Hello Everyone!

Really sorry for the delay, it's summer and I have a life too, you know? I had to juggle between my part time job, friends and family so it was difficult to find time to sit down on my dest and write.

I'll try to write the next chapter faster but no promises.

So without further ado, I give you the chapter.

Please Enjoy!


6 months later

Months passed by quickly since I joined the Church and became the leader of my own team. A team that is becoming more and more difficult to handle. Indeed, while I earned Siegfried and Jeanne's respect and they both accepted me as their team leader, it didn't mean that they listened to my orders.

We were assigned a dozens of missions in these 6 months, be it the extermination of a stray devil in Paris, capturing a stray magician that have been experimenting on innocents in Manchester and even wiping out a small tribe of werewolves in Africa who have been been rampaging in the pursuit of their next preys. However during all these missions, the both of them were incapable of following a clear plan made by me or even listening to basic orders.

I didn't think that it was because they didn't respect my authority but mostly because they were not used to following orders and and they tended to do things their own ways as they are both High-ranking exorcists.

Take Siegfried as an exemple. That boy is an absolute battle maniac who do not care one bit about the missions but only about the opponents we were going to face and how strong they were. During the werewolf mission, the second we found the werewolf's trails he immediately separated from us so that he could challenge himself against them. When Jeanne and I caught up with him, he had already killed a dozens of them but the majority ran away and it took us days to find all of them. All this wouldn't have happened if we had ambushed them as team and dealt with them in one fell swoop instead of needlessly looking for the enemies for days.

As for Jeanne, my difference with her was different. While she was respectful with me and tended to follow my lead in most missions, she tend to let her emotions get the better of her. I could use the mission with the stray magician as an exemple. When we finally found the magicians's hiding place, he was in the middle of his preparation to dissect a small child. Jeanne was so enraged that she forsook my carefully made plan to discetly sneak into the warehouse, save the child and kill the magician while he was distracted. She ended up going through the front door and alert the magician immediately and gave him time to take the child as an hostage. If it wasn't for my quick thinking the child would have died.

Another problem is their ego. It's as if they believe that no matter the situation there is absolutely no way for them to die. I honestly do not know if this is arrogance, a lack of self-preservation or them understimating their opponnents. Though in my opinion I believe it is the latter and it is mostly due to the fact that they've never been in a true life and death situation. They've never fought against someone that was so far above their level that the situation was completely hopeless.

To deal with these flaws and to keep their ego in check, I've been beating them bloody in the training ground pratically every day but it didn't have the escompted effect as Sieg is always eager for a fight even a one sided one while Jeanne do not take them seriously as I do not fight against them with the intent to kill.

Being a team leader is harder than I thought it would be.

Though it wasn't like it was all that bad as we all became good friends in these last six months. Sieg and I both shared a passion for fighting and weapons and Jeanne has the same taste for books as me. We were also a good team in terms of battle prowess and individuality. The only thing we really lacked was a good team cohesion. Though I realised that I was too harsh to blame their unsubordianate nature and arrogance as the cause of all our team problems. I realised that I was also at fault as I didn't know if I should treat them as friends or subordinates and still lacked exprerience to lead a team.

This is why I've decided to use another way to finally make them tone down their arrogance and make them watch death face to face. And this method was to merely ask my teacher, Vasco Strada, to give us a dangerous mission where we could die at any moment, even for me.

Such missions are becoming rarer and rarer in this day and age, mostly because the Three Factions are on their biggest period of stability so I know full well that it was a foul gambit but I needed to do it or I may have no choice but to make them listen to me through fear or worse show them my Longinus to awe them into submission when I still do no trust them fully. Beside I did not want yes man as my teammates but people capable of thinking for themselves.

But I promised myself that I would never use such methods and would earn their loyalty through respect.

So after a few weeks after I fowarded my request to my teacher, he finally summoned my team and I about an important mission.

We were all waiting in his office while waiting for him when he finally entered the room and adressed us.

"Ha, you're already here, good," Vasco began while skimming through a document in his hand. He then looked at us seriously. "Honestly I planned to give this mission to Dulio or Christaldi as it is a S-ranked one but I believe that you are ready for a mission of this caliber."

S-rank, finally, I thought in excitement. I could hear Jeanne gasp in shock and Sieg grin in anticipation.

the Church's mission are classed in order of importance and dangerousness similar to a RPG. My team and I have mostly done B-rank missions but it is the first time that he gave us a S-rank one. Ordinarily, S-rank are extremely rare in this day and age and when Heaven forward us a mission of such importance, Vasco or Dulio and the others top exorcists, the elites of the Vatican, are the one sent on these missions.

It seems that my teacher listened to my request and is giving us more responsability. If we succeed in this mission, the higher-ups will most likely send us on more dangerous missions or missions with important politics repercussions.

"The mission parameters are thus," I was strartled from my thoughts by Vasco's voice. "The wielder of Regulus Nemea was spotted in Greece, hunted by stray magicians. Your mission will be to help him escape the magicians and investigate the true indentities of these people. However there is an additional parameter to the mission. Longinus user tend to go berserk in the face of death, if that happens then your task will be to take him down and if you have no choice, kill him." Vasco finished with a grim voice but I was too shocked to see this.

Regulus Nemea, What the fuck? Since when there is a wielder of Regulus Nemea?

Wait, if I remember correctly, the possessor was killed by unknown attackers and the golden lion somewhat materialised itself and killed them all. Later, Sairoarg Bael found him and tamed him but the details of the wielder's death was mostly unknown.

However there was another details that bothered me. How did the Church know about him? I voiced my question to his Eminence and he answered.

"I've been in contact with him for a few months now, trying to convince him and his brother to join the Church. He was close to accept when he sent a distress signal to me with a message telling me that he was hunted. I planned to go myself but I was summoned by Lord Michael so I decided to send you all instead." He said with a sigh.

"I see." It's logical but what worried me are these magicians that are hunting him. It can't be a coincidence that a bunch of Stray magicians are hunting a Longinus user. They could be related to the Khaos Brigade.

I shook my head. It's too big of a conjecture. It might be a coincidence. What matters is to find that guy before he is killed and the Nemean Lion go berserk. There is also the possibility of encountering Sairoarg Bael. A thought for later.

Vasco left us to attend to others matters while we all made our way to our quarters to pack our travel bag.

"Can you believe it, guys ? A S-rank mission and we're going to fight the Lion King." Sieg chatted with a manic grin on his face.

I narrowed my eyes at what he said and prepared to scold but Jeanne beat me to it.

"Sieg-kun, we're not going to fight him ! Our mission is to save him."

"Yeah, but there is the possibilty of him going berserk then we'll have no choice but to fight him." Sieg said with a smirk.

"Enough, our mission is investigate these magicians and save the wielder of Regulus Nemea. We need to do everything in our power to stop him from going berserk. Do not speak of a potential ally as if he was already lost in madness." I said firmly.

Siegfried huffed and Jeanne nodded in aggreement.

"Cao-kun is right, as always." Jeanne said with a smile.

At least Jeanne listen to me, I thought in my head.

"Now, go pack your things. We need to go as fast as possible before he is killed."

"Yeah yeah, Leader." Sieg said with a wave.

"On my way !" Jeanne cheered and ran off.

While they were gone I sent a telepatic message to Kuroka who was monitoring Asia and Valerie while they were training with Sister Griselda, informed her of the mission and told her to look after them.

Take care of them, Kuroka, I told her.

Count on me nya, be careful on your end darling, She said with a worried voice.

I will, I promise, I sent a last telepatic message.

Rgulus Nemea huh.

Despite the confident attitude I was projecting outside, I had a bad feeling about this mission.

Let's hope that it is just a feeling.

X

We were making our way in the woods , in the area where the wielder of Regulus Nemea was last spotted. I was contantly using my Sage arts senses, trying to find his location but to no avail.

"What do you think these stray magicians want with the Longinus user." Jeanne suddenly asked me.

"Who knows, they most likely wants to extract his Sacred Gear and use for future experiments." I answered, however inwardly I was worried about the identities of these strays. They can't be just random stray magicians?

"Who cares about them, they're just cowards using dirty tricks." Siegfried scoffed.

I forgot that Sieg looked down on magic users in general, mostly because he believe that the use of weapons is the greatest form of combat and anyone using magics in combats are cowards which is ridiculous as magic is just another card in ones arsenal.

I've been trying for months to convince him to learn magic but he refused everytime as it is anathema to his goal of becoming the strongest swordsman. As for Jeanne, she was more receptive to the idea but still refused because she believes that magic is for heretics.

The Church and their backwards thinking have a knack to greatly irritate me.

"Ironic coming from you, Siegfried," I told him while looking back. He looked at me curiously. "You know that your ancestor Sigurd, the King of Warriors, was one of the greatest Runes master in history. Taught by his wife, Brynhild and knowledge that he aquired by eating the heart of an ancient dragon. Does that mean that your ancestor was a coward?" I asked with a smirk.

Siegfried sputtered in denial. "W-What ! No ! Sigurd couldn't have been…" "And yet he was." I interruped him.

"Pfff." A snicker was heard from my right.

We then both looked at Jeanne who was giggling at Sieg. "He got you here, Sieg-kun."

Siegfried huffed and looked away but he was looking contemplative about what I said. Maybe he will finally accept my offer to learn magic.

The reason why I was so adamant that they learn magic was because I wanted them both to be stronger than they were in canon. I didn't want them to rely on their Sacred Gears or Demonic Swords in Sieg's case like a clutch. Their overconfidence and their overreliance on the tools they were given and birthed with was their downfall in the canon timeline.

It would be stupid of me to grow stronger by myself without offering that same strength to my allies. This is why I wanted them to learn a specific kind of magic that fits their fighting style and maybe teach them Touki in the future when I achieve the rank of master. I could also upgrade their bodies with the help of Valerie and the Graal but it depends on them and their trustworthiness.

"Ne, Cao-kun," I was stratled from my thoughts by Jeanne's voice and I looked back at her. "You know a lot of things. Where did you learn all that?" She asked me curiously with a tilt of her head.

"Well, it is one of the perks of being trained by the Great Sage, Sun Wukong, one of the oldest being of the world." I answered her. "Though I believe that it is mostly thanks to the Dragon King Yu-long that I know all these little tipbits." I heard a gasp from my teammates.

"You met a Dragon King?!" Jeanne exclaimed.

"How are you not dead?" Sieg said watching me intently.

I was surprised by their reactions but I guessed that for them the Dragon Kings were terrifying and violent existence.

"You're overreacting. Not all dragons are violent. Yu-Long is just a lazy bastard who likes eating and sleeping. " It was even true. The Jade Dragon Yu long was a strange contradiction of lazy and lively very much unlike his brethren. " And beside you forgot that I was trained by Sun Wukong. Of course I would have met his Dragon King partner. It is where all my history knowledge comes from. Everytime I would challenge him to a fight, he would distract me by telling me stories."

Yu-Long was known as the Dragon of Wisdom despite his lazy nature. If others dragons hoarded treasures then Yu-Long hoarded knowledge. He always bragged to me that he learned everything from every hero of history. It was kind of his hobby beside degusting good cuisine.

"You…challenged a Dragon King?" Sieg looked at me in disbelief, even Jeanne looked at me as if I was crazy.

I scratched my cheek in embarrasment. "Well, I wanted to see how strong I was compared to a Dragon King." Not like he ever accepted. Everytime I would come in his place in the mountain to badger him to fight me, he would always distract by going on a tangent and speaking about my favorite heroes like Karna, Oda Nobunaga etc. I always fell to the ploy because I loved history in my previous life and was facinated by Yu-Long tales as he knows things that were never written in the history books. After a time, I stopped to challenge him and would simply come to hear his stories.

Not like it bothered him. Yu-Long took a liking to me and appreciated the company.

"Whoa, you're either really brave or really reckless Cao-Kun." Jeanne said, her mouth still a little parted.

"Do not let anyone tell you that you do not have balls of steel." Sieg said, impressed by my supposed bravery even though Yu-Long would have never hurt me.

"Haha," I laughed off their comments.

We continued through the woods while making small talk occasionnally but still keeping an eye for our target until I suddenly felt my Sage Arts senses alerting me of two tremoundeous life force coming from the East.

"What's wrong ?" Sieg asked, having seen me go still while Jeanne stopped advancing and looked at me intently.

"I found him, follow me." I said to my teammates and started running in the direction I felt the disturbance while Jeanne and Sieg ran after me.

We came accross a clearing and the sight that greeted us was shocking even to me.

The field was completely littered with corpses. They were some who seemed to have been mauled to death while others had giants claw marks on their bodies and did I mention that they were wearing magicians robes. What was stranger was the fact that I felt a few devils among the dead if the bat wings were any indication.

However all this was unimportant compared to what I was seeing in the middle of the field.

A young and very muscled man was facing a gigantic golden lion with a maniac grin on his face while a young blonde-haired woman with elf-life features was watching from the sidelines with a worried face.

I immediately recognised the two figures facing each other. How could I not ? One was releasing an overwhelming amount of Touki even bigger than mine while the other was literally a golden lion.

The Strongest Youth and Future Lion King, Sairoarg Bael,

And The greatest of the Nemean Lion race, Regulus.

It seems that we were too late. The possesor of Regulus Nemea must be already dead and Regulus materialised itself in the world after his death and killed his partner's murderers, murderers that I suddenly have an inkling of their real identity.

While I rummaged in my head about the identities of these people, it seemed that the young devils finally recognised our presence and looked at us in surprise.

The woman with elf-like features who must be Kuisha Abaddon, Sairoarg's Queen, put herself between herself and us.

She looked at us with determination while my two teammates drew their swords and spoke, "Master, Exorcists." She seems to have recognised us and informed her King of our affiliation with two simple words.

Sairoarg looked back at us in shock and muttered. " Exorcists? What are they doing here?"

But that moment of innatention was his mistake. The Nemean Lion suddenly let out an earth shaking roar and charged at Sairoarg with incredibled speed. The golden lion collided with the young devil and despite the protection afforded by Touki, he was thrown away like a ragdoll.

Seeing the agressive nature of the Nemean Lion I immediately summoned my halberd but before I could give out clear instructions to my teammates I heard an excited voice on my left.

"Finally, a challenge. Balance Breaker : Chaos Edge Asura Ravage !" Sieg intoned and summoned his five Demonic Swords and held them with his six hands.

Damnit Sieg! I thought in frustration as I watched the swordsman throw himself at the golden lion, ready to cut the beast into pieces. Except it wasn't what happened.

Sieg's swords where among the strongest of the world and Gram is considered the stongest demonic sword and yet it didn't even scratch the Nemean Lion. If Sieg's shocked face face was any indication, it never happened before. However I was not surprised the Nemean Lion skin is said to to unpenetrable.

Sieg wasn't deterred by his failure and tried again and again to slash him into pieces but to no effect. After a few seconds, Regulus seemed to grow bored with his attempt and decided to retaliate. And what a counterattack it was.

The lion's paw blurred and dealt a devastating blow to Sieg's chest making him cough blood and made him crash into a tree. But the Golden Lion wasn't finished with him. The beast launched itself at the demonic swordsman, creating a sonic boom and destroying the ground he stepped on, ready to mawl him to death but before he could, my teammate Jeanne put herself between the beast and Siegfried and created a wall of holy swords and sent it in the direction of the golden lion.

However it was useless, Regulus Nemea is said to give immunity to all kind of projectiles attacks and The Nemean Lion clearly possess that ability as the swords merely bounced off it's skin.

You must be wondering why I still haven't joined the fray. The answer was simple. Jeanne and Siegfried needed to face the lion themselves.

The reason I accepted this mission was to make them understand that their is always someone stronger and in their case there is many. I wanted to humble them and make them stop making rash decisions during missions and listen to other people's opinions. They needed to accept their weakness and go past their arrogance. And what better way to do this than to face the overwhelming might of the strongest Nemean Lion, a beast that even the great Hero Heracles had trouble defeating.

It was cold and pragmatic but I need to be both of these things if I want to create my own faction and protect it.

I watched the lion literally crush Jeanne into the ground with his paw and thought that it was enough. I reinforced my body and weapon with Touki and looked back at Sairoarg who was getting up with the aid of Kuisha. We made eye contact and we both nodded to each other, understanding that we were allies in this fight. Besides I simply needed to aid Sairoarg in the battle and wait for him to tame Regulus. Better that the lion stays in the Sairoarg's hands than mine as I had no way to control the beast.

I launched myself at the same time as the strongest youth in the direction of the Nemean Lion who was preparing himself to deal the finishing blow to Jeanne. I used the blunt side of my spear knowing that cutting him would be useless. I charged the weapon with Senjutsu for good measures and a red aura envelopped it.

"Sky Piercing Art : Blunt Strike." I cried out while Houtengeki crashed into the golden lion's flesh. At the same time, I looked at Sairoarg who was charging an enormous amount of Touki in his fist and watched as the air around his fist literally distorted and a thunderous noise was heard coming from the movement of his hand.

"AAAAHHHH." Sairoarg let out a war cry and punched the Golden Lion at the same time as me. Despite Regulus unbreakable skin, he was thrown away by the force of our attack but we didn't waste this opportunity as we both teleported in front of the flying lion and sent a flurry of blows with both my spear and his fists.

Our blows impacted with the beast and created several shockwaves but the Nemean Lio seemed to have enough of our attacks as he twirled around in the air and clawed us on the sides.

As we both impacted the ground and tried to get up I watched the Golden Lion let out a defying roar and smashing the ground with his paws. The ground literally erupted and several gigantic earth spikes were sent in our direction.

I watched the incoming attack coming in my direction and prepared a spell to protect myself but before I could several black holes appeared around me. The black holes redirected the attack in the direction of the golden lion. I watched to the side as Kuisha Abaddon raising her hand and sending back the earth spikes.

The Nemean Lion dodged all of them and the earth spikes impaced the ground, creating a rising smoke which was hiding the lion from view.

When the smoke cleared out, the Nemean Lion was nowhere to be seen.

"Where is he?!" Sairoarg cried out and I used my Sage Arts to find his life force.

After a few seconds I found the beast and he was rushing out of the forest with incredible and was going in the direction of a mountain. I prepared myself to run after him but I looked back at my teammates who were getting up and reconsidered.

Instead I went in the direction of Jeanne of Siegfried to check up on them. They both seemed to be fine despite the blood coming out of Sieg's mouth but they both had frustrated expression. It was also clear that they were both somewhat troubled by the experience. But again who can blame them? Facing the wrath of the Lion King was terryfying even for me.

"Are you alright, both of you?" I asked them in concern and feeling a little guilty that I let them get injured to teach them a lesson.

"Yeah," Sieg said with a frustrated tone.

"Hhaha, don't worry Cao-kun, we're fine!" Jeanne said cheerily but it was clear that it was entirely fake.

"Jeanne…" I said in concern. "You don't have to act like-" "We were useless." Sieg interruped angrily.

I looked back at him in surprise but he continued. "I didn't even last a minute against the beast while you and a freaking devil went toe to toe with the golden lion." He said with an angry tone while Jeanne looked at her feet in shame.

"Siegfried, you realise that it was the strongest Nemean Lion that we were facing, a beast that was sealed inside a Longinus. It was never going to be easy in the first place. Your mistake was to think that you could defeat such a monster by yourself. There is a reason why only Heracles was able to singlehandly slay a Nemean Lion. Sometimes one's need to swallow his pride and ask for help if one's want to triumph against a stronger adversary. There is no shame in that." I scolded him as gently as I could.

Siegfried seemed to comtemplate what I said and answered after he seemed to realise something. "You…You're right. I have been arrogant all this while thinking that I could defeat everything I came across simply because I am hero descendant and was chosen by six high-tier Demonic Swords. I was just a big fish in a small pond. I understand after seeing you, the lion and even that devil, that there is many people stronger than me on this earth and if I want to grow stronger I need to stop thinking that victory will simply comes to me due to my lineage." He said seriously and looked back at me with conviction and bowed. "I apologise for my insubordination, Leader, from now on I will follow your orders faithfully so that you could lead us to victory."

I was pleased to see Siegfried mature so much from this experience. It seems that he is ready to achieve his true potential. I gripped his shoulders and told him seriously.

"That's all I ask, Sieg." I looked back at Jeanne who was looking like she wanted to be scolded by me and reprimanded for her reckless actions.

"As for you Jeanne," She looked at me expectantly. "I admire your loyalty to your friend and even your desire to save the innocents but you shouldn't let your emotions rule your mind. Instead of charging recklessly toward an opponent who could have easily killed you in order to save your friend, you should have consulted me for a plan or at least thought rationally about your next course of action. You should think before you act or you'll end up getting yourselve or worse your companions killed."

She looked at her feet in shame but answered me after a few seconds "I…would be dead if it wasn't for you. That beast could have teared me apart. It would have been so easy and I understand now how close to death I was. All because of my recklessness." She looked back at me with conviction. "I will be better from now on, This is a promise !"

I smiled at her warmly "Good," I looked behind me at Sairoarg who was closing the eyes of a corpse while Kuisha was standing vigilantly next to him and watching us like a hawk. "Come, we need to find the Nemean Lion before it goes on a rampage." I told them.

"What about the devils?" Jeanne asked innocently while Sieg sent a suspicious glare in their direction.

"We'll ask for their help." I said simply.

"WHAT ?! B-but they're devils !" Sieg cried out and Jeanne looked at me as if I was crazy.

"So?" It's not like I had a choice as Sairoarg was the only one who can tame the Golden Lion. We needed his help to resolve this situation peacefully and beside it wasn't the Nemean Lion I was worried about but the attackers. They may send reinforcement and render this situation even worse.

"B-but!" Sieg stuttered in incomprehension.

I sighed. "Sieg, you know that we need their help to capture the lion. We won't be able to succeed by ourselves."

"But they could be allies of the attackers. They may be the last survivors of the Lion's rampage." Jeanne pointed out to me.

I doubt it but they didn't know that. "Well, why don't we ask them then?" I said while walking in the direction of Sairoarg and his Queen while Jeanne and Sieg followed me in confusion.

I watched as Sairoarg breathed deeply and looked sadly at the corpse he was attending. It was the body of a young man with long grey hair, wearing greek armor. I guessed that this must be the murdered wielder of Regulus Nemea. For some reason I felt like I know him or at the very least some who looks like him.

Sairoarg sensed my presense and looked at me stoically, Kuisha took a step forward to put herself between her King and us but he raised an hand to stop her.

I looked at him for a few seconds and spoke. "Cao Cao," He looked at me with surprise and confusion but I continued. "That's my name and these are my teammates, Jeanne and Siegfried." They both nodded reluctanly. "We are exorcist from the Vatican as I'm sure you figured out."

Sairoarg seemed shocked that an exorcist would greet him with such politeness to a devil like him but soon regained his calm and introduced himself in turn. "I am Sairoarg of the House of Bael and this is Kuisha Abaddon, my Queen." He said politely while Kuisha nodded curtly.

I hummed in thought and looked at the the dead body. "What happened here and who killed him?"

Sairoarg looked at me strangely. "I'm surprised that you do not suspect us to be the accomplices of the attackers. There is a few devils among their numbers after all and I could have tried to forcefully reincarnate him for all you know" He said calmly and Jeanne and Sieg tensed at this and put an hand on their weapons.

I shook my head. "If you wanted to reincarnate the Longinus user into your peerage, I do not believe that you would have done by force as it is known to be unwise and suicidal to try it with a Longinus user with the risk of them going berserk. No the only one stupid enough to do this are either the Old Maou Faction or the most stupid and arrogant of the young devils. I do not believe that you are either of these things."

He raised an eyebrow in surprise. "You are a strange exorcist."

I smirked. "And you are a strange devil. I've never heard of a devil capable of using Touki and with such profficiency."

"I could say the same about you. An exorcist using Touki is just as strange as a Devil." He shot back with humor in his voice.

We smirked at each other.

That's what I liked about that guy. A true hardworker with neither the arrogance and sence of entitlement as the rest of the devil nobles. I remembered why he was one of my favorite character in canon.

"So, who is he ?" I said coming back to the matter at hand while looking at the dead body of the young man.

Sairoarg crossed his muscular arms and looked at the body sadly. "His name was Alcides. He was one of my clients."

"Were you trying to convince him to become one of you filthy devils ?" Sieg interrupted with suspicion.

"How dare you insult Sairoarg-sama?!" Kuisha said with anger while Sairoarg tried to calm her down.

"Sieg, enough." I said firmly looking at him in the eye. He looked away while I looked back at Sairoarg who was scratching his cheek. "But my teammate has a point. Were you ?"

He shook his head in the negative. "No, Alcides just wanted a sparring partner and I was more than glad to do this. It's not everyday you can fight with this generation Lion King. And beside he told me that he planned to join the Church with his brother." He explained.

"I see, and the attackers then?" I asked him while looking at the dead bodies littering the ground.

"Like you, I believe that they are from the Old Maou Faction. Maybe they wanted to extract his Sacred Gear for themselves but it is strange that they will associate themselves with Stray magicians." He said in curiosity while I nodded in aggrement.

At this time period, The Old Maou Faction were not known to associate with foreign powers especially Stray and human magicians. That happened, only because they were part of the Khaos Brigade. So it means that the Brigade might be already active in some capacity.

I was startled from my thought by Sairoarg's voice. "Alcides must have summoned me with his contract so that I could help him fend off the attackers but I was too late and when I was summoned, The Nemean Lion already ended his rampage and set his sight on me. It was then that you all appeared and you know the rest." He finished sadly.

"I seen the it means that we have to find him before he goes in another rampage and end up killing innocents."

"'We'" He said in surprise.

"Yes, we will need your help to deal with the beast as I do not believe that we will succeed with just the three of us." Well I could but it would means showing more cards that it is necessary. "I've seen you hold your ground with the Nemean Lion and I believe that you and your Queen will be a great help." I told him seriously.

He looked at in surprised and let a big bellowing laugh. "Hahahah, you really are a strange exorcist Cao Cao. I thought for a second that I'll have to sneak on my own to fight the Lion." I raised an eyebrow at this. "Vey well we will help you but at one condition." He said.

"Shoot."

"I wish to capture the Lion alive, I believe that it can be reasoned with." He told me seriously.

Jeanne moved to protest but I raised my hand to stop her as it was exacly what I wanted from Sairoarg anyway. "Very well but if he starts killing innocent people, we will not hesitate to put him down." I warned him.

He nodded in aggreement. " It's a deal then." He said and offered me his hand.

"It's a deal."I said and shook his hand.

However a second later I felt a strong life force coming in our direction as well as something else, I raised my head in alarm while Sairoarg felt the same disturbance and put his guard up.

A moment later, several missiles, yes freaking missiles, came in our direction with incredible speed.

I put myself in front of my teammates and raised my arm. "Shinra Tensei!" I cried out and a powerful force threw the missiles away. Others came toward Sairoarg and Kuisha but they dealt with it by literally punching it away and creating holes to redirect them.

Several explosions was heard from all direction and a second later someone came out of the woods.

It was an imposing young man with shoulder length grey hair and wearing some sort of greek armor. A furious expression was plastered on his face.

I stared in shock because I know exactly who it was.

"YOU…YOU KILLED MY BROTHER ! YOU WILL PAY!" The wielder of Variant Detonation hurled in anger and fury.

Okay,

What the fuck is Heracles doing here ?


Author's notes:

I hope that you enjoyed the chapter.

In this chapter, we have Cao Cao take his first step as a leader. As you can see, he is facing some difficulties. Charisma is not enough to be a leader, experience and being capable of making others listen to your orders is also needed especially when your teammates are particulary unruly. You could say that it kind of a trial run for when he will create his faction.

We also have him go against the Nemean Lion. I thought that it would be interesting that he got involved in this and I can do whatever I want because it was never explained how the wielder of Regulus Nemea died. As for Heracles being the brother of the guy, I made it up. I couldn't help myself, an arc with both Heracles and a Nemean Lion, I couldn't not do it. Beside I needed a way to realistically introduce him in the story and I believe that the way I went about it fit the setting.

As for Sairoarg, he will have an important role in my story. He will be Cao Cao's rival, a friendly rival and not an enemy. It's such a shame that this badass is always a minor character in stories and even in canon. Sairoarg is my favorite character in DxD and I honestly think that he should have been the main character of DxD. Come on the guy was born a failure with no bloodline and demonic powers and yet he is paving his way to the top. Ishibumi did him an injustice by using him as stepping stone for that dumbass Issei. How could the author have him lose against a loser who never trained a day in his life while Sairoarg literally shed tears of blood to get where he is. He has more drive, ambition and passion that Issei could ever have.

Anyway rant over, it's just a big pet peeves of mine.

Until Next Time!