So, I wrote this. Wasn't expecting to, but mythological canon can always be counted on to be amazingly cracky.
Abel hadn't even needed to snap his fingers to summon up more than enough demons to… discourage the JSDF from trying to move in to eliminate the survivors. It wasn't just demons: quite a few tamers had null, repel or drain elec set.
Even after Izuna led Naoya to where she was sure Commander Fushimi must have been, it took awhile to revive him. Not because of any problem with the spell, but because there wasn't any way to tell which pile of charred ash and splintered bone was the commander without just resurrecting people until Naoya got the right one.
The commander had certainly been startled by Izuna's… new accessories, but made the effort to reassure her with what Naoya considered useless platitudes about the mission and the good of Japan and so on. Fortunately despite being a government dog he was intelligent enough to realize what the failure of the UEM field, the (temporary, sadly) absence of those bastard angels and Abel's ability to summon armies meant and tell the soldiers surrounding the lockdown to stand down after Naoya made a few choice comments.
Since Naoya didn't have any interest in reviving anyone who hadn't managed to figure out how to survive, he got to work on the transformation ritual's circle with Atsuro's 'help,' or rather Atsuro asking him incessant questions about how it all worked. Well, Atsuro was his student, and now that the war would begin soon it would be useful if he started to learn ritual magic and could assist with the programming, at least the more simple functions, so Naoya felt indulgent enough to keep up a running lecture that the boy listened to, perked-up ears and energetic tails displaying his eagerness.
Since this was the center of the safe area, Commander Fushimi remained with them while Captain Izuna followed Naoya's brother on his mission of indulgent mercy.
Well, that was why Abel was the overlord. The one worthy to rule the human race. The weak were ruled by the strong: only when ruled by a human could humanity be free instead of forced to live according to the laws of that wretched God or with the barbaric savagery of demons.
The commander wasn't even a demon tamer, and now that the comps were destroyed there was no longer any harmonizer function to protect him, the civilians or other JSDF soldiers. "All your 'final option' did was destroy the work I did in order to allow your precious country to defend itself against the demons. Well, you should have realized that it would just leave you worse off, when the angels endorsed it." Naoya smirked, even though that was really subpar gloating by his standards. Still, it got a grimace out of the government dog.
"But Abel's absorbed Babel, so he's the server, right?" Atsuro asked, tails wagging like he was a dog now. "So could he protect everyone with the harmonizer program?"
Naoya nodded, pleased both by his apprentice's perception and the memories it brought to mind. "Of course. As it once was, so shall it be again: the King of Bel's power protected every human in his domain. Under his rule, we humans could stand before demons and angels as equals, not sheep to be penned, sheared or slaughtered."
"…What's wrong, Naoya?" Atsuro dared to ask, getting in Naoya's personal space in a way he wouldn't have dared before, like a cat sitting on its servant's keyboard to get them to pay attention to their lord and master.
"We humans." Naoya shook his head: he had no right to regrets. Their souls were still human, unlike the Demifiend. His brother didn't have a choice: it was the only way he could make it back to the human world after Cain murdered him. It still amazed him: how could his brother not hate him, God's manipulation or not? Some part of him still knew it couldn't be true, was still desperate to make it up to his brother, to try to earn the forgiveness he couldn't believe no matter how many times it was offered. Abel fought for humanity to stay human, instead of being reduced to more angels with no wills of their own or ravening demons. He was still far more Kazuya than he was Abel, or he'd be annoying Naoya about how he didn't want his brother to make this sacrifice. Naoya didn't think he's even made the connection yet. Good, he has more than enough to deal with. "Try not to be part of the problem, Atsuro," he said, petting the affectionate little Nekomata. "Now get off my circle or I'll spray-paint your shoes and turn you into a Kabuso."
Atsuro leaped back: good, he was more nimble than before. "Why aren't you just writing a program?"
"First, this is a program. Enochian," Naoya scowled at the thought of that simpering toady, the Metatron's true name, "was invented as a programming language long before computers. Second, all the comps and my computer were destroyed, remember? For now, this is faster."
"But will it stop working if this diagram gets washed away?"
Naoya was actually slightly impressed that Atsuro had caught that. No, this circle was meant to only have a temporary effect, since it certainly wasn't Naoya's best work and he intended to do it right later. "Good boy," he said, scratching Atsuro behind the ears.
That made him grumble. "Naoya…" he wasn't a dog… But it still felt good…
"Yes, this is just a simple little ritual." By Naoya's standards he might as well have been printing Hello World to the screen.
"Are you powering it with the internet too?" Or was he going to use Abel's power? Atsuro wanted to see the magical command codes that did that: if he could figure that out, then the two of them wouldn't have to rely on Naoya.
"No, I'll power it myself. I want to start getting some idea of how much accumulated power I have to draw on. That's another reason it's only temporary, of course." What did he care how Keisuke looked?
Well, Abel cared, and told Naoya to take care of it, and that was that.
"People's belief in Cain? The emotions they felt about the story?" Both?
"Not just that. YHVH perverted the legends of my brother into the 'prophecy' of the Messiah's return. Messiah means anointed one, the king chosen by divine power. Of course, my brother chose himself. Then there's the one who causes the Messiah's death."
Atsuro's eyes widened. "So you've also got the belief in…"
Naoya laughed. "There's no need to fear my betrayal, Atsuro. I may argue with my brother when he's being a fool, but I will never betray him. I can't," he said with a shrug and a pleased smirk. "I designed the geas myself."
"Geas?" Atsuro asked, frowning.
"Humans have free will, so mind control and compulsion spells are inevitably full of loopholes and doomed to fall apart. A geas works by altering someone's fate. Their wyrd, or dharma. The way they must live, the purpose they must accomplish." Naoya bowed his head in utterly false modesty. "There's nothing more important than family, and Abel isn't the relative I want to murder, it's that bastard grandfather of ours."
"So you made yourself incapable of killing him again?"
"Why so amazed? Haven't you realize that everything I've done in this entire lifetime has been for his sake? Well, for him and for our freedom from god, but he's the only one who can grant us that freedom so it comes to the same thing in the end."
"He did much more than that," the fallen angel said sadly, taking a seat on a bench filling bottles with her blood while it still was angelic enough to restore the power the others were using to revive the dead. "It was Cain that made it possible for Abel to return to the human world in the beginning. He brought his brother out of the demon world and offered him his eternal loyalty, the obedience and submission due unto God. Since Abel's blood was shed because of Cain's love for God, Cain made of himself a sacrifice to Abel. I confess that I have wondered for some time if you were still truly human, Cain. You showed admirable restraint during this Ordeal, allowing your brother to choose his own path even when it was clearly such a foolish one, born of his desire not to accept his destiny instead of his true will to protect this world." Atsuro's wish was to surrender the power of demons to the same politicians who had submitted to the angels and killed their own people: Remiel ached to think how foolish it was of humans to trust his kind. How poorly they served their creator's children. "What type of being's fate would have been the model for your geas, when no human is bound to put another's will above their own save for you, despite God's best efforts?" Remiel was the first to arrive because she could still fly, but she would not have dared to speak thus if Abel would not be here soon.
Naoya glared. "…Shut up." Keep implying that he'd made himself angelic to any degree, and Remiel would be on a one-way exorcism to Nebrios' domain. Alice liked fluffy angel wings. Liked tearing the feathers out of them one by one.
"To be so convinced that your brother is the rightful ruler of this world, that his will is the paramount law: to give human laws, humanity's rule over itself nothing but contempt? Abel might have approved of what you did to yourself when he was newborn as a demon, but now that he has fully regained his humanity? In this era of peace and freedom humanity has built for itself even without his rule? You serve your God, but are you truly doing his will?"
Oh, that was it. Atsuro scrambled away as the distinctive glow of a megidolaon appeared between Naoya's hands. "If you're that eager for your blood to be spilled, I'll be happy to help you for once, you…"
"Naoya!" Abel scolded.
Instantly, the mage dismissed the spell and folded his hands inside his haori, appearing utterly disinterested in annihilating that damned former angel in a way that made Atsuro wonder who was supposed to be the cat here. "Of course, Overlord," Naoya almost purred, amused.
"Don't call me that," Abel said, running the rest of the way to Naoya's side as Midori and Yuzu followed. Midori still had her usual spring in her step, but Yuzu was absolutely exhausted. Abel hadn't even tried to keep count of how many people they'd brought back.
"As you wish, Cousin."
"…Brother," Abel said, correcting him but almost looking puzzled himself. "You really were my big brother, anyway." In this life, and, "But you were my little brother sometimes, because you had to grow up over and over and I didn't." Because he was an immortal demon, while Cain had to be reborn. "I think aging happened while I was gone… Not growing up, but getting old." When he came back, people were dying of old age when before there was no such concept. For God's creations to break down?
Naoya cleared his throat. "I'm glad you're recovering your memories and your powers, but I have a glyph to test. Stand clear. Or do you want me to turn you into a newt?"
"Can you do that with this ritual? Isn't it just bringing out someone's human nature?" Atsuro asked.
"…If I have to explain the joke, Atsuro, you're not going to get it." Naoya drew a penknife from the sleeves of his haori.
Yuzu winced, remembering Naoya's last ritual.
This one only called for a drop of blood, it seemed, because when that drop hit the center of the glyph red light started radiating outwards, line by line and letter by letter. It seemed as though Naoya was engulfed in fog for a moment.
When the fog cleared, the silver-gray cascading down his back didn't go with it.
There was something strange about Naoya's voice when he said, "Human nature. Right. When humans possess divine souls, and I've only been worshipped once. Atsuro, take note: it's always important to choose the right words when programming, but with ritual magic the devil is always in the details." Pushing that hair back behind his ear, Naoya turned to face them.
Everyone just stared except Kaido, who wolf-whistled.
Atsuro looked really disappointed when Naoya let another drop of blood fall to cancel the spell. Her blood.
"Back to the drawing board," Naoya muttered, voice male again.
Abel was still staring. "You were a girl the… second time I saw you, weren't you? Anna?"
"Anat." That despicable Sariel was sexist as well as racist: as though a little thing like that would make Naoya willing to kneel before God.
"You used to be gentle," Abel said wonderingly, touching Naoya's sleeve and frowning at the pattern, the numbers instead of leaves. "Remiel, were you one of the angels that helped with the ants? No, right, you weren't born yet back then. Made yet." So he was too young to remember the way, "Father would tell them not to eat your plants, but they kept having more babies who didn't know that yet and your crops were the tastiest, so the aunts and uncles had to pick the bugs off them every morning, otherwise all of them would have gotten eaten instead of just the ones you grew for them…" He took Naoya's hand now, and it seemed so wrong for his fingernails to be clean for a moment, but only for a moment, because Cain had only spent one lifetime cultivating the rich earth. "You avoided me for ages when I picked a bug off a berry and crushed it." Abel hadn't been able to figure out why at the time, but Kazuya knew there was a word for it now: fear. No, horror. The idea of killing another living thing, a relative? When their parents held conversations with the animals and there was no such thing as a non-sentient being, except for things like plants and rocks? No, even the earth was in their blood, when Grandfather created Father by breathing a soul into it.
Kazuya had heard people talk about being one with nature, but that wasn't a concept back then, any more than the idea that God was 'supernatural,' above nature. Everyone was related, everything was entwined. Places could be distant, like the Garden or the world Grandfather made for Uncle Lucifer's time-out, but even though there was already the division between the masters, Grandfather and his chosen children, the humans, and those who served, the angels and animals, they had still been family. How could it be otherwise?
And yet when Abel built a tower hoping to reconnect heaven and earth, to mend the rift between God and his children, he was murdered and his people were punished with another curse, another genocide. Because some part of him had still loved his Grandfather and wanted to reach out to him once again?
No. Never again. The UEM field: it was nothing compared to what the angels would do if he didn't stop them, he knew as the hand he held took on a hundred different hues, a hundred different patterns of calluses and scars in his memory. God had thrown away his mercy: Abel would have to do the same. Even become a demon as well as a god, if that was what it took.
"I have to make you human again," the king said, frowning. "You think that I'm the only one who stops you from doing evil things, but you were my anchor, too. I was a demon when I came back the first time. I didn't remember being Abel, all I remembered was my hatred, my desire for vengeance against God. Remiel's right, and you know it. You knew it even when you… No, I didn't trick you into casting that spell on yourself. You knew that I just wanted to have one of his favored children in my grasp." Only one generation removed from Adam himself, the one who was truly like God. "I was like Belberith, wasn't I? And you still… There's wanting to atone and then there's putting yourself in the hands of a demon, you idiot."
Naoya stood unmoved, because he had certainly heard this before, over the millennia. "You were my brother."
"No I wasn't, and you just… that's like Haru handing herself over to Belial! I… did things to you," Kazuya blushed at the memories, "and then I killed you for your power and you just came back! I think you'd expected it!"
"Not expected it. Hoped for it." Naoya let out a little sigh. Little brothers, so ignorant after all this time. "We're still not even. That wasn't a murder, after all."
"How was that not a murder!" Abel demanded, throwing up his hands in annoyance.
"It was justice. An eye for an eye. Except I didn't feel any horror, or betrayal. I wasn't wounded by it the way you…" How had Abel felt, when his own brother hit him again and again in a mad frenzy, intending to hurt? Abel's death hadn't been quick: Cain had none of the shepherd's skill at slaughter. "And now we've both ended up demons, but this is my choice, and I haven't lost myself." So the violation his younger brother had experienced was still worse. "Think about where we are: you're frightening the children." Telling them such nasty stories. Airing the dirty laundry. "I'm the murderer here, not you. You came back to yourself that time, just like you would have come back to yourself even if Belberith won the war for the Throne of Bel. I have faith in you, cousin."
"So would you have obeyed Belberith, if he won? Helped him take over Earth?"
Naoya clearly wondered if his brother was being deliberately stupid. "When the alternative would be having all language stripped from us, billions dying, or subjugation by the angels? I'd lead his armies myself." Ordeals were desperate times that called for brutal measures.
"Even if it wouldn't help anyone!"
Fangs bared, Naoya laughed. "Don't be ridiculous, cousin. He might have been an inferior candidate for the throne compared to you, but there's a reason the leader of the Shomonkai put his faith in Belberith. He is, after all, a part of you. Humanity's guardian god. Its messiah."
"And you were my…" Abel blushed again.
"You were a God, Abel. Normal morality doesn't apply to them. Look at what he gets away with."
YHVH/El used to be one of the three main Semetic gods. The others were Baal (or in Devil Survivor terms, Bel) and his sister & lover Anat, a violent war goddess who avenged him very thoroughly and rescued him from the land of the dead when he was slain. Compensating for YHVH trying to obliterate the true history...