A/N: Occurs after the end of the Gin Route in Devil Survivor. Basically, the route where you get rid of all the demons and return Tokyo to normal.

Keiichi Kimura is the name I'm using for the main character here. It TECHNICALLY doesn't fit in the spaces for your name in game, but it works here and SO IT SHALL BE USED.

The sun was shining bright over Tokyo. The streets weren't… filled, per say with people, but this was only due to how early it was that morning. Everyone was going about their business, the salarymen heading to work, high school students like Keiichi Kimura heading to school. A few birds flew by, accenting the morning with their song. On days like this, it was almost hard to remember that only a couple months ago, this entire area had been locked down.

There were still a few reminders of the Lockdown, an old Shomonkai uniform here, a makeshift grave there, but almost everyone had accepted the explanation the government had given. Hallucinogenic poisonous gases had caused the initial lockdown, and the hallucinations caused by the gas caused people to believe they were being attacked by demons. The people the Special Defense Force had killed had gone insane from the gas and the SDF had just been defending themselves in the only way they could considering the circumstances. Of course there were people who didn't buy this explanation, but no one could say what they really thought without being ostracized as a conspiracy theorist or a loony. After all, demons couldn't really exist, right?

Keiichi reached into his pocket and closed his hand around the COMP inside. The device was practically useless now. Couldn't even connect to the internet, could only mail COMPs on the same specialized network as it. There were a few special programs, but none of them worked anymore. It always loaded up an error message when one tried to access them now. Keiichi had never gotten another COMP after the Lockdown. He was fine with just his cell phone, and he had an emotional connection to this particular COMP. This COMP had gotten him through the Lockdown, and had saved his life several times.

"Yo, K1!"

Keiichi nearly tripped as he heard someone call his nickname. He turned and smiled.

"Morning, Atsuro."

A boy wearing a white hat and carrying an orange bag over his shoulder skidded to a stop next to Keiichi. He groaned.

"You didn't wait up for me again! You've gotten really bad about that," Atsuro complained. Keiichi pointed behind Atsuro.

"Well, someone didn't wait up for Yuzu."

A girl wearing a pink bandanna was running down the sidewalk, a piece of toast in her mouth. She finally caught up with the two and stopped to catch her breath. Atsuro gave a wide grin at Yuzu.

"Hey, Yoohoo! I thought you'd never show up!"

"Stop calling me that! It's Yu-Zu! Not Yoohoo!" Atsuro opened his mouth again, but Yuzu cut him off again. "And it's not 'Sodeko' either! Or Frou-Frou!"

"Whatever you say, Yoohoo."

Keiichi gave a smile as Yuzu continued to pout at Atsuro. Atsuro continued to bounce various taunts off of Yuzu, which only made her madder. This was the way Keiichi liked to see his friends, not the various stages of depression they'd gone through after the Lockdown. They'd been happy, but just the shock of everything that had happened had finally gotten to everyone at that point. Keiichi hadn't talked to anyone he'd met during the Lockdown in a long time. Midori had gone back to her home, and Keisuke went to a different school than Keiichi, Yuzu, and Atsuro. Keiichi couldn't exactly go hang out at Gin's bar, he was underage, after all, and if he remembered right, Haru was on tour right now anyways. Kaido was still the leader of the Shibuya Daemons, and Keiichi didn't mess around with gangs if he could help it. Amane had been taken into protective custody after the Lockdown's end. From what Keiichi had heard, she was now staying with her mother, who had left Amane's father when some of the Shomonkai's activities got particularly fanatical. She'd transferred back into their school last week, but Keiichi rarely saw her, since she was only in her first year of high school.

Keiichi hadn't talked to Naoya in weeks. Before the Lockdown, they'd stayed in constant contact. Keiichi had practically worshipped the ground his cousin worshipped, even. But some of the things Naoya had said… Things about the nature of God, about the ordeals, and using the power of the Throne of Bel to wage war against Him. He'd nearly gone along with it. If it would end the ordeals for good, then he'd even sacrifice his own humanity. It had been Gin and his wish to return Tokyo to normal that had snapped Keiichi out of the idea. And at the end of things, Haru, Keiichi, Aya's song, and the Throne of Bel all together had returned Tokyo to normal. Things were normal, which was actually a bit surprising. The only thing that wasn't was Keiichi's continued strained relationship with Naoya.

"Arrg! I don't have time for you! We're going to be so late for school if you two don't stop it!" Yuzu complained. Keiichi looked a bit startled at that.

"Hey, leave me out of this," Keiichi said. He started walking down the sidewalk, prompting Yuzu and Atsuro to follow after him. Yuzu smiled and sped up a bit to catch up with Keiichi.

"You seem happier for some reason," Yuzu said. Keiichi blinked.


"Yeah. You've been kind of depressed since the Lockdown," Yuzu said. Keiichi gave a couple surprised blinks. Yuzu never talked about the Lockdown. It was really a taboo subject among the three of them. Keiichi laughed and looked away.

"Alright, who are you and where did you put Yuzu?" Keiichi asked. Yuzu got a bit huffy at that.

"I'm serious! Geez!" Yuzu frowned and started walking a bit faster. Keiichi continued to smile, though. He was feeling a little happier for some reason today. He wasn't quite sure why, though. Maybe he was just happy to be alive. The lack of nightmares the previous night had probably contributed a bit, too. There were few nights Keiichi didn't dream of the Lockdown, and typically when he wasn't dreaming of the Lockdown, he was having bizarre nightmares about deserts and sheep. Keiichi hadn't even seen a sheep since he was a little kid and he barely remembered that visit to that stupid petting zoo anyways. He was considering asking Naoya about it, but after seeing the side of his cousin he had during the Lockdown… He shook that thought out of his head. Maybe he did need to visit Naoya again. It had been way too long since they'd even talked.

"It's kind of chilly out today," Atsuro observed.

"Ugh, don't remind me. I can't wait until we can change into our winter uniforms," Yuzu complained. Keiichi nodded in agreement.

The three of them reached the school gate quickly enough. For all Yuzu had worried about in regards to being late, they really hadn't needed to worry. They weren't even close to being late. A bit of distinctive purple hair to Keiichi's right made him turn and smile.

"Morning, Amane-chan," Keiichi called. Amane turned toward him. She seemed a little startled that Keiichi had noticed her. She was standing by the gate, like she was waiting for someone.

"G-Good morning, Kimura-san," Amane said. She looked away from Keiichi, and seemed to be hiding her face before she finally ran off toward the school.

"Woah, what was that about?" Atsuro asked. Keiichi shook his head.


"Think she might have a bit of a crush on you?" Atsuro elbowed Keiichi in the arm and gave a knowing smirk. Keiichi flushed red.

"Wh-What? No way! Besides, I don't like her like that, I like Yu—" Keiichi turned an even brighter red and looked away. Yuzu's face was an identical color to Keiichi's, which only made Atsuro's grin widen.

"Yeah? Yu who?"

"C-Come on, Atsuro! Don't even joke about stuff like that!" Yuzu said. "L-Let's go, you know Ms. Tenou doesn't like it when we're late for homeroom."

Atsuro only grinned even wider. Keiichi continued to look away from the two of them and started briskly walking toward the front doors of the school, his face still a rather bright shade of red. Okay, so maybe he had a tiny crush on Yuzu. Just an itsy bitsy one. It wasn't like he was in love with her or anything, right? He liked her, but he didn't like her that much. Just as, like, a friend.

Dammit Atsuro, Keiichi thought to himself as he stepped inside the entrance. He was already taking off his outdoor shoes as he made his way over to his shoe locker. Keiichi frowned as he saw what was sitting inside, and pulled out the little bit of paper. The message written on it was written in neat, elegant kana, which contrasted pretty well with anyone in Keiichi's group of friends.

"What's that?" Yuzu asked. Keiichi looked back toward her before looking back down at the note.

"It's from Amane-chan," Keiichi said. "She wants me to eat lunch with her on the roof today."

"Woah!" Atsuro blinked. "Looks like Amane really does have a thing for you!"

Keiichi slipped the note into his pocket. "It's not like that… we haven't really talked since she came back to school. She probably just wants to talk to me, that's all…"

"K1's in denial," Atsuro said with a bit of a sing-song voice. Yuzu looked over at Atsuro and glared at him before grabbing him by the strap of his bag and starting to drag him off. Keiichi gave a bit of an exasperated look toward the two of them before starting to walk after them, the note still on his mind. Why did Amane want to see him? It wouldn't have bothered him so much if it weren't for how just out of nowhere this was. Other than small greetings and such in the hallway, the two of them really never spoke. He shrugged and continued walking after Yuzu and Atsuro, shaking his head at the spat Yuzu was having over Atsuro's reactions. Atsuro always knew which buttons to press with Yuzu, and it showed.

"You're not eating with us today?"

Keiichi looked over at Yuzu as she asked her question.

"Yeah, Amane-chan wanted me to have lunch with her today," Keiichi said. "That's what that note was about earlier."

"O-Oh, right…"

"That's not a problem, is it?"

"N-nah, not at all," Yuzu grinned. "I'll see you after lunch."

"Okay." Keiichi walked out the door and closed it behind him. Yuzu leaned back in her seat and put her head in one hand. Atsuro sighed and walked over to her.

"You alright?" Atsuro asked. Yuzu looked up at Atsuro and looked back down at her desk. She nodded. Atsuro frowned and sat down next to her in Keiichi's normal seat. He frowned at Yuzu, and then pulled open her lunch and pulled out a pair of chopsticks before stealing one of the fried eggs inside.

"Egg's a bit bland today, Yoohoo," Atsuro commented. Yuzu blinked and looked down at her food before looking back at Atsuro. Her expression very quickly shifted to pissed as she reached to grab the chopsticks away from him.

"Hey! You've got your own lunch! Don't steal my food!" She paused as something seemed to process for her, and blurted out an additional statement. "A-and stop calling me Yoohoo!"

"Haha! Come on, Yoohoo! You could lose a few pounds off the front anyways!"

"Arrrrg! I'm so going to get you!"

Keiichi found Amane easily enough. She was sitting in a place that put her well apart from any other students who decided to lunch up there. There was an unopened bento box sitting next to her. Keiichi walked over to the bench and sat down next to Amane, resting his own bento on his legs. Amane looked up at Keiichi as he sat down and then went back to staring at her feet. She stayed quiet for a few moments with a guilty expression on her face. Keiichi was halfway through his bento before he looked over at Amane and realized that she still wasn't talking or eating. Finally, Keiichi put his lunch to the side and turned to face her.

"Are you alright?" Keiichi asked. Amane shook her head and looked over toward Keiichi. Her expression was more serious now.

"I am sorry for worrying you. I was thinking," Amane stated. She smoothed out her skirt and turned her upper body so she was facing Keiichi. Keiichi placed his bento to the side as Amane continued to speak. "I called you up here for a reason. There are matters that must be discussed regarding the Lockdown. You are aware that every event in the Lockdown actually happened and is not a hallucination, correct?"

"Sometimes I think I'm the only person who actually does believe that."

"That will make this go much faster, then. As you know, I have been able to hear the voices of both angels and demons since I was a young child. It was for this reason my father chose me as the Shomonkai's maiden and I was able to hear the news of the ordeal through Remiel. Because you removed the demons from the human world and the angels left our world, I have not heard anything. However, very recently, I began hearing the voices of several of the lower ranking angels. The angels… are not pleased with how you ended the ordeal."

Keiichi's eyes widened. "But you said God would support any path that I took! I used the power of the Throne to send all of the demons back to their realm and return Tokyo to normal! Why are the angels still mad at me?"

Amane flinched at Keiichi's words. "Quiet down, Kimura-san." Keiichi blinked and looked around at the various people staring at him and Amane. He unclenched his fists and relaxed. He hadn't even realized he was leaning forward toward Amane the way he had been.


"As I was saying, the angels are not pleased with how you handled the Lockdown. The Lockdown was only instated because God chose to give humanity a second chance after it sinned and summoned demons. Most angels were of the opinion that God should have immediately taken away humanity's free well, but instead He chose to give humanity a seven day grace period to allow them to remove the demons from the Lockdown. As the Human Bel, you were the only one who could remove the demons from the human world. God wished for you to become enlightened and become the Messiah, as did the angels, but because you chose to return Tokyo to its previous state instead, the angels feel that humanity's situation will only continue to deteriorate and they will become more sinful."

Amane sighed. "The angels are also afraid of your power as the King of Bel. You sealed your powers of Bel away after closing the gate and returning Tokyo to normal, but the power still remains dormant inside you. The angels worry that a weak human mind will not be able to resist the temptation of such strong demonic power and that you will eventually succumb to the power of Bel sleeping within you. Many angels wish you dead so that the power of Bel finally can disappear for good."

Keiichi looked down as Amane spoke. Finally, he reached into his pocket and pulled out his white and black COMP. "I got a warning about that about a week ago from someone called 'M'. It told me… that if I gave in to the temptation of that power, they'd smite me and humanity would lose its free will." That last part hadn't been directly stated, but Keiichi had caught the implication well enough from the warning "M" had sent. Amane looked away before continuing on.

"The angels are not the only thing I called you here to talk about," Amane said softly. Keiichi looked toward her again. Amane seemed even more hesitant as she went on. "I came to talk about the Shomonkai. Though the Shomonkai officially disbanded after the end of the lockdown after the… death of its founder, more than a few of the old members are still hanging onto their beliefs." She bit her lip and hesitated for more than a few moments before speaking again. "…I am… not entirely sure how they discovered this, but… a group of believers have discovered that a human killed Belberith and absorbed his power."

At those words, all color drained from Keiichi's face. He'd thought no one knew about that fact. After the Lockdown, he'd realized just how much of a good thing it was that he'd knocked out all of the Shomonkai cultists that had been guarding Belberith on top of the Hills building before he actually absorbed Belberith's power. Keiichi had realized that some Shomonkai members were still following their founder's teachings even though Belberith was dead and the ordeal was over. If any of them realized who he was and what he'd done to Belberith it was possible he'd be in danger.

"…Do… any of them know that it was me?" Keiichi asked in a low voice. Amane slowly shook her head. She was gripping the hem of her skirt tightly and looked close to tears. Amane squeezed her eyes shut before reaching out and grasping Keiichi's hand.

"Please. Whatever happens, don't give in to your demonic nature," Amane whispered. "The ordeal did not go the way the angels wanted it to, so now they are looking for any excuse to take humanity's free will away. The fate of our world rests on whether you can control the powers of Bel or not."

Keiichi reached over and placed his hand on top of Amane's trembling one. She looked up at Keiichi's face. There was a kind of fear in her eyes Keiichi recognized. He gave a reassuring smile toward Amane.

"It'll be okay," Keiichi said. "I wasn't planning on using them for anything anyways. And if I'm careful, I won't have to worry about the Shomonkai, right?"

Amane gave a small nod. She didn't seem very convinced. Keiichi looked down at the mp3 player clipped to his shirt and pulled it off to check the time. Lunch was nearly over. "We should probably head back to class. I'll see you later, okay?" Keiichi picked up his unfinished bento and headed for the stairway back downstairs. Amane remained on the bench, only getting up after Keiichi was out of sight.

"….You wanna fight that way? Well, your umeboshi is mine!"

"What? No way! Give it back!"

Keiichi walked in on Yuzu and Atsuro having what seemed a lot like a chopsticks battle. It really wasn't that far off, actually. Both Yuzu and Atsuro had a death grip on a piece of pickled fruit. Between them were two empty bento boxes. Keiichi groaned and slid his halfway finished lunch in between the two of them. Atsuro turned to notice Keiichi first, which caused him to show enough momentary weakness for Yuzu to snatch away the umeboshi. Atsuro blinked and looked between his chopsticks and Yuzu.

"Hey! I had dibs on that umeboshi!" Atsuro shot Yuzu a glare before looking toward Keiichi. "You're back sooner than I thought you'd be."

"I don't know what you're talking about, lunch is nearly over," Keiichi said as he sat down in his seat next to Yuzu. "You guys can have that. I'm not that hungry anyways."

Yuzu pulled the top off and smiled. "Oooh, sushizume! Thanks, K1!"

K1 smiled. "No problem, Yuzu."

Atsuro looked over at the bento. "Sushizume, huh? Somehow I expected something more elaborate from you."

"Like what?"

"I dunno, just something more than just sushi. Speaking of which… ha!" Atsuro very quickly reached and snatched up a piece of tuna Yuzu had been reaching for. Yuzu gasped and rounded on Atsuro.

"Hey, that was mine!" Yuzu complained.

"You snooze, you lose, Yoohoo!"

"Aaarrg! Fine! Then this squilla is mine—" Yuzu gasped as the shrimp was snatched up before she could even reach for it. She turned and gaped at Keiichi.

"You know this really quite good," Keiichi said.

"B-But you just said you weren't hungry!" Yuzu looked back toward the bento box. "Aaaugh! Not fair, you two!"

Keiichi laughed and let Atsuro and Yuzu go at the rest of the bento's contents on their own. Honestly, he really wasn't sure how the heck this turned into a food war, but Yuzu and Atsuro sure were amusing to watch.

The rest of the day passed without incident. While the others were taking notes, Keiichi was thinking about what Amane had said, which also meant he took absolutely no notes on a subject that was very likely going to be on the end of term exams. Honestly, he was a little bothered by what she'd said. Why had she taken this long to bring it up if it was so important? Was it only because he was in immediate danger? Or was there something else going on…?

In the end, Keiichi decided he needed to do something he hadn't done in a while. He couldn't talk to Yuzu and Atsuro about it. He didn't need to unnecessarily worry his friends like this. Keiichi already could tell that Yuzu at the very least tried to pretend the government's explanation for the Lockdown was right, even though she'd been there when he'd summoned Babel. He couldn't go to his parents, either. They didn't even know about the demons. Amane had been close to tears after that conversation, he couldn't talk to her further about that. This only left one option left.

Maybe he had been being rude to Naoya by avoiding him like this. He could see where Naoya had been coming from with the war against God thing, but Keiichi didn't want to do that. He wasn't Christian by any means, but the Lockdown had proved to him that God existed. Honestly, Keiichi feared a world without a God. It almost seemed likely to him that the world would just collapse in on itself if it lacked an all-powerful God of some sort.

He looked up as he approached the apartments Naoya lived in. He'd decided not to walk home with Atsuro and Yuzu like he usually did today. Their usual route didn't pass by Naoya's apartment, and if they came with him, they would want to get in on this conversation. This was just between Naoya and him. Keiichi knew Atsuro and Yuzu would make a big deal about this, and it wouldn't help things between Naoya and him any more if they made a big deal about it.

Keiichi walked up to Naoya's door. He looked down at the doorknob. While it would be more polite to knock, unless Naoya wasn't busy, which was almost never, he wouldn't come to the door. Keiichi did a couple test turns of the doorknob and frowned when he saw it was unlocked. He sighed and pushed the door open.

"Naoya, you left the door unlocked again," Keiichi called into the apartment. He didn't have to go very far to find his cousin; he was right there, taping up the top of a large box. At this moment, Keiichi noted very similar boxes all around the apartment. He looked back toward Naoya, who had finished taping the top of the box and was looking toward Keiichi. Appearance wise, he certainly hadn't changed. His hair was still as stringy and unkempt looking as ever, and he was still wearing that handmade haori that looked like something from out of the Matrix. The one thing that had changed was the expression Naoya was regarding him with. There was an odd amount of respect in his eyes now. It didn't take much for Keiichi to figure out why that was so.

"You're moving?" Keiichi asked quietly.

"I've been offered a job I can't refuse," Naoya said rather simply. "Unfortunately, the specifics of the job and the location of it mean that I have to move away."

Keiichi clenched his fists. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"I did say it was short notice," Naoya said. "I would have preferred to stay here, but as the maker of the summoning program, I literally could not refuse." He shrugged. "Ah well. Such is politics."

Keiichi's voice was low again as he spoke. "…The government is making you move?"

"The government doesn't want me running free, especially since part of the fault of the Lockdown can be placed on my shoulders, so they're forcing me to move to a place they can keep me on a shorter leash."

"Th-That's crazy! How can they do that? Where can they even move you, you already live in Tokyo?" Keiichi was absolutely outraged. That had to be against some kind of law. They just couldn't do that. Not to Naoya.

"Our government throws out any sense of sanity when demons are involved." Naoya sighed and looked over toward Keiichi, and their eyes met. Keiichi flinched at the look on Naoya's face, and he felt a chill go down his spine as his cousin spoke. "Of course, if you really don't want me to move that badly, you possess the power to stop them."

There was silence for several moments after Naoya said that. Keiichi seemed to be trying to find words, but he couldn't think of a valid answer to that. It was mainly the way Naoya had just come out and said it. No, it wasn't just that. It was the fact that Naoya was practically telling him to use those dormant powers to stop him from being forced to "move" like that. He had to know Keiichi couldn't do that. He had to know the angels and Amane had told him if he did that, he'd be killed. Naoya always knew these things without being told. And yet Naoya had still come out and said that. It was Naoya who broke the silence when Keiichi didn't respond for nearly two minutes straight.

"In any case, you didn't come here to hear me preach about how I believe you should use your power, did you?" Naoya said. His expression softened just a bit, so that it looked more like the expression a concerned older brother would use. "What's on your mind? You seem bothered about something."

Keiichi let out a breath he hadn't even been aware he was holding. He nodded. "Y-Yeah, I spoke to Amane today. She said the angels and the Shomonkai are pissed at me."

Naoya didn't seem very surprised by Keiichi's words. Keiichi hadn't expected him to be. Hardly anything surprised Naoya in Keiichi's experience.

"It would seem God can't reign in his own servants," Naoya said. The way he spoke it was like he was stating an obvious fact. Keiichi had honestly figured that Naoya already knew about that part. "There has been a large level of Shomonkai activity in the city lately, despite police actions against them. I suppose the angels informed them about you, though they don't know your exact identity yet. I doubt the angels actually informed the Shomonkai of the whole situation, either, and instead used their blind worship of Belberith to manipulate them over to their side."

Keiichi noted how open with this information Naoya was being. Considering how Naoya was, he usually wasn't this open with things, even when it was semi-important info. So what he was telling him right now had to be extremely important to his survival…

"You haven't been sleeping well, have you?"

Keiichi blinked at the sudden topic change. "I-Is it that obvious?"

"I have a hard time believing that anyone could miss those bags under your eyes."

Keiichi sighed and turned away as he began to explain. "Yeah… I've been having nightmares almost every night. They're usually about the Lockdown, but sometimes they're different… I've been having this weird recurring one about sheep lately."


Keiichi looked toward Naoya and his eyes widened. Naoya actually looked angry.


"Explain the dream. In detail."

Now Keiichi was even more confused and worried. What was so important about that dream to Naoya? Keiichi thought back, but he couldn't think of anything that would cause that reaction from his cousin. Maybe if the dream had been related to God or something, but just… sheep?

"In the dream… I'm standing in a field. There's a bunch of sheep, and they're all staring at me. Then I hear a sort of… thwack noise, and something falls at my feet. And when I look down, I see myself, lying there, bleeding to death. And that's when I wake up."

Naoya clenched his hands into fists and then looked away from Keiichi. He was suddenly very busy with packing, and it was clear to Keiichi he was very pissed off.

"Go home, Keiichi."


"It's late. You need to go home."

And suddenly, before Keiichi could object, Naoya grabbed Keiichi's arm and pushed him out the door. There was a click as the door locked behind Keiichi. Keiichi ran back over to the door and started banging on it.

"Hey! Naoya, what the hell is wrong with you? Don't pull this on me now! Dammit, Naoya!" Keiichi yelled. Naoya was silent on the other side of the door. Keiichi stepped away from the door and gave it a rather strong glare. "What the hell's your problem today?" Finally, Keiichi headed away from the door and down the hallway. He walked away from the apartments in a bit of a huff. Well, that hadn't gone well. He should have expected it. They weren't as close as they once were, and even then, Naoya got in these moods sometimes. He'd be fine by tomorrow; he could see him then. But did he really want to talk to Naoya after how well this conversation had gone…?

A beep on Keiichi's phone caught his attention. He blinked and pulled it out of his pocket. He smiled as he saw who the text was from.

-From: Yuzu 3

-u wanna go 2 do karaoke 2nite?

Keiichi immediately started writing out a reply. Karaoke would be perfect. The implications of going out to karaoke on a night like this were not lost on him, but it was a Saturday night. He didn't have to worry about school in the morning.


-sure. i need to go change out of my uniform first but i'll see you there

And with that, Keiichi closed his phone and continued on the road back to his house. He was in a much better mood now. Karaoke together with Yuzu… he couldn't wait. Though Atsuro would probably end up tagging along anyways. Man, he'd never work up the courage to ask Yuzu out at this rate…

Dammit. Dammit dammit dammit dammit.

Naoya punched a wall behind him. He should have expected this to happen. He had known this would happen. But in all of his plans, when this happened, he had been the one with his brother. He knew the Throne would bring out the memories of Abel again. It had been something he'd expected from the beginning. Abel was the Bel Demon, not the personality calling itself Keiichi. As Abel woke up again, Keiichi would gain the memories of his past life.

The difference between now and all of those plans were that in all of Naoya's plans, he was able to be there for his brother. He needed to be there when Keiichi realized who exactly had killed him in the past. To comfort him. To let him realize that even though he'd killed him in the past, he was still the same nii-chan he'd had all his life, and when the hatred that drove all of the Bels to hate God finally drove him to war against his Creator, that the same big brother could be there with him. But a schism that Naoya hadn't expected had occurred between him and Keiichi. Maybe it was his own fault. Maybe he shouldn't have been so strong about pulling Keiichi toward that option.

He took a few breaths. He needed to calm down. He hadn't failed. The memories were returning, his plan hadn't gone off track. It didn't matter in the long run if he lost the "Keiichi" in Abel. It was just another meaningless human life. Only his own life, corrupting God's favorite child, and killing God mattered. If he failed in this life, he only had to wait for his next incarnation. Nothing had gone wrong. With Abel on the throne, it was only a matter of time now.

Everything was going according to plan.