Here's the first chapter of the poll-winning story!
Disclaimer: pain17ification owns nothing
A Thief who became a King
Chapter 1: Roll Call
It was a rainy night in the Japanese town of Kuoh. Yet, despite the weather, there were still plenty of people out and about, embracing the nightlife the town had to offer. Whether it was one of the small clubs, one of the late-night arcades, or going to see the newest feature film of the month. It was simply another night to enjoy.
However, the current buzz for the adults of Kuoh was the opening night of the town's newest bar. Promotions for the bar had been handed out in the form of flyers during the final week of its construction, with everyone who brings a flyer getting a free shot.
With the purchase of a cocktail, of course.
Built near the poorer part of Kuoh, Seventh Heaven definitely stood out compared to the other buildings and structures of the town. Instead of looking modern or even Asian in design, the bar/restaurant had a Texan-style and was a primarily made of strong, resilient wood compared to the stone and plaster of commonplace buildings.
It was also rather large, being two stories. The first story was the main hub; the bar and restaurant. Meanwhile, the second floor had fully furbished rooms and acted as sort of hotel for anyone needing a place to sleep.
It was also available to anyone to inebriated to make it home safely.
A line had already formed outside of the bar, with the people eagerly awaiting for the doors to open so that they could partake in food and drinks and get their first real impression of the potential new "hotspot" of Kuoh. Their patience would soon be rewarded, for the doors opened and a young woman stepped out to greet them.
She was a real beauty, as seen by many men (and even a couple women) blushing at the sight of her. Standing a little over five feet, she had long, dark-brown hair that could've easily been mistaken for black if the light wasn't hitting it right. Said hair fell to just below her waist and was tied near the end to resemble a dolphin's tail. Her eyes were an exotically dark red and she wore a white tank top, a black, pleated mini-skirt with a belt and suspenders, equally black shorts underneath, red and black gloves that extended to her elbows, and red-black boots with black stockings.
With a gorgeous smile that was equally as inviting as it was lovely, she moved to the side and held the door open. With a barely noticeable accent, she announced, "Welcome to Seventh Heaven, everyone! C'mon in!"
Some people cheered at this and everyone was ushered inside the bar. The restaurant itself was designed primarily with wooden tables, benches, and stools. At the back was the bar containing several drinks on display, and a small kitchen area off to the side that was seen via the serving window. A jukebox and pinball machine occupied one corner while a large television screen was located on the wall behind the bar. Finishing off the interior were neon-lit signs that read "Texas", "Pizza", and "Draft Beer".
All-in-all, the new place looked inviting and had plenty of delicious items that patrons were more than ready to partake in.
Staring at the happy customers from the door, Tifa Lockhart had a proud smile on her face. So far, the opening night was going well, and she sent a mental thanks to her benefactor for helping her get the place built. She had wanted to run a bar for a couple years now, and when she brought up the notion, she was expecting to have to wait for longer than she actually did.
That's how long it took for her to get this place, and she was once again reminded how generous her boss was. When she had met him many years ago, and when he offered her a place in his group, she had been skeptical and dubious of his sincerity.
But now? Now, she was thinking that her doubts back then were unfounded. He was unwaveringly supportive of her and her fellow members, refusing to lord his position as the leader of their group over their heads. Sure, he asserted his authority here and there; but he never abused that authority.
Truly, Naruto had proven to be a wonderful [King] to her.
Hearing one of the bartenders call out to her, she mentally shook off her thoughts and smiled beautifully as she made her way behind the bar. She had work to do and customers to serve!
Deep within the woods surrounding Kuoh, some steam could be seen escaping into the air above the thick trees. If one were close enough to smell the steam, nine out of ten of them would've more than likely gagged and/or emptied the contents of their stomach onto the earth.
The steam, and foul odor, was coming from a ridiculously oversized pumpkin that had its insides dug out so it could serve as a mixing pot. Sitting about a foot over a fire, a greenish-gray substance was seen bubbling to a boil, with each busted pocket of air releasing more of the vomit-inducing aroma into the air.
The one responsible for the cooking foulness was a woman with strawberry blonde hair that was styled with a pair of braided tails; though it didn't hold all her hair. Atop her head was a wide-rimmed hat that was pointed in the center with the tip of the point having a tail that turned from black to orange to yellow, as if it was the tip of a flame. The hat itself had a purple diamond with a pink slit surrounded by a yellow border, making it resemble an eye of sorts while the bottom of its conical tip had upward points that looked like fangs in an underbite.
As for her clothes, she wore black shoes with the front tips rising up and curling back, puffed black pants that had a section between the thighs and lower legs cut out (making it look like she also wore shorts), a black top that was basically a bra that somehow covered her breasts despite only being seen on her chest with nothing in the back, and a black-red neckpiece that was tied in the front.
Her eyes were a bright green with black oval-shaped pupils surrounded by a faint black ring, with the green on the inside of the rings taking a darker shade of green. And those eyes portrayed nothing short of gleeful delight as she stirred her makeshift pot, mixing the thing she was cooking while taking a nice, long whiff of the odor.
"Oh, yeah…" she sighed out blissfully. "That's the stuff! Gotta remember to thank Whiskers for fetching those ingredients for me!"
She chuckled as she remembered the look of reluctant agreement on Whisker's face when she told him exactly what she needed for this brew she was concocting. But really, such a look was to be expected when one of the ingredients was sweat from an Oni demon.
Seriously, though! She didn't expect him to go through with it, though! It cracked her up!
"Almost finished," she muttered to herself. "Just need to add the porcupine quills…"
Grabbing the ingredient in question, she snapped the quills into smaller pieces before dropping them into the brew and mixing them in. When the coloration changed from a disgusting gray to a deep violet, she grinned widely and showed off her fanged teeth without a care.
"That's the ticket!" she exclaimed, walking away while her ladle gained a green glow outlining it as it kept stirring the brew.
When she returned, she had a handful of rounded glass vials with corked openings in her arms. Still acting independently, the ladle scooped up some of the concoction and poured it into a vial before repeating the process until all ten of them were filled. There was just enough, too, for the pumpkin pot had been scooped clean of the elixir with its innards being exposed.
"Excellent! Can't wait to try these babies out!" the woman eagerly declared to nobody as she put the filled vials into a rucksack that she held on her back via straps. "Nobody brews crazier shit than Metallia the Swamp Witch!"
With that proclamation came an almost mad laugh as Metallia turned around and walked away from her campsite. Her destination?
A certain bar owned by a fellow member of her [King's] group.
The sounds of distant thunder caught the attention of a few people in Kuoh, with some of them trying to locate the general direction it was coming from. It was a common thing people do when they hear the echoes that usually accompanied flashes of lightning.
Thankfully, the town was only experiencing the rain, and the storm was a fair distance away from their home. Last time Kuoh was hit by a major storm, it knocked out power to a large portion of the town. They didn't want to go through that hassle again.
On a more positive note, depending on who you asked, the electric companies made plenty of commissions when the storm ended.
Unknown to them, the lightning wasn't exactly natural. Sure, Kuoh was experiencing rain; but it was nowhere near the level to be accompanied by thunder and lightning. No, this storm was actually caused by someone darting around the rainclouds as they made their way to the town.
Another bolt of lightning raced across the sky, and if one were close enough, and observant enough to catch it, they would see that the tip of the bolt was outlining a woman.
When the outline of electricity left her, one could see that she was a slender and well-endowed woman of average height. She had dark skin, golden eyes that gleamed with mischief, and dark violet hair that was waist-length and kept in a ponytail with chin-length bangs framing the sides of her face. Her attire consisted of a black backless and sleeveless undershirt, an orange over-shirt with two white straps on each shoulder, a large beige sash around her waist, and black stretch pants with a pair of lightweight brown shoes. Finishing off the outfit were long beige wrist and leg warmers, each secured by bands.
What really stood out for this woman was that she had feline ears and a cat's tail, each the color of yellow lightning and sparking with some restraint. Her grinning face also showed some fangs like a wild cat.
She stood within a cloud, her feet creating small platforms of lightning that she stood on as if they were solid ground. Her arms were crossed as her tail swayed slowly and her cat ears twitched sporadically, with each twitch creating a small electric spark. Her gaze was focused on the rainy town before homing in on the neon sign of a certain bar.
A bar that a friend of hers had recently built.
Nodding to herself, she enshrouded her form in lightning once more before shooting across the cloudy night sky, darting from cloud to cloud as she made her way to the bar. With a flash, the lightning vanished, and from the shadows of an alley near Seventh Heaven came a small black cat golden eyes that gleamed in the nighttime city lights.
The feline made its way to one of the open windows before leaping onto the windowsill and dropping into the bar unseen by anyone. Despite the numerous people walking around and enjoying their night, the cat maneuvered her way across the floor and snuck into the kitchen before leaping on an empty countertop.
She observed the cooks preparing food for the hungry customers before spotting the owner of the bar stepping in.
"Update on the veggie pizza?" she asked politely.
"Another couple minutes, Boss Lady!" the cook replied after checking on the order.
She would've left the kitchen if she didn't spot the cat staring at her. Her dark red eyes rolled in amusement before she pointed to the ceiling and holding up four fingers. With her silent message given, she left the kitchen to return to the bar.
As for the cat, she seemed to smirk before making her way out of the kitchen and sneaking upstairs. Approaching the room designated with the number "4", she looked around before confirming the coast was clear.
In a brief flash of light, the woman from before, minus the feline features, was seen standing before the door. Smiling, she stepped inside and turned on the lights before making her way to the miniature fridge. Opening it, she smirked when she saw the container of chilled sake along with a note tied to it.
Grabbing it, she read aloud:
Yoruichi, lay low until closing and I'll give you a second bottle. Don't want a bar fight to start over who can buy you a drink fastest.
This time, she was the one who rolled her eyes before balling up the note and tossing it in a bin before grabbing the sake bottle. Taking a sip, she sighed blissfully before lounging on the bed in the room to enjoy herself.
It was still a couple hours til closing, after all. She had time to kill.
"BOOBS!" exclaimed an average looking young man with brown hair and eyes.
"Issei, please focus," sighed out a redheaded young woman, closing her blue-green eyes.
She and her Peerage were currently dealing with a Stray Devil by the name of Viser, who looked like an attractive nude woman from the waist up, but a disgusting monster from the waist down. Rias Gremory, heiress of the Gremory House, was hoping to use this extermination assignment to show the capabilities of a Peerage to her newest [Pawn], Issei Hyoudou.
The group consisted of herself, Issei, Akeno Himejima her [Queen], Kiba Yuuto her [Knight], and Koneko Tōjo her [Rook]. In the eyes of the public, they were known as the Occult Research Club (ORC for short), but they were in fact all Devils with Rias being the only pureblooded Devil among them while the rest were known as Reincarnated Devils thanks to becoming members of her Peerage.
As Rias took the time to explain what each Evil Piece gifted the recipient, nobody was aware of the seventh presence that was also inside the abandoned building. They observed the ORC take care of Viser and render her from the overconfident traitor of her Master to the pathetic being begging for death.
"This is checkmate," Rias stated calmly, ending the Stray Devil with her Power of Destruction.
The hidden person rolled their eyes at the lame pun, though they showed interest in the Sacred Gear on the left arm of Rias's perverted [Pawn]. It looked like a simple red gauntlet with a green gem, but there was some potential hidden there; invisible to anyone who couldn't look deeper.
When the ORC left the building, a corner of the room gained some strange glowing cracks before shattering like glass and revealing the one who had been previously hidden. It was a rather petite young woman who had a closed pink parasol lazily resting on her right shoulder.
She had long and thick hair that reached her waistline, half of it a brown color while the other half was pink with white streaks mixed in. Her eyes followed this same color scheme with her left eye brown and her right eye being pink. With a blink, those eyes both became white and gleamed mischievously as they looked to the door the ORC exited.
Her outfit consisted of a chocolate brown jacket that started just below her shoulders and above her chest and had a pink interior, two brown belt shoulder straps and twin gray button seams. Around her neck, she wore a gray scarf while her chest was covered by a white vest-styled top that is strapless and cropped exposing her midriff which was held closed by three large gray buttons. On her arms, she sported a pair of chocolate brown detached sleeves with puffy tops and a pink trim alongside a pair of white funnel cuffed gloves with gray button detailing. She also wore white belted pants and black/white spat styled ankle boots with cutout detail just above the ankle. The back of her brown jacket had a small, coned ice cream keychain that was mostly concealed by her hair. Finishing off the look was a black bowler cap with a white feather tucked within its red band.
She took a moment to look, observing the bigger mess the ORC made of the place during their extermination of Viser. Strolling leisurely, she playfully kicked a small piece of rubble that ricocheted off the wall and headed for one of the windows.
Upon breaking it, her eyes darted back to the door and smirked when she heard the sound of someone approaching at rapid speed. Her eyes flashed pink in delight before her form faded from sight, just in time to avoid being spotted by Kiba who had rushed back in with a sword drawn.
"See anything?" the voice of Rias called to him as the ORC made their way back inside.
"Nothing, Buchou… I can't sense anything, either," her [Knight] answered her.
"Odd… Are you sure you heard something, Koneko?"
The shorter girl nodded once. "I heard glass breaking…"
Akeno moved to the window and looked around both inside and out of the building. "Maybe an animal knocked something over?" she suggested as she re-entered the building.
"Maybe," Rias hesitantly agreed.
Unseen by her, or anyone, the pink-eyed girl from before was standing directly in front of the redheaded Devil. A confident, almost cocky smile was on her face as she remained obscured from sight, smell, or sense. All Rias had to do was take a step or two forward, and she'd be bumping her.
"Let's go. It was probably nothing," Rias concluded, summoning a magic circle beneath everyone before the vanished.
As soon as they left, she revealed herself as reality once again shattered like glass. She had her fun, and it was time to leave.
Her pocket buzzed, and she pulled out a cellphone that had a message for her. Taking a second to read it, her smirk dropped to a soft smile before she pocketed the phone and strolled away.
Time for the gang to get back together.
"Thanks again for your business!" Tifa bid the last of her customers that departed for home. Turning to her staff, she smiled brightly and stated, "I think we can call this opening night a major success. You all were amazing, and I can't thank you enough for helping me make such an impression on everyone who came."
"We knew you were standing on a success, Boss Lady," one of her cooks replied, smirking at her. "We just wanted to take part."
"I'm just glad I didn't make any mistakes with the drinks," a bartender sighed out in relief, a smile on her face. "Thanks again for the opportunity."
The others also thanked Tifa before wishing her a good evening and leaving for home. With her staff gone, Tifa closed the doors and slowly walked through her bar. Her hand softly glided across a table as she strode past it, and she sat upon a stool that gave her a perfect view of the whole interior.
A proud smile adorned her face, pleased that her goal of being a bar owner had started off so well.
The sound of someone coming downstairs caught her attention, and she turned to see that it was Yoruichi who had brought down the nearly finished bottle of sake. Smirking, she jiggled the bottle teasingly while Tifa rolled her eyes in amusement and stood up to go behind the bar.
Setting a second bottle of sake on the counter, she kept digging around before pulling out a small glass that had a little bit of ice resting inside it. She turned to her shelves and reached up for one of the finer scotches before pouring a small serving, making the signature Scotch on the Rocks.
The doors to the bar opened, and the two women turned to see Metallia. "Sup, bitches?" the swamp witch greeted. "Got any Everclear?"
"You able to afford it?" Tifa fired back with a challenging smirk.
Clicking her tongue in response, Metallia grumbled, "Stingy…"
"Excuse me for having a business to run, now. I can't afford to give away too much; especially when it's ridiculously expensive."
Metallia rolled her eyes. "Uh-huh… So, any idea where Whiskers is?"
"Haven't seen him since I was sent to Kyoto," Yoruichi answered before turning to the door. "Hey, Neo."
The petite woman smirked to them as she stepped into the bar. She took a moment to take in the interior before turning to Tifa and giving an almost mocking bow.
"So glad you approve," Tifa sarcastically replied to Neo's critique of her place, moving to lock up the bar doors before turning back to the others. "Now that we're all here, we can get things moving."
Grabbing the glass of scotch, she moved over to the pinball machine and reached behind it before inserting a key and twisting it. A part of the wall beside the pinball game went inward a few inches before sliding aside and revealing a hidden elevator to the ladies. Tifa stepped inside and waited for the others with an expectant look on her face.
"Nice feature," Yoruichi commented with a small chuckle. "Was this your idea?"
"We need a place to meet without anyone noticing, so I offered this idea to Naruto," Tifa answered as Metallia and Neo joined them in the elevator.
The bar owner pressed a button, which had the wall reseal itself from the outside before the platform they were on began to descend. After a few moments moving down, a hidden bunker was revealed to them that they stepped into.
The bunker was a small concrete room, which housed mapping and communication facilities, a computer hub, a television screen showing different angles of the bar above, and a small leather couch. At the center was a large table, where various plans were written on paper, as well as on the whiteboard nearby; though most of the plans differed from one another. The table had plenty of seats for them while the couch was occupied by someone that was slightly obscured from view.
Beside the seated person was another young woman with beautiful silver hair that reached the backs of her knees and enticing aquamarine eyes. She wore a simple business suit that was a dark gray color, with a white undershirt and a pink ribbon in her silver tresses.
She greeted the others with a kind smile as they took their seats, accepting the glass of scotch from Tifa before offering it to the seated individual. "Congratulations on your opening night, Tifa. I'm glad that your efforts paid off so well."
Smiling back, she replied, "Thank you, Rossweisse. I was worried about how tonight would go, but I'm glad my worries weren't an issue."
"That just shows how prepared you were for this night," the seated person noted, their voice that of a young man.
Leaning forward so that they were more in the light, it was revealed that he was man nearing his twenties with wild, but short, blonde hair and deep blue eyes while whisker markings were seen adorning his cheeks. He wore a comfortable black suit that had the top mostly opened, a white button-down shirt with the top buttons undone, and a black tie loosely hanging around his neck.
He raised his drink as both a thanks to her and as his own gesture of congratulations. "I'm glad I was a part of you realizing your own personal goal, Tifa."
"Thank you, Naruto," she replied, her voice thick with emotion and her smile full of gratitude for him. "I don't think I'd have this bar for a long time if it wasn't for you."
"Well," he began, leaning back on the couch and getting comfortable, "it was a win-win situation for us. You get the bar you've wanted, and we get a base for ourselves; one that is well-hidden from prying eyes."
The others nodded in agreement.
"Now, how did everyone's assignments go?"
"Got the elixirs made, Whiskers," Metallia replied, setting her rucksack on the table with a pleased grin. "Thanks again for nabbing those supplies I needed. I can't wait to see the results!"
He chuckled at her enthusiasm. "Neither can I. However, hopefully we won't be forced into a situation where we need to use them so soon."
Yoruichi went next. "Yasaka agreed to speak with you. However, she's rather busy for the next month, so it won't be until then that you can schedule a meeting."
"That's fine. I know how busy she can be, considering those radical Human groups trying to expose Yōkai to the people of Kyoto." He then turned to the final member and asked, "Anything worth noting, Neo?"
She hummed thoughtfully while tapping the bottom of her lip. After a moment, she Signed out her findings to him, to which he frowned faintly.
"So, the Gremory girl is working with her [Pawn]… And his Sacred Gear feels…incomplete. Interesting… And you said it looks like a standard Twice Critical for the moment?"
Neo nodded once.
"Hmm… Perhaps it isn't fully awakened yet. Keep an eye on him and any changes that might happen. What about the Sitri girl?"
The mute girl gave a so-so motion with her hand before Signing her report to him.
"Nothing too interesting, then… Alright, keep tabs on her group too. We never know what could happen with two heiresses occupying a single city. Also, I want everyone to keep an eye out for Fallen. I saw one walking around while trying to suppress his energy. They're up to something, and I want to know before Gremory or Sitri do."
He received nods from the others before he gestured to the television screen. Static was seen for a moment before it showed the image of a rusted looking chalice with dusty red gems on each cardinal point near the rim.
"This is the next artifact that our group has been requested to retrieve. It is currently being held within the territory of the Angels and guarded by some of their clergy. A group following someone named Seiros made the request."
"That's the Chalice of Beginnings," Metallia spoke up.
"Know anything significant about it?"
"Mainly rumors. Apparently, it could be used to revive some sort of progenitor god by using the blood of the four apostles that served them. Don't know much else about it, Whiskers."
He nodded in understanding. "Anyway, we've been offered a substantial fee for bringing them this chalice, considering the risk behind the heist involved."
"Should I look into it some more before we make any real plans, Naruto-kun?" Rossweisse queried.
"Couldn't hurt… I'll wait until whatever the Fallen here in Kuoh are doing to blow over before I start putting more focus on securing the chalice. In the meantime, I want Yoruichi to get in touch with our insider. See if they can shed some light on what they're planning."
"I can do that," the dark-skinned woman replied with an easygoing smile.
"And Tifa," Naruto continued, getting her attention, "I'll be having a guest coming here to Kuoh in about a day or two. We'll give them Room Seven for their stay."
"I'll make sure it's nice and clean for their arrival," Tifa assured him. Room Seven was the nicest of all the rooms available on the second floor, being comparable to a suite when contrasted against the remaining six rooms.
"Metallia, I'll have you assist Rossweisse in looking into the Chalice of Beginnings more thoroughly. Also, see what information you can get on this progenitor god that its rumored to bring back."
"Sounds like we'll be in for some fun nights, senpai," teased the witch, making Rossweisse fight a faint blush.
"As for me, I'll poke the hornet's nest a bit; see how Gremory and Sitri react to foreign presences in their territory. For now, I'll say this meeting is over. Thanks for coming so promptly."
"You're our [King], Foxy," Yoruichi waved off. "Despite the free reign you give us, we still answer to you."
"She's right, Naruto. Besides, I'm indebted to you for how much you've done for me over the years," Tifa added, smiling gratefully.
"You got me free from my own leash, Whiskers," Metallia added, frowning at memories of the past. "I'll follow you until the end."
Neo simply smirked at him, those her eyes were both pink with delight aimed toward him.
"And you already know about my feelings on the matter, Naruto-kun," Rossweisse rounded off, giving him a soft smile.
He chuckled at their responses, taking another sip of his scotch before setting it down. "I couldn't have asked for a better Peerage…"
Lifting his palm, the girls saw a lily flower with golden petals appear floating above his hand. His gaze grew distant, lost in memories of his past as they gazed upon the floating flower.
"I'm sure Lieze would agree…" he murmured somberly before returning the flower to his pocket dimension. "Everything I do is in her memory… And I can only ask that you help me reach my goals as I help you reach yours."
Giving him a shared look of pure determination, the members of Naruto Uzumaki's Peerage nodded once to him. They would stay by his side.
Until the end…
Alright! This opening chapter is officially finished!
Now, this chapter was mainly meant to showcase the lovely ladies I've chosen to fill up Naruto's Peerage. Starting next chapter, and lasting for a few more after that, I'll go over Naruto's origins in the Netherworld and how he grew into a [King] worthy of their respect.
As for which Pieces each lady represents, I'll show you!
King: Naruto Uzumaki [Naruto series]
Queen: Rossweisse [DxD series]
Bishop: Metallia the Swamp Witch [Witch and the Hundred Knight series]
Knight: Yoruichi Shihōin [Bleach series]
Rook: Tifa Lockhart [Final Fantasy VII]
Pawn: Neopolitan (Neo) [RWBY series]
Remember that his Peerage uses ALL the Pieces, but has the MINIMUM amount of members.
Taking that into consideration, I think I made some pretty solid choices, if I do say so myself! And I hope you lovely readers will agree with the choices!
Please let me know your thoughts, hopes, and/or concerns for this chapter and future story in a review! I really want to know what you guys liked or disliked so that I can use the critique to try and improve!
Until next time:
Stay safe! Stay healthy! Stay positive!
Dreaming of the Future