—Student Council Room, Kuoh High School, Kuoh Town—
Rias was happy that finally she managed to reincarnate Issei who hosted Sacred Gear which contained the soul of one of the only two Heavenly Dragons as her pawn. Even though she was forced to allow him to be killed in the first place, but she could pay tribute to her dirty play by helping the boy to fulfill his dream of creating his own peerage full of woman. However, despite her happiness, Rias couldn't shake the frown at the thought that Issei was weak at the moment.
She had planned to go against her arranged marriage with that bastard Phenex by challenging him to participate in a rating game against her, and for that purpose she needed strong comrades.
So far she had Akeno, Koneko, Kiba, and Issei—only four pieces. With her included, they're only a group of five pieces. On the other hand, Riser had complete pieces. They were outnumbered. Even though Issei had high potential, Rias doubt that Issei could be as strong as she wanted him to be in less than a month—her sister in law had informed her that the bastard would come to her in less than a month. Issei wouldn't be strong enough to help her to win by that time.
She needed more peerage's member, and that was the reason why she was sitting on a sofa inside the Student Council Room.
"I'm sorry, Gremory-san, but the president is teaching Saji about magic and devil and etc. She wants you to wait for a few minutes, she will be here by then—that is if you indeed need her."
Rias stared at Tsubaki Shinra, the vice-president of Student Council and the queen of her childhood friend. Like Sona, Tsubaki was serious, polite, and very strict woman. In term of strength, she was stronger than Akeno. Tsubaki's mirror could reflect all of Akeno's lightning, her queen strongest element. That was also the reason why her queen had spent more time advancing her mastery over lightning—that sadist woman wanted to defeat the vice-president so bad.
Tsubaki was so proficient with her mirror that she could manifest dozen of it at once. Heck, Rias didn't know if she could defeat her by herself. If the mirror could reflect her power of destruction, her chance of winning was as low as Akeno. After all, unlike her and Akeno, Tsubaki was also very good with sword—and her speed was comparable to Yuuto's. However, it was highly unlikely the mirror could do that—it would be destroyed before it could reflect the power of destruction.
"Thank you for informing me, Vice-President, I will wait for that 'few' minutes," responded Rias. "By the way, Tsubaki, how many pawns she used to reincarnate that Genshirou Saji?"
As far as Rias knew, Sona had only four pawn pieces left. If she used all, it meant her peerage was complete. That calculating woman worked really fast, and she didn't use any dirty trick to increase her peerage's member. Rias hated to admit that, but she acknowledged her lost.
"4. He has a strong sacred gear. He is the reason why Sona gave you the chance to recruit your newest member. Though, he is as clueless as your pawn. But at least he's not too bothersome to handle."
"I see," Rias assumed as such.
As kind as her childhood friend was, she was still a devil. There's no way Sona would let her had Issei without competition if she had no other option. And as she feared, Sona had completed her peerage before her.
Though, Rias could care less about their rivalry. It was not important at the moment. What she needed to think was how to convince Sona to give her one of her peerage's member. Of course Saji wasn't Rias' target. Putting aside his strong sacred gear, what she needed was the one who already strong enough to help her winning the game.
Her target was naturally the mysterious knight of Sona: Naruto Uzumaki. Rias had met him four times: three in underworld and once in the school. Sona's knight was an exceptional swordman, even her brother spoke highly of him. His sacred gear was also strong ‒ he could even launch a powerful holy sword from his sacred gear. Furthermore, the blond was able to use five basic elemental magic—and he was better at it than even Akeno.
To be honest, Rias didn't know much about the blond. Sona was kinda protective of her knight; she couldn't get any personal information about him. Those four times she met him, they didn't speak much. For some reasons, Sona tried to ensure that she spoke less with the blond. If she didn't know any better, she would say that her childhood friend had eyes set on the blond—and Sona didn't want anyone to prey on him.
Wait… Could it be the actual truth?
Rias mused. It could be true. Sona was after all a strict person. For her to allow Naruto to do as he pleased even though she and the rest of her peerage were busy in school, it spoke a lot about her favoritism. But then again, Rias couldn't fault Sona. Naruto Uzumaki was a strong kind-hearted man, and he wasn't bad looking either. Having met him four times, Rias could understand that the blond also respected Sona not as the heiress of Sitri, but as a normal person—as normal as devil could be. It was natural that Sona acted the way she did.
"Sorry for making you wait, Rias. And Tsubaki, I leave Saji in your care."
Rias' thought was interrupted by that voice. When she shifted her eyes toward the woman, Tsubaki was no longer in the room. Sona then sat right on the opposite of her seat. Those cold-calculating eyes were staring at her with full force. In a moment Rias felt it was a mistake to continue her reason to be in the room, but she shook her head as she deemed that her future was far more important than a quarrel with Sona.
"So, Rias, what can I do for you?"
Rias didn't reply immediately. She was in deep thought, contemplating on how to persuade her childhood friend. Rias knew for sure that Sona didn't against trading her peerage's member as long as the said person wanted to leave her peerage in the first place. In that case, if she managed to persuade the blond to join her side, Sona would likely agree. However, if indeed that Sona had her eyes set on the blond, things would be different.
"Sona," Rias finally opened her mouth, her right hand brought a piece of knight evil piece from her pocket, putting the said piece on top of the table. "Please, let me borrow your knight for a period of time." Rias bowed her head. "I will give him back to you as soon as I beat that bastard phenex in rating games."
Short, plain and simple. That's the answer she received. However, Rias wasn't deterred. "Sona, I'm sure you can understand how desperate I am. So, please thi—"
"No." The voice which cut her sentence was voiced with such coldness that Rias felt as if she was inside a freezer. It prompted Rias to raise his head, staring nervously into those cold piercing eyes.
"Naruto isn't a tool to be borrowed nor is he a slave I can simply lend to a friend. However, if he chooses to leave my side, I'll not stop him."
Rias couldn't hide her frown at the first sentence, but the later sentence succeeded on wiping that frown away. However, before her smile blooming, Sona's emotionless voice stabbed her right in her heart.
"But unluckily for you, Rias, he is my knights, not knight."
"…Isn't Tomoe Meguri your other knight?" asked Rias hopefully.
"No, she is my rook."
"But she is good with sword!"
"Indeed she is."
Rias stared intently at those sharp eyes, seeking the lies hidden beneath it. Yet, she found nothing. Sona had said the truth, she did not deceive her. Meaning, even though Rias could persuade the blond, she would be unable to add him into her peerage. She had only one piece of her knight. Rating Games system allowed no more than two knight pieces per peerage team.
There was a solution. Rias could offer Yuuto along with the piece, but she wasn't the kind of person to treat her peerage like a tool.
"I see," Rias muttered and took back her knight piece. "Thanks for listening to my selfishness, Sona, I appreciate it a lot."
Sona nodded her head, gave no more words to reply.
Rias gave her a weak smile and walked out of the room. She disliked it that her intention met the unmovable block. But it couldn't be helped. There's nothing she could do to change it. Rias had no choice but to rely on her peerage member. Perhaps she could pressure Issei a bit so that he could be stronger, or not.
Sona shook her head and sighed in a deep breath. She had managed to hide her anger quite well. It was true that she had assume that Rias would one day suggest that to her, and she had prepared herself to reject it. But, the anger she felt couldn't be fooled. She didn't like the thought of letting Naruto leave her peerage. He was her knight. His job was to remain by her side like the knight of a princess she read in a certain fantasy-romance novel.
"It seems you are angry at something."
If not for the fact that Sona was staring at the source of the voice when those words sunk into her head, she'd have been aghast by the sudden interruption. She had not felt him at all. He just appeared out of nowhere while already taken a sitting position on the window. He sat there with those blue eyes staring at her onyx irises hiding behind her glasses.
"By the way, I'm a simple clone. As of now, my creator is taking a walk with your sister in the school's back yard."
Sona blinked twice, but the clone already disappeared before she could choke out any word. Sona blinked for a few more times, before finally she stood up and ran out of the room like her life depended on it. "I can't let her embarrass me, not in from of the whole students!" yelled the third most famous people in the entire school. She had to ambush them before her sister managed to get the attention of students.
Ignoring the confused-face of her peerage, Sona walked in a fast pace exiting the student council big room—a room that contained a couple of smaller rooms. She wanted to run, but she could not do that because it would be breaking the law. She was the president of student council; it was unacceptable for her to break the rule.
A few minutes later, after ignoring the looks given to her by the student she passed by, Sona finally arrived to the back yard of their school.
"See, Serafall, she doesn't want you to embarrass her." Naruto pointed out to the pouting Serafall while nodding his head sagely. "Now, let us see the outcome of our bet."
"Come, So-tan!" Serafall yelled with arms opened wide. "Here, jump into your beloved big sister embrace! Let us show this ignorant Naru-tan that our love toward each other is far greater than even the universe!"
In a normal condition, Sona had no problem hugging her dear big sister. However, that loud voice of her sister had gained a lot of attention. Some students peeked through the see-through window. Some other students happened to visit the back yard—the school was on its break period, after all. Their eyes glued to her and her two companions, no doubt wondering about their relationship.
"Naruto, please escort my sister to my room—you're the only one I can rely on when it comes to my sister's quirk. I'll follow you guys shortly."
"Sure. Let us go, Serafall. Ah, don't cry. Sona just, uh, she is just a shy girl. You can pamper her when no eyes looking, and who knows that may be she will give you a kiss, or two."
"I'm not a shy girl," murmured Sona with cheeks tainted in pink, but those two had left her alone before those words managed to travel through air.
"Er, President, are those your sister and brother in law?" One of the nearby students asked, causing all attention to center around Sona. "They look young! If not for your older sister claiming to be your older sister, I'd have thought that she is the younger sister."
Sona sighed, before using a middle scale of [Illusion Magic] to erase the memories they had just witnessed. After all, even though they're having a break, having her family members wandered around the school without permission was within the rule that shouldn't be broken. If the student's family came to visit, they had to wait in the waiting room. Only then could they walk around the school without problem.
Done with erasing the students' memories of a certain event, Sona left the back yard to return to the student council big room.
When Naruto and Serafall arrived inside the big room of the student council, Sona's peerages were already there. Naruto also noted that Sona had a new member, and his sensor told him that the boy had four pawn pieces inside him. He had such a unique sacred gear—four sacred gears which actually connected toward each other. Naruto could tell that the boy had the potential to be quite strong.
"It has been a while, Tsubaki and girls." Naruto greeted, gently dragging the [Ice Magic] master to sit on one of the empty sofa. "Who is the blond that looks like he's going to collapse?"
"It has been a while, Naruto," Tsubaki returned the greetings—and it were followed by the five other girls. "This is Genshirou Saji—he has just become a devil for a week. The reason why he's going to collapse is because he has just been training. And Saji, he is Naruto Uzumaki, President's knight and the strongest knight in Underworld (he is also the one I mention earlier)."
Naruto raised one of his eyebrows as Saji suddenly stared at him with one hundred percent focus. Naruto didn't know what Tsubaki told the guy about him, but it was no doubt the reason why the blond stared at him like he was an opponent he couldn't beat.
"Prove it!" demanded Saji, his tone and eyes told Naruto that he's not joking. He wanted Naruto to prove his strength. For what end, Naruto knew not. But, it hardly mattered. Seeing a teen looking at him with such manly gaze, the best he could do was honoring the new peerage member of Sona.
Naruto raised his left index finger—his right hand was busy patting Serafall's head who was still murmuring "my dear little sister doesn't love her big beloved sister anymore". The room suddenly glowed, forming a barrier strong enough to hold Naruto's full strength in base-form.
"Very well," he said, and the room shook violently in instant. In a second, Saji collapsed. The rest could handle his power because Naruto focused his intent only on the blond. Otherwise, none would be left standing the pressure he caused.
"Can someone tell me, what causes him so worked up?" That question left Naruto's mouth as soon as the pressure and the barrier disappeared.
"Saji has a big crush on Sona," Tsubaki admitted, the rest nodded their head in agreement—she along with Momo picked the unconscious Saji and put him on the long empty sofa near the window.
Naruto didn't get it. What was the problem with that? If Saji loved Sona, why would he so worked up with Naruto. "He should show that kind of courage to Serafall," murmured Naruto. "After all, Serafall is the main obstacle for anyone brave enough to seduce her beloved little sister. Right, Serafall?"
"Absolutely!" exclaimed Serafall with a newfound energy. "I'm the one who will marry So-tan! I will crush anyone dares enough to challenge my position!"
"I'm not going to marry you, big sister, it is unhealthy!" Sona entered the room, her right hand had found its place on her forehead—massaging it, lessening the headache she suffered. "Anyway," she said as she sat herself on the sofa at the opposite side of Naruto—Serafall didn't waste time to throw herself at her sister. "It is nice to see you again, Naruto. Are you going to finally leave the underworld?"
"It seems so," admitted Naruto. "Besides, I've said that I will join you in a year or two."
A small genuine smile appeared on Sona's lips. Though, Sona quickly hid the smile when the stares of the females rested on her face. She faked a cough, before saying, "Anyway, I have prepared your uniform. If you fine with it, I can arrange your enrollment right away so that you can start joining us tomorrow."
Naruto wasn't interested in joining them in a class. He would rather play with Serafall than sitting in a classroom for hours. Nope. No way. Naruto wouldn't join any class. He wanted to say that. But, looking at those onyx irises full of expectation, it was hard to refuse. Not to mention that Sona had prepared the uniform.
Naruto would listen to his mother's advice: "Don't disappoint a woman expectation when the woman has already prepared everything. That is not the act of a gentleman."
"If it makes you happy, I will attend the school with you."
Naruto and Serafall left the school two hours since their arrival. It wasn't an easy feat to persuade Serafall to leave her sister, but he had managed to do that just fine. Naruto had known Serafall for four years and dozens days, she was not hard to convince as long as the words given to her were credible. Since Naruto was close enough to know personal things of Sona, Serafall had no reason to doubt his words.
Currently, as promised, they were heading to Kyoto. Precisely, they had arrived to the outskirt of the city. Serafall had sent her familiar beforehand as not to surprise the leader of the city of youkai. Hence, it was understandable that as soon as they reached the closest shrine, a priestess—Naruto sensed her as youkai in disguise—asked them to follow her.
"You are devil, yet I can feel the energy similar to us in you," the woman muttered. "And I certainly know you're not a youkai reincarnated into devil, either."
"If you can sense that, it means you are very good at sensing," stated Naruto. "In fact, you're better at it than most beings."
"Thanks for the compliment, but it will not make me think any better of devil. Lady Yasaka is kind and passionate. She ignored the past mistakes in order to forge a better future. But the majority of youkai shall not forget it. Remember that."
That cold statement caused both Naruto and Serafall to look at the priestess, but the woman just ignored them.
"Of course, we will not forget the sin caused by our kin—even though most of them caused by the old satan faction." Serafall replied—her smile was anything but kind.
"You better not."
It ended the conversation. And not long after, they crossed the border in between the Human's Kyoto and Youkai's Kyoto. A few tengus welcomed them. The priestess left them on their hand and returned to the Human's Kyoto, Naruto and Serafall then being guided toward the palace where the leader of youkai's waiting.
Changes to Sona's Peerage:
Queen: Tsubaki Shinra
Knight (2, mutated): Naruto Uzumaki Rook: Tsubasa Yura
Rook: Tomoe Meguri
Bishop (2): Reya Kusaka
Pawn (4): Genshirou Saji
Pawn (2): Momo Hanakai
Pawn (2): Ruruko Nimura
*Naruto will create an enchanted clone to be inhabited by Kurama. The clone is connected to the Eight Trigrams Seal. So, if the clone is killed, Kurama will return to the original. Think of it like Rimuru and Veldora relationship—that is if you read Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken manga.