Vol 1: The Beggar Princess - Part 3
For one Hyoudou Issei, yesterday was the worst day of his life.
Not only did his first girlfriend try to kill him, he discovered that the supernatural was real, and that he would be targeted for the rest of his life, for having a secret superpower.
And then worst of all, he lost a Rock-Paper-Scissors game and was banned from porn for a week. Worse he can't cheat and look at some while that demon cat wasn't around, as she would just use her devilish powers to sniff out the truth from him.
And then there was the punishment.
"Oh and Issei-chan?" Koneko stopped on her way to leave and looked back at Issei, still kneeling in tears over the pile of ash that used to be his porn books.
"Just a reminder that you don't break the rules during this week. Because if you did, I would know, and then there would be pun~ish~ment?" Koneko waved a finger playfully on the last word.
"P-p-punishment?" He didn't even want to imagine what her deviant mind would come up with.
"Yep. You know how Gasper still isn't used to large crowds, can only talk to small groups and tends to just disappear when too many people are around?"
"...Yes," Issei answered not liking where this was going.
"Soooo, if you break the one week ban, you'll help Gasper in being more confident."
Issei knew he would regret the question, but he also knew he must ask it, least this punishment takes him by surprise. "How...would I do that?"
Koneko smilingly told him.
He shivered at the memory.
Should he do or say anything perverted, he would crossdress to help Gasper feel more confident in crowds. Truly Koneko was a demonic fiend.
Issei hugged himself to push away the shivers. Well, there were also good things that happened yesterday, such as getting to know Rias-senpai and the Occult Research Club. Also he did get to try his Sacred Gear a few times yesterday and experiment with it. The idea that he had a superpower felt him with a bit of a giddy feeling at times.
Issei looked behind him to see his two friends, Matsuda and Motohama. The three of them throughout the school are collectively known as, the Perverted Trio.
"Oi, Issei, why do you looked bummed up this morning?" Asked Motohama. The glasses wear boy was known as the Perverted Glasses or the Three Size Scouter for his ability to know a girl's three sizes from a glance. Also he was oddly enough perceptive when it comes to knowing something is bothering his friends. "What is it, you look like you lost your porn or something."
Terrifyingly perceptive. Or has very good perverted instincts.
"Oi don't joke about that. That's not funny man. Issei nothing like that happened, right?" Asked Matsuda. He used to be a former athlete and a sports star. Then he shaved his head and dedicated his life to admiring the female body openly.
"Naaah, of course not." Issei quickly lied. He really didn't want to say that he burned all his porn magazines. Even if they were his, those two wouldn't forgive him.
"Oh thank god, if anything happened to that porn I lend you, I would have been pissed." Said Matsuda, wiping imaginary sweat from his brow.
Shit. Paled a little at that. He had forgotten. Matsuda had lend him that special edition of a certain magazine. Special edition because it had extra full body pictures. He had burned it with the rest. I'll just have to get another copy later on and give it back with him none the wiser.
"Oh by the way, I'm gonna need that back by tomorrow." Said Matsuda, breaking any plan for Issei to fix this quietly.
"Err, why?" Issei nervously.
"Because I lend it to you long enough."
"You gave it to me three days ago!"
"That's long enough." Said Matsuda argued back.
"That's true." Said Motohama with a nod. Issei was just annoyed at this stupid team up against him.
"Shut up!" He shouted to Motohama. "You borrow my stuff for a month at minimum." He turned to Matsuda.
"That's because you're a sucker." Said Motohama plainly.
"What he said." Added Matsuda with a nod.
"Why you!" Issei gritted his teeth, ready to pummel the two perverts.
The Perverted Trio argued on their way to their classroom. Issei had thankfully made sure not to actually say anything perverted, fearing that Koneko was nearby. Although he wondered why his friends didn't ask about Yuuma-chan yet.
"Say, something is off about you." Said Motohama to Issei.
"Really?" Asked Matsuda and he gave Issei an inspective look of his own.
Oh crap, is he noticing I haven't said "Oppai" yet? Okay, change the subject. Models? No. Swimsuit issues? Of course not. Magical Girl anime? No, they will take about an R-Rated version of it. Dammit, there has to be something.
Then fortunately, or unfortunately, his mind he had avoided thinking about for a while.
"Guys," He said in a serious tone, instantly gaining his attention. "What do you think of eeem..." Crap, I need another word for "Oppai". Breast? Too direct. Female chest? Too clinical. Oh! Got it. "A woman's torso." Issei gave himself a nod at his brilliance.
"Well, a toned stomach is nice, but some muscular girls are also sexy." Said Matsuda.
"True. In fact there are some studies that say-" Continued Motohama, before Issei interrupted him.
"No, I meant 'upper torso'." Said Issei.
"...Issei, why are you not saying your favorite word?" Asked Matsuda slowly.
"And you have been acting strangely all morning. Are you really Issei, or are you some alien body snatcher that took his form and came to take your women?" Motohama suddenly shouted.
"That's the hentai we watched last week, you idiot!" Issei shouted. He internally panicked. He needed to say something that would get them off his back and not make a scene. "Look, something just came to me, and I couldn't stop thinking about it."
The two perverts listened intently.
"What do you guys think of...old ones and fake ones?" Issei hoped that was safe enough.
"You mean old breasts and implants?" Asked Motohama.
"Eww, saggy breasts are gross, man. Did you discover some kind of weird fetish?" Said Matsuda with an exaggerated look.
"What brought this on?" Asked Motohama.
"Well... I guess I was wondering if they are things to also be admired or despised. As a lover of all things... spherical" Good save. "I need to find the answer to this life defining question." Issei said, a closed hand held up, like a leader giving a motivational speech.
"Hmm, that is important." Said Motohama thinking deeply.
"Blah!" Matsuda shouted in disgust. "What's there to think about? Relics are to be forgotten, and fakes are to be rejected. Only the young originals are worth anything."
"Hmm, I would have to go with Matsuda." Said Motohama. "Old breasts are a reminder that everything eventually fades. While fake implants just makes you appreciate the real deal even more. They both serve the purpose of showing you that real genuine big breasts are the best by comparison."
"Ha! What naive notions!"
The trio winced as they turned to the new voice that filled them with annoyance and dread.
It was Kiryuu Aika.
Another well known pervert in Kuoh Academy. Who is a girl.
One would think that having a girl as perverted as the trio, would result in a close depraved douchebaggery of a friendship.
It wasn't. It was uncomfortable, awkward and humiliating. Mostly for the Perverted Trio. Aika was just that freaky for them.
"Y-you! Kiryuu Aika, get out of here. This is a discussion between men!" Cried out Matsuda.
"Yes, if you keep I'll rape you in my mind!" Shouted Motohama trying to appear brave.
"Oh really? So you imagine doing *BEEP* *BEEP* *BEEP* with a *BEEP* *BEEP* and *BEEP* *BEEP* *BEEP* as well as *BEEP*-"
"FOR GOD'S SAKE STOP!" Issei found himself shouting. He look on to see that his friends disappeared from his view. No that wasn't right, they were hiding behind him. The rest of the class simply looked on in horror and awe at how two of the Perverted Trio were frightened into retreating.
Cowards. Thought Issei. Only nearly shriek as he found Aika in his personal space.
"Now, you were saying if saggy breasts and fake breast are to be admired or despised, right?" Aika ask with that scary grin of hers. Technically it was just a perverted grin, but for the trio it was ─ Well, Issei wouldn't say "devilish" since he met actual Devils ─ like that of a horror movie monster.
Female perverts are definitely not what the trio had envisioned, when they met Aika. She can use the trio's ammo against them. Truly female perverts are to be feared.
"Y-yes." Answered Issei, unsure if he will want to hear what she will say.
"Shame on you for not figuring this out." Aika took a step back, placed her hand on her chest with her head held high, like a general about to give a speech. "Saggy breasts are to be treated with honor. They are the fallen warriors who have graced this world with their beauty. You can say that they are a testament to how art can not last forever."
"Woah," said Issei in awe.
"As for implant? If beautiful big breasts are the product of natural evolution, then implants are the product of technological progress!" Aika held her fist in the air. "They are the result of men and women who worked tirelessly to create awesome tits to look at. The proof of human advancement of civilization! The answer to your question Hyoudou Issei is an obvious one. The original boobs have value, but so do the fake boobs as well. In fact, there is no rule that a fake can't beat the original!"
"Wooow!" Issei began clapping in admiration at Aika's speech.
Yes, he had been a fool to worry if Rias-senpai's breasts are fake or not. He had thought they were beautiful from the first time he saw them, albeit with clothes on ─ however that does not lessen their magnificence one bit ─ thus there is no reason to admire them any less.
"By the way Issei, what do you think is a word that rhymes with 'pie'?"
"Opp-" Issei instantly slapped his hand on his mouth. Oh man, that was close. I almost said it.
Then Issei noticed Aika's disappointed sigh.
"Awww, that was so close."
"...Aika-san, what are you trying to do?" He asked warily.
"Why, helping out Koneko-chan of course." Her glasses seem to glow with evil purpose.
Issei's eyes widen in fear.
"What are you talking about? 'Koneko-chan'?" Asked Motohama.
"Issei why is she talking about Koneko-chan? You better have not touched our loli angel, you bastard." Matsuda grabbed Issei's shirt at this perceived crime.
"Angel" my ass. Thought Issei.
"Would you let go you lolicon!?" Issei struggled with this friend, it seemed another of the perverts fight over idiocy ─ as perceived by their classmates ─ was about to ensue.
"Oooh, he hasn't told you?" Aika said slyly.
"Told us what?" Asked Motohama, as Matsuda had succeeded in trapping Issei in a headlock.
"Why Issei tried to get his hands on our lovely School Mascot through a bet." Said Aika.
Gasps of horror and outrage were voiced all around.
"I knew it, you bastard!" Shouted Matsuda.
"What!? No, that didn't happen-"
"However Koneko-chan won and was able to extract a promise from Issei-kun here. He is not to say, do or look at anything perverted for a week."
Gasps of awe were voiced all around.
"And should he break that promise-"
"DON'T SAY IT!"
"He will crossdress with Gasper-chan for two whole weeks." Aika finished with her evil, evil smirk.
Silence fell on the classroom.
Mutters spread around the classroom.
Everyone held a contemplative look on their faces. In fact, some of the girls look like they were considering taking off their clothes for a moment.
Issei got himself out of the headlock, while his friend was stunned. The two perverts looked back at Issei with a calm, serious look in their eyes.
"Issei, is this true?" Motohama asked with the light reflecting off his glasses, covering his eyes.
"The punishment. Is it real, Issei?" Asked Matsuda.
"Y-yes." Issei said nervously.
"Then," began Matsuda.
"We'll help," continued Motohama. Both boys stood next to Issei in support with their hands on Issei's shoulder.
"You, you guys." Issei was almost moved to tears by the loyalty of his friends.
The two exchanged a look, and then grabbed Issei's arms locking him in place.
"In making sure you lose!" Shouted both Matsuda and Motohama.
"Why Issei, funny enough," Issei looked up to see Aika had grabbed a magazine that was in one of his friend's bags. "There is something for you to look at here~."
He immediately looked away with tears in his eyes. There was porn and he could not look at it. He was in hell.
"Why!?" He shouted desperately.
"Because that's what friends do."
"You tried going after Koneko-chan before I did."
Each of the three answered.
"Come on~ Issei-kun. Just open those eyes and look~. Why, this model, Haraha-san, looks absolutely fantastic in that new swimsuit." Said the whispers of a tempting demon.
"Come on, Issei." Matsuda tried to add his "encouragement".
"Are you or are you not a pervert? The self-proclaimed future 'Harem King'?" Said Motohama.
"Nooo," Issei struggled to keep his eyes shut. "Must. Not. Look!"
Gathering his strength, Issei twisted out of his arm holds, turned around and ran.
"No, someone hold him down!"
"Anyone, quickly grab some porn!"
"Look at my boobs, Hyoudou-san!"
And then began the most bizarre chase in Kuoh Academy's history. The girls, boys and even a member of the staff chased one of the Preverted Trio, not to punish him, but to show him porn.
"God damn you, Kiryuu Aika and you too, Koneko-sama!" Shouted Issei while running through the halls.
Issei could have sworn that he heard that catlike laughter at that point, echoing in the distance.
Kouh Academy. Class 2-A. Five minutes till the last class ends.
It had been a fierce battle for Hyoudou Issei so far. Word had spread throughout the school of his "bet". Apparently that had spurred a school wide hunt to show, or make Issei do something perverted.
The irony was painful for Issei. Thankfully, the faculty had put an end to this chase as class had started, and all non-lesson materials had been confiscated.
However, Issei wasn't out of his laborious trial yet.
After struggling all day to avoid any of the treasures of life, provided by his peers even, he made it to his last period of the day. He sat closest to the door to be able to get out first. Finished all his work so the teacher doesn't make stay after to finish up ─ thus leaving all his classmates to wait in ambush outside.
Now he could only hope his teacher, Makoto-sensei, won't pull anything on him.
Yuudai Makoto was a pretty good teacher all around. Diligent, organized, explained concepts easily, long chestnut hair, an awesome toned body, large bountiful breasts, and the personality of a guy most of the time.
In fact, she was still single as most guy she dated felt like she was too manly. Not only that, but she absolutely hated people talking about her looks.
So naturally, as karma would dictate, Issei had spoken at length, near ear shot of her, of her lovely figure and delicious Oppai. She was pissed.
Issei could only hope that she will just ignore him this one time. He cautiously looked up from his book, only to see her smirking cruelly at him.
Dammit! Issei quickly averted his eyes, before looking at the clock. Still freakin'' five minutes!
"Well now brats," Began Makoto-sensei. "I would say we covered just about everything today."
She can't be that petty. Fear began to grip Issei's insides.
"Soooo, you guys can self study for the rest of the period." Makoto-sensei gave the sentencing verdict without mercy.
She is! He thought, as he looked around to see a lot of his classmates mirror the teacher's expression of malicious mischief.
"Hey Issei-kun~." Said the voice of the evil, eeeeevil Kiryuu Aika.
"Yeah, Hyoudou-san, let's study together."
"Hey Hyoudou, how about we form a study group?"
A few girls and even guys that wanted to make him lose ─ even the traitors Motohama and Matsuda ─ chimed in.
"Um, no, I'm-" He began to protest.
"Come on, Issei-kuuun~."
"Yeah, more people 'studying' can help each other."
"Awww, don't you want to partner up with us Issei-san."
Issei looked at the clock in desperate hope. Almost 3 minutes left. Dammit, is there no escape!?
The classroom door opened.
"Excuse me, Yuudai-sensei. Is Hyoudou Issei here?" Asked Hanakai Momo of the Student Council. The white haired girl's appearance halted all activity in the room.
"Yes! Thank you God!" Issei pumped his hands in the air as he stood up and dashed to meet the Student Council member.
"Where do you think you're going Hyoudou!?" Shouted Makoto-sensei.
"Well obviously the Student Council wants me for some task, or to be punished for something. Either way it mean I can leave right? Since it is important enough for you to come all this way, right?" Issei cried out in hope.
Hanakai looked around the room for a bit, before her eyes landed on Issei. After a moment, she turned to address the teacher. "Ah, Sensei, I was told to inform Hyoudou-san," she nodded toward him. "To come to the Student President's Office at his earliest convenience."
She then looked back and smiled kindly at Issei.
"Of course, if Sensei still needs him for something, then he can just come after class."
And just like that the hope within Issei's heart was crushed.
"No." The quiet word escaped Issei's mouth. Full of lose and despair. He looked back to meet his teacher wide bright smile.
"I'll be sure to send Issei to meet the Student Body President," it was a false hope. "After class. As he is leading a very important study session now."
He looked on from Makoto-sensei to Hanakai, mouth open as words escaped him.
"Alright then, thank you. Farewell Hyoudou-san." She said cheerfully.
The door closed with a click.
Issei slowly turned back to the expectant class and teacher.
Sona Sitri sat in her office alongside her Vice-President and Queen Shinra Tsubaki, simply attending to her duties as Student Council President of Kuoh Academy.
The rest of her Peerage had errands to run or contracts to fulfill. Her two Bishops, Hanakai Momo and Kusaka Reya, were sent to scout the location of the abandoned church where the Fallen Angels and Stray Exorcists resided. She ordered them to only get the layout of the area and nothing more. There was no need to scout the opponent's strength since she already had the information on them, but to simply know the battlefield so they can use it to their advantage. They had spells to hide their presence and would use binoculars, enhanced with magic ─ not to mention their own senses ─ to view the place from far away. So there should be no worries.
As she finished another page of the paperwork, Sona simply hopes that at least that much would go well in spite of the string of misfortune that had been happening around here lately.
Well more so than usual. The Stray attacks aren't unusual, but the frequency lately had been a bit too much.
At least the paperwork she's currently doing is helping her mind to relax. Yes, she could just enjoy this peace and quiet. Or at least she tried to. As always, dealing with the Pillar Families was nothing but one annoyance after the other.
After sending her reports and receiving the typical "congratulations on a good job" and "sorry that you had to be involved in our mess" ─ which were both a formality and thus empty of any genuine gratitude ─ she received two letter that held a more personal touch that detailed an apology from the Naberius and Berith Families due to this recent event.
In all honesty it was a headache. What was worse than dealing with a straight up known enemy, was trying to determine the position of a party that wasn't actively with you or against you.
Thinking about it more calmly now, the Naberius are allied with the Focalor, who Rias did humiliate in that rating game before. The memory brought a satisfied smile to Sona's face. The Berith however, had never been against us and had been more or less neutral. It would make more sense for them to have been pressured into this situation since at most they hold the rank of Knight.
And yet Sona couldn't be sure, as this is the first time the Berith acted against her and Rias. There might be other reasons to account for.
The headache of politics was also why rating games were so liked in the Underworld. It gave a very clear distinction on who is with you or who is against you. Also you get to punch said people who gave you headaches in the face.
And the potential for anyone to be able raise their status and class, but mostly it was the "punch them in the face" thing.
I really hope the meeting with Hyoudou will be less of a headache.
As though summoned by her thoughts, Issei burst into the room, and slammed the door behind him, putting all his body weight on it, making sure it stays shut.
"Hyoudou-san, what are you doing!?" Tsubaki stood in her chair and shouted at this delinquent-like behavior.
"Told," pant, "to come," pant, "after class," pant, "straight away."
"Punctuality is good, but so is your conduct," countered the Vice-President.
Issei simply rested his hands on his knees, trying to regain his strength.
Sona raised an eyebrow at the renowned pervert's entrance and the state he was in. He looked like he had been through a meat grinder, not to mention his loud panting and heavy sweating.
Always the imagine of the calm, undaunted leader Sona simply asked, "Was there a reason for that entrance of yours, Hyoudou-san? And why do you look so...disheveled?"
"I," Issei began, only to stop, catch his breath, and stand up. "I had to sprint..."
Well obviously, but why did he overdo it?
"Dash, jump, crouch-"
"Swim, sneak, misdirect, smoke bomb-"
Oi, oi, oi. That's too much- Wait.
Quickly Sona used her senses, and a small analysis spell to see if this was really Issei, or Rias screwing with her again. She wasn't sure whether to be relieved or worried when it turned out to really be Hyoudou Issei.
"Somersault, trampoline and glide my way to get here." Issei finished his monologue with the look of the soldier returning from war.
Tsubaki looked on in confusion unsure on how to comment, given Issei's serious expression.
Sona tilted her head to the side as she considered what he said. "Glide?" She asked, since everything else was feasible.
"Glide." Issei nodded, not elaborating in the least.
Sona thought about the events Issei had implied. All the struggles he had probably gone through. She could just have him explain what happened to him. Maybe even start wondering if Issei's single interaction with Rias affected him that much, or was this just a normal use of the skills he accumulated from his runs from the female students. Maybe even force to elaborate on the whole "glide" thing ─ His jacket did seem more torn up than the rest of his clothes.
She did hear about the "bet" all things considered, so it is interesting how he had gotten to her office without losing. At least she did hear that he lost yet.
I really can't bring myself to care.
"Very well." Sona simply stated, ready to move to the matter of her meeting with Issei. "Hyoudou-san, please have a seat."
Tsubaki wasn't sure if she herself should be worried that she simply nodded and when along with her King.
Was Rias's attitude desensitizing her to madness, or was Kuoh Academy always like that? Had Rias attracted the madness to Kuoh Academy or was Kuoh Academy always filled with these events and thus Rias chose it? She put these questions for later as she pained attention to Sona and Issei.
"Umm..." Issei looked on warily. He was tense, fully alert to some unseen danger in the room.
Did he notice we are Devils already? Tsubaki thought to herself. Is that why he's nervous? But with his meeting with Rias-sama, I didn't think he would have a reason to be afraid.
Sona however had deducted the reason for Issei's caution. "There is no reason for you to worry, Hyoudou-san. If I had wanted to make you lose that 'bet' I would have simply shown you an illusion, or made a much more elaborate trap."
That's why! Tsubaki made sure to keep her stoic image.
"Illusion?" Asked Issei.
In response Sona materialized her Devil wings, and in turn Tsubaki followed through.
"Eh, Kaichou and Fuku-kaichou are Devils too!?" Issei shouted in surprise, his previous worry subsiding at this revelation. "But," his eyes narrowed. "Doesn't that mean you just have more power to make me fail?" He said, pointing dramatically.
Sona stared back flatly. "Do I look like the sort of person who would engage in these meaningless drivels?"
Tsubaki discreetly send a magic signal to the Peerage members in school to cancel their preparations for plan "make sure Issei ends up crossdressing".
Silence echoed in the room. For a while Issei, Sona and Tsubaki stood still, as this standoff, no matter how idiotic, continued.
Issei lowered his arm, his face red in embarrassment. "N-no, I would say you are not." He scratched his cheek, remembering how Shitori had always been a serious person.
"Good. Now please take a seat, we have wasted enough time as it is."
Immediately, he acted on the authority of her tone and sat in the chair in front of Student Council President's desk.
Sona and Tsubaki dismissed their wings. Sona leaned back into her chair, and Tsubaki sat back down, her desk located in the side of the room, to Sona's right.
"Tsubaki and the members of the Student Council are part of my Peerage." She answered his unasked question.
"Oh!" Issei nodded in understanding at this information. "Are there other Devils in this school?"
"Other than mine and Rias's Peerage, there aren't any other Devils in Kuoh Academy, or Kuoh City for that matter."
"Ah, I see." Said Issei. "So, um..." Issei fidgeted in his seat, unsure on why Shitori Souna wanted to meet him. "Why did you call me, Shitori-kaichou?"
Could it be that Shitori-kaichou is a rival Devil to Rias-senpai? Is it the sort of thing where they are from opposing families and are in the human world as a test to see who is stronger?
Issei continued to think on why Sona summoned him here.
Maybe they are both descendents to the Demon King and are in a battle selection for the throne? Or maybe...
Thankfully Sona answered him, stopping his escalating train of thought.
"I understand you got...introduced to our world ─ magic, Devils and Angels etcetera ─ yesterday. So, how are you coping?"
"Um, well," Issei found himself surprised at being asked about this. "I guess it... could have gone better." He tried at a smile, hoping to joke off yesterday's murder attempt toward him. "I mean, it was scary and a bit shocking, but I guess its fine. It's kinda cool." He smiled for real and chuckled as he remembered a certain redhead and her group. "It was actually pretty fun later on."
"Hmm," Sona nodded, having a idea of why he would describe his experience as "fun" even if he almost died from it. He was probably still processing it all, but his meeting with Rias seemed to have helped.
She had the energy to stop a Fallen Angel assassination, right after dealing with those Strays? Her unending stupid energy is almost unfair. She thought as her lips twitched in humor, before he forced her stoic look to hold.
"I see. I am sorry that you had such a rough experience, but I'm happy to hear that you were not scarred by it." She said politely blunt. "It is good that you are keeping a positive attitude, but what do you intend to do now?"
"Eh?" Issei looked at her perplexed. "Do what about what, Kaichou-san?"
"Hyoudou-san," Sona began, her tone holding a slight sympathetic edge to it. "Had you been someone who held a weaker, or more common power ─ or better yet, had you been a normal person who was simply caught up in this peculiar situation ─ you could have walked away from this, or lived some semblance of a normal life." She shook her head with a sad sigh and continued.
"However, you are this generation's Sekiryuutei, the wielder of one of the thirteen Longinii, the Boosted Gear. I'm afraid that is no longer an option for you." Sona didn't mince her words. "For that reason, you only have a few options: You can train and be strong enough that attempting to kill you would be too much of a hassle, but that can take a long time and will cause you to be involved in many conflicts later on whether you want to or not. Or you can find someone strong and influential enough to protect you, but that means you would be in debt to them or under their service for the rest of your life."
"Isn't there an option where people from the supernatural side would just leave me alone?" Issei immediately asked.
"Sure, you could find someone with a 'Sacred Gear Extraction Device'." Sona began thoughtfully.
"Really?" He asked his eyes lighting up at the prospect of no longer being targeted.
"But the process would almost definitely kill you." She cut through his rising hopes.
"THEN HOW IS THAT ANY GOOD!?" He shouted as he stood up, before realizing how he acted and sat back down with a blush covering his face. "Erm, sorry," he bowed his head. "I mean, so is there nothing else I can do?"
"I'm afraid not." Sona took a deep breath then continued. "For training you would still need someone to look after you and keep you hidden while you train your power. Should the wrong sort find you before are ready, you would find yourself in a very tight position, with very little bargaining power, or just plain dead."
Issei's eyebrow twitched in disbelief and annoyance, at how limited this options are beginning to appear.
"So it's basically 'get strong or die'." Issei said with a scowl.
"Sona-Kaichou, if I may?" Tsubaki politely asked to take over the explanation to which she received a nod. "Hyoudou-san, while your situation may seem grim, it doesn't have to be a 'You versus the world!' situation. There are many sides you can join for protection." Tsubaki began to explain with a smile.
"There is the Youkai Faction is Kyoto. Then there is the Church, you could sign up as an exorcist. There is also the Grigori. Or you could outright search for another mythological Faction." She told him
"Another...mythological Faction?" Issei tilted his head.
"Short explanation, all myths are more or less true. Like the Olympian Faction housing the Ancient Greek Deities and other figures from their myths. There are other factions that are just the same like Norse Faction, the creatures and beings from it are true. Some factions however no longer interact with the world, like the Sumerian Faction, the Incan Faction, and thank all the Satans, the Dreamtime are no longer around." Sona cut in to add her bit.
"The...Dreamtime?" The name sounded weird to Issei.
"The figures and beings from the Australian Aboriginal Mythologies." Issei bemused to witness the rare sight of Shitri Souna actually shuddering.
"Anyways," Sona continued imperturbably, as though her previous apprehension was an illusion. "Those are your options. Find someone to help you get stronger, or someone to protect you, however do note that those who will take you under their wings will probably want something from you."
"Something from me?" Issei asked wary.
"Well," Sona said with a sardonic smile. "You are a Longinus user, that's a power they would probably want you to use for them, otherwise why take you in?"
"Right," Issei blush with a sheepish smile. His question was kinda silly.
The Boosted Gear owner grew quiet as he thought about what the Sitri Devil told him. It seemed like this normal life was going to vanish no matter what it did.
It was just a matter of time. He thought depressingly. As he recalled her words, something occurred to him.
"You mention something called 'the Grigori', what's that?"
"Ah," Tsubaki answered. "The Grigori is the organization that Fallen Angels belong to."
"What?" Issei stated wide eyed. "Why would I go to the guys that tried to kill me!?"
"Technically," Sona injected. "The Fallen Angels as a whole don't want you dead. The one that tried to kill you is most likely a rogue Fallen."
"How can you know that?" Issei cried out.
"Because their leader," Tsubaki began to explain. "Azazel loves working Sacred Gear users and helping them train their powers to see their full potential. He is a Sacred Gear researcher and thus would abhor the killing of Sacred Gear users. Besides if you join their side, they cannot kill you without pissed off their boss, especially with how rare your Sacred Gear is."
"But if one of them decides to kill me anyway like Yu- Amano-san." Issei tried to hide his discomfort at the name. Sona didn't comment, but Tsubaki wondered why Issei would seem hesitant at mentioning a girl's name.
"As I said, under Azazel's protection, none of the Fallen Angels would dare harm you. Also he is likely to be your best chance at getting stronger very quickly." Tsubaki replied.
"But if his mooks are already-"
"Hyoudou-san," Sona interrupted their argument before it devolved circular back and forth, that simply wasted time. "We have discussed the options that you have before you, as well as who you could join to help you. However, there is a very obvious group I haven't discussed yet." She paused, Issei listened with rapt attention. She made sure to hold his gaze. "Us, Devils."
Issei eyes widened in realization. Right, of course! "You mean, join your Peerage?" He exclaimed.
"Ah, Rias already told you about that," Sona nodded to herself. "That makes things easier. Yes, Hyoudou Issei, how would you like to became part of my Peerage?" Sona got right into the heart of the matter.
Issei grew quiet as he contemplated this matter deeply. His thoughts turned to Rias and her Peerage. Rias-senpai and Akeno-san are ideal Onee-samas, and Koneko - no matter how evil she is - is pretty cute and has the loli factor. He did not think about Gasper. Souna-kaichou on the other hand and her Student Council seem to be going more for quantity. So which to go for? Hmm, this is tough.
As Issei calmly thought on the matter, Sona felt an odd irritation for the perverted boy all of a sudden.
He better not try deciding this on whose group is hotter. Because hers totally was.
"Um..." Hyoudou began after a while. "Shitori-kaichou, I mean, thank you for telling all of this but..." Issei blushingly struggled with his words.
Sona quietly chuckled at his obvious decision. "While I do not condemn your choice, I feel should tell you now that it won't work."
"Eh?" Said Issei, feeling knocked off. "Why not?"
Could it be that they really are rivals? Do I have to break my way out of here, or wait for Rias-senpai to mount a rescue mission for me?
"I'm not saying I'll stop you. You're welcome to try," said Sona clearing up his assumption. "It is
simply that Rias will not take you in due to her policy on Peerage recruitment."
"Yes, Rias's policy on recruiting into her Peerage is," Issei leaned forward. "That she doesn't."
"Eh?" Issei nearly fell forward, before righting himself back into his seat.
"To be exact, Rias doesn't reincarnate people into Devils that become part of her Peerage. It doesn't matter who it is, she won't add them to her Peerage. Also, she won't revive someone into her Peerage, she will just let them move on in peace, rather than bring them back to the world of the living. I believe she once said that the only instance in which she will reincarnate someone into a Devil is someone critically injured and dying, and only with their consent. However, even that isn't likely as Akeno is a very accomplished user of the healing arts." Explained Sona.
Issei blinked once, twice. He just pondered what he just heard in silence. After a while, he spoke again. "Why?"
Elbow on the table, Sona rested her head on her hand as she answered. "I'm afraid, you'll have to ask Rias personally on that, as it's not my place to tell."
"What about Akeno-senpai, or Koneko-sa-sama." Issei annoyingly corrected himself at the end.
"There were special circumstances as to how those two came under Rias's command, but again, not my place to tell." Said Sona.
"But," Something stood out of that explanation to Issei. "What if another Devil comes to her asking to be part of her Peerage?"
"Hmm," Sona raised an eyebrow. "I suppose in that instance she might agree, however Issei-kun."
Sudden Issei felt a chill run down his spine. The temperature in the room dropped, and not in a metaphorical sense.
"I hope you're not thinking of using me as some sort of messenger mule to enter Rias's Peerage. That would be a pretty rude thing to do If I were gratefully accept you into my Peerage. If you were to do such a thing," Sona smiled, her eyes narrowed projecting her very annoyed aura. "I might get...angry."
"NO MA'AM! THE THOUGHT NEVER EVEN CROSSED MY MIND, MA'AM!" Issei stood up and shouted like a soldier, feeling his life momentary on the line.
Sona quietly chuckled as she leaned back into her seat. "Relax, I was only joking." Issei let out his held breath in relief. "Maybe," he stiffened again. Sona gave a small elegant giggle.
"Kaichou," Said Tsubaki in a form of scolding.
"Alright, alright." Said Sona with a rare relaxed smile. "So, Hyoudou-kun," she turned to Issei once more. "What is your answer?"
Issei sat down, crossed his arms and closed his eyes as he thought deeply on what to do.
Should I really join Kaichou-san's Peerage? I mean her group is filled with beautiful girls. In fact joining the Student Council - which they will have to invite me into to explain if I need to leave class. Like all those manga stories where the heroes have secret identities and need an excuse to leave their daily ongoings. But...
And yet his thoughts went back to the crimson haired Devil.
"Umm, can I think about this?" He finally asked.
"Sure." Sona answered back. "I'll leave it as an open invitation till my Peerage is full."
"Ah, I see." Issei realized her answer met he is on some sort of time limit. "How long is that?"
"Currently, I have a Rook, a Knight and three Pawn pieces free. You have until I fill those positions up."
"Right," Issei stood up. "Thank you, Souna-kaichou." He bowed and turned to leave.
He thought about everything he was told, about his situation and his options. It seemed like he couldn't be by Rias-senpai's side. But then again, he could join Souna-kaichou's group. There were other options, true, but he didn't want to leave home and go on some weird mythical journey to join gods from another mythology.
Maybe he could ask somewhere close to home. Maybe go to the Ise Grand Shrine in Mie and talk to Amaterasu-Okami-sama.
Woah! Did I just casually considered doing something that anyone in Japan would find monumentally unbelievable?
However, while other options did seem appealing, Issei still wanted to be close to his home.
Maybe, I should ask Gasper. He isn't a Devil, but he was part of the Occult Club.
"You're welcome." Sona answer back with a nod. Tsubaki gave one of her own as a send-off as well.
Issei left the Student President's office and entered the hallway. However, it was due to being in deep thought that he didn't notice the group of students outside of Sona's office till he closed the door.
Issei blinked. Once, twice. He looked around and then, "God dammit."
After Issei left, the Student President's office returned to its usual quiet work pace.
Sona was looking over the club reports, and current budget, to determine how much goes to which. However, things were as peaceful as usual, as she could feel her Queen's questioning gaze.
"Alright Tsubaki, out with it." Said Sona not turning away from the papers before her.
"Sona-kaichou, why is it that you did not use a more-"
Whatever Tsubaki was about to say, it was cut off by Issei bursting into the room, not too different from his earlier entrance, and slamming the door behind him, muffling the shouts outside. He locked the door for good measure, before leaning against it.
"Hyoudou-san! I believe I told you that is not how to conduct yourself!" Tsubaki cried out in rebuking again.
"Sorry, sorry. Really didn't mean it. Sona-kaichou, can I please use the window?" The Oppai lover banned from all pornographic material pleaded.
"Window on the left is closest to the trees outside." Sona causally answered, while pointing to said window.
Without another word, Issei opened said window, and jumped out.
The room held a stunned silence for a while, although that was mostly Tsubaki at seeing this bizarre occurrence.
"You were saying Tsubaki?" Asked Sona, seemingly unaffected by anything.
"Right," Tsubaki quickly regained her composure. "I was asking, why you did not use a more aggressive approach to recruiting Hyoudou-san? Like saying that if he joined your Peerage, he can train himself and raise his rank to a High Class Devil, thus be granted his own Peerage."
"Or the possibly to court Rias."
"I suppose. ...Court?" Tsubaki questioned.
"He has a crush on her." Said Sona with a slight playful smile.
"Ah, I see." Nodded Tsubaki. "Yes or that."
Sona placed the papers down and leaned back into her chair. "There are a few reasons, he wouldn't really join my Peerage, because he wanted to follow me. He would clash with you and the others, and I don't think you are as tolerant as Akeno nor Koneko in his antics." She gave Tsubaki a questioning gaze, which was replied with a shudder.
"Thought so. Also, I really don't have the patience to have something like the madness of Rias's behavior infiltrate my Peerage."
Tsubaki looked aside at that comment. She wanted to tell her King not to feel down, but that such event has already occurred. The fact that Sona was too used to chaotic behavior around her was a huge sign, on how comfortable she had become with Rias and shenanigans similar to hers. Yet Tsubaki didn't have the heart to tell her.
"Mostly however, it's the attention he'll bring." Said Sona.
"Hm," The Sitri heir nodded. "It is a gamble to acquire a piece like him. It opens up a lot of avenues, but it also attracts a lot of opposition. From those who would want to fight him, to those who want to see the Devil that could command the Red Dragon Emperor, or use our group due to use having the Boosted Gear wielder." Sona sighed, and looked down at the letters from the two Pillar Families, Naberius and Berith. She looked back to Tsubaki. "We are strong, have no doubt about that Tsubaki, together I believe all of us can stand against anything."
Tsubaki felt warm pride at her King's faith in her and the rest of their Peerage.
"However, until every one of you is strong enough that none can take advantage of any of you individually, I would like to not gamble with your lives."
"Kaichou," Tsubaki was touched by Sona's sentiment but, "aren't you being overly cautious?"
Sona grew quiet. She thought about the Pillar Families that oppose her due to her association to Rias. The ones who oppose her due to oppose to her sister, the Demon Lord Leviathan.
"Sadly, Tsubaki, I can't afford anything less."
And the one who stands as a devouring abysmal sea between her and her dream of equality for all Devils.
"For we are surrounded by monsters."
I will destroy the Underworld you designed, Zekram Bael.
Panting, with dirt and cuts on his clothes, Issei finally made it to the Occult Clubhouse.
He knocked and entered, "sorry for intruding."
"Ah, hello Issei-senpai." Answered the shy voice of Gasper Vladi.
"Hey, Gasper." Said Issei with a slight hesitance due to finding only the Vampire within the club shed. "Umm, do you know where everyone else is? I kinda wanted to talk to Rias-senpai for a bit."
From his place in his cardboard box playing on the PS3, Gasper answered. "Uuum, Rias-senpai and Akeno-senpai are out shopping."
"Rias, I said no. You already bought those games, you spent enough of your money for today. You are not going to waste the rest buying costumes."
"But Akenooo~, I need them."
"I said no. Now put the Etna costume down."
"Oooh, what about this?"
"No, you can't have the Erza armor eith- wait, is that an actual metal armor!? Where would you even get this?" The bewildered Akeno directed the question to the shopkeeper.
"Here at 'HarunaS: Costumes for All', we pride ourselves for create any costume our customers want." Said the shop attendant.
Before Akeno could ask who would ask for them to commission a full armored Erza costume, or better yet, how this shop actually managed it, Rias had brought another costume.
"Excuse me, what about this?" Asked Rias the shop attendant.
"No, Rias. You're not getting a nurse outfit either." Said Akeno beginning to feel tired.
"You're right." Said Rias to Akeno's shock. "Do you have this for the measurements of one hundred and two, sixty, and eighty nine centimeters?"
Akeno blinked in surprised. "Rias how do you know my- Scratch that, why are you giving her my measurements? I don't want you to buy a nurse outfit for me?"
"Of course not, Akeno." Rias handed the costume to the worker. "You are buying it for you."
"I'm not going to spend my money on something useless. Why would I want a nurse outfit?"
"Because you're the healer on my team, and everyone likes being healed by the Hot Nurse, thinking a healing Angel has arrived for them." Rias looked up while waved a hand dramatically, as though looking at an actual Angel descending from the Heavens.
"I'm Half-Fallen, and I can work well without the costume, thank you very much." Akeno deadpanned.
"I'm pretty sure your healing power would increase by twenty percent at minimum with it." Rias hypothesized with a self congratulatory nod.
Akeno facepalmed. "Maybe, I should ban videogames from them for a while." She quietly mused.
"Oooh, this is lovely." Rias cried out at another costume, which the shop attendant happily showed her.
"Maybe even cut off the electricity and save money," Akeno muttered again, before looking up at what Rias was getting worked up on now. She blinked a few times, taken aback by the new costume. "That looks way too authentic- wait, is it even legal for it to look this real!?"
"Ah, I see, and Koneko-sama?" Issei looked around cautiously.
"Koneko-chan has...a meeting." Gasper looked away from Issei as he said that.
Issei thought that the crossdresser was feeling wary of Koneko. It wouldn't be difficult to imagine that the poor fellow was not exempt from her mischief.
In truth Gasper was just trying not to let out a laugh.
"Squad Tamago Leader, report!"
Koneko was in one of her daily routines of meeting her familiar, their subordinates for reports on activates in Kuoh City, missions that assigned them, as well as training any new recruits. The catgirl turned Devil was in a warehouse at near the outer most forests of the city. Before her stood her troops.
Fifty trained magically enhanced cats, divided into five squadrons, and their Commander, her familiar, the white cat, Shiro.
The addressed cat, an orange color chartreux, stepped forward.
"Mrruw, mrruw, ow, rrruw." And began meowing.
Naturally Koneko understood each word, and simply nodded as she processed his important report. "Alright nyan, tell me if anything changes in the market area, and if the pastry shops add any new desserts, nyan."
It was a very important report.
"Squad Sushi Leader, report!"
A white Japanese bobtail with a black tail stepped forward. He meowed and Koneko nodded. "Hmm, I see 'a big uneven X was brought to the broken cozy place'. Thank you, Sushi Leader." The cat gave a loud nyan and returned to his place.
"Squad Taiyaki Leader, report." Shouted Koneko and black cat answered her. "Hm, hm," she nodded at the report. "I see, perverted dragon idiot didn't screw up till now, nyan. Well there is the whole week. Keep your eyes open, Taiyaki Leader. You and your troops, nyan!"
"Nyan!" Squad Taiyaki shouted as one.
Accepting their cries of "Yes, Empress!" with a nod, Koneko turned to the next squad.
"Squad Daifuku Leader, report!"
"Why do I have the feeling that something scary is happening?" Issei looked around, suddenly felt a shiver.
"Eh?" Gasper asked, acting like he had not heard what Issei said.
"Nothing, nothing. So, I guess they are not here." Issei said, more to himself and not the young Vampire.
"No, but...I'm sure they'll be back by sundown at most." Gasper looked at Issei from the corner of his eye as his continued his game.
That's still three hours away.
Issei suddenly self conscious of being in the same room with the so called "Innocent Princess of Kuoh", regardless of the fact that Gasper was a boy. It felt a bit stifling. He didn't have anything against the boy, he simply didn't know how to act with something cute, that he should not be calling cute.
Alright, make up an excuse and leave. Issei thought to himself.
"Ah, okay then. I guess, I better-"
"Umm, Issei-senpai?" Came Gasper inquiring tone, as he paused the game.
"Yes?" Answered Issei, and already on the door handle.
"D-do you like videogames?"
Issei looked back, seeing the Vampire boy in his box, alone in the clubhouse. It was odd that the boy was alone, since he did have friends in school, and many girls liked being around him. Another thing that caused Issei to experience an odd conflict.
But none of them know he is a Vampire.
It wasn't difficult to imagine that the effeminate boy felt alone in a crowd.
Or maybe he just wants someone to play videogames with till Rias-senpai and the rest return.
"Sure." Issei moved to sit on the carpet floor next to Gasper. Right then, he remembered something and paused. "We're not making any bets though."
Gasper giggled at that last comment, causing Issei to frown.
"Okay, no bets." Gasper gave a cheeky grin. "It would be kind of unfair really."
"Yeah, supernatural senses and physical abilities are a cheat." Issei sighed while shaking his head at the unfair truth of the world.
"No, I meant I'm just a better gamer."
Seeing the challenge, Issei of course could not back down.
"Ooh, you're on!"
It would be an hour or so later that Issei left, remembering that a shipment of new eroge games were arriving today, at his frequented game store.
Gasper was actually pretty fun to hang out with, once he got to know him. He still felt uncomfortable when he was close, but he was able to push that aside, so as to enjoy games and chatting, without letting it bother him. While he did lose in all the games verses mode, he and Gasper had a lot of fun with the co-op and rpg ones.
Thankfully, I didn't make any bets. Dammit, I should have asked him what being in the Occult Research Club was like. Or how he came to be with Rias-senpai and her Peerage without being a part of it.
Issei supposed these could be questions and discussions from another time. As for his game purchases, sadly Issei found that the first batch of his new, anticipated game - Symphony Heart: Mystery of the Boing - was sold out, the last copy one an hour before he arrived.
Aww, man. I was looking forward to being a sci-fi detective, seducing women, mutants and gynoids for clues to find the truth to the origin of Oppai.
Yes, the birth of the Oppai Detective Issei would have to wait.
Although when I think about it, I would have had to wait for another week to actually play, but it would have been worth it.
Issei sighed, remembering the dreadful ban upon him.
Should I go back home, or return to the Occult Research Club-
Issei's thoughts were interrupted by the sound of someone falling and hitting the ground.
And then he saw the most beautiful sight of pure white-
No, no, I refuse to lose! Dammit, God, why are you giving me fanservice only now?
Issei quickly covered his eyes, even made sure not to look from between his fingers.
"Ow, ow, ow."
"A-are you okay?" Issei wanted to wait until it was safe to look, yet he couldn't just ignore someone who was hurt.
"Ooow, how did I trip?" Said the nice soft voice, before some cloth ruggling was heard. "Um, where you talking to me?"
Feeling that the person was talking to him, Issei slowly removed his hand. Then he shouted internally for his good fortune. One, the person was now decent. Two, it was a lovely blonde, by the looks of it a foreigner. Three,
She's a nun! Banzai to purity.
"Um, excuse me, are you okay?" The girl asked him.
"Errr, yes?" Oh crap did his face show his perverted expression again. Damn, he wanted to control himself, but his passion just can't be masked. "Um, are you okay?"
"I am sorry, are you asking if I am 'okay'?" She said the last word in Japanese while point to herself.
Issei realized that the nun spoke a different language. It sounded...well it had a European feel to it. Great, there's a cute girl wanting to talk to him, and he didn't understand her.
God, why do you keep throwing irony at me?
After much useless talking, pointing and charades, Issei understood a few thing.
The nun's name was Asia Argento. She had arrived in Kuoh City today, and she was very, very lost. The girl spoke Italian and English, while only knowing a little bit of Japanese. Issei on the other hand only knew English very little. Thankfully together they were able to understand communicate somewhat.
After a bit more charades, he understood that she wanted to go to a church in the city. However, the only one that was around had been abandoned years ago.
While walking through, he saw her do something unexpected. As they passed by a playground, there was a boy with a scrape on his knee.
The nun, went as placed her hands above the injury. Then rings with emerald appeared on each of her middle fingers, and an orb of green light encircled the little boy's injury. Very quickly the scrape was gone, the boy was no longer in pain and crying.
"There, there. Little boys shouldn't cry." Asia said as she patted the boy's head.
The boy's mother however seeing his strange sight, quickly came and took the boy away. "I told you to not talk to odd people."
Issei frowned catching the last of her words. The young boy however turned and waved to the nun.
"Thank you, Onee-san." He shouted.
"He said, um, thank you- thank you." Said Issei pointing to the boy and then to her.
"It was nothing, it was due the Lord's blessing." The girl brought her hands together as though in prayer. Seeing Issei's confused look, her brow tightened as she held a deep thoughtful look.
"God!" Said Asia, pointing at one of her rings and the sky. "This power is a gift from god."
It's a Sacred Gear! Issei's eyes widened in realization. After all that's what a Sacred Gear is, an item given to humans by God of the Bible. Or at least her pointing to her rings then to the sky and saying "God" points to that.
He wondered if he should brag and tell her that he had one as well, however Asia's sad smile made him reconsider. It didn't feel like a good time to show off also having a Sacred Gear like her.
"I see." He simply nodded at her.
"Eeeh! Um, that wasn't me!" Asia's cheeks turned red, her expression of shock, at her stomach's sudden announcement.
Issei looked on in surprise at such a loud noise coming from such a petite body.
Asia blushed as her stomach growled again. The girl wobbled on her feet, looking like she hadn't eaten in a while.
"Asia-san, are you okay. When was the last time you ate?"
"Um, what's it's called? Food, fooood." He acted like he was eating something, before the word came to him. "Food. Yes, that's the word. You," he pointed to her. "Go," he gestured with his fingers having them act legs going somewhere. "Eat, food."
"Ah, you mean I should eat? I can't, I don't have any money. Um, err, oh! Money!" She pointed at herself and shook her head.
Issei was taken aback. He had to wonder how long she had been lost that she used up all her money.
"Okay, I can't just leave you like this. Come with me." He gestured for her to follow him, which she attempted to do.
He saw that she was dragging her suitcase and can see how heavy it was. He helped her with it, which she thanked him for, clamped her hands in prayer.
After she was done, Issei began to move again.
"Um, Mr. Issei, where are we going?"
"Food." He said and head with her to a fast-food joint.
"Hmm," Rias had been enjoying her time shopping and annoying Akeno, when she suddenly stopped and looked to the side, as though seeing something faraway.
"Rias, what is it?" Having known her friend long enough, to recognize her sudden silence for something serious, Akeno ceased her scolding of her.
"Sacred Gear user," She said, still looking in the direction she sensed them from.
"Anyone we know?"
"No. Female, young, Sacred Gear with a healing power."
"Huh, so someone with a Sacred Gear blessed with healing abilities."
"I mean, healing. Only healing. The Sacred Gear doesn't have an affinity or is leaning toward one side of the other. Its power isn't based on Light or Darkness, just the desire to heal. Its...actually kind of unique when you think about it, since healing artifact either have a holy element to them to help the body, or use dark element that uses a necromantic effect of just keeping the body going while speeding up its natural regeneration."
"I see. Enemy, ally, someone passing by?"
"We'll find out in a second," Rias took out her phone and began calling a number.
"You're going to call them?" Akeno said dryly.
"No, I'm gonna call someone with them, or at least near them."
Hyoudou Issei might not be the most pious person ever. Yet, he could not mentally stop thanking god from the sight before him.
"Euuuaa, this is delicious." Said Asia, moaning happily at another big of her burger.
Issei not having enough money for a fancy meal, took Asia to a fast-food restaurant. From there the entire experience was one giant moe inducing trip, in showing Asia the menu, to showing her how to eat a sandwich, to watching her moan in content at her, in her opinion, utterly delicious meal.
Really, just watching her reactions was pleasurable enough.
Right then, Issei phone rang.
"Hello?" He answer.
"Hallo, Issei-kun!" Came the loud cheerful voice of Rias Gremory.
"Senpai!" Issei found himself surprised at the call. "Hello, is something the matter? Wait, how did you get this number?"
"Because I'm magic."
Issei elected not to argue.
"Issei, I wanted to ask you thing. I want you to focus for me okay? Do you see anyone around you looks weird?"
That's not really something you of all people have the right ask.
"You just thought of something rude about me." Came Rias's accusing voice.
"No, ma'am. Of course not ma'am."
Dear god, please don't let her be a mindreader.
He heard Rias letting out a sigh. "Well, I suppose you're right. I'm not a mindreader after all."
...This is a coincidence. Yep, just a coincidence.
"So as I was saying, do you see anybody weird around?"
"Umm, I'm near a maid cafe, so..."
"A girl, young, might look out of place. Might give off an aura of purity and goodness."
Issei blinked at the description. It sounded it...
"Rias-senpai, are you somewhere near?" Issei asked beginning to look around.
"Rias Gremory is always near."
"That sounded very ominous, Senpai!"
"Really? I thought it would be reassuring."
"No, no. It most definitely was not."
"Um, Mr. Issei?"
Issei look up to see that Asia had finished her meal.
"Ah, right. One moment, senpai." Issei lowered the phone, and pointed to Asia on where the restroom was for her to watch her hands. He rubbed his hands over each other in manner of washing them under water.
"I see, I go there to wash my hands? Thank you Mr. Issei" For the moment, Asia left.
Issei brought his phone back up again. "Okay Senpai, you were asking about someone weird right?"
"Or stood out. There is a Sacred Gear user in town, you are near them, yes I know. So I want to know who they are and it they are here to cause trouble or not?"
"Asia-chan isn't here to call trouble!" Issei said heatedly.
"I see, so her name is Asia." Issei could hear the playfulness in Rias's voice. "Issei, you sly dog, you." She teased.
"It's not like that!" He cried out, before lowering his voice upon seeing the looks he got. "She's just here looking for the church in town."
"The only one in Kuoh is broken down."
"I know, but she still wants to see it, so I'll show it to her, and then we'll see." He shrugged.
"Issei...that church is where the Fallen Angels are."
"WHAT!?" Issei ducked again, upon getting more looks for his behavior.
"I can't let her go there. They'll kill her, or..." Sudden Issei wondered if Asia was in league with them. What if she was just playing at being innocent, like Yuuma, but underneath it she was just taking advantage of him. What if-
"I'm back, Mr. Issei."
Issei looked up to see Asia. Sweet kind Asia, smiling at him. He didn't know if this was an act or not. He really hoped her smile wasn't fake.
"Issei, listen to me, Fallen Angel can sometimes get Sacred Gear users working for them. Either voluntarily or forcefully. We don't know which is the case with her. We don't know if she is working for them, or being manipulated. So, I want to meet her to know which is which. Can you do that?"
Issei signaled Asia to wait a moment.
"Okay, what do I do?" He asked, lowering his voice, even though Asia didn't understand most of what he was saying.
"Alright, you know the Shiyumi Road that leads to the church at the end, right?"
"One of the branch streets that leads to the road is called Izaya Street. Go to the church from that direction. I'll handle the rest." Rias ended the call.
Issei look back to Asia's worried look. His heart tightened.
"Right," he said putting on his best smile. "Let's go."
As soon as Rias closed her phone, Akeno was next to her.
"Right, so what's your plan?"
"Send a message to Koneko, tell her to come immediately. In the meantime have some preparations to make."
"Right...what preparations?" Akeno suddenly felt apprehensive.
"Oooh, just going back to 'HarunaS' to buy something illegal."
"What!? Rias, don't you dar-"
And the crimson Devil was gone.
Issei kept clenching his hand while walking. He smiled to Asia every once in a while, or at least he made sure not to show his uneasiness. Thankfully Asia just smiled back, not noticing anxiety.
Dammit, where is Rias-senpai?
This was it. Just around this corner and they would be in Izaya Street. Issei clenched his hand. If there was nothing to stop them, they would land on the main road and then the church will easily come into view.
Issei was suddenly very conscious of his heartbeat. The anticipation was like a shadow creeping up on him.
This is it. He gulped.
The dragon boy and the nun turned a corner into Izaya Street and found…
A pair of police cars?
"What?" Issei didn't realize he said the words out loud.
"Mr. Issei?" Asia looked to Issei for guidance, worried and confused over this sudden obstacle.
"Um.." Issei looked at Asia and then back at the police cars. Actually looking at the whole scene, he could see a few orange barricades and even yellow tape behind the cars. There was a pair of policewomen at the scene, simply leaning on the hood of one of the cars. Issei thought about what Rias had told him. To just come this way and she would take care of things.
Holy crap, did she blow something up, and they declared it a terrorist attack and closed the area.
No. That probably didn't happened as he didn't hear any explosions, and there would have been more noise if that was the case.
"Let's check it out." He finally told Asia while pointing to the police officers, and moved toward them, Asia curious, and worried, yet dutifully following behind.
"Excuse me, Officer-san." Issei felt something was off. As he got near the policewomen and began to take in their looks, something screamed in his mind.
The policewomen were quite the contrast. One was tall and busty, the other short and petite. The both wore sunglasses, even though it was nearing sunset. The short one had a stoic, serious look to her, as she routinely blow her bubblegum and popped it. Her hair was blond and long enough to reach her knees, its color lighter than that of Asia's.
Something feels familiar about that.
"Can I help you, young man?" Asked the tall busty one, who had a playful look about her. Her short black hair, was in a bob cut and-
WAIT A MINUTE!
As soon as he registered her voice, he gave them another focused look.
It was Rias and Koneko.
There was absolutely no mistake, and from his shocked looked, they smirked - or at least Rias did - seeing that he figured it out.
Where in the hell did they get the tape and barricades? Scratch that, WHERE IN THE HELL DID THEY GET THE POLICE CARS FROM?
"E-excuse me, Officer, umm" Asia began, hoping that a law officer, would be able to speak English.
"Justice." Said Totally-Not-Rias.
"What?" Asked Asia taken aback.
"I amuuu Offizer Siar Justice!" Said Officer Siar Justice, crossing her arms under her chest, and nodding proudly.
"...I may not speak English, but that was horrible." Commented Issei. He looked to the side toward the nun. Surely she's going to suspect something like this. I mean who the hell would have the last name 'Justice' in Japan?
"Officer Cat Law." Was Totally-Not-Koneko's short introduction.
"Officer Justice, Officer Law" Asia nodded to each as she continued her inquiry. "Is something going on? I need to get to the church."
She bought it! Issei looked at this exchange mouth gaped.
"Zooorry, Shishtar, but church area clooooosed!" Was Officer Justice's overdramatized answer.
"That, seriously if you know English just speak it normally." Said Issei. He looked to Officer Cat Law to see her still chewing her bubblegum, blowing and popping it, staring coolly ahead.
"Eh! why?" Asked the shocked Asia.
"Church area, baaaad!" Officer Justice crossed her arms in an X fashion.
"What?" Cried out Asia. Issei seeing her for the time getting annoyed. Of course her frowning face looked cute too. "The church is a sacred ground, blessed by God."
"Pipe, explode!" Officer Justice waved her hands upward.
That sounds familiar. Though Issei.
"Gaasuuuu, everywhere." Justice spread her arms widely. "Inhale? Desu!"
She's using the excuse from Fate/Stay Night!
"You're a criminal and should be arrested for butchering an innocent language." Issei deadpanned.
"That innocent language is convicted of multiple charges of grand theft and larceny." Spoke Officer Law for the second time.
"And I'm pretty sure torture is also illegal, and that's pretty much what she's doing!" Replied Issei.
"Oh no, was anyone hurt?" Asia quickly discarded her destination, for the citizens concern.
"Non! Casualties, ZERO! Sneaky Gaasuu caught early. None to ospitals."
"Thank god." Asia let out a breath in relief, glad that no one was hurt.
"Please make her stop." He pleaded to Officer Law. "I don't even speak English and this is painful to listen to."
While Officer Law's face was fixed as stone, amusement was very clear in her eyes.
"Yaaaaas!" Officer Justice pointed to the sky. "Now, itsu cloooose to SUNDOWN! You kids, jo huuuume!" She ended her grand remark by pointing back to where they came from.
"Um, Officer Justice."
"How long will it be before it's safe to come here again?"
"FIVE!" She said showing all ten fingers.
Or five and five. Issei supposed.
"F-f-five days?" Asia looked disheartened. She had no money, only the clothes on her back and suitcase. Where will she will for five days?
"I, I see. Thank you, Officer Justice, Officer Law." She bowed to each of them, turn and walked away dejected.
"Um, Asia-chan!" Issei moved to follow her, only to feel his cellphone ring and vibrate for the tune made for messages. He took out his phones and opened the message.
"Take her to the clubhouse, and good job surviving the first day, Perverted Idiot. -Signed: Empress Koneko-sama."
He looked back to see her holding her cellphone and waving it at him.
"She is seriously overdoing it." Issei muttered, shaking his head at Koneko's antics.
Issei turned back to catch up to Asia.
His phone vibrated again.
"I heard that! That's it, tomorrow will not be as easy as today. -Signed: Empress Koneko-sama."
"YOU CALL THAT EASY!" He turned to her shouting.
"Eh? Mr. Issei, why are you shouting? Is that a problem?" Upon hearing his cry, Asia stopped and turned to look back at the boy who helped her out so much today.
"Ah, no, no. Its nothing, don't worry." He waved his hands at her, trying to gesture that there was no problem.
She looked worried for a while, but seeing Issei bright smile, she concluded that everything was okay, and nodded toward him.
Seeing her nod, Issei grabbed her bag, and mentioned for her to follow him.
Back at the police barricade.
"I would say our patrol was successful. Wouldn't you say, Officer Law?"
"I concur, Officer Justice."
"Truly, we have valiantly served the citizens of Kuoh this day. Protecting them from evil gases everywhere."
"Yes, for we are the guardians of justice!"
"Upholders of the laaaaaaw."
Suddenly the two Devils heard voices nearby.
"Where in the hell did you park our cars?"
"You don't think someone would actually break into a police car and steal it, right?"
"Calm down, they were right here, I'm sure."
"Um, guys I think I'm seeing the siren light from over there."
Rias and Koneko quickly straightened up "And that's our cue to leave." They took the barricade and ran.
The actual police officers would find their cars, blocking a usually unused street, along with some yellow tape strung around. They concluded that this was mostly a prank done by some very intuitive teenagers, but security on police equipment and vehicles increased dramatically due to this incident.
"Um, Mr. Issei, is this your house?"
After a lot of fast gesturing, and the word "home" thrown, Issei had convinced Asia to come with him to the Occult Research Clubhouse - thankfully the school gate was open - so that her housing situation can be answered.
"Excuse me, sorry for intruding." Issei knocked and entered the shed.
"Ah, hello, Issei-kun. And who is this?" Akeno's gentle voice was like a breath of fresh air to Issei after this weird and surprisingly long day.
"Oh, nice to meet you. I am Asia Argento." Asia bowed and cheerfully answered back, not noticing that she understood Akeno, when clearly she was speaking to Issei, and thus should have been speaking in Japanese.
"My, how polite." Akeno placed a hand on her cheek, glad to meet such a well manner young girl, unlike a redhead she knew.
"Hallo~" Said Rias from her desk, waving wildly at Asia.
Asia smiled, bowed and greeted the energetic busty girl as well.
Issei look at Asia and back at the Occult Research members, his nerves began shaking once more.
What if she recognize Rias and Koneko? What if she can tell they are Devil?
"Hello, nyan. Nice to meet you for the very first time." Koneko greeted her.
YOU'RE LAYING IT ON A LITTLE THICK! Issei looked at the Devils and Vampire gobsmacked, and quickly turned to look at Asia.
"Ah, nice to meet you too." The nun replied with bright enthusiasm.
SHE DIDN'T NOTICE AT ALL!
"...Hello." Came Gasper's normally muted greeting upon meeting someone new.
It looked like Asia hadn't noticed that she was surrounded by Devils - and a Vampire - and was quickly welcomed inside.
Thus, in a show of reminiscence to the first time he came here, Issei found himself sitting with Asia on one couch, while Akeno and Koneko were sitting on the opposing one. Rias was at her desk while Gasper was in his box.
After being served tea and scones - as seems to be customary - Akeno got to the matter at hand.
"So, Asia-san, you arrived to Kuoh today, correct?"
"Ah, yes. I was reassigned to the church in this town, but sadly there was a gas leak in the area, so I can't go there for now."
"Oh my," Akeno brought her hand to her mouth, looking sympathetic. Issei wasn't sure if it was genuine or faked. "That's terrible."
"Yes, when I came here I was lost and no one spoke my language," Asia looked down, before her cheerful demeanor return. "But the Lord sent me Mr. Issei, and he had helped me a lot today. I don't really know how to repay him." She looked back to Issei smiling with gratitude.
"Oh my, she's really praising you Issei."
Issei found himself blushing at that.
"So, what seems to be the problem, Asia-san?" Asked Akeno.
"Well," She looked to Issei, who simply nodded at her in encouragement. "I don't know if Mr. Issei told you, but I don't have a place to stay until the church is safe to stay in again. Mr. Issei brought me here, so…"
Asia didn't notice how Rias, Akeno and Koneko tilted their heads, like they had a sudden headache, however the motion caused Issei to wonder why the three would do synchronized head tilt.
"Hmm, I see, so housing is the issue." She turned to Rias, "well, Buchou?"
"Hmm, hmm," Rias with her arms cross, seem to be thinking deeply on the issue and nodding to herself. She looked up to Asia and gave her a thumbs up. "Well, the answer is obvious," Said Rias with a massive grin. "You can stay with Issei."
"Well, there are other options and some people I know who wouldn't mind taking you in for a few days, buuut," Issei leaned in, wanting to know the big reason for her throw Asia onto him. "It doesn't sound nearly as fun."
"That's your reason!"
"Um, I don't want to inconvenience, Mr. Issei." Asia shyly looked at the boy who had helped her till now.
"She says she doesn't want to bother you." Translated Akeno.
"Asia-chan isn't a bother at all!" Issei said heatedly, before realizing what his words would mean, and calmed down. "Well, we would have to ask my parents. I don't know if they will agree, but…" He wasn't sure why he was making excuses. It was a dream come true, yet he was worried something would mess it up.
"Excellento!" Rias gave a thumbs up. "Issei says okay." She told Asia.
"Eh, really?" Asia looked with anticipated gaily at Issei.
"Woah, wait Senpai." Issei said shock at the redhead. "You can't promise that."
"Don't worry, it will all work out." She told him.
"How do you know that!?"
Rias proudly tilted her head upwards. "Women's intuition."
Issei made damn sure not to look down.
"That's a cheat answer." He grumbled.
"I'm a cheating cheater who cheats Issei." Rias replied cheekily.
"I-if too much trouble, then please don't worry yourself." Asia said upon seeing Issei's distress.
"She's saying if it's too much trouble then you don't have too." Said Akeno as she calmly drank her tea.
"Its not trouble at all." He quickly turned to Asia waving the 'no problem' gesture at her again. He looked back to Akeno, "please tell her that she doesn't have to worry. Its no problem, I should be able to convince my parent. No, I will convince them."
"He's saying you can stay, and that he would be glad to welcome you into his home." Translated Akeno.
"I, I see." A warm feeling filled Asia chest. She felt glad for the first time in a very long time. She didn't understand why, but having someone standing up for her, brought a very joyful feeling to her.
"There see, it all worked out." Said Rias cheerfully. "And if your parents, really, really, really wanted to refused, there is always magic."
Issei blinked at the sudden supernatural topic being thrown out.
"Eh, magic." Asia looked around at Rias and the others, as though seeing them for the first time. Suddenly, something clicked in her head, all this time, Issei and her understood them, but she still didn't understand Issei.
"M-ms. Rias, you said 'magic'. Are you all Magicians?" Asia knew Magicians weren't necessarily hostile to the Church, but relation between Magicians and people from the Church were tense most of the time. Thankfully though, it seemed like Issei knew some friendly ones. Truly the Lord had been kind to let her meet Issei today.
"Ah, yes," Rias leaned back on her chair, elbow on the armchair, and her face rested on her hand.
She's going to tell her yes for now, and probably reveal the whole thing later when a better time comes. Issei thought and concluded about this situation. Yeah, it was good that everything like this would work out.
Rias closed eyes held an analyzing look, as though considering something heavily. Her internal decision made, she replied.
"Yes, Ms. Argento. Me, Akeno and Koneko." Rias gave a wide cheerfully grin to Asia, that set her at ease.
"We are Devils."