"Well fuck me sideways in a hand-basket," a mutter was heard.
A snort. "Ichigo, I know you just learned English and all that...but what does that even mean?" Pip remarked as he looked through a pair of binoculars.
Ichigo pulled at the shemagh facemask he was wearing and peered into the scope of the sniper rifle nestled with his shoulder-pocket. "I dunno, figured I would mash words together like Americans do, ya know? Plus, our target just went behind a wall. Can't get a shot on him," the teen explained to the older Frenchman beside him.
"I know he did. I can see, thank you. I'm just trying to process what the fuck that could mean," Pip responded.
Pip rolled his eyes. "The geese are in position. Let's see this aim of yours to kick off this operation," the auburn-haired man said.
The Wild Geese were currently in the middle-east on a job from some secret government agency that couldn't get involved here officially. There were in a middle-sized town and Pip and Ichigo were in a tower a few blocks away from a plaza with many armed individuals surrounding a compound.
The rest of the Geese were surrounding the compound from all sides, ready to move in on the signal, which was Ichigo's shot. Their target was a terrorist cell leader and the secondary objective was to cripple their operations.
Step one: take out the leader so there wouldn't be an extraction. Cut off the head of the snake.
Step two: take out the rest of them so that they wouldn't recruit more in this region. Stomp on the rest of the snake.
"This isn't like the games I played. Usually you charge in and kill the leader personally," Ichigo said offhandedly as he began to steady his breathing. He had been put through a miniature boot camp by Pip, familiarizing himself with an assortment of weapons systems. It was mainly due to the fact that the Geese made their weapon stocks off of their opponents. And their adversaries were from all over the world so they had a multitude of different armaments.
One thing that Ichigo took to immediately were sniper rifles. It clashed with his personality of charging in and brute-forcing his way through opponents, but that was his Soul form. And this was his Human form.
"You're right. We do this the smart way. There isn't any respawning here so we gotta make due," Pip replied.
Ichigo began to calm himself, listening to his heartbeat. He was taught to attempt to pull the trigger between heartbeats and breaths. Holding your breath for too long accelerated your heart rate so you could only do slow and steady breaths.
"Target in sight. The one on the phone. You've got one shot before we actually have to run and gun."
The sight picture shifted off the target.
The sight came back to the target.
The silenced shot of the bolt-action sniper rifle left the barrel and shot through the air before the target's head exploded in a spray of pink mist, spraying the man next to where the target used to be in a shower of gore.
"Move in, Geese!"
Shots rung out from around the compound. The men on the roof fell first as they had been in the sights of the Geese on the ground. The rest of the men, numbers in the several dozens moved into the plaza of the small fortress.
Ichigo let a breath escape him as he folded the buttstock and the bipod inward in a fluid, practiced motion.
Meanwhile Pip was already attaching clips and rope around the pillars behind them and pushed the excess rope out of the window, letting it fall to the ground.
Ichigo shifted the assault rifle on his chest to his side and clipped the sniper to his back before pulling the rope around his person and attaching himself to it with his own clip.
He looked at Pip before they nodded at each other and fell out of the window before descending slowly to the ground below, some stray shots impacting the concrete around them as they came to the ground. Ichigo's nerves from his previous wars assisted in him not becoming skittish, but it was still a novel experience to be shot at.
Ichigo pulled his assault rifle up and scanned the surrounding area before Pip landed next to him. The leader of the Geese took off into a run, Ichigo following closely behind him as the two made their way to the compound, their rifles at the ready before an assailant moved to flank the Geese moving into the compound.
Pip let two shots loose from his rifle and dropped the individual before he and Ichigo rendezvoused with the rest of the group.
Absolute hell was ensuing in the courtyard as the occupiers were still reeling from their sneak attack in mid-day. There were a multitude dead in the plaza while some were still in the windows, firing back at their attackers.
"Move to the flank! This is a killzone here!" Pip screamed as he peeked the large door to the compound before letting a few more shots from his assault rifle loose, dropping two assailants.
Ichigo kept his rifle rose behind Pip, making sure they weren't snuck up on. This was the home turf of these guys so they were bound to have a few tricks up their sleeves.
Pip saw his men push around the left side of the compound, taking a few of their opponents down in the process while he and Ichigo stayed at the center to keep the attention on them and not their exposed allies.
Ichigo peered to his left to see a small hole in the wall and rose his rifle, slowly peering inside of it. It looked into the rest of the compound and their currently wasn't anyone looking at him but he could see at least three assailants himself.
Ichigo steadied his breathing again and Pip had to give it to the young homme. He was level headed in this shit show. Almost too level headed. But he shrugged. Kid must've seen some shit, and he wasn't one to judge.
Ichigo let loose a few rounds from his rifle, dropping one before scanning to a balcony and taking out another. He squatted low and saw another above the last one and sprayed his rifle in a clean burst, taking out another.
Pip, seeing him take out three enemies decided to capitalize on the advantage. "Push, Geese! Let's go!" he screamed as his men pushed into the courtyard, their numerical advantage taking effect as the rest of the current enemies dropped like flies. The team that flanked behind soon made themselves known as they could be seen on the roof, raining hell from above as their opponents were surprised by an attack from behind.
Soon enough it was moderately safe in the plaza and the Geese were currently at the ready, their rifles rose to the shoulders.
Pip scanned the area with Ichigo right behind him before he lowered his rifle. "There's bound to me more inside. Breach and clear this whole compound, Geese. Move it!"
A chorus of acknowledgment met Pip as his men divided themselves in teams and began to push through the small fortress. Gunshots rang out as they began to dispatch the rest of the enemies. He and Ichigo along with a few others kept vigil in the courtyard, making sure that they weren't subject to a counterattack while most of them were inside.
Minutes passed before one of Pip's lieutenants came out of the front door, a cigar in his mouth and a grin on his face. He had a beanie on and a full beard that came to the middle of his neck. He was middle-aged if the wrinkles had anything to say about it.
Ichigo knew the man, like he knew most here in the Geese due to his three months with them since France.
"It's clear, boss," the lieutenant called and Pip nodded.
"You know the drill, men. Clean up and take whatever isn't nailed to the ground!"
Ichigo sweatdropped. Another day with the Geese.
"New job, huh?" Ichigo muttered as he sat down across from Adrianna, the two of them sitting in her parents' villa.
The rest of the Geese were in the town south of the Villa, partaking in the debauchery that usually ensued with them present. Pip decided for this to be the middle-ground between them going to their next job and here, more for Ichigo's sake than anything.
Plus, it helped that the Geese were welcomed by Adrianna's parents here, due to the fact that they knew Pip and that they wouldn't get too rowdy, here at least. Adrianna's parents were out on a vacation in Brazil and he was somewhat dreading being introduced to them, though Adrianna wanted them to meet him.
Adrianna moved to Ichigo's side before she kissed his neck. Ichigo smiled and put an arm around her. "Hmm, Ichigo, you were gone for too long," she said with her warm breath tickling his neck. Ichigo had the decency to blush.
They were in her bedroom and Ichigo was shirtless, wearing a pair of basketball shorts with a tower over his head. He had just exited the shower and dropped his gear off in a corner of her large bedroom. The Raging Bull was sitting on the nightstand, within arm's reach if Ichigo needed it.
That was the one weapon he enjoyed using more than the long-range rifles Pip had made him grow accustomed to firing. The kick was natural to him now and reloading was a breeze. He felt like he was in an American western but it was so worth it.
Adrianna was wearing a nightgown which left little to the imagination and Ichigo enjoyed it immensely. Her bedroom was five times larger than his back in Karakura and she had more than he would ever have, giving credit to her title as the heiress to the Bianchi name, a family who had large stakes all over Italy.
Ichigo was a little happier now that he had someone to come back to. They had been messaging constantly since him leaving from France and had met each other during his training with Pip a few times, each better than the last.
Ichigo wanted to go back home, but he was still wary of the power he exuded. He had been making some progress in reining in his aura and spiritual pressure, but he still couldn't completely suppress it, much to his annoyance.
It did wonders for his resilience. Ichigo clenched and unclenched his fist a couple times. He was stronger than he remembered and the full-body spars he had with Pip and others didn't seem to hurt as much as he thought they would.
He still got his ass handed to him with the experience and technique the others carried, but they said he was a tank and could take almost as much punishment than they could dish sometimes.
Ichigo still kept in contact with his family semi-regularly, or at least he tried to. He felt it difficult to talk to them, seeing as how he was the source of some of their suffering, but he still tried.
The shinigami (was he still a shinigami, after all this?) felt himself going internal as he thought about his family before his head was turned to the green eyes of his lover. She wasn't wearing makeup but her natural look was still beautiful and he smiled at the sight of her.
A soft pair of lips claimed his own in a slow, chaste, kiss. Ichigo rose a hand to her cheek and returned it for a moment before drawing away. "Thinking about you family, oro?" she spoke softly as she rubbed his face.
Ichigo nodded slowly. "Yeah...I miss them, but I can't go back, not for a while longer. I don't know if I can face them just yet," he spoke softly as he put his head in the crook of her neck.
Adrianna pet his hair and smiled. "You've got a new family here. Pip, the Geese, and me. But I'm sure they'd love to see you, no matter what you've done."
She and Ichigo spoke rarely about what he did to leave somewhere as far away as Japan to come to Europe. She knew that he had hurt one of his sisters in an accident and that he 'was a danger to people' there. But she hadn't seen any of that aggression she thought he held. He was a softie, through and through and she found herself growing fond of Ichigo and would help him if she could.
Adrianna didn't approve of the activities he participated in now, but she knew that he was lost right now, trying to find exactly where he fit. She smiled and kissed his head.
"Hey, Ichigo...maybe you'd like to settle down with me here after a while with the Geese?" she asked him and he quickly rose his head to look at her with wide-eyes, a blush on his face.
"Settle...down?" he asked her slowly. That sounded suspiciously like...
She blushed herself and rose her hands in defense. "I-mean! Like, stay here," she recovered and held one of his hands. "We're pretty good together and maybe, uhm," she paused as he looked at her. "You could start college and we could see how it is...to be an actual couple..." she muttered, looking away.
Ichigo was wide-eyed as he looked at her before he smiled. "Are you asking me to date you, Adri?" he chuckled as she blushed further, her tan skin darkening before looking up him. "I'd like that...and I'll see where I go with this Wild Geese business...but I still wanna go back home before I make a decision, ya know?"
A half declination, she supposed that was good. But now..."So you're my boyfriend now? Officially?" she smiled at him.
Ichigo nodded and kissed her. "And you're my girlfriend," he told her before she lunged at him, a searing kiss erupting between them before she stopped and took off her nightgown, making Ichigo blush at the sight of her topless body.
"Then make love to me, amore," she whispered.
And he did, with his first girlfriend.
The first casualty of a broken man with a war-torn soul.
"England, huh?" Ichigo muttered as he blew into his hand, warming it slightly. It wasn't that chilly to him, but the other members of the Geese weren't fairing so well...
"My legs, I can't feel my legs!"
"Who had the hand-warmers?!"
"Just kill me, already!"
Pip, meanwhile, was pinching the bridge of his nose as the Wild Geese traveled in a bus to what he knew as the Hellsing Manor, a home to an organization who recently had some...openings within their ranks due to an event that no one else wanted to hop on board because of.
Ichigo chuckled as he looked back at the men who were simply enjoying themselves at their boss' expense. Pip had once equated it to having a ton of older brothers and younger brothers while all of them being adopted. Everyone loved each other, but damn did they get their rocks off pissing him off.
Pip turned around and glared at the men who were yelling, intentionally saying asinine things to get his attention. "Bardo, for the last time, you have nerve damage, it's not because of the cold! Eric, everyone has hand-warmers, pussy! And don't believe I haven't tried, Yank!" he yelled while the bus erupted in laughter at their boss as he finally caved to the idiots (best of friends) in the back.
Ichigo smirked as he looked at the English countryside passing him by. He felt his eyes grow heavy before he drifted to sleep to the rocking of the bus.
Ichigo blinked his eyes open to see a red sky, tattered by looming clouds and black lightning.
The man inhaled before he felt that his face was covered. He slowly reached up to feel a mask, his mask, with horns adorned and a golden gauntlet on his hand.
He growled as he looked around to see a sight he hadn't seen in what seemed like forever.
Ichigo's inner world was in tatters. Building were broken and falling over, stuck in a suspended animation, never falling to unseen ground below, but stuck in the air as a reminded of the fractured nature of who he was now. Glass shards were strewn about, stuck in the air with the buildings while others were actively descending.
His black and golden eyes fell to the ground below to see lava in the far reaches of the his souls, its depths.
Spinning on his heels, Ichigo was greeted with a pedestal with swords, his Zanpakuto, stuck inside of it. The kyhber knife across the larger sword in a cross-like fashion.
That voice, it wasn't Zangetsu, not really...but Ichigo stepped forward, unperturbed at the ominous feeling of the air around him. Why would he be? This was his soul after all...he had nothing to fear.
"How wrong you are."
Ichigo growled. This was his soul! His! Nothing would stop him. He had moved forward too much, sacrificed it all and he would not be left in pieces like he had before!
"Chains eternal, fear unbound."
Ichigo stepped forward to his swords, his partner. He had been alone here, fighting against the taint left behind. He would not leave him. Never.
A wind began to pick up, pushing against him as he stepped towards the pedestal. He endured. Nothing would stop him. Nothing! He would not give up on Zangetsu!
"Golden prison, all consuming, fate unchanged. A stake made."
Ichigo pressed on to the part of his soul that he had left. Lighting began to rain from the heavens, cracking the area around him in a glassy display of destruction. Electricity arced from the structure of the skyscraper he stood upon and towards him, missing his person but cratering where he stood.
"Claim of rights given, rights taken. Strife and grief inevitable."
Ichigo reached for his swords. They were so close. Within arm's reach. Whatever was keeping him from claiming them was pushing hard with tornadoes forming from above, pushing him away from his claim to his soul.
"Son of destruction, left behind from the Sun. Clinging to what he holds dear."
Ichigo touched Zangetsu before he pulled with all his might.
"Damning automaton. Rise and flail against the end. All will fall before-."
Ichigo awoke in a sweat as he noticed the rest of the Geese offloading from the bus they took to arrive at the Hellsing Manor. He shook his head, memories still fuzzy at the dream he had but the words he heard were making him sweat but he shook his head.
He'd get to it later. But the feeling of Zangetsu, he still felt that.
Ichigo gathered his pack and stepped off the bus to see a few construction workers fixing a gate that connected to a large manor about two hundred yards from where they were standing.
It was a Victorian-era building with some work being done on it as well. There were some burn marks and metal in the yard from what Ichigo assumed was an explosion. Was this place attacked? He thought as the Geese began to move past the workers towards the manor.
Ichigo wore a beige flak jacket with empty pouches and a black cargo jacket on top of it. He had on coyote brown pants with a pair of boots. Around his neck he wore his shemagh facemask and lastly, he had his Raging Bull holstered on his hip with a small bandolier around his hip as well with extra rounds.
The shinigami saw Pip and caught up to the older man and clasped a hand on his shoulder. "What happened here? This wasn't in the brief," he asked.
Pip sighed and lit a cigarette. "I didn't know about it either. We were pinged from a 'Walter' saying something about an extended job for security detail, but you already knew that. It looks like they were attacked at the people they had here before were forced from their jobs in a less than pleasing way. I'll have to talk in the way of hazard pay it looks like," he mumbled as they entered the mansion and Ichigo chuckled.
But this was way too sketchy, even for the Geese. But Pip had a policy on taking jobs that others weren't keen on. The Geese probably weren't the only company they contacted either.
Meanwhile, Ichigo felt the hairs on the back of his neck come to attention.
This is a weird, new aura. Its dark, too dark...
The men moved in to what looked like a conference room and took some chairs scattered about and sat down, talking amongst themselves while they waited for whoever owned this place to brief them.
Ichigo put himself beside a window and looked around the area. Whoever owned this must've been rich, like stupid rich, rivaling Adrianna's parents rich. It looked older, too. The tapestry and tiling on the floors looked outdated but in pristine condition.
Ichigo focused on the aura he was feeling. It wasn't reishi, or the energy the old man was putting off back in the bar in France, but it was definitely prevalent here, encompassing the whole building. It was old, too. Very old, like it had been compressed over time, almost like a diamond. Dense as one, too.
The men were all a little on edge as they gaggled in the area. "What're we doing here, Pip?" Bardo asked. He was a shorter, rounder man with goggles on his blonde hair with a band-aid across his nose.
"To be frank," Pip said as he grabbed a chair and sat on it backwards, facing a door. "They've hired us to fight monsters."
Murmuring broke out as Pip spoke. That wasn't in the brief, Ichigo thought.
"Monsters aren't real."
"You sure these people aren't high off their own supply?"
"Welcome, gentlemen, to the Hellsing Manor," a firm voice announced from in front of them making Ichigo look up to see a tall almost lanky woman with excessively long, blonde hair and tan skin. She had a well fitting suit and cravat that gave her an almost androgynous look, but her voice gave her away. She also wore round glasses and white gloves.
"I am Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, the head of the Hellsing Organization. And yes, monsters. Creatures of the night that prey on humans and drink their blood. You'll fight them with bullets, crosses, stakes to heart, and garlic. Cut off their head and burn the corpse. Scatter their ashes at a crossroads. For more information, ask Bram Stoker," she stated with a small smile.
Ichigo rose a brow. It wouldn't be the craziest thing he's heard of. But the Wild Geese, while not normal, were, well, normal. They fought human monsters. Not one's that he'd seen.
"If you'd like proof, why not give me your strongest man, and I'll have him compete with a vampire that I have under my hire," Integra spoke, hoping for these men to see the truth quickly.
Not a second passed before the Geese's eyes were on Ichigo of which rolled his eyes. "Jeez, guys, thanks. If I didn't feel singled out I do now," Ichigo spoke making the Wild Geese laugh.
Integra's attention was drawn to the man in the back, the one with pale skin and golden eyes with orange hair. He was an oddity, and looked vaguely Japanese. The Geese were truly a band of misfits.
Ichigo walked forward with his hands in jacket pockets while Integra extended her left hand. "Here, we have a true vampire, someone stronger than any normal man could hope to be," she spoke gesturing to the corner of the room where another blonde female walked in. She was garbed in what Ichigo deduced as a skimpier version of a military outfit if the short skirt had anything to say about it along with the way it accentuated her large breasts. She had lighter skin and blue eyes. Nothing how Ichigo envisioned a vampire to be. But she gave off an ominous aura, much like the encompassing one he felt though not as large.
The Geese all blinked before Pip gave an incredulous look. "That's a vampire, you have to be kidding me!" he said while they laughed.
Seras Victoria blinked a few times before she garnered a sheepish expression. She walked towards Ichigo and chuckled. "I believe they're laughing at me, sir," she said while Ichigo shrugged.
"Those idiots laugh at anything. I wouldn't take it personally," he spoke making the Wild Geese all shout indigently at him making Ichigo chuckle.
The aura that Ichigo was sensing was now more concentrated, now amalgamated in a single area and it felt like it was moving this way. It felt dark, horrendous, insane and held untold amounts of violence contained in a fragile form.
Ichigo drew his Raging Bull quickly and aimed it at the wall beside the door making Seras shout in surprise and for the Geese to stand from their chairs as a gloved hand emerged from the surface.
"Your senses are astute, young Prince," a seductive disembodied voice spoke from the wall as a what Ichigo would consider and unearthly beauty. With the body he would consider modest but nonetheless sensual.
She had shorter, untamed black hair with a red fedora with a wide brim. She had a black suit with red duster coat and black boots. The most noticeable features were her crimson eyes, hidden by circular sunglasses with red tint. Her grin, however was unhinged. Her fangs were protruding from her full lips and Ichigo would consider her beautiful, calling out at his primal urges but he let loose a breath and calmed himself.
The shinigami lowered his revolver and holstered it again, mildly curious at the 'young prince' bit but let it go on the back-burner.
An older man appeared next to Integra with an exasperated expression. "Sir Integra, my deepest apologies, I tried to keep Alucard from interrupting you but she insisted she meet the men guarding her while she slept," he spoke. He was wearing a butler's uniform with no jacket and had white gloves on.
What's with these people and gloves?
Alucard, meanwhile, kept her vision on Ichigo with a grin in place. "Now, you wanted a test to see if there were actually Vampires, young Pip Bernadotte, allow me to test this one, then," she said with a grin.
Pip narrowed his eyes. He hadn't told her his name.
"Because I can read your mind, of course," Alucard responded to him which made his eyes widen.
Integra, meanwhile grinned as well. "Don't hurt this one, then, Alucard. I don't want to clean up another body," she told the vampire.
Alucard chuckled. "Of course, master. I wouldn't dare harm the young prince," she responded making Ichigo narrow his own orbs. This young prince thing again...
His thoughts were interrupted by a hand reaching for his face making him dodge narrowly. He grabbed the offending wrist and held it in a vice-grip. She's fast...and strong, too.
Alucard used a fraction of her speed to grab him but her eyes gleamed when he dodged and grabbed her arm in the same motion. His reflexes were impressive and so was his strength. Police girl wouldn't have been able to do much against him.
She increased her speed to grab him again but Ichigo used his own strength to pull her towards him and put her in a side choke. This is like a fight with Kenpachi. She's fucking strong! No doubt she has some supernatural something in her.
Alucard grin grew larger as she saw him asserting his strength over her. He was stronger than a normal human by at least a few times over and faster than one, too.
Ichigo gripped her arm and head in the choke he had her in. In an impressive display of flexibility she dropped from his grip and moved a few feet away. Alucard then began to stab at him with her fingers extended. Her speed was increasing with each thrust and she grew more excited as she began to move towards his backpedaling form.
Ichigo weaved in between each of the strikes that she threw at him, using his agility and judging abilities to guess where she'd strike. This woman was fast and strong, and she was only getting faster. This seductress was a monster. A Vampire.
A strike found its way to his shoulder making him bite back a yelp of pain that surged from the area she hit. That strike was hard and she didn't look like she was stopping anytime soon.
"Alright!" Ichigo called, moving past another series of unnaturally fast attacks. "You've proved your point!" he growled, ducking his head.
Alucard was laughing. A pleasing but maniacal sound. "You're impressing me! This is exciting! How fast, how long can you hold out young prince?!" she yelled.
Ichigo growled before a very alien wave of aggression overtook his mind. He saw red for a moment before weaving past her knife-hands and grabbing her left arm and throwing it over her shoulder in a fluid motion.
Ichigo pulled the arm in the opposite direction it was supposed to go and an offending crack was heard in response to that. Ichigo let go of the arm and pushed her away.
The aggression left his mind before he turned around to see a maw of teeth heading for him. Ichigo scowled and grabbed her throat and slammed the body to the ground, another series of cracks being heard from the ground and what he guessed was her skull.
Laughing was heard as her glasses and hat were now off her face and head respectively. Ichigo looked down to see his hand still on her throat. The woman gazed up at him – longing, submission, lust – before she smiled. "Befitting the young prince's name," she said softly as the blood he was seeing come from her head begin to flow back into her body.
Her arm righted itself in its original position before Ichigo let go of her to see wide eyes from the Geese and the Hellsing proper.
"Did you see how fast she moved? That's not natural..."
"Fuck that, you see how Ichigo slammed her down? That was hardcore, but she's still a woman..."
Clapping was heard as Ichigo stood, offering a hand to Alucard of which laughed before standing herself, almost floating to her feet.
Integra meanwhile was gobsmacked. This human was keeping up with Alucard, even if only briefly. She idly wondered if he was a modified human like Anderson but she disregarded that. He didn't look like a devout follower of anything if she had to guess.
"It seems you possess an oddity among yourselves, Wild Geese," Integra spoke.
Pip grinned along with the rest of the Geese before he threw an arm around Ichigo. "Of course, now...our pay?"
Ichigo, meanwhile could not shake the gaze of the crimson-clad Vampire in the room even if it cost him his life.
The Underworld's High Council was in uproar.
Sirzechs Lucifer was a calm man. Eccentricities aside, he had had to be. He was primarily a politician now. One who had to deal with crones from before the Great War. Some of which were stuck in the old days of Devil supremacy.
Of course Sirzechs had to look out for his own race above all others, but he held no love for those who wished to restart the wars of old. They would lead his race to a disaster, one he was hoping to avoid.
The Lucifer knew that the Devils, pure-blood ones, used to be a dying race a number of years ago. They numbered in the single-digit millions where they used to have a populace five fold. The Great war halved them and the civil war halved them once again. Another war, which some believed the world needed, would push their race, and others, to the brink.
The resurrection of the ever-growing races not of their own looked to slowly replace those numbers and now those of resurrected status numbered a little over half a million.
The population, for once in two hundred years, was on an incline. Slow, steady, but an incline nonetheless.
But that matter was for another time.
The current issue – there was always an issue -, was over an individual staking a claim to the crown.
The Underworld, unlike popular belief, was not where the sinners went to be damned. It was a small world which revolved around the Nine Hells. If one would look up, then the sun was high in the sky. But it wasn't a sun. It's first layer, Limbo, simply radiated enough light for the Underworld to have warmth and illumination.
The Nine were where Devils received their magical energy. The Hells were always there, they always existed, and the would forever more.
The Underworld wasn't the only Underworld. Hades had created his own realm and so did Izanami of the Shinto faction. Other sects of the supernatural world had done the same with their paradises and respective hells.
Some factions which lacked the power to create, or were just to lazy to, used other paradises and hells to deal with the souls of the humans. No one argued. Who would be against having more power within their realms?
Each afterlife depended on the faith of the human, and if the human lacked faith in a religion, then they would be subject to the area in which they were born by the dominant religion, as each human inherently had been claimed upon them being born.
It took years of science and experimentation for Satan to do the one thing he always wished to do since his creation from a being unknown. To create life instead of picking up the scraps from his enemy, God. He created Devils, a race meant to be subservient to the Demons which lived in the Nine Hells. He created the original three Devils. Beelzebub, Leviathan, and Asmodeus. They were later joined by a Fallen Angel, Lucifer. After his descent from Heaven, he was corrupted by energies of the Nine Hells and soon became the first psuedo resurrected Devil.
Shortly after, the Great War ensued, resulting in casualties from all sides and the death of Satan and the Biblical God.
After some time, and after the Demons had fought against Heaven and the Fallen Angels, the four original Devils sought independence from their Demon overlords, as did the rest of Devil-kind. But soon some Devils realized they were headed for destruction with the leadership of the four original Devils.
The Nine were originally inhabited by Demons, and the Underworld by Devils. The Civil war, like the faction war, was fought on three fronts. The demons fought against the whole of Devil kind and only due to a temporary truce between both factions of the Devils, Anti-Satan, and Satan factions, were they destroyed fully.
Afterwards, the two factions turned their hostilities on each other and due to a few heroes that made themselves known did the Anti-Satan faction finally win out, giving birth to the current four Maou.
Peace made itself painfully known throughout the Underworld as those who supported the original Devils were dealt with swiftly.
Some of this information was public knowledge, such as what the Nine Hells were and how Devils had their energy, but how they were created and what the Demons actually were was kept on a need to know basis.
But now...now someone had done what Sirzechs had feared most. And not just anyone could stake a claim to the crown of the Nine Hells left behind by Satan.
The Lucifer Maou wondered who had either the gall or the power to claim the golden crown.
He sighed. This was only the most pressing of recent events.
A rouge individual sought to bring ruin to the Shinto lands not too long ago. Yhwach, the Almighty. He was a monster that the Shinto had swept under the rug long ago as to not remember bad memories.
He had been resuscitated, or revived, Sirzechs didn't know, and due to a struggle from a Shinto Hero, had been causing wanton destruction to the lands of the offending pantheon. Then in a massive power struggle, had been seen all over the world, combating someone Sirzechs didn't know and leveling dozens of miles worth of human and supernatural territory.
It was enough to warrant outside supernatural intervention but the Shinto sect of shinigami had dealt with him in a somewhat timely manner.
The Lucifer could still remember his sister's calls about tremors throughout Japan. He had also been contacted by Heaven's leaders and Azazel himself.
"Maou Lucifer, how are you going to deal with the usurper of the golden crown?"
The Maou remembered he was in a meeting and chuckled lightly.
"You know, you put a lot of the burden of leadership upon myself and the other Maou, but you hold armies yourselves, correct?"
The Underworld was much like a confederation. Different Pillars, 33 of the remaining 72, had their own governments save the Free Cities, where the overarching laws set by the Maou were the only applicable ones. This gave way to the Pillars raising their own forces with a weaker central government overall in the Underworld.
Fear was what brought those lords to the heel of the Maou in times of using the forces of other Pillars and Lords.
Infighting was popular, but it was moderated by the Maou. If the conflict was getting out of hand, the Maou had to reign in the warring Lords and Dukes.
That was why Rating Games were so popular and why most wars were fought in a single battle.
The High Council bristled. Most of them held the largest armies of the Underworld and here Sirzechs was, calling them out on shoving this responsibility on him.
The Lucifer Maou allowed them to shout for a few moments before he spoke. "I understand that whoever ventured to the Nine Hells is most likely a threat on the scale of myself. But as of late, there haven't been any leads within the world to allow me to pinpoint a location. Nor would I engage such an individual without knowing their intentions."
A council member spoke. "But Lord Lucifer, such a person would be a threat to Devil-kind as we know it!"
Sirzechs shook his head. "There haven't been an increase in demon activities and the guardians of the Nine haven't stopped their duties of judging. It could have been a mistake on the individual's part. Or they could truly have no intention other than to be the new Overseer."
He allowed a pause to overtake the darkened room. The council sat above him while he was in the center, illuminated from above. "The Nine are vital due to their large size in holding the souls of the damned. A new Overseer could be pivotal in ensuring the destruction of the Hells was just a prophecy and not a fact."
On the day the original Lucifer had perished he had ushered a foretelling that the Hells would be destroyed in the end. And if they truly were destroyed, then the Underworld could not withstand the backlash and the massive influx of damned souls flooding the worlds would also cause unimaginable amounts of death and destruction. A new Overseer would rectify the holding together of the Nine.
Sirzechs turned on heel. "I will not look for this individual unless they prove to be a threat. Good day, councilors."
Ichigo thumbed the handle of his pistol, tucked away neatly within his jacket pocket as he stood against a wall of a museum. He was wearing a suit with a blue blazer and slacks, white undershirt and black shoes. His revolver was holstered in a pistol holster underneath his right armpit, though the barrel nearly traveled to his right hip.
Shortly after the introduction to Seras and Alucard, Integra had received a letter from the Vatican, detailing how Maxwell, the head of Section 13 of the Vatican, would like to meet with Integra to discuss some terms with their discovery of a few details.
Ichigo as well as some of the Geese were around the area, acting as bystanders in case of an emergency. So far, after a short altercation between a mythically tall Scottish man named Anderson and Alucard, Enrico Maxwell and Integra decided to be a bit more civil in their meeting, now sitting around a table to discuss the terms of the information share between their organizations.
Even though Integra wanted to cave in Maxwell's face, something Ichigo wanted to have the pleasure of himself, she was relying on what he had to say so they could track down who was making these 'fake' vampires.
The shinigami had absolutely no idea what they were talking about and didn't want to even begin to understand. He was still trying to piece together what he had been experiencing with the Hellsing organization the past few days.
Seras had been wary of him and Pip had sought out to pine after the blonde vampire. Even only to say he had experienced 'something out of this world'.
His words, not Ichigo's.
And Alucard had been grinning every time she had been around Ichigo. The shinigami had to hand it to himself. He was sure he'd be terrified after waking up to Alucard right in front of his face but after the second time he welcomed being able to wake up to something more pleasing than that of the white ceiling that his room had.
Most of the Geese lived in the barracks of Hellsing manor, beds that used to belong to the former employees who stayed there, but now since there were vacancies, there was plenty of room.
Ichigo had been granted the room as Alucard had woken up every single member of the Geese the first night in the barracks with cackling as she simply wanted to watch Ichigo sleep. The Wild Geese then begged Integra to get a room for himself so they wouldn't be scared shitless with her appearing out of nowhere just to harass him.
Pip was given him own room due to him being the owner of the Wild Geese, and aside from that, Ichigo thought life was pleasant for the moment.
There is it. Now you've done it. Things are going to go to shit now.
"Probably, young prince. I have the feeling your life has never been exactly normal," Alucard's disembodied voice was heard to his left to see here head sticking out of a wall, her eyes hidden behind her glasses and her fedora on her head.
Ichigo sighed as he watched Integra and Maxwell talk. "You don't know the half of it," he muttered to himself. He wasn't even going to comment on how she had read his thoughts.
"Only the surface thoughts. Your mind...as delectable anything about you is, is fortified to an extent that I may only pry thoughts outwardly broadcasted with no thought of protection. Your trials have made you quite the fitting prince," she said as she exited the wall and sat beside him. She gazed as her master, Integra as she spoke with the rat before she took off her fedora and glasses and leaned back.
Ichigo looked to his left to see this and he smiled. Alucard, as unhinged as she was, was growing on him. He took the information she provided him just then and tucked it away. It must've be due to his savvy nature with his soul.
"Why do you call me young prince?"
The question came with almost no precedence other than the fact that, that was what she addressed him by constantly. Was it...did she...?
"Because, you've staked a claim to the golden crown. All demons who are truly in touch with their nature know of you."
Ichigo clasped his hands together. The golden crown...
"You, who defeated someone who's powers even I could not match, stood in the Nine for weeks, adorned its armor, its will, and defeated the one who would have stood in your way. You've adorned it once before, to cast an unruly sinner to his rightful place, un-damn those in which who had been wrongfully judged, and then escaped before you could truly claim your throne. But now, you had returned, and the Nine recognized its new Overseer and assisted in defeating the assailant."
That...was more information than Ichigo could have hoped to gleam. He cast a look to Alucard.
"You're a demon, then?"
She laughed. It wasn't an insane laugh, it was a soft laugh, one Ichigo found almost pleasing. He wouldn't act like he knew the First Vampire, but he thought he had a soft grasp of her mannerisms at the very least.
"Yes, young prince. I am a demon. As are all creatures of the night. The true ones. I've simply adorned this form to be more pleasing to those around me. I care not for their opinions, but it was an order from my master," she explained. Ichigo found that she was forthcoming with what she told him, holding nothing back.
He gulped. "Then what does your true form look like?"
She gazed at him and her grin could now be seen with the razor sharp maw he had seen three days prior. "Writhing tendrils of darkness with eyes everywhere. I am the Queen of the Night. I hold weight with all that walk its halls."
That reminded of the last form of Yhwach with the eyes and tendrils. "That doesn't seem too bad. I've probably seen weirder, honestly," he chuckled and ran a hand through his hair.
A gloved hand claimed his jaw and pulled it towards the eyes of Alucard, one's gleaming in a brilliant display of crimson. He blushed slightly but endured. "The young prince seems to be after the heart I do not possess, it seems," she chuckled and Ichigo had to take a moment as he inspected her features.
Pale lips, upturned into a smile, high cheek bones and trimmed eyebrows. Eyes showing unchecked insanity. She was beautiful.
Ichigo shook his head, making her let go of his face. He had Adrianna, this was wrong. How would she react to this. Her boyfriend gazing into the eyes of the most seductive and painfully alluring creature he had seen recently.
Alucard laughed, seeing his turmoil. "My, my, it seems my prince doesn't care for my charms."
Ichigo huffed. It had been thanks to Adrianna that he wasn't a stuttering mess around women anymore. That, or the fact that it was useless to him now, something that he had outgrown in the past year since the war. It was prepubescent feeling and utterly useless to feel that way around anyone.
"It's not that. I have someone right now. Don't get me wrong...you're attractive, but we've only known each other for a few days and I'm sure Pip would have my head," he muttered. He truly cared for his girlfriend.
"Ah, the joys of human youth, how long it has been," the Vampiress laughed. "You're with someone who you would outlive and watch grow old. How selfish of you to hold her heart and stay young while she withers away and dies. A selfish prince, you are," she grinned, looking at him.
The shinigami bristled. "I'm not selfish! I just want to be able to live my normal life, and...I know that I'll outlive her, but it's not like I want to be with her forever just yet. We've just begun to date and-."
A finger found its way to his lips. "You're troubled, I understand. But you must understand the banes of a long life, young prince. You'll understand, soon..."
Ichigo's emotions stewed themselves within his heart. He shook his head. This was all so troublesome. He didn't want to watch Adrianna die and still see him so young. But maybe his mortal vessel would age...?
He ran a hand through his hair, noting that Alucard had disappeared with a cackle and Pip was walking towards him with a grin on his face. It seemed the Queen of the Night got off on his inner turmoil.
Ichigo repressed the emotions he was feeling -self doubt, guilt, anger- and rose to greet his boss.
"What's the move, Pip?" Ichigo asked and he saw Pip sigh before lighting a cigarette.
"We're going on a road-trip."
Ichigo rose a brow.
Here ya go.
There's some action, some romance, some foreshadowing.
I wrote all this is the past week and I've starting writing on the next chapter. I'll hopefully have it done by Christmas, but you all know my ridiculous writing habits which I actually want to apologize for.
And yes, female Alucard because reasons.
Those who've stuck around for all my stories, those who PM'd me about updates, and for those who I didn't respond to out of guilt, I truly apologize.
Definitely Not Mordor and AWTD are currently what I'm working on along with another story I want to publish.
The other story is a self-insert and I have 2 chapters written currently. It's premise is the generic "dying and getting gamer powers" and going around different universes, games, anime, comics, and movies alike. If you guys think you'll be interested in it, please let me know.
Other than that, have a good day and review, please!