1. For prospective new members, a word of warning: don't use common names like Dennis, Simon, or Kenny if you decide to create an account. Spammers have used them all before you and gotten those names flagged in the anti-spam databases. Your account registration will be rejected because of it.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Since it has happened MULTIPLE times now, I want to be very clear about this. You do not get to abandon an account and create a new one. You do not get to pass an account to someone else and create a new one. If you do so anyway, you will be banned for creating sockpuppets.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. If you wish to change your username, please ask via conversation to tehelgee instead of asking via my profile. I'd like to not clutter it up with such requests.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Due to the actions of particularly persistent spammers and trolls, we will be banning disposable email addresses from today onward.
    Dismiss Notice
  5. We talked about it, many complained about it or hoped it would never come to pass, but the time for the forum software upgrade is now!

    See the details here.
    Dismiss Notice

Magical Trickster DxD (HS DxD Magician!OC-I with some X-overing)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by JBukharin, Sep 20, 2019.

Loading...
  1. Threadmarks: Quick Premise
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    A quick premise:
    This is a Fanfic that will be updated daily. It starts with main plot and has some minor divergences from the Canon. Such as:
    - Issei is not as cringey as in Canon (by that I mean he is still a pervert but he will not be obsessively so like in Canon, he still loves Oppai but will experience some growth);
    - I am planning how to structure his Harem, some girls will be parried to other characters while others will not have a pairing at all. (Girls like Rias and Asia are a must, but I will not directly address any lewd scene this section of QQ's rules, maybe in the NSFW section I will open an archive if I must);
    - MC will have a Chibi Army, a growing group of little sisters which will not be considered an Harem (Closest action to lewd allowed is 'Head-patting');
    - MC will have a single pairing, no Harem for the Insert as it would escalate any future migraine about structuring this all;
    - MC doesn't start with a Sacred Gear (He could obtain or 'create' one if I plan this correctly and logically);
    - The MC story will partly follow the main plot and some divergences are planned to happen very early on. (Some characters appearing way earlier than in Canon);
    - How am I writing 3 to 5k+ chapters daily? I am just inspired. Dunno why tho.
    And that is all, let the madness unfold!
     
  2. Threadmarks: Why one should always be careful
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 1: Why one should always be careful

    As a renowned establishment for students seeking high-grade education, Kuoh Academy did make its good figure with its illustrious teacher staff and model rule-book.

    Once an All-Girl school, the decision to switch to a co-ed system was agreed unanimously by the past school board after the large increase of funds received years ago, the money allowing the construction of a prominent complex of buildings styled after a mix of Japanese and European unique tones.

    A prestigious place of culture that only had a simple but persistent issue that gave to the whole Academy a less than pleasant reputation: the Perverted Trio.

    While perverts were a glaring problem back when the decision of opening to male students was approved, the stern rules that were applied at the time managed to destroy most of the pests studying at the high school.

    The Trio was a special case as the female population did see them as a threat to deal with personally, feeling quite attacked by their lecherous ways.

    At least that was the known part of the story.

    There was another deterrent the Trio was supposed to deal with all those times they tried to lewd after innocent, but very violent, girls.

    It was during an hour after the end of the school day when the first burst of girly shrieks reached my years and, having been doing this for months now, I knew that the owner of such shrieks wasn't female at all.

    "Motohama! You better not be hiding in the Girl's storage room again!" I shouted as I slowly patrolled the area, sweating a little after the brief chase I was previously engaged in trying to find the last of the two present perverts today.

    While his comrade has fallen to the 'kindness' the girls leaving from the volleyball practice wanted to return after some caught the two while they were peeping on them, the glass-wearing fiend managed to avoid being given a beating of the pervert-kind.

    No honor among idiots, I thought tiredly as I continued for my little game of hide and seek with the young teen.

    "Man, this isn't the first time we do this and you know that making things harder will not get you out of this situation."

    There was some noises now erupting from the storage room, a familiar pervert slamming the doors open while trying to make a run for it, failing to remember I was far too close for him to avoid being tackled.

    Slamming head first, the boy groaned under my weight and soon I had him pulled up.

    "C-Can we talk about this, H-Hoitsu-kun?" He let out a quick, nervous chuckle which I replied with a sigh.

    "We can chat about the nice weather and how is school, but sadly I cannot have you skip righteous punishment;" I stated quietly, ignoring the panic surging from my words.

    He squirmed as we started to slowly walk towards the girl approaching us.

    Long straight black hair that reached down to her knees split into several bangs and heterochromatic eyes, one a soft violet while the other with a pleasant chocolate shade, Tsubaki Shinra was a gorgeous young woman. The Vice-president of the Student Council and my 'Second' Boss, the bespectacled lady was someone with an admirable sense of duty for her work.

    She nodded at once she was close enough to understand the predicament she was staring at.

    "Motohama-san and Matsuda-san caused chaos once again?" Tsubaki asked in a rhetorical voice before sighing. "I would have thought you two would have learned from getting beaten so harshly last time."

    Surprisingly enough the glass-wearing pervert huffed. "The girls were violent a-and the council shouldn't condone this kind of viole-Eeck!" The boy tried to pull away from my grasp, noticing almost instantly the glare the girl was giving to him.

    "Violence that is caused by your unbecoming acts, pervert." She scolded sternly, earning another whimper from the teen as we escorted him to the teacher lounge.

    As one of the senseis picked the boy out of our jurisdiction to deal with him, I started to walk back toward the student council's room with Tsubaki.

    "Those three are incredibly resilient to the ministrations of the strongest females in this school. I do reckon that-"

    "N-Now that I remember about it- Sorry, Hoitsu-san, I didn't want to interrupt you but..." The girl sighed and continued. "Sona-buchou said that today's session will not happen. Momo and Tomoe were busy with some important appointments and couldn't participate, thus it has been de-"

    "-layed." I interrupted with a small smile, Tsubaki blushing a little. "There is no need to make this kind of news this much developed. Still, thank you for the warning, Tsubaki-san."

    She nodded happily as we parted ways, I didn't have now a reason to go to the council's room and thus decided to walk back home.

    Homework wasn't going to be done without my input and today Math-sensei did leave quite the heavy work to see completed for tomorrow.

    Yawning quietly, I paced through the halls of the school to reach the main entrance, a large corridor that led right to the glass doors that divided the school building from the outside courtyard.

    I was about to reach out for one of the doors' handles when I heard footsteps approaching me. Blinking, I turned around and I was found myself greeted by a smiling brunet which I was familiar to, much to my dismay.

    "Issei-kun?" I muttered curiously as this was the first time he didn't waste time around the other two perverts and… didn't he disappear for most of the school time?

    "Hoitsu-senpai, can I walk with you back home? I need to tell you about some epic news and-"
    I sighed tiredly at the cheerful tone, dreading at what 'epic' things the younger teen had done today. There were so many terrible things I could be hearing once we were out of the building and…

    I think I was seeing that part of the story, the beginning of DxD and… how did I miss Raynare?!

    ----------d-d-d-------------d-d-dd------------d-d-d-d---------------d-d-d-d-

    "Rias-buchou is awesome, senpai." The brunet continued to tell about accepting the invitation to the Occult Club led by the redhead beauty, Rias Gremory.

    My name is Hoitsu Sakakibara… or is it Sakakibara Hoitsu? Japanese styling of names and all... Anyway! I'm what many would call a Self-Insert, someone from the 'original world' that is either moved to a different universe or replaces a determined character, important (and known) or secondary (and particularly unknown).

    "...a-and then there was this shower built inside and…"

    My situation is a replacement of a character I'm fairly sure is a… OC, a person that within the 'Canon' version of this universe shouldn't be existing.

    "...Oppai!…"

    I woke up a few months ago, way earlier than the beginning of the plot. I was already enlisted to Kuoh Academy by the time I found myself in this world of Devils, Fallen Angels, and True Angels, but the preparation I have planned to avoid some of the more 'unpleasant notes' of this series have yet to be completed.

    "...Koneko-chan is adorable!…"

    I wormed myself in the Student Council, obtaining the rule as a serious treasurer under Sona's leadership. The role came as a surprise as I expected that, even with the elections that saw me appointed to the position, Sona would have meddled with the results.

    "...Akeno-senpai is so nice and-…"

    Still, I didn't show any wrong reaction in accepting the charge, showing merely happiness at the 'results of my hard work'. I knew I did more than enough to conquer the place, but the doubt of losing that seat of power because of favoritism regarding her peerage? That was a legitimate fear of mine.

    "...Kiba looks like a jerk…"

    And while I consolidated myself at school, I actually managed to find some magic books a few weeks ago. The pace of learning and training the Arcane Arts only delayed by the duties at school and the nagging of my new parents regarding my grades at school.

    I was doing pretty well with exams but I ended up with a man and a woman that wished for their son to strive and reach the highest point in society. A big objective that I hardly considered to achieve, since there were more important situation to deal with first-

    "Ne, senpai. Are you ignoring me… again?"

    I blinked back to reality as I caught Issei's words, glancing quickly at him and shrugging sheepishly. "Sorry, Ise. Dealing with stuff with the council and-"

    "Oh? Is it Sona-senpai or Tsubaki-senpai the 'stuff' that you are dealing with?"

    The lewd tone, I didn't like. Thus I proceeded to land a quick karate chop on his head and, while this might have caused a reaction with little strength, I decided to add a little more as I knew that the boy wasn't human anymore.

    The hit did work miracle as the teen recoiled at the quick punishment, huffing at the 'treacherous tone' I had around the Perverted Trio. "S-Senpai, this is unfair! You have many gorgeous women around and you refuse the accept the idea of having a harem-"

    "Because it is a flawed idea of making everyone happy, Ise." I replied quickly, this bickering not the first regarding this very topic. "A man can't give equal love to more than a woman. The relationship would be unhealthy and get very unstable after some time."

    He pouted but, like always, decided to not continue the losing battle.

    "Still, to be invited to the Occult Club by Rias-san herself?" I chose to bring some little relief in that defeat of his. "You have to have caught her eye with whatever you did… that wasn't perverted."

    He blinked, his cheek reddening in embarrassment. "J-Just being normal but trustworthy-" Issei's eyes blinked as he found himself staring at the ground. "I… Senpai?"

    "Mhh?" Now that was a quick change of personality.

    "D-Do you believe me about… Yuuma-chan?"

    I blinked in surprise at that question. I did kind of forget that this little thing was a reason for Issei to doubt himself and…

    I sighed. "I don't believe that." At hearing my words he deflated immensely. "No, I know that there was a girl that asked you out."

    … "Eh?!"

    "Ise, you were shouting about this yesterday, bragging how a 'connoisseur of the fine female body' can get a girlfriend."

    He had the decency to blush again. "I-It wasn't that bad and-"

    The new Devil stopped, eyes widening as he looked up in the sky and I frowned as I realized where we were right now.

    I could recognize the fountain and the benches, I could recognize the trees near the free paths of this… park. The sky looked as if it had been painted by someone suffering from some heavy LSDs influence and I tensed as I felt someone walking right behind us.

    "To think I would end up encountering a human and a Devil this late in the day." We turned to see a man wearing a trenchcoat and a hat, both apparels hiding his appearance from us but… I knew who we were looking at.

    Dohnaseek, one of the few Fallen Angels that joined Raynare and Kokabiel in their little rebellion against Azazel.

    Issei looked scared, possibly comparing this very situation to the one that saw him dying against the backstabbing lady that had him on a date. He looked ready to run away but he stood quiet as he noticed that I wasn't particularly fearful of the predicament.

    "S-Senpai-"

    "I know, Ise." I said quickly, understanding his concerns but… feeling quite ready to face someone of his caliber. "But I have a plan."

    The middle-aged man chuckled. "'A plan'? Do you seriously think anything you could come up with would work on me?"

    I smiled widely. "I can assure you that my plan is the best plan possible and… you should have expected guests." My finger pointed right behind him and he turned to look, trying to find any intruders he had not detected and…



    There was no one.

    He turned around, mouth open and ready to call out my bluff but he stopped at what I was trying to pull.

    Pumping energy the moment he had turned around, I grabbed Issei close and turned around myself, leg moving quickly and swiftly as I muttered a grand hero's true strategy out-loud.

    "Nigerundayo, Ise!"

    … "WHAT?" The brunet yelled under my arm, squirming a little as I rushed deeper into the foliage.
    "You little shits!" Dohnaseek looked absolutely pissed and tried to pull his flight to try and intercept us-

    BAM

    -Ending up slamming on some tree branches in the process. Face bleeding and his mind completely gone because of the humiliation and the injury, the Fallen Angel didn't stop in his pursuit and continued to give chase.

    I sighed as I decided that the distance we got over him was enough to start laying down a new plan. Turning some of the corners, I jumped on a bush, Issei yelping as he took most of the fall damage in the process.

    "S-Senpai, what are you-"

    "Be quiet, Ise." I stated with a stern tone, hands glowing as I started to place some magical signs all over the trees... "This is my real plan."

    The lights coming from the seals dimmed and soon disappeared as nothing had happened.

    "Now you stay here as I deal with this annoyance, ok?"

    "S-Senpai, don't-" But despite his best attempt to keep me from leaving the hideout, I yawned as I walked on the clearing and waited to be spotted by the Fallen Angel.

    "There you are!" Launching in a burst of speed, the middle-aged man gave off an animalistic glare, akin to a predator finally catching its prey and then- WHIP

    Eyes widening, Dohnaseek dropped the Light Spear he had created while rushing towards me, several silver-colored strings keeping him stuck still.

    "For being someone that pride himself as one of the 'strongest', you sure suck in keeping yourself out of an ambush, Dohnaseek-san."
    He tensed at his real name being mentioned. "Y-You bastard-UGH!" The strings started to squeeze at him and I sighed.

    "To think that a simple spell like the 'Silver Lining' one can give you this much trouble and…" I crouched to pick the still-present Spear, humming at its magical composition. "What an interesting conjuration…"

    "You pitiful human! Once your Magical Coils go empty, your life is forfei- STAB - !"

    The previously clean spear was now stained with blood, the man looking down as I continued to push it deeper inside his torso. Trembling in pain and fear, the Fallen Angel seemed to have understood that this wasn't going to be a warning for his group.

    There wouldn't be any warning for traitors. I sighed again this time showing a curt smile. "Your little rebellion is going to end very soon. Kokabiel isn't the sharpest planner, isn't he?"

    His eyes widened even more at the mentioning of his boss but his attention was mostly diverted in trying to live through the painful experience but-

    STAB

    The spear was pulled out almost instantly and pushed once more in his body, the damaged part being… his heart.

    There was an instance of inner realization that his life was dimming and slowly he slouched over the strings of platinum. I waited a few more moments before pulling the spear out, letting the weapon collapse and release its energy, letting it seep in my reserves for further study.

    "S-Senpai?!"

    I blinked and turned around to see a shell-shocked Issei, glancing back and forth between me and the dying Dohnaseek.

    "I will explain what is going on tomorrow, Ise." I stated without leaving much room for protests and patted his shoulders as I went towards him. He looked confused, frightened at the scene I left behind as the strings finally faded away, letting the man's corpse hit the ground.

    "Right now… you should back to the fountain. I think Rias-san should be there and… Do keep quiet about me." I squeezed his shoulders again. "I am serious, do try and keep quiet about what has happened here, say that you managed to out-run the Fallen Angel and… I will be thankful."

    He relaxed a little, his shoulders sagging as he nodded at my request. "B-But why are-"

    "I know that secrecy sucks but… I need to avoid being noticed by some people. You do me this favor, buddy, and I will tell you about the answers you have and that your boss didn't even mention to tell you about. Capisce?"

    He nodded and I sighed. "Good, then go and… have a good day."

    I started to quickly pace towards the exit of the park, avoiding the normally-used paths that could be easily monitored and managed to get out of the area without being noticed.

    This night? I consider it a failure as now I will have to act more directly towards the plot from now on…

    ----------d-d--d----------d-d-d-d---------dd--dd----------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d----------d-d-dd----------

    AN

    This will update every two Saturdays, I am taking the Consultant off the hook for a while as I am experiencing some writer’s block about it.

    Anyway, we dipping in the land of Lewd and Perverts but this OC-I will not act upon the primal predicament of the universe but focus on something more important and… that everyone crave as much as pron… and that is FLUFF AND HEAD-PATTING!

    Heh, mostly JK but yeah I will add some fluff and some minor little sisters army, not a harem but… an army of sort, yes.

    I know that I might have left some Grammar errors around but the issue is that I can’t find a proper BR nowadays. If someone is interested in Beta-reading this story, and that means some seriousness as I will not accept any slackers on the job (something I had experienced most of the times with my attempts in finding a beta-reader). Anyway, let us make the best out of this story… shall we?

    EDIT: Decided to start looking back at the old chapters and correct the mistakes when I can. I think I got all if not most of the mistakes of the first draft this time ‘round.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
  3. Threadmarks: Mistakes were Made
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 2: Mistakes were Made

    This wasn’t going to be an easy morning.

    Yawning tiredly, I managed to pick myself off the bed, surprisingly avoiding once more getting ensnared by the alluring craving for more sleep.

    Dohnaseek’s words about my coils echoed in my brain, pointing out how I was still fairly new with the whole Magic sthick. My entire body was still recovering from the straining encounter of the previous night and I would be lying in saying I didn’t have a certain inner whining about more sleep.

    If it hadn’t been that I did have something important today, I would have considered the notion, weighting if skipping a day would or not spark the suspicions of Rias.

    Sure, I knew that Sona was too much busy with her own problems regarding the school and her situation in Hell, but the Gremory was the one that keep an eye open for any possible threat in their fiefs.

    While I was still a noob, I was a Magician in the making in everyone’s book. The Silver Lining was a good proof that I knew few things about the basics, being able to turn a ‘Containment Spell’ from the Japanese Spellcraft in something useful for the predicament I had to deal the day before.

    The death of the Fallen Angel was going to have the dual effect of bringing more attention to the presence of curious individuals near the school and making Raynare a little nervous over the current pace of their operations.

    If I played my cards well, I could easily catch Asia before she can even consider approaching the rebelling Fallen Angels and gaining an ally in the process, which I would more than happily assign to live at the Hyoudou residence.

    Why that place and not my home? The first reason was that my new parents were no-nonsense kind of people and would turn down politely the any offer of housing the nun; the second reason was that I would then gain some respect from Issei, the boy understanding that I was putting some trust about his capacity to not cause any perverted act around the naive girl.

    While I was perfectly sure that he would eventually end up doing some unconscious lecherous acts, those were partly-acceptable as… they weren’t planned.

    Plus if the situation evolved accordingly to Canon, Asia would manage to mitigate the perverted nature of Issei which… was a good thing for him and my plan.

    Standing up from the bed, I glanced at my PC and smiled as I remembered the little idea I had about owning ‘suspicious’ book in my room. Two weeks of afternoons spent writing down the content of the books in some documents within the computer, making photos of all the signs that couldn’t be reproduced with the keyboard, I had two whole books regarding Japanese Spellcraft and basic healing techniques saved in a safe folder hidden by two passwords.

    A very complex scheme that became a necessity with the possibility of being eventually tailed around by people or getting my room violated by unwanted intruders.

    Speaking of ‘people’, before going to catch some rest I did spend some time browsing around in search for a very important contact details.

    With the plans of Kokabiel entering in motion, it became a must informing Azazel of the happening in Kuoh Town. The man might have some limited interest in Issei, but I am fairly unsure if said interest did span to a level of keeping the brunet under constant surveillance, excluding Raynare.

    It was a long guess, but if I managed to pass on him the memo that someone was starting to plot some war-sparking problems within Grigori and give him some proof of it, I might get some indirect help from him.

    Setting up an untraceable post within my PC was something that drained even more time but also part of my available funds, either from pocket money or small rewards from odd jobs around the city.

    It was enough to get me to send a lengthy message to Azazel, containing pictures and peculiar bank transactions visible with some ‘persuasive’ research within some Grigori-owned branches without being spotted by the efficient security system set-up by the former Fifth-Heaven.

    As I finished putting on my school uniform, I noticed that my right hand, the one that had absorbed the ‘Heavenly Energy’ from Dohnaseek’s final Light Spear, was still heated up from the minor adjustment to the coils contained within it.

    Creating a separated section of my Magical Core to be used to accumulate holy energy was a blunder I conceptualized from some theories alluded within the Healing Book I had yet to finish to study about.

    A Magical Core was something unique that was present within all living beings, the main reactor for everyone’s life. It was generally ingrained to sustain only a single type of energy, rarely two if the being was something like a hybrid, most of the cases being Fallen Angels.

    Since my body couldn’t hope to survive a sudden injection of holy energy with my ‘Earthly’ type, I decided to try and test if the Mithridates’ method could be used in this specific situation.

    Mithridatism was usually applied about building an immunity to poison by ingesting a small and gradually increasing quantity of non-lethal poison. In this predicament of mine, by slowly filtering the Holy energy within my core without causing any major issues with my current biology.

    Some sickness was expected, some minor aching and a partial sensation that was akin to drugs’ withdrawal were partly possible, but the worst, which was complete rejection of the new energy, was nigh-impossible to happen as I wasn’t a Devil.

    A Devil was incredibly weak against Holy energy which made ‘energy transfusion’ of said type of energy within a Devil’s body a known failure and death of the subject.

    Putting on some bandages over the hand, I decided to also wear a glove with some minor runes that hid the energy pattern contained within it, keeping an extra layer of disguise from any Devil specialized in energy-detection.

    It wasn’t much, but I was going to have an easier time at school today.

    Walking downstairs, I was greeted by a steamy plate of bacon and scrambled eggs and a small paper sitting right beside the food on the table.

    I blinked, curiosity deciding to peek out as I started to read quietly the content of the small thing.

    We will be working overtime and will be home later than usual.

    Simple, curt and very positive. This message did offer some more opportunity to further study and expand from the books available and see if I could get some more texts I could learn from.

    With general happiness plastered in my face, I walked out of my house with a satisfied belly and an intriguing possibility to deal after a normal day at school.



    I yawned, my attention keeping fixed on the teacher as I continued to half-listen to today’s lesson about Japanese literature.

    I admit I didn’t expect the subject to hold this level of difficulty, with its deep poetry and narration of the various periods, detailing the Shoguns and the Daimyos. Still it wasn’t worse by any mean to European literature, managing to get close but also… not close enough to make my head hurts every single lesson.

    Part of my focus was also split between looking at Akeno and Rias, both girls in my same class, being the two favorites of the class by both teachers and students.

    Beautiful, smart and morally graceful. Those two were quite the grand rewards for many young men, respectfully holding a similar kind of appeal that made them popular while also lovable.

    A position that many women would envy was actually praised and quickly accepted, which showed that their reputation was way above than the one’s air-headed divas would have.

    I continued to keep a good composure for the rest of the hour, quickly walking out of the classroom the moment the teacher confirmed the end of the class and giving permission to leave the room.

    A minor pause of ten minutes would ensue, brief but good enough to approach Issei and give him some better time for our little chat.

    Finding the brunet was actually simple as the boy had to be wandering around the entrance of his classroom and, few moments later, I was patting his shoulder with a small smile much to his panic and surprise.

    A little yelp left his mouth but he stopped himself from letting out anything remotely girly the moment his eyes noticed my figure. “O-Oh, Hoitsu-senpai.”

    “Good morning, Ise-kohai. Might I remind you about our discussion about Drag So-Ball?”

    He blinked in confusion, then a flash of recognition washed on his face. “R-Right, almost forgot about it… it should be in-”

    “The thirty-minutes pause after our third lesson. We shall catch up in the roof to discuss about the latest episode.”

    His eyes glowed a little as I knew he was a fan of the Dragon Ball’s rip-off. “You mean the Super Dragon 3 transformation and Satoru going against Mango Belus? That was-”

    “Incredible, I know!” I smiled widely as I did catch some glimpses of the episode as…

    I missed watching Dragon Ball and what was available in this dimension did make some good figure compared to it.

    “Still I wonder, what do you think of the let-down of Sora? He managed to beat Terminator X and seemed to be ready to become the new protagonist-”

    “But they make him go out so easily...” The new Devil replied with a gloomy face. “It’s kind of sad but I guess Satoru is kind of more popular, it wouldn’t have done him justice if he lost his importance.”

    “I guess you are right.” I nodded in agreement. “Then I suppose we can continue later- and remember to not do anything ‘weird’ in the mean time. Would hate to have to pick you up and personally have you sent to deal with a teacher’s lecture.”

    Issei bowed his head in embarrassment, yet his eyes hardly kept still while he spoke. “I-I will make sure to not cause trouble, senpai.”

    I patted his shoulder once. “Good! Then we will see each other later, kohai.”

    Turning around, I started to walk away from the boy, ignoring the mutterings of some students at the fact I did speak with a junior student. I was part of the Student Council and it had to be quite confusing to see me talk so calmly with a member of the Perverted Trio, no shades being thrown and all.

    I guess I could have approached him in another way, but the rumors were hardly going to escalate without any further situation that might spark some unpleasant theories.

    With a small sigh, I returned back to class and continued with today’s lessons, ready to deal with two sessions of Math and one of Biology.



    Three hours later and I found myself limping on my way to reach the roof.

    The expected symptoms were starting to show in the form of severe pain going through my left leg and some minor itching by the chest’s area.

    I also felt feverish but still capable of formulate some logical thoughts and, after informing Sona herself that I wouldn’t be able to participate the council session because of health problems, I decided to make my chat with Issei the last thing to do at school today, taking an early leave to return back home.

    I completely miscalculated the time it would take for me to recover and only the Gods know how much I would have to rest before being able to experiment around with my magic.

    At least I wasn’t going to die, I mused darkly as I finally reached for the handle that led outside to the roof.

    As the sudden light from the sun started to dim a little and my eyes slowly adjusted to it, I found myself staring at two individuals rather than the one I was expecting. Issei looked partly guilty as he shifted nervously from a seat quite distant from the smiling blond that was Kiba Yuuto standing near the only entrance to this place.

    “Sakakibara-senpai, I’m sorry if I’m intruding but-” He turned to the nervous looking brunet with a small smile. “Issei-kun told me that you were going to discuss about Drag So-Ball and I am kind of… a fan of it.” He winked my way and I restrained myself from sighing at the pretty boy’s fake attempt to infiltrate the discussion.

    I should have considered the fact both King and Queen of the Gremory’s peerage would have avoided giving up some hints to any actions directed at me, maybe they knew that I was spotted leaving with Issei for the park when they ‘rescued’ him yesterday.

    But still, the lack of a direct confrontation from the redhead confirmed that Issei did keep his mouth shut about my role in killing Dohnaseek. That meant I could give some respect to the usually pervy boy to have not let that secret go because of a boob attack.

    “Sure.” I smiled widely. “Then I guess we should begin.”

    The two nodded, Kiba smiled happily while the other teen seemed to have taken a bite out of a lemon. Such was the terrible thing known as aggressive intrusion.

    But I guess I have to explain why I had to go along with this ploy and not call out the pretty boy out of his silly act.

    If I did make him leave, either diplomatically or violently, said act would be taken as evidence for further investigation and, frankly speaking, I did want to deal with Rias anytime soon. Especially without some power to protect myself from an eventual ‘unkind’ reaction from hers.

    So the discussion did happen, but it was only about the anime which only Issei and I knew about. Kiba did show his lack of familiarity with the show and tried to downplay it as some mere forgetfulness, a lie that was easily caught by both the brunet and I.

    It was an odd situation that continued for about two more hours. My health deteriorated a little more but nothing alarming yet and, seeing that it was starting to get dark, I decided to conclude this chat with a few words for the poor Devil.

    “Ise-kohai, I almost forgot. Can I ask you a favor?”

    The boy blinked and nodded, the blonde looking curious. “Sure, what do you need, senpai?”

    “Tomorrow I might have to skip school.” I said with a pained smile. “You see, yesterday I got a deep cut while preparing dinner and the medicines I had to use aren’t particularly sitting well with my body. If it’s not asking too much, could you make an effort to get a copy of the homework of tomorrow from Tsubaki-san-”

    He tensed at hearing the stern woman but I was quick to assure him safety. “I- I will call her to tell about the situation. I-If you avoid any issues tomorrow she will be less prone to lecture you and get you some detention.”

    The teen nodded slowly and accepted the request. “I will do what I can, senpai.”

    “G-Good.” I nodded too. “Then I-I can give you my address so you can pass around tomorrow.”

    I took a small piece of paper and wrote down the address to my house, the boy nodding while storing it in one of his pockets. “Understood.”

    “T-Then I go as I think I will need some p-power nap after this little situation.”

    As I went towards the door, I saw Kiba walking by. “Do you need some help, senpai? You do seem quite...”

    “I-I can hold until back home, Kiba-san.” I nodded thankful at him, while I tried to dodge the little bullet there. “A-Also I don’t want to get some r-rumors going about our current situation here.”

    He blinked innocently. “What rumors, senpai?”

    I looked back at Issei and the brunet didn’t deign to look back much to my disappointment. “S-Something about your romantic inclinations. Don’t wish for the rumor mill to hit us about that.”

    “That sounds completely silly, senpai. No one would-”

    “Did y-you know that girls are shipping you with Issei?” His confusion turned in dread. “I hope you will make sure to clarify the s-situation or the rumors will only end up getting w-worse.”

    He nodded and I was granted the chance of leaving that place of dread behind as I ventured out of the school and towards home.

    Reaching the modest-looking house, I sighed as I let my body hit the couch, the coziness almost taking my consciousness out as I tried to deal with the growing aches of the process, my stomach starting to softly groan at the terrible suffering it was subjected.

    For the interest of everyone, I decided to avoid eating anything at lunch, knowing that it was now a matter of time before I would have to go to the bathroom and throw up what was left of my breakfast.

    A pity that I couldn’t do anything with the extra hours of being alone but dealing with the regret coming from the results of my poorly-made choices.

    I was about to close my eyes and let my sore brain drift away from that reality of pain when I heard a familiar and unholy sound reach out for me.

    Ding Dong~

    God-frigging-dangit!

    I groaned on my pillow before slowly pulling myself out of that delightful place of comfort and back to the ever-aching situation of walking around. It was sheer determination that got me towards the door and as I slowly opened it to see who was daring to disturb me in my moment of sorrow, my eyes were greeted back by a pair of golden ones. Then I stared up and I saw silver-hair and…

    Why was Koneko here?

    She had some books in her hands, grasping them softly as she looked a little bit nervous through her ‘blank’ mask. “I’m sorry if I’m here without notice… but I need your help, senpai.”

    … “W-What?”

    “I… I have a Math exam tomorrow and Issei-san said that you were good at it. C-Can you help me with that?”

    I knew that her tone was as fake as her current attempt of pulling a nervous expression, her act another attempt to investigate my presence at the park the night before and, as much as I wanted to kick her out for the sake I was in a world of pain already as I was now, I… decided to let her in.

    “S-Sure.”

    She nodded and walked inside, eyes scanning inquisitively before settling to the living room table and placing the books there. The girl looked back, a waiting glance as I slowly made my way towards the chair the opposite she was currently sitting on and I prepared myself to deal with possibly the last issue of today.

    Gods, I hope I am not going to need to throw up to the bathroom now with a cute but dangerous character in my house.



    AN

    First chibi is in and… Koneko is going to be kind of fun to ‘write’ next time.

    The sweet-toothed Nekomata will have her main mission to find any evidence of our MC being implicated with the debacle of the day before… but will end up with something else. No, I don’t plan to make something ‘that’ disgusting regarding the last bit of the chapter. I am not that cruel towards lil’ chibis.

    Also another thing, I might add ‘one’ big-boobed character to go after our MC, but it will happen much, much after, when there will be ‘a reason’ for the two to meet.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  4. Threadmarks: Of Study Sessions and Investigations
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 3: Of Study Sessions and Investigations


    Koneko was starting to get bored after barely an hour of trying her best at Math.


    As much as her dedication to her job and devotion to Rias was high enough to get her to start this slow and soporific study session, nothing did prepare her to deal with the dreadful subject’s truest difficulty.


    She had been twitching once or twice because her attempts of trying to solve the exercises she had brought for this session were quickly graded with some just attention.


    I continued to analyze the minor errors sporadically lingering onto the paper and that rendered the equations wrong in several spots.


    It wasn’t something to be ashamed for, I was careful to point out during my corrections, as Math wasn’t certainly the strongest point of everyone and, if I have to be honest, I was quite sure that she really needed this kind of help at school if this was her genuine approach to ‘easy’ tests.


    Much to my delight the sickness I had been suffering early today had started to slightly reduce its cruel grasp over my sore brain, making it possible for me to work well with the younger student without showing any worrying sign of fatigue.


    But I had yet to sing victory, most of the dreadful effects of the Holy energy injection still leaving me a feverish mess as I continued to deal with the explanations to be given to the girl and the corrections if Koneko’s completed homework.


    She was cutely scowling by the end of the first hour, her eyes narrowing at the piece of paper that I had just finished to correct as if it had killed her Uncle Ben.


    Then the silver-haired girl groaned as she was presented with a new sheet with more exercises, her head slowly banging on the table and eliciting a brief smile from me at the adorable sight.


    “You know, you shouldn’t give up just yet.”


    She lifted her stare up from the table while keeping her head resting on the furniture as she gave a bored blink back at me, causing me to sigh tiredly at the display of unwillingness to continue.


    “You know, you are actually doing better than I did back when I was your age,” I hummed with a truthful voice, looking up in remembrance of… something from my former life. “I was quite the terrible thing at Math too, a grave of Fs did take most of my first year at High School after all and…”


    Man, it’s been a while since I thought about home. I wonder how are the others-


    “And?”


    I blinked down, noticing the interested tone in the young girl’s voice.


    Was I getting her attention now? Could it be that… she was suffering of that predicament herself?


    “And I just ended up putting myself into it,” I finished the sentence with a quiet tone. “I ended up realizing that a helpful hand can take you so far, most of the effort needs to come from within yourself.”


    “But isn’t it still boring?” She sighed, her voice a little whiny but restrained.


    Still, it was quite surprising to hear her speak this much genuinely, but I was quick to rule it out as a mere school-related frustration release.


    “It is. I don’t think I mentioned ‘liking the subject’; Mind you, I still hate Math with a passion and I will be the happiest once I end school… away from those evil numbers...”


    There was a brief snort which caught my attention almost immediately, Koneko’s hand shot up to her mouth, but I could see her cheeks flaring in embarrassment at the agreeing noise.


    “As I was saying-” I continued with a small twitchy smile in my face, basking in that sight a little more. “Math is not going to get easy, nor you are ever going to like it. You just need to put yourself on the line and deal with it swiftly and efficiently before getting to deal it in some late stage of the year.”


    The Nekoshou-in-disguise nodded at this, golden eyes taking in some determined glint while she resumed with her attempts and, much to my glee, I did notice some sudden improvements from her efforts.


    There were still some minor errors in the paper as I looked at the mistakes she made along her calculations, but it wasn’t as intense as it had been previously


    She now gave a positive nod at the reduction of corrections, the development urging her to try more and more with this attemps.


    It was after another full hour that I remembered a confusing detail of her current disposition, my eyes soon frowning at the lack of a certain device while she finished another multiplication done in a paper on the side.


    “Koneko-san, why are you not using a calculator?” I found myself asking, confused by the fact she was doing calculations by hand.


    Koneko paused, blinking twice before nodding.


    “Teacher said that for this year calculators weren’t to be used during tests.” She glanced back at me confused. “Why do you ask, senpai?”


    “Well, what your teacher is doing isn’t condoned by the rules,” I pointed out, my tone once again showing confusion but it was mixed with some annoyance at the fact a sensei might have tried to do this with his class. “Student DO need to have calculators this early in their experience at high school. The exercises are already difficult with those, to think that you did without one...” I finished with a sigh.


    Then I nodded to myself.


    “I guess I will have to call Sona-san to tell her about the situation.”


    The silver-haired teen looked surprised at the sudden development, but still managed a grateful nod before blinking in dread at a small situation.


    “A-Actually...” She said before sighing nervously. “I don’t have a calculator back home, senpai.”


    Now that was something I could understand for certain reasons.


    Since she didn’t put much effort in the subject before today, I guess that she didn’t mind doing homework without the device.


    Still, the girl needed that kind of help and… I slowly walked out of the chair and towards the couch, where my school bag had been resting for a while now.


    “Senpai?” Koneko asked in confusion and I nodded as I pulled the small calculator out of my pencil case.


    “Tomorrow I will have to skip school so… you can borrow it.” I placed it on the table, pushing it towards her. “Once you are done with it, you will just need to give it to Issei and he will pass it to me when he pass around.”


    She frowned at the mentioning of the pervert. “Why should I even bother talking to him-”


    “Because I am asking you to, Koneko-san,” I replied with a calm but determined voice. “I know that you are both in the Occult Research Club, so I just hoped you would have the time to do that.”


    The girl contemplated the dreadful request and ended up sighing tiredly at it.


    “Fine… but I will not do anything else with the perverted, correct?”


    I nodded and she hummed in agreement, thus returning back to the practice.


    The calculator quickly gave a major boost of her effort, time reduced between exercises and allowing her to validate her previous calculations better than before.


    Two more hours passed and it was getting time for dinner when Koneko started to yawn tiredly, golden eyes softly sleepy as she rested a little more on the table.


    I smiled. “I think you are ready for the exam, Koneko-san.”


    My words effectively got her attention, eyes widening in surprise at the quiet declaration and her jaw dropped for a moment.


    “B-But there were some mistakes.”


    “Minor ones,” I chided softly, causing her eyes to twitch in annoyance at my little stern tone. “You are more than ready to deal with the exam without major issues. Get some rest and-”


    “B-But I think that I would enjoy more… time here.”


    … I hope that this is just about the job.


    I hope this is only about the investigation.


    “As I said, Koneko-san, you will have no problems in doing the test. Over-exerting yourself for some nervousness could end up making you too tired to sustain it if you continue to study session.” I concluded with a smile.


    “So… I should just-” She looked quite skeptical about it, but I wasn’t finished yet.


    “Go back home, eat something good and healthy for dinner and get some rest. You will deal with the exam with a fresh mind and a healthy body.” At the end of my words she did seem to flash a brief pout, but she quickly hid it by nodding at me.


    “U-Understood, senpai.”


    A few moments later, the little kohai was helped to the door where we exchanged some goodbyes before I found myself dealing with the aftermath of this all.


    I felt incredibly exhausted and my mind cried for some well-deserved rest after the crap I had to deal today… but I still had to make some calls before going to get some napping done.


    Thus, sitting silently in the couch I spent few moments to regain some mental energy and started to call the two individuals I had to call before the end of the day.


    “Tsubaki-san? I hope I’m not disturbing but...”


    ---------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d---------


    “So… we got a situation.”


    With those few words, Azazel started the emergency session with most of the leaders at Grigori sitting by the large table of the meeting room.


    From Shemhazai to Tamiel, the only one absent to this special sitting was Kokabiel.


    Not a major surprise for everyone within the reunion, the man having long displayed the disinterest in partaking in those kind of meetings after the current leader had started to take a softer approach regarding the dealings with the other factions.


    “What did you do?” Shemhazai and Baraqiel asked almost in unison.


    The two shared an understanding glance before returning to stare at the frowning Azazel.


    “I didn’t do anything… this time,” The Governor-General admitted with asigh, the last words with a little bit of embarrassment. “But the situation is still a grave one.”


    “I hope this is indeed something important, Azazel-kun.” Penemue stated, the General Secretary then giving him a teasing smile. “I still have to give you today’s paperwork and- oh my, this time its twice than yesterday~.”


    “Cruel woman,” The man started with some fake tears falling off at the mentioning of the greatest threat of them all. “But yes, we have an issue involving our elusive Kokabiel-san.”


    “The war-hawk?” Shemhazai asked curiously. “I thought he was already monitored after the recent situation-”


    “But it seems it isn’t enough!” Azazel interjected with an exasperated sigh. “He did some more naughty things and...”


    The large screen in the room turned on, several documents and bank details of large transfers highlighted.


    “We are risking another war.”





    “What?” Baraqiel slammed his closed fists on the desk, creating some minor cracks on it as he stared confused and angered. “Why didn’t you inform us of this before?”


    “Because I got this information quite recently and… because I had to confirm some situations within your cadres.” The leader explained swiftly, a tired smile on his face as he slouched on his chair. “You know that there are some rebellious elements in your departments, right?”


    There was a full minute of silence at that question, some dreadfully nodding while others looking as confused if not more than Baraqiel.


    “You mean that Kokabiel could… spark a civil war in Grigori?” Armaros asked cautiously, looking around the table and finding some nods of agreement at his legitimate query.


    “He could but… I think he will not do it now,” Azazel replied with a careful voice. “At least not until he is sure to have the power to win the eventual struggle.”


    The man then stood up, his eyes continuing to glance at the documents visible from the screen.


    “I think he is trying to poke hard at the Church and at the Devil’s faction to spark the second conflict.”


    “And you are sure of this… because?” Tamiel inquired while frowning at the precise theory, confused over the accurate thinking.


    Yet Azazel did smile and gave him a nod.


    “Because he has been buying the loyalty of some stray exorcists sited in Rome,” He answered with an irritated voice. “I think he is aiming to stole something from them or maybe even go as far to kill some important figure.”


    “He isn’t suicidal to go after the Pope.” Shemhazai considered carefully and quickly.


    “But he would give a try to kill a Cardinal and get some attention shifted in Japan,” The leader interrupted with a serious look.


    “Why Japan of all places?” Tamiel mused over, glancing at the sighing man.


    “Because that is the place alluded by my little source, he did mention that a group of Fallen Angels went rogue after some simple orders of studying a subject in Kuoh Town.”


    Baraqiel shifted nervously, knowing that his daughter lived there.


    “K-Kuoh Town? What were they doing here?”


    “The Red Dragon Emperor,” Azazel revealed with some little hesitation, having kept the news limited to just a few of the members in that room. “I found him almost a decade ago in that part of Japan and I just wanted to make sure to get him to join to Grigori once he was old enough to train.”


    “What did the group do then? Did they kill him perhaps?” Penemue suggested but, seeing Azazel nodding at her, she let her eyes widened in shock. “What!? You mean to tell me some recruits of Grigori went that far to go against an order from you? Who are this idiots?!”


    “Raynare, Mittelt, Kawalarner and Dohnaseek.”


    The answer got some head-shaking from most of the group.


    “You sent some rebellious fools and you expected them to not get cocky about their roles? What did you smoke, Azazel?” Sahariel finally stated, annoyed by how things were turning out to be grim this suddenly.


    “I tried to have them re-assigned somewhere else but…” He took a brief pause, then sighed again. “I got news that someone of high importance decided to have them still sent there.”


    “Kokabiel?” Baraqiel suggested and was met with a nod. “Damn it!”


    Some furious whispers were exchanged through the table and the leader of Grigori let this happen for a while, trying to get everyone to release some steam before continuing.


    Much to his displeasure, his close friend and Vice decided to ask a very important but uneasy question to answer.


    “Still, you mentioned a source gave you all this material, how do we know that this isn’t just a trap from Kokabiel so he could gain some advantage?”


    Azazel looked partly hesitant as he considered his next words and… that was weird for everyone present to the meeting.


    Their leader, as much as sheepish he might sound once in a while, would never look this much clueless about something in any particular situation.


    “I… might have got news that one of the members of Raynare’s camp had been killed; Dohnaseek was found dead in Kuoh’s park, the wounds that were found on him were caused from a Light Spear created by him.


    “You mean he impaled himself?” Tamariel asked with a quizzical look on his face.


    “No, the angles which the holes were found suggested that someone took his weapon and used it to kill him.” Azazel answered without hesitation. “And the possibility that this was committed by a fellow Fallen Angel is disproved by something else our investigator found in that place.”


    “And that is? Don’t keep us in the dark, Azazel.” Baraqiel pressed on, now intrigued by the situation considering whom lived in that city.


    The leader blinked and then smiled once more.


    Silver Lining. Several seals to be exact were found and were supposedly used to keep the man’s body stuck as he was killed by his aggressor.”


    “Isn’t that basic magic… that even humans can use?” Penemue muttered curious about this whole development. “Do you think it was a human that caused it and then sent you this info?”


    “It wouldn’t be a Devil because our Fake Holy energy would hurt them and I think from the message this whole documentation had reached me with was written by someone young, I would dare to say a student sent me this.” The man nodded at his own suggestion. “The lack of details and the informality of his wording make it clear that he is inexperienced over the matter, but resourceful enough to make use of modern devices.”


    Baraqiel sighed. “So you think there is a young Magician at Kuoh Academy?”


    “That is correct idea, my dear friend!” Azazel clapped his hands once to praise the intervention. “But I think I will get some more proof once I will be there to personally oversee the scene and the area to find my elusive contact.”


    Shemhazai’s face darkened at the last bit of his proclamation.


    “Azazel, you are not leaving me to deal with the paperwork-”


    “Sowwy, Shemmy, but I’ve already taken a ticket for a flight to Japan for tomorrow,” The man-child hummed without restraint. “I’m sorry I didn’t give much of a notice to deal with, but this is an… emergency.”


    “You will not leave me to-”


    But the outburst was interrupted by quite the sudden action.


    Too late~!


    In that very instant the windows on the side of the building broke as a laughing Azazel deployed his wings and flied out of the building, leaving behind some surprised subordinates behind.


    An incensed Vice-Director tried and failed to give chase as a giggly Penemue latched at him, the notes about the amount of paperwork he would have to deal today and tomorrow.


    Meanwhile, a chuckling Baraqiel stared at this familiar scene from afar, keeping himself away from the dreadful fate of his good friend.


    This very situation proved how refusing the offer of becoming the Vice to the organization years ago had been a wise one, already knowing well enough how Azazel would have made him suffer through his career by dropping on his already imposing stack of paperwork his own tower of suffering.


    And yet, as he contemplated over the behavior of his old friend, the man couldn’t but consider the nervousness the man had while talking about the Red Dragon Emperor and… the situation at Kuoh.


    It’s been so long since he had seen his baby girl and maybe it would have done Shuri happy if he had finally gone and see how she was faring as the Queen of Rias Gremory, after so many years of avoiding meeting up with her.


    It didn’t help that his paternal instincts were acting up at the knowledge that Kokabiel was planning something terrible right in the city where his baby girl was trying to enjoy a normal life as a student at high school.


    Part of him also wondered if their daughter got other than her Mama’s appearance also her ‘interesting’ personality bits. How nostalgic, how intriguing!


    ---------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-dd------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d----------d-d-d-d--


    AN


    The Plot is moving, Koneko is not going to open up suddenly and unrealistically this chapter (we are too early for that) and Asia-chan is going to appear next chapter. I have plans to screw with the plot just a little for the sake of coherence as the encounter with Azazel will coincide with another major event.


    I know that it might seem like I am trying to pull something weird there with the canon plot, but I have plans of having our MC do some extra work away from the original story. Important work too.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
  5. Threadmarks: Sweet Meeting and Cold Refusal
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 4: Sweet Meeting and Cold Refusal


    I was regretting my little experiment.


    Waking up with a migraine and with my body suffering with something close to a hangover situation, I was pretty much feeling like crap when I started to eat some cookies for breakfast.


    My stomach felt churning in disgust, rejecting even the small baked goods and almost sending me to the bathroom for the aches I was experiencing.


    Said effects were difficult to hide and father picked quickly that something was wrong with me.


    Cue the several questions coming from the renowned doctor of Kuoh, the man pestering me for a good hour before nodding at the sufficient level of knowledge I had over the matter: I was sick because of an infection happening in a cut in my hands, I had it already bandaged and I’ve already taken in the medicines to deal with the resulting symptoms of the infection.


    There was some confusion regarding the extent of the effects of the medical pills to counter the infection, seeing that I looked way more ill than I should be when he first noticed me, but I managed to shrug it off by saying it was just a minor allergic reaction and that I would be fine.


    Maybe it was the pressure of possibly turning late for work if he continued with the interrogation what truly made him back down from that subject, but the man easily accepted the excuse and waved me a goodbye as he and mother went for the car, directed at their respective jobs.


    Once the vehicle was out of sight, I let out a sigh of relief and went back to my room.


    Opening the wardrobe I picked some good clothes and started to change with those, folding my Pjs at the end of the bed.


    While I should seriously take some rest from this long process of energetic integration, I had to move quickly to make sure to alter a crucial bit of the timeline.


    Asia was supposed to be coming in Kuoh today and… I should also catch up with Issei.


    The intrusions of yesterday taught me that planned encounters were going to be monitored and if I wanted to have a chance to finally explain some of the new things to the owner of the Welsh Dragon Sacred Gear, I needed to intercept him while he went to school.


    Before doing so I also needed to go and buy some groceries as the fridge was starting to get quite empty.


    Thus I first ventured to the local super-market to buy some ice cream, some fruits and other veggies.


    There wasn’t a shortage of meat-related food back home, thus I just went to get the products that were actually missing.


    I did concede myself some ice cream to deal with the painful effects of the integration, hoping that suddenly ingesting a cold treat wasn’t going to slow down the biological process.


    Once I got everything paid, I walked out of the store and started to think where Issei could be around this time.


    It was fairly early in the morning, but I didn’t doubt the younger student would be already out to walk to school, his house quite distant from the place.


    It was odd to think that, as perverted the boy was, the youth didn’t make any other issues with the school’s rules.


    Very respectful of the classes’ times, good grades and praised numerous times by his curious interest in Japanese History.


    Odd for someone with a bad reputation with the entire student population.


    It was in that moment I did remember a minor detail I was almost forgetting about.


    In Canon, Issei meets Asia near the local park and, wasting no more time in my thoughts I proceeded to take the proper path to the next section of the town I had to visit.


    It took me few minutes and, much to my awe, I was bestowed with a familiar sight from the show.


    Being that I was looking at someone with ‘real life glasses’, Asia Argento was breath-taking.


    Her golden locks were well-cared considering that she lived a humble life, her hair was clean and pristine while her suave face was something I had trouble to not look at.


    It was just like the first time I saw Akeno and Rias, the beauties of this series so incredibly impressive to look early on and yet… there was just something incredibly ‘more’ about the little nun.


    Asia was surely going to give some harsh competition to the girls even without trying, of that I was sure of.


    As I finished looking at the nun, the young girl fixing her clothes after her clumsy fall, I slowly turned to the little problem of this scene.


    Issei was slowly helping in putting back the various piece of clothes that had fallen out of the suitcase of the foreign female, stopping more than once to stare at… intimate objects within the case.


    I narrowed my eyes and starting to pace towards the unsuspecting kohai of mine, stopping moments before crashing onto him as I waited for him to notice my presence.


    Being that I was covering the sunlight that helped the boy look better at the panties he was currently holding, Issei slowly turned to see who was causing the shadows coming from behind and…


    He blinked once.


    Then twice.


    Finally he paled, eyes widened and his jaws dropped.


    “S-Senpai! W-What are you doing here?”


    “Doing some groceries and thought of try to find you now to speak about that important things… to think you would do that to a poor nun of all people.”


    He looked back at the panties and dropped them back inside the container, swiftly doing the same with the other clothes before staring back at me with a nervous look.


    “S-See, just a minor mistake.” He chuckled sheepishly, expecting some retribution at being caught in a perverted act but… I decided to grace him and merely sigh.


    “Just… don’t do that ever again.” I blinked as I slowly turned back to the blonde. “By the way, who is the- Uh?”


    As I spun around to face the nun, I found myself facing Asia, blue eyes looking concerned at my gloved hands as her very soft ones started to caress it. “Did you get hurt?”


    I blinked. “I may have, yes. Why do you-”


    It was kind of sudden but then a soft green light coated my entire arm and… I started to felt vigor returning to my entire body.


    Gone was the fatigue and the tiredness, gone was the aching from my belly and the back pains that had tortured me for a full day now.


    My eyes were wide open as I let the girl finish her treatment and blinked once the light stopped covering the limb.


    I had merely thought about the possible sensation ‘Twilight Healing’ could have given to the patient being cured and… to think that it would so…


    Meraviglioso...Wonderful…


    The girl gasped for a moment, my mind catching up quickly that I did speak in my native language for a moment and had to hold back a flinch at the recognition in her eyes.


    Siete un Italiano anche voi?Could you be that you are an Italian too?


    I almost gave out my entire cover, what the hell is wrong with me? Why did those cute girls have this effect on me of all people?!


    “Parlo poco la lingua, imparato da cliente di Padre.” I can barely speak it, I learned from client of dad.


    “Oh?” She deflated a little but then seemed to regain some happiness at the fact someone could partly understand her. “T-Then could you help me find the local church, good sir?”


    I blinked at the was she was addressing me and I faked a frown at her mentioning the ‘local’ church.


    “You mean the one that is not used, young miss?” I smiled at the pale blush at the way I returned the addressing, but then sighed. “I am sorry to say that it is not a safe place to go. The police did issue a warning to not visit it.”


    Her eyes widened in surprise at this revelation. “W-What? I-I thought that-”


    “There had been some unpleasant people there and… some found a dead man in the park quite recently.”


    She gasped at the following news and Issei frowned at the mentioning of Dohnaseek at the girl but I nodded to him as I hummed in thought.


    “Young miss, would you like to accept my gratitude for your kind gesture by inviting you to the local ice cream parlor? I think they just finished to refurbish the store and-”


    “M-My name is Asia, Asia Argento. A-And the offer is truly kind but I healed you without a need of a reward or-” In that moment a soft growl reached for my ears, Issei blinking in surprise too as he heard it too.


    The girl’s blush worsened and she looked away as her treacherous belly ruined her selfless moment.


    “I think you would do well with some breakfast, signorina.”


    She smiled at being called ‘young lady’ and sighed. “F-Fine, but it is only because you are insisting...”


    I chuckled and Issei was the one taking the suitcase, his strength partly augmented so he barely felt the weight in his hands.


    A few moments later, Asia took a spoonful of her cup of ‘Fior-di-Latte’ ice cream, enjoying the delicious flavor as Issei took a chocolate cone and I picked a cup of watermelon flavor. I just enjoyed the chocolate bits.


    “S-Senpai, y-you kind of promised some explanations-”


    “And I am ready to give some answers. But let’s start with something you wish to know more about.”


    He appreciated the offer of having some of his important questions solved and nodded.


    “W-Why is Asia-chan here for this?” He turned at the confused girl and tried to wave in an appeasing way. “I- I mean, this discussion should be kind of private and-”


    “That is because I wish to discuss about Asia-san’s current living quarters from now on.” I glanced at the blonde. “Asia, do you understand that the local Church is a stronghold of Fallen Angels, right?”


    She looked surprised at my knowledge of the race but nodded with a sad look, causing Issei to narrow my eyes in my direction. “I… I do.”


    “I want to say that I don’t find the fact you healed a Devil to be a reason to warrant the punishment you suffered, signorina,” I stated with some genuine interest. “Quite the opposite, I found it a commendable act.”


    The nun perked, eyes sparkling at the mentioning of the event that costed her the place within the community of God, but I think the kind comment was what got her mostly happy.


    “I… I don’t know what to say and… actually, why is Issei-san needing your assistance, Mr-”


    I softly facepalmed and groaned at forgetting that important thing. “I kind of… forgot to introduce myself, didn’t I?” Smiling, I gave a quick bow with my head. “I am Hoitsu Sakakibara and I am Issei’s senpai at school.”


    She tilted her head by the side. “S-Senpai?”


    There wasn’t a clear translation of that specific term in Italian, so I had to explain it to her.


    “I am his senior at school and thus there is a relationship of support for him to growth and get a grip over his study.”


    The boy blushed as I patted his shoulder. “I- I am not that bad-”


    “You are if you have to be taken to the teachers with your ‘naughty’ behavior.” His blush worsened, the fact that he was a pervert still eluding the confused nun.


    “Anyway, I was saying that the church was under Fallen Angels’ control and- those are not the good kind of people within Grigori, Asia-san.”


    “B-But I thought that they were there by A-Azazel-san’s order?”


    I nodded partially at her outdated knowledge.


    “This was the case at first, then their leader decided to rebel against him and try to steal the Sacred Gears she could get.” Then I pointed at the boy. “Issei here has a Sacred Gear and was attacked a few days ago by the leader of the group here, left to die as his ‘gift’ was mistaken for something weak.”


    Issei flinched at the telling of his near-death experience and was taken by surprise as Asia quickly looked at him with a genuine worried look. “R-Really, Issei-san?”


    “I-I almost died, yeah but-”


    “I think I should explain that myself, Issei,” I interrupted him, the boy frowning at the intrusion in that intimate closeness of theirs. “As the topic is fairly complex and it has to be… well-detailed.”


    The nun frowned. “W-What do you mean? Y-You think I could mistake something?”


    “Kind of, yes. You see Kuoh Town is currently the fief of the heiresses of two Devil Clans, the Gremory and the Sitri-”


    “Y-You mean that Issei-san-?” Asia interjected as realization materialized in her features.


    “Was turned in a Devil, yes. Previously a human, this young man has been recently thrown inside the big tug war.”


    Her innocent stare returned to the brunet and she frowned. “Y-You think that I would doubt the g-genuine helpfulness of Issei-san, Hoitsu-senpai?”


    I blinked at the honorific and the stubborn tone behind her voice.


    “I mean, without some context some people would be careful around a Devil. No, I wasn’t thinking you of that… I mean, you did heal a Devil before.”


    She blushed at the remark and nodded, accepting the quick explanation given. This time it was Issei that spoke.


    “Senpai, you also mentioned that I had this ‘Sacred Gear’. Buchou explained to me what it generally was but… she didn’t know which one I had.”


    “The knowledge of one Sacred Gear’s identity is given by the power it can deploy. I would be lying in saying I knew certainly the true identity of yours, but I did found your energy pattern… unique,” I carefully explained, trying to bring some logical reasoning behind my discovery instead of blowing my SI cover. “Rather similar to how a dragonic one should feel like and, since you are hardly someone driven by logic but by heart and emotion, I would say you have the Red Welsh Dragon.”





    “W-What?”


    I sighed as I knew I had to go fairly deep in the lore for this. “The Red Dragon Emperor is part of the 13 Longinus, the Boosted Gear is how it’s known commonly,” I continued to tell, careful to not rush too many things at once. “Differently from Asia’s Twilight Healing, this is a very powerful Sacred Gear and it is considered to be one of the few ones that could manage to kill the Satans if its full potential is unlocked.”


    “B-But how does it work?” The brunet asked, a little awed by the description. “I can form the gauntlet but-”


    “You ended up with a very lazy Dragon within yourself, Ise.” My comment surprised both teens and I smiled smugly as I continued. “You see, Ddraig is not as helpful as Albion is, he sleep all-day and has the least victory against his rival. I wonder why he is considered a Heavenly Dragon if he is that dumb.”


    Issei blinked, eyes widening the more the words left my mouth and he let out a nervous chuckle as his gauntlet formed right as I finished this little session of roasting.


    Asia blinked in surprise at the appearance of the dragonic arm on her new friend, but I think she was mostly taken by what I was trying to do here.


    I was glad that there weren’t many people there and that the workers were all sitting inside and chatting away while waiting for some other clients, thus unable to see what was going on here.


    “U-Uh, senpai, I think you should-” But the teen’s plea fell deaf as I continued.


    “And let us not forget about the time he and Tiamat went-”


    Okay! That is enough, Magician!


    The sudden outburst coming from the Boosted Gear ended up making me crack a smile at the familiar voice. “And here is the sleeping drake-”


    Desist from that remarking, I know what you are trying to do here by trying to get a raise on me.


    I raised a brow at that. “Truly? Then pray tell, what do I want from you?”


    Support, help and… power-


    “Wrong, wrong and also wrong.” I sighed tiredly. “I want a very simple thing from you, Ddraig, and… that is something that has to do with Issei.”


    The brunet blinked in surprise, pointing at himself with his normal arm. “M-Me?”


    Oh? Do you wish to have him as your minion or-


    “Can you stop with throwing senseless accusations?!” I interrupted with a groan. “It’s starting to get quite annoying and what I meant is…” I sighed. “I need you to train him.”


    Train this weak host?” Issei let out a soft ‘Hey’ but the dragon ignored him. “While he does have an… interesting group of people around, I fail to see the potential he might have.


    “I consider him your best bet against the current owner of Albion,” I shot back with a huf. “The host is a powerful Devil which… I would like to see kicked around here and there.”


    Some revenge? Did he slight you?


    “Just angry at how he could ruin things around if not stopped early on.”


    Some preventive strike? You wish to make use of my rivalry?!” He seemed angry but at this point I could recognize the bluff from his heated tone.


    “Would you truly mind that? You would still get some victories against Albion.”


    T-That is true but- ARGH! You are one of the most infuriating humans I had to deal in my entire existence!


    Okay, I think that was kind of flattering knowing the lengthy presence of Ddraig in this universe.


    Sadly, the smug victory was dampened by his following words.


    Differently from the fair and gorgeous babe sitting near us.


    Asia blushed a storm at that unexpected barrage of compliments compressed in that sentence and Issei poked at the Gear.


    “Excuse you?! What are you saying to Asia-chan?”


    Being a blunt and honest male with good ideas for her beauty- Gah, stop poking now!


    Despite the protests, the boy continued to poke even harder than before.


    Meanwhile, the blonde had a hand pressed on her lips as she tried and failed to contain her mirthful giggles at the comic scene.


    A few moments later, after the bickering of the boy and the dragon was finished, Issei did remember that he had to go to school.


    So bidding goodbye after some guarantees and assurances that I would take Asia to a safe place (which was his house and I forgot to tell him about that), the girl and I started to walk towards the Hyoudou’s residence.


    Every corner I would glance first before going with the nun in tow, knowing full well that Raynare might as well have decided to wander around to find Asia to avoid any other hindrances to her plan.


    It was weird for someone as cautious as her to attack in broad daylight but-


    I heard a gasp and then I was pushed forward, almost falling on the ground and I turned around at the sound of something making a loud noise.


    Thud


    My eyes widening at the sudden noise, I was greeted with Asia fallen on the road and a pool of blood forming underneath her clothes. The liquid was coming from the gaping wound in her lower chest and the cause of the injury was the vanishing dark-pink light spear piercing her.


    I-I almost died!


    “Shit! She had to jump and take the hit, that idiotic nun-” Raynare was flying right above us, she sighed as she turned her attention at me. “That means I will have to take care of you so we can go ahead with the process. To think that I have to risk this much...


    Several other light spears formed above me and, feeling the shock starting to get replaced by seething anger, I decided to try out if Twilight Healing did bolster the integration process to completion.


    I remembered the composition of the spell and the pure emotional grade required to fully form the spears and soon I was graced with several dark-gray blades of light.


    The Fallen Angel blinked in surprise before snarling, her six dark-pink spears launched towards me. Responding to the threat, my own Light Spears propelled to intercept her own and minor blast of lights echoes across the street.


    There was surprise and fury within the woman’s eyes but I wasn’t going to back down now.


    Asia required help and I had to kill this bitch as quickly as possible.


    Why can’t things just go my way even this early on the story?!


    ---------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----------------d-d-d-dd------------dd-d-d----------d-d-d-d-------d-d-d-d-----


    AN


    Cliffhanger, Raynare just attacked! And she has mortally damaged Asia-chan!


    The battle will be epic and… divided in two sections and times.


    While our MC could technically work around the odds with some ingenuity and good-thinking, doing so would prolong the fight and further reduce the chances of saving the nun.


    Can he works in this situation to win and saw our lovable young, Italian nun?


    Quick explanation about the Light Spears and other Magical Constructs: While a Magical Construct is connected to its creator and could be dispelled in normal circumstances, the connection between creator and construct can be severed or altered by external magic. This was the case with Dohnaseek’s spear being used against him and, before anyone ask how someone with ‘Earthly’ magic is capable of sustain the spear, the answer lies in what the drain entails. The spear drains energy, Earthly energy could work as an alternative for the toll but it would require much more because of its lesser quality compared to Holy energy.


    Also about Twilight Healing: I know, I am going a little over the usual AN’s length but I wish to avoid any issues with what I am pulling there. This Sacred Gear can only cure injuries and wounds, but cannot cure sickness and fatigue… and yet it worked on the MC? The solution is that those two are not independent things but are caused by the process, an injury to one Magic Core that allows the implementation of a secondary magical energy within the body. With the process concluded swiftly, the two bad factors are removed from affecting the MC.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
    ArKFallen, FeebleEcho, naarn and 9 others like this.
  6. Threadmarks: Showdown and Lecture
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 5: Showdown and Lecture


    Raynare wasn’t someone I had planned to face this very early in the story.


    I did make some plans to let the plot unfold a little more, to maybe tag in for the eventuality that Issei would have ended up being lured by the Fallen Angel to the Church, thus giving me the chance of having some support during the fight.


    But now it wasn’t time to deal with scenarios that aren’t going to happen now that the woman was attacking in broad daylight.


    Just like in the show, Raynare was donning the incredibly skimpy and revealing set of ‘clothes’ that were there to distract any male opponents she was facing.


    I admit it would have worked in a normal situation as I did look quite provocative and endearing at the sight, but much to her chagrin, I was kind of pissed and extremely concerned about the safety of Asia.


    As the battle progressed, a simple exchange of Light Spears from one side to another, I noticed a feeble green light coming from the bleeding nun.


    The mortal attack having somehow left her still conscious enough for her to start some healing, which was quite good as it offered a little more time to deal with the Fallen Angel.


    Yet as this all unfolded, I decided to cover my bases and plant some Silver Lining seals on the ground in front of me. Knowing whom I was dealing with, her impulsiveness during a brawl, it was now a matter of moments before she-


    The dark-haired beauty snarled as she finally decided to interrupt the stalemate of lights and try to go for a direct assault.


    I saw her wings flap sharply as Raynare dived for a quick action, urging me to take some step backs and hold back my grin from spoiling the surprise.


    She prepared two Spears in her hands, ready to engage in close combat, seemingly unaware that this was all a silent trap.


    The moment she had her first weapon raised and ready to land a hit on me, the seal sprung into action as three strong ropes of light sparked in action and restrained the woman for a short amount of time.


    I wasn’t dealing with Dohnaseek, this Fallen Angel giving some good reasons for me to act promptly and decisively right in that moment of relief.


    Two dull-gray Light Spears formed right behind the distracted woman and rushed quickly towards her wings.


    Snapping away from the limitations, Raynare turned around quickly and shattered one of the incoming blades, but failing to move quickly enough to avoid the remaining one.


    Tore from its original spot, the black-feathered wing went flying away from the Fallen Angel, blood spurting from the injury I had caused.


    She yelped, shivering at the sudden pain sharply hitting her brain and alarming her of the damage she suffered.


    Her eyes were showing anger, dread and utter fear, the knowledge of having lost something important to her as a wing, something Angels in general prided themselves to have, had to be a demoralizing hit and we both knew that Twilight Healing couldn’t restore lost limbs, such as the lost wing.


    “Y-You!” She backed away a few more meters, keeping sight on me as I continued to keep on guard for any other attacks. “Why are you helping this nun? Why would you-”


    “Asia-san is a friend of mine, Raynare-san,” I sneered at her surprised look. “This is the second individual I am close to that you’ve caused pain to and I will not forgive you for those situations!”


    She flinched the moment I took a step towards her. “S-Stop! I- We don’t need to fight- I can offer you what you wish for- power, m-money a-and even a g-girlfriend-”


    “Don’t tell me. Yuuma-san?”


    There was an uneasy silence, the woman’s face paling even more at the mentioning of that name. “Y-You are f-friend with that-”


    “Ise is my kohai, you bitch, and you tried to kill him, same for Asia-chan. I am going to end you!”


    She twitched, almost breaking from the sudden tensing up caused by her fear for her life, her lone wing managing to snap her away from the ground and fluctuate barely off the floor.


    I stared at her, red eyes wide open as Raynare spun around and quickly fled the area, her open wound still letting out blood once or twice in a while.


    I waited a few more moments before turning my attention back to the blonde, Asia slowly trying to sit up while still trembling.


    I rushed to her side and helped her up, quickly taking into account the fact that her wound had closed up but her skin had paled considerable.


    Twilight Healing didn’t restore any of the blood lost.


    “I-I am sorry,” She muttered quickly, much to my dismay and annoyance. I generally disliked those people that apologized with no apparent reason, it just brought up some unpleasant memories of good characters killed for no reasons.


    “It wasn’t your fault, Asia-chan. You were just unlucky and now I will take you to a safe place.”


    She blinked curiously. “Really? How safe?”


    “Issei’s parents kind of safe,” I replied almost instantly, slowly pulling her up even more and carry her bridal style, her suitcase and my groceries bag quickly attached onto my back with some Silver Linings.


    She blushed a little but she was still quite stunned by what had just transpired.


    “Oh? A-Are they nice people?”


    I nodded at her question, starting to pump some energy in my legs and quickly blitzed through the streets, my mind fixed on the place I had to reach quickly.


    The blonde giggled at the sudden rush of speed, quite adorably too.


    “So fast.” She giggled again and snuggled closer to my chest.


    Asia wasn’t mortally wounded but she still needed some rest and nourishment to help with her recovery.


    Thus as I reached for the entrance door of the household I didn’t skip a beat in quickly ringing the door-bell and wait for someone to arrive and open the door.


    Miki Hyoudou, Issei’s mother and respectable housewife of this house, looked initially pleased to see me, but also gasped at seeing the barely conscious girl in my arms.


    “Mrs. Hyoudou, I need some help with her. We were mugged.” Her eyes widened at the hasty explanation and she did noticed some blood on the girl’s chest.


    “C-Come in! I-I think I have some first aid kits a-and I can call some ambulance.”


    “It isn’t necessary for further help, Ma’am. The wound isn’t as deep as it seems, but it’s the first time she let out this much blood.”


    There was an erratic nod as the woman rushed to get the proper medications to assist the situation and I slowly placed the girl in the long couch in the living room. Asia shifted in her sleep at the sudden lack of warmth but seemed to accept the comforting pillow offered to her head as an acceptable sufficient as a small appreciative smile appeared in her face.


    “I got some bandages, some pain-killers and-” The married woman paused a moment to stare at the angelic face of the blonde and frowned. “Such a sweet girl, attacked in broad daylight of all times possible...”


    Then she turned to face me. “But could I ask what are you doing here and not in Kuoh Academy, young man?”


    I sighed. “I am currently recovering from a momentary period of sickness, and I just started to get a little better now?”


    The suspicious expression softened in an understanding one. “I… see.” At this point the woman had begun removing some of the clothes covering the upper body of the girl, gesturing me to look away as she continued with the process of bandaging the area.


    “You were… correct. The wound is so difficult to spot but… so much blood?” She blinked with some confusion as she glanced over the injured area.


    “I think it’s something of a genetic thing, but I don’t know for sure about,” I lied an explanation, the woman still accepting it as she was quite focused over the wound.


    Few moments of silence passed and while Asia continued to rest quietly in the couch, fresh bandages and medical ointments applied on the sore area, Issei’s mother decided to ask few more questions.


    “Did you see the face of the aggressor, Hoitsu-kun?”


    “Just barely, ma’am,” I stated in a truthful note as I did see Raynare commit the act. “But I’ve already called the police and told them about what happened.”


    “Good… but how did you phone with Asia-chan in your arms, young man?” I blinked and realized I did have my hands busy at the time and I let out a faux sheepish look.


    “I-If I have to be honest, I think it was mostly adrenaline. Sometimes in a moment of panic I do end up doing some strange actions that should be quite impossible, hehe...”


    “Like bringing the girl’s suitcase and your grocery bag on your back,” Mrs. Hyoudou added dryly, a curious look in her face.


    “I do some training on my free time,” I motivated quickly, feeling rather nervous at the interrogation. “F-Dad says that a good mind requires also a good body.”


    She blinked in surprise. “Truly and… you have never gone against this decision by… doing other things you that you might like.”


    ...Where was she going with this?


    “I do spend some time doing what I like-”


    “And that is?” She pressed on and for a moment I saw her appearance flicker to another individual, one that was looking much sterner and pressing about the situation. I felt myself growing smaller and sighed.


    “...Reading books.”


    She huffed. “To think that I would have to deal with someone the opposite of my baby boy,” She sighed and… suddenly pinched my cheeks.


    I almost jumped at the situation but her hold was surprisingly strong enough to keep me stuck on my seat.


    “You are supposed to go out, have a social life and get yourself a girlfriend. How are you supposed to give your parents some grandchildren!?”


    I groaned at the sudden barrage of responsibilities. I swear to the Gods that sounded like the nagging I had back home, I could almost hear mom’s voice overlapping with Miki’s voice.


    “I am fine-”


    “You say that, but you seem still shaky about what happened now. I am half-tempted to keep you here for a while, just to see if you need some rest or anything...”


    I drew a long, waiting sigh within my head as I did have to rush and intercept Raynare now that she was weak.


    If I didn’t press the advantage now, I would end up getting a more active and careful force of rogue Fallen Angels to deal with.


    “-But I know that you wouldn’t like that. And I am not your mother so… the only thing I can say is be careful in your way back home.”


    I felt the need to flinch at those words.


    Way close to home and… this stress shouldn’t be adding up all today.


    I merely nodded but, as I went to pick my grocery bag, I paused a moment as I remembered something else I had to do.


    “Actually, Mrs. Hyoudou, there is something of a favor I would like to request.” I started, garnering the woman’s full attention. “It’s about Asia.”


    ---------------d-d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d----------d-d-dd-----------


    It was around lunch time that I got by the only Church in town.


    I was partly surprised at how Issei’s mother took the situation regarding the excommunicated nun, giving her sad looks as I explained more about the backstory before I ended up giving the real question about the blonde.


    Could you take her in? She doesn’t… have anyone to live with.”


    I remember Rias being the one pushing this idea to the brunet’s parents, but in Canon that case was dictated by Asia’s status as the redhead’s new Bishop.


    Without the girl becoming a Devil, it meant that the heiress of the Gremory family had little interest to push the girl’s safety onto the two adults.


    So when I did ask the question, having little on Rias about persuasion, I was saved by the fact the woman was already considering keeping her around until she recovered.


    She was still unsure about her being sheltered there, since she motivated the fact she had to discuss it with her husband.


    I accepted the compromise and she agreed to contact me once Asia was awake and stable.


    Returning back to the current present, I slowly entered the formerly holy building while holding tightly a Light Spear in my hands.


    The structure looked quite abandoned, the silence and the lack of liveliness that came from a usually well-kept church was missing from the place.


    My steps were soft as I wanted to keep my presence concealed as I slowly ventured inside this dangerous area of the city.


    My eyes were silently looking everywhere, my mind urging me to consider any possible hideout for an ambush on me.


    I was going in the lion’s den and I didn’t know how ‘big’ it truly was.


    I remember from Canon that there was a group of stray exorcists already there, led by foul-mouthed Freed Sellzen of all people, and that there were two other Fallen Angels to count around Raynare.


    My objective wasn’t to truly decimate the force, my current fighting capability limiting me to only a big target at the time, but to make sure that the ‘head’ of this revolt and the connection of Kokabiel with the group of Grigori there was cut quickly.


    I had a simple plan, a very quick and easy one, but nothing had prepared me to the sight I found myself staring at few moments later as I looked at the last doors that led to the large room of the Church.


    Disguised corpses, butchered and bleeding out were all massing up near the entrance.


    None was moving, they were all dead… including the permanently scowling Freed lying on the group right in front of the two main doors.


    The leading figure of the exorcists had let go of his initial equipment, the ‘Exorcist Gun’ which seemed to have been broken by a powerful grip and… the ‘light-saber’.


    I know, it’s called ‘Light Sword’ but seriously, why wouldn’t I just call it what it truly was.


    I picked it off the ground and stared at it. It looked like it was still in working conditions and I activated it.


    My eyes blinking in awe and glee, I immediately turned it off as I started to search for something in particular.


    While it looked like some incredibly awesome, I was fairly sure that it wasn’t something infinite like the Star Wars’ version of it and that it required something like a battery to work.


    Lo and behold, my little scavenging act was rewarded with seven transparent small crystals that seemed to fit in the lower section of its metallic hilt.


    Putting the new weapon in my pocket, I had now a better chance of fending off anyone on my way as I could switch to use the sword without needing to empty my entire magical reserves and… possibly get killed because of it.


    I pushed a little the wooden barrier that led to the greater room of the building and… peeked inside.


    The acoustics were sublime and the sight offered by the sufficient illumination was good enough to understand what was going on inside of it.


    My eyes widened a little as I saw instantly that the two other Fallen Angels that served under Raynare, Kalawarner and Mittelt, were kneeling as they silently looked towards the other two figures in the room.


    Raynare was kneeling too, but she was crying profusely as she begged the man that was currently giving me his back.


    I frowned at his frame, feeling like I should have recognized him by now and… yet I couldn’t pinpoint much from the little details I could see.


    The distance just wasn’t helping me.


    I sighed quietly as I couldn’t exactly hear what he was saying to the scared Raynare and thus, deciding to poke fun at fate itself, I slowly and stealthily crouch-walked towards a broken column near the entrance of the room.


    As I finished this little relocation, I returned to glance back at the scene and… I noticed something was different.


    The trio of Fallen Angels was now looking incredibly confused, alarmed even as the man that was once there and speaking to their leader was now… gone?


    I blinked once, then twice and… I finally noticed something odd about my current placement.


    I could distinctly remember this place having enough light to give a clear sight over everywhere and… yet where I was standing I felt like it everything looked quite… darkened.


    Like a shadow was looming right from behind me…


    My head turned slowly around and I was greeted with a smiling face that was of a very important character of the show.


    Azazel winked and waved cheekily and I almost jumped at the sudden appearance of this powerful being this close to where I was.


    A yelp of mine caught the attention of the other occupants of the large room and my cover was literally blown apart by the presence of the leader of Grigori.


    I poked fate and fate poked back by kicking my ass. Harshly.


    “Hello there, young intruder; May I ask what are you doing here?”


    I blinked, paling as this situation continued but managed some words out as the man waited patiently.


    “I-I am here t-to kill...” I pointed at the glaring Raynare. “H-Her.”


    He stared up to his subordinate and the young woman shied away from looking back at him.


    “Is that so?”


    I nodded and he sighed. “Then could you explain to me what drives you to such a… murderous mission?” The Governor-General inquired with an intrigued tone. “I was busy with some ‘responsibilities’ here and I was trying to appear an upstanding boss for those three… ‘wayward’ idiots.”


    The three Fallen Angels blushed embarrassed at the way they were addressed, but didn’t rebuke it as… Azazel wasn’t someone to take lightly, especially if you worked under him.


    “S-She killed a friend of mine and… tried to do t-the same with another friend of-”


    “She jumped and took the Spear meant to you. I was going to kill you-!”


    But doesn’t change the fact you hurt her!


    We exchanged some fierce glaring, momentarily ignoring whom was in the room but…


    “Hahaha! That is something I’ve not seen in a long time, some childish bickering between enemies.” The leader of Grigori chuckled and nodded at me. “I see that you both have some reason to fight each other and, while I would be quick to dispatch a punishment for trying to betray me, young Raynare, how about a bet?”


    I tensed at the word ‘bet’, knowing well enough that ‘bets’ for Azazel were nothing to be happy about.


    What was the crazy bastard thinking to do?


    “A fair fight to the death between you and this funny fellow. The one that wins this match gets to live after today and… I don’t think I need to explain what happens to the one who loses.”


    “I-I think I should have the right to-”


    “Denied~!” He stated pointingly without even looking back at me, his stare turning right at the girl. “What are you going to do, little Raynare?”


    Was there even a choice for her?


    Even I knew that refusing such situation would mean denying herself a chance of getting a lenient punishment out of her treachery being uncovered by Azazel.


    So I wasn’t surprised when she managed a quick ‘I accept’, but I was quite scared when I felt disappearing in some dark-yellow light only to reappear right in front of the young woman, right few meters away from her.


    “Then you both better prepared yourselves. We start in 5… 4… 3-”


    I quickly took few step backs, both of us creating each six Light Spears and the man pausing a moment to stare at mines.


    “You have…” He hummed and then nodded. “If you win I will have to understand how are you doing this.”


    Now wasn’t that reassuring?


    3.


    2.


    1.


    Raynare jumped high up and tried to get some advantage by maintaining herself up above, away from direct confrontations.


    The initial stage of this fight was pretty much the same of what had happened earlier today, but with a major difference from me.


    While my body wasn’t as winded as it was back at the Hyoudou residence, my Core hadn’t truly recovered from the previous draining exchange of attacks.


    So, when I noticed that the woman seemed to have taken a more careful approach over this battle, I knew I had to find a way to force her down on the ground for me to deal in close quarters.


    My first attempt was the simplest attack, Silver Lining seals planted on the ground right below the Fallen Angel quickly deploying white ropes of light, those speeding quickly toward the waiting target.


    Much to my dismay this effort was rendered nothing by the quick response of the girl, several of the Spears previously targeting my own ‘missile’ barrage quickly turning to intercept the strings, shredding them instantly.


    I gritted my teeth as I felt my reserves starting to groan at the continuous fighting, urging me to find a way to break this stalemate I was losing.


    “You will not win, human!” She yelled with utter conviction in herself. “I will not accept losing to you, not anymore. It is my pride and my life at stake!”


    I blinked as the number of spears she was producing started to increase, forcing me to start dodging the stray weapons passing through my draining defense.


    This situation just worsened… a little.


    My mind was burning at the various plans that started to flash in and those that were rejected because of some impracticability of the current situation.


    It was infuriating how I couldn’t use the Lightsaber on her because of how distant she was and the fact she was keeping her distance above me was starting to further irk me. I had to move and-


    Slash!


    My eyes widened the moment as I saw one of her Spears tear through part of the sleeve of my left arm, a large gash forming on the limb and forcing me to back away with an agony painted in my face.


    FUCK! THOSE HURTS!


    “Just stay still and accept your death, worm!”


    I scowled and resumed my dodging, this time the pain keeping me distracted from formulating any logical plan, but was doing miracles in keeping me sharp in seeing the trajectory of the errant Spears coming for me.


    A small thought, a chant repeated furiously in my brain, a mantra of strength and anger.


    Hit her.


    HIT HER!


    I wanted to land a fucking hit on that flying bitch and I was starting to see red the more this continued. Something big, I wanted to squish her like the annoying mosquito she was and…


    I blinked in realization as a good idea popped in my mind at those fury-fueled thoughts.


    This place was filled with rubble, old benches and other large projectile I could use.


    A small smile formed in my face and it was quickly noticed by Raynare.


    “Already accepting your fate, human?”


    “Me, giving up?” I replied with an amused tone. “I was just considering how you preach about pride but never about the morals. You strive for some ends, but never consider the means to reach it.”


    She frowned but I continued. “That is why I shall be the victor of this fight. For I have the moral high ground here!”


    At this declaration a snarl left her lips and she starting to push even more energy in her attacks.


    But it was too late for her.


    Several seals spawned around the unoccupied sections of the Church.


    Benches, debris and other broken but sturdy parts of the place were suddenly yanked up and towards the Fallen Angel.


    The young woman’s eyes widened at the massive assault and I could only guess because she wasn’t expecting this much effort from a human like me.


    But as she successfully shifted her attention to grind down the rocks and the wood sent at her, I quickly snapped in action, using one of the Silver Linings to yank myself right on one of the approaching debris and then… I jumped up and above the unsuspecting girl.


    My body was on fire from the usage of so much energy and the stress building up, the sudden duress I had put onto my core starting to bite my butt, but the adrenaline was doing more than enough to keep me from getting distracted by the searing pain steadily growing through my entire body.


    The Lightsaber once owned by Freed blazed to life as I prepped it for its first lightshow under my ownership, ready and eager to get a killing blow accomplished and soon, once I had stabilized well above the distracted Fallen Angel, I dived in for the victory blow.


    Maybe it was the wind, maybe it was instinct that got her to perceive me, but by the time I was close enough to her, Raynare snapped her head right to where I was.


    Violet eyes widening in terrified shock, she couldn’t do anything as my blade came down upon her.


    Something was cut, blood was spilled and… I was sent crashing toward the ground.


    CRACK!


    Pain surged within my now-throbbing right arm, the limb taking most of the punishment and… I think some ribs broke too.


    I coughed some blood, failing to stand up as I looked back at where Raynare was.


    The young woman had followed my same descent to the floor, slamming quite brutally on the ground as she ended up getting cut by the pieces of rocks around.


    We were both sporting minor cuts from this escalation and our breathings were labored at best.


    We waited some time, trying to see whom was going to get up and get the victory while also knowing that we weren’t able to do so.


    Too much pain and strain was going through our system and our bodies had gone beyond the limits we had.


    A smiling Azazel landed right between us and raised his arms towards both.


    “It would seem like this match has ended in… a draw!”





    W-Wha the-


    Thud


    Before I could call BS on what had just happened, that my efforts were useless and that Raynare was going to live…


    What an infuriating day!


    ----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d--------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d---------


    I woke up some time later, surprisingly enough not in the church I had fallen unconscious to.


    My eyes snapping open suddenly as the pain finally broke me away from my slumbering.


    I stared at the ceiling of the room, a familiar ceiling-


    This was the ceiling of my room.


    My eyes widened and slowly I started to look around, trying to not move my body too much as I was still sore and in pain.


    H-How did I got there? Who brought me here-


    My thoughts died down the moment I heard some pages of a book rustling quickly, as if someone was cheeking my-


    I stared at Azazel, the man sighing in disappointment as he closed another book from my library and giving me an annoyed glance.


    “You know, Hoitsu Sakakibara, you are one of the most boring young men I had the opportunity to be around with.”


    He shook his head in shame. “Your parents aren’t around most of the day, sometime even being away for the entire day, and what I find from your library is...”


    That you don’t have a porn stash!


    I frowned in confusion as the man started to chuckle at his own words, my left eye twitching in annoyance at the attempt of his to find anything remotely connected to ‘non-descript stuff’ in my room of all places.


    “But let us talk about something a little more… serious.” He sighed as he carefully sat on the bed, avoiding to crush my poor legs.


    “Your little fun fight, the one I caused out of boredom, brought up some questions about your current abilities and… your identity,” He took in his hands my wallet and looked at the ID card here. “You see, I am fairly sure that you are a full-human, your parents are humans… and yet you can use Holy energy, pure one at that.”


    ...was that so unique? I thought someone else would have-


    “Oh? You don’t even know why is it important?”


    I flinched at the sudden interjection, almost caught off-guard by it..


    “Your face is currently a window to your thoughts after getting this much beaten and coming to crash down on the unforgiving ground of a ruined church from a fall of more than 10 meters” The man hummed quietly, then he stopped another search around the room to continue. “By the way, the worst of your wounds should be gone in a few hours from now. Your biology has quite the quick regenerative power-”


    He stopped at my questioning wide eyes and smiled.


    What was he talking about?


    “Yep, you’re quite different from what a normal human should be. The holy energy present in your body is slowly improving your entire being- nothing that could turn you in an Angel, mind you, there are too many differences between you and a pure-blooded Angel.”


    Azazel sighed and patted my leg, getting a hiss of pain out of me.


    “Jeez, that much sore? Well, I guess that could be caused by being that much suicidal.”


    I felt my features hardening as he gave me a strong and stern look, an unnatural sight to be bestowed.


    “That was stupid- no, even worse than that. You almost died.”


    Flinching at the stern words, I was still subjected to this unexpected lecture as I was quite sure that Azazel had never displayed this much sternness around someone, especially with a ‘nobody’ like me.


    It was odd and… somehow unnerving.


    “Your reserves were close to fully dry up, your body was collapsing at the pressure and I had to employ the help of some old associates to get you in stable condition.”


    He stared silently right onto the bandages applied to my body, then he looked up to my face as if trying to push the point deeper in my brain.


    “You were throwing your life to just a draw, one that was admirable mind you, but a silly and senseless one at best,” The Governor-General sighed tiredly. “And… that made me consider something.”


    I blinked and he snorted at my confusion.


    “You are dumb and inexperienced but you have potential to become someone important in this mad world,” The man explained with a softer tone, a small smile playing on his face. “The kind of potential that, if carefully groomed, can bring you to achieve some impressive milestones.”


    Was he going to- No, that couldn’t be it.


    There was no way in Hell that Azazel himself was going to get me in Grigori.


    Sure, the organization was a hub for anyone willing to side against Hell and Heaven (albeit formally considering the state of the factions’ relationships).


    “I know that you’re the informant that revealed the plot Kokabiel is concocting as of now,” He stated with undeniable certainty in his tone, causing me to look shocked at this certainty. “You made a great service for Grigori and, while I can’t offer you much, I do think you would benefit to work with us.”


    What the-


    “But not as a full worker,” The leader of the group continued, detailing his proposal. “I wish to have you as a… part-timer; Someone for minor missions and then, maybe after few years from now, as an associate affiliated to us.”


    I blinked, contemplating this offer.


    If I joined even part of Grigori, I would have to deal with long missions, face some big threats and… be sent away from Kuoh, possibly ruining my chances of keeping my general cover about my knowledge and interest in developing my abilities.


    Still, the risks were worth some neat rewards as Grigori did have some brilliant teachers and many were researchers with a penchant of developing modern-based spells and magic-related technology.


    “And before you ask- yes, we will have to first train you up before sending you in real mission,” He snorted and shook his head. “As if I would send you, an inexperienced idiot with these suicidal tendencies, to fight for us in an official job.”


    I narrowed my eyes at the insults, starting to get offended by this easy-going skit he was trying to pull here.


    “And I will also add up the premium offer of being trained by me, the grand and majestic Azazel, for a few days!” He proclaimed with unrestrained glee, then he sighed. “Just the time I will be there in Kuoh and then I will have someone else assigned to deal with you.”


    Someone else? And he wanted to train me?


    While one would easily accept at this point, the gains that I would receive from such offer way beyond what I could normally achieve on my own, I was quite wary of being my butt-kicked by Azazel and given a full-treatment of his usually-abrasive personality.


    The man might mean good things, but knowing that he did train Vali and the Host of the Vanishing Dragon appeared in Canon way over-powered already, I was aware that I was going to be suffering through those days if I said yes.


    ...Yet the benefits were still interesting as I would gain an edge for the incoming fights and prepare myself for the show’s biggest threat.


    By fighting Raynare this early, Gods know how much I twisted the current timeline because… the Chaos Theory.


    Conflicted but somehow determined to not deny myself the little chance of advancing my growth even faster, I let out a single but careful nod, a gesture more than enough for the leader of Grigori to smile at and take it as a ‘yes’.


    “Good! Then I will call you… tomorrow morning to address your new schedule and… I think we are done for now.”


    He stood up from the bed and moved towards the door.


    “By the way,”


    Oh Gods, what does he want now?


    “While you were sleeping a young man and a cute girl decided to pass by and I think one of them is the owner of the Booster Gear, correct?”


    I nodded again and he smiled.


    “Well, I let them in and they are waiting outside.”


    He opened the door and the man left while waving back at me, letting the two visitors enter moments after.


    Issei and Asia walked inside and stopped to stare at my current state, the young man’s eyes widening as he tried to formulate any sentence, while the young nun gasping at the scene.


    “Senpai!”


    Goddammit! Now I have to deal with them worried kohais too…


    --------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d--------d-d-d-----------


    AN


    6k chapter and my hands are hurting, yay!


    Anyway, I hope that I didn’t disappoint with the fight as usually I am not that good with them. I am fairly rusty in pacing them but I have some images while writing down so… maybe.


    More explanations about the MC’s improved biology next chapter. I didn’t want to bloat this one with info and thus decided to leave the better explained version of his situation for a latter time.


    He isn’t an Angel, nor a Fallen one too. He is 75/80% Human… the rest is kind of odd.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
  7. Threadmarks: Fleeting Normalcy
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 6: Fleeting Normalcy

    The shining morning of this new day started what was supposed to be a particularly normal day.

    With Raynare and her group pushed away from Kuoh Town and with my cover remaining intact after the ordeal I had to face through to get the threat removed, I was ready to get few hours of relieving normalcy at the Academy and see how things were going at the Student Council.

    Well, mostly normalcy as I still had to give a tour of the school to a thrilled Asia. The blonde had excitedly narrated how the strange but kind man (read as ‘Azazel’) told her that he would have had some words with the principal of the establishment to enlist her in the same year Issei was frequenting.

    While the news might have been happily accepted by the brunet at the idea of having such a cute girl around - while also being remembered that I wasn’t going to allow him to do anything remotely perverted to the girl, I had to be the one breaking some issues that will immediately appear with this situation.

    In the show it isn’t never mentioned what level of education Asia had when she reached Japan, nor is it said if she did frequent or not the Catholic private schools that children in Catholic-owned orphanages were supposed to go.

    Thus the first question about as she continued to heal me with her Sacred Gear was what was her last school experience before being excommunicated. She had to think about it since the Italian school system was completely different from the Japanese one, but I managed to get a positive response.

    First year of Lyceum.

    The Italian Lyceum was technically the commonly-known high school, and so that meant that she was going to skip only a year of school by being in the same course as Issei. Not something truly dreadful to deal with but also something that was going to require some adjustments in the girl’s homework for the sake of catch up with her peers.

    And that was going to be a somewhat easy job thanks to my position within the School Council.

    The foreign girl hummed happily as she continued to walk close to me, listening to the various info about the school and the various sections of the building I was providing her with.

    “So Issei-san is subscribed to the Occult Research Club… which his made by the other members of the peerage he is part of?”

    “Correct.” I nodded and gave her a small smile back at her own. “Rias Gremory is one of the two owners of Kuoh’s grounds by Devils’ laws. The other one is the current Student Council’s president, Sona Shitori. Her real last name is ‘Sitri’ but she wants to be addressed either as ‘Sona-san’ and ‘Shitori-san’.”

    “Sona-...san. Okay!” I was having a really hard time keeping the urge of patting her head away from hindering my current job. She was adorable and I prayed for said adorable feature to never be weaponized.

    After almost ten minutes of walking around and giving Asia a full look of how the Academy looked like inside, we both reached for the door that led to the classroom she was assigned to.

    “Remember to not get distracted by Issei during the lessons and to take notes- Also, if Motohama and Matsuda tried to do anything remotely perverted to say ‘no’ and get Ise to tell them off, okay?”

    She nodded, a determined expression in her face that just conveyed all the cuteness someone like her could muster. I blinked when my hand unconsciously went over her head, causing the blonde to look in surprise the moment it start to pat her golden locks. “Remember to relax and to never hesitate in asking for help.”

    Her body tensed in surprise at the encouraging words, her eyes glowing a little and then- my own eyes widened in shock as I found myself with her arms wrapped around my torso, a giggle left her lips as she concluded the brief hug. “Thank you for helping me around, Senpai. I do appreciate your kindness and support.”

    I chuckled. “Just avoid trouble, Asia-chan, and you will be super-fine.”

    A last giggle left her as she moved towards the door, knocking at it and waiting for a response. At the invite from the teacher to join inside, the former nun nodded and waved quickly at me as she finally entered inside the classroom.

    I waited few more moments, sighing in relief the moment I decided it was time to go back in my own classroom. I wonder how things were going for Rias now that she wasn’t going to have Asia as her Bishop.

    It will be a dreadful weakening when she will have to face Riser, but I am fairly sure having Ddraig more active so early on and Issei actively training with him to unlock his potential a little quicker than in Canon will be enough of a re-balance.

    Sitting in my usual post, the teacher started with the roll call as he would usually do this at this stage of the day. I took out my notes, a pen and the English textbook, ready to deal with what was supposed to be a normal day at the Academy.

    But it was right as I looked up from my desk to give attention to the teacher, I noticed almost instantly something very concerning. Rias’ cerulean eyes darted away as she saw me looking her way, my mind screaming at the fact I had caught her interest for some reason.

    I tried to not focus too much on her attempt to hide away what had just happened and turned back to the teacher… and found out that Akeno was still staring at me.

    While this would have been chilling because of her personality and all, what made her stare the most dreadful to go through was the lack of her usual smile. Instead she was giving me an analytical look, studying me from afar and…

    That didn’t bode well with me.



    In the official room of the Student Council I found some relief away from the newfound issue presented by the fact the Gremory’s heiress wanted something from me.

    The idea of her wanting to ‘recruit’ me was already off the table, knowing that Sona wouldn’t want the redhead to have a hand in her group. Even through I wasn’t in her peerage, the Sitri was quite protective about everyone in her team, especially those loyal and faithful to her orders and capacity of decision-making.

    I sighed tiredly as I signed another piece of paper off to the side, right beside me Tsubaki silently doing the part of work she requested to help with. Having been absent for two days now from dealing with Council’s duty, there was quite the stack of paperwork to deal with and the Vice-President decided to offer her support in dealing through with all of it.

    The bespectacled girl took this time to explain what had happened during the two previous council sessions I had been unable to attend and while also ask how I spent the time while resting away at home.

    I had to present a modified story of the ‘grocery encounter’ but the girl seemed to accept the story I had given her, quite surprised to learn that I met the newest addition of the school in this casual way.

    Half an hour of dutifully completing the large workload of three days, I found smiling at the grand result managed today. I gave a quick but meaningful ‘thank you’ to Tsubaki, the second-in-command nodding and giving a small smile.

    Just as I thought that this was going to be how I was going to spend the last hour at school today, an unexpected knocking at the door interrupted the activities within the room. There was a brief pause as we all exchanged some glances about what to do.

    Currently in the classroom were Reya, Ruruko, Tsubaki and me.

    The first two were formally my assistants, but generally helped around every major member of the council. Slowly gaining some experience, both girls were still unable to fit a proper position with the limited Council’s roster. They were trying to put some cardboard boxes inside one of the lockers within the small storage area connected to the classroom as they stopped to hear this sudden noise, almost tripping on each other as they were carrying one of the bigger boxes.

    Sona was currently busy with some meeting with the administrators of the school, thus leaving only us in the Council’s room.

    I blinked and decided to take some action. “You may enter.”

    With the permission granted, the door opened and Rias Gremory led the trio made by her, Kiba and Akeno inside, eyes directly fixed on me as she approached.

    “Sakakibara-san.” The redhead greeted with a quick nod, the others deciding to let their leader speak this time around. Which conveniently helped me a lot as I had to deal only with a single individual.

    “Gremory-san.” I returned the greeting politely, waiting for the young woman to speak… and so she did with a certain confident tone.

    “I wish to talk with you about Asia-san.” There was that smile, the smile that felt like the world here in Kuoh had to bend to her way. I don’t hate nor dislike Rias, it’s all about her over-confident behavior she got before the Raiser’s Saga that got me quite annoyed of talking with her.

    Thus my frown deepened and I let out another curt nod. “Sure, what do you need to know about her?”

    And while I looked the perfect example of calm to those looking my face, inside my head a storm was slowly forming, the maelstrom of thoughts and theories about the following discussion being far from positive or good for myself.

    But still, I decided to see where this was going and let her speak freely.

    “I was thinking of having Asia-san enlisted to the Occult Research Club. I did ask her about the possibility but she seemed adamant to not join it and...” Her eyes narrowed softly. “You were the last one to speak to her and-”

    “Are you seriously saying that I would for some reason order her to not join a specific club, Gremory-san? Are you possibly accusing me of something in particular of that sort?”

    My tone was glacial and the brief hesitation from Rias at the strong front I was putting at that implied attack seemed to show that she wasn’t as strong as she looked to be in confrontations of this kind.

    “I-I was referring to the fact you might have said something that could have been badly-interpreted.”

    My boiling fury kept still as I continued to keep myself stern about this situation. Emotions were going to hinder any chance of dealing with this predicament without issues.

    “Asia-san asked if it was necessary to join up a club, stating that she would have liked to have to get hold of her classes and see how to deal with them without any further weight over her head. I reminded her that as per rules, students at Kuoh Academy have a maximum of 2 months to decide to join or not a club.”

    Her eyes widened and she looked unsure how to continue the discussion. Of course I did mention that it was best for the blonde to enter her club, as if I wanted a God-devoted girl to be deprived of the chance of grasping at her metaphysical crutch.

    Because, as much as I wasn’t much of a Church’s believer, I was one that understood that everyone needs to have someone to pray at when they were at their lowest. Without tangible support, Asia directed her prayers to someone that was ‘unquestionably good’ and ‘that would never turn His back at her’.

    If the girl joined the ORC? She would be pressured to become a Bishop, as she would be vulnerable as a human in a group of devils, and would have to then learn about God’s death by Kokabiel.

    I know it’s wrong to lie just like I know that it was a duty to be honest to someone as precious as the girl- but I was also very important to keep her from learning about this disastrous news in the heat of a fight.

    I will be the one telling her, once I know that she can easily find a fall back for her hopes in someone like Issei or me. It might sound selfish but… if I had to choose between breaking her heart like that during a battle or in a place and time where she could think properly about this, I think my answer is as clear as a cloudless sky.

    Just as the redhead seemed ready to continue with this hopeless situation, I felt the phone I had in the left pocket of my pants vibrate, notifying me about a new message. Slowly I picked the small device and checked whom was it and…

    I frowned at the content of the short message and the name of the contact that sent it.

    “Tsubaki-san, I think I will have to go now. It’s about the late lessons I have to take now.” The bespectacled girl blinked at the sudden development but nodded with an understanding glint in her heterochromic eyes.

    “I will take this situation off your hands then.” The Vice-President stated with a nod as she turned her attention to the trio. “As Hoitsu-san has just finished to tell you, his role doesn’t allow him to-”

    I walked around the envoy and waved at the other two girls in the room, both smiling and nodding my way as I walked out of the door.

    But just as I closed it behind me, I felt like I was being watched until that moment. I could feel something or someone reaching from me while I was going towards the lone entrance to the classroom.

    I glanced back and shivered. What was that?

    -------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d------------

    Deciding to not indulge the blessing that allowed me to hastily retreat away from dealing with this odd situation and to face the planned encounter with Azazel, I proceeded to walk towards the school’s entrance, sure that at this time of the day most of the students that weren’t doing club-work were already out of the Academy.

    And yet, as I walked out of the glass doors, I noticed a short figure waiting here. Golden eyes turned my direction as Koneko was waiting by the end of the stairs, holding with one hand behind her back a familiar test-paper.

    I blinked and as much as she was trying to appear calm and restrained, a small smile was twitching on her lips. It didn’t take a genius to understand that the little Nekomata had just got a good grade out of yesterday’s test.

    And I was correct.

    As we walked through the streets of Kuoh Town, the younger student decided to tell more how her test had gone.

    It was surprising to see someone as stoic and usually reserved as Koneko speaking this much openly and in detail about something that had happened to her. Surprising and very adorable.

    She didn’t spare any brief spur of emotion from showing as she revealed so eagerly the ‘99/100’ she got in the Math exam.

    “I never got this high grade before…” She muttered happily while holding the paper. Her tone was incredulous, as if she was dreaming all of this and she couldn’t believe it was actually true.

    “Preparation is the key of success, Koneko-san.” I replied with a small smile of mine. “When you give your all in preparing for a test, you will be scoring some good grade out of it.”

    The girl considered my words and then hummed in agreement. “But I have to thank you for the support, senpai.” She walked quickly in front of me and stopped, causing me to stop too. “You helped me and… I am thankful.”

    It was tame, but I wasn’t expecting much from it. Yet I decided to poke a little at her current attitude.

    “By the way, I hope you received some other congratulations.” I said with a small smile. “That was certainly an achievement for you and I hope you got some rewards out of it.”

    She frowned and blinked confused. “Rewards?”

    “You know, the classic ‘you did amazing’, ‘Since you have been good, I will buy you some candy-’”

    “Are you offering to buy, senpai?” The white-haired girl interrupted with a strange glint in her eyes. “I know a place that sells-”

    “I don’t have money on me right now, Koneko-san, I am sorry.” She deflated at that development, a flinch-worthy scene. Thus I decided to sprung into action.

    The girl tensed, much like Asia did earlier that day as my hand patted her head. I expected her to react badly, maybe pummel me away if I went in too aggressive, and yet…

    “W-Why?” There was a light stutter, a very adorable one too.

    “I think you did good.” I replied without hesitation. “You gave your best for the test and got one of the highest scores. That is nothing to scoff at and… good job, Koneko-chan.”

    The young girl slowly turned around and looked up right at me. There was a minor blush in her cheeks and her eyes were wide open. “You...” Koneko started, her voice lost after few moments of careful head-patting. “You aren’t going to tell anyone about this.”

    A quick but decisive threat. “And I get to reward you like this?”

    She didn’t reply, trying to pout at little but failing to hide some slivers of happiness appearing on her face.

    The situation lasted five more minutes and we parted for our respective ways.

    Today was sure looking up for me!



    I’ve jinxed myself.

    The first training session with Azazel was supposedly an ‘introductory’ one, the man offering a brief schedule about the three days he was going to teach me around.

    The session was structured in a simple thing:

    First we had training with swords as the Fallen Angel wanted my skill with the Lightsaber to be top notch; Magic training was a mix of exercises to increase my already growing Core, learning new spells and practicing what I had learned during spars; the last section was bare-handed fighting, something I was completely ineffective about as the man did have some mad experience about being close and personal against people.

    But while said regime looked fairly simple, the truth was completely the opposite.

    The leader of Grigori had come prepared for the occasion, bringing in more than forty small bottles with a clear green liquid in those. The man was quick to reveal that those were very expensive health potions called ‘Tears of Phoenix’, something that was sold primarily by the Phenex family.

    Kind of a dreadful reminder of the things that would have to happen in a month from now.

    The reason of the insane price was based on the fact that those could heal quickly, restore a body out of fatigue, recharge a Magical Core and that multiple potions can be used repeatedly without running in any dangerous after-effects.

    A powerful thing that ended up being my ruin for the four hours of utter pain I had to go through.

    Azazel didn’t hold his punches, nor his sword’s strikes… and his magical nuking. Seriously, I was turned in a fun target that could hardly dodge or counter anything thrown at me.

    Something did change the moment I got to read and practice two new spells, Light Mining and Light Barrier.

    The L. Barriers created cushions between the attack and the caster, giving me some edge in deflecting or out-right dodge some of his attacks and try to lure him to make use of the Mining spell.

    Obviously it was a minor improvement but, as the fist-fight resumed for the 33th time, I managed to get some dodging done and hitting his guard more than once. It was refreshing and would have been awesome if…

    THUD

    ...he hadn’t been holding back for the first two hours.

    Groaning on the floor, I noticed that there was only two potions left and I dreaded the fact the last round was the 34th of all numbers.

    “Now that did sound like an interesting round.” The man chuckled as he pulled me off the floor, sighing as he looked around the damaged arena. As he wasn’t sparing any blows, I wasn’t certainly holding back anything, resulting in the utter devastation visible in the building.

    “I got my ass kicked.”

    “But you lasted longer than the first time. I would say 20 times than your initial time.”

    I frowned at his attempt to cheer me up. “D-Didn’t I last like a minute the first time.”

    He snorted at my tired reply, my ears catching what seemed to be a that’s what she said, further irking my strained brain as I downed the content of the penultimate of the bottles left.

    Azazel turned around with a feral smile. “C’mon, one last time.” He sighed, his energy showing once more, like a sun ready to explode right on me. “This time… with emotion.”

    The clash resumed, this time I decided to give my fullest and…

    An hour later I fell on the floor with a solid Thud, my body on fire as I went beyond my limits and gained something of an edge against the stronger being.

    I noticed how he restrained himself from flying, giving me the chance to unbalance his footing with the creative use of mines bouncing off the barriers. It was like using a cannon against Terminator and the grinning bastard managed to still recover quickly enough to render the initial advantage minimal.

    “You almost made me slip. That was some good thinking… and I think this is enough for today’s.”

    I sighed in relief accepting his help to get off the ground for the umpteenth time, drinking quickly the last bottle and taking few moments to recover from that beating.

    “Your potential is quite higher than I initially thought. I can see that you will be quite the dangerous individual in the great game once we are done with your training.”

    As I contemplated his words, Azazel slowly handed me a small USB. “What is it?”

    “A tome from Grigori’s library. It contains the first ten spells for Shadow-craft.”

    At my confused look, the leader of the Fallen Angels sighed. “Its a craft that very few individuals can achieve, humans being the prime individuals because of your Earthly Magic.”

    “Nothing about developing my Light arsenal?” I asked out of curiosity.

    He scoffed. “I have already planned to teach you more during the training days, but I want you to learn Shadow-craft on your free time, in the field.”

    I nodded at his response but decided to ask some more, this time forwarding a question that had been bothering as of late.

    “Yesterday you said something strange about my biology and all… what were you talking about?”

    He blinked in surprise but smiled. “I guess that has to be a quite the heavy brick to digest and… I think I should have been clearer than that.”

    The man slowly sat on the ground and I followed his example.

    “Your current self, your body and soul, are slightly different than the standard human being. It houses a powerful core that makes use of Holy and Earthly magical energy, something that can be achieved only by Angels or Fallen ones.”

    I nodded while he pointed at himself, understanding that my case was curious.

    “But your current biology isn’t neither similar to an Angel nor a Fallen one. You do feel like one, but checking better one with a good sensory ability can see that there is a prevalence of humanity within you, simple mortality only humans can have.”

    “So you mean that I kept myself a human even with the injection of Holy energy.”

    “Correct. You are a human being that has merely increased his magical and physical growth. You will get some muscles and maybe swoon some women in the process-” He chuckled at that much to my annoyance. “But you are not able to fully compose the spells you make.”

    At this I let out a frown. “I thought I did all the right things, conceptualizing and materializing the magic while giving the proper amount of energy.”

    “That is what a spell generally need, but those that are reserved to Angels and Devils require also a specific essence from the caster, a personification of your will that fuse harmoniously the technique with the energy.”

    I blinked, realizing what he was talking about.

    While fighting Raynare, I did notice that my Spears were slightly weaker than hers, but I thought that it was because mine were basic ones, without any proper reinforcement or something that improved them generally.

    But if this was the case, anything I learned that wasn’t something humans could generally magically use was going to always be inferior compared to the version used by Angels or Devils.

    ...Shit.

    “So that is why you want me to learn Shadow-related spells?”

    The man nodded. “Yep. While I think those will hardly present any powerful attack to use against your enemy, it will give an edge in supporting your allies or giving yourself some time to recover.”

    I nodded and as I was about to call the day and go home, the man patted my shoulder. “You are going far, Hoitsu, but I have to ask you… what do you wish with this life?”

    I frowned. “What?”

    “What do you seek with this life? What do you want to achieve by becoming stronger and stronger?”

    I blinked and thought about it.

    What did I want from this situation? I guess I want to make sure to avoid the deaths of the Canon, the innocents and avoid the awakening of Trihexa.

    I wasn’t sure that there was something in this world that could help up in dealing with the Dragon of Apocalypse and even training the hardest possible was going to leave me short of something.

    There is also the matter of the peace between the Three Factions, fighting the Khaos Brigade, both Hero Faction and Qlipoth.

    It wasn’t a bleak gaze but neither was a favorable one.

    And yet…

    “I guess I want to be a hero.” I decided to say. “Not the ‘I am cool and I have this title’ hero, I mean the one that kick asses while chewing gum.”

    “You want to save the world?” Azazel asked a bit surprised. “I don’t want to kick your dream like I just finished kicking you up, but that sounds quite...”

    “Childish?”

    “I would say simplistic.” He sighed. “You are setting the bar quite high and… I hope you aren’t going to become power-hungry because of it.”

    “Nah.” I stated with a nod. “I know the difference of meaning it and using the ‘Greater Good’ to justify some selfish power-gain. I will be content once I am strong enough to deal with the threats in front of me and-”

    “I think there is more to it.”

    I froze and looked at him. “What?”

    “I know that you are hiding things away from everyone, things that, from my understanding, seems to be quite private but important… but I want to really know what you want from this all.” The fallen angel gestured around.

    “The world, the people here and...” Azazel pointed at me. “Yourself.”

    I blinked, eyes going once more wide as the man got up from the floor. “But I don’t think you are ready, or at least you think you are not. Once you are, please… do tell me.”

    … “Why?”

    “Because I think it’s a real good motivation and...” He hummed, looking away for a moment. “I think those around you would share this same idea of mine about it.”



    “You are insane, sir.”

    He grinned madly. “Try to deal with my work-load and the absence of boobs and booze and then we will see who is the insane.”

    I reiterate my initial assessment about this man.

    Azazel is a nutcase and surprisingly enough… I don’t mind that he is one.



    AN

    Did Akeno feel… something different about our dear MC? (It’s not Romantic-related before anyone asks)

    I had to quadruple-check the DxD timeline as I found myself lacking some proper dates about some of the events and from my understanding between Raynare Arc and Raiser Arc there is a month of difference.

    This month will be a complete divergence from Canon, the MC will start to walk independently from the plot and work with Grigori. What does this mean? Next chapter will happen three days from this one, after the training and (before the hounds waiting there start to maul me up) I have planned a showcase of the new abilities in the next few chapters as some big AU event is planned to happen in those two-three chapters after this one.

    What is it about? Find out tomorrow!
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  8. Threadmarks: Petty but Effective
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 7: Petty but Effective

    The building that I’ve grown accustomed to in the last three days was once again rumbling as the umpteenth spar with Azazel continued.

    The Fallen Angel was powerful, experienced and seemingly with never-ending energy. He hardly looked winded after 12 consecutive spars and I was starting to understand that my growth in power wasn’t going to be neither a quick, nor an easy one.

    The leader of Grigori was somewhat focused, the smile that had characterized the spars the first day disappeared towards the end of the second day. I was getting faster, receptive and incredibly unforgiving when lazy openings were offered.

    Real damage on him was minimal, but the annoyance that the firepower of some of my attacks caused on him was enough to make the man take a stronger pace. That had initially meant a sudden switch of speeds and reactions, his attacks getting a little faster and more difficult to deal with.

    Yet any attack on me meant a possible opening for me to use on his defenses, which would be exploited by deploying my strongest attacks.

    The first Shadow-related techniques revealed to be quite the blessing and, just like Azazel had stated two days ago, it did help in keeping up with my opponent’s pacing and swift moves.

    It was actually a very simple form, the Shadow Duet, which enabled the user to follow up an enemy’s speed by latching some magic on his shadow.

    It was like attaching a small boat to a very fast gunship with a strong chain., the example also bringing up the glaring issues of this basic technique:

    The user’s body had to be able to sustain already that kind of speed, the spell wasn’t going to nullify the straining a pace beyond the user’s limits was going to cause;

    While the ‘connection’ was subtle and difficult to perceive during a fight, if it is found my the enemy, it can be broken or influenced to act on the opposite end, properly destroying the advantage without notice.

    The spell was useful in aiding up my offensive capabilities, but paled to the second spell I ended up learning from the USB. The Silent Step of Darkness wasn’t a spell made for battles, but rather as a stealth/infiltration technique.

    By using someone/something’s shadow, I could easily make my steps soundless and bolster my speed through several shadows.

    The utility it had in this fight?

    With Azazel’s constant attacking, his shadow was shifting with him and… gave me the chance of being one step forward, dodging his punches and kicks during close quarter without much effort spent there.

    And that was why bare-handed fighting became a very frustrating activity for the leader of Grigori… and made him retaliate by dropping literal magical napalm during Magic training.

    The bright side of getting this much attention in that compartment was that my barriers got a tiny bit stronger, managing to hold two of the man’s Light Spears before collapsing.

    It wasn’t enough to make this a safe alternative to dodging or using my own Spears to deflect the others, but I was starting to give a little more hope that I could develop some strong protective spell that could do more than just be the ‘scapegoat’ for attacks.

    With the constant use of Spells and the meditation I had to endure with Azazel joking around with some adult topics, my Core was starting to produce and contain much more energy than before.

    I could now create eight spears at the same time, but while I could go as far as twelve, their quality would get lesser the more I went beyond that ‘safe’ number.

    I had generally improved and, to be honest, I was quite sure that with this pace I was going to get strong enough to make some ‘impact’ very soon-

    “Enough for today~!” Azazel announced with a small smile without notice, dropping his stance immediately and… making me trip face-first at the sudden declaration.

    “What do you mean ‘Enough’?! We weren’t done!” My outburst was met with a groan from the man.

    “Look kid, you might have the Tears of Phoenix keeping you going, but I have nothing to recover the massive input I am deploying.” He explained quickly. “Plus, we need to talk about something important.”

    I blinked at that bit and nodded, approaching slowly the sighing man. “What is it about?”

    “Do you remember when I said that my replacement, the one that was going to continue to train you, was supposed to arrive today?”

    I narrowed my eyes at that reminder. “Yes. What happened?”

    “He is trying to bail out of this.” The leader of Grigori hummed. “Not because of you, he doesn’t even know you to be this much of a prude already. His problem is… he doesn’t want to be there in Kuoh.”

    “But why?” Was my quick query. I mean, there were several Fallen Angels that would avoid the dual Gremory-Shitori fief, but I don’t see one in specific that would give a ‘nope’ to Azazel… and the man being mostly fine with that.

    “Personal issues and… the situation is that I can’t go personally to snatch him away from where he is.” He turned and pointed at me. “’You’ will go and do that for me.”

    … “What?”

    “I need you to go and get him in Kuoh town, do whatever is necessary like helping him with his current mission or out-right try to kidnap him.” Then he scrunched his face in thought. “Actually, don’t try to forcefully smuggle him out, he might be quite stronger than you.”

    “How much strong?” I had to consider every situation and kidnapping might be one of those available.

    “Strong enough to kill you without trying.” He remarked without hesitation. “Plus he will not be alone and the ward is incredibly easy to anger… “

    He hummed again. “Actually, you should anger his ward. I want to see his hilarious reaction.”

    “I assume that this one shouldn’t be able to kill me?”

    “Oh no, he could and will try to kill you if you even joke around him.” The leader of Grigori stated calmly. “But I am confident enough to know you would avoid getting killed by him with what you have.”

    “So he is dangerous but… still someone I can face against and hope for a victory?”

    Azazel thought about it. “Maybe.” He nodded. “You could give some trouble, maybe even knock him out before he can get serious.”

    So someone arrogant… I have some idea of whom he was referring to. I just hope that I wasn’t seriously going to face him of all people wherever I was going to sent to.

    “By the way, where am I supposed to go exactly?”

    For some reason the man gave off a smile bigger than usual.

    “Kyoto.” He finally replied. “I will come to pick you up tomorrow by dinner-time.”



    I was a little tense when Sona asked for more details over this supposed ‘odd-job’ in the old Capital of the nation. Albeit very lenient and permissive when the situation allowed, the heiress of the Sitri clan was also one that didn’t like leaving a strange situation unanswered.

    Mentioning the fact I would have to be away from Kuoh town for the following two-three days was enough to spark some surprise, curiosity and suspicion.

    The latter emotion was minuscule and overshadowed by the other two, the questions that ensued from that small meeting giving me some insight of why she was suspecting me of something.

    While Rias had ditched the idea of approaching me directly, seemingly limiting her attempts to mere glancing and studying me from afar, the President of the Student Council decided to admit to have received ‘considerable pressure’ from her friend.

    “While your point is valid about Asia-san having the right to have some time to decide which club to pick… couldn’t you just-”

    God-fucking-dammit, I am starting to get annoyed now at this attempt to coerce the girl in the OCR.

    But while the allure of rebuffing that proposal was strong, I knew that I had to avoid getting caught by my own irritation in some trap I couldn’t get out from. Rias might lack the proper influence to push me in the corner, but she knew that the political landscape of the Academy played similarly to a chessboard.

    Yet that view wasn’t a complete insight over the whole state of things, as there were some advantages that only those that looked around knew about.

    So, much to Sona’s surprise, I smiled and nodded. “I will see how to solve this situation then.” Then I frowned, giving off a very stern and serious look. “But I hope that you will not crack under this kind of pressure, Sona-buchou.”

    She blinked in surprise. “B-Beg your pardon? Are you saying that-”

    “Sona.” She frowned at the lack of honorifics but looked quite shocked. “I’ve known you for what? Four months now? I think I can recognize when something is coming from your mind as those generally have a superb level of logic to them that I can’t help but accept them instantly. You are usually very objective and impartial, yet you are flawed in properly curtailing the fact you were pushed into this.”

    The girl kept quiet, we were alone in the Council’s classroom for this special discussion and that meant I had to pick my words carefully now. Sona was smart and very perceptive to things around her, but also relatively naive and easy to mislead when particular individuals had a grip over her.

    “Y-you-” There was a long pause after that botched attempt to reply, this ending with a tired sigh from her. “You are correct.”

    She leaned on her chair. “Rias has been pointing out that you were quite stern about keeping ‘Asia from picking the club she wanted’-”

    I opened my mouth but the president held her hand, gesturing me to keep quiet. “Tsubaki-san was quick enough to rectify this ‘mistaken’ thought as she was present when the encounter happened and she had spared few words with Asia-san to confirm your point of view for this situation.”

    I blinked in surprise at this. I mean, I was fairly close to Tsubaki, nothing of romantic as she had been keen to state that she was not interested in pursuing anything serious with anyone right now, but to think that she would go out of her way to confirm my version was… touching.

    “Still, I have realized that during our last encounter Rias-san had mentioned some facts that weighted heavily over the school’s current situation.” Sona mentioned and I quickly connected this to the coalition she and the redhead shared for this territory. “Her father is an influential donor to the Academy, his funds help to sustain a steady income to maintain our present’s situation.”

    I can see where she was trying to go… but I could see her looking away while giving this last bit. Rias was far too much a softie to contemplate pulling a ‘rich-girl’ act and get Zeoticus to pull out his donations to the school. The Academy was her base was and having it closing down would have been a stupid risk to take to expand her peerage.

    But I had to give it to Sona, if I hadn’t known the situation to the fullest and didn’t know about the tell-tale signs of her lying, I might have thought badly of the Gremory’s heiress.

    “Then I will make sure to avoid any situation that could warrant any reason for her… to make a scene.” My words caused the girl to nod nervously as it seemed like she herself trying to digest her own lie even now.

    “I will leave you to this matter. I hope that… you understand my concerns and why this happened.” I nodded at her hesitant self.

    “I do, Sona-buchou. But I want to say only this to you.” I said with a serious tone. “I know that, if you give some thought over this matter, some way to circumvent this predicament can be found and I believe you will do that.”

    The following smile, a hopeful one, was what made the girl pause in her tracks, eyes darting away as she considered those words and nodding a goodbye as she spent some more time alone.

    Meanwhile I was already walking towards Asia’s and Issei’s classroom, it was already lunch-time and school generally ended early on Fridays as Saturdays and Sundays were school-free. Spotting the brunet and the blonde was easy thing, both were chatting amiably as usual and Issei waved in my direction once he saw me coming.

    “Senpai, it’s good to see you and-”

    The boy’s boisterous greeting was interrupted by Asia, the girl giggling as she spoke over him. “Senpai, today Issei-kun did protect me!”

    I blinked twice, surprise painted in my face at the sudden statement. “What?”

    “I-It wasn’t a big time. Matsuda and Motohama were pushy with Asia and I tell them to don’t bother her-”

    “Then you punched Matsuda-san when he ignored you.” The girl’s smile was incredibly bright, as bright as the blush currently visible in Issei’s face. “Issei-kun is that kind.”

    The boy stammered a little, the flattering compliment coming from such sweet girl was quite the achievement for part of his dream. “A-Asia-chan is just too kind. S-She did make me some bento today too.”

    This time it was the former nun’s turn to blush a clear red. “I-I just wanted to give you a gift for… helping me around so much.”

    ...It was just too cute. Both of them were when interacting with each other and… I contemplated going for a checkup and see if I got some diabetes from that scene alone.

    “I am happy to see that you are this close to each other.” A new round of blushes resounded within the two Kohais. “But I’m here to say two important things.”

    My words got them to sober up as I did give them a serious glance. “This weekend I will be out of Kuoh for some job out of town. I should be back by Monday but if there are any issues I wish to be contacted without hesitation.” I looked at both younger students. “Understood?”

    They shared a nod and I sighed in relief. “Good, now we focus on you, Asia-chan.”

    The girl blinked and frowned. “M-Me?”

    “There had been some pressure about you having to join a club today and do you remember the idea I gave to you yesterday about that possible club?” Her eyes glowed a little in remembrance and she nodded happily.

    “The Theater club?”

    I nodded myself, remembering having suggested to the blonde that the club was offering the chance to work a volunteering course that allowed people to participate in charity events and perform freely for hospital children.

    The idea of making people smile through their bad days, especially children, was something that thrilled the girl quite instantly. Of course I had to check if there were any requirements that could obstruct the girl from applying for this setting and I found nothing that could be problematic in the least.

    “I think it’s time you join a club.”

    She almost squealed at my words and the three of us walked towards the section of the school housing the particular club. The Amphitheater was mostly known to the students as the place where important announcements and events happened, very few knew that it was also used as the ‘headquarters’ for the Theater club.

    There were two presidents of the club, sort of consuls, and the club was evenly split between male and female students. Previously an all-girls club, the former president permitted aspiring male actors to join and have their own representative.

    Surprisingly enough, this was considered one of the clubs that received quite the support from the several of the school’s donors. It was just this well-organized and administered that the resulting events were considered the Academy’s prime delight.

    Having already spared some words with both club’s presidents, enlisting Asia was just a matter of few moments and the girl was officially made part of the volunteering group.

    Holding the copy of the certificate that rendered her effectively part of the club, I told her that she merely had to go to the student council’s room and hand this out to Tsubaki.

    As we were turning the corner of one of the halls, we found our path blocked by few individuals.

    Rias looked partly smug, Kiba, Koneko and Akeno few steps behind her, the girl possibly expecting a quick victory from this encounter as she had a flier in her hands and… much to her future dismay, I decided to do something completely unexpected for her plans.

    I patted Asia’s shoulder and stated few words. “I think I will be going, please remember to leave the certificate of your official acceptance to the club to Sona-san.”

    The blonde nodded happily and I decided to leave Rias to deal with her unexpected defeat. Her eyes had widened by the time I had passed her and I was fairly sure she realized almost instantly what was going on but…

    I was happily going to ignore all of that today. I still had to focus on prepare my luggage for the small trip to Kyoto and I couldn’t afford to-

    BZZT

    I blinked as my arm shot protectively on my chest, the sudden electric shock forcing me to back away from… Akeno.

    I didn’t look back, but I was fairly sure that she didn’t do anything as I was passing. Yet, as our elbows were close to each other, a sudden spark reached out for my arm. It wasn’t painful, just ‘shocking’.

    And as Hoitsu continued for his path back home, Akeno looked back at him as he retreated away, her arm held close as she felt the same electric sensation.



    AN

    Hehehehe, this last bit might hint to something a little more… deeper. But it isn’t!

    Akeno-chan is actually ‘not’ in Issei’s harem for this story but… she will be a fun girl to write about. Lots of potential at the fact she is both a sadist and a masochist… eheheheheh.

    Some little opening about the skills that will appear in the next two chapters and, before anyone asks: No, the Kyoto Segment will not be a copy and paste of the show happening. The Khaos Brigade is still forming and they would hardly care to try and take on the Yokai faction this early on.

    The third chibi is coming soon! XD
     
    Piemahn, FeebleEcho, naarn and 12 others like this.
  9. Threadmarks: Meeting and Befriending
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 8: Meeting and Befriending

    Once the city that hosted the Imperial Court in Japan before the Meiji Restoration happened, Kyoto had long been turned in an influential cultural capital in the nation.

    It was one of the cities spared during WW2 but also one of the last ones to get properly modernized to an acceptable level.

    I spent some time around the area near the Kyoto Station to try and get some important equipment before going to the Hotel Azazel had booked for me. The Mall within the large station building offered maps for tourists and some interesting souvenirs I decided to pick and give to Asia, Issei and the members of the Student Council.

    But alas, just as I felt like I got everything I needed to get from the Station and ventured outside of the structure, I stopped just a moment to take in a small detail I had completely forgotten to consider about Kyoto.

    This city… was much, much bigger than Kuoh.

    While this shouldn’t be problematic in the least, the issue was more related to some meek nervousness about being in such large city, especially since I’ve hardly left Kuoh for some holidays during the months before the beginning of Canon.

    While my new parents were quite rich, they were also hesitant to go on trips that weren’t for work, thus depriving me of the chance to explore a little more Japan.

    Deciding that I had to recollect myself somewhere safe, I started to walk through specific streets of Kyoto, my eyes darting from the map to the streets’ signs once or twice per moment as to confirm my current situation.

    It took me fifteen minutes to find myself staring to a very familiar building, the hotel being something I’ve already seen before in the show.

    Built by the Gremory family to honor their son’s title, the Kyoto Sirzechs Hotel was a common place of rest for many businessman and government’s officials passing by, but also for rich tourists and VIPs.

    I reached for the receptionist, standing behind a large counter with several other workers dealing with other clients. The young woman, looked up from her terminal and smiled.

    “Good morning, sir, how may I help you?”

    I blinked and showed her the small card Azazel had given to me. I was pretty much clueless over the room number and what kind of room I was going to have for my stay here in Kyoto.

    With another perfect smile, the woman nodded and picked a particular set of keys.

    Number 137, heh.

    Nodding and thanking the receptionist, I was quick to move towards the elevators picking one of the few yet to be used. Entering inside it, I was greeted by a panel with seven different buttons that led to 6 floors and an underground parking lot.

    I picked the button with the ‘1’ written on it and waited as the elevator music lulled me to a peace during the brief waiting. The doors opened with a quick Ding and I quickly took my suitcase off the floor.

    My eyes looked around at the various tags and it took me some time to find Room 137. I blinked and waited by the door-handle as I imagined what kind of room I was going to be dealing with for those two days here.

    I closed my eyes, took a breath and then… opened the door.

    I waited few moments, walking just two steps inside and… then opened my eyes.

    Blinking once and then twice, I looked around and the more I glanced around the more I felt my jaw dropping low and near the ground.

    This wasn’t the room Issei got in the Canon, this wasn’t even what the two other member of the perverted trio got. This was a proper 5-stars room with large bedroom, balcony that gave to the back section of the hotel, which showed some pretty scenery, and a bathroom with Jacuzzi and large bathtub.

    I was kind of touched at first, then I realized how much all of this had to have costed to be bought. It is never mentioned how much rich the Three Factions are, only that the 72 major Devil families were fairly well-endowed in their bank accounts and that Azazel had money to throw around.

    But for me? Why waste this much money?

    As I sighed, my head throbbing a little at the confusing scenario, I went to approach the bed and… noticed a small silver-plated suitcase and a folded piece of paper.

    Dropping my luggage by the bed, I started to read the content of the letter and… I blinked.

    The message seemed more of a rehearse of what Azazel had already told me to do about this mission of mine, only giving some extra details about my new teacher’s current whereabouts (Room 131, just few moments away from my own room) and some extra warnings about approaching the duo.

    I was certainly going to be careful around Vali, but whoever was currently keeping an eye couldn’t be worse than him.

    ...Right?

    By the time I arrived to read the last few words, I was given some explanation about the curious case sitting on the bed. Opening it as I continued to read the explanation, I was greeted by four items.

    A pair of dark-green pants together with a shirt with the same shade of color, a light-brown cloak and a green mask that resembled much a Naruto’s ANBU one.

    This was supposed to be my disguise for my time here while I did my tasks, for the rest of the things I could do here, going around and get some pictures of the various monuments here in Kyoto I was given the permission to wander in my usual clothes.

    Pretty interesting but also quite annoying as I had to have those clothes around. Thankfully I had brought some backpack in case of necessity and I could use that to solve the issue.

    Few moments later, I decided to start to take out the various things within my luggage, making sure that I had them in places I could easily find them while there and could be easily put back once I had to go back in Kuoh.

    The process lasted around an hour or two and I fell on the bed once I had finished the arduous process. Spending some time in a hotel was draining, but the intriguing prospect of being granted the super-deluxe room was enough to make the pain worth it.

    My eyes slowly moved to the suitcase with the disguise and I blinked. Now that I had myself settled in, maybe it’s time to face the music and brave the encounter with my future mentor.

    I nodded to myself and slowly grasped the cloak away from the case. Changing in the disguised clothes quickly, I was already out of the room and slowly making my way towards where the two other members of Grigori were staying.

    Once I was in front of the door, I knocked thrice and waited for some noise that could tell if they were or not inside the room. There was some things rustling then some heavy footsteps and soon I heard the door being unlocked.

    I gulped nervously as my eyes widened behind my mask at the sight of the towering Baraqiel glancing me lazily. What made the sight quite dreadful wasn’t his expression, nor his height.

    It was the fact he was wearing a white sleeveless shirt and some boxers with small black hearts as a theme.

    Now isn’t that the scariest sight ever?

    “You are… Hekishoku-kun.” That was the nickname I had to take during this mission. Emerald, a reference to the shade of the mask I was donning.

    “That is correct, Shinku-san.” Baraqiel’s name was ‘Crimson’, but I doubt that his cover is that much easy to keep up because of his size and known personality.

    I was about to continue when the man make way for me to enter.

    “Please, do come in.” He stated calmly and I nodded, my mind putting an insane effort to hold myself from pointing out that terrifying sight. “By the way, Sougyoku should be ready soon. He is still in the bathroom.”

    I nodded again, this time walking to the large living room area that… showed that this Hotel was possibly the only 6-stars as per massive rooms.

    Taking a seat in one of the long couch I patiently waited for some extra instructions and… some minutes of quiet passed.

    I was lost in my own thoughts about what kind of missions they were supposedly doing here in Kyoto of all places, quickly dismissing the whole Yokai faction diplomacy as it did happen much later when the Three Factions were in need of get some more groups to band together against the Khaos Brigade.

    I felt a strong hand grasp my shoulder so suddenly, eyes snapping wide open as I turned to see someone wearing the same outfit as mine, the colors being what differentiated the two of us as he had shades of blue on him.

    This was Vali Lucifer, there wasn’t any doubt about it. This was the host of Albion’s soul and Sacred Gear Divine Dividing.

    I nodded at him and I was glad to have a mask hide away my current hesitation in beeing this close to someone that could and would obliterate me at the first mistake I did.

    “Sougyoku-san-” “Make way.

    ...What?

    The couch was big enough to allow ten of him on the other side and-

    Oh, he is not trying to do what I think he is trying to do! He better not be trying to make some shitty attempt to pull some dominance.

    Like heck I will allow it!

    “There is a space here on the side-”

    “I know, make way.”

    Okay, that’s it. Diplomacy failed? Time to pull something he doesn’t expect from someone from Grigori.

    I had my arms crossed and close to my chest, I drew my sight away from him and stared forward.

    “Are you going to move?”

    I blinked and ignored him. His hand squeezing a little harder on my shoulder but failing to actually hurt me in the process.

    My body was already accustomed in the arts of ignore pain like I was ignoring this moron.

    There was a brief bout of silence from him, I could feel a glare that sadly did nothing on me. Even putting his Killing Intent didn’t get me to budge out of my cozy seat, further irking him to continue with his childish attitude.

    It was like dealing with a little kid, just with some superpower and teen body, unable to do much against me as we were in a… very peculiar situation. If Vali messed up with his pompous behavior right near to Baraqiel, he would-

    “Fine.”

    My thoughts died down and I blinked at his sudden response. What?

    Letting go of my shoulder, he slowly went to take a seat right beside me. I guess that not being Issei did avoid me some extra animosity from him. He stood quiet for a while and for a moment I thought that this was going to be the end of the awkward powerplay that was our first interaction.

    Yet he turned his head to look at me. “What’s your name?” He asked with a somewhat more reserved tone.

    I narrowed my eyes at that, sensing that he was guarding himself for some reason. Did I put him on the defensive there? I mean, how many did contest Vali during his tenure in Grigori, excluding Azazel and the other major leaders?

    “I am Hekishoku-”

    “Not your nickname.” He interrupted for the third time and I was starting to get annoyed at this rude occurrence. “I mean your real name.”

    I gave him a tired look and sighed. “I am Hekishoku, Sougyoku-san.”

    He stopped asking, keeping quiet until Baraqiel was done with the bathroom.

    For the first time in a long time, I was glad of having some silence rather than chat with my current company.

    -------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d-------------

    I was particularly surprised that my initial assessment regarding the chances of this mission being related to the Yokai faction were actually incorrect. Grigori had to keep some diplomatic ties with the group led by Yasaka as a mean to keep themselves honest to the world about their acceptance of everyone that shared their ideals and Yokai were what made the backbone of the group.

    The negotiations with the current leader were a must to keep the relationship between Grigori and the Yokai Faction amiable and devoid of any issues in the future.

    The large temple-like building that housed the Bureaucratic and Administrative wings of the ‘Yokai Government’ was quite imposing, the architecture reminding me much of the awe one would get by looking around and alone an ancient Greek temple from the inside.

    Several beings having the classic denotations Japanese monsters had were wandering around, going for their own business while we were escorted by a Lamia through the intricate halls of the building.

    The guide gave brief descriptions of the various areas of this place and didn’t seem to be bothering much in trying to make a good job about this.

    Baraqiel was the one leading, while Vali and I kept close behind as going too far would mean getting swarmed by the incoherent horde of people around us.

    Few minutes later, we were left to wait in front of tall doors, the guide mentioning that their leader ‘was still finishing the preparations and would be arriving as soon as she can’.

    There was nothing where one could sit while spending the time waiting and thus we were forced to stay put like that.

    I felt my shoulders sag tiredly as I boringly started to look around the particularly ample hallway we were waiting in. I was about to turn back on the door when my attention was taken by the tiny but continuous sound of someone tapping.

    My eyes pinpointed the origin of the noise and I found myself staring at a small head peeking from around the corner.

    Golden eyes were giving a dull and bored look as her golden mane ended up with two pointy fox ears. I blinked and I saw the small hand tapping at the wall now point right at me. I frowned and tilted my head on the side.

    Kunou blinked and then gestured me to ‘come here’, her finger pointing on the ground near her with some insistence.

    I looked back at the others and contemplated what I should do about this. Vali and Baraqiel were chatting quietly, ignoring my current actions and thus I felt a little more compelled to see what the little princess wanted.

    From my basic understanding, Yasaka was going to arrive much later than planned and… I was getting bored myself. It wasn’t like I was trying to do something irresponsible or anything but I guess if I went to see what the girl wanted wouldn’t be an apocalyptic action.

    Thus I started to walk towards her and she nodded and waited until I got closer. As I opened my mouth to ask what did she wanted from me, she turned around and started to walk even more away from the hallway, turning towards one of the doors and walking inside the room.

    Did she want me to follow her inside? What was going on?

    Against my best judgment I started to slowly follow her, peeking inside the room and… blinking in surprise at what I found inside.

    This wasn’t a mere room, but an open-roof small-sized courtyard.

    There was a small fountain with a mini-lake, two trees and some bushes around. The little Kitsune was waiting there, giving me a long stare as I finally approached her and waiting for some explanation.

    She opened her mouth and stated the reasoning behind what had just happened.

    “Play with me.”

    I blinked. “What?”

    “Play with me.” The girl repeated with a frown. “I’m bored.”

    “And?”

    “And you are too, Onii-san.”

    I felt a small smile forming behind my mask. “Oh? And what do you have in mind?”

    She looked away, her stare directed at the floor. “I don’t know.”

    “You don’t… know?” I parroted a little bit confused.

    “Not many play with me and...” Her golden eyes were back looking at me. “You will?”

    Now that was playing a very dirty trick! I-I can’t just-

    Dangit!

    “I could?”

    The tails behind her started to waggle quicker than before even through her face gave no telltale sign of interest about my answer.

    I waited few moments, then sighed as her cute reaction was starting to take a toll on my composure. “Fine. But I can’t be there for a long time, I’ve to be present when Yasaka-san-”

    “Okay!” She nodded with a small smile and I sighed. This was going to be an uneasy day, wasn’t it?

    But as I focused on this new problem of mine, I found myself dealing with a dilemma about it. Since Kunou didn’t have any idea of what game to play… what was I supposed to do in a small place like this one?

    I gave a quick look around and tried to see for any hint for something to do here and… then I turned my attention to the floor, or better at the small pebbles spread around the area.

    I reached for the chibi blonde, the girl frowning as I showed her the small piece of stone I took while walking up to her and then I directed my attention to the small fountain.

    Without saying anything, I took aim and threw the pebble right at the body of water.

    Swish

    Swish

    Swish

    Swish

    Swish

    Swish

    Swish

    Swish

    Swish

    The stone then plopped deep in the small lake and I turned my attention back to the distracted kitsune. The girl was staring at the lake, then she blinked back in reality and glanced at me.

    “Can you beat that?” I said in a teasing tone and I saw her face twitching in a pout. She crouched a little to pick one of the stones and turned her attention back to the lake.

    With a determined look, she took aim and prepared to throw. Just as I had expected, she threw the pebble way to high and-

    Swish

    Swish

    Swish

    Plop!

    She huffed and picked another stone, trying once more. Her second try became fifth, then eight and then twelfth.

    At that point I was sitting nearby as I watched this unfold, my attention interested at how she was slowly improving the more she tried.

    By the time I noticed that she was getting a little unmotivated by this whole challenge I decided to give her a possible reward.

    “If you get it this time...” Her head turned to stare at me. “I will show you my face.”

    She frowned, narrowing her eyes at the green thing covering my real face and she nodded energetically.

    Kunou had long forfeited her composure as her childish self was showing the moment she prepared to throw this miracle shot. Differently from before, the pebble she took was placed in one of her tails and, surprisingly enough, she launched the small stone with remarkable precision.

    Swishswishswishswishswishswishswish-

    The skipping lasted for more than fifteen times as I lost count of the situation at the absurdity of the situation. I glanced back at Kunou but, much to my surprise, the girl was already on me.

    “Show me your face, Oniichan!” She demanded while already pulling at the mask. “You promised.”

    I chuckled. “I did and-” My hands reached for my mask and she looked ready for the sight.

    “Here it is.” The mask came off and I waited few moments to gauge her reaction.

    Fox ears twitched, the little girl’s eyes widening as she continued to look at my face. For a moment I thought I had something weird on it as she was spending quite sometime staring at it.

    Then she blinked, a little embarrassed blush painting her own petite face as she realized she had been staring for a while now. “O-Oniichan is… pretty.”

    I frowned. “Pretty? Don’t you mean handsome?” I asked out of curiosity but… she smiled deviously.

    “Oniichan is super-pretty.”

    My lips twitched a smile, failing me while I was trying to appear serious for a moment.

    “You… are incredibly funny, aren’t you?”

    Her smile widened. “The funniest!”

    What a scoundrel too!

    But as I was about to continue that friendly bantering, I was distracted by another noise.

    “He-hem.” I blinked, putting my mask back on quickly, glad that the direction I was currently sitting gave my back to the door and hid my face away, allowing me to put my mask back on without ruining my cover.

    I turned around and I was greeted by Baraqiel, Vali and… a very amused Yasaka.

    The younger Kitsune peeked over my shoulder and smiled. “Mama!”

    And while the little girl rushed to her parent I slowly got up from the ground and slowly walked towards the fellow members of Grigori. “Hekishoku, you ended up wandering and-”

    “Oniichan was nice, Mama. He played with me at stone skipping and I beat him!” Kunou exclaimed in her mother’s hold, the woman giggling at the energetic reaction of her daughter.

    “Really, sweetie? And what do you think about him?” I blinked as my current boss stopped to listen to the exchange, which I followed too myself.

    “He is nice, awesome and...” She got closer to the woman’s ear and whispered something at her, her cheeks flaring a little as Yasaka giggled again.

    “Oh my~ Now that is quite interesting.”

    Then the older blonde turned her attention at me. “I wish to thank you for playing with my little Kunou-chan. She doesn’t have many friends and she tends to get bored while I am busy.” She bowed her head a little. “Thank you.”

    I nodded at her words and we were soon directed inside the meeting room. Surprisingly enough, the woman seemed to be much more receptive of the request advanced by Baraqiel and the negotiations ended with good results.

    As we were going away and back to the hotel, I saw Kunou staring from afar and I waved at her, the girl smiling and waving back until we were out of her sight.

    Sighing happily at how things had turned out to be, I felt a large hand squeeze at my shoulder and I felt surprisingly meek in that exact moment. “We need to have a serious discussion about ‘wandering around’, Hekishoku-kun.”

    I gulped nervously, dreading that little event as we continued on our path back to the hotel.

    Vali looked at this situation from a safe distance, his interest piqued at what had happened but… further research was required before he was sure of what to make of this rebellious pawn in front of him.

    ---------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d--------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d-------

    AN

    So much happened in this chapter and so much will have to happen next chapter. This time it will be some fightin’ tho!
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
    ArKFallen, FeebleEcho, naarn and 9 others like this.
  10. Threadmarks: Trouble Stalks Around
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 9: Trouble Stalks Around

    Lunch was an awkward affair.

    Once we reached back the hotel, Baraqiel decided to delay the lecture about what happened back few hours earlier, deeming more important that I got some time to reflect on my conduct while he thought about the situation and how to tackle it.

    Vali was still wearing his mask, but I could see the smug exuding from the prick and the annoying fact was that I couldn’t act upon it without worsening my current predicament. Still I enjoyed seeing him pause multiple times in my direction as he noticed that I hadn’t ditched the mask to eat.

    Bringing the small thing a little bit up, I freed some space for my mouth to receive the food and in the meantime keep my identity a secret to the current host of the Divine Dividing Sacred gear.

    A minor victory in a sea of defeat, but one that was surprisingly mirthful since it was Vali on the losing side. I wonder how much time will pass before he will react more aggressively over my mysterious anonymity and if it will happen with someone strong enough to keep him away from me.

    Hopefully someone strong enough will be there when that happens…

    It was around early afternoon that we were back to the room that Baraqiel and Vali shared, the leader of this diplomatic mission sitting right on the couch across the one I was sitting in, giving me a somewhat disappointed expression.

    You risked big time with that action of yours. While you ended up scoring some favorable points with Yasaka-san, you failed in thinking that it could have ended up in a trap.”

    I kept quiet as the introductory words for the lecturing started to reach my ears, knowing that my defense, at least the one based on the fact I shouldn’t be knowing about both Kunou and Yasaka beforehand, was feeble at best.

    I was glad that Vali had deemed the situation unworthy of his attention and the teen had retired to his bedroom, leaving me to deal with the Fallen Angel alone.

    The only thing I could do at the moment was nod at him and reply in agreement to his statements.

    Yes, sir-”

    You risked your life by doing what you did. You were lucky enough that it ended as sweet as it was or we would have ended up dealing with the worst diplomatic scandal since the 80s.”

    Yes-” I blinked at the ‘80s scandal’ trying to understand what it was about. “sir.”

    He sighed tiredly. “Azazel told me that you were a particular case, both about your potential and your quirky sense of throwing yourself at any possible danger.” His voice gave off some minor agreement to the description given by the Governor-General of Grigori.

    I flinched but nodded. “Yes-”

    And stop agreeing to everything I am saying, young man.” Baraqiel finally interjected, crossing his arms close to his chest. “And remove your mask, I wish to see to whom I am speaking and possibly going to train.”

    I frowned, some hesitation washing over my hands as I slowly reached for my mask and let it fall on my lap.

    The man blinked, seemed to be thinking of something and then… smiled.

    You are a student at Kuoh Academy, aren’t you?”

    Please don’t.

    I am.” I know where this was going to end up with. The man was going to ask about-

    Do you perhaps know someone that goes by… Akeno Himejima?”

    ...Shit.

    I… do?”

    He shifted a little in his seat at my answer, the smile still there.

    Can you tell me how… she is going? Any friends or-” He stopped a brief moment in his questioning but I still replied.

    She is close friend to a fellow classmate, her name is Rias Gremory.”

    As the redhead’s name left my lips, Baraqiel shifted once more.

    And… do you think it’s genuine, their friendship-”

    They did seem genuinely friendly with each other. I am quite sure their isn’t any… strange stuff going on.”

    My answer further relieved the man, but he seemed ready to ask some more.

    You seem to know quite a lot about my daughter.”

    I tensed a little at the strange vibe in those last few words, feeling the vindictive tone that only a very ‘threatened’ father would feel over a boy being ‘close’ to his daughter.

    I sighed while making a small prayer to avoid any unnecessary beatings from the clearly suspicious man.

    “I… she is your daughter, sir-”

    Wrong answer, kid. Please do respond to my question.”

    Gulping nervously, I nodded. “I- We are in the same classroom, sir. But we never spoke to each other.” I said with some minor stuttering.

    This wasn’t certainly the best moment to stutter but the nervousness was making me fail this all.

    But you know about her situation with the Gremory family-”

    Only that she is part of whatever group Rias has. As part of the Student Council I have to know about specific details about the Clubs in the Academy and… not to appear to be classist, but those two hardly fit the bill for people enjoying Occult Research.”

    The Fallen Angel gave a wider smile. “I admit that the cover would be… difficult to keep up but you are the only one that figured it out, aren’t you?”

    I opened my mouth, ready to rebuke that idea and… yet I found myself questioning this a little bit.

    As dumb as it might sound, and I am referring to the ‘Glasses trick of Clark Kent’ kind of dumb, the Club was enjoying relative anonymity as no one in particular questioned the curious choice for the two ‘Ojou-samas’ of Kuoh Academy to pick the ORC.

    I remember someone saying ‘If a plan is stupid but works, then it isn’t stupid’ and I find myself agreeing that this is indeed the situation, young man.”

    ...I think I got Murphy’d here-

    I think his name was… Murphy?” Baraqiel added with a brief chuckle.

    Oh no, I really got Murphy’d!

    Ah, as much I would enjoy to learn more about my daughter, I think we should focus on your punishment.” The man reminded the main focus of this discussion much to my dismay. “I think letting you go scot-free would be detrimental for my lecture and… I just have the appropriate idea for your case.”

    His hand reached for one of his pants’ pockets and he pulled out a folded piece of paper.

    I wanted to use some of the time here at Kyoto to buy some expensive materials Shemhazai asked me to get… but since you caused this little chaotic mess-”

    I have to do it myself?” I questioned and deflated as the man nodded.

    That is correct.” He said with a small smile. “I want you to go to the addresses written down in the paper and get the ingredients on the list.”

    I looked at the paper and frowned at the not-so-short list the man was talking about. I saw him pull out from the same pocket a curiously large bag containing… money? “This is the money to buy everything- and I will know if something is missing off from the spare.”

    I nodded quickly and stood up from the couch.

    By the way.” The Fallen Angel stated. “Try to not cause anything that could jeopardize our current mission here, Hoitsu-kun.”

    I stopped a moment to give him a full wide-eyed look, surprised that he would know about my name without me telling him and- then I remembered that Azazel could have told him prior.

    With another quick nod, I went to door and left the room, prepared to have quite the handful late day on my hands.

    --------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d------------d--d-d-d--d---------------d-d--dd-------------

    Four hours.

    I had two full bags of various ingredients taking most of my hands as I finished my long errand around the former capital of Japan.

    I do remember seeing some Yokai-only quarter when we went to visit the headquarters of the Yokai Faction, but the ones I had to see during this task were particularly different from the previous ones.

    Looking like slums, I saw some unkind faces around there and the Yokai living there seemed to be particularly hostile to strangers. Sensing this much negativity, I was quick to finish the various trips around those sections of the city to avoid any unneeded brawl on my hands.

    I sighed in relief once I was on my way back to the hotel, hopefully ready to get some well-deserved rest from the ordeals I had to face this long day.

    As I turned one of the corners that I had to take to return to the building, I found a small golden furball crash onto my chest, claws surprisingly not drawing blood as those straddled on my shirt.

    I blinked at the frantic shaking of the little thing and then-

    N-Niichan, help!” It was Kunou’s voice and as my eyes widened in recognition, I also noticed the twenty or something robed figures rushing towards me, some magical circles forming in front of them.
    Fucking magicians!


    I quickly turned around and rushed towards one of the alleys, managing to reach the sharp corner before any of the magical missiles reached for me. Without stopping a single moment, I started to laid up my usual quantity of traps to create some advantage.

    The moment I left the alley to race through the mostly empty street, I felt the first explosion going off and then several others of the same intensity following closely. The Light Mines were doing their bombastic job in keeping the pursuers a little busy as I continued to make some distance from them. Yet I could feel footsteps still close to my current pacing and, without thinking much about it, I turned my attention at the various closed stands on the side, producing several seals with the Silver Lining combination to pull the various wooden structures towards the center of the street.

    At the sound of loud crashing and people shrieking in pain, I knew that I had taken down some of the bastards down. The relief from those two quick victories was seriously crushed by the time I reached the middle of a large intersection.

    Front, left and right were obstructed by ten robed figures each side, I noticed some people in the roof ready to strike too and some footsteps still approaching from behind.

    We were encircled and I grimaced the situation as it was.

    Your potential is impressive, brother of magic.” A feminine voice stated by the front of the main force of magicians. “Let the girl go and we will accept you in our glorious group of-”

    Pass.” The cloaked woman stopped, a brief pause before sighing at my word of defiance.

    Think of the heights you could achieve-”

    Not interested.” I rebuked again, sighing in annoyance as I felt the need to scratch my head but couldn’t because I had my hands still busy with the bags. Kunou shifted a little closer to my chest, trying to get the furthest away from the band of grunts around us.

    Your death wish then...” I saw several circles forming, but as the woman preached some recruitment pep talk I had noticed the best escape for this situation.

    Or your failure!” A small sphere of light appeared up above my head and a sudden flash of white engulfed the area. Several spells were launched, some explosives to vindicate those that had fallen under my merciless trapping skills and those who sent off stunners to avoid harming the Yokai attached to my shirt.

    Sadly all of those reached the ground, either exploding in loud noises or dispelling at the lack of an acceptable target and, the moment the blinding light gave away to reveal the aftermath of their bombardment.

    Dust was still hovering around, but there was nothing that remained of ‘me’ or of the little furball that was sticking close and away from the fiends.

    Surprise was replaced by fear at the possibility of having killed the offspring of Yasaka, ushering the large group of magicians to look around the area… missing completely the open manhole that led up to the sewers area of the large street section, coated by shadow camouflaged as simple dirt.

    Sitting on the cemented ground by the end of the ladder, I had long dropped the bags on the floor to comfort Kunou as she trembled in my hold. That has been way too close of a call to not be at least a bit scared from it.

    The Flash Bomb had been a bet that not even I had been sure of its effectiveness but… it worked.
    I’m here, Ku-chan.” I continued to comfort her, her whining in her foxy form continuing for a little while, then she slowly melted in my arms and started to change.


    Fox ears and tails still present, Kunou continued to snuggle her face closer to my chest, sobbing a little at the scary ordeal. One of my hands shifted to her head, patting carefully the distraught girl as she continued to cry a little more.

    N-Niichan- Th-That was-”

    I know, Ku-chan. I am here.” She nodded and shifted a little more in my hold, now sniffling as she was slowly get hold of her emotions.

    I waited few more moments and I saw her head slowly move up, to look at me. “T-Thank you, Niichan.”

    Snorting with a small smile plastered on my face I nodded at her, continuing to pat her. “You are welcome.”

    As I was about to stand up from the ground and plan out the path I had to follow to reach either the hotel or Kunou’s mansion, I felt a strong presence slowly descending from the ladder nearby.

    She was slowly falling, her Kimono conveniently censuring her exposed bits, leaving just her legs and cleavage to show in that lewd but dangerously perverted display of her body.

    She had her golden eyes fixed on my frame, her black cat ears, the same color as her hair, twitching as she finally landed.

    Kuroka was smiling at the fact I had paled several shades of white during her descent, almost giggling at the reaction she was getting from me.

    Ara, Ara, I suppose I could appear quite… shocking, nya~?”






    Why does she have the Jojo’s menacing aura within herself!?

    Shivering a little, I got up from the floor with the bags busying my hands once more, Kunou shifting back to her fox form started to grasp at my ruined shirt once more.

    Y-You are Kuroka, the Nekoshou.” My words caused her to smile and she nodded.

    And you are a little boy from Grigori, nya. I wonder, how much did you train to get the dummies up above this much disorganized?” She took a step forward, I took one back.

    Very little. I-I am actually surprised they are so much dumb, a-actually.”

    Oh really~?” She giggled, taking another step forward and prompting me to take another back in return. “Then you have to be quite the special case, aren’t nya?”

    I guess… it’s time to use the super secret technique of the Joestar family-” Just as I was about to finish that glorious sentence, I was stopped by a new round of giggled from the young woman.

    You mean yelling ‘Nigerundayo’ and running away like a fool?”

    I froze on the spot and frowned. “Y-You know about-”

    Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure? I do know my memes, nya~.” Kuroka interjected again, her smile widening even more.

    T-This is a terrible disaster! My plans do come from memeing around and… there was nothing else to do.

    T-Then I will be going, yes?!”

    She frowned, her smile giving off some predator-like’s glint. “Oh, but I thought we were so much fun here talking about Jojo.”

    I-I am but- Priorities!” I swiftly turned around and started to use the blasted shadows created by the dim lights in this section of the sewers to boost my pace. “Nigerundayo!”

    A loud giggle followed and I felt the pressure of being chased by someone more powerful than me and capable to discern what my brain was thinking starting to get incredibly intense, beyond anything I had faced before.

    Oh? You’re running away from me?” She started to quote, picking up even more speed in the process. “Instead of approaching, you are escaping from me, nya~!?”

    I-I can’t live a long life if I don’t run away from your deadly beauty.” Then I shook my head as I remembered this wasn’t the moment to ‘Jojo’ around. “A-Also could you not distract me with that?!”

    But why? I am having such fun now, with this little chase.” She stated with some genuine amusement dripping from every words. “Let’s get close and personal~!”

    I felt it. A sudden jump from the cat-girl to reach out for me and, in a split second, I formed some Silver Lining to pull her on the side and away from succeeding with her move.

    She yelped at the sudden bout pain as the light ropes took her by her leg and threw her away, being that the strings were made by holy energy and that she was a Devil.

    My quick-thinking granted me some extra time and distance, enough to understand that trying to outrun the girl here wouldn’t do. As I felt her return to the pursuit, I dropped another Flash Bomb rushing even faster and letting my legs burn a little more as I suddenly jumped through the closest manhole, hoping to end up in an empty street.

    I sighed in relief as my prayers ended up realizing, the desolate street giving me the chance of seeking a hiding spot from the current chaser on our trail and, without thinking much about it, I dived to the closest alley and went to hide behind the two dumpsters sitting there.

    I kept quiet for a while, trying to see if we were still being chased or not. Minutes of silence passed, Kunou looking uncertain at moments but accepting to keep quiet since this wasn’t a simple situation and…

    Yep, she lost us. I sighed in relief the moment I confirmed this and decided to let the girl return back to her human form. The blonde smiled a little but looked still quite shaking by the ordeal.

    T-That was genuinely the scariest of chases, Ku-chan.”

    She nodded and as I got up myself from the floor she gave me another hug. “Super scary.” Her voice was muffled as her face was pressed on my chest and I nodded at her.

    Without wasting further time, I went to take out my phone and contact Baraqiel.

    The man picked up the call almost instantly. “Where are you, Hoitsu! There has been an assault against Yasaka and her daughter is missing-”

    I flinched at the angry and worried tone but interjected quickly. “Sir, Kunou-chan is here with me. She found me while I was ending my errands and we managed to escape the pursuers.”

    There was a pause. “Did any of you get hurt in the process?

    I am just a little drained as I had to unleash some spells while Kunou-chan is a little tired and dizzy from it all.”

    She nodded through the hug and I sighed. “Sir, should we be going somewhere or-”

    I will be contacting Yasaka-san first. She should be able to send loyal men to pick you both up.

    Understood-”

    You truly are a trouble magnet, brat.” The Fallen Angel sighed tiredly. “But I guess this time it did some real good.

    I guess too...”

    Kunou smiled a little as she continued with the embrace.

    Rather the affectionate girl, isn’t she?

    ------------d-d-dd-d-------------d-d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d---

    We were all back to Yasaka’s main office, the mother keeping her little girl close as she continued to thank me profusely for saving her daughter.

    Kunou smiled in the woman’s hold but would steal some glances in my general direction as this situation continued to unfold.

    Baraqiel was sitting nearby and listening to Yasaka’s praises about my intervention, seemingly less inclined than before to condemn my ‘picking fights’ where I went.

    Of course some explanations about the happenings that led to our escape from the large force of magician was provided and both the woman and the Fallen Angels found some detail note-worthy. The Magician that had tried to make me surrender the girl spoke of some ‘glorious reward’ if I joined them and the fact that Kuroka, a Stray Devil Nekoshou, seemed to collaborating with this organized group detached from the Magic Council was… concerning.

    This instance was going to come and bite the Khaos Brigade in the ass when they will have to reveal themselves as now their element of surprise was partly ruined and with this failure both Grigori and the Yokai Faction was going to investigate who sent this assault force.

    Yet what truly caught my attention and I did notice only by the time the two leaders discussed about this situation was that… the Khaos Brigade wasn’t supposed to attack this early on in the story.

    There were some minor detection of large groups massing up, but nothing that suggested to some mysterious faction starting to create.

    This wasn’t Canon, to risk this early on their cover wasn’t something that the original timeline had and… I knew that this was the most meaningful of the details. Something had caused the Khaos Brigade to attack early on and try to force Yasaka to join them.

    It was strange and, if I have to be honest, quite a worry. Many theories flowed in my brain and only few managed to get some logical backing, ranging from Le Fay being able to use Clairvoyance and foresee any of my interventions to Ophis deciding to be much more aggressive with her plans for some reason.

    All of this still lacked substantial evidence, but it was something I had to study once I returned back to Kuoh.

    -But let us return to you, Hekishoku-san.” The older Kitsune stated. “Could you please come a little closer. I would need to ask you something.”

    I frowned at the request and glanced at Baraqiel, the man nodding a silent acceptance at the request thus prompting me to approach the gorgeous blonde few steps more.

    She smiled and gave me a long studying look about my face before frowning. “Could you… remove your mask? I would like to see the ‘pretty’ face of Kunou’s savior.”

    I blinked and glanced at the little girl, the younger Kitsune blushing and looking away as she knew that now the little ‘secret’ she had spoiled to her mom was now coming to bite back at her in terms of embarrassment.

    I tried to look at the Fallen Angel but the man preceded me. “Do it, Hekishoku-kun.”

    Nodding, I slowly removed the mask and waited for some reaction from the woman.

    Her eyes widened a little, a little surprise painted in her face, then she smiled and glanced at her daughter and let out a brief giggle. “I think Kunou-chan meant ‘handsome’, not ‘super-pretty’.”

    I nodded quickly. “I told her that but-”

    Niichan is super-pretty.” The little blonde reiterated with absolute conviction drawing another giggle from her mother.

    Oh? What an interesting judgment. But… I guess Kunou-chan is sticking to her idea of you as a… ‘super-pretty’ individual.”

    I didn’t restrain the small groan at that, surrendering to the idea that this was going to be a thing from now on.

    But the reason I wished to speak to you face to face is more about rewarding you for your service and your intervention in saving my child.”

    I sighed loudly and held my hands up, causing the woman to pause. “I have to refuse on some good reasons, Yasaka-san.”

    She blinked and gave a confused look. “Could you elaborate, Hekishoku-kun?”

    A bit surprised at the honorific, I still managed to reply. “Saving Kunou-chan was done out of genuine care for her, not out of a promised reward, and hearing the fact I am being rewarded by it is… wrong.”

    I continued. “While I understand that you wish to thank me for protecting your daughter, it is also true that the real reward in this situation is there and perfectly visible.”

    I turned my attention to Kunou, the girl’s eyes a little wide open at my speech. “Kunou-chan is safe and sound, that is what is my current reward to my service.”

    There was a long pause of silence and then the woman sighed in genuine relief. “That was a show of honesty that I find quite refreshing after so much time of hearing sweetened lies.” Yasaka smiled as she said this. “You are quite wise for someone your age, Hekishoku-kun, and I think Grigori did gained someone worth of note with you.”

    I nodded at the flattering compliments.

    Still, I wish to ask you something since you proved to be someone that truly cares for my daughter’s well-being.” The older blonde stated. “A favor that is born out of necessity and worry for the safety of Kunou-chan.”

    ...What?

    With this assault from unknown forces, it has become clear that our current level of security is inadequate to protect both me and my child and...” She looked tense at giving out the request but, after some brief moments of silence, she spoke clearly her intentions. “I wish that you could take my daughter with you back in Kuoh Town.”

    … “W-What?”

    How did she knew that I was from Kuoh? I never stated anywhere near her or any of her servants that I was from the city and-

    Azazel-san contacted me just an hour ago, presenting me with a more detailed report of your… current identity.”

    Goddammit, that bastard is ruining my chances of keeping myself from dealing with everyone’s power-plays!

    I will not divulge the information I gained, as the Governor-General has gained from me the utmost secrecy about it. Still, I wish for you to consider the request as it is important for me to know I can have someone trustworthy to keep my baby-girl away from danger.”

    Kunou blushed a storm and snapped her attention at her parent, looking aggravated by the embarrassing nickname. “M-Mama!?”

    You are going to be away from me for a long time. Can you allow your mama to tease you a little bit before letting you go?”

    The little girl flinched at the woman’s blunt question and then nodded silently much to her mother’s amusement. “Thank you, sweetie.”

    The younger blonde groaned, causing the woman to giggle in response before she returned to look at me.
    I wish to know your answer, Hekishoku-san.”


    I hesitated a little as… taking care of someone while keeping her identity secret from those around the school…

    But then again what alternative did Yasaka have if I had refused?

    Ignoring the logical choice of saying ‘no’ to protect my own identity, I knew that I would end up literally confirm that what I just said until now about Kunou was a lie and it wasn’t.

    Even through I knew her for so little, I think that after facing some deadly situations together, the kitsune and I bonded well enough for me to call her a good friend at least.

    So, going against my best intent of keeping myself safe and hidden from Hell and Heaven, and making my life more difficult than before, I nodded at the woman.

    I… accept, Yasaka-san.”

    The girl beamed at the reply, while the woman’s smile widened. “Thank you, Hekishoku-kun.”

    As I nodded at her, I found Kunou approaching me with a small set of key. I frowned and looked back at the woman.

    Azazel-san also wished to say that the little request of yours has been accepted from doing such a good job and that your new home is now ready.”

    ...Ah.

    I think I need to make a brief explanation, I guess.

    Before leaving for Kyoto, I decided to ask a big favor to the leader of Grigori regarding my current lifestyle.
    Knowing that my life was going to take a more dangerous turn now that I was in his organization, I didn’t need to endanger my new parents with this situations and, knowing that getting out of the house with normal means was nigh-impossible as there would have been some adamant resistance from father and mother, the man agreed to use some mind-trick and put some fake memories in them about a tense but acceptable family meeting that saw me gaining some independence from them.


    Was it cruel? Yes.

    Was it unorthodox? Incredibly so.

    But was it a necessity? Yes.

    Differently from Issei, I couldn’t make full use of Grigori’s protection to keep my parents safe and, as much as I loved my cramped room back in their house, I needed much more space to deal with training and studying other arcane arts.

    An extreme decision to prevent an extreme situation from exploding right on my face.

    I took the keys and patted Kunou’s head, the girl smiling and closing her eyes as she accepted the simple gesture.

    The return home was surely going to be… quite hectic.

    ------------d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d------

    AN

    Ku-chan joins Kuoh Academy, the 2nd year of middle high school!

    I know that the last bit about leaving the parents’ house might sound a little forced and shady but there are big reasons for this, much bigger than the ones the MC gave at the end.

    Kuroka is a memester and I will not apologize for that one. I just have this little head-canon of her discovering the internet while on the run from Hell and just got addicted to some meme-y stuff. Will it be to a cringe or crackish level? Nyaope!

    P.S. Vali wasn’t in the room to see MC’s face and… that is going to be a gag for a long time. Hekishoku will now be a thing on for Grigori missions and other stuff from now.

    Also almost 300 followers in Fanfic, GAH! THIS IS AMAZING!
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
    FeebleEcho, naarn, Wolfant and 9 others like this.
  11. Threadmarks: Double Trouble
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 10: Double Trouble

    Waking up to the ceiling of my new room was… strange.

    It was a curious sensation that was a mix of positive surprise in finding something unusual but also pleasant because it was a quick reminder that now I had some more liberty in my own home.

    The place Azazel had bought was immense, not mansion-sized, but still quite decent for a house accommodating three individuals at once.

    Indeed, I wasn’t the only occupant of my new house, Baraqiel having picked a room on the first floor, leaving the relatively large bedroom to me and the modestly-sized room with smaller bed to Kunou-chan.

    The girl accepted her new living quarters, deeming them to be almost similar to what she had back home but there was an adorable twist at it. As she first entered the room to study better the features of the European-styled room, the Blonde stopped to frown at the bed.

    From my understanding she had a particularly comfy futon as bed since she decided to have her own room, thus seeing the ‘contraption’ in front of her was kind confusing for her and amusing for me.

    I could remember her go through some testing about the material, coziness and the quality of the bed. The last results being a small smile as she literally melted by lying on it, her head receiving some attention by the soft pillow she had.

    Blinking back to the present, I found myself stuck in bed, not because of craving for some more rest but… because of a small weight the night before wasn’t there. Turning my eyes down, I stared at the twitching fox ears visible from my current disposition.

    It would seem like… Kunou had decided to invite herself in my bed while I was sleeping and, much to my relief, she had kept her new Pjs on through the whole situation. She had been a little dismayed by the fact she had to adopt the new set of clothes, but a mere glance at her former ‘nightgown’ was enough to prompt me to pick her some new clothing before we left Kyoto.

    I still had some money on me for the trip and the shopping spree was positively short and quick, picking her five more sets of clothes and her Kuoh Academy uniform. It was the uniform that actually piqued her interest the most, the girl finding exotic the flamboyant style it has, causing her to spend more time proving it around.

    Sighing in her sleep, I held back a snore as I found my brain fully awake and ready to deal with the new routine of my life in Kuoh.

    The girl had her head slouched on my chest, her partly open mouth letting out some brief and adorable snoring as a little trail of drool stretched down to my sleeping shirt, staining it just a little bit.

    Blinking just once, I slowly let my hand wander out of its resting position and hover over the waiting head and then… started to softly caress her top.

    She tensed a little, her snoring ceasing almost immediately as she stirred a little more and… one eyes opened to stare right at me.

    Her lips, at first set in a neutral thin line, arched up in a smile and the girl nuzzled her head a little more on my chest. “Niichan… good morning-” Kunou paused just a moment to her greeting as she yawned cutely and I almost let out a ‘Aww’ at that sight.

    Good morning, Ku-chan.” I stated softly, knowing that using my usual volume might cause some annoying effects on someone still waking up. “It’s time for breakfast.”

    Her eyes lightened at the word related to some delicious food and, slowly and calmly, she started to shift away from the little cuddling, reaching one of the ends of the bed to get out of it. I followed her pattern on the opposite side and, without missing a beat, turned to walk towards the only door of the bedroom.

    There was some feeble light coming from the windows of the hallway that led to the living room and Kunou softly tip-toed forward as I slowly followed her to the kitchen area.

    The kitchen was quite big but easy to understand where everything was and I guess that is what is the most important for that room in particular. As we entered the zone, we were greeted by Baraqiel.

    The Fallen Angel was sitting on one of the few stools, drinking from a particularly large mug of coffee while reading some newspapers from Kuoh Local.

    He glanced from the paper and greeted starting with a small nod. “Good morning, Hoitsu-kun, Kunou-chan.”

    The girl nodded quickly, smiling his way as she hopped on another stool, while I moved towards the cooking area to begin to fix something for breakfast. Twenty minutes of careful tinkering around resulted in two steamy cups of chocolate milk and three cookies for each of us.

    The blonde blinked at the content of her little mug but her nose picked up quickly its sweet scent. Eyes going wide open, Kunou didn’t waste any time in dipping one of the cookie in the liquid and then bring it to her lips.

    Her slow munching turned swift almost instantly and the cookies were decimated very quickly. The rest of the milk she drunk from a straw I had offered her and she gave a satisfied smile once she was done with it.

    That was so good, Niichan!” I chuckled at her energetic reaction and nodded myself as I did manage to get Ma’s recipe to utter perfection.

    Once I had cleaned up the three empty mug, Kunou and I reached for the two close bathrooms to prepare ourselves for the day.

    I was certain the girl would have ended up needing some help with some of the things within the particularly modern bathroom, thus I rapidly went through my usual cleaning routine in my usual neck-breaking record of fifteen minutes.

    By the time I was done and freshly donning my uniform, I was shocked by the sight of a giggling Kunou already out of the bathroom she had been using with her own uniform on as she twirled around to test it once more. She was smiling while doing so and her smile widened when she caught glimpse of my presence.

    Niichan, you’re ready!” I nodded at her and couldn’t help myself but smile at her bubbly excitement. I guess that is the reaction of someone as sheltered as her having the chance to see what a school looked like and befriend fellow teens her age.

    I am.” I stated with a warm voice. “I guess we could go… now, actually.”

    She nodded and started to reach for the door but stopped right in front of it and frowned at the fact I wasn’t following her quickly. Her head turned to see why I was being this slow and her eyes widened in realization and embarrassment at the fact she had almost forgotten about her school bag.

    I was holding it in my hand as I had my own bag already on my shoulders. “There.” I decided to not tease her forgetfulness and she nodded thankful at that attitude.

    Having already settled with Baraqiel the night before that the training sessions were going to happen after school, we only waved at him and bid him a good day as we ventured inside the house.

    The warm breeze of April hit us moderately, just enough to make us notice the difference between the indoor and the outdoor. The blonde glanced back with a nervous smile and I sighed as I went to take her small hand into mine. “C’mon, we also need to meet up with someone along the way.”

    She frowned at those words but slowly accepted this little situation.

    Our walk took some minutes before we reached my usual meeting area where I would find Asia and Issei as the house was set in the outskirts of Kuoh Town. Just as we stopped for me to give a look around I heard familiar footsteps approaching.

    Senpai!”

    I looked around to find where the loud call came from and I saw a familiar former nun approaching, a smile plastered on her face while Issei tried and failed to keep up with the surprisingly fast foreign girl.

    Senpai, you are back!” I nodded and as I opened my mouth to greet my kohais, I found Kunou slowly hide behind me. Frowning, I glanced her way with a confused expression and the younger girl glanced right back with a shy look.

    Kunou-chan, Asia-chan is a good friend of mine and she is as kind as your mom. Can you give her a chance?”

    I could see the former nun blushing a little at the comparison and the younger blonde blinked with some hesitation before actually stepping out of my shadow and give a short bow at the older female. “I-I am Kunou Kurama, nice to meet you, A-Asia-san.”

    The human girl nodded with a comforting smile directed at the Kitsune-in-disguise. “My name is Asia Argento and it’s nice to meet you too, Kunou-chan and… you can call me Asia-chan if you want-”

    S-Senpai.” The sudden appearance of a wild Issei Hyoudou caused the younger blonde to back away a little and, before the brunet could react upon the little girl by my side with some wrongly-worded comment, I spoke before he could. “This is Kunou-chan, Ise. She will be my ward during her stay at Kuoh Academy and you will not say anything inappropriate.”

    The stern and quick threat seemed to hit home as the now nervous-looking boy nodded sheepishly. “S-Sorry, senpai. I wasn’t expecting you to return with someone from your trip.”

    It was a surprise for me too but...” I patted Kunou’s head much to the girl’s delight. “Kunou’s mom needed someone to keep her safe and away from home. There had been some… unpleasant situations there.”

    Oh...” Asia gave a sympathetic look to the younger blonde, to which the girl reacted with a small blush appearing on her cheeks.

    N-Niichan protected me.” Kunou said with a minor stuttering, recovering from the minor embarrassment. “There were some bad people trying to kidnap me a-and Niichan tricked them.”

    Tricked them?”

    Just fooled some eighty magicians with some simple spell, nothing to be flaunting about-”

    You faced 80 what?

    I groaned at the Hyoudou’s explosive reaction to this fact. “Nothing noteworthy, I just escaped them with an astute plan and… that’s all.”

    The little kitsune glanced up at me with a questioning look and I did realize that I didn’t say anything about the ‘Kuroka’ situation. I shook my head at her and she nodded in silent acceptance of not saying anything about her.

    So Kunou-chan will be joining us at Kuoh Academy?” Issei asked, having recovered a little from the earlier shock and noticing the girl’s uniform.

    That is correct. She will join the 2nd year of the Middle School section.” After this the discussion moved to easier topic to speak about, like the souvenir gathering of the last day at Kyoto and the photos I had taken of the various shrines and temples around there that I promised to show to Asia once she had some free time from her Club.

    -----------------d-d-d-d-----------------d-d-d-d---------------d-d-d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d-d----------------

    This is quite the interesting letter you brought me, Hoitsu-san.”

    Sona’s tone was soft as she was distracted by the content of the letter Yasaka asked me to give to her to show my legitimate claim as the current guardian of Kunou while she was in Kuoh Town.

    The bespectacled, short-haired girl looked lost in her thoughts some moments during the reading, possibly because some of the details within the letter could be detailing about the ‘unique traits’ of the little blonde sitting on the chair beside mine and her identity.

    The leader of the Yokai Faction had been adamant in repeating that I was barely mentioned and the few sections about me were bare at best and lacking any possible correlation to what had transpired in Kyoto.

    While the events had happened just two days ago, the news had reached far and wide through the entire supernatural world. The attack on the Yokai was something that sparked some outrage at the attackers and formal pity to the suffering community.

    The heiress of the Sitri clan sighed as she folded the paper and gave me a confused look. “Hoitsu-san, how did you exactly encounter Yasaka-san and her daughter.”

    I blinked at the question but kept smiling. I was ready for this kind of questions and thus I had rehearsed them with Kunou before this situation.

    I actually met Kunou first at the Maruyama Park. She was playing alone while I was waiting for my boss to arrive and she asked if I could play with her-”

    Wait, you mean to tell me that Kunou-san asked you this?” Sona interrupted and then turned at the young blonde. The younger girl nodded and the president sighed. “Please, continue then.”

    As I was saying, she asked me to play with her and we ended up spending some time playing stone skipping. By the time her mom reached us for the park, she thanked me for keeping Kunou occupied and safe.”

    I beat Niichan.” The blonde added with a big smile, ignoring or maybe gloating at the brief frown I threw at her.

    She is incredibly good at stone skipping...” I admitted and the kitsune-in-disguise giggled at my words, Sona watching the scene with a neutral glance.

    But why did Yasaka-san give you guardianship over Kunou-san, did it happen at the park or-”

    Actually it happened few hours later. A little before dinner if I have to be honest.” I stated some half-truth, finding it quite the best way to deal with this predicament. “She managed to contact me and ask if I could come with haste as there was some matter of importance to discuss.”

    And you didn’t find anything suspicious about this sudden request from someone you barely knew about?”

    Her words were legitimate as generally that wasn’t a smart thing to do and certainly not something that I would normally go with in a normal situation.

    When I first met Yasaka-san I found that she was incredibly and genuinely honest with her words, especially around her daughter. The sense of worry and distraught sounded real and thus I decided to put some trust on the situation.”

    And she explained to you about the need of you taking the guardianship for Kunou-san.” The short-haired girl remarked and I nodded at it.

    She said that there were some people trying to cause some problems to them and she feared that Kunou could get targeted for it. Thus she asked me to keep her away from Kyoto until she was done with her education here.” I finished with a small smile.

    That sounds quite the responsibility.” Sona muttered looking at the folded paper. “Did it cause any problems with your parents?”

    There was a minor hesitant pause from me, then I sighed. “I… am not living with my parents anymore.”



    Could you elaborate that? I think some context should shed some light over what you just said.”

    I nodded at Sona’s request. “It’s been few months now that I’ve been contemplating over going living alone and, after accumulating enough money I managed to get a proper house in the outskirts of Kuoh Town.”

    Any… particular reason why you decided to leave?” There was some concern in her voice but I smiled once more in a reassuring way.

    Our opinions about my future were clashing. Father wanted me to follow his steps in becoming a surgeon but I wished to take a different career path, I am still deciding but I am fairly sure it will not be related to medicine.” I explained as honestly as I could. There was that aspiration that both mother and father wanted me to become and upstanding citizen like them, but I found going down the path of surgeon to… not be me.

    I can’t explain fully but I didn’t feel like that was going to be the correct vocation for me, especially with the difficult road I am walking through right now in the supernatural world.

    Then I guess you will need to change your current address and...” Sona paused just a moment. “If you need some help, I can offer some support. Don’t hesitate in asking.”

    I nodded at her kind offer. “Thank you, Sona-san. I’m always happy to know that you worry for me and the others.”

    She blushed at my words and nodded. “O-Of course. It’s my duty as president of the Student Council.” She sighed and then turned to the blonde. “I suppose you will escort Kunou-san to her classroom now, Hoitsu-san.”

    I nodded. “That is the plan, then I will be on my way for my own class.”

    Then I leave you to your duty, I think we have spared enough time on the topic and I don’t wish to have you go late for lessons.”

    I nodded again and, bidding the Sitri heiress a ‘good day’, Kunou and I started to make our way to the Middle School section of the Academy.

    Sona-san is… very cool.” The kitsune commented calmly and I nodded.

    She is very professional and serious, but also very kind and flexible when the situation requires it.”
    The blonde nodded at my elaboration and she smiled. “School seems fun.”


    I guess it could be if you can manage the lessons and the homework.” I reminded her. “But I know that you will have not many problems at it.”

    As our brief chat continued, I felt footsteps approaching from behind.

    Good morning, senp-ai.” I turned to see whom was greeting me and I saw Koneko staring questioningly at the younger girl by my side. Kunou turned to and looked quite confused at being stared with such intensity.

    Oh, Koneko-san, good morning to you too.” I turned to the little blonde. “This is Kunou-chan and she is joining Kuoh Academy today as a student in Middle School.”

    At hearing the silver-haired girl’s name, Kunou’s eyes went wide in recognition as I did tell her about the young girl that would come for some Math repetitions. So she detached herself from my hand and approached the silent Nekoshou, standing right in front of her as she gave a low bow.

    My name is Kunou Kurama. I’ve heard good things about you and I hope you could take care of me...” She looked up, golden matching with golden. “Koneko-senpai.”

    If there had been some concern and distress at the new girl at school within Koneko’s mind, it all vanished the moment that honorific sunk in her brain.

    Eyes going wide for a brief moment, my little kohai blinked in surprise at the introduction but managed a nod through her shock. “I… It’s nice to meet you too, Kunou-kohai. My full name is Koneko Toujou, I will help you around if you need.”

    They both nodded at each other and I felt like something between the two, a strong friendship, was going to bloom from that little gesture.



    Or maybe I just wanted the two of them to be good friends and I was seeing stuff.

    Anyway, Senpai can I ask you if I can pass around for some help with the next exam?”

    I blinked confused. “Sure, but I thought you had already done one quite recently-”

    Our sensei is very strict. She says that making several exams will preserve the best our current knowledge of the subject and the next exam will be by the end of this week.”

    I guess I could help and- Oh right.” I nodded in recognition. “I am currently living alone with Kunou, if you want I can pass you the new address-”

    I think I will ask Kunou-kohai.” She remarked quietly, taking hold of the blonde’s hand. “Since I will be the one helping her around.”

    Wait, what?

    Koneko-san-”

    It’s fine, Niichan.” I blinked at the smiling kitsune. “Koneko-senpai said that she will be helping me around and I don’t want to overburden you.”

    I frowned at that. “But I’m not-”

    Overruled, senpai.” Koneko interjected and started to walk with Kunou on tow. “Let’s go, kohai.”

    Staring at them disappear in one of the corners, I couldn’t help but have my jaws hang low at how things have unfolded.

    What had just happened?

    Few moments later, seeing that it was getting fairly late, I reached for my own classroom and prepared for the Art lesson of the hour.

    Just as I took my usual seat, our sensei entered the room with a happy smile, causing many of us to look quite confused at her unusually good mood.

    Today we shall have our monthly drawing contest. Please pick your partner and start to work!”

    The short declaration was initially considered by many, then a large group of people started to move around to pick their own partner and, as I was about to move myself to find my own I saw someone dropping softly their art-book on my desk.

    May I be your partner?” The feminine voice asked, causing me to look up from my own books and blink at the smiling face of Akeno Himejima.

    Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu-!!!

    -------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d--------

    AN

    Koneko accepts Kunou as her disciple, MC is outsmarted by both Chibis and Akeno has some plans for today, plans about the MC.

    Now, isn’t this the recipe for disaster? Ara, Ara intensifies…

    And now I am contemplating putting Akeno in the rooster for MC’s hearts because some have suggested it. I am quite neutral over what to do about it and thankfully the shipping arc will happen much later in the plot so…Fufufufufufufu!
     
    FeebleEcho, naarn, Wolfant and 9 others like this.
  12. Threadmarks: Confrontations
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 11: Confrontations

    I’ve gone through difficult choices to keep myself from getting this level of investigations from Rias continuing, making sure that nothing could urge those to continue even after the situation with Asia was settled.

    I was quite annoyed to find out with the direct presence of Akeno for this Art Contest that this wasn’t the case, as I did forget to take into account the fact this Rias was actually…

    Petty.

    Before the Phenex Arc, the heiress to the Gremory Clan was pretty much an entitled brat with a sweetening coat of kindness and good manners keeping people from perceiving her major flaw.

    The redhead was genuinely concerned about those around her, but the way she tried to approach people that sparked some interest to her and her lack of concrete social skills at dealing with the simple student she knew nothing about were good enough reasons to create an unhealthy way to deal with everyone around her that wasn’t her peerage or her family.

    And while I was humanizing this aspect of her mind, I wasn’t certainly going to let some spoiled girl get a freebie in stepping on me.

    What is your best quality, the one thing that you are best for this task?” I decided that to avoid getting stuck with this young woman for too long, I needed to put my head on what I had to do and avoid the rest.

    I’m fine with coloring. I hope this is not a problem for you, Hoitsu-kun-”

    Hoitsu-san, I don’t remember extending any familiarity with you, Akeno-san.”

    Her smile twitched hesitant but I had most of my attention of the white paper as I started to draw the first lines of the subject I had in mind for this contest with a soft pencil.

    For few moments there was some pleasant silence, which ended up giving me some extra time to elaborate some defense against the Yamato Nadeshiko sitting quite close to me.

    The Fallen Angel-Devil hybrid took this time to actually glance both at me as I focused on the drawing and the drawing itself since the first few hints about my subject started to appear.

    You are drawing Sensei?” The Queen of Rias’ peerage stated with barely hidden surprise.

    I remember hearing from some members of the council that she was supposed to retire during this year.

    Seeing her unusually happy expression when she entered the classroom, I think she got some good news about it.” I stated while keeping my eyes on the paper.

    You mean that she could be retiring any time now?” She said with some small surprise dripping from her tone. “I didn’t know about this and… you want this to be a goodbye gift to her?”

    I nodded, a soft humming coming from the young woman as she continued. “That is kind of you.”

    Blinking I glanced up with a frown. “And that what’s supposed to mean?”

    Only that I think this is the first unique act you have ever shown in Kuoh.” As she finished with that

    statement, I found myself snorting and let my attention slip back to the lines I was defining.

    That is quite the erroneous idea you have of me, Akeno-san.” I remarked. “I think the fact I’ve been quite renowned for ‘unique acts’ ever since the beginning of this year.”

    She blinked. “Truly?”

    I’ve been helping Issei to detach himself from his former group of idiots, I helped Kunou-chan around the school and I also gave Asia the opportunity to be part of the Club she best fit for.”

    She flinched at the last example, just as I had expected, but she managed a frown.

    Rias only wanted to befriend Asia-chan-”

    -But she ended up getting her pushed away.”

    A minor scowl appeared on Akeno’s face. “Buchou has a good heart-”

    -But poor social capabilities when dealing with fellow students and peers her age.” I interrupted once more, this time deciding to explain a little more. “It’s fairly clear that, while not done consciously from her part, her attitude towards ‘interesting people’ is somewhat childish. She has this idea that getting them on your club would mean instant friendship, without needing to expand further on that.”

    The female hybrid looked ready to protest, but I wasn’t finished. “I understand that she had lived a sheltered life and that you were already there before you both started studying at Kuoh, but I think it’s right to say this ‘unpleasant’ truth.”

    I put down my pencil, dragging the eraser some of the mistakes I’ve left behind, then spoke again. “She isn’t perfect in that part and she needs someone to guide her through that part she is so hesitant about.”

    Akeno’s protests died before they could be voiced, her violet eyes widening a little at that depiction of the Gremory. “W-What are you talking about?” She tried to appear clueless, but the stutter ruined her attempt.

    I sighed. “You mean how is it possible that someone that much could be understood from not talking to someone?” I glanced once more at her. “Why of course, your leader does flinch a lot when her confident move is turned useless by a simple tactic.”

    She frowned at that explanation. “It could be just surprise-”

    Surprise doesn’t generally get people that much tense.” I sighed, dropping my pencil once more and starting to contemplate which pen to use to retrace the lines of the drawing. “Her flinches are tense. She tends to get on a very defensive stance when her determination is forced to a halt.”

    The Himejima blinked at that. “Buchou could be a little bit hesitant once in a while, that doesn’t certainly mean she is that much inexperienced with people.”

    Then I will wait and see if my theory or yours are valid with future events.” I conceded tiredly, I was starting to get annoyed about the whole chit-chatting as I was paying little attention to the drawing now.

    Of all days, Rias had to annoy me while I was doing such important task?

    By the way, why did your boss send you here?” I asked calmly, ignoring the confused frown from the girl. “Is she perhaps interested in Kunou-chan, now?”

    There was a brief moment of silence, then Akeno smiled. “Actually, Hoitsu-san, I decided to see what kind of person you were on my own.”

    ...What?

    What the actual heck?!

    Uh?” was what ended up leaving my mouth and the girl giggled.

    I guess it’s kind of surprising as you had this little big theory of yours about Rias-buchou.” Her smug look was annoying to even know it was there, even through I was still staring at the paper.

    A little bit but...” I softly dropped the pen and held one of my hands right up to cup my own cheek, then closed my eyes in a satisfied expression and relayed the true counter to this girl in particular.

    It was a counter I had only thought possible but never tested its practicality, knowing that there was a minor chance of ending up with some unpleasant situations in the near future… but-

    Ara, Ara, is Akeno-san interested in me in a perverted way? I can only wonder what kind of things she would do to me then~”

    I blinked my eyes open to gauge her reaction and I was rewarded with a full-face blush from Akeno, her eyes wide open as her jaw had dropped low. She seemed frozen in time, stuck in that expression and I decided to move before she could react more about it.

    I slid the finished drawing right at the girl, her violet eyes finally darted away, looking down as she noticed the work in front of her and she blinked.

    It’s your turn, Akeno-san.” The girl didn’t answer at my input, returning to stare up at me and… it was intense. She continued to stare for two full minutes, something that left me quite nervous for some reason and I expected her to launch a full-fledged lewd assault at that and…

    I was confused when said thing didn’t happen, the Himejima silently starting to pick the various colored pencils and markers to begin her own work.

    There was no further interaction from that, which caused me to frown warily at the suddenly quiet girl. While she was particularly reserved sometimes, it looked odd to see her go this much unresponsive after we just ended up that talk.

    Did that comeback seriously cause her to back away from… everything she could have asked after that?
    The comeback itself was actually a joking remark, nothing more and nothing less, yet the effects that it caused on Akeno looked… quite impressive.


    What has just happened to the girl currently busy with the coloring phase?

    The mystery remained unknown for the rest of the contest and even after as, just brief instants after giving the final result, which was quite well-done in my opinion for both sides, the Himejima retreated with a polite nod back to her desk and decided to not turn around to stare back where I was.

    Rias looked confused too, seeing her Queen getting this quite and reserved without an apparent reason and she did glance back where I was sitting, trying to understand what was going on with Akeno.

    Of course I avoided her eyes as I knew that the possible reason the usually teasing girl was in that state was the very playful remark I did starting with that ‘Ara, Ara’.

    To think that the magnitude of that statement could bring to the girl was of this level…

    I don’t know if I should be impressed or scared for any future retaliation now…

    ---------------d-d-dd------------------d-d-d----------------d-d-d-d---------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----

    Kunou looked positively elated at her first day at Kuoh Academy.

    As we meet up by the school’s entrance, the kitsune was quick to barrage me with details from her first day, from the interesting lessons she had to take notes of to the classmates that were kind enough to help her around.

    Koneko would pass by during the pauses between lessons to ask if she required any help, to which the blonde kindly said no. The only issue that she had with her day was the fact she was supposed to stay sitting for full hours and couldn’t move around when she wanted too.

    It was felt ‘odd’, but the girl managed to bear through the day until the end of the lessons.

    She was latched her hands onto my arm as we started to make our way back home, my other hand busied with my phone as I quickly contacted Baraqiel to inform him of the situation with Koneko.

    The man agreed that bringing the attention of the Gremory peerage upon us this early on would be a dangerous thing to do, him in particular since he wasn’t still sure how to deal with his daughter and, without fussing too much about it, he accepted to go and visit some pubs while I was busy with the silver-haired Nekoshou.

    Once we were back home, I started to prepare quickly some lunch while Kunou rushed to her room to change back to her home’s clothes and drop her school bag by her bed. She went to the bathroom to clean her hand and wash her face from any trace of sweat, while I decided to clean my own hands in the kitchen area.

    I decided that today was a good day for some omelets and started to bring out several eggs out of the fridge and, as I did so, I also noticed the bag of potatoes hiding by the far corner of the machine and picked some of those too.

    And while in the frying pan the content for the omelet started to cook, on a medium-sized pot I had water start to boil as I peeled the ten potatoes I had picked to prepare the dish I had in mind.

    Thirty minutes later, I had the steamy omelets put in plates, ending up making one more than planned, while the potatoes were almost boiled to an acceptable level.

    Kunou was sitting by the table and waiting patiently, her mouth watering at her plate with the delicious-looking omelet, but confused at the lacking quantity. Her golden eyes turned back to the kitchen room which I had ventured once more and she saw me returning with a large plate with several boiled potatoes.

    She frowned in confusion, her eyes following my actions as I dropped five of the potatoes on the free space of her plate and her nose sniffed at its scent.

    Eyes widening, she grasped her fork and carefully picked the interesting food and took a bit from it.

    She munched slowly, testing the texture and the taste and, few moments later a smiling kitsune had finished her first boiled potato.

    I sat down and took a bite from the omelet and nodded happily at the result of my hard-work.

    Just as the lunch commenced, our little moment of peace was abruptly interrupted by the door-bell ringing only once.

    I stopped and blinked while looking towards the main entrance door. Did Koneko come earlier than expected?

    Walking towards the door, I peeked from the door-hole and nodded at the sight of familiar white-hair. I opened the door and was graced with my kohai with her school bag on her back.

    Senpai, did I come too early or-”

    No, no. You may enter, you are not disturbing.” She blinked at my interruption but nodded as she stepped inside and glanced around the new house. Surprised and awed, the Nekoshou wandered a little before setting her attention to the living room and noticing Kunou looking back at her with a smile.

    Ku-kohai.” The oldest of the two girl greeted with a small smile.

    Ko-senpai.” The little blonde returned with a bigger smile.

    The silver-haired girl rushed to the table and paused only to glance at the plates there, mouth opening to ask something but her stomach-

    Growl

    Beat her to it.

    A little blush spread in her cheeks and she sighed. “I might have forgotten to eat something for lunch, senpai.”

    Kunou smiled and nodded. “Well, Niichan did make a third omelet, Ko-senpai. You could have it!”

    I don’t wish to impose-”

    You are not imposing...” I patted her head from behind. “Koneko-chan.”

    The girl blinked in surprise and then huffed at being patted so suddenly, causing the blonde still in her seat to giggle at the scene.

    Moments later Koneko was sitting with us by the table and enjoying her own share of omelet and potatoes, smiling as she consumed the delicious dishes. The entire lunch was a brief affair and while I was cleaning the empty plates back in the kitchen, both girls started to discuss with each other.

    Their words were muffled by the fact I was far away from the scene, but I could still see from time to time the two sharing some friendly bantering.

    Once I was done with this chore and returned to the living room, I found myself staring at quite the situation.
    Koneko had her eyes closed as Kunou continued to hug her. The little kitsune was humming happily in the embrace and I could see a small smile in my kohai’s face as this WMD of cute continued to manifest before my eyes.


    I stared for few moments, until golden eyes finally opened with a pleased expression and froze at my sight. Koneko stiffened a little in the embrace and the blonde turned to see what caused her senpai sudden freezing up.

    Niichan.”

    I blinked back to reality. “I-I finished cleaning the dishes.” The girl nodded finally ending the embrace.

    “Koneko-chan, if you want you could stay a little more after we finish our study session.”

    The Nekoshou seemed to genuinely contemplate the possibility but much to Kunou’s and my dismay, the girl shook her head at the idea.

    I would like to, but I have things to do back home. Thank you for offering, senpai.”

    At those words, the blonde quickly went for her room with the intention of quickly do her homework and then join us for the study session.

    Differently from the first time, Koneko had bought a calculator and was being incredibly careful with the way she was completing the various sets of math queries I’ve written down for her to complete.

    It was a particularly quiet session, the girl having little to no trouble in grasping the logic behind some of the exercises.

    An hour later Kunou managed to join us and started to ask about some of the formulas her senpai was using and, much to my glee, Koneko was keen to answer every single question from the fellow Yokai.

    The session lasted for about two more hours and I was happy with the results the girl managed to get from this first repetition. Before she went back home, the girl and I ended up establishing the hours where she could come for the sessions and I was quick to add that she could join us for lunch if she wished for.

    She obviously didn’t answer to that, but I could see in her eyes that she would give it a serious thought once she was back home.

    ---------------d-d-d-d---------------d-d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d------------------

    I waited some time after Koneko had left the house to call Baraqiel. The man returned half-an-hour later and he seemed sober from his trip to the pub, a good thing since I wanted to focus on some training now.

    We moved upstairs where the house had built-in a special dojo filled with various seals and long-term spells that absorbed damage and restored any physical alteration to the room.

    There was a small table by the far corner of the room, 10 small bottles of Tears of Phoenix sitting there in line and prompting me to frown at it.

    Why are there so few of those?” I turned at the Fallen Angels, some electricity crackling in his arms and causing me to tense up a little.

    He smiled. “Azazel told me that you are lacking in terms of offensive spells and attacks, we will focus on that first and...”

    Before he could finish this sentence, thunder sparked out of his palms and launched towards me. My eyes widened in surprise at the unexpected attack and I quickly erected five Light Barriers in front of me.

    My jaws dropped the moment I saw the lightning passing through the white walls without any sign of alteration or slowing down.

    It finally crashed on my arm, that I have lifted as to take the brunt of the attack within my limb rather take the hit on my head or chest. The resulting pain stunned me a little, my eyes closed instinctively and, as I prepared to take on the searing sensation to the fullest, I felt it vanish in a wave of heat.

    Gone was the painful effects of the attack, yet I could still see the electricity dancing all over my arm… with a striking difference. It was no longer glowing blue as it had left Baraqiel’s hands, it was a pristine white lightning playing around my limb and I could feel its power coursing around my Magical Core.

    I blinked again as the electricity finally dissipated, leaving behind only its energy. Turning back to the Fallen Angel, the man nodded at me and sighed.

    That, Hoitsu-kun, is a suspect of mine proving to be correct.” He started to explain. “You have an affinity to Thunder and a minor one to Light.”

    … “Wait, isn’t that kind of exclusive to-”

    While the Holy Lightning bloodline helps to harmoniously create powerful Thunder-based elemental casts, people can still try and develop similar powers but they tend to spend more time to achieve what my family is capable of gaining in mere months of training.”

    So I could technically gain some powerful techniques from training with this-”

    At the expenses of spending quite the large amount of time to develop.” Baraqiel reminded, electricity crackling again around him. “I will show you some techniques and I wish that you use those immediately during the spars we will have.”

    I nodded and carefully prepared to see this unfold.

    The first spell was what I could assume as Electricity Bolts, rapid-firing low-damage attacks that were meant to be common at this stage.

    The second one looked like a transparent wall with some blue corners, it seemed sturdier than the light barriers and thicker in size.

    Finally the third technique was a… whip? I saw Baraqiel playing around with it, seemingly distracted by something and then he suddenly stopped, his cheeks turning red and-

    Oh no, I am NOT dealing with that kind of stuff!

    S-Sensei.” He twitched and seemed to break away from his reverie, noticing that he had been still for a while.

    Sorry, Hoitsu-kun.” He apologized while staring at the palm previously holding the electric whip. “Just being reminded of… my late wife.”

    I don’t need this.

    She was so sweet and understanding.” A good sadist and dominatrix too.

    I could even go so far to say that she completed me.” I mean, Akeno did get both the sadistic and the masochistic traits from both of her degenerate parents.

    By the way, sensei, can I ask you something… hypothetical before we begin?”

    The man paused and nodded. “Does it have to do with my daughter?”

    A chill went down my spine as I wanted to avoid mentioning what had happened today but I still wanted some answers about it.

    Actually it has to do with your relationship with your wife, sensei. Nothing overly personal or-”

    Please do ask, I will answer the best I can about my Mist-I mean, my Shuri.”

    That was quite the close call there…

    Did your wife make use frequently of the term ‘Ara, Ara’?”

    The answer was an instant nod. “It was something of a unique thing for her… I remember my little Akeno copying her about that and… does she still do that?”

    She says that quite frequently. I thought it was something that was associated with the ‘Onee-sama’ reputation she built around herself.”

    Oh, that explains a lot, but I think you should directly ask your question, Hoitsu-kun.”

    I gulped nervously at the little push from the Fallen Angel and… I decided to formulate a smart question. “Have you ever replied to your wife with a sentence starting with the ‘Ara, Ara’ term?”

    He went still for a moment, then a dumb smile appeared on his face and he nodded.

    I do reckon that it was how we ended up dating together. It was while she was nursing me back from a terrible injury I had received while fighting a Stray Devil and, seeing how she repeated that every time she spoke teasingly I decided to reply in kind.”

    And?” I tried to push as Baraqiel stopped and started to blush again.

    A-And we ended up discovering more about each other.”

    ...Oh no.

    Did you or your wife tell about this story to your daughter-”

    Of course! Which parent wouldn’t tell their children about how their love bloomed.” Then he looked hesitant. “Although my dear wife did end up going through some… details I think could have been avoided but, Akeno-chan has to be a fine and upstanding student.”

    How wrong you are, Baraqiel-sensei…

    Anyway, let us not diverge with the past’s sentimentalism any longer, let’s see if you got a gist of what you are supposed to do with this new knowledge. Let’s go!”

    And with that the first of many spars began!

    But as the brawl started, at the entrance of the dojo where Hoitsu’s bag was lying, the phone contained within it started to vibrate, notifying the arrival of a new message.

    Title: Invitation for Tea Time at the Occult Research Club.

    ----------------d-d-d-d----------------d-d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-------

    AN

    So it seems that some misunderstanding is happening. I wonder how this will unfold…

    In two chapters from now another minor time-skip and the beginning of the second mission. This one sadly lacking a female chibi. (keep an eye over every word of this sentence as there is a clue there).

    Also trying to deal with the fact the Call of Duty Zombie timeline is now officially over in quite the ‘meh’ ending. It does solve some questions, but the overall emotion about it is bitterness. Something felt like it’s missing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
    FeebleEcho, naarn, Wolfant and 11 others like this.
  13. Threadmarks: Unexpected Role
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 13: Unexpected Role

    Things were going quite well for me and those around.

    Having Koneko and Akeno come for lunch and join in the study session together had turned into a normal occurrence much to Baraqiel’s chagrin and the ‘strange’ situations that the Himejima would cause once in a while would continue to persist.

    Even through there was a sharp difference from the lewd tone she took early in her ‘chase’, some particular events would still continue to happen.

    Hands touching during lunch, she would press her chest to ‘look over my shoulder’ or she would even go and try to get her shirts wet while using the sink of the kitchen. The girl ended up mastering the bursts of water, making it a precise hit on her shirt only.

    It was the teasing that was left unchanged. The perverted ‘Oneesama’ was incredibly keen to point out some of the more ‘interesting’ details about a situation about herself or, in some cases, about me.

    Nothing was committed explicitly in front of the two younger girls, yet I was quite sure that my little kohai already knew that something was going on between the Queen of the peerage she was part of and her poor senpai.

    Speaking of the sweets-loving girl, I was happy to learn that she was quite confident about the future results of her Math test. The silver-haired Reincarnated Devil did show some rare smiles much to Kunou’s growing interest to see more of her senpai.

    It was an adorable relationship both Kitsune and Nekoshou were developing, very close to a sisterly bond which Koneko was quite elated to have as she was somehow happy to be the ‘older sibling’ to the young blonde.

    Training proceeded smoothly, with Baraqiel being a little more ‘aggressive’ in his approach after learning about Akeno’s frequent visiting and how she was ‘interested’ to me. I didn’t blame him for being incredibly protective, but I did blame him for making training a true walk through hell with his more violent attitude towards me.

    It was around Friday that the Fallen Angel announced some news for the following day.

    After finishing the last sparring session of the day, the man showed me a particularly long report, urging me to read it.

    And I did and… I was a little surprised at what was supposed my official first mission for Grigori.

    I blinked and then frowned at the details, turning for answers to Baraqiel. “Only one day and… where is this place?”

    The address was strange, written in a language I was quite unfamiliar with and the man smiled.

    It’s going to be a mere escort mission as some talks happens in the meantime and you don’t have to worry about the location.” The Fallen Angel stated with a smile. “You will be helped around by your partner during the mission, he is quite acknowledged about Hell language.”

    … “Partner?” I found myself questioning. “You are not going to come too?”

    I will be going for said diplomatic talks once this training session is over.” He answered while giving a lone nod. “My presence for this event is important and your presence will give some trust to the other side.”

    Are there going to be the Four Maou?” The Fallen Angel quickly nodded at my question. “So… this has to be a big thing and- do I know whom is going to be my partner?”

    He merely smiled, then he spoke three words and I groaned.

    You know him.”

    Which means that, since I knew just four people from Grigori and only one fit the bill, I was going to deal with Vali once again and while he had yet to go rogue, he was still going to be a pain to deal with.

    Can I have some more info? Like who is the contractor or-”

    All will be explained in good time, Hoitsu-kun.” Baraqiel sighed as he started to move towards his room. “Just behave and avoid making a bad impression.”

    With those ominous words the Fallen Angels left the training room, leaving me to contemplate the situation from a very limited standpoint.

    Whatever was going on between Grigori and Hell, it has to have to do with Khaos Brigade… or at least what was currently part of KB.

    Qlippoth and Old Satan factions have already joined at this time of the story, same for the Nilrem faction as I had the pleasure to encounter a group of them and-

    I wonder if I should contact Mephisto Pheles and inform him about the current situation of the magicians, maybe get his support early on for the eventual anti-KR coalition and avoid some major issues.

    I should do that but right now I couldn’t because of the lack of info about the Grauzauberer. It wasn’t common knowledge in the lore where exactly it was sited, nor how it truly worked.

    Maybe they would even hunt me down if they discovered me as I was a Magician, that was a thing now, but I was quite unaware what kind of ideological line they would have towards ‘newcomers’, a purist or a reformist one.

    My little silent thinking earned me a minor headache as I slowly ended up theorizing where exactly Vali and I were supposed to be sent to.

    Hell was smaller than the entire world, but it did have several interesting places. Places that were either ‘safe’ or incredibly dangerous to be spending time within.

    Hopefully I wasn’t going to deal with any dangerous situation anytime soon and hopefully the Khaos Brigade wasn’t going to cause any problem during the talks, just like it had happened in Canon.

    I entered my bedroom and blinked at the sight of a nine fluffy tails of golden waggling slowly as Kunou lied on the bed, eyes open and directed at the door while giving a patient look.

    The Kitsune was wearing her Pjs and I was glad that there was nothing ecchi in the way she was positioned, no unnecessary skin showing and she looked mostly adorable like that. Like a puppy starving for affection.

    I snorted, a small smile playing in my features. “I think you are getting quite spoiled, aren’t you?”

    She pouted briefly, but didn’t shy away as I slowly slipped inside the covers and waited for her to start to move.

    The blonde sighed in relief as her head nuzzled on my chest. I patted near her fox ears and she hummed pleased by the calm but careful ministrations.

    With her eyelids half-closed, I decided to break the news to her now as things will get quite annoying in the morning.

    Tomorrow I will be out of Kuoh for my work.” Her sight was quickly locking on my face. “It will be just for Saturday, by Sunday’s early morning I will be back.”

    She blinked, a little tense but not too much and she asked. “Just Saturday?”

    Yes, just tomorrow. I will call Asia and Issei early in the morning to see if they can come and keep you company, okay?”

    Golden eyes glowed warmly at mentioning the fellow blonde and the funny brunet. “What about senpai… or Neechan?”

    I don’t have their number, but if they pass and wants to spend some time I don’t see any issue with that.”

    She smiled and nodded, further snuggling close to the warmth. “Niichan?”

    I hummed in response, half-asleep already and she giggled.

    I… love you.”

    I sighed and pulled her head closer, kissing her forehead and smiling. “Love you too, Imouto.”

    ------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d----

    It was quite early in the morning, I had set my travel bag on the table as I let Asia and Issei in, nodding at them. “Once more thank you to be there-”

    Nonsense, senpai. Issei and I will be more than happy to take care of Kunou and the house for today and...” The girl looked around, a little awed at the size of the place. “T-This house is really big.”

    The brunet nodded in agreement and then turned back to me with star-glittered eyes. “This is what will happen if I continue working part-time?”

    I shrugged. “If you keep up for a long time, you will be able to buy what you want, even a house.”

    He nodded, happy with the answer as I turned to Kunou. “Remember to listen to Asia-chan and Ise if they say that there is something dangerous going on, okay?”

    She nodded quickly. “I will be fine with Ise-nii and Asia-nee.”

    I patted her head. “Good and..” I blinked towards the two distracted teens, a little devious plan forming inside my mind. “Do try to bring them together. Just some suggestions, nothing too much complex.”

    The girl blinked and glanced towards her temporary caretakers and nodded slowly, a little mischievous smile appearing in her face. “I will try.

    I patted her head again and picked my bag. “I will see you all tomorrow then.” I held my free hand up to wave as I walked out of the door and I was greeted by the three waving back.

    Closing the door behind me I started to make my way to the precise alley Baraqiel had told me to present myself to and much to my silent surprise the walk was surprisingly a short one.

    I paused a moment before venturing towards what seemed to be a dead end, putting on my disguise as Hekishoku on. Feeling ready to go after putting the changed clothes inside my bag, I started to walk towards the frontal door and… waited for something to happen.

    Looking around I found nothing in particular that could fit with anything magical or- Wait.

    I pressed my open palm on the wall and… it was warm. Pushing some energy onto the construct, a glowing seal appeared and a beam shoot from it and hit my full body, coating me in light as… I felt shifting.

    I lost my footing and tripped almost immediately in a rugged floor.

    Groaning, I got up and the first thing I noticed was that I was now in a train?

    There were some workers walking around, some guards and some normal people wandering through the various aisles of the moving thing. I blinked and turned to look if I could see someone familiar and… I did.

    Standing right by the aisle directly in front of this… ‘Shifting’ section of the train, a caped figure was standing alone, giving me his back and… I decided to test Vali’s perception of things.

    So I slowly made my way towards him, my feet coated in shadows and silencing the sounds from those and managed to poke at his shoulder to get his attention.

    His head snapped my way, I could feel some initial anger, then surprise and realization and finally scowl. “So you are here too.”

    His dry tone only made me smile more. “Aw, and I thought you would have missed me.”

    He crossed his arms and looked away. “Why are you here?”

    I am your partner for this mission.” He glanced back and I nodded. “By the way, do you know where we are going? Baraqiel-sensei decided to say nothing about it and-”

    Gremory’s territory.” My eyes widened at the sudden answer. “We are supposedly going to guard the young spawn of Sirzechs and his maid.”

    That… sounded quite strange. Why would they need us when- This doesn’t make any sense.

    And I am fairly sure that something else is going on.” The host of Albion continued to speak. “Yet Azazel was very secretive about it all.”

    I frowned. “Well, I know that Baraqiel was supposed to be present for some diplomatic talk.”

    Vali froze for few moments, then he turned around fully attentive at my words. “What?

    He didn’t tell you, didn’t he?” He didn’t reply but from his previous reactions I knew it was the case.

    He should have told me!” He rebuked loudly and I sighed. “What? Do you think this is funny?”

    Quite the opposite, I think the situation is far more complicated than you think.”

    … “Explain!”

    Another sigh. “I know that… there is some internal rebellion brewing within Grigori and the passage of sensitive info is quite difficult.”

    You mean that he doesn’t trust me?” He asked shocked and I facepalmed.

    I am saying that people are preparing to support some bastards and that you, Sougyoku-san, are being monitored by some of those.”

    He tensed up and started to look around. “Not now. Not during a mission. That is why Baraqiel didn’t say anything about keeping quiet about what was going on.”

    But shouldn’t Azazel know where the traitors are?”

    If the big boss pull some shady act, people part of this rebellion will know and plan something earlier than established. Grigori isn’t ready for a civil war, not yet at least.”

    His shoulders relaxed a little. “That sounds… smart.” Vali admitted, turning his masked face to the rest of the people enjoying the ride. “Still it doesn’t explain why we are here.”

    Indeed.” I agreed, nodding even. “And sadly, I am completely unaware of the reasoning behind our presence today.”

    Just as we continued with our discussion, the blue-masked youth noticed the digital sign blinking and sighed. “We have arrived, get by the door on the right side.”

    I frowned but complied, noticing a large button to open said door and, as it slid open, I stared at… the massive territory owned by Rias’ family.

    Yet there was a small but considerable issue now that I thought about it and said issue was… the fact we were flying. The whole train was flying. “How am I supposed to-”

    Thud

    “W-WHAAAAAAAAAAAA-”

    One moment I was grasping at the sides of the new opening, then I found myself free-falling as the host of the Divine Dividing Sacred Gear decided to sparta-kick me out of the train.

    Of the many things I’ve trained, of the several spells I’ve learned about with both Azazel and Baraqiel, none prepared me to deal with this particular situation.

    I slowly started to turn over and over, my breakfast starting to beg some evacuation but I managed to hold over. Squinting my eyes, I saw Vali following my falling with two Dragon-like wings on his back.

    Help me!

    He slowed down a little, I could perceive the smug at the fact he was going to pull me out last minute.

    HELP ME, YOU FUCKING BASTARD!

    Finally the young Lucifer snorted amusingly and quickened his flight, catching me before I could turn in a human omelet and started to get us towards the large gates that led to the central mansion sited within the territories.

    We landed and I spent few moments breathing in and out to normalize my poor lungs, ignoring the chuckles coming from the Dragon-kin and the arrival of various members of servitude, an army of maids and butlers went in two lines, one for each sides, and bowed slightly as the gates opened.

    Uh, quite the welcoming party.” My comment was met with a nod by the fellow member of Grigori and we slowly started to make our way inside the large courtyard that led to the massive mansion in front of us.

    Once we stepped inside the large house, we found ourselves staring at a particularly old butler.

    Welcome to the Gremory’s Household. I am Horace and I shall be your guide to the room where the young Master and Lord and Lady Gremory are currently in.” He bowed a little and I nodded appreciatively.

    Vali ignored him, but the elder seemed to not mind the young man’s attitude and proceeded to lead us through part of the large mansion, some of the windows showing some inner courtyard and the overall aesthetics were… impressive.

    It was actually my first time entering the house of someone very, very rich and so I took my time in looking around the rooms we were passing by.

    Finally we reached a humongous living room with two long dining tables, two big fireplaces and several couches of various dimensions.

    Right by one of the fireplaces a small red-haired child was playing with what seemed to be a box of… Lego?

    Now that I looked closely, it was a different company but… the toy was similar. I tried to discern the constructions completed but, before I could focus on that properly, I saw the boy stopping and looking to stare who had just entered the room.

    He then got up from the carpet he was previously sitting on and slowly approach us.

    Short red hairs, his eyes a shade a little lighter than his locks, the young child of Sirzechs and Grayfia smiled in a friendly way.

    Nice to meet you, I am Millicas Gremory. Could I ask about your names?” And polite too, just like in the show.

    I crouched a little and smiled through my mask. “My name is Hekishoku and it’s nice to meet you too, Millicas.”

    If I remember correctly, the boy appreciated being addressed in an ‘equal’ way and I nailed my response by his smile widening at the way I addressed him.

    The old butler coughed. “I think you should address the young Master in a more formal manners, Hekishoku-san.”

    I blinked and turned to stare at the old servant and returned to stare curiously at the boy, a little deflated at the words of the butler.

    So, I saw you were playing with those blocks. Can you tell me what you were building, Millicas-kun?”

    His eyes widened and he nodded as he took the hand I offered to him and led me back to the fireplace much to the old man’s dismay.

    Kids need to be kids and… it’s been a while since I played with some lego-like blocks.

    And then I saw them sitting in two close couches.

    Venelana Gremory, née Bael, was a beautiful woman. There weren’t enough adjectives in the English vocabulary to describe the attractive figure the lady had and I was forced to look away almost immediately to avoid blushing madly at the sight.

    Zeoticus Gremory looked like a professional businessman with a kind edge on his expression, probably because of the fact he was in the proximity of his grandson.

    The two current leaders of the Gremory family looked happy and… fine. They were there babysitting their grandchild and… they were still strong enough to protect him.

    ...Why were we there then?

    I gave a quick bow to both respectable members of Devils’ society and they returned the gesture with a nod.

    It was right in that moment that the dots connected and… I knew what was going on.

    There were diplomatic talks happening right now and… Vali and I were ‘guests’ to the mansion owned by the parents of one of the Satans. We were supposed to stay there until the talks were concluded thus…

    We weren’t guarding anyone today.

    Today, much to my dreadful realization, I recognized that this was a classic hostage situation, one that served to build-up the trust between Fallen Angels and Devils.

    I blinked and started to quietly listen Millicas as he described his buildings, my mind focusing on a small detail about this all.

    While I could accept the situation as it was a necessity, what would Vali’s reaction be at the idea that Azazel had knowingly used him as an expendable piece in the big chessboard?

    I could only hope that, during our stay, he wouldn’t understand what was going on just like I did and maybe, just maybe, this mission will end up being a breeze…

    -----d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d------------d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d--------d-d-d-d------

    AN

    Millicas, Zeoticus and Venelana will be expanded upon next chapter. I decided to make this little mission three parts long for good reasons and…

    Yeah, shit will hit the fan once more…

    Lastly, I found Kunou with her uniform!

    Future milestone: 696 Followers and Favorites.
     
    ArKFallen, FeebleEcho, naarn and 14 others like this.
  14. Threadmarks: Clashing Forces
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 14: Clashing Forces

    I hummed quietly as I started to play around with the blocks Millicas was offering.

    Currently the general plan was to create a massive 250 blocks high tower, make some courtyard all around it and then go for a small hospital.

    Hmph.” I blinked on the side, seeing Vali as the teen continued brooding in one of the couches, relatively away from the two leaders of the Gremory but decided to keep to an acceptable distance to where I was.

    A power-play? Again?

    I guess that this was more of him picking the ‘lesser evil’ inside the room and just deciding to keep close in case of any strange situation happened.

    It was a pretty awkward disposition, but from the lack of annoyed reactions from both grandparents I just decided to roll with it.

    The small red-haired boy blinked, eyes focused on the foundations of the tower and the developing inner-works.

    Yes, I was literally spending time and effort in getting the insides of an imaginary tower to appear as ‘realistic’ as possible. I wasn’t a Lego madman, but this time I was actually enjoying the eager interest of the young Gremory while leading the operations.

    It was around twenty minutes in the work that Millicas decided to start some questioning.

    Hekishoku-san?” Red-eyes glanced my direction briefly to see if I caught his call and he returned back to the building once he saw me nodding. “I know this might sound improper but… you are not a Devil, aren’t you?”

    I paused just a single moment, blinking and then nodding once more. “That would be correct, Millicas.”

    I could see the child getting intrigued by this very small details. “But you also are not a Fallen Angel?”

    Nodding again, I decided to give some more details. “That is correct too. I am a Magician.”

    Red eyes frowned at that answer and the boy stopped once more. “A Magician?”

    A Magician is someone that is specialized in the use of Spell-craft. There are Devils and Fallen Angels that deem themselves as such, but the backbone is made by humans with high magical attitude.”

    The child looked in awe at this discovery. “So they could work well with a Bishop piece?”

    ...Oh right, Millicas did state in Canon that he was already planning how to compose his future peerage this early.

    I gave him an uncertain nod as I wasn’t that much keen in studying how really the Rating System worked. I was so much focused with how things worked that I generally ignored what kind of rules it make use of.

    Even through Canon explained it well, I generally skipped those parts because… I wasn’t that much interested in something related to Chess.

    I didn’t despise the game, it was more of a dislike caused by the fact I failed to memorize how the pieces moved on the board and by the fact people seemed to have some obsession with it and compare it to real life.

    I… think so, yes.” I answered. “If I remember correctly Bishops are those who have large magical reserves-”

    And are mostly revered as support units in a Rating Game.” The boy nodded in agreement and I smiled at him.

    You are quite interested in Rating Games?” Another nod, this time some child-like glee present as he looked like a boy talking about his favorite sport team.

    Yes. I wish to get a powerful but balanced peerage.” He blinked as I started to pat his head unconsciously, but then he nodded at the gesture.

    I bet you are going to win some of the tournaments if you keep this determination up.” I commented quietly. “But do remember to be careful about every matches.”

    I will.” He proclaimed quickly, blushing a little at the sudden outburst. “I-I mean-”

    No, that’s alright. That is the determination I am talking about.” I interrupted, still patting his head. “That is what will lead you to some victories in the future.”

    He blinked once, then twice. Finally his smile returned and he nodded again. “Thank you for your kind words, Hekishoku.”

    You are welcome, Millicas.”

    We shared a chuckle as we returned back to the construction block but I managed to catch a glimpse of Rias’ parents glancing at the scene with a pleased look.

    Vali merely glanced at what had just happened, possibly thinking little of it and surely going to forget it few minutes later.

    It has to be quite difficult for a human to keep up with the standards of Grigori.” Zeoticus finally asked after so many minutes of quiet watching. “Azazel must consider you highly to have you partnered with such...”

    He glanced at Vali, the host of the Vanishing Dragon ignoring such action.

    Peculiar individual.”

    I nodded, understanding the curiosity. “I was found by Azazel-sama.” I explained. “And he trained me for the first three days after I joined Grigori.”

    You have to have left quite the impression to get Azazel-san’s interest.” Venelana pointed out. “The man might be eccentric, but he would be this earnest only with those that manages to catch his attention.”

    I did ‘win’ against a rogue Fallen Angel back where I live and he was impressed by my ‘potential’.”

    The woman giggled regally. “That man, he can be quite the mysterious leader once in a while.”

    Indeed dear, but I find it interesting that he decided to send Sougyoku-san too for the occasion.”

    … “E-Excuse me but, what?”

    The Lord Gremory blinked curiously at my confused reaction but continued to explain.

    After hearing what happened in Kyoto, I asked to Azazel if I could engage the ever-mentioned by Yokai faction, Hekishoku-san, to babysit my young grandson.” He paused a moment, then sighed. “He stated that he would accept the request only if I had Sougyoku-san to join you for the task.”

    I blinked, my confusion hardly vanishing with those words as my brain had to deal with the conflicting ideas of ‘being a hostage for the diplomatic talks’ to ‘merely be a babysitter because I caught the interest of a nobleman’.

    Paint me as clueless as Vali was right now. He looked annoyed, very confused and incredibly pissed at the idea Azazel decided to attach him to a mission that I was supposed to be the lead figure.

    Blinking again, I slowly turned at the teen causing him to look back in kind as my mind did formulate a very interesting detail from that development and revelation.

    So, because I am the leading one in our partnership, at least in this mission-” I started to explain my sudden realization. “Does that make you… my sidekick?”

    Vali kept quiet for few moments, his arms then crossed close to his chest and he spoke. “No, I am not.”

    Yes, you are.” I pressed on. “And I believe that Azazel-sama did this on purpose.”

    I am not and he has to have done it on purpose.” His tone turned stronger at the beginning before reluctantly agreeing to the second section of my rebuttal.

    Just before I could keep up with the teasing, the doors of the large living room opened to make way to a familiar figure.

    Millicas looked away from the half-completed building of blocks and locked onto the woman walking inside, smiling and standing up to rush for her.

    The silver-haired lady paused, accepting the hug from her son and showing a small smile, a contrast to her previous stoic expression.

    Grayfia Lucifuge, the wife of Sirzechs Lucifer and sister-in-law of Rias Gremory, looked prim and proper with her maid outfit and I now had reason to believe it fitted her perfectly.

    It was the strange allusion to Sakuya Izayoi and the overall regal air that she had around herself that made it quite an opportune kind of dress.

    The hug ended and she finally glanced at the other guests of the room and proceeded to walk slowly towards… the two grandparents of the child.

    She ignored Vali’s presence, mine too, and bowed slightly their way. “Lord Zeoticus, Lady Venelana.”

    Grayfia. We didn’t expect you to come back to the mansion this early. Did something happen at the talks? Is everything alright.”

    She gave a slow nod. “The talks are proceeding smoothly. I decided to leave as the discussion was turning to some sensible topics and Sirzechs-sama accepted my request to leave earlier than planned.”

    Then the woman turned to glance my way, I was now standing up from the carpet and looking at her as she let out a minuscule scowl.

    I flinched at that reaction, knowing how her expressions meant much more than they appeared. “I do remember asking to not have any strangers to babysit Millicas. Yet, just like Azazel had informed me an hour ago, you decided to still go with this decision.”

    Their smiles suddenly turned nervous and I felt the need to apologize about this.

    Thus I bowed slightly and spoke. “Grayfia-san, I’m sorry if my presence-”

    Please, spare me the apologies, Hekishoku-san. We both know the fault isn’t yours in this situation but...” The maid frowned. “I wish to know what kind of individual I am referring to. Right now I’m seeing just someone with a mask and with a fake name after all.”

    I blinked and nodded. “I can see the issue, but I can’t divulge my identity and-”

    I thought about offering the classic customary glass of wine to any guests of the house of Gremory.” In her hands was a large red wine bottle and I narrowed my eyes at it.

    I wasn’t in the mood to play the ‘get me drunk to make me spill my secrets’ and I wasn’t a fan of alcoholic beverages whatsoever as my tolerance was pretty low.

    I-I don’t want to impose-”

    It’s a must. As a guest you should abide to the rules of this house and… It would be improper if you refused.”

    She was pushing me to a corner and I knew that I wasn’t going to receive support from anyone in that situation. I was in the worst predicament but it was right as I continued to despair that the solution to this issue manifested in my brain.

    I blinked and smiled. “I suppose that I shouldn’t be shying away from such kind offer… but I hope you understand that I would prefer to not be the only one making use of this expensive bottle.”

    The maid stood quiet for a moment. “You wish for me to join you? Even through I am asking you as a Maid of the Gremory house?”

    I think you are inquiring as Millicas’ mother rather than the role you mentioned, Grayfia-san.”

    Her lips twitched, knowing full well that she did leave that small opening for me to exploit. Now she had to deal with whether or not honor her own trickery and… the woman sighed.

    I suppose it would be fair if we both discussed in an equal manner.” The maid conceded much to my partial glee. At least I had a chance of having her drunk and confused before she can get me on that state.

    We sat in two opposite small couches a small glass table between us where the bottle was placed with two small glasses.

    Venelana stood up and took the hand of the confused Millicas in her own, leading him out of the room as she didn’t want the boy to see this unfold. Grayfia nodded gratefully at her mother-in-law and she continued to focus on me.

    Zeoticus merely stared with some interest while I could perceive Vali’s curiosity coming from several couches away. Hopefully I can hold from any external assault as I focused on the woman.

    The lady poured the red content of the bottle within the two glasses and I noticed quite the difference about the whole ‘equal’ deal we had struck just now.

    While my glass was almost full with wine, hers wasn’t even close to half its capacity. The woman had a poker face and brought her glass to her lips, sipping slowly and annoyingly.

    Eyes narrowed at that challenge, I decided to return fire with fire. Picking my glass in my hands, I started to sip at it softly, quietly and, most important of them all, the slowest possible.

    Her red eyes glinted at some dismay at the fact I wasn’t going to fall for such a crappy attempt and the woman decided to break away from trying and literally poured some more wine in her glass, normalizing the competition and making me start drinking normally.

    We both downed the content of our glasses and stared back at each other.

    Our faces were slowly turning red, our eyes dilating as the alcohol kicked in pretty swiftly. My brain started to feel lighter and I found myself wobbling a little, just like the woman in front of me.

    I-I guess we should s-start talking about Millicas- hic!” A hiccup suddenly left her lips as she was talking, her eyes showing some embarrassment and I felt my lips twitch amusingly at the adorable sound.

    I opened my mouth to speak about the boy but I was interrupted by my own hiccup. “Hic!”

    … “Hehehehehe~”

    The woman’s smile twitched back to her face and she had to press her hand on her mouth to keep herself from giggling at my little chuckling.

    Boy, this shit shure ish…. Shupa-stronk~!

    ---------d-d-dd-------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d----

    Vali Lucifer continued to silently stare at the slow but visible drunkening of the one he knew only as Hekishoku while challenging the fortitude of the current Lucifer’s wife.

    It was kind of surprising to see a woman of her standards slowly descending in a state of open expression, the silver-haired maid humming amused as the fellow teen chuckled once more while melting in his seat.

    I-I-I was shaying that my shon ish-”

    G-Good?” Hekishoku guessed. “Cute, a-adorable, shmart?”

    Y-Yeah-” Finally a giggle pierced through her frail attempt to keep her composure under the influence of alcohol. “N-No, I shouldn’t b-be gi-giggling.”

    Why nyot?” The only human in the room questioned. “I-It was adorable, heh! I byet your hubby lovesh them.”

    Her face reddened even more. “H-He doesh.” She admitted and nodded. “B-But we are shupposed to b-be talking a-ab-about M-Millicash.”

    Oh?” Hekishoku nodded multiple times. “Yesh, Millicash is shuch a good kid. He is shmart, polite and… shmart.” He giggled. “I r-repeated shmart tw-twi-two timesh.

    She giggled again, this time seemingly forgetting about trying to avoid such thing from happening.

    Vali blinked at the strange scene, glancing at the other individual in the room and finding the Lord Gremory smiling while filming all of this with a large camera?

    The owner of the Divine Dividing Sacred Gear frowned but decided to don’t do anything about it. After all the scene there was worth letting some copies… spread around.

    H-He ish very precocious a-and I sho proud of him.” The woman remarked, relaxing on the couch. “B-But I think I-I am not doing a-a… a good job.”

    Now that was… strange to hear. Grayfia Lucifuge had seemed so much confident in greeting her son and Vali was fairly sure that there was no way that the little brat was unhappy with her own mother’s behavior.

    T-That is b-bullshit, yeash!” Red eyes narrowed at the foul response. “Millicash adoresh you, he ish shuper h-happy when you a-are around!”

    B-But he doeshn’t have any friend to play with-”

    Then o-once he ish old let him go to a normal school.”

    The maid looked hesitant at that suggestion but decided to inquire more. “B-But wouldn’t he be bullied? Wouldn’t h-he shuffer?”

    I-If that ish what you ar-are scared for, then y-you could get him t-to the shame school as her auntie. I-I think I remember hearing tha-that Riash-shan went to a normal school, dunno which o-one tho.”

    She blinked and hummed quietly as she thought about the detailed answer, then nodded. “That- That could work- but what about w-when he ish home?”

    What a-about it?” Hekishoku asked quickly and the woman sighed.

    I-I am shtill too strict- S-Sirzechsh think I should ease up a little-”

    Y-Ya’re doing fine.” He interrupted quickly. “Y-Ya don’t have nothing to worry about!”

    W-What if I- U-Uh?”

    The masked young man snorted and slowly got up from his couch, making his way to the confused maid and… placed one of his hands on the top of her head.

    Y-you are a dummy.” He said softly. “B-but you are a-a good mom, sho never heshitate anymore, ‘kay?”

    She blinked, red eyes slowly lifting to stare at the mask, confused, surprised and mostly relieved as the small action was finally registered by her brain.

    Grayfia smiled and giggled. “Y-You are d-doing it wrong. S-Sit back down.”

    The teen didn’t oppose being pushed back onto his couch as the maid wobbled towards him and slowly removed the hood of his cloak, exposing his… light-brown hair.

    An aspect of the fellow member of Grigori was learning just now as the woman hummed a lullaby as she started to ruffle his hair softly.

    Y-you need to be a tad bit more careful or you can hurt p-people.”

    I-I am jusht drunky, I-I am good at thish normally.” His muttering slowly dwindled as he quietly let her ministrations silence him.

    I’m s-shure you are.” The woman giggled. “B-but you do remind me of S-Sirzechsh’s little Riash.”

    Uh?” was the most intelligent thing the boy could ask and the maid let out a grin.

    Riash wash cute, she shtill is, but few yearsh ago she was a-adorable and she liked being patted in her head.”

    She doeshn’t want anymore?” He seemed skeptical at the woman’s sad nod. “Th-then she ish losing a lot! Y-you are good, Nee-I mean, Grayfia-shan.”

    She paused a moment and gave a weird look to the human. “Y-You want to call me Onee-san?”

    He looked up. “I-I think it fit better Neechan, c-caushe you are pretty.”

    The woman blushed but nodded at that. “Uh… can- can I call you Otouto, then?”

    There was a brief silence and Vali took this to re-valuate everything until now.

    Somehow, a mid-ranked member of Grigori was getting cozy with the wife of Sirzechs Lucifer and… he was succeeding big time.

    This was surreal and illogical- yet alcohol was making things happen before his eyes.

    I-I mean, if you wish-” She giggled and nodded, continuing with her ministrations.

    The situation with both still drunk and lacking common sense would continue for two more hours, by lunch-time the maid and the moron would present with everyone else for the lunch prepared by servants and both would voice out some minor headache from their idiotic competition.

    At least nothing bad for the talks had happened to them… yet.

    ---------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-

    AN

    Some explanations before getting lynched by some:

    1. Grayfia is canonically a light-weight about alcohol and she is quite quick to forget this very flaw of hers;

    2. Her insecurity about motherhood is actually mentioned in the Light Novel, but it’s never given too much scene about;

    3. Zeoticus, just like Sirzechs, likes to tease his daughter constantly, thus why he has a camera at hand, always;

    4. The third part will be by dinner time and will include the Satans, so expect lots of randomness from the likes of Sirzechs and Serafall.

    Also yes, I did just make Grayfia a possible older sister to MC. It’s quite strange when this is one of the few instances this happen where the MC isn’t related to her. Leshrug!

    And with that I go back to bed.

    Future milestone: 696 Followers and Favorites.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
    ArKFallen, FeebleEcho, naarn and 12 others like this.
  15. Threadmarks: Dining and Denying
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 15: Dining and Denying

    My head was hurting so much…

    Seriously, why did Grayfia went ahead with that stupid idea of hers?

    I had expected to be granted a quick leave once the talks concluded, which happened around dinner-time, but Azazel decided that accepting the ‘humble offer’ from Sirzechs to spend the dinner at the mansion was a brilliant idea.

    I barely held the groan building up in my throat as the minor hangover I was experiencing continued to knock at my poor brain.

    Baraqiel was giving me quite the disappointed look but kept himself from lecturing me about accepting alcohol in general, while the Governor-General of Grigori was enjoying my current suffering from the way he was sending gloating smiles my direction.

    Vali was silent, but strangely enough seemed to be purposely avoiding even glancing at me during that particular instance.

    To make things a little more complicated for my cover, among the people dining in that very room were the ‘second-in-command’ to Grigori, Shemhazai, Sirzechs Lucifer and someone I was fairly familiar with back at Kuoh Academy.

    Rias Gremory looked particularly tense at the fact this dinner was more important than any previous ones, fidgeting in her chair but surprisingly keeping a good composure about it all.

    I was offered a teacup by one of the butlers, the servant stating that it contained something to help with my current suffering. I saw a maid approaching Grayfia too, the woman surprisingly looking just a little annoyed by the hangover rather than truly in pain as I was.

    I quickly drunk the content and the effect was almost immediate. My mind regained some more perception over the situation and my logical side was restored to full, my approaching migraine vanishing instantly.

    I blinked and looked back at the teacup. “That was… interesting.”

    I know, right?” Sirzechs asked with a smile. “It’s something Ajuka developed a few centuries ago to solve the deadly hangovers the stronger blends of alcohol available in Hell cause. That man is sure a genius in everything.”

    I nodded in agreement at the praise directed at the Beelzebub of the Four Satans. In the Canon Ajuka is rightfully considered the smartest individual in the universe and incredibly powerful, very close to Sirzechs in terms of strength, and the few inventions mentioned in the series were quite an appetizer for the modernity he brought to Hell.

    I had yet to fully study the list of objects and innovative upgrades the Devil brought to this part of the world, but I was quite interested to find out what differences there were between Earth and Hell.

    A pity the little nerd couldn’t join this delicious dinner.” Azazel commented, finishing to eat the first dishes right in that exact moment. It was curious how both individuals were researchers but the Fallen Angel considered Ajuka the nerdiest. “Speaking of him, Hekishoku-kun.”

    I turned to look at him. “Catch!”

    Frowning I saw nothing being thrown at me but, just as I opened my mouth to question what was going on, a sudden weight slammed on my stomach and forced me to fall backward with the chair.

    The leader of Grigori chuckled, Baraqiel sighed tiredly and the rest of the table looked quite intrigued by what had just happened.

    I slowly went to pick up the chair and pull it up, giving a deadly glare to the smug-looking man.

    R-Really?

    He snorted. “Get up and don’t whine, I know that I didn’t hit you that hard.” I complied as he continued to speak. “By the way, check that box out too.”

    Frowning as I returned to my seat and started to inspect the curious smooth box made by black wood, eyes fixed on the small piece of paper seemingly glued to its top. It looked like a seal but… I don’t remember any that looked like that one.

    Uh… what is it?”

    Azazel smile widened. “It’s a gift from the bottom of my heart.”

    At those words I slowly stood up. “I think I will take a quick leave. I suspect this is a bomb-”

    As much as that would actually make sense, I can assure you this isn’t the case, Hekishoku-san.” Shemhazai interrupted calmly, nodding reassuringly at the rest of the people by the table.

    The Governor-General huffed at the two indirect jabs given with such precise succession but let his friend speak.

    This is a little creation from our research team and before you ask yes, the reason we are giving you this for the occasion is because it was discussed in the talks and the Satans are aware of what it is.”

    … “Any other details? That explanation was vague-”

    Sadly it was decided to not give you any other information about this gift. Consider this a reward for your good service in Grigori.”

    I feel like there is more to that and-” I turned to Azazel. “Was my identity-”

    You are still a mysterious being of unfathomable potential, brat.” The man replied instantly with an annoyed edge.

    I sighed in relief, at least I didn’t have to worry about that… yet.

    Indeed it is quite curious that you wish to keep your face hidden even after the impressive feat you managed to obtain last week.” Sirzechs said with a curious glint in his voice. “One would think that the one that faced quite a large number of Magicians and protected the daughter of Yasaka-san would have bragged about this.”

    Blinking, I hummed quietly. “I’m fine with my anonymity.”

    That is so strange. Forgive me, but don’t you crave anything like money or… women.” I sighed at his words, the man getting nervous instantly as he noticed his wife staring at him with an odd look.

    I’m quite content with my life and… I will be honest and say already that I don’t want to use fame or glory to replace some honest hard-working.” I admitted with some minor hesitation. “I also think that I would risk those around me if my real name was attached to what I do with Grigori and… that is not fine.”

    A noble soul.” Zeoticus commented. “It is a rare trait from someone young.”

    And also quite familiar, dear.” Venelana nodded in agreement. “Why, I do remember a young man many years ago trying to accomplish the same but ending up becoming quite well-known everywhere.”

    I frowned at that curious statement, then I saw the brunette turn at Sirzechs and I connected the dots as the man sighed at that comment. “It was because it was also convenient in avoiding some pretentious marriage contracts and, from how things turned out to be, I think I got the best deal possible.”

    For some reason Grayfia was giving attention to Millicas, the boy confused as his mother patted his head with a minuscule blush visible on her cheeks.

    I returned to stare at Sirzechs and I found him staring back at me with a suspicious look.

    By the way, Hekishoku-san, what is your relationship with my wife.” I could feel him focus his energy, channel it to add pressure on me. There was Killing Intent for fuck’s sake and I had to stop a moment to avoid hyperventilating.

    My mouth was drying up and I felt my throat tensing up, no words could leave my mind and I felt a little chocking.

    This was the power of a Satan?!

    Just as suddenly it happened, it also disappeared quite quickly and I found myself bringing my breathing back to normal.

    Owie- Gwayfia-chwaa-n~!” The maid had a small scowl as she continued to pinch strongly Sirzechs’ left cheek.

    You should be doing that to him, dear. After all, this is my Otouto we are speaking of.”





    O-Oneesama?” Rias was the first to recover from the words leaving the silver-haired woman’s mouth and the girl’s eyes darted between the now composed Grayfia and me, busy with having my hands pressing on my mask to try and silence the nagging coming from Azazel-

    How did you do that, brat?! I want the full story now.”

    -Vali’s smug air while looking my general direction, Baraqiel’s curious look and Shemhazai’s interested expression.

    Hekishoku-kun and I came to a small agreement during our moment of… little-thinking.” The maid started with slow but calm tone. “We decided to address ourselves as siblings for the sake of some common ground.”

    So you...” Sirzechs looked confused for a moment, then realization struck. “You wish to compete with me to whom is the best older sibling, isn’t it?!”

    … “No.”

    The dry reply quickly deflated the Lucifer, the man staring at his now empty plate. “Oh.”

    The woman turned to look specifically at me and smiled tentatively. “May I address you as Otouto, Hekishoku-kun?”

    I mean, you did previously but… wasn’t that just alcohol speaking and…

    Dangit, this escalation wasn’t really planned.

    A blink, then two and then I sighed. “I… I wouldn’t mind if you did, Grayfia-neechan.”

    Grayfia smiled at that.



    BWAhahahahahahaha!” The boisterous laugh from Azazel was the catalyst of my sudden blushing, the man looking positively entertained by my answers and the rest of the table looked quite surprised but not unhappy about what had happened.

    Millicas’ eyes went wide at this development and he looked at the silver-haired woman questioningly. “Mother, does that mean that Hekishoku-san is my… uncle?”

    Surrogate uncle. Yes.” The maid answered quickly and curtly and I groaned even more at the situation.

    Sirzechs slammed his closed fist on the table. “I demand proof of how this happened!”

    As if on cue, his father revealed the silver-colored camera. “I have recorded it.”

    Wait, what?!

    Lord Gremory, it’s the utmost need for Grigori to obtain a copy of that video-”

    YOU WILL NOT!-

    I will make sure to provide one then. I hope this is for research-” BAM

    Zeoticus’ head landed on his empty plate, a conspicuous bump forming on top of his head as his wife retreated her still-smoking fist. “Forgive my husband, he is quite extreme with his recording hobby.”

    Grayfia nodded. “I understand the plight.” The maid agreed, bringing her own smoking fist close for her to blow over as Sirzechs was posing just like his father, even the large bump on the back of his head was there too.

    The Governor-General of Grigori paled a little, letting out a nervous chuckle. “I-I think that I will wait for a while to a-sk, uh?” He turned to see who was tugging at one of his shirt’s sleeve, my hand grasping tightly as the man looked confused.

    W-What do you want, brat?”

    I didn’t reply, merely lifting my free hand up and letting some electricity dance around my fingertips. He frowned, a little uneasy at the little light-show, and looked at the rest of his friends.

    Both Baraqiel and Shemhazai blinked and turned away from him, some sweat rolling off the leader of the Fallen Angles and… then he looked at Vali.

    V-Sougyoku-kun, I request your help with-” The holder of the Divine Dividing Sacred Gear stood up and approached, taking hold of the other sleeve and… Azazel’s eyes widened as he felt his energy halved.

    Vali turned to his fellow masked ally and nodded. “You may proceed, partner.”

    I nodded respectfully at him. “Thank you for your support, partner.”

    As the man tried to plead some mercy, several volts quickly superseded his attempts electrifying him for a while and then-

    Thud

    The man’s face landed perfectly on his plate, smoke leaving his body as I nodded at the fitting payback.

    Meanwhile Rias Gremory continued to chat amiably with her nephew, Millicas glancing only briefly as this strange things happened around them and… This was actually fine. For both, this was how dinners normally devolved and they had long accepted it.

    ----------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-------

    I yawned quietly as I continued for my slow walk back home.

    Once Azazel had woken up from the punishment I had administered to him and having been reprimanded by Shemhazai for being overly-unruly during the dinner, the Governor-General decided to merely have me shifted back to where I left Earth, back in the now-dark alleys where once there was the teleport seal.

    The bag with my things was still there and I didn’t waste time to change back to my normal clothes, starting to quietly wander out of that small place and back to the main street.

    There were few lights still working and the path was hardly visible at this time of the night and thus I decided to not invest too much time looking around.

    There was no one wandering like I currently was and that meant less annoyances to deal on my way back home.

    But just as I turned one of the corners I had to take to reach my house, I found myself staring at a very, very bad sight.

    Several meters from where I was currently standing, a little black-haired goth girl was looking my way, patiently waiting… for me.

    I blinked once, then twice as I tried to find a way to avoid this particular confrontation with Ophis, unaware about why she would approach me of all people and now of all time.

    So I decided to go for something simple, turning towards the main street and crossing it, my objective being the parallel sidewalk and, much to my relief and dread, the girl didn’t decide to teleport on that section of the road to block my path but she wasn’t even where I had seen her at first.

    You are Hekishoku.” She stated with her calm voice.

    I ignored her and continued to walk. The girl followed from behind, continuing to speak while doing so.

    I wish to recruit you and Vali Lucifer to my group.” She muttered blankly. “I wish for you to-”

    I’m not interested.” I interrupted with the same calm the Infinity Dragon was displaying and she hummed at my words.

    I can offer you money, power, a chance to revenge or even lust.” I flinched at the very idea that this being was genderless to begin with. Just like ‘she’ could be a little girl, ‘it’ could turn in an old man. That very image wasn’t enticing and refusing such deal was actually easier than I had thought.

    I’m content with what I have.”

    The humming ceased. “Everyone wants something more.” She said with such certainty. “What is that you crave the most? What is what makes your heart quiver in need?”

    I stopped, waited few moments and slowly turned around, one hand still holding the medium-sized box from Azazel as I addressed the little girl.

    I wish to have my own peace from your petty war, Ophis.” I stated sternly. “I wish for you to not disturb my ‘silence’ because you are not strong enough to retake yours.”

    I felt the need to tremble, knowing that a bad reaction from her would see me dead instantly.

    Yet Ophis gave a wide-eyed look as I turned around and continued for my walk back home, this time the being didn’t gave slow chase but… said those last words before vanishing completely.

    You are interesting, Hekishoku.”

    I shivered as the words sank deep in my brain and I was glad that I didn’t meet anyone else on my wandering.

    In front of my doorstep, I pressed the doorbell’s button momentarily, just enough to wake up the two guardians I had left behind in case they had fallen asleep.

    I heard something crash, some ‘eeping’ and then loud footsteps and the door was opened by a red-faced, disheveled-clothed Issei Hyoudou.

    I blinked at the following surprised outburst.

    S-Senpai. You are back!”

    I nodded, curious about what happened to him. “I am and… I suppose you and Asia were sleeping until now, weren’t you?”

    We were just a little tired and- Kunou-chan said that she usually sleep in your room-”

    I’m her official pillow.” I interjected. “But I think I am fairly interested in how you two were sleeping there.”

    W-We weren’t doing anything wrong- just sleeping in the long couch-”

    Are you both clothed?” I asked curiously.

    Yes, but-”

    Then I’m fine with that.” I nodded at him.

    We’re sorry if- Wait, you are ‘fine with that’?”

    I shrugged. “You were just cuddling, I don’t think that is a grave crime against humanity.”

    He relaxed a little. “Oh.” He blinked. “Oh.”

    Maybe you should tell Asia-chan that she doesn’t need to rush anything to prepare herself?”

    The blonde has to be in a panic right now, poor girl.

    He nodded. “I probably should- Wait, you’re right!” He rushed back inside and I sighed tiredly while entering inside, closing the door behind me.

    I heard some rumbling in the living room and I slowly ventured there to see what was going on.

    The brunet was chatting with Asia, the girl looking still fairly tense, and she noticed me entering, eyes widening.

    S-Senpai, we didn’t do anything wrong.”

    I know, there is no need to worry nor apologize.” I raised my hands up to gesture both to calm down. “It’s normal for two teens to cuddle together while sleeping.”

    B-But we were supposed to watch Kunou-chan-”

    Ise said that she is in my bedroom, so there is no need to watch over her right now.” I assured both of them once more. “Plus I think it would be fine if you stayed today.”

    … “Y-you mean spend the night there?”

    It’s very dark outside and I would be irresponsible to let you both walk back home this time of the day. The only thing I’ve to ask you both is to call Issei’s parents to confirm this.”

    The blonde blinked. “Oh.” Then she smiled. “Thank you, senpai.”

    I nodded but, just before I could leave the room to see if Kunou was awake or not, the former nun stopped me by grasping at my arm. “Uh, Asia-cha-!” I stopped, eyes going wide open as I noticed the pout on her face.

    Senpai, why didn’t you tell us that Kunou-chan had fluffy tails.”

    ...Oh, I did forget-

    Answer!”

    I blinked at the miffed blonde, the boy looking at the exchange from afar, knowing that intervening would be the worst thing to do in this scenario. “I… might have forgotten to tell you about it?”

    Her stare intensified and I did feel a little nervous at the anger she was conveying in those orbs of hers.

    Then, just like nothing happened she let go and looked away, her slighted expression still present on her face and making me tense a little.

    Wait, are you mad about it?”

    She literally glared at me. Asia Argento, the sweetest soul in this whole series, was giving me a glare.

    I think I died twice in that split second and I was quick to pull her in a hug. “I’m sorry-y!”

    The blonde didn’t reply, but she did accept the embrace and completed it. We stood there for a while and then… she melted.

    See-npai, next time you have to tell us about that.” She pressed her face on my shirt. “Fluffy tails!

    I’m sorry, Asia-chan. Next time I will tell, okay? Will you forgive me this time?”

    She hummed a little and then she nodded. “Just this time.”

    Thank you, Asia-chan.” I said while ruffling her hair a little, causing her to giggle. “Now, go back to cuddle Ise or he might starve for affection."

    Both blushed madly at my teasing but I decided to not press this advantage, merely bidding them a goodnight as I ventured right to my bedroom.

    I peeked my head to see how was the situation inside and I looked just in time to see the little Kitsune yawn adorably while sitting on the bed. Her eyelids were close to drop but she seemed to look more awake the moment she spotted me, a small smile finding its way on her face.

    You are back, Niichan.” Her tone was soft, but happy and I nodded with a big smile of my own.

    Just returned and… I hope you spent a good day while I was away.”

    She nodded and then started to tell about her day as I went to the small bathroom connected to the bedroom to change in my Pjs.

    Koneko and Akeno did pass around to visit, both staying until dinner-time, mentioning some important thing they had to do before going home but still playing around with Kunou.

    The little Kitsune was actually the reason why both Issei and Asia looked more comfortable with each other, having been slowly mentioning how they both looked like a happy couple and how I would approve of it.

    It was strange to know that ‘my approval’ was actually a relevant point to give it a try for the two teens, but I guess that after having been their lives’ Cicero for a little while now they could have found my acceptance a good way to see if something could actually be tried or not.

    The result was spectacular and I did praise the little girl about it.

    Once I was under the sheets, Kunou snuggled closer and as she tried to close her eyes her nose picked something wrong.

    Eyes snapping wide-open and causing me to look concerned at her reaction, I saw her sniffing the shirt of my Pjs for a little longer… then she frowned.

    You… stink.”

    I blinked, confused, then I remember and looked up. “Oh, that is the wine...”

    Her golden eyes snapped right onto my face at that comment. “Wine?”

    I was offered a glass of strong red wine. Early today and… I guess the scent remained until now.”

    She squinted her eyes annoyed. “Will it go away?”

    Tomorrow morning I will take a bath and I will be fine.” I carefully caressed her fox ears and she looked happier. “Don’t worry.”

    She hummed quietly and snuggled back, once or twice looking disgusted by the bitter smell of the alcohol and causing me to curse inwardly at not having gone for a quick bath before going to bed.

    Sadly I was incredibly tired after a full day spent by the Gremory Mansion and thus I decided to push the solution to this little inconvenience to Sunday.

    I sighed in relief at the idea that tomorrow was going to be a day to rest and recover, maybe even plan for the rest of the remaining month before the Raiser Arc started and… I closed my eyes and let my consciousness slip away to properly fall asleep.

    But just as Hoitsu began to rest together with Kunou, someone blinked curiously as they continued to watch the house from afar, intrigued by what they have just seen before vanishing away, promising to visit once more, this time in the morning.

    He was just… interesting.

    -----------d-d-d---------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d------------

    AN

    There is a peeping tom! But who are they? (Wink Wink)

    So, little crackish at the end of the first part of the chapter and I did it willingly. I know it was anime-sque and… this is kind of a story with some Anime logic until a certain point and those moments will not be a normal thing (worry not, maybe I will still do some Omakes with that style).

    Ophis is trying to recruit MC and Vali and, while writing her ‘Jehova’ tactics against MC will be hilarious, I think I will cast some surprise at how Vali will react to the recruiting attempt.

    Future milestone 1: 626 Followers and Favorites. (Someone asked to put a little Stitch EE so… why not?)

    Future milestone 2: 696 Followers and Favorites.
     
    ArKFallen, FeebleEcho, naarn and 13 others like this.
  16. Threadmarks: Our Happy Places
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 16: Our Happy Places

    Sunday was a good day to be spending some time away from the possible, terrible ordeals that happened during weekdays.

    Baraqiel had returned early in the morning and was still sleeping back in his room as I decided to pass time before lunch to actually study the box I had been offered by Shemhazai and Azazel.

    Issei and Asia had left the house mere minutes ago, still blushing a little at the fact I now knew what stage their relationship was now, but happy enough that there was no excessive teasing nor any opposition to this development.

    With just Kunou joining me with this experiment of mine, we were both sitting by the table and staring down this mysterious container.

    It looked a very expensive but normal box, nothing particularly weird about it except for the strange seal glued on top of it.

    My first attempt to try and ‘unseal’ the box was to push some of my own energy in the seal, getting only some glowing from the kanji and nothing else. I tried to forcefully open it by prying it open with my hands and avoiding touching the seal and, unsurprisingly enough, it didn’t open.

    I stared once more at it and then tilted my head forward to study more the seal. I had yet to study proper Japanese spell-craft, but I was fairly sure I had seen this symbol somewhere in Kyoto.

    Kunou’s golden eyes widened a little, realization striking the moment I voiced out this little thought of mine and the kitsune gave it a better look.

    This is a blood seal.” She stated confidently, then looked at me with a some worry. “It is generally used to deter people from obtaining what is inside their containers.”

    You think it’s dangerous?”

    She nodded quickly and I hummed, contemplating what I should do about it. “Ku-chan, get to the couch. If it’s dangerous then-”

    I-I don’t want you to get hurt-”

    Shemhazai-san said that it wasn’t, but if it is I wish for you to take cover. Whatever it is, I will handle it, trust me.”

    The girl looked hesitant, unwilling to leave me in possible harm’s way, but nodded begrudgingly and slowly went for the couch.

    My full attention was now directed at the box and, creating a sharpened Silver Line, I proceeded to make a small cut on my finger and let some blood drops to fall on the paper.

    The effect was instantaneous, the paper glowing brightly once more, this time its intensity way more than before and…

    Click

    It clicked?

    I blinked as the upper side of the box softly sprung up and nothing happened.

    I blinked again, this time waiting a little more and… yep, nothing happened. I finally stood up from my chair to stare at what was inside the box and I frowned at the black-themed small object I was currently staring at.

    Partly camouflaged by the shade of dark similar to the one of the box, I had to slowly and tentatively pick up the small thing to get a better look over it.
    It was a… finger-less glove?


    It looked just like the ones the special units of a Police Force used but… only one of them?

    Continuing with my careful study of what seemed to be a glove with some low-tier seals I couldn’t actually get any idea how they work, I thought this was some-sort of a prank.

    I looked at Kunou, the girl blinking confused at my shrug directed at her. “Is it safe?”

    I think so? I can’t feel anything even remotely dangerous from it but I’ve yet to wear it, I guess.”

    She tensed again as I slowly put the glove on my right hand, the process was uneventful, yet the sudden foreboding feeling that something was going to happen felt stronger for some reason.

    Finally I completed the minor task and… I felt weird. My eyes narrowed over the simple thing as I tried to understand why I felt like it was trying to pull something.

    It was the same sensation one had when trying fish, pulling the fishing pole to catch a particularly big prey. It felt like it, only… deeper.

    Difficult to explain but still I wasn’t feeling particularly endangered by this situation. I waited few more moments, the feeling not diminishing not even a single moment and I was quick to say that… this could have been like an… extra magical battery?

    Maybe the thing it was trying to ‘yank away’ was energy and the reason why it felt this much ‘deep’ was because giving energy to the Core generally left a similar emotion.

    I turned again to stare at Kunou and shrugged. The girl seemed to relax, sighing in relief that nothing was happening and she moved out of the couch.

    Just as I was about to call this experiment as it really was, a disappointment, the window behind me crashed loudly.

    Reacting quickly, I spun around and stared at the possible aggressor and my eyes went wide open as I stared at a large light-gray orb mere moments from slamming into me. I brought my arms up, ready to tank the hit and-

    Niichan!”

    An unholy light blinded all around me and I felt my knees weakening at the sudden pressure hitting my arms, the glove burning for some reason as I gritted my teeth at the duress I was experiencing.

    I gasped a little as the burning glove started to seriously hurt, my hand cooking.

    Finally the light vanished, instantly and unexpectedly, and I finally dropped to one knee while holding my hurting hand close to my chest as I waited for the searing pain to subside.

    Kunou rushed quickly, crouching to see the extent of the damage and she blinked. “N-Niichan, the glove-” She paused, looking a little bit scared at what was on my hand.

    Gone was the previously modern military glove, now a medieval onyx-shaded armored gauntlet replaced it still steaming from the previous bout of heat.

    There was a small gray rhomboidal crystal embed in it and… it was glowing.

    That was… quite unpleasant.

    I blinked at the strong voice and I saw the girl’s fox ears twitch nervously at it.

    Uh… hello?”

    There was a brief pause and, for a moment, I thought it had been just my imagination playing tricks-

    Hello, young human.”

    I frowned. “May I inquire about your name… sir?”

    A sigh left the crystal and then the voice spoke once more. “I suppose from your shocked expression, you are not responsible for this annoying contraption.He said while ignoring my question.

    I was given this construct by my superiors. I don’t know what it is nor what it actually did.” I admitted honestly.

    A hum, then another sigh. “This gauntlet contains a powerful quarantine seal. It is regulating the regeneration of my energy from my current soul and… I suppose it partly brought me back to life.

    I stopped a moment to think whom I was dealing with. A creature that was once dead and was now contained within the Gauntlet.

    Sir, are you a Dragon?”

    There was a pause, no reaction from the crystal but then I received a response.

    Indeed, I am a Dragon, young human. A powerful being that once fought against Gods and paid for my arrogance. I am weak now, dull. I am just a shadow of my former self.

    That sounds terrible, sir.” I commented. “By the way, I am Hoitsu Sakakibara.”

    Hoitsu? This is the first time I hear of such name, different from those that I have heard during my lifetime...

    The cryptic tone was starting to get annoying now and I sighed.

    I know that I shouldn’t be pushy, sir, but I need to know your name to properly address you.”

    Another pause, this time a little more longer. I glanced at Kunou, the girl looking confused but also terrified by the Gauntlet for some reason. It wasn’t because she knew what kind of danger she was looking at, but because her instincts recognized that something was wrong with it.

    Then the crystal broke the silence.

    I was the Nemesis of Ra, I was known as the Primal Eclipse Dragon and a God of Chaos.

    I paled as he continued to list his former titles, each of them reinforcing only a single name in my mind and then he finally answered the now scary question.

    I am Apophis, Hoitsu Sakakibara, and I think we have a lot to speak about.

    Few moments later I was lying on the couch and staring at the ceiling, having accepted the request of the Evil Dragon of answering his questions the best way possible.

    Kunou had slowly accepted napping above me, her head carefully turned on my chest as her eyes continued to stare cautiously at the gauntlet currently placed away from her as my free hand continued to caress the top of her head.

    New mythologies? I knew that the world was bigger than many thought, but to have more than three grand religions wasn’t certainly something I was prepared to.

    It gets even more difficult if you consider that all of them have been detached from Earth’s societies since a few centuries ago.” I continued with my explanation.

    Apophis’ knowledge of the world was limited to before the end of the Egyptian dominance in the Western side of the world, thus learning that the world was now inhabited by so many different religious group was a shocker for the Dragon.

    Yet I think the worst thing to learn about was that the Egyptian mythology was mostly extinct after so many centuries of being replaced by Islam and Coptic.

    Tragic, you mean. But yes, it’s quite difficult to understand why they all decided to part ways with other humans.

    I think it was… because of the Christian religion, if I remember correctly.”

    You mean the ones that follow the only God and shattered in three factions?

    That is correct, yes.”

    Could you elaborate on that? I think there is some context that could be important to know about.”

    I sighed but nodded. “There was a massive War several millennia ago, the entire world was turned in a battlefield and the results was a major loss for everyone.”

    No one won?” There was some surprise in his tone and I nodded again.

    The God of the Bible was killed, Grigori lost several powerful officers and Hell had to deal with a brutal civil war.”

    A war without victors? That sounds like a terrible waste of time.”

    I mean, yeah… but it did bring some stability. Now with a pacifist leadership in Hell, Heaven lacking the power to enforce its precepts fully and Grigori sitting by the fence and doing nothing bad, peace talks might as well happen quite soon.”

    There was a moment of pause, then the topic shifted.

    I can feel that you have two different kind of energies in your body.

    Normal and Light-type, yes.” I hummed quietly. “The latter is the result of a slow integration of the energy of the last spell of a dying Fallen Angel.”

    It doesn’t hurt for some reason to be near it. Maybe it is the Gauntlet itself preventing any of it from harming me.

    That could be a possibility, yes.” I agreed. “But I wanted to ask. Do you know why Shadow-type spells are generally too weak?”

    Excuse me, what? I’m quite adept with Shadows and I can assure you that the power behind those is worth enough to keep up with the Light.” He seemed particularly miffed by it.

    I mean, the spells are deadly useful in hiding or boost speed and help with stealth, but I have yet to find anything that deals some serious damage to any opponent.”

    You seem to forget that you don’t have any Demonic, nor Dark Magic that can help you unlock the stronger segments of Shadow-craft. You are but limited by your current state as a human.”

    I sighed. “Then I guess I will give up on that regard-”

    What do you mean, Hoitsu? You don’t wish to ascend? To become better and-

    I prefer to be human.” I replied softly, the little crescendo from Apophis dying the very moment I spoke.

    There was some silence, silence to think for the Dragon and silence for me to get some pleasant rest in that couch.

    You would give up the chance of becoming one of the most fearsome beings this world could produce… because you ‘prefer to remain human’?

    That is correct.” There was a sigh at my clear answer and the Dragon decided to ask some more.

    But why not? What would it cost to you?

    Possibly any chance to have a normal life when I will want one.” I answered a little annoyed at this pestering. “Power attracts power and… I’m already having trouble trying to keep my identity hidden from the big ones in the large chessboard.”

    While I understand the logic, I do consider it weird that someone as young as you are would ignore the benefits that would come with the decision of becoming ‘more’.

    It’s not that I ‘ignore the benefits’. I just think about the price of said decision, how much would it impact on my life and then, maybe, I will consider the benefits.” I sighed tiredly.

    Confusing and strange, but I guess that this is how you view things and people around you.

    I opened my mouth to explain that he mistook my capacity to decide with my overall way to live my life when the doorbell rung quick and once. I glanced at the entrance, Kunou looking curious at the same direction I was looking at.

    I don’t think it’s Ko-senpai or Akeno-neechan.” The blonde stated quietly.

    Stay there.” I told her as I moved out of the couch. She nodded while trying to get a spot to see whom would appear by the doorstep.

    I was by the entrance when Apophis spoke once more, this time in my mind. ‘The one on the other side is way stronger to you. Don’t try to anger them.”

    I nodded slowly as I opened the door and… saw Ophis waiting outside. Arms crossed near her chest, a visible pout and irked expression, I frowned at the surprisingly annoyed Infinity Dragon.

    What are you- Gah!”

    I jumped away as something incredibly sturdy hit my leg ruthlessly, almost falling on the ground as the girl retracted her shorter limb and huffed, entering the house unceremoniously and walked towards the living room.

    Kunou blinked in surprise at my pained face and narrowed her eyes at the young girl stomping inside the house.

    Ophis stopped just a moment to glare at the blonde, being matched in intensity by the kitsune in terms of anger and… she slowly walked and took a seat in the couch, confusing Kunou.

    Groaning, I made my way back to the living room and I was greeted with a strangely restrained dark-haired girl facing some quick-paced lecturing from the little blonde.

    You shouldn’t hit Niichan.” The kitsune reprimanded.

    I’m angry at him-” Ophis tried to explain.

    Did he hurt you to cause you to hurt him?”

    No, but-”

    Then you are in the wrong.” Kunou interrupted once more, uncaring of ‘who’ she was interrupting. “If you are angry, you say that to them. You don’t hurt them.”

    Ophis lowered her head and nodded. “I didn’t mean to-”

    Apologize to Niichan now.” The kitsune demanded from the apologetic Dragon.

    The goth girl blinked few times and then looked at me. I frowned at her and she blinked once more.

    I… sorry.” She said with her usual monotone voice, causing Kunou to huff.

    Mean it!”

    Ku-chan-” The blonde glanced at me with a serious look.

    Niichan, she kicked you.” My eyes went wide at what was going on and merely settled with a dumb nod her way. The girl smiled appreciatively and then returned to Ophis.

    Apologize meaningfully.”

    The Infinity Dragon actually flinched and stared at the floor. “I’m sorry...”

    I think my brain just died for a moment, did I just hear her apologize with some emotion?

    I- does your little sister have some sort of mind-control power or-

    Nothing of that sort, no. But this… this is unbelievable.

    I-I accept your apology, but why are you angry at me?”

    Ophis blinked and stared up, straight at my face. “Vali said no to my offer.”

    And that is my fault? That he refused?” I found myself confused, but the girl sighed at my words.

    He asked if I had asked you this and if you accepted it, since I did mention that I found both you and him interesting. I told him the truth and he refused completely, even when I offered him the power to challenge God.”

    I admit I was shocked by this development, knowing that Vali and I had yet to truly get to a point of mutual trust, but I think his reasoning depended on my capacity to pick the best decision. If I, someone clearly weaker than him refused the offer from Khaos Brigade, something had to have forced me to refuse adamantly at any attempt.

    This Vali has to at least respect you to value your opinion on the matter.

    He is a broody thing, but he is still good… maybe.

    But then why didn’t you lie to him?”

    I had no particular reason to lie.” She replied quickly. “Why would I’ve needed to lie about it if he seemed to not consider you much.”

    I flinched at the truthful words and nodded. “So he decided to base his refusal from mine?”

    Yes and… that is annoying.” She huffed, slouching on the crouch. “What is your ‘silence’, Hoitsu?”

    I blinked and stared up to the ceiling. “You mean what I told you yesterday?”

    She nodded. “What is your ‘silence’? you said the word as if you knew about mine well enough to compare it to yours.”

    It’s my current peace.” I replied without hesitation. “The opportunity to never be disturbed by those I don’t want to be disturbed by, the chance of being content without any worry of losing what I have.”

    I waited and prayed. While I had some idea about what Ophis meant with ‘silence’, it was never fully explained in the Canon.

    My theory came from the fact that Great Red’s arrival caused her ‘silence’ to be disrupted and knowing that the Dimensional Gap was lifeless except for her until the intrusion of the Apocalypse Dragon, I knew that she meant the supreme control over her birthplace.

    She didn’t answer at first, looking still and distracted by what I just said. Few moments passed, then her body tensed and she looked once more to the floor. “So that’s your ‘silence’?”

    I nodded and Ophis hummed. “That sounds… pretty.”

    I smiled. “It is.”

    She nodded and stood up from the couch. “I guess I should be going. I have some errands to do and-”

    If you want you could join us for lunch.” Kunou asked out-of-the-blue, glancing my way for permission and getting a nod in return. “Niichan is good at cooking.”

    The Infinity Dragon paused and seemed to think about it. “Maybe another day.” She looked at me. “If I can join you?”

    I shrugged. “I don’t mind, just remember to give some notice first.”

    A quick nod later, she turned back to walk towards the entrance door and I followed her by the doorstep.

    Before you go, can I ask you something, Ophis?”

    The Dragon stopped and turned, quietly waiting for my question.

    Did you tell… anyone about the fact I am Hekishoku?”

    The goth girl blinked and shook her head. “I don’t have a reason to tell them about that.”

    I frowned and felt some relief at the fact I will not have to make some proper preparation for some assault from anyone from the KR.

    Okay. See you later, Ophis.” I saluted and she paused again, glancing back before nodding and returned to walk out of the entrance.

    Yes, later.” She muttered and then vanished, leaving me to stare at the spot she once occupied.

    I closed the door, falling on my knees and letting out some breathing at the fact I had survived Ophis.

    While I have been able to keep a calm composure through the whole ordeal, the idea of being in the proximity of someone her caliber had been nagging my mind for the entire situation.

    One small mistake and I would have been dead. There wouldn’t have been a fight, the sheer difference between her and me was far too vast to offer me a chance to survive that kind of predicament.

    I sighed and saw Kunou approaching. “Niichan? What’s wrong?”

    She crouched again to check on me and I slowly pulled in an embrace. She tensed at the sudden hug, but she melted few moments later and completed it.

    Ku-chan. Next time you are near Ophis, you have to promise me that you will be careful around her.”

    She shifted a little. “What do you mean, Niichan?”

    Ophis might look like a girl your age and appear quite reserved and naive… but she is a being much stronger than me, you and… even your mom.”

    She tensed again. “What?”

    Just promise me that you will not engage in any discussion that might result in her getting angry, okay?”

    She slowly relaxed back. “I… I will be careful, Niichan.”

    Thank you.” I repeated, accepting her meaningful words.

    As the two continued in their embrace, Ophis stared through the door with a blank expression what was happening and… she sighed. Looking at her hands and reminding herself that there wasn’t anyone there that could truly understand her, she turned around and truly vanished.

    It was time to see how Rivezim’s work was doing and… maybe catch some sleep. Yet, although she tried to ignore the scene she had just seen, part of her was now curious about something.

    How does a hug work?

    -------------d-d-d-d----------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d-----

    AN

    I think Ophis will be an interesting complex thing to unfold, mostly because her personality and full self was never given a complete explanation. There might be some instances of some of her quirks and how she react to some characters, but it is rare to see glimpses of her mind.

    I bet someone wasn’t considering to see this kind of ‘boost’ to pop-up this early on, Apophis being quite unknown to some of the fans as he has yet to be shown in the Manga and the Anime.

    Although he is regarded as an Evil Dragon, his personality in the series is quite the opposite from what many would expect from the Nemesis of Ra, being a Dragon that place logic before battle-lust and… he hardly makes anything terrible in his presence in the show. The only reason he is considered ‘Evil’ is because he was back during the Egyptian dominance in Western Civilization. Yet he is an Eastern Dragon with a serpentine body… mhhh…

    Also before anyone burst a vein at the sudden power-up, the Gauntlet is not a Sacred Gear and Apophis doesn’t have his power unlocked (yet). A better explanation will be provided next chapter by Baraqiel but I can already say that it will not give the MC any major advantages until much later in the story.

    Future milestone 1: 626 Followers and Favorites.

    Future milestone 2: 696 Followers and Favorites.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
    ArKFallen, FeebleEcho, naarn and 13 others like this.
  17. Threadmarks: Chit-chat with the Phoenix
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 17: Chit-chat with the Phoenix

    Baraqiel didn’t look much surprised to learn that I did manage to open the box, praising only the fact I ended up making a pact with Apophis.

    His only surprise was the fact that, of all deceased Dragons with their souls still wandering around, an Evil Dragon had to be picked out from this ‘lottery’.
    Before training a full explanation was given about the ‘Gauntlet’.


    The Mystic Hand of Power was a unique object created by Azazel’s and Ajuka’s combined efforts in researching a new mean to counter the existing Sacred Gears and Artificial Sacred gears, capable of storing the soul of a powerful being and filter its regenerating power within the minuscule seals that were engraved within the corners of the rhomboidal crystal.

    I had to squint my eyes very hard to spot those signs and I quickly asked to the man why I hadn’t been able to feel those while wearing it.

    The answer was simple but… incredibly difficult in practice. While Azazel was a master in creating magical seals, one of the main issues he would always found in creating new things related to runes and seals was the limited space available.

    Ajuka found a way to overcome this issue by creating special machines that were able to carefully cut the crystal without making any dangerous mistakes in the process.

    Another issue was how to avoid the ‘corruption’ of the user’s soul. While gaining Dragonic traits was regarded as something mostly positive, the dangerous flaws a Dragon had were not something many wanted to have around.

    Greed, Pride, Wrath. These three things were bolstered within a Dragon’s soul and it was one of the reasons why there were very few Artificial Sacred Gears that were connected to Dragons (Vritra’s ones having dilutes aspects of the Dragon’s soul), the users being unable to properly adapt to the hefty requirements of slowly assimilating the more dangerous parts of a Dragon’s personality.

    Issei and Vali were blessed by the fact their Sacred Gears were created with the capacity of removing such influence from the User and only giving out the worst traits only when the Juggernaut Drive was activated.

    The Power Gauntlet has a completely different system compared to the Sacred Gears, Apophis being mostly detached and deterred from trying to create a magical/physical connection with me as the seals prevented him to act upon this.

    While he was stored within the crystal without any of his former power, he was starting to generate energy from his soul, an attempt to regenerate his core’s full capacity that was slowed down by two factors both created by the seals: A quarter of his power was being constantly filtered to my core, encouraging it to grow faster and expand even more than previously expected; A small fraction of what was left by this initial drain was then used to sustain the entire array of seals, making the Gauntlet a self-sufficient system.

    Further questions about the potential of the Gauntlet were answered curtly as Baraqiel was mostly unaware of the full potential of this unique thing.

    He knew that things like Balance Breaker were not integrated within it and that one of the functions described allowed the possibility to actually summon Apophis in its full dragonic form.

    Of course said function could be activated only by me and, even through I was in amiable terms with the Serpentine Dragon, I was unsure that deploying him now without his strengths would have been a hindering factor or even a good way to get backstabbed.

    Paranoia, take the wheel~!

    As our chat continued, the topic started to change to some others that were particularly important for me.

    What is the situation about Kokabiel’s rebellion?” I asked to the Fallen Angel. “It’s been a while since I heard the last news about what Azazel was doing about it.”

    The man sighed. “There had been some quiet moving of some groups of the various cadres in less important bases, but the process is still going to take few more months before we are fairly sure that we are ready.”

    And that was bad. Kokabiel wasn’t going to offer ‘few months’ and will be attacking Kuoh in more or less two months from now, which means that the quicker he is defeated the better the chances of avoiding open rebellion will be.

    The rogue elements will still be dealt with after Kokabiel was removed, knowing that they will try to flock at the Khaos Brigade and cause some serious damage at the Coalition in the upcoming war.

    Hopefully the KR will be weak enough to be fully stopped by the time they will ‘reveal themselves’ in three-four months from now.

    Anyway, after thinking about this little planning I decided to inquiry about the training for that day and I was replied with a fist slamming on my face.

    Falling on the ground, I felt still dizzy from the sudden punch, narrowing my eyes at the smug look on Baraqiel’s face.

    Today we will pick up the pace as the next few weeks will be quite the interesting ones.”

    Is he usually this serious?

    I blinked at Apophis’ words. I think he is a little more serious than usual, now that you point it out.

    And indeed the Fallen Angel proceeded to go several steps beyond his usual pacing, ending up to draw the training session up to two hours longer than usual.

    The man smiled eagerly at pummeling the shit out of me, but I was glad to see that my attempt to survive that onslaught weren’t as meek as I had initially thought those would be.

    Nodding at his praising and slowly walking away from that demolished training ground, I made my way back to my bedroom and, few minutes later, I found myself cuddling close with Kunou. The fluffy tails and her warm, soft body were enough to bring some comfort to my sore body and the girl seemed glad to get some long sleep compared to the one of the day before.

    Monday was going to be quite normal, hopefully.

    -------------d-d-d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d---------

    Yawning at the growing stack of paperwork I had to deal today, I glanced at the clock attached to the wall with a tired look.

    Monday was as uneventful as I had hoped, the day passing without any major issue or problem regarding the supernatural world and leaving me some time to enjoy this period of normalcy in peace as I prepared for the approaching Arcs.

    The interesting detail about this whole situation was the fact that the ORC had yet to make another appearance, keeping quite neutral and quiet about the whole ‘arranged marriage’ thing and staying away from me most of the time.

    Akeno and Koneko confirmed their interest in joining Kunou and I for lunch, something I was already sure of and merely nodded absently.

    Trying to finish the white mountain of paper with the use of my shining pen, I ended up alone in the Student Council’s classroom, part of the Council have gone to deal with some issues with the Swimming Club regarding the pool being vandalized, while the section made by the assistants and other younger members like Saji went back home as usual of this time.

    Another yawning left my lips as I finished another group of this endless madness of paper and ink, but this time my little monotony was interrupted by someone knocking politely and softly by the door.

    I glanced up at the already open door and stared at the young man waiting there, smiling a little and nodding my direction.

    With blond locks covering his head and partially hiding his dark-blue eyes, I blinked at the curious individual wearing old-style noble clothes. It wasn’t the ‘ancient’ kind of old-style, more like the early 20th century kind of style some aristocrats would have when donning their clothes, a little militaristic but still sober enough to not get annoyed by it.

    I’m sorry to disturb your activity, sir.” The blond started, sounding quite apologetic. “But I wished to ask if I could request some assistance in finding a club in this school.”

    I nodded slowly. “Sure… but may I ask you first which club are we talking about?”

    The Occult Research Club...” He blinked thoughtfully. “I think that is it’s name, my only interest is to have a chance to speak with the club president-”

    Rias Gremory?” I interrupted quietly, my mind slowly connecting the dots and forming a name out of the individual in now looking partially surprised at my reply.

    Ruval Phenex nodded with a smaller smile. “Yes, that’s her name. I can only suppose that you know about her thanks to your job in the Student Council.”

    Initially yes, but then one of my Kohais decided to join her club and thus I had the opportunity to speak with her on some limited basis.”

    The Devil blinked. “Interesting. Then I suppose you could lead me to the classroom that hosts the club as the matter I wish to discuss with her is quite urgent and important.”

    I nodded once more, my mind losing some time as I was still trying to understand the mere fact that this polite individual was the brother of the birdbrain that wanted to marry Rias.

    I know that some siblings have different personalities and sometimes even opposite ones to each other, but this was turning out to be quite… confusing.

    To think that a bastard could be related to this prim and proper nobleman was mind-boggling even more now that I was dealing with Ruval.

    It was by the time that I closed the classroom’s door behind me that the blond remembered to introduce himself.

    I almost forgot-” He bowed once more, a regal smile in his place as if an act done and redone. “I am Ruval Phenex.”

    I nodded. “Hoitsu Sakakibara.” I stretched my hand towards him and I waited, noticing almost quickly a lack of reaction at my sudden attempt to interact with the man.

    He blinked at the hand and then nodded in realization. “Oh, forgive me, I wasn’t expecting to find someone polite and-”

    You could say that prejudice is quite overrated, Phenex-san.” We shook hands. “But I think I should start to lead you to the club-room. You did say it was quite an urgent matter.”

    He nodded and soon I started to walk through the Academy’s hallways with the blond on tow.

    The walk was brief but the resulting closed door with small sign saying ‘Closed’ left us both particularly confused. “Generally the clubs end a little later than now… I suppose they had something important to skip it and-”

    It’s fine, sir Hoitsu.” The heir to the Phenex family nodded, his expression filled with some dismay but he still looked calm. “I guess I will try another day and-”

    If Ruval ended up missing the chances of talking with Rias, whatever the motivations driving them and whom he wanted to support, the redhead would end up missing the opportunity to gain some ally for her current plight.

    I sighed, knowing that this will surely come to bite my ass and then spoke. “I know that I shouldn’t be meddling about private affairs, but I do find myself inquiring the possibility those private affairs are somehow related to the ‘arranged marriage’ situation she is dealing with.”

    The Phenex paused a moment, frowned and nodded slowly. “That is...” He didn’t finish this first sentence. “Did she tell you this?”

    I nodded. “She wanted to know how to deal with the situation since she didn’t want to go ahead with it all.”

    He smiled. “Interesting. Then I can only guess you know about the importance of the marriage’s contract.”

    I do.” I replied quickly. “But I think that there are some details that I find… strange. Same with your brother, I have to admit.”

    He raised an elegant eyebrow at that last comment but still nodded. “Truly? Would you mind if I wanted to further address this matter on a more private location?”

    I nodded and soon I took him by the former teachers’ lounge, a place that was still taken care of even after decades of being left untouched by the staff.

    The place had a working fridge, a coffee machine and the water bottles there were refurnished weekly. It was a strange expense, but some of the older students appreciated this place to spend some time to study.

    I opened the door and invited the Devil inside so we could spend some time talking about Raiser.

    We sat on two of the four couches, one at the opposite of the other, and soon the interrogation started.

    Before we begin I would like to ask the utmost secrecy about this encounter.” The heir to the Phenex clan stated. “I don’t want my intervention to be known to anyone unpleasant.”

    I nodded. “I can accept that but only if the same courtesy is extended to me. I don’t wish for people to know about my knowledge about… the 72 families and much more.”

    He looked surprised. “So you know more than just the marriage?”

    I merely nodded and that seemed to calm him a little.

    Then I guess you know even more about why this is truly important for the family. The Phenex clan require some powerful blood to bind the Gremory and our family together.”

    I know that pure-blooded Devils are still suffering from some issues about procreation, but I don’t think there is the need to promote an arranged marriage with both clans having seconds in their respective lines.” I replied, gaining a nod towards me.

    That is indeed correct, the ‘emergency’ that was repeated to motivate this marriage is actually a smokescreen for anyone plotting against us. An attempt to not be called out while we tried to form a strong alliance.” He explained with an empty smile. “I did ask father to be more subtle about this in the contract…”

    But the problem isn’t the writing style used by Lord Phenex. I think the issue is that one of the clauses was breached by your brother prior to its creation.

    He frowned, his smile disappearing. “Could you elaborate?”

    I nodded, a small smile forming. “I had the chance of glancing at said contract and I found, just as I expected, that the ‘Virginity’ clause is not directed only to Rias, but also to your brother.”

    There was some tense air now within the room as I knew the man was trying to remember the content of the contract.

    I thought you didn’t read any contract. You did say that when explaining to me the situation’ Apophis butted in and I found myself smiling even more.

    And that is the thing, I didn’t actually read any contract, but by the end of this discussion, Ruval will have a ‘nice chat’ with his youngest brother.

    Oh? How exactly are you planning to do that without evidence-

    But I think that was unavoidable with the little harem he got.” I mentioned loudly enough for the Phenex to break out from his thinking.

    Did you just say ‘Harem’, sir Hoitsu?” His jaws were dropping as I nodded.

    Why, his peerage. Of course that would explain why he never trained them properly and… why they are all women with an affectionate loyalty to your brother.”

    More nails for Raiser’s coffin? More nails, indeed!

    H-He is just a loving Master trying his best to keep everyone in his peerage happy-” His tone was hesitant, possibly because he knew he was climbing on some mirrors there.

    But training? Isn’t that also important?” He didn’t protest this questions. “What about the fact he has 14 females in his own team?!”

    There was no reply, Ruval looked particularly distracted because of what I had just told him, but I knew that my work was only half-way completed. There was something missing, something that would easily close Raiser’s chances of not getting some beating by his older brother.

    And I find it curious that the Phenex family would accept something even close to incest.”

    The mere mentioning of that word caused the entire room to become the chilliest place on Earth, the blond staring right back at me with a furious look. “What are you talking about?”

    I’m not referring to everyone of your family, Ruval, but rather I was referring to Raiser.” I was putting quite the effort to not tremble at the Killing Intent I was being washed with. “I mean, what kind of rumors would come out from the fact that from his harem/peerage his bishop is actually Ravel Phenex?”

    … “C-Could you repeat that?” The pressure disappeared altogether, the man looked shocked and paler than before. “I- What do you mean my little sister is in his peerage, Sir Hoitsu?”

    That she is currently his Bishop in his peerage. She is something of the strategist of the team… considering that Raiser is busy with something else-”

    He lifted his open palm up for me to stop. “E-Enough.” He seemed particularly shaken, just like I wanted him to be. “I- This will require some investigation.”

    Please do, Ruval. I think it’s time for someone as honest as you are to do something about this indecorous attitude.” He nodded, getting up from the small couch as I followed him to the door.

    Could you please escort me back to the entrance? I think this visit could be concluded there.”

    I nodded. “Of course.” My tone was smooth and comforting as I led the young man back to the Academy’s entrance. Just as we arrived to the glass doors, I spotted from afar a large car with obscured windows waiting by the gates.

    I waved at the retreating Phenex, my smile widening at the idea I had purposely destroyed a bastard’s life as it was fit and-

    An-And-

    Hoitsu?

    I was shivering a little, eyes wide open as I continued to stare at the car.

    What is going on? An enemy or-

    My heart started to beat faster, unmerciful as I felt it, a monster lurking and waiting for my death, for my annihilation and-

    Ohi! Why are your eyes red?!

    It was instantaneous, I felt my feverish state vanish instantly at the sudden yell from deep in my mind. I blinked at the comment and… I turned around, walking inside the school.

    What was that?!

    You are asking me? I am the one trying to make sense what got over you for few moments.

    Maybe the seals are… a little loose?

    That wasn’t something from me, Hoitsu. Just go and ask Baraqiel for help, there is something… familiar with what you did there but… I don’t know.’

    Gulping nervously, I went on my way back to the Council’s classroom, ready to finish the paperwork, go back home and then get some rest.

    Whatever just happened…

    It felt like I was a completely different person!

    ---------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d-----

    Ruval sighed as the door of the car closed, the driver starting to move the vehicle away from Kuoh Academy as the Phenex tried to sort out the thoughts after what had just happened there.

    Hoitsu looked like a trustworthy, down-to-earth kind of person that wanted to achieve great heights. Someone that looked similar but also different from the man sitting right on the opposite row of seats, having some trouble with the roof’s height and his own.

    Sairaorg Bael huffed while trying and failing to find some balance in that uncomfortable suffering he was dealing with by being there.

    You know you could have asked for a ‘taller’ car, Scion Bael.” The blond mentioned, his mood still damp after the talk he had ended that visit.

    Maybe I like the challenge this situation is offering.” The bulky individual stated readily, getting a dry glance from the Phenex.

    Or maybe you are too prideful to accept you can be dumb.” Ruval stated quietly, getting another huff from the Strongest Youth.

    The reason this visit had happened was mostly because of Sairaorg himself. Having heard from his aunt about the situation, the Imperial Purpure decided to see if the words about Rias’ marriage were true.

    Out of curiosity, the heir to the Phenex clan decided to join in with this little research and, while he got quite the harsh news that he was still digesting, he now knew that the concern from the bigger man was justified.

    By the way, Ruv.” The fighter started, giving a serious look. “Who was the dude by the entrance, the young man that led you out?”

    Ruval frowned and blinked. “That was Hoitsu Sakakibara. I would say he is a knowing bystander of these grounds that has quite the knowledge over the political landscape of Hell.”

    Sairaorg nodded at the brief description, yet he looked still interested. “But do you know what race he is? Is he a Devil, a Dragon or-”

    What are you talking about? Sir Hoitsu is a mere human and I can assure you of that having been able to study his energy pattern.” It was ridiculous to consider that student to be something different than human, he was far too weak to be-

    I think you were distracted but, his power spiked briefly and… I admit I am impressed at how close he was to my current level.”

    … “I think I didn’t hear you correctly, did you just say that his power ‘spiked’ close to your own?”

    That is correct, Ruv.” The bulky man continued. “Few moments ago I wanted to jump out of the car and fight that impressive individual but...”

    There was a strange pause, then the Strongest Youth explained. “But it all vanished the moment he glanced at me. It was a strange occurrence but… I think my mere sight did threaten him away from revealing his power.” Now Ruval gave him a serious look, those comments starting to leave him concerned.

    Do you think he wanted to attack me?” The legitimate question was met with a negative shake of the man’s head.

    There was something happening for his power to unfold, he looked wicked for a moment, then he looked confused and mortified.”

    Mortified?” The Phenex pressed for more details.

    He looked like he didn’t want to ‘flex’, but he did it all the same. It was like he was lost in a sick daydream and then woke up from it the moment he felt me.”

    So you don’t think he is a possible enemy?”

    Dunno.” Sairaorg replied quickly. “From what I saw I can say very little about his overall attitude. Did he seem anytime trying to harm you or something?”

    Actually… no. He seemed quite courteous and helpful. Until you said that I couldn’t spot anything unnatural about him.” Ruval stared once more at the Bael and the man nodded.

    I guess I will have to see him personally to draw a proper judgment but… not now. It is far too early and… there is still much to do.”

    The Phenex nodded, closing his eyes as he decided to get some rest.

    His future encounter with his family will be…

    Fiery.

    -----------d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d------

    AN

    Something is indeed wrong with Hoitsu but… what could it be?

    There is an original plot that will replace some bits of the story, after Kokabiel, and nobody will expect the antagonist for that arc. (P.S. It’s not Hoitsu!)

    Expect deceptions from everyone and everything, expect novelties and old stuff resurfacing and… expect something unfair but smooth.

    Future milestone 1: 626 Followers and Favorites.

    Future milestone 2: 696 Followers and Favorites.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
    ArKFallen, FeebleEcho, naarn and 11 others like this.
  18. Threadmarks: Of Happiness and Dread
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 18: Of Happiness and Dread

    The walk back home was surprisingly tiring.

    My body felt just like when I was trying to get the Light-type integrated in my Magic Core, the only differences being that I was facing a minor case of running nose and what I could only assume were the symptoms of a common cold.

    Passing by the nearest pharmacist, I was quick to get a medical mask and the proper medicals to treat this sudden sickness which I was clueless about its causes.

    While I knew that in that brief moment of fever spurned by feeling a sudden powerful energy triggered something within me, I was completely unaware what exactly had happened back then.

    I could feel the entire energy contained in my Core fully manifest in that exact instance, a sudden flex that over-exerted my whole body, my bodily temperature spiking with the same speed and leaving me a little bit tired, confused and with a headache.

    Groaning, I dodged another light pole, my perception of things hindered by a small sense of dizziness developing and further making my return quite difficult.

    There were moments I had to pass around a large crowd of people, my headache worsening as I felt my sense of direction deafened by the heightened sounds of the urban life going around me.

    Still, it’s quite curious what had happened back at the entrance of the school. I couldn’t feel anything close to a possession or some attempt to mind-control you from external energy and yet your sudden change of attitude looked just like someone took over you.

    It was worrisome that even Apophis was unknowing about what caused this phenomenon to happen, that sudden rush of anger, fear and primal need to either fight to the death or run away from the monstrous threat hidden in that vehicle.

    And that is ignoring the foul thoughts I had over the situation with Ruval. While Raiser warranted cruelty well-equalized over his own ‘sins’, I still felt that the reasoning at a certain point during that discussion switched from justice-making to sadistic pleasure.

    That wasn’t part of me, the only times I could possibly get this blood-thirsty was when the subject in question had committed something heinous and beyond anything forgivable.

    Yet this rage was still there, the boiling sensation present inside my chest but lacking a clear target.

    I sighed in relief once I unlocked the lock of the door, slowly pushing it open as I ventured inside and-

    Niichan!”

    Oof!

    Kunou smiled as she tackled me, almost sending us both to the ground with the suddenness and the strength behind that embrace.

    A small smile appeared, hidden behind the mask as I started to pat her head. “Ku-chan.”

    She giggled and started to get up, her face twisting in surprise and concern once her golden eyes fixed upon my face.

    The girl blinked. “Niichan, what is wrong? Are you sick?” She started to straddle onto my shirt and I sighed.

    Just a minor cold. Nothing dangerous, but I think you shouldn’t be this close to me right now or you might get it too.” She nodded, still looking a little bit worried as she took two small steps away.

    I saw two individuals peek from the doorstep that led to the living room. “Do you need to rest, senpai?” Koneko’s usually stoic look was replaced by some concern, then I glanced to the other head peeking and-

    Oh, you have a minor cold, Hoitsu-kun ~?” A chill went down my spine as those words left Akeno’s lips, her eyes narrowing in an intrigued light at this development.

    The good news of this situation was that Koneko didn’t have any exam for this week, thus letting her enjoy some free time she wanted to spend around Kunou. If before the two had been close, now they looked inseparable and I could easily see that the silver-haired girl had become something of a big sister for the Kitsune.

    The Nekoshou enjoyed the moderated questioning of her kohai and the blonde herself was glad to have someone close to her age helping her around with homework and other curiosities.

    With the two young girls closing up to Kunou’s room, I was left to deal with an opportunistic woman like the Himejima.

    Akeno might have ditched after a while her sillier and more extreme attempts to get my attention and win the intense chase, but if I knew enough of girls with her peculiar mindset then I was fairly sure that I was going to get ‘nursed back to health’ by her.

    Not only it was a good intervention that helped her score some good points for my graces, but also offered a chance to get to explore the intimacy a nurse had with her patient.

    There was also the fact that ‘small accidents’ about peeking over some clothes and other indecent things were ‘easy to justify’ if ever caught by said patient.

    I was going to deal with quite the issue if I wasn’t careful around her.

    She looks quite beautiful, I would even dare to say she would be the ideal woman if you give her even a small chance to prove it to you.

    I snorted inwardly at the dragon’s comment. You mean the very daughter of the man that is training me? The woman that enjoys whipping people around to a sexual degree?

    A little bit of whip isn’t-’

    I will ignore the crap you were about to say, Apophis.

    The being huffed. ‘Not an issue, yet I still stand by my ideals.

    Is there even a dragon that isn’t even a little bit a pervert?

    It’s all about perspectives, Hoitsu.’

    Archiving this little chit-chat away to never be brought up to my poor mind, I found myself being attentive of the girl’s actions around me.

    Surprisingly enough, the Himejima held her hand from action during the preparation of the lunch, twitching once or twice while glancing my way but doing nothing worth of suspicion.

    A quiet but happy time lasted for the entire lunch, Koneko mentioning how she had slowly tried to integrate the way she studied math with other subjects she was struggling with and how the results had been quite positive.

    Just as I expected this situation to end up with me dealing with Akeno alone, Kunou decided that today it would have been a good day to break this habit.

    Sitting on the large couch in front of the flat TV this house had, we decided it was a good opportunity to spend some time watching something new.

    Thus I decided it was time to test a theory of mine about the Nekoshou’s possible interest and… hopefully I will survive through this.

    Taking out a small DVD case, I put on the Blu-ray device the small disk and waited for the TV to load it.

    The screen turned black as a familiar opening began.

    Few hours passed and I slowly recovered from by sudden bout of sickness, my skin regaining some healthier color and my body feeling less sore and tired.

    Still I was unsure if Phantom Blood would have gained some interest from the girls but right as the credits of the last episode rolled in, I found myself comforting a sobbing Kunou as the kitsune latched at me for some reprieve.

    While there was a general liking for the protagonist that was Jonathon Joestar, the blonde was the one that got the most attached to him. Since they both shared similar backgrounds, the little girl found herself cheering for the first Jojo almost as quickly as he was introduced.

    The adventure, the various characters that were befriended or beaten and finally the bitter finale for that chapter of the Joestar’s family.

    Patting her head, Kunou had her face buried deep in my shirt, incredibly angry at seeing her new favorite character pass away like this.

    Kunou-chan, there is no need to cry. After all this is just the first part of the series and… I am sure there could be other good characters.” Akeno shifted in her seat and slowly took the blonde out of my hold and into hers, the little girl looking surprised with her eyes going wide as she was softly hug by the Himejima.

    The difference was the kitsune now had some extra pillows to rest her head, which she accepted without much of a fuss, resting a little in that hug.

    I stared at the scene, at how content the older female looked while carefully keeping the blonde in her embrace and.. I felt someone tugging at my sleeve.
    I blinked, turning to see Koneko looking quite distracted and nervous. “Do you need something kohai?”


    The girl didn’t reply, her eyes carefully lifting to stare mines for a brief instant, then she moved.

    Eyes going wide open, I looked down at the sudden soft hug I was receiving. The silver-haired girl was tense, as if she had completely forgotten how one was supposed to initiate an embrace and looked ready to retreat from the seemingly failed attempt.

    Why she seems this hesitant? It’s easy to see that she want to be close to you in a familial way.

    Her sister went ‘mad’ with power and left her after killing most of their family and leaving her to deal with the following fallout.

    That is quite the sad story.

    She opened her mouth while slowly moving away, trying to apologize for the sudden embarrassing situation she froze the moment my hand reached for her head and my other one went to bring her back in the hug.

    Her tension deepened just a little more, eyes going wide a little at the returning embrace.

    It’s fine, Koneko-chan.” I whispered quietly. “I am not going to hurt you.”

    My words slowly sunk deep in the girl’s brain, an acceptance to her need to be close to someone, the need to have some nostalgic happiness back in that simple gesture.

    Her eyes closed, head slowly tilting to my chest as she nuzzled a little to enjoy the relative closeness.

    Some moments passed, the Nekoshou enjoying every single instant of that little hug and then our little peace was interrupted by someone tackling us both.

    A golden missile jumped between us and infiltrated the embrace, Kunou giggling a little while basking in the warmth of both. I looked up at Koneko, the girl snorting at the sudden intrusion but refusing to budge at it, conceding to this group hug.

    I was glad to see that the silver-haired girl was finally showing a little more of herself around others and I was blissfully unaware that someone was plotting right behind me.

    A chill went down my spine the moment I felt two soft cushions pressing on my unprepared back, a pair of soft lips reaching for my ear. “Ara, Ara, is Hoitsu-kun enjoying the hug of three maidens ~?

    My cheeks reddened instantly, and my entire body tensed at the sudden glomping of the giggling girl behind me.

    Kunou looked confused at my sudden blushing, while Koneko glared at the Himejima for ruining that innocent moment. There was a simple smile well wide on Akeno’s face, but I soon learned the worst had yet to come.

    Her hands hovered above my shoulders and reached for my face before I could react to it all.

    Nwo!” The young woman started to pinch my cheeks, some giggling fleeting her mouth as she continued to painfully play around.

    W-Welp!” I tried to call for support, but the only thing I got from the small blonde bundle latched at me was giggles, Koneko having turned to the side, trying to be neutral about this but failing to hide with her hands the amused smile twitching in her face.

    The terrible torture lasted two more minutes and I my cheeks were now glowing red once more, this time in a show of pain.

    I’m sorry, Hoitsu-kun, maybe I shouldn’t have been that much harsh with the pinching.” The Himejima said with a mock-apologetic tone. “Maybe I should redeem myself by doing something that will make you laugh.”

    I frowned at those words, but as I tried to respond I found her hands descending to the sides of my torso and start to tickle it mercilessly. She giggled again, expecting to find an instantaneous reaction out of me.

    I couldn’t blame her, everyone would laugh at being tickled the normal way. But sadly that figure is wrong as… only a majority of everyone laughed at being tickled.

    And I wasn’t part of that.

    Few seconds passed as she continued with her ministration, possibly expecting me to be holding back from letting out my chuckles… then I turned around and I glanced at her with a vindictive smile, my cheeks still hurting.

    She stopped, her jaws dropping and looking suddenly quite nervous. “N-Now there is no nee to-”

    But it was too late. Kunou shifted onto Koneko’s lap as I fully turned at the panicking Himejima and started to return the favor immediately.

    I pinched her cheeks, the girl looking comical as I stretched the pinching a little, making her look even funnier. “So, is this fun?”

    She couldn’t reply because of my ministrations and then… I switched to the tickling.

    I admit that at that point, things escalated a lot. Since she was being treated with the tickles, her body obviously tried to move away from my fingers, forcing me to follow her as she slowly made her way towards the end of the couch and-

    Thud

    We both fell on the ground. I spun around, catching her before she could truly hit the floor, using my own body as a pillow.

    Sighing, I stared at her face, part of it hidden as she was pressing it on my shirt. My entertained expression shattered in confusion the moment I saw her entire face burning red, her breathing was erratic and she looked a little dizzy.

    What was wrong with her-

    Wait, if she is Baraqiel’s daughter, does that mean she is also a-

    Shit!

    I had completely forgotten about the masochist trait the woman had inherited from her father, thus everything I just did until that point led her to-

    OH MY GAWD, NO!

    I looked away quickly, face exploding in red as I realized why she looked this happy.

    T-That was… amazing.” Akeno finally spoke, her tone strained as she was recovering from… that.

    I looked back at the couch, Koneko looked as confused as Kunou was and I felt blessed by the fact only the two adults in the room knew what was going on.

    Goddammit Akeno…
    -----------d-d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-dd---------
    Baraqiel was clueless about what had happened few hours ago by the fact he looked perfectly calm and normal when he entered the training field.
    If he had, I would haven’t had the time to even think about the possibility of him knowing or not because the punishment would have been administered swiftly and mercilessly.
    So, before the session would begin, I decided to explain him about what had happened back to Kuoh Academy minus the encounter with Ruval. I preferred for that to be a secret, especially with the heir to the Phenex family knowing if the information had been revealed by me or not.


    A sudden and unconscious burst of energy? You mean that your body obtained new power without reason?”

    I shook my head at the queries. “I know it was from my Core, but I don’t know how and why it happened so suddenly. It felt like I wasn’t controlling my body anymore at a certain point and Apophis said my eyes went red-”

    Stop.” My voice died down at the order, the Fallen Angel approaching closely, his open palm pressing on my chest and I quickly felt some energy coating my whole form.

    The process lasted more than two minutes, the light covering my body mildly warming during it all.

    I blinked in surprise at the unplanned analysis spell, kind of confused and worried by the fact he didn’t bother to warn me before going with this but I stopped myself from asking as I knew whom I was referring to.

    Whatever got the man this worked out and panicking, it had to be important and-

    A sliver.” He sighed in partial relief. “To think that it would found its way here in your body of all places… there is still some time to act but...” He paused again and turned at me. “Tomorrow you are skipping school, kid. We have important places to go to.”

    I frowned, more confused by the Fallen Angel’s stressed expression and tone at saying those words.

    What do you mean- What kind of place-”

    Sadly, I can’t disclose where we are going, but the people we will ask help from are good ones.” He replied quickly, leaving much of the whole situation unknown to me.

    That wasn’t giving me enough and I was getting particularly tense now that I knew that something was indeed wrong with me. “Good enough to not get back-stabbed or good enough to make a good job?”

    Baraqiel merely smiled. “They are former students of mine, I can speak volumes about their capacities and you will like them.”

    I sighed and nodded at the strong defense the man had over this group of people. My mind was racing to try and find whom could fit with a group of people which Baraqiel had taught too.

    Not anyone I particularly know from the anime series, yet there was something that sounded familiar about the manga.

    There was also a blurred picture forming from these lines but I couldn’t get a clear one, only blurred.

    Nodding at his orders, I decided to move to the training part of the discussion. “So that means we shouldn’t train today or-”

    The Fallen Angel laughed at what I was trying to say, forcing me to shut up and frown at such reaction. “You seriously think I would skip a day to get you prepared for the future?”

    Laughs subsiding, the man presented three large books and passed all of them at me.

    The moment the tomes reached my waiting hands, I felt a cloud of dust forming from the minor impact, causing me to cough a little. “W-What are those meant for?”

    I think you have reached a good level of physical training, but your body is still limited without the help of something a bit more… mystical.” He explained, still smiling as he went to take a seat on the side.

    Meanwhile I took a glance at the title of the top book in the pile and blinked in surprise.

    Senjutsu?”

    Baraqiel only smiled, leaving me to understand what I was supposed to do with something like this, knowing full well that a false step with the meditation and… I was going to lose control.

    He had to pick a technique about self-control now?!

    -------------d-d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d----

    AN

    You know what I mean about when I write short chapters? A fight is coming soon!

    I admit I went a little fluff there, that is why there is little content in this chapter, but next one will contain a very interesting fight and chase with people from the same universe.

    Future milestone 1: 626 Followers and Favorites.

    Future milestone 2: 696 Followers and Favorites.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
    ArKFallen, FeebleEcho, naarn and 13 others like this.
  19. Threadmarks: Fighting for the Right Darkness
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 19: Fighting for the Right Darkness

    If someone were to ask to a young Tobio Ikuse that he would have ended up working most of his waking hours serving to a bar after facing so many threats, the answer would have been fueled by confusion.

    But now that he was one of Grigori’s top fighter and led a modest-sized group of strong people, the God of Blade was more than happy to have a place to find some rest away from ‘real work’. Starting as a barista had given him some new challenging time, but the hard-work paid well and he managed to find his little haven away from the constant fighting.

    It was a peaceful bar, the Black Dog was meant to be used as a place to rest for him and his team, their headquarters just around the corner. The establishment was provided by Azazel, the man deciding to reward Tobio for his loyalty and good work with the Fallen Angel.

    After finishing cleaning the umpteenth used glass in his hands, the young man let out a yawn, the night before having dealt with some slime infestation forming in the attic of the building. It had been a surprise, then Azazel let out that he might have forgotten to fully freed the building from the prior administration that monitored slime’s growth.

    It was early in the morning, and there wasn’t any client at this ‘unholy’ hour while he finished to clean the last few bits left on the counter.

    Jin was stalking around, the large shadow-like wolf stopping once or twice to sniff around the various empty tables around. The big mutt had whined more than a few times that the lack of serious brawls was leaving him even more annoyed than usual.

    And Tobio couldn’t fault him.

    While he enjoyed being away from danger and listen to some interesting and unique stories of the recurring clients to the Black Dog, it was also true that some serious fight wouldn’t have been a terrible thing for him to experience once in a while.

    Then there was also the fact most of the old group from Nephilim Institute had grown distant with him, several of them either diverting their full attention to their work in their important jobs, while others had different responsibilities to deal with, responsibilities far away from Grigori.

    He sighed, remembering the interesting promise Suzaku proclaimed few years ago.

    The Marriage Proposal that the girl had decided to give to him had remained burned in his brain, but he had from the very beginning make sure that nothing from his attitude would move towards that direction.

    It wasn’t because he didn’t like her romantically, nor the familial bond between them hardly mattered with his biology adapting to his Longinus and rendering their blood relation almost null.

    It was all about the fact such commitment wasn’t something he knew he could face at that age and with so many worries in his head.

    The Institute and Grigori were still recovering, he had yet to fully grasp the final potential of Canis Lykaon and he received similar attention from other girls in his classroom.

    A confusing mess that ended up persisting until graduation and his official enlisting in Grigori’s ranks.

    Missions had drown him away for few months, then after his promotion a small team he nicknamed ‘Slash Dog’ was created, then it turned in a pseudo-cadre and…

    Tobio regretted how things turned up with his limited and lazy attempt to avoid that kind of attention on him, many of those that cared for him either hurt by his ignoring attitude or merely went through a path distant from his.

    The bartender sighed, his mind reshuffling to happier thoughts as he tried to focus back on reality, noticing just now the glass almost slipping from his hold. It’s been two years since he had last seen Sae and three since she had seen Suzaku.

    For now the present will do to keep him from his regrets and-

    Jin tensed up a little, his search stopping instantly as his head snapped to look at the door. Tobio’s eyes frowned at the strange and sudden change of mood, trying to understand if the large wolf-dog was perceiving a threat or not, the only absolute thing being that there were few energy patterns slowly making their way towards the Black Dog bar’s entrance.

    Putting the glass down and freeing his hands, the young man waited, his body slowly taking in a minor guard stance as he saw unrecognizable figures slowly opening the glass door and triggering the door-bell, which announced their presence to the occupants of the building.

    The two individuals entered calmly, their sight almost instantly locking onto him as his own eyes widened in shock at whom he was looking at.

    Green eyes narrowed at him, an older Sae Toujou huffed at the lack of response from the Ikuse at their arrival. Her hair was combed short, and her body had developed in a slim but somewhat athletic form.

    Suzaku brought a hand over her mouth as an amused giggle escaped her mouth. “Ara, Ara, It would seem like Tobio-kun is quite awed.” Her voice was melodious as ever and her beauty had bloomed even more since he last saw her. Her curves were a little bigger, but still she had that hourglass figure that she rocked back during their time at the Nephilim Institute.

    S-Suzaku-nee and Sae-chan?” The bartender asked distractedly, causing the Head of the Himejima clan to pout.

    Tobio-kun, you know that you can call me ‘Suzaku-chan’, right? I am going to be your future bride after all.” The light-heart correction spurned two full blushed for the other two individuals there to listen.

    B-Bride?” Tobio asked again, surprised by the goal still living after this much time of being distant from each other.

    Y-You aren’t his future bride, Himejima!” The brunette replied a little angry. The soft bickering was actually one-sided between the two, Suzaku nodding quietly and waving at her while looking away with a smug smile.

    Sure, sure~.” Another giggle further irked the researcher at Grigori while the young man couldn’t help but smile at the nostalgic scene.

    It’s been a while since he has last seen this two sharing the kind of scene he was looking at. There was a time it was a sign of annoyance back at school and during his early years, but now after so much time it was just… funny.

    And don’t think I’ve not seen your smirk here, Tobio-kun, I will take care of your after I finished with her-”

    Oh, and you will use kisses and hugs to fight the cruel smile off his face?” The teasing was light at best, but the effects were easily devastating for the easily irked Sae Toujou, the blush intensifying on her face as she returned to focus back to the Himejima.

    Some time passed but soon the two were sitting by the stools near the counter.

    Questions about health, family and current life situation was filtered to the three long-standing friends, but it was one question in particular that got them pause a moment to think about.

    You mean that Baraqiel didn’t tell you? I would have thought the man would have spoken to you first about this little meeting after so many years to formalize it.” Sae pointed out, only to be met with a long and tired sigh from Suzaku.

    I think the reason is within the words he used while calling us. Did he mention that he was bringing his two new students with him for the occasion?”

    The brunette blinked. “He… did?”

    And did he also mention that one of them would need some important ritual to cleanse away a dangerous element forming within his soul?”

    He di- Wait, what?” Sae’s eyes went wide, same for Tobio as the young man stopped finishing cleaning once more, this time a little panicking.

    You mean that Baraqiel is bringing someone that could potentially trash the bar and-” His panicking increased, the owner of the establishment quickly trying to put the exposed bottles and glasses out of possible harm’s way, in drawers or behind shelves but-

    We are here!”

    The booming voice that only a particular Fallen Angel could muster was preceded by a thunderous noise, electricity burning part of the carpet at the man’s feet.

    Tobio slowly turned around, a nervous smile on his face as the three former students of Nephilim Institute noticed that Baraqiel wasn’t the only one there.

    Shaking a little under both his arms were two masked individuals, a mask of green and one of blue.

    Next time, we pick the train.” The green one stated, his tone showing some motion sickness at the sudden teleportation.

    It’s not that terrible, Hekishoku-kun. Am I right, Sougyoku-kun?” The Fallen Angel asked with a hopeful tone directed at the aforementioned ‘Sougyoku’, the blue-masked teen.

    I saw rookies...” He paused a moment, hands pressing on his mask. “-D-Do this better than you, Baraqiel.”

    Oh.” The man was saddened by the lack of support. So sad that he dropped both cloaked teens at once.

    Thud
    Thud


    Why?” Hekishoku asked while holding his stomach, only to be totally ignored by the Fallen Angel as Baraqiel focused on his former students.

    It’s good to see you three here. And I’m glad to have arrived before you could leave, Tobio-ku-”

    You aren’t going to cause any destruction to the bar, sensei. I don’t know what is going on, but I am not paying for any reparations.” The Ikuse firmly stated, gaining a giggle from Suzaku and a sigh from Sae.

    Don’t worry, brat. I just wanted to see you all while also dealing with this little inconvenience.” He turned back to the now standing masked boys and nodded. “Speaking of which, I present you my current students.”

    -----------------d-d-d-d----------------d-d-d-d---------------d-d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d-----

    So this is the Black Dog bar? I thought this was supposed to be smaller than this size.

    Getting woken up by a giddy Baraqiel early in the morning had been an atrocious experience that I will make sure that will never happen ever again. Being forced to rush through my morning cleaning and to put the Hekishoku disguise, I had just some moments to say ‘Good Day’ to Kunou before being whisked away with the Fallen Angel.

    Just like every time I tried to be teleported, I met the ground with my face, cue some groaning and dizziness at the brief warping around me.

    I thought this was supposed to be the place, since the man had spoken only about going only there and nowhere else before. Sadly, I was proven wrong when we found ourselves staring at a surprised Vali, the boy was masked but I could see his body tensing at our sudden appearance.

    B-Baraqiel, what are you doing-”

    Change of plans, Sougyoku-kun.” The man interrupted. “This way is faster.”

    Without any of us could protest the Fallen Angel’s logic, he picked Vali and put him under his free arm, energy coating us once more as we all shifted away from that deserted street.

    Recovering from what followed next, I tried to scan around the establishment, finding it interesting that we had to come here of all places.

    While Slash Dog was a powerful fighter proficient with magic, I was quite sure he wasn’t an expert in ‘helping’ with whatever situation I was dealing with. Yet, just as I finished looking around and found Baraqiel making way to show Vali and me, I had to take a large glance at the curious and voluptuous woman in one of the stools.

    I could see Sae Toujou staring weary by her side and Tobio Isuke over the counter looking at us with a curious look.

    But it was the intense and fixed look of Suzuku Himejima, the current head of the Himejima clan, that was scaring me in that exact moment. It was directed at me, not at us, but at me of all people present there.

    She looks familiar to the other girl, the daughter of Baraqiel.’ Apophis mused in my mind and I sighed inwardly.

    That is Akeno’s cousin. She is the current leader of the clan and strongest holder of the Vermilion Bird.

    That is good to know… but I think it’s happening again.

    You mean the- Uh-

    Red eyes narrowed, her lips pressing together as she seemed to be reflecting about something about me, since her attention was fully taken by me. I felt nervous, incredibly so as she slowly got up from her seat and started to walk towards me.

    Oh God, is that what you were talking about?

    Yes...

    I was trembling a little, my mind burning the more steps she took to approach me and for a moment I questioned bailing out from that situation.

    Yet I stood my ground, shivering, feeling feverish but waiting for her to arrive. There was something wrong, something incredibly wrong that was tried to control my actions and I had to muster my whole being to keep the probing out from gaining an upper hand.

    Finally I felt her hands carefully grazing my neck, her face staring softly at my face, a small but kind smile on her face. “Are you in pain?”

    Her voice was a little relief through that terrible predicament I was dealing with and I nodded shakily. “I-It’s li-like a fever.”

    She blinked. “I bet it’s the same for both body, mind and… your core?”

    I frowned behind the mask, eyes then widening when I indeed noticed that my core was burning a little with energy. My whole figure was glowing white as my whole magic was manifesting at the ‘threat’ I was going against.

    Worry not, Hekishoku-san. I will make sure that whatever is torturing you is dealt with as quickly as possible.” The priestess stated, looking then back to the bartender. “Is there a room we could use to perform the ritual, Tobio-kun?”

    The man looked confused for a moment, but then nodded at seeing the woman giving such a serious look at him. We were slowly escorted to the upper floor of the building, a large area that seemed to have been left unused for a long time now.

    The room looked to be a normal European-styled bedroom with a small bed, a medium-sized wardrobe and a wood desk on the side. I couldn’t resist being put on the bed, the woman asking everyone to leave us both alone as she started to treat my situation.

    Considering the universe I was in and knowing how a relatives of hers would behave in this situation, I was almost ready to call an attempt to my V-card, but then again I considered that this individual in particular had more reasons to not do such things. Suzaku was more interested in Tobio, her moral compass being one of the purest compared to the entire cast of characters of the DxD series and she was extremely devoted and careful with her job as priestess of the Himejima clan.

    I relaxed a little, glad that my mask was still on but kind of bummed that this was going to end up being a simple situation that would see me stuck in bed for-

    May I ask why you are staring at me so much, Hekishoku-san?” I tensed a little at being called out, a little blush adding up to the feverish one.

    J-Just t-thinking about s-someone t-that looks like y-you, Himejima-san.” I admitted, causing the young woman to pause briefly as she finished setting up the objects required for the ritual.

    Indeed?” She asked curiously, glancing back at me. “I hope you are in good relations with her.”

    “K-Kind of.” I sighed. “She c-can be just… annoying o-once or twice i-in a while.”

    Suzaku giggled. “I guess many girls that be that way, but I do feel like you are still fond of her.”

    S-She means no harm, a-at least not for ill intent.” I continued. “B-But yeah, she c-can be nice when s-she wants to.”

    That’s important, you know?” The woman added as she returned back to my side. “Sometimes those people just need some more love.”

    I snorted, ignoring the surprised blinking of the Himejima as I contemplated giving Akeno some extra ‘love’ during a normal instance. She would take it as an invite to bring me to bed and seal the deal rather than me being a helpful hand in time of needs.

    That much difficult of a person?” She sounded interested now and I nodded.

    Can b-be that, yes.”

    Some silence followed, the sleeve on my right arm was rolled up as Suzaku slowly started to press her index over my skin starting to softly pressure the coils stretched in the limb through the entire length of the arm.

    The action served to manually force the energy to back away from there and back to my core and, completing this section, she moved on the other side of the bed, doing the same.

    I wish to tell you already that a purification contract like the one Baraqiel requested restricts me from revealing your identity and anything you wish to say about it.” The priestess declared as she finished with the other limb. “I need to access to your face directly, so I can put you in a safe sleep while I work on the purification ritual.”

    It was an acceptable request, having read briefly about rituals of that kind before going to bed the day before. Some important rituals required the subject to be put on rest, thus allowing the exorcist to finish their duties without any issues that could be created by the subject themselves.

    Thus I sighed, slowly helping the woman to remove the mask and… frowning as she wasted some time staring at it.

    She blinked, a little surprise from the look of it and then I let out a fake cough. She blinked again, this time getting back to reality. “Sorry, just… not expecting someone as young as you are to be already working with Grigori.”

    I-I am can be p-pretty sturdy and s-strong.” I reasoned, my tone a little whiney. Then I decided to make use of that little opening offered by the ritual contract and sighed. “A-Also the girl I was t-talking about… is related to you.”

    The Himejima paused just a moment while placing the mask away. “You mean that you know-”

    She is the Queen of Rias Gremory’s peerage.” I interrupted quickly. “I know that you are seeking reconciliation with her, but I wouldn’t advise trying to tackling the issue directly.”

    That… that is some beautiful news.” The woman admitted with a smile, eyes glowing a little happily.

    I-If you need to pass h-her a message, j-just contact Baraqiel and p-pass him what letter y-you wish to s-send her.”

    She nodded again, thankful but now shifting her focus back to the spell to make me go in my ‘happy place.’

    B-By the way, my name is Hoitsu-” My eyelids got heavier suddenly and I let out a brief yawn. Hoitsu… Sakakibara.”

    Suzaku giggled. “Nice to meet you then, Hoitsu-san… and sweet dreams.”

    Darkness took me moments later.

    --------------d-d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----

    My eyes stared at the wood table with a light above flickering every once in a while.

    I was sitting on some-kind of chair, that I couldn’t recognize the material that it was made of. The place was damp, I could see some puddles of water in the irregular ground around me.

    Looking around, I tried to understand where I was exactly and why this place felt familiar.

    2009, school trip to the local caverns near our hometown.” A voice echoed in the darkness, forcing me to try and pinpoint it. “We were eleven-years old and incredibly bored by most of the things we would learn at school. The caves were an interesting place where to go after we first visited.”

    Those had been abandoned for years, only I would end up visiting in the weekends to draw- but how do you know this? Who are you?” I looked even more frantically, but finally I heard something else.

    Loud footsteps breaking the cacophony of silence, I saw a figure slowly making his way from the shadows and walking towards the chair opposite to mine.

    The lone light started to reveal small parts of this individual, starting from the elegant shoes, then the dark-black pant and finally the black jacket that opened to a white shirt and a dark-purple tie that was perfectly made around the familiar man’s neck.

    My eyes widened, my face paled and the familiar stranger didn’t seem fazed by my reaction as he calmly sat down and turned to stare at me with a composed look.

    He blinked, his dark-brown eyes partially hidden by the light reflecting on his glasses. He looked quite regal, but also tired and annoyed by everything in general.

    I know that you have several question about my current appearance, Hoitsu Sakakibara, but sadly the time available for us is extremely limited and it’s crucial for you to hear what is going on here.”

    I gulped nervously, there was a demanding but polite tone in his voice and I decided to see what I was talking too.

    If I have to give myself a term that perfectly describe what I truly am, then I think Your Soul’s Shadow is the appropriate denomination. But if I have to be simplistic, I am your dark side.”

    My… dark side?”

    Your ‘truest enemy’, your final opponent, your permanent rival and… the other side of the medal that is your soul.” The young man explained some more. “I am what many would fight in this dire situation, being that the thing that is currently rotting away at your morality is a dark side of sort… but it isn’t your original one.”

    Okay, what the fuck are you talking about?” I asked from that insane explanation. “I know that you are interested in making some complex speeches, but from my understand we are in a limited window of time.”

    He nodded, eyes widening but a small smile finally appearing. “That is correct, I suppose I could go ahead and paint out what is the guilty part in this dreadful predicament.”

    A small projector turned to life as light splashed on the wall on the side, a strange figure caught in the picture. It was coated in darkness, eyes glowing a pure white as its teeth pointy and hungry.

    The Dark Side of an individual is created out of ‘dark emotions’ and energy unconsciously used to filter those out of their mind. Generally speaking, the energy then accumulates and grant autonomous consciousness to the accumulated emotions, creating a fragment of the soul that is meant to exist in a normal circumstance.” He stopped and sighed tiredly while staring at the projected image.

    With me already existing and being already mature, the energy required to ‘give me intelligence’ was much less than usual, but the soul failed to recognize that a Dark Side was already present and… created a new one, a childish one, one that strives to destroy and never recognize its worth and importance within your body.”

    You mean that… there are currently two Dark Sides in my soul?” What the fuck was going on here?!

    Wrong, but legitimate question.” The man nodded and continued. “There can be only a Dark Side in someone’s soul and the resulting threat to us is… a tad bit more complicated and BS than you might think.”

    Try me.” I quipped swiftly, unaware of the regret I was going to deal with after hearing the answer.

    Do you know how Dragons are formed?” He asked rhetorically, making me slouch and stare in shock at him.

    … “What?

    You have dealt with quite the stress in the last few months, your very core furnishing this new dark creature within your soul with fresh energy and, given enough time, it managed to fully create itself within your soul, ready to break free and wreck havoc left and right.”

    Dragons are formed from large amounts of energy and certainly not within humans-”

    Not normal dragons, that explanation is valid only for normal ones.” He replied flippantly. “There is only a single case, a theory we once heard of and we found ourselves agree to back while browsing around this fandom. It was stupid but also held some merits...”

    My mind went through a rush, trying to figure out what the doppelganger was talking about, but failing to grasp anything remotely helpful for the situation.

    Then my eyes widened and all color left my face as I did remember that theory I had thought about as a strong possibility.

    I bet you know now, don’t you?” The young man sighed. “If the God of the Bible was revered as something infinite and unbeatable, how exactly did he get tired from ‘deploying thousands of seals’ upon Trihexa? Where did Trihexa came from to start with?”

    … “From God.” I replied blankly, a single clap of hands confirming my answer.

    Indeed! A single moment of weakness at the wake of the Great War and the Apocalypse Beast was created.” The being looked happy at the reply, but sobered up quite quickly.

    Then the reason Baraqiel said that he felt a ‘sliver of it’, was it because-”

    He could feel something similar to Trihexa, possibly thinking of some connection between it and us but… we know that could be a long stretch even for a theory.” He interrupted again, this time a grimace on his face.

    Then what is currently causing my feverish state and the sudden drain of my core is that bastard?” He nodded and I groaned. “But then a ritual wouldn’t work, we need to inform Suzaku-san!”

    If we wake up, we could end up accelerating the awakening and that is… pretty bad.” The young man countered calmly.

    Then what are we supposed to do?” I asked loudly, making the elegant man flinch.

    Fight it here where it is still vulnerable?” He shrugged. “I mean, we would be playing home and it would work and… that is why I brought you here.”

    I blinked in confusion and the counterpart sighed. “Look, I know it sounds like a trap of the non-Astolfo kind, but we are stuck in a crazy new world and with very few people to rely on. I don’t ask you to abandon yourself to my cooler side, but I wish that you consider the fact I don’t wish to control your body, I seek to help you.”

    Why would you refuse that? Why refuse the chance of be free?”

    Because I wouldn’t be free? The moment someone notices that I am ‘free’, I would be jailed and put under test to see if you could either be brought back or if this phenomenon could be done once again with other people. That isn’t freedom.”

    So you wish to… ally with me?”

    To treat me as an equal would be an unfair thought.” The Shadow admitted with a sigh. “I am the still minority to your absolute majority, soul-wise, and I would prefer something similar to the Ichigo-Hichigo’s King-Servant kind of relationship without the angsty and the rabid undertone.”

    What?” I asked in confusion, but just as the word left my mouth the entire cavern started to collapse on itself, forcing me to close my eyes in sudden fear.

    It took me just an instant to notice that none of the rocks starting to fall from the room had gone down on me and that I felt several gusts of winds gracing my clothes and face as I was descending from a very high altitude above my hometown.

    I saw my doppelganger free-falling at the same-speed I was, grinning while this was happening. “Pick your choice, my Liege, let me lease you my strength against-” ROAR! “-Jeez! That bastard is truly causing some issue over there.”

    My eyes followed the direction his finger was pointing at and widened when I saw the monstrous creature madly destroying everything on its path. Just like it was described in the Light Novel, this pseudo-Apocalyptic Beast had numerous heads and wings from several different animals in it, slashing, biting and stomping as it tried to cause the most damage possible.

    An abomination even among Chimeras.

    How do we fight it then, partner?”

    The Shadow’s smile widened big time as he turned his head at the monster. “This is your world and it can’t use any of its possible attacks other than physical. Have some fun while I support!”

    What was that supposed to mean?

    I shook my head as I focused on the first issue I had to deal with: I was still free-falling.

    My head turned back to the young man and… my jaws dropped when I saw him pull out an umbrella and open it up, only for his fall to be literally slowed down to a slow and acceptable speed while he waved my way.

    This is your world!

    I hope this isn’t some BS mind-scape kind of thing…

    Sighing for a brief moment, I slowly adjusted myself and pushed myself forward.

    The effect was instantaneous as I started to fly right in the directions I wanted. Eyes glowing in child-like wonder and mind rebooting at the insanity I just pulled, I spent some moments to contemplate this situation and… I returned to focus on the Beast.

    I landed on some destroyed concrete ground, the formerly clean highway now shattered and destroyed. Eyes set on the humongous monster, I crouched a little, hands drawn to one of my side and forming a sphere as I started to chant a very familiar and more-than-needed word.

    Kaaa-

    meee-

    haaa-

    meee-

    I could feel the blue sphere of pure destruction fully formed and I saw the creature stop to look back at me. ROAR!

    It started to rush, quickly, madly and panicking as I finished my chant and unleashed unholy fury over it.

    -HA!

    A blue wave of energy was released from my palms slammed rapidly against the approaching monster, clashing against its momentum and starting to push it away from me.

    I wasn’t feeling any strain, but I could feel something akin to energy flooding my body as ended the first attack on the list.

    A large section of its large body sported now a gaping hole caused by the Kamehameha passing through it and going beyond.

    Its roars were now softer, pained and its moves looked unfocused. It was already weakened!

    Just as I was about to go for my second attack, I saw a magical circle encircle the recovering beast, causing it to lash out in fear and fury away from it. Or it would have been the case if several black-colored chains didn’t keep it still for a while.

    That is Suzaku-san’s trying to purge it. You should weaken it even more without moving it from the current position.

    And that meant getting closer and deal with it personally. I groaned as I knew that now I had something to worry about in that dream-like situation.

    Flying again, I rushed towards the head that were trying to break the chains away and was opposed by a lion- and a snake-like ones.

    I quickly lowered myself below the reptile one and punched its chin, while kicking the feline one away and launching an explosive blast at its neck, severing the first of many heads.

    A sudden rush of attacks between wings and heads started to keep me busy and attentive, the difficulty rising the more of those joined in for the macabre dance.

    Sever this, explode that, punch those. The combination wasn’t something accomplished in the same order, but the results were nothing to scoff at.

    After several minutes of intense focus, I noticed a detail I had ignored for a while. The more heads and wings I cut, the more of those would appear to replace them and… if there were several animals mixed with it, it wasn’t excluded that a Hydra’s ability to regenerate was there too to cause problems.

    Thus I stopped attacking, my attention shifting back to a possible weak-point I could exploit as the chain was starting to crack under the pressure and the seal was far from completed.

    I dodged several biting attempts while in this search and then I found something interesting. Deep in that mess of necks, I could see something trying to pass unnoticed but still stealing some glances my general direction.

    Approaching closer, my eyes widened in surprise as a lick of fire tried to consume me before I could get a proper look at this strange spot, forcing me to dodge around and… see a monstrous one-eyed dragon-head still glaring my way.

    Was… Was that the main head?

    A furious roar, the very one that had echoed until now left the open maws of the beastly face, forcing me to bring my arms up to resist the powerful gust of fire following it.

    A bubble-like barrier formed around me, diverting the flames away until those ended completely.

    My turn, ugly fuck!” I brought my hands up and slowly created the very technique that should have featured in a very good movie.

    Big Bang-!

    Warm energy started to accumulate in a large orb of cerulean light, going beyond the time the normal Kamehameha had needed to form and several heads and wings rushed my way to stop me from completing the attack.

    But sadly for the abomination… it was too late.

    KAMEHAMEHA!

    The world around me exploded and I was suddenly slammed away from the beast’s body, yanked away in the air as several heads slammed on the ground while the seal glowed brightly and engulfed the whole monster before it could regenerate from that powerful blow.

    I landed several meters away, staring at the light purging the beast and erasing it in white mist.

    That was some good work, King.” I blinked and turned around at the approaching doppelganger, a small odd smile on his face. “Yet I would have preferred that you ‘restrained’ yourself rather than go nuclear on that fiend.”

    … “What?”

    Who do you think is going to fix this stuff now?” He spread his arms to gesticulate the city around us or… the quarter that managed to survive the devastating attacks I had unleashed upon the monster.

    I’m… sorry?”

    The man snorted and merely facepalmed. “Just… next time we get invaded by some apocalyptic leech of the headache kind, I would prefer just ‘a little bit’ of restraint from you, King.”

    If you want, I can help-”

    It’s not needed.” He sighed and smiled once more. “No need to spoil the victory here and deny you the chance to get back to the real world to not cast some suspicion and… have fun.

    ------------d-d-d-dd------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d-------d-d-d-

    I found myself brought back in the soft mattress that I had left from in the real world, eyes blinking a little to adjust to the light of the room and… I saw Suzaku looking a little drained. Breathing a little erratic and posture a little bent as some sweat had formed in her forehead.

    Red eyes looked at me and I smiled at her nod. “T-The ritual is done and… this ended up being more difficult than I thought it should have been. How are you feeling?”

    A little sore but… I feel better.”

    You seem radiant. Are you sure everything’s alright?

    I’m feeling great!

    He is just giddy because he blasted the issue that was causing the sudden fevers.

    That is good to kno- Who are you!?

    You mean me? Well… there is a lot of explain and I’m technically fixing the chaos left behind by the battle but I assure you Hoitsu will tell you everything.

    It’s kind of weird but… We have a new voice here.

    What?!

    ------------------d-d-d-d----------------d-d-d-d---------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d--

    AN

    6k of pure chapter. I told you the short one was a prelude to a massive one.

    Also some brief explanation: I have planned some better reasoning about why MC’s Dark Side is this ‘nicer’ compared to many others and it will be given… in two chapters from now.

    Next chapter will conclude the visit at the Black Dog bar and I’m considering putting a real fight there, but I’m still considering.

    Lastly, the day after tomorrow I will upload an Omake. I thought that I would have been able to upload yesterday, but I got busy bc of RL stuff and couldn’t do much about it.

    Future milestone 1: 626 Followers and Favorites.

    Future milestone 2: 696 Followers and Favorites.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
  20. Threadmarks: Fairly Unjust
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 20: Fairly Unjust

    I hummed a little as I slowly led the tired Suzaku Himejima out of the small room where the ritual has happened, the young woman still tired from the draining process and requiring some assistance to move around.

    The priestess was thankful for the support and I was smart enough to not lose myself in watching her sweaty form. As much as she was extremely beautiful, the mere idea of ogling now of all times felt not only disgusting but despicable and dishonest.

    Thus most of my attention was directed at cautiously move around the creaky wood ground of the hallways that made the upper floor of the establishment. Now that I had this little issue solved, I was quickly noticing that things felt much clearer than before.

    My sensor capacity felt distinctly heightened, my body felt revitalized and my core seemed to purr contently while I first tried to check if things were now alright, electricity cackling within my fingertips for a moment before I got off the bed.

    We finally descended through the staircase that led back to the first floor of the bar, the sight to the large room that housed the various clients hidden from the end of the stairs by a simple wall with a connecting door by the far left side.

    Once this was opened, I was graced with a scene I had not expected to see back to the bar.

    Vali was trying to claw at Tobio while at the same time dodging an attack from the black sword his opponent was holding in his hand, the man’s body was covered by the Balance Breaker of Canis Lykaos and he had an irritated snarl plastered on his muzzle.

    I blinked at the scene, but my confusion was diverted away back to the Himejima when she sighed tiredly. “I think I now know who is your companion.” The comment wasn’t made out of feeble evidence, the holder of Divine Dividing was using Albion’s wing to bolster his current reaction speed against the clearly faster Ikuse.

    I should take you to safety first...” And then I will deal with what was going on over there.

    The woman nodded and I proceeded to slowly go through the corners of the little battlefield of broken tables and chairs while eyeing the counter, Baraqiel shaking his head at the two brawlers while Sae was groaning in her hands.

    Once we were there, Suzaku smile and nodded thankful as she took a seat back in one of the stools, giving me the chance of ask to the Fallen Angel what was going on.

    Sougyoku-kun decided to poke fun at Tobio-kun and ended up bringing a sore memory of my former student.” There was a minor flinch on the man’s face at the mentioning of that predicament, causing me to frown in renewed confusion.

    A sore memory? Maybe something that had yet to appear in the Slash Dog series?

    The LN was still leaving some questions about how things ended up like they were now, but whatever got the bartender this worked up it has to be something incredibly delicate. Tobio is far too chill in normal situations to be enraged by anything simple.

    The moron should learn to let go.” Sae continued. “I’m still here and it wasn’t his fault.”

    I tilted my head on the side, trying to understand the few words from the childhood friend of the Slash Dog and… I returned to watch the fight.

    Tobio looked particularly winded, but not even close to concede a defeat, while Vali looked quite weak as of now, his reaction time sloppy and his ragged breathing that we could hear from this far were signs that he was close to collapse.

    Why isn’t he using his Balance Breaker?” I asked softly, confused at the lack of the white dragonic armor.

    Baraqiel sighed. “He did try to use it, but Tobio-kun’s speed and claws shattered it before it could fully form.”

    The limited space offered little opportunity to pull a proper Balance Breaker without getting intercepted by the semi-rabid steps of the werewolf-like enemy. Jin was also stalking around and giving support with his own sword where he could, further aggravating the Vanishing Dragon’s chances of getting some counterattack going.

    Why would he even try to go for a fight with someone he knew he was losing to?”

    I turned at the sudden silence and blinked in shock as I found myself looked at with a deadpanned look from the three senior members of Grigori. Then I realized and sighed. “It’s his cockiness, isn’t it?”

    Yes. I reckon your partner is quite… an idiot in this kind of situations.” Sae muttered, shaking her head in disappointment.

    I shrugged helplessly as I had little control over the boy, but as I was about to ask something else a yelp caught my attention, forcing me to look back at the small battlefield.

    Dark-red fire started to consume a portion of the destroyed floor, Vali was holding his left arm close to the chest and I could see some smoke coming from it, the owner of the Canis Lycaon snarling aggressively as his pace grew faster, more feral than before and giving even less mercy to the clearly disadvantaged Sougyoku.

    He isn’t in control anymore.’ Apophis was correct, the once well-planned stance was now fading into something animal-like, mindless.

    We should help him-

    Or maybe let the others intervene? We aren’t certainly ready to face anything like that yet.

    Tobio, stop!” Baraqiel had his wings deployed and seemed ready to jump in action, but just as he was ready to stop this mess from degenerating further, Vali was brought down on the floor with a powerful slam, the bartender’s claws poised up above his head and ready to strike down his ‘enemy’.

    But just as the killing blow descended upon the barely awake Vanishing Dragon, several strings of light appeared and latched onto the lycan-like body, tying it down while Tobio started to struggle to get free from my intervention.

    I started to walk slowly towards the groaning Vali, crouching to pick him up and then made my way back to the stools, placing the injured moron on two of those and ignoring his confused stare and the surprised ones from the other three by the counter.

    Sensei.” I looked at the Fallen Angel. “I have to deal with Tobio-san, alone.”

    The man’s eyes widened. “What are you talking about, brat? You can’t win-”

    I don’t need to win. I only need to stall him enough for Tobio-san to calm down enough to drop the Balance Breaker and I’m quite sure that having you to help will only make him feel threatened.”

    I pointed at the glass ceiling and at the sky. It was darkening, one of the aspects of Canis Lykaon was render the skies to darkness, which was going to cause some issue if it continued or worsened.

    Stretching a little, I went back to where I had found the downed Vali and looked up at the growling bartender. I blinked a little nervous about facing someone like goddamn Tobio Ikuse at his prime, glancing momentarily to the side as I did notice Jin stalking around us.

    I don’t want to hurt Tobio-san. Just need him to calm down, he is angry and… he is scaring his friends.” The large wolf-like familiar paused just a moment, glancing by the counter and saw Sae looking particularly scared at how her childhood friend was behaving.

    The dog sat down, the sword on his teeth vanishing as he seemed to retire from the battle that was resuming now.

    With a final roar, the owner of Canis Lykaon broke the last of the Silver Linings I had over him and he was quickly rushing for me, claws ready to strike and blade in his other hand prepared to defend.

    I dodged the approaching attack, sliding by his side and slamming a fist upon his ribs… only to have my punch bounce away, knuckles hurting just a little.

    His armor is impervious to physical attacks. Start using magic against him.

    Nodding to myself, I quickly set down some Light Mines while jumping away from the recovered opponent. Tobio roared again, this time in pain as three consecutive explosions sent him flying several meters away.

    He slammed on some chairs and tables, wood splinters propelled from his impact but bouncing away from his armor. Growling, the man’s claws glowed a dark hue and I felt panic rising as I remembered one of his more obscure abilities.

    Jumping high and far away from the ground, I saw thousands of black swords emerge from my shadows, moments away from tearing me up.

    Nigh Haken was a scary ability, one I will have to be careful while fighting him. Still, it was better than deal with Ame-no-Ohabari and its flames, my Light Static being unable to properly disperse cursed fire and leaving me with nothing to deal with it.

    But just as I found some relief away from that close call, I found myself slammed down by a large claw pushing onto my crossed arms.

    I had just the time to groan, Tobio picking me up and bringing my face close to his muzzle. He opened up and showed his sharp teeth, while snarling and preparing to take a bite out of me.

    Without even thinking twice about it, I let my Light Static course out of my body and into the close monster-like berserk, the Ikuse whining at the sudden pain and reacting by letting me go and… kicking me brutally on the stomach.

    I slammed through several chairs before rolling down on the floor, my breakfast trying to get out of my mouth but failing as I put a hand under my mask to press my lips close, feeling the acidity leave a foul taste on my throat.

    He doesn’t look to be recovering from his furious state.

    He actually looks to be focusing more on his attacks, an animal wouldn’t have gone through that ‘complex’ strategy to get you. Using the swords to lure you in a position you can’t defend yourself in.

    Still that is kind of bad because I don’t think I can hold for long. I need some help but-

    Quit your nagging, Hoitsu. You asked for the fight and… I think I can help you somehow.

    I thought you couldn’t do much with the abomination taking most of the energy.

    I still have the one that helped me in forming a consciousness and… I think we can pull something like the Vizards in Bleach did, minus the mask.
    Vizards? Bleach?

    I am talking about ripping off some ‘transformation’ from a fictional animated series which has to do with someone synchronizing with their own inner darkness.

    I do remember that Ichigo couldn’t go further than the mask tho.

    That is because he had a dipshit as his own dark side. You have me and… I ain’t a Hollow, thus let’s see how this works, shall we?

    I sighed, paling a little as I saw Tobio jump up above and directing his fall towards me, maws first.

    Fine, but I hope you know what you are doing.

    I felt something vibrate happily within my core and then time slowed down just a little, dark smoke starting to leave my arms, my legs and the sides of my face and… I smiled at the sudden energy recharge for my reserves.

    The Isuke seemed to notice immediately the strange change, a bit confused as his mid-air stance soften a little, his eyes widening in realization as I rushed towards him with a quick burst and slammed my fist right on his chest.

    It… worked?

    While previously the armor had rendered direct physical attacks useless, the energy flooding my coils were now reinforcing my limbs and my overall physical attributes. I was surprised myself, so much that I had to ask some more explanations about this.

    What did you do?

    Do you remember why Touki and Senjutsu are incredibly difficult to learn?

    ...Because both require time to-

    Because both can cause the weakening of one’s self and the strengthening of their own dark side. But what happens if the Dark Side refuse to accept the negativity? Look at the smoke.

    I complied, eyes directed at it as I had some time before the owner of Canis Lykaon recovered from that powerful attack. What about it?

    It’s negativity.’ Apophis replied. ‘You are filtering out the negativity within the natural energy Hoitsu is absorbing.

    Correct~! But sadly this form isn’t eternal and I think you will last two minutes of staying in this form so… finish this off already?

    I nodded to myself and narrowed my eyes at the still aggressive bartender, a howl preceding another rush towards me, this time several Silver Linings wrapped around his legs and forced him to trip down on the floor. More strings joined up and soon he was elevated away from his own shadow, enough light ropes keeping him stuck still as I advanced swiftly towards me to end this fight once for all.

    My fist tightened a little more as I jumped and cocked for another punch, planning to make this the final hit. “Take this, Tobio-san!”

    I slammed my closed palm upon his Linings-covered chest with the strength I had mustered, the impact tearing all of the Linings and sending him diving onto the ground like a big bullet.

    The entire building gave a temporary shake as dust started to cover the ‘exploded’ section of the establishment.

    Legs wavering, I fell on one knee as the form I had finally collapsed, my Core a little strained but still working at optimal levels and without lasting damages on my coils.

    I was sure that I had managed to beat him once for all and yet…

    Deflating at the sounds of footsteps approaching, I tried to stand up, only ending up to fall on my butt as a figure emerged from the still fluttering dust.

    The werewolf-like armor stared at me silently, Tobio’s posture relaxed for a moment and lacking any of the feral aspects I had to deal with until now.

    That… hurt.” The armor disappeared in dark-purple particles, the bartender holding his chin while caressing it, the spot in question red and a little swelling. “Did you have to hit that hard?”

    I breathed in and then out. “You know that you were in a berserk state, right?”

    He nodded. “Yeah, but-”

    And that you were hardly holding back there?”

    Well, kind of but-”

    I had to hit you with my strongest attacks to get on your protected self a mere swelling, and let me remind you again that Canis Lykaon BB’s armor isn’t something that I could normally hit physicially.”

    About that-”

    And you ask ‘Why I had to hit you that hard’?!” He flinched a little at my words and he looked down to the ground, not daring to interject any further at the fact I wasn’t showing any leniency at that stupid question.

    I slowly got up from the ground and started to limp towards the counter, ignoring Tobio’s attempt to help me with this task and eyeing only an individual in particular. Someone that was the prime responsible for this situation which I felt bitchy about and he looked better than before.

    Tear of Phoenix from Baraqiel, I deduced as I was finally close enough to my target.

    Vali looked confused, clueless of the troubling storm riddling my logical thoughts as I decided to seek an apology by other means.

    While my arm was sore and my knuckles were still hurting, I felt better in punching the Vanishing Dragon right in the guts. The effect was instantaneous, the boy crouching a little and backing away from me as I went to walk towards the waiting man.

    The Fallen Angel looked surprised, confused, suspicious but very relieved that I was still alive and well. “Do you need a flask?” I nodded and accepted the small bottle.

    I know that you want to ask about that, but for now I will say it has to do with Senjutsu, not ‘whatever issue you found yesterday’.”

    Baraqiel looked skeptical but nodded slowly, accepting only because I looked still normal from the looks of it.

    Ara, Ara, Tobio-kun got quite the bruise on himself.” Suzaku looked to have recovered from the ritual, the woman smiling regally at the now blushing bartender while ignoring the huffing from Sae.

    You should have been more careful with Sougyoku, Tobio-kun. By the way, what did he tell you to get you this much angry.”

    The owner of the Black Dog bar blinked, then directed a deadly glare at the groaning holder of the Divine Dividing Sacred Gear, sighing the moment he saw the others staring at him. “Nothing that will get me… next time.”

    Then he turned once more to stare at me. “I want to apologize for… almost killing you there, Hekishoku-kun. If there is something I can do to gain forgiveness, please, just ask.”

    I blinked, ready to refuse this but… then I glanced at the priestess and at the researcher, a small plan hatching within my mind.

    I think I have the rightful punishment but also the proper reward.” I nodded with a smile. “But before I truly say it, I wish to know what is Sae-san’s relationship with Tobio-san.”

    The brunette blinked in confusion. “We are childhood friends-”

    With all due respect and without meaning it as a tease, would you mind if I demanded that he gave you and Suzaku-san free massages?”

    … “W-What? Th-That sounds incredibly perverted and-”

    I know that the teasing material would be immense, but I do notice that you are interested in something serious with Tobio-san and… I think you wouldn’t like to be excluded if I did that only with Suzaku-san.” I interrupted, once more bringing more reasoning out for this and I noticed her hesitating from responding. “Plus, if he tries anything perverted you could just tell me and I would come back here to give him a beating.”

    The bartender sputtered at that. “T-That sounds incredibly lewd a-and I don’t want to importunate Sae-chan and Suzaku-nee-”

    It’s Suzaku-chan, Tobio-kun, and I think the ‘punishment’ is quite fitting for my needy sore body.” She turned to her fellow female with a smile. “Sae-chan, I promise you that I will not tease you about this if you just accept it.”

    The confirmation of no teasing, plus my sugar-coated words seemed to do the trick as the young woman sighed tiredly. “Fine, but I hope you will uphold that promise in case he did something perverted.”

    I will get back on training and reach Tobio-san’s level in no time. Plus, I will have Sougyoku-kun’s help in any future fight with him.” I turned to look at the grouchy-looking Vali. “Am I right, partner?”

    He didn’t reply at first, giving me a deadly stare before sighing. “If we combine our strengths… it could work.”

    I smiled widely at that comment and nodded his way. Finally some progress!

    ------------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----

    We continued to chit-chat amiably for an hour or two, finishing around lunchtime.

    Since I had left no one back at home to keep care of Kunou, I had to return quickly and so, after leaving Vali in the spot where we had found him earlier that day, Baraqiel left me by the door’s entrance before leaving for a quick walk to the pub.

    It would seem like there was going to be a serving of a special beverage by lunch and thus he didn’t want to miss it.

    Removing the mask and cloak, putting both back in my backpack, I opened the door of the house and walked inside. Quick footsteps preceded the Kitsune’s arrival to greet me but, while I had expected a happy look on the girl’s face, the moment she turned the corner I saw tears falling from her eyes.

    N-Niichan! T-They took her!” She hugged me tightly and I panicked a little, returning the embrace.

    What do you mean, Ku-chan?” I asked, a little confused at her scared tone. “Who took who?”

    She merely sobbed on my sleeves and I heard more footsteps approaching from the living room. Issei emerged from the living room, shoulders sagging and his face gloomy while he continued to stare at a small piece of clothes. A light-green string that was usually used to tie women’s hair and…

    Do you like it, Senpai? Issei-kun bought me this as a gift and I love it.

    No…

    S-Senpai.” The brunet’s voice was broken. “I- They- He took her.”

    ...No, no!

    I- This wasn’t possible. There isn’t a chance in hell Rias would have let Raiser take Asia, not even the marriage threat would have worked.

    Does Rias know about this? Did she tell you how-”

    SHE LET HIM GO WITH HER!” I paled at his outburst, his hands going to his head as he trembled a little, tears falling down as the realization struck fully.

    It would seem like you forgot one small detail in that plan of yours.

    ...And that is?

    Asia-chan… she isn’t close to Rias as in Canon and her connection to Grigori is unknown to many.

    I-I should have-

    What? Planned for some smuggling? Created a bunker only for her? Trouble would still come to her and the only fault I can attach to you is the fact you didn’t train her for the occasion. She should have been prepared for this scenario-

    I- What I am supposed to do then-

    Calm down and think. Asia is still Grigori’s responsibility and if some bird-brain plan to make an hail-mary by using her then we have all the good reasons to crash his castle already.

    Then my mind moved back to Rias, the Gremory should have done something about it and- and-

    Focus on Asia first. We will deal with that bitch later when we have time and everyone is safe.

    You are oddly fine with letting some bashing go.

    I know that there is a time to punish and there is a time to focus on what it matters and you know it too, it’s just that your anger is hindering your logical thoughts and I am not influenced in any way.

    Without wasting further time, I reached the telephone and called the Governor-General.

    What followed was a lengthy call that lasted two full hours, the man wanting full details on the situation and proposing different plans before settling for a plain and simple ‘door-knocking’ after consulting with the Four Maou and gaining their approval.

    A full day would have to pass, but once things were approved some vindictive actions for meddling in Grigori’s affairs in broad daylight.

    And while the situation seemed to be shifting back to a favorable fate, my mind couldn’t help but still linger around a question in particular.

    Why did Rias let Raiser take Asia?

    ------------------------d-d-d-d--------------dd--dd-------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d-

    AN

    Another fighting chapter, a sudden twist and my, oh my I finally dropped the infuriating thing Rias was supposed to do. While right now it seems quite illogical for her to do so, the explanation will be furnished next chapter.

    Also, before dropping going for the next section… here is something I have also promised:

    ------------d-d-d-d----------
    Omake: Kunou’s first heat (with a twist!)
    ------------d-d-d-d----------


    Of the many things I had to deal in my daily life, from fending off monsters and aiding Grigori with the mission I was sent to complete, the very predicament I was forced to deal with right now wasn’t something I had expected.

    Kunou was red-faced, her breath incredibly ragged as she latched onto my my arm, nuzzling her upper body in an attempt to seemingly scratch an itch.

    I was horrified to find the girl in a pool of sweat waking up early in the morning but I managed to get her a little better by turning on several cooling devices, the girl pleased at the help to deal with the sudden warmth but still suffering from her first heat.

    I discovered what this meant by Baraqiel’s explanation. Differently from common animal knowledge, Yokais with animal-like traits had a kind of heat based upon their own magics. Some of those were also a sudden cold or even feeling energetic over the days of the heat, but most of those were solved with sexual activities proposed by their partners.

    With Kunou being a young teenager and this being her first heat, the situation had required some drastic planning to properly solve this in a family-friendly way.

    Massaging her shaking shoulders, I brought my mouth near her ears and whispered. “C’mon, Ku-chan, you just need to take the aim and blast that away.”

    B-But what if I miss a-and I don’t know, I’m so nervous.” I patted her head, trying to calm her a little as I pointed at the fake targets from afar.

    It’s not important that you get it right the first time, just keep trying until the target gets caught in flames or explodes.” She hummed, trying to lock her golden eyes on the various targets that I spent some time spreading around the empty junkyard for the girl to practice around.

    Some were dressed the same way as the magicians that had given chase to her back in Kyoto, thus helping also to face that little fear of hers.

    Finally she nodded and took the aim with her open palms, her hand warming up as they glowed golden, small circles with seals appearing in front of them and-

    KA-BOOM!

    The first explosive spell hit the center of the large ‘army’, decimating most of the first, second and third line. She blinked, then eyed her hands and finally tried again.

    KA-BOOM!

    KA-BOOM!

    KA-BOOM!

    Her tails were waggling madly as a giggle continued to resonate the more explosions she created. I patted her head and smiled at the incredibly powerful blasts my little imouto was creating thanks to her over-charged core.

    The fun explo-fest continued for three more hours and I had to urge some pauses to place new targets for the fox-eared dynamiter with lots of energy to waste around.

    At a certain point, I joined the little girl’s fun by using my own explosive spells and destroying some old cars in the process.

    By the end of this ‘bonding session’, Kunou and I had a smile plastered on our faces, walking away from the now empty lot of land, we decided that an early return back home to enjoy some delicious lunch was now the main objective with the girl’s heat dealt with.

    Meanwhile, not too far away…

    T-That was Kunou-chan?” Asia asked in visible awe while watching the brother-sister duo leave the burning, destroyed junkyard.

    Y-Yeah.” Issei Hyoudou wasn’t unsure if he should have taken that sight with the same awe as the blonde by his side or be dreaded by the destruction capacity the little chibi was showing there.

    The former nun turned to look at him with a determined look. “I want to make things explode too! Will you help me, Issei-kun?”

    His common sense was there to remind him of the potential effects of such endeavor, knowing that if the police ended up seeing them do anything even a little explosive, things would end up poorly for them.

    But with that angelic smile and that adorable set of eyes begging him to help, the gentleman side within his head supplexed the common sense and supported the proposition.

    And thus Issei Hyuodou and Asia Argento ended up buying a fairly impressive amount of fireworks that they set off by nighttime.

    Kuoh Town enjoyed some unexpected beautiful colors painting the night, but the police spent few more days trying to find the responsible ones that caused such unregistered act.

    ------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d-------d-d-d-d-

    I bet someone got in Protecc mode because of the title, but it was I, Explosive Fluff, and not anything lewd!
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
    ArKFallen, FeebleEcho, naarn and 9 others like this.
  21. Threadmarks: Drastic Blitz
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 21: Drastic Blitz

    The first few hours at Kuoh Academy started incredibly tense.

    Issei had slept in one of the couches of the living room at his request and, after cooling a little off from the grave news he delivered, I found myself worrying about the brunet’s somber and frail state.

    Giving an extra eye over what he was doing, right by the time I had finished the call with Azazel I ended up telling the boy about the situation. Minor relief washed upon his empty expression, a bare light against that dark depression that had taken over him.

    One would easily be confused by the fact he was suffering this much by Asia’s kidnapping, but the context and past’s ramifications played a major role in the terrible mood the holder of the Boosted Gear had been left in.

    Having already been ‘betrayed’ by Raynare early on his life as a Devil, seeing the one that ‘saved’ him decided to offer someone he was starting to love romantically to ‘solve her own problems’ was the worst kind of back-stab one like him could ever endure.

    Entering from the glass doors of the school building, the boy seemed particularly lost, barely caring for the usual whispering about his previous attitude as pervert. This reaction causing the rumors to stop abruptly for a moment, confusion and shock spreading through the various crowds watching his slouched walking and his empty stare as he walked back to his classroom.

    Some started to question this strange situation, voicing a possible tragedy happening to his family or something of that terrible kind. But no one dared to approach him, the brunet appreciating as he had voiced his wish to spend a few days without being annoyed by others.

    Something that cemented my concern of his closing up. While Issei was a pervert in the Canon, he was a social inept, a loud bark without a genuine bite within him while speaking to women. Some suggested that it was about Raynare’s attempt at his life that scarred him for a long time, but I wasn’t part of that group.

    The Fallen Angel sure had an effect on him, having left him quite wary of dealing with beautiful women more powerful than him, but it was the real issue was… a lack of understanding about women.

    From the fact he was incredibly shy around Irina and the fact he did have some romantic feeling back when he was a child directed at her, it isn’t difficult to see how learning about women (in a perverted and depraved way) was his first and strongest attempt to understand those feelings and the necessity to gain friends in the process.

    Then said understanding became an obsession and finally it became part of his overall personality.

    But this ‘Issei Hyoudou’ just recently started to rekindle that interest in understanding women. With Asia by his side and both showing reciprocal interest to each other, the boy took more care in learning how to romance. While the advice he would ask from me would be mere questions about specific sections of the subject so difficult for many men, his commitment proved more than once to be genuine for the blonde.

    I will definitely keep an eye over him while I dealt with this difficult day.

    Personally leaving Kunou to her classroom, I swiftly to my own class, wishing to not encounter none of the people I wished to have nothing about today and I was blessed by the fact I was one of the few first students to enter that room.

    Time passed and the rest arrived, Akeno was the first to arrive, her usual smile missing as her mouth was a thin line from the moment she entered inside to the point she was taking a seat by her desk.

    Rias entered a little later, I felt a quick glance my way but I was distracted by more important papers than the redhead that looked incredibly tense.

    They were both nervous the moment the King of the peerage picked her seat, close to the Priestess of Thunder.

    I merely glanced their way the moment I knew they weren’t going to notice my staring and my eyes were quick to catch the tension between the two. It was surprising to see that large of a rift between the two friends, but I guess that Rias was already suffering her decision within her own group.

    Two hours passed, the situation escalated just a bit with the Gremory trying to get Akeno’s attention on her, failing as the Himejima continued to keep a devoted attention to the blackboard and to the lesson unfolding in those hours.

    Two more hours were spent in the classroom, the bell rang and I was glad that I had been spared by Rias’ pitiful attempts to reconcile with others.

    Without wasting anymore time lest of getting intercepted by the very girl I was trying to avoid, I was quickly making on my way to the Student Council’s classroom.

    Being the first there, I decided to burn some of the stress by rapidly completing my paperwork, ignoring the fact I was going to an inhuman pace in the process as I was alone in that place at that hour.

    My mind was going miles per hour trying to get everything done, my brain recklessly going through some melting issue as my attention and worries were directed elsewhere from that particular situation.

    I had gone through more than half the tall stack of paper when I heard someone knocking at the door before Sona peeking from the small opening she created by opening it a little.

    Hoitsu-san, I see that you are here earlier than usual.” Her tone seemed calm and I nodded.

    Decided to invest some dutiful time in my job, Sona-san.”

    The girl blinked, there was a brief note of surprise in her eyes, then she sighed and looked particularly uneasy as she spoke once more.

    Actually, I need you to come with me. It’s… important.”

    I stopped, a frown appearing to match my current scowl as I glanced up from my work to stare at the nervous-looking president. “Something’s wrong?”

    You… could say that.” She stated cryptically and I decided to see what was going on.

    Quickly noticing the lack of Tsubaki in that instance, I felt some confusion turning in suspicion and said emotion grew more by the time I realized where she was leading me to.

    The Sitri knocked at the door of the Occult Research Club’s classroom, waiting patiently as someone came to open at us. Akeno’s violet eyes widened at seeing me before quickly daring away in mortification.

    Silently she made way as we both entered the classroom, my eyes instantly taking notice of the fact the entire room was filled by both Rias’ and Sona’s peerages. Issei was there too, but he looked reluctant about his presence there.

    This looks like a trap.

    This is a trap, Apophis, but the question that I have to ask is… who is really the one trapped here?

    I waited patiently near the door, deciding against moving away from it.

    The redhead was sitting alone in one of the single couches, looking quite nervous but still trying to bring out a confident appearance. “Good, you are here, Hoitsu-sa-”

    Don’t use my name, Gremory. I am not in the moods for some games here.” I interrupted coldly. “Why am I here?”

    I had to muster some major effort to held back my rhetorical and derisive tone as I did knew what this could have been about.

    Don’t make the first move, let them make a mistake and capitalize on it.

    I know.

    My sudden intervention unbalanced the girl, the redhead pausing a moment to sigh and try to regain her composure. “Ok… I know this might sound strange but we have to talk about why Asia Argento is no longer within Kuoh Town as of yesterday.”

    I blinked, unholy fury building up within my chest, swelling more and more at her attempt to sound cryptic in that fucking moment. It wasn’t the right instance to be having that tone!

    She closed her eyes. “We… are all Devils, Sakakibara-san.”

    Just like in the show, everyone but Akeno, Koneko and Issei revealed their Demonic Wings to prove this statement. I glanced at the silver-haired Nekoshou, the girl having a distant but guilty look as she continued to stare at her legs in silence.

    Asia-chan was offered a position as the Bishop of an important Devil House and… I decided to accept for her sake.” Rias continued to explain, blue eyes avoiding meeting mine while she spoke. “While the one that took her was despicable, the nature of the contract offered to her was beneficial and thus… I gave my blessing to it.”

    I was about to call the BS at that point but as the entire explanation reached my brain, sinking deep, I froze in cold realization. My eyes widened, but not for the kind of surprise they were expecting.

    My mind burned while putting together the scene and motivating how this could be possible.

    Raiser had his Bishop positions in his peerage already taken by part of his ‘harem’ and he couldn’t have known about Asia without having someone spying in Kuoh, which he didn’t have. So the one that told him about her had to be someone that knew about the blonde and… wanted her.

    An important Devil House. That was how Rias has described the ‘group’ that had taken the girl and-

    No, she wouldn’t have done something as dumb as that.

    It was already a shit-fest with the fact Asia was and still is part of Grigori and, if forcefully converted with her contract still valid it would warrant the new Great War.

    But I decided to still ask while hoping to be granted a negative response to this horrible scenario. “The Devil house, it’s the Astaroth?” Curt and decisive, my words cut deep through the meek explanation that had been going on while I was thinking about this stuff.

    The Gremory paused, a little surprised at my accurate and precise question, but much to my dismay nodded with a frail smile. “I-It is?”

    The room’s temperature went down several degrees and everyone seemed now to be staring at me in shock. I blinked, a sudden breeze coating me as some dark smoke started to come out from my body.

    Ok, what did you do?

    Honestly? Nothing. That is actually you tapping in that form with me being forced to join in. I guess we both are that angry.

    Your cover might as well have been ruined now.

    It was ruined, there was no doubt my the panicking glances I was getting right now, but knowing that I had the chance of gaining some momentum distant from this development, I took the opportunity and went with it.

    So you mean to tell me that, not only you gave a member of Grigori, that you had nothing to do about I might add, but you also gave her to someone that is a possible member of a rebellious group?”

    Sona frowned at my words while Rias seemed completely blasted by those accusations.

    Hoitsu-san, I think you should add some more details about those words. And I notice that you have a perfectly functional Magical Core on you.” I grimaced at the fact the heiress to the Sitri Clan didn’t let go of that particular revelation but I kept my focus on the accusations.

    Asia-san was excommunicated after aiding a Devil with her Twilight Healing. After being forced out of the Church, she was accepted in Grigori, to be aiding the small cadre ailing in this city as a garrison force.” I paused a moment, then sighed. “The Garrison force went rogue at the chance of using the powers of the Sacred Gears but were intercepted and forced to surrender before any damage could have been dealt to the city.”

    Let me guess, Asia is still part of Grigori even through the cadre here was dismantled.” I nodded at Tsubaki’s assumption which she sighed about it. “That means that what just happened yesterday could potentially cause another conflict between Fallen Angels and Devils.”

    And Heaven is not going to pass up the opportunity to jump in it too.” Sona concluded with a grimace. She turned to look at Rias. “Why did you even offer Asia-san to Raiser? Shouldn’t you have been a little more concerned about the fact that he wouldn’t have given up the marriage contract without a proper reason?”

    The contract he gave me spoke of giving Asia love and affection-” She tried to plea, but I interjected.

    Which in Diodora Astaroth’s case are twisted to a demented degree. Have you seen the state of his peerage? That what his ‘love’ is about.” I sighed. “Your crimes will be dealt by your brother, Gremory.” She paled at the mentioning of Sirzechs, having already sent a letter to him to explain what was going on.

    I turned to look at Issei, the brunet frowning and waiting but my glance was taken by a stranger sight. Two fluffy white cat ears were now showing atop Koneko’s head, her wide golden eyes now had vertical pupils just like a feline.

    It is the form. It might have the same undertone of the Senjutsu and that is triggering some minor PTSD. But don’t stop there, we’re already going on a limited time.

    I nodded inwardly, knowing that while Diodora might have done nothing to Asia the day before because… it wouldn’t have been majestic enough for his ego, the same couldn’t be said today.

    Issei, you are coming with me.” The boy looked surprised at the sudden request but complied as he got up from his seat and started to walk towards me.

    He isn’t going nowhere.” Rias finally recovered, her face burning red in embarrassment and fury. “As my pawn he-”

    With your ill-conduct all your contracts are now under review by the Four Maou.” Sona interjected, glancing sadly at me. “He is free to go.”

    B-But-”

    The door closed behind us and as we started to run towards my house now that there was still people confused about this all. Just few moments later of rushing through the few hallways between the ORC and the entrance, I heard several footsteps coming right behind us.

    I glanced behind and sighed a little annoyed the few individuals giving chase, Tsubaki, Kiba, Akeno, Koneko and Tomoe slowly gaining on us. While Issei might have trained his Sacred Gear, I doubted that he had developed much his new Devil body and, knowing that I can’t leave him behind, I had to apply some extreme solutions to this new issue.

    Ise, I want you to know that this isn’t meant to be taken in a weird way, but I need you to jump on my back.” The brunet instantly looked hesitant at that request, looking skeptical about the improvement said thing it would do. “Just do it, or we are screwed.”

    The boy had still some doubt but, sensing that they were going to be caught on very soon by the Knights and the Nekoshou. “O-Ok!”

    He stopped a brief moment and jumped behind me, my hands waiting as I caught him quickly and swiftly balanced my footing before going full power on this chase. The moment I was certain that the Red Dragon Emperor was secured in my hold, my legs started to pick more and more pace.

    Soon I was going at the same speed as the pursuers and finally I was going even faster than the Knights and the Queen. But as Kiba and the other two members of Sona’s peerage slowed down because of the corners along the way, Koneko still managed to keep up with my insane speed.

    It was while I turned the umpteenth corner that I finally realized what was going on with the girl. While I had considered her ears to be aesthetics and inconsequential to this chase, I now felt a different pattern in her usual magic.

    She is using Touki unconsciously! That adorable girl truly wants to get to her big brother, doesn’t she?

    I’m impressed that she unlocked such power in this limited amount of time. I thought this Touki required intense training and propensity with Senjutsu.

    There are special cases where the ‘Fighting Spirit’ is awaken by the particularities of the user’s race. Being a Nekoshou, Koneko does have a stronger attitude with physical training and the Rook piece within her boosts this to an absurd level.

    I turned another corner and I saw the familiar glass doors that led to the gates. We were almost there!

    SENPAI!” The silver-haired girl yelled as she further increased her pace, making me panic just a little the moment I vaulted the doors, glad that there was no one around by the entrance.

    W-What are we going to do? She is catching up!” I nodded, gritting my teeth as I noticed the tall trees in the courtyard between the entrance and the gates.

    I have a plan!” Three Silver Linings stretched strongly from the tips of one of the trees and ended in my newly-freed palm. “Ise, prepare to deploy your wings at my command!”

    Wait, wha-”

    YOOIIIIIIIIIINKKKKKK!!!!!

    -AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH-”

    I underestimated the power being the elastic strings of light, the subsequent propulsion to my yanking causing a massive force in a diagonal, forward way, overshooting us beyond the gates and above some buildings. “Now!”

    The boy in his panic deployed the wings unconsciously and soon our air rush was slowed down a little as we approached the roof of one of the small buildings near the school.

    Reinforcing my feet using the remaining energy in my Senjutsu mode, I managed to cushion the fall’s damage and survive the impact while leaving a small crater around me.

    T-Th-That was insane, s-senpai!” Issei was trembling madly behind me and I sighed.

    It was, thankfully this was the worst of our little chase.” I replied carefully and, as he seemed ready to respond to that with a dry remark, he found himself thinking about something important.

    W-Wait, you mean that it’s not over yet?”

    Koneko knows where I live and we have to go there to reach Hell. So hold on tight ‘cause I will be pulling some mad Joseph Joestar’s strats right now!”

    I took a running start for the big jump, the brunet still latched on my back begging loudly to not do this and yet…

    -AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!-”

    We were flying away, Hermit-Purple Style!

    But as the two protagonists made their way through the city from rooftop-to-rooftop, a small but determined Koneko Toujou was swiftly making her way through alleys and empty streets in that important chase. She had lost a sibling already-

    She wasn’t going to lose another one!

    -----------d-d-d-d---------------d-d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d---------

    AN

    Some were expecting bloodshed, some were expecting some harsh punishment, but the best they got was a super-chase and some minor revelation and, no, they don’t know he is Hekishoku… yet.

    Why did Raiser ditch the contract with Rias in exchange of having Asia given to Diodora? There are parts of the plots left untouched.

    Next chapter will show their entrance to hell and… the crisis unfold to something far worse than the MC expects!

    Also short chapter? You know the drill, lads and gents!

    But this isn’t over yet!

    ----------d-d-d-------------d-d-dd-------------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d-----------
    Secret Omake 1: His Name.
    ---------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-dd---------


    I yawned and looked at the ceiling in an effort to gain some sleep after that massive day.

    Kunou was straddling tighter than usual, some wet spots on my shirt right below where her eyes were showing some of the tears that had fallen while she was sleeping. She was peaceful now, but still some nightmares managed to get through her quiet rest, disturbing it and making her upset in her own dreams.

    I sighed, the news of Asia’s capture still keeping me up and nervous about what to do. I had been planning a lot of things in the last few weeks, trying to prepare for the things that will happen and… I still felt unable to keep up with everything.

    That is because you are a mortal.

    And a lovely moron that wish to protect the treasure around him.

    Uh?

    Please, don’t tell me you never considered how beautiful our current disposition is. We got friends, surrogate family and a good relationship with our bosses.

    Yet it all feels so… undeserved.

    What are you talking about?!’ Apophis interjected a little irked. ‘You have given them affection and they are returning theirs to you!

    It just feels like… I’m cheating. Because I know how they feel about it and-

    Oh, shut up, you utter dumbass. You mean to tell me that knowing about their personality helps you around and makes your life easy? They will still behave differently if they spot on you something about that.

    But I-

    I wasn’t finished. Kunou approached you and you certainly didn’t make use of your ‘knowledge’ to seriously bond with her. Either fate or luck caused you to get together, same with Koneko, Azazel and the others that trust you.

    But still-

    I think he means that whatever you know about them, however you know about it all, you still had to show your true self to bring them closer to you. Getting close to people is a mutual opening of people’s souls, not just a one-sided decision from one or the other.

    You both… are making compelling cases.

    I blinked, once more at the ceiling, feeling Kunou nuzzling at my chest once more.

    See? In a relationship, may it be platonic or romantic, people are meant to give to each other, never expecting to return but always trusting to have their love noticed and respected. Kunou considers you a brother in all but blood and I wouldn’t be wrong in saying I would expect that from Asia too.

    ...What?

    The girl was lost and while you knew that she was easy to mold at your whims, you decided to help her properly by giving her a safe place at Issei’s home and a purpose with the Theater Club.

    I kept her in the dark about God’s death-

    Because that would have left her hurting. Because that would have been cruel of you without a proper level of trust and caring shown before revealing such thing. You might call this manipulation, but you certainly have been careful to avoid directly interfering with her everyday life and didn’t certainly pushed her to love Issei.

    ...Are you sure you are my Dark Side?

    I admit that you sound quite genuine in that pep-talk.

    Che, just trying to point out to my ‘other me’ that he has dealt with worse situations in our ‘past’ and that he should remember that we know how to deal with that dumb guilt of ours.

    I-Indeed. But I think that was very kind of you and… Thank you, Shiranai.

    Well, if that is done I will go back to- Wait, what did you call me?

    I mean, you didn’t give a name and… I decided to give you one.

    That is… strange. Sure, Shiranai? I am the ‘Unknown’ now?

    Nobody but us and Baraqiel and Suzaku knows about you, so yes that is fitting.

    Geez, I guess I will be using that name then. Just don’t add any honorifics or-

    Why not, Shira-tan~?

    I fucking hate you and everything you stand for, but Gods I hope that seriously don’t become a thing.

    -----------d-d-d-d----------------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-------

    AN

    Final words: Shiranai is now properly introduced and I have some words to say about ‘Volume 3’ and ‘Volume 4’.

    While Volume 3 will happen as Canon… it will not be the main focus of this story. If you remember correctly, I might have mentioned some… x-overing and I will detail a little more very soon. Nothing like dimensional hopping mind you, but I will… do some fun stuff and I will set up a poll in FF. Why there? I hate dealing with some of the Forum’s polls as the websites’ style doesn’t allow the same freedom as in FF.

    So yeah, prepare for some fucking nuking very soon. XD

    Future milestone 1: 626 Followers and Favorites.

    Future milestone 2: 696 Followers and Favorites.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
  22. Threadmarks: Search & Rescue & Destroy (1)
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 22: Search & Rescue & Destroy (1)

    The strong stench of blood and scorched flesh had been torturing her nose for hours now.

    Asia Argento was scared, her continuous shivering a testament to that as she was forced to suffer through it all since she was held constricted by magical ropes to one of the many chairs by the long, elegant table.

    Within her mind prayers over prayers were genuinely, fervently and faithfully pronounced, a never-ending begging for the violence and pain around her to stop at once. And yet the smiling familiar face in front of her didn’t call his peerage off as he finished to sip from his wine-filled chalice.

    The cloaked women, silent and inhumanly emotionless, continued to slaughter the servants that were there to try and save their Lord and Lady from the barrier keeping them imprisoned.

    The night before, when she was finally escorted in Hell to an impressive castle, she expected the worst to happen. While Issei was proof that not all Devils were inherently evil, there was that intangible but ever-present sense of fear and dread that only horrible situations had.

    Her eyes darted left and right, up and down as she studied quickly the entire rooms she was seeing for the first time, the former nun praying that whoever had ordered the foul-mouthed blond man that had kidnapped her to this ominous place.

    Finally the large doors before her opened, a throne room quickly revealed to her sight as she was brought closer to the deepest end of the room.

    Three large thrones, two behind the one that was currently being used by a familiar face. Her eyes widened, partial relief at seeing the smiling figure that was seated in that very large chair.

    The young man stood up and bowed slightly. “Asia! I am happy to see that you are fine and well.”

    A small shaky smile formed but the girl felt like something was off about this whole situation. She nodded slowly. “Y-You are the Devil I- I helped back then.”

    The widening of his smile confirmed her suspicions and he nodded at her words. “Yes! I’m elated by the fact you remember me and… I’m sorry that I took so long to find you.”

    Curiosity filled her still nervous brain. What was he talking about?

    To think that I would have you be approached by that filthy dragon and that… scum.” He shook his head, disgust visible as he sighed tiredly. “It’s saddening that I couldn’t approach you because of those two mongrels.”

    Her mind didn’t waste time in connecting the denigrating terms to the very individuals that she first met in Kuoh Town. Her lips narrowed down, her eyes locking suspiciously at the still smiling individual.

    But now you are here and- Oh, I almost forgot!” He gave another quick bow. “I am Diodora Astaroth, heir to the noble house of the Astaroth Clan and… I wish that you become my Bishop.”



    Asia blinked at the sudden proclamation, realizing that by ‘becoming his Bishop’ he meant turning herself in a Devil which… wasn’t something she actually wanted for herself.

    Senpai had been rather genuine in saying that Devils couldn’t pray to God nor be blessed by His love, something the girl cherished as the first and one of the most important things in her life.

    Becoming a Devil was… not acceptable.

    I-I am happy for the kind offer… but I wish to remain human.” She replied, her tone still nervous and stuttering but while her polite declining was meant to be offered the best way possible, the blonde noticed almost immediately a brief but noticeable change in Diodora’s face.

    A quick scowl, dismay glowing from it before he returned to smile confidently.

    But Asia, the dangers you braved should be more than a good reason to be accepting of the gift, to stay by my side to be safe, healthy and… loved.”

    There was a pause, one that the former nun needed to properly understand the implications of that last word.

    Confusion was rekindled, her mind burning a little at the mentioning of ‘love’ but the quick image that showed was enough to make her blush. The smiling face of Issei compared ot the one of the noble Devil before her.

    The brunet had a natural, cheerful smile that looked kind, human and forgiving. Meanwhile the smile of the Astaroth was… besmirched somehow, the ever-present line stretched that way devalued by its frequency, a hidden sin that her pure mind perceived but couldn’t properly understand as she was still confined by the hold of the two cloaked figure.

    She gulped nervously, but still responded. “I-I am happy that you c-care for my safety, Diodora-san, but I-I’m fine in staying in Kuoh Town a-”

    CRACK

    Her eyes went wide as the floor right below the Devil’s feet cracked slightly, some frustration now easy to perceive coming from that twitchy smile.

    Asia, I’m offering you unconditional love and care, I offer you my heart and… you reject it?”

    A little sadness formed in her chest, but the blonde decided to not reply to those words, the pause ending up to further irk Diodora as the scowl grew stronger than the smile.

    His eyes narrowed and some hostility finally broke through his sympathetic smile, the hold of the two individuals at her sides tightening and making her almost yelp in pain at how painful their hold was getting.

    Maybe kindness will not work to conquer you, lovely Asia. It means that I will have to take drastic decision about i- Uh?”

    Just as the poisonous words left his lips, the large doors that led to the throne room opened again, this time a little dark-haired girl slowly walked towards them. There was something odd about her, her clothes looking fairly strange but the very peculiar detail was her own eyes.

    The darkest shade of black with… reptile-like pupils.

    O-Oh, Ophis-sama. I-I wasn’t expecting your visit today. I’m thankful that you decided to bestow me with your g-gift and-”

    Shut up.” The newly-named Ophis stated blankly while her sight remained on the blonde. “I’m not here for you.”

    … “E-Eh?”

    But the little goth girl didn’t reply, stopping her steps only just few moments away the former nun. Asia blinked in surprise as the two cloaked figure backed away, releasing her from their hold and giving her the chance of fully study the child staring at her.

    You are one of his friends aren’t you? The… older brother of Kunou-san.”

    The careful wording wasn’t lost to her, a glance back to Diodora confirming that only her and the little girl knew whom they were referring to. There was only someone that owned that title and she quickly nodded. “I-I do.”

    There was an interesting glimpse within the two dark orbs before the girl slowly spread her arm and waited. “Hug me.”

    The sudden request was incredibly unexpected, the former nun’s eyes widening for a while but then… she knew not to question the words of this child. There was something about the Astaroth’s sudden change of mood, from anger to quick submission that seemed off and ominous about Ophis.

    Thus, without hesitating for long, the blonde crouched and brought the waiting goth girl in her hold. To her mind came the way her senpai would embrace the few people he cared for, the way he was careful to be soft but also very protective and her arms did the trick.

    Tensing a little the younger female stood there, unresponsive to the warm embrace but… then her arms wrapped around Asia and there was a soft sight coming out of her lips as she slowly melted in the young woman’s chest.

    A small smile formed on the blonde’s face as she slowly and tentatively reached for the goth girl’s head, starting to caress it.

    The reaction was instantaneous, Ophis’ head pressing onto the hand as the former nun continued to care for the young girl until the very child decided to interrupt the embrace to deign Diodora a glance and some words.

    This girl is now under my protection. Give her a proper room.”

    The Devil blinked, eyes going wide open at the scene and his jaws dropping at the imperative request of the young girl.

    He gulped nervously and nodded slowly. Asia was surprised to be escorted to a large room with girly decorations, a large bed, a wardrobe with clothes and a desk with some books on it.

    Ophis followed, a soft humming painting the walk there as the young girl made another statement before returning to silence. “I wish that you play with me the same way Hoitsu does with Kunou.”

    It was quite an interesting order, but Asia decided to comply and accept the modest situation that had presented to her.

    In a certain way, it did remind her how she would spend her time in the orphanage back home, where she would play with the children and sometimes do sleepovers with the younger girls.

    In fact the following few hours did seem more of a repetition of those occasions, both females spending some time playing with the few toys lying around and doing some ‘Nome, Cose and Città’ (1).

    Then they moved to the clothes present in the wardrobe and Asia nodded at the idea that very few of those were her size and none were Ophis’. Yet something curious happened when the girl still wanted to try some out as none of them obviously didn’t fit with her short and slim frame but the sight was… amusing.

    Soon the two tried out the clothes and rehearsed some of the comic scenes the former nun had tried back at the Theater Club, managing to get the goth girl to smile at some of them while also getting her involved and interested on the acting roles the blonde would give to her.

    The whole evening passed quickly and one of the servants came to serve some plates with food, it was dinnertime.

    The dishes were delicious, much better than anything she had tasted back at the Academy’s cafeteria but paling just a little in comparison to Mrs. Hyoudou’s masterful cooking.

    Night came and the two girls easily fit within the covers of the Queen-sized bed. Asia was surprised to see the partially indifferent Ophis then move to sleep while hugging her but, considering how desperate for warm contact the goth girl had been until now, it didn’t sound as surprising as it would have been few hours ago.

    The day finished, her mind still pointing out that she has been kidnapped but the blonde was grateful for the positive aftermath of the encounter with Diodora.

    Then the following day came and… things went down the drain. Asia wasn’t there to see the attack happening but she did see the aftermath of the battle for this large manor they were now waiting within it.

    Smoke clouded some of the large gashes created upon the massive building’s walls, the floor was stained in red in some spots and lifeless corpses were littering few of the corners of the halls they were walking through.

    The large living room was now sporting a particularly vast hole where once part of the roof was, giving a clear sight of the sky and the clouds forming by the smoke reaching out above from the fires spreading in the mansion.

    Ophis took part at the assault in minor part, her major accomplishment being the sealing off of the Lord and Lady of the family and the silver-haired maid that tried to help in the attack. Diodora commented how there was also a fourth member of the family that was currently being hold in a safer place as a hostage, but his words were directed at the uneasy-looking man that had been responsible for her kidnapping.

    Raiser Phenex had been a rude, foul-mouthed individual with little consideration about the things and the people around him, but he looked rather nervous at what was going on. His peerage was protectively around him, the younger blonde that was Ravel Phenex, his sister, giving him disappointed glances at him and horrified flinches at the massacre unfolding around them.

    You could have imprisoned them, avoid the blood-spilling.”

    Diodora blinked at the Phenex’s remark, merely smirking his way. “And waste energy in keeping them around? To risk a possible combined attack? You are quite the silly fellow, Raiser. Please don’t make such dumb assumptions.”

    The man looked offended but decided to back down from the interaction and focus on the ‘prize’.

    Still, I think that the killing of so many servants will cause the wrath of the Maous. Sirzechs in particular will-”

    Be keen to accept our demands unquestionably and sign the contract you demand to officialized if he wishes for his son to live through today.” The smiling Devil interrupted, ignoring the grimace in the blond’s face. “By the way, while I can see how profitable this will end up to be for you, I don’t see how you will deal with your brother’s inquiry. Gaining the lordship of the Gremory house will hardly protect you from the wrath of the Bael and your own family.”

    Raiser didn’t reply and Diodora sighed calmly. “And I thought you had some more substance rather than being a simple-minded individual, but I guess that is acceptable and, since you have been kind enough to bring me Asia, I will assist you in removing your brother once he comes here.”

    … “W-What?” Ravel exclaimed, the Astaroth’s smile widening at the two siblings’ shock.

    Why, if you need to make sure the Phenex will not disinherit you, the only viable option is to kill your brother and have yourself or your sister take the title of heir of the house. Your parents will have to accept your claim, especially when your other older brother was disowned after marrying a Fallen Angel.”

    I-I will not accept this!” Ravel rebuked angrily, then turning to her brother. “R-Raiser-nii, we need to reconsider-”

    And please, don’t make me punish your own peerage in case they decide to be ‘morally good’ in this predicament. We both know the results wouldn’t be… kind to you, Raiser.” Diodora interjected, still looking happy as ever, causing the oldest Phenex to sigh gravely.

    Ravel… be quiet.”

    The girl’s eyes widened but she still nodded at the order, knowing that there was little they could seriously do about this predicament.

    Asia felt saddened by all of this, but she decided to return to head-pat Ophis as the goth girl rested quietly while hugging her. From what she could garner from that discussion, the most important individuals within Hell’s society were meant to deal with this situation and that gave her the hope that Hoitsu and Issei were going to participate at whatever attempt to rescue her and the others before any official deal was struck.

    Hopefully they will arrive soon...

    -----------d-d-d---------------d-d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d----------

    Issei looked ready to throw up any moments now, the pace I had taken with the usage of the Silver Linings was incredibly… neck-breaking.

    Wind whistled loudly in my ears as we continued our rush from rooftop-to-rooftop, some nervousness still present in my brain at the fact the more time I lost there, the more the chances of horrible things could be happening to Asia.

    I jumped once more, my legs burning at the prolonged blitz, but my eyes gave me the relieving sight of the small building that was my house just few more dozens of meters away from where we were.

    Another jump! My feet blasted off part of the edge of the building I was standing onto, the propulsion strong enough to get us swiftly sailing towards the building and for a moment, my brain started to turn its attention to how I was supposed to be ‘teleported’ to Hell without Azazel’s knowledge?

    In fact should I even ask to Baraqiel for that? The man could seriously refuse to this and he would be correct in doing so… but the situation was that grave and I wasn’t going to back down even with the odds stacking against me.

    Look out!

    Little Neko-missile inbound!

    Wha-

    SLAM

    A silver-haired bullet reinforced by Touki and Rook’s strength boost intercepted the glide to reach the porch of home.

    I rolled taking some minor damage while hitting the ground and groaning as I felt both Koneko’s and Issei’s bodies acting as weights during said impact.

    Both got away from me, the girl taking a guarded and tensed stance while Issei merely getting to a safe distance from the possible battle that was beginning.

    I got up from the floor and quickly noticed that my body was weaker than before, eyes widening a little at that discovery.

    Sorry, time’s up for now. Should be capable of giving you some more time in half an hour.

    Gritting my teeth, I finally directed my focus at the Nekoshou and sighed. “Kohai, please you-”

    No, I can’t have you go away!” A wave of energy formed around her, a strong orange that reminded me much of Gon’s Nen and determination. “I can’t lose you too!”

    She rushed towards me, but my shock was more directed at her words and… at her tears.

    ...Did I remind her of how her sister left? Was she that scared of losing someone now of all times?

    I was sure the answer to both questions was a supreme yes.

    I blinked and I slowly prepared for the approaching punch, bending a little while the girl was lost in her emotional rush. Golden eyes widened as I bent properly to dodge her fist just barely but her greatest shock was when she realized that this offensive was lost that I had already moved against her.

    My arms rapidly wrapped around her and pulled her close, the Nekoshou panicking as we both tripped, my back taking most of the fall damage.

    She struggled a little, expecting a fight, a betrayal, something that made her rightfully want to attack me.

    But in that hug, keeping my hold strong against her constant attempts of freeing herself, I did nothing but wait.

    A full minutes passed and then… she stopped moving, her face dropping on my chest as the waterfall was fully unleashed. Her hands straddling on my shirt, trying to keep me the closest possible, while I slowly went to pat her head, trying to be careful with her cat ears.

    She tensed momentarily, but then accepted the kind touch. The girl even purred at the warmth, making me crack a small smile at that.

    You are a dum-dum to even think I was going to leave you.

    Her head shifted at my whispering, nuzzling in the process as one of her eyes was now staring up to my face, silent questions that barraged my own soul as I sighed tiredly at her uneasiness.

    While I am incredibly pissed at Rias and partly at Akeno… I don’t hate you, you little thing.”

    She groaned at the nickname, a small snicker leaving my lips as I ruffled her hair, careful enough to not hit her sensitive neko ears.

    S-Senpai.” Issei stated, breaking out of the brief freeze at seeing such scene. “I-I know it’s important but… Asia-

    I know, Ise.” I patted Koneko once more before the both of us got up from the floor and stared at each other. “Listen up, Kohai, I want to cuddle you a little more, tease you a little and maybe add head-patting here and there, but I have to do this and we can continue later-”

    N-No!” She interrupted, giving a strong opposed look at my words. “I- Asia-san is a good friend a-and I want to be there to save her!”

    I sighed, looking a little annoyed at the way she looked so stubborn about this. Just as I was about to decline this attempt of hers, I saw a fox-eared cutie rush from within the gates of the house, staring right at us. “I want to join in too!”

    Uh…

    Moments later, the head of Baraqiel poked out with a small smile. “It would seem like you got plenty of volunteers for this operation.”

    It’s not the right time to- Wait a minute!

    How do you know that-”

    Orders from Azazel, you are scheduled to join up with Sougyoku-kun ASAP in the special sealing area just outside the Gremory Mansion.”

    Wait, Vali was going to be there too and- “What do you mean Gremory Mansion? What is going on?”

    His smile deflated and he sighed gravely. “The heir to the Astaroth clan and Raiser Phenex just attacked the Gremory clan, they destroyed the barriers and have been sighted within the building. It has been confirmed that Asia was spotted within the group.”

    Then why Sirzechs hasn’t-”

    They got his son as hostage, nobody is able to discern where exactly the boy is being kept.”

    Shit, Diodora got Millicas as a hostage. If things don’t get solved quickly, war sure is going to spark by the end of the day. But seriously why would Ophis agree to this? I am quite sure the KB is not ready to face a full-blown conflict so why would-

    Before I could finish this inner questioning, a familiar backpack landed on my face, returning me back to reality. “We are leaving in ten seconds. Get prepared and don’t lose that bag, there are twenty Phoenix’s Tears there.”

    ...You know what this means, right?

    A spree of incredible murder and destruction?

    Going full-retard without any worry of dying of burning our core out?

    Yes.

    Changing up with my disguise, I noticed that Koneko’s eyes widened at the mask, some questions leaving her mouth.

    Is that-”

    Yes.”

    So that means that you know about-”

    Yes.”

    She pouted at being interrupted, while Kunou snickered at such reaction… while wearing a cloak and a mask similar to mines, her mask being a dark-shade of yellow. The kitsune seemed to glow the moment she saw my attention now directed at her.

    Do you like it, Niichan?” She struck a pose and I could feel the smug strong within her. “I’m pure and cute justice incarnated, I am Kogane-tan!”

    I think this is the most powerful light spell I have ever seen in my entire existence.

    My eyes and my heart! This is a shockingly powerful attack that not even the darkest soul could survive against!

    Look at you, an adorable masked figure just like your big brother.” I said in a hesitant tone, while patting her head and getting a radiant reaction from her. “But I think I’m rubbing off wrongly.”

    She giggled. “Nope, you are head-patting me well, Niichan.”

    I meant- Goddammit…

    She either mean it or she is truly that good in pulling those sassy remarks.

    Atta girl!

    I sighed tiredly but my attention was suddenly taken back to the Fallen Angel, Baraqiel preparing the large seal right below our feet and starting the teleportation.

    It was a moment, just a single moment where from cement ground we were now standing in some untouched natural path… near a broken section of the Gremory Mansion that led to the dungeons.

    Ok, that was quick.” I mused out-loud, trying looking at the large hole that gave some sight inside the underground section of the building-

    That’s what she said.

    My entire body tensed at the familiar whispering, my core burning in anticipation as-

    Lick~

    A small tongue licked right on my cheek, a smiling face on the side with two bright yellow feline eyes. “Nyan~, you taste lovely today-

    He-ki-sho-ku-kyun~!”
    AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!” I jumped away from her, eliciting an amused laugh out of her as I scampered the farthest from that dangerous woman.

    Aren’t nyah the funniest?” Kuroka giggled again at the lack of response, suddenly turned to look at the rest of the group and- “Shirone-tan~!”

    Koneko was frozen stuck, her whole self paling at seeing her older sister approaching and then… she was glomped.

    My little Shirone-tan has grown so pwetty!” The silver-haired Nekoshou’s face sported a full blush at that comment, but the real interesting bit of her reactions were her cat ears twitching at such tones. “But still undeveloped, I guess your growth is a slow one- whoopsie!” The dark-haired beauty dodged a punch from the incredibly annoyed girl.

    Why are you here, Neesan?!” The enraged girl demanded, gaining a surprised look from her sibling and then the fellow Nekoshou gave a sheepish look.

    O-Oh right, kind of forgot to mention my current presence here and-”

    She is part of my team.”

    We all turned to look at whom just said that, my eyes narrowing on Vali as he approached with Bikou, Arthur and Le Fay on tow-

    The fuck?!

    What’s wrong?

    They shouldn’t be there. They should be allied with the Khaos Brigade and… what the heck is going on?

    How and why.” It wasn’t a question but a demand, one that Vali ignored the tones and merely nodded at it.

    Kuroka-san and Bikou-san were… expelled from the group they were previously affiliated for failing their mission in Kyoto and-”

    Goldie and Le Fay-chan joined in because their faction is lead by a stick-in-the-mud.” Bikou interjected, approaching me while holding his free hand out, meanwhile the Vanishing Dragon sighed and walked to chat with Baraqiel, a little far away from where the groups were mixing.

    Name’s Bikou, Hekishoku-san. We were enemies in Kyoto… but now I hope we will be friends.” The teasing smile, the possible lure…

    I reached for his hand slowly and cautiously, ready to punch him if he pulled anything on me. He sighed at my tense stance. “Jeez, I’m sorry but why you seem this much ‘scared’ of me, Hekishoku-san?”

    You mean that I shouldn’t be careful around the descendant of Sun Wukong?”

    The smile froze and he groaned at being recognized. “Mou, to think that I would be known by someone this important...” Then he smiled once more. “This sure is going to be an exciting friendship then, Hekishoku-kun and I can only hope you will survive Kuroka-”

    What are you talking about, Bikou?” The Nekoshou interjected, pressing her cleavage onto my arm as she went for a sneaky hug, drawing me the closest possible to me.

    This is a happy hell for sure.

    Stop!

    Heki-kun and I are going to get well together, hold a proper ceremony and makes some strong kittens-”

    S-Stop harassing Hoitsu-nii, Neesan-!” Koneko’s hands slammed quickly on her mouth, realizing the double mistake she just did as Kuroka glanced her way then back at me, as I continued to sweat nervously at this terrible predicament.

    “’Hoitsu-nii’?” Her tone was ominous, her face tilting closer to my mask and then from her suspicious tone…

    She smiled. “Then that means I don’t need to have you gain Shirone-tan’s trust, we are ready to skip for the marriage-”

    You aren’t worthy of Niichan, you neko-baka!” Kunou- I mean, Kogane-tan proclaimed while splitting us apart and causing the dark-haired yokai to frown at her.

    And who are you, little brat?”

    In that moment of true dedication and something that will make me the proudest of that adorable kitsune, the girl struck Jonathon’s Hamon pose.






    I, Kogane-tan, shall allow none, especially you Neko-baka, to steal my Niichan!”

    The kimono-wearing woman paused just a moment, her eyes going wide open in shock between being insulted, out-memed and threatened by a younger girl than her.

    That is our baby!

    But the Nekoshou was far from defeated as she struck another pose and played Kunou’s game. “Kono Kuroka da, Ko-tan!”

    This sure is… a horrible mess.

    To be continued…

    --------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-

    Back inside the manor, as Asia continued to play around with Ophis, the blonde was the first to notice the sudden freeze the goth girl suffered while they played a minor game of checkers.

    The black-haired child stared on a specific section of the wall, her eyes staring as if she could see through it. Then she smiled and looked back. “Things are going to become exciting very soon.”

    The former nun blinked in confusion and the younger female gestured her to come closer, which she did and then the girl whispered to her. “Hoitsu and Vali are here. That means I can try to recruit them now.

    Asia frowned, contemplating the chances of the lovely girl to actually get her senpai and… this Vali to join the very group they are supposed to attack today.

    The news meant a lot to her, showing that her prayers were being answered, while also gave her some worry about the possibility her Senpai had of beating someone like Ophis if things turned in a full-blown brawl.

    There is also the Welsh Dragon but… he is kind of weaker than the other two.

    Now that got Asia’s full attention. Issei was here? To save here?

    Her heart skipped a beat or two and her cheeks reddened. “Oh.”

    The goth girl frowned at the reaction, tilting her head to the side to show her confusion. “Why is your face red?”

    The question only made the blush explode even more, the girl stuttering a little but managing an answer. “I-I am- I mean, I was thinking about the fact Ise- I mean, the Welsh Dragon is a close friend of mine and… yeah, that’s it.”

    Ophis narrowed her eyes. “Why are you lying, Asia?”

    The tone made a chill go down her spine and the blonde giggled nervously. “I-It’s because the real reason is embarrassing-”

    I will not laugh at it.” The girl pressed on. “I want to know now.”

    Knowing that a ‘no’ wasn’t going to be accepted by the interested child, Asia sighed and spoke once more. “I-I love him. Ise- I mean, the Welsh Dragon.” Her head was burning, threatening to melt at declaring such thing and yet the younger girl didn’t mind any of it, rather seeming more interested on another bit of the curt explanation.

    What does ‘loving’ someone means, Asia?”

    Oh. Her mind was quick to regain control over her reactions, the former nun giving a confused at the simple question. “Could you elaborate, Ophis?”

    Why would you love someone as weak as the current Red Emperor? Shouldn’t a woman seek a strong mate to produce a mighty offspring, isn’t that what love is?”

    W-What? No.” The blonde responded quickly. “L-Love is having someone that trust and care for you. Someone that respects you and help you when you need it without demanding in return. Someone that makes your heartbeat go really quick and make your head spin.”

    … “Oh.” The simple word was attached to a rather interesting change of mood. From the usually ‘blank but prone to smiling’ to a realistic embarrassed reaction. Ophis’ eyes darted away, widening as some heavy consideration seemed to be ongoing within her thoughts and soon a unique and rare red tint colored her pale cheeks. “Oh.

    Is something wrong-?”

    No, I mean, I’m fine- Let us return to that silly ‘names’ game.” The goth girl replied in a quick pace, surprising Asia but also bolstering the growing suspicion that… this little one was crushing on someone.

    An interesting development, one that came close to how many names the girl showed to know during their simple game to spend their time there.

    Thankfully the rescue party was going to enter the Manor soon and deal with Diodora before things escalated any longer…

    ---------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-----

    AN

    1): Nome, Cose and Città is a well-known Italian game that is generally played by children. It can be played in large groups and the rules are:

    1- Someone is picked in a clockwise manner to pick a letter randomly by doing a small roulette with their hands and thinking about the letters in their mind, the one that would take the role next turn pick the time to stop the roulette;

    2- With the letter chosen, you and your friends have to fill up once for all categories with words (normal game is Name, Things, Cities, Animals and Colors.);

    3- Once everyone is done, they all say one at the time the things they picked in their category, those who wrote the similar word gets half the points (Normal point: 10.);

    4- Continue the game either until the alphabet is done or you decide to call a day (The one with most points win of course).


    This chapter was uploaded a tiny bit late (like 6 hours late) and the reason is, like I have notified in the forums, because I was busy away from PC. Good news, I passed the Eipass 7 Modules test and now I have to wait for some certificate.

    Before anyone ask, Ophis is not going to be in a pairing. Like, there is no room for propositions about this. While you may advance the idea that she is technically ‘showing a childish body’, I can easily counter with the fact she is ageless and genderless, which is a big no-no in general. Comic relief? Yes, but after that nothing more about the awkward relationship between her and MC.

    Kuroka is back and this time she got a new rival in Meme-ing. Will Kogane-tan win against the perfidious Nekoshou or shall she succumb to the forces of evil?

    To be continued!
    Future milestone 1: 626 Followers and Favorites.

    Future milestone 2: 696 Followers and Favorites.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
  23. Threadmarks: Search & Rescue & Destroy (2)
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 23: Search & Rescue & Destroy (2)

    The infiltration started with some careful planning.

    The Gremory Mansion had a very intricate underground section which still had the old prison quarters once functional during the Great War. Our first objective was to rescue Millicas and deprive the Khaos Brigade of the capacity to impose any demands on the Four Maou.

    Thankfully there were some sensors within the combined forces, Le Fay being able to perceive the magical pattern of at least fifty magicians concentrated in a single area while Kuroka used her Senjutsu form to discern the presence of those capable of hiding their magical cores’ imprint.

    The pace was slow, but steady and cautious. While the enemy forces guarding the young boy was fairly distant, the presence of traps set along the way was something incredibly possible.

    Just as few meters were made, we had to take a stop while the youngest of the Pendragon siblings started to disable some Silent Bombs wires that were well-hidden behind some old parts of the walls.

    A painstakingly half-an-hour later and we managed to get through a dozen of traps without triggering any of them and don’t alarm the terrorists. But while silence was advised, some individuals decided that it wasn’t time to be quiet right in that moment.

    So you have been taking care of my sister since a month ago?”

    Shoulders sagging and a strong desire to hit a bed and get some sleep away from the annoying woman deciding to latch onto me, I merely nodded as Kuroka hummed thoughtfully.

    But from my understanding you accepted fairly easily, if not eagerly, the role of older sibling.” The Nekoshou pointed out and I glanced her way at that accusing tone.

    Her voice was soft, still annoying but not as painfully as before. While she was uncaring of breaking the little rule of keeping silent, the powerful Yokai was careful to not raise her voice too loud, knowing that alerting the forces of the KB now would have been a terrible idea.

    Yet it was the concerned brow that intrigued me, the idea that she was slowly showing the worries a big sister should have for her imouto. Maybe it was the fact that technically now we shared a similar title or maybe it was because Koneko was chatting with Kunou and distracted from hearing the half-whispered words from Kuroka.

    She was closed in herself.” I sighed sadly. “You should tell her about-”

    I will tell her when the time is right.” The young woman butted in quickly, unwilling to even mention the reasoning behind her ‘Stray’ state. “Just like I will tell her about other private things.”

    At the mention of ‘private things’ I knew she was referring to their… familial origin. While Koneko’s memories of her childhood were mostly dominated by the presence of the older Yokai with some partial fragments about their mother, Kuroka was the only one that knew what kind of monster their father was.

    A scientist that devoted his whole life and existence to the creation of Super-Devils, going so far to try and use his own daughters as specimens for the ‘Greater Good’. A scumbag, one that Fujimai, their mother, had tried so desperately to bring out from that delirium he had fallen into.

    All in vain, I thought grimly, as both Nekoshou ended up surviving alone in that harsh circumstance, fending off as the oldest of the two was forced to enter in a Devil’s peerage and suffer the abusive attitude from such individual. All for her sister.

    I blinked and sighed. “I… I can’t be the one telling you what to do.” I started to say, gaining her attention quickly, a confused frown on her face. “But the more you will keep this secrets from her, the more the impact those will have on her will be.”

    A blink, then two. “You mean I should… just tell her. She is still so young and she doesn’t trust me.” She said while squeezing a little her hold. It wasn’t painfully tight, quite an attempt to draw more warmth if I had to be honest.

    Those corridors were damp and cold, I could feel a brief shiver coming from her and I found myself questioning why she hadn’t brought up her magic to keep herself warm.

    Another sigh. “Then pick a time when you will tell her. She is 15? Then tell her on her 16th birthday. In the mean time, try to build your relationship with her. It will help.”

    The Neko blinked in surprise at that response, thinking silently about it as she slowly tilted her head and let it rest on my shoulder. “Why would she trust me then? I am still a criminal and-”

    I might tell her about some shady aspects of the Devil’s judiciary system. Just don’t bite off the hands offering in the process.”

    A soft giggle, it sounded fairly genuine. “You know how to give a girl some interesting ideas.”

    Narrowing my eyes, I turned once more to look at her and tensed up the moment I felt her warm breath on my neck.

    Now, this is an incredibly troublesome kitty to deal with, isn’t she?

    She is fairly annoying, but highly determined in her pressure on you.

    It would take a bite to mark my claim. A. Single. Bite.” She remarked, her tone oddly blank in this situation. “But it wouldn’t be correct- no, it would be fairly disappointing to waste… such interesting fellow.”

    I felt my face exploding in a blush, my mind going in full panic mode as I tried to regain control over the situation and-

    We are near.”

    We both blinked and turned on Kuroka’s free side to see a smiling blonde wearing witch-like clothes. Le Fay’s smile was one of understanding, devoid of any possible teasing undertone anyone would assume at seeing this spectacle unfolding.

    Much to my relief, we were standing in the front of this little squad and thus only the female magician was aware of this scene.

    Really? Then I guess we should prepare for some fun.” The dark-haired Nekoshou pointed out, then smiling right at me. “And maybe some fun too afterwards to deal with the… stress of the fight.”

    Please don’t.” I replied adamantly, the lewd comment being rebuffed instantly much to the young woman’s annoyance, a pout plastered on her gorgeous face while the descendant of Morgan Le Fay looked a little red in hers.

    U-Uh, Kuroka-sama-”

    Relax a little Fay-chan, it’s not like I would really jump his bones right now.” The Neko sported a lying smile. “But I’ve to admit, now that I think about it, it wouldn’t be a completely terrible idea.”

    Please don’t.” My tone was now pressing her to stop, drawing more giggles as the poor fellow magician blushed a storm.

    Much to my relief the situation didn’t escalate any further as a light coming from the end of the corridor showed that we were indeed nearby the place where Millicas was being hold.

    Kuroka detached from my arm and walked forward. “I hope you are not going to disappoint me, Heki-kun. I don’t wish to think less of you, not now that you made such a good impression on me.”

    I think my objective is to not get you impressed about me.” I dryly rebuked and she sighed, her smile surviving if not widening at my words.

    Then I’m sorry to announce you that you truly failed that one, darling.”

    Goddammit.

    She peeked at the door and giggled, rushing inside and forcing all of us to follow behind as the battle began.

    Most of the magicians, those that were away from the entrance, were caught unprepared as our group rushed in. Kuroka chopped the necks of the two cloaked figures by the entrance, disabling any chance of the various individuals there to be alerted of our presence.

    From a moment of stillness, the world exploded in fire, thunder and beam of lights as the room was lit by our attacks.

    The operation has truly began!

    ----------d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d-----

    Sirzechs continued to stare at the monitor that showed the aerial perspective of his family’s house.

    The attack had been unexpected, a terrible situation that had brought him away from the brief diplomatic reunion with Michael. The Angels were unaware that his sudden retreat back to Hell was caused by a crisis of this proportions, but the Lucifer wouldn’t deny the possibility that they suspected something had happened to get him that much worked up.

    The man could hardly find relief at the fact his son was being used as a hostage in that predicament, his heart swelling in anger at the despicable attack but managing a composed front before his subordinates and the other figures in the headquarters.

    Falbium was coordinating with Baraqiel the current state of the infiltration, the Asmodeus being the best in dealing with Military Affairs differently from the redhead, but also the one with the least emotional attachments about the situation.

    He was the perfect individual to face the ongoing crisis and the former Gremory believed in his capacities to successfully plan this whole operation.

    Ajuka was missing from the board, the man having mentioned the fact he had to ‘check few things’ with his parents about why Diodora was given so much free rein over the family’s funds. While the Beelzebub had been spending time away from his family, he was particularly shocked to learn that his estranged brother was the main cause of the home invasion against his friend’s house.

    But it was Serafall that got him the most worried.

    The current Leviathan had taken into herself to bring there to safety both Sona and Rias after the news of the attack had reached them, dodging any calls from Sirzechs as she got their siblings out of Kuoh the quickest possible.

    The young woman was someone that could be as much as cheerful as competent enough to deal with Diplomatic issues and not only got them there, but also decided to be the one to interrogate his little sister about the matter, telling him how she will keep the most impartial and objective point of view over the questions she will ask to the girl.

    It was the least she could do, she said before bringing his scared Rias in the interrogation room, sending just some messages about the current status of the situation that she was obtaining from the younger redhead.

    As much as the girl’s fault was minimal, the gravity of the situation didn’t allow any chances of properly get her out of that predicament.

    It certainly didn’t help that Azazel, the man currently speaking with Falbium, had been adamant about giving a just and proper punishment for the girl without any unnecessary leniency from their part.

    And while the first words coming from Serafall told him how his baby sister had only ‘allowed’ things to happen without taking an active role in any negotiations about Asia, but only accepting Raiser’s offer to shred the marriage contract, the situation was big enough that her minimal punishment would still be devastating on her.

    A death penalty has been promptly denied for several reasons, something that the Governor-General of Grigori agreed on by the basis that the girl was too important to her family and Hell itself and too young to be taken in account for something of this magnitude, considering the minor role she had during this ordeal.

    But Sirzechs wasn’t delusional enough to hope in any trick he could pull, he knew that things were now going to get more difficult once the operation concluded as Zekram Bael would demand some serious actions to be taken to make sure a situation like this never happens again.

    The man might have softened just a little after so many years, but he wouldn’t condone any light punishment for Rias, especially since she was related to him by blood and any hint of ill-applications of the law might cause some major issues to their family’s image.

    His sister had dug herself a troublesome grave, one that will be difficult for her to get out from and one that his big brother could hardly do anything about it, both for legal and personal reasons.

    If she had refused, if she only had checked upon the current investigation Lord Phenex had launched upon hearing his heir’s terrible accusations… things would have gone incredibly different.

    It had all been possible because… of a stupid mistake. One that had put his son’s and his wife’s lives in jeopardy.

    Gritting his teeth, one of the strongest people in Hell couldn’t help himself but stare powerless as the rescue attempt continued.

    Hopefully Hekishoku and Sougyoku will prove to be as effective as Azazel bragged them to be.

    ----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d--------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d--------d-d-d-d-----

    Millicas has been forced to crouch in that dark spot of the cupboard for a while now.

    His mind was confused, his body shaking in fear as things have happened so suddenly for him to understand. Bad people, the ones that were now guarding him and keeping him in that small and cold place.

    Tears had stopped to fall sometime ago, his mind failing to grasp the accurate quantitative as he couldn’t think of how much time he had been there now.

    As it been hours, a day, maybe two?

    The boy was scared, this was the first time he had to deal with a dangerous threat so suddenly and… he was starting to lose hope now.

    He had heard little from his captors and no one had yet come to try and save him.

    Was it because they had moved him? Was he still back to the manor or-

    SLAM

    His entire body stopped shivering, his eyes widening at the loud noise that preceded some fighting ongoing, his heart beating a little faster as his mind could only provide with a single explanation with what was going on outside.

    Someone was battling with his captors and… that meant that someone was trying to save him!

    His skin regained some color after thinking of this, the chance of be free from that cramped place was… relieving.

    But soon the fight stopped and… there was some brief silence. Then small footsteps approached and Millicas frowned at the curious lack of weight and… the small door creaked open.

    A familiar mask appeared, similar to Hekishoku-nii but… a dark yellow. Gold?

    Are you Millicas?” The feminine voice asked, bringing him out from his silent study and making him nod nervously, the door fully opening and revealing… someone interesting.

    Taking his hand and pulling him out of that gloomy spot, the young Gremory was further shocked to be pulled in a warm hug from the girl and his face heated up quickly at the sudden intimacy.

    U-Uh?”

    Shh, Niichan says that when someone is scared, one should give them hugs. And you are scared.”

    I am scared, his mind agreed to his savior’s statement but… it was still somewhat weird. Like… why was the embrace this comfy, why her shampoo was this delightful and… why was his heart beating so madly.

    Was he still scared? Was that why he felt like he wanted to be in that hug forever?

    His mind felt burning at the idea of that moment lasting permanently but, much to his dismay and quick relief, her arms unwrapped around him as she turned to the other masked figure approaching them.

    His mouth opened, ready to greet the familiar figure from Grigori but-

    Niichan!” The female called out loudly, shocking the boy as he connected the dots quickly.

    This was the imouto of Hekishoku-nii? That means that they were related?

    Leaving the confused Gremory behind, the girl rushed in front of the sighing young man and accepted some head-patting. The happy sounds leaving her mouth were enough to draw Millicas out of his musing, the boy approaching as he nodded at the man and… he frowned as he got his full attention on himself.

    Millicas, were you hurt? Why is your face red?”

    ...Uh…

    Uh...”

    I think it’s because he was warmed up after being at the cold for so long.” The masked girl said innocently, much to the boy’s chagrin. “He was scared and shivering so I hugged him.”

    Oh? Is that so, Kogane-tan?” The member of Grigori stated with a curious tone and getting a nod from her.

    So that is her name? Kogane...-tan? His mind registered that name for later and-

    So that explains a lot. Millicas, I hope you truly are uninjured as we need to move you out now before things get-”

    I’m sorry, Hekishoku, but I can’t let you do that.

    T-That voice! The boy remembered the smiling young man, the one that led the attack on the house. B-But where was his voice coming from.

    I admit I wasn’t expecting Grigori to spare some of their good men for this situation but… I guess I should enjoy this pleasant surprise the best way possible.

    What do you want, Astaroth? You lost your hostage now and your words are empty.” There was a ‘tsk’ and the noise of someone being pulled closer.

    But that is the thing, Hekishoku, that little Millicas isn’t my only hostage. You see, I came here expecting for his mother to be with his father and- Oh my, Grayfia-san, it’s good to see you too today and… aren’t you as dazzling as usual?

    You shall suffer for- Gah!

    M-Mom!” The boy exclaimed, causing the cruel man’s voice to laugh at his visible distress.

    Is the little child afraid of losing his mommy? Well, there is a small chance of her surviving this ordeal but… it will be an interesting price.

    What do you want?!” Hekishoku yelled finally, causing the man on the other side to sigh annoyed.

    There was a pause, then he spoke again. I think the best way to properly solve this little issue is… if we spared some chat privately, Hekishoku. I want you to come here and join us all for some good, old mingling. Face to face. No one else but us good friends.

    The masked figure snarled but… bowed his head. “Fine then, I hope you have prepared your grave because I am sending you to your Maker.”

    So much hatred from a scumbag like you, I wonder how Asia would- Oh, are you angry, aren’t you?The man chuckled loudly, drawing another snarl from the member of Grigori as the young man turned towards the entrance of the large room.

    Remember to remove your silly mask and cloak before going upstairs. This isn’t a masked ball after all.

    -----------d-d-dd-----------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d---

    I am going to deal with that bastard.” I stated loudly, proceeding to walk towards the main door.

    Brat, don’t you dare-” I stopped and turned, causing Baraqiel to stop with his order.

    Sir, I either go and follow his instructions or he will cause another War. There is no other way around it.”

    The bulku man frowned, closed his eyes and finally sighed. “Just… be careful. And take the tears with you.”

    I nodded and started to slowly make my way towards the section of the underground with the staircase that led to the upper floor.

    Surprisingly enough, I saw nor dealt with any possible traps lying around, managing to make my way safely to the white staircase. Before making my first step up, I followed the orders and pulled off my mask and cloak, putting them on the ground as I slowly started to make my way up and-

    My body tensed quickly as I saw the cloaked figures jump from their hiding spots, the color of their clothes different from any of the other magicians and, the fact they were all rushing towards me with only a single one waiting at the end of the stairs, I knew whom I was dealing with.

    By the way, have fun with my peerage, Hoitsu Sakakibara!

    Keeping quiet, I dropped in my Senjutsu form and engaged against the first group of women before me, ready to pave my steps in red to deal with this bastard.

    The final act of this terrible situation has just began!

    -----------d-d-d-d----------d-d-dd------------d-d-d-----------d-d-dd------------d-d-d-d--------

    AN

    A wittle chapter for the next one. What I can promise right now? Two battles back-to-back in the same chapter. How is Diodora calling him and why did he ask the MC to drop his disguise? The Khaos Brigade has a terrible plans in store for him, something Ophis ignores about.

    Little emotional moment with Kuroka and quick explanation why there is a drastic difference between her and Akeno in their scenes: While the MC has spent more time with the Himejima, she is incredibly bad in this kind of situations and both share very little in common right now; Kuroka is a big sister that went to make some extreme gesture to protect Shirone-tan, getting branded as a ‘Stray’ just to avoid his Master to experiment on her and her sister. Also they did have an abusive father in Canon and that is why I will work on developing her relationship with MC starting from a something he can provide and she seriously needs, kind affection.

    Also some overview over Sirzechs and the others, the fact that Rias and Sona are now in their headquarters but only his sister is being interrogated and… serious Serafall? We are talking about someone that deals with Diplomatic affairs in Canon, I think we can all see why she would be the more level-headed to deal with the situations while trying to be helpful where she can. Impartiality yes, but cruelty is a big no-no.

    Alas a quick reminder that Rias didn’t actually ‘offer Asia’ to Raiser, but rather she let him take her to join Diodora’s peerage. Add to the fact she was unaware of Asia being affiliated to Grigori, that the contract Raiser showed her looked genuine and that she ‘gave her blessing’, she didn’t gave her up.

    Was it still wrong? Yes. But do Devils pull this kind of crap once in a while? Yes to that one too.

    Strangely enough, I think Koneko and Akeno are examples of that since they were both brought to Rias and then made part of her peerage.

    Lastly for someone that didn’t read/watch Diodora’s section of the series properly: The man himself states that when he is fighting Issei, his power had been boosted by a fraction of Ophis’ own energy. So if the fight with him sounds a little… weaker than the one he has with Issei in canon, it’s because he is… nerfed.

    Future milestone 1: 626 Followers and Favorites.

    Future milestone 2: 696 Followers and Favorites.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
    ArKFallen, FeebleEcho, naarn and 8 others like this.
  24. Threadmarks: The End of the Beginning
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 24: The End of the Beginning

    You are holding back.

    I grunted while blocking a kick and a punch from two different directions and countering with a dual uppercut, jumping back as soon as I did that to avoid an explosive spell to land on me.

    The Queen and the Bishops of Diodora’s peerage had long taken the role of snipers in the brawl, carefully taking aim with their magical barrages, ignoring whatever friendly fire as some of the pawns were dismissed by their indirect interventions.

    There was no sign of betrayed looks on those who were hurt or rendered unconscious, there was no reaction whatsoever to the battle itself. I was fighting women with doll-like mindsets and that was starting to annoy me a little.

    As much as I was overwhelming all of them despite the numerical advantage, I was still dealing with some issues presented by their constant assaulting. The Rooks and the Knights were the worst, keeping a safe distance and striking only when the moment was good enough to allow them to retreat afterwards.

    Snarling, I let a rapier stab near my face, only managing to make a small cut on my face and allowing some blood to be spilled.

    Stop holding back, goddammit!

    I can’t kill them.

    What? We are talking about the very people that are responsible for the massacre that has occurred. WE ARE NOT SPARING MURDERERS-

    AND I’M NOT GOING TO SPARE THEM. They will be put in jail and judged fairly.

    By the very faulty judicial system of Hell? Are you sure that isn’t an unfair and wrong kind of thing to do to broken dolls?

    I am talking about Grigori’s. And whatever abuse happened to them, they still shouldn’t be unable to feel pain. What could be-

    I ducked to avoid two kicks and rolled away as a Knight tried to capitalize on my complicated position, but my eyes widened as I started to realize what was going on with Diodora’s peerage. In Canon the bastard did say that he had used a spell to remove the feeling of embarrassment from them and… what if this could be extended beyond a sole emotion?

    It is possible. Those women don’t seem like they had achieved such inner peace with meditation and a spell could cause this, yes.

    If that was the case, then I could try to work on that. Spells can be broken fairly easily and I knew how to do it.

    Just as the new wave of attacks from the Pawns, Rooks and Knights started, I began to dodge swiftly their physical hits, slamming my open palms on their ribs and pushing bits of my energy through their magical systems.

    They had a surprised look moments later, some shaking terribly and falling on the ground as tears started to fall. Some even fainted the moment the spell was broken and soon I had removed the remaining Pawns and decimated parts of the other classes.

    Whatever had happened to them prior to this event or even during this situation was resurfacing brutally and beating whatever empty determination within their minds.

    Only the Bishops and the Queen remained untouched and looked fairly unconcerned by this since they were distant from my reach. Sadly I soon discovered that this predicament wasn’t going to last long enough to make this fight a quick one.

    Y-You can’t do that! You can’t take them away from me, they re mine! MINE!” Diodora’s voice whined angrily and I blinked with a small smile cracking on my face.

    Beggars ain’t choosers, bastard.”

    YOU CUR! Kill him, show him no mercy!”

    The command quickly switched the current pattern the Queen and the Bishops had assumed until now, the long-haired woman took the lead and rushed towards me as the other two connected their magic to hers and boosted her overall stats.

    I noticed early in the ensuing close-fighting that I was incredibly out-matched by the overpowered female, quickly pushed in a defensive stance as I tried and failed to get a chance to apply the anti-spell technique.

    Differently from the others, the woman had a smile plastered on her face as she started to intensively bring the heat on me. I had to change strategy soon, my palms were hurting after trying to block the punches and the kicks of this stronger opponent and… I decided to pull a Krillin.

    A blinding light erupted from the white orb forming in my hands, hindering the Queen and giving me an opening to rush at the distracted Bishops.

    The first one ‘eeped’, not expecting me to rush for her and soon I had the anti-spell on her. Her body crumbled, tired mentally and magically after dealing with such difficult day but the moment I turned to reach for the remaining Bishop I was intercepted by a fist crashing on my cheek.

    Eyes widening in surprise and skull vibrating at the monstrous strength coming forth with the punch, I was sent slamming on the nearby wall. Dizzy and confused, I could only turn as a kick pushed deep in my stomach, forcing my lungs to expel the air stored within them.

    Groaning, I rolled away as the Queen engaged in a feral pursuit, finally speaking after so much silence.

    To think that you worried my Master. You are utter trash and your hopes are futile.” I deflected another punch and ducked away from the following kick. “His love is what make us great and you will fail against him.”

    E-Eh? L-Love?” I smiled, a little trail of blood falling off the corner of my lips. “I-I think you m-meant the s-sad r-retardation he is a-afflicted.”

    A furious roar at the jab at her King but this was all part of the plan as I dodged the kick and slammed my leg on her standing one. She tripped, slamming her head first on the floor and focusing on getting up so she could continue the fight but…

    I was already rushing at the other girl, hands ready as I grasped her shoulder and had her magical core cleansed at once. Her hood feel, dark-blue eyes widening as the young woman fell on her knees with her mind unrestrained, reducing the number of my opponents to just-

    GYAAAAAAAAH!” “Ugh!”

    -One.

    The Queen tried to tackle me down, but the sudden deprivation of her boost made her strength more manageable and made it possible for me to hold her stuck in a forced hug. “Y-You will not win, my Master-” She stilled, the anti-spell fully curing her of the mind-control. “M-My Master- I-Is.”

    For a moment, she said nothing, her eyes going wide open, her brain recollecting all of what had happened today, yesterday and even much before. Her hold slowly tightened and few instants later she was clinging on me as if her life depended on it.

    M-My Ma-No, I do- C-Can’t believe that-”

    Shhh.” I had one of my hands run through her hair. “It wasn’t your fault.”

    She tensed at the touch, but soon she craved for more relief away from that terrible waterfall of guilt and suppressed emotions. “D-Don’t le-let go.” She sobbed madly on my shoulder and I was slowly feeling my torso creaking, my ribs a little bruised by the previous fight and… it wasn’t over yet.

    I don’t want to let go, but I have to stop your Master from hurting others.” Her hold tightened even more and I sighed. “What is your name?”

    She twitched and seemed still troubled by the fact her current emotional crutch had to go now of all times.

    I-I am not going to let anyone hurt you, but I can’t even have you get hurt by that bastard.” I motivated once more. “What’s your name.”

    She blinked twice. “E-Elea. My n-name is Elea.”

    Ok, Elea...” I started, noticing that for some reason my backpack was… wet. “I know that you are scared and I can assure you that nothing will happen to you, but I need you to help the other girls to reach the underground section. Th-There my group will help you and-”

    She sniffled. “A-Are you lying? I hurt people a-and you still want to help me?”

    I blinked at that interruption. “Do you want to hurt people now that you are free from that spell.”

    Another sniffle. “I… I don’t want to.”

    A small smile was now in my face. “Then you are good in my book. You all are and… you should seek some safe place, so I entrust you with their safety while I deal with Diodora.” She flinched at the name but she trembled a little less now. “Can you do it for them?”

    Grey eyes glanced around, her hands still grasping at my shirt and then… she let go and nodded slowly. “I-I will help them.”

    I smiled widely. “Good, I hope you all will recover soon then, Elea.” I turned and started to finally rise through the stairs.

    B-Be careful…

    H-Hoitsu-sama!”
    --------------d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d--------d-d-d-d-------d-d-d-d-

    Rias Gremory was mesmerized by the monitor from which everyone within the Maous’ headquarters were staring at.

    After experiencing a lengthy interrogation with a dead-serious Serafall, the heiress had expected things to be uncertain until the proclamation of her punishment which was to be delayed until the crisis was averted.

    Saddened by the fact even her brother wasn’t deigning her of a reaction at what had happened, the redhead was ready to spend this time to think what kind of punishment she would have to endure after this predicament, knowing full well from Serafall’s own mouth that leniency was mostly off the diplomatic table with Grigori.

    Azazel might not be calling for her execution, but he wouldn’t never let her go free and without getting some proper justice passing through. It was unnerving, to know that the situation was going to end up getting worse even now that she felt bad about what was happening around her.

    Sona had picked a chair and was sitting few meters behind her but her reaction to the broadcast they were all looking at was enough to make it clear she wasn’t the only one finding this development incredibly unexpected.

    While she had been quick to pick up that Hoitsu was stronger than she had initially thought, it was a shocking matter the whole idea that he was Hekishoku all along. The very masked individual that had been there during one of the Gremory’s lunches was the very individual she found herself at odds in Kuoh Academy.

    It wasn’t that she was angry at this, merely surprised that he had been this close to her family and that he knew of her real situation. It was surreal at first, then Azazel decided to deign them with some background about how he had found him and why he considered him an important asset within Grigori.

    He is responsible for dealing with a rather rogue cadre within Kuoh Town and I think his baptism of fire was fighting the very leader that sought to betray me, the Fallen Angel responsible for your Pawn’s first death.”

    Now that was something that gave her much more insight when and why he got approached by Grigori, but it was still absurd to think a mere human was capable of reaching this level. There are individuals that have some major powers that makes them capable of fighting evenly with Devils and other supernatural beings, but those were special cases that were either blessed by Sacred Gears or by Heaven’s gifts.

    Hoitsu had neither the first nor the latter, yet managed to stand strong against a strong peerage like Diodora’s and beat them without shedding any blood.

    A feat that was as praise-worthy as confusing, the teen having no reason at all to spare the group of women that followed the traitorous heir of Astaroth.

    Yet as the fight unfolded and the conclusion was revealed, Sirzechs spoke up, bringing up a possible theory with a disgusted tone. “Diodora’s peerage looked unaffected by pain while sustaining attacks, then as Hekishoku went close and personal they seemed to freak out or fall unconscious one at the time.”

    You mean Diodora used a spell that denied them the freedom to feel?” Serafall added up. “That means that Hoitsu-tan used the Anti-Spell to forcibly remove such foul mind-control.”

    Rias felt some anger rising at the idea that someone would do something to their peerages. Hers and those of her own kin’s were all family to the Gremory clan and… yet the fury stirring within her chest was attenuated by the knowledge she had almost condemned Asia to that fate.

    More guilt drowned her anger, as she stared away from the screen for a while, noticing at that point some footsteps approaching. A glance back, behind Sona, gave her insight to whom was approaching and her eyes widened in realization and surprise.

    R-Ruval-san, Sairaorg-san.”

    The tallest of the two gave her a kind but shaky smile while the Phenex heir gave a formal nod at her.

    I see that sir Hoitsu is the one that Diodora seek to fight now.” The blond man stated with a little grimace. “A pity that you didn’t have the chance of joining him then, Sairaorg.”

    The Bael shrugged and continued to stare at the monitor.

    P-Phenex-san, you mean that you know Hoitsu-san too?” Sona looked surprised, but she was dealing with this numerous developments much better than Rias was, managing to formulate questions that the redhead was having trouble to create out of her shock.

    I’ve meet him two days ago while I was trying to search for the Heiress Gremory to discuss about the awkward stance the marriage contract was turning into. I ended up chatting with him once I learned that the Heiress had left the school early from her usual time there.”

    Her cheeks were now sporting a blush, her mind bringing up the events of that specific day and reminding her how humiliating it had been. Trying to get Issei’s attention and try to befriend him a little more by using her relative capacity to deal with intimate situations, she only ended up at odds with the very blonde she had allowed to go with the younger Phenex brother, her advances towards Issei called out as forceful and embarrassing.

    A sore memory that was now revealing to be quite compromising of her current role in the predicament. It wouldn’t be far-fetched to believe that her Pawn was now connecting dots between that brief and insignificant strife with the actions of the following day.

    And that form, is that what you were mentioning back when we were chatting in the car, Bael?”

    The Strongest Youth hummed, eyes narrowing in analysis but the powerful Devil shook his head negatively. “While the appearance is the same… he seems to be in control and that smoke… it’s negativity itself.” His eyes widened in shock. “T-That his pure Senjutsu, somehow he is purging out the negativity that comes with the absorption of natural energy.”

    Azazel sighed. “That is something that only the brat can do. Sadly, it is unique to him and I can’t explain how exactly he is doing that.”

    I don’t mind, Governor-General.” Sairaorg replied with a nod. “It just gives me the thrill to understanding him when we will be sparring.”

    Rias was fairly sure she wasn’t the only one sensing the certainty in her cousin’s voice and the presence of ‘when’ and not of an ‘if’ to describe such spar.

    You and your spars, you moron.” The Phenex sighed while shaking his head in disappointment. “Anyway, I think we were talking about our chat.” He nodded to himself.

    Well, as I was saying, the man was kind enough to give an outlook of the situation and was good in bringing up some interesting and glaring flaws of the contract that not even father was aware of and, after a quick investigation, we confirmed that something was off about it.” Ruval explained, ending with a sigh. “This caused for some inquiries about some of the rumors about Raiser’s current peerage and we confirmed that part of those revealed to be true. While he hasn’t forced any of the women to join his peerage and their poly-amorous relationship is genuine, the fact he made his peerage his very harem with the exclusion of our youngest sister is enough to warrant some personal interrogation to verify his standing as a proud member of the Phenex clan.”

    H-He put his young sister in his peerage?” Sirzechs’ eyes were wide open, a little pale at the idea that someone would do something with their peerage and then cast her own younger sibling inside such a travesty.

    Something I was unaware of, Lord Lucifer. It is why once I learned of this heinous activity that I swiftly went along the procedures of our family to bring up this shameful behavior to my father and mother, Lord and Lady Phenex.”

    And how they did react to this?” Serafall butted in, causing Ruval to sigh tiredly.

    They said that the circumstances were odd, but Ravel had mentioned the reasoning behind such action.”

    He hummed before continuing. “Raiser wanted to make sure that Ravel had some minor experience for her future peerage, thus he made sure to make use of temporary pieces to make her part of his group. Since he wasn’t much of a planner for any of the Rating Games, it was mostly my sister that laid off the schemes to use during the fights and… the results were interesting.”

    Since last year, Raiser started to win more matches than before.” Sona remarked, remembering studying his RG style. “But to think that the very reason of this phenomenon was Ravel-san...”

    It’s an impressive detail that I had some time to study and, if her role is devoid of major implications to this crisis, I wished to make her my apprentice until she is old enough to have her own peerage.” Ruval gave a small smile and Sirzechs.

    That sounds… unorthodox, but I guess that would be a good way to prepare her for the harshness of the games early on.” The Lucifer confirmed and…

    The brat is opening the doors, let’s see what kind of situation we are dealing with.” Azazel called out loudly as indeed the boy was pushing the tall doors open.

    ----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----

    Why are those doors this big and heavy? Why not do some normal doors.

    Maybe it was cool hundreds year ago, like some form of hellish mecenatism.

    Mecenatism? What is that?

    There was a period where instead of going at war for some dick-measuring contest, various nobles would ‘fight’ against each other by commissioning important artists and getting some paintings or building to prove they were rich and strong.

    That sounds incredibly dumb.

    Like the pyramids one would say…

    That is… fine, that is a good point you made. Okay?!

    Both of you please some silence, this situation is already dreadful as it is.

    Before I reached for that massive door, I had the opportunity to glance inside the backpack and see why there was liquid dripping from it.

    When I was slammed on the wall by Elea, the bag took the brunt of the hit and most of the small bottles containing the Tears of Phoenix were destroyed in the process, two now remained after I had used one to refill my energy and magic before the final fight with Diodora.

    As I finished pushing the doors open, I walked inside the large living room, my sight attracted to several elements, the first of those being the amount of shredded bodies littering most of the other entrance to the room, causing me to flinch at the stench and the sight of so many dead people.

    Then I turned to the table where I saw Asia looking… fine. She looked particularly shaken by whatever had happened there but she had been left untouched and on her lap was…

    She was smiling and a shiver went down my spine.

    Trying to ignore the terrifying expression in the Infinity Dragon’s face, I noticed Raiser looking at me warily, his peerage seemingly positioned to defend him rather than prepared to attack me, something strange since he was part of the terrorists in this situation.

    And finally I saw Diodora.

    Smiling emptily, the heir to the Astaroth family had a green sword poised right near the throat of a kneeling Grayfia. The maid looked incredibly angry, but she was doing a fine job in showing just a minor scowl through her usual poker face.

    Behind them I could see a bubble-like barrier of light-violet and the parents of Rias held within them.

    You are finally here, you filthy scumbag.” The Devil said loudly, his left brow twitching in possible annoyance. “Good to know that your troubling self shall be dealt with today by a proper noble before you can cause more issues to this proud society.”

    I tilted my head in confusion. “You are a fucking terrorist, you twat.”

    Asia’s eyes went wide-open and her hands went to cover Ophis’ elf-like ears much to the goth girl’s confusion. It was a sign that the former nun was utterly unaware of what being was currently enjoying being coddled by her.

    My crass comment seemed to make his smile fall a little. “And also foul other than disgusting. A filthy human trying to fit in a place where only pure-blooded, strong Devils are meant to exist. You are proof that Hell is in need of renovation, a restoration to a better time where a Devil was a Devil, not some carefree fool that besmirch the noble name of the 72 Pillars.”

    I’m fairly sure you are allied with descendants from heroes and most of them are humans.” I rebuffed with a sigh. “Seriously, is there even a point to try to build up a patriotic facade if you can’t even keep it up-”

    BE QUIET, YOU MONGREL!” A snarl finally appeared on the Astaroth’s face, the Devil bringing the sword to draw a shallow cut on the woman’s neck. “I am the one in control, I am the one the one with the hostage, I AM THE DEVIL HERE-”

    You are that kind of guy which mother called special but she meant particularly retarded.” I taunted back, his eyes widening. “You are the little boy which gets rejected by other girls because he is all smoke and no real deal.”

    Y-You-”

    You are an utter disappointment to the very ideal Devil you flaunt to be, you are incapable of doing things this magnitude on your own and I bet you even begged Ophis for her power before doing all of this.”

    I-”

    He did.” The dark-haired girl stated flatly. “He was rather pathetic.”

    W-Why!?” Diodora looked ready to explode any moments now, the furious build-up ready to climax in a brain-fart. “WHY DID YOU TELL HIM THAT-

    She shrugged. “You are weak and… I think you aren’t that useful anymore.”

    Damn!

    To think someone as blunt like her exists...

    The Infinity Dragon’s words were what shattered the last restraints within the Devil’s rabid anger, a loud yell preceded a sudden rush towards me, his sword now ready to reap my head off my body and… I jumped.

    The sword missed and in that blink of an eye Diodora finally realized that he had just fallen to such stupid trick. He had lost his hostage, he was no longer able to assert any demands and… he was in my range.

    I kicked down, pushing my knee on his unprotected face and sweeping him away. Without losing a moment to let him rest, I had some Silver Linings slamming him onto the roof and then back on floor.

    A green barrier formed around him and before it could cover him fully, I turned part of the spell still wrapped around his chest to become a Light Mine. The explosion tore him off the barrier and sent some blood flying from his mouth. But no major damage yet, I blamed Devil’s sturdy bodies and… wait, why the Light Spell weren’t doing much on him?

    He is constantly coating himself in magic, the damage of magical attacks is mostly nullified.

    That means you go there and kick his ass the classic way.

    Understood!

    As he tried to stand up from the ground, another Lining wrapped around his torso and pulled him towards me as I rushed forward with my fist cocked and ready. The impact was loud and I could feel something break in his face, the sound a satisfying crunch.

    He crashed on the floor again, blood spurting out of his nose but he managed to make some distance by madly creating new magical swords that swung madly and blindly around him.

    W-Whay ar you dis strong?!” He screamed while holding his broken face.

    Because I actually earned my strength.” I mused loudly before rushing through the openings of that dumb pattern of attacks. “Yours was never refined, your raw potential stagnating into this and… you are going to lose.”

    N-NO!” He had a sword prepared in his hand, ready to take a quick hit on me but… I had my Light-Saber in my own hand already. I dodged his hit and took a swing with my white blade.

    His eyes widened, his arm flying away just like the hopes of winning this fight and actually surviving today.

    He fell on the floor, his free arm dragging him away from me as he tried to reach for Raiser and his peerage, the pain and the bad odds on him starting to shatter the bravado that he previously had all around himself.

    H-Help me!” He begged, squirming like a worm having seen a large shoe ready to step on him. “I-S-ave me- I beg you.”

    The brother might have looked fairly unwilling to help such a desperate bastard, but I saw an uneasy glint in Ravel’s glancing and I sighed. “Right now your situation wouldn't warrant any terrible punishment. If you step in right now to help a confirmed terrorist you will face prison time and possibly the death penalty on the spot. I don’t want to be your executioner, don’t make me yours.”

    The blonde tensed a little, eyes glancing my way and then looking to the ground her face tinted in red in embarrassment at having to be ‘scolded’ in such way but… she sighed and kept quiet.

    Diodora’s last hope was lost and thus, without wasting any time in letting such individual escape, I stabbed down on his chest, right where his heart was. He froze and tensed at the sudden attack but soon… he slumped on the floor, lifeless as the final lights of his soul vanished.

    Sighing I turned towards Grayfia and approached her, helping her out of the magical ropes keeping her tied up. “Everything’s alright, Grayfia-neechan?”

    She blinked at the usage of the nickname which was permitted to only one individual and she smiled a little. “So you are my otouto.”

    I blushed a little as she reached out for my hair. “you do have the same hair color and… the same softness.”

    P-Please no.

    Aww, is someone embarrassed by their Neechan?

    W-We should help Lord Zeoticus and Lady Venelana and- Asia.” As I finished to speak, I turned to look at the human girl and- I found myself staring at two dark orbs with reptile-like irises, two soft hands pressing on my cheeks.

    I will free them… only if you join me.”

    W-What?

    I-I told you that-”

    I don’t care.” She stated blankly. “I want you to join. I want you to be mine.”

    ...What is going on?

    Something mixed between adorable and ‘Oh my Gosh, we dying a Clegane Death’. But don’t worry, I have a plan.

    What is he talking about?

    Something we have yet to test but… now I’m curious’.

    I frowned inwardly and as the features on Ophis’ face hardened at the lack of a response, I saw a familiar white-gloved hand softly pat her head.

    Her eyes widened immediately at the sudden head-patting but soon she became confused at the fact it wasn’t me doing such thing. I felt someone moving from behind me and then the girl let my cheeks off, so I could see… a smiling Shiranai-

    W-What?” I whispered, completely lost now as the dark side continued to softly pat the girl on her head.

    Ophis-chan, can you not hurt my King?” He asked kindly. “I know that you want to have a friend around because you are lonely but… that is the wrong way to do that.”

    The goth girl frowned. “Uh, wrong? Who are you?” Her voice was surprisingly lighter than usual and Shiranai hummed happily.

    My name is Shiranai… but if you want to know what I am, then you might call me… the opposite to the Infinity.”

    The Nullity. I wanted to reply at that but I decided to see where things were going with this new development.

    My opposite?” The girl continued to speak with a wonder-filled voice. “So you are my enemy?”

    No, no. Quite the contrary, I want to be your friend.” He replied with a happy tone. “But the reason we can’t join is because that would hurt you and us.”

    She blinked. “Why?”

    Well, there are people that wouldn’t like to have us around within your group and if you ordered them to accept us, they would rebel against you. That is why we don’t join, because we know that you still want to have your ‘silence’ back.”

    Her eyes widened in surprise. “Is that so?”

    Indeed.” The formal-dressed man stated. “Tell you what. Can I pick you up?”

    There was a moment of silence and I continued to stare at this scene in utter fascination. What the hell was going on?

    Finally Ophis nodded, her arms lifting and waiting for the curiously kind man to pick her up and-

    Hop-Hop-Hopla.” The girl smiled a little at the strange but oddly funny sound and she was quick to seek the warmth coming from the man’s chest, snuggling and nuzzling her way closer to him. “We will be going to free Mr. and Mrs. Gremory and apologize for what happened.”

    She frowned and gave a confused look. “Why do I need to apologize?”

    As the Infinity Dragon you certainly have a vast amount of power, but with said power you have to have some responsibilities for your own actions. You can’t certainly cause some ruckus and expect to go unpunished about it.” Shiranai answered kindly. “That is why I was thinking of doing something that is actually going to be fun for you.”

    At the mention of the word ‘fun’, the girl had her full attention on him. “What is it about? What is the ‘fun’?”

    He chuckled. “Oh, someone is excited alright. Hmm, I was thinking of helping with repairing this damage.” He explained quietly. “You see, have you ever played playing constructions with boxes and Legos?”

    The girl blinked and slowly nodded. “Well, helping in repairing you will do something that isn’t going to be scolded after and then you will find a pretty place at the end. Did you see how beautiful this once looked before it was ruined?”

    The little child nodded. “It was super-pretty.”

    I’m feeling some déjà vu…

    Well, do you want to help in making it pretty once more?” She nodded. “Then we will ask to the owners of this house if you can help around in repairing, what about it?”

    A small smile adorned once more her face. “Yes.”

    Then let’s go!” Shiranai proclaimed eccentrically, causing a small giggle from… Ophis.

    I blinked once, then twice and finally decided to let my brain reboot at what had just happened.

    I will follow this… individual. I can only assume he is your friend.” Grayfia said calmly and I nodded. “Then I will take my leave and… you may go for the young girl.”

    My eyes widened at that remainder, my attention snapping back at Asia as the blonde continued to wait patiently by her chair. I walked to greet her and she jumped onto me. “Senpai!”

    Thud

    Ugh.

    A-Asia-chan-” I tried to console the happy girl as she continued with her tackling.

    It was so terrible, even with little Ophis keeping me safe, D-Diodora was doing so many cruel things and-”

    I know, sweetheart. So you are not hurt, you don’t need any medical assistance?” I asked with a little bit of worry to which the girl reply with a negative shake of head.

    I’m fine. Just scared and… I’m happy that you are here, Senpai.” She said, sighing in relief as we both got up from the floor.

    I sure am happy to see you safe and sound, piccolina.” (Little One, Sweetie)

    She blushed. “G-Grazie, fratellone.” (T-Thanks, big brother.)

    Just as we hugged once more, I saw a familiar brunet blitz from the door I had come through and rush towards us.

    ASIA-CHAN!”

    The former nun blinked in surprise as she saw a teary-eyed Issei pull her in a close embrace, her face showing a full-blush at the intimacy but… she smiled and returned the hug.

    I-Ise-kun.” She greeted back, slowly pulling out of the hug much to the boy’s confusion before going forward and steal his lips with hers.

    Issei’s eyes widened in surprise and then… he closed them, enjoying the first kiss with his romantic interest. The blonde started to cry a little, possibly tears of joy as I stared at the scene silently, smiling as my this wholesome pairing was finally getting to a proper romantic relationship.

    Soon the others from Baraqiel’s and Vali’s groups arrived to the Living Room with Millicas and-

    This is a sign!” Kuroka exclaimed happily, citing the kissing couple near where I was. “I knew that you actually want it-”

    Nope!” I turned around started to sprint, my Senjutsu from sadly unavailable in that specific moments.

    You can’t run from my love!” The Dark-haired Nekoshou proclaimed fiercely.

    WATCH ME!” I replied with equal determination.

    Niichan!” “Hoitsu-nii!”

    Both Koneko and Kunou exclaimed, joining the chase too much to my distress.

    Why has this become a thing now!?

    --------------d-d-d-d----------------d-d-d-d---------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d------

    AN

    Volume 2 is now passed and concluded! Only the aftermath and the first steps for ‘my’ Volume 3 remains to be announced and-

    Quick premise for next chapter (it’s necessary because it’s truth time): While this story is a ‘Regular kind of Fanfic’, I’ve been thinking of giving some serious ‘minor’ X-overs to further bolster the current originality of the plot. What I am talking about? With the Khaos Brigade now unofficially announced to the Three Factions of Christianity, it’s time for everyone to step up their game and… Azazel decides it’s time to broaden Grigori with a new sister-organization with unusual members and new contracts.

    Quick reminder for those who have just started to read my stories: While many stories fail at this crucial step and screw up the entire plot in some convoluted mess, I’ve established some good planning to make sure that, the ‘Stories’ I wish to bring within the DxD one can fit in its Lore and can work with the overall plot. No, I’m not clueless about what to do now, I’ve actually decided to step up my own writing game and create a story only my ambitious mind can like and only my creativity can pull through. So yeah, it’s some AU time.
    Future milestone 1: 626 Followers and Favorites.

    Future milestone 2: 696 Followers and Favorites.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
    FeebleEcho, Wolfant, Mikers99 and 7 others like this.
  25. Threadmarks: Politicking and the Next Step
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 25: Politicking and the Next Step

    One would think that after dealing with the first attack of Khaos Brigade some celebrations would have been a must for a society like the one in Hell.

    We were all rallying by the courtyard in front of the main entrance of the humongous house, my eyes widening a little at seeing Sairaorg and Ruval there too, the strongest of the two giving me a challenging smile as if promising some ‘sparring’ in the near future.

    He is a man of action after all.

    This very sentiment of calling the day off seemed to be pretty much what everyone wanted to do, especially to stop thinking at the issues relative to the reconstruction of the damaged mansion and at the proper trials for those that were captured, but soon the situation changed completely when a small group of four red knights appeared via a gold-like seals glowing from the ground.

    Two were leading while wielding halberds while the others where wielding shields and swords.

    Hoitsu Sakakibara, your presence is required by Lord Bael at once.” One of the four spoke, a masculine voice that showed no hints of emotions nor hesitation.

    Everyone looked confused, some more than others, while a small part made by the Satans, the leaders of Grigori and the older Devils seemed to be wary of what was going on.

    The Bael Clan wasn’t certainly someone that invited people randomly, especially with such event just ending now and with me being… undesirable for being a human.

    I think the big question is if they are referring to Zekram Bael or his son in this occasion?

    Possibly the ‘actual’ Lord by orders of his father. I don’t think someone like Sairaorg’s father would actually grace me with that kind of ‘privilege’.

    Glancing back to try and find Azazel, the man actually preceded me by taking hold of my left shoulder and appearing by my side. “Sadly this young fellow is not under Hell’s jurisdiction and your Lord can’t advance any invitation without passing by me.”

    The cool refusal caused two of the knights to look doubtful for a moment, glancing at each other before one of them spoke once more, his tone now grave and deadly serious.

    Lord Zekram wishes to speak with the young man. It’s a matter of utter importance and he has suggested that said importance is beyond any possible wars.”

    There was a sudden spike of tensions as the chief of the Fallen Angels was stumped first and foremost by the last words. I couldn’t exactly blame anyone looking shocked by that phrasing, as Zekram was the one making sure a second War wouldn’t ensue.

    He was the one that killed Cleria Belial for discovering the true function of the King Piece, of the manipulation attempt from the Old Devils to control Hell forever. So it was either I was going to be killed out in his own house or I was going to be possibly bought by him to join his clique.

    Both terrible predicaments with the latter outcome being far worse than the former one.

    But I could recognize a dead-end when I saw one and thus, letting out a long sigh, I turned my attention to a confused/concerned Kunou.

    N-Niichan, where are you going?” Okay, her voice was just- I should run and- Another sigh, I patted her head and brought her close enough to plant a kiss on her forehead after removing her mask. “Ku-chan, I need you to stay with Ise and Asia while I deal with some old geezers. I will be home before dinner.”

    The blonde looked unsure about believing or not to that promise but… she nodded, looking quite uncertain herself. “J-Just be careful?”

    I chuckled. “I will be super-careful.”

    A small smile. “Okay then.” I ruffled her hair just for a few moments before turning back to the four knights and-

    What about me, darling?” Kuroka latched at my arm much to my chagrin. “Are you going to give me a kiss too? If so, in the lips and with some tongue, pretty please-nyah~!”

    I flickered her in the forehead, causing her to mewl in annoyance as I gave her a deadpanned glance. “You have stuff to do, like fixing what you want to fix.”

    Her eyes widened in surprise. “O-Oh, right?” She nodded but didn’t budge yet. “Still, not even a treat to console me while you are away?”

    It sounds like an intriguing offer.” I mused loudly, causing her to frown at the sudden change of mood and, as she was about to call BS, I quickly delivered by ‘killing blow’. “[But I refuse!]

    Her eyes widened, the Nekoshou gawked quietly at that unexpected Jojolity, but she detached her arms from mine and pouted angrily. “Don’t expect to find a bed once you get home.”

    I started to walk towards the knights, confused at that odd threat as she hardly knew where I lived-

    Could she be-

    Oh my, that would be… exhilarating.

    W-Wait, I didn’t invite you and-”

    But the moment my feet touched the seal, I found myself whisked away from the courtyard and… some places’ indoors.

    Of course my face had to be the first thing that came in contact with the floor of said location, but after experiencing this for a long time now I was quick to return up and standing. My eyes were swift in scanning the large room, the highly decorated tall windows, the various paintings put in the walls and the big throne at the end of the room.

    Two men, the youngest sitting on the ‘royal chair’ while the oldest, giving me a fierce and analytical stare was standing by his… kin’s side?

    I knew that the two were Zekram and his son, the Lord Bael and Sairaorg’s father, but the anime nor the manga had ever shown the two and… I have to say that now I knew the main details of their family.

    While the current leader of the clan had cyan eyes and the former one had orange ones, they were both brunets… just like Venelana and Sairaorg himself.

    The guards that had ‘escorted’ me knelt in front of the throne and, seeing the Lord gesture them to leave, they complied instantly and… there were only the three of us there.

    I glanced around and indeed the room lacked any other individual guarding the Lord’s safety and I was quick to point that to the idea the clan was mostly too prideful to accept ‘help’ of that sort.

    The Castle was filled with Elite Guards, but those were mostly garrisoning the walls in case the 50 or more magical barriers defending this unbeaten fortress came crashing down, which was highly unlikely and nigh-impossible with today’s strongest magicians.

    I returned to stare at the two ‘heads of state’, my eyes widening a little bit as I saw Zekram now standing in front of me, a strange smile on his face.

    You are Hoitsu Sakakibara.” The old man stated. “The human from Kuoh Town that managed to… become this.”

    I frowned at the second part, but kept quiet as he sighed and glanced at me with a curious look. “Your curious form, the one that you defined ‘Senjutsu’, can you show it here… now?”

    ...Why am I feeling tense from that request?

    Because for some reason some pragmatic old bastard is trying to understand something, maybe ‘try’ something to determinate something out of you.

    This man is powerful, his eyes are sharp and attentive, but I can’t get anything that should get us worried. Still caution is always advised in these situations.”

    I gulped nervously and nodded, soon smoke rose from my body and my eyes turned from dark brown to red.

    There was a silent pause, Zekram’s eyes widening in awe while the younger Bael looked intrigued while continuing to look blankly at me.

    This… this is just like I had thought.” A single gleeful smile, then he turned to his son. “Do you remember the tales of him? Of his infamous stance, his unique energy pattern and… that deadly stare.”

    I tilted my head on the side in confusion at that description.

    Him?

    I think he is comparing us to… someone that is dead. And my current guesses are one worse than the other.

    He snapped back around, advancing two more steps and then… he frowned. “But something… is missing.” The Elder Devil mused loud enough for everyone in the room to hear. “Something that- Yes, that would work.”

    W-What would wo-UGH!

    My everything was covered in red, a sudden blast of heat, of pure and harsh pressure was applied on my skin, on my bones and on my core.

    The pain was immense, but my throat was dry, my eyes were in pain as my tear-ducts were forcefully dried out and I felt my entirety burn horribly.

    There was a white noise aching within my ears, devouring at my sanity and only my heart-beat remained as something that fought against it.

    It was rising to a quick pace, my heart drumming painfully within my chest and soon I started to feel it.

    The red soon disappeared as pitch-black darkness replaced it… yet I was still awake, I could still see my own body in that strange place and… I blinked once more to prove that this wasn’t a dream.

    But this wasn’t a new room, I was still back to the Bael’s throne room, the red light was still here but was now clashing against the dark mist rushing out of… me.

    Another blink, I felt my entire body going light with pure and raw power and then… the clash ceased and I found myself staring at a surprised but amazed Zekram and at a less-than-happy and panicking Lord Bael.

    I took a breath of air as my ‘Senjutsu’ form ended, my legs failing as I found myself kneeling, my chest heaving up and down as I tried to make sense to what has just happened and why my whole body was in pain.

    I-I don’t know how- but you Core- Your magical core is-

    For some reasons you absorbed part of that powerful attack.

    What?!

    I was busy purging the negativity, but the sudden outburst of that Power of Destruction spilled in the Core, and it will soon cause issue to our Light-type energy.

    What do you mean and- POWER OF DESTRUCTION?!

    My stare turned to the recovering elder and I narrowed my eyes at me. “Y-You tried to kill me!”

    His smile widened. “Kill you? Of course not. You just… recovered something you are the rightful owner.”

    What is he talking about!?

    The Dark-type energy is stabilizing and… I think it’s being assimilated within the Core without issues. It’s becoming part of us, but that would turn us in a Devil. I… I think I can do something.

    W-What-

    This is going to hurt… a lot.

    A searing and burning sensation spread through my body, as if lava was being filtered through my veins and I felt something changing within my core.

    I was quickly returned to my ‘Senjutsu’ form and a sudden burst of smoke completely blinded me as I felt my core burning some of my energy away. The process lasted two full minutes of agony and, once it was over, I found myself once more on the ground, this time feeling… oddly better than before.

    D-Done.

    Impressive.

    W-What did you do?

    Shiranai just purged some of the excessive amount of Dark energy, placing a remainder of it within an isolated section of your core and… it shouldn’t be clashing with your Light-magic anymore.

    T-Thanks then.

    Y-You are welcome. Don’t use the ‘Senjutsu’ mode for some time now, I don’t… think I can help you with that for a while.

    T-This is even better.” My attention snapped back at Zekram, the founder of the Bael Clan looking like a kid receiving two gifts at Christmas by the same individual. “Y-You are like him. You are like Lord Lucifer a-and.”

    ...What in the goddamn fuck?

    This- No, this cannot- but-

    The Old Devil stood silent for a moment, thinking about this development and then nodding. “This… this makes things even more complicated than I had long thought.”

    He seemed to snap out of his reverie moments later, smile vanishing too as he bowed my way.

    T-To think I would be graced to find a noble successor, someone that could finally restore a pure dynasty to Hell and-”

    W-Wait a minute, what is going on?!” I finally demanded, the elder pausing once more and nodding at my request.

    You are capable of holding Light, Dark and Human energy without being turned in any other races but your original one. Like Lucifer once could before his fight with the long-dead deity.”

    I-I’m not going to rule over Hell!”

    The old man frowned. “You should! It’s your right and-”

    I don’t want to rule. Plus what would happen if Heaven went in a fit at this revelation, what if they decided a new War is worth enough to kill the ‘new spawn’ of the first traitor?” I rebuked quickly.

    I have to agree with Lord Sakakibara, father.” The youngest Bael finally spoke, looking sympathetic to my situation, if only because he wanted to rule Hell alone and in that Status Quo. “While he has the potential to become our greatest ruler, he is far too young and inexperienced to lead us in a Second Great War. If he was crowned so suddenly, not only we would face some social disorder but also deal with a conflict we are not prepared to face.”

    The elder nodded at that assessment. “I suppose that I was letting my own loyalty blind me once more.” He motivated. “But still, we can’t just ignore the presence of our Lord’s proper heir and we shan’t certainly forget to swear fealty to this young man.”

    Why the fuck I’m dealing with this situation now of all times?!

    Damn Diodora and his idea of broadcasting the fight. Now we got this political issue to deal with and some old fanatics to satisfy.

    I-I think I need some time to think? C-Can I go home?”

    Zekram frowned but nodded at my request. “If Lord Sakakibara requires some time to think, then I shall not indulge any further with my antics. Please do step on the circle and I shall send you back to Kuoh Town.”

    A golden circle appeared right between me and him and I walked on it without hesitation, my brain soon to burst like a watermelon if this madness continued to unfold.

    Soon a blinding light took me away from Hell and back to Earth, my feet surprisingly not tripping on the ground itself as I found myself staring at one of the fountains back in the park in Kuoh.

    ----------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d--------d-d-d-d----

    I yawned tiredly as I closed the door behind me, slowly walking in the main hall as I lazily glanced at the living room. I could hear some noises happening in the upper floor, but my brain had yet to recover to the insane shenanigans I just survived, my main objective being quiet and peace for the rest of the day.

    Sadly once more I found myself disappointed by life as I saw Azazel sipping some coffee from a cup he was currently holding. He paused mid-sip, one eye open as he glanced my way in a surprised tone.

    The Fallen Angel stood up from his chair and walked towards me. “You are back, brat.” His tone was neutral, just some hints of worry right at the edge. “It’s been what, two hours since we last saw you?”

    I sighed and nodded. “I returned an hour and a half ago, but decided to take a slow walk around to deal with the stuff I just learned about.”

    Important stuff if you had to take so much time to think about it.” He mused loudly. “But from what I see, you seem ready to fall asleep anytime soon and… I will bother you just with the more essential information about what happened while you were away.”

    We both reached for the table and I sat in front of him as he took just another sip of his beverage before starting to talk.

    We decided to make some quick trial for Rias.” My eyes narrowed at this summarized explanation, but I nodded at him to continue. “Putting forward that she was guilty of being an accessory was the easy bit, it was picking the right punishment that caused it to be a particularly long ‘quick trial’ and we ended up settling with a detailed compromise.”

    You aren’t angry and I feel like it isn’t certainly prison for her.”

    She is too young and her influence as an Heiress makes her quite untouchable in some instances, in this case the punishment was moderated to a full year of house arrests and her peerage will pass until this sentence is completed to Sona Sitri’s partial control. While she is the official leader of the Gremory’s peerage, they are still free to decide if joining the Anti-Stray Devil raids or not.”

    Sounds… incredibly mild.” I thought out-loud. “I thought there would have been like two years, maybe three.”

    The Governor-General of Grigori sighed. “Trust me, there was a solid front about increasing that time but… the Bael Clan was absent from that sitting. Do you know why?”

    ...Should we tell him?

    He covers your ass in the worst of the situations and he cares for us. Maybe? I mean, shouldn’t he be that careful to not misjudge a situation at first sight?

    I think you should tell him. It’s a fairly big secret and it could destroy your current standing if you don’t tell him.

    I sighed gravely and nodded. “Zekram Bael said that my ‘Senjutsu’ form reminded him of someone else.”

    The Fallen Angel blinked. “’Reminded him of… someone else’?”

    Another nod. “I- He said that I was- I was-”

    Lucifer’s successor?” Azazel interrupted quietly.



    Did he just-?

    I think that it is the case.

    My eyes widened. “Y-You knew about it?”

    From the very moment I saw the state your body turned into when you absorbed Light-type energy.” The man mused with a sigh. “I thought it was initially a coincidence, but then I saw your determination and… I was reminded of him when I started training you.”

    I blinked in confusion, but decided to not speak about it.

    It was before… he was truly turned in a Devil. During the Primordial War where he challenged God in a true fight. Before he lost and… become something else.” The man said with a quiet tone. “He was scary bastard during the Rebellion, he would fight without any sign of fear or doubt and… and he was incredibly caring for his comrades before fully falling from Heaven.”

    So…” My throat was sore, I wanted to sleep about this mess of a revelation. “Heaven will seriously seek to kill me?”

    Michael and Gabriel wouldn’t because they knew Lucifer personally before his True Fall and will… have quite the weird reaction at meeting you.” Azazel sighed. “But some Angels will not hesitate to hunt you down and end you before you become a threat to them.”

    Seriously, why is my life such a mess? Now not only I have to deal with the aftermath with some people in Kuoh Town, but I have to deal with this Devils’ affairs too.” I closed my eyes and slouched on the chair.

    Mhhh…” Azazel tilted his head on the side, humming thoughtfully. “So you would say no if I had some important mission for you?”

    I cranked an eye open and glared at him. “Not this early and-”

    It’s a long-term one outside of Kuoh Town. A recruitment campaign of sort.”

    There is Kokabiel that-”

    Fuck him, I will have Vali kill him. You need to get out of here for at least a month and… I have thought of forming something to fight back the Khaos Brigade.” He groaned tiredly.

    Then why are you telling me to recruit people? Shouldn’t you be nagging at the Satans and to Michael about it-”

    I will do that, but this can’t wait, especially with the intensity of those attacks. We need a new group, semi-dependent to Grigori that will hunt down the KB before they can strike truly.” Azazel interrupted once more. “I want you to lead this group, this Omega Initiative, and counter the plans of those wishing to cause mayhem across the world.”

    And I have to ask then, how should I recruits people if I don’t know where-” He passed a piece of paper across the table. “-To go- Okay, what is that?”

    A week ago Tokyo was subject of a brief battle between a Yokai-led terrorist group called Fairy Tale and a large coalition of fellow Yokais led by the two former Dark Lords. Yasaka was particularly busy with the aftermath as part of the Yokai world wished to open up to humanity and… that led to some sudden secession of the Yokai world.”

    You got to be fucking kidding me.

    T-This could be a coincidence- I mean, we got a parody of Dragon Ball and a man like Satoshi so-

    Tomorrow morning I will have some more equipment for this first task in the long-term mission, there will be some paperwork to compile later on and some objects you shouldn’t touch until you read the manuals- I think I should also add that the place is filled with young Yokais that have little control over their… instincts, thus some might be hostile early on.”

    He clapped his hands once as I continued to stare silently at how nice the texture of the table was. “I guess I will leave you to your rest. I don’t wish to cause any brain damage, especially now that you need to take care of the ladies waiting upstairs.”

    I continued to contemplate how good this furniture was.

    Seriously who would have thought that-

    The door finally closed and my mind shifted back on the very real issue.

    FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK! Why do I have to deal with the Rosario + Vampire cast now? WHY DO THEY EVEN EXIST IN THIS UNIVERSE?

    I mean, it’s not that far-fetched that their logic could apply to this world. Plus both are mostly similar Harem-genre series so-

    NIICHAN!” A golden and fluffy Chibi-kitsune-sized bullet blitzed mid-air and slammed onto my waiting arms. “You are back!” I smiled and chuckled at Kunou’s excitement but, as I was starting to pet her, I heard more footsteps coming from the stairs.

    Wait, didn’t Azazel say something about ‘Ladies’ as in plural-

    Hoitsu-nii!” Cue the silver-haired Nekoshou following her kohai’s example and joining in by sitting on my lap, much to my legs suffering.

    I sighed but still smiled as I noticed their relieved expressions at my presence, acknowledging that since it was only those two, I could still make it through the day without any issue-

    Two soft and curvy orbs pressed on the back of my head and I heard a familiar giggle, causing me to close my eyes in silent defeat.

    Hello there, Darling~

    ...And Kuroka was there too.

    ----------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-

    AN

    We reached 626 Follows in FF! Yay! Next stop the legendary 696!

    Also I bet nobody expected that little twist for Volume 3! Yes, road to Yokai Gakuen!

    Quick timeline explanation: Volume 3 happens just a week after the final fight in Capu 2 (The manga, not the Anime sad adaptation). And the first task? Two individuals seek asylum as they are being currently hunted down by… shady individuals!

    As I said before, I don’t plan to incorporate full stories within this fanfic but characters will join up this Omega Initiative. It’s like Avengers, but Anime Style and… realistically possible.

    I will add in every AN the new member of the Initiative, starting with our current members at the formation of such group:

    DXD:
    -Hoitsu Sakakibara (Human/Leader);
    -Kuroka Toujou (Nekoshou/Second in Command);
    -Kunou Sakakibara (Yokai Kitsune/Member);
    -Koneko (Shirone) Toujou (Nekoshou/Member);


    Future milestone 1: 696 Followers and Favorites.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
    ArKFallen, Wolfant, Mikers99 and 5 others like this.
  26. Threadmarks: Reconciliation and Road to the Gakuen
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 26: Reconciliation and Road to the Gakuen

    Akeno sighed as she finished placing the umpteenth box filled with important documents in the Student Council’s classroom.

    With Rias confined back to Hell and with Sona assuming the role of leader with those of the Gremory’s peerage that decided to accept the offer of combining forces for any raids against Stray Devils that required more people than the Sitri’s peerage had.

    But it was the Himejima that had the extremely delicate role to act as the ‘Regent’ for Kiba, Koneko, Gasper and Issei as the Queen of the Rias-less peerage and that required no little tact with her rusty but available diplomatic side.

    Sona was understanding and didn’t put too much pressure on her new temporary subordinates, approving the idea of first letting some days pass but she there was also the fact that she valued the Priestess of Thunder less of the Crimson-haired Ruin Princess, considering that Akeno didn’t have any major family backing her and because she was also a hybrid of Devil and Fallen Angel.

    The young woman’s eyes showed tiredness, the strain caused by the several events happening in the last few days denting at her own composure, draining her of the energy to properly deal with the more difficult lifestyle she was going to face for some time.

    Akeno was glancing at the remaining boxes, thinking which one she should pick, when her ears caught someone knocking by the door. Violet eyes slowly and quietly turned to the origin of the noise and soon widened at the sight she was bestowed with.

    The last time she saw her father was back when her mother died, when he failed to be there to save her from the aggressors bought by the Head of the Himejima Clan. Sadness swelled deep in her heart, her mind pushing her attention back at the papers that needed to be moved away, to try and ignore a reunion she wasn’t ready to deal with after so much time has passed.

    The girl had long hoped to face her father when she had found happiness in her life, when she would have had enough strength to brave that traumatic scene of her childhood and come out on top victoriously.

    Yet this wasn’t going to be the case from what the man standing by the door. Baraqiel took just two steps in, pausing the moment Akeno flinched visibly and glanced his way with narrowed eyes.

    “W-What do you want?”

    The involuntary stuttering messed her plans to appear at least strong outwardly, the reaction she got from him was one of pity and sadness.

    Things that she truly wanted to have nothing to do about with this individual and yet the young woman felt hesitation at stating this even in her mind. He didn’t make a move for some time, he seemed to wait for something and it was right in that moment the Himejima realized that her breathing had quickened, her eyes had gone wide once more and something wet was now trailing off her cheeks in two distinct lines.

    Another step forward from the Fallen Angel, but Akeno didn’t move. She couldn’t move or- She couldn’t bring herself to move as the man finally took the initiative and wrapped his big arms around her, pulling her close in a careful and caring hug.

    She stiffened at first, her mind finally spilling some of her troubling thoughts in the form of emotional distress and then she let out a sob on his shirt. That kind of warmth, that kind of loving care and that large hand ruffling her hair softly…

    The Himejima sobbed again, this time relaxing upon her father. It was just like when her mother had been alive, the times when her father would be at home to play with her, to be around as he slowly taught her about the nature and its beauty, of the surroundings of the small house they lived in and…

    A small fragment, one she hadn’t thought important until now, of the very memory that continued to terrify her even now started to clear up, the face of Baraqiel stained in tears while he tried to keep strong as she accused him of being the cause of her mother’s death.

    She had thought he would have forgotten about her, that he would have gone with his life by respecting her childish wish. Akeno was a fool, a very sorry one as the burly man that was her Papa continued to comfort her in that moment of weakness.

    It’s been so long since she had let go that little knot forming every time she tried to hold back her frustrations about her everyday and now that Rias wasn’t there to give her a hug… she enjoyed one from her only family.

    Hoitsu’s words struck strangely well with what the young woman was feeling right now, the embrace now a primary necessity as she let go of that humble pride that kept her from being held by someone, to be an innocent bystander once more without the need to worry about being attacked by some assassins sent to eliminate her.

    “My little girl...” Baraqiel muttered, playing a little with her hair. “You grew up so strong and beautiful.”

    His praises made her smile, yet the small line was quick to return thin and neutral as a sigh preceded her reply.

    “I- I am not strong.” The Himejima mused loudly. “I wasn’t strong when Rias decided to accept Raiser’s offer.”

    The Fallen Angel sighed. “That wasn’t a matter of strength-”

    “I could have advised her to doubt the integrity of- OF THAT BASTARD- Uh?”

    The girl frowned as the man ceased the embrace and-

    “O-Owie!” His hands were now on her cheeks, pinching those with extra caution to not hurt her too much. The Himejima groaned, the small punishment kind of annoying but whatever protest she had planned to express, her father decided to speak before she could do so.

    “I remember how you would be this much thoughtful of past things, evaluating how things could have gone if you had done something or another different from your original choices. Why I remember a certain ‘accident’ about cold tomato juice being spilled all over Shuri when you thought it was blood.” At that embarrassing story from her childhood, Akeno sported now a blush.

    “I-I was only a child and Mama said that it was what vampires drank a-and I remember someone bringing mud inside the house-”

    “After a certain little pest decided to make mud-cakes and ruin her pretty dress her Mama had bought to her just the day before.” Her father rebuked smugly, her blush intensifying at the sight and at the words.

    “I-I wasn’t that much of a pest!”

    “I can disprove that too but then again, I think I will stick to just call you my ‘little girl’ at this point.”

    A pout formed in her face. “M-meanie and-” She finally smiled. “Thanks for that, I needed it… dad.”

    His smile seemed to explode with pure happiness and she felt her heart beating at a relaxing pace.

    “Your dad is also at fault for some… things that had happened in the last few years too...” He paused a moment, then he decided to tell everything about what had happened with the Himejima Clan.

    Akeno was skeptical at first to learn that the new head, her cousin Suzaku, was now seeking to bring reform and harmony to the family and that she had been trying to find her to apologize about what had happened to her after Shuri’s death.

    But then Baraqiel pointed out how Hoitsu had promised to filter letters directed at her to start to reconnect with her estranged family. It was news for her that the boy promised such thing to her cousin, but she was the least surprised to know how kind the young man was and…

    She frowned as the mental picture of his smile flashed momentarily as he was mentioned by her father. The following question, completely distanced from the actual topic, didn’t bring much shock to the Fallen Angel.

    “I- Papa, d-do you think Hoitsu-kun would accept an apology at this point?” Her voice was frail as her determination to ask was the lowest possible she could get. “I- I don’t think he would accept it but- But I still wish to try and make amend for betraying his trust.”

    Her father sighed tiredly and looked a little disappointed about… himself? “I thought you wouldn’t be giving pursuit to the brat, especially since he was that much unwilling to accept your affections-”

    “He’s only shy.” She nodded, convinced of this idea. “If I had been given some more time before this whole mess… I would have certainly got a boyfriend out of him-”

    SLAM

    Akeno’s eyes widened instantly as Baraqiel punched the nearby wall, almost cracking it open in the process. “T-That brat- I mean, surely there is still some time before you will truly need someone to love you that way.”

    “I’ve been thinking about this very seriously and he would make a good husband and father, that is why I wish to make a big family with him and- D-Dad?”

    The Himejima now looked a little bit worried about the Fallen Angel’s sudden new round of tears, the man recovering a few moments later. “I-It’s nothing, A-Akeno-chan. Y-Your papa is just enduring the gnawing of his paternal instinct.”

    “Oh?” She blinked quite surprised by the response she got. “So that means that you wouldn’t… approve of him?”

    He sighed gravely and… shook his head. “He might be a brat to me, but he would certainly be genuinely caring. The problem is...” He double-facepalmed. “HE IS TOO GOOD AND I CAN’T FIND A REASON TO HATE HIM!”

    Hearing this the hybrid frowned. “So… can I bang him?”

    “A-Akeno-chan, you mean ‘date’ r-right?”

    She shook her head and gave a serious look back. “No, I want to make some loving baby-mak-”

    “PLEASE STOP! NOT MY BABY GIRL!”

    The young woman suddenly let out an amused giggle, seeing her father suffering because of her ‘honest’ approach regarding the currently missing Sakakibara.

    “By the way, dad. Do you know why Hoitsu-kun was absent today? He certainly wasn’t there today.”

    The Fallen Angel sighed, recovering from that dreadful ‘torture’ and nodded. “Currently the brat is out of Kuoh Town and I don’t think you can contact him with the phone because of the place he is currently visiting.”

    She frowned. “So you mean that you were going to keep from me the fact he was going to be away from Kuoh for a while, do you have even a little bit of shame?” A sigh left her lips. “At least he will be back tomorrow, just like the usual.”

    But the Himejima quickly caught on her father’s brief guilty face and narrowed her eyes at him.

    “He is going to be back tomorrow, right?”

    The man started to sweat a little, nervousness plastered in his face as he replied in a half-whisper. “A-A month.

    Akeno didn’t reply immediately after hearing this, pausing a moment to contemplate about something and then… smiled sweetly.

    “Daddy dearest, I have the strong suspicion you just tried to not tell me about this very important detail. May I ask why you did so?”

    “I-I thought that this was going to be a d-day for us, s-sweetie. I d-didn’t want to worry you and-”

    “Oh, but I’m not worried, quite the contrary.” Electricity started to dance around them as her smile widened. “Why, after learning about this I was thinking of making this bonding session… really special.”

    The circle of electricity started to tighten up around Baraqiel, the man gulping and blushing as he was given a final confirmation as the ‘thunder’ struck.

    Her baby girl did really take after his beloved Shuri after all!

    -----------------d-d-d-d---------------d-d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d---------

    A few hours ago...

    Like Azazel had promised some hours ago, the two expected medium-sized boxes arrived early in the morning.

    One of those contained all the papers and the documents explaining what the ‘Omega Initiative’ was meant to be and represent, while also providing more info about what I was supposed to do with the recruitment gig.

    A group formed to intercept, dismantle or utterly destroy the forces connected to Khaos Brigade and any other terrorist groups from the supernatural world, formed by the strongest heroes this generation is renowned for while aided by Grigori with resources and commodities.

    What truly surprised me was how members were supposed to be ‘incorporated’ within the group.

    The other box contained several paper-thick discs that reminded me of Hockey’s pucks because of their relative forms. Continuing to read the documents I was given a clear description of what those were.

    Those ‘Paradigm Enlists’ were a creation from Azazel himself, enchanted pieces that had functions similar to the Rating Game’s chess pieces, with the main difference being that those who accepted this object wouldn’t be eternally attached to the King piece.

    There wasn’t a King piece actually as I wasn’t supposed to have one of those.

    The PEs offered a minor overall boost to the people owning them, draining a small amount of Magic energy once every few minutes as a price for the improvement. It was the first attempt from Grigori to make something based off from Ajuka’s best-known invention but the results yielded also some minor flaws within its usage.

    The large number of unused PEs that had been sent to me wasn’t an unusual circumstance as it was expected for the pieces to break if powerful surges of energy were pushed onto them, weakening the user but also putting them in danger if they don’t remove the defective one as quickly as possible. Thankfully, the pieces could be safely removed once these broke and could easily be replaced by new ones.

    There was also the difference about the contract used to bind the members to the organization compared to Grigori’s common paperwork. While it didn’t enforce any loyalty from the members to the leader, the rules forced the member to commit to the cause for at least a full year before being granted the chance of resigning from the role.

    While it wasn’t something many would worry about as only those that wanted to fight for the cause were going to be accepted, the presence of this rule was surely going to create some friction with the group.

    I sighed tiredly as I finished drafting the first list of members for the group, my brain trying to make some sense about Kuroka’s decision to join up the group without hesitation. The young woman was incredibly difficult to predict, especially with how her attitude was more accentuated compared to the small appearances in the series.

    I had expected her to do something the complete opposite, part of me thinking that Vali would have been incredibly annoyed that someone from ‘his team’ would suddenly jump ship and get in my group.

    But it was the Nekoshou herself that decided to explain why she had decided to go for this gamble, knowing full-well how the white-haired hybrid was going to react at her decision.

    “Mou, Vali can be prudish once or twice in a while,” Her tone playful as she poked at my nose, while talking, drawing an irritated sigh from my lips. “But he mentioned that he wouldn’t mind ‘getting rid of me by letting me go with nyah’. He was rather… interested at your reaction at such situation, I do reckon~.”

    I will fucking find that bastard’s phone and spam him with SMSs. I know things that would give him nightmares and- No, let’s not get too much angry about it.

    It wasn’t ‘that’ bad, nor I expected it to get worse than that.

    Ignoring this big concern, my attention was mostly directed at the decision of having both Kunou and Koneko to join up the organization too.

    The doubt was mostly led by the worry I had of them having to fight some dangerous enemies and… not being prepared for the encounters. While some people could be beaten with proper preparation and improvement, there were some nasty monsters in this world that certainly wouldn’t go down without a reasonable amount of strength already present.

    Some people like Rizevim, even Euclid being a powerful individual as a second-in-command. The descendants of the Original Satans aren’t certainly people to scoff at without knowing the extent of their full power.

    I think I was adamant enough in promising to them that once we were done with this first task, I would have them begin training even more than before with Kuroka going to focus in teaching her sister how to properly tap and use Senjutsu while I focusing on unlocking the blonde’s inner potential.

    Kunou was born a strong, she had the opportunity to become far stronger than I could ever be given enough attention and care for the training schedule, but right now the little girl was much weaker than me, her physical stats just a little above someone her age.

    I yawned as I tried to catch some rest during the bus ride, ignoring the fact that Kuroka had decided to pick my shoulder as a pillow and was now snoring and snuggling against it.

    The two younger girls currently sitting in the row in front of the one the dark-haired Nekoushou and I were sitting in, either glancing at the lights of the dimensional tunnel or going for brief naps.

    The magical bus and his mysterious driver, Nuranai, had arrived right on time as we punctually presented by the bus stop given by Azazel in the paper he had left to me.

    It was odd to know that a world like DxD contained different series at once and, making some serious research about any other possible series there, I ended up finding out that there were… many.

    Like tons.

    Some were happening in Japan, others in Europe and quite the events in the United States.

    The American ones did sure leave me some confusion as… why?

    I don’t know, I just didn’t expect them to be in this world of all people.

    I was also half-tempted to contact some of these ‘renowned’ individuals, to cut the chase before things got messy, but in the end I decided to let this first mission come to an end before starting to plan the recruitment campaign.

    There were some mighty warriors of different sizes, age. Great men and women that were going to be essential for the Second War that was now looming around the end of the one month time limit.

    “You got yourself a curious group, young man.” The ominous voice of the bus driver took me back to reality and I found myself blinking at him with a hint of interest. “I would dare to say that I see some parallels with someone studying at the school we’re currently directed at.” He mentioned in a nonchalant tone but…

    Seriously, was he comparing me to Tsukune of all people? Nobody turned me in a literal chew-toy-

    Yet.

    It’s not going to happen.

    It is.

    I frowned at the comment and decided to fire back. “I don’t have a harem chasing after me, headmaster.” My tone was mindful, but I did highlight the ‘honorary’ title the driver was supposed to be part of.

    He shrugged, glowing eyes still staring at the inter-dimensional road. Then he replied.

    “And that wasn’t what I was referring to, Hoitsu Sakakibara.” I flinched at the tone he used for my full name. “But I understand that it is a sore spot to you, for a man to have the attention of so many women at once.”

    I glanced at Kunou and Koneko, relieved to see both napping right now and giving me the chance of truly speak about this.

    “Big harems aren’t… a healthy thing in my opinion.” I explained cautiously, the man nodding absently as if to gesture me to continue. “I think the more girls are after a single man, the more it’s easy for him to unconsciously break one or more hearts in the process of politely picking the ‘right one’.” I said with the proper honesty.

    People were quick to jump the fun-wagons of Harem stories, but just a handful actually minded the possible aftermaths of the story. Harem as a fictional genre, at least if as big and extended like the one in Rosario + Vampire, was to be used mostly for comedic relief rather than a proper push for the story.

    In fact, I can easily say that the proper reason why Tsukune decided to go after Moka was… because she was the traction behind the entire plot. It was her family’s past, the ambitions of her step-mother and her ancestor’s resurrection.

    It was the plot, or at least the more serious bits of it.

    “That is something Aono-san braved mostly flawlessly, the affection of those girls still persisting even after he picked Akashiya-san.” The driver pointed out, something I was more than aware about.

    The former human did indeed achieve some peace with the others, while also keeping up that rom-com tone with the entire ‘Harem’. But still...

    I decided to nod at his point, yet I wasn’t fully agreeing to him.

    “Success is achieved all by being careful with what you have and being lucky enough to not get killed by heart-broken ladies.” I shot back with a polite nod, waiting for a comeback.

    And I got one a few moments later.

    “Ah, women are passionate beings,” The man sighed, his smoke brightening a little before he let out a tiny cloud to the side. “But I see that someone as young as you are know more about them than you let appear.” The precise jab made me a little nervous, having hardly faced someone that would actually come and try to use some arcane wisdom against me.

    Still, I nodded and ended that conversation here, unwilling to let myself open like a book to someone I had little trust about.

    You did have a good relationship.

    I did.

    Do you remember how feisty she was? Always affectionately trying to get your attention on her.

    She was rather lovely…

    I sighed as my eyelids dropped, my mind relaxing as I slumbered for a while and let myself wander in my thoughts of the past.

    Care to give more details? Sounds like an interesting story.

    Long story short, I was romantically attracted to a very precious girl that she returned the feelings… but we ended up returning just friends after her father discovered my… less than acceptable views of things.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone causing issues for something like this. Different religions or rival families, sure, but this is quite strange.

    This age is filled by morons that get dictated by the words of a few voices and then realize much later, when they get screwed by those voices, they start to lash out at everything around them.

    It’s a mad world!

    “By the way,” The driver’s voice dragged me out of my rest once again much to my dismay. “I can only assume that you are aware of the situation at the school. I hope Azazel did tell you about our current… issue.” There was some ominous tone around the last word and… I sighed.

    “Cloaked figures recently attacked the school.” I replied, remembering the scarce info the Governor-General left among the documents I had yet to finish to read.

    Stray Exorcists.” The man pointed out with a minor frown. “They were trying to capture the heir of Mikogami and Akashiya-san’s first-born.” Nuranai commented with some… annoyance? It wasn’t normal for the usually-stoic character to show this much negativity over something like these. Tsukune did face far worse than that in the last two years… so why did it matter now?

    “There was also a similar attack against Akua and Kahlua Shuzen,” He finally revealed with a tight voice. “The girls were being safely escorted by their father back to the Shuzen Manor to protect them from those that remained from Fairy Tale.”

    “I bet that Issa-san connected the two attacks and is now going at Yokai Gakuen right now.”

    “That is correct.” The driver nodded again. “But the real issue is that the man decided to bring his daughters with him to the school, saying that the barriers at the Manor are still compromised and the one at the Gakuen are better than nothing.” And I knew exactly why that is a problem.

    As much as the author of the R+V series tried to give him a lighter attitude in the After-Story, the man was still a powerful being with a prideful and pragmatic mind.

    But for me, the worst thing was that… Issa Shuzen was currently staying where I was going right now.

    Fucking great, now I will have to deal with a high-level Vampire too...

    It’s still weird that he managed to recover Kahlua. Wasn’t she taken by Kuyo at the end of Capu2.

    The final chapter does mention that Issa spent the whole month after the final battle trying to bring back the Shuzen family and I wouldn’t put above him trying to find what happened to his two missing daughters.

    Still, Issa Shuzen will be… quite troublesome to face if he decides to do any funny stuff with us. We could become a pawn for any of the remaining games if he wants us in that situation.

    I find it hard for him to strike first but-

    “We are almost there,” The bus driver announced with a clear tone, then he grinned. “You should wake the ladies up now before you lose too much time there.”

    What is that even supposed to mean?

    Mysterious words from mysterious folks.

    Yet I was more than happy to comply to go and wake the three girls up.

    Kuroka proved to be the greatest challenge of the trio as she decided to make a staunch stand and not budge out from her newly-acquired comfy ‘pillow’.

    Two minutes of tugging myself out of her grasp passed and we found ourselves off the bus and staring at the Academy from afar.

    The nearby lake was red as blood, there were tombstones placed all around and there was some eerie feeling of dread only a decent horror movie would give to a spectator.

    Yep, this was the place we were supposed to be.

    Hopefully we aren’t going to be road-killed by a silly vampire driving her bike to go to school.

    ---------d-d-d---------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-----------d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d-----------d-dd-d------

    AN

    Little fluff, the OI reaching Yokai Gakuen and… I do feel like this chapter short. You know what this means right?

    Next chapter will have some fighting!

    P.S. Rosario + Vampire was what made me comeback from my self-exile from Anime in general. I was busy with homework, difficult school years and that funny series managed to get some laughs and ‘nose-bleeding’ out of me. Then Anime Capu2 happened.

    Future milestone 1: 696 Followers and Favorites.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
    ArKFallen, Wolfant, Mikers99 and 9 others like this.
  27. Threadmarks: Crisis and an Awkward Vampire
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 27: Crisis and an Awkward Vampire

    The moment I took my first step inside the entrance section of the Yokai Gakuen, I found myself hit by an unexpected wave of nostalgia at the sight of the familiar school’s inner style and particular structure.

    This place was burned in my memory as this was also one of my favorite series, loving absolutely the plot presented by the Manga.

    Differently from Kuoh Academy, this place was built after the average Japanese school and was structured in a less-connected manner. Also, the simplicity and the modern touch of the buildings were a stark contrast with the antiquate but complex design adopted by the Western-inspired institute.

    I blinked back to reality as I felt a familiar small and soft hand swiftly taking refuge in mine, Kunou looking quite awed by the sight herself, but at the same time she decided to be a little more reserved about her reaction and keep close to someone trustworthy.

    Her fox ears were now in full display, maybe because she caught the scent of so many Yokais all around and, after almost a month living away with humans, I suppose she was getting overwhelmed by it all and wanting to let go of her restraints.

    Koneko seemed to be doing fine, yet her eyes were still darting around to look for every single details of the visible rooms, possibly to… map things up? She did ask if she could give a look for any available map of the school, but sadly there was none in the supernatural section of the Internet and thus practical mapping was her way to deal with the new place.

    While the youngest of the two Nekoshou continued with her quiet study, her older sibling decided to take this time to… ask questions to me. I had expected Kunou or Koneko to ask, but I was kind of embarrassed to realize that Kuroka wasn’t knowing of this part of the world.

    One thing led to another and I found myself explaining a little bit why this school existed.

    “While Yasaka-san is the titular ruler of the Yokai in Kyoto, her control isn’t as complete and basolute as it might sound in paper and at first look.” I explained quietly. “While she is rightfully and legitimately leading the yokai as her people’s ruler, the arrival of the Three Dark Lords in Japan caused some power struggle just few centuries ago.”

    Her cat ears perked. “Dark Lords? Like the one that appeared in Europe?”

    Blinking, I found myself intrigued by that question itself, but decided to verify a little later.

    Yeh’re a Wizard, Harry!

    Please don’t.

    “Not ‘that’ kind of Dark Lords,” I corrected her before giving a proper response. “The Three Dark Lords were the leaders of that faction within the Yokai’s world that drawn support mostly from Europe. They believed that isolation from mankind was the best solution to avoid conflicts with Humans, especially after having to deal with the bloody aftermath of their war against… Alucard.” I concluded with a frown. Now I couldn’t help but wonder if R+V’s Alucard had some connection with Hellsing’s monster since both shared… similar powers.

    Her ears twitched again with some interest. “You mean the monster that attacked Tokyo last week?” I nodded at her, still sporting a somewhat surprised look at that guess, and she nodded at that connection. “But how did it exactly re-appear back so recently?” Her question was legitimate, I guess people had yet to learn about the truth behind the Never-Ending Hunger.

    “They sealed it the first time around after a costly war that could be considered a World War of vampires with a sprinkle of other monsters,” I blinked at her snort but still went forward with my words. “Then someone decided the world needed to die by flesh abomination and unleashed it on Tokyo, I don’t think I need to explain what happened to it.” She nodded to affirm this conviction, but the young woman had yet to have her curiosity satisfied.

    “Is the one responsible for ‘that’ dead, right?” She sighed as I nodded.

    “Super-dead.” I confirmed, quite convinced of it myself.

    Gyokuro was dead, and Kuyo and Hokuto had to have been hunted down and ‘removed’ by Issa if Kahlua and Akua were now under his custody.

    Still I wonder how things were doing at the moment, being perfectly aware about two very unstable girls presumably in the same room as several overly-protective girls and the boy said girls loved the dearest.

    Ain’t that a powder-keg scarier than the Balkans in early 20th Century?

    At least the ‘War’ has yet to erupt.

    Papa Bismark want to know your location, Aono-san.

    I had to bit down an amused snort at that.

    Papa Bismark’, seriously?

    Grandpa is taken by King Hassan. No need to shake ‘that’ boat.

    Fair enough.

    As I started to realize that we had yet to meet up with our supposed guide, someone that had been promised to have us directed to the proper room where the meeting was supposed to be held, I heard quick footsteps approaching and-

    I’M LAAAAAT-UGH!” The feminine voice came to a halt as she went crashing onto me. The force behind that run-up was strong enough to almost make me trip too, but I managed to hold up as she fell on her butt.

    “Owie?” She looked up and I found myself staring at a familiar witch. Yukari Sendo had just reached 14 and she still looked quite a child with her child-like mannerism. The little Witch blinked once, twice and then her purple eyes glowed in recognition.

    “Oh! You are Koitsu Sakakibara!” I almost flinched at her giddy, fangirly tone, remembering way too well that now my identity as a professional-

    Wizard Badass-

    With an outstanding track of being present in some important situations.

    I sighed and nodded at the little witch.

    ...And that’s how I started to regret having my mask and my simpler life.

    Can’t win them all. At least she isn’t jumping at you.

    I think that’s because of the fact, she is part of Tsukune’s Harem.

    Not officially. She is still a minor.

    Thank the Gods, there is a limit to the genre...

    At least you got some recognition, celebrity can be a double-edged knife and you could try to exploit it when it’s the opportune time.

    Hardly usable. Fanatics aren’t… the best bunch of people to be dealing with in a normal basis.

    “That’s my name, yes.” I replied dryly, but also politely. “And you are?”

    The young girl let out a ‘eep’ before standing up and bowing my way. “Apologies, I’m Yukari Sendo, Sakakibara-san. I will be your guide a-and-” She stood up and crossed her arms, pouting a little. “W-Why wasn’t I told that you were the one I was escorting -desu!”

    I let out a brief chuckle. “I can only guess that someone wanted to make it a surprise,” I mused quietly back at her. “And I think they managed it pretty well from your reaction there.”

    She blushed, embarrassment mostly but I think there was also that whole ‘Hero-worship’ kind of cliché going strong within this girl. Seriously, I don’t need fans and I really don’t want to deal with a fan club… ever.

    “Y-You are right!” Yukari admitted nervously, then she sported a small smile. “A-And I should be doing my job instead o-of losing time there. Apologies once more.”

    “You are forgiven, Yukari-chan!” Kunou replied and the little brunette found her eyes turning to the blonde by my side that was around her age. Her eyes widened and then she squealed, rushing towards the kitsune.

    I think my little imouto was aware of the effect she was causing and thus was ready with her arms spread and waiting as she got pulled up and in an embrace. It was quite odd to see someone just a little taller than her pick her up and then hug her closely.

    “You are so adorable~!” What is your name -desu?” The little witch asked to the kitsune.

    “Kunou Sakakibara.” Kunou’s voice was muffled in that hug and the fellow girl sighed heavenly.

    “You can call me Senpai if you want, Ku-chan!” The magical user offered but-

    It was with those words that I felt some dreadful aura coming towards us. Staring coldly at this ‘intruder’ and ‘usurper’, Koneko Toujou was glaring daggers at the fellow young girl, golden eyes burning a new kind of anger to me unknown.






    Quite interesting how the silver-haired girl had learned how to use the ‘menacing’ aura and I think from Kuroka’s big smile that she was fairly happy herself at that discovery. But since we were supposed to be there for an important meeting, I decided to poke at the witch’s shoulder.

    Yukari blinked and turned to look at me with a frown.

    “I don’t wish to sound pushy but… we do need to get moving now before we turn up late.” I finally pointed out.

    Her eyes widened and she nodded, Kunou detached from the girl and we all started to follow the magic user around the school. She gave us a brief tour over some of the classrooms and the recent history of the school.

    The institution was working only partially, most of the classes having been delayed until the effects of the ‘Alucard situation’ had been seriously dealt with, while also giving the chance for some of the older students to receive proper support from the teachers for their last exams.

    “So the Bus Driver is also the Headmaster now?” Koneko asked out of curiosity. “Shouldn’t doing both jobs be quite… troublesome?”

    Yukari nodded at her legitimate question, an uneasy smile on her face.

    “Nurari-san is actually Headmaster only by name, the job is currently being oversee by Ruby-san, she was something of a secretary to the former Headmaster.”

    I nodded at the truthful reply, knowing it myself that Ruby was the one that would tackle up the paperwork portion of the work while the Bus Driver intervened only if the situation required his… skills.

    The walk was uneventful and soon we were standing in front of a dark-wood door.

    Yukari knocked twice and waited for the muffled voice of an older girl which I could guess was Ruby to open the door.

    Once she was inside, we followed closely, my eyes quickly scanning around the meeting room that was chosen for the occasion.

    There was a large circular table which had several chairs around it. My eyes quickly noticed Tsukune and his harem, their stares directed at us four as we got inside the room.

    Moka was the one that actually took a little to move away from, having seen just her changed appearance in the last chapter of Capu2.

    Instead of her usual pink hair and inquisitive green orbs, she had now a similar appearance to her ‘Inner’ self. White hair, a symbol of strong vampires, and strong red eyes. She noticed my stare, her blood-like orbs shying away and I quickly moved away before I could give any wrong assumptions.

    Kurumu was giving at us a blank expression as if trying to understand what kind of individuals we were and she hardly seemed different from her past appearances, while her ‘closest’ rival looked as calm as usual. Mizore’s hair had just grown up a little more, not enough to be the same as her first appearance in the show, but still a little more than how I ‘had left’ her like. All in all, the passionate duo seemed to have changed the least compared to the rest of the cast.

    In fact, Kokoa had… a completely different hairstyle. Instead of the two bushy ponytails, she had a small one, suggesting the fact she did have a haircut.

    Wait what?

    But before I could truly question this anomaly, I found myself staring at Issa and the two girls sitting near him by the ta-






    Shit, that is sure a scary expression.

    This individual is rather strong. Do you know if we can truly trust him?

    Only if I am careful enough to not make foul comments or hurt his daughters.

    Kahlua was smiling while she continued to look at her hands, her eyes looking in our direction only momentarily before deciding to not give us much of her attention and focus on… nothing in particular.

    It was Akua that scared me a little more than the other two.

    While Issa was the strongest and Kahlua was the most insanely powerful, the first child of the Shuzen Family was a masterful assassin and a keen strategist that perfectly knew how to fight in different situations.

    Her Hougestsu Jigen-Tou only made her even worse to fight in a direct brawl, her capacity to turn intangible and use an attack that is impossible to block was quite the worst thing to face against with my current abilities.

    She looked calm for the moment, her poker face quite perfected while her red eyes were carefully trained on us before settling on me. Her lips were developed in a thin line while her posture was mostly normal if not for the bare tension I could perceive from her at our presence.

    We were a group of strangers, a very powerful group that was now in the same room as her sisters. A faux pas and we were going to have a dangerous enemy without even having the chance of getting some deal achieved.

    Ruby nodded at us, standing on the farther corner of the table. She stood up and gave a quick nod our way. “My name is Ruby Tojo and I will be the one directing this meeting between the Shuzen Family, the Yokai Gakuen’s representatives and the Omega Initiative-”

    “W-Wait, Ruby-san. I thought we were supposed to meet with Grigori, not with-” Kurumu started to question but was then interrupted by the goth girl.

    “The Omega Initiative is part of Grigori,” The young woman pointed out with a small smile. “It’s a recently-created sister-organization within Grigori.” Her words were accepted by the succubus with a nod. “But I think it’s best they introduce themselves rather I describe them by the reports Azazel-san sent to me.” She indicated right at me.

    I blinked and nodded, partly surprised by the advanced knowledge. Still I began introducing myself.

    “My name is Hoitsu Sakakibara, I’m human an-”

    Psst- Yeah, right.” The feminine voice interrupted me and I glanced at the origin of that comment, only to find myself staring at one Kokoa Shuzen. The youngest child of Issa looked skeptical about my claim and I frowned back at her.

    “I am a human being.” I said once more, pressing more onto the claim and her eyes returned this with a confused look and then-

    “He is a human.” Ruby agreed to my words and cutting short the brief exchange. “His energy pattern is a human one.” The older witch presented as a proof and… what is going on?

    Why would they think otherwise?

    We still are human. We didn’t change.

    And I can vouch that too myself.

    “But his scent is-” Moka glared at her and Kokoa shut down her little comeback because of it.

    What was that?

    It could be that our scent is masked by Kuroka’s and Koneko’s. It hasn’t to do with anything wrong with us.

    I nodded, conceding to that possibility and resumed with my presentation. “And I’m the leader of Omega Initiative.”

    I felt Kuroka latching once more at my arm and smile happily. “I’m Kuroka Toujou, a Nekoshou, and I’m Hoi-kun’s second-in-command, nyah~.” She squeezed her cleavage harder on my arm to emphasize her point, causing some blushes within Tsukune’s group.

    There are times I ask myself why bothering getting up from bed and deal with this shit.

    Because deep down you find being set in this predicament rather amusing and somewhat refreshing once in a while.

    I didn’t need to hear that.

    Are you sure about that?

    Ye- Actually. I will not reply to that.

    Mhh, is that so~?

    I settled down with a long sigh but to the girl’s widening smile.

    Kunou huffed while glancing annoyed at the dark-haired neko. “I’m Kunou Sakakibara, I’m a Kitsune Yokai and I’m Niichan’s surrogate imouto.”

    Some of the girls melted at the cute blonde’s serious introduction, while Yukari smiled widely and nodded her way.

    It was the turn of the younger cat-girl and Koneko looked quite… furious for some reason.

    “I’m Koneko Toujou, a Nekoshou and Baka-nee shouldn’t grope Hoitsu-nii.”

    Kuroka froze up and then let me go as she took a seat and looked incredibly depressed all so suddenly. “Shirone-tan called me a Baka.

    Truly a saddening sight, but I ‘managed to survive’ through it.

    The group surprisingly didn’t react that much to the declaration, which I could only think was caused by the fact the harem had seen worse shenanigans that the one just unfolding now.

    As we were now all sitting, Ruby once more took the lead and explained what was going on.

    “Two days ago two groups attacked simultaneously both the Yokai Gakuen and the Shuzen Mansion, their intention was to capture Tsukune-san, Moka-san, Akua-san and Kahlua-san but they were stopped before being able to do so.” The brunette started, then sighed and adopted a more grim appearance. “The reason why this should also a concern of Grigori, is because of the type of the allegiance this group has.” She admitted with some certainty in her voice.

    I knew that the culprits were Stray Exorcists, but still… that didn’t make it ‘Grigori’s business’ or at least it wasn’t something that mattered to us in general. Many exorcists worked in Japan but not all of them were worth of Azazel’s sending men to see what was going on there.

    So why was this group in particular this important to even act against?

    “The man that is leading the Stray groups is someone that was banished from the Church years ago, the reasons unknown from the official reports.” She continued without hesitation.

    “His name is Valper Galilei and we was once part of Grigori and-”

    “Hold just a second, Ruby-san.” I interrupted quickly, my mind exploding with info as I was given a ‘big clue’ over the situation given that the implications of the man responsible for the Holy Sword Project being responsible for those attacks weren’t negligible. “I know that those attacks have been confirmed by Grigori, but I have to ask if you are 100% sure that this man is really responsible for those attacks.” I pressed her, hoping that maybe this wasn’t truly the case.

    I hadn’t thought that Kokabiel would have parted with the man so, knowing how important he is in the series and for his plan but… why now he sent him off?

    It was- It didn’t make any sense.

    “I did a thorough check of the men I had disposed. Their main connection being this former member of the Church.” Issa replied cooly, his eyes fixed on my face. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think your confusion is directed at the presence of the man, rather something else about the matter.” He guessed rightfully.

    I nodded. “Valper shouldn’t have a reason to be hunting down vampires, his expertise being… the reconstruction of Excalibur by uniting the seven swords that are available to the world.” I admitted quickly and without a doubt.

    While the knowledge of someone trying to reform the blade was dangerous given so eagerly, I was also aware of a major detail. Nobody with a dark-energy core was going to be able to even come nearby one of the existing swords that once were part of the legendary weapon.

    “Excalibur?” Tsukune asked a little surprised. “The sword of King Arthur?”

    “The same, yes.” I replied quickly and calmly. “The sword was one of the major Holy Swords that were created with the knowledge from the Territory of God, and it was born to become the strongest blade for Christianity.” I paused a moment and then nodded. “Sadly, the original one was broken centuries ago and only seven blades bearing the same name exists nowadays, each having a small attribute from the greater sword.”

    “Valper desire to bring all of the Excaliburs together and have a powerful user for it to be held.” I continued to explain.

    “Now I find myself intrigued at this description and I wish to inquire if possible about this obsession being one of the causes that led to his banishment or not.” Ruby asked out of curiosity and I blinked, feeling like that info wasn’t going to be harming to Grigori if let out.

    “Valper was responsible for the ‘Holy Sword Project’, an attempt to create the proper users of the various Excaliburs and possibly prepare the user of the real sword if breakthroughs regarding its rebuilt yielded positive results.” I said with a little disgusted tone, pausing just a brief instant to contemplate how to properly word my following explanation. “The specimens were all children and the project was closed when the man allowed the elimination of those unfit for the task and proceeded to enforce energy transfusions of those that remained to a single candidate.”

    “Any survivors? Did they all die?” Moka asked, her tone frail and her pale skin even paler than before, Tsukune noticed and wrapped an arm around her to keep her close.

    “Only a boy survived. He is currently well but… he got quite the hatred for Excalibur swords for good reasons.” I replied and the girl sighed in minor relief while I shifted back to my explanation.

    “Still I think it’s odd Valper would seek out this four individuals, none of them having something that could work even remotely with this obsession-”

    “Not with the sword… but I think there is something useful that Shinso Vampires are known for.” Ruby interjected, smiling as she seemed to have got quite the good idea of the situation. “Shinso Vampires are known for many different abilities than normal ones don’t have, but the one that is feared the most is their ability to absorb a human’s or a monster’s lifeforce, knowledge and energy. He is trying to recreate this process but within the user of Excalibur.”

    “And knowing how bad his obsession is, I would expect him to attack them until he manages to get them.”

    Everyone shared a grim nod at my affirmation.

    Issa hummed and then nodded to himself. “The reason why I requested Azazel’s help is also related to the situation about my daughters’… infamous reputations.”

    Oh?

    Oh heck no!

    “After what has happened in Tokyo…” The man’s eyes closed in silence, few seconds passing as he dropped the metaphorical axe upon my back. I’ve been having trouble in keeping an eye on them while also dealing with the attempts to attack our family’s name.” His stare intensified just a little and I felt nervous of keeping eye-contact with him.

    Seriously, this is Issa Shuzen. I could hardly keep up with him right now if he attacked me!

    “That is why I decided it was for the best to have them recruited within your group. Your objective, the contract to join and the promising rewards are more than acceptable for us and… I will be grateful for the acceptance to this request of mine.”

    We could-

    No, we are not recruiting those two.

    I know that-

    If you know stuff, then you should be the one saying no to him. We are talking about two insane women with dangerous powers.

    “Sakakibara-sama.” A feminine voice I was unfamiliar with spoke, my attention brought to Akua as the young woman was now standing up and looking fiercely at me. “While I know that my terrible past might be a deterrent, I beg you to at least take in my sister Kahlua.” She bowed slightly. “While I can manage with my aggressors, I know my younger sister isn’t ready to face our attackers and-”

    She sighed, starting to unbutton her upper dress. “I-I will allow you to make use of my body.”



    I stood up and lifted my open palm up at her as a gesture to stop. “PLEASE STOP WITH THAT!

    Akua stopped, looking quite confused for a moment, just two buttons moved as I sighed loudly. “T-There is no need to do that…” She unbuttoned another one. “I mean it! Stop!”

    Her hands moved away from her buttons and she looked incredibly… dumbfounded at my reaction. “A-Am I perhaps ugly?” The young woman stuttered nervously.

    “What- No!” I replied quickly, then I sighed tiredly. “I was already thinking about taking you both in, what you were trying to do was incredibly i-indecent and-”

    “But I noticed how Aono would be subjected to this kind of attention from the girls and I thought that this was the best way to get a man’s acceptance to a proposal.” She seemed rather innocent with her explanation and… I blinked.





    Oh no, she is so clueless about the context of such action!

    And while I tried to understand what was going on, Tsukune had his head forcefully planted on the surface of the table, trying to avoid the glances from the girls at remembering and the glare Issa was throwing at him.

    The eldest daughter looked even more confused at this development while Kahlua glanced around with a smile and let out a giggle.

    “This is funny.” She muttered while relaxing on her chair, enjoying the chaos around her.

    Few moments later, Akua managed to recover and nodded. “Still, I don’t think it would be right for my new contractor to hire me without I proved to him my skills and… I wish to spar with you, Sakakibara-sama.”

    “...Eh?” I replied intelligently but the girl nodded again before she turned towards Ruby and asked. “Could it be possible to use a small place indoors to fight? I wish to avoid dealing with ‘interruptions’ from the outside.”

    The Witch blinked once before nodding slowly. “I-It could be done but-”

    “Good.” The female vampire returned to glance back at me, giving me a smile. “I hope you are as strong as you are considered, Sakakibara-sama. I don’t wish to disappoint nor I wish to be disappointed neither.”

    There was some attempt of protest from the ‘harem’ but it was Issa that stood up and turned to look at his first child, eyes piercing as he glanced right on her red orbs. “Why do you wish to fight Sakakibara-san if he accepted you to the group, Akua?”

    The ravenette blinked and then nodded, the ominous smile still there.

    He interests me.”

    ---------d-d-d-----------d-d-d---------d--d-d-----------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d--

    AN

    You promised blood, you promised skulls! Ya traitor!”

    Why there isn’t a fight in this chapter? Today I wounded up with a mind-splitting headache and some fever.

    To make you understand how big this is, I started to write at 6AM and finished now at 2PM. 8 Hours spent trying to focus on the chapter and giving a very poor length to it.

    I am sorry it’s short and lacks a fight, tomorrow morning I will have 6k ready for you all to enjoy.

    But not today…

    Now let us move to something about the content of the chapter. Akua’s personality was difficult to capture in words as I had to re-read some of the chapters she was in, read bits from the Wikia and I ended up with some ideas about her overall personality: Akua Shuzen is brutal and cruel in a fight as this is how fights work in her psyche, yet when she is out of the battlefield and with her family her whole attitude change to one akin to a supportive older sibling to her sisters. Akua was born in poverty, her childhood was cut short by the death of her first and best friend and the lack of affection and love created a very awkward individual. Someone that understands the basic of love, but is very keen to go overboard with her caring to the point of becoming an obsession, one that easily can kill people between her and her object of affection.

    The fight will have a dual function and hopefully I will nail the deeper part of it.

    And after this?

    Cheers!

    Future milestone 1: 696 Followers and Favorites.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
    Wolfant, Mikers99, demxious and 5 others like this.
  28. Threadmarks: Understanding and the Prelude of Madness
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 28: Understanding and the Prelude of Madness

    The dojo-like room that was picked as the place for the planned spar was fairly large and something that reminded me of the training room back home. It was styled after a normal Karate Dojo, with tatami mattresses covering the floor and small runes erected to keep up the situation under-control.

    The spar rules were simple:

    1) No Magic was allowed from my part but Akua was limited in making use of her physical advantage as a Vampire;

    2) No special moves like Senjutsu or the Jigen-Tou were to be used. We had to keep things to a proper pace;

    3) No killing blows, only disabling and knocking the opponent out.

    Simple rules that still left me in quite the uneasy situation as I was going to fight someone with a precise fighting style that stemmed from pure assassination techniques, cultivated by practice and discipline. She had more or less two decades of raw experience on the field and the girl’s speed was still be an issue to deal with even with the limits imposed.

    Just as Ruby took the stand on the middle section of the side, dividing the two groups of spectator for the fight, I saw her lift her hand up as she prepared to begin the spa and-

    “Begin!”

    Even through my brain and body felt ready, the word felt so sudden and unexpected as we both rushed to action. My eyes readjusting, fixed at Akua’s stance as the vampire assumed an oddly familiar guard, but I didn’t make further advances my way as I was unwilling of clashing with someone this strong without some more hints of her style.

    Blinking, I finally went for a probing attack, hoping to try and see what was going on with that guard of hers and… soon I found myself forced back at the angry set of punches and quick kicks that retaliated right before I could even get close enough to her.

    I dodged, ducked, deflected and then tried to counter the sudden bout of aggressiveness but the effort behind it proved to be as taxing as difficult.

    Her face was calm, collected in a peaceful but tense expression, and her movements were perfectly crafted within her active position, highlighted by her shocking edge in putting me already on a defensive mindset.

    Yet young woman’s eyes were unfocused as this happened, seemingly distracted in the fight and looking as if... thinking of something about the situation.

    I found out about her reason to appear so absent-like the harsh way. Or ‘via hard kick in the ribs’.

    I grunted at the pain and I realized fairly quickly that her defense was looking to be way too strong and problematic to deal in a normal situation.

    Two minutes of mere attention at not getting hit passed, my patience was thinning quite quickly as I felt like there was a clue about what was going on and yet I was missing it so dumbly. And while I was the one recovering from some damage, the fierce engagement was a stalemate as her attacking force sacrificed to grant to her body a nigh-unbreakable guard.

    With my brain too attentive to the ‘present’ rather than analyzing what was the real problem in this early stage of the brawl, I knew from past experience with the spars with Azazel and Baraqiel that hesitation wasn’t acceptable, and so I decided to get some distance between us, away from what felt like an ugly attrition war.

    The moment I took two steps backward, the dark-haired former assassin seemed to spring into action and adopt a more-aggressive pacing, as if predicting what I was planning all along. Her arms and legs tensed as she rushed quickly forcing me to deal with a renewed flurry of punches and kicks, this time I did felt some noticeable damage.

    Groaning inwardly, I felt my attention shattered while I continued to think how I was supposed to deal against her, and for a moment I thought I was going to lose this fight quite quickly because of the flexible and punitive style of my opponent.

    It was in the middle of the painful reckoning of possible defeat that I was reminded that there was another ‘individual’ within my head that wasn’t affected by the pressure and nervousness.

    She is using Wing Chun.

    So… you mean to tell me that-

    You could have asked that, yes. You just weren’t thinking straight. That’s fighting nervousness is.

    My eyes widened in realization, the Chinese martial arts style was one of the few I could recognize, especially since it was portrayed and showed multiple times in the films depicting Yip Man’s life.

    The renowned fighting style that the master of Bruce Lee was known for his expert grasp, was something of an annoyance to face as it relied on the capacity of the user to counter-attack quickly and sternly.

    It was mostly defensive, but some users were also known for developing an aggressive ‘baiting’ to get the first attacks on them going. It looked like Akua had learned from this little group, her insane speed and reaction time giving me quite the trouble but now I knew what I was supposed to do.

    While the Wing Chun was a fearsome technique, it had some glaring weaknesses and opening that I knew how to exploit and the only price was… getting hit once or twice while going in an offensive.

    So I did rush forward, ready to bask in some aching retribution as I let one of the kick slam in one of my elbows but I finallymanaged to swiftly land a punch on her face.

    The surprise painted in Akua’s face was inspiring and, combined with the little hesitation at the sudden breach in her previously strong defense, I was already capitalizing over her shock by getting another punch through one of the exposed openings, this one reaching her left-side and bruising some of her ribs, before throwing a kick onto her stomach, causing her lungs to forcefully expel the air held within them.

    She finally snapped back to reality from the momentary confusion, pushing herself away from my reach and recoiling from the punishment of being this careless with her pacing. The young woman blinked and nodded.

    “I suppose you noticed.” She stated quietly, a little grimace plastered in her face at the fact her initial attempt had failed.

    That wasn’t her best performance, I was sure of that. The wasn’t using her best fighting style because this had been her attempt to study me.

    I should have realized sooner that she wasn’t truly fighting at her peak performance, but playing around against me for a while, using a fighting style she was less experienced with while also gauging my capacity to ‘escape’ her initial probing.

    That was her initial probing, a warm-up to what was going to happen relatively soon now.

    “That you were holding back?” I guessed loudly for the spectators to hear and she nodded.

    “The info I’ve on you says that you are particularly keen in the use of magic, but there is very little about your prowess in close-fighting.” She replied with blunt honesty. “For someone that surfaced only recently in the ‘underworld’, your speed and strength are… admirable.”

    I bowed a little. “Kind words-”

    Honest words.” Akua interjected almost petulantly, her lips twitching with mild-annoyance. “I don’t praise people that aren’t worth of such judgment.” She conluded with a sigh.

    “I understand.” I nodded her way as I took my stance, ready to resume the spar. “And I genuinely apologized for having accused you, Shuzen-san.”

    An accepting nod, then she rushed forward and I was proved right by the fact her pacing increased.

    I mustered my defense up, forcefully denying the precise hits coming mostly from Akua’s hands.

    Sighing and noticing that I was starting to get winded, I knew it was now time to brave the real aspect of this difficult spar and see how far I’ve gone with my training. Diodora had been but a mere proof that I was on a high-level, but this battle was going to give me a proper study of the results yielded by Baraqiel’s regiment.

    I began returning hit with hit, the female vampire quite flexible in dodging the incoming strikes while also keeping up with the several attacks thrown at me.

    My arms and legs were starting to burn a little at the fatigue accumulated after almost ten minutes spent against the former Assassin. I was starting to suffer through this spar and I knew that she was aware of that too.

    This woman… to get me this winded after just some minutes in this spar-

    I ducked to avoid a quick punch and I rushed to slam my knee up on her chest, forcing her to take some steps back before returning to the close exchange. Leg meets leg, fist meets fist, the danse macabre was starting to rear its ugly rear as I knew that I was once more on the losing side of this encounter.

    She was just too durable because of her Vampiric body, which couldn’t be limited by normal rules and I could genuinely feel my body starting to demand some quick reprieve just to recover from the stress I was gaining the more I continued the engagement.

    “You are slowing down.” Akua commented calmly, almost teasingly in a dry manner. “Is this your limit?” She asked quietly, yet I could feel a different edge to it.

    I knew it wasn’t some mocking coming from her mouth, but my mind was far too much in the fight to be taking under consideration the fact she was just being polite. The small pride I had over my strength starting to boil angrily in my head as it craved some retribution of sort.

    I was tired and anger was only a consequence of being this inadequate of fighting on this tier.

    Burning within my soul, achingly so, I felt the strains once pulling my body down disappear as a sudden chilling sensation started to spread through my entire body. I blinked just once, I was back at attacking the young woman and displaying the same if not a better presentation of my form in my attack and defense.

    The vampire raised a surprised brow as she found her arms swatted away quite suddenly, one punch slamming harshly on her stomach, the strength behind it forcing her to crash down on the floor, eyes looking up wide and in perplexity.

    Surprise turned in to confusion as she swiftly stood up and returned to her stance, eyes narrowing on me.

    “And now your speed is higher than before.” The Shuzen remarked with genuine interest. “You are still holding back.” She condemned with a frown.

    I didn’t reply, my attention completely taken by her next actions but… she didn’t move just yet.

    “I must admit that you are fairly strong for a human.” Her voice leaked some of her surprise. “But I do find it quite interesting that I can’t truly see what drove you to gain this much power.”

    I blinked. “What?”

    “Humans are greedy people,” She replied coldly. “They always seek to obtain something, to steal from others. Yours, what was your desire?”

    Admittedly, her claim wasn’t wrong, but it was still an overshot. Her childhood was proving to have influenced her more than any other memory in her lifetime.

    I tilted my head to the side. “You are quite racist.” My comeback was unexpected, especially by how she looked at hearing it.

    She blinked, quite shocked by my statement. “Racist?” The young woman parroted back, only for me to shrug.

    “I don’t think your thought over humanity is as legitimate and objective as you make it.” I continued without hesitation. “There are people that do important stuff without seeking anything selfish onto them.”

    “Humanity is cursed by being led by selfish desires.” Akua retorted sternly, her slits flaring a darker red. “And I bet you are the same as them-”

    “Don’t you dare paint me in such light!” I returned furiously, my face turning red in anger. “I know that you were hurt by morons, but to even think I would be one of the bastards that hurt her-”

    I stopped, my mouth closing rapidly as her eyes widened at the reference I almost relayed.

    Her stance softened just a brief moment, before her eyes narrowed on me and she rushed once more against me.

    “You don’t know anything!” She almost yelled for the first time breaking her composure as her fist partly unfolded and her hands started to glow a familiar light-blue.

    She was using the Jigen-Tou, her eyes sending a new pure sense of hatred directed at me.

    I ducked, dodging the first hit and suddenly turning in my Senjutsu mode. Her keen vampiric senses were quick to perceive the immediate shift in power and the young woman proceeded to adopt a more cautious but aggressive attack pattern, but still refused to back away from that encounter.

    I was unaware of what the group witnessing this was doing, especially now that the rules were off so suddenly and without notice, but I was once more rushing at her with the same passion.

    “I know that you fault yourself over that.” I returned with some strength, my punch hitting her chin with a uppercut. “That you could have saved her and-”

    I turned away from another strike of Jigen-Tou, a small cut forming on my cheek as my reaction time was almost near as hers at full power, but not quick enough to dodge her attack perfectly.

    “She could have lived happily,” Akua interjected harshly. “She could have survived against those foul people living in that village.” A snarl present in her face, I knew I had pressed her berserk button, but I was completely caught unaware by the destructive power it was giving her.

    I landed two powerful punches on her torso, but she seemed to shrug them off as she went to take a swing at my chest with her ‘Dimensional Cutter’. The only victim was my shirt as it now sported a large opening because of the devastating attack.

    “She trusted them and they betrayed her trust. They killed her and-”

    “You could have stopped her. Yet you didn’t.” I sternly interrupted, kicking her leg away and slamming a furious kick on her ribs.

    She jumped away and paused at my quick interruption. “I tried to-” Her explanation was cut down by a grunt from me.

    “But you still decided to let her go and try nonetheless.” I pressed on, unwilling to let the fight continue at this pace. “Because you believed that there was hope too!” I was starting to feel too much strained, her swift and precise hits having dealt some damage to my muscles.

    “She was begging me to let her go!” Akua rebuked, her breathing growing erratic. “She wanted to make friends with the humans, to break away from that loneliness and-”

    “You didn’t want to break her heart.” I finished for the woman. “You didn’t want to deny her and your own hopes of finding more happiness in the future.” I almost whispered to the wide-eyed vampire. “You didn’t want to lose that purity that she had and that you found so endearing and awe-striking.”

    There was no response, her stance lessened as there was a minor pause.

    “I can’t say that you are the best person possible, Akua Shuzen, I know you did some terrible things because you thought them part of the right way.” I sighed tiredly and softened my guard myself. “But I know for a fact that you are still a good person deep down, one that never gave up to try and get some peace from this.”

    “Y-You are wrong-” She tried to rebuke, stopping as if expecting me to interrupt once again and… I didn’t.

    I didn’t need to. The girl knew it too that her stance over humanity had already been broken years ago.

    It wasn’t me, it wasn’t Akashiya- no, it was Moka.

    Like Dante with Beatrice, Akua found clarity and confirmation that a way of peace existed… she just didn’t feel worthy enough to walk with her sisters.

    And now that her resilience was crippled by the truth itself, I decided it was time to throw my own penny in.

    Before coming to the Gakuen, I did make some research for eventually-important info to have over some of the people and… I found the dark-haired vampire’s dossier.

    Many crimes, many deaths but also… some unknown situations that were never explained. Or at least, to those that didn’t know what was going on with her morality.

    “I checked on your career,” She tensed up at the sudden shift of topic, but I was still continued before she could protest. “And most of your missions were about taking down known-criminals, hardly going for those who had done anything terrible.” I paused a moment, her newfound tension starting to simmer down at my words. “You also smuggled kidnapped children if there were any while on your missions.” I reminded her, her eyes half-closing at that much info about her being given out to the public but she sighed.

    “I seek death through battle, I seek an end to my pain.” She admitted harshly, eyes hardening but her target… not me. “I am not a good person.” Her conclusion was as saddening as legitimate.

    But I didn’t believe in any of that crap.

    I blinked. “Nope, that just makes you a good person that is also a moron.”

    People do horrible things, everyone is a sinner for their own reason… but for someone like Akua? I could honestly say that I could see why she was this much deep in the darkest bits of society, finding solace in decadence and hoping for a quick end.

    The mind of someone that didn’t care anymore and that couldn’t do.

    I can’t just accept it.

    “B-Beg your pardon?” Her tone was frail and I continued.

    “Being a good person doesn’t exactly mean being happy, Akua. Your happiness is partial, your joy is dependent to the ones of those part of your family and… I think you shouldn’t give up to that. At least, not yet.”

    Her eyes darted momentarily at the spectators and I saw her look at Moka specifically. Everyone looked quite nervous at what had just happened, even Kunou looked ready to jump in the arena, but they were all avoiding to interrupt this.

    Akua’s eyes closed, her breathing turning calm as peaceful time passed.

    “T-Then what should I do?” She asked, failing to grasp at my attempt and thus… I went all in.

    “You are Akua Shuzen,” I said with a small smile. “The newest member of the Omega Initiative, a woman in seek of redemption and a dummy for trying to just giving up so easily.” I stated with the most serious of tones. “You passed the spar and hopefully I will have a loyal ally from now on?”

    I stretched my hand towards her, waiting for the girl to either accept the offer or not.

    The vampire blinked, red eyes darting to the stretched open palm and then back at me, her lips twitching as she took a step, then two. Finally, she ended up right in front of me, my eyes widening in surprise at the sudden closeness and then she moved forward… her lips landing on my neck.

    I felt teeth.

    Capu-chu~!

    In that exact moment, several things happened all at once.

    Moka and Tsukune both blushed madly while receiving the annoyed and accusing stares from the rest of the harem. Kuroka’s jaws hit the floor at that sudden intimate action, her mind starting to formulate how to not lose to this possible new rival.

    Meanwhile Kunou’s and Koneko’s faces were now shadowed while an aura of unholy fury coated them in outrage at this blatant claim of possession this woman was marking on their mutual older sibling.

    SHE IS BITING MY NECK!

    Fuck, this is sure going to become a running gag!

    She pulled back quite quickly, her tongue licking off some of the blood remaining in her lips, a smile present in her face. “You got a highly-nutrient blood, friend.”

    T-That was painful and- Friend?!

    “Uh… Akua-san?” She hummed at her name being called as I went for the question. “C-Can I ask you what do you know about biting people and sucking their blood.”

    The dark-haired girl blinked confused.

    “It’s what new friends do, Hoitsu-san.” She replied. “Or at least that was what I could garner from the way Moka-chan bites her best friend, Aono, so much.”

    ...Oh no, this is not happening.

    “T-That is not what it actually means- Uh?”

    But before I could explain, I felt a large amount of Killing Intent washing over me as two pale hands grasped painfully at my shoulders, I glanced back and my eyes widened in dread at seeing Issa, the man giving me a terrible wide-eyed glare.

    So you are saying that now you want to be more than friends with my daughter.

    He is seriously trying to fake some misunderstanding there! It’s just like in the After-Story!

    Just as I hoped that the escalation could be defused somehow with some proper verbal intervention, someone decided to join in with the madness still growing in that particular spot of the school.

    “Papa! Can I become Hoitsu-san’s friend too?” Kahlua butted in, the tanned vampire giggling, her eyes locking onto the untouched side of my neck and causing me to shiver at the hungry glance she was giving me. “Do I have to bite him or-”

    “He will accept you without requesting such thing.” The patriarch of the family interrupted quickly, squeezing harder as to emphasize his point. “Am I right, young man?

    “I-Indeed!” I replied quickly, the blonde girl pouting at my quick answer but then nodded once more.

    “Then, I want to do something about it.” She hummed and then, without asking for permission nor giving any notice, she swiftly went for a hug. “There! It’s just like with Momo-chan and Kokoa-tan and- Oh my, it’s super nice!”

    The naive insane girl pressed herself more onto me, urging her parent to further squeeze my poor shoulders in return.

    I’m going to die. I’m going to die and then get killed.

    Shirou Emiya would be proud of you…

    SHUT UP!

    At least I wasn’t getting any issue from Akua, the dark-haired vampire deciding to not join in, but to stare at the situation from afar while smiling a little at the happiness exuding from Kahlua.

    Today sure is a memorable day.

    ---------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d-------

    Several hours later, Tokyo.

    If there is something that irritated him the most about his morning routine, it was the late hour he was forced to abide to when going to visit his girlfriend.

    Glancing in front of him while keeping a relaxed pace and posture, Baki Hanma yawned as he went calmly through the last tasks of his usual everyday.

    It’s been almost a full year since he had fought equally against his father, Yujiro Hanma deciding to go for a world-wide trip that had yet to conclude after said match. It was an odd reaction from the Ogre, but the ‘Strongest Man’ didn’t care a single bit about the suddenness and the peace he was left to deal with at Yujiro’s departure.

    He was given the chance of enjoying his life without having to deal with his revenge, to nurture the relationship he had with Kozue and possibly settle down, away from the dangerous life he had lived until now.

    Another yawn, his lazy stare followed up to the cloudless sky. The stars were glowing just a little, proving their existence as the moon was the main lead of the delightful sight he would receive while walking to Kozue’s home.

    He was about to yawn for a third time when he felt something. Pausing instantly, the boy glanced around and soon he felt footsteps rapidly approaching from behind.

    Rushing around, he barely dodged the strange tentacle-like tendril trying to back-stab him, the sharp object cutting part of his shirt’s side. His eyes narrowed as he found himself staring at two red-cloaked individuals with familiar masks.

    Ghouls had lived in Tokyo for a long time now, but to see them wandering in the Chūō ward? It would seem like someone was either ballsy or suicidal.

    “Son of Yujiro Hanma, your death shall be granted by Aogiri Tree and-!!”

    But before he could finish, the brunet was already charging forward. The second Ghoul had his Ukaku unfolding, pellets made by RC cells trying to intercept the swift brawler, but the boy was already upon them by the time he tried to take aim.

    The first punch crushed the Ukaku’s mask, shattering his nose too while the untouched one tried to help out his comrade. Baki, wasn’t unfamiliar with Ghouls, but after facing some logic-defying individuals in the last few years, he felt particularly confident of his skills to deal with monsters of this caliber.

    With a calm smirk, he proceeded to lift with two fingers the approaching punch and kick mightily the attacking Ghoul’s chest. His leg slammed angrily on the ribs of the flesh-eating figure, blood spurting out of the being’s mouth as he fell lifeless on the ground.

    The Hanma’s attention shifted back to the still-recoiling Ukaku and the boy sighed. “Look, I’m going to let you go if you tell me who really sent you and why.” Quick and curt, the Ghoul actually paused with some minor interest, but then something like a broken chuckle leaving through the holes of his mask at that ultimatum.

    “I-If you think th-that we will be t-terrified by- GAH!” Another punch impacted on the Ghoul’s face, the hit being fatal as the monster fell backward, quickly to turn lifeless as his skull fractured at that second hit.

    The brunet sighed at the bloody results of his self-defense, thinking if he should have now called the CCG or not to deal with those pests. Just as he was about to pick up his phone, he paused at the sounds of… wings?

    Body tensing at another intruder, Baki turned around to see where this sound was coming from and… he was graced by the sight of a strange and unfamiliar man wearing normal clothes and no mask.

    Standing just a little bit above him, this individual had brown hair with the frontal bit being blond. He was smiling, while glancing at the aftermath of the recent fighting.

    “Seems like you did manage to fend off against your first attackers.” The stranger muttered loudly, still smiling. “That proves that you truly are powerful, Hanma-san.” His smile widened.

    The young man blinked and took a guarded stance towards the man.

    “Who are you?” He asked sternly, getting a sigh in return at first.

    “Forgive me, young man, but I tend to focus more on the present sometime and…” He stretched his hand towards the human. “I’m Azazel and I wish to share some words with you in a private setting, if possible.”

    Baki’s eyes narrowed at that request and the name, ignoring the attempt for a handshake.

    Azazel? It sounded familiar, from Christianity if he had to take an educated guess, but the boy had hardly focused on religion ever since his mother’s funeral and the… training.

    “How can I trust you, Azazel-san? I can’t certainly-”

    There was a brief pause, the smile was still there as behind him four dead cloaked figures fell on the empty street, lances piercing their bodies.

    “We share a common enemy, Hanma-san,” The stranger pointed out with a more serious tone. “And I wish to offer to you a way to deal with the threat before they can try to hurt you precious ones.” He

    A blink, then two, the brunet considered how trustworthy the man could actually be and if he should truly lead him back to Kozue’s home. Should he take the risk, maybe even try to be ready to fight him if the situation escalated?

    “How do I know that you aren’t with this ghouls? You could have killed your comrades-”

    “First thing first, those poor bastards aren’t my comrades, brat.” Azazel replied annoyingly. “Also, if I wanted to cause harm to you and your family, I would have done it without making this encounter happen. My men have been guarding your girlfriend for a while now and I thought you would have appreciated to have some warnings about what is going on.”

    The boy’s eyes narrowed dangerously. “You- You got men spying on Kozue!?”

    How could he? Does it mean that his girlfriend was a hostage?

    Maybe it was just like it did happen against Sikorsky!

    “’Guarding’.” Azazel replied dryly at the outburst. “As in making sure no one attacked her while you were away doing some training.” He paused, sighing tiredly and biting down a yawn. “I can’t tell more until I’m sure we are safe from unneeded ears and I genuinely wants to help you with what is going on, Baki Hanma.” He offered kindly.

    The smile had vanished, a serious thin line now present in Azazel’s face and the young man blinked at what he was hearing. An endless stream of questions riddled his mind about why Aogiri Tree, an Anti-CCG organization, was targeting him of all people and what did this man wanted to do with him.

    He sighed, this situation was turning way too complicated way too quickly and… maybe he should bite the bullet. He couldn’t sense maliciousness from Azazel and while he seemed to be different from any individuals he had ever met, Baki felt like he could now trust this man.

    It was his guts that said so, the very instinct that helped him during his fights that confirmed such thing was actually viable.

    Finally, he sighed and nodded. “You will have to tell me everything, Azazel-san. I don’t wish to be kept in the dark after what has happened this evening.” The human demanded

    The smile was back.

    “As you wish, young Hanma.”

    -----------d-d-d------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d---------

    AN

    End of the Rosario+Vampire X-over with Akua and Kahlua joining the group and… here is the strongest man in the world. For those uncultured about ‘Baki the Grappler’ or only basing their knowledge off from the old anime and the one in Netflix, this happens after the end of Baki’s manga, after he fight and… (Spoiler) against Yujiro.

    And yes, Baki lives in Tokyo and so… Tokyo Ghoul. Why the fux I put Ghouls in there too?

    While some will be quick to call a contrast with the RV’s lore, since Vampiric Ghouls exist, I can say that the name ‘Ghoul’ to the TG’s flesh-eaters is given by humans, while the Vampiric Ghouls are called as such by Yokai. TG’s Ghouls are not part of Yokais and they don’t have anything barely representing a governing body, thus… yeah they are the odds one in this part of the world.

    Also, before anyone says that Baki is too ‘weak’, by the end of the Manga he is able to use a posture that grants him exceptional strength that helps him not only push Yujiro for several meters but also a small truck behind the Ogre.

    P.S. The Tokyo Ghoul bit will actually be an AU happening few days before Jason kidnapped Kaneki that I’ve long contemplated to make use of. Some characters’ status will be… different than canon.

    PROPER DATE for this story: Early July, 2011 AD

    Future milestone 1: 696 Followers and Favorites.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
    Wolfant, Mikers99, Lockir and 2 others like this.
  29. Threadmarks: A Taste of Quirky Normality
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 29: A Taste of Quirky Normality

    I was slightly impressed by the size of the building Azazel had assigned to the organization I was supposed to lead.

    Bigger than I had initially thought, the place occupied five floors of one of the main skyscrapers sited in the Chiyoda Ward of Tokyo… or better known as the 1st Ward for the locals of the capital.

    At the umpteenth discovery of a new series happening within this vast world, I felt that there was a high priority for me to research how many other ‘big players’ were around in this universe.

    Without wasting unnecessary time, I had both Kahlua and Akua sign their contracts and integrate their respective PEs during our ride back to the ‘real dimension’ as I had planned to directly reach for the newest headquarters sited in the major Japanese city.

    I was still sore from the spar with the Black Deva and I realized as we were returning to the real world with both vampires coming with us that there was a curious effect about ‘going through dimensions’.

    Nuranai had been quick to explain that the reason was that there was something of a jetlag during these kind of trips and the magical senses were somewhat drained during those predicaments.

    Annoying but also understandable as the ‘dimensional gap’ between the ‘Human’ world and the pocket dimension were the Yokai Gakuen was sited could easily be conditioned by the same rules of the ‘birthplace’ of Ophis.

    The Bus Driver had been kind enough to leave us by one of the least busy entry points of the Japanese Capital as the voyage from Kuoh Town to Tokyo would have taken… way too much. He did also warn us some caution to not wander the city at night in specific, less-developed Wards as the Ghoul’s threat was a serious phenomenon even after years of ‘purges’.

    While the CCG seemed to be doing a good job in quarantining the worst cases away from civilians’ everyday lives, there were still some attacks from the recently-active Aogiri Tree with large compounds within the former Edo being raided and turned in atrocious slaughterhouse by the terrorist group.

    But it wasn’t the talks about Ghouls that dominated my mind in that part of the day as once we reached the large complex of apartments where we were supposed to live for an indefinite amount of time, I found myself staring at two unexpected individuals standing by the front door.

    The shortest of the two was a young girl which height was around 160cm, dark-brown hair combed in a simple ponytail. The lady was wearing what looked to be some casual clothes as she donned a simple, orange-and-yellow striped, half-sleeved shirt with dark-blue jeans that ended in a common pair of sport shoes. The normal-looking girl had a surprised look as she noticed so many people walking towards them and she kept a close distance to her… boyfriend.

    It took me just glance at the taller companion to discern that the teen was Kozue Matsumoto, because the relatively tall young man, standing 171cm bulky, by her side was far too easy to recognize as he was the protagonist of another series I had watched quite frequently before being whisked away in this universe.

    With unruly, brown hair, a pristine half-sleeved white shirt and some simple dark trousers, Baki Hanma, the ‘Strongest Man’ of the world, was waiting right by the entrance of our new home.

    I blinked, contemplating if I should avoid going for the confrontation right now as this could as well be a trap but-

    He could have been sent by Azazel. I would expect him to mess around just to help us out, just like he did with Akua and Kahlua.

    So soon? I wouldn’t expect him to-

    His posture seems rather pacific, he isn’t part of an ambush.

    You heard the big guy, go for some greeting already.

    Even in front of so many hints that this wasn’t going to end up in a battle, I sighed as I decided to carefully advance, my posture a little tense and guarded, the others taking a step back and letting me take the lead as I went for the encounter.

    Only Kunou walked close enough to where I was, but she still preferred to hide behind my frame as she studied the two strangers.

    Kuroka approached Koneko, both Nekoshou keeping their cat-ears and tails hidden since we were in the presence of humans.

    Finally, Akua kept a fixed look upon the stronger of the two ‘strangers’, her composure also tense but not daring to even appear challenging as she seemed more ready to defend her sister than attack the threat heads on.

    We were all terribly displaying signs of being defensive to one another but we still managed to keep a united and collected appearance in front of the situation.

    Kozue blinked and seemed a little tense herself at the group, but a comforting squeeze at her shoulders by Baki’s kind and softened hands seemed to remind her that no harm was going to happen to her with him around to keep her protected.

    The girl seemed to ease up at the lovely touch but her eyes didn’t dare to leave the formation.

    “Baki-san.” I decided to omit his surname as I didn’t wish to give him too much formality. While he wasn’t as blunt as his much-hated father, the young man was still terribly annoyed by unneeded shows of politeness.

    A simple man with a terrible, natural strength.

    The ‘boy’ blinked, his laid-back personality capable of reducing his reaction to a slightly-infuriating minimum as he seemed to barely react to the greeting, yet there was an understanding glint in his eyes.

    The Hanma nodded placidly. “I suppose you are Hoitsu Sakakibara,” The brunet commented calmly, his tone soothing but also quite lazy to hear. “You are the leader of this ‘Omega Initiative’ Azazel-san spoke about.” He concluded with a nod.

    “That’s correct.” I replied, my mind heating up at the idea that Azazel had to bring someone like ‘Baki the Grappler’ into the group I had.

    Not that I had some trouble with the powerful human, but I was terribly aware of Yujiro’s ever-thirsty need of bathing his hands in blood. The red-haired ogre was a monster I wasn’t truly wishing to meet anytime soon.

    Yet I was confused by the fact that looked… taller than the last reported by the ‘Baki-Dou II’ Manga.

    Because this is the ‘Baki’ of the After-story. The one that after defeating Nomi no Sukune II, Musashi Miyamoto and Pickle, the one that had a ‘draw’ against Yujiro Hanma and… the one that found his way in life away from pure violence.

    Not only he seemed to be taller than the end of the known series, but he seemed to be… stronger too.

    He never stopped to train-

    Possibly under threat. I could see Yujiro promising him that he would come and kill Kozue if he even slacked off for a moment.

    “I… can only assume that Azazel wants to get you recruited to the ‘Omega Initiative’.” I continued quietly and I saw him nod while… Kozue sighed tiredly.

    “It’s to early to decide that.” The girl replied calmly, just a sprinkle of uncertainty showing in her voice as she squeezed the boy’s big arm to emphasize her point, drawing a surprised but embarrassed look at being this quick-minded about this decision. “I think it’s best to known what kind of contract or duty a member of this… initiative has while working there.” She finished with a small smile.

    The reason why she was here is… because she didn’t want his boyfriend hurled at another dangerous set of events that would see him hurt or worse. I knew about her propensity to act more as a smart and moral-driven decision-picker for Baki… but to see her sport that so confidently truly showed that the teen had grown up from her hesitant self.

    “I understand.” I admitted with a nod, turning my attention at the door they were both giving their backs at. “We can discuss this in private inside the apartment, I don’t with to drag attention on us.” My offer was regarded with a little bit of surprise but they didn’t seem uneasy at seeing me walk towards it.

    They both nodded as I finally took the key the leader of Grigori left in one of the boxes back home and went for the lock. With a simple click, the mechanism unlocked and the door opened.

    Soon we were all graced with a small lounge that was connected to the first room of the headquarters, a large living room that had a grand view over the city thanks to a several windows making up most of a wall.

    It wasn’t as big as the one in the Gregory mansion, yet the difference of size was compensated with the presence of several modern devices, ranging from several HD TVs to various consoles and Custom-built PCs, all set all over the place.

    From that room, one could see the large kitchen and the corridor leading to the stairs, possibly to the dorms and the rooms for the members of my group.

    Everyone was surprised at the sight, but I was inclined to believe that Akua was the least intrigued as she hardly ever cared for how big or modern her housing situation was in the past.

    But let us be honest and say that this is a big improvement and… man, I would kill to get my hands on some good ol’ Hearts of Iron IV-

    It’s 2011.

    Oh, right… Darkest Hour it is!

    I blinked as everyone pretty much moved on their own to properly get a look over the place and even our guests were impressed by it.

    Baki’s eyes were wide open, the boy knowing full well the expensive costs of most of the equipment on sight after having lived a rich childhood while his mother was still alive. Kozue seemed floored and awed by the impressive place too, her eyes were almost glowing at the absurd amount of costly objects all around.

    “T-This is the headquarters?” The Hanma’s girlfriend asked with a wonder-like tone and I nodded slowly, my mind still basking at how this entire place was surprisingly better than the already-high standard I had back in Kuoh Town.

    But is it a reason to be truly awed? Grigori is supposed to have a large foothold in the ‘human world’ and I wouldn’t expect anything less from this.

    Not everyone can live to this level of luxury and… yep, this is huge.

    Immense.

    “This is the headquarters and-” I blinked, realizing that my brain had to reboot at the unexpected gift from Azazel. This was… insane, but I had business to deal with! “W-We should return to our talk, yes?” I pressed on and I was quickly walking away from that… incredible place of fun.

    Let me out, so I can destroy you at some videogame.

    You want me, bro?

    While I don’t understand what you both are talking about, I feel like I should seriously facepalm at your behavior.

    The two humans blinked at my question, the girl blushing but nodding decisively as we too a seat by one of the small sections of the living room with two comfy couches standing right in front of each other and with a glass table in the middle.

    The others were given the freedom to explore their new home as I began addressing this situation.

    I took the proper documentation out of my backpack and passed it to them, giving them the time to read and inquire about some of the points written on the paper.

    Kozue was quick to ask, her eyes narrowed on specific terms within the text.

    “You… you are joking, right?” Her index tapped at the line that caught her attention as the girl questioned about ‘that’ point.

    “’Angels and Devils’? There is no way that this crazy paranormal beings exist-”

    “I can assure you that Devils, Angels, Fallen Angels and other supernatural beings all exist in this world.” I interjected calmly. It was strange to hear this kind of skepticism, especially with Ghouls being a known condition within Tokyo and other major cities in Japan. “In fact, I will point out that I’m the only human within the Omega Foundation as of now.” I dropped the revelation and the two looked incredibly shaken by the news.

    There was silence, both thinking about this shocking development and possibly being still skeptical about it, but then Baki nodded slowly much to Kozue’s surprise. “So that is why I felt like some of them looked odd.” He admitted curtly, causing me to frown.

    “Odd?” I bluntly parroted, quite surprised that… he could have felt something different about them.

    There are martial artists that can pinpoint some hints from mere behavioral actions. I bet that this is the case.

    “Something in their posture, their inner fighting spirits were different than anything I’ve seen in the past few years.” The Hanma explained with a little more emotion, yet his eyes still fixed on the paper. “Speaking of different, might I ask what this ‘PE’ is?” He changed topic quickly, frowning at the detail itself. “It says that enchant the members of the group, but what exactly is it? Some drug or-” He was tense at the idea of making use of that kind of stuff, mostly because his half-brother almost died by making use of drugs to keep up with their father’s strength.

    Maybe we should really add some more lines about this as, it could be easily mistaken as such.

    Azazel just isn’t that good in making proper reports-

    Either he didn’t give it that much attention or he just wanted to have us deal with this kind of situations.

    “It’s not a drug and it’s not anything with dangerous withdrawals.” I replied calmly and carefully, thinking properly how to defuse this little predicament. “It can be removed as easily as it can be integrated and it’s not mandatory… but it’s heavily advised.” I concluded with a sigh.

    The human girl nodded with a slower nod from her boyfriend, she then proceeded to point at another section of the paper.

    “This here says that you are going to deal with anything remotely connected to this ‘Khaos Brigade’ and it says there that… there are numerous descendants of famous heroes?” There was some little surprise in her tone.

    At those words the young man looked also surprised and… incredibly interested. “Could there be Japanese heroes too? Maybe Chinese also?” He asked with a little more intensity in his tone, making me frown just for a moment.

    I nodded. “From my understanding it’s a mix of European and Asian people born within important heroes’ bloodlines.” I paused just for a moment before asking. “Are you hoping to find the spirit of Miyamoto Musashi among the group, or maybe his descendant?”

    He looked partially surprised at that, but he decided to merely shrug at my question.

    “Perhaps, but I doubt he would accept to fight for ill intentions. He wanted to fight just for the sake of it and… from my understanding this Brigade doesn’t care for fairness and honor.” There was a brief pause and then he continued. “But yes, I do wonder if he truly has a descendant to prove my worth against.”

    And Musashi wouldn’t digest such disrespect of a fight’s conduct. Maybe his descendant, if there is one, could have refused just for this very reason.

    “Indeed.” I nodded my agreement at his reasoning. “Are there any other questions you wish to have some clarity about?”

    “Only one about the mandatory term.” Kozue said, some confusion plastered in her face. “I don’t understand why it’s one year and not less.”

    “It’s still unsure how long this Initiative will last, especially with how many people we will have to deal against,” I hummed as I glanced at the specific lines on the paper. “Anyone leaving too early could easily disrupt any future operations if not also bring the full attention of our enemies on themselves and their families.”

    “I thought that Grigori would keep Kozue-chan and her mother safe.” Baki spoke quickly, his tone a little tense.

    “There are some strong elements within the Khaos Brigade that can’t be fought with mere guards” I pointed out much to his chagrin, “They would easily bypass any defense we could set up to protect them.”

    He looked dismayed, but I still continued to talk. “That’s why we need to deal with those enemies quickly and without hesitation.” I pressed on with a calm tone. “The faster we deal with them, the quicker we will be able to end this threat before it can hurt our precious people.”

    I stood up from my chair and sighed. “Baki-san, I wish that you understand that among the members of the group there are people I care a lot for but there are also people that I’ve left home that are unprepared for the monster hailing in the group.” I blinked, eyelids getting a little heavy. Maybe I should catch some rest after being done with this…

    “That is why the organization is a must for me and for others joining us and that is why Azazel wanted you to join us.” I concluded with a sigh.

    There was something sparking from the young man’s eyes, some… sympathy and understanding at my words.

    “That sounds about right.” He stated quietly, then he turned to his girlfriend, flashing a bright smile. “Would I be able to spend time with Kozue-chan, even within the headquarters?” He asked quietly.

    The girl blushed at the smile on the boy’s face and I gave a slow nod. “You would be able to do such thing only if she is escorted by either you or someone within the Initiative.” I gave the only requirements for such situation. “With you joining our group, you will have to accept the fact you will have a target painted on your back and that they will still try to hurt those precious to you.”

    He bowed his head. “I understand, Hoitsu-san. Thank you for the offer and...” His big hand stretched open at me for a shake. “I will accept.”

    The brunette huffed a little, disappointed that her boyfriend was supposed to fight once more for his life but… at least he wasn’t going to be alone.

    We shook hands and… his hold was stronger than I had thought it to be.

    He isn’t holding back…

    Yep, I think my hand is even sorer than before...

    We shared a nod and a smile, then I escorted them by the entrance of the apartment, giving both of them my phone’s number to contact me and warn me for any issues with their situation. Baki accepted the piece of paper and said that he would be ready to move in only tomorrow.

    I sighed as the door closed and I turned to the strangely silent house. I had expected to at least hear some muffled squeals of happiness from Kunou at her new room but… oddly enough there was nothing.

    Confused, I decided to venture towards the stairs and proceeded to check to the upper floor to see what was going on. I could already see some half-closed doors from the beginning of the corridor, my eyes narrowing as I slowly went ahead to check indirectly how things were going.

    There were name tags in all of them, some blank ones that weren’t assigned and some with the new members names and-

    How exactly did Azazel get Akua and Kahlua name tags before we recruited them-

    Didn’t that man, Issa, say that he had already talked to Azazel? I guess that it was a sure thing for him and he decided to gamble about your acceptance.

    Doesn’t make it any-less creepy to think that someone know how my thinking works in action and… to this precise level.

    Sighing again as I felt my bones aching just a little, I paused just a moment at the sound of muffled giggles coming from one of the closed door rooms. It was Kahlua’s and, knowing that her sister was inside with her too and knowing that the series they were from had a grand penchant to have people trip in perverted situations, I merely shrugged and continued for my stroll in the corridor.

    I paused again, this time at the sounds of things, boxes, being moved around in… Kuroka’s room. Yeah, that was another big no-no to check about and thus I went event farther right by the door that led to my own room.

    I saw that the door was curiously-enough half-closed and I frowned at this situation as… there could have been only one individual capable of doing such thing.

    With a small smile, I peeked inside my new, big room and noticed at first the PC, the medium-sized HD TV, several audio devices and shelves filled with different kind of music pieces and then… someone was sleeping in my bed.

    Completely stopping at this last bit, I took a closer look as I walked inside just for a moment and from the covers I could easily see the familiar golden-tinted fox ears that Kunou had and… Koneko’s silver-colored cat ears.

    I blinked, my ears finally adapting at the soft and almost impossible to hear snoring from the two girls. I glanced at the clock by the bedside and sighed at the fact it was 4AM.

    Shiranai. Demands. Napping!

    It was odd how time worked in the pocket dimension Yokai Gakuen was set in, thus I guess I hardly perceived that we were there for so long. Feeling tired myself, I yawned and slowly approached the bed, gaining a proper view of the two sleeping girls.

    With a nod then I proceeded to slowly and silently pick a small spot of the ground near the wall to sit down and… catch some rest there.

    It’s been a tiring day, alright and… I needed some rest. Yawning again, I let my back reach the wall, my head tilting a little as I felt sleep easy to conquer and… my consciousness faded.

    Unknown to Hoitsu, half an hour after he had fallen asleep, the door of his room creaked a little more open as a pair of golden eyes peeked at the inside of the room. After sparing an enraptured look at the two sleeping cuties on his bed, the yellow orbs locked onto his sleeping form on the floor and the figure decided it was time to move in and get some ‘reward’ for being a ‘good girl’.

    With maximum carefulness in her approach, Kuroka sneaked within the quiet room and softly walked up to the sleeping young man, pausing just a moment to glance at the bed and catch the most adorable sight ever once again.

    She finally took out the camera she had found back in his new room and the young woman took a picture out of that cute scene, an ear-to-ear smile as she returned the small device back in one of the pockets of her special battle kimono.

    Her attention shifted back to the sleeping Hoitsu and she cautiously started to sit on his undefended lap and then she let her head rest on his warm chest.

    Kuroka waited for a moment, remembering seeing something happen mid-sleep to little Kunou while she was this close and- Yep, his arms slowly wrapped around her, bringing her closer while cautiously snuggling her more on his chest.

    A purr formed in her throat and she managed to reduce its noise in an attempt to not wake him up, yet she was unable to fully contain it from leaving her lips.

    His warmth was just… so nice. She would have preferred that this happened on a bed, after some long-deserved love-making and obviously without those pesky clothes but… surprisingly enough this worked too in her mind.

    The genuine care and love she could feel, the soft lulling of his heartbeat her ears were listening so attentively and simple setting they were in…

    She loved this. It was a nice way to catch some sleep, away from the nightmares.

    A soft yawn left the girl’s lips as sleep finally made an advance on her tired mind and soon… she surrendered for some long nap.

    Tomorrow she was surely going to be reprimanded for this… but this? This was worth the cost.

    ------------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d------------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d---------

    And while most of the people of Tokyo enjoyed some silence at that early hour of the morning, in a small establishment of Nerima, the 20th Ward of the city, an old man continued to silently clean some used mugs with a piece of cloth.

    Those last few months had been rather unique for Kuzen Yoshimura, starting with the addition of Kaneki Ken as one of the newest waiters at Anteiku. A young man, once a human and now turned in a One-Eyed Ghoul. It sounded absurd for this situation to even occur, and yet the young teen had shown to have quite the unfortunate life.

    The sudden switch of diet was a shock, the owner of the cafe knew well enough of humans were not made to eat their own flesh from personal experience, but the young man was starting to improve he noticed.

    It was good that he was receiving support from most of the group here, but it was also quite tragic that his unique condition got the attention of some ‘unpleasant’ individuals. While Shuu Tsukiyama was polite and reserved individual that hardly caused problems within the Ward, but his obsession with the young Kaneki had led to some sourness to develop between the Tsukiyama family and the Anteiku.

    The brunet’s mind suffered too during this period, straining as he discovered the unfairness of some situations happening only to Ghouls.

    Fight for dominance of the Feeding Grounds, the need to have masks when fighting back against attackers and… the cruel hand of the CCG.

    Ryouko Fueguchi died while facing Kureo Mado, giving the chance to her daughter to escape from the ambush set up by the Doves.

    The infamous Quinque Expert was known for his interest in harvesting Ghouls’ Kagunes to create powerful tools to continue his job, his prowess in fights was one of the best an Investigator could offer to powerful Ghouls, but he was also known for the strange compassion he held over some cases.

    Many innocent Ghouls facing him that were keen to divulge the info the man required were mostly sent to the Ghoul’s prison rather than die by his hand. This very compassion was unknown to many individuals, but Kuzen knew the reasons of the man after having had the chance of offering him, his wife and their daughter the few times they visited the cafe.

    Family was a good weakness to have, Mado showing this unique trait recently when he didn’t show up to continue the case about the Fueguchi family, possibly ending up ‘debunking’ the existence of the ‘Fueguchi Child’ to his superiors out of mercy than anything.

    Touka had been particularly hurt by this development, having stayed back home for a full week, letting in her room only her brother and father to bring food and other objects for her needs. Giving her some time to recover proved to be a good decision, the girl returning back to work by the beginning of the new week and focusing on helping the orphaned Hinami.

    Kaneki was there, learning how to work while also becoming a brotherly figure to the young Fueguchi, teaching her about letters and words she was still unable to read. It was good to have someone as cultured as the boy around, but it was particularly amusing how such relationship was bringing quite the curious jealous side from one Ayato Kirishima.

    Hinami and the young male ghoul had been childhood friends, but the boy was entering that stage of his life when… certain things weren’t as ‘cool’ as before, deciding to distance himself from the young girl. With the ‘puny Kaneki’ hanging around his childhood friend, Ayato couldn’t help in sparing himself from showing that he still genuinely cared for Hinami.

    An adorable comedy that happened once or twice everyday.

    Arata was also pleased by those scenes too, but sadly his thankfulness directed at the former human was easily taken over by his paternal instincts regarding the ‘closeness’ the boy had regarding his daughter… or the lack of any.

    The two had some chemistry, Yoshimura knew it, but the two were just too young to see it blooming anytime soon. Sadly, the lone father was inexperienced about this kind of situations and thus misunderstandings about the two ‘getting too close to each other’ happened too within the walls of Anteiku.

    Just as the old man placed the properly cleaned mug down, he paused at the sound of the door-bell ringing, eyes moving to see whom could be visiting this early in the morning and… he smiled happily.

    A young woman returned the smile with one of her own, eyes half-closed because of tiredness. Her hair were combed in a short, but clean style, she was wearing a baggy shirt and simple gym pants while on her back was an interestingly big backpack with some papers ready to burst out of it.

    “Good morning~!” She announced melodiously, still a little too loud at this hour, causing him to shake his head at her. She giggled at his reaction and she approached him.

    “A little loud, I know but I still have to finish somethings before-” She started but stopped to look at what he was doing, eyes narrowing and arms closing close to her chest. “Kuzen Yoshimura, what did I tell you about working at unholy hours?”

    “I think it was me telling you to not write so late in the night or so early in the morning, young lady.” He remarked, the pout twitching as she seemed embarrassed by his words.

    “S-Still, I can’t let an old man like you work alone. This is why I shall join you in this endeavor-”

    “Didn’t you have other things to do?” The manager asked out of curiosity.

    “Writing can wait. What kind of daughter would I be if I didn’t help my tired and old father-”

    “Perhaps a writer block?” The guess was super-effective, the girl flinching before giggling nervously… and then she sighed.

    “It’s not my fault that the pacing is that insane. Shiono-baka just can’t ease up with the schedule.”

    “I can have a talk with him if you want.” Kuzen offered but the girl sighed.

    “Would do little as he would go on a tirade about ‘this job requires extreme attention and capacity to produce new books very quickly as to not get fans to yadda yadda.’” She yawned and nodded. “That is how the situations end into.”

    “I guess this ‘old man’ can accept some help from my ‘beloved and helpful’ daughter.” The manager chuckled as his child sighed at her ‘kind offer’.

    “Fine!” She huffed, starting to walk towards the Storage room. “But I want pizza for dinner!”

    Hearing her father snort at that one-sided deal, Eto Yoshimura, a 23-year old Tragedy writer and a natural One-Eyed Ghoul, giggled as she went to change for her old uniform.

    Today was going to be another slow day in Tokyo, so what if she just wanted to take it easy?

    ------------d-d-dd-----------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d---------d-d-d-d----------d-d-d-d-------d-d-d-d--

    AN

    Eto will not be in the Harem. I’ve other plans to her that aren’t pairing-related and… I do reckon that a question is now important with how I disposed certain events:

    Who is leading Aogiri Tree then?!

    Also two new patreons (Jacob Lawter and Jaune Pendragon)!

    I’m growing stronker, muhahahahahahaha!

    P.S. Considering if I should do a Live Q&A once we reach 696 Follows, which is going to happen soon at this rhythm.

    Future milestone 1: 696 Followers and Favorites.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
    Wolfant, Mikers99, demxious and 3 others like this.
  30. Threadmarks: Preparations and Her Bet
    JBukharin

    JBukharin Signer of the Totalist Charter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    2,092
    Chapter 30: Preparations and Her Bet

    After spending a full day at the headquarters to recover from the little trip for the Yokai Gakuen, I decided to spend some time to do some proper training.

    Huffing with a calm breathing, I pushed away Kunou’s leg as she failed to land a kick through the openings on my guard, forcing her to take some steps back to avoid further retaliation. The blonde had a serious look of focus on her face, her tails and fox ears hidden as to not hinder her movements while moving swiftly to try and finally get through my basic defense.

    Just as I had thought on an early analysis, her fighting style was terribly bland, the biggest issue lying over the fact Kitsune Yokais focused mostly on Youjutsu and Magical Arts rather than close-quarter fighting, so her capacity to deal with close encounters was quite non-existing as we started to spar.

    The training room that was set a floor above the dorms was ample and offered quite the opportunities to go for numerous spars at the same time. And that was the current as we were all training in that exact circumstance.

    While I focused on Kunou’s development in physical strength, endurance and speed, Kuroka had decided to use the opportunity to ‘bond’ a little more with her sister.

    A peculiar kind of reason to spend the day that left the usually-calm girl rather annoyed as Koneko would have preferred to spend the least time possible with the young woman and her infuriating tricks, but I ended up pointing out to the girl that her sister did genuinely want to train her without playing any kind of unpleasantness to her.

    She was still skeptical for a while about my reasoning, whining in her own collected but decisive mannerism, but she ended up accepting the offer after Kunou promised to train with her after that, leaving me to focus solely on the kitsune.

    As much as I would have wanted to have Koneko to give the ‘basics’ to the little blonde right now, I knew how the silver-haired girl needed to be trained too by someone that could really help her, especially with her Senjutsu form still raw and difficult to control on a normal occasion.

    Akua refused to have Kahlua train with the others, since her sister had already enough problems in reining in her own emotions and could easily go for one of her usual frenzies.

    Something that many forgets of the ‘carefree’ vampire was that she was quite the bipolar fighter and when her ‘switch’ was turned on, things would become blurry. Allies, enemies, none would matter to her ‘childish murdery’ phase.

    The tanned girl was strong enough and didn’t need to improve that, the oldest Shuzen had also motivated, it wasn’t worth to have the emotionally-unstable vampire confuse her sparring partner for an enemy that needed to be killed quickly and brutally for no apparent reasons.

    Good points that still needed to be considered properly as we all needed to train before Kokabiel was defeated by those in Kuoh Town.

    Kahlua was strong, yes, but she was also naive and unfocused during fights just as Akua had mentioned.

    Having someone that could easily go berserk during an important fight and attack her own comrades wasn’t someone I wished to have around and thus further research on the matter was written down on my mental ‘to-do’ list.

    Speaking about my ‘to-do’ list, I found myself mostly interested in the results my research yielded: While Japan was still filled with surprises, finding familiar names like Ranma Saotome, Kenichi Shirahama and… Harry Potter.

    The supernatural side of the Internet had extra info about the ‘Boy-Who-Lived’, confirming that he was already married and with kids. It was interesting to know that here the ICW worked more as the European counterpart to the Mage Council rather than a completely independent organization.

    Some rules were the same, but there were also some bits that differed from both groups. The pages I found hardly confirmed the major difference between European and Asian magicks, but I guess the need of making use of Wands to practice magic were one of the different topics between the two differently-based councils.

    I blinked as I heard the girl yell her next attack and I dodged another quick punch. She had yet to put up enough strength to truly making me give my full attention to her attempt to hit me, something that was little by little making Kunou even more annoyed at me.

    The blonde was hiding it well, but after living with her for some time now, I could recognize the little signs that hinted at a possible near outburst. Calm and cheerful she might be, the Kitsune was still young and very prone to get angry at being mocked this much.

    “Stay still?” She asked/whined, her tone similar to the one a child would have while asking their parent to let them win a game against them.

    And me, being the ‘parent’, giving her a happy smile and-

    “Sorry, Ku-chan.” I replied quietly, my smile matching up to her growing little pout. “But we both know that you wouldn’t get stronger if I let you win without some hard-working.” I added with a little teasing tone.

    The girl huffed at my words and went to launch a flurry of kicks without any precise aim, all of these were deflected before I decided to take hold over her leg and pushed her away from close distance. A little ‘eep’ left her lips at the sudden action, but then kitsune landed moments later and she barred her teeth in challenge as she charged back at me once again, this time her bubbling anger adding further power behind her attacks.

    My smile widened as her speed picked up too and soon I found myself forced to push my thoughts away to give more attention over the blonde. She was finally bringing out some of her hidden potential, I could see her testing it unconsciously as her attacks grew more complex but also more… imprecise.

    The girl scowled with minor fury as one of her kicks slammed on my guard, her face contorted in a mix of silent fury and… pain?

    Kunou backed away and I noticed that she was putting more weight on one of her legs rather than evenly-splitting the burden. My frown deepened as I finally noticed the issue.

    I blinked calmly as I saw her legs looking redder than a few moments ago, a little swelling developing too, and I quickly dropped my stance the moment I saw her wobble a little while trying to find some balance.

    She looked confused at my sudden approach, eyes going wide in surprise at being scooped up in my arms. “W-Wha-” The girl tried to ask, her mind still recovering from the intensive training session, failing spectacularly.

    “You are barely standing.” I interrupted with a worried tone, adjusting her a little more in my arms and proceeding to take her right in the small spot outside the area where we had left a medium-sized box containing numerous vials of Phoenix’s Tears.

    Right as I softly placed her on the floor to take one of the tiny bottles, I saw her staring down at her bruised legs with a dejected and disappointed look.

    I didn’t reply at first, my attention devolved to get the medical liquid prepared for the girl. Crouching down to offer her the bottle, she sighed and shook her head.

    “I’m weak.” She commented quietly much to my confusion and surprised

    I blinked again. “What?” I found myself asking loudly enough to have her ears flinch at the pitch.

    “I couldn’t even come close to make some damage a-and you were also distracted.” Kunou muttered with a sigh. “I- It felt like I was hardly making something with my efforts.” She explained, her arms crossing as I sighed and took a seat near her.

    “I think you did quite well for your first day of training-” I tried to remark but she let out a frustrated huff.

    “But this wasn’t the first day I trained in physical fighting.” The girl retorted. “This isn’t even the first time I noticed h-how weak I’m with close-quarters.”

    I tilted my head on the side, confusion plastered on my face. “You aren’t that weak-” I tried to say but she interrupted me once more.

    “But I can hardly put my strength on my hits.” The kitsune pointed out with some annoyance. “I literally had to hurt my own legs to actually get your attention and-”

    “Then you should try something different, Kunou-san.” A new voice pointed out, causing our heads to turn and see… Baki entering the training room with a gym bag. He was now wearing some gym clothes as he approached us.

    “Oh, Baki-san, good morning.” He nodded grateful at my greeting but his attention was still turned on Kunou.

    “Your fighting form is too stiff, too ‘proper’ and that renders you unable to use your full weight and strength to the maximum.” The young Hanma continued to explain, dropping the bag and stopping right to take a seat in front of us. “You should work to find a comfortable stance before wrongfully call yourself truly weak.” He pressed on the confused-looking girl.

    “What kind of difference will another stance do?” She asked skeptically. “It will not change anything about my strength and-”

    The young man sighed, causing the blonde to stop for a moment in confusion.

    “Hoitsu-san, I suppose you know a little more about my ‘particular’ fighting style, correct?” The Hanma questioned and I nodded at his query.

    “You are known to use stances that generally benefits a large difference of strength and weight between you and your opponent, Baki-san.” I replied quickly enough, making him smile a little.

    “Precisely, I make sure my opponent sees me as fairly-cocky and then capitalize on his relaxed form.” He lifted a finger to gesture at me. “Hoitsu-san was distracted and you could have tried to gauge where he was going to be unable to defend himself in that situation.” He hummed quietly and stared at the ceiling. “While it might seem like he had everything under control, he had some openings that he couldn’t really defend if you had noticed them.”

    She frowned. “So… I should try and find them? But how?”

    “Why, by probing his stance with some normal hits and carefully avoiding to waste your energy so quickly.” He glanced my way with an interested glint in his eyes. “Hoitsu-san wasn’t responding to your hits, so you can easily test out his defense while he is either distracted or giving you little attention.”

    Kunou nodded at the advice and stood up slowly, drinking the Phoenix’s Tears and preparing and giving me another serious look. “Round two?” She asked with renewed giddiness.

    I merely smiled and followed her right back to the spot we had previously used and the fight resumed with renewed energy, this time the girl hitting way harder than before and… I admit some of her punches started to sting on my arms.

    All in all, a good sparring session for that morning.

    One that would give Kunou some ideas about developing her style after the very individual that looked the strongest and bravest.

    ----------------d-d-d-d-------------d-d-d-d--------------d-d-d-d-----------d-d-d-d---------------

    This… this is annoying.

    Could be getting worse. At least we know who are we dealing with.

    But still-

    “Aogiri Tree is allying with Kokabiel?” I asked back, phone pressed on my ear as Azazel sighed on the other side.

    The call began just after we finished lunch, my attention swiftly caught by the facts it was the Governor-General himself and the tone he was even now having while dropping those news.

    Some of my contacts in Tokyo have taken notice of a sudden spike of Aogiri’s presence in the Wards they live in and most of them have already evacuated before anything bad could happen to them.” There was another loud sigh, bringing some pauses along the explanation. “This all started just four days ago when one of them spotted Valper Galilei being escorted by some grunts of Aogiri Tree towards an abandoned warehouse by the Edogawa Ward.

    “That area is considered by many Ghouls as hell on Earth, why would they escort him there?”

    The Ward was the home of the infamous Ghoul detention center, Cochlea. The place where monsters like Jason were born and harbored in atrocious conditions. There were tortures happening inside the structure, but nobody cared about the instability of some of the wardens capable of those horrible crimes to a living being.

    Ghouls might still be considered some ‘non-human’ race, but they were still close enough that one should be worried about those jailers and the insanity they displayed in their work.

    And that is the main issue of this discovery.” Azazel admitted with an annoyed tone. “With his indirect involvement in trying to capture the Shinso Vampires and his presence in Tokyo, I think he is trying to accomplish something… with what was left of the monster attacking the city a week ago.

    He paused a little more, I could hear someone talking to the Governor-General on the other side of the call. I used this time to think properly about this and… I was incredibly confused by what was going on.

    Alucard? This makes zero sense! I can understand trying to kidnap alive Shinso Vampires, but trying to get the remaining pieces of-

    Maybe the reason is different, Hoitsu. Maybe you are forgetting that this Valper is also allied to Kokabiel and… I think bringing back this abomination would give a serious edge to what the threat to this peace could cause.

    Resurrecting Alucard? That wouldn’t be doable. His soul should have already passed through-

    To a place where it could be quietly taken out and returned back.

    W-What?

    Think about it. While Alucard might have been dangerous to the world, he would hardly receive extra guarding from Hell and… we both know that there are disgruntled elements in the Underworld that are already cheering for some ‘Khaos’.

    This- No, Fuck!

    “They are planning to resurrect Alucard, sir.” I blurted quickly to Azazel as I heard him shifting his attention back to the call. “That would explain why the need of capturing more than a Shinso Vampire.” I concluded with a frown, waiting for the man to reply with his own thoughts.

    A strong possibility that sadly fails before a single but important element.” I deflated a little to these words. “Alucard couldn’t be controlled-” There was some silence for a while then he continued. “Unless… Kokabiel wants to turn Alucard in his own Familiar. There is an old Blood Ritual but- That could actually happen and- This could be the reason-

    “Sir?” I tried to bring back the discussion but the man merely sighed.

    Until I’m sure that Alucard’s soul is guarded by men trustworthy to the Satans, your current task is to train and be ready for any strange activity, you are to not take any initiatives before I give you the green-light.” The Fallen Angel ordered with a stern tone, much to my surprise.

    “S-Sir, maybe if we could intercept Valper-” I tried to propose but I was stopped by the man himself with a mere sigh.

    It would get Kokabiel suspicious if you actively hunted down that man and you were discovered as a new group working for me.” The Governor-General pointed out with a slightly more serious voice. “For now, the best thing to do is quietly render any attempts of resurrecting that monster impossible and- seriously brat, you will not hunt down Valper. He is not part of the Khaos Brigade and it will be regular Grigori’s matter.” I blinked and then, he concluded with a heavy sigh. “It’s an order, brat.”

    I sighed and nodded. “Fine- but I hope you will pass any news on the matter. If we can move-