Chapter 28

I don't own DxD; I just use its characters and techniques. All credit goes to its creator. Same applies for anything that I use from other anime

AN: This ones gonna get emotional so get ready.

(Lucifaad)

After kissing Ravel goodbye, Issei should've returned to the hotel, but he wasn't in the mood at all. Thankfully, he had resources from Azazel to use on the off chance that he wanted a good time that didn't involve sexing up one of his lovers in the hotel. It took him about 10 minutes of exploring the city, but he found a bar that worked for him. Using the fake ID Azazel gave him he walked in and quickly found the bar and sat down alone, "What can I get you bud." The bartender said with a smile. He was an older looking guy with black hair wearing a white shirt and black vest that was reminiscent of the bartender outfits from back home.

Issei checked the menu and ordered a spaghetti and meatballs along with a bottle of sake. "Partner what's wrong?" Ddraig wondered.

'My visit tomorrow isn't just about reuniting with Rias.' Issei said calmly knowing his partner would feel the same.

"Right. You'll see your childhood friend again for the first time all summer." Ddraig answered.

'Yep.' Issei replied trying to just relax. The line between Hottie Magnet Hyoudou and the Red Dragon Emperor was getting thinner by the day and he was helpless to stop it. And between Rias and Irina, he was going to see the two people primarily responsible for that happening.

"You seem distracted kid." The bartender spoke up causing Issei to focus back on him instead of getting lost in his thoughts yet again.

"Let's just say I think about how I got to where I am, and I wonder about it all." Issei replied whimsically before taking a sip of sake.

"I know that feeling very well. Us normal devils try to survive the day to day grind and hope we get a break. Meanwhile, the elite just continue to enjoy themselves unafraid of anything. I imagine a human like you can appreciate that sentiment."

Issei wasn't bothered at the fact he was exposed and responded in kind, "I'll give you that. The rich sit back and relax while everyone else goes crazy trying to survive. It's a real bitch" Issei groaned.

"You responded rather well to being called out as a human." The bartender replied.

"There's no point in denying it really. You probably sensed my energy the moment I walked in. The fact I'm alone doesn't help my case." Issei smiled taking a bite of his food.

"Got it in one." the bartender confirmed.

"So now to the next question since you clearly know what I'm dealing with. When you've begun to question everything, what do you do next?" Issei wondered.

"Me personally, I drink until I stop worrying about it. Though I don't know why a kid as young as you is worried about stuff like that. You should live your life and not be so worried" the bartender smiled.

"Let's just say there's a damn good reason I'm okay with all the people staring at me wondering what I'm doing here." Issei replied calmly. He could feel the stares coming from others

"Works for me. Just don't get in any fights kid and I'll keep you company for a while."

"I make no promises but thanks" Issei replied. Rather amazingly Issei's time at the bar was pretty peaceful despite everyone staring at him. He did have to flare his killer intent a few times, but otherwise he had his meal and left the bartender a big before going back to the hotel. As he did, he decided to change things up for a bit.

(Scene Skip)

As the sun shone on the main room, Issei opened his eyes after sleeping on the couch beneath a barrier that would allow him a bit of privacy. He was pleasantly surprised that the girls left him alone since Le Fay or Valerie would've been able to get rid of the barrier with ease if they so wanted. Walking into his room, he noticed Valerie was asleep and quickly tossed his clothes to the side before getting into the shower.

'Feeling any better partner.' Ddraig wondered.

'Not at all.' Issei replied. The bartender proved to be an excellent distraction, but he couldn't escape reality.

"If I didn't know any better, I'd say you didn't want to go to the Gremory at all."

'I really don't to be honest. Rias is every bit as manipulative as Lady Sitri and it's hard to face Irina with me still questioning everything. I should probably sit this trip out.' Issei admitted.

'You should, but we both know the people in your life won't allow that. Case and point, the young lady coming into the shower to join you.'

Issei actually frowned as the shower curtain was put to this side and Valerie Lucifer joined him completely naked, "I'm only here to talk Issei." Valerie smiled as she moved behind him.

"And you couldn't have waited until after I was done." Issei deadpanned.

"You would've probably ignored me. I mean you slept behind a barrier for Maou's sake." Valerie pouted.

Issei could barely hide his annoyance since he very clearly didn't want to talk. Seeing as how subtle didn't work, he was going to be firmer. "As of today, I'm on Hiatus." Issei replied firmly.

Valerie's eyes widened, "Did you just say you're on a Hiatus?" Valerie said in shock. She knew what the Hiatus meant from the others and it was bad news.

"Yes I am. Now if you don't mind, I'd like to finish my shower in peace." Issei growled.

Valerie didn't like it, but she didn't want to push Issei's buttons when something was clearly wrong, "Alright. Clearly something is on your mind and you need to work some things out." Valerie huffed leaving the shower so Issei could be alone.

"The Gremory will be furious and I doubt she's the only one."

"That's their problem." Issei groaned as he finished his shower in peace.

(Scene Skip)

While Valerie made her way to the Gremory for training, Issei sat in the room and played video games. Bikou and Azazel were going with Valerie and luckily for him, Gasper wasn't online yet so he could simply relax and enjoy himself. "Ahh this is the life. Playing Smash Brothers and ignoring everything else." Issei smiled.

"I'm surprised nobody has come to question you yet." Ddraig spoke up.

"Give it some time." Issei smiled deciding to relax and enjoy the moment. Almost as to curse his luck his phone rang which meant somebody was calling him. Looking at the number he was surprised to discover that it wasn't Irina or even Momo calling but Matsuda. Answering the phone, he wondered what his protégé had to say.

"Hey master… I have a question for you." Matsuda said calmly.

"What is it Matsu" Issei said calmly. He rarely heard from his protégé and if he was calling something interesting was happening.

"I'm wondering if there's a girl in our year named Hase Kasagawa on your website?" (AN: I don't know her actual last name, but Kasagawa is the first name that came to mind)

"I'll need a minute or two since I'm not by my computer." Issei said calmly before pausing his game. He went over to his computer took it out and made his way to the website. After a small search he discovered she wasn't and grabbed his phone. "Matsu she's not on the website. Why do you ask?"

"Well… I was out with Motohama and noticed she was being harassed by some guys. I decided to help her, and they left. She's kinda cute… so."

"So, you wanted to ask her out, but didn't want to step on my toes. Got it." Issei replied. It wasn't the first time somebody asked him about that type of thing. The irony was that he didn't really care if he lost a girl or two since he had so many."

"Yeah. I'll need some help setting it up, because of my reputation." Matsuda admitted.

"Fine but since I'm out of town, I'll have to get Kiryuu to connect you two" Issei smiled.

"Does it have to be her?" Matsuda frowned.

"Yes." Issei insisted.

"Fine but I won't like it."

"If you get a girlfriend, you'll thank me and her later." Issei chuckled.

"Alright, Bye master." Matsuda replied and he hung up.

"I'm surprised you're so willing to help him."

"He's my apprentice. If he wants my help, he gets it" Issei replied. The fact Matsuda was willing to actually have a relationship was a pleasant surprise. He would be a dick to refuse him.

"Alright" Ddraig replied.

Issei played in peace for two hours till he received a knock on his door. 'I wonder who this is.' Issei thought to himself. Somebody had come a long way to see him and he had a good idea of who. Luckily, he was in between games so he put down the controller and went to the door opening it to find Irina Shidou herself in casual clothes.

"We need to talk." Irina scowled.

"Do we" Issei replied with a deadpan voice.

"Yes we do. Are you going to let me in or not Issei?" Irina frowned.

Issei moved to the side and smiled, "Come on in." Issei replied sarcastically and Irina walked in before Issei closed the door and returned to the couch as Irina stayed near the door.

"You should be with Rias right now." Irina replied staring at him with a frown.

"Wouldn't be the first time I abandoned the schedule in favor of a Hiatus." Issei replied.

"What!" Irina screamed well aware of the significance of the Hiatus.

"Keep it down, Irina." Issei groaned.

"Why should I. You just called for a Hiatus in the middle of your vacation. That's a big deal" Irina replied angrily. During a Hiatus Issei abandoned everything and considering what was going on, that was a big problem.

"Recent events have made me think about things and I needed a break." Issei said frankly. He was a bit annoyed his childhood friend couldn't respect that but there was nothing he could do.

"Like what"

"Not your concern." Issei said firmly. Irina wasn't getting the hint.

"Issei please tell me" Irina pleaded.

Issei groaned because Irina was as stubborn as he was and she wouldn't let it go, "Frankenstein's monster" Issei explained knowing that would be enough.

Irina's expression soured completely, "So it's reached that point at last." Irina said solemnly.

"Oh?" Issei replied with intrigue. That was a very interesting thing to say.

"I'm no fool Issei. I know that as much as you care for me, you also resent me a fair bit for how we departed." Irina explained with a sour expression on her face.

"As much as I wish it weren't true, it is." Issei sighed.

Irina smiled at the reference before playing along, "So which am I. The lightning bolt that gave the monster life or the Doctor who created the monster in the first place." Irina explained.

Issei thought about it carefully and said, "You're more the lightning bolt." Issei explained.

Irina couldn't help but chuckle at the answer since it brought up an interesting memory, "When I returned to Kuoh officially, I received quite a bit of hate mail from the girls on the website. They felt that with my return, Hottie Magnet Hyoudou would vanish despite Momo assuring them that wasn't the case. I also received an interesting message from the twin sister of Kuzuri's manager. I think her name was Kaya"

Issei raised his eyebrow at both subjects, "What did Kaya have to say?"

"She said that all the girls who are sending me messages of hate should be thanking me. That if I had stayed around, we'd have become a couple and Hottie Magnet Hyoudou wouldn't exist in the first place. That me moving to England, set the stage for everything." Irina answered.

"Would we have? Become a couple I mean" Issei wondered.

"There's no point in asking that question now Issei and we both know it." Irina sighed.

Issei knew she was right and decided to focus on something else, "So what made you come over Irina? Seeing Issei Hyoudou or seeing the Red Dragon Emperor." Issei said focusing on his childhood friend.

Irina froze because it was a question she really didn't want to answer. Sadly, she had to answer it, "I'm here to see the Red Dragon Emperor." Irina admitted.

That answer ended up being the last straw for Issei, "Get out Irina." Issei said coldly. He wondered why Irina insisted on coming and he had his answer. Clearly politics was more important than their friendship.

"Issei please." Irina pleaded. One look at his face and she knew he was furious.

"If you need something to say when you get back. Tell them that I'm still her ally." Issei growled.

"Alright." Irina replied before closing the door aware that she really messed up this time and there would be hell to pay later.

"It's time to go home Ddraig. This vacation is over" Issei said firmly before getting up from the chair and packing his things. An hour later, Issei's stuff was packed and a note left for Valerie before he used a magic circle to return to Kuoh. He wasn't going to spend a second longer in the Underworld and anybody who didn't like it would have to manage.

(Scene Skip)

The next morning, Issei woke up with an odd feeling of relief. Now that he was away from the Underworld and all the politics, he could focus on his vacation with the girls from Kuzuri. He was pretty sure the supernatural world wouldn't be pleased with him leaving, so he put barrier's around his home, so people knew to give him space. Although they could attempt to break it, he hoped the girls and Azazel would respect his feelings. "So, what should I do today? I can't plan any dates really since the harem believes I'm on vacation." Issei said calmly. For the first time in a very long time, Issei could do whatever he wanted, and he was going to relish in it.

"You are aware that the only thing stopping someone from seeing you is the barriers." Ddraig lectured.

"Yes and No. They could some see me, but Rias will be caught up in the fact I essentially ditched her and stay away. Sona is logical, so she'll propose waiting and I imagine Momo would agree. Valerie and Azazel will probably do the same." Issei smiled.

"I see"

"Yup. I can't plan any dates since I'm still technically on vacation but that's a minor annoyance." Issei shrugged. Walking downstairs he saw his parents sitting down calmly and both had nervous looks in their eyes. Hard to blame them really.

"Are you okay son?" Gorou Hyoudou asked calmly.

"I'm fine dad. I just want to get breakfast and figure out what I'm going to do today."

"Alright. Luckily your mother is almost done cooking." Gorou replied.

"Sounds good" Issei replied as he went to sit down just for the doorbell to ring.

"I'll get it" Gorou Hyoudou replied as he moved to see who it was.

'Well this is a twist.' Issei replied wondering who would actually show up. When their early morning guest was revealed, Issei was very angry.

"Been a long time everyone." a middle-aged man with light brown hair smiled wearing some casual clothes.

"Yes it has, Old man Touji" Issei said with a calm respect trying to hide his fury.

"Touji, what are you doing here. I would've thought you were busy with church matters." Miki Hyoudou said nervously.

Touji looked at the two and realized that pretending otherwise was pointless, "Issei and I need to have a chat. Man to man."

"After breakfast." Issei growled.

"Fine" Touji replied.

"I'll get another plate" Gorou Hyoudou replied nervously. He didn't know what happened to Issei, but he did know that seeing his old teacher probably wouldn't help matters.

(Scene Skip)

After breakfast Issei and Touji silently made their way over to the abandoned church where Issei and Raynare had their final encounter as enemies. Issei sat in the front row with Touji standing in front of him with a stern expression on his face. "Irina called me last night. She said that she heard you left your hotel in the Underworld and she thought it was her fault." Touji said calmly.

"Did she now." Issei twitched. Leave it to Irina to find the one person who would make an already bad situation worse.

"I suppose the person to blame for all of this is me. Wouldn't you agree Frankenstein." Touji said with a smile.

"That idiot told you about our conversation huh." Issei groaned.

"I'm her father and a skilled priest. Getting her to confess is easy." Touji replied.

Issei admitted there was truth in that, "So Doc anything you care to share with your monster?" Issei wondered.

"That everything that happened between you two as kids was arranged by me. Irina had no idea what I was planning"

"Explain."

"The man who ran the elementary school was an old client and I pulled some strings to get you into the same class as Irina. My hope, was you two would become friends over time and I could bring you into the fold. It worked, but what I didn't expect was that you two would become so close."

"That doesn't change the fact you weaponized your daughter against me. You isolated me from everyone and then you left." Issei growled.

"That's true. Though in her defense, Irina didn't want to leave."

"Really?" Issei said skeptically.

Touji chuckled as he recalled the early part of her training, "I'm sure Xenovia's told you as much but Irina was reckless early in her exorcist training because she was upset. She cared about you as much as you clearly did her and she felt the only way she could be with you again is to become a full exorcist."

"She got her wish." Issei replied with a bit of annoyance.

"Perhaps, but she knew what she lost as well." Touji replied.

Issei could appreciate that but there was one more thing he had to know, "Whose idea was it to send Irina and Xenovia to Kuoh?"

"You'll be surprised to learn it was Irina's."

"What!" Issei said in shock.

"That's right. Irina heard about what happened and begged to be sent with Xenovia. I didn't want to, but she was the one who pointed out the benefits. She and Xenovia wouldn't look odd going to Kuoh and she knew that you were at Kuoh which meant she could use you as a resource."

'That was Irina's idea' Issei thought in shock. "And you went along with it."

"At first no. I pointed out the dangers and I was very much against It. She reminded me that you were in Kuoh and that if you kept up your training, you'd be a monster. Plus, the Boosted gear meant you could power up Xenovia and her which would give them a chance against Kokabiel. I wasn't buying it and still refused to do it until Irina said something that practically made the decision for me"

"What's that"

"That if she died on the battlefield, at least she would die by your side. I've done some horrible things in the name of the church and right near the top was separating you and Irina. You have no idea how miserable she was for those first few months of training and seeing the look of relief her face after that first call told me I made a huge mistake." Touji said solemnly.

"I see" Issei unsure of what else he could say.

"I can understand how much you hate me Issei and if I were in your position, I'd hate me too. Don't let the mistakes of this foolish old man, ruin what you two had and will have." Touji replied before getting up.

"Where are you going?"

"Back to the church. I've said my peace and that's that. What you do after that is up to you." Touji replied before getting up and leaving Issei alone with his thoughts.

(Scene Skip)

Back in the Underworld, Issei's surprise departure was felt by everybody he knew. Hurt feelings were abound and there was one very easy target, "This is all your fault Irina. If you had just let him be annoyed for a day, he'd still be here." Momo yelled. Momo, along with Sona Rias Valerie and Irina were currently sitting in a small conference room created by the Room of Requirement so the girls could shop. It was identical to the one they used for the Three Faction's meeting and each had their respective chairs.

"He decided out of nowhere he wasn't going to show up. I needed to find out what was going on."

"Valerie was his roommate and let it go. Just like always you ruined everything for everybody else." Momo complained.

"What do you mean just like always?" Sona wondered. She couldn't escape the feeling that this was about more than Issei leaving.

Momo took a deep breath before explaining, "In our elementary school, Issei was known as 'The Sun' not just because of his bright personality, but because there was something about him that made everyone gather around him. Like most young girls I thought boys were gross and disgusting, but there was something different about Issei. He had this way of making everything seem better and boys and girls alike gathered around Issei.

That all changed when Irina arrived at our elementary school. At first, she was just another person who basked in his warmth, but little by little, he moved away from us. It eventually reached the point that he only spent time with Irina. His warmth was exclusive to her and even when she wasn't there, we still couldn't bask in our Sun's warmth like before.

When she moved away, there was hope that Issei could return to being our Sun, but the opposite happened. What was once warm heat that made everyone smile became oppressive heat that threatened to burn anybody who touched him. It was like our Sun was dying and we were helpless to stop it."

"So, your solution was to build him a harem?" Valerie asked curiously.

"Sort of. As Issei was changing for the worst the girls began to talk and towards the end of our first year of middle school an alliance was formed with six girls at the top. Me, Momiji Aika, Kairi Hasegawa, Shizuka Ichizuri, Aya Senizawa, and Miyuki Hoshiguchi." Momo explained.

(AN: There is absolutely zero significance to the last names of the other girls. They were just the first names that came to mind.)

"Wait a minute. Shizuka Ichizuri is one of the twin daughters of the leader of the Ichizuri crime family. Issei had somebody like HER in the harem." Tsubaki gasped.

"Ichizuri crime family." Sona said in confusion.

"That's. They're one of Japans biggest crime family's and they're based out of Kuoh although they do most of their business elsewhere. I know about them through the Shinra clan, but I've never met them personally." Tsubaki admitted.

"The very same." Momo said with a smile. It had been a while since she thought about that family.

"How in the world was Issei able to make that work." Tsubaki wondered.

"I don't know, but I'd like to get back to the story." Momo insisted.

"Very well" Tsubaki nodded.

"Anyway, over the break we worked out a plan to get our Issei back by slowly forcing ourselves back into his life. What we didn't expect was a small complication."

"What complication?" Sona said nervously.

"Put simply, puberty hit. Instead of simply basking in his warmth like before we wanted to be embraced by his warmth. Luckily for us, or unluckily depending on who you talk to, Issei seemed okay with this and before long, 'The Sun' was 'Hottie Magnet Hyoudou'. The girls who once craved his warmth got it and then some. The best part was everyone was perfectly okay with sharing." Momo smiled.

"Then I started calling him again." Irina frowned.

Momo's happy expression turned to a scowl, "That's right. We had no idea why he changed back even for a week and admittedly some of us suspected you. Turns out we were right and even from England you were ruining everything. You always ruin things for everyone else."

"That's not fair Momo." Irina protested.

"Is it Irina. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it was a conversation with you that caused Issei to leave wasn't it?"

"That… that is true." Irina sighed.

As she listened to the conversation Sona couldn't help but find fault in her bishops words, and it was time to get a new, less biased perspective, "I can't speak for what happened back then, but Irina's talk wasn't the reason he left this time. Irina's talk was the latest incident in Issei's war with the supernatural." Sona explained.

"What do you mean?" Momo wondered and Irina and Rias were equally intrigued. Valerie already had a good idea of what she meant so she simply listened in.

"You guys created Hottie Magnet Hyoudou to help Issei get over the betrayal of losing Irina. It worked, but the supernatural still had a hold on him which is why he used the boosted gear as a necklace and why Irina calling still bothered him enough to cancel things even for a week. Even back then Issei, was fighting against his supernatural instincts because of how much it hurt him, and it was only made worse by him joining Kuoh." Sona explained.

"Come to think of it. How in the world did he miss the fact that he was going to a den of devils when he applied to Kuoh?" Valerie questioned. Considering Issei's skill that was a bad miss.

"He probably wasn't paying attention when he came for the entrance exam." Momo surmised

"You're joking." Valerie replied.

"Not at all. Issei wanted a fresh start and Kuoh is pretty far from Karasu which meant he wouldn't interact with many people who knew him besides the ones who already went here. Hell, I don't think he expected Matsuda and Motohama knowing about him so quickly." Momo answered.

"So that's why you made your two requests." Sona wondered.

"No. When he asked me to manage things for him from Kuoh's side I felt obligated to do it hence the first request. As for requesting he avoided the supernatural it was because the system we had worked really well, and I didn't want anything to interfere with it."

"Then my dear sister approached him." Valerie groaned.

"Yes, but instead of focusing on his supernatural side she focused on his Hottie Magnet side. A big mistake." Momo chuckled.

"Since he was already sleeping with three devils at the time, he knew that he could weaponize sex and he did so to great success." Rias said bitterly. It wasn't lost on her that she still hadn't slept with Issei and the only sexual things they had done, were to keep her off his back.

"That's true, but ironically that came back to haunt him when my sister made her move. If she just made him avoid me, it would've been an easy fix and although I wouldn't like it, I would understand. By keeping him from Momo, it cut off everything. He couldn't be Hottie Magnet Hyoudou without his manager and that was his sanctuary from everything supernatural. Sure, he resolved it by playing a few dangerous moves but the chink in the armor was found." Valerie explained.

"And then I goofed even more by using the 'Kuoh trip' as a way to force Issei to the Underworld." Momo cursed. He told the other managers about the supernatural figuring it wouldn't change anything because they cared about him so much. Then she used it against him by forcing him to go to the Underworld aware that the girls wouldn't set anything up since he was 'occupied'.

"So, what do we do?" Rias asked.

"Nothing" Sona said frankly.

"You can't be serious Sona." Rias replied

"I am. Right now, Issei needs to decide what's more important to him. Being Hottie Magnet Hyoudou or being the Red Dragon Emperor." Sona explained.

"Isn't the reason he's so angry because that decision has already been made for him. Based on what you girls have said his only option is to embrace being the Red Dragon Emperor." Valerie explained.

"Not necessarily. He's not a devil like us, and he's not directly connected to the church like Irina. That means, Issei's only a threat to the Khaos Brigade if he makes himself out to be one. If he stays away from us, the Khaos Brigade will leave him alone." Sona surmised.

"But he probably doesn't realize that which means we have to hope that he comes back to us in some capacity." Valerie groaned.

"Pretty much. Giving him some time away from the supernatural might be just what he needs." Sona said calmly.

"Oh crap," Irina winced but she did so out loud which caused everybody to stare at her.

Momo glared at Issei angrily, "What did you do Irina?'

"I may have…."

"Spit it out!" Momo yelled.

"I may have called my dad and asked for advice after we found out he left.

"YOU WHAT!" Momo screamed.

"I'm sorry. I needed somebody to talk to and none of you would've been any help." Irina said bashfully.

"So, what are the chances Irina's pops went to see Issei and had a man to man talk." Valerie wondered.

"Pretty high sadly." Irina sighed.

Momo facepalmed, "Congratulations Irina, you just made it worse if that's possible." Momo yelled angrily.

"Well it's too late now. Let's focus on tonight and just see what happens." Valerie frowned as she got up to leave.

"Right" Sona groaned. The Youth Devil Conference would serve as a nice distraction from what happened. At least that's what Sona secretly hoped.

(Scene Skip)

Issei ultimately sat in the church for an hour to think before making his way home. The conversation with Touji was draining and Issei was left with just as many questions as he did. "I don't get it" Issei muttered to himself.

"It seems as though everyone is a victim. Perhaps that's the problem with the supernatural." Ddraig mused.

"Yeah" Issei said calmly. The supernatural constantly made victims of circumstance out of the people who were involved with it. Rias's relationship with Riser. Xenovia and Asia getting expelled. Kiba and his wild situation. Everyone who got involved with the supernatural was caught up in drama that they couldn't avoid, and it ruined them.

Deep in thought, he found himself by the fountain where his date with Raynare ended when a surprising source spoke up.

"Issei is that you!" a female voice shouted. Issei looked up to find a girl who was about five inches shorter than he was with black hair that was halfway down her slim frame and piercing black eyes. She was wearing a black sleeveless tank top that highlighted her C cup breasts and a blood red skirt. (Shizuka's appearance is based off of Akame from Akame ga Kill)

"It's been a while Shizuka" Issei said with an odd expression on his face. Shizuka Ichizuri was the former manager of his harem in Black Moon Academy. Former because she was tired of waiting around for time with him when plenty of other guys showed interest in her and they basically broke up.

"Yes it has. Are you on the way to a date?" Shizuka wondered.

"No. I was… handling some personal matters and now I'm headed home."

"So, you have a date later?" Shizuka said with raised eyebrows.

"No" Issei sighed.

"Hottie Magnet Hyoudou without a date in sight. What the hell is Momo doing?"

"Why do you blame Momo?" Issei asked curiously.

"Nevermind" Shizuka cursed looking away for a minute.

"Shizuka." Issei stared.

Shizuka looked back and frowned, "I still look at the website on occasion." Shizuka admitted.

"That's a surprise considering you left." Issei reminded her.

"Yeah but like I told you before. I'm only able to do as much as my circumstances allow. Black Moon Academy is on the other side of Kuoh and it wouldn't surprise you to learn how popular I was. I had to make an important decision for my own sake. Would I be better off with a guy who I saw once a month no matter how awesome it was, or a guy who I could see every day? Who I could call if I had a problem and I wouldn't be interrupting him in the middle of a date?" Shizuka answered.

"And you decided that I couldn't be that guy" Issei sighed unsure of how to answer.

"That's right" Shizuka sighed before something occurred to her, "I know you said that you were okay with us breaking up Issei but is that really true."

Issei hesitated to answer before reluctantly saying what he had to, "I wasn't okay with it at all. I cared for you deeply Shizuka, but I also knew how hard it was for you to be stuck waiting around for me."

"I really wish you hadn't sad that Issei."

"Why's that" Issei mused"

"Because it reminds me about what I loved about you. It reminds me why I reached out to you just now despite the fact I'm technically your ex. Honestly, it's taking everything I have not to just forget what I had planned for today and spend the rest of the day having sex with you like old times. Issei I miss what we had but."

"But if you give in and return to the website in full, you would be caught up in everything again. It would be the same vicious cycle as it was before" Issei interrupted. Shizuka's frustration was hard to miss and it would take a simple push to have her back in his orbit once again if he wanted. But as much as he wanted her back, he couldn't do that to her. In a twisted way, she was a prisoner of Hottie Magnet Hyoudou and he couldn't do that to her.

"Yeah and that's why I've got to get going" Shizuka replied trying to stay firm on her beliefs.

"I understand. Get going Shizuka" Issei replied bitterly.

"Thank you for everything Issei." Shizuka smiled as she walked away without another word. There was no hug or kiss goodbye because both knew instinctively what it would've led to. This was the best result for both parties.

"Well that was… something." Issei frowned as he sat down on the fountain. He needed to reconsider everything that happened and look at it from someone else's eyes.

(Scene Skip)

What should've been the greatest night of her life was anything but for Rias Gremory as she arrived at the meeting hall for the Youth Devil Meeting. Azazel arranged for her and Sona's teams to arrive on dragons. Unfortunately, Rias's focus was on the dragon that wouldn't be here. "You ready guys" Rias asked calmly as she looked at her team. Kiba and Gasper were dressed in the male uniform for Kuoh and Koneko and Xenovia were in the female one. Akeno was dressed in a black kimono with a white obi and she was dressed in a red backless dress, but due to the sheer size of her breasts she needed to wear a burnt orange bra slightly above it.

"We're fine Rias. What about you?" Xenovia wondered.

"You know the answer to that Xenovia." Gasper retorted.

"Right?" Xenovia sighed. It was obvious that Rias was struggling due to the part of Issei's departure that really shook the Gremory heiress. He spent two days with Sona and despite the clear manipulation from Sona's mother and Serafall's antics he was still okay with her. It was the fact that she and Irina were next was something that he didn't want to deal with.

"Let's get moving." Rias chided, her expression telling them all they needed to know.

The group made their way through the building and arrived at the main ballroom. The large ballroom was filled with people talking and the circular chairs already set, but Rias's focus turned towards the main stage. Her brother was dressed in his formal garb with Grayfia by his side. Also up there was Azazel with Valerie and Raynare at her side Valerie was in a white V-neck dress with a very short sleeve that barely went past her shoulders and went down to her knees. It emphasized her impressive body well. Raynare was in a black cocktail dress with a high slit and thanks to the flimsy strings holding it up showed a fairly deep cleavage. Irina was also on stage wearing her priest robes but unlike Azazel Valerie and Raynare, it was clear she was uncomfortable being around the big wigs that she was.

"Hey there Rias" Sona said calmly breaking Rias from her musing. She couldn't help but chuckle at her best friend's dress, a blue dress that barely covered her knees and exposed her bra with a set of ribbons right above her breasts. It was basically designed for easy removal, something her mother no doubt knew Issei would like. A part of Rias wondered what Sona would be wearing if her mother knew Issei wasn't coming but she quickly dismissed that. Tsubaki was wearing a short sleeved green knee length dress held together by a blue sash and showed that not only did she have massive breasts but also that she was without a bra. Surprisingly, the only other member of her peerage was Saji which was an interesting choice.

"Hey Sona" Rias replied trying to keep it together.

"Are you alright Rias." Sona said nervously.

"I'll manage" Rias replied. She was struggling and she knew it.

"Well let's go. Today is only going to get harder once we see the others." Sona sighed. The young devils were difficult to deal with to say the least. Zephyrdor Glasya-Labolas was a hot head who just recently took control from his sister Megumi after beating her in a rating game, a surprising outcome considering what she knew about the two devils. Sairoarg was a nice guy and Rias's cousin, but Rias was well aware that most didn't like her cousins, emphasis on physical power instead of magic like most devils. Diodora Astaroth was pleasant but she always got an odd vibe from him that she couldn't explain. Last was Seekvaira Agares, a devil who was as intelligent as Sona, but didn't have much of a personality. This promised to be awkward to say the least.

"Look on the bright side." Rias mused.

"What bright side." Sona deadpanned.

"If Issei was here, he'd probably be flirting with Megumi." Rias smirked causing Sona to twitch. Megumi Glasya-Labolas had a body that rivaled Rias and would be someone Issei would instantly focus on if he had a chance.

"Ufufufu. I can see him paying more attention to Seekvaira actually. At least at first" Akeno smiled causing both girls to pause themselves and scowl since that was more accurate than they cared to admit. Issei was the type who would flirt with Seekvaira and then find himself fucking Megumi senseless minutes later.

"Well it doesn't matter because he isn't here. Let's focus on the meeting" Rias chided wanting to change the subject. This was going to be a long night anyway and if they continued to think about Issei. It would be much worse.

"Right" Sona replied as they made their way towards the meeting area for the Youth Devils. They would worry about Issei later. Right now, they had to represent themselves in the best way possible and that meant shoving what happened to the side.