(The Truth: Uverworld)

Chapter 3

(Rivals of Affection)

"Yaahhhhh!" *Yawn* A cute yawn escaped. Mornings in general definitely weren't her cup of tea. Even still to this very day she would rather just hibernate until she felt like getting up. Getting out of bed, she stretches out her stiff muscles that screamed of recent abuse. After all, her recent training routine has been rather harsh lately. However, she would only train to such an extent if there was something bothering her or on her mind. She must be doing it unconsciously most of the time. Nevertheless, she would always end up overexerting herself when her thoughts were cluttered. She couldn't help it. It was just a way for her to deprive herself of her unwanted thoughts and focus on other things that were more important. Now making her way to her bathroom, she turns on the light and strides her way to the mirror. She looked horrible. It looked like she just went five rounds with Nero's fangirls that would always jump her for info about the handsome teen.

"Haahhhh…"She could only give a closed eyed sigh at the traumatizing torture of repeated interrogation. She felt a shiver go down her spine just remembering the hectic event. Man was that school a lot scarier than she could have ever imagined. Still looking at herself in her mirror, she could see the strain on her face. Wait…strain? That wasn't her at all. She was the "happy go lucky" cheerful and pretty girl might she add.

"Pttff, and he says I'm a tomboy...Idiot. I'll show that pretty boy!" Then Nero once again came to her mind. But she could not deny that he was always so calm and collected, cool and even mysterious.

She looked up again to see that her reflection. She was actually happy to be around her friends. It was an amazing feeling to escape all this family drama when it came to being associated with the ten clans. In addition, as friendly as she is, Erika was still a girl with insecurities. She was confident in just about everything else but…her body. Looking down at her chest, she frowns again as reality hit her once again. Compared to her friends she felt like she was lacking in major areas. She was behind them in terms of their figure but she knew she was still a growing girl after all. Yeah, that's it! She just needs a little more time to even out. Shaking her head to focus, she then smacks her puffy flushed cheeks to forget about that stuff for now. Yeah, today was going to be a fruitful day indeed.

"Alright! Something good will happen today. I'm sure of it!" She clapped her hands together with a smile now creeping up onto her face. Nodding her head in satisfaction, this is the Erika Chiba she knew. It was her character to be cheerful and carefree so anything else just wouldn't do.

"Guess I should get ready for school then. If I hurry maybe Nero and I can walk together again to the train station on our way to school." Erika says aloud to herself with gusto. After getting ready and eating breakfast she makes her way out the door.

"I'm off!" she called out letting her siblings know of her departure. Erika did not know what it was but she could not help this feeling of building up excitement in her chest.

The Shiba residence also seemed to be preparing themselves to leave for their school day. It would seem that the Shiba sister was deep in thought about something. She couldn't help but think about what Erika and the others were talking about when they all ventured to the café.

Grabbing at the necklace around her slender neck, she looks at it with a longing gaze. It was beautiful. Something so valuable yet priceless was given to her by her supposed little sister out of love. No matter what, she would make sure to cherish it forever with all her might.

*Knock, Knock, Knock*

"Miyuki are you ready to leave for school?" The voice of her brother Tatsuya asked from behind her room door startling her a bit.

"Y-yes Onii-sama, I'll be out in one moment." opening her room door, Miyuki sees that her brother was waiting patiently for her.

"You seem like you have something on your mind?" Tatsuya noticed.

"Actually, I do. I've been thinking that I finally realized how you've felt about me all these years. Having Elena-chan come into my life has shown me what it truly means to have a younger sibling in a sense. And right now…all I want is to see her more than anything." Miyuki couldn't stop thinking about the little girl last night. It was weighing heavily on her mind to the point that her sleep wasn't as good as it usually is.

"It's a bit late now but I'm sure we could stop by Yakumo's on our way home from school if you want?" pushing those thoughts to the back of her head for now was probably the best course of action. She turned her vision to her brother, giving him a small yet sweet smile.

"I'd like that Onii-sama." Tatsuya returned a barely noticeable smile before walking past her.

"Let us go then…Miyuki." Miyuki's smile now returned to her soft features.

"Yes, Onii-sama."

Our white haired devil for some reason couldn't help this feeling of someone talking about him or being watched. But he could only shrug it off for now. Still, the continuous eyes on him and Elena were starting to get really annoying. Every time he would make his way to Yakumo's temple to drop her off for school it was always "Look at how cute they are! Isn't she just adorable!" or "Oh my, what a handsome and kind brother you are."

Nero was never one to be cocky or prideful in regards of his looks. He couldn't help the way he came into this world. Truthfully, he didn't even think he looked all that great. He did not see what the big deal was? Yet other men, especially with their girlfriends or wives would look at him with hate or jealousy. Was it because he was an obvious foreigner? The girls or women would of course stare at him and ignore their spouse causing Nero to gain hostility from the males. If they only knew they had nothing to worry about. He did not want any of them. Yet he was still viewed as a clear potential threat. To the men he was a breathing abomination.

Oh well, it's not like he cared anyway. That is their problem to figure out. He has already dropped Elena off at Yakumo's this morning. She of course did not want to see him leave. However, at the same time Yakumo has started to grow on the girl. He was sure she wanted to see Miyuki as well, but he told her that Miyuki would come around when she had the time. Her sad face made him rethink his words. Man was he terrible at this kind of thing. Rubbing his hand through his hair, it was hard being an older brother that's for sure. But he couldn't help but also feel like she has become more to him then he would have ever imagined. It really does feel like he has a family now. It was also surprising to him when she gave him and Miyuki their pendent halves. It was definitely special to him since Elena was the one to give it to him.

He just needed to make sure he made it to school on time. As he continued on his way to the train station he was greeted by a familiar voice. One that he has grown accustomed to over the few weeks as well.

"Hey Nero wait up!" Turning his head, he sees Erika running up to him with her usual smile and good mood.

"Erika, as energetic as ever I see." Nero said in his normal tone of voice causing the girl to cutely pout at him.

"Well, if I'm not who would be? I'm one of a kind you know. You would do well to remember it." She said standing straighter and sticking her chest out in triumph.

"Indeed, you are one of a kind." Nero said cause her to glare at him.

"Hey! What were you just implying?" Erika asked with slight irritation.

"Nothing really, I wouldn't dare speak against you." Nero said in mockingly gaining a nod of approval from Erika.

"At least you know your place in this world. And with that, I suggest we hurry before we're late for school." This girl…he had to admit it was never boring with her around. They would always get into witty arguments from time to time.

"Now come on and stop dragging your feet." Erika said as she started to push Nero toward their destination with a smile. She loved messing with him. It was one of the main reasons she looked forward to the next day of school.

"Wait! Erika I can walk on my own!" surprised by her forceful gesture Nero did not see that coming that's for sure.

"Oh quiet you!" Erika couldn't help herself. This was just so much fun!

Miyuki and Tatsuya have just arrived at the train station waiting to board. Miyuki liked these calm and relaxing mornings. Nothing to worry her or think too hard about. But she was wondering how Elena was doing this morning. Hopefully Elena wouldn't worry too much while she's away? She could feel her cheeks warming up again.

So this is what it felt like to have a younger sibling? To be able to worry and care for them. It felt…good. A burning feeling in her chest that she couldn't quite explain was ever present. Without a doubt this was the feelings of having the responsibility that came with being an older sibling. The only problem was the fact that she wasn't able to look after Elena while being separated from her like this. Maybe this is how her older brother Tatsuya felt about her, or maybe how Nero felt about Elena? Once again, the white haired boy pops into her mind. She still wondered about him.

Miyuki could only imagine what Nero had to go through every time he dropped the little girl off at Yakumo's place before he headed to school. Actually, now that she thought about it, did Nero and Elena even have any parents? This realization brought a look of uneasiness on the Shiba sister's features. Miyuki knew it was overstepping her boundaries but this was just something she felt…no, something she wanted to find out. It just wouldn't sit right with her if she didn't. Her curiosity was so bad she could have sworn she could hear Nero's voice…wait?

"Aren't you being a bit too rough Erika? And to think that this whole time you were into these kinds of fetishes."

"HEY! I'll let you know that I have the soft hands of a pure maiden. You should be honored to have been graced with such a fine compliment." Erika retorts with pride and a teasing smile to match.

Miyuki watched them quietly. Looking at how both of them engaged with one another as they went back and forth. Suddenly, Erika saw Tatsuya and Miyuki out the corner of her eyes. Did they just get there as well?

"Miyuki, Tatsuya good morning!" Erika called out waving to the two Shiba siblings. This caused Nero to look in Miuyki and Tatsuya's direction. His vision landed specifically on the beautiful Shiba sibling standing with her brother.

"Good morning Erika-san, Nero-san." Miyuki bowed politely with a forced small smile.

"Good morning you two." Tatsuya stated with a nod.

"Miyuki, Tatsuya…" Nero greeted before closing his eyes in silence. Miyuki looked at the white haired devil quietly with a silent stare. A small frown found its way on her face again. There he goes. That was something she has come to expect by now. She noticed that he always does that when he didn't want to be bothered. But that was until he looked towards her direction with an expression that looked uncertain. Miyuki watched as he then turned his vision away from her once more. The look on his face almost made it seem like he was contemplating if he wanted to say something to her or not. A part of her wished he would have just said what was on his mind.

"Erika-chan, everyone good morning." They all turned to see Mizuki walking up to them.

"Hey! Mizuki-chan!" Erika walked over to greet the girl happily.

"Good morning." everyone else said in almost perfect sync. As Erika was talking to her, she noticed her friend looked somewhat red.

"Hey Mizuki, are you feeling well today? Maybe you should have stayed home instead of coming to school. You look like you are catching something." Erika stated as she looked concerned for her friend who tried to wave off her worries.

"N-no, no! It's not that, it's just…" Mizuki's eyes seemed to linger over to where Nero was standing. Her cheeks were definitely getting darker.

"But you're breathing all hard and everything. You sure you're ok?" Erika pushed further causing her friend to squeak in surprise. She did not know she was breathing that loud! It's not her fault!

"E-Erika-chan! I-I'm fine I promise!" Flustered she rapidly swings her arms only adding to her cute and embarrassed demeanor. Mizuki could only pout cutely after Erika started to tease her. That was not funny.

After the episode with Mizuki was over, they all found a nice spacious place to sit down. Nero chose to sit near the window while Miyuki and Tatsuya were next to him. On the other side were Erika and Mizuki who were engaged in conversation with Tatsuya. Miyuki listened to them but her attention traveled towards Nero from time to time as he continued to look out the window in boredom with his elbow propped up and his chin in his hand. The way he looked at her not too long ago was almost like he had something to say so it was still fresh in her mind.

"Hey, Miyuki…" Nero suddenly called out to her softly as he seemed to be the one to start up the conversation between the two. This actually caught Miyuki off guard a bit. The way he spoke was low enough that only she could hear what he was saying.

"Yes Nero-san, what's wrong?" Miyuki asked.

"Listen, I'm terrible at these kinds of things…" Miyuki tilted her head cutely in wonder as she waited patiently for him to continue.

"But would you be willing to visit Elena after school today? She has been asking about you non-stop this morning so I'm sure it would make her happy to see you again. That's if you're not too busy…" Nero said scratching his cheek as he looked to the side towards the window again. He felt like he was already asking too much of the Shiba sister but it was something that was on his mind. In his eyes, this was a favor he would definitely have to owe her down the road. Returning his gaze back to Miyuki, he awaited her answer. A small smile found its way on Miyuki's face. That little gesture of his was pretty cute. It's rare to see someone like Nero act this way. Seeing that even he had a side like this was a bit refreshing.

"Of course Nero-san. I was already intending to make that my next stop after school today anyway. I don't think I would be able to go home without seeing Elena-chan. She has been on my mind lately as well." Miyuki said honestly as she looked deep into his blue eyes. Nero looked at her for a few seconds without saying a word. He could only close his eyes with a small, barely noticeable smile.

"Thank you Miyuki. It seems like I owe you one."

"How so?" Miyuki asked softly as she continued to look at him with intrigued eyes.

"I may be her brother…but to Elena, you are also her beloved older sister. In her eyes, you mean as much to Elena as I do. So much so, that it's clear she would not be satisfied unless you were also there to comfort her. I'm sure that just you being there for Elena makes her happy. And when she is happy, that's really all I could hope for. I don't know. I can't really explain it, but I am grateful to you Miyuki." Miyuki sat there still as she stared incredulously at Nero. A small pink hue coated her cheeks as she averted her attention slightly while grabbing at her necklace.

"I-it's ok. You don't have to thank me…"

Tatsuya was actually to himself most of the ride but he could hear both parties talking here and there. He especially listened in when Nero started to converse with his sister. It was really none of his business but he was just being on the safe side. Miyuki was his little sister after all. In addition, he still did not feel quite comfortable around the white haired devil as of yet. He would take side glances every once and awhile to see his sister wearing a warm smile with slightly flushed cheeks.

But he wasn't the only one who noticed this. Erika and Mizuki looked over to see the beautiful Shiba sibling in a conversation with Nero. Erika was now very curious. Just what were the two of them talking about anyway? She continued to look on not noticing her normal smiling face was now replaced with a small frown.

There were questions the Shiba princess wanted to ask that has been bothering her recently. It was ever since that very morning that her mind continued to play it over and over again. She wanted to know.

"Ner …"

*Bing* "Attention passengers, we have arrived at our next stop. Please be careful as you exit." Miyuki was interrupted by the announcement over the intercom. Unfortunately her question was cut a bit short. It would seem that it was time for them to get off. Miyuki could swear that nothing wanted her to find out more in regards to the boy next to her. She guessed it would just have to wait for now.

After getting off the train they all started to make their way to the First High school building up ahead. On the way there they were greeted with the attention of unwanted spectators.

"Look its Miss Shiba-san! She's as beautiful as always." Some students were saying as they walked past.

"Why would she be hanging around that odd group in the first place? And isn't that the Handsome Zero?" This caused Miyuki and Erika's brow to twitch in irritation.

"Who were they calling odd/Handsome Zero?" They both asked in their heads. This school gossip was getting out of hand over the past few days.

"Good morning everyone!" Another familiar voice hit their ears. It belonged to the student council president Mayumi Saegusa. Nero couldn't really tell exactly what it was but there was definitely something different about her today. While Nero noticed this realization he also realized that Mayumi was giving him a silent yet beautiful and sincere smile. Raising his brow at the action caused the girl to close her eyes and move her attention back to the rest of the group. What the hell was that all about?

"Good morning/Morning…." everyone said in union. Miyuki noticed the action as she stared at the girl quietly. The look she just gave Nero was almost as if she actually came to terms about something. The Shiba sister had a feeling on the possibility of what it was thanks to the other day but it wasn't good to assume things without having any concrete evidence.

"Miyuki-san, Tatsuya-san, I was hoping I could borrow you two if that's alright?" Mayumi asked the Shiba siblings gaining a small nod from Tatsuya.

"Of course Saegusa–san." Miyuki answered politely. Nero hearing this thought it was as good a time as any to split the group up. They we're going their separate ways anyway so what better time than now? They would probably be late if they stood there any longer.

"That must be our queue to get to class." Nero said lazily as he turned and started to walk off.

"Hey Nero wait up!" Erika called out catching up to him with Mizuki following in suit. Miyuki looked on as they headed off to their classrooms. Then, the voice of Mayumi called out to the group as she stared at one person in particular.

"Enjoy your school day you three!" Nero waved over his shoulder as he continued to keep walking with Erika and Mizuki to class.

"Would now be a good time to leave madam president?" Tatsuya spoke up trying to break the atmosphere.

"Yes, let us be off then." With that, the three started heading toward the student council building. Miyuki was however still thinking about what just happened a few moments ago. Her eyes were casted down in thought as she slowly looked up at the back of Mayumi Saegusa. Just what was that just now?

At the Yotsuba residence, new information in regards to Nero was just discovered. It took them some searching or in this term, stalking to make sure they had the right person.

"Milady, it seems that the young man we were keep track of was seen in his school uniform and heading to school with…well…" With who? Why did he stop like that in the middle of explaining?

"What is it, why do you stop?" Maya asked with visible irritation. The man cleared his throat before continuing. "Maya-sama, it's the same First High Academy that your niece and nephew are currently attending.

"Come again?" By Maya's reaction it actually seemed that she was quite surprised about this new bit of information. Wait, was that a smile appearing on her face?

"What a surprising and yet delightful coincidence…" She used her pointer finger to trace the rim of her teacup as she thought deeply about this new turn of events. A soft, appealing laughter was escaping her lips. Oh what joy this was! This was all like a fun board game to her and now it was her turn to make the next move.

"Fu-fu-fufufu…" Whenever she got like that, everyone knew what that meant. She has just found something exciting and entertaining towards her sense of enjoyment. Just who in the world was this boy that she would try so hard to look so deeply into his personal life?'

"This is excellent news. Hayama…" Maya calling over to her Head Butler. He was an older man with slicked back grey hair showing his age. The man was professional in his work and showed it through everything he did. When he did things it was always done right the first time. If he was asked to do so by Maya the current Yotsuba heir there would be no error in his work.

"Yes Milady?" He asked with a polite bow showing his respect toward the beautiful woman before him.

"I'm in a bit of a good mood. I would like to have a bit of fresh air next week. Please have me an escort ready by then." Maya said while still wearing her infectious smile. Hayama did not dare ask any questions after she stated what she wanted to do. If she would like to go out, it must be for a very good reason.

"Very well Maya-sama, I will make sure you have the very best escort for your travels." Bowing once more to his mistress, Hayama turned and started to make his way out of the room. He must make sure that everything is properly prepared for Maya before her departure.

As Maya watched her butler leave to prepare her demand she could feel a feeling within her that she hasn't felt in a very long time. This elation within her was so powerful that she even started to feel warm in her dress. Maybe it was time to take a relaxing bath to help cool herself off? She pulls Nero's picture out from her sizable breast and traces her finger over it in delight. Oh how he looked just like Dante and even…Vergil, the two twin brothers of her memory. It was as if she was reliving the good parts of her past once again. A bit of her wanted to know just how Dante was fairing. Even till this day she could not deny that she still held some strong feelings for the man. He was her first true love after all. A special place in her heart that belonged to him and she would not have it any other way if it could be the way she always wanted them to be.

That aside, this boy's father Vergil however, ended up becoming corrupted. No one really knows what happened to him after he left but it was a day that they could not forget. For that was the day both Dante and Vergil fought one another over their ideals. He had gone mad. Vergil even began to drown himself in his thirst to gain more power…It was a shame really. What drove him to such a point in his life that he would betray his own brother? And not too long after that fact, Teresa passed away. It has been seventeen years since then. Even her very sister Miya passed away two years ago and left her with a feeling of loneliness.

Signing to herself, she felt it was time to head to the baths and forget about the sensitive subject her mind pulled from the vault of her past. With the snap of her fingers she had house maids lined up in front of her, ready for her command.

"Please have my bathwater ready. I would like to take a nice and relaxing bath within the next few minutes." Maya states with a natural yet pleasant face. She was a type of woman to hide her true emotions from plan site. Yet she and her sister also knew about the supernatural such as demons and angels alike. Moreover, that very reason made this boy in her picture the more appealing. She wanted his strength, needed it for the vision of the world she wanted to rebuild. And for her young…no, that plan can't be spoiled too soon. There was still plenty of time for her plan to align and fall into place.

"You will soon be a part of our family."

Miyuki made her way through the hallway in the attempt of making her way toward the lunchroom. Time went by so fast for her that it was almost shocking it was already lunch time. She actually could have just had lunch in the student council room but in the end decided against it for today. Her brother had said to her that after his disciplinary duties he would head to the cafeteria for today. Maybe he was already there with the others by now?

As Miyuki neared the entrance to the school cafeteria, she came across a fairly sized group of females who wore bloom attire like her own. One would think that there was nothing wrong with what they were doing initially but upon further inspection the group looked like they were all up to something. The way that they looked to be gossiping happily amongst one another, hiding near the entrance seemed…rather strange. Just what were they doing huddled together like that anyway?

"Isn't he gorgeous?" One of the girls asked aloud. Her voice sounded excited in regards to the main topic of their attention.

"He's sooo~ hot!"

"Yes. He. Is! Maybe we should walk over and ask him if he's single? I'm so up for it." another girl said.

"Is he a prince or what?"

"I'm at the point where I don't even care if he isn't a course one student anymore! You think he would eat lunch with us if we asked him?" More girls continued to talk within the group as they peeked into the lunchroom where they all looked at someone, squealing happily. Just whom were they talking about in there? Miyuki feeling a bit curious herself neared the girls and looked into the room to see what the gossip was about but one of them noticed her presence.

"O-oh, Shiba-san." this gained the attention of the other girls as well.

"It's Shiba-san…"

"Hello, might I ask what you are all doing?" Miyuki looked around at the faces in the group with a hint of interest. The girls all looked towards each other cautiously, not quite sure if they should say what they were up to or not that's to Miyuki's sudden appearance. However, one of the girls found the courage to step forward as she looked at the Shiba princess carefully. If the rumor she's heard spreading around the school was true then she wanted to get to the bottom of it.

"Ms. Shiba-san, if it's alright…would you be willing to answer a question that I've been thinking about lately?" hearing the girl's question gave Miyuki a small feeling of uncertainty not really knowing exactly what to expect next.

"Very well, if it is something I can answer then I will try to the best of my ability." Miyuki states as politely as possible trying to keep her school image in check. No matter what the girl would ask, it wouldn't be bad enough to make her lose character would it?

"Then what exactly is your relationship with the Handsome Zero? Not only us, but most people around the school have seen you two walking together." The girl asked with calculating eyes. Miyuki blushed lightly at the question however.

"My relationship with him? Well, isn't that type of questioning a bit unfair?" Miyuki asked. That was such a bold question. To be honest, what could she even tell them? There were still a lot of things that Miyuki Shiba did not know about the handsome devil. But it was clear as day that these girls were definitely reaching for some sort of information.

"Well, if Miyuki-san isn't dating Angelo-sama, would that mean those other rumors about him and President Saegusa-san are true then?" Miyuki's sweet smile faded almost as fast as it appeared. Miyuki unconsciously started releasing her ice magic as her eyes held an unexpected glare within them. There was something about what they said that just didn't sit quite well with her. The temperature around them started to drop dramatically as nearby windows and walls were starting to coat with thin layers of ice.

"I'm not sure where exactly you heard these rumors from or who started them but I can assure all of you that there is nothing going on between Angelo-san and Madam President Saegusa." For some reason, the group of girls speaking of another rumor such as that made her a bit annoyed. Miyuki absentmindedly spoke without really thinking about it to put a stop to that rumor then and there. But there wasn't really anything going on between Nero and Mayumi…was there?

The girls were clearly unsettled by Miyuki's fierce gaze that almost felt as if someone was holding a cold, sharp knife to each of their necks. So this was the overwhelming presence of the schools top female magician? This feeling was something that could not be described in simple words. It was borderline suffocating as they all took a step back in fear. Standing before Miyuki when she was upset was truly a feat in itself that they should be proud of.

"Oh, it's Miyuki-san! Are you also going into the cafeteria for lunch?" A familiar voice called out. It was none-other than Honoka Mitsui who was accompanied by her best friend Shizuku Kitayama.

"Oh my, hello Honoka-san, Shizuku-san." Miyuki's ice started to slowly recede and the surrounding area returned back to its normal temperature.

"If you all would please excuse me." Miyuki bowed politely to the terrified group as she walked over to her friends who were completely oblivious to the latest event. That was but a warning so one could only imagine what would happen if they were to upset her for real next time?

"Were you thinking of having lunch with your brother today…right Miyuki-san?" Honoka asked as they entered the lunchroom.

"I intended on having lunch with all of my friends today. That includes you Honoka-san and you too Shizuku-san." Miyuki said receiving a bright smile from Honoka. However, soon after they entered the room it was clear they gained the attention of just about everyone nearby.

"It's Ms. Shiba-san! Why would she even bother coming in here to have lunch? She's in the student council right?" one boy asked as they stared at her beauty. It was something that was fairly normal by now. After all to them, Miyuki was the closest thing to a walking goddess they had around the school.

"I don't mind, just look at her! S-she's so beautiful." another said aloud as Miyuki continued to walk through the aisles.

"Wow Miyuki-san, you're so popular." Honoka stated with an awkward chuckle from the attention.

"It's something I hear every so often but I've become used to it by now." Miyuki said as if it wasn't that big of a deal. Closing her eyes, Miyuki gently moves some of her silky smooth hair behind the fitting of her right ear. The small act in itself made most of the male students in the lunch room gulp loudly sounding closer to swallowing a lump in their throats. She was just too perfect.

As the three girls neared the table full of familiar faces, they saw Erika and Nero in a playful argument between each other.

"Hello everyone, Onii-sama, is it alright if we join you for lunch today?" Miyuki asked with a smile.

"Oh hey guys. You know there is more than enough room for everyone to sit down." Erika said quickly moving over to make space.

"Thank you. And by the way, Honoka-san and Shizuku-san will be the ones joining us today." Miyuki said as they all sat down. Honoka seemed a bit nervous though. You could see her playing with her pointer fingers as she pressed them together, looking for something to say. Her friend Shizuku didn't seem like the talking type either. Nevertheless, she did however look to be a bit interested in what the Nero and Erika were talking about.

"Hello again Shiba-san, Angelo-san. It's nice to see you again." Yep, Honoka is obviously shy while in the presence of her two saviors Tatsuya and Nero. If her face wasn't a dead giveaway that she was thrilled to see them, then you could not be helped.

"Honoka…" Honoka looked up into the face of Nero who was staring at her.

"Y-yes?" the girl asked not trusting her own voice under his powerful gaze.

"We're friends now aren't we? You don't have to be so formal with me. Just Nero is fine." This caused the girl to gasp as if she made some type of breakthrough. This was something she was looking forward to. Being able to call both Tatsuya and Nero by their first names would make her feel she was all the more closer to making more friends.

"I-is that really ok?"

"Why wouldn't it be? I'm completely fine with it. If you were doing it to be respectful, then forget about it. If I'm going to have a proper conversation with you, then I want to be able to talk with you as my equal." Nero stated with closed eyes as he waved off her concerns. He really meant what he said. He was so cool. Always speaking his mind and not thinking he was better than anyone else. But wasn't he was always like that? This only confirmed Honoka's past thoughts about the white haired devil. Nero Angelo felt so far out of her league, she would lose confidence trying to talk to him every time she saw him around campus regardless of his status as a Stem.

Tatsuya also agreed with Nero on this topic as well. Honoka did not have to be so formal with him either.

"Nero is right Honoka. You don't have to be so formal with me either. I did what I did because it was the right thing to do. You do not have to feel like you owe us anything in any way. I'm sure Nero feels the same way as I do regarding that incident." Tatsuya said as Honoka looked at them both for a few seconds before bowing her head with a smile.

"Thank you very much Nero-san, Tatsuya-san." Her smile now seemed to be beaming. It must have felt good to use both of their first names. Miyuki was actually happy for the girl. She looked much more happy and relaxed around the pair now.

"It looks like you guys are getting along nicely huh?" Leo asked now finding the right time to cut in. He was seated straight across from Shiemi, someone who was watching her rather intently.

"Hello again Honoka-san, Shizuku-san. It's good to see you two again." The pretty blonde-haired girl spoke up, gaining both Honoka and Shizuku's attention. Honoka looked at the blonde in remembrance as the events of their meeting one another resurfaced to the forefront of her mind. The timid, shy, kind and even adorable looking girl always surrounded herself around Nero every time she found the boy. Honoka knew the girl was very kind and almost harmless but was it really ok for someone that looked like her to be shy? Shiemi was nothing short of gorgeous and she has even heard her fair share of the female students being jealous of the girl's blessed assets. Honoka was sure she had the upper hand at first when it came to her bust…but now it would seem that indeed, another rival has appeared.

"…" Honoka stared quietly at Shiemi's well developed figure with a hint of jealousy clearly in her gaze. Those were easily double D size..no, maybe even borderline F cups. That would mean she was just a bit bigger than Honoka herself. So Nero had a girl like her around him at all times? For some reason that thought brought a frown on the brown haired twin tailed girl's lips. Shiemi could only look on slightly confused from Honoka's strange actions. What happened to her all of a sudden? Erika close by noticed the look on the poor girl's face place a hand on her shoulder. The gesture made Honoka look over to see that Erika's expression was that of understanding and sympathy.

"Welcome to the Warzone." Erika said in a sympathetic voice. Honoka sank slightly in her seat for reasons only few would know. This was a battlefield. They all knew that the outcome of such a one sided war was not in their favor. This was just not fair at all! Wait? Why is she feeling sorry for her? If anything, it should be the other way around!

As everyone had lunch and Miyuki was conversing with all of her friends, it was normal engaging chatter that seemed to be enjoyed by the Shiba princess. She was happy to be able to spend time with her brother and her friends like this. She just wished that days like this could last a bit longer.

After the group finished their lunches, everyone stood up from the table to get rid of their trash before they would head back to their classes. Nero and Shiemi were the first pair getting ready to head out and go back toward their classroom. Miyuki thought that she would walk with her brother back to the student council room while Erika was still pouting about certain subjects she and Nero went back and forth about. Honoka and Shizuku were also ready to head to their next class when there was something just within Honoka's line of sight that caught her attention.

What is that? There on the seating area where they had lunch, looked to be someone's cellular phone. What made it even more bizarre was the fact that it was in the exact place that Nero was seated for lunch. Does that mean this particular cellular device is Nero's cell phone then? Picking it up to inspect it closer for herself, the thought of returning it to him crossed her mind. No! She can't…well she could, but she was super nervous just thinking about how the altercation with her fellow classmates would ensue.

"Ok guys, I'm out of here. See you after school I guess." Erika waved as Mizuki followed suit after giving a bow to the others. Maybe Erika was trying to catch up with Nero, Leo and Shiemi who just walked out not to long ago?

"Honoka, what's wrong?" the brown twin tailed girl's best friend Shizuku asked as she walked over, seeing that she was in deep thought.

"I don't know for certain but I think that Nero-san dropped his phone by accident. I'm sure he's not too far away for us to return it back before our class starts but…." Honoka said to her friend a bit unsure. Erika suddenly stopped her pacing in mid-step as others around could visibly see her ears twitching. Mizuki looked at her friend wondering why she stopped so suddenly but less than a second later, there were multiple hands on the same phone Honoka was holding within her hand.

"Oh Honoka, you silly, silly child. Let big sister take care of this." Erika said as she pulled it toward her shocking Honoka a bit. Honoka however, started pulling back.

"But we're the same age..."

"Shhhhh! It's ok little one…I got this."

"Wait Erika-san, no hard feelings but between me and you…I'm not so little."

"DON'T YOU DARE TALK BACK TO YOUR BIG SIS!" Erika barked before holding up her hand to silence Honoka from continuing the argument that was unraveling. They were going to get nowhere like this.

"Honoka, I only have one question to ask you." Erika's serious face was something so shockingly out of character that even Honoka had to gulp at its intensity.

"W-what is it?"

"Does it have a password lock?"


"Erika-chan!" Mizuki was surprised yet not at the same time from her friends invasive question.

"Come on tell me please! I'm begging you Honoka-channnn!" Erika started to whine in a comedic fashion.

"I think we should just return it." Shizuku said to both girls. Erika looked hurt from that fact that the stoic girl could even make such a suggestion in the first place at a time like that. Did she not know the fruits of Erika's overall goal?

"I agree with Shizuku-san." Mizuki said nodding her head.

"Shizuku-chan…Mizuki-chan, you two would actually try and deny me this pleasure?"

"Yes/Yes." they both said without hesitation. If it was Erika they were talking to then both girls knew better than to let her run loosely with her intentions. Erika grabbed at her heart in mock pain after hearing her friends shoot her down so effortlessly without the slightest bit of remorse or hesitation. Some friends they are.

"What are you all talking about Erika-san? Return what?" This was the voice of a now approaching Miyuki who actually only walked over in the first place to ask if Honoka and Shizuku would like to walk to class together.

"Miyuki!/Miyuki-san!" Erika, Mizuki and Honoka just barely shouted in surprise as Honoka hid the phone behind her back out of instinctive reflex.

"Oh nothing, you know…stuff…" Erika said before turning around and grabbing Honoka, Mizuki and Shizuku.

"Huddle…" Erika whispered, forming a square huddle. They all bent themselves forward so they could all talk privately amongst one another without fear of being heard. Miyuki and her brother Tatsuya raised their eyebrows from the scene. What in the world is going on right now? Is most likely what the two siblings were trying to ponder in their head.

"Look, here's the plan…don't say anything! Easy right? We can't tell Miyuki we have Nero's phone or she would probably try to take our lives or make us do something we don't want to do and trust me, both options are bad news." Erika whispered as Shizuku deadpanned. How did she end up in the middle of this kind of situation? If anything happened, she had nothing to do with it. Poor Honoka, hearing this caused the girl to gulp in fright. Miyuki-san wouldn't go that far, would she?

Erika wore a small smile on her face as she enjoyed the expressions her friends wore on their faces. She told them a bit of a lie in that instant but in her mind it was with good reason. She knew Miyuki was too much of a bro-con to fall for anyone else even if that person was someone like Nero…right?

"I-I don't know Erika-chan. This just isn't right!" Mizuki said timidly as Honoka agreed with the glasses wearing girl.

"I don't feel right doing this kind of thing either Erika-san."

"Bah! These are supposed to be the good memories of our high school days. I need at least some type of blackmail." Erika casually brushes off their concerns.

"Erika-san just what kind of hobbies do you have in your spare time?" Honoka asked the nosy red head.

"Hey, don't you dare judge me! Plus, regardless of that fact, are you people trying to sit here and tell me that neither of you don't want to find out even the slightest bit of something new about our mysterious prince charming?" This question actually rendered them all quiet. Even Shizuku could not deny she was a bit curious about the white haired teen. But this was still wrong.

"See you do agree with me!" Erika now feeling triumphant takes it a step further.

"I hereby declare "Operation: Avoid Miyuki at all cost" is a go!" Breaking the huddle, they turn to see that Tatsuya joined Miyuki.

"Girls?" Miyuki asked them a bit concerned. Her soft and currently innocent gaze was making three out of the four girls look to the side ashamed. They were being corrupted! The look on Honoka and Mizuki's faces was making it obvious that something was clearly bothering them. Maybe they could not do this to someone like Miyuki after all?

"I just wanted to ask if Honoka-san and Shizuku-san wanted to walk to…" Miyuki was interrupted.

"I'm sorry Miyuki-saannnn!/I'm so sorrryyyyy!" Honoka and Mizuki seemed to break under her soft gaze. How could they try to deceive someone as kind as Miyuki? This caused Miyuki to blink in confusion.

"Sorry? Sorry about what exactly?" she asked the girls as Shizuku released a sigh. They couldn't take the pressure after all.

"W-well you see…I found this phone that was in the spot Nero-san was sitting and I wanted to return it but I got too nervous and then…Erika said you would get usss~ I'm so sorryyy~!" Honoka said with anime tears.

"It wasn't our fault we swear!" Mizuki said as you could see Erika sneakily tiptoeing toward the door in the background. Since that plan was a bust it was time to get out of there as quickly as possible. Miyuki's eyebrow started to twitch in irritation. She had a feeling of who the ringleader was but just what was she trying to get them to do just now?

"Erika-san leaving so soon?" Miyuki asked calmly as the red haired girl halted in place. Now turning around facing her friends.

"Shame on you Honoka, Mizuki! I told the both of you that this was a bad idea and we should've just returned it in the first place! Now look at what happens when you don't listen to me! Miyuki, I tell you…those girls sure are a piece of work. Wait, wait…shush…do you all hear that? Teacher, is that you? I think I hear my teacher calling my name. I'll just see you later then!" With that, Erika dashed out the room with great speed. Miyuki wasn't even mad about it though so her friend's actions were quite unnecessary. It wasn't really any of her business but whatever Erika was probably plotting was an invasion of someone's privacy. Letting out a sigh, she looks back to Honoka with a soft smile.

" Honoka-san, you are the one who found it correct? Then I think you should be the one to return it. It's only right that it's done properly." Whoa, Miyuki was so mature.

"O-ok, I will…"

"Good, then I will see you later Honoka-san, Shizuku-san, Mizuki-san." Miyuki bowed politely to them before turning to make her way out the lunchroom with her brother. Honoka released a sigh of relief after coming out of that whole ordeal relatively unscathed. After what Erika said to her and the rest of the group, she feared for the worst of outcomes. Shaking her head to clear her thoughts, Honoka felt t was time to leave in hopes of returning Nero's phone before her next class officially started.

"Let's go Shizuku-chan."


Honoka and Shizuku made their way through the long halls as they eventually came across the Stem student area within the school. Ok, here it was…class 2F. Honoka inhaled a deep breath in hopes of stilling her nerves.

*Knock, knock, knock* Honoka knocks on the door to the classroom as she waited patiently for someone to answer. Man was she nervous at that moment.

"Come in!" She hears a voice from the other side of the door. Truthfully, it sounded young…

Opening the door Honoka walks in while Shizuku decided to wait quietly outside. She wasn't one for attention or big crowds of people if she didn't have to be. Being the center of everyone's gaze just wasn't something she was very fond of.

"Excuse me for intruding…" Honoka said cutely as she bows her head respectfully. She could feel all of the students' eyes on her and it made her conscious of her surroundings.

"Whoa, what's a bloom doing here?" A female student asked in surprise.

"Bro, look at her! She is so my type."

"She's out of your league bro, calm that down." Two boys said to each other even though Honoka could hear them. She was in Stem territory after all. Nero and Shiemi noticed Honoka. Wondering what she was doing there.

"May I help you?" someone finally asked Honoka causing the girl to turn her head to the speaker. Huh? No one was there. She doesn't see anyone in front of her at all. Maybe she was just hearing things?

"Hello, down here!"

"Eh?!" There before Honoka was a small pink haired girl with a cute pink dress an…was that an identification card? N-no way!

"Hello there, I am Tsukuyomi Komoe, teacher of class 2H. Now…what can I do for you?" Did she just say she was a teacher? Honoka knew she shouldn't have eaten that school bread. She was hallucinating and hearing things. It was impossible that there was a six year old girl here as a teacher! Komoe noticed the look she was receiving from the girl and the teacher's left eye started to twitch with clear irritation. Everyone around there would always give her the same reaction every time and it was starting to get extremely annoying.

"Before you even think about asking, I'll have you know that I am twenty-five years old!" Honoka's eyes widened in shock. Is this some kind of sick joke?

"U-uh right…"

"Now what is it that you need?" Oh, right…she had almost forgotten thanks the this new shocking bit of information.

"I have actually come to return Nero-san's phone. He dropped it by accident at lunch." Honoka said causing the class to gasp. Nero reached in his pocket to notice that his phone was indeed missing. How did he not notice that? However, his classroom aside from Shiemi, were thinking along the lines of things like…

"He is on such good terms with this cute girl? I'm jealous!" One of the boys said aloud causing Honoka to blush.

"What do you expect? It's Nero after all." Another said as if it was obvious. Nero was known as the "lady killer/Womanizer" of the school.

"I-it's not like that!" She tried to defend but her blush increased as the comments continued onward.

"Damn you Nero, she's even blushing!" another boy said causing Nero to sigh and get up out of his seat.

"Forgive me Miss Komoe. I will only be a few minutes so if you would excuse me." Nero said before walking up to Honoka and gently grabbing her hand and started leading her out the door. This caused Honoka's blush to darken at his bold behavior. Shiemi looked at the pair without even realizing that she wore a frown across her features.

"N-N-Nero-san!" As they made it outside the classroom they could hear gossip about the event that just happened. Nero then let her go as he let out another sigh leaning against the wall. This was draining him dry. He then noticed Shizuku as the girl was staring out of the window, minding her own business until she noticed the two. Looking back to Honoka he realizes that maybe he could have handled that situation a bit better then what he did. The girl was noticeably embarrassed and flustered. He felt like an ass for maybe adding fuel to the already lit fire thanks to the ridiculous imagination of his classmates.

"Sorry about that. They would have definitely kept on going if we stayed in there so I brought you out here so you wouldn't have to worry about them talking in your ear the whole time." Nero said in his attempt to help Honoka relax a bit.

"N-no it's quite alright Nero-san. I-I actually didn't mind it." Huh? Exactly which part of it didn't she mind exactly?

Now reaching in her bag, Honoka pulled out Nero's cell phone, retuning it to him.

"Thanks Honoka, I owe you one." Nero said causing the girl to shake her head.

"It's ok Nero-san, you don't owe me anything. I'm just glad that I found it before someone else did." Honoka said causing Nero to shake his head. As long as it was within reason, Nero was the kind of person to always repay a debut no matter what it was. It was just something he felt was the right thing to do after all the trouble Honoka went through to return his device back to him.

"No. If you are intending on walking with us after school today why don't we stop by someplace while you pick out something to eat, it'll be my treat." This caused Honoka blush again, waving her hands back and forth.

"N-no, no I-I couldn't Nero-san, I wouldn't want to intrude." Nero closed his eyes, releasing a small sigh after hearing her attempt to kindly refuse his offer.

"Honoka, I'm the one who offered to treat you today…so let me at least do that much." Honoka did not answer that time, she could not. She did not trust her voice at this very moment. Nero noticed she had nothing to say and used it to his advantage.

"What, nothing to say this time? Maybe it's better leaving it this way." Nero turned around getting ready to head back into his classroom. Honoka brought her hand up to her chest as she stared at his back with flushed cheeks. There was a foreign but nice feeling coursing through her body.

"See you later Honoka, Shizuku." And with that Nero walked back into his classroom. You could hear him being bombarded with questions on the other side of the door. Honoka just stood there and stared incredulously at the door Nero just went through. Shizuku walked closer to her friend who still seemed dazed from the encounter with the white haired teen a moment ago. He was one of Honoka's personal saviors after all so her reaction was no big surprise.

"That went…well." Shizuku said trying to break Hononka out of her stupor.

"Shizuku-chan, am I dreaming? Did that really just happen?" Honoka asked looking at the hand Nero touched not too long ago. Honoka wasn't sure if this was all a dream or if this was just extremely good luck. No matter, she couldn't think properly with everything that was going through her mind.

"You are definitely awake to the point that if we were to wait here for another five minutes we will be late for our next class." Shizuku's words did as intended and knocked Honoka out of her daydreaming daze, panicking.

"Oh no! Shizuku-chan we have to hurry!" With that, both girls started to quickly make their way to their class before they ended up being late. However, even though they might end up late for class, Honoka could not help but have a beautiful smile on her face as they continued quickly down the halls.

Back at the Devil May Cry shop, Dante could only think about what his old friend Tatsurou Shiba said to him before his departure.

Flashback: Four days ago

"Dante things are getting more out of control as time passes by the second. We have to find a way to halt the progression of this ritual. There are a few cults in Japan that are restless and will stop at nothing until they have achieved their goal of resurrecting the Evil King Ignus. I'm afraid from what my sources have told me, that the organization is sending out its heavy hitters to handle the matter. But its all just a cover up. Doesn't this all seem suspicious to you as well?" Tatsurou said with a hand on his chin in a thinking manner. He was concerned at the very least. Especially since his two children, Tatsuya and Miyuki were there in Japan among the many-crazed cultist. These people were fiddling with magic humans should not be able to harness.

The side effects from such reckless actions was obvious to the ones brainwashing the fools into using up there life energy to bring back the powerful demon. They were all no better than sacrifices. Like sheep to the slaughter, and they did not seem to care. What cruel type of magic or torture was used on these people? However, it was also known that all of the cultists were not just humans. Demons among demons was the best way to describe what was really going on. The supernatural that stayed hidden form the eyes of the unknown was slowly but surely creeping up to show its evil presence.

"Truthfully I have had my doubts as well. There are things that don't add up to me about this. Just what is the organization trying to hide I wonder? You don't think there is something valuable that escaped their clutches do you?" Dante asked his friend as the man nodded his head in agreement. There was definitely something not right about all of this. Why would the organization try so hard they wondered, unless...

Both Dante and Tatsurou looked at one another as if it was painfully obvious from the start.

"They're really the ones truly behind this…" Tatsurou and Dante stated at the same time. This wasn't good. Their suspicion about what happened to Teresa has only been increased even further. So there really were some bad eggs in that batch after all.

"You know what this means don't you Dante?" Tatsurou asked seriously as looked at the white haired man.

"I do…"

Flashback End

Running a hand through his hair the man sighs loudly. This really did just get more hectic didn't it?

It was now the end of the school day for the teens and they all seemed to be making their way into town. Honoka, Shizuku, Mizuki, Shiemi and Leo accompanied the group. Nero meet up with Honoka earlier who was acting rather strangely might a certain female Shiba add. All the girl did was return his phone back to him…right? Miyuki did notice how the girl seemed different around the boy though. Yet, what really caught her attention was when Honoka was trying to do all these certain cute gestures to gain a reaction from Nero in so way. Nevertheless, Miyuki was currently walking beside her brother while Erika and Nero went back and forth with another one of their normal comedic arguments.

The Chiba heir could not help but get into something with the boy. It was pretty damn fun if she would say so herself. However, if they were looking behind them they would see a slightly displeased Honoka as she had a frown on her features. Honoka's friend Shizuku could sense the girl's discomfort as her friend watched them continue on. To think her best friend would get so worked up from a friendly spat between, well...friends. Honoka was very stubborn herself so it wasn't actually that surprising to say the least. She did however want to cheer her friend on and tell her not to give up so easily if she was even thinking the same thing Honoka was.

Miyuki looked over to see Honoka's expression and where her attention currently was centered. Following the brown haired girl's line of sight, she realized that Honoka was indeed staring at Nero as he and Erika continued to verbally attack one another. Miyuki could tell that her friend seemed down about something and had a good feeling of what it probably was. Closing her eyes and releasing a sigh, Miyuki pushed her thoughts away and tried to re-focus on something else. She almost felt like telling Nero to stop being such a womanizer but Miyuki knew better than that. Nero just wasn't that type of person and didn't do these things on purpose. There was no way Miyuki could say that she could necessarily hold it against him. Still, that didn't mean that she would be ok with it either.

Soon enough, they were walking to a nearby food store to grab a quick bite to eat before heading home. As they entered, they walked up to the front counter to give each of their orders. It was then that Nero walked over to Honoka as the girl was shyly standing quietly in the back with Shizuku. Honoka made an attempt to say something but Shizuku started to lightly push her forward surprising the girl from her friend's forceful actions.

"S-Shizuku-chan?" Honoka looked back flustered as Shizuku gave her a thumbs up with a completely emotionless face. Guess that was Shizuku's way of giving her friend some form of encouragement? Nero now standing in front of them looks at the main girl in favor.

"You don't have to hold back for my sake. Go on, it's my treat." He said causing a certain someone's eyes to glance in their direction. Miyuki heard about what Nero decided to do for Honoka as thanks. She knew it was Nero's way of trying to return a favor because of the girl's nice gesture earlier but she would be lying if she denied that she didn't feel slightly envious right now. Wait, why did she just think that? Miyuki bit her lower lip as she looked at the scene. Why did it even matter to her? But then a picture of Elena's soothing face popped into her mind. If Nero was to court someone wouldn't that necessarily mean that the girl he chooses would end up becoming Elena's real sister instead of Miyuki herself? Grabbing her necklace tightly, she thinks of the possibilities of that actually happening. Miyuki's heart strangely gave the girl a sharp twang of pain upon her realization. She…didn't want that.

Time went by as Miyuki and the group sat down and started conversing. You could see Honoka looking down cutely with her hands in her lap finding the table's surface strangely appealing. She could swear her heartbeat was so loud the others could probably hear it. If you are wondering about the reason for the girl's flustered demeanor, it was because Nero was currently seated next to the girl. Miyuki and her brother Tatsuya were on the same side as Nero and Honoka while everyone else was seated on the other side. She was super nervous!

However, as conversation started up, it seemed to relax the girl more and more as time passed by. Moments later the group could be seen leaving with their drinks now after they finished eating inside. Everyone seemed to be in a good mood. Especially after Erika and Nero gave the group some good laughs. Tatsuya being Tatsuya would throw in a joke or two but that was about it. The energetic Chiba was most definitely a handful if anything.

"Alright everyone, it would seem this is where we go our separate ways." Tatsuya said.

"Come on Nero lets walk home together today. You ran away yesterday but I won't let you get away today." Erika said to the young devil as he released another one of his notable sighs. It seemed like there was no way he could get himself out of this one this time.

"Just don't slow me down." Erika's smile grew as she ran up him and gave him a quick jab in his left arm.

"You took the words right out of my mouth."

As most of the others bowed and said their goodbyes. Honoka and Shizuku also returned the gesture as they saw Nero, Erika, Miyuki and Tatsuya head off in the other direction. She could only once again stare at the back of the two boys she found so mysterious. She could see Miyuki and Erika with a smile on their faces as they walked and talked with both Nero and Miyuki's brother Tatsuya. A small sad smile graced her features.

"Hey Shizuku-chan…Miyuki-san and Erika-san are quite lucky aren't they?" Honoka asked as her friend could hear the wavering in the girl's voice. She could only close her eyes and sigh at the situation.

"But aren't you just as lucky? They are no longer just Angelo-san and Shiba-san…they both are our friends now. I don't know who you are or what you've done to my friend but there's no way you are the same Honoka I'm best friends with. Nor does that sound like the stubborn Honoka I used to know at all. The Honoka I knew didn't give up no matter what it was because she was always devoted and ambitious. She would continuously try over and over again to better herself no matter how long or difficult it was. So...just who you? I'm not sure if I know the person standing before me. " Shizuku stated causing Honoka to look at her friend in slight shock. She was right after all. They all weren't just some far away and unreachable presence, Nero and Tatsuya were her friends…hers. Shizuku was right! What happened to her? Honoka quickly shook her head to rid herself of the negative thoughts that started to fill inside. Balling her fist in front of her face with eyes of determination she inhales a good portion of air into her lungs as she looks back to her best friend.

"You are right Shizuku-chan, I must not lose hope so quickly!" This earned a repeated nod of agreement from Shizuku herself. There we go, now that was the Honoka she knew and became best friends with.

"Welcome back…Honoka."

Miyuki, Nero, Erika and her brother finally made it to Yakumo's temple. This was Erika's first time coming to the area so it was a bit new to her. She was a bit impressed by how traditional it looked compared to most places claiming to be a temple in that era. Erika did find it a bit weird as to why Nero continued to ignore her when she kept asking him where they were going. It was then that Miyuki gave her a smile and told her that they were going to pick up Nero's younger kid sister. Hearing that bit of information made Erika strangely shocked, in fact. Nero being a big brother was something she did not think to ever guess if someone asked her opinion on the matter. A part of her was actually fairly impressed or was it more so proud? Knowing that her friend who normally was a hard nut to crack mind you, had siblings that he loved and took care of made her have a much bigger amount of respect for the boy. Not that it was that much to begin with…ok she was just kidding there. She definitely respected the boy for all its worth but it didn't hurt to be sassy about it. While Erika was guessing in her head how Nero's little sister would look, they were suddenly greeted with a small bundle of affection.

"Onii-san, Onee-san!" Elena caught both Miyuki and Erika in a fly hug. Erika blinked blankly at what she just heard. That girl was the slitting image of Nero. She was so cute! Wait…don't forget the important details.

"Did she just say Onee-chan?" Erika looked bewildered at that fact.

"It's good to see you again Elena-chan." Miyuki said rubbing the girls head tenderly as the girl seemed to melt into her gentle touch.

"You were good while we were gone weren't you?" Nero this time asked with a small laugh recovering from the girls loving assault.

Elena nodded her head with a smile before seeing Tatsuya and Erika, shyly waving in their direction. Tatsuya raised his eyebrow for a second before returning the gesture. It was the first time she has been that way toward him so it was a bit of a surprise. Miyuki was beaming brightly though. It was nice to see her brother and her supposed little sister getting along. Erika did the same as she returned the gesture with a smile of her own. Erika took this as an opportunity to introduce herself to the small girl.

"Hello there, my name is Erika Chiba and I'm the girl that keeps your big brother out of trouble. You see, I'm really good friends with him so I will make sure to keep an eye on him for you. So what's your name?" Erika finished with a closed eyed smile that made Nero groan in annoyance.

"Elena…" she was clearly very shy with others and it only made her seem even more adorable to Erika.

"It seems Elena has finally accepted you as her brother in-law Tatsuya." Yakumo said as Nero just closed his eyes, Erika's mouth hung wide open and Miyuki started to blush furiously.

"Brother in-law?" Erika and Miyuki said at the same time.

"Just what are you saying all of a sudden Yakumo-sensei?" Miyuki looked over at Nero to see his reaction in regards to Yakumo's terrible joke. She noticed that he was holding up better than she was. He looked to be shaking his head negatively with closed eyes.

"Erika this is Yakumo-sensei, a close friend of Nero, Miyuki and myself." Tatsuya said not telling the full truth but also not lying to the girl either. Yakumo seemed to put his hand under his chin as he carefully scanned all of Erika's sizes which the girl did not miss. She covered herself, flustered by the creepy gaze the older man was giving her. Just who in the world was this old pervert anyway?

"Hmmm…not bad, not bad Nero. You seem to have good taste in finding yourself a proper girlfriend." Yakumo jokingly said causing both Erika and Miyuki to quickly jolt in place as if being zapped by lightning. Erika's cheeks started to coat themselves in a pink hue for the man's choice of words. Her and Nero…a couple?

"Though Miyuki's figure is nothing to scoff at either…" Yakumo said only adding fuel to the fire. Tatsuya could not only see but also feel his sisters swirling emotions build up inside her. He was sure it was rather obvious that the others could probably feel it as well. Suddenly the beautiful Shiba sibling stood up and activated her CAD. A mesmerizing shining seal appeared underneath her feet causing her uniform to move as if it was in a small breeze. She looked like her nickname suited her well. The 'Snow Princess' of First High.

As Miyuki aimed her free open hand at Yakumo, the man started to sweat bullets. He knew at that moment he messed up big time.

"H-hey now Miyuki, you know it was just a joke right? A joke…" He said only for a second later an ice kunai lodged itself in-between his eyes causing the man to fall backwards twitching helplessly on the ground. Tatsuya could just shake his head at the older man. He saw that coming from a mile away. Elena was standing there with her mouth agape, stars in her eyes.

"Onee-san, that was so cool!" She jumped up and down causing the older sister to smile at the compliment.

"When I get older I want to be strong and beautiful just like Onee-san." Elena said as Miyuki gained a tint of pink from the continuous flattery. It felt good to be looked up to by a younger sibling.

"I'm sure when you get older you will shine brighter than anyone Elena." Miyuki now rubbing the girls head again gently. Nero had to give it to Miyuki, she had all the cards. Especially when Elena was involved.

"Uh…is anyone going to tell me exactly what's going on here and why Nero's sister is calling Miyuki…onee-san?" Erika suddenly asked aloud.

"Little Elena here views me as her older sister figure Erika-san. She just seems to be rather fond of me but I adore her nonetheless. Elena is very special to me after all." Miyuki said as Elena deepened her hug on the Shiba sister's leg. Erika didn't know how to really compute what was happening but something within her felt off about hearing those words.

"Hey Elena-chan, can I be your Onee-san too?" Erika playfully asked. The redhead suddenly felt a cold draft and looked towards the Shiba sister how had her eyes covered by the bangs of her hair. A shiver traveled down Erika's spine as the sinister look of her friend Miyuki completely terrified her.

"M-Miyuki I was just kidding too I'm sorry!" or was she?

"Ugh…" Suddenly Yakumo recovered from his near death experience and removed himself from the ground to dust himself off. Erika breathed a sigh of relief that the center of attention was changed elsewhere. After the man regained his bearings he offered them all some tea and snacks as they agreed. Each of them sat down and conversed about their day at school. Elena always loved to hear stories about their time at school. It just seemed like so much fun to her. Erika looked at all her friends seated at the small table and could not help the smile that made its way onto her lips. This was…nice. She might not quite understand everything that's going on between Nero and Miyuki but she would admit that this was somehow enjoyable. She knew that when she would head home that this feeling within her would quickly fade away. There was just something about the atmosphere of that place that took all of the joy from her body. Just the thought of it was started to bring down her mood so she quickly shook her head from side to side to ride herself of such pointless things. For now, she would just focus on the people in front of her and leave all that type of thinking for another time. Anyway, it was now getting dark and both groups thought it was time to go their separate ways. Of course the little one was upset once again by having to leave her older sister again but Miyuki assured the girl that she would see her tomorrow.

Nero, Elena and Erika started to walk home since their places of residence were relatively close to one another. Miyuki found that a bit shocking after Erika mentioned it to her but it made a bit of sense after seeing the pair walk to school almost every morning. As the group each said their goodbyes the Shiba princess looked to have a smile plastered on her face befitting of her title. Even though Yakumo was trying to embarrass her the whole time, she felt that some good came out of it. Dare she admit it but it felt so natural being around the white haired siblings. And even though she still wanted to ask Nero about the question she had on her mind earlier, she felt that it just wasn't the right time and decided against it. It also didn't help that whenever she tried to, something always got in her way.

Grabbing at her necklace, Miyuki looked at the beautiful item with an infectious gaze. Nothing was making sense to her anymore. To Miyuki, Elena was her precious little sister…but what was Nero to her? She didn't quite know the answer to that and that's what gave her such confusion. She started off only viewing him as an extremely handsome individual who in turn slowly, stubbornly but also surely became her friend.

Other men she has come across were nothing to her when it came to a romantic standpoint. Certain things would put her on edge or make her feel uneasy but when it came to Nero she never experienced that feeling around him. His presence was so warm and gentle even though he always acted so tough and distant. But after she actually got to know him and get used to his personality, she would always just watch from the sidelines and pretend like she didn't care about the things he did with other people. But a little part of her…was always a bit jealous. More so to why she felt so far away from him compared to everyone else? But now Miyuki was starting to realize that there really was something about Nero that made her want to be around him.

"Miyuki, are you feeling alright?" It seemed that her brother Tatsuya was a bit concerned from her lack of conversation that they usually would have on the way home. He has been noticing that she was in deep thought for the past week or so. Shaking her head to rid herself of her inner thoughts, Miyuki puts on a warm smile.

"I'm fine Onii-sama. So, how about some of those tea cakes that we still have at the house?" Giving his sister a small smile that seemed to put the girl more at ease.

"That doesn't sound like a bad idea."

After Nero returned home, he made sure to get Elena ready for bed. But what was this feeling? There was this monstrous and suffocating aura in the air and he wanted to know where it was coming from. Once Elena finally succumbed to her dreams he used that time to escape. Nero slid opened his room window and went out, quietly closing it behind him.

Nero started to make his was towards the direction he felt the intense energy because whatever it was, he knew it was a danger to the people nearby. Making his way to the outskirts of the city he started to investigate the area. Something wasn't right. The feeling in the air was foul and disgusting. The feeling of death was so potent it was almost palpable. There was something that made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up with uneasiness.

"So you are the one?" The dark demonic looking figure stated from behind the shadows. Nero brought his attention to the Demonic creature that oozed a deadly killing intent making him stand defensively. A bead of sweat traveled down Nero's forehead from the power he could feel from this thing before him. It was enough to make his stomach turn inside out.

"The one? I don't know what you're talking about but who the hell are you?" The Demon stood up on the rock, jumping and landing in front of Nero. It stood ten feet tall with black and blue colored skin. Its wings and horns were somehow made out of its blue flames as the demon's hard gaze looked upon Nero's smaller form. It was melting the stone beneath their feet like butter from the immense heat.

"My name is Dio, one of the six generals of the Dark Six. You seemed to have beaten Orphis, but I will not be that easy to kill…kin of Sparda. I have actually come here in hopes of taking your life." Nero stared at the demon known as Dio with wide eyes. So another general reared its ugly head after such a short amount of time. He didn't think another one would pop up so soon. The last one was already strong enough, so he could only imagine what abilities Dio possessed.

"Huh, so you want to start right off the bat like that? Alright the…!" Nero was cut off in the middle of his sentence by Dio grabbing his face and jumping into the air. The speed at which they traveled was unquantifiable. Even before he knew it, Nero was taken near the clouds in the earth's stratosphere.

'What the hell?' Nero thought to himself before he started to see Dio's body start to ignite on fire with blue flames. As they started falling back down to the ground, the fire was scorching the air. It was hot. These flames were far from normal. Normal fire didn't affect Nero at all but this…this was something completely different. Demonic hell flames.

"Raging Hell Flame G-Impact!"

*THOOOMMMMMM!* Nero's back collided with the ground causing the area to be covered in a blue blaze. The ground beneath them imploded from the force and heat as the sound of a vicious lightning colt boomed afterward. Trees, rock, wildlife, everything was covered in blue flames that lit the night sky as they burned away out of existence.

Dio's hand remained on Nero's face as he continued to press the boy further and further into the ground. Re-lighting his hand in a scorching blaze, Dio pushed with more force as the ground started to erupt from the demon sending his flames in the earth below. An enormous pillar of blue flames shot into the sky and split the clouds with its heat.

"Flames of the Demon Lord Ritual…" Shit! He could feel the power oozing off of this fire attack. Nero needed to get him off as soon as possible. Using Belmont's ability, he creates a gravity sphere and places it on Dio's chest. The attack forcefully pushed the demon back allowing Nero to regain his bearings. Rolling over and flipping out of the hot crater Nero examined Dio's position from his own. No way could he let Dio get a hold on him again. It was too risky.

He will have to play it safe or he could very well end up badly injured. It doesn't help that severely burned cells can't regenerate so his healing factor would be useless if he's burned alive. Damn it. He hasn't mastered his Re-write ability either so it drains way too much demonic energy and stamina from him. He would probably only have two or three tries before he would be burnt out.

"That was a wise decision boy. I was about to give the finishing blow if you hadn't moved me." He has a point. If Nero would have waited even a few seconds longer…he could have possibly been killed. A bead of sweat traveled down Nero's forehead again as he realized the seriousness of the situation. All he could do is attack. There was no other option.

"HAAAHH!/"HAAAAAAAHHH!" Both yelled as they both collided with one another. Nero this time adding powerful reflecting vectors around his fists as Dio covered his in flames. Dio could feel his flames being extinguished and decided to take it up a notch. This so far was child's play.

"The Rebirth of a kindled flame shall cast despair upon the world and burn with a Vengeance."

"That's….enough." A sudden random voice spoke. It sounded weakened and strained. Dio who was about to launch a devastating attack suddenly halted in shock…or was it fear? There was another one?

The voice seemed to come from a cloaked human looking form. The person's face was covered but their mouth looked like it was infected with something corrupted. Dio seeing the figure took a step back feeling this person's enormous power. This confused Nero. Someone as powerful as Dio was backing away in fear from that man? Just who the hell is this person?

"I-impossible! You are still alive after all these years?"

"Silence. I do not answer…to weaklings fool. But instead, I have come…to claim what is mine." The cloaked figure's head then traveled to Nero. Nero then took a step back instinctively. This person, they were death itself. But his body wouldn't move. Is this what fear felt like?

Raising up their arm they tried to gather demonic energy in their hand. A dark blue orb started to surround it as Nero's own arms started to glow.

"AGHHHH!" A pain shot up his entire arm as it felt like it was going to explode from the inside out. Falling to his knees he grips it tightly hoping that the pain would subside…but it didn't. It became worse and worse with each passing second.

"-MY ARM! AGGGGHHHHHHH!" Suddenly his forearm started to split apart from the sides as something started to appear. It was the Yamato katana blade that Dante entrusted to him. What the hell was going on? It was so painful that he didn't care to think about anything else but to just stop the pain. When the final bit of the sword released itself from Nero's arm he could feel his blood oozing out and covering the ground beneath him.

The Yamato then started to quickly fly toward the cloaked figure who caught it with ease regardless of their weakened state. Dio had to kill them both now or there might not be another opportunity.

"This just cannot be! Are you really Ver.." How did the cloaked man get behind Dio? Back facing the tall demon, the cloaked man started to slowly sheath his sword.

*CLING* The hilt hit the sheath signifying that the sword was comfortably closed in place.

"GAH! Imposs…" Suddenly Dio started to fall apart piece by piece before he even touched the ground. Nero's vision was blurry but he could see the man start to sluggishly walk away before taking the Yamato back out and cutting a portal open with it. Before the figure walked through the portal, he looked back to give the barely conscious Nero a look over.

"We will meet again..." He said before walking though.

"W-wait dammit! I'm…" Nero then succumbed to darkness.

Chapter End!

Until next time.