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A Thief who became a King
Chapter 5: Devil in Disguise
"Again!" Tifa called out, prompting Raynare to summon as many Light Spears as she could and launch them at a multitude of targets. Some of them hit, but most struck the ground around the targets, and the Fallen Angel was left panting in exhaustion.
"H…How was…that?" she asked between heavy breaths.
"You're hit-to-miss ratio is still below average. Your spears miss more often than they're hitting."
"But targets don't move," she tried to argue, having caught her breath. "By having some spears surround the target, it cuts off avenues of escape."
"True, but for now I want you to focus on hitting the targets. Limit the number of Light Spears you create so that you're not needlessly wasting energy."
Huffing, the Fallen still nodded and got ready to try again before she noticed her new master walking up to her instructor from behind. "Naruto-sama," she greeted.
Tifa turned to him with a smile. "Come to watch?"
"That and to see if I can offer Raynare some insight. You mind?" he replied.
"Not at all," the beautiful bar owner said as she stepped aside, allowing Naruto to step up to the Fallen Angel.
"Show me how you gather Light Spears."
She frowned in confusion, but she complied and summoned around five spears by raising her arm and gathering her power.
"You're too obvious in gathering your spears. In battle, you can't telegraph your movements; otherwise, they're bound to miss or be countered."
"I've never summoned my spears another way, though…"
Nodding in understanding, Naruto gave her a smirk and flicked his eyes upward for a split-second. "Heads up," he warned.
Confused, she looked above her and widened her eyes at the multitude of blades made of glowing blue energy. With a yelp, she dove to the side just in time for them to rain down around where she once stood, littering it with deadly accuracy.
Breathing frantically, she turned to him in shock as he casually walked over to her. Fear gripped her as he crouched down, but she was caught off guard when he used two fingers to poke her forehead and gave her a smirk.
"See? If I never warned you ahead of time, you would've been a pincushion."
"H-How did you…?"
"Practice," he answered her unfinished question. "It took me many years to develop that move, and it isn't the only method I can use my Mirage Blades."
In a blink, a heavy-looking, double-edged blade of blue energy appeared on his back before, in another blink, it vanished. And then, as if he were showing off, he raised a solitary finger and had a smaller blade appear, spinning dangerously above it before breaking into wisps.
"You have potential, Raynare. As my newest vassal, it is my duty as your master to bring out that potential. My goal is to get you to a point where you can mimic my Mirage Blades with your Light Spears. Observe."
Raynare watched as he stood back to his full height and turned his head towards the targets she had been practicing on. In a flurry of movement, multiple blades appeared and were fired at the targets; but Naruto himself never moved a muscle.
'He didn't even twitch!' she thought in shock, eyes wide once more at how each blade fired hit its target in a flash and was dead center.
Turning back to her, Naruto calmly asked, "Do you see now?"
"You… You really think I can get to that level of skill?"
"If I didn't think it, I wouldn't have bothered to barter your life with Azazel. I would've handed you over to him alongside your former associates." Turning to her fully, he finished, "I saw nothing in them, but everything in you."
His words left her stunned silent, and they also brought a faint blush to her face. Other than Azazel, nobody had ever told her she could be someone. Most Fallen Angels looked out for themselves, so she couldn't find much support there.
But here was a Devil she was now in the service of, and he was giving her the support and inspiration that she had desperately desired. Through him, Raynare was starting to believe she could become someone far greater than she would've been otherwise.
So, inspired by him, she got back to her feet and gave the whisker-faced Devil a look of raw determination. "I won't let you down, Naruto-sama."
He graced her with another smirk and gave a brief nod before he turned and left. When he departed, Tifa turned to her with a knowing smile and asked, "Ready for more?"
"So, you'll be making your debut soon," Olga mused aloud as she and Naruto were sitting at a high-end restaurant in Tokyo. She was dressed in a dark violet, single strapped dress that hugged her curves and gave a teasing view of her cleavage thanks to the diamond-shaped cut-out in the front.
Naruto was dressed in the suit he wore when his Peerage had gathered over a week ago, minus the tie altogether. Looking over the top of the menu in his hands, he offered her a small smirk.
"Keeping tabs on me, Olga?"
"It's the way of the game, my dear," she replied easily, firing a smirk back at him. "I'm curious about how much you'll be willing to reveal. Your heritage, perhaps?"
"I'll leave that up to speculation. This job I'm doing for the Gremory Heiress is simply a means to an end so that I can have her in my back pocket. With the resources allowed to her as the heiress, I can expand my search."
"For your sister?"
Setting his menu down, he nodded once. "Not a day goes by where I don't worry about her, where I don't check to see if she's still alive. So many years have passed, and I know that I've failed her."
"That isn't true," she assured him, reaching across the table to gently grasp his hand. "The day you give up hope is the day you have failed her. You've dedicated so much in the pursuit of her, and you've lived a life in the shadows to acquire the means to keep searching. Few Devils – few people – would keep going after so long without a trace. The fact that you have not stopped speaks volumes of your character, and your devotion to those you love."
Her words helped cheer him up, and he closed his hand around hers with a faint smile. "Thank you… I needed to hear that…"
"No one can go through hardships alone, Naruto. Sometimes, we must depend on others to get back on our feet."
The two shared another small smile before their waiter came and took their orders. Dinner after that talk was a more pleasant affair, with the two swapping stories of some events they had gone through over the years.
For Naruto, he had learned more about how she had become the Queen of the Dark Elves, winning her people's trust and loyalty through her actions and her fulfilled promises. He was getting to know the woman behind the Queen and seeing just who Olga Discordia was.
For Olga, she was entertained by some of the riskier jobs that Naruto and his Peerage had taken. One in particular had her covering her mouth to stave off her laughter when it was revealed that he had been swallowed alive by a giant serpent, only for him to cleave it in two with his sword and be left coated in slime and blood.
When dinner was finished, the two departed from the restaurant arm-in-arm as Naruto led her through the city and towards a park with the blossoms in bloom. They partook in an evening stroll by a few koi fishponds before taking a seat on one of the benches.
"I keep forgetting how beautiful this country is," Naruto mused. "It amazes me that, despite how modern and ahead of its time Japan has become, they never forget their roots and what made their land so magnificent."
"Perhaps you could take some time to visit Eostia," she offered. "You and your Peerage would be treated as guests of honor, and I could show you the beauty of our country."
"My, are we feeling a little competitive, Lady Olga?" he teased, earning a harmless swat to the arm.
"Be silent. I'm serious. I would…very much like for you to come."
His teasing smile softened to a sincere one. "Well, when I'm personally invited by the lovely Dark Elf Queen, who am I to refuse?"
"You'd be a fool if you did, and you are no fool in my eyes, Naruto Sparda."
He chuckled with a shake of his head. "Not going to stop calling me that, are you? Even when I go by my maternal family name…"
"Don't deny who you are, my dear Devil," she whispered sultrily, reaching up to cup his cheek. She smirked and continued, "Few could capture my interest. Fewer still could keep my interest. And the fewest could have me give chase."
"Oh? Are you chasing me, Olga?" he fired back, staring her in the eyes as his changed from blue to crimson.
Her smirk grew as she closed the distance and melded her lips to his in a kiss. It lasted for a few seconds before she pulled back, looking pleased with herself.
"I'd say the chase is over…"
"Maybe it is," he mused, his eyes returning to their crystalline blue shade. "Or maybe it's only begun," he finished before vanishing in a burst of dark blue wisps.
She was left stunned for a few moments before she chuckled to herself, the chuckles becoming full-blown laughter after a moment. When it died down, her gaze became one of purpose as she opened a portal back to her kingdom.
"I will have you yet, my dear half-breed," she swore aloud as she vanished from the moonlit park.
When Naruto reappeared in his room, he wasn't surprised to see his [Queen] sitting at the desk looking over some old tomes. She looked up to him when he arrived, offering him a gorgeous smile as she got to her feet and moved over to him.
Embracing him, she greeted, "Welcome back, Naruto-kun. How was your date?"
"Who said it was a date?" he asked when Rossweisse pulled away, earning a roll of the eyes from her.
"Please, we all knew that it was a date as soon as Discordia-sama made that deal with you. She's been trying to snag you ever since we finished that first job for her."
"It seems my Peerage knows more than I do…"
"Only when it comes to women who desire our [King]," she teased him, leaning up to kiss his cheek and pulling away with a faint blush. "For we see that desire in ourselves every day."
That reveal threw him for a loop for a few moments before he chuckled in embarrassment. "I really am blind at times, aren't I?"
"I wouldn't say blind, more like hyper focused on other things. Things like finding clues about Lieze-sama."
"I see… Still, I hope you can forgive me for not noticing your feelings. Tifa had to show me hers a couple days ago, and it caught me off guard."
Giving him a serene smile, she cupped his cheek lovingly and then moved in to share a kiss with her [King]. When she pulled away, she saw concern in his visage and felt a wetness rolling down her cheeks.
"It's okay," she assured him, her voice thick with emotion. "I've just wanted to do that for a long time now. And now that I've done it, I can't help feeling so happy. I was always teased back in Valhalla about being the Valkyrie without a Lover, but I believe I have found the perfect one in you."
The whisker-faced Devil was incredibly touched by her words, and he pulled Rossweisse back in for another kiss, this one hungrier than the first. By the time they pulled away, they had somehow gotten onto the bed with him hovering above her as she looked to him with desire and adoration.
"Do you…?" he asked softly, getting her to nod with a smile.
"Take me as your [Queen], my beloved [King]…" she answered him.
And the night was one of blossomed love.
Rias was anxious as she awaited the arrival of her brother's [Queen] – and her sister-in-law – Grayfia to arrive followed by Riser. Apparently, her betrothed grew tired of waiting for her to graduate from school and had pushed for their wedding to be moved ahead of schedule.
With her in the Occult Research Club's house as her Peerage, who she had told to be on their best behavior; particularly Issei. She had warned him that Riser would show off his full Peerage and that they were more than likely all members of his harem. Something like that was bound to get a reaction from her breast-obsessed [Pawn], and she didn't need him to unintentionally make a scene.
Seated at her desk, she looked down at the personalized summoning tag that Naruto had given her when she accepted his offer to act as her proxy. It looked like a regular magic circle used for travel, save for the swirling insignia in the center. He had told her that it was a single-use tag and was only to be used when she was about to reveal him as her proxy.
Now, she just needed to keep waiting for the arrival of her guests, one of which was arriving now in the magic circle of her brother's Peerage.
Appearing before Rias and her Peerage was Grayfia Lucifuge, the Strongest Queen of the Netherworld and wife of the Lucifer Satan, Sirzechs. She was a beautiful young woman appearing to be in her early twenties with silver eyes and back-length, equally silver hair that featured a long braid on each side with small blue bows at the ends, while the rest of her silver tresses were let down. For clothing, she wore a blue and white French Maid outfit with long sleeves and a white maid headband over her head with red lipstick as the only noticeable cosmetic accessory.
"Rias-sama," she greeted politely with a bow. "You are well, I hope?"
"I've been better," Rias replied with an uncomfortable expression, earning an understanding nod from the woman. "I take it Riser won't be long?"
"He should arrive shortly. I assume you are still against the marriage."
"That should be obvious, considering I never wanted it in the first place."
"I'm aware of that, Rias-sama. However, this marriage was contracted in the hope of uniting two houses and-"
"Don't remind me why my father made this stupid contract," Rias cut Grayfia off with a frown. "I'm well aware of the desires my father and Lord Phenex have for myself and Riser, and I know of Riser's desire too."
"Did someone mention my name?" an arrogant voice spoke up, and Riser Phenex was revealed in a swirl of fire from his family's magic circle. "Ah, the Human Realm. How is it that you can stand being in this place, my dear Rias?"
"Humans have potential that you could never see, Riser," she answered calmly. "Let's just get this meeting over with. Why did you push forward the date of the wedding? You know that I'm to be allowed to stay here until I graduate."
"Why delay the inevitable, Rias? Whether it's before or after you graduate, the result would be the same. You and I will become husband and wife, and we will then sire a child that will become the newest Super Devil of the Netherworld."
"I've said this multiple times, Riser. I do not want to marry you, and I refuse to adhere to a contract that was made before I had any right to contest it. Besides, why should I allow you to marry into the Gremory House? After all, the only one between us who is the heir of their family name is me while your brother is the rightful heir of House Phenex."
Riser lost his arrogant expression and was looking irritated at her words.
"Even if I was looking for a suitor, I wouldn't choose you simply because you have nothing worthwhile to offer me and my family," Rias finished, a pleased smirk on her face at getting under Riser's skin.
"…When we marry, I'll have to show you what I can offer to you," he promised her threateningly.
Issei looked ready to step forward, but he caught a look from his [King] and backed off. That didn't mean he wasn't going to give Riser a warning glare for the threat.
"So, I assume you won't back down from your little act of rebellion?" Riser asked rhetorically.
"That is correct."
"Then, I also assume that you'll be challenging me to a Rating Game? It is the only way out of this contract, after all."
"You're half right," Rias answered calmly, earning a confused look from him while Grayfia faintly raised a brow in interest. "I am challenging you to a Rating Game; however, I will not be the one you will face."
"You cannot challenge me without participating, Rias," Riser argued with a frown.
"Actually," she shot down as she pulled out the copy of the contract that Naruto had gotten, "I can. Grayfia, would you mind looking at the section of the contract that deals with the Rating Game Termination?"
Still interested, Grayfia stepped forward and accepted the contract from Rias before she carefully leafed through it towards the section mentioned. When she found it, she read it over silently before spotting what Rias was no-doubt referring to.
At Rias's nod, Grayfia cleared her throat and read aloud, "Should both parties find themselves at odds on the outcome of this contract, a Rating Game between them can be used to settle the matter. As for the Rating Game participants, if both parties are obviously not evenly matched against one another, the party at the disadvantage has the option of having a proxy Peerage of similar age and experience take their place."
"According to the contract, I can have a proxy Peerage act in my place," Rias declared with a small look of triumph. "After all, my Peerage has no experience in Rating Games, and you have a full set compared to mine. My Peerage is at the obvious disadvantage here, which would make taking part in the Rating Game practically pointless."
Riser rudely snatched the contract and looked it over, searching for anything that could contest Rias's claim. When he found none, he threw it aside with a look of building frustration. He had been banking on an easy win against Rias to seal the deal on the contract and legally remove any way for her to get out of marrying him. Now, he was seeing his marriage to her starting to slip away.
"Well? Where is this proxy Peerage of yours, Rias? Show them to me so that I can see the weak trash I will dispose of and secure our marriage!" he ordered.
Rias said nothing and simply placed her finger on the summoning tag on her desk, pouring some magic into it and causing it to light up a bright violet. Taking the tag, she carried it over to the empty chair and set it down just in time for Naruto to arrive in a burst of blue wisps, hands clasped on the hilt of his sword like a cane and eyes closed as he took a breath.
Grayfia noted the sword and the feeling of darkness that came from it, and her silver eyes widened by a fraction at the sheathed weapon in the newcomer's possession. When he opened his eyes, she saw a wellspring of power hidden behind those crystalline orbs; power so reminiscent of theirs that she forced herself to hold her tongue and keep quiet.
'It can't be…' she thought to herself in slight shock. 'Those two died twenty years ago and neither of them were reported to have sired children.'
Locking eyes with the Phenex, Naruto hummed thoughtfully with a raised brow. "So, this is who I'll be facing for you, Rias?" he asked aloud. "For a child of a noble house, I'm not impressed."
"Who are you to speak to me like that, Lesser Born?" Riser questioned angrily. "I can tell right away that you're no pureblood, which makes you unworthy to face me in my eyes."
"Ah, but the choice isn't up to you now, is it?" the Uzumaki asked with a knowing smirk. "I'm here on behalf of Rias, and it's by her will that I am to face you as her proxy. You have no say in the matter."
"Why you worthless upstart!"
Ignoring his future opponent, Naruto turned to Grayfia and gave her a respectful nod in greeting. "[Queen] of Lucifer, my name is Naruto Uzumaki. I am a Devil in possession of a full set Peerage, and I have accepted the responsibility of acting as Rias Gremory's proxy. Please inform those of proper authority of Rias's decision and my acceptance," he requested courteously.
Grayfia had to admit that, despite never hearing of an Uzumaki Devil Family, the young man before her carried himself proudly, but was not so arrogant as to speak to her with disrespect.
'Although, if he is a descendant of one of them, I believe I know who the father is,' she mused while outwardly giving the whiskered blonde a nod in return. "I will be sure to do so, Uzumaki-san. As per the contract, ten days will be allowed for both Peerages to prepare for the Rating Game. Please arrive back here at the end of those ten days so that I may escort your Peerage and Rias-sama's Peerage to the Netherworld."
"I will arrive on time, ma'am," he assured her before turning to Riser with a cold smirk. "I'll see you on the field, Phenex. Come then, we'll settle the matter."
Giving Rias a nod in farewell, Naruto walked towards a random wall and unsheathed his sword. Everyone watched curiously before they were left stunned when he swung downwards and then across, creating visible cuts in space itself that opened up to reveal a dark corridor as he sheathed his weapon. He then casually stepped into the darkness as the cuts in space closed behind him and restored themselves.
"Holy shit…" Issei summarized for the group.
'No mistaking it,' Grayfia thought with a frown. 'That was the Yamato, one of the swords of Sparda. But how did he acquire it? And how is he able to use it without succumbing to its power?'
With those questions kept in the back of her mind, Grayfia stayed until Riser left before turning to her [King's] younger sister. "Rias-sama… How did you meet Uzumaki-san?"
"He just showed up one day in disguise," Rias answered.
"Disguise?" she repeated with a faint frown.
"It was just a trick to get mine and Sona's attention so that he could show us where those Fallen Angels from before were stationed. He then had a single member of his Peerage incapacitate all of the Fallen and the rogue priests working for them, capture them for Azazel, and rescue Asia from them. It was his [Bishop], I believe…?"
"Yes, it was his [Bishop], Rias," Akeno confirmed.
"What was your first impression of him?" Grayfia continued questioning.
"Well, the first impression we all got from him was a suffocating weight of power that left the Humans at Kuoh Academy practically catatonic while we struggled just to get to him. He presented himself as a disguised man with cracked skin, but he still managed to hold us all back with little effort," Rias explained, frowning at how outclassed she and Sona were that day.
"And his Peerage? He said he had a full set like Riser."
"He does, Grayfia-sama," Akeno answered her. "However, the Peerage itself has the bare minimum number of members while using all Evil Pieces."
'Interesting…' the maid Devil mused. "And what was your impression of them as a whole? Do you think they're up to the task?"
Thinking back on the conversation between Naruto, Sona, and herself, Rias recalled how Naruto had told her and Sona about the "shadow wars" that his Peerage took part in; wars that the two heiresses were left blissfully unaware of.
Nodding firmly, she answered, "Yes, I know they are. As much as I hate admitting it, his Peerage outclasses mine; despite neither of our Peerages having any experience in Rating Games."
Grayfia nodded once in understanding. "Very well. I'll relay your decision and Uzumaki-san's acceptance to Lords Gremory and Phenex. They created this contract and all of the loopholes it has within. So, they will not be able to contest your choice to use a proxy Peerage."
Smiling, Rias replied, "Tell them that I'm looking forward to being free of this contract."
"I'll pass on your message, Rias-sama. I will see you and Uzumaki-san in ten days."
With that, Lucifer's [Queen] left the ORC, and for Rias, these next ten days would bring forth a building anxiety.
But also, a rising hope.
Sipping on some scotch, Naruto looked to his Peerage as he finished relaying how the meeting had gone. "So, that's it. We'll meet Grayfia at Gremory's clubroom in ten days for the Rating Game. Use this time to try and get whatever information you can on the Chalice. I want that to become priority after the Rating Game."
"Can do, Whiskers!" Metallia assured him before nudging Rossweisse, who immediately blushed. "And Valkyrie Girl~! Who knew you had it in ya?! Scoring with Whiskers last night!"
Rossweisse looked like she wanted to sink into the floor as her fellow Peerage members gave her amused looks. It didn't help that Naruto turned away to hide his own blush and focus on his drink.
"So~? Does this mean it's open season?" Yoruichi asked eagerly, her yellow orbs gleaming.
"I'd say so," Tifa agreed. "Ross went first, after all. It's only fair that we all have our chance too."
"Especially with the Pointy Ear Queen on the prowl," Metallia added, Neo nodding in agreement with a pout.
As one, the five members of Naruto's Peerage turned towards their [King], only to see an empty barstool and the doors to the bar swinging back and forth.
"Oi! Get back here, ya damn coward and take your lumps like a man!" Metallia shouted as she chased after him, followed closely by a laughing Yoruichi and smirking Neo.
Left alone with Tifa, Rossweisse finally spoke up. "Tifa I-"
"No need for that, Ross. You knew him longer than any of us, save for Metallia. When I joined, I can tell how much you'd grown to love him, and I didn't want to come between you before you had a chance. Admittedly, when I heard that we all could share him, it was harder for me to resist; which is why I kissed him back then."
"Still, you expressed your love for him first. You should've had that moment before me."
"Nah, I don't mind waiting. Despite how dense he is, I know that Naruto loves us all. He wouldn't want us stressing over who gets what with him first. As long as we're happy with him, he'll be more than happy with us."
Sharing a smile with Naruto's [Rook], the [Queen] nodded in agreement. "That's true… I've never been happier, actually."
"I'll bet! You'll have to give me the details~!" Tifa told her with a wink.
Poor Rossweisse was left blushing a brilliant red with an embarrassed squeak.
And that's the end!
Olga is making her move! Naruto and Rossweisse have taken the romantic plunge! And Naruto has started the process of his debut in the Netherworld!
For those of you hoping for a lemon scene, I'm unsure if Fanfiction Staff is still cracking down on them or not. Didn't want to chance this story getting reported, y'know?
If they aren't cracking down on them, then I'll put a lemon next time it comes up in the story.
Next time: Uzumaki versus Phenex! Who will prevail? The Child of the Phoenix, or a Son of Sparda?
Please leave some feedback and reviews!
Until next time!
Stay safe, healthy, and positive!
Dreaming of the Future