Hello, It's Karma! Two chapters in just as many days lucky you!

I wanted to apologize for my two weeks break so I planned in advance to release two chapter in a week.

Hope you like it!


Chapter 7 :

Vasco's pov

Vasco looked at the two suspicious people in front of him while keeping Asia close to him in case he'll have to fight them. These two were dangerous, he could feel it in his old bones.

The young man was clearly a skilled martial artist if the loose stance he took was any indication. It seems to be non-threatening at first glance but for an experienced fighter it was anything but. His tense shoulders, his moving fingers as if he was holding a weapon in his hand as well as the position of his feets as if he was preparing to move quickly at any second. He could also feel magic gathering in the air around him, so he must be also skilled in magic. A martial artist and a magician, a dangerous combination. As for the woman next to the young man, she was dangerous in her own way. She seemed weak at first but her sharp eyes and cold demeanor were telling him otherwise.

Vasco never thought that he would encounter such people near Asia. It was one of his job as a Cardinal to check on all the holy maidens of the Church, to see if they were safe or adequately protected but Asia has never been in any kind of danger since she has awakened her Sacred Gear. Of course all the factions keep an eye on her like they do all holy maidens but Asia, despite her possessing a rare Sacred Gear, has never been threatened before mainly because her Sacred Gear has no combat application. It was the complete opposite of Jeanne who he had to protect from assassination and kidnapping attempts since she was a young child.

So imagine his surprise when the pastor keeping an eye on her informed him of two suspicious person visiting Asia for an entire week so he made his way here as he was already close to Rome because he was looking for clues about a certain person.

The appearance of the wielder of the True Longinus was causing an uproar in the Vatican. All the higher-ups and even the Seraphs ordered every exorcist to find him at all cost so that they could convince him to join the Church, after his show at the territory of the Tepes. Attacking an entire faction, killing nearly a thousand vampire and destroying their castle was certainely impressive so he could understand the urgency of Heaven to find and to draw such a strong young man to their side.

However no one heard a thing about this 'Abel' after his spectacular appearance, he had to admire the cleverness of the name. Naming himself after the brother Cain murdered was certainly a way to mock the vampire further. After all Cain was the Sire of all vampires and the ancestor of the Tepes and Carmilla. He was cursed by God with the Mark of Cain and God damned him with vampirism so that he could never die as a punishment for the murder of his brother. To think that that thousands of years later, another Abel would avenge the death of his namesake by attacking Cain's descendants. It was certainly ironic but this 'Abel' was causing him major headaches with the higher-ups yelling at him to find him. So he took this opportunity to be away from them and go see Asia, a girl he was always fond of and check on these suspicious people she has befriended.

His suspicions, of course grew stronger when he detected traces of mind altering magic on the mind of the pastor and several of the nuns. The magic was harmless but it was clear that they were planning something for Asia as they didn't want the other from the church to interfer.

So he made a decision, he will wait for them, take Asia to safety and confont them of their intentions then capture them for interrogation if they prove to be ennemies.

"Asia dear, why don't you go back inside to wait for me ? I wish to talk with your new friends." He asked gently to the young girl who was babbling happily.

"H-Huh ?" she said in confusion and looked back uncertainely at the young man.

"Go back inside Asia, we'll be back soon." The young man said putting a reassuring face in front of the girl.

"Y-you promise ?" She asked hesitantly .

"I promise."

"Okay big brother." Vasco blinked at the familiar term used for the young man and narrowed his eyes further.

He was surprised that the young man would so readily let Asia leave as she would have been the perfect hostage to confront him who is considered to be a monster among man but what was more surprising was how attached Asia became to the young man. His theory that she might have been brainwashed like the others at the church might be true after all.

After Asia left, Vasco was finally left alone with the two of them and asked the question that he has been eager to ask.

"Who are you ?" He asked bluntly.

The young man looked back stoically stroking the fur of the stange cat hiding in his gakuran and the woman next to him looked disinterested in the conversation entirely.

"My name is Cao Cao and my companion here is named Valerie Cain," The young man, Cao Cao, introduced himself and his companion. Vasco raised an eyebrow at his name. "It is an honour to meet a man such as you, your Eminence Strada. You have been an inspiration to me since I was a young child."

Like he thought, the young man already know who he was but what sets the alarm bells ringing in his mind was the name he introduced himself with. Cao Cao, the Hero of Chaos, a chinese warlord of the period of the Three Kingdoms. This is not a coincidence that the young man in front of him bear such a name.

"A peculiar name so tell me what are your intentions in regard to Asia." Vasco asked again.

"We have no ill intentions regarding Asia. I simply wished for her to heal Valerie here." Cao Cao answered calmly.

"You do not need an entire week to heal someone." He countered.

"Valerie had a mental sickness. A prolonged exposition to Twilight Healing was needed."

"Twiligh healing cannot cure sickness of the mind." He said thinking that he had him.

Cao Cao smirked. "Then you clearly do not know the full capabilities of this Sacred Gear."

Having enough of this charade he decided to end this. "I know that you used mind altering magic on the inhabitants of the church."

"They were annoying, always crowing like parrots that Asia needed to heal everyone, that it was her duty to God. Putting such burden on the shoulder of such a small child is disgusting so I simply made them ignore us. I simply wanted Asia to have fun." Cao Cao growled in irritation.

Vasco, of course, know of the treatment of Asia in this church and has warned them several time to give her more freedom but it seems that they didn't listen. He empathised, really he did, he never liked the way the higher up treated these young girls as if they were not human. However it was still not a reason to do what he did and it was clearly not the only reason. He was hiding something and if he had to guess it had something with the girl next to him. He has seen enough, it was clear that he needed to take them to the Headquarters to interrogate them more thoroughly.

"Be as it may. You still used mind altering on unsuspecting humans. I'll have to take you both to the the Vatican for interrogation. If you refuse I will have to use force."

Cao Cao stilled and prepared himself for combat. "I'm afraid I can't do that." He said as he summoned a gigantic halberd and took a fighting stance

"Force it is." He said simply and took a battle stance.

Me and my shitty luck.

I thought that I could avoid a fight with THE Vasco Strada if I answered his questions with half-truths but it seems that it didn't work. Can't really blame him even I wouldn't have believed myself if I was in his place and having Kuroka using mind altering magic on these people was not my finest moment. However I cannot let him interrogate us in the Vatican. There is a huge risk that they may learn about Sephiroth Graal if I let him interrogate us there. I do not have a choice but to fight and try convince him of my good intentions in regard to Asia. If it doens't work I'll have to give up the idea of becoming an exorcist and go for plan B, that is to say join Grigori instead but I have to do everything so that it doesn't come to that.

"Valerie, Kuroka, do not interfer." I whispered to my companions. Kuroka understood as it would only create more problems if she showed herself, Valerie tried to to protest but she clapped her mouth a moment later and nodded.

It also goes without saying that I cannot use my Longinus or my Light magic which gives a huge advantage to Vasco but I do not believe that he has Durandal so I may be able to fight him if I use only my Senjustsu, Touki and Magic.

I pointed Houtengeki, the Sky Piercer in his direction and moved using Soru, one of the Rokushiki I mastered using Touki. Vasco only had a second to widen his eyes as I teleported in front of him. I then slashed at him with my spear which he narrowly dodged. My halberd slammed into the ground and created a shockwave sending my opponent away.

I then sent several Rankyaku, wave of pure Touki in his direction to keep him away. It seemed that Vasco decided to take me seriously as he simply punched every waves, dispelling them easily. He then moved at blinding speed and cocked his fist back to punch me in the stomach. I parried with my halberd feeling the raw power behind his fist and creating another shockwave. I exchanged several blows with him at incredible speed then leaned on my spear and leaped in the air with the use of acrobatics and tried to pierce him from the air.

The Violence of Heaven shocked me by not avoiding my Touki-coated spear and grabbed it with his fingers. My jaw dropped as I tried unsuccesfully to take it away from his fingers.

What a monster, I thought in shock at the enourmous strength of the man in front of me.

"Such skill for one so young. To think that you are capable of using Touki and your spearmanship is not for show either." Vasco assessed looking at me in comtemplation. "Tell me young man, who trained you ?"

Cao Cao smirked despite the situation. " Sun Wukong, The Great Sage equaling the Heavens." Vasco's eyes widened for a second and seemed to comtemplate something.

"I see, it explains your prowess if you were trained by such a man."

I nodded. "I do not wish to fight you, your Eminence. I care about Asia, I would never hurt her. This is all a misunderstanding." I said trying to convince him to stop this meaningless fight.

"So you wouldn't mind coming to the Vatican so that I could interrogate you." Vasco tried once again to make me come with him.

"No, I have secrets that I am not comfortable to reveal and the same goes for my companion." I sighed in exasperation. "Listen let's make a deal. I planned to go to the Vatican to become an exorcist after I had Asia heal Valerie of her sickness. If you do not ask further questions about Valerie and myself, I'll reveal everything to you in due time."

Vasco seemed surprised by my wish to become an exorcist and he seemed to really consider the deal but he shook his head a second later. "I'm sorry but I have to do my duty as a cardinal, you are still suspicious and you are not in a position of power to make such a deal."

I could try again by telling him about Sephiroth Graal but I didn't trust him enough to tell him such a thing. For all I know he might immediately spill everything to the higher-ups which would be a disaster for all parties involved.

I looked at him while gritting my teeth in anger. "Very well, it means that I just have to win to make you listen then ?"

"You can certainely try, young man." Vasco said with a smile without an hint of arrogance in it.

I looked at Houtengeki still held between the fingers of the Cardinal and smirked. "I'll take back my spear then. Shinra Tensei."

An oppresssive force threw the Cardianl away. It didn't deal much damage but he released my weapon, taken aback by the attack. I then used telekinesis to lift the spear from the ground and enveloped it with natural energy, blue flames appearing around Houtengeki. With a wave of my hand, the spear launched itself in the direction Vasco was thrown away.

Vasco feeling that he shouldn't take the attack head on, moved to the side with incredible speed but the spear redirected toward him like an homing missile.

As expected of the Violence of Heaven, he felt immediately that he shouldn't take the attack head on. Houtengeki when coated with Senjutsu can damage an individual's spirit instead of the body. Even if he had withstood my attack, it would have pierced his spirit directly. Of course an attack like this is dangerous for my body. I cannot wield my spear with my hands when nature energy envelop the halberd as it is too uncontrolable and can damage my own spirit if I wear to use it with my bare hand.

I aptly named this technique, the Flying Spear of the Sage.

My spear chased after the Cardinal while he ran all around the field without pause. Having enough of his running around, I accelerated the speed of the spear with my time magic. Vasco narrowed his eyes at the sonic boom created by the speed of the weapon coming at him.

Got you, I thought in triumph but I immediately narrowed my eyes as I could feel holy energy gathering in the right hand of the Evil Killer.

He cocked his fist while I could feel the air rippling around him and he punched. "Sacred Fist."

A torrent of light blinded my vision. A second later, I opened my eyes and was shocked to see that his punch destroyed a part of the clearing, seeing that there was nothing left of the path his attack took, not even the grass. My Houtengeki was buried in the ground behind me. His attack cancelled my control over the spear and throwed it away.

Thank Gabriel that he didn't break Houtengeki but this is still bad. At this rate I'll have no choice but to use True Longinus. Even if we both didn't sustain any injuries and we are still holding back, it is clear that it is Vasco Strada who has the upperhand.

If my spearmanship doesn't work then I just need to use long-range and destructive technique. It is the only way I can have the upperhand.

Bringing my hands together, I intoned. "Wood Release : Thousands Hands."

Like the name suggest, thousand of hands made of woods came out the ground and immediately launched themselves at Vasco. Vasco, of course, punched every single hands coming at him but he winced a second later. The reason being that these hands were special. They were made of nature energy, it didn't matter that they were destroyed but every time Vasco came in contact with it he will feel a shock to his spirit weakening his body and besides they were too many of them for him to avoid them all and there was still me to deal with.

I took Houtengeki with my hand, enhenced my body with Touki and launched myself at him with blinding speed. Vasco looked at me immediately and parried several of my attacks but he couldn't deal with me and the several hundred hands made of woods coming from all around him. While we exchanged blows, I controlled the hands to grab him. Of course it wasn't enough to keep him in place but it wasn't what I had in mind.

"Life drain." I drained the life force of Vasco without any hesitation but I know that it would only damage him enough to make him unable to move. After all I felt the enourmous amount of life force he posses, it was as if I was standing in front of an immovable mountain but I digress. All I did until now with my wood magic was to give me an opening.

Taking advantage of his paralysed stare I moved. "Sky Piercing Art : Blunt Strike."

A red aura formed around my halberd. Using the blunt side of his halberd, I hit Vasco with all my strength finally dealing the first real blow of the battle. A shockwave was created, destroying the ground around us and the Violence of Heaven coughed up blood and was thrown away unable to parry the attack.

I grinned at my succes, satisfied that my plan worked. I could see Vasco getting up slowly. His priest clothes were ruined and had bruising wound on the stomach. He also had blood coming out of his mouth but he still seemed extremely calm despite the blow he took. Before he could launch a counterattack I quickly brought my hands together and used a technique to restrain him.

"Wood Release : Great Spear Tree." Thick roots came out of the ground and envelopped Vasco to crush him underneath it but it wasn't enough so I supercharged the roots with so much natural energy that it was going to explode in a few seconds. Even for someone of Vasco Strada caliber, he wouldn't be able to avoid the grievous damage that this attack will deal to him.

I win, I thought as I grinned, satisfied of my victory. However before I could cry in victory Vasco appeared right in front of me with his fist cocked and light coming out of his fist.

How could this be impossible ? One moment he was trapped and at my mercy and the next he seemingly teleported in front of me with no grievous injuries while I could see my tree in shambles behind him.

"Sacred Fist." And then I felt pain like nothing I ever felt felt before. I was thrown away like a ragdoll. I couldn't even get up as I felt pain all over my body and was coughing up blood.

It was unbelievable. A single punch from this monster was enough to bring me down despite my Touki enhenced body.

Defeat. It was the only thing on my mind at this moment. It was the first time I was defeated in such a overwhelming way. True I sometimes lost spars against Bikou. I even lost against Shishou when we sparred but I know that he never took these fights seriously. If he did he would have ended the fight in seconds but I digress.

Even against Ultimate-Class Vampires, my chances to be completely defeated before I escaped were still pretty low. However it was the first time my defeat was so overwhelming, so one-sided. This man, Vasco Strada, has truly reached the Apex of Humanity. He is the Ultimate Human. Even if I was holding back by not using my longinus as the fight could have been more even, I knew that if Vasco had Durandal or any Holy Sword my defeat would have been just as overwhelming. After all his true strength lay in his swordmanship and not in his hand-to-hand combat.

I could hear steps coming in my direction and I looked at Kuroka and Valerie still standing at the side. Kuroka was shaking in anger in her cat form and was preparing herself to attack Vasco from behind. As for Valerie, she still had an emotionless expression but I could see her shadow shaking in agitation. I shook my head in the negative to signal them not to intervene.

"You've fought well, young man. You are extrmely talented for one so young and should be proud of yourself. It's the first time in twenty years that anyone made me bleed." Vasco came near me with a smile on his face.

I couldn't help but laugh at what he said and I could see him looking at me questionningly. "N-No I was just thinking that I had a long way to go reach the level of the Strongest Man in the world. It is the bare minimum after all to achieve my dream."

"Your dream ?" He asked.

"Yes one day I will become the strongest so that I could protect everything. Protect the innocent and oppressed. Protect people like Asia and Valerie." I said with conviction despite the pain I felt and I swear that I could see a smile on the face of the Cardinal.

"Hoh, interesting." I looked back at the face of the man who defeated me so handily and smirked. I prepared to summon my True Longinus to get the hell away from here. It seemed that Plan A was a bust and he needed to go for plan B.

Sorry Asia, It seems that we might not be able to see each other again after all, I thought in sadness and prepared to escape.

However before I could I heard a cry on my left.

"Big brother !" The voice of a young girl in panic was heard.

I looked at the side to see Asia Argento running at me with tears in her eyes. She came near me and immediately activated her Sacred Gear, Twilight Healing to heal me from my wounds.

"What happened ? Father Strada, why did you hurt Big brother ? He did nothing wrong !" Asia asked the Cardinal with anger in her voice. An emotion completely foreign for someone like Asia Argento.

The Vasco Strada, the most badass man I have ever seen seemed to panic for a moment and tried to explain. "I-"

He was interrupted by the cute angry puppy known as Asia. "Is it because of the people of the Church ? Did they say bad things about Big Brother ?! Don't listen to them, they were most likely lying like they always do."

As Asia continued to scold The Violence of Heaven in her own cute manner, I felt Valerie come sit next to me and felt Kuroka nuzzling my cheeks to reassure herself that I was alright.

"Master, Are you alright ?" she asked with no emotion in her voice as I stroked Kuroka fur but I could see concern in her eyes.

"Mew ?" Kuroka seemed to ask the same thing.

"I'm alright, it's just a bruise."I lied but I could feel my body getting better with the use of Twiling Healing.

Vasco coughed in his palm and I looked back at him as Asia stopped lecturing him.

"Asia dear, I'm sorry I hurt your…your big brother but it was part of the test." He said trying to reassure Asia.

What, what test ? I thought dumbfounded by what he said.

"A test ?" Asia asked with a tilt of the head.

He nodded vigorously. "Yes, Cao Cao's test to become an exorcist."

"Oh." Asia opened her mouth."And did…did he pass ?"

"Of course he passed, with flying colours in fact." He said with a smile.

"Yes !" Asia cheered and hugged me tightly. "Congratulations Big brother !"

"Indeed, congratulations young man and welcome to the Order of Exorcist."

I looked back and forth between the two of them in shock.

"What." I said again but out loud this time. I could see Kuroka on her back laughing while looking at my face.

Asia then stopped cheering and looked deep in thought and then she nodded resolutely.

"Father Strada ?"

"Yes Asia ?" He looked at her curiously.

"I've been thinking a lot these past few days and I decided on something." She said slowly.

"What is it ?" He asked and I looked at Asia in confusion.

"I want…I want to become an exorcist." She said with a little hesitance but she seemed resolute.

Vasco and my eyes widened in surprise.

"Are you…are you sure ?" Vasco asked carefully and I nodded vigorously at what he said.

"Asia, Are you doing this to be with me ?" I asked in turn worried that she is making such a life changing decision to follow me.

"Y-Yes I am sure and it is true that I wish to be near big brother however it is not the only reason." Asia nodded rapidly. "I learned a lot about the outside world from big brother, about the good and the bad. He told how he wished to protect the innocent so that they could live in peace without being threatened by the supernatural world and this…this resonated with me." She looked at the palm of her hands. "All my life, with these hands, all I did was heal again and again but I wish to do more. I do not want to simply heal these people who were hurt but I also wish to save them with my own two hand. I want…I want to become a hero like big brother and for the first time of my life I have a dream. It is not something I am duty bound but something I want for myself. So please your Eminence, Big brother take me with you." She finished while bowing at her waist.

I was frozen in shock and it seemed to be the same for Vasco Strada. We blinked owlishly and Vasco started to laugh hysterically.

"Hhahahaha, ah to be young again." He said and looked at Asia warmly. "Very well, Asia Argento, I accept your candicacy to become an exorcist."

Asia smiled brighly and hugged Vasco and then me.

"Go pack your things, you little rascal. We'll be leaving soon." He chuckled.

"Wait."Valerie interrupted and Vasco looked at her questioningly.

"Yes, Valerie Cain is it ?" He asked.

Valerie nodded. "I wish to become an exorcist too." She asked.

"Oh and why is that."

She looked at me. "My master is a magnet for troubles so I need to become strong to protect him." She said in a monotone and I sweatdropped at what she said even though it was pretty much true.

Vasco ignored entirely the way she called me and chuckled. "That's a good reason as any. Truly I am blessed on this day. I recruited a powerful young man and two candidates with enormous potential."

Asia cheered. "I'm happy that we are going to become exorcist together miss Valerie." Valerie nodded and Asia took her hand with hers while Kuroka jumped on Asia's arms." Help me pack my bags miss Valerie." She asked brightly.

"Okay" And then the three of them left toward the church.

I stared at their retreating back and wondered what the hell just happened. Asia Argento, the healer of the series, becoming an exorcist. Is this some kind of parallel universe ? Wait it is already a parallel universe with my presence. I shook my head to clear my thoughts. This was not important for the moment. I'll talk to Asia later. What was important was the man chuckling in front of me.

"Vasco Strada or should I call you lying old man instead," I called out with a frown and he looked at me. "What the hell was that earlier ? Test, what test ? You fully intended to capture me."

"I did not lie," He smiled pleasantly. "It was truly a test. Of course it became a test only after you introduced yourself as the disciple of Sun Wukong."

"What do you mean ?" I asked in confusion.

"A few weeks ago I received a letter. Imagine my surprise when I've seen that it was a letter from the Monkey King telling me that his disciple planned to come to the Church to become an exorcist. Of course I didn't know who you were at first and I fully planned to beat you to half death and bring you for interrogation." He explained and I sweatdropped at the brutality.

"And because I am his disciple, I became above suspicion ?" I asked, frowning at the show of favoritism.

"Of course not but I realised first that I might have misjudged you as I know that the Old monkey would never take a bad person as a disciple. So I tested your skills, your resolve and finally your ambition and you passed all of them with flying colors." He said while smiling.

"So…I am an exorcist just like that." I asked sceptically.

He raised an eyebrow. " I am a cardinal and the greatest exorcist of all time. If I want someone to become an exorcist then they will be a second later no matter who they are and besides making you get through the exorcist training would have been a waste. From what I've seen, you can be considered to be among the top ranked exorcists as you are now. It's not everyone who can fight evenly with me." He said confidently.

"Evenly, my ass." I grumbled still sore about my defeat.

Vasco gripped my shoulder." Hoh, don't be like that you've fought extremely well for someone so young. You have the potential to surpass me, I'm sure of it." He assured me with a smile and I looked away embarrassed at the compliment coming from someone I admire.

"In fact, I've decided to train you personally. The Monkey King trained you well but you still have rooms to grow in other fields." I looked back and paled at Vasco Strada who had the sweetest smile I have ever seen on the face of an old man. A smile that chilled me to the bones .


Author's notes:

Well this chapter was very action packed. Cao Cao against the strongest human in the world. I know that some of you will be dissatisfied with the result of the battle. But come on you can't expect Cao Cao to win against Vasco freaking Strada, The Violence of Heaven, The Apex of Humanity and the most badass character (in my opinion) of DxD. We are talking about the man who singlehandly overwhelmed Vali, Bikou, Fenrir and Gogmagogg in his prime form and who had no problem dealing with Issei in his Crimson Cardinal from and Saji in his Balance breaker when he was still an old man. The result of this fight was obvious, we had a 14-year-old Cao Cao against the Ultimate Human after all. True Cao Cao didn't fight all out as he didn't use his Longinus but Vasco didn't either and the result would have been the same especially if he had Durandal. Remember that we are talking about the kind old man that all devils, including the Maous, are terrified of. You may say that Cao Cao fought against Ultimate-Class Vampires just two chapters ago but they were very vulnerable to his holy spear and they are at the bottom of the Ultimate-class ranking. Vasco is Satan-class and the difference between Satan-class and Ultimate-class is like heaven and earth.

As for Asia becoming, I always wanted her to get out of her damsel in distress role and become a badass. Of course she will still be a healer but she'll know how to fight and will learn to use her Sacred Gear for combat.

Anyway, I hope you like the chapter and pleave leave tons of reviews.

Until next time.