AN: Hello everyone, I wanted to first start off by saying I'm very sorry for taking so long to update this story. I originally stopped writing after the death of a close family member of mine before the coronavirus pandemic. I fell into a bit of depression and lost my drive to write anything at all but someone sent me a message on here that touched me deeply. I thank you from the bottom of my heart (you know who you are) as it has given me the encouragement to continue on. The bond that we as people share is a beautiful thing and it shows that it can help bring someone out of their toughest times. For staying with me for this journey I have nothing but thanks to all of you. Please enjoy the new chapter.
Slowly making their way to Nero's downed form, a figure inspected the boy's condition as he lay still on the ground in a puddle of his own blood. Golden eyes scanned his body, reaching down to check his pulse to verify if he was still alive. Realizing that he didn't suffer any life threatening injuries, they release a sigh of relief.
"Remarkable. What incredible regeneration…" the same redheaded female from the other night spoke in awe. No way was she stupid enough to jump into a scuffle like that. That demon Dio…for some reason, something didn't feel quite right about him. Never had she felt such powerful energy that came from the demon or that mysterious man. If anything, the cloaked man sent warning bells off in her head that told her to stay as far away from him as possible. Engaging with someone like him was nothing short of immediate death. She made sure that he went completely through that portal he created before she made any reckless movements. Sweat running down her brow from the remembrance of the recent event that sent chills down her spine. She saw everything she needed to see. Morrison was telling the truth about this boy before her.
"Well…it seems that I just can't leave you laying here now can I?" The girl spoke as she bent over slowly to pick Nero up. She was trying to sling his arm around her shoulder but came to realize that the action was going to be a lot more difficult than she originally first thought.
"You're heavy…" with more effort than expected, she infuses her arms and legs with magic to help her move more freely with the extra weight.
"After he wakes up I suppose it's time we finally had a conversation with one another." Turning her vision to the still unconscious Nero's face, she gives another small sign before making her way to leave their current location.
"Where do you think you're going human?" stopping dead in her tracks…she didn't dare move a muscle. Even breathing was hard. She was afraid that making even the slightest movement would cause something to transpire. How was this possible?
"Do you really think a General would be so easily killed by a weakened kin of Sparda even if they are undoubtedly powerful? That was only a mere clone. The real me was nearby watching the entire time." This wasn't good. Dio was still alive. There was no way she could engage withsuch a being right now. She has no weapons lethal enough on her and even if she did, she doesn't think that would be enough for this monster before her. Damn.
"You and the Kin of Sparda will now die by my hand." Dio pointed towards the pair as Nero still hung unconscious over her shoulder. Another bead of sweat traveled down her brow behind her mask as she thought of a way to escape with their lives intact. What in the hell could she do in this situation? Her options were close to none and Dio didn't seem like the type to just let them get away either.
"But to think he was still alive all this time. I must tell the others…but first." An evil grin found its way on the demon's scary face that sent shivers down her spine. Holding up his hand a ball of scorching blue flames started to form. The heat was melting surrounding rocks like butter and she had to create a skin barrier around her body before it burned her alive.
"Gha!" She couldn't take much more of this.
"What do I do?" she thought to herself biting her lip as the ball in Dio's hand grew larger and larger. Eyes widening in fright. Was he trying to completely obliterate this entire area? That was way too much demonic energy for just killing the likes of her and Nero.
"W-what's…with all the noise?" wait…was it him or was it getting hotter and hotter by the second? Eyes squinting in discomfort, Nero slowly started to open his eyes. As he looked at what was happening before him, Nero noticed that someone was supporting him with his arm around their shoulder. It looked like a long red haired girl he never met a day in his life before. But that heat…there was no mistaking something so sinister.
By the terrified look in the girl's eyes he could tell she was looking towards something that shook her to her very core. Following her line of sight, his eyes landed on Dio. The fire demon had a Fireball of enormous mass over his head as he looked at the pair menacingly. Realization struck Nero of what was about to happen. If that thing hit either of them even in the state he was in, he might not be able to get back up.
"Shit…" he felt so weak. Having the Yamato extracted from his body the way it was took a huge toll on him.
Hearing the boy next to her start to wake up made the red haired female turn to him quickly with some form of relief.
"Be gone…and turn into ash." Dio let the flame drop toward the earth. Time seemed to stop as Nero tried to muster the little energy he had left in him. Doing so, he used it to toss the girl out of the way while he tried blocking the attack the best that he could.
Landing hard on her butt, the girl realized what he was trying to do but it was far too reckless. Especially since he recently woke up from being knocked unconscious not too long ago.
"You're in no shape to take something like that head on!" he knew that much. But it was either that or they both died helplessly.
"Get out of here…" What was he saying? If she was to make a run for it now…could she even get away? She had no time to think about that at the current moment. She knew Nero was bluffing. He stood no chance of fighting Dio in his current state. They needed each other if they even had a bit of hope left when it came to escaping.
"No! If I leave then you're coming with me." She said before her right eye started to glow.
"Do your best to counter that attack. I think I have a plan." It was a bit risky but it just might be crazy enough to work. Nero weakly held out his hand. He wasn't sure if he could even hold his new ability for long but he had no other option. Using his vectors in his current state would probably stop his heart and kill him so that was out of the question.
"Rewrite." Focusing his demonic energy on the fireball and Dio the best he could, Nero placed the demon within a dome of reversing time.
"How was that possible?" So he was able to utilize Orphis' power after he defeated him in battle? He was indeed a special individual. Dio realized that Nero had the innate ability to take demonic powers and make them into his own.
"A frightening ability indeed."
As he breathed heavily, Nero didn't know how much longer he could keep his time dome up for. The red headed female behind him was just standing there, staring in baffled awe. How was he able to do that? That type of magic was impossible.
'So this is what supernatural energy was capable of?'
"Whatever you were going to do, you better do it now. I don't…know how much longer I can keep this up." Nero spoke out with clear strain in his voice. Hearing him speak aloud knocked the girl back out of her daze as she reached within her coat pocket to grab onto something. Pulling out her 9mm handgun, she knew that it was probably their only trump card in a situation like this.
"Listen, once I throw this towards him do you think you can get us out of here in one piece?" she asked Nero who had beads of sweat running down his forehead. To be honest, he was so tired that he didn't know how much he had left in the tank. But if he didn't at least do that much…they were both going to die anyway.
"Yeah…just hurry up already." Taking that as a signal, the girl started to concentrate most of her energy into her 9mm. This was their only chance.
"Please don't fail me now…" she whispered, looking back to Dio and the fireball. It was now or never!
"HEAVY METAL BURST!" she screamed at the top of her lungs, throwing the handgun at the dome Nero created. As the gun flew towards the fire demon, it started to burn with a blinding white light that even made Nero squint his eyes.
"LETS GO NOW!" Nero dropped his spell and made his way to the girl as fast as he could. They only had one shot at this.
As time resumed for Dio, he noticed something a few feet away from him that was blinding his vision.
Time slowed down for the two teens as Nero scooped up the girl in his arms and started to make his way as far away from there as possible.
*CREEKKZZKZZZZZ!* the gun started to make strange noises as if it was breaking itself down to the atomic level.
"What is this?" as soon as Dio asked this question. *BOOOOOOMM!* an explosion started to occur. The gun itself was turned into a bomb that was starting to rapidly expand outward. The force of the shockwave sent Nero and the girl flying further away as the place they once were was being completely consumed by the blast. You could still see the blinding light that the explosion left behind in the night sky as Nero and the girl got further and further away.
As the smoke cleared after the explosion, Dio walked out with only a few scuffs on his tough skin. Looking at their retreating forms he knew he could give chase but for now he had more important matters to attend to. He would come back for them later.
"You will die by my hand eventually…kin of Sparda." Body starting to coat itself in flames, he suddenly disappears with the embers that blew in the breeze.
After making it far enough, Nero landed safely to the ground while trying his best to put the girl down gently. As he did so his left leg suddenly gave out from under him, causing the devil hunter to start falling forward. Thankfully, he was caught by a pair of small arms. Come to think of it, she was pretty strong for a petite girl of her size.
"You shouldn't over do it." The girl said softly as she looked at his exhausted state. It was a miracle that he was still conscious to begin with.
Nero used what little strength he had to support his own weight. As he made his way out of her grasp, he started to sluggishly walk away.
"I don't know who you are…but thanks." Normally he would ask who they were but at that current moment he didn't care. He wanted to get back home and make sure Elena was alright.
The girl couldn't quite understand what was going on in his mind but she knew one thing…he was as stubborn as a mule.
"I actually wanted to speak with you." She spoke up but it was made clear that the particular point in time wasn't really the best.
"Sorry…but I'm sure you know as much as I do that now isn't really a good time. If what you have to say is really that important then I'm sure we will probably run into each other again eventually anyway." Nero said as he weakly continued to walk home.
Sighing deeply to herself, she brought her eyes back up to the retreating back of the white haired boy. They escaped death by the skin of their teeth and almost flawless teamwork. It was nothing short of a miracle. Actually thinking it over, maybe their talk could wait a bit longer? It would seem like it really was time to start plan (B) after all.
"I'm sure we'll meet again." Nero weakly waved over his shoulder to show he heard her. As S***** watched Nero depart, a thought of maybe following behind him popped into her mind. Maybe it was pushing it a bit far but this was an important mission for her. She would at least figure out where his place of residence is and then call it a day.
"Sorry Nero, but orders are orders…"
Making his way back home, Nero opens his front door and goes into his bedroom to see that Elena was still peacefully sound asleep. A sigh of relief left his mouth as his back touched the wall behind him. Damn…he felt so heavy right now and his eyes weren't easy to hold open either. Why did this have to happen to him of all times? If the Yamato wasn't extracted from him the way it was…he wonders how differently things would have played out? If Nero was going to keep running into beings like this then he needed to get stronger. He needs to get strong enough to protect Elena.
These thoughts continued to cloud his mind, he started to drift off into a deep sleep thinking about what he could do if that demon was to show up once again. He was too tired to get up and get into the bed so for now…he just wanted to get some rest.
The same red headed female gazed at his apartment's front door with a nice set of binoculars she had in her possession. "So this is where he lives? I'll have to keep note of this just in case. Who knows when something might happen again and I might need his assistances?" One thing was for sure. They would both need each other's help down the road. It was only a matter of time before they would cross paths again. In this case, it would be a lot sooner than later. He could count on that.
"Until we meet again."
As the sun started to rise in the sky, the students of First High were preparing themselves for school around this time of day. One person in particular was complimenting how well said school attire fit against her slender frame. But there was something that was a bit off about it. It was her uniform's color. It didn't quite look like the white haired boy's personal colors from the other day. She heard that there was a branch within the school of First High for students that lacked or had a small amount of magical reserves.
Finding out that kind of information did surprise her just a little bit, however. Someone like the handsome white haired boy she knew from last night not having magical abilities…was completely and utterly impossible after what she had witnessed. She knew that he did something to deceive or cheat the exam to become under the radar in some way.
'Smart' she couldn't even blame him for that but it was a bit irritating. She was trying to see if she could get away with something similar but to her dismay, it failed. Her mission to monitor the boy has become even more difficult thanks to these extra hurtles she had to now jump over.
Spinning around once more in front of her mirror, she gains a small smile. She wouldn't lie and say that a part of her didn't find this part of her mission a bit exciting. Maybe it won't be so bad as long as she keeps her eyes on Nero?
*Ring, Ring, Ring!* her phone suddenly started to ring as she turned her attention to the device. Walking over to her chair, she picks it up to see the name of 'Morrison.' Fumbling her phone, she answers it with haste.
"Good morning Commander Morrison, Sir!"
"That's former Commander, remember? You don't have to call me that anymore."
"Anyway, how is everything on your end so far? And the kid…how is he?"
"Honestly, because of a random turn of events yesterday…we barely made it out with our lives. This is far from just any normal demon activity sir. We were lucky to get away while we could. Who knows what would have happened if we had messed up?" As she explained the situation to him he seemed to have an understanding of what she meant. This was bound to happen sooner or later. The heavy hitters were starting to surface and it was going to get more and more dangerous from here on.
"I had a feeling this was going to happen sooner or later. That's one of the reasons I chose you to keep an eye out on Nero. He could be a bit stubborn and reckless so I'm depending on you to help keep his head on his shoulders until I give you an update on the mission." She had to nod her head in agreement with the man. Nero was definitely a stubborn fellow. She knew that first hand.
"I will not fail sir. I will keep in touch with the status of the mission. For now, I need to get ready and prepare to depart." Morrison knew that she was most likely trying to keep tabs on Nero by probably attending the same school as him or something along those lines. It would in short make her job a bit easier if she did it this way anyway.
"Alright then. I'll leave everything to you."
"Thank you sir." Hanging up the phone she releases a sigh of relief she didn't know she was holding. She had her work cut out for her this time that was for sure. It seems she would just have to figure it out once she got there.
"Well…here I go."
As morning also arrived for Nero he wasn't surprised by how tired he still felt thanks to last night. The image of the mysterious girl pops into his head as he neared Yakumo's temple. Elena seemed as cheerful as ever so he tried his best to look like he was faring well in front of her. Not too long after Miyuki, Tatsuya and Erika ran into him as he was in the middle of heading toward the school.
"Good morning Nero-san\Nero!" Miyuki, Tatsuya and Erika greeted. Nero's mind was in shambles because of last night. It didn't help that the red haired girl said something about wanting to talk to him about something. Actually, that girl…she had to know about the supernatural if last night wasn't a dead giveaway.
"Morning." This received a look from Miyuki as she eyed him worryingly. Something was off about Nero today. She could just feel it.
"Nero-san, is everything alright?" Miyuki asked him with obvious concern held within her voice. Nero could tell that she was worried by the look she was giving him but Nero shrugged and gave Miyuki his best act to play off the situation. Waving off her concerns, he gives her a look that tried to convey that he would be fine.
"I'm fine. You don't have anything to worry about. If anything, I would be more worried about yourself." But even though he said those words she knew something was still off about him. Miyuki still felt strongly about asking Nero about his strange behavior but dropping it for now was probably the best thing she could do. Whatever was on his mind, she knew that if he wanted to tell them about it he would when he was ready.
Nero's mind on the other hand was continuing to playback how Dante reacted after he told him what happened last night. He knew he was hiding something from him…but what?
"Dante, I have something I want to tell you." He was afraid to say since the man gave it to him as a keepsake. He entrusted the Yamato to Nero so hearing about something like this was sure to anger him.
"What do you have to tell me?"
"Last night I ran into some trouble. A demon…and a mysterious man. That man…he somehow took the Yamato from me…"
"…." Silence. But that was impossible. The only one that could even do something like that was…
"Nero, what did this person look like?" Dante asked more aggressively. It was strange to hear the man acting like this. He was always so goofy and composed.
"I don't know. He was wearing some type of cloak that was covering his features so I couldn't really get a good look at him."
"Damn! After all these years and now this? Nero, I'm sorry…but I have to take care of something."
As the group continued to talk amongst one another, Nero was still quietly to himself in deep thought. Not too long afterward, one after another, the rest of their friends started to gather together. Again, Nero just wasn't feeling it today. It was a bit of a drag if he was honest.
"Listen, I'll catch you later." Nero tiredly said before walking off to class by himself.
"What's wrong with Nero?" Erika asked aloud as Miyuki looked at him with troubled eyes. What was he not telling them? She clearly knew that something was eating away at the boy.
"I don't know Erika-chan but he seemed petty absentminded didn't he?" Mizuki stated her concerns.
Honoka looked like she wanted to follow behind the boy but even she could feel that Nero just wanted to be left alone. Just what in the world happened for him to end up like that anyway? It was so unlike him.
"Hey guys, did you hear?" A nearby student asked some of the other students around them in excitement.
"We are receiving a new transfer student. I heard that it was a girl too."
"A girl? Is she good looking?" Wait…the school had a new transfer student coming today? Miyuki raised her brow at this new bit of information. She heard no such thing about this from the council or teachers. Never mind that.
For now, after saying her goodbyes to her brother and most of the gang, Miyuki, Honoka and Shizuku went their own way as they headed to class. As she was walking and talking with Honoka and Shizuku, Miyuki couldn't help but continue thinking about the white haired devil. His expression looked so uncomfortably forced for some reason. She couldn't fully understand why. Actually, she had no idea what was wrong with him and that's what was bothering her the most. She wished that she could help him out in some way, shape or form. Hopefully, she would eventually find out what it was that made Nero act so out of character.
"Ok Miyuki-san, we'll see you at lunch ok!" Honoka said knocking the Shiba sibling out of her thoughts.
"Oh..alright then. See you both later Honoka-san, Shizuku-san." Miyuki said as they all waved while departing and going their separate ways. Miyuki couldn't really explain it but there was this feeling in the pit of her stomach that made her feel like something was going to happen. Good or bad…she wasn't sure but it was almost like something was telling her to stay alert at all times today.
"What is this feeling?"
Sitting down at her desk, Honoka started to take out her notes for class as she waited patiently for the teacher to arrive. She was also thinking about Nero's actions from earlier as well. She knew it wasn't her business to intrude in his personal life or anything but she couldn't help but be worried about him. He was her friend after all so she didn't want him to look so down.
Suddenly, the front door to the classroom slides open to reveal the teacher's arrival.
"Hello class, today we will be having a new student join us starting today. Please be nice and make sure you try to help them with anything they may need." So the rumor was true then? Honoka did hear about this earlier but she didn't know if it was true or not.
"Ok, you may come and introduce yourself now." The teacher announced to the person that was waiting patiently out in the hallway. As they entered, the classroom became deadly silent. Walking into the class was a Blonde hair, blue eyed foreigner that was about Honoka's own height with a bubbling smile spread across her face. She was beautiful. Her curly blonde hair stuck out and made her exotic look appear more captivating to the male students in the class.
"Hello there, my name is Angelina Shields but you can all cal me Lina! Let's see…I'm from North America and I like sightseeing, scary movies and eating a lot of sweets. I don't necessarily hate anything but if I come across something I'll be sure to let you all know." The bubbly blonde said with a closed eyed smile. She sure had a lot of energy. It almost reminded Honoka of Erika. The classroom had whispers that flared up like wildfire. Great, it looked like another popular beauty was now born.
"It's good that you introduced yourself with such confidence Miss Shields-san. You may take a seat behind Miss Mitsui in the back over there." This earned an excited nod from the blonde girl as Honoka slightly raised her hand so Lina could see where she was seated.
"Yes Teacher." Giving Honoka a quick wave Lina takes a seat behind her and tries to make light conversation with the twin tailed girl.
"Hello, I hope we can be friends…Mitsui-san was it?"
"Oh, of course Shields-san. My name is Honoka Mitsui and its nice to meet you." Honoka said as Lina softly waves her off.
"No, no…just Lina is fine. I'm not really good with formalities." Lina saying that almost reminded Honoka of Nero and how he felt about that sort of thing. Lina looked at the brown haired girl and noticed that Honoka's mind was currently elsewhere.
"Is something wrong Honoka?" Lina asked. She can only guess what was currently on the girl's mind at that point in time but whatever it was must have been something important enough to space out like that.
"Oh, its nothing. You just reminded me of a friend of mine is all." Lina gave another closed eyed smile as she put on her best face yet.
"That's a good thing right? That means we should get along just fine and be good friends don't you agree?" Honoka looked at Lina for a quick second as she thought about that the girl said. From the look on Lina's face Honoka felt that the girl really meant what she said.
"Yeah, you should fit right in Lina-san." Honaka said nodding and smiling. Afterwards, she turned back around to focus her attention back on the teacher in front of the classroom. As she did, Lina's face slowly started to turn more serious. She had to get used to this whole acting facade if she was going to get any solid information out of anyone. This kind of infiltration work was annoying at times but it could be fun...when everything goes smoothly and according to plan. Applying her fake smile back to her face, she looks toward the teacher, trying to hear the current lesson at hand. A bunch of basic stuff at best. She has already surpassed this level of education a few years ago. Living the life that she did made this level of information completely unnecessary.
Grabbing a pen from her desk's utensil holder, she grabs her notepad and starts to write down notes as the teacher continued to talk. Oh well, she will have to endure it for now. This was just some of the things that came along with her line of work unfortunately.
"This is just great…"
"Did you say something Lina-san?"
"O-oh nothing. I was just talking to myself about how great this school was!" Yeah…this was going to be just great.
"Dante, Listen to me. Don't be stupid! You can't say for sure that, that was your brother Nero was talking about. You even said so yourself, he should have died all those years ago. For him to just appear out of nowhere makes no sense!" Trish spoke her frustrations to Dante as she tried to talk him out of whatever stupid thing he was planning to do.
Dante snuggly placed Ebony and Ivory in his back pouch as he tried to prepare himself for what was to come. If what Nero told him was true then Dante knew his brother would come looking for him next. The grudge he had against him for all these years was sure to bring a warm welcome sooner or later.
"This doesn't concern you Trish, stay out of it." Dante's serious tone bit her like venom. It was rare to ever see the goofy man she knew like this. With good reason, but to her she felt like he was just being reckless and making these current decisions based on his emotions.
She watched as Dante walked past her and headed toward the front door to his shop. Trish knew deep down that the way he was now…there was really nothing she could say to stop him from changing his mind. Why did this endless rivalry between brothers have to continue like this?
"So that's it huh? Just like that you're going to do this and completely leave Nero out in the dark?" Trish's sudden question caused Dante to stop and slightly stiffen in place. Even though he knew what he was doing was wrong, Dante had to confront him even if that meant things ending badly. He turned his head slightly to the side as the red clothed devil released a heavy sigh that seemed to hold a thousand meanings.
"You would never understand. This is a matter between family and I have to see this trough until the veery end. See you around…Trish." Walking out of the shop, Trish watched as the door shut roughly behind the man she thought she knew well. Shaking her head, Trish sits on the edge of the table near Dante's dart board. She sat there with a look on her face that was filled with anger and confusion in regards to what Dante said. But in some ways Dante was right about her being oblivious to the family spite he had with his twin brother yet he sounded so sad and regretful so why…why would he go through with this?
As lunchtime came around, both Honoka and Lina were walking to meet up with the rest of Honoka's friends and properly introduce Lina to the rest of them. Just from their conversations so far, Honoka and Lina were having fruitful bonding time and it made the brown haired girl more accepting of her new friend. Lina seemed to have a lot of things she used to do in her spare time when she was back home in the USA. It all sounded so nice. Some of the places the blonde girl told her about made her want to visit North America herself one day.
As both of them neared the hall heading towards the lunchroom, they saw most of Honoka's friends making their way towards the lunchroom's entrance themselves. Honoka noticed most of her friends were present aside from the white haired devil that's been on her mind recently and Shiemi. As Honoka and Lina walked closer to the group, a few eyes saw them making their way towards them. Upon closer inspection, they saw a new face with Honoka as Shizuka and the rest of the group walked up to meet the two of them.
"Hey Honoka, I see you brought a new face with you." Erika said as she looked between Honoka and Lina.
"Hello everyone, I would like you all to meet Lina-san. She is a new transfer student in my homeroom that started earlier today. Lina-san, these are my friends. Meet Shizuka-chan, Tatsuya-san, Miyuki-san, Erika-san, Leo-san and Mizuki-san." Said girl that was being introduced to the others gave them all a bright and beautiful smile while giving an energetic salute.
"Hello there! My name is Angelina Shields and it's a pleasure to finally meet all of Honoka's friends. Oh, and don't worry about being formal with me. I don't really care much for formalities so just Lina is fine." Tatsuya, Miyuki and everyone else gave the girl a small respectful bow. Miyuki inspected the girl that was before her with a hint of curiosity. She wasn't the absolute best at reading people's true nature or anything, but there was just something her gut was trying to tell her about Lina. Tatsuya on the other hand was staring directly at the girl with a calculating gaze. He looked to her arm and saw the Bloom emblem on her right shoulder.
"So the rumors about a foreign student were true?" It's not impossible but a part of him was wondering why something about her seemed slightly off. His over-cautious nature was telling him to keep an eye on this girl like he would anyone that made his warning alarm tingle.
Even behind her fake smiling mask, Lina eyed everyone with a gaze of her own. All of Honoka's friends seemed normal enough…or at least that was until her eyes landed on the two Shiba siblings. There was something about them that made Lina a bit wary. Lina heard earlier that day in class that Miyuki was the so called beautiful ice princess that is known for her elegance and beauty. Then she saw the older brother. He looked blandly normal at first sight but there was definitely something telling her to keep an eye on him.
Even though Miyuki had a feeling about the girl, that didn't necessarily mean it was in a bad sense. It could just be that she was taken aback by Lina's own unique beauty and felt a small twang of uneasiness. She seemed like the type of girl to become extremely popular while not feeling any of the burdens that came from making mistakes and without even trying to impress others, no less. Lina was just being herself. Miyuki could only wish to have that sort of attitude without having all the consequences that followed behind them. In that regard, she was already a bit jealous that Lina could be so carefree.
"Lina-san." Shizuka called out to the girl gaining her attention.
"Yes?" Lina asked while looking at Honoka's best friend in wonder.
"If it's alright, where exactly are you from?" The question brought a slight closed eyed smile to the blonde girl's face as she brought her right hand up and playfully hit herself on the head.
"Sorry, I can't believe I left that part out in my introduction. I feel pretty silly right now." Lina answered not realizing that her gesture looked really adorable.
"I am from the USNA, North America if stated correctly. Born and raised my entire life until my family recently moved up here for work related reasons. It's a bit difficult getting used to the culture and how things work around here in Japan but I guess it just comes with time. Especially compared to how things were back in America. But I have to admit, most of the sights around here are quite breathtaking. But I won't lie and say that I'm not at least a bit homesick." Lina said softly as she looked at all the faces in the group with sincerity.
As if it was the devil's luck literally, the young, handsome devil hunter made his appearance from down the hall. He looked to be accompanied with Shiemi as the two seemed to be in the middle of conversing about something in particular. Lina saw him and gained a twinkle within her eyes. Finally, the boy she has be looking for this entire time has shown his face. Now the next step of her plan could commence. Plan 'C' is a bit embarrassing but it will have to be done for her mission to succeed without fail. Lina knew that she would have to take one for the team even if that meant that she embarrassed herself in the process. Oh well, here goes nothing.
"Oh Nero! It's been so long since the last time I saw you!" Lina said quickly jogged past everyone in her way to run up to the boy. Nero heard someone call out to him as a sudden weight crashed into his body and gave him a tight squeeze. Lina was blushing madly trying to hide her face against his stomach. *Gasp* Most of the people around inhaled deeply from the sight of what they had just witnessed.
Nero had never met this girl a day in his life so you could see that he was rather annoyed from the fact that he just got hugged by a random stranger. Lina looked up at him with a flustered yet serious face. "Please, just play along for now and I promise I'll explain everything later." Her voice was barely a whisper but he could see that there was a look in her eyes that made him question her motives. There was definitely something this girl was trying to do but he didn't know what it could be.
"W-w-w-w-w-w-w-what are you doing to Nero-san?" Shiemi asked incredulously.
"L-Lina-san?" Honoka was baffled by the bold actions of her new friend. She just went and embraced Nero with such intensity that it made the poor girl's brain temporarily shut down trying to understand what was happening.
"You don't know how happy I am to see you after all this time. Mom and Dad said that you attended first high so I wanted to come here too just to be with you. It's been at least four years since we last saw each other has it not?" Lina tried her best not to squeak and lose her composure as she looked at him pleadingly. Fine, whoever this girl was…Nero would play along for now but she better explain what the hell was going on after this.
"Yeah…It's good to see you too Lina. But could you let me go?" Nero gave an awkward smile as he started to push Lina's face away from him in a comedic fashion. The girl seemed to not want to let go but it was all a part of the act they were putting on for the nearby audience.
"D-don't be like that. I missed you all this time so at least take responsibility." What in the heck was going on here? That was the thought that was going through everyone's mind that was watching the display before them.
"U-u-uh Lina-san, you and Nero-san b-both know each other?" Honoka finally broke the silence. Not only Honoka but Miyuki, Shiemi, Erika and Mizuki looked as if their eyes were the size of saucers. Miyuki knew something just wasn't right about this new transfer student and now one of her biggest obstacles had appeared. One of the biggest things she was afraid of has just happened. Does this mean that Lina has known Elena far longer than Miyuki herself did? Does this mean that Lina was actually Elena's true sister figure before Miyuki herself? The thought of such a thing made her stomach do flips. She didn't want for that to happen and yet…
"Yes, Nero here is my childhood best friend." Honoka didn't really like the sound of the way the blonde girl said that. It was almost as if Lina was trying to claim her territory and give out a warning in the process.
"O-oh, I see."
*Clap* "Okay, are we going to stay out here forever or are we going to go have lunch?" Erika spoke up to break the weird atmosphere. She had questions of her own about how Nero and the new girl Lina knew each other but for now, Erika felt that it wasn't the time. There was a time and a place for everything and this was not one of them.
As they all entered the cafeteria, Lina took it upon herself to move around the table and sit right next to Nero in an attempt to start conversation. "What are you doing?" Nero whispered as he noticed her sudden advances. Lina in return smiled from ear to ear from his reaction.
Honoka's new friend was somehow Nero's old childhood friend so it seemed as if the two were reminiscing after such a long time apart from one another. "Just taking a seat next my childhood friend. You did miss me after all this time didn't you?" To certain girls around the table it looked as if Lina was purposely trying to gain favoritism from the white haired devil because of their past together. It was a bit of a low blow but it was all fair game. "You can do whatever you want…" Nero released a closed eyed sigh.
Miyuki stared at the girl trying to grasp exactly what Lina was up to. It hasn't even been a half an hour that Miyuki has known Lina and yet she was on such good terms with the handsome devil and it was rather…annoying.
"You've never changed after all these years Nero. It actually makes me really happy to know that you are exactly the same as when we were once kids. " Lina leaned into the Nero's personal space. "Hey there was one other thing I forgot to mention." Lina playfully leaning in further towards him. Nero noticed that Lina's face had become alarmingly serious out of nowhere and his gut was suddenly telling him that he was right about her not being an ordinary girl. Lina in turn held her hand slightly in front of her mouth to make sure that what she said next was not heard by anyone in the group but Nero himself.
"I know that you hunt demons." Nero knew not to make a scene in front of everyone present but after hearing what she just said to him, that meant that this mysterious new girl knew who he was and what he did for a living. Nero calmed himself and slowly looked back at Lina who gave him a wink in return. "If you really want to know who I am then we could always have a proper talk after school. For now, just try to look as normal as possible." What was this girl up to? Nero didn't know what it was but there was something about this girl that made it seem like the both of them really have ran into each other before. Maybe it was the look in her eyes with that indescribable gaze she held?
"There's no way I could say no to you after you say something like that. Fine, I don't know who the hell you are but I feel like you could be pretty useful to me in regards to getting some information anyway. After school…we'll talk." Lina nodded her head. Seems that now they can finally get down to serious matters at hand because if that demon from the other day really intended to come back for them, then it was only a matter of time before they needed a plan for a perfectly executed counter attack. Fighting a creature of that magnitude was something that needed to be thought through accordingly and without mistakes.
Miyuki and Tatsuya noticed the pair whispering words between one another but couldn't quite make out what they were saying. She could have been just seeing things but Miyuki was sure that Nero's normal demeanor slightly faltered for a quick second. It was something you would miss it if you weren't paying close attention to him. Just what were the two of them talking about in the first place?
Lina could feel the many eyes from the others nearby focused on her as she continued to converse with Nero. One pair of eyes seemed to stand out the most however. That girl…Miyuki Shiba, the one that made her skin feel like a chilly draft of air brushed against it was looking in her direction intently. What exactly was Miyuki's connection with Nero in the first place? Lina was far from naïve so she could feel a force of displeasure coming from the female Shiba's direction.
"It would appear that we have the attention of everyone at the table Nero. What do you suppose we do about this?" Lina looked back to Nero in wonder.
"You're on your own with this one. My hands are tied." Well then…Nero was dangling her to the wolves and didn't even bat an eye in the slightest. She would be sure to get him back for this later.
"Just you wait."
"I'll be looking forward to it."
There in a dark room were five silhouettes that each found a spot in the room to position themselves. The area in which these figures resided in was somewhere within the Underworld where the walls looked to be coated in dark wine colored blood. This was where meetings for each to gather Intel on the situation of their next move took place. Each one had a task of their own that needed to be completed correctly for everything to work out without fail. Though there was a hiccup in their plans thanks to one of the six generals being killed off by an unknown source.
"Dio, you are saying that a Kin of Sparda is the one that killed Orphis after all? Why did you not just handle them? Now because you let them escape they might find a way to kill you, fool." A female demonic voice spoke out annoyed by the turn of events. Knowing that a kin of Sparda was still wandering around was not a pleasant piece of news to hear.
"Watch your tongue Vermouth. There was an unexpected visitor that interfered will my work. It was without a doubt the man who broke free of Mundus' control not too long ago. I thought he was dead but it seems that we were all wrong about that. Nevertheless, I have unfinished business to clean up but I wanted to notify all of you first before taking other matters into my own hands." Dio looked around to see that the others who stood or sat quietly in thought. Each of them knew that this bit of information changed everything. There was not only one but two different types of obstacles to get in their way when it came to resurrecting their lord. One of the two was a high priority risk that needed to be dealt with on sight while the other was still young and needed to be taken out before they actually became a problem down the road.
"Do you intend to take care of the other one who supposedly killed our fellow brother? If you don't then I will gladly finish off the ant that dared to think they stood a chance against us. Orphis indeed had a very strong ability of his own but compared to the rest of us, he was easily the weakest. They will not be so lucky when they fight one of us the next time. So what will you do Dio?"
"You should not worry about my matters. I will handle him and that girl personally this time. There will be nothing in my way to stop me from killing the two of them this time." A snort filled the air thanks to Vermouth.
"We'll see about that Dio."
"Or I could just kill you now Vermouth so I can listen to someone less…vulgar." This received a glare from the female demon as she stood up and flared her demonic energy wildly. Being a powerful general made it appear as if the nearby area was melting under her demonic power.
"You could try it if you dare."
"Enough you two. We're not meant to fight amongst ourselves. Use that hate and anger to kill the people that stand in our way instead of on each other."
"No one asked you Balisk." Vermouth seethed in anger. Dio was always acting like he was better than her and she was sick of his disrespect. If he wanted to fight then she gladly accepted his challenge.
"No Vermouth, Balisk is right. Such a pointless squabble is unnecessary and a waste of time. Use it on the enemies of our lord."
"You dare to stop me too Zagear?"
"I do. And if you both won't get along then I'll just kill you both myself."
"Tch" As much as she hated to admit it, out of the Dark Six generals, Zagear was probably the second strongest with no debate.
"You will not fail us will you Dio?" The last and most powerful within the group spoke up. Even her suppressed demonic energy was suffocating to those around her at that very moment. Dio as powerful as he was knew that Raphyr was on a completely different level than himself. She was one that served in the same army as the once general Sparda did while under Mundus' reign. Her battle prowess was practically unmatched even when it came to the groups number two Zagear. If anyone knew the capabilities of the kin of Sparda it was her.
"I will kill them without fail Raphyr."
"Good, then see to it that it is done quickly."
"You have my word."
Finally, the school day had come to a close. Lina was quite surprised at how fast the school day flew by for her. At first, she thought that it was going to drag out forever since there was the whole ordeal with her needing to have a talk with Nero about certain things of importance. The curly blonde walked through the halls in an attempt to locate the whereabouts of a certain head of white hair. Onlookers nearby whispered about her actions earlier in regards to her seeming rather close to him from their time at lunch.
It looked like another possible rumor has surfaced and reared its ugly head and she wanted nothing more than to clear all the misunderstandings up. Lina released a sigh from the upcoming earful she would most likely get from speaking with Nero so casually at school. She even came across his fan-girl club that Erika warned her about not too long after lunch and it was not a pretty sight in the slightest. To say that she couldn't believe it until she had seen it was an understatement. Nero was extremely popular with the female body of the school and it surprised her at first since he was technically the lowest standing rank wise within the school. She guessed that as long as you're a boy that has a pretty face and a bad boy attitude, you could become fairly popular regardless?
No matter, she still needed to find Nero. They would need to stick this out together as partners if they were going to make it through this. While Lina was so into her own thoughts she did not notice someone approaching her from behind.
"Hey Lina-san, you left class so quickly that I didn't have a chance to ask you if you would wanted to walk home today with me and the rest of our friends?" Honoka spoke aloud. The girl was also not alone either, if the two standing next to her were any indication. There with Honoka stood her best friend Shizuku and then the snow princess Miyuki Shiba.
There was something that put Lina on edge every time she was near the blue haired beauty. The two made eye contact with one another but did not speak. Lina could feel the tension between her and Miyuki after the earlier display of talking so casually with the white haired devil. Something about what she did obviously did not sit well with the first year representative and because of it, Lina felt that she had already messed up a potential fake friendship.
"Oh hey Honoka, Shizuku...Miyuki-san. I would be delighted to walk home with my new group of friends. I was actually looking for Nero myself." Lina replied with her practiced smile in full effect. Even though she was slowly but surely getting used to it, faking a personality trait over and over again was absolutely tiring. It would be so much easier if she could just be herself but she also didn't want that to interfere with her line of work.
"There you all are!" the sudden voice of Erika called out as Mizuki, Tatsuya and Leo followed shortly behind. Lina was a bit disappointed that Nero wasn't with them. It would have saved her so much time if she didn't have to go looking for the boy. But not too long afterward it would appear that someone above must have heard her pleas because not even ten seconds later a familiar patch of snow white hair appeared. Nero and the girl Lina knew now as Shiemi started to make their way over to the group. 'Finally' Lina thought as her features started to brighten a bit thanks to their arrival.
Miyuki eyed Lina as she looked between both the blonde and Nero in wonder. Miyuki was rather curious as to exactly what they were discussing today at lunchtime but she also knew that it was none of her business. Even still, that didn't stop Miyuki from wanting to know what was said between them. It was a guessing game at that point and she realized that she may never really understand what was going on. That thought in itself, gave the female Shiba and uneasy feeling within her core. It was weird to say for sure what she was feeling about the whole situation but Miyuki did feel that Lina was truly a good person and she also felt bad for acting the way that she did towards the girl as well. It wasn't necessarily intentional but Miyuki was acting purely on instinct at that point and her body was just on autopilot. The way Lina was acting so friendly with Nero made Miyuki feel a bit jealous. She doesn't know why exactly but the way Lina was so close to him made her feel strangely irritated even though she knew that the two teenagers had a past together. Miyuki already inwardly shamed herself for treating Lina the way that she has so far but it would be even more awkward if she were to apologize for her behavior right then and there after everything up until that point. In the end, it just made for a tense atmosphere between the two girls even if they both truly wanted to converse with one another. Miyuki knew she was acting extremely childish and wanted to set things straight but just felt that now wasn't the time to do so. Maybe if she could find a way to pull Lina to the side and apologize for making things so awkward it wouldn't be so bad?
But in reality all Miyuki could do was watch them both from a distance as the boy she had started to admire became absorbed by the presence of another. Miyuki felt a strange twinge in her heart while she gripped her school bag's handle tightly, making her knuckles turn a pale color of white. Miyuki hated feeling like this. She felt so selfish because of her behavior and it wasn't something that she was personally proud of. Now, Lina comes along out of nowhere and claims to be someone important to Nero and maybe even Elena from long ago. Another pain pinched at her heart as she thought about her little supposed sister.
Did that mean that Miyuki herself was no longer needed anymore because of Lina's sudden arrival? Does this mean that she would be replaced and no longer be Elena's sister because of this? Even after the death of her late mother, Miyuki hasn't been able to smile the way that she has in a very long time until after meeting the two white haired siblings. Little Elena was something else. The influence the little girl has had on Miyuki was incredible.
It was to the point that Miyuki would do anything and everything she could for Elena, whether that be to comfort, protect, nurture or love her. Miyuki's eyes glazed over in a pure look of pain and sadness. The realization and truth of her feelings made her understand that she started to love Elena as if she was her real family and that stung her heart once again. She didn't want that to happen…not after the happiness that she was able to obtain. She didn't want all of that to be taken away from her and yet…it seemed like the beginning to her nightmare had only begun.
I left it on a cliffy but with good reason. The next chapter will be action packed so please be patient and stay tuned! I thank you all once again for reading my work.