Jinchurikki of the Apocalypse
"There's a group of Fallen Angels pinned down by that building over there. Kiba and Xenovia, I want you to be our spear point. Send our enemies scattering to the winds. Koneko and Irina, you'll come in next and take down our enemies before they know what hit them. Rossweisse and Akeno, shoot down any that attempt to retreat."
"Don't worry, Lady Rias. I got this."
"We'll send those monsters packing!"
"Ufufufu, this'll be fun."
Several responses came to her through her communicator. Rias floated over the battlefield with Asia, Gasper, and Ravel by her side. Naruto's bishop was proving to be incredibly useful, providing her with a wealth of knowledge from across the battlefield. Thanks to Ravel, Rias was able to find out which parts of the enemy's formation was weak, which battle lines could be attacked and which were too heavily defended, and she could provide backup to those who were struggling.
The area she was looking at right now was swarming with Fake Scale Mails, so many Rias couldn't even begin to count them. A group of heavily injured Fallen Angels were surrounded on all sides by the Fake Scale Mails. It was honestly a miracle they were still alive. About four of them were unconscious and the remaining eight were on their last leg, battered, bruised, and covered in blood.
Just then, two streaks of light smashed into the enemy formation. They were Kiba and Xenovia.
The one who presented the opening attack was Xenovia, who swung Ex Durandal with all the strength in her arms. A powerful wave of white energy erupted from the weapon, slicing clean through nearly a dozen Fake Scale Mails and even splitting several buildings in half. Rias shook her head. The girl was lucky her aim was so good. She could have killed the people they were trying to rescue if her aim was even a millimeter off.
Immediately after Xenovia's attack softened them up, Kiba raced in through the gap and began decimating the enemy ranks with precise strokes of his blade. Some of the enemies tried to use Dragon Shot against him. They shouldn't have bothered. In fact, using such an attack on a Knight like Kiba was probably the dumbest thing they could have done. Kiba vanished with the speed only a Knight could possess, and the Dragon Shots went through the spot he stood and slammed into their fellow Fake Scale Mails. Nearly a dozen armored enemies died from friendly fire. Then Kiba appeared again, swinging his holy-demonic sword with enough force to remove the heads from his enemies shoulders.
"Koneko and Irina, it's your turn."
"Just leave this to meow, Buchou. I'll send these douches packing."
"I'll help out where I can."
Koneko had been standing on a building and waiting for her chance to attack. Once Rias gave the order, she leapt down from the building and descended toward the Fake Scale Mail army. She had already released her Nekomata Mode Two. Her split tail and cat ears were visible and her body was covered in Touki. As she landed on the ground, Koneko slammed her fist into it, unleashing a powerful earthquake that knocked every enemy within fifteen meters off their feet.
Not one to miss an opportunity, Koneko attacked all of the downed opponents, destroying them with strength enhanced by Touki. A heel drop smashed open the chest of one of the Scale Mails. She dropped onto all fours as another two came her way, raised herself onto her hands, and did the splits. Both legs shot out and struck the Fake Scale Mails so hard they were lifted off their feet and thrown back. Spinning around, Koneko didn't stop with just those two. She was like a helicopter as she began kicking away any Scale Mail that tried to come near her. With her Touki infused strength, she was more than capable of breaking the armored beings apart like a baker cracking eggs.
One thing Rias had noticed about these Fake Scale Mails was how much weaker they were than the real thing. They could use Issei's signature attack, Dragon Shot, and they had a decent defense that could withstand attacks from a normal mid-rank Devil, but they did not have much else. Her own forces were far more powerful and capable of taking down multiple Fake Scale Mails without breaking a sweat.
Koneko wasn't the only one kicking ass. Irina had swooped down at the same time as her, but where the little nekousho was a force of destruction, Irina was a finesse fighter. She created a lance made of light and impaled a Fake Scale Mail through the chest. She didn't bother removing it. Letting go, she created a sword as she kicked the lance to bury it even more deeply into her foe, then spun around and sliced a Dragon Shot in half. The light sword in her hand swiftly changed shape into a spear, which she threw at the Fake Scale Mail. The creature swatted the weapon away, but Irina used its distracted state to close the distance. She cleaved the Fake Scale Mail in half after summoning a holy sword that Rias didn't recognize.
"Rias, there are several evil dragons coming this way," Ravel suddenly said.
"Where are they coming from?" asked Rias.
"Our left flanks and behind us. There are two separate forces."
"How far out are they?"
"They'll be here in about five minutes."
Rias didn't doubt Ravel's information. She was keeping track of everything happening on the battlefield by listening to the various conversations happening across the battlefield. That was how they had been able to discover these injured Fallen Angels. The question was: What did she do with this information.
"Do you two think you could hold off one of those groups for a short period of time?"
"Um, I don't know if I'll be able to hold off a bunch of evil dragons, but I'll do my best," Gasper said. "After all, I'm a man of the Gremory Household too."
Ravel looked uncertain. "How long do I need us to hold them off?"
"Not long." Rias assured her before speaking into her communicator. "Change of plans, everyone. There are two groups of evil dragons heading this way. Rossweisse, Akeno, I need you both to help Ravel hold off one group." She waited to receive an affirmative from them both, then turned to Asia. "Now would be a good time to summon Fafnir."
Asia clasped her hands together as if in prayer, but this was no normal praying. A Dragon Gate soon appeared before her. From within the gate emerged a massive dragon with brilliant golden scales. He was at least ten meters long and had no wings on his back. Perhaps the oddest thing about this dragon was the cloth wrapped around its horn. The cloth was, in fact, Asia's panties.
"Fafnir-san, can you please protect me from the evil dragons?"
"Of course, Fair Maiden. Do you have them? My treasures as payment?"
After saying those words, Asia removed a pair of panties from her nuns' habit. Rias knew the girl always kept some on her person now. Of course, the sight of Asia giving a massive dragon her panties while said massive dragon sniffed them like a typical pervert was a bit surreal, but Rias had long since learned to put up with the strangeness of her peerage. Dealing with Naruto on a daily basis helped.
"Very well. I shall protect thee, fair maiden. You may count on me."
"Thank you, Fafnir-san."
With the giant golden dragon now protecting Asia, Rias didn't fear for the girl's safety, and so she turned to face the incoming horde of evil dragons. The group coming in from behind consisted of three evil dragons. Each one was about ten meters in size, putting them in the same class as Fafnir. One had red scales, one had orange scales, and the last had green scales. She didn't know if their scale color signified something, but she decided it didn't matter in the end. All she could do was fight with everything she had.
Taking a deep breath, Rias allowed her demonic power to flow through her. Then she directed it and created a single sphere. It was small, barely the size of her fist, but it crackled with repressed power. She added more power. It tried to grow in size, but Rias quickly suppressed it. Once her highly mobile sphere had what she deemed was enough power, she sent it at the dragons coming her way.
Ruin the Extinct was a skill that her brother had created and mastered. Also known as Demonic Bullets of Annihilation, it was the ability to shape the Power of Destruction into numerous, highly mobile spheres that were able to eliminate anything it touched without leaving a single trace behind. Rias did not have her brother's mastery over this technique, and she could only make one bullet, but she could control that single bullet with enough precision to move it wherever and however she wanted.
The evil dragons saw her attack coming and decided to evade it rather than face it. Perhaps they sensed the massive wellspring of power packed inside that tiny sphere. Unfortunately for them, Rias moved the sphere as they tried to dodge. Her attack struck the wing of the green-scaled dragon, which caused the creature to cry out in pain as the wing disappeared. With only one wing left, the dragon was unable to maintain lift, and it crashed into the ground far below.
Rias put the dragon out of her mind and focused on the remaining two.
By this point, the two dragons had already closed the distance, and so she was no longer able to use long-range attacks. Darting backward with a flap of her wings, Rias called upon the Power of Destruction once more, but this time she encased it around her body, forming a type of armor that vaguely resembled the armor her brother wore.
Sirzechs was able to use a power called Human-Shaped Aura of Destruction. What he did was convert himself into the Power of Destruction. By fully releasing his powers, he could cause earthquakes throughout the underworld. The amount of power he had was ten times greater than the original Lucifer while he was in this form. There was a problem with it, however. Because he could not fully control this form, the Power of Destruction would spread without his command, which meant he could kill his allies as easily as his enemies.
Rias could not do that. She did not have her brother's power or talent. Instead, she had created an armored form by using Issei's Scale Mail as a base, but she shaped it like Sirzechs's armor. This gave her increased defenses and forced anyone attacking her to be wary of annihilating themselves.
One of the dragons released a powerful blast of fire from its mouth. The plume of flame slammed into Rias, but it did not penetrate her armor. Instead, the blackish-red armor destroyed the attack before it could touch her. Rias could feel her demonic energy depleting with the successful defense, however, which proved to her that this ability was still incomplete.
It also meant she needed to hurry.
Creating a sword from the Power of Destruction, Rias flew forward far faster than she ever had before, swung the weapon with all her might, and watched in grim satisfaction as her sword tore through the dragon's back with ease. Scales split. Blood flowed. The dragon released a cry of agony as it lost control of its ability to fly and began plummeting.
Rias would have gone after it, to finish it off, but the other dragon released a compressed ball of fire that slammed into her back. While her armor destroyed the attack, force was enough to push her into an uncontrolled spin. Gritting her teeth, Rias spun around and willed her sword to change into a bolt of pure energy, which she sent hurtling at the dragon. Sadly, this dragon appeared to have wizened up to her attacks and dodged. She grimaced.
This fight might be a little harder than the others.
This dragon wasn't anymore powerful than the other mass produced evil dragons, but it did seem a little wiser. She sent several attacks its way and watched in consternation as each one was dodged. However, Rias wasn't just sending out attacks without thinking. She could still control the Power of Destruction even after it left her hands, and she quickly willed the various attacks she sent to surround the dragon, who realized too late what her intentions were. Rias smiled grimly as she stretched out her hand and closed it into a fist. Almost as if that was the signal, all the reddish-black bolts of destructive energy converged on the dragon, who had no room to dodge.
The evil dragon vanished as if it had never existed.
"Haaaah," Rias released a tired breath, but she knew that now wasn't the time to let exhaustion get the best of her. Akeno, Gasper, Ravel, and Rossweisse were currently fighting against almost a dozen evil dragons themselves. Gasper was using Forbidden Balor View to freeze several evil dragons in place, which allowed Akeno, Ravel, and Rossweisse to blast them with magic at their leisure. While they seemed to be holding their own, it was her duty to help her peerage when they were in trouble.
And yet, just before she could move to help them, a loud dragon's roar that nearly shattered her eardrums echoed all around them.
In shock, Rias spun around to find two more dragons heading their way.
One of them was a black Eastern Dragon that was at least seventy-five meters in length. Gems adorned its body, all of which released a shimmering, silvery glow. There were three eyes on his head that released the same glow as the gems. An ominous aura exuded from his body.
The second enemy was a giant dragon with three heads and six wings. His scales were a very dark shade of purple. He was not as large as the other dragon, being only around twenty meters or so, but that was still many times larger than Rias herself.
"That's… Apophis and Azi Dahaka?" Rias gawked when she saw the two, but her brows soon furrowed. "No, Azi Dahaka is dead and that's too small to be Apophis. What is going on here?"
Rias knew she would get no answers to this question. It wasn't like her enemies were going to say anything. Case in point, the Apophis lookalike opened its mouth and fired bullets of pitch black water at her.
With a flap of her wings, Rias quickly began dodging the attacks that came her way, but just like she could control her Power of Destruction, this Apophis lookalike was able to control the volumes of water he launched. The spheres swerved around and tried to strike from her blindspot. It was only thanks to her training with Naruto and the others that she sensed the attacks and dodged in time.
It was at this moment that the Azi Dahaka lookalike swooped in. A lightning bolt flew from one of its heads. Rias swerved aside to avoid it, but then something incredibly powerful struck her in the side. She screamed in pain as the armor she'd been wearing nearly dissolved. Apophis's Primordeal Water was so deadly it could dissolve anything it touched. It was similar in some ways to her Power of Destruction, but this lookalike's power was clearly on another level from her own, which was why it overpowered her.
Rias screamed in shock and pain as she began spiraling toward the ground. The air whistled around her. She thought she heard several people shouting, but she could barely hear what was being said over the pain ripping through her.
While the attack had hurt, Rias gritted her teeth and flapped her wings, slowing down her momentum and changing the direction of her flight at the last possible second. She flew down the road. The Apophis and Azi Dahaka lookalikes were hot on her heels. She was forced to swerve left, right, right, left, and perform a series of intense aerial maneuvers to avoid being struck again. She couldn't afford to get hit even one more time.
"Rias?! Are you okay?!" Ravel's voice came over her communicator.
"I am… fine. How about you?"
"We're holding out. We managed to save the Fallen Angels. Hang on. We're coming to help you now."
That meant they were able to defeat the mass produced evil dragons without her help. That was good. She should have had more faith in them. Akeno, Ravel, and Rossweisse had been working hard to get stronger. Plus they had Fafnir, who was more than a match for any mass produced evil dragon.
I should really worry about my own situation.
Rias swerved aside just as a ball of primordial water nearly slammed into her back. It struck the ground instead and caused the entire road to dissolve. She ground her teeth together, put on a burst of speed, and tried to outpace the two evil dragons.
Only to gasp in shock when the Azi Dahaka look alike appeared right in front of her. First a rift formed, then the dragon in question emerged from it. Despite being shocked, Rias was able to react quickly, creating a sword from her Power of Destruction as she swerved around a cyclone of curses. She reached the massive dragon, swung the sword, and sliced into its arm. She gritted her teeth and put more strength into her arms, successfully shearing through it, though she was unable to celebrate her success.
Something powerful slammed into her front. Rias screamed again as she flew backward, though her scream was silenced when she struck the ground and rolled across it. Groaning, she tried to stand up, only to scream once more when her legs became completely encased in ice. This wasn't Apophis's attack. Only Azi Dahaka could have done this.
She looked up to see the two dragons closing in on her, one from the sky and another from the ground. Knowing better than to just sit still, she released her Power of Destruction to annihilate the ice covering her body, but the moment she did, more ice formed, and it formed even faster than before. A chill seeped into her body, zapping her strength.
Is this… the end?
Time seemed to slow as the dragons closed in.
I can't die here, can I?
The Apophis lookalike opened his mouth, darkness gathering inside, coalescing into a tightly packed ball filled with so much energy it made her shiver.
I don't want to die. I still have… so much I want to do…
It was getting harder to think. She was cold. So cold that all she wanted to do was sleep. Her eyes began shutting, her body slumping, and her mind growing dim. Rias tried to fight this feeling, but it was no use.
Just when she felt like she was going to succumb, a loud bang! like something detonating in her ear echoed all around Rias. She blinked as a massive imprint in the shape of a fist formed on the dragon's chest. The Apophis lookalike reared its head back and screamed as black blood poured from the now broken scales. Rias could only stare at the wound in shock, wondering what had happened.
"Hmph. What a weakling," a voice said.
Rias turned her head. Standing before her was a tall man wearing a black coat. His long hair was a combination of black and blond, and he had heterochromatic eyes; one gold and the other black. While his body was quite slender, Rias did not delude herself into thinking this made him weak. She knew who this person was.
"Aren't you… Crom Cruach?"
"That is right," the man said. "And you are Rias Gremory."
"I don't understand. Why are you… helping me? Why are you even here? I thought you were sealed away."
Crom Cruach looked at the ice covering her leg, then released a soft breath. Rias almost screamed when flames erupted from his mouth and covered her legs. The only reason she didn't scream was because the ice around her legs melted and the flames vanished not long after.
"Ha! Did you really think I would let myself be sealed up? I beat up my guards and escaped the moment I could. As for why I'm helping you…" Crom Cruach eyed her for a second in contemplation, then shrugged. "Let's just say I'm returning the favor I owe your boyfriend."
Rias didn't understand and tried to ask Crom Cruach what he meant by that, but the evil dragon didn't answer and instead looked at the Apophis and Azi Dahaka lookalikes with a frown.
"Now that is interesting," he murmured.
"What?" asked Rias.
Snorting, Crom Cruach seemed to consider this question worth answering. "These aren't the original Apophis and Azi Dahaka. They're nothing more than clones created by the Holy Grail. They are like the mass produced dragons you people have been fighting in many ways. Both lack the power of the originals… but I suppose they still have more than enough power to contend with normal Devils."
So that was why they were smaller than the original Apophis and Azi Dahaka. Rias had thought there was something odd about these two, but she hadn't considered they were just clones of the originals.
"All right. Just leave this to me," Crom Cruach said as he rotated his shoulder cuffs and slowly walked toward the two evil dragon clones. Neither of the clones seemed intelligent. They roared and launched an attack at Crom Cruach, but he swatted both attacks away as if they were mere bugs. Then he threw a fist. It was just a simple punch, and he wasn't even close enough for the attack to hit, but somehow, his attack still struck Azi Dahaka, reducing his middle head to a bleeding pulp.
Rias could only stare in shock.
Several people shouted as they descended toward her. It was her peerage along with Ravel Phenex. Kiba landed beside her and held out a hand. She accepted the help, allowing him to pull her up.
"Are you okay?" asked Kiba.
"I'm fine," Rias assured him, though her body was still feeling sore. Asia must have sensed this, because the young nun quickly came over and activated Twilight Healing to repair the damage done by the Apophis and Azi Dahaka clones. "Thank you, Asia."
"You're welcome," Asia said.
"What's going on over there?" asked Akeno. "Is that Crom Cruach? Why is he fighting those evil dragons? Also… wasn't Azi Dahaka defeated?"
"Those are just clones," Rias answered. "And I don't know why Crom Cruach is helping us."
The battle between Crom Cruach and the two evil dragon clones was already underway. Loud explosions rang out as Crom Cruach zipped around the two evil dragon clones with speed that could easily match any Knight. He appeared before Apophis and struck him in the chest with a punch enhanced by his Dragon Aura. It was such a powerful strike that the scales around the evil dragon's chest ruptured.
At that moment, Azi Dahaka tried to encase Crom Cruach in a prison of ice, but of course the most powerful among the evil dragons shattered it like it was fragile porcelain. The heterochromatic eyed dragon released another blast of fire from his mouth, but this flame was far more potent than the one he used to melt the ice on Rias's legs. They engulfed Azi Dahaka, causing his scales to melt, his eyes to burst into viscous fluid, and the ground around him to turn a molten yellow.
Crom Cruach soon stopped breathing fire and stood in place with his arms crossed. He seemed completely nonchalant about what had just happened, but Rias and her peerage were in shock. He had handily defeated two dragons that would have given her entire peerage trouble. Rias shivered. To think Naruto had gone up against and defeated this man.
But perhaps even more shocking than Crom Cruach's incredible prowess was what happened to Azi Dahaka. The melted scales and burst eyes began reforming. It was like someone had decided to rewind time. Rias had never seen anything quite like it. Even Naruto's healing factor was nowhere near this potent.
"Oho. It seems you can regenerate. That is interesting. You lack the power of a Heavenly Dragon, but your ability to regenerate is very impressive. I guess that means I'll need to get more serious."
Crom Cruach cracked his neck and knuckles as he prepared to battle against the two evil dragon clones.
"What should we do, Buchou?" asked Gasper.
"Let's leave this to Crom Cruach," Ravel said before Rias could. "In the meantime, we should see about helping the western battlefront. I'm told Sirzechs and the other alliance leaders are currently locked in a battle against the real remaining high-ranked members of the Chaos Brigade and are unable to help."
"That's a good idea," Rias agreed. "Everyone, let's go help the others."
Her peerage nodded once, and they soon left the battlefield between Crom Cruach, who had already forgotten about them, and the two evil dragon clones.
Naruto was crouched on the ground as he drew numerous seals upon the floor. They were not seals that anyone from this world would know, as they came from his original world. Each symbol looked somewhat reminiscent to Kanji, but the shape and overall flow of the lines was different, unfamiliar, and he was the only one who could read them. That was kind of sad when he thought about it. Maybe he should consider teaching someone how to draw seals in this world.
He wasn't alone. Ophis was with him. She stood against the wall, her arms crossed as she watched him with careful eyes. He didn't know what she was thinking. Her face remained a blank slate, but that wasn't too unusual. Ophis's face almost always looked like that, except when they were having sex. Then she just looked lewd.
"Are you sure this seal will allow me to reclaim the power that was stolen from me?" she asked.
"It should," Naruto said.
"What if it doesn't?"
"Then we're fucked."
"That doesn't instill much confidence."
Naruto shrugged as if to say, "What more do you want from me?" Seals were a very precise type of jutsu meant to seal everything from objects and living beings to chakra. It could also be used to restrict someone's movement or unseal objects. What Naruto was doing right now was creating a seal that would seal Ophis's power inside of the room, and then unseal that power inside of Ophis, thus transferring her power back to her. Well, that was how it would work in theory.
"I'm about done," Naruto said at last. "Do you think you can lead Lilith to this room?"
"And how do you propose I do that?"
"You like candy, right? I'm sure Lilith is the same. Why not lead her here with candy?"
Ophis stared at him with one of those "you cannot be serious" expressions his women sometimes give him when he says something stupid, but he was being serious. Wasn't the powerful girl who loved sweets a popular trope? He was sure it was. Naruto had seen enough anime to know how this all worked, and he was sure it would work in real life just as well.
With a sigh, Ophis pushed herself off the wall and walked out the door. Naruto watched her go, and when the door shut behind her, he turned back to his seal. He just needed to add a few more brush strokes…
"What? Our son… is a devil?"
Issei stared in quiet horror at his mom and dad after Rizevim dropped that bomb on them. He had never once told his parents about what he had become. Part of the reason for this was because he wanted them to live normal lives, but he wouldn't deny that another part was because he didn't want them to reject him. His family might make fun of him for being a pervert. However, they were still his family and he loved them dearly.
"That's right!" Rizevim crowed. "He is a devil! A monster that lives off the desires of humans!"
His mom and dad looked at him, and Issei looked away. He couldn't bear the thought of seeing their hate filled gazes. Beside him, Vali remained silent, either out of respect for Issei or because he was waiting for an opening to attack Rizevim, Issei couldn't be sure. He liked to think it was the former.
"Ise… is this true?" asked his father.
Issei clenched his hands into fists. His arms were shaking. What should he say? Given everything that was happening, it was unbelievable they would believe him if he said it wasn't true, which meant his only option was the truth.
"Y-yes. It's true. I… died almost a year ago and was turned into a Devil by Rias-Buchou," he confessed.
Silence filled the room. Issei could hear his own heavy breathing and pounding heart. It felt like his heart was going to break his ribcage into a thousand pieces with its incessant beating.
"Huh. You know, that actually makes a lot of sense."
Issei blinked stupidly at his dad who, despite the situation, didn't seem too bothered as he nodded several times. It was ridiculous. His father was hanging from a cross, he was being held hostage by none other than the ultimate evil boss, and he had just been told his son was a Devil, but here he was nodding along as if everything suddenly made sense.
"I always wondered how you could suddenly become so popular with the girls," his father explained. "It was so random. You've always been the kind of loser whose obsession with breasts turned all the women around you away. To be honest, I had long since given up hope of you ever finding yourself a good woman to settle down with."
"Gee, thanks dad! Can you not talk about what a loser I used to be?!"
While Issei snapped at his father in typical tsukkomi fashion, the very act seemed to break whatever tension had been holding him hostage. Even Rizevim seemed taken aback as the menacing atmosphere he'd built evaporated like water on a hot summer's day.
"What is… going on here…?" he muttered.
"Ise," his mother suddenly called his name. When he turned to her, it was to see she was giving him a smile only mothers could have. "No matter what you are now, it doesn't change the fact that you are and always will be our son. We love you no matter what."
"That's right," his father said. "If I can love you when you were a horny loser who constantly fapped to porn, I can love you now that you're a devil."
Issei didn't know when the tears had started falling from his eyes, but the part of him that had always feared his parents' rejection because of what he was quietly disappeared. A weight had been lifted from his shoulders. It was odd. He hadn't actually known the weight was even there, but now that it was gone, he distinctly felt its absence.
While this was happening, Rizevim Lucifer was glaring at them. The hatred in his eyes spoke volumes.
"What the fuck is going on here?! Fuck! This isn't how it's supposed to be! Why aren't you condemning your son?!"
"Why would we do that?" asked Issei's dad. "He's our son. Of course we're not going to condemn him."
While those words were uplifting to Issei, they were upsetting to Rizevim. The man looked like he was ready to blow a blood vessel. There was a hard gleam in his eyes as he glared at Issei's parents. At that moment, Issei knew for certain that he needed to act, or his parents would be killed.
"In that case, you can just die," Rizevim said in a cold voice as he raised his hand and unleashed a burst of demonic power from his palm. A magic circle appeared before his hand, glowing with malevolence.
Issei and Vali were moving before the magic circle fully formed.
Despite the nearly fifty meters of distance between them, Issei was able to overcome it in an instant after transforming into his Welsh Sonic Boost Knight. He put all the power he had into his speed, rushed forward, and appeared between Rizevim and his parents. Immediately after he transposed himself between the two groups, Issei transformed into his Welsh Dragonic Rook form. The incredible increase to his power and defense would be needed to withstand an attack from Rizevim Lucifer.
Or so he thought.
Issei had forgotten about Rizevim's ability.
Before Issei knew what was happening, his Welsh Dragonic Rook form disappeared, as did the strength. Rizevim had used his ability, Sacred Gear Canceller, to disable his Boosted Gear's Balance Breaker. Now he was defenseless.
"Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide. Divide."
And yet just before Rizevim could attack him, the power that Rizevim had been building was suddenly divided numerous times, reducing the spell's power until it completely disappeared. Rizevim clicked his tongue in distaste. He could do nothing else, however, as Vali slammed into him with the force of a dragon. He tried to use the Sacred Gear Canceller, but Vali wasn't using his Sacred Gear at the moment. The young man had turned his Sacred Gear off the moment he attacked, and so the ability did nothing, and Rizevim received a punch to the face for his troubles.
"Shit! Fucking dammit!"
As Rizevim snarled out curses, Issei turned away, projected Ascalon out of his gauntlet, and used it to cut through the crucifixes binding his parents. They would have fallen, but he quickly caught them and set them down.
"Thanks, Son," his father said.
"It's my fault you're in this mess. Listen, this battle is about to get messy. Take this."
Issei placed something in his father's hand. It didn't look like much. In fact, it was just a sheet of paper with complex symbols drawn on it. And his father, being a human, could not sense the demonic power coming from it.
"What is this?" his father asked.
"It's a teleportation device that will take you back home. Now, Mom, hold onto Dad."
"Like… this?" His mother grabbed his father's arm and clung to it.
"Just like that. I'm activating the transportation spell now."
This spell was something that Ajuka Beelzebub had created after they learned that Issei's parents had been kidnapped. It was designed to break through the barrier between the underworld and the human world. Anyone holding onto it would be transported to a predesignated location, that being Issei's house.
"Ise, I just want you to know that no matter what happens, your father and I will always love you," his mother said.
Issei smiled because he would probably begin crying if he didn't. "Yeah. I know, Mom. Thank you."
Several loud explosions erupted from behind him. Issei knew that it meant Vali was now fighting Lucifer, which of course meant their time was now up. He channeled his demonic power into the device and watched as it opened a portal around his parents. They smiled at him one last time before disappearing within the portal, which closed mere moments later.
"Fuck! What kind of bullshit is this?!" Rizevim screamed. It seemed his inability to make Issei's parents hate him had made the man lose his cool.
"It looks like your plan has backfired," Vali said in a calm voice. "Too bad for you, gramps."
"Shut the fuck up, you little shit. Since I couldn't watch Issei fall into despair like I originally planned, I'll just kill you both right here."
"Wasn't killing us always in your plans?" asked Vali.
Rizevim gnashed his teeth together, but he didn't say anything as he once more activated the Sacred Gear Canceller. Both of their Balance Breakers disappeared. They leapt away from Rizevim, who decided to go after Vali, whom he likely classified as a bigger threat. The grandson of Rizevim was left with no choice but to cross his arms and accept a powerful attack from his grandfather. A loud noise like something cracking echoed around the room as Vali was kicked so hard he flew into a wall.
Issei wasn't given much time to mourn his comrade's fate as Rizevim raised a hand and fired a barrage of magic in his direction. Since Issei currently couldn't use his Balance Breaker, he had no choice but to dodge the attacks. That was easier said than done. There were simply too many magical bullets hurtling toward him, and so several struck Issei in the chest, shoulders, and legs. Blood burst from numerous wounds as he was sent skidding across the floor.
"It doesn't matter if I wasn't able to achieve my goal of making you fall into despair. Neither of you are a match for me," Rizevim declared.
"Heh. I wouldn't be so sure of that," Vali said as he pulled himself out of the wall. Some blood ran down his mouth, but he wiped at it with his thumb and grinned at his grandfather. "Ise, don't you have a new form you wanted to unleash? Go ahead and activate it. I'll buy you time."
Issei gawked at Vali as the man raced over to Rizevim and engaged the man in hand-to-hand combat. How did Vali know about his new ability? Not even Naruto knew exactly what he was working on. He clicked his tongue as he realized Vali must have sensed it because he was the bearer of Divine Dividing. Awhile back, Issei had incorporated a small piece of the Divine Dividing's power into his Boosted Gear. There must have been some kind of connection between the two of them now.
As Vali engaged Rizevim to keep him distracted, Issei reached into himself and gritted his teeth as he slowly unlocked the power he had gained from Ophis.
After dying for a second time, Issei's body had been recreated using the flesh of Great Red and the powers of Ophis. While her powers had been reduced thanks to what Rizevim had done to her, she was still an immensely powerful being, and she had been able to grant him a portion of that power.
He didn't have a full handle on this power just yet. He honestly needed help to control it, which was why he couldn't do a full transformation right now. Without Ophis, he just didn't have the ability to use its full potential, but he could at least partially activate this ability.
After unleashing the power, Issei pushed all that power into his hand, which began glowing a startling crimson. New segments appeared on the red gauntlet. It looked even more draconic than it had before. The brightly glowing gemstone flashed as all the power turned into a small orb that looked similar in shape to the nucleus of an atom.
"VALI! GET YOUR ASS OUTTA THE WAY OR I'M GONNA PLOW IT!"
"THAT SOUNDED SO WRONG!"
Vali had been doing his best to keep Rizevim occupied, which of course meant he'd been getting his ass kicked. Without his Boosted Gear, he was simply no match for the older and more experienced Devil. Rizevim had been around for thousands of years. His powers and experience were vast. When Issei told Vali to move, he was more than happy to do so.
Kicking off the ground, Vali activated his wings and flew into the sky. Rizevim snarled and would have tried to follow him, but in that moment, Issei was already unleashing his attack.
"Eat this, fuckface!"
The Dragon Shot was one of Issei's signature moves and the first attack he had ever created. All he did was fire a concentrated beam of demonic power.
On any other occasion, this attack would have been easily annihilated by Rizevim. He activated the Sacred Gear Canceller, confident in its ability to negate any power from a Sacred Gear. But his eyes widened in shock when the attack did not disappear. It was only at this moment that he realized there was something different about it. Issei's Dragon Shot was normally a simple red beam, but this one was surrounded by an intense aura the likes of which Rizevim had only felt in the presence of one person.
"Don't tell me you were able to sync your Boosted Gear with Ophis's powers?! Mother fuck—"
That was the last thing Rizevim was able to say before the Dragon Shot enhanced by the power Issei gained from Ophis overwhelmed him. His body completely disappeared as he was engulfed.
So did the wall behind him.
Demonic Power swirled around Sirzechs as he liberally used the Power of Destruction to create dozens of beams that shot at the Azi Dahaka clone from every direction. Arms, tails, wings, and heads disappeared within bursts of intense power. The clone was completely unable to withstand the attack and were reduced to holey lumps of meat.
But it regenerated shortly after being destroyed.
Sirzechs had never fought a more annoying opponent, but he had already worked out what kind of power this creature had. Azi Dahaka was a being created by Angra Mainyu. He was described in the Avesta as a three-headed, six-eyed creature that symbolized wickedness and evil. This Azi Dahaka clone must have likewise been created by Angra Mainyu. Because of who its creator was, Sirzechs could not kill it through conventional means.
"Let's see if this works…"
Since normal attacks didn't work, Sirzechs gathered all the Power of Destruction into a sphere that surrounded Azi Dahaka. He clenched his hand into a fist, the sphere converged, and the Azi Dahaka clone thrashed around as the Power of Destruction annihilated him at the molecular level. Sirzechs huffed as the dragon disappeared. That had taken quite a bit of his power, but he still had plenty left in the tank.
"Now I should go and see if Ise needs any—"
At that exact moment, a massive beam of bright red energy erupted from Agreas, halting the battles happening all across the city. This beam of energy was so large that it could have eclipsed the moon. It erupted from one of the buildings and flew through an entire division of enemy forces. Fake Scale Mails and mass produced evil dragons were wiped from existence by the tens of thousands. Their annihilation lit up the sky with hundreds of explosions.
"Well, I guess he doesn't need my help," Sirzechs said as the blast died down.
Lilith decided that she would block Indra's punch, then throw a punch of her own. She wouldn't put all her power into this attack. That would be wasteful. But she wanted to make sure it at least damaged his insides.
Indra grunted as he ceased his initial attack and leapt back, putting some distance between him and Lilith, but while this allowed him to avoid having his intestines rearranged, it did not stop Lilith from launching another attack. Unfortunately, her response was so instinctive that his mind reading ability didn't prepare him for this attack in time.
A strangled scream escaped Indra as Lilith sent a blast of energy his way. It was nothing fancy. She simply waved her hand and a powerful beam burst forward and slammed into him before he could mount a proper defense. About the only thing he could do was raise his hands defensively and accept the attack headon. However, trying to block an attack by one who wielded most of the Infinite Dragon God's power was suicidal at best.
"This. Can't. Be. Happening!"
The veins on Indra's forehead, neck, and arms bulged as he released his Divine Aura to enhance his godly strength. Lightning erupted from his left hand as he imbued his godly aura into Vajra. He slammed his fist into Lilith's attack, which caused the beam to curve away just enough that he could get out from under the attack.
While he had avoided becoming completely destroyed, the attack itself had not diminished in the slightest. It continued on, destroyed the ceiling and wall, and disappeared into the sky beyond this building. Indra gasped for breath as he watched the attack with a grimace. He might act arrogant, and he might even be arrogant, but he did know his own limits. Fighting against Lilith had been a huge mistake.
"Damn it… I won't be able… to steal that brat's power… if I can't even defeat one little girl!"
"You should give up," Lilith said at last. Her voice was soft and quiet, almost gentle in a way, but that and the emotionless quality to her tone only served to piss Indra off. It was like this child didn't even see him as a threat.
"There's no way… I'll give up… that brat's power… will be mine," Indra declared despite how exhausted he was.
Many people would probably be surprised by how adamant Indra was on claiming Naruto's power for himself. Brahma and Shiva had both questioned him several times. They didn't know what kind of power Naruto's other half was holding.
Naruto was a strange being whose power was on par with the Top Ten Strongest Beings in the World. If Indra had to give him a rank, he would have placed Naruto close to the top, perhaps even immediately after Shiva. If he could combine even half that power with his own, then he could speed up his plans by a whole fifteen years. That was why Indra needed to claim this power for himself before it was too late.
Unfortunately, he hadn't accommodated for this loli dragon standing in his way.
"If you insist on trying to break through here, then I will just destroy you," Lilith proclaimed.
She once more waved her hand as if to attack again, and Indra tensed as he prepared to dodge, but then several bursts of sharp pain stabbed into his leg. He looked down to find numerous purple snakes clamping their jaws onto him. With a snarl, Indra destroyed the snakes with his godly aura, but the damage had already been done. Weakness suffused his body. It felt like his bones were growing brittle. He slumped onto his hands and knees, unable to believe how easily he had been beaten.
So this is the difference between me and the one hailed as the strongest being in the world.
Before Ophis had lost her power, she had been known as the strongest being in the entire world. Not even Shiva could compare to her. Nearly ninety percent of that power was now in the possession of the child before him, making her the new strongest being in the world. Indra understood that not even Shiva would be able to win against this child.
Lilith walked slowly up to Indra as if she didn't have a care in the world. Indra could do nothing more than glare at her from behind his sunglasses, which were skewed and getting ready to fall off his face.
"You're… a monster," he exclaimed.
"I am?" Lilith tilted her head as if she didn't know what that meant, but then she shrugged, seeming not to care, and reached out to grab Indra's head.
"You probably shouldn't do that. He might be a jerk, but that man is very important to the Three Factions Alliance right now, so I would appreciate it if you didn't kill him," someone with a similar emotionless quality to Lilith said from behind Indra.
It was Ophis. She walked into the room and stopped beside the two of them. Lilith stared at her with a blank look.
"I need to kill him so he doesn't interrupt the sealing ritual," Lilith said as if that was all the reason she needed.
"You've already stopped him in his tracks. He no longer has the power to stop it. Must you kill him?" asked Ophis.
"I… do not know. But I must protect the sealing room. Anyone who tries to enter must be destroyed."
"Hmph. I see you have no concept of free will. I pity you. Anyway, here."
"What is… this?"
"You like sweets, don't you? This is chocolate."
Ophis handed an unwrapped candy bar to Lilith. The chocolate was from the Meiji brand, the current leading chocolate manufacturer in Japan. This particular chocolate was simply a block of milk chocolate. Koneko had introduced Ophis to his kind of chocolate during one of their shopping excursions, and it was easily her favorite flavor. Each piece was rich with the flavor of cocoa and the slightly bitter kick of dark chocolate. The combination was perfect.
Since it was Ophis's favorite candy, it would surely be Lilith's favorite too.
Lilith wordlessly reached out and accepted the candy bar. She didn't hesitate to nibble on it. Indra finally got to see the emotionless girl's eyes widen in surprise before she greedily devoured the chocolate.
"It's good, right?" asked Ophis. Lilith said nothing, but she did nod and, after finishing off the chocolate, she looked expectantly at her preceder. "I have more chocolate for you, but you'll need to follow me."
Lilith considered that for a moment, then nodded. "Okay."
Indra remained wordless as Lilith followed Ophis out of the room. For a long time, he said nothing and just stared at the now closed door, his eyes wide with incredulity. Finally…
"What the fuck just happened?" he asked of no one in particular.
Naruto looked up when the door opened and in walked Ophis with Lilith in tow. He almost felt the sweatdrop roll down his face. He knew that it had been his suggestion to lure the girl away from her assigned guard duty with sweets, but seeing the young girl casually munching on a chocolate bar as she obediently followed Ophis was too much even for him.
Well… it was obviously going to work since it was my idea. Yeah, my ideas always work. This is just more proof of my greatness. Mwahahahahaha!
"All your ideas work, huh? Need I remind you of that time you had the bright idea of trying to snort ramen? How'd that work out for you?"
Why must you bring up my one bad idea?
"One bad idea? Then what about the time that you—"
All right! All right! I get it! So I'm not perfect and I make mistakes. Yeesh. You could at least let me have my moment of glory, can't you?
"I cannot. If I did that, then you would get a big head—well, a bigger head than the one you already have."
…You are mean.
"Naruto, I brought Lilith," Ophis said.
"Yes, I can see that. Okay. So this is what you both need to do. Ophis, I want you to stand in this circle, and Lilith, I want you to stand in that circle. Please do not move, okay?"
"Will I get more candy if I stand in that circle?" asked Lilith.
Naruto stared uncertainly at Lilith, then glanced at Ophis, who merely shrugged as if to ask, "Why are you looking at me? You already know what to do." And so, with a slight sigh, Naruto summoned a bar of chocolate from a storage scroll. These high-quality chocolate bars were technically Koneko's. He always made sure to carry a secret stash in case his catgirl wife ran out of sweets. She was a nightmare when she didn't get her fix. In either event, he handed one of those candy bars to Lilith, who accepted it and walked over to the circle without complaint.
Best. Idea. Ever.
"For once, I agree with you."
"Okay. You too, Ophis," Naruto said to his infinite dragon god girlfriend.
Ophis didn't say anything as she moved to the other circle. Both circles were in the middle of the most complex seal he had ever created, though he supposed seals would have been a more accurate description, since this was actually two seals combined into one. Seals were able to seal and unseal something, or transfer something, but they couldn't do both. So he had combined two separate seals and overlapped them. It was dangerous, but Naruto wasn't an amatuer at sealing like a certain pedo snake who would place an odd-numbered seal on top of an even-numbered one.
"Are you two ready?" asked Naruto.
"I am," said Ophis.
Lilith said nothing, but that was because her mouth was stuffed with chocolate. She did nod. He took that as a sign that it was okay to begin.
Naruto shook his head and began.
Sitting in the center of the circle, Naruto began going through a series of hand seals that would activate the seal. He had been practicing to do this for quite a while. His fingers formed the shape of each hand seal fluidly and easily, though he couldn't speed through them like a certain cyclops. Sweat formed on his brow as his chakra flowed through the hand seals and into the first seal, which Lilith was standing on.
Lilith looked down when the circle she stood inside began glowing. Naruto bit his lower lip and slammed his hands onto the seal. The glow intensified as it began draining Ophis's power from the girl, who suddenly stumbled as her knees weakened. She looked up in surprise—unable to do much more by this point—before falling to her knees. Naruto carefully observed how much power he was absorbing from Lilith. She had so much of Ophis's power that she might as well have been the new Ophis, which meant he had quite a bit to drain.
This could take awhile. What should I do to keep from getting bored? Oh! I know. Maybe I should sing.
Ninety bowls of ramen on the wall. Ninety bowls of ramen. Take one down and pass it around—wait. Why would I pass around ramen?! What kind of sacrilegious song is this?! Whoever came up with this song is a complete idiot.
"You're the one who came up with this song."
Oh! I know another good song. Yeah. I still masturbate while eating top ramen. At a faster rate in the bigger quantities. It counts as rape when I'm slurping at this unbelievable pace. I turn the temperature up all the way. Sweat up on my face. If you give no effort. If you got no money. Then I got a cheap method. Crack it open throw it in a pan and let it cook bitch. Now that's a real education. Fuck books! If you wanna make in college acknowledge—
"For the love of all that is holy, will you stop singing already?!"
What? It's a great song.
"It is not a great song! It is a horrendous song! And I will not allow your horrible singing to taint my ears!"
Hmph. There's no accounting for good taste. Oh. The first step is almost complete.
Whatever Kurama had been about to say was cut off when Naruto looked up. Lilith was lying on her stomach, unable to move a muscle. All of her power was draining from her. She only had maybe a fourth of it left. It wouldn't be long now before he could activate the second seal to transfer all that power back to Ophis.
"That is enough, Naruto."
The words caused Naruto to turn around. Ophis stared at him with an expectant look.
"Are you sure?"
"Yes. This is enough power. I do not need anymore than this."
"But… if you do this, then your goal…"
Ophis's original goal had, for the longest time, been kicking Great Red out of the Dimensional Gap. She needed great power to accomplish this goal. However, now she was saying it was okay for Lilith to have a fourth of her power, which was completely counterproductive to her original goal.
"You know that is not my goal anymore," Ophis said, shaking her head. "My goal now is to live with you and the others. And to see if we can have children."
"Can you even get pregnant?"
"I will be looking forward to trying every day for the rest of our lives together."
Naruto and Ophis stared at each other for a second longer, and then Naruto nodded.
"Huh. Well, okay then. Let's get to phase two."
Phase two involved taking the power he sealed from Lilith and transferring it to Ophis, which required another long string of hand seals that felt like they took forever to complete. Naruto would have sung. However, the moment he tried, Kurama began shouting in his mind, which distracted him and made performing hand seals hard. He really didn't understand what the fox had against his awesome singing.
The moment he completed his hand seals, a wellspring of power surged from the first seal and transferred to the second seal. It was hard to describe what happened in words. Millions of ethereal purple snakes burst from the seal and traveled toward Ophis, where they slithered around her and converged to create a pile so thick Naruto could no longer see the Infinite Dragon God. A bright glow soon encapsulated the snakes. He was forced to close his eyes lest he be blinded.
The power soon vanished.
The light died down.
When Naruto opened his eyes again, it was to find Ophis staring at her own hands like they were foreign entities. She closed and opened her hands several times. As she did, Naruto stood up and walked over to her.
"How do you feel?" he asked.
"I feel… much better. Complete." Ophis looked up at him. "I don't want to admit, but I have felt rather uneasy all this time. My power is as much a part of me as an arm or leg. Now that it's finally back, I can safely say I never want to be without it again."
"I'm surprised you let Lilith keep some of your power," he said.
Ophis looked over at Lilith, who was still lying in her circle. The girl was clearly unconscious. She hadn't moved from that spot even once.
"What happened to me is upsetting, but that is not Lilith's fault. She is just a pawn who was created and used by Rizevim."
"Do you pity her?"
Naruto wondered if Ophis even realized how much she had changed since they met. She would have never pitied someone before, but now she was showing pity to someone who had a hand in wronging her, all because none of what happened was technically Lilith's fault. As a being created by Rizevim through the Holy Grail, she really had no choice but to do as ordered. But Ophis still would not have pitied her in the past.
"What do you want to do with her?" he asked.
"We will take her with us," Ophis decided after a moment.
"All right." Naruto began walking over to Lilith. "Then let's—whoa!"
Naruto and even Ophis yelped in surprise when the entire room began to shake. No, it wasn't just this room. Naruto realized that the tremors had extended far beyond this room and were shaking the entire floating island. At that very moment, a power that was easily on par with Shiva or maybe even coming close to Ophis's original level of power descended upon Agreas, and Naruto realized what this meant.
They were too late. Yami had succeeded in becoming Trihexa's Jinchurikki.
There was not a single person present who did not feel the overwhelming sense of dread that exuded from Agreas. Vile. Repugnant. Evil. It was as if every dark emotion in the world had become manifested as physical sensations. Those who were not strong enough to resist this awful feeling fell to the ground, curled up into a ball, and wept. Others regurgitated the contents of their stomachs. A few even outright fainted.
Sirzechs had been fighting against several resurrected evil dragon clones. When the power radiating from Agreas swept over him, he and the clone he was fighting turned in that direction. While the dragons bowed their heads, a cold sweat had formed on his skin, soaked into his armor, and chilled him.
Outwardly, there did not appear to be anything different about Agreas now than there had been before, but as if to disabuse him of the notion that nothing had changed, the roof of a building near the center of the floating island blew out. Dark energy erupted from the hole, creating a beam of energy that blasted into the sky. Dark storm clouds gathered overhead as if drawn out by the malevolent aura. There was so much power radiating from it that Sirzechs couldn't even comprehend it.
"This is not good," Ajuka said.
Sirzechs didn't know when Ajuka had appeared by his side, but now wasn't the time to react with shock.
"Is that what I think it is?" he asked.
Ajuka closed his eyes. "Trihexa has awakened. What's more, I can sense a second presence within it. Trihexa has been sealed inside of a person."
Something akin to a heavy led weight dropped into the pit of Sirzechs's stomach and refused to leave. This was the worst possible scenario. All their work had been in the hopes of preventing Yami from becoming Trihexa's Jinchurikki, but nothing had been going their way since this plan was put into action. They were attacked during the night by the Alliance of Hell, forced to keep half of their forces behind so they could deal with the threat, and their battle in Agreas had been met with much stiffer opposition than he expected there to be.
"I just realized that for as powerful as some of our forces are, we have not been able to use that power appropriately," Sirzechs muttered.
"You're not wrong." Ajuka remained motionless as he watched the dark beam of violent energy dissipate. "We have many powerful individuals like Shiva and Indra on our side, but they cannot bring their full might to bear in a battle that is this chaotic. Not unless they want to kill their own allies."
That was always the issue with powerful individuals. Even Sirzechs had to be wary about bringing his full power to bear. When he unleashed his ultimate form, Human-Shaped Aura of Destruction, the Power of Destruction spread across the land and would erase anyone who was caught up in it.
"What should we do now? Sound a retreat?" he asked.
"We should get those who aren't strong enough to fight to retreat, but it looks like some of our allies are getting ready to fight against Yami," Ajuka said.
Sirzechs noticed it after his friend did. Shiva was currently flying toward where the power they felt was coming from. The god in the guise of a young boy flew into the now roofless building and vanished.
"Let's evacuate our soldiers, then create a barrier around Agreas. We will leave Yami to Shiva," Sirzechs said.
Thus the retreat order was sounded.
Power unlike any other swirled within him. He felt the seal that bound Trihexia to him activate. Chains made from complex seals wrapped around the monster, bound it to a gigantic stake in the center of a circle, and then numerous iron grates slammed shut and further locked the creature away. Trihexa roared and thrashed like a violent beast, but Yami paid no attention to that as he began siphoning the power from it to augment his own powers.
It was glorious.
"Yes! This is the power I've been wanting! The power I need to finally rid myself of that idiot! Finally! I'll finally be free of him! Aha! Ahahahahahahaha—"
Yami stopped laughing when he sensed a power that was on par with Trihexa. He looked up. A young boy was descending from above to land on the ground. While his outward appearance didn't seem like anything special, the power emitting from his body was enough to make Yami recognize him as a threat.
"You must be the one called Yami," the boy said, giving him a once over before nodding. "I can see you really are Naruto's other half. The resemblance between you two is uncanny."
"Hmph. And you must be Shiva. Don't lump me in with that loser. I'm nothing like Naruto. I have ambitions and desires, and I'll do anything in my power to see them met."
"Is that so? Well, unfortunately for you, I am not sure I want to see those ambitions of yours come to fruition," Shiva said, pointing a finger at him. "So it looks like I'll have to stop you."
"Do you think you can?"
Yami grinned as he felt the power from Trihexa coursing through him. While Shiva's power might be somewhere on par with Trihexa, that was only when its power was not being amplified by his own. Yami quickly circulated the dark power through his body, revelling in the sensation of hatred that he could feel from the beast.
Black energy erupted from his body and formed a cloak of pure darkness. It was similar in many ways to the chakra shroud that Naruto gained when he used Kurama's power, but this had no designs on it. It was just a pitch black cloak. His transformation didn't stop there either, as claws extended from his hands, blacker than a world without light and so sharp they looked like they could split the universe in half. He chuckled when an expression of wariness crossed Shiva's face.
I'm going to enjoy this.
Something dark whispered into his mind. Yes, he would enjoy tearing this powerful god to shreds. It was time for the fun to begin.
The evacuation appeared to be proceeding well. All of their forces had retreated to several kilometers away from Agreas. They stood on a bluff overlooking the city. The wind blowing through the clearing seemed almost ominous.
While their forces had made a successful retreat, they were a sorry bunch. Most of them were injured in some way. Over there was an Angel who was missing an arm. The stump had stopped bleeding, but they hadn't been able to find the arm on the battlefield, so they couldn't reconnect it. A pair of Devils crouched over by a boulder, their heads wrapped in bandages that were soaked through with blood. Close by to the Angel was a Fallen who's left leg had been destroyed by an errant attack. She sat on the ground with her back pressed against a log. The stump of her leg was wrapped up with a tourniquet to keep it from bleeding until one of the healers could tend to her.
Rias and her peerage were better off by comparison. While all of them were injured to some degree, their wounds were nowhere near that bad. Kiba was bleeding from a head wound, Irina had small cuts running across her arms and legs, and Koneko had several large bruises from going toe to toe with evil dragons. Rias herself was bleeding profusely from a wound on her left arm. One of the Fake Scale Mails had attacked her from behind when she was dealing with a mass produced evil dragon and she hadn't been able to move out of the way in time.
Fortunately, they had their own healer.
"This will only take a moment," Asia said as she held her hands out to Rias's wound. The rings on her finger were glowing with a quiet radiance that was soft, gentle, and tender. Twilight Healing was very much like its owner.
Rias sighed in relief as her wound healed. "Thank you, Asia."
"It's no trouble."
Asia smiled at her before moving on to heal the others. Rias watched her for a moment, then grimaced and looked at her group. Not all of them were present. Issei was there, sitting next to Xenovia, Kiba, and Gasper. Koneko, Irina, Rossweisse, and Ravel were all together. Le Fay had joined Vali and his team. Rias didn't know when the other members of Team Vali had appeared, but Vali himself had arrived with Issei.
"It seems our circumstances have become pretty unfavorable, haven't they?" said Akeno as she sat beside Rias. She had a number of cuts and bruises on her body. There was even a large red mark around her throat. A dragon had wrapped its tail around her and left that mark, though it was slowly disappearing now thanks to Asia's Twilight Healing.
"Yes, it seems our situation has become grim," Rias muttered.
She looked over at Agreas, currently sealed inside of a barrier that was being created by some of the most powerful members of their alliance. Sirzechs, Ajuka, Brahma, and even Indra had combined their powers to create this barrier. It looked like a massive sphere of glimmering silver with hundreds of millions of magic circles surrounding it. She had never seen anything quite like it before, but then again, this was the first time in history gods and devils had worked together.
"You seem worried. Thinking about Naruto?" asked Akeno.
"Of course I am." Rias sighed. "Naruto did not show up when the retreat order was given, which means he's likely inside of that barrier even now."
"I'm surprised you're not throwing a fit trying to break through the barrier," Akeno hummed with a mischievous smile.
Rias attempted to scowl at her. "I'm not that bad!"
"Rias, you get so worried about members of your peerage, and Naruto in particular, that you became practically useless when Naruto was kidnapped. It took nearly a week to get you out of your funk. You buried yourself in your work simply because the thought of Naruto vanishing frightened you so badly."
Warmth blossomed on Rias's cheeks. She said nothing, but that was because she couldn't deny what her second-in-command said.
"I've gotten better," Rias muttered. "Besides, I have faith in Naruto now."
"We all do. Anyway, I'm sure Naruto is fine, so try your best not to worry too much."
Rias smiled as Akeno placed a comforting hand on her shoulder, though she removed it moments later to thank Asia and tease the girl a little. Rias put the two out of her mind as she looked back at the barrier. She thought about maybe going up to Mephisto or one of the vice commanders to ask about what they should do now, but an explosion tearing the ground apart near the edge of their ragtag army drew her attention.
"What's going on over there?!" asked Xenovia.
"I don't know, but I think we should find out," said Rias.
It didn't take long to discover what the problem was when a swarm of Grim Reapers, mass produced evil dragons, and Fake Scale Mail descended upon their army. Screams echoed from all around as battles broke out everywhere. Rias and her peerage pushed through the growing pandemonium.
"These are the forces that launched a night raid on us!" Ravel exclaimed.
"Are you sure?" asked Rias.
"I'm positive," Ravel said.
That was not good. If this was the group that had attacked them before they could launch an assault on Agreas, then it meant the forces they had left behind to deal with them had lost. The thought caused Rias to feel sick to her stomach.
"Koneko or Kuroka, can either of you sense where Hades and the other members of the Alliance of Hell are located?" Rias asked.
"I'm sorry, Buchou. I can't detect them with all this chaos," Koneko said with a shake of her head.
"Don't worry your pretty little head. I can find them." Kuroka seemed confident, so Rias had their group close ranks to protect the woman as she closed her eyes and tried to sense where the most powerful enemies in the Alliance of Hell were located. She finally opened her eyes. Her expression was worried. "This is not good. It looks like the Alliance of Hell leaders are heading toward the barrier."
Rias quickly determined that they were planning to kill Sirzechs and the others while they were distracted maintaining the barrier. Now was literally the perfect time.
"We're splitting up! Ise and Vali, I want you to deal with Hades. You two are the strongest ones here right now. Akeno, Koneko, and Asia will join me in dealing with Nyx. Kuroka, I want you to fight Erebus with the rest of Team Vali. Meanwhile, Rossweisse, Le Fay, Kiba, Xenovia, Gasper, and Irina will fight Tartarus. We can't let them kill our leaders!"
"Leave it to me!"
"Don't worry, Rias! I'll do what I can to help!"
"Oooh. I'm worried about Lord Michael, but I'll still do my best!"
Everyone gave Rias an affirmative and she asked Kuroka to tell them exactly where their enemies were. Once she had their location, she ordered everyone to split up and get moving. Rias ended up heading to where Sirzechs was. She only hoped they didn't arrive too late.
I was actually hoping to finish this with one more chapter, but it looks like I'll have to write at least one more before I'm done.
The last chapter will include the battles between the Gremory Peerage and the Alliance of Hell, the battle between Naruto and Yami, and also a short epilogue at the end.
Thank you all for reading this chapter. I hope you enjoyed it.