Chapter 4: The prototype

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Ichika's POV

I sighed as I had finally finished training with Houki. We had been doing kendo practice for three hours straight! My muscles ached terribly and every spot that Houki had hit was pulsating, causing a minuscule amount of pain

She said she was going to train me to use an I.S since I didn't really stand a chance against two representative contenders. But she only trained me in Kendo at the moment, telling me I needed it for the duel.

"And don't think you can slack off! We'll be doing this for three hours every day after school!"

She seemed very serious about this, and I couldn't really refuse because of two things. The first was that I was too exhausted to argue, and the second was that she had the tip of her wooden sword pointed at my face.

"Fine. As long as you help me out I'm okay with it" I declared.

"Good, now, get some rest. I'll be back in my room. I expect you here on time tomorrow!" she yelled before slamming the door to the dojo shut. I could only sigh as I cleaned myself up, and began to make my way to the dormitory. I had been living at my house which was close to the academy for the last few days, but I was told that I was to live in the dormitory as of today, she had already arranged to take my stuff to my room.

But as I began walking to the dorms, I stopped. I noticed the lights on in what seemed like a gym, one filled with equipment for physical training. I didn't think girls would be training three hours after school.

Curiosity got the better of me, and I entered the building. I was going to introduce myself but stopped as I heard deep grunting. I started to sneak around, even looking over a corner of the hallway to see that there was only one person in the gym.

And of course, it was my brother, Yn.

I decided to take a closer look. I could see that he was in a simple white tank-top along with black sweatpants. There was what seemed like bullets of sweat rolling down his face, body, and limbs.

He was currently lifting weights, ones that looked far too heavy for myself, even if I had another person or two helping me I'm not sure we could lift it that far off the ground.

He seemed oddly concentrated, it wasn't like before, it was as if he was lost in thought. He grunted and spoke a number every time he completed one lift.

I watched and looked at his arms. I remembered how cold his hands felt, even rubbing the wrist he had taken hold of earlier today. My memory went back to the other feeling rather than the strength of his grip that came from his wrists, I remembered how cold they were.

But I felt my eyes shake. His arms were....they look like they've been through some terrible calamity. His limbs were lean yet muscular, they seemed to be honed to that of deadly weapons, pushed to and beyond what was the limit of a human. The countless scars that adorned his arms and body which were usually covered tell a story of immeasurable struggles and hard-earned victories.

But what I found odd is that the scars only went down from his shoulders to his elbows, his forearms and hands didn't seem to have many or even any scars at all. It raised questions, but I don't think it is the best time to ask about that

I barely noticed when he changed from weights to balance himself. With one arm on the ground, the rest of his body moved up, his feet pointing towards the ceiling as he had now balanced himself, on one hand as his other arm was held behind his back, he was letting his sweat fall off of him to form tiny droplets beneath him.

His arm bent, and his face went towards the floor. Before it got too close, he stopped and pushed his arm against the floor, straightening it again. He continued this, again and again, doing these one-armed push-ups while maintaining his balance. 

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