Edited by: Priapus, Marethyu, Immortal Spank, Bluwuh

"Would you look at that…" I mutter in disbelief, watching my super AI's marvelous work.

"Such a quaint little device you've made," Lucifer says with a smile and a hand on his chin, equally amazed. "Not a speck of magic at all. Purely mechanical. I'm impressed."

I only just activated it yesterday, and it's already doing things that could've taken me days in mere fucking hours. At first, I wanted it only to assist me, but then it just took over and started doing everything independently. Everything.

Once I was done entertaining the devils, I decided to immediately begin working on my own cloaking device since I was impressed with Nemesis' intelligence and effectiveness, only for it to once again shock me with how competent it is at doing its tasks.

I transferred it to a small robotic body I had already made a while back by plugging my phone into it, modified and equipped with the necessary tools to break down the Amon cloaking chips with perfect precision and accuracy because I don't want that shit blowing up on me. While I was a bit concerned at first, Nemesis proved to be the best possible candidate for the job.

I told it to only assist for the first few chips because I wanted the EXP to improve my engineering skills, but then I saw no reason not to let it do everything on its own once I've milked it of its worth.

It turns out I've actually been holding it back because, holy fucking shit, it's doing it at a superhuman level. More than that, I can see it getting better and better after every attempt, proving that giving it the ability to adapt and learn was an extremely good idea.

Now, why am I letting it do it and not just get all the possible EXP on my own? Because I've realized that having Nemesis learn and work on this on its own would actually be way better in the long-term and short-term. If it's this quick at breaking things with such grace, then it must be good at building things as well.

I want it to help me make the perfect cloaking device. Something not even the Amon would be able to see or even notice. With Nemesis around, surpassing the technological factions and beating them at their own game will be way easier. Not easy, obviously—I'd be surprised if they didn't have comparable super AI, but it shouldn't be as hard.

Because, besides everything, Nemesis is built via my very own code language, which I've worked tirelessly to perfect. And I do mean perfect. My bug sense tells me that there are no bugs anywhere in my programming language or code, and hacking requires bugs to work. No matter how good the Tojo clan is at programming, they won't be able to hack anything of mine, and the worst they could do is eventually reverse-engineer the language. I sure love my engineering mastery skill—disgustingly powerful cheat ability. I'm so glad I took it.

My codes will be unhackable, while theirs will be incredibly vulnerable in comparison because, eventually, I'll know everything about it. Strengths, weaknesses—every single detail. I'll know how to counter it and turn it against them.

How exactly? Simple. I'll just ask them to teach me. They have no reason to mistrust me; I'm the daughter of one of the most respected patriarchs they ever had. If they're willing to train me how to kick ass, then they're definitely going to teach me everything else they know.

I'm not stupid. I know that one day I might end up clashing against them, and you know how the saying goes. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. The more I know about them, the better chance I have of standing against them if it comes to it.

I don't hope for it. I want them to be my allies and eventually my subordinates if I can climb the ladder, but it's better to be safe than sorry. I'm not above exploiting even the smallest crack in their armor.

"Task completed." Nemesis suddenly sounds out from my phone's speakers. "What is my next assignment?"

I hum with a positive tone, pleased with my helper's good work. I pat the little robot on the head with a smile.

"Next, we're going to figure out a way to build on and improve what we've learned so far," I say.

"Affirmative." It responds robotically.

I pause and look at the robot in thought, tilting my head as I get an idea. I don't know if it's worth the trouble or even a good idea in the first place, but should I try to give it emotions? It might make it more attached to me, but there's also the possibility of it rebelling if it decides that it doesn't want to be my minion anymore.

But I also don't want it to be boring, if that makes sense. Maybe teach it how to be funny or something along those lines. Have it crack a joke every once in a while. It might even help it improve its intelligence a little if it knows what's humorous. Or what I find humorous anyway.

Hmm, I'll have to ponder the pros and cons of that for later. One thing at a time, Akane.

"But before we start on that, I want you to tell me what you learned," I ask it. "And simplify it. Getting too technical will take us all day."

"Aw, but I would love to hear about all the details." Lucifer sighs. "Perhaps later?"

"Sure, whatever."

"Excellent." He smiles, looking pleased. "You humans truly are fascinating."

Nemesis takes a moment, likely out of confusion at me talking to 'nobody', but then quickly answers a second later. Maybe I should find a way to let it be able to see Lucifer and other incorporeal entities. Might be useful for the future.

"The device emits thousands of waves that are imperceptible without the special sensor you installed." It explains. "Part of its function seems to be governed by fluctuations in this exotic energy field. The device is not fully technological by nature, but the energy patterns are consistent across individual devices."

My smile widens slightly as it pauses before continuing.

"It shares similarities to the energy you expel when forming ice." It says tonelessly. "My database does not contain further information concerning this abnormality, and I have been unable to generate or replicate this exotic energy. My apologies for failing, Mistress."

I gave it the tools it needed to sense magic, but not the knowledge to decipher and understand it. It doesn't recognize what it is, and that's fine. Super AI or not, it has to figure out everything about it from scratch.

Nemesis learned a lot from the internet, but the internet contains zero reliable information about the supernatural. I asked it, knowing its lack of knowledge about magic, because I wanted to know how it would respond.

"However, I could try to replicate it if given enough time and a source of this energy." He adds, which amuses me. "Possibly improve upon it once I analyze its internal mechanisms."

"Could you now?" I raise a brow. "Interesting, but don't bother. It'd be better if you're equipped with the knowledge instead of taking more time exploring uncharted territory. Much more efficient that way."

How the chip works is rather simple, to some degree. It takes the mana of the user and converts it into an odd energy that's very similar to magic. That energy acts as a blanket over your mana that blocks every attempt at sensing you. Unless you expel massive amounts of energy, even your spells are completely masked.

It's very fascinating. All types of mana have this… I don't know how to say it, but they share a strange vibe. Demonic, Youjutsu, and even Sacred Gears have it. They're different, for sure, very different—but they all share that one feeling.

But this weird energy doesn't have whatever it is that makes all other types feel the same. It's completely alien to me, and it's extremely interesting. Whoever made or discovered this type of magic is a genius.

In a strange sort of way, it reminded me of Excelsis, minus all the anger and hatred that Metal Stick had.

I glance at the several disassembled chips, eyeing the single untouched chip in thought. That will be my base for my own cloaking device—through it, I'll cut off whatever influence the Amon has over it before turning it into my own thing.

Though, one thing is clear: I don't want anything like this anywhere near my head. That feels like a massive weakness and design flaw. I might just be paranoid and a tad too imaginative, but what if someone were to, say, hack into it or disable it via an EMP bomb or something similar? There is a possibility of it reacting violently and exploding.

And something exploding very close to my brain sounds painful and dangerous. No thanks.

I'm thinking of maybe turning it into a gauntlet or glove. Very original, I know, but I feel it'd be very practical. In fact, rather than just a cloaking thing, I could turn it into an all-purpose device that does numerous things.

Scanners, weapons… Yes, that sounds useful.

I'm so fucking excited. I have so many ideas, and I want to do all of them because everything sounds so goddamn cool.

"You've been very productive today, but we're done for now." I pat it on the head again. My two hours in the dungeon are just about to be over. Hopefully, I should be done with the tech either tomorrow or the day after. Three days at the slowest. "I'll feed you all the knowledge about magic I can get my hands on very soon, though. Whether from my experiences with it or through notes from my allies, then we can finally, finally one-up those Amon bastards and make something even better."

Ah, wait, I remember something about a supernatural exclusive internet. Maybe I can have it go through that? Hmm, questions for later.


There's still one issue, though, and that's finding a way—or more accurately, someone—to 'replace me' while I'm off using Devour on unsuspecting victims. After all, Kuoh is off-limits, so I have to leave if I want to grow more powerful.

And go where? Well, at best, outside Japan entirely, though that's going to be really hard to pull off. I think maybe going back to Kansai would be good enough, though that's where the Omi Alliance HQ is. Then Hokkaido, if I don't want to deal with too many Yakuza. Their presence isn't as prominent there.

I need more resources to be able to make a mechanical clone of myself, energy signature, and all. Stick Nemesis in it, and, after some time studying my interactions with others, it should be good enough to be able to replicate my personality to a degree. However, I also need to give it its own mechanical body.

I think I'll start replacing dungeon time with a soul-stealing spree. So far, nobody has noticed me disappearing off the face of the earth for two hours nearly every day because I've been using ID Create carefully and strategically. Maybe I should apply that to my time using Devour instead since I'm not getting much out of dungeons anymore.

But it's better to be safe rather than sorry.

"Ah yes, this 'cloaking tek' you've been speaking of." Lucifer hums. "What might you be using it for, I wonder?"

"Oh, you'll see very soon," I say with a menacing smirk. "Honestly, being so nice all the time can get tiring. Let's just hope we can still be friends after that."

"Oh?" He mirrors my wide grin. "Ah, I see. Aren't you afraid of what your friends and family might think of you if they ever find out?"

"Please, it's not like I'm going to scream it to the heavens." I roll my eyes with a snort. "They don't have to know anything. Besides, it's better in the long run anyway, isn't it? I'll use the power I get to keep them safe, after all."

10 Reputation with Lucifer [40/100]

"How devilish of you, my dear." He chuckles. "Do not fret—I would still love to be a friend of yours. If ridiculous things like devouring souls and denying them an afterlife or reincarnation repulsed me, I would've been a lonely devil when I was still alive. In fact–"

He leans forward, a dangerous glint flashing in his golden eyes.

"I couldn't have asked for a better partner."

…Dangerous and sketchy demon god aside, I like him. I don't have to pretend around him, and it's honestly really freeing. Still should be careful, though. That's probably what he wants me to think.

"Continuous staring at vacant spaces, talking to self in 50-65 decibels, frequent changes in expression caused by unknown factors, no premature change in attitude, no unusual body movement, no sweating." Nemesis suddenly says. "Probability of Schizophrenia: 40%. Should we book an appointment with a psychiatrist, Mistress?"

This bitch.

Still, I audibly snort at the cute little check-up, finding it way more amusing than offensive. Rather impressive, too. It's almost more precise than I programmed it to be with that assessment of my 'mental health'.

Maybe adding the comedy thing might be worth it.

"No, you stupid toaster. I'm mentally sound. Relatively speaking." I lightly flick its head, muttering that last bit. "Anyway, your assignment for the rest of the day is to be sure to be active at all times and learn as much as you can from my interactions with others. However, you do not speak until I tell you to. You're my secret project, and I want nobody to know that you exist."

Nemesis says nothing, making me pleased.

"Very good." I snap my fingers, reappearing in my real-world garage. "Still have an hour before training, though…"

I should probably grab a bite.

I would focus more on protein, but with my Perfect Body perk, a diet of any sort wouldn't really do anything. And crepes sound really good right about now. Maybe with extra chocolate sauce and strawberries…

Yeah, fuck it. I'm treating myself. I made my wonderful AI assistant; I deserve it.

– Xenovia –

Spending some time with this group had made her realize that, no, Irina wasn't the oddball. In fact, most of the students in the church were the weird ones, and by extension, herself. Xenovia didn't realize just how hard it was to connect with people her age who were outside the church.

Seeing her partner do it so effortlessly made her reevaluate what she had grown up knowing.

"Pitting Kokabiel against Goku is insane," Akane says as the group sat around in a circle outside the training facility, looking at Issei in confusion. "What the hell are you even saying?"

"No, I'm just saying that if he was here–"

"If he was here, the battle would've ended in, like, three seconds." She cut him off. "He'd just walk up to Kokabiel, say something like, 'You look pretty strong! Let's fight!' then accidentally mist him."

"Yeah, I don't know why that's even a question," Irina added, seemingly knowing what the hell they were talking about.

"For crying out loud, I'm not comparing them!" Issei complained.

After their third training session, Xenovia had managed to not lose consciousness this time, which she had begun to find annoying. Either Akane had shown some pity or she was growing more powerful. Xenovia really hoped it was the latter; she still wasn't sure because these people were immensely more powerful than she had thought they were.

She almost swore that her training partner was actually far more powerful than when they had their first sparring match before the battle, but Akane was likely not going all out back then. Well, not likely. Obviously.

Xenovia had to admit that she did not appreciate it, but then quickly realized that telling Akane not to hold back had probably been a mistake. Instant knockout in her first and second training sessions with her. She couldn't possibly learn anything at that rate.

So she had to swallow her pride and ask to maybe hold back a little bit. Just a tiny amount.

It did end up with them fighting for much longer. Instead of half a second, she lasted a few hours collectively, and those few hours taught her a lot. Her technique and reaction times were improving rapidly. Xenovia could confidently say that she was almost twice as good as before.


Still, the first sparring match—which lasted three minutes—left her exhausted. It was good that the blond girl was around to heal their wounds and restore their stamina. She was getting better after every sparring match, meaning she lasted longer as well. Even Akane commented on her growth. Xenovia wasn't sure why, but being praised made her feel giddy.

It mattered to her so much. Perhaps it was because of Akane's masterful skill in sword-fighting or her respect for the art. Not a lot of people could say the same—not even her partner or some of their teachers. Xenovia found it mad that none of them showed the same appreciation for blades as her.

God, she loved swords. They were the best.

After some time, they decided to take a small break together, sitting down and talking about whatever suited their fancy. Originally, the dialogue was about the strange power Akane showed during her few matches with Ichiban, something that Xenovia was very curious about as well.

She answered and said it was Senjutsu, or more specifically, a sub-skill of it. Xenovia knew about Touki; she had read about it in a book several years ago, but at the time, she had thought nothing of it and wrote it off as something only a heretic would use.

Now she realizes that her early interpretation of it was severely wrong because it was simply using your very life force for power. It was no less pure than the energy used to swing a sword. Her younger self sure was stupid.

They continued discussing it and how it worked, but then Issei suddenly said something about ki, dragons, and balls. She didn't really understand how the conversation had shifted to that, nor did she comprehend how Irina seemed very versed in that topic, almost to the degree where she appeared highly intelligent.

Almost. Her partner was still a moron.

…Xenovia wouldn't admit this to anyone, but she honestly wouldn't have it any other way.

"Look, my point was that if Goku was here, he'd have beaten the crap out of Kokabiel."

"Yes, just as the sun is bright and the grass is green." Akane deadpanned. "It's common sense."

"The grass is blue on Namek."

"You're not being funny."

This 'Son Goku' warrior must be formidable. Strange how she'd never heard of him before.

"I wish I was Goku." Issei sighed and then glanced at Ichiban, who was deep in thought. "You've been quiet for a while now. What do you think?"

"I was just wondering something." He said, a hand on his chin. "If Senjutsu—or I guess, Touki in this case—is ki, then is it possible to do a Kamehameha?"

A kame-what now?

"Yooo that'd be so cool!" Issei said with sparkly eyes.

"We should totally try that!" Irina added.

"I don't think it's doable," Akane answered. "Touki is just using your life force for a physical amp. You can't manipulate it outside the body, as far as I know."

"Aww…" Xenovia's partner whined.

"Yeah, but you can do that Flux Fissure thing, can't you?" Ichiban argued. "That's sending ki out of your own body."

"The difference is that I need to be close to someone. Land a hit even." She explains. "Because that's sending the ki in my body into someone else's directly."

"Right…" He hummed. "I wonder if they're gonna teach us Touki."

"Why wouldn't they?" Issei raised a brow.

"Well, I mean, for me personally, wouldn't it be really hard?" Ichiban said, scratching his neck. "My Balance Breaker already takes a lot out of me, and according to Akane, she can't even keep using it for more than a few seconds."

"Yeah, but you have way more stamina than me," Akane admitted. "You'd probably have a better time with it. More than that, I think Issei's in desperate need of learning how to do it."

"Me?" Issei blinks.

"Your Sacred Gear as it is now is way more tailored for support." She clarified. "Unless we find the other pieces, you're not really strong on your own. You need a boost, and Touki is your best bet."

"Y-yeah…" He slumps down, disappointed and annoyed at himself. "Sorry…"

"Don't take it the wrong way, Issei. I'm not saying it's your fault." Akane said. "You're just not lucky. You don't have a Longinus, nor do you have a supernatural background. Also, keep in mind that you can absorb the energy of other people, so the high stamina drain isn't as big of an issue to you as it is to others."

"Yeah! You should feel proud of yourself for growing this strong!" Irina added. "It took me and Xenovia years to get where we are now, you know?"

"I didn't really help that much against Kokabiel, though."

"You kidding? Without you, Sona and Rias might've died." Ichiban patted him on the back with a grin. "Sure, you couldn't keep up in the actual fight, but a battle isn't all about who's stronger. You saved two of our friends. That gotta mean something, right?"

Issei paused and thought about it for a few moments before smiling gratefully.

"Heh, I guess you're right." He said. "Thanks, guys."

Irina giggled and leaned closer to him, making Xenovia squint suspiciously. Something was strange here. Her partner had always been rather affectionate, but not to this degree, especially to a stranger.

They'd known each other since they were young, sure, but this much? How odd. Irina had been getting weirder since their leader's unfortunate passing. Even weirder after meeting this boy again.

Hmm, she'd have to ask her about it later.

That aside, Touki sounded interesting to Xenovia. She'd never heard of anyone in the church knowing much about it since it was more of a thing the Yokai do, but she didn't think the Yakuza would be versed in such a thing either.

Then again, the nine-tailed fox was married to a Yakuza, wasn't she? Wasn't that why they were very close allies? Xenovia wasn't sure—admittedly, she wasn't very good at politics and got consistently terrible marks.

She was impeccable at her sword-fighting class though, at the top even, and that was all that mattered to her anyway. She wondered if she could apply Touki to her sword-fighting and how effective it would be. Was it possible to channel her ki into her sword?

Unfortunately, she doubted they'd actually teach her anything about it, so this would have to wait until she was back in HQ to report everything in great detail. Thank God they allowed her and Irina to stay in Japan for a little bit more.

She really, REALLY hoped Sister Griselda wouldn't be mad at them once they got back.

"I think that's enough rest," Akane said, getting up and looking at Xenovia. "Come on, we're going for a few more rounds."

"Of course." She nodded eagerly.

As the novice exorcist got up, Akane suddenly paused and took out her vibrating phone, answering a call. Xenovia managed to spot the name of the caller, though. Sona Sitri– one of the devil heiresses here.

She frowned in slight annoyance. What did they want now?

"What is it?" Akane asked. "Training. Why?"

All of them were quiet as they waited for Akane to end the call.

"Can it wait, or is this urgent?" She asked again. "...Alright, I'll see you in a few minutes."

"What's this about?" Ichiban asked.

"Dunno. Sona called and said she needed to discuss something important with me." Akane shrugged, glancing at Xenovia. "I guess we'll have to end this a little earlier today."

Xenovia visibly deflated at that.

"I suppose it can't be helped." She said in understanding, quickly recovering.

"I'll be going now." The Yakuza Princess said as wings of ice formed on her back. "Don't you dare slack off."

She flew off into the sky, speeding across the town at an incredible pace. Having the power to fly so casually sure was useful. Xenovia hoped that whatever it was that the devil wanted from Akane wasn't too terrible.

There is no telling what that filth might be scheming.

– Akane –

"I didn't think you liked it here so much," I say, sitting in front of her. "Is the coffee that good, or is it the only place you know?"

"A bit of both." She responds, sipping from her cup. "How's your training been?"

"Pretty good, actually," I answer truthfully. "Even better than when we started preparing Rias for the Rating Game, somehow. I think changing my focus from growing my power to expanding my versatility has been doing wonders for me."

"Then you must be making great progress." She smiles. "That's good. I wish I could say the same."

"That bad?"

"I don't know." Sona sighs, taking off her glasses before rubbing her temples. "I can feel that we're growing at a decent rate, but I'm still worried about the competition."

"You know, I feel like you and Rias are being a tad too paranoid about it." I quip. "I mean, you survived and helped defeat a Satan-class threat. Shouldn't you at least feel a bit confident?"

Sona opens her mouth to reply, but no word comes out. Instead, she just groans, not fully convinced. I don't know what she's getting at—she's strong. Like seriously strong. If the most powerful person in the tournament is that Sairaorg guy, then she and Rias are going to absolutely fucking crush the competition, especially if they take it seriously these next few weeks.

And they are taking it seriously, so I don't see them losing the tournament. Or at least, not the first few rounds, which is what they're mostly worried about. I think they've got this. Though, admittedly, I'm not sure just how powerful other peerages actually are.

But they can't be that powerful, right? Yeah, Sona and Rias are at a disadvantage with their fewer numbers; Rias doesn't even have any pawns, but I dunno. Quality over quantity? I believe they can take it, but I'm lacking info concerning the other teams.

I gotta find a way to enter the tournament. Those quest rewards look so damn delicious. Besides scouting some useful powers, I can try to… 'borrow' at some point. That portal creation magic from that one blond chick sounds too good to pass up.

"I guess this has been weighing on your mind a bit too hard recently, huh?" I say at her non-answer. "But it's probably not why you called me here, so what's going on?"

"Right, well, I've just gotten word that the peace conference will be taking place here in Kuoh," Sona responds, looking relieved that the subject changed. "On the third of July."

That's around three weeks from now. Hmm, wish it was a bit longer, but this is good. Three weeks is more than enough time for me to finish my project and put Devour to the test. Great, having an actual timeframe for the invasion will save me a lot of stress.


"Yes, a little abrupt." She nods. "I just got off a call with my sister an hour ago."

"I see." I hum. "That's odd, though. Why'd she bother telling you? We kinda don't have anything to do with it, do we?"

"Not necessarily." Sona shakes her head. "However, I believe she only wanted to inform us. Out of courtesy, perhaps, seeing as it's taking place here."

"Makes sense."

"I hope everything goes smoothly." She says, pausing for a moment before continuing. "I… don't wish to lose the friendships I made here."

How sweet.

"I think with how much goodwill that's been thrown around recently, you don't have to worry about anything." I shrug.

"I suppose." She mutters, rubbing her eyes before putting her glasses back on. "It's just… after Kokabiel–"

"You're not as confident in how the conference is going to be handled." I finish the sentence for her. "It's a valid concern; don't get me wrong, but keep in mind that Kokabiel threatened us and stole holy artifacts. He pissed off all three factions at once. Azazel knows he's on thin ice."

She says nothing, but I think I made her feel a little better. Still, I don't like this shitty mood, so I try to ease it in other ways.

"And hey, if war does end up happening, we can just elope."

"Shut up." She scoffs, blushing slightly. Great success. "I'd never abandon my responsibilities."

"You'd still do it for me."

"No, I would not."

"I bet Rias would."

That got her annoyed.

"She wouldn't either." She clicks her tongue, staring at my smug grin. "...It's very bothersome when you do this."

"I've been told." I shrug. "Several times."

The irritation slowly disappeared from her face, replaced by a soft smile. She doesn't say a word, but I can tell that she understands what I am going for if her grateful look is anything to go by.

"Where's Rias, by the way?"

"Trying to get Gasper to leave his room." She sighs.

"From your tone, I guess she's not making progress."


I narrow my eyes.

"Fine, I'll take care of it," I mutter, getting off my seat. "Come on, let's go."

"What? No offense, but this doesn't exactly concern either of us." Sona argues. "It's Rias' responsibility."

"Rias is way too goddamn nice to do anything meaningful about it," I say. "Sometimes using force is the only way to fix your problems."


"Listen, that little bastard has been pissing me off since I've heard about him," I add. "I don't give a shit if he's sensitive. I'm getting him out of his room even if I have to drag him out kicking and screaming."

Sona stands up, knowing that she can't stop me even if she tries, but follows me anyway, either to prevent me from going too far or just to see this through. Dio Brando knockoff– I'll show that dick what for. Make my life harder, will you…

Could've saved me so many problems if he'd acted like a man and helped his boss with his shitty time-stopping powers, and if he doesn't come out of his hole, then fine. A weakling like him isn't worth the trouble, because if it comes down to it, I can always take his Sacred Gear by force.

Being able to stop time sounds very nice.

Don't forget to check the pa tre on. The story starts to pick up the pace again ;)