Hiiiiii~ Another chapter is here!
Not much to say aside from thank you to my newest patrons: Castle, AllenWalker iykyk, SirSchmoopy111, Brandon Carter, Kevin young, Jack boi and Korasakof. Y'all rock!
Next update is An Archer's Promise
Author NimtheWriter out!
Beta read by Shigiya.
Kuroka's head felt fuzzy, a throbbing headache that felt like it was about to split her head into two.
When was the last time she experienced such a sensation? Perhaps all those years when she escaped her former King's domain, forced to survive on scraps and struggle every passing second just to live another day. Running for months, having everyone hunt her like the Stray she was labelled by the Devils.
Hunted by all sides, Angels, Fallens, Devils and basically every pantheon in existence. She hated this feeling, to remind her of a past she buried deep within her memory with the hope to one day move on from it and forget. No amount of Senjutsu or Youjutsu was capable of relieving the trauma, so it was better to slip away if possible.
Groggily, the woman groaned while trying to open her eyelids — soft. The comfort of the bed she slept on gave the sensation as if she layed on a piece of cloud. Neither feeling too hot or cold, just warm and… safe? She recalled facing Shirone, wanting to take her away from these devils to a safer place.
Somewhere where she would be protected by her big sister against all odds. For now she had the strength and desire to never run away ever again, the decision of the past weighing heavily on her heart every single day. Yet much to her dismay and frustration, that Knight of Gremory came and ruined her perfect plan!
Though she wasn't worried as he wasn't a threat to her. His Sacred Gear on the other hand was dangerous, that she was willing to admit. Like a slow acting poison on her powers weakening them gradually with every strike or touch, where if by a streak of bad decision making the battle dragged on for too long, then he would have gotten the upper hand eventually.
'That is of course if I don't just rip his head off immediately.'
Kuroka had many, so many chances to just end that man's life with a single move, a single slash of her claws to cut his life with ease or to rip out his heart if she wanted to — but the consequences were far too big to justify going that far. Aside from the Gremory family and Lucifer no longer bothering to hold back and start hunting her down with pure bloodlust… She also didn't want to traumatise Shirone any more than necessary.
Fear, that was supposed to be her main weapon in this negotiation. To use that emotion to force the little girl to take the decision to join her willingly rather than using force.
Yet that fear disappeared when those two appeared, and then… then she didn't remember what happened afterwards.
Just fish eyes, and tentacles for some reason.
Nevertheless, she had to wake up and leave wherever this place was. It neither smelled like their base and foreign with a hint of a familiar fragrance. Kuroka opened her eyes and faced a high white ceiling made of gold and marble. With highly detailed paintings from what looked like the renaissance era and the sound of paper moving near her.
"—!" Her senses sharpened as she collected herself, clarity returning to her mind. Pushing herself up from the bed, she discovered her old kimono was gone and replaced with a simple white pyjama that felt so smooth on her skin that it didn't cause any irritation.
Wasn't she captured by the enemy in the end?
Honestly, she waited to be greeted by the sight of a dark, cold and wet dungeon whilst chained up from head to toe with countless restrictive spells keeping her power at bay. Perhaps surrounded by rats and insects to further enlarge the gravity of the present. Having to wait for Biko or Arthur to come by and help her out of this sticky mess. Yet here she was clothed and taken care of by these people who she considered her enemies.
"Who changed my clothes?" She whispered to herself, despite wandering around with a kimono that barely hid anything, Kuroka was still very closed off to the idea of showing her naked body to a random stranger, even her allies never saw her without it. Another reason why she wore such clothes was due to how easy it was to get in and out of it for her transformations.
Once again she heard the sound of a book's paper flipping. The Nekoshou slowly turned her head to the corner of the room where she found Hikigaya Hachiman sitting on a sofa, reading a book and sipping on some coffee with a raven haired woman next to him. There was someone else standing next to him like a bodyguard, holding a sword with holy properties which she identified as Durandal.
'Xenovia Quarta, I heard about her mother from Jeanne.'
One thing caught her attention, souring her heart when she saw it happening in front of her eyes. Not how relaxed these Devils were in front of a being who was feared as an SS-Class criminal — but rather the white haired girl sleeping on his lap as he gently caressed her head…
A pang of jealousy flashed by her eyes at the display of intimacy. Something only she was allowed to do all those years ago when they were still together. A form of affection that should have only been allowed between siblings or lovers, yet now it was evident that someone else's presence replaced her spot in Shirone's heart.
She didn't speak, merely persisting with her silence, the unwillingness to acknowledge all that was present to what was going on or the desire to tease anyone for the matter. Curious about her general case, Kuroka could do nothing but sigh audibly.
The boy who she believed to have been a small fool Vali had taken an interest in instead of the Red Dragon Emperor for reasons she previously could not comprehend glanced at her. No shouting or attacks were launched, her senses didn't detect any danger from him though she definitely sensed some hostility from the Gremory heir's Queen which she failed to hide with the facade mask of a gentle smile.
Hachiman put down the cup of coffee on the table.
"Rise and shine, sleeping beauty." He said with a neutral face, showing little to no emotions and thus making it hard for her to judge just what he was thinking about.
"Hikigaya Hachiman." She spoke, mildly amused as she saw the Queen tense up next to him as if she was going to attack him.
Not that she wasn't in the wrong, Kuroka did have thoughts of just throwing an attack on the boy and taking Shirone away from here.
"It's fine, Xenovia, she won't do anything."
Bold of him to assume so, what gave him such confidence that she wouldn't do so? Maybe the reason he had Shirone sleeping on his lap was to deter any sort of surprise attacks on her side? Perhaps, but she was confident in her own abilities to knock him and the Queen she now recognized as Akeno within a single second without waking up her sister.
"They say that no matter how old you become, when you are with your siblings, you revert back to childhood. The bonds between siblings never break no matter how far apart they are to each other. It's easy to get angry at them but hard to hate them." Hachiman spoke, grabbing her attention as he pinched Shirone's cheeks, causing the girl to frown cutely. Kuroka's eyes twitched at such a cute action. "These are a few quotes I read once before that stayed within my mind. Ever since I hung around with Rias and Akeno, I always saw the little ball of adorableness as the closest link to a sibling I had in this life. We barely talked in the beginning, you know? She was always scared of everything and preferred Rias over me as she saw me as someone potentially dangerous."
"It took some effort to get through the mental barrier she set around herself from the outside world. She was young but already jaded to the world by the events of her past. She rarely smiled or laughed, even with those that she trusted. Then I learned why this was the case, the past that scarred her to such a degree and its details — you could say that I was livid at you back then." He said calmly, while Kuroka for a split second broke eye contact.
Of course he would hate her past self, she did too and because her past self lacked the power to bring Shirone along, the little girl was left all by herself if it weren't for the Devils who found her.
"You didn't rebuke me and I can tell that to some extent you agree with me as well. But as they say, you can't change the past no matter how strong you become and trying to ignore it will only cause you problems."
The way he talked to her infuriated the black Nekoshou. What did he know about her!? Just because he got to learn of the events that happened with Naberius didn't mean he could decipher her persona. Like he could read her like an open book — how utterly ridiculous.
There was no need to remain her any longer, this was just a waste of her time.
"Tch, I don't need th—"
"I told Koneko everything that happened that day and she cried."
Shock coupled with doubts surfaces on her face, she couldn't hide it anymore with how sudden it was. "What?" Was all that could escape her lips.
"To bring you and Koneko on even grounds. I know you tried something similar as well, but your approach was so brutal and heavy handed that you only succeeded in further pushing her away from you. Going so far as to tell her that you'd attack or possibly kill her friends if she didn't listen to you? Do you not see just how idiotic this was? Just how much you were pushing her away?" She had nothing to say, no way to retort aside shooting him a glare. "Let me guess, after bringing Koneko along wherever your base of operation is, you would have bound her in a room or something and slowly try to show her how you aren't that bad. Or, use another threat on me or Rias to have her behave and stay with you… but a part of me thinks that maybe you didn't even think that far ahead. Maybe your comrades in the Khaos Brigade would have helped but not by that much."
"... shut up."
The door was just there, even the windows were opened giving her an easy path to escape. A trap hidden in plain sight, he could have asked the Maous or have Grayfia Lucifuge waiting for her outside. Kuroka was confident in her combat skills, but even she knew that taking on a woman who was equal to Serafall Leviathan was no different than admitting defeat.
"Are you scanning the surroundings for a way to escape?" This time Xenovia spoke for the first time, her tone frosty and chilling to the bone. "I'll slay you with my sword, Devil."
Akeno agreed, and followed with her own warning. "Don't bother attacking Hachi-kun with me here or even laying your finger on Koneko-chan. I'll burn you to ashes, I'm not as forgiving as him."
The Nekoshou resisted the urge to laugh at that statement. She had seen the fight against Riser Phenex and while it was true that both King and Queen were formidable Devils compared to the average Devil in their generation — they still couldn't hope to take her down. Now, dealing with Holy Lightning was tricky and a power she couldn't afford to get hit by, though with speed and good judgement, Kuroka believed to have the ability to take her down instantly. As for the Holy Sword user? She was still a human regardless, so aside from avoiding the weapon, a single full powered strike should be enough. Now the Black Dragon King was the most dangerous one here, the girl couldn't even remember how he managed to knock her unconscious so easily and those tendrils of his had become far more powerful than a few days ago.
"No need to antagonise her any further, I think that she gets the idea.."
"She genuinely had plans to hurt you and kidnap Koneko-chan. Don't you think so as well, Xenovia?" Akeno asked the former exorcist.
"I sense vile intentions from her."
"Exactly." She agreed, glad to have someone on her side on this problem.
"How the heck did you know that? Last time I checked, your bullshit Devil powers didn't include mind reading. Xenovia is suspicious of every Devil. She doesn't count."
"Fufufufu~, it's called a woman's intuition, Hachi-kun."
Humph, he wasn't treating her as a possible danger in the end. Which only cemented her belief of someone powerful hiding somewhere close. If Bikou was here then her chance for escaping successfully was quite high, without him it was too big of a risk.
"What do you want from me, nya? You won't get anything out of me I'm afraid." She said coily. "I know you're just going to have me taken away by the Devils or executed as an SS-Class criminal. This entire setup is cute but a total waste, you can't fool me~!"
Better to get down to the bottom of whatever this was. They obviously captured her and instilled a false sense of safety just to pry out information about the Khaos Brigade. She didn't have that big of a loyalty to those people but her group in particular was a different story.
Instead of getting frustrated or displeased by her answer, he started chuckling before ending up laughing.
"What's so funny, nya!?" His laughing was so weird and creepy that she got goosebumps all over her body! He looked like a villain planning on doing something bad with how he looked at her with those eyes if his.
"Hehehehe, n-nothing, j-just your words."
Oi, this boy was quite cute before, but now she wanted to clobber his face with his smug expression.
"And what's so funny about the little dragon?"
"Well, for one thing, I don't see a SS-Class criminal, only a confused older sister who loves Koneko… in her own twisted way and needs a good kick to the ass for acting stupid. I'm not saying that figuratively, poetically or an in-between the lines riddle. You, Kuroka, have been absolved."
"...What?" Kuroka believed that she was missing something here, the way he said it sounded like if… no, that couldn't be possible.
'Yes, I'm just imagining things! He's trying to trick me!'
"If you didn't understand, then let me put it in a simpler way. Kuroka, from now on you're no longer classified as an SS-Class criminal. After an extensive procedure of analysing the previous incident, uncovering various incriminating evidence against the Naberius former heir, along the discovery of his underground lab and finally the clans decision to vanish in a single night with suspicions of having joined the enemy side — you've been deemed as a victim of your King's action and have been relieved of any and all charges in your name. You're a free Devil, which sounds quite ominous I won't lie." A giant smirk formed on his face when he saw her shocked face.
"I-It can't be… you're lying!" Kuroka denied his words, furious he would use such tactics to fool her into letting her guard down.
"No he's not!"
The doors were pushed rather violently, sending a gust of wind inside the room with an ecstatic Serafall still wearing her suit. She held a document in her hand with the insignia of Lucifer and the Bael clan. "Sirzechs and I got that stupid Zall to stop being an idiot and agree to our terms!" She said cheerfully, bouncing around the room without any care.
"Oi, quiet down will you? You'll wake up Koneko."
"Ah, sorry about that, Dragon-kun. But now you must keep up the end of your promise and make an appearance on my show!"
"I never made such promises to you." He said with a deadpan.
"How about getting some blackmail material on Gabriel?"
"I would like to see you become a star as well, Hachi-kun. You'll look so dazzling on TV." Akeno chimed in as well, Xenovia eagerly nodded her head. The idea of playing the role of a hero with a Holy Sword was quite the appealing thought to her.
"My presence will just ruin the mood, now off you go, Serafall… we're not done here. I was trying to have an emotional conversation here and you're not helping."
"Ara ara~ you're being quite manipulative with others, Hachi-kun. I like it!"
As the three continued to banter around whilst disturbing Koneko's sleep, Kuroka's pin sized eyes were focused on the document Serafall left on the bed. Her heart was drumming loudly with great disbelief and shaky hands, the woman picked up the documents and slowly read through it.
'It can't be real, it can't be real… it just can't!'
Everything she had done so far, the crimes these Devils used as a justification to chase her down the ends of the Earth years ago, forcing her to hide and seek protection from others.
She trained, spilled blood, sweat and tears just to reach her current level in order to protect herself and one day get her Shirone back.
Now… Now she was freed? A blank slate just like that?
It was so hard to believe this was real that she kept having doubts whether they were trying to set up a trap.
'But with Serafall here… why even bother putting up an act?'
Her ears twitched, she saw Koneko wake up from her nap. "Onee…-sama?" She looked at her with those pure hazel eyes, lacking the previous rage or fear.
Hachiman got up, with her sister holding his hand he came closer with a shit eating grin.
"I remember telling you before to trust me and give me some time, because in the end, I, thanks to Sirzechs and Serafall's help, managed to accomplish what you believed to have been an impossible task. You owe me a favour, cause now you can just stay with your sister here without worrying about someone trying to kill you. Heck, I give you my word that no one here will try to force you into their peerage."
"You…" she no longer knew what to feel anymore, anger, incredulity, thankfulness, joy, warryness and so many more emotions all raging inside her mind for the last few seconds. "Why?"
Why go this far for her? What did she do to deserve this?
He shrugged, "Why not? Not everything needs to have a deep reason driving me to get out of my comfort zone to help someone. You wanted to be with Koneko but sucked at accomplishing it, and I had enough seeing you two hurting each other. So, here we are. See? Quite simple."
To say something like that… just what was he thinking?
"Besides, I don't like seeing siblings quarrel with each other to such an extent. Koneko here still sees you as an elder sister even after everything that happened." He gently pushed the girl to walk forward, she meekly sat next to her on the bed, looking at her hands.
Kuroka wanted to hold her so badly, but she endured and waited for Shirone to talk first.
"Why didn't you tell me the full story with the Naberius king?" The white-haired girl asked.
"I'm sorry… I don't know."
"Why did you become so cruel and say that you'd hurt my friends?"
Kuroka's eyes started to sting as her furry cat ears slumped.
"You even tried to take me by force, even if that meant hurting me."
"I would've hated you for the rest of my life."
She flinched at those words, even while prepared for such a repercussion it felt like someone stabbed a dagger inside her heart.
"Would you have been able to live with that? At some point, I could turn out like you and try to kill everyone just to protect those I care about."
"I-I-I'm… sorry," she hiccuped, unable to hold the tears from streaming down her face.
"Buchou is a nice person. She and Hachiman-senpai have been taking care of me when I was all alone.."
"You wanted to be with me even if it meant I despised you afterwards?"
The black-haired Nekoshou hesitated before slowly nodding her head. She expected for an outburst, for her sister to walk out of the room and shout to never show her face again. But instead, the woman felt her sleeves get tugged, her body went rigid when her little Shirone scooted over.
She met her gaze which still held no hate or rage — just mild discontent. "From now on, you shouldn't do that anymore. Because we'll be together like before and if you break this rule… I'll hate you."
Those words broke the dam inside Kuroka, unable to control herself anymore, she grabbed her sister in a tight hug and started crying out loud.
"Waaaaaahhh! I-I-Im so sorry S-Shirone! I promise to be the best sister in the world and never make you cry!" She continued to blubber loudly, making Serafall, Xenovia, Akeno and Hachiman smile as they stood outside of the room and the former to high-five his lover in a job well done.
"Let me go, you're ruining my clothes with your tears." Koneko said, annoyed with her big sister's exaggerated wails. "And your breasts are suffocating me." Seriously, they were suffocating her and she hated how unnecessarily big they were!
Were they really sisters?
"Waaaahhh, I missed you, Shirone!" Kuroka didn't listen and only held her tighter, burying the poor little neko in her expansive cleavage. "Wuuuuu! I waited so long to hug you again in my bosom!"
Left with no other options, Koneko sighed before returning the hug.
"I missed you too, stupid Onee-sama." She said with a small smile gracing her lips.
Well, things went better than I expected.
I was honestly waiting for Kuroka to just ignore everything and go on the offensive whilst not holding back anymore. Though with Grayfia in the building and Serafall, that was not a concern anymore.
Finally, this issue was resolved, at least partially.
"You haven't mentioned the condition of her freedom." Serafall mentioned, she had the biggest smile on her face as she peeked inside the room, cooing at the sisterly bonding. Given her relationship with Sona and how much she loved her — I knew she related a lot to Kuroka's case… just like me. "Nothing is given for free, especially in our society."
I couldn't help but sigh, yes, I had to agree with her. But at least it wasn't something ridiculous or even downright impossible.
"If I had brought up the condition during the conversation then she would have further doubted my words and yours. And given she wasn't in the best state of mind with how wary she was of everything, this topic would have ruined any progress. It's better we wait, let her have a taste of freedom and finally be united with her sister to bring this matter up. Then she won't have a choice but to accept."
"I feel like she's more suspicious now that you've helped her for free. Oh well, at least now she looks happy." Akeno shook her head with an exasperated expression. "Again, that's very manipulative on your end, it's almost cruel even. That's very much not like you, Hachi-kun."
"I know, but it's the best course of action in the end. I know how much of a miracle Senjutsu is with healing both the body and soul after every I've researched with Koneko. Kuroka is a master with great control over her powers, so there is no danger of any mistake or corruption in this scenario. With enough driving force, she'll be able to help Misla Bael with her condition."
"Don't you feel bad tricking her like this?"
"I don't. The benefits to both Koneko and us far outclasses any guilt I may have experienced with this. Plus she made Koneko cry, so take this as a punishment on my end." I said with indifference, all of this was for Koneko's sake and not Kuroka. If the woman refused to work for her freedom and sister then she didn't deserve it.
"Ah, by the way, Sirzechs is looking for you. Don't be late, Dragon-kun and do think carefully about my offer to star on my show! I promise that you won't regret it~."
"I'll think about it," regardless of how unwilling I was to do such a thing. I still owed a huge debt to both her and Sirzechs that needed to be repaid one way or the other. I could just do a small cameo on set or wear a tree number 5 costume and become part of the background. Acting wasn't my speciality so it was for the best that the audience didn't experience any second hand embarrassment.
"See you, Hachi-kun, I'll be waiting for you tonight~" Sultry, her voice carried in his ears with goosebumps spreading all over my body.
This girl was truly a succubus.
"Can I be of service or watch from the sidelines? I want to study and take notes for future use."
I nearly tripped when Xenovia said that, did this girl not know shame!?
"No! We won't be doing anything like that now, not the best time or place."
"Hah, how unfortunate." Akeno whined, "alright, take care of yourself." She gave me a kiss on the lips, going so far as to sneak her tongue inside before leaving quickly after my face turned crimson. I turned to see Xenovia writing something inside her notebook…
As I walked through the east wing of the manor by myself, Vritra spoke to me.
"That was very generous of you, partner. To reunite two siblings like that, many wouldn't have gone that far even for their loved ones. I don't even think anyone suspected Kuroka to be a victim in the first place."
Understandably so, given how she was portrayed as a King slayer who lost herself to the corruption of Senjutsu and having worked alongside terrorists didn't help her image in the least.
"It wasn't a hard decision in the first place."
"You say that you did this for Rook's sake, but tell me truthfully, was it for or for yourself? Reuniting two siblings, something you can relate to I suppose."
"..." My body froze up as I processed his words. Maybe I misunderstood it for someone else… "I guess I can relate to that, Asia is like a sister to me and having her away with Gabriel does make it hard for me sometimes."
Vritra chuckled, "I feel the same way about the little Dragon Maiden, but that is not what I'm talking about. Tell me, partner, don't you want to meet your real sister, Komachi?"
I was hit by something no different to a stun spell. How did he know about my past!? I made sure to never bring it up to anyone or even mention Komachi to Vritra once in the past! "How did you…" I asked, afraid to know the answer as this conversation was something I dreaded to have for years. Not even Akeno knew about it.
"I had a dream a few of them, not that long ago. Honestly, never in my life did I ever expect for one of my hosts to be a person from another world. I won't lie, it intrigues me immensely how you managed to be reborn here of all places and what that entails given the Dimensional Gap is supposed to keep any and all foreign entities closed in their own world. Yet here you are." I had no knowledge to share with Vritra given this matter was a mystery to me as well. How I got here and who was responsible for it were questions with no answers. "Though your maturity at such a young age also starts to make sense. My host is actually a middle aged man inside a youngling's body."
Why did he have to make it sound so wrong?
"Vritra, please never phrase it like that again, and I've made peace with my past, there is no need to go back to it." I said, wanting to change the subject if possible but knew Vritra too well — he wouldn't let it go.
"That is a bold thing to say, have you made peace or are you running away from it? Perhaps you fear delving too deep into this mystery to only find out one day that there is nothing you can do to go back. So, you've closed your mind to it and waited to march through the pain and grow numb to it."
This conversation was getting on my nerves rather quickly.
"I don't need your philosophical lecture right now, just tell me where you're going with this."
"Not a lecture, partner. I'm just pointing out what I've understood so far. There is still a part of you that wishes to go back, yet you are killing that part every time it surfaces." He calmly spoke to me, but I wasn't willing to listen to this for long.
"I have people here as well, I've lived in this world just as long as my last one. Going back would mean leaving them, which I'm unwilling to do."
"That I agree with, but that does not mean you've given up on them. It does not mean you care any less about the people of your past." He said words I could not refute, true, I did care about the people in my past life. I wanted to know how my parents were, if they were well and alive. I wanted to know if Komachi lived a peaceful life right now, she probably was a working woman right now. Maybe she even got married and had kids for all he knew. The people he met in school, whether they even remembered him and to see if they all moved on.
It was probably the latter, I wasn't someone hard to forget given my loner lifestyle. They most likely moved on before the end of the year even, and I didn't blame them for that one bit.
"Why bother thinking about the past? It'll only drive me crazy and depressed. Sometimes, it is better to let go and find inner peace."
"To some extent, I would agree with this. But don't you find this entire thing strange? Unlike Sétanta whose soul was reincarnated into a descendant of Cú Chulainn, he at least was from this world. You are not, meaning that someone had a hand in your case, a being ripped you away from a life you enjoyed and dropped you here for reasons that escape my understanding. Aren't you curious on who that might be and to know whether he can temporarily send you back to your original world to give your final goodbyes."
I sighed, "I never thought about it that far ahead. But…"
If what he said was the truth, then I needed to know why at the very least. Why was I brought here and taken away from my past world? If this person did exist, then finding him or her would become one of my top priorities.
"... I guess it wouldn't hurt to dig around for some information."
"Yes, come in."
Hearing Sirzechs voice, I pushed open the doors and walked inside his study room within the Gremory castle. A place he spent most of his time on a regular day just to sort out any and all paperwork.
He looked at me suspiciously for a second, "Wait, you're not a Devil yet?"
"Did Sona tell you about what happened?" I thought she preferred to keep it a secret for the meantime and bring it up later.
Someone else answered that question, "I did." Walking inside the room was a man clad in expensive garba and vibrant slicked back vibrant green hair — the savant genius Ajuka Beelzebub. And next to him was a woman with dark hair, following him dressed like a secretary. I squinted my eyes, she looked very familiar for some reason. She even gave me a warm smile which I returned with an awkward hand wave.
Have we met before?
"I'm quite surprised how you are still human despite your body not rejecting the piece. Mind sharing with me your secrets? As far as I know, there is no way to block the effects of an Evil Piece when fully accepted by the body and soul."
Knowing Sona she would have asked me to keep it a secret as a hidden trump card. Though she hasn't said anything back then due to shock most likely.
"I prefer to keep that a secret if you don't mind. In due time, you'll know what happened along with everyone else."
He didn't try to force an answer out of me and merely smiled and agreed with me. "Then I look forward to that day. Now, you must be wondering why Sirzechs called you here, right?"
The man with the moniquer of Lucifer presented me with a paper with information about a recent attack on Olympus by whom they suspected to be the Khaos Brigade. The more I read the more shocking the contents became. A literal god kidnapped? That was both hilarious to think about and horrifying as heck. What was even more shocking was the fact that they traced possible evidence of the god's presence within the Underworld!
"One of Azazel's close friends from within the Greek Pantheon contacted him for aid about this particular case. They need someone to find and rescue Hephaestus, several parties were sent to scout the land but none have returned with any results as of yet."
I gave him a weird stare, "And what makes you think that I can find him instead? Not to be rude but my Sacred Gear is not a hound who can sniff out the god."
His smile didn't lessen, I couldn't read this man at all.
"But you are in a contract with someone who can find him. But calling her a hound would earn me her ire so let's not call her that. The last thing Devils want is an angry Dragon King."
By that, didn't he mean…
When was the last time we met? It had been so long and I didn't know if she was going to like my absence this entire time.
"Yes, according to Azazel, Tiamat has known the god for centuries and could always find him no matter where he hid in Olympus in order to force him to craft more treasures for her collection. Even with Zeus' aid she caught him in the depth of Tartarus within a day. Understandably, we tried to talk to her but all our attempts were ignored and she destroyed half of Ajuka's manor."
The green haired Maou sighed, "Yes, my brother Diodora was almost caught in the attack but survived with minor burns and a broken hand.
Poor guy, I was already imagining the terror he must have felt.
"I know this is sudden, Hachiman-kun. But having the Greek Pantheon, Zeus more specifically, owe us a favour is not an opportunity we can ignore. Give it a try, if even Tiamat can not find him then we've tried our best. Of course, you will be compensated appropriately, so this is not a free request."
I gave this a thought, it didn't hurt if I just asked Tiamat to help them out a bit. "I guess I can help if it's possible."
"Great! Oh, and before you go. Someone asked us to join you in this quest. He's waiting for you outside."
Hm? That made me curious.
"Okay, I'll be going now."
As I left the room, I heard Ajuka talk to his secretary.
"Viser, put these files back in my office."
That was Viser!?
While still recovering from the shock I initially felt about the identity of the woman. I couldn't help but chuckle at how weird life worked. I saved her from her beast form all because Asia asked me, if it weren't for her then Viser would have died. I wondered the entire time how Asia handled the situation, I knew she even asked Rias for help.
Who would have thought that she actually made the girl become Ajuka's assistant or secretary.
"Good for her, I guess."
As I walked out of the manor, I saw someone standing outside with his arms crossed. He was a handsome fellow with black hair and violet eyes. And by god was he tall, perhaps even taller than Azazel! With a muscular build which he must have gotten from extreme training and a face that resembled that of Rias and Sirzechs.
Wait, I remember Rias talking about him in the past. And from her family picture, he was present in many of them.
The next 5 chapters of Snafu, Harry Potter and my 3 other Fate fics (Fate Coiling Sword with 3 chapters, A Fake Familiar Reborn with 3 chapters and To love a sword having 4 chapters) are already available on my P treon. With 4 more Broly chapters at /NimtheWriter. Also, I post monthly commissioned arts on each story, already posted a few on an Archer's Promise, Broly and Snafu.