Confronting the Strong
After School, before the ensuing fight
Kuoh Academy Rooftop
Hyoudou Issei was an ordinary high school student, or so he thought. All of his ordinary life collapsed when he encounter his first girlfriend. Their date was the last day of his life as human, and reborn as devil serving under peerage of Rias Gremory, even then he still continued to pursue his dream.
But for now his dream was not something that occupied his mind. There were another pressing matter that he needed to take care, and for that reason he came to meet 'that person'.
Sakai Yuji, it was the name of the person he wanted to meet today. He called him today because the concerning matter about the member of Occult Research Club after he help them.
Honestly he didn't really know about this person that much. A few things he knew that Sakai was transfer student, and he have a girlfriend. But he was someone who did not view him and his other two friends with immediate prejudice.
The moment Sakai decided to help him when he was chased might be a whimsical action, but his action afterward prove himself to be wrong about the transfer student, at least that was he thought. For someone truly willing to listen to his problem and immediately act on it was something that he cherished in his life.
However right now he has the reason to confront him. It was something that he cannot behind, the worries of his Senpai and Asia. His way of doing thing also hurt Asia more than necessary. He didn't know what Sakai intention however if this continues Sakai would be troublesome existence to all member of Occult Research Club.
"Yo Sakai." He called to him.
"Is there something matter that you need to called me here?"
"Yes." He replied the blue eyed boy with serious expression.
"Very well, let's hear what you have to say." Likewise the boy in front of him turned into serious expression.
"It was related to the incident where you save me and Asia in other day."
"So?" During this conversation Sakai continuously observed his surrounding without notifying Issei due to the importance of the subject.
"I know you asked me to keep that secret, but can you at least meet and explain yourself to Rias-senpai and other. I am sure that they will keep your secret."
He wanted to kept his promise to Sakai however, thus the only way to do that was convince him to come clean or at least give some explanation.
"I am sorry I cannot do that."
Even so Sakai still insisted that he want to keep everything as it is and watched the situation unfold.
"Why? Did someone after your life or something?" Issei was confused by the straight refusal.
"Nothing for you to be concerned with, it was just there is still something that I wanted to do. Also due to circumstances I think I will keep myself on guard regarding this devil business." In actuality his concern was quite spot on, however the trio who after Sakai was just a nuisance that easily fended off.
Something that he doesn't know concerning Sakai was the matter regarding Saji from Student Council that secretly observed Sakai's movement during the Library Committee's meeting.
"Then why?! I am sure senpai would be able to help if something troubled you." Once again he tried to persuade Sakai. If he didn't really do something about it, Rias-senpai would be more troubled. Worst scenario Sakai might encounter in an unfortunate accident and clash against each other, even if he knew he was being persistent he tried to make Sakai came with him.
The next thing he heard however crashed all his expectation.
"Hmm… If you want a reason, then you can say I cannot trust her, at least for now. If there was nothing else let's go home." Thus Sakai ended the conversation. Picking his bag Sakai walked toward stairway.
In a mix of anger, disappointment and desperation Issei did something that would classified unreasonable.
"Sakai!" He called out.
Turning his head toward the source of voice Sakai turned back, only for him to hear absurd word from Issei.
"Have a duel with me! If I win you must come with me."
That was the word that started everything that happened latter that night.
Abandoned Building near outskirt of the Kuoh town.
As both sound echoed in the small abandoned building. Azure colored flame expanded and encircled the building, on the other hand a green jewel embedded in a red gauntlet shone brightly and enveloped its wielder.
The atmosphere of the entire building became more silent, though one of those two might not aware. Even the color of surrounding changed. If there were another person beside two of them, Hyoudou Issei might realize the huge difference of what happening inside and outside this barrier.
‹‹Fuzetsu››, it was the name of spell that enclose a certain area in a suspended state, normally everything would remain motionless. It was a spell that even suspend the flow of causality within the affected area as they were cut off from the world, while everyone outside of the affected area would subconsciously evaded the area as if there was literally nothing there.
A normal existence should be affected, unless they have quite sufficient power to resisted it or have effective countermeasure against it prepared before hand, they would be bound in place.
However this does not happened to Hyoudou Issei who wore Boosted Gear, it was evident because he was still charging through the flame toward the person in front of him, Sakai Yuji. None of that seemed to affect Hyoudou Issei, neither the flame that was passing through nor the causality suspension work on him.
Sakai Yuji observed the fact that Hyoudou Issei was not affected, this occurrence confirm his suspicion that those so called Sacred Gear that Hyoudou wore in his arm was actively protecting him from the effect of his ‹‹Fuzetsu››.
He responded Issei charge and dodge with minimal movement. And keep observing the boy in front of him.
He managed to gather some info about Boosted Gear and its ability, while there were no guarantees that Hyoudou would not lie to him, his condition at that time was not the most stable time for Issei. During that time the boy was still overwhelmed by the latest event unfolded before him, and there might be some slip. The small chance of slip was used by Yuji to extract the information from him. Honestly he was quite interested in the armament that Hyoudou Issei used. It was something that was classified as a tool to kill God and double power for every 10 second. There must be something else hidden.
Therefore this fight was used to gather some data. He speculated there was some kind of limitation. There were limit of how much power someone could contain
This time Hyoudou Issei was already close enough to land more hit against him. A straight punch was aimed to his chest however he easily blocked that punch without much problem.
Body reinforcement, it was a technique that was done subconsciously though toughen the body using Power of Existence. However he could also do it consciously to boost his own power. He used this power to block Issei's punch. After taking a rough guess how much Issei power would grow, before increasing the reinforcement bit by bit. Despite the punch felt weak to him a normal person would hurt even taking one of Issei's punch.
Another blow came, this time it was an uppercut, however Yuji also managed to parry the blow. Jumping backward he increase the gap between Issei and himself a bit and fire a flame bullet at Issei. The flame bullet itself was not fast and only intended to scare Issei so it didn't carry a lot of fire power.
As expected Issei dodged the bullet by rolling his body, the bullet velocity also noticed by Issei was not particularly fast and he managed dodge bullet repeatedly by jumping or rolling to the side.
Once again a familiar sound echoed in the room this time Issei showed a smile on his face. Bidding his time he hoped to boost enough his power until he could overcome Yuji, not knowing the limitation of the Boosted Gear at the time Issei proceed with such a plan.
"I have already told you that there was no use to confront me about it." It was the word that Sakai Yuji said to Issei.
"Even so I cannot accept it. It is true that I was grateful for your help. However I cannot stand the way you do everything afterward. Asia might be hurt with your word, buchou also become distressed with what you did." Issei said as he tried to land hit on Yuji who just jumped backward to disengage, and throwing more flame bullet.
"I know I might have done something disrespectful toward Asia Argento, I will give her an apology later. Regarding your master, I still wanted to maintain my secrecy longer." Another reply came from Sakai mouth.
This time Issei become more aggressive in his attack, dashing forward he propelled his body to reach melee range once again. Another punch came to Sakai Yuji, but this time he caught the punch and gripped Issei arm.
"Can't you truly trust her? You yourself said that she came to my rescue not long after you did," a hesitation and pause came from Issei's word. "Or is it because she was not human?"
"That was not the issue, whether she is devil or human does not matter to me. The decision of maintain a moderate level of secrecy was entirely my own and I just didn't want to complicated the matter on my own end." That was the reply that he gave to Issei
Issei's frustration came from the current situation. His attack that ended in failure, the realization that he was in a disadvantageous position and the non-satisfactory answer given to him by Sakai Yuji didn't make anything better for Issei. Though he managed to get away, it was not without great effort.
Another attack once again came from Issei, this time Issei used his feet to kick Sakai from the left side. Once again Sakai blocked the attack using his arm.
"Then what do you mean when you by your behavior until now? You corner Asia, hold secret from every one. Didn't you basically say they can't be trusted?"
"There are also many kind of thing I need to take care about, however let me give you some advice : It would be better to keep your involvement on this side of world minimum, nobody knew what kind of future hold for you if you keep getting involved with them." He answered to Issei. "Also in my opinion they were not exactly what you could say harmless. You could say from a certain point of view they were indeed dangerous." Thus he added more to his answer and coincidentally more fuel to Issei's anger.
"Dangerous?! What the hell are you saying?!" Issei gasped in disbelief of what he heard.
Sakai still answered Issei's question while continuing to block the boy's attack without doing any counter attack.
"The fact they have their own combat force and able to resurrect someone was quite concerning, don't you think so? It was true that they were trying to save you, however if you continue involving yourself with this matter any longer would not exactly the best path to choose." Another response stirred up Issei emotion.
"Stop blabbering as if you know everything. What did you know about them?" Issei unleashed flurry of attack toward him in order to vent up his emotion.
"It is true that I didn't really know a thing about them. However let me say this: You are different from them, at very least until recently. They were actually come from other side of world and you just came to this side of world not long ago. From what you've said you have been killed once and nearly killed once again, am I wrong?"
Issei didn't answer it because he knew Sakai was not entirely wrong, even so he cannot accept what Sakai said. He knew something that Sakai didn't. He knew that his master was a kind person that would try her best to protect him and Asia.
That was why Issei cannot accept his view. That was why Issei continued his attack, but he couldn't break through Sakai defense. Whether it was his punch or his kick, all of it was blocked by Sakai.
Sakai continued to speak.
"Frankly speaking, for me it might be better for you and Asia to not involve this side more than necessary. No it might be better for you and her if you didn't come to this world."
Though the word from his mouth still felt cold his tone become a bit softer this time different the cold word he uttered previously.
"Then, then should I just abandon them? Did I need to disassociate myself from entire Occult Research Club because they are from other side? Just because Asia from other side should I detach myself from her?"
"I am not telling you to abandon them, I am telling you not involved with this side unless truly necessary. You are free to meet and socialize with them. I thought it would be advantageous for you to have a good relation with them, except don't go to other side where they meddle things."
"That's basically same thing right?!"
Another punch blocked again.
'This time it hurt more than I expected. Though I mean to test his power after hearing his boosting ability, playing around too much might not be good for me.'
With that thought Sakai Yuji decided to give more cautious to respond to Issei's attack.
"Then how about you? does that mean I also need to distance myself to you?!" Issei posed a question once again.
"About that you don't need to worry, once my business here finished, I would disappear. From you, Asia, even from your respected Senpai." Hearing those responses, apparently Issei felt something snapped inside him. To think that Sakai could just dismiss everything just like that, Sakai's words only fuel his anger even more, so he continued to attack.
This time it was a kick, however instead of blocking like usual Sakai Yuji jumped back a bit to dodge. In Issei's mind the fact that Sakai prompting to dodge instead mean his attack gradually getting through. Using that chance he might reach Sakai.
His anger burned brighter that before he thought he could at least trusted Sakai this much however most of his answer turn to be a disappointment and last answer pretty much trigger the limit of his emotion.
"Don't screw with me!"
Focusing his power in his hand he strikes Sakai with a powerful punch.
The first thing he heard however was a sigh. Sakai stepped a bit to the side and his punch hit the air.
"Even now you still have not grasp what I mean, it seem it would be better to tell you directly." A small pause came. "You are weak, at least you current you. Do you really think you could survive that kind of world?"
Issei fell silent at those words. Issei knew what Sakai Yuji tried to tell him. Weakling like him cannot survive long. However he will not give up.
"I guess you are right, I am not strong, unlike you who could take care of them before Buchou even arrive. Even so, I still wanted to be with them, to be with Asia who earnestly lived her life despite never having a friend. To be with Rias-senpai and Akeno-senpai who look after me. To be with Koneko who rarely interact with me. Though I didn't really want to admit it, I also wanted to be with Kiba who I wanted to surpass one day. That's why I cannot lose here, not to you."
Hyoudou Issei attacked once again, however a surge of pain suddenly strike all over his body. He looked at his opponent who stood before him and he confirmed that the boy before him did not do anything. The intense pain finally took the strength of his body. Despite his will to move on his leg gave up and he fell to his knee.
As Hyoudou Issei fell to his knee, the cold look in Sakai Yuji face changed. He could not help to surprise the boy before him who had gathered quite number of power suddenly fell.
'It seems he have reached his limit, it would be better to defeat him before this drag further.'
'You would conclude your observation of his power?'
'More than this only would detriment to his body.'
The next thing unfolded before him however exceeded Sakai Yuji's expectation.
Hyoudou Issei rouse and stood again against him.
"It's over." The look on Sakai's face was the look of pity as he said those words. However it won't go through Issei no matter what.
His body could barely stand. His vision is faltering. His form is staggering. However Hyoudou Issei still wanted to challenge him.
"Not yet." *cough*
Even in his pitiable state Issei did not want to give up. Blood started to gush out from his mouth as he coughs when he tried to spoke.
"I said it was not over didn't I?"
The sound of announcement echoed through the empty building accompanied by emerald colored light. And burst of energy come forth from Issei's body swirling the wind inside suppressed field of ‹‹Fuzetsu››. In that moment Issei charged forward, astounding force propelled Issei forward leaving a quite big crater on the ground where he formerly stood and creating a shockwave as he leaped forward to charge. Using his gauntlet in his left hand he punched forward.
Sakai Yuji who was amazed a moment ago suffered a bit lag in his movement. He dodged to the right however the attack still managed to grazed him in his right arm.
The momentum of Issei charge did not stop, his body continued to fly forward. Thanks to his power and the momentum of his charge he manage to broke through multiple concrete pillar and the outer wall supporting the building and launched himself outside before he finally rolled in the ground as he landed after losing the momentum carrying his body.
After Observing the condition of the building Sakai Yuji exit the building through the hole that Issei made thanks to his charge. As he exited the building he could saw Hyoudou Issei, his condition was worse than before. Multiple cut and bruise filled his body probably due to collision with pillar and wall before. More wound dripping blood. It was a astounding that he could even stand.
"How about that" *cough* "That's my power" *cough* "It was strong, right?"
Despite blood flowed from his mouth between his sentence he was still smiling, it was because he saw Sakai's hand. The emerald glow was stopped.
Another announcement was heard, after that Hyoudou Issei truly collapse and lost his consciousness.
What Issei had seen was not hallucination. He truly did manage to give considerable wound to Sakai. Sakai himself did not expect such power grow even stronger. Originally he only applied a small amount of reinforcement to his body, anticipating sudden surge in power he increase the amount of Reniforcement. However Issei still managed to wound him to the point his arm felt numb, despite not landing a direct hit.
He moved forward to look at Issei. Hyoudou Issei succumbed to stress and wound he had been accumulated from his body, if Issei had more blood maybe the place where he collapsed right now would already covered by his own blood.
'He forced himself too hard.'
'At very least his will was unwavering.'
'However a strong will without power will not really change anything. It is true that he managed to wound me, however if he need to push himself like this in a fight, it would shorten his life instead.'
'Then what will you do?'
'We cannot really leave him like this. For now I will heal him and return him to his house.'
'The burden of power he used and contained was too great. Currently most of his body was damaged. Even if we could heal him it the stress of his body would make him unable to do anything for quite awhile.'
'I think so, it seem his condition would not make him able make it to the class tomorrow. I hope that will give him time to sort his mind. Though I also hope he won't challenge me again after he woke up.'
Sakai Yuji then proceeded to heal the wound from Issei's body. Deciding he cannot leave him here he brought Issei's to back to his house. But not before returning the state of his surrounding before the fight start and dispelling ‹‹Fuzetsu››.
Asia Argento woke up from her sleep, which in itself was not really special. After turning to devil she had more stamina and tendency to engage activity during nighttime. Today the club activity was just a simple briefing and it did not consume stamina stored in her body.
She realized that she has nothing to do at this moment. Before turned into devil she tend to spend her time praying to God, however after turned to devil even uttering word 'God' would trigger headaches. Even so after she just couldn't go to sleep just after woke up. Though it was not really her habit she decided to make coffee to accompany her during the night before she continued to sleep again.
While exiting her room and walking downstairs she recalled the Occult Research Club meeting. Actually she and other member of Occult Research Club should be doing devil's job by now, she herself already informed about the basic of the job. However she had not even once took the job.
It was because there was other issue about some 'helper' came as primary concern. Thanks to her welcome party she was quite convinced that Sakai Yuji, one of her classmate was one of those 'helper'. She herself had no evidence except a suspicious argument directed toward her during the party.
It was when she passed Issei's room she had seen something that piqued her curiosity.
An azure colored light could be seen from Issei's room. Concerned with the phenomenon she had seen before her very eyes she decided to approach Issei's room. Originally she thought it was Issei watching Video that he borrowed from his friend.
She approached closer to Issei's room, after turned into devil her body sense and stamina was increased. Though it was not to the point it truly make her superhuman she could distinguished the sound of video being played if she was this close, however Issei's room was too silent.
Overwhelmed by her own curiosity she decided to take a peek at Issei's room. However she did not expect to see something abnormal.
A faint image of a person surrounded by a crystal like object turned blur and disappeared to nowhere. However the scene unfolded before her eyes were very fast, though she still got a glimpse of the unknown figure.
Currently she was not sure what to do. Unable to figure out anything she decided to return to her room. She lamented her uselessness at this moment.
'Oh God if only I could pray to you, please show this lost lamb your guidance.'
Unsurprisingly a sharp headache stung her head not long after that
Asia Argento currently doing a morning chore to help the owner of the house, she was expressing her thanks to be allowed to live here by Hyoudou's family. Her work also served as distraction of what happened that night.
She didn't want to carelessly approach Issei's room after that scene, something tell her something bad happened even so she cannot bring herself to open the door last night.
She started by tidying her own room and helped to prepare food for breakfast, a radiant smile that welcome her belonged to no other than the matriarch of the House. Issei mother warmly accept her and even treat her as her own daughter so she ought to repay her kindness as much as she could.
"Asia-chan please called Issei here. That boy, does he really want to come late to school?" Issei mother said half complaining and half wondering.
"Maybe his alarm was broken? I'll wake him up." She accepted the request and went upstair, however she cannot shook off something odd weighed her mind.
'I hope there was nothing happened to Issei-san.'
"Thank you Asia-chan."
Step by step she walked upstairs, her raced heart faster for each step she took toward Issei's room. Carefully she approach door to Issei's room. Despite the lack of confidence she resolved herself and tried to open the door.
As the door opened she prepared to face some kind of surprise, however nothing happened. Once again she looked at Hyoudou Issei who was currently lying on the bad beside alarm. The alarm produced a girl voice that kept muttering some line of a TV show. It repeated monotonously as if it was a broken record.
"Issei-san please wake up, it is already morning." She called to wake up Issei.
"Issei-san, it is already morning."
… Once again there was no answer.
She approached Issei directly after trying to call him to no avail. However she spotted something wrong with Issei current state. Sweat covering all of his body, a pained expression could be seen from his face. She decided to check if something is wrong with Issei. While she was not certified doctor she was an experienced healer so she knew if there was something wrong with someone.
First she looked at Issei body however there were no sign of injury. Though she could not really confirm it she used Twilight Healing. The light radiated through Issei body, however there was not reaction.
'Thanks goodness there was no internal injury.' After reaching that conclusion she decided to check further.
Though it was obvious from the volume of the sweat until now, Asia also checked Issei's temperature. As she expected the temperature was abnormal however she didn't really know what causing it.
Before she knew it Issei mother already called her.
"Asia-chan, is there something happened? Don't tell me Issei tried to assault you while you try to wake him?!"
"No, it is not like that." She replied to Issei's mother, feeling of anxiety leaked through her word.
"Please wait there, I will come upstairs."
Not long after that Issei's mother arrived at her son's room. Confused at Asia expression she decided to ask.
"Asia-chan what happened?"
"I am sorry, I myself didn't really know. By the time I arrive here Issei-san already has a high fever."
"Is that so?" Though the sound seemed neutral Asia could see an expression of concern in the face of woman beside her.
The older woman gave in a sigh.
"It cannot be helped Issei might be absent of today. However Asia-chan must keep go to school. You can just leave Issei to me."
She wanted to object however she refrained herself. A bright assuring smile that came from a mother was not something that she can deny, however she herself just can't leave Issei like that.
"There are still plenty of times before I need to go to school, so at least please allow me to nurse Issei-san before I go to school."
"Very well, however you must not neglect you school, promise."
Another moment has passed, and right now she was nursing Issei until she went to school while Issei's mother prepared breakfast and managed another house chore.
She was changing wet towel for Issei. Issei state have not change, he was still wore the same pained expression. She did try her best to make him feel comfortable at least. As she tried to wipe Issei's sweat another. A word slipped from Issei's mouth that made her unease.
It was a person name, a familiar name that she knew as well. Using it as the last clue she decided to meet the aforementioned person directly once she arrived at school.
Currently Sakai Yuji was checking condition in the class. He also noticed several new things happened and changed. As expected Hyoudou Issei did not come to school, which probably due to pain that he must endure thanks to what he did last night. One of other changes was somehow Asia Argento start to watch him quite intently, and he thought that was natural for her to grow suspicious of him. After all he was pretty much doing something that could be considered rude, he also suspect that Asia start to pick one or two thing about his secret from Issei. Not to mention the result of his encounter with Issei last night.
'Things are going to be more complicated from here.' He wondered what his next move.
First was his encounter with Hyoudou Issei, the unexpected encounter produced an unexpected result. From that encounter he managed to learn a group of devil belonged to gremory, an organization of fallen angel and devil abilities to resurrect someone to their kin.
Second was the issue of Saji Genshirou, his apparent observer from another group which he was quite certain belonged to Student Council. Each of them gave a similar presence from the likes of Occult Research Club.
'There is no doubt that he was a devil as well.'
The blonde haired boy was quite cautiously observing him while stealing glance and taking notes during his time in helping Library Committee. Not that Saji Genshirou doing badly in his spying activity either, however he lately became more serious to the point other library committee also quite aware and wary of his activity. He didn't know whether his secret was found out or not. Regardless he needed to prepare some kind of counter measure no matter what outcome he may face.
There were also issues with remaining fallen angel that he didn't finish off previously. Honestly he suspected they were not actually acting under direct order of their superior, or at least they have slipped their own agenda. His suspicion came from the way they spoke to him, and they mention that their plan was ruined.
He noticed the atmosphere in the class still heavy or might become heavier thanks to his past action and Issei absence from the class. Whether the rumor flying about him during Asia Argento's welcome party have died down or not was never his primary concern.
He once again checked his surrounding and stood up from his chair. As he walked out from the class room someone voice called to him.
"Oi Sakai, where are you going?" Motohama called to him.
"I am going to cafeteria to buy lunch, is there something you need from me?"
"No, I was just wondering if you want to join us to have lunch."
"Issei also didn't come today, and you just tend to left for lunch alone. It kinda lonely that our group grows from four into two with only me and Motohama remain." Matsuda said continuing the guy before him. The bald head expression seemed a bit lonely.
Sakai felt a bit guilty, after all he was the reason Issei did not came to school in the first place. Now if the next line did not strip him of this line of thought.
"It was a waste after I brought my 'Gentleman Collection' that he was curious about. Well it can't be helped if he was sick. I was a good companion for my right hand however." Motohama mockingly lament his friend absence.
"By the way, today is also the limited time sale for limited edition of 'that' right?"
"Poor Issei he is missing out great thing."
The only response he could give them was a dry smile.
"I'll return later."
Once again he flee from the class, he spotted two familiar girls approaching him. They were none other than Asia Argento and Kiryu Aika. While he wanted to avoid Asia Argento for now, he could still managed to talk his way out somehow however Kiryu was different matter. Therefore he did the most appropriate action, immediate retreat.
"What to do, Asia? Sakai already left." Kiryu spoke to Asia.
"I will try to speak to him later."
"Yo Asia-chan, did you have something with Sakai?" The bald head youth asked.
"Actually there is something that I need to ask to him."
"So what is this 'something'?"
"Matsuda didn't someone tell you to not digging someone affair, especially girl?" Kiryu cut in.
The conversation somehow continued into a tease and banter between Kiryu and ther two remaining member of Perverted Trio. Meanwhile Asia Argento just swept by the flow of conversation, while this kind of banter might be normal Asia was not exactly someone that grew up in a normal environment.
While she could adjust herself just fine in the class, she had trouble following through the flow of conversation among Issei's friend. It was not her fault though, after all it was conversation of perverted boys.
With ruckus and laughter in the class continued Sakai slipped and to his desk while excusing his self admitted tardiness.
"You sure took your time"
"Sorry it took quite time to buy this food."
He already calculated the time before next period to minimize the time gap and avoiding more conversation.
He opened the wrapper of his Yakisoba bread, which he bought for lunch. He pretended to focus in his lunch to avoid further questioning.
Student Council room
In this rather large room assembled member of Student Council which also member of Sona Sitri's peerage.
While Today Student Council agenda was already discussed the other Agenda was currently discussed.
"Everyone should know our agenda right?" Sona Sitri asked to the entire member attending the meeting. "Current agenda was still regarding the conspicuous 'helper' whose identity remained unknown from all of us."
"Kaichou our team preparation already finished, we could start investigating right away." The twin braded bishop Kusaka Reya answered with confidence
"Very well. I will leave the investigation in your capable hand."
"Yes, please leave it to us." Now the energetic knight Nimura also chirped in.
"Saji, how about you assignment? Did you really think both task?"
"Please don't concern yourself Kaichou, I will do my previous task as much as I could. I will also be ready to provide back up if needed."
"Very well if all of you are ready you may doing start each of your own task. Today meeting dismissed."
With that all of them prepared to leave the school ground to achieve the goal of their task.
Kuoh Academy front gate
Sakai Yuji was just finished his activity in Library Committee. He already packed his own belonging and decided to go straight for home as he didn't really want to attract even more suspicion from the observer. Keeping the distance he could feel Saji Genshirou still observed him, though the Student Council member still tailing him from afar.
Another thing he saw was a blonde haired girl in the school front gate apparently waiting for someone. He didn't really know whom she was waiting for, after all most of the time she just to went straight home with Issei after their activity in Occult Research Club. Though he was curious whom she was waiting for he decided to not approach her and proceeded to continue.
"Sakai-san" The blonde haired girl called out to him, and approach him from her current position.
It was something outside his prediction. And Asia also was already near him so there was no way for him to pretend to not notice.
'Let just hear what she need to talk about. Though probably she wanted to talked about Issei'
"Argento-san, is there something that I can help?"
"Can we talk about something?" Nervously Asia Argento asked him.
"Very well, however I don't think this place was a good place to talk about something." He accepted her request.
'Now, let's see what would our observer do?'
As he walked he also made sure to not let go his own observation toward Saji and keep cautious of his surrounding without making too much suspicion.
He continued to walk beside Asia. As he expected, Saji also tailed him.
"Asia-san did you have a place in mind?"
"No" She answered him with smile albeit still nervous.
From the way she walked he could tell she was nervous or at least unease. This is however to be expected, Asia Argento didn't know really much about the boy named Sakai Yuji and his latest treatment toward her to bait information might made her to keep guard around him. Moreover if his assumption is right that Asia suspect him regarding Issei absence would made her even more unease.
"Then, how about we go to nearest coffee shop or food stall?"
Both he and Asia was already walked quite far from school vicinity, and right now they were already in a shopping district. There were many shops and food stall across the street, the place was quite famous for break and recreation amongst student and company worker around this area. However his concern currently lies elsewhere. Saji who followed him before still continue to tail him.
'Quite persistent I see. Shaking off a pursuit is one thing, but shaking off a pursuit while making the pursuer believe they didn't noticed was different matter entirely. There is also Asia to consider'
'What do you what to do? Casting ‹‹Fuzetsu›› might be a good solution.' The voice in his head advised him
'Issei have proven himself able move in ‹‹Fuzetsu›› we didn't know whether Saji also have same kind of ability, if we make wrong move the advantage that we could take from ‹‹Fuzetsu›› would loss.'
'Then what will you do?'
'I'll try to turn this condition around somehow.'
'Do you have any plan?'
'Yes, however it depend whether Asia Argento already suspect me or not for now, if she indeed suspect me then talking with her still acceptable trade-off. Right now I need to made sure whether Asia Argento truly suspect me or not.'
"Argento-san, before we continue further can I ask you something?" He asked while decreasing the volume of his voice.
"Yes, is there something matter?"
"You said you need something to talk to me, what is this about?"
She hesitated a little and answered him.
"Actually, I wanted to talk about Issei-san. After all Sakai-san might know something."
'Hmm as expected she already suspected me that much. If I back down here I might make Asia Argento grow more suspicious of me and other party might also grew more suspicious from my sudden break off.'
Asia Argento would keep suspecting him even if he made excuse. Moreover due to staying with Issei she will discover his identity eventually. Well if he could made her to keep silent about his identity at least until he figured the reason why Student Council sent someone to follow him, telling her a bit about him might not be a bad trade off.
"Argento-san, I will tell you something. However please promise me to keep yourself calm." He said to her in a serious manner.
"Yes." The blonde haired girl startled a bit, though he admit not only she was nervous his proclamation was also quite sudden.
"Actually we are being followed. I tried to blend with the crowd however the one who follow us was quite persistent."
Asia Argento turned her head behind to look behind her. However he stopped her from doing so.
"I don't think it was wise to talked something important with unwelcomed observer."
As he said that Asia Argento's expression turned into dejected look.
"That being said I think it would be better sort important thing first, then how about talking this in your house or more accurately in Issei house. Are you fine with it?"
"Yes, it is fine. Thank you very much." She replied to him with a bright earnest smile.
"However we must go to a certain place first."
"Certain place, what kind of place?"
"Cake… shop…? Is there something you need to there?" The former nun asked with a confused expression on her face.
"Well to buy a cake."
The blonde haired girl had gotten more confused after hearing his response. "
The reason Issei didn't come to school today because he was not healthy enough right? Also this work as a camouflage, if we walked her and just went to your home it would not really seem natural so I ask your assistance in keeping up with this act?" He explained the reason for him to buy cake in this condition. He honestly thought to explain each meaning of his action a bother, after all conveying the meaning behind one action was not something he good at.
He and Asia Argento proceed to buy a cake for Issei. As he didn't really know what kind of cake that Issei like he leave the choice to the former nun beside him. After he paid the cake he proceeded to visit Issei house.
With this he managed to escape the observation of Saji Genshirou. Now he must think what kind of explanation that he needed to give to Asia Argento and presumably Issei as well.
He and Asia already arrived in the Hyodou residence. He greeted Issei's parent and Asked about Issei's condition. Apparently Issei already gained his consciousness, though he was still recuperating from heavy exhaustion. Currently Issei was still resting in his room. After the exchange of pleasantries, he went to Issei's room accompanied by Asia.
He couldn't help but to steal glance at Issei's house, as expected it was common Japanese two stories house. Somehow it reminded him of his old house, nostalgic as it may there were something that he needed to sort out first.
As he arrived in the front door of Issei's room he still wondered what kind of thing that he needed to say.
'There is no use to keep thinking over it.'
"Issei-san we are coming." The blonde girl said as he opened the door.
"Ah yes" A response come from beyond the door.
As the door opened he could see Issei currently on his bed. And as expected he could see the shocked expression from seeing him in person after last night incident.
"Yo" He just greeted him casually as if nothing happened. Maintaining calm façade after major incident was something that Yuji was good at among many other thing, and honestly there were many people that ticked off by his attitude.
"Sakai what are you doing here?!" Alarmed Issei rose from his bed. However the pain from exhaustion was not entirely subsided.
After seeing Issei pained expression Asia Argento rushed to Issei's side.
"Issei-san, are you okay?"
"I am fine, but why Sakai here."
"I am here because Argento-san has something to discuss with me, because the topic of discussion related to you it would be better to include you as well."
"I am sorry. I figure it would be best to ask Sakai-san about what happened to you, so I went and ask Sakai-san"
"So Argento-san what did you what to discuss with me?"
"Actually I want to ask if you know the reason why Issei-san suddenly becomes sick." She hesitantly asked him
"Issei suffered heavy exhaustion after battle with me last night." He gave a direct and honest answer to her much to her shock. He could also see Issei holding his head downward as if hiding his own guilt.
"But, why?! Why Sakai-san and Issei-san need to fight?"
"One of the reasons was because of you." He gave his response to her, not long after that the blonde haired girl became depressed.
"Because of me Issei-san become hurt." The voice she muttered sounded as if she wanted to cry.
"Sakai! You!" Angered Issei grabbed his collar while sustaining his own pain.
"Well well, please calm down, both of you. Argento-san it was true that one of the reasons might be because of you, however in this case it was my fault. So I'd like to apologize to both of you." Bowing his head he apologized to them.
Both Asia Argento and Issei also calmed down a bit.
"Argento-san actually Issei challenged me to fight because he couldn't stand my previous behavior toward you, another reason because was because he wanted me to meet with your senpai from Occult Research Club to explain myself, which I refuse."
"Why Sakai-san must explain himself to Buchou-san and other?"
This time Issei tried to explain the situation to her
"Asia you know that Buchou and other currently busy searching about a certain 'helper' right?"
The blonde haired girl nodded.
"Actually that 'helper' was Sakai."
The blonde girl was shocked once again. However she quickly regained her composure, and approach Sakai. Holding his hand she expressed her gratitude.
"I have heard from Buchou-san that there were helpers that help us during the incident. Please allow me to thank you in saving me and Issei-san."
"No need to thank me, in fact I need to apology about that. If I just come faster your death might be averted. Furthermore I also just left you in the dark, and went away from the scene myself." He said that to them.
"No, it was thanks to Sakai-san that all of us could get away safely, I also heard that you heal Issei-san wound."
"Don't mind it. It was only extension of my investigation previous investigation about Issei missing girlfriend. So is there something you wanted to ask?"
"Sakai once again I ask you why you can't trust senpai? I am sure will be able to help you." Issei said to him, like last night his voice sounded desperate.
"I also think so, if Sakai-san needs help. I and Issei-san also willing to help, but it would be better if we discussed it with everyone." Now there were two people trying to persuade him.
"Why both of you are so eager to make me meet your senpai in the Occult Research Club?"
"I feel that it would be good, if you and Rias-senpai could sort this peacefully. Honestly senpai was distressed and supposed you meet together and come to clash against each other, I don't want such a thing to happen." Issei explained his reasoning to him. He could understand his reasoning, however he had not determined if he could give his trust to other members of Occult Research Club.
"Please understand that I also have something that I need to take care, I am sorry but I don't think I would comply with your request. I have not determined whether I could trust them or not, also there is current circumstance to consider." Honestly he also have been quite soft, though it was to gain information he was pretty much revealed himself not only to Issei, but to the fallen angels as well.
He could just silence those fallen angel after he acquired information if he wanted to, however he choose not to and just kill the apparent leader of those fallen angel during the incident. In Xanadu he only kill Guze no Tomogara who was the ring leader and let go of other, because he hope the other who flee would be more approachable in return. He had hope in doing so he could establish peace easier, however there were no indication that would be the same for those fallen angel. As he lost in his own thought the blonde haired girl called out to him.
"What is it?"
"Does your refusal to meet them because someone who have followed us?" She asked him with a slight hint of worry.
"Wait! You are being followed." Issei said as he surprised when hearing this.
"You don't have to worry, Asia was not his target. At very least that's what I know, from his recent behavior."
"What did you mean?"
"To put it simple his target was me, though I don't know what his intentions are. He already observed me recently, though I managed to play it off and fooling him into thinking that I never noticed him."
"Will you be fine?"
"Don't worry. Even though he was persistent there was no immediate danger to me. Therefore I'd like you to stand aside regarding this." Thus he warned Issei about this.
"Uh yeah." Issei's answer sounded reluctant, honestly he have a bad feeling about it.
"Well then, I will excuse myself." He said that as he stand, Asia Argento also stand presumably to accompany him until exit.
"Before I forgot, let me tell you something. Apparently you are missing out something called 'Gentleman Collection'. They also said about limited edition of 'that'."
The echo of Issei voice could be head even from the surrounding house.
The worn out place was formerly the stage of battle during Asia Argento kidnapping incident. There were many trace of battle like furniture and burnt mark from the supposed 'helper'. And despite no longer used and have lost many holy symbol it still could invoke the feeling of uneasiness toward devil.
Kusaka Reya was the member of Kuoh Student Council and Souna Sitri peerage. Currently she was leading the investigation team of designated Student Council members regarding mysterious 'helper'. The eerie feeling the church could still be felt.
"Senpai I got a bad feeling about this." The female junior who held the position of pawn said to three other female in the group.
"That's to be expected, after all this place was still formerly a church." The Knight of the group replied.
"Very well then Kusaka-san how do we proceed from here." The white haired named Hanakai Momo asked her temporary leader of their group.
"Currently we will investigate the outer perimeter of the church, I and Hanakai-san will be the one who did the magical retrace, and the other two please keep on guard."
'Better start to trace every possible magic trace that left.'
She began to concentrate to feel if there was any magical residue within the area, to do that she also distanced herself from Hanakai Momo to widen the area of investigation. She hope to gain a clue at least a remnant of teleportation spell used. If she could do that at least the investigation would be smoother. However she didn't really felt anything from the current area.
"Hanakai-san how about your side proceeding?"
"Nothing, there were no magic trace that left from the incident." The white haired bishop shook her head.
"I feel something amiss here, everyone on guard." The one who issued the warning was the rook Tsubasa Yura.
"Everyone there is a shadow figure in the church." The knight in the group said to everyone present.
The Shadow startled by the sudden announcement started retreating to inner place of the church.
"What should we do Kusaka? you are the one who is calling the shots here."
She was left to wonder 'what is the best decision during this circumstance?'
'Judging from the figure reaction to retreat, they may be just a recon. There is also possibility that we are being led to trap, however she might give us a clue about this incident. Honestly this incident became more and muddier for Kaichou and us.'
"Everyone let us pursue that shadowy figure however prepare for swift retreat should something happen."
"Very well","Acknowledged","Let's go" All of them answered in unison.
"Meguri-san in the front while I and Hanakai-san provide support, meanwhile I trust our back to Yura-san. Everyone prepare for battle."
With that they rushed to the church inner part. The shadowy figure was running toward the underground. They followed it to underground, however as she expected there was a trap.
She could see there were another figures in the underground. They wore priest robe and hood and numbered four in person counting the one they followed.
"Everyone! Ambush! Ready to retreat" Kusaka alerted as they passing the passage lead to underground.
"I don't think so." The person in the priest robe said. The voice was quite blurry.
It made her suspicious that they used magic to do so.
Two magical shot came toward them. Four of them managed to evade the attack, however the magical shot was never meant to target them in the first place. The passage behind them that was meant to be exit was blocked by rubble thanks to that magical shot.
"So we are trapped now." Biting her lip she quickly responded the enemy and told all her friend to be ready. "Everyone! Prepare for battle!" The temporary leader issued her order.
She also detected a barrier to prevent teleportation have been set up and activated the moment they enter.
'This is bad.'
Every other member of peerage followed her direction.
"I got you." The person in priest robe whom they followed closed in and attack. The figure sued sword of light and rushed to strike her.
However her sword was met by swift response of the Sitri's knight Meguri Tomoe, using her katana she managed to deflect attack from the robbed figure.
Both combatants smiled as they clashed, though instantly Meguri knew that she was being pushed.
"Hanakai-san provide backup. Yura-san standby and ready put up barrier for any incoming shot." She issued another direction for their teammate.
Both bishops fired a magical energy toward the sword wielding figure however that person still managed to dodge and parry combined sword attack and magic bullet. Even so they indeed manage to turn around the situation.
The enemy was faltering and being pushed back, seizing the opportunity Meguri leap and slash the opponent. However the opponent still managed to evade the slash though not completely. The hood was hit revealing a woman face and silver hair.
"Tch. Did our escape preparation complete?"
The other person behind who was positioned behind nodded in affirmation to the question.
"Farewell." The robbed figure jumped backward
"I won't let you escape." Meguri tried to pursue.
'This is odd, why the other two that fire the attack earlier did not attack any longer. Don't tell me!'
However Kusaka Reya noticed an evil smirk behind the robbed figure face.
"Meguri-san fall back! Hurry!"
"Eh?" She was startled by her friend word she surprised a bit, however she readily comply and retreated from her position.
"I won't let you." The robbed figure swiftly throws her light sword toward Meguri. Due to a slight surprise she was a bit late in responding the threat the sword still managed to graze Meguri's leg.
"Activate!" The robbed figure announced a word.
"Everyone Activate barrier and concentrate barrier around us!" All other member of Sona peerage except Meguri who just retreated to their position activated a barrier.
'Using both Hanakai and my magic combined with Yura-san rook's trait to provide defense, I hope it would be enough.'
Not long after that several holy based spell activated and created explosion, thanks to their swift reaction all of them managed to evade worst case scenario.
However the attack also had another meaning behind it. The explosion was triggered around the pillar supporting the basement, thanks to the explosion the pillar also collapse. The ground was shaking several rubble started to fell from above.
'They want to bury us alive it seems'
"Everyone please hold out."
More and more rubble fell and pound their barrier as the large rubble tried to bury them underneath. The condition of all of the investigation team could not be called optimal, the previous attack still manage to damage them and their magical energy consumed to power up the barrier, several bruise and damage was sustained by her team. She hope there were no further assault other than the falling rubble.
The rubble continued to be piled surrounding them and blocking their view of their opponent. However Kusaka Reya still managed caught a glimpse of her opponent amidst of that condition. What she had seen however was something even more shocking.
'Devil Teleportation Spell! Ugh I cannot recognize the symbol.' She tried to see what is the shape their symbol, however thanks to these rubbles blocking the view she cannot accomplish that.
'I sense something more troublesome waiting for us ahead.'
Sensing that the enemy was retreating, she also noticed their barrier to trap them in was starting to be dismissed. She proceed to prepare their own retreat as well, however to do so she need to cast another spell. It was not something that she could accomplish while trying to hold down the barrier.
"Hanakai-san the enemies already retreat, I am sorry but can you and Yura-san take over from me. I will prepare to cast teleportation magic as well, please hold out longer." As she said that she cast teleportation spell to make their retreat.
"I am sorry. I cannot really help and for previously rushed in too far." Meguri said apologetically in a dejected tone.
"No, you have done good job in responding her initial attack, if there was someone need to be held responsible it was me and my decision that let us into this situation in the first place." She was the one that decide to follow the opponent, she will not let any of her friend took responsibility of her own blunder.
Somewhere in Underworld
Sahsa Sandratskaya was a member of a certain devil peerage, and today she was going to present her report regarding her previous engagement. Honestly she didn't really want to know what kind of calamity that would befall to her if she reported her failure today.
As a knight she was sure that she could did her job well, as the goal of current mission was to gather information regarding the anomaly about Asia Argento incident.
The incident itself was odd, despite the presence of Rias peerage was outside her own master prediction, the fact she who stationed and observed surrounding also confused why the entire perpetrator was suddenly defeated. The fallen angel who was leading the operation was found with her head decapitated. Most exorcists suffered heavy wound and other three fallen angel suffered several degree burn damage. As everything seemed so odd she decided to fall back and report to her master.
And today she accompanied by one bishop and two other pawn form her master peerage once again tried to investigate the scene, using priest robe they conceal themselves to reach the church where the previous incident happened. They were quite good at disguising themselves using church garment, after all most of peerage member formerly member of the church themselves. She was also member of church exorcist form a certain institution under Orthodox Church.
However today encounter was not something they had planned. If they encounter whoever responsible for the oddity of incident, then it was fine. However the group they encounter with was none other member of other devil peerage, to be precise Sona Sitri's peerage. That was why it was a problem, they cannot just retreated as their peerage symbol might be discovered and they cannot afford the identity of their master become known.
She could just fight it out with them however because the church located under the territory of their master peerage and Rias Gremory peerage if she dragged the fight too long it would backfire on them instead, though honestly she didn't expect their enemy to be that good. Even if they are under constraint that they cannot use demonic power, to think four of them could react quickly to their sudden assault was praiseworthy.
'I guess there was no use to grieve about what happened.'
She walked through gate to a certain room. In that place her master awaited her report. She came forth and kneeled.
"What is you report?" A cold uncaring tone came from the man in front of her.
"My apologies, but we cannot gather sufficient information regarding the group responsible for the Asia Argento incident."
"You couldn't, it was an easy task and you said you couldn't do it!" The anger of his master was boiling hot. The next thing happened was the glass of wine which he currently held flew and hit her head.
"I only order you to investigate the magical source. I also already provide you with bishop and two pawns. I even use my connection to get latest magical detector technology from Ajuka and you cannot do it." Her master rose from his seat and walked closer to her.
He held her chin and made her look to him, only to hit her face with magic powered fist.
"Even being useless has its limit! You failed to secure Asia because there is interference from some mysterious guy and Rias, now let's hear what kind of excuse you have for me now." The disgruntled expression of his face could make a normal person sick.
"During investigation we encounter member of Sona Sitri-sama peerage. Therefore we decide to discontinue investigation however they managed to pursue us."
"Damn you Sitri! First Rias and now you also bar my goal. Why must those two bitches hinder all of my way?!" Venting his anger he shouted in the isolated room.
"What are you doing?! Go away!"
"Very well, I will take my leave Diodora-sama."
Certain room in Grigori HQ
Donahseek was a fallen angel place under Raynare squad. During the previous incident he conspired with Rayanre and other to make Raynare acquire sacred gear of a certain nun, so that Raynare could grow closer to Azazel-sama and advance in rank. He was promised better post if he gave his assistance in securing the area. Honestly for a warrior like him that had nothing to do ever since Great War Raynare little scheme was not a bad deal.
However their entire plan ruined thanks to a single boy, not only he slew Raynare he also managed to damage him and two other with flame attack out of nowhere and leave him unable to move, and barely survive thanks to their limited supply of healing item.
Even during that condition Mittlet still vehemently went to seek revenge, using the information of the surviving member that stationed in the same room with Raynare they tried to locate the boy one who spelt their defeat.
Even though they managed to know the face of the boy who killed Raynare, they were powerless before him. They were convinced such surprise attack against them cannot be executed alone, so they followed and try to ambush him. Imagine their surprise that not only he knew that they were following him, but also managed to singlehandedly defeat all of them. They fact they were able to live today also because he opted to spare them with just few questioning.
However luck may never on their side. They barely survived encounter against a powerful enemy only to be caught by Vali, Azazel-sama protégé and one of the best fighter in Grigori, they were quite lucky that he also spare them as well. Right now they were just waiting for questioning and their apparent punishment.
Not long after he waited a guard appeared and escorted him to the room for questioning, but he didn't recognize the guard accompanying him. However the direction where he was led to was not the regular questioning room.
"Enter" The guard command him to go inside the room.
He walked inside the room. The guard immediately shut the door behind him.
He could also see Mittlet and Kalwarner seated on a couch in fron of them was Azazel-sama waited patiently.
"So how are you doing, Troublemaker trio?"
All of them fell silent. None have courage to give the answer to their superior before them.
"Keeping silent, huh? Well all of you should know why you are being called here right?"
"Yes" All of them answered in low voice while lowering their head.
"Honestly, I already heard most of the explanation from remaining exorcist that you brought during you little scheme. So this piqued my curiosity, who is the rumored boy that managed to defeat you?"
"We also didn't really know the detail, the only thing we know that he was just suddenly come and defeat all of us." Kalawarener tried to explain to his superior.
"Because of him Raynare-nee-sama was killed." Meanwhile the blonder brat still could not let go of her hatred toward Raynare killer.
"Mittlet! Mind your Tongue! we are in front of Azazel-sama." He said to her. Honestly their youngest member behavior up until now irritated him. Though it was to be expected, after all Raynare actually come off as a sister figure to her.
There were many fallen angel that slain during the Great War and some of them also left a member of their family behind. One of those unfortunate children was Mittlet though fortunately she was given a care taker. And Raynare was her caretaker, despite their odd personality and apparent penchant for sadism both of them getting along pretty well. She looked up to Raynare like a sister figure, that's why the amount of hatred was still high.
"Though it was unfortunate to lose a member of our organization, in our circumstance Raynare was the one who wrong." Azazel said to them still relaxed as ever.
"But Raynare-nee-sama only wanted to please Azazel-sama." Mittlet tried to defend her former comrade position.
"I have never give her and order to dispose her target and she never report an observation whether target deemed harmful or not." Azazel expression became serious as he talked. He then continued word. "Not only that, she also just went her way to include sacred gear wielder without reporting to me first, and planned to forcibly extract it without my consent, isn't it?" Hearing those word the youngest of the trio fell silent once again.
The atmosphere was quite heavy, however once again Azazel switched to relaxed expression.
"Badmouthing the death was not my suit, nor that was not the reason I called you three here. All of you should know that what you did was a capital offense and could be punished by being killed or thrown to cocytus, right?" Even with relaxed tone those word that came from his superior mouth was still scary, and he could tell Azazel was not joking.
All three of them gulped at those words. Finally their verdict was come to them.
Not long after Azazel made his decision guard came for them to escort them back to their cell. Right now they only could return to their cell waiting for the execution of what Azazel's plan for them.
Author Notes :
Well I'm very sorry for very late update, but there were many real life issues that caught up. I also have quite big writer block There were also many things that I need to take care of so apparently I cannot promise to update often
Also please note that I take quite liberty to alter thing from each side of series. Like Vali already established connection with Ophis in previous chapter. And Name of Diodora knight whom we never knew the name nor seen her face.
Though each of them was a minor thing I think it could diverge the story in latter chapter (if I manage to write that far)
For reviewers thanks for the review so far.