Chapter 4

They were given a week to train. So Rias opt to take everyone to the mountains to train. She suddenly came to Inuko's house that, and made her and Asia pack their stuff. After waving goodbye to Nina and Seika (Seika opt to keep Nina company…suspicious…), they joined the other members who were already gathered and they came to the mountains by the magic circle transportation. The sky is so blue. The surrounding is filled with trees and grass and you can hear the cries of the birds. It would be the best spot for mountain viewing. But the problem is this slope. Every step one takes drains away at their stamina. Inuko didn't seem to have any problems, eventhough she was the one carrying the most luggage.

"Hurry, Inuko." Rias orders.

"Yes. Yes." She just keeps walking.

"Umm I can help, Inu-san."

"No, no don't worry." Inuko refused Asia's help. "Just keep that box safe, okay?" Despite going away from home, Inuko had to bring her symbol of power. She let Asia hold it as long as she doesn't open it.

"Buchou, I gathered some herbs. Let's use it for the meal tonight."Yuuto says it with a normal expression. He's also carrying a huge piece of luggage on his back. Inuko noted that he has quite the amount of stamina since he also went to gather some herbs.

"Sempai, hurry up." Koneko walks past Inuko. Despite being less, she was carrying a large bag compare to her small body. Inuko was impressed. Suddenly, her stomach told her it was time to eat.

"Alright, I'll see you guys at the top."

"Wha?" Rias was bewildered. Inuko had rushed pass everyone in lightning speed with her heavy load.


"Hello, everyone." Inuko greets them from her bento. It seemed that Inuko had been there for sometime at the grounds given by the number of empty bento boxes that were next to her. This mansion, made from wood, is the possession of the house of Gremory. Usually it is hidden from humans by using magical powers, but since Rias and her peerage were using it, it had appeared. But it didn't seem that Inuko wanted to go in the house. More like, she hadn't moved form her spot since the group arrived.

"Inuko, is something wrong?" Inuko scratches her cheek sheeplessly.

"Sorry, Buchou. But I wouldn't feel comfortable in that house."

"Why is that?

"Because I haven't made it my home."

"?" As usual, some of Inuko's words confused her. Before they even entered the house, she spoke out.

"Before we start training, may I say a few words?" Rias nods to Inuko's question. "Alright, I'll be blunt." She points to everyone. "You are all significantly weak."

""Eh!?"" They didn't expect that.

"You can't last a day, much less a minute if I got serious." Inuko states. "What makes you all think you can beat Raiser in this state?"

"Bragger….." When those words escaped Koneko's mouth, Inuko's hand was close to her neck, freezing the poor girl.

"You were saying, Koneko-chan?" She lowers her hand. "One week is all we're given. Even I can say that's very less time."

"What do you propose then, Inuko?" Rias asks. "Even I have to admit, you appear to be the one with the most battle experience."

"I already wrote up the plan." Inuko shows them some papers. "But we can't do it here."

""?"" Everyone looked confused. Inuko pointed at the top of the mountain.

"I have a house near here." Inuko answers, and walks off with the backpack. The others started to follow, by now used to the fact that Inuko seems to always surprise them with something. "We are going to start real training at the Goddess Manor."

"Goddess Manor?"


"Put it simply, you remember my kids, right?"

"They were your kids, right?" Rias asked again.

"Pretty much so."

"How?"

"Buchou, there are things in life you just don't wanna know."

"Eh? Does that mean-?"

"I'm kidding, Asia-chan." Inuko teases. "I adopted them. Despite their appearances, they are goddesses."

"Goddesses….?"

"Impossible." Akeno and Koneko shared their thoughts.

"Think all you want, but for some reason of another, I got them to be my kids." Inuko thinks about it. "How did I get them to be my kids?" Then she spots something heading their way, and couldn't help but smile a bit painfully. "And also, they're not my only kids."

"DDDDAAAADDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDYYYYYYYYYYYYYY YYYYYYYY?!"

WHAM!

A blur of yellow suddenly tackled the suspecting albino. She still felt the painful impact.

"Gah…. Hello, Peashy." She managed to croak out. "I see your tackle is still as painful. My solar plexus …"

"You came, you came, you came!"

"Hey, Peashy, no fair."

"We want…..to greet father…too." Two girls, twin bruenettes, came running to the Gremory group, getting the little blonde girl off Inuko.

"Goodness. Peashy, get off father. She looks she's carrying a lot of stuff."

"Hello, Rom, Ram." Inuko petted the two brunettes. "Nepgear." She called to the purple hair girl. She looks around. "Where's Uni?"

"Ummm…." Before Nepgear could answer, Inuko stood up and caught a bullet that almost her face from behind. From a certain distance, you could see a black haired girl "tch" at the obvious missed. Inuko just smiled.

"Good shot. Almost had me, Uni." The girl, Uni, just blushed and ran to hug her as well. Rias and the others now looked like they couldn't believe it.

"Your kids as well, Inuko?"

"Yeah, Buchou. How'd you know?" It was obivious.


After being introduced to the younger kids, Nepgear, Uni, Rom, Ram, and Peashy, they had escorted the group to the house made of stone and wood. The house, more like a medieval castle, spanned around 20 acres. The windows were all colored panned glass. The roofs were coned tiles. The grounds were a combination of stone and soil. Stone making equipment was nearby for any reconstruction to be made. It seemed that most of the power that ran in the house was powered by the nearby river and waterfall that had several water wheels on it. Some trees looks like they were being sapped, and you could see fish, meat, and fruits being dried at a drying net a few meters away. Training equipment of sorts were seen on trees and on the grounds. Rias almost believed that this was all made for this day.

"Is this…? How can this be? To think there was a castle nearby the mansion, we always assumed that it was abandoned."

"There's a spell put in the property to make it seem uninteresting and people would just pass by it." Nepgear explains.

"It makes it a lot easier for us if people didn't know goddesses were on this mountain." Uni includes.

"Come on, come on. Come in our house" Ram pulls on Inuko's sleeve.

"Please….let us show you….our house." Rom gently tugs on her other sleeve, while looking at the group shyly.

"Daddy, Daddy, I'll get that stuff!" Peashy pulls off the large baggage and lifts it up without a care. And she runs into the house. Then three familiar faces opened the doors.

"Hi, nii-chan!" Nina waves to her sister and friends.

"I kind of suspected when Seika refused to come along." Inuko glaces warily at Seika who took everyone else's bags to put into their room. Shirahime and Kurohime ran to her and nuzzled at her legs. Then were subsequently petted by Ram and Rom.

"Oh, you didn't think you could keep such delicious information form me?" Mizuki teases. Inuko looks spectic.

"What delicious? We're only training."

"Tsk, Tsk, Tsk." Mizuki wagged her fingers. "Training often equals clothes tearing. In short, the girls will be tearing each other's clothes during this ordeal!"

"?!" Inuko just had a revelation: her sister was right.

"And I will videotaping every session!" Of course, now she sighs at her sister's antics.

"Oh well. Welcome to my mountain home, Minna-san." They entered the castle, where they could see the other girls, Neptune, Vert, Clanc, Noire, and Plutia, waiting for them. "We'll begin training when everyone's ready."


All of them got such beautifully furnished rooms. Rias and the others were amazed at this. When they had finished putting on their track suits, they went to where Inuko was waiting for them: at the dining hall, eating again.

"Is it alright for you to be eating this much when we're going to train?"

"Worry about yourselves first, Buchou." She gulped down the last of her meal before she led them to the grounds. She first turned her attention to Kiba.

"Let's start with your training, Kiba." She taps to a large boulder behind her. "Slice this from where you stand." She throws him a boken. "Using only that." Kiba nods and readies himself. In a split second, he was on the other side of the bouder, having slice the rock in rock.

"How's that?!" Kiba smile, confident he did it. His reward: a kick to the stomach. He hit the tree.

"I said only the boken." Inuko scolds. "Don't use your devil energy." Then she runs a finger on the cut surface. It was rough. "It's not even a smooth cut." She throws another boken to the air. The one who caught it was Noire. "Show him how it's done."

"Yes, dad." Noire had run pass another boulder, which was farther from her than Yuuto's, and had made this one smooth cut.

"How?" Rias couldn't believe her eyes.

"She didn't dispel any magic energy." Akeno and the rest were amazed.

"That is what you will learn, Kiba." Inuko walks to Yuuto and grasps his arm. "As Buchou's [Knight], your specialty is speed. You're also able to be aware of your surrounding and opponents, increasing your field of vision when necessary. But speed and observation are only parts of aspects in fighting." Blanc and Peashy came by with more large rocks. "That said, if your attack power is lower than your speed, of course that would be the outcome. So we have to strengthen speed and power in this training." She excutes a quick slash kick. The boulder that Peashy carried was cut in half cleanly as well. "If we do this while slightly increase your arm's strength to deliver equal attack power to your speed. Even you can cut armor tougher than dragon's scales cleanly." She turns back to the awed Yuuto. "Understand?"

"Y-Yes!" She throws him back the fallen bouken.

"Awareness will be focused on at another time. Your own self awareness must come first. Noire will be your trainer in this." Noire nods to her father's words. "Make sure you're thorough. Train him to the point he'll want to die."

"Yes, dad. I got it." Noire looks at Yuuto with intensity. "Come on, you fool. We're staring with running and you're gonna have weights on those scrawny limbs of yours." Inuko's intructions seemed to scare the others, but it seemed that Yuuto will be in good hands.


Inuko turns her attention to Koneko.

"Koneko-chan, you're next." The loli nods as she steps forward.

"Yes…"

"Stand behind that tree." Inuko points to a tree in the distance. She does so. "You are the [Rook], your specialty is strength and defense. So if you can defend the tree with this one attack, I'll consider you won't need my training."

"…..Bring it on." Koneko took a stance. Inuko just walked forward, taking her time. When she was in arms length, she executed a kick. Koneko managed to catch it and deviler her own blow to Inuko, smiling to herself, but Inuko was unimpressed. She had caught that punch.

"Look behind you." Koneko did. The tree was ripped off from its roots.

"How….?"

"You can catch the physical attack, but if the aftershock is strong enough, even the ones you defend will still get hurt." Koneko legs go of her leg. "I am impressed that you aimed for the center of my body with precision and ferocity, but if you use your own energy for that counterattack, you won't have any left to defend."

"Then…" Inuko walks to where Blanc is. The girl was holding onto an axe and standing behind a smiliar tree.

"Watch carefully, Koneko-chan." She delivered that same kick, and Blanc defended against it. She wasn't moving at all from her position, not even from the push of the kick. It seemed that she wasn't done. When the attack was done, in split second, the force that was used to raise her axe, fell down and caused a large fissure. Inuko expertly dodged it, but it would have really hurt if she didn't. The area behind Blanc was untouched.

"She used the power of your kick for counterattack."

"That's right. The purpose of your training will be to reinforce your defense, and to teach you a proper method of counterattack." Inuko points to Blanc. "Blanc will be your teach in all this. Train her well."

"Of course, papa." She walks to the loli. "We'll start with defense before counterattack. We're going to make it that you can defend even against a waterfall of attacks."


"Ara, I suppose I'm next." Akeno clung to Inuko's back.

"You're correct. Akeno-san." Inuko led the three farther into the forest. "Akeno-san, you have a fair amount of knowledge in elemental attacks, but your specialty is thunder from what I know. And to an extent, you can feel the demonic aura that flows in your body. However…." They reached an inclinded meadow. There was stream that ran past it. "Vert." She called out. The woman came in a gust of air, spear and all.

"You called, father?"

"Vert will be your opponent." She grabs onto Rias's and Asia's waists. "Show me what you have, Priestess of Thunder." And she with them to a certain distance. Vert smiled as she set her spear down.

"Please do not hold back with me." Vert bows elegantly. Akeno suddenly had that look.

"Ufufu, so I don't have to hold back…." Thunder surrounded her. "Then let me hear you scream…!"

"…." The thunder was coming to her, but Vert only smiled. You could see a hint to fear in her though. But, just as the attack came at her, it was sliced.

"Ara…." Vert had sliced Akeno's thunder attack with a spear made of wind.

"Elements are formless." She explained to the surprised brunette. "And while you can command it, it will answer." She twirls the spear and takes a stance. "But only if you are powerful enough, can you truly bend it to its will."

"…?!" Akeno didn't even have time to retaliate as Vert had swept her off her feet and pointed the spear end to her neck.

"Enough." Inuko called out. Vert moved back and helped Akeno to her feet. "Do you see where this went, Akeno-san?"

"…Yes."

"You are indeed truly powerful, I do not need to teach you much. But-" She nods to Vert who gets her spear. "You still lack proper defenses. Auras can change at will, and will not always be static in one place." Vert comes forward. "Your training will involve how to use your thunder defenselessly in these types of situations. You're going to learn how to bend your thunder to its will. Vert will be your teacher."

"Must I?" Vert warily asked.

"Something wrong? I thought you would be up for it." Inuko asks, perturbed. Vert was all for this a while back.

"I did not realize she would be…similar to her."

"Ah." She gets it. Trauma can do many damages in life. "Would you rather do this with Plutia?" She asks.

"Understood, I will do my best." Vert immediately agrees. Inuko, Rias, and Asia left for the two to talk about their strategies.


"Last will be you Buchou."

"Umm, Inu-san…" Asia timidly asks. "What about me?" Inuko looks at her.

"Actually, I can't train you."

"Eh?!"

"Healing is…..something I'm not really used to." Inuko tried to explain as they made it back to the house. "I figured I'd call an expert in your ability."

"An expert?"

"That would be me." The group of three turned to see a familiar face.

"Mary-san?!"

"You were good to call for this, Inuko." The female pope smiled at her former charge. "I will train her to best that I can."

"Before that." Inuko wraps a few ofudans on Asia's arm. "Precaution to make sure you don't get hurt with any holy objects she may have brought."

"Inu-san…."

"Don't worry." Mary held out a hand. "Because this is a favor for my little sister, and you are my former charge, you can trust I will not hurt you."

"Um…." Asia timidly takes that hand and is led deeper into the castle. Inuko could see that Rias was not disturbed by this.

"Are you alright with her interacting with a person of the Church?"

"Yuuto will be mad, but…." She looks at Inuko. "I will trust your judgement."

"Thank you, Buchou." And they walk to another direction in the castle.


They were an indoor training facility deep in the castle. Neptune and Plutia were also there to watch.

"Buchou, in all honesty, you're the one I wanted to train the most."

"And why is that?"

"Because you are naïve."

"?"

"Buchou, like Grayfia said, you have not tasted a true fight between devils before, have you?"

"…Yes." Rias recalls her earlier battle experience. All she ever dealt with were those from the Church or some Fallen Angels who entered her territory. But she knew that, like now, there would devils, her own kind, that would want her dead. And it would be a kill or be killed situation.

"There will come a time when you will be alone in a fight, facing a horde of devils or an Ultimate-class devil." Inuko walks a good distance. "Even I will not be there to save you. That's why we must get you to experience that."

"Experience what?"

"We have to get you to experience fear and defeat."

"?!" Inuko took the first strike. Rias fell after that.

"Gah….." She coughed blood. Something unbecoming of her.

"You cannot call on the others for this." Inuko states. "This room is made so that you can never call for help on the other side." Inuko gauntlet and boots form. "Buchou, you must fight me as if I was going to kill you."

"Inuko….." She dodged the next oncoming kick.

"That's right. Think on instinct. Use your power of destruction." Inuko charge and Buchou retreated. "You must be able to call onto your power quickly and in great number of times." Buchou threw threw the red orb, Inuko dodged it and went for sweep on her legs, she fell.

"Buchou, by tonight your first lesson will be over."


"So, Plutie, what do you think?" Neptune comments as they watch the fight unfold.

"Umm…." Plutia think for a bit. "I think she's going to last. Daddy's holding back. I wouldn't do that~."

"Yeah, you wouldn't." Neptune shudders at that. "But it's still gonna be a big challenge for these people to last against pop's training menu."


Authors Note: The daughters of Inuko are revealed. For those who don't know, it's the CPUs of Hyperdimention Neptunia. I've included all from Victory. If you ask and wonder, why 11 when there are 10 CPUs, there is an 11th that I'm using! And she does exist!