Chapter 26: Inner Conflict!
The start of a new day, yet it already felt sour. The rays of sunshine, shined into the room of the Sitri heir, Itachi. Although, his bed was occupied by the Gremory heiress, Rias Gremory. It had been a few days since the peace conference between the Three Factions ended. Rias laid on Itachi's bed, with her face planted into his pillow. Taking in what remained of Itachi's scent. Rias' eyes glistened with tears, she kept going over what happened at the conference in her head. And the memory still pained her. "Itachi…" In a soft voice she whispered.
The moment Ophis appeared, everyone was overcome with a sense of dread and fear. The Dragon God of Infinity's power eclipsed even that of the Super Devil Sirzechs Lucifer. They were left helpless, yet Ophis didn't kill any of them. Even though she easily could have killed everyone there. The Dragon God vanished as quickly as she appeared. After a few demonstrations of her power, Ophis left with Vali, Amon, Arthur and Bikou. But not before calling Itachi one thing, that would haunt and echo through Rias's mind for days. "Clan Killer."
No one, no one knew what meaning that truly held. Why would Ophis call Itachi, her oldest friend, the man she loved, the most caring person she has ever known. Why would Ophis call a man like Itachi such a thing? If Itachi would have told her it was nonsense she would have believed him, straight away. But, Itachi's own reaction spoke volumes for Ophis' claim. And, it became obvious it held some truth to it.
Rias had unconsciously muttered the word "Clan Killer" after Ophis left. And, Itachi of course picked up on it. Itachi, had taken one look at all their faces. They all had questions, dying to ask Itachi what Ophis meant by "Clan Killer"? Itachi upon seeing the look in all their faces, the looks of confusion and concern. Itachi looked down, with a regrettable pained expression. And before another word could be said, Itachi took off.
Itachi flew off into the night sky, Rias barely having time to act. Rias took flight after Itachi, while everyone else remained frozen in shock. Rias didn't want to believe Itachi could ever be associated with such a title. But him running away, didn't make things easier. "Itachi!" Rias called out to him, her tone of voice telling him, practically sounding like she was begging him to stop.
Itachi took one look back at her, his eyes filled with pain and regret. Itachi's body dissolved into a murder of crows before her very eyes. The crows dispersing in various directions, her sight blinded by their black raining feathers. When Rias pushed through, and her line of sight became clear. Itachi was gone. He had flown off into the night, and disappeared from sight. Rias looked hurt. Her heart felt like it was breaking.
Rias looked up at the ceiling, her eyes seeming empty. She hugged onto Itachi's pillow tightly. It had been three days since then, and not a word from Itachi. No one had seen him, or heard anything about where he was.
Serafall and Sona both nearly panicked at their brother's disappearance, and had patrols search every night around town. Sirzechs himself also had several patrols look around the Underworld just in case. Despite their best efforts, despite the magic and advanced tools the Devil society had to offer. They could not locate the missing Sitri heir.
To avoid questions from the school. Sona had told the teachers and any students who asked, that Itachi was at home and sick. Every day, Sona had brought back Itachi's homework from school, and placed them neatly on his desk in his room. Though, at night Rias could sometimes hear Sona's muffled cries. Without a doubt the younger Sitri was worried for her older twin.
The Sins seemed a bit lost without their master. Kuroka as the Queen, had taken charge. Instead of constantly searching for her master, Kuroka with a heavy heart had to put focus in also dividing contracts between the rest of the Sins. Even with Itachi's absence they couldn't slack in their work. Rias had also noticed the older nekomata, climbing onto the roof of the mansion, crying out for Itachi while looking at the full moon.
"Honestly…" Rias muttered, her body trembling. "… I don't care about this whole "Clan Killer" thing anymore…" Tears rolled down from her eyes as she eyed a group photo on Itachi's nightstand of them all during their first day at Kuoh. Rias gaze in particular focused on Itachi, who was at the center of the picture. With an awkward smile as both Rias and Akeno held onto his arms. "I just want you to come home… Itachi."
Meanwhile, Sona and Serafall had decided to investigate further into the matter. Having gathered in the theater room at one of the many basement levels of the mansion, Sona looked rather uncomfortable as on the screen were their parents Malphas and Serena Sitri. And Serafall for once looked dead serious. "Have you still not found your brother?" Serena asked, clearly worried for her only son.
Sona shakes her head, her eyes a bit red showing that she's been crying. Yet Sona tried to keep a strong image before her mother and father. "Onii-sama is still missing…"
"That's very troubling…" Malphas hummed whilst rubbing his chin. "Argh, that kid… What am I going to do with him?" Malphas groaned as he facepalmed.
"Okaa-sama, Otou-sama, may I ask something?" Serafall spoke up, gaining the attention of both her parents, who gave a nod of acknowledgment. "Has… It-tan ever gone through something… traumatic?" Serafall had a hard time to ask, but after having heard Ophis call Itachi for "Clan Killer", and him running off like that, it had to be due to some trauma he experienced in the past.
"Hmmm…" Malphas looked in deep thought, trying to recall every event regarding his son. "No, can't say so… The only thing I can think of was when he and Sona were children… And along with Rias encountered that demonic wolf outside our territory. Well, that and one other thing… but I don't think it could have led to something like this." Malphas made suggestive glances towards Serena, who was quick to elbow him in his kidneys making him fall over in pain.
Sona and Serafall both looked on in disgust. They really didn't want to hear anything about their parents love life. Their mother, whilst blushing gave a light cough. "Anyway, Itachi had a very happy childhood… Or at least, I want to say that… But…" Serena looked a bit uncertain.
Malphas recovered from the elbow strike to his kidney and crawled back up. "Serafall, Sona, even you two must know… Itachi, your brother has always been rather strange. He knew advanced mathematics at the age of five, he learnt how to use his demonic power at the age of four. And ever since he could speak, he always spoke like a mature wise old man. Honestly, it was frightening… To have such an advanced child. I had no idea what to do, or what to even say to him at times… It was like he was constantly in his own world. Having this mentality about getting stronger. So young, so much power, so much wisdom… I almost felt like I could make him take over as the head of the family on the spot. He already surpassed me in terms of power, and wisdom long ago."
"Look, I know It-tan was gifted… But what does that have to-" Serafall was halted as her father raised his hand signifying for her to stop.
"Sona, Serafall, can any of you truly say you know Itachi?" Both sisters gasped at their father's question. Of course, they knew him, Itachi was their brother. They knew everything about him, didn't they? Serafall sunk her shoulders, as due to recent events it was clear that they didn't. "I thought so, same goes for me and your mother… I have no idea what is going on inside his head. Itachi has always been so secretive, quiet… I'm the boy's own father, and even I don't know what plagues at his mind… I feel like a disgrace."
"Otou-sama, don't say that. You are a great father." Sona's words, brought a smile to Malphas' face. Especially since all he seems to do is embarrass Sona.
"Thank you, my dear Sona-chan." Malphas' mood went sour quickly, bothered by whatever might be bothering his son Itachi. He wanted to help. He just didn't know how. "First, at least tell us what happened that made Itachi run away? You told us Ophis showed up, but I doubt the fear of Ophis made him run away… So, what happened?"
"W-Well…" Sona mumbled, twiddling her fingers. "Ophis called onii-sama for… Clan Killer. And after that, she vanished, and then he ran away."
This seemed to catch the attention of Malphas and Serena who both gasped. "Clan Killer?" They both repeated.
"Yeah…" Serafall nodded, confirming it.
Malphas and Serena looked at each other, and gave a nod. "We might have an idea… but we're not certain." This quickly gained the full attention of Sona and Serafall. "Itachi would sometimes go on patrol around our territory with our military. Sometimes he would partake in missions. If anything happened that earned him a nickname like that, it would be during his patrol days." Malphas' expression turned into one of anger, along with Serena.
"If they forced my sweet little baby boy to do anything of sorts…!" Serena trembled with anger. A desk that was visible in their background suddenly exploded from the intense power their parents were releasing.
"We'll ask the commanding officers some questions about the matter… We'll report back to you if we find anything. In the meantime, find Itachi… And if he doesn't want to talk about it…. Well… As a father I would respect his privacy, but also as a father I wish to help my son." Malphas looked clearly conflicted on what to do. He gave a long sigh, getting tired from thinking what the right decision is. Malphas looked to his two daughters. "Do whatever you think is best, if he agrees to tell you, we'll work it out, whatever it may be… If not, all we can do is wait for Itachi to ask for help."
Serafall and Sona both looked rather bitter, they too didn't want to force Itachi into anything he wasn't comfortable with telling them. But at the same time, they were so worried about him they wanted to know what was bothering him and help him. "Understood…" Both sisters replied, and thus they ended the call.
Meanwhile, somewhere within Kuoh town. Itachi laid on a sofa, reflecting on what to do next. Covered in bandages from his battle against Vali, he had been recovering slowly without the healing from Raven or Asia. He stared motionless into the ceiling. The others were bound to be worried about him. And they without a doubt have questions regarding the "Clan Killer" thing. Itachi honestly felt tired, and unsure of what to do. Should he tell them the truth? Should he come up with a lie? Would they be understanding? Disgusted? Hate him? So many questions boggled his mind, and it was exhausting.
Itachi suddenly felt something cold brush against his cheek, looking up he saw a class of whisky with ice. "Want one?" Itachi's eyes scanned further up to the face of the Fallen Angel Governor, Azazel. Itachi has been staying over at Azazel's apartment in town for the past few days. The Fallen Angel Governor had welcomed him, and not asked him too many questions. Even though he clearly had some. Azazel had also been kind enough to agree not to tell anyone else about Itachi's whereabouts.
"You know I'm still in high school, right?" Itachi asks sarcastically.
Azazel rolls his eyes. "Well duh, but I feel like that doesn't matter to you anymore at this point." Azazel once again, offers him the glass of whisky. And Itachi without saying another word, takes the glass from Azazel's hand and chugs down the drink in an instant, not even flinching.
"Not your first drink I take it?" Azazel comments, as he takes a sip of his own drink. "You know, you're supposed to enjoy whisky. Not drink it all at once."
"I never drink for enjoyment…" Itachi replies, to which Azazel raises a brow.
"Aha, and where exactly does a high schooler like you get ahold of alcohol?" Azazel had to admit, it was a surprise to see Itachi having some experience with tasting alcohol.
"A contract… For a mission… I stole it from my parents. Pick one." Itachi brushed off Azazel's question, and Azazel gave a snarky smirk and a light chuckle.
"Kids these days." Azazel leaned back into his big comfy sofa, and took another sip of his drink. "So, you finally going to open up and tell me what this surprise visit is about? Not that I don't mind the company."
Itachi takes a few seconds to respond, giving a stoic look at Azazel. "Like you don't know." Itachi pointed out, as he poured himself some more whisky.
"Heh, yeah…." Azazel decided to let that topic rest for now. "Still, gotta say. I didn't expect to find you sitting at my doorstep like a lost cat." Azazel remembered after he came home from the conference, and having spent a little time searching for Itachi along with the rest after he disappeared. Only to find Itachi sitting outside of his apartment. He had wanted to call Sirzechs or Serafall about it at first, but realized that might do more harm than good. Itachi was clearly going through some shit at the moment.
"Not sure where else to go… Besides, you seem scummy enough not to reveal to the others on my whereabouts."
Azazel chuckled at Itachi's reply. "That's cruel. Although, you're not wrong." Azazel finished his own drink, seeing Itachi having once again chugged down his. Azazel poured another one for both of them. "Look, I know it's none of my business… But you know I have to ask. I've been holding off on asking for days now… What exactly did Ophis mean by that?" Azazel asked referring to the clan killer thing. And of course, Itachi remained unresponsive, as if saying it wasn't any of Azazel's business. Azazel merely shrugs and they both drink. "Man, I've missed having a drinking buddy." Azazel sighs, looking like he was thinking of some good ol' times from back in the day. "You know, you can't hide forever? And you hiding is only going to spike their curiosity more."
Itachi frowns, he knew of course Azazel was right. "I know… I just need time to figure out what to do next." Itachi looks slightly surprised as Azazel puts a comforting hand on his shoulder.
"Scared, huh?" Itachi doesn't even need to say anything, as it is pretty obvious. "Yeah, I know… You've done some terrible shit in your life, and you are worried what the other will think of you if they find out what." Azazel closely looks at Itachi, seeing Itachi giving lightly body twitches. Azazel clearly hit a nerve. "And the fact you know they one day will… scares the living shit out of you." And then before Azazel's eyes, Itachi grabs the bottle of whisky, drinking straight from it like if it was water. "… Didn't take you for a heavy drinker."
"I'm not…" Itachi puts down the now empty bottle. Recalling the infiltration missions he would go on with Kisame during his Akatsuki days. Where it required him to mingle, and take a few drinks of Sake. Plus, since he was a devil now, he had a high resistance to alcohol. Yet it still held some affect to him.
"Well, I think I have some more booze stashed away somewhere…" Azazel went over to his little bar looking through the cabinets. "Hmm, some Sake might be nice. And I don't think you are the Rum type of guy. Since you chug things down well, how about some tequila? Nah, doesn't suit the mood… Or how about I just mix you something? A mojito perhaps? A martini?"
"Sake will do just fine…" Itachi solemnly replied.
In the meantime, the Queen in Itachi's peerage, sat alone on the roof of their home. Looking at the full moon with tears swelling in her eyes. Her master Itachi, who had done so much, sacrificed so much. Without Itachi, Kuroka wouldn't have the relationship she had with her sister today. She would still be a wanted criminal. Hunted. And now, when her savior and love was going through something, she didn't know how to help him. 'He ran away… Like I did… And I still don't know what to say, or what to do to help him.' Kuroka shed a tear, unable to imagine what pain Itachi was going through.
"Onee-sama…" The quiet voice of Shirone, now Koneko, her sister called out. The white haired nekomata taking a seat next to her sister.
"Shirone… Onee-chan just got some dust in her eye…" Kuroka rubbed the tears away from her eyes, smiling to assure her little sister.
"I'm worried about Itachi-senpai too. You don't have to hide it." Koneko leaned her head onto Kuroka's shoulder, as they both looked at the full moon. Wondering if Itachi, wherever he was, was doing the same.
"You too, huh?" Kuroka put her arm around Koneko, holding her close. "I'm sorry… Onee-chan isn't really… good with these types of things."
"Mmm, I know. It took Itachi-senpai talking some sense into that dense head of yours, to tell me the truth all those years ago." Koneko sharp remark made Kuroka sweat drop.
"I thought we were having a sweet moment here. Nya…" Kuroka mumbled with a pout.
"Itachi-senpai has done so much to help us… all of us. And him running away like that, makes me think that Itachi-senpai thinks we can't help him. And that pisses me off." Koneko clenched her fists, clearly frustrated.
"Heh." Kuroka smiled. Itachi was going to have hell to pay whenever he decided to come home. But seeing Koneko so frustrated, Kuroka knew it just showed how much Koneko cared for Itachi. "Nya. You know, Onee-chan isn't so dense that she can't tell when her little Shirone is in love~" Kuroka giggled as she hugged Koneko tightly, watching her little sister squirm whilst blushing madly.
"B-Baka…" Koneko mumbled. "You and Itachi-senpai…"
"Hehehe, Shirone you're just so cute~" Kuroka giggled as she kissed the top of Koneko's head. "But, if you don't hurry up and act more honest about your feelings… Onee-chan might just steal Itachi away~"
"Mmm…" Koneko pouted and hid her blushing face in Kuroka's chest.
Within the mansion, sitting alone in her own room. Akeno sat there looking deep in thought. Itachi had left them, straight up left them. What was this whole clan killer thing about? What was Itachi hiding? These thoughts didn't really bother Akeno, not as much as the thought of Itachi abandoning her and the rest, like her father did to her and her mother.
"No… Itachi would never abandon me… He would never abandon us… He is twice the man my father is…" Akeno kept telling herself, trying to suppress these dark thoughts in her head. But it was hard. "He will come home… I know it. I just know it."
Elsewhere, down in the training chamber. Issei, Xenovia, Kiba and Gasper were in the middle of a training session, with Asia acting as support for Issei. Issei rushing at Kiba with the Ascalon, dueling against the Knight. Despite not being promoted, Issei displayed a clear improvement of skills as he kept up with Kiba's superior speed. Xenovia disrupted their duel with her destructive power of the Durandal, knocking both off balance as she charged at them. However, finding her movements halted as Gasper looking very focused with his Sacred Gear, having frozen Xenovia's legs and arms in time.
"Naïve!" Xenovia powered through, and with the power of Durandal broke through Gasper's restrictions. However, not before Kiba and Issei both rushed Xenovia in a tag team.
Issei displaying superior levels of strength from his boosting, pinning Xenovia's Durandal down long enough with his Ascalon. Long enough for Kiba to finish it by pointing his blade to Xenovia's neck. "And I think we can call it a break…" Kiba panted, and as he announced that Issei fell on his ass letting out a tired sigh.
"Man, that was exhausting… How long did we go at it this time, Asia?" Issei looked to Asia, who handed them all a bottle of water before checking her watch.
"Amazing, you have sparred for a total of 4 hours 26 minutes and 55 seconds." Asia looked in amazement seeing this as a huge accomplishment for the group.
Xenovia however, punched the wall while looking rather bitter. "It's still not enough…!" Memories of the battle during the conference haunting her memory. While being stuck in dealing with mere low-level magicians, she was forced to watch as superior warriors dealt with real threats. The power of Vali, his Juggernaut Drive. Itachi's power and his Touki Assault Mode. Then, the biggest of them all… Ophis. Carrying the shape and appearance of a mere harmless child, the Dragon God had power that supposedly surpassed that of God himself. And it certainly showed. "It will take more than a million years… before any of us can match that monster."
Everyone hung their heads in agreement to Xenovia. Ophis wasn't something anyone could hope to surpass. Even Sirzechs Lucifer, with centuries long training still didn't hold a candle to Ophis.
"We still have to try dammit!" Issei stood up, looking at his Boosted Gear gauntlet. And recalling the power Vali showed. "If I try hard enough, I can become as strong as Vali. He isn't the only one with a Heavenly Dragon dammit! Although Ophis might be another story, we still have to try! All of us!"
"But even if we did… Ophis still has an army in the form of Khaos Brigade. Even without Creuserey and Katarea, the Old Maou Faction won't give up. Not while they still have the bloodline of the original Lucifer and Beelzebub. Not to mention, who is to say Creuserey and Katarea were the only ones carrying the blood of the original Asmodeus and Levithan?" Kiba looked with a grim expression, things didn't really seem good.
"Still! We have Sirzechs-sama! Azazel, Michael, Gabriel, Serafall! And many others to back us up! It's not like we're alone in this." Issei put a comforting hand on Kiba's shoulder, who couldn't help but smile at Issei's determination.
"Yeah, but unless we somehow get Great Red on our side, they still hold the advantage." Kiba sighed, even if Ophis was coming for Great Red's head, it didn't mean the legendary Dragon amongst Dragons would side with them.
"Hey, if we ever meet this Great Red, I will talk to him. One red dragon to another." Issei smiled whilst holding his hands out in a peace sign. "We'll work this out… Somehow. If only Itachi-senpai would get his shit together and come back." Issei sighed and in his frustration bawled his hands into fists. "Seriously, worrying Buchou, Akeno-san, Koneko-chan and the others like that…"
"Itachi-senpai must be going through something difficult… I'm sure he will be back though." Asia tried to calm Issei down a bit, showing full faith Itachi would return.
"And if he doesn't?" Issei mumbled. Although then a disturbing thought entered his mind. With Itachi being out of the picture, it could give Issei a chance with Rias. No, Issei quickly shook away the dark thought. Hearing the faint giggles of Raynare in the back of his head.
"If he doesn't, we'll just hunt him down to the ends of the earth." Kiba smiled.
"Indeed, for the upcoming battle we'll need him." Xenovia agreed, recognizing that they couldn't lose a powerful warrior like Itachi. "Especially, seeing as the enemy is interested in recruiting him."
"I still don't think Itachi-senpai will join them." Kiba dismissed the idea of Itachi ever joining a group of terrorists.
"N-Neither do I." Gasper mumbled, still shy about speaking up in crowds.
"Still, we shouldn't outlook certain possibilities. What if they mind controlled him, and made him join? Or forced his hand? You never know… especially with a being like that as the leader of such a group." The menacing image of a grinning Ophis looming over an army of soldiers, with Itachi in the lead all attached to puppet strings from her fingertips entered their heads.
Finally, in the living room. Harry, Bob who was in his petite state, Damian, Eto and Jack sat in discussion about the whereabouts of Itachi themselves. Jack pouting in a corner, crying and moping over having lost her mommy. "Mommy… We want our mommy…"
"Don't worry, judging by Itachi's character he will be back soon." Eto in an attempt to comfort the crying assassin patted the head of Jack. Although Eto's smile suggested she was enjoying seeing Jack crying like a child.
"Mm, we should spread out and search for the boy outside of the town as well. There is no telling how far he went." Harry having taken the lead sort of spoke up.
"I mean, I agree and all… But we don't even know where. We've looked at all his favorite spots in town. And then Eto had the brilliant idea to look in the places he would usually never be in, and we still found nothing." Damian said, putting a lot of sarcasm in his voice when calling Eto's idea brilliant.
"It was brilliant, you are just an idiot for not seeing it. Since Itachi doesn't want to be found, he would logically be in places we would least expect to look." Eto gave a condescending smirk at Damian.
"In that case, I would say he went to heaven." Damian spat with sarcasm.
"Heaven?!" Jack's head perked up, and quickly aimed to jump out the nearest window. Ready to raid heaven in the search of her mommy.
"No! Jack!" It took Damian, Eto and Bob to hold Jack back. Jack was surprisingly strong. "I was joking! I was only joking!" Damian called out as he pulled Jack away from the window. The assassin now pouting, and having left a knife in Damian's back. Damian sighed as he simply pulled the knife out and tossed it aside.
"Umm, guys… where is Raven? Shouldn't she be here for this discussion?" Bob asked, as they all knew why Kuroka was absent, but no one had seen Raven all day.
"She said something about trying to locate Captain Itachi through meditation…" Damian tiredly rubbed the back of his head. After having completed a total of 50 contracts in one night, and spending the rest searching for Itachi, he was tired. Heck, they were all tired.
"Mmm, we all should get some sleep. And continue our search in the morning." And thus, Harry dismissed the meeting.
Raven sat in the lotus stance, levitating over her own bed. A calm dark cold aura surrounding her, her mind traveling all over at once. In search of Itachi. Raven would meditate every night since Itachi ran away, in search of him. Yet something, or rather someone blocked her from finding him. "I call upon the power of Azarath… In search of a man drowned by sorrow and pain. Filled with an internal conflict. And wanted by infinity…" Raven remained hesitant to say the last part, remembering the image of the red white fan in her vision from the time she healed Itachi after his battle against her father Trigon. "… The man carrying the symbol of a red and white fan on his back."
Her mind and inner eye, drawn out into the town of Kuoh. Soaring through the sky, and headed straight for one location. An apartment complex, apartment number 69. The door opening in her mind, revealing the Fallen Angel Governor and Itachi drinking. Itachi's eyes widened as if he felt Raven's spirit touch his.
Raven gasped as she fell out of meditation. "Azarath Metrion Zinthos!" Wasting no time, not wanting Itachi to escape, Raven teleported herself on the spot.
Meanwhile, at Azazel's apartment. "So anyway, Issei asks Michael if he could change the system just so that former nun Asia Argento, the wielder of Durandal Xenovia could pray again. I have to say, I've never heard a stranger request from a devil… To let another devil, pray to God." Azazel cackled laughing, his face red from the alcohol. If Itachi didn't know any better, he would say Azazel was drunk.
"… I thought Angels couldn't get drunk. Fallen or not." Itachi gave a suspicious glare at Azazel. Azazel looked at Itachi and sighed, his face regaining its original shade.
"It's called being phantom drunk. Can't really have fun with human women at brothels if I don't act the part of a drunk. Besides, I do feel the tingly tipsy effect of alcohol, if I drink enough that is…" Azazel looked to behind the coach seeing several empty bottles of liquor. All marked with 96% alcohol. "Man, humans invent some great stuff, huh? That's why I love them." Azazel chugged down his glass, and in that instant a speck of darkness exploded from his dining room table. And out from it emerged Raven.
Itachi stared stoically at the sudden appearance of his Bishop. And Azazel looked as if it was expected, although frowned as he saw his dining room table broken. "You know, you're paying for a new one…" Azazel looked at Raven, who completely ignored his existence.
"The others are looking for you." Raven stared harshly at Itachi, who merely drank from his glass. Then Raven slapped it away, flinging the glass into a wall shattering it.
"Hey! That was made out of antique crystal!" Azazel whined, yet Raven ignored the Governor.
"Well? Got something to say?" Raven looked to Itachi, who remained unresponsive.
"Do you?!" Azazel rose from his seat behind Raven.
Growling noises of a beast could be heard, as Raven turned around to face the Governor with her eyes burning red with anger. "… I apologize for my outburst." And thus, Azazel calmly sat back down.
Raven turned back to Itachi, who still looked stoic in the face of an angered Raven. "Well? Say something clan killer!" Raven spat harshly causing Itachi to flinch.
"… Say what?" Itachi finally decided to speak. And Raven appeared to calm down. "Take a seat with all of you telling you all about my inner demons? Confessing my sins as if I was in a church?" Itachi rose from the couch and looked Raven straight in the eyes. "Telling you the real meaning behind the vision you saw a year ago?"
"… How about an apology?" Raven suggested, showing no interest in knowing Itachi's past. Itachi raised a brow to this, thinking he was going to receive a grilling. "You left, and went missing for days. And here I find you drinking your sorrows away like a pathetic loser. While everyone is worried sick about you. So how about we start with an apology before anything else."
Itachi quietly looked to the floor in shame, he knew he was in the wrong for running away without another word. But what else was he supposed to do? "If I had come to you from the start, looked you in the eyes and told you the whole truth. Then I wouldn't have to stand before you as a failure, telling you all this. You don't ever have to forgive me. And no matter what you do from here on out, know this. No matter what I will love you always." Itachi then recalled his own words, his final words to his little brother Sasuke. But it was a past he was trying to leave behind. It had nothing to do with his current life, nor those involved. That is what made it so, wonderful. Now, that might be gone. They, might leave him. His new life, may end forever. Itachi looked up, and into Raven's eyes. "I am sorry… For causing you all such pain. And I am sorry for running off like that. You don't have to forgive me, but I am sorry. For what it's worth."
Raven then did something that was rare of her, she smiled. "That's a start. Now how about we go home?"
"… That might be difficult." Itachi once again looked away.
"I can feel it, in your spirit. You are afraid. Although I don't know of exactly what, I can guess." Raven was surprised, as out of nowhere Itachi pulled her in for a hug. His strong arms around her, holding her close and tight. Made Raven uncharacteristically blush.
To this Azazel whistled as he poured himself another drink. "If you want, I can let you use the guest room for some private time?" To this Raven frowned, and had the drink in Azazel's glass blast into his face like geyser. His face dripping wet with alcohol, Azazel only sighed. "Well… at least she didn't break the crystal glass this time." Then to add salt to injury, his glass cracked causing Azazel's frown to deepen. "I jinxed it, didn't I?"
Ignoring Azazel, Itachi held Raven tightly. "I am afraid… That is true. Now feel why. But, only that… nothing else please."
Raven hesitantly complied, and put a comforting hand on his back. Taking in Itachi's feelings as he opened both his mind and heart. And Raven saw it, his fears of them all learning what Ophis meant by clan killer, them all abandoning him. Some leaving out of disgust, others out of fear, some out of disappointment, and some out of a feeling of betrayal. Itachi feared they would reject whatever it was Ophis knew about him, that they didn't. Something not even Itachi's own family knew.
Then, as asked Raven looks no further. Although she had promised, Raven had to admit she was curious on what it was. What could Itachi have done that would have made him even remotely think something like them all rejecting him for? But, not wanting to make matters worse, Raven decided not to push any further for now. But one thing she did feel, was also the love he felt for all of them. The love he had for his sisters, and the romantic type of love he had for Rias, Akeno, Kuroka, and her?
"Y-You love me?" Raven asked in confusion, blushing as she realized she just said that out loud. The wallpaper curling upwards from this sudden spring of emotion from her.
"Aww, man…" Azazel sighed at the sight of his wallpaper.
"Add it to the bill Azazel." Itachi gave a light chuckle. Looking at Raven with a sad smile. "Yes, I do."
"N-No, like the same way you love… Rias?" Raven practically nearly stuttered.
"You felt it and still have to ask?" Itachi looked with a smile, grabbing a hold of her chin and pulling her in for a passionate kiss.
Raven felt butterflies in her stomach, her heart beats rising, a sense of thrill rushing to her body. Which also meant more damage to Azazel's apartment as all his windows shattered. "You know… at this rate you will just owe me more money? Maybe save this kind of stuff for somewhere else, like oh I don't know. Your own house!"
Raven then in fright of her powers acting out, pulls away, hiding her face underneath her hood. Trying to calm herself down and not look Itachi in the face, knowing her heart would without a doubt react now. "I'm sorry… The uhh, alcohol made me really emotional I guess…" Itachi awkwardly rubbed the back of his head. Even though he hardly felt any affect from the alcohol at all.
"N-No it's fine…" Raven said in a slight squeaky voice, trying to hide the excitement in her voice. "I'm fine." And thus, she returned to her usual stoic self. "I've, felt the same about you but… my powers… I cannot afford to show emotion. Or else I might lose control."
"I know… Guess I feel like I can relate to you in that. In a sense." Itachi recalled how he needed to kill every feeling in his heart to carry out the Uchiha massacre. It was painful. He could barely grasp the pain Raven must be feeling. He admired Raven's resolve and strength.
"At the conference… when you stood up to Esdeath for me… it… it made me happy." Raven sighed, doing breathing exercises to calm down her beating heart. "Even though she was right. My father grows stronger every day. And I fear that I cannot contain him… or that I might become like him."
"You are nothing like your father." Itachi spoke up.
"Heh, then you don't either know him… or you don't know me that well." Raven held her arms around herself. She felt naked and afraid.
"I know you well enough. You are one of the bravest people I know. And one of the strongest people I know. Even if you don't know it yourself. I know you are far braver than me." Itachi put his comforting hands on her shoulders.
"You are far too kind… I'm not strong." Raven looked down, trying to conceal her emotions and keep her powers in check.
"… I'm not as kind as you think. Then again, compared to your father I must look like a saint in your eyes." Itachi and Raven both gave a light chuckle at that one. "You don't have to worry about a thing. No matter what, me and the others will protect you."
"Last time that didn't go so well." Raven recalled the last time Itachi fought Trigon, and the bloody mess Itachi was after.
"I will get stronger, and fight him again if I have to. You, and the rest of the sins, Rias, Sona and their peerage members. I would give my life if it meant saving yours. Like I told Esdeath and Michael when they first brought this to my attention. No matter what, I won't let anyone take your freedom away."
"… Ever since you protected me from my father. Accepted me for who and what I was… gave me a home. I had these feelings. But I knew I had to hold back, not just because of my powers. But because I know your feelings for Rias, and her feelings towards you."
"My feelings for you are as genuine as they are for Rias, Akeno, Kuroka… You don't have to hold back. they certainly don't." Itachi recalled the recent visit he got from Akeno in the showers.
"You say that, yet you hold back…" Raven had him there, it was a bit hypocritical he had to admit.
"… I know. But I also know, that nothing will be the same once you all know. I suppose, I don't wish for things to change." Itachi sighed, and then as if Raven took the words out of his own mouth.
"But it is too late for that now. Things have changed, all you can do is embrace those changes. And face them… Face your fears. You don't have to tell us today, nor tomorrow, not even next week. Just whenever you feel ready." Raven grabbed ahold of Itachi's hands, and smiled slightly. "I think the others feel the same. I know Rias does, and I know she doesn't care about this whole clan killer thing. She just wants you to come home."
"I…" Itachi held back any tears, the screams of him slaying his own brethren, echoing in his ears. Like ghosts haunting his mind. A part of him wanted to confess, to confess all his sins, tell her about all the blood that was on his hands, to tell everyone. But, another voice in him told him no. Reminded him of his fears, and prevented him from saying it. "I think I want to go home now…"
Raven smiled, and nodded. "Okay, let's go."
"… I should expect a lot of questions, huh?" Itachi knew people were bound to ask, he couldn't prevent it or avoid it.
"Some, I think most will just be glad you've come home." Raven prepared to teleport them out of there.
"Thanks for the hospitality, Azazel." Itachi looked to the Governor.
"Heh, thank me by paying for the damages… And kid, thanks for the company." Azazel smiled, pleased to see Itachi finally returning to his family and friends.
"By the way… The reason I couldn't locate Itachi before… You shielded him, didn't you?" Raven looked to the Governor, who merely winked at her. Which meant, he was also the one who lowered the shield so Raven found Itachi tonight.
"… You really are scummy you know that?" Itachi said with a tiny smile.
"What did you expect? I'm a Fallen Angel after all." Azazel smirked.
In an instant, Itachi and Raven teleported out of Azazel's damaged apartment. And straight into the middle of the hallway of their mansion. Where everyone else happened to be, to schedule their search routines for Itachi. The moment they arrived, everyone looked in shock seeing Itachi was with Raven.
"I found him…" Raven casually announced, and everyone instantly rushed up to them. Although backed away a bit as they all smelled the strong scent of alcohol on him. "He's been drinking…" Raven stepped aside, as Rias stormed through the crowd and straight up to Itachi.
Rias clearly looked upset, her eyes red and puffy from crying. Rias then slaps Itachi straight across the face, leaving a big red hand mark on his cheek. Then the next moment, Rias breaks down and cries into Itachi's shoulder. "You idiot… You big dummy! Scaring everyone half to death like that…!"
Itachi hesitantly hugs Rias, tears flowing down from his eyes as he mutters a single word. "Sorry…"
"Idiot… idiot… idiot…" Rias kept mumbling into his shoulder, bawling her eyes out, holding onto him tightly afraid that he will vanish again.
"Yeah, I'm a huge idiot…" Itachi smiles.
Itachi had to endure a scolding not just from Rias, but also Sona. Who lectured him for a full hour. Followed by Serafall who cried while hugging him with all her strength, saying she will never let go of her beloved It-tan ever again. Akeno and Kuroka both also refused to let go of him, and Koneko as well. Itachi surprised at the younger nekomata's display of affection. Jack also hopping onto Itachi's back, and refusing to let go, while her eyes sparkled. Although it was hard for Itachi to sit down, as Koneko occupied his lap claiming it's her spot, and Jack refused to budge from his back.
They celebrated the return of Itachi with a feast that night, although Serafall, Sona and Rias forbid Itachi from drinking anymore alcohol tonight. And Serafall even threatened Itachi with a spanking for drinking at such a young age. Then Itachi took a page out of the scummy Azazel's book, and threw the Governor under the buss. Telling Serafall he had stayed over at Azazel's, and that the Governor offered him the drinks. Serafall's eyes visibly twitched with anger, ready to storm the already damaged apartment of Azazel to freeze that Fallen Angel to death.
Sona then dragged Itachi to a video chat call with their parents, to apologize for causing them to worry for him. Itachi then had to endure a two-hour lecture from his mother. Itachi would thank the heavens his mother wasn't in the same room as him now, if he wasn't a devil that is.
Then Rias dragged him to a video chat with Sirzechs and Grayfia. Where Itachi had to endure a three-hour lecture from the ice queen that was Grayfia. And then, Serafall dragged him to a call with Behemoth, who was bawling his eyes out over seeing his young master was alright.
But Itachi noticed one thing about every event and conversation. No one, not a single soul brought up the topic of "Clan Killer" no one asking him questions. They probably thought it was enough for one night. Even though, he could tell almost everyone was dying to ask him.
"Well, when are you going to tell us what the deal is?" Eto having gotten sick of this mood, decided to spring the question. Several shot her concerning looks, yet Itachi remained calm.
"… Sorry, but… It is my business to deal with. It is nothing any of you need to concern yourselves with." Itachi's eyes looked to be filled with a great deal of pain. Which did not ease the minds of anyone.
Serafall really wanted to push further on the subject, she wanted to be helpful towards her baby brother. But it looked like that might have to wait. Many however cast a few looks Raven's way, curious if she knew anything.
"I think it's best if we call it a night guys… I… I just have a lot on my mind at the moment." Itachi sighed, clearly tired from this whole ordeal.
Raven agreed, she was tired as well. Floating straight up the stairs to her room. Raven's mind bobbling with thoughts. She wanted to help Itachi if possible, but she didn't know how. No one knew how, mostly because Itachi wouldn't share what was wrong. She knew she had said to him that he could tell them when he was ready, but a part of Raven couldn't help but be curious to find out about the whole Clan Killer ordeal.
Raven entered her room, and hovered over to her dresser. With a neon blue box on top of the dresser. Raven hesitantly opened the box. She knew how she could find out, without Itachi knowing. Although it would be an invasion of his privacy. Raven pulled out a little mirror from the box, looking hesitant and a bit guilty holding it. Raven was so focused on the mirror, she didn't notice Kuroka standing right next to her. "What's that?" Kuroka asked causing Raven to let out a yelp in surprise.
Raven gasped as she dropped the mirror, quickly catching it with her magic before it could break. That could have gone very bad, really quick. Raven then in a snarl turned towards Kuroka. "What do you want?" Raven's eyes widened as she saw Kuroka wasn't alone. Serafall, Koneko, Akeno, Sona, Jack, Damian, Eto, Kiba, Issei and a timid Rias in the background were here as well.
Serafall marched straight up to Raven. "Did It-tan say anything when you found him? Please, if you know anything about what's going on… please tell me." Everyone was here, to hear what Raven had learnt. All curious as to what was bothering Itachi, wishing to help.
"Please, if you know anything you must tell us…" Sona pleadingly approached Raven.
"Nya. We need to help the captain with whatever is going on. It is our duty as his peerage. So, you better not be hiding anything from us." Kuroka went up in Raven's face, looking ready to interrogate her about it.
"Help mommy! Help mommy!" Jack chanted as she jumped up and down.
"Asia and Xenovia thought it was best we didn't pry… but we can't let this one be. We need to help." Issei and Kiba were clearly not backing down from this.
Raven felt someone tug onto her robes, looking down seeing the sad eyes of Koneko staring back at her. "Please…"
"… Look, guys, I don't really know anything. Even though I wish I did." Raven clutched onto the mirror in her hands, backing away slightly from the others.
"Itachi really didn't tell you anything?" Damian asked, seeming a bit surprised. He thought Raven must have made him share something for her to convince him to come back home.
"You, couldn't like read his mind or something?" Akeno threw out a suggestion.
"Akeno, that would be an invasion of Itachi's privacy!" Rias was quick to protest against the idea.
"But, how can we help him if we don't know what it is? We all just want to help Itachi. And I know you want the same thing Rias." Akeno threw back, and Rias had to look away with some shame. As in truth, she just wanted to know what this whole thing was about and help Itachi. Rias honestly couldn't care less what the problem itself was, but it clearly bothered Itachi. And that was all that mattered, to help Itachi.
"I'm just here for fun." Eto simply shrugged with a crude smirk on her face.
Ignoring Eto for now, Raven decided to answer Akeno's question. "I had the same thought… Only, different." Raven presented the mirror in her hand, and everyone looked curious as to what was so special about it.
"What is so special about that mirror?" Kuroka asked and snatched it from Raven's hands. Analyzing it closely.
"… It is a rare artifact meant for meditation. The idea is that the user uses it to travel into their own mind. Currently it is programed to enter my mind… But it is possible to change that to peak into-"
"We can use it to enter the captain's mind and get to the bottom of all this!" Kuroka beamed with smile, they had their ticket to help Itachi.
"No! It's… I told Itachi he could wait with telling us when he was ready… We can't do this, it's wrong…" Raven protested taking the mirror back from Kuroka.
"But we don't know if he'll ever be ready to tell us! If we do this, we can help him!" Kuroka spat back and grabbed ahold of the mirror. "Give it!"
"No!" Raven fought back.
"Wait!" Serafall flashed her aura causing everyone to stand in silence.
"Whoa…" Issei looked in awe. He felt the sheer power behind Serafall's voice.
"Yeah, Serafall-sama's aura is something else…" Kiba nodded in agreement.
Serafall snatched the mirror from the two of them, and then looked to Raven. "Look, Raven… This idea isn't really ideal, I know. But… It-tan is clearly in pain. As his big sister, it is my duty to help him. Please, help us with this… I will take full responsibility if It-tan finds out. So, please…" Serafall then in a surprising act, lowered her head to Raven.
"…" Raven bit her lower lip. Looking at the mirror, sweat running down her head as she contemplated the thought in her head. In the end, curiosity killed the cat. "Fine… I will help. But, in order for this to work, I need to go into his mind with you." Serafall nodded, accepting the conditions.
"Wait! I want to go to!" Kuroka protested.
"M-Me too!" Akeno also protested.
"I have to admit, I am curious what dwells in the mind of a guy like Itachi." Eto also joined in.
"I will go." Koneko also stepped up, keeping a close eye on Eto, clearly not trusting the half ghoul.
"I'm also his sister, naturally I should also go!" Sona also joined in.
"I can't believe I am agreeing to this… But take me with you as well." Rias looked uncomfortable with the whole ordeal, but curiosity got the better of her as well.
"I can only bring a total of seven people with me. The mirror can only take as much." Raven revealed before more started to volunteer. And as such Damian, Issei and Kiba all backed down.
"No! We should go!" Jack was quick to protest, wanting to go as well.
"Sorry Jack, but if I take you with us, we might end up causing damage to Itachi's psyche. I can only bring seven people with me." Raven looked apologetic towards the little assassin. "But I have a different task for all of you…"
Jack's head perked up. "What?"
"We need you guys to keep Itachi distracted… Occupied until we manage to locate the source of his trauma." Raven's request was met with an eager nod from Kiba, ready to help in any way he could.
"Yeah, count me in…" Issei stepped up.
"We will try. But knowing the captain he will see through our bullshit sooner or later. We can't guarantee how much time we can give you." Damian had a feeling this wouldn't end well. He knew Itachi was an expert at picking up lies within a person. Damian couldn't count the number of times Itachi had caught him in a lie.
"We won't leave mommy's side!" Jack's eyes seemed to sparkle, not saying no to an opportunity to cling to Itachi.
"Okay, well… first we need to program this to Itachi's mind. First up, we need to sneak into his room as he is sleeping." At this Kuroka snatched the mirror and looked with a mischievous smirk.
"Leave that to the expert, nya~"
They all waited for Itachi to fall asleep, and then quietly waited by the door to his bedroom as Kuroka snuck in. "Okay, all you have to do is point the mirror at his face… Once the handle of the mirror changes color, the process is done." Raven's instructions rang through Kuroka's mind as she snuck closer to Itachi's bed.
Kuroka looked upon the peaceful sleeping face of her master. "Nya~ He looks so cute when he's sleeping… I just want to snuggle up against him…" Kuroka nearly removed her kimono robe, ready to jump into the bed. But quickly regained focus on her mission. Blushing a bit, and looking with regret over missing this opportunity for skin ship. Kuroka held the mirror directed towards Itachi's sleeping face. The reflection of the glass shining a bit.
"Ugh…" Itachi groaned a little in his sleep, nearly causing Kuroka to jump in fright over the potential scenario of Itachi waking up.
Kuroka nearly yelped as she saw the handle change from dark blue, to blood red. It was done! And thus, Kuroka quickly snuck out of the room to avoid waking Itachi. When she got out of his bedroom door, the others eyed her with suspicious glances. Their glances caused Kuroka to look a little bit flustered. "Ehehe, m-mission accomplished. Nya." Kuroka nervously held out the mirror, wondering if the others saw her nearly getting in bed with Itachi instead.
Raven snatched the mirror from Kuroka, and the group in a hurry went back to her room. Raven had everyone gather in a circle around the mirror. Rias, Akeno, Sona, Kuroka, Eto, Serafall, Koneko and Raven all held hands. "Last chance to get out…" Raven looked amongst the group to see if anyone wanted to back out. The only ones who looked near to say yes, were Rias, Akeno, Koneko and Sona. But no one said a word, they needed to help Itachi with his trauma.
"W-Will Itachi know…?" Rias looked to Raven, with a hint of fear in her voice.
"… No doubt." Raven replied, Itachi was a smart man. And Raven doubted anyone here could hide whatever they might learn in Itachi's mind the next time they see him. Everyone besides Eto and Serafall began to look like they were having second thoughts. Eto was excited to see what kind of wacky things she would find in the mind of a guy like Itachi. While Serafall had readied herself for the consequences.
"… Like I said, I will take full responsibility." Serafall declared to assure the others.
"Okay… here we go." Raven closed her eyes, a dark aura beginning to glow from her, and spreading around in the circle. "Azarath… Metrion… Zinthos!" And thus, everyone was sucked into this dark black vortex, and straight into the mirror.
Damian, Issei, Kiba and Jack all backed up a bit, the light nearly blinding them. Damian then slowly approached the mirror, and as per Raven's instructions. He placed the mirror in a safe place. "Alright… According to Raven the captain will wake up from the sudden shock. We need to keep him occupied." Damian and the rest then rushed out from Raven's room, and headed towards Itachi's room.
Meanwhile, in Itachi's mindscape. The group all arrives through the vortex, onto a rocky platform. Everyone takes a look around, to see if it worked. "Wow…" Rias gasps seeing as they are standing on a lone walkway, with nothing but the abyss waiting for them bellow. And all around them, is nothing but a dark space with crows flying around. And with a couple of floating islands around them.
"This is Itachi's mind?" Eto looks perplexed as she looks around. "It looks cozier than I expected…" Eto's comment caused them all to look at her strangely.
"For some reason… I was expecting something like a library." Sona looked around, also shocked at the interior of her brother's mind.
"This walkway leads to the many different parts of Itachi's psyche. Consider it like you are walking down a street looking for the right shop." Raven being the expert, walked forward as the rest followed her lead.
"So, do you know where Itachi's memories are or?" Kuroka curiously looked to Raven.
"No, but I know we're on the right path. His memories could be locked up somewhere for all I know. But there is no other way to go but forward. Besides, we might run into someone that can help us." Raven smiled a little at seeing their bewildered faces from her cryptic word phrasing.
"Run into someone? Who-" Rias found herself cut off, as she suddenly felt something grab onto her ass. "Kya!" Rias yelped in surprise, she turned around expecting Akeno to have played a prank on her. Although Rias gasped in shock, seeing Itachi behind her, with a teasingly smirk on his face.
"Hey there beautiful." Itachi's eyes looked alluring as he stared at Rias with a longing filled gaze, and put his arm around her.
"O-Onii-sama?!" Sona jumped back in fright along with the rest, except for Raven who remained calm and collected. "Gah?!" Sona then glared as suddenly, Itachi began groping onto Rias' chest.
"Ahh… Ahh…" Rias gave light moans as Itachi proceeded to kiss her neck. Her weak spot, how did he know? Rias' face was flushed red, as Itachi's hands massaged on her massive breasts, his fingers swirling around her nipples.
"S-Stop this at once!" Sona in anger blasted Itachi away with a wave of water.
"Wow!" Sona nearly jumped in fright as behind her stood a second Itachi. "He sure went flying! Ahahaha!" Itachi had a cheerful smile on his face, and to make things even more strange he gave a heartful laughter at the sight.
"T-Two of It-tan?" Serafall looked surprised herself. The Itachi Sona blasted away, quickly came back. This time his gaze on Kuroka.
"Hey there hot stuff." Itachi cupped his hand onto Kuroka's chin, staring into her eyes with a seductive look on his face.
"W-Wh-What?" Kuroka mumbled in confusion. Her eyes swirling, she wasn't used to Itachi taking the lead like this. Holding her by her waist with his other arm, Itachi pulled Kuroka in closer.
"A fake! Itachi-senpai would never act like that!" Koneko rushed in towards this "fake" Itachi ready to pummel him for laying a hand on Kuroka.
"Ho? The little kitten wants to join?" The "fake" Itachi grabbed onto Koneko's wrist, grabbing her by the rear and hoisting her up to his eye level. "I don't mind handling both you sisters at once… Especially someone as cute as you."
"N-Nya?" Koneko blushed, not expecting this. Yet her legs felt weak like jelly, especially as once she got a good smell of this "fake" Itachi's scent. He smelled like the real one.
"Okay, back off." Raven called it, and used her magic to pull Itachi away from Koneko.
"What? Want more attention tonight? Alright, I have enough in me for you as well." Raven then in a swift motion smacked this Itachi upside his head, sending him plummeting to the ground.
"Wh-What's going on Raven?" Sona asked whilst the second Itachi was laughing hysterically in the background.
"Meet Itachi's emotions. Joy…" Raven pointed at the hysterical laughing Itachi. "And lust." Then Raven pointed at the knocked down Itachi, who was now looking up Koneko's skirt. The young nekomata shrieked in shock and stomped her foot as hard as she could into Lust's face. Although as soon as Koneko realized, she looked with a hint of regret.
"Hello everyone!" Joy gave friendly smiles all around.
"If you notice, each of them has one different factor from the other." Raven pointed out, as Lust was dressed in the Kuoh Academy uniform, only it was black like leather. Whilst Joy's academy uniform was in a warmer yellow color like the sun.
"Itachi's emotions?" Rias' face was still a little red from the sudden surprise from Lust Itachi. Rias looked towards Lust who merely gave her a wink.
"Huh, so he does have a libido after all…" Eto hummed in amusement, studying each of Itachi's emotions. "Now considering how stoic Itachi looks, I assume there are way more than these two."
"Yes, we'll encounter more of his emotions the further we go. For now, we need them to lead us to Itachi's memories." Raven looked towards Sona, who had already begun interrogating.
"You vile emotion hidden within my brother! Reveal where his memories are at once you little pervert!" Sona grabbed onto Lust Itachi's collar and began shaking him, although noticed that Lust didn't respond to her. "Oi! I know you can hear me you little pig!"
"So-tan let me try!" Serafall grabbed onto Lust and began shaking him. "Why didn't you feel up your Onee-chan?!" Serafall's question to Lust caused Sona to fall over at her Serafall's sense of urgency. However, Lust remained unresponsive, looking at them like he was a mere doll. "Why won't you say anything?!"
"The emotions can only interact with the people Itachi has those kinds of feelings for. Lust cannot interact with you two, simply because Itachi feels no lust towards you." Raven's explanation caused some mixed reactions. Sona nodded understandingly, Serafall looked pouty over Itachi not feeling lust towards her. Well, they were his sisters so what would you expect? Whilst Rias was blushing a bit, with a happy smile on her face.
"I-Is that so?" Rias smiled, her imagination already running wild.
"Nya! I knew Itachi-sama felt that way!" Kuroka wiggled in excitement, whilst Koneko stood in silence blushing madly while trying to hide behind Kuroka.
"Really?" Eto gained a mischievous smile as she approached Lust.
"Heh, yeah right like onii-sama has impure thoughts about you…" Sona knew her brother would have no such feelings for a person like Eto. There was just no way.
"Hey cutie~ Want to see this onee-chan's panties?" Eto playfully stood over Lust, whilst holding her skirt.
"Yes please!" Lust Itachi gave a playful chuckle, as he laid on the ground and moved closer to look up Eto's skirt.
"Bleh!" Eto playfully stuck her tongue out to Sona, who looked mortified and shocked.
"No, you don't!" Sona then acted stomping on Lust's face to prevent him from looking up Eto's skirt.
"Ara, ara…" Akeno who also looked curious, quickly gained the emotion's attention just like that. Lust instantly got back up, and going to Akeno putting his arm around her.
"Hey there Akeno, want to continue from where we left off in the showers? May I also say, it was a pleasant surprise." Lust playfully slapped Akeno's ass, making her squeal in surprise.
"Ara, ara, such a bad boy… Maybe I need to punish you?" Akeno playfully pushed her chest into Lust, who seemed to enjoy every moment of it.
"The showers?" Rias' eyebrows twitched, as she, Kuroka and Koneko all gave out murderous auras.
"Sorry gorgeous… but a gentleman never kisses and tells." Lust Itachi winked at Rias, who looked even more irritated. "But if you want, I wouldn't mind letting you join us. I'm sure Akeno here wouldn't mind either, seeing as she has a little thing for girls herself." This caused some surprised looks in the group, all who looked at Akeno whom seemed to ponder on the idea.
"Hmm, Itachi-kun and Buchou at once?" Akeno seeing the surprised look on her master's face, couldn't help but tease her about it. Akeno licked her lips, with a small blush on her face as she looked intently at Rias. "Well, I wouldn't mind." Rias blushed, and seemed a little freaked out for a moment.
"L-L-Let's move on… Joy, do you know where Itachi's memories are?" Rias quick to change the subject, looked to the smiling giggling Itachi.
"Yes! I do know where they are!" As if he was in class, Joy raised his arm enthusiastically. "But it's a secret~" Joy playfully winked.
"Some emotions may try and keep the secret from us… But one of them is bound to let us know. Lust, care to tell us where Itachi's memories are?" Raven looked towards Lust who was in the middle of flirting with Akeno.
"No can-do darling, that's a secret." Lust then leaned in towards Raven. "And before you ask, no, not even sex will change my mind about it. But it would still be fun~" Raven once again smacked Lust away with her magic.
"Hmm, guess we'll need to keep searching for a guide. Let's go." Raven guided the group further down the walkway, whilst Lust and Joy intently followed. Joy happily skipping around while singing, and Lust flirting with Rias, Akeno, Kuroka, Koneko, Eto and Raven on the way. And occasionally getting blasted away by an enraged Sona.
They keep walking until suddenly a random door fell from the sky, right in front of them. "What is this?" The group minus Raven and the Itachi emotions looked spooked.
"A memory door." Lust answered while he casually stood there squeezing Akeno's right boob, who seemed to rather enjoy it as she was breathing a bit heavily.
"Hahaha! It contains a memory! But not the one you want~" Joy gave a playful snicker.
"And how do we know that's the truth?" Eto asked looking rather cautious.
"Joy is actually incapable of lying. It's not in his nature." Raven revealed, the only emotions capable of lying would have to be a negative one.
"Hmm, okay witch girl. This is your territory after all." Eto gave a mere shrug.
"So, if it's not the one we want, can we skip it?" Sona asked the knowledgeable Raven.
"Yes, quite easily actually. All we have to do-" Raven was cut off as Eto shot forward and grabbed the door handle.
"Booooring!" Eto with a devilish grin pulled the door open, and they were all sucked in.
They are then met with the sound of running water. The girls look around, seeing that they are in the shower area of the training room basement level. "Ooooh! A steamy shower memory of It-tan!" Serafall wished dearly she had her camcorder with her.
"Why is this the first memory we see?" Rias asked, although still looked around for any sign of a naked Itachi.
"I don't know… must be something Itachi is thinking about right now." Raven shrugged as usually these memory doors would appear whenever a person was reminiscing about a certain memory. "Usually, the emotions are involved. But I don't know which one."
"I know. Hehehe." Lust Itachi chuckled mischievously as he stood next to Akeno.
Akeno blushed a bit, and cupped her hands around her face. "Ara, ara. Such a naughty boy." Akeno giggled.
"Eh?" Rias lost her train of thought, at the sound of a towel dropping. They all turned around a corner, seeing a naked Akeno pressed up against a naked Itachi. "Gah!" Rias gaped with a look of jealousy overcoming her face.
"Do you want to stop?" The Akeno in the memory asked.
"Yes! Yes! Stop right now!" Kuroka shrieked, although the memories didn't respond.
"This is a memory, we can't interfere… sadly." Raven replied.
The Itachi in the memory didn't respond, and as a result Akeno in the memory planted a kiss on Itachi, and the Itachi in the memory kissed back. The group was further shocked, as before their eyes Itachi's hand slid down onto Akeno's behind and gave her butt a light squeeze causing her to moan.
"Ho? So, he is an ass man? I guess Damian will be happy to know that." Eto snickered, enjoying the show.
The scene then went further, with Itachi using his other hand to cup one of Akeno's boobs. And Itachi massaged them until her nipples were erect. And the sound of her moans, caused something of his to get erect as well. To which Eto gave an impressed sounding whistle.
Raven covered her face with her hood while looking away. And Koneko like Raven blushed and looked away, while also looking at her flat chest wondering if she would be enough for Itachi. Kuroka was fuming with jealousy, near tears. "No fair Akeno! Captain Itachi! Nya! Even though you have me~"
"You vulgar emotion!" Sona was taking her rage out on Lust Itachi for making her brother think such thoughts.
"Ara, ara, I still remember the feeling of his strong hands as they grabbed me. He felt so strong, so manly…" Akeno's face flushed in a shade of red, her eyes staring intently at this shared memory of her and Itachi.
"I-I-I can't believe you! You went behind my back and went further with Itachi! I have held back you know?! Because I know Itachi isn't that much of a fan of these kinds of things! Or so I apparently thought!" Rias' gaze snapped towards Lust Itachi who was currently getting a beating from Sona.
"What did you expect? Stoic face aside, Itachi is a man after all. He is bound to have some pent-up feelings and needs. Heck, I'm sure if one of you pushed far enough, he would go for it." Eto was having the time of her life seeing the look on Rias, Kuroka and Koneko's faces. Raven although remaining stoic, visibly blushed a bit underneath her gloomy hood. "But damn… I had no idea he was packing." Eto eyed the current erect part of Itachi's body in the memory scene playing out before them. "Hmmm, maybe I should release some pent-up aggression with Itachi when we get back home? I'm starting to feel a little, tingly~" Eto smirked cockily at the other girls, who currently all had murderous auras emitting from them.
"Not. Going. To. Happen." Sona, who was very overprotective of her brother, wasn't about to let Eto have her way.
Eto giggled, she especially enjoyed the reactions of the overprotective Sona, holding her hands up in a form of surrender. "My how scary~" Clearly not intimidated, Eto just giggled at the frowning Sona.
"I don't need more rivals Eto!" Kuroka gave a warningly glare at the ghoul hybrid.
"Ha!" Eto snorted and began laughing. "Please, I have no need for the whole romance crap. Even so, as a woman, I still have some sexual desires I need satisfied." Eto then with a lustful gaze at the memory playing out before them, licked her lips. Her ghoul eye coming to life showing her excitement.
"Then find someone else! Like Issei, Kiba, Bob, Gasper, or even Damian! Nya!" Kuroka hissed at Eto.
Eto gave a playful pout. "How rude, I wouldn't just do it with anyone. Itachi is a man I respect, and honestly not bad looking… And clearly has something besides looks." Eto playfully eyes the memory scene still playing out in the background. "Besides, I'm a virgin so he would be a nice first ride." To this, many looked visibly shocked.
"A-A what?" Kuroka's voice was reduced to a barely audible whisper from this surprise revelation.
"A virgin." Eto repeated while smiling.
"A virgin? You?" Rias also asked with a look of disbelief. Eto always gave off this sort of "mature" vibe of an experienced woman.
"Why is that a surprise? I was a terrorist leader. I didn't have time to try and bag a man. Besides, not many out there meet my requirements." Eto shrugged. Before any more questions could be asked, everyone became distracted by the sound of the door opening, Akeno in the memory leaving, and then Damian's series of apologies that would follow. Then the memory ended, and they were suddenly back on the walkway.
And thus, they kept walking, although Rias looked with a pout as she glared at Akeno. "This means war…" Rias mumbled, thinking it was time to stop holding back in her advances towards Itachi. A thought shared with Kuroka.
Then back on the outside, Itachi had suddenly found himself awake after feeling this strange sudden headache, although it quickly passed. And for some reason, Damain, Issei, Kiba and Jack were trailing his every move.
Straight after he was suddenly abruptly awoken from bed, Itachi had gone to the kitchen area to brew himself some tea to calm his nerves. And peeking at him from a corner, were Issei, Kiba and Damian. Whilst Jack was attached onto his back like a monkey, like she usually does anyway so that wasn't suspicious. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for the trio of stalkers. "Okay, what are you three up to?" Itachi tiredly rolled his eyes and looked to Issei, Kiba and Damian. All whom flinched as if they were shocked at him for asking. "Don't act so shocked while you are lurking behind my back following my every move, it pisses me off."
"W-We're just concerned…" Kiba was quick witted and was quick to reply.
"Yeah, you disappeared for a few days after all." Damian was quick to add, and Issei looked so scared of getting caught that he just nodded at Kiba and Damian's words.
"… Aha. Issei, shouldn't you be going to your own home? Or has Rias let you and Asia move in whilst I was away?" Itachi poured himself a cup of freshly brewed tea.
"Uhh, me and Asia are sleeping over! Buchou ordered us to do so when you vanished… In case we needed to do emergency patrols around town looking for you." Issei wasn't lying, Rias had in fact asked her servants to look around for Itachi whilst he was missing.
"I see, well I do apologize for that. And for worrying all of you like that." Itachi still thought something was off about them. But he still apologized for his actions and bowed. Itachi went to one of the cabinets in search of something, looking displeased at not finding it. "Ugh, we're out of sugar…" Then he went to the fridge. "And out of milk. Guess I will drink my tea as it is…" Itachi sounded a bit disgusted, he preferred his tea to be sweet. "Hmm? Oh wait, there is the milk." Itachi noticed the milk at the top shelf of the fridge. Weird, who would put it there? Itachi questioned although merely shrugged. "Jack, be a dear and get me that milk."
"Mm." Jack happily nodded and from Itachi's back reached for the milk at the top shelf. "Here you go mommy." Jack smiled happily and handed Itachi the milk.
"Ah, thank you." Itachi then went over to the living room, taking a seat on the couch. Jack readjusted herself so she sat on Itachi's shoulders. Itachi let out a relaxing sigh, as he leaned into his seat.
Itachi's relaxation vanished, as he couldn't help but notice Damian, Issei and Kiba looming over him. "… Do you three think you are being sneaky?" To which they all began shaking their heads. "Do you wish to annoy me?" Once again, they shook their heads. "Still just concerned?" They took a few seconds to look amongst themselves, and then nodded. "Alright then." Itachi was too tired to bother anymore, and resumed to drinking his tea.
Back inside Itachi's mind, the girls had gone on quite the trip down memory lane. With Eto opening every single memory door that came their way. Kuroka groaned and facepalmed. "Okay, so far we've seen Itachi and Akeno getting frisky in the shower. We've seen Itachi as a kid getting dragged into the bath with Serafall, who may I add washed parts of his body no sister should! We've seen Serafall forcing kid Itachi and Sona cosplay, which although cute is not what we're here for! We've seen Itachi and Rias' first kiss! We've seen a young Itachi walk in on his parents whilst they are doing it! And to add further salt to injury, we've seen that he recently kissed Raven here! Which only shows how far behind I am! Not to mention, we picked up these two idiots!" Kuroka pointed to two new Itachi's in their group, one dressed in green, the other in brown.
"Ugh, whatever." The green one was disgust, and merely shrugged while rolling his eyes. Brown who was lazy just burped in the corner.
"And we haven't gotten close to our real objective, which is to find the source of Itachi's trauma! Because this one! Keeps distracting us with opening every single door she sees!" Kuroka accusingly pointed at Eto who just stood there smiling holding up the peace sign.
"No more doors… no more childhood memories…" Sona mumbled in the corner, as some of the bath memories with Serafall included Sona as well. Then there were the shameful cosplay sessions which kid Sona seemed to enjoy. "Why was mommy on top of daddy?" Serafall added while weeping in the corner, both sisters traumatized by witnessing the memory of Itachi walking in on their parents.
"If that was the source of Itachi's trauma, I would not blame him." Raven added, her expression stoic but her eyes showed signs of having witnessed terror.
"At this rate we won't find his trauma, because none of these four will show us!" Kuroka shouted in frustration, whilst pointing at Joy, Lust, Disgust and Lazy.
"Let's not focus on the past, but let's embrace each other in the now." A fifth Itachi appeared out of thin air, this one dressed in pink. "Let us embrace each other with love~" Eyes filled with nothing but warmth and love, this pink dressed Itachi embraced everyone in a big group hug.
"Hey there Love!" Joy beamed with a bright smile and greeted this new emotion.
"Love? Hey, will you tell us where It-tan's traumatic memories are? We want to help him feel better." Serafall perked while enjoying this hug from Love at the same time.
"Awww, I love how considerate you are nee-chan!" While Serafall got along swimmingly with love, the others just looked in disbelief to see someone with Itachi's face act like that.
"Honestly seeing him burp is more believable." Eto added, and on que Lazy burped again, this time whilst scratching his butt.
"So will you show us? Pretty please." Serafall asked hopefully that they could finally locate the source of Itachi's trauma.
"Mmmm!" Love looked troubled as he trampled his feet furiously on the ground. "I want to when you ask so nicely! But at the same time, I can't!"
"What?! Why?!" Kuroka went up in Love's face, and he just hugged her.
"Oh, I love you all far too much to show you something so painful. But I also love you so much I don't want to keep any secrets from you! It's so frustrating!" Kuroka unable to take this much love from Itachi's emotion, forcefully pushed herself out from the bear hug. "Awww, what's wrong Kuroka-chan? I know you love it when I show you affection. But your shy and bashful side is cute as well~"
Kuroka blushed unable to contain her beating heart, she wasn't used to being shown so much affection. Koneko on the other hand snickered a bit at seeing how troubled Kuroka looked right now.
"Okay, this fruitcake is really starting to annoy me." Eto spoke out bluntly, and like Kuroka broke free from the group bear hug.
"Aww, I love fruits and cakes!" Love just smiled.
Raven sighed, rubbing her temple trying to make sense of things. "This isn't possible… This is at least highly unusual." Raven paced back and forth while trying to figure out a solution.
"What is?" Rias asked.
"This, emotions never agree on the same thing. Yet all of them, not one of them wishes to show or tell us where to find Itachi's memories. How can all of you agree on not showing us?" Raven out of frustration turned towards the group of Itachi's.
"I just want everyone to be happy! And no one will be happy from seeing that kind of stuff." Joy replied, whilst laughing.
"Nothing to do with sex or girls, not interested." Lust shrugged.
"Urgh, why bother?" Disgust just rolled his eyes.
"*Burp! Don't wanna." Lazy just rolled over and seemingly fell asleep.
"Ugh! I hate that I can't tell you! But I don't want to make you upset from seeing those memories!" Love seemed to be as conflicted as anyone could be.
"Because I will be sad if you abandoned me afterward, even though I wouldn't blame you." A sixth emotion of Itachi appeared out of the blue, looking rather timid and sad. He was dressed in a dark blue version of Kuoh Academy's male uniform. Everyone looked to be wondering where the hell these emotions kept coming from.
"Hey Sad!" Joy waves from the crowd.
"Abandon you? Why would we do that?" Rias carefully approached the timid form of Sad, almost like she was approaching a small abandoned puppy.
"Because seeing that will only make you sad, and then mad, and then you will hate me, and leave me to be forever alone…." Sad sniffed as he sat in a corner.
"But we won't abandon you, not now not ever." Raven also carefully approached the rather timid emotion.
"You say that now, but when you see it you will. I wouldn't blame you though. I'm not a good person." Sad gave a lonely sigh as he crawled further into a dark corner.
"Hahahaha! Sad always tells funny jokes!" Joy just laughed it off, and embraced the sad emotion like they were the best of friends.
"Ugh, you're so happy it makes me sick." Disgust snarled at Joy.
"Look! We don't have time to waste in here! Please, one of you! Just say where the damn memories are, with It-tan's trauma!" Serafall at this point was starting to have had enough, she wasn't going to let this mission be a failure.
"Looks like miss happy isn't very happy anymore." Disgust rolled his eyes.
"Well of course not! My precious little brother is in pain, and I don't know why! As his big sister, it is my duty to help him!" Serafall blew up at Disgust, who just snorted and rolled his eyes.
"Sure, if you really want to help, you would stay out of it." At this point, one thing was starting to become obvious.
"Wait, Disgust is interacting with you?" Kuroka pointed out, as everyone knew thanks to Raven that Itachi's emotions cannot interact with anyone unless he has felt that emotion towards that person.
"So? You all saw the bath memory." Eto shrugged, not even seeming surprised.
"What?! Waaah! It-tan finds me disgusting!" Serafall then went on her knees and cried like a child.
"Wait… Didn't Disgust interact with Raven earlier?" Rias recalled, as all emotions actually responded to Raven's question earlier about why they didn't want to show them where the door to Itachi's traumatic memory was.
"Yeah, and when Kuroka threw a fit earlier he just shrugged at her." Akeno like Rias had also noticed. Did that mean Itachi was disgusted by them?
"Well, the emotion doesn't have to be directed towards a person. More like a situation. With Serafall I have no doubt it was about those… baths. Am I right?" Raven looked to Disgust.
"Well duh." The emotion rolled his eyes.
"But I still love my onee-chan!" Love then in a comforting matter embraced the weeping Serafall, who instantly seemed to recover from it.
"Okay then, what about me and Kuroka here?" Raven pointed at herself and the now nervous nekomata. Neither wanted Itachi to be disgusted by them.
"I don't like the way you brew your tea, too bitter." Disgust pointed at Raven, and then looked towards Kuroka who was trembling slightly. "You're lazy and leave your trash out. Do you know how many bags of potato chips and empty soda cans I had to clean up after you?"
"Ugh… I'm sorry…" Kuroka cried while bowing in defeat, whilst love comforted her with a big bear hug.
"Oh, but I do still love you so much!" Love kissed the top of Kuroka's head, hearts forming out of nowhere from his hugs.
"See? Small things." Raven shrugged it off without any care, and quickly returned to what mattered which was the task at hand. She had to somehow fool the emotions to show them where to find the door with Itachi's traumatic memories. Although, a part of her couldn't help but wonder if they should keep going. And from the looks of it, Rias, Koneko and Akeno were also having doubts. Serafall and Sona however, were fully determined to keep going. Guess being Itachi's sisters, they are a little bothered that they have remained unaware of their brother and his troubles. What is more, like Itachi they are too stubborn to quit now.
As they were walking further down the lone walkway of Itachi's mind. Koneko's cat ears perked out, hearing the sound of something falling. Kuroka like Koneko also reacted. Both nekomata sisters looked down, seeing an ever-growing shadow. "Look out!" Koneko shouted a warning at the rest who remained unknown of the falling object.
Everyone gasped as what appeared to be stone walls landed around them. Koneko tumbled over as the space around them began to rumble from the impact of these walls. The young nekomata picked herself back up, looking around to see if anyone was injured. "Everyone okay?" Koneko called out.
"Yeah, we're fine…" Rias called out from the side of another wall, and it sounded like Kuroka was with her as Koneko heard her elder sister groan a bit.
"Me, Akeno-chan and Love and Lazy It-tan are okay as well!" Serafall called out.
"I'm fine! So is Eto, Sona, Disgust, Joy and Sad." Raven also called out. Seems they were all separated.
"Well, hello cutie." Koneko flinched as she noticed that Lust Itachi laid next to her.
"Ugh… Senpai's dark side…" Koneko backed up a bit, whilst holding her fists up while also trying to cover her blushing face.
"Oh yeah, I like them rough." Lust purrs at her.
"Back away Koneko! I'm going to blast this wall down!" Rias called out from the other side, having freaked out a bit from hearing that Lust was with Koneko. Rias threw a destruction blast straight at the wall. Although nothing happened. "What?!"
"Nya! Shirone!" Kuroka joined Rias in blasting the walls, yet nothing happened.
"It's no use! Our powers don't have much of an affect in here!" Raven called out from her side. "The emotions of Itachi should be able to break through the walls though!"
"Alright! Love-chan! Blast this wall down!" Serafall instructed the emotion.
"Anything for my onee-chan!" Love happily complied, and punched at the wall to which it cracked. But it didn't break, and restored itself. "Ah, sorry it is impossible."
"What? Why?!" Serafall grabbed onto Love's collar.
"These walls are made by a stronger emotion~" Love replied.
"A stronger emotion?" Akeno questioned.
"The emotions powers are based up on how often Itachi feels that certain emotion." Raven explained it to them. In simple terms, the emotions Itachi would often feel were stronger than the rest, and the one he didn't feel that often would be weak.
"Bingo!" Joy clapped at Raven's knowledge.
"Considering Itachi's stoic face I would assume you are the weakest?" Eto teasingly smirked at Joy.
"How cruel…" Joy shed a tear, although was still smiling. "Me and Sad here are in the top 5 I will have you know!"
"I'm number 5…" Sad raised his hand timidly in the background.
"Yeah! And I'm number 4!" Joy pointed out with a heartful laughter.
"And the weakest are?" Koneko asked as she looked a bit weary of Lust who inched closer to her.
"Hmm, Lazy and Disgust are the weakest I think?" Joy hummed.
"By the way little kitten, I'm number 7." Lust said as he playfully held onto Koneko's chin, inching closer for a kiss. To which he was met with a quick knee to the groin by the blushing Koneko, who quickly looked in slight regret as the emotion keeled over in pain.
"I'm number 2!" Love declared, which meant it was Itachi's strongest emotion that created these walls to prevent them from going further. "So, number 1 must have made this maze!" Love looked around, and upon closer inspection there were various pathways to take.
"I see, so it is a maze. I guess we'll have to find each other at the end." Raven sighed. This was getting more troublesome. Maybe she should just pull the plug on this mission?
"Bullshit!" Kuroka declared and brought out her devil wings, taking flight and as she was about to reach the top of the walls, she was electrocuted. "Gnyah!" Kuroka screamed as the electricity surged through her body.
"… So, we have no choice but to walk through this maze?" Sona looked to Raven, with her being the expert on these kinds of things.
"Yes, it's that or I pull us all out of here." Raven's suggestion was ignored by the stubborn Sona. The youngest Sitri thinking they had gone too far to quit now. Sona along with Eto walked down a pathway through this maze. Raven sighed and looked to the three emotions of Itachi. "Do any of you know the way out?" All three nodded. "Alright then everyone use Itachi's emotions to guide you out of here!" There was only one problem, one group didn't have any of the emotions with them.
"But me and Kuroka don't have any of them with us!" Rias tended to the slight fried Kuroka, who gave a light jolt every now and then from the electric shock.
"… Then you will just have to pick a path, and try and meet with one of us." Raven didn't know what else to do for them. Either Rias and Kuroka would eventually run into them, or another one of Itachi's emotions.
Meanwhile, on the outside. Itachi felt his head banging with a headache, something didn't feel right. And having Damian, Kiba, Issei and Jack trail his every move didn't ease his feelings either. Jack had fallen asleep onto his back, yet still holding on with her legs tightly wrapped around his waist.
Itachi groaned a bit, as he walked up the stairs to the second floor. "Wait!" Damian comedically rolled down the stairs before him, getting back up like nothing happened. "Where are you headed off to Captain?"
"…" Itachi looked suspiciously at Damian, who had a few drops of nervous sweat running down his forehead. "If you must know, I plan to check on Rias, Kuroka and Akeno."
"What?! Why? I doubt this is the proper time for a booty call captain." Damian gave him a snarky grin, as he leaned against the railway.
"N-No…" Itachi rubbed the bridge of his nose as he let out a tired sigh. "Look, usually they would have snuck out of their beds, and into mine by now. Since they haven't, I am worried that something might be wrong."
"Whaaaat? Pffft! No! I'm sure everything is fine. They probably just don't want to bother you, considering the recent drama that happened. You know, you running away, staying missing for days while drinking with Azazel and all that. They probably just want to give you some space." Damian's excuse would have made sense to most, but not Itachi.
"… Uhuh, I don't think so. Knowing Rias, she would have been so worried for me while I was gone, and now that I am back, she probably wants to make sure I don't leave again. And would have hugged me like a body pillow until tomorrow morning." Itachi knew Rias all too well, having grown up with her Itachi practically knew her every thought. He knew how Rias would act in most situations.
Damian looked with a smug smirk, having a clear comeback. "Well, someone seems a little full of himself. Maybe they are mad at you for leaving like that, and feel like you don't deserve to have them hug you naked while you are sleeping."
"Wah!" Issei nearly screamed in shock, although Kiba quickly acted and silenced him by holding his hands over the fuming pervert's mouth. Issei looked like he was screaming "Die pretty boy!" over and over again, with some colorful language in-between.
Damian, looking even more smug, poked Itachi's nose. "Or, maybe you have just missed having them hug you naked. You dirty little rascal."
"… I did, so what of it?" Itachi seemed too tired to argue, and gave an answer Damian did not expect.
"Wait, what did you say?" Damian looked in shock.
"What? After so many years. I've gotten so used to it, that it feels weird not to wake up to them hugging me naked." Itachi had to admit, waking up to the girls hugging him naked had basically become the norm to him.
"Uhhh…" Damian looked speechless.
"If that is all, I will be moving on." Itachi pushed Damian aside and walked up the stairs.
"N-No wait!" This time Kiba stepped before Itachi whilst dragging a still screaming Issei with him.
"Why?" Itachi glare intensified as he inched his face closer to Kiba, who gave a light frightened twitch.
"Uhhh…" Kiba at a loss for words, dropped the bomb. By releasing his grip from Issei's mouth allowing him to explode in a jealous rant.
"DAMN YOU, LUCKY PRETTY BOY PRICK! REPENT BY LETTING ME PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE!" Issei cried tears of jealousy, imagining Itachi looking with a smug smirk as he cuddled up with a naked Rias, Akeno and Kuroka.
"…" Itachi cast a tired glance over to Kiba, who looked with a nervous sweat as Itachi's gaze looked at him judgingly. Itachi then looked to Issei who still cried tears of jealousy. "If you will let me pass, then go ahead." Itachi said, welcoming the punch to which now Issei looked confused.
"You, want me to punch you?" Issei blinked in surprise.
"If you will let me pass, then sure go ahead." Itachi shrugged, mentally thinking not like it will hurt much anyway. "But before that…" Itachi yanks Issei towards him, making them lock eyes and then Itachi activated my sharingan. "Tell me why you all are acting so weird?"
"What's all the commotion?" All this ruckus and Issei's yelling, seems to have awoken the other residents. As Bob, Harry, Xenovia, Asia, even the shy Gasper, and Tsubaki along with the rest of Sona's peerage stood on the top of the staircase.
"… Serafall-sama, Buchou, Kaichou, Akeno-san, Koneko-chan, Kuroka-san, Eto-san… All had Rachel-san use some special item mirror to enter your mind… And to find out what's bothering you so they could help you… They asked us to keep you occupied." Issei spoke like he was in a trance, having fallen under the effects of Itachi's sharingan. Those who weren't involved with what Serafall had planned with some of the girls, only looked shocked, and awkward at having entered at this specific moment. Damian and Kiba gulped a little with guilt, Damian tried to sneak away although was lifted up by Harry who glared at him. Jack just tiredly yawned while still on Itachi's back.
"Captain?" Bob looked very concerned, as the look he saw on Itachi's face could only be described as mortified and filled with fear.
"…" Itachi not saying another word, dropped Issei who regained consciousness. Not wasting any time, Itachi leaped onto the railing and took a giant leap to reach the second floor. Rushing further up the stairs to the next floor where Raven's room was. Without any care, Itachi broke down Raven's door and entered the empty bedroom.
The others followed, and Harry dragged Damian in. The old man looking rather disappointed in them for sneaking behind Itachi's back like this. "Where is the mirror boy?" Harry demanded.
"The dresser… first drawer on the left." Damian sighed and pointed at the dresser in defeat. "D-Don't break it or they will be-"
"Trapped, I know." Itachi opened the drawer and pulled out the mirror. "Dammit…" Itachi's shoulders sunk in defeat.
Issei awkwardly rubbed the back of his head as he walked in. "Okay, so they know your secret by now probably. What's the big deal? They only wanted to help you."
"… The big deal." Itachi sighed, looking rather troubled by all this. "Is that they are not ready for it. I'm not ready for them to know."
"Senpai, I understand that you are scared. But, like all of you helped me overcome my past and inner demons. We merely wish to help you in the same way." Kiba looked sympathetic. Itachi knew they had good intentions. But he also knew what answers waited for them.
"… My inner demons. Are far darker and more complicated than yours Yuuto-kun." Itachi gently put the mirror down, and sat before it in a lotus position.
"How so?" Issei snarled a bit, feeling Itachi undermined Kiba's tragic past.
Itachi's simple responds was. "You heard Ophis, right? Clan killer." Itachi began to meditate, leaving everyone in silence. Itachi had basically admitted that Ophis' claims were correct. He admitted that he has killed a clan of sorts.
"Captain… What did you do?" Bob silently questioned, still finding it hard to believe Itachi was capable of such an act. Yet they received no answer, as Itachi was already in deep meditation. Desperately hoping the girls hadn't seen anything unnecessary.
"We all have our sins… We all have our secrets. No matter how much we wish to help each other, it is still not our place to know. Unless Itachi himself deems it so." Harry spoke with wisdom in his voice, he like many others had his secrets and sins he had committed. "You should know that better than anyone." Harry looked to Damian, who widened his eyes a bit. Harry knew about him? And it dawned on him, what he had done to Itachi, Damian hung his head in shame.
Meanwhile, a similar feeling had dawned on the girls within Itachi's mind. Especially within Rias, who walked together with Kuroka through this maze. "… Kuroka. I really think we should just turn back."
Kuroka looked in slight confusion at Rias' words. "Nya? Why is that?"
"We shouldn't be doing this… we're invading Itachi's privacy." Rias looked really uncomfortable at this whole situation, and felt a little disgusted at herself for going along with this plan in the first place.
"We're doing this to help him… Like he has always done for us." Kuroka's eyes were filled with strong determination. She wanted to help the man who saved her life.
"I know… but…" Rias looked away for a second, taking a few deep breaths to calm her nervous beating heart. If Itachi found out about this he would most likely be angry with them. "I still don't think this is the way to do it."
"Whatever this is, it made him run away as soon as Ophis said it. I am ready to face whatever inner demon is within Itachi-sama… and crush it." Kuroka grew frustrated as her senses couldn't find the exit to this maze. They were walking around blind, and for a usual high sensed nekomata it was beyond annoying and frustrating. "Why does everyone else get an emotion guide! And we're stuck in here with squat!" In her frustration Kuroka kicked one of the walls.
As the two made a turn the next corner, they were met with another dead end. Only this end, looked like a memorial hall of sorts. It led the two girls into what appeared to be a traditional Japanese gate of sorts. "What is this gate, nya?" Kuroka tilted her head, as she noticed the gate was decorated with the symbol of a fan on top.
"Looks like… a fan?" Rias squinted her eyes to look at the symbol. And looking further ahead, they saw the same fan decorate on a banner. A red and white fan. An unknown symbol for the two girls.
Cautiously they walked further in, and noticed that two giant statues were decorated in the halls. One of a young man with curly hair and a headband with a strange symbol on it. The other statue was that of a cute young girl, with the same headband. And another thing that they noticed about the statues, both of them had the sharingan eyes like Itachi, engraved into their eyes. "Who… are these people?" Rias looked in awe, wondering what all this could mean.
"Hey, look here. There is a name plate under here." Kuroka pointed at the statue of the young man, and read the plate out loud. "Shisui Uchiha." That name held no significance to them, but it must have for Itachi.
"And this one…" Rias dusted off the plate of the girl's statue. "Izumi Uchiha."
"Uchiha? You think these two are siblings?" Kuroka rubbed her chin, looking in fascination at this little decoration hall they found. What was a place like this doing in the maze?
"Maybe… I am more curious as to what this has to do with Itachi." Rias couldn't help but be fixated on the statue of Izumi. She felt like there was something familiar about her. But Rias couldn't quite figure out what.
Then to their sudden shock, the eyes of the statue began to glow red. And then, like out of a horror movie they came to life. In sheer size, they towered over Rias and Kuroka. Rias and Kuroka both with an astonished look on their faces, could only slowly back away as the gazes of the statues looked down on them. The boy statue reached for a short sword strapped to his back and swung the stone blade upon them.
Rias and Kuorka with their quick reflexes leaped away. Rias began throwing blast after blast of her destruction power into the statues. However, even the mighty destruction ability of the Bael family. Could not destroy these statues. All due to the fact they were in Itachi's mind, which made their powers near useless. "Crap…" Rias was left with no other option but trying to dodge the attacks from the statues.
Kuroka was also at her wits end, seeing as these statues weren't alive some of her senjutsu and youjutsu skills would be useless. What is more, her powers couldn't affect the landscape around them either. So, like Rias Kuroka was left to dodge the stone shuriken and kunai thrown by the Izumi statue.
Izumi's statue leaped up, and raised her leg up into the air aiming to dropkick the two girls. Unable to even bring out their wings, as they couldn't fly too high within the maze without getting electrocuted like Kuroka did at the start. The two of them jumped out of the way, and ground exploded from statue Izumi's kick. "What are we going to do?! At this rate we'll be squashed!" Kuroka frantically dodged various attacks from statue Shisui.
"Not so fast!" They heard Itachi's voice call out, and dropping out from the sky was an Itachi dressed in moss green like version of the male Kuoh Academy uniform. Delivering a drop kick to statue Shisui, who crumbled nearly instantly.
"S-Sorry!" A second voice called out, apologizing to the statues. A second Itachi dressed in grey arrived, and punched the Izumi statue into rubble.
"Hooah!" The green Itachi cheered and smiled from ear to ear, holding his hands up high. "High five!"
"Eeep!" The grey Itachi yelped in fright from the sudden volume increase from green Itachi. "Sorry, sorry…." This one looked even more timid than Sad Itachi did.
"O-Okay… So, which emotion are you guys?" Kuroka could finally breath easily, as the sudden danger of the indestructible statues were over.
"I'm Courage!" Green pointed to himself, puffing his chest out and standing tall like a superhero.
"I-I'm Fear…" Grey cowered behind Courage.
"Thanks for the save… Hey, can either of you maybe show us the way out of this maze?" Rias' question was met with an eager nod from courage, and a weak timid nod from fear.
"Great! And while you're at it! Can either of you show us the way to the door with Itachi's trauma?!" Kuroka asked hopefully.
"What?! No, no, no!" Fear shook his head, his entire being trembling with fear.
"Sure can!" Courage however, agreed.
"Really?!" Kuroka smiled with joy as she latched onto courage.
"Sure, no problem!" Courage replied with a smile.
"No, no! We can't Courage! If they see what's in there, they will hate us!" Fear shakingly, yet strongly refused.
"Huh, not to worry! I'm not afraid of anything!" Courage enthusiastically declared.
"B-But you promised to be brave and protect the secret from them!" Fear desperately tried to get courage to reconsider.
To this, it seemed to dawn on courage. "Oh, I did? Huh, guess I did say that… But what's the big deal? They came all this way. Besides the door is right at the end of this maze anyway." Courage revealed, to which Kuroka was now definitely eager to get out from this maze.
Rias however, couldn't look away from the pleading Fear. "… Just guiding us out from here and to our friends is fine." As Rias said that, fear looked with a thankful look and nodded in agreement.
"… If that's what you want then sure. There is nothing to fear! For I am here to show you the way out!" Courage bravely pumped his fist to his chest.
"What?! No! We need to know what the trauma is so that we can help Itachi!" Kuroka protested, and Courage looked with a smile.
"No matter, like I said the door is on the end of this maze anyway." Courage shrugged, seeing a way to help both these ladies at once.
"Knowing won't help… Leaving it alone will… Leaving it alone to die with the past…" Fear trembled behind courage, clutching his hands to his head like he was trying to block everything out.
"That won't help! And you know it too Rias!" Kuroka looked to the Gremory princess. What fear described didn't seem healthy, to keep things like this bottled up.
"…" Rias was unsure of what to do. Would they really help Itachi by doing this? Or would they just do more harm than good? Without uttering another word, Rias silently walked with them as Courage showed them the way through this maze.
Finally, once they reached the end of the maze. Rias and Kuroka were met with the crowd of Serafall, Sona, Akeno, Koneko, Eto and Raven. And the sound of explosions. And the sight of joy Itachi getting blasted into a wall of the maze causing it to collapse. "What's going on?!" Rias in confusion questioned her oldest friend, Sona.
"… W-We got to the end… and found this door… only to find out, this guy is guarding it." Sona pointed towards where the battle was taking place. All the emotions, Disgust, Lazy, Lust, Sad and Joy were getting thrown around by this other Itachi, dressed in blood red. His eyes burning with an intense fury and anger.
"Yeah… that's hatred." Love who was the only one not engaging the violent emotion in battle, commented on the sidelines.
"That guy has no chill." Courage then swooped in, only to be met with a swift strike to the face that sent him flying.
"You losers aren't getting to this door." Hatred snarled at the other emotions. "You all say you don't want anyone finding out, yet you lead people to the source!" Hatred in pure rage, leapt at Joy who had just gotten back up and punched the still smiling emotion in the gut.
"M-Man that was quite the punch…. Ahahaha." Joy just laughed it off as he fell over.
"Huh, who would have thought this emotion was one of the strongest ones." Eto looked genuinely surprised, but also more intrigued than ever. In fact, one could say she was mesmerized at this display of brutality.
"H-Hey! Quit it right now!" Serafall marched straight up to hatred, although the emotion did not respond to her presence. In fact, he didn't even look their way unless it was to glare at Love and Fear who stuck to the sidelines. "You hear me?! I said stop!" Serafall flashed her icy aura, yet it had no effect.
"Onee-chan! Your powers have no effect in here~!" Love casually called out, and looked to be cheering Serafall on.
"Well, it looks like Hatred is not an emotion Itachi feels towards us." Raven revealed, much the relief of nearly all of them. Eto looked like she couldn't care less however.
"… Although that might change once Itachi learns of what we have done." Rias sighed, truly dreading to face her beloved once again if that would be the case.
"I already know." Itachi's voice called out like an echo, and coming flying down from the darkness above was Itachi. The real one, as his clothes looked like the normal Kuoh Academy uniform.
Itachi landed before them, his arms crossed, yet his face remained stoic. Then out of nowhere fear Itachi sighed. "Thank goodness they didn't see anything behind that door…"
Itachi ignored his emotions as they battled around him. "Raven…" Itachi looked to his Bishop. Raven had never felt smaller than now, standing before Itachi's gaze. "Get everyone out of here."
"And stay safe~!" Love lovingly hugged onto the slight frightened witch girl. "All of you, okay?" Love looked with a loving smile upon all of them, his feelings for them hadn't changed? Despite learning of what they tried to do?
Hatred was still not looking their way, so that must mean Itachi didn't hate them for being here. However, Hatred did look Itachi's way. And looked with such a burning gaze of anger. "You!" Hatred snarled and jumped at Itachi. Hatred's focus having shifted completely away from the other emotions, and focused only on Itachi alone.
Itachi quickly blocked a punch from his own emotion, the fury and intensity behind that punch causing Itachi's arm to tremble under the pressure. And if this was in the physical plane, it would without a doubt have caused the space to tremble around them. The echo of the punch however, still rung into the void of darkness that was Itachi's psyche.
Hatred than blasted Itachi with a spray of fire from his mouth, taking the shape of a blazing ball of fire. The fireball carried Itachi with it a great length, until Itachi finally managed to dissolve it with a bubble of water. Itachi took a giant leap towards Hatred, and Hatred towards him. As the two locked their hands together in a power struggle.
As the battle between Itachi, and his darkest emotion took place. One thing dawned on Raven. Raven could only gasp in shock as the realization hit her. "Hatred is only going for Itachi… And that means…"
"Itachi hates himself…" Rias finished. Tears forming in her eyes, having not seen or realized what her beloved Itachi felt. Or how deep this trauma and pain really went.
"N-No… W-Why would he hate himself?" Akeno also looked near tears, unable to bear the thought.
"Captain… I-" Kuroka was at a loss for words, and both her and Koneko's cat ears went down signifying they felt sadness from seeing this side of Itachi.
"And the answer to all these questions, is behind that door." Eto pointed to the door behind Itachi and Hatred.
"Itachi… H-How? How could I, your sister… not know this about you?" Serafall fell to her knees. She looked broken, all this time her dearest little brother felt this kind of pain within himself. And they all had no clue.
"Onii-sama…" Sona also looked unsure of what to say, she could only cry from her brother's inner struggle unfolding before her eyes.
Hatred, was fuming with anger and threw punch after punch into Itachi. "You are a coward! A failure! A torturer! Scum! And a murderer!" Itachi fought back, and headbutted Hatred knocking the emotion back a bit. But Hatred's fury would not yield, and went right back on the attack once more. "You should be dead!" Hatred threw a haymaker right into Itachi's face. "Dead!" Hatred screamed from the top of his lungs.
"Itachi!" Raven having had enough, like the rest were about to step in. Only for Sad, Joy, and Love to step in their way.
"Outta the way!" Kuroka screamed at them.
"Can't…" Sad replied.
"Danger is no fun!" Joy smiled.
"I love you all too much." Love declared, with a loving smile on his face.
"Dead!" The roars of Hatred echoed. "Dead for what you did to Sasuke!" This caused all the girls to flinch, they all remembered that name. Itachi had accidently called Sona that on Parents' Day, and revealed it to be the name he wanted for his first son. But it seemed there was much more to it. "For what you did to Izumi! For failing Shisui!" Those two names, although fresh in their minds, still struck something in Kuroka and Rias as they remembered the two statues. "And for-"
Before Hatred can say anything else, one of Itachi's emotion sprung at him. And punched him in the gut. The wind gets knocked out by Hatred, who looks stunned and unable to move. It was Fear, of all the emotions in Itachi. Fear hoisted Hatred up and slammed him to the ground. And just like that, Hatred was defeated, and vanished. "Go to sleep… please…" Fear backed away and sat down, hiding his face into his knees.
"Wh-What just happened?" Rias questioned in shock. They all look shocked as to what had happened. Hatred earlier not only wiped the floor with the other emotions, but also fought against Itachi.
"I mean, Fear is the strongest emotion after all." Love revealed. And it seemed unbelievable at first, although seeing Itachi's reaction. Itachi avoided their gazes and looked to the floor.
"Yeah, Love is second, and Hatred is third!" Joy revealed with a heartful laughter from seeing their shocked faces.
"Yeah, although I don't like fighting…" Love gave a light chuckle.
"So… It was Fear who created that maze?" Rias looked to the trembling grey emotion of Itachi, who just sat in a foster position in the corner against the door.
"Yep! That little rascal!" Joy went up and playfully ruffled fear's hair. "Always so scared that you girls will find out what's behind that door, and hate him for it."
"… Itachi." They all turned to the real Itachi, who just silently stood in the corner. "We could never hate you." Rias was careful to approach Itachi, they all were. They all couldn't help but feel a little uncertain, as Itachi might be upset with them for invading his mind like this. Seeing no sign of him rejecting them, Rias embraced Itachi in a hug. "I love you… I could never hate you."
"Yeah captain, I love you. You saved my life, gave me life with Shirone. I could never hate you no matter what." Kuroka joined in, snuggling herself up to Itachi.
"I-I love you…" Koneko blushed with embarrassment, but also hugged him and refused to let go.
"I love you so much I can't live without you." Akeno also joined in on the hug.
Itachi was at a loss for words, Raven also joined in on the hug. Although she couldn't afford to show emotion due to her powers, she found herself unable to hold back this time. "You saved my life… I could never hate you."
"It-tan! Onee-chan could never hate her precious little brother! Onee-chan loves you and So-tan more than anything in the world!" Serafall also joined in on the group hug, and dragged a slight uncomfortable Sona with her.
"I love you too, onii-sama… So please, don't leave us…" Sona nearly choked as she was about to cry. The fear of her brother potentially leaving like he did after the incident with Ophis, was too much for Sona. The motivation to help Itachi with his problems stemmed from that fear.
Eto backed away with an awkward look on her face. "I'm not much of a hugger… But yeah, I could never hate you. I have nothing but respect for you. And you are the most interesting person I know, so it would be a pain if you ran off again." Eto in her own way, basically admitted she loved Itachi. In a matter of speaking.
"Awww!" Love sniffed with happiness from hearing all of this. "I love you guys!"
"But seriously, that fruit cake annoys me." Eto's eyes twitched in disgust at seeing hearts pop out from Love.
"That makes two of us…" Itachi cracked a smile. Quickly however, his expression changed back into his usual unreadable stoic expression. "I know that all of you love and care for me… and only did this because you wish to help me. But… I also know that love, can so easily turn into hatred."
"And the potential of you all hating me, scares me…" Fear mumbled in the corner.
"Yeah… But I also love you all too much to keep such an important secret from you. But that love, also makes me scared of what will happen when you know. So, I…" Itachi was then caught completely off guard, as of all things Love grabbed him in a full nelson hold. "Wh-What the?!"
"That being said, here's the door." Love presented the door to them and Joy also stepped up before the door. And no matter how much Itachi struggled, he could not break out of the hold.
"This door is very special, not only does it have the memory of the trauma you are seeking… But it has all of them. Good and the bad. All you have to do, is open it. And all our memories, will be known to you." Joy revealed and stepped aside, welcoming either of the girls to come up and open the door.
The girls look amongst themselves to figure out what they should do. Even Itachi looks down in defeat. However, considering all that has occurred, and learning of Itachi's self-hatred. Seeds of doubt, had grown within them. "I… I…" Rias backed away, shaking her head. "I don't care… I just want Itachi to stay with us… with me."
"Rias is right… I'm out." Akeno as well backed away, shortly followed by both Raven and Sona.
"Yeah, I don't care… as long as onii-sama doesn't leave us." Sona was trying to figure out the best way to apologize to Itachi for all of this. She had been so scared of the potential idea that Itachi might leave them all forever, that she had forgotten who Itachi was. He would never leave them. He would always look out for her as her big brother.
Raven looks at the door, and is able to feel what is on the other side. Not see, but feel. "All I feel from that door is pain, suffering… death. Coming here was a mistake." Raven looked in shame that she had let the others talk her into this. As someone who tries to keep certain emotions buried, she of all people should know this was the wrong way to go about helping Itachi.
Kuroka looks between the door and Itachi, still looking in conflict. Before she can say anything or even move, Koneko grabs onto Kuroka's wrist. Kuroka looks to her little sister, who shakes her head. Koneko then guides Kuroka over to the others. And Kuroka sighs in defeat. "I just want to help you captain… Like you helped me." Kuroka's voice sounded a bit broken, as she held back some tears not wanting to get all emotional.
"I know… I'm sorry." Itachi mumbled with his head lowered. Itachi couldn't help but feel some shame. He had managed to help them all in the past, because they told him about their problems. Or, in Kuroka's case he investigated and found out. Just like they were doing to him right now. Kind of hypocritical he told himself.
Eto and Serafall are the only ones left standing close to the door. Eto looks at the door, her hand inching towards the handle. Then, to everyone's surprise, the one who has opened every memory door they had come across in Itachi's mind. Groaned in frustration. "What a pain… I'm not opening it." Eto walked over to the rest, having picked her side.
This left Serafall in an awkward position. Everyone else had agreed to leave it alone, so she was standing on her own in trying to discover Itachi's past trauma. To find out the true meaning behind the word "Clan Killer" and what it had to do with her darling younger brother.
Serafall couldn't help but feel a bit conflicted. Even though she had accepted the consequences. "It-tan… I just wanted you to know… The reason we all are here, is my responsibility. So, please don't hold a grudge towards anyone else but me for this…" Serafall couldn't look Itachi in the eye, she could only imagine what look he was giving her. A look of disappointment, anger, perhaps even hatred?
Serafall looked amongst the various emotions of her brother. She got nothing but happy smiles from Joy. A loving brotherly gaze from Love. A confident look from Courage. A sad frown from Sadness. Disgust looked without any care. And Lazy just yawned seeming to have no interest in what was going on. Lust was too occupied eyeing the girls who were around Itachi.
Serafall swallowed the nervous lump in her throat, and reached her hand out. Serafall grabbed onto the handle of the memory door. Serafall steadied herself, no doubt whatever was behind this would weigh heavy on her heart. Raven's statement on what she felt from this door alone spoke volumes of it. Taking a few deep breaths, Serafall twisted the door handle open. 'With this I will know… And I can help It-tan, it is my duty as his big sister.' However, interrupting Serafall's thoughts and her opening the door, were the sound of terrified whimpers.
"Please, no more…" Sitting in a foster position of the corner of the door, was Fear. Trembling with a terrified traumatic look on his face, as if he was going through some sort of PTSD. "No more…" Fear cried. "I don't want to remember… I don't want to remember…"
Serafall is left speechless, and can only gasp at the sight. In her shock, she looks towards Itachi. Itachi looks away in shame, and although his face shows no signs of fear. His body was trembling slightly. At the sight of the state her brother was in, Serafall let go of the door handle. She couldn't do this. She couldn't do something that would cause her beloved little brother to feel pain. Serafall, leans down to Fear and hugs the trembling emotion. Tears rolling down from her eyes as she did. "Mm, okay… Onee-chan won't make you remember… It's okay, there is nothing to be scared of. Onee-chan will protect you… forever and ever."
Itachi looks in awe at Serafall. The answers they all sought, was at their fingertips. And in the end, none of them took it. Itachi didn't know whether to feel grateful for having such wonderful friends and family. Or ashamed that he couldn't be honest with them. Seeing Serafall's answer, Love smiled and nodded. And released Itachi from his hold.
Itachi is brought out from his thoughts, as he hears the tired sigh of his Knight Eto. "This is dull, take us back home."
Raven nods at this, and begins chanting. "Azarath Metrion Zinthos!" Her magical aura enveloped all of them. The Emotions of Itachi all gathered in a group before them, vanishing one by one back into Itachi's subconsciousness. While Raven dragged the group out from Itachi's mindscape.
The whole group all arrived back into Raven's bedroom, out from the mirror. And found every resident of the house gathered here. "Hmm, welcome back." Harry greeted the group, looking to Raven he crossed his arms. "Well? Did you learn anything?"
Raven looked around at the people in the room. Some looked anxious if they had found out anything, others looked somewhat concerned. "… Yes, we learnt we were in the wrong." Raven replied with her usual monotone voice.
"Hmm." Harry gave a nod, seeming satisfied with the answer.
"Well… did you see the captain's memories?" Damian asked, looking with regret over having helped them with this.
"… Other than some recent and some… embarrassing memories. No, we didn't see the source of the trauma." At hearing Raven's answer, Damian sighed with relief.
Rias, Kuroka, Akeno, Sona, Koneko all looked to Itachi. The guilt they had, the regret of invading Itachi's mind like that ate away at them. "Itachi, we-" Before Rias even had a chance to apologize, Itachi quietly began walking out of the room.
"I need some air." Was all he said, as he headed downstairs.
They wanted to follow him, some worried that he might run away again due to their actions. But, they also feel they didn't have the right to stop him if he did. Rias shed a few tears, as she stood with the rest, overcome with regret and guilt.
Itachi walked out the front door, and onto the porch. He looked up to the night sky, and at the full moon. The sight of the moon, and the recent confrontation with his self-hatred. Brought him straight back to that faithful night. He felt angry, not towards his sisters, nor towards Rias and the other girls. No, he was angry at himself. For not having the courage to tell them, just like he didn't have the courage to tell Sasuke about the Coup d'état. Nothing had changed. In frustration, Itachi punched the wall. "I'm a coward…"
Unaware that he is being watched, as in a different realm. The hooded figure of the same being who brought him to this world in the first place, chuckled. Looking at Itachi through a crystal ball, the hooded figure was pleased that everything was going according to plan. "Yes… I knew you were perfect for this task from the start. You have the greatest feeling of love and compassion out of any mortal I have ever meet. But, because of that, you also feel a great deal of fear. And that fear, makes you mine." From underneath his hood, all that was seen were a pair of glowing blue glints where its eyes should be. "My secret weapon." The being gave a light chuckle of glee.
Itachi remained unaware that the one who revived him, was watching over him at this very moment. He took a few short breaths of the cool night air. Itachi knew there was no hiding his past anymore. If he held out on telling them for too long, he could risk them finding it out through Ophis. Itachi felt himself uneasy at the thought, he needed more time to think. Itachi knew he needed to be the one to tell them. One thing was for sure to him, now was not the time. For the full truth anyway.
Having calmed down, Itachi walked back inside. And as expected, he found everyone waiting for him. They were probably worried he might run off again. "I…" Itachi didn't know where to begin. "I know I'm not being fair… I know I shouldn't be keeping this a secret… Talking about this, talking about feelings… Is not that easy for me."
"Itachi, we're sorry that we-" Before Rias or anyone could apologize, Itachi silenced them by raising his hand.
"I am not mad at anyone of you. I understand you had only the intention of helping me. And for that, I am grateful and happy. To have people that care so much for me." Itachi bowed to them, everyone couldn't believe their eyes. In their eyes, Itachi hadn't done anything wrong. Yet here it feels like he is the one apologizing to them for their mistake.
"No… This isn't right…" Raven trembled a bit. "We're the ones who were in the wrong. You didn't do anything wrong. I told you, that we would wait for when you were ready… And yet, I broke that promise by helping them… by joining them. Please, let us apologize for our mistake." None of this sat well with Raven, she wanted Itachi to be upset. She wanted him to get angry, to scold them, especially at her. Yet, there was nothing but love in his eyes.
Itachi smiles to himself, Raven was right. He probably should be mad. It would be normal for anyone to be mad or at least upset about someone invading their privacy like that, right? He couldn't say he was happy or pleased with their actions. But he was certainly not mad or angry with them. "I'm not mad… But I can't say I am pleased about this either. Rather, at most I would say I am a bit disappointed if anything."
Rias, Serafall, Sona, Akeno, Kuroka and Koneko all hung their heads in shame. Some finding it difficult to look Itachi in the eye, afraid he might judge them. Eto on the other hand, seemed not to care too much for the situation. And uncharacteristically of her, she just stayed quiet. Maybe this was her way of showing regret?
The room is filled with an awkward silence. The ones who weren't even involved felt it in the atmosphere. Finally, breaking the silence was Damian. "So, what do we do now?" He awkwardly asked.
"All you can do. Say you are sorry. And move on." Harry imparted a few words of wisdom. Sometimes, that was all one could do in such situations.
To this they all nod. Raven, Rias, Serafall, Sona, Akeno, Kuroka, Koneko, Kiba, Issei, Damian, Jack, and even Eto. All lowered their heads to Itachi. "We're sorry for invading your mind." They all in the sincerest voices they could muster, together apologized to Itachi.
"…" Itachi looked a bit uncomfortable, he wasn't used to this that's for sure. "Apology accepted." Itachi smiled, he still cared for them all. They were his friends, his family, his new home. He wasn't about to lose them over something like this. And still watching within another realm, was the hooded figure. The being gave a few frustrated groans, perhaps there were somethings that could cause complications for his plans after all?
That's the end for now!
This chapter turned out longer than expected to be honest. Had to go over it and rewrite somethings I wasn't completely satisfied with. To those of you who don't know, I took inspiration for this chapter from an episode of Teen Titans. Where Cyborg and Beast Boy accidently enter Raven's mind and encounter some of her emotions. And also finding out a bit of her troubles with her father Trigon.
And I bet, some are disappointed that Rias and the others didn't learn Itachi's past in this chapter. For that, all I can say. Is that I feel like it is typical you know. I wanted the situation to seem more human if that makes sense. Itachi like some people has problems reliving and talking about his traumatic past. And Rias and the others love Itachi so much they end up being able to look past this whole clan killer thing ordeal, even though they are still curious, they don't find it worth to learn if it means Itachi will be in pain or maybe even end up leaving. I want there to be some inner conflict within both parties for this. For Itachi the inner conflict on whether he thinks the others can handle learning of his complicated, and bloodied history as Itachi Uchiha. While for the girls, if their love for Itachi will let them look past this whole Clan Killer thing. Like Rias said, she doesn't care about this whole "Clan Killer" thing. She just wants Itachi to stay with them, to stay with her.
Everyone makes mistakes, which is what Raven experiences in where she helped the girls enter Itachi's mind to learn about his past and try to help him overcome it. They all have good intentions, even Eto despite her questionable choice of words and attitude. They all wish to help Itachi beat and overcome his past trauma. Because he has helped nearly all of them in the past, so some of them, like Raven and Kuroka for example feel like they owe it to Itachi to help him as well. They know what they are doing, invading Itachi's privacy is morally wrong. But they also think this will end up helping Itachi. And through interacting with some of Itachi's emotions, they come to realize their wrongs and when Itachi arrives and they learn of his self-hatred. They fully realize they never truly grasped the gravity of this trauma Itachi carried with him. In this chapter, Itachi also made the mistake of running away after the conference, which is what initially set the girls on the path to invade Itachi's mind, and learn of the source of his trauma in order to try and help him.
So yeah, I am saving the reveal of Itachi's past for another day. It won't be in a few chapters, the inner conflict Itachi will have in when he should tell everyone, will go on in the background for an arc or two. While new conflicts and antagonists makes their presence known.
Also, considering the last chapter was one giant fight. I didn't really want to focus on fights in this chapter, as much as I wanted to focus on the emotional journey of the characters.
In the next chapter, things might be a bit awkward between Itachi and the rest. Will they be able to get over it? How will they get over it? And perhaps Itachi is willing to answer a few questions on things Rias and the others learnt while they were in his head. Some questions about Izumi and Shisui perhaps? And of course, the devils will begin their summer vacation.
So, tell me, were the girls justified in their actions? Was Itachi in the wrong for running away which led to certain situations? And what is this mysterious hooded being's plan for Itachi? Tell me your thoughts on these subjects.
Anyway, leave a review!
(Responds to reviews):
Obssidian020604: Thanks! The Susano'o has yet to make its appearance, and it along with Itachi unlocking Eternal Mangekyou will happen around the events of DxD Hero.
OMG fanfic: Thanks! I really enjoyed writing the Itachi and Vali fight so I am glad you and other people liked it. But I am afraid Itachi's past is a bit too complicated for him to reveal just yet.
RazerGamers501: Thanks! And I can't say I got the joke, but thank you anyway.
Wolf1741: Okay, lol. Not what I expected to get as a reaction out of that scene, but I will take it. XD
Kosmish: Thanks. And okay, fair enough I can see why that is an issue. I will keep that in mind.
fallendemon248: Or maybe it was just a normal kiss on the forehead and a form of a kind gesture? XD
Clearwing Yuta: Thanks!
DragonDragomir: Okay, I can't really say whether Itachi would join Khaos Brigade or not. Because it would honestly be spoiler if I did for either answer. So far Itachi has no real reason to join them, nor does he intend to. That is all I can say about the subject really.
HiMyNameIs: Well, looks like it was avoided for now anyway.
andresskorskiruiz: Thanks! The fight against Vali and the Ophis scene were some of the first scenes I wrote for the chapter. The Ophis scene was in works for weeks before I achieved the satisfied result.
SolSparda369: He sort of did, and sort of not. Itachi at this point might be willing to answer a few small questions of what the girls learnt in his head. But he certainly isn't ready for them to learn all of it.
Ainz227: Thanks! And as for your question, Gasper was a shut in, and Itachi himself stated somewhere before the battle against Trigon, that he had never met Gasper in person. So, the battle against Trigon was Gasper's first-time meeting Itachi. Before this, Gasper had only heard things about him from Rias.
Poharan: Actually, it was stated even in the canon storyline, that Rias was stronger than Sona. But that Sona was smarter and more of a tactician. And yeah, I agree that Ophis kidnapping Itachi would have made for an interesting storyline. But at the moment, Ophis and her motives are… questionable. To say the least. The only thing clear about her at this point in time, is her desire to kill Great Red.
Mr. Haziq: He could potentially do it, but Itachi is then also put at the risk of overheating in his Assault Mode by creating something that big.
lastapril123: Yeah okay, I guess stuff like that can get kind of old. But glad you liked the conflict Itachi has with his past.
NaruCrazy: Could be. Or it could be the work of someone else behind the scenes.
velniar341: I believe I have said many times, the Mangekyou or rather Eternal Mangekyou will not make an appearance until the events of DxD Hero. Anyway, there is always room for a rematch in the future between Itachi and Vali.
Uday Sra: Thanks!
KadeBear: Sona will have further development in the future, she also has some upcoming fights. Same with everyone else. I kind of think the same, I don't think Ophis is physically capable of having children. Unless it is clones like Lilith was. And she clearly showed everyone who stands on top of all in this universe. I liked the original canon Ophis, but I always honestly hoped she would be like this.
TheHiddenLettuce: I hope you aren't too disappointed with what happened in this chapter if that's the case. I did try to let the group dip a little into the chaotic mess that is Itachi's past life. But I am glad you liked the Vali fight.
chungorion15: Hmm, I don't know. Ravel at this point could potentially see Itachi in a romantic light. I will give it some more thought.
Swamps637: To answer your question, no. I decided to make the situation feel more human, Itachi like some people have trouble talking about their past traumas. And the girls, although curious and wanting to help. Decided they loved Itachi too much to force the information out of him.
Guest: I have considered for Itachi to teach the Hydrogenic Bomb Clone to Sona, yes. We'll see what happens I guess.
MorriganAensland: Well their opponent was a Dragon God of Infinity. Each of the sins will have more screentime, and also future arcs down the road. I will try and give more focus to Jack, but honestly her ability can sometimes be so OP that it is hard to write her into a long-lasting fight.
dragon . ghoul9707: Ophis knows every detail of Itachi's past, yes. Itachi kind of already is helping Issei a bit with some training for his future battles against Vali. And no, I don't think any enemies from Itachi's old world will appear. Rias has indeed evolved as a character, but she still has more growing to do. Thanks.
Guest: Thanks! And as for Itachi killing Katarea like that, Itachi doesn't have infinite patience. So eventually he will run out of it, and he just got sick of people ruining attempts at peace. That and something else might be in the works behind the scenes that made Itachi desire to kill Katarea increase.
XIII: Really? The way I see it Ophis having such a motive makes just more sense. She is so powerful there is nothing left for her to desire in this world. All except for the Dimensional Gap, and Great Red taking that from her would in my opinion lead someone like Ophis to such a goal. Of course, I might have other things added in here and there.
Krowe Carter: LOL XD
Drax152: Yeah, sorry but I don't think adding Xenovia to Itachi's harem would work. Even with the sharingan and Itachi's powerful bloodline, I think Xenovia in her mindset would be more impressed with a dragon. Seeing as Dragons are beings that represent power. And also, lol, I will fix that right up.
Fachi07: Yes, it was.
Guest: Thank you!