Ch 1: Reincarnation, Sweet!
So let me tell you about the best damn thing to ever happen to me.
Weird, right? Done in before I even graduated High School by a brain aneurysm, of all things. Didn't even have any of the usual per-existing conditions for it, just got hit with one when I was asleep, woke up incredibly disoriented with a killer headache and boom, dead.
I can't decide whether to be happy or sad that it wasn't a car that did me in...then again, considering my usual behavior, dying in a way completely at odds with most reincarnation stories seems perfectly in character…
I digress, by the time I finally shuffled my mortal coil I found myself alone, walking in green fields with the sun on my face...and no Russell Crowe to be my spirit guide, more's the pity.
Instead I'd shrugged and continued walking, figuring that if this was the afterlife...well it was a little boring, but not awful or anything like that.
Or maybe It'd just been Purgatory I ended up in…
"Nope, not Purgatory. More like the Universal waiting room."
I had whirled around, startled half to another death...and blinked in surprise at the sight that greeted me.
Three extremely beautiful women, all of them with curly brown hair and spotless white dresses...and smirks that suggested they had a Royal Flush after everyone else went all in.
I think I can be forgiven for not being the most verbose of people after dying, something the three women agreed with as they all giggled like I was a regular comedian.
"Hello, young man, and welcome to the beginning of your new life!"
That got a few confused blinks from me.
"Hey you got it in one! That's better than most people..."
"Well to be totally fair I'm still not entirely convinced this isn't some sort of psycho hallucination brought on by expired food and a late night."
They'd done that giggle chorus again as the lead woman who'd been doing all of the talking cheerfully announced, "Well don't you worry, we're as real as real can get! Now, on to business! I think you'll be happy to learn that since you died in a completely random manner, your soul was up for grabs and we're the ones who nabbed it!"
"Oh relax, would you? Just be glad you didn't end up in Ares or some other wackjob's grasp, THEY like to send people over to Warhammer 40K. Ick!"
I vaguely remember being in a state of complete and utter bewilderment, but the idiot side of my brain that was somehow understanding what the woman was telling me replied, "Wait, so it's not technically reincarnation, but putting people into other worlds? Please tell me your not putting me into something horrifying..."
More giggles had ensured.
"No worries! I-Laima-and my sistersKārta and Dēkla have decided to send you to the paradise world of Highschool DxD!"
...At the time I'd just been relived it hadn't been Attack on Titan or some other fucked up universe where horrible death was a constant bedfellow. While it had been awhile since I'd read or watched DxD, it's a light novel world.
As long as you're not an idiot, surviving comfortably wouldn't be too hard.
...And then the bombshell had been dropped.
"Hmm...ok, a bit of technical details before we get down to business. These 'alterante stories' like DxD, Warhammer, Harry Potter etc etc...they're static. Their events don't change unless something forces them to change...like a Reincarnated person from another world."
They'd had that card-shark smile once again.
"Here's the deal. We send you to DxD with a plethora of gifts and abilities...and in return you shake things up a bit, upset the status quo and give us something new to watch! Sound good?"
...Suffice to say that even if things had been a dream, I wasn't in any particular hurry to wake up.
The world of DxD, the land of rampant sex and power, where someone with a mild social maladjustment issue could thrive?
Sign me the fuck up!
"Ok, so what are these gifts and abilities we're talking about here?"
"Well for starters we're going to provide the basic necessities so that you're not wasting both of our times. A hidden mansion in the Underworld, Teleportation Circles and housekeepers all set to go within the premises...oh, and a training room. Gotta have a training room!"
...Shit, if this had been a dream I really didn't want to wake up!
"Lastly, three gifts from each of us...oh, and you have to decide what race you want to be! And feel free to get a little creative! While we can't make you a Dragon-Werewolf-Vampire-Devil-Angel-Yokai killing machine, we can bend the rules a bit. So ask away!"
I'd spent a few minutes deliberating before smirking as I came to a decision, the Goddesses patiently chatting amongst themselves while they waited.
"Ok, if I wanted to be part Dragon, part Human, would I be able to freely change between forms?"
"Sure, with a little practice. As for our gifts?"
A playful smile had come to my face.
"I want a list of every named character in the series that details the highlights of their life, as well as dates, times and locations of those same events. Can you do that?"
The three Goddesses had grinned, evidently catching onto my plan.
"Clever. Most probably would have just asked for the source material."
"Meh, you want me to change events anyway, right? Having knowledge of the people involved in these events will be more helpful than the alternative."
"Your second gift?"
"A set of Evil Pieces that are tied only to me, and don't have to be registered at the Devil's, uhh...you know, that place they have to register at."
This time the smirks were positively devious.
"So demanding~! We LIKE it! And your final gift before we send you on your way?"
This time my grin was in full on nerd mode.
"The Sacred gear Annihilation Maker."
"A novel choice! Ok, if that's settled we'll get the process started. You'll be quite a few years early so you have time to get used to your powers-as well as convince yourself that this is no dream-and for a few other tasks."
I'd offered a lopsided smile and replied, "Well, if this does turn out to be reality...then you have my sincerest thanks for it, Miss Goddesses. I foresee fun times ahead!"
The final giggle that marked our first and last meeting together had an unusually perverted tinge to it.
"Oh, before we forget! We made a few...changes to things that we think you'll enjoy. Have fun~!"
I didn't get a chance to ask what that meant before I was falling 'backwards' and well on my way to the best time of my life.
You know, I had initially been about to plan out a grand retelling of my first four years in the world of DxD...but with the benefit of hindsight, it wasn't all that spectacular or particularly interesting to read about.
Training to learn how to switch between my Dragon form and Human form, learning the ins and outs of my Sacred Gear's powers, exploring the Underworld and fighting the variety of beasts that inhabited it...it was just one long list of things that were of unparalleled importance to myself at the time, of fairly boring agency to anyone merely reading about it.
Ok, the Sacred Gear learning curve was actually pretty damn fun, but my debut usage of it deserves a proper reveal because sweet fuck it had been awesome!
Leonardo, you poor fool...you didn't take advantage of your Gear's 'cool' potential in the slightest.
Other than that there had been a few physical changes to get used too with this new body.
Such as the freaking tail and forked tongue.
I've lived with these things for four years and while the tongue took some getting used too-being almost four times as long as my old Human one and weirdly folding in on itself when inside my mouth-I'd gotten the hang of it.
The tail not so much.
It's like having a third arm or leg that only properly functions when you're feeling an emotion, or concentrating really hard on moving it. While I'm definitely a damn sight better than I was starting off it's certainly a work in progress.
You know, maybe I should start with where I think my life took a significant upturn for the better...namely, when I first started meeting my, well...wives? Mates? Girlfriends?
The point is, I was in friggin' Highschool DxD.
I had no idea if the practice of harems and openly sharing the genitalia was just a light novel embellishment or actual practices in the universe, but I was sure as Hell going to find out.
I mean, some of the hottest people in all of anime (at least when I still watched anime, I kinda lost interest a few years before my death), of all different races and body types and personalities and powers?
What thrill-seeking guy or gal wouldn't at least give it a shot?
Regardless, I'd gone over the list the Goddesses had given me with a keen eye, made plans, weighed pros and cons...and when I finally turned 14 (Growing up again had been a bizarre experience, let me tell yah) I was ready to begin my plan to uphold my side of the bargain and start screwing with the timeline.
One beautiful girl at a time.
Did I mention how much of a male power-fantasy my reincarnation was?
Five hours of fast flying tends to leave your lips a little chafed but I ignore the sensation, instead scanning the landscape below with a keen eye.
I resist the urge to start doing barrel rolls.
Four years and having a pair of retractable wings hasn't dulled the joy of flying in the slightest. If Humanity ever figures out the secrets of flight I think we'll be a much happier species overall because God DAMN it's fun!
...But shouldn't my target be around here? I mean it's way past time for them to be-
-a line of thickly grown trees rustles, followed by a flash of what I recognize as Demonic Power.
Retracting my wings briefly and entering free-fall the air whistles past me at higher and higher pitches until I finally get a good look at the desperate chase happening below me.
A pack of Hellhounds-large, canine predators exclusive to the Underworld-chasing Vali Lucifer, the beleaguered Devil obviously on his last legs as he wildly fires blasts of raw power over his shoulder.
Granted, in canon he makes it just fine to the Grigori border and is rescued by a Fallen patrol...but I think I'm going to make a better first showing here.
No more than 200 meters above ground I intently focus, forcing my body to shift, to elongate, muscle and bone expanding and hardening to better reflect my change into full-blown Dragon form.
I'd been ecstatic to find that my Dragon body looks quite a bit like King Dheginsea's from Fire Emblem does, an eight meter tall bipedal form with long tail, black scales, tan underbelly and a pretty all-around noble appearance.
The hounds never even see me coming, especially since I don't bother roaring or flaring my wings until the last second and by then it's way too late.
With a crash that rattles my fangs I pancake one of the hounds, my taloned feet smooshing it with a sensation that reminds me a bit like jumping on a pile of Cheerios and eggshells.
Sounds like it too…
The pack of eleven critters skids to a halt, confused yelps dominating the area-
-and I don't give them a chance to get their act together, my tail practically snapping one in half with a whistling strike as I take a deep breath...and breathe real goddamn emerald fire.
Breathing flames feels a bit like regurgitating spicy salsa but the results are so worth it, five Hellhounds giving panicked yelps before being roasted alive and setting a decent chunk of the treeline on fire. One of the enterprising critters tries to leap at my throat-
-but bladed fingertips ram into it's body, spearing the canine like some parody of shish kebab as I fling it's dying corpse into a nearby tree, snapping it's spine with a resounding CRACK!
The rest of the pack scatters after that, a pleased growl rumbling from my throat.
Heh, I'd never been all that averse to violence...being able to actually cut loose for a good cause is like a dream come true.
The Hellhound threat taken care of I turn back towards the collapsed Vali and take stock of his appearance.
Long, silver hair matted and snarled with dirt and tree branches that comes down to his butt and almost alarmingly pale skin, shockingly blue eyes staring up into my own emerald ones, a noble and angular face that appears to be about 12 or 13 years old.
Grey silk stockings that were probably at one point in excellent condition, now ripped and torn and stained with blood from several small lacerations on his feet, no doubt from running very fast on very rough terrain, Devil physiology or not.
A dress that comes to his knees of similar color, in a similar state of disrepair.
Oh, I'm sorry, did I say boy?
I meant girl.
Turns out the Goddesses of childbirth, marriage and women had picked a few select persons and swapped their gender, much to my interest.
Such as young Vallian Lucifer here.
Shifting out of my Dragon form with a soft scattering of light and embers I slowly approach the clearly frightened girl, my good cheer and euphoria vanishing rather quickly as she tries to pull herself away from me.
...It's one thing to enjoy violence, another thing entirely to watch something fear for it's life in such a helpless way.
...And it's no small punch in the gut that I swiftly realize that this is a real person, not the anime character that can survive a nuke to the face because plot armor.
Well, maybe they can, but right now that's not the problem.
Pitching my voice low I quickly kneel in front of her and softly say, "Don't worry, Miss, I'm not going to hurt you. Can you tell me your name?"
A moment of tense silence passes, the girl's eyes wide and shifty before she near-inaudibly whispers, "Vallian...Vallian Lucifer..."
Taking that as a good sign I focus on being as calm and easygoing as I can, relying on my natural ability as a Dragon to passively emit emotions, hoping the cocktail of relaxation and concern keeps her talking.
"Vallian, hmm? That's a good name. A strong one, too. If you don't mind me asking, what are you doing so far away from any signs of civilization, Vallian?"
For a moment I think she's going to clam up again...but thankfully she resumes her story with, "I...I ran away from home...I don't have a home..."
That last line is said in such a dismayed and broken tone that I find myself instinctively wincing.
...Looks like my plan of collecting a harem of damsels in distress is kaput. Not with the way every instinct and moral I have is screaming for me to make sure she's happy first, in my harem second.
Well I lasted all of about two minutes with that course of action…
"If you don't have a home, Vallian, would you like to stay at mine? It's safe and you can stay there for as long as you want. Free of charge, too."
Ok, that last bit was meant to be a joke but if the dead way she continues to stare at me is any indicator I think humor is lost on her at the moment.
Well, if she's not gonna say yes or no…
I gently reach down and scoop her into my arms bridal style, marveling at how light she is, like lifting a feather.
Thankfully she doesn't struggle, just continuing to stare with a wary resignation, prompting me to sigh.
Looks like I have a beautiful princess to make feel at home.
Taking to the skies with gentle flaps of my wings I try for a reassuring smile and say, "Well then, Miss Lucifer...you can call me Julian Esperanto. It's an honor to meet you."
As the title implies, this will be an utterly shameless, goofy and OP story that isn't really going to bother with narrative steaks. Instead it will deal with narrative fruits.
Expect the rule of cool and nerd culture to be the only guiding forces here.