There's a poll in my profile page. Please don't forget to vote for the identity of the Lancer you guys want.
Issei sidestepped to his left as he managed to evade a strike that would've taken his heart. When he saw the sharp side of the katana struck the ground, a surge of purple lightning was sent throughout the earth. Cracks and crevices were formed when the lightning from the ground exploded, splinters and fragments were sent flying all over the park.
One hit his leg, embedding itself on his thigh as he held back a scream. Looking at the one who attacked him, the man who named himself to be Freed Sellzen, an exorcist who serves to destroy Devils and kill all those who were associated with them.
Issei didn't have any forms of training besides body conditioning. So even if he was to fight someone right now, the best he could do was to kick, punch and evade all of their attacks. As much as Issei wanted to use the Boosted Gear, he held back from doing so.
The disadvantage he held right now against the exorcist was his slow mobility, thanks to the goddamn splinter on his thigh. Using the Boosted Gear right now would cost him the element of surprise, and no, he was not going to lose the only advantage he had in this fight.
Issei was not sure if he was ready for the [Balance Breaker] Ddraig was talking about. He was physically ready for such transformation, but mentally, he wasn't. Doing so will probably unleashed the Welsh Dragon's draconic aura, and he would have no doubts that the entities in the supernatural would know about his existence if he were to do so.
He needed to keep a low profile, and all of these goddamn, annoying people kept attacking him from nowhere were doing their best to expose him!
The most he could do was to use the basic form of the Boosted Gear. Thankfully, the basic form had the same appearance as a Twice Critical, making it easier for his subterfuge to succeed. But he was not going to use it yet, he needed to perfect moment, the only opportunity to strike the man was when his guard was lowered.
He already tested the limits of the Boosted Gear's basic form. A single [Boost] would be enough to strengthen his fist to the point where he could uproot a tree halfway with a single punch.
"Stop dodging, you damn civilian!"
With a duck, Issei dodged a strike that would've sliced his head off his neck. Issei used that as an opportunity to make the exorcist lose his balance. Swiping his foot on the ground, Issei cursed when the exorcist effortlessly escaped his attempt to make the exorcist stumble on his footing.
The man stepped away from him, the ominous blade on the man's hand was now sparkling with purple lightning and burning all those that touched the sparks of violet light. Even the earth was not spared when the exorcist led the tip of the sword on the surface of the ground as he approached Issei with a grin.
"Freed Sellzen-sama is granting you a mercy kill, civilian. Just stay still and die!"
Issei looked around, trying to find any possible weapon to defend against the man in front of him. A groan of frustration escaped his lips when he saw none. All he could see was the destruction of the park, brought by the lightning sword on the man's hand.
He knew that he couldn't try any useless movements. The man in front of him was a psychopath, but that didn't mean the man wasn't skilled. In fact, the strikes the exorcist made were all accurate and precise. A single mistake would lead him to his death.
Still, the only choice issei had is to activate the Boosted Gear, losing his element of surprise in the process. The exorcist in front of him was skilled, and half-baked attempts were not going to give him any push to win against the man.
A gleaming verdant light emerged from the center of the back of his left hand and a red gauntlet soon covered his arm. The appearance of the Twice Critical was enough to convince Freed that the civilian he was trying to kill was not really a civilian.
The grin on the exorcist's face widened to the point where it was threatening to tear his face. Issei shivered as he felt the effect first [Boost] in his body. It was still a surreal experience for him. He could feel his bones being reinforced, his muscles hardening, and his skin being sturdier due to the effects of the Sacred Gear.
A strike towards his abdomen soon happened but Issei managed to block it with the crimson gauntlet on his arm. The sound of metal grinding against one another was heard reverberating all over the clearing as Issei used that small exchange to form a fist and send it towards the gray-haired exorcist's face.
Just in time, the announcement of the second [Boost] echoed as Issei felt his overall power being doubled once again. Issei managed to connect his fist onto the exorcist's cheek and send him flying away. Without wasting any time, Issei leapt from his position and headed towards the location where the exorcist crashed.
He stepped backwards when he felt a sliver of killing intent directed to him. Fortunately, the katana only managed to nick the very tip of his nose as he successfully evaded an attack meant for his chin. But a surge of lightning coursed throughout his entire body.
Issei couldn't move.
His currently paralyzed state was enough for the exorcist to use that as an opportunity. The man pounced to him, the man's blade threatening a thrust that was directed to his heart. When the third [Boost] happened, it was enough to revitalize his body, and remove the effects of the paralysis.
Issei's body reacted in time as he used his right arm to bear the brunt of the attack. He winced in pain when he felt the blade sinking through his skin. Still, this provided him a chance to attack the psychopath once again.
With a full force kick, his left foot was sent towards the man's leg, and Issei cringed when he felt the contact that came with it. The sounds of bones cracking didn't help either. The shrilling scream that escaped the man's lips echoed throughout the park.
Issei pulled his right arm back as he leapt backwards and hissed from the loss of the blade on his arm. His orbs of brown widened in surprise when he saw the huge gash on his arm slowly closing. Tendrils of red were slowly twisting themselves on one another, as if it was repairing the wound he had. Truthfully, the sight of his wounds healing was quite disgusting.
[Be thankful I helped you in this endeavor. After this, I'm going to train your pathetic body. Without any fighting skills, you're basically useless in the battlefield.]
'You're really helpful, but please do it in a manner where you won't insult your own host.' The dragon didn't reply, and Issei was grateful for that. His eyebrows twitched in response when he noticed the shaking form of the exorcist in front of him.
A frown soon marred his face when he noticed the sparks of purple lightning were no longer on the sword. Right now, motes of flames were encompassing the blade, few flecks of flames were being scattered as the man was waving the sword back and forth.
'Did something change? Did he apply a different form of magic?'
The exorcist took a sword position, the katana was held with both of his hands and his left foot was one step away from the limping one. Issei's eye narrowed when he noticed something different in the sword. The orbs were no longer attached to the string of the pommel and the blade was slightly shorter than it was. In fact, the hilt of the sword was different.
'When did he chan–' His thoughts were cut off when the exorcist slashed through air as a wave of flames soon came forth from the blade of the sword. Issei cursed as he rolled sideways, barely dodging the stream of flames that soon exploded from behind.
Twisting his head, he saw the trees in the park engulfed in flames as the stench of wood burning permeated in the air. Issei grunted in pain when he felt a foot in his stomach, before it was followed by another kick.
That was when a punch made its way on his face, and soon sent him flying away, crashing to the fountain of the park. If his body wasn't enhanced by the [Boost] he received earlier, his body would've been broken right now.
Issei groaned as he slowly stood up, only to see the exorcist now coated in a shroud of oppressive black miasma. Despite the broken state of his opponent's leg, that fact didn't seem to bother the psychopath at all.
Right now, he really was thankful that Ddraig healed the wound on his thigh. There was still a stinging pain but that was better than the limping he was feeling earlier.
At least his mobility was no longer hampered. The exorcist in front of him disappeared and suddenly reappeared in front of him. An ear-deafening sound escaped the man's lips. It was a more akin to a bestial roar than a yell of a human.
A hint of fear was etched his mind when the man was no longer looking human but more of a beast. The miasma was etched to every visible part of the skin and the feral growl momentarily escaping his mouth from time to time was only enhancing such emotion inside of Issei.
This time, the sword the man was holding vanished. In the sword's place was something different; a naginata, the black handle and its blade exuding a cold feeling. Before he knew it, the man was already behind Issei, the naginata positioned to attack his back.
Another enhancement of [Boost] that circulated inside of his body managed to save his hide. In an instant, Issei's back was already turned as he met the attack head-on. His red draconic gauntlet was grabbing the blade of the naginata as he tried to pull the said weapon away from the exorcist.
His balance was suddenly disrupted when the exorcist momentarily let go of the weapon. Issei stumbled as he fell to the ground, before holding back a scream when the man managed to take the weapon and strike him in the shoulder.
The cold feeling entered his body, as Issei felt every single vein and muscle he had on his right shoulder were slowly being frozen. He gritted his teeth in frustration before a single kick managed to connect on the man's abdomen.
Thanks to the effects of the Boosted Gear, his kick was enough to make the man flying away from him. His foot felt the ribs cracking. Heaving a few breaths, he pulled the naginata that was stuck on his shoulder in an instant. A loud cry escaped his mouth as he felt the pole arm no longer impaled in his skin.
Issei's feet were shaking as he struggled on standing up. The pain in his shoulder felt unbearable as he did his best not moving the shoulder as much as he could. Due to being frozen from inside, it felt like a single twitch on the muscle would be enough to break it.
It was only thanks to Ddraig concentrating the effects of the [Boost] in his healing capabilities that he was able to stand up without accidentally shattering the frozen state his shoulder had.
Looking at the direction where he sent the exorcist, a small sense of relief entered him when he saw the oppressive black miasma no longer coating the man.
Issei was damn sure that when the miasma happened, the overall capabilities of the man were enhanced, making it harder for Issei to fight the man. He was truly thankful when he noticed the man's unconscious and injured state of the man.
It looked like Freed Sellzen was subjected to a high amount of violence and bullying. His hair was disheveled, his left cheek was bruised badly, and several bruises were also seen in his body. One would be sure that the exorcist was having several broken bones.
Issei should've felt pity for the man, but the man tried to kill him. So he didn't.
At least he was no longer going to deal with a psychopath hell-bent on killing him. Glancing at the place where he put the naginata, his eyes looked hesitant when he saw a card littered in the ground. The pole arm was no longer there, and in its place was the card.
He wanted to kneel down in order to pick up the card, but due to the fragile state of his shoulder, he couldn't, at least not yet.
'Ddraig, is it fine to move now?'
[At least another minute, you fool. Be thankful that I'm concentrating the [Boost] you had on your shoulder. Or you would at least wait for a whole day before the damn wound is repaired.]
'I see. Thanks for that.'
The response Issei got was a snort from the dragon. Still, he truly was thankful. Ddraig was right after all. Issei did not have any specific fighting style, making it harder for him to fight when he would be thrown in situations just like today.
If not for Ddraig's help in his wounds and bruises, he would be hard-pressed on winning against the psychopathic exorcist. Sighing to himself, he waited for a minute to pass before getting Ddraig's approval to move.
When he picked up the card, he frowned when he noticed the label at the bottom of the card.
In the center of the card, the form of a single man wielding a gigantic blade in one hand could be seen. It was a perfect image for the term 'Berserker'.
Despite having limited knowledge when it came to magic, Issei was sure that this damn card was the reason why the crazed exorcist turned to a beast filled with insanity and madness. A conclusion was already made in his mind.
He was not going to let anyone irresponsible to get this card. Judging from the destruction brought by a single sword of lightning and fire that emerged from the card, those who would be able to use this card effectively would be dangerous.
Even Issei was not sure if the card being in his possession was the proper action. For all he knew, he could be turned into a mad beast just like the exorcist from earlier. Although, Issei knew that he could entrust the card to no one.
And no, he was not going to give this card to Sona, much less Rias Gremory. Despite Sona being his friend, she was still a 'Devil', as she termed it herself. And giving this to Rias Gremory would be tantamount to idiocy.
Sighing to himself, a decision was formed in his mind. He was going to keep the card for himself until he had the correct person to give it to or a proper way to seal the card. He had already tried tearing the card to pieces, but it didn't work. A magical force was somehow reinforcing the card, making it indestructible.
[Yes, keep that for yourself. Due to your lack of fighting ability, it would be a good weapon to add in your arsenal.]
'Hell no! I'm not using it, go ballistic and insane just like that damn exorcist sleeping on the ground!'
[Partner, if you look to where you're pointing at, you'll see that the exorcist is no longer there.]
That stopped Issei on his tracks as his head snapped, glancing to the place where his finger was pointing at, only to see debris and remains of the ground, with a huge splotch of blood and empty space.
'Shit! The psycho escaped!'
[You fool, don't move too much! You'll destroy your shoulder!]
'I need to find that damn priest and put him to jail!'
[After your shoulder's in a stable condition, you idiot!]
'He's still around!'
[Fool! The moment you took your eyes off him, he was already conscious!]
'You should've told me then!'
[You're in a battlefield! You shouldn't even be letting your guard down!]
Issei cursed his stupidity. Ddraig was correct. He shouldn't have taken his eyes off the man. Right now, because of his stupidity, it was possible that the man was killing innocents right now. Just because the man lost his weapon, it didn't mean the man couldn't kill anyone with bare hands.
This day was really going great, wasn't it?
Fist, he saw the effects of his actions, it backfired, and strained his friendship with Kiba.
Second, all of the Devils in the school in the school who used to be friendly with him now feared him.
Third, even Sona was discreetly avoiding him.
Fourth, he was attacked by a psychopath.
Fifth, the said psychopath escaped because of his idiocy.
Sixth, he was holding a magical item that could bring destruction and insanity to the user.
Great, his path towards being a hero was downright impossible with his actions. No hero would've let all of those events happen to him.
[You still have to remove that splinter out of your thigh.]
- : - : - : - : - : - : - : -
A woman who looked like in her mid twenties suddenly felt disoriented. Her long black hair tinted with a shade of darker midnight blue reached all the way past her waist and was tied with a white string at the end. She was dressed in a violet kimono, with several petals of cherry blossoms embroidered all over the clothing.
With the rays of the sun shining brightly, it made her beauty look ephemeral and exotic at the same time.
The arrow she was notching from her bow was released, its expected trajectory failing to hit the target, as a hint magical energy encompassed the arrow, a gale surrounding it before it made contact with the wall. A gigantic explosion of tempest bursting from the arrow happened as the whole area in the woman's compound shook violently.
The focused expression on her face changed to that of a frown as she tried to remember the energy she had sensed in the other side of the world. It felt disturbingly similar to hers and for some reason, it won't leave her mind.
She dropped the bow she was holding and immediately went back to her room. She took a moment to meditate as she went to a seiza. She closed her eyes as she began heaving a couple of breaths, in and out of her mouth, the feeling of relaxation and calmness soon took over.
When she opened her eyes, she was in a different place from her room. Right now, the location she reappeared was the domain of her lord. The turbulence of lightning and thunder could be felt from her position. The sound of thunder rumbling loudly was reverberating in the whole domain.
Standing up, she began approaching the place where her lord would often rest and relax. As she stepped outside of the traditional compound of the god of lightning, she started walking towards the forest before she stumbled upon a cliff.
The sky was blue but was filled with a very dark shade of black that made it look like a storm would manifest any moment soon. Clouds having the momentary flash of lightning could be seen lingering in the sky.
At the very edge of the cliff, a man dressed in a black kimono with a white sash tied to his waist was sitting on a makeshift tatami mat, a tokkuri and a large sakazuki made of porcelain on both of his hands.
The man was definitely one of the most handsome men in the world. His tall and very muscular built made him look very intimidating, yet his appearance akin to a person in early twenties was a refreshing sight to see. His blue eyes had a certain electric feel in it, and his spiky light blonde hair was definitely eye-catching.
Although, the annoying smirk on his face was something that always irritated the woman. The man dropped both of his drinking equipments as he waved jovially at the woman who was approaching.
"Good morning Yorimitsu, or is it evening now?"
"It is evening in the other side Raijin-sama. In our side, it is currently morning."
Raijin, the one who governs the aspect of lightning, thunder and storms in the religion of Shinto. While the man is regarded as one of the minor deities of the Shinto, it is a fact that the man can stand side by side with the God of Storms Susano'o.
It was known that if Raijin, with the help of the Yomotsu-shikome, could fight against the creator of Japan, Izanagi for a short time.
"So what brings you here Yorimitsu? Did you finally accept my love, oh my beautiful widow?" The man winked flirtatiously as he drank another sip from his sakazuki. Yorimitsu felt like nursing a migraine on her forehead as she held back the urge to rub it gently.
"I humbly reject your feelings, Raijin-sama."
A comical arrow struck the man as he clutched his chest with a pained expression. Raijin was crying tears as he sobbed silently, looking at the sky with a brokenhearted expression. "Amaterasu-imouto, when will my heart finally achieve the happiness of romance?"
Yorimitsu had a deadpan expression on her face, already knowing how dramatic the one whom she serves. "Raijin-sama, I would like to visit Japan for an indefinite time."
The relaxed atmosphere in the air disappeared and a serious expression made its way on Raijin's face. The sakazuki, tokkuri and the tatami mat suddenly vanished as a small drum, a taiko to be precise manifested out of thin air. The symbol of black swirling tomoes could be seen at the head of the drum.
Sparks of lightning soon crackled from the head of drum, Raijin was calmly touching it while looking at Yorimitsu. "Think your words before you speak, Minamoto no Yorimitsu. I may have pardoned your life out of my son's final request. But your desecration of his resting place will never be forgotten."
The passive expression on the face of the lightning god sent shivers to Yorimitsu's spine as she saw her own death happening in many different ways. A bead of sweat trickled from her temple down to her chin as she opened her mouth.
"Raijin-sama, I felt my own energy in the other side, especially the artifacts given to me by my retainers." When she never got any response, she continued speaking.
"However, it is impossible for my power to exist in the other side. After my ascension as your immortal emissary, all of those artifacts have become my Divine Armaments. I would like to find the source of the energy."
A pensive silence passed for more than a minute. The way her lord was still touching the smooth surface of the drum was nerve-wracking. The continuous sparks of lightning that would momentarily occur from time to time didn't help either.
"I see." Those were the only words that came out of Raijin's mouth. When another minute passed, the tense atmosphere disappeared as the darkened sky turned pure blue, with the rays of the sun shining brightly.
"If your words are true, then that particular energy needs to be investigated. Very well, we will find that source."
Yorimitsu lightened up as a gleeful smile graced her lips. She was banned from entering the other side of the world, but with a permission granted by Raijin, she would be able to visit her beloved child's resting place.
Her cheerful mood however was suddenly put into a halt and she deflated when she heard the next words that came out of her lord's mouth.
"I shall send her to find that source."
A scowl marred her face when she realized whom Raijin was talking about. It was supposed to be her, not that damn yōkai who tricked her beloved child and ensnared his heart!
Yorimitsu opened her mouth to argue, but a glare from the Narukami was enough to stop her from doing so. She could only curse the damn yōkai who was to be sent on the mission to find the source of her energy.
The damn yōkai was forbidden to leave Kyoto, but with the permission to leave, the yōkai would be allowed to visit her beloved child's resting place. Even Yorimitsu would be allowed to visit her beloved child if she only managed to get permission from Raijin himself.
Silently, Yorimitsu prayed to the binbōgami to give the damn yōkai misery and bad luck, although she knew that it was useless, since most of the gods favored the damn yōkai instead of her.
- : - : - : - : - : - : - : -
Issei glanced at the wall clock adorning the dining room. Thankfully, he still had a few minutes to spare before classes starts. It had been a hard evening for him. The fact that he couldn't move too much last night made him take almost two hours before arriving back to his house.
At least he was healed now. He really thanked Ddraig for what the Welsh Dragon did last night.
Drinking a sip from his hot chocolate, Issei pensively looked at the card on his hand. It was the card last night, the [Berserker] card that managed to drive the priest to insanity and madness. Right now, Issei couldn't feel any hint of magic coming from the card.
He would've been convinced that the card was ordinary, if not for the fact that the card was still indestructible. Whoever made the damn card must've been insane and out of his mind. Why create a tool that would only lead to destruction and chaos?
The image of an old man showing him seven cards was still fresh in his mind. If that image was something that he just forgot, but was true…
'I don't have to think about this now.' Issei stood up as he took the cardholder which he found in the storage room last night. Thankfully, the size of the [Berserker] card was good enough for the cardholder.
When he finished drinking the last of the chocolate, he pocketed the cardholder to ensure that it won't be out of his grasp. He even tied the cardholder to a chain and attached it to the belt loop of his trousers. Luckily, the cardholder even had a lock function at the opening, where it needed a certain amount of force before being opened.
Issei was thankful that today was Friday, making it easier for him since he won't have to deal with the fearful gazes the Devils in the school were giving him tomorrow. He just hoped that Sona would soon talk to him, it was quite disheartening to know that your friend was avoiding you, despite not doing anything to her.
Though from her point of view, it was understandable. He was a Longinus-user who threatened her best friend, so it was logical for her to avoid him. Anyway, he had to get to school now. He only had ten minutes before school starts.
- : - : - : - : - : - : - : -
[No wonder those artifacts felt familiar. One of them was used by my past host.]
'Shut it Ddraig. Wait… Are you saying that one of your past hosts is a retainer of Yorimitsu?'
[Yeah, such a pity he didn't even awaken me.]
It was currently homeroom for Issei. Just a few seats behind him, Kiba was just looking at the window, unperturbed of the fact that there was a transfer student in the class. Glancing back at the girl in front of him, he could only say that she was a beauty.
A slim yet lithe figure, short dark purple hair with hime-style bangs, a pale complexion and a charming smile on her face. She was dressed in the usual Kuoh Academy uniform as she stood in front of the class. The only unusual on her was the tokkuri and the large sakazuki on her hand.
The girl smiled as she re-introduced herself for the second time.
"Once again, my name is Shudou Tenji. I wish that none of you will serenade me, for I already have someone who belongs in my heart. Nevertheless, all of you are free to try. After all, I know how to bite."
A fanged grin on her face made all of the males in the room, save for Issei and Kiba shiver in response. With that, the girl named Shudou Tenji was directed towards her seat, which unfortunately was the seat just besides Issei, right next to the window.
'Ddraig, what do I do?'
[Don't care. Deal with it yourself.]
The Welsh Dragon snorted at him before cutting the mental connection they had. Issei mentally cursed the dragon for being useless at this kind of situation. The paranoia he had regarding his subterfuge didn't help, since he thought that he was only a few days away from being exposed as the Sekiryuutei.
Issei never thought that the infamous oni of Mt. Ooe would appear in his town, much less become a transfer student in his class. Still, the appearance of Shuten-douji was quite surprising to say at least. That sparked a question in his mind.
Could he give the [Berserker] card to the yōkai? Or would such action prove to be foolish?
Ddraig had mentioned that the Yōkai Faction is under the rule of the Shinto pantheon, and Issei could only conclude that they would send her to find the artifacts inside of the [Berserker] card. The artifacts of the Big Four of Yorimitsu are part of the Japanese history, so it was obvious why they rightfully belonged to the Shinto.
[Fool, the card is a spoil of war. It's rightfully yours.]
'I told you Ddraig, I don't want a magical item that trades my sanity for power.'
[Then what? You think you're going to win against your future enemies without any weapons? Know that the Boosted Gear won't be enough to defeat everyone. It may be called a Longinus, a Sacred Gear that could potentially kill God, but without mastering it, the host would still be weak. It would take years before you master it.]
'What do you suggest I do then?' Issei thought with an irritated expression on his face. He did not want the card for obvious reasons but his partner was adamant on him keeping it all because it could give him power. He was not a power-hungry fool!
[Keep it. You don't have to use it always. Use it whenever you're in a pinch. When the exorcist used the lightning sword, he was still sane. It probably means that you cannot use it for a long time.]
Ddraig was correct. The exorcist was using the sword of purple lightning while still retaining his sanity. The only downside of the card was when Freed Sellzen used the second one and the third one, the katana that had flames with it and the naginata.
'What about the fact that the artifacts inside the card are weapons of Yorimitsu's retainers?'
[Deal with it yourself. I've enough of your yapping.]
Great. Ddraig was simply telling him to keep the artifacts for himself and deal with the consequences that come with it. Issei felt like a migraine was attacking his head. He'd enough headaches as it is! This damn dragon was basically useless when the situation is no longer a battlefield.
Even though there was The Snarl that echoed deep inside of his mind, Issei didn't care. Ddraig was such an ass, a snarky and prideful ass to be precise.
"Can you perhaps stop staring at me?"
Issei blinked twice when he heard someone's voice. It snapped him out of his thoughts, and Issei could only look at the purple-haired girl besides him, the oni who was sitting on the chair with a relaxed expression.
"Sorry about that, Shudou-san." Issei scratched the back of his head with an awkward smile, but the oni was unperturbed. "The name's Hyoudou Issei by the way. Nice to meet you."
"Likewise. And perhaps we could take this conversation for another time, with a cup of sake of course." She poured the liquid that came out of the tokkuri and slowly sipped from her sakazuki. Alas, that got the teacher's attention.
"Shudou Tenji-san, drinking sake is not allowed in this school. And you are still a minor. Please hand those to me." The teacher approached the girl with a chiding expression on his face. Nevertheless, the oni just ignored the teacher as she continued drinking.
That snapped the teacher as a throbbing vein appeared on his temple. "You're walking on a thin line, Shudou-san. I advise you to hand those to me right now."
The girl simply smiled nonchalantly as she poured another in her sakazuki. And what she did next was unexpected. She raised the sakazuki and offered it to the teacher. "You should relax. Perhaps you'd be better with a drink?"
Opening his mouth, the teacher was about to yell to the girl when she interrupted him. "Worry not. This is not sake." She stated as she gracefully drank from the sakazuki. "This is just water."
Those words of her made everyone's eyes widen in surprise. Even the teacher himself had a shocked expression on his face as he stared at the tokkuri, not believing her at all, he demanded.
"I see. Please hand me the tokkuri then." The girl complied as she handed the porcelain tokkuri without hesitation. After inspecting the water inside of the tokkuri, the teacher handed it back reluctantly.
"Very well. I apologize for raising my voice. Do know that I won't tolerate your disrespect next time Shudou-san. And please avoid drinking in the sakazuki. It gives the wrong impression."
The girl merely smiled at the teacher indulgently as she sipped on the sakazuki once again. "I make no promises, sensei."
When the teacher left their presence, she turned to Issei, pouring another batch of the water to her sakuzaki, raising it as she offered it to Issei. "Perhaps you'd like one as well, Hyoudou Issei?"
And that was how the first meeting between Hyoudou Issei and the infamous oni of Mt. Ooe,
- : - : - : - : - : - : - : -
Issei was calmly sitting on the bench table in the rooftop of the new school building, eating his bento with a passive face. On the inside though, he was mentally rambling as he stole a glance at the purple-haired beauty sitting in front of him, drinking on her sakazuki with a blissful expression.
Why the hell was she sitting with him in the first place?
"You've been looking at me from time to time. Would you like a drink?" The oni offered only to be refused by Issei who took the canister on his side and began drinking the water inside of it. When he finished drinking, he looked at her as he spoke.
"Shudou-san, can I ask why are you accompanying me? As far as you could see, I'm not exactly the most sociable person in the school." The girl raised her eyebrows in response as she poked the melon on her own bento.
For Issei, it was surprising to say at least. The oni were supposed to be man-eating monsters, yet one of the most infamous yokai was in front of him, eating fruits coupled with a few sips from her sakazuki. By now though, Issei was sure that liquid in her sakazuki was now sake.
"Should I avoid you then?" When Issei didn't answer, she continued. "To be honest, I find you interesting Hyoudou Issei. There are only a particular number of Devils in this institution, yet all of them are avoiding you."
"You must be a powerful human to have instilled such amount of fear inside of them. When I talked to the Student Council President this morning, it was amusing to see her being more afraid something more than the diabolical oni of Mt. Ooe."
That made Issei rather suspicious, his eyes narrowing slightly as she looked at the girl. "Did Sona-kaichou tell you what I am?"
The girl merely shook her head in response before eating a slice of mango in her bento. "They say that the eyes are windows to the soul. All I saw is that she was afraid of something."
When Issei looked at her curiously, she shook her head for the second time.
"No, her fear towards me is not the main reason why she was afraid. It was as if she was afraid that something would happen to this school. And when I saw a three of our classmates, which were all Devils avoiding you and looking at you fearfully, I connected the dots."
The alcohol went from the drinking cup towards her mouth as she drank. "That begs the question, what are you then? Based from your energy, you're just human, perhaps a descendant or maybe a Sacred Gear user?"
Issei's hand twitched as it consciously made its way towards his pocket. When he felt the cardholder opening, his hand was now touching the smooth surface of the card as he looked at the girl in front of him, drinking without any care.
"Be at ease. I'm just talking to you. I simply want to relax, drink and talk about meaningless things. Such is the way of my life. I'm not going to be fighting you anytime soon." She smiled gently before it became more savage. "…unless you give me a reason to."
Sighing, Issei locked the cardholder once again and drew his hand outside of his pocket. Taking another bite from his bento, he spoke.
"By the way, you're an oni. I suppose you eat humans?" Issei asked with a hint of hesitation and the oni merely laughed at his expense. Eating another slice of melon in her bento, she spoke.
"Of course I do. I'm feared for a reason, Hyoudou Issei. But the gods had forbid us to eat those unrelated to the supernatural. But since you know about its existence, I can eat you anytime I want."
Issei chuckled nervously as he took another bite from his bento. "Don't worry. The Shinto gods had given the Japanese youkais an eternal decree. We're only allowed to eat those who prove to be a threat to our Faction, and with a good reason, although we eat human scum such as rapists and murderers from time to time."
With his question answered, Issei became silent once again before asking another question. "What would you do if I'm a descendant, or a Sacred Gear user?"
The oni smiled, pouring another in her sakazuki and offered it to Issei. "Nothing. Although I would prefer it if you were pledge your loyalty to Shinto, if not me."
Reluctantly, Issei took the sakazuki and drank in it. Issei would've coughed if not for the fact that his mother trained him to be resilient in drinking alcoholic drinks. The alcohol went smoothly down to his throat as he continued drinking until the last drop.
Handing the porcelain drinking cup back to the oni, he refused her offer. "Unfortunately, I'm not willing to be a subordinate of someone else, more so since I barely escaped when I was almost turned into a servant without my own consent."
The oni merely hummed in response, not even caring about his words as she ate the banana in her bento. "You didn't answer my question."
She pointed out as Issei inwardly cursed. He thought that he managed to avoid that question perfectly. Taking another drink of his oolong tea, he then spoke after placing the canister to the table. "I'm a Sacred Gear user, and if you'd like to know what it is, here."
Issei revealed the basic form of his Boosted Gear, the initial state which looked similar to the Twice Critical. The red gauntlet covered his hand and a small portion of his arm, and a green orb was embedded with it.
The interest in the oni's eyes disappeared as Issei saw a small glimmer of disappointment as well. Unfortunately, he didn't notice the glint of suspicion. Regardless, Issei didn't care since it would be easier to be hidden no one knew that he had a Longinus.
[Fool, all of the Devils here in Kuoh know that you have the Boosted Gear.]
'Shut it Ddraig. I know I made a mistake. And they didn't tell anyone so it should be fine. Why do you keep rubbing it in my face?'
He got no response, and Issei knew that the Welsh dragon was just messing around with him. He just hoped that none of the Devils would mention to Shuten-douji that he was a Longinus-user. He was already paranoid when it came to Devils, and he didn't need the eyes of the Shinto and youkai on him as well.
Issei was already finished eating when the bell rang, indicating the end of lunch break. He stood up as he finished arranging his bento. "Well, it seems that our time is up. See you in the next class, Shuten-douji-san."
With those words, Issei left the rooftop, leaving the oni all alone. Shuten-douji looked at the sky with a wistful expression as she drank on her sakazuki one last time. 'For some reason, I see you in him, why?'
Shaking her head as she removed those thoughts out of her mind, she looked at the door where Hyoudou Issei left. 'If your Sacred Gear is a mere Twice Critical, then why are you feared by both heiresses of Sitri and Gremory Clan?'
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It has been a day ever since Shuten-douji arrived in Kuoh. And to be honest, it was quite a new experience for Issei. Even though it has been five days ever since he confronted Rias Gremory, Sona was still avoiding him and Kiba was no longer talking to him.
Although he could see them from time to time, as if they were mustering their courage to talk to him. Issei sighed in disappointment as he remembered it. He could accept that despite the regret he was feeling, seeing that he was probably threatening them, more so in the case of Kiba.
He was practically flooding the clubroom of Occult Research Club with the draconic aura that came with the Boosted Gear. It must've been a dreadful experience for Kiba.
And so, Issei found a new friend, in a man-eating monster.
Even though Shuten-douji was always drinking sake wherever they go, she was quite an easy person to get along with, as long as he himself would also drink whenever she offered him one. He was quite thankful to God or whoever that the Devils were not speaking of his Boosted Gear towards Shuten-douji.
It seemed that Rias' assumption of him being a part of Shinto and the fact that he was getting along with Shuten-douji solidified that assumption, prompting the Devils to believe that Shuten-douji already knew of his existence as the Sekiryuutei. Although he felt bad from abusing the assumptions, he realized its importance.
Being discovered as a new Sekiryuutei, it was possible that he would be forced by Shuten-douji to pledge his fealty towards her or the Shinto, and no. He was not going to do that, even if the oni was already his friend.
And for some reason, Shuten-douji was already first-name basis with him, and he was giving her a nickname, Shu. Her reasoning was that that she didn't like the formality that came when using his family name or his full name and she requested him to shorten her name to Shu. He didn't bother asking why.
"When I asked why the gods sent you here, that did not meant helping you with your endeavor Shu."
Issei deadpanned as he stared at the kimono-clad oni walking besides him. Since it was Saturday, Shuten-douji was no longer dressed in the Kuoh school uniform and donned a purple kimono with intersecting red lines and pictures of fruits adorning her whole clothing.
As for him, he was dressed in a simple manner; white shirt worn underneath a black leather jacket folded up to his elbow and black trousers, with a chain hanging from the belt loop, which went inside of his pocket. It was the cardholder for the [Berserker] card.
Shuten-douji's horns were now visible from her forehead. It seemed that she was hiding them when she arrived at the school. Her overall appearance was weird to say at least, but since Issei did not want to be eaten anytime soon, he held back from speaking.
As Issei looked around, it was a unique place to say at least. Ironically and irritatingly, he was in the damn park where he was almost killed by a fallen angel and a psychopath. His visit right now, it was the damn third time. Was there something important in this park?
Whenever he goes in this damn park, it was always related to the damn supernatural. Sighing to himself, he took the sakazuki offered by the oni and drank the sake slowly. When he finished, he handed it back to the oni who smiled at him.
"Issei, you told me earlier that I can ask for your help, didn't you?"
"And I'm regretting I said that." He quipped back as he hid his nervousness from arriving at the scene where his opponent unleashed flames and lightning just to destroy the park.
Looking at the park, it was pure devastation. Crevices and cracks were all over, the fountain was turned to rubble, the flames and lightning last night singed most of the visible surface on the earth, and the trees surrounding the park were burned to ashes, leaving a few trunks and branches black.
"By the way, what happened to your meeting with the Gremory and Sitri Peerage yesterday?"
The next response was something unexpected, yet obvious at the same time. Shuten-douji laughed lightly as she ate a small melon whole. After gulping it, she grinned at him mischievously. "It was amusing to say at least." Issei rolled his eyes at the answer. It probably was, and even more.
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"To what pleasure do I owe this visit, Shuten-douji of Mt. Ooe?" Rias Gremory spoke with elegance in her tone as she offered a beautiful smile.
"It is not much. I was simply ordered by my superiors to inspect a source of energy detected last night which seemed to belong to one of the gods' emissary. I will probably go back after my mission." The oni stated as she drank her sake. A twitched in Rias' eyebrows probably meant she was not taking this kind of situation well.
Sitting beside her was Sona, who had already talked to the oni early in the morning as she was the one who instated the oni as a student in the school, which was requested by Shuten-douji herself. Still, that begged the question why she wanted to be a student.
"Can I ask for how long will your mission go?"
Grabbing a fruit out of the sleeve of her kimono, she began biting on the ripe mango while drinking the sake. After she gulped it down to her throat, she smiled, a hint of malevolence could be detected on her voice as she spoke.
"Why ask? So you can remove me from your territory?" Rias paled as an oppressive aura started covering Shuten-douji. The smile that seemed to reach her eyes was becoming more demonic as the seconds were passing by.
"Amaterasu-sama had told me that you had the nerve to claim a piece of Japan as your territory. I wonder, do you like where those bountiful breasts of yours belong?" A fanged grin graced her lips as she licked it consciously, eyeing Rias' breasts as if it were food.
"What about you Sitri heiress, do you like your legs and arms attached to your body? I happen to find Devils better delicacies than humans, especially since they're always brimming with demonic energy."
The two heiresses went white as all of their servants suddenly tensed. All of them had their guard up and was ready to move any moment. Then the grin was replaced by a gentle smile, like one would use for a friend.
"I'm merely jesting. We don't want the sister of the Lucifer and the Leviathan to be traumatized, do we?"
Taking out a piece of paper, several fruits emerged from the paper as the seal broke down. When she poured a small amount of energy on the second paper she took out, two huge gourds of sake appeared.
"Since I happen to be intruding your territory, I would like to give offerings for my stay here in Kuoh. Worry not. I swear in Amaterasu-sama's name that all of these are genuine offerings. They came from my brewery and my land."
Standing up, she started walking away from the group and as she stood in front of the door, she spoke. "I'll be enjoying my vacation, as I would like to aptly describe it. After all, hundreds of years being confined in Kyoto, even a lackadaisical oni like me would find it to be boring."
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When Issei heard the story, the last part of it piqued his curiosity. As far as he knew, Shuten-douji was supposed to have been beheaded by Yorimitsu himself after being tricked to drink the 'divine oni-poison sake'. Nevertheless, he didn't ask anything. It's obvious that it was a sore topic for the oni.
"So, what are we doing?"
"Nothing much. I don't plan to finish this mission as early as possible. I'm going to enjoy the outside world for as long as I can." Shuten-douji stated as she gulped another drink of sake in her sakazuki.
"Although, I plan on finding the energy source fast, if it escaped, my superiors will get mad."
She handed her tokkuri and sakazuki to Issei as she closed her eyes and began standing still. A second later, a burst of vast energy erupted from her being as Issei watched her in amazement. As she opened her eyes, Shuten-douji began reading the flow of energy in the clearing.
As she began walking, Issei followed her shortly until they stopped on a particular spot. Issei inwardly cringed as he remembered that location. There were a few rubbles but he could see it clearly, the splotch of blood.
"She's right. The artifacts of her retainers were here."
Issei withheld from speaking as he instantly close his mouth shut. He was not going to let his mouth speak without thinking of the consequences. He was surprised to know that the historical figure was actually alive! More so that Minamoto no Yorimitsu was actually a woman all along!
Shuten-douji began walking once again as she reached another particular spot.
That was when Issei froze. He knew this spot. It was where he fell down as his shoulder was pierced by the freezing naginata. His mind stopped working when he saw a small, very small but visible shade of red on the surface of the earth.
It was his blood.
Shuten-douji stood up as she turned around and faced Issei with a passive expression. "Tell me Issei, why can I read a small amount of your spirit in this location?"
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Asterisk22: Shuten-douji enters the fray!
Issei: I can see that, you damn lazy-ass *roll his eyes*
Asterisk22: Be like that, you ungrateful brat. I swear that one day you'll become like Natsuki Subaru.
Asterisk22: I'm just joking. You're the protagonist of this story. Readers will want you to be a happy idiot who saves everyone and lives to tell the tale! And a happy ending as well!
Issei: Is that so? If you could, please make a Hero already.
Asterisk22: No can do. Readers will want you to struggle hard, before becoming someone overpowered. Although, there are a few idiots there who for some reason wants to see you become even stronger than Great Red as fast as you could.
Issei: Well, I agree with them. That power would let me help other people, duh.
Asterisk22: I know that, I'm the one who wrote you.
Issei: You don't own me!
Asterisk22: This isn't the disclaimer, you pervert.
Issei: Hey! I'm not a pervert in this story! I'm someone who'd become even more GAR than CG EMIYA!
Asterisk22: Seeing that you're going to be gaining all of the Class Cards throughout the story, it should be obvious. Anyway, let's talk about this chapter. Why do you think you lose against Freed Sellzen?
Issei: *hums* I'm not a fighter at all. You're crazy if you think that I, who had no forms of training besides body conditioning could win easily against a psychotic priest who was labeled as a genius at a young age, and was trained to fight supernatural entities.
Asterisk22: If you used the [Balance Breaker], you would've won easily so why didn't you?"
Issei: These readers want my mother dead, don't they? It should be obvious that I'm trying to do my best to stay incognito! Using [Balance Breaker] will release a draconic aura flaring like a signal that stated the new Sekiryuutei was in Kuoh. Do you take me for a fool?
Asterisk22: Of course I do. That's your original character.
Asterisk22: *ignoring Issei* Ddraig said that it was possible for you to win against Ultimate-Class beings. How is that possible when you were wounded against Freed who won't even win against Rias Gremory?
Issei: If you can't even recall the very own words you wrote, I'll gladly tell you. Ddraig said that I need to use [Balance Breaker] to its fullest potential, which is impossible right now, seeing that you're not even writing my time training them! And need I to remind you that I would sustain life-threatening injuries after the battle, also the fact that I need to be fully prepared?
Asterisk22: Is that so? I forgot.
Issei: Damn you, you useless author!
Asterisk22: Don't care. By the way, what do you think about the [Berserker] Card?
Issei: I know enough to hate you! I can't believe you're sending Shuten-douji of all people –oni I mean. Do you think that I'll win against someone who Yorimitsu can't even defeat without resorting to tricks and deceit!?
Asterisk22: Of course you'll win, you're the damn protagonist. What are your plans regarding the [Berserker] Card? Do you give it to Shunten-douji, or do you keep it for your journey of becoming a hero?
Issei: I'll see what happens later.
Asterisk22: Who do you think is the [Heroic Spirit] inside of the [Berserker] Card?
Issei: That much should be obvious, it's Minamoto no Yorimitsu! Freed used her artifacts! Still, I can't believe that she's a woman. That figure of hers was unexpected. I'm still having a hard time accepting it!
Asterisk22: I can understand why. You're a pervert after all. Anyway, let's stop this now. The readers are probably becoming bored by your useless banter.
Issei: You're the one who started this skit! Don't put the blame on me! And don't call me a pervert!
Asterisk22: One last thing, who do you want for your harem?
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From this chapter on, I will write small skits like that in regards to any possible questions that I might think would be asked later on. And some of your questions will probably be included in the skit, provided that you would enjoy a longer skit than this one, since I would be addressing not only your questions, but also the chapter itself.
By the way, for those who had already voted in the poll, I have news for you. I will be closing the poll after the Volume 1 is finish. So you guys probably have months if I became lazy to vote for the character that you want.
As of now, there had been no votes for Hector, Fionn, and Elizabeth Bathory yet. I will give updates regarding the poll like this, but I will never say who is the first one. Do keep voting for the character you guys want the most.
By the way, I have a question for you guys, is it somehow rushed? I'll try slowing it down if it is.
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By the way, I adopted Fahad09's ranking in his/her? Devil's Guidebook. I already received permission, even though it was a long time ago. I just hoped that he/she? remembered that particular conversation, or I'm screwed.
Note that Issei's status will be weak. It will become higher and higher in given time. Please patiently wait.
There are five main rankings E, D, C, B, & A.
Note that the gaps between the ranks are large, so much that it is possible for a competent fighter to defeat several opponents that are only a single rank beneath him.
E = Base Value (10 times stronger than an average human)
D = High-Class Devils
C = Ultimate-Class/8, 9 and 10-Winged Angels
B = Maou-Class/12-Winged Angels/Lower Gods
A = Super Devils/Higher Gods/Evil Dragons
EX = this rank is applied when the power cannot be classified in the normal system and is categorize as in a league of its own. While it can be applied to powerful creatures like Great Red, it also includes unique abilities that cannot be measured properly (e.g. Time Travel, etc.)
'+' = indicates that a Status may exceed the designated rank by up to, but no higher than one rank.
'-' = indicates that a Status doesn't completely qualify for its rank either due to it being too weak for the rank too strong to justify a lower ranking, or has a flaw or weakness that prevents it from completely qualifying for the rank.
P.S. Ranking in the Skills (E, D, C, B, A, EX) does not have the same value as the Ranking in stats.
Note: the brackets indicate whenever Issei would use [Explosion] or [Balance Breaker]. Issei will only use the Explosion after he had stored more than twelve Boosts.
Name: Hyoudou Issei
Alignment: Lawful Good
Strength: E- [C-)
Endurance: E [C]
Agility: E- [D+]
Mana: E [C-]
Boosted Gear [EX] - It is regarded as one of the high-tier Longinus Sacred Gears, an item that if it reached its maximum potential, the user would be capable of slaying even Gods. It is the Sacred Gear where the Welsh Dragon, Ddraig is sealed.
The [Boost] function of the Boosted Gear has the ability to double the user's overall capability. It is capable of enhancing even innate capabilities such as neural synapses, healing factor, senses, etc.
At this point of time, Issei is capable of achieving the [Balance Breaker] and use the [Scale Mail] while maintaining it for a long period of time. As of now, his body capable of enduring the power that comes with the transformation, but he is not yet capable of storing vast amounts of power.
Bravery [C] – is the ability to negate mental interference such as pressure, confusion and fascination. This skill is not usable under the effects of [Mad Enhancement].
Natural Body [D] – those who have this skill is in possession of a perfect body as a living being from birth. The owner of this skill is treated as if his Strength is always Rank-Up.
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Anyway, that's all! If you guys have any questions, feel free to PM or post it as reviews.
See you guys in the next chapter!