Vol 1: The Beggar Princess - Part 4
After Rias's declaration, everyone fell silent. It looked like even Akeno and Koneko weren't expecting this. The only sound still heard in the room was Gasper's button pressing on his handheld game.
"We're Devils." Rias repeated, her grin widening at Asia's shock. "Surprise!" She threw her hands in the air.
"D-devils?" Came the squeaking voice of the former nun, as she stiffened and straightened her back. She moved herself closer to Issei, grabbing his arm, as she scanned the club occupants.
"Um, Asia-chan..." Issei tried to reassure the young girl. Normally he would be thrilled to have a girl hold him, but he could tell Asia seemed nervous from this sudden revelation.
Then again, she is a nun and they are Devils. They are basically natural enemies. Seriously what were you thinking, Rias-senpai?
"It's okay." Said Issei lightly placing his hand upon Asia's. "Rias-senpai isn't bad. Neither are Akeno-san and Gasper, and Koneko...sama," said catgirl gave Issei an irritation inciting grin. "Okay, she's an evil nightmare cat from hell, but three out of four isn't bad."
"Yup, no mercy tomorrow." Koneko nodded to herself, as she made her decision in response to the Oppai Pervert's comment.
Akeno sighed, as she rubbed her forehead, while narrowing her eyes in annoyance at Rias's wide grin. Koneko and Gasper seemed to just quietly watch the ongoing scenes.
"Yes Ms. Argento, we are Devils." The mischievous demon continued. "And Gasper is a Vampire!" She added, throwing another revelation.
"Eh?" Gasper looked up at suddenly being addressed.
"V-vampire?" Asia gave a glanced to the boy in the cardboard box. She was surrounded by enemies of mankind all around, she prayed in her heart that God would protect her and Issei.
"And Issei!" Rias pointed at the boy dramatically.
"Eh?" Asia stopped, suddenly looking in worry at the boy that offered her so much help till now. Was he deceiving her? Was he also a Devil, an enemy of the Lord? She hoped not. She did not want for it to be true. Issei had shown her more kindness than anyone else had so far, and without any hidden intentions. She didn't want the memory of his kindness to be tainted.
"Is mostly an average human." Rias ended her supposed "dramatic" revelation with a shrug.
Asia let out a breath she was holding at the information, but tightened her grip on Issei. She wondered what the Devils - and Vampire - would want from her and Issei. They didn't seem to act wickedly nor cruelly so far, but she couldn't be sure they weren't trying to trick her.
Akeno, feeling a headache starting to form, simply stood up, moved to place herself next to Rias, and...
"Ow, ow, ow! Akenooo~"
Grabbed the mischievous redhead's ear, pinching the soft organ between her fingers.
"Ms. Argento, I would like to apologize for my King's behavior, but please have no fear. While we are Devils, we would not attack you unprovoked. I swear that for as long as you are our guest, we won't bring you any harm. And for Issei-kun, he is a good friend and a valued classmate, thus we would never think to harm him either." Akeno calmly stated while continuing her punishment of Rias.
"Akenoo~, it hurts~." Whined Rias.
"Excuse me, but I object to that, nyan." Said Koneko raising her hand. "I would totally harm Issei. I would harm his reputation, his self confidence, and anything that brings him joy, nyahahaha." The white haired girl laughed to herself.
"Go choke on a pretzel, Koneko-sama!" Issei heatedly cried back.
"It's nothing compared to the headaches you give me Rias, and Koneko," she turned to address the catgirl. "You do remember who handles the budget in this club, right? Desserts and pastries are looking to be such an excessive use of money this month."
Issei, for the first time, saw Koneko look horrified. His chest was filled with warm joy at hearing the reprisal.
"I'll behave, Onee-sama." Koneko said with her head down. One could even imagine cat ear folded down with her dejected pout. Actually wait, are those cat ears pointed down on her head?
Throughout this whole exchange Asia kept staring completely thrown off by the image of the supposed "evil" Devils. She had interacted with one of them once, but he had been injured and probably feeling gratitude to her for healing him.
But these were the "normal" everyday Devils, ones who just met her, and yet they were...cheerful.
The atmosphere in this clubhouse and around these Devils were homely. They didn't give her a feeling of ice and dread as she had expected upon meeting normal Devils. Even Issei didn't seem uncomfortable around them.
"Um, excuse me?" The nun stopped the bickering and ongoing shenanigans, as the room's occupants focused on her. Asia felt self conscious from the attention directed at her, by the supposed "evil" beings. "You are Devils, but umm, why…" She wasn't sure how to ask them politely why they weren't antagonistic toward her.
Akeno had let go of Rias's ear, who covered the throbbing organ. Rias pouted at her Queen who proceeded to sit down next to Koneko.
"Go ahead," said Rias after a while. She seemed to have an idea to what the young nun wanted to ask, but wanted to let her speak herself. "Ask away, Ms. Argento."
Her smile felt weird to Asia, it genuinely had nothing hidden behind it.
"I, um," Asia gathered her courage and simple spoke her thoughts. "Even if I'm a former nun, I am still a Servant of a Lord, so why… are you treating me so nicely? What do you want from me and ?"
Issei look toward the nun upon being address in her question, before looking back to Rias.
"She's asking why are we okay with her being here, and what do we want from her and you." Rias quickly explained to Issei. Rias then blinked as she thought of something. "Actually, Akeno this is getting a bit tedious, can you start up the magic circles for the translation spell?"
Upon seeing Asia's intrigued look, Rias elaborated.
"Right," Said Rias, and Akeno nodded excusing herself, as she moved to the side of the room, to draw a magic circle and prepare the spell. "Basically, I thought it would be easier on you and Issei, if you just understood each other without someone always having to translate. The spell would connect your minds so that the idea of the words you're saying would reach the other person, allowing you two to have an easier time communicating." She explained.
"But," Asia looked at the redhead in intrigue and curiosity. "All this, again, why are you helping me?"
Rias smiled, pleased at the question. "Because of Isse-kun here." She said tilting her head at the Boosted Gear wielder.
"Eh, Mr. Issei?" Asia looked to the boy.
"Gah!" Koneko seemed to gag at Rias's answer.
"Me!?" Issei himself was so surprised, that he forgot to snark back at Koneko's reaction.
"Yes," Rias nodded. "As Akeno said, Issei-kun here is a friend and classmate. If he believes that you're a good person, then you're okay in my book." She paused. "I do admit that I asked him to bring you here though, when he told me about your housing problem." Rias drank some of her tea.
"Eh, Mr. Issei did?" Asia asked surprised.
"Yes, he was quite worried when he saw your predicament." Continued Rias. "And while I sympathizes, I am the Governor of Kuoh City. I don't have anything against those of the church personally, but I needed to see what kind of person you are."
"Governor!? But, Senpai is only in high school!" Issei was gobsmacked. His senior was only a year older - presumably - and is already holding such a high level job!? It...kinda made him feel inadequate that his "career" life as it's been was being a typical perverted teenager.
"Not for any human government office, Issei-kun. But rather, I look after this area when it comes to the occult side of things."
"Ah." That made more sense.
"I...see." Asia said with some hesitance, beginning to see that she might have stepped into something huge. "So...I can stay? You said you don't mind the Church, but I was reassigned to the church here. So..." She was worried if she might upset this Devil for her supposed impudence, but Rias only continued to grin.
"Sure," said Rias. "As I said, you can stay and do whatever you want. However," Rias held up a finger like a teacher about to warn a student. "There are a few rules. Don't cause trouble, and don't harm anyone in my territory." Asia and Issei flinched at the slight edge in her tone at the end. "Unless of course there is a good reason, like someone else was harming people. Then its fine." And Rias returned to her easygoing self.
"Asia wouldn't hurt anyone!" Issei immediately said.
"I, I would never hurt anyone." Asia couldn't even imagine the thought.
Rias and Koneko giggled, while Akeno and Gasper smiled at the reaction of the two humans. As Asia and Issei confused look Rias explained. "It's so cute! You two are so close you are already saying the same thing."
Asia and Issei look at each other, before looking away blushing.
"Rias," Akeno said in light scolding from her place, having finished one magic circle and working on another.
"But Akeno, they're so adorable." Said Rias.
"I'm afraid I'm not drunk enough to see two nuns. So I can only see a nun and something people would throw at the side of the road." Koneko said the last part with a mock gesture of wrinkling her nose.
"Why you!" Issei glared at the annoying catgirl.
"What, where?" Asia looked around in confusion at Koneko's comment of something "thrown at the side of the road".
The Occult Club members couldn't help but find Asia's actions adorable.
"So, Ms. Argento," Rias brought her hands together. "I believe you had such an eventful day. Why don't we finish up that language spell and you can head on with Issei to his home? Akeno?"
"Preparations are finished, Rias."
Issei looked at the magic circles in interest, even though he couldn't make heads or tails of them.
"Um…" Asia seemed to grow quiet and hesitant at Rias's exclamation.
"This...isn't like Devil's Contract, right?" Asked Asia.
"Oooh! That's what you're worried about." Said Rias.
"Eh? What is Senpai?" Asked Issei.
"Ah, nothing. Just a small worry, Issei-kun. And Ms. Argento, no. This isn't a contract." She seemed to think about it for a moment and continued. "Actually if it was, there would be no need for the spell and I could just have you learn the language instantly. While Devils in general operate on contacts, I am one of the exception-"
"The only one." Coughed Akeno.
"-that doesn't." Rias pouted at her Queen.
At her look, Akeno shrugged and gave a playful gab. "Well, we are broke for a reason, Rias."
Rias maturely huffed in response.
"Contract?" Issei looked between the two Onee-samas of Kuoh, Akeno and Rias.
"One of the major activities of Devils in general is to make and fulfill contract with humans. Generally through a summoning where a wish is stated, and upon delivery of that wish, the contracted Devil would take some payment as compensation. Be it money, some item, or a favor." explained Akeno.
"So...the thing about taking people's souls…"
"Wow, the Church actually still says stuff like that, nyan?" Asked Koneko, tilting her head.
"We don't." Rias took over explaining. "Devils haven't made contracts for human souls for a few centuries now. In fact, it is a crime to deal in human souls, consume them or anything like that. And those who do are hunted by other Devils for breaking the law." Rias huffed. "Honestly, I can't believe anyone thinks that propaganda drivel is true. Do I look like a soul sucking monster?" She said to the two humans with a pout.
"No, no! Of course not." Said Asia quickly, not wanting to hurt the nice Devil's feelings.
"Rias-senpai is completely okay, even as a cute monster girl! I meant errr…" Issei stumbled seeing how his compliment is going wrong.
Akeno looked to the side, hiding her giggle with her hand. Rias just grinned wildly in amusement.
"Worst compliment ever! And you're really toeing the line Issei-chan. Really toeing it." Said Koneko shaking her head.
Asia looked around in confusion, before relaxing a bit at seeing the light-hearted atmosphere. She wanted to be nervous, to be afraid, but she could find no reason to.
It looks like the Lord had helped her by sending her to these peaceful Devils.
"SO, are we doing the translation spell or not?" Issei said quickly to divert the subject. He tried to hide his pouting fluster by drinking his tea.
"Sure just step up to the magic circles and Akeno will power them up." Said Rias as she raised her teacup to her lips, only to find it empty. "But first, Akeno! More tea for everyone." Rias cheered.
"Rias, we're out."
"Then more tea for me." Rias continued not breaking her enthusiasm.
"No, I mean, we're out of tea altogether. In fact," the dark haired beauty looked around to see all cups empty and Issei finishing his. "I believe that, is the last of the tea we have." Said Akeno pointing at Issei.
Seeing the attention on him and the subject, Issei stopped drinking. Except he already drank the last of the tea, it was in his mouth when he stopped moving making him look like a blowfish. His eyes met Rias who was staring back, even with closed eyes, very intensely.
What should I do? Do spit it back or swallow? Why is this so awkward!?
Issei held the tea for what felt like too long. He could either swallow or he would start to cough it out.
Rias seemed to glare at him.
Rias looked like someone killed her pet.
"How could you!?"
"I'm, I'm sorry but I already drank it!"
"You are horrible! Drinking my- Ow, ow, ow!"
It looked like Rias was going to start crying, except what happened was:
"Holy crap! Senpai, smoke! Is your face on fire!?" Issei stood up in worry. Asia looked on in worry.
"No, no. Its not my face it's my eyes." Said Rias while rubbing her eyes.
"Eh, your eyes?" Said Issei.
"Please let me help." Asia said standing up and moving to offer her aid.
"Calm down." Akeno stern voice halted both Issei and Asia. They looked to the Gremory Queen to see her moved to Rias's side and cover her eye, while filling her hand with a spell that produced cooling feel.
Now that Issei wasn't panicking he could see that it wasn't smoke coming out of Rias's eye, but rather…
"Senpai, are...are you crying steam?" He asked incredulously.
"Hehe, yeah sorry for scaring you guys." Said Rias with a silly grin.
"Honestly." Akeno scoffed. "Acting it up for a joke is fine and all, but you need to take better care of yourself." She then applied a healing spell.
It seemed like a normal thing, from how Akeno was causally dealing with the situation, and how the other members of the Occult Club weren't panicking.
"Senpai...why are you crying steam?"
"Ah, the thing is," Rias seemed to blush while smiling sheepishly. "I have laser eyebeams." She said in a completely serious blank face.
"WHAT ARE YOU, A ROBOT!?" Issei shouted reflexively.
"And I learned this power from a time traveller in a bunny suit." Rias completed with a nod.
"Mikuru-chan!" He then shook his head. "No wait, that's silly."
Rias giggled at Issei's comic back play. Akeno finished her spell with a sigh, satisfied that her friend is okay now.
"Not important Akeno, there is a much more serious matter." Rias interrupted in a serious tone. Seeing the look directed at him, Issei couldn't help but gulp in worry. "Hyoudou Issei!" Rias said and pointed dramatically. "You have now gained your second Unpleasantness Point."
"Wait! That's not fair!" He protested.
"It totally is!" Rias cleverly argued back, and definitely was not whining. "Trust me, it's taking everything in my being not to just, jump to three points and making this an all out war."
"Oh come on!" Issei counter-argued, not whined, back.
Asia's lips twitch almost in a smile, as she tried to keep her look neutral. Even if she didn't understand the conversation in full, there were no feelings of enmity, but rather a playful friendship of sorts.
Could coming to this country and Kuoh City be what is called, a blessing in disguise? She thought, holding back a giggle as she continued to the antics between Mr. Issei and Ms. Rias.
Akeno waved goodbye as the boy and the nun left, closing the door behind them.
"Are you really okay?" Said Akeno as she turned to Rias.
"Yeah, yeah." Rias waved her off. "I just forgot about it for a moment there, that's all. No need to make a big fuss about it."
Koneko and Gasper seemed a bit more relaxed now.
"Okay," Akeno sighed letting a matter drop. For now. There was another matter that was more urgent. "Now then, what was all that with Asia Argento about?" She asked, not worried about her voice being heard outside, due to one of magic circles on the shed's grounds activating by a bit of will and magic from Akeno, which helped keep things private.
"Eh? What do you mean? I just thought I wanted to see her surprised face. She washe sho adorable~." Rias answered with childish squee voice.
"Oh really." Akeno said back dryly.
"Well, it was pretty funny, nyan." Said Koneko.
"What do you think Gasper?" Rias asked, adding the boy to the conversation.
"...She seemed nice." The Vampire added after thinking it over. "She wasn't afraid after Akeno-senpai told her that nothing will happen to her, she also got really worried about you when your eyes..." He didn't say more, not that he needed to.
"Okay, we have established that she's nice, not a danger and probably not that bias against beings that are not humans and Angels, but again why reveal we are Devils?" Asked Akeno.
"Why not?" Rias said back with a grin.
Akeno narrowed her eyes. "Rias, you may act the fool however you want, but I have known you for a long time. When you act this unexpectedly there is always a reason. So out with it."
"Oh relax Akeno~, I'm just playing~" Rias waved her off, and spun in her rotating chair.
Akeno keep staring head on. Rias keep seeing the sharp stare as she spun around.
"Oh okay already!" Rias huffed as she rested her head in her hands while pouting at her Queen.
Akeno sat down waiting for Rias to start, while Koneko and Gasper listened patiently.
Rias's pose lost its merriness as she became a bit more serious. "I'm thinking of making her the center of a Three Peace Project."
Instantly Rias was met by wide eyes all around.
"Rias, what the hell are you thinking!?" Cried out Akeno.
"A...Peace Project. Isn't that...kinda too big Onee-sama?" Asked Koneko warily.
"Relax, relax. It's just a thought, nothing serious." Rias tried to placate them, waving the situation off and downplaying it. "When I saw how nice and accepting Asia was, I thought I should give it a shot. See how she would react. Sure she's innocent and a bit too trusting now, but maybe when she's a bit more mature and wiser she would fit the role better. But that can be gained by dealing with people and experience."
"A Peace Project," Gasper muttered to himself. "But Senpai, how would Asia-san be the center to something like that. Don't you need to work with Fallen Angels and Angels for that. Asia-san is a human. Even if she is from the Church, it won't…" He didn't want to say that her idea would fail.
"Not only that, the girl would have a lot of attention on her, and many would target her life. That chances that she will actually live long enough to get that experience, wouldn't be that good."
"As I said, it's just an idea. Nothing solid yet." Said Rias with a relaxed lazy smile.
"Rias, after last time, you shouldn't… you shouldn't be so blase about this." Akeno voice was heavy, her eyes showing concern and behind them a hidden fear.
"I'm not blase about it." Rias smiled reassuringly to Akeno. "I'm really thinking this through. There is a chance here that it might work. Maybe it won't, but I never said I will stop trying." She looked at her friends and allies with confident raised chin and pride in them. "Besides, I think we can handle it. If it gets too much, we'll pull out and I'll get on my knees and apologize for everything." She gave them a confident look. "Don't worry." She pressed the words.
"That's not the issue, Rias." Akeno said in a soft voice. Silence extended for a while, and finally Koneko broke it.
"Last time...?" Asked Koneko, looking at her two Onee-samas for an explanation. Gasper was also listening intently.
"Ah…" Rias turned her chair to the side, so she could look out the window behind her.
"Rias…" Akeno said with concern.
"It's okay." The redhead waved her off. "I think it's about time I told you two about it." She looked at her younger charges.
"About how my eyes got to be the way they are now."
Next day as Issei prepared to head off to school, he still had a hard time believing the turn of events his life had taken.
At times, he felt that everything around him was somehow related to the supernatural. Yesterday, he thought the clouds were acting funny, like there would be a storm about to brew, only for the clouds to disperse. He quickly dismissed the thought, as there was no reason for the magic side of things to be present everywhere.
When it comes to the real magic side of things, he thought back to how he went from almost being murdered by his girlfriend, to finding out Angels, Fallen Angels, Devils and all kinds of Gods are real, to having a nun live in his home.
That last part was what really threw him off. Maybe because unlike the others life breaking knowledge, Asia was there and he interacted with her.
Although, since she now lived in his house, he wasn't the only one she talked to.
"...So, long story short, can Asia-chan stay here for the next few days?" Issei asked hesitantly after his abridged explanation of his day and meeting Asia.
His parent, Hyoudou Haruka and Shingeo, continued to be gobsmacked for a while staring at their son and new friend.
They hugged each other balling their eyes out in joy.
"And here I thought, our loser son was going to live a lonely life forever. When you said his porn was gone I didn't realise it meant he really change!" Said Issei's father, hugging his wife.
"It looks like I might become a grandmother after all! So the gods have listened to our prayers. Our son stopped masturbating and brought an actual girl home, rather than a dakimakura!"
"WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU, YOU SHITTY PARENTS!? WHY WOULD YOU SAY STUFF LIKE THAT ABOUT YOUR OWN SON!"
Yeah, that meeting was weird and awkward. Even more so when Asia innocently asked about what Issei's parents meant.
At the moment, Issei was putting his shoes about to head on his way to school.
"Mr. Issei, are you heading out?" As he stood up, he turned to the caller, to see Asia having come to see him off.
It's like being newlywed, and a beautiful wife seeing me off as I go to work. He didn't voice his delusions - she would understand him if he spoke - nor did he cry, simply keeping the image to his heart.
Looking at Asia he saw she was wearing a light blue dress his mother had given her, and in her hands was a copy of an Italian-to-Japanese and visa versa dictionary, that Rias had lend her - Issei also had his own copy. He remembered when Rias handed them the books and said she just happened, by complete coincidence, to have them with her.
Real subtle, Senpai.
"Yeah. Is there anything you need, Asia-chan?" He asked.
"Um…" She hesitantly looked down trying to muster the courage to ask what's on her mind. "It's just…"
"...Yes?" Issei asked, trying to sound encouraging.
"I didn't get to see your school last time. We headed straight to Ms. Gremory's house." Said Asia.
House, huh. I wonder if Senpai and the other actually do live there… They don't, right? Issei thought idly.
"So um, if it's not too much trouble. Could Mr. Issei show me around sometimes?" Asia smiled hopefully, illuminating the room.
"Guugh!" Issei looked away clenching his chest.
CUTE! Too cute! This cuteness is criminal.
"Of course!" He said with a wide grin, as he turned to her. "I'll definitely make sure to let you see all of Kuoh Academy. Just you wait Asia-chan!"
"Thank you, Mr. Issei." Asia beamed in reply.
Saying their goodbyes, Issei headed off to school in a bright mood.
I would have to ask the administration to get a visitor's pass. Maybe Sona-kaichou wouldn't mind helping me out on this? He thought as he went about his way, before his thoughts landed on a different subject.
Yeah, that could work. I mean Student Presidents are given some privileges since they have a lot of responsibility. Her having a visitor's pass of her own is possible. I could ask her at lunch toda-
Then Issei remembered.
"Oh crap, I still have to survive not seeing anything perverted until then." He muttered to himself, with misty wide eyes at the trial he would have to endure.
Issei sat on the couch in the Occult Club, panting and sweating after a long ordeal of a day.
"Water, Issei-kun." Said Akeno presenting him with glass full of that sweet icy cold water.
"Thank... you…" Issei took the glass the downed it in one go.
"I have to say, I really was surprised to see that surprise sex ed. class being presented in classes today." Remarked Rias, grinning widely at Issei.
"Yeah. Surprising." Said Issei as he drank the water and placed the glass back on the table. "So surprising that thankfully, it wasn't an issue if you didn't attend it, due to it being on short notice." He said in a dry tone, as he thought on the shenanigans of his day.
He had to deal with the usual people, throwing porn magazines at him, or girls trying to flash him. With bitter tears, he was successful in avoiding seeing anything erotic. However, upon arriving on one of his classes, he saw that there was a sex ed. class being held instead of the usual lesson.
That he was able to sit through the entire lesson without seeing or saying a single perverted thing was a testament to Issei's will, intellect and plain luck. The teacher kept picking at him, and not even the "my throat is closed and I was pepper sprayed" excuse deterred them. Thankfully, Issei's knowledge of the scientific terms for the parts in human anatomy that were asked about helped him through that lecture. Evading everyone, to get out, while keeping his eyes closed, was another challenge afterwards.
Seriously, a sex ed. class, that just happened to be today, without any announcement before hand. Actually, why would the school organize something like a sex ed. class all of a sudden!?
Issei voiced the thought in curiosity at how such an unlikely thing could happen.
"Karma catching up to you." Koneko said with a wide smirk. Issei simply huffed and glared, too tired to come up with a retort.
"Hmm, the school could simply have scheduled this lesson and everyone forgot the date for it." Akeno added helpfully, although everyone was skeptical at best at that assumption. "Or it could be that all the faculty united and request to give out such lecture upon hearing about your situation. Of course, that's just silly, the teachers couldn't be angry at Issei-kun to go to such length, right?"
"Right!" Issei said with a firm nod, then started counting the number of teachers that are annoyed at him enough to go out of their way to arrange something like this.
Let's see. Makoto-sensei, Homura-sensei, Takashi-sensei, Hotaka-sensei...
Okay, maybe he needed to be a better student. Guess even the guy teachers would be annoyed at him checking porn or playing eroge in class.
"Although," Rias tapped her chin. "It might be possible to push a req-
Rias's cellphone rang.
"Ah, speak of the Sona-chan." Rias answered. "Hello Sona-chan~."
While Rias talked with her friend, Koneko turned to Issei.
"So, I guess I should say congrats on surviving the second day, nyan~." The white haired cat Devil smirked.
Issei looked back in annoyance. He knew Koneko shouldn't be able to have organized something as big as a change in lessons plans and on such short notice. Or at least she shouldn't. Did she use her Devil powers somehow? Mind control the faculty maybe? He wasn't sure, but he knew one thing.
"I'm gonna pay you back for this. I don't know when, I don't know how, but I will." Issei gave a low growl.
The catgirl's smirk grew sharper. "Oh, really~? Well won't that be fun?"
"Yeah, it will. You won't-"
"Of course, I'll help Sona-chan." Rias's loud voice cut through the exchange between Issei and Koneko. "We can easily deal with one, while you handle the other."
Issei wasn't sure what Sona was requesting of Rias, but he then remembered Asia's want to visit the school. He had completely forgotten to go to the school's admission or to the Student Council due to the day's events. He waited till Rias was about to end the call before he added.
"Um Senpai?" Rias tilted her head toward him. "Can you ask Sona-kaichou if she can somehow get a visitor's pass for Asia-chan?" Nodding at the simple request, she relayed it to Sona and gave Issei a thumbs up upon its approval.
Closing the call, Rias turned to address her group.
"Alright, who wants to fight a supernatural crazy murder beast!?"
As Sona set down her phone, she turned to address her full present Peerage.
"Now, just to review, there are two Stray Devils that currently entered Kuoh City and we, thankfully, got the kill order right away. We will deal with one, Rias and her group will deal with the other. Before we go however, I would like to quickly address an issue and get it out of the way." Said Sona in a calm voice. "Who here is responsible for that surprise sex ed. class of today's?" Sona pointedly looked toward her Queen.
"Wasn't me. I already told everyone to cancel all plans to cause Hyoudou-san to end up crossdressing, umm, errr…" Said Tsubaki, before realizing that she sputtered out The Plan, which she and the rest of the Peerage hadn't exactly brought Sona on along.
"Interesting to actually know that." said the Sitri Devil dryly, tilting her head as she looked at the next person. "Anyone else would like to share?" She gave the rest a pointed stare.
Sona's Peerage fidget under her gaze.
"Anyone?" Sona asked, sprouting a seemingly friendly lopsided smile.
"Err, Me and Ruruko-chan were going to use some illusion spells, but obviously we didn't so, hehe." Said the shoulder-length, reddish-brown hair, Meguri Tomoe. She and another girl, who had brown hair in long twin ponytails, Nimura Ruruko - Sona'a Pawn - were smiling sheepishly.
"Using magic would have been excessive and might have even been seened by the wrong people. More than that, it could have revealed things about who we are." Said the blue hair stoic girl, Yura Tsubasa, Sona's Rook.
"What would you have done, Tsubasa-senpai?" Asked Ruruko, tilting her head.
"Throw him in the swimming pool during the girl's time use in gym class." She replied with a proud nod.
"Throw him?" Tsubaki spoke, her voice flat and skeptical.
"Into the girl's swimming pool?"
"Across the sport's field where the boys were at the time?"
"Enlightening." Sona said at her Rook's brilliant plan, that would in no way expose the supernatural. "And you?" She turned to the last three of her Peerage.
"Sona-sama," Kusaka Reya, one of Sona's Bishops, spoke. She was a second year student, wearing a blue headband on her long brown hair that ends in two short braids. She was also the Treasurer of the Student Council. Her voice was soft and polite, as she continued talking. "I, Momo and Saji-kun were the ones who came up with the idea of suggesting an extracurricular class for this prank, however upon receiving the order from Tsubaki-sama, we made sure to retract our plans."
"Yes," Stepped up Hanakai Momo, Sona's other Bishop. The white haired girl spoke, "We even sent Gen-chan to take back the note before the faculty meeting." Everyone turned to the lone boy in their group.
"Errr…" Saji felt nervous at the sudden attention.
"Well, Saji?" Asked Sona.
"I...may have been a bit late to get that memo back." He cringe as he revealed his blunder.
"Gen-chan..." Momo and a few other girls sighed at that.
"Honestly," Sona spoke after a length of time, her disappointment visible in her tone. "It's one thing for you all to dabble in these childish games but do you know what is really saddening?"
Everyone fidgeted in their place.
"You weren't subtle at all!"
All of them looked up with wide eyes.
"If you are going to do something like this, you make sure it doesn't get traced back to you." Sona scolded.
Sona thought she had taught her Peerage well, it seemed she still has a lot of work to do.
"Now, you are all going to train your subtlety and stealth, and thankfully we have the perfect opportunity for that."
Somewhere in Kuoh City, a Stray Devil felt a chill run down its spine. The low light from the streets made him feel like it was a victim in a horror movie, before it shook its head and dismissed such silly thoughts.
Issei wasn't sure if he was shaking in fear or excitement. Rias had told him about Stray Devils, Devils that ran away from their masters for one reason or another and are considered criminals. While they are not all dangerous, and some are just caught and sent to jail to be trailed, others are to be eliminated due to their menacing nature and having been drunk on their bloodlust or obsession. Issei was warned of the dangers, but Rias had also guaranteed that no harm with come to him, with them by his side. While there were dangers, Issei's curiosity and desire for adventure were too strong.
"Also you might be able to see the capabilities of your Sacred Gear," Rias-senpai had said to him.
Still, the way Akeno had been flying, Gasper turning into a bat, and Koneko… calmly walking with them - barring the last one - it felt like he was a part of a super spy squad, or a Sentai Team. He had already called Boosted Gear forth and felt it increase his ability as the headed to the abandoned warehouse.
"Alright, the Stray Devil is inside this building. Everyone you know what to do. Issei you...Issei is there a problem?" Said Rias after noticing the boy's hesitance.
"Ah, it's just…" He looked to the side. "I think my Sacred Gear broke."
"...What?" Rias said, her mouth slightly parted from bewilderment.
"There is no one caught up in the barrier yet, and there are no traps." Akeno informed them upon landing from the sky. "And um Issei, are you sure?"
"Yeah, I mean I expect a certain level of Fail from you, Issei-chan, but I didn't think you would go above and beyond like that." Said Koneko.
"You know, I have a laser pointer at home." Issei bit back at the catgirl.
"Pfft," Koneko chuckled. "As if I would fall for that-"
"Oh yeah, she totally would." Rias injected.
"Onee-sama!" Koneko cried out at the betrayal.
"Always be on your toes, Koneko-chan. Besides you know I'm an equal opportunity prank supplier." Koneko huffed. "Now Issei," Rias ignored Akeno saying - "She actually acknowledged that?" - as she turned to address him. "What did you mean by, you think your Sacred Gear broke?"
"Well, it was Boosting me just fine. Then it went 'Explosion!' and I felt this power up, like I could do anything. Like carry a...truck. Or pe- I mean, punch through walls." Said Issei making sure to keep his words PG. "After that it just stopped. I thought maybe ten seconds didn't pass, so I counted and yeah, nothing happened."
"When did it stop Boosting?" Asked Rias.
"It went 'Explosion' after three Boosts."
"So it doesn't go up after four times?" Asked Koneko with a twisted smile, only to get a hand-knife from Akeno on her hand.
"No dick jokes, Koneko-chan." Scolded Akeno.
"She's right, Koneko. We have class!" Rias turned to Issei. "So four times is your physical limit and it doesn't go up anymore?"
"Oi!" Shouted Issei. "I'll have you know," only to stop at realizing what he would have said to defend his dignity.
"What? I'm talking about your Sacred Gear. Honestly Issei, you would think that just because we are teenage Devils, all we think about is," Rias's voice turned lascivious and wanton as she continued. "Hot sweaty bodies all the time~."
Koneko giggled and Akeno rolled her eyes while hiding her amusement at Rias messing with Issei.
Issei closed his eyes and looked to the sides as he bit his hand to throw away the images. Finally regaining his composure, he turned to Rias with a near pouting glare. "Senpai, that was evil. You're being evil. Stop being evil!" He cried out, his voice having no edge to it.
"Mwahahaha. Devilish I am, dear Issei-kun." She grinned widely. "But now to get back to the issue at hand, for real this time. We already covered that there is a physical limit to how many times you could Boost yourself, remember Issei."
Issei blinked a few times as she recalled the memory. "Oh. Oh yeah! The first time we talked about it. Yeah, yeah." He gave a gave a weak chuckle. "Guess I forgot. Must have been more nervous than I thought."
"And now?" Asked Rias.
"Hm?" He gave her a questioning look.
"Are you still feeling nervous?" Her smile was now more relax, showing a concern in it, that reassured him.
"Oh," he paused, taken aback as he thought it over. "No, I… actually feel fine now." He said pleasantly surprised at this fact.
Rias nodded to herself. "Good. Now, let's go. We have a monster to catch. Issei since this is your first battle stay close to me and just watch."
He nodded and they went in. Akeno sprouted her wings and took to the sky, while Rias, Koneko and Issei went from the front gate.
"By the way, Senpai. When you said 'teenage Devils' did you mean you as well?" Asked Issei.
"Of course I did," she replied tilting her head, wondering at where the question was coming from.
Issei pumped his fist into the air, while Koneko clicked her tongue in annoyance.
The warehouse held an eery feel to it, and yet it also seemed to call people to it, like a magnetic attraction to something worth seeing. Just as the feeling came, Issei felt it disappear as if ripped away from him.
"That was the barrier the Stray put up. Its meant to draw people in, so it would be easy for it to to prey on them." Rias explained. "Lucky, we are the first ones here."
They heard the sound of giant footsteps approach.
"Yeah, lucky." Issei gulped.
"Well, well, well~ What is this I smell~?" A raspy yet mellow voice spoke out from the shadows. "Something foul. Does it taste bitter? But something sweet! Oh so, so sweet, it must be," A giant figure stepped into the light. "Delicious!"
A naked woman.
"OPPAI!" Shouted Issei in joy before quickly covering his eyes. "THAT DOESN'T COUNT!"
"That totally counts!" Koneko shouted back.
"Issei, open your eyes, you're exempted from the bet for the duration of this battle. Koneko, this isn't much of a learning experience if he keeps his eyes closed. Also I'm not going to protect an enemy's modesty." Rias said back defusing the situation.
"Awww," whined Koneko, while Issei let out a sigh of relief and uncovered his eyes.
"And because Issei doesn't have much combat experience, and wouldn't know how to navigate with his eye closed." Added Akeno.
"Oh, that too." Said Rias.
"Teh, hei, hei, hei," The Stray's laugh was like claws on a blackboard. "My, my. Is this a comedy sketch, how so very amusing. Or are all amusing when your blood flows out of your veins." The Stray's words had an elegance to them, but her raspy vibrating voice made them feel wrong and displeasing to listen to.
As Issei took in the Stray Devil's form, finally seeing a naked female body after such a long time, his eyes drifted to the woman's waist, only to see the disturbing sight on why she was so tall. The woman looked half human and half chimera monster.
"Stray Devil, Vizer. You left your master, killed people, became a monster, etcetera, etcetera. We're here to kill you." Rias read the Stray Devil her "rights".
"Is, is that really how you're suppose to deliver that verdict?" Issei asked with a forced smile of disbelief.
"Well, it is true. I'm just being honest."
"Oh really~ Then why don't I just teach you some manners by ripping off your head, and let your blood paint these walls." Vizer raised her hands to her chest.
"Wha, just, um. What is she doing, how is that at all close to what she just said?" In any other times, Issei would have just ogled the attractive woman, but this situation seemed a bit too weird.
"DODGE!" Shouted Rias and everyone sans Issei complied.
"Huh? Wait, why is everyon- HOLY SHIT!" When Issei saw the beginnings of Vizer's "attack" he had quickly jumped out of the way. As he looked back to the melted pillars and walls, he gaped at the result of the Stray's "assault".
"Did she just shoot acid lasers out of her-" Issei shouted horrified with his mouth agape, only to be cut off by Rias.
"Yes, Issei. That just happened." Rias deadpanned.
"Stray Devils who become bloodlusting monsters become so, in both mind and body, nyaa. Try to keep up, Issei-chan." Said Koneko.
"You need to accept it. The boobs are a lie." Said Rias wisely.
Issei sniffed, his hidden tears. "Yes, I can see that now."
"Oooh? A childish pathetic little princess who hasn't even matured yet, plays at being an adult. As if you even come close to the beauty of maturity. Then again you are just a meal to make me greater!" Vizer laughed at her own "brilliance".
Akeno proceeded to facepalm at the stupidity she knew was coming.
"You did not just insult The Twins!"
"And what if I did?" Vizer lower her eyelids in condescension. The crimson haired Devil seemed to straighten up, and tense anger.
"Oh that's it, I'm going Mazinger Z all over your ass!"
Rias grabbed her shirt, and ripped it open.
"It was awesome! But horrifying. But awesome. Yet horrifying. But awesome, but also horrifying. It was... horawesome? Awesomfying?" Issei ended his retelling of the events of his first supernatural fight to Asia on a questioning note.
"I see. It sounded like quite the adventure, Mr. Issei." Said Asia enamoured at Issei's story.
"Issei, are...are you talking to Asia-chan about porn!?" Asked Issei's mother.
"No. I'm talking about a survival horror video game." Was the excuse Rias had helped Issei prepare should his parents ask about his outings. He was playing video games with his friend.
Issei's father was sniffing holding back his tear. "Oh honey, he's actually having a normal conversation with a girl and not bring up anything perverted. I almost can't believe my ears."
Issei's mother started to tear up in joy too. "I know dear, I know. To think our worthless son has actually achieve normality, it's like a dream."
"WOULD YOU TWO JUST LEAVE ALREADY IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANYTHING GOOD TO SAY, YOU SHITTY PARENTS!?"
For the next two days, Asia had enjoyed the serene life in the Hyoudou household. She had hung out with Issei, his welcoming parents and even went out with Issei when he was free of schoolwork, or wasn't at the Occult Club.
And today Issei had finally gotten Kuoh Academy's visitor's pass, and he was going to show Asia around.
However, back at the base of the Fallen Angels and Stray Exorcists, the abandoned church, not everything was so peachy.
"Where the flying fuck is that Sister bitch already! And where are the shitstains we sent to search for her!?" Raynare, the Fallen Angel who disguised herself as Amano Yuuma, shouted loudly, her voice echoing her anger at the lost of their potential asset.
The past few days had been quite stressful to the Fallen Angel and her comrades. They couldn't move in the town freely, there was always this odd feeling something was watching them, with the feeling intensifying the longer they stayed in town. The moment Raynare and the other Fallen Angels tried to fly to scout the area, they felt a great magical energy gathering and the skies about to throw them into a thunderstorm. They quickly dismissed the idea of travelling or scouting by flight in Kuoh City.
Raynare had listened to the Stray Exorcists that assigned to watch the former nun on her trip, and they assured her that she entered Kuoh City.
Yet, the bitch still isn't here. I know she's dumb and clumsy as fuck, but she can't still be lost! Raynare was near tearing her hair out. She had sent three groups of Stray Exorcists to look for Asia Argento and ordered them to go incognito to not draw Rias Gremory's attention. So far, none of them reported back.
One of the handheld radios began signaling out.
"Finally!" Raynare picked it up. "Already, where the fuck are you? And have you found-"
"COME IN! COME IN ANYONE! HELP!"
Raynare took away the radio with a look of disgust. Fucking humans, you can't depend on them for anything, but flailing around in panic.
"STOP SHOUTING, YOU LITTLE SHIT!" She screamed back. "What the hell is going on!?" She demanded.
"HELP, HELP. WE ARE DEALING WITH A HY-"
The call got cut off.
Raynare blinked a few times and tried calling back a few times. Nothing. Only static.
She looked at her colleagues for an idea on what's going on.
"I told you fighting the Rias Gremory was a bad idea." Said Mittelt, sitting on a pew with a self-satisfied smug smile of vindication. The petite gothic lolita blonde had been harping on Raynare for days that Rias Gremory was bad news. As the leader - by virtue of being the strongest - of their squad, Raynare had mocked and dismissed her. Her words might have had a slight merit to them.
"Hell, even I've heard of the crazy shit that redhead has done. I wouldn't want to fight against her with this pathetic lot. Maybe one-on-one wouldn't be so bad though." Dohnaseek added, arms crossed with a slasher smile donning his face. He was a large man, dark grey hair, wearing a suit, trench coat and a classy fedora. "Heck, did you hear the one about how she took over the Youkai of this region?" He asked Mittelt with an excited grin.
"Oh yeah, and that she beat them so bad, that she made a school to teach them not to suck so much. Did you hear the one about the Vampires' civil war?" The blonde answered back.
"The one about how she wanted to go on a relaxing vacation, so she went to Romania and the Vampires decided to just stop fighting till she had her vacation and left, because they were afraid to bother her?"
"Really? I heard the fighting stopped because she beat both sides so bad, that they couldn't afford to focus on the civil war."
"Would you two stop sucking on Gremory's glory cock and focus here!?" Raged Raynare, having had enough of her subordinates rambling. Raynare tried to radio the other groups.
"Hey! Where the hell-"
"BEEEES! AAAAAAAAH! NOT THE BEES! THE BEES ARE ON FIRE!"
She looked at the radio like it's the most bizarre thing she had seen.
"Are you fucking drunk!?"
The answers she got were:
"T-there i-is somet-t-thing here. I s-swear I'm not, not. I'm not imagine it-AAAAAH!"
"The cats are out to get me. THE CATS ARE OUT TO GET ME!"
"It's invisible. That has to be the only explanation. Its fucking invisible!"
And many more useless last messages before only static was left. The last group wasn't any different in their cries for help.
"What the fuck!?" Raynare shouted. These were trained professional Exorcists. Stray or not, these were people trained to fight the monsters humanity feared and had nightmares about. Somehow that Gremory bitch had turned them into frightened shitty brats.
An aggravatingly annoying laughter filled the church, throwing even the current Stray Exorcists staying there off.
"Oh man, this? This is good! Seeing you all shit your pants, because of one spoiled little Devil bitch." The one who was laughing was Freed Sellzen. The white haired man was known as an insane protege as an Exorcist. As in he was a very talented fighter, and he was very, very insane; drunk on bloodlust and desire to kill, only using the Devils as an excuse to fight and kill other living creatures.
"I say, we just go find the little bitch and kill her. Drown her in her own blood. Maybe even fuck some Holiness into her. HEIHEHEHEHEHE!"
Raynare grimaced in disgust. Freed was useful in his strength, but his craziness and zeal made her abhor him. Completely disregarding how she also looked down on others, and would like nothing more than to slit Gremory's throat as well, at least she wasn't dumb enough to jump into the enemy's stronghold. Dohnaseek and Mittelt chuckled and rolled their eyes respectively at the Stray Exorcists actions.
"No! Remember our mission. We get Argento then we can take our time killing them. Besides we have the advantage here. Abandoned or not, this place is a holy ground, even if it's not that strong, it should work for us and weaken them. From what I gathered from our intelligence department Gremory has only two Peerage members, we lure her here, and she's dead." Raynare sneered, imagining the look on the smug redheaded Devil's when she puts a Spear of Light through her heart.
"Oh? And what did you tell the Intelligence Department for wanting that information?" Mittelt asked, quirking her eyebrow.
"That it's for a mission from Lord Azazel." Raynare said proudly.
Dohnaseek snorted, while Mittlet stopped herself from doing the same and just gave a half smile.
"You have something to say!?" Raynare growled.
"Oh nothing," Mittelt decided to answer. "Just that, if we succeed, and report back to Lord Azazel, don't forget it was all for him. And you're the leader, so we of course are going to follow you."
Raynare sneered. She wanted to smack the little brat for her attitude. "I don't need to hear that from a Low Class peon. Scratch that, I don't need a Low Class, who stayed at that level, from the time of the war to tell me what to do!" She bit back in reply.
Mittelt snorted and rolled her eyes. She didn't say anything letting the conversation fall.
"Well~ This soap opera was fucking fun, but I'm gonna go now." Freed said as he headed to the door.
"And where are you going?" Raynare sneered as she turned to him.
"As you said, this place still has some holy juice left." Freed looked back with a grin that nearly split his face. "So, I'm gonna lure that little Devil here, and spurt that juice all over her fucking face. HEIHEHEHEHEHEHE!" He continued on his way, finding his own joke too hilarious to stop laughing anytime soon.
"Well now," Dohnaseek spoke, "things are about to get heated." He said with a grin.
Mittelt returned her fellow Fallen's grin, as she thought the same.
Yes. Now I wonder if it will play out like he anticipated.
The Mad Exorcist's laughter kept echoing in the distance.