Hiiii~ Another chapter is here!

Had some issues with the latest chapter which caused me to miss last month's update but it's fixed.

Also, thank you to my newest patrons: Raydas, Jose Vargas, Technospartan 45, Samuel Barros, Atlas, LK123, Sleepy Devil, BigTyson, Felisberto, Alexis Chagoya, Modularprawn, Mafo, Sean Burkett, Andhika Novyanto, Tiny orbo, EvRi Zer0, Maldorth, Ian Zachary Ubaldo and Icaro Campos. Y'all rock!!!

Next update is An Archer's Promise.

That's all,

Author NimtheWriter out!

Beta read by Shigiya


Beta read by Shigiya

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The room was cloaked in an air of contemplative tension as the two figures engaged in a discussion that held weight beyond their casual words. Azazel, the Fallen Angel Governor General, regarded Vali with a mixture of amusement and wariness. The prospect of the imminent meeting was the elephant in the room, one they danced around as if a single misstep could shatter the fragile equilibrium.

"Azazel, will I be attending tomorrow's conference as well?" Vali's inquiry was delivered with a calm that belied the storm of thoughts raging within him. The thought of facing Hachiman once more hung heavy in the air, a reminder of past interactions fraught with tension.

A wry smile curled Azazel's lips as he met Vali's gaze. "I would say obviously, but given your history with Hachiman, I'm not entirely comfortable about having you two cross paths. The last thing we need is a brawl erupting in the midst of such a crucial event."

Vali's eyes glinted with a spark of anticipation, an intensity that Azazel was all too familiar with. "He was weak the first time we crossed paths. The second time, at the church, he displayed marked improvement. I am curious about his current level of strength. I make no promises, but if the opportunity arises to gauge his power, I won't let it slip away. Also, Azazel, do you believe wars are no longer in our future?"

The Fallen Angel Governor General let out a derisive chuckle, his gaze assessing Vali with a mixture of bemusement and caution. "Your insatiable thirst for battle is truly remarkable. It's a good thing you're tethered to Albion, of all dragons. Individuals with your penchant for ceaseless combat often meet untimely ends. Just look at Kokabiel."

Vali's response was a dismissive shrug, his demeanor nonchalant. "That's of no concern to me. Longevity has never been my goal. I regret being born in this era… a world without the presence of God. I desired to be the one to challenge and overcome God himself."

Azazel's lips quirked upward, a knowing glint in his eyes. "Your sentiment certainly matches that of the White Dragon Emperor. But tell me, Vali, after you've defeated all those who stand in your way, what then?"

A fleeting moment of contemplation crossed Vali's features before he answered with a matter-of-fact resolve. "I will meet my end. The mere idea of a mundane existence in a world that fails to captivate me is boring. Born into an era where God is but a memory, where the three factions seek peace, and where my rival bears the title of Black Dragon King instead of it being Ddraig's host… it's hardly a fitting era for an Emperor."

Azazel's fingers traced the rim of his glass, a sigh escaping him. He couldn't help but wonder if he possessed the means to keep this troublesome young man alive. The clash of ideologies and the thirst for combat that defined Vali was both tiring and concerning.

As the liquid amber within his glass swirled, Azazel's thoughts lingered on the boy seated across from him.

'This brat will cause trouble, that's for sure. I can only do so much and the rest will have to be handled by Hachi-kun. I hope he doesn't get overwhelmed by Vali… Hah, I need another bottle.' Not to mention the presence of an equally battle-hungry god-slaying woman did not bode well, though at this point, she most likely only cared about her student's well-being more than anything else, but even then it's a toss up.

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Early morning sunlight filtered through the dense foliage of the forest as Gasper and I embarked on another intense training session. The purpose of our endeavor was clear: to help Gasper hone his control over his Sacred Gear and attain mastery over his unique abilities. Yet this time, I decided to introduce a series of creative training methods to push his limits even further.

"Uuuuh, Hachiman, I-I am tireeeeed," Gasper's voice trembled with fatigue as he rubbed his eyes.

"Don't use that tone, Gasper. Remember, you were the one who sought assistance from me, Sairaorg, and the others. If you're tired now, just imagine the exhaustion you'll experience in the midst of a battle. We're in this together, so let's not forget that." With a subtle gesture, I conjured a simple series of rune-based attacks that manifested as a combination of rocks, elemental forces, and magical energies. Each elemental aspect corresponded to a different facet of projectiles he had to deal with: fire, water, air, and pure magic.

Gasper's surprised yelp echoed through the forest as the barrage of attacks struck various targets. My intention was evident: not only did I aim to gauge his capability to halt incoming projectiles, but I also wanted to challenge his reflexes and decision-making in a high-pressure environment. The continuous onslaught forced him to think on his feet, a crucial skill for any supernatural entity.

As the bombardment persisted, I keenly observed Gasper's movements. His responses remained sloppy at best, with some attacks eluding his grasp. However, progress was visible. With each attempt, his timing improved and the gaps between the stops of Forbidden Balor View shortened.

Seeing his determination, I decided to elevate the difficulty. I altered my approach, launching attacks with varying speeds and unpredictable trajectories, further complicating Gasper's task of predicting their paths.

"Stay focused, Gasper! You're making great strides!" I infused my voice with encouragement and urgency as I watched his every move.

Gasper gritted his teeth, his eyes ablaze with determination. He focused his energy, causing his Sacred Gear to emit a faint glow as he pushed himself to the limit. Each successful halt seemed to ignite a spark of confidence within him.

"That's it, Gasper! You're doing amazing!" I cheered as he flawlessly halted a particularly challenging combination of attacks. Though his movements were still awkward, his progress was evident. That momentary pause between the barrage demonstrated that he was mastering his abilities, albeit gradually.

"Woah, nicely done! Looks like you're starting to grasp it!" I grinned, thoroughly impressed by his growth.

Despite his exhaustion, Gasper nodded, his smile tinged with determination.

As our training session neared its conclusion, I gradually dialed down the intensity of the attacks, allowing Gasper a moment to catch his breath. He wiped the sweat from his forehead, his breathing heavy but pride evident in his demeanor.

"You're making solid progress, Gasper. Remember, mastery of your Sacred Gear requires time and effort. The greatest obstacle you face is your own self-doubt. It's okay to be scared, but pushing yourself too hard won't yield the desired results. You have to find a balance." I placed a reassuring hand on his head, a gesture that had become customary between us.

"H-Hachiman-san, I brought some refreshments!" Asia, who had joined us early in the morning, offered us both bottles of water. Gasper snatched one of the bottles and downed it eagerly.

"You truly are an angel." My words brought a blush to Asia's cheeks and a radiant smile to her face. "Your absence sure did make everything feel so empty at times, especially for Aika. Did you get a chance to catch up with her after the class visits?"

"Of course!" Asia nodded enthusiastically. "We went out for ice cream, and even Gabriel-san tagged along. It was such a fun day!" The sight of Asia and Aika bonding warmed my heart. While my own chaotic schedule often prevented me from spending ample time with Aika, it was reassuring to know that she had found a friend in Asia. Moreover, having Gabriel around probably added an extra layer of vibrant energy to their day.

As I contemplated these thoughts, an unexpected jolt surged through my arm. My arm had frozen in place, a consequence of Gasper's inadvertent use of his Sacred Gear. A droplet of water from the bottle had splashed onto me just as I was about to take a sip.

"E- Eek, S-Sorryyyyyy! I was aiming for a bug, and I accidentally hit you!"

Gasper's panicked apology resonated in the forest.

Suppressing my irritation, I managed a wry smile and reassured him, "That's why I told you not to worry about freezing me. We're in the middle of training, and you're still learning. Just remember, freezing my entire body would be a more significant concern. It does show, however, that you can catch someone of my level off guard."

Gasper, his expression a mixture of concern and relief, before a down trodding mood encompased him. He looked down at the ground and mumbled, "…S-Since I am incomplete both as a human with a Sacred Gear and as a vampire, I feel like I only burden everyone. I-I need to exert better control over my power. Sometimes I question my own existence... sob."

Tears welled up in his eyes once more, his vulnerability laid bare.

It struck me that Gasper shared certain parallels with Akeno's past. There was a time when Akeno had grappled with self-loathing as a Fallen Angel, viewing herself as impure and undeserving — though I burned those thoughts from her head in time. Although their experiences differed, the common theme of self-doubt and struggling to reconcile their identities seemed to link the two.

Though I couldn't fully comprehend Gasper's internal turmoil, I recognized the weight he carried and would never even pretend that I went through something similar. His inner struggles must have tormented him ceaselessly, driving his reclusive behavior and fear of most things.

"Asia, how do you perceive Gasper?" I asked her, making sure Gasper could hear me. He flinched, shaking even in fear at what the blonde was about to say to him.

"Um… I haven't known Gasper for very long, compared to everyone else. But I think I've come to understand him quite well. He's determined and hardworking, despite his fears. He's always striving to become better, and I find that really inspiring." Asia's words were filled with genuine admiration, and a proud smile adorned her lips. "That's why I have confidence in him. I know he'll give his all and achieve his goals."

Asia's sincerity resonated with Gasper, his eyes sparkling with newfound resolve.

"Hachiman, Asia-san, I-I'll give it my all!" He exclaimed.

"Go for it! Hachiman-san, Gasper-kun!"

I decided to add my own motivation, "Gasper, when Asia cheers for you, it's your duty as a man to step up your game and show what you're made of." That worked more effectively than I imagined with the boy pounding his chest with confidence.

"Y-Yes! I will!!"

Well, it was good to see him progress this much in such a short amount of time. If Rias had managed to help Gasper master his Sacred Gear sooner, then the Riser fight and even the Kokabiel one wouldn't have posed that big of a challenge. That ability was broken, just like the Booster Gear and I feared the heights it could reach with a Balance Breaker.

{Break}

"Now then, let's head out."

All members of the Occult Research Club gathered in the clubroom, nodding in agreement to Rias words. From my seat, I watch them leave the clubroom in a group, Akeno giving me a wave as I told them that I needed some time before joining them.

Today marked the day of the conference among the three major supernatural factions. The event we had been anticipating had finally arrived.

The venue was the staff meeting room in Kuou Academy's new school building. Being a holiday, the timing was late at night. Each faction's leaders were stationed in the new building's lounge, ready for the conference. It was both nerve-wracking yet an anticipated event I could not miss.

In the quiet clubroom, I found myself alone, the dim light casting a calm ambiance around me. I had retreated here to collect my thoughts, my mind occupied with the impending meeting of the three great factions in the world of Devils, Angels, and Fallen angels. Today was a significant day, one that held the potential for both collaboration and conflict, and I had a strong inkling that trouble might rear its ugly head.

As I pondered the potential outcomes, a presence made itself known in front of me. Without so much as a sound, Ophis, the Dragon God of Infinity, appeared and shamelessly seated herself on my lap. Her appearance became something I grew used to, with her large black eyes fixed on me.

I raised an eyebrow at her casual intrusion, although I wasn't entirely surprised. After all, Ophis rarely adhered to what I'd call a normal human behavior. "I suppose you're not one for personal space, are you?" I remarked dryly, holding a container of sweets in my hands.

Ophis simply blinked at me, showing no signs of acknowledging his words. Instead, her attention was fixated on the sweets I held. With a sigh and a small smile, I offered her one, which she accepted with an unspoken gratitude. It seemed that even an enigmatic being like Ophis couldn't resist a delicious snack.

"Today's a big day, you know?" I began, my tone becoming more serious. "The three faction leaders are all gathering. Azazel of the Grigori, Sirzechs Lucifer of the Devils, and Michael of the Angels. It's bound to attract some unwanted attention, especially from the Hero Faction and the remnants of the Old Satan Faction."

Ophis simply stared at me, her dark eyes unreadable.

"That means they'll be looking for you and Kuroka," I continued, my gaze never leaving hers. "They'll want to use you both for their own purposes. So, no matter what happens, I need you to stay away and appear only when the situation turns dire. Or don't appear unless I specifically call for you."

Ophis blinked once again, her expression unchanged.

I sighed, realizing that communicating with someone like Ophis was often an exercise in futility. "Look, I know you may not like this, but it's important. Can you promise me that you'll stay hidden unless I say otherwise?"

After a moment that felt like an eternity, Ophis finally responded. "Agreed... on one condition."

I raised an eyebrow, intrigued by her sudden willingness to negotiate. "And what would that be?"

{Break}

As I approached the main meeting room, the tension in the air grew more palpable with every step. The convergence of the three powerful factions—Azazel, Sirzechs, and Michael—brought a gravity that was hard to ignore, increasing my apprehension.

Just before entering, I noticed Kalawarna standing there in her revealing red formal attire. Her smile contrasted with the serious atmosphere, and the playful glint in her eyes caught me off guard for a moment.

"Hey, Hachiman," Kalawarna purred, her tone teasing. She moved close to me, and started fixed my clothes, despite being made sure to look presentable from the insistant of Rias, Sona and Akeno. I felt her run a hand through my hair, as she pressed her 'assests' on me, "Looking as dashing as ever."

Raising an eyebrow, I responded with a touch of sarcasm, while doing my best to look down or react to my assitants provactive teasing "And you're still just a shamless flirt, Kalawarna."

She chuckled, twirling a lock of her hair when she finished her inspection over me. "That's part of my charm and you love it. The horny cat is with her sister, waiting for you."

Before I could reply, Raynare and Xenovia joined us. Raynare's presence in her unusual biker outfit, which raised some questions.

"You look like an idiot," She quipped, the first interaction we had since she came back from her vacation with Kalawarna.

"Raynare," I began, resisting the urge to insult her, "what brings you here? This meeting doesn't concern you."

She smirked. "Can't I be curious? Besides, I had too much time on my hands and needed to get out of the house. Also, Azazel-sama told me to come"

Xenovia stood by my side, her loyalty shining through as she gave me a crisp salute. "Xenovia reporting for duty, as always. I'll protect you with Durandal."

I sighed, shaking my head. "You're something else, Xenovia."

With a mix of tripidation and resignation, I entered the meeting room. The uncertainty weighed heavily as I met the stern gazes of Azazel, Sirzechs, and Michael. Bracing myself for the discussions and challenges that lay ahead, I took my place at the main table.

The room was decorated elegantly, and everyone present exuded seriousness. The air was thick with anticipation as the leaders sat around the table.

On the Devil side, Sirzechs and Serafall were joined by Grayfia at the tea cart. On the Angel side, Michael and Gabriel sat, their presence powerful but gentle. Among the Fallen Angels, Azazel with his 12 wings unfurled, and Vali, whose intense gaze unnerved me with how focused he seemed on me. Azazel's slight nod gave me a sense of comfort.

Sirzechs and Serafall wore ornate armor-like clothes, a departure from Serafall's Magical Girl outfit.

"My brother-in-law," Sirzechs introduced me, earning perplexed looks from both Serafall and Gabriel. The announcement triggered an unexpected and dramatic reaction from Sona.

"What!? You told me my loss didn't count!" Sona's voice rose in shock, her face reddening with embarrassment.

Serafall acted playfully innocent, her tone dripping with mischief. "Did I? Oh, I don't remember~!"

The tension in the room was momentarily broken by Sona's unexpected outburst, with everyone's attention focused on her. Her expression was a mix of disbelief and sheer mortification as if she had just stumbled into a bewildering alternate reality where she was the one causing a scene.

Gabriel turned her concerned and confused gaze towards me, her curiosity piqued by the unfolding news. "Is it true?"

Caught off guard by Sona's reaction and Gabriel's question, I let out a nervous chuckle. "No, no, it's not true. It's just a big misunderstanding."

As the atmosphere in the room shifted from intense to incredulous, I felt a sudden urge to clarify the situation that had brought about this chaos. "We came close to it, but thankfully it didn't happen. It would have been really—Hm?" A sudden flare of realization hit me, and I glanced behind to find both Rias and Akeno with stunned expressions. I had almost forgotten to share this piece of news with them.

Oh right… I never did tell them how I almost married Sona.

In that moment, an internal thought snuck into my mind amidst the chaos of the situation. 'If everything goes well during this meeting, I'm still going to die by their hands, aren't I?'

Kalawarna's voice cut through the commotion with a teasing tone. "Shall I make a wedding reception reservation, Hachi-kun?"

Rolling my eyes, I replied with exasperation, "Not helping, Kalawarna. You're just digging my grave at this point."

"That's too bad. I wanted to get some practice."

"Hush, you."

Amidst the laughter and teasing, Azazel's voice broke through, adding his own lighthearted comment. "Hahahaha! We didn't even start and already this is the best meeting I've been too."

The room settled back into a sense of order as Grayfia approached me, holding out a chair. "Please, take a seat."

I glanced around the table, slightly puzzled. "At the main table? Shouldn't I be sitting with Rias and the others?"

Grayfia's response provided clarity. "Because we consider you an unofficial fourth party residing within Kuoh. So, in a way, you have the right to sit next to us, representing the side of the humans as well as a neutral faction."

Michael chimed in, his tone gentle and comforting. "You've formed your own unique group, consisting of a Devil, a Human, an Angel and a Fallen Angel. Such a composition aligns well with the goals we are pursuing and gives your presence significant weight."

As the gravity of the situation sank in, I realized that despite my initial reservations, my connections and experiences had inadvertently elevated my role in this meeting.

With the room now composed, Sirzechs resumed his role as the host, shifting the focus to the main topic of discussion. "Now that everyone has arrived, let's address the preconditions for the meeting. The individuals present here are aware of the most important event and forbidden subject: the Non-existence of God."

And so, the conversation turned to the heart of the matter, and I braced myself for the discussions and challenges that were about to unfold.

"Then, acknowledging that, let's continue the conversation," Sirzechs said, his voice carrying a gravitas that matched the weight of the topic at hand.

As the room settled into a more serious demeanor, the atmosphere became charged with a sense of purpose. The leaders of the different factions, each with their own distinct aura, were now united in this pivotal discussion.

Sirzechs leaned forward, his eyes scanning the group. "We're gathered here today to address the implications of the Non-existence of God. It's a reality that challenges the very foundation of our three factions and has far-reaching consequences to both our continued existence and relationship with the humans."

Azazel, leaning against his chair, spoke up. "Hah, the ripple effect of this revelation has the potential to reshape the balance of power and ideology across all three factions. I don't want to be the bearer of bad news Michael, but if the other Angels were to find out about this revelation then my Grigori might just triple in size in a single day."

"That I do not doubt, unfortunately, many still think Father is recuperating or secluded in the highest level of Heaven. My closest brothers have done their best to maintain order and image but if more incidents like that with Kokabiel were to occur in the future then they will start getting doubtful.

Serafall, her playful demeanor giving way to a more somber expression, added, "And with the exposure of this knowledge, we need to assess how it might affect our interactions with the mortal world. If Christianity were to collapse within a few days, then many Pantheons will use this opportunity to target us all. Ironic how we Devils need the Angels to remain safe."

Michael, his golden wings a symbol of divine authority, nodded in agreement. "The revelation could impact the beliefs and faith of humans, potentially causing upheaval and uncertainty. Odin and Zeus have promised to keep this secret along with the Indian Pantheon, but I'm afraid it's already too late to keep this matter a secret for long. We already have predators within the horizon gazing at all three of us."

Gabriel, who had been quiet until now, finally spoke with a seriousness that matched her aura. "Moreover, some of our past allies might turn their backs on us."

"Uniting our resources and research will help us get back on track. We can't just sit here and do nothing, can't afford to at least. Already some of the Youkais have started to rally themselves."

As the discussion continued, the leaders shared their insights, concerns, and potential courses of action. The room buzzed with a mixture of determination and apprehension, each faction recognizing the significance of this turning point in their history.

Xenovia, sitting by my side, leaned in and whispered, "This is big, isn't it?"

I nodded, "Yeah, it is to be expected. This concerns the future of all three factions. I still would have preferred to be seated somewhere else, not like I'm bringing much to the table."

Raynare, who had been quiet for most of the meeting, suddenly interjected, "So, are we going to ignore the fact that he nearly got engaged?"

The room's attention shifted back to the personal turmoil that had inadvertently become entwined with the larger conversation. I cringed while looking down, feeling a mix of embarrassment and annoyance at how this had snowballed but was glad that no one else spoke up about it yet.

…'yet' being the operative word.

Amid the conversation, Sirzechs raised his hand, signaling for attention. "Now then, Rias. Could you speak about the incident a few days before?"

"Yes, Lucifer-sama."

After being urged by her brother, Rias, Sona, and Akeno stood up, they talked about a part continuously, about the recent Kokabiel's attack. And everyone belonging to the three great powers listen attentivly to the incident.

"And what about the presence of the Goddess of havoc and war?" Michael asked, wondering why a Celtic goddess would follow Kokabiel.

"She mostly came there because of me I reckon. I don't see someone like her interested in those Excalibur shards. Though given war is her domain, she most likely also held plans to start a conflict between us all. It worked in her favor, so it symbolized killing two birds with one stone for her." I also gave my side of the story, going vaguely into my past encounter with her and Cu Chulainn's descendant.

I felt nervous at first, so did Rias and Sona from how they clenched their hands when remembering the presences of that goddess.

I couldn't blame them, it was a stressful meeting.

"So a clone huh," Azazel notted. "Then she'll reappear again in the future, you better be careful, Hachiman."

"I know, I'll deal with her when the time comes." While I felt like a hypocrite for my plans to use Ophis in order to subjugate the goddess, that guilt got buried beneath the mountain of proof and logical sense. I could battle her with Vritra, but why take the risk when I had an easier method?

After giving our report, we all sat back down. "Good work," said Sirzechs with Serafall winking at us.

"Now then, Azazel. After hearing this report, I want to hear the opinion of the Governor of the Fallen angels."

Upon Sirzech's questioning, everyone's gaze concentrates on the black-haired Governor.

Azazel started talking after letting out an intrepid smile.

"Putting the matter regarding Nemain aside, I would like to first concentrate on the incident a few weeks back, Kokabiel, a leader of our Central Organisation in Grigori, kept quiet with the rest other leaders, as well as to me, the Governor and acted independently with the rest of his followers. Vali was supposed to be there to dispose of him, but having the Black Dragon King take care of him is equally acceptable. I don't have any plans or desire to seek revenge over the death of my brother and would like to move on from this matter.."

"He was still our brother…" Michael said with a dejected sigh, saddened to lose another of his siblings, even though they had Fallen and was ready to cause another war.

"And we are still leaders of our respected faction that can't wallow in our depression. Sometimes, it's better to let go of family when dealing with the bigger picture, especially when there is nothing left to do about it." His answer earned a saddened face from Gabriel,while Michael did not seem to oppose that train of thought.

"I want to disagree with you, but I have been forced to commit many unpleasant punishments to keep Heaven up and running, no matter how much I wished otherwise." The leader of the Seraphim said sorrowfully. "It's good to see you don't hold any grudges with our friend here."

"Aah, I don't have any interest in that, it happens. Also, I owe him an apology for all the shit I put him through, right, Hachiman?"

"I'm still not over the fact that you basically sold Raynare and dumped her onto me rather than dealing with her yourself."

"Hey! Most guys and some girls would be happy to have their own personal servant like Raynare-chan!"

Azazel chuckled, but I just gave him a withering look.

"Azazel, I want to ask one thing but, why have you been gathering owners of Sacred Gears for the past decades? At first, I thought you were gathering humans, and attempting to augment your battle potential. I even anticipated you to wage war against heaven or us but…."

"Yes, no matter how much time passed, you didn't wage a war against us. When I heard you got hold of the Vanishing Dragon, I was enveloped by a strong wariness. Especially when I got the news that the Prison Dragon got assaulted in the past by this young man. I almost took it as a declaration of war." Michael's opinion made me gulp with fear. I didn't realize how an action from the past nearly caused an entire war to break out.

Hearing the two's opinions, Azazel smiled bitterly.

"It's for the sake of Sacred Gear research. But if that's the case, should I send some of my research materials to you as well? Even if I didn't do it for research, I wouldn't wage a war against you or anything. I don't have any interest in another war at this late hour. I am perfectly satisfied with the world right now. I have strongly ordered my subordinates, 'Don't interfere with the human world's politics', you know? I have no intention of intervening in the other pantheons politics either, nor to influence the business of the devils. Damn, is my trust in the three factions really that bad?"

"Yes."

"Sorry little brother, but yes."

"Yup~!"

Sirzechs's, Michael's and Leviathan's opinion coincided with each other. How far he was not trusted, the Governor of the Fallen Angels. Upon hearing that, Azazel uninterestedly scratched at his ear.

"Sheesh and here I thought you were better than God or Lucifer but you guys are just as troublesome. Doing some private research doesn't sit well with you guys huh. Ah, I got it! Then, let's make peace already and I can show you most of my discoveries in my research. That was the original plan, wasn't it? Angels and Devils as well?"

Azazel's words brought a slight chuckle to the room, breaking the tension that had been building up. Sirzechs leaned back in his chair, his expression more relaxed now. "Indeed, Azazel. We've had our differences and conflicts in the past, but in the face of this new climate and coming threats, it's clear that unity among the factions is paramount."

Michael nodded in agreement. "I agree. The truth about Father's death and the ever-growing animosity between our factions has thrown us into chaos for many centuries. We cannot afford internal strife while facing potential threats from outside."

As they continued to talk, I raised my hand to ask a question that had been bugging me for a while. "If you don't mind me asking, what happened with Katerea? I heard rumors that she got imprisoned but then Sairaorg mentioned how you dragged her away."

The atmosphere in the room shifted from the intense discussions to something far more light-hearted as Serafall excitedly pulled out her phone with a dangerous glint in her eyes. "Hehehehe, you guys have to see this!" Her eyes were gleaming mischievously as she tapped on the screen.

Sirzechs, Michael, Azazel, Gabriel, and I, leaned in curiously as she played the video clip. The screen lit up, revealing a colorful and whimsical scene. Serafall was dressed in an adorable Magical Girl outfit, complete with a frilly skirt, a tiara, and a staff that looked like a plush toy. She was striking various poses, all the while exclaiming, "Magical Magical Levia-tan, ready for action!"

The background revealed a cityscape, and a giant, goofy-looking monster with mismatched eyes and tentacles was wreaking havoc. Serafall, in her Magical Girl persona, pointed dramatically at the monster. "Fear not, citizens! It's time to defeat the evil Kateraken and save the day!" Her voice was a mix of playfulness and faux-heroism.

The monster, the "Kateraken," emitted bizarre noises that could only be described as a mixture of growls and meows. It swung its tentacles menacingly, but in a way that was oddly comedic.

Serafall raised her staff high, ready to strike. But as she lunged forward with a battle cry, she stumbled and fumbled, ending up flat on her face. With a giggle, she looked up at the camera, her eyes wide and pleading. "Hey, kids! I need your help! Can you cheer for me so I can defeat this evil monster?"

The screen then showed a cartoonish crowd of children cheering and chanting, "Go, Levia-tan, go!"

We all watched the scene unfold, a mix of amusement and confusion on our faces. But as the camera angle shifted to capture the monster's face, a different emotion crossed my mind. The Kateraken was none other than Katerea Leviathan! The woman who was part of the Old Satan Faction, the same people who tried to overthrow the current line of Maous.

My eyebrows furrowed as I watched her in that ridiculous monster costume, her face contorted in a mixture of livid rage and downright embarrassment. The juxtaposition of her imposing aura and the comical situation she was in was both hilarious and unsettling.

As the scene continued, Serafall, still on the floor, shouted to the camera, "Keep cheering, kids! Let's show the Kateraken the power of friendship and cuteness!" She punctuated her statement with an exaggerated wink.

The camera zoomed in on Katerea's face, which was now etched with the expression of pure unbridal murderous intent that I swore that I could feel from here. Her eyes, brimming with killing intent, stared daggers into the camera, as if she were channeling all her hatred towards Serafall and anyone who would dare watch her humilation.

I couldn't help but chuckle at the absurdity of it all. Serafall had managed to take a former enemy and turn her into a laughingstock on a children's show. It was a fate worse than defeat, a fate that stripped away her fearsome image and replaced it with one of ridicule.

As the video ended, Serafall looked at us with a twinkle in her eye. "What do you think? Magical Magical Levia-tan is a hit with the kids, right?"

I couldn't contain my laughter any longer. "You've really outdone yourself. I never thought I'd see Katerea Leviathan reduced to a monster in a kids' show."

She grinned proudly. "Oh, you have no idea how satisfying it is to see her like that. But of course, it's all in the name of fun and spreading joy, you know!"

I pitied all of her enemies that crossed her.

Azazel joined in the laughter. "Well, you've certainly succeeded in spreading something, though I'm not sure it's a joy from her side."

Sirzechs and Michael both chuckled as well, seemingly enjoying the lighter moment after the intense discussions earlier.

As the laughter died down, Gabriel looked at her with a smile. "You truly have a unique way of dealing with your enemies, Serafall."

"Bleh, next time I'll make sure to have you in the show with one of my personal collections of… special outfits! Hehehehe, I can already see the newly made Fallens falling down from the sky!"

"Please don't." Michael said with a strained smile, not liking his precious sister being viewed in such a way. "We are already few in numbers…" he threw a glare at Azazel, who froze as he was trying to sneak some money at Serafall for an early seat to her show that involved Gabriel.

"Wait, really!?" Gabriel on the other hand had a completely different reaction, seeming to be overjoyed at the prospect. "I'd love to act for the kids, it was so amazing to see them cheer you on! When can I come? Oh, I have a wonderful idea, why don't Asia-chan and Hachiman-kun join me as well? It would be a great way to spread some happiness to the little children."

"Nope!" I instantly stopped her before she went any further. Knowing Serafall, I wouldn't be surprised if she tried to force the Seraph into wearing a bikini armor of all things out of spite!

Michael soon brought everyone's attention back to the matter at hand.

"I believe we have reached a conclusion, continuing on Azazel's words, I also planned to propose peace to the Devil side and Grigori. Even if we continue the relationship of the three factions like before, it will become damaging to the world as of right now. I, the leader of the angels say it since the original cause of the war, God and Maous have been annihilated."

Azazel burst out laughing at Michael's words.

"Ha! That stubborn Michael has started to speak sense. Even though he was about God, God, God before."

"Like I mentioned before, we have lost a lot. However, there's no wrong in seeking for new opportunities that aren't present. It is our duty to guide humans. We, members of the Seraph, have the same opinion that the most important thing is to watch over the children of God from now on as well and to guide them. Our Father is dead and we need to move on."

"Hey hey, with your speech just now, you'll 'fall' you know? I thought that but you took over the system, right. It's become a good world. It's completely different from the time when we 'fell'."

"I tried to maintain the same rules, but the slightest vulnerability in the system risks endangering the whole faction. That is why I have no choice but to be more strict as actions of the past wouldn't pass now. But… if everything goes well after this meeting then I plan to ask for your help, brother, to guide me into better managing the gift Father left behind."

Azazel was not ready for Michael to ask him such a request, I could see it clearly in his eyes how taken aback the man was. "I mean… sure, I guess. I have always been curious about that little toy."

Sirzechs also shared the same opinion.

"We are the same. Even if the Maou isn't here, in order to continue the species, Devils too have moved forward as well. We don't even want another war, it will only bring extinction to our species."

On Sirzechs's words, Azazel nodded as well.

"Yes. If we do another war, the three factions will definitely be mutually destroyed by each other or outside forces. And then, it will affect the human world as well, and the world will end. We can't do wars now."

Some time ago Azazel had a joking mood, but it's done a complete change and he has a serious expression. "What do you think, Hachiman?"

"I don't have much to say aside from the obvious. A world without God will not decay nor will it crumble as long as the illusion of his existence remains. Humanity is stubborn, so it's impossible for us to move on from the news of his death so quickly if it were to be announced suddenly. Regardless, all of you have done well so far keeping balance, now imagine how easy this task will become after partnering up. So let's stop wasting time and get this over with."

"Wonderfully said!" Azazel shouted that while opening his arms.

Abruptly, Gabriel's attention shifted to Xenovia and Irina, and she began speaking to them. "This presents an excellent opportunity for me to rectify some of my past errors. Xenovia-chan, the Church has wronged both you and Irina-chan. You were unjustly punished for knowing the truth, which isn't malevolent in any way, and were pushed aside due to circumstances beyond your control. Therefore, at the behest of Asia-chan, I approached Michael to request that you be permitted to pray, despite your status as a Devil. Xenovia, you are no longer forbidden from visiting the Vatican or any other churches. This humble request was made on behalf of Griselda."

"Mother?" Xenovia's eyes widened upon learning this. "She really did that for me?"

A gentle smile graced Gabriel's lips. "Indeed, a mother's concern knows no bounds, and she endeavors to ensure her child always has a haven to return to. Whenever you and Hachi-kun require assistance or simply wish to pay us a visit, our doors are open wide to welcome you. Additionally, Xenovia, your title as an Exorcist has been reinstated, so rest assured that there's no need to fear us reclaiming Durandal. The sword remains rightfully yours, irrespective of our standpoint. While I'm aware that you'll stand steadfastly by its side, we desire to restore all that was taken from you."

Moved to tears, both the blue-haired girl and the bubbly brunette found themselves enveloped in a comforting hug from Asia, which they returned.

Azazel then spoke up, shifting his focus to Issei. "Now it's my turn. While I've previously stated that Raynare's actions were manipulated by Kokabiel's scheming, it doesn't negate the fact that we, the Fallen Angels, once eliminated those bearing Sacred Gears who posed potential threats. This stance seems logical, doesn't it? If we can anticipate a person becoming a future menace and intervene beforehand, it's natural to take preemptive measures. Kokabiel exploited this aspect to nearly take you down through her hands. I could offer numerous explanations about how a seemingly unremarkable human like you could have unleashed the power of the Red Dragon Emperor uncontrollably, potentially endangering us or the world, and so forth. However, ultimately, the responsibility lies with me, and I wish to extend my apology once again, just as she does."

Raynare, without hesitation or resentment, approached and bowed before Azazel, possibly aiming to curry favor in his presence.

Issei scratched his cheek, momentarily averting his gaze from Raynare, while Ruruko and Tsubasa provided solace by resting their hands on his shoulders. "I'm alright. The chance to become a Devil was granted by Kaichou, and I've learned not to dwell excessively on the past. So, no apologies are needed. I survived and emerged stronger. My focus is on making my dream of becoming a Harem Kin—ow!"

Before he could conclude his sentence, one of the girls playfully pinched his arm.

A sigh of relief escaped the Governor General's lips, and Raynare returned to my side, her initial intention perhaps fulfilled by engaging in the conversation.

"Moving on, it's time we gather perspectives beyond our own, from those who hold influence on the world stage. Let's begin with the indomitable White Dragon Emperor. Vali, what is your thought on all this?" Azazel prompted, his tone expectant.

Vali's response came with a composed demeanor. "If I have the chance to face formidable opponents, then I'm content." His gaze bore into me, accompanied by an unsettling grin.

Turning the inquiry towards me, Azazel inquired, "And you, Hachiman?"

I gestured towards Vali. "Just keep this battle maniac far away from me."

This only elicited a more twisted smile from Vali. "Why so cautious? Could it be that you fear I surpass you in strength?"

"Yes," I stated without shame, "despite the recent enhancements I've acquired, you with your Divine Dividing are still a colossal pain to deal with. I'm not an infinite well of power capable of eternally boosting myself to match your might."

"You're bluffing," he responded nonchalantly. "Albion senses an undiscovered wellspring of energy within you that you're attempting to conceal—hm?" Our gazes both lowered.

A tapestry of runic luminance bedecked the ground, accompanied by a palpable aura of hostility.

"This magic... it's her!" Vritra's voice resonated from my hand, the Sacred Gear manifesting in a vivid violet radiance.

Out of the corner of my eye, a flash of white light, yet I paid it little heed, my attention fixated on the impending surprise assault.

[Delete Field!]

[Divide!]

A muted explosion followed, shattering walls but sparing any harm to the occupants as a golden shield enveloped everyone in the room.

"Damn," my intuition proved accurate; indeed, intruders sought to attack us, the situation graver than anticipated.

"Why the distressed expression, Black Dragon King? Aren't you thrilled to encounter me again?" The haunting yet enchanting voice of the Goddess of War resonated across the battleground. In her wake, an assembly of mages materialized, poised to unleash their offensive spells.

Yet, my focus was divided, captured by another pair of trespassers— a familiar blonde swordswoman brandishing a rapier...

.

.

.

... and an ebony-haired man radiating an imposing aura, leisurely positioned beside her, a chilling lance clutched in his grasp, evoking a more dread-inducing sensation than even Gae Bolg itself.

"Yep. We're in trouble."

--


The next 5 chapters of Snafu, and my other Fate fics (Fate Coiling Sword with 3 chapters, A Fake Familiar Reborn with 3 chapters, Steel Eyed Faker soon to be 3 chapters, Hound having 1 and To love a sword having 4 chapters) are already available on my P@treon. With 4 more Broly chapters at /NimtheWriter. Also, I post commissioned arts on each story, already posted a few on an Archer's Promise, Broly and Snafu.