The Grey Soldier

Chapter Two

Authors Note-

Wow, when I went to sleep there was only three views, but when I checked in the next morning there was over 100 views. So thank you for giving me motivation to continue writing.

Sorry for the wait, had to redo the chapter a couple of time since I didn't like the fight scene. So I am looking for a BETA who can do fight scene's. PM me if you are interested for the job.

Also need recommendations for the pairings. Send them as reviews or PM's.

By the way read the stories from Unlimited Blade Works and Nightmares Around Winter. They helped me out a lot with this story, so a shout out for them.

Please review, it feeds the author in me. The positive reviews feed me while flames give me indigestion.

Your reviews also help me into a better author or at least the non-flames do any ways for the above reason.

Anyways, on with the show.

Story Start-

The Villa, Russia, Hidden Room

"How is Subject-16 doing?" asked a man whose face was obscured from a bright light from behind.

Surrounding him there were a man and a women sitting near a dark mahogany conference table, both decipherable due to a bright light from behind them. The entire room seemed to be made entirely of granite, if the walls were to be of any evidence, no visible doors or windows on any walls of the cuboid room. The only light was from either the lights which obscured the faces of the men in the room or from the multitude of monitors which seemingly unattached to the wall.

The three people were the people who ruled Phantom Task when the Matriarch or Patriarch was unable to do their job. They were known as the "Tribunal". As the current Matriarch considered it a hassle to oversee all the day to day operations of Phantom Task, the three people could be considered pseudo acting leader of the organization. Not that they would actually say that as the current Matriarch was strong enough to destroy them in a blink of an eye.

All the monitors were either showing either major international news channels or the stock market values. All of the monitors, except the main monitor, which at the time were showing recordings of the interactions between the heir and Subject 16, which the three men was intently watching.

There was a huge chance that Subject 16 was suffering from multiple personality disorder and if worse comes to worse, he may have to be put down now before he became harder to replace from the organization.

All of the videos seem to be taken from various impossible angles, possibly from surveillance cameras. The group looked at the videos with a critical eye, checking whether there was even a minute chance if Subject 16 was a potential traitor or a future hazard due to his potential mental problems.

Much to their surprise, there was no tell tale signs at all, it seemed that even after they put Subject 16 through hell on earth training while he was a child. He was completely loyal to the cause of Phantom Task. There weren't even any potential signs of psychological problems, except the night terrors he had, which was justified after what they had put him through.

"It seems that pairing him up the last silentiosus together have given us an extremely loyal and possibly the strongest silentiosus, for the future." Man "A" remarked as he watched the monitors.

"We should be still careful, remember why they were called silentiosus, they show no emotion at all. That's why they were our best assassins and that's also why you can't tell if Subject 16 wont betray us in the future." Man "B" questioned fearfully.

"Oh stop being such so neurotic, we know of how the silentiosus given to your family betrayed you. It's your fault for pushing him to his limits. Even silentiosus have their limits and you dead family is the primary example of that." The woman "C" all but hissed to "B".

"And besides, if you want proof of his loyalty, all you have to look at was the first assassination attempt made on the heir. We caught the man who tried to make the hit, but he wasn't so forth coming about his employers before he committed suicide. We have to agree that whoever the employer was, the assassin was either very loyal or very scared of them."

Flashback Beginning

Ichika was overlooking Chifuyu as she did her daily evening runs around the courtyard. Even though he apprehensive about the situation and had advised her not to do anything daily out in the open, as it gives an assassin a perfect opportunity to strike.

She brushed away my concerns with a simple statement. "No one in the world is stupid enough to try to assassinate me here in this villa. Simply because, our spies and surveillance units would look at every man, woman or child who enters our border or present a threat to us. Even if they are stupid enough to try our hitmans or surveillance units would abduct, torture for information before eliminating the threat and the then going after the employer. Besides the last time someone tried to assassinate an occupant of this Villa was 5 years ago, so pull the stick out of your ass and enjoy the sunset. That is if you can enjoy such things." She teased as she went for her run.

"The villa may seem undefended but it is surrounded by a wall 7 foot thick, made from reinforced concrete. Along with that, there is a state of the art surveillance system, working 24/7. An assassin coming from the mountain is impossible, because of the dog patrols would easily pick that up." Ichika repeated to himself like a mantra, trying to reassure myself nothing can happen to Chifuyu.

"Then why is it, that I feel like something bad is about to happen"

Ichika signed before deciding to make to make the best of it by gazing at the sunset, while my mistress went for her run.

"For some reason, Mistress wants me to refer to her Chifuyu. I wonder why she wants me to do that, I thought by referring to her as Mistress shows my respect to her. At least that what my mentor said?" Ichika thought while watched the sunset from the balcony.

The sunsets here are very different from the ones in Vorkuta, most of the time he would be happy just seeing the sky, not just the permanent arrangements of clouds that seemed to be overhanging the prison. Here you can actually see the sunset and the way it seems to make the forest around villa set ablaze with the colour of amber. The way the red light glints of the top of the mountain.

"Hey, wait a second, that's shouldn't be possible. That spectrum of red is not native to the colours of the sunset. Unless of course, the light is actually originating from the red dot sight of a sniper rifle." These were the thoughts going through my head. Ichika felt a cold shiver going down his spine, which meant that his theory was correct, before he shouted to Chifuyu "Mistress, get out of the courtyard. There's a sniper on top of the nearby mountain."

All Chifuyu did was look at inquisitively at Ichika thinking that he was pulling an elaborate prank, a first for him. These few crucial seconds she spent still allowed the sharpshooter to zero in and fire.

"Crack"

As the bullet streaked across the air towards Chifuyu, for Ichika time slowed down to a crawl. He saw the bullet sailing through the air and at one point it seemed to stop in midair before accelerating toward its target.

Like watching a gory car crash, Ichika was forced to watch as the bullet met its mark, which caused Chifuyu head to jerk to a side before she crumbled to the ground. At the site of his charge being shot, Ichika's heart stopped for a brief moment. The memory being forever burned into his brain as he watched as Chifuyu crumbled to the ground.

"No, she can't be dead" was the thought going through his head as he watched what was happening in front of his eyes. The shock was

It took a few moments for the shock to subside and for his brain to fully process what had just happened before him. When the shock finally subsided, he jumped off the balcony and sprinted towards Chifuyu, while also pressing a pager to notify the security that there has been an attack. All the while, hoping the bullet did not cause a mortal wound.

When he reached Chifuyu, she was lying on her side. As he turned her over he saw that the bullet had missed but she had a nasty cut on her temple, probably from the fall caused by the disorientation from the bullet as it whizzed past her ear. Not enough to kill her but possibly enough to give a permanent scar.

As he checked her heart rate, it seemed stable for the moment. She most likely became unconscious due to going into shock and the body shutting down in order to combat any heavy bleeding from the wound by freaking out. Her eyes weren't blood shot and the pupils contacted when he opened her eyes, so there was a small chance of her having any heavy brain trauma.

(Random fact: If you have a large wound and start hyperventilating or start to freak out. Your heartbeat rate increases, so speed of the blood in the arteries and veins increase, which would mean, you would start to lose blood faster. So next time you are bleeding from a wound, first calm down then think. It could save your life (Gai's good guy smile and pose).)

As he visibly signed in relief, the sniper once again opened fire, this time at him. It seemed that the assassin had waited to see whether he had a successful hit. Either the assassin was an amateur or a professional who was confident in his skills of escaping the multiple patrols which are on him.

The first shot barely missed his ear by a few inches but was close enough to cause him to get disoriented as he picked up Chifuyu and ran in a zigzag pattern towards the fountain, which is on top of a small conical platform, surrounded by a circular pool, which also was the only solid cover in the courtyard nearby to them.

"Oh fuck, fuck, fuck" yelled Ichika mentally as he ran towards the fountain.

"Can this day get any worse?" Thought Ichika just before he was shot multiple time's, all of them non-lethal due to him dodging every time he heard the crack of the sniper rifle. But most of them managed to graze him deeply.

"Oh, of course it would. Stupid Murphy's Law"

During the entire run he tried to keep his balance and ignore his earlier disorientation only to collapse near the fountain. Narrowly missing the bullet aimed at his head, which still managed to nick him on the top of head.

"Ah fuck, it seems that I am going to break my record of how many times I have cursed in a day and why the hell, am I thinking of such random things nowadays. It's probably because of Chifuyu rubbing off on me." He thought as he examined the head wound. Only to find a lot of blood, to which he initially freaked out until he remembered the physiology lesson by his mentor.

"Head wounds always bleeds a lot, remember that. It could one day save your life like it did for me when I faked a head injury after shoot out in a restaurant to get away from cops. As soon as a civilian or cop see's an injury with blood they get them out of there instantly regardless of the situation"

After stopping his freak-out, he laid down Chifuyu under the cover of the fountain, before making his way to the edge of the fountain to possibly signal for help.

When he received no answer, he then radioed security to check why he didn't have support while cutting apart his shirt to make bandages for his wounds.

"Subject-16 to central, taking cover behind the fountain with priority package, where is my backup, over?"

"Central to Subject-16, ETA on backup 20 seconds minutes, over."

"What is my back up, over?" Ichika yelled as he got pelted with stone bits loosed by the bullets hitting the fountain. "Damn it, I can't even signal anyone without getting my hand blown off. Oh joy, I guess I answered my own question. The assassin is an amateur. I don't know if I should be happy or sad that they sent such an amateur after Chifuyu."

"Five man squad codename "Dragoon Squad" is to extract you or provide suppressive fire is currently approaching from the main entrance ETA 10 seconds. Four GAZ-2975 code name "Viper Convoy" is to either extract you or provide suppressive fire support, each vehicle is currently armed with machine guns with also a four man squad in it and is currently approaching from the eastern end of the courtyard in 2 minutes, three BTR-60's code name "Hammer Convoy" is approaching from the outside gate, south of your position and is going to provide suppressive fire support in 5 minutes and we have possibly a Mi-24 Havoc code name "Panzer Hunter" is maybe flying in from the shipyards in 5 minutes about the same time as the three BTR-60's to provide over watch. What is the current opposition, over?"

"Negative on the five man squad backup, opposition is an unknown amount of enemies on the hilltop with unknown supply of armaments. Confirmed sniper who is currently firing on my position with possibly a Barrett M82 sniper rifle or an American or Chinese variant of it. You are sending the Dragoon squad to their deaths, call them off now!"

"Why the hell didn't you mention this before, fuck, Dragoon squad belay that earlier order." Yelled the man in Central, but it was too late. The five man squad burst out of the main entrance before sprinting towards Ichika.

The sniper waited until they were halfway to Ichika before opening fire on the five man squad. The man in the lead was shot in the throat. He fell down clutching his throat dead even before he hit the ground. The other three soldiers were hit in the thigh, foot and legs respectively, causing them to fall down and presenting an easier target, they were put out of their miseries shortly.

Since the sniper wasted a lot of their time on the earlier three men, the remaining soldier managed to almost reach Ichika's position before the sniper concentration was put on him. He managed to avoid most of the bullets by zigzagging and effortlessly jumping over the circular pool. The two that did manage hit him only managed to graze him and were non lethal.

For the final stretch Ichika yelled "Jump for it." The soldier heeded Ichika's advice and jumped towards Ichika's position only for the sniper to chamber a round into the soldier head.

For Ichika, time once again slowed down. He saw the bullet enter the soldiers head and how it deformed both the entry and exit wound, sending up a spray of blood and brain matter. The way the soldier's eyes widened in fear and in acceptance but yet in shock of his own death and the way his eyes dilated as the light left the soldier's eyes was burned into Ichika's eyes. The only thing that came to Ichika's mind was that. If it weren't for the sniper the soldier would have made his jump and he would have some support.

When the shock finally subsided, Ichika dragged the dead soldier body towards him and collected his weapons and body armor.

"Let see here. An AK-74M with a fore grip, heavy barrel and a Kobra sight, full clip inserted and 3 spare magazines. Tokarev pistol with a tactical light attachment, a full clip inserted and 4 spare magazines. Three smoke grenades which will be useful when I need to extract Chifuyu and finally a fragmentation grenade which is completely useless since the sniper is 700 meters from my fucking position." Sighed Ichika mentally as he waited for the 4 GAZ-2975 to extract him and Chifuyu.

As he waited for the four GAZ-2975 to arrive, he his eyes were drawn to the dead soldier who was alive just a few moments ago.

Ichika wondered if that's how he would die, an unknown soldier fighting another person war, dying for an employer who later put him down as a statistic on some graph and no one grieving over his death. Ichika shook of his morbid thoughts before closing the dead soldier's eyes which were still dilated as if still unbelieving of his own death, before saying a short prayer "Rest in peace and may your next life be better than this one."

After giving a small prayer he whispered into the radio "Where are the four GAZ-2975, over."

"What happened to the Dragoon squad? Did anyone make it? Over."

"The sniper killed them before they could reach the fountain. All of them are confirmed K.I.A (Killed in Action), over."

"Fuck, those were some good men and they will be even harder to replace." Signed the man from Central "The four GAZ-2975's should be there in 40 seconds. Be ready for it, we don't need more casualties. Got it! Over."

"Roger Central" said Ichika as he pulled Chifuyu towards him so he could make a quick run to the GAZ-2975's.

The sniper as if sensing the approaching rescue, began to redouble his efforts. Ichika was pelted with more and more stone bits as his cover slowly deteriorated under the constant barrage of 50 caliber rounds.

Just as Ichika's cover was almost reduced to pieces of stone, the four GAZ-2975 arrived, swerving from side to side in order to avoid the 50 caliber bullets as the sniper began to focus his firing on the approaching vehicles.

Ichika then received a call out from the lead GAZ-2975 asking "This is Viper Convoy, where is the sniper firing from? Is the priority package safe over? Over."

"He is sniping from on top of the mountain, north of my current position. Be careful, he has a Barrett M28 sniper rifle or at least a variant of it. He can shred your GAZ-2975 armor easily. The priority package is safe, unconscious but safe, over."

"No shit Sherlock. The crosswinds should mostly take care of the bullets. It should make it hard for him to hit a moving target. The only thing he can hit is a stationary target like you. Alright then, all GAZ-2975 man your machine guns and open fire on top of the mountain, north of the extraction zone. We need to suppress the sniper long enough to extract the priority package and the body guard, Do you get me? Good them roll out (Guess the reference), over"

"Don't man the machine guns Viper leader, I repeat, do not man those machine guns. The sniper managed to hit and kill all of the Dragoon Squad as they were trying to get to my position. Do not man those guns unless you want to lose those men, over." Ichika shouted as the soldiers manned the machine guns only to be killed as soon as they opened fire on top of the mountain.

"Fuck, get your heads down don't man those guns." Viper leader cursed as he shouted to rest of the Viper Convoy "You know you could have warned us earlier and I would not have not 4 men and there goes Viper three" as a GAZ-2975 exploded in a fireball when a 50 caliber round hit the engine of the GAZ-2975. "Fuck, if you have a smoke grenade use it now, give us some fucking cover. We are being cut to shreds out here, over."

Ichika debated with himself for a few seconds before he quickly threw two of his smoke grenades and left one of the smoke grenades incase he would need it later. The GAZ-2975 dove into the smoke, which meant that the sniper had no visible target so the sniper switched back to Ichika's position and began firing at him.

Ichika cursed he was once again pelted with stone bits from his rapidly shrinking cover "Oh come on, if I get out of this alive, I will be picking out stone bits out of my clothes and body for days. Get the hell of the smoke and help me already."

Just as Ichika finished his rant, the two surviving GAZ-2975 dove out of the smoke and parked near the fountain, before deploying their squads and manning the machine guns as they popped in and out of cover firing in most cases potshots at the top of the mountain.

"You better get your butt over here with the priority package, the smoke isn't going to last for long" Ichika's radio crackled.

"What, Can't you drive to my position? If I make a run for it I am dead, over." Ichika shouted at the radio.

"If I try to drive towards the fountain, the vehicle would have to climb the freaking hill, which would mean that whatever cover the fountain gives would be useless and we would be shredded into freaking Swiss cheese. If you have a better idea than say it, otherwise get to my fucking position now! Over" The radio crackled out.

Ichika was about to retort before he actually began to think about it. If the GAZ-2975 tried to get close to the fountain to extract him and Chifuyu, the climb over the conical hill where the fountain was would expose the vehicle to the sniper fire effectively killing both the chances of escaping for both him and whoever was the vehicles crew.

Ichika signed before replying "I got what you are saying. I will pop some smoke before making a run towards the vehicles. Give me suppressive fire in the enemy position in 30 seconds from now, over."

"Now you are thinking like a soldier. Will provide suppressive fire on the enemies' position, would be more useful if we knew were the sniper is firing from. Do you where on the god forsaken mountain the sniper is firing from."

Ichika began to think "Earlier at the balcony I noticed that the red dot sight seemed to be coming from the top of the mountain and the fact that he hasn't stopped firing means that he haven't moved from his current position. The time intervals between the shots and impact indicate that the sniper is at least 700 to 750 meters from my position. So most probably he is near the top of the mountain, since that would make it easier for him to make his getaway."

"The sniper is probably at the top of the mountain. Look for any glares caused by the red dot sight, since his back is to the sunset there would probably be no scope glares, over." Ichika replied as he got ready for possibly the last few minutes of his life.

"Got it, just give me some time to inform the men and you get ready to run of my command, over." The radio crackled "On my mark. Three, two, one suppressive fire!"

As the remaining Viper convoy opened fire on the mountain, Ichika made a dash for the vehicles carrying Chifuyu in a fireman's carry while ignoring the hail of bullets overhead heading towards the mountain and the dirt kicked up by the 50 caliber bullets as they missed him and hit the ground.

You have to admire the determination of the sniper. Even though he may have missed him chance of killing his or her target he or she kept going at it, even if the chance of a successful escape may have been dashed.

Each bullet seemed to miss him by inches as he got closer and closer to the GAZ-2975's. But as Ichika got closer to his target the sniper's determination seemed to increase as well. The bullets seemed to him by less and less until just as Ichika reached the cover of the vehicles he was hit with a blinding pain in his left arm causing him to drop to the ground with Chifuyu.

A bullet which missed him hit the armor plating of one of the GAZ-2975's, causing the bullet to break up into fragments. One of which, hit Ichika in his left arm, missing his bones but managing to cut some arteries and veins.

As Ichika tried to shake his disorientation from falling on his head, only to feel distant thumps as the bullets hit the ground or the distant shouts of people as he lay on the ground slowly bleeding out. The radio which miraculously had still survived crackled.

"Fuck, Priority package and bodyguard are down. Someone get them before the sniper does, over."

"Found where the sniper is firing from, it's from the group of dead trees which looks like it was burned, over."

"All remaining members of Viper convoy except Viper squad one, open fire on that location. Viper squad one make a run for the Priority package and the bodyguard, over."

"Hell no, if we try to make a run for it we are dead. Your suppressive fire is doing nothing. I am not planning to lose any more people. Central, there has to another plan, over."

The sound of tracks overwhelmed the sound of gunfire as the BTR-60's made their presence known. "This is Hammer Convoy, where is the last known location of the sniper and Central reported that the Panzer Hunter is going to be delayed for 1 more minute, over."

"Fuck, where is the air support when you need it. The sniper is firing from the group of dead trees on top of the mountain where we are firing at, over."

"Roger, Hammer one through three opening fire, over." Reported the lead BTR-60 as the three BTR-60's began to turn their turrets towards the snipers location.

"This is Central belay that order, you need to give Viper squad one cover until they reach and extract the Priority package and the bodyguard, over."

"Roger, this is Hammer one moving to target position with Viper squad one, over."

The next think Ichika felt was being roughly checked over and someone prodding his wound before feeling a prick of a needle near his wound which caused his vision began to swim slightly as he fought to stay conscious. He was then lifted up a number of hands as Viper Squad carried both him and Chifuyu to the lead GAZ-2975. All the while he caught snippets of people talking.

"Priority package is safe, only a small head wound. What about the bodyguard?"

"Damn he got messed up. Do you think he is going to survive?"

"The medic checked him over. He is safe for now thanks to the tourniquet on his arm. If we were a few minutes late he would have bled out."

"Shouldn't we give him some more morphine for the pain?"

"Nah, he could go into shock and bleed out. We need to get them to a hospital before we treat them more, we don't know if there is something wrong with them."

*Bang**Bang**Bang**Bang*

"The sniper doesn't give up easy, does he?"

"Alright we are at the GAZ-2975's load the Priority package and bodyguard and get the fuck back to the villa." Ichika was then pushed into one of the GAZ-2975 and was hooked up to a heart monitor, he saw Chifuyu being placed into the other GAZ-2975. The radio in Ichika's GAZ-2975 began to crackle.

"This is Panzer Hunter where do you need us, over?"

"This is Central, Panzer Hunter escort the surviving members of Viper convoy to the villa. Then provide over watch to the patrols to capture the sniper over, over."

"Roger Panzer Hunter providing over watch for Viper Convoy, over."

"Hey, the bodyguard's vitals are crashing." One of the soldiers yelled.

"Make sure he survives." Another soldier yelled. "Central wants to know all the details, give him some morphine and patch him up, we need him alive."

Ichika felt another needle prick, this time he gave in and fell into blissful unconsciousness.

Flashback End

"Alright, Alright, you don't need to hiss at me." Man "B" signed. "What are we going to do with Subject 16 anyway?"

"Well he proved his loyalty to us, so we should show him our appreciation." Woman "C" asked to which the other two nodded, though one with some hesitancy.

"Good, show Subject 16 in." As a panel on one of the walls opened up to show a door from which Ichika entered.

Ichika had a multitude of thoughts going through his head as he entered the room to see three people looking at him. Had they found about his plan already or are they going to kill him?

"Good, now then Subject 16 is here we can commence." Man "A" stated to a somewhat nervous Ichika.

"In light of your recent actions in saving the heir of Phantom Task the Matriarch of the Phantom Task has decided to award you these weapons to you. May it safe guard you and destroy our enemies, present and future." The Tribunal echoed as a butler seemingly appeared from nowhere and presented Ichika a case.

The case seemingly looked normal and was made out of red mahogany. But the only defining feature of the case was a symbol which was carved into the case above the latch. It was a Loin's face with a scar on its right eye.

"Mentor's symbol, this must have belonged to him." A shocked Ichika thought as he opened the case.

Inside the case there were two weapons. One of which was a black Kukri which had a cobra snake inlaid on its blade with the fangs at the tip of the blade and its tail coiled on the handle. The other weapon was a black Beretta 92SFS pistol with a suppressor attachment and the grip was adjusted to perfectly fit Ichika's hand. On the slide of the gun a saying was carved "Duty is as heavy as a mountain" on the right side "Death is as light as a feather" (Boondocks Saints pistol. You got to love it). Both weapons had a black coating which didn't reflect any light at all and small enough to hide on one's person without anyone noticing. All in all, the perfect weapon for an assassin.

"The Kukri belonged to your mentor. It has tasted the blood of many of our enemies, but the pistol was handmade for you. It was to be given to you when he retired but as he died, he wanted the weapons given to you when you proved yourself." Explained "C" and the group watched Ichika interact with his inheritance.

Ichika picked up the blade with a trembling hand and looked the blade over a few times before he began to stabs and cut an imaginary enemy. The blade seemed to have been tailor made for him. The balance of the blade was perfect for him and the dark gleam the blade had seemed to shine, as if created from the blood of the enemies it had spilt. The handle didn't seem to slip at all as he attacked his imaginary foe, this meant that that he could stab the enemy with the entire blade and not have to worry about the blade slipping out of his grip due to sweat or blood.

As Ichika picked up the pistol, the first thing that came to mind was that the pistol seemed almost entirely tailor made for him. The weight was manageable, the balance was perfect for him and the grip seemed to cover his hand like a glove. It was as if the gun was an extension of his body as he maneuvered the pistol in his hand.

"Enough Subject 16, we have something to ask you." Ordered the Tribunal, seemingly in one voice, this in turn shook Ichika from his silent adorations of his new weapons.

As Ichika faced the Tribunal, the atmosphere in the room seemed to get thicker. He felt as if the next question the Tribunal asked could determine whether he lived or died.

"It seems that we have traitors and spies within our ranks, prime example of this is the near assassination of the heir." Paused "A" to make sure Ichika was still listening to him. "The only ones who knew the whereabouts of the heir are the high ranking members of our organization. So in summary what we are asking is whether you are loyal to us and are willing to die for our cause and the heir."

Ichika was shaken by the blunt question, he never actually thought about it. Should he give his allegiance to people who randomly kill their own soldiers on a hunch? As his mind when into turmoil he remembered the promise he made a few days ago.

Flashback Beginning

The Villa, Russia, Chifuyu's room

Chifuyu woke up to the pounding of her head. It felt like someone decided to play a heavy metal solo on her head. She looked around to check where she was to find that she was back in her room, most of the room was covered in shadows due to the deteriorating light from the sunset. But had she gotten back to her room she thought as she massaged her temple only to feel a stinging pain near her temple when she touched a particular area of her head. When she gingerly touched the approximate area, she felt stitches which seemed to go in a line.

How had she gotten the cut? As she began to think about the wound the rest of the events which happened earlier came back in a single rush. She remembered jogging and hearing Ichika yelling at her to get back into the house only for her to stop. Then feeling the bullet pass close to her head causing her to get disorientated and fall unconscious. She could still feel the phantom pain near her temples, the last thing she remembered was seeing Ichika jump from the balcony towards her.

"Wait, where is Ichika?" She thought as she began to look for him only to get startled by a voice.

"It seems you are awake, Mistress."

"Who is there?" She asked as she turned her head towards the origin of the voice only to see Ichika sitting in an arm chair near her bookshelf seemingly reading a book on poisons which was quite a feat as one of his arms was completely covered in plaster. He looked as if he had not slept for a few days, with bloodshot eyes and bags under eyes.

"How long have I been asleep?" Asked Chifuyu, as she tried to get out of bed. Only to be gently pushed back into her bed by Ichika when she almost fell due to her knees giving out from under her.

"I would not advice you to get out of bed yet, you have been asleep for two days. You need some more rest before you do anything too physically taxing right now and that includes walking about." Answered Ichika, as he made his way back to his seat limping which caused Chifuyu to ask "Why are you limping?"

A sheepish expression appeared on Ichika's face as he began to explain. "After the doctors left I tried to enter your room only to see a miniature you and when I asked her relationship between her and you only for her to kick me in the shin before running away while glaring at me. She became angry when I mentioned you though."

This caused Chifuyu to laugh as she imagined it happening and after getting control of her giggle's she explained. "The miniature me you were talking about is actually my sister Madoka. The reason she kicked you is that me and her are not on good term right now and you may not ask why." Cutting down Ichika question before it left his mouth.

Then there was a period of silence which replaced the nice mood which had been there earlier, the tension also seemed to grow until Chifuyu asked the question which had been pressing down on her since she woke up. "What exactly happened a few days ago?"

Ichika let go of his breath he didn't know he was holding before contemplating on answering her. He was told not to tell her by his handler but she is the heir, she deserves to know. Ichika signed, why did he have to keep making hard decisions after another? He took a moment to collect his thoughts before he explained what had happened after she lost unconsciousness. He told her of how he had carried her to the fountain and taking cover while others died trying to rescue them. Neglecting to mention his freak out when he saw a man die in front of him.

Through his explanation of the events a myriad of emotions passed across Chifuyu's face, from impassive to shock and finally a combination of disgust and sadness. Shock was for the events that took place and the disgust and sadness were for the lives that were taken just to kill her. She could not believe it, she had some assassination attempts to kill her and that was trying to poison her, they always attacked her directly and this was the first time that someone attacked the people around her. Was this how the future was going to be? Her sitting on top of a mountain made from the sacrifices of people loyal to her.

As Chifuyu tried to digest the information, Ichika began to check her out with a critical eye. From the myriad of emotion he saw from her it seemed that she was not used to people sacrificing themselves for her. It was a curse that people destined for greatness had, they had to see people who follow them or they care about die in front of them creating a path for them for their destiny. The way Chifuyu took it could make or break her and the path she was on would be thrown away and the sacrifices of the men and women would have been for nothing.

After a moment of silence which caused the previous tension to return but tenfold greater, she asked a question which almost caused to think that she gave up on her destiny "Is this how my future is going to be? Sacrificing everyone around me, until I sit on a throne on top of a mountain made out of the bodies of people who followed me and my loved ones. Is it?" her face marred with self disgust, whether at herself for being weak or the situation, Ichika did not know.

The question caused Ichika to sigh. It seemed that she was not cut out for the path she was on. This was something a lot people went through when they saw what they had to sacrifice in order to reach their dreams. He knew if he didn't answer her question it would start eating her up from the inside until she became somewhat of a zombie. Doing what she had to do to survive, not caring about others or herself, letting her own emotions wither away until she became the very definition of a semi-conscious zombie, alive yet also dead at the same time.

"Yes it is, look at the alchemy law of equivalent exchange. To obtain something, something of equal worth must be sacrificed. To continue on your path, at times you must throw away thing at junctions that will appear, by your choice or not, whether they be an object, a person or even things like your emotions or someone loyalty. Only a few things will remain constant in your life. But the one thing what you must never forget is the sacrifices you made in order to continue on your path. The second you do, you might find out one day that path under you had disappeared or got replaced by another." Answered Ichika, looking directly into Chifuyu's eyes to see what his statement would do to her deteriorating psyche.

The answer only made her withdraw into herself even more as the self disgust she was feeling increased. This caused Ichika to sigh even more before he continued. "Of course I also believe that there are multiple paths that one can take in life. Were we not given free will? That would mean that there is no set destiny for a person and we are free to do as we want."

This caused Chifuyu to perk up and the self disgust she was feeling to disappear and to be replaced with confusion as she began to reconsider her life and the path she was on. This once again caused the awkward silence to reappear but with a smaller tension as Ichika waited to see what Chifuyu would do. "What is with the awkward silences today? Did someone take pleasure in seeing me in these situations?" Ichika thought as he waited for Chifuyu's answer.

After ten minutes Chifuyu finally spoke up, taking a few breaths to steady herself she asked something from him which shocked him to his core. "I know that the path which I am on would require me to sacrifice others but now I also know that nothing is constant, I can switch paths if I wanted to. I know that we had known each other for a short time but I would like if you would become one of my central pillars."

This was something that Ichika was not prepared for, what she was asking was form him was to obey her and only her and also in the future possibly to betray the organization under her command if necessary. This was a huge decision in front of him, the chances of her choosing another path is great and a high possibility is that she would die due to that decision, dragging him along with her. Which was the right decision? As he contemplated, he looked into Chifuyu's eyes, seeing the hesitancy and the almost pleading look cinched it.

Ichika got down to one knee in front of Chifuyu before he began to swear an oath which many others like him swore to their charge. "From this day onwards I Ichika, declare myself loyal only to my Mistress. I shall be her Shield to protect her from her enemies and her Sword which shall vanquish all her enemies. From now onwards until the day I die her will shall be my command."

Flashback End

"From this day onwards I Ichika, declare myself loyal to the Organization Phantom Task and the Heir. I shall be their Shield to protect her from her enemies and her Sword which shall vanquish all her enemies. From now onwards until the day I die their will shall be my command." Swore Ichika, to the Tribunal, which even seemed to placate even the paranoia of "B". The oath of a silentiosus was as good as unbreakable. Ichika saw the air of relief appear among the Tribunal which caused him to smirk mentally.

"More to the latter than the former but they don't need to know that."

Story End-