Draconis: (sips a beer) Want one?
Kenshin: I'm on the mend and was apparently bleeding internally. Not a good idea.
Draconis: Oh right. Hey Issei how we feelin' over there?
Issei: You ever have heartburn?
Draconis: All the time, why?
Issei: Well, let's take a powerful oven, shrink it down and put it on broil, then put it in your stomach.
Draconis: I'm pretty sure that'd kill me.
Issei: NO SHIT!
Draconis: Well anyway.
Dragon of the Elements
Those Left Behind.
Kenshin was laying in a hospital bed. He was still unconscious from the aftermath of fighting Trihexa, using the Dragon God of the Elements form.
"I obsessed over the day someone would be foolish enough to free me and your lot pushed him into a corner for me. The fool!"
"I figured I'd give you a sporting chance, but oh, how you woefully disappoint."
"Did you really think you had what it took to kill me?"
"You really think an infant Dragon God, using power borrowed from two stronger Primordials and the creations of another intimidates me?"
"So pray tell...who is going to make me go? You? With your borrowed power and fancy glowing blade?"
"It doesn't matter if it's One Million, Ten Million, One Hundred Million...as long as I'm in this body...you can't kill me."
"Ghh..." Kenshin began tossing and turning in his hospital bed as he sweated profusely. The image of Trihexa appearing in his mind.
"Don't you understand? There's nothing you can do to stop the destruction I will reign down upon Yahweh's creation." Trihexa said. "Nothing they can do either, the ones that binded me...all their lives sacrificed...because of you...and your ineptitude in the critical moment."
"Shut up...!" Kenshin growled, scowling hard at the Imperial Beast's image.
"Hmhm...just helping you realize the hopelessness of your situation." Trihexa said.
"It's not hopeless! They will hold you off, they won't die, and I WILL gather the other remaining Primordials and come in that Barrier Field and destroy you once and for all! !" Kenshin roared.
"Hahahahahaha! How do you intend to do that when I've corrupted one and one half of them and am possessing the body of one myself! The very thought is asinine!" Trihexa said before turning away. "But...I'll make you see...eventually..." He walked away and disappeared.
Kenshin's eyes snapped open to find Atsuki, Iris, Asuna, Ku Fei, Yuuna and Mana standing near both sides of his bed.
"Kenshin, are you OK? The nurses said your heart rate was going crazy." Iris said.
"Yeah, what's up?" Asuna asked.
"Ghh..." Kenshin grunted, holding his head. "I'm fine...I just had a nightmare is all. That damn beast..." Kenshin said as he sat up. He blinked as he felt only moderate pain, which was something he could easily ignore. "How long have I been laid up here?"
"A few days, a week at the most." Atsuki said.
"Then why isn't every cell in my body still protesting movement?" Kenshin asked.
"You can bring her in Konoka, Setsuna." Mana said.
"Huh?" Kenshin said as Atsuki and Iris split apart and he saw Konoka and Setsuna walk in with, and this surprised Kenshin. Ophis in her mature form. "Ophis? You healed me?"
"All, I did was give you some of my mana, your body did the rest." Ophis said. "However, there was nothing I could do about your hands. They healed yes, but they are scarred."
Kenshin nodded and unwrapped the bindings. Ophis was right, there was heavy burn scars on both his hands. "So I should have adequate mana stores?" He asked.
"Yes." Ophis said.
"I see." Kenshin waved his hands over each other one after the other. The scars vanished. "They're still there. I just hid them with a low level illusion that even my dumbass can use." Atsuki, Iris, Asuna, Ku Fei, Yuuna and Mana all shared a laugh at this. He moved to stretch, but immediately twitched in pain. "Wha? I know the pain is mainly coming from my torso but-"
"Well in addition to being sore all over from the broken ribs and apparently cracked spine-aru..." Ku Fei said.
"They had to pump the rest of the blood out of your stomach after sealing the wound." Yuuna said.
"I see." Kenshin said before Ophis came forward and hugged Kenshin. "?" Kenshin looked down at her.
"I, am glad you're still here Kenshin..." Ophis said with her eyes closed.
"..." Kenshin returned her hug. "You ain't the only one."
"Mmm..." Ophis smiled. "I'd have been by to visit earlier, but I was teaching Lilith how to do this and help Issei."
"I see." Kenshin said. "Don't worry about it. I was actually concerned about how Issei was doing too."
"OK." Ophis said pulling away.
"Does she have to dress so...showy?" Asuna asked.
"?" Ophis glanced at her. "Showy?"
"Well yeah, your entire front body is basically on display!" Asuna said.
"Do you have someone put that tape on for you?" Ku Fei asked.
"Aaaaahhhnnn...Asuna relax. I think she's cute." Konoka said hugging Ophis.
"Eh, we all have our styles." Yuuna said.
"Meh, I've seen people in less...regrettably..." Iris said
"From what I hear Ophis-San is incredibly strong, so it's not like anyone would be able to take advantage of her." Atsuki said
"Kagurazaka, it's OK." Mana said shaking her head.
"Ophis is kind of naïve anyway." Kenshin said. "We have other outfits for her to wear, but this is the one she's most comfortable in."
"Haaa, OK." Asuna said with a sigh before smiling. "I was just worried about her getting perved on is all."
"Understandable." Kenshin nodded. "But she'll be fine. Honestly she's kind of a homebody anyway."
"Ooohhh." Asuna nodded.
"Anyway, Ku to answer your question, probably not. She's also a shapeshifter. During the Three Factions War, she wore the guise of an old man. Like Konoka's Grandpa's age." Kenshin said.
"Aaah-arune." Ku Fei said.
Kenshin kicked his legs out of the sheets and sat on the edge of the bed. He pushed the call button to his left.
"Hello? Do you need anything Lord Kuroshi?" A female voice asked.
"No, I just wanted to inform you that I'm disconnecting the wires to the vitals monitoring equipment, so don't be alarmed. My visiting former students tell me I've been laid up for awhile. So I wanna stretch my legs. I'll keep the nodes on and take the IV with me." Kenshin said. "Would that be acceptable?"
"Haa...normally we'd say no, but this is you we're talking about Lord Kuroshi." The nurse said. "Just be careful. Honestly, Yukari-San told us you'd do something like this when you woke up."
"Of course she did." Kenshin said rolling his eyes with a smile.
Kenshin turned off the vitals monitor and disconnected the wires. He grabbed the IV stand and stood up. "Anyone wanna accompany me or did you just to come to check up on me?" Kenshin asked.
"Not gonna lie, most of us did come to check on you, we're relieved you're awake." Iris said with a smile.
"Enjoy your walk Kenshin-kun." Atsuki said with a smile.
"Yeah, we'll be around." Yuuna said.
"I'll probably just be going through light workouts outside." Ku Fei said.
"Kono-Chan spotted this sweets store in town she wanted to visit." Setsuna said.
"We'll be back to see you Ken-kun!" Konoka said.
"Eh, you mind one more?" Asuna asked. "I just think Kenshin wants some time to himself."
"Sure Asuna." Konoka said
Everyone left except Mana and Ophis who remained silent. "What's up Mana?" Kenshin asked. "Asuna wasn't completely wrong, but did you wanna say something to me?"
"..." Mana glanced out the window. "I guess that was a mission neither of us succeeded in, huh?"
"..." Kenshin closed his eyes before glancing at the floor. "Haa...Straight to the point huh?"
"Honestly, the last time I felt this low is when Serizawa sacrificed himself to cover my escape." Mana said. "...I...went back to find his body, so I could at least give him a proper burial...but when I got there, all I found was slag, melted earth and a demon that turned to me. He asked if I was looking for that 'foolish human' and then said that he'd vaporized him. Serizawa can't be brought back." Mana said looking down.
"..." Kenshin narrowed his eyes in regret.
"After that...I lost it." Mana said. I went into my Hanyou form...and even dispensed with gunplay. I ripped that demon limb from limb." Mana said. "After that..." Tears began to well in her eyes. "Kenshin, it may have seemed cold, but...doing what I do, requires a clear mind and I hardly had that after he died. I didn't want to leave them...I really didn't."
"..." Kenshin walked up to her and wiped her eyes. Mana looked up at him curiously. "It's OK, Mana. You've made up for it...and your grief is understandable." Kenshin said. "I've been there. Not to the extent you have, but I've been there."
Mana looked away. "I can't help but think he'd want me to move on."
"..." Kenshin smiled. "Whenever you're ready, I'm here for you Mana."
"Thanks." Mana smiled wiping her eyes. "Still, maybe we should spend some time together, you know, just the two of us?"
"Heh. Name the date and I'm there." Kenshin grinned.
Mana laughed softly. "I'll keep that in mind."
Kenshin nodded and left the room. He bumped into Yukari and Negi. "Kenshin, why are you walking around right now?" Negi asked.
"You should be resting." Yukari scolded.
"Relax. I'm not going to do anything strenuous, I just wanted to stretch my legs. Apparently I've been laid up for a few days to a week. My legs feel stiff. I'm just stretching them out."
"Well you still have the IV and I can see a few of the vital sensor nodes." Yukari sighed. "Just please take it easy."
"I will Yukari, don't worry. Even though I can ignore it, I still have pain in my torso." Kenshin said. "Wouldn't make much sense to push myself." Kenshin said. "Like seriously, you could drop me with an unpowered punch to the gut right now."
Yukari laughed a bit. "OK then" However she thought. "He's trying to mask his pain with humor." She thought. "...I guess I can't blame him."
"Kenshin...are you OK?" Negi asked.
"Huh? For the most part yeah." Kenshin said.
"No...I mean...up here." Negi said prodding her right temple.
"...Oh..." Kenshin narrowed his eyes with a solemn look. "Honestly, I don't even know where to begin...I'm one of the beings responsible for controlling that monster, yet...I stood no chance against it...Negi, please give me some time to collect my thoughts...and I mean it this time." Kenshin poked his fingers against her forehead with a smile. "So no super sleuthing this time OK you curious little spring onion."
Negi pouted at the nickname, but smiled. "Alright. When you're ready I'm here." Negi said. She leaned up and kissed Kenshin on the cheek. "Just don't over do it OK?" She said.
"I won't, seriously don't worry." Kenshin said. Negi smiled and walked away.
"Kenshin...what's wrong?" Yukari asked.
Kenshin sighed and leaned against the wall. "Look. I told Negi the truth. I really don't know where to begin right now. I just woke up after taking what coulda been a week long siesta...so could you please not hit me with the twenty questions game?"
"It is a little early." Yukari said as they both looked out the window.
"Honestly, right now...I'm trying to figure out where to go next. Neris and Luka will be born, but that's not gonna be for a bit." Kenshin said. "My strength failed me at the critical moment, I don't even know what to do with myself right now."
"Your strength didn't fail you." Yukari said cupping his cheek with a smile. "After all, you're still here...with us."
Kenshin smiled and cupped his hand over Yukari's. "Yeah, you're right...I just hope they all stay safe in there."
"Yeah..." Yukari said.
"But seriously Yukari...I'm gonna be OK. I just need to figure out what to do next." Kenshin said. "That'll take longer than just a bit of time."
Yukari smiled and nodded. "Yeah, you're right, but if you need help figuring that out, I and everyone else are here."
"I know." Kenshin said. Yukari turned to leave but Kenshin grabbed her hand.
"?" Yukari arched a brow.
"Walk with me for a bit." Kenshin said. "I'm going to visit Issei, but we can talk in the mean time."
"Hehehe." Yukari giggled. "Alright, if you insist...Master." She said with a bow.
"!" Kenshin's face flushed.
"Hahahahaha! I knew that'd get a blush out of you, Evangeline and Alma were right." Yukari laughed.
"Yukari, I'm still injured." Kenshin glowered.
Yukari grabbed his arm that wasn't holding the IV stand and hugged herself against Kenshin with a smile. "You know you love me."
"Hmh." Kenshin closed his eyes with a smile of his own, before looking on ahead with a serious expression. "Yukari...how's Mom?"
"..." Yukari let out a sigh. "I guess...depressed would be the right word."
"...Yeah...I was afraid of that." Kenshin said. "Let's not lie to ourselves, those two were going steady before all this."
"Yeah...I wonder...if Mom feels like she's cursed?" Yukari asked.
"Cursed?" Kenshin said.
"There was you in the past, but you had no choice but to return to the future or rather, get brought here, besides we'd already set her and Dad on the path to being together anyway." Yukari said. "Then Dad died to that fucking poison."
"And now Azazel seals himself off with various other faction leaders and gods to fight Trihexa for who knows how long." Kenshin said with a sigh.
"I know I'm the one who said it, but I think Mom will be fine." Yukari said.
"Yeah, we'll be there to support her." Kenshin said with a smile. "Where is everyone anyway?"
"Rias, Sona, Seekvaira and Sairaorg went back to their houses to assess any damages to their territories on Earth." Yukari said. "Rias said it shouldn't take too long, but asked me to keep her posted on how you're doing."
"I see." Kenshin said. "I imagine Raynare, Irina and Dulio returned to the Grigori and Heaven to do the same?"
"Yeah." Yukari said. "Everyone else is around, keeping to themselves for the most part. Asuna and the others couldn't help themselves, well except Kaede, she said she wanted to go on a nature walk to clear her head. I think Trihexa's power left an imprint on all our memories."
"Yeah..." Kenshin said as he let go of the IV stand and raised his hand. "I have a double layered False Image Illusion laid over my hands. I'll remove the first layer on this one."
"!" Yukari stepped back, gasping with her hands cupping over her nose and mouth with wide eyes, seeing the scars.
"Ophis said she couldn't do anything about it when she gave me some of her mana to restore mine." Kenshin said. "This is what I had to do to myself to fight that beast." Kenshin said.
"..." Yukari reached over and held the hand gingerly in her own. "The scarring is so intensive that it penetrates the first layer?"
"Yeah." Kenshin said.
"..." Yukari brought Kenshin's palm to her lips and kissed it.
"?" Kenshin blinked curiously.
Yukari smiled, holding his hand at her chest. "I'll ask Miyuki if she wouldn't mind making another pair of gloves for you, but don't feel like you need to hide this from us."
"That wasn't my intention, it's just when we return to the human world. I'd rather not get asked a million times 'what the fuck happened to your hands?'" Kenshin said.
"Hehehe~ Right?" Yukari giggled before pulling away. "I'll go and ask her now."
"Alright." Kenshin said. Yukari smiled and kissed Kenshin on the cheek before walking away. Kenshin smiled and went to proceed onward when a voice called out to him. He turned to find Ophis. "Ophis...oh my god I didn't mean to ditch you, you could have came with."
"What the girl with the bells in her hair said made sense. I thought you could use the time to yourself, but I see you bumped into people anyway." Ophis said.
"Yeah." Kenshin said scratching behind his head with an abashed grin. "Well come on, we can walk together." Kenshin said.
Ophis smiled. "OK, could we visit Issei though? Lilith is there, but I wanna check on my friend anyway."
"Of course." Kenshin said.
"W-W-W-W-Wait, That's Lilith? !" They heard Issei shout.
"Well sounds like he's still kicking." Kenshin said. Ophis nodded as they approached Issei's door and opened it. They found Issei who was in a hospital bed. Lilith who was in a mature form like Ophis, and surprisingly Vali.
"Ah, Kenshin, you're up too." Vali said.
"Of course I am. What's going on here?" Kenshin asked.
"Ophis taught Lilith how to take on the cost of Issei using the Dragon Deification form. Even though they both possess the power of infinity, Ophis suggested a bigger vessel would help. Which is why she looks like this." Vali explained.
Kenshin looked over at Lilith. She basically looked like Ophis in attire, but wore a bow tying her hair into a ponytail. Kenshin walked up to her and patted her on the head.
"Eh?" Lilith looked up at Kenshin, still being shorter than Kenshin.
Kenshin smiled. "This is a good look for you Lilith-Chan. It's both cute and beautiful. Like Onee-Chan's."
Lilith smiled and Ophis smiled from behind him. Vali cleared his throat. "Anyway, Issei, lodged inside your body was the power of infinity, that is...the power of Dragon Deification, and even with the flesh of Great Red, you were originally a human, it's impossible for you to withstand it. Ophis taught Lilith how to adjust it, or rather, received it on your behalf. Lilith stabilized the power to a level that your body and mind could withstand."
Issei looked over at Lilith. "Well...then I can't use Dragon Deification again huh?" He asked.
"I wouldn't say that." Kenshin said. "I think what Lilith did was downgrade the form to a level where it won't kill you."
"Yes, you won't be able to use the power you used against Rizevim or Trihexa." Vali said. "Unless you become a god anyway. I also managed to gain a blessing from Ophis there and managed to unlock the Diablos Dragon Lucifer and I used it to kill Azi Dahaka." Vali said.
Lilith noticed Issei's curious look. "You awakened that armor with my power, you can continue to use it, but it's power has been scaled down by a great margin, but Onee-Chan says this is to allow you to improve yourself to be able to handle it." She said.
"Oh." Issei said. "Well, even if it doesn't have the abilities of infinity, and it's weakened, it's still incredibly strong in it's own right. It'll at least be far above my True Queen form and I can improve it with training...but wait, what about Kenshin? "
"Issei, I was using god powers from the time I was five." Kenshin said. "If you add in the twenty years I spent in the past, I've basically got thirty plus years of experience on you, plus Heinrich did say my body was slowly changing because of the Demigod State and Dragon God of the Elements. While for you, it hasn't even been a full year since you awakened the Boosted Gear, got reincarnated with me, got your body back because of Great Red and Ophis, and still you've managed to reach a near god class state of power. Even compared to me and Vali you're the ultimate anomaly. There's no way your formerly human body, mind and soul could withstand all this change. Simply put, your meteoric growth from average human to damn near god class was bound to carry some cost sooner or later." Kenshin explained.
"Yes, I couldn't have put it better myself." Vali said. "I come from the bloodline of Lucifer, and Kenshin was using divine powers for years before coming to Kuoh and getting reincarnated and he's mastered his powers."
"Yeah, I guess you guys are right. In the past year my power has been continually growing. I mean, part of it is facing off against fierce enemies. I guess I can't be surprised that my body collapsed from such an erratic growth in power. I mean a Devil can live for ten thousand years has become like this in one short year. My career as a Devil is really quite worrying." Issei said grabbing his head. Lilith untied her hair and started playing with it.
"Together with Onee...together with Onee..." Lilith said while Ophis came over and patted her on the head.
Vali narrowed his eyes. "Hyoudou Issei...this is a message for you. Sirzechs Lucifer, the current Leviathan and current Asmodeus as well as the leaders of various factions have accompanied Trihexa to another dimension."
"What? !" Issei said with wide eyes.
"Yeah...Odin, Zeus, other various gods like Thor, Baldur, hell I wouldn't be surprised if Brahma and Vishnu went in." Kenshin said. At Vali's look. "In exchange for me laying down arms. I asked him to tell me what the play was. Michael's in there too...and..." Kenshin sighed. "The wily bastard rooked me till the end, Azazel's in there too."
"Yes, he's right." Vali said.
"Sensei too? Th-That..." Issei trailed off.
"Yeah, right now, we can no longer see him." Vali said.
"Kenshin...how's Hikari-San?" Issei asked.
"..." Kenshin closed his eyes. "According to Yukari whom I was walking with before I got here...she's in a state of depression." Kenshin raised his hand, letting go of the IV stand. "Let's not fool ourselves...Diabolos Dragon, Diabolos Dragon Satan, Dragon God of the Elements. Even if we found a way into the Isolation Barrier Field and pulled up on Trihexa, he'd just laugh in our fucking faces." He clenched the raised hand into a fist. "Make no mistake, I did this to myself...I had to injure myself to injure him and he just regenerated his head back anyway."
"Whoa, Kenshin...?" Issei said.
"And this is with one layer of illusion on." Kenshin said. "I'm probably gonna be wearing it or gloves for the rest of my life.
Issei laid back on the bed, covering his eyes. He wanted to yell and complain at Azazel. "How long? Half a year, a few years?"
"I'm afraid it's worse than that Issei." Kenshin said.
"...According to the Valkyrie on your side...it'll be a few thousand years at best...or perhaps ten thousand years. That's how difficult it is to bring down that strengthened Trihexa, Even God expended all his power to seal it away." Vali said.
Issei glanced at Kenshin, his expression clear as to how frustrated he was, but there was something strange about Vali to him. His voice was trembling. "Yeah...I really can't stand him...he always says and does whatever he wants selfishly...he's obviously taught us so much, so going off on his own..." Vali said. "Azazel said you were his last and best student..." Vali said looking at Issei.
"This all feels like some fucking bad joke." Kenshin growled before Ophis grabbed his hand. "?" Kenshin looked down at her.
"I'm still here. I, regardless of whether it's one thousand years, or ten thousand, I will stay by Kenshin's, Issei's and Vali's side." She brought their hands over to Issei's and Lilith joined in as well.
"Then, Lilith also wants to be together."
Kenshin smiled at the two. "Of course we will."
Vali sighed. "...It'll be a very long time, but we all have bodies which will somehow survive that length of time, for when they return. At the very least, we need to complain to him one more time."
"Yeah." Issei said.
"And in the mean time. We'll keep getting stronger, maybe we'll even find a way in that field. After it's all said and done. Sirzechs, you are one hundred percent catching these hands." Kenshin said with a smirk. He turned to walk away. "I'm gonna continue my walk." Vali, Issei, Ophis and Lilith nodded and Kenshin left.
"Kenshin!" Kenshin glanced back seeing Magdaran run up to him.
"Whoa buddy, where's the fire?" Kenshin asked.
"This is for you." Magdaran said handing him a clipboard. "Ajuka-Sama said it was to be given to the leader of DxD."
"...?" Kenshin blinked. "Uh, then shouldn't you have headed to Heaven then? I'm sure Dulio is there assessing damages to Heaven."
"I did, but he said he was too busy and ceded his duties to Sun Wukong, I went to Mt. Sumeru, but Sun Wukong said he'd ceded the duties to the next man up, but Azazel-Sama is gone...which means you were the next man up. Right now you're the acting leader of DxD until the assessments are taken care of." Magdaran said.
This slammed into Kenshin, who managed to school his features before letting out a sigh. "Alright, hand it here." Kenshin said before being handed the clipboard. "What is this?"
"I-It's a list of all the main leaders that were lost by the various factions." Magdaran said.
"..." Kenshin looked down the list. "So, Michael, Raphael, and Uriel took their Brave Saints, exempting their Aces. I see...makes since in Michael's case, I don't believe I've ever met Raphael or Uriel's Aces."
He skimmed further down. "Sirzechs Lucifer, Serafall Leviathan and Falbium Asmodeus, excluding their Queens and Azazel...well I already knew that..." Kenshin thought with a heavy sigh. "Chief God of the Norse Odin and six other major gods. I'm sure that includes Thor and Baldur. From Mount Olympus, Zeus and ten other major gods...Hrm...I wonder if that includes Ares, Hermes and Hephastus. The latter could build weapons, Hermes could distribute them and fighting Trihexa seems like it'd be right up Ares' alley."
He looked further down and was surprised. "Brahma, Vishnu and seven other major gods like I thought...but no mention of either Shiva nor Indra...they left the God of Destruction and the Hindu God of Storms, Rainfall and War behind? I've got a bad feeling about that." Kenshin read down further. "Other factions have also sent other major gods to join the eternal battle against Trihexa..." Kenshin sighed and handed the clipboard back to Magdaran. "Thank you, send this back to Ajuka."
"Um...Kenshin, there's more." Magdaran said.
"What?" Kenshin asked.
"Rias Gremory's Pawn, Issei Hyoudou has been nominated for a promotion to become a high class Devil." He said.
"Shouldn't you be telling this to Rias or Issei?" Kenshin asked. "That's got nothing to do with me."
"Well there's more than that...before he left...Sirzechs-Sama recommended that you be promoted to the Rank of Satan." Magdaran informed
"? !" Kenshin's eyes widened in absolute shock. He even stepped back. "W-What?"
"Zekram-Dono agreed. Kenshin...you're being asked to ascend to the position of Satan." Magdaran said. "To become one of the Four Great Satans."
"I...I see..." Kenshin said. "Be on your way."
"R-Right." Magdaran said bowing and walking away.
"..." Kenshin walked away as well, absolutely shellshocked by the news. "Sirzechs, why? I'm...I'm not ready for this shit!" He thought.
"I take it Magdaran told you?"
"? !" Kenshin looked over, seeing Ajuka. "A-Ajuka...?"
"I see, he has..." Ajuka said. "You reacted about how I had expected."
"Then it was-"
"It's true, but the position is yours to accept when you desire. You're even younger than Sirzechs, Serafall, Falbium and I were when we accepted the the positions ourselves. Sirzechs argued that the Devils needed a hero as a leader to look up to, but I argued that you weren't ready. Seeing your reaction...you aren't." Ajuka said.
"Well it's just, all of this is being dropped on me all at once and I've only been awake from a week long nap from getting my ass kicked by Trihexa, for like an hour." Kenshin said. "Give me some fuckin' time to breathe."
Ajuka closed his eyes and smiled. "That's about what I thought you'd say. That's why I argued for the decision to be yours. To this point Serafall agreed. I know you're there from a strength standpoint when you use all your power and you'll always be improving, but you need time to mold into the diamond we eventually figure you'll become." Ajuka said.
"I see...that's comforting..." Kenshin said. Ajuka turned and started to walk away. "Ajuka."
"Yes?" Ajuka said.
"..." Kenshin narrowed his eyes solemnly. "I'm...I'm sorry that my failure caused you to lose three of your closest friends."
"..." Ajuka appeared in front of Kenshin and lifted him up by the front of his hospital gown. "They're only lost if they give up and they won't and they are also lost if WE give up on our end...and WE won't."
"!" Kenshin looked down at Ajuka seeing him scowl into Kenshin's eyes.
"Absolute Killing Perfection, Indomitable Will...it's easy to prove that when you're strong...this is the time you prove it Kenshin. When you're lost, beaten and weak...do you have what it takes to get back up?" Ajuka said dropping Kenshin in a heap before looking down at Kenshin neutrally. "Sirzechs believed you had the strength, Serafall loved you. Falbium even recognized your prowess in battle." Ajuka looked down at him smiling sadly. "I'm sorry Kenshin...but the Underworld...no...the Alliance needs you and DxD now more than ever."
Kenshin looked down at the floor. "But...where...do I even...begin?" Kenshin asked. "People are always telling me to ask for help, well, I'm asking...where am I supposed to start? !"
Ajuka knelt down and pulled Kenshin's head into the crook of his neck. "When the time comes, the way will present itself, and I know you'll make the right choice, until then, be strong Kenshin. We've taken to calling Vali Lucifer the Hakuryuukou of the Morning Star and Issei the Sekiryuutei of the Blazing Truth. However, we also had a title for you.
"What was it?" Kenshin asked.
"The Dragon of the Elements of Absolute Bravery." Ajuka said.
"!" Kenshin stared at him wide eyed.
"You're surprised? The entire time you've been here, according to Sirzechs, the entirety of your life, you've never ran from a fight. Saving your childhood friend Konoka from both wolves and kidnappers, you faced down your own possessed mother in order to get her back. Bared the hatred of an entire world to keep your family safe." Ajuka said. "You faced down Kokabiel, Loki, finally defeated Hottan, faced down Rizevim, took down the Demon King. Helped bring Euclid to justice, defeated Ialda Baoth, faced off against the Goddess of your own kind, then faced down one of Trihexa's cores, all by yourself." Ajuka said. "What could we call that other than brave?"
"..." Kenshin sighed. "After I Quadruple Giga'd Trihexa. He regenerated and I was shaking. It wasn't coming from the Tsurugi No Kami, it was coming from me."
"Even Absolute Bravery falters every now and again, but you pressed forward. You kept fighting. That's where true Absolute Bravery lies, to keep pressing onward even when the situation seems hopeless." Ajuka said.
"...Ajuka." Kenshn said.
"Yes?" Ajuka said.
"Thanks." Kenshin looked up at him with a smile. "I guess...I needed someone to verbally smack me over the head."
Ajuka nodded and helped Kenshin to his feet. "Not a problem."
The two started walk together. "So, if we might be co workers soon, you look like you were coming back from somewhere. Would you care to tell me, or is that none of my business?"
"Hahaha." Ajuka chuckled. "I was speaking with Shiva actually."
"Really? I heard no reports of him appearing on even the Hindu battlefield. What the hell happened?"
"Vishnu and Brahma asked him to stay behind to check Indra." Ajuka said.
"Really? After all that's happened that bastard is still thinking about going to war with Shiva?" Kenshin asked with an incredulous look.
"There's more." Ajuka said. "Rizevim, Azi Dahaka, and Apophis sent a full declaration of war to the 'other world' and Sirzechs and Azazel already made it clear before they left that the Malevolent God on that side is an evil existence." Ajuka said.
"Great." Kenshin drawled. "One more fuckin' thing to deal with."
"There's more, in our world, we have to worry about..." Ajuka was cut off.
"That foolish god of war Indra. If he loves battle so fucking much, why didn't he go with the other gods to fight Trihexa?" Kenshin asked.
"Because Indra is more hostile to Shiva, the only major god of the Hindu Mythology left here, than anyone else. He's been preparing for battle against him for countless years." Ajuka said. "Shiva said it was quite troublesome, but he didn't seem concerned." Ajuka said. "Also, there is something else I'd like to bring up."
"What's up?" Kenshin said.
"There have been talks of expanding the Four Great Satans, into the Seven Great Satans." Ajuka said. "I'm sure you're already aware, but Emperor Belial's declaration has created chaos within the upper echelons of the Underworld. I proposed this system awhile ago. I'm basing it off the Seven Deadly Sins." Ajuka said. "This time it won't just be the Devil's side, it's been predetermined that the higher ups of other allied factions will vote to elect candidates. The range will be from Lucifer, Leviathan, Asmodeus, Belial as well as Mammon and Belphegor, whom have been elected from the Extra Demons."
"So where does that leave me? Sirzechs said that he wanted both Issei and I to become Satans." Kenshin said.
"You were receiving tutelage from Serafall weren't you? If you're chosen you'll take her spot." Ajuka said.
"I see, well sounds like you're going to be a busy man in the coming years." Kenshin mused.
"That's why I stayed behind, until Sirzechs returns, I will remain on the stage." Ajuka said.
"..." Kenshin smiled. "Ajuka..."
"Hm?" Ajuka said.
"You're a good friend." Kenshin said. "You're taking on all the responsibilities of the Satans on your own shoulders while they risk their lives against Trihexa."
Ajuka chuckled. "I'm glad you think that. You don't have to make your decision anytime soon, but I'd appreciate it if you would protect the seat of Leviathan, but can I ask you something?"
"Sup?" Kenshin asked.
"Why do you want to replace Serafall, I'm sorry, but your demeanor doesn't really equate to being a diplomat." Ajuka said.
"Honestly, at first her tutoring me was just a way for us to spend time together, but don't worry I'll tone it down. Anyway most of the time she'd tutor me, but other times, I'd just help her relax." Kenshin said.
"In what regard?" Ajuka asked, staring at him.
"What do you mean? We just chatted about the little things to help take her mind off it, sometime's she'd ask me for a shoulder and back massage." Kenshin said. "It was all innocent."
"Yes, well anyway. The issues with the higher ups are tackled, it's important that we nurture the strong people of everyone's factions to ensure that there are capable people in the future. Otherwise, let alone a terrorist attack, my close friends asked me to defend the seat of Beelzebub, so that's what I'll do."
"I see." Kenshin said.
"Also, I'd like to tell you something. In order to nurture those strong people. We've decided to have a Rating Game World Tournament involving every faction." Ajuka said. "To prepare for future attacks, it will cultivate the strong and alllow everyone to rejoice together."
"Oh?" Kenshin said. "I'm sensing a but."
"Yes, unfortunately if we do this in order to dampen the ambitions and hostilities like Sirzechs and Azazel intended. If it were to be ignored and a war was instead instigated, it would get condemnation from various factions." Ajuka said. "However, the peaceful outcome would be met with ire from people like Indra. Honestly we tried to initiate this earlier, but Rizevim happened and it wasn't able to be realized." Ajuka said.
Kenshin snorted. "First off I get the whole Rizevim situation, it did unite us out of necessity, second...screw Indra."
"I figured you'd say that, anyway. It's unclear how much trust Shiva inherited from the other factions, his true intentions and whether Indra would accept this, honestly there are many disturbing elements at plat. However. This tournament could serve as a proxy war between the various factions." Ajuka said.
"So your end goal is to make a Rating Game that anyone can enjoy?" Kenshin asked.
"Haha, I could imagine Sirzechs saying the same thing." Ajuka said with a chuckle. "Honestly I think Sirzechs would just like to see his little sister, his brother in law and her pawn represent the devils representatives and watch them defeat the teams of the other factions and be proud of them."
"So you want me to compete in this tournament?" Kenshin asked.
"I'd appreciate it if you did." Ajuka said with a nod.
"Hrmn...well as much as I'd rather not get in the way of Rias' dream...catching smoke from the other faction leaders in a way that won't get us in deep shit...I won't lie that does sound appealing, but let me think on it, I just don't want to make that big a commitment when I and some of my peerage members are on the mend." Kenshin said. "I wanna be recovered before I make that kind of decision."
"Understandable, take your time." Ajuka nodded. "Anyway, I need to be getting back." Ajuka said.
"Very well, take it easy." Kenshin said. The two shook hands and split up. Kenshin continued his walk, eventually bumping into Hikari, who was looked despondently at the floor. "..." He narrowed his eyes and approached her. "Mom."
"?" Hikari's eyes glanced upward and she looked over at him. "Oh, Ken-Chan."
"...Are you OK?" Kenshin asked.
"...Honestly Kenshin..." Hikari sighed. "I'm pretty far from alright. What about you? Are you sure you should be walking around in the shape you're in?"
"I just wanted to stretch my legs. I was out for probably a week." Kenshin said. "I ran into Yukari and she told me...I just felt like asking anyway."
"I see." Hikari said with a nod before sighing. "I wonder if I should stay single. I'm starting to feel like I'm some kind of black widow. Everytime I try to find someone I like, they either die or leave me."
"I'm sorry." Kenshin said.
"Don't apologize for having to leave." Hikari said with a sad smile. It's not like I knew you and Yukari were my children from the future back then, and you two pushed me and your father together to preserve your own existence. It would have hurt worse if I actually tried to pursue a relationship with you back then, only for you to pop into thin air."
"I don't think that's how time travel works." Kenshin said.
"Huh?" Hikari said.
"You ever hear of multiverse theory?" Kenshin asked. "If I threw caution to the wind and let myself be with you. We would have created an alternate timeline, but honestly Mom, back then you and Dad were cute together and I just didn't wanna get in the way of that...then there's the whole we knew we'd one day have to fight you and Dad thing and make you hate us thing."
"Right...how did you put up with that? It must have been heartbreaking to do it." Hikari asked.
"Trust me, it was difficult." Kenshin said. "Anyway...Mom I know you're sad about Azazel leaving."
"..." Hikari sighed again. "I get why he left, I really do...but it still hurts." She said.
"I know..." Kenshin said before placing his hands on her shoulders. "But like I told Serafall...and apparently Azazel told Vali. This isn't goodbye, it's see you later. We'll get them back." Kenshin said before grinning. "Then you get to give him hell for leaving."
Hikari stared at her son for a moment before a laugh erupted from her lips. "...Ken-Chan, you sure have a way of cheering people up. It's supposed to be the other way around."
"Not true." Kenshin smiled. "Sometimes the child comforts the parent."
"I guess..." Hikari said with a smile. "Don't worry though Ken-Chan. I'm gonna be alright, sorry if I worried you with what I said earlier."
"Hey, we've all been low, but for what it's worth. You're not a black widow." Kenshin said making Hikari stare at him. "You just fell in love with men who were workaholics. I had my job helping Yukari train you, Dad felt his was protecting the family, and aside from being a mad scientist researcher. Azazel always wanted peace, to a fault...kinda like me." Kenshin said.
"I guess so." Hikari said before hugging Kenshin. "Thank you Ken-Chan. You're a great son."
Kenshin hugged her back. "I try...now...if you ever need to get something off your chest. Yukari, Miyuki and I are always here."
"I know. I just need some time." Hikari said after they pulled away
"Hey same here." Kenshin said gesturing toward his banged up body.
"Well, that's true. Anyway. I'll see you later." Hikari said
Kenshin nodded and the two separated and walked away from one another. Kenshin smiled. "It's great to know she's going to be OK."
Twenty days later.
End of February.
Kenshin was currently very confused right now. He sat on a large bed wearing a pair of shorts with a towel draped across his shoulders. Now, the sitting in a large bed wasn't the part that confused him. It was the room he was in.
"...I really want to graduate."
A voice filled with lust, while the eyes belonging to it were emotional. Kenshin looked at the very naked Akeno who was hovering over him
Now he had mostly recovered at this point to the point doctors had approved of light to moderate training, so he could handle arousal and all that came with it. It had happened just a few moments ago. Issei and Kenshin were heading back to their rooms after taking a bath. When Akeno and Raynare pulled them both into separate secret rooms. He noticed that the room had the same atmosphere and air like the one Irina had to use. Akeno, was wearing her usual white yukata, but she had quickly discarded it, revealing lingerie that might as well have been made with clear material with how transparent they were, but it didn't feel exactly the same.
Had the Grigori made their own version, asking for the tech for it from the angels after Michael had given Irina hers, wondered Kenshin before Akeno grabbed the ends of Kenshin's towel sitting on his lap and pulling him in close, her body pressing against his, breasts pressed against his chest as he looked up at her as she brought her face closer to his.
"I guess a kiss right now does sound great right now. Still someone is BOUND to walk in here. " Kenshin thought as his and Akeno's lips were about to meet.
"We've found you."
"? !" Kenshin looked over seeing Rias and Negi standing in front of the door way to erotic room. Rias' eyes were narrowed while Negi's brow was twitching. Akeno distanced herself from Kenshin who seemed curious.
Kenshin blinked. "I get how you might have fooled Akeno's sensory abilities, but how did I not sense you come in. Besides I was expecting someone to come break this up." Kenshin then winced. "I-I'm mostly healed, but please don't be too rough."
The twitching of Negi's brow lessened and she smiled. "Don't worry Kenshin, We know all about this room."
"Ara, looks like we've been caught." Akeno giggled cheekily.
"You shouldn't underestimate my instinct." Rias said.
"Well that explains how they found us." Kenshin thought. "Before we continue here. Rias, whenever you catch Akeno pulling something like this. You usually come alone. Yet you brought Negi with you, not complaining at all, but it's new."
"Oh." Rias said. "Well Negi-San came to me earlier with an issue."
"What issue were you having that you couldn't have come to me with Negi?" Kenshin with a curious look.
Negi blushed and looked away. Rias giggled. "She wanted advice on how to better follow her own desires. Other than help you with her magic research...she feels aimless. I told her that whatever she feels she wants to do with you. It's normal, and that the very most she'll get for pursuing those wants is teased, which happens to everyone here." Rias said patting Negi on the back, pushing her forward. "You just need to put yourself out there."
"E-Eep...!" Negi said at the sudden forced movement.
"Now, Akeno, what on earth are you trying to-" Rias was cut off, why? Because Akeno turned to Kenshin and kissed him, sliding her tongue into his mouth. "A-Aah? !" Rias and Negi said with wide eyes. Akeno's and Kenshin's tongues continually wrap around each other as Akeno aggressively kissed Kenshin. A few minutes later. Akeno pulled away from Kenshin, a string of saliva connected between their tongues.
"Aahh...uuhh...w-wha?" Kenshin stumbled over his words like an idiot. "Why can't I fucking talk?" Kenshin thought.
"Because that Akeno girl just tried to fuck your face with her tongue like your Alice does regularly when she sees you." Yuurei said with an amused tone.
Akeno then turned to Rias with a winking smile. "It's a special graduation ceremony for myself." \
"..." Negi looked back and Kenshin looked forward after recovering his bearings looked on as Rias donned am adorable pouting face and gets angry. Kenshin arched his brow as Rias climbed onto the bed. "What kind of graduation ceremony are you two looking for. I mean I've already claimed both of your virginities...unless..." Before Kenshin could finish his sentence Rias had grabbed Kenshin's head with both her hands and kissed Kenshin herself. Her tongue coaxing Kenshin's to tangle with hers. One minute passed as Rias deeply kissed him.
She then pulled away and muttered with a smile. "I guess I have washed over the kiss you had with Akeno just now with this? I cannot afford to lose!" Rias said as she stripped down to nothing. Rias and Akeno both then grabbed Kenshin's right and left hands respectively and pressed them against their own breasts.
Negi looked on with a deadpan expression. "And these two are supposed to be the more mature ones of the group?" She muttered.
"To be Kenshin's first woman..." Akeno said.
"That's one thing I can't give up on and this time I got the ring to prove it." Rias said. "Now Kenshin, come at me first."
"Ahem." Negi had approached the bed as the two girls got closer to Kenshin. "I think you're forgetting someone." She said crossing her arms under her chest.
"No we weren't." Rias giggled as Kenshin unconsciously groped Rias' chest.
"Take that robe off and climb in, we won't bite, ufufufu~" Akeno said.
"Haa..." Negi let out a sigh. "I guess I have to...well...here goes."
"? !" Kenshin's eyes widened as Negi's robe fell to the floor, revealing what she was wearing...or rather not wearing which was anything at all. "N-Negi? !"
Negi glanced away with a blushing smile crossing her arm under her breasts, pushing them up slightly.. "D-Do you not like it?"
"U-Uh...I-I didn't say that...it's just whenever I used to see you like this...I was usually on the receiving end of a five finger handprint going across my face." Kenshin said.
"Not all the time..." Negi pouted.
"Negi-San you're hesitating." Rias scolded playfully.
"I don't think you've done anything like this with Kenshin-kun. Climb in, indulge yourself with the body of the man you love, Negi-Chan." Akeno said.
"R-Right." Negi said crawling onto the bed on all fours.
Kenshin blushed, not just at the feeling of Rias and Akeno's breasts in his hands, but just how sexy Negi looked crawling up to him. She looked strangely seductive. "Negi..."
"Hmn." Negi smiled as she got up to him. "He's not ignoring you two, it's just the literal first time I've ever done this for him."
"Oh we understand." Akeno giggled. ."Enjoy yourself."
"Who knows, this might turn into a three way for us." Rias said.
Negi blushed, but made it up to Kenshin and wrapped her arms around his neck. "Would you like that? You pervert." Negi said winking with a smile, sticking her tongue out, She then proceeded to kiss Kenshin herself. Her tongue playing against his own. Her breasts pressing against his chest. "Mmm..." She moaned into him, holding him tightly. "Mmmmh...(smooch)...aaahhh..." She pulled away and pulled Kenshin's head into her cleavage. "Oh wow, Rias-San you're right, this does feel nice."
"I told you." Rias giggled.
"Cuddling with the man you love always feels nice, ufufufufu." Akeno said as both her and Rias pressed Kenshin's hands harder against their breasts.
However, someone entered the room. "Kenshin-Sama! I have big news for you!"
"Huh? !" Kenshin pulled his head out of Negi's chest and looked over at Ravel who had entered.
"So you were here huh...ah! I-It seems like I have interrupted what you were doing...!" Ravel said blushing a deep red.
"Why do most of these moments end awkwardly." Kenshin said before three other figures entered the room. Xenovia, Miyuki and Asuna.
"I knew things would end up like this! I had received information about how former Vice Chief Akeno got her hands on the rumored doorknob from the Grigori! Kuuuu! I also want it for myself!" Xenovia griped
"Uhh...why are you so obsessed over it? If you want him that bad just take him into your room and lock the damn door." Asuna deadpanned.
"I share the room with Irina." Xenovia said.
"Then tell her to go spend some time with her mega pervert boyfriend!" Asuna said.
Miyuki however noticed Negi's state of undress and commented. "Wow Negi, that's pretty daring of you." She said with a coy smile.
"Geh? !" Asuna's eyes bugged out. "Negi, why are you naked? Wait, why are all of you except Kenshin naked? !"
Akeno backs away and smiles bitterly as Evangeline, Tamamo, Alma, and Koneko entered. "I pretty much figured I'd need a lock for this room."
Rias backed away as well. "No, the girls in this house would use any method to unlock it. I guess each of us would need one like Asia said before."
"Wait seriously? I'll get like no sleep." Kenshin said.
"And you're complaining?" Alma asked with a wink.
"I do...kind of see Senpai's point..." Koneko said with a slightly disappointed look.
"Kenshin, that doesn't mean we'd pull you into the room at any time." Evangeline said with an eyeroll.
"Yeah some of us might not even use the room." Tamamo said wagging her tails playfully.
"Exactly." Alma giggled while Evangeline smirked.
"Right whatever." Rias said.
"Anyway Ravel what's the news?" Kenshin asked.
Ravel shook off her distress and took out her tablet. "Look at this!" She said, showing a video on the front.
"Oh is that right? That is some big news." Miyuki said.
"A world tournament for these Rating Game things?" Asuna asked.
"Yeah it'll involve all the mythologies that wish to compete that stayed behind from what the video's saying." Evangeline said.
"My my how fun." Alma said.
"Kenshin-Sama." Ravel went to say something but Kenshin raised his hand, stopping her.
"Ravel it's fine I'm already in the know about this tournament and Lord Beelzebub asked me if I would compete myself." Kenshin said.
"E-Eh? !" Everyone exclaimed.
"On the day I woke up, y'know, after the battle with Trihexa. Ajuka came to visit and caught me on my walk and told me about it. I told him I'd think about it because I and some of us were still on the mend." Kenshin said. "I guess he was checking on Issei and I for Sirzechs, but do send a message along telling him that I'll have his answer in the next few days."
"Hmn...well still I need to go investigate this in the Underworld." Rias said before kissing Kenshin on the cheek. "Sorry to cut this short, but I need to confirm the situation we're in. Akeno, follow me."
"Of course. Ufufu, shame we had to cut this short." Akeno said before kissing Kenshin on his other cheek." With that, Rias and Akeno both got dressed and left. Everyone else had left too, leaving Kenshin alone with Negi.
"Huh, I'm kinda surprised Ophis, Ilias, or Kanon didn't try to horn in on that." Kenshin said.
"Mmmrrrnnn..." Negi glared, puffing out her cheeks. "I'm right here, in the nude no less and you're worrying about other women showing up?"
"Well it's a common occurrence in this house Negi, I'm sure the same shit happened to Issel." Kenshin said before sighing and smiling. "I'm sorry Negi, I was just caught totally off guard by this. Like seriously, you've never done this in the time we've been together."
"Oh..." Negi looked down at herself before smiling. "Was it a nice experience at least?"
"Hmn." Kenshin smiled. "Yeah. I know Akeno told you to be more open in Mundus Magicus but I figured you'd take more time."
"Well...I wanted to do it too...we're going to get married soon aren't we?" Negi asked.
"Yeah...I think I see where you're coming from Negi." Kenshin said, his smile widening. "You want to act more as a wife than a girlfriend now."
"Hai." Negi said with a smile.
Kenshin smiled and butted his forehead against Negi's gently. "Negi..."
Negi pulled away before kissing Kenshin on the tip of the nose. "I need to be going." She said getting off the bed and putting her robe back on. "It was nice to share this moment with you. I hope to do it again, under more intimate circumstances."
"I'm sure you would." Kenshin said with a grin.
"Hmhm." Negi giggled and left the room.
"Well, ain't getting to sleep after that. Too wound up." Kenshin said as he hopped out of bed. He went into his closet. He figured he'd wear something different to keep certain people off his back about the lack of variety in his wardrobe. He rifled a bit before finding something hanging with a coat of plastic over it. He took it out and removed the plastic shielding. He found a note attached to the shirt.
"Kenshin, I meant to give this to you during the Christmas party, but we were both too sauced up at the time. So I slipped it into your closet while you were training one day." -Sirzechs
Kenshin lifted up the shirt. It was a practical dress shirt that was easy to move around from the look of it. He also noticed it had somewhat of a high collar. The edges where it buttoned up and cuffs were lined in crimson with part of the cuffs being colored in purple. He turned the shirt around and found the design of an eastern dragon coiled around a sphere which contained the character for Tsuki. He also noticed the dragon spitting a bit of fire, which formed the character for Kuroshi. He nodded to himself and threw the shirt on followed by the pants which matched. He looked at himself in the mirror. "Huh, gotta say Sirzechs, these are some nice duds." He said as he approached his bedroom door to leave.
Stepping out he turned the corner of the hallway. He didn't have a set destination, but he paused as someone approached him instead. A woman wearing a blue and white maid's outfit, complete with headband. Her silver hair done up in braids two short ones in the front, and a much longer pair in the back. Her ruby red eyes widened a bit in surprise as they ran into each other. "Oh, Kenshin."
"OK Kenshin, don't say anything that might upset her." Kenshin thought. "Oh, hey Grayfia. It's uh, rare that you visit. What's the occasion?"
"Oh...I'm just wandering." Grayfia said. "It's a mite difficult to stay at the Gremory Estate for long periods of time, so I try to finish quickly."
"I see..." Kenshin said as he narrowed his eyes morosely. "Damn it Sirzechs, you could have just explained your damn plan to her instead of springing it on us both!" He then sighed inwardly. "But no...she probably would have argued the point like I did." He thought.
"That outfit." Grayfia said. "It looks new, did you buy it yourself?"
"Oh this?" Kenshin said. "Nah, it was a belated Christmas gift from Si-uhhh...Si-...uhh...Somo! He had it made for me and snuck it into my room, He must have known where my closet was while I was training one day, ahahahahahahaha!" Kenshin laughed to cover his nervousness. "Smooth, really smooth you idiot."
"I second that." Yuurei said.
"You stay out of this!" Kenshin thought.
"Really, that didn't sound like the name you were going to say." Grayfia said.
"My tongue got tied." Kenshin lied.
"Oh Kenshin...you're purposely trying not to bring his name up to protect my feelings." Grayfia moved in with a small smile with her eyes closed.
"Grayfia?" Kenshin said.
"I appreciate the effort, but I was there when he put this into your closet. I was testing you a bit. You failed." Grayfia said.
"Oh, I see..." Kenshin said with narrowed eyes. "Grayfia...I just didn't want to bring him up...because I know it's a sore subject for you."
"I know." Grayfia said looking up. "Trust me, it's OK."
"If that's true, why is there such pain in your eyes?" Kenshin thought. "Haa..." Kenshin let out a sigh. "Are you sure it's not hard to talk about?" Kenshin asked. "It's hard enough for me to talk about and I was just his Pawn and Brother in Law."
"...Do you want me to be honest...?" Grayfia asked bowing her head.
"Yes. If you can handle it. If not I'll change the subject." Kenshin said.
"Mmh..." Grayfia nodded. "It's just...I'm supposed to be the one he can rely on the most. Both as his Queen and his wife...to think he just left me behind." Grayfia said as her body quivered.
"...Grayfia...Th-" Grayfia cut Kenshin off.
"Don't you dare tell me he only left me behind for our son's sake while he puts his life on the line for the next thousands of years!" Grayfia shouted at him with tears flowing from her eyes. "He needs his father too!"
Grayfia's eyes widened as Kenshin's fist laid into the wall. "That's what he left me behind for!" He shouted.
"...What...?" Grayfia said with wide eyes.
"Grayfia, I might have been injured to hell and back when he left us, but he told me..." Kenshin covered his face wiping his eyes. "He told me to continue to protect Rias, but to also care for you and Millicas in his stead. Grrh...!" Kenshin laid his fist against the wall again.
"..." Grayfia looked at Kenshin in surprise.
"I thought I was strong enough to take on that beast's core alone, but I was so...oh so fucking wrong." Kenshin said. "When Issei went down and I was on my last legs...that's when Sirzechs initiated the plan..." Kenshin glared at the floor. "Issei had already fought Apophis, so really I'm the only reason that Sirzechs did wh-"
Grayfia wrapped her arms around Kenshin and buried his face into the crook of her neck. "I see...you aren't hurting as much as I am, but you are hurting...and we're both trying to hide it. How easily we exposed each other."
"Well...it's easy to detect a mask when you're wearing one yourself." Kenshin said.
"Indeed." Grayfia said wiping her eyes as they pulled away, Kenshin wiping his own. "...Sirzechs told you didn't he? That I chose you?"
"..." Kenshin blushed but smiled. "Aye, he did...but..."
"But?" Grayfia said.
"I want to hear it directly from you...and I just don't think either of us are ready yet." Kenshin said with a smile.
Grayfia closed her eyes with a smile. "Kenshin...thank you."
"Anytime." Kenshin said. "And remember if you need me, either you or Millicas. I'm there." Kenshin said before clenching his fist with a smile. "If his father can't be there, one of his heroes always will be and I'll even bring Issei around too." Kenshin said.
Grayfia looked at him with a blush before glancing away. "I wouldn't be bothered with just you."
"Huh?" Kenshin said.
"It's just I know Issei-San is one of Millicas' heroes too, I just don't want my son to end up like him." Grayfia admitted
"Heheheheheh." Kenshin chuckled. "Grayfia. I think Millicas is more concerned with watching his heroes in action than anything else. Like I wouldn't be surprised if the little guy is watching past recordings of Sirzechs right now with an excited look on his face. Thinking that's exactly what ol Zechsy is doing to Trihexa right now. Just like 'Yeah! Get 'em Dad!'"
"...Hmhmhmhm. I certainly hope so. If not that I'd take him watching you in action as a second." Grayfia said with a smile.
"Heh." Kenshin grinned before extending his arms. "So...bring it in?" He asked.
Grayfia smiled and walked into Kenshin as he embraced her. "Kenshin it's...still going to be difficult to talk about, but-"
"Don't say it. I understand Grayfia." Kenshin said embracing Grayfia tightly before pulling away slightly, still holding her. "Like I said. When you or/and Millicas need me, I'm there."
"Kenshin...?" Grayfia said looking up at him.
"I understand if you don't want me to bother you too much...but I at least want to be there for Millicas." Kenshin said.
Grayfia smiled. "Thank you Kenshin, Like I said it will difficult to talk about, but maybe I'll just want to talk, you know, about the little stuff...or..."
"I understand." Kenshin said. "I'd actually like to get to know you on a more personal level Grayfia. I'll try not to bring up anything too personal till you're ready to talk about it."
"Thank you." Grayfia nodded.
"So, I know you said you were wandering, but what brings you here?" Kenshin asked.
"Well I was hoping to leave a message to Ravel about something Ajuka wanted to tell Rias and yourself." Grayfia said making Kenshin chuckle. "What?" She asked with narrowed eyes.
"I think either an official report or a leaked one beat you to the punch. She told us about the Rating Game World Tournament." Kenshin said. "Rias left with Akeno to gather more information."
"Really?" Grayfia asked. Kenshin nodded. "Haa...I've been out of it today." She said.
"No worries." Kenshin said.
"And yourself?" Grayfia asked.
"I was wandering around the house myself, but now that you mention it. There is something I've been putting off so I could heal." Kenshin said.
"Oh, very well. I won't keep you from it." Grayfia said.
"See ya around Grayfia." Kenshin waved as she warped away. Kenshin let out a sigh with a smile. "I think that was a good first step." He started walking again, this time opening up communication circles. "When you feel my aura pulse, warp to my location." He walked to the VIP lounge and did just that.
Suddenly Tamamo, Yukari, Negi, Ilias, Micaela, Alipheese, Promestein and Black Alice all appeared in the room. "Thanks for coming on such short notice everyone. I believe we've put this off long enough, and I wanted to take care of it before I did anything else. Would have done this earlier, but I was on the mend."
"On the mend? Shouldn't your regenerative abilities have handled it?" Black Alice asked.
"If they weren't over worked sure they would have Mary." Kenshin said.
"There's already extensive scarring on his hands that probably won't ever heal." Yukari said.
"What're you-" Negi was cut off looking at Yukari.
"Yes I can tell. He's wearing a double layered illusion over the both of his hands." Promestein said.
"She's right." Tamamo said.
"I see, I thought something felt odd about them. I guess the fact that it was double layered must have threw me off." Black Alice said
"Let me guess, Fire Spirit's Prominence?" Ilias asked.
"Yes, and this is the last time I'm doing this, to show Negi so I'll remove both layers." Kenshin said rolling up his sleeves and made a handsign, before straightening out his hands.
"Oh...m-my god..." Negi said with wide eyes.
What flesh on Kenshin's hands wasn't a blighted red, was an ashy gray. "Heh." Kenshin smirked grimly. "Wow, that looks like utter crap huh?"
"No kidding." Black Alice said.
"Wait, Ragnarok used that move a lot, how did it do so much damage?" Tamamo asked.
"I think I might know why." Alipheese said. "Was it your first time ever using it?"
"Yeah. After our battle, remember I requested to know if Ragnarok had left any instructions on how to learn his moves...the problem was with everything going on, I never got a chance to actually train with any of them." Kenshin said.
"I see." Ilias nodded.
"You charged Salamander-Chan's power through your arms and into your hands quickly, her absolute max in your Demigod State at that." Alipheese said.
"Yes." Kenshin nodded. "I was also using the Tsurugi No Kami."
"I see. That might attribute to the gray." Ilias said. "The gray is holy burning."
"You did it too quickly, that much I can see." Alipheese said. "Your arms were fortunately spared, but this must have put you out of the fight."
"It didn't." Kenshin said.
"?" Black Alice, Promestein, Ilias and Alipheese looked at him oddly.
"Due to a four year torture I suffered as a child from humans, my body's pain receptors are dulled. Simply put I can ignore pain better than most people. I can feel pleasure just fine, just pain is nothing to me. I kept fighting Trihexa." Kenshin said
"I see, but the point I'm trying to make is that training with it would have taught you that you need to start slowly and allow your body to get used to the elevating levels of heat." Alipheese said.
The Salamander Card came out of Kenshin's shirt pocket. "Mother I get where you're coming from, but Kenshin has a point, the entire DxD organization was basically going from one thing to the next after he got back, the situation he used the technique in was kind of an emergency too."
"I see." Alipheese said with her eyes closed. "Sometimes we can't help ourselves in times of peril."
"I'm going to go into the scrolls, I've got something coming up." Kenshin said.
"That's all well and good, but Kenshin...you do realize that you're now in the exact same position Tamamo was in for thousands of years." Micaela said.
"? !" Tamamo looked over at Kenshin before narrowing her eyes sympathetically. "Oh Kenshin..." She thought.
"I am aware, but I also realize that there isn't anything I can do about it right now. If I walked into the Isolation Barrier Field right now, like I told Issei and Vali. Trihexa would laugh in my fucking face the second he saw me." Kenshin said. "Tamamo couldn't do anything about her situation either, we both had no choice but to move onward, does getting basically my whole body tenderized by Trihexa sting? Hell yeah it does, but I've just gotta try and put it behind me and keep getting stronger, one day we will beat that monster."
"By the way, before we change subjects, Alipheese-Sama, you make it seem like if Kenshin masters the techniques mentioned in the scrolls he received, he'll become immensely more powerful." Negi said.
"Yes. That's exactly what I mean." Alipheese said. "Kenshin I mean no insult when I say this, but your Demigod and Dragon God powers are still very much in their infancy."
"None taken, but please explain." Kenshin said. "Also, would Yukari and Miyuki be able to learn these techniques."
"I don't see why not, Ragnarok might have been Primordial of Life, but it's not like he was any parts god." Alipheese said. "But yours will be stronger."
"I see..." Kenshin said. "Well give me an example."
"The Fire Spirit's Prominence is an entry level technique to the fire scroll. Eventually when you master that, you will move on to the technique, Inferno Pulse."
"I remember that one. A lot of my warrior angels came back with severe burns." Ilias said. "I personally healed them myself."
"Inferno Pulse?" Kenshin and Yukari asked.
"Charging the maximum power of fire through your whole body, you expand it outward, sending a searing heatwave through the air itself." Alipheese said. "He used it against me in our fight, it was the first time I'd been burned by anyone other than Ilias."
"And the Water Thrust I tried to use against you in our fight?" Kenshin asked.
"It, like your Fire Spirit's Prominence was untested. I'm guessing you had a flashback and saw Ragnarok use it against me, because there's no way you should have known about that technique." Alipheese said. "Or rather in that vision I pulled you in."
"Right, that's what prompted the request, still to call a technique the Fire Spirit's Prominence way before Salamander was born seems to suggest that Ragnarok was not only looking for a stout opponent and I don't want to hear it, you were a stout opponent for him, but a strong mate too. I mean he had to be in his upper teens when you two met."
"Maybe so, but he was still a human back then, if we had tried to mate, it's likely that I would have killed him." Alipheese said with a saddened look.
"You, yourself said he shackled himself to his own disadvantage." Kenshin pointed out. "You don't think he'd have made it?"
"I was afraid to try honestly. Someone who could stand at my side, I didn't want to risk losing that...then he went and asked me to demonize him." Alipheese said.
"Well, you know how we Kuroshis are, we like to aim high, guess we had to get it from somewhere." Kenshin chuckled.
"But what about when the-" Yuurei was cut off.
"Don't go there." Kenshin thought before clearing his throat. "So, from what you're likely saying, Ragnarok held back against me at Agreas."
"From what you told me about the fight, Malak seal unbound from what Draco has told me about Ragnarok's now unbound might. I can only infer that." Alipheese said.
"I see...heh." Kenshin smirked.
"?" Promestein, Micaela, Black Alice, Ilias and Alipheese stared at him oddly. "You just learned that Ragnarok was holding back and you're smirking?"
"Oh yeah, our next fight's gonna be fun." Kenshin said.
"Haa, forgive him Alipheese-Sama, it's just he sees this as a new plateau to shoot for." Yukari said with a sighing smile.
"Yes, Kenshin's always wanted to get stronger, but it's just that when he runs out of challenges in power, he feels stuck." Negi said.
"Well power isn't everything, challenge someone with great technique to go along with their power." Micaela calmly scolded.
"Oh I think we've got plenty in both departments coming our way soon." Kenshin said.
"We do?" Yukari and Tamamo asked. "Kenshin have you been provoking potential opponents again?" Yukari asked with an exasperated look.
"The last opponent I provoked was Rizevim and I watched Vali ice his ass myself." Kenshin said. "Trihexa doesn't count because the beast provoked me and pretty much everyone else. Look I'll explain later. I have one short piece of business to address before we get to why I asked Ilias and Micaela to come here." He said taking out a hand mirror, tossing it behind him and catching it with one of his tails.
Black Alice looked over as Kenshin turned to her. "What is it?"
"Why were you rubbing yourself against me before? Was it me or you sensing Heinrich?" Kenshin asked. "You also said you kissed me to kiss Heinrich."
"All of that is true." Black Alice said with a downcast look. "I'm sure you're a great person, but I still want Heinrich, and I know that his body was disposed of."
"That's what I thought. Don't get me wrong you are attractive and cute and all, but I just wouldn't want to deal with him complaining inside my head, even if he can feel it." Kenshin said. "So I have a proposition Mary."
"Hm?" Black Alice said.
"How would you two feel about being together...using me as an intermediary?" Kenshin asked.
"So another girl enters the fold but not really." Yukari drawled.
"Eh, he can handle it." Tamamo said.
"You'd really do that for us?" Black Alice asked with wide, hopeful eyes.
"Yeah." Kenshin said with a smile. "What was done to you fucked up what was a perfectly good relationship."
"Then yes! Absolutely!" Black Alice exclaimed with a wide smile.
"Oh, also before I forget. Mom wanted me to give this to you." Kenshin said handing Black Alice her Beary.
"Aaah!" She hugged it against her chest before looking it over. "Hikari-San does great work! I can't even tell that it was damaged!"
Kenshin smiled before glancing at the mirror. "Heinrich I was asking you that question too."
"Huh? !" Heinrich said from the mirror. "What is this?"
"It's mirror communication. Issei and I used to have to do it back when I got here." Kenshin said.
"Oh...well...how would it work?" Heinrich asked. "Don't get me wrong, I appreciate it, but I don't know how I feel about getting close to Mary again in your body."
"Oh, it'll be my body, but it will be your image and I'll let you take over. It will essentially be you, but with no power, but I think Mary can handle protecting us while we switch back out." "I'd probably just sit in my mental space and hang out with the spirits and Yuurei." Kenshin said.
"You'd actually do that?" Heinrich asked.
"Mary is cute and beautiful and all...but I just met her for one, and she's your woman. If I can help you two be together again. I'll do it." Kenshin said.
"Kenshin..." Heinrich and Black Alice both said.
"Just let me know when OK?" Kenshin said with a smile.
"...Thanks, you really don't have to do this." Heinrich said.
"I know that." Kenshin said glancing at the mirror. "I want to. I know what it's like to lose someone I love dearly." Kenshin said, glancing at Negi.
"Take the offer Mary-San, Heinrich-San." Negi said with a smile. "I've heard both of your stories, you two deserve to be together." Negi said.
"Still, couldn't his body be rebuilt?" Black Alice asked.
"He killed...over six hundred angels that were my children. No matter how tragic your story is. I'm not making him a body." Ilias said with a glare.
"I never meant you." Black Alice said with a glare.
"Unfortunately she's the only one who can." Alipheese said. "Kenshin told me about Heinrich's assault on the way back from the Deadlands. His body was converted into Holy mana completely when he Sentinelized."
"Exactly, it's not like what happened with the Sixteenth Demon King, where I was pouring my power through him. Then had it repelled when Yama did the same when he stabbed Forbesii with his scythe." Ilias said. "His soul will only accept a holy body." Ilias said.
"..." Kenshin cleared his throat. "Sorry Mary, but thems the breaks sometimes. We all know what Yama did to you two, but I cannot ask someone who watched those she called children die, to make a body for their murderer. I'll accommodate you two in any way I can."
"..." Black Alice let out a sigh. "I know...it was...just one final plea I suppose, but thank you though Kenshin Kuroshi." She said with a smile.
"Heheh." Kenshin grinned. "Not a problem, I look forward to working with you when we have to defend ourselves."
"So we're in agreement?" Heinrich asked.
"Technically my clones are a brand of holy magic called Eastern Magic back home, but it's really just demon sealing arts that the bulk of which I never learned, because I was a demon." Kenshin said.
"Then why learn it at all?" Micaela asked curiously.
"Because like Ragnarok early on in my life. I had great troubles controlling elemental spells. I think for him it improved when he had people around him, Draco included after Alipheese turned him into a youkai." Kenshin said. "For me. I needed to actually meet the spirits, because I could read the spellbooks left, right and sideways and understand them, but they'd still blow up in my face half the time."
"I see, just like Ragnarok." Alipheese mused. "After our battle and I took him and Draco in, my daughters actually helped train him. Tamamo helped him with Earth and Fire. Kanade and Hiruko helped him with water, Saja and Minagi helped him with wind."
"What did Kanon help him with?" Kenshin asked.
"Well, he had often expressed the desire to heal the blight of the land as we were fighting. Kanon and Kanade both offered to help with this." Alipheese said.
"I see...maybe I could ask them for help with my stuff too." Kenshin said. "I mean I'm pretty sure Kanon would be up for it..."
"Hm?" Alipheese said.
"Wasn't Kanon like the cruelest of your daughters during the war?" Ilias asked.
"We all do things we aren't proud of in wartime. I mean look at your creation Ranael." Alipheese countered. "During the Divine War, your humans and my children would try to co-exist, when she caught wind of it, she'd appear and brutally murder and devour them all."
"...Alright you got me there." Ilias said.
"Still why are you so sure Kanon would be up for it?" Alipheese asked Kenshin.
Tamamo giggled and answered for him. "Because Mother, Kanon has a crush on him!"
"Oh my, is that right?" Alipheese said with a smile.
"We decided to get to know each other first. I can't just go off Ragnarok's memories." Kenshin said. "Also, I told her if she wanted she could do some gardening outside. The owners of this place would probably appreciate it."
"That's one thing that kind of confuses me. Why is it you don't live in Makai? I know about the banishment, but you saved them in a war did you not?" Black Alice asked.
"I'm too deeply entrenched in mythological society to just up and leave now, If Makai needs me though I'm just a short call from Alice, the current Demon Queen away." Kenshin said with a smile. "I am trying to look into buying some land in the Underworld and building a place so Issei and his girls can have the place to themselves."
"Ahhh...I will admit it is getting a little crowded in here." Yukari said.
"Anyway before we continue I have one more thing to address before we get to our final subject." Kenshin said. "Promestein was it?"
"Yes?" Promestein said.
"My Knight Granberia wants to come at that Next Doll of yours for Round Two." Kenshin said.
"Oh really?" Promestein said interlocking her fingers in front of her face. "I don't know why she would. Arcenciel beat her rather handily from what she reported."
"Gee must be easy to beat someone when you know their entire playbook." Kenshin said. "This Arcenciel was designed to defeat Granberia right?"
"Yes?" Promestein said with a perplexed look.
"Call her here. If you refuse to have her fight Granberia again, now that she has an idea of what she can do. Let me catch the round then. I'll show her how unfair the advantage really was." Kenshin said standing up, alerting everyone. "If she's not a coward she'll accept." Kenshin said.
"..." Promestein closed her eyes and sighed. "Fine, if you really want to end up in the hospital again."
Arcenciel appeared behind Promestein. "What is it?"
"Granberia's Master. Kenshin Tsuki Kuroshi wants to do battle with you." Promestein said.
"...He doesn't feel like much...this better be worth my time boy." Arcenciel scoffed.
"Oh, trust me...it will be." Kenshin said holding out his artifact cards. "Card Equip: All!"
"Let's move this to the dojo maybe?" Negi suggested.
"Nah, this won't take long." Kenshin said with a smirk as he stepped away from the seating.
"Oh this is going to be good." Yukari said interlocking her fingers with her arms resting on her crossed legs.
"Hm? What do you mean?" Black Alice asked.
"Kenshin won't accept any disrespect or violence toward his peerage, family and friends without good reason, like if we picked the fight and lost as long as no one died. He'd just accept it at that point and try to motivate us to become stronger. However if it came without warrant, like yours did when the exorcists attacked, because we didn't even know much about you, Promestein or her Next Dolls." Tamamo said. "In the case of the last one, we didn't know about them at all."
"Still is he so arrogant that he thinks he can take on Arcenciel with his power limited?" Promestein said before Alipheese laughed. "Huh?"
"Is she so arrogant to think she could take on more than what Kenshin is showing when he knows how she fights." Alipheese said.
Kenshin crossed his arms and smiled coyly. "Tell ya what Rainbow girl(1 ) I'll let you have first swing."
"Let me hav- What? !" Arcenciel scowled.
"You heard me." Kenshin said leaning forward while tapping his left cheek. "Come on, hit me with your best shot." He said.
"Grrh!" Arcenciel growled.
"Go ahead." Yukari said making Arcenciel look over at her. "It's not like it'll mean anything."
"Grrh! I'll show you!" Arcenciel shouted leaping at Kenshin, stabbing her hand down at him.
"? !" Arcenciel's eyes widened as dust was kicked up, not only was the floor barely damaged, she didn't see the face of the arrogant bastard she was trying to hit, that is until she felt a pressure on her lower back. She turned her head seeing Kenshin's back, but he didn't seem to be standing.
Kenshin was seated upon her, his legs crossed. "Negi, remind me, this is one of the rooms I rolled along with my chore which was dusting on the chore wheel today right? It's my peerage's turn to clean after all."
"Huh? ! Oh, Yes, it was." Negi said.
"Ah, thanks. Just wanted to be sure." Kenshin said.
"You dare talk about meager chores during a fight!" Arcenciel shouted as she turned and slashed her hand at Kenshin's neck, but he wasn't there. "Krh? !" She looked ahead and saw Kenshin landing across from her. "Grh!" She growled and charged him from his left only for Kenshin to vanish again. She saw him to her left. She stabbed her hand at his chest,
Kenshin sidestepped and let Arcenciel go past him, before stepping directly behind her and leaning back. "What's wrong? You were programmed to defeat Granberia right? I figured you'd know how to deal with Serene Mind." Kenshin chided. "I guess you just know how she fights and nothing more. Ah well. Seeing as my sister, two of my future wives, Mary, Micaela, two of my fellow Primordials are watching, I guess I'll show off a little." Kenshin said.
Arcenciel was getting more and more frustrated with every missed strike, with each mocking word. "Grrrhhh! Dragon Palm!" Arcenciel shouted thrusting one of her hands at his chest.
"..." Kenshin spun while advancing toward her, before backhanding Arcenciel into the wall. "Tenshinkoda."
"Gaah!" Arcenciel gasped as she slammed into the wall.
"I'm holding back by a lot by the way, right now I concede power and speed to you. Yet I'm currently winning, curious hm?" Kenshin asked, his hands in his pockets.
"Don't you mock me!" Arcenciel shouted charging after him. "Explosive Fist!" She shouted punching at Kenshin.
"Haaa..." Kenshin sighed and held his arm outward as he sidestepped Arcenciel's punch, letting her clothesline herself to the floor. As she got up Kenshin went into a spin before slamming his elbow against her temple. "Koukaimon!"
This strike sent Arcenciel flying into a spin herself before catching her bearings. "Haa...haaa..."
"Ya done?" Kenshin asked.
"!" Arcenciel leaped above him swinging her leg down at him. "Explosive Leg!"
"Guess not." Kenshin said cocking both fists backward. "Haou Sekkou!" He said slamming both his fists into her sternum before she could hit him or the floor.
"Guahh? !" Arcenciel gasped out, she landed on her feet to recover, but immediately fell onto all fours, her body shaking. "You...concede power and speed to me...then why am I so...damaged? !"
"Well if you were actually thinking instead of getting all pissy, you'd already know that." Kenshin said. "I'm making it a point to absolutely disrespect you. You can't hit me because your strikes are too direct. Meanwhile I knocked you to the floor using your own momentum, nailed you square in the temple with my elbow and nailed you at your body's core with two fists. What you're feeling isn't damage, but disorientation. I know how to exploit a body's weak points, yours is no different."
"Grrrhhh!" Arcenciel rushed Kenshin again.
"Ugh...this is getting pathetic." Kenshin scoffed.
"Sixteen Palm Black Flames." Arcenciel shouted.
"Haa, really?" Kenshin said as he smacked her arms knocking her strikes off course before bringing his arms back. "Soutoushou!" He said knocking Arcenciel on her back before stomping a foot on her chest preventing her from getting up. "Now do you see how unfair your fight with Granberia really was. You knew how she fought, she didn't know how you fought...I knew how you fought...you didn't know much of anything about me." Kenshin said with a scowl. "And here's the kicker...that's not even what I'm truly capable of doing. I said I was holding back and I meant it." He removed his foot and walked away. "Honestly, how can you call yourself a warrior anyway? Just from looking at you I can tell you don't train, your moves were so easy to predict. So that means all your power, every single bit of it was given to you."
"So in a way you're belittling that pathetic knight of yours...Granberia was it?" Arcenciel said.
Kenshin leveled Arcenciel with a soulless glare. "Choose your next words carefully Rainbow girl." Kenshin said with a menacing tone as he activated Serene Conqueror. "I meant it when I said I was holding back by a huge margin, and if you insult or disrespect a member of my family again...well then I'm not above powering up all the way to crack your skull open and see what the scientist over there put there in place of a brain!"
"Aaagh!" Arcenciel disappeared with a frightened look on her face.
"Yeah, that's what I thought." Kenshin scoffed as his cards appeared back in his hands. He walked back to the couch and sat down.
"A little violent sounding at the end there don't you think?" Promestein drawled.
"Sometimes you have to put fear in a fool." Kenshin said crossing his fingers in front of his face.
"Kenshin, careful." Yukari said placing a hand on his shoulder. "The way you're speaking isn't like you."
"She's right Kenshin, the way you acted just now, it's not like you." Negi said.
"..." Kenshin closed his eyes before letting out a sigh. "Yeah...I guess I flew a bit off the handle there..." He paused to grab the front of his face before standing up. "Ilias, Micaela...Yukari, Negi and Promestein have something to tell you...and for what it's worth...I'm sorry."
Kenshin walked toward the door with Yukari staring at his back, a melancholy look on her face. "Oh Kenshin..." Yukari thought, holding her right hand at her chest.
Negi looked over at her and knew what Yukari was thinking. "Yukari...Rias-San and I might be dueling for the top spot, seeing as Alice-Sama can't be around as often as she likes, but because of the time travel...I know that you know something's wrong with him more than anyone."
"I see..." Alipheese said. "He must be frustrated about his loss to Trihexa."
"Well can you blame him? That beast is unlike anything even we've faced." Ilias said.
"..." A vein was slowly swelling on Yukari's left temple.
"I feel for him, but he's got to pick himself back up." Alipheese said.
"I know but even the strongest of us need time to vent their frustrations, remember he's been focused on healing for the past near three weeks. He-"
"THAT'S NOT THE ONLY FUCKING PROBLEM! !"
Everyone turned to seeing Yukari standing straight up, eyes glaring, teeth clenched as she looked at the two Primordial Goddesses. "Yukari-Sa-"
"Negi, you're my friend and sister and I love you, but shut up, please." Yukari growled.
"M-Mmhn..." Negi nodded nervously.
"You two..." Yukari growled.
"You're actually yelling at the Primordial Goddesses? This should b-ulgh!" Promestein was cut off as Yukari dragonified her arm and wrapped her hand around her neck, not even looking at her.
"I'm talking! You're! ALL! LISTENING!" Yukari shouted throwing Promestein's back against the couch. She turned to Alipheese. "Yes he's frustrated about the loss, but any idiot can see that there's a lot more than that on his mind than that! Why do you think Rias and Akeno tried to seduce him earlier!"
"Um..." Negi whispered and went unheard.
"I know you two have a vested interest in Kenshin, but back off when he's feeling stressed, because that's all I felt from him when he beat down Rainbow girl!" Yukari shouted.
Ilias and Alipheese went silent at Yukari's tirade. Tamamo's mouth was agape even. "Yukari, they maybe weakened but they are still the Primordial Light and Dark Goddesses." Tamamo thought
"I don't care who you are we are gonna have a problem if this keeps up. He doesn't need more shit stressing him." Yukari said before stomping toward the door. "Fuck this, Negi, tell Micaela and Ilias what they need to know." Yukari said opening the door. "Also..." She turned her head to glare at Ilias and Alipheese. "As I said before...you both might have a vested interest in Kenshin, but you don't know anything about him at his core...or how seriously he's taking this." She then slammed the door to the VIP room shut behind her.
Alipheese quickly got up and followed Yukari out of the door. Tamamo stopped Negi. "Negi, it's OK, they aren't going to fight."
"OK...oh and Ilias...I...don't think a good deal of that was aimed at you, but Yukari does have a point, you and Alipheese really don't know Kenshin at his core. Alipheese sees Ragnarok in him too much and you just haven't gotten to know him yet." Negi said. "Neither of you are at fault."
"Oh I know." Ilias said with a sigh. "That's why I said what I said, you know? Like let's back off of him for a bit unless we're checking to see what's wrong or to try to take his mind off of what's bothering him." Ilias said with a smile. "I had a feeling there was more to it, I just didn't want to bring it up. I think Alipheese did too and that's why she followed her out of the door."
"Well..." Negi smiled. "At least you have good intentions." Her expression became serious. "But what I have to say next is serious."
Promestein came over and took Yukari's spot on the other couch. "Ilias, as much as I want to belt you one for locking me up for giving your humans fire, even I feel angry at this and I know you will too."
"What is it?" Micaela asked.
"..." Black Alice spoke up. "More of Yama's heinous actions."
Ilias and Micaela looked over at her, but Negi cleared her throat. "I'm sorry, but Kenshin already told me about her, but does the name Lucifina still mean anything to you?"
"? !" Ilias and Micaela's eyes widened. "What...is it?" Micaela asked.
"Please, tell us what you know." Ilias said, fearing the worst.
"Yama...he..." Promestein cut herself off with a growl.
"..." Negi glanced over at Promestein, knowing she didn't have the heart to say it. "Yama has Lucifina's corpse...he was using it against Promestein, Yukari, Draco and I with his Corpse Puppetry"
These words slammed into Ilias and Micaela. "Th-That bastard! No! That walking sack of shit, he kills her to enter our ranks and then he violates her corpse, using it as a puppet? !" Micaela shouted in anger.
Ilias however looked down at the floor with wide eyes before looking over at Negi and Promestein. "Promestein, develop your creations to the highest capability. I was wrong to imprison you. I should have embraced your ideology, and Negi-San." Ilias said. "Tell Kenshin that I want him to take Yama's head, scratch that, I don't care who does it! That traitorous swine dares to defile my daughter's corpse? ! Micaela I know you're angry so that goes for you too!" Ilias shouted.
"Right!" Micaela said.
"I'll give him the message later." Negi nodded.
Promestein smirked. "I see, so I'm no longer limited then?"
"No, go as crazy as you want you mad scientist!" Ilias said.
"Can I get in on this? Yama screwed me over too." Black Alice said.
"Sure! The more the merrier!" Ilias said.
Negi let out a sigh. "I knew it'd result in this, but oddly enough I'm OK with it, Yama has no right to do what he's doing with Lucifina. "
"Yes. Anyway let us adjourn for now." Tamamo suggested. "We all want his head on a pike, but he has Ragnarok as his bodyguard and who knows what else, just as well, he won't move unless he feels the move is advantageous to him." Tamamo said.
"Right." Ilias, Micaela, Negi, Black Alice and Promestein all said as they got up and left the room.
Draconis: I know it's been awhile.
Kenshin: Dude relax, you're fine.
Draconis: I know.
Yukari: So are we starting with me in the next chapter?
Draconis: Actually, it's been awhile since I updated the Side Stories compilation. I was thinking of putting that content there, while pointing out it's still canon to Dragon of the Elements.
Yukari: Oh, neat.
Draconis: Also, this was another 'all over the place chapter' but I went into it wanting to cover a lot and it took months to get through, but thems exposition chapters for ya.
Anyway next time we continue through Volume 22 in the main story.
Kenshin and Yukari were calling Arcenciel, Rainbow girl because Arc-En-Ciel means Rainbow in French.