences, Setsura became a better sister than Madoka ever had to him. Setsura, unlike Madoka, tried her best to understand him, his line of thoughts, his reasoning, everything, Setsura tried her best to understand and relate to her brother with the best of her ability.
Ichika, admitted, that time was probably when he realize how important Setsura is for his psyche.
When he had his heart broken by his first love, Chifuyu, Setsura was the one person that came to his side, comforting him and holding him when he broke down.
That was probably the reason why he decided to die for her.
At that time, he still loved Chifuyu more than he love Setsura, and even though he did not want to admit it, he cared more for Madoka than he care for Setsura.
But Setsura was the only one who had seen him cry and she was the only one who had seen him at his lowest and at his worst, and still love him after those moments of weakness. Setsura did not judge him, and merely loved him.
Ichika, at that time, realize that nobody can love him more than that, and that made it easier for him to part with his emotions.
To love Setsura that way he deserves…any price is worth that.
And he had paid it in full…And did not regret it one bit…
How could he regret giving her his heart and soul?
It was thanks to her that he was still able to live with himself. She was so beautiful, so honest, and yet she too held the same magnitude of power that burned within him, even more so in his opinion. They were both powerful, unnaturally so for their age. They have more power than most full grown and mature magicians have in their lifetime, and they are not even in their teen years yet.
And yet, Setsura remain the same while he changed drastically.
Setsura still remained the pure and beautiful maiden that she was when she was a child, while he changed from a peace-loving and pessimistic child into an evil that would make his mother proud.
Ichika could still count and remember the names of those that he had killed, of those whose lives he had ruined, of those men and women that he had left for dead, the people that were casualties of his actions, of the children that he had orphaned. He still, vividly remember the names and the body counts, and it haunted him, even if he did not have emotions that an ordinary human being has, his past actions still haunted him.
And it will continue to haunt him to his grave.
But he never regretted his actions…And it will not stop him, it will not prevent him from being Setsura's ideal lover and husband.
He darted his tongue into her mouth possessively and she submitted almost immediately, moaning in appreciation of the action while her tongue wrestled with his.
They were already naked, and scent of sex indicated that they had already committed the act, but that did not deter or stop them at the slightest.
What they are is the personification of taboo itself. They are siblings and yet, they had done things that no siblings should have ever consider doing. They have kiss in ways that no siblings should, they had held each other in ways that no siblings should, they speak to each other in ways that no siblings should, and they had made love with each other at the young age of twelve and eleven respectively, and they are currently partaking on that act right now.
If you asked any normal person, either man or woman, they would immediately say that the relationship that the two shared is sick and wrong.
To them, they didn't care at the slightest. Ichika was heralded as both a hero and a villain throughout Asia while Setsura did not care about anything else because.
She finally achieved her deepest desire, and she would fight to keep him by her side.
Anything else is trivial for them, not worth mentioning one bit, not worth their time. For them, it is basic, so basic it was almost laughable.
She was so beautiful, and so his.
He was so magnificent, and so hers
It was simple, painfully simple.
"Gabriel, Angel," There passionate dance was interrupted by a voice that was so blank that a white board has more personality.
Ichika regretfully removed his lips from Setsura, and answer. "This better be good, Maria." There was nothing but annoyance in his voice.
"I apologies if I am interrupting something, but we have now landed in Japanese Territory." Maria answered, her blank tone having an apologetic essence into it compare to her original empty and blank tone.
Ichika signed in aggravation as he rose from his bed and proceeded to put his clothes on. "Give me a minute, and tell Gendo to not let Adan and Squall wonder off." Ichika ordered while grabbing his shirt that he disregarded to the ground.
"Your will be done, Gabriel." Maria replied, and the sound of her echoing footsteps was enough for both of them to know that she was now heading to the cockpit to obey Ichika's orders.
"That girl social's skills are really nonexistent. I'll have to remedy that." Ichika could already feel his head aching due to a migraine. Maria is a capable magician and a tremendous weapon, and an all around great subordinate, but her social skills as a human being was almost nonexistent.
Ichika could not help but sigh in annoyance. For a country that was so fanatic about their religion and all that crap and bullshit, they certainly know how to disregard the laws of their religion.
Ichika was fixing his trousers when he felt a pair of slender arms around his waist, and the breath of his lover tickling his ear.
"So, it's time."
Ichika signed once again as he patted her on the head. "As much as it pains me, yes, it is time."
"This is the first time I've ever set foot in Japan without so much of a missile coming at me." Squall commented as she set foot out of Ichika's private jet.
"I know what you mean." Adan commented, looking around the private airport, trying to find Japanese soldiers ready to either gun him down or ask for his passport by force. There was none. "Last time I was here, I had at least five squadrons of magicians on my tail, with ShenLong and Schwarzer leading them."
"Lucky you, I had Orimura Isane hunting me down last time I was here." The shudder was not absent in Squall's voice at the mention of the Devil of Japan.
"You children should really not trade war stories at your young age." Gendo said as he looked around the area, a forlorn expression gracing his face as he took a deep breath. "I haven't set foot in my own country for over twenty years now. I almost forgot the feeling of Japanese air prickling my skin." Gendo stated in a rather nostalgic tone.
"Come on now Nerd; don't go all sentimental on us now." Adan replied with a small chuckle. "You're making me miss my own country."
"You patriotic idiots." Squall commented while shaking her head in an exasperated manner. "Luckily for me, France and I don't actually click, if you know what I mean."
"Yes, yes, you've told us your hatred towards your country many times now. No need to remind us for the ten thousandth time." Adan drawled a bit, earning him a glare from the resident Frenchwoman.
"Watch it, Dong, you've never beaten me, and I've beaten you three times already."
"You've beaten me twice, TWICE! The one in Singapore did not count!" Adan defended himself while Squall merely laughed at him.
"Details, details, you shouldn't worry about so many details. I won, you lost, move on, you'll sleep better." Squall teased the gigantic Filipino, while Adan merely grumbled under his breath.
"Children these days." Gendo mumbled with an amuse tone.
"I suggest that you three gather and compose yourself." The cold and blunt voice of Ichika interrupted the small banter between the three as they diverted their gazed towards the strongest being in the nearby vicinity.
Ichika was walking down his jet, Setsura holding his hand and Maria walking behind them, three feet away. Ichika was wearing a plain shirt and jeans, while Setsura was wearing a fashionable white sundress, and Maria was wearing a gothic style dress that somewhat resembled a nun's outfit.
"Don't be so stiff man. This is just another job." Adan commented but Ichika shook his head.
"Our client is the Empress of the Japanese Empire."
That single statement alone made the three froze in shock.
"Usagi-chan!" Gendo exclaimed in shock. "Usagi-chan doesn't use mercenaries, she dislikes using anything that does not originate from Japan. I should know. I worked with her for such a long time."
"Setting aside the Empress' xenophobia, I've told her before that I won't work with her unless I have my team." Ichika told them bluntly as he gazed at Gendo. "And the people here are the only people that I will work with. I will not settle for second best." Ichika added with conviction.
Both Squall and Adan smiled at this, with Squall chuckling for an added effect. "I'm flattered that you find my skills quite impressive."
"I will give credit where credit is due, but may I comment that you should change your outfit when we have the negotiations with the Empress." Ichika then looked up and down Squall, his eyes narrowing at her attire. "I do not want to present the best gunwoman in the world in such a whorish outfit." Ichika exclaimed, showing his disdain at Squall's current outfit, which was composed of a blouse two sizes too small, and a skirt that showed too much of her legs and thighs.
Squall was offended by that as she put a hand on her hips. "This is fashion!"
"For prostitutes." Maria interjected emotionlessly and expressionlessly.
"Ah shut up, I am not asking you, you Christian freak!" Squall said while gazing threateningly at Maria, while the Italian woman did not react and merely stared back at the Frenchwoman with a gaze so empty that a bottomless pit has more content compare to those eyes.
Maria's eyes were so empty that Squall could not stare at those eyes for an extended period and hurriedly directed her gaze to another direction, while suppressing a shiver.
Adan could not help but laugh at this. "You don't have a staring contest with Maria, that's our number one rule."
"You're the one to talk." Squall muttered under her breath.
"If Usagi-chan is our client, why did you land your jet in Yokohama? Why not Tokyo?" Gendo inquired, being the only one who was cautious at this arrangement.
Squall and Adan would follow Ichika from hell and back, and they trust his judgment. Gendo, being the oldest and the most experience among them, as well as the only one who was 'fortunate' enough to work with the current Empress, knew, knew that dealing with the Empress will not be a black and white deal.
"Because Tokyo is the city where the Orimura rules and were the Royal family resides, and you know how those clans react to mercenaries." There was a collective shiver between Gendo, Squall, and Adan. In Japan, there are two organizations that were considered superpowers: the Royal Family and the Orimura Clan. Those two clans have enough man power and fire power to overwhelm a small country, and both of those clans have their respective war mages. Although those war mages were old, they can still level cities on a whim.
Not to mention, aside from the war mages, the Orimura clan has Isane and Chifuyu, and the Royal Family has Zangetsu and Kurazakura.
Seeing that the message has sunk in, Ichika continued. "As for the reason why Yokohama, let us just say that Yokohama is the city where I reside. My estate is in Yokohama and the Reiraku clan is not a military oriented clan."
"Point taken, I'd rather deal with those politicians than deal with those warriors." Gendo mumbled under his breath, deciding to choose the lesser evil than deal with two clans that would cut them down before asking questions.
"Good, now here is our ride." Ichika said as he pointed at the black limousine that was approaching them.
Squall whistled at the sight of the fancy car. "What do you know, Sin has style."
Ichika ignored Squall's teasing as the car skidded to a stop.
When the door opened, everyone's eyes, even Maria's, but excluding Ichika and Setsura's eyes, widen at the sight of the woman that emerged from the limousine.
The woman was twenty-two years old, and can be describe as the perfect beauty, with red eyes and long black hair tied into a half up and with a slender yet athletic looking body. She was wearing a white top with a black fur jacket along with navy short shorts and thigh-high stiletto boots with kneepads.
"You had got to be kidding me." Adan muttered fear evident in his voice as he pointed at the woman that was ominously approaching them. "You have her in your back pocket."
"I thought you were crippled." Squall mumbled in disbelief, while eyeing the woman cautiously.
The woman that emerged from the limousine ignored the statements from Squall and Adan, and merely continued walking towards Ichika. When she was at least two feet from him, Maria stepped in front of Ichika, two broadswords already in hand.
"You will not take another step." Maria warned her with an ephemeral impression.
"Executor," The voice of the woman could only be described as sharp yet silky. "That kind of sword doesn't work with me."
"With the right kinds of runes, even you would be cut." Ichika interjected as he put a hand over Maria's shoulder, immediately calming her down. "She is just like you. She is one of my prize swords." Ichika exclaimed calmly while giving the woman a blank look. "Five years of inactivity seems to not lessen your reputation."
The woman smiled at that statement. "Yes, it seems that people still fear me for some reason."
"You are a very fearsome individual, Misaya-nee." Setsura greeted with a smile.
"Fearsome doesn't cut it, Setsura-chan." Squall muttered while giving the woman called Misaya a weary glance. "Ten years ago, that woman was heralded as the best and most ruthless child soldier in Asia, the second coming of Isane the Devil."
"That devil is my teacher." Misaya's smooth voice cut the air, her voice booming with pride and elegance. "And Squall-san, it is quite a delight to see you in this end of the spectrum." Misaya greeted with a disarming smile that merely made Squall shiver.
"And Adan, how long has it been since we last saw each other?" Misaya turned her attention from Squall to Adan, which allowed Squall to take a deep breath and Adan to cower behind Gendo.
"Hiding behind an old man, I thought you had bigger balls than that, Adan-kun." Gendo said as he gazed at the eight-footer, whom was currently hiding behind him like a child.
Adan merely glared at the seventy-plus year old man. "There are only two people in the world that I am afraid of, one is named Isane, and the other one is her." Adan said while pointing at Misaya fearfully.
Misaya chuckled slightly as while taking several steps and took Setsura in her arms, hugging her in a sisterly fashion. "I told you, young Mistress, that this lot is afraid of me." Misaya chuckled menacingly while embracing the young girl affectionately.
Setsura chuckled at this while returning the embrace. "Sorry for doubting you, Misaya-nee, but still, I'm surprise. I've seen all of them fight, and I can say that they are strong individuals. I kind of surprised that they are scared of you. You are so gentle after all. "
There was a unanimous sound of fake coughs that sounded similar to this: "BULLSHIT!"
Misaya ignored those as she merely patted Setsura on the head. "I am gentle, but this lot saw another side of me that you would see in another time." Misaya then removed her arms around Setsura before facing Ichika.
She bowed respectfully before him. "Ichika-kun, welcome back." Those who merely knew Misaya in the battle field were shock at the way she spoke to Ichika.
Misaya only speaks respectfully towards one person and one person alone, and her name was Isane.
"It's good to be back, Misaya." Ichika acknowledged her with a nod while Setsura returned to her original position, clinging on her brother's right arm. "How are your new legs treating you? Are they to your liking? Have you properly adjusted yet?"
Misaya smiled at this as she answered without moving from her bowing position. "My legs are quite fine. As for my adjustment, I have regained at least 73% of my original mobility, by ends week, I will have regained 100% of my original mobility." Misaya then smiled beautifully, which was hidden from everyone within the vicinity. "By month's end, I would be the same sword that your mother wielded."
There was something in that single statement that caught the attention of both Squall and Adan.
"Wait just a minute, the only person that you have ever followed faithfully and unshakably is…" Adan trailed of as he reanalyzed the statement that Misaya just said.
But Ichika saved him the trouble. "My complete name is Orimura Ichika; I am the youngest child and the only son of Orimura Isane and the grandson of Orimura Ichigo."
Suffice to say that both Squall and Adan almost had an ulcer at that revelation.
"Welcome to my humble home." Ichika stated as he welcome his friends to his estate.
"HUMBLE MY ASS!" Adan exclaimed as he gaped at the sight of the large estate that spans across roughly several acres worth of land and the large mansion that was roughly the side of an entire football stadium that that has roughly four floors.
"How many fuckers did you put away to have something like this?" Squall inquired in wonder as the group of seven proceeded inside of the large estate.
"I don't count my targets. I just collect the bounties." Ichika answered casually as he watched both Squall and Adan looked around his estate in wonder. "Both of you should not be impress. Compare to my Family's estate, as well as the Shinonono's, Sarashiki's, and the Reiraku's, my estate is considered small to average."
"The less said about the Imperial Castle, the better." Gendo commented, not looking impressed at the sight of Ichika's estate.
"I agree with boss. The estate of the Reiraku family is three times bigger in comparison to Ichika-kun's personal estate." Misaya added before giving Squall and Adan a sharp glare. "Behave yourself, you Mongrels. You may be Ichika-kun's guest, but that will not stop me from disciplining all of you if any of you step out of line."
That instantly spoiled both Squall's and Adan's mood as the two immediately settled down. Misaya might have been out of action in the closing years of the Asian war, but they were not fools. They knew, if Misaya wills it, she can beat the two of them decisively.
Her combat skills might have diminished because of her inactivity, but her magic power is much stronger compare to the last time they saw her, and that could compensate for her rusty fighting skills.
So, to avoid a major beat down, the two calmed themselves down, reining in their excitement.
"If I knew that you could prevent those two from being childish, I would have recruited you when I was eight." Ichika commented, slightly impress with Misaya's ability to control both Squall and Adan. Ichika respected Squall and Adan because of their ability and among other things, but he tends to be annoyed by some of their traits, their childishness being one of them.
"I was pretty useless back then, Ichika-kun. I would not have been much help to you because of my handicapped." Misaya commented, flattered at how much Ichika held her skills in such high regard.
"Speaking of that, are you still dating that White Knight bastard?" Squall inquired quite playfully, but she quickly realizes that question was…taboo for the eldest daughter of the Reiraku clan when Misaya gave the Frenchwoman a very terrifying glare.
"He and I were not dating, we were engage, and he cancelled the betrothal contract after my incident." Misaya hissed angrily. "Apparently, he did not want to be engage or to have anything to do with a crippled."
Squall flinched at the glare and the harsh words from Misaya. Apparently, that subject was quite stingy for her.
"Which is very stupid for Shirokishi-sama." Setsura commented in Ichika's arms, look over head to gaze at the person that was the closest thing she has for an elder sister. "You are a very beautiful woman, Misaya-nee." Setsura complimented with a sisterly smile.
A smile that Misaya answered with a sisterly smile of her own. "I am nothing compare to you, Setsura-chan. After all…" Misaya then spared a glance at Ichika's back. "You have him." Misaya whispered so that Setsura could not hear her.
Squall on the other hand heard her clearly, and the French National could not help but chuckled as he elbowed Adan.
"Hey Dong, do you believe this?"
"I do," Adan chuckled mirthlessly. "Why does he always get the girls?"
"It's hereditary, probably." Gendo answered from behind the two. "Ichigo-kun was a heartbreaker during his youth."
"Orimura Ichigo, that man on a wheelchair?" Squall was well educated with Japan's mages. She knew who the strongest mage Japan offers as well as the most dangerous. She was quite aware of Japan's two dragons, but still, she doubt if a man bound on a wheelchair can be that dangerous.
"Be cautious Squall," Seemingly reading Squall's mind, Ichika spoke. "My grandfather might have a weak body, but only the Emperor and my mother can fight him with the chance of victory. Even I would lose if I fight him."
And that alone was enough to sate Squall's curiosity. Ichika made himself famous for beating mages stronger than. Regardless of how skilled, or strong, or experienced his targets were, Ichika was still able to beat and capture them. That fact that he admitted that he would be defeated by his grandfather if they fight was enough for Squall to know that Orimura Ichigo was strong and should be respected.
"That aside, I still can't believe you are that woman's son." Adan commented, shuddering slightly at the thought of Isane. Adan was so traumatized with his experience with Isane to the extent that the very thought of her made him shiver in fright. "You are nothing like him." Adan pointed out causing Ichika to look at him blankly.
"I am my mother's son, Adan." Ichika stated, his cold tone really disturbing his crew, san Maria but including Misaya. Ichika's tone and speaking patterns, even the way he carried himself was unlike the Ichika they knew.
Maria was not affected for she did not care how Ichika acted. For her, Ichika will always be her Gabriel, her savior.
Setsura was already used to it. After all, she was the reason why her brother became the person that he is today, and she loves him for it.
"Can I debate that?" Like Adan, Squall could not believe that Ichika was related to Isane. In her eyes, Ichika and Isane were as different as night and day.
"You may, but do not blame me if I lashed out on you, Squall." Ichika turned his head and gave Squall a very cold gazed. "I am my mother's son, and I consider it a personal insult if people do not acknowledge my relationship with my mother."
Squall was silenced for a moment before replying. "I never thought of you as a Mama's boy, Sin."
"You could not blame me for loving my mother." Ichika ignored Squall's and Adan's reaction that clearly says they would beg to differ. "My mother is quite lovable if you get to know her better."
That statement almost made the two mercenaries to puke. Isane and lovable in the same sentence does not compute.
"I agree with, Ichika-sama. Isane-chan was quite a lovable girl when she was in my care. She also has quite a sweet tooth." Gendo commented with a goodhearted laughed, remembering the young girl that was literally born for war and genocide.
"I know that. My mother loves my baking; she is especially fond of my cakes." Ichika suddenly have a thoughtful look. "I wonder if my mother is being fed properly. The servants back home are incompetents when it comes to cooking and both of my sisters' are failures when it comes to anything domestic…" Ichika then glanced at Setsura. "…unlike you my dearest."
Setsura took great pleasure being compared to the full-blooded sisters of his big brother, and the fact that he told her that she was better than them was very delightful.
"Thank you Oniisama, but my cooking is nothing compare to yours."
"At the very least, your cooking can be plated and it is edible."
"Unlike Chifuyu's cooking." Misaya's face was suddenly twisted in a scowl. "That woman is the epitome of incompetent."
"That she is. That she is." Everybody nearby noticed the dark looked in Setsura's eyes at the mention of the eldest Orimura.
Although they weren't able to comprehend much further as they finally arrived in the front door of Ichika's mansion.
Everybody, with the exception of Setsura, Misaya, and Maria, sweat drop at the sight of locks placed on the front door of the mansion. There were at least twenty locks embedded on the door, all of them state of the art.
Ichika momentarily let go of Setsura before proceeding to unlock the main door of his mansion.
Squall took this opportunity to approach Setsura, only to have a broadsword pointed to her neck, and Misaya's hand around her throat.
"Hand where I can see them, Squall-chan."
"Touch or look at Angel inappropriately, you will lose your head."
Misaya and Maria threatened respectfully, and Squall could not help but sweat nervously.
She knew her reputation of sleeping with countless girls would bite her in the ass one day.
"You do know that you are going to marry that guy, right?" Squall, although a lesbian, would admit that Ichika has many qualities a woman would love for a husband, but Ichika's extreme paranoia was a turn off for the Frenchwoman.
"Oniisama is paranoid for a reason." Before Setsura was kidnapped, the defenses in Ichika's house were tamed, after the kidnapping though, Ichika upgraded the defenses to the extent that even the Shoguns would have trouble entering his estate.
"Being a scion of the Orimura Clan is a double-edge sword, Squall-chan." Misaya said while casually pushing the French National away from Setsura. "Being a scion of one of the leading clans of Japan is a very stressing matter. The eyes of the public constantly on you, the pressure of acting befitting the reputation of your clan, believe me, the stress and pressure outweighs the benefits." Misaya commented knowingly.
"It must have been a miracle for Ichika-sama to have kept his actions hidden from the public eye, and from the five clans no less." Gendo then glanced at Setsura. 'It must have taken divine intervention for him to have kept you from the public eye.'
Gendo knew who Setsura was the first time he laid eyes on her. Setsura's resemblanced to her late mother was uncanny and unmistakable. The fact that Ichika was able to hide Setsura from the eyes of the Royal family and the rest of the head clans of Japan speaks volume to the extent that Ichika would go through just to protect her.
'I wonder who her father is, Shirayuki-hime?' Gendo thought while shaking his head. He can already see the pandemonium the moment Setsura's heritage is unveil; if ever it would be unveil.
He was not able to ponder any further as Ichika finally finish opening the door of his mansion, and the group of six proceeded to enter.
"You know what, I expected this but it is still surprising." Squall commented as she looked upon the inside of Ichika's mansion.
One thing about Ichika's mansion was that there were a lot of decors that range from paintings to artifacts to ancient weapons and many other things that Ichika considers as art. The group of seven walked inside and Squall noticed the many beautiful types of furniture, certainly handcrafted by Ichika.
"How did you find the time to make these things?" Squall inquired, pointing at the furniture that was in front of her.
"I made them before I became a bounty hunter." Ichika answered as several robotic wolves appeared before them.
"You designed your Humanoid Home Helper as wolves, why am I not surprised." Adan grumbled, which was ignored as Ichika faced them.
"Misaya, please escort our friends to the conference room." Ichika ordered his gazed lingering on Misaya for a bit before directing his gazed to the other four. "The Empress will be waiting for you there. She will explain the job and its specification, as well as the payment for our services. Behave yourself, though that woman is over sixty years old, she can still take all of you down with little to no problem."
Gendo nodded, knowing how fierce and powerful the Empress of Japan is.
"Are you coming with us, Gabriel?" Maria asked, her usual monotone have some sort of warmth.
Ichika shook his head. "Setsura-hime and I will not be joining you in the briefing. It would be pointless seeing that we already know what the job is."
"It has been a long time, Gendo." The Empress greeted as the four mercenaries were lead into a spacious conference room with a round table in the center of the room.
"Not long enough, Usagi-chan." Gendo greeted before bowing his head. "Or should I call you Empress?" There was mocking in his elderly tone.
Misaya glared at Gendo at the disrespect that he showed the Empress, and was in the process of mauling him, but the gaze that the Empress' directed at Misaya effectively calmed the Reiraku down. "Please do, breaking proper protocol is a crime before the royal family."
There was a look of disgust that crossed Gendo's face, but he was able to rein in all the negative emotions that he was feeling before occupying the farthest seat from the Empress.
Maria, Squall, and Adan instantly noticed that their client have history together, but they shrugged the feeling away. Gendo was very professional, he will not let his personal feelings compromise their job.
"So, this is the crew that Ichika-kun worked with." The Empress commented, eyeing everyone in the room, causing all of them, even Maria, to stiffen. They didn't know why but being gazed upon by her made them feel like that woman was scurrying their life. "I must say, I am impressed, especially with you." Her gazed landed at Maria, causing the former Executor to take a step back.
"Don't scare them, Empress, especially Maria." Gendo warned grumpily. "Maria-chan can kill you."
"That, I have no doubt." The Empress then looked at Misaya, and gestured for her to vacate the room, which she did without complain. "Now, before we begin, I would like to introduce myself. I am the Empress of Japan."
The Empress paused while looking at the three mercenaries to introduce themselves, which they did.
"Adan C. Dangli,"
"You already know me, so I won't waste my breath."
The hostility between the Empress and Gendo was so immense, that it could be cut with a knife.
The Empress nodded before showing them a bracelet that was undoubtedly her CAD. "I won't waste my breath to explain, so I will merely show all of you the reason why Ichika-kun gathered all of you here."
There was a bright flash of light that enveloped the room.
(Scene Change)(Thirty Minutes later)
"So let me get this straight…" Squall mumbled while trying to ease her throbbing headache. Beside her, Adan was doing the same while both Gendo and Maria looked apathetic.
In the last thirty minutes, they had Ichika's entire life uploaded through their brains.
"Ichika's full name is Orimura Ichika, and he is the son of that Devil." Squall still can't believe that.
"That he is." The Empress answered in an affirmative while nodding at the gunslinger.
"And Setsura-chan is his half-sister, a girl born from the affair of the former heiress of the Japanese Throne and Ichika's father."
"You are correct." The Empress once again answered in an affirmative, secretly bemused at the look the gunslinger had on her face.
"And Ichika became a bounty hunter to provide for that girl…"
"That honorable idiot." Gendo commented while shaking his head in disapproval.
"It is to be expected. Gabriel is a man of morals." There was a hint of respect and adoration in Maria's apathetic tone.
"He has too much morals if you ask me." Squall commented before continuing. "And after Ichika retired, he was rape by Chifuyu…" Squall suddenly covered her mouth as the sound of swords rattling from nowhere echoed in the conference room.
"Squall, please do not remind me of the suffering Gabriel suffered." Maria's tone was emotionless and toneless, but there was underlying anger in her voice that send shivers down everyone's spine, san the Empress.
The Empress was looking at the Italian with interest in her eyes. So far, she liked Maria the best among the four people in the room.
'Where did Ichika-kun found this little gem, and why is she so loyal to him?' The Empress wondered, but she figured that she should count her blessing considering that Maria will now be serving Japan.
"Moving on," Adan interjected, entering the conversation. "If what you showed us is correct, and assuming that you want to hire us for our specialties for your project, it is, Ichika had a relationship with the Ice Demon, which is purely sexual, got his heart broken, which made him fight the best magician of this country to the death."
"That was one hell of a fight." Gendo commented with a faint smile.
"It was," Both Adan and Squall agreed, proud at the fact that their friend was able to fight such monsters with a severely broken psyche.
"So Ichika fought those Shoguns to weaken himself until he can no longer regenerate. He succeeded and proceeded to dissect his organs from his body before transplanting them to Setsura-chan. Again, he succeeded and he died in the process."
"Of course, Angel will not be Gabriel's God if she would let death claim him." Maria exclaimed coldly, smiling at the memory of Setsura reviving his salvation. "Angel truly does deserve my loyalty."
Squall looked at Maria for a second before nodding. "After Ichika was resurrected, he approached you…" Squall pointed at the Empress, which further amused the Empress of Japan. It has been a long time since somebody gesture towards her in a disrespectful fashion. "…and begged you to destroy his emotions but the emotion of love that he has for Setsura-chan."
The Empress smiled while Gendo gave her a blank look.
"You must have been happy for someone of Ichika-sama's caliber to beg you like that." Gendo spoke while shaking his head in disgust. "You still haven't change, Usagi."
"Everything for the country, Gendo, everything for the country." Usagi dismissed the ancient hacker with a simple wave.
'Those two don't like each other.' Squall and Adan thought in unison. Since they entered the conference room, they felt tension between Gendo and the Empress of Japan.
Still, with much difficulty, Adan spoke. "Because of what you did to Ichika, he and Setsura are engaged to be married…" There was a look of discomfort on Adan's face. "Do you have any idea how wrong it is for two siblings to love each other like that?" Adan was a traditionalist, but he was not disgusted with his friend and his friend's bride, merely unnerve.
"For Japanese Clans, just as long as there is a 75% chance that a child will be born normally, interfamily marriage is allowed. Of course, this law is barely followed, but it does exist." Gendo explained, once again looking at the Empress. "If they are that compatible, I guess there is an 80% chance that Setsura-sama can bear Ichika-sama a normal and healthy child."
Not to mention powerful, Gendo nodded in his thoughts while intently looking at the Empress.
The Empress merely nodded. "Actually, there is a 97% chance that Setsura-chan and Ichika-kun can sire a normal and powerful child."
"Just thinking about how powerful their kid will be is nauseating." Adan grumbled, but Squall merely smiled perversely for some reason.
"Incest sex, never experience that before." Squall commented with sultry tone, earning her looks from her comrades and the Emperor.
Maria merely whacked the Frenchwoman over the head before pointing a broadsword to her neck. "Get your head out of the gutter, and behave yourself." Maria lectured the gunslinger, but Squall merely laughed dismissively.
"Let's get to the main issue at hand, shall we?" Gendo suggested, and the tone that he used was able to bring everyone back to the subject. "You want Ichika-sama to build you an Anti-Mage Battalion, and Ichika-sama wants the four of us to assist him in doing so."
"Are you asking me what I am prepared to offer?" The Empress asked coldly, with a tone of disgust.
Gendo was not fazed. "Don't bother; as long as it is Ichika-sama and Setsura-sama leading, then I am willing to follow."
"The same goes for me." Maria then stood up and bowed slightly at the Empress. "I shall follow Gabriel and his Angel to my dying breath." With that said, Maria made her exit, closely followed by Gendo, which left Adan and Squall alone in the room.
The Empress spared the two a glance, waiting for them to speak.
Squall, seeing that look, merely smiled sheepishly. "I like Ichika, but I would really like to negotiate the terms of my service."
"Same goes for me." Adan added with a small, embarrass smile.
The Empress sighed, she had expected this. "Your bounties will be rescinded in the country of Japan. Citizenship will be issued for all of you immediately, ignoring due process. One hundred thousand yen salary per month, not including thirteenth month pay and bonuses, and Ichika-kun will also be willing to pay fifty thousand yen a month for your services. You will also avail of all the benefits that magicians in this country enjoy." The Empress stated, looking at the two with calculative gazes.
So far, both Squall and Adan like what they heard, but if they are going to teach people how to kill magicians, there is still one thing that they would like from the woman.
"This Anti-mage battalion, will it operate outside of the Japan's Military Jurisdiction?"
"Yes," The Empress answered with a nod. "The Anti-mage division that Ichika-kun will build will only answer to the Emperor."
"In other words, Kurazakura will one day be our boss." The Empress had to do a double take as Squall spoke her daughter's name with fondness. "Okay, I'm in."
"I as well agreed with this arrangement." Adan added in agreement.
"So…" Squall trailed of as she and the rest of Ichika's crew as well as Setsura and Misaya sat in a round table, a delicious looking feast prepared in front of them.
Ichika was seated beside Setsura and Maria, with Squall seated between Maria and Misaya, both Adan and Gendo were trying their best to look invincible. Adan was seated next to Setsura and Gendo was seated next to Misaya.
"Do you have any further inquires?" Ichika looked at Squall blankly. "For living arrangement, you and everyone else here do not have to worry, I will cover everyone's living expenses for the next year and the housing for all of you have already been prearrange." Ichika told them, but Squall shook her head.
"Not that, I actually don't care about that." Adan could not help but snort at that statement.
"Says the girl who always complained about our base of operation whenever we worked in a country for prolong period of time." Adan commented, remembering how much of a hassle to please Squall whenever they decide a headquarters for some of their jobs during the Asian War.
Squall gave Adan a dry look before directing her gaze once again towards Ichika. "You and Chifuyu…" Squall earned herself a slapped across the face by both Maria and Misaya, while Setsura glared irritably at the Frenchwoman.
'Idiot,' Both Adan and Gendo thought in unison while proceeding to help themselves with the food presented in front of them. Ichika was a good cook, emotions or with no emotions, and they are going to enjoy the meal that he prepared, tension and awkwardness be damn.
Ichika, if he was affected by those words, did not show it as he proceeded to mirror both Adan and Gendo and proceed to fill his plate with food. "The relationship between Chifuyu and I is a memory that I do not want to remember, ever." There was a distinct look of regret that briefly crossed Ichika's face. "I was a fool to have ever held affection for her."
Squall cringed at that blunt statement. The Empress had shown them many memories that belonged to Ichika, and she had even shown them some sexual intercourse that Chifuyu and Ichika had undertaken. She had seen the look in Chifuyu's eyes whenever she had sex with Ichika; she had seen those kinds of eyes with some of her partners before.
Though people may debate this fact, but Squall was sure, she knew that Chifuyu was in love with her brother, she just doesn't know how to express it.
'What the hell is up with that clan?' Squall wondered mentally. There were two daughters of the Orimura clan in love with their own brother, with the said brother loving both of them in a way that was supposed to be forbidden.
"Chifuyu has always been a fool. She could not accept everything good in her life." Misaya stated casually, filling her plate with food, which was mirrored by Maria. "She had a wonderful mother, and yet, she despised her."
Adan actually choked on the food that he was eating. "I mean no disrespect, but Isane is not the mother type."
"My mother is a wonderful woman." Ichika defended his mother while giving Adan a look that scared the Filipino Psycho. "I do not care about you personal feelings for my mother, but insult her again in front of me; I promised you that I will hurt you."
Adan was still struggling to come in terms with Ichika's blank expression and tone, but even he can detect the anger in his tone.
"I'll be shutting my mouth now." Adan grumbled while shoving more food to his mouth.
"It is hard to believe that Ichigo-sama was unaware of what is happening in his own house." Gendo commented but Ichika merely shook his head.
"Chifuyu and I were close at one point, it is not strange for her to come to my room and stay in my room for long periods of time."
"Do you want me to kill her, Gabriel?" Maria asked coldly.
"Don't bother with her. She is not worth the effort." Ichika answered, sparing her partner a glance. "She is not worth anything."
"She was never worth anything." Setsura growled irritation while feeding her brother a piece of meat.
"Always has and always would." Misaya agreed with a nod.
"Won't Ichigo-sama be suspicious of your prolong absent." Gendo interjected, a memory of the current head of the Orimura clan suddenly coming to mind. "You are his favorite Grandson, and it would be bad for everyone's health if the Orimura's starts searching for you."
The influence of the Orimura family in Japan was second only to the Royal Family. The fact that the Orimura Clan, specifically the head of the family, was unaware of Ichika's extracurricular activity as well as Setsura's existence speaks volume at how well Ichika covered his tracks.
"If Grandfather is worried about me, he would have summoned me or contacted me. He might not be aware of my activities, but I have given him the means to contact me if necessary." Ichika answered dismissively. "Grandfather knows that I can take care of myself. I have my own resources to utilize if needed be."
"Ichigo-sama is a worry wart if memory serves me right." Gendo had to fight back the chuckle that threatened to escape his lips. If Ichigo remained the same after the war, then Gendo has no doubt that the head of the Orimura Clan was worried sick for his Grandson.
"Do not concern yourself with such trivial matters, Gendo." Ichika said, effectively ending the conversation.
And with that, the dinner between the seven magicians that would be the core of Japan's Anti-mage Battalion continued in silence.