She was dreaming again. That girl was still crying, wishing that she wasn't alone anymore. Every night, she had the same dream.
That child was crying, screaming into the darkened night and hating the false day. The people around her wore masks, they hid their true selves from her.
But she could sense the fakes. She knew something was wrong but couldn't explain why. That girl wanted to find someone, but she didn't know who she was supposed to find or why they were separate.
That child was a Devil, like her. But at the same time it wasn't her. She was still sleeping, unaware of who she was.
Rias hated those dreams. The girl was always sad, waiting to find someone important. Someone she absolutely had to find, but was never allowed to look.
It wasn't until she mentioned them to her brother that she got an answer.
That was the name of the girl she kept seeing. But he wouldn't explain why Rias saw her, or how they were connected.
Rias wished she could find this Regina, and figure out why they were connected so strongly.
"It's almost time, King."
"I really wish someone would explain why you lot all insist on being known by your 'piece' name. I swear this is like playing Wizard's Chess with real people, except I don't know the rules of the game," complained the "King".
"Hah! You just wish you were the 'Queen' and not the 'King'!" laughed her Knight.
"Hell yes I wish I were a 'Queen'! The Queen is the strongest piece on the board! All the king does is try like hell not to get kidnapped!" complained the King.
The 'Knight' didn't even bother to hide his amusement. He laughed his ass off, sounding very much like a jackal.
"And that is why I agreed to be your Knight, my 'King'. You don't even bother to try and hide what you say with pretty lies and meaningless words. You wear your heart on your sleeve without nary a thought...even if it has hurt you because of fake people who are less than dogs," said her Knight, bowing at her feet.
"You, whose hair is stained crimson with the blood of your innocent heart. You, who should rule above these petty worms as the King you truly are," intoned the voices of those she had collected in the six years of suffering and sorrow.
Six years of learning about magic. Six years of feeling like she didn't belong. Six years of being molded into a weapon for a delusional wizard, all so he could fulfill some twisted mockery of the Greater Good.
And now... now the greatest barrier was removed. Now she could start preparations to leave this damned country and never look back.
Now she could begin the search her heart yearned to complete, even if she didn't know why she needed to find that person so desperately.
Three months later...
Issei heard they were getting a new student...all the way from England.
Gina Black, seventeen, home-schooled. She was an orphan, had no relatives she spoke to, and lived with family friends.
Analysis told the "Pervert trio" she was overly polite, shy, and none too used to being around people. She could handle small groups, but she was more of a loner.
About the only remarkable thing about her was that she had crimson red hair that she used to great effectiveness to hide her face, even while it was in a ponytail.
All in all, not exactly a girl that would get the attention of guys so easily.
At least, that was what he thought before she came into his class.
"Um... hello. My name is Gina Black..." said the red haired bombshell.
"No freaking way! Having a body that hot should be illegal!" whispered Matsuda.
"Red hair, foreign accent, rocking body, massive rack, shy personality... she's a perfect ten!" said Motohama.
"I can't believe she's in our class!" said Issei, beyond stoked.
As if the day couldn't get any better, despite the large protests and warnings from the girls, the hot new transfer actually talked to them!
"Ano...hello. You're Issei Hyoudou, right?" said Gina.
"Yeah..." said Issei nervously. "You're Gina, right? Nice to meet you."
"Dude...she's actually talking to us!" said Motohama in shock.
"Are we dreaming? Is this actually happening?!" said Matsuda.
"I was wondering... would you like to be friends?"
All three perverts suddenly fainted from bloodloss.
Almost immediately after that question, the shy Gina was swarmed by the other girls.
"Are you nuts? Those three are absolute perverts! They're the worst!"
"You'd be better off leaving them. The only thing they care about is seeing us naked," said another in disgust.
Gina simply stood there quiet, her shy persona pretending to retreat into herself.
In reality she was seething inside. Why did these strangers care about who she befriended? At least they were honest about what they wanted, and not ashamed of who they were. And they seemed like nice guys, for such bad habits.
Gina honestly didn't think the pervert trio were as bad as they were painted. Their habits might be frowned upon, but they never took it past fantasy.
She waited until the other girls realized they were intruding on her personal space and said their peace, before visiting the anemic boys in the infirmary. Her appearance clearly shocked them greatly.
Issei was the one who spoke first, as the others were too stunned she had actually come to check up on them.
"Were you serious about asking us to be your friends?"
"I've heard quite a bit about your bad habits, and while it's a little disturbing it doesn't really bother me as much as it bothers the other girls. The worst I've heard is that you do a lot of peeping and aren't ashamed to admit the fact you're perverts. That kind of honesty is rather refreshing."
Seeing their shocked and stunned expressions, she clarified why it didn't bother her that they were peeping toms and open perverts.
"You've never crossed the line between being a shameless pervert and being someone who would attack girls just to satisfy your baser desires."
"Of course not! We might peep on them, but we would never consider something as disgusting as that!" said Issei, horrified.
"And that's the main reason I asked if you wanted to be friends. At least you're open about your bad habits and know when to back off," said Gina simply.
Seeing the other two cry tears of pride that a hot girl didn't automatically put them beneath her for being open perverts and Issei stare at her with open disbelief, Gina left school that day feeling rather optimistic about her chances at a normal life.
Maybe this time she could actually have friends who didn't have some ulterior motive for being there.
Drake, her "Knight" was cackling.
"So let me get this straight. You left this morning and came back with three minions who are all open perverts?"
"They're not minions."
"You're a hot girl who has yet to reveal the full brunt of your appearance to them, and they're all shameless perverts who would do anything just to get a glimpse under your clothes. Face it, they're minions without the title," said Drake, cackling.
"At least they're honest about why their intentions. I can live with being friends with perverts if it means I don't have to waste time questioning their motives," said Gina flatly.
"Hmph. Maybe I'll join you in this school...if only for the entertainment of watching these three idiots follow your tune," said Drake.
"You're on your own, but I think the man who runs the place is a Devil. If I'm right, then tell them you're simply insuring your 'King' is well protected, despite the fact that she has no interest in causing trouble," said Gina flatly, her eyes showing from under her bangs.
"This ought to be entertaining," chuckled Drake.
"Oh, and if you try to turn anyone I'm setting Ceres on you," said Gina as an afterthought. "With her guns."
Ceres was one of Gina's two "Pawns", but only because she had been too nervous about accepting the Queen position. She didn't want to outrank Drake, after all.
The problem was that the rank didn't really fit her actual power level. That, and she somehow managed to turn one pawn piece into two by including the first human she ever fed upon into a piece as well. Not that Gina minded. He had a mind sharp as a tack and was very good at being one sneaky son of a bitch when it came down to it. He was better at laying traps than Drake was.
In terms of chess 'pieces', Gina had seven.
Drake and Homura were her "knights". Ceres and Ren were her "pawns". Lorelei and Suzaku were her "bishops. Tiamat was her lone "rook".
She had yet to acquire the most powerful piece of the "queen", six other "pawns" or another "rook". She still had no idea how she could resurrect things into 'pieces' or why she was even collecting them at all.
Out of her pieces, only four were with her at the moment. The others were still trying to gain power as Devils before coming.
Ceres, Drake, Ren and Suzaku were currently living with her. Ren acted the part of the 'family friend' she was staying with. Ceres was going to join the police force (old habits died hard), and Drake had been bored out of his mind until she mentioned going to school.
As for Suzaku...he was planning to run interference with the local Devil groups that ruled the area, if needed. His hair color was similar enough to Gina's that he could pass for her older brother currently working at home. The fact she kept most of her face obscured meant people wouldn't ask why they looked so different.
Out of all her pieces, he had the best understanding of the Devil's hierarchy...which meant he had little choice but to teach Gina and the others.
"Are you sure this is a wise idea?" asked Suzaku from his perch on the stool in the kitchen.
"He's my knight, and I doubt he could cause too much trouble if he wants to keep being fed by me," said Gina.
"True. Devil's blood is more delicious compared to human's blood from what I've been told, though most vampires seem to have their own preference for human blood for some reason. Either that or they don't want to subjugate themselves under the command of a Devil for a few hundred years...especially a Master vampire like him," agreed Suzaku.
Devils couldn't be turned like humans could...but vampires could still feed upon them within reason. The issue was that when they became a member of a household, they had certain restrictions placed upon them. The Devil in question would have far more control over the vampire to the point that they could literally force them to starve if they so desired. And they became immune to all the vampire's spells.
However, in return they were allowed to feed upon the devil, gaining even more power and abilities than they would have. It was an easy way to become a Master vampire if one were so inclined. Especially if the Devil in question was from an old, powerful line.
Most just didn't want to give up their freedom and personal power in exchange for a fast track to being a Master vampire. Let alone allowing someone else dictate their every move.
For a vampire like Drake, however, it was of little consequence. He was already one of the most powerful vampires in existence, and he mostly agreed because he was bored out of his mind since his last "master" had died without leaving an heir.
Ironically it had been Drake who told Gina what she was, as until that point she had been operating under the assumption that she was just a mere witch from an old line.
It had been Drake who walked her through how to make pieces...though she already had a bishop that she created without realizing what she was doing. Apparently the first year Gryffindor named Lorelei Evans was the unicorn she had spared the year before she met Drake and Ceres.
"This is going to be interesting," cackled Drake.
"Down boy," said Ceres, bopping Drake on the head.
Unlike her Master, Ceres didn't agree to being a pawn out of pure boredom. She could tell Gina needed a good female influence that wouldn't treat her like a damn child like the overbearing mother hen had.
Especially when her chest started growing until it rivaled Ceres in size.
"So when are the others going to get here?" asked Gina.
"Homura still has to negotiate passage with the local dragons. That's going to take a bit of time unless we can get one of the local powers to vouch for us. Tia is still garnering pacts among the idiot pure bloods who put any stock in that ridiculous house rivalry. Lorelei is almost finished with her medic's training and should be coming home within the month, once she's skipped out on that ridiculous oath. Not like it would stick to her in the first place, but still."
"So have you figured out who the local Devils are?" asked Gina.
"The Gremory's heir is currently president of the Occult Research club. Apparently it's a hobby of hers. The student council is also filled with Devils from the Sitri family. There's a mutual agreement to stay out of the affairs of the other family," said Suzaku. Then his face turned to a slight frown. "There's also rumors that the phoenix clan of Devils is seeking a match to the Gremory clan, though that is unconfirmed. I wouldn't envy the girl though. The current air is a perv who was depraved enough to make his own sister a 'piece' on in his chess set. All of whom are female."
Gina's expression darkened, as a brief moment of memory fluttered across her face. She remembered someone like that back in England, though his name and face escaped her. She had initially been close to that person, but something happened that forced Drake to execute him on the spot.
From what she'd been told, the others had to seal her memories of the incident for her own protection, until she had someone to buffer the nightmares that would inevitably occur.
"I see. In that case, Drake, if we ever run across this idiot I give you full permission to maim him. As part of the Phoenix Devil clan, he has trouble staying dead, correct?" she asked Suzaku.
"Yes, though I mourn for how far my clan has fallen," said Suzaku. He hadn't been exiled, but he was considered 'dead' by default because they couldn't find a trace of him for so long. Once he revealed himself again he'd become a full member, though his loyalties were now firmly with Gina.
"So I'm guessing setting Drake to maim him will take longer to heal, correct?"
"Maiming would be far more effective than killing, especially if it's done correctly. He'd eventually heal but he wouldn't soon forget about crossing us," agreed Suzaku.
"I'm really hoping this pathetic punk shows himself now," said Drake evilly.