Of things to come 3: Death of Fifth Satan .

BEGIN

'Oh, I just KNOW this isn't going to be pleasant.'

Such was the thought of one Zekram Bael. The first and only Head of the House of Bael and a Devil with enough influenceto be considered the secret Fifth Satan . The unofficial "true ruler" of Underworld .

'Just how did I get into this situation?'

Thinking back, the last memories he had were in his bedchamber, ready to finally rest his weary bones after a day of his usual responsibilities, known and otherwise. Just another day of playing the intricacies of Underworld politics, the "Game of Webs" he'd so often called it. A game he had long since become the master of, as his old age would make clear.

But as for how he got HERE…

Taking a moment to observe his surroundings, the elderly Devil realized he was in some kind of laboratory. Strapped to a table , divested of his clothes, left in nothing but his underwear and bound in shackles with a collar around his neck.

'Well, this is new. And quite uncomfortable. Though it's nothing I can't-'

His line of thought came to a screeching halt, an attempt to access his Power of Destruction, the power held within all Pureblooded members of the esteemed House of Bael, was met only with a shock of mind blanketing pain, his sight becoming blinded as the pain seemed to flood his vision with white.

Zekram Bael was most certainly NOT having a pleasant day .

"~ Ara , you're awake already?"

The Elder Bael, his vision slowly clearing, turned his head towards voice's direction . It was ... a young woman. Human, apparently, with short red hair and wearing spectacles stared back at him with a smirk on her face. She wore an odd kind of dark green dress that somewhat reminded him of the nobles of Europe.

Zekram waited for the pain to recede before he spoke, refusing to speak in a mere croak to this woman. He would not show a sign of weakness here, not now. "Who are you?" Zekram asked calmly, the familiar sense of control easing over his worry. "Why have you captured me?"

The woman bowed to him, a motion obvious in its attempt at mockery, made more infuriating due to the widening smile on her face. He was quite sure he'd made the same expression many times before.

"The name's Touko Aozaki. Sealing Designate of the Clock Tower, master Puppet Crafter, graduated as the Red (don't even think of think of calling me that), genius of the Aozaki family, and the VERY dissatisfied older sister of The Blue."

Her formal introduction done, the woman rose from her bow and looked down upon him with a predatory leer. "But right now, you can just call me Doctor. Because I'm about to do some surgery. Hope you don't mind the lack of anesthetic."

As the redhead reached for a nearby scalpel, twirling it in her finger with a practiced ease, Zekram knew she wasn't joking.

But, for all he knew this wasn't a joke, that he could very well die here, Zekram Bael refused to be cowed.

"I see," he responded, his tone cold and hard. "And why exactly would you go through all this trouble for me? I'm assuming it isn't because you simply have the spare time to torment an old man? That would be rather sad for you, wouldn't it?"

The Magus raised an eyebrow, the twirling of her scalpel coming to a sudden stop before the rotation was reversed just as quickly. "Ooh, the old man has some spine in him," she cooed, walking slowly to the other side of the table even as he watched her like a hawk. "That's good. Trust me, I'm speaking from experience when I say it gets SO annoying when they start blubbering. There can be so MANY tear stains"

The scalpel stopped in mid-twirl, and her whole aura changed. Gone was the veneer of humor, replaced with a flinty edge in her eyes even as the expression on her face didn't seem to change at all.

"As for the reasons why you're here, I'm doing this for a favored customer of mine."

An old friend? So she was doing this at the behest of someone else. That meant...

"Do you have any idea how LITTLE that narrows it down?"

And that infuriating smile appeared yet again. "Oh, don't you worry. I'm sure you're memory is starting to go, so I'll make it a little easier for you." The scalpel pierced through air, the tip pointing to a corner of the room. "He's over there."

Sighing, Zekram moved his head as best he could to see where she was pointing. Being strapped to this table wasn't doing his neck any favors, so it took some effort to get into position.

Then he saw him. There, leaning against wall with arms crossed, was a young man in his early 20s with dark silver hair. His attire was rather simple, merely a black t-shirt with blue jeans and boots.

But what Zekram noted most wasn't his choice of attire, oh no, it was his posture. Zekram had lived for a LONG time, he'd played the politics of the Underworld for a LONG time, and you never got to do so without learning a few special skills.

Perhaps chief among them was a means of effectively sizing people up at a glance. To read their motivations, their patterns, their way of thinking from the subtle ques.

And that skill was showing him a great deal right now.

His straight back and unworried demeanor showed he was confident, not in being untouchable here, but confident in HIMSELF. His arms were crossed, but held with a hidden looseness in the muscles, showing an experience with battle and a guard he kept up at all times. And he could tell from the slight bulges in his boots and jeans that he not only had a small arsenal of hidden weapons, but their placement within easy reach showed he was no stranger to using them to turn back an ambush on would be attackers.

But most of all were the boys eyes. Cold, sharp, unwavering. The eyes of not just a fighter, but a killer. And they were staring back at him unflinching

This one was dangerous.

For a moment, time seemed to stand still as they stared one another down, willing, DARING the other to blink first, even as they were unwilling to back down.

They probably would've continued like that for some time if the Magus hadn't brought them back to reality with a forced cough. "Hey, as interesting as it is to see you guys duking it out with your eyes, don't you think we should get this show on the road, Rein?"

The young man, Rein apparently, momentarily glared at the redhead. "Do you REALLY need to keep calling me that? You know I hate that nickname."

"Well I'm SORRY, hon," she cooed, her voice coming out with a layer of honey so thick Zekram was only surprised it wasn't literally pouring from her mouth as she spoke. "But it's just that we're on a bit of a deadline right now, and you're little experiment at burning him to death with your glare isn't working."

Then the sweetness suddenly disappeared, her expression going cool so quickly and easily that Zekram honestly though the girl could have some kind of Dissociative Identity Disorder. "Besides, even if it worked, that just means I wouldn't have a corpse to cut up and you'll have cheated me on this. Don't forget what I'm supposed to get outta the deal."

Yet, contrary to the almost threatening undertone, the young man seemed entirely unworried. The young woman's words barely seemed to rouse a scoff and a brief roll of his eyes, though he shrugged in deference to her point. "Fine, this'll just take a second."

Pushing himself from the wall, the mastermind of this little scene walked toward the table where Zekram was bound, his steps sure and unhurried even as he came so close that he could reach out and choke him to death on the table. Looking down on him, the eyes of the young man suddenly regained their former hardness as he spoke. "My name is Reinherz Schweinorg."

'Schweinorg. An interesting name. Not to mention completely unfamiliar.'

Now, never let it be said that Zekram was a man with poor memory, but even HE couldn't remember the name of every porr soul he'd sacrificed to guarantee the survival and prominence of his House. He'd put down many clans and individuals alike with grand or unusual names, some of them putting Schweinorg to shame, so he really couldn't be sure if this one had a legitimate reason for wanting him dead and gone.

After all, it wasn't easy to keep track of every enemy when seemingly half of the world wanted you dead.

"Don't recognize the name, huh?" the young man smirked down on him, a strange smile on his face. "Fine, then maybe THIS'LL jog your memory a bit."

Then, with a grand flourish, he took a mocking bow with his head held low and said, "I am Reinherz Lucifer, older brother of Vali Lucifer, grandson of Rizevim Livan Lucifer. ~Pleased to meet you, lord Zekram Bael."

And it was then, for the first time in many years, that the often unflappable Zekram Bael was caught truly and completely by surprise, his eyes momentarily widening as the information flowed fresh in his ancient mind. It made sense now, this abductor was the grandson of Rizevim-bocchan ! Of all the people he'd stepped over, cast out, or simple exterminated, the blood of Lucifer were among those with the GREATEST reason to hate him, the deepest and most burning desire to see him dead.

And it looked like one of them had finally gotten to him.

"Oh, nonononono," the bo ... the LUCIFER exclaimed, waving a hand in front of his face as a forestalling action. "I know what you're thinking right now: you think I'm doing this for the FAMILY, right? To avenge the loss of our once great House, to cast down the great traitor himself? That's what you're thinking?"

The Bael's eyes narrowed at the brat. Of course that was what he wanted.

… Wasn't it? Why else would he go through all this trouble to capture him and arrange for his death in some dark room, bound and helpless on a table, at the mercy of some crazed associate?

His uncertainty must've showed, because The boy seemed to look down on him with a predatory look, a glimmer in his eyes that said 'I know you DON'T know'. "Still haven't figured it out, huh?"

Zekram's only answer was silence and a searing glare.

Somehow, that damned boy seemed to simply get more confident at that. With a roll of his eyes and a growing smirk on his face, he chuckled low and dark. "Alright, I'll spell it out for you."

Rein couldn't help but feel some satisfaction at what was happening here. Zekram Bael, strapped to an operating table and coming out of his little knockout daze, Touko off to the side and sharpening a few scalpels. And a major obstacle was about to be taken out of the way.

Of course, given the circumstances, he couldn't help but want to gloat a little.

"So, Zekky," ooh, the guy didn't like that. Rein saw him twitch at the nickname. "Is it alright if I call you Zekky?"

"No."

"Zekky it is then," Rein retorted with a grin. Yeah, he was being a bit of an a**, what of it? "Let me guess, you're probably thinking something along the lines of 'oh geez, what does THIS guy wanna kill me for', is that about right? Well the answer is...nothing really."

The old Devil was just nodding along to him as he spoke, more or less tuning him out as if he'd heard it all before. But the moment Rein said the last part he stopped completely. He turned to face him, surprise present but far from obvious. "Pardon?"

He smiled at him again, perhaps eve a little unhinged. "It's true. You've honestly done NOTHING to me personally. I mean, you've screwed bad with some people I know, some of them I'd even consider... well, maybe not friends, but close acquaintances. Killing Diehauser's sister, helped to sustain a conspiracy in the Rating Games, and that's just the TIP of the iceberg isn't it? But the truth is... I don't really even care."

He moved closer, each step causing a clack on the tiled floor.

"Y'see, Zekky, the reason I'm doing this is ... well, to be blunt, it's because I need you gone." He leaned forward slightly, just enough so he looked Zekram in the eyes. "Because certain things, which I'm not entirely at liberty to say, are going to happen. Things I want to prevent or, failing that, mitigate the damage. But doing that demands certain that I have means of meeting certain requirements and... well, you being around will get in the way of that. And when it comes to guaranteeing my own survival and the circle of people I actually give a damn about, I can do some REALLY nasty things."

He gestured to Touko. "And this FINE lady will be helping with the corpse disposal!"

"Flattery will get you nowhere, Rein," Touko quipped, taking another long draft of her cigarette before blowing it out in a ring. "Still, corpse disposal? I thought it was a dissection."

He waved his hand. "Semantics. There won't be anything left, that's what I want." He turned to Zekram, another slightly off smile on his face. "So, that's what's gonna happen. Now, I might not be a priest or a holy man of any kind," dear GOD had some of his friends and acquaintances seen to that, "but if you've got any last words, I'll hear them."

Touko actually chuckled a bit at that line.

But Zekram was still silent, almost as if he were in defiance of everything. He didn't speak a work, just ... stared at him silently.

Rein would've said it was unnerving, but he'd already been in situations that ironed his nerves. If Zekram thought he was going to psyche him out then he was wrong. The old man seemed to realize that after a while, and he finally deigned to speak. "I don't suppose I could ask a few questions?"

Rein raised an eyebrow. "Go ahead."

Zekram nudged his head towards Touko. "Alone?"

His eyes narrowed slightly. Last words were one thing, but alone? He might've expected a confession under other circumstances, but from a guy like this that didn't seem likely.

He took a moment to weigh the risks, the possibility that this was some kind of trap and what he could do to counter if it was.

Considering Zekram's power was completely sealed, AND he was tied to an operating table, Rein decided to go along with it and gave Touko a look.

Her expression briefly took on an annoyed look before smoothing over into her usual apathy, muttering something about brewing some coffee as she left.

And with the redhead Magus gone, they were free to talk. "Ask."

"What exactly are you preparing for?" he asked. "And how does my death factor into it?"

Straight to the point, huh? Alright. "War is what I'm preparing for. One that'll make the Great War between the Three Factions look like a playground squabble. I have some ways to prepare for it, but I can't move freely with people like you around and keeping an eye on things. With the Fifth Satan gone I can finally start moving in earnest instead of slinking through alleys."

Zekram's eyebrow quirked slightly. "A war is it?" he sighed. "I'm guessing Rizevim is involved somehow?"

Reinherz raised an eyebrow 'So the old man got active earlier then should have and Zekram learned something... Dammit !'

"In a fashion," he admitted, slowly breaking out into another smile. "I'm looking forward to seeing DEAR granddaddy again. We've got so much catching up to do."

He was caught a bit off guard when Zekram actually CHUCKLED at that. "Oh, nothing unique there. About half of the older generations in the Underworld have a bone to pick with THAT one. He always had an unnatural talent at making enemies."

"Since when was making enemies supposed to be a TALENT?"

"Back in the early days of the Underworld where Devils fought as openly and commonly amongst themselves as they did with everyone else. More enemies meant more opportunities to keep your skills sharp and keep your place in the pecking order. Though of course it would be a detriment NOW. Still, even back then he seemed to take it to an unhealthy degree."

Oh. Well, when he put it like that the ability to make lots of enemies probably WOULD count as some kind of talent. "Anything else?"

"Just one more thing," Zekram assured. "What will you do about the power vacuum? My influence may not exactly be public knowledge but the people in POWER still know, and they'll rush to take it when they know I'm gone. How exactly will you cope with that? Perhaps you want to take my place yourself?"

"Oh HELL no!" Reinherz insisted, his voice rising to a volume that was maybe a BIT louder than he'd wanted. "No," he repeated, "I'm nont interested. With power like that comes attention and surveillance and that's something I don't want at all. Hell, do you have any idea how much power I'd GIVE UP to do that?"

Either way, Zekram up and disappearing would leave a lot of the older Devils disorganized and panicking, at least for a while. He was betting on Sirzechs and the other Satans stepping in through their own proxies to grab the reins. The Satans might not hold any official power on their own, but they didn't NEED to if their subordinates and supporters held it for them.

No point in being the king when you were the voice behind the throne. A motto to live by.

Zekram was silent for a while, mulling over Rein's words and the meanings within. But after a while he could swear he saw something, a glimmer in his eyes.

He could've been wrong, but he could almost swear that it was something akin to... approval?

"Very well."

Rein blinked. "What was that?"

"Very well," Zekram repeated. "I must admit I'm actually a little relieved. At first I thought you were just a half-breed with a chip on your shoulder, an inflated ego, and too much idealism. But now...Well, I STILL think you're a half-breed with an inflated ego, but at least you seem to have SOME idea of what you're doing. You're not perfect, but you're better than the alternative I was expecting."

Zekram flashed him a smile, cold and with an edge he'd seen only once before. "After all, anyone who would kill me just to get me out of the way has SOME idea of how things really work."

... AND it looks like it really WAS approval he saw in his eyes earlier. Kinda creepy. Still, for Zerkam to give a compliment like that? He wasn't sure if he should feel proud or a little disturbed.

Turning around and leaving the room, he shut the door behind him. HARD. "He's all yours, Touko."

"Shall we begin ?"

Zekram shrugged again, flinching slightly as the tender muscles of his shoulders developed a slight kink from the movement. "Don't expect me to start begging."

The young woman just shrugged and smiled. "Good," she answered, bringing picked up scalpel closer. "I find it very distracting."

END

Author's note:

Please review this fic as this gives me ego boost . Flames will be ignored .

Zekram Bael is among most dangerous DxD individuals you can possibly encounter. And worst choice of enemy you can think of . True leader of Bael clan and central figure behind elder devils, who control Underworld from darkness.

That's why Reinherz decided to kill him.

Bael elder is immensely dangerous person, who can undermine Protagonist if Zekram deemed him as threat to himself, using all these resources and powers amassed for many years. This isn't enemy you can treat slightly.

But MAIN reason why Reinherz decided to kill Zekram is for Vali's sake.

As Zekram wouldn't bat an eyeleash to kill Vali in order to preserve his power according to Azazel in the beginning of volume 21 , that's why Protagonist decided to kill Zekram Bael by giving him to Touko as lab rat. Of course, due to their partnership she will share her research on him with Rein and of course... it means KING PIECE fell in hands of Vali's brother as Bael has this incredible little thing.