Alrighty, I'm finally back. While I wanted to get this chapter out way earlier, there were complications concerning editor/beta readers free time so I was stuck waiting for them to get around to this chapter. Anyway, I have a few things to say so please read!
First of all, it was not our intention to start a -sort of- war in the review section. I feel like I should have known better than to talk about power levels. What my editor's review about the power levels was merely just a thought exercise when applying DBZ scaling to DxD. I just want to make that very clear. Because come on guys, let's be honest here. I'm not going to sit here and spout nonsense about how X series could possibly rival DBZ. In reality, nothing really does and when we start arguing about it no one wins and we all go home miserable at the end of the day. I guess to summarize, yeah, I'm going to be buffing DxD. Whether we're wrong or right about power scaling or feats really doesn't matter. All I want to do is write an entertaining story, and if realistic scaling between the two universes based on the source material is the deal breaker for you, then... sorry. I'm sure there are plenty of other stories you can read in replacement of this one.
If you're here expecting a stomp-fest where Gohan solos everything, then you're going to be sorely disappointed. I don't want to write that. I've read countless stomp fics since I discovered in this site in 2011 and quite frankly I've grown tired of them. They were fun and cathartic at the start but after a while they all tend to read the same and repeat boring tropes. I and my editors/beta readers have read them all before and we can predict what's going to happen before it even happens. Do you guys really want to see that? I don't.
However, that's not to say Gohan's going to be weak or nerfed. I think I make it very clear where he stands in this chapter, so I hope ya'll give it a shot.
(Post Update Edit: apparently I'm being shouted at by my main editor that there are errors all over the place. I'm assuming technical errors that slipped by? I don't know, expect tiny changes to wording soon.)
"You're a human!?" Rias and Akeno exclaimed in disbelief their eyes wide and jaws slightly dropped.
Gohan couldn't help but help crack a smile at their shocked expressions despite his situation. It was nice being in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere after the last three years. The ever-present weight of the incoming android attack had stopped him from ever truly relaxing.
Aside from that, he was quite enjoying his tour through the Lucifer Estate and eventually they took him outside to a well-kept garden with various stone statues depicting creatures of legend, along with fountains, and other artistic decor surrounding a large open area. Birds were chirping and a calm breeze mellowed the atmosphere. Rias had taken a seat on a white-painted bench under the shade of a tree while Akeno and Gohan sat on the soft grass.
It was here where they really got to know each other. Rias and Akeno had regaled him with stories about their lives. It was through these stories that he learned Akeno was Rias' newly reincarnated queen and had been picked up after she had been abandoned. He also learned that Rias herself was the heiress to the Gremory Clan. Neither revelation surprised him much, Akeno was almost like a second shadow to Rias, while the king herself basically radiated nobility.
Due to her circumstances, Akeno was rather shy and looked to Rias as her lifeline. From what Gohan understood of the situation Rias had basically adopted Akeno into her family and as far as he could see, treated her as a sister despite only knowing the girl for a short time. Rias' treatment of Akeno spoke greatly of her character and firmly cemented her as a kind person in Gohan's mind.
"Any member of my peerage is like family," she had said earlier and Gohan could confirm that it wasn't just lip service.
After the girls had finished discussing amongst themselves, the conversation naturally turned towards Gohan and his life. During his stories he had revealed his human origin to the girls, stunning them.
"Uh, yeah. Isn't it obvious?" Gohan asked sheepishly. As the words exited his mouth he realized it was a bit of a stupid question to ask, unless all the devils he had seen were hiding a grotesque form under a human guise then for all intents and purposes, they appeared human.
"I'm not very good at sensing power or energy signatures yet," Rias admitted, slightly embarrassed. Akeno nodded in agreement. Neither girl had been quite able to grasp it, though they were working on it together.
"Well, sorry to disappoint you!" Gohan laughed. "I'm not a devil, so I'm a little confused on what a peerage is. Is it okay if I ask?"
"It's fine," Rias replied happily. "Let's see, I explained to Akeno earlier, but since she already had some knowledge about our culture it was much easier to iron out the details. Hmm," the eleven-year-old princess hummed in thought, a hand on her chin.
"Maybe start with the basics?" Akeno suggested. Rias agreed, nodding at her queen's suggestion.
"You're familiar with Chess, right?"
"Yeah, I know it. I've never played it though."
"That makes things easier. So, the way a peerage works is that every high-class devil is given fifteen Evil Pieces which are like chess pieces. Eight pawns, two knights, two bishops, two rooks, and one queen. Finally, there's the person who owns the pieces and the most important member of the peerage, the king," Rias explained. Gohan was with her so far, nothing too complicated about that.
"The system was developed by one of the Satan lords to replenish the devils we lost in the Great War. If an Evil Piece is inserted into a person, they are reborn as a devil serving under their king as whatever piece they hold," Rias continued. Akeno took that moment to pitch in.
"As I told you before, I'm Rias' queen. I used to be a fallen angel, but now I'm a reborn devil and a part of the Gremory Household."
"Oh! So you're like a physical representation of a chess piece?" Gohan summarized. Akeno nodded, confirming his assumption. How a chess piece was capable of reviving and converting people to devils was still beyond him, but he got the gist of it. "That's kind of interesting. Do you have any other people in your peerage?" the boy asked. Rias smiled slightly, mischief dancing in her eyes, while Akeno giggled.
"Oh no, but are you offering to join? I would love to have you on-board."
"Uh," Gohan hummed momentarily, slightly caught off guard by the offer. Rias then summoned her Evil Pieces to her hands and showed them to Gohan.
"You said you're a martial artist, right?" Rias recalled, taking her two rook pieces. The son of Goku got a decent look at them. They exerted a strange energy that Gohan had never felt before.
"I bet you'd be a great rook!" she took another look at him, a thoughtful expression crossing her face. "I'm not very good at determining worth yet… my brother says it'll come with age, but… I wonder if you're powerful enough to take both my rooks?"
The hybrid warrior laughed nervously, unsure how to really respond to her. She just looked so… happy. However, he couldn't just give up his humanity and allow himself to be reborn as a devil. He had to get home. Thus, he lightly pushed away Rias' outstretched hand containing both her rook pieces.
"Sorry," Gohan said sympathetically. "I kinda like being human. I want to go home eventually and I live a long way away from here. If I became a devil, it would be a bit problematic," he reasoned. He then scratched the back of his head and smiled sheepishly. "Besides, I'm pretty sure my mom would kill me if I came home a devil!"
"Aw…" Akeno sighed dejectedly. Rias, despite also being slightly hurt by the rejection, smiled at the boy's positive attitude.
"No, it's fine," Rias started, laughing softly. "I should have considered your feelings. I apologize, I just got a bit excited," the redhead replied with a bright smile. Once again, Gohan was surprised by how human these devils seemed. "It's not often I get to meet such interesting people around my age."
"It's no big deal," Gohan chuckled, but as he looked closer there was a loneliness in her eyes. The half-Saiyan wasn't quite sure how to say it, but Rias had been so excitable at the thought of a new peerage member. Just by talking to her, he could see that she was extremely interested in every aspect of his character. Learning that he was human only seemed to amplify that. Learning that he was also half Saiyan would only multiply that interest.
"No, it's just that-" Rias stopped, her face contorting to an expression of annoyed confusion. She stood up and looked around, her body tense and anxious. Gohan was about to open his mouth to ask, but he too noticed something was off. There was a whisper in the wind. "It's quiet."
"Huh?" Akeno questioned, slightly confused. The half-Saiyan's instincts were starting to kick in, but the raven-haired girl was clearly not seeing the issue. "What's wrong?"
Something was very wrong.
The birds had stopped chirping, the water from the fountains had stopped running, all of the ambient noise had been cut off. Even the distant sound of the servants going about their duties had ceased. The air was tense, as if the atmosphere around them had gotten thicker.
Then came an unforgettable smell, one Gohan and Akeno knew intimately.
"Do you smell that?" Rias asked, her tone deadly serious. Her azure blue eyes flickered around the environment, determined to root out the cause. Akeno mirrored her King's actions while Gohan stretched his senses out wide. He was met by a haze, something that was blocking his ability to sense ki. barring Rias and Akeno, he couldn't sense anyone. Considering that Serafall, Sirzechs, and Grayfia shouldn't have been more than a couple hundred meters away and there should have been many servants nearby, that was concerning. Those three were basically lighthouse beacons. He should have been able to sense them anywhere, yet he was met with nothing. A chilling landscape void of energy.
The sickening metallic stench was something unmistakable to the boy warrior.
"We should head back to-" Rias started, only to fall into silence the moment she turned around. "Where's Akeno!?"
Gohan spun around in confusion. The raven-haired girl had been standing right next to him seconds ago. Yet now she was gone without a trace and he hadn't noticed a thing! The half-Saiyan's instincts kicked in, jumping to Rias' side and surrounding them in a barrier of his own energy. The yellow bubble of energy encased the two safely as they continued to survey the area, confused as to where their friend had gone.
"What is going ON!?" Rias demanded, her anger bubbling to the surface in the form of a crimson red aura. Her pale creamy skin, outlined with a violent black and red energy that looked almost like a calm flame. Her inner demonic energy was surprisingly potent if her power was anything to go by. However, she was nowhere close to the kind of power he had sensed the two Satan's were packing.
"No sign of her even moving. Not a word… not even a scream," Gohan growled, his eyes were furiously observing the area for any detail out of place. Not a single thing would escape his perceptive eye. Despite his skill, he could not figure out what was going on. Rias didn't seem to be faring any better than he was. A simple glance told him she was scared, but she was also worried about what he was doing.
"This barrier," Rias asked quickly. "Is it light? Are you someone from the Church? Light is harmful to devils," she explained very quickly, the building stress of the situation starting to get to her. Gohan shook his head.
"No, it's just my energy. It shouldn't be."
Rias hesitantly touched the inside of the barrier. To her relief, nothing happened.
"Okay… good," Rias took a deep breath, steeling herself in the process. "Whoever you are, I demand you show yourself! If this is some kind of game, it's not funny!" she yelled. Gohan waited with bated breath, despite not sensing anything in the area. He knew something was up, as Akeno's energy had vanished completely.
"Rias, I can't sense anyone nearby. Akeno's presence has completely vanished as well."
"Neither can I, but like I said, I'm not good at sensing things yet, so I wouldn't rely on my ability to detect threats."
Seconds later, flashes of white light erupted from every angle. Tendril-like appendages of lightning thundered towards the barrier Gohan had summoned. In unison, they slammed into the barrier, cracking it in the process. The half-Saiyan growled, pushing more energy into his defense to repair the damage done.
Rias had screamed and fallen over onto her backside from the shock. Gohan stood, unfazed by the sudden assault. His first thought was to discern where the attack had come from, however that proved to be impossible. It had come from every angle and he couldn't pinpoint the origin either. As frustrating as it was, the young warrior had only learned one thing in that brief moment. He had no choice but to stay on the defense.
"Look!" Rias called, pointing towards the sky. Gohan turned, looking over his shoulder and following her gesture. There was something strange in the sky. Some kind of purple haze was descending on the area. The sky itself was a completely different color, poisoned by whatever was doing this. Rias managed to get to her feet despite her visible fear. "We've been displaced…"
"What?" he asked, frustration leaking into his tone. "What does that mean?!"
She was cut off once again as a giant purple magical circle lit up under their feet. Gohan hadn't the slightest clue what it was, however, the look on Rias' face was nothing short of pure terror. Her bravado went out the door the moment she saw the glyph.
Gohan suppressed the urge to growl. He was getting really sick and tired of not knowing what was going on. Before he even had a chance to question her, the glyph exploded into pure light, blinding both him and Rias. There was familiar sickness in his stomach, the same one he got when he teleported with Grayfia and Serafall. Space warped and his body twisted as reality bent around him. It was a bizarre experience.
When the half-Saiyan warrior finally felt solid ground beneath his feet again, he risked opening his eyes. The moment he did, his jaw dropped in shock.
No longer was he in a garden courtyard in the Lucifer estate. No… wherever he was now, was far away from anything like that.
A barren wasteland surrounded him.
This was a desert, very similar to the one that his father had faced Vegeta in all those years ago, down to the orange, clay-colored rock formations that littered the area. The sky was tinted a strange purplish color. He wasn't sure what that meant. The Underworld's sky tended to change depending on what region they were in. Serafall's estate had a calming sapphire sky, while Sirzechs had the glow of a setting sun. This was… hard to find a comparison.
"Where are we?" Gohan asked, turning to his side. Rias was next to him, looking just as confused as he was. "That felt like teleportation magic," he said, recalling his previous experience with it.
"It was," Rias confirmed, looking doubly pale. One look at her and Gohan was certain she was a few steps away from vomiting. She was scared. He couldn't blame her. She had probably never experienced anything like this before. "That was… Norse magic. But, who would…?"
"Me, of course."
Rias and Gohan turned to the source of the voice. The moment they did, Gohan scowled. Another person he couldn't sense. An android, maybe? He had no idea who he was dealing with here, or more accurately what he had been dragged into. Despite not being able to sense her, the woman exerted a frightening aura. Gohan could swear he heard screams of various people echoing from where she stood despite her mouth being closed.
It chilled him to the bones.
The woman wore a sparkling obsidian dress with two olive green lines down the sides. She had deathly pale skin, almost ghost-like. Her hair was pitch black with silver highlights, loose and untied. In her left hand, she held a staff with disturbing engravings, topped with an intimidating skull at the head of the staff. Her eyes held a slight green glow to them and she was double the size of him.
"Seems Baldur is just as incompetent as ever," the woman sighed, unimpressed. Neither Rias nor Gohan had the chance to question her before another person spoke from behind them.
"I'm hurt," a male voice spat venomously. Turning, Gohan saw that this man was far different than the woman. He couldn't sense this man either. There had to be something to this! It was starting to unnerve him that he couldn't sense an ounce of energy from either of these people. These people didn't seem like androids… but then again, looks weren't everything.
This man was bald and had tattered rags for pants and worn footwraps. A worn grey cloak covered most of his body as he stood about two heads taller than the half-Saiyan warrior. His entire upper torso was exposed, allowing the world to see the many tattoos he had engraved into his flesh. It was as if his body was a blank canvas and a genius painter had turned it into a masterpiece. Every marking seemed to have a meaning, and it was pointless for Gohan to try and decipher they depicted.
Unlike the thin, slick woman, this man was well built and fit. His eyes burned with a golden light, glaring at the woman who had addressed him.
"Perhaps if your teleportation magic was as sharp as your disgusting mouth, you would have been able to specifically target the Gremory Heiress, Hel."
Gohan's scowl deepened. This had been a coordinated kidnapping, one he had obviously been caught up in unintentionally. The tendrils of light that had attacked his barrier before the teleportation had been for him, not for Rias. Who were these people? The names… Hel and Baldur. They didn't have any significance to him, however, his crimson haired friend seemed to have a different opinion. Just hearing the names, he could see her shake, fear gripping her intensely.
"If you had done as planned, I wouldn't need to," Hel countered with a dismissive tone. "We don't have time to bicker Uncle. Kill the boy and let us be on our way. If we linger, the Devil Kings will follow the trail left behind."
"Tch," the man spat. "Sloppy as always. You get that from your father."
"Enough," Hel growled. "If you haven't noticed, the only thing stopping the devils from pursuing us is my magic. If we continue to idle, that window of opportunity will cease. Do as you're told and kill the boy," she commanded. The man dubbed as Baldur muttered something inaudible before stalking towards Rias and Gohan. The half-Saiyan stepped protectively in front of her to meet the oncoming threat.
"I'll deal with them, you keep yourself safe," Gohan told her, leaving no room for argument. The surface of his skin started to glow white as he flexed his power. Rias wanted to protest, but the sudden tidal wave of energy she quite literally felt roll off Gohan stunned her into submissive silence.
"I don't have any qualms with you, human," Baldur said, stopping a few feet away from Gohan. "I would prefer not to kill you, but if you stand in my way. I will not hesitate," he finished, his form being engulfed in a golden light. It wasn't anything like a Super Saiyan. His body quite literally shone like a sun. Gohan hadn't seen anything like it, but it wasn't blinding enough to look away. Still, despite the impressive display, he couldn't sense an ounce of power from the man.
"What do you want with Rias? Where's Akeno!?" the young warrior demanded.
"None of your business," the man growled. "I suggest you return to the human world. Last chance."
"I grow tired of this talk!" Hel snapped. "If you do not kill the boy, I will."
"If you intend to kidnap Rias," Gohan responded, ignoring the woman's outburst. "Then it is my business. I won't let you take her!"
Seconds passed before the man gave off a response. There was a low growl in his throat as he opened his mouth to speak, his tone low and gruff.
"So be it."
Baldur dashed forward in a flash of light, one Gohan didn't have too much trouble tracking. With a raised forearm, he blocked the man's light-infused punch. There was surprising weight behind it but not enough to really give the boy pause. A quick counter was all Gohan needed to slip through the man's guard. Shifting his weight forward, he batted the man's arm away and sunk his fist into Baldur's stomach.
The force of Gohan's punch exerted a small shockwave radiating out from his extended fist, forcing his enemy back. The ragged man skidded across the rocky terrain, kicking up debris until he came to a standstill. With a single punch, the boy had put some distance between him and his opponent. Hel merely raised her eyebrow, while Rias stood speechless.
Her new -very human- friend had… overwhelmed the Norse God of Light!
Baldur tilted his head slightly, clearly intrigued by this turn of events. He wasn't damaged at all, despite the solid body shot he had taken. Cracking his neck in anticipation, he charged in without warning and engaged Gohan once more. The boy decided to meet the man head-on, determined to take the initiative.
As Rias watched the fight unfold, she couldn't help that her mouth was hanging wide open in awe. Baldur and Hel were Gods. Norse Gods of Light and Death respectively. They were among the strongest of the Norse Pantheon, and yet… here was this human, exchanging blows with a Deity. It was impossible! What Gohan was doing right now was absolutely absurd!
The two clashed once again, a crater forming beneath the combatants with Gohan coming out on top again. However, despite all the hits he was taking, Baldur didn't seem at all phased. Deities were much harder to kill than regular supernaturals, as they were literal forces of nature possessing an immortal soul, as opposed to the flesh and blood bodies most other occult beings possesed.
Very little apart from other gods or sacred gears tended to hurt them.
"Who is this boy?" Rias heard Hel mutter sourly. The crimson princess turned her attention away from the fight to the immobile Goddess. She was observing the fight with a clear distaste in her eyes. It was then the Goddess noticed that the Gremory Heiress had turned her attention to her. "Well? Are you going to answer my question or stand there like some kind of shell-shocked fool?"
"Why are you after me?" Rias demanded, changing the subject. Hel rolled her eyes dramatically.
"They get stupider every generation…" Hel mused, gazing at Rias who clearly took offense to her remark. "Why do you think, little girl? The Underworld is ruled by fakes, one of the most powerful happens to be your brother," she explained disinterestedly. "I have my own reasons for this endeavor, as does my petulant uncle. To get what we want, we have to execute this laborious task… it really is beneath me," Hel sighed dramatically.
Rias turned once more to see how the fight was progressing, just in time to watch Gohan uppercut the god, then kick him into a rock formation. The boy landed with perfected skill. There were some very minor cuts on his body, but nothing that seemed to bother the young fighter.
"So you're just going to stand there while my friend beats Baldur around like a pinata?" Rias mocked lightly. Despite her jab, she got no reaction out of Hel.
"My skills are preoccupied," Hel dismissed her with a wave of her hand. "Besides, the boy is flesh and blood. He will tire eventually. Baldur is a god. It would be humorous to even consider the notion that he could meet his end at the hands of a human child," she continued. Her eyes closed briefly, allowing a controlled sigh to escape her lips. "Additionally, I refuse to sink to the level of fighting in such a brutish manner. Engaging in combat like this is insulting to someone of my stature."
"I can't tell if that's your ego talking, or your fear," Rias quipped with a smirk. Hel's lip curved downwards, a dangerous glint in her eyes.
"Watch your tongue if you do not wish to lose it, little girl."
"Why should I take your threats seriously when you just stand there and refuse to fight?" Rias mocked haughtily, feeling a little more courageous. Summoning a good portion of her Destruction magic to her hands, she hurled it at the Goddess, only to find that the obsidian-crimson energy of her attacks withered and died before they got anywhere near their target.
Not that Rias was surprised. To fight a Goddess was far above what she was capable of, but she couldn't stand around and do nothing!
"Foolish girl," Hel muttered, raising a single hand. A pool of darkness erupted from Rias' feet and wrapped around her tightly, pinning her arms to her side. She let out a scream as the tendrils of darkness lifted her off the ground. "Be silent," the Goddess commanded. A mass of congealed darkness floated up to Rias and covered her mouth.
"Rias!" Gohan called out, blocking another easily telegraphed attack from Baldur. He spun, carrying the man with him and catapulting him toward the stationary woman. Her form flickered and appeared a few meters to her left, dodging Baldur's body with ease. The man hit the ground and tumbled, laughing maniacally all the way. "This guy… he's mad!" the Saiyan child muttered under his breath. None of his attacks seemed to have any real effect.
Was he really going to have to use Super Saiyan here? The way Baldur just kept recovering after every attack was leading Gohan to believe the man was some kind of immortal or possessed a ridiculous healing factor. He knew Piccolo had a very impressive one alongside Cell, and, considering the hits he was shrugging off, Baldur as well.
"Must I get involved?" Hel asked no one in particular. She slowly turned her head to Baldur, watching as he pushed himself to his feet. "I would hate to call for reinforcements, Uncle," she hissed dangerously. "Is the God of Light not enough to deal with a mortal boy?" she mocked. The tattooed man turned and stared at her with a smug grin, as if to convey that she had no idea what she was talking about. She scowled back at him, nothing made her angrier than silent implications of ignorance.
"That boy…" Baldur chuckled, shaking his head. "He is no ordinary boy. He is a warrior. My brothers would like him very much."
"I care not for your tripe!" she exclaimed, frustration with her incompetent partner boiling over. "Kill him now or admit your uselessness, it matters little which route we take. We already have the girl."
"I don't think so!" Gohan launched into the air, crossing his hands above his forehead. A bright yellow ball of energy sparked to life. "Masenko!"
The blast worked as intended. Hel and Baldur immediately evacuated the area, cutting the magical bonds that had ensnared Rias. The force from the blast sent her spiraling, but she was swiftly caught by Gohan before she was injured. He placed her back on her feet, despite her clear bewilderment. Meanwhile, the two Gods stood a far distance away from the smoking crater, glaring at it intensely.
"'Mortal boy' my arse…" Baldur mocked lightly, turning to Hel and grinning at her shell shocked expression. "Anything else you want to say? I'd be happy to stand here and wait for you to spew more nonsense, this is fun for me."
"Enough!" Hel boomed. Her staff glowed an ominous obsidian. A dome of darkness surrounded the entire clearing, blocking out the wasteland entirely. In a few seconds, it was as if they were standing in the vacuum of space. "I grow tired of these games! Meet your end here, impudent child!"
At that moment, an overwhelming chill invaded Gohan's body. His vision blurred and his ki dropped. He lost sight of Rias, Hel, and Baldur, only seeing mirages of himself. Everywhere he looked he saw death, his own body twisted and broken beyond recognition in more ways than he could count. Some had missing limbs, others had no eyes, and the vile stench of blood permeated the air.
"What is… happening?" Gohan's head was swimming, everything felt so terribly wrong. When the mangled versions of himself all turned their heads toward him simultaneously, he nearly screamed. Then they spoke.
Hel's voice echoed from within the bodies surrounding him, and for some reason he felt compelled to obey her command. All the air escaped from his lungs as he fell to his knees, the voices growing louder, continually demanding his submission. The son of Goku felt his skin crawl, a stinging sensation growing throughout his entire body. It was as if a thousand needles were slowly piercing his skin all at once.
"Your soul belongs to me. Obey and wither."
"No…" he thought hazily. Gohan knew he had to resist, but each word Hel spoke seemed to hold immense power, sapping his will to fight. This had to be some kind of illusion, but he could very clearly feel the energy being drained from his body. If this continued, the conclusion was obvious.
"Your body will crumble. The sands of time will consume you!"
"DEATH COMES FOR YOU!"
Gohan allowed his ki to explode, a desperate attempt to escape whatever had imprisoned him in this nightmare. Through the darkness, a golden light erupted around the boy as he screamed. His hair sparked into a brilliant blonde as his eyes shifted to a sea green. His muscles bulged and his resolve returned to him tenfold.
Throwing his hands above his head, he let out another primal roar, his ki expanding from his body in a wave of light. The darkness was blown away, revealing Hel and Baldur standing the same place they had been. With the vacuum of death expelled from the surrounding area, Gohan stood in all his glory, clad in that golden light. His attention was locked onto the two self-proclaimed 'Gods' with a steel gaze.
"I don't know what that was," Gohan hissed angrily. "But I'll make sure you don't get the chance to do it again."
"Gohan!" Rias called out. Her voice was shaken, many conflicting emotions surging through her. Just when she thought Gohan was done for, he had erupted out of the darkness clad in a golden aura. She couldn't even sense his power properly. However, she didn't need to. It was so overwhelming and despite it looking somewhat holy in origin, the light coming from Gohan wasn't hurting her in the slightest. In fact, quite the opposite…
It felt warm… and protective.
Despite the situation, Rias felt… safe.
"H-he escaped my Purgatory spell," Hel murmured in disbelief. No one could escape that. No one should be able to escape that. That spell was magic which inflicted the concept of death itself onto the target, an inescapable end regardless of strength. She'd been preparing it in the background just in case one of the Satans showed up. With her energy split between multiple spells simultaneously, it wouldn't have been enough to kill one of them, but it certainly would have slowed them down long enough for an escape to be made.
If the boy was able to escape that spell… his power was Satan class at the least!
More to the point, this mission was a complete failure. There was no way that the Gremory Heiress could be captured now with a protector of this caliber. Her dismissive arrogance had all but evaporated now, replaced by something she refused to acknowledge outwardly.
Baldur growled, acting quickly. He summoned a fair bit of his power and shot a bright flare into the sky. Things were about to get bloody. Judging from just how much the boy had physically changed, he knew this was serious. Baldur didn't like to label himself as arrogant like the other Gods. He was a tortured soul, cursed to live an unfeeling life by his mother. It had driven him to the edges of madness, but it was at times like these where he felt normal again.
To face power like this… for some reason, he felt like he was close to something beautiful. Whatever it was he couldn't tell, but he loved this feeling. Despite all this, he was no fool. Hel had vastly underestimated their opponent. A typical move for a child of Loki. He loathed to even think of the name 'Loki'. There wasn't another person he hated more than that man than maybe his own mother.
Uncertain of the outcome of this next fight, he thought it safe to call for backup. He couldn't risk being captured. There was something he needed, and the only person that could get it for him was the leader of this organization.
A distant howl echoed across the barren wasteland, causing Baldur to smirk. It was true that both his and Hel's powers were possibly no match for the young warrior, but it mattered not. No matter how strong this boy could become, at the end of the day...
He was still human.
Fascinated, Rias crept closer to Gohan, entranced by this new form and the protective aura he emitted before the young warrior raised his arm up to stop her.
"Rias. Just stay back," Gohan warned, taking a step toward his enemies. "This area isn't safe for you. Find somewhere to hide."
Then he was gone.
"Where did he…?!"
The entire wasteland was suddenly painted in a sapphire blue light. From the sky, Gohan appeared with his hands cupped, charging an incomprehensible amount of power into an attack that shone like a blue sun. Baldur retaliated by launching a wave of light at the boy, intending on warding off the attack. Whatever power the child warrior was in possession of was clearly not normal by mortal standards. It was power akin to a Longinus. In fact…
It made most users of the famous Longinus Sacred Gears look like jokes.
Gohan had barely launched the attack and Rias was already blown off her feet. Wild winds buffeted her harshly as she tumbled hundreds of meters away from the blast zone. She instinctively pulled out her devil wings and took to the sky in an attempt to save herself from the rocky terrain. Although, now that she was in the air, she had a new problem to deal with. Just staying upright and stable was incredibly difficult with force of the wind.
A brief glance back at the battleground revealed...
It was gone!
The entire plateau they had been on previously was completely vaporized by Gohan's attack.
"Your power…" Baldur trailed off as the half-Saiyan slammed into him mid-air. The male God couldn't fathom where all this strength was coming from. Although, he wasn't scared in the slightest. No matter how much damage this boy could do to him, his revolting curse would protect him from harm and allow him to keep fighting. Yet, the Norse deity of Light had to ask the question, his curiosity piqued. "Where did you acquire it?"
"What's it to you?" Gohan retorted, blocking a kick. Pushing the God off, he retreated hastily in time to watch a wave of pure darkness erupt from Hel and thunder past where he had been seconds ago. The child warrior fired off a few dozen blasts at where Hel was standing, forcing her to reposition under a fierce cloud of smoke and fire. Without even sensing the man, Gohan instinctively ducked his head and watched an outstretched arm sail over his head, leaving a vulnerable opening in Baldur's defense.
Ramming an elbow into the man's stomach, Gohan crippled the god temporarily, allowing him enough time to spin and deliver a bone-shattering kick to the ragged man's jaw. The shockwave from the impact ripped through the wasteland as Baldur shot backward. Crashing through rock formations like they were made of glass, the tattooed man managed to halt his movement, regaining control over his body.
Gohan hadn't moved to take advantage of the position he had been in. It intrigued the God of Light.
"Fascinating," Baldur murmured, snapping his jaw back into place. It was disturbing to the young fighter just how effortlessly the man did so. Not a shred of visible pain was shown from him. Was it even possible to kill him? It didn't matter either way, he had no need to kill Hel and Baldur, he outclassed them so completely that if he kept his guard up they weren't much of a threat. All had to do was find a way to guarantee Rias' safety. "You are not human, are you?"
"I don't see why I should tell you anything," the nine-year-old's retort was cold and impassive, causing a small smirk to appear on his opponent's face.
Baldur straightened up and laughed, his divine aura encompassing him. It was a calm, radiant white light that circled him like a silent flame. It was much less violent than Gohan's own golden aura. Any wound he had on his body disappeared immediately, leading Gohan's frown to deepen. Seriously, he was getting tired of fighting people who had a healing factor. It was just unfair.
"You don't have the power to kill me, child," Baldur stated calmly, a smile on his face. Gohan raised an eyebrow at that. It was a bold claim. If he tried to access his ascended form, he could no doubt put Baldur in the ground. However, killing was something Gohan detested. He'd avoid it at all costs. "If you did, you would have done so already."
"I don't like killing," Gohan snapped back in annoyance. "I don't have a reason to kill you, so don't give me one. Just let Rias and I go."
"Even so, you couldn't. I've already seen my death," he revealed. This threw the boy for a loop. What could he possibly mean by that? "I do not die this day little fighter, and you are most certainly not the one that puts an end to me."
"What are you talking about?" Gohan demanded. Baldur just chuckled.
"Do you really know nothing of our culture? Strange, but not wholly unsurprising. Allow me to reintroduce myself; my name is Baldur, one of the eldest sons of Odin. On the day of my birth, there was a prophecy. My death marks the end of all worlds and the beginning of Ragnarok. It's not exactly a well-kept secret among our Pantheon."
"Ragnarok…?" Even the word gave the boy chills. Gohan shook them off, dismissing it as the ramblings of a lunatic. The notion of a prophecy protecting someone from death before a certain time was absurd and borderline ridiculous. "I'm not convinced. Call me a skeptic but I don't buy it!"
"You don't have to believe it. I know what's to come. My death has been laid out in front of me! I fall at the hands of a demon so powerful, so evil and twisted that even the gods don't dare speak its name! A true monster in every sense of the word, an amalgamation of every nightmare in existence!" Baldur proclaimed spreading his arms out wide, his power increasing around him. "I've seen it. The beginning of Ragnarok! Worlds will burn and mass extinction lies in its wake!"
Gohan floated a few meters away from him. Baldur sounded like a madman with the way he had boldly proclaimed his own death. It was almost like he was proud to know that he dies in such a way.
"I've heard enough!" Gohan snapped, charging at the man. Streaks of golden light littered the sky as Gohan and Baldur clashed.
Just like before, Rias could barely see what was happening. Even so, despite Baldur clearly trying much harder than he was, her new warrior friend seemed to be dominating the god. Hel had appeared on the top of a rock formation a long way from the fight. From what Rias could see, she was building her own power. A pitch black hurricane of pure magical energy started to form around her.
The two Norse Gods seemed completely occupied with Gohan that they had forgotten about Rias.
A thought then occurred to the heiress; should she run? Her friend was giving her an opportunity to get away, but it didn't seem like there was anywhere to run to. Every horizon just seemed to stretch on to more wasteland. This was clearly one of the uninhabitable zones that had formed due to the Devil Civil War.
Just one of many. A good portion of the Underworld had been completely annihilated.
A brutal shockwave ripped through the land as a golden light fell out of the sky and hit the unforgiving terrain below it. Baldur had seemingly been knocked out of the fight and had lost consciousness before he had hit the ground. Rias saw Gohan turn in the sky and launch a volley of energy at Hel that swallowed her up in a cloud of smoke. The crimson princess watched with bated breath as her new friend descended from the sky with a calmness about him that any nine-year-old in this situation shouldn't have.
Hel appeared next to Baldur in a black flash of magical energy. Her body was scarred and her dress nearly ripped to shreds. She had cuts and bruises all over her body and the corners of her mouth were leaking blood. Rias steeled her nerves and flew closer to get a better view, despite knowing that it was probably a bad idea.
Gohan was in far better shape, despite sporting his own minor injuries. Half of his upper shirt was torn and a small gash over his left eyebrow had formed, leaving a small trail of blood to drip down his face. However, he didn't look tired in the slightest. His stamina was still in tip-top form from what Rias could see.
"Incredible… he's just a human and he's fighting off two Norse deities!"
"You little brat," Hel hissed. Gohan remained determined and he held her livid gaze in his own.
"You brought this on yourself," he chided. "I have no reason to kill you. Just leave us alone. We both know what will happen if we continue this fight."
"We're gods," Hel snapped arrogantly. "Do you think we are just going to bow our heads and turn tail because you allow us to do so!?" she roared, her deathly aura expanding violently. The son of Goku couldn't place his finger on what exactly it meant to be a God. So far, these guys didn't fight like any of his previous foes. Baldur was a brawler with no real technique. Sure, the man was incredibly powerful considering he was forced to transform into a Super Saiyan and subsequently Baldur had started taking the fight more seriously.
Despite that, Gohan didn't find fighting him any easier or harder than before. What defined a God in this strange universe? Did it have something to do with the fact that he couldn't sense them? Whatever it was, it was only a minor frustration, his raw speed allowed him to outpace his enemy with ease and he could predict his opponent's sloppy attack patterns. Baldur was durable and strong, but Gohan's skill and raw power far outclassed the god.
Something that Gohan did note, was that a good portion of the ragged man's power came from light. It was almost thematic, seeing as Hel's power seemed to correlate to shadows and… death.
"I don't care what you are," the prodigy child replied uncaringly. "If you won't listen to reason and my warnings, I will kill you," he finished, remembering Android Sixteen's final words to him. He could only give so much leeway and warning before action must be taken. He had pleaded with Cell, begged even. Fighting was not something he loved in this sense. Not this way. Killing was abhorrent in his mind. However, if his battle with Cell taught him anything…
"There are those who words cannot reach."
Sometimes lives must be taken for the good of all others.
A tough pill to swallow, but ever since he could walk evil had been a constant presence. The only time it was ever truly vanquished, was when blood was spilled.
A terrifying howl echoed across the wasteland, causing Gohan to shift his attention to the surrounding area. It was loud, enough to shake the ground beneath his feet. Something was coming, and judging by smug expression on the goddess' face it was hostile. Despite that, he still couldn't sense any threat coming his way. Whatever it was, it was like the two people he had been fighting. The half-Saiyan was starting to get frustrated that his skill in sensing opponents was failing him so badly here.
"You should care," Hel chuckled menacingly, as if she knew something Gohan didn't. "I can't fathom how a brutish child like you has obtained such power. Whether it's some kind of Scared Gear or not is unimportant, but you should have never trampled on a god's pride," she spat, standing up straight. Her glare intensified as the warrior child turned back to her, his eyes narrowing. "How dare you stand your ground against someone like me. You should be groveling at my feet!"
"Not even Vegeta was this arrogant," the hybrid thought. He used to think Vegeta was the pinnacle of hubris. Now that spot had been subsequently replaced by Hel.
Hel's anger suddenly quelled, much to the half-Saiyan's surprise. Gohan watched her inhale and calm herself. Even with all her injuries, she still stood tall as if they didn't bother her. A newfound strength seemed to radiate from her as she ran a hand through her hair. The child warrior's hairs began to stand on end as a chilling dread began crawling up his spine. She knew she was beaten, so why the sudden change in attitude?
It had to have something to do with the howl.
"You will," she sighed pleasantly. "Any moment now, you will learn why we gods are feared," Hel continued, chuckling ominously. "Impudent little boy, the grains of sand in your hourglass are about to run out."
"GOHAN, WATCH OUT!" he heard Rias scream from a distance. He spun, his eyes locking onto the top of a nearby cliff. A giant shadow loomed, dark as the night sky. Feral eyes gleaming yellow as the creature peered down at the boy. The half-Saiyan immediately shifted into a defensive stance after seeing the giant monster. It was easily twenty times the size of him! It's fangs gleamed dangerously, dripping with saliva, as if the beast was hungry to consume.
He heard Hel burst into laughter once more.
"Fenrir!" she commanded. "KILL HIM!"
Instantly, the giant wolf exploded off the top of the rock formation. The monstrous wolf's speed, shocking even Gohan. He hadn't expected something so big to move that fast. He had less than a few seconds before the beast was upon him, but that still gave him plenty of time. He tried to move but found himself paralyzed completely. Shadows had crept up around his feet while he had taken his attention off Hel.
She had ensnared him!
"I can't get free!" Gohan thought, his heart racing. Once again, he could hear the blood pumping throughout his body. If he had enough time to summon the energy to ascend, he would, but Fenrir was already on him. It was as if time had frozen. His legs and lower torso were trapped, bound to the ground by dark tendrils. Powering up as fast as he could, the dark bonds binding him to the spot loosened under the strain of his immense energy.
In a frantic attempt to stave off his attacker he threw his fist forwards into the beasts open maw, completely shattering one of the deadly fangs. However, despite the agonized howl, the maw closed around his shoulder. God-killing fangs sunk into Gohan's shoulder, despite the insurmountable energy he was surrounded with. His eyes were glazed over in shock as the monster tore through skin, bone, and muscle in a single instance.
It was a bizarre feeling, one Gohan couldn't describe at all.
His vision was waning as it was quickly overtaken by a red haze, unbearable pain flooding his body. He tried desperately to scream but nothing came. He could feel Fenrir's hot breath around his shoulder. Suddenly, without warning, the monster dropped him. He hit the ground, the shadow that had caught him finally dissipating.
The world became cold, his body was numb.
What was happening?
Why was the world spinning?
What was going on?
Why was he even here?
Who was he?
There was a smell, a taste… it was… metallic and thick. He knew this smell, this taste.
Two figures suddenly covered his vision. He saw… Rias and…
Serafall? What was she doing here? He saw their mouths open and close but no words came out of them. The world around him was silent and cold. So cold. They were both crying. Why? Everything was okay, wasn't it?
He was tired. So very tired.
He needed to rest. He'd talk to them when he woke up. He closed his eyes, despite being shaken.
Gohan was sure he'd wake up.
Blood stained the ground beneath the lifeless child, gingerly held by the first person he had met when arriving in this world not a day earlier.
"GOHAN!" Serafall cried, desperation straining her voice.
The boy's life slipped away as the dirt and rock beneath him pooled in his own blood. The hole in his shoulder was so big they could see the ground he was lying on through his body. Bone had been severed cleanly along with muscle. Blood was streaming out of the boy's mouth, his blonde hair shifting back to black the moment his heart stopped.
The Leviathan's voice was barely audible.
They had arrived too late.
Akeno alerted them to what was happening after they'd found her nearly unconscious in the courtyard. The moment Hel's magic had vanished they were able to pinpoint where Rias and Gohan had been taken, but they only arrived just in time to see Fenrir bite down on Gohan, draining the boy's life rapidly. God-killing power was something Fenrir was feared for. Hel had been laughing until she was immediately crushed by Ajuka Beelzebub's monstrous power. She had been too busy lording over her victory to notice that the Underworld's most powerful had arrived on the scene.
One by one, multiple Devil houses teleported in, news of Rias Gremory's abduction having spread like wildfire. Those loyal to House Gremory arrived to give their support, the Sitri clan among them. A fierce blast from Serafall's magic caused Fenrir to retreat, only to be captured by Sirzechs and Grayfia. The giant wolf was being pinned to the ground, howling in agony as blood streamed from his mouth where Gohan had shattered one of its teeth.
The entire Underworld was in an uproar in a matter of moments.
"How!?" Hel demanded. She looked around, panic clear on her features. One of the Devil Kings, Falbium Asmodeus had picked up the unconscious Baldur and thrown him over his shoulder. The rough bald man regarded her briefly before vanishing in a flash of purple light, clearly taking the god away for questioning. "How did you get past my magic!? You should all be-"
"Save your excuses for someone who cares. I'm sure those in Asgard will be very interested to hear what you have to say," Ajuka sighed. A quick blast to the back of her head rendered her unconscious. "I will return shortly once she is secure," the Beelzebub informed the group casually, walking over to Fenrir. Placing a hand on the gigantic wolf, he teleported both himself, Hel, and the God Slaying monster to a more secure part of the Underworld.
"All of the assailants are in custody," Grayfia declared, looking around. "I will inform Lord Odin of this immediately, Master," she bowed. Sirzechs gave no verbal response as his wife turned and teleported away. The man walked over to the deceased boy, one he had been talking with pleasantly no more than an hour ago. His fists curled, an uncharacteristic move for someone as controlled as he was. Son Gohan had been inside the seemingly safe vicinity of his home, arguably the most secure place in the Underworld.
Yet he had been caught up in one of the boldest attempts at a kidnapping in recorded history. It was insulting to even comprehend how it had taken them this long catch up. Sirzechs hadn't realized it, but he started glowing in anger, his true form nearly being released. Of all the assailants to stage a kidnapping attempt… two Norse Gods and one of the most dangerous monsters ever birthed.
Whoever wanted his little sister must have pulled out all the stops to ensure that this endeavor would succeed. It was fortunate that they didn't account for this boy. A human so powerful he would have made all the heroes of legend look like inadequate monkeys. Yet, despite all the power he had, there was no way he could have survived a bite from Fenrir.
Fangs that could kill even the strongest of gods.
The poor boy hadn't been in the Underworld longer than a day.
He had made friends with his younger sister, and made a very positive impression on him as well. Sirzechs Lucifer did not truly know Son Gohan nor his history. The child was a stranger to him, as well as Serafall.
The King of the Underworld grieved all the same. As did all around him.
"Search the area for any others," Sirzechs commanded. "If there are, I want them found."
A good portion of the devils that had arrived to support them took to the skies and began searching the barren wasteland high and low.
He turned back to Gohan's body, both Rias and Serafall kneeling on either side of him. The sky thundered, a dangerous storm brewing on the horizon. A fitting backdrop for such a horrific day. There was a pit of guilt in the man's stomach. He had promised to help find the boy a way back to his home. Yet, in the same day, he had foolishly allowed Gohan's life to slip away.
It had been a coordinated effort to kidnap his sister, by two Norse Gods no less. It was a confirmation of the existence of the Khaos Brigade. How they had managed to influence two incredibly powerful deities from the Norse Pantheon was beyond him. Another question plaguing him was why would the two gods stoop as low as kidnapping? He had dealt with Hel and her ilk before. Their arrogance was unbound. Baldur was a different story altogether.
As far as he was concerned, Baldur was loyal to Odin, and the Underworld happened to be in good standing with Asgard.
No matter, he would discover the reasons himself later.
"Rias," Sirzechs heard Serafall say. "What are you doing?" the Leviathan asked, her voice devoid of most emotion. The crimson princess in question had summoned her Evil Pieces into her trembling hands without saying a word. She looked between her remaining pieces with glassy eyes, trying to determine which one to use on her new friend. The watery eyes made it rather hard for her to focus.
"I'm saving him," she responded simply, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
"He's already gone, Rias," Serafall tried to say, however the young Heiress was having none of it.
"I'M NOT LETTING HIM DIE LIKE THIS!" she screamed in denial. Sirzechs and Serafall watched as Rias tried a knight piece, only to have it rejected almost immediately. She doubled up, only to watch in anguish as her pieces were rejected almost immediately after entering his body. She tried everything, sinking in as much of her demonic power as she could to try and revive the boy. However, it proved to be a fruitless endeavor.
Both rooks, bishops, knights and all eight pawns were rejected.
Upon her final failure, Rias burst into tears. Her screams of misery echoed off the still wasteland. She barely knew Gohan. She wanted to get to know him more and hang out. He was so nice, caring, and strong. He… he gave his life for her, despite barely even knowing her. What kind of person does that!? What kind of boy was Gohan, to give his life for someone he barely even knew!? Why did it tear her up so much inside to feel his body grow colder?
"It's n-not fair," she muttered, turning to her older brother. Lady and Lord Gremory finally walked up to the group, having witnessed the display from afar. They gently took Rias and pulled her to her feet. The girl couldn't seem to control her tears. A bright flash and Ajuka Beelzebub returned to the scene, having dealt with Hel and Fenrir respectfully. He glanced at the corpse of the fallen boy, grimacing slightly. Rias finally managed to find the proper words to address her brother. "Please… do something."
"Is there nothing that can be done?" Zeoticus Gremory asked, resting a hand sympathetically on Rias' shoulder. "The boy… he saved Rias."
"He did," Sirzechs commented as Grayfia returned to his side in a crimson flash. She gave him a curt nod, silently telling him that Asgard had been informed of the events that had transpired. She returned to staring at the boy, having noticed that Rias had tried to use her Evil Pieces to revive him, only to end in unsurprising failure. "If I had the pieces available, I would resurrect him myself," the Lord of Hell explained, exhaling in an exasperated manner. He could see the look on Rias' face twist into silent rage. "However, I am certain, given what we all sensed that I do not have the power nor pieces to spare to bring Son Gohan back from the dead."
"Not even you…?" Venelana Gremory asked, slightly bewildered. Sirzechs sighed once more.
"Perhaps if I had all eight of my pawns. Some of them would even have to be mutated pieces. Even then…" he trailed off. Looking at the boy, he couldn't help but frown. The sheer power exerted could be felt from all over the Underworld. Even if the child could be resurrected into a devil, his power would only multiply. It was a scary thought. This human child had fought off two Norse Gods, only to be cut down by one of the most terrifying creatures in all nine realms.
Just a normal human boy, with no Sacred Gear.
To even imagine the kind of strength he could gain if he were revived… it would be beyond comprehension.
"We have to do something," Serafall stated finally. All attention turned to her as she lifted Gohan's head onto her knees. With a steady breath, she summoned her Evil Pieces, shocking the group around her. "I refuse to send him home in a casket. I don't think I would be able to face his family if I let this be his final resting place. Better a devil than dead."
"Serafall...!" Ajuka exclaimed, shocked at her actions. She, on multiple occasions, had declined to consider a peerage. She was the only Satan without one. The Leviathan was known across the entire Underworld as being the strongest female devil alive, and one who proudly refused a peerage. To think… she was going to change one of those things now was almost unthinkable! After hundreds of years, for this boy!?
"Are you sure?" Sirzechs stated, his tone serious. "I may tease you a lot for not having a peerage, but it always seemed like something you took pride in," he continued, watching as she took all eight of her pawns. She fingered each pawn carefully, as if carefully contemplating what she was really about to do. She remembered each word he had spoken since they had met the previous day.
He was young. Too young for this to be how he died.
He was determined to find a way home to his family. Now… it had been robbed from him.
"I don't care for the rumors about my lack of a peerage," she declared, sinking her eight pawns into the corpse of the young warrior. Unlike with Rias, there seemed to be a momentary pause while the Evil Pieces worked. However, to everyone's dissatisfaction, the body rejected them. "No way…" she cried. Rias began sobbing even louder in the background, realizing that not even Serafall, the strongest of all female devils, could do it.
"Incredible," Ajuka murmured. "Not even someone as powerful as she, can do it with all eight pawns."
"It's no wonder all of Rias' pieces were rejected immediately," Sirzechs commented sadly. Serafall growled, using every piece in her arsenal. Despite all her efforts, just like Rias, all pieces were rejected, leaving her with her final piece. Arguably the most powerful piece, aside from a King.
Serafall wasn't sure why she was surprised. If all eight pawns weren't good enough, nothing short of a queen piece would be enough to revive him. In her emotional state, she had tried every other piece just in case, and doubled up on them. Now she only had her queen left. Staring at the piece in her hand with her sapphire blue eyes, she came to a surprising realization. Why was she even hesitating? Who else but Gohan would be worthy enough to stand at her side?
She had been waiting for hundreds of years to find the right person. Everything she wanted in a queen, Gohan had displayed within the first hour of her meeting him. Serafall took one more look at the boy, before glancing over toward Rias. The Gremory heiress was waiting with bated breath for any sign of good news.
Thunder rumbled overhead as drops of rain started to hit the ground around them. Serafall levitated the queen piece over Gohan's body and allowed it to sink into his chest. The unmoving body accepted it briefly. For a moment, nothing happened. Serafall waited for the link to establish, to feel some kind of bond with Gohan. The moment she felt that, was when she could start the resurrection process.
The body then unapologetically spat the queen piece out.
When it rains… it pours.
The sound of a collapsing body sounded from behind her, Rias having fallen to her knees in disbelief. Lord and Lady Gremory looked upon Gohan and Serafall sadly while the female Satan stared at the deceased body, wondering why that had happened.
Not even her queen piece could save him?
"If I hadn't been here to see this," Grayfia said softly. "I never would have believed it. Not even Lady Leviathan's queen piece was enough to bring this boy back from oblivion," the maid-themed woman stated remorsefully. Her attention turned to Ajuka when the Beelzebub started walking forward. Strolling over, the technologically inclined Satan picked up Serafall's queen piece and inspected it briefly.
Unlike the others, he wasn't all that surprised. Having designed the Evil Pieces, he knew exactly how they worked and what it took to resurrect someone from the dead. It hadn't been an intended feature. Sure, the pieces were created to restore the numbers of the Devils lost in the Great War, but their purpose was never meant to specifically bring people back from the dead. It was to convert living beings to devils.
The resurrection process was a surprising side effect.
Regardless, if anything was going to bring this boy back, it was going to have to be stronger than a queen.
"What are you doing?" Serafall questioned the pale Beelzebub. Ajuka glanced back at her with an indifferent look on his face.
"Consider my interest piqued. You really were serious about resurrecting him as your queen," he stated. "However, it's not that you lack the power. It's that the piece itself isn't strong enough to convert him."
"What does that mean?" Sirzechs asked, adding to the conversation.
"It means he's not human," Ajuka retorted, lightning flashing in the background ominously. "Or at least… not entirely."
The green haired Satan held out his palm, allowing the queen piece to float up in front of his face. Closing his eyes and concentrating, the area surrounding the devils was flooded with immense power. The only person not visibly affected by Ajuka's sudden increase in power was Sirzechs. Everyone else had to brace themselves, both Lord and Lady Gremory shielding Rias from the immense concentration of demonic magic.
The queen piece started to shake violently as it absorbed an absurd amount of power. It started glowing chaotically, its physical form changing to a more neon red with spots of green and blue. Seeing as it was bonded with Serafall, there was a slight bluish tint to the queen piece. After a few moments, Ajuka let his power dissipate. Returning their attention to the Evil Piece in the Satan's grasp, everyone gasped at the visual changes, never before seen on an Evil Piece.
Ajuka just smirked.
"What have you done?" Sirzechs asked, curiosity piqued. That was no normal piece. The energy it was radiating was far more potent than any normal queen piece. He was hesitant to even label it a Mutation Piece due to the sheer amount of power it had.
"I don't really have a name for pieces like these. I suppose they are technically Mutation pieces, but I've been experimenting lately. I've only done so with a pawn and a bishop. This is the first queen of its kind," Ajuka explained, levitating the piece down to Gohan. The body swallowed the piece without complaint. "If that doesn't work then nothing will."
Sure enough, the body didn't reject the piece. Gohan's form started glowing and Serafall felt a bond establish. Her eyes widened with renewed hope, as did Rias'.
"The floor is yours, Lady Leviathan," Ajuka said with a smile. Serafall thanked him wordlessly, her expression displaying eternal gratitude. She stood up, towering over Gohan's motionless body. The female Satan allowed her power to expand, the Sitri clan's crest appearing underneath both herself, and the boy. She closed her eyes as a chilling breeze rushed around her and Gohan.
"I beckon your soul from the great beyond, hear my voice for I am Serafall Leviathan! Rise as my servant, my queen! Son Gohan!"
To any of those who even made it this far, I want to thank you. It really isn't easy making these sorts of stories. Power scaling is a bitch when it comes to crossovers, but I want there to be stakes. Otherwise, why write a story at all? At least like the one I'm wanting to write.
Like I said previously, nothing compares to DBZ. Planet busting is such a low-tier feat in the DBZ universe that it makes crossing over with anything virtually impossible from a realistic standpoint. I understand that completely. Unless the story itself is more romance focused or not centered around fighting then power scaling doesn't exactly matter. However, in a story like this, it will matter.
So yes, I am buffing DxD. It will be a gradual buff overtime as allies and enemies react to Gohan and rise to the challenge to stand beside him or against him. That's just how I do things (did the same thing in my other story This War of Mine). I don't see it as nerfing, however, if you see it that way, then I apologize.
Also, yeah, Gohan is becoming a devil. I'm sorry if you are disappointed in that aspect, but that was planned from the beginning, it's even somewhat alluded to in the title of the story. Perhaps it is an overdone concept, I can't really say for sure. The most DxD crossovers I've read have been Fate/Stay Night crossovers and in those stories, Shirou (the MC) has always remained human, aside from one of them. Few of you have made it clear that it was going to be a deal breaker, which is unfortunate, but I understand.
In saying that, I hope my take on it is interesting enough for you guys to continue.
Not sure what else to say. I will be trying to incorporate a lot of unused myths from Norse and Greek, along with some others. Don't expect me to follow canon at all as Gohan's mere presence has basically shifted and changed almost everything. Issei will show up eventually, but he'll be slightly different. Still perverted, but slightly different. The titty power-ups won't be a thing as it will most likely break the tone of the story, so his primary source of motivation will be different as well. Someone also asked what Gohan would even see in him anyway? I honestly, think Gohan would find him endearing to some degree. Issei is like a younger, more pervertedly focused Master Roshi. Last I checked, Gohan liked Roshi.
Anyways, I think that's all for now. If you guys stick around, I'll catch ya next time.