In a remote area in Italy, a tear formed in the air before a rotating azure magic circle manifested. It was small at first, and hovering over the break in dimensions, but soon it enlarged and along with it, the tear turned into a large fissure where figures stepped out one by one.
The figures were greeted by a crowd of paparazzi which caused a majority of them to sigh in exhaustion. The reason the magic portal had been opened in a discreet location was to prevent the Human World's media from hounding on them like they did the last time the portal opened at the heart of Rome. There had definitely been an information leak, and based on the lingering feel of divine energy in the air, the trickster Gods were at work once again to make everyone's everyday lives that much more troublesome.
Then again, it wasn't everyday that someone akin to Underworld Royalty visited the Human World. A small girl hardly nine years old walked with a pout on her face, her arms crossed and her features soon growing petulant. She had a pair of striking bronze-coloured eyes, and possessed a long braid of auburn hair tinged with black highlights at the tips. She was her father's daughter just as much as her mother's, but she didn't have her mother's thick skin. She was wearing a magical girl outfit at the behest of her mother, and it was killing her inside when she recalled the odd look her father had given her when he'd first seen it. Cute it may be, b-but she didn't do cute! She did cool, slick, badass like her father! She was Seras Leviathan! N-Not some- some delusional little girl!
O the horror.
Watching magical girls in T.V. was one thing, but dressing up as a genuine one was another. She was mortified, and unlike her mother who her aunt Sona said could pull off a sickeningly sweet impression of a magical girl, she was not up to snuff.
A camera's flash captured her brooding image.
Papa, kill me. Kill me now…
She wanted to cry, but understood if she did, her tears would show on her face in the Human World national broadcasts. Worse, knowing her Godfather, Sirzechs Gremory as well as she did, the bastard would air it in the Underworld too.
Hold it in. Hold it the fuck in. She sniffled, her eyes stinging before she promptly decided to bury her face into the pant leg of someone that she trusted wouldn't hold it against her as blackmail material.
She was being escorted by a contingency of a dozen High-Class Devils, one of which was part of her aunt Sona's friend's peerage. He was the only Pawn Piece in Rias Gremory's peerage, a man known as Issei Hyoudo currently near his mid-twenties and wearing a tuxedo for a formal occasion. He was Rias Gremory's fiancé, the two set to marry in the near future.
"Awwwee, she's embarrass-"
"Shut up perv or I'll tell a certain step mom you tried to corrupt my half-brother!"
Did she say trust? She meant she trusted she had leverage over him. Devil upbringing, and let's not forget Serafall had once been the general of a civil war. Plus, her doting grandparents in the Sitri manor taught her well.
Issei froze just as quickly as she knew he would. Said half-brother, Artus Lucian Pendragon was the twin brother of Annabel Pendragon, the apples of one Arturia Pendragon's eyes. Arturia Pendragon, formerly 'King Arthur' was her father's Saber piece reincarnated. Now a mom of two impressionable seven-year-olds, she was as protective as one would assume a first-time mother to be. If Arturia so much as learned that Issei tried to give her honourable, chivalrous, dutiful, responsible, kind, just, and loving (Arturia's own words) son a porn mag with big titted women, Issei was going to die months before his wedding.
See no wrong. Hear no wrong. Seras Leviathan was many things, but even she knew not to break the sibling code. Let's just say that long before Issei got anywhere near Artus, a certain Fallen Angel of the Grigori had already gifted the boy something much more 'impactful' to study. For the sake of not starting a new faction war with the Fallen Angels, Artus's mother was being kept woefully ignorant, and besides, Issei could act as the scapegoat. It was the lesser of two evils. With this sudden realization, she pulled her face away from his pant leg and tried to commit his features to memory. She never knew when he'd end up mysteriously 'disappearing' from her life.
"Hey, ugh, why are you looking at me like I'm already dead?" Issei sounded jitterily. Seras had to admit, the man had an uncanny sense for women danger. Poor guy, he must have been beaten and hounded up a lot by different women in the past.
"You're a good man, Issei," she complimented in earnest. Too bad he was a perv which made it all the simpler to direct her step-mom's anger at him. "Never change."
"Thanks," Issei grinned lightly, missing her words for what they were: Condolence.
Walking amidst the crowd of paparazzi and flashing cameras, Seras finally had enough. She was many things, but patience was not one of them. That would be her younger half-brothers and sisters. She was the eldest of her seven siblings, and was already sick of all the attention on her. As the first born between her mother Serafall Leviathan, and her father, she was the diamond of the Underworld since she was the only child born from a Devil. She was praised wherever she went and practically everyone knew of her in the Underworld. She couldn't walk down the streets without someone asking for an autograph or a way to meet her father or mother. She was sick of it all, and was the only one able to emphasize with her half-brother Michael's plight.
If she was the Diamond of the Underworld, then Michael was the new light in the Heavens. He was the son of Gabriel who never got along with her birth mother, Serafall. The two would compete by seeing whose child was superior, not knowing that she and Michael used these occasions to sneak into the Human World in disguise to play at arcades or watch movies.
Seras's latest trip to the Human World wasn't to just visit. It was for a family reunion. All her mothers knew each other which was a given since they shared the affection of the same man, but that didn't mean that they all lived together.
Seras primarily lived in the Underworld in House Sitri while her parents were busy. Michael was tutored in Heaven by the Angel Michael who was still euphoric that Michael was named after him. The twins, Artus and Annabel were cared for in Britain in the Human World after Arturia was instated as a member of the British Monarchy as the great-great-great…something grandmother of the present royal family.
It had been almost ten years since the day the world of the supernatural became common knowledge to the people of earth. Heroes long thought dead walked the earth once more, several of which stayed as reincarnated pieces, others content to return to their afterlives.
Perhaps, the greatest change to everything was the relationships between pantheons. With the world now aware of the existence of the Gods, old beliefs were re-fostered. The Greeks and Romans, the Buddhists, and older pantheons that had stepped into save lives in the Great War against the Trihexa were being worshipped once more. Faith had never been so high among the humans that the Gods felt it too beneath them to resort to squabbling. Of course, the religion of the One God still held a majority of the world's religion, but any attempts to cause trouble were frowned upon so as to not break the peace.
Oh wait, where was she? She was getting sidetracked. Back to her siblings, right.
She lived in the Underworld, Michael in Heaven, Artus and Annabel in Britain, Lucas and Liam Quarta in Italy, Sakura Toujou in Japan, and finally someone of an off shoot, her youngest half-sibling, Illyasviel. She described Illya as an offshoot simply because she didn't know what to make of her.
Illya's mother was named Rin Tohsaka, and Illya's father was also her father? It was weird alright. When her father and Illya's father were together, her father called Illya's father, Archer who was apparently also her father. She had two fathers… yup she still couldn't wrap her mind around that, never think she will, nor would she accept it, but magic could be difficult to understand sometimes. Rin just said her family was complicated. Clearly, this was an understatement, but she'd never call Archer her father. He was too different from the father she knew, too jaded, but she supposed she could see parts of her father in him at times. At least, this is what she reminded herself in older to tolerate him making fun of her father for chasing his ideals. Her mothers were less controlled and didn't share a very good opinion on Archer, but couldn't help but blush whenever they looked at him. Her father and Archer were practically identical aside from the tone of their skin. Archer was a hot exotic tan, while her father was always the coolest in her eyes.
Her mothers held 'not so secret' meetings about who was hotter between the two.
Family, right? What can you do with them? Especially, when Issei worshipped her father as the ultimate paragon of harem protagonist. The perv! It wasn't as if papa was a womanizer. It was the women who dragged him off to fuck in their beds (Serafall's irate words to Kuroka who drugged her father on aphrodisiac to have their daughter Sakura.).
Seras and her half-siblings formed a pact with the sole clause of preventing any harlot from taking advantage of their father who was weak to women. The only exception could be Ms. Adelina or Irina who their mothers inwardly approved off. Adelina due to her sheer devotion, allowing her to remain ignorant of Okita Souji's wooing attempts, and Irina because Xenovia threatened to drag her into a threesome with a ball-gag and leather whips after doing research on how to keep your man's attention on you. Needless to say, the vying mothers found their own 'research,' material to learn from.
There was a rule between half-siblings. You hear moaning, and purred gasps, you book it the fuck out. You don't want to see that shit especially when it's your parents. It will scar you for life, or worse, shape you for a future of debauchery. Artus may already be too far gone though… His very conservative mom was going to flip if she saw the tentacle hentai old man Azazel was sneaking the kid, and she thought Issei was a bad influence.
What even was her extended family?
Seras scoffed, but the light smile on her face revealed her soft side anyway. She still adored her family regardless of what she thinks. This was a happy occasion. Her half-siblings who were generally raised apart with their individual mothers were all coming together for a bi-annual family gathering.
The location was a quaint church near Rome. It was a secluded place and somewhere her papa said everything had began for him in a 'how I met your mother,' esc story.
Another camera flash, and Seras was reminded again of the Human photographers chasing her and her escort for an interview. "Issei, do something!" She demanded. She'd had enough with all the attention.
"What do you expect me to do?" Issei's shoulders slumped as she pinched his leg. "Look! It's Michael and Gabriel!" He abruptly yelled and pointed. It only helped that it really was Michael and Gabriel descending from the Heaven's above with Michael junior with them. They were probably moving to attend the same family gathering.
Seras made eyes contact with her half-brother Michael who was fuming behind his charming expression and made a face at him.
'Your problem now. You're too kind for your own good.'
She grabbed onto Issei's back, unfurled her Devil wings, and took off in a burst of Devil speed, the rest of her contingency chasing after her and leaving the Humans who were too slow to keep up.
Ever since the Humans discovered the world of the supernatural, they took it upon themselves to create celebrities of all those who mattered. This was especially so for prominent figures in the battle against the Trihexa. There was an Angel Michael fan club that exclusively gave their faith and devotion to Michael. Meanwhile, the image of Devils was being reinterpreted into a genre of succubus as the majority of Devils dominated the fashion industry, tempting healthy men and women everywhere. The Fallen Angels on the other hand, were free to do as they wished so long as they provided for any children they intentionally or unintentionally sired. Needless to say, but being one of her father's eight children, she was a celebrity amidst celebrities.
Seras was just glad the attention was no longer on her, but on her half-brother. With Issei held by the scruff of his attire, she pulled him towards the small church quickly coming within view. Most of all, it was free of people due to the magic barrier set up around it.
In her haste, she pulled tighter and sped up.
"You're breaking the tuxedo Rias and Akeno prepared for me!" Issei complained before breaking out of Seras's grip. Strong or not, Issei had the strength of an Ultimate-Class Devil as the owner of the Boosted Gear.
Gasping at the sudden resistance, the both of them tumbled on the grass directly outside the small church. Ordinarily Devils couldn't approach a sacred place like this, but things were different after the One God amended a few rules in his system.
In any case, Seras at the ripe old age of nine already possessed the power of an Ultimate-Class Devil. If there was one thing Seras had in common with all her siblings, it was their inherited powers born from strong parents. That, and they hated losing.
"You won't be able to get out of my grip next time if I freeze you. Mom's been teaching me," Seras glowered while picking herself off of the ground.
"I'll cash in my favour with Sona and have her look after you, if you do that." Issei threatened.
"Yes. Yes, I would." Issei said while standing up on his feet and brushing of the grass stains on his clothes. He was relying on advice courtesy of Mr. Gremory to be tough on kids otherwise they'll walk all over you. Sona in particular was Seras' strict aunt. Where Serafall doted on Seras, Sona was the voice of discipline.
Seras shut her mouth, covering her lips with both hands to prevent any rebuttal from coming out.
Issei nodded before making his way into the church to look for his fiancé who'd arrived in advance to help with preparations. Rias, Sona, and their peerages were busy setting up tables in the far distance while the mothers appeared to be in another part of the church.
Left alone, Seras huffed and was greeted by the presence of a strikingly beautiful nun.
"Grandma Griselda," she said with a tilt of her head. They weren't related by blood, but Griselda was the mother of her step mother Xenovia, which meant she was her grandmother-in law all the same.
Seras opened her mouth to speak, but was stopped as Griselda raised a finger.
"No," Griselda said with a wry grin forming over her face. "You aren't the first of your siblings to arrive. That would be Lucas and Liam, and before you say they don't count since they live here, Artus and Annabel are already playing with Sakura in the church amphitheatre."
Seras deflated at the loss while Griselda chuckled warmly.
Griselda patted Seras on the head and ruffled her hair. Griselda was less of a grandma, and more of a kind-hearted older sister as she'd hardly aged in the past few years. The only difference that could be spotted was her injured left arm from a battle against a 'wayward' friend she never really disclosed.
As Seras pouted and pulled away from Griselda's show of affection, a wisp of dark energy seeped from Griselda's injured arm before Griselda narrowed her eyes and tightened the holy cloth around her limb.
"Papa?" Seras blinked at Griselda's in confusion. For a moment, she could have sworn she felt something similar to her father's demon form nearby.
"Hush child," Griselda skirted around the issue and smiled disarmingly. She urged Seras into the church. "Your father was the first to arrive. He's here somewhere. So, go meet up with your siblings first. Weren't you going to prove you're the strongest?"
Seras suddenly puffed her chest out in pride. Griselda called it haughtiness. "I'm the eldest. Of course, I'm the strongest!"
"You flinch whenever young lord Michael smiles at you," Griselda deadpanned.
"Yeah well, he's too innocent. He flinches if I throw my panty at him- ouch! What the hell?" Seras rubbed at her forehead with the ball of her hands to relieve the pain. It wasn't fair. She was supposed to be strong, but Griselda's attacks somehow bypass her defences every time.
"A young woman shouldn't be so crass," Griselda admonished. "You flinch when Michael smiles at you because you know he's genuine and would never rely on anything underhanded. He's his father's child and tutored by Lord Michael the angel himself. You will not corrupt him with vile thoughts as Azazel has corrupted young Artus. I will not allow it. Be better."
"Mom says be smarter," Seras fidgeted, shifting her weight between one foot to the other. Reluctant as she was to admit it, her younger brother Michael was stronger than her, and unless she resorted to tricks, he'd win hands down.
"Run along, dear," Griselda just sighed, fully knowing that Seras wouldn't heed her request.
Not wasting another second, Seras fled from Griselda and entered the church where she quickly saw Lucas and Liam. The two wore a male church habit which wasn't strange considering Griselda lived with them. Lucas was six, and Liam was four. They nodded to her when their eyes met, and Seras opened her mouth in greeting, before closing it and rethinking about what she was about to say. Griselda doted on Lucas and Liam as Xenovia's direct children, and if corrupted either of the two boys, Griselda would never let it go. Sure Xenovia raised her children, but it was Griselda who taught them manners and had an active role in their up bringing.
"Salutations," Seras went with a formal greeting. Somehow, someway, she could feel Griselda's eyes on her.
"Hey big sis," Lucas called out while Liam clung to his leg. The two shared similar blue hair and soft features. The biggest giveaway that they were related were the bronze-coloured eyes. It was a given trait among all her siblings… and then there was the outlier.
"Hey guys, ugh, how's it going? Its been a while. Haha… I'm a just stop talking now." Illya made her presence known while digging her feet into the ground. She had soft steel-grey eyes and long dark hair left to cascade down her back. She wore a purple dress and thankfully didn't comment on Seras's goth-Lolita magical girl attire.
Socially awkward was the best way to describe Illya. She was also the weakest of the siblings due to having a 'different' but the same father. No one dared make fun of her or anything like that though as a hulking brute of a man with dark skin, a stone slab for a sword, and a wild main of hair always acted as Illya's escort to make up for her weakness. The man was her father's reincarnated berserker piece, the fabled Herakles who preferred spending his time with Illya. Inadvertently, he scared off anyone Illya tried to make friends with.
Illya's father Archer, was 'technically' their father as well. So, ugh… siblings.
Seras' smile was strained, but Lucas and Liam, bless them, had no reservation pulling Illya in for a greeting hug. They then turned to her. "I don't do hugs," she deadpanned. They didn't listen and glomped her as she thrashed. The brats were strong.
This was the scene, Artus and Annabel walked into. The both of them wore plate armour forged exactly to fit their young physiques. Artus had blond hair while Annabel had a fiery red. Both had the same bronze eyes, and both carried holy swords strapped to their waists. Their composed expressions were reminiscent of their mother who never failed to take pride in them. Her little Knights.
Annabel moved in towards the group hug with a small smile. When Artus moved in with the intent to body pile over his half-siblings, Seras raised a finger. "Perv no touch!"
"I-It's a natural reaction! Just don't tell mom! Look Excalibur still accepts me! It's natural!" Artus' composure shattered when all his sisters just gave him a flat look. Liam and Lucas who didn't know what they were talking about just shrugged. "I knew there was a reason why Michael was my favourite brother. He's never like this."
"Michael accepts everyone," Seras snorted.
"Stop messing with big bro just because he knows what he wants," a body clung onto Artus's left arm. Artus looked down to see a black-haired girl with an open kimono clinging to his arm. Over her head were a pair of fluffy white cat ears.
"Sakura," Artus greeted with warmth while looking at his other siblings in mock disdain. "This is why she's my favorite sister. She defends me unlike my own full-blooded sister."
Annabel grunted in disgust while recalling the things Azazel slipped for her twin brother to read. "As if Sakura counts. Her mother drugged papa and had her way with him. Of course, she'd praise you for knowing what you want. She's just like her mother."
Sakura's grin spread from ear to ear before she laughed, draping herself over Artus's back, much to Annabel's ire. "Mama likes, mama gets," she giggled.
"Get off my brother, you skank!" Annabel pushed off from her pile of sibling and began stomping her way over.
"Skank? Oh burn, but he said it himself," Sakura hid behind Artus' shoulder, circling whenever Annabel tried to reach for her. "I'm the better sister-" "She has a point." "-Shut up stupid twin. You're lucky I even cover for you. Don't push it."
Annabel fumed. As indifferent as she could be to her brother, it didn't mean she didn't adore him in her own way. They were twins, together even in the womb. They shared an unsaid bond that Seras could immediately see was setting Annabel off as her brother gravitated more towards Sakura then her.
"Get. Off." Annabel palmed a hand over her sword, a twinkle glinting in Sakura's eyes. She was as mischievous as her mother.
"Make me. Big bro will protect me." From behind Artus' back, Sakura stuck her tongue out in provocation as Artus attempted to mediate much to Seras' disappointment and Annabel's fury. Artus was being played and he didn't even notice. It was killing two birds with one stone. Sakura asserted her place as Artus' best sister and she got to mess with Annabel who Seras knew was a closet bro-con despite her straight face. Artus was a dolt, but he was a lovable dolt with the chivalry and honour his mother had ingrained into him.
"Now, Annabel, surely Sakura doesn't mean any harm. Lets just all calm down," Artus said placatingly, his hands held out as a sign of peace. Sakura used this moment to sidle closer to Artus, taking the place where Annabel usually stood during formal ceremonies in Britain.
"You've chosen death." Annabel's eyes narrowed sharply at Sakura, her sword scraping against her scabbard and making a keening noise. Sakura merely grinned wider and elongated her nails into sharp claws, the power of Senjutsu she was drawing from the air bolstering her capabilities.
"Bring it, bitch," Annabel was done. She pushed aside her brother who stood rooted in place. He was petrified only because Annabel distinctly resembled their mother when she was angry, and you just don't argue with an angry mother.
The two half-sisters lunged at each other before their left and right forearms were grasped in a strong yet gentle grip. "Peace sisters. Violence is never the answer. It is through understanding and empathy that will allow light to shine forever in our lives."
Michael their half-brother appeared in all his humble glory, wearing a white gown that emphasized the purity of the twelve wings over his back. He was a power house that not even Seras could confidently beat until a panty was thrown in his face and he flummoxed, his wings shifting between white and black. Yet, he'd learned his lesson.
He stared at Seras who was seconds away from lobbing her panties at him. He wouldn't be caught by surprise again. She dropped her weapon and slumped. "Blessed are the woman who know the dignity and purity of the chaste. May they not fall into the wide road of vulgarity, profanity, and needless squabble. Let light guide the way with your lives, and soon you'll all see happiness."
Seras groaned as all the fight drained from Annabel and Sakura. Artus, Liam, Lucas, and Illya all sighed in various forms of mental exhaustion.
Due to increased exposure to the angel Michael and the Seraphim, the impressionable Michael developed a certain tic. He speaks in bloody scripture. Every word, every sentence was a life lesson. The only one he ever spoke like a child his age was with their father or mothers.
"Peace, brothers and sister. Tis not today a day of joy? Let us partake of the food and thrill of each others company and impress father with out growth."
"He's bragging. He's definitely bragging in that sentence," Seras grimaced. Michael knows he can probably beat everyone in a spar. Show their growth? Didn't he mean for them to act as his foil? Never.
Michael's smile remained on his face, but not for long. From the corner of her gaze, Seras saw Sakura signalling at her with her eyes. Slowly, carefully, Sakura pulled out a certain 'manga' Artus was keeping hidden beneath the battle robes in his armour.
"Let us not be distracted by simple posturing. Let us focus on ourselves and-"
"Hey big bro Michael," Sakura said sweetly.
"Hmm," Michael hummed while looking towards one of his younger sisters.
"You like to read, right?"
"Yes. Yes, I do. I love learning new things. What sort of book is that? A picture book?"
In the distance, Artus was patting himself down after realizing the weight of one of his treasures had disappeared. He looked towards Michael saw the rapidly alternating colour of black and white wings, and lunged at the book in Michael's hands. "Noooooo!" Lord Michael and the Seraphim were going to kill him. Gabriel the 'kind' was going to become Gabriel the 'executioner,' and he had a feeling his mother would only step in when he was beaten to an inch of his life.
Seras watched Sakura walk up to her, and the two clasped their hands together. "You're my favorite sister," Seras shared a nod of comradery while Annabel scoffed not too far away. The thing about Michael was that their half-brother had eidetic memory. If the spars between siblings began, she need only mention tentacles, and he'd remember exactly what he'd read.
A flustered Michael, was a weak Michael. She had the title of strongest sibling in the bag.
"Your both evil," Illya shuddered at the antics of her half-sisters.
"Devil/Yokai," were what the two replied with, causing Illya to shut her mouth and pout.
The half-siblings didn't say it, but they did enjoy the time they spent together. They could argue, bicker, or be mean to each other, but no one ever took things too far. It's not like they were free to see each other whenever they wanted, not until they grew old enough to travel on their own. Each of their mothers had different things that they wanted to teach them first.
"Seras Leviathan! Get you and your siblings over here!" A voice suddenly called from outside the church.
Seras perked up at the voice as did everyone else. Her momma was calling.
They all rushed outside where their mothers stood smiling at them. Rias, aunt Sona, and many other guests who her parents knew but she didn't, waved at them politely. Seras noted that her papa wasn't around, and her mother soon caught her searching gaze and gave her a knowing look.
"Your father's further ahead at the creak," Serafall explained. "He's with Issei setting up a camera for a family photo."
Oh okay. Seras nodded her head. Her father often juggled where he lived so as to be able to spend time with all his children and wives who didn't all get along. Hence, why some of them lived apart from each other. For Seras, it had been a month since she'd seen her papa, and she'd made him promise to help her in her magic training when they met the next time. She noted that all her siblings were excited. Well, except for Illya who ran into the arms of 'not papa,' (Archer) with a grin while Rin Tohsaka nuzzled her cheek against Illya's own.
Everyone soon made to stand by their respective mothers who ushered them towards the small creak at the back of the church. There, they saw Shirou propping himself up in the chair facing the camera Issei was trying to get in focus.
"Papa!" Seras screamed in excitement. She knew that it was childish, but her momma always said that Devils were beings of emotion. When you want something, don't hesitate and give it your all.
Seras went running, and Serafall made no motion to stop her. Xenovia, Arturia, Gabriel, and Kuroka made no move to stop their children either. Arturia smirked in amusement when she saw her little girl's face break into a grin as she used a mana burst to overtake Seras.
Just like mommy taught. Arturia found herself nodding until she glared at Kuroka when Sakura tripped Annabel.
Serafall would have been amused at the scene, if Sakura didn't then proceed to trick Artus into blocking Seras' path. In comparison to all the mothers, Kuroka was beaming. "Nya! That's my daughter. Isn't she great? Oh I should film." Kuroka fumbled for a camera. "Bikou would love to see this. Vali less so. He'd rather have another fight with Shirou, but he's a kill joy- no wait bitch!"
Kuroka snapped out of her musings as young Michael unfurled his large wings and shoved Sakura to the side, doing the same to Seras and any sibling who tried to pass by. Kuroka and Serafall slowly shifted their glares on a smiling Gabriel. "What can I say? My boy's winging it."
Xenovia scoffed, her eyes never leaving her two little boys. To her, it didn't matter if they won or not, and besides, they were younger than the other children. She wasn't expecting a six and four-year-old to beat older kids. She was a proud mother who would start training her boys all the same.
As the mothers traded bards, Archer felt that the past few years was just all too surreal. Rin gripped his hand in a gesture of faith while pushing their daughter Illya for Archer to hold. "Happy?" She preened knowingly. "This really isn't a dream."
Archer grunted. "Don't push it. You know I'm not very expressive anymore."
"Daddy?" Illya looked up at Archer, causing the proud man to wilt and grudgingly admit he was happy much to Rin's mirth. Archer just didn't like owing his younger self a favour.
Looking back at the scene of the children, everyone stopped to watch. Just as it seemed as if Michael would win the impromptu race, Artus, Liam, and Lucas latched onto Michael's wings, prompting Seras and Sakura to do the same much to Michael's dismay. Hanging off Michael's wings, each of the children reached Shirou at the same time, tackling him out of the chair he was posing in, and into the small creak.
Melodious laughter echoed from the mothers who made their way forward while their children began bickering amongst themselves.
Shirou for his part looked to his kids, then to his wives before his lips gradually curved upwards when Issei took a picture of them all.
Born in flames and tempered in combat, he'd come a long way from where he'd been at the past, and now? Now he could look to what was important beyond the completion of his ideals as the Holyman of the Church Creak.
-Omake written by James B, and fellow Fanfic Author Kovaras. A chronology.
The Origins of Marbas the Grand Unifier
The Great Demon Marbas is undoubtedly one of the most important figures of this Era.
Even if only factoring his heritage, his importance shines. He is the last pure Demon of the Seventy-two, the heir of the will of the original four Satans, and the final son of House Marbas.
By his Power and his Will, did he unite a fractured Underworld tearing itself apart at the end of the catastrophic Great War. He rescued it from calamity as the Old Satan Loyalists inadvertently unleashed the remnants of the Heavenly Father's fury in the Valley of Revelations at great personal cost.
From that sacrifice did he eventually become something greater. He unified the power of Heaven above, the bravery of Humanity, and his own terrible demonic power into the nexus of power he is today.
Yet he was not satisfied with uniting the Underworld, and the three aspects into himself. He then unified the Three Factions of the Abrahamic Faith into one, then united most of the world's pantheons into a Grand Alliance to stand tall against the premature Armageddon the Khaos Brigade unleashed upon the world when they freed Trihexa.
And then after the climactic battle did he unify the halves of the world. Past and Present. Mundane and Supernatural. Instead of working with the other Pantheons to restore the great masquerade to keep the majority of Humanity in ignorance, he worked to instead integrate Humanity into the fold, leading to a restoration of several faiths that participated in the battles against Trihexa, with notably the Greek Pantheon's resurgence in popularity.
To help salve the wounds in the hearts of the nations, several heroes of eld, summoned at Marbas's command opted to remain in the present, to inspire the next generation of heroes.
At his will did even the Original Goetia return, to once more guide and protect the underworld, unseen but present.
Lastly, Marbas did what not even the original Heavenly Father could, and ceased most of the bitter infighting between the branches of his faith: Christianity, Judiasm, Islam, and all the other sub-factions sprawling from their wake. Only the most fanatical of those factions still wish to continue the fight. The others merely compete with each other to prove that their interpretation best embodies their lord's will like siblings that recognize each other, but compete to be the favorite.
But even today the Great Marbas lives up to his other title, the Unfathomable, for his origins still lay hidden in the midst of the past. The man himself is reluctant to speak of it, but upon interviewing the Devils he met and saved during the Civil War, and the humans that met and followed Marbas's human self during the Sword Trials, a clearer yet murky picture begins to form.
Sona Sitri's initial conjecture that the current human form is a result of the Great Marbas's demonic energy balancing out with the Heavenly Father's at the end of the civil war has been recently dismissed as partially incorrect by underworld scholars today.
However, she is still regarded as the first to gain a true inkling to his nature, as expected of a young genius.
Based on what evidence we of the new House Dantalion were able to compile, this is the current theory of Marbas's history.
In the waning years of the Great War between the Three Factions, the Old Satans took a child with a high latent demonic blood of House Marbas and experimented on him, devising a way to amplify and further purify the devil into a demon of eld. In doing so, they had amplified the power and the raw amount of evil the child had into becoming the Demon Marbas we know today.
But in their folly to create a demon to lead the Underworld against the Heavens, they prevented any "good" from manifesting in the child believing that a demon must contain nothing but pure "evil." In their mistaken beliefs, they were able to awaken the child into becoming a demon, but leaving it an empty husk with great power but no motivation or drive. The power was there, but a suitable vessel was missing.
There cannot be darkness without light, good without evil, no ego without id. Marbas was powerful, but woefully incomplete.
Disappointed in their initial failure, the Old Satans moved onto other projects in order to gain an advantage in the war. One of these projects involved several humans used for experimentation, some of whom were able to escape.
It is currently hypothesized that in the final months of the war, one of these humans was able to interact with a young Marbas and eventually become his host, which would explain the vast difference in appearance between the Great Marbas and the other members of his family. During this time, it is believed that Marbas slowly developed his personality as he integrated with the human that accepted him. He was raised in seclusion by his father after the Old Satans fell in battle against the Heavenly Father.
During the Civil War, House Marbas made several overtures to garner support for a 'true' heir of the Underworld. It is suspected that when the Old Satan Loyalists attempted to renew the Great War in the memory of their fallen Great Satans, Marbas's father attempted to dissuade them and wait.
Unfortunately, the Old Satan Faction wouldn't listen, preventing Marbas's father from announcing the existence of the young Marbas to the Underworld as a whole out of concern for his safety. Ambitious devils could have easily affected the young Marbas's mental state.
So did the war rage in the Underworld. Devils fought Devils in a foolish struggle that nearly destroyed them all when it's fires eventually reached Marbas's lands. The Old Satan Loyalists, ignorantly attacked House Marbas, nearly razing it to the ground before the Young Marbas finally awoke, and crushed the foolish devils underneath his power.
And thus, did the Demon of the Underworld make his name known.
As the war raged, Marbas's personality developed further as the growing bonds between himself and the Satans grew, especially with Serafall Sitri who many believed was his main motivator. Why else would he take up arms only when he'd not done so before. It must have been love. The start of a love that would be called a tragedy for years.
Their bond grew so potent that when the Remnants of the Heavenly Father were accidentally unleashed upon the underworld, he chose to sacrifice himself to save the one he came to love, unwittingly embodying the very virtues that the Heavenly Father himself championed. So, when the heavenly power flowed into Marbas, it was assimilated in harmony instead of mutual destruction.
A trinity of Man, Devil, and Holy would soon be formed.
Unfortunately, as the powers merged, their form became unstable, resulting in their body temporarily disintegrating, leading the Satans and the Old Satan Loyalists present in the Valley of Revelations to believe their leader had fallen.
A grim and uneasy peace followed in the Underworld from his absence, which was thankfully held together by the then New Great Satans.
Unfortunately, most information of what happened between the end of the Civil War and Marbas arriving in a Church Creek in Italy isn't known.
Based on what little information we were able to glean from childhood companions of Marbas: the mysterious magician Tohsaka Rin, and the spirit of Arthur and Lefay Pendragon's sister Arturia, Marbas was found by a human magician by the name of Kiritsugu Emiya, who according to the pair was an assassin specialized in silencing magicians and other supernatural beings that threatened the secrecy of magical society.
Despite the efforts of the new House Dantalion, the Grigori, Vatican, and various societies throughout the world, no records of the man, Tohsaka Rin, or Arturia Pendragon were ever found. Yet Marbas himself vouches for their histories, and every truth-seeking artifact used confirms their claims. This impossibility has led the Grigory to create multiple societies to search for knowledge lost and forgotten by even the Gods, and has led to a wealth of new discoveries.
From what little we know from interviews of Marbas and his mysterious childhood companions, what we do know is that he spent most of his recent youth as a human, utterly unaware of his origins as his memories were sealed. It was not until a climatic battle against a fragment of the evil that existed within the Trihexa did Marbas slowly begin to awaken.
After that battle, Marbas was separated from his companions and found himself in Italy, where he wandered into a simple church by a creek, meeting his future second wife, Xenovia Quarta. During his year-long stay in Italy, Marbas slowly began to awaken the powers of the Heavenly Father within him. Much of what we know during this time are from interviews given by his second wife, who eagerly went into great detail of Marbas's exploits.
Based on her testimony, scholars believe that Marbas's awakening began during the second sword trial, the Gate of Inner Vision. During this trial the participants were given a choice, to condemn one group, or another. According to Xenovia, Marbas was given a choice, between condemning a child to bear all the world's evils, or condemn the remorseful people sacrificing the child. He chose neither and instead opted to bear the burdens himself.
It is theorized that this vision was based on the actions of the original human that interacted with the empty Marbas in the distant past, and acted as the catalyst for Marbas's return.
As the Sword Trials progressed, the Heavenly Father was able to manifest once more within him, giving him guidance as they both recovered, enabling the Heavenly Father to recover first before Marbas's demonic side. Despite this, the Heavenly Father decided to remain within Marbas and to continue to support him.
Marbas himself did not fully reawaken until the Battle of Kuoh Academy, where the misguided Khaos Brigade attempted to sabotage the peace treaty that Marbas supported. Once again the Old Satan Loyalists stood against Marbas, but unlike during the civil war, they did not resist further upon discovering their mistake.
From the wake of that battle, the Three Factions united under its rightful ruler, and what few fools that could not accept the natural order were purged, either during the war against Trihexia, or the attacks leading up to it. It was during this time that Marbas first divided into the three that comprised of himself, the Heavenly Father, and the Demon Marbas. Since then, Marbas has rarely divided himself, preferring to stay whole and merely shift aspects as needed to protect his kingdom.
And so, even now we grow under the protective gaze of Marbas, he who unified the world, he who holds absolute power.
He who is the blessed three.
The future is now in the hands of his children.
Excerpt from Chronicles of the Ages, Prelude of a Golden Age
-Third Chronicler, Kovaras Dantalion.
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Fiction Press: Survivor's Log: Reflections (New novel coming out near December)
Book link: Fatedlegacydark. ca
Summary of book:
Death. Grief. Ruin. Nothing was left unchanged after an unexplained tragedy led to the loss of millions across the world in key locations. Cities were reduced to wastelands of steel and concrete, and many were forced into migration. When events leading to the prior tragedy occur once more, Kevin Black was going to have to learn that sometimes mysteries were better left unsolved. Trapped with his friends in the world of a ruined city filled with monsters, the journey out would be far more perilous than the journey in.