Naruto: The Cursed Child
A/N: Alright so this is an idea I've had in my head for a bit now. Thanks to Roanes for Beta-ing my initial ideas and helping me iron out a few ideas.
Before you read, there will probably be characters behaving out of character in varying degrees and this story, while occasionally paying homage to the Real Canon of Highschool DxD, This story does have its own Canon so if something doesn't make sense in the original material, that's because the history and everything is different in this.
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With all that boring stuff out of the way, let us begin.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters in this story.
Chapter the First: Beginnings
In Which an Angel gets punched in the face and a Devil ends up naked
It was a sight so picturesque that anyone gazing upon it could be forgiven for thinking they had died and gone to heaven: a beautiful meadow that stretched out further than the eye could see. Beautiful flowers swayed in the light breeze while petals danced through the perfume-laden air. One such group of petals tumbled around a giant oak tree before falling softly to the ground and onto the face of one Naruto Uzumaki, who suddenly stirred as he brushed the petals from his face. He awkwardly tried to look around but found he was resting his head on someone's lap. It was so comfortable that he just wanted to stay put and bask in the happiness that seemed to permeate through his body.
Eventually curiosity won out and he turned to look at the face of the person whose lap he was resting in but was blinded by an otherworldly light and all he could make out was a clearly feminine figure wearing a pale blue blouse. Her face was impossible to identify due to the bright light, but the gentle chuckle she made on seeing him move carried to his ears perfectly. Naruto wasn't the most religious person, but he was pretty sure that if angels were real, then this mysterious woman would easily be mistaken for one. Her blonde curls fluttered as another breeze passed over them.
"Who are you?" Naruto found his voice after what seemed like an age of lying there, basking in the ethereal presence of his companion.
She spoke and although Naruto couldn't decipher the words, he felt the meaning engrave itself in his soul as if she were speaking some higher language that surpassed mere things such as words. "You should rest while you still can, cursed child."
"What do you mean by that?" Naruto tried to get up, but the woman gently yet firmly put his head back in her lap.
"Yours is a path of struggles and strife." She stroked his cheek fondly. "But if you persevere then all your dreams shall come to fruition."
"Who are you?" Naruto mumbled as he felt the warmth of her lap and her soothing ministrations rob him of his energy.
"A friend who is watching over you from upon high. Now then Naruto Uzumaki… It is time for your tale to begin."
"Wha…" Naruto blinked and looked around, struggling to gain his bearings until he realised where he was: Sat in the passenger's seat to his dad's car while said person was driving.
Minato Uzumaki (Formerly Namikaze) glanced at his son concerned. "Are you alright? You were tossing and turning quite a bit in that dream."
"Y-yeah I'm fine… Just an odd dream." There was a flicker of a smile on the youth's face before he looked at the heavily bandaged left arm, which was the whole reason he had packed all his belongings and left his family home. Even through the multitude of bandages there was a faint glow. "How much longer until we reach this friend of yours?"
"I'd hardly call him a friend," Minato sighed sadly. "It's your uncle Jiraiya, the one who checks on your periodically."
"That old pervert?" Naruto went quiet and stared out at the dark, rain covered streets. "So… He's my birth father?"
"I don't think so… but I suspect he knows who that is." Minato glanced concerned at his adopted son.
"It doesn't matter anyway. You and mom are my parents." Naruto smiled at Minato who chuckled and the two continued the drive in silence.
It had come to some surprise to Naruto when his mother and father had told him he was adopted. He was the spitting image of Minato after all.
The story he was told is that his parents, that is to say Minato and Kushina, were unable to have children of their own. His father was a priest until he left the church to marry Kushina and believed that this was some sort of divine punishment for abandoning his faith. Long had Minato devoutly prayed for forgiveness and it was in one such fit of prayer, that there was a knock at the door and what looked like a tired angel handed Naruto over, told them that 'Him above had heard their prayers' before handing them a small book and vanishing into the night.
Naruto had always assumed it was just a made-up story, especially as he could remember when Kushina was pregnant with his twin sisters, but then his left hand had suddenly started glowing with a strange energy that seemed to soothe anyone who beheld it. This had been a warning sign mentioned in the book that had been left behind by the angel, along with an address that they were to visit in the event of any of the symptoms that had been listed occurring: including but not limited to: Spontaneous ominous Latin chanting from the walls, Spontaneous combustion of items with a five meter radius of Naruto and him suddenly turning into a demon. All things considered, a glowing hand was probably the best outcome.
Still it hadn't been easy leaving his life behind. He had two little sisters who idolised him and when he imagined them waking up to find he had suddenly left, it caused his heart to ache. It was a painful thought but less painful than the very real concern he could accidentally cause one of his sisters to burst into flames. His mother had been bad enough, openly bawling as she hugged him and promised that there would always be a spot at home for him and his relocation was only temporary until they sorted out whatever the problem was.
"Here we are," Minato mumbled as they pulled up to a small house. As they got out of the car and Naruto collected his bags, Minato noticed a large collection of holy symbols in the garden, as if warding against intruders. As the former priest got closer to the house, he recognised the symbols from a variety of religions although most of them were completely foreign to him.
As the father and son approached the front door Naruto noticed several horse shoes hammered around it and hesitated, but Minato stepped forwards. If his son's life was in jeopardy, he would do whatever was required to protect him. The elder blonde knocked at the door four times, waited for a few moments before knocking twice then standing back, shivering slightly in the light drizzle.
There was the sound of various bolts opening and finally the door opened to reveal a large man. He had a wild mane of hair and grinned on seeing them.
"If it isn't the preacher Minato? So, it's finally happened huh?" The man looked at Naruto and his heavily bandaged arm. "You'd best come in then."
Sharing a concerned look, Minato and Naruto followed the giant of a man into the house, where the host bolted several locks and drew a strange magic circle using a large block of chalk that had been resting in an umbrella stand. Satisfied with his handywork, the large man guided them into what looked like a western style living room and gestured to some dog-eared recliners before plopping down in one closest to a slowly burning log fire.
"So then," Jiraiya, Naruto's self-proclaimed uncle, gestured at Naruto's arm. "What phenomenon did he experience?"
"His arm glows with a strange power." Minato helped Naruto unwrap the bandages before revealing the softly glowing limb to the man who let out a satisfied hum.
"I see you mastered the sealing scriptures I left behind," Jiraiya nodded at Minato, "I couldn't even sense the energy until you began to remove the bindings." He took a good look at the glowing arm before letting out a sigh, "Well the good news is this means he had a good upbringing. Congratulations preacher. Had one of the negative phenomena triggered it would have been due to living a rough life or some sort of tragedy unlocking his powers early."
"Powers?" Naruto asked.
"Right kid… I'm going to tell you a little story," The older man pointed to a large picture over the top of his fireplace. "This piece is known as the 'End of Judgement'. Fun fact, it is based on something that really happened. See a long time ago Angels and Devils were at war."
"Angels and Devils?" Naruto repeated incredulously.
"You don't believe?" Jiraiya glanced at Minato who smiled weakly. "Well whatever. Trust me kid, they are very real, and I should know…" A pair of grey wings spread out from the strangers back, looking like a pair of filthy dove wings. "I am a Fallen Angel." Taking the shocked expression on Naruto's face as confirmation he was convinced, the fallen angel continued with his story. "See this war got bad and as a result, some Angels started to question if this was truly His will. Some of these refused to fight but there were those who continued, and this doubt caused them to become Fallen. You see when an Angel feels they have betrayed His Will, they will become a Fallen Angel. Our wings turn dark and we are cast from heaven, forced to live on Earth or wherever we can find a place to call home. At its peak, this war had three factions." Jiraiya walked over to the picture and began to point at it.
There were what looked like three armies attacking a giant eye which had several circles and strange tomoe shapes periodically along the outer rings. "The Angels, Devils and Fallen Angels were all at war, each faction sure they were right and not willing to give up. There were so many deaths… So much pain and sorrow that mixed in with the angelic and demonic energies that remained from the battles. This somehow gave birth to… something." He gestured to the large eye, "I call this monster a Nephilim, a being purely made of the sorrows of war. To this day we don't know if it is sentient or not, but one thing is for sure, it was powerful. All three armies were forced to join forces just to hold it back. In the end a group of heroes from each faction managed to seal the creature away and a treaty was signed to ensure the three factions would never war again. That's not to say there haven't been individual battles or proxy wars but I'm getting a head of myself." Jiraiya looked at the blank faced Naruto and the concerned looking Minato.
"And this affects Naruto how?" Minato glanced at his son.
"Oh, that's just some backstory," Jiraiya waved dismissively. "It is more the details of the pact that affect him. See, to this day we don't understand how the creature was created but we knew one thing, it was made from a mixture of divine and demonic energy. Usually it is impossible for such a creature to come to be, even if an angel reincarnated as a devil, their soul would be that of a devil- even if they can use Angelic abilities. It was unanimous though that we couldn't allow another to be created. While an end to large wars seemed to be the answer, there was always the chance that a lesser Nephilim could be created that would attempt to awaken the sealed one and continue the destruction from all that time ago. To cut a long story short, your birth mother was a devil and your birth father was an angel. This is usually not a problem as any child of such a union in the past was either an angel or a devil, but in your case… there were three children. One was born an Angel, one was born a devil and then… there was you." Jiraiya paused to allow everything to settle in. "You had no wings, no tails or anything but there was one thing that you did have, well two things really. You had two souls, one angel and one devil soul that somehow acting in concert."
"Oh," Was Naruto's weak reply.
"The leaders of all three factions demanded your head," Jiraiya spoke softly, "They feared you could lead to the Nephilim re-awakening, labelling you as one of its kin. Your mother was fine with that. She got a devil child and honestly, I don't think she held any love for your father or any of her children. Your father however disagreed and got me to hide you from the world. I think I did a pretty good job," The fallen angel puffed out his chest. "Thanks to my understanding of various magics I've been able to hide from any pursuers and I made sure that you would remain undetectable from any one who could wish you harm."
"Let's get to the part where I turned into a nightlight," Naruto waved the glowing arm.
"W-well. To hide your presence, I sealed away your powers which have been steadily building and straining against my seal and well… It finally burst, and your energy rushed to the hole in the seal which happens to be on your arm. It should fade after the excess energy has finished bleeding away…" Jiraiya laughed. "I was fairly sure that a positive manifestation would show, I could tell you and your wife would be good parents." He nodded sagely.
"And the people who were hunting Naruto can find him now?" Minato scowled. "Can't you reseal him?"
"It's not very practical to keep resealing him. Imagine Naruto's a tap, sure he was easy to seal when there was only a trickle of flow coming out of him but now the tap is like half open, so any seal put on him will burst within a few weeks at best. It isn't impossible for him to live out the rest of his life like that but the older he gets, the more frequent he will need his seals replacing and eventually he is going to slip up and they will find him, and they will use any method to get a hold of him. It isn't just Naruto they would target, but you, your wife and daughters as well."
"Everyone is out to get me? Even the Angels?" Naruto blinked.
"Especially the angels. You don't know how deep-set the fear of the Nephilim is. You don't know the cost of sealing it away."
"…The Creator was destroyed in the attempt." Jiraiya muttered.
"That… That's not possible," Minato clutched his crucifix in horror.
"So, I hope you can understand how desperate all three factions would be to find and destroy Naruto and that those who wouldn't destroy him, would want to control him instead. That's why I am here to offer an alternative to running away and constantly hiding."
"Fighting back?" Naruto suggested.
"Yeah, because that would definitely convince them you aren't a threat," Jiraiya rolled his eyes before striking Naruto with a rolled-up newspaper, "Use your brain Gaki!"
"Well what's your idea genius?!" Naruto scowled back at the fallen angel who looked at him sternly.
"In order to be able to live your life, there are several people who need to be convinced you aren't a threat. The Four Seraph's who guard the Throne of Heaven, The Four Great Satans of Hell and Azazel of the Fallen Angels. Basically, if all the leaders agree you aren't a threat then you are good."
"And how do I get them all to think that?" Naruto asked.
"…I'm still working on that bit," Jiraiya laughed weakly. "But never fear! The Great Jiraiya will have a plan! Honestly, I wasn't expecting to have to deal with this until you hit puberty, but you must be what… 16? I should have another 14 years to prepare!"
"Who the hell reaches puberty at 30?!" Naruto retorted.
"I may possibly be misremembering when I went through puberty," Jiraiya begrudgingly accepted. "But that was millennia ago! Plus, I was an angel. Do you know how hard puberty is for an angel who doesn't want to fall? I had to appear to so many Nuns and they were all solid 9s!"
"Getting back to the issue at hand," Minato rubbed his forehead, "What do we do now?"
"Well that depends on Naruto here," Jiraiya looked at him. "You can either live your life in fear, constantly replacing your seal and praying… actually don't do that it will get an angel's attention, hoping that you don't get discovered or you can stay with me and master your powers, earn your right to live and be happy and safe in the knowledge you and your family (probably) won't get targeted by an (official) assassination attempt."
"I don't want to endanger my family," Naruto clenched his fists.
"Good response!" Jiraiya gave him a cheesy grin and two thumbs up.
"Naruto," Minato hugged his son. "I am proud of you but don't feel like you have to do this. If you want to stay with us, you can."
"I know," Naruto returned the hug, "But what kind of a big brother would I be if I put Tsunade and Mito in trouble? Besides it's not as if we can't see each other, right?"
"Well I'd keep contact to a minimum just in case you get discovered before we are prepared but otherwise yeah." Jiraiya nodded. "I'll figure something out."
"I'd best head back home then," Minato released his son. "If anything should happen to Naruto…"
"Don't worry," Jiraiya put a hand over his heart, "I give you my word that I will do everything I can to protect Naruto."
"And his education?" Minato asked.
"…Seriously?" Jiraiya deadpanned, before withering in the ex-priest's cold gaze. "S-sure! In fact, I had a plan that involves him joining one of the most prestigious schools in the country! Trust me, I have everything under control."
"Naruto," Minato's face softened, "Remember we are just a phone call away."
"I know, tell Tsunade and Mito I'm sorry I couldn't say goodbye to them and tell mom not to worry. I'll be back before she knows it."
"I'll pass the message on," with a final nod to Naruto and warning look at Jiraiya, Minato left the house and Jiraiya followed him, making sure to redraw the magical circle and close al the bolts again before returning to Naruto.
"Right then! Are you ready to learn some awesome powers?" Jiraiya walked over to large bookcase that seemed to form out of the shadows before picking a large tome made of leather and tossing it at Naruto, who was knocked over by the sheer weight.
"The complete guide to channelling magic," Naruto looked at Jiraiya curiously.
"Don't worry there is a translation spell on it so even though it is an 'Olde' English book you should have no problems. I'm sure you'll master the first few exercises pretty quickly." Jiraiya waved dismissively. "Oh, before I forget your room is in the attic so make yourself comfortable and find me when you have completed the first two exercises."
"R-right…" Naruto lifted the book with a grunt of exertion before climbing up the stairs and finally a step ladder to get into the dusty, window-less attic. There was a futon in one corner and a small lamp, but the room was otherwise empty of furniture. There were various magic circles and horseshoes decorating the wall and offering some sort of mystical protection (Naruto assumed). Tossing his backpack full of clothes to one side, he opened the book and read the name of the first exercise he came to. "Advanced Manipulation of Magical Energies to create physical replicas capable of independent thought. [Grand Magus Rank Recommended]"
"Are you sure this is the right book?" Naruto yelled down the stairs.
"What? Too hard for you?"
"Like hell it is! I'll kick this books ass!" Naruto shot back as he stared intently at words that made no sense to him, but he'd be damned before he admitted defeat.
After a few hours Jiraiya went up to check on him and found him snoring noisily.
"Didn't think he'd have this much difficulty with the starter exercises," He frowned before looking at the open book and snorting loudly. "Oh right, that's a western book so he's reading from the back. A Grand Magus skill… Huh. I'll give him a few days before pointing out he is trying to learn a high-level skill without any of the foundations. Maybe it will teach him humility or something." The old pervert chuckled before moving a blanket to cover the sleeping Naruto and heading back downstairs.
"Good morning Naruto!" Jiraiya beamed as he helped himself to some of the toast that Naruto had made, "Are you ready for the first part of Operation: Jiraiya's Awesome Scheme!"
"I vote we change the name," Naruto deadpanned.
"Denied," Jiraiya smirked as he sat down in the worn-out recliner near the fire. "See I happen to have it on good authority that there is a school quite nearby that is a known hangout of Devils that are linked to at least two of the Four Satans. Quite a prestigious school as well. If you can win over these devils, then they could put in a good word with the Satans and (hopefully) they'll see you as more useful alive than dead. But first thing first… You'll be needing this uniform!"
"Kuoh academy?" Naruto frowned as he looked at the logo on the uniform he had been given. It was a large overcoat and waistcoat that looked more like a butler's outfit than a student's.
"Yup," Jiraiya nodded. "Trust me, with this uniform you'll have access to one of the best schools in Japan (at least when it comes to the quality of girls there) which should keep your dad happy. Also, I'll need you to bind your left arm with these bandages. They have various sigils to protect you from detection."
"I'm not a fan of lessons but I guess I can understand why my dad wants me to learn stuff," Naruto sighed heavily as he let Jiraiya bandage up the still glowing limb.
"I wouldn't worry about the lessons," Jiraiya smiled.
Several hours later, a severely irritated Naruto glared at his reflection in a puddle.
"I wouldn't worry about the lessons," Naruto grumbled before throwing his mop at the puddle he was failing to clear up. "What the hell Jiraiya?! Why am I a janitor at an all girl's school?!"
He froze as he noticed some of the female students mutter to each other and look at him darkly, causing him to flinch before picking up the mop and getting back to work. Jiraiya had simply dropped him off and left him in the 'helpful' hands of his fellow staff. Apparently, the All Girl's school was starting preparations to become a Co-Ed school and it was decided Naruto would be a test case, but not as a student because Jiraiya had no faith in him passing the entrance exams. No, he was enrolled as a janitor. It wasn't what he had been expecting but he could understand the logic, after all he wanted to appear as a helpful person and he could do that easier as a janitor than as a student but being the only male in an all girl's school made him feel like he was an intruder.
He looked around for the member of staff who was supposed to be showing him around, only to find himself alone in the corridor. While his outfit marked him out as one of the support staff at the academy, he was very aware that anyone who was unaware of his employment would assume he was a boy who had snuck in for some perverted scheme, given his youth and the fact that he was literarily the only male member of staff he had seen so far.
"Uzumaki-san," A curt clipped voice snapped him out of his thoughts and he span around to see a girl staring at him sternly. She was an attractive woman and the Kuoh student uniform only served to amplify that fact (in Naruto's opinion anyway). She had a focused look on her face with her violet eyes peering at him from behind her glasses. She was followed by a muscular looking girl with short blonde hair and grey eyes as well as a wide grin but when Naruto tried to look at her there was a strange sensation that forced him to look away, much to the girl's amusement.
"Y-yeah," Naruto shrugged off the strange nausea that accompanied looking at the other girl for too long. "Sorry should I know you?"
"I am the student president, Shitori Souna," The glasses wearing woman looked at him critically before indicating the girl to her side. "This is another member of the council, Saji-san."
"Sup," The girl's voice sounded wrong to Naruto but thinking about it made him feel dizzy, so he just nodded in response.
"I hope you understand that you are a pilot scheme. Your behaviour could very well shape the future of this school." Souna glanced at the puddle he was cleaning up. "The Standards here are very high. Should you be found lacking, I will not hesitate to have you removed from the school. Are we clear?"
"C-crystal!" Naruto saluted sloppily, dropping the mop he was carrying which tipped over the bucket he had been using and spreading dirty water across the hallway.
"Good," There was a ghost of a smile and Souna walked away, her friend shaking with barely concealed amusement.
As he watched the two students walk away, he let out a sigh he didn't realise he was holding. "Man, that girl scares me. It's like talking to an actual demon or something."
"What the hell Uzumaki-san," An angry voice yelled, and Naruto turned to see an irate maid advancing on him. "I leave you alone to have a small cigarette break and return to this mess? Are you completely incompetent? You need to get your act together!"
While Naruto was getting lectured, Souna, or Sona as she was known to those who knew her true nature, paused and turned to her companion. "So, the sensors at the gate were correct. It appears our Janitor has an impressive amount of magical energy hidden behind a complex seal array on his left arm."
"Yeah…" There was a flickering and suddenly Saji was a young male wearing a female school uniform. "He almost saw through my disguise. I could see his mind and eyes struggling to agree with what was there. Do you think he has a sacred gear or something?"
"I don't think so." Sona paused as she looked at her newest pawn before sighing and looking away. "Keep maintaining that illusion. Should all go to plan you will be able to attend as a male student shortly but for now I need you to stay disguised."
"Are you planning to recruit that janitor?" Genshirou Saji cracked his knuckles, "With the latent magical energy he had, he could make a good rival for me with some training."
"…We shall see. The manner of his recruitment was somewhat suspicious, so I suspect he is not here just to clean hallways. The sealing implies he knows magic and either underestimated us or had no idea that devils of our level were here. We will keep an eye on him." Sona Sitri, heiress of the Sitri clan and one of the rare noble devils, stared into the distance thoughtfully. "Besides Rias may take a liking to him. She was looking for powerful people to add to her peerage for her upcoming Rating Game."
"If he genuinely is as powerful as he seems, wouldn't it be a waste to let the House of Gremory get him?" There was a hint of disappointment in Genshirou's' voice. "In order for you to achieve your dream, you'll need some powerful people who have sworn absolute loyalty to you."
"We'll see what the future holds." Sona frowned softly. "In the meantime, I want to know where this Uzumaki Naruto came from and why he suddenly turned up here. If he can be used, then brilliant. If he is a threat, then…"
"He'll be dealt with," Genshirou cracked his knuckles and looked as menacing as he could considering he was wearing an ill-fitting girl's uniform.
"Thank you!" The student had a bright smile on her face as she took the tray offered by Naruto. It seemed that along with Janitor responsibilities, Naruto was supposed to help-out with the catering staff. Fortunately, an elite academy such as this one had no shortage of professional chefs and waiters, so Naruto only had to work in the store. Apparently, the school figured this was a good way to introduce the students to him. He wondered how bored these girls must have been seeing as he had generated quite the crowd.
There was a sudden hush and the crowd parted as if on some unspoken command and two girls walked towards the store. For a second Naruto forgot to breathe as he was overawed by the beauty of them. Souna had been a beautiful woman but even she (narrowly) lost to these two girls. Judging by the way the other students were acting, these two had to be school idols.
The first girl had long red hair with brilliant blue eyes and an impressive figure that made Naruto wonder if she was even Japanese. When she smiled at him, he forgot how to speak briefly before a light chuckle from the other girl snapped him from his stupor. This second girl looked more Japanese with her long black hair although her soft violet eyes were different enough that they caught Naruto's attention. As with the other girl, her figure was one that models would kill for. Remembering his job, he cleared he throat.
"Ah hello and welcome to Kuoh's Cafeteria store. How can I help you?"
"So, you are the new member of staff." The red-haired beauty smiled, "My name is Gremory Rias, pleased to meet you." She smiled widely. "Sorry for disturbing you, I was just curious what was causing such a fuss."
"Oh, it's nothing," Naruto rubbed the back of his head, "The name is Uzumaki Naruto and the pleasure is all mine. Can I help you?" He looked at the other girl who tilted her head thoughtfully.
"Himejima Akeno," The black-haired girl smiled but unlike Rias', this one sent shivers down Naruto's spine as his instincts warned that this girl could possibly be a bigger threat to his wellbeing that even Souna. "Keep up the good work okay~"
With that the two girls turned and the rest of the crowd reformed, gossiping about the beauty of the two girls before finally remembering why they were there in the first place and watching the new member of staff at work until Souna appeared to chastise the girls for their behaviour, pointing out they were blocking the people who genuinely wanted to use the store.
From a distance, Rias and Akeno looked at the clearly out of his depth Naruto.
"That is a lot of magical power…" Akeno mumbled.
"It didn't seem that much to me," Rias glanced at her friend.
"Didn't you notice the bandages on his left arm? There were powerful seals in that. I could feel them." Akeno tapped her chin thoughtfully. "Why did such a powerful potential piece appear right now? It feels a bit like a trap."
"Hm… I didn't get any bad vibes from him though." Rias was deep in thought. "And if he genuinely is here by chance then it would be bad if someone else snagged him first. Still the fact he has those seals implies he knows about magic. I think we should focus on Issei-chan."
"Have you made any attempts to make contact with her?" Akeno watched Naruto like a cat watching a mouse and deciding whether it wanted to kill it or not.
"No… I would prefer for her to have a normal life just a little longer." There was a clear look of distress on Rias' face. "But I will make sure she gets one of my summon cards soon."
"If that's your plan," Akeno finally looked away from Naruto, who felt as if a large weight had been lifted from his shoulders, much to his confusion.
"It is," Rias nodded. "Let's head back to the club room and let Koneko and Kiba know about this."
The two left the cafeteria, having gained more questions than answers from their impromptu investigation.
"My everything aches…" Naruto groaned as he walked out of the school gates. Besides the brief fifteen-minute lunch break he had been allowed, the other members of staff had run him ragged today and he got the feeling he wasn't meeting the high standards that were expected of him. He found himself almost looking forwards to trying to decipher the complicated text that Jiraiya had left him as it would give his body a chance to recover, even if it pushed his mind to its limit.
Deciding there was no real rush to get back home, Naruto decided to take a short detour, walking through a park on his way to Jiraiya's house. As he strolled along the pathway, marvelling at the unusually high ratio of girls to boys, he noticed a girl in a tree wearing Kuoh's uniform. The girl appeared to be trying to look over a wall to the neighbouring hot springs via binoculars, leaving Naruto not entirely sure what to do.
"So… what are you doing up there?" Naruto called out, causing the girl to cry out in alarm and drop the binoculars she was using. Desperately flailing, the girl nearly lost her balance. Seeing her lack of stability, Naruto ran to catch her, but tripped over a branch and rolled into the bark of the tree with such force that it sent the unbalanced girl falling out of tree. She hit a branch that got caught on her panties and span the girl around before she continued her descent, leaving her panties behind like a bizarre flag fluttering in the breeze.
She landed atop of the dazed Naruto, her now exposed woman-hood pressed against his face and the two froze as they came to terms with their situation.
"S-So…" The girl coughed awkwardly. "That could have gone better."
"I can see it all…"
"Huh? Oh wow!" She suddenly jumped up as if only just noticing he was there. She helped Naruto to his feet with considerably less screaming and fewer accusations that he was expecting all things considered. "So sorry!" She bowed her head as if expecting a verbal berating.
Naruto sighed as he looked at her and without thinking patted her head. "There, there. No harm no foul right?"
"Eh?" She looked up at him and Naruto realised what he'd done. She'd looked so much like one of his litter sisters with the guilty, fearful look he had instinctively patted her head like he would to them. His innate big brother spirit had kicked in before he had chance to realise what he was doing.
"S-Sorry," Naruto laughed weakly. "I just…"
"Oh, it's fine," The girl beamed at him before tilted her head and humming. "Say… Are you by any chance…"?
"Is something wrong?" Naruto suddenly felt a chill as the girl looked at his bandaged left arm and her eyes widened.
"That arm… Could it be… Yeah… I think it is. Some sort of seal perhaps?" The girl looked deep in thought before looking straight at Naruto suspiciously, completely indifferent to the fact she had been sat on his face literally half a minute ago. "Yeah… I know what you are!" The girl smirked at him, running a hand through her short, messy, brown hair and her chocolate brown eyes twinkling in mirth. Now he got a good look at the girl he could see she had an athletic build with a light tan. She wore her uniform loosely, which rather than make her look scruffy gave her a hint of sexiness.
"You know what I am?" Naruto suddenly had a cold sweat. 'Is she one of the people who I was supposed to be careful about? Will she try and kill me?!'
"You… Are a harem protagonist!" She pointed at him victoriously.
"I have no idea what… you…" Naruto trailed off. "Wait what?!"
"Oh, come on!" The girl beamed. "The way you managed to end up in a sexual position by accident is a hallmark of a harem protagonist! Hey… You're that new employee at school aren't you! A lone male at a all girl's school! You are the poster boy of a Harem protagonist!"
"I'm not a harem protagonist." Naruto deadpanned.
"Hehe… This sort of destined meeting. There's no doubt in my mind you are!" The girl nodded sagely. "I should know I've read plenty of harem stories. You are here to start my route, right?"
"I have literally no idea what you are talking about right now."
"Finally, my springtime of youth is now!" The girl looked at the sky happily before freezing. "Wait… If he is a harem protagonist, then… this could be my chance to make lots of sisters!"
"Are you alright?" Naruto walked towards the mumbling girl who suddenly span to face him, catching the blonde by surprise.
"I know you are eager to start my route and win my heart, but is that really fair on the other girls in the harem?"
"What other girls?! What harem? Are you confusing me with someone else?"
"Isn't the only way to truly be fair to go for the harem route so everyone is happy?"
"I think you need to go to hospital, you have a concussion." Naruto took a step backwards, but the panty-less girl grabbed his hands.
"You can do it! Go for the harem ending! With my help we can have the large family of sisters I've always wanted!"
"I don't even know who you are," Naruto remarked dryly.
"Oh right," The girl laughed. "My name is Hyoudou Issei-chan! My three sizes are 84 – 60 – 86." Her excited bouncing caused her skirt to flutter and Naruto looked away. "I guess I'm sort of the athletic childhood friend type, but I can play the imouto type if you'd like. That sounds like it would be fun to do."
"First things first, you need to calm down. You're not wearing any underwear." He gestured vaguely in the direction of the tree and the excitable girl turned and let out a laugh.
"Oh, right." The now named Issei looked up at the tree. "Could you get them for me? I mean I would but… you know…" She pushed her skirt down.
"R-right." Naruto nodded as he climbed up the tree, grabbing the panties and binoculars before coming down, freezing as he saw a female police officer waiting for him at the bottom.
"Er…" Naruto looked at the panties and binoculars. "This isn't what it looks like?"
"You are so a harem protagonist!" Issei nodded, stars in her eyes as the police officer advanced on him. "Getting into all sorts of misunderstandings!"
"Wait… Why aren't you explaining what was going on here?!" He looked at Issei who tilted her head.
"Well I want to see what flags this could trigger." Issei remarked.
After a ten-minute discussion, Issei (now wearing her panties) and a drained Naruto were told they could leave with only a warning from the police officer.
"Hehe," Issei laughed gleefully as she walked alongside Naruto. "So, do you have any other girls whose routes you've started?"
"I think you're the girl I've spoken to most if that's what you're asking." Naruto gave up trying to correct the girl. It seemed like a waste of breath.
"Good! The harem route requires you to remain as neutral as possible," Issei smiled. "Oh… I just realised I don't even know your name!"
"Are you sure you don't have a concussion," Naruto sighed, "Uzumaki Naruto."
"Nice to meet you Naruto-kun!" Issei beamed. "What are your three sizes?"
"You want my bust size?" There was a confused expression on Naruto's face.
"Oh no. A man's three sizes are length, curvature and circumference!" The bubbly girl declared. "Of your dick of course."
"I'm not telling you that."
"That's fine. I'm a good guesser." She stared at his crotch intently causing him to shield himself.
"… You shouldn't go around doing things like that. The wrong kind of guy could get ideas."
"Don't worry." Issei declared confidently, "I'll only do it to you!"
Naruto find himself unable to think of a comeback so merely let out a tired sigh and started walking away, Issei following him cheerfully.
"Call me Issei-chan," Issei interrupted.
"…Issei-chan," Naruto sighed. "Why were you in that tree with binoculars?"
"Isn't it obvious? I was peeking." She pushed her chest out proudly. "I have to be on the lookout for potential harem sisters!"
"You were peeking at girls…" Naruto was stunned by her honesty.
"You make it sound so dirty. I like to look at girls and figure out what it would be like to be in a harem with them."
"Why do you want to be in harem that much? If you like girls, you don't need to be with a guy as well you know."
"It's not like that. I…" There was a slightly downcast expression on her face before she recovered. "I just really, really want a lot of sisters. The bonds between harem members make them practically sisters, right?"
"Well…" Naruto rubbed the back of his head awkwardly. "Listen I'm flattered you seem to think I am capable of helping you out here but… I really can't. Sorry."
"I…I totally get it." She was clearly hurt, given away by her forced smile, "Hahaha, Yeah I was just messing around. Anyway… Places to be and all that… It was nice meeting you. I… I'm sorry for bugging you. I'll leave you alone. Sorry." She started to walk away, bobbing her head apologetically whilst laughing in such an obviously forced fashion, it was physically painful for him to hear.
Naruto watched her slowly retreating figure with a soft frown. He knew that it was probably best to not get involved. Between his issues and the girl's odd personality, there was too much to unravel and it would only put the strange girl in danger if she were to hang around with Naruto. After all wasn't the reason he had left his family and friends behind so that no-one else got involved in his current predicament?
Naruto knew all this, but he also knew about acting out to get attention. Before he made his friends, he was a bit of a hellion desperate for attention. Maybe this Issei was just like he used to be. She made herself quirky to try and appeal to him in a desperate plea for a friend. What would Mito and Tsunade say in this situation?
'Naru-nii… you left a girl in distress? You are disgusting! I hate you!' The boisterous voice of Tsunade exclaimed.
'I thought Onii-sama was a true gentleman, but I was wrong. I have no male siblings.' The calm and cold voice of Mito cut through him like a blade.
As he watched her, he felt his big brother spirit react. This girl clearly had few friends if any and was just lonely and wanted someone to talk to. The moment he made that realisation there was only going to be one way this was going to end.
"Hey… Issei-chan," Naruto smiled as she turned to face him. "Do… Do you want to exchange numbers? I mean I might not be looking for a girlfriend or anything, but you can never have too many friends, right?"
"You… You want my number?" There was a shocked expression on her face, but in her eyes, Naruto saw a spark of hope.
"We'll need each other's numbers to stay in touch, won't we?" He grinned. "Besides I don't have any friends here and you seem like a good person to know."
The look of sheer happiness on her face reassured Naruto that he'd made the right decision, even if she did accuse him of being a tsundere.
As they went their separate ways, a cheerful Issei was practically skipping when she dialled a number on her phone.
"Hi there, Yuuma-chan!" Issei beamed. "I made another friend. This may sound awkward, but can he come with us this weekend? He can! Great! I'm sure you two will get on like a house on fire!" She closed the phone. "I know Naruto-kun's H.P.P. (Harem Protagonist Powers) will win Yuuma over too! This weekend will be lifechanging!"
She wasn't wrong.
"So… How was your first day of…" Jiraiya's joyous voice was cut off as he ducked under the coat Naruto had thrown at him. "That good huh?"
"What the actual hell?!" Naruto rounded on the unconcerned Jiraiya, who folded the Kuoh Academy coat over one arm before facing the angry youth with his usual cheerful expression. "I thought you told my father you were putting me in a school!"
"Did I lie?"
"Well maybe not, but you didn't tell the truth either!" Naruto countered. "You implied that you were sending me to a school to learn!"
"Oh, you'll still learn stuff," Jiraiya waved a hand dismissively, "Just not boring stuff like Geography and Maths." The fallen angel hung the coat on a wall before returning his attention to the confused looking blonde. "You see, it's one thing to get you physically ready for life in the magical world but if you are going to win over so many important people, you'll need to know how to talk to them."
"That… makes sense," Naruto begrudgingly admitted. "But what about my education? My mum would kill me if she knew I wasn't preparing for a future career. If she knew about this she'd probably drag me back home…"
"Well, you are thinking of your future," Jiraiya pointed out. "Can't have a career if you're dead and if she were to drag you back home, it would put her and the rest of your friends and family in danger so maybe we should keep what we tell her to a minimum alright?"
"Yeah," Naruto nodded. He had resolved himself that no-one he cared about would get themselves involved in his struggles. It was better this way. Worst case scenario the old pervert would be the only one who died with Naruto and honestly, he was fine with that.
As if sensing Naruto's thoughts, Jiraiya scowled briefly before clapping his hands together to get Naruto's attention. "So, we are in agreement then?"
"I guess," Naruto frowned as he collapsed into one of the comfy chairs in the living room while Jiraiya took his usual spot nearest the fire. "Well then, what do you have to teach me then?"
"Well…" Jiraiya stroked his chin thoughtfully. "I have no idea."
"I should have expected that," Naruto started to get up.
"Now wait a second!" Jiraiya coughed awkwardly. "What I meant is there is so much I need to teach you that I don't know where to start." He walked over to the large book case, checking a few books before nodding and pulling an old looking tome from the shelf. It appeared to be a thick stack of papers held together with twine and rough looking wooden covers. He returned to his comfy seat and slowly opened the book. "I suppose we should start with the damage the Nephilim caused. It would explain why all the factions won't be happy when they find out you're alive."
"Sure," Naruto shrugged, not really caring either way.
Taking this as a sign to go ahead, Jiraiya showed Naruto the page in the book. It was a similar drawing to the one over his fireplace, with a giant eye being attacked by three armies but as if on command, the images started to move across the page, portraying a brutal battle. After a few minutes, the eye finally closed but less than 20% of the original armies remained. With a click of his fingers, Jiraiya reset the scene and put the book down.
"It was that much of a slaughter?"
"Yeah, but it wasn't just how many but who we lost as well. I already told you about the Creator being destroyed in the attempt to seal the Nephilim. No one saw it, but we all felt it, like the sun suddenly vanished in the middle of the day." Jiraiya shivered. "There were more than a few angels who fell when feeling that, even some of those who had stayed in Heaven. Initially there were around 1 million or so true Angels in heaven and fighting in the wars. That's not including cherubs, Seraphs or ascended Saints. Have you ever heard the phrase that everyone has a guardian angel?"
"Yeah," Naruto nodded.
"Well… It used to be true back when Judaism had just started. They were usually high ranked cherubs, but still angelic beings. Human population wasn't as insane as it is now but there was still hell of a lot of angels constantly on Earth." Jiraiya sighed, "You must have been looking at… say 5,000,000 angels in total at the time of the Nephilim attack. After the Nephilim first was born… all Angels that weren't at risk of falling were deployed. In the final battle there was probably just shy of four million angels. Can you imagine that sight…" Jiraiya's voice went a bit distant, "Four million angels all resplendent in His Glory… The Nephilim's first attack halved that number. I can still see their feathers falling to the ground as we tried to process just what had happened." His voice went silent.
"Holy…" Naruto bit back a curse.
"Yeah…" Jiraiya let off a sad sigh before clearing his throat and resuming his story, "After the final battle, the remaining angels that hadn't fallen was around 590 thousand-ish. The Forces of Heaven were crippled, so much so that in desperation they looked for ways to recruit more angels but long story short, even this long after the Nephilim was sealed, Heaven's forces are probably barely 2 million and as most of them are uplifted humans, they don't compare to the original Angels created by Him."
"So, Heaven is still recovering and may never fully recover," Naruto frowned.
"Yup," Jiraiya nodded. "It's why they are so fierce when it comes protecting the church. Faith is the only thing stopping them from getting wiped out by the Devils and Fallen Angels. Anything that could challenge their established system must be destroyed. Be it a heretic or a being that was stronger than the Creator. This makes the Four Seraph's doubly difficult to convince you aren't a threat."
"I see," Naruto scowled. "How about the Fallen Angels, do they have a similar issue with me?"
"Well…" Jiraiya chuckled softly, "The Fallen Angels… They are not as unified as the other factions. There are quite a few like me who have no loyalties to Azazel. Quite a few Fallen Angels just revel in whatever it was that made them fall but most of those who fell when He was lost all follow Azazel, seeking redemption for failing Him. There are some extremists who believe that the Angels who didn't fall are traitors to Him, as they didn't care enough that they failed in their duty. Many blame the Creator's weakness for the current situation and wonder why He bestowed salvation on His creations while letting His most loyal children fall."
"What made you fall?" Naruto asked.
"…I killed a lot of innocent Angels," Jiraiya shook his head. "They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. But if I could go back in time… I'd do it again."
"Ah…" The mood in the room became awkward and the young blonde struggled to think of something to say, but fortunately Jiraiya had millennia to come to terms with his actions and quickly brightened up again.
"Of the three factions, the Fallen came out of the Nephilim Crisis the best. Seeing as before then they weren't even an organised faction. I'd reckon there are about 1 million fallen angels, most of which have pledged allegiance to First among the Fallen, Azazel. He shouldn't be that hard to convince as the Fallen Angels are the underdogs and would probably like you on their side. Still with a faction as fractured as they are, you might need to win over several different lesser commanders as well who might not be as easy to win over."
"Wait… Wasn't Lucifer the first fallen Angel?" Naruto screwed up his face, clearly struggling to remember some past lesson from his ex-priest father.
"The first Lucifer was, but he married a devil and after time, any Fallen angel traces were gone from his genealogy leaving just a family of Devils." Jiraiya nodded. "It was before I was created but I heard all the stories from those who were there. Michael was furious with Lucifer for betraying our Father but for him to sire an heir with Devils was the ultimate transgression against His will. I imagine that was when reconciliation became impossible. That or when Michael killed him." Jiraiya shrugged.
"So why wasn't his children Nephilim then?" Naruto frowned.
"Nephilim aren't born naturally," Jiraiya shrugged. "It is impossible to have a creature be both Angelic and Demonic. A soul can only be one alignment."
"Then what about me?" Naruto asked.
"Well…" Jiraiya rubbed the back of his head awkwardly. "There is a lot we still don't understand about you and I haven't had much time to do a proper investigation. Think of it like this, we can discover more about you together!" The pervert gave a thumbs up, letting out a bark of laughter as the disgusted Naruto got out of the chair.
"I'm working on that spell book again," Naruto called over his shoulder as he left Jiraiya alone. The moment Naruto was out of sight, Jiraiya's face clouded over as he sadly remembered the day he lost so many friends.
"Put your back into it!" The stern maid who was apparently Naruto's sempai, crossed her arms and glared at the exhausted Naruto. Try as he might he couldn't remember her name, having been too annoyed at Jiraiya to pay much attention to his orientation meeting so mentally labelled her Maid-sempai.
Unaware of her co-worker's thought process, Maid-sempai glanced at her watch before tutting nosily. She pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose and brushed a lock of her black hair behind her ear before focusing her coal black eyes on the youth. "We are support staff for Kuoh Academy. Heiresses of the Rich and Famous walk these halls! Do you think this work is acceptable?!"
"With all due respect," The frustrated Naruto scowled at the maid. "This is a toilet. It is as clean as it is ever going to be. I would eat my dinner out of it, it is that clean!"
"Are you some sort of pervert who gets a kick out of eating food from a girl's toilet?" There was a clear look of disgust on her face.
"…If I say yes, will you make sure I never have to work in a girl's toilet again?" Naruto asked hopefully, but the scoffing noise as the maid left for yet another cigarette break shattered any illusions that he would be getting out of this job. Picking up the brush, he looked at his weary reflection in the toilet before getting back to work, grumbling under his breath.
The only consolation is that the school used western toilets, so at least Naruto could sit down and take a break while the overbearing maid went to have her break. He heard some footsteps approaching, but thought nothing of it, knowing that there was a sign warning any girls that the toilets were being cleaned.
"Oh… It looks like they are shut," A quiet voice murmured, but in the silence of the bathroom it was possible for Naruto to hear her. There was the sound of footsteps and Naruto realised the girl had walked into the bathroom before freezing, almost as if she could sense him.
He considered hiding, then realised that would make him seem more suspicious so opened the door with a polite smile.
"I'm sorry but I'm cleaning these toilets right now." Naruto looked at the girl who had entered. She was small, roughly the same size as his little sisters and looked at him with a cold stare. While he found her white hair unusual, he was more worried about that judging stare. "Er… I'm the cleaner… I'm not a pervert!"
"I see." The girl spoke quietly and emotionlessly, before walking into one of the cubicles and shutting the door.
"Er…" Naruto blinked. "I'll er…" He looked around, not entirely sure how to react to this small girl. He then realised that since he was a cleaner, and she knew he was there, she had given him her unvoiced approval to continue working. Satisfied with this logic, he returned to the toilet stall he was working on and started to clean once more. No sooner had he started when he heard a splashing noise from the next cubicle.
Trying not to think about it, he started to clean the bottom of the toilet and, purely by coincidence, looked underneath the adjourning stall. There were two slender legs with a pair of cute neko print panties around the ankles.
Feeling like a criminal, Naruto quickly got up and started to work on the toilet again. 'I mean it was an accident, right? It wasn't as if I wanted to see that girl's panties. She's basically the same as my little sisters, right? I've seen their underwear plenty of times and it never bothered me, even when Tsunade tried to stuff a pair in my mouth.' Satisfied he wasn't a bad person, he returned to his previous position, only to find two suspicious eyes looking at him.
"…H-Hi there." Naruto smiled. "Just, er… Just cleaning," He made a show of wiping the floor near the toilet as the judging eyes locked onto him.
"…Disgusting." The cold voice remarked before the girl got up and left the stall, leaving Naruto laughing hollowly as he absent-mindedly polished the same tile, stuck in that position for the remaining ten minutes of his sempai's work break, who returned to find him staring at the floor despondently, that one tile glowing brightly.
"Well, you have the work ethic I guess. We just need to improve your speed," The maid did a once over on the toilet and begrudgingly accepted its condition as good enough. "Now for the next one."
"N-Next one?" Naruto blinked. "But… That one has just been used?"
"They're toilets… They've all been used," The Maid deadpanned as she dragged Naruto into the next cubicle. Overseen by his sempai, the young blonde tried to shake off the feeling he was committing some sort of sin by repeatedly rubbing the seat that the girl had been sat on, even if it was his job.
Outside the bathroom, the small girl walked up to an anhydrous youth who was stood staring out of the window. If not for the fact this was a girl's school, one would assume it was a boy stood waiting for the small girl, especially given the trousers and blazer that they wore.
"Kiba-san," Came the soft voice of the young girl.
"Koneko-san," Kiba smiled in response to her words, looking like a prince taken straight from a Shoujo manga. "Is everything alright?"
"I saw the one Rias-sempai mentioned," Koneko paused to look at the toilets.
"I see," Kiba's eyes narrowed and they reached for their waist, as if to draw a sword only they could see, "Did he try anything?"
"He saw my panties." Koneko remarked bluntly. "He is a useless pervert and not a threat." With nothing else to say she walked away.
"I… I see…" Kiba laughed weakly before following her.
Somewhere a fair few miles away, there was a phone sat on a table. This phone was largely unimportant, just a standard wireless house phone placed in a charging cradle on a table in a large dining room. It was a completely innocent scene with nothing worth mentioning about it. It was just a phone sat there, silently, minding its own business in a quiet house.
It had been a good phone and had served its owners well. It was a shame that such a loyal phone was soon to be destroyed for no reason other than doing its job.
There was a sudden explosion of movement and two blurs raced into the room. One from the kitchen and the other from the next room. These two blurs snatched the phone at the same time and each tried to take the phone, resulting in each blur taking half of the phone, pausing then preparing to blame the other for the broken phone.
Now that they had stopped moving, it was clear to see the two young girls glaring at each other. One of them had her shoulder length blonde hair in a short ponytail. She was wearing a pal green tank top and trousers and had brown eyes, currently glaring at the other girl. This was Tsunade Uzumaki, Naruto's little sister and the oldest of the twins. "What the heck you do that for Mito?! Naru-nii was probably ringing to tell me who much he missed me and that he was coming back home to marry me!"
The other girl scoffed at this. She had bright red hair, much like her mother although hers was tied up in a bun on her right side with pins in it, whilst the left-hand side had a long trail of hair that fell to her waist. Unlike the casual attire of her twin, she was wearing a neat school uniform with a vivid green bow. It was the uniform of the school that Naruto was supposed to be attending and that she had gone to, despite having far better grades. "Did you say something, you boorish individual? My beloved Onii-sama was probably trying to ring me to inform me that I was required at his side and now thanks your brutish idiocy, I cannot respond to his urgent plea."
"Why would Naru-nii want to talk to you? Unless he was planning on telling you that he loves me, so you should stop interfering!"
"I apologise, I clearly struck your head and gave you a concussion. For you to believe my Onii-sama would want to be with you? Preposterous!" Mito's calm voice were a completely at odds with the anger in her eyes.
"Girls, play nice," A tired Minato walked in, putting a new phone on the table. "This is the last phone so please don't break it. I get that you miss Naruto but there are better ways for you to deal with it. And before you ask, no that wasn't Naruto."
"Dearest father," Mito bowed her head slightly. "I apologise for this ruffian's crude outbursts. Is it not possible to send her to a zoo or something where she can be with her fellow simple-minded primates?"
"Dad! She's saying stuff that I think is an insult!" Tsunade scowled. "Tell her to stop or I'll punch her!"
"How primitive, is there any wonder Onii-sama had to leave. Being related to such a brute was clearly putting too much strain on him, to the point where he had to leave in the night rather than face the disgrace."
"Maybe it was a certain someone who scared him away with all her sinister scheming?" Tsunade pointed out.
"It is my duty as Onii-sama's future bride to ensure the best life for both of us. If that means scaring off a few unwanted pests, then I shall do my duty gladly. At least I didn't try and force my beloved Onii-sama to eat my underwear."
"I… I read somewhere that big brothers would use their sister's panties to… you know…" Tsunade grumbled. "Satisfy their appetite. It was in a book!"
"How base," Mito turned to Minato, who was currently wondering where Kushina and he went wrong. "Have you heard this foul cretin?"
"Hello everyone!" A cheerful voice headed off the argument and a beaming Kushina entered the room. "Naruto just text me to let us all know he is doing well. With any luck he'll be back before we know it."
"Onii-sama must be so lonely," Mito bit her lip. "Mayhap I should send him pictures of myself so that he may be warmed by the heat of my love, despite our bodies being distant."
"Apparently he's made a friend of sorts too. Issei apparently." Kushina frowned. "Is that a girl's name or a boy's?"
"Sounds like a boy," Tsunade nodded, her attitude very similar to her mother's. "After all, why would he need a female friend when he has me waiting for him at home!"
"But what if this boy is a bad influence," Mito frowned. "He may tell Onii-sama things like…. Like it is wrong to love his sweet sister Mito…"
"A bad influence," Kushina blinked. "Like maybe getting involved in shady dealings and getting him hooked on drugs?!" She glanced at her husband, her eyes ablaze with concern. "Minato! Start the car, my baby needs me!"
"Naruto is fine," Minato reassured his wife, kissing her on the cheek.
"Right, you are right of course," Kushina nodded. "Oh, another text. He says this Issei-chan is a bit weird, but she seems friendly enough… Wait she?"
"She?!" Tsunade paled before punching the table. "That hussy! I have to go and save Naru-nii from her schemes!"
"It appears a meddlesome insect has appeared," Mito frowned. "Dearest father, I would like to request that you drive us to where Onii-sama (and this homewrecking wench) may be located?"
"She's probably getting my innocent little boy to do all sorts of horrible things. My baby's purity is in danger! Minato! The Car!"
Minato took a sip of his coffee and let out a sigh. Kushina was such an overprotective parent at times.
"I'm coming Naru-nii!" Tsunade yelled at the half of a phone she was still holding.
"Why don't you go and talk to your boyfriend," Mito remarked with a sneer. "Leave Onii-sama to me, his future bride."
"Boyfriend?!" Minato dropped his cup of coffee. "Tsu-hime has a boyfriend?!"
"He confessed to me, but I turned him down!" Tsunade protested. "I am going to marry Naru-nii!"
"His name," Minato smiled an eerie smile. "I feel I need to have a talk with this… young gentleman." He robotically walked towards the car. He knew what boys at that age wanted. And with his daughter? Not a chance. He would put the fear of God into this boy.
All in all, it was just your average day in the Uzumaki household.
"And finished," Naruto wiped his brow and let out a happy sigh. He was currently cleaning a hallway on the top floor of one of the buildings. As he looked out of the window he could see the cheerful girls of Kuoh academy running around the track. It was the start of his third day and Naruto felt like he was beginning to get into some sort of routine.
Today was a particularly pleasant sight as he watched Akeno and Rias stretching out. Those two girls were really something else, Naruto thought as he leaned on his mop, before shaking his head and returning to his work.
Maid-sempai had been called away on another errand and Naruto had been left to work in peace. This corridor was the route to the School Council's clubroom and was very rarely used, especially during lesson time, so Naruto was able to relax a little. Still he knew that if he was to stay at this school, he couldn't slack off too much. He needed to make a good impression so that if Jiraiya was right and there were devils here, they would see he was a good hard worker and not some potential world ending monster.
As he mopped the hallway, the doors to the student council office opened and a stern looking woman stepped out. She had long black hair that fell to her knees but what was more striking was her heterochromatic eyes that glanced at him behind her glasses. Her left eye was violet, but her right one was brown, and the sight was so unique that he couldn't help but stare. She raised an eyebrow quizzically and Naruto apologised, realising how creepy that must have been. She was wearing the Kuoh uniform and was a very attractive woman, although outshone by Rias and Akeno, who had started jogging lightly and were visible out of the corner of Naruto's eye.
"You are Uzumaki Naruto-san, correct?" The girl glanced at a small clipboard she was holding, "The new janitor."
"That's right!" He nodded, "Pleased to meet you…" He trailed off, but the girl apparently didn't get the hint, only looking at the clipboard and writing something down before looking at Naruto again.
After an uncomfortably long pause, she finally spoke again. "Shinra Tsubaki. I am Shitori-san's Vice president. The president has overlooked your… youth and unusual circumstances and trusted you to work here professionally. Should you act in away that would reflect badly on her, I will take action, understood?"
"Y-yeah," Naruto nodded with a weak smile.
"Personally, I am… conflicted about your recruitment. You have only been here a brief time and already the students appear to be getting distracted. I've had some reports of you being intimidating and yelling at your mop, your supervisor has flagged you as 'Needs Improvement' and we had reports of someone who looked a lot like you being caught with binoculars in a tree." She looked at Naruto suspiciously, "Care to comment?"
"Err…" Naruto smiled weakly. "It was all a misunderstanding. I'm not some sort of super pervert or anything!"
"I see," It was quite clear that the girl stood before him didn't believe him. "And we have also had reports of a young man hanging around in the girl's toilets. Care to offer an explanation, Not-a-pervert-san?"
"I was doing my job!" Naruto protested loudly. "I was asked to clean the girl's toilets and I did!"
"Who in their right mind would send a boy to clean the girl's toilets? Especially a strange, uncouth boy who shows up out of nowhere begging to be hired."
"I don't remember begging," Naruto mumbled.
"I shall inform the president of this and request that in future, only female staff work in the girl's bathroom."
"That's fine by me," Naruto shrugged.
"Good," There was a bit of an awkward silence as Naruto fidgeted under the gaze of the Vice President.
"Is there anything else?" Naruto offered.
"Not yet," Tsubaki nodded coldly and started towards the stairs at the end of the corridor but lost her footing on the wet floor.
"Be careful the floor is wet," Naruto warned.
Tsubaki stopped to comment, but as she turned she slipped, falling backwards down the stairs.
What happened next seemed to start in slow motion for Naruto. He ran to try and help the unbalanced girl yet slipped on the very floor he had warned her about. As he slipped uncontrollably towards her, Tsubaki managed to straighten herself out, only to be struck by the skidding Naruto causing the two of them to fall down the stairs.
Almost instinctively, Naruto wrapped his arms around the surprised vice-president and tried to shield her from the fall down the stairs, clinging to her tightly and choosing to focus on the soft sensation of her breasts against his chest rather than the sharp and painful blows from the stairs.
They crashed into the wall at the bottom of the stairs and Naruto released the vice president, who tried to stand but found her legs buckle and she fell back down, her skirt lifted and her top open, revealing a very conservative yet matching white bra and panties set. Naruto turned to ask if she was alright and got an eyeful.
The two sat in silence, Naruto shocked by how the girl made something so simple look so sexy, while Tsubaki slowly reddened, although whether this was from embarrassment or anger was anyone's guess.
"W-w-where do you think you are looking?!" The girl blushed furiously as she quickly pulled up her skirt and corrected her shirt. The cold and judging tone of her voice how replaced by a fiery embarrassment/rage mix.
"W-well…" Naruto rubbed the back of his head but before he could defend himself, the once stoic vice president ran off, tears in her eyes and her face bright red. "…I'm totally getting fired for this aren't I?" His shoulders slumped. "Didn't even last a week." He laughed hollowly and stared into space.
"Vice president!" A familiar voice exclaimed, shortly before its owner wandered into Naruto's view. "Ah! I'm guessing I upset her by interrupting her precious Harem time! Sorry Naruto-kun! Next time text me when you are having some fun, so I don't ruin it. If it makes you feel better, you can squeeze my breasts."
"Issei-chan," Naruto smiled weakly as the bouncy girl helped him to his feet. "I'm sorry… This is probably our last conversation."
"Naruto-kun? You don't look so good," She frowned. "We should take you to the infirmary! Don't worry I won't let you die!" Her face lit up. "Plus, you should really meet the new nurse, she has the hot Onee-sama vibe going on for her!"
"I… That might be a good idea actually," Naruto remarked as he tested a stinging part of his head and found blood. "I… I don't feel so good."
Even after seeing Fallen Angels, Naruto still wouldn't call himself religious, although at this point it was more his stubborn nature than anything else. Yet when Issei lead him into the pure white infirmary and he saw her. He was pretty sure he had died.
There was an angel waiting for his soul. Her beautiful face made him feel like he was ready to pass on. It was odd, Naruto thought as she fussed over him, her abundant breasts pushing into him through the white lab coat she was wearing. He wouldn't say she was the most attractive person he had seen. Tsubaki was more attractive to him but there was just something about her that made Naruto feel… content.
"I see," The nurse stepped backwards and turned to Issei. "Please put him on a bed! It looks like Uzumaki-san has a nasty head wound."
With the harem fanatics assistance, Naruto clambered onto one of the infirmary beds and looked around the room. There were several beds, all separated by curtains and the usual fair for an infirmary. There were content murmurs from many beds and Naruto assumed he was not the only one caught in this field of happiness. The only thing that struck Naruto as unusual was the small girl sat in a chair glaring at him. She was the spitting image of the nurse, only a lot younger but was wearing the same lab coat as her sister, only the sleeves were too long so they completely covered her arms with the limp sleeves hanging over the chair's armrests. Initially she seemed surprised that Naruto was looking at her before sticking her tongue out at him.
"You must have had a nasty tumble," The nurse planted a soft kiss on the back of his head, and Naruto felt better instantly. "I hope you feel better."
"I feel a lot better already," Naruto glanced at Issei, only to find she had left, probably so she 'didn't interfere with his harem building efforts' or whatever it was she said. "Hyuuga-sensei."
The Chibi mimed shooting Naruto with a bow, so he mimed catching the arrow and tossing it aside. The nurse looked between Naruto and the girl with a shocked expression, with a sudden smile as it appeared she had realised something.
"Please just call me Hinata," Hinata smiled softly at him. "We are work colleagues after all. I only started a few months ago myself. I trust my little sister isn't bothering you."
"Oh right, thanks Hinata-san," Naruto grinned stupidly as Hinata leaned over him to check his injuries, resulting in her ample breasts pressing into his stomach. "It's okay. She's only a little girl so I know she is just bored."
"Get that perverted look off of your face!" The chibi suddenly exploded and used a slingshot to fire dry beans at Naruto. "Evil out! Evil out!"
"You're way out of season there," Naruto grumbled as Hinata walked over to the little girl.
"He's a bad man Onee-sama!" The girl looked at Hinata who smiled and patted her head, calming the little girl down.
"Sorry about this little Cherub. Apologise to Naruto-san, Hanabi-chan."
"Sorry," It was clear by her tone and look, that she was anything but. "I won't do it again."
"Isn't everything much better when we all work together?" Hinata clapped her hands together before returning to Naruto, checking him for injuries. "How did you fall down the stairs Uzumaki-san?"
"Oh, I was just trying to stop someone else from falling since it was kind of my fault that she did." Naruto yawned sleepily. This bed was soft, as where the breasts of Hinata as she leaned over him to adjust the sheets. He suddenly felt like he just wanted to sleep and let the cheerful nurse take care of him. As he felt himself drifting off, there was sudden shooting pain and his mind cleared instantly. The pain had seemed to come from within himself but after feeling it, his mind was clear.
There was a confused look on the face of the nurse, followed by a wide smile, "You seem energetic for someone who fell down the stairs. Maybe your injuries were not as bad as I feared."
Trying his best to ignore the chibi who was pulling faces at him, Naruto allowed the nurse to check him out once more.
"How peculiar… All your wounds have healed." The nurse frowned, and Naruto started to feel uncomfortable as she trailed a finger across the back of his head where he had been bleeding. "Oh well, maybe the wounds were less severe than I thought."
"Yes, that is definitely it." Naruto sprang out of bed laughing, "Man I feel amazing. Like better than before I was hurt. I feel full of energy!"
"Well that is just fantastic," A voice dripping sarcasm declared, and Naruto turned to see Maid-sempai stood there, with a smile that didn't quite reach her eyes. "I'm glad you have so much energy kouhai… As we have so much work that you need to do."
A protesting Naruto was dragged away, watched by Hinata and Hanabi. After a few moments, the small girl turned to her older sister.
"Why are you smiling like that?" She asked sulkily. "I don't like him. He liked feeling your breasts! I could tell."
"I suspect he is the one we were waiting for." Was all that Hinata said as she patted her little sister on the head. "One way or another, we shall see."
When Naruto returned to Jiraiya's house, any elation he had been feeling had faded, replaced by the certainty that he was getting fired tomorrow. One or two events maybe he could have been explained away as coincidence but if there were reports of him being accosted by the police as well, it certainly didn't look good and that was before he had unintentionally stared at the vice president when she had her underwear on display after pushing her down some stairs. The poor girl had been avoiding him all day and he was unable to apologise to her and given the 'no nonsense' attitude that Souna seemed to have, there was no way he could talk his way out of being fired.
The instant he opened the door to his current abode, Jiraiya was there to redraw the seals and noticed his demeanour. Being the tactful and caring guardian angel, he was, Jiraiya knew exactly what to say.
"Well you look like crap," The fallen angel laughed, "Did she turn you down?"
"Who?" A confused expression shot over Naruto's face.
"The girl you were texting last night?"
"The girl… Wait a second have you been reading my text messages?!" Naruto froze up.
"I was hoping you were sexting some cute girl and I could get her to send you pictures," Jiraiya replied dismissively. "But you were talking about boring crap. And I was so hopeful when she mentioned stuff about a harem." He let out a disappointed sigh.
"Stop reading my private messages!" Naruto glared at the old pervert.
"Hey, my job is to keep you safe. How can I do that if you go ahead and let some stranger into my house?" Jiraiya protested. "Plus, if you were planning to sneak a girl in, I need to know so I can make myself scarce. I have seals that show me what is going on in all rooms of this house. Trust me, watching two teenagers fucking like rabbits isn't on my to do list… Well not when you are one of them anyway."
"…All rooms?" Naruto froze. "Even my bedroom?"
"It's perfectly normal and I don't watch you." Jiraiya smiled, "Although if you want some new magazines I can buy you a few. I going to look into getting some Wi-Fi now I have some money coming in."
"You have a job?" Naruto quickly leapt on the first topic change he was presented with.
"Well I am an author, although I haven't published any books yet. I needed the money to buy supplies and so on before I could start."
"Then where are you… getting money… from…" Naruto trailed off as it suddenly occurred to him. "Your taking my wages, aren't you?! I'm slaving over a cold mop and you are getting rich off my labour?!"
"Think of it as a rent payment, as well as food and tuition fees," Jiraiya waved off his anger, "Speaking of which, do you want another lesson? I never told you what the state of the Devil clans are did I?"
"Devil Clans?" Naruto asked, deciding to come back to his wages at a later point. Right now, he needed all the information he could get to save his own life and by extension the lives of those who he interacted with.
"Before we start, summarise what I told you last time." Jiraiya tried his best to look scholarly.
"The angels hate me because I am better than God and Fallen Angels hate everyone, themselves most of all." Naruto rubbed the back of his head.
"Amazing," Jiraiya shook his head. "That was almost correct apart from everything you just said but I don't have time to correct you today. Read the damn book," Jiraiya gestured to the bookshelf. "But do it in your own time because I am bored of talking about Angels and want to move onto Devils."
"Your teaching is about as strong as your moral compass," Naruto deadpanned but raised no objections.
"I won't go back too far, as it really doesn't matter where the first Devils came from and no-one can agree on it anyway. What we know is modern Devils are essentially the inverse of Angels. Whereas Angels gain power from Faith, it weakens Devils, so they actively seek to undermine the Faith wherever they can. It used to be hard before the Creator was… well you know," Jiraiya shook his head sadly, "Now it is harder to keep the faithful, so the Devils don't really try and corrupt anyone anymore. They'll just wait for people to come to them instead but don't think this means they are doing well. There used to be 72 Great Demon clans prior to the Nephilim. Dare to guess how many still remain?"
"If the angels were anything to go by I'd say maybe ten?" Naruto suggested with a shrug.
"33," Jiraiya remarked. "Which does make it seem like they got off lightly doesn't it? The only reason that figure is so high is because most families made sure they left a Male Heir behind to carry on the clan but infighting between old rivals resulted in the weaker heirs being killed off during the purge of old Hell. At their height a clan would consist of a main family, several branch families and countless bastards raised as servants. Now a clan is essentially a small family unit. Marriage contracts between the 33 are common, to ensure the purity of the devil race but to maintain a force capable of opposing Heaven, they have plenty of half-breed or resurrected devils to fill out the ranks, much like Heaven's forces. Technically speaking the Devils are doing the best of the three clans, but the fact the Fallen are more hostile to Devils than Angels means that there is a delicate power balance in play, which is part of the reason that the Pact of the Nephilim is still in effect today."
"Didn't you mention Four Satans or something? If there are 33 clans then how do those four come into it."
"By becoming a Satan, they effectively forfeit their right to rule a clan, becoming independent and part of the ruling council of Hell. You win the hearts of the Satans, the rest of the clans and devil kind will fall into place." Jiraiya finished his lecture with a yawn. "Most of the clans have some sort of gimmick that you need to be wary of. Just try not to pick a fight with the Phenex clan. Those bastards are ridiculously difficult to kill." Jiraiya winced, "Invulnerability is their gimmick, along with fire and birds, you know all the mythical Phoenix crap."
"That's a thought," Naruto frowned. "If all this Christianity stuff is real, does that mean the other religions are wrong?"
"Nope, they are all right, to some extent." Jiraiya chuckled, "Did you think I have all those symbols out there because I think they look good?"
"Honestly, I thought you were trying to scare people off," Naruto shivered.
"Well, there is that as well," He conceded. "But yeah, somewhere out there you could find the realm of the Greek Gods, although they are all pretty weak given the lack of faith in them. They'd probably pass for weak even by human standards. Their monsters are all real and very much alive as well, although they are considerably stronger and tend to reside in special areas. The advantage of not relying on faith I suppose. Don't ask me where they came from either. It's outside my area of expertise."
"Do they care about me?" Naruto asked.
"Kid, you have the potential to become as strong as something that killed the Creator. These dime-a-dozen, forgotten Pantheons are probably creaming themselves at the thought of having you under their control. I wouldn't be surprised if Aphrodite herself is reading the Karma Sutra looking for ways to turn you into her mindless servant. Well I would but that's only because everyone should think you're dead, but the point still stands. When your survival becomes public knowledge, your life is going to get interesting. You'll probably have Aphrodite riding you like a bucking bronco…" There was a distant look in his eyes.
"Jiraiya?" Naruto waved a hand in front of his face, but the perverted hermit was out of it.
"Ishtar stripped down and begging for your seed while Nanaya gently licks your naked chest." Jiraiya started to giggle perversely. "Maybe even Bastet would show up as a cute neko girl~"
"You're weirding me out right now…"
"Freya whispering sweet nothings whilst Frigg uses her amazing breasts…" Jiraiya whispered before giggling. "Lofn getting involved as well, making out with Frigg as they work together to bring you to climax." Suddenly Jiraiya angrily glared at Naruto. "Why the hell do you get all the sexy goddesses huh? Why couldn't I be the Nephilim you bastard!"
"I… I am lost for words," Naruto shook his head, although there was a bit of a spring in his step as he went to his room to work on his magic studies. After all what teenage boy wouldn't like to be the target of several attractive goddesses desperate for his loyalty. It was almost enough to distract him from the real threat of Angel or Devil Assassins and the fact he may have gotten himself fired.
When people think of heaven, they probably think of wide-open fields or some luxurious estates, so it would probably be a bit disappointing for anyone who thought that to see the current room in which the Four Seraphs of the throne of Heaven were currently located. It could have passed as a meeting room in pretty much any set of offices the world over, if not for the clearly angelic nature of the four beings sat at the table, or the multitude of smaller, less winged angels hovering around the fringes of the room.
One of the four seated at the table stood up slowly, and silence descended on the room, smothering the excited whisperings. It was very unusual for Michael, current master of the Faith System, to call a meeting, never mind demanding it immediately. When the silence had finally filled the room. The standing angel cleared his throat.
"I bring grave tidings." His voice carried a gravitas that almost demanded you listen, in fact many of those gathered were compelled to bow their heads on hearing the voice, deeming themselves as unworthy of gazing upon the speaker and his golden wings. His long blonde hair and kind face marked him out as Michael. "There are ripples in the world of man and they bring grave tidings."
"With all due respect brother, that was apparent when you called us all here for an instant meeting," One of the other angels, Uriel, responded.
"Indeed, such a thing has not happened… Not since the Beast." Raphael, the third angel, added his thoughts. On mentioning the 'Beast' the entire room fell silent with some even sobbing softly, as if just mentioning its name was enough to bring back the sense of loss of that war.
"Indeed," Michael looked at his two brothers and lone sister. "I fear the Cursed Child yet lives."
"Impossible," Uriel raised his voice over the gasps of the assembled angels. "You personally saw to the creature's destruction. Did you not?"
"Indeed." Michael nodded. "I… I believed that was the case. However, I fear I may have not been successful. Several days ago, for just a brief instant, the oracles reported a spike of energy that triggered many of our warning systems and first response units on Earth. The unique Beast-kin signature of the Cursed child."
"The creature is on Earth," The horror in Raphael's voice was clear for all to see. "This… This complicates matters."
"Brothers," There was a soft, soothing voice and the fourth angel stood up, smiling sadly. "Are we even sure that this is the Cursed Child?" Just by looking at her, even the other Seraph's felt their cares melting away. She was the most beautiful woman in heaven, the golden-haired Gabriel.
"Gabriel," Michael smiled at his sister, "Ever a calming presence when others overreact, but in this case, I fear your optimism is unwarranted. We cannot allow another Beast to rise, we… we barely survived the first time."
"If we take action now, there is every chance the Fallen and the Devils will take that as a sign we have broken the treaty and attack us," Uriel leaned back in his chair. "We do not have the manpower to fight a costly war."
"I have to agree with brother Uriel," Raphael shook his head. "We cannot stage a massive invasion to deal with this threat, not without liaising with the other factions."
"And how do we not know the other factions are planning to use him in their hubris? The Devils are a race that despised Father and everything He stood for. They could be planning to destroy the land of his children as an act of spite!" Michael looked at his siblings. "I have presented my case and would put it to a vote. I say we send an elite crew of angels to investigate. Should they find the Cursed Child, they are to destroy it. Should they find anyone who knows anything about it, they are to question them, using any methods possible. We move first, ask for forgiveness later. Given the severity of this case, I will only move if we all agree this is the case."
"I… I agree," Uriel nodded his head. "It is not an easy decision to make but if we move quickly, we can patch things over with the other factions."
"I also agree," Raphael sighed. "I shall send messages to the other factions, so at least we can claim there must have been some sort of delay and we thought we gave the adequate time to raise any objections.
"Sister?" Michael looked at the last member of the four.
"I was there," She whispered softly. "The first wave… All four million of us descending on that… that thing." A tear rolled down her cheek. "I should had died, but one of my cherubs saw the attack and managed to blast me clear of it. I watched as just under half our entire race was… erased. There was nothing save the few feathers of the fallen that had been outside the beam's area of effect. I lost so many of my brothers and sisters… I will not allow that to happen again."
"Then we are in agreement," Michael nodded.
"…What?" The other Seraphs froze in confusion.
"Yes, there is a chance that the Cursed Child is on Earth, but you said yourself that it was a momentary flicker that our Oracles spotted." Gabriel shook her head slowly. "Yes, there is a chance that the Cursed Child is alive. If it is alive, there is a chance that the Cursed Child will become a powerful Beast-kin, if it becomes powerful then there is a chance that it will be hostile and become another Beast… If we act, we only need one of the factions to declare war and the other will follow suit. The Fallen have been preparing for something for some time. I fear this may give them the excuse they are looking for to resume hostilities."
There was silence as the other Seraph's processed her words.
"We have agents in position already," Gabriel smiled weakly, "Let us take time to let them investigate and report anything."
"I said without a unanimous decision, I would not proceed," Michael looked his sister. "If you truly believe this, I shall honour my word and merely adopt a wait and see approach. Agreed?"
"Agreed," The other three nodded and everyone left the room, until only Gabriel and Michael were remaining.
"Sister," Michael looked at her, "Do you truly believe this is the best way?"
"Yes." Gabriel nodded, not a trace of doubt in her voice.
"Very well," Michael nodded. "For the time being, I entrust you with monitoring the Cursed Child situation. Should he be found, I trust in your judgement." He left without another word.
Naruto was a nervous wreck as he walked down the corridor, fussing with the buttons on his jacket. Despite his best attempts to clear up the misunderstanding with Tsubaki, he was yet to achieve any success. If anything, his reputation was suffering slightly for it, although that could have something to do with him hanging around outside the girl's toilets after seeing the vice president enter them. Unfortunately, he was dragged away by Maid-sempai just as Tsubaki left and was unable to speak to her.
Shaking his head, Naruto approached the building that Maid-sempai had ordered him to clean. It was a large, old looking building, with various western touches that Naruto was sure his father would have approved of if he ever saw them.
"Occult Club?" Naruto deadpanned as he read the small sign affixed next to the doors. "I bet they'd wet themselves if they realised a genuine magical being was stood outside their club room… Well club house I guess." Allowing a brief chuckle, he knocked on the door loudly, but got no response. Satisfied that no-one was coming to let him in, he opened the door and entered.
Clearly Kuoh academy didn't do things by halves. The clubroom had plenty of comfortable and expensive looking Victorian furniture, the sort of things that his Western-phile father would love to own. Groaning at the impossible nature of the cleaning job before him, he suddenly got an idea.
After glancing around to make sure no-one was looking, he tried out the exercise he had been shown by Jiraiya. While his seals severely limited his ability to use magic, it wasn't impossible, it just took a lot longer than normal. Unfortunately, even if he could slowly but surely cast a spell, it didn't matter if he lacked the skill to use the spell properly and after five attempts, Naruto looked down at the pale, groaning clones and ended their misery.
His progress had been going along nicely, but for some reason he just couldn't get the clones to appear correctly. He just figured he needed to pump more magic into them but no matter how much magic he used, the clones all ended up like that. Resigning himself to having to clean the house by himself, Naruto decided it was all Jiraiya's fault for being a useless teacher and made a mental note to complain to him later.
As he was cleaning, he got the uncomfortable feeling of being watched. Many of the pictures on the walls seemed to be always looking at him and he could have sworn that the heads on some of the suits of armour that were decorating the hallways turned to follow him, only to turn back when he looked at them.
"Spooky old building," Naruto grumbled as he knocked on a door, getting no response so walking in. It appeared that this was some sort of communal meeting area. Several comfortable couches were scattered throughout the room. The room was a little cluttered, so Naruto got to work tidying up. There was the sound of water running, but Naruto couldn't find the source and decided not to worry about it. As he tidied up, he noticed one of the seats had several cake crumbs on it.
Grumbling to himself about messy eaters, he looked around for some sort of vacuum cleaner but when his search was unsuccessful, started looking for a dustpan and brush instead. "Don't worry about the lessons." Naruto grumbled. "No just worry about being Maid-sempai's slave and I'll take all your money because I'm an old pervert." Letting out a frustrated sigh, Naruto leaned against a wooden panel that suddenly sunk into the wall, causing Naruto to let out a yelp and stagger backwards.
While Naruto tried to fix the sunken panel, a small section of the wall slid to one side and the sound of water got a lot louder. There was a soft singing voice that made Naruto stop and listen in awe. It was a cheerful tune that warmed his soul, making him forget both his grudge against Jiraiya and his concerns about being fired, if only for a few minutes. When the melody finally finished, so did the sound of water, replaced by the slapping noise of wet footsteps on a wooden floor.
"I could have sworn I'd shut that," A freshly showered Rias walked into the room and paused as she made eye contact with Naruto. Her skin was still wet and while she was wearing a towel, the sight of her stood there was almost too much for Naruto. "Can… I help you?" Rias' tone of voice was friendly but carried a definite tone of caution.
"Cleaning…" Naruto bit his tongue. "I was sent to clean up the building."
"This building should not be on the official cleaning schedule," The doubt in her voice was clearly matched by her gaze.
"I'm just doing what Maid-sempai told me to do." Naruto bowed his head and handed her the note from Maid-sempai, before backing off. "I apologise if there has been some sort of mistake."
Rias stood there, looking at him, before giving him a cheeky smile. "Well to be honest… I'm cutting class myself, so I'll keep this a secret if you will."
"That would be great!" Naruto beamed. "I get the feeling that another controversy might be enough to get me fired."
"Controversy?" Rias asked, genuine curiosity etched on her face.
"Well… Due to several coincidences and misunderstandings I get the feeling my employment status is in jeopardy." Naruto rubbed the back of his head.
"I see," Rias chuckled. "I'll admit when I first saw you, I was curious why someone of an age similar to my own was working rather than going through education?"
"Ah, well… That just sort of happened. One day I was in school then due to certain circumstances I had to leave my home and wound up here."
"Circumstances?" Rias pressed but only got an apologetic smile.
"Sorry, It's kind of personal."
"Ah, I understand," Her gentle smile lifted Naruto's spirit. He genuinely felt he could tell this girl everything and she would accept him. He could see why she was so popular amongst the students.
"So… Are you friends with someone in the club?" Naruto tried awkwardly to make conversation as he resumed tidying, very aware that Rias was still only in a towel yet seemed completely comfortable with their conversation.
"Well I'd like to think they are all my friends," Rias smiled. "I'm the head of the Occult Club."
"Seriously?" Naruto blinked.
"Is that a surprise?" The way she tilted her head should be a crime, Naruto thought to himself as he quickly looked away, less he fell in love with her.
"W-well. Given how popular you were I was sure you were some sort of idol or something." Naruto finally discovered a dustpan and headed over to the crumb covered couch. "Manager of the Occult club is… well… We had an occult club back at my old school and it was just a few guys trying to summon a succubus into their bedroom."
"Did you ever try?" Rias asked, her coy smile making Naruto's cheeks heat up.
"N-No! I never tried to summon a demon into my house!" Naruto stepped backwards from the laughing red head.
"Sorry," She smiled warmly at him. "I was just joking."
"W-well," Naruto grumbled, hoping his face didn't betray his embarrassment. (It did).
"Still it is a shame that they were so limited in their application of magic!" Rias exclaimed suddenly. "The occult is a wonderful thing! Here!" She grabbed Naruto's hand and dragged him over to a glass display case. "Do you know what this is?"
Naruto looked at the item on display. "Er… It sorts of looks a poor-quality mirror?"
"Poor quality mirror?" Rias let out a gasp, "This is the legendary Yata no Kagami… replica," She finished with a chuckle. "But it borrows some of the divinity of the original artefact. It is said that what is reflected in the mirror is the truth."
"Really? So… Basically like every other mirror then?" Naruto deadpanned.
"No!" Rias pouted slightly, playfully hitting Naruto on the shoulder. "Like if a devil looks into it, even if they are disguised they will see their true form."
"Really," Naruto shook his head. "Sure, it does."
"Honest!" Rias unlocked the cage and held it up to Naruto. "What do you see?"
"What do I…" Naruto's voice trailed off. What was looking back at him was not his face. At least not properly. His reflection's hair was white and its eyes red and slitted. Six deep whisker scars ran along its face and it snarled, displaying sharp bestial fangs.
"Uzumaki-san?" Rias lowered the mirror. "Are you alright?"
"I… I don't know…" He looked at Rias, "I mean… My mom always told me I was handsome but… I'm average at best!"
"Idiot!" Rias let out a laugh as Naruto forced a cocky smile onto his face, trying to convince himself it was all a ruse by the bubbly Occult leader.
"Still I can tell you are passionate about this sort of thing," Naruto resumed cleaning while Rias returned the mirror to its case
"Yeah," Rias smiled. "It's all thanks to Sitri-san as well." She looked at Naruto, but he appeared to not react to the name, in fact all that happened was he turned to face her with an apologetic smile.
"Ah sorry, I don't think I know who that is," He laughed weakly.
"Ah sorry, I meant Shitori-san."
"The President?" Naruto paused as he recalled her piercing violet eyes.
"It's thanks to her that the Occult club got this whole building," Rias suddenly jumped up, causing a pleasant bouncing motion that Naruto felt guilty for noticing. "Say do you have an interest in the occult? I could always do with a new member!"
"Eh," Naruto made a point of looking around the room, "My uncle is kind of big on that stuff, but I don't really know much to be honest. Until recently I never really thought about it. I mean I knew a bit about religion from my dad but that's about it."
"Oh? Who is your father?"
"Just some old priest," Naruto laughed. "Or at least he was until he met my mother. He was forced to choose between his vows of celibacy and the woman he loved. My mom told me he didn't even wait for the head priest to stop speaking before taking off his collar and giving it back to the church."
"How romantic," Rias beamed as she watched Naruto at work. "So, you must be well versed on religious scriptures then?"
"Honestly, sermons were always too dry for me. I don't need some all-powerful god looking over me to make me behave in the right way." Naruto shrugged as he walked over to clean the windows, frowning as he saw a familiar figure walking to class, made even more noticeable by the wide ring of pupils keeping their distance from her.
Rias stood beside him, following his gaze. "Ah… Hyoudou-san."
"You know Issei-chan?" Naruto glanced at Rias, who wore a sad look on her face. "I'm surprised someone as popular as you knows who she is."
"She is always by herself when I see her… Well almost always." Rias turned to Naruto with a mischievous smile. "I've noticed she seems to talk to you a lot. What do you talk about?"
"Urgh…" Naruto looked away, "This and that. She's… she's interesting..."
"I see," Rias sighed. "When I saw her by herself I wanted to ask her if she wanted to join the Occult Club but… I figured I would give her a chance to make her own choice."
"I think she would be ecstatic if you asked her," Naruto chuckled. "Although… She might start saying some weird things. Still she is a good person. I think you should ask her."
"… You genuinely mean that." Rias let out a soft sigh. She gave up. During her questioning she never got the feeling he was lying and if he was allied with the fallen angels, she suspected he would have come up with some excuse to stop her getting close to Issei. "You are a good person, Uzumaki-san."
"Well I try," He laughed. "Still I can't stay here and talk all day, as much as I'd love to. I've got places to clean."
"Fight on!" She followed him to the door.
"I will, it was a pleasure Gremory-san." Naruto beamed at her.
"Just call me Rias," The beautiful woman smiled at him and as he looked at her, Naruto wondered if this is what it meant to be in love. A beautiful woman, her damp hair and wet skin carrying the scent of whatever shampoo she had used, looking at him with a pure and perfect smile while wearing only a towel.
It was a moment that Naruto would have put down as perfect, but reality had other ideas and before he could open his mouth to confess how he felt, the door he was stood behind opened. Well maybe opened is the wrong term. Launched open might be more accurate. But regardless of how you described it, the result was one Naruto Uzumaki being struck in the back and forced in the general direction of Rias. She moved to dodge instinctively, but then went to catch him but her awkward position resulted in his flailing arm grabbing her towel and tearing it off her as he fell to the floor. He tried to spin so he wasn't staring at the naked Rias but got tangled up in the towel, no doubt looking like a pervert wrapped up in the damp material.
Honestly it made him want to cry. How could this possibly get worse?
"Uzumaki-san," The cold voice of Tsubaki was unmistakable and Naruto found himself hoping he could suffocate in the towel to spare him the indignity of explaining this. Still it could be worse…
"Is the new janitor harassing you Gremory-san?" The dry voice of one Shitori Souna hit Naruto's ears and he gave a defeated sigh. So long Janitor's job. At least he had the image of a naked Rias burned deeply into his memory.
"This is my fault, not Uzumaki-san's!" Rias protested his innocence.
"Please get dressed Gremory-san," Souna rubbed her temples, watching as her rival/friend went back into the not-so-secret shower room to get dressed. While she was doing this, Tsubaki assisted Naruto out of the towel he had somehow gotten himself wrapped up in, shooting him a cold, disgusted gaze. It almost made him miss the cute blush she had just before she ran away last time they had spoken.
"Why are you here, Uzumaki-san?" Tsubaki asked as he stood up.
"I was sent to clean here by Maid-sempai." Naruto replied honestly.
"This building is off limits," Souna remarked. "Remember that next time please."
"Y-yes Ma'am!" The frosty tone of her words triggered a survival instinct in Naruto and he saluted her. She raised an eyebrow in response.
"I am glad that I ran into you, Uzumaki-san," Souna looked at the blonde, who suddenly felt a sinking feeling his stomach.
"Oh no…" Naruto paled.
"An incident was reported to me by the head nurse, Hyuuga-sensei," Souna walked over to the window, deliberately avoiding Naruto's gaze. As she stood there with a small beam of light from the open window striking her figure, he felt like he was gazing on a scene from one of the many expensive looking paintings that had been on the walls of the building. "You received a serious injury from the incident correct?" Out of the corner of his eyes, Naruto noticed Tsubaki visibly flinch.
"Oh, it wasn't that bad," Naruto laughed weakly.
"Oh?" Souna's smile was glacial as she turned to face Naruto. "Then please tell me what happened?"
"I… I was cleaning the student council hallway and I slipped down the stairs." Naruto slumped.
"So, you are incredibly clumsy? Not a trait I would like in a janitor if I'm completely honest." While her facial expressions betrayed nothing, Naruto got the impression the president was enjoying herself too much. "Then pray tell, why did my Vice President have tears in her eyes shortly after this incident? There were light bruises on her arms almost as if she had been attacked. Tell me Uzumaki-san, did you attack my Vice President?"
'Oh gods,' Naruto froze up. "N-No! I mean she lost her balance and I tried to help her but…"
"Strange," Souna tapped her chin, "When did she lose her balance? Was this before you fell down the stairs?"
"Y-yes. She slipped and when I went to help her, I slipped."
"Then what happened?"
"We fell down the stairs and I ended up being taken to the infirmary."
"I feel you are missing out some key details from that story, maybe Shinra-san would like to fill in the gaps?"
"Wait!" Naruto interrupted, hoping he could tell his story before Tsubaki put the final nails into the coffin of his time at Kuoh. He felt a wave of nausea hit him but shrugged it off, "I… While I was falling I may have grabbed a hold of Shinra-san."
"I see…" Souna said no more, merely looking at Naruto with neither rage or disgust, in fact she was looking at him completely apathetically, which somehow made her appear even more angry to Naruto. "Anything else?"
"And when we got to the bottom of the stairs… Shinra-san fell over and between her falling over and the fall down the stairs, she found her clothes in a state of disrepair." Naruto lowered his head. "I… Saw something I probably shouldn't have. I accept I did something wrong and will face the punishment." He bowed sharply, standing with his upper body parallel to the floor and his eyes squeezed shut.
"Anything you wish to challenge Shinra-san?" Souna turned to her vice president, who nodded solemnly, a faint dusting of red on her face (Not that Naruto could see that).
"I wish to report that Uzumaki-san is deliberately lying to protect my dignity." Tsubaki stated. "It was my clumsiness that resulted in the fall and if not for his intervention, I could have received serious harm."
"…What?" Naruto looked up in shock.
"As I said," Tsubaki looked away from him, "I feel no blame lies with Uzumaki-san for the incident. In fact, if anyone should be blamed it should be me for fleeing when he required medical assistance. It should have been obvious to me when he was laid perfectly still, looking at me dazed."
"I see, then perhaps you should be punished?" Souna remarked.
"Wait!" Naruto shook his head, "Don't punish her! I wasn't hurt as bad as you seem to think!"
"Then why were you staring at me in a dazed fashion then?" Tsubaki asked.
"Are you serious?" Naruto looked at her, "Because there was a beautiful girl in front of me that was… revealing more than she probably would have liked."
Tsubaki blinked a few times as if what was said failed to register with her. Then a deep red seemed to rise from her chin until her face was practically glowing. "W-w-w-w-what?!" The usually calm and collected Tsubaki let out a surprised squawk before hiding her face behind a clipboard, mumbling to herself.
"Hmm… I can't say I approve of a member of staff flirting with a student," Souna remarked dryly. "But that seems to be everything resolved." Souna nodded. "You mean us no harm correct?"
"Of course not!" Naruto felt a bit dizzy for a moment before the same shooting pain he had felt from the infirmary flared up again, dispelling the sensation.
"Actually, there is one issue that I believe needs addressing." Tsubaki, now recovered from her earlier embarrassment, cleared her throat.
"Yes?" Naruto smiled at her, but the girl refused to meet his gaze.
"…You did just strip Gremory-san. That is a very serious matter." Tsubaki made a note on her clipboard, "One that we have no choice but to have you fired for."
"…Ahahaha…" Naruto slumped and laughed robotically. "It's all over…"
"… I was joking," Tsubaki pushed her glasses up and walked away with a smile.
"A joke?!" Naruto blinked as Souna walked up to him.
"I am glad to see you have mastered your job to the point where you can have long conversations." Souna's smile was glacial. "I am sure you'll have plenty of time to clean the Student council office before the end of the day. Your employment may depend on it."
"Would calling you cute change anything?" Naruto tried hopefully.
"Ah, a womaniser? Maybe I should have you fired regardless," Souna remarked dryly. "You are clearly a threat to women." With that she left, nodding at the now dressed Rias who had just re-entered the room. "Remember, my office shall be cleaned by the end of the day." She left behind a defeated Naruto and bemused Rias.
"She may act like that, but she is a good person, honestly," Rias patted Naruto on the shoulder.
"Good person?" Naruto deadpanned. "She's a devil!"
When Rias realised he didn't mean it literally, she couldn't help but laugh, much to the confused Naruto's chagrin.
Outside the room Sona looked at her Queen. While on the surface she appeared calm and collected, Sona knew her friend well enough to see the tell-tale signs that she had something on her mind.
"This Uzumaki-san is not a spy," Sona smiled as she pulled a small pearl from her pocket. Its surface swirled as if a small storm was raging inside it. "There is no magic that we couldn't detect that would interfere with a Pearl of Veritas. So, you know what that means."
"When did you activate the pearl?" Tsubaki asked.
"Oh, some point just before he talked about you falling down the stairs together," Sona looked.
"S-So… He meant it when he said I was beautiful?" There was a faint blush on her face.
"…Yes," Sona smiled wryly. "With those magic reserves… He could make a powerful piece. Maybe I should recruit him, should he be an ally?"
"Y-yes." Tsubaki nodded, "Er… I mean if that is what you want to do."
Sona nodded with a faint smile. "Uzumaki Naruto huh? I get the feeling he will be very useful."
Back in the clubroom Naruto shivered.
"Why do I get the feeling my life just got a lot more complicated?" He mumbled to himself.
"Alright," Naruto sat cross legged as he looked at the large book in front of him, a scowl on his face. It had been four days since he had first been dropped off at Jiraiya's house. His hand still had a soft glow but did look a little less bright. Unfortunately, he had hit a wall when it came to his studies with the spell. No matter what he did, all he got were the sickly-looking clones. He was considering asking Jiraiya for help, but the smug look on the fallen Angel's face every time he mentioned Naruto's progress meant the blonde's pride wouldn't allow it.
Glancing at the small calendar that was next to his futon, Naruto realised he would have a day off tomorrow and that somehow, Issei seemed to have convinced him to meet up with her and one of her friends at the park where they had first met. He was kind of curious what a friend of 'Harem Freak' Issei would be like. Probably a Yaoi fanatic or an otaku or something.
He picked up his phone and called his mother. Before it had even finished the first ring she answered.
"Naruto! Do you want to come home? Minato, go and get in the car!"
"I'm not coming home just yet mom," Naruto looked at his glowing arm. "But I think I'm making some good progress though."
"Well, that's good to hear," Kushina's voice was sad. "Is that old pervert looking after you?"
"Yeah, he's keeping me fed and everything."
"And this school he's got you in, are you learning much?"
"It's fine mom. The school is really posh, and I am learning a lot." 'Technically true if not for the fact those two statements are unrelated.' Naruto felt a bit guilty for misleading his parents but Jiraiya was right in assuming that his mother would gladly walk the many miles between his new abode and his parents' house and drag Naruto back kicking and screaming if she knew that he wasn't going to school to learn and was in fact being hired out by Jiraiya. So long as there were people out to kill him, it was best to avoid going home.
"Well..." Before Kushina could say anything else, there was the sound of two excitable voices.
"Is it Naru-nii? Is he coming home?! Naru-nii!" Tsunade's excitable voice sounded through the phone, "Are you coming home? If you don't I'll hide all your socks and steal all your dirty mags!"
"I apologise for the idiot," A more refined voice responded. "Beloved Onii-sama. I understand that you must be parted from us for the moment but know my heart longs for our reunion and I remain forever faithful to you. Why I already replaced the faces of all the girls in your magazines with my own to make them more suitable for your tastes and shall ensure its delivery to you soon. Oh and another thing about this boorish individual. She received a confession from a boy in our school today."
"You cold shrew! I turned him down Naru-nii! After all I'm going to marry you!"
"Girls," Naruto let out a soft sigh. "I'm your brother. Aren't you a little old to still be saying such things? You are nearly 15 now!"
"What does that have to do with anything?" Tsunade sounded sulky. "I am going to marry you! I'll just beat up anyone who tries to stop us! Even that Issei tramp!"
"An uncivilised response as expected," Mito sighed, "While I plan to become Prime Minister and change the laws, it will take some time so wait for me, my sweet Onii-sama. This Issei may seem like a good decision now but I assure you I am more than worth the wait."
"…Mom can you help me out here?"
"If I could change their minds I would have by now," Kushina's voice was as exasperated as Naruto's. "But let's talk about these dirty mags? Is that Issei responsible?!"
With a weak chuckle, he tried to explain that there were no such mags (at least not in his old bedroom) and that Issei was a friend and nothing more before the conversation turned to mundane every day matters and after talking to his family for a while longer, he wished them good night and hung up after promising to ring them again tomorrow. While he appreciated the fact they cared, it was a bit oppressive at times. Maybe this would all turn out for the best. He chuckled as he imagined how his sisters would react to meeting Issei before putting his mobile on charge and heading downstairs, where Jiraiya was watching something on TV. Closer inspection revealed it to be a female gymnastics event.
"Oh, finally given up boy?" Jiraiya smirked. "Do you want to know the secret to that book?"
"I'm making good progress," Naruto replied defensively. "I'll have that skill mastered before you know it!" He paused before looking at Jiraiya, "You knew my birth parents, right? Could you tell me anything about them?"
"Your father was… something of an idiot savant I suppose. He was one of Heaven's brightest generals and few save a Seraph could defeat him in battle. Then you talked to him and couldn't help wondering if he took one too many blows to the head." There was a distant and fond smile on his face. "He was one of the generals who thought up a great strategy to help stall the Nephilim. He fought for ten years with barely a moments rest but never faltered. Then he had a complete brain fart and fell in love with the heartless monster that was your birth mother. I told him it was stupid and that she was only using him, but he didn't care. I don't really know much about your mother, I think she is still alive, but that would change should I ever learn of her location."
"You said there were three children, right?" Naruto tried to change the subject, "Does that mean I have blood-siblings?"
"Oh them, yeah." Jiraiya nodded. "Although they think you're dead if they even knew you ever existed. I know your Angel sister was entrusted to Gabriel, so she is probably healthy and happy. Your other sister though…" There was a dismissive shrug.
"One day I'll find them," Naruto nodded, "After I've proved I'm not a threat and then… I'd like to introduce them to my little sisters. Maybe having an older female role model will help them become more reasonable."
"Isn't your mother a reasonable role model?"
"I'm 90% sure her over-the-top mothering is the reason they ended up perfectly happy to make exaggerated displays of affection towards me in the first place." Naruto chuckled.
Jiraiya merely snorted in amusement. "I can see that." He nodded, "Well how about a bit of a lesson since you are clearly making such good progress that you have time to waste chatting to me."
"About what?" Naruto sat down in a comfortable chair, accepting the cup of tea that Jiraiya passed him.
"The state of magic in the world." Jiraiya nodded sagely. "For example, you recently discovered Angels, Fallen Angels and Devils were magic-using species, but did you know that humans can use it as well although their sources vary."
"So even my little sisters could potentially cast spells as well?"
"Well, you need an aptitude in most cases. The two most common styles are the Religious teachings headed by Rome. These mages tend to be called Exorcists and usually rely on artefacts or an Angel's blessings to use magic. The stronger the faith of the individual the more powerful the magic. Then there are cultists or warlocks who are the same except they use magic gifted through a pact with a devil. In this case it is the individuals desire that fuels their magic, be that sexual desire or a just a desire to raise through the ranks or to understand more about the world. Often a single devil will grant powers to a single servant who then forms a cult to gather more individuals the devil might be able to use."
"So basically, a magic using species has to grant the ability to a human?" Naruto stifled a yawn.
"There is the Mages Association, based in London who instead rely on understanding magic and using tools to cast spells without Angelic or Demonic assistance but the effort to reward ratio is considerably less for these mages. First, they need an innate skill at magic and a great intellect to understand how to interact with magic and influence it." Jiraiya yawned. "While intelligence is harder to influence, the innate ability to control magic can be passed on through genetics so there are a lot of old families who dominate the Mages Association. You probably won't have much to do with them this far from Europe though."
"I see," Naruto frowned. "So there was literally no reason for you to tell me about them?"
"Not really, I was just bored and like sounding intelligent." Jiraiya admitted unashamedly. He chuckled as Naruto stormed off to his room. "Enjoy your studying! Remember every useless fact I teach you forces some more useful knowledge out of your head! I'll be sure to let you know what little I know about reincarnation next time!"
"Bite me old man!" Naruto retorted angrily as he made his way back to his room. He sometimes wondered if Jiraiya was trying to teach him anything or just annoying him to pass the time. He could never understand the Fallen Angel's actions.
"So… who's the lucky girl?" Jiraiya grinned as he wrapped a fresh roll of bandages around Naruto's left arm. The two were stood in his living room, the young blonde standing impatiently as Jiraiya slowly applied seals to the bandages as he unravelled them.
"What makes you think a girl is involved?" Naruto replied defensively. "I just have a friend who wanted to meet up alright?"
"Okay, okay," Jiraiya smirked, "You forget I read your test messages. Remember no matter what, you can't remove these bandages even if you think your arm is impressive enough to get a girl to drop her panties. A true gentleman could trick her into sex without such gimmicks! Without the barriers and spells this house has, removing that seal would be like firing a million flares and wearing a massive sign saying, 'Potential Nephilim here'."
"A 'true gentlemen' would never trick a girl," Naruto retorted as he checked his reflection in the mirror. He was wearing a black tracksuit with a single orange striped around his waist.
"They'd probably put more effort into their appearance than you as well," Jiraiya sighed dramatically.
"I refuse to take fashion advice from someone who dresses like a Kabuki actor."
"It's called blending in! I wanted to look Japanese to throw off any pursuers."
"Well, I'll give you credit where its due old pervert," Naruto headed to the door, "If I was looking for someone in hiding, I probably wouldn't think the guy who sticks out like a sore thumb was the guy I was looking for."
"See!" Jiraiya smirked. "The almighty Jiraiya-sama is a genius!"
"…Never mind," Naruto shook his head as he left the house, heading to the park at a brisk pace. Part of him was wondering whether he should make an excuse not to show up, but he had promised her, and Naruto never went back on his word.
He was so deep in thought that he nearly ran into a stern looking older man. He was wearing a large trench coat and a suit underneath it. He scowled at Naruto, adjusting her fedora before walking away without a further word.
"Man, he just reeked of suspicious," Naruto frowned before shaking his head. "It's probably nothing."
He continued towards the park without giving the stranger a second thought, until he got to the entrance, where Issei was stood talking to some girl Naruto had not seen before. When she saw him, Issei started bouncing up and down, waving her arms wildly resulting in a pleasant bouncing motion from her modest chest. Clearly her friend caught his less than pure gaze as there was a look of horror and shock before she quickly schooled her features into a more neutral expression. It was a shame as Naruto had to admit she was quite a cute girl. She had long, brown hair and a beautiful smile and was wearing a cute shirt and dress.
"Naruto-kun! You made it," Issei beamed. "Oh, this is Yuuma-chan, she's my friend."
"A pleasure," Yuuma smiled and bowed her head softly. "I was eager to meet the person Issei-chan spoke so fondly of."
"Uzumaki Naruto," Naruto bowed his head in return, "Nice to meet you too. I was interested to meet another one of Issei's friends."
"Right, now that we are all acquainted!" Issei grabbed Naruto with one hand and Yuuma with the other, dragging them behind her. "There is a festival in town today with all sorts of stalls! Let's have fun together!"
"S-sure," Naruto laughed weakly before glancing at Yuuma who quickly looked away. 'Oh… That was a hostile look. Did… Did she think this would be a date with Issei or something? I mean I know in books that girls at an all girl's school have a higher tendency to be involved in lesbian romances but didn't figure it was actually true. Maybe I should make an excuse to leave these two alone.'
The trio walked up to the first set of stalls, Issei still leading the charge.
"Oh look," Issei beamed. "It's a gun shooting game."
"Indeed," Yuuma nodded softly. "Oh, that giant teddy looks so cute!"
"I'll bet Naruto-kun can win it for you!" Issei gave him a big thumbs up and was so confident that Naruto himself believed her, until he remembered he'd never even seen a firearm, let alone used one.
"Er… What?" Naruto blinked as Issei leaned towards him and dramatically whispered in his ear.
"Woo her with your skills! Show her the powers of a Harem Protagonist!" She hissed before slapping him on the back. "Yeah, Naruto is really great with guns!"
"Is that so?" There was a strange look on Yuuma's face that quickly cleared.
"You want to play a game?" The old man behind the stall smiled as he pointed to the cans stacked into pyramids behind him. "500 Yen for 5 shots. The more cans you knock down the better the prize I'm sure a big, strapping boy like you will have no problem winning a prize for these lovely ladies."
"Naruto-kun is going to claim the top prize!" Issei declared as she interrupted Naruto and slammed some money on the counter which quickly vanished into the stall owner's pockets.
"W-well I wouldn't say that I'm anything special," He picked up the air rifle experimentally, trying to ignore Issei telling Yuuma completely fabricated stories on how awesome he was and took aim, the storekeeper standing to one side with a smug look on his face. Squeezing the trigger, Naruto was surprised when he managed to hit the pyramid of cans, but considerably less surprised that he failed to knock any of them over. Four more shots, of which only two hit a can, and still he had failed to knock even a single can down.
"I guess I'm having an off day," Naruto rubbed the back of his head in embarrassed.
"The game has to be fixed," Issei declared angrily, "Those cans barely moved!"
"Have you got a problem with how I run my game?" The Stall owner leaned forwards, resting his hands on a large wooden club.
"Of course not," Naruto tried to calm the furious Issei.
"Let me have a try," Yuuma smiled as she picked up a rifle and put down some money.
"Feel free to try as many times as you want," The stall owner laughed.
While he was struggling to restrain Issei, Naruto was watching Yuuma out of the corner of his eyes and saw her apparently kiss the toy gun for good luck before pulling the trigger. As soon as the rubber pellet struck the centre of the pyramid of cans, they all tumbled to the floor leaving a stunned Naruto, Issei and Stall owner.
"W-well you get a grand prize…" The stall owner moved to take a large teddy bear from the pile of prizes but Yuuma stopped him with an innocent smile.
"I believe I paid for five shots?" She smiled.
Four minutes later, Naruto and Issei were carrying two giant teddy bears each whilst Yuuma walked along with only one, leaving behind an openly weeping stall owner.
"That was amazing," Issei beamed. "How'd you get so good with guns?"
"Oh, it's nothing," Yuuma smiled politely, "My dad taught me a few things and some lessons never really fade." She kept glancing at Naruto, as if expecting him to say something but this was misunderstood by the other two.
Naruto assumed she was hinting at him that he should leave so she could spend some alone time with Issei (Which was not 100% wrong) and Issei thought she was looking at him because she could sense his Harem Protagonist Magnetism ™ and was slowly but surely succumbing to his influence.
"What should we go to next?" Issei grinned.
"If you don't mind, I could do with visiting the lady's room." Yuuma looked embarrassed.
"Of course!" Issei gestured in the direction of the bathrooms, watching Yuuma slip out of sight before turning to Naruto. "Okay… So, my plan to have you impress her didn't go very well but I think she's warming up to you."
"I honestly think she'd be happier If I left… Wait a second, why do you want me to impress her?" Naruto asked.
"So, you can use your harem protagonist skills to win her heart and then she'll join your harem," The tone of Issei's voice made it clear she thought this was obvious.
"But isn't she your friend?!" Naruto protested, long since used to the fact that Issei could not be dissuaded of his Harem Protagonist status.
"Exactly! It is important that the first members of the harem get along well as that will encourage others to accept the harem lifestyle! Yuuma-chan is my best friend so having her a sort of sister would be awesome!"
"You must have known her for a long time huh?" Naruto chuckled softly.
"I befriended her two days before I met you." Issei replied proudly.
"I'm starting to wonder if falling from that tree has left some lasting damage," Naruto's shoulders dropped. "Don't you ever stop and think things over? Within a minute of meeting me you thought I was trying to start your route or something."
"I just go with my gut! From the moment you touched me after seeing my most secret area, I could tell you were a good person! If I stopped and waited for you to validate my belief we may never have become friends. Every second we hesitate is a potential flag we might miss. You can't afford to let a single opportunity slip away!"
"You say that as if you are in danger of dying soon." Naruto sighed.
"Maybe I am," Issei looked up at the blue sky. "Some people just die for no reason. Old people, people like us… babies barely a minute old…"
"Ah sorry, this is supposed to be a potential harem member recruitment, I didn't mean to bring down the mood," Issei returned to her bubbly self instantly. "Hmm… She's taken a while in the bathroom, isn't she? Maybe she wants someone to go in and trigger some sort of flag."
"Or maybe she's… you know," Naruto coughed awkwardly. "Passing something solid?"
"Are you some sort of pervert who gets off talking about girls pooping?" Issei asked in shock.
"What?! You're the one who wants me to go into the girl's toilet to trigger some sort of event!"
"I never specified she wanted you to go in. That was all you." Issei grinned. "Maybe we should go in together~"
"If you want to go in feel free," Naruto let out an exhausted sigh, "I mean you are a girl so going in the girl's toilets is okay for you."
"Oh, I get it. You think you can trigger another harem event by standing here without another girl with you. I'll leave you to it," She left with what Naruto assumed was supposed to be a sly wink.
"That is totally not what I meant." Naruto protested as he watched her go. 'I really don't get this girl.'
Issei grinned as she made her way to the toilet, her giant teddy bears under each arm. She was having fun and even if the first plan hadn't gone as she had wanted, they had a whole day to try and get Yuuma and Naruto closer. Issei had read pretty much every romantic harem story ever written (At least the officially published ones) and had a whole host of clichés to bust out in order to get Yuuma's heart going 'doki doki'.
Glancing over her shoulder, Issei chuckled as she saw some small kids asking Naruto for the giant teddies which he happily gave away. From the first time she'd seen him, she had felt a comforting presence, like he was some sort of natural big brother entity, the kind of person she had always wanted to know. If he was her big brother than that meant she could be an imouto character, her favourite member of any harem. She briefly considered asking if she could call him Onii-chan but figured that would be pushing it. Besides like Naruto said, they'd have plenty of time to get comfortable enough in each other's presence to give each other pet names. As strange as it may have sounded. This past week since meeting Naruto had be so much fun. She couldn't wait to see what the future held.
"Excuse me miss," She was brought back to reality by a girl wearing a short red dress with cute black wings on the back. She had brown hair and Issei briefly considered trying to get her to talk to Naruto before dismissing the idea and accepting the flyer and stuffing it in her pockets, making a mental note to read it later before resuming her journey to the girl's bathroom.
As she walked into the toilets she could barely make out a soft voice apparently talking to someone.
"I don't know. Honestly, he appears sealed but the fact I can sense his energy over the seal worries me. Just promise when I trigger the isolation spell you'll show up just in case. Yes, yes, I know. Thanks, Dohnaseek. Yes, hopefully it will be a battle worth your time."
The stall the voice was coming from opened and Yuuma stepped out, a surprised look on her face. "I-Issei-chan?"
"Sorry," Issei beamed. "I didn't mean to eavesdrop but it's okay. I understand."
"But you don't have to worry! Judging from the bandages on his arm, Naruto-kun is also a fan of Chuunibyou play so you don't have to be worried about your spells and seals." Issei winked, "But I'll keep your secret until you are ready to tell him yourself."
"…Thanks," Yuuma smiled widely. "I really appreciate it."
"Think nothing of it!" Issei laughed as the two girls left the toilets, meeting up with Naruto who was stood with several trays of okonomiyaki.
"They were on offer, so I figured why not," Naruto laughed weakly as he offered a tray to each of the girls, who accepted them with a soft smile.
It was several hours later, and the sun was starting its descent when the trio finally stopped for a rest. They approached a large fountain and made themselves comfortable on a bench. Naruto was sat on the left and Yuuma on the right with an ecstatic Issei between them, happily eating some skewered dango. There was no one else in sight which confused Naruto slightly, given as he expected this to be a hot date spot. He realised this mentally meant he thought he was on a date with Issei and Yuuma and quickly tried to shake the thought from his head.
"This was fun!" Issei suddenly declared as the three youths watched the fountain. "We should totally do this again."
"I actually had a lot of fun," Naruto smiled. Sure, it had been tiring with Issei coming up with plan after plan to force Naruto and Yuuma to end up in cliched situations, but he had to admit, it was anything but boring.
"I'm glad to hear that," Yuuma smiled as she got off the bench and walked over to a fountain, hopping softly onto the ledge before spinning around and facing Issei and Naruto with a smile. "I wasn't expecting to have this much fun either. You know Naruto-san, I had to admit I was worried about you. I thought you would ruin all my plans, but I am fairly certain I was wrong."
"Oh, you don't have to worry about me getting in your way," Naruto laughed.
"I'm glad to hear that." There was tone to her voice that suddenly sent shivers down Naruto's spine. "You see… There are some things in this world that have to be- taken care of."
"Yuuma-chan?" Issei looked around nervously as the air started to crackle with energy and 'Yuuma' was swallowed up by a vortex of energy that faded away to reveal an older looking Yuuma, wearing an outfit that was more like a black leather bikini and with black wings sprouting from her back.
"You're some sort of Angel?" Naruto paled. "Those black wings… Are you a Fallen?"
"Full marks. Judging from your arm I was wondering if you were a rival exorcist sent to interfere in my work, but it seems you are just a boy playing with forces they don't understand. I was debating whether to let you live or not but honestly… Seeing that stupid grin on your face made me want to see your scared face." Yuuma's smile turned sinister. "Honestly, that pathetic little girl was so happy to have a friend at last. How sad that because of her… her one true friend is going to die~"
"W-what do you mean?!" Issei leapt off the bench.
"I mean I'm going to kill Naruto-kun… and make you watch as the last of his life bleeds away, so you can see the look in his eyes as he blames you for his death. Then I will destroy you."
"But why?" Issei yelled. "I… I thought we were friends? Why do you want to kill me and hurt me?"
"Dear Issei…" The fallen angel's voice dripped with condescension, "Did you really think that anyone would willingly be your friend. Even this boy probably only hangs around with you because he thought you'd be easy to seduce. So sad and lonely."
"That's… That's not true." Issei clenched her fists. "Naruto-kun isn't like that! You're not like this!"
"How would you know? How long have you known him for?" Yuuma tutted. "For all you know he could be the same as me."
Naruto glanced at his bandaged arm before looking between Issei and Yuuma, wondering if he should remove the bindings and weighing up the pros and cons.
Pro: Jiraiya would sense him and know something was up.
Con: Anyone who wanted him dead (including the fallen angel in front of him) would know where and what he was and Yuuma would probably consider him a threat rather than a nuisance and kill him instantly.
Pro: He could use the spell he had almost mastered.
Con: He hadn't mastered the spell and a lethargic clone of himself was even less use than he was sealed.
Pausing a moment, he started to consider things from the opposite point of view. What were the benefits of leaving the bandages on?
Pro: Yuuma would think he was harmless and toy with him, giving him a slow and pathetic death before killing Issei… Okay that wasn't really a Pro. If he removed the bandages then he would probably die, but it might attract enough attention that Issei may be saved. If he was going to die anyway, he could at least try and be a distraction for her.
"Hey Yuuma," Naruto yelled with a soft smirk.
"What do you want human boy?" Yuuma tilted her head. "Want to beg for your life… I know! If you kill her, I'll let you live as my servant. Wouldn't that be fun?"
"About as fun as dying from the plague," Naruto retorted as he began unravelling the bandages with a smirk before dropping them to the floor, revealing his glowing arm.
"Whoa…" Issei blinked in awe.
"I see…" Yuuma frowned softly. "You have some sort of sacred gear too? That's fine. I just have to destroy both of you now."
"So, you don't know what this power is?" Naruto was slightly off put by her lack of a reaction. They way Jiraiya had talked made it sound like every magical species was terrified of a Nephilim but Yuuma seemed barely interested. He looked around, as if expecting angels to crash all around him but there was a notable lack of activity.
"Oh, was that supposed to be signal to summon your allies?" Yuuma laughed. "I set up an isolation spell a long time ago and triggered it before revealing myself to you. Until I end it no-one can enter or leave this small bubble of reality."
"…What?" Naruto's bravado vanished.
"You are alone here." Yuuma seemed to take great delight in the rapid paling of Naruto's face. "Now then… Quick or slow… How should I kill you?"
"You leave me no choice," Naruto grit his teeth and gathered his energy and slapped his palms together, as if in prayer. "Take this!" There was a soft poof of smoke that filled the area and a sickly Naruto staggered out of it and fell to its knees before collapsing in a heap, groaning pathetically.
"What was that supposed to do?" Yuuma asked in a deadpan before looking at where Naruto and Issei had been stood. "Oh… A distraction. I wonder if he realises I can tell exactly where he is thanks to that arm. Oh well," She chuckled darkly, "Let the hunt begin~"
Issei cursed her luck as she ran through the trees and bushes that surrounded the fountain. There wasn't much cover, but she hoped that it was enough. She had to find someone to come and help them.
When the cloud of smoke had covered them, Naruto had quickly run over to her and told her to flee, saying he would serve as a distraction. She told him that if it was her they were after he should be the one that fled but he told her that apparently his arm was like a beacon to them, so he would never be able to escape from them, but she could, and she could get help.
She should have known it was too good to be true. Her entire life she had always gotten her hopes up only to have them torn apart shortly after. Every friend she had made ended up drifting apart after a few days and as she couldn't keep friends she sought solace in books and discovered the magic of harems. In a harem there were so many people that interacted with each other, even though their interests were different they shared one common desire. To be with the protagonist. The bonds of sisterhood formed in such stories inspired her and when the girls worked together (Usually to foil another member of the harem) she found herself in awe then she started playing Visual novels and discovered harem routes.
They were a way for all the girls to be happy and come together like an extended family. A way for someone like her to make friends and finally allow her to have a fun life full of romantic hijinks with her harem sisters and love interest. Of course, when the other girls found out that she played such games she was ostracised even more, which only caused her to seek more solace in the very media that had caused her isolation from her peers.
She shook such thoughts from her head. After all she had met Naruto and he was a good person. He could even possibly be the harem hero she had been looking for. He wasn't too bad to look at and for some reason, Issei felt safe around him. Even after seeing Yuuma turn into an angel and say she was going to kill them, she had no doubt that Naruto would somehow prevail. It was his Harem Protagonist Aura ™. When he smiled as said everything was going to be alright, you just couldn't help but believe him.
She suddenly ran into a tall man wearing a trench coat and a fedora, who turned and looked at her with a cold stern face.
"Mr! My friend is being attacked!" She turned to point into the forest. "He needs help. Please Mr!"
She never saw the spear of energy aimed at her back.
"Peek-a-boo!" Yuuma cooed as she launched a crackling spear of energy at Naruto, narrowly missing him and causing the tree next to him to explode in a shower of bark before falling, narrowly missing the fleeing blonde. "You can't hide from me."
"So, tell me… Why do you want to kill Issei and just what the hell is a Sacred Gear?"
"You don't know?" Yuuma scoffed, "You must be low in what ever magic order you belong to. A sacred gear is a 'blessing' from God. Your friend had the misfortune to be one of those souls born with one inside them. Such a thing is a considerable threat to my kind."
"So, you're scared of her?" Naruto hoped provoking the fallen angel would have her make a mistake, but she was largely unbothered by his remark.
"If you saw a tiger in its cage, would you consider it cowardice to not climb in the cage?" Yuuma fluttered through the air and tossed another spear of energy at Naruto, who yelped and dived out of the way. "I wonder if he's finished by now?"
"…What do you mean?" Naruto scrambled to his feet as he felt his blood freeze.
"My colleague… You see I wasn't sure what sort of a threat you might be, so I asked a friend to make sure Issei-chan was looked after."
"W-what?" Naruto froze, providing the fallen angel with an opportunity she would not pass up, charging him in the blink of an eye and thrusting her spear at his chest, which he instinctively tried to block by crossing his arms. By more luck than skill the spear struck his glowing left arm, before suddenly being forced back and staggering the surprised fallen angel. Viewing this as his only chance to get a good hit in, Naruto lunged with his glowing arm and punched her square in the face.
Physically speaking, a human could hurt an Angel if they tried hard enough but it would take some preparation on the human's part. Naruto had not expected to have to fight for his life and punch an Angel in her beautiful face, but then again never in her worst fears did Yuuma expect to fight someone with 16 years' worth of suppressed divine energy compressed into a single fist.
The resultant punch carried far more force than Yuuma was expecting and sent her soaring backwards through the park.
Pausing to admire his handiwork, Naruto quickly remembered what Yuuma had said and turned to run in search of Issei. He was sure she was bluffing, after all the seals on his arm should have meant she couldn't have sensed his power but still he couldn't suppress his concern as he ran through the park, he made his way back to the fountain and froze in horror.
Issei was lying in a pool of her own blood, the man Naruto had seen earlier stood over her scornfully.
"You…" Naruto felt a cold sensation sweeping over his body. "Why?!"
"She wasn't worth the effort, maybe you will be more interesting," The man scowled at Naruto before thrusting the crackling shaft of energy at him, Naruto parrying it with his arm earning a grunt of respect from the larger man. "That arm of yours, is it a Sacred Gear? No… I don't think it is. Curious." The man grinned ferally, "Still it holds some power. More than can be said for her."
"You bastard!" Naruto leapt at the man, rage overwriting his self-preservation as he swung at the smug fallen angel, who dodged his strike with a sneer, leaving black feathers in the air that detonated with enough force that Naruto was sent skidding backwards, his tracksuit sleeves ripped apart as he shielded his face.
"Or perhaps you are just a wild beast," The man mocked Naruto then lunged at him, intending to spear the blonde through his heart. Naruto grabbed the spear with his glowing arm and was forced backwards, the man casually walking forwards as Naruto put his entire strength into stopping the spear getting near his chest. Unfortunately, while he was focused on the man, he left his back wide open and the next thing he felt was two soft breasts resting against him before a pain many times worse than anything he had ever felt before wracked his entire body.
"Oh, did that hurt," Yuuma leaned on his shoulder, twisting the spear she had thrust into his stomach and smiling serenely as he coughed up blood. "I really didn't appreciate that punch. Now any last words?"
"You… You've got something on your cheek." Naruto closed his eyes.
"My fist," Naruto struggled to collect the energy, cursing as the pain of his wound and the loss of a considerable amount of blood. In response to his reduced energy output, a perfectly formed Naruto clone appeared and punched Yuuma in the face, although without his divine energy coated arm it was little more than a slap to her face.
"Really." With a sigh she threw Naruto to the ground and destroyed the clone.
"We are done here." The male turned and walked away, "Have you secured the main target?"
"She should be here shortly. It has taken a lot of effort to get her," Yuuma grabbed Naruto by his collar dragging him along with a sick smile.
"…Are you bringing him with us?" The man scowled.
"I'm curious about just who he is." She chuckled darkly. "And I intend to make him tell me if he survives long enough for her to heal his wounds."
"…So long as it doesn't interfere with the plan." The man remarked darkly as the three suddenly vanished.
"What happened?!" Issei suddenly shot up and looked around wildly. She was in an unfamiliar room. "Did… Did I die?"
"You nearly did," A kind voice informed her and the owner of that voice, one Rias Gremory, stepped into her view. There was a look of concern on her face. "How do you feel?"
"It's okay, you can call me Rias. You are in the Occult Room's clubroom."
"Oh, I couldn't possibly… I mean…" She suddenly froze, "Naruto! Where is Naruto?"
"Naruto?" Rias looked confused.
"Uzumaki Naruto! The new janitor!" Issei bit her lip nervously.
"Was he the one who attacked you?" Rias' eyes narrowed.
"What? No!" Issei shook her head. "It was a strange old guy in a suit and… Yuuma-chan… She said she was a Fallen Angel…"
"Yuuma?" Rias looked at someone behind Issei.
"That name doesn't ring any bells," The voice of Akeno responded to Rias' unasked question. "It is probably a fake name anyway."
"She… She was on the phone to someone called Dohnaseek… I thought it was some sort of LARP-ing thing but… she was planning to kill me… and Naruto he was just caught up in it…" She lowered her head, fighting back tears.
"That name was on the list of potential problems we received," Akeno stepped into view, "But when we arrived there was only you there."
"Himejima-sempai?" Issei squeaked. "I… The two idols? What… That's not important!" She tried to stand up but was forced back down by Akeno.
"You need to recover and there are things we need to tell you," Rias started to explain.
"But what about Naruto?" Issei asked.
"It is possible he was working with the Fallen angels…" Akeno started.
"No! That's… He wouldn't…" Issei looked at the floor. "He tried to buy me time to escape."
"I will put out some feelers to see if we can find him," Rias assured Issei, seeming to calm her down. "Now just relax for a few moments. I need to talk to someone but then I'll be back, and I will explain everything."
"R-right…" Issei nodded as the two beauties stepped out of the room, where the school president was waiting, anxiously tapping her foot with a distant expression that suddenly sharpened as Rias and Akeno approached her.
"Well," Sona Sitri crossed her arms. "Who were the culprits?" This attack had happened to close to her school and it had been a blow to her pride. She intended to have those responsible pay their debt in blood. Her peerage was already out looking for any clues but had found little save the blood stains and destroyed trees.
"Apparently she was attacked by Fallen Angels." Rias shook her head softly.
"I see," Sona frowned. "I've had my Peerage go over every inch of that park. I don't know how they managed to set up such a complicated barrier that prevented their detection, but I fear this was no 'one off' attack."
"Apparently the new janitor was there as well," Akeno added.
"Uzumaki-san?" Sona frowned. "You don't think he was helping the fallen angels?"
"Issei-chan is adamant that is not the case."
"I'll look into it. If he truly is with them, Issei's death is my fault for not taking action from the beginning." Sona nodded at Rias. "My Peerage shall look into this, focus on preparing Issei-chan for the Ratings Game."
"Thanks Sona." Rias gave her friend/rival a warm smile.
"Thank me by not losing," Sona replied calmly before walking away without a further word.
"I suppose it's time to teach her about her new race," Akeno smiled as they walked into the room only to find an ecstatic Issei with a content Koneko in her lap. "She seems happy enough."
"Urgh…" Naruto blinked stupidly as he woke up. He felt… surprisingly good considering he had been run through with a spear of pure energy. Despite himself, he couldn't help but recall the feeling of Yuuma's breasts against his back, before quickly dispelling the image and taking in his surroundings. He appeared to be in some sort of basement, laying on a cold church bench. Looking around he saw many defaced statues and altars and concluded wherever he was, it was owned by someone who didn't like God. He raised his left arm to wipe his brow and noticed that fresh bandages had been applied although the seals looked different this time. He checked himself for damage and found that despite his outfit bearing a bloody hole where he had been stabbed and the sleeves being burnt away where he had blocked the enemy attacks, he was perfectly healthy, bar an occasional shooting pain.
He let out a heartfelt groan as he struggled to his feet and looked around, seeing a young-looking nun kneeling before a small statue of some female saint or something, one of the few to avoid the wanton destruction that had targeted the other holy symbols. She turned as she heard him move, quickly running over to him with a look of concern. She was a young blonde girl, her face radiating innocence, purity and a concern that instantly put her in the same 'Must Protect' category of people as by his little sisters.
"Mr Half-Angel, you need to rest." She helped him sit back down. "My Twilight Healing has limited effectiveness on you for some reason."
"Twilight Healing?" Naruto blinked.
"My Sacred Gear," The nun clasped her hands together and looked to the roof of the attic, "The Gift from Him upon high. Are… Are you okay?"
"Fine, thanks," Naruto forced a smile, ignoring the stabbing pains that periodically shot through his body. "My name is Uzumaki Naruto, I'm… wait did you call me a half-angel?"
"I am Asia Argento," She bowed her head. "Ah, I mean Argento Asia… My given name Is Asia. You… you are not half-angel?"
"I'm not sure," Naruto laughed weakly, "What do you see when you look at me?"
"It is hard to put into words," Asia smiled weakly, "But I don't think Uzumaki-san is a bad person. You feel like the angels who graciously looked after me after my grave sin."
"Grave sin?" Naruto blinked.
"I… I used my powers to heal a devil." There was a sad look in her eyes, "As such I was branded a heretic and cast out of my church. But that didn't weaken my faith!" She suddenly perked up, "It is often said that in times of hardship, faith truly shines. I still pray frequently for guidance from the Lord."
"Oh," Naruto rubbed the back of his head. "Is it really such a bad thing to heal a devil? Are they all evil? Because if I'm honest I've yet to meet an angel I'd call good and if all magical species are evil then I might just cry."
"Please don't be sad!" Asia smiled at him. "I believe all are capable of good, be they angel, devil or human." She smiled at Naruto in a way that made him want to hug her and tell her he would look after her, but he managed to resist the urge, if only for the trouble he would have explaining to Mito and Tsunade that he had adopted another little sister.
"Oh… you've finally woken up eh?" The boisterous voice of Jiraiya caused Naruto let out a sigh of relief, until he heard the familiar voice of Yuuma.
"Like I promised," Yuuma sighed. "Good as new."
"Jiraiya! She tried to kill me, and her friend killed Issei!" Naruto pointed furiously at Yuuma, who merely scoffed.
"I am aware of that," Jiraiya gestured. "You nearly messed up an official Fallen Angels mission. Raynare here was ordered to keep an eye on this Issei chick. You are lucky she didn't kill you outright."
"W-what do you mean?" Naruto's blood went cold but before he could say anything else, Jiraiya grabbed him by the collar and dragged him upstairs into what looked like a ruined church. As he was dragged out he noticed some sort of crazy preacher and the trench coat wearing assailant who killed Issei, who waved at him with a look of condescension.
The blood was pounding in Naruto's ears as Jiraiya continued to pull him outside. The two travelled in silence until Naruto couldn't take it and broke out of the old pervert's grip.
"What the hell?!" Naruto glared at the fallen angel. "Why did you just leave them alone?"
"As I said kid, Raynare had all the paperwork that showed she is here on official business. You were messing up an official Fallen Angel mission, which isn't going to go down to well with Azazel, one of the people you need to win over to not spend the rest of your life looking over your shoulder. Luckily for you, you got Raynare's interest and she decided she wanted to torture you rather than kill you."
"Didn't seem that way when she skewered me," Naruto gestured to his bloody outfit.
"A wound like that would have never killed you," Jiraiya shrugged. "Remember, despite your appearance you aren't human."
"Why did they let you take me?"
"I am a pretty powerful Fallen Angel," Jiraiya shrugged. "Even Dohnaseek knows better than to try his luck against me."
"Then why didn't you fight them and avenge Issei?!"
"Because I don't know Issei and honestly I don't care. Besides, they are practically tutorial level bosses that you fight after finding some good allies and getting a basic grasp of your powers." Jiraiya chuckled to himself as the hint went straight over Naruto's head, "Did you meet that cute nun?"
"Oh Asia-chan?" Naruto nodded. "Yeah. She seems like a good person."
"Oh, she is," Jiraiya nodded. "Shame though."
"Oh, I was talking to Raynare and apparently they are going to kill her in a week when the final supplies they need to complete their ritual arrive." Jiraiya mentioned matter-of-factly.
"Then you have to go and save her!" Naruto grabbed Jiraiya by the labels of his jacket.
"We can't get involved if you want to win over Azazel," Jiraiya reminded. "Besides that, sounds like too much effort."
"Then I'll do it then," Naruto started back towards the church before being grabbed by Jiraiya.
"Listen kid, people die all the time. She has a week to make peace with that fact. I mean imagine all the things you could do in a week. I mean you could write a short story, compile a photo album, have some pretty exciting sexual encounters, Heck you might even be able to learn some powerful magic or maybe make some powerful allies to help you with your goal." Jiraiya looked out of the corner of his eyes and saw, much to his delight, his words had the desired effect.
"Yeah," Naruto looked at the church and clenched his fist. "A lot can happen in a week…" He turned to leave, the fire in his soul ignited. "This isn't over Yuuma," He growled under his breath as he looked at his bandaged arm. "Not by a long shot!"
As if in response to his raging soul, a spark of red flickered around his right arm.