Dirt Under the Killer Rabbit’s Nose

Dirt Under the Killer Rabbit’s Nose

an Infinite Stratos fanfiction by The Overlord Bear

Summary: Tabane Shinonono got away with a lot of shady things. And in hindsight, Ichika Orimura was just one of her scapegoats. The Shimagawas come to realize the latter during a visit to their late matriarch.

Previous Part: “Dirt Under the Killer Rabbit’s Paw”

Never expected to meet the great Ichika Orimura here. I thought you’d be angsting all over your vanquished psycho family friend.

Nothing to say to that?

Alright, then. Yeah, of course we’re visiting a grave, boy. And who are we visiting? Count us and take a guess.

That’s right. My late wife and their late mother. Ami was a strong woman. Put up with our dumb asses without letting them slide. And maybe she was a little too obedient, but that was part of her charm, too.

Still, as much as we soldiers knew that death’s always next to us, it still stung to lose a comrade and a loved one to the battlefield. Long story short, she died as one of a bunch of test subjects for a prototype IS…and I knew that it was fucking bullshit, especially considering that psycho. She’s a genius who already showed off enough of her prototype, but of course, with that ego of hers, she wanted and bothered to make and watch the world squirm. No different from a run-of-the-mill politician or entrepreneur. Or maybe even an average soldier, to be fair. That’s why I’d rather live with my kids and not participate in shit like “reformation conventions.” I got better things to do.

You wanna know what sealed the deal there, then? It was a certain encounter with your dear psycho benefactor, an encounter during that funeral for those who died in that shit show.

It started out all doom and gloom, and Routarou and Arika were with me. And of course, we didn’t forget about the posthumous promotions and all those dumb formalities. But just as I held back a scream to wish for the heavens’ lightning upon that psycho…

Yeah, she showed up. Tabane Shinonono showed up.

Oh, she did. That lunatic dropped in with her carrot rocket between the coffins and the bereaved like it was a fucking commercial. And commercial would be right on the money, as she just danced and sang some nonsense and demanded praise from us.

That’s right. She even demanded praise from us. And I can see that you feel the same way. Shit, I guess my family and I owe you an apology for being so prejudiced about you, huh?

Not just you, though. Fucking pride held me back from accepting it, but now…now…

Well, first, can you guess what I did next after that psycho went commercial on us?

Yeah. And I collared her.

I saw her true colors at that moment. Those eyes held a damned void, the void of someone spoiled rotten, someone who needed tons and tons more pain to actually learn something good. If my eyes were guns, it would’ve been firing bullets into those pits just to see whether or not they would fire back at me. I was being damned suicidal back then, but can you really blame me for doing that?

And speaking of being suicidal, I hated it when my colleagues and my kids held me back. My colleagues, my kids…and your older sister.

I mean, seriously, do you really think I’d be here if the great Chifuyu Orimura hadn’t been there to rein that psycho bitch in and save us hero wannabes? I still don’t get why you’re all close friends with her, and I don’t know if I ever will, but I couldn’t really refuse that help. Oh, and these two brats also cried their way into getting me to keep on living. Hey, I’m hard, but not that hard!

But back to the story…I had parting words for that psycho:

“When I get my revenge…I’ll be hiding in plain sight.”

Back then, it was an empty threat. I actually wanted her dead, but I couldn’t do anything to achieve that. It hurt to admit that, but looking back at it from here, I guess I made the right choices and fulfilled my promise to that lunatic way better than I thought. Maybe we’re just dirt to her, but at least I’m alive and happy with my loved ones.

Heh, come to think of it, I guess I’m not so different from her, if the way we’ve been treating people’s anything to be considered. Loved ones are treasure, while the rest are tools. Now I feel prouder of my family for keeping me and my dumb ass together.

So yeah, thanks, damn it. Thanks to you, you two brats, you stupid boy, and your badass sister. So take my business card, feel free to call me Genta, and tell your sister than a creepy old man’s looking for a new wife. I’m joking about that last part, though…probably.

And speaking of which…Are you dating someone right now?


Can you repeat that for me and this phone, then?

Alright, looks like the Shimagawas will be collecting a fortune tonight! Hahaha!

And then we saw Ichika Orimura do a dogeza, crying as he begged for forgiveness in front of Dad.

Rou-nii and I were speechless. And crying. And kinda laughing ’cause Dad was an idiot with his jokes. But still, crying. We were crying.

I thought I had gotten over Mom’s death. I thought I had gotten used to Dad’s bitterness and Rou-nii’s apathy. I thought I had already evolved as this snappy comeback generator I’ve made myself into. I thought we had grown a lot, emulating Mom’s badassery even though we weren’t so into being soldiers. We thought we had already hit Level 99.

Maybe we did, but still, it turns out that the level cap’s way higher than we thought.

And then The Boy – No, The Man cried in front of the graves of my mother and her comrades who went with her. He told us that he wanted to pay respects to everyone Tabane Shinonono had hurt.

Dad, Rou-nii, and I kicked The Boy’s ass for that sappy crap. Oh well, at least The Boy can still turn into The Man.

“How about we be friends for real, then, Ichika Orimura?” I decided to ask with a smile.

And then the bruised softie cried and smiled again.

“Yeah…” he went. “Thank you…”

I bet Mom’s even happier now, then. Though if she were still alive, I bet that she’d love to scare him with guns to keep him away from me. And I wouldn’t mind that wonderful protection.

Author’s Note: I’d like to thank Kerlongsj Evert Orlejov (who’s probably a vampire with that weird long name, haha, just kidding) for inspiring this piece.

Also, my interest in Infinite Stratos is rising bigtime again, considering certain spoilers I looked up. That, and I have Bookwalker, and the source material’s official English translation is being sold there. So yeah.

Next Part: “Dirt in the Killer Rabbit’s Eyes”

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