Hey! Let's try again, shall we? haha
I own neither DxD nor Bleach, I make no profit off of these chapters either. If only it was that easy...!
To live a life under threat of extinction, to feel as if you were nothing more than an insect with little control over the fate that was dealt to you, imagine the fear. Could today be the day we all die? Am I going to die today? A unanimous thought shared amongst Hell's general populace. Despite what the government claimed to be happening, everyone could see what was truly going on. Those in power could sense that more and more citizens were beginning to turn their accusing eyes on them and quickly sprang into action. With the words and hopes of the people, various lords and rulers approached the four great leaders in order to outline their concerns. It took no time at all for leaders to promise a solution, however as they could not promise anything, they kept their answers vague.
This eased the unrest of the citizens for the most part and all returned to normal… at least on the surface. Each of the leaders moved unseen in their own manners and searched desperately for a way to finally quell the fears of their people. It seemed to be an impossible task, even for beings great as them. Just as all seemed to be lost, as the subdued fears rose up once again… the leaders found their solution in the form of a grim miracle.
A miracle that despite solving their dilemma, planted an even greater worry in each of their hearts. This worry was what crippled one of the leaders and made it impossible for them to do anything worthwhile.
Lady Serafall Leviathan had been hit with not one, but two waves of devastating news. Her troubles began with the cruel Kokabiel, a member of an opposing faction; The Fallen Angels. He not only infiltrated Devil territory but he also caused an uproar by targeting devils within the territory as well as any humans tied to them. Serafall's baby sister Sona was one of the devil's affected by Kokabiel's warmongering rampage.
As if this wasn't bad enough, Serafall found out through Sirzechs Lucifer- her fellow leader. Sona hadn't called her to ask for help, she left her in the dark. Livid and slightly depressed, Serafall went dark amongst her peers and retreated to her parents home in the Sitri domain of hell for a period of self-repair.
"Nnn…" Sheets ruffled gently as the body beneath them shifted over, grabbed the ends, and pulled it down over their head.
Serafall reluctantly opened her eyes and stared through the semi-transparent satin sheets that covered her prone form. A frown pulled down at her lips as the invasive light of the sun illuminated her old room and cast shadows onto the dark blue walls.
'I wanna sleep more…' Serafall grumbled in her head as she tossed the sheets away. The mattress that supported her groaned when she pushed herself up, her drowsy eyes struggled to open in the presence of the light.
Long and straight black hair cascaded down her naked back, forming a sort of blanket against her bare skin. She locked her fingers together and stretched her arms out, the limbs fell limp into her lap shortly thereafter. Birds sang cheerful songs and medleys on the windowsill of her room as if they were trying to lull her back into her sleep.
"I wonder if Mother needs help today…? It's the least I could do for her putting me up." Serafall crossed her legs and grabbed her ankles, staring at the sheets that lay bunched up at the foot of her extravagant bed. The blue satin reflected in her watery blue eyes, a yawned slipped from her mouth which she covered with the back of her hand.
After she wiped the morning tears from the corners of her eyes, she swung her legs across the bed and planted her feet on the soft, carpeted floor. Once she mustered the energy up, Serafall leapt up from the bed and stood beside her bed. "Thanks to that Kokabiel, I've been all grumpy for the past week. If he wasn't sealed up I'd totally beat him up…"
She strode down the length of her bed, the sunlight briefly illuminated her naked form before she was once again shrouded in what little darkness remained in her room, still untouched by the early morning sun. Her tongue clicked against her teeth as she pulled across the large closet door and beheld the variety of clothes she could wear. "Hmm… this should be fine."
She reached her arm out and pulled down a light green sundress. With a spin, she shut the closet door and returned to her bedside where the dress was laid on top of the sheets. "I really should be going back to work soon though… I can't lock myself away forever. Who's gonna console Sona if I'm not there? Geez, she must be so shaken up." Serafall shook her head and knelt down to open the dresser that was pressed flush against her bed frame.
She hummed as her hands rummaged through her unmentionables before she pulled out what was required and dressed. Now decent, Serafall reached behind her head and divided the length of her hair with her hands, her eyes lingered on the ribbons that were used to tie it up. The devil tilted her head to the side before she released her hair and turned from the bed, "Nah, not feeling it today."
Without her usual pep, Serafall stepped into a pair of fuzzy white slippers and pulled the doors to her room open. She was greeted by a brilliant display of history, as the previous Sitri clan head portraits were hung all down the corridor. A pair of chandeliers dangled overhead, the crystals glimmered as the sunlight reflected off them to cast thousands of rainbow-coloured dots along the walls and floor.
"Hmph. I've always loved how pretty this place looks!" A grin replaced her earlier frown as she shuffled down the hall, "Let's see, Mother should be in the dining room right now." With a fluid turn, the young woman entered a separate room through a slightly ajar door. 'Ah- I know this smell…!'
Her shuffled movements quickly turned into hurried steps, the familiar scent of food drew her in. It wasn't just any old breakfast buffet, not at all, it was all food that had been prepared by her mother's queen, personally.
"Juri, when did you get home!" Serafall called out as she burst into the dining room, her eyes filled with excitement.
Much like the hallway she just left, the dining room was just as extravagant. It housed a long table with a blue cloth draped over it, tapestries and paintings strewn across the walls and hung from the rafters high above. Light flooded the room from the series of windows that dotted the outer walls of the room and cast shadows of whatever stood in its way.
"Ah… they must have left." Serafall frowned and looked around the empty dining room, "It couldn't have been too long ago, the food is still hot." She pulled one of the chairs out and sat down, her eyes locked on the silver platter of food. "I can never seem to catch them- it's like they're avoiding me."
As Serafall mumbled to herself, she pulled the cover off the food and began to poke at it with her knife. 'Eating alone sucks. It's no fun..,' Reluctantly, Serafall bit into a mouthful of the prepared dish. 'I wonder…' With a contemplative motion, Serafall wiped her mouth and held her hand out. "Let's see who's home today…"
She stared down her arm and focused her attention on the centre of her palm. Small bolts of lightning crackled to life from her hand and struck the ground, they quickly gave way for a surge of blue light. The room was bathed in blistering light for a time before it dissipated to reveal an elderly man dressed in a suit.
"Lady Leviathan, how may I be of service?"
"Tell me what's going on, y'know with that Fallen Angel and everything." Serafall turned her attention back to her meal and begun to eat once more.
"Well, with the intervention of the Hakuryuukou the disturbance was settled rather quickly. Both the heiress to the Gremory clan and Lady Sona escaped with minor injuries." The butler stood like a statue, doing as he was asked. "The Sekiryuutei has met his other half, which means that their battle is not far off. I believe that both sides have begun preparations in light of this."
"I see, and what became of the Fallen Angel? Was he killed?"
"No, Azazel condemned him to Cocytus for his imprisonment."
"He should have been killed…" Serafall shook her head and turned her head to the butler, "Don't you agree? He tried to hurt my little Sona- imprisonment is too lenient for something like him."
"..." Serafall eyed the elderly man at her side and stretched. "Truly, the fallen angels are a threat to our very existence- but Kokabiel… he was the rot amongst the mould. Thoughts?"
"You are not wrong, Milady."
"Nn…" She tapped her fingers against her chair idly in thought, her arms having fallen to her sides after the stretch. "You'd look really cute in a dress."
"If you believe so, Mi-"
"Enough! Geez, if you don't agree with me just say it!" Serafall snapped and all but leapt up from her seat. "You would not look cute in a dress! You're wayyy to scruffy! Like an old dog!"
"..." The aged butler watched Serafall in silence, gloved hands motionless by his legs.
"Ugh! Is it because I'm a Satan? Or because I'm your Master's daughter?"
"I beg your pardon, Milady?"
"T-That! Exactly that! I'm not your Master, nor do you serve me in any way. You don't need to be so formal with me!" Exasperated, Serafall spun away from the butler and returned to her seat with an exaggerated huff.
"You are angry because I'm showing respect?"
"With all due respect, that makes very little sense to me…"
"You're doing this on purpose aren't you?" Serafall hung her head and closed her eyes. 'All I wanted was an update… how does Mother put up with this stuffiness? I don't even know his name! Though he does feel familiar to me...' With vigour Serafall's hands clapped against one another, "I know- how about you forget that I'm… me… and just talk to me normally! Start by introducing yourself!"
"As you wish." The butler bowed his head and cleared his throat, "I, am called Edmond. Rook of Serenity Sitri's peerage."
"Okay, Edmond. We've made progress!" Serafall nodded and picked up the fork on the table in front of her. 'Edmond Huh? I can't put my finger on it… why do I know you?' She pulled her eyebrows together in thought before her vision shook in tandem with the shaking of her head. "Ahem… I'm Serafall- take a seat and eat with me. You're making me nervous just brooding over there."
"A woman in your position omits her last name during introductions? Your mother spoke the truth when she told me about your flippant nature." Edmond walked around the table and eyed the chair directly across Serafall. "Is there a particular reason for acting such a way?"
"Hmm…" Serafall hummed to herself as she cut away at the pancakes on her plate, "Nope~!" A confident declaration followed by a forkful of food effectively shoved the conversation back onto Edmond.
"I see. Are you certain?" Edmond reached across the table and took a hold of Serafall's glass before he poured some juice into it.
"Well, yuu shee- ish ipolite to tak wall edin…" Serafall rolled her fork-wielding hand around in the air as she 'spoke'. Once she was done she closed her mouth and continued to eat properly.
"Point taken." Edmond set the mug of juice down and grabbed a piece of toast from the platter slightly left of his seat. "I shall wait until you are no longer chewing- then I will ask my question again."
"Mmmm…" Serafall rolled her eyes as chewed for as long as she could before eventually swallowing. "Look- can we stop talking about my personality and talk business? I'd rather keep my private life… private."
"Alright- Lord Lucifer has made several requests to see you. None formal yet, so Mistress Serenity has refused every time. However, any child could tell that he wanted to see if you were okay."
"..." The blue-eyed devil frowned and stopped cutting the rest of the pancake in front of her. "O-Other news…"
Edmond watched her silently before he sighed, "The council wishes to know how your recovery is coming along. The current head, Lord Alchem, sends his regards."
"My recovery? What do they mean by that…? I'm not hurt." She looked up from her plate, curiosity etched plainly across her features.
"Lord Tirius claimed that you had returned home to heal after sustaining injuries while training with Behemoth- who threw his weight behind the alibi." Edmond wiped his mouth of the crumbs and stood up, "In other news, trades with other factions have slowed down since your disappearance. The lycans of London have all but cut off communications with us."
"Unfortunate. Yes, however, the relationship can still be salvaged." Edmond adopted a tone of faux-anxiety as he glanced at Serafall. "Assuming you still know how to do your job?"
"Hey! No low blows in this ring!" Serafall jabbed her fork out at the butler, who surrendered with raised hands. "Look- I get it 'kay? I'll suck it up and get back to work…"
"Listen, I understand that you feel left out," Edmond spoke quietly, his features softened at the sight of the low-hung head of his companion. "But you can't let feeling left out, kick you out. Do you know what I mean?" The soles of his dress shoes clipped against the pristine floor as he strode over to Serafall's seat before he pulled the chair out beside her and sat.
"Pass on the lecture- no offence, but I'm not really the type to listen." She turned her head and smiled at him, hands laid restlessly on the tablecloth. "I'm sure you've got all sorts of elderly wisdom in the scruffy little head of yours- save it for somebody that will remember it."
"Harsh. I do like your honesty though." Edmond shut his eyes and nodded in approval, "However, such an attitude is unbefitting of the unruly Serafall Leviathan. Stop forcing the smile, and smile."
"Urk… What is it with my mother's peerage? It's like she handpicked you guys to keep me going…!" Exasperation, usually foreign to the bubbly devil, flooded into every syllable as she tossed her hands up and huffed.
"You're not too far off the mark on that note- the newest members of her peerage are primarily tasked with providing assistance to both yourself and young Lady Sona. Members like myself, however, are usually stationed around the Sitri estate alongside Lord Tirius' peerage as sentries and guards."
"Haah. You're like a walking encyclopedia on everything boring." Serafall mumbled to herself, 'Tasked with this, primarily doing this… Geez! No wonder Sona went to school in the human world.'
"Would you prefer I tell you something interesting then? At least, I find it to be interesting." Edmond idly brushed off the shoulder of his suit as he awaited Serafall's response.
"Oh? Now you're talking sense- what's up?" She blunk away her boredom and peeled herself off her chair. "News about dragons? Or Magical girls. Oh! Magical girl dragons."
"I don't follow…"
"Nnn- remind me to teach you how to loosen up. Now, what is it?" Her hand waved back and forth as dismissed the butler's confusion.
"Lady Sona kept a shrine of you in her room up until her entry into Kuoh Academy," Edmond remarked while he watched the clock that hung high over both of their heads. "Upon her removal of it, she claimed that she 'wouldn't be caught dead worshipping her sister as a teenager. Far too embarrassing.' before she locked all of the paraphernalia away and handed Celest the key."
"Furthermore, She wanted to invite you to the Kuoh 'meet and greet'- something like that… however, after the debacle with Kokabiel, she felt that she missed her chance. Embarrassed, she chose to drop the subject as a whole and go without telling you." Edmond's right hand found the buttoned pocket on the chest of his jacket before he pulled out a neatly folded sheet of mass photocopied paper.
"Ah… I… Huh?" Serafall stared at the paper in utter disbelief, the characters for Family and School seemed to bleed through the thin white page for Serafall to see. "This isn't a… joke, right? I'll be super angry if it is!"
"I get nothing out of lying to you but pain- and I have no intention of willingly enduring any such thing." Edmond shook his head, cold eyes seemingly alight with honestly. "On my name, and position- this is no jest."
"Ah… Ah! I-I need to go! When is it?! W-What should I wear?!" Serafall felt emotions surge throughout her previously languished form before her mind seemed to settle on panic. "Mr Butler man! Please read this to me, I need to get ready!" In a hurry, Serafall slid the folded form back to Edmond and grabbed a slice of bread off a plate table. "Run and read, Edmond! Run and read!" She let out a peppy war cry as she broke into a dash out of the room.
"As you wish." The elderly Edmond watched Serafall run out of the room before he followed after her. As he stepped out into the main hall, his steps fell in time with Serafall's own. "Ahem-
'To all parents and guardians, you are hereby invited to attend Kuoh's annual Open House. You will be permitted to attend the classes of your child and or charge throughout the day, as well as discuss the course material and the current progress of said individual. Any further information will be provided at the post-opening orientation session. If you wish to attend, you must-' hm?"
"S-Shut up for a second!" Serafall cried out as she stumbled through her door, her long hair fluttered about behind her as she flung open her closet door. "Professional or casual?!"
"I beg your pardon?"
"Clothes, Edmond! Clothes! Does it specify?!" Serafall tossed what little she had tossed on upon waking up only an hour or two earlier, her head popped out from behind the door frame to stare at the bemused butler.
"There isn't nothing on the-" Before he could finish his reply, a gust of wind washed over him as the door to Serafall's temporary room slammed shut "Ah. She closed the door." He stared patiently at the door as he heard Serafall rummaging through her closet.
"No, No, No, No, N-Ah? No." Frustration emanated from behind the door, the barely audible sound of soft fabric falling and wood clattering were the only things that accompanied Serafall and her constant denial of outfit choices.
"I will continue…" Edmond raised the paper once again and took a breath-
"No! You shall not continue! I'm not even dressed yet!"
"Why must your lack of dress impede my ability to read…?"
"Just wait! It's harder to hear you talking with the door closed!"
An awkward silence overtook the grey-haired butler as he stood in front of Serafall's bedroom door, waiting for the go-ahead to continue reading.
"Ugh! Fine- nothing works so this will have to do!" A bright flash burnt through the calm dim of the hallway beyond the door, which prompted Edmond to raise a brow in curiosity.
He stepped forward and lightly rapped the door, once. Twice. After the third knock of caution, he grabbed the doorknob and opened the door a smidge to peer into the room. "She's gone."
The door creaked open as he stepped through it, and nimbly around the mass of clothes strewn about on the floor. He scanned the room, his pocket open as he idly slipped the paper- folded once more- back into his breast pocket. "Good luck, Lady Serafall…" Edmond knelt down and begun to gather the clothes in the room, starting to tidy up at least the majority of the mess Serafall made during her mania. "She'd best sneak in… save her and the young Sona a headache."
He held the gathered clothes in his arms and carried them over to the still open closet, before hanging it all up once more. "From a child to a Satan and she still can't clean up after herself… part of me worries for her future."
"Always the soft one, eh?"
Edmond's attention was pulled away from cleaning by the clear voice of a newcomer. "Ah, Lord Tirius." He hung the last hangar up on the rack and turned to face the tired looking man, "Please forgive me, I was not present to greet you."
"Don't worry about it- you're fine." Tirius smiled and wandered into the room, "Though I may need to have a chat with you about swiping my mail."
"Relax. As I said, you're fine. Just let me know in advance next time, I was about to scout the entire estate…" Tirius ran his fingers through his hair and sighed, "I planned on surprising her with that- it's a father's duty to make his daughter smile you know!"
"It's a guardian's duty to ensure the welfare of his charge as well." Edmond eyed his Master's husband and closed the closet door.
"Have we reached an impasse?"
"If that helps you feel better, then yes we have, Sir."
Tirius chuckled and waved his hand, "Fair enough, Mr Butler man. Follow me, Serenity is in the main hall- she wishes to speak with you."
At the mention of Serafall's pseudo nickname for Edmond, he visibly bristled clearly less than impressed with his unofficial moniker. "Tell my Master that I am on my way- let me finish cleaning up in here first."
Tirius nodded and raised his hand in farewell, leaving the door slightly ajar in his wake. Edmond lowered his head as the younger man left before he shut the door completely and leaned against the frame. "Pretending to be absent and leaving Serafall to me? What was the point of it…?" Worn eyes narrowed in a combination of confusion and suspicion.
The Leviathan's Berry
Serafall's eyes fluttered open as she stepped out from the fading light that had previously made up her magic circle. She had teleported without much thought as to her destination and found herself inside an empty gymnasium- despite still being somewhat out of sorts, Serafall could sense the presence of her sister nearby.
'Aha! I got the right school this time~' Serafall mentally cheered herself on, 'Sirzechs should be here too… I suppose I should apologize to him if I can find him.' Her eyes closed and she tapped her foot against the gym floor, both of her hands rested comfortably on her hips. "First things first though! I need to find my adorable little Sona and grill her about why I was left in the dark about this… maybe I should just barge into her class?" A knowing smile crept across her face while she turned around to face the entrance of the gym, where her eyes met with those of a hormone-driven teenage boy.
"Oh? Uh, hi! I guess…?" Serafall raised her hand in greeting, her smile quickly softened into a warm sort of smile.
"That's… a wand…?"
"Huh?" Serafall tilted her head in confusion before she followed his eyes to a pink magical stick that she had gripped in her hand. "Oh! Yeah, it's from a show, do you know it?" She took a step towards the boy, and he stepped away in return. 'Um… what am I supposed to do here?' Thrown for a loop by the boy's apparent concern, Serafall stood as tall as she could and began to think. 'I got it!' She struck a quick pose of triumph before she turned and ran towards the gym's stage.
"A...Ah! Be careful, that's uh… d-dangerous!" The boy stammered out as he watched Serafall jump into the air and land on stage, in a pose no less. 'That hat… the wand… the thig- I mean outfit... Could it be?'
"With love and friendship as my guide, I'll be sure to turn the tide! Magical Girl Serafall Leviathan here at your side~!" Serafall cheered as she threw a peace sign at the now blushing boy, her wand left a shimmering trail as she flourished it in front of her.
"H-HOLY CRAP!" The boy screamed as he fumbled to pull his phone out from his pockets. "T-This is unreal! Magical Girl cosplay… with a smoking chick under the clothes?! Legendary!" His fingers moved at a speed that would make any professional typist green with envy. After he sent what one could only assume to be a message, he quickly turned his phone and rushed the stage. "Pose! Please- I need this!"
"Hehe~" Serafall giggled as she complied with the boy's fervent request, "Anything for an adoring fan~!" Her words were drowned out by the stampede of boys, that had quite literally dropped whatever they had been previously doing, and rushed into the gym.
"Ugh- she's so cute looking!"
"All the pink!"
"IT'S NOT A GUY!"
A verbal storm of excitement rippled through the crowd as they all began to photograph the indulgent Serafall. 'I may be off my game, but I can still act like I'm not!' She grinned to herself as flash after flash shot out from the phones and cameras of her sudden crowd. Even as time passed, the crowd never shrunk; in fact, it actually grew. At one point, it looked as if it would never stop, and that was when everything came to an end.
Serafall's line of sight was obscured by the clothed back of another student, who had his arms stretched out to each side. "Alright, Alright, that's enough. Knock it off, everybody! We don't need this kind of commotion during Open House!" He was tall, with a full head of blonde hair, and even had an air of superiority to him.
'He seems to think he's important… maybe he can help me?' Serafall thought to herself as all of her newfound fans unwilling dispersed and left the gym. 'Ah, he's talking to me now?'
"...you related to someone at this school?"
"Mhm!" Serafall nodded her head emphatically, and the boy sighed in what she assumed to be relief.
"Alright, well, they should have told you that kind of outfit is unacceptable here. Please remember that this is a school setting?"
"Uh…" Serafall eyed the boy that had decided to confront her and winked at him. "Sparkle, shine, your command is mine! Ehehe~" She couldn't help but giggle as the young man struggled to maintain his stern expression.
"Stop that! I'm being serious here!" Any further protest from the boy was silenced as yet another boy greeted him, which pulled his attention away from Serafall.
'Hmm? Why does that other boy look so familiar…?' Serafall eyed the boy intently before her head spun towards the sound of yet another entrant into the gym. 'So busy… the human world is awesome!' She grinned to herself as the newcomer announced herself; much to Serafall's excitement.
"Saji…! What's going on in here?" A powerful and commanding, yet oddly soothing voice echoed from the lips of the newcomer.
"Ah, well you see-" Saji, as he was now called, began to answer only to have Serafall step around him.
"Sona, I finally found you! I mean, I haven't been looking that long, but finally!" Serafall exclaimed and hopped off the stage, the heels of her boots clicked with every hurried step as she approached her flustered baby sister. 'Play this cool, Serafall! Remember what Mr Butler Man said. She's, like, totally embarrassed that I didn't get to find out earlier… so I gotta play it real smooth.' The elder devil took a deep breath before she clutched her hands against her heart, hoping that in doing so, she would be able to calm herself; enough to function, at the very least. "H-How are you? It's been forever since we've seen each other, you look so different!"
"E-Eh…? I… Uh…" Sona, Serafall's bespectacled younger sister, could do little more than stammer in front of her sister. Why was she here? How did she even learn about this? Her eyes betrayed her curiosity and the thin frames of glass did little to conceal her amazement.
"Hehe~, bet you're wondering how I found out about this little get-together, huh?" Serafall winked and swung her arm out expressively, letting her wand pass over the remainder of the gym's occupants. "Well, it's because I'm your big sister! I know everything I need to know about you!" Her eyes lit up with joy as she watched Sona's cheeks begin to turn a light pink. "Uh, now that I think about it that sounds a little creepy doesn't it?"
"President? Do you know this woman?" Saji called out from atop the stage, his earlier conversation with the other boy had stopped not too long ago.
"Y-Yes, I know her." Sona cleared her throat and fixed her tie that was suddenly uncomfortably tight around her neck. "This is my elder sister, Serafall Leviathan…"
"Elder sister…? Really?" Saji titled his head and hopped down, wandering over to Serafall and Sona. "Well, it's nice to meet you I guess."
"A pleasure!" Serafall spun in place and took a hold of Saji's hand. "Thanks for keeping an eye on my baby sister, I know that she can be a handful at times!"
As they ended their handshake, Saji turned his back to Serafall and Sona as if he were preparing to leave, before his body froze in place. With breakneck speed, his head spun and his eyes stretched open. "W-Wait! That would make you…a s-satan! I just spoke down to a satan?!"
The bubbly Serafall giggled as Saji struggled to keep himself from melting down in the wake of what he thought was disrespect. She perked up somewhat as her sister muttered something behind her, although just too quiet to make out.
"You're the handful…" Sona muttered and turned away from her sister who had taken it upon herself to meet the others in the gym. "It's really bothering me, I know I told Edmond not to tell her- did he really trick me?" Her sisters' hyper greetings behind her only served to confuse her more, "At least she's not too excited right now… but that in itself is worrisome too." Biting her lip, Sona turned her head and watched her sister from the corner of her eye.
"...Issei, huh? You're the Red Dragon guy, right? Heard that you really gave Kokabiel a scare the other night!" Serafall grinned at the well-known pervert, who under the watchful eye of his King and Sona's friend, Rias, managed to behave himself more than usual.
"Haha… I guess I did. You know about that whole fight, huh? Did Akeno talk to you too?" Issei asked, his usual perverted blush still evident on his face despite the well-behaved front he was putting up.
"I was notified, however, Sirzechs was the one to tell me. Thankfully Tsubaki got a hold of me not long after that, so~ I can't be too grumpy…but I'm still super angry that that dirty fallen angel dared to threaten my Sona. I was THIS close to calling down the wrath of my ultra-sparkling special move on him…" Serafall took a breath and shook her head, "Clearly I was talked out of it, haha."
"Thankfully…" One of the girls behind Issei whispered, making Serafall giggle lightly.
"All things aside, why didn't ya tell me about this little meeting of yours Sona?!" Like a switch was flicked, Serafall turned her attention back to her little sister and left Issei confused. "You know I love spending time with you! I mean, being closer to you inatotallysexyway would be great, but this is fine too… so why?!" Serafall exclaimed, her eyes glued onto her younger sister. Her smile faltered somewhat as she mulled over what to say next. Eventually, she took a deep breath and continued, her stare losing its playfulness as it shifted into a soft glare. "You can't just leave me out like this and expect me to be totally okay with it! Mother and Father are one thing, but we're sisters! We're supposed to be closer than this…"
"I… I…" Sona stammered, Serafall outburst having thrown her for a loop. She may have acted cold and withdrawn, but she never wanted to see her sister upset with her like this; even if she was acting. "It's because… you always do this!"
"Huh?" Serafall flinched slightly as Sona snapped back, yet there was no hint of playfulness in her words. "I always do what? Show up? Don't just get mad at me like that, tell me what's wrong! How am I supposed to make you happy if you don't tell me what I'm not doing right..."
"What's wrong? Everything! Why can't you just act like a normal adult?! I thought you'd be fine today… you looked like you'd cleaned yourself up… but then you turn around and let everything go! Do you not have a filter? Leave Mother and Father out of this, we're in public! I don't care if you're a satan, but please control yourself a bit more!" Sona yelled, her eyes wide and hands clenched at her sides.
"I wasn't serious… entirely…besides, don't I have the right to be a little angry?" Serafall took a cautious step towards her younger sister, a nervous smile had replaced what was once a wide grin. "You did totally leave me out of this, it was hardly fair of you..."
"I left you in the dark because you always embarrass me! I love you, but, sometimes you're just too much for me to handle!" Sona couldn't stop the words as she spoke, they weren't meant to be as harsh as they were but she could see how deep every syllable cut into her sister. Serafall was the only person that could break through her stony walls so easily, "J-Just leave me alone, okay? I don't want to have this argument here…"
"We're not really having an argument, you're kinda just yelling at me…" Serafall drawled, her eyes shifted downwards with her words. "All I'm doing is asking you what made you leave me out of this. Don't you think you're overreacting a little?"
"I'm not overreacting! I-I'm sorry… I need be alone right now!" Sona snapped, her teary eyes blurred whatever face her sister was making now. All of the stress she had been bottling up, it was flooding out now… her sister didn't deserve this, Sona knew that, but she also knew that by staying here she wouldn't stop. With her mind on autopilot, she shook her head and ran out of the gym.
Serafall, along with the rest of those around her, were stunned in their places. Sona's outburst was so uncharacteristic for the young girl that nobody really knew what they were supposed to do, or say. After a few seconds of nothing, Serafall finally blunk away her stupor and clenched her teeth. 'I need to go after her…!' She announced in her mind and took off running in the same direction that her younger sister had taken moments before. 'Why am I so stupid? I knew that she would have been embarrassed by me just being here, and I went and made it worse!' She scolded herself while she ran. A quick snap of her fingers enveloped her body in a dull blue light which, when it dissipated, revealed a more conservative outfit. 'I think I'll draw less attention like this.'
Despite still struggling to understand what exactly set Sona off, Serafall knew for sure that she was the cause. Sona and Serafall were very different people; any random passerby would have been able to deduce as much, but the source of their friction lay deeper than their actions alone. Serafall, who didn't hesitate to give chase as Sona sped from the gym, was off the cuff in the most literal sense… while Sona was far more withdrawn and closed off. They did truly love on another, Serafall understood that even now, after suffering Sona's sudden wrath. The fact that her younger sister apologized was enough for her.
Even without the eye-catching cosplay, Serafall still drew more attention than she would have liked. Her lips pursed, eyes lock on the light imprints in the ground ahead of her. She couldn't afford to lose focus now… she had already messed up enough for her liking. 'Sona… where did you go?' With a quick glance at her surroundings, Serafall clicked her tongue impatiently and let out a heavy breath. "I don't even know where I am now… The gym is way back there." She glanced over her shoulder and scratched her head. "How am I supposed to find Sona here…? Ah! I know!" She clapped her hands together and shut her eyes, 'Come on… come onn…' Serafall searched for any sources of her baby sisters presence, and after a few moments, she zeroed in. 'A-ha! I got you!' With her path now revealed to her, Serafall spun in place and took off in hopes of finding her sister before she moved to a new location.
As she ran, Serafall once again felt her heart sink. The wind that blew across the path did nothing to soothe her, in fact, it only served to push her further down whatever hole she had found herself in. Her feet beat against the paved walkway, almost in time with the steady beats of her heart. She could feel Sona close by, she couldn't see her just yet but she knew that at the very least she was on the right path. Her pursuit led her onto the main campus, where she had to manoeuvre between the wandering families as they went about praising their children. Serafall's heart sunk even more when she saw this, she longed for an opportunity to be as close to Sona and her mother… to her whole family, as the people around her were with their own relations.
"Sona… I'm sorry…" Serafall whispered to herself as she came up to a door that was slightly ajar. Her hand nervously grabbed the handle and pushed it open fully as she stepped out of the morning sun and into the controlled air of the storage room that her sister had taken refuge in. Her eyes adjusted quickly to the dim atmosphere of the room which made finding her brooding sibling easy. Sona had claimed a dusty box in the far side of the room for her resting place, and she was clearly lost in her own thoughts as she made no acknowledgement of Serafall's entry. "Ahem… Hey."
Sona flinched as Serafall's words replaced what was once silence, she wiped her face and tilted her head away from the door. "What do you want…"
"I just came to check on you, it's been a while since you blew up like that haha…" Serafall rubbed her arm as she walked further into the room. "I think you were ten when it happened last? Mother had just grounded you for breaking her vase… your tantrum was so adorable." Her words were barely above a whisper as she slowly approached the box that Sona was sitting on.
"Why do you remember that…? I didn't even think you were home." Sona sighed and leaned back, her eyes stuck to the wall in front of her.
"Nope! I was the one that got you out of punishment~" Serafall reached out and settled herself next to Sona, her hand placed gingerly on her shoulder. "You don't think she changed her mind because you yelled at her… did ya?"
"Well… I guess that makes sense." Sona subconsciously leaned into her sister's touch, letting her head fall lazily against Serafall's shoulder. "Listen, I'm uh…"
"Shh, it's fine." Serafall quickly silenced her sister and lightly tapped her forehead. "You're not totally wrong, so I'm not upset. Just remember that it's my job to embarrass you, I am your sister after all~"
"Being my big sister gives you the right to embarrass me…? Wow, I never knew you did it intentionally." Sona muttered, a slight smirk spreading across her face as she imagined the look of confusion her sister had undoubtedly made.
"Hey now, I don't always do it intentionally! I mean, I tried really hard to be mature in there today!" Serafall complained and pinched Sona's cheek. "I don't get any recognition for that?!"
"Nope, 'cause you still embarrassed me." Sona chuckled lightly as she brushed her sister's fingers away from her cheek. "You get points for trying though..." She continued, her head slipped off Serafall's shoulder and landed in her lap. Surprised, Sona just stared up at her equally shocked sister and smiled.
"Well, at least I got something!" Serafall returned Sona's smile and began to carefully brush the hair away from her face. As she thought about what to say next, Serafall simply enjoyed the time that she had with her sister. "So, Edmond gave me the letter. I wouldn't be here otherwise…"
"I figured." Sona frowned and closed her eyes, trying not to let her satisfaction show. "I can't lie though, I am glad you're here… even if I didn't express it that well back in the gym." She felt her cheeks begin to burn as she remembered the full extent of her little outburst in her now clear mind. "I really acted like a child back there, didn't I?"
"Erm… maybe just a little." Serafall held her thumb and index finger up in front of Sona's face. "But it's okay, I love my cute little Sona, regardless of how spoiled she is~" Her two fingers gently pinched the tip of Sona's nose. "Besides, you put up with me… that has to stress you out."
Sona didn't respond at first, instead, she chose to snuggle closer into her sister. After a few moments of comfortable silence, she finally spoke again, "It's okay… it does stress me out, but… since it's you I don't mind."
"...!" Serafall's breath hitched, her hand froze mid-brush so some of Sona's dark locks were still wrapped around her slender fingers. "Sona…" She managed to squeak out after collecting her thoughts. Sona stirred in her lap, she quickly sat up and turned to face her sister head-on, a look of concern on her face.
"S-Sis…? What's wrong? You seem upset again…" She frowned, her nerves running on high in front of the unreadable Serafall. "If I said something weird just tell me, I'd rather it not become a habit."
"Uh-uh… it's not that." Fingers dug into fabric as Serafall gripped the dull green of her dress, her lip quivering as she struggled to swallow whatever emotion she was feeling and trying to conceal. "I knew that you would come around one day…"
"Come around? What are you talking about…?" Sona tilted her head in confusion, the light overhead shone off her glasses.
"Don't worry Sona! It may be forbidden, but I won't let anyone deny our love!" Serafall exclaimed and tackled her younger sister, arms wrapped possessively around her body as both of them rolled off the box and fell to the floor.
"S-Sera?! What are you doing!" Sona cried out in surprise, her verbal protests were swiftly quelled as her face was pulled into her sisters bosom. "Mmpmh!" She struggled against the vice-like grip that her older sister had caught her in. Her arms began to flail as she fought to inhale while trapped between the cloud-like peaks that sat on Serafall's chest.
"Ooo~ I'm so happy you finally accepted my feelings Sona!" Serafall squealed as she loosened her grip on Sona and pulled her in for a normal hug… which Sona hesitantly returned. "Sorry I'm always causing you trouble, I'll try to be less of a pest." She whispered into Sona's ear as she rested her chin on her sister's shoulder. A soft smile was the expression of her choice as she spoke, her fingers softly gripped Sona's back.
"Eh? You're not a pest…" Sona whispered, having calmed down now. "I never thought of you as one… what I said back in the gym was just heat of the moment. I didn't really mean any of it." She felt Serafall's hand tighten against her back and gently rubbed her hands against Serafall's in response. "... I have a class after lunch." The words felt unnaturally heavy to her, for some reason she was embarrassed, but she pressed on nonetheless. "You could, uh, watch if you want? It's just math, so nothing really exciting. I understand if you don't want to."
"No, I'll go." Serafall cleared her throat and pulled away from Sona, "Let's have lunch too, okay? I wanna catch up with you." Sona nodded, and Serafall rose to her feet. "Great! Let's go then, your treat!" With a lighthearted giggle, she made for the door while Sona sat on the floor watching her.
"Sis, are you okay?"
The sudden question caught Serafall off-guard, like a deer in headlights she froze in place. She couldn't help but be thankful that her back was turned, as the bright smile everyone she loved was so accustomed to was nowhere to be found. 'Damn. I shouldn't be surprised, I guess. Little Sona knows me better than anyone…' She pressed her tongue to the roof of her mouth to try and distract herself from the disappointment that she felt in herself. 'Kinda embarrassing that I can't even act like myself haha… well, round two I guess!' With newfound ground to stand on, Serafall spun around energetically and winked at Sona. "I am totally~ fine! Just a bit tired from work, not to mention hungry! Hint, Hint, Sona. I want food."
Sona's concern melted away in the face of her sister's sudden change in behaviour, she wasn't fooled by the mask- but she knew that Serafall wouldn't talk about anything she didn't want to… and trying to make her talk was nigh impossible. So, she decided to play along with a small smile, "Fine, you glutton. Let's head to the cafeteria." She pushed her crooked glasses up straight and walked up to Serafall, linking their arms.
"Hehe~ affectionate, huh?" Serafall teased as they left the storage room, arms entwined. "I like it."
The Levithan's Berry
Back inside the lonely halls of the Sitri estate, Edmond knelt respectfully before the seat of the beautiful Serenity Sitri, mother of both Sona and Serafall. His eyes were closed as he patiently awaited Serenity's voice, his curiosity warred with his self-restraint as he ran through countless scenarios in the mess of his mind. From outside the room, Edmond could hear a gentle tone as it danced down the corridors. 'Juri must be in a cheerful mood this afternoon, rarely does she play the piano…' He mused as the notes came to a sudden stop, which Serenity took as her cue to speak.
"Edmond, pardon my rudeness, but you seem to be fading away more and more with each passing day." The cold, yet still inviting blue of Serenity's eyes almost glimmered as she turned them downward onto Edmond. A gentle click sounded out as she set the porcelain teacup down on the platter beside her seat. "What's bothering you?"
"It's…" Edmond glanced up at his master and King, his steely grey eyes were practically drowned in her own watery orbs. "Lady Serafall, her behaviour as of late is what's been concerning me. I tried to help her out of her slump through conversation, but she's very much like Lord Tirius…"
"Yes, she is quite the hyper one isn't she?" Serenity smiled and brushed some of her black locks away from her face, "So your talks didn't succeed, maybe that means that she doesn't need any help overcoming whatever is afflicting her?"
"If I may speak freely, Milady?" Edmond tore his eyes from Serenity and found interest in the floor once again.
"I'm aware you have both of your children under surveillance- and you know that I watch over them as much as I am able…" Edmond began, nimbly changing his position so that he was sitting directly across from his King. "Because of this, I know that you're watching the two of them at the academy right now. Knowing what you do, having seen that; can you really say that she doesn't need help?"
"..." Serenity eyed her Rook with a mysterious smile, her fingernails tapped monotonously against the wooden arm of her chair. "What, exactly, do you think I know?"
"That she's struggling to balance everything. Sera- Lady Serafall is not without fault, and she has nobody by her side to help deal with her faults. You were no different, Lady Serenity." Edmond resisted his urge to stop talking, despite it being the proper thing for him to do. "You can't just sit back and watch her juggle responsibilities she never really wanted in the first place."
"You're being awfully conscious of my daughter's struggle." Serenity mused and crossed her legs, a hefty sigh escaped from her lips shortly thereafter. "You're not wrong, I am aware of her problems, and as her mother; I am worried about her. Yet, I have also reconciled with the fact that she is a grown woman. I will not coddle her as if she were still a child, nor will I spoil her as my husband does."
"Coddle…? How is helping her through this, coddling her?" Edmond narrowed his eyes, genuinely taken aback by what his mistress had said, "She's clearly depressed, even if she doesn't want to admit it herself. You need to lighten up, please."
"I asked, would you? If you were in my shoes, would you lend Serafall a hand? Be honest now." Serenity smiled down at her Rook, patiently awaiting his reply as she took another sip of her tea.
"We're not talking about me…" Edmond shied away from Serenity's prying eyes as they bore into his flesh, almost like little needles extracting the truth that he refused to speak. "We're talking about a mother and her daughter."
"We're talking about two leaders here, her title comes before her name. It's an unfortunate, but true fact. There are some things that we just have to take in stride." With a simple wave of her hand, Serenity stood from her seat, her long black hair cascading down her back like water. "Now it's your turn to answer a question of mine, Edmond…" She whispered, each syllable accentuated by the click of one of her heels until silence overcame the two devils. She crouched down, held Edmond's bearded chin between her fingers and forced their eyes to meet, "Why do you still care so much about Serafall when she barely remembers you? Your lack of a proper response earlier just proves that you hold some sort of grudge."
"I bear no ill-will towards Lady Serafall, please don't make any accusations that claim otherwise," Edmond spoke in monotone, his steely gaze quivered beneath the weight of Serenity's cold, icy glare. "I care about her solely as a guardian, that is the role you appointed me to after all."
"Oh spare me, Edmond. I called you in here because you're closer to Serafall than I am, don't try to pull the wool over my eyes… it won't end well." A scowl emphasised her words, the grip on Edmond's chin tightened as a non-verbal threat, "I have many of my peerage watching my girls, just as Tirius has many of his… you are the only one that goes well beyond the call of duty."
"...Yes, Ma'am." Edmond forced the words from his throat, his gloved hands clenched tightly by his calves. "I apologize."
"Good, now then, back to our original topic. Serafall is old enough to handle herself, I refuse to intercede in her life to fix her problems." In a single, fluid movement, Serenity released Edmond's chin and rose to her full height. "Now-"
"Please, just talk to her." His heart sank as he interrupted Serenity, her silence was not reassuring to him whatsoever. "I understand that weakness is what you loathe the most, but she is your flesh and blood. At least greet her the next time that she's here."
Edmond risked a glance up at his mistress, and the look of neutrality on her face sent his mind into a tailspin. In his younger years, keeping a straight face would have been no problem whatsoever for him, he'd come across people like her on a near-daily basis…in fact, he once was like her. Cold, and calculating, always putting his interests first before others. Yet now, in the twilight of his life, he truly understood how frightening such a grey individual was. A harsh refusal would have seemed kinder to him, anything but the cruel nothingness that she currently exuded.
"As you wish, Edmond. I will speak with Serafall this evening upon her return to the estate, but I will not pry into her emotions. I leave that to you if you really care as much as you let on." Her arms crossed as Serenity spoke, eyes shut in contemplation. "This conversation has made me forget why I originally called you in here, however, I feel like your condition is closely tied to that of my daughter's."
Edmond remained silent as Serenity spoke this time, he refused to run the risk of punishment should he interrupt her again. Once her voice faded away, he rose to his feet and found her staring directly up at him. Momentarily stunned, he stood stock still as Serenity turned her back to him and returned to her seat. "Why do you place my well-being over that of your daughter…?" He eventually managed to squeeze out, "What makes me so different?"
"Haah…" Her head lulled into the back of her chair as he spoke, eyes flicked up to the ceiling as an expression of frustration. "If you must know, it is because I chose you. I employ you. If you suddenly rebel on me, how would that reflect on the Sitri name? At least if I can claim insanity on your part, the blow would be considerably lessened. In regards to my daughter? You could say that I am happy so long as she is alive, Serafall; and Sona for the record, are far less maintenance than any of member of my peerage." Once her words stopped, her head lowered and her azure eyes seemed to sparkle in Edmond's direction. "We're done here, for now, I will send for you later should I require your assistance."
"..." Edmond stared down at his King before she waved towards the door, an order with which he had no trouble following. 'She's grown so cold since that day… it's hard to imagine that she was once the spitting image of the woman Serafall has begun to grow into…' His sullen thoughts fell unheard as he left the room, and Serenity behind him.
Footsteps echoed down the extensive halls of the Sitri estate, Edmond's feet led him towards the servant's wing for, in his eyes, a well deserved time of solitude; should no other members of Serenity's peerage be present. At present, Edmond doubted that he could speak well of his mistress, as the others always do. Even his shadow trailed lazily behind him as if Serenity has sucked any life out of it. Save for the occasional flicker in the presence of direct sunlight, it remained fairly stationary.
Eventually, Edmond stopped mid-stride and turned to face one of the many windows that lined the brick walls of the wing he stood in. The glass prevented him from embracing the cool winds that whistled throughout the flourishing garden far below him. His hand was pressed flush against the glass, eyes locked on the city far in the distance. 'She worries out of necessity. That isn't my Master, she may wear her skin and speak with her tongue… but I will not acknowledge her as my Master. I guess I really have grown soft haha…'
"M-Master Edmond! Come quick, it's an emergency!"
In an instant, Edmond pulled his hand from the window and his head from the clouds, "Mikhail…? What is it?" He wiped away his longing for the past with an expression of concern, reflected on the young boy that stood breathlessly before him.
"Behemoth attacked a visiting group of nobles, L-Lady Juri is trying to remedy the situation b...but he demands to see you…!" Mikhail stammered, his wide eyes filled to the brim with worry, "A-Are you coming?!"
"Yes, Yes. Go tell Juri that I'm on my way, I won't be too long." He took another look out the window and nodded as he spotted a group of unfamiliar devils on horseback running for the main gates. "I have a quick message to deliver."
"O-Okay! Don't take too long M...Master Edmond!" Mikhail turned and ran back down the hall that he had just come from.
"Those 'noblemen' seem awfully young to be touring the estate…" Edmond mused to himself and held his hand out, a dim blue light began to glow underfoot while he stared at the group of young nobles. In a blinding flash of light, he was removed from his place within the manor and found himself standing in the damp earth that was between the heavy front gates. He could see the horses as the galloped ever closer, yet he made no move forward to stop their advance. Instead, he held his hand high above his head and began channelling his magic. "Let's see what you four did to rile that poor guy up…" He whispered to himself as a loud rumbling filled the air, the ground behind him had begun to fissure as a great wall of thick, ice rose high over Edmond's head. Even from his spot at the gate, he could see how confused and afraid the noblemen had become… watching them start to scramble brought a faint smile to his face. 'I can help Serafall this way, at least…'
The horses came to a skidding halt and bucked the four young nobles off which sent them face first into the mud. With loud, frightened neighing, the horses reared up and leapt away from the danger that they had come so close to. Each of the boys pulled themselves from the mud and turned their eyes up to the sky, which had suddenly become crystallized. What they thought was crystal continued to span what they could see of the sky until everything was an off shade of white. Their teeth began to chatter as the temperature dropped drastically, frost had settled on each of their shoulders.
"There's an old saying that my mother used to relay to me when she was alive, that is." Edmond cleared his throat and lowered his hand, the all-encompassing ball of ice fully shut around the five devils. "To taunt a wolf is to tease death, to taunt a bear is to challenge it, is to challenge death. But to taunt the unknown is to invite it. Do you know what I mean, boys?" He asked softly as he knelt down before what was quickly becoming four trembling mounds of frost.
"N-N-No, S-S-Sir…" One of the boys chattered out, his lips a dark shade of purple.
"It means to mind your own business." Edmond rolled his shoulders and pulled off his tailored coat to drape it around the four huddled boys. "Wrestle with what's in your reach, learn from what is just out of it… but turn your eyes away from whatever doesn't belong to you." After standing, he rolled his white sleeves up to his elbows and crossed his arms. "Now, what exactly were you four trying to learn by sneaking into the estate? The faster you talk, the quicker you get to go home. Take too long and… well, even Devils can die of frostbite."
Terrified, four heads turned to each other in near-perfect unison before they shot back up at the scowling butler. Their gulps were audible as frost began to pile uncomfortably high around them, and as if a pin was dropped, all four screamed their answer at the same time; "Spying on Leviathan!"
Edmond scoffed and let the ice cage he had summoned melt away, his glare growing more intense in the wake of the boys' confession, "I see, so you're trespassing without viable cause? Then you can consider yourselves prisoners… at least until your parents come to retrieve whatever is left of you. Now you'll have to excuse me, I must clean up the mess you four have created." With his words weighing the boys down, Edmond waved the nearest guard over and quickly explained the situation. Shortly thereafter, he teleported once again, this time to the back of the estate where Serafall's Queen was currently boarding.
Sitri Estate, Frozen Garden.
"SILENCE!" A booming voice tore out between a sea of frozen branches, the once vibrant trees quivered beneath the powerful voice. "You think I care that they are children? They dared to insult my King!"
"I understand that however, you can't just go eating the people you disagree with." To counter what seemed to be an unstoppable force of power, a softer voice rose in the air. "You discuss your grounds of disagreement- hmm?"
Owners of both the voices fell silent, their attention quickly diverted to the frozen path upon which Edmond was slowly approaching. His uniform was slightly dirtied from the 'scuffle' with the noble boys from earlier, but he was otherwise unchanged.
"Edmond! Tell Juri exactly what needs to be done to those boys! Never in my life..." Behemoth turned his raging red eyes down to the visibly exhausted butler, his horns cast long pillar-like shadows along either side of Edmond.
"The only thing that must be done as of this moment, is bringing those children back home. I came across them on my way here and gave them their due punishment for trespassing. Further disciplinary action is not required." Edmond glanced back at the colossus and then turned his attention to Juri, Serenity's queen. "I left them in a shivering mess in front of the main gate, leave Behemoth to me."
"Haah... " Juri glanced at both men before her, eventually she nodded and walked down the path Edmond had just come off of. "We'll talk about your off-the-cuff punishments later. Get Lady Serafall's pet under control for now." She hissed at Edmond as she pushed passed him. Her long, silver hair swished in time with her strides until she was out of sight.
"Oi! I heard that, ya frosty bitch!" Behemoth howled, his gargantuan 'hands' making the very foundations of the Sitri estate shudder as they came crashing down. "In my eyes, you ain't no better than those cock-eyed noble shits!"
"Your barking just proves my point, Mutt. Watch your tongue before I get it in my mind to neuter you." Juri froze in place and shot a furious glare back over her shoulder. Despite the anger on her usually tranquil face, her voice was still collected. "Your oafishness got in the way of my downtime, don't push me any further."
"Now, Now… with all due respect; please calm yourselves." Edmond spoke up and moved into the crossfire. "There are bigger issues to deal with right now."
"Silence. Don't try to get between us." Juri's arm shot out and pulled Edmond to the side. "If the one-trick pony wants to throw a tantrum; let him. I don't mind putting him in his place." Her words were like sparks, and Behemoth was the fuse.
"HA! Don't make me laugh pipsqueak! In what world wouldn't I kick your ass?" Behemoth let out a confident scoff as he straightened himself out. Standing tall, both Edmond and Juri had to crane their necks to follow the ascension of Behemoth's head.
"All of them. Aside from physical prowess, you're little more than an overgrown lapdog for Lady Serafall to play with." Juri refused to back down, instead, she unfurled her velvet-like wings and rose to Behemoth's apex. "Stop acting like you own the place."
"OH! I ACT LIKE I OWN THE PLACE?!" Behemoth howled, crevices began to form beneath him while his voice grew louder. "HAVE YOU MET YOURSELF?!"
"You needn't yell at me. Your voice is obnoxious enough when you're talking normally…" Juri rubbed her temples to try and numb her now raging headache. "And keep your saliva in your mouth, if I wanted a shower I'd have taken one."
"At least I didn't go grey at five hundred…" Behemoth grumbled to himself, Juri bristled at his words. "No wonder you're such a pain in the ass. Ya can't get any… and you ain't the type to beg." His amber eyes bore straight through Juri's wide silver eyes.
"Bite your tongue before I tear it from your mouth, Cretin." Juri's beautiful silver eyes grew harsh and narrowed in the face of Behemoth's comments. Much to her pleasure, and Behemoth's chagrin, it was now the latter who was taken aback.
"Cretin...? You're really high on that pedestal today, ain't ya." Behemoth narrowed his eyes and found his hands tightening into fists. "It's like you're askin' me to kill ya. If that's the case… I have no problem floorin' ya right here."
"I dare you." Juri challenged, moving closer towards Behemoth; "Lady Serafall isn't here to save you this time… so make sure you really want this."
As the two devils glared directly into the others fury, a wave of tension that was almost tangible washed over the estate. If something wasn't done soon, the two of them were sure to get into a fight, and frankly; the Sitri estate couldn't handle another civil war amongst peerages. Irritated, Edmond closed his eyes and pressed his palm against his heart. "There has to be a better way to do this…" he murmured to himself, eyes glued to the back of his gloved hand. With a bit of effort, Edmond channelled some of his magic into the centre of his hand and transferred it through his chest and into his heart. With a jolt, Edmond's body shook and he fell to his knees with a noticeable thump. His eyes were wide open, and an uncomfortable tingling sensation crept across his prone form.
"Edmond...?!" Juri snapped, her glare broke at the sound of her subordinate face-planting in the yard below. "Are you alright?!" In a flash, she was digging her heels into the tough earth to slow her momentum, her eyes set on the still form of Edmond.
"Little buddy! What's wrong!" Behemoth exclaimed, his voice once again reverberated across the entire estate. "It was those brats! They gave him a heart attack… Oooo~ Imma kill 'em!" A loud huff took flight as Behemoth prepared himself to go after his earlier source of aggression.
"Can you shelve your stupidity for five minutes? If those boys did this to Edmond, Lady Serenity would have discarded him long ago." Juri frowned as she lifted Edmond into her arm, her hand moving to his throat. "Take him to the infirmary, I'll go after the boys like we originally agreed upon."
"Like hell! I ain't lettin' those little shits get away!" With stained fangs bared, Behemoth growled down at Juri. "Just 'cause you don't see him as a friend don't mean I don't! I'm goin' a-"
"Enough! This property belongs to the Sitri clan, not the holder of the title 'Leviathan'! Don't forget you are a guest here, Behemoth." Juri snapped and cut the giant off, who had little trouble complying with her rude request. "You will take Edmond to the infirmary, and wait with him."
Behemoth eyed the two devils below him, his eyes rolled as he waved off Juri's assertion. "Fine." A bright light erupted from his body, only to fade when Behemoth spoke again. "But I'm doing this for my little buddy, not for you." Having shrunk himself down to a more manageable size, Behemoth knelt down and lifted the unconscious Edmond into his tan arms. "Those brats better be gone by the time Ed wakes up."
"As do I, it means less of you." Juri stood up and nodded at Behemoth who, while significantly smaller than his usual form, still towered over her form. "Get going, and keep an eye on him. If you let my subordinate die I'll be gifting lady Serenity an exotic rug for her next birthday."
"Ha! I'd make a horrible rug!" Behemoth chuckled to himself, practically blowing Juri's threat off as he made for the infirmary in the west wing of the estate.
Juri watched him for a time, unblinkingly. "He says that like it's something to be proud of…" She muttered and shook her head. "As I said, good for little more than his strength." Once Behemoth was out of her sight, Juri spun on her heel and made for the front gate. "What a day… it was meant to be my day off as well…"
The Leviathan's Berry
Far away from the internal conflict of the Sitri clan, Serenity's daughters had just reunited after the youngest daughter's class.
Sona, unaccompanied by her queen Tsubaki, fought off her blush with her usual stoic expression. The looks her classmates were giving her after meeting Serafall were unbelievably embarrassing. "Even though you changed for me… they're still leering." She whispered to Serafall as they left her classroom.
"Hehe… sorry, it's not like I'm tellin' em too!" Serafall rubbed the back of her neck sheepishly, she was still wearing the business-like outfit that she had donned when searching for Sona.
"Nn…" Sona shrunk as they stepped into the busy hallway, "Ahem, look. About earlier, I've had a lot going on… and you just showing up was kind of unexpected so… please forget I said anything okay? I'm not usually that open."
"..." Serafall smiled warmly down at her baby sister, her eyes eventually turned towards the nearest exit. "I have no idea what you're talking about." She felt the tension flood out of Sona's body almost immediately. "But when you are ready to bond again like that… for real, just let me know."
"Sis…" Sona stared at her sister, a small smile on her face. "I will. Let's strike what happened early from the books."
"Hehe, mmhm! Means I get to coddle you even more~!" Serafall's giggled, her arms wrapped around Sona's slender frame and pulled her into a hug. "So, that was your last class of the day, right? Can we go on like, a sibling date now…?"
"S-Sibling date…? What are you talking about!" Sona blushed and squirmed away from the affectionate Serafall. "We'll do no such thing!"
"Awh! Don't be like that; we've gone and poured our hearts out to each other! We're super close now, can a crèpe or four really hurt?!" Serafall pouted and rested her hands on her hips.
"Crepes…? What kin- no! You won't trick me into accepting just because I love crepes!" Sona held her finger out accusatively, her eyes locked with Serafall.
"Tch… almost had you." Serafall's head fell forward defeatedly, "One day, I'll get you to accept my love. I know you have it too!" With true conviction, Serafall made her claim and matched Sona's accusatory pose. "Bet on it, baby sis!"
"Don't bring that up! Forget it, that part of my life never happened!"
"I'll find the shrine… I stake my title on it!" Serafall grinned and lowered her finger to cross her arms. "I'll make it a monument in my estate… that'd be pretty cool." Her head nodded alongside her delusions, every word brought more red to Sona's blush.
"Do-...?" Sona's retort was cut short by her own curiosity. Slightly ahead of the siblings stood her friend and rival, Rias, alongside her elder brother Sirzechs. Both of them were politely keeping their snickers and giggles in check. The blush on Sona's cheeks grew hotter and she wondered how long they had been there for.
"Ah! Rias, Sirzechs!" Serafall waved happily at the fellow devils, who waved back. "How have ya been, you two? It's been a while!"
"And who's fault is that?" Sirzechs, Serafall's fellow Maou, raised his crimson eyebrow with a knowing smile. "I've been well though, Rias, on the other hand, has been doing amazing! Her marks are truly impressive!"
"Urg… hehe…" Ashamed, Serafall flinched at Sirzechs' words before her face lit up. "Sona too! I'm so proud of her~!" Once again, Serafall glomped onto the object of her affection.
"That's great to hear!" Sirzechs smiled and pat his sister's shoulder, "Rias, why don't you go grab some lunch with Sona? Serafall and I need to talk for a while."
"Eh…?" Rias' blue eyes widened in surprise, taken aback by her brother unusually serious tone. "S-Sure." She nodded and cross the hallway to meet the sisters. "Ahem, Sona?"
Having heard Sirzechs earlier, Sona nodded and Serafall regretfully released her. "Sure, let's go… I'll meet up with you later." Her eyes drifted to Serafall's before she left with Rias.
"Bye~ have fun!" Serafall waved at the retreating teens before she reluctantly turned to face her red-headed companion. "Eheh… I'm in trouble aren't I?"
"Of course you are." With a nod of his head, Sirzechs led the nervous Serafall out of the hall. "I hope you're ready to work. Hard."
"You make it sound like I have a choice…"
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