Chapter 1: What.
His mother was right — he shouldn't have accepted their invitation.
She's always right.
He thought it would be okay to go on a boat — to try a new experience and not spend his whole life locked in his house watching videos and surfing in the web.
Unfortunately, his curiosity was the death to him.
He was sinking deeper into the ocean. His head was pounding — his lungs were screaming for fresh air. He fought until he felt his head was about to explode, he had to take a breath. It was an instinct. His body was begging for it.
He floated like the sea weed — nothing more than flesh and bones ready to decay in the currents.
He wanted to be saved.
He wanted a rescuing hand to tow him back to surface.
To be in the world he knew.
To be with his mom…
For some reason the pain he passed through slowly subdued, he wasn't scared anymore — it was almost peaceful actually. He quite liked it.
His legs were fatigued. He stopped struggling and began to fall. He fell further and further into the darkness until it threatened to swallow him whole.
Maybe it wasn't a good idea to explore the seas without any practice of how to swim — or at least equip a lifesaver in case an accident elapsed throughout the trip.
Yet, his pride or shame had to intervene. Twenty-years-old and he didn't know how to swim. No one knew aside from his mother. If his friends were to figure out the skeletons he had in his closet, he would have turned into the laughingstock in their group.
He didn't want to be seen as the clown of the group.
And now, he became the dumbass of the group.
He deserved it — he certainly did — for letting his insecurity get the best of him.
Who didn't deserve this was his mother.
No mother should bury their own son. Mothers were not meant to bury sons. It wasn't in the natural order of things.
Soon the oxygen deprivation took away his last thought and sunk to the bottom of the ocean. He had to wait for the divers to search and return his corpse to his mother.
But fate had something else in mind.
Warmness caressed his skin, his lifeless eyes reflecting the source of light.
It came from the endless pit of the ocean — the one he was slowly approaching.
He was getting physically mauled by — perhaps — the world's most blinding light source ever. But it didn't matter — it was too late now. His body was empty of fuel, not a single joint could he move. Not even to block the luminous white.
Despite of being underwater, he could feel his dull eyes burning, forcefully watching as the glow reached out for him.
Seconds passed as the light slowly neared, so close that the light was blinding for the mortal eye. Shockingly it didn't affect him anymore, perhaps getting now used at the vicious glare.
Momentary, the glow embraced him — devouring him and the void beneath a frigid dawn.
He coughed like his throat was filled with broken glass, sucking all the air that his restored lungs could withstand. His heart was out of control, it jumped as if prompted by an electrical surge.
He shifted a hand to his chest, enjoying his heart bouncing strongly inside his ribcage — eyes closed.
"Breathe in. Breathe out," he thought with shaky breaths, trying to remain calm by slowly breathing with his nostrils.
Slowly but surely, his heart began to loosen up — earning a relieved sigh from the owner.
"Wait…" he trailed off and hesitantly popped an eye open — only to close them once the impulsive light glared at him. Oh great. When he was floating in the middle of the ocean the light was ineffective — but now? It was like having a staring contest with the sun.
"Where am I?" His inner thoughts empowered him, feeling how his body was squeezed by a ... box? A big box indeed, and was perfectly shaped for his body to fit in.
He had difficulty freeing his limbs out of the crate but sooner or later — they'd taken off like a plane.
He shifted his hand over his eyes, slowly opening his eyelids like all the school mornings he faced off since childhood — hissing whenever the light somehow jabbed at his stare.
With his other hand over the border, he carefully got out of his human-sized prison — eyeballs now getting used to the golden glow coming from the stained glass.
When he had succeeded getting out, he immediately stretched out his limbs, pushing any kind of soreness away from his juvenile(?) body — hardening his body and mind for the upcoming event.
He spared a wary glance at his surroundings, and drew out a quite gasp.
The room was massive — definitely bigger than his room. The furniture itself resembled like stuff borrowed from the French Art Nouveau style. Certain objects shared a remarkable resemblance to French-European Christian Era. Colors of gray, silver, and brown mined with difference types of woods that he couldn't describe other than pine and oak. Flower pots with the same color scheme laid atop the stone pillars — each one of them aligned perfectly. The floor seemed to be cloaked on a gigantic and elegant rug — the luscious carpet was an abundance of fur sprawling around his shoes every time he took a footstep.
"Please, tell me this is not a dream," his eyes darted from the religious objects to the attractive and smooth paintings. There was no way in hell that this was the house where he'd spent his whole childhood.
Unless they moved out to another house.
He sunk his brows, shaking his head at the simple thought. He spun around to see on what he was sleeping on.
When his eyes locked upon the source of his coziness — they widened in horror.
A coffin was before him.
"Please tell me this is a dream!" he snapped loudly, walking backward until his back collided with the wall, not breaking eye contact with the funerary box. While the object itself was horrifying enough — for anyone who woke up inside of a coffin, that is — it was beautifully gleaming under the moon that streamed through the stained windows. It's faux-gold handles and polished sheen helped to reduce the trauma that he almost passed through.
All in all, a beautiful sight to behold.
He stared at his palm — a greyish-pale complexion of something that was supposed to be his hand, "I had tanned skin!" he screeched, stubbornly scratching the back of his hand in hopes this was a prank that involved a lot of paint, "What the hell is happening?!"
His eyes darted from place to place — desperate for answers. But they stopped once he'd noticed a painting — one that dominated the walls.
It was a family painting.
Unbeknown to him — he found himself relaxed as his legs automatically moved inched closer to the piece of art.
Once he'd stood face-to-face with the painting — his finger absentmindedly brushed over it.
It was wonderfully crafted to the point that he was doubting on whether this was a made by a brush or taken by a camera. Two grey-haired men stood behind a black-haired woman on a chair and holding close a boy who appeared to be on his teens — his hair and eyes were grey. All of them were beaming a smile.
The woman had a normal color on her skin compared to the three males who had a greyish-pale tone.
"Could it be…?" looking directly at the young boy in the picture then at his hand, he repeated the same process multiple times until he decided to pull a single strand of his hair, wincing at the interaction.
Pushing aside the short-lived pain, he focused on the strand of hair. It was gray in color — just like the people in the drawing.
"N-no way," he choked on his own weak laugh, "t-this must be a fucking dream or something…"
Yet, it felt so real.
"I heard someone!"
At cue, the doors were kicked open.
And out of instinct, he spun around in shock — back against the wall.
He felt a knob tied up on his throat as multiple eyes towered him. There were a huge crowd and a lot of mumbling! The worst part was that any of these faces weren't recognizable. Not his friends. Not his family. Not even his neighbors!
Their hair and eye color were also off-putting for a depressing place like this.
Wait. Was that a tail?!
"Holy shit…" The one with a barbed tail breathed out, slowly grinning in disbelief and joy, "Brina gonna shit herself once she sees this."
"W-what?" He croaked back, his eyes following the movements of his sharp tail. Brina? Who's Brina?
The more he looked at the man with the tail, the more he resembled at the woman at the picture — a male version of her. The same light, red eyes and black hair with streaks of red. He was wearing formal clothes.
"How was your journey in the Realm of the Dead, you shitty rat?"
To talk about death so nonchalantly. This guy was so chill.
He slowly gulped, unsure on how to answer, "… realm of the dead?"
It was obvious already.
"Out of the way!" A woman shouted from the crowd and people were roughly shoved aside, "let me through!"
He then saw the woman behind all the pushing followed by a gray-haired man stand in front of the crowd.
These two were the people in the painting.
"Y-you're alive…" his mind drifted back to the real world, focusing back to the shocked mistress.
"Excuse me?" he blurted out.
"Y-You're alive… alive!" trembling like a weak leaf — tears welled up on her face, her tough attitude slowly dismantling.
In the blink of an eye, the woman flashed and wrapped her arms around him, pulling him into a strong hug.
"Holy shit, what a grip!" He grunted and felt a hand ruffling his hair — it was the gray-haired man.
"If miracles exist, this may as well be one," the man kneaded his eyes, his laugh carrying mixed emotions, "I'm… I'm just glad you're alive — Dan."
Everything now made sense to him.
He died and came back to life.
Slowly, he looked behind his shoulder to stare at the boy in the painting — at himself. At his new body. At his new family.
At his new life.
It was like looking at the mirror at this point.
"I don't wish to ruin your moment sis, Big D," the man with the barbed tail drawled, thumbing behind his shoulder, "but we gotta take Little D to a hospital — better safe than sorry."
"Good idea, Uncle Coda," 'Big D' carefully placed a hand on the shoulder of the weeping woman, "mother. I need to take Dan to — !"
"I understand," she interrupted and tightened her embrace, "j-just a moment, please."
She reluctantly pulled back and grabbed Dan by the cheeks, kissing his forehead, "I-I missed you, sweetie. I-I'll see you soon, okay?"
Before Dan could come up with a reply, 'Big D' grabbed him by the hand and began walking, the shocked crowd slid to the side to not slow them down, "let's hurry. There's a nearby hospital of the Sitri Clan nearby."
"Sitri?" Dan repeated, earning a nod from him. He heard it somewhere, but he couldn't put a finger on it.
Yet — from an odd reason — he had it at the tip of his tongue.
"Yes, sounds familiar?" He gave Dan a side-glance, searching for a reaction. Sitri was a famous housecarl around the Underworld because of their advance, medical facilities — he must know it, right?
"...It's a devil, yes?" Dan answered after a pregnant silence.
"… What a slow response," the gray-haired man narrowed his grey eyes, looking back at the path and ignoring the looks of mild shock of nearby devils, "REALLY slow. He hesitated — as if he didn't know the answer. Maybe he's still in shock? He came back from the dead, after all. Or maybe… no. It can't be."
"Something wrong…?" Dan nervously asked at the taller man, looking everywhere but him, "we… we suddenly stopped."
"It's now or never," he dropped to one knee and sneaked his hands on Dan's shoulders, "Dan, do you know who I am?"
"… who are you?"
The answer stung his heart, "… Damn it," he hung his head low, "It seems his return came with a great cost… he has amnesia or something similar."
He felt hurt that Dan lost all his memories of their good and bad times together — but he pushed those gloomy emotions to the back of his mind. Dan was here, that's what matters. He only wished he could figure out a way to explain this to mom and dad without making the conversation uncomfortable.
Father would remain calm — but disheartened by the news. His mother was a different story.
"Who are you?" Dan repeated, firmly this time. He looked deeply at the man's features, now that he thought about it — and thanks to his memory slowly unblurring a little — this man looked somewhat familiar.
He had seen that graceful face — but not in person.
He had seen him in a cover page.
An anime cover page.
No… the cover of a Light Novel.
He offered a small — yet — saddened smile, "My name is Diehauser Belial, Head of the Clan Belial, and Champion of the Rating Game," his smile broadened at Dan's poker face, "welcome back from the grave, little brother."
A small, imaginary train formed out of nowhere and rammed into Dan at full speed, ruining the corridor with his scattered thoughts.
Back in the real world, Dan stood there, gently blinking on the spot — trying to process what he'd just been told.
In the end, the only smart response he could come up with was a flat — !
That's it. Yeah maybe a bit boring and short but you know, take it slowly and easy.
Honestly, I wrote this because I was bored and because I'm a sucker for SI, and since I didn't discover Self Insert's in DxD category, I was honestly baffled and of course, lore, expect a shit ton of lore.
Yes, I know, no need to remind me, I used the most overused race of all times. "Devil" but honestly, they're my favorite race in DxD.
But hey! At least I'm not using the Gremory Family! I'm using the House of Belial, which, I dare to say, I think I'm the first one to touch that mine of gold.
He'll have a harem. Not huge as Issei's harem — a small one of underused characters. It'll take some time for the ladies to show affection and interest. It won't have a big impact on the story, though.
No. Dan is not his name, it's a nickname. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if you guys know his name. It's cringy, I know.
My grammar is horrible, so expect to see in some chapters good grammar and the others… yikes.
Well, that's about it. Hope you liked it, Cheers.
Update July 9 2019: Totally changed Chapter 1 — made it shorter and less dramatic since reviewes weren't liking the way I had implemented the chapter. Maybe I made it worse, but meh. It's gonna stay that way.
There may be a few grammar mistakes, but I'll check on them later on. For now, I may make some tweaking on the next chapters. So, if you see something that doesn't match with the first chapter then try to ignore — it's getting an eventual update. Also, I had adressed a few times the main character as toddler. Remember, he's a Devil. That's all I'm going to say.
Apologies for any inconvenience. Good day or night.
Next Chapter: A World of Fictitious People