Hello everyone, Xager here with a new story for you all. I'd like to give a shout-out to the guy whose fic inspired me to create this, and from which I have drawn a lot of the ideas for the initial chapter, with my own twist, of course. The Crimson Lord, author of "A Demon Among Devils", I thank you for your story and it's inspiring idea.
I still do not know how Elizabeth released me from my prison. One minute, I was drifting, encased in stone and my mind lost to the aether. The next, I was on my knees before the attendant of the Velvet Room, gulping in great breaths of air with the desperation of a man who had drowned. She smiled at me with tears in her eyes, leaned down and planted a solitary kiss upon my brow, and vanished. I would not see her again for a very long time.
The Velvet Room seemed lost to me. I hunted for the doorway wherever I could, only to find nothing but disappointment. I did not exclusively look for Elizabeth and Igor, however. Yukari, Junpei, Ken, Akihiko-senpai, Aigis, Fuuka-chan… Mitsuru-sama… None of them existed in this realm. My world, the one that I had fought, bled, sacrificed and eventually died for… It was gone.
I struggled with the concept for a long time. Money was of no object to me, since this strange new world seemed to use the same money as my old world and I had no small fortune from the journies into Tartarus. To this day, I still wonder where that money came from… I purchased a house in the middle class area of the city, a small but comfortable abode which was nicely furnished and to which I added a piano, for my own hobby.
Some days, when the loneliness was strongest, I believed I had simply imagined them all. But the memories of Junpei's despair at Chidori's death… The sobbing of Yukari as she discovered the truth behind her father's death… Holding my Mitsuru-sama as she wept for her own father, slain by the traitorous Ikutsuki… Those memories could not be falsified, nor could the Evoker that remained at my side. And when I doubted the most, I needed only to raise the gun-like device and pull the trigger. HE always answered, although he would sometimes be accompanied by others.
Mighty Caesar, whose crashing salute and unwavering loyalty reminded me of his master. The great sensor, Juno, whose gentle presence brought back fond memories of the teal-haired girl that I considered to be like a sister. Kala-Nemi, the titan that guarded the smallest of us all, who stood as an eternal memory to the child that found his path. Remorseful Castor, who reminded me of the one we lost. Trismegistus never failed to make me smile at the memory of the Hot Springs incident as I remembered the man who surprised me with his devotion to his friends. Orpheus and Pallas Athena, the two servants of the mechanical girl… Their loyalty drove me to tears. Isis, who would sit with me and talk, just as I did with her old Mistress… And Artemisia… She who brought back thoughts of my Mitsuru-sama…
Still, life had to go on, and I could not simply brood for the rest of my time. I must take responsibility for my actions, even if I was no longer bound by The Contract. My money was invested in several companies, each highly successful and granting me enough money to live well off of. However, this did not defeat the ultimate enemy; boredom. To counter this, I joined up at the local high school.
Despite the curriculum being both dull and unimaginative for one of my intellectual skill (Mitsuru-sama wouldn't tolerate me being anything other than the best in class) I was happy. My free time spent in the library, my headphones drowning out the world and my mind absorbing the knowledge within the books I read.
She reminds me of her. The same authoritative aura. The same powerful aura. The same flowing crimson hair… It hurt to look at her, and so I avoided her as best I could. Of course, she was far from identical to my Mitsuru-sama. Where Mitsuru-sama was cold, Rias Gremory was warm. Where Mitsuru-sama was reserved (at least in public), Rias Gremory was outgoing and kind.
Mitsuru-sama and I had bonded at first over ramen, of all things. The woman was so used to the upper echelons of society, she had no idea how to act. She had been so confused, she had asked the cook about bouillon. To this day, I still do not know what bouillon is, or how it relates to ramen. Next, I educated her on how to act in burger bars and my reward was her stating how much she appreciated me. My heart glowed at that, and I spent the rest of the day in a joyful mood. I had nothing in my heart but joy as she discovered Takoyaki, confiding in me about our mutual close friend. As I educated her more and more about the world, the more I fell in love with the woman behind the arctic intellect. The caring, kind woman that truly desired to look after her subordinates, and held us in an iron grip not out of dislike or doubt, but to keep us at our best. When she finally accepted my feelings and her own, and kissed me in that quiet, abandoned classroom… I felt complete.
It was for this reason that seeing Rias Gremory and her infinite kindness caused me pain, and so I avoided her as best I could. Her presence was a flame against my skin, and so I turned away, or evaded her as best I could. It did not take long for this to draw… unwanted attention.
It seemed almost like the more I evaded her, the harder she sought me. When I could not escape, I would busy myself with another task, barely acknowledging her presence and studiously ignoring her until she either left or I was able to slip away. But neither she nor I would give up on this little dance of ours.
I was surprised when Issei Hyoudou approached me and attempted to be friends. Admittedly, his attempts mostly included him talking about breasts and harems, a topic that I had little interest in discussing. Mitsuru-sama was the only one who I had cared for in that way, much to Yukari and Fuuka's chagrin. So the concept of many women all desiring the same man and him desiring multiple women seemed strange, almost alien to me. I truly doubted he knew how the world worked, how women worked. But it was not my place to dissuade him, nor did I judge him.
His incessant yammering about harems and breasts grew wearisome after a while, if not from the foolishness, then from the fact that it was just that: incessant. It seemed to be almost the only thing on his mind, and I was glad when he finally had a girl approach him and ask him on a date. Yet the next day, when he returned with a look of stunned despair on his face, I knew something had gone wrong. I did not press Issei for details. Indeed, I did not even speak with him for weeks, many days simply sitting with him in companionable silence in a silent show of support.
It was some weeks later that he approached me at lunch, as was our usual ritual. However, this time he did not have his now usual despondent face, but instead bore an expression of pure wrath. "Arisato-san," he started angrily. "What would you do if you had a friend in danger, yet your other friends told you it was too dangerous to save her?"
I looked at him for a while, my steely-grey eyes boring into his golden-brown. Eventually he spoke again, launching into an angry tirade. "I know I got her into trouble in the first place, but I can't abandon her! Gremory-san told me not to go, but I have to! It's my responsibility!" Instantly, I was reminded of Junpei and Chidori, but I did not yet speak. Then suddenly his words registered. Gremory-san? What did Rias Gremory have to do with this?
"I can't stand the thought of her suffering under that… that bitch!" Issei snarled, causing me to blink at the hatred in his voice. Who was this person that could inspire such hate in a boy that I had believed to be one of the kindest people I had met thus far? Issei's face then dropped, and he looked at me with desperation. "What do I do, Arisato-san? What would you do in this situation?"
Even as apathetic as I am most of the time, I was moved by his plight. But I knew he could not rush in, especially since I lacked so much information. I looked to my friend, and spoke. "I would not hesitate to save my friend, regardless of what others have said. but I would not rush into such an unknown area. I would be calm. methodical. I would pick at them until I was guaranteed victory. But that is not your way, Issei-san." I looked upon my friend as he nodded.
"Okay, thanks Arisato-san. I know what I need to do." Issei dashed off, prompting me to raise my eyebrow. The idiot was going to charge in. Smiling softly, hidden from anyone else, I reached into my mind and called forth one of my earliest summons, one that I had such a close relationship with that I could summon her even without the Evoker. "Apsaras… Fetch me my blade and meet me in fifteen minutes." Apsaras bowed at my order, and vanished in a puff of snow. I stood from where I sat alone, the book that I had originally meant to read quickly returned to its shelf and then I departed, my hands in my pockets and my mind whirring.
I recognised the church I stood outside. I had been past it several times on my way to and from school, and it was here that I saw Issei go to. Apsaras appeared next to me, handing me the long one-handed blade of Lucifer. It settled in my hand comfortably, its weight comforting as I entered the church, where the sounds of battle had echoed briefly but fallen silent. I sheathed the blade beside me, Apsaras vanishing back to the Sea of Souls for now.
As I entered, I saw clear signs of a hard-fought battle. Pews were overturned and shattered, the walls scorched and charred and the windows shattered. At the end of the walkway, where the altar would be, I saw a girl tied to a crucifix and Issei collapsed at its foot, covered in bruises, cuts and other various injuries. At the creaking of the door, Issei raised his head. "Arisato-san!? Run! It's too dangerous!" the boy cried, prompting me to glance around. Danger?
My eyes caught the shuffling of the three figures in black just in time, one bearded man who had leaned up against a wall, one young-looking girl that bounced up and down at my entrance and a tall woman with piercing eyes that glared at me as she stood next to the young-looking one. The black wings that they all bore told me what they were. Then a fourth figure appeared from behind the crucifix, and my eyes narrowed in understanding.
The Fallen Angel that wore the face of Yuuma Amano smiled at me mockingly as she held out one hand, several flickers of light gathering to create a spear which she twirled once, proof of my intrusion aggravating her.
"Die." She spoke, and a searing pain ripped across my chest as I threw myself out of the path of the light spear, the pain as it burned across the front of my chest making me grunt with discomfort, drawing an amused chuckle from the sadistic angel.
"Dammit Raynare! Even if you're not human, you don't need to hurt other humans!" Issei roared, trying to force himself up only to scream as the now-named Raynare drove a spiked heel into his shoulder, pinning him to the floor.
"Well, I don't need to. But I want to. Because you are human. You are so inferior to us, so like insects, that you deserve to be eradicated! You are less than nothing, a waste of air!" Raynare's words hit me and I stared at her coldly, my chest burning with the pain of having had a spear of light slashed across it. Glancing down at the wound, I saw a bloody slash had been gouged across my chest, so deep that I could see the white bone of my ribcage. Yet somehow, through the pain, I found clarity.
"Hey Raynare… You missed him!" the young-looking one whined, watching me out the corner of one eye. I flinched as it seemed that everyone focused on me suddenly, prompting a faint blush of embarrassment that fortunately was hidden in the semi-darkness of the church as I glanced away. Raynare tapped her chin thoughtfully as pointed at my chest. "No, Mittelt. I clearly hit him." the raven-haired Fallen Angel pouted, casually grinding her heel into Issei's shoulder and prompting more shouts of agony from my friend.
"I don't know how you survived that, human…" Raynare tilted her head curiously "Even with your admittedly impressive dodge, you should be in agony." I was. "Oh well, I will just have to finish the job this time."
Almost instantly, a second light spear materialised in her hands and was flung towards me. However, this time I was ready and Lucifer's blade hissed from where I had sheathed it, easily shattering the blade. Raynare, far from angry, cackled with amusement.
"Hahahaha! Look at this! You really are much more competent than this idiot here! Why couldn't you have the Sacred Gear, eh? Then I could've had fun! This idiot-" Raynare kicked the now quietly sobbing Issei in the ribs, "just let me kill him! It was so easy, but it was no fun at all! I want a fun kill, and you've just volunteered for it!" Suddenly, where there had only been one shaft of light, there were dozens, far more than I could ever hope to block.
As the first volley flew towards me, I dived for cover behind a pew that had survived the initial battle and the lances of light buried themselves where I had stood. Far too close.
"Yes! Cower! This is how it should be! Pathetic humans like you should scuttle and cower before us like the insects that you truly are! We are your betters, Gods by comparison! And we have judged you unworthy of the privilege of existence!" Raynare crowed with a dark glee.
I froze as she spoke those last words. I had been judged before. By Nyx, who had looked upon me and found me wanting. When the moon had descended from the heavens, and threatened all of mankind with extinction. And when Erebus had crashed itself against my seal, demanding the fusion of itself and Nyx to bring down the end of all things, I had been judged. I DESPISE being judged.
I stood from behind my protective pew, sheathing Lucifer's blade. I would not need it for this. The group of Fallen began laughing as Raynare spoke mockingly.
"Given up, have we? Decided to finally stop hiding?"
Instead of looking away or responding, I simply stared at her, my grey eyes locking with her violet ones. Her voice dropped from a loud cackle to a whisper.
"Such fortitude… Such strength…" she whispered, her beautiful face - for she was still undeniably beautiful - twisting into a sadistic leer. "Such… insolence… I look forward to breaking it! I will make you beg, make you scream, make you cry out until all you desire is to die! And when I finally tire of you, only then will you die. Thus is the judgement of Raynare!"
A blaze of pain burned through my right shoulder, the perfect accompaniment to the roaring flame of rage that seared my soul. I glanced at my shoulder, noted the new hole.
"Oops. Guess I just couldn't stop myself." Raynare's face contorted into a sickening parody of innocence.
A quick test proved what I had already suspected. My arm was useless to me. No matter. I only need one arm for what I was going to do. My left hand sank into my pocket, digging past the numerous gems that I still carried until I felt the cold grip of the tool I sought, squeezing it gently.
I slowly pulled it from my pocket and every eye flicked to it instantly. Raynare burst out laughing contemptuously as she saw what it was.
"A gun? A GUN!? You think a gun will hurt ME?" the arrogant Fallen Angel called to me, spreading her arms to make herself a bigger target. "Go ahead! Take your shots! See how pointless it is, then accept your judgement!"
I looked upon the beautiful face, her full lips contorted into a mocking sneer and her stunning violet eyes, the same hue as amethysts, and I was sickened.
I pressed the Evoker to my temple, the cool metal soothing to my skin.
"WAIT! Stop!" Issei cried out. "Don't give in! Just because they're strong doesn't mean we can't win!" Raynare swiftly silenced him with a kick to the head, before turning her attention back to me.
"Yes… Give in to despair. Go on. It'll only hurt for a moment." Raynare's voice was a sick parody of caring, much like the rest of her was a sick parody of a girl I had thought was kind. "Kill yourself… Die for me…"
She still did not realise. She did not comprehend. I would educate her. A small smile crossed my lips as one word slipped between them in a hushed, reverent whisper.
I pulled the trigger, and my brain felt as if it had been dipped in ice. Then the pure power filled me as the Sea of Souls surged with fury and my Personas heaved. But one in particular rose to the fore, begging me to release him. I obliged.
And from within my consciousness, he rose from nothingness into reality.
I am Thou, and Thou art I.
His six bleached wings wrapped around him, shining with a radiance he almost didn't deserve.
I Am The Fallen Son. The One Who Loved Him Too Much.
Twin horns as white his wings adorned his head as a majestic crown.
From The Ocean Of Despair I Am Born. From The Depths Of Thy Mind, I Have Come.
His handsome face with glowing orange eyes was austere yet beautiful, reflecting the power that his near-bare boyish form concealed.
I Am The First Son. I Am The Morning Star.
His head turned to gaze upon the Fallen Angels, all of whom had turned from looks of contempt, scorn and amusement to an identical expression of the purest horror.
I Am Helel.
His wings flared, and a small sphere of pure power formed in his hand.
And I Am Come To Bring Light Unto My Lord's Foes.
Well, this is the first chapter of Persona DxD. I'm quite proud of it, actually, as the longest single chapter I've written at 3,161 words! Please, feel free to review, favourite and follow this fic if you like. Mostly review, I like to have feedback from other writers and find out what I need to improve on. The rest is whatever. The next one will be out after I've written it. And unlike my other stories, it won't just be abandoned. I'M FINISHING THIS ONE DAMMIT!
Xager, signing out.