Infinite chapter 3:

In the Arms of Smoug

The rest of the battles soon ended after Ichika and Cyrus's rather fast match, however Smoug made the arena rather... Smoky.

Tabane popped up on the monitor once more after the last battle was over, "Ok! So looks like all of you had fun beating the crap out of each other! But... I've heard; and I hear EVERYTHING, that Cecelia challenged Cyrus before class... So if you have something else to do with your boring lives and would like to leave feel free... But otherwise I'll make popcorn!"

As if on cue, Cecilia approached Ichika and Cyrus. "Of course you hadn't forgotten our duel, have you?" Cecilia said as she gave an overly confident hair flip.

Cyrus just smiled and folded his arms, "wouldn't dream of it... But I don't even think I properly introduced myself... Cyrus black, at your service" he said as he put out his hand for a handshake.

Cecilia looked at him blankly for a moment before she spoke, "Black? An American then? How peculiar... Yes well, seeing as we are to duel it is only accustomed that I, the great Cecilia Alcott, must great my lesser rivals". She then shook his hand and looked over to Ichika, "Oh Ichika, you will stay and watch me obliterate him wont you?"

"Oh trust me, I'll be watching... But right now I'm doubting that you'll be the one doing the obliterating" Ichika said with almost a laugh before making his way to the stands. Laura Houki, Rin, and Charlotte followed closely behind and sat near him on the bleachers.

Rin tapped on Ichika's shoulder from behind and asked, "Was it really that bad? Fighting him I mean?"

"honestly... Yeah it was" Ichika began, "I don't even now how he does it... I mean you literally can't see anything in that smoke, I ended up using the Yukihira more as a torch then a sword. Honestly, Cecilia has no shot here"

"Hmph!" Laura said as she turned her nose away, "I'm sure a simple heat Seaking missile will do the trick"

"Yeah, well even if it does, that draining lightening will just heal his shields back up again... But still... I have to know. How does he maneuver through the smoke? How does he find people without seeing them"

Houki put her hands on the railing and leaned forward, shielding the sun from her eyes before saying, "he doesn't use sight. It's a technique used as far back as the samurai. They believed that in order for a warrior to fight his best, he needed to use all five senses, relying on sight alone could get you killed. They learned to hear there targets footsteps. To feel there breath. To smell there oder. To look into there opponents eyes, and see there move before they made it. And when they were done, they would taste victory."

"So you're trying to tell me this kid is Samurai? Come on, he's not even Japanese" Ichika said with doubt in his voice.

"Samurai isn't an ethnicity... It's a mind set... Setai" Houki said, finally ending the conversation as everyone watched in anticipation of the battle to come.

Tabane appeared on the screen once more, this time with popcorn in her hand as she munched on it, "Ok, so for those of you who don't know or haven't heard the rumor. Cyrus will be using his personal IS Smoug, hand crafted by me; The Genius Tabane! This IS is a fourth generation, however you will see its basic attributes like speed and attack power are no better then your average third generation, this is because Smoug focuses completely on it's shield draining abilities allowing itself to feed off of its opponents shields like a vampire or a parasite. As the name suggests it also creates a very thick smog as most of you saw earlier, making it almost impossible to see. Now Cyrus, could you be a dear and deploy Smoug for us?".

"Of course" Cyrus put a wide grin on his face as he grabbed his necklace deploying Smoug. As the light disappeared, the dragon-like look of Smoug was shown off to everybody. "take a look while you can Cecilia, because you won't be able to see me once the battle begins."

At that, Cecilia's earrings shimmered as she too deployed her well known IS Blue Tears. "Hmph! You are even more of a fool then I originally anticipated, I will enjoy crushing you!"

"well if you're both so sure why not raise the steaks?" Tabane suggested over the big screen. "I say we go with the usual, the winner gets to make the loser do what ever he / she wants?"

"fine by me"Cyrus said.

"I shall make you my slave!" Cecilia added in agreement.

Tabane let out a maniacal laugh and said, "Marvelous! LET THE BATTLE BEGIN!"

By the end of the word "begin", the smoke had already started spewing. Cecilia wasted no time in pulling out her weapon and aiming for Cyrus. She fired as Cyrus dove to the side into the smog, disappearing into the shadows. Cecilia's eyes widened as she saw how fluently he disappeared. Soon after she squinted, scanning everywhere looking for any sort of movement. What on earth? The audacity of this man! Unable to come out of hiding and face me!? Cecilia thought to herself. Finally she fired her gun off shooting everywhere, "COME OUT HERE THIS INSTANT!"

"As you wish" Cyrus said, throwing his voice so that it sounded like he was right in front of her.

Cecilia locked her gaze on where she thought he was, getting ready to shoot, when all of a sudden she felt a hand on the back of knees, and a hand on her back. Cyrus rose up out of the smoke In plane view of everyone, and swept her up in his arms, Carrying her as if she was a princess.

Cecilia was confused at first, but as she realized the position she was in, looking up at the curly haired pilot, her face turned bright red as she began to blush. "What are you... Why are you..."

Cyrus looked down with a smile, "Just remember, you challenged me". Then the thorns stretched out of Smoug, and wrapped themselves around Blue tears, leaving Cecilia almost completely immobile.

She looked at him confused, "What on earth!? How dare you taunt Cecilia Alcott! I shall-"

"Drain lightening". And with that the electricity began to flow from the thorns draining Cecilia's shields, just like they did to Ichika.

Cecilia's body began spazzing from the drain lightening as she started to scream. Her shields began to fall, and Cyrus's rise... This match was turning into a giant case of deja vu.

Everyone in the stands looked to be in awe. "that's the attack he used on me... All though he was holding me much differently then that"

Rin just giggled, "Oh I don't doubt it. With the way he was holding her, Cecilia could have gotten out easy..."

"What are you saying Rin?" Ichika asked, looking at her weirdly.

Rin just crossed her arms, "Ichika... You are so dense, couldn't you see how she was just looking up at him as she was being held in his arms? She was L.O.V.E. struck"

"What!? Cecilia? No way" Ichika said waving off the thought.

All of the girls palmed themselves in the face as Rin muttered, "It's a good thing you're cute..."

By the time there conversation was over, so was the match. Blue tears had hit zero, and Smoug at a more then perfect 800. Then as Blue Tears dematerialized, the thorns on Smoug retracted, and Cyrus continued to hold Cecilia as he slowly descended to the ground. He set her gently on her feet before Smoug disappeared and he too landed on his feet in front of her. She looked at him with a look that could not be so easily described in words, it looked confused... But also sorry. "P- please forgive me I... I need to learn not to under estimate my opponents... My sincerest apologies"

Cyrus laughed, "hey, don't be sorry. Actually... I kinda liked how overconfident you were back there".

Cecilia turned bright red again as she looked away from him saying, "Oh... I see... Well... Good Match and... Ta ta?". With that she rushed off of the arena. When she reached the door she looked back at Cyrus to find he was still watching her as she left.

Could he... Cecilia began to think to herself as she grabbed her cloths and rushed down the halls trying to find her new room, it's only the first day... He couldn't possibly like me after just one match... But the way he carried me up like that? A truly romantic ascent indeed... WHATAM I SAYING!? I can't just give up my pursuit on Ichika, not when I have worked so hard, and am so close to sealing the deal! But still... Perhaps it wouldn't hurt to... To... Spend some time with this... Cyrus. Ending on that thought, Cecilia entered her room. She was the only one there so far, her roommate; who ever that may be, was not yet there, and the room was left to herself.

Across the hall, and down several doors was Ichika's room, he opened the door to see the silver haired German, Laura Bodewig. At first Ichika found this completely normal, at least it was someone he knew right? But then in the back of his mind came the undeniable fact. "Wait... Laura? Shouldn't I be in the same room as the other guy in the school!?"

Laura blinked a couple times, "Oh you mean this is your room as well? Wounderbar!" she exclaimed as she ran up and hugged Ichika.

Ichika was caught completely off guard, "I'm not going to find you naked in my bed trying to wrestle my arm again are you?"

"What's that? I can't hear you!" She teased playfully as she tugged him all the way into the room and closing the door behind them.

Far off on a different floor of the academy Cyrus stood in front of a larger then average door. The room it opened to was huge. The walls were covered with monitors and computer screens, all flashing different readings and data one could barely even hope to comprehend. Off to one corner was a large king size bed, it looked comfortable and very out of place with the rest of the stainless steel and chrome room. In the center was a large steel chair that appeared to lean back into a bed or a bench. There were many places that had buttons and switches and there were more wires and cords leading to the chair then hade ever been seen at once. Cyrus walked in. He put his hand on the chair, it was cold to the touch.

Suddenly a voice came from behind him, "Home sweet home am I right?" the voice belonged to Tabane. She walked in and put a hand on Cyrus's shoulder. "I'm sorry we can't get anything more comfortable for you... I bet you miss sleeping in a warm bed every night..."

Cyrus looked at the chair with eyes of sorrow, "I do... But I'm lucky just to have this..."

Tabane, for the first time she had ever been seen this way, was not silly, was not crazy, and was genuinely serious. "Don't worry... I'll keep working, when I get further with the IS core research... I should find something. You won't have to live like this forever. But for now... We should plug you in, your battery should be at less then 30% am I right?"

Cyrus took off his shirt and opened a small latch above his heart. There was a small screen there showing things like heart rate, energy levels, food levels, and even gastric pressure. There was a small battery symbol in the top left corner reading 27%, "Yup, 27%". Then with that he sat in the chair. Tabane hooked up some cords and wires to Cyrus and to the back of the chair.

Then Tabane walked over to her bed and changed into her pajamas before saying, "Nitey nite Cyrus... Oh and nice job in that battle after class... That blonde girl got totally love struck the way you held her like that"

Cyrus smiled... He wasn't expecting to hear that, so he simply answered, "good night Tabane".