End Game Chapter 4
Taming the Phoenix
Disclaimer : I don't own anything. Don't own Highschool Dragons of Dragons or Naruto. I do own the concepts and plots that I introduced into the story. Also, because of the connection between Highschool Dxd and multiple Relions and Myths, I am sorry if I have accidentally written something wrong and offended someone's belief/faith etc. I just did some basic research and filled the holes in by myself so it is only natural if I get something wrong.
Skillet – Monster
AC / DC – Highway to Hell
Shouko Nakagawa – Happily Ever After
Play Skillet – Monster
"Hokage-sama! The enemies are less than a kilometre away from the main gates!"
A blonde man, with six scars decorating his cheeks slammed his fist into the table, frustration etched in his face, "Sound the alarms. Get everyone ready. Konoha will NOT FALL!"
The messenger, a low ranked chunin hesitated, "Bu-but... even Kumogakure has been destroyed, we should run Hokage-sama! We can't win against that army filled with immortal monsters like that!"
Cold blue eyes burnt with fury, but the blonde reigned in his anger, "If you wish to leave then go. Just sound the alarms before you do." He ordered coldly.
As the pattering of feet slowly receded down the corridor, the young man slumped into his chair, his back bowed and bent under the pressure of an unwanted leadership thrust upon his unprepared shoulders; elected by virtue of being one of the very few survivors at the Battle of Sound.
No... not defeat, a massacre. An utter and complete rout at the hands of that masked madman, wielding the power of all nine Bijuus, only instead of continuing his self proclaimed Moon Eye Plan, the madman had decided to slaughter everyone who had defied him first.
It had been a complete disaster that claimed the lives of nearly half of every senior shinobi in the Five Element Alliance; including his adopted grandmother Tsunade, his mentor Kakashi, the buxom cheerful Mizukage, and his best friend, the Kazekage. He was leader of Konoha, only because no one else could be. Almost immediately, he had been elected as the Rokudaime Hokage, since both Tsunade, the Godaime and Kakashi, the only other viable option, had died.
"Fat lot of good being resurrected did for me... without the Kyuubi... I am nothing."
And it was true.
After the Kyuubi had been pulled from him, forcibly killing him, the blonde had thrown himself deep into the war effort again, without telling anybody about how he had survived and that Kyuubi was no longer sealed inside of him.
Only to discover one very important thing.
Without the Kyuubi's massive reserves, he was next to useless. Reduced to a handful of clones at any given period, a slight boost in strength and speed at night, a tiny repertoire of near useless jutsus, Toad summoning, Sage Mode and limited to only one or two Rasenshurikens between long periods of rest, Naruto Uzumaki was effectively crippled. His only saving grace was his abnormal stamina, chakra pools and a minor healing factor that saved his ass during subsequent battles, and even then both attributes were severely downgraded compared to his youth.
During that very first battle, Bee had been forced to sacrifice himself in order to save Naruto from a zombie Nagato and Itachi. His death was the straw that broke the camel's back, and the Five Element Alliance nearly disintegrated because of A's fury.
Tiredly, he lifted one arm and pressed a small button on the intercom, summoning his Chief Advisor, "Shikamaru, it is time."
"You really want to do this?" a lazy drawl crackled back to him over the communicator.
"We don't have a choice. I'm not asking you to do this with me, I'll do it myself." He growled back angrily.
"Understood. I have the keys to Orochimaru's lab. Meet you down there in 5 minutes."
The blonde slumped back, content to use that five minutes to rest, before he had to confront what may be the worst decision of his life. In their efforts to repel the invasion, the remaining members of the Konoha Nine had scoured the entire Hokage Vaults for any hidden jutsus that might save them.
They failed, though there had been some false hope, like when they had found the records to the Yondaime's legendary Hiraishin.
Only to realize that no one but Naruto had enough reserves to pull it off, and even then, he simply wasn't smart enough to learn it in time. That day, for the first time in his life, Naruto finally understood that hard work couldn't solve everything.
The only reason Konoha had even lasted this long compared to the even mightier Kumogakure was because the blonde, filled with self hatred at every command, had taken to sending in Kamikaze squads of ninja, each of them sealing major zombie threats with the very sealing technique that had sealed the bane of his life into his stomach. But this method had obviously severely depleted Konoha's forces, and they had been forced to stop it after his ninjas flat out refused to listen to his orders.
Then Shikamaru had discovered something that might be able to save them, deep down in the sealed vaults of Orochimaru's old labs, something even Orochimaru had been terrified off judging by the insane scribbling they found in his notes.
Naruto sighed and got up; wondering if this was how the Sandaime felt. Shrugging the tattered white cloak on to his shoulders, the blonde slowly trudged towards the South Quarter.
What Shikamaru had found would either save them all, or doom everyone.
"Wha...what is that? Why won't it die?!" a masked man rambled incoherently as he shook his head in denial, "They crossed the line with that monster!"
A serene chuckle from beside him stopped the masked man from continuing, "You crossed the line first, boy." Dull black eyes glittered in mirth and dry cracked skin rustled like flakes as the speaker set down a large fan and flicked off the eyeball that had just been blown across the field onto his armour, "Because of your pride, you attacked them, taunted them, and hounded them to the point of desperation, even when you could have just forgone the whole matter once you had the Kyuubi. That thing over there?" the resurrected Madara pointed at the solid mass of black of flailing, near indestructible tentacles in the distance, mindlessly rampaging through friend or foe like so much wet paper, "That's just them doing to you the exact same thing you were doing to them, for 'world peace' if I might add." The Uchiha finished snidely.
"Why are you so carefree!? This was originally your plan!" the masked man screamed madly.
"Once you began killing people unnecessarily, it stopped being my plan, and became your insanity taking over." The dead Uchiha smirked, "Besides, I'm already dead. Don't worry, you will like it there."
A red portal expanded in mid air directly in front of Naruto, slowly revolving and enlarging, until a man clad in grey and gold shining armour with a regal bearing passed through. Deep crimson hair that shone in the sun like a wreath of flames bounced in a crisp pony tail.
"It's time Naruto. I've given you the time you requested to settle matters here before you joined me. We need your help in the war..." that was when he happened to look around and realized that the two of them were sitting in the centre of a deep basin filled with rubble, craters, deep gouge marks and flowing rivers of blood, perhaps rivalling even the destruction his own power could cause.
"Wha... what happened here?" He had been careful to only open the portal showed no one was around except him and his target, but he hadn't expected to find the blonde in an absolutely desolate warzone.
Naruto slowly looked up at him, the last living legacy of the Shinobi Era, if only by virtue of being the one that had destroyed it. The deadness in his dull blue orbs caused the Demon Lord to take a step back in shock.
Blinking in shock, Sirzechs coughed slightly and regained his composure, "Is this a bad time? I... don't mind if you need some more time. Just don't tell Grayfia."
Dull blue eyes blinked once and he replied in a monotone, "No. It's a perfect time. Let's go."
The tattered and blood stained cloak flapped in the cold wind as the blonde slowly stood up and walked towards the portal without hesitation.
One of the Great Four Satans couldn't help but look backwards, flinching at the sheer destruction that scarred the ground for as far as he could see. Together, he and the sole survivor the Shinobi Era left that dimension for good.
Bright blue eyes snapped open and a hooded man surged upwards, stumbling out of the bed towards the toilet. His bed companion; shocked awake the sudden movement, blearily wiped at her eyes. Carefully she shrugged on a thick robe and approached the toilet from where she could hear retching sounds, "Naruto? Are you alright?"
Naruto shakily breathed, "I... I'm alright. It was just a bad dream. Just a bad dream..."
Akeno frowned and elegantly sat down outside the toilet door, drawing her knees up to her chest for warmth, "What are you plans for today?" she asked casually.
Chuckling lightly, Naruto washed his face and slid down the door onto his butt, "I have to go back to the palace for a while and make a report to Zechs. Maybe even play with Millikas for a while. I haven't seen that brat in ages."
A nostalgic smile brightened Akeno's face, "Hum... you were always good with children. I remember how you used to play with me and Rias all the time... Rias would ride on Enku's back, and I'd take yours."
"Even back then you were as sadistic as you were now," Naruto grumbled quietly.
The level of sweetness in Akeno's voice doubled and tripled, immediately alerting Naruto to the danger, "Did you say something?"
The blonde immediately backpedalled, having no wish to get maimed so early in the morning, "Uh no, no, I just said you were such a cute kid back then."
"You mean I'm not cute now!?"
"Stop reading words that I didn't say into my sentences." Naruto countered dryly.
The two of them fell silent, until Akeno spoke again, feeling that they had danced around the issue long enough, "Was it a memory?" she queried lowly.
Naruto chuckled from his own position behind the door, only the thin piece of wood stopping their backs from touching, "One from before I joined Sirzechs. It's been a while since I've dreamed of that one. Normally all I get is a jumble of disconnected images or memories that aren't mine." He hoarsely replied.
"Did you see what you looked like?"
Naruto shook his head; though he knew his friend couldn't see it, "Just that I had blue eyes, and some sort of scars on my cheek."
Akeno chuckled, "Too bad I don't like scars. They're so ugly."
"Hmnph, only a big titted sow like you would think so; scars are proof of a man's pride you know. All those nutrients must have gone the wrong way."
When the door disintegrated in as blast of lightning to reveal Akeno with a sickeningly sweet smile on her face, Naruto decided he probably shouldn't have said that where she could easily have access to his body, "I'm sorry. I seem to have gone temporarily deaf. Would you mind repeating that again?"
"I uh said, I like cows and that they are very nutritional?"
"No deal." Akeno swung a fistful of lightning at his face, "Now don't struggle. It'll just hurt more." She paused, "What am I saying? Please struggle."
"Yo, Zechs. Whatcha doing?"
"Paperwork." The long red haired man grumbled, "Why does everyone have an urgent need to bring their every problem to my desk, I mean, it's a freaking baby. Just cut it in half."
"Ah. Paperwork." The hooded man patted Zechs back lightly in commiseration, "I think that's the only good thing I've enjoyed since I came here."
"Oi, oi, you saying you don't enjoy the food?"
"Don't forget the beautiful ladies."
A stupid grin appeared on both men's faces, though no one could probably see it on Naruto's face, "Heheheh..."
"Did I miss something?" a cold voice cut through their banter like a hot knife through butter, causing Sirzechs to hysterically point at the hooded man, "It's Naruto's fault, it's always his fault! He was the one to start it first."
"Wow. Nice support jackass."
Grayfia, dressed in her customary maid uniform just rolled her eyes at the two adult children, "Why can't you two act like adults?" then she quirked her eyes at the beaten up, smoking and ragged Naruto.
A tiny smirk curled the corner of her lips, "Akeno?"
The hooded man looked away and scratched his unseen cheek, "Ah... yeah."
"Honestly, you two might as well just get married. At least then any wounds you might get would be worth it."
"Ewww... Wha-what are you talking about!? I'm like a father to her! I've known her since she was FIVE! That's so wrong on so many levels!"
The married couple just smirked at his reaction causing Naruto to grumble and throw a sheaf of paper at his boss, "That's the report, you ungrateful backstabber."
Sirzechs poked his tongue out at his pawn in a show of maturity before briefly sheafing through the papers with a keen eye, completely different from his goofy mannerisms.
One eyebrow rose, "You didn't assimilate the girl?"
"It wouldn't have been right with the Young Lady watching." Naruto answered primly, "Besides, her newest pawn seems to have something of a bond with her."
The grey haired beauty smacked both of them up their heads, causing Naruto to reply with a deadpan, "Ouch." And the Demon lord to whine childishly.
She pointed an imperious finger at her husband, "Stop encouraging him to do that. And you," levelling her finger at the unrepentant blonde, she continued, "Stop eating random stuff you pick off the floor. Enku told us you ate someone you didn't have to."
"This family is filled with backstabbers." Naruto mourned theatrically, "Besides, I was hungry, and it was only one."
Grayfia glared at him, causing the hooded man to shift uncomfortably, "Get some proper food next time."
Sensing the concern in her angry tone, Naruto smiled softly under his hood and held his hands up in defeat, "Yes, Mistress."
She only rolled her eyes again before turning serious, "Did Zechs tell you yet?"
Confused, the blonde shook his head, "Tell me what? The idiot only told me to get my ass here as soon as possible."
"Oi, I can hear you, you know."
"The Phenexes wants to move up the wedding."
Naruto gaped, "WHAT!? It was supposed to be after she graduates University wasn't it? Or if she couldn't find someone to love, whichever came first. Why the sudden rush?"
Sirzechs nodded slowly, "We suspect that they have been infiltrated, and the sudden rush in events is because they know that Reynalle was defeated. Unfortunately, we have no way of confirming this, so we can do nothing but bow to their will. For now."
"Or at least pretend to." Naruto pointed out dryly as he gave the two high ranking demons a shrewd look, "So? What's the plan?"
His superior immediately coughed lightly, "Plan, what plan?"
"As if I'm going to believe that a siscon like you is going to let his precious little sister get married to some uptight idiots." Naruto replied dryly.
"Says the one that wanted to destroy her kindergarten and the town it was in because she was bullied." Sirzechs muttered under his breath.
"You BOTH have issues; now can we get back to the problem?" Grayfia immediately cut through the conversation again, prompting the two of them to share a long suffering look.
"Well... it's not like I don't have an idea..." Zechs said with a small grin.
Naruto immediately held up his hand, "Stop smirking like that. I can already smell Grayfia getting turned on and I do NOT want to be anywhere near you two when you get it on."
He spent the rest of the day encased in an ice block while Millikas used him as a snowman.
Naruto suppressed an undignified sneeze as he sat beside Grayfia, the two of them mediating between two apparently hostile groups, prompting the stoic grey haired beauty to discretely stomp on his foot.
Cursing, he sent his friend, who was hiding a smirk, an unseen glare.
"I will not accept this, and I will not crush my house either. I will take a husband." Rias declared firmly.
The blonde, sophisticated looking man who was lounging on the couch opposite of the fiery heir of Gremory house only smirked, "
"Ahhh, that's good Rias! You are finally coming around. Let's-"
"I said, I will take a husband. I did not say it would be you." Rias interrupted coldly.
The expression on the blonde man's face immediately twisted unpleasantly as he digested her words. Sharply glaring at her, he made am irritated noise with his tongue, "...You know Rias. I'm also a devil who holds the name of Phenex behind me. I can't let that name get scratched. I didn't even want to come to a small old building like this in the human world. Actually I don't like the human world. The fire and wind in this world is filthy. For a devil like me who symbolizes fire and wind, I can't stand it!"
His killing intent flared, and with it, bright white flames surged out from him, causing the small room to get unbearable hot and the air to get thick with hostility, "I will take you back to the underworld, even if I have to burn all of your servants."
The atmosphere was intense. But there was one person who interfered calmly. It was Grayfia
"Ojou-sama, Raiser-sama, please calm down. If both of you were to continue, then I won't be quiet about it." She stated lowly, it was a fact, not a promise.
Rias and Raiser both made a serious face after hearing the threat hidden in Grayfia's intense voice. Unaffected by the drama, the hooded man swathed in a tattered white cloak beside her simply crossed his feet again and again, as if completely bored, completely brushing off Raiser's killing intent like a speck of dust.
In response, Raiser calmed the flames around his body and made a sigh while shaking his head.
"I understand...To be told that by the 'Ultimate Queen', even I would be scared... I definitely wouldn't want to fight the people from Sirzech-sama's group, which is said to be made up of monsters."
Though the way he spoke was casual and seemed to intentionally ignore the existence of the hooded man beside Grayfia-san completely, Issei felt there was a hidden emphasis on the word 'monster' that was directed at the man for some reason, though neither he nor Grayfia-san visibly reacted to it.
Speaking of which, that man said he was Buchou's brother's pawn wasn't it?
Did they really have that much strength? To be honest, Issei felt that it was really hard to take either of them seriously, especially since the hooded man started picking his nose in boredom, and it was hard to take the slender and beautiful Grayfia seriously at all.
Rias took a few obviously calming breaths and stopped flaring her own magic, settling for glaring at her intended fiancée.
"Everyone such as the master, Sirzechs-sama and the people from the house of Phenex knew it would become like this. To tell you the truth this was to be the last discussion meeting. Everyone knew that it wouldn't be solved, so they decided to make a last resort."
"Last resort? What do you mean Grayfia?"
"Ojou-sama, if you wish to push your opinion forward, then how about you decide it by doing the "Rating game" with Raiser-sama?
Rias gaped at her.
Ignoring the penetrating stare from the heir of the Gremory house, the grey haired woman continued calmly the monotone she usually reserved when not with friends, "Just like ojou-sama already knows, a 'Rating game' can only be played by mature aged devils. But if it's an unofficial match, then even pure-blood devils who haven't reached mature age can participate. But in this case..."
"It usually involves the family and household problem, right?"
Rias interrupted with an angry huff, "In other words Otou-sama and the others chose to make us do the game as a last resort when I was to decline, right? ...What nerve do they have to keep on controlling my life...!"
"Then Ojou-sama, you are saying you would also decline to participate in the game?"
"No. This is a chance. Alright then. Let's decide this by the game, Raiser."
Raiser smirked after Buchou challenged him.
"Hee, you're accepting it? I don't mind. But I'm already a matured devil and I have already participated in the official game. Right now I have won most of the games. Even so, you still want to play, Rias?"
Raiser replied back with a challenging tone. Buchou made a smirk.
"I will. I will make you disappear, Raiser!"
"Fine. If you win, do whatever you like. But if I win, you will marry me immediately."
Both of them glared at each other.
"Understood. I, Grayfia, have confirmed both sides opinion. I will be in charge as the referee of the game between both sides. Will that be acceptable?"
Buchou and Raiser both agreed to Grayfia-san's approval.
"Understood. The main houses involved shall be informed." Grayfia-san bowed her head politely.
"Hey, Rias. Would the ones here be your servants?" Raiser suddenly spoke, causing both Grayfia and Naruto to tense unnoticed by everyone else.
"Yes." The red haired girl replied defiantly and proudly. The proud tone in her statement caused all five of her Chess pieces to noticeably straighten their backs in defiance.
Raiser started laughing at her answer, "Then this match will be a piece of cake. Only your 'Queen', the 'Lightning Priestess' can even hope to give any of my servants a satisfactory fight."
Having said his piece, he clicked his fingers. The magic circle on the floor glowed. Shadows began appearing from the magic circle.
"And these are my cute servants."
There were 15 people that seemed to be Raiser's servants around him. There was even a person that looked like a "Knight" who was wearing armor.
High-class devils receive 15 "Evil Pieces" from the Maou. Using that to choose who you wish to make your servants forms the master and servant relationship. If the person you wish to make your servant has high potential capacities, then the chess consumption doubles.
Rias pursed her lips as she observed each one of the 15 pieces calculatingly and weighed them against her own pieces.
Just then the tense atmosphere was broken by the sound of someone sobbing, while Raiser slowly backed away with squicked out look on his face, "He...hey Rias... This servant-kun over here is crying a lot while looking at me."
Naruto face palmed.
Without missing a beat, Rias replied, "This boy's dream is to have a harem. I think he was moved after looking at your servants."
"Raiser-sama, this person is freaking me out!"
Raiser's girls made an unpleasant face after looking at the perverted look of longing on the brown haired boy's face.
Sensing an opening of some sort, the blonde noble smiled, "Ma... Don't say that, my cute girls. Looking up to high-class devils is what a lowly being does. Let's show them how close we are."
After he said that, Raiser started to tongue kiss one of the girls, moving his palm to caress her visible skin and groping her breasts greedily.
"Hau..." Asia's face had gotten so red that it seemed like it would blow any second.
Ignoring the blonde girl dressed in a nun's habit, Raiser separated from the busty mage, leaving lewd threads of saliva connecting their lips. He then started to tongue kiss the other girl.
While he was kissing the second girl, Issei noticed that the blonde noble's eyes were focused on him. Just then he smirked condescendingly, as if saying "You will never be able to do this".
"Damn it! Boosted Gear!"
Issei's head was full of rage and jealousy as a red gauntlet with a green jewel implanted in its back materialized on his arm with a loud hum of power, "A womanizer like you isn't good enough to be with Buchou!"
"Huh? Aren't you looking up to me, the so-called womanizer?"
"Sh...shut up! That's different with the thing about Buchou! At this rate, you will continue to flirt with other girls even after you marry Buchou!"
"Heroes love women. That's a saying in the human world, right? A good phrase indeed. But this is just a close relationship with my servants. Even you want to get adored by Rias, don't you?"
A bitter look crossed the young boy's face, "Hero my ass! You are just a bird guy! Fire bird Pheonix? Hahaha! That's the same as Yakitori!"
Raiser's face twisted angrily, "Yakitori!? You low-class devil! Don't get ahead of yourself! That's not the way you talk to a high-class devil! Rias! You have to educate your servants!"
Buchou just ignored his shout and simply replied with a flat, "Like I care".
"Hey fried-chicken guy! I will just beat the crap out of you with my "Boosted Gear"!"
My pride! My Boosted Gear! It doubles my power every 10 seconds, and after a while I can attain a power to kill even a God!
"We don't need to have a match! I will just take you all down, right here, right now!"
Power surged through Issei's body and everyone in the room could feel a noticeable boost in his power as the brown haired boy recklessly charged at the blonde man.
"Mira. Do it."
Without any hesitation whatsoever, the girl who was nearly a head shorter than Issei disappeared with a speed impossible for Issei to perceive at his current level of abilities.
Reappearing above Issei, the girl smirked and brought her foot down in a powerful axe kick aimed at Issei's spine, "Gahaa!"
His body smashed into the floor with incredible force before being bounced back into the air again, her fist already poised to smash in face in, possibly beheading him from pure brute force, only to freeze as the hooded man appeared behind her like a ghost, one finger touching the back of her neck.
Following the laws of gravity, Issei slowly fell back to the ground with a softer crash than the one he had just seconds ago.
"Ise-san!" Asia shouted and scrambled to his side.
Carefully watching the hooded man who hadn't made a single move ever since the meeting had started, very aware that he had almost crossed an invisible line, enough to make the hooded man move, and so he very carefully intoned a curt order, "Enough Mira."
The hooded man seemed to nod and removed his finger before fading back to his original spot, casually lounging on his seat.
The small girl with a stick grunted in annoyance and shoot the interferer a glare before turning it on her defeated opponent, "You are weak."
"The one who you just fought is my "Pawn" Mira. She's the weakest out of my servants, but she has more battle experience and has more talent as a devil than you. Boosted Gear? Huh?"
Raiser stepped on the Crimson gauntlet and he started laughing with his nose.
"This is certainly one of the invincible and dangerous Sacred Gears. By how you use it you can not only beat me, but also Maou and God. There were quite a number of possessors who had that before. But there hasn't been any case where it defeated a God or Maou. Do you know what this means?"
Raiser then laughed really loudly.
"It means that this Sacred Gear is imperfect and also the possessors were bunch of weaklings that couldn't use it! You are the same as well! How do you say this in the human world again? ...Yes, "Pearls before swine". Fuhahahaha! Yes, pearls before swine! It's about you! Rias's "Pawn"-kun!"
Raiser started patting Issei's brown hair disdainfully, "But the match would be interesting if you were to get used to it. Hmm... that might be it." Putting his hand on his chin, the blonde struck a thoughtful pose, "Rias, how about we have a match in 10 days? We could do it now, but that wouldn't be fun for us at all. If we're going to have a Rating Game, my girls should at least have some decent opponents."
"...Are you giving me a handicap."
"Are you against it? Is it humiliating? "Rating Game" isn't something simple that you can win with only your feelings. If you can't use your servant's power to the fullest, then you will lose immediately. So it's not weird for you to train with your servants for your first "Rating Game". No matter how much potential you have, no matter how much power you have, I have seen devils who lost without using their power to the fullest countless of times."
Buchou kept quiet and listened carefully to what Raiser had to say. Raiser put his palm to the ground and it started to glow.
"10 days. If it's you, then you should be able to improve your servants."
He then looked at me.
"Don't be a disgrace to Rias, Rias's "Pawn"-kun. Your hit is Rias's hit."
I realized that those words were said when thinking about Buchou.
"Rias, the next time we meet will be at the match."
After he said that, Raiser disappeared in the magic circle along with his servants.
Silence filled the void that the Phenex noble had just left, a charred blot on the wooden floor where he and his entourage had been standing.
"Well. That was interesting."
Everyone glared at the hooded man.
****10 Days Later****
"What do you think off their chances?" Sirzechs quietly intoned so that the other nobles in the room could not hear their conversation.
Grayfia and Naruto stood behind Sirzechs's throne in a dignified flanking position as they watched the floating screen in front of the hall they were seated in.
"They worked hard and trained a lot during the 10 days they were given." His wife commented noncommittally as she watched, taking careful note of the abilities of her sister-in-law's newest pawn as he fought off two chainsaw wielding girls.
Sirzechs' sighed, "Naruto?"
"What she really means is that they are guaranteed to lose." His reply caused the grey haired woman to shoot him a glare, which he returned with a completely unapologetic grin.
"Did you narrow it down?"
"I have. The Phenex themselves have no direct connection with the Brigade, but their massive egos are being manipulated by someone within the Astaroth house. Unfortunately I cannot determine which individual was responsible for it." Naruto's voice went flat, "The messages I intercepted seem to indicate that Ruvel will make an appearance later though."
"Hmmm... that might complicate matters a bit. Why is he coming?" Zechs winced as Rias' Rook, a tiny white haired girl was taken out by a violent blast of flames by Raiser's 'Bomb Queen'.
"Because he doesn't like me." Naruto answered flatly.
"You just described nearly 80% of the Demon world, Naruto." Grayfia pointed out, though Naruto was aware that she was just teasing him.
"Coming from the Ultimate Queen-sama herself, that really doesn't mean much. Besides, they fear me. Not dislike me. There's a difference." Naruto answered with an easy grin, "That aside. Shouldn't we end the match?" he jerked his chin at the screen, "Issei-san is going to have an aneurysm soon."
Red. I was watching a red dream. Something made a sudden complaint to me within myself. The power I am using now isn't its actual form. Who? Sacred Gear? Or something which is inside me? He moved its lips while shaking its scorching fire.
[If you are like that, you will never get strong.]
I heard something like that in my mind. I didn't make it up. It came from within my heart... No, from my left arm...
[You are an abnormal being who possesses a dragon within you. Don't look uncool. The "White guy" will laugh at you.]
You... Are you the dragon that appeared in that dream? Was that new power up because of you?
[Yeah. You wanted it. You desired it. The "White guy" desired it as well. That's why you went into a new step.]
Desire? What are you saying...? I mean who the heck is the "White guy"!?
[He will appear before you sooner or later. Yeah. He and I are destined to fight. Oh yeah. My power. I will teach you how to use its real power.]
What...what are you saying? Who are you...?
[Welsh-Dragon, Ddraig. Hyoudou Issei. I'm the one inside of your left arm.]
[Losing may be alright. If you don't die, losing can become your strength. But it only means something if you win the next fight. Lose then win. Then continue to win. If you do that, you will meet him.]
So what's going to happen between me and "him"...?
[You will know soon enough. Get stronger for that day. I will give you power any time you want. But keep it in your mind that it will come with the sacrifice of something great. I will give you something that is worth a sacrifice. You can show it to those who laughed at you. The existence of a "Dragon".]
Raiser took a few steps backwards while coughing blood.
"Me... from something...like this..."
He said that and fell on the ground. He didn't stand up again.
"Issei tiredly stumbled backwards, a triumphantly grin on his face. Giving the prone Riaser one last glance, he made his way towards Rias, who stood there with a proud and expectant look on her face.
"I did it Buchou."
"Un. You did." Seemingly unable to hold herself back anymore, Rias launched herself in to his arms, causing everyone gathered in the hall to start clapping, there was even a few whistles, causing the two of them to blush.
"Buchou, let's go home."
Suddenly the hall silenced as a smiling Sirzechs got up from his throne and walked forward, slowly clapping, "You have done well Issei-san. I thank you for showing all of us what a Dragon can truly do. Be proud, this victory is something you have truly earned. You are free to go home, to everyone else; there will be a banquet to celebrate my sister's free-."
As a regal man, dressed in intricate robes stalked in, followed by 15 girls, each of them of varying race and age, but all of them beautiful, an angry frown marred his noble features. Naruto took note of the flames trailing behind him, making magnificent swirls in the air as he walked, "Dramatic as always," he muttered quietly to the Ultimate Queen beside him.
A large four legged creature, wreathed in blue sparks and electricity and growling ferally, materialized out of nowhere beside a calm Sirzechs, "Do not address a member of the Four Great Satans with such familiarity Ruvel. Do not forget your station."
"Enough, Enku." Zechs calmed his Pawn down with a casual wave before politely addressing the man who had his hair up in a delicate ponytail, "Is there a problem Ruvel?"
The white flames around the man swirled agitatedly, "Problem? Do not insult me Sirzechs-sama. We were kind enough to allow your sister a loophole in the form of a Rating Game. She lost it fair and square, that one on one match is nothing but a disgusting tactic to muddy our honour. You have no right to call off the wedding based on something like that, especially since there is no such clause in the contract. The pathetic fool lost because he was weak, but that does not cancel the wedding."
"But your brother himself agreed to that before they started fighting." Zechs pointed out easily, "By his own words, he would be obligated to give up my sister's hand in marriage anyway."
Ruvel snorted, "How low will you sink?" spinning around to the gathered members of the hall he spread his hands mockingly, "Nobles of Makai, open your eyes and see what Sirzechs is truly doing! Can someone who practices favouritism and breaks his own words continue to be your LEADER!?"
He pointed theatrically at a serene Sirzechs, "This is nothing but a poorly disguised attempt to get back at the House of Phenex after losing to me in a Rating Game!"
The blonde man who bore a great resemblance to the unconscious Raiser hid a smirk from the gathered nobles as a whispered commotion broke out behind his back. He could feel dissention start to spread amongst the high ranked nobilities as they affixed Sirzechs with an accusing stare.
Behind Zechs, Naruto leaned over to Grayfia slightly and whispered quietly, "Why did we lose that one again?"
Grayfia bowed her head in embarrassment, "A new video game had just come out in the Human World at the time, so he figured he might as well throw the match; allowing the Phenex house to gain more fame and some measure of loyalty to us and at the same time, so that he can get back to his game."
"Ah." Naruto nodded as if that one sentence had cleared all his questions.
Sadly enough, it did.
"I declare you unfit to lead us as one of the Four Great Satans, not only do you play favourites, you have not fought in a Rating Game for nearly a century. You are nothing but an old has been that is living off his past glory and reputation."
Behind him, the sounds of feet being stomped on the ground could be heard, along with cheers and cries for a fight, Ruvel's peech having riled up all the lust for blood amongst gathered noble's.
"Huh. So that's his goal huh. Not too bad. Put a puppet on the throne and half their goal is already achieved." Sirzechs nodded slightly at Naruto's input before responding, "Then who will take my place? You?"
"Of course! I, the undefeated, immortal Brilliant Flame God, Ruvel Phenex."
"You understand, what that means don't you, Ruvel." Sirzechs' eyes began to glow with power, "Make your decision carefully. This is not a simple Rating Game. If you lose this one, the Phenex house will be irreparably damaged."
For a moment, the blonde seemed to wilt before puffing out his chest like a peacock and giving his approval with a defiant shout.
The entire Occult Club who had recovered stood to one of the hall, seemingly forgotten amidst the revolt, "Bu-Buchou, what is happening?" Issei questioned hesitantly.
"It seems that someone is challenging my brother for the right to be one of the Four Great Satans." Rias answered offhandedly, "I'm more concerned about why he doesn't seem shocked at all. Red eyes narrowed at the trio standing at the front of the hall, "I smell a set up."
"Ar-are you sure he can win? That guy said said Sirzechs-sama lost to him before, who is that guy anyway?"
A tiny sliver of worry made its way into Rias' expression, "Lord of the Phenex house and eldest brother of Raiser Phenex, Ruvel Phenex. He has never lost a Rating Game before but I've never actually seen him fight to be honest. But this one is different. Usually there's nothing at stake in normal Rating Games other than one's reputation, but this is a Royal Rating Game. The loser has to forfeit 80% of all their funds, members and lands to the winner as a trophy, though they can keep their title. It was made as a way to stop the nobles from continuously revolting because they don't suffer any penalties."
She gave Issei an apologetic look as her brother and his opponent made their way onto the same arena that Rias' Occult Club just had their fight with Raiser's Pieces, "Despite most of us acting civilized and cultured; the need to fight and draw blood is engraved into our very souls and spirits as demons. Some just give into it the bloodlust more than others."
As everyone unrelated to the fight made their way to the hall where a big screen was quickly set up for them to spectate; Rias continued to unrelenting stare at her brother. Something he obviously noticed, if the way he kept fidgeting and purposely avoiding eye contact with her was any indication.
Suddenly she gasped as the members for the Rating Game was confirmed, two lists with names and all the agreed rules for the game was written on it in massive font so that everyone could see it slowly faded into existence on the screen.
Play AC / DC – Highway to Hell
On one side, it was obvious that the list that contained 16 names belonged to the house of Phenex. It was the other that shocked Rias; it contained only two names.
Sirzechs Gremory [King]
Naruto Uzumaki Namikaze [Pawn]
Shocked whisperings started to fill the hall, before they began to bloat in to full out shouts of anger and incredulousity.
"Just two!? What is he thinking? Does he want to throw this match?"
"Ma, he probably gave up already, he IS competing with that Phenex after all."
Words like that continuously battered the Occult Club, though only Akeno and Rias seemed completely indifferent; in fact, they were smiling as if they finally understood something.
"Remember how you said you wanted to be the best pawn for me?"
Scrunching his brows in confusion, Issei nodded slowly, "Uh... yea?"
"Then watch carefully. The Hooded Pawn of Absolute Despair is going to fight."
[She's right boy. Watch and you might even find out why even touching that man is a bad idea.]
Issei blinked, "What?" but the dragon refused to talk anymore.
Akeno stopped a passing noble, "Excuse me, do you know what are the odds for this match?"
"1000 : 1, I mean, Ruvel is a famous competitor that has never lost so far, and Lucifer-sama hasn't fought a single match in a century, he is bound to be weak! I mean, even his sister lost to his younger brother, and Raiser can't compare to Ruvel."
Akeno smiled sweetly, "Thank you." Turning to Rias, a small smirk curled her lips, "How much?"
"500 for me." Kiba declared happily as he passed his Vice President some coins.
"Should I join the fight, Sirzechs-sama?" Enku quietly spoke from his place beside the tall red haired man who was standing beside a stoic Grayfia.
"It's alright, Enku. There's something the two of them need to settle anyway. Besides, I think loosing this game might pop the Phenex ego a little. It's been getting a little stuffy with them being so insufferably high and mighty all the time anyway."
"It's time, Lucifer-sama." Grayfia flatly cut him off; causing the tall armour clad man to wince, knowing that his wife was sulking for not being allowed to fight.
As the two men walked down a dark corridor, Zechs muttered, "You owe me big time for this, Naruto."
"Three buckets of fried Harpy wings and that new game you've been whining about."
The two men shook hands with stupid grins.
Naruto stretched and leapt off into the open field while Zechs made himself comfortable on a wooden chair and popped a bag of popcorn that he pulled out of nowhere. Ruvel had obviously thought it was going to end soon, and decided not to waste his time with any petty planning since he was so obviously going to steamroll them when he decided on an open field.
"Is... is that possible?" Issei blinked wildly as a deep rumbling grew inside his chest, a need to match his strength with the hooded man, a challenging growl emanating from his right hand.
His tattered white cloak flapped in the wind, the red flame patterns at the bottom danced, as he stepped forward, step by step in a straight line, aiming directly at a waiting Ruvel. Shrugging off all but the strongest attacks, even Ruvel's Queen, a beautiful raven haired mage that looked vaguely like the Bomb Queen's older sister with the title of the Crown of Flames only managed to make him stumble briefly with her biggest blast, something Issei was confident would have taken out their entire club even it wasn't a direct hit.
All around him, beautiful girls tried and failed to attack him, every time they even managed to get within range, they found themselves being smashed into the ground, head first, with one finger.
Offhandedly, he noted that Akeno was looking extremely smug for some reason. That and the man who was supposed to be Lucifer was eating popcorn.
The hooded man did not bother to evade as a massive black blade screeched against his skin with a shower of sparks, its serrated edge trying and failing to cut through his bare skin.
A finger touching her forehead was the last thing Ruvel's Rook remembered as her world flipped around and everything went black when she found her skull pounded into the ground with extreme force. Buried in the ground head first, like some sort of weird plant, legs poking up into the sky. Behind her, 14 of her comrades had already fallen victim to that exact same gesture.
The blue flames under his hood that represented his eyes never failed to look away from Ruvel's own eyes, step by step.
"Despair, Ruvel. I am coming for you. Kuku... kukuahahaha!"
"Are you scared Ruvel?"
The blonde man flicked his hair back elegantly and sneered at him, "I beat you once, monster, I can do it again. Something like you doesn't even deserve to be called a demon."
Play Shouko Nakagawa – Happily Ever After
"I can't help but notice something, why does everyone we've met so far, call Naruto-san a monster? I mean, we're all demons, so what's the big deal?" Issei tentatively asked his club mates, causing the Buchou and her assistant to share a look.
"Do you remember that Stray Devil we were forced to kill?" Buchou asked blandly.
"Yeah? What about her?"
"Breaking away from one's master is considered one of the worst taboos in our culture. There are only two things worse than that. One of them is indiscriminately attacking and eating humans. This is because even though eating humans will give demons a permanent power boost comparable to even the strongest Chess Pieces, doing so will feed its bloodlust and gradually erode at its rationality until the Stray Devil becomes nothing more than a raging beast." She glanced at Akeno for a moment as if asking for permission.
Her childhood friend stiffly nodded.
"The last and worst taboo in our culture is eating our fellow demons."
Ise's eyes widened, "You mean... like cannibalism?"
"That's a good approximation, yes." Buchou nodded and continued her impromptu history lesson, "After the first Great War, our numbers were so low that we could not afford to fight amongst ourselves, so it was more for survival rather than anything real moral principle at first but as time passed, killing a fellow demon became frowned upon and the very concept of eating another demon became utterly repugnant. That is where Naruto comes in. Though I don't know the details because I wasn't born yet; when Naruto-nii san first joined the House of Gremory, he apparently had problems adjusting and controlling his power, and that resulted in him... more than ruthlessly digesting a few idiots that would not stop attacking him."
Buchou's lips stretched into a thin line, "Because of that, and his particular skill set, Naruto-nii san was shunned, feared and hated by almost our entire culture. Many people even thought that we should expel him from our House because of this."
She gave her Pawn a soft look, "But I told you before didn't I, even amongst the demons, the House is Gremory is famed for caring for our servants. My brother refused to expel Naruto-nii san and protected him even though he was reviled and lost a lot of support for that decision. As a result, Naruto-nii san is incredibly devoted to our house..." Rias smirked wryly, "To the extent that Father and Mother even consider him their own flesh and blood. Naruto-nii san and Nii-sama even act more like brothers rather than a King and his Pawn."
Akeno shrugged, "It has been a long time since the idiot has actually eaten a demon, but some things just don't go away."
Ruvel growled as he blocked a black, massive, swinging guillotine that sprouted out of the hooded man's limbs with his own blade made of solid flames. Superheated flames and inky black metal sparked for dominance as the two of them fought at a speed too fast for the naked eye, clashing edge against edge again and again for the upper hand when the hooded man seemed to slip.
Literally grasping his victory, Ruvel grinned in triumph as his free hand shot out and grabbed the hooded man's face, "Die monster!"
His palm sparked for a moment, before suddenly spewing out and ocean of white raging flames that engulfed the hooded man's entire body, turning up the heat until there he was confident not even ashes would be left over.
"Was that supposed to do something?"
Ruvel stumbled backwards at the question, scrambling away wide eyed from the flaming figure as it began to laugh.
The burning man snapped his fingers, and Ruvel screamed in horror when his hand, the hand that had made contact with the hooded man's face exploded in a shower of gore.
Panting, flames engulfed his body, regenerating his lost arm, "That won't do anything to me, you monster, don't you know, I'm a PHOENIX!"
"So?" he snapped his fingers again, causing the limb to explode again with a merciless grin, "Let's see which lasts longer shall we? Your regeneration or my virus."
"I'll BURN YOUR VIRUS AWAY WITH MY FLAMES!" Ruvel screamed furiously as his entire body morphed, changing into the very essence of fire shaped like a magnificent bird of air, and surged forward at the charred black figure that was taunting him with a burnt smile.
The figure, which barely eve looked humanoid anymore only laughed, a disturbing wracking sound and suddenly exploded into a mass of solid blackness that slowly expanded, wrapping itself around the struggling creature of flame.
"Despair, Ruvel. Despair." a ghostly voice echoed as the darkness slowly overtook the great phoenix.