NOTE (05/04/2023): Before you read any of this "story", I might as well get some things out of the way. I have, as of late, buried the hatchet with Third Fang. While I stad by a number of my opinions, I'll admit I could have expressed them in a healthier way. He has graciously helped with another crossover between GAIWP and ADLH that I am also involved with, called I'm Too Sober For This. His help has proven invaluable. However, I'm not in a hurry to delete this because, while I won't say I'm proud of it, it did give me a chance to take a shot at writing something longer than a college essay.
With this, I draw a line in the sand. I own neither franchise, nor the two stories I'm using as a premise for this. I am not an experienced fanfic writer, so don't expect this to be a masterpiece on any level. A few things to say before we get started: If you're one of those folks who think that Third Fang is the Second Coming of Christ when it comes to fanfiction, you'd do well to be on your way; if you love Jasmine Redsmith and think her behavior is completely justified, you may as well click the "Back" button. If you disagree with how he's handling his story "Go Away I'm Watching Porn", but don't want to see my dealing with the bullshit elements of it, either leave or press Ctrl+F and type "concession"; otherwise read and review, and don't pull any punches. If you ARE Third Fang, I make no apologies. You brought this on yourself. With that out of the way, it's time I put the following quote into action:
"There's a difference between having a sympathetic backstory and actually being sympathetic."
~Linkara, History of Power Rangers
(NOTE: This has gone through some big changes. Scroll down to the post-chapter A/N if you wanna know more first.)
"You hurt Nee-san."
The boy's brown hair concealed his eyes, but I had no doubt they were blazing.
"She hurt them first," I replied bluntly, "after picking a fight with them for no reason."
"You hurt Nee-san."
I gave him an unimpressed look. It was obvious he wasn't going to say anything other than those three words until he launched his attack. I began tracing the two weapons I'd prepared for this confrontation as he kept repeating the sentence over and over.
He began to pull something out of his pocket.
And that was when I acted.
The first knife flew from my right hand with all the accuracy and precision I had come to expect from one of my projectile attacks. My aim was true: it collided with the object-a cell phone-and knocked it to the floor, tiny electric sparks emerging from the device as it died.
Before the boy could do anything else, I was suddenly within his personal space, the other weapon I had traced pressed against his groin.
"Restrain yourself," I ordered, my voice hard as steel, "or I'll make sure your mother never becomes a grandmother, Hyoudou-san."
The boy's gaze went to the knife. "Rule Breaker," he said in a low whisper.
"Oh, so you know this weapon? Good, then you know you'll lose more than your manhood if I cut you with it. Again, restrain yourself."
He was silent, then sneered. "Nice try, asshole, but my Gear doesn't work like that. At most, you'd only deprive me of my powers for a short time."
I was undeterred. "I only need an instant, Hyoudou-san. You'd be so disoriented from the, if only brief, loss of your powers-and in so much pain from the loss of your privates-that I could follow this up with a possible killing strike and you wouldn't be able to defend yourself from it. Now, for the final time, restrain yourself."
That killing part was a bluff, of course-I keep my promises, especially to sweet little girls. But he didn't need to know that.
Slowly-very slowly-the aura of pure, unbridled rage began to die down, and the boy looked me in the eye.
"Because both you and Redsmith-san are behaving like undisciplined, spoiled children," I said stonily, keeping the dagger pressed against his private area. "And it's high-time you both got the beating you deserved."
I'm not surprised by this. Not at all. I mean, how could I be?
I sold my soul to a devil who thinks she's a magical girl and harbors incestuous feelings towards her sister. I walked in on a Cthulhu ritual while searching for the bathroom. I befriended a cat demon with a bottomless appetite. My Bishop is an underage drinker who struck up a friendly chat with a notorious Fallen Angel, and named her familiar-a terrifying Hydra!-"Miss Peanut Wigglebutt". My Knight thinks I'm King Arthur. A crossdressing dhampir with an addiction to video games lives in my basement. A super-powerful, bloodthirsty dragon girl with a fondness for cats serves as my Queen. My own sister was corrupted by the devil I sold my soul to, and to top it off, befriended aforementioned dragon girl. My King's father looks like Santa Claus. The ruler of hell is a nudist with a maid-dominatrix fetish.
Compared to all that, what is being abruptly sent to another world teeming with alternate versions of several of the folks I just mentioned, albeit with different personalities? It's not like I didn't know that alternate worlds exist. Archer was proof enough of that. Still, even when it wasn't much compared to my (second) world, it was pretty weird.
Issei Hyoudou, the perverted loser and hated younger brother of my Queen, was apparently a snarky badass with a HUGE chip on his shoulder-and no sister this time around. Though, when I met him, I didn't feel intimidated, impressed, or even sympathetic. I couldn't explain why, but there was something about him that made me want to take my belt off and give his backside a good thrashing. He gave off an aura of entitlement, like he was owed something by everybody, and that gave him carte blanche to treat those around him in any way he chose.
I didn't like that attitude. Not one bit.
The alternate versions of the ORC and Student Council were very much the same, though this version of Shirone wasn't as eager to approach me. Understandable, if a little heartbreaking: this Shirone didn't know me. Still, when I'd prepared a bit of yokan for her, it had apparently been enough to make her label me as "non-threatening" enough to steal pieces of food off my plate when she thought I wasn't looking. I didn't mind.
This version of Sona looked about as weary as the one I knew, though for different reasons. Apparently, Issei, the little prick, had found numerous ways of tormenting her that had really taken their toll on her sanity. He gave no explanation why, and it was yet another thing I decided there and then I would have to confront him about. Even though I could tell something awful had happened to him in the past, I had no doubt that Sona had absolutely NOTHING to do with that, and thus was undeserving of malice.
Their reactions towards me had been mixed. I was, according to Gasper, quite famous, being a central character in a franchise called "Type Moon". A while back, this would have shocked me, but then I remembered how Serafall had patented my soul after I sold it to her and had turned it into a successful franchise back where I'd come from, so I kept my cool, even though internally, my teeth were grinding.
When Issei revealed that Kiba was learning how to copy my technique, and the pretty boy demonstrated his progress, I, naturally, took umbrage with this and kicked him in the jaw. At least he hadn't copied my Aria. No laughter from Shirone this time around, but even Issei had admitted that that had been a stupid move. The Fallen Angel, Raynare (whom, in my timeline, had been slain long ago), laughed uproariously-though that laughter died when Issei forced her to degrade herself later. When I asked why he'd done that, he refused to answer, but the Fallen Angel was willing to talk once she had finished and had a nice shower.
Apparently, she'd failed to protect Issei's mother from a group of her kin. Once again, I felt my ire towards the boy grow. The Fallen Angel had done her best, and it was laughable to think she would magically gain a second wind and heroically drive them off like in one of those shonen anime Illya had made me watch. Even the fact that she hadn't told Issei about them was, in my eyes, excusable, as she had repeatedly warned them not to do it, and they hadn't listened. If anyone was to blame for what had nearly happened to his mother, it was Issei himself, but instead of acknowledging that, he had taken it out on her.
The uppity little brat.
I'd had half a mind to confront him there and then, when two people had shown up not long after my own arrival: a black-haired girl named Jasmine Redsmith, and Vali Lucifer himself. I'd heard of the latter, and it surprised me how laid back he was, though one good look at him showed that he was not someone to be trifled with.
The woman, by contrast, gave off a similar feel to Issei. For some reason, I just wanted to smack her. Oh, she was beautiful, I couldn't deny that. But she was far from the best-looking woman I'd seen, and from my experience, beauty isn't just skin-deep.
Their reaction to my presence was rather lackadaisical as well, though I was able to gather that the woman's Sacred Gear was sound-based. I'd quickly purchased a pair of ear plugs and reinforced them, just in case I might have to get into a confrontation with her-and given her attitude, I could tell that such a thing was inevitable. But while I was sure I could handle Issei, would Vali intervene if she was attacked?
My interactions with most of the group had been limited, as I knew that I would be going back to my world soon. Zelretch, the old bastard, had appeared and revealed that Serafall had contacted him and, through a mixture of drinking contests, card games, and other shenanigans, had convinced him to bring me back. I had told him to wait until I was done with Issei and Redsmith, and to my surprise, he complied.
So, with that on my mind, I headed over to the Hyoudou abode with the intent of setting them straight.
Or, at least I would have, had a black cat not crossed my path along the way.
The nekoshou turned to me, her black cat ears popping out. Then her eyes widened and recognition, and she smiled... well, cattily.
"Ah, the nyew boy. I hear you're not going to be staying around for long."
This wasn't the same Kuroka that I was trying to reach out to, but it was still clearly a woman who missed her sister, and had been separated from her long enough. With that in mind, I decided to fix one thing before another.
"Shirone misses you."
The smile vanished.
"And how would you know that?" The edge in her voice was razor-sharp.
"Because the one I know does," I replied, taking out my own cell phone. I hadn't told Shirone this, but I'd recorded her little monologue from our private conversation in case listening to it might motivate Kuroka to do what needed to be done. "Listen."
I pressed the "Play" icon, and Shirone's tender voice came echoing out of the speaker.
"I am Shirone, the little sister of the black cat Kuroka. And… and… and I miss her. So, so very much. Despite everything she's done she's still my sister and I love her so. With every beat of my heart."
Kuroka's body began to tremble. Her eyes began to moisten.
"Neh-Shirou. The sun and the stars, they're still shining. So that means that she still loves me… right?"
I ended the recording, and stared at her.
"This may not be the Shirone you know, but we both know the one here feels the same way, even if she hasn't opened up as much as the one I know."
I came closer, until we were nearly nose-to-nose.
"I ask you this, Kuroka: do you still love her?"
A single tear made its way down her cheek as she gave me a determined stare. "With all my heart."
"Then talk to her." It was an order.
"It's not that simple." She was struggling to find an excuse. I would have none of it.
"Yes it is. TALK. TO. HER."
She wiped the tear away. "And what if something happens?"
"Then do your duty as an older sister. I shouldn't have to tell you this."
She was silent for a long moment, then nodded. "Fine."
Nodding, I turned to leave, when she called out: "Wait!"
I turned to her. "Yes?"
"How did you and Shirone meet?" she asked.
"She stole some of my lunch, and wouldn't stop staring at the box, so I gave it to her. I didn't expect her to eat the whole thing. Your sister is a bloody devourer of worlds."
We both laughed.
Lying beneath me, clutching a swelling cheek and struggling not to cry, was Jasmine Redsmith.
Why was she lying beneath me? How had she received such an injury? Why was she glaring at me while holding it?
I blinked again, and then it all came back to me.
Sona, her patience long stretched thin by Issei's behavior (another thing to confront him about), had asked Redsmith about her and Issei's past. Rather than answer, the smug woman had hit the Sitri heiress where it hurt by mocking her existence in Serafall's shadow. I knew from experience that such a thing could rile her up (especially when my own antics caused her to pull her hair out-did that make me a hypocrite for hating Issei for it? No. My actions weren't meant to bother Sona, whereas his were.), and thus I was not surprised at all when she stood up and insulted Redsmith, who had responded with a sound attack that could potentially cause someone's head to explode.
Whether or not she intended to go that far was lost to time, because mere microseconds after I had seen Sona and Shirone's faces scrunch in pain, I reacted. In her wrongful rage, Redsmith had either forgotten about me or figured I would be affected by it as well. Her mistake, and now she was paying for it. It was only thanks to extreme self-discipline that I hadn't twisted the bitch's head all the way around, but even then, the pain she must have been going through was no doubt excruciating.
"You... you bastard..." she hissed, the damage causing her "s" to sound like "th".
Despite myself, I found my eyes narrowing contemptuously. "You started this, Redsmith-san. All Sona did was ask a question."
She was lucky a near-fatal punch to the face was all she'd gotten. Gaslighting Sona after she had asked a simple question, then thuggishly attacking her and everyone else in the room (even those who hadn't been part of the conversation and were minding their own business!) for, I had no doubt, a petty, stupid reason would have warranted execution if Serafall herself had been here-and it would not have been painless, either. Even now, as I stood over the uppity womanchild, a voice was screaming in my ear to torture her to death for trying to harm my beloved So-tan, even if it wasn't MY So-tan.
Redsmith tried to get to her feet, but due to my body being in the way, she couldn't. A trickle of blood dribbled out of her mouth. Had my punch dislodged any teeth?
"You... don't know... what that brat's sister did to me-"
"I don't CARE what Serafall did to you or Hyoudou-san, Redsmith-san," I snapped, my patience gone. "Neither Sona, nor ANYONE else in this room, know what happened, much less do they have anything to do with what happened. They are completely innocent."
I grabbed her shirt and hoisted her up, my face mere inches from hers.
"You and Hyoudou-san were dealt a raw deal by life without having done anything to deserve it, I have no doubt, and for that, you would ordinarily have my condolences. But the moment you decide to use that as a weapon to hurt innocent bystanders, you are no longer deserving of sympathy-only punishment."
I leaned in closer, to the point of where I might end up kissing her slightly swollen lips.
"And if I catch you or him doing something like this again, you'll get an even worse punishment than a potentially broken jaw." I let go of her and she collapsed to the floor. "Now, get out."
Redsmith glared at me, then her gaze fell on Vali. That's right! I'd forgotten all about him. Would he react?
As it turns out, no.
"Sorry, Nee-san," he said, pulling his fingers out of his ears. "You pretty much brought this on yourself."
All around us, the members of the ORC and Student Council were getting to their feet, their eyes all directed at Redsmith.
With a growl and a look of betrayal towards Vali, the black-haired woman crawled out from beneath me and stumbled out of the room, clutching her damaged cheek.
There was a long silence. Then...
"Um," it was Shirone. "Thank you, Emiya-san." She bowed her head cutely, which made me want to pat it so badly, but I knew that wouldn't work out, so I gave her a comforting smile.
"Issei's gonna be pissed when he hears about this, you know," the White Dragon Emperor said casually, leaning back into his seat.
"Let him," I responded. "I've been meaning to confront him for a while now."
He raised an eyebrow.
"Do you really have no sympathy for either of them?" he asked. "Life sodomized them both when the incident happened. It's a real wonder why neither of them have completely snapped."
"Then they should have gotten help," I replied bluntly. "Or if they really thought they were beyond that, checked into separate mental institutions."
His eyes narrowed. "You think they didn't try to get help? All those quacks ever did was pump Issei full of drugs."
"I doubt that," I replied, shaking my head. "From what I've seen, Hyoudou-san is an introvert. My guess is that they tried to get him to open up, but he stubbornly refused to, so they felt they had to resort to drugs just to see if they could get somewhere. You have to want to get better, and he clearly doesn't. Both he and Redsmith-san like being like this because they feel it gives them the right to hurt people, even those who have nothing to do with this incident you mentioned."
He blinked. "That's... an interesting way to put it." He leaned forward. "Even if you do have a way to rein Issei in, you'd also have to deal with Ophis."
Now it was my turn to blink. The Ouroboros Dragon? What did she have to do with this?
"She's close to Issei," he explained, having guessed my thoughts. "Fortunately, much like the cat, she can be bribed with sweets. How good are you at making chocolate, namely brownies?"
I thought about it. "I've made yokan for Shirone, and I'm confident in my ability to make desserts, but brownies? Haven't tackled those."
He smiled. "Well, given what I've heard about you, anything you can make would be a good substitute."
My eyes narrowed. "Why are you telling me this?"
He sighed. "Because, as a good friend to both Issei and Nee-san, I can tell when they need the kind of help they're not gonna like. And much as I don't want to say it, you can provide that."
I found myself liking this boy. "You're remarkably stable compared to them," I couldn't help but note.
He shrugged. "I wasn't fucked over as much. But make no mistake: I can be just as nasty as Issei when provoked." He stood up. "Now, let's go shopping. You're gonna have to spend the next several hours making the best chocolates you can if you want to ensure Ophis doesn't get involved."
"Issei has been... naughty?" the mighty dragon asked, her words muffled due to her cheeks being stuffed.
Vali nodded solemnly. "That's right, Ophis-sama. And Emiya-san here has been sent to straighten him out." He pointed at me, and her eyes followed his finger.
By the Maou, she was adorable! It was taking every fiber of logic in my body and mind not to give in to the urging of the mini-Serafall perched on my shoulder and put her in my lap and pat her head while she feasted. The fact that she enjoyed my confections-without knowing I had made them, of course-filled me with pride.
That was it. Once I got back to my world, I was going to find that world's Ophis and take her home with me, consequences be damned. Ilya could use a friend whom at least looked her physical age and wasn't associated with cats. Her appearance and style of dress would no doubt be met with approval by Serafall...
Okay, I'm going to stop right there. I did not want Serafall corrupting another little girl.
The dragon-in-loli-form fixed her gaze on me. "You won't hurt him?" she asked. Despite her relatively blank expression, there was a glint of concern in your eyes.
I couldn't lie to such a face. "I was sent to discipline him," I told her, choosing my words carefully, "but it will be nothing permanent, and he'll be better for it."
She furrowed her brow in contemplation, then nodded. "Okay."
Vali then pulled out a piece of paper and a purple crayon. "Could you put that in writing, please?"
She nodded again, popping another piece of chocolate into her mouth.
Yup, definitely going to adopt my world's Ophis. She's gonna have a bedroom filled with dollies and ponies and dresses.
And that was how I had ended up where I was right now, pressing Rule Breaker against Issei Hyoudou's dong and telling him what's what. Hey, I told you my life was strange, and that I was used to it. If the Serafall I knew was here right now, she'd probably suggest I start a-wait a minute, she'd already created a show. Dammit!
Anyway, back to the task at hand.
"Ophis won't bail you out, Hyoudou-san."
"Damn your obsession with cooking," he hissed.
"She seems to like mine better than yours, Hyoudou-san."
That did not comfort him. "Fuck! Now she's gonna expect me to be able to cook on your level! That's not something I can do!"
"Considering all you've been doing these past several years, being forced to work on your cooking skills by a hungry dragon isn't even close to what you deserve, Hyoudou-san."
He looked murderous, in spite of the power-sapping dagger pressed against his manhood. "If you knew-"
"But I don't, Hyoudou-san. And if I did know, I still wouldn't care." I pressed the dagger a little harder against him. "Not a single member of the Student Council or the Occult Research Club played any role, direct or indirect, in what happened to you and that harpy you cling to. They don't even know about it, but instead of giving them an explanation-which you completely owe them-you treat them like enemies and lash out at them. That is intolerable, and needs to end."
I could tell he was struggling not to blow his stack, and thus put his virility at risk, but it was quite the struggle, indeed. If I had to guess, he wasn't used to being genuinely powerless-or maybe he just didn't like being scolded like a small child. His mother had probably thrown some angry words his way every now and then, but this was a true, proper chastisement, something he clearly had never expected to receive.
"We will meet up tomorrow morning at your house-you, myself, the harpy, Vali-san, the Student Council, and the ORC. It's time we straightened some things out."
"Don't call Nee-san a harpy," he found himself saying.
"Then maybe she shouldn't go out of her way to act like one," I replied casually. "Sympathy is earned, not freely given, Hyoudou-san. And neither you nor the harpy have done anything to earn it."
"What's wrong with her?" I pointed at the Fallen Angel, who kept wriggling from her place on the couch and looked rather sullen.
Having apparently learned nothing from what happened the last time she ticked me off, the harpy spoke up in a rather smug manner. "The little crow thought she could back-talk me, so I taught her a lesson in manners-with a sibian."
Once again, Jasmine Redsmith found herself sprawled on the floor, except this time she sported a bloody nose, which my foot was against.
I could hear cries of surprise and indignation, the latter most likely from Issei, but I pressed on. Removing my foot, I reached down, grabbed her shirt, and hoisted her up until our face were, for the second time, inches apart.
"What are you, a two-year-old?" I sneered. "If you're going to act like a petulant baby, then maybe everyone here should start treating you like one. Nothing justifies raping somebody with a sibian, you harpy!"
I sensed Issei's fury warming up. Rolling my eyes, I dropped the harpy and whipped out Rule Breaker.
"Cool down or you're going to lose your privates and your powers, Hyoudou-san."
The air cooled down. I was about to pick the harpy back up and continue the castigation, when Gremory spoke up, her voice quivering somewhat.
"So, it's wrong when you get raped, but as long as she does it, it's automatically alright with you, Issei?"
I raised an eyebrow and turned slightly towards the Red Dragon Emperor, keeping the harpy in the corner of my vision just in case she was stupid enough to try something.
"You were raped once, Hyoudou-san?"
Issei did not like being put on the spot like this, and he unleashed a breath that, had he been more berserk, would have caused smoke to be expelled from his nostrils.
"No, Issei." She stood up. "If you can see what happened to you as wrong, then you should have no reason to condone it being done to someone else. You should've stopped her."
Wait, he'd witnessed this and did nothing to stop it? That was even worse!
"It's part of Fallen Angel culture to-"
"Lies and excuses," I said calmly. "I'm no expert on the subject, but I very much doubt it would condone rape. Chances are, even if Raynare-san backed you up, it would either be due to the two of you bullying her into saying what you wanted her to say, manipulating her into thinking it may have been her idea, or playing on her Pride to get her to blame herself for it-a commonality among rape victims."
Issei sputtered, and then looked around at the other teens, all of whom were staring at him icily.
"Are... are you gonna become a sexual predator, senpai?" Now it was Gasper, still quivering but never taking his eyes off of Issei.
"We should geld him," Koneko, looking like she'd been crying these past few hours (had Kuroka followed my advice?), added. "He's the worst."
"I concur," Sona declared, her glasses reflecting the ceiling light.
It was at this point that Asami, who'd been sitting off to the side, stood up.
"I would appreciate it if none of you tried to destroy my son's ability to someday make me a grandmother." Her voice was calm, but firm.
"Even if that grandchild's existence is only thanks to your son taking the mother against her will?" My voice's firmness matched hers.
That seemed to floor her briefly, but she recovered. "He's not-"
"He saw someone he cares about-and claims to care about him-doing something that he knows from personal experience is wrong, and yet he did nothing. That's just as bad as doing it himself."
She was losing ground, and she knew it. "I-I..."
"Your son is a rapist-in-the-making, and poses a threat to every woman he interacts with," I declared harshly. "What guarantees can you offer me that he won't force himself onto any of these girls in the near or distant future?" I made a sweep of the room with my left hand as I said this.
She was silent for a long moment. Then...
"If he does, I'll cut them off myself."
My eyes narrowed. She would be willing to do that?
"I need more than your word, Asami-san."
"It's good enough," a voice said from behind me. I turned around into the face of Vali Lucifer, his expression as serious as my own. "Auntie won't break a promise. I'll vouch for her on that."
Another long silence, then I nodded. "Fine."
I went back to my seat while the others returned to theirs. The harpy, having returned from crawling out of the room and retrieved a wet paper towel to press against her bloodied nose, sat down as well, muttering to herself the whole time.
Way to start things off, Shirou.
Taking a deep breath, I decided to get us back on topic.
"Your behavior as of late is completely unacceptable, Hyoudou-san," I said, pointing at Issei. My finger then moved in the harpy's direction, which proved quick as she was now sitting close to him. "Yours as well, harpy."
Ignoring the latter's growl of indignation, I swept my hand over the room again. "Not a single person here played even an indirect role in what happened to the two of you all those years ago, and yet you both see fit to treat them like dirt, anyway." I fixed a steely gaze on them both. "That ends today."
The Red Dragon Emperor, despite reeling from what had nearly happened to him, looked petulant. "What, you expect me to be all nice and friendly to them?"
I shook my head. "Not entirely, but you could at least not treat them like enemies." My gaze fell back on the harpy. "The same goes for you."
I took a deep breath. Now came the hard part. "And you can start by forgiving the Fallen Angel."
That got a reaction from all three of them:
"My mom nearly died because of her." Issei.
"She's an oath-breaker." Vali.
"She almost got Auntie killed." The harpy.
I sneered. "How? Was she supposed to magically gain some kind of second wind and beat them back? Was she supposed to unlock 'Super Saiyan?'" By the Maou, why did I let Ilya talk me into watching that ridiculous series? "She fought as hard as she could, and the energy wasted on trying to push her aside would've been used on Hyoudou-dono, otherwise. She may not have fought them off entirely, but she did keep your mother from dying, Hyoudou-san. She broke no oath; abandoning your mother to die would have been doing so, but she didn't."
The brat was obstinate. "The Cougar should've told me about them."
"She told them about you, and repeatedly warned them not to try anything. It's not her fault they were dumber than she thought." I briefly looked at the "cougar" in question, whose eyes were masked by her hair, before turning back to Issei and his two friends. "If you think she needs training to ensure she can fight off future threats, that's fine, but sexually abusing her yourself and then letting someone rape her is going too far. If you want to blame someone for what happened, take a look in the mirror and you'll find him, Hyoudou-san." I point at each of them. "Shame on you. Shame on you all."
There was a long silence as the trio either processed my words, or just tried to stonewall them. I couldn't tell which, but I decided to move on to another, equally important topic.
"And one more thing: you are going to cease this secrecy of yours." They gave me bewildered looks, so I elaborated. "You are going to tell the ORC and the Student Council EVERYTHING."
Aforementioned groups blinked in surprise.
"And why the fuck should I do that?" Issei asked, an edge in his voice. It meant nothing to me.
"Because they're involved, whether they like it or not," I replied. "They've been dragged into this, so they deserve to know what they're dealing with. You and the harpy have been mocking them for their ignorance since day one, I don't doubt, but conversely, neither of you have even tried to alleviate them of it. It's as though you want them to be ignorant because it gives you some kind of weapon over them, or an excuse to assault them without reason, physically and verbally."
I found my temperature rising as I poured scorn upon these two, the indignation in my voice clear. "None of these teenagers had anything to do with whatever calamity befell you two, so stop treating them like they did. You both know this, you both know that they're involved and need to be as prepared as possible, so stop sabotaging them. And above all else, GET. OVER. YOURSELVES."
They both looked outraged at my words, especially the last three, but I went on anyway. "You have both had time-probably years-to try to properly deal with what happened, but you haven't even tried. You're not children anymore, and yet you continue to act like it in the face of attempts by others to help you heal whatever scars were left behind. I've no doubt that what happened must have been terrible, but that is no excuse for lashing out at people who had nothing to do with it. And if you continue to think it is, then all you deserve is harsh discipline." I took my belt off, thankful that my pants didn't fall down as I did so, and brandished it threateningly to emphasize my point.
"I have no sympathy for either of you-only contempt for your childish behavior. And if you're going to act like unruly children, then you'll get what unruly children receive." I slapped my belt against my open palm before putting it back around my waist, savoring their stunned expressions as I did so. With a sigh, I began walking toward the kitchen.
"Now if you'll excuse me, I think it would be best if I prepared dinner for everyone," I said in a somewhat tired voice. "I have no interest in what happened myself, as I'll be leaving soon, but I expect the ORC and the Student Council to be relieved of their ignorance by the end of the day."
And that was the last word on the matter.
"What do you want, brat?" Jasmine snarled, her nose still aching somewhat despite having been healed by Asia.
Sona rolled her eyes. "Considering how you and Hyoudou-san have been behaving, you're in no position to use that label on anyone, Harpy-san." Even though her voice was stoic, Jasmine could see the glint of amusement and satisfaction in her eyes. She wanted to rip them out, but with that damned red-head still around, she couldn't risk it.
"Uppity little shit, aren't you?" she sneered. "You think you're better than me?"
Sona did not flinch. "You tried to make my head explode, together with every other person in the room, simply because you hate my sister-and I very much doubt you would have had the decency to explain why. What do you think?" She tapped her left ear. "By the way, Emiya-san gave us each a set of special ear plugs. Your Sacred Gear won't work on any of us now, Harpy-san."
Jasmine ground her teeth. "Even without my Sacred Gear, I could rip you a new asshole in a second, you little brat."
"And I could rip you apart in less than half the time."
Jasmine spun around, and was met with a powerful collision to the face. For the third time in the past couple of days, she'd been knocked to the ground. If she hadn't been so focused on the pain, she would have noted that it was the opposite cheek Emiya had struck yesterday.
As she lay on the grass-covered ground, clutching her injured cheek, Jasmine looked up into the eyes of one of the two women she hated most: Serafall Leviathan.
There she was, clad in that gaudy pink Magical Girl getup she loved so much, her staff outstretched from having just smashed into Jasmine's face, her own face white and furious.
"Onee-san?" Sona asked, a look of shock on her heart-shaped face. "What are you doing here?"
Never taking her eyes off the injured porn star, Serafall said frostily, "Zel-tan told me that some meanie-butt tried to hurt my little sister for the 'crime' of being my sister. Why am I not surprised it's Issei's human music box?" As Jasmine staggered to her feet, she continued. "Be thankful he also told me that someone else already punished you for it, or you would've gotten something far worse, Redsmith."
Jasmine spat blood in Serafall's direction, her eyes filled with hate. "You bitch..."
"And don't you forget it," Serafall said, lowering her staff. "Did you really think I wouldn't find out? Did you really think I wouldn't retaliate? If So-tan is in danger, not even Issei himself can stop me."
"Wanna bet money on that?"
Speak of the devil, and he shall appear.
"Hello, Issei," Serafall said calmly, turning to him.
"What are you doing here, Serafall? And why is Nee-san sporting a bruised cheek?" Straight to the point, eh? Fine.
"I was simply punishing someone for wrongfully hurting my sister. You should rein in your haremettes before they get in over their heads, Issei." She pointedly ignored his growing fury and pressed on. "Then again, I heard someone finally got tired of your melodrama and gave you and Redsmith the spanking you both deserved."
"Are you talking about me?"
Once again, someone had appeared when they'd been referred to. A red-clad teenager had appeared behind Issei, a purple dagger pressed threateningly against the Red Dragon Emperor's back.
Serafall turned to him and bowed her head slightly. "I thank you for defending my sister, sir. Is there something you'd like in return? An autograph, perhaps? A cameo for a family member on my show?"
He shook his head. "I simply did what I felt was right, but there is one thing you could do." He pointed at Sona. "Tell your sister what happened. Everything."
Serafall blinked, and her stance faltered somewhat. "She is too young to-"
"I'm involved in this now, Nee-san," Sona said, walking up to her sister, her eyes narrowed. And then she suddenly slapped her older sister with all her might.
Everyone, even Jasmine, could only stare in shock at this display. Sona's low opinion of her sister's antics was well-known, but no one had expected her to snap like this.
"So-tan," Serafall whimpered, touching her reddened cheek, "why?"
"Because you threw me to the wolves," Sona snarled. "You kept vital information from me for over a decade, and when the Red Dragon Emperor showed up out of the blue, you lied to me." She gestured towards Issei, her gaze becoming more vicious. "This lecherous lout is a ticking time bomb waiting to go off, and you and Sirzechs left both Rias and myself totally unprepared. What did you think would happen?!"
"No, Nee-sama." Sona's tone was resolute and unflinching, though calmer now. "The time for secrets is over. You knew that I would be pulled into this, but instead of preparing me for it like you should have, you barely told me anything-and what little information you did share was a lie." She leaned in, her face mere centimeters apart from Serafall's. "Tell. Me. Everything."
A long silence followed, broken by a sigh of resignation from the pink-clad Leviathan. "Fine," she said. "Go get your Peerage. I'll meet you all at your office. I'll even order take-out, because this is going to be a long story."
Sona leaned back and nodded. "You had better."
With that exchange, Serafall opened a portal and disappeared into it.
As Sona went back into the house to carry out her sister's instructions, Issei turned to Zelretch, who had been sitting back and watching in amusement. "I know who you are. Why are you doing this? What do you care about how I handle things? How Nee-san handles things?"
The old vampire shrugged. "Honestly, I don't. But frankly, I found it boring to see you coast through life with everyone tripping over themselves to indulge you. I figured I might as well introduce you to someone who would be willing to straighten you out, and who better than this young man?" He pointed at Shirou.
"That's my job," Jasmine muttered.
"And you've done a stupendous job of it, dear," he said with a condescending smirk.
So, yeah, I've decided to split this into three chapters and expand the other two. In hindsight, I put too much focus into this section. I'll go ahead and answer some of the things brought up in the reviews section, but save a few bits for the post-chapter A/N for "Conclusion". To those pointing out how OOC Shirou is, please remember that this is Shirou from Fahad09's "A Demon Lord's Hero": he is the Queen of Serafall Leviathan, an Ultimate-class Devil (with a Peerage of his own that grows over the course of the story) whose first act upon the stage was to have a one-on-one fight with Sirzechs, who was forced to use his full power (and reveal his true form) once Shirou used his (boosted by being a Queen piece of one of the 4 Maous) UBW, defeating Shirou in the process but suffering grievous injuries as a result. His chosen sin is Pride, but a running gag is that it gets repeatedly stomped on due to Serafall's influence and Koneko and Ilya's cuteness. His natural sin, however, is Wrath, which, coupled with him developing an EXTREME Big Brother Instinct towards Sona (largely thanks to Serafall), Koneko (who reminds him of Ilya), and Gasper (whose tragic past and current sealing enraged him so much that he unconsciously demolished a table by simply pushing down on it), causes him to have an impulsive desire to resort to violence that he ordinarily would not possess and often finds difficult to control whenever someone triggers that instinct.
SPOILER ALERT for those who haven't read ADLH:
That faster-than-thought punch was based off a similar scene early in ADLH, in which Shirou subjected Saji to that when they were sparring after the Pawn foolishly declared his intention to "knock Kaichou u-"(POW!). The punch was so hard that it nearly killed Saji, and happened so fast that it took Shirou a few seconds to realize he'd thrown the punch. On the topic of speed, something pointed out in BloodyHero's excellent review, the knife throw was, again, based on a scene in the story: during Family Day, Serafall was being (happily) subjected to paparazzi, and when one guy loudly proclaimed he'd scored a panty shot, Shirou (who'd been banging his head against a wall in despair) spun around, traced a knife, threw it at the camera, scored a fatal hit on the device, and dispelled the knife before the camera had hit the ground-all without needing to know the exact location of the person and where he was holding the camera, and all in a timespan of a tenth of a second. So, yeah, this Shirou is fast. He couldn't beat GAIWP!Issei in a straight-up fight, but he's got everything he needs to ensure that Issei would not be able to bring his full strength to bear, and since this is a Shirou with life experiences that Issei DOESN'T know about, he could call on his knowledge of the "Type Moon" franchise to gain some kind of advantage. And yes, this Shirou does have Rule Breaker in ADLH: he used it to destroy the seals on Gasper's door so he could confront and befriend the boy.
Regarding how he would feel towards Issei and Jasmine's behavior, while I do agree that he would ordinarily try to be more sympathetic, once again, this Shirou has a BBI towards certain DxD characters, and once he learned how Issei had been treating those characters, and that his reasons for doing so were either nonexistent or incredibly petty, any pity he might have had would quickly go out the window, and he would want nothing more than to give Issei a taste of his belt-or strip him of his powers if he felt doing so would keep those 3 characters safe in particular, and maybe the rest of Sona's Peerage in general, since they look up to him, too.
Regarding the thing about Sona and Jasmine, Sona did technically start things by asking Jasmine a question that made her feel uncomfortable, but (a) she didn't know that, (b) Issei and Jasmine's antics had really been taking a toll on her, and (c) she wasn't super-rude or obnoxious about it. Jasmine could have simply said that she didn't want to talk about it, or that doing so would make her uncomfortable, but instead, she viciously played to what she knew were Sona's weaknesses just to be an asshole. Sona's response to that was directly provoked by Jasmine, and her response was basically proof that she couldn't take what she dished out. Now, with all I've said about ADLH!Shirou, how do you think he would react? 3 people he considered younger siblings (even if they aren't the exact same people he knew), one of whom he has a natural protectiveness towards, are being brutally assaulted by a petty, self-righteous thug who'd been nothing but unpleasant since she arrived-and all for a fight that aforementioned thug started. He would resort to violence quickly, and probably would have gone much further if months of self-discipline and restraint hadn't stayed his wrath, and only barely.
If ADLH!Shirou had met Issei before the ORC or the Student Council, I've no doubt he would have pitied him and tried to help him conquer his personal demons, but he wasn't.
Okay. That's all for that part. Next chapter will address the concept that the ORC and Student Council could've just left Issei alone, and why I (and why I think ADLH!Shirou would) disagree with that-in addition to the rest of the "Concession" section.
So, when I started this, I was WAY too angry, ironically behaving like Third Fang himself did in his post-chapter drunken rant at the end of Chapter 18 (technically 19). I've calmed down, and while I stand by Shirou's actions, I've had time to think, and I realize that Serafall got off too easy-NOT because of Jasmine, but for what she did to Sona. So, instead of just asking for answers, Sona hurls the book at her sister and forces her to drop the BS, something that will establish SOMETHING between her and Jasmine in "Concession". Yeah, I'm going to expand both of the other sections significantly. More details later. I was going to release it all back-to-back on the same day, but then I decided "to hell with it". I've got a three-day weekend coming up, and I'll try to get both sections done by then.