Here you go everyone, start of the next Arc. Also, just to let all of you know that the chapters from now on may be shorter comparatively but I will be updating more frequently.

Regarding the fight scenes in the tournament, after reading the comment, I decided to go summary style. There will be a fight or two which I will elaborate but I will focus more on Naruto and one other person.

On a compete side note, after much deliberation, I finally opened an account on 'the site that shall not be named'. Just to be clear, regardless of the status on that site, I will alwaysupload my fanfic stories here. The only reason I opened an account there is to see how far I can go with my writing. So if you feel like treating me to a coffee you can search me 'AlphaDreamer' on the 'site that shall not be named'

Disclaimer: Do not own Naruto or High school DxD; except for the story concepts.

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Calm before the Storm

I

Elemental Academy

"Finally, it is here."

Issei patted his chest and looked around. From the perspective of an innocent bystander, it looked like they were having a festival. The classrooms, the halls, the stalls… the whole campus was decorated with vibrant colors; and conflicting designs. For example, some classrooms were decorated in a gothic fashion, then there were some that followed adult themes… he was definitely going to check those out. And then some were decorated by the students from the Heaven faction… they looked quite plain when compared with others. But the best part was that the students did not need to follow the dress code for these few days.

That was why, instead of a school festival, it looked more like they were hosting a Halloween party.

Even the adults dressed up to match the mood.

But he could see it, the tension amongst the students behind their joyous faces. And Issei knew he was not the smartest person meaning if he could sense it, then almost everyone could as well.

And today was just the opening day. He wondered how stressed everyone would be tomorrow when the actual tournament starts.

Issei sighed as he started walking aimlessly. He wanted to check out the adult theme stores but the Phenex bastard beat him to it, "I will go there once the dickhead leaves."

To be fair, the tournament could have been held today. In the morning, there was the opening ceremony where Khaoss introduced the judges and called out the names of the participants. It was a very short and on-point speech. He liked it.

But what came as a surprise, to everyone from what he saw, was that Menma and his group would not be participating in the tournament. Even today, they did not come. From what he had heard, other than the rubbish rumors, that they were sent on a mission given to them by their principal himself.

Few were put off by the news, but he welcomed it. He liked Menma. After all, Issei got some valuable life lessons from him during his chat with him, something that Issei would not forget. But he also saw how fast Menma took down the Phenex Bastard. It took him seconds whereas it took ages for Issei and Rias. Of course, at that time, he was focused on something else… the sensual poses made by the copies of the ladies from Riser's peerage. What a fabulous technique it was.

"I wonder if he would teach me that technique."

Issei cleared his throat behind his hand to hide his perverted smile.

Still, when Rias explained to them later about the fight, he got goosebumps. Distraction, and then a strike or two to take down the opponent… like an actual assassin. Needless to say, Issei was not looking forward to fight against him.

And now, he did not need to.

But Menma was not the only one on his list of 'I am fucked if I face them alone'. There was Sairaorg as well. Issei knew he was stronger than before. But he was not the only one who was training. He could tell Sairaorg was as well.

"Why can't we have a tournament where it is not focused only on the fighting?"

"Good point you have there, boy."

Issei screamed his lungs out, turned around with his 'Boosted Gear' out, and took a fighting pose. While he was proud of his reaction speed, he would never admit that he screamed like a girl just now.

"Did you just scream like…"

"No!"

Issei puffed his chest out and glared at the men who sneaked up on him. But when he realized who they were, he immediately straightened himself.

He recognized the first man easily, a tall man appearing to be in his twenties with an average build, black hair, golden bangs, and a black goatee. There was no one in the academy who did not know this man.

Azazel, the leader of the Fallen Angels and Grigori, who was also their Chemistry teacher.

The second man was taller and more well-built than Azazel. What was eye-catching about him was his waist-length, spiky silver-white hair tied into a ponytail. At first, he did not know who he was but then he saw the forehead protector with the kanji for 'Love'.

It was the legend himself, the one true harem king, Jiraiya.

Issei immediately started searching for the book in his spatial inventory. And the moment he found it, he took few steps forward, and did a perfect ninety-degree bow with the book held in front of him, "I am a big fan of yours, Jiraiya-sama! Can I have your autograph!"

For a second, no one made a sound. And then, Jiraiya started laughing as he gently took the book from him, "What did I say Azazel, action always speaks louder than words. And Issei, was it, it is always nice to see a fan of mine."

Issei tentatively stood straight, and let out a huge smile when he saw his idol sighing the book.

"'How to be a Gentleman Pervert', earlier edition as well," Jiraiya mused, then he turned to Azazel, "How many of these you had to order for your subordinate again?"

Their teacher, Azazel made a sour look, "Yes, you are an established author, but I still don't acknowledge you as the 'True Harem King'."

"But he is, isn't he?"

Issei immediately clammed his mouth shut when the two of them turned to him, one was looking at him with mirth and the other with a deadpan look.

"A true king does not need himself to announce it himself, the people will do it for him," Jiraiya said in a very deep voice, and a second later, burst out laughing, "You are alright, kid. Here," He took out another book from his rather small pocket, "You will like this."

When Issei saw which book was it, he felt like Christmas, his birthday, everything came early. It was the book he was trying to get his hands on, 'Trials and Hardships of a Harem'.

"Thank you so much!"

"Don't mention it, kid. But I would appreciate it if you keep it down," Jiraiya smiled, "I don't think your classmates, especially your peerages would appreciate it if they saw you with us."

Issei blinked a few times before the words finally registered in his mind.

Azazel was not just a teacher. In the upcoming tournament, he was also one of the judges. Rias deduced that one person from each faction would be appointed as a judge since it was fair. But she was proven wrong. There are only three judges for their upcoming tournament. Azazel – the leader of the Fallen Angels, Vishnu – The Hindu God of Protection and Preservation, and finally, Yasaka – the Queen of Avalon Kingdom.

And Issei was talking with one of the judges before the tournament.

It was still okay since Azazel was known to be free-spirited. But the problem was with Jiraiya.

To Issei, Jiraiya was the author of his beloved books and the director of his all-time favorite series. But to Rias, he was a hostile youkai from the Avalon Kingdom. But Issei could not see it, not after he heard the full story. Of course, he could not voice out his opinion to Rias, and definitely not anywhere in the Devil Faction's territory. But surprisingly, Sirzechs, Rias' brother, agreed with him.

"Now look, you scared the poor boy."

Issei saw Jiraiya giving Azazel a not-so amused look, "I am stating a fact, a problem. And then," Suddenly Jiraiya was covered in smoke. And when the smoke cleared, "I am giving him a way out."

Issei blinked again. Instead of a six feet plus, well-built middle-aged man, there stood a simple-looking teenager around his height. Even his hair was a darker shade of his own color.

The transformed Jiraiya then gave Azazel a pointed look, "Now, do you think anyone would comment if they saw two teenage boys talking about girls?"

"In that case, let me join in," Azazel chuckled and then turned to Issei. The smile the leader of the Fallen had on his face was something Issei saw many times. It was a smile of an experienced salesman, "Now Issei, would you like to hear about the ways and the teachings of Harem kings?"

Issei knew he was smiling from ear to ear.

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X

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Somewhere Unknown

Rizevim looked at the people down below from the balcony of his enormous penthouse. He would have liked a villa of his own, in a slightly more secluded place instead of at the heart of a city. Still, he could not complain much since above all safety came first.

This penthouse was connected to quite a few all around the world. With just a thought, he could teleport the whole place to the other side of the planet. And one of the advantages of living in a densely populated area was how easy it was to cover his tracks.

Of course, for someone of his station, he also required some luxury. His current place was completely furnished, the way he liked. Now he needed some servants. Rizevim smiled as his vision zoomed in on a group.

He always had a thing for black-haired women.

But his joyous mood was short-lived as he felt him approaching his place.

"Always a spoilsport."

The first thing his brother, Solomon, did after he landed on his balcony was to look around. It was not to appreciate the beauty of his place but to inspect the security of it. Rizevim felt his lips twitching. If there was another being more paranoid than him, it was the devil standing in front of him. Maybe that was why, even now, not many knew of his existence.

After Solomon was done inspecting the place, he pointed at the chair in front of Rizevim. It was small little details like these why Rizevim appreciated his brother. Elegance and manners, something most of the devils lacked.

When Rizevim nodded his head, Solomon sat down opposite of him.

"Quite the nice place you have here."

Rizevim smiled as he took a slow sip from his tea cup. He knew why Solomon was here, the real reason.

It seemed Solomon understood his intentions. With a sigh, he leaned back on his chair, "Why are you helping the Khaos Brigade, Rizevim?"

"Why do you think?" Seeing no reaction, Rizevim decided to elaborate, "I just want to see your perspective on this."

"Destabilization of the Biblical Faction; you have the holy swords and Kokabiel. So, if that deranged Fallen strikes down an important figurehead from the Devil faction using the holy swords, it would surely kickstart another war. But that is not your aim, now is it?" Solomon sighed as he, like Rizevim, looked at the people below, "The Biblical Faction and the Avalon Kingdom, for some twisted reason, you want to pit them against each other."

Rizevim just smiled, "What makes you say that?"

"Kokabiel have already tried to enter the Kingdom, both by using subtlety and force. And he has no reason to do so, not unless someone enticed him. And coincidentally, you are also staying quite close to Kokabiel's main force."

Rizevim did not say anything back, just kept enjoying his tea.

"The Avalon Kingdom right now is a part of a greater faction, the Alliance. If Kokabiel can actually pull off an attack, which I highly doubt, there is a possibility the entirety of the supernatural world will be affected by it. I failed to see what can you possibly gain from this?" Surprisingly, Solomon said all that in a very neutral tone. Rizevim expected him to show a bit more emotions than this.

"Maybe this will," With a smile Rizevim put down the cup, "Our goal is to use the power of the third Heavenly Dragon to cross the Dimensional Gap, to find the worlds beyond this one. But," Rizevim looked at Solomon's right arm, "From what I learned from you is that the recently resurrected dragon is hard to control."

"Yes, he is. But then again, that is the nature of any dragons," Came the smooth reply.

Too smooth for Rizevim's liking, "And then pray tell me how are we to use his powers if he is such a temperamental dragon. He took your arm off just because you interrupted his sex time."

"So, your plan is…"

Rizevim smiled, "Why not we appeal to the one and only Infinite Dragon God?"

Again, no reaction.

He felt his smile straining, "From what Kokabiel told me is that Ophis created the Khaos Brigade, she thinks she might accumulate enough power to tip the balance to her side when she tries to take back the Dimensional Gap. Now, I do not know how many powerful individuals Khaos Brigade has, but for sure, they are not enough. So, why not we give her our uncontrollable dragon in exchange for a safe passage."

"You want to trade him?"

Rizevim shrugged, "Why not? I know you said that over time we will be able to control him, but this is a Heavenly Dragon. Even though I have not seen him myself yet, I do not think he is someone we can fully control. And I for one do not like to possess a weapon that can blow up on my face."

"This…" Solomon frowned, the first emotion he had seen on him today. He shook his head and started at Rizevim, "If so, then why help Kokabiel?"

"We have to make sure Ophis is interested, no? What is the best if not giving her a practical demonstration?"

Solomon's expression became neutral again, "You want the dragon to take out… Kokabiel and his armies."

"Bingo" Rizevim chuckled, "When Kokabiel and his army are strong enough to deal a massive blow to the Kingdom, we let loose our dragon on him. Of course, we have to make sure that the youkai king cannot interfere in any way. After all, our product has to be hale and hearty before we sell it."

"And how do you plan to keep the youkai king away when a fight of that caliber will take place just outside of his border?"

"Leave that to me," Rizevim smiled, "I have a plan for it."

Solomon just stared at him for a moment before he let out a deep breath, "If that is how you want this to be, I will not stop you."

Rizevim chuckled, "I am glad that we came to an agreement."

Solomon smiled, something that caught Rizevim off guard for a moment.

"I am glad as well."

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X

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Dimensional Gap

"I have never seen a dragon act like that, and this is the Great Red we are talking about."

Naruto smiled as he turned to face Amun-Ra, "He is not done yet?"

Amun-Ra let out a hearty laugh, "From what I can tell, it will a while until he is satisfied," He came closer and stood beside Naruto, "How do you come up with these ingenious ideas?"

Naruto smiled.

Right now, the Great Red was getting a massage from the titanic golems that he had created. Again, it was not a spontaneous idea that he came up with on the spot. He actually did research on draconic anatomy and came up with a massage therapy based on Great Red's size and shape.

But it was still funny when he proposed the idea. Once again, other than Yasaka, everyone just witnessed how he charmed Great Red with a gobsmacked expression.

"Sometimes we just have to see what is around us without any filters," Naruto chuckled as he remembered the expression Great Red had made when the golems started.

Amun-Ra let out a mischievous smile, "Or just tag with a person named Naruto Ōtsutsuki."

Naruto looked at Amun-Ra stunned, but then he started laughing, "That was a good one."

When his laughter stopped, the silence lingered for a short while.

"You are worried about this," Amun-Ra stated as he pointed at the sealed door in front of them, the same one they had found months ago.

Naruto sighed, "What did Ophis see in that world? In ExE, that she decided to seal it?"

"Only one being can answer that."

Naruto snorted at that answer.

Months ago, when Great Red gave them permission… well, in all honesty, Great Red had given only him the free pass. As for the rest, they were only allowed to enter the Dimensional Gap as long as he was with them.

The True Dragon God Emperor was vocal about one thing though. While he had no issues with them exploring the Dimensional Gap, they were not allowed to touch or inspect the sealed gates. Observation was okay but that was it. When he asked why, surprisingly, Great Red gave him straight-cut answers.

While Great Red was not sure why, he noticed that Ophis had sealed some of the worlds. She did not seal the entirety of the world but rather just the gates. Whatever was inside those world, Ophis thought it was better if they remained there and were unable to come out.

Now wasn't that a scary thought.

The seal they had found was one of them, it was the gate to a world known as Evie Etoulde, or ExE as Great Red called it.

But what was more surprising was that there were many more worlds out there. The Dimensional Gap was indefinitely larger than what they had thought initially.

"Now now, you should not make that kind of face," Amun-Ra smiled, "It does not suit you."

Naruto smiled, "You are right, no point in thinking about questions when even our wisest member cannot answer them."

"Was that a jab?"

"It was a compliment."

Amun-Ra chuckled at his smooth reply.

"If we are to talk about a more joyous topic," Naruto let out a mischievous smile, he did not miss how wary Amun-Ra looked when he saw that, "When are you inviting us to Egypt?"

Amun-Ra opened his mouth once and then closed it. Then, he started rubbing his forehead, "Can we go back to the topic of what is behind the sealed gate of ExE?"

"Nope~"

Amun-Ra sighed dejectedly, "Shot at my own foot there, didn't I?"

Naruto fully turned to face his friend, "If you are uncomfortable about it, I will not bring it up again. But, is there anything I, we can do to help?"

A month ago, Naruto made a proposal. It was to visit each other's homes. He thought that, since all of them were becoming really close to each other, they should also hang out outside the Dimensional Gap and the academy. With that in mind, as usual, Naruto took the lead and invited all of them to his house. It was not an official invitation but rather a personal one.

Unsurprisingly, Thor volunteered to be the next host.

But he also noticed how Scáthach and Amun-Ra were not comfortable with that idea. Of course, he did not push them.

"I may know you for few months, Naruto; but, I can say one thing for certain. You are a great friend. But," Amun-Ra looked at his hands and sighed, "All of us old Gods, the Primordials, have skeletons in our closet. Something that we are reluctant to show even to our closest friend and ally."

Naruto smiled and looked ahead, "Remember what I said about looking at things without filters. Whatever you have in that closet may look like a skeleton to you, but, who knows, it may look like a giant teddy bear to us. Still," Naruto quickly added, "I will wait, until you are comfortable enough to share."

Amun-Ra smiled. A small but content smile.

And then the scenery around them changed. One moment, they were in front of the ExE gate and next they were looking at Great Red. It happened so fast that before Naruto could understand what was going on to prepare a countermeasure, it was already over.

This was the power of a 'Beast'.

Naruto felt literal chills running down his spine. He looked around and saw others were there as well, and they also had similar expressions.

"Brat, I have a task for you and your companions."

Naruto sighed. What was it with the powerful and ancient beings calling him 'Brat'. Was it that he did not look menacing or mature enough? He put those thoughts aside and looked at Great Red, "Sure thing Big D."

Yes, that was the nickname he had given to the True Dragon God Emperor. And yes, he knew it sounded indecent but it just stuck with him.

And then he felt that sensation again. Like he was being teleported, no, it was more like the whole area was being teleported. And when the sensation was gone, he felt his gaze moving to one area.

The Dimensional Gap did not have any sky or land. To Naruto, this place felt like a vast area painted with multiple colors. But the spot he was looking at was void of any colors. It was empty, it felt empty.

"The void, I want you to explore it."

Naruto turned to face Great Red and gave him a deadpan look, "You want us to travel there," He pointed at the pitch-black area.

It might be hard for others to notice but Naruto could clearly see the smug look on Great Red's face, "It may be known as Void, but do not worry. There is nothing dangerous there."

"Then why do you wish for us to explore it?" Shiva asked.

For a moment Great Red did not say anything, but when he answered Naruto felt a headache coming.

"This is the birthplace of the first Beast."

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Done

For those who want to know the update on my DC story, I am working on the first chapter. I feel like I rushed it. I need to correct few storypoints there. But again, that is my secondary priority.

My first focus is to finish 'The Fourth Beast'. I know usually Fanfic stories do not end, but I do not want my story to be like that. But rest assure, 'The Fourth Beast' will not end anytime soon.

With that, see you all next time…