Expectations and Explanations
"Morning" was the general response from the members of the Occult Research Club.
"What did you find out?" asked Sir Zecks, the question was meant for everyone but it was directed mainly at Rias.
"Not a lot when I think about it… They both have some form of magical ability which is far too powerful to be that of a magician but not of devil, angelic or fallen nature" said Rias as she bit into a piece of toast.
"I see… anything else?" asked Zecks as he rubbed his temples.
"Well they did take out a stray demon in under a minute of engaging it" injected Akeno as she brushed her hair.
"And there were only two of them?" said Michael with a hint of disbelief in his voice.
All three leaders looked at each other before nodding.
"What aren't you telling us?" asked Rias with a suspicious look.
"Nothing… we will take you all to school today, we can discuss it in the safety of the Occult Research Club" said Sir Zecks as he form a large magic circle underneath him, Michael however took hold of Irina's hand and proceeded to make his own way to the school.
"Here they come" said Lime, the seven other figures nodded and got into position before she turned to Ryan.
"Get in position Lime" ordered Ryan; Lime simply nodded and walked off.
"Be careful sir" came a voice from the shadows.
Ryan didn't respond he simply spun around and straightened out his cloak.
"Let it begin" he whispered more to himself than anyone else.
The ORC members
"Here we are!" said Sir Zecks as he opened the double doors leading into the main occult research club building.
Everyone followed just behind him before they reached the doors of the club room itself, Zeck's came to a sudden halt and Rias bumped lightly into the back of him.
"What's the…" she began before Zeck's clamped his hand over her mouth and motioned for them all to be quiet.
He raised one finger and then pointed to the door: one figure through there.
Everyone nodded, Kiba and Xenovia drew their swords, Akeno quickly changed into her priestess robes and Koneko let out her cat ears. Issei was about to activate his sacred gear but Rias stopped him and then gestured to her ears; it would alert whomever was inside to their presence.
Sir Zecks took a deep breath and opened the doors softly; they couldn't see anyone straight away until they looked at the desk and noticed someone sitting in the president's chair.
"Hi ya… close the door please, it lets in a nasty draft otherwise" the figure spun around on the chair and no one was really surprised to see that Ryan was sitting there.
"Who are you?" demanded Rias before she was silenced by her brother's hand.
"What's the matter Lucy? Don't want to tell your baby sister the truth?" said Ryan with a smirk and a raised eyebrow.
Sir Zecks eyes glowed red before he gathered two handfuls of energy, Michael followed suite and Azazel aimed his arm at Ryan.
"Oh… resorting to violence already? Did I touch a nerve?" said Ryan as he lent back in the chair.
"You're coming with us to the underworld for immediate questioning" said Zeck's without any room for argument.
"No thanks… I'm going to stay right here"
As soon as Ryan had snapped his fingers, the energy from all three leaders began dwindle as if their magic was being sucked out of them. A figure burst from the shadows and ran straight for the devil, angel and fallen angel, it then proceeded to kick Sir Zecks and clothes line Michael and Azazel, pinning all three to the ground.
"Oh that's some potent magic you've got there"
Kiba and Xenovia raised their swords before the felt the cold feeling of metal push up on the side of their neck just under their jaws.
"I'd drop those swords before anyone gets hurt amigos…"
Koneko was about to activate her magic before she was hit from behind and promptly pinned to the ground by a massive hammer, a red haired woman was standing on top of it with a wild look in her eyes.
"Now now, we can't have any unfair cat magic"
Issei went to activate his boosted gear before an arrow pierced his left hand and pinned him to a wall, he cried out in pain before going silent as the end of a crossbow was pushed against his throat.
"Activate that gear and I make sure you never speak again…"
Gasper turned, ready to activate his forbidden balor view before his eyes were covered by a gloved hand and a silver katana was at Akeno's throat.
"Please keep the lords anger under wraps for now Miss. Akeno"
Irina's wings flashed before the sound of a whistling projectile alerted her to danger, to late however, as she was pinned by the throat to the wall by a boomerang, runes engraved into the weapon neutralizing her holy light and making her weak as a puppy.
"G'day little lady, that'll keep yer magic on the down low for now"
Asia was trying not to panic and was about to act when she felt a firm hand on her shoulder pull her back into a wall and a medium length black cane stretched across her chest, pinning her there.
"If you don't move my dear then no harm shall come to you… you have my word as a gentleman"
Rias was the final member not restrained as her eyes lit up, ready to vaporize Ryan, she let loose with a ball of destruction magic that should have killed anyone normally, but when the smoke cleared, Lime was standing in the way, having used her parasol as a shield once again.
Rias had no time to react as Lime appeared before her and hit her in the side of the neck, Rias's body slumped into a useless pile, she could still see and breath but her limbs were completely shut down.
The best kind…
"Well done, if this how easy it is too take down the house of Gremory, a devil king, the archangel and the leader of the fallen angels than you guys seriously need my help" said Ryan as he snapped his fingers.
All eight attackers instantly withdrew, Lime hit another spot on Rias's neck and she felt life flood back into her limbs, the crossbow bolt was removed from Issei's hand and Asia set to work on healing his wound, the three great power's magic was returned to them and the seven unknown attackers plus Lime stood four each side of Ryan.
"What the hell do you want?" asked Sir Zecks.
"Me? Not a lot… I'm simply here to watch the red dragon emperor, other than that… no idea!" said Ryan cheerfully as he sat down again.
"Who are you?" asked Rias.
"Finally! She asks the question that you really should have started with, now, I'll give your big brother and his two other god like friends a chance to explain…" said Ryan with a wicked grin.
Everyone turned to the three in question who hung their heads low…
"What does he mean brother?" asked Rias with a suspicious voice.
"I'm sorry for not having told you Rias" sighed Zecks with a pained voice.
"Alright then… I guess I'll just explain myself" said Ryan as he got up and cracked his back.
"I think that would be good" agreed Rias, her eyes never leaving the dark haired teen before her.
"Salutations occult research club members! My name is Ryan Blackworth, but most of you will know me by my other name: Death… or the grim reaper, I'm not really too fussy" he said with a bow.
Complete silence is nigh impossible to achieve…
"Do remember sir, this is the exact same effect you had on us when we first met you" said the unknown who held the crossbow.
"Very true Jason…" said Ryan with a chuckle.
"He is telling the truth everyone" said Sir Zecks after another ten seconds.
"But that's impossible, death is a force of nature, a thought, it cannot take a physical form!" yelled Rias with an immense amount of anger before her brother whipped his head around and glared at her.
"It is true young Gremory, it may seem impossible, but this teenage looking boy is actually the living personification of death itself" said Michael with a sad face.
"But… but… how?" said Rias in complete disbelief.
"It's simple really… in the beginning there wasn't a lot, hell, we don't even know what came before god rolled up" said Ryan with a thought.
"Wait… god?" asked Irina in surprise.
"Indeed! You see, everything you perceive as natural in this world actually has an entity counterpart, things like life and death all the way to time and space" explained Ryan as he pulled out a white board.
"And god was one of these?" guessed Xenovia.
"Correct for one hundred points! God was the first entity known simply as life… before the universe came into existence, god simply sat in the place you all know as the dimensional gap as a bodiless orb of pure energy. Being able to do anything but having no real idea of what to do, so he created life, the first life. You know them historically as Adam and Eve" said Ryan as he drew two people on the board, "This all making sense?"
"Yes… please carry on" said Xenovia with a nod, they may have just been attacked but this story was entrancing.
"Well, Adam and Eve got a little bit bored of living forever, since God refused to make anyone else since having created them upset the dimensional gaps balance and anything else would risk tearing it; so they decided to try and… die" said Ryan as he drew a large cartoon skull.
"You say it like it's an unfamiliar thing" said Akeno with a raised eyebrow.
"It was, to Adam and Eve who had never experienced death before; they had no idea how to start. That's roughly when I came along… you see, Adam and Eve wanted to die, but couldn't because they had no idea how, I simply gave them a push in the right direction and a knife each" said Ryan as his picture grew.
"You're the apple that killed Adam and Eve?" asked Irina in disbelief.
"According to the bible, yeah pretty much, so after that, God and I were not on the best of terms… you see he was pretty pissed off, but that wasn't what caused the creation of the universe we know today. You see when Adam and Eve died; they let out some kind of unknown energy that had fused into them during their time in the dimensional gap and that majorly upset the balance in the gap and that's when shit really hit the fan…" said Ryan with a grimace.
"This is all so unbelievable" said Asia with wide eyes.
"The dimensional gap had nowhere to put all of the pent up energy so it ejected it into a massive explosion which you all know as the big bang!" said Ryan as he promptly blew up the white board before grabbing another one.
"Wait… so the original Adam and Eve created the big bang because you killed them?" asked Issei with a raised eyebrow.
"Yup, and with the creation of the universe, it bought about the creation of things you know quite well but never really gave it much thought; simply put: Time and Space" said Ryan with a nostalgic look.
"Wait? Time and space are entities?" asked Rias.
"Indeed, they go by the names of Paradox and Pandora, they tend to protect the earth from black holes because life here is a little dull for them" said Ryan as if it were the most casual thing ever.
"So what happened then?" asked Irina, completely engrossed in the story, more so than the others.
"Well God and I decided to stop fighting for Paradox and Panda's sake and we created earth, I agreed to only kill after a time period of one hundred and thirty five years or when an accident happened and god agreed to leave me alone" said Ryan as he drew two crude stick figures holding hands.
"So a regular human can live for one hundred and thirty five years?" asked Xenovia.
"They could… but they tend to barely live to see eighty now days. So after the creation of the second version of Adam and Eve came the creation of another entity: Knowledge" said Ryan as he drew a book.
"Please explain" asked Akeno with the hint of a smile.
"Very well, much like god represents life and I represent death; knowledge represents everything anything can learn… ever! He knows all and is responsible for every piece of information you have, are, or ever will learn" explained Ryan much to everyone's shock.
"But… how?" asked Rias.
"Hey, I don't know how the entity system works… it just does, I've never asked and I don't really care" said Ryan as he waved her off and cleaned the board before raising his pen marker again.
"Are there more than just five of you?" asked Gasper quietly.
"Why of course there are… after knowledge helped Adam and Eve grow as humans, along came a spider who sat down beside them… just kidding. Love followed after that, it was funny how she came along actually; God and I had come together and were trying to get them to reproduce but were having no such luck; she comes along and they're having babies out there ears!" exclaimed Ryan as the board was filled little pictures of babies.
"So this love entity helps people reproduce?" asked Rossweisse.
"Correct. A couple of hundred years passed before we made our first mistake as rulers… we made a race you commonly know as dragons" said Ryan as he looked directly at Issei.
"You made dragons?" asked Issei as he looked at his left hand.
"WE; made dragons… and it was possibly the worst and best thing we could have done; cause after that… well let's just say things went downhill pretty fast!" said Ryan as he rubbed the back off his head.
"I get the feeling you done goofed" said Issei as he took a seat on the couch.
"Well… when we created the dragons we added a unique bit of coding to their DNA sequence; and yes we knew what DNA was, that allowed them express themselves in ways human could not. With this new level of emotional discovery available to them, the creation of fear and rage followed swiftly behind them" said Ryan as he drew a raging inferno of flames and an inky blot of darkness.
"And? The humans didn't make them so they had no effect on them right?" concluded Kiba.
"The opposite actually. Humans began to feel fear and rage just as strongly as dragons did, this soon lead to wars and paranoia and general chaos overall. So god and I came up with an idea, we would make two races to combat the chaos since we made it a rule at the beginning to not get directly involved with the affairs of mortals" explained Ryan with a sad voice.
"Why do I get a bad feeling about this?" thought Issei to himself.
"God created a race of pure and noble creatures which he named angels; I created a race which was meant to be a mirror opposite of the angels… namely the devils. However as time wore on, I found that the devils just couldn't be what I we had originally intended, they too were noble and brave and objective to killing" said Ryan as he gave the smallest of smiles to Sir Zecks.
"So if I've got this right… you're the reason devils exist?" asked Rossweisse.
"Sort of… I combined some DNA of one thing with the DNA of something else, mixed it in with any immense amount of magic and then slapped on a couple thousand years' worth of life… it was way more complicated than that let me tell you" said Ryan as he watched all the faces in the room raise an eyebrow.
"And you're not bullshitting?" asked Issei.
"Nah… anyway, since the devils and angels now existed, it was only a matter of time before the fallen angels came along and added their own twist to what was already a free for all cluster fuck! Seeing no other option, god and I decided to aid humanity and give them one last gift, mainly in the form of sacred gears… with the help of knowledge we created thousands of sacred gears and scattered them across the world, Parradox and Pandora put a charm on the Longinus section of sacred gears to make sure they would be wielded throughout history" explained Ryan as a picture of a gauntlet and two wings appeared on the board.
"But I thought god made the sacred gears alone?" said Irina with a confused expression.
"It was a joint effort but since he was the most well-known by his created faction, we let him have the honor of bestowing the gears to the world, I don't really mind though, they haven't done a hell of a lot of good lately" sighed Ryan as he rubbed off his latest drawings.
"But we're still very grateful that you made them" said Azazel with a smirk.
"Sure you are… and so the war broke out; god, who was weakened by the strain of making gears and various other reasons, tried to help the angels and ended up being killed alongside most of the higher ranked devils and fallen angels. It was sad, but life tends not to die and god was resurrected in the form of another, just like all of us are. It was then that the entities came together and unanimously decided to forfeit our incredible powers for weaker versions, but that meant we were allowed to live on earth and help out when needed" said Ryan as he put the cap back on his pen.
"And despite god having been your friend, you still refuse to bring him back?" said Michael, not as a question but more as an angry statement.
"Just because you're the archangel Michael, doesn't mean you hold any favor with me. Bring this topic up again and I will not be happy, same goes for you two as well" warned Ryan as he gestured to Zecks and Azazel.
"What is he talking about brother?" asked Rias to Sir Zecks.
"Long story short, Ryan over there has the ability to bring the dead back to life and try as we might, we can't convince him to bring back god, the previous devil kings or any fallen angels" said Zecks with sigh.
"For good reason as well, to bring someone back, I must take the life of someone who is alive. It's simply me keeping the balance between life and death" explained Ryan as the whiteboard promptly vanished.
"Then take my life and bring back god" offered Michael to everyone's surprise.
"Oh Michael, I can't bring someone back who's still alive. You see, the god you knew may have died but he was replaced with the latest version of life, most of you in here know her as Mother Nature" said Ryan as he stretched back on the chair.
Michael seemed to want to say something but held his tongue and stepped back.
"Um… mister death sir?" said Gasper in a tiny voice.
"Yes Gasper, how can I help?" asked Ryan as he sat up.
"Who are they?" he asked, pointing to the eight figures around him.
"Oh! By the stars I'd almost forgot… these are my reapers!" he said proudly as he gestured to the eight people.
"But I thought you were the reaper?" said Xenovia, completely confused.
"Not quite… I am the GRIM reaper, a standard reaper is a servant of the current grim reaper and acts as there soul collectors and possible heirs once the grim reaper passes on" explained Ryan with a smile.
"And you have eight of them?" asked Kiba.
"Technically I can have ten but then that's just getting crazy!" exclaimed Ryan as he rolled over the desk.
"Well then… care to introduce us?" asked Azazel.
"Not at all… reapers, you're all grown up now and I fully trust that you can introduce yourselves" said Ryan as he stood to the side and the crossbow wielder stepped forward.
"Good morning everyone, my name is Jason Blaze and I am the first reaper in the service of grim reaper Blackworth. I am the long ranged support reaper and currently guard Asia" he said with a bow.
"Wait… you guard Asia?" asked Sir Zecks.
"I do sir, each reaper is given a continent to protect and harvest souls on, since I was the first I was allowed to guard Asia when I had finished my training" explained Jason, addressing Zecks with the utmost politeness.
"I see" muttered Zecks.
"My name is simply Lime, I am the second reaper in the service of grim reaper Blackworth, I am also the mobile tactical defense reaper and I guard all of North America" she said quickly without making eye contact.
"And I'm assuming all that parent sadness stuff you said yesterday was…"
"A complete lie yes… but it worked just the way Ryan planned" confirmed Lime as she smirked at Rias.
"Jolly good then… My name is Walter Smith and I am the third reaper in the service of the Master Blackworth. I am the close ranged combatant and I am in charge of protecting Europe" said the mustache wearing gentleman.
"How did Ryan manage to snag a gentleman like you?" asked Azazel.
"It's a long story, but I assure you every reaper is given the right to say yes or no when Ryan makes the offer" said Walter as he took a step back.
"HELLO! I'm Mary! Well actually my name is Marian Madison Marie but everyone just calls me Mary. I'm the… forth? Yeah… I'm the forth reaper Ryan made and I take care of my home land of Russia since no one else likes wrestling bears in the snow" said Mary with a pout.
"Probably because no one else is bat shit crazy?" said Jason which he mixed with a cough.
"Fight. Me. Now" growled Mary as she drew her hammer.
"That's enough you two, Mary is also the close range tank reaper" said Ryan as he clicked his fingers and they instantly stood down.
"G'day mates. Names Johnathan Blade and I'm the fifth reaper in charge of Oceania. I do the long range tank work with ma good old boomerangs" he said as he started juggling said boomerangs.
"And I assume the markings on your weapons are not just for display?" asked Azazel, fascinated by the runes etched into them.
"Good eyes Mr Fallen Angel, these runes neutralize any magic they come into contact with, pretty handy in a scrap" explained Johnathan.
"Hola me amigos. My name is Roberto Alhambra and I am the sixth reaper to have been chosen. I am the medium ranged artillery expert and I protect all of South America from any puta's who try and take it from me" said the Brazilian as he flicked something out of his teeth with his toothpick.
"Divine blessings fellow protectors of the peace. My name is Alexander James and I am the seventh reaper to be graced with the chance to serve Master Blackworth. I am the second close range combatant alongside Mr. Smith and I do not protect an area of mass, more that I wander the world and support the other reapers should they ever need help" said the man as he held his cross in his hands and made a quick prayer.
"And how did someone of the faith get tangled up in this?" asked Michael.
"I found out that god had died and my village promptly crucified me, Ryan came to my aid and I have served him ever since" said Alexander quickly before stepping back.
"Hello. My name is Bobby and I am the eighth reaper under Master Blackworth. I protect all of Africa" said the figure with a large cartoon bear head over their head.
"Umm… why are you wearing that?" asked Issei.
"Because if you saw my true face it would kill you instantly…" said Bobby with a growl causing Issei to go pale.
"Or… because they died with it on, it has become a trophy of sorts to remind them of the reason why they became a reaper. Either one works" said Ryan as Bobby stepped back.
"That is a very odd bunch of people you have their Death" said Sir Zecks with a furrowed brow.
"I know… but what's the point of having a group that's normal? Each of my reapers has a fantastic story of their own and each of their personalities makes my job a whole lot more enjoyable" said Ryan as he clicked his back.
"And what is your 'job' exactly?" asked Azazel, embedding the word 'job' with as much sarcasm as possible.
"Basically we prevent the world from going to complete shit… we take out strays, deal with magicians and rouge exorcists. We kill them with our reaper weapons and judge if their souls are worthy of paradise or not" explained Ryan as he made a quick hologram in the center of the room.
"Paradise?" said Irina.
"Like a room of parrots… yes, paradise is a zone which none of the endless may ever go too since we are forever bound to the earth, save for maybe Paradox and Pandora but that's another matter. When a reaper or grim reaper kills anything with their reaper weapon, it shreds their body into nothing but their soul. If a soul is pure and good, than it is white in color and is sent off to paradise; if it is completely black however, then we crush it out of existence which is the only sure fire way that they never come back to life. If the soul is more black then white, but still got a bit of white then we send them to hell, the same goes for more white then black, we just send them to heaven and you guys take care of them. Easy as pie" said Ryan as the hologram showed a white orb and then a black one.
"Pie?" asked Lime as her head whipped up and scanned the room.
"There's no pie Lime… Ryan was saying something else" said Jason as he patted her on the shoulder.
"But I like pie…" said Lime sadly as she sunk to her knees.
"Yeah… like I said, an odd bunch but good hearts overall" said Ryan as he watched Mary comfort Lime.
"So… that still brings us to the main question; why are you here?" asked Azazel and everyone turned to look at him.
"Like I said before… I'm here to watch Issei" said Ryan simply before everyone turned and looked at said person.
"M… me?" said Issei in shock.
"Juggernaut Drive… what do you know about it?" asked Ryan as he looked out the window with his back to the room.
"Well… not a lot actually, just that it makes me super mad and powerful but it also kills my life force when I use it so I try not to" said Issei as he thought over that form.
"I see… and you achieved it by feeling an intense combination of sadness and rage correct? Bought about by the apparent death of Miss. Argento" said Ryan simply stating facts.
"Yeah… Loki had also put a curse on me which made it even worse" said Issei as he rubbed his left arm.
"I am aware of Loki's tricks… but let me ask you something Mr. Hyoudou; how can we be sure you won't activate it again?" asked Ryan as he turned to face him.
"Because I have my friends…" he began before Ryan punched him in the face and sent him crashing into the back wall.
"Don't lie to me Issei… the truth is that you have no idea. If someone got to you through anger or sadness, the juggernaut could very possibly be released, and this time it might not be in a dimension where the damage is limited" growled Ryan as he walked over the teen.
"Vali will stop me again, and so will Rias" said Issei as he tried to catch his breath again.
"Maybe… possibly… but that's not good enough. It has been decided among the endless that I end your life here and take custody of the boosted gear so that may never arise" he said as he raised his hand and pointed a single finger at the cowering boy.
"NO!" screamed Rias as she leapt in between the two.
"Rias… please, he's right. I couldn't live with myself if I caused harm or even death by accident" said Issei with a smile as he lightly pushed her away and got to his feet.
"At least make it painless" he said with a grimace as he shut his eyes and waited.
"Very well" was the simple response before Issei heard nothing.
Was he dead yet?
He felt something jab his forehead and opened his eyes to see Ryan grinning at him.
"I'm not dead?" he asked, surprise evident in his voice.
"Of course you're not you dunce. I'm not a murderer… no, I just needed to know if you knew what was important in life, you passed that test so I don't need to kill you" explained Ryan and Issei breathed a massive sigh of relief.
"Thank god… argh! Oh well, you did scare the shit out of me though" he said with a chuckle.
"Yeah… Reaper's you can scatter, Lime and I'll take it from here" said Ryan and then seven other reapers nodded before disappearing in a cloud of smoke.
"What do you mean take it from here?" asked Rias with growing worry.
"Oh don't worry you're pretty little wings about it Rias my dear, we're just going to move in with you to keep an eye on Issei 24/7!"