Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or High School DxD, unfortunately. Those rights belong to Masashi Kishimoto and Ichiei Ishibumi respectively. I also don't own any other anime or video games, its characters, names, or abilities that might appear in this story. And so, without delay… Sit back, relax and enjoy the story.

People speaking: "A true king stands with their men."

People thinking: 'I will live in the now, not the past.'

Creatures/Weapons speaking: "With this blood/I vow to win."

Creatures/Weapons thinking: 'To fight is to live/And to live is to fight'

Techniques: "Shatter to pieces!"

Chapter 22 – Search for the Lucifer and the Neko

"I must admit, this new formula used for the legendary Hiraishin is incredible." Ajuka stated as he operated his machines as several cameras and scanners surrounded one of Minato's Hiraishin Kunai, continuing to type in new information that he was receiving from his scientific equipment, the blonde Human it belonging to standing right beside him. "This goes far beyond the original technique created by Tobirama Senju during the Great War, and he was considered to be one of the most gifted Paladins of his lifetime. Not only were you able to master it on a level far beyond its creator, you found a way to improve it and make it your own with the creation of these kunai knives."

"I'm honored to be compared to Tobirama-sama, tales of his prowess on and off the battlefield inspired me and many of my friends back at the orphanage where we grew up." Minato replied as he rubbed the back of his head with a smile on his face upon receiving Ajuka's praise.

"Not really surprising there. Our Faction lost an entire division of Devils to him, his brother and their clan, which was hard for many of the older generations to accept since he and his family were Humans." Memories of the Great War flashed through the green-haired Satan's mind as he thought back to the Senju Clan, a family of Human warriors that served under God, the Angel Faction and the Churches, and given weapons and abilities to aid them in the war. An image of a white-haired man with dark-colored eyes and wearing armors flashed through his mind; Tobirama being one of the few Humans to truly earn his respect and the respect of other survivors from the Great War. "The Senjus were blessed by God, true, but they were otherwise normal Humans that both Devils and Fallen Angels believed to be inferior to the Supernatural beings from any of the Factions."

"Never underestimate the potential of Humans, especially when our backs are to the wall." Minato kept the smile on his face as he moved his hand from his head to his hip, "It's because of our weaknesses that we do our best to improve and create better ways to survive whatever comes our way."

A large smile formed on Ajuka's face before nodding his head, "Very true! Another reason why I decided to create the Evil Piece System! We Devils might be powerful, but we are far from perfect. Most of my kind don't even attempt to improve themselves unless circumstances demands it."

"It is certainly a weakness that can be exploited if they aren't careful. One of the reasons I became so infamous was because I worked to improve myself and thought of know ways to use the power given to me by the Holy System Control thanks to Archangel Michael." Minato moved out of the way as another Branch member of the Lucifer clan's tracking team rushed passed him with a quick apology, watching as the Devil used special equipment to move one of his Hiraishin Kunai, since it was technically a Holy Weapon and would cause some damage if touched directly. "If it wasn't for him and Gabriel, who actually took an interest in my training, I would've been killed a long time ago."

"Interesting words coming from the Church's Yellow Flash and one of the strongest Paladins to appear in the centuries to follow the Great War. You were declared as the fastest man in the Supernatural World and known to defeat countless Ghouls and other enemies of the Church in only a few seconds. You trained alongside the current Paladin and Strongest Exorcist, even though you didn't possess a Sacred Gear like he did… Such a humble Human." Ajuka couldn't help but let out a chuckle at his own words as he took notice to more Devils working under him and the Lucifer Clan were continuing to use their own copies of Minato's Hiraishin Kunai to track down the marker on Mito. It was obvious that the older Devils working on the special knives were still a little wary and somewhat fearful of the legendary triple-prong kunai knives spread out across the room. "Heh. Imagine my surprise when I hear from Sirzechs that the reports we received about your death were not only falsified, but you were married into the Lucifer Clan and father of two children at that. I'd certainly like to hear how that came to be."

"Let's just say that life is a funny thing, and fate has a strange way of pointing us down paths that lead to the craziest situations." Closing his eyes at that, Minato let out a soft sigh as his expression turned completely serious "I was an orphan my entire childhood, so the fact that I met Kushina and was able to have a family with her, with three wonderful children, is an outcome I don't regret in the slightest. There are only two things that I regret, and one of those is that I was not able to protect my son and daughters from getting into these dangerous situations. But I guess that is the consequence of getting rusty after being out of action for so long… I need to get back into shape if things are heading in the direction I think they are."

"… At least you have no issues with admitting that." Ajuka spoke up after a few moments of silently reviewing the data being collected from the Hiraishin formula, "Only a very few actually swallow their pride to admit to their own failings, while others believe that they don't need to improve themselves in any way and see themselves as invincible. If I'm being honest… it is those types of people that I dislike the most."

"Ever the dedicated scientist, aren't you?" A female voice spoke up from behind them, making the two men turn their heads to see Kaguya walking up to them with an amused expression on her face and her arms crossed under her large bosom. All of the Branch members bowing quickly at the Lucifer Clan's Head as she entered the room before continuing their work, while some of the Devils working under Ajuka stared at the only female Super Devil in awe for a bit longer until they composed themselves and returned to their objective as well. "You've been like that ever since you were a child, obsessing on your little hobby over everything else."

Ajuka couldn't help but let out a laugh as he stepped away from his computer and placed a hand on his hip, "And whose fault was that? I seem to recall a certain someone encouraging me when I was a child to pursue my 'obsession' to learn all that I can and become a scientist/creator, telling me that "There are enough muscle-headed destroyers ruining everything else the world.""

"Hmm, such wonderful advice." The smile on Kaguya's face didn't last long as she came to a stop beside Ajuka and Minato, turning her head to the nearest screen where a digital image of Minato's Hiraishin formula could be seen with various data and numbers circling around it. "Any updates as to finding out where the House of Botis took Mito and Koneko?"

Shaking his head with a scowl forming, Minato couldn't help but let out a heavy sigh. "Unfortunately, we've got nothing on the magical end so far. Any usage tracking spells doesn't seem to be working, even though I added in some additional sealing formulas to the original design in order to get a general idea of what kind of dimension we are looking for. I've also tried seeing if we could try and reverse summoning Mito back here by boosting the connection between the kunai knives I have here and them, but that didn't work either, plus the downside of that plan is that only Mito would be teleported her since I don't have a marker on Koneko… I can only guess that something is interfering with any attempts to connect with them magically, let alone sense either presence of the girls or the House of Botis."

"Could it be Senjutsu? It does allow its user to cloak themselves and avoid detection." Kaguya questioned, having some experience with the technique in her younger days when she came across a few Yokai who had managed to tap into the dangerous power, with a good number of them succumbing to the corrupting malice and negative that came with it.

"Very true… It is still hard to believe that the House of Botis somehow managed to find a way for them to harness the power of Senjutsu via serum injections, though if it rebounded on them, the injections the group that had attacked Rias and the others at the movie theater must've been a prototype of some sort. That house of snakes have never cared about their subordinates in the slightest, always willing to sacrifice them or the innocent without blinking an eye." A small frown formed on Ajuka's face at his own words. A somewhat obsessive scientist and enthusiastic inventor he may be, the green-haired Satan never believed in needlessly sacrificing the lives of others to further his research.

"So it's a strong possibility that have more of those double-edge serums, or worse, more advanced injections that don't carry the same weaknesses." Placing a hand on his hip, a frown formed on Minato's face as well as he thought back to the damage created from the group that attacked the young Devils, having seen the image recordings that had been made by Rias and the Lucifer Side Branch before they began restoring the theater rooms.

"Even if we boot the abilities of our Sensory Type Devils, there is a strong possibility that it won't work since Senjutsu is still an open area of unknown territory. Which is why scanning the formula of the Hiraishin using my machine and computing in any possibilities that would help us out a lot more beneficial in our search." Ajuka added as he turned his head back to the computer as it finished scanning the kunai, moving close to the machine before typing rapidly across the keyboard for several minutes while nodding to himself. "There is good and bad news to what has been attempted so far by the Search Parties. Because of the quarrels that the House of Botis has faced in the past when it came to dealing with other Houses from the remaining Pillars, as well as other Factions, there is no way that they could get away with hiding with one of them without having permission to enter those special dimensions."

"Which basically means that the search turns into looking at places where they would have access to… What about their home Dimension?" Kaguya questioned.

Only for Ajuka to shake his head at that, "That was one of the first places that we tried, but it's unlikely. After the whole issue involving Kuroka killing Sutairi Botis, The other Satans and I took a glance at their records, and while we didn't find any documentations about what he and his House were up to recently, they was still enough evidence for us to put them under suspicion for crimes against other Houses."

"I heard about that. It forced them to go on the run and then into hiding," Another female voice spoke up, belonging to a redheaded girl that looked to be around sixteen or seventeen years old. She had long red hair that was inherited by the females of the Lucifer Clan, though it had the unique style of being short and spikier on the right side of her hair in contrast to the longer and straight style she had on the left side of her head. Another unique thing about the girl was the brown narrow glasses that she was wearing, which were glinting from all of the computer lights and magical circles hitting against them in the dark room. She was wearing a lavender long-sleeved shirt with the sleeves rolled up to her elbows and had the last few buttons undone to expose her navel and a loose white necktie, black pants that reached just passed her knees and tucked into a pair of black thigh-high, low heel boots. Reaching a hand up to her glasses to push them up, the action removed the glint from them and revealed her crimson eyes which matched the color of her hair, "If we are going by deductive reasoning, there is a strong chance that they are hiding somewhere connected to the House of Botis in some way, probably through one of Sutairi's hidden labs. It was no secret that the bastard had hideouts all over the place. We just need to find a place that would benefit them the most and see if we can detect anything that could lead us to Senjutsu or the Hiraishin mark on Mito-chan."

"You certainly know your stuff for someone so young." Ajuka commented with an intrigued expression as he stared at the girl, who let out a huff as she placed a hand on her hip.

"Of course I do. I may be young and from the Side Branch, I'm one of the best fuckin' Sensory Type and Trackers that the Lucifer Clan has! So instead of having light conversations, let's focus on the important matters at hand." The girl retorted with a frown on her face before turning her attention to Kaguya and Minato, "With your permissions, I'd like to retrieve Kuroka and see if she can give us a list of locations that Sutairi Botis used as hideouts/laboratories. She would also be a great help in detecting Senjutsu if those assholes are using it as a cloaking device."

"Very well, Karin. Please go get Kuroka-san. I'm sure she wouldn't mind helping us out." Minato said, to which the glasses-wearing redhead nodded her head before sped-walked out of the room as fast as she could. The blonde Human turned his head towards Ajuka, who just had an amused look on his face as he watched Karin leave. "I'm sorry about that, everyone is a little on edge about Mito-chan and Koneko-chan's safeties."

"No need to apologize. It's understandable in this sort of situation." The Beelzebub dismissed before the amusement on his face was switched with a serious expression, "Besides, locating the House of Botis and rescuing the girls are only the first steps. The rest of your Clan hasn't been subtle in their preparations for battle."

Kaguya had a cool expression on her face at that, "There's no reason for us to hide our intentions for the battle to come. The House of Botis has threatened the lives of my grandchildren, their friends and the House of Gremory. For them to come out of this situation alive or unharmed is foolish and unrealistic."

(Outside at the Lucifer Mansion)

Standing by himself in the open area facing away from the mansion with Excalibur in both hands, Naruto had his eyes closed as he took in a soundless deep breath, his right leg positioned a few feet ahead of his left while he held Excalibur in front of him. A few seconds passed as silence spread throughout the area until Naruto's eyes snapped open, raising his sword high above his head before bringing the blade down. He wasn't finished as Excalibur's blade changed directions and swung horizontally in front of him, before it was followed by a few diagonal strikes until Naruto did a 180 degree spin with his sword in his right hand. Frozen in his stance for a few seconds, Naruto let out sigh as he stood up straight before looking down at Excalibur with frown.

"… It's still off." Naruto muttered to himself as he moved his sword to his side, rubbing the back of his head with his free hand.

"That looked pretty good to me, especially since you were using a western sword." A familiar voice spoke up from the side, making Naruto turn his head to see a smiling Gemini walking up to him with her hands behind her back. "Sorry, didn't mean to interrupt. I just saw you from the window and came to see how you're doing."

"No problem… I needed the distraction… Waiting for my Dad and the others to track Mito and Koneko… Being able to do nothing is driving me crazy," Naruto confessed as he raised Excalibur up to his face. "I figured if I focused on how to improve myself with Excalibur it might help keep me busy until then, but I'm having some problems."

"Well that makes sense," Gemini spoke up as she walked up to Naruto with her gaze focused on Excalibur, leaning closer as she came to a stop a few feet away from the Lucifer Heir and his sword, making sure to keep a good distance from the Holy Sword the divine energy coming from it. Not really smart to get too close to those things if you didn't have an affinity for Holy objects. "Whenever I see you training, it looks like your trying to fight with a sword you don't have. You were trained to fight with a Japanese sword, right?"

"You could tell?" Naruto asked with a raised eyebrow.

Gemini nodded her head with a smile as she pulled back, doing a fist pump with patting the bicep of her arm, "I may not look like it, but I was trained how to wield a katana by a powerful Samurai by the name of Mifune. He taught me how to fight with a sword and the way of the samurai!"

"The way of the samurai, huh?" Naruto repeated as he placed his free hand on his hip, "In other words, the Japanese equivalent to a knight."

"In a way, but at the same time there are several differences between the two as well. Just as there are differences in fighting and wielding Eastern or Western swords."Avalon explained as she appeared over Naruto's shoulder with her eyes closed and arms crossed.

"Exactly! Which is why I'm confused," Gemini spoke up as she circled around Naruto with a puzzled expression, her gaze shifting up and down the Lucifer Heir's form. "It is obvious that you are better at fighting with a Japanese blade, so why keep Excalibur stay in its default form. One of its abilities allows you to change it into whatever sword you want, right?"

"… No real reason, I just… didn't want to change its form just to suit me. I'll have to get used to fighting with Excalibur's true form eventually. Though without an expert swordsman of the Western style to teach me, especially someone who trained with medieval swords like this, it's going to be a while until then. Avalon can help a little, but even she said that having a physical instructor would be better than her giving me verbal lessons." Naruto explained as he dismissed his sword before looking up at the sky, while Avalon sat on his shoulder. "I tried going to the one who trained me the first time, but Miya-sensei wasn't able to help much except for telling me to continue practicing so I would get used to the heavier weight of Excalibur compared to the Japanese swords I've used in the past."

"Makes sense I suppose, but don't hold yourself back too much because of stupid, macho-pride. Never know when it could come back and kick you in the ass." Gemini stated as she flashed a smile at Naruto, before realizing what she just said and who she said it to. "Oh! Sorry bout that! People say that I need to think before speaking… Not to mention my tendency to daydream a lot…"

"Don't worry about it, you're absolutely right. I can't be an idiot and let my pride get the better of me…" Letting out a low chuckle, Naruto shook his head a few times in a dismissive manner. "And I think speaking your mind is a good quality. And honestly, those kinds of things make you who you are, so I'd prefer you be yourself instead of holding it in and acting like someone you're not."

Gemini's eyes widened at that before a bright smile formed on her face followed by laughter, "You're a nice guy, know that?"

"If you say so." Naruto answered with a shrug at her words. It wasn't kindness when he said that, it was just he hated it when people lied to themselves and tried to change how they were to appease others around them. Feeling Avalon's small hand pat the side of his head, Naruto shifted his gaze to see the tiny spirit, who silently motioned back towards the mansion. Naruto nodded his head in understanding before turning back to Gemini, "Sorry, I've got to go and see if there are any leads to finding out where Mito and Koneko were taken."

"No problem! I've got to get ready myself! If we're going to go to war with the House of Botis, then I'll need to make sure my blade is ready for action!" The redheaded American replied while leaning forward a bit with a determined smirk and her hands balled up into fists in front of her face, "We'll show them not to mess with us Lucifers!"

"… Yeah, thanks, Gemini… and for the helpful advice." Spinning himself around with nodding his head to the girl as he dismissed Excalibur, Naruto began making his way towards the mansion while Avalon sat on his shoulder. '… I really have been an idiot…'

An image of a younger him sitting in a seiza position in front of his sensei, Miya, who was mirroring him while two wooden swords were placed between them. The woman's words echoing through his mind as he soon reached the entrance of his home. "If you truly wish to study the art of the sword from me, you must remember one thing… Become strong. Strong enough to protect the ones important to you, and protect yourself. That is my only wish to you as you learn my sword style…" Miya's voice was quickly drowned out as the blonde reached out and grabbed the handle to the door.

'Until I find someone who can teach me how to fight with a western blade, I can't weaken myself… Not when I have people I need to protect.' Turning the knob and letting himself in, Naruto had only one thing left to say to himself in a low whisper, "My blade will soar to the skies above."

(Secret Botis Dungeon)

"How are your hands, Mito?" Koneko asked as she knelt down next to the young Lucifer, who was resting up against the wall of their prison cell.

Shakily raising her hands up to reveal the burns that were still pretty fresh from the electric jail bars shocking her, Mito flashed the Nekoshou a smile. "They still sting a little, but I-I'm getting used to it…"

"…" Frowning slightly as she could tell that her friend was just putting on a brave face, Koneko turned to where water drops were seen falling from the ceiling and walked over to where the drops were landing. Using her strength to tear her short sleeves off, she carefully ripped them into two long strips before holding them under the water drops to absorb the moisture. Moments had passed before the white haired girl was satisfied with how wet the clothes were and made her way back to Mito, before wrapping each strip around the younger girl's hands and tied small knots so they wouldn't come undone. "There. It isn't proper first aid, but they'll have to do for now."

"Thank you, Koneko-sempai. That feels a lot better actually." Mito admitted as she looked down at her bandaged hands in relief.

Nodding her head, Koneko sat herself next to Mito while closing her eyes. Except for the mild noise coming from the experimental creatures in the other cages, the two were mostly greeted by silence as they sat in their spot against the wall. Until it was broken by a voice.

"I'm sorry, Mito."

"Huh?" The redheaded girl looked at her friend in confusion, only to see that Koneko was staring ahead with sadness and regret in her eyes, "What are you talking about? I was the one who wasn't thinking and got shocked."

"You wouldn't be here if it wasn't for me." Thinking back to how she separated from the group and went to probably the most obvious place she be, just to get away from Kuroka. If she hadn't done that, Mito wouldn't have followed her and got caught up in that battle with Kasumi and her servants. "I let my mixed feelings for my sister get the better of me."

"… Nah, you shouldn't blame yourself for that. I don't." Mito shifted her eyes back and forth as if she was making sure no one was listening before leaning in closer, "Don't tell, but Onii-chan sometimes gets on my nerves too."

Letting out a sigh at that, Koneko turned to Mito with a deadpanned expression, "I don't think your feelings for Naruto and my feelings for Kuroka are exactly the same."

"It might not be the exact same, but there are times when he does something I don't like and I can hold a grudge against him for a long time… Nevertheless I still love him because he's my Onii-chan!" Mito stated with a bright smile, "Just like you still love your sister! You might be angry at her, disappointed, sad, all of the bad stuff… But I can tell you still feel all of the good ones too, right?"

"… Maybe… I just wish she didn't abandon me… She could've easily taken me with her. Then I wouldn't have been put on death row for what she did, and had to face all that pain alone… I lost count of how many times back then that I wished for Kuroka to come and save me." The petite Youkai confessed as she brought her knees up to her chest, "All that time in that cold, dark dungeon by myself. I gave up hope after the second week, and everything else disappeared after that."

A sad look formed on Mito's face upon hearing that, "I'm sorry you had to go through all of that."

"Buchou and Sirzechs-sama, it was because of them that I got a second chance. She gave me a new name, a new family… I love them all. Buchou, Akeno-sempai, Kiba, Asia-sempai, Issei-sempai, you, Naruto-sempai, Arcueid-san… Even Gawain and Xenovia…" With each name she listed, Koneko's ears continued to lower until they were flattened against the back of her head, her body starting to tremble as tears built up in her eyes. "It's because of their obsession with revenge that they came after me and the people I care about… The House of Botis has caused enough pain in my life, and if anything were to happen to any of you… I'd…"

A pair of petite arms gently wrapped themselves around the Nekoshou's head before pulling her close until her head was resting against Mito's chest. In that moment, Koneko didn't know what to do as she felt one of Mito's bandaged hands rub against the back of her head. Mito smiled gently as she continued to hold her friend in her arms, comfortingly moving her hand repeatedly against Koneko's surprisingly soft hair. "It's alright… Nothing is going to happen to us… and nothing will happen to you either. I promise."

The tears building up in Koneko's eye started to fall as the usually near-emotionless girl felt all of the grief and anguish that had built up ever since she was nearly executed. Something she had thought she had been without for so long. All of it came crashing down on her as she wrapped her own arms tightly around Mito and lost control of her tears. The sounds of Koneko's bawling echoed throughout the cell and continued on for a while, with only an often repeated words of comfort coming from the Lucifer girl.


In a familiar room filled with dim lanterns, Orotsuki could be seen sitting in a decorated chair while his siblings, Iwamaru and Kasumi sat in the only other two chairs with a the split table in the center of the room.. Standing at various spots of the room behind the siblings, the remaining members of Sutairi's Peerage and servants of the House of Botis were quiet as they watched the last three Botis members converse.

"Now we've caught Kuroka's attention and taken her sister, we can proceed with the next part of our plan." Orotsuki spoke up as he rested his head on his hand propped up the armrest, "Though you certainly brought us back a bonus, didn't you, Kasumi?"

"Hehehe, what can I say brother… I've got an eye for fascinating potential test subjects." The design on Kasumi's mask changing to resemble an evil version of a smiling theater mask as she crossed a leg over the other and rested her hands on her knee, "We all know that the Lucifer Clan was the strongest out of the Four Great Clans, every single member of their bloodline possessing massive energy sources and the power to wield Pure Darkness Magic."

The smile on Kasumi's mask faded however as Iwamaru let out a grunt as he spoke up, the large bulge on his back shifting against the back of his chair. "Personally, I think snatching up that brat at the same time as Shirone was a stupid idea."

"What did you say?!" The Female Botis member snarled as she snapped her head to look at her younger brother, who crossed his arms over his cloaked chest.

"You heard me." Iwamaru replied without hesitation, "It'd be one thing to have to deal with Rias Gremory, her Peerage and House since we captured her Rook, but taking a potential Heiress of the Lucifer Clan, and the younger sister of Naruto Lucifer, the one who killed Kokabiel with his Light and Darkness Magic and the legendary Holy Sword, Excalibur. We have to deal with two Houses now, thanks to you."

"Don't go blaming this on me! If we had you doing the recovery, Shirone/Koneko would be in fatal condition and you would've definitely killed Mito Lucifer!" Kasumi's mask changed to look like a snarling beast as she angrily pointed her finger at the cloaked Botis. "We would've had to deal with them anyways!"

"… Well, you got me there." Iwamaru replied with a dismissive shrug as he turned his head away from his sister, which seemed to piss her off even more. The demonic energy pouring out of the female Devil's body causing some of the servants to fearfully break out into a sweat.

The sounds of something tapping caught everyone's attentions making them turn to see Orotsuki staring at his siblings in the same position with what looked like a bored expression while his free hand was resting on the other armrest with his index finger tapping repeatedly against the wooden surface… though it was the slight narrowing of his eyes that caused almost everyone in the room to tense up. Both Iwamaru and Kasumi froze as they stared back at their elder brother, knowing that the silent man was annoyed by their petty argument. "… If you both are quite finished… Shall I continue?"

Kasumi's body trembled as she shakily nodded her head, "O-Of c-course, Brother. M-My apologies!"

"…." Iwamaru remained silent as he turned his cloaked head to the side.

Orotsuki focused his gaze on his younger brother for a few moments before turning to look at his remaining sibling, "Tell me, Kasumi… What is Guren's current status?"

"She's currently recovering in her room, I placed several barriers to keep her locked in there until the Senjutsu serum runs its course." Kasumi explained as she recalled her servant going berserk upon their return, killing a few of the servants that had greeted them until she was restrained by Jūgo and Kimimaro. "Despite the good news that the Level Two dosage doesn't kill the user, they still have to deal with the other side effects of using Senjutsu."

"Being corrupted by the malice and negativity that they are forced to take in." Orotsuki finished as he finally switched his seated position and was now sitting straight, a sinister smirk forming on his face. "That makes things even more interesting, we could actually use that in our favor."

"What do you mean, Brother?" Iwamaru questioned with a raised eyebrow.

Out of the shadows, a large white serpent slithered up to Eldest Botis' chair and made its way up the furniture, coming to a stop as it reached Orotsuki's shoulders before resting its head. The black haired Devil reached up and pet the top of the snake's head, "We already have plans on killing both Kuroka and her sister with the power of Senjutsu, but the results from the Level Two dosage have given me another idea. If someone with a strong will such as Guren falls under the influence of Senjutsu's fatal flaw… Imagine what would happen to someone who in inexperienced to it… and even fears it."

Kasumi's mask turned sinister and Iwamaru's cloaked figure trembled violently as the two understood what their brother was driving at, the amusement in her eyes could be seen through the mask's eyeholes. "So, we use the serum to make Kuroka suffer even more before she dies. Some additional entertainment to the finishing touches of our revenge."

"I like the sound of that. That bitch would be getting exactly what she deserves." Iwamaru commented as he let out a dark chuckle.

'… These two have such simpleminded thought processes. I can't believe I'm related to idiots like them.' Orotsuki thought to himself as he watched his siblings drift off into their own worlds.

While the oldest sibling did want to make Kuroka suffer for the murder of Sutairi, he was more focused on the research and experimentations that his brother had left behind, something that Kuroka had ruined just before she had gone off the grid. He and Sutairi never believed in 'family values' or nonsense like that, both more focused on their experimentations than anything else. It was one of the reasons that Orotsuki respected his brother so much and wanted to continue his work, even using his research on the prisoners they kept in the dungeon as well as dozens of their servants. This conflict with Kuroka and the two Houses was only the beginning of the many plans he had for the future. Not that either of his younger siblings needed to know.

"Orotsuki-sama," A female voice spoke up, turning all of the heads in the room to focus on the entrance of the dark room and saw three figures, each on one knee and their heads tilted down. "You requested for our attendance?"

"Yes, perfect timing, Mimi." The man spoke up with a small smirk on his pale, snake-like face, "What is the current condition of our… army…"

The only female of the three, a green haired woman with large ears that were bigger than her head, wearing an orange outfit and a black choker with an arrow-like piece hanging from it, lifted her head up to look at the three Botis members. "Currently, everything is proceeding fine. The experimental Foot Soldiers and Chimera Beasts are lashing out at anything that comes near their cages, though Shin is keeping them in line. They will be more than ready for the battle to come."

"Such ugly creatures. They were enhanced so much that they lost all sense of reasoning and have become mindless creatures hungering for blood." Kasumi commented with disgust present in her voice, recalling all of the test subjects she and her brothers had discovered in Sutairi's secret dungeon after his death.

The ones in the secret dungeon's cages were the more dangerous and bloodthirsty of the experimentations, and many of them hungered for meat, any kind of meat they could get their claws on. Then there were the extras that she and her brothers had added to the House of Botis' collection, where many of them were located in the very prison where Koneko and Mito were being held. All of the test subjects were enhanced, sliced and merged, or forced to endure the unpredictability of the Senjutsu prototype dosages. Most of them either died, went insane, became feral beings with no resemblance to who or what they originally were.

On the right side of Mimi, kneeling with a hand raised to his black biker cap, a muscular man with straight blonde that reached passed his shoulders, let out a small groan as he muttered to himself. He was wearing a tight, black biker outfit and a purple eye mask that exposed his multi-colored ringed eyes. "I can't stand the sight of those things, always feel nauseas looking at them.

"You've got it easy with just enhanced sight, Me. I was almost positive that their stench alone was going to be enough to kill me." The other man, Hana, kneeing on the left side of Mimi, added with annoyance as he brought a hand up to his large pink nose. He was a lightly toned man wearing a revealing, dark-colored outfit that matched the color of his twice braided black hair and had a white mask over his face that had an opening for his nose to stick out through

"Enough." The two men tensed up at the sound of Orotsuki's voice before bowing their heads even lower, "Have the Foot Soldiers and Chimera Beasts transferred to the defense points. I doubt that the cloak we have over our location will last. Once you have done that, transfer our guests to Laboratory Eight."

"Laboratory Eight?! But Orotsuki-sama, isn't that where-" Mimi started to say, only to be cut off by Orotsuki raising his hand to silence her.

"Yes. Which is exactly why I am telling you to bring them there." The eldest Botis shifted his gaze to the side and focused it on a certain orange haired Rook, "Jūgo. I want you to assist them with the transfer in case those two try anything, if they managed to defeat Mez and hold back Guren before the Senjutsu injection then having someone with combat abilities will be needed."

"… Alright…" That was all that escaped the quiet Jūgo's lips before he walked passed Kimimaro towards the kneeling enhanced trio, "Let's get going… The sooner we get this done, the better."

"Of course! Excuse us, Orotsuki-sama, Kasumi-sma, Iwamaru-sama!" Hana, Me, and Mimi all bowed their heads before rising to their feet and made their way out of the room with a silent Jūgo a few steps behind them. The door slowly closing behind them with an echoing creaking sound coming from its old and damaged hinges. With the doors slamming shut, the siblings once again started to converse with many of the other servants listening intently to their plans… Except for two pairs of eyes, which discreetly turned their gaze towards the exit.


(Lucifer Mansion's Secondary Library)

"Ugh! I can't stand not being able to do anything to help!" Issei exclaimed as he continued walking back and forth repeatedly, "Leaving everything to Minato-san and the others is annoying the crap out of me!"

Ever since the search for Koneko and Mito began, the members of Naruto and Rias' Peerages had split up to spend the waiting time however they wanted. Both Kuroka and Naruto had wandered off to take care of their own businesses, the former commenting about how she didn't want to be left wait around in a room and wanting to get a drink, while the Lucifer Heir simply stated he wanted to get some solo training done. With an offer from Arcueid, the White Queen took Gawain and Xenovia into one of the Diorama Time Spheres to also get some training in until the House of Botis' location had been confirmed. Since their headquarters was still incased in crystal at the moment, the rest of Rias' Peerage had decided to wait in the Lucifer Clan's Secondary Library. It was a large room that was basically a studies room that had a fireplace, couches and an oval table in the center. It wasn't long after that that Kushina had taken Asia for some one-on-one instructing, leaving Akeno, Issei, Kiba, and Rias in the studies to simply wait as some servants stopped by with snacks and refreshments for the group.

Watching the brunette walk around with a sympathetic look, Rias let out a soft sigh. "I understand how you feel Issei, but this is something that is currently beyond us. Luckily, Onii-sama has some of the best Scouting Devils assisting Minato-san and the Lucifer Clan, as well as Ajuka-sama help with the search so hopefully we won't have to wait long."

"She's right, Issei. No one here has any tracking abilities, not anything that can be helpful in this scenario at least." Kiba said, voicing his agreement despite how much he hated to admit it. But the blonde Knight didn't let those thoughts get to him as he shook his head to clear his mind, "If you want, we can join Gawain and Xenovia in one of the, they've been in there for the past few hours training with Arcueid-san."

"… Yeah, that sounds good to me." Issei nodded his head with a determined look, but as Kiba rose from his seat. The Pawn suddenly grabbed his left arm with a wince, focusing his gaze on his Boosted Gear, which had once again changed and was slightly bulkier. After his battle with Kabuto, the Sacred Gear refused to vanish, but that was to be expected after allowing it to be taken over by Dragonification… and he still had his trump card ready for the battle ahead. 'Hopefully it'll be enough to last the rest of the battle.'

"Are you okay, Issei?" Rias asked after seeing her Pawn's actions.

Nodding his head, a reassuring smile formed on Issei's face. "I'm fine, Buchou. It doesn't hurt, but I can feel how different it is compared to the rest of me… I just to get used to this new arm."

"If you want, we can try and make it appear Human." Akeno offered while pouring some tea for herself and Rias, "It won't be much, but it might help with getting used to it."

"… No, I'll wait until after we finish this battle with the House of Botis and save both Koneko-chan and Mito-chan." Issei clenched his gauntlet hand into a tight fist, "Those assholes need to pay for what they've done!" Turning his head to look over at Kiba, the two shared a nod before making their way out of the room, leaving Rias and her Queen behind in the room.

"Everyone is certainly fired up, aren't they, Buchou?" Akeno questioned as she handed a teacup to the redhead, who nodded her head in thanks before taking the cup.

Just as Rias was about to take a sip, however, her Power of Destruction sparked from her fingers and broke the teacup in her hand, causing the hot liquid to cover her hand. The Gremory Heiress stared at her trembling hand for a few seconds before letting out a hollow chuckle as she started to use Healing Magic on the burns. "Can't really say that I'm any better, can I? We finally get the whole story about what happened to Koneko back then… and these… arrogant assholes think that they'll just get their vengeance so easily…"

"It might not be so much as them thinking that getting their revenge will have no backlash, but rather that they might not care what happens to them after." The buxom lightning user pointed out as she walked over to a small cabinet and opened it to find a bunch of supplies, including a small brush and dustpan set. "Though it's impossible to know what is going through their minds during this whole thing. Nor do I have any desire to."

"Agreed." Rias nodded in agreement as she watched the liquid burn marks disappear off her hand, before her gaze shifted to Akeno as she started cleaning up the shattered teacup remains. "Sorry about that, Akeno."

"Don't worry about it. I'm worried about Koneko and Mito-chan as well." Akeno admitted while using the handheld brush to clean up the shards, sending her King a reassuring smile. "Though I can only imagine what is going through Naruto-kun's mind right now."

"… Yeah…" Rias turned her head to look out the window, taking notice to waves of Light and Darkness Magic cutting into the air, signaling that Naruto was training outside instead of in one of the Time Spheres, "… Akeno, why do you think Naruto-kun hid the fact he knew about Kuroka being here or about what the House of Botis did to her and Koneko?"

Akeno paused in her clean up as she processed Rias' question, "Well, we both know that Naruto-kun isn't someone who does anything reckless unless the situation presents danger for someone he cares about. He usually tries to get as much details as he can… but he is kindhearted and an older sibling. He probably thought that unless Kuroka was going to be a threat, allowing her to stay in the shadows so she can keep an eye on Koneko in order to keep her safe was no big deal."

The ponytailed girl's words made sense to Rias, though as a younger sibling herself she didn't have that experience. True, the age gape between her and her nephew, Millicas, was short enough that they had a short of brother-sister relationship even though she was his aunt, but that was still a somewhat different situation. "But he must realize that now that Kuroka has been exposed, the chances of her escaping once this battle is over is almost none existent. Even with the evidence pointing in her favor, she still murdered her former King."

"Do you really think Naruto would do nothing to try and make the situation easier for Kuroka? Like I said, he is a kindhearted person." Finally sweeping up the remaining shards, Akeno stood up with a smile still on her face, thinking back to earlier when she secretly overheard the conversation between the blonde and the Nekomata earlier that day. "Not to mention stubborn."

"Hehehe… sometimes that dummy is a little too kindhearted." Rias couldn't help but smile as well as she said that, something that Akeno continued to mirror. "He's supposed to be a Devil after all."


'Still no results yet…' Naruto thought to himself as he walked down a hallway, with Avalon floating over his shoulder, after seeing his father, Ajuka and the others hard at work to find any traces of the House of Botis or the girls. Sadly, there was no new updates on the situation except for the fact that they had found that there had been recent activity at the abandoned Botis Mansion, and yet they could not detect anything that could lead them to the Botis group and their servants. Whatever was causing the issues, both Ajuka and Minato, after getting some information from Kuroka earlier, had concluded that it had nothing to do with Senjutsu. Which only added more chaotic questions to what was happening. 'There has to be something that we're missing. If it isn't Senjutsu then it has to be something that is unique, like a spell or something.'

"For such a small group, they've certainly cause a lot of trouble in the last few days." A male voice spoke up as Naruto was about to turn the corner, making him come to a stop at the familiar voice.

Not even a few seconds later, another familiar voice, this one female, was heard. "That bastard Sutairi was always an annoyance with his constant need to upgrade or enhance his Peerage or the House's servants. I was just one of the lucky ones that he only did surveillance on instead of experimentation. Once he saw my talent with spells and my incredible magical power from absorbing both of his Bishop Pieces, he pushed me to learn as much as I can… and eventually, I ended up surpassing him in that field, nya."

Blinking a few times in confusion, Naruto poked his head around to see Kuroka and Sirzechs standing alone in the next hallway, the former leaning against the wall with her arms crossed under her large, barely covered chest and a leg raised up against the wall while the Lucifer Satan was standing not too far away from her with his usual. To the blonde's surprise, Sirzechs didn't have his usual easygoing smile as he conversed with Kuroka, something that doesn't happen often according to Rias.

"Sirzechs-san and Kuroka? It's strange to see them together." Avalon whispered to her master, who lifted up a hand to silence her so they could hear what the two were saying.

"So it wasn't your plan to learn Senjutsu?" Sirzechs asked with a raised eyebrow.

"No, but that didn't mean I didn't benefit from it, nya." A cold smirk formed on Kuroka's face with her answer, "He actually pressured me into learning how to harness the power of Senjutsu after learning about it in ancient tomes on Youkai. He especially took an interest in the infamous Kyūbi no Yōko, Kurama."

'Kurama?' For some reason, repeating that name in his mind seemed to spark something inside of Naruto. A sense of familiarity, as if he had heard the name somewhere and yet couldn't place where.

The blonde wasn't the only one to recognize the name as a silhouette of a giant nine tailed kitsune with red-orange fur and glowing red eyes flashed through Sirzechs' mind. "You're talking about one of the two leaders of the Kyoto Youkai Faction, correct?"

"That's right, nya. He is one of the few other Youkai besides me that can properly use Senjutsu without succumbing to it." Kuroka pointed out as closed her eyes, "There is another member of Sutairi's Peerage that came from a clanthat has the instinctual ability to absorb Senjutsu energy without any training, his name is Jūgo. He actually helped me with learning how to harness its power and was there to support me in case I ever took in too much… If only I knew what Sutairi was planning when he saw the results of my training…"

"And that's when you took action?" The Satan stated as he figured out what the Nekoshou was driving at, "The House of Botis was always known for its unorthodox methods and research, but it's horrible to think they were going to use an innocent child like Koneko for experimentations."

Kuroka shook her head, "It's obvious to say that they don't care if their test subjects are adults or children, as long as they get results. Senjutsu was only one of the few things that Sutairi was looking into in pursuit of his true goal... of creating the Ultimate Super Devil"

"The Ultimate Super Devil, you say?"


"It isn't polite to eavesdrop on them, Naruto-sama, Avalon-san."

Avalon and Naruto nearly jumped out of their skins at the voice suddenly speaking up from behind them, spinning around to see a serious-faced Grayfia standing behind Naruto with her hands clasped in front of her abdomen. The blonde and tiny spirit couldn't help but sweat a little as they noticed the disappointed look in her eyes.

"Grayfia-san, what are you doing here?" Naruto questioned with an uneasy look, feeling a level of intensity in Grayfia's gaze.

"I am here to keep an eye on Sirzechs-sama while he converses with Kuroka. She might not be an enemy, but she is still an SS-Class Stray Devil." The silver haired Queen responded while lifting her head a bit towards the corner where on the other side, her husband was talking to one of the Underworld's most wanted criminals. "As a maid of the House of Gremory and Sirzechs' Queen, it is my job to keep him safe."

'I'm surprise that she didn't mention being his wife. She really is dedicated when she is 'on the job' as she puts it.' Avalon thought to herself as her respect for the woman rose.

"Kuroka isn't going to attack anyone. She wants to get Koneko-chan back safely, just like I want to get Mito-chan back." Clenching one of his hands into a tight fist, Naruto hardened his gaze as he spun around and started to walk forward, "I trust her and want to help her as much as I can."

"… Just make sure to keep your guard up in the battle to come." Naruto briefly paused as he heard the woman's words, before continuing to walk around the corner.

"She is only saying that out of concern for your safety, Naruto-sama." Avalon said as she followed after the Lucifer Heir, to which he nodded his head in understanding.

'I know, but that doesn't mean I'll see Kuroka as a threat.'

"After killing Sutairi and a good number of servants after finding out what they were planning to do with my Shirone, only three members of the family survived. Those are his siblings; Orotsuki, Kasumi, and Kasumi. Other than them, only some of Sutairi's Peerage, Kasumi's servant, Guren, and a few other's remain." Kuroka's eyes narrowed as another thought came to mind during her explanation, the yellow-amber color of her eyes glowing slightly at that moment. "… And if they still have access, there are a bunch of creatures that Sutairi had created and enhanced in his special dungeons. That Devil was a sick, twisted monster that deserved to die."

"Sounds like we have an intense battle ahead of us… You have my sincerest apologies, Kuroka." Sirzechs closed his eyes briefly as he said this, making the Stray Cat look at him with an unreadable expression. "You were forced to take things into your own hands to protect your sister and got punished for it. I would've done the same thing if it meant I could see Rias safe."

"I agree." The two turned their heads to see Naruto walking up to them with a small smile on his face, Avalon floating over his shoulder while Grayfia seen a few steps behind him. "I'd do everything I could to keep Asia-chan and Mito-chan safe."

Sirzechs grew a small smirk on his face, "Nice of you to join us. I take it there is no update on the search."

"Unfortunately no, Sirzechs-sama." Naruto replied with a shake of his head, only to be caught by surprise as the older male came up to him and wrapped an arm around his shoulders.

"Come on now, we're going to be family! Call me Onii-san!" The Lucifer Satan said cheerfully.

"U-Uuuuhhh, I'm not really-"

"At least give it a shot~! Gah-!?" Sirzechs was pulled away from Naruto by a strong grip on his cheek, curtesy of a stern Grayfia.

The maid closed her eyes with a sigh as her husband moved closer to her, "Please control yourself, Sirzechs-sama. We are currently in a serious situation and can't afford to goof around."

"Whour foo wean~! I'b your wusband!" Naruto, Avalon and Kuroka couldn't help but sweatdrop at the sight, Grayfia certainly deserved the title Strongest Queen with how she was disciplining one of the Four Great Satans like he was a misbehaving child.

A thought occurred to Naruto as he glanced briefly at Kuroka for a few seconds before turning to the two older Devils, "So what is the story about Kuroka's condition? I mean, the only reason she killed Sutairi was because she was protecting Koneko. Not to mention all the horrible things the House was doing in secret. Surely that can say something against her status as a wanted criminal, right?"

Kuroka blinked at those words and look at Naruto with a raised eyebrow.

Freeing himself from his wife's grip, the redhead was silent as he looked back and forth between his future brother-in-law and the Stray Devil, "… True, with all of this new evidence it is more than likely that the charges against her won't be as severe. The House of Botis practically declaring war on two other Devil families points in her favor as well. But you have to understand that she did kill a High Class Devil, so the Underworld will want some kind of punishment to be enforce."

"After all of this has been concluded, the Kill on Sight order will be lifted." Grayfia clarified while closing her eyes in thought, "Instead, it will most likely be a prison sentence for a certain amount of years followed by a probationary period where her location will be monitored at all times."

"A big contrast to her earlier predicament." Avalon crossed her arms over her chest as she thought about what was being said, "And as a Satan, he should have more than enough pull to make it happen."

"Well, nya, it does sound a lot better than having a large target on my head." Kuroka spoke up as she shrugged her shoulders with a soft chuckle, though the other four could tell that the Nekoshou wasn't amused in the slightest. "Though don't expect for me to make things easy for you Devils."

"… Isn't there anything else that we could do, to keep her out of prison, I mean?" The three were surprised by Naruto's question, while a smiling Avalon only nodded her head with praise towards it. "I mean, Kuroka and Koneko-chan… They were separated on poor terms because of the actions of Sutairi and his House, so is there any way that they can stay together once this is all over? I seriously doubt she'll get into any trouble that puts her back onto the wanted list."

Kuroka could only stare at Naruto with silent shock at how he was not only trying to defend her, but keep her and her sister together instead of being forced apart once again. The Stray Cat didn't even notice as a small flush formed over her cheeks as she stared at the blonde.

A smile appeared on Sirzechs' as the redhead let out a laugh, "I can see you're serious about this, huh? I suppose if someone reliable enough agreed to keep an eye on her and take responsibility if she went astray, such as a High-Class Devil or join a Peerage. There are only a ways we could work with that would leave many satisfied."

"Pardon the interruption." The four turned to see a Branch Member was standing not too far away, "But Minato-sama and Ajuka-sama have requested your appearances, Grayfia-san, Sirzechs-sama."

"Ajuka is asking for me, huh? Well I wouldn't want to keep him waiting." Sirzechs said with a mock-exasperated sigh and a smile on his face, before turning his head to Naruto. "We'll continue this conversation later, kay? For now, why don't you rest up until we find something? Better to be in peak condition for the upcoming battle."

"… Right. Thank you." That was all Naruto could say before the Crimson Lucifer and his Queen followed the Branch Member down the hallway, leaving the blonde and Kuroka by themselves. "At least there's going to be a conversation. He could've blown me off completely."

"I agree. He could've denied your request and stayed adamant on prison time."

"Thanks, nya."

Naruto blinked before turning to look at Kuroka, just in time to feel something soft press against his lips. His eyes widened in shock as he realized what was happening before pulling back a few feet with his face matching the color of his fiancée's hair. Avalon was no better as she was staring at the two with a small blush and white circles for eyes. "W-W-What was that f-for?!"

"Aaahh~! You pulled back too fast. I was just showing my appreciation." Kuroka stated with a coy smile, a hand raised her lips as her gold eyes glinting with amusement. "Was that a stutter just now? Looks like I've finally figured you out, nya."

"W-What are you talking about?" The redness on Naruto's face died down only a little as he stared back at the Nekoshou with a wary look.

"Hehehe~~! You can't handle it when someone is seducing you directly, can you?" Kuroka deduced in a playful tone, taking a step forward to which Naruto took a step back. "When you're dealing with a woman who uses seduction or their sensuousness in battle or in general, you learned to build up a resistance. Like when we first fought and you didn't react to my body being exposed. But when it comes from an honest source and focuses on you alone, you react to it because you know it's on a personal level."

"So what if I do?! I know that there are people in the world that use their looks to try and take advantage of others, both in and out of battle!" Naruto retorted with a frown as the redness faded completely at the thought, having learned about such things after training with his father and Miya. "I think it's horrible when people use that to hurt others or worse! So of course I don't pay attention to things like that."

Taking a step forward once again, Kuroka continued walking until she was only a foot away from Naruto with a smile still on her face, slowly reaching out a hand towards his face, "What about me then? You know that I use my body to my advantage."

"There's a big difference. I can see it when I look at your eyes," That comment caused Kuroka's hand to come to a stop just before she could touch his face, the Youkai's eyes widening at she stared at him. "You like to tease and have fun at my expense, but not once have you ever tried to take advantage or hurt me. I can tell that you're actually a very kind person and someone I can trust."





"THAT'S ENOUGH!" Avalon suddenly shouted as she flew in between the two with an enraged look, having finally snapped out of her thoughts. "I don't know what you're planning Kuroka, but I won't allow you to play with Naruto-sama's heart!"

"Hey, Avalon, you know that-"

The wielder of Excalibur was cut off as the tiny spirit flew up to his face with a stern gaze, "Let us go, Naruto-sama! I'm sure Rias and the others want to see you!"

"Huh? Bu-"

"Let us go!" Avalon interrupted once again as she flew up to his ear and started pulling with surprising strength.

"Okay, ow, alright! Sorry Kuroka, I'll come find you once we find out where Koneko and Mito are!" Naruto called out as he was forced to follow his tiny partner down the hallway, "Come on, Avalon! I can walk on my own!"

"Didn't Grayfia-san tell you to keep your guard up around her?!"

"… I don't think that's what she meant."

Watching the two disappear from sight, Kuroka remained silent as she was left by herself in the middle of the hallway. The Nekoshou's arm falling to her side as her head tilted downwards, her cat ears flattening sideways as her front bangs covered her eyes. "… Saying that you trust me so easily… How am I supposed to respond to something like that…?"


"Are you feeling better now, Koneko-sempai?" Mito asked as she stared up at Rias' Rook, who was now standing and doing some light stretches.

Extending her arms high above her head, the petite Nekoshou felt a satisfying pop before letting out a soft breath, "Yeah… Thanks for earlier, Mito."

"You don't have to thank me, that's what friends are for." A large smile formed on Mito's face as she said that, something that Koneko mirrored as she watched her kouhai rise to her feet as well. "So, do you think there is any way for us to get out of here without magic?"

"Hmm…" Staring at her fist for a few seconds, Koneko walked over to the wall behind Mito while motioning for the girl to move away. After making sure that her friend was a good distance away, Koneko pulled an arm back before punching the wall, causing medium-sized crater to form around her hand with spider cracks stretching from it. But not even five seconds after Koneko pulled her hand away from the crater, that a rune formed over the wall and completely restored it to its previous condition. "Well, the good news is that I still have my physical abilities as a Rook, so my strength is still here. But it looks like the cell is reinforced with some magic and can repair itself."

"So there's nothing we can do while we're in here…" Mito let out a heavy sigh at that as her body slouched forward and arms dangled comically, "This is like when I was kidnapped by those Fallen Angels assholes. The only good thing is that there are two of us instead of split up in separate cells."

"Agreed." Koneko nodded as she crossed her arms over her chest, "The best option we have will be to wait for the best opportunity and somehow escape from this place. Once we do that, hopefully we can teleport out of here."

The sounds of a door opening caught their attentions making them turn towards the stairs leading to the dungeon's entrance, where light from the outside could be seen shining into the dark room. Both of them noticed four shadows could stretching into the room thanks to the light, something that the inhabitants of the other prison cells also noticed judging by the increase in loud noises and physical movements. Motioning her kouhai to move behind her, Koneko braced herself as she watched the light from the outside disappear quickly before the sounds of footsteps could be heard coming closer by the second. The first person appear in her sight was Mimi, followed by Hana and Me, people she recognized from when her sister was a part of Sutairi's Peerage. They weren't members of any Peerages, rather, they were ordinary servants turned into test subjects and enhanced to be surveillance scouts; Mimi's ears could hear the sound of a pin hitting the ground from over thirty miles away, Hana's nose wasn't just for show as it allowed his to pick up the scent of anything no matter how much the smell is camouflaged, and Me's enhanced eyes let him see anything to the tiniest detail up to the same range as Mimi's ears, probably the even further if he concentrated.

'They might have enhanced senses, but I remember they aren't that strong. Mito and I should be able to overpower them,' Koneko thought to herself as she watched the three draw closer to the prison, mentally preparing herself as she clenched her hands into fists… Until she caught sight of another figure that was a few step behind them, someone she didn't want to see, "Jūgo-san?"

"It's the jerk!?" Mito exclaimed in shock as she pointed a finger at the silent orange haired man, who was wearing a purple cape that covered most of his body except for his open-sandaled feet.

"Looks who's grown up from the little kitten that clung to Kuroka's leg every chance she got." Hana's nose twitched in amusement as he reached the girl's cell, bending down until he was eye level with the frowning Koneko. "Though she still little in some areas, isn't she?"

Both Koneko and Mito's eyebrows twitched at that, the latter glaring angrily at the large nose man. "Shut it, pervert!"

"… This one is even smaller somehow."

"I'M ELEVEN YEARS OLD! WHAT KIND OF FREAK WOULD HAVE GIANT BOOBS AT MY AGE?!" Mito roared with multiple twitch marks forming as Koneko held her back from behind by her arms.

"Even I want to punch you for that." Mimi commented as she looked at her comrade with a deadpanned look, an imaginary arrow pointing at her own flat chest. It was an even worse feeling for her since she was in her mid-twenties.

Feeling the tension between his fellow enhanced allies, Me decided to speak up. "Maybe we should just get to the matter at hand."

"Right." Mimi stated as she turned to face their prisoners, as Koneko released a still miffed Mito from her hold, and took a step closer to the cell's entrance. "We have orders to take you both to one of Orotsuki-sama's special laboratories. If you value your lives, you won't try anything. Now step away from the door."



Both girls exchanged looks before moving back a few steps back. The green haired woman pulled out a key from her pocket and held it in front of the lock, causing a yellow magical circle to form over it before it shattered seconds later and allowed Mimi to insert the key into the slot. Koneko's eyes narrowed as she saw a faint glow pass through the bars at the same time the big eared woman turned the key. She wasn't the only one to notice this as Mito felt a rush go through her and looked down at her hand in confusion.

With the door unlocked, Mimi opened the door with the Hana and Me standing behind her, while "Come out, and don't even think about trying anyth-GAH!?"

She didn't get to finish her sentence as Koneko rushed forward and shoulder tackled her into her stomach, causing Mimi to spit up blood as she was sent flying back passed Hana and Me into the wall behind them, her head leaving an impact as she slid to the floor. Raising her fists up as she stared at the two remaining men, Koneko kept a calm expression as she spoke. "I don't bother listening to threats from weaklings."

"Why you little!" Hana charged at her with his arms raised, only for a few dark lavender spiked chains to wrap themselves around his body until he was completely trapped with only his head left uncovered. "Huh?"

"Hehehehe~!" Malevolent giggling could be heard coming from behind Koneko, making the large nosed man stared to sweat as he saw a dark aura surrounding a sweet smiling Mito, the chains originating from her back. "Want to make fun of my size now~?" The man didn't have time to reply as Mito's Hell Chains lifted him off of the ground a few feet into the air, before slamming him into nearby walls, ceilings, and prison bars... Mito continued this for a full minute before coming to a stop, the man's mask shattered and his face swollen and bruised to the point he would most likely never recover. "You dumbasses were pretty stupid to not restrain us before releasing the seal on the cell, ya know."

Me couldn't help but take a step back in fear as he watched the chains release the battered and unconscious Hana, before turning his attention to Koneko and Mito as the latter fully emerged from the prison cell. "D-Don't think just because you got the drop on them that you'll get passed me and Jūgo!" Flexing his muscles as much as he could, his tight biker top ripped apart and revealed his heavy build underneath, "As you can see! I'm a lot stronger than those two! And let's not forget about Jūgo's incredible power!"

"…" The man in question said nothing as he walked forward until he was standing next to Me, his actions making the girls raise their guard up even more.

"This isn't good Koneko-sempai, that asshole can destroy my Adamantine Hell Chains easily if he uses that transformation again." Mito whispered to the Nekoshou as they shifted closer together, "Do you think we can somehow slip passed them and run for it?"

"If he does transform then I doubt it, if he loses control, Jūgo-san would chase after us until he got us… or worse." Subconsciously, Koneko's tail lowered itself and her cat ears twisted a little as the girl's focus shifted from the flexing Me to the cool-faced Jūgo, who slowly raised his hand into the air as markings covered a small part of his face and spread to his arm. The skin color of his arm darkened as it started to grow spikes that formed into a long bladed axe. "Here they come! Get ready, Mito!"


"I'll take care of Shirone, you handle the Lucifer bra-!?" Me was cut off as his eyes widened.

He wasn't the only one as Koneko and Mito were shocked at what they saw.


"J- Jūgo… w-why?" Me gasped out as blood escaped his lips. The sharp end of Jūgo's axe was penetrating deep into his chest, going straight through his heart. The orange haired man gave no answer as he pulled his weaponized arm out of Me's chest, causing blood to spray into the air as the eye-enhanced man fell backward. Already dead before his body even made contact with the ground.

"W-Why did you do that? Wasn't he your comrade?!" Mito questioned as she looked down at the dead body in shock, taking a step back as the blood pool forming under Me continued to grow.

"… I made a promise a long time ago… and I intend to keep it." Jūgo finally said as he returned his arm to normal and walked up to the girls until he was standing over them, "I'll help you escape this place. Follow me."

"Why should we trust what you say? You could be trying to lead us into a trap," A raised hand caught Mito's attention as she followed it to see Koneko staring up at Jūgo with an unreadable expression.

"… Do you have any proof that we can trust you?" Koneko asked as her tail slowly swayed behind her, tensing up when she saw Jūgo reach his arm into his cape to search for something before pulling it out for her to see. "Ah, that's…" In Jūgo's hand was a small, deformed clay bird with a green body and yellow wings attached to a short piece of string.

"Is that a charm?" Moving closer to get a good look at the item in the tall man's hand, Mito blinked a few times while leaning in. "Wow, it looks old. Looks a little like something a kid makes."

"I made that… As a thank you to Jūgo-san for taking me to a festival while Kuroka was out doing requests…" Koneko shook her head lightly before looking up at the man in shock, "You actually kept it this whole time?"

"Yeah." Jūgo replied while nodding his head, before moving the small object back into his cape. "Now we need to get moving, before anyone else shows up."

A sound of clapping could be heard echoing throughout the dungeon, catching the three by surprise as the two girls whipped their heads about to find out where it was coming from. Jūgo narrowed his eyes slightly as before turning his head to the side where a male shadowy figure could be seen walking towards them.

"You certainly chose an interesting time to go traitor, didn't you, Jūgo?" The shadows disappeared to reveal a tall man wearing dark, hooded cloak that was open in the middle to reveal a black, long-sleeved, high-collared shirt bearing an Akatsuki cloud emblem on both its front and back, as well as dark pants and boots. The hood fell back to reveal that he had a pale complexion and no hair, as well as a horizontal scar that ran from his right temple to the bridge of his nose, but the thing that caught Koneko and Mito's attentions the most were the multiple eyes of different colors and pupils that were implanted on various parts of his head while his right eye was held open by eight stitches, and was noticeably bloodshot and had a darkened sclera. "If I hadn't been suspicious of you from the beginning, then you might've gotten away with killing those three."

"G-gah… Shin… w-why are you h-here?" The newly revealed Shin turned his head to see Mimi shakingly rising to her feet, holding her hand over the area where Koneko rammed into her. "Y-You're supposed to be watching the other dungeon… Did Orotsuki-sama send you?"

"Hoooo~? Still alive, I see." A smile formed over Shin's face, revealing that he didn't have any teeth as he walked up to the large eared girl, who took a fearful step back, only for the man to grab her by the neck and lift her into the air. "Aw, come now. No need to be so scared. It's an honor to die in combat," Raising his free arm, his sleeve lowered and revealed a large three pronged weapon with a handle in the center just seconds before he swung it at Mimi… leaving her scared decapitated head in his hand as the rest of her body fell to the floor. "Such a perfect expression. Thank you for your sacrifice!"

A pale Mito looked ready to vomit at what she just witnessed while a frowning Koneko moved in front of the younger girl in a protective manner, "H-He killed her! What the hell is wrong with these people?!"

"Just breathe Mito," Koneko directed as she and Jūgo watched the smirking Shin toss Mimi's head away and turned to face the three.

"Sorry for the delay. But proper punishment must be dealt to those who fail," All of Shin's eyes focused in on Jūgo with those words, the tension in the air only increasing as the orange-haired man's image reflected in each eye. "Although what is done to traitors is a lot worse."

"Hard to be considered a traitor since I never pledged my loyalty to the House of Botis." Jūgo clarified with a shake of his head, "The only reason I agreed to join Sutairi's Peerage was because I wanted to use him and his research to help me with my Senjutsu Transformations and my mental stability when using it. To be honest… Everything about this family sickens me to no end."

Shin shrugged his shoulders after hearing Jūgo's words, "You say that, but that's never stopped you from following orders up till now without any complaints. What's changing your tune now? That traitorous bitch, Kuroka? Or perhaps…"

"Tch!?" An edgy Koneko narrowed her eyes as Shin's gaze shifted towards her, feeling unnerved at the way his various eyes were staring at her. Suddenly a large figure came in between them, making Koneko look up at the back of Jūgo's head. "Jūgo-san?"

"Heh, you've always had such a soft spot for children." The bald man chuckled as he focused his attention on Jūgo, "Perhaps that how I should make you suffer… by making you watch as I beat their bodies to near death, just before I kill you. As long as I don't actually kill them, I shouldn't get in too much trouble."

"… You know something…" Marking stretched across the left side of Jūgo's face, his skin darkening and his left eye changing with the sclera turn black while the iris became yellow. "… You talk too much."

Charging forward with both of his arms darkened and grew armor-like shell over them with what appeared to be jet-like appendages coming out of his elbows, which releases a sudden burst of bluish energy that increased Jūgo's speed, the distance between him and the smirking Shin quickly shrunk. The multi-eyed man used his large blade to intercept the attack and hold it at bay for a few seconds before he began pushing back against the heavy pressure, giving him enough room to use the momentum of Jūgo's continued charge to flip over him. Jūgo stopped releasing energy from the jets to diminish his speed and spun on his heel just in time to intercept Shin's incoming attack by grabbing the two, sharp prongs of the blade with both hands, his transformed skin hard enough to prevent them from getting cut by the sharp weapon. But that didn't seem to bother Shin as he jerked the secondary arm he was using as extra pressure in his strike, his actions revealing a chain in his hand that was now spinning in the air with a spiked weight on the end as the chain curled around both of their bodies and was about to make contact with Jūgo's head.

The orange-haired man's upper back quickly started to bulge underneath his cape, before it teared open as two large appendages erupted and intercepted the spiked weapon. The two appendages morphed into wings that looked like giant webbed claws, with one grabbing the entire weight and chain while the other reached forward towards Shin's head. One of the eyes on the right side of his head, with a purple iris with a blue pupil shaped like a seven pointed star, twitched as it turned to face Jūgo and his incoming claw-wing before it released a pressurized jet that tore a large hole in the wing and cutting into the wall near Koneko and Mito. The beam didn't dissipate as it started to move with the eyes gaze towards Jūgo's head, while cutting into the ground next to the girls and getting closer by the second. Increasing his grip on the three-bladed weapon in his morphed hands, it instantly breaking apart allowing Jūgo to duck under the incoming beam and he pulled an arm back as a piston emerged from the open hole of his elbow. Shin barely had time to cancel his eye beam attack as he leaped back and avoided Jūgo's first punch, which was soon followed by another as Jūgo charged after him.

"Nice try, Jūgo. But while your attacks are powerful, a Rook is always the slowest in a Peerage!" Shin gloated as he slipped under an incoming overhead strike, countering with an elbow to the chest before spinning and delivering a reverse roundhouse kick to Jūgo's face, making him stagger back.

An enraged look started to form on Jūgo's face as he continued his assault, scoring a blow to Shin's shoulder that made the bald man let out a grunt before back-flipping, kicking Jūgo in the processes, and landed on the ceiling. This was only to use as a solid support as he leaped down at Jūgo with the remains of his weapon, which had lost the three blades but still had a bunch of sharp jagged edges coming out of it, holding it in front of his head as he stabbed forward.

"You annoying pest! Just die already!" Jūgo's second wing-claw moved in front of him and intercepted Shin's strike, holding tightly as he started slamming him against the stone floor and walls like a ragdoll. Shin gritted his teeth as he felt the damage being done to his body with each impact, before his darkened left eye started to glow red.

Watching Jūgo continue to ragdoll Shin from her spot behind, Mito took notice to the shards that had broken off from Shin's weapon were starting to float off the ground, all of them coming together to form a spinning disk that flew towards Jūgo's back. "Look out!"

Hearing Mito's warning, Jūgo caught sight of the spinning projectile heading towards him and moved out of the way in time for the disk to avoid his main body, but it cut through the connection to his wing-claw and freed Shin from the tight grip. Jūgo glanced at his now bloody back before manipulating his transformation to seal up his back and return it to normal. "Those damn eyes of yours really piss me off." Turning his head back to see Shin removing his right arm hand from the detached giant appendage, he could see that it was incredibly bruised and bloody, and most likely completely useless now. Deciding to not give the white-skinned man any time to breathe, Jūgo rushed forward with one of his arms pulled back once again. "Hehehe! I'm gonna beat you to death!"

'This is bad. Jūgo-san is starting to lose control the more he uses his Senjutsu Transformations.' Koneko thought fearfully to herself as she watched the man that helped take care of her slowly get consumed by his bloodlust thanks to what she feared the most, Senjutsu. 'We have to end this battle now before he turns his attention towards us. There's no telling if he will be able to control himself even if he remembers he's trying to help us.' Turning her head back to look at Mito, the Nekoshou blinked as she saw the focused look on the younger girl's face.

"I told you, you're too slow to hit me!" Shin shouted angrily as he moved to dodge Jūgo's enhanced punch… only for lavender chains to wrap around one of his legs and hold him in place, making a few of his eyes follow it to see that it was secretly trailing along the floor and walls until reaching its original coming from the back of Mito's foot as she was positioned behind Koneko. "Damn it! When did she-!?"

Shin couldn't finish his sentence as Jūgo's punch made contact, but it wasn't finished as the piston coming out of Jūgo's elbow compressed into his arm and released a huge burst of Senjutsu energy from his transformed fist. The energy tore through Shin's abdomen and created a large hole in the man's body, "HA! Not so cocky now with a hole in your gut!"

"Grgh! Y-You relly g-got me…" A pained expression was etched onto Shin's face as blood poured out of his mouth, before it was replaced with a weak, cocky smirk. "B-But you still… lost…"

Jūgo's eyes widened as he heard that, before Koneko's voice called out to him. "Jūgo-san! Behind you!"

As the body hanging off his arm fell to the ground, a strange spiraling void appeared behind him before a familiar looking weapon emerged from it and stabbed Jūgo through his back with the center blade's tip sticking out of his chest. The void dissipated to reveal that the weapon was being held by a second Shin, this one completely uninjured and showed no signs of any conflict at all.

"What's going on?! There are two of them!" A shocked Mito shouted in disbelief as what she was seeing. She wasn't the only one as Koneko's eyes had widened so much that her pupils were shaking at the sight of Jūgo being run through. "How is that possible?"

"D-Damn, you actually took one of your clones out of the laboratory to distract me?" Jūgo grunted as his body started to return to normal as he looked back at Shin, who had an amused look on his face as he slowly pulled his weapon out of Jūgo, causing blood to spray out as the caped man fell to the floor. "You even gave it eyes similar to yours? Such a dirty trick."

"Now, now, don't be such a sore loser." Shin replied as he walked passed the downed Jūgo and stood over the dead replica of him, pressing a foot into the corpse's head as he continued to speak. "These things are mine to use however I want. The only downside is how much of a waste this one turned out to be if he lost to you like that. But he got the job done, I guess."

"You bastard! That guy was basically you, right?! Shouldn't you treat him with more respect?"

Shin turned his head to look at the angry Mito, tilting his head at her words. "Such innocent thinking. As expected of a child. These clones of mine only exist because of Sutairi-sama and Orotsuki-sama's experimentations to use my bloodline and it capabilities. To me, they are merely extra body parts that I can use to extension my life… though I guess I am limited on how many of them I can use at the moment." Shrugging his shoulders at that, Shin took notice to Jūgo struggling to get back to his feet. "I almost forgot that you can heal wounds like that by absorbing Senjutsu energy into your body… Better kill you now before you try attacking me again."

Raising his blade above his head as he drew close to Jūgo, Shin's eyes divided their gazes to see Mito's chains flying coming at him from both directions and used his large weapon to deflect them. But movement below him cause his attention as he looked down to see that Koneko was under him with a fist pulled back, her demonic energy concentrating just over her curled fingers. All of his eyes widened at how fast the Nekoshou moved to get close to him like this, especially since Rooks were known for their slow speed.

"Koneko, you definitely have a lot of power and endurance thanks to your abilities as a Rook, but against a fast opponent you will have the disadvantage. Simply increasing your speed with training and magical weights will help with your proficiency in hand to hand combat, but you should add more to your arsenal…" Kaguya's voice echoed through the girl's mind as she continued to charge her power, the energy surrounding her hand starting to spark before it turned into a powerful flame.

'Is that elemental manipulation?! No… She actually turned her demonic energy into flames…!? Could her Youkai blood be allowing her to do this?' Shin thought to himself as he felt the heat coming from the Nekoshou's fist.

"Inferno…!" Koneko threw her arm forward and delivered an uppercut to his chin, "Neko Punch!"

The impact of Koneko's punch caused blood to spray out of Shin's mouth as he was sent flying back, while the flames created by her punch got caught on his shirt and slowly started to spread. Seeing the man go back at least nine meters, Koneko turned back to see Mito was struggling to help Jūgo get back to his feet and rushed over to the two.

Looking over to the white-haired Youkai as she got close, Mito had a worried look on her face, "He seems to be healing, but he can't move on his own yet!"

"Roger," Koneko nodded her head before taking Jūgo from Mito and hefted the tall man over her shoulder. If the situation wasn't so serious, it would've been a funny sight to see such a large man being lifted up so easily by a girl not even half his size. "We need to get away from this area and find a place to teleport out of here. Jūgo-san, is it possible in this dungeon?"

"Ugh… It is possible… But only a member of the Botis House or a servant can leave… because of a special barrier… that has been cast over the place…" Jūgo grunted through the pain as he opened one eye to look at the girl holding him. "We have to get… as far away from Shin… as possible… So I can create a Teleportation Circle for us."

"… As if I will let that happen." The three quickly spun around to see Shin rise to his feet, tearing off the remains of his burning shirt to reveal over a dozen more eyes located at various points of his body. "The three of you will not escape. I will make sure of it… Thanks to my clones."

As Shin said this, six more spiraling voids similar to the one he used to arrive, appeared around the man as each one had a figure emerge from them. Unlike Shin and his original clone, however, these new clones were much younger, but they were all exactly the same. They all had the same pale-white skin that Shin possessed, and unlike the original, had faint cyan-colored hair that were slicked back and tapered to a point. The young clones seemed to lack eyebrows and had perpetually wide-eyed expressions with dark rings around their eyes. Each clone was wearing high-collared light-blue kimono shirts, gray obi wrapped around their waists, white pants, and black arm-guards and open-toed boots with distinct zig-zag treads.

"So many of them… H/ow many clones does this guy have?" Mito whispered as she worriedly studied all of the new faces, the looks on their faces giving them a somewhat-deranged appearance, and saw that they all had similar weapons to the original Shin. "We had so many trouble with one of them, but seven?"

"We might not have much of a choice." Koneko replied as she adjusted Jūgo on her shoulder, "I doubt we could outrun them while they have the home advantage."

"… Capture the girls, but don't spare Jūgo. With all the research and experiments they have done, the House of Botis no longer has any use for him." Shin ordered as he pointed his blade at the three, to which all of his younger clones nodded in understanding before rushing towards the girls.

"Here they come!" Koneko stated as she and Mito prepared themselves.

"… Dance of the Seedling Fern!" A voice called out as hundreds of white spike-like blades shot out of the ground in the space between the girls and the clones, something that caused many of the latter to halt in their charge and instead tried to escape the continuous blades continuing to emerge, with an unfortunate few getting impaled by many of the white objects. On the other side of the strange white divider, Mito and Koneko moved back as far as they could, which was a lot easier on their side as the white bladed spikes were not as ferocious.

"What is all this?" Mito asked as she and Koneko examined the spikes as they slowly came to a halt, "Is it me or do these things kind of look like… bone?"

"It is bone… You're late…" Jūgo called out with a soft groan, but as he said this, a familiar figure was seen emerging from the bone as if he had merged with it. "… Kimimaro."

"Kimimaro-san?" Koneko repeated with a surprised look, which was to be expected since he was the last person she expected to be here.

The white-haired man was mostly silent as he walked up to the three with an unreadable expression, before coming to a halt as he reached four feet away from them. "Unlike you, Jūgo, I wasn't planning on blowing my cover until the time was right. But you just had to take the chance to get these girls to safety."

"Wait a minute… You're against the House of Botis, too?!" Mito pointed at the man with a comically shocked voice and trembling figure. "B-But from how Kiba talked, you were, like, seriously loyal to Suitari and his House!"

"I am loyal to Sutairi-sama, even after his death, but my heart does not serve the House of Botis. If I had my choice, I would exact my vengeance upon Kuroka at the first chance I would get." Kimimaro stated with a frown on his face as he angrily thought about the Youkai that killed his master.

An uneasy look appeared on Koneko's face as she studied the man, "So why are you…?"

"… Because you do not have anything to do with my desire for revenge. You may have been the reason Kuroka took action, but she is still the one that ended Sutairi-sama's life. It goes against my personal code of honor to involve the innocent." Kneeling down to get a better look at Jūgo, who was now standing on his own feet while being held up by Koneko, Kimimaro took notice to the still healing, medium-sized wound going through his back. "As to why I am taking action now… You can blame one of reasons on the actions of my closest friend and him getting injured because of it."

"Sorry, Kimimaro…"

"Don't worry about it. Now then," Sounds of something striking the wall of bone swords could be heard coming behind them, making the girls look behind Kimimaro to see that a familiar beam was seen blasting against the surprisingly sturdy bones. The Knight stood up to his feet as he too looked back at his creation, "Will all those experiments and eyes of his, it shouldn't take Shin and his clones long to get past my Dance of the Seedling Fern… Get going… I will hold them off."

"If you stay, you'll die." Koneko warned as she watched the man grab the collar of his shirt and pushed it off his shoulders, causing it to wall to his waist. "Come with us, Kimimaro-san! I'm sure we can-"

"No." Kimimaro interrupted as he kept his gaze on the bone wall as it was starting to crack and fall apart, "I have no intention of siding against the House of Botis, on the side of the vile woman who killed my master… Besides… I'm not long for this world anyways…" As soon as the words left his lips, a violent cough was quick to follow as Kimimaro covered his mouth his hand. It soon came to an end and the man removed his hand, allowing the girls to see a large glob of blood in his palm. "But if I can assist with your escape, with Jūgo's survival, I have no regrets on giving up my life… on my terms."

"But why?!" Mito exclaimed as she shook her head, feeling tears build up in her eyes, not knowing why she was feeling such sorrow about this mad dying for them… No, it was because he was sacrificing himself, even though he didn't know them, even though they were supposed to be his enemies. "There has been so much death already! You don't have to be added to the list!"

A small smile formed on Kimimaro's face at that, "Do you say that out of a kind heart or ignorance to war? Nevertheless… You must learn to close your heart to the pain you will face down the line or it will consume you… Now go, before they finish breaking through."

"… Thank you, Kimimaro-san." That was all Koneko could say as she and Jūgo started to turn around, using her free hand to pat the crying Mito on the shoulder, signaling for her to follow.

"Kimimaro… Goodbye… my friend…" Jūgo called out as he and the girls hurried along the dungeon path.

Closing his eyes as he took in a deep breath, Kimimaro reopened his eyes to see that Shin and his clones were now visible through the nearly-destroyed wall of bones, "Goodbye Jūgo… Live a long live… Heh, I almost wish I had a chance to fight Rias Gremory's Knight once more… But at least I am going out fighting…" With that said, Kimimaro pulled two bone swords out his body before charging at the wall just as the first clone had made it through the opening, "Let's see how many of you can survive my dances before my body gives out!"

(Outside the Lucifer Mansion)

A large turquoise magic circle appeared a few yards away from the entrance to the mansion, with two younger female figures and a tall male appeared in the center, though all of them fell to the floor as the circle faded away. The first to get to her feet was Mito, who studied the surrounding area and took in all of the familiar surroundings. Next to her was an injured Jūgo laying on his stomach while Koneko was on her back, slowly raising herself into a seated position.

"W… We're back… We made it back home!" An excited Mito shouted in relief, wrapping her arms around Koneko as she cheered.

Koneko nodded her head as she released the breath she didn't realize she was holding in, patting Mito's back with a smile on her face before turning to look at Jūgo. Her smile dropped as she saw that the man was not moving and gently pushed Mito away before scooting closer to him, placing her fingers against his neck. "… Thank the Satans, he's just unconscious. Teleporting with his injuries must've been too much for him. We need to get someone to look after him immediately!"

"Right! Let's go!" Mito replied as she helped Koneko secure the man onto her back before the two rushed towards the mansion's front doors, the young Lucifer practically kicking them open and looking around… Only one thing left to do… Taking in a deep breath, Mito channeled some of her demonic energy into her vocal cords, "ONII-CHAN! ASIA-NEECHAN! ANYONE! WE NEED SOME HELP HERE!"

The silence surrounding the two, plus one unconscious, only lasted a few seconds before the rumbling of multiple footsteps could be heard coming from everywhere at once. Both Mito and Koneko weren't surprised to see Naruto and Kuroka were one of the first people to arrive. They and several others, including Rias, Kushina and Asia stared down at them in shock before rushing as fast as they could to intercept the girls. Kushina was the first to make it towards them and wrapped her arms around Mito as tightly as she could without hurting her daughter, something that Kuroka replicated much to Koneko's discomfort, the older sister not caring as she unknowingly knocked Jūgo off the younger Nekoshou's shoulders on to the floor.

Naruto and Rias shared worried look as they examined the girls as they were being embraced by Kushina and Kuroka, before turning their attention to the unconscious, injured Jūgo. "Isn't this one of the Rooks that belonged to Sutairi?"

Asia let out a gasp as she recognized the man, "I remember him! He was with that man who fought Gawain!"

Struggling to get out of her mother's hold, Mito immediately went to her sister's side, "Asia-neechan! I need you to heal this guy! Please!"

"Eh?" Asia blinked in confusion at her younger sibling's request, until she saw the look on Mito's face and nodded her head with a determined expression, "Alright. Leave it to me!"

"Jūgo must've gotten injured during his attempt to free Shirone and Mito, nya." Kuroka deduced as she watched Asia begin to use her Twilight Healing on Jūgo's injuries, "He's always been reckless during a fight, but this had to have been with someone that knew how to get passed his Senjutsu Transformation."

"If he really did help with their escape, the least we can do is move him somewhere comfortable." Turning his head to a few of the Branch members, Naruto started to bark out orders. "I want you lot to take him to one of the available rooms with Asia. After that, I want to get some of our medical staff to assist her with his recovery… And some security details, just in case. Hopefully when he wakes up, he'll be able to give us the location of the House of Botis. It's time we take the offensive and make those bastards regret messing with us!"

"Yes, sir!" The Branch members bowed their heads before working together to lift Jūgo up, before making their way up the stairs with Asia following after them.

Turning his head to look back at his sister, who was once again begin held in their mother's arms, and Koneko, who managed to free herself from a pouting Kuroka, "Tell us everything that happened after you were taken."

(In an Unknown Location)

"So the House of Botis has finally come out from hiding and are currently at war with the Lucifer Clan and the House of Gremory…" A male voice spoke up, belonging to a man that was walking into a tatami room, where two teenage girls could be seen on one knee with their heads bowed a little, swords at their sides as waited for the man to make his way towards the mat in front of them before seating himself in the seiza position with his hands on his knees. "You both know what needs to be done, correct?"

"Yes, Otou-sama." Both girls said at the same time, the slightly older of the two having long black hair that reached the back of her knees while the younger sibling had short black hair that was in a twintail style.

"Good… Normally, I wouldn't ask either of you to involve yourselves in matters like this. As our lifestyles demand that we remain in the shadows," The man replied as he shifted his gaze between his daughters, "That being said. The conflict between the House of Botis."

"Forgive me for asking, Father," The short haired girl spoke up with a small frown on her face. "But are you really sure that both Onee-chan and I need to go on this mission together, it seems like overkill, doesn't it?"

"Never underestimate an enemy. To make assumptions of something you have yet to experience or gain knowledge about, will cost you if you aren't careful." Their father explained as he closed his eyes, his words causing his daughters to straighten themselves. "Stay close to the shadows, focus on surveillance as the battle between the Houses occurs, and make your own judgement on how to proceed."

The older sibling nodded her head before rising to her feet, catching a scroll that was tossed to her once she had straightened herself "Of course. We will proceed with the mission, Otou-sama."

A small smile formed on the man's face as he nodded, "That scroll will allow you to create an opening in the barrier surrounding the Botis' Hideout, but only for five seconds, so don't waste any time once you activate it. Watch each other's backs and return safely once you have confirmed the job's completion."

"Just like you've been teaching us for years." Smiling brightly at her father's words, the short haired girl stood up while turning towards her sister, "Shall we get going, Onee-chan?"

"Yes. Farwell, Otou-sama." With that, both girls gave their father a slight bow before disappearing in a swirl of leaves.

"…" The smile on the man's face disappeared as he lowered his head, letting out a heavy sigh as thoughts raced through his head. "… There is no doubt in my mind on what Orotsuki is after. All of the investigations I've done on him and his family all point to how that man used to operate… It seems that he is still the same, no matter what name he possesses… So then," Finally opening his eyes, the black irises of both turned red with three tomoes circling around the pupil. "Let me see if you truly deserve your name… Naruto?"


The Twenty-Second Chapter is complete and the Black Cat Arc is almost done. Jūgo has rescued Koneko and Mito thanks to Kimimaro's sacrifice, getting injured in the process. With Naruto and the others now having a way to find the House of Botis' hideout, the next few chapters will focus on the fight being taken to Orotsuki and his followers. After hearing the responses about how people prefer the suffix and Japanese pronunciations, I've decided to go back to how it was originally. I know that there was some emotional moments and slight OOC moments for a few characters like when Koneko was being comforted by Mito, but like I earlier, the girl is being confronted by a horrible moment in her life and the people responsible for it. So, like always be sure to leave some nice reviews, but remember that all flames and insults will be IGNORED, so don't bother writing them. I hope you enjoyed reading the chapter and I hope to see you again.

A/N: The next stories I will be working on are the next chapter of Dhampir of Yokai Academy and then after that will be Swordsmen of Twilight. I am also working on a long One-Shot Medaka Box/Naruto crossover. One last thing, as many of you probably have noticed, I put up a poll on my account on which story and current arc I should focus on finishing first. That voting poll will end as soon as I post my next story, so submit your choice as soon as you can.

A/N 2: Lately I've been wanting to see what it would look if one of my stories was written with that Reading/Watching Genre that been getting very popular lately. I don't know who would be interested in doing it with one of mine, but I really hope someone could give it a try.

Until Next Time!