Infinite Stratos: Truth Be Told
A/N: This is the last chapter of the third arc and this chapter will be an introduction for the new characters and coming events for the fourth arc which will be called, The Second Year Arc. In this chapter first will be the state of Ichika's friends and their relationship with him. Then next will be the intro for the OCs and preview for the coming events that will shake the world. The profile for my OCs is put on hold because of my Mahouka fic, which I'm still writing by the way but I'm near finishing it I will post it right away once I think it is ready.
I would like to acknowledge the persons who contributed to me. Alvatorez, Worldwanderer2.0 and B123 for the OCs and the new IS unit ideas, Black Ice Pheonix for the side-plot, Code-Emperor07 for battle techniques for the characters in Recollections. The fourth arc will show a lot of chaotic battles, to balance everything because of the third arc downtime.
That's it for now!
Disclaimer: I don't own Infinite Stratos (except for my plot and OCs), it belongs to Izuru Yumizuru.
Monday, IS academy.
Student council office in 9:20 in the morning.
"Ichika-kun! Carry this to the archives please." Tatenashi yelled Ichika.
"Okay!" Ichika ran outside while carrying a box full of documents. He hurried to the archives building which is right at the next building in the third floor.
Ichika had to take the stairs because the elevator in the archive building is still not finished.
"Damn it! Why does the stairs have to be a spiral one!?"
Ichika can't afford to slow down because the student council has a ton of tasks needed to be done and Tatenashi was specifically adamant in hurrying the work. So, Ichika had to run to his destination while carrying box full documents.
Finally after arriving in the designated section of the archives building where Tatenashi wants the documents placed, Ichika hurriedly filed and arranged every file he brought with him.
"Okay, Student List, in section E-6. Requests from Students in section Y-5. IS auxiliary equipment report, section H-3. And then what was that again? Where's that file regarding the IS utility report!?"
After a rigorous arrangement of the documents, Ichika had to run back to the student council office after receiving a call from Tatenashi, telling him to hurry back.
"Ichika-kun kindly give this to the Miss Edwards and Miss Sakakibara."
Right after he arrived back at the office, Tatenashi greeted Ichika while handing him a pile of documents. Telling him that this needed to be given to the two teachers she mentioned.
And so Ichika had to run again to the faculty room that is quite a distance away.
"Finally made it…"
Ichika inhaling large quantities of air because of running without stop from the Student council office straight to the faculty room.
"Excuse me… Is Miss Edwards and Miss Sakakibara here?"
"Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm…"
A westerner teacher waved at Ichika from the far side of the faculty room, it was Miss Edwards Franchee.
Finding one of his objectives Ichika went to the teacher in an instant.
"Thanks for this Mr. Orimura. I'll give the rest to Miss Sakakibara once she arrives."
After that, Ichika had to run back once again to the Student council office, where again he was handed a pile of documents by Tatenashi that is to be delivered immediately.
After running back and forth from place to place in the academy delivering documents, Ichika finally was given a breather and is allowed to collapse on the sofa of the student council.
"Ehehehehe! Orimu seemed wasted." The ever so lazy Honne commented on Ichika situation while neglecting her own workload. Of course this lead to her being hit on the head by her big sister, Utsuho.
"Work properly Honne."
"Uuuu, Nee-san hits me too hard."
Honne whined at her big sister while rubbing her head that took the brunt of her sister's hand chop.
"Honne, Utsuho you two can grab lunch now."
Tatenashi suddenly pardoned the two from their imprisonment here in the four walls of the student council room.
"But we still have to finish these reports."
"Don't worry I'll take care of that. I don't want my two best helpers developing ulcer because of a week of skip lunch."
"I'll take the offer!"
Honne immediately came alive and ran out the office as if her life depended on it. Utsuho just sighed at her sister's misconduct.
"I'm sorry that, I'll admonish my sister at lunch."
After bowing, Utsuho left the office. Now only Tatenashi and the collapsed Ichika on the sofa are the ones left inside the office.
Tatenashi stood up from her table and approached Ichika who is sitting on the sofa.
Tatenashi blushed a little before she leaned towards him and claimed his lap as her seat.
"Ichika-kun… good work…"
Tatenashi lovingly caressed Ichika's cheek while staring at him with such intimacy.
Perhaps finally feeling the touching on his cheek, Ichika slowly opened his eyes and woke up at Tatenashi's smiling face.
Ichika suddenly moved but he was quickly kept by Tatenashi who is sitting on his lap.
"Good work out there Vice-president Ichika."
Tatenashi placed her forehead on Ichika's own forehead and then nuzzled their noses together.
"Wha-What is this sudden development!?"
"Eh? Ichika-kun can't dumb after doing those things to me back at our mansion."
Ichika was reminded of his "atrocious" act on Tatenashi during the time of his visit on her family's estate. He felt like slapping himself because of forgetting about it.
"Tatenashi-san I'm sorry for what… I… did to you…"
"Sorry? Why would you be sorry… when the two of us… really liked it…"
Tatenashi placed a soft peck near Ichika's lips. Tatenashi felt really bold today so that's why she had the audacity to do this in broad daylight.
More so her body is pressing body against Ichika and slowly rubbing on him.
"Ehhhh? –san? Drop the –san and also don't call me Tatenashi anymore. I want you to call me…"
Tatenashi felt a little shame in the end but she gingerly said it to Ichika.
"Just call me Katana…"
Tatenashi looked away when she requested Ichika to call her by her real name.
Ichika again felt woozy because he saw Tatenashi or Katana's cute face and could do nothing else but reply in a dazed manner.
Tatenashi moaned when she heard Ichika say her name with such passion and timidity. Just hearing the person she likes uttering her true name sent warm shiver in Tatenashi's spine.
"Ichika-kun… you such a cheater…"
Tatenashi started licking Ichika's cheeks, like she a kitten that's being affectionate with its owner.
"Tatenashi-hime excuse me but…"
Utsuho and Honne went back because they forgot their phones and they walked in to the scene where Tatenashi and Ichika are toeing the line of indecency.
Utsuho and Honne just froze on their steps when they saw Tatenashi sitting on Ichika's lap while holding their bodies together in a tight embrace.
Ichika and Tatenashi have the same reaction as Utsuho and Honne.
"Sorry for the interruption."
Utsuho and Honne bowed and went out of the office in that instant.
Tatenashi and Ichika both sighed and decided to end this little daytime flirting before anyone else walks in and sees them.
After the hard work in the Student council office, Ichika was finally allowed to leave by Tatenashi by promising of doing the rest of the paper work that was supposed to be his responsibility, wanting to thank Ichika for his successful completion of the file delivery all-throughout the academy.
Now Ichika is headed back to the first year dorms to rest but on the way there…
He was ambushed by Houki who is wearing a hakui and hakama.
"Houki. How are you today, I felt like we haven't seen each other for a long time now."
"Yeah, it seems so."
Houki is fidgeting in front of Ichika. She obviously wants to do something but she is currently being impeded by her shyness.
"Is there something you want to tell me Houki?"
Houki's blushed just grew from red to redder when Ichika aimed his innocent face at her.
"Huuu… Um… Um… Ichika!"
Houki suddenly grabbed on to Ichika's shirt and leaned on his chest.
"Houki!" Ichika nearly jumped in surprise when Houki suddenly did such a daring act out in the open.
"Wait Houki what are you doing? Somebody will see us!"
Ichika started to panic when he noticed that some of the students passing by began to gawk at the two of them, some were making eager smiles while other were fuming in jealously.
But while Ichika paid so much attention on those around him, Houki did not even so much consider the stares she is getting from everyone around. Her only concern at the moments is how to get over her shyness and tell Ichika what she wanted to tell him.
"Ichika… can you please… please…"
Houki ended up repeating the word "please" a couple more times before she finally worked the nerve to go over her shyness.
"Please train with me for a bit…"
However the manner that Houki used to say that is in the level of a kitten begging. Ichika was at a loss as to how respond to Houki save for petting her head and smiling at her.
Hearing his reply, Houki shyness vanished and was replaced by a warm feeling of happiness in her chest.
And so the two went to the Kendo clubroom.
"No one is here."
"Senpai said that she is studying for the exams, so it's just you and me here."
Knowing that they are alone here, Ichika and Houki just grew more and more conscious of each other. But still they started to practice the basic kendo swings together.
Ichika and Houki practiced kendo together like they used to when they were children but today childishness is not in the equation anymore. The two are now young adults who are at the height of their lives, more since there are certain feelings between the two, things just grew more and more intense.
Still despite their hormones starting to rampage, Ichika has managed himself well. Evidence of that is him still swinging and moving normally. But Houki…
"Huumm… Uuu… Mmmm…"
Houki was trying hard to match her normal pace but wasn't able to because of her being so conscious with Ichika beside her. But besides the shyness, Houki's feelings of elation were second to none.
(Though you may be oblivious to it, everything that you do makes me fall for you even more… Ichika.)
Houki's eyes were looking at Ichika alone. Perhaps noticing her stare, Ichika also smiled back at her but by doing that, Houki started to lose her balance and slipped. But as Houki fell Ichika was there to catch her before she impacted the floor.
The scene now is Ichika and Houki holding each other close.
Both are shy but happy at the same time.
After parting with Houki from the dojo, Ichika is back to his original destination, to his dorm room. But then again…
With her sparkling blonde hair waving around, Charlotte came to Ichika with a very wide smile on her face.
Ichika wasn't even able to finish his greeting; Charlotte already pulled him away.
"Come with me Ichika!"
And so Ichika got dragged again by Charlotte this time.
Now both Ichika and Charlotte have arrived in the clubroom of the cooking club. Like the kendo dojo, there were no other members the two of them.
"Ichika I was thinking maybe you can help me with this new recipe that I'm trying to complete."
Charlotte timidly asked Ichika's help for her latest project.
"So what you making?" Of course refusing is not in Ichika's vocabulary so he willingly agreed to help.
"It's fried chicken."
Ichika was a little confused. Charlotte is trying to cook a Japanese style fried chicken. Though Ichika is sure that it would be good, he is a little curious why Charlotte would try to cook something outside of her repertoire.
"I… want to cook Ichika's favorite…"
The answer came knocking on Ichika's head like a rock. Charlotte is doing this for him.
"Oh… is that so… I'm happy then." Ichika felt embarrassed but also privileged at the same time. Who wouldn't be happy if a cute girl like Charlotte would offer to cook him his/her favorite.
And so Ichika and Charlotte worked together to reach their objective.
Ichika gave his advice to Charlotte on everything, even helping her with the preparations. This made Charlotte really happy, so happy that while she was slicing onions she missed her aim and grazed her index finger with the knife she is using.
Hearing Charlotte's wail, Ichika quickly went to her side.
"It's just a small scratch."
Charlotte pretended to be okay but that didn't make Ichika calm down.
"Let me have a look."
Ichika took Charlotte's right hand and saw the small but bleeding wound on her index finger.
Without thinking, Ichika placed Charlotte finger inside his mouth, sucking on the wound.
Charlotte's face flushed so red that she looked like a ripe tomato.
Ichika kept on sucking until the blood stopped flowing out.
"There… I guess that should stop the bleeding, let's just have this treated. Charl?"
Ichika noticed that Charlotte had a dazed expression with her face really, really red.
Charlotte just fainted because her body couldn't take much happiness.
After finishing with Charlotte, Ichika is once again free. This time Ichika had to run to his room to rest, pulled suddenly out of nowhere was denying him of his needed rest so Ichika took it upon himself run to his dorm room.
But when he opened the door…
Rin, Laura and Cecilia greeted Ichika.
Ichika was a little confused when he saw Cecilia, Laura and Rin inside his room while carrying books and notes about the IS subject. Though it was obvious already what they want.
"Ichika we're here to study with you for the exams." Rin smiled as she said it.
"Since you my wife have nothing better to do, we thought we could utilize this time to study together." Laura bashfully said.
"Indeed, in fact I'm feeling really generous today, I will provide Ichika-san an in-depth explanation with whatever you find difficult." Cecilia ojou-sama mode is definitely stronger today.
Ichika could only agree, since he has no choice of the matter.
But instead of him being taught, it was Cecilia, Laura, Rin that was taught by Ichika about the IS subject. After being taught by Tabane herself, Ichika has become even more knowledgeable of the complexities of the IS. So, instead of the one being taught, he is the one torturing the three girls who barged in here saying that they'll teach him.
"How come you're so good at this already…"
"I'm so ashamed, after all the talk of me teaching you…"
Laura, Rin and Cecilia looked really ashamed because the situation was reversed. It seems that they really considered this to be highly important.
From behind the door, Kanzashi's timid voice can be heard.
Hearing that from Ichika, Kanzashi opened the door and stepped inside only to find that she is the fourth girl to enter here.
Kanzashi seemed a little shocked and also a little displeased that she isn't the first here, but she swallowed her meager displeasure and joined Ichika and the girls.
Again the group study started.
But once again, Ichika demonstrated his extensive knowledge and understanding of the IS. This time shocking even Kanzashi who is also very knowledgeable on the field.
"Ichika how come you're so… good at this…"
"Well I study a lot and also because Tabane personally tutored me."
The four girls momentarily twitched in anger, their imaginations are becoming active at imagining some perverted scenarios.
But that can happen; they shelved those thoughts and concentrated on reality.
"W-Well I guess that, I can say that I'm proud of you." Laura suddenly said that while trying to act tough.
Ichika nearly snickered when he saw Laura act so cool and strict when the effect of that is her appearing cute instead.
"Laura… you're very cute."
"Ehhhh!? Laura showed an expression of embarrassment after receiving that "surprise attack" from Ichika. She didn't hide it like she used to, now she was more open with her own feelings even if others are around.
"See, Laura looks like a cute rabbit that I want to pet all day."
When Ichika placed his hand on Laura's head, the latter quieted down like a bunny sleeping. The red flash on her cheeks just made her all the cuter.
"Ichika-san! How about me?" Cecilia didn't want to lose so she forcefully asked Ichika while grabbing on to his right arm.
"Me too Ichika!" Rin did the same and seized his left arm.
(What should I do? Ichika's arms are taken… Uuuuu! I'm going for it.)
Kanzashi hugged Ichika's neck and pulled the back of his head to her chest.
Again, right after Kanzashi pulled off her attack; Laura seized the brief lull and hugged him from the front.
"Ichika please focus only on me!" Laura said.
"No please on me!" Cecilia said.
"Me!" Rin said.
"Mmmm… Me… too…" Kanzashi said.
"Wait everyone aren't we studying why can't we just get a-"
Ichika's sentence was cut-off on the last part when he saw Houki, Charlotte and Tatenashi standing by the door, looking at him with empty stares.
(Oh shit! They will surely tear me apart…)
But not quite what he expected…
"No fair! I said no favoring!" Charlotte jumped on the bed and seized Ichika's right leg.
"My exact sentiments! Cutting ahead is not allowed!" Houki also joined and claimed Ichika's left leg.
Ichika's brain began to heat up; feeling six different sensations pressing and rubbing on his body began to stir up his hormones to the max. But this will be nothing compared to what Tatenashi is about to do.
"Well you girls can claim those parts, because I have the most important part here." Tatenashi placed her hand on Ichika's crocth.
Ichika, Houki, Cecilia, Rin, Charlotte, Laura and Kanzashi is dead shocked because of Tatenashi's very, very, very daring act.
"Trade me Tatenashi-san!"
"Onee-chan please let's t-trade!"
"Eh! Don't be greedy!"
"At least let others have a turn!"
"Honestly this is way over the limit now! I demand a trade!"
"Ehhh? But I claimed this already!"
"Wait guys! What about the group study!?"
But whilst the girls tussled and turned with Ichika in the middle, someone else had entered the room without them knowing.
She wore a black business suit, black stockings and a scowl on her face. She doesn't seem amuse of what is happening at all.
A few minutes past without still without them noticing her, Chifuyu decided to make her presence known.
The eight teenagers on the bed stopped whatever they are doing when they heard the irked voice from someone. They slowly turned around and saw an angry Chifuyu scowling at them with her arms crossed.
No words came out, it was safe to say that fear got the Ichika and the girls first.
Chifuyu smirked when she saw books and notes lying around Ichika's bed.
"Oh? Group study eh? I think I should join all of you. It is my duties as a teacher after all."
While her offer was kind, her intention was not. This is Chifuyu's way of punishing them, a tutor session with her as the tutor.
That's already equivalent to a one-way trip to hell.
"So let's get started." Chifuyu cracked her knuckles ominously.
From outside, Maya opted not to enter anymore and just closed the door and prayed for the souls of the poor students trapped inside with the demon-instructor.
"I hope everyone finds the gates of paradise and avoids the jaws of hells."
Maya as if praying to those who are near danger, said those words while in a praying gesture.
Normalcy, is still the leading the academy today. Save for a few changes in the appearance of the academy itself, no commanding change has taken place that will impact the academy.
Things are still the same… until after the final exams…
Washington D.C. At the same time as of the IS academy.
Inside the conference room of the International IS organization, called the Blue Park.
Much like the house of congress of America, the conference room of the International IS organization has the capacity to accommodate a lot of people, with the capacity to accommodate even more, though the interior of the conference room has the flare of a more futuristic design. Everything looked like they were carved out of a sci-fi movie.
Today the meeting is a closed one and the only ones allowed in the conference room is the representative of 193 member nations of UN and a few of their entourage, other than those even media aren't allowed to even hear a single word from the meeting.
Today the topic of the discussion is the anticipated events of the year; the first ever IS summit in history which will take place in London, England.
The status of the preparations about the readiness of the facility needed for the summit is the leading topic that is being tackled in the meeting.
"How are the preparations in London?" The representative of the country of France brought up the question.
"The dome and the IS facilities are near of its completions, but we need time on the terrain, since it is a reclamation area, we are worrying that the ground underneath of Summit ground might slide off so we need more time in checking." The Representative of UK was trying to convey the reason of the slight delays in the completion of the facility.
"I know that this is a bit sudden for a request but we can't have any delays. We are putting too much at stake on this plan. If this hits a snag, certain frictions will begin to stir up in the national relations of a lot of countries." The representative of India adamantly said.
"Try to recall that this summit isn't just some meet and greet for IS pilots, it is the event that can potentially bring nations closer." The representative of Spain again heavily stressed another vital importance of the IS summit.
"I can assure you that the parliament is doing everything that it can to finish it as soon as possible."
The representative of UK is the one who is in the hot seat, the usual one who is always in that position is the representative of Japan, but now the representative of UK became the guest occupant of the stress seat.
But before the discussion became heated, Satella the presider of the meeting, the young head of the International IS organization, effectively cancelled the brewing squabble among the representatives.
"Now, now, let's not try to put too much pressure on someone here. Give me an estimation of how many months until the preparations are finished?"
"Eight to nine months."
"Well that's good enough; pull anyone else who can helpful for speeding the project. Also about the list of staff members of the facility?" Satella asked another thing.
"So far from the target of 245, we already have accepted 134. All females of course."
"Good then. I see no problem her ladies and gentlemen. All is according to schedule." Satella smiled as she assured everyone that things are in order and proceeding smoothly.
"So now the next issue the new set-up of the coming 4th Mondo Grosso. Like the proposed changes, each participating nations can have three representatives and I believe that in the last meeting I made it clear to in the meeting that everyone should have the list finalized before the New Year." Satella made a bit of a serious face when she brought up another serious topic.
"Japan, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Italy how are the new candidates?" Satella mentioned the five nations who first passed their candidates in becoming new representative IS pilots.
"Well, Ms. Sakura Tachibana already committed herself despite a slight disagreement from her family."
Satella nodded when rep. of Japan disclosed a favorable reponse.
"The Italian idol, Ms. Emelia Moretti has given us a favorable reply on our offer to her." The rep. of Italy also revealed a positive result for their candidate.
"We had a little trouble with ours, since the Sultan of Saudi has a bit of a problem regarding her daughter who happens to be the candidate we scouted but three days ago the Sultan has given us his approval for a few set of conditions."
The representative from Saudi also brought forth a favorable report.
"A lieutenant from the [Svart Panter] special forces has been designated as a candidate for her high compatibility with the IS."
The rep. of Norway also brought good news about the candidate.
"A half-Japanese half-Australian girl living from Sydney has given us a yes."
Lastly the Australian rep. gave the last report.
"Good then. I will have their admission in the IS academy taken care of and I can assume that their IS units are also ready then, seeing as they already gave their replies."
With that taken care of, the meeting proceeded smoothly… until it got to the topic about Ichika Orimura.
"How long until Mr. Orimura can choose a nation to represent?"
The rep. of China brought up the question.
Just the mention of his name, threw everyone into a serious clamor. Satella just nursed her aching head, she is sure that this will get ugly.
Even the rep. of Japan decided to keep her mouth shut, lest she wanted to stir to hornets buzzing around her.
"I think it should be decided to have Mr. Orimura chose this own his own, without any influence from anyone. The decision will come purely from him." Satella decided to throw down the hammer before things started to blaze.
"I'm sure that everyone knows the penalty for anything drastic right?"
Everyone quieted down when Satella gave them a view of her fangs. Satella once again exerted her control over those under her.
This meant that any further discussion about the only male IS pilot is to be shelved for another time, that was Satella's verdict and no one dared to challenge that.
"So what about [Phantom Task]?"
The rep. of Japan brought up another serious topic. But it seems that it is too late for it now.
"That will be tackled in another time, that issue present a lot of… sensitive topics and can only be discussed in a secure setting. That will be all for today."
Satella quickly called an end to the meeting.
"Ha… Finally that's over. I may have Ichika massage me when I get back to the academy."
Satella touched her stiff shoulders and stretched her body a little.
"Long day huh?"
Satella turned around to see Natalia behind her.
"Oh you're back already?" Satella turned to her friend.
Soon the two started walking together in the halls.
"So? Did you get her?" Satella was aiming an inquisitive grin towards Natalia, which the latter answered by showing a spider shaped bracelet clinging to her right wrist.
"[Arachne Empress], guess she is going to be making her debut in the ISA then." Satella smiled while clapping in congratulations for Natalia.
"But what about you? Aren't you going to show off your own IS too? Don't tell me that you only plan to have the IS Dr. Shinonono personally modified for you just serve as an accessory?"
Natalia aimed her look at Satella's thin wrist band wrapping around her right wrist.
"I'm not really one for battles, but if need be, then I guess that will become the debut of [Lone Wolf]."
The two women cracked very devious grins at each other and then both shared a little laugh.
"Come on, Natasha and Iris are waiting in the hangar. Natasha is very much excited to go back to the academy so that she can see her prince charming."
Natalia looked a little snide there when she talked about her cousin.
"Well I guess so."
Soon the two walked on.
Prumus mume grove in the Osaka Castle park.
A lone girl is standing by the beautiful expanse of Sakura trees of the historical Osaka castle.
Though the grove seemed pale because the season for the Sakura trees have passed, the girl standing in the middle was enough to lift up the paleness of the passive trees.
Her long pink hair swayed beautifully with the faint breeze lightly sweeping through. A white headband fastens her hair and a white flower hairpin is adorning the left side of her head. She wears a pink yukata with ensembles of the Sakura blooming in its full, while a red obi fastens her yukata in place.
She is without doubt a beauty, a Yamato Nadeshiko.
But her beauty somewhat gave off a sad presence. She was sadly looking at the faintly swaying trees around her.
"I can't go back now… I have made this decision… this is for my sake… this is for my own freedom." She mumbled those words with a sad tone.
Her eyes watered a little but she quickly wiped off the tears and looked up to the sky. This time a smile graced her face, expelling the sadness away in an instant.
That sadness earlier was the last manifestation of her regret before she finally decided to lock it away in the depths of her heart, because now she has set her eyes towards the new tomorrow before her.
"Even if my family cared not for me anymore, I can't give up now. I have my dream in my hands."
The girl touched the white flower hairpin on the left side of her head.
"I will become an IS pilot… and by becoming one… I can finally live my own life…"
She stare went down to the white bracelet with a pink sakura motif that sports a small bamboo keychain on her left hand.
The girl smiled even more she saw the bracelet give off a little shine.
The happiness she is feeling is so huge that she began to cry.
"Ms. Tachibana, are you ready?"
Three women wearing black suits approached the girl.
Before turning around she wiped the tears in her eyes and turned around and elegantly bowed at the women behind her.
"Sorry if I took so long."
"Don't worry; we are here to make sure you are comfortable. We have your luggage her with us, we can head to the airport now if you're ready Ms. Tachibana."
"Don't worry; I'm ready now, let us head there right away."
And so the girl was escorted by the three women and rode in a limousine waiting outside the Osaka Castle Park.
The girl took a last long look at her homeland, because she may not return here for a very long time.
Her family disowned her because of her decision to pursue becoming an IS pilot rather than continue their tradition and has practically lost all support from them. With that, she had nothing to return to here in Osaka.
But despite that, the brilliant smile on her face never wavered.
(I, Sakura Tachibana will now start my new life.)
With that mental declaration, the girl named Sakura Tachibana has finally left all her regrets behind and set her sights to the bright horizon before her.
Inside a secret underground base somewhere in the city of Oslo, Norway.
Walking in concrete halls of the secret underground base is a girl of normal height; her hair is short and sports a dark blue color. She wore black Norwegian military attire with the ensemble of a black panther on her left sleeve.
She blends well with the crowd around her who are mostly grown men and women serving the military.
She walked without sparing any attention to those around her.
Ever since she is first walked out here in the open, the amount of stares being sent her way began to increase.
Of course this would happen because everyone knows that she has been chosen by the top leaders of the Norwegian military command after they discovered her great synchronization with the most powerful weapon of today, the IS.
Her current destination is the main chamber where all her superiors are waiting for her. She had received news that she will be become Norway's IS representative candidate and she will be sent to Japan to study at the IS academy, for the main objective of data collection purpose for the development of there is technology.
(Such trouble… Sending me to a Far East country just to study how to wield this weapon.)
The girl looked at the shield like ring on her right hand.
Though she looked a little irked, she still had to admit to herself that she is really excited of going to a new country.
Minutes later, she arrived in front of a huge door.
She knocked twice and waited for someone to respond to her from inside.
"Who is it?"
"Lieutenant Aila Argyros."
After being given permission, the girl who is named Aila opened the door and entered to meet her superiors.
"Well lieutenant welcome and congratulations, you will finally have the chance to represent your nation as an IS pilot."
Though being greeted by a happy greeting, Aila still maintained her stone cold face.
"Well I guess we can throw you a celebration but unfortunately time is short and you need to take the jet that is leaving for Japan in 2 hours."
"Sorry for the short notice Lieutenant."
Though being told to leave immediately for Japan in such short notice, Aila did not even make one single change in her expression.
After hearing that, she just saluted at her superiors and then left.
(I'm set for Japan now. Though too bad I can't visit the graves of my parents and my siblings… )
A hint of sadness fleeted on her face but it only stayed for a brief moment before vanishing in her cold expression.
A concert is currently taking place in one of the giant concert stages in the middle of the Italian capital.
More of 50,000 people are in attendance, all here to see their idol sing.
On the stage is the center of everyone's attention. A very beautiful girl fitting on her popularity.
Dressed in a frilly one-piece dress, the girl confidently sung her songs that awed and threw the crowd crazy. Her light brown hair is braided into two and is hanging on the front of her body and the icon blue ribbon that serves as the trademark of her identity as a singer, freely swayed everything she moved.
The name of this singer is on the banners carried and waved by her fans and on the giant blimp floating the open concert hall.
Her name is Emelia Moretti, a 15 year old Florence born girl who quickly rose to become one of the famous singers that rocked her homeland and to her fame taking her to the halls of the Hollywood.
But now being a singer is not just her only accolades, by taking an IS compatibility test, she was found to be very compatible with the game-changing weapon of today. And so, she had been persuaded by the Italian government to become a representative candidate. Though her training is just half the way, she is known to adapt to situations quickly and has exhibited a very fast learning rate in the IS piloting.
Today is her farewell concert, well not really forever because she won't be able to perform for a time because she will be a student in the IS academy.
After three hours of singing, the concert has finally ended and the singer, Emilia, who sang the entire time, finally gave a bow to her fans.
"Thank you so much! I love you all of you!"
The young idol bid her fans farewell and gave one last bow.
After her energetic performance, she was greeted in the back stage by everyone, her family, friends, manager, her attendants and the staff that made this concert possible. Everyone showered the young girl with praise because of her another electrifying performance that certainly left an impression on the audience.
But someone else who is not in her those groups mentioned above, cut through the crowd cheering her on and stood before the 15 year old idol. They were three government agents in black suits.
"Congratulations Ms. Moretti. That performance will certainly leave an indelible impression on everyone."
Emelia confidently smiled as she took the compliment without any signs of embarrassment.
"I feel really bad though that I couldn't go out in public and perform. But traveling to Japan is a new experience for me; maybe I have the time I want to hold a concert there." Emelia twirled in happiness like a ballerina.
"Well you're in luck Miss Moretti; they say that Japan is one of the most beautiful countries in Asia."
"I can't wait then."
Emelia is really excited just by thinking about it.
"Your things are already packed and ready, all we need is you."
"Well, I guess I should go then."
Before finally leaving, she bid her parents, friends and the rest goodbye.
(This is it then. A new experience for me is waiting.)
Her hand reached for the dolphin shaped earring on her right ear.
The Italian idol did not even show her fatigue even though she performed for three hours straight without a break; an energetic smile remained on her face, without wavering for one second.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
One of the luxurious big estates around the desert oil magnate of the Middle East, one that belonged to the Sultan of Saudi Arabia.
From the outside of the mansion, many attendants were busily running around. Attendant run around all over the place carrying glistening silk dresses, expensive jewelry boxes, pairs of shoes and other paraphernalia that usually belongs to those of high stature, particularly those from royalty. Truthfully all of those things are for the princess living inside the walls of the huge mansion, the youngest daughter of the sultan.
Though this daughter of the sultan has an extraordinary circumstance. She is a daughter outside the harem of the sultan and she is greatly hated by sultan's wives and his step-sisters and step-brothers. So with that given situation, she was allowed to live outside the palace and have her own living space, but of course she is now a part of the royalty of Saudi Arabia.
In her room, the princess is sitting looking at a giant mirror in front of her.
She just woke up from her long sleep and still had the drowsy look in her eyes.
Beside her is an attendant who is diligently combing her long black hair which is extremely messy at the moment. Behind the two are four attendants, each carrying six different things, all for the princess who is still sleepy.
The first attendant is holding on a silk dress with Arabic stitching designs the hem and the sleeves. The second one is holding a pair of expensive shoes. The third one is holding on to a large jewelry box with its lid open, inside the box are neatly arranged jewelries. The fourth one holding on to golden tray all filled with exotic Arab cuisines.
Whilst the preparations of this princess' day are taking place, an attendant hurriedly went inside the room with a haggard face; she looked like she ran a marathon.
The poor attendant bowed towards the princess who barely turned to face her.
The answer that she is a half-hearted reply, the princess is still out of it to even reply properly.
"Ameera your father has changed the date of your departure to Japan. It has been changed to today."
Hearing that the princess' eyes shot open and she suddenly stood up.
The attendant that was fixing her hair and the attendants standing behind her quickly stepped aside. Leaving the attendant that brought the message all on her lonesome, faced against the little princess who looked angry. But that was just the mask of the young princess to cover her true emotion which she later revealed.
"Yes! Yes! Yes! Finally! I can go somewhere for a change! I can finally go outside this mansion and explore the world!"
The young princess suddenly jumped around in joy much to the confusion of all the attendants. They thought for a minute there that their mistress would throw another tantrum.
"Well hurry up! Pack my bags! I want to leave as soon as possible!"
The young princess suddenly gave her command to her attendants.
Of course the attendants hurriedly scrambled to do as their mistress asked.
The young princess made a really wide grin as she looked down on the scorpion-shaped anklet clinging on her left leg.
"I, Marika Hanania will show the people of the world the elegance and skill of an Arabian princess."
The young princess again made a passionate declaration, this time earning claps of praise from her attendants who are fixing her needs and those that are waiting outside.
"Uuuu! I don't want to go if you're not coming with me master!"
A ruckus is currently taking place in the airport. Most of the people who are there could help but look at the scene that is causing such a racket inside the departure lobby.
A girl in her teen with dark green hair tied to a ponytail is clinging to female in her thirties, both are wearing ninja konoichi (female ninja) attire in the middle of the airport.
"There, there, I'm sure you'll do great."
The older woman tried to pacify the bawling girl but the latter is still crying out of fear.
"I'm not worried about that! I'm worried about that… that… that… metal bird thing…"
The girl pointed at the plane she is supposed to board.
"That plane will not hurt you."
"NO, IT WILL DEFINITELY HURT ME! LOOK AT THAT I'M GOING INSIDE ITS BELLY!"
The woman the girl is clinging to and those who heard her ridiculous words all sweatdropped.
But this is understandable if one is to look at this girl's history.
Being born and raised by her Japanese mother in the forest reserve of Australia. This girl had not known anything about the latest trends of technology today and her tolerance to technology is limited only televisions and radios.
This girl had no prior experience about modern living; instead she had lived the life of a samurai in the forest of Australia, living together with his mother and her aunt who had first lived in Australia. The aunt of this girl is a bona-fide Japanese ninja who is currently living in Australia, incidentally the aunt of this girl is the one who is with her at the airport right now.
Through her aunt, this girl learned the way of the ninja and also the way of the bushido by virtue of her aunt's hobbies of watching Japanese tapes about the Senguko Period of Japan.
The life of this girl is perfect normal but when suddenly the government of Australia found her, by virtue of intuition, they had her tested for IS compatibility and her results were outstanding. So she was persuaded (and somewhat forced) by the government of Australia to become a representative candidate.
And now here she is, being sent to Japan, the center of all IS learning. Though she is a little hesitant at first, she gradually accepted her fate because of one thing. Her IS.
Her IS was the only technology she was able to understand with ease. That is one plus that managed to curb her reluctance.
But now, it seems that her reluctance is yet again impeding her, namely because of her ineptness in technology.
"Look Shinobu just imagine, that bird will just put you in its belly and take you to Japan, it won't digest you or anything it will just transport you to Japan."
"But… but… but… but!"
The girl or Shinobu as her aunt called her still did not show any signs of letting go. Still with teary eyes like a child who won't let go because of fear.
"Remember a real ninja stares fear in the face and battles death without second thoughts! Remember your training!"
With a suddenly and stern tone from her aunt, Shinobu quickly straightened up like a soldier.
"Now go and grab your destiny!"
Shinobu ran to her plane without hesitation as if her fear from before did not even exist in the first place.
As she ran, her left hand touched the ribbon with wing-shaped trinkets hanging from the ribbon that is keeping her hair in place.
(Help me in this… please…)
Wishing the assistance of her partner, she solidified her resolve as she ran on the steps of the stair car that is still attached to the door of the plane.
But she got on the top; she froze as her fear returned in such an inopportune time.
(What if I get eaten!?)
The stewardess approached Shinobu because what she is doing is delaying the flight.
"Miss kindly step inside please."
Shinobu still hesitated with her face slowly becoming pale.
"Can I stay on the wings instead?"
"No please step inside."
Shinobu's aunt nursed her head when she saw her niece being pulled by three stewardesses into the plane while she struggled to go out of the plane.
"I wonder if she will really be okay."
Somewhere in the waters near the North Pole.
Under the freezing waters of the far northern seas, lay hidden a secret base.
Its location is under the sea bed of the deepest point of the northern seas.
A base packed full of personnel belonging to one organization, [Phantom Task].
The most secretive terrorist organization in the world has yet again built another unbelievable base in one of the most extreme places in the world, underneath the frigid waters of the North Pole.
But unlike the other secret bases that is knowledgeable to all the council members and the Orimura clan who leads the organization, this base is only knowledgeable to the head council member of [Phantom Task], Beverly Weidman.
Today, she is here visiting the base because of a very important occasion.
This base had played host to the most secret and subversive project by the chairwoman of [Phantom Task].
Cloning and human augmentation.
Going down the long elevator from the surface.
The distance of the surface from this base is at least 200 km, so the elevators move very fast but still provide maximum comfort for the person riding it.
Evident because one of the passengers using it, the Chairwoman of the PT council, Beverly Weidman, is playing angry birds with her Ipad without trouble though she is descending so fast.
Finally is just two minutes time, Beverly finally arrived in the arrival section of the base, where all of those who entered the base will be received.
Normally, the security of the base will check thorough all those who enter if they are hostile or not but since she is the chairwoman of PT, there was no need for such trivialities.
"Miss Wiedman welcome."
Beverly is greeted by the staff of the base.
She was then led to the interior of the base where all the operations of this base happen.
The moment at bay doors opened, the chairwoman was greeted by the sight of a very large body of busily working personnel.
The main controls where the chairwoman is initially brought is the center of command of the base, everything that happens inside the base and every person in it, are all being watched by the omniscient eyes of the command.
"The base turned out very well."
Beverly stepped towards the veranda overlooking the command, every single operative stopped whatever they are doing and all stood up to salute at the chairwoman.
Quickly Beverly relieved the operatives and made them return to their tasks.
"Miss Wiedman welcome."
Three girls in black military uniforms approached the chairwoman and saluted.
"Chairwoman they have awakened."
The one standing in the middle quickly told Beverly the good news and it was good news indeed when Beverly smiled nastily when she heard it.
"Really now? Well that certainly is good news. Well take me to them."
Beverly did not waste any time and quickly wanted to see the "weapons" she had invested on.
Deeper into the base.
Five floors beneath the command is an oddly floor that functions as living space for the "weapons" born from this base.
The chairwoman arrived in a mansion located underground in a secret military base. Though it may seem odd, this was a measure that is needed for the stabilization of the demeanor of the "weapons", to have them get used to what humans do so that they don't go through any confusion on their mission later on.
There were even trees and grasses, a real life lake and artificial sunlight coming from the micro-crystal roofs that perfectly simulate the environment outside.
"Follow us Ms. Weidman."
And so they finally entered the mansion but right after they opened the door, someone had already greeted the chairwoman.
Quite a tall woman with long dark blue hair, she wears a black tank top under a navy blue military coat. Her pants are tight fitting black leather that shapes well her slim thighs. She sports a very buxom figure, especially her bust.
She is a beauty no doubt about that, but the aura she gives off is very thick and hints a subtle killing intent, indicating that she is no normal beauty.
"Aisha. You're here early."
"Well I had a time off from my mission, so I thought I graced your invitation with my presence. I wanted to bring Ezalia, Loretta and Kazahana but they told me they were too lazy, so I went by myself."
The beauty said while stretching up her arms.
"Well good that you made it, why don't you accompany me for a while and see the new "weapons"."
"You mean the clones?"
Aisha seemed a little disinterested but still she nodded in agreement because it was worth it to see the budding "weapons".
And so alongside with the three personnel leading them, Beverly and Aisha walked together in the halls of the underground mansion.
The mansion was quite wide and very spacious so it was a long walk until they see any glimpses of the "weapons" that are still far ahead on the living quarters.
Whilst walking, Beverly sneaked a look at the woman walking beside her.
(Aisha, a runner-up on the first and second Mondo Grosso and the champion of the third Mondo Grosso, but now a leader of the mercenary group [Serpent Fang]. Quite a skilled woman in her field and very smart too, but at the same time very dangerous. She has been known to be a cold and calculating person who would have no qualms in killing her own previous employer… Just the kind that I need. She is known to be a very skilled killer and a top notch IS pilot, evidence of her performance in the three Mondo Grossos…)
But while Beverly was thinking of those things, Aisha suddenly turned to her and gave her a smile.
"I don't think it is polite to mentally recite someone's life mentally when they are right beside you."
Aisha took a hint of what Beverly was thinking and said it out loud.
"Well I'm only thinking about your qualifications and I was thinking to add mind-reading on the list of your abilities."
That made Aisha laugh a little but only for a brief time because she was aiming to ask something serious to Beverly. Both women stopped walking when the question was thrown.
"Hey, why are you doing all of this? Well besides future plans for World Domination… what is the real motive behind this? Cloning, mass production of powerful IS units, hiring mercenaries like me… what's the real target of this little preparation you've been doing?"
This time it was Beverly's to laugh, because she found it really comical to regale to someone the first and true objective of all of this.
"You heard of the Orimura clan?"
"Aren't they just a myth?"
Beverly chuckled a little at the feign ignorance of her companion.
"Legend is the correct your that you're looking for. They are as true as me and you."
Aisha then laughed.
"So you're doing all this in preparation for them? Then I guess it is not enough." Aisha nonchalantly said, ignoring the sharpened stare that Beverly aimed towards her.
"Truthfully I have heard rumors of them and initially I thought it to be stuff of myths. But during when I doing an undercover in Hawaii I witnesses something that I, a person who has seen it all, doubt my own eyes. I saw a lone woman wipe out an entire American military base in Hawaii without any weapons and she did it in the most brutal way as possible." Aisha became a tad serious when she recounted that event.
"After that, I can only relate it to one thing. The girl is without a doubt an Orimura."
Beverly chuckled when she heard that Aisha had experience of the callousness of the Orimura clan.
"That was Chigusa Orimura. She was sent there in a mission by the council to recover something from that base. Glad to know that you didn't run into her, though if you did, I think you can put up a fight against her."
However Aisha doesn't seem to share Beverly's sentiment.
"I'm a mercenary, not a monster hunter. I don't go into a fight if I know that winning would be a slim chance. But anyway, is this Chigusa woman somehow related to Chifuyu?"
Beverly grinned at the question.
"Actually, she is Chifuyu's big sister."
Aisha showed a little surprise when she knew about that.
"Well let's not spoiling everything here. You know the rest once we gather up the "weapons". After all, the answers you may seek are all related to the directives of the "weapons"."
Beverly decided to cut the conversation here. Aisha didn't seem too impatient so she just nodded.
The two then proceeded to walk again.
In one of the rooms of the underground mansion.
A girl sat by the bed while aiming her eyes at the window that is giving off a bright light from the pseudo-sunrays coming from the atmosphere simulator outside.
She has black hair which is parted in the middle and it extends to her lower back; she has a buxom figure with an athletic vibe to it. Her attire is a plain black shirt paired with white shorts.
A blank expression dominated her expression; it seems that she is greatly confused of something.
After all, it has been a year of being confined in a Genetic Stabilization Capsule of her, ever since she went on a mission to rescue a potential ally in the [Schwarzer Haze] base in Germany just 4 four years prior to her recent confinement.
Though general information had already been embedded to her brain even when she was still just being developed as a zygote, she still can't make sense of what they meant and their purpose.
The girl stood up from being seated on the bed for a long time and then walked towards the bathroom.
Once inside she took off all her clothes went inside the shower.
The girl mumbled.
Ever since she first became aware of herself, she had been seeing memories which are not hers. She had not live long enough in this world to have made those on the first place, but still she had them anyway.
"These memories why do I have them… when they are not mine."
The girl is still seeing the memories in her head.
It was memories of someone, someone who had a big sister but no parents, childhood friends, companions and teachers. This someone is somewhere in Japan right now, living as a student in a prestigious school.
Thinking about that person just made the girl more and more confused of her situation and she ended up staying in the shower for a few minutes.
She heard a knock from her door of the bathroom.
"Ichiko… are you alright in there? You've been inside for quite a long time now."
The voice outside no doubt belonged to a girl, she spoke using English but laced with a German accent.
"Ichiko? Are you there?"
The girl outside referred to the girl inside the bathroom as Ichiko, the name of the latter.
"Coming." Ichiko turned off the shower. She then grabbed the white towel hanging outside and wiped herself dry before wrapping it around her body. After that she then opened the door and went outside.
Just outside the door is a girl with long white hair, she wore a black military attire with an eyepatch on her left eye.
She stood a little shorter than Ichiko who is at least in the height of 5'3; she may be in the middle of 4'8 or 4'9 in height.
"Vahalla? Is there something important you want to tell me?"
As if a little sister to the white-haired girl who goes by the name Vahalla, Ichiko petted her head and smiled at her.
"We are being called again. This time, the chairwoman is present."
From the look on the face of the little girl, this was something that is really serious.
"Alright, I'll get dressed. Just wait for a bit."
Ichiko quickly took off the towel around her body and went to her closet, not at the least bit ashamed being naked in the presence of another person.
Though Ichiko just striped herself naked right in front of her, Valhalla did not show any hint of shame in seeing a naked body. She just stood there and waited just like what she was asked to do by Ichiko.
It only took Ichiko to put on the same attire Valhalla is wearing and then she was ready to go.
"Well let's go. Let's not keep our superiors waiting."
Ichiko again petted Valhalla and ushered her to go.
Now the two are walking in the halls of the mansion, heading towards the veranda overlooking the artificial lake at the back of the mansion.
"It's been a long time since I last saw the chairwoman."
The listless and confused state that Ichiko was wallowing in earlier had vanished when Valhalla suddenly arrived; she is now smiling and acting like a big sister to the petite German girl.
But just minutes earlier, there was only Ichiko and Valhalla but when they got out to the veranda, suddenly there is another person already walking beside them.
She has long brown hair tied into a short ponytail. She figure is good and can be said to be pretty slim, like the body of a kunoichi. Even her attire resembles that of the kunoichi or a female ninja. Kunai, Shurikens and other ninja-like weapon are all strapped to her belt and on the bands wrapped around her thighs and arms.
"….." The girl spared annoyed look at Ichiko and Valhalla.
But when the two looked at her, they didn't seem surprised at all, because they were expecting the stranger in the first place.
"Kitana, glad to see that you're here too."
Ichiko greeted the newcomer named Kitana with a smile though the latter seemed disinterested in giving Ichiko a kind reply.
"Your smile is becoming really annoying." Kitana responded with a harsh comment to Ichiko.
"And your sour face gets boring at times too. It wouldn't hurt if you smiled a little."
Still Ichiko never changed her friendly treatment towards Kitana.
"Me, you and Valhalla are a team, so we should do our best to get along with each other." Ichiko suddenly sling her arms on the shoulders and Valhalla and Kitana and then pulling them to a hug.
"I agree." Valhalla agreed however still with a blank expression on her face.
"Hmph." But Kitana doesn't seem to share the sentiment of the two.
"Look the table is ready; we better sit down before the chairwoman arrives."
And so because of Ichiko incessant urging, the three of them sat on the long table in the veranda.
Minutes later another three arrived.
Three girls walking together also arrived in the Veranda. Their attire is also a black military coat and pants but these three have beret hats that define their appearance.
The one in the middle has long blue hair extending to her shoulders; her deep red eyes shine like the finely shaped tip of a katana. Her figure is very good and is completely balanced, nothing too big or too small.
The one on the left has the same hair color as the first one but her hair style is a slightly long bob cut. She wore a pair of glasses that set her as unique among her companions in the appearance department. Compared to her two companions, she is the shortest and in terms of figure she is really underdeveloped compared to her two companions.
The third one standing on the right, like the first two, has the same hair color but her hair length is the longest, draping to her thighs. Among the three she is also the tallest, she stood at least 5'6 in height and she is also the bustiest.
"It's them." Valhalla whispered to Ichiko while her face slowly turned wary, wary of the three newcomers that arrived here.
"Ichiko, Valhalla, Kitana, good morning!" The girl with the bob cut hairstyle was the only one that greeted Ichiko and her two companions.
"Good morning Wakizashi." Valhalla greeted back the one who greeted them.
"Oi, Nihontō, Kodachi greet them too." The girl who greeted Ichiko, Valhalla and Kitana, turned to her three companions and told them to do what she just did.
The one tallest of the trio, Kodachi just smiled and just sat without saying anything else.
However Nihontō; arrogantly flicked her long blue hair and sat on the chair, parallel to Ichiko.
For some reason, Ichiko and Nihontō are really glaring at each other. The spite between the two of them seemed pretty prominent for the two to not get tired of glowering sharply at the other.
The six girls are now seated in silence; none spoke after the greetings of Valhalla and Wakizashi from earlier.
And so because of the silence, the tension was given a chance to rise. Especially between Ichiko and Nihontō. Both didn't take their eyes off each other ever since they both laid eyes on each other.
The amount of hostility between the two is now being felt by the other four. One wrong moment can make this peaceful meeting end badly.
Fortunately, the chairwoman Beverly and Aisha finally entered the scene.
The six girls immediately stood up when they saw the chairwoman and they immediately saluted to her.
Seeing the six with their adamant in showing their respect to her, Beverly could only chuckle.
Beverly relieved the six girls and they immediately sat on their chair.
"Oh, where's Mayu?"
Beverly noticed that one is missing.
"Don't worry, I have her."
A woman in her twenties entered. A mature beauty with glamorous long dark red hair, she wore a sleeveless version of the standard black military apparel of [Phantom Task]. Her figure is curvy and very attractive like a supermodel.
The woman is pulling a struggling teenage girl by the arm.
The young girl has shoulder length black hair with a ponytail on the right side, like everyone she also wore the black military uniform of [Phantom Task], though instead of pants, she wears shorts.
"Let me go!"
The girl had a scary look on her face while she is struggling to break free from the strong grip of the woman pulling her.
"Finally Sumeragi is here and she brought along Mayu too."
The older woman who entered here is named Sumeragi and the girl she dragged here by force is the one that Beverly referred to as Mayu.
"Take a seat."
Sumeragi released Mayu and then walked on to Beverly's side.
"Mayu-chan sit down." Ichiko smiled at the scowling girl, urging her to sit down and the latter because of having no other choice, grumpily pulled the chair and sat down.
Beverly smiled when everyone has finally arrived.
With all the person's concerned all here and present. It was finally time to start the meeting.
"It is really good to see all of you finally ready. I almost thought that this venture would become a failure but I guess that is just me worrying too much." Beverly started off the meeting by expressing her relief for the success of the project.
Everyone listened intently to the words of their chairwoman.
"I'm sure that all of you already know that all of you are a part of [Phantom Task] right? But today I will transfer all of you to a new division that will act independently from [Phantom Task]."
Though what she just said wasn't something that they expected. Only Aisha and Sumeragi are the ones who are not surprised, perhaps they may have already expected or knew this beforehand.
"Transfer?" Valhalla was a little worried when she heard that.
"I thought we would immediately become regular members of [Phantom Task] once we complete out genetic stabilization." Wakazashi also expressed her concern for this sudden change.
"You girls seem to have forgotten your unique circumstance. Very well then let me remind you girls. All of you are not normal humans, but some of you are Artificially Created Beings, or in other words, a clone of someone."
The girls did not act strongly to this; from the beginning they have already accepted it.
"We understand out situation but why all of a sudden transfer us." Now it is Nihontō who asked.
This time the one that stepped forward to explain is Sumeragi.
"It was decided that you performance would be more efficient if all of you were you work with each other rather than to have all of you mixed with our normal operatives. Bear in mind that all of you are clones that have been physically augmented, Mayu however is not included in the clone description since you are only an augmented human who was born in a natural way. All your physical stats are naturally above normal humans so it would be to the advantage of the organization to have all of you work together as group rather than divide you."
Sumeragi answered the questions.
"So to sum it all up, you girls will form a new independent division of [Phantom Task] comprised only with the best of the best. Henceforth, all of you will become the members of [Phantom Pain]."
The young girls seem to have been surprised that they were going to form a new division.
"An organization has no interest in the overall goals of the main organization; all of you will act according to the own unique set of values and aim to mass-produce the strongest IS pilot(s) in the world using our unique cloning technology."
Finally the backbone of the plan is revealed.
"Also I think it would be prudent to tell you girls your biological templates since they would also become targets for you in the future."
This topic was something of great interest to the young girls, they are knowledgeable of their kind as a clone but they weren't told about the original persons their existence was created from.
A secret compartment on the table suddenly opened in front of Beverly, inside it is a set of folders containing the information about the biological template of the clones.
Beverly passed each folder to the six girls.
"Mind if I grab one."
Aisha took a folder and began to read it. Her disinterest earlier was curb when she saw how special the presence these girls are giving off.
"Sure help yourself."
Beverly had no qualms in letting Aisha know the confidential secrets involving the clones.
Everyone began to skim the folders; they grew a little shocked when they learned the truth. Soon everyone who had the folder in their hands finished reading and all were putting on a slightly expression of surprise.
"So did anyone get it? Well the words might have been too technical and unclear in those findings so maybe I should simplify them to all of you."
Beverly lay back on her chair, preparing herself to tell the simplified version of truth.
"First we'll start with the three of you, Kodachi, Nihontō and Wakizashi. The three of you are clones of the three prominent family members of the Sarashiki clan. You Kodachi are the clone of the matriarch of the Sarashiki clan, Sarashiki Tsukiko. We managed to obtain her DNA via wounding her, a sample of her blood and a small scarp of her flesh gave us enough means to nurture it and implant it on a body. That of course became you. Same for Nihontō and Wakizashi though the means of obtaining the DNA of your templates, Tatenashi and Kanzashi Sarashiki, was more subtle, taken from the storehouse of their old family doctor, it was plentiful enough to have made you two."
The three girlsm who has names all related to Japanese swords, are clones of the matriarch and heirs of the Sarashiki clan. Their appearances also closely resembled their template because of the strong culturing of the template's DNA that was injected to them.
Though the three made no strong reaction regarding it.
"Then we go to you, Kitana. You're biological template is Houki Shinonono, the little sister of Tabane Shinonono. It was pretty easy to obtain her DNA when she was still under the government's protection program; we managed to procure enough samples of her blood as a needed basis to create you."
Kitana was a little nervy after being told that but she managed to shrug it off later.
"Vahalla Valkyrie here is a bit different. She was one of those who came from the same gene as Chloe Chronicle that is currently with Dr. Shinonono and Laura Bodewig of [Schwarzer Haze]. Of course Valhalla was a former [Schwarzer Haze] member, before she escaped the base. But before she was hunted down and killed, I sent Ichiko to rescue her and brought here."
Berverly looked at Valhalla who was looking at Ichiko with an idolizing stare.
"And Ichiko, you are the most unique of all. Your biological template is…"
Everyone except Beverly and Sumeragi was surprised as they turned their attention to Aisha who answered the question all of a sudden.
"What?" Aisha looked at Beverly with a smile.
Beverly just chuckled when she suddenly got interrupt, though she is not angry at the discourteous action from Aisha.
"Yes, Ichiko, you biological template is the little brother of the Brunhilde, Chifuyu Orimura. We managed to obtain his DNA when he was kidnapped by our organization."
Ichiko showed a slightly reaction of surprise when she heard he truth.
Ichiko had been informed of Ichika's status as the one and only male IS pilot, but what she didn't expect that he is her biological template.
(So those memories that I'm seeing, it must've been his…)
Ichiko had no doubts about that, they can be no else's but Ichika Orimura's memories.
"I have a question."
But suddenly Wakizashi raised her hand.
"Why the DNA of the little brother of Chifuyu Orimura was taken instead of the DNA of the Brunhilde herself. Isn't she stronger?"
Beverly clapped her hand a few times as praise for Wakizashi interesting question.
"Chifuyu Orimura was something that pretty hard to cross. She is very sensitive to hostility around her and will not hesitate to lash out at anyone who she deems dangerous to her or her little brother. Of course at that time she is also the representative for Japan, touching her would mean the whole world hounding us, so it was better to settle on the safer alternative which is her little brother."
This time, it was Kitana who raised her hand.
"Then why she is a girl when her template is a boy?"
"Well it had to be because, for Ichiko here to be able to pilot an IS. For some unknown reason, whatever trait that Ichika Orimura has that allows him to pilot an IS even though he is a boy is a complete mystery to us. We can't risk Ichiko being cloned as a boy but can't pilot an IS, after she is a team leader and an important part of [Phantom Pain]."
Nihontō made a snide sound when Beverly got to the end of her sentence. That made Ichiko sharpen her eyes at her.
Everyone became aware of the spite between these two girls, but that was a story for another time.
"Well of course we should leave Mayu out of the loop. Unlike the rest of you she is a normal human, but she underwent the same augmentation procedure like the rest of you. Though her life before this is a confidential secret, I promised her that."
Beverly aimed her eyes at Mayu who just shrugged her off and turned the other way. The latter's behavior just made Beverly smile.
"Well with the past settle why don't all of us move on to the next issue, the seven of you will be accompanied by Sumeragi. She is your trainer for a while and in the future will serve as your tactical forecaster when the rest of your squadmates are released from their Genetic Stabilization Capsules."
Beverly introduced Sumeragi to the girls.
"Hope we get along."
Sumeragi gave a small nod at the girls.
The girls were still putting on faces that clearly indicate they have more questions to ask, but since Beverly said that they have to do something today.
"Well let's get a move on now girls. We have a schedule to keep."
Without any question, the girls stood and saluted to Beverly.
"Follow me girls."
Soon Sumeragi left the room and the girls tailed her.
Only Aisha and Beverly are left in the veranda.
"Well that was insightful. But I think you twisted the part that concerned Ichiko. Did you leave some important details out?"
Aisha saw through the façade of the chairwoman.
"Ahahahahaha! Very perceptive. Ichiko is not just any other clone; she will serve as a counter guardian for the Orimura clan in the event that family ever turns their fangs against us."
"Oh, but if she is to be the counter to those monster, why use the gene of the weak little brother when you have the strong older sister?"
Beverly chuckled again before she answered.
"Ichika Orimura is a unique phenomenon inside the Orimura clan. During when the clan destroyed themselves, it was said that the internal conflict inside the clan was because of him. The branch family rebelled against the main family to for the possession of the boy."
Aisha revealed a surprised expression after knowing that piece of information.
"Imagine, a very powerful family, would go to extreme lengths of killing each other just to acquire the boy. Now that is a very interesting mystery. Tells me that something in that boy is so special, special enough to allow us to defeat the remaining members of the clan, who is the current leader of [Phantom Task]."
"So you're plotting a rebellion? How cliché?"
Aisha sat on the table.
"So you put your faith on some unsure hidden power of the boy and then hope that it can be placed in a clone? That's a really bad gamble."
Beverly sighed, in agreement with Aisha.
"Well it think I might have lost that hope already. You see when the scientist got a hold of the boy's DNA, they said it was very powerful and have a great potential to nurture a powerful clone but the moment they started to modify it, the DNA immediately lost all of its inherent potential. All those hopes flushed down the drain."
Aisha looked at Beverly as if she was watching a sad child who lost her favorite toy she almost petted Beverly who is making a troubled face.
"So then Ichiko lost most of her potential." Aisha asked.
"Not really, she still has a lot of potential to achieve but not the vital one that I need. I guess I really need that boy after all if I were to create a perfect counter guardian." Beverly sighed as she laid herself back on the chair again.
"Well good luck with that. But if you ever need help, you can count on me. You did make a contract with me after all."
"I'll hold you to it then."
The two women made a handshake.
Beyond the realm of perception for humans, in this case beyond the realm of consciousness for Beverly and Aisha, someone is listening in to their secret conversation.
Moving in a separate reality, the eavesdropper was smiling eerily as she listened to the conversation.
"Ahahahahahahahaha! Oh, how history repeats itself everytime. Ahahahahahaha!"
The spy is wearing a dress full of crimson and black frills like a lolita doll with uneven pigtails, she leaned in closely towards Beverly while aiming a very nasty smile at her. But no matter how close she gets, nobody noticed her. Of course nobody can because she is in a suspended dimension that mirrors the material dimension, it was like looking at someone from a one-sided mirror.
"I wonder… how will Izanami react to this… Ahahahahahahahaha!"
She suddenly flicked her hand and in a flash, she returned to the material dimension, though in a different location.
"[Testament], where did you go and why do you seem really happy."
"Izanami I have something important to…"
Testament arrived on Izanami's location, in the development chamber of a one of a kind IS, the IS carrying a core equivalent to a hundred cores, [Amaterasu]. She got here via teleportation to tell Izanami about what she just heard from the chairwoman of [Phantom Task] but when she turned around she saw something weird.
The huge cylinder where [Amaterasu] should be is now broken, a huge hole was blasted in the middle and [Amaterasu] is nowhere in sight.
Though instead of being agitated, Izanami and [Testament] seemed happy of this development.
"[Amaterasu] already left… Ahahahahahaha! The timing is perfect. When the time comes we will have a stunning bloodshed like no other. And we will have the front seat to the conflict."
[Testament] twirled around like a child who received a gift.
"Though the conflict holds no interest for me anymore, I am personally looking forward to it only because of my son. Oh, he will look dazzling while he rips his opponents to shreds."
Izanami clasped her hands together and made a creepy smile.
"I am the same too, how gallant your son will be once he steps into battle."
The two women are really happy because of their excitement for the coming conflict.
"Anyway you said you were going to tell me something? What is it?" Izanami went back to [Testament]'s unfinished question.
"Oh it is something about… wait a minute… on second thought, maybe I should keep it a secret. At least for now."
Izanami revealed an interested expression when her companion suddenly became coy about it. But she understood, on some level, what it is and she is surely that it is something that will irritate and amuse her at the same time.
"Alright, the waiting heightens the desire, so I'll wait until the right time. So in the meantime, want to drink Sake?"
"Sure, I do like drink those human based beverages. Though they just vanish to nonexistence in my throat though."
The two evil women began to laugh eerie as they look forward to a future of promised chaos.