Vol 1: The Beggar Princess - Part END
"And this is the cafeteria. It has some okay food, but the specials on Wednesday and the Pizza Cone days, which is today, are a whole other thing." Issei explained as he showed Asia around the school.
Sona had come through and brought Issei the visitor's pass, but not only that, she was able to excuse him from class on the reason being that he was "showing a potential student around campus and volunteering as a show of goodwill and to train his social skills for when he enters society".
Issei had a feeling that many of the faculty didn't like the excuse or didn't believe it. Or maybe some teachers and students didn't want to miss the chance to try and make him fail the bet. The important thing is, he had a day, not counting lunch hour, where he was free from harassment of people trying to show him something perverted. That thought drained his spirit a bit more.
"Mr. Issei, are you okay? You look a bit down." Asked Asia.
"Oh, don't worry about that pervert, I meant Hyoudou. I'm sure it's nothing. In fact if he's feeling bad, we could leave him behind." Said the "charming" voice of the Secretary of the Student Council, Saji Genshirou.
"Over your dead body." Issei replied instantly.
Of course, while Issei was granted the opportunity to show Asia around, Sona had "graciously" provided a supervisor as well, to help them in case Issei wasn't enough of a tour guide or so that they may enter areas that needed keys to open. Like the gym.
"I think you got the saying wrong." Saji said with a forced smile.
"Oh no, I think I got it right." Issei replied with his own smile.
Both Issei and Saji looked at the blushing petite nun.
"Um, it's just that. I had a light breakfast and its lunch time and um…" She diverted her eyes.
"Don't worry, Asia-chan. I'll get you something to eat."
"As a member of the Student Council, I can provide the best meal the school has to offer."
The two boys spoke at once, turned and glared at one another.
"Say, Saji-kun, I understand that you are here to supervise, but that doesn't mean you should butt in. So can you please take your elitist attitude and stay in the background like far away that you're unnoticed." Issei said with a forcibly strained smiled.
"Oh but Issei-kun, I have to stay close, if you are feeling tired already, you can just let your perverted ass rest, like in your classes, and let someone responsible handle this." Saji replied with his own gritting smile.
"Sorry Asia-chan, I'll buy you some pizza cones right away."
"Apologies Ms. Asia. Due to this idiot, I have neglected you. Let me buy you a three box set bento to make it up for you."
"Um…" Asia looked on confused. "That wasn't me this time."
"Eh!?" Both Issei and Saji halted at once, looking to where the sound originated from.
"Oi!" The two boys looked next to them to see a kid with light purple hair. He had grey shorts, a black shirt, a white hooded sleeveless jacket and sandals. He gave them a look that was both lazy and annoyed. "Dumbass and Kissass, I'm hungry. Buy me some food."
"What did you say, you brat!?"
"Are you sure she's gonna be fine? I mean we handled these guys, but just in case some got 'courageous' or 'smart' and looked for her at the Academy..." Began Rias.
"Don't worry, I left Saji-kun with her, and regardless of his demeanor, he knows not to shirk his duties and he knows where the traps are and how to activate them. Also you have that Hyoudou boy there, so I'm sure the nun will be fine." Replied Sona.
"Eeehm," Rias scratched her chin. "It's more like I'm worried about them both. Also Saji-chan is still adjusting right, are you sure he would be up to it, if a fight comes his way. Fighting Strays is one thing, but Exorcists or Fallen who use the Light, that's a whole other ball game."
"You would notice if many of them headed there, right?" Sona asked rhetorically. "Then we shouldn't have a problem. Besides we have fifteen of them here, they would need the rest of their forces and the Fallen all heading to the Academy to cause a problem." Said Sona. "Why are you worried anyway, that's not like you?" She said, narrowing her eyes.
"Hehe," Rias smiled sheepishly. "Just thinking about some old stuff, I guess that threw me off a bit."
"Old stuff?" Sona blinked before a subdued worried expression came upon her.
Rias turned to looking at the enemy heading to their location. "I might do something...big soon. I guess I'm getting some stagefright chills." Sona's eye widened. Rias could mean a lot of things by "doing something big" but she had an idea as to what, and it was worrying. "Relax~," Rias posed to flex her arm while holding the other over her bicep. "I can totally handle this, no problem!"
Sona sighed, deciding that something aren't worth worrying over. Sometimes things just happen, they'll just deal with it as they come.
"Sure," Sona gave a lopsided smile. "Now are we going to get this guy or what? We are in a perfect position for an ambush."
Both Rias and Sona along with their Peerages lied in wait at the house of one of Sona's contractees, upon feeling an Exorcist with a massive killing intent heading toward it.
"No, no. Wait for it~, this is gonna be so much better." Rias grinned widely.
"And this is how you hold the chopsticks. Now the order that you want to eat the bento in is, first a bite of the meat and the rice, then the shrimp and the rice, then start adding the salads and work your way anti-clockwise on the food portions." Explained the kid.
"Oooh! You really know a lot, little Pen." Said Asia, as she followed the boy's advice, enjoying her own bento box.
Meanwhile Issei and Saji sat to the side annoyed at the little bugger's interruption. He simply came out of nowhere and demanded they feed him. At first they wanted to wave him off, before realizing they could not leave a kid just wondering around on his own. Also, Asia would not agree to leave him. The kid, who introduced himself as Pen, told them that his mom was busy and that he was originally told to stay waiting at the Student President Office.
"Why the Student President Office?" Asked Issei.
"Oh, the perfectly logical reason is because- I'm a kid, do I look like I care?" Pen said deadpanning.
He wasn't really the most endearing of children. Also he said that if they don't feed him, he'll just wander around and hold them responsible when he gets lost.
"Mr. Issei, Mr. Saji please. We can't leave a child starving. I know I might be asking too much, but you don't really need to buy me food. Just for…"
"You can call me Pen."
"Just for Pen would be enough, then we'll go the Ms. Sona's office. Okay?" She finished with a questioning look to the child who introduced himself as Pen.
"Sure," he shrugged and agree.
"Heck no, I'll get something for Asia-chan and Pen-chan." Said Issei.
"Don't add 'chan' to my name." Was the dry reply.
"Really?" Asia smiled brightly.
"Don't worry about it, Ms. Asia. It would be our pleasure."
"And it would be mine if you hurry it up. You're starving two people here now, than just one." The duo moved quickly, although they couldn't help the irritating they felt for the kid.
More frustrating was how the kid, Pen, seemed to capture Asia's attention, being nicer to her for her general kind demeanor. Issei and Saji irritatingly felt like they lost some sort of contest.
"So, what brings your mom here to Kuoh, Pen?" Asked Asia.
"Something business related. Didn't care enough to listen." Said Pen as he took another bite of his food. "But what about you? I mean Tweedledum and Tweedledee over here, are students unless they stole those uniforms from somewhere."
"Annoying brat." Issei muttered, resting his head on his hand while looking away, Saji just rolled his eyes.
"But your clothes are different. So, what's the story?" Said Pen, still eating his food.
"You shouldn't be rude to others, Pen. It's wrong and it hurts their feelings." Asia said to the boy gently.
"Eh? No, Asia-chan. We're fine, he just a kid." Said Issei.
"Never thought I would agree with Hyoudou, but in this case, he's right." Saji added his agreement.
Pen ignored them, focusing on Asia. After a moment he snorted, and shook his head.
"Wow, you actually said that without any condescension. That's something alright." Said Pen.
And you're talking like an old man. Seriously what the hell, kid? Thought Issei incredulously.
Seeing Asia's intense pleading stare, that was practically one of the most effective guilt trippings that he had ever experienced, Pen raised his arms up in surrender. "Alright, alright already. Jeez, if you grew up to be a teacher or a work in a nursery you would be terrifying." He said chuckling. "Fine, I won't make fun of your boyfriends anymore."
"Eh? Eeeeh!?" Cried out Asia, quickly starting to resemble a strawberry.
"B-b-boyfriend!?" Shrieked Issei.
"Hey, Asia is cute, true. But I only have sights for Kaichou. I can not divert from my dream of impregnating her and forcing her to marry me." Said Saji with the utmost of pride.
"Oi! The hell is wrong with you!? That's an admirable goal, but don't say it in front of a kid!" Shouted Issei.
"B-boyfriend…" Asia still blushing mumbled while shyly looking at Issei, before shaking her head, trying to throw away the image.
I'm a nun, sworn my body to the Lord. I-I can't...with Issei...
Throughout this all, Pen was covering his mouth, desperately trying not to laugh out loud.
"W-wow," began Pen, getting his breathing under control. "You guys make this seriously way too easy." Finally taking a deep breath and letting it out, Pen regained his composure. "But really, that's your dream?" He said toward Saji. "And you called it 'admirable'?" He said to Issei, his voice filled with mirth. "Then what the heck is your dream?"
"Its um," Issei began before stopping himself. "Look, hadn't anyone told you that being nosy like that is rude?"
"So, you're ashamed of your dream?" Said Pen with a half-hearted shrug.
"Hell no! I'm not ashamed of wanting to be the Harem Kin- Oh, shiiii...oot."
Chuckling to himself, Pen continued undeterred. "So what about you Asia?"
"Eh, me?" She blinked at the sudden question.
"Yeah, everyone already said theirs." Said Pen.
"You didn't." Stated Saji.
"Ah well," Pen leaned on his hand sluggishly. "I want to have an easy life without worry or stress, but that's probably too farfetched."
Issei and Saji looked at the kid in disbelief.
What kind of lazy dream is that? Both of them had the same thought.
"But then again those dreams aren't bad, that's what youth is all about."
Again with the old man's comments. Thought Issei.
"So, Asia. You." Pen directed the conversation back at her.
"W-well," Asia thought about it, and held a faraway look as she answered. "I guess, I wish I just had a friend."
"Ouch," Asia looked back at Pen due to his comment. "Don't you think you're being a bit dismissive?"
"Eh?" Asia blinked in confusion, looking at Issei and Saji for a clue on what Pen meant.
"Asia-chan," Issei began. "If you wanted a friend, all you needed to do was ask. In fact we are already friends, aren't we?" He asked with a bright smile that lit up Asia's heart.
Saji had a smile on his face and said, "I'm also here as well, Ms. Asia. Why, I'm sure we have become quite close throughout today."
"Oi, remember your goal, you third wheel." Said Issei dryly.
"Who's the third wheel?" Responded Saji. "Although you are right about that. Doesn't mean that I can't be a friend too." Saji and Issei glared at each other fiercely.
"Issei, Genshirou." Asia muttered, smiling at the kind words given to her.
Pen shook his head smiling wistful. "Honestly, you need to start seeing things with a clearer vision than the illusions and lies you tell yourself."
"Eh?" Asia looked up in confusion at the words spoken to her. Pen had spoke with a wisdom that far surpassed his looks.
"Anyways," Pen said loudly, gaining Saji and Issei's attention. "I think we are all done with lunch, so how about we head to your Kaichou's office?"
Freed Sellzen used to be a renowned genius Exorcist. From a young age he showed an extreme proficiency for combat. His talent and instincts were sharp like the edge of a blade, letting him compete against foes many times his size and strength and still emerge victorious. He faced many foes of humanity and creatures of the night, winning and killing them.
And it was the second one that really got to him.
Freed would gladly admit, he isn't some virtuous noble hero out to save humanity or any of that shit. He just wants to kill and spill blood. Watch his enemies cry in despair and the life drain from their eyes. That look of utter fear and the realization that there is no hope, right before the lights go out from their eyes?
Aaaaah, that is the best.
He was out for blood, he didn't delude himself into thinking otherwise. So why not go after the acceptable targets? Oh sure, now after the Great War - and isn't it just a shame he didn't live in that era - the Devil society started to change. After all, no matter how dumb shit they are, if they kept fighting they would have gone extinct. Obviously the whole "Peerage" thing made them a lot softer and human in mindset. Or was it culture? Point is Devils aren't as evil as they once were. As they should have been. And now we had a shitton of humans with that "Sympathy for the Devils" crap. It made him sick, and it spoiled a fuckcrap of his fun.
"You can't be that brutal, Freed."
"Sellzen, we made a deal with them. Let them go!"
"How dare you! How are you attack your brothers and comrades!?"
God damn, the noisy fucking asswipes. And those guys were standing in his way. Shouldn't killing the filth demonic shits be more important than some nameless fucks who no one would remember? Ah, who was he kidding, he wanted to see if the Light Swords would go through both a human and a Devil in one stroke. And what do you know, it did!
But fuck, if he had to stand one more minute with those hypocritical two faced fucks from the Church, he would have killed someone. Well, more someones. Its why he became a Stray Exorcist, so he can kill any someones. Devils and other "evil" beings of course. Can't have too many people start whining on how he is killing normal folk too.
The boy fucker upstairs in the Church might get pissed off and focus on him. And oh man, does he not want to get started on them. They say that magic is a heretical practice, but then teach them to harness the "Light of the Soul" granted by God, to strengthen their bodies and minds against the forces of darkness. Yeah, fucking Magicians do that too. Its called Body Strengthening magic and Mental Shield magic.
The fucking hypocrites. He thought amused.
Oh well, no use thinking on annoying stuff. Time to have fun with some Devil. The blood game sort of fun. It doesn't matter the bitch he's hunting was a Gremory, Stremory, or even fucking Lucifer. Its all a matter of Affinity advantage.
He was Holy, they were Dark. Obviously he wins. Like in Pokemon.
"No, wait, that was in something else." He scratched his head before dismissing the thought. He had some fucking Devils to hunt. He was trailing the lingering energy of the Devils in this city. It would lead to one of the fucking heretics who contract Devils for some stupid shit or another. If he kills enough of those loser fucks, he would be easily able to bring out Gremory. Then that bitch playing Noble Demon can follow him to the church and-
"Ooooh now what is this~?" Freed licked his lips salivating.
He thought he was nearing a house for one of the Devil contractees, but it looks like he already caught a bigger catch.
Freed quickly and silently drew his aura onto himself and hide his presence.
Looks like the redheaded whore was quicker on the uptake then I thought. He thought with a savage grin. But if you thought you could trap me, you've got another thing coming.
He quickly circled around the house, and entered from the back. He saw four of them in the backyard. The Gremory girl, her Queen, and two other Devils. From the feel of their power, it was probably the Sitri girl and her Queen.
Quickly, he went to the roof of the house, and got ready to shoot the bitches. They won't seem him coming. Hell, it was still the middle of the day - well afternoon -, he basically got this in the bag.
And he who has the high ground, wins!
Freed positioned himself to be able to take out as many of them as he can. His holy water bombs were ready and his gun charged up.
And if it gets tough, there are always those trump cards. He thought with a bloodthirsty grin.
Freed readied himself, licked his lips and moved.
"SURPRISE BULLET TIME, DEVIL BITC-"
Lightening cut his cheek.
"Eh?" Freed blinked in confusion. He looked up to see the Gremory Queen hover a few distance away, her hand sparking with magical lightning, and the sky covered in dark clouds. Not only that, so where The Gremory bitch and the Sitri brat and three other Devils. He looked down to see the four Devils in the disappear, showing it was an illusion.
He thought to try and run, except the ground lit with magic circles, showing multiple traps, and he could now see that there were three other Devils hidden on the ground. Actually he could now see all the other dipshits tied up in the front yard as well.
And she managed to hide they all by illusion magic!? THAT'S BULLSHIT!
"Welcome to my trap trap!" The sound of the Gremory fuckwad drew his gaze up. He could see the wide grin on that little bitch's face.
There was no avenue of escape. He was set up.
"Awwww, fuck. Now that's just not fair!" The Exorcist whined.
Later on, following the dispersal of a large magical energy, the Fallen found Freed Sellzen, in a parking lot, tied up along with their missing Stray Exorcist with a note on Freed's head saying:
"Dear Fallen Angels,
Please do not litter.
Signed: Devil Supervising Governor of Kuoh City,
"Alright, so while I'm completely fine with beating up and tying up those Stray Exorcists." Akeno ignored the shudders from Sona's Peerage and the eyeroll from Sona herself.
Currently, the two Peerages were back in Kuoh Academy and heading to Sona's office.
"Weren't you a little enthusiastic with those lightning paralysis spells?" Asked Tomoe warily.
"To make sure they don't cause trouble for a while. So, why did we just leave them to be found?" Akeno turned to Sona and Rias.
"Sona-chan received a text." Said Rias.
"A text?" Asked Akeno dryly.
"Yes," Sona answered. "My sister has gotten a response. Those Fallen are shouldn't have attacked Hyoudou, or even make a base here, and definitely should not have called that former Holy Maiden to the city."
"Oh, you found out about Asia-chan?" Asked Rias.
"I'll give a debriefing later." Sona said offhandedly, as she continued. "Their job was to meet us, get a consensus to operate on our territory. Then they should have observed Hyoudou and reported back in a week's time with a profile on what the wielder of a 'potentially powerful Sacred Gear' was like."
"Huh," Rias folded one arm and used the other to rest on it, while holding her chin. "So Azazel has a method to detect Longinus or high ranking Sacred Gear, but not specifics on its details." Said Rias thoughtfully. "And I'm guessing they weren't suppose to have a squad of troops of Stray Exorcists with them either."
"No, it should have been just the three Fallen Angels, Raynare, the black haired one you met, and this one was a bit surprising." Sona turned to look at the other. "Two veterans from the Great War. A man named Dohnaseek and a woman named Mittelt. I'll send you their pictures on your cellphones." Sona proceeded to do that.
"Veterans?" Asked Tsubaki, as she along with the rest of the group stiffened in alarm.
"Well, it says veterans, but they are also Low Class, so it would be more accurate to say they are survivors of the Great War, rather than veterans." Clarified Sona, much to the relief of everyone their.
Veterans of the Great War of the Three Factions, no matter which faction they come from, are terrifying opponents to behold. They are those who fought through metaphorical and literal hell against enemies from two sides who were very much capable of killing them, and still thrived against all odds. It made them very experienced and very fearsome adversaries.
Survivors are more likely those born toward the end of the Great War, or those who acted as part of the medical corps after the battles were done. The lucky ones who didn't see the true horrors of the war.
"Also, Azazel was 'kind' enough to send a Cadre as his representative that we would hand the captured Fallen and Stray Exorcists to."
"What!?" Cried out Sona's Pawn, Ruruko, although she wasn't the only one surprised.
"A Cadre? Isn't that response a bit overboard?" Asked Akeno.
"Maybe." Answered Rias. "But it also shows that they are treating this as a serious matter and…"
Seeing Rias stopping in her tracks and trailing off, the other stopped as well.
"Rias, what is it?" Asked Sona.
"The Cadre, they are in your office right now."
"What!?" Sona's eye widened. How was that possible? The security systems didn't inform her. "You're telling me now!?" Sona knew Rias could be eccentric, but this was negligence, yet from seeing her expression, Sona knew, "you only realized that just now." Sona said in a low voice to Rias.
"I…" Rias stiffened, genuinely showing worry for the first time in a long time. Then she relaxed her shoulders and scoffed before her grin returned. "You live and learn. I thought your security system and my Senjutsu would cover everything. Guess I was wrong. I only noticed because we are close."
Rias sharpened her senses. While focusing on the Fallen's presence, she noticed three other people with the Fallen.
"Well, this is gonna be quite the talk. Saji, Issei and Asia are with him," said Rias. Sona looked surprised before quickly composing herself. "Best not to keep our guest waiting." Said Rias as she headed forward, her devilish grin ever present
Rias, Sona and their Peerage expected a lot of things upon reaching Sona's Office. Maybe the Cadre member having a stare off with Issei, Asia and Saji. A sort of tense atmosphere.
Thus Rias naturally reassured them - and due to the fact that she didn't sense Asia or Issei who are so vocal in their emotions that she could easily feel them buildings away - that odds are the Cadre and the trio are having fun playing board games or something similar.
"And then the slide would go down, and you would feel like you would fall off, but really you don't, and when you hit the water, it makes the best splash ever. You really need to go there once in your life."
"Disneyland sounds wonderful." Said Asia enamoured by the descriptions Pen had given her.
"It sounds like a lot of fun, maybe one day we'll go there Asia-chan." Said Issei, feeling excited as well.
And as expected, the Cadre was telling them about Disneyland.
"Um, Rias?" Sona whispered.
"Yeah, its him." Rias immediately answered back with an absent minded nod.
"Alright, good." Sona nodded back. "A-hem." Sona loudly cleared her throat.
"Kaichou," Saji quickly stood at attention. "Err, we were just waiting for this kid's mom to come pick him-"
"It's a pleasure to have you here, Lord Penemue." Sona said with a small bow.
"What?" Issei looked around and then back to Sona to make sure she was looking at little Pen while saying that.
Holy Cra...I don't really feel that surprised. Issei thought dismissively. I mean really. A young child acting wiser than his years? Supernatural is real? Anime and eroge completely prepared me for this!
"Eh, Penemue? Wait, I could have sworn I heard that name somewhere before- Eeek!" Saji flinched back at the look Sona gave him for lack of memorizing the high ranking position holders in each faction.
"Penemue?" The shock in Asia voice drew the group's gaze to her. "What do you mean, Ms. Sona. Pen is just a little boy."
Upon having looks directed at him again, Penemue just shrugged. "...Honestly, I'm tempted to play dumb and just act like a kid, buuut I don't really feel like it at the moment.
Four pairs of black wing erupted from his back, his power now visible to all present. All the Devils couldn't help either stiffening, flinching or taking a step back from his presence, only Rias, Sona and Akeno were seemingly unbothered by it.
"Eh!? You're a Fallen Angel?" Issei shouted in shock, as he took a step back.
"No, the wings are decorations, that I instantly put on, through my super costumed suit." Pen said drolly.
"But, why is she calling you Lord? Are you like, important?" Said Issei
Penemue snorted and introduced himself. "I am the Chief Secretary of the Grigori, Cadre Penemue." He declared, his voice held a growing presence.
"B-but, you look like a kid. How are you Chief Secretary!?" Asked the still incredulous Issei.
Penemue sighed and shook his head. "I'm older than I look and I can change how I look."
"Then why look like a kid?"
"Because," he held a smug smile. "I get to have others babe over me. I get discounts and free food, and everyone goes out of their way to make sure that the 'mature' kid is looked after till his parent arrives. Besides, having every girl and woman flaring their maternal instinct up upon seeing me and quickly jump up to wanting to help me, is a pretty nice thing." He said with his arms folded and a fond look of reminiscence.
"You, you...damn you." Issei couldn't help but say in envy.
Penemue smirked, before he turned back to the nun. He looked back to Asia who was confused by this turn of events. Her expression also held some fear. Penemue gave a sympathetic smile to her. "Come on now, kid. I only told you to call me Pen, never said it was my full name. Besides, in this world of Angels, Fallen and Devils, you need to really listen and have open eyes, if you don't want to be taken advantage of."
"I, I see." Asia said after a moment. "Are you here to take me back, Lord Penemue? If so, all I ask is that you leave everyone else." Asia said firmly standing her ground.
"Oi, you..." Issei stepped in front of Asia, unsure of what to do in front of someone that was probably pretty damn strong and important due to how Sona and the rest were treating him.
"Mr. Issei?" Asia gasped in surprise as Issei stood between her and Penemue.
"I don't know who you are or what this 'Cadre' business is, but if you are here to hurt Asia," with a flash of green light and a shout of "BOOST" that vibrated through the air like a shockwave, Boosted Gear manifested on Issei's left arm. "You have another thing coming!"
Silence fell on the room.
There was a collection of sighs, while Sona facepalmed and Rias clapped in supposed awe.
"Pfft," A laugh was choked out of Penemue's lips. "HeheHAHAHAHAHAHAHA" Laughter echoed in the room, as Penemue had to hold his stomach from laughing too hard. "Oh, oh boy, that was good." He looked back up at the boy with Longinus Sacred Gear. "You know, I should smack you around for that, or at least give you a scare."
"Lord Pene-" Sona attempted to calm the situation before it escalates, but Penemue continued undeterred.
"But I guess it's pretty commendable to stand up for a friend, even when you instinctively know you're facing something much, much scarier."
"Eh?" Issei blinked at that comment, only to look at his hands to find them shaking. He clenched them harder trying to get rid of the nerves.
"Piece of advice kid, this isn't a shounen manga. You should know the difference between bravery and rushing in like an idiot. And if you do the second, you better have one hell of a plan to do what you need to do and run away with your life. Also," Penemue grin turned shark-like.
Issei felt something was way off, not because of Penemue's expression, but because…
He, he's standing right in front of me. I can see him, but, but it feels like there is nothing there.
Rias wrinkled her brow and her jaw tightened, something that went unnoticed by everyone except her Queen. Even though Penemue was right there, she could only feel him because she was focusing on him.
This could be troublesome. Thought Rias.
"If you are going to actually try to fight someone like me, at least have your Balance Breaker ready." Commented Penemue with an easy smile.
"M-my, what?" Said Issei.
"Lord Penemue!" Sona said firmly, as she stepped forward. "Please do not threaten the students of my school."
"Relax, relax." Penemue threw his arms in the air. "I was just giving the kid some sound advice. Anyways," He looked back to Issei and Asia. "To ease your worries, I'm not here to take Asia Argento anywhere. We currently have some troublemakers, who broke orders that I was sent to deal with. So first, Hyoudou Issei." He looked straight at the dragon Sacred Gear wielder. "As a representative of the Grigori here in my visit to Kuoh City, I would like to apologies for the problem our subordinates caused you. They are renegades that I will deal with soon."
He then turned his gaze to Asia. "Asia Argento, after this situation is dealt with, Azazel had said that he would like to extend an invitation to you to stay in our organization," Penemue raised his hand to stop any objections from Issei before they are said. "You will be given a home and a peaceful life away from any struggles or strife. This is an open invitation that you can accept or ignore at your leisure. Now!" He to face Sona, Rias and their Peerages. "Let's get to the meat of it all. Some of our birdies are causing trouble along with some rogue Exorcists, and I'm here to give them a thrashing and an asskicking if need be and take them back to be judged for their actions."
"Very well, we can quickly prepare a summoning circle-" Began Sona only to be cut off again.
"If that was however all I was sent here to do." Penemue said with a sigh.
Sona's eyebrow began twitching before she regained control. "And what else were you sent here for Lord Penemue."
"Well," the purple haired boy looked straight at Rias. "The boss is pretty interested in talking to you. You could have sent a normal complaint and a senior officer would have came to spank those ruffians."
"I wanted this situation to be dealt with as soon as possible." Rias answered smoothly.
Penemue snorted as he continued, "but you sent a message passed from the Demon Lord Leviathan." His smile grew while his eyes narrowed slightly. "That sort of means you really want someone's attention. So," Penemue took an item out of the pocket of his jacket. It was a circular plate, small enough to fit in a child's hand, colored black and decorated by many colored outlines, along with four stone on each side. He filled it with magic and pressed on one of the stones, before throwing it on the ground. The moment it hit, it began to rotate and a holographic light sprang from it.
"Yo, boss." Penemue gave a playful two finger salute.
A man wearing his pajama and red house robe, sitting on a recliner while reading a book. He looked to be a man in his twenties with black hair, golden bangs and black goatee.
"Awwww," Rias pouted as she whined in disappointment.
"Hello there, Penemue. Nice to meet you Sona Sitri, Rias Gremory, and apparently," he looked at himself before looking back to them. "Sorry for the disappointment? Were you expecting something else?"
"It's not that. I was expecting for us to catch you doing something odd, misunderstanding or embarrassing." She said with sadness clear in her voice.
"Dammit Rias, this is the leader of the Grigori for Satan's sake." Sona muttered with clenched teeth.
Azazel guffawed while Penemue chuckled.
"Actually, I was working on my Gundam model, then I did some karaoke and took a shower. Then I just felt like doing some reading while waiting, so too bad you took so long." Azazel smirked while giving a friendly shrug.
"Don't worry," Rias clenched her fist while standing in an enthusiastic pose. "Next time, I will not miss any potential blackmail material!"
"Pfftahahahaha!" Azazel laughter while Penemue snorted and shook his head. The girl was insane to say something like that to the leader of the Fallen Angels.
She would have fit right in with us. Penemue smirked at the thought.
"Rias!" Sona and Akeno shouted while still trying to not do so loudly.
"Ah, right. I mean, I will be punctual next time, to learn about such a wise leader." Said Rias.
Azazel snorted before laughing some more.
Well for now, it seems like he's not offended, and they are actually getting along. Thought Sona as a headache began to appear. She push through it as she couldn't lose composure to massage her temples.
"Well, as amusing as this was. I believe it's time to get down to business." While Azazel looked relaxed and an inviting individual, his smile now while still friendly, had a hidden edge to it. Like the fluffy version of a predator hiding the real thing underneath. "I believe my Chief Secretary had pointed it out but to reiterate, why did you got through such a method to contact me?"
They keep saying Rias was trying to contact them, but wasn't this just an aggressive and critical move to avoid causing sparks between the Devils and the Fallen. Thought Sona. The renegade Fallen couldn't stay in Rias's territory, because any casualties would push, the war supporters on each side. So why-
Sona remembered what Rias had told her before their brief battle - if it could be qualified as that - with Freed Sellzen.
"Hehe," Rias smiled sheepishly. "Just thinking about some old stuff, I guess that threw me off a bit."
"Old stuff?" Sona blinked before a subdued worried expression came upon her.
Rias turned to looking at the enemy heading to their location. "I might do something...big soon. I guess I'm getting some stagefright chills."
'Something big', 'old stuff'. Sona's eyes widened for a moment as the answer shouted like thunder in her mind. Her eyes turn to Rias for a second studying her under new revelation. She found Rias confident and firm in her stance, like a gladiator looking forward to his challenge. It also made the spark of agitation spin even more in her chest.
Fucking Satan dammit Rias, this is not something you just casually hint at. This is something you should have talked to me about! Sona quickly turned her attention back to the Fallen Angels while dowsing the spitfire in her chest and focusing on the current situation.
For its about to escalate very quickly.
"Very well," Rias nodded and moved. She walked across the room till she was standing before Asia and Issei.
"Senpai?" Issei wondered why Rias was focusing on them, when this matter looked to be strictly related to the Devils and Fallen Angels.
"Ms. Rias?" Asked Asia, wondering what Rias wanted to speak with her and Issei about.
"Asia-chan, I would like to ask you for a favor." For the first time ever, Issei saw Rias not cheerful, not energetic, or holding her devil may care grin. Rather, Rias looked apologetic.
Rias-senpai...she wouldn't hurt Asia-chan… And yet, Issei couldn't shake the uneasy feeling in his heart.
"A favor?" Asked Asia, as the kind soul that she is, always eager to help.
"Yes. Tell me, have you ever heard of the term 'Three Peace Project'?"
Upon her question, reactions in Sona's Peerage varied between wide-eyes and muttering between themselves.
"Three Peace Project?" Issei voiced the question of everyone unfamiliar with the term.
For the first time since his arrival, Penemue frowned, beginning to see where this was going while Azazel looked on in interest.
"I...heard of the term Peace Project before, but...I don't know the exact meaning to it." What went unsaid was that Asia had once heard the term being spoken of in disgust or mocking tones by the Exorcists or the priests she learned under. Of course, Asia didn't want to mention that.
Rias gave a small chuckle. "I guess the term doesn't circulate much in the Church or they don't think much of it." Asia's eyes shifting away was all the answer Rias needed. "In any case, as you may know the Great War has been over for about a thousand years now. However, even after all that time, relations between the three factions at best are...tolerant."
"Understatement of the fucking century." Penemue snorted.
"Yes." Asia nodded, showing her knowledge and understanding of this.
"A thousand years is quite a long time, even for us, and for humans it is horrifyingly more so. Yet relations didn't improve and all three were stuck in a state of perpetual cold war. It would be about three hundred years ago, the idea of mending ties between the Three Factions, creating a peace treaty and having an alliance between all sides, was finally beginning to form. The peace supporter from many sides were beginning to gain influence, and finally a meeting between all three sides was scheduled to discuss the possibility." As Rias explained Asia's expression seemed to grow brighter, the story sounded happier and happier as it progress. Rias felt bad for having to ruin the girl's expectation.
"It was a colossal failure. Many had died from all sides, and blame was thrown around, with no valid or concrete target. Everyone accused everyone else, and relations between the Three Factions worsened. Even more, the peace supporters had lost ground, shown that their notions and desire for harmony between Devil, Angels and Fallen Angels to be nothing but foolish and futile."
As Rias continued Asia, Issei and many in Sona's Peerage felt sad at how story was going. After all, they live in this world, and if that is the current state of affairs, it didn't paint a nice picture for any of them.
"However, even after that the idea didn't die down. It had been viciously fought whenever it was brought up, due to the Faction leaders not wanting another attempt to boil over and spark an actual continuation to the Great War. Yet even throughout this pressure the idea persisted, and many tried to implement it in one form or another. Social experiments, a collaborative work, and many others. All failed. Each time the Three Peace Project become further and further away from reality."
Asia and the others, bar a few - who already knew what the crimson haired Devil was talking about - hung on Rias's words.
"And yet even with all that fear and pressure, isn't this idea worth striving for?" Asked Rias.
"Yes," the Sister who wielded the Twilight Healing answered without any hesitation.
Issei felt like he was watching a scene out of history. As if this moment before him would be the start of something world changing.
All this time… To think Senpai was working toward something this huge. This...this is like trying to achieve world peace right? Issei took a step back, his lips parted as he saw Rias in completely new light. Rias, you...you really are amazing.
"Oi!" Penemue's shout broke the spell of wonder. His look toward Rias was intense but neutral, hiding all his thoughts on the matter discussed. "Do not sugarcoat it." he said plainly.
"Wasn't planning to." Rias said.
"Eh?" Asia wondered what that was about. The feeling of wariness suddenly returned to Issei.
"Asia-chan, the favor that I wanted to ask you about. I want you to work with me on a Three Peace Project."
"Rias, she's a human! You can't make her the center to a Three Peace Project." Argued Sona.
"Its because she's a human, that this can work." Rias said.
"Don't you realize the dangers in putting her in that position! She-" Sona began to argue.
"I!" At Asia's shout, the ruckus ceased. All eyes turned to her. "I…" the young Sister who was once declared a witch struggled with her words.
"Asia…" Issei didn't know what to do. From Sona-kaichou's words, this was dangerous. Yet, the Rias-senpai who was always infallible needed help. Rias was asking the equivalent of putting the weight of the world on Asia. He wanted to help his senpai, but Asia was his friend, she was also important and he didn't want her to get hurt.
"Asia-chan, the truth is...what I'm asking is practically retarded." Asia looked at Rias with eyes wide in surprise and incredulity. "The thing is, a Three Peace Project would be a tense engagement all around. Once a representative of every Faction; Fallen Angels, Angels and Devils are present, it's a powder keg, with most people trying to make sure everything doesn't erupt into war when the project expectantly fails, and very few trying to actually work for it to succeed. And for those who are in the center of it...naturally their life will be in constant danger."
"What!?" Shouted Issei.
Asia eyes widen for but a moment, then a look of understanding overcame them. Even before Rias had laid out the conditions clearly, she instinctively understood. It's only natural that being in the center of such an unstable situation would be dangerous. However to be able to help bring peace between the Three Faction. Her, the girl who the Lord provided with the power to heal, no matter one's race.
Maybe this is a sign… Was the beginning of Asia's thought.
"No," the word was spoken softly. All eyes turned to Issei, and in the face of power and magnitude beyond anything a human would ever be capable of, his gaze didn't waver. "No, even if it's you, I'm not going to let you do this to Asia."
Penemue silently huffed. He was about to snark at how Rias's support was falling from all around her, when a look from Azazel, shaking his head, told him to be quiet and just watch things unfold.
"Issei…" It seems like before she even began, Rias had lost a friendship that could have supported her more than she could have hoped. She liked Issei. She liked his honesty, and zeal for life and his dreams. And now because of her wish, she lost another bond that could have grown to so much more.
Or so she thought for a moment.
"Let it be me." Said Issei.
"Eh!?" Rias stuttered thrown aback.
"What?" Penemue blinked in surprise.
"Oh dear…" Akeno sighed, as she rested her face in her palm.
There were cries of shock all around, at this development.
"Let it be me," Issei repeated. "The dangers, being at the center of the attentions of the Three Factions, I'll handle it. Just let Asia be away from all that." Issei pleaded toward Rias.
For a while, the redhead stood quiet; surprised and touched by the brunette teen's offer, until her thoughts organized and ran the idea through.
"Issei…" Rias began. "Do you really think you be a center to a Three Peace Project?"
"Rias!" Sona began only for Rias to gesture - her hand open facing her - for her to stop and let her handle this.
"I can." Said Issei enthusiastically. For his friend and his Senpai, he could face anything.
"So you can even be friend with Fallen Angels?"
He flinched, before steeling his resolve and continuing. "Yes."
"Even though one tried to kill you and ruined your normal life a few days ago." Rias said bluntly.
That one hit him hard.
Not only was his first girlfriend and even someone he began to feel could genuinely fall in love with try to kill him. She had humiliated and mocked him. Her look of disgust and delight as her words cut him, were worst than any beating he endured from any girl in all his life. And Rias was right, his normal life was over. He was the wielder of a Sacred Gear, something high leveled and called a Longinus. Maybe if it had been before, before he knew any of this stuff, he could have just lived his life, graduated, got a job and maybe met someone. Just an average life of an average person regardless of his perversions.
All the things that a normal person could do and look forward to, they were robbed away from him. Because no matter what, he could now see what lies underneath the world everyone lives in.
"I…" What could he say to that? Could he really befriend Fallen Angels? Maybe they are not all like Yuuma, in fact, Penemue and Azazel seem pretty okay.
And Yuuma was very nice before she showed her real self.
Could he really, genuinely befriend them?
"I will do it!"
Issei blinked. He didn't say that. he turned to see Asia with a look of determination he had never seen before.
"I will do it, Ms. Rias. I'll be the center of the Three Peace Project." Asia said with a firm steady voice.
"Asia-chan, you don't have-"
"Issei-san," He was thrown back by how the normally gentle Asia had actually cut him off. "When I, when I was part of the Church, I didn't have friends, not really. And when I was branded a witch and kicked out, I believed all the words they said about me. That I was an evil existence, an abomination to the Lord, that I should be burned and a hundred other thing." Issei balled his hands so much his nails dug into his palm. He didn't shout, not wanting to scare Asia or to interrupt her.
But within his heart, he vowed, no one would harm her like that again.
"Asia…" Saji muttered, touched by the nun's story.
"But I still believed, that the Lord had a plan for me. A reason to have the power to heal not just ordinary people, but Devils and even any other creature in need of help. If my help is what's needed to heal the Three Factions, then I will step forward. Because now I have friends," Asia turned to the Devils and Fallen present. "And that Devils and Fallen Angels aren't that bad."
"Oooh, I can't be sure of that. We can be pretty bad." Rias said nonchalantly.
"I agree with that." Penemue added with a lazy grin.
A few of those present smiled in amusement.
Blushing at the teasing thrown at her, Asia continue. "So, I want to do this. To help bring peace between the Three Factions!" She finished with a heartfelt shout. Feeling exhausted at having been the center of the stage, and pushing herself to say what she had felt for so long.
Issei was quiet for a long while, mulling over Asia's words. Seeing the conviction in them, he couldn't oppose her. "Senpai," he spoke gaining Rias's attention. "Can you promise that Asia would be safe?"
"...If I am to be completely honest, no." Issei felt his heart sink. "But I can give you my word that I will do everything in my power to protect her. No matter what, I will do my utmost to keep her safe as much as I can. Because in the end, if she dies, this project would die with her." She told him.
"In that case," Issei stepped up to Rias. "Senpai, please teach me how to use the full power of the Boosted Gear. If Asia is doing this then I will protect her as well."
Rias folded one arm and raised the other to her chin, looking like a strict teacher. "Hoooo, are you sure, Issei-kun? My training will be more difficult than anything you have done in your life. Even that bet you are having with Koneko."
Having been addressed the catgirl spoke up. "Oooh, can I help with that training, nyaa~?"
"Koneko-chan, I actually do mean genuine training." Said Rias.
"Me too. After all he needs someone to spar with, doesn't he?"
Issei did not like the glint in Koneko's eyes.
Why did it feel like his Senpai was throwing him to the wolves?
"And so," Rias smoothly turned to Azazel and Penemue. "There you have it, the starting point," she gestured to Asia and Issei. "And now I ask for your cooperation Lord Azazel."
"Well," Azazel began. "You gave a good talk, and all of that was really heartfelt and all," he tilted his head to the side. "What is this Three Peace Project actually going to be?"
"Well, we have our Sister," Rias pointed to Asia again. "We have the Devils' side representative." She pointed to herself. Sona clenched her hand, her brows wrinkling in worry, before she schooled her features again. "We have a church, although it needs to be refurbished, rebuild and for the delinquents in it to be thrown out." Penemue snorted in amusement at that. "And finally, I was hoping you would provide volunteers from your side, Lord Azazel." She gestured to him.
For a while Azazel was quiet, simple observing Rias and the collective of people present. He chuckled and that chuckle turned to laughter.
"Hahahahhahahaha," his laughter however had been much more subdued than before. Azazel shook his head, before looking at Rias in disbelief. "You have some serious large balls, Rias Gremory."
"Gah!" Issei shouted, thrown off by the expression. Azazel however kept his focus on the red-headed Devil.
"Heavy steel ones," the Fallen Angels' leader had a wide mirth grin on his face. "Specially since you're jumping right back into the fray after that disaster of five years ago."
Sona stiffened, and so did her Queen. The rest of the Sitri Peerage, stood silently, not having the context or only having heard of the incident second hand. For a second Azazel's eyes went to Akeno, who responded with a deathly glare, before his eyes returned to studying Rias. Everyone being none the wiser, save the Sitri heir.
"The Three Peace Project attempted five years ago was-"
"Initiated by Demon Lord Serafall Leviathan. I know what the official report says kid, however I'm not the head of the Grigori just because I accept anything titled 'official' at face value, you know." Azazel said with a braze attitude, staring intently at Rias to study her reaction.
"I know how the last Three Peace Project really began, and even after how that ended, you want to try once again, right away after five years," he laughed showing his incredulity. "I mean, wasn't what happened bad enough. And that boy, what was his name? Yuura? Yaiba? No, that wasn't it." As Azazel continued to talk in dismissal, tension filled up the room.
Koneko and Akeno step forward behind to Rias, while Sona step next to her with Tsubaki behind her. The others of Sona's Peerage where gestured to stay behind Tsubaki.
"Ah, yes." Azazel snapped his fingers. "Kiba Yuuto. Such a tragic thing that happened to that boy. He had his whole life ahead of him, and yet he died so young-"
"Enough." Akeno voice was colder than the arctic. "Even if you are the leader of the Grigori, I will not allow you to insult my King anymore."
"You bastard." Issei growled out. He didn't know how this 'Kiba Yuuto' was, but he felt that this was a sensitive subject, if from everyone's attitude. He was mocking Rias-senpai, and the lose of her friend, that wasn't something he would let pass.
As I thought, Fallen Angels are rotten.
Koneko's eye held a dark look, one of wrath folded careful under her will, as she gazed at Penemue. She focused on him, even if he is a Cadre, if he made the wrong move, she will charge with everything at him, and make him bleed for his boss's insolence.
Azazel looked at all the Devils gathered, who were ready to move on his Chief Secretary, even Issei had positioned himself between him and Asia, while glaring daggers at them.
"Do you have something to say to that, Gremory?" Azazel finally asked with a casual tone. "What about you Sitri? Do you want to attack Penemue here for your friend's honor?"
Sona closed her eyes, took a breath and spoke with a calm smile on her face. "Of course not. Your Chief Secretary is a guest here on this ground, and as such, it would be permissible for violence to be directed at him."
Azazel raised an eyebrow, as he turned to Rias. "And you, Rias Gremory."
The tension in the room jumped to greater heights. It felt smothering.
Rias simply smiled, spoke. "You are completely right." And shattered the tension. "Back then, I was young. I was too optimistic. However," Even while being hundreds of miles away, back in his house in the Underworld, Azazel couldn't help but be impressed with the girl's piercing stare, which she somehow managed with her eyes closed. "that doesn't mean I should stop. No. I would stake my life on this attempt at the Three Peace Project, and I will see it succeed. That is all."
Azael held her gaze, looking for something. Finally after a while, "so, Penemue, what do you think?"
Everyone blinked, having actually forgotten that the chibi Cadre was there.
"Well, the Peerage members need more discipline, although they are good at following orders, but in wanting to protect their King, they might do something reckless. As for the two heirs," he tilted his head. "I have to say I'm impressed. Sitri kept control of her emotions, making sure not to cause a political bomb, and taking measures to make sure a fight doesn't break out. And Gremory… you kept control of your emotions the whole time, I barely read you."
It was a test!? Was the general thought across the room.
"As you said," Azazel took over explaining. "On official paper it was Serafall Leviathan who started up the Three Peace Project of five years ago, and that because she was someone who was strong enough to deal with the problem and the consequences. At the moment though, it's only you two and your Peerage. Twilight Healing and Boosted Gear over there need protection till they are up to snuff, so this whole thing depends on you. And while I'm all for crazy gambits, I can't say I would want to throw my lot with someone who can't handle themselves under pressure." Azazel gave both Devil heirs a silent look of approval. He even stood up mid-speech from how excited he was.
"With a bit of experience, you two will be great leaders when you head up your families." Azazel finished with a wide grin. "So, what do you say we go clean up that church, since I do need to give a stern talking to those cute little underlings of mine."
Rias felt at ease, even if she hide it. Never give the opposition a clue, as a certain Magical Girl obsessed Demon Lord would say. Even if Rias hated her guts, it was still good advice to follow.
Thankfully, it seem everything turned out well, at least for the meeting with the Grigori. While originally Rias had another goal in mind, the presence of Asia had made the attempt at a Three Peace Project the more appealing option and gave a better opportunity for establishing relations with the Grigori. Now there was only one thing left in this meeting.
"Umm," Rias began speaking, she looked to the side, as though hesitate by something.
"Yes," Azazel smirked, as he felt that she was no doubt impressed by his speech.
"It's just that… while providing volunteers for participating in the Peace Project is fantastic...I would really appreciate it if you could also provide funding for the church. As in for the rebuilding, refurbishing, redecorating, all of it." Rias said sheepishly.
Then Issei was treated to quite the rare sight. A real live person face faulting, actually flipping from surprise and falling on their back. Although it might seem like Azazel stepped on something slippery without realizing. That it was the the Leader of the Fallen Angels probably made it an even more rare sight than he could ever imagine.
Penemue himself was left mouth gaping, not actually believing Gremory's request.
"You, you…" Azazel pulled himself up. "Are you serious?"
"Yeah," Rias shrugged with a "it can't be helped" attitude. "I am literally broke. I mean, my Peerage and I, live in a shed. It's a very nice shed. Big size, running water, and a stove, nice lighting, lots of stuff to make living their nice...but it's a shed none the less."
Azazel blinked. Once. Twice. He turned to Sona to see her shaking her head as well. "I don't have any money either. Everything I have is for the school and other bills, I can't afford to spare any of it for a church."
Azazel and Penemue looked at each other, then back at the Devils, then back at each other.
"PfffthahahahahaHAHAHAHAHAHA!" And both feel into howled in wide belly laughter.
"I, I thought that nickname 'Beggar Princess' was just a slang or something the petty nobles made to throw at you. I didn't think if had any authenticity to it." Cried Azazel, close to tears from laughing so much.
"Oh, oh dammit. Don't make me laugh so much in this body. M-my stomach can't handle it." Said Penemue with a wide open mouth smile, as he laughed wholeheartedly.
Issei and Asia looked on confused, although they had small smiles on their faces and were trying to hold back their snickers.
The rest of the Devils weren't as quiet in hiding their snickers, while Sona and Akeno looked at Rias with amusement and relief.
Rias folded her arms and pouted.
Later on, Asia and Issei went back home, while the other went to deal with some birdies that needed discipline.
"I'm going to kill them. I'm going to kill them. I'm going to kill them. I'm going to kill them!" Freed growled out as he headed to the basement of the church.
Raynare curled her lips in disdain. Freed along with the other Stray Exorcists were found tied up and hit with an electrical paralysis spell that made it difficult for one to move, as though they are fighting with their body to direct it every step of the way. It made them slow and heavy in movement.
She had hoped that Freed would at least manage to trouble the Gremory brat for a bit, yet he couldn't succeed in even that.
"Awww, so they all came back with their tails behind their legs. And that Freed, he came even more rabid than he left." Mittelt commented with an amused tone.
"Have you healed the those weaklings yet?" Raynare snapped back, not in the mood for Mittelt's infuriating commentary.
"It should take about two hours for all the boys to be back on their feet." Said Mittelt.
"Two hour!?" Raynare cried out. "You were alive at the time of the Great War, you old hag, shouldn't you have experience dealing with this type of spell!"
"Well, yes, I started a counterspell but there are too many of them. Besides," Mittelt smiled widely with closed lips. "I'm afraid my power is limited, since I'm just a Low Class."
Raynare clicked her tongue in annoyance and disgust. Seeing that it was futile to chat with the petite blond any further, she turned and walked away with a comment of "Low Class trash."
She didn't see Mittelt's predatory smile highlighted by her cold eyes.
"Kill them. Fucking hang those bitches by their guts." Freed found the secured case that was covered in seals. He, unlike the other losers, he didn't buy with the whole "magic is bad" bullshit, so he learned some stuff about magic spells in case he needed it. Like how to break through curses or spells that act like them. He keep pushing his Magical Energy through his muscles and bones, pushing through the paralysis, to keep moving, and to reach his goal. To get the tools that will kill, those filthy Devils.
It was simple really, no matter what spells they used, demonic beings have a frequency to them. They are Dark types. While he doesn't have a Holy Element in his body, he can use a substitute and that is what he was doing in the church's basement.
That old bat said to hide these here till he came, but fuck that shit. I'll have that Gremory bitch's head on a spike!
Freed opened the case, and grasped the two Holy items inside. He instantly felt the spell break, as his body returned under his control again.
"Ooooh, YEAH BABY!"
Raynare heard Freed's excited cry from the basement, before she shook her head dismissing him.
"The idiot is probably high on his insanity," she muttered to herself. "How much longer before the damn Exorcists are healed?" Raynare shouted.
"I dunno, can Exorcists be damned?" Mittelt asked playfully.
The black haired Fallen grinded her teeth. "Don't play cute with me you fu-"
"Hey!" Came Dohnaseek's hurried shout.
"What now!?" Shouted Raynare back.
"I think...this entire operation is a bust." Said Dohnaseek.
"The fuck does that mean?" Said Raynare.
"He means that your entire false operation is a bust."
Raynare's eyes widened in terror at seeing the people who arrived at the church ground. Somehow the Devils had came through teleportation circles straight into the sacred grounds of the church, which shouldn't be possible. It's why the church was the perfect hideout, because even if the Devils attacked them, Raynare and her group would have ample time to come up with a strategy before they arrived.
There is however a way to circumvent that limitation. It's to have a being capable of using the Holy Light to transport them with teleportation magic circles themselves.
And currently that being leading them here was Lord Penemue himself.
"Hello boys and girls. I would ask if you had been naughty, but we all know that if I was Santa, I would be smacking some bitches today. So," Penemue clasps his hands together. "Who here would like to act as an adult and step up to fess up?"
Shit! Fuck! No, I could just blame it on the little blonde doll, and the trench coat faggot. They are veterans, I can just play that I was afraid of them.
With a plan in mind, Raynare moved to act, only for it to fall before she could do anything.
"So, blonde, explain yourselves." Said Penemue.
In front of the Cadre, Mittelt, Dohnaseek and those of the Stray Exorcists that could move all sat bowing on one knee, with closed eyes before the high ranking member of the Grigori, the Cadre.
Why is Lord Penemue questioning Mittelt? I'm the squad leader!
"Lady Raynare was given the mission my Lord. We were simply following her orders as told." Mittelt spoke with respectful and obedience tone.
"Hmm, and what was your mission?"
Mittelt opened her eyes, and smiled at Raynare.
YOU FUCKING BITCH! Raynare of course couldn't voice her thoughts.
"I'm afraid the full details are beyond me, my Lord. Only Lady Raynare knows what the mission is in full." Mittelt answered the question.
"Hmmm," Penemue looked pensive, before he turned to said black haired Fallen. "So Raynare, tell me, what was your mission here?"
Quickly upon realizing she was standing, Raynare genuflected.
Okay, its okay. I can still get out of this. Even if he's the Chief Secretary, he is still lower ranked than Lord Kokabiel, I can just say anything, and beg Lord Kokabiel fix the facts later. Although...
"Lord Penemue, may I ask why-" She was about to ask why the Devils, their enemies, were there only for Penemue to cut her off.
"No you may not." He said with a piercing stare.
Instantly Raynare averted her eyes.
"Yes, my Lord. I was given the mission to observe one Hyoudou Issei and eliminate him should his existence proves to be a threat, which I determined that he is. However, I was stopped from accomplishing my task, by the Devils over there my Lord." She quickly answered.
And there, close enough to the truth, that there is no problem to fix a few facts.
"And your altercations with Lady Gremory here." He gestured with his head to the filthy redheaded Devil.
"An unfortunate happenstance as they interfered with my mission, sir."
For a while Penemue was quite in contemplation "Hmm, I dunno," he said scratching his chin. He then took a circular device from his pocket and threw it on the ground. "What do you think boss?"
The real life holographic image of the Grigori Governor General, Azazel, appeared before Raynare. She was stuck. Her body frozen in awe and fear at seeing her idol, Lord Azazel.
"Hmm, I'm pretty sure those were not anywhere close to my orders." Said the Leader of the Fallen Angels.
"L-l-lord Azazel," began Raynare in fear and adoration, he heart pumping blood into her reddening cheek, heating her up from being even near the image of her Lord Azazel. The fact that it was the real thing, was making it more difficult for her. She tried to gather her thoughts and composure. "I-I-I…"
"AND I'M BACK FUCKERS! NOW LET'S GO KILL THO-"
It only took Freed an instant to recognize the current present company of the Chief Secretary of the Grigori and the guy who leads it. And after that moment, Freed found a hole in his chest.
"What the fu-"
Another Spear of Light shot out of Penemue's finger as he held his hand in a L gun shape, hitting Freed right though the head.
"Really not in the mood for asshole nutjob rants." Penemue said in boredom. His finger was letting out smoke like a real gun, which he blow on dispersing the smoke. "So boss," Penemue turned to the shivering Raynare and the hologram of Azazel. "How about we wrap this up here, and take it back to base? No need to air dirty laundry or anything? Besides, it's almost my nap time." He finished with a big yawn.
"Meh, might as well." Azazel said with a shrug. "Raynare, you are hereby stripped of your position, authority and privileges. You will return to the Grigori headquarters without causing any problems where we'll discuss the rest of your disastrous actions on his mission. Understood?" His tone wasn't different, the easygoing smile on his face wasn't different, yet Raynare knew she had completely failed Lord Azazel.
"I believe that's all, right?" Azazel said to Rias who seemed to have been distracted by Freed's corpse.
"Ah, sorry about that." Said Penemue who proceeded to cast a fire spell to incinerate Freed's body, not leaving even ashes while not damaging the surroundings.
"So, Gremory?" Asked Azazel.
"Yes, I believe we are done here, Lord Azazel. I shall await your faction's call so that we can finish up the details." Rias said with a wide smile.
"Sure." Azazel snorted as he answered, as he knew those details were mostly "how much money were the Grigori willing to lend out for the rebuilding of his church".
"Adios." Penemue gave a two finger salute, as he cast a massive teleportation circle to take the Stray Exorcists and the Fallen Angel minions with him.
Rias waved goodbye, yet her attention was away on something else.
After the Fallen visitors and their comrades left, Rias and Sona called it a night and each one took their Peerage and left.
Far away at the edge of Kuoh City, the familiar of the Astaroth Family flew away to report to its master what it saw.
In the northern forest of leading out of Kuoh City, a figure was running through the woods.
A figure that looked convincingly dead a while ago.
Freed couldn't believe his luck. If he hadn't grabbed those Holy Swords, he definitely would have been dead by no-
Four blades of darkness, outlined by crimson blood descended on Freed Sellzen cutting off all his limbs.
"GAAAAAAH! FUCK! FUCK! FUCK! WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK!?" He shouted as he fell on the ground like a degenerate worm.
"I felt something was off. Honestly, one by one, people keep sliding under my radar. This is really annoying." Said a charming voice of a redheaded Devil. "You were dead, all my senses told me so. And yet, a few seconds later, I sense your lifeforce brimming and energetic. You have no idea how stressful that was for me. Especially since I had to put on the act that there was no problem."
Freed could barely see her figure as his rapid loss of blood was draining away his life. His vision was darkening, but he knew who it was.
"GAAAAAAH! YOU BI-"
A beam of darkness that devoured light, a hereditary ability passed down the Bael bloodline and inherited by the Gremory scion, the Power of Destruction engulfed the remains of Freed.
This time, there was no body, nor blood left of him. The Mad Priest, Freed Sellzen was dead.
Rias now focused on the object Freed was carrying. The Holy items that allowed him to cheat death and even fool her senjutsu skill.
Rias's eyes widened in fear and outrage at the items. They were swords.
"Rias where were you? You sudden took off and said you would meet us back here? What- RIAS YOUR HANDS!" Akeno shouted upon seeing her friend's hands smoking like they were on fire.
Quickly Rias dashed into the clubhouse and dropped to packages onto her desk. Akeno and Koneko instantly moved towards Rias, and grabbed her hands. Akeno started healing them while Koneko helped accelerate the process over with her Ki.
"Rias, these burns were caused by with Holy Energy. What are those things and why didn't you teleport back?" Akeno asked urgently.
"S-senpai, are you okay?" Asked Gasper warily.
"Freed turned out to be alive, so I went to kill him," Rias said plainly. "Did so, then I found out how he managed that circus 'not dead' trick from before. The swords Holy Element couldn't allow me to teleport. Had to dash here." Rias took her hands away, ignoring her Queen and Rook's protests. "You can heal them later. This is more important." With a quick movement of her hand, Rias uncovered the clothes around the two objects she was holding.
"T-those are…" Akeno couldn't believe her eyes. She didn't think she would see another one of these swords so soon.
"Onee-sama?" Koneko questioned while instinctively flinching away from the blade, even though there aren't being wielded at the moment. Such was the power of these Holy Swords.
"Excaliburs, both of them. Judging from the abilities, they are Excalibur Transparency and Excalibur Nightmare. A sword that turns the wielder invisible and the other can create illusion so real they can be solid. It's how Freed made that convincing death scene at the church." Rias explained through gritted teeth.
"Rias, these swords...if they are here." Akeno shook with rage at the presence of the offending object.
Rias quickly moved and engulfed Akeno in a hug. "Sheesh, it's okay, calm down. It gonna be okay. This is good." She broke away from the hug, as she look Akeno in the eye. "This is good. This means he will come here. We won't have to look for him." After a while Akeno calmed down, and gave a nod.
"Onee-sama," Koneko spoke gaining their attention. "When he arrives, don't forget me. We are all in this together. I will protect your backs Rias-Onee-sama, Akeno-Onee-sama." The white haired girl nodded at each. "Gasper-chan?" Koneko turned to the Vampire.
"It's scary." The Vampire seemed to draw on himself. "Its scary, everything you told me Senpai, it was scary." Gasper raised his head, courage and will shining through. "But this is my home. If he comes, then I will fight too."
"Yes," Akeno nodded back. "Yes, you're right." Akeno moved and began looking at and studying the blades thoroughly. "If he will come for them, then we'll prepare a welcome." She turned and faced her friend. "Rias, what's the plan?"
Quickly Rias nodded and devised a plan.
"First Akeno, start training Issei in magic from tomorrow, not because I expect him to fight, but to deal with the small stuff around Kuoh when shit hits the fan." She quickly started explaining. "Koneko, you and I are going to the Shrine starting tomorrow," the catgirl beamed. "We both really need to up our training. Gasper, I need you to start patrolling the city everyday. My senses are apparently not the be all and end all, that I thought they were." She received a firm nod from the crossdressing Dhampir.
"Now about the swords," Rias moved to the next topic. "Akeno I want you to use your strongest Holy Energy suppressing spell, I don't want you to completely suppress their energy all by yourself. Doing that would take all your focus and Demonic Energy. I just need you to do it for even a moment, from there Gasper, I need you to use Balor View on the suppression spell itself to make it last for as long as possible."
"My freezes can probably last a day or so." Said Gasper.
"Good, then we'll just keep the swords sealed and hidden here, till the church is finished, then bury them there." Said Rias.
"A leaf in the forest, right." Said Akeno.
"Exactly." Said Rias. "Also get some holy cloth, or make some, to cover these things up. Even holding them with ordinary cloth burns your hands."
"Rias, about your hands-" Began Akeno, only for Rias to cut her off
"Can be healed later. Let's quickly get this done first."
And with that the Occult Club got to work.
So, you are coming right to us, Kokabiel. Rias looked out the clubhouse's window. The setting sun was like a beacon for the battle to come.
Since you like war so much, I'll prepare one hell of a bloodbath for you.
Within the mansion of the Astaroth Family, the sound of a cracking whip, followed by the pitiful cry of a former Holy Maiden rang through the place.
"Damn that Gremory."
The girl cried.
"Damn that Gremory."
Her shouts of agony were ignored.
"Damn that Gremory."
Her mind was already broken, and maybe if she was lucky, she could escape to the freedom of death.
"Damn you, Rias Gremory!"
She lost consciousness, her mind no longer able to process the pain. Sadly for her however, the Astaroth Family are wealthy enough to have hired some of the best healers around.
Seeing that his toy was used up for the moment, Diodora called out, "Next!"
Another one of his Peerage, a Rook, took the girl's place, who was his Bishop. She undressed, leaving her bare before him, and surrendering to his mercy.
That he had none of at all.
"Damn that Rias Gremory. I almost had her, Asia Argento should have been mine by now but that stupid Raynare bitch had to fuck it up. She had just one job, get the nun, and steal her Sacred Gear, die so I can revive the nun and be seen as her savior and the Fallen whore fucked. That. Up."
Diodora panted and huffed in his rage, ironically giving the girl some respire.
"No. I can still have her. I must have her. There has to be something." He threw the whip all together in his anger and began to pace around.
"There had to be a weakness. Gremory isn't invulnerable. Far from it. But should I-" And suddenly, an idea occurred to him.
"Maria," he called upon his Queen. The only member of his Peerage he hadn't damaged beyond repair and had to replace yet.
"Yes, Master Diodora." The girl answer obediently.
"Rias Gremory had a Vampire under her care. Is it part of her Peerage?"
The girl summoned a magical tablet of sorts and looked up the information on the public records of Rias Gremory.
"No, Master. Rias Gremory doesn't have the Vampire, Gasper Vladi, as part of her Peerage. Only Akeno Himejima and Koneko Toujou."
The cogs began to turn in Diodora's head.
Gasper Vladi. A grin began to stretch on Diodora's face
"Maria, bring me all the information on the Vampire, Gremory is looking after and make a call to the Carmilla Vampire Faction. Tell them," Diodora's grin appeared bloodthirsty now.
"Diodora Astaroth wishes to help them attain the the heir of the biggest supporter to the Tepes House. Gasper Vladi, heir of the Vladi House."
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