by oblivon2991

proofread by the usual drunken band of misfits

Thank you for reading my fanfic!

My mother language is not English, so please be patient about the grammatical issues.

I don't own the Overlord(オーバーロードŌbārōdo?) novel or anime series created by Kugane Maruyama.

I don't own High School DxD anime, manga, and novel series created by Ichiei Ishibumi

Please review it. I know I will make mistakes that I intend to correct and will try to learn from them and improve myself.

Thank you!


Chapter 17: Dark Storm Brewing (part 2)

"Thank you." Rorschach offered his usual smile to the butler, who poured him some refreshment; five other maids had already prepared the room for their arrival previously and now waited for the command.

"It really is a nice place."

The room was splendid, befit to make the Maou wait here. Filled with furniture with a price range beyond anyone's capability. Paintings of never seen quality, and a soothing fireplace burning with an eerie green light.

"Thank you! My Lord would appreciate the praise."

Looking around, one painting especially raised the servant's attention. A family portrait where the former Lord and Lady of the Paimon family were present, with their descendants surrounding them.

"Is something wrong?" Asked Sirzechs, seeing his fellow brother staring at the painting for a long time. His eyes especially focused on the former lady, with all her glory, beauty and blue skin.

"Nothing…" Muttered Rorschach. "Just once again, found something familiar."

Sirzechs raised his brow suspiciously, but before he could question further, the young member of the Paimon clan arrived.

"Lord Dominus Al'Igna Paimon has arrived." Announced the head butler immediately.

"Please forgive me for my lateness, Lord Sirzechs. I couldn't welcome you properly."

As the young devil entered, he was followed by a whole array of colourful figures, all wearing similar suit uniforms like their master, on their shoulders, elegant cloaks draped over. At once, all bowed deep before the Maou of Red.

"It is no problem; I am just an escort currently." Sirzechs waved away the responsibility.

"Ah! I see…" Hummed the young lord, curious. "And who is so important, they need an escort, from a Maou no less?"

"It will be me, Lord Paimon." Elegantly, Rorschach stepped forward.

"And who might you be?"

"Rorschach O'Dyēus, at your service. I am the one representing the challenged party." The devils flinched out of some strange reason, feeling a strange stingy numbness in their brain.

"Hmph. So they sent you to negotiate my terms of forgiveness? It is unusual, but I'll allow it. Still, it is only proper…"

"You misunderstand me." Rorschach cut into the young Paimon's word.

"Huh?"

Recovering the sturdy scroll from his hip, he walked closer to the demon, presenting the writ of challenge back to him. "My sister sends her regards. Unfortunately, she can't come personally. She is quite busy. As such, she entrusted me with this task. She wishes no enmity with you. As she used to say: Let it go, only losers hold a grudge."

"Oh! What a splendid quote." Sirzechs thought so.

Indeed, if more devils would swallow their pride and let minor things slip, more of them would be around. Also, they would be a lot happier.

"…Thus, it is only proper that we hand this challenge back to you in person."

"Hmph! As if…!? Does she really think she can get away so easily? After the loss she caused me?"

"If I may ask, what was the terrible loss that warranted such a challenge?" Questioned the red devil.

"My Lord, if you really want to know, the victory over Riser caused me an unspeakable amount of trouble. Not only was my honour stained, I even lost a great deal of precious things thanks to my misplaced trust in Riser's victory. Not to speak, Rias' complete reinterpretation of the rules when it came to the Rating Game — and please take no offence — stained my and every pureblood devil's name."

"Ah! I see. If that's the case, maybe I can compensate you." If that's all it takes to resolve the issue, it will be more than easy to do so. The Maou had more than enough money or precious artefacts to compensate the young boy.

"I am sorry, Great Maou, but it is not all about the value I lost; it is more about honour. The fact your sister stained the sanctity of the Rating Game with an outsider is wrong enough. Trampling over our sacred tradition and dishonouring a devil noble by making him a gibbering laughing stock even more atrocious! On top of this, now they have the gal to disrespect me by refusing my directly issued challenge? To restore our pride and the balance of things? Unheard of! As the Maou, you are the guardian of our tradition and pride; surely you understand."

"I know how you feel. Still, can't you look in the other direction, just this time…? I promise I will compensate you."

"Hmmm…

Sirzechs really hoped his honest request would be enough. And it would be. Alas, seeing Dominus' pondering expression, he concluded as such. Yet, the next few moments brought quite an unpleasant turn.

"Lord Dominus? What is your decision?" All eyes were on him. Both his Peerage and the Maou were present. The decision was hard, but if it came to Maou himself, maybe he could make an exception. "Very well. But I want a public apology, no less."

"I think that can be arranged, right, Rorschach-san?"

"Hmm, let me consult with my beloved." Recovering a phone Rorschach was on to use it.

"You know human devices don't work in hell, right?"

"I am aware. But this device is capable of such a feat. A courtesy from Lady Sitri, so we may reach her when we need her help."

"Right…" Sirzechs can barely hide his half-sour smile upon hearing the man's explanation.

What was the reason behind this? Only the Maou, and a very few people knows.

"Ah! My beloved! It is your one and only Rorschach! Calling directly from the pits where the infernal dwell!"

Hearing the small opening exposition said on the phone, everyone watched the servant with different eyes.

From some, it was cringe. For some, it was cool. For even more it sounded unnecessarily sweet.

"Yes, I meant hell. Please forgive me. Why did I call? Oh! I am facing your challenger, my dear Muse!"

"Dear Muse?"

Now that's a title even Sirzechs didn't use for his wife or sister. Maybe he should call them that next time?

"Ah! Sirzechs, you are playing a dangerous game." The devil chuckled in himself, being so daring today.

"Yes! As said, Lord Sirzechs convinced Lord Dominus to withdraw from the challenge; in exchange, he wants a public apology." And thus, the servant proceeded to explain the situation.

"What is she saying?" Questioned the red devil.

"Ah! I see! I apologise…"

"What are you doing?"

"She asked me to apologise in her stead." Once more, Rorschach bowed apologetically.

"What?!"

"Ah! That's good! Then should we conclude the case and move on? I am so happy we can solve this issue in peace."

"Is she ridiculing me?!"

Before Sirzechs could conclude the case, Dominus perked up in rage.

"Oh! That's not the case. It is just that, my dear is quite busy. So, she asked me to resolve this case al…"

"How dare you!? How dare she!? This is the highest insult!"

[Oi! Tell him to get over it!]

"I am trying, but he is quite relentless." Rorschach whispered to the phone.

[Put me on vid feed!] After putting her through to a video call, Gillian finally faced her challenger. [So, you are the one who is wasting my precious time? Huh?]

"What?! Yes! No! I mean… I am Dominus Al'Igna Paimon, your challenger! And you miss, owe me! I demand proper compensation and…"

[I owe you nothing… bro. Get over it, you made the wrong bet, that's it. It happens. Even with me…] Deadpanned the player. [I was nice enough to send that scroll back to you. I even made an apology for this nonsense. What more do you want?]

"That's not it! I want a public apology! In-person and…!"

[Are you a pussy? Because you're acting like a whiny little bitch now.]

"How dare you!? Do you know who you are speaking to?!"

[A pampered brat without any self-control? Seriously, I don't have time for this shit. Is Sirzechs-kun around?]

"Yes, I am here." The camera pointed at the Maou.

[Splendid! Can you please order him to stop harassing me?]

"I am afraid; I can only make a request. The ancient challenge law is clear about this issue. The challenger party has to back out from the match by themselves. Even the Maou is not above the rule. Maybe if you would apologise?"

[I just did, and he is still harassing me.]

Well, that was not what Dominus requested, but don't mind him. This girl was really crass in this case. Or dense? Even Sirzechs can only guess.

[Any solution?]

"You can either accept the challenge or make a public apology. But after this, I doubt he will accept it without further compensation."

"That's right!" Dominus fumed with crossed arms.

[Hmm… I don't plan to pay anything. It was him who bet on the wrong guy…] The player picked her ear, wiping her earwax in her vest. [I have nothing to do with him.]

"Little chit…!"

"He is quite insistent, I am afraid." Sirzechs sweatdropped, already able to see the situation would turn more difficult soon.

[Fine then, let's approach this differently then.] Gillian mumbled, pondering. [Tell me, under the challenge, can the challenged party select a champion?] Gillian stated her question, ignoring the boiling boy. At this point, she probably considered him nothing more than white noise in the background.

"Well, yes." Sirzechs blinked, recalling the ancient laws of challenge.

[Will you be my champion? If you do, I'll discount it from the stuff you owe me.]

While Sirzechs' breath stopped momentarily hearing the offer, Dominus and the rest of his Peerage boiled in rage, seeing and hearing how daring this human proved to be.

"Lord Dominus, give the order, and we will…"

"No. No matter how infuriating it is. We are still in the Maou's presence. Rein in your emotions. We will have our satisfaction, one way or another. Remember, we all represent house Paimon! None can discredit or mock us freely. We will have our reparation, sooner or later…"

Also, if he manages to take satisfaction before none other than the Maou, his status will increase. Both in the eyes of his family, and devilkind.

"The girl proved herself to be capable during the rating game. No matter how brazen she is, she might prove to be useful in the future." He just needs to subjugate her, and prove his worth as a leader. "Like the Ashen Emperor himself, I will also earn followers through wits and strength."

That's how he managed to gather his current group. The Peerage, and Family he created by his craft.

"I planned to expand our little group anyway; I still have a few pieces I can use." He was just waiting for the right people to appear. No way he wanted to waste his pieces on an unworthy candidate who he couldn't trust or not meet his expectations.

"Unfortunately, I can't do that." Sirzechs sighed, defeated.

[Why not? You are plenty strong; I guess… who would stop you?]

"Even as a Maou, I have duties and rules to obey. When I took this mantle, like all other current Maous, we agreed to be neutral in all cases that pose no threat towards the existence of devilkind as a whole — Internal matters more so. Be it political or power play; we pledged to stay out of it. Else, the catastrophe that the original Satan's ambition caused will be repeated once more. This is a solution Lady Paimon proposed when the civil war ended."

True, all four Maou's had their own faction and political parties who supported them — they as well competed with each other when it came to followers, scientific and other advancements. But all this competition served devilkind as a whole. This was set in stone when they created their new constitution after the civil war.

[So, you can't help?]

"Unfortunately, in this case, no. I can't help. Even if it were my family, the Gremory clan, I would have to stay out of the matter."

[Yet, you still manipulated the strings so your sister would win that match. You're a clever bastard, aren't you?] Grinned the player smugly.

"H-He did what?!" Dominus almost shouted. "Lo-Lord Sirzechs. I-It was you?"

If it was the Maou himself who initiated this "trade". Then, does he even have the right to issue the challenge?

"Ah! That? That was just an innocent request, nothing more. Hahahaha!" Sirzechs laughed awkwardly, not expecting this detail to be revealed.

"My Lord!" Dominus hesitated for a moment before garnering his guts and resolve. "Th-That still doesn't change the fact she accepted the offer and dared to desecrate the sacred rite of a Rating Game. We must restore order, or the pillars of our society will crumble!"

[Aren't devils kinda allergic to sacred things?] Deadpanned Gillian, making all the present devils just stare at her, confused and blank. [What? Devils are supposed to be crafty, use every tool in their arsenal to win. Right? In that regard, aren't you supposed to be praising my craft?]

"That's… That's not the point!" Fumed Dominus, taken aback by the twisted logic of the girl. "Regardless of the situation, you humiliated, made fun and mocked both my fellow devil nobles and me. Moreover, you even refused to apologise for your mocking behaviour!"

[So… You want an apology?] The student rolled her eyes, starting to get bored by this little game the boy was playing with her.

"Yes!"

[Fine then. I apologise. I am sorry you are a pampered pussy who can't even bear the consequences of their bad decision. Satisfied?]

"!" Everyone tensed, Dominus could only gape in astonishment at what this human dared to say.

"Oh! This will not end well," Sirzechs muttered. This is heading in the most unfavorable direction he can imagine.

"Yo-You… how dare you?! You miserable cretin! You low cast garbage! You good for nothing whore! You…"

As Dominus' verbal assault continued, Sirzechs glanced towards Rorschach subtly, seeing a slight tremble in his hand and whole body. It was like a mighty beast was about to burst out from its restraining cage, held only by the sheer will that incited it to devastate his opponent at the right moment.

Yet, even this small tremble was so slight even he could barely sense it.

"He has immense control…"

[Huh? That's all you want to say? If that's the case, I bid you farewell. I have no time for this pitiful game. You are lame!] The player waved him away through the video feed, almost like he was an annoying fly.

"Tch! I demand satisfaction! I demand..!"

[You can demand whatever you want, that doesn't make you entitled to get it, cupcake. Rattling your mouth endlessly will not change this. I also want many things, yet, I can't have them…]

"!"

[Rorschach, deal with this, and come home. We've wasted enough time.]

"As you wish." The servant bowed towards the figure on the call before it ended.

"Did she really just…?"

"I am afraid that's the case." The hulking figure next to Dominus, whose appearance bore wolfish characteristics, whispered to him.

"And now he is walking here…?" Just what is this man planning? Will he try to bargain, or even beg for his sister's life?

"If you are coming…"

"Apologize."

"What?!" Dominus blinked, unable to place the sudden turn of tone! Before, the man was polite, even submissive, but now? His voice sounded cold and demanding.

"I said, apologize to my dear. Or sanctions will follow…"

"Make me!" Retorted the demon, before a slap so fast normal eyes couldn't follow sent him flying across the room and through a wall.

'Slap!'

"Ugh!?"

"Lord Dominus?!"

"You damn bastard!" The members of the peerage would have attacked, if not for Sirzechs giving them a look, tilting his head.

"We will get him, Etelka." Tried to chide the kitsune her companion, a slender redhead with two stylish guns.

"Oh, dear…" Seeing the slap which sent the young Paimon flying and head spinning, the vampiric butler sighed, with a shake of his head. This will not end well; he already felt it.

"Aren't you supposed to… I don't know, protect him?" Sirzechs asked the man, slightly worried about the youngling. That slap was loud, even his face started to throb for a moment feeling the power behind it.

"That man definitely didn't intend to kill him; else, he would be already dead." The butler answered, almost annoyed.

How does he know that? Even Sirzechs can guess. "Besides, my Lord ordered me to leave such trifling things to the boy to deal with. Else, he will never learn how to be a proper man, lest someone fit to bear the name Paimon."

"Regardless, shouldn't we intervene? It would be bad if Rorschach died, or even got hurt." He was sure he would lose the chance to recover his car if that happens. Worse, he would have to explain the whole thing to Rias and that girl. Tell them how such a thing could happen under his supervision.

"You are really dancing on thin ice, human. If not Lord Sirzechs being here…!"

"Lord Sirzechs presence is the only thing stopping me from doing something more drastic, young lady." This statement may have sounded calm, but made the surrounding people tense up.

"Dominus! Hey, wake up, buddy!"

"Shouldn't we give him phoenix tears?"

"I don't think he would be happy wasting such a precious item. It is hella expensive. Besides, he was just knocked out."

"Just knocked out!?" Several members of the peerage shouted outraged. Just "knocked out" was a mild expression feeling the force behind that slap.

"…" The short girl with the lollipop in her mouth raised her hand, conjuring cold water on her master wordless. Her face mirrored a strange calmness. A sleepy head one may call her with her twintails and half-closed eyes.

"Dude! You made me all wet! I hate water!"

"Don't whine… wet doggy." She mumbled with an uninterested expression, caring little of the hulking teen's glare.

"Ugh… where…?"

"Dominus!? Are you alright?" Everyone tensed, seeing the swollen face of their leader.

"I am, I guess. Damn! My face!" He looked around still groggy, spitting out several of his teeth. His drunken vision finally met with his oppressors', holding his throbbing cheek. "You have some guts, I give you that. Regardless, you will regret this foolish action. I command you! [Kneel!]" Standing up wobbly like some drunkard, his eyes glowed up intensely, expecting this man before him to fall on his knees and beg for mercy.

"No…"

"Wha-what!?" It is impossible! How can a mere human resist his family's special skill? "[Kneel! Beg for my forgiveness! I command you!]"

"Your [Command Mantra] is subpar at best and can be ignored by someone with little resistance to mind control effects. I expected more… How shameful." The look this man gave him was almost pitiful. An emotion that infuriated him even more!

"Tch! Just who are you?"

"Just a servant of the original dark lord." Smiling smugly, the dark-skinned servant still retained his elegant allure.

"You dare mock me!?"

"Oh! I wouldn't dare. I only stated the truth. The only one ridiculing you is yourself." Rorschach discarded his glove, almost like he would be disgusted by it after it touched an unworthy cheek. Recovering another one from his pocket and pulling it up to his hand.

"You…!?"

"Regardless, my patience is running low on your petty games, child. Harbor my muse's cherished peace, and you will learn, there are a lot worse things than death."

"Rorschach-kun…" Sirzechs placed his hand on his shoulder, trying to calm the man.

"I know how you…"

"Please, don't waste your energy. It is decided." With a big sigh, Rorschach tilted his head. "The order was given. From now on. Whatever happens, I bear the consequences."

"Just what do you think…?"

"Be careful, young master, for the shadows are deep, filled with horrors and terror beyond your imagination."

"!"

"Our proclamation was given; what you do with it, is up to you. However, alongside you, everyone who is dear to you will suffer the consequences and the following sanctions."

While saying this, the man only offered a dubious smile. Something that filled the onlookers with some kind of unease. It was not the smile of a man, but something hiding underneath — malformed, not from this world.

"Rorschach…" Sirzechs invited the man to the side. "Look, I know how you feel. Those people mocked your sister. I would also be angry if such things were thrown at Rias. Still, we need to handle this diplomatically."

"And I did just that. The proclamation was given. What this young man does with it, is up to him."

This was a sentence which left Sirzechs blinking in surprise and also, in some strange way, made him shudder.

Not only did he proclaim himself as the servant of some dark lord, swatted away a promising young devil like he would be a mere fly, but he could also resist the Paimon family's domination skill — an ability which made greater entities tremble and obey their every whim.

"Just what's going on there? Is it possible he and his sister are more than what they show themselves to be?"

Is there any chance he has a Sacred Gear? Or the descendant of some hero? Or something else? Yes, everything that happened until now points towards one of the many possibilities.

"Should I stop him and make him apologize? But what if it's true? Inciting young Dominus to do something rash might help me understand their real nature. Alas, it may cause problems later."

One option was playing safe, the second was risky, but with a reward in the end. Something that might reveal a hidden danger that lies near Rias. As a brother, the choice was obvious. As a Maou, he should strive for a peaceful resolution.

"What to do?"

Sirzechs Lucifer was torn, unable to decide what to do.

"You little…!?"

"I repeat, my message was given. I bid you farewell. Sleep tight, young man, who knows what awaits you in the domain of the shadows."

"Huh?" Rorschach turned his back to Dominus and started to walk away, knowing well how infuriated and confused his "opponent" was. His helplessness to do anything in the presence of Sirzechs delighted the servant no end.

"You damn MONGREL! Come back here this instant and…!"

Yet, his words did not move the servant the slightest, he just stopped near Abigail and bowed, in return receiving a slight nod.

"I will get you… I will flay your soul…!"

Dominus boiled in rage and fury; one by one the veins popped up in his face, neck and even his body! Slowly, an aura of darkness and demonic energy started to seep out from his body — something that made Sirzechs remember a certain person.

"This boy… his potential is great. Almost like his grandmother…"

"Oh my… this will not end well." This was not the last time Dominus would try something, he was sure of it. Nonetheless, he was somewhat glad this thing didn't end up worse.

He may even say, aside from that slap, it went pleasantly smoothly — maybe even too smooth.

"Alas, I am sure the young man will not let this slip." No! If anything, he will come up with something — All in order to have his revenge and satisfaction. It was in his blood.

"The Paimon clan was famous for their passion and their undeniable pride." Something that almost made them extinct during the Great War.

"But what can I do?" Shaking his head with a grimace, Sirzechs bid his farewell, escorting home Rorschach.

"My lord…"

"What?" After Sirzechs left, the butler walked near the young boy, leaning closer and whispering something in his ear.

"What do you mean?" Dominus was confused, looking after Abigail who left afterwards, on his face his usual annoyance.

"Dominus, you will leave that wimp to treat you like that?"

"…" The boy remained silent for a moment, biting his lips and hearing out the redhead girl, remembering what the faithful servant of their home whispered just a moment ago. Their family's head butler's warning words really made him reconsider his next step.

"It doesn't matter, we will proceed with the original plan!"

"Cool!"

"Great…"

"Oh, dear…"

"Well, better than nothing, I guess." As such, his peerage members accepted his judgement and went along with his plan.

They didn't even suspect what would become for their dear master later.


Scene Change: Kuoh: Somewhere in the city:

"Hmm, no, this is not good either." Cesare loomed over his papers, looking through the calculations once more.

"An anomaly? Possibly. But how could it hide from the church until now? A secret project I was not aware of? Or another organization? But whom? The Illuminati? Yeah, they were always trying to displace us. Or was it someone else?"

Amidst so many ideas, the exorcist can't help but sigh and leant back in his chair.

"If only I could get my hands on some real resources, I could…" But he knows all too well, the church does not trust him at all. Also, why would they entrust him with any more resources? This was a suicide mission. The higher-ups wanted him gone, yet he lives. It already became evident his survival was an unexpected annoyance for them.

"Their reaction to my survival was a sure sign, they didn't expect this." Asking for further resources allocated, or having veteran exorcists dispatched to monitor the situation also earned an odd reaction.

"Which means one of the higher-ups is in league with the perpetrator?" A possible conclusion. But who? And why would that person do that?

"I know well how deep the corruption is rooted in our organization, and wonder, why the Seraph allows it?" Are they even aware of this game? Or are they not?

"Surely, they are aware." Then why?

"More and more questions arise…" Gnawing on his cheap meal, the middle-aged exorcist scanned the reports once again.

This hotel room he stayed in was cosy. He expected worse compared to how cheap it was, located in this town's more "ramshackle" territory.

"One must admit, these devils really know how to keep their territory proper and clean." Compared to it, some richer districts in Rome and Vatican really lacked.

"Not as though it matters. What I need to concentrate on is finding answers."

"First things first, I need to take more measurements. Questioning that girl and examining her thoroughly is a must-do."

The data gathered on the scene confirmed only one thing. The undoubted potential of that girl. A natural wielder, one, who rarely ever appeared in written history. A living wonder he might call her!

"An heir of Arthur? Or another famous figure? Or something new? An anomaly? Artificial or natural affinity? Hmm…"

Is she connected to the people who wanted to kill him? Or are they even searching for her? Or even, is it just a coincidence someone like her appeared here?

"Too many questions and variables…"

"That girl… watching the recording the devils showed me proved that she probably went easy on them." After such a defeat, the young exorcists' bodies will heal. But their pride and conviction? That needs time, and effort. Maybe he should speak with them.

"Though, I am not sure they are even willing to listen."

No wonder, they still considered him a heretic.

"Alas, they will need help regardless. After the battle, it is like Excalibur is less willing to work with them."

He even needed a special method to extract the swords from the ground. Is it possible that the holy sword became even "pickier" after finding a suitable wielder?

"Maybe. A possibility. I've never seen something like this. If I could…! Who's there?" Grabbing his holy gun, the middle-aged man took cover, prepared for any attacker that might come through. With a click on his remote, he already activated the traps he prepared beforehand.

"However, I know I have little chance…" Especially if that someone comes chasing after him. "Simple Fallen, devil or exorcist, I have the means to deal with them. But that's something… I will die, or even be captured if someone like that finds me."

"Dammit!"

Seconds passed, but no answer. The man suspiciously activated his scanner, peeking through the solid walls and door, only to the knock repeated once again.

"Cleaning service. May I come in?"

"Haah…" Once again, his hands shaking. Maybe he is too paranoid. But after what happened, who would blame him? "No, it is fine. Come back later, please."

The cleaner lady left. It is better; civilians shouldn't see the room like this.

"Maybe I should take a walk? Yes. Visiting that girl or poking around the town might help. Also, I need to check on those two."

With that, he packed his stuff and left. Maybe he will return to this room again, maybe not. Changing dwellings often can lower the chance of someone finding him.

"Better to be safe than sorry…"


Scene Change: Gillian's Café:

"Just what the hell are you thinking?" With ticking eyes, the player loomed over the man occupying her tatami and scratching one of her dog's necks.

"Recuperating…"

"Mittelt is sorry. Mittelt couldn't stop him. He just… he just fell through the roof and made himself at home. Even giving us orders — with the comment: he will skin us if we don't obey."

"I see…" Looking back at the handsome figure who robbed all the available bananas from her storage and was now devoured them like no tomorrow, she can't blame the girl for calling her rather than doing something.

"And you? Why don't you just go home? I hope no one followed you. The last thing I need is someone starting to sniff around!"

"Hmph!" The man with heterochromia didn't answer, instead turned his head away, stuffing another banana into his face.

"Haah! What to do with you?" Gillian brushed her hair clueless. "You look like a mess, at least take a shower, or something."

Once again, the man refused to answer.

"Can't you just teleport him away or something? Mittelt is creeped out even looking at him."

"It is… complicated." Gillian only gave this short answer, before puffing out some air, almost like she gave up nudging the man to leave. "Damn, my soft heart! Fine then, you can stay, for now. But don't make a scene, and get yourself together! You look like a mess!"

"Speaks the one who left me in this state…" Huffed the stranger, almost annoyed. "Bring more bananas. I need to heal…" He said so while discarding another peel into the corner.

"Bring it yourself, and don't touch my stuff, or I'll kick your ass — Again…!" She kicked him, making the warrior ricochet a few times around, bouncing around from wall to ceiling to the floor. But it was like he didn't even care about it; he just rolled back on his back and grabbed another fruit.

"Geez…"

Since living here, Mittelt has witnessed many weird things. The place not being wrecked after something collided with it so hard was mild compared to that.

"Humph!"

"Now then, keep yourself busy, and clean up after yourself! I will deal with you later. I have work to do." Gillian left him huffishly, shortly after followed by the already confused Mittelt.

"Heh…" First time since arriving, the man smiled, glancing after the strange student. "My kind of woman."

He continued to devour the pile of bananas he carried up in this room. Maybe he would look around in the town later, and see why the girl decided to settle in this boring place.


Scene Change: Issei's Room: Nightime:

[Oi! Partner, what's the gloom about?]

"Nothing really, just that a lot happened recently."

[I recognized, and it concerns you, no?]

"Umm… you are kinda inside me. Can't you tell?" Issei scoffed. The dragon sealed inside his Sacred Gear once more announced the obvious.

[Hey! I may be inside your Sacred Gear, but I still can't read your mind.] Complained the dragon. [So, what's up?]

Yeah, he can't read his mind. He is just doing that. How else could they speak without him opening his mouth?

"You are strangely chatty today." It was not long ago his Sacred Gear started to speak to him. As it came to light, some kind of ancient and powerful Dragon was sealed inside it. A dragon called Ddraig.

"Amongst all, it was me who was the most surprised getting to know this information." All other members of his group took it for granted. Almost like they already knew.

"I should be glad I have him. Nonetheless, he is weird."

[Hey! That was rude! What's so weird about me?]

"Oi! Didn't you say you can't read my mind!?" Now he really started to get annoyed.

"Umm… Ise…" The redhead sleeping on his side raised her head sleepily, her wide locks half covering her face. "Is something wrong?"

"I-It is nothing. Please, lay back."

And now this too! Ever since the Rating Game and him standing up for his president, she started to sleep in his room, naked to boot!

Even his parents were astonished when they met Rias — thinking until now he plays for the other side, and that they would never have grandchildren, ever!

"I should be happy, a true beauty sleeping on my side naked. But why do I feel bad? Why can't I use this chance? Every boy in my stead would already make their move. What's holding me back?"

Glancing to the side, those beautiful and shapely peaks going forward and back came into his view, their tips so hard, they could probably cut glass! As those peeks moved and jiggled gently, they offered an almost hypnotising picture, invitingly and mockingly glaring at him!

"Dammit! I am such an idiot. What's wrong with me?" The old him would have done it already! Squeezing, sucking and playing with those devilish funbags endless! Yet now, he hesitated. Maybe he was still afraid after Raynare's betrayal?

[Don't beat yourself up partner, love can do strange things to people.]

"So are you an expert now?" He asked, almost annoyed.

[Well, I am quite old, in human terms. Also, I've had many wielders before you. I have seen my fair share of things. Dark things, funny things, and twisted things.]

"Things like what?" Damn! Now he was curious! Just what twisted things did this ancient dragon experience and see under the aeons?

[Things I don't really want to remember. You know, one may think people are holding back their fetish when they know someone inside is watching them. But no! They just do it more frequently. Truly a perverted and horny band…]

"Really?"

[Really. So, don't hold yourself back. I have seen weirder shit than a teen masturbating or having fun with their friends. I got used to it. Just warn me before you do it, so I can turn away.]

"Well, that's reassuring, I guess." Still feels weird, though.

"Umm… Issei-kun." Peeking inside the door, Asia's blond nob appeared, watching the boy blushing.

"Ca-Can I come in?"

"Eh? I mean, sure. What's the problem? Can't sleep?"

"…" The girl meekly nodded, looking around before closing the door and snuggling near the boy. There are three people in his bed currently, so he feels like a piece of meat between two pieces of top-quality sandwich bread.

At this rate, he'll need a bigger bed!

"She must be worried about what happened recently." Honestly, he didn't blame Asia. Ever since she arrived, and even before arriving, she suffered trauma after trauma.

First, she was excommunicated from the church because she healed a devil, and then evil people used her for their vile goals. And afterwards, she was even treated harshly by those exorcist girls.

He really pitied her. Fortunately, she was in their care now. In a place where people took care of her, and provided her comfort.

"Issei-kun?"

"Hmm?"

"Do you think Kiba-kun will be alright?"

"Well…" She was a too faint-hearted girl, caring too much about everyone. But really? For prince charming?

"I must admit, Kiba has been down lately; he even left for a short time but then returned to us." He wouldn't say the guy was perfectly fine, but he was better than when they first met the church duo. What's the worry? Seemingly having that day out with Gillian helped him recover somewhat.

"Wonder what they did before those two attacked them." Honestly, he had no idea what that two weirdos did, and it just made him more curious.

"Mmm…" Asia snuggled closer, not expecting any straight answer.

"Dammit! Why is it so hard?"

"I hope he will be fine." She muttered only this much before drifting into sleep.

"Damn prince charming, making Asia-chan sad." He muttered barely audible, still angry.

As he thinks about it, Kiba and Gillian are kind of close. For Asia's sake, maybe he should ask her what's the matter between the two, and how Kiba feels for real.

"Well, she helped us with the rating game." Alas, he enjoyed it when that arrogant birdbrain got manhandled by her, he still felt it was a little bit too much. Not to speak, remembering how she spoke with buchou and handled Koneko-chan under their spar still infuriated the boy.

"I mean, she is usually nice — a little bit greedy though. But also cruel, I can't place her. And why do I have this… instinctive feeling whenever I'm near her and her brother? It's almost like some inner wariness."

If he had to compare, it is almost like standing near an uncaged beast who just minded its own business. It is peaceful, currently, but who knows when they will jump at you and mangle you apart?

[I don't blame you, partner; she and her brother are giving me the same creepy feeling.]

"Huh? What do you mean?" Raising his hand, the green jewel that was the core of his Gear appeared.

[I mean, I feel like an apex predator staring down on me when she is near — and that's something considering I clashed with the mightiest beings this world can offer.]

"You mean she is not human?"

[I am not sure. Possibly yes, possibly no. I've met strong humans throughout history. But neither of them gave me this level of creep. Only a very few beings managed to do the same. She was one of them. Her brother is not to be underestimated either. By the way, do you know that the Rorschach guy managed to speak with me? Crazy!]

"Huh? You two spoke?" Issei blinked, glancing at the shifting girls on his sides. He needs to keep it silent, or else he will disturb them.

[Yeah, he is quite an interesting guy. We chatted with him for quite a long– Oh! Crap! I shouldn't have told you this!]

"Wait!? What!?" He shouted out loud.

"Ise…?"

"I-It is nothing…" Crap, he once more almost woke them up.

"Why didn't you tell me this before? What did the two of you speak about?"

[Well, firstly, he asked me not to tell you about this. Secondly, I tried to speak with you for a long time, but you were not yet strong enough to hear my voice back then, so I clamped at the first opportunity. Being sealed in this thing is boring, you know? I wanted to speak with someone already!]

"That still didn't explain it. Regardless, what did the two of you chat about?"

[Oh well, as you already know, I can tell you about it. He mostly asked about me and stuff about the past. Mostly I can't really answer because I forgot about them — that stuff happened so long ago, I kinda forgot them. You know, it was quite refreshing speaking to someone who at least appreciated who I am, and spoke to me with the respect my power deserves. Unlike you brats, he understood how awesome I am!]

It was almost like the ancient dragon suffocated his sob. Being sealed and not being cherished for long must be hard on him.

"Well, I think you are still awesome, but please, tell me if something like this happens again." Issei tried to comfort the morose dragon, sweatdropping nonetheless about how he got to know such important information just because the dragon slipped up!

But really! Wasn't this important enough to tell him?

[Thanks, partner, I do my best.]

"So, any advice? Regarding the whole situation?"

[Yeah, sure, don't be stupid, and please, avoid her if possible. She gives me the creeps.]

"Very helpful…" Considering they attended the same class, it will be easier said than done.

Turning on his back, Issei closed his eyes, trying to get some shut-eye before his duties started again, or his heart killed him while squeezed by these two beauties.

Meanwhile, while Issei and the rest recuperated after their daily travail, something brewed outside.

"We arrived; how should we proceed?"

Several shady figures stepped out from the teleportation circle, just outside a certain café.

"Should we announce our arrival, or..?"

"No, we gave her the chance to play fair. The time of negotiations is over, it is time to enforce our demands. We will kidnap her, and teach that girl a lesson!"

Dominus recovered, and threw a white napkin towards the ground. The thin, quality fabric slowly started to float downwards from the top of the building, only to be caught up by the wind and carried away. It was reminiscent of a ritual he did before every grand act!

"For we are the League of Dominion! Our name…"

"He is starting again…"

"Yeah…" Alas, his companions were not so encaustic of his roleplay.

"Oi! Don't ruin my entrance! I am practising hard!"

"Boss, I don't want to ruin your fun, but I don't think this is a good idea. I mean, what if Lord Sirzechs appears again? Last time that man was accompanied by him." Reasoned the wolfish character.

"And you are only bringing back your complaints now?" Glared the stocky figure at his companion, who started to rub the back of his head embarrassed.

"Sorry, I would rather not ruin your fun; you were so enthusiastic back then."

"Indeed, my lord, it could stir trouble for all of us. Are you sure you want to proceed?" Asked the kitsune in doubt.

"Hmph!" Dominus smirked, puffing some smoke from his nostrils. "Didn't you hear him? He told us himself. The Maou can't intervene in internal matters only if it is endangering devilkind as a whole. And in its current phase, it is not an issue of that level. Don't you agree?"

"Sleepy, get it over with…" Muttered the short girl with twintails.

"Of course, Lunaleil. Of course, but as you know, it needs to be stylish; else, it is worth nothing. Now then…!"

A group with no more than nine pieces — if we also counted the King — made a stand. Their top-quality golden-edged black uniforms and their royal red capes billowed under the full moon.

"The night will witness how I will regain what I have lost!" Just like the Ashen Emperor would do it! Just like he started the process before the books abruptly stopped! "My faithful generals, we will take our satisfaction tonight! Tonight, the shadow of Dominion will descend on those…"

"By the way, where is Orphipos?" Asked the deathly pale girl with red eyes. Her long blonde hair flowed in the winds behind her; a mischievous canine peeked out from her thin lips.

"OH! I didn't even recognize he is missing. He is always so creepily silent." Muttered the silver haired wolf, looking around and searching for the ninth member.

"Dammit! Now I can start it again!" Dominus pouted. "But if you are so curious about it, I sent him forward to scout. Are you happy now, Vladimira?"

"Geez! Ok! Sorry, I asked." The reincarnated vampiress rolled her eyes.

"And where is he now?" Scoffed the teen with lean stature and pointed ears, his skin slightly dark, resting a heavenly spear on his shoulder.

"Oh! Now you mention it; he didn't report for a while. I better…"

"You are looking for this young man, perchance?" Hearing the voice, all eight figures spun around, only to see a very familiar man.

"Orphipos!"

"You!?"

Standing atop the air conditioning system on the same roof, the butler-like man held an unconscious figure. Robed in thick dark robes, in their hands a scythe dangling, he looked almost like a reaper. Behind their opponent, the full moon really gave his figure a sinister feeling.

"Strange seeing you here, young master, especially after we have given you a proclamation just yesterday. Are you perchance, unable to understand it? Or, is your understanding even more limited than we perceived?"

"What have you done to him?" Dominus' demonic aura started to manifest. Seeing his comrade dangling in the grasp of this stranger, he even discarded the obvious mockery.

"Hoo! This young man? We just gave him a lesson." He raised Orphipos — as the teen was called. His face was smashed, eyes blank, nose dripping blood, pieces of his skeletal mask embedded in his once handsome face. "Ru-Run away… Mo-Monst…" He muttered barely consciously, before blacking out once again.

"Orphipos!"

"You bastard!"

"Indeed, compared to his general strength, he is persistent. I found him sneaking around my dear's sanctuary — harbouring ill intentions judging from his aura."

"You…!?"

"Now then, would you kindly explain, what are your intentions here? I warn you, answer wrong, and sanctions will be put in place."

"Hmph! And why do you think you have a chance? Against all eight of us!" Dominus puffed out his chest, and his vest strained over his round body. Nonetheless, even looking at the one before them his face started to throb and sting, going numb remembering the mighty slap this man bestowed him.

"We need to be careful…" he made a mental note, before proceeding with their introduction.

"Against the League of Dominion, there is no victory, only defeat!"

"League of Dominion, you say…?" Raising his chin, some kind of malicious aura started to radiate from the servant's body. Something that made his opponent shrink back.

"Dominus! He took out Orphipos, we need to be careful."

"I am well aware, prepare yourselves." He whispered back to the elf, and all members gave a slight nod. The young devil must admit, feeling the presence of this stranger really made him recalculate their chances.

"That name…" Tilted his head at the dark-skinned butler before something akin to a twisted smile sneaked on his face. "To announce your group that way? Your children really need punishment."

"And you will be the one who issues that? Don't be overconfident, human!"

"Oh? Me? A humble servant like me? Fuhahahaha!" He started to laugh, almost uncontrollably.

"Indeed, it will be me. Alas, considering you are but mere children with an overactive imagination, I can let this slip this one last time. Apologise, and return to your home! This is my last warning. Leave that magnificent title behind, as it does not belong to minor things like you."

"You damn…" The redhead gunslinger trembled in rage, her sharp teeth grinding audibly. Dominus feared that his most explosive member might do something rash before time.

"Leave now, or face the consequences. This is your last warning." Not even caring, he tossed the body towards his companions, and the muscled teen caught it.

"Gotcha!"

"Is he alright?"

"Does he look like it?"

"Act foolish, refuse my offer, and not even Lord Sirzechs or any other foolish lord will be able to save you."

Dominus glared at the man, trying to figure out who, or what he really is.

Taking out his knight, who was specialised in stealth and assassination, proved one thing, he was more than their eyes first met.

"Is he even a human?"

He pondered on this hard. All along, searching for weak points.

"Let's see… father taught me an ability. I just need to win time!"

"So you use words instead of acts. So typical of your kind!" He tried to win time, his eyes glowing up, activating his skill.

"Don't misunderstand, if it were up to me, I would have already flayed your group alive, burned your house and clan to ashes, and tortured your loved ones before your very eyes. All while keeping you alive, in agony and pain. Dripping the sour honey of hope until it turns to despair."

"Vulgar…"

"Sick human…" Muttered the loli and the blonde vampire one after the other.

"Your opinion matters not, children." The butler gave the two a dismissing look. "All that matters is my muse's peace, and will. That's why I am so considerate as to warn you, turn back, or bear the consequences. We need not your annoying persistence, less the cleanup once you disappear."

"This…!?" Dominus started to sweat, something really made him uneasy, so much so his expression churned and trembled, unable to utter words for a few moments.

"My Lord? What did you see?" Asked the kitsune worried.

"I can't see, anything…"

"YOU DAAMN MONGREEEL!" The redhead finally lost it, and pulled out her guns, made from a strange alloy, releasing a barrage of shots towards her opponents. "YOU ARE PISSING ME OFF!"

"Etelka!"

"That fool!"

The magically enchanted projectiles raced with blinding speed, one after the other, all aimed against the servant who seemingly stood motionless.

'Baam!

Explosions roared, and if not a strange barrier that was set up beforehand, all of the nearby authorities would have come to investigate the strange noise of battlene, effective immediately.

"I-Is he, gone?"

"What do you think?! I bet she fucking destroyed the building!" And indeed, from the amount of force the redhead released, they concluded it may easily destroy a building of this size — more so everything that stood in her enchanted projectiles way.

"That will do it…" The girl took a big sight, clicking her gun, and the magazines fell out. Right away one more pair conjured, which was automatically inserted into her gun. "Piece of shit, hurting Orphi bro! I'll never forgive him!"

"Oi! Don't you think you went a little overboard?! Now he is all gone! In pieces!"

Argued the werewolf! And indeed, seeing the rest of the building before them just went into smoke, they can consider this an utter victory — or even unnecessary annihilation!

"Shut up! You hulking moron! He made me mad!"

"This is supposed to be a stealth operation, no?" Questioned the elf, glancing around passively.

"We better mop this up fast, else, the Gremory and the Sitri will be here."

"What's the problem? My Lord?" The tall kitsune recognized something strange. Something that made her confused.

"I couldn't see weakness… I can't even sense…"

"Wha-What do you mean, my Lord?!" The green-haired devil questioned startled.

"What the heck!?"

"What?"

"Indeed impressive…" as the smoke slowly started to dissipate, it revealed the unharmed servant, all around him it was like the bullets stopped in the air, held by invisible strings.

"Wait!? All my bullets!?"

"They are hanging in the air?!"

"Has he used some kind of telekinesis?" One after another, the Peerage members guessed. Yet, neither one can figure out what really happened! The attack that annihilated even their strongest opponents stopped, just like that, rendered useless!

"No… those are, wires?"

"Magically enchanted projectiles, set with different effects and to pursue their targets. Befit to a true gunslinger." Rorschach tilted his head, before making a fist, and all projectiles were cut into little pieces by the invisible wires dangled around them — cutting them apart without difficulty.

"Oi! You piss me off! You shouldn't…!"

"My turn." Leaning forward with a grin, Rorschach disappeared before their very eyes, only to reappear before the redhead.

"Etelka, look out!"

"You damn…!?" She was on to raise her special pistols once more, yet, when she was about to pull the trigger, nothing happened!

"Huh?"

"Looking for these?"

"Ha… Haaaaa!" The cut was so clean she didn't even recognise her arms were missing, discarded on the side by the servant. Blood sprouted everywhere, crimson like her hair.

"E-Etelka!?" The whole group froze for a few moments, seeing the sheer brutality and the horror of the fountain of red.

"You fucking piece of shit!"

Immediately, the whole group moved all at once! Like a well-oiled machine, the elf conjured his valkyrie armour, the werewolf lunged for the servant with sheer overwhelming anger, a fierce battle taking place between the two close-ranged specialists of the group and their opponent!

"Wha-What happened?"

"Too fast, can't see…" Muttered the loli with twintails, answering the question of the green devil.

"Hold on! Don't squirm dammit!" Under all of this, her companions already recovered the gunslinger, trying to treat her serious wound.

"Fucking sting! By the Maou…!?" Etelka vomited, about to pass out, all along the blonde servant trying to reattach her limbs, using some kind of blood magic if anything goes by the red substance that coiled around the severed limb like some serpent.

"Shit! I can't heal it! Just what kind of technique did that bastard use!?"

"I have no idea, but we need to do something… maybe we should use Phoenix Tears?"

"Dominus! Hand over the tears! Dominus!"

But their leader didn't answer; he just stared blankly at the raging fight.

"Impossible… how? How could it…"

"Dammit! He is out cold! We need to do something! Hina!"

"On it!" Answered the kitsune, giving a firm slap to their leader.

"Wake up!"

"Wha-what!?" Dominus blinked, groggy and confused, almost like he had woken up from some trance.

"We are under assault, Lord Dominus! Give us orders!"

"Ye-Yes…" The boy gulped, adjusting his hair. No! He can't despair! His servant was right! As the future dark lord, he will have his way, one way and another! He can't freeze, even if their situation was unexpectedly dire!

"Listen to me! I have a plan!" His mind is sharp, one look was enough to come up with a plan!

The battle raged on meanwhile, and it became obvious from the first moment they were dangerously outmatched. This man was only playing around with them!

"Got you!"

"Stay on your guard!"

The barrages of the werewolf and the elf were ceaseless. The valkyrie used his conjured armour and lance, the werewolf his sheer might to outmatch their opponent! From the side, their companions supported their effort the best they could!

But no matter all their might and labour, all assaults were shot down by simple yet fluid moves. It was almost like their opponent was only testing them!

"A brawler werewolf, and a valkyrie elf? What a splendid combination!" Rorschach muttered, holding both combatants in lock at once. In one direction, holding the lance gently between two fingers, in another way a tight grasp squeezed the towering teen's heavy fist. A knuckle that looked coated with some green energy.

"I can't pull it back!"

"Just what the hell…! Guah!"

'Crack! Crack! Crack!'

Slowly, the Ki-hardened fist started to break and creak under the pressure exerted, just like the lance, deep cracks appearing all along the weapon.

"It can't be…!"

"Hmm, the quality of metals and Ki in this world are truly poor. Or is it that you are not using their full potency? We will find it out, eventually."

"Bastard…!"

Another firm squeeze and the instruments of destruction broke, the shockwave and the pain making both attackers recoil.

"Fucking shit!?" The wolf's hand dangled like a boneless fist, trying to squeeze it to put the bones in his fractured hand in place.

"We need to do something, fast…" The elf discarded his broken instrument meanwhile, another one conjuring in his hand. Heavier and sturdier looking than the last. Several more weapons appeared behind his back, floated by some invisible force.

"You don't say." Retorted his colleague mockingly.

"Don't start now!" Spat the elf some blood, even his armour bore cracks.

"Now then! Hear my words, you who stood against the League of Dominion! Witness our might and despair!" Dominus started to laugh, spreading his wings floated above the battlefield. Two pairs of wings, in design different than of a normal devil, bathing in infernal presence, giving him a look befit to a future dark lord!

"He is starting it again…"

"Yeah…"

"That's our boss!"

"Yeah!"

"Show him, Dominus!"

"Ye-Yeah! Lord Dominus is the best!"

His servants either cheered or shrugged seeing the display. Nonetheless, the trap is set!

"Now then! Make your last prayer! For only despair awaits you at the end of the road! The game is over! The end is here…" He boasted, giving the signal to his servants to activate the trap!

"Here we come…" Thanks to the two standing on their toes until now, the rest managed to conjure a trap. A plan, which will hopefully put down this "monster"!

"Oh! I see…" Looking around, the world shifted around the servant, turning into a twisted garden, filled with spooky trees and creatures approaching from all directions.

"How… quaint. I see, so an illusion? These children… shall I entertain them further?"

Slowly but surely, the shadow creatures approached, ever closer, aiming their ranged attacks at him. Dodging, he cut them down one by one, and the beings crumbled to dust.

Maybe he didn't even recognize it as slowly, but surely the trap was set, and he just walked right into it.

"Formation ready." Whispered the kitsune, glancing towards the short girl.

"Thank you for your work."

"Sure…" Muttered the loli. Fixing her gaze towards the dark dome which was surrounded by several fairies.

"Ready?"

"Re-Ready!" Raising her hand, the green-haired devil's yellow eyes glowed up, pentagrams and gears appearing inside her orbs as she activated her skill.

"Str-Strengthen Skill: Maximum!"

At once, the ofuda charms around the illusionary barrier lit up at once, swallowing and sealing everything into a Tori gate that emerged!

"W-We won!? It worked!?"

Dominus blinked, before clearing his throat. "Of course, we have won! There is no doubt about it! My plan was peerless! Like always!"

"As you say, my Lord, your plan was peerless."

Though, his peerage agreed, some still scoffed.

"Hey! Orphipos, wake up!" Finally, they can breathe a sigh of relief, trying to wake up their companion.

"Where…?"

"By Satan, you scared me!"

"How did he get you?"

"I was scouting when… B-Behind you!?"

"My… my… So, you used some skill level multiplier to strengthen the effect of sealing? I expected worse, but it will do… poor shadow clone though. Ah well, it served its purpose."

"!"

Everyone turned towards the voice coming from behind them, just to be overwhelmed right away!

"What the…"

"...Hel!?"

"The game is over, children, it is time to sleep."

All moved at once, but their opponent was not merciful this time!

First, he took out the werewolf and the valkyrie, breaking their bones, armour and weapons without resistance. Then, he aimed against the support. The blood barrier splattered all around as his hand found its way inside the vampire's chest, discarding her and knocking out the recently recovered gunslinger.

"Not good…" The humongous dragon familiar summoned by the twin-tailed girl helped not, it was cut to pieces before she as well was overwhelmed, a quick hit in her gut almost flatlining her.

"I will never…!"

Then the green-haired deviless came, trying to stand between her master and the opponent!

"Guuuuh!" Her frail body simply tossed to the side, with such force she was embedded deep into the wall!

"Lord Dominus, we need to…"

Then the kitsune came, the queen bee herself whose charms were destroyed before she could even activate them!

One by one, all fell; only the stocky and round boy remained, trembling before this elegant monstrosity.

"The time of reckoning is here… young master, tell me, how would you like to fall? Standing proud, or your back on me, trying to escape? Tell me, is it worth it?"

His hands trembled, sweat rolling down his forehead.

It all happened too fast! In less than a few seconds, all his servants were flatlined!

"Just what kind of monstrosity have we awakened?"

What would his grandmother do? What would the Ashen Emperor do?

His mind raced, trying to find a way to overcome this seemingly impossible wall! Yet, before him was an insurmountable opponent! They never stood a chance in the first place!

"First, I need to send them to safety! Yes! Afterwards, I can deal with the rest! A king without trusted advisors is nothing." Just like the Ashen Emperor said in the books, looming over the defeated heavenly king who lost everything by recklessly discarding their servants!

"I can't lose them!"

Concentrating his power, magical circles bearing his family's crest appeared under his legs. Magical pentagrams bore strange runes, encompassing all his fallen comrades. Yet, before the transfer process could start, he felt a jolt of electricity in his hand, breaking the process before it could even begin.

"Ugh! Wha-What was this!?" He started to panic! Just what the hell was this!? How come the emergency escape magic didn't work?!

"Oh! Look at that; want to escape? What a pity."

Is this man doing this?! What kind of monster?! Is he just playing around? Yes, it became obvious after he dispatched his group with ease.

"I read about magic that can block dimensional movement. But my family long ago developed our magic so we can bypass this restriction! Our emergency escape seals were developed just for this! How come he can still block it?!"

"I must admit, you surpassed my expectations."

No! He mustn't panic! Above all, he can't relent, neither turn and run. He is not willing to leave behind his comrades!

"Oh! So you still wish to fight?" Raised his brow the servant, almost mocking.

"How should I run when so much is at stake?"

His body trembled. All his rage, shame, and pride bubbling up at once! But above all, fears the unknown dread he is just facing posed! The thought that he may lose his friends, servants and family did not allow the boy to escape!

"I can't run…"

He was a proud devil noble! Son of the mighty Paimon clan! The descendant of the Siren Witch of Apocalypse! The hero of the Great War and the Devil Civil War!

He is the one who is destined to be the next dark lord! He will not lose! He will overcome! This is just a new challenge that will prove he is worthy! Overcoming this monster, his power will grow to a new height! He will surpass even his legendary grandmother, the Maou, and even the Ashen Emperor!

"Regardless, it is clear who will be the victor." Spreading his arm, on his sweat-drenched face, the grin was forced, sprouting his two pairs of mighty wings from his back again!

An aura of demonic might emerged from his body, fuelled by his rage and dwelling terror; he started to float!

"Is that so?" Rorschach tilted his head, seemingly not intimidated by this presentation. He was almost looking too entertained compared to whom he was facing.

"Bow down and be spared. You proved yourself worthy to join my servants. Resist, and you shall be annihilated!" Pointing at him, Dominus' fingertip materialised a black fireball, lingering and waiting to be launched.

"The [Black Flames of Abyss]? Interesting seeing that skill here."

"So you know about this ability. Then you should also know no mortal or immortal can escape its touch! All those this cold embrace reaches will be banished into nothingness!" Subtly, he used his magic to materialize some [Shadowy Hands], pulling his unconscious servants farther.

"That's true… indeed, it can block all kinds of regeneration. It can even burn magical beings who are immune to physical attacks. Am I right?"

"Well, yeah… basically. That's the point." Muttered Dominus surprised. This "human" knew so much about one of his family's special skills.

"Khm! Anyway, are you willing to admit defeat seeing my powers? Bow before the Dark Lord, and be spared!" He strained his face to remain collected and cool, but he couldn't help but feel it would not be that easy. Yes, if anything, he was confident he couldn't win at all!

He needs to get this done fast, use the Phoenix Tears to heal his companions, grab the girl, and then get away! This whole plan backfired in the worst possible way!

"Who thought this monster guarded her? And where are the Gremory and Sitri when one needs them? Are they not aware of what's going on in their territory?"

Ever since the battle started, he wondered when they would show up to stop him. Yet, his anticipation failed, neither of them appearing to intervene!

"At least I could use them to take out this monster… or leave them to deal with him until we escape! What the hell are they doing? Why are they not here already?"

He glanced to the side, his comrades still not recovered. He needs to be careful!

"I am only saying it is interesting to see it in this realm. I never said it is special or anything." Uninterested, the servant inspected his nails before brushing them against his uniform. "Even an imp can use it."

"You are bluffing!"

"Do I?"

"This constant mockery will be your end. You will regret ever mocking me! Everyone always does it… EVERYONE! But you will learn your place! YOU WILL ALL PERISH! I SWEAR! FOR I AM THE NEXT DARK LORD!" He had no more reason to hold back. He is running out of tools and means to allow himself such luxury!

"You will all learn my true worth!"

The devil noble concentrated every inch of demonic power his body could produce, and the black fireball of the abyss went even darker and sinistrous! Growing in size as he raised both hands in the air! He would go down with a big flash if he had to go!

More and more of these miasmic flames materialised around, concentrated into orbs, absorbed with the single one floating above his palms.

The sheer heat it radiated started to melt the ground underneath, black electricity lashing out from the might he gathered.

"Guuhh!" His body trembled, never before exerting and gathering so much power before at once!

"I am sorry, guys; I can't hold my promise to you." The promise that he swore when they joined him. The oath and dream all agreed to fulfil!

"DIE!"

The mighty attack, which should leave behind nothing, sped towards the servant.

Dominus wasted no time to use his remaining power and hurried to his comrades' side, conjuring a barrier of unholy power, bracing himself for the shockwave that would follow!

"Oh dear, it is so sad when insignificant worms try to look big." Yet, no matter this mighty display, Rorschach smiled, tilting his head, facing with a smile the ginormous black fireball. "Ah well… Phuf!"

Like an adult would snuff out some weak birthday candle with their breath, just such Rorschach dispersed the raging fireball of the abyss with but a breath, leaving behind nothing but the memory of its promised carnage.

"I-Imposible…" Dominus' legs trembled, falling to his knees, disbelief painted on his visage.

"For a child like you, everything is."

"Do-Don't come any closer!" He tried to use his remaining demonic reserves and throw more of his destructive magic against this opponent, but he swatted them away like some annoying fly. Dominus was on to collapse from sheer exhaustion.

"[STOP! I COMMAND YOU!]!" Even the use of his voice proved ineffective.

"[Silence…]" His mouth moved, yet no sound came out. Why can't he speak?! What just happened!?

"The [Black Flames of Abyss,] it is said it is demonkind's own. Inherited from the infernals of old…" Standing over Dominus and his barrier, the servant snapped his finger, igniting some black flames at the end of his fingertips.

"Ho-How!?" Finally, he could speak but was too scared to try dominating him again. No… rather, he knows well it is worth nothing!

"Of course, these flames are but a mere copy. An inferior mirror of the real deal. It cannot be compared to someone like my Lady's dark brilliance. But, oh well… we are but mere servants of her will. We are not meant to reach up to her dark glory. Don't you agree?"

Only a mere ember flicked on his shield, and it was all dispersed like it was never there. Heat unbearable washing through his whole body! Scorching and painful, burning his very soul.

"Ugh!" He was even blown away by a few meters, laying on the ground, pathetic and weak, barely able to raise his head. "A-Are you a demon?! Just what are you?! Th-The dark lord?!"

"Dark lord? Pff! Me?" He laughed sourly. "I told you already, I am but a mere servant, boy."

It was like his face twisted, losing all integrity for a moment to form an ear-to-ear grin. Only three holes, without a nose, eyes or any characteristics! A blank face twisted into a terrible grin!

"Pl-Please, spare my servants. It was my idea… IT WAS MY FAULT!" For the first time since the battle started, Dominus felt true despair, even going that far to strike a dogeza pose before this being.

"Killing you? Oh, dear child, for those who harboured the sanctity of my dear, death is too kind. Fortunately for you, I have many questions. Now, [Sleep]."

His eyes widened before an unbearable dream descended on his body. He couldn't fight it, it was impossible.

"The goddess of hope is such a cruel host, don't you think, young master?"

"Dammit…"

Dominus felt his consciousness slowly leaving him, pushing him into the dark.

Will he and his servants survive, left to the mercy of this terrible monster? Or is this the end of their journey? Only the future can tell.


Scene Change: Abandoned Church: Next Night:

"Xenovia, are you sure you are all right?"

"I am fine; please don't worry yourself."

The exorcist tried to hiss her worry away, but seeing her hand still shaking doing so was hard. She just can't make a bad feeling go away.

"What did Cesare-san say about it?"

"He said, it will heal, in time. The after-effect of the rejection damaged the nerves. Not irreversibly, fortunately." She allowed herself to be convinced to let that "traitor" examine her. Ever since she feels like someone who betrayed God and her cause. Accepting help from someone close to being excommunicated was blasphemy in her eyes.

"That's good news, I guess."

"Yes…" Wobbly, Xenovia stood up, looking at her sword, Excalibur Destruction. A black sword full of lustre, divinity and the power of destruction.

"…"

Wordless, she reached towards the sword, only to pull her hand back. She did not feel the same connection like back then, almost like the weapon shunned her. Doing so because she forced it to go against its true master.

"Xenovia, look, we…"

"I am fine, really." She waved away her comrade's worry, annoyed. "We need to find a way to take her in! There must be a loophole we can use!"

"Are you still thinking she was the one?"

"We have no other suspect, Irina. She must be the one." No matter how she tried to look, the exorcist with blue hair was convinced it was her. They found no other trace ever since coming here, and they looked everywhere in the city!

"Shouldn't we simply convince her to come with us? Like simply asking? I am sure, if we ask nicely, she will…"

"Asking a blasphemer to confess?" Xenovia almost scoffed! "Besides, we already tried that, and see where it led!"

Well, Irina wouldn't call it a nice invitation. Should they just ask nicely before demanding, maybe?

"Then, what do you propose? As you can see, we couldn't defeat her, even with Excalibur."

"I don't know! Dammit!" Xenovia clenched her fist, looking down at her hardened hands helplessly.

"We can always call for reinforcements. Or wait until Cesare-san finishes his investigation. If we…"

"Do you propose to admit our failure? To ask the help of that man? What God and the Seraph would think? What would our master do to us?"

"Ugh!?"

Punishment and repentance ordered by God? She had no problem with that. She would take any burden the holy maiden deemed necessary. But to face their master's wrath? That's something neither of them would risk.

"We need to kidnap her it seems, while she is sleeping."

"But… that's shady! That's not honorable!" Irina squirmed uneasily at the idea. "Only devils would do such a villainous thing!"

"Yet, that's our only choice now. If she is truly innocent, we can apologise and repent later. If not, well, we fulfilled our mission."

Though Irina didn't like the idea at all, it was a lot better than the alternative.

"I still don't like it, but very well. Though, we still need to explain the thing that happened with Excalibur."

"We will do that later; but first, we need to complete our task."

"I guess, you are right."

Nodding, the two girls geared up, on to set out for their mission. Like zealots, even discarding the warning, they were given. Not even suspecting, someone already watched their every step from the far.

"Well, well, well… the two stray exorcists set out, and with what interesting toys! Our sources were correct, after all."

Adjusting his glasses, the shady figure grinned, standing on a rooftop not far from the abandoned church. The cold breeze of night air brushed against his curly hair and thin trimmed moustache.

"Ah, finally!"

In the next moment, he heard the soft landing, akin to someone arriving at his location.

"Have you captured our blackmail material? It is important to have something in our hands against that person. I heard she can be quite volatile when not kept on leash."

"The collection of the first target finished. The rest is in progress." Reported the fallen man behind him.

"Mmmm! Good."

He right away heard the struggle, voice muffled by something in their mouth, tightly bound.

"And will it be effective?"

"According to our information, the target is quite close to them." Reported one of his assistant exorcists, standing not far from him. "Analysing her pattern of behaviour, our sources reported; statistically, it is improbable our target will not bend to our request once we provide what she can lose."

"Good! Splendid! In that case, let's start the operation. The first step, collect the two fragments. Bring back the dears to the one who truly understands their struggle." Rubbing his strangely smooth hands together, the bespectacled man grinned in anticipation.

He need not wait any longer, and his cherished pieces will help bolster his research further!

"What should we do with the exorcists?"

"Ah! Those girls? They are of no importance. Kill them? Spare them? I entrust it to you. Alas, more subjects for my research never hurts. So, capturing them alive is preferable…" For a moment, he started to ponder. One dared not to question what kind of twisted ideas circulated in his mind. "I wonder how my new serum works on exorcists — Especially two young promising ones like them. Young people are so much more malleable than the old. Easy to shape…."

As such twisted ideas appeared in his mind, his staff behind him shuddered, seeing firsthand what kind of monstrosities this man had grown in his lab.

The endgame for this long-awaited confrontation started; one can only wonder where it will lead.

What fate awaits the Exorcist duo?

Can they escape? Or is their fate already sealed?

Who was the mysterious blackmail material?

Will Dominus and his group gain mercy? Or forever join the long list of dead the dark lord left?

What is Kokabiel's real plan to subjugate his opponents?

Will the Original Dark Lord be dragged into this mess? Will her secret finally be revealed?

Many and more questions still need to be answered!

To find them, read further and find out!


A/N:

Well, it was sometimes! Sorry for not publishing for long!

I hope you enjoyed this chapter just as much as I did writing it! :P

I do not promise that such a long hiatus will not happen again; as usual, life is a struggle; sometimes, one must stop to fix the mess!

But until then, I wish you a happy late Halloween and a splendid life!

We shall meet again in the next chapter!

RnR!

Read and Review!

If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask!

Good morning! Good day! Good night! Sail safe!

May you all live a happy, fulfilling life!

Oblivon2991 out!

Until next time!