TWGOK: Post Game Content
Chapter 3: Interrogations part I
Sorry this chapter is over a week late. Busy person and this chapter dragged on a lot further than anticipated. I had to split this chapter into two because of how long it is. So, the next chapter should come in within the next 7 days. I'll shut up about my '3k word preference' for now since I'm clearly not sticking to that. So, for now, chapters are going to be as long as I can reasonably make them.
DarkSoulthe2nd & xellos540: I obviously have already replied to the both of you, but I still want to thank you for once again for your wonderful reviews and comments as they brighten my day and motivate me to do write better!
Nothing much left to say now other than R&R of course!
The sun is bright. It's a sign of the dawn of a new day. To many, the rising sun is the gateway to a bright and happy day.
To someone like Keima though, who often spends their days in solitude playing games, the sun is nothing more than something to wake up to before promptly closing the curtains.
Today though is different. He has a long day ahead of himself and if he doesn't want to suffer more than he already is expecting he'll have to; he might as well wake up early and get a head start.
He grabbed his Majima High uniform to get ready for school. He made sure to take another glance at that emblem on the uniform.
That's right, he had proclaimed to himself that he's going to investigate everything that's happened up until now.
All those burning questions left unanswered.
He really is giving himself too much work. Couldn't he have waited until after today of all days?
No, today is the perfect day to start investigating. Today is going to be an encounter rich day where he could hopefully answer some of those questions with little effort.
He headed downstairs for breakfast. He hadn't noticed it the other day, but given how much more relaxed it is now, he hadn't realized the effects of being stuck in a child's body for an extended period of time had on him.
It felt like he is walking on stilts. This combined with him trying to walk downstairs with his eyes glued to his PFP naturally caused him to trip down the stairs a land with a large thud.
The door down the hallway creaked open as a familiar face poked out from the side of the door.
"Nii-sama?" Elsie rushed over to make sure he wasn't injured too bad before helping him stand back up.
Elucia De Lute Ima. Elsie Katsuragi. Eri Katsuragi. Or whatever the hell she's going by these days.
This is the demon girl who had been assigned to him as his demon 'buddy' to supposedly hunt down loose souls together with.
At first, she was a woefully incompetent and immature girl with little to offer in terms of support for his conquests.
Outside of simple tasks he gave her that wouldn't be possible without the celestial robe, she was often left floundering around outside of any of his plans.
In short, she was a useless buddy.
However, over the past few weeks, she had showing clear signs of improvement. Her critical thinking skills and proficiency with the celestial robe has drastically greatened.
During his little blast to the past, she had managed to fool Vintage multiple times with her celestial dolls and even managed to confine one equipped with an assault rifle.
Yes, Vintage was stuck using 10 year outdated hellish technology, so they were at a disadvantage, but they were still members of an evil organization and proved to be competent in combat training.
If there is one thing that he could commend Elsie on, it's her determination. He didn't pay enough attention to it, but he is sure that she puts a lot of practice in behind the scenes, even if she does get easily sidetracked.
"Nii-sama?" Elsie repeated herself, waving her hand over his face multiple times before he came back to reality.
"You want some breakfast? I whipped up something special again!" Finally getting his attention, Elsie dragged him against his will into the kitchen.
Elsie had seemingly ended her ties with the loose souls' team completely. This could be evidenced by her apparel. She no longer wore the standard loose soul detector skull pin on her head.
Previously, you wouldn't catch her dead without that device. The only time it was ever taken off normally was when sleeping, bathing, or swimming.
In its place now is a small yellow smiley face pin complemented by a thin, white headband over her hair.
Her hair had now changed style, from a long ponytail with a hair clip supporting it to a more natural style that let her hair flow freer.
The greatest change however is probably her standard attire. She no longer seems to be wearing her violet kimono she brought from Hell. Now she's been wearing a more 'normal' outfit for someone in this day and age.
It doesn't seem like she's quite settled on a new appearance, because she's mostly been wearing her school dress shirt and skirt with a green overshirt.
Though obviously with school being soon, she is currently wearing her Majima High uniform, the only part of her that really hasn't changed.
It's apparent that this sudden wardrobe change is a result of her attempt to distance herself from Hellish affairs, a great relief to him that's for sure.
"Today we have three-headed serpent scale pancakes, Hell-fire roasted Erimakitoseka eggs, with a side of charred Madobou bacon!" Elsie exclaimed as if he would be excited to eat such a 'creative' meal.
Yet, here she is still cooking these atrocities from Hell. Old habits die hard. Well, if she can no longer go to Hell, maybe that means that eventually whatever stockade of hellish ingredients would dry up soon.
"The only time anybody would consider eating something with that naming convention would be Halloween." He slowly pushed away the meal with his index finger.
He had to take special precautions to make sure he didn't accidentally touch any part of the meal, especially the pancakes as they slithered around on the plate.
Elsie puffed out her cheeks in disappointment as Mari made her way downstairs.
Mari saw Keima and Elsie sitting at the table and her eyes swelled with tears of joy. To see her son and daughter waiting for her to eat with them before heading off for school made her feel accomplished as a mother.
Eri is as close to a perfect daughter as one can get, but Keima on the other hand, is a bit of a problem child to put it lightly. He's often reluctant to take a break from his games, even first thing in the morning.
She sees no problem with him as he is studious, polite (when needed), and doesn't cause problems for others.
He doesn't know it himself it seems, but she could see the warm and gentle side to him only a mother could know of! If he wasn't so obsessive over those damned games, he could be a real popular guy!
So, to see him without a PFP and Eri sitting together for a normal breakfast in the morning made her heart skip a beat.
And Eri making her mother breakfast for her is just the icing on the cake!
She happily sat down in an empty seat and dug into the meal made for her.
"Y-you realize what you're eating, right?" Keima groaned as he watched his mother gulf down a meal from Hell without hesitation.
"Keima, eat your sister's breakfast. It's an overseas recipe from England when Eri studied abroad. You shouldn't be afraid to expand your food palate." Mari disapprovingly crossed her arms.
"Have you ever looked at recipes from England?" He pointed at the moving pancakes.
For a café owner like her who makes English treats and beverages daily, she shouldn't be taking Elsie's recipes for her own.
The thought of others unwittingly scarfing down anything from Hell is a fate he didn't wish upon anybody.
Speaking of which, a little alarm went off on the Mari's phone. That's the cue for her to start prepping the café for opening in a few hours.
Usually the café is closed on Tuesdays but today Mari had decided to open shop anyways. It's probably a burst of motivation after hearing Keiichi would soon be returning home.
It's also a cue for him and Elsie to head out for school as well.
Elsie had just headed out the door, Keima in tow, when Mari had stopped dead in her tracks.
She reached to the back of her head, slowly letting her hair down, then pushing her glasses to her face silently. This is known as an impending disaster.
"Keimaaaaaa…" she growled, making sure to drag on his name.
He hoped this wouldn't happen, that Mari would forget about his foolish mistake the other day. That wouldn't be like her though so of course she remembers.
Every hair on Keima's body stuck up as he slowly turned his head back around into the house to meet Mari.
She is pissed off as indicated by the deadly aura around her and her shaking fist clenched up.
"I heard you skipped school the other day, care to explain yourself?" She muttered, the aura growing with every passing moment.
No way is she letting him off the hook for this one. He may be a studious student with perfect grades but skipping school for what she probably assumes is related to his games isn't going to boil over with her.
If he wants to keep his life though, he has to spill the truth to her.
"I confessed my love for a girl the other day and went out on a date with her." He responded devoid of emotion.
He promptly slammed the door shut and speedran to Elsie who is waiting by the gate for him, so to not overstay his welcome after dropping the bombshell.
It's the best option for him for that scenario. She knows that he's always been an extremely anti-social person, willingly too. By announcing he went out on a date with a girl, he has killed two birds with one stone.
He gave a reasonable excuse for skipping school. Not only did he give the truth more or less, but she is likely not to punish him for the sole reason that she is probably over the moon in delight that he son has cracked out of his bubble, not to mention might be in a relationship!
Also, he made sure to be as vague as possible. It is still him after all, she knows his position as the God of Conquest, the one who has claimed the hearts of tens of thousands of game heroines!
By not saying who it is or whether she is real or not, he has effectively planted a seed of doubt in her mind whether he is going out with a real girl or not.
He can buy time before the curiosity gets the best of her at least. It's not ideal as he isn't quite prepared for Mari to know about Chihiro and him, not until the both of them sort out their feelings.
However, if he tried to get away with a different excuse, Mari in her 'strict mode' would have surely done horrible things to him.
She always supported his strange dating sim habit since the beginning but doing something as heinous as skipping school would likely have temporarily halted her generosity.
If she took away his consoles, what would he do? He can't hide away that many oversized consoles like he could with his PFPs at school.
Some games are exclusive to those consoles and losing access to them would dethrone his position as the God of Conquest, reputation wise that is.
Her willingness to accept his strange behavior is his lifeblood, one that he can't lose even for a moment!
With that out of the way for now, after meeting up with Elsie at the front gate, they proceeded down on their journey to school.
"Ehh?" Elsie looked around surprised. "Is Tenri not going to walk with us today?"
"Of course not, you brain-dead demon. She doesn't even go to our school." He sighed as Elsie let out a big "oohhhh" as she was reminded of that fact.
"Well, we should see her soon enough anyway." He groaned as he pulled out his PFP.
It is finally time to truly get to tackling the investigation. The best way to do so is by grabbing the bull by the horns to speak. If he had questions, why not just ask the ones he had questions about?
"I've posed this question before to you Elsie, but what are you exactly?"
"Eh? Im your prized little sister, don't you remember Nii-Sama?" Elsie giggled at the end.
"No, I mean before that. Stopping time, altering time and space. How did you manage to pull off impossible acts like those? There's no way a normal demon could pull that off."
"Good question! I have no idea!"
Giggling again, her eyes averting his own for a brief moment.
Jeez? Who do she take him for? She should know by now that he can read the actions of any girl effortlessly.
"Elsie…" His patience started to wear down.
"I was the 'last boss' Nii-Sama! Through your hard work, you've saved all the heroines and finished the game as you would say! Yay!"
Elsie threw up her hands in the air dramatically in a show of celebration.
"Quit dodging the subject, I didn't ask about that. I already knew that you were this supposed 'last boss', the real question is if you have another boss phase?"
Elsie tilted her head in visible confusion as she obviously had no clue what he meant by boss phases.
"Allow me to explain" He pushed up his glasses.
"In games, sometimes there are multiple boss phases. Sometimes, these occur one after another.
Other times, they occur over the course of a game or series in what could be called a re-fight boss battle.
So long as the new fight retains the spirit of the original battle while still adding new elements upon that, it can still be called another boss phase, even if it didn't occur directly after the previous phase.
I acknowledge you as the 'last boss', but I refuse to believe that was the end of you as a boss.
Your boss battle or whatever you want to call it depending on the game genre was practically non-existent, leading me to believe that there is another phase."
Nope, Elsie is still confused on the terminology. However, she does seem to get the big picture.
"So, what you're saying is that there is more to me than let on, right?" Elsie stopped walking beside him.
"Precisely. It's my intention to figure this all out and reach a more conclusive ending. I won't allow my pride as a gamer be trampl- ".
Keima noticed that Elsie is no longer walking beside him, instead she had stopped in her tracks a few feet behind him.
"Well don't. You've already reached the ending. There's no more to explore. It's all over, there's no reason to get involved with Hell anymore." Elsie stated clearly upset, her hand clenching her school blazer tightly and her face unreadable.
What the hell is with her sudden tone change? This isn't like Elsie at all. She has always been supportive of his decisions and actions no matter what, so what's with the sudden break in character?
"Wait? What do you mean by that?" He backed up to Elsie to give a more direct confrontation before she suddenly burst off ahead of him.
After she managed to gain some ground on him, she looked back over at him over her shoulders.
"My name is Eri Katsuragi now, don't forget that Nii-Sama."
Elsie stated that with such an emotionless expression and frankly, it's unnerving for him.
She had now disappeared out of his vision where she has presumably run off to school without him.
What was that all about?
If there's one thing he could take from that event, it's that warning sirens are going off all around him. Oh, there's definitely something up with her.
But why is she refusing to cooperate with him? He can't think of a single moment where Elsie hadn't cooperated with him when offered. Doesn't she trust him?
She's hiding something from him, and it has to be a massive flag in that case. Just how severe is it if even Elsie won't support him?
Unfortunately, he didn't get a single answer out of her like he had hoped, but at the very least, he has confirmation that there's more to this story.
Otherwise, Elsie would have been her usual bubbly self, answering whatever questions she had the answers to.
She did previously mention something about remembering about her past just before she removed their chokers, so she did have answers to something he imagines.
For now though, that's all he could get from her. Now, he just has one more person to talk to at school before the dreaded event creeping on him.
Keima reached the school gate where he timidly watched his steps as if expecting another break in reality like before.
At least for now, it seems like nothing is breaking so he proceeded as normal into the school building to attend class.
He poked his head into the class where everyone was getting prepared for class.
It seems that Elsie as optimistic as ever, has bounced back to her usual self where she enthusiastically greeted Ayumi, Chihiro, and Miyako casually.
"Oi! Eri! Ayumi! Where have you two been for the past few days? You hadn't picked up your phone in forever!" Chihiro grinned brightly as she tightly embraced the two of them in-between them.
"Pfft. You mean Elly?" Ayumi chuckled, pointing out Chihiro's small fumble.
"Elly? Is that some new nickname?" Chihiro blinked in confusion.
"Eh? No, we've always nicknamed Elsie as Elly, remember?"
Chihiro and Miyako looked over to each other in agreement when they responded.
"Elsie? Are you ok, Ayumi? Are you not somehow mistaking names with someone else?"
"Argghh! Nothing makes any sense anymore. Elly or Eri, do you know what's going on?" Ayumi looked over to Elsie for confirmation.
"Awawawawa." Elsie stumbled over herself, raising her hands in protest.
Keima loudly slammed the door aside with a loud slam as he walked in, an unusual action by him as he would rather not mark his presence.
However, Elsie in her infinite wisdom who controlled time and space, didn't even make a proper cover story for herself.
If she's bent time and space, altering memories in the process, she should at least realize that a goddess influence on their host won't allow their memories to be altered!
So now he has to cover for her yet again for the time being. By announcing his arrival with such an entrance, he can avert the eyes from Elsie to himself.
At least though, he made sure not to acknowledge their presence as he is entirely fixated on his PFP as usual.
He could feel their glares though. Elsie who is probably still upset at him, Ayumi too as she has questions for him for sure, Chihiro who's anticipating him to let her know everything, and even Miyako for some reason.
He sat down in his seat, waiting for that one person to show up as she always does. Nikaido-Sensei, or Dokorou to be exact.
If she's spiritually connected to Dokorou Skull, even if Dokorou Skull is dead, she probably has the answer to his foundation question.
If she can answer that question, all his other questions should fall into his lap easily enough. He can finish this mess in record speed!
Of course, nothing ever works the way he wants though.
The door slid open again and to his horror, Nikaido-Sensei's commandeering presence was replaced by a weak, meekly one instead.
A late 50 looking year-old looking man stepped into the classroom, tripping over a large selection of books and folders before collecting himself and presenting himself to the class.
"H-Hello, my name is [BACKGROUND CHARACTER]-Sensei. From today onwards, I will be your teacher for the rest of the semester until a replacement for Nikaido-Sensei can be found."
The class looked around, whispering to one another as they stomached the shock. Rumors flew around quick as they tried to baseless conclusions about what happened.
"To dispel any rumors, Nikaido-Sensei simply phoned into the school the other day that she is no longer showing up to school as she has been hired elsewhere."
Of course, the class didn't buy that's not juicy enough drama for them to spread around and the whispers grew into full-blown discussions and arguments between the students.
Some were thrilled that their strict sensei is now gone and that they might finally be able to take it easy while others were upset as she was a inteligent teacher who taught very well. Others were simply just worried for her as it was out of the blue.
Keima's head planted itself into his desk.
'Seriously!? No 2-week notice or anything?' He thought to himself.
He should have seen this coming to be fair. She did tell him this was coming, but he didn't expect this so soon. Couldn't she tell that there would be follow up questions after?
Unless that's precisely why she left so suddenly? Damn, he should have really asked those questions when he had the chance. What a wasted opportunity.
Where did Dokorou run off to?
Class started relatively normally after the new teacher settled down the class.
"HEY! Put those damn games away!" The new teacher snatched away his PFP from his hands.
The entire class knew what is about to go down and they all started chatting amongst themselves again.
Keima pulled out another PFP where it was again promptly taken away, frustrating the new teacher even more.
Another one of course came out and just before it could be snagged, Keima pushed out the box full of 100 or so PFPs that seemingly came out of nowhere from under his desk with his feet.
"Try me. You can never live up to her dedication." He stated as he grabbed another PFP from the box, playing both at the same time, stacked one on the other.
He didn't bother putting in the effort for a cleverly sly mark, but it's good enough at least as the new teacher's nose is practically blowing steam out of it.
The teacher promptly left the classroom in frustration for a moment, before returning to class, no longer bothering with Keima.
It's time for the moment Keima has been dreading for a long time. Lunch time on the first day back to school.
This left him in an even more bitter mood than before. Two events gone by now and not a single answer of his has been answered.
He knew that it wouldn't be that easy to get his answers, but not seeing any progression leaves a sour taste in his mouth.
When lunch starts, most students go out to battle for Yaikisoba bread, a good portion stays in their classes and bunches up with friends to eat whatever Bento they brought from home, and a very small select few go to the cafeteria to order overpriced food.
For him, much to Elsie's disappointment, he wouldn't dare eat whatever she packed for him, so the only nutrition for him during lunch is his games as usual.
Today though, he has to wait for a brief period for the event to start.
Right on cue, he heard a chair dragging along the floor as someone got out of their seat.
Ayumi Takahara. The only girl hosting a goddess in his class. She is now standing in front of him, arms folded together.
Before she could say anything, Keima raised his hand in front of her face.
"Yeah, yeah. I'll meet you on the roof in a few minutes. I promise." He sighed.
He recoiled a slight bit in anticipation of some sort of attack from Ayumi but surprisingly, there's no pain.
He expected Ayumi to belittle him or kick him or something, but she is being unexpectedly relaxed.
Shouldn't she be pissed off over what's happened over the past few weeks?
Ayumi only nodded her head as she jogged out of the classroom and up to the roof.
Great, with the essential characters now presumably gathered at the roof, he has room to bring the other two as they are needed there as well.
Elsie and Chihiro aren't who he would flag as essential for this, but it's going to be much easier to explain things with those two there.
He walked up to Chihiro's desk first. Normally, he would grab Elsie first, but if she's still upset with him, having Chihiro with him to bring her along will be easier.
"It's time Chihiro, come with me and I can finally explain everything to you." He held out his hand as a comfort gesture.
"Remember Keima, everything. You're going to tell me everything, right?" She asked again, making sure that he nodded in agreement before taking his hand.
Next up is Elsie. The two of them walked over to Elsie's desk.
'Wait, why is Eri coming along?' Chihiro pondered to herself.
However, instead of gently bringing her with him, he grabbed the back of her shirt collar and dragged her against her will with him.
"Nii-Sama! You're so mean! Let me go!" Elsie whined, her arms and legs flailing in protest.
At the very, she didn't take whatever upset her earlier personally it seems.
The three of them had reached the school roof. Strangely enough, not many people know about the school roof, which makes it a perfect spot to game alone.
Today however is different of course, like he has said more than once already.
He made his way over to a particular bench. Benches typically aren't particularly noticeable other than to shut down any confession hopes and desires one may have. However, there is one bench that stands above the rest.
This bench that is the one before him with a velvet red fur blanket draped over it. Tsukiyo's bench.
And low and behold, there is the petite blonde foreign-like girl herself, sitting there patiently.
She seemed rather tense today despite her doll, Luna accompanying her as well. That's probably because of the rather large party assemble by her bench.
On the left of her bench is Ayumi and Yui, the former tapping her foot repeatedly while the latter in her boys' uniform who blew a kiss towards Keima upon seeing him.
She's still not gunning for him, is she?! Like Chihiro, she is fully capable of making him flustered and confused. Please don't make this more difficult than it already is Yui!
Anyway, to his surprise is Tenri. She already knows everything that's going on so why she is here as well is anyone's guess.
As usual, in a social environment she has withdrawn entirely, popping her bubble wrap as expected.
Even Kanon is there! Of course, Keima expected that despite her very limited free time. She must have pulled some strings with her manager to attend this important event.
Given that the school isn't in an uproar today, it looks like she's been escorted here in secret so that this event doesn't turn into a spectator event.
She's wearing a dark blue puffy overcoat, heavy spectacles, and a large blue matching beret to cover her distinct pink hair as an extra layer of disguise.
She took off her beret just then as Keima presented himself.
She's acting much more reserved than before, a direct effect of Chihiro's influence. Instead of jumping on him like she might have before, she only offered a warm smile as an introduction.
Elsie though is the one who jumped on Kanon instead. The superfan in her couldn't help but break the distance between the two of them.
Kanon isn't personally close to Elsie relationship-wise but she couldn't help but give cute head pats for her.
Afterall, Elsie is the one who saved her career during her time unconscious.
The most surprising thing of all though is Shiori. She isn't to the left or right of the bench, but instead sitting directly on the bench next to Tsukiyo.
Tsukiyo never lets anybody sit with her on the bench besides Luna normally. If the blanket is on the bench, you can forget about sitting there.
What could have happened between the two of them out of his knowledge?
With everyone gathered now, the event commences!
Shiori of all people is the one who stood up of all people.
Everyone looked over to a flustered Shiori who has now standing up, realized the embarrassment overcoming her, and her knees trembled.
Tsukiyo reached over and lightly elbowed her in the back of her knee causing Shiori to stumble slightly. It's a strange form of support, but it's the best that Tsukiyo could do.
"I want to thoroughly investigate everything that's happened!" She blurted out.
Keima's eyes widened upon hearing that.
He didn't see that coming, especially not from Shiori. He expected Ayumi to be the first to speak up.
But looking over, Ayumi didn't seem to even care whatsoever! She looks to have her head in the clouds staring out into the distance, her arms behind her head with hands locked together giving off a carefree expression.
What's going on? Nobody is acting exactly as he predicted! Just what happened with everyone while he was in the past?
Though thinking about Shiori's sudden announcement, it might suit him better.
Shiori is a smart girl, and her access and understanding of the largest collection of books in Majima City could be a great boon for his investigation.
He didn't see it coming, but the two of them in their desire of information have somehow procured a collective goal.
Together they could be the Sherlock Holmes and John Watson duo of the investigation.
He can't have it go exactly like that for his own reasons but Shiori could be a great partner for certain parts of his investigation, especially regarding topics found in books such as the history of Maijima City.
He will need to get back to her eventually.
Tsukiyo suddenly spoke up as well to voice her own opinion as well.
"KATSURAGI!" She shouted.
For a small girl who doesn't like to speak to people all too often, when she speaks, she's loud. Suddenly all eyes were all her.
"I speak for everyone here when I ask What the hell was going on!?"
No way is he getting out of this one. Playing with her heart not once but twice! And by what she could infer from the others, looks like her case isn't special either.
She thought he could see the beauty of the moon just like she could, but all he turned out to be is a big deceiving liar!
How did she end up falling in love for the same disgusting man not once but twice? And to suddenly turn on his head and announce he is in love with another woman after kissing her less than a month earlier!
She could have spent so much more time in her own beautiful world, alone and undisturbed just like she has always been.
But why does that make her feel so… empty?
She can't deny that she didn't necessarily hate the time she spent with him and plus, if she hadn't met him, she would have never met such a good friend like Shiori.
Shiori is very distant still, but she could see the passion in her eyes. It's similar to Kasturagi in a way, but minus the whole deception bit.
She could see how Katsuragi's eyes lit up when he spoke of that strange 2-D girl and those fake worlds he engrossed himself in just like Shiori's eyes did the same when she spoke of the library and her books.
They both seek beauty in their own ways, just like how she does in her own observatory.
And that's why she had to support Shiori here! If anybody has some of the answers that she is look for, it's the horrible man in front of them! It's time for an interrogation!
He will probably try to run away, use some weird magic like he did the first time he met her, but she swears that on Luna that she will not let him have his way this time!
"Fine, I will tell you all everything that's happened over the past year or so, since I got involved in this ridiculous plot." Keima stated to them all.
Wait what? No, he must be lying, some strange underlying motive she isn't seeing here. He's done it before, he can do it again.
"On that day… ever since I was summoned to do Hell's work on the roof… my daily life has fallen apart."
"And who's going to believe such a ridiculous lie?" She retorted.
"And who's the ones who can claim to have celestial beings inhabiting your bodies!?" He retorted back.
She is this close to jumping out of her seat and slapping him across the face, as unbeautiful as that may be when suddenly Shiori softly grabbed her arm and lowered it.
"Let's hear him out on this one, please. He's the only one we can rely on for this." Shiori insisted.
'HE WAS TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT THAT!?' Shiori internally screamed at herself.
She thought that was just a ridiculous made-up excuse about why he was cross-dressing!
But it lines up with the strange situations that's been popping up in her life, there's more to this that he can share!
"Ahem, anyway." He coughed into his arm.
"There was a high school boy named Keima Katsuragi.
Katsuragi was a genius who cherished his solitude, an unbelievable God of Conquest.
Then one day, Katsuragi received in email.
It happened in a flash! A devil from New Hell had appeared before Katsuragi!
This devil called Elsie was useless!". He pointed directly at Elsie.
While all the girls were dumbfounded by his ridiculous description of his story, Elsie pulled him away, behind some trees and bushes just out of sight.
"Nii-Sama!" You can't throw me under the bus like that!" She whined.
"You're the one who threw me under the bus to begin with. I have to explain why I've had to kiss 20+ girls and 6-time some of them!" He complained right back.
"But I'm not associated with Hell anymore!"
"But you were, and you are technically the reason for me having to go and conquer them!"
"Well, technically, you're the one who used the device to open the gaps in their hearts." Elsie stuck out her tongue in protest.
"Quit trying to play smart! Why? What do you want to tell them?"
"I don't know!" Elsie twiddled with her fingers.
"If you're going to try and argue with me, at least make up your damn mind!"
Elsie looked downtrodden again as she tried weighing her options to no avail.
"What's going to happen if they hear that and hate me for it though?"
Elsie couldn't bear the thought of losing her friends Ayumi, Chihiro, Yui, and Kanon.
What would they say? She supported her Nii-Sama in his conquest for their hearts. She actively lied about herself to them. How could they trust her ever again?
"Well, if it came down to that, you really have nobody to blame but yourself." He admitted casually.
"Nii-Sama!" Tears started to well up in her eyes.
"Relax there. Trust me, they won't hate you. If I've learned anything over the past year, it's that true friendships like the ones you hold with them won't break so easily.
Just make sure you tell them the whole truth and express your opinions with complete conviction. You will get through to them, I can promise you that with my own conviction."
"Jeez, you really have a way with words, you know that?" Elsie looked away, blushing in embarrassment.
"Plus, the truth here is important. We owe them that much, don't we?" Keima added in the end.
Elsie's blush deepened slightly.
Her Nii-Sama has really grown as a person hasn't he? When she first met him, he was so distant. She felt she could never reach him.
Every time she tried to run faster and catch up with him, he would end up even further from her than before.
She's sure that he's not even aware of it himself, but the people he's interacted with and shared experiences with together has really changed his perception of this world.
She wanted her Nii-Sama to love this world just like how she does.
He's never felt so close before and it made her heart swell up. No, he never slowed down, nor did she either.
Her Nii-Sama ran faster and faster as he always did, but now he extended his hand back to her. He's willing to help those in need.
His commitment to tell the truth to the girls moved her. There's no logical reason to tell them everything. She knew that in the past, he would have simply ignored the issue until the girls quit pestering him.
So how could she refuse him like this?
"Just this once Nii-Sama, I'll be my previous self." Elsie smiled deeply towards him.
Keima was a bit surprised at Elsie smiling. He expected her to accept like he wanted, but he also expected she would only do so reluctantly, especially with what happened on the way to school.
The underlying issue about that event may still be prevalent but he seems to have circumvented the expected reaction somehow.
"Good, but can you cut it with the creepy smile." He groaned.
"Haiiii~" She walked back to the event with Keima.
"There you are, you thought you could hide away from us?" Tsukiyo growled, clearly losing her patience.
If there is anybody who is the most pissed off over what happened, it's her. Clearly, she is still a perfect host for Vulcanus
Again, on cue, seemingly out of nowhere, Keima was assaulted by a book as if his mind was read.
"Starting back where I last left off…"
Keima immediately dropped to the ground, bowing down in the most pathetic fashion imaginable.
"I apologize for everything that's happened."
Everyone's jaws sank seeing him throw away his pride so suddenly.
"You too!" He whispered aggressively to Elsie.
Elsie dropped down into the same position.
"Wait, Eri too!?" Chihiro exclaimed in total shock.
"I'm sorry, I'm really, really sorry everybody!" Elsie let out.
Elsie looked over to Keima where he shook his head in agreement. Standing back up, Elsie took one big breath before she revealed it all.
"My real name is Elucia De Lute Ima, but please call me Eri Katsuragi. I'm a 3rd class demon of New Hell assigned to the Runaway Spirit Squad.
I was previously tasked with capturing the evil Runaway Spirits that escaped captivity in New Hell, who plotted their revenge in the human world.
To do so, my former Chief named Dokorou Skull assigned me to a 'buddy' to help capture the Spirits.
This 'buddy' of mine is my Nii-Sama right here who accepted the contract from Dokorou Skull to capture all the Spirits in the city."
"Unwittingly, my I add." Keima chipped in.
"The captive spirits gain power by taking residents in the gaps of a girl's heart.
To force them out of a heart, I needed Nii-Sama to make you all fall in love with him to fill the gap in your hearts with his love and force the Spirits out!
After the Runaway Spirits were caught, One of Hell's admins erased any memory you had interacting with Nii-Sama over the course of the Spirit possession.
To ensure that we would do our jobs, Hell has us wear these chokers that would decapitate us if we ever tried to forcibly remove them."
Shocked silence. This was a huge drop on everybody, information-wise.
"W-Wait, this has to be one big joke, right? There's no way that can be true!" Ayumi blurted out, looking around for confirmation.
"Do I have to mention the goddesses inhabiting your bodies again?!" Keima spurted out.
"Oh, so it was your job to have us fall for you. Ahhh, what a twist of fate!" Yui said, coming to realization landing her fist into the palm of her other hand.
"So, wait, Eri, you're a bonified demon? Like the evil, manipulative, deceptive red-looking dudes with horns and goat bottoms?" Chihiro brought up.
"We new demons are different from the ones of old." Elsie looked down displeased.
"Pffft, as if Eri could pull off an act like that! She's an honest maiden a heart." Yui included.
"That and she's too clumsy and air-headed to hide any ill-intent from us!" Ayumi enthusiastically slapped Elsie's back causing her to nearly trip over.
Chihiro walked up to her and stuck her fingers in her mouth, prodding around for a bit.
"Yea, and I'm not seeing any fangs here!" Chihiro started playing around with Elsie.
"No horns here either!" Ayumi shuffled her hands through her hair.
"Well, demons in families with a long history do have them." Elsie interjected.
"And no tail to speak of!" Out of nowhere, Yui snuck under Elsie, peeking up her skirt, causing her to jump away humiliated.
"So, you guys aren't mad at me?" Elsie asked in a dejected tone.
"As if we could get upset with someone like you. I'm not exactly thrilled at the prospect of supporting that guy have his way, but it's your job, right?" Chihiro said embracing Elsie from behind.
"Plus, your life was on the line! That collar must be some kind of war crime, right?! I think it's rather cool that you couldn't tell anybody and maintained your cool!" Yui's eyes were sparkling as she held one of Elsie's hands in between her own.
"You have to show us some demon magic or curses sometime, that's gotta be the most badass stuff!" Ayumi jumped on an already surrounded Elsie, embracing her from the side and patting her on the head similar to how Kanon did earlier.
She did manage though to peek a glance at Keima who looked away but shot a small thumbs-up in her direction.
Well, it seems that went over smoothly. That Elsie was freaking out for no good reason.
"Don't think you're getting away with this though, darling!" Yui hollered at him, causing him to nervously turn back to them.
Oh, how wonderful, even after Elsie explained the general gist behind things, looks like they want to know the finer details.
Keima pulled up some benches for everyone else who's left standing to sit in.
"We'll be here until nightfall if you want to hear it all. But for now, you should all head back to class and meet back up afterschool.
With that, the bells rang, signaling the end of lunch.
Everyone headed down back to class, anxious for the end of the day.
Keima, about to head down from the roof, brought out his PFP for some stress relief when the back of his arm was pulled on.
Turning his head around, he met Chihiro eye to eye. She looked frustrated and annoyed as she stared him down.
"Oi, what the hell are you thinking?"
"What do you mean?" He responded innocently.
"Why did I have to go through that dumb '3 conditions of the Capturing God' or whatever ridiculous naming scheme you probably have?
If you're going to tell everyone everything anyway, why did you make me go agree to that?
Is it because I'm not some demon from Hell or a goddess in the body of a high school girl?"
"Wrong! It's because you have unlocked my secret 'bonus chapter'! He exclaimed proudly.
"'Bonus Chapter'? Really? You just had to put it into gaming terms, didn't you? What do you even mean by that!?"
"You'll have to find out later of course."
"For such a perfectionist, you sure know how to procrastinate don't you?" she muttered.
"For now though, come out from behind that tree, will you?" He pointed towards a tree on the edge of the school roof.
"Eep!" A familiar cry could be heard as the bushes around the tress rustled.
Coming out from her cover is Tenri Ayukawa, the shy girl still popping her endless supply of bubble wrap.
"I didn't mean to spy" She managed to get out after a minute.
He understood that. Tenri isn't the type to hold hidden intentions. She's up here because she doesn't have anywhere else to go.
Tenri doesn't go to Majima High, if she got caught going down with the rest of the students, she'd be promptly kicked off school grounds by the teachers.
Staying up here out of sight is her best options.
The thing on the forefront of his mind though is why Tenri is even here to begin.
She's the one who knows the most regarding the plotline, so she doesn't have a reason to extract information from him!
"Who is this girl? She's not wearing our uniform; how do you even know her?" Chihiro looked up at him accusingly.
"A childhood friend of mine… I guess." He admitted reluctantly.
After introducing themselves to each other, Keima asked Tenri what she's doing here in the first place.
"Diana mentioned something about meeting up with the goddesses to discuss something important. I heard the hosts wanted to meet with you, so I tagged along."
"Important how?" Keima narrowed his eyes.
"She wouldn't tell me the details." Tenri popped her bubbles increasingly faster in response to his stern face.
"Diana, do you have something to tell us?" He asked, making sure to use his PFP's slightly reflective screen as an impromptu mirror.
No response though, and it made Keima sick to his stomach.
The goddesses know something is wrong.
This is exactly what he is worried about. He didn't want to goddesses probing around and investigating like he's going to, it's partially the reason he's reluctant to integrate Shiori into the investigation fully.
The goddesses getting suspicious over the many potholes and inconsistencies surrounding events is no surprise, but it is too early for them to be calling attention to it.
"I understand, if you won't talk about it, it's not for me to hear." He suddenly retreated from the conversation.
For now, Chihiro and him are dreadfully late for class. He didn't really care about getting chewed out by the teacher, but he'd rather not get Chihiro in trouble for holding her up.
What is the clear requirement for the contract with Hell?
Who is the girl who needs to be conquered?
Is there a Demeter goddess?
Is there a connection between the Shiratori family, Hell, and Heaven?
Who comprises Satyr and what is their end goal?
Why does Satyr need the revived goddesses?
Is Satyr still active even after their plans are foiled?
Has Satyr's plans even been ruined at all?
How/why did Vintage/Satyr artificially mature loose souls?
How does the Loose Souls Team maintain status quo despite their low capture rate?
Who is Akari and how does she fit into everything?
Where is Dokorou? *NEW*
What the hell is Elsie?
Why did Satyr need Elsie?
How did Elsie join the Loose Souls Team?
How is Elsie the 'last boss'?
How many times has Elsie been summoned and for what purposes?
How do you summon Elsie and activate her as a 'weapon'?
What did Elsie mean when she said she was 'reincarnated'?
Is Satyr still pursuing Elsie?
How powerful is Elsie?
Is Elsie still capable of using her powers?
What is the source of Elsie's powers?
Sorry if the end seems a bit abrupt, like I said in the beginning, the next chapter was originally part of this chapter, but it would have been way too long, so I had to condense it somewhat. It's not a perfect cut down the middle, but this is the best I could do logically. Given the length of these chapters, there are bound to be mistakes so please forgive me!
The next chapter should be here very soon this time, since I was already working on it (almost finished for sure).
This is the first chapter that incorporates any significant amount of dialogue between characters and since it's my first-time writing character dialogue in 5 years, it might be a little rough, especially given that it's a group conversation between wildly different characters. But there's always room for improvement of course!
Yes, I know some characters didn't get as much time in the spotlight, but it's not like 2 chapters is the only time we will see them!
The next chapter will signal the end of the introduction arc.
R&R please! I'm desperate.
Anyway, on to the next stage!