Hiiiii~ Another chapter is here!

it's been a while.

This chapter was quite time consuming to write, I had to ask someone to help me with the latter part of the chapter. Thanks 8kagi for helping me out there!

Also, we reached 3k follows! Huzzah!

Thank you all once again for the support, I really can't express how much y'all have done for me XD!

That's all,

Author NimtheWriter out!

Beta read by n1ch, Shigiya, Solitary heart and 8kagi!


-Kuoh-

"Bad intentions of humans are the greatest evil in this world," Rias said as we were both having some tea together in the Occult Research Club. We weren't alone.

Everyone from her peerage to Asia and Kala was here as well.

I decided it was an excellent opportunity to keep these two up to date with the latest situation along with Kiba's past. The man himself accepted to have the others know of his story. He never planned to keep it a secret in the first place.

"It can't be… It's not an acceptable act by those who serve God."

It seemed like this was a big shock for Asia. Her eyes were covered with tears. It was normal to cry when something you believed in for so long committed such an atrocious act in the name of their lord.

"Not just humans," I added, wanting to help alleviate some of Asia's distraught. "Every living being has gone through such a path of destruction, at least once. Humans, Devils, Fallens, or even Youkais have committed their fair share of atrocious acts and experiments. Each faction will always have those who take their ideals to the extreme, use faith as a shield, and reason to continue their actions. I'm not taking anyone's side here, neither the Devils nor the Angels, but I don't believe everyone in the Church is evil, as I don't even think the Seraphs themselves were informed of such an experiment or even condone it."

Azazel talked to me about Michael and Gabriel. He swore on his life—and his precious porn mags—that those two would have never let such a thing happen if they knew about it. Most likely, Valper found their blindspot or had some conspirators helping him hide his actions.

"Hypocritical bastards. Using our Fathers name as an excuse to do whatever they want. It's like the middle ages all over again." growled out Kala, doing her best to comfort Asia, "Come along, Asia. Let's get some snacks for everyone."

"Yet they still call us Devils, evil and vile." Kiba snarled in anger at the hypocrisy, after the two stepped out for a moment.

I didn't say anything back. His hatred for the Church was too deep for mere words to calm him down. For him, everyone wearing the cloth was guilty, and I couldn't fault him for such a black and white mindset.

"Just look at what they did to Asia. How can you call them anything but evil with everything they've done in the past?"

"Kiba, if we had to fight the Church at one point in the future and Asia was still a nun there, would you kill her just like the rest of those who've wronged you?"

"She's no longer with the—"

"—And what makes you think that there aren't any more? Are you willing to kill everyone, from the eldest to the youngest kids with your blade in the name of vengeance? How much blood will you spill until you feel satisfied" He faltered, unable to answer that question, nor was he willing to do so.

I sighed, feeling frustrated with the situation.

"Look, I know it ain't easy to forgive the faction for what they've done, and I'm not asking for you to do so in the first place. What I am demanding from you is not to condemn everyone just because they follow the Church."

"..."

The room descended into silence. Kiba looked conflicted, which was good. He wasn't actively denying my words and was actually willing to believe that there were some good eggs among the Church and won't go do something that he will regret in the end.

"Let's change topics," Rias mentioned, noticing the uncomfortable atmosphere in the club. "We've been getting reports on random dead stray devils all around Kuoh. Sona and I performed some research and investigating but came out empty-handed… well… nearly empty-handed."

"Holy energy," Koneko, who was munching on some cookies that Kala and Asia had brought in, sat near the two; they both looked adorable sitting together and Kala looked happy dotting over them. "Burned wounds with holy energy remnants."

"What? We have an exorcist in town!?" Kiba exclaimed in anger, looking ready to storm out of the room to find the Exorcist.

"Whether it's an official Exorcist or a rogue one is still up for debate, but I'm sure that we have a Holy Sword user in town going around hunting strays without permission. They haven't tried to establish any contact with Sona and me. Because of their actions, this gives us the power to detain them and demand an explanation from the Church. But that also won't work since we have received a letter stating that there would be three people arriving soon, so the Church wouldn't have anything to do with this rogue exorcist."

"So basically, we need to play the wait and see the game?"

"Yes," she confirmed. "Devil or not, rogue Exorcists are a major threat to everyone, including you, Hachi-kun. They can and will kill anyone associated with our species, no matter how minor that relationship might be. To give such an individual a Holy Sword of all things is just asking for trouble."

This conversation made my memories of the past few years resurface.

Even after so long, I hadn't forgotten about how I was nearly killed by Shuri's family for just helping them escape or Jeanne and her betrayal. I resented her and her hypocrisy. My heart shook over the possibility that I might be her who came over to Kuoh. I was far stronger and more capable than before, but her possible presence still made my skin crawl with dread and anger.

"Are you feeling well, Hachi-kun?" I felt Akeno's touch caressing my cheeks, feeling my nerves calming down.

Even with our silly argument over the kiss, I never really held it against her. That was how Akeno was, a pervert attracted to both Rias and me. I guess I could be sorted in that category now, with what was about to happen last morning with Rias. I was even feeling less scummy than before, my mind began to accept both of them, and I didn't mind that.

"No, nothing. Just worrying about silly things." I reassured her, hoping that I gave her a reassuring smile. "I'm going home now. It's getting late."

Just like I promised Aika, I became more active in my club and started to help her out along with Asia. Helping people with their simple problems was a breath of fresh air compared to dealing with the supernatural. Things I would have considered a hassle in the past became enjoyable and something I yearned for. 'I have a crush I want to confess to', 'I lost my bag', 'I haven't studied for my exams' and so on. A simple request, easy to solve, and didn't require me to bleed or break my bones.

Just normal people stuff.

"Before I leave, have you noticed Sona acting strangely recently? I get the whole situation with the Holy Swords and the Exorcists, but she's been rather jumpy whenever I meet her in the hallway." I asked Rias.

I knew the heir of the Sitri clan for nearly as long as the redhead in front of me. I never thought that I would have so many childhood friends, to begin with, and I especially didn't expect to be childhood friends with two heiresses of prestigious houses, who are also Devils.

Almost made me feel like an isekai harem protagonist.

Wait…

"I'm… honestly not sure what's up with her. " Rias continued speaking, pulling me from my thoughts. Even she looked conflicted.

They were rivals for years and friends for even longer, never hiding their problems from each other, yet it was apparent that something had gotten Sona riled up these last few days after the sports festival.

'Hmmm, I still have an hour before I need to return home… Maybe I can check up on her.'

Yes, that would be ideal.

I also needed to see if Issei wasn't using his protagonist's aura to attract any more trouble towards him.

"Alright, I'll be on my way then. See you all soon."

I gave them a final save before leaving the room.

Akeno and Rias had more Devil duties to finish before joining me back home, so they'd most likely be late today. It wasn't uncommon to see them return an hour before the sun rose, only sleeping for an extremely short amount of time, and still be perfectly fine the next day.

I kept my first opinion about Devil's physique as bullshit, just like their bullshit magic.

'I wonder if I just stop stalling and just turn into a devil. I would finish more things if I didn't need to sleep much.'

"That would be an interesting decision, even if your reasons for turning are a bit…lackluster" Vritra spoke.

"Oh, are you not against it?"

"Why would I be? The Gremory has done more than enough to prove her worth as a worthy king for her peerage compared to your average devil; she truly is one of a kind. And she keeps those pawn pieces away in a box just for you. For years, the Gremory brat has not lost hope and still waits for you to join her by her side."

True, why was I waiting at this point? Though it was better to not become a Devil when a possible Exorcist was wandering around town with a Holy Sword, what was stopping me from becoming one after?

"Won't there be some kind of bad effect with the curse of Evil Dragons?"

Going berserk twice made me realize how dangerous such a power going out of control could be.

"No, not really. I have gained all of my parts back and fully merged with you. Such things should no longer occur in the future. I do not know what will happen to me if you accept an evil piece since we share the same soul. Worst case scenario is that she will have to use all 8 pieces, and I will become like Tannin. At this point in my life, I no longer care about what I end up becomimg, and turning into a Devil will be quite tame compared to the other things I have lived through."

"..."

Yeah, after this debacle, I needed to put some serious thought into this decision.

{Break}

-Student Council Office-

Knock

Knock

'It's been a while since I've been to the student council office.'

The last time I came here was when Issei came to be discovered as the holder of the [Boosted Gear]. Now, I wondered how things have changed with Issei and the rest. Like, was he getting along with them?

Opening the door, I came upon the familiar room with many tables stacked with many stacks of paper. They were the student council, not a corporate office, so why did they have so much to deal with!? Was there some shady business under the cover that I'm unaware of?

"No, we are not running some shady business or a scam."

I was startled by Momo's sudden appearance as she looked at me with a beaming smile as if the woman hadn't performed an act of mind reading.

But with her bullshit Devil magic, she probably could read my mind.

"And no, I can't read minds." she giggled at my shocked expression, as if she read my thoughts. "Don't worry, you're easy to read sometimes."

"Me? Easy to read? Yeah, right, I know that I have a constant poker face that even Sona is jealous of. So don't give me that crap."

Sure, from time to time, I did frown and break out a smile here and there, but I have never been so expressive that I was predictable. Asia would be a perfect example of a girl with an easy-to-read face. She was like an open book, and Kala takes advantage of it.

Poor girl.

Just glad it wasn't me.

"Anyway, I'm here to see Sona. Wanted to see how she was doing."

"Really? That's what you say to someone you haven't talked with for a long time?" Momo said with a pout.

"Yes,"

Not showing my smirk, I continued to tease the girl, while giving her a blank stare.

"Cause you can be such a hassle and drama queen sometimes, it's easier to just not show you any attention."

That seemed to trigger her enough to get a flushed face and glare straight at my eyes.

"Excuse me!?" she came a bit too close to my face, I could feel her breath. "Say. That. Again."

Her breasts were squishing onto my person, and as I had already closed the door, I couldn't back away from the pretty white hair girl. Granted, I don't hang out with her that much outside of school, but was she always this aggressive? It might be possible that my previous comment riled her up a bit too much.

"Ahum!"

Sona came in between us rather forcefully. Momo went back to her cheerful smile and backed away, finally giving me some breathing room.

"Momo, Issei had some trouble dealing with the tennis club demand over their annual budget increase—go help him out."

"No problem~" the white-haired girl skipped away while giving one of those cutesy waves and a wink. Something is definitely up with her. "See you later, Hachiman!"

"Yeah… later."

"..."

After she was gone, I turned to Sona, who was just staring at me blankly.

"Everything okay with you?" I asked her the main question I had for her and why I came to the student council office in the first place.

Even by looking at her face, something was definitely wrong with the president. First, her once calculative and confident eyes were sunken, filled with anxiety and worry. Second, her pale skin seemed to have looked even paler. And thirdly, her hair looked unkempt. Not gonna lie, she looks like a mess.

"When Rias said you were acting strange, I expected some strange behavior and a few erratic mood swings but found a full-blown gremlin," I said, trying to crack a joke, but still seeing the blank stare. It definitely fell flat.

Time to go for the direct approach.

"Are you having any trouble?"

"What makes you say that?"

"..."

An answer was not even needed; her current state said it all.

She sighed.

"I've just been stressed over something trivial these last few days… made it quite hard to focus on my regular work."

"And health," I added, though I'm glad that she still put in the effort to take a shower.

"Yeah,"

"..."

I had to do something. Maybe I could raise her morale and help her out a bit. Fortunately, knowing Sona and her equal obsession with chess like Rias.

I knew what to do.

{Break}

Back in the office, both Sona and I decided to play a round of chess, just to get her to relax and maybe get her to say anything on the problem she is facing.

I let Sona make the first move, with her taking the white pieces first and moving her 'e' pawn two squares forward, and I followed with my own 'e' pawn a single square forward. She continued with the 'd' pawn two square forwards, and I copied her move.

"A bit daring, don't you think? You never won a single chess match against me, and I feel like you've gone down since last time… this will be an easy victory." she said confidently, her posture and actions steady but her eyes said something else.

What it was, I wasn't sure.

After moving her knight from b1 to c3, casually developing her piece and eyeing the center.

"That's what you say, but I'd argue otherwise."

Moving my bishop to b4, pinning her knight to the defense of her king.

"Tell me, what are you so worried about?"

She moved her e pawn to e5, locking down the center, as such I responded with c5, hoping to bust the center open in return.

"..."

She hesitated before moving her a pawn to a3 wishing to remove my bishop from the b file.

"You noticed that Hyoudou Issei is still a human?"

"Yes, you don't have enough pieces to turn him into a Devil."

Since my bishop is in danger, I chose to not move it back as it would be counterintuitive, and moved to take her knight instead with a check.

"Nice move," she took my bishop with her b2 pawn, which is good for me in the long run since she has doubled pawns on the c file. "We Devils have a rule, during Rating Games, only the King and their peerage could participate in the fight. Issei, even if he has gotten along with the other student council members, is still a human—thus not truly part of our group or my house."

I moved my knight to e7, continuing to develop my pieces. My mind remained calm, as all of our previous matches ran countless times in my head. I analyzed every move, every loss I had to suffer through her hands. Sona ranked higher than Rias in chess, so beating her would not be an easy task.

"You found a way to turn him?"

Then she moved her queen to g4, eyeing down my g pawn like a juicy piece of meat ready for the taking—granted, it kinda is. Not even bothering to defend my g pawn, I responded by moving my own queen to c7, helping with the defense of my c5 pawn.

"In a way, it wasn't an easy choice to make, mind you. But with the [Boosted Gear] wielder just at my fingertips, yet so far away, I had to take drastic measures. I don't want to end up in a future Rating Game to have my strongest asset out of the game just because I was afraid to do what needed to be done."

She took my pawn in g7 like I expected her to. Now she entered my side of the board. I then moved my rook to g8, promptly seeking to return the queen back to her castle.

Sadly, it didn't work. I didn't manage to notice that she can just take my h pawn without any worries. My bad. Feeling kind of vengeful, I finally decided to bust open the center by taking her d4 pawn with my c pawn.

"I had to, as humans would put it, make a deal with the Devil."

She moved her underdeveloped knight to e2, hoping to protect her c3 pawn from being taken by my queen with a check, which I was definitely planning on doing.

"One that I already regret doing at the moment but had no other alternatives aside from suddenly becoming ten times stronger than I already am and having my pieces scale with my power, which is too long for that to happen anytime soon. I may be the Sitri heir but not a monster, like some people that I know."

I in turn also developed my unmoved knight to c6, adding a defender to my hanging d4 pawn and also attacking her e5 pawn in doing so. Like one said, if you couldn't beat them, then copy their every move while incorporating it with your own movesets.

"Devil? From your tone, I don't think you appreciate this person very much if you're willing to use the title in a duragotive tone."

She moved her f pawn to f4, defending her center pawn from being taken by the knight. I guess she isn't planning to castle in this game.

"Who is it? An evil genius? A shady dealer? A noble that has been trying to get your hand in marriage? Or a former terrorist who used to work for the Old Satan Faction who had a change of heart?" I said as I took her c3 pawn with my pawn on d4.

"None of those… but much worse." sona answered as she brought her queen back down to d3, looking to take the pawn right next to it. I immediately advanced my pawn on d5 forward one square, protecting my c3 pawn from being captured.

"She makes every last one of them look like ants in comparison."

Just who could she be talking about? A being so dangerous that it made those I've stated before to be seen as inconvenience?

She took my d4 pawn with her knight.

'Oh if it's a trade you want, it's a trade you'll get.'

And so, I took her knight with my own knight on c6.

Sona immediately followed it up with queen takes d4.

"It's my sister," my hand, which was in the middle of placing my underdeveloped bishop to d7, stopped in its tracks for a moment.

"What's so bad about that? You made it sound like the person was worse than Hitler."

From what I knew, neither sister had any animosity between them, or Rias would have told me before. Akeno even said that Sirzechs and the other Maous, of which Serafall is part of, were all great friends. I think I even heard from Momo that Sona's sister was quite affectionate towards her little sister.

I could hear her teeth grinding and saw her fist clench on the table. She looked like she was about to lose it and flip the table, but was able to relax in the end and continued the game. She moved her queen to d6, asking for a trade of queens. A trade of queens that I politely declined by moving my queen to a5, a solid square which was eyeing down the white king, the path blocked by a single pawn.

"My sister… is not evil." I could see a 'but' coming. "But she can be a bit extreme with her affection towards me."

Oh? That was a bad thing? As a former brother, showing too much affection to your siblings sounded impossible.

I envied Serafall for still having her sister with her…

Sona moved her queen back to b4, asking for another trade of queens. No means no, woman! I just shuffled my queen to d5, a beautiful square right in the middle of the board.

"I disagree. Having a loving sibling is something you must cherish. Not everyone has one; some even dream of being in your position at having a loving sister."

I did, but that was all in the past.

"Yeah, right," she scoffed, dismissing my statement. "As if they'll be able to keep up with her humiliating display as a magical girl and have her hound you around yelling that accursed nickname every day! Do you know how many times she embarrassed me in public!?" she said exasperatedly as she moved her pawn to a4.

'This conversation should have been me talking with Sona and soothing her from any worries….'

I moved my knight to f5, a beautiful outpost, unable to be removed by any pawn on the board… other than g4 of course, but that would be a stupid move, and Sona doesn't do stupid moves.

'…turned to what I currently see as a girl bragging that she has a sibling, unlike me.'

Bishop to a3.

"..."

Wait.

Hold on.

What?

No way.

She just blundered mate in 1, didn't she? Sona, of all people.

"Sometimes, I wish she would just stop and leave me alone. Always So-tan this, So-tan that, Ugh it just becomes too much to deal with! Who would ever want a sister like that!?"

"..."

.

.

.

And she didn't even notice it.

Well, she was going to pay for it.

Nothing worse than a commander distracted on the battlefield.

"Minus 1000 points," I said, hearing that faint voice in my head.

That little girl's voice yelling at me, 'Onii-chan, what are you saying?! You dumbass! Nitwit! Hachiman.'

"Huh?"

"Queen to d2… checkmate."

Even though I should have been happy, I couldn't bring myself to smile or be joyful with my victory, despite the bewildered look on Sona's face before turning into horrified shock.

My mind was somewhere else.

It really was impossible to truly forget and move on from my past. Neither Sona nor Rias would ever understand the gift they had till they both lost it as well.

Whoosh!

A large blue circle appeared in the middle of the room, causing everyone in the clubroom to stop what they were doing.

"Oh no,"

Snapping out of her shock at her loss, Sona's face turned pale with horror visible in her eyes.

"Quick, Hachiman, leave before it's too late!"

What?

The sigil looked similar to the Sitri one. So why would I be scared of it?

"SO-TAN! ONEE-SAMA HAS COME TO KILL WHOEVER DARES TO STEAL MY LITTLE SISTER FROM ME!"

What sounded like the shrill cries of a banshee reverberated across the room and soon, a powerful presence was arriving through the portal.


The next 5 chapters of Snafu, Harry Potter and my 2 Fate fics are already available on my P treon. With 4 more Broly chapters at /NimtheWriter.