Naruto: Fate Breaker
A/N: Hello everybody! Sorry for the long delay on this. I've been suffering a bit with writer's block with TLR so that's going to take a bit longer for the next chapter to be released. Also you may have noticed the title has changed. This was previously known as Cursed Child but that made the story out to be a bit darker than I was intending. This title is a bit more unique and fitting for the story.
Unlike the first chapter, this one is much shorter sitting at 13K words and builds a little on the Character relationships. Hopefully you all enjoy it.
Advance warning that Naruto is still getting to grips with his powers. His strength starts to increase from this point onwards though.
Have any questions that you want to ask me? I have a link to a discord group in my profile where you can get in touch with me. I am planning to use this to host polls etc. in the future should it get a large enough following.
Don't have/ want to join the Discord? Simply PM me and I will respond as soon as I can.
Disclaimer: The characters mentioned in this story are the property of their respective owners.
Chapter the Second: A Deal with a Devil
In which an agreement is made, a devil attacks and a cunning plan is foiled by condiments
There was a gentle breeze that ran through the meadow, creating a subtle wave as the grass bobbed and swayed as if waving to the sole observer who sat beneath the wide branches of an old oak tree. Naruto Uzumaki let out a soft sigh as he watched the dancing grass. There was something so inherently relaxing about the place, as if all his fears and concerns were little more than minor nuisances that, for the moment at least, could be completely disregarded. In this blissful state of mind, he turned his attention to the large oak that was serving as a backrest for him
After getting a good look at the towering plant, Naruto was no longer sure it was an oak. In fact, it looked like no tree he had ever seen before and he got the feeling that you wouldn't find this tree anywhere in the world (not that he would claim to be an expert on it, it was just the feeling he got staring at it). While looking up at the branches, he noticed that there was an absence of any flowers or fruits, save a strange, golden apple that hung just out of reach. Part of him felt that it was wrong to pluck the last fruit from the tree but at the same time a deep desire started to swell within him. He needed to taste that apple.
Before he could act on this strange, invasive impulse there was a sensation of movement and Naruto span around to see the other resident of this strange area.
"Welcome back, Cursed Child." Again, Naruto couldn't see the figure's face to read their lips, nor could he hear a voice. It was as if the words were put directly into Naruto's head without bothering to pass through the air between the two figures.
"Who are you?" Naruto asked. "And where am I?"
"Who am I? In time I hope to be called a friend of yours, cursed child." The figure looked in off into the distance, almost looking like a fisherman's wife staring out to sea, awaiting her beloved's return.
"Where are we? I feel… like this place is familiar to me."
"You are full of questions child." There was an odd sensation that Naruto assumed was a chuckle, "If I were to give a name to this place it would be home." The faceless figure bent down and plucked a small flower with beautiful white petals, tipped with blue.
"Home?" Naruto crouched down next to the figure, who offered the flower to him.
"When the evils of the world get you down… Home is a safe place where you can shut out the outside world, if only temporarily." The figure stroked his hair, causing Naruto to feel sleepy as he held the strange flower in his hands.
"I can't sleep… I need to save Asia… and avenge Issei…" He mumbled, his lids feeling incredibly heavy.
"The Tapestry of Fate decrees that Asia Argento shall die in six days' time, but your soul is weary and needs to rest. Settle down for an hour or more. I will watch over you."
"The what?" Naruto mumbled in response as he felt the warmth surround him and melt away his inhibitions. All he wanted to do was nap.
"Sleep my precious little cursed child. The time for fighting will come, but for now conserve your energy and make friends. Make many friends…"
The figure hummed a gentle song that sounded familiar to Naruto, but the blonde couldn't place it. He opened his mouth to ask about it but before the words left his lips, his entire body felt like it been submerged in ice and it forced the air from his lungs as he was forcibly woken up.
"WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL?!" Naruto shot upright and looked around furiously until his eyes settled on a smug looking Jiraiya holding a suspiciously empty and wet bucket.
"Good morning!" Jiraiya laughed as he dodged Naruto's clumsy pillow throw, "You've been sleeping for too long! You're going to be late for work if you aren't quick."
"Work?" Naruto glanced down at his soaked body and bed, "I don't have time for work… I need to get stronger, so I can save Asia!"
"The continent?" The perverted fallen angel smirked at Naruto's deadpan look. "Listen I get that you want to save that girl, but you've got to remember your main objective of winning over the leaders of the three factions. Look, if you get yourself killed, I'm the one who'll have to explain to your dad, mom and sisters why you won't be able to spend time with them anymore. Do you want that? To make your family cry?"
"Of course not!"
"Then use your damn brain!" Jiraiya tossed the bucked at Naruto who caught it. "Now get dressed, go to your job and try and gather intelligence. If there is a large devil presence like I originally suspected, then maybe they can help you out."
"Fine," Naruto grumbled as he rolled out of his sodden bed and reached for a towel that was tossed over a chair, while Jiraiya went downstairs to make breakfast. As he got dressed, he couldn't help but feel he was wasting time. Frowning slightly, he attempted to use the Shadow Clone spell he had managed to perform against Raynare and grinned as he saw a perfect replica of himself standing before him. To think he was using too much energy all this time. He shook his head, completely oblivious to the sodden white flower washed underneath a small set of drawers.
After grabbing a quick bite to eat and getting his left arm re-bandaged, Naruto set off out of the small house, tailed by Jiraiya who had sealed the building after they'd left.
"Where are you going?" Naruto scowled.
"What? Can't I have a social life?" Jiraiya sighed dramatically. "For your information I am going to meet up with some old friends to exchange information to help keep you safe. You're welcome by the way."
"Ah…" Naruto felt a bit bad about his attitude, then remembered the bucket of water and decided he wasn't being unfair, Jiraiya was just an asshole. "Not that I don't appreciate you keeping me safe, but couldn't you actually teach me something as well?"
"Oh? Are you asking for the Mighty Jiraiya-sama's help?" Jiraiya smirked. "I guess you weren't smart enough to crack this training thing by yourself. Well I suppose I can lend some of my valuable time to training you. I'll see you back at home." With a brisk wave, the fallen angel suddenly vanished, leaving only a swirl of feathers.
Naruto looked around, but the people on the street didn't seem to react to Jiraiya's presence or disappearance, so the blonde assumed there was some sort of charm that meant people around here couldn't see what happened in the old pervert's garden. The idea that Jiraiya had access to a spell that meant people couldn't observe him worried Naruto, but the trainee mage figured it was a concern for another time.
As he walked through the park on the way to Kuoh, he got a sad feeling in his stomach as he looked at the tree where he had first seen Issei. When he had last seen her, she was on death's door and she hadn't been there when Naruto had woken up. Placing a hand on the tree, her muttered a brief prayer before standing back. "I won't let anyone else suffer like you di- "
Before he could finish, he was hit in the stomach by a brown-haired blur which proceeded to lock its arms and legs around him, effectively latching onto him. Instinctively, he hugged the girl to his chest as they rolled on the floor and came to a halt.
"NARUTO!" A beaming Issei cried out as she clutched onto his jacket. "I thought you were dead! But you're not!" She buried her head into his chest. "Yep… your warm so you're not a zombie! Wait! Maybe you're a zombie with a heater installed. I'll bet a zombie could never get an erection so if you show me that I'll know for sure!"
"I-Issei? Is that really you?" Naruto blinked stupidly as the brunette looked up at him, her eyes brimming with happiness. "I…" He let out a sigh that was equal parts relief, joy and exasperation, "It's good to see you Issei."
"You seem surprised to see her alive." A blunt voice remarked, and Naruto looked up to see Akeno smiling down at him coldly. "Is there a reason for that?"
"Er…" Naruto felt a cold sweat break out. "W-well… you see," There was a nervous chuckle as he desperately tried to think of some sort of explanation, all the while feeling Akeno's hostile intent.
Fortunately, or possibly unfortunately, Naruto's dilemma was short lived as another member of Kuoh academy showed up, and with her another problem.
"Uzumaki-san, assaulting a student is an unforgivable offence." If Akeno's attitude was cold, Tsubaki's was arctic levels of freezing,
"Ah!" Naruto struggled to his feet, assisted by a clearly ecstatic Issei. After a couple of minutes being death glared by the two girls, Naruto found himself standing upright, a mostly calmed down Issei stood by his side. "This isn't what you think!"
"You shall explain yourself to the President," Tsubaki remarked, "Follow me."
"If I may interject," Akeno coughed gently, "I believe Shitori-san is incredibly busy and as Issei-chan is a member of the same club as me, I shall take care of this."
"I believe Shitori-san already gave Gremory-san her word that she would deal with this matter." Tsubaki looked at Akeno, who merely tilted her head with a mischievous smile.
"Issei," Naruto whispered to the bouncy youth who was nodding sagely. "What is going on here?"
"Isn't it obvious? They both want to get you alone! It must be your Harem Protag aura!" She gave him a grin and a thumbs up, resulting in the two arguing girls turning their attention to her.
"You do say some strange things Issei-chan," Akeno smiled at her fellow Occult club member. "Although I wouldn't mind getting some one-on-one time with Uzumaki-kun."
Despite the sugary sweet tone, Naruto knew that should that happen, he would be in severe danger.
"W-what are you implying?!" Unlike Akeno, it was clear Tsubaki was flustered by the remark. "I am merely acting as my role as Vice President and there was an incident at school that the president wishes to investigate. Uzumaki-san is a key person of interest." She adjusted her glasses. "Now come Uzumaki-san. I believe Hyoudou-san and Himejima-san have classes to attend."
"Bye Naruto! I'll talk to you later! There are lots of things I need to tell you like…" Whatever she was about to say was lost to the blonde as Akeno put a hand over Issei's mouth and whispered something into her ear. "Err… Later!" Issei waved energetically and followed Akeno elsewhere.
As he watched them go, Naruto got a sinking feeling. He was sure that Issei should have died from her wounds unless she was also saved by the Fallen Angels. On top of that, Akeno was giving him similar vibes to Raynare. If he was right, Issei could also be in danger much like Asia was and he had to do something to help her out, but first he had to survive his meeting with the demon school president.
Jiraiya groaned as he leaned back on the wooden bench, a soft smile gracing his features as he looked at his surroundings. He was currently sat in the large park, barely meters away from the fountain where Naruto and Issei had discovered Raynare's identity. It was hard to tell a tragic scene had played out less than twelve hours ago, with people happily walking around and chatting.
It appeared that Raynare and her accomplices had erected a small distortion, somewhat like the 'Reality Marble' concept that some mages referred to. The moment the trap was sprung, there was no way for Naruto or Issei to escape, at least not with their limited strength and knowledge of the magic arts. They were in a small area of space cut off from reality with Raynare or her acquaintance in charge of who could get in or out. Even with his seal removed, Naruto's aura was completely cut off from the real world and thus undetectable unless someone was using a specific way of monitoring that scanned outside the real world. Jiraiya made a mental note to improve his own detection system, seeing as he he didn't realise Naruto was in trouble until after Raynare had defeated him.
The fallen angel winced a little as he considered the outcome of his initial investigation. It was clear from the equipment they had been supplied that someone high up in the chain of command had been involved in the plan to kill the Sacred Gear holder Issei. It was also clear that it wasn't Azazel himself. The document providing them with details was a forgery, a good one to be sure but Jiraiya's bread and butter were intelligence work. If a document could fool him, it probably deserved to not get caught.
He knew the brat would no doubt get involved to save the girl, even if it put his own life in more danger; he was like his father in that respect. With this mission being so dubious he was pretty sure that when the kid when running in, he'd be able to run enough damage control that the Fallen wouldn't become hostile to Naruto. At least he hoped so.
He paused in his thoughts as a group of young, beautiful women went by. It was a complete coincidence that Jiraiya happened to be in the park the same time as the young mothers' exercise club were doing their daily jogs, but Jiraiya believed them being here at this time was a clear sign from the Father that He approved of Jiraiya's work. He allowed himself a few more moments before deciding to address the figure that had somehow appeared next to him on the bench.
"Good morning," The figure was slouched lazily, wearing a large maroon coat over a waist coat and shirt, making him look like a businessman taking a break. His black hair was accented by blonde bangs and his facial hair was styled in a goatee. He looked like a devil, who had appeared from nowhere to offer a suspicious deal which granted your wishes at a cost.
"This is a surprise," Jiraiya raised an eyebrow. "To think the boss of the Fallen Angels, Azazel himself would visit me in person? I am honoured."
"Well you know me," Azazel waved a hand dismissively. "I heard there were some beautiful women and came to check in on them. There were rumours of an old pervert scaring them, so I figured I'd do my duty."
"Well you can never be too careful." Jiraiya conceded. "I've heard there was a bit of trouble in these parts."
"Huh?" A brief flicker of genuine confusion passed across the fallen angel's face. "Oh, the Sacred Gear incident?" He waved dismissively. "It all worked out in the end. The Gremory Clan reincarnated her so that's all over and done with now."
"Well, if it's all over and done with," Jiraiya watched the people walking past, his mind racing. Azazel being here meant something big was going to happen, and he feared it involved Naruto.
"Indeed, although I can't help but feel if I had someone a bit more… experienced in charge of handling operations such an embarrassing event would never have occurred."
"Is this a recruitment pitch?" Jiraiya chuckled, feeling some of the tension leave his body, "I've already told you, I have no interest in the Three Factions."
"There has been some… interesting developments." Azazel scowled. "The Angels have increased their patrols in this area."
"Increased patrols? That's odd but I don't see what so interesting about it." Jiraiya shrugged.
"…I've heard it is Gabriel who is in charge of these new developments." Azazel scratched his cheek.
"Are you serious?" Jiraiya scowled.
"I'm sure I don't need to remind you the last time Gabriel actually got involved with the more militant side of things was when the Beast was running rampant."
"I remember. I was still wearing the white wings then." The old pervert responded curtly.
"So, I am going to ask you two questions. Do you believe that this world without God can continue?"
"Life will go on," Jiraiya shrugged. "And I'm perfectly happy to see that."
"Good," Azazel nodded. "Despite what heaven and the Guardians of the Tapestry may believe, the world is not ending. The second question is simple."
"Where is the Cursed Child?"
Jiraiya mentally congratulated himself on his complete lack of a reaction. "Didn't Michael kill him after I messed up sealing the kid to hide him?"
"Of course," Azazel looked at the sky with an odd look on his face. "Will you humour me and listen to a wild conspiracy theory?"
"Sure," Jiraiya shrugged.
"Let's say that there was a high-ranking angel who was trying to save his best friend's son. He knew so long as heaven knew the boy was alive, it would not rest until the child was destroyed, so he found a child that looked similar. He deliberately put a rushed looking seal on it that rather than suppress the aura of a child, amplified it so that even a normal human baby gave readings like that of the cursed child but slightly subdued to look convincing. He then correctly sealed the real deal and fled with the child, knowing Michael would destroy the innocent decoy then leave the boy alone, but the guilt of sacrificing a baby caused the angel to fall from grace" Azazel glanced at Jiraiya. "Do you like this theory?"
"You have a wild imagination," Jiraiya glanced at the leader of the Fallen Angels. "I almost wish that was the truth. Sounds more badass than a coward who panicked then fled, leaving an incorrectly sealed child to be slain."
"For a coward you seem awfully calm right now," Azazel got up and started to walk away, "Well then, I have places to be. Don't be a stranger and remember, my offer is always open."
"I'll think about it." Jiraiya started to walk away but the other fallen angel's response froze him in place.
"Tell Naruto-kun I said hi and I look forward to seeing what the Cursed Child can do."
Jiraiya felt as deep fear spread through him but when he turned to face Azazel, he had vanished without a sight.
"Shit." Jiraiya grumbled.
It looked like he would have to start getting more hands on with Naruto's training.
Naruto was deep in thought as he followed Tsubaki to the school, so much so he failed to notice all the girls stopping and whispering to each other. If Tsubaki noticed, it was impossible to tell as she kept her features carefully schooled in a stern expression and she didn't speak at all until they had arrived at the student president's office.
As they entered the room, he immediately noticed the strange tom-boy who caused him headaches when he looked at her, so he quickly diverted his attention to the rest of the people in the room. There were a few empty seats but currently Shitori Souna, Saji Genshirou and another girl he didn't recognise were waiting for him.
On seeing him the new girl burst into a wide smile and waved at him, making him think of an excitable little puppy. Her hair was a reddish brown and had her bangs swept across her forehead. A single strand of hair poked from the top, wagging almost like a tail, an action that was mimicked by her short twin tails either side of her head.
"Oh Pres! This is the new hire? I wish he was a little younger looking so I could be a big sister to him!" She sighed dramatically. "Instead we got an older type… Although he does look like he is unreliable and needs looking after though."
"That's enough Meguri-san," Tsubaki remarked as she entered the room. "It is impolite to not introduce yourself correctly."
"Ah right," She laughed, "Well my name is Meguri Tomoe~ Pleased to meet you!"
"Er… Hi," Naruto rubbed the back of his head awkwardly, "Uzumaki Naruto."
"Ah so shy! If only you were five years younger," She let out a disappointed sigh.
"I trust you are well," Souna's voice cut through the easy-going atmosphere that Tomoe had managed to create, leaving Naruto suddenly feeling very nervous.
"Y-yeah, I'm fine," Naruto beamed. "Er… How are you doing?"
"I am quite busy, so this shouldn't take too long," Souna looked at him sternly. "Please take a seat."
"Er…" He gulped and did as she requested as Tsubaki took her place by Souna's side. "So… What is this about? Has my work been unsatisfactory?"
"Overlooking the numerous times, you have been caught in… incriminating situations your work is currently acceptable. There was a festival on yesterday, correct? One quite close to school."
"Yeah," Naruto nodded. "I went there with Hyoudou-san and… er… Yuuma-chan."
"Yuuma. She is not a member of this school, so I don't know much about her." Souna frowned.
"Oh…" Naruto suddenly felt as if a weight was lifted from his shoulders as he realised what this was all about. Since Issei wasn't dead, the council wouldn't know about the attack, so they were probably grilling him about going on a sort of date with a pupil when he was a member of staff. Worst case scenario he would get fired which helped him out. "I know I went on a date with a pupil and that I shouldn't have."
"Hm?" Souna raised an eyebrow. "How did this date end?"
"Oh…" Naruto laughed weakly, "Well, I guess… Nothing much happened."
"So, her nearly dying counts as not much?"
The room hadn't exactly been comfortable before, but after those words it become oppressively intense.
"W-what do you mean?" Naruto gulped. 'What the hell? If she knows about that then… could she be in league with the Fallen Angels? Damn it…'
"Are you playing dumb right now?" Souna stood up suddenly and slammed her palms on the table. "Your left arm is clearly magical, and given the seals placed upon it you must know that. We know you were there, and we know that Hyoudou Issei was nearly killed. But what we don't know is why you were there or how you survived. I take threats to my fellow students very seriously. Now tell me exactly what happened." She never raised her voice, but Naruto could feel the anger behind her calm façade.
"Look this 'Yuuma-chan' was a fallen angel who was trying to get close to Issei. I don't know why but she wanted to kill her, and I guess the fallen angels didn't think I was important enough to kill."
"So, they just left you alive? Didn't you try and defend Hyoudou-san?"
"Look, I tried to fight but I was no match! I don't know why she decided against killing me!" Naruto defended himself. "Is this going to take long? I have something I have to do…"
"I'm asking the questions here," Souna narrowed her eyes.
"According to our records, the area where Uzumaki-san lives is rumoured to be hiding a powerful Fallen Angel." Tsubaki spoke up.
"I see," Souna looked at Naruto, "So you are a Fallen Angel agent who lead one of this school's students to her would-be assassin?"
"Like hell I am!" Naruto stood upright, causing all the members of Souna's peerage to fall into combat stances, besides the president who remained seated looking at Naruto calmly. "I'll admit I live with a Fallen Angel but from what he claims he has nothing to do with the three factions! Plus, they are planning to kill someone, and I have to stop it!"
"Who?" The entire room paused and Souna leaned forwards, the cold look in her eyes promising trouble if Naruto didn't answer.
"Asia…" Naruto relented under the force of her glare.
"They want to kill an entire continent?"
"What? No! Argento Asia, she's a nun or something. She healed me after I was beaten by the fallen angels."
"So, these Fallen Angels are holding a prisoner?" There was a flash of distaste across Tsubaki's face, but she was silenced by a nod from Souna.
"Yeah and I have to save her!" Naruto declared.
"Why? Did she make you agree to that in order to be healed?" Souna asked.
"No but… I have little sisters and she reminds me of them." He faltered at the weak reason before rallying, "Look, I can't just leave her to be executed!"
"I see," Souna frowned. "And what exactly is your plan, Uzumaki-san?" She got up from her chair and walked behind the seated Naruto, rested her hands on his shoulders, leaning over and whispering directly into his ear. "When you just said you were completely helpless against them? Do you plan to die against them just to sate your guilt at abandoning her?"
"No! I…" Naruto clenched his fists. "I'm still working on a plan. I just… I can't leave her behind like that. It doesn't feel right. Maybe I'll die if i try but if I let her die and do nothing... My soul will never recover. "
There was a long silence as Naruto calmed down and Souna remained behind him, looking at him critically as if thinking hard about something.
"For what it's worth… I believe he is telling the truth," Tsubaki broke the silence. "What he says matches what we have heard from Issei-san, up to a point anyway."
"I agree," Souna nodded. "It really does appear that you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I can't decide if you were unlucky to get caught in it, or lucky to survive. Still," She turned to her peerage, "I don't like the idea of Fallen Angels conducting rituals in my territory. Tomoe, I want you to keep an eye on them."
"Should we make plans to rescue the hostage?" Tsubaki asked.
"No… I have no intentions of starting the war again. However, should we need to defend ourselves I would prefer to be aware of what they are doing." Souna stared at Naruto as she walked back to her seat. "Hmm… You said you wanted to save this Argento Asia?"
"I won't let her die." The blonde clenched his fists. "If you can offer any help…" Naruto swallowed his pride and stood up and bowed until his chest was parallel with the floor. "Please help me."
There was a smile as Souna looked at the bowing youth. A quick glance at her peerage members was rewarded with nods all around.
"I suppose I should introduce myself properly," She stood up from her chair and two black almost bat-like wings sprung from her back. "My real name is Sitri Sona, current heiress of the Sitri clan, one of the remaining 72 Pillars."
"Those are like the devil royalty or something right?" Naruto screwed up his face, "I remember being told they were important. Does that make you a princess or something?"
"Not quite that high, maybe more like a noble," Sona corrected him, "But I am glad to see you at least know of the basics, even if it is not quite to the level I was hoping. Everyone in this room is a member of my peerage."
"Peerage?" Naruto blinked.
"You don't know about them? Well it doesn't matter, they are essentially my close friends and allies." Sona waved a hand dismissively. "However, I do believe you and I can come to an agreement."
"What do you mean?" Naruto felt a shiver down his spine as Sona looked at him. Given her uniform and the lighting in the room, he felt like he was bargaining his soul for power.
"I cannot interfere in Fallen Angel business as I am a high-Ranking Devil, and for me to get involved could be taken as a declaration of war. However, if some un-affiliated being happened to get involved…"
"What are you getting at?" Naruto scowled.
"You are the school's janitor." There was a ghost of a smile on Sitri's face. "Isn't it your job to clean up the trash and… find solutions to problems that affect the running of the school? Of course, it would be a given that you will be provided training to help you perform your duties. You are free to refuse of course, but I feel this helps us both. I provide you with the training, you get to save the nun and… get a promotion from the boring labour jobs and become a… 'Specialist Problem Solver'. It's a win-win situation. What do you say?"
"If it helps me save Asia… I accept." Naruto looked at Sitri before bowing his head. "Thank you."
"It's a little premature to be thanking me just yet," there was a hint of red on her cheeks, taken aback by the earnest sentiment in his voice. "I look forward to working with you Uzumaki Naruto. Consider this week a trial period. Should you succeed in a satisfactory fashion, I will make the arrangements to pull you from your menial tasks and help set you up for your… new line of work."
"How so?" Naruto asked.
"If you are to be of use to the school, I can arrange to hire you out to others who might require your skills. Such jobs would no doubt build your reputation and help you achieve fame and fortune or whatever it is your heart desires."
"How can you, a mere student council president, pull these sorts of strings?" Naruto blinked in disbelief.
"She is Sitri Sona-sama! An Heiress to one of the most powerful clans of the 72 Pillars! Her big sister is the Leviathan!" Tsubaki interjected in a curt voice, until a subtle chuckle from Sona caused the vice president to calm down.
"L-Leviathan?!" Naruto had images of a great serpentine demon, radiating malice and evil energy.
"Indeed," Sona nodded. "I am sure having good relations with someone in contact with one of the Four Satans can only be a good thing."
"Wait…" Naruto blinked. 'If I remember Jiraiya said I have to win over the four Satans right? Could it be that the old pervert did have a good reason for sending me here? Plus, if this goes well, I could earn the favour of the Devils really easily! This seems too good to be true... Still I have no choice but to accept it.' "I… guess that would be useful." He responded, hoping he didn't give away his true feelings on the matter.
"Then return here after you have finished working and we will see what you can do." Sona idly waved him away.
Naruto nodded and left the room, his mind whirling with thoughts about his current situation although the instant he stepped out of the student council room, he got a shiver down his spine and a more immediate concern replaced his turmoiled thoughts.
"So, this is where you were, kouhai-chan~" A dark voice dripping with malice announced the presence of a furious Maid-sempai, her smile twitching with barely restrained rage. "Skipping on work to chat with some cute girls huh? Do you know how much of your work I've had to do today?!"
"S-sorry!" Naruto cried out as the maid grabbed him and dragged him along behind her.
"Honey I'm home!" A cheerful Kushina called out as she walked into the house, pausing as she saw two giant packages in the main hallway. They had this address on them but were labelled 'Naruto Uzumaki', "Huh… Did Naru-chan order something and forget to tell me?"
She frowned slightly at the boxes. Each one was quite large, and she wondered what he precious little boy had been ordering.
"Welcome home," Minato walked out of the kitchen, wiping his hands on the apron he was wearing. "Ah… I see you found the packages."
"It's a bit hard to miss them," Kushina noticed the strange twinkle in her husband's eyes and decided to look at the boxes again, before realisation dawned and she smirked at him. "I guess if they are presents for Naruto, we'd best send them to his new address, right?"
"Indeed." Minato nodded and the two lifted the boxes, carrying them to the car and pretending not to hear the muffled snickers from one of the boxes or the air holes strategically placed on them. With their cargo secured, Minato and Kushina got into the car and proceeded to drive around the block a few times before returning home and unloading the packages.
"It looks like Naruto-kun is at school, so I guess we'd best leave the parcels here in his hallway then head back home," Kushina remarked.
"I guess so," Minato walked over and opened the door, before shutting it again and putting a finger on his lips, earning a beaming grin from Kushina.
"Mwahaha!" One of the boxes erupted and a triumphant Tsunade leapt out. "Operation: Infiltrate Onii-chan's house was a success!"
"Really?" Kushina sighed. "Was that your plan?"
"Gargh?!" Tsunade did a double take as she realised where they were. "W-wait! This is our house! This isn't Naru-nii's place! You tricked me!"
"How many times do I have to tell you?" Minato sighed tiredly. "You can't see Naruto just yet. You need to be patient."
"They say absence makes the heart grow fonder," Kushina nodded sagely. "I'll bet your big brother is aching to see you again so just wait for him, okay?"
Before Tsunade could reply there was a buzzing noise and Minato glanced at his phone.
"Who's texting you? Is it Naruto?" Kushina asked, with Tsunade bouncing at her dad, trying to get the phone.
"Let me see! Is he saying he misses me?!" The energetic twin exclaimed.
"It's from your school, apparently Mito-chan is going to be late home today as she has extra work as the Student President." Minato shook his head as he looked at the remaining package. "Do you know, I'm worried Naruto might be in the drug trade."
"Eh?" Kushina flinched, "Our precious little boy would never…"
"I was reading online, the only way to tell for sure is to use pepper," The mischievous smile on Minato's face transferred to Kushina as she realised what he was intending. "You sprinkle pepper on a package and if there is a strong smell then that means it is a batch of drugs."
"Oh yeah! We really should just test it, to make sure there aren't any bad influences, right?"
After a brief stop at the kitchen, Kushina was gleefully sprinkling small bits of pepper into the air holes. The box was vibrating, almost as if there was something inside that was desperately trying not to sneeze.
"Let me!" Tsunade joyfully grabbed the pepper shaker and removed the top, dumping the entire contents into one of the air holes and was rewarded by an almighty sneeze and a cry of pain.
"My eyes you uncultured swine!" Mito cried out in pain as she kicked her way out of the box, coughing and wheezing while brushing the pepper from her. "I should have known letting you join me in this plan would doom my attempts. Your ineptitude in stealth is, like your lack of intelligence, truly something horrendous."
"H-Hey!" Tsunade crossed her arms. "It's not my fault your plan was stupid!"
"Stupid?" Mito drew herself up to her full height, "My plan was fool proof!"
"Clearly not!" Tsunade countered.
"Did she…" Kushina glanced at her husband who was rubbing his temples.
"That's enough you two." Minato sternly interrupted the two girls who fell uncharacteristically silent and looked at their feet. "I get that you miss your brother but what would have if we had sent you through the post? You could have gotten lost or you might have gotten Naruto arrested since they thought he was buying girls online or something."
"I didn't want to get Naru-nii into trouble!" Tsunade mumbled.
"I… I didn't fully think this through and for that I apologise." Mito bowed her head. "My plan could have caused trouble for everyone."
"So long as you understand." Minato smiled.
"My next plan will definitely be better thought out." Mito bowed her head and retreated to her room, closely followed by Tsunade.
'She's learned nothing…' Minato and Kushina shared a mental sigh of exhaustion.
Naruto fidgeted outside the door to Sona's student council. She had said for him to return after he finished his work, but he was certain there were still classes underway and that she wouldn't be in the office. After standing for several minutes he decided he could at least sit down inside and wait for the president. Happy with the logic he opened the door and froze as he saw a half-naked figure turn to look at him.
"What the…" Naruto blinked as his brain processed what his eyes were reporting. A somewhat sheepish guy was stood staring at him, half-wearing the student uniform. He had clearly stumbled across some pervert who had broken into the office to wear the girl's uniform. "Hey! Who the hell are you?"
"What… Ah crap I dropped the illusion didn't I?" The guy sighed dramatically. "I'm gonna get a lecture about this later on, I just know it."
"Illusion?" Naruto lowered himself into a combat stance, "Who're you and why're you here?"
"I'm… A Fallen Angel agent, call me er… Supun!" The blonde crossdresser suddenly grinned as if having a brilliant idea. "What are you gonna do about it?"
"Why are you here?!" Naruto bit his lip angrily. His humbling defeat was still clear on his mind, but if he needed to, he would act, if only in the hope he attracted Sona or her peerage for assistance.
"Just came to steal… this." 'Supun' looked at the student council before snatching what looked like a normal ruler.
"A ruler? Oh, I get it. The ruler used by the president. You're some sort of pervert, aren't you?" Naruto shivered.
"Pervert?!" The guy crossed his arms angrily. "I'll have you know this is… er… a really important magical weapon!"
"Uh-huh." Naruto deadpanned. "And I'm sure the girl's outfit is some all-powerful armour."
"It might be! Or maybe I just like to have a bit of air around the boys while you are fine suffocating them! Ya gotta let em breathe!"
"Whatever you say." Naruto's tone of voice made it clear that he didn't believe him.
"Don't you think you should be respectful of someone far stronger than ya? Did the ass whopping you received last time not enough?"
"Tch," Naruto flinched at the remark, clenching his fists so hard he could almost feel his nails cutting into his flesh. Still he didn't rise to the remark, although his antagonist seemed almost disappointed by this.
"Well I guess it doesn't matter." Supun cockily remarked before idly pointing at Naruto with the ruler. "I guess I'll have to kill you before I leave huh?"
"What?!" Naruto turned to leave only to find that all the doors and windows to the room had vanished. "What's going on?"
"Oh, come on, this isn't your first time in Separated Space. Oh right, you mage types call it a Reality Marble, right?"
"You really don't know a whole lot, do you?" The half-naked crossdresser sighed dramatically. "This is an area separated away from reality. Long story short, you can't escape, and I can go wild without attracting any attention."
Before Naruto could respond, the assailant clicked his fingers and the walls faded away revealing a large barren wasteland littered with boulders.
"I like to call this the DBZ Trai… I mean Killing Room." Supun began stretching out, a sight Naruto could have done without as it turned out he was wearing girls' panties as well, which didn't hide much when he started lunging.
"So, we are completely sealed off huh," Naruto sighed as he threw off his work coat before he ripped the bandages from his left arm. "So much for waiting for the student council to show up."
"Huh," The assailant grinned in an unnerving style, "That's a pretty strong aura your fist is giving off. This could be fun. Go on…" He tapped his chin, "Let's see what ya got."
"Bastard," Naruto cursed the cocky attitude of Supun and clenched his fist.
"I won't dodge I promise. It's not like I'll need to." Supun smirked. "I'll bet I don't even have to use promotion to beat you."
"We'll see about that." Naruto had no idea what this promotion ability was, but he was pretty sure that he needed to defeat this Supun before he could use it.
For his part, Supun watched Naruto's charge, smug in the knowledge he was safe from harm. That smugness lasted up until Naruto made contact and the sudden burst of divine energy struck him, sending him sprawling through the wasteland and through a boulder.
"Wahahaha!" There was a cackle and the youth jumped to his feet, wiping a trail of blood from his mouth. "That hurt! The Pres was right… Your left hand is definitely an Anti-Devil weapon. This could be fun! Let's see if you can land a hit when I'm sort of trying. Promotion: Rook!"
"Tch," Naruto scowled as he watched the boy stroll towards him, before flickering from existence. 'What the hell?! Where is he? Behind? Above?!' Naruto leapt backwards as the floor exploded and his laughing aggressor burst from the floor, brushing the dirt from his clothes. "Below?!"
"So, you could sense my attack? Interesting. Let's see how far you can go eh?"
"Crap!" Naruto cried out in alarm as the youth charged him and launched a straight jab, radiating some malign energy. The Nephilim was just able to raise his glowing arm to guard his vitals, but the impact sent intense vibrations from his entire body, breaking his guard as the boy readied another punch, only to get blindsided by a clone.
"What?!" The attacker seemed surprised by this but wiped out the clone in a single punch. "Solid Clones? The hell sorta spell is that? That can't be an amateur spell…" He turned to Naruto who had recovered his balance and increased the difference between the two. "Are you actually a magus rank? Strange… I had you pegged as a melee idiot like me."
"If I can't win on quality, guess I'll have to go for quantity," Naruto declared as he suddenly charged, a group of five clones flanking him.
"100 times zero is still zero," Supun mocked, content to let Naruto launch his attack.
"Whoops," He laughed as Naruto glowing punch sailed over his head, resulting in a powerful knee to the stomach that sent Naruto hurtling into the air as his clones continued their furious assault on the laughing fallen angel agent, however everywhere they struck, the assailant managed not to be. It was like trying to punch a fog as the magical constructs failed to connect with anything solid. In the rare cases they did, it was like punching concrete and the agent barely registered the impact.
"Damn it…" Naruto was crouched on the floor after landing from the attack he had received. It pissed him off that he could tell the attacker was holding back and yet with a single knee, Naruto was practically beaten. He could taste his blood in his mouth and watching the guy play with five of his clones was disheartening. He racked his mind for a plan. It was clear that he only seemed interested in the original, merely playing with the clones yet he tried to counter the real Naruto. He needed to land another punch with his left but so long as the fallen angel agent was paying attention to his movements there was no chance of landing a blow.
"Okay I'm bored." With a minimal amount of effort, the agent sent all five clones flying away, with one striking Naruto and dispersing in a puff of smoke, before Naruto charged from the smoke, his fist glowing with the divine energy coursing through it.
"Bastard!" Naruto yelled as he ran from the smoke and headed sharply left before charging the bemused fallen angel servant.
"Come on, stop trying to hit me and hit me!" Supun mocked.
"Eat this!" Naruto lunged at him, but the agent just laughed and grabbed his arm tightly, pausing as he sensed the clone attacking him from behind. "Haven't you realised those clones are nothing but distractions? They can't hurt me."
"Yeah… I noticed." Naruto smirked. "We do make good distractions, don't we?"
"What?" That was all the assailant had time to say before the real Naruto punched him in the side of his head with all the energy the blonde could muster. The result was an explosive detonation of considerable force and the cocky assailant was once again sent hurtling, creating craters as he struck the floor before smashing into a small plateau and reducing it to rubble. Naruto himself skidded backwards, his entire left arm screaming in agony and covered with deep cuts and burns.
"Not so cocky this time…" Naruto panted as the distraction clone disappeared. Glancing at his left arm, he winced at the sight of his self-inflicted wounds but noting that the glow was almost completely gone from his arm. "That much energy must have put him down."
"That's what I'm talking about!" There was a boisterous laugh and Supun staggered from the smoke left from the attack. The left side of his face was swollen, and his left eye was forced shut by the swelling. Most of the girl's uniform had been destroyed, leaving the pervert in scraps of cloth and panties. "I knew I sensed something worthwhile! Come on! Is that all ya got?" There was an almost feral look in his eyes as he advanced on the panting Naruto.
"D-Damn it… I need to recover my breath," He started to retreat only for a strange beam of light to wrap around his wrist and a severe sense of fatigue to wash over him.
"Wait… What is this?" He looked at his arm confused as he tried to break the beam of energy but before he could grab at it, he felt all his strength sap out of him. "What…" He fell to one knee, unable to find the strength to even speak.
"I guess that's it huh? Still…" Supun smirked as he held out his arm, a strange faced lizard on his arm from which the beam originated. "Is this your first time seeing a Sacred Gear? Ha, to think I plucked that cherry." He laughed boisterously.
"Sacred Gear?" Naruto struggled to his feet. "Isn't… Isn't that what Raynare wanted to kill Issei for?"
"There are many types." The youth smirked. "In the spirit of fair play, I'll tell you what mine is. This is called Absorption Line. It allows me to move energy about, in this case away from you into me. Man… Your energy is sorta spicy… This… This isn't the energy of a human, devil or angel… I don't know why… But I really wanna eat you right now?!"
"What the hell?!" Naruto blinked as the lizard and the assailant's arms started to white and scaled, like the beast form reflection of Naruto's in the mirror of truth.
"I really wanna consume ya… To absorb ya and become one entity... I'm so hungry!" He suddenly launched himself at Naruto, his eyes like golden marbles in a sea of darkness and his mouth wide open, showing cruel teeth that made Naruto think of a shark but before he could bite Naruto, there was a noise like a gunshot and suddenly the line connecting them vanished and the assailant fell to the floor.
"What a troublesome person," Tsubaki sighed as she de-summoned the naginata she had struck him with. "Still, I suppose this is to be expected. He was quite excited at the potential of finding someone interesting to fight. 'A man's gotta have a rival' or whatever it is he keeps telling me."
"Eh?" Naruto blinked stupidly as the discoloration from Supun faded away as the line between them dissappeared.
"Still… I have never seen Genshirou-kun react like that to someone's energy." Tsubaki clicked her fingers and suddenly the exhausted Naruto and now-named Genshirou were back in the student council room. Sona was stood to one side, tapping her finger against her chin and staring at the unconscious 'Supun'.
"Genshirou Supun?" Naruto blinked.
"Supun?" There was a sigh of exasperation from Sona, "Really of all the fake names, his name is Saji, a member of my peerage. I don't know why but he likes to fight and was interested in testing you out. I guess he pretended to be someone else in order to provoke you to fight."
"Oh…" Naruto glanced at the snoring Saji. "Wait?! That's the tomboy who's in the council?!"
"Well that was an… interesting fight," Sona remarked dryly while Naruto processed his discovery. "You have some power, that is undeniable but still…"
"What the hell is going on here?! Why did he wanna eat me?!" Naruto interrupted angrily, causing Sona to raise an eyebrow.
"Remember your place," Tsubaki scowled. "You are in the presence of Sona-sama, you will address her with the respect she deserves."
"And I deserve answers!" Naruto scowled.
"…While I did plan for Saji-kun to test your skills, he wasn't supposed to do it without my approval and for that I apologise. A member of my peerage has caused you trouble." Sona bowed her head slightly.
"O-Oh?" Naruto was taken aback by her humble attitude. "W-well… I guess that's not a problem."
"Good," Before Naruto had time to register the return of her cold professional tone, Sona was stood behind him, analysing his body. "You appeared to take a bit of damage from the knee to your stomach, but it seems as if you have accelerated regeneration. Attack power seems limited, given you can only damage him with your left arm and that last attack of yours appears to have damaged you as well… Or at least it did but the wounds seem to have recovered."
"Eh?" Naruto glanced at his left arm, "Hey, you're right." All the burns had faded and there was only some light bruising on his knuckles.
"That last attack though…" Sona rubbed her forehead. "So much power wasted."
"Eh?" Naruto blinked.
"You released energy in a spherical explosion, no focus at all. Sure, it had a bit of impact behind it, but you probably took more damage than Saji did. Haven't you been taught any control techniques?"
"I'm technically self-taught I guess," Naruto rubbed the back of his head. "And to be fair I only started learning magic about a week ago!"
"A week? What spells did you manage to get a grasp on in that time?"
"W-well… There's the Clone Spell." Naruto started.
"An interesting spell to be sure," Sona nodded. "And?"
"Er… That's sorta… it." He trailed off and felt as if he could see what little respect Sona had for him drain away. "But it's really useful!"
"I'm sure it is," Sona rubbed her forehead, "Moving on, you also seem to have some sort of natural defence against having your energy stolen. I've not seen an ability like that before."
"W-well…" Naruto blinked as Sona ripped his damaged uniform from him in a single motion, revealing his bruised stomach. "W-wait!"
"Minimal bruising and a half-decent muscle mass," Sona mumbled. "Impressive. I may just be able to use you."
"Use me?!" Naruto suddenly covered himself. "W-wait… you're not some sort of Succubus planning to harvest my life force, are you?!"
"Do not assume Sona-sama would do anything of… 'that nature' with one such as yourself!" Tsubaki interrupted Naruto's panic, her face tinged red with a mixture of embarrassment and anger.
"Very well," Sona nodded as she drew several symbols on his left arm that caused the glow to fade away completely. "Unlike your previous seals, these will only restrict your energy rather than attempt to suffocate it. With some basic training exercises, you should be able to draw upon it without removing the seals, which you will need as only I can remove them. Tsubaki, I'm putting you in charge of his training. I expect to see a notable improvement in three days."
"As you wish, my king." Tsubaki bowed her head solemnly.
"Here." Sona walked over to a bookcase before pulling an ancient tome from it, handing it to Naruto. "This is a basic book of devil training exercises. I expect you to have at least read a third of the book before tomorrow."
"B-But this is over 1000 pages long!" Naruto looked at the huge book.
"If you cannot achieve even that, how do you hope to beat this 'Raynare'?" Sona sat in her chair and made an idle gesture at the door, "If you want to be ready for your first training session tomorrow, I would advise you leave immediately."
"Right…" Naruto tried to reach from the book, but his entire body suddenly felt sluggish. "What the hell?!"
"Hm? On in order to suppress your excess energy, I got the seal to use it by applying a weak gravity effect on your entire body." Sona looked up from her work. "So, I would set off now if you want to be home before dark."
"You really a demon." Naruto weakly retorted as he dragged himself out of the room.
"Is that wise?" Tsubaki asked after the doors had closed.
"Usually no… But given his regeneration, I am interested to see if this can promote his physical strength."
"May I ask why you chose me to train him?"
"You are my queen. I expect you to be my hands in these cases where I cannot too obviously be seen interfering." Sona remarked. "It will clearly show that I am involved, but still allows me a degree of plausible deniablity that would change a declaration of war into a heavy fine. I feel he could be useful to me and my plans, so do be sure to make something of him."
"Of course," Tsubaki bowed her head.
"Now then," Sona glanced at the unconscious male. "It looks like punishment is in order. I offer loyalty and respect to my peerage and expect the same in return. I shall think of a way to adequately hammer this knowledge into Saji's head."
If Naruto had seen the dark look on her face, he would realise he was getting off lucky.
"Evil demon president," Naruto mumbled as he dragged his body home. Deciding to stop for a moment, he headed back into the park and sat down facing the fountain. He had taken the first steps towards saving Asia, but he needed to do more. Part of him doubted it was a good idea to play along with the devil's whims but at this point he had little choice. Jiraiya had effectively passed him off and told him to find his own teachers and that book he was reading had taken him too long, almost a week, to learn what he assumed was a basic spell. There was no way he'd learn anything useful before Asia's execution.
"My, my, brings back memories doesn't it?" A voice that caused a primal terror deep within Naruto's core called out.
"Mr Half-Angel!" A much brighter voice called out and Naruto turned to see Asia beaming at him and waving, accompanied by Raynare who was dressed as a Nun as well.
"Asia-chan…" Naruto smiled warmly. "I'm glad you are well."
"What, pretending I'm not here? How rude considering I saved your life." Raynare sat down beside Naruto while Asia walked up to a small group of children who had gathered near the fountain. The group's faces all lit up when they saw Asia walking towards them.
"Deciding not to kill me isn't the same as saving me," Naruto growled.
"The end result is the same, is it not?" Raynare's smile failed to reach her eyes.
"What are you doing here?" Naruto asked coldly.
"Argento-san is something of a popular attraction for the children. She tells such beautiful stories of hope." There was a clear tone of amusement in her voice that made Naruto want to punch her. "How incredibly naïve of her. She still believes Father is listening."
"Are you really planning to sacrifice her?" Naruto saw no point in beating around the bush.
"Hm? I guess Jiraiya-sama told you that. Indeed, her sacrifice will help strengthen the Fallen Angels."
"And that makes it alright to sentence her to death?" Naruto glared at the Fallen Angel, who merely shrugged.
"Devils and Angels are constantly fighting over the souls of your kind. Why should we Fallen be any different?" Raynare's figure radiated disinterest. "Unlike the devils and angels, we can't reincarnate human souls, so we have to take other methods to ensure the survival of our species. I am sure a weakling such as yourself understands the need to make compromises to survive? Your hatred is a delightfully powerful feeling but even you know to act on it would be death." There was a cruel smirk on her face.
"Do you delight in mocking me?" Naruto grit his teeth angrily, fully aware of the current difference in their power levels.
"Yes," Raynare chuckled. "You two are so alike you know?" She gestured to Asia lazily, "You are both so painfully pure. You believe that there is good in other people. Both of you will learn that in this world you can only trust yourself unless you are very lucky, in which case you might find one person who might just be worth your loyalty."
"Oh? There's someone you look up to? Is it that trench coat weirdo?"
"Dohnaseek? Hardly, he is merely another tool." There was a scoff from the fallen angel, "No Azazel-sama is the one I mean."
"Oh, the head of the Fallen Angels, right?" Naruto frowned. "He must be something then."
"I wouldn't be here if not for him." Raynare remarked bluntly. "Despite there being no real advantage for him doing so."
"Well how do you know he doesn't have ulterior motives. I begrudgingly admit you are somewhat attractive."
She lowered her head, her eyes hidden beneath the shadow cast by the nun's veil she was wearing. "There exists not a soul who would wish to lay with one such as me."
"Well I'll admit your personality is a bit of a turn off, but I doubt it's a deal breaker," Naruto frowned as he looked at the Fallen Angel.
"You speak too much," Raynare fixed him with an icy glare and the blonde realised further questioning would achieve nothing so he turned his attention to Asia. She was surrounded by young children who were listening in awe to her bright sermon. There several older people stood listening raptly as well and the young nun's sermon went on for a few more minutes before Asia bowed and waved goodbye before running over to the pair, her face alight with happiness.
"Thank you for allowing me to come, Raynare-sama." She bowed her head.
"It is fine," Raynare remarked bluntly. "Let us return to the Church."
"Of course. It was nice to meet you again, Mr Half-Angel." Asia smiled widely at Naruto.
"Wait!" Naruto couldn't stay silent, "You can't go back with her. She plans to sacrifice you!"
"Yes, I know." Asia's response knocked all the wind out of his sails.
"W-what? And you are fine with that?!"
"To serve His Angel's… Is there no greater joy?" Asia replied.
"I… But you'll die!"
"To live forever in His service. I, who was cast from the Church, can be welcomed back into His Flock with my actions." She grasped Naruto's hands. "Do not weep for me, for I serve a greater cause."
"I…" Naruto wanted to shake the girl and try to explain his point of view, but he was unable to even start to formulate a response and could only watch as the two figures walked out of the park. "Damn it all…" He cursed under his breath, sitting down on the bench and clenching his fists.
"Aw man! I missed her!" A cheerful voice cut through the darkness in Naruto's head. "Honestly, you'd have loved to meet her! She's so cute and is pretty much the perfect little sister type! Wait… Ah it's Naruto! Hey Naruto!" Issei walked into view, followed by Rias and Akeno, who kept a respectful distance, not that Naruto noticed. "Guess you were here scouting out the nun-imouto type for your harem huh? She's real cutie right! I just wanna hug her and have her call me Onee-chan!" She let out a happy sigh, dreams of a little sister filling her mind.
"Oh, hey Issei, Gremory-san, Himejima-san." Naruto waved dejectedly.
"Ah… Are you sad because I haven't spoken to you all day? I'm so sorry but I've been super busy working at my new job!" Issei finally picked up on Naruto's mood.
"New Job?" Naruto looked up as she handed him a flyer. "All your wishes can be granted?" He narrowed his eyes, "Are… Are you having to sell your body because of that Fallen Angel? Is that the cost of sparing you? Has she enslaved you too Gremory-san?!"
"Eh?" Issei blinked while Akeno merely smiled and Rias chuckled. "Oh, it's not like that at all! See Devils must answer wishes as a job. Apparently when I get a familiar, they'll do it for me when they can."
"…Eh?" Naruto blinked. "Devil? Familiar?"
"Sona-chan said you were surprisingly uninformed." Rias smiled. "Yes, in order to save Issei I had to reincarnate her as a devil, as a member of my peerage."
"You saved Issei?" Naruto grasped her hands. "Thank you… Thank you for doing what I couldn't." He lowered his head in shame.
"Ara ara, how bold! Seizing the Club President's hands then directly staring at her breasts?" Akeno covered her mouth in mock shock.
"Eh?" Naruto opened his eyes and blushed red, "I… I didn't mean to!" He squeaked.
"R-Right," Rias smiled, feeling a soft burning in her cheeks. When he had held her hands and looked at her so passionately, she had thought he was going to confess to her. She was no stranger to confessions but the sheer emotion in Naruto stirred her heart. "Don't worry about Issei-chan. She will be able to reject any requests she is uncomfortable with." Recovering herself, Rias smiled widely to reassure Naruto.
"So, my virginity will be yours to take!" Issei added helpfully.
"I imagine someone who enjoys being beat up like Uzumaki-san probably would want your virginity to be stolen before his eyes." Akeno tilted her head with a sly smile. "It fits his apparent love of being utterly defeated."
"I don't have that sort of fetish!" Naruto countered angrily.
"That's a relief!" Issei let out a happy sigh, "I don't think I could give my first time to just anyone!"
"How long have you known Uzumaki-san?" Akeno asked.
"A week!" Issei beamed. "Ah but I know Naruto as a Harem protag will take a bit of time before he actually makes a move. It's the M.O. for his character type. By then I am sure we will be madly in love with each other, but don't worry. I'm happy to share him!"
"I'll keep that in mind," Akeno smiled at Naruto who felt years being shaved off his life.
"I… I owe you an apology, Uzumaki-san." Rias bowed her head, derailing the conversation.
"Buchou?" Akeno blinked in surprise.
"When we came across Issei-chan I… I was certain you were responsible or played a part. I am sorry." She lifted her head to look at Naruto and he could see genuine regret in her eyes.
"It's fine," Naruto sighed. "I… Well … I kind of suspected Himejima-san of being a Fallen Angel manipulating Issei so I'm not exactly innocent in that regard."
"Fallen Angel?" Akeno had a strange look on her face.
"Yeah, you sort of feel like Raynare or Yuuma, one of the two angels that attacked us." Naruto rubbed the back of his head.
"Really? They seem totally different to me. Akeno-san is a Onee-san type with slight sadistic undertones where as Yuuma…" There was a shadow of discomfort that flickered across Issei's face. "I guess she's just a… well…"
"Bitch?" Naruto suggested, earning a cough that could have been a hasty attempt to cover up a laugh from Rias.
"I just wonder what happened to make her like that? I mean someone doesn't become so mean without a reason, right?" Issei looked at Naruto, as if expecting him to have an answer. Before he could think of a response though, the Gremory heiress gave her own opinion.
"Some people are just like that," Rias shook her head. "But you don't need to worry about her. She wouldn't dare make a move on you now. Uzumaki-san however…"
"I'll be fine," He smiled reassuringly, "I'm not just going to be sat on my ass, waiting for stuff to go wrong."
"Oh? Some Main Character Training Montage?" Issei's eyes sparkled. "Trying to unlock a secret power?"
"Sort of?" Naruto laughed.
"Well while you're doing that, I'll work really hard!" Issei waved the flyer again. "Here take one! When you need me, you can use your blood to summon me!"
"And you'll appear right away?" Naruto blinked.
"Well no… I haven't learned that, so I'd have to get a bicycle and ride to your house, but I'd know exactly where you were!" Issei grinned. "So, no matter when, feel free to summon me! Together we can kick the ass of any problem that arrives with your Main character training and my job training!"
"I'll keep that in mind," Naruto nodded and waved goodbye as he left the bench. He paused as he walked, sensing unfriendly eyes on him, but the moment he looked around to try and spot whoever was responsible, the sensation left.
Feeling unnerved, Naruto made a point to pick up his pace and headed back to Jiraiya's house.
"Ah…" Issei let out a tired sigh as she laid down in the club house for the Occult Club. "Work is tiring."
"You did a good job today," Rias smiled softly as Koneko walked over to Issei to offer her a slice of cake, which the girl accepted eagerly, although Koneko had to dodge a clumsy hug attempt and politely decline Issei's offers to call her 'Onee-san'.
"Still… I was kind of expecting at least one person to make some sort of Ecchi request." Issei paused between bites of cake, "I guess my view of people is just a little skewed."
"It's more that we are… selective with who we give our flyers too," Rias smiled. "Plus, when they see that you have a right to decline their requests, people tend to temper what they ask for." She adjusted the glasses that she was wearing as she worked. Issei had asked what she was doing but Rias only responded with important Devil documentation. When she wore the glasses, she looked like a sexy secretary and Issei took a sly picture to send to Naruto. The pervy brunette imagined he would appreciate the image.
"Did you have any interesting jobs Issei-chan?" Akeno asked as she placed a cup of tea on Rias's desk.
"Nothing really," Issei put the empty plate on the small table next to the couch she had been sprawled across and brushed the crumbs from her uniform. "An old woman wanted someone to massage her shoulders and there was a kid who wanted some help beating a computer game. I'm surprised they were willing to summon a devil to deal with those things though."
"This area has been under the… influence of the Sitri clan for some time," Rias chuckled. "Those in the know are more prevalent in this area than others."
"So, do you know the president then?" Issei asked curiously.
"She is an old friend of mine," The red haired Gremory heiress nodded softly as she took a genteel sip from her cup, before continuing her work. "She is reliable and a hard worker with a good peerage."
"Do you think you could add Naruto to your peerage?" Issei asked.
"Adding a member to a peerage is an important and almost irreversible decision, not something to be taken lightly," Akeno gently chastised the eager brunette. "Rias-sama has only a few pieces that she can spend and to use them on someone like him…"
"Oh? Don't you like him?" Issei tilted her head. "Is this because he called you a fallen angel?"
"No, although that was surprising." The black-haired beauty stared into space. "He is… an anomaly."
"Anomaly?" Issei repeated.
"What Akeno is trying to say is he is neither a devil nor an angel. There are too many mysteries surrounding who he is and what his powers are. I'm sorry but I have no plans to recruit him just yet." There was an apologetic smile from the 'King' of the peerage.
"Could I get a peerage and recruit him then?"
"Only high-class devils get one," Rias smiled, "But it isn't impossible for you to reach that tier. Although it will take a long time and a lot of hard work."
"Well I'd best start training then!" Issei suddenly declared.
Before anyone could respond there was a knock at the door and in walked an anhydrous youth. The uniform they were wearing looked more like a boy's outfit, with trousers and a tie in blace of the bow and skirt.
"Ah Kiba-kun," Rias smiled, "I trust everything went well?"
"Indeed, Rias-sama," Kiba bowed his head, "The rogue devils have been dealt with. There are a few splinter groups that I have managed to locate." He pulled a small notepad from his pocket and handed it to his King, who merely tapped her chin thoughtfully.
"Tomorrow I want you to take Issei and Koneko-chan to the first of these locations. It will serve as some combat practice. Until then feel free to take it easy. I appreciate your hard work."
"Thank you, Rias-sama." There was a soft bow of his head.
"It is time for club to end," Rias closed her book and removed her glasses, a tired expression marring her beautiful face. "I will see you all tomorrow. Be careful on your travels, apparently the same Fallen Angel group that attacked Issei-chan is still operating in the area. Sitri-san says she is monitoring the situation and has made plans to deal with it before it becomes a problem we can't ignore. Still, it wouldn't hurt to be careful, Kiba-kun, could you escort Issei-chan home?"
"Of course," Kiba smiled pleasantly at the brunette.
"Ah, you don't have to do that for me," Issei laughed weakly.
"Nonsense, we are members of the same peerage. It is only natural for us to help each other out."
"Well, if you insist…" Issei got out of her seat and bowed her head. "Thank you for your instruction Gremory-sempai, Himejima-sempai! I'm heading out!" With a coy salute she left the clubhouse, followed by Kiba. The two walked down the streets in an awkward silence.
"S-So…" Issei coughed awkwardly. "How did you end up in Gremory-san's peerage? Were you nearly killed like I was? Ah sorry… that was probably a bad question to ask…"
"I was… Not entirely living I suppose you could say," the anhydrous youth nodded. "Gremory-san saved me from a dark fate and for her, I shall be a sword to cut down all who wish her harm."
"Hmm… That's no good!"
"Pardon?" Kiba blinked.
"If you go all white knight, that's gonna make it harder for Naruto-kun to make Rias-sempai fall for him!" Issei crossed her arms.
"…I don't follow."
"Look, if she is used to having a Prince-type like you around, that means Naruto's gotta be like a…. a king type or something to trump you and win her heart!"
"I assure you my affection for Gremory-sama is familial at best." Kiba wasn't entirely sure how to deal with the sulking Issei.
"I have big plans but for them all to work Naruto-kun has to win over all the heroines!" Issei declared. "And don't think you can win me over with that whole prince routine either! I prefer my MCs to be a little rough around the edges but a heart of gold! You can't trick me."
"I… I will keep that in mind," Kiba smiled weakly. "If I may ask you a question?"
"Go on… But I'm prepared for any tricks to try and make me fall in love with you!"
"Why are you so… interesting in Uzumaki-san? You have barely known him a week, correct?"
"It's kinda hard to explain it… It's just after our first conversation I got this feeling, right? I could tell that he was the guy I've been waiting for."
"I apologise for this next question, but did you not believe that the fallen Angel 'Yuuma' was a good friend to have as well?"
"That's completely different!" Issei rounded angrily on Kiba who took a step back. "Yuuma was using some weird trickery to fool me!"
"Can you guarantee that Uzumaki-san is not doing the same?" Kiba sighed, "As I said, I am Rias-sama's sword. I will strike down any threats to her before they have time to endanger her."
"He's not a threat! He could be a really important ally!"
"… I apologise I have overstepped my boundaries." The knight bowed his head softly, "The degree of your interest in a stranger seemed suspicious so I was concerned he was using some sort of magic to influence you; however, your feelings are definitely free from foreign manipulation. I pray you forgive me."
"If you promise not to try and seduce any future harem members from Naruto and me, I will consider it," Issei remarked sulkily as she walked up to the door of her house, Kiba stood watching her.
"I give you my word, I have no interest in love."
"Eh?" Issei paused as she opened the door.
"A weapon such as myself has no need of such feelings, I exist only to slay my enemies. Romance and the like are something that I have no need of nor desire for, so you can sleep easy." Kiba bowed his head and left, leaving a confused Issei at her door.
Much to Naruto's surprise, Jiraiya was waiting for him in the garden of the Fallen Angel's house. The old pervert hurriedly scurried him inside the house, glancing at an ornate pocket watch every few seconds until they were both in the house and all the seals had been drawn again.
"Is everything alright?" Naruto asked.
"What? Oh yes! Everything's fine, absolutely nothing to worry about!" The Fallen Angel laughed boisterously. "S-So, how's your day been?"
"… I think I've found someone who is prepared to help me out," Naruto replied bluntly. "A devil who is the heriess of the Sitri clan apparently."
"Wait, Sitri Sona?" There was a brief look of confusion, "She is here too? I mean I knew the Gremory Heiress was at the school but to think the Sitri clan's heiress is as well. I know this is Sitri territory but still... This place sure is popular with the high ranking devils."
"You're not kidding." Naruto nodded and started to head to his room. "I'm going to go to sleep."
"Now hold on just a second," Jiraiya grabbed Naruto's arm and steered him to the living room. "Weren't you asking me to train you earlier?"
"Well yes but…"
"But nothing! The almighty Jiraiya-sama will turn you from a weak scrawny bottom dweller into an Apex predator!" He posed dramatically but only earned a deadpan glare from Naruto. Coughing awkwardly, he tried to recover his enthusiasm, "First things first… I have some weights to help build you muscle mass, but not just any weights… This are special seals that apply the effect to your entire body and can be active all the time!"
"The Sitri heiress already put some on me." Naruto yawned, "Apparently it's using the leaking energy from the seals on me to power it as well."
"Oh…" Jiraiya faltered. "W-Well did she put a spirit drain on you?"
"Ahah!" Jiraiya smirked. "Well much like your muscles, your spirit or magical powers also need training. A Spirit drain constantly drains your magic and allows you to build up your magic 'muscles' as it were, improving your ability to regenerate your magical energy. Admittedly these are banned in the three factions seeing if you screw up, they will kill you, but I totally know what I am doing! I watched an entire two-hour PrayTube video on the subject!"
"… There's a few things I want to comment about with what you just said." Naruto rubbed his forehead tiredly.
"You have a fairly large amount of magic, but your mana recovery is quite slow seeing as up until recently you didn't use it. This will help you play catch up and by the time you have to save Asia comes you should actually be able to put up a good fight." Jiraiya grinned at his young apprentice, who merely groaned in resignation.
"And you are sure that I won't die? It won't mess with the other seals on me."
"…I'm fairly sure it will be fine," Jiraiya responded after a pause that went on longer than Naruto was happy with. "But if you want to be battle ready before Asia's execution you don't have much of a choice."
Against his better judgement, Naruto took off his shirt as Jiraiya prepared the materials to draw the seal.
"So…" Jiraiya remarked as he started mixing ink and various strange ingredients. "How goes your magical training?"
"… I can create solid magical clones now but that's it."
"Wait, you actually can cast that spell?!" Jiraiya blinked. 'Could this kid be some sort of prodigy?! That was a high-level spell he learnt. Or maybe it is his mother's blood in him…' "W-well I suppose you were a little slower than I was expecting but for someone with your lack of magical experience I suppose that was decent enough progress." He coughed awkwardly.
"Unfortunately, they aren't much use in fighting as they have little physical impact." Naruto sighed.
"What are you talking about? They are clones of you. They can do everything you can do. Oh, I get it!" The fallen angel suddenly laughed boisterously, "You don't know how to channel your… otherworldly energies yet right? The only reason you can use the divine punch is because your left arm is leaking divine energy constantly."
"But I can create clones! Surely that proves that I can channel my magic just fine! Plus, I was able to force the energy out of me in an attack!"
"Human magic uses 'Neutral' magic with is just energy that you can manipulate with effort. Divine and Demonic energy have wills of their own which makes them harder to use for someone with souls like you. What you did was less controlling it and opening a dam and hoping for the best. I'd wager you took some damage yourself from that manoeuvre."
"Souls like me?" Naruto quickly tried to change the subject, although the snort from Jiraiya showed his attempt wasn't unnoticed.
"Yeah, you have two souls remember. One appears human and the other… Well I can't place it to be honest. I'll assume this is your 'Nephilim soul'. Since you don't have an Angelic soul, you aren't programmed to use Divine magic and since you're not a devil you aren't programmed to use Demonic magic, regardless of the fact both energies are present with in you"
"So, can I not learn how to use them?"
"As a rough guide: self-sacrifice, duty and courage tend to help channel Divine and Greed, lust, desires etc. help to channel Demonic magic. When you learn how to control it better then you will be able to use those attacks with your clones as well. Basic magic is much easier to control than energy with a will such as Divine or Demonic magic, but far less potent. It's why human mages never compare to devils and the like without assistance from one of them."
"Seriously?" Naruto blinked. "Well teach me that then!"
"It isn't that easy to do though." Jiraiya stepped back and put the brush he had been using down. "Most of it is gut instinct. I can't teach you since I am an Angel so I can just use divine energy. Sorry kiddo but this is one thing you'll have to learn by yourself. It was why I was planning to let you figure your powers out in your own time, but it looks like I might not be able to do that anymore."
"What do you mean?" Naruto looked at Jiraiya.
"There is a slim chance that Azazel, the fallen angel head honcho, knows who you are." Jiraiya replied evasively.
"Slim chance? What makes you think that?"
"He may have met me today and said to tell you hi, by name I might add, and that he was looking forwards to seeing what the Cursed Child, that's what Heaven and Hell call you by the way, can do."
"Huh," Naruto rubbed his forehead. "I'd say that is bigger than a slim chance. Does… Does this affect my plans to save Asia? Do you think he'll interfere?"
"Nah," Jiraiya shook his head, "So long as nobody dies, I think I can sort out any problems with Azazel. Of course, if you want to back out then I totally understand."
"No…" Naruto looked at Jiraiya with piercing blue eyes. "I won't let Asia die."
Jiraiya blinked stupidly. Behind Naruto he could clearly see the shadow of his beloved student.
"I won't let him die Jiraiya-sama. He's my son. I will never give up his location to Michael. Even if I have to die to protect him."
"Jiraiya?" Naruto blinked as he noticed a tear roll down Jiraiya's face.
"Huh? Oh right," The old angel coughed awkwardly as he wiped away the stray tear. "I… I was just deep in thought. Anyway!" Jiraiya cleared his throat unconvincingly. "How'd you like to learn some basic offensive spells? I can't help you with your divine and demonic powers but I sure as hell can teach you some basic firepower spells. Plus, the additional mana drain from using spells with the drain on you will help build your magical capacity and magical (and possibly as a result physical) regeneration speed."
"Do I have to read another book? I've been given some homework from Sitri-san as well." Naruto's shoulders drooped.
"Nah," Jiraiya smiled warmly. "Just this once the almighty Jiraiya will help you out." 'He is definitely your son, my foolish pupil.' Jiraiya thought warmly as Naruto grinned at the prospect of learning some cool magic.
"Promise me Jiraiya… If I should die… Protect my son."
"Even if it kills me," Jiraiya mumbled softly under his breath.
"You say something?" Naruto looked at the old man with a confused expression.
"Nah," Jiraiya ruffled the boy's hair with a soft smile. "Just wondering to myself how I'm going to turn a no-talent hack like you into something worth noting."
"Bite me," Naruto angrily retorted. "I'll show you. Bring on your worst training and I'll master it!"
'I don't doubt that you will, kiddo.'