~Threat to the Balance~
There can be no life without Order. Good-Evil, Darkness-Light, there must be balance in the universe. Such is the decree of the Charred Council, ancient entities charged by the Creator himself to preserve the very fabric of existence. The Council was drawn to the conflict between the armies of Heaven and Hell, who waged an endless war. In time, both of the great armies came to honor the Council and it's laws, for they knew that if they were to oppose the Council's will, none would survive against the swift and terrible justice of their enforcers: The fearsome Horseman of the Apocalypse known as War, Fury, Strife and Death.
But who are the Four Horsemen who loyally serve the Council? To know those names, another must be known first. Nephilim, a cursed union of Angel and Demon. The Nephilim put countless realms to the sword and burned them to ash, but four amongst them grew weary of the slaughter and feared their conquest would imperil the Balance. And so a truce was made: The Four would serve the Council in exchange for unimaginable power. Thus were the dreaded Horsemen formed. And the riders' first task was to purge their own brethren from Creation, to annihilate the Nephilim and destroy their souls.
That battle was won eons ago. With the Nephilim purged from Creation, a third kingdom was now forged on a planet called Earth, a Kingdom of Man. The Council foretold that these weak, but cunning creatures would someday be integral to the Balance. And thus by the order of the Council, a truce was forged between Heaven and Hell. The great pact was bound by Seven Seals to be broken at the appointed time when Man's kingdom stood ready for the Endwar, a battle that would bring balance and determine the ultimate fate of the three kingdoms.
However, in recent years, plots and schemes were forming to break the truce between Heaven and Hell. Most of the time, it was the dregs of the Second Kingdom who tried to do so, but even the Angels of the First Kingdom were not so innocent, for several in the White City wanted to start a war against the demons and they too suffered the Council's wrath. But now that the Council knows from one of their Watchers that unknown powers infiltrated into the world of Man, the Council decided to take action and this time be more subtle in their approach than usual, which is an extreme rarity in their line of work. And so they called for the Four Horsemen, but only one was required to listen to what the Council has to say, at least this time. That listener was usually the leader of the Four. The pale rider known by many names across Creation: Kinslayer, Executioner, just to name a few. But there is one that is most feared of all the names, one that he chose for himself…
"Death!" The middle head roared. "What excuse do you have this time to take so long to answer our summons?!"
"We were slaughtering the savages that invaded the Makers from planet Xetora. By your orders, if I recall." Death pointed out in sarcastic and sassy tone.
"Be that as it may, our summons are not to be delayed for a moment, pale rider!" The third, narrow head threatened, but Death shrugged and ignored it's threats. They threaten the horsemen all the time, especially Death, yet they all got used to it and knew they were bluffing. For they are their enforcers after all and killing them would be a grave mistake in their part.
"What would you have us do?" Death asked.
"You know of the law that binds the three kingdoms to the pact of the Seven Seals! Yet angels and demons alike defy the law at every turn, something you are already familiar with!" The middle head said.
"There have been reports of the two realms infiltrating the kingdom of Man, usurping its natural evolution and threatening the very destruction of humankind." The second, horned head said.
"And what do the horsemen have to do with it? We are not errand boys or assassins!" Death frowned angrily beneath his mask.
"Judgment will be enforced on the wicked rider! But for now you must be more subtle in your approach and discover the truth behind the veil of deception!" The third, narrow head said.
"Consult with your fellow horsemen. One will be enough for this mission. Do what you must to enforce our will Death!" The middle head said.
Death silently nodded before he turned around and departed, descending down the stairs.
"One more thing, pale rider." The second said, prompting Death to stop and raise his eyebrow beneath his mask in curiosity, his back still turned at the Council. "You are also aware that all passages to the Third Kingdom have been sealed or destroyed. You will have to be innovative in how you are going to reach the Earth, without bringing any attention on yourself."
"As always." Death groaned slightly to himself as he departed without looking back once, using the portal to reach the surface of the volcanic world that the Council reside.
After he left the cave leading to the portal at the heart of the world, he found War, Fury and Strife waiting for him.
"So, what orders did they bark out this time, brother?" Fury said in slightly annoyed tone.
"They gave us a stealth mission in the kingdom of Man." Death pointed out.
"Kingdom of Man?" War said as he raised his eyebrow in curiosity.
"What business would the Council have there?" Strife asked as he was casually spinning his trademark guns, Redemption and Mercy.
"The Angels and Demons somehow made their way on that planet undetected and are hiding among the humans. The Council said that only one of us will be enough for this task." Death said.
"I will be the one to carry out their judgment. Allow me to travel to Earth." War insisted.
"War, have you forgotten what happened the last time you went to Earth? You wiped out an army of humans and you almost killed Fury." Strife pointed out.
"Yeah, subtlety is not in your dictionary War." Fury frowned slightly as she was well aware of that day that nearly ended her life. If it wasn't for Death taking the blow of War's Chaoseater, that would have surely been the case.
"Bold words coming from someone who slaughtered an entire planet of demons for attempting to kill Rampage." War retorted.
"As if you wouldn't have done the same if they tried to kill Ruin." Strife said casually, while Fury couldn't help but chuckle in amusement.
"At least i'm not pathetic as to let my rage on those hairless simians of all the species across Creation. They already slaughter each other in many ingenious ways, they don't need you to speed their extinction." Fury smirked a bit, while War only sneered slightly at his sister, which only added to her amusement.
"That's enough bickering." Death said sternly before he glanced from Fury to War. "Given your history, you were never the subtle type. And your anger management issue may prove to be a liability for this task." He said coldly before he turned towards the other two horsemen. "Strife, Fury, decide which one of you will go to Earth. I have no intention of playing hide and seek with demons and angels." He said before he turned around and was about to depart.
"Is that task too much for you, brother?" Fury teased.
"Yeah, I have some important mission waiting for me with the Bone Giants in the Kingdom of the Dead, those bastards are again going rampant. Plus they make for a good target practice." Strife said as he pointed Mercy in front of him.
"This is the order of the Council! They did not asked us to do this!" Death shouted angrily as he pointed at his fellow horsemen.
"That was also the order meant for you, Death." Fury smirked as she tilted her head in slightly playful manner before she turned her back on her brother. "Sorry, I have some stalker hunting to do on the jungle world of Hadrion." She said as she combed her wavy, dark-crimson hair.
"You do realize you will lead those stalkers to extinction if you keep it up? It would lead the world's denizens to planetary revolt." Death pointed out.
"You think so low of me, brother. I would do no such thing." Fury teased in sassy tone as she departed.
"Where do you think you're going?!" Death frowned angrily.
"Where do you think?" Fury shrugged as he departed.
"Sorry brother, I have a job waiting for me in the land of corpses. Take care." Strife also left, leaving Death with their youngest brother War, who did not look happy.
"Don't look at me, I have an 'anger management issue'." War said in sarcastic tone as he departed with his brother and sister. War just had to punch Death in the nerve with that one as he clenched his fists angrily and his body trembled as he let out a low, angry growl, his left eye twitching in frustration.
"If they weren't my kin… Bah! Fine, I'll go!" Death barked in frustration before he stomped his way in other direction. "It's like I'm babysitting a trio of newborns." He grunted.
"Death!" Strife suddenly called out. Death turned to his right and quickly looked up at something falling in his direction. He instinctively grabbed the unknown item and saw that it was actually one of Strife's guns, Redemption.
"If you ever get tired of swinging those scythes of yours, give it a few rounds for me." Strife said.
"No need." Death said bluntly as he threw back Strife's gun, making the gunslinger himself catch it as soon as it was within reach. "Besides, I would hate to drag your corpse from the Dead Kingdom because you played games with a single gun." He said before he departed afterwards, making Strife chuckle a little.
"Suit yourself." Strife shrugged in amusement as he departed and sheathed Redemption. Despite his dry and sardonic quips, Death cared about his fellow horsemen, though he would never openly admit it as he was well known for his cold and merciless personality. He is Death after all, there's no room for fuzzy emotions for someone like the Reaper.
So it turns out that Death had to take the stealth mission, albeit begrudgingly. Sometimes being the leader of the Four Horsemen and the most powerful rider mattered little when the three of them make unanimous decisions. But now he has to think on how to reach the Earth without drawing attention on himself. After he thought about several solutions, one was on his mind that might actually work, with a right price.
He traveled to the nearest trading planet of Ultherius, one of many planets across Creation where travelers across the universe come to bargain for various items, ranging from food, vehicle parts, clothes, from common trinkets to powerful artifacts and other commodities both common and uncommon alike. But it mattered little to Death as he knew that in planets like this, there was a certain someone who he knew it would draw his attention and this person was not really known to be standing around in the crowded places like this. After venturing deep into the jungle and slaughtering a few pestering predators that foolishly tried to chew on his body, he finally found a small cave deep in the jungle, with dangling runes from the ceiling and a circular glyph burned on the ground.
"You can come out now, Vulgrim." Death said strictly.
A few moments later, an all too familiar demon of greed hovered from the circular glyph. Vulgrim, a devious demon merchant of the damned. Death really doesn't like having to deal with demons, but Vulgrim proved useful in the past several times. Admittedly, for a demon, he always honors his end of the bargain, probably due to the fact that he is a merchant. And like any trader out there, pay him a significant fee and he will uphold his end of the deal. Another fact is that if Vulgrim is crazy enough to try and bamboozle Death of all people, the only payment he would receive from him is a scythe between his eyes. Something like that occurred more than once over the span of countless centuries, and fortunately Vulgrim is not as stupid as those insane souls that no doubt fuel Death's weapon right now.
"Greetings horseman, and welcome. I've been expecting you." Vulgrim said.
"I have neither time nor desire for pleasantries. I need to use your Serpent Holes to reach the Kingdom of Man." Death said strictly.
"And why would you think that I would venture there? As far as I know, the Council forbids all the demons from setting foot on that planet." Vulgrim said, not even bothering to hide the truth.
"You can't fool me Vulgrim. You have these accursed runes placed across Creation. If it weren't for your expertise as a merchant, I would have destroyed each one I came across." Death said coldly.
"You wound me horseman with such harsh words." Vulgrim said in sarcastic and shrewd tone.
"You are not the only demon who disobeyed the Council and ventured to Earth. I have business there with the rest of your kin, which is why I need you to take me there. Do this, and i won't drag your corpse to the Council." Death said in a low, dead serious tone, but Vulgrim remained unfazed as he merely snickered slightly.
"I guess you caught me with my hand in the cookie jar. Very well rider, the Serpent Holes are yours… for a price." Vulgrim said as he gestured with his hand for payment for his services. Death didn't hesitate to do just that, having already gotten used to Vulgrim's silver tongue as he took the Boatman coin and flicked it at the demon, and Vulgrim caught it with a mischievous grin spread on his face. He then gestured for Death to enter the Serpent Hole, to which he did.
After about a minute or so of traversing the dimensional path, Death and Vulgrim have arrived on Earth, emerging on the spot in the hill well hidden from human eyes, where they had a good view of the most of the city they saw in front of them.
"Where are we?" Death asked.
"We have arrived on Earth, in an island state called Japan. And the city you see before you is called Kuoh Town. Quite a peaceful sight, don't you agree?" Vulgrim smirked.
"I doubt that." Death said bluntly before he departed towards the town.
"Not so fast horseman." Vulgrim said as he quickly hovered in front of Death. "You should know that humans have a phobia for… supernatural. I doubt they would be glad to see you in all your glory." He said shrewdly, but the pale rider knew exactly where he's going with that statement.
"A disguise, is it?" Death sighed slightly before he turned towards the merchant. "Fine, go ahead." He said, but Vulgrim just stood there and grinned at the pale rider. Death groaned slightly as he tossed a small pouch full of gold at the merchant.
Satisfied, he conjured a human disguise and handed it over to Death. The rider immediately assumed his disguise and Vulgrim conjured a large mirror for him to see. In his disguise, his long black hair was the same like in his normal form, except for his face. Quite an ironic twist for his face to appear handsome, cleverly concealing his true, ice cold demeanor from the eyes of others. It's not the look that he will get used to anytime soon, but it will do as to not draw suspicion from the nearby populace. His size was about the same like in his normal form and as for the earthling clothes, it consists of blue pants, black shoes, black jacket with gray hoodie and gray shirt.
"This disguise will do for now." Death said before he departed towards the city.
"Until next time." Vulgrim bowed before he retreated into the hidden crevice beneath the tree and disappeared into the glyph below.
"Dust, search this city. See if you can find any power that is not human." Death ordered. Dust squawked once before it flew towards the city.
"Now we will see why Vulgrim chose this particular town to set his little shop." Death thought as he departed on foot.
Death walked across the city for about two hours, trying to find any unusual anomalies or suspicious activity of certain individuals. So far he found nothing, the people of this city were doing their daily routines: Going to work, playing with children, drinking beer, nothing new for him, they are behaving like most civilizations on planets he visited. He made his way on the roof of some of the buildings where he would have a better vantage point. After about half an hour of ceaseless hunting, Dust squawked as he perched on Death's shoulder.
"You found anything?" Death asked curiously.
Dust squawked once in response before his eyes went green, along with Death's, meaning that the bird was telepathically transferring images of the school ground that he flew over, where he detected unusually high powers. The bird didn't know who specifically emanated with that power, but it was a good lead for Death to commence his search.
"Show me the way to this school." Death ordered.
Going all incognito, Death descended downstairs and followed Dust's lead, going through a dark alley which is apparently a shortcut to their destination. But the moment he started to go in that direction, he knew that trouble always stirred in these situations. Wouldn't be the first time if that happened.
And just as he had suspected, he heard a few cackles and laughters as he stood in the middle of wide area well hidden from nearby passengers.
"Huh. Here comes the welcome party." Death said to himself as about ten lowlife thugs surrounded Death.
"Well look who decided to take a shortcut." One of the thugs said.
"Man, they always fall for it." The other thug said.
"What's wrong, pretty boy? You look a little pale." Third thug laughed.
"He probably shit his pants already." Fourth thug laughed too.
All their incessant laughters and taunts are really getting on Death's nerves, but it still amused him how they are so damn oblivious to his true identity, as are most of the humans in this world.
"Now now, settle down. First we go with the routine, then with the beating." The bulky thug leader smirked, apparently the leader of this pathetic gaggle. "Alright big boy, hand over everything you have and we might let you leave with a bruise or two." The big thug chuckled as he cracked his knuckles.
"You have till the count of five till I break every bone in your body." Death threatened coldly. However, the thugs merely ooed mockingly in unison and then laughed at his threats.
"Really now? You look like you'll break your own bones instead toothpick." The big thug laughed, with one of the thugs near him giving him a high five.
"You hear this guy? Man, he's in for a good beating." The other thug mocked.
"Oh no, he's gonna do it, he's gonna do it!" A third thug faked out his fear, resulting in more laughter.
"Alright alright alright, settle down, settle down." The big thug leader said, with Death breaking the count as he thought he was actually going to let him go. "Alright listen, since you are the big bad tough guy around here, let me give you a deal: If you can knock me out with a single punch, then I'll let you go. If you don't, me and my boys will beat you so bad you wish you were in hell." The big thug said, but Death couldn't help but chuckle in dark humor and amusement.
"I've been to hell multiple times. It is idiots like you that end up there as playthings for demons. Especially lowlife thugs like you, you make for delicious chew toys for the Traumas." Death stated as a matter of factly.
"Man, the nerve on this guy. Prepare to meet death, bible boy!" The big thug cracked his knuckles and laughed before he threw a right punch.
Death casually sidestepped and darted forward, delivering a crushing punch on the thug's face. Much to the shock of the entire group, the leader was sent flying and crashing hard onto a wall.
"Don't think that I'll show you pathetic wretches any mercy." Death said coldly as he glanced at the ten thugs around him.
The first thug shouted as he charged at Death, but the rider casually elbowed the first thug, beating the breath out of him and knocking him out. He then kicked the second one in the face, also knocking him out. The third one charged at him with a knife, but he caught him and threw him like a ragdoll on the fourth one, sending both of them slamming on a large trash can. Death stood upright and glanced at the fifth, sixth and seventh thug glancing at each other. The three of them attacked in unison, but against the pale rider, it was useless as he grabbed the two thugs by the throat and headbutted the middle thug hard. Then he jumped above the middle thug and slammed the two thugs he had in his grip hard on the ground, creating a tiny crack on the concrete, knocking the breath and consciousness out of them. The last three thugs shook in utter horror as this slender man was far stronger than they have expected. Seeing that they are losing badly, they decided to escape, but Death has only just begun as he grabbed a chain from one of the unconscious thugs and swung at the feet of the fleeing thug, pulling him before he could escape. Then he used his Death Grip to grab the ninth one and pull him back, sending him flying in the air straight towards the rider. The thug screamed as he was about to hit Death right on, but the rider readied his fist and punched him hard as soon as he close, sending him flying again and landing right inside a trash can, immediately closing by itself. The eight thug tried to crawl his way due to his feet wrapped in chains, but Death stomped his head with just enough force to knock him out.
Then Death turned around as he found the tenth and final thug shaking uncontrollably like a leaf. Even though he pointed a gun at him, he was utterly horrified, scared shitless to do anything.
"Boo!" Death said out loud, making the thug scream like a little girl as he dropped the gun and sprinted as fast as he could away from the monster that was the unknown slender man. With that coward out of the way, he turned his attention back to the leader of these thugs as he slowly stomped his way to him. The thug was slowly regaining consciousness before glaring daggers at the slender man.
"Why you…" The thug growled angrily.
"Your first mistake was standing in my way. The second mistake…" Death said grimly before he was enveloped in purple, soul-like aura. "Is the belief that you will leave this place alive."
Then the thug's face was filled with unimaginable terror as Death assumed his Reaper Form, towering above him in all his unholy glory. Not hesitating for a moment, he grabbed the thug's small frame with his bony arm and threw him in the opposite direction, making him slam onto a wall away from anyone's sight. Having enough of toying with this weakling, Death conjured his massive blade Harvester and swung above his head, ready to kill the poor man and take his soul.
"No, no! NOOOOOO!" The big thug screamed at the top of his lungs like a little girl as Death swung his scythe downward.
Back outside the alley, four cops were eating donuts and drinking coffee without a care in the world, until a panicking thug ran towards them.
"Help, heeelp!" The thug screamed, latching onto the officer's shirt for dear life. "M-m-m-m-monster! There's a monster in the alley!"
"Hey, you are one of those thugs who were giving us trouble in the past month. Get him in the car." The officer said seriously as he pinned him on his patrol car, but the thug didn't even bother to resist as he was too scared to do it.
"You two, with me." The officer said as he pointed at his two colleagues and ran towards the valley, where poor passengers were often cornered before they get completely robbed and beaten badly. They were a pain in the rear for the cops for a good while, but much to their surprise, the entire gang was knocked out unconscious, with the exception of their leader, who was sitting in the corner and shaking like a leaf, almost as if he stared death in the face. Boy were they right in that moment.
"Please! Please help me! Take me to jail, put me in the electric chair, I don't care! Just take me to jail!" The leader cried like a baby as he latched on one of the policeman's legs for dear life.
"Get him out of here!" The officer shoved the thug aside as the other two officers placed the cuffs on the leader and took him away. After they made a good distance, the officer looked around him at the devastation left in some kind of grand brawl.
"Geez, what could have happened to make him so terrified? It's like he saw a monster from a horror movie or something." The officer said worryingly. It was really strange and concerning that a thug with his reputation would be reduced to a shrieking crybaby. But before he could think any further, the two of his colleagues came.
"What are your orders sir?" The cop man asked.
"What do you think? Round up these criminals and put them in a car, I want this case to be finally closed." The officer said from the distance as Death casually made his way forward, cracking his neck left and right and sighing slightly in relaxation.
"That was a good stress reliever." Death said before he glanced at his crow. "Now back to the mission at hand. Dust, lead the way!" He ordered, with the bird perching on his shoulder squawking once before he flew in the sky.
In truth, the moment he came to Earth, he was very frustrated that he was forced to take this task due to War, Fury and Strife casually pinning it on his back before leaving just to avoid their mission. It's not like he was thrilled to take this hide and seek mission himself. But after beating those thugs, it gave him the necessary exercise and a good stress reliever before he could fully concentrate on the mission given by the Charred Council. Now that he was relaxed, mostly, he now departed to this school that Dust showed him.
It was almost 3 PM before Death reached the gate leading to the school grounds from what looks like the academy of a sort.
"This is the place?" Death asked the crow, with Dust squawking once in confirmation. Then Death looked to his right at the square, ornamented letters fixed on the brick wall.
"Kuoh Town, Kuoh Academy… go figure." Death said to himself.
Then the school bells rang and it wasn't long before the students left the building for a fifteen minute recess. Death didn't want to attract any attention, so he decided to lean on one of the trees and overlook the situation.
"Hmm, most of the students here are females, while the males are few in number. Strange, I guess recent events allowed the males to commune in this academy as well." Death thought curiously.
He doesn't care in the slightest that beautiful girls surround him and even some of the girls giggling at him as they were passing by. The only thing he was focusing on is discovering even the slightest sign of fear of discovery on one of the few people who were eyeing on him. But much to his annoyance, he found mostly resentment, probably out of jealousy, a common thing nowadays. Admiration, backed up with comical shapes of hearts in their eyes, mostly from the girls who drooled at his handsome face, making Death smirk in amusement as he closed his eyes. Mostly at the fact that if he were to show his real self, then screams of terror would surely follow, something that he approves more than being genuinely liked, which is a foreign feeling for a being like himself. But when the girls started to scream girlishly, Death clearly made a mistake as he already made a fanclub of girls.
"If this keeps up, I'll have Dust peck both of my eyes out." Death thought in utter annoyance. Almost as if Dust read his mind, the crow cawed once. "You wish I was serious." He said to the crow, but Dust merely clacked his beak once, almost like a tease attempt to peck his eye out. Dust is lucky that Death is nonchalant with his companion, for if it was any other avian that wasn't linked with the pale rider, Death would already flay the bird and animate it's skeleton for laughs.
"Look, it's Rias!" One of the girls said excitedly.
"Oh my god, its Akeno!" The other girl said.
"Damn man, look at that hot body!" One of the male students said.
"Now what?" Death said to himself as he tried to find the source of all the commotion.
When he looked to the left, he found two beautiful girls. One with the flowing crimson red hair and the other girl has black hair tied in long ponytail, making the rider raise his eyebrow curiously. These two apparently stood above the rest in this academy, both in looks and in reputation, judging by the reaction of the other students. While the two girls were passing by near him, the crimson haired girl looked at him with sky blue eyes and gave him a gentle smirk that oozed with grace and maturity. After those few moments of eye contact, she looked away and continued walking with her friend to the school building.
"Suspicious." Death said to himself as he frowned seriously. Those two girls were too beautiful. Judging by their charming faces, busty chests and curvaceous bodies, he could only deduce that they were succubi. Only they could cause so much admiration and lust around them, even in disguise.
"So Rias and Akeno? I'm going to have to keep an eye on you two." Death thought grimly before he departed from the school grounds. He already found two suspects among the demon horde. Angels are yet to be found, but it would seem that yet again he will have to start rooting out the demons first. They were always too obvious for their own good.
A/N: Yeah i know i know, i can already hear people yelling. "Why is there no War story?! He's a badass too, why doesn't he get the story already?!" I know, i know, i was really really thinking about making War the main character of this story, since he really is a badass in his own right. But when i read the novel when War slaughtered a human army and almost killed Fury, that was when i opted for Death instead, since War is not the low profile type, despite being the most honorable of the four. I know nearly every story is revolved around Death, but let's just see how this story will go :)
As for Death's wargear: Executioner's boots and gloves (yellow bone version), purple Nomad's shroud and Sorcerer robes (yellow bone version with purple cloth). His scythe appearance is the Soul Reaper scythe. I know there are a lot cooler designs of other scythes, but this one fits the wargear that he is wearing really nicely. There are other scythes that came to mind, like level 1 scythe, Chaos Fang etc, but Soul Reaper scythe is my pick.
Hope you like how this story started, see ya in the next chapter :)