So, I wanna start by saying thanks to Deviljho's Hatred for inspiring me into writing this :) I helped with Just Following Orders, yet you truly were what created this little story :P This is actual the start of a massive fic in the works, so I hope you all enjoy this while the next chapter is made up.
Also, credit to KappeZ for letting me use Zaeon. Hope I got her right. Been so long since we last used her ^_^"
I do not own Disgaea, except for any OCs of mine that I have not given credit to other owners

Morning arrived in the Netherworld, which wasn't quite all that different from a morning in the Human World or Celestia, save instead of a bright sun rising above the horizon, every day began with a loud explosion of at least a dozen Prinnies being tossed off the top floor of the Overlord's castle. Or maybe that was just how they began in the Overlord's Castle, because there was a sun that rose and all that. Etna must REALLY have had a fetish for abusing Prinnies, or maybe she just enjoyed the screams of Prinnies as they fell and right before they exploded in a cloud of fire and smoke.

Barbara walked through the halls, on her way to the Overlord's room, ignoring the screams of a Prinny that fell right past an open window. The thought crossed the Armor Knight's mind that maybe someone should close the window, but she could only do so if someone ordered her to do so. It was a flaw even she herself knew of, yet even after 600 years, she had barely made an headway in breaking that flaw. It wasn't that she didn't want to change; it simply was she had yet to think of anything that she truly wanted to do without being ordered to do. She remembered hearing a few of the vassals once talking about that fact, one of them wondering what use she was if all she could do was follow orders. Although not ordered so, she knew she had been hurt and upset by that, yet she didn't shed a tear over it.

Entering the Throne Room, she noticed a young, brunette woman standing nearby, clad in a plain, white dress that flowed down to her ankles. A pair of pure white angel wings popped up from her back, the feathers seeming to glitter in the light provided by the lava in the room. She turned around as Barbara entered, her face seeming to light up. "Barbara, hey," she said, smiling as she walked up, hugging the Knight. "How have you been?"

"Sicily, I've been well. How about you?" One of her earliest orders had been that if anyone had asked her how she was, then she was to do the same. Flonne had asked her to do that after she had returned once from Celestia. Hugging as well, as she returned the gesture.

"Oh, I've been doing well. They're finally thinking about allowing me back into Celestia." The young angel smiled, rubbing her neck. "Although, truth be told, I kinda like being here rather than in Celestia. At least here, I'm accepted for who I am and not alone, you know?"

Barbara nodded, thinking back to the words she had heard. Accepted... Was she herself truly accepted here? Would she ever truly be accepted? She had thought about it many a night, as she could only act physically by order. Mentally, she was like anyone else, yet even then, she could never find that one thing she wanted to do herself. "Well, you have Master Laharl as your brother, so few would ever not accept you."

Sicily giggled. "Well, I'm just glad Big Brother has finally been accepted as Overlord. Plus, even the old vassals accept that I'm Daddy's little girl." It was no big secret now that Sicily was the only daughter of the former Overlord, but few truly knew about her origins: that she had been "born" after her mother sacrificed her own life to save her son and Sicily's brother, her mother granting her Angel status to an unborn Sicily so that she could grow up free of her mother's sins. Centuries of being called the Demon Angel had taken its toll on the young Overlord's Daughter, yet it seemed the first few years in the Netherworld seemed to repair much of that damage.

Barbara suddenly remembered why it was she had been walking this way. "I'm sorry, Sicily, but I have to go. I have to make sure Master Laharl is awake for breakfast. He had ordered me to do so a few months ago, and I don't think he would be pleased if I failed him."

Sicily nodded, smiling slightly. "I knew he had a habit of sleeping in, but to have you wake him up is rather interesting." Without another word, the angel left, leaving the young Knight behind with questions. What did she mean by that? No one else seemed to want to do the task and Barbara herself could never refuse an order unless ordered to do so. So why would that be interesting? Too many thoughts flew through her mind, but she pushed them to the back of her mind. She had a task to do and she was already a little late. She hurried herself to the Overlord's room, pausing before the door and knocking. When she got no response, she opened the door, walking in slowly.

The room had changed over the years. Where once lay a small coffin now stood a rather large bed, fitted with black covers. Although the light was dim in the room, illuminated by only a few torches, she could see there was no one lying in the bed. "Master Laharl?" she called out, gingerly walking farther in. This was the first time the Overlord was not in bed when she came to wake him, and it actually worried her a little, although her face betrayed no sign of it. "Master Laharl, are you in here?" Still no response, which began to worry her even more. What if some assassin had snuck in and got to her master? Was he dead? Alive? Questions and theories began to form, each worse than the last, and they were making her feel uneasy. If someone had gotten to the Overlord, then that would mean she had failed in her orders to protect him.

The sound of a blade being drawn brought her back to reality. Was the assassin still in the room? Without even thinking, the order to defend herself coming to mind by itself, she summoned her spear, bringing herself around and raising it up in time to block an attack, the assassin's blade bouncing slightly off her spear. Pushing forth, she did her best to knock the unseen assailant off balance long enough for her to bring her spear up, slashing and stabbing at the shadowy figure, yet every time, she didn't feel anything connect. Was this an illusion, meant to distract her while the assassin escaped?

She was too caught up in her thoughts for just a split second too long, as was evident by the assailant suddenly kicking out, hooking her leg and tripping her, the tip of the blade coming to bear at her throat. "Too slow," a voice said from before her. She had lost... Was this the end? Death for a failure?

"I thought I had told you to keep training and preparing for moments like this?" the voice asked, blade removing from her throat. The lights came to life more, revealing the room and the assailant standing over her: a young man, easily a few inches taller than herself, a pair of antennae emerging up from his light blue hair. His chest was visible, an opened vest covering what little wasn't visible, paired up with a pair of jeans. "You reacted fine in the beginning, but you faltered near the end. What happened?"

"I... well... I was... worried someone had gotten to you, Master Laharl. You weren't in your bed, so I... I..."

Laharl chuckled softly, shaking his head. "No one can dare try to harm me. Any who do would suffer my wrath." A smug smirk formed on his face as he said this. He didn't seem to react to what Barbara had said fully. "But something made you falter for a second. I can not allow a vassal tasked with protecting me from harm to falter like that. After breakfast, I want you to accompany me on a training exercise. Do I make myself clear, Barbara?"

Barbara nodded. "Orders understand, Master Laharl."

"Good, now come. I'm getting hungry. Hopefully Zaeon made up enough for me." A small cackle came from his lips as he said that, slightly lighthearted in nature. He had grown much over the years, both in height and maturity. The sound of her own stomach growling made her blush slightly as she followed Laharl out to the dining room.

"So, as the Dragons came down from the cliff, all I could think was about how foolish they were to dare challenge me, the mighty Ayesha!" The God Buster laughed as she told her tale for what seemed like the nth time, this time different than last time. Everyone else at the table sighed, shaking their heads. Ayesha was just like Laharl was when he was younger, except much worse, if that was even possible. Much of the food that had been set out was gone, some of the bones themselves even being devoured, a testament to the cooking skills of one of the castle's head caretakers.

"So, while Ayesha goes into her own little world once again, does anyone else have anything to talk about?" Sicily asked, sighing as the crimson-haired God Buster kept going on about her story, adding more and more flare to it as she went.

A Skull dressed in white raised his hand. "Well, I ran into another one of those weird islands in the Item World. You know, the ones that hold a lot of flowers. This one even had Yuie Flowers."

"Yumi, are you sure they weren't just white flowers?" a Cleric asked, pushing aside some of her reddish-orange hair that had fallen into her face.

"Maybe, I don't know. All I know is there was an Alraune there that was kinda pissed off at me for stepping foot onto the island." Yumi rubbed his head, sweatdropping. "Besides, you've seen those islands, Raven. Anything is possible with them."

Barbara listened as the vassals continued with their talk, poking at the remains of her breakfast. She couldn't get over what had happened earlier. If she had faltered like that in a real battle and gotten Laharl hurt or worse... The mere thought of it made her feel weird, like as though her heart was close to breaking.

"Barbara, are you okay?" Zaeon, an Archer-Healer that had served in the castle since before Laharl had even been born, asked, her voice quiet and full of slight concern. If anyone was even close to being more angel than demon, it was her.
"I'm fine. Why do you ask?"

Zaeon frowned slightly, her half-closed eyes looking at her like she was asking a silly question. "You've got that look, like something is bothering you. Does it have to do with Lord Laharl?"

Barbara was taken aback slightly. How did she...? Had she merely guessed or...? "W-well... I had failed to protect him..."

The Archer gave her a puzzled look, glancing over at the Overlord as he spoke to a platinum-silver haired angel who looked slightly out of place amongst the demons. "But he looks fine. So... Oh, he tested you again, didn't he?"

"Yes, and this time I failed. I faltered slightly and..." She shook her head. "He has ordered me to join him on a training mission soon, so that I can train that falter out of me."

Zaeon looked at her, partly curious and partly looking like she understood fully why the Order-Taking Demon had been ordered to train. "Well, if he's asked you to train with him, then it must mean he has something else in mind."

"What do you mean?" Something else in mind? What was she implying? Master Laharl simply wanted to train her personally, that was all... wasn't it?

"Oh, never you mind, dear. Just muttering out loud." Giving a serene smile, Zaeon stopped the discussion, standing up and gathering up all the empty plates as a group of Prinnies arrived and began wiping down the table. Barbara watched her leave, thinking about what she had said. Why did everyone seem to act lately as though there was something going on between her and Master Laharl?

As though summoned by her thoughts, Laharl placed a hand on her shoulder. "Barbara, time to go. I want you to gather up your training gear and meet me by the dimensional gate, okay?"

Barbara nodded, feeling her stomach act weird and her face heat up. "O-of course, Master Laharl."

As both Laharl and Barbara left, the remaining vassals broke out into gossip.

"So, what do you think is up with those two, eh?" Yumi asked.

The silver-haired angel looked at their disappearing forms. "Well, Barbara's been acting weird around him lately or even at the mere mention of him. Maybe she has feelings for him?"

"Nathaniel, you've got your head up your ass again," Ayesha muttered, a sour look on her face. "Like that idiot demon could even possibly form feelings by herself. It's been how long and she still has yet to do anything without being ordered so? She'll never do it."

Raven smiled faintly. "I wouldn't be so sure... We all know of Laharl's dislike of busty women. So why would he be spending so much time with a busty woman such as her?"

"What are you getting at?" a whitish-blue haired Armor Knight asked, slightly curious by what the Saint had said.

"Well, my dear Lilianna, I'm saying... I think our dear Overlord has gotten over his little fear, at least with her, and dear Barbara may be close..." Raven smiled slyly, giggling softly. "I think her heart may have already decided what she wants most, even if she doesn't realize it herself."

Sicily, who had been listening to all the vassals, piped up. "I don't think we should assume anything just yet. Maybe Big Brother sees her as an exception to his fear?"

Another giggle escaped Raven's lips as she leaned back in her chair. "We shall soon see, milady... We shall soon see..."

Well, there it is. Chapter 1 :P I'm open to reviews and such ^_^
Also, to help better picture the vassals, here's a color scheme of them

Yumi (Skull Extra 3)

Ayesha (Star Killer, tier 5 Fight Mistress)

Raven (Saint, tier 6 Healer)

Nathaniel (Angel Lord, tier 6 Male Angel)

Lilianna (Adamant Knight, tier 5 Armor Knight)

In the next chapter, I'll be bringing in Etna, Flonne, and a few more of my Vassals, including a unique OC I created from the original Disgaea. Thanks for reading this fic ^_^ And merry christmas, happy Hanukkah, and happy whatever holiday you celebrate ^_^