Dance With the Devil

Knew I forgot something this week. *Grumbles*


In Hell...

Sirzechs frowned as he heard the reports that were coming in. And coupled with the information that both Azazel and Serafall were getting to him, he had every reason to be concerned.

"I admit, I didn't see this one coming." Ajuka Beezlebub, one of Sirzechs's closest friends, muttered as he looked over the reports as well. "If I had been there..."

"I doubt it would have made any difference." Sirzechs answered his friend. "To think my brother-in-law was still alive." And with Grayfia getting closer to giving birth, he was more and more on edge than usual. Sure, normally Grayfia could take care of herself with no problem. But right now? No, nothing was normal at this moment in time.

"And to think that Irregular Sacred Gears are this dangerous." Ajuka narrowed his eyes as a thought came to him. "I wonder, what would happen if someone with an Irregular Sacred Gear were to have a variant of it."

"...I'd rather not think about that." Sirzechs muttered. "For all we know, that would make them useful for combat somehow."

"As if they're not already." Ajuka muttered as he thought about Akane's Sacred Gear. "You know, something occurs to me."

"Hmm?" Sirzechs wondered what was going through his friend's mind.

"I recently got back reports from a place called Ryugenzawa."

Sirzechs frowned in confusion. "That place sounds familiar somehow..."

"Apparently the person who had the Sacred Gear to control minds that Jedah now has came from there originally." Ajuka commented, getting a nod from Sirzechs, "it's weird though, all reports say that the place is very similar to the familiar forest, except for one thing." He gave his friend a serious look. "The Evil Dragon Yamata no Orochi slumbers in that forest."

"Interesting." Sirzechs frowned, that wouldn't be good if that Dragon fully awakened. "Without a Deity to control it, it would be bad if it woke up fully and went amok."

"Indeed." Ajuka nodded. "But the person who had that Irregular Sacred Gear was from there. Both Akane and Nabiki Tendou come from Nerima, Japan, a known location of insanity and craziness. The one known as Pantyhose Tarou was given a Jusenkyou Curse shortly after being born. And, of course, Ranma Saotome himself has one."

Seeing Ajuka go into deep thought, Sirzechs waited patiently for his friend to put the pieces together.

"I wonder..." Ajuka spoke up after a minute, "could the reason that those who have Irregular Sacred Gears be because of the Chaos that exists near them?"

"Interesting theory, what makes you say that?"

"With the exception of those who are half-breeds," Ajuka said, "most people who have Sacred Gears are born to normal households and live normal lives until the Sacred Gear awakens and drags them head-first into our world."

"And, of course, normal is relative to the era one lives in." Sirzechs said, getting a nod from the other Super Devil. Cupping his chin, Sirzechs thought about it. "Your idea has merit, it's not as though we can test it, even when God was alive, He didn't control who got a Sacred Gear and who didn't."

"No, but we might be able to test this out regardless." Ajuka smiled as an idea came to him. "I wonder, just how much can Nabiki Tendou see with her God's Eye."

It was worth looking into, if nothing else. Who knew how many fragments of the Great Devil Kings and God were turned into Sacred Gears?


Meanwhile in Kuoh...

Walking to the roof of the Hyuudoh household, Koneko saw Gasper sitting and looking up at the sky. "Gaspy..." Koneko sighed as she saw her friend looking depressed. "Gaspy, none of us knew that this would happen."

"But..." Gasper looked at Koneko as she sat down next to him. "If I had just..."

"Just what? Stayed behind and get caught yourself?" Koneko asked.

Gasper shook his head. "No, not that, if I had just remembered that someone had my power..." He growled. "Dang it! Someone has a copy of my power!" He blinked as he felt Koneko's hands on his. "Koneko?"

She smiled at him softly. "Don't worry, I'll help you get stronger."

"I can help you both." A new voice spoke up and Koneko instantly stood up, let go of Gasper's hands and growled at who was there.

"What do you want, Kuroka?" Koneko asked, growling at her wayward sister.

Kuroka mentally sighed at her sister's reaction. "Well, for one, I'd like to be a family again."

"Not happening!" Koneko instantly shot down, causing her sister to look at her sadly.

"I see..." Kuroka shook her head, she didn't have time for this. "Fine, but the real reason I'm here is to help your Vampire friend out." Both Devils looked at her in surprise. "Listen, Nabiki filled all of us in on what's going on, if that slimy bastard did survive and if it was because of someone with your friend's power, it'll be in all of our best interests for him to get stronger."

"And you can help him, how?" Koneko asked, getting an annoyed look from Kuroka.

"You do realize that I was with the Khaos Brigade for years, right? You think Ophis woke up every single Balance Breaker that the Sacred Gear users had?" She jerked a thumb to herself and smirked. "I helped wake up a number of them myself. And regardless of anything else, that kid getting his Balance Breaker unlocked would be a great help to all of us."

"Fine." Gasper said and stepped forward. "Put me through whatever training I'll need."

Kuroka grinned at him. "Good answer." She looked at Koneko, who was looking at them with apprehension. "You're welcome to join us, Shirone." Koneko jerked in surprise. "I get it, you're worried about him. So join me if you're worried about what I might do to him."

Koneko really didn't want anything to do with her sister, but she nodded. "Fine."

Kuroka mentally smiled. 'Seems like Ranma and Issei were right. The best way to get close and fix my mistakes is to do it like this.' Sure, she planned on working Gasper to the bone, they all needed to train for what was coming.


Sometime later...

"So..." Azazel looked at Nabiki as the two of them sat in the club room with everyone else and Aika, who had decided to show up that day. "You're sure?" It had been almost three weeks since the revelations about the Vampires disappearing.

"Yeah," Nabiki nodded, "I've scanned every likely possible future timeline that I could, from what I can tell things get kind of chaotic and dark in a few months, but that's all I can tell. There's no details."

"A few months, huh?" Azazel muttered and groaned. "Would it be too much to hope for that nothing will be going on when it happens?"

"Yes." Ranma, Yohko, Issei, Rias, Asia, Xenovia, Irina, Lilith, and Atsuko all said at the same time.

"Excuse me." A voice spoke up as the door opened, revealing Leonardo with Koneko, Gasper, Kunou and Lilith II following him. "This is the Occult Research Club?" The dark skinned boy was wearing a Kuoh Academy uniform as he stood there, looking a little sheepish.

Azazel smiled at the boy. "Yes. I'm glad you decided to join us."

Leonardo shrugged. "It's better than going back to an empty home."

Ranma chuckled softly. "Three weeks staying at my place and you already call it home?" Leonardo shrugged. "Well, whatever, I'm glad that you think it's home."

"It's more fun than being on the road going from fight to fight and pissing everyone off while you do so." Leonardo commented.

Ranma just chuckled, he understood more than most.

"So what was the deal you made?" Issei asked Ranma.

"Leonardo gets to live a normal life, he never has to worry about fighting unless he wants to and we don't have to worry about an army of Anti-Devil monsters being used against us." Ranma answered.

The boy looked a bit flustered as some of the girls looked at him. "I'm kind of tired of fighting."

"Well, you don't need to fight if you don't want to." Azazel answered him, smirking at the Longinus user. "You just live your life how you want to. So long as you strive to be peaceful, no harm will come to you."

"Thank you." Leonardo smiled softly. 'Cao Cao, Georg, you two can do what you want, I'm going to live my life here from now on.'

Ranma smiled before looking at Azazel, both of them knew that Leonardo would be targeted even if he wanted to live peacefully due to his Sacred Gear. At the very least, they could give him protection until he knew what he wanted to do with his life.

'Still...' Ranma frowned as he thought about what Nabiki had mentioned. 'Why do I have this feeling that Jedah will strike when it's least convenient for all of us?'



It was late at night, the moon was a bright red, which didn't happen very often, but wasn't too unusual.

Ayoko, clad in her black Chinese dress, growled as she killed various minor Youkai that roamed the forest with her whip. "Damn you, Yohko, why did you..." She trailed off and stopped as she heard a noise behind her. Turning, she saw a tall blue and purple Devil grinning at her. "And you are?" His body had several burn and scar marks on it, yet he didn't seem bothered in the slightest by them.

"My name is Jedah Dohma." He grinned at her. "Perhaps the two of us can come to an agreement?"

"And why should I work with a Devil?" She snarled at him.

He shrugged at her. "You don't need to. But perhaps you should at least listen to me before you dismiss me and try to attack?"

Ayoko stared at him for several minutes before relaxing her stance slightly. "Fine, I'll listen, but if you're wasting my time, I swear to the dead God above that I will end your life."

"Of course." He smirked and walked towards her, uncaring of how easy of a target he was making himself. "Tell me, the new 108th Devil Hunter, are you not furious with your cousin? Are you not pissed off at the fact that she spat in the face of family traditions?"

"Of course I am!" Ayoko snapped at him. "It would have been better for everyone if she just died! Now she's a slave for the Devils."

"Until she dies, of course." Jedah nodded at her. "See, I'm not aligned with the forces of Hell, so why would I lie to you?"

"Because you're a Devil?" Ayoko said as she watched him walk around her, slowly circling her. "I don't trust your kind."

"Want to know something interesting?" Jedah asked, his voice soft as he stopped and took a deep breath. "Your cousin worked for me while you and your family were turned to stone."

Ayoko turned on him, her eyes flashing anger. "I knew that! I knew she was working for you!" Her legs were tense and she was about to spring forth and slaughter this Devil if he didn't stop wasting her time.

"But don't you think your ancestors would be... Most upset?" Jedah asked, smirking at her. "First she works for a Devil, then she becomes one of their slaves." He fought the urge to chuckle as Ayoko looked away, growling in anger. "Obviously your grand-aunt is too... Attached to her to see how things really are, as is her friends."

"She has her mind, doesn't she?" Ayoko asked.

"Yes, but she's forced to work for the Devils, so no matter how much freedom she thinks she has..." Jedah shook his head, "alas, if her new master, that is, Ranma Saotome, ordered her to kill you and your family, she'd have to do it."

"Tch..." Ayoko growled, knowing that was a possibility. "Damn Devils, Yohko doesn't deserve to be..."

"Exactly!" Jedah snapped his fingers and pointed at her. "You, Ayoko, have the power to free her from her servitude." The Devil Hunter looked at him in shock. "Think about it, she's a stain on your family's honorable name, and now her power is in the hands of humanity's enemy." Jedah grinned as he spread his arms to the side. "Ayoko Mano, join forces with me and I will give you the opportunity to save your cousin's soul from eternal condemnation."

"And what are you planning on doing after that?"

Jedah chuckled softly. "Fear not, my plans will not harm humanity in any way, shape or form. I've been alive for countless ages, my dear, and I have no desire to harm humans. My goals are far grander and more benevolent than that."

"...Do you promise to let me deal with her?" Ayoko asked, her voice unsteady and unsure.

Jedah merely nodded. "So long as you work for me and don't betray me, Ayoko Mano, I will give you what you want." He extended his hand to her. "So tell me, do we have a deal?"

"...I work for you and you let me have her?"

"Indeed." Jedah grinned at her. "There's some minor jobs you'll have to attend to, but I won't make you harm anyone who's innocent."

Ayoko looked at the hand offered to her and then at Jedah. "...How long?"

"Just a few months."

Ayoko took a deep breath. "Ancestors, forgive me." She said before reaching forward and grabbing his hand and shaking it. "Jedah Dohma, you have yourself a deal."

"Excellent." Jedah grinned.

End Dance With the Devil Calm

Taking another hiatus, you know the drill.

I'm sorry, my muse has just been distracted with other stuff. I have written some on the next arc, so I haven't forgotten it.