Vol 1: The Beggar Princess - Part 1
There are certain irritating tasks that befell all rulers, even for one of the Four Great Satans, rulers of the Underworld.
Sirzechs Lucifer wasn't normally one to conform to stereotype, but on occasion even he would curse paperwork. Doubly so, for being the only responsible ruler out of the four.
Ajuka tended to focus on his inventions than his job. Falbium considered being lazy an achievement. And Serafall was too busy being a Magical Girl to be a Satan.
And as for him, well, being called "the Satan, the Devils will end with" behind some closed doors isn't exactly endearing. It was a damnably seething title.
Just because I care about...Hmph, I wonder how many of our subjects take a bit of time a day, to mentally scream in horror at realizing that "yes, these are our leaders".
A sardonic smile tugged at his cheeks.
Sirzechs returned to the stack of papers on his desk. He had reached the Annual Assessment Reports for Devils living in the Human World. It was a performance monitoring report to show the Devils' activities, what they have been up to and how many contracts they made for the year. The reports also helped in the ranking of said Devils.
With a bit of deliberation, Sirzechs raised the pile, took the last paper and placed it down. He took a deep breath and read through it.
Sirzechs put down the piece of paper, and sighed as he leaned back on his chair to contemplate. A small part of him had hoped that the result for this report, would have been different this time.
"No change, Lord Sirzechs?"
Sirzechs turned to the speaker. The silver haired woman in the maid outfit, was his wife and holder of Queen Piece, Grayfia Lucifuge. As always, during his work hours she treated him formally, even if they were alone. He would argue that point with her but he knew he would lose anyways. He tried before.
"No, it seems like it's...as expected," said Sirzechs as he glances back at the report. "The number of encounters with Stray Devils are also, annoyingly high."
"Yet they were all promptly handled." Grayfia said to reassure him.
"Even so," Sirzechs gazed far away, lost in a old memory. "A part of me wonders if I had made the right decision."
Grayfia moved to stay by her King. Breaking decorum, she rested her hands on his shoulder. "You did," Grayfia told him, even she had her kinder moments. "You gave your sister the strength to follow her dreams."
"Yes," he said. "Now I hope those dreams do not damn her."
The Annual Assessment Report was for Sirzechs's little sister, Rias Gremory. The report held many pieces of data about the outgoings of the Gremory Heir since she started living in the Human World for the past two years, yet the one line that was the source of all problems was:
Total Number of Human Contracts: 1
Sirzechs gave the report another look, before putting it down with a sigh. "Well," he began in a carefree tone, as he stretched his muscles from sitting for too long. "The rest of these aren't that interesting, so I think it's time for a break."
The Great Satan moved to get up, and the hand on his shoulder placing the lightest pressure stopped him. "Please get back to work, Lord Sirzechs." His Queen said in a soft voice.
"Why?" He said lazily to her. "As the Satan, I don't have to work, if I don't want to."
"Because my lord," She began with a coy smile. "Our shared rule: I do not work if you don't."
Sirzechs sighed dramatically. "So, I do not get to taste you delightful cooking? Your revitalizing tea? What about our son? You would not work for him?"
"Millicas will always get his meals on time, my lord. Either by my hands or one of the maids I trained. But as for you, my lord, only I'm allowed to handle your meals. I, well, I might 'forget'." Her smile had a knowing look, of one who held all the cards.
"And why are only you are allowed to make my meals?" He played at whining. It is not like an assassin could really get to him with poison through such a method.
"Because, only I get to hold that power over you, my lord."
"Tyrant," he mockingly cried out.
Grayfia hide her amusement, before her eyes took a gentler look. "Although I might 'forget' for myself as well. After all, it is a shared rule." She calmly added.
Sirzechs looked into his wife's eyes. They always held the same message. "Keep going."
"Very well." He let out a large breath. He grasped her hand on his shoulder with his own and kissed it. "I suppose I would be a poor husband to starve my wife. Truly, I married a most devious serpent."
Grayfia stepped back, bowed and moved to make tea for her King. "By your leave, my lord." Her retreating back hiding her small smile.
Sirzechs watched her leave with a content glow in his chest. As she closed the door behind her, he rolled his shoulders, gave a last look to the report on Rias and went back to his work.
Let this year will be a quiet one. Surely there can be moments of peace between each storm, right?
For one Hyoudou Issei, today had been the greatest day of his life.
He, a proud pervert whose parents have given up on him ever providing them grandchildren, had gotten a girlfriend. Not only that, but a cute and lovely one. They had just went on their first date together, and Issei had pulled out all the stops.
The theme park, movies, lunch, photo booth. The whole nine-yards. It was the perfect date, and it was ending at the perfect spot. At sunset in the Hikari Garden. A great park ─ and couples spot ─ that looks near magical at sunrise or sunset.
And now this date is about to reach its best moment. He thought excitingly.
His girlfriend, the beautiful black silk haired Amano Yuuma, had lead him to the fountain at the center of the park, and made a request. It was...
The End of the Date Kiss-
"Would you die for me?" Said Yuuma's enchanting voice.
Issei could feel his thoughts crashing to a stop. What?
"Wha- What did you say Yuuma-chan?" Surely he heard wrong. "Sorry, could you repeat that? I thought you said something silly like-"
"Would you die for me?" She said again, with a cruel glint entering her eyes.
"Tha, that's not a good joke, Yuuma-chan." Issei tried to play off her question casually, yet couldn't shake off the feeling that something was wrong.
Suddenly, black feathered wings sprouted from Yuuma's back, her clothes were torn to shreds and reformed as latex bikini from an S&M collection, finishing the look with fetish black boots.
Before him stood his girlfriend, looking like a sexy angel of death. Issei couldn't help but be scared and turned on at the same time. Thankfully, his self preservation had kicked into higher gear ─ barely ─ than his lust, and he stood on guard.
"I had fun today, like playing house with a child." She raised her arm to the side and light gathered to form a spear in her hand. "But it's time for you to die. You are a threat to us and can't be allowed−
"Hai, hai, hai! Excu~se me, Miss Fallen Angel, but I'll have to ask you to not do that."
Suddenly a cheerful voice cut through this dreadful scene.
Both Issei and "Yuuma" turned to see a teenage girl, waving at them with a wide smile and twigs in her hair. Actually no, it wasn't her hair, but a blond wig that hadn't fully hide her red hair, as there were a few scarlet lines still visible. Also small bits of her clothes were torn from running through the bushes.
The girl was Rias Gremory. Renounced school idol in Kuoh Academy, President of the mysterious Occult Research Club whose membership is exclusive, and secretly a Devil. The girl was known for her aloof and gentle demeanor, and for her habit of keeping her eyes in a closed expression she was known as "The Shy Jewel Onee-sama". While no one had actually seen her eyes, most would say they are probably as pretty as gems.
Her closed eyes usually showed her as detached while giving her an odd feeling of tender wisdom from older years. Now however, her wide smile with her closed eyes, made her seem jolly and carefree. In fact, the ways her eyes crinkled at the edges just seemed to add to her devil may care look.
"...Senpai? What, I mean, umm, hair...?" Issei struggled to react to his bizarre situation before pointing to his senpai's hair. His image of her idol self was slowly crumbling in his mind.
"Oh! Thank you~, Hyoudou-kun." She said, with the words "Thank you" in English , as she brushed off the twigs and straightened her wig to face "Yuuma".
The Fallen Angel, "Yuuma", finally shook herself from the odd arrival, and gritted her teeth in annoyance, as she addressed the new disturbance. "I don't know who the hell you are, little Devil. You look weak, a Stray maybe?" She said tauntingly. "I don't have time to deal with you. Lucky for you I'm busy, but if you don't get out of the way, I'll kill you too." Said "Yuuma" with a sneer as she focused again on Issei.
"Oh that just won't do Miss Fallen Angel. Relationships don't work like that. You can't kill your boyfriend at the first mistake. Even if he is a boob obsessed pervert." Issei felt like he was struck with Rias's words. "You need to talk these things out, and explain your feelings. Besides this is the first date, he couldn't have cheated already."
Issei immediately look up at that comment. "I never would have cheated on Yuuma-chan!" He said hotly.
"Well can't you think of anything you did during the date? There has to be a reason she's going yandere on you?" Rias turned to the boy.
"Of course not! I was the perfect gentleman. Well, I did look at her Oppai a few times, but I was very gentlemanly about it!" The pervert courageously admitted.
The Fallen Angel looked at the two in front of her in confusion, from the conversation's derail, before her annoyance with this situation rose up.
"Would you two idiots shut up? You honestly think I give a damn about this human!"
"Y-yuuma-chan," Issei said hesitantly, as he stepped back. "Wha-what do you mean?"
"You know, you don't have to be shy about it. While the tsundere act is cute, you have to know when to be honest-"
"Enough!" The black haired girl cut off Rias, as she leveled her spear toward Issei. "There was never a relationship. I simply pulled him out here to kill him. The rest of this so-called 'date' was just for my amusement." She smiled cruelly as she saw Issei's hurt look. She felt glee at his misery.
"So, your intentions along was just to kill him. That's it? No love, nothing?" Rias cocked her head, her lips holding a crooked smile.
"YES! Now, you? Shut up. And you?" she brought her arm back. "Can die!"
The Spear of Light was thrown at Issei. It was in front of him in an instant, and Issei almost began to see his life flash before his eye when...
Faster than either human or Fallen could follow, Rias had appeared before Issei with the Spear of Light embedded in a tree nearby. Rias's fist was smoking from the impact and her movement had torn the wig away from her.
"Huh? Red hair?" The Fallen said as the gears started turning in her head. She know of only one Devil with blood red hair in his area. Her eyes widened in recognition as the energy was till now was suppressed was open to her.
She had thought it was just some random Low Class Devil that she can deal with later on. Now that "Yuuma" could feel her energy, along with her hair, she could identify her. The High Class Devil, Heir of the Gremory Devil Family and whose territory was Kuoh City.
"The Gremory Heiress," The Fallen said with an annoyed growl. She hadn't intended to attract the attention of the Devil of this territory. Hell, how the fuck did she even find me? "Yuuma" had made sure to hide who she was till just before the moment she planned to do the deed, so she could lure the human away from any eyes.
"Why yes, nice to meet you~. Now, since it seems you are here to cause trouble, I would like for you to leave."
"Ha, as if!" "Yuuma" smirked at the Gremory Devil's word. It seems she was either a pacifist or maybe a weakling coward. "Either way, I'll get what I want. Even if I have to go through-"
The Fallen felt the demonic energy in the air. Before she could act lightning slammed in the space front of her, and its power and resulting explosion threw her back.
"My, you are quiet the impolite Fallen, aren't you?"
From the treeline to the left appear a black hair maiden, in a ponytail with a yellow ribbon. She was Himejima Akeno, the other idol of Kuoh Academy, Vice-President of the Occult Research Club, and Rias's close friend. She was also a Devil, and one with power over lightning.
Usually, her calm nature makes her seem like a Yamato Nadeshiko, but now her gentle smile was replaced with an annoyed one, of someone having to restrain their urge to commit violence. Her eyes held a cruel glint for the Fallen as her hand sparked with electricity.
"Wow, is she really so arrogant that she thought, she could beat Rias-onee-sama, nyan?"
From the treeline to the right, a short petite girl with white hair and cat ears, walked out. The cheerful catgirl was Toujou Koneko, seen by many at Kuoh Academy as the School Mascot for her sheer adorableness and spunk.
"Dammit," the Fallen Angel found herself seething. As much as she wanted to make them pay for getting in her way, she knew she was outmatched. With a sore loser's quip of "I won't forget this!" She quickly turned and flew away.
"Well, it looks like this is over." Akeno said as she turned off the magical sparks, relaxed her shoulders, and dusted herself off. "Rias, your hand is smoking."
And indeed, Rias's hand was still letting out smoke from when she deflected the spear earlier. The Gremory heir blew on it, the skin of her hand appearing quite reddened.
"Honestly, why would you directly parry it without magical coating?"
"Just building resistance Akeno." Rias remarked continuing to blow on her hand.
"That is not how it works, and you know that." Chided Akeno.
"You never know, Akeno. Gasper!" Rias broke off from the conversation, and turned to wave to the top of nearby trees. "Did you get all of that?"
Issei let out a gasp as he followed Rias's line of sight, to see a group of bats nest at the top of the tree. They became visible, turning back to their natural color of black and grey, after being camouflaged like chameleons.
...Are they holding a video camera? Issei thought incredulously.
"Mnyaaa, I'm sleepy." Koneko began rubbing her eyes out.
Her downed ears gave her an adorable expression that Issei, in any other time would have exclaimed "Moe!" about.
"Yes, I suppose today has been long. Honestly, three Strays in one day? That has to be some sort of record." Rias mused as her held her chin.
"Yes, almost lucky, the last one was near here." Said Akeno, as she began to move and check on Koneko.
"True. In a way that throws of the theory of this being a cor-"
"What is going on!?" Issei finally shouted, unable to simply surge off or process these random shocking events anymore. "What, what was that with Yuuma-chan? Why did she gain stripper ─ although awesome ─ clothing and wings? Fallen Angels? Devils? Catgirl!" He gestured to Koneko.
"Nyan~" She yawned.
"Okay, you have to admit, that's adorable." Said Rias.
"True," Issei nodded sagely, "But again, what's going on? Why did Yuuma-chan change? Why, why...Why were you wearing a wig!?" He shouted, at his wits' ends.
"It was on sale." Rias said quickly, as she went and took back the downed wig in her hands. "Besides, you never know when you might need a good wig."
"Like for example when I need-"
"Ah-hem!" The devolving argument was thankfully interrupted by Akeno's loud cough.
"Perhaps, we should have this discussion in a much calmer setting."
Kuoh Academy is a prestigious school, well known for many reasons: Its history of successful and well-educated female graduates, its high standards and difficult entry requirements even after becoming co-ed, and of course, its ability to help all its students pursue their creative or athletic talents. Kuoh Academy was fully capable to funding tens of clubs and supplying them with the best equipment and learning environment.
The Occult Research Club held such prestige of its own that it had an entire building all to itself. Why it was even away from the normal school facilities, giving it that "mysterious old school building" feel to it. In the face of this exotic presence Issei could only say:
"This...is a shed." He said, from his place on one of the two couches as he looked around the place. "A large one true but...it looked like a giant building from the outside. Why isn't it a giant building inside too? What happened to the giant building?" He gestured to his surroundings in confusion.
The shed was surprisingly well furnished inside. The place seemed divided into three parts. At the right were the tv, gaming console, and other entertainment materials, as well as some chairs. In the middle was Rias's desk, chair, two couches, and a table between said couches. Then to the left there seemed to be a very large wardrobe with sliding door, next to a closet.
There was a large window behind Rias's chair, with smaller ones to the side, and ones next to the entrance door. Next to the entrance door on the right and near the "living room" area was a small kitchen area.
All in all, it felt like a homely 2DK, but not what one would expect from the infamous, and supposedly well funded Occult Research Club.
"Budget cuts," said Rias. She was sitting in her large office chair, her elbows on the desk, her fingers interlocked and her head resting on them. Still holding to her cheerful, closed-eyed, near cat smile. Like the actual catgirl who was sitting on the opposing couch enjoying baked goods, tea and scones.
"It's...gone." Said Akeno, as she was making tea for everyone. Although she seemed to have passed the number of people who would require the drinks.
Why did she make ten cups? Issei thought in confusion.
"What do you mean by 'gone'?" He watch as she gave him one cup, another for Koneko, two for herself and the rest for Rias. Why is Rias-senpai getting six cups of tea?
Rias took one cup, brought it to her lips. "Hmm," she took in the brew's fragrance, elegantly enjoyed a small sip, then down the whole thing.
That's not how you drink tea!
"Budget cuts," said Rias as she placed down the cup and took the next one.
"We had to...down size the club's facility a bit due to a few...financial incidents." Akeno seemed lost in her thoughts. A bit pale and wide eye, like remembering something horrible. Quickly that look was gone.
...I'm imaging it.
"Budget cuts," Rias nodded.
Wait, how did she get to her fourth cup!?
"How can 'budget cuts' cause you to sell so much of the old club building? And why doesn't it look the same outside?"
"The outside is an illusion, as it would be difficult to explain where the old building went. As for said 'budget cuts', well, our president," Akeno gave Rias a deadly smile. "Has some exuberant spending habits, thus we were forced to take some desperate measures−" Akeno had grabbed one of the tea set's forks and slammed it where Rias's hand was heading, which was to her own second tea cup.
She's done! Issei saw that all of Rias's tea cups were empty.
"A-Akeno," Rias gave a hurtful cry at the seemingly act of betrayal, as she held her hand to her ─ wonderful! ─ chest.
"Riassss," Akeno drew out the word, flashing her a wide full teeth smile. "Unlike you, I need this to calm down and relax. Don't touch my tea."
"Mynyaah~" Koneko let out a loud sigh as she finish her tea. "Akeno-onee-sama's tea is the best. It's refreshing, has perfect temperature, tastes de~liciou~sss, cures status effect and give plus ten to stamina and fatigue resistance."
IT'S AN RPG DRINK!? Issei wanted to shout.
"You have been spending too much time with Gasper, Koneko-chan." Said Akeno in a motherly way, with her hand resting on her cheek.
On the other room, was the last member of the Occult Research Club. An odd, err, "beauty" that confused many students at Kuoh Academy and made not a few of them question their sexuality.
A boy who had such an impact on the student body that he received hundreds of love letters from girls and boys. Although, he always seemed to vanish before anyone could receive an answer. His presence was such a controversy that the school elected to build him his own bathroom, rather than deal with the potential fallout of having him choose which gender bathroom to enter.
He's also an honorary member of the Cosplay Club and the Drama Club. Why his role as Juliet in the famous Shakespeare play was...moving. In many ways.
Currently, this infamous school...idol? was playing videogames in a cardboard box. As in, a literal cardboard box. He was following the conversation, while playing his game.
Issei however decided not to focus on the lovely boy, as Gasper's shy blush upon being caught looking at them, had made Issei feel uncomfortable and asking himself questions he would rather shoot down than think too deeply about.
Whether Gasper falls under the Law of Oppai, to be admired and groped, is not something he would like an answer to, thankyouverymuch.
"Indeed." Said Rias as she drank her tea. Issei quickly focused back on the gorgeous redhead.
Issei blinked at this oddity. Didn't Rias finish her tea? He looked around for a bit, ─ maybe there was an extra cup? ─ before shrugging it off. It wasn't the weirdest thing he saw today. He raised his cup to his lips...
To find it empty.
"Rias," Akeno said. "Don't use high level magic for childish tasks."
Rias drank Issei's rightful brew with a pout.
Issei however, rather than focus on this humorous exchange, focused on the important detail.
Right. Magic. Of course, with everything else that happened. Issei found his thoughts turning to Yuuma and what had transpired. His head lowered in contemplation Why did you want to kill me, Yuuma-chan? Didn't you like me? Did I make you happy?
Noticing their guest's frown, the President and Vice-President straighten themselves.
"I..." Issei began, raising his head. "Gremory-senpai, everyone...can you please explain to me, what's going on?"
"Yes," Rias said, her tone lower than its usual octave, showing a more caring side to the scarlet colored Devil. "I suppose you are owed some answer, Hyoudou-kun. It is time I introduced who we are, and what you have gotten yourself into." Rias's voice turned serious.
Akeno and Koneko moved to stand behind Rias on either side of her. Gasper paused his game and left his box to stand next to Koneko.
Rias took on the Gendo Pose once more, and spoke in a firm voice.
"Hyoudou Issei, I would like to introduce ourselves. I am Rias Gremory."
"I am Himejima Akeno."
"Toujou Koneko, nyan~"
Stop blushing like that!
"We are the Occult Research Club and all of us are.."
At once all the member of the Occult Club sprang big bat-like leathery wings from their backs. Except Gasper. He cutely and frustratingly enough had little bat wings.
Issei's eyes widen in surprise and eminent joy.
All standing club members stumbled in their place.
"...Even Gasper." He asked after a moment.
"Eeeeeh!" Shouted said boy in surprise, hugging himself embarrassed, in a very adorable way.
"Isn't he a boy?"
"He's the exception that proves the rule."
Akeno proceeded to facepalm before stopping and moving to the table in from of the club president's desk that held her second cup of tea. She downed it in one shot.
"Okay, now that I don't have a headache anymore. Rias," She gave her friend and Club President a stern look. "Hyoudou-kun deserves an explanation, stop playing around and act responsible."
"Awww," said two let down voices.
"Akeno~, you spoil sport."
"So...you're not Succubi?"
Both Rias and Issei pouted in disappointment.
On the side Koneko quietly snickered, while Gasper was still blushing in mortification, but watching the scene. All four club members pulled back their wings, vanishing them.
"Someone has to be," Akeno then turned to Issei. "Do you know that the earliest depictions of Succubi were monsters that tricked men, and then killed and ate them?"
"But..." Issei look deep in thought for a moment. "What if it had been a ruse? Something people who were against Succubi came up with, to scare guys off during those old times. Like the Church?" He hypothesized. "Or angry housewives?" He added after reflecting.
The group was quiet in impressed surprise. Who would have thought Issei could have been this insightful? Or maybe that was because the subject has to do with alluring buxom women?
Rias pointed at Issei as she looked at Akeno. "He's a genius," her voice was calm and sagely.
"Isn't it because he's a pervert, nyan?" Issei wasn't sure whether to wince or to d'aww at her cuteness. "Or maybe he's a genius in perversion?"
"Eh?" Gasper said joining the conversation. His voice held an allure that almost made Issei believe him being a succubus, regardless of what Akeno said. "You can be a genius in being a pervert?"
"Well, dear Gasper, I believe-"
"We are not getting off topic again."
"Akenooo~" Rias pouted. She looked straight at her Vice-President, trying to weaken her Anti-Fun aura through sheer persistent grumpy adorableness. Sadly Akeno was an expert in her friend's tactics, and thus Rias was forced to be responsible.
"...Okay." Rias said after a defeated sigh. "Hyoudou-kun."
"Hai!" Issei answered like soldier being called to attention.
"The truth is we are Devils." Rias said in dull voice. Then she stopped, waiting to see Issei's reaction-
"Ahem," Akeno coughed.
"And no, we don't take people's souls." Rias internally cursed, having her fun taken away again. Issei's reaction would have been so amusing.
"Oh...okay," said Issei, as she tried processing what he heard.
"A-hem!" Akeno coughed again.
"Oh! Except Gasper. He's a Vampire." Rias said with her usual energy this time.
"Oooh!" Issei looked at Gasper in surprise, which just caused the effeminate boy to blush at the attention. "So which parts of myths about you are real? Since I'm pretty sure you don't sparkle."
"Ah, I..." Gasper hesitated a bit, before he found his words. "Well, the drinking of blood is real, and we get some power from it, Pu...normal Vampires need it to survive. Also yeah, sunlight is bad for normal Vampires."
"Oh, that must suck not being able to walk in the da- Wait a minute, I saw you around in campus, walking in the sunlight just fine."
Gasper had a wistful look. "I'm Half-Vampire, so I don't have problem with the sun, or even need to drink blood that often."
"Ah, lucky," Gasper winced at that comment, although Issei didn't notice. "Wait, Gremory-senpai was talking to some bats at the park?" Issei left the question open for the crossdressing Vampire.
"Ah, that was me. It's a Vampire ability to be able to turn into bats. Some can even turn into fog, but I never managed that." His voice became lower as he described his deficiency.
"Don't worry Gasper," encouraged Rias. "We'll get right on that when we have some free time."
"Onee-sama," the petite Vampire responded in awed adoration.
"Ne, Onee-sama," said Koneko. "My feet are starting to get numb, can we sit down now?"
"No, Koneko, we are not done expositioning yet."
Akeno and Gasper let out an exasperated sigh.
"Wait," As Issei looked, he noticed the club members were still standing all this time, strategically behind Rias on either side. "Have you seriously been letting them stand all this time, just for dramatic effect?"
"Of course!" Rias exclaimed proudly.
She didn't even deny it!
"Then," Issei gained the club's attention again. "If you guys are Devils, and Gasper is a Vampire," he quickly added the last part. "Does that mean there are Angels, and...Fallen Angels," he said, remembering the term Rias first used to describe "Yuuma-chan".
"Yes, that...is the heart of the matter, isn't it?" Rias said with an apologetic smile at Issei's situation.
And so Rias told him.
About the Three Factions. Angels, Fallen Angels and Devils.
About the Great War, and what it cost all three races.
About the Biblical God's gift to mankind, how it inspired legends, and why he was targeted.
The Sacred Gears.
"I see, I...have a Sacred Gear. How does anyone, you, Yuuma-cha- ...Yuuma, or anyone know that I have it?"
"Well, there are multiple ways. A spell to detect what type of Sacred Gear you have, although that's usually used after it is confirmed someone has a Sacred Gear, or the spell user had a hunch or was astronomically luck when using it on a random person. There are people with exceptional supernatural sensing ability. And then it could be because the Sacred Gear itself was special." Akeno answered him. She and Koneko stop going along with Rias's dramatic flair, and sat on the opposing couch from Issei, while Gasper returned to his box. Rias was predictably pouting at this betrayal.
"The Sacred Gear itself is special?" Asked Issei.
"Yes, some Sacred Gears have powerful beasts sealed within them, and as such cause their user to, at times, have said beast's aura or characteristic." Replied Akeno.
"So what you're saying is...I smell?"
"Yep, of dragon, nyan."
"...I see." All of this happened because I smell...
"Yes, Issei," Issei looked at Rias, feeling that she might oddly, have an inkling of his thoughts. "If you don't take showers daily, you will-"
"It is not something that normal people can smell Issei." Akeno cut her off. "It is something that a person with supernatural senses can feel about you. Even then, that Fallen needed to be close in order to confirm, if the 'aura' of a dragon was coming from you or not."
"I see." Thank god, that's one thing not to worry about. I made sure to shower this morning.
"If you want to remove the smell, I personally suggest-"
"Rias," Akeno drew out her friend's name, like a mother scolding a child.
"So," Issei tried to drive the conversation away from Rias and Akeno arguing. Also because he was getting excited at the idea that he might have superpowers. "How do I use this Sacred Gear? Is there a special method? Do I meditate?"
"Alright," Rias stood up with enthusiasm and a large grin. "Here is what you do."
"Rias," Akeno warned her from mischief.
"This is going to be the most difficult thing you do in your life." And Rias promptly ignored her.
Issei found himself standing up facing Rias, matching her energy. "Yes, ma'am!"
Akeno sighed, knowing that there are times, even she can't contain Rias's antics. Koneko and Gasper looked on in excited amusement and curiosity respectively.
"Tell me Hyoudou Issei, what is your passion?" Rias asked with a voice that promised glory.
"Oppai!" Issei unashamedly replied with determination.
"What do you dream and yearn for?"
"What lies in your heart?"
"What is this stupidity?" Akeno muttered quietly.
"Then call for it Issei! Imagine it and call for with all your will! The Oppai that will bounce the heavens!" Rias thrust her hand, pointing up to the sky.
"OOOOOOAAAAAHHH!" Issei followed Rias's motion. Imagining them with all his might. The Oppai. The Perfect Oppai. The balance of tender softness, and firm hardness. The Oppai that face the harshness of life, yet remain delicate and firm, as a supporting beam for the hopeless. The Oppai that could engulf a man in the sweetest of hugs, and give them a safe place they could truly call home.
He cried out for it from the bottom of his heart and for his powerful desire, it manifested.
His Sacred Gear of course, not the boobs.
[Huh, wha's happen'in?...]
For a moment, Issei thought he heard a drowsy voice, but he ignored it as his imagination for the transformation that unfolded.
Emerald light burst from his left hand, illuminating the clubroom in its extraordinary glow. A red gauntlet materialized on Issei's left arm from motes of red light. It held a green gem placed on the back of his hand. The gauntlet covered Issei's left arm up to his forearm, with curved yellow spikes coming out near the end, on both sides of his forearm.
"Woah, is that what being manly is like?" Gasper muttered in awed speculation.
"Nyaahahahaha, that's the dumbest power awakening ever!" Koneko clutched her sides in laugher, while kicking her legs in the air.
"Is that.." Akeno lowered her face into her hand. "I really wonder what the past Boosted Gear users would think, if they could see this right now."
"Akeno~" Rias shouted with a whiny scowl. "I'm the one doing the dramatic announcements around here." And with that she turned to face Issei with a "surprised" look on her face. "Impossible! Is it truly? The Sacred Gear spoken of in legend. One of the Thirteen Longinus, the-"
"Boosted Gear." Issei said with a smile.
The room grew quiet.
Gasper stared on attentively. Koneko covered her snickers, and Akeno held a small smile.
Rias had a deep frown that smile made her look like a grumpy cat. She raised her hand one digit up. "One."
"You get one Unpleasantness Point for stealing my moment. Gain three and it means War." Issei could feel the capitalization of the word. Rias promptly went to her chair and sat down grumbling.
"Umm...?" Issei looked around for help. Koneko simply looked on in amusement, Gasper just kept watch and...Akeno was apparently giving him a thumbs up. He found himself smiling a bit. He didn't mean to interrupt Rias, although admittedly her pouty face was cute.
Akeno coughed gaining his attention again. "Anyways, allow me to explain what that Sacred Gear you have is. It is called Boosted Gear; it allows the user to double their power indefinitely every ten seconds as long as their body can handle that power. It is one of the Thirteen Longinus. Tools that have the power to even slay Gods when mastered. I believe it's also said to have the spirit of a famous Dragon housed within it. No wonder the Fallen Angels viewed you as a threat."
"I see." Issei looked at his left hand, examining the gauntlet in detail. Suddenly it occurred to him that he can just walk around with it. "Um, how do I turn it off? Errr, make this thing go away?"
"Just think of it as returning to your body, or disappearing."
"Huh," Is it that simple? With just a bit of concentration like finding a button at the back of his mind, he mentally clicked it, and the Sacred Gear dispersed into light and disappeared, returning to where it previously resided. "Huh, talk about user friendly," he muttered. He then turned to Akeno as another intrigue the dawned on him. "So, they knew I had this Boosted Gear and wanted to take me out?"
"I would say they probably thought you had a potentially strong Sacred Gear, but not a Longinus, otherwise they wouldn't have deployed only one Fallen Angel to kill you, as they would have wanted to make sure to not leave a body for any Devil that chanced to find and revive you."
"Revive?" Issei jaw dropped in surprise at this new knowledge. Devils can bring back someone from death?
"Rias," Akeno looked to her President, as it was her responsibility to explain this part. She kept staring at Rias unrelenting. Rias at first was ignoring the conversation and looking to the side. The stare kept pounding at her, until Rias found herself looking back at Akeno who continued her stare unflinchingly.
"Oh okay, okay." Rias finally said after finding herself beginning to sweat. "Fine then, Hyoudou Issei, allow me to tell you about the Devils' Peerage."
She told him how the Devils developed a method to repopulate their numbers. The Evil Piece and how they worked, and most importantly how they worked in relation to reviving someone.
"So you can bring back someone from the dead, but only if they died recently. That's...wow, that pretty amazing. Even with a time limit, giving someone a second chance like that awesome. Also," Issei gained a wide perverted grin. "It's like having your own personal harem."
Rias had a grin, she open her mouth.
"Make that joke and you will have no tea for a week!"
Rias closed her mouth with a whine.
Issei found himself chuckling at the exchange, and then quieted down to gather his thoughts. Today had been...really, really long. It was a roller coaster of the most bizarre events of his life. His girlfriend tried to kill him, he discovered that the supernatural was real, and that he had a legendary item that in game terms would be "the most hax and unfair thing ever".
At this point he couldn't help but think "what do I do now?"
"Well," Issei looked up to see Rias answering him. Looks like he said that last thought out loud. "I would say you earned a good night sleep. You look like you need it. Koneko-chan, please escort Hyoudou-kun back to his home, and take care of any bugger that bothers you guys." Rias surprisingly had a kind understanding look to her, rather than her goofy carefree one.
Issei look at the windows behind Rias to see that the sky had become dark already. I didn't even notice the club room's lights turn on.
"Also," Akeno moved and brought out some paper strips from her pocket.
"Koneko, put these around Hyoudou-kun's house." She handed Koneko the paper strips and then turned to Issei. "They will form a protective barrier against anyone with ill intentions toward you or your family. It wouldn't hold them forever, but it will send us a warning signal of an attack and buy you more than enough time for us to arrive and help."
"I see," Issei gulp at the news. "Will, will my house, or, or my parents be attacked?"
"The Fallen Angels wouldn't want too much attention put on their actions, so they will mostly focus on you. Also with that 'Yuuma' girl's failure they aren't likely to attack you anytime soon, seeing how we responded the first time."
"Oh," Issei released a sigh of relief. "That's good to know. Thank you for everything. Gremory-senpai, everyone." He bowed to all the club members in turn. "Devils are really different from what I would have expected from the stories." He scratched the back of his head with a sheepish smile. "Again, thank you for everything," he bowed once more.
"Hyoudou-kun." Issei raised his head, as the red haired Devil addressed him. "You can just call me by my first name, since I hope we'll be friends from now on." Said Rias with a wide smile.
"Same here, Hyoudou-kun." Added Akeno with a gentle smile of her own.
"Uh, um..." Issei turned to the quiet member of the group. "S-s...same here, senpai."
Would you please stop being so cute!?
"Ah, I see." Issei found himself blushing at being accepted by two hotties, and Gasper. "You can all me Issei then, although my friends call me Ise."
"Very well Issei-kun."
"Get home safe."
"Well then," Koneko began headed to the door. "Let's get you home nyan." She said with a fist pump in the air.
"Not a chance pervert! It's Koneko-san or sama, nyahahaha." Koneko opened the door.
"Ugh!" Issei felt like he was physically hit by her rejection. "Fine, Koneko-san."
"I prefer 'sama'," Koneko stuck her tongue out at him.
That discussion continued for a while long after Issei closed the clubroom door and left with Koneko.
"A Longinus Wielder, huh. Of all the things..." Akeno contemplated on where this development will lead.
"Gasper," Rias now focused on the young Vampire. "Do you have the footage?"
"Ah, yes." Gasper retrieved the camera from his box and brought it to the redhead. "I made sure to get everything clearly and with good audio quality."
Rias opened the side screen of the video camera and played the scene in the forest.
"Enough! There was never a relationship. I simply pulled him out here to kill him. The rest of this so-called 'date' was just for my amusement."
"So, your intentions along was just to kill him. That's it? No love, nothing?"
"YES! Now, you? Shut up. And you? Can die!"
Rias stopped the video and closed the screen with a smile. "Great, now Akeno make several copies of that. Gasper, you did great today. Thank you again for helping."
"It's nothing, senpai." Gasper blushed at the praise, but still gave an appreciative smile. "It's fun, other than training or games, I feel like I'm not doing enough stuff." He said, looking down.
"Gasper," he looked up to see Rias had moved from her seat and was standing in front of him. Hands on her hip, bent down to meet his eyes. Then she ruffled his hair.
"Senpai!" He deflected her hand, unable to hide the hint of a smile.
"No frowning in this club room." She stood back up, hand cross with confidence brimming from her. "You don't need to do anything, Gasper. Just being a friend is enough. You already helped me out a lot, and when the time comes that you feel ready to return." Her tone became gentler. "Then we'll go with you and back you up just the same."
"Thanks, senpai!" Gasper couldn't help beaming.
Akeno found herself smiling at the exchange. "So," she began as she examined the footage herself, and prepared to leave for her task. "Should I expect Issei-kun to join our club in the future?"
"Well," Rias moved back to her chair, throwing her weight upon it while Gasper returned to his game. "Maybe. I can't exactly predict the future, nor can I expect to be able to protect him twenty four seven. Should he agree to it, I will train him so that he can protect himself and his family, maybe even have him as part of our patrol group. Who knows, if that works out and word spreads that a Dragon is guarding Kuoh City, maybe that will deter some of the less dumb Stray Devils. The reputation of a Dragon would definitely be seen as scarier than the 'Lowest Ranked Devil in History', wouldn't you say?" Rias said with amusement.
"I see," the black haired Devil nodded. "And if he just wants a normal life?"
"I'll try to appeal to his sense of adventure, and if his answer is still no? Well, we have been looking after this place just fine for the past two years, I think we can manage." Rias replied nonchalantly.
"And if he wants to be a Devil to get a harem?"
That got Rias's attention as she held a faraway look, really contemplating the possibility. "I guess he'll be joining the Student Council." Said Rias with a nod.
Akeno held a melancholic expression.
"Rias, having the Wielder of the Boosted Gear as part of your Peerage will definitely-"
"Principles!" Rias sharply cut off her friend. "Are called that because we don't get to drop them whenever they become inconvenient to us, Akeno. I'm not going to change my policy on recruiting, even if it's the Red Dragon Emperor."
Akeno slumped her shoulders and let out a sigh, having already expected Rias's answer.
"Alright then, I'll go and make copies of this." Akeno held up the video camera. "What about you? What're your plans?"
"I," Rias stood up, "Am going to meet my bestest bestie." Rias throw her hands in the air, as she held her wide grin.
"May she rest in peace." Akeno place her hand on her chest in morning.
"Sona-chan's not dead!"
"No, but I expect that stroke to happen any day now."
"Hmph," Rias pouted and crossed her arms. "You're my Queen, stop teasing me, and being a general killjoy!"
"Are you going to act like a grown up anytime soon?"
"Well, there's your answer." Akeno turned on her heels, and began to walk away. "Oh by the way, we are almost out of tea leaves. Thought you should know before we actually run out." She said as she closed the door behind her.
"Hmph, I'll get her back for that." Rias muttered before she turned to the effeminate bloodsucker. "Gasper, I'm going to Sona-chan's, want to come with? Tomoe-chan might be there."
The young Vampire thought about it for a while before he shook his head. "No, I'll wait for Koneko-chan. We had a few quests to finish together."
"Eh!?" Rias gasped in surprised. "Aren't you gonna wait for me? I thought we're taking down the Lich King together?" Rias looked like someone killed her puppy.
"Not for WoW, we have a League campaign that we have been doing."
"And you didn't invite me?"
Truly betrayal stung deep.
"You were busy senpai."
"Ugh," Rias looked to the side.
"How about the next one?" Gasper pushed his attempted to cheer his senior.
"Alright," Rias nodded firmly. "Next time then. Bye, Gasper!" Rias waved wildly as she left.
Gasper thought of the eccentricities of his friends. The past year and a half had been one of anxiety, excitement, fear, exertion and even content. He had found a family that accepted and supported him, and even got to walk in the daylight without as much difficulty as he used to.
Maybe...maybe one day he'll go back home to fix things.
For now, he turned his game back on.
Time to become the new Dracula! MUWAHAHAHAHA- God that's embarrassing.