Two Sides of the Same Coin
Rias caught sight of Nyx long before she reached Sirzechs. The woman looked like a bolt of pure darkness racing across the sky. She was moving fast, but not so fast that Rias couldn't track her movements.
Kiba moved much faster than this.
"Akeno! Stop her!"
"Ufufufu. Leave it to me!"
Akeno threw out her hand and summoned a large burst of lightning that exploded from her fingertips and raced across space. This normally wouldn't have been enough to stop a goddess like Nyx, and indeed, the bolt of darkness continued traveling as if it didn't matter whether it was hit by Holy Lightning. However, Rias quickly infused her Power of Destruction into the lightning and Nyx was forced to halt in her tracks. The bright reddish yellow lightning bolt tore through the spot right in front of her, missing by a few meters.
"That was quite the powerful combo," Nyx said as she turned to eye Rias and her group.
Rias, Akeno, Asia, and Fafnir—who'd been summoned and was sticking close to Asia—intercepted the woman before she could move further.
"I know you're planning to kill my brother and the others while they're maintaining this barrier, but I won't let you lay a hand on them," Rias declared.
"Do you really think a couple of children can stop me?" asked Nyx. "The Red Dragon Emperor might be strong enough to go toe-to-toe with me, but the rest of you simply don't have what it takes."
"We'll see about that," Rias said through narrowed eyes.
Summoning the Power of Destruction to either hand, Rias prepared to battle against the Primordial Greek Goddess of Darkness.
Hades had decided to go after Indra. He was the second most powerful person among their enemies, but the most powerful among them, Shiva, was nowhere to be found. And so with that knowledge in mind, Hades went to remove the current most dangerous threat present.
But he was stopped.
Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost! Boost!
Divide! Divide! Divide! Divide! Divide! Divide! Divide! Divide! Divide! Divide! Divide! Divide! Divide! Divide! Divide! Divide!
Issei rushed forward, his body boosted without limit as the red scale mail of his Balance Breaker gleamed in the light, and attempted to pummel Hades. Of course, even with his power divided by Vali's Divine Dividing, Hades was still a god and one of the ten strongest beings in existence. He shifted through the air and raised his staff. Issei's fist slammed into the staff and power burst from the tip, sending the young man flying.
"Do you really think two whelps like you can defeat me? I'm not like that weakling, Rizevim."
To someone like Hades, Rizevim was just a pathetic coward. Despite being the son of the original Lucifer, he lacked the power to contend with people like Sirzechs and Ajuka. Those two were threats. That was why Hades had used the Ark of the Covenant to create an unbreakable law that they couldn't attack him. It was happy coincidence that the three Hindu gods were also affected by it.
"It doesn't matter! Even if you are a lot stronger than Rizevim, I'm still gonna break that skeleton face of yours," Issei declared.
"Ha ha. Knowing you're more powerful than my grandfather makes me want to fight you that much more," Vali admitted.
Hades would have clicked his tongue if he had one, but he didn't say anything else as he swung his staff through the air and slammed it into Issei's Dragon Shot. This was just a distraction, of course, and the real attack came when Vali appeared before him like a phantom. Even then, Hades did not react with surprise.
Instead it was Vali who received the surprise when his limbs became completely restrained. Magic circles appeared around him and bound him in an unbreakable prison. He then received a staff to the face. A loud crunching noise echoed across the battlefield as Vali's helmet shattered. Spurts of blood flew in arcs as the grandson of Rizevim was blasted away at the speed of sound.
Issei exclaimed in shock at seeing Vali get pummeled so easily. Unfortunately, in his distracted state, he was unable to do anything as Hades teleported to him. He only noticed what was happening when a shadow loomed over him, and by then it was too late. Hades thrust his staff forward. It struck Issei in the chest, blowing apart his armor and sending him rocketing back.
White filled his vision for a moment, making Issei wonder if he'd passed out. When he came to, it was to find someone holding him like he was some princess in a play, though the monkey-like grin on this man's face was certainly not that of a gallant prince.
"Hello, sleeping beauty. You took quite the hit there. Feeling good? You kosher?"
"Ack! Biko!" Issei leapt out of Biko's arms. He glared at the monkeyman, whose grin only widened. "What the hell, man? Why am I waking up in your hairy ass arms and not the breasts of a beautiful woman?!"
Biko laughed. "You're quite the character! Of course even at a time like this, you would only think of breasts! I guess that's why you're the Oppai Dragon."
Issei wanted to glare hatefully at Biko and rant some more, but a massive explosion detonated somewhere above their heads, sending a powerful shockwave rippling across the space. Digging in his heels, Issei looked up and found…
"Holy shit! What the fuck is that?!"
That was referring to Vali, who was still decked in armor, but it looked vastly different from what Issei remembered. It reminded him of the Juggernaut Drive's armor, but this was entirely silver and looked far more majestic. The Juggernaut Drive was chaos given form, hatred made manifest, and this possessed none of that.
"Pretty impressive, isn't it?" said Biko. "Vali got really hyped after seeing your Cardinal Crimson Promotion and began training like a maniac to perfect this skill. It's called Empireo Juggernaut Overdrive. It's far superior to the Juggernaut Drive and doesn't consume his lifespan either."
Even as Biko spoke, Hades launched a magical attack that was filled with a death-like aura at Vali, but with a wave of his hand, the White Dragon Emperor unleashed his own power. The attack launched by Hades was compressed within less than a second and disappeared.
"It looks like you've gained a new power. I wonder how long you've been keeping this trump card close to your chest," Hades said. He didn't appear concerned despite seeing his attack get erased.
"Not long," Vali replied easily, his tone conversational. "I only just recently mastered this power. You are actually the first person I've used it on. You should feel proud."
"Kya ha ha ha! Why would I feel anything other than contempt?! This is just the pitiful attempt of a disgusting, filthy Devil trying to defeat me! You will die like all those who came before you!"
"We'll see about that."
Vali burst forward to attack Hades, but the god of the underworld took all of his attacks head-on without flinching. Issei only now realized how much more powerful Hades was than him and Vali. Even with his powers being divided in half so many times, even after Vali unleashed his newest and most powerful skill, he was still knocking his enemy around like a pinball.
"That Hades is certainly tough," Biko commented with a whistle. "The rest of us came to lend you a hand, but we can't even get close to a fight like that." He turned to Issei. "What are you gonna do, Red Dragon Emperor?"
"Isn't that obvious?! I'm going to help Vali kick that god douche's ass!"
Issei clenched his hand into a fist as he activated his own super power, Cardinal Crimson Promotion. This was the Scale Mail's Queen Form. It changed the color of his armor from red to crimson. The ground cracked underneath him as the power surrounding his body increased, forcing Biko to leap back.
Looking back up at Vali and Hades as they fought, Issei narrowed his eyes, invisible behind his visor, and blasted off the ground so quickly it was like the earth had been struck by a bomb. Everything exploded underneath him as he broke through the sound barrier and plowed into Hades just as the god prepared to launch another attack at Vali.
The attack sent them both flying. Yet even though he'd been caught by surprise, Hades remained calm and slammed his staff into Issei's chest. The attack landed with a solid thud that forced them apart. Unlike last time, however, this attack didn't hurt and only pushed Issei away from his enemy. It also didn't deter Issei, who fired off a beam from the wings of his armor that struck Hades and exploded.
"Hmph. You two really are pests, you know that? I can't believe a couple of cunt munching little kids are giving me so much trouble," Hades said with a snort. Issei could only grimace when he saw that his attack had done practically nothing to Hades.
"Damn it! What the hell is this guy made of?!" asked Issei.
Vali floated over to Issei and crossed his arms as he stared at the god of the dead. "That's a god for you. Hades isn't one of the strongest beings in the world for nothing. Even dividing his power doesn't do as much as it should."
"So how should we do this?" asked Issei.
"I'm not sure we can do this as we are," Vali admitted. "Hades is several times stronger than both of us combined. We'll need to train and get even stronger if we want to have a shot at beating him, but right now our goal is simply to keep him from reaching Indra. I think if it's holding him off, we can do that...though we'll need help."
As Vali said that, a teleportation circle appeared in the air next to them and out leapt a beast that Issei recognized with ease. It was a ten-meter tall wolf with gray fur, sharp fangs, and a sleek body with powerful muscles.
"You know… I completely forgot you captured that thing during the attack on the stadium," Issei admitted.
Vali shrugged. "I haven't had much reason to bring him to battle. Now let's do what we can to hold this guy off. Of course, I won't complain if we manage to kill him either."
"Just try to hold me back, you whelps!"
Hades made his disdain for them and their conversation obvious as he unleashed another attack using magic and his powerful aura. Vali quickly compressed the attack with his new power, while Issei and Fenrir went in to bring the fight to Hades. The second round of the battle between the two Heavenly Dragons and Hades had commenced.
Shiva was beginning to think he had made a mistake when he decided to take on Yami after he successfully sealed Trihexa inside of himself. The beast had not been at full strength, having been sealed for so long, but when combined with Yami's own considerable powers, that hardly mattered.
Yami chuckled as he created a small Rasenshuriken in his hand and threw it at Shiva. The almost casual motion belied the threat this attack possessed, and Shiva already knew from experience that getting hit with it would be incredibly painful. He moved to dodge. The Rasenshuriken, however, swerved to follow him, and his eyes widened. They widened further when Yami created a second Rasenshuriken and threw it.
"I never could have imagined Trihexa would have so much power," Yami said casually as though conversing with a good friend. "If I had to judge its power simply based on what I feel, I'd say it is even stronger than Ootsutsuki Kaguya—ah, but you don't know who that is, do you? Well, it doesn't matter if you do or don't. Please keep doing your best not to die. I'd like to test out the extent of my powers before Naruto and Ophis arrive."
The arrogance this boy spoke with galled Shiva, but he couldn't respond back with a biting comment because he was so busy trying to do just what Yami said. Matters were only made worse when Yami created two more Rasenshurikens and added them into the mix.
Realizing that he couldn't remain on the defensive any longer, Shiva released his godly aura and solidified it into something similar to Touki. He flinched only slightly as he slammed his fist into one Rasenshuriken. It exploded in his face and tried to engulf him in a torrent of cutting wind blades, but Shiva quickly phased backward as if he had teleported. Then he spun around and launched an aura infused kick at another Rasenshuriken that came at him from behind. It similarly exploded and Shiva once more vanished and reappeared somewhere else. The other two Rasenshurikens were dealt with in a similar manner.
"That godly aura of yours is very impressive, but it looks like even you can't withstand an attack of this caliber so easily," Yami said with a smirk.
Shiva gritted his teeth as he looked down at his hands and feet. Blood welled from hundreds of cuts on his hands and his shoes had been completely shredded to reveal his cut-up toes. He healed them with his powers and re-summoned a new pair of shoes, then looked at the grinning Yami with a dark expression.
"Those were my favorite shoes," he said to Yami, who merely shrugged.
"How is that my problem? If you don't want your designer's fashion getting ruined, don't wear them when you fight."
Shiva hated how this man had a comeback for everything he said, but more than that, he hated how little effort Yami was putting into this battle. It was clear to him that the creature before him was not taking this fight seriously. It made Shiva want to gape in wonder.
Trihexa should not have been powerful enough to threaten Shiva like this. He was certain that, should it come down to a fight, he could defeat Trihexa, though it would take a lot of effort and most of his power. However, now he was battling with the one who had sealed the apocalyptic beast inside of himself, and not only was he having trouble, but his opponent looked like he wasn't struggling at all.
"Are you wondering why I'm so much more powerful than you?" asked Yami with a grin.
Shiva didn't quite scoff, but he also didn't hide his disdain. "Of course not."
But Yami answered like he hadn't heard the god. "The answer is actually very simple. I'm not originally from this world, so I don't have to follow this world's rules. You might not know this, but at my peak, I would have power close to Indra. You might be more powerful than him, but it isn't by so much that you can look afford to underestimate him. Even at half strength, I am still far more powerful than most people. When you combine my power with Trihexa's…"
"So you're saying that you are actually one of the most powerful people in this world, and that becoming Trihexa's… Jinchurikki, was it? That by becoming Trihexa's Jinchurikki, your power has risen far above what even I can match?" asked Shiva.
"Well, something like that," Yami admitted.
Naruto had always been a powerful individual even back in his own world. When he arrived in this world, his body had been ravaged and unable to repair itself because he was not a part of this world and the laws that governed it prevented the revival of his power, but that changed when Rias revived him as a Devil. Naruto slowly began to regain the strength he lost.
Of course, Naruto had then inadvertently created Yami by using Sage Mode. He couldn't have possibly known that activating Sage Mode would force him to take in the world's malice, or that all the malice along with a good portion of his chakra would go into the creation of Yami, but that was neither here nor there. The point was that Naruto had always possessed extraordinary power even without Kurama. That power would have allowed him to stand at the top of this world, but when combined with Trihexa's incredible power that was on par with beings like Kurama, Ophis, and Great Red, it became a force so great that not even the most powerful creatures in this world could stand up to him.
That included Shiva.
For the longest time, Shiva had remained relaxed and eloquent. While he did enjoy the occasional bout, he didn't much care for war and preferred to instead focus on more interesting pursuits. However, he was also a god of destruction. He respected strength, both pure physical power and strength of character.
Naruto had strength in terms of both character and raw power. He was an interesting man whom Shiva would love to talk to over tea. This man, however, Naruto's other and darker half, lacked everything he appreciated about Naruto. He was strong, of that there were no doubts, but he only had strength and lacked character. Yami was just a ball of unfiltered hatred raging at the world because he couldn't contain his own feelings.
Shiva would never approve of this man.
Not that Yami would care, he was sure.
"Well, this has been a fun conversation, but it's time we move this along. Naruto and Ophis are coming, so I need to get ready and greet them both with a warm welcome," Yami said, and then he was suddenly gone.
Shiva would have blinked at the speed this man displayed, except he couldn't. Not only was he not given the time to, but all the air from his lungs had disappeared as something struck him in the chest. He would have screamed were he capable of it. It felt like something was grinding away his chest, like his flesh, muscles, and bones were being shredded apart with a blender.
Lifted off his feet by the power that attacked him, Shiva was sent hurtling into the wall, slamming into it. Massive cracks spread across the wall. Blood splattered against the ground as it spewed from both his mouth and the gaping wound on his chest. Startled, Shiva looked down and saw his heart still beating within his chest. Yami's attack had torn through him like he was made of paper. If he hadn't protected himself at the very last second, that attack would have killed him.
"I was quite certain that would kill you. You gods are quite durable," Yami said as he walked slowly toward Shiva, a small ball of swirling energy gathering in the palm of his left hand. "Well, even if my first attack didn't kill you, this one definitely will."
As Shiva struggled to stand, Yami's shadow as he talked twisted and turned, changing from a human shape to one of a monster with seven heads and seven tails. It was a grotesque looking shape. In most cases, seeing it wouldn't cause Shiva anything more than mild disgust, but now that he was on the verge of death, it sent a shiver down his spine. For the first time in his life, the god of destruction feared death.
"Time to die."
Yami lifted his hand, which transformed into a monster and opened its mouth wide. Something like a flame gathered inside. It was far more than simple fire, however, and looked more to Shiva like the molten core of a planet covered in darkness. So much power was being compressed that Shiva knew without a doubt that he would die if this attack struck him.
He prepared to use the last of his power to try and reflect the attack. Both he and Yami were surprised when a purplish barrier made of snakes suddenly appeared between them. Yami's attack smashed against the barrier, which rippled and undulated but held firm.
Shiva gazed at the three people standing beside him, who had appeared without warning. One of them was a blond man who looked nearly identical to Yami, Naruto, but the others were a pair of girls who looked similar but different. One was older, taller, and possessed an elegant figure, while the other looked like an elementary schooler. The one who had blocked the attack was none other than Ophis, who slowly lowered her hand and let the barrier she created dissipate.
"Looks like we made it just in time," Naruto said with a sigh before he turned to Shiva. "Oi. You okay?"
"I am… not quite okay, no," Shiva said, remembering the hole in his chest.
"Yeah, I can see that." Naruto nodded as he also realized how stupid his question had been. "Don't worry. Lilith can heal you. She's still got a lot of power and can definitely fix you up."
Shiva would have said something, but Naruto merely placed a hand on Lilith's head and rubbed it as he asked her to heal Shiva and promised candy if she did a good job, which caused the girl's full eyes to gleam somewhat. As the young-looking dragon god clone trotted over to him, Shiva found something humorous about all this and began chuckling. Lilith looked at him with a tilted head, but she said nothing and placed her hands over his chest, using the power of the Infinite Dragon God to heal him.
He turned his attention to the confrontation about to take place. This promised to be very interesting.
"Hey there, Yami. Been well?"
The contrast between the two was interesting. Naruto seemed almost congenial compared to the enraged Yami, who looked like he wanted to slit Naruto's throat open with a rusty spork. The hatred in his eyes was something that nothing could mask. What Shiva didn't quite understand was why Yami hated Naruto so much. Certainly, he was the darkness within Naruto's heart, which had separated from him and gained a life of his own, but should that be enough to provoke such a response?
"You do not know how long I have been waiting for this moment," Yami continued, a dark smile appearing on his face. "With Trihexa sealed inside of me, I am now more than strong enough to kill you. I will kill you, rip Kurama from your dying corpse, and merge him into Tihexa to become even stronger. Then I will replace you. I will become free of your shadow and not a single person in the world, in any world, will be able to harm me!"
Shiva blinked several times at this statement, then looked at Naruto, surprised to see an expression of pity etched on the normally cheerful boy's face.
"Don't look at me like that," Yami spat. "It's disgusting."
"Yami, I know that your thoughts have been warped by the hatred of this world," Naruto said, hands opening and closing as they rested at his side. "I understand. After coming to this world, you were barely conscious, and then you suddenly came to life after being flooded with an entire world's worth of hatred. It has warped you. We were never evil, never dark. We didn't want to kill others or lord our power over them."
"Shut up," Yami growled.
"We just wanted to be loved. We didn't want to be alone anymore."
"I said shut up!"
Yami threw both of his hands forward. They changed into the heads of beasts and unleashed two fire attacks that were so powerful even Shiva flinched. Naruto did not flinch. His chakra shroud appeared around his body as he raised his hands and created something that looked like a swirling whirlpool of power. Both fireballs slammed into the whirlpool and were annihilated.
Naruto lowered his hands and kept his calm expression as he stared into the eyes of the glaring Yami. Shiva didn't even realize he was holding his breath.
"I also know that words alone won't serve to bring you back. That's why I'm gonna do what I've always done and talk with my fists." Naruto pounded his fists together and grinned at his other half. "I hope you are ready for this, Yami, because I'm gonna beat the shit out of you and force you back into me!"
Sweat beaded on Sirzechs's scalp as he did his best to maintain the barrier. His peerage was now with him, having been summoned to add their power to his. Strange as it was to think about, he and Ajuka were actually the weakest ones in this group right now.
"How long… must we maintain this barrier?" asked Grayfia.
"You can ask me that, but I really don't know," Sirzechs said.
They were maintaining this barrier to keep Yami from breaking out, but even he didn't know how long they should keep it up. Until Shiva beat Yami? Was it even possible for him to defeat Yami? The power he felt coming from within the barrier was far more vast than anything he could have ever imagined. It was comparable to Ophis in her prime.
As his thoughts turned to Ophis, the barrier trembled as a new power erupted from within. Sirzechs and the others gnashed their teeth together as they poured more power into the barrier. Cracks formed, were repaired, and then formed again. Several magic circles began winking out of existence, only to be remade less than a second later. However, with each magic circle they remade and crack they repaired, their own power waned.
"What was that?!" asked Surtr.
Sirzechs smiled grimly. "That was Naruto using Kurama's power. Let's maintain the barrier for a little while longer and hope Naruto can defeat Yami like this."
Ophis flinched as the barrier she'd been maintaining shattered. She quickly put another one back up before the power being unleashed washed over her, Lilith, and Shiva. Right now she was the only one who could protect those two. Shiva was out of power and Lilith only had a fourth of the Infinite Dragon God's power.
"This is… incredible," Shiva muttered in shock. "I never imagined Naruto would have this much power."
"That's not his power," Ophis reminded him.
"Yes, I know. It belongs to the entity sealed inside of him." Shiva smiled as if to assure her that he was aware of Naruto's secrets. "But he and that entity are in perfect sync, and he's using its power as if he had been born with it. I am very impressed."
Ophis didn't say anything as her eyes tracked Naruto and Yami as they fought across the space. The building had long since been destroyed by the clashing powers. It had been blasted away like leaves on the wind. The amount of power erupting from between the two had destroyed practically everything. It was honestly a wonder the island hadn't been completely annihilated by their battle.
Naruto threw a Rasengan, which quickly expanded to be four times the size of a person, at Yami, but it was destroyed when his opponent created a wind blade and cut straight through it. This deterred neither Naruto nor Yami. A wind blade flew from Naruto's hand, but it was intercepted by another wind blade. As the two clashing forces exploded and created a loud concussive sound, Yami launched a Rasenshuriken at Naruto.
Naruto probably could have dealt with the Rasenshuriken the same way Yami had, but instead, he let one of his Truth Balls intercept it. The black sphere appeared in front of Naruto, shifted into the shape of a shield, and blocked the attack, which scattered to the winds. Then Naruto rushed forward. He closed the gap between Yami and engaged the other man in a hand to hand battle.
"They seem to be about evenly matched," Shiva said after several seconds of observing the battle.
"But neither of them have gone all out," said Ophis.
"I imagine if they did, this entire island would be annihilated."
"It would. But that's not the reason they aren't going all out yet."
Ophis was silent as Naruto received a punch to the chest, only to retaliate by kicking Yami square in the jaw. The two attacks blasted the pair away from each other. They skidded across the ground, stopped, then made a cross-shaped seal with their hands.
"Kage Bunshin no Jutsu!"
Nearly two dozen clones suddenly appeared on both sides. The clone armies attacked each other as the original Naruto and Yami went back to engaging in a battle of fists and feet.
"Naruto and Yami are both ninja. A common practice among ninja is to apparently test your opponent's strength by holding back until your enemy reveals their secrets to you. Only after a ninja know all of their enemy's tricks will they attack to win."
"Seems a bit convoluted, but I understand the concept." Shiva nodded as he accepted her explanation.
At that exact moment, a standstill took place between Naruto and Yami as they slammed a pair of Rasengans together. The force behind this should have pushed them apart, but the pair used chakra to stick their feet to the ground and were now pushing to overpower their enemy. Both were gritting their teeth hard enough to make their gums bleed.
"Haaa… haaa… just give up! You can't beat me!"
"Ha! I should be the one saying that! Give it up, Yami! You'll never win!"
"Shut the fuck up! I will win! I'll beat you and take your place as the real Naruto!"
"Good luck with that!"
As they argued, the Rasengans in their hand quickly destabilized and exploded, blasting them backward. They flipped around, landed on the ground, and pushed off it. The buildup of kinetic energy increased their speed, causing the pair to disappear before they once more lashed out at each other. Ophis flinched only a little when a massive shockwave slammed into her barrier. A few cracks appeared in the snake barrier, but she was able to repair them by pumping more power into it.
"These two won't be holding back for much longer," Ophis murmured.
"What should we do?" asked Shiva.
Ophis shrugged. "There isn't much we can do. Sirzechs and the others put up a barrier that prevents us from leaving this space, which means we can't leave until they bring it down. I suppose I could send us to the Dimensional Gap, but that would be dangerous in your current state…"
Lilith looked up to see the glimmering barrier shining above their heads. It was an impressive structure made from the combined power of several gods and two super devils. Ophis could probably break it if she wanted, but that would have involved wasting a lot of her newly regained power. It wasn't worth it.
Just then, Naruto came up to her barrier. He grinned and tapped on it several times.
"Naruto, what are you—no. You aren't Naruto. One of his clones?" asked Ophis.
"Yup. Listen, Ophis. I need a favor," the Naruto clone said without preamble.
"What favor?" asked Ophis.
"Do you think you can send Yami and me to the Dimensional Gap?"
"You want to go to the Dimensional Gap?"
Nodding, Naruto explained his reasons. "The longer this battle continues, the higher the chances are this city will be destroyed. To prevent that, I'd like you to send me and Yami to the Dimensional Gap, where we can both fight at full power to our hearts's content."
The Dimensional Gap was a location that lied between the worlds of Earth, Heaven, and the Underworld. Many people considered it a void world since it was devoid of life. It was also the birthplace of her and Great Red. Since there was no life within the Dimensional Gap—except Great Red—Naruto and Yami could go all out there without worrying about accidentally destroying the Underworld.
"I can send you there, but it will be hard for me to send someone to the Dimensional Gap while I'm maintaining this barrier," Ophis admitted.
"I can maintain the barrier," Shiva said.
Ophis glanced at the god as he stood up. "Are you sure?"
"Yes, I have recovered enough to at least do this much."
"Okay then. I'm dropping the barrier."
Ophis lowered her hands and the purple barrier that she had been maintaining disappeared. Seconds before they could be swept away by a massive shockwave that suddenly erupted from the two fighting, Shiva raised his hands and a brilliant golden barrier appeared around them. Even the Naruto clone was protected by the barrier.
"There. Now do what you have to," Shiva said.
"I will," announced Ophis.
Ophis narrowed her eyes and waited until Naruto and Yami were locked in together in the same place. Naruto must have already known what she wanted, for he locked hands with Yami to keep his other half from retreating.
"What the fuck are you doing?! Let go! Let! Go! Of! Me!"
Naruto grunted several times as Yami kicked him in the chest, but he tenaciously kept their hands locked together as Ophis opened a black portal underneath them. It looked much more like a tear in the world than a portal. Either way, Naruto and Yami quickly sank into the portal and vanished. With a sigh, Ophis closed the portal moments later.
"We should let Sirzechs and the others know about what happened, though I'm sure they already have some idea," Ophis said.
Naruto and Yami had been releasing so much power that she was sure everyone could feel it, and now they were both gone, taking all that power with them. Sirzechs must already be aware that the two were no longer present. However, it would be good to let him and the others know what exactly happened.
"I have no problems with this," said Shiva.
"Me neither—so long as I can get some candy," Lilith added. She'd been pretty quiet up until now.
"I'll see if Koneko has any candy she can give you," Ophis assured the girl.
They found Sirzechs quite easily. The barrier had already been dissolved by the time they went in search of him. He was issuing orders to his peerage.
"It looks like Rias and her peerage are currently fighting against the Alliance of Hell. I want you all to lend them a hand. Grayfia, you go help Ise. The rest of you are going to split into teams of two and choose who you want to aid. I'd go myself, but the commandment from the Ark prevents me from attacking anyone from the Alliance of Hell."
Hearing about what they were doing, Ophis interjected.
"You do not need to worry about Hades. I will take care of him."
Sirzechs and his peerage turn to Ophis, none of them saying anything as they studied her. Their eyes widened a couple of seconds later.
"I see you've regained most of your power," Sirzechs said. He eyed Lilith for a moment before quickly shifting his gaze back to her. "If you're going to help them, then I will gratefully accept it. Could you please help Issei and Vali take care of Hades?"
"Leave that to me," Ophis said. "But before that, I should let you all know about what happened."
Since that was the main reason she had come to find him, Ophis informed Sirzechs that Naruto and Yami were now battling in the Dimensional Gap. Sirzechs accepted this with a nod, then asked her to help Issei and Vali in their battle against Hades.
"Grayfia, since Ophis is going to help fight Hades, I want you to help Rias with her battle against Nyx," said Sirzechs.
"Leave it to me," Grayfia said.
"Can I leave Lilith in your care?" asked Ophis.
"Very well. I'll be off. Oh. Lilith likes candy, so try and feed her some please."
While Sirzechs looked like he'd been blindsided by the knowledge of Lilith's sweet tooth, he accepted the advice with a nod.
Ophis flew off, leaving Shiva and Lilith behind, tracking the power she recognized as belonging to Hades to its source. It was located several kilometers outside of Agreas. She stopped flying when several explosions rocked the land. Looking down, Ophis was just in time to see Issei being blasted away by Hades's divine aura. The young man tumbled along the ground like a ragdoll. Vali was still fighting, but he was bleeding from numerous wounds and his armor was covered in cracks.
Fenrir was also fighting. The beast capable of killing gods with its fangs bit down on Hades's shoulder, but that didn't even deter the god of death, who slammed his staff into the wolf's torso. Power exploded and blood flew as Fenrir was launched clear into the sky. He hit the ground several dozen meters away and struggled to get up, but it was clear that the wound he'd received was bad. It probably would have killed anyone else.
She flew down as Issei slowly pulled himself to his feet. His armor had broken in several places and it didn't look like he had enough power to repair it himself.
"It looks like you are having trouble. Shall I lend a hand?"
"Ah? Ophis! What are you doing here?"
"I came to help."
"Where is Naruto? I thought you were with him."
"He is currently battling Yami in the Dimensional Gap. Now hold still while I repair your armor."
"Oh. Thank you."
Ophis touched his armor and sent her power into it, repairing the damage that had been done. It was easy since Issei's body had been created from a combination of Great Red's flesh and her power. Not only was the armor repaired good as new, but the wounds on his skin reknit themselves.
"Thank you. I feel much better now."
"You are welcome. You still intend to fight Hades now that you've been healed, yes?"
"Then let me help you."
"How are you going to help me?"
While they were talking, Vali and Hades continued to battle it out. Hades swung his staff but it was dodged when Vali swerved his body around the attack. Yet he was unable to fully dodge as Hades's godly aura extended the range of his attacks. Vali grunted as he received a hit that shattered more of his armor, and though it was repaired, it mended far more slowly than it should have.
"We do not have much time," Ophis declared. "What I am going to do is let you borrow my power to unlock the full potential of your new ability. Use it to defeat Hades."
"Okay. I don't know if I can actually beat him, but I'll definitely try my best."
Ophis placed her hands on Issei's back and began channeling her power into him. She had a lot more now than she did before, so it took her a moment to properly infuse the power into Issei. She didn't want to make him explode. Meanwhile, Issei gasped as though in pain as the power of infinity flowed into his body, but he struggled to maintain his consciousness as he synchronized himself with the power.
A sound not unlike that of a beating heart echoed all around them. Ophis took a step back as Issei stood to his feet, power exploding from his body in waves. His armor was morphing, changing shape to accommodate this new power. It became a mixture of crimson and black as a second pair of Dragon wings appeared on his back. His body also became bigger than it was when he used Crimson Cardinal Promotion. The aura coming from him was far stronger than it ever had been.
"You are only going to have one shot at this," Ophis warned. "Make it count."
This was the first time Issei had ever used this form, so of course he didn't have control over it. He would have just one shot to defeat Hades.
Issei dug the claws of his armored feet into the ground, bent his knees, and blasted off with a flap of his wings. Ophis blinked several times as dust flew everywhere. She reached out to keep her hair from blowing in her face. She didn't want to miss what was about to happen.
Thanks to his speed, Issei was able to close the gap between him and Hades within an instant. The god of the dead was unable to do anything as the young man rammed into him like a raging bull.
"Gyaaa! What the hell do you think you're doing?!"
"I'm kicking your ass! What's it look like I'm doing?! You'd better prepare yourself, Hades, because this is gonna hurt like a mother fucker!"
The gem on his chest glowed bright as a barrel shaped like a rocket launcher appeared from it. Power gathered within the launcher barely a second before it fired a massively destructive beam of energy, hitting Hades at point blank range. The attack was so strong that it plowed right through Hades, tearing apart his godly aura and striking his skeleton body. Even Ophis, standing several dozen meters away, was hit by the aftershocks as they spread across the ground like a ripple.
Hades wasn't the only one affected by the attack; Issei was hit by the destructive force as well, launched high into the air as he flew backward in a graceless parabolic arc. He struck the ground hard enough to leave a crater. Vali and Ophis wandered over to the young man as he lay in the crater. His armor had long since disappeared, revealing his battered and bloody figure.
"You okay?" asked Vali.
"Never been better."
Issei lifted a shaky hand, made a fist, and extended his thumb.
"Well, you might not have controlled your power very well, but you managed to drive back Hades."
While Hades was by no means dead, he was obviously injured to the point where he couldn't fight. His left leg was gone, as was his right arm. The priestly robes he normally wore had been ripped to shreds by the explosion and even his skeleton staff had cracks running through it. And yet while he had clearly sustained heavy injuries, the most important parts of his body had been protected, showing that he was able to put up a barrier at the very last second. More importantly, his malicious red eyes glowed balefully as he glared at them.
"I never expected you to have so much power. I cannot afford to let you live, but I cannot fight anymore, so I'll let you go for now. Issei Hyoudo, one day I will destroy you."
A dark portal opened underneath Hades feet that he disappeared into. Ophis looked at Vali as the portal closed.
"I'm surprised you didn't try to kill him before he could escape," she said.
Vali smiled as the armor on his body fell away, revealing an exhausted face covered in blood, dirt, and sweat.
"I would if I had the strength, but I don't have any power left. Even if he's injured, Hades still had plenty of power left to fight with."
"And yet I'm still surprised. The old Vali would have tried anyway."
Vali paused at that before nodding. "Yes, I suppose the old Vali would have."
Ophis looked back down at Issei to find the young man had fallen asleep. He had used even more power than Vali. What's more, he had synchronized his power and Draige's with her own for the first time ever. It was no wonder he had fallen asleep.
"Let's get back to the others," Ophis said at last.
"Okay," Vali agreed.
"You can carry Issei."
Naruto and Yami's clash within the Dimensional Gap caused numerous spatial distortions. Whenever their fists connected, tears in space would ripple through the area and cause the colorful atmosphere to waver as if it was an illusion. It was like looking at the reflection on the surface of a pond before tossing a rock into it.
Only this was a thousand times more violent.
Naruto threw out his fist, clicking his tongue as Yami tilted his head to avoid it, and then raised his leg to block the kick that came for his groin. His other half certainly fought dirty. But that was fine since Naruto did too. If you weren't cheating, you weren't trying. He pulled his arm back, latched onto the back of Yami's neck, and drew him forward into a powerful headbutt.
"Gyaaa! I should have known you would try something like that!"
"Fuck that hurt! And yes, you should have!"
Naruto and Yami held their heads in mutual pain. They recovered quickly, but they didn't immediately engage in combat right away, eying each other warily instead.
"It appears we're now completely evenly matched," Yami said at last.
"Yeah. This sucks. Neither of us is going to win like this," Naruto agreed.
Power erupted from them both at the same time. Naruto's body was encased in a golden aura and transformed into a massive fox with ten tails, sharp claws, and fangs of gleaming gold. Yami turned into something even stranger. He looked like a large beast with the characteristics of a lion, a leopard, a bear, a dragon, and several other creatures. He had seven heads and seven long necks. Each head possessed ten massive horns. Behind him were ten long tails, each one shaped differently. With four stout arms, two legs that were thicker than it's arms, and the torso of a primate leaning forward and covered in a combination of black fur and scales, this monster looked far more gratuitous than anything Naruto had ever seen.
Naruto opened his mouth and gathered his chakra, forming a core of golden power within, which he fired once it reached critical mass. The bijuudama was still one of the strongest attacks in his arsenal and something he hadn't used in years because it killed indiscriminately.
The attack never reached Yami. All seven heads breathed out a massive flame that slammed into the bijuudama and destroyed it. An explosion erupted between the two fighters, though neither of them moved.
Naruto bounded forward on all fours, leapt into the air, and descended toward Yami, who howled as he swung one of his ten tails. This one looked like a blade and it cut through the atmosphere just like one too. It struck Naruto in the side, tearing into his flesh, but the blond turned giant fox kaiju didn't pay attention to the pain this caused. He bit down on one of Yami's necks and tore its head clean off.
The two once more leapt away from each other, both injured. Yet those injuries did not remain for long. The gash traveling down Naruto's torso quickly sealed back up as if it had never happened, while Yami's missing head grew back.
Not only were Naruto and Yami still more or less evenly matched, but their power was such that neither of them would die so easily. Every wound they inflicted on each other healed. Naruto lost an ear when one of Yami's tails severed it, but it grew right back. Yami's front left leg was removed when it was caught up in a bijuudama blast. It, too, grew back after a few seconds.
Naruto snarled as he swiped his massive paw across one of Yami's many heads. Blood burst from the face, but the massive creature that his foe had transformed into didn't even seem to notice.
Yami's seven heads separated and turned into seven different bodies. Naruto crouched low and all ten of his tails burst around him and pierced the seven bodies, but even though his attacks tore through them like a knife through butter, none of the bodies were actually destroyed. They merely regenerated and attacked him again.
Since it didn't seem like physical attacks worked, Naruto fired off another Bijuudama as he leapt backward to avoid being surrounded. One of the split bodies was engulfed in the power of his attack, but another one of the bodies managed to sneak in close and bit down on his torso. His howl of pain was more like something he'd expect from a beast. It was fitting, though, considering what he had transformed into.
Whirling around, Naruto swung all ten of his tails to knock back the split bodies. They flew across space before converging into one location and coming back together. The bodies merged into one once more.
"This isn't getting us anywhere," Kurama said.
Don't you think I know that? Even like this, we're still too evenly matched. I guess Trihexa really is incredibly powerful.
"I could have told you that. Anyway, how are we going to beat him?"
Ideally, I would like to seal Yami back inside of me and merge our souls together… but I somehow don't think he's going to give us the chance.
To seal Yami, Naruto would need to create the seal that would absorb Yami and Trihexa, but that would require time and the ability to form hand seals. Neither of those were something Yami would give him.
"Hey, hey, hey! What is this?! Do I see a couple of familiar faces?! What are you guys doing in my backyard again?!"
Naruto and Yami both turned toward the voice and found the familiar and massive form of Great Red barreling toward them.
"Hey, hey, hey! It's you two again! Whatta think you're doing on my turf?! You two wanna fight?! Wanna brawl?!"
Naruto would never get over how Great Red sounded like a delinquent from a biker gang, but he was actually kind of glad to see the massive dragon.
"Yo! Great Red, been awhile. Hope you've been well. Do you wanna get in on this action?"
"You bet your spiky blond head I do!"
"Then do you think you can fight this guy here? He's got Trihexa sealed inside of him."
Naruto hitched his thumb at Yami, who for some odd reason wasn't saying anything. He had an uncomfortable look on his face as he stared at Great Red. The way he was grimacing made Naruto think he'd swallowed spoiled ramen or something.
"Oh? Oh oh oh! Trihexa, huh? I didn't realize that bastard had been unsealed! Well, all right! I guess I can show this guy how to party! But I also want to fight with you next. You and I never got to have a good old fashioned showdown last time."
"Sure. I'd be more than happy to fight you."
Yami finally snapped out of whatever had caused him to remain silent. His eyes sharpened as he glared at Naruto and Great Red.
"Don't think this will go down the way it did last time. I'm much more powerful now than I ever was before!"
Yami once more released the power of Trihexa, transforming into a beast of unimaginable proportions. He was even bigger than Great Red. He towered over the massive Dragon, all seven of his heads dripping spittle and snarling.
"Oh, man! He's a big one! All right! I'm getting pumped now! Come at me, bruh! I'll blast your ass into grass!"
Great Red lunged forward and snapped his jaws around one of Trihexa's seven necks. He tore the head right off. This did nothing to stop the Beast of the Apocolypse, however, who fired a breath attack from the other six. The flames washed over Great Red, but they didn't seem to harm him. His scales remained pristine as they glistened in the Dimensional Gap's strange light.
Naruto flew several meters away from the battle, sat cross-legged on the ground, and took a deep breath.
You ready, Kurama?
"I am. Let's do this."
Naruto lifted his arms and began going through several hand seals at a swift but steady pace. Meanwhile, deep inside of the seal, Kurama was similarly going through the same hand seals.
Rias tracked Nyx with her hand, palm facing outward as she fired blast after blast of her Power of Destruction. This was another one of her skills. She called it Destruction Bullet, and it was an attack that launched hundreds of compressed bullets made from demonic energy at her opponents. None of the attacks had a lot of power, but being hit with one would still hurt.
Unfortunately, Nyx was incredible at evading her attacks.
"Is that all you have, Rias Gremory? I'm pretty disappointed!"
"Ufufufu. Then how about I liven things up a bit?"
A large bolt of Holy Lightning rained down from above, where Akeno was floating. The attack struck the mass of shadows that was Nyx. Unlike Rias's attacks, which the woman had dodged, Nyx was left with no choice but to block this one. A magic circle appeared above her head to intercept the attack.
And that was when Koneko made her move.
The little nekousho was not so little anymore. She had already activated Shirone Mode, allowing herself to temporarily grow older by gathering nature-based ki from her surroundings and synchronizing it with her Touki. Rias didn't understand how it all worked. All she knew was that Koneko was ten times more powerful in this form than she normally was.
"Suck on this, cunt."
Koneko's fist released a shrill cry as it cut the air, struck Nyx on her side, and sent the woman sailing. Nyx screamed in pain, but the sound turned from pain to rage as she disappeared in a black mist. Rias looked warily around for her. She didn't see anything, but then Koneko's scream caused her to twist her head.
Koneko had black mist pouring into her eyes, mouth, nose, and ears. It looked like she was being invaded by dark miasma. Her body convulsed as though wracked by great pain.
"Koneko! Nyx is trying to use her darkness to invade you! Push her out with your demonic power!"
Though Rias told her how to push Nyx's darkness out, that was easier said than done. If it was something Koneko could have done on her own, she already would have done it, and so Rias rushed forward and slammed her palm into Koneko's back. She unleashed her own demonic power. Channeling the Power of Destruction into Koneko, Rias targeted only the darkness invading her and nothing else.
"Ack! Hack! Cough! T-thank you, Rias," Koneko said as the dark miasma invading her body was annihilated. "Fucking bitch caught me by surprise."
"I'm just glad you're okay." Rias smiled, though it left her seconds later. "Nyx is a lot stronger than I gave her credit for."
"Well, she is a primordial goddess," Koneko retorted.
Nyx's power was indeed impressive, even for a primordial goddess, but what really galled Rias was that she wasn't even the most powerful member of the Alliance of Hell. Hades was. The fact that Nyx was giving Rias problems meant she was absolutely no match for Hades. That bothered her since it meant she couldn't help Issei.
"If you two are done having a moment, do you think you can help me?" asked Akeno. The half-fallen angel hybrid was being attacked by Nyx, who danced around her and sent numerous attacks her way. She tried to keep up. However, several magic circles appeared whenever Nyx disappeared, and they quickly surrounded Akeno, who found herself trapped within a massive barrier.
"That should keep you from interfering for awhile," Nyx said with a grin. She turned back to Rias and Koneko. "It's annoying having to fight multiple opponents at once. I hope you don't mind if I reduce your numbers to make this more of an even fight."
"A primordial goddess is fighting a couple of kids and says she wants a fair fight? That's rich," Rias said.
"Someone needs to teach this biotch a lesson," Koneko added.
"Hmph. This is why I hate fighting other women," Nyx muttered with a huff.
Rias quickly flung her powers at Nyx, who merely swatted them from the sky. Meanwhile, Koneko was closing the distance to engage the woman in hand-to-hand combat, though Nyx didn't seem as eager to fight up close. She teleported several meters away before activating countless transportation circles between her and them. Koneko was forced to stop as an entire army of Devils appeared before them.
"What is this?" asked Rias.
"This is my army, of course," Nyx said with a smirk. "They are Devils from the Old Satan Faction that I manipulated using Hypnosis Magic to do my bidding. I don't much care for fighting women, so my cute little army will be your opponents from now on."
The entire army of Devils surged forward to attack her and Koneko. Rias was left with no choice but to create a pair of swords from her demonic power and launch herself into the fray. She cut down several Devils as she fought her way toward Koneko, who was busy busting heads. Her punches were enough to shatter skulls into fragments. Her kicks were so strong they could actually tear her foes in half. It was impressive, but there were so many enemies now that the two of them had no hope of winning. What's more, Akeno was still sealed inside of that barrier.
"What do we do, Rias?" asked Koneko.
"Give me a second to think."
"I don't think we have a second."
Rias bit her lower lip hard enough to draw blood as she dispelled her swords, channeled demonic power between her hands, and sent it out as a massive beam that took down several dozen Devils. However, that was just a drop in the well. There were so many more Devils that even killing a few hundred did nothing to quell their numbers. What they needed was an attack that could take all their enemies out in a single hit.
There was only one attack Rias had in her arsenal that she was sure could do the job.
"Koneko, I need you to protect me while I gather the power needed for my trump card."
"How long do you need."
"Ten… no, five minutes."
"That's a tall order, but I'll do my best."
Rias leapt backward while Koneko moved forward. A pair of Devils came in to attack her, one on the left and the other on the right, but Koneko twisted her body around to avoid the first's lunge. She grabbed their outstretched arm and snapped it like a twig. While the Devil screamed himself hoarse, she maneuvered him in front of her, letting him take a spell that was meant for her. His body lit up in flames and she shoved him into his comrade before finishing them both with a blast of Senjutsu bullets.
They were, unfortunately, not the only ones who came in to attack Koneko. Nearly a dozen more were rushing forward. Some of them were even trying to maneuver their way around her to get at Rias. With a click of her tongue and slammed her fist into the ground. A shockwave spread across the ground, followed by an earthquake that knocked all the Devils in front of her to the ground.
She was sadly unable to capitalize on her enemies' state because there were even more behind them. Koneko crossed her arms and took several magic attacks head on. She couldn't afford to dodge because Rias was right behind her. Each attack slammed into her and exploded, sending her stumbling backward and leaving massive burns on her arms, but she gritted her teeth and tenaciously remained standing.
The other Devils were getting up again. The long-range attacks stopped, but that hardly mattered now. Koneko was now beset on all sides by hundreds of Devils who had recovered and were looking to take their pound of flesh from her.
Despite being surrounded and massively outnumbered, Koneko fought as hard as she could. She broke a Devil's face in with her fist. Then she crushed the balls of another. However, for as good as she got, she also received much worse. One Devil stabbed her in the torso with a sword that must have been magical in nature. It broke through her Rook defense and penetrated her flesh. She hissed in pain as she whirled around and launched a kick that sent him soaring into his comrades. However, the damage had already been done and she soon received another slash wound on her back.
Koneko didn't know how long she fought. She attacked and attacked and attacked, but the army never seemed to end. More wounds began littering her body. Blood began pouring down her pale skin, but just when Koneko thought she would be overwhelmed, a massive dragon made of golden scales slammed into the Devil army. It was Fafnir.
"Thy maiden of the panties bid me to aid you! I shall protect you during this battle, kitten!"
Koneko wasn't sure she appreciated being called "kitten," but she couldn't say anything as a warm light engulfed her body and healed her wounds. She looked behind her to find Asia standing next to Rias. In the heat of the battle, she had completely forgotten that Asia was also with them.
Feeling rejuvenated, Koneko threw herself into the fray once more, fighting side by side with Fafnir, the Gigantis Dragon, who used his incredible strength to plow through his enemies, his fire breath to burn his enemies, and even created mini replicas of himself to swarm over the army of Devils. Koneko was in awe of this Dragon, who up until now she thought of as nothing but a dirty old pervert.
Together, the two were able to hold off the enemy until Rias called for them.
"Withdraw, you two!"
Fafnir and Koneko immediately backed off after knocking aside their enemies. Just when they cleared the firing zone, Rias launched her attack, Extinguished Star, into the center of the Devil army's formation. All of that compressed Power of Destruction moved toward her enemies. While the attack was slow, it created a magnetic force that pulled all the Devils in, sucking them up and disintegrating them.
Koneko watched from afar as the Extinguished Star eradicated the entire army, striking the ground and suddenly expanding, sucking in even those who were further away. When the attack finally dissipated, nothing remained of the giant army. In its place was a massive crater.
"Rias has become scary strong," Koneko muttered.
"The Busty Maiden has indeed become a powerful force," Fafnir agreed.
'Busty Maiden?' Koneko mouthed to herself, though she didn't disagree. Rias was a definite member of the Busty Bombshell Brigade.
She was about to suggest they head down to Rias and Asia, but before she could voice it, Koneko screamed as she was struck by a bolt of Holy Lightning. She fell onto the ground, writhing as the holy energy seeped into her body.
Rias and Asia landed next to her. Asia knelt down. Her hands glowed as she activated Twilight Healing and fixed the damage dealt by the Holy Lightning. However, even with the damage repaired, Koneko still felt phantom twinges of pain.
Rias looked up and glared at Nyx, who floated next to a stone-faced Akeno. "How dare you use hypnosis on my family! I will make you pay for this!"
"I wonder how you'll make me pay? Do you really think you have what it takes? If so, then come on," Nyx said before she turned to Akeno. "Kill them."
Akeno didn't say anything, but lightning sparked from her hand as she threw it out, sending another bolt hurtling toward them. Fafnir moved to intercept. As a dragon king, Holy Lightning did nothing to him. He took the bolt head on without flinching.
"Koneko! I need you to hold off Akeno! Fafnir and I will deal with Nyx. Asia, please heal us whenever we get injured."
"You can count on me," Asia said.
"I shall listen to you only because the Maiden of Panties has bade me to."
"P-please don't call me that, Fafnir-san!"
"I'll see what I can do about holding off Akeno, but it's going to be tough," Koneko added.
"Just do what you can."
Koneko grew wings from her back and quickly ascended into the sky. Akeno was already throwing Holy Lightning her way, but she swerved and barrel rolled to dodge the attacks. She couldn't afford to let herself get hit. Even one attack from Holy Lightning would be enough to damage her to the point where she'd be useless.
"I know you're not in control of yourself right now, so I hope you'll forgive me for pummeling you!"
Koneko threw several Senjutsu bullets at Akeno, who raised a barrier, but that stopped her from using Holy Lightning, and Koneko took advantage of that fact to close the distance. She shattered the barrier with a single punch, then threw a kick that slammed into Akeno's chest. It wasn't as powerful as it could have been. Her job wasn't to beat Akeno but stall her. And she didn't want to hurt a friend.
While Koneko dealt with Akeno, Rias and Fafnir were attacking Nyx. While Rias launched attacks from a distance, using the control she had gained over her Power of Destruction from training with her brother to attack from every conceivable angle, Fafnir moved in close. He swung his tail at Nyx, who dodged by transforming into shadows. Unfortunately for her, Rias had already seen this trick several times.
With a smirk, Rias attacked the shadows with her Power of Destruction, consuming them and forcing Nyx to emerge. The moment she did, Rias manipulated several of her reddish black bullets to surround and pelt Nyx from all sides. None of the attacks were able to penetrate her godly aura, but they still did damage.
Once her attacks subsided, Fafnir launched his own attack. He opened his mouth and from its depths emerged a sword made of silver and gold emerged. It looked like a holy sword. A multitude of colors flashed from the blade. The aura emanating from it was powerful. Rias didn't know what sword it was, but Fafnir did.
"Let us see how you deal with the renowned sword of the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne—Joyeuse!"
Rias blinked. She had of course heard of Joyeuse. It was said that part of the same spear that pierced Jesus Christ, the True Longinus, resided within the sword. Rumor had it that the sword could change many colors, and that it was so bright it blinded the enemies of Charlemagne on the battlefield.
"Well… crap," Nyx muttered.
That was about all she could say as the blinding light of Joyeuse flared so brilliantly all the shadows around her vanished into nothingness. She had nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Fafnir raced forward and jammed the weapon straight into the woman's chest. Nyx screamed in pain, but even that was silenced when Rias launched an attack that engulfed her in the reddish black Power of Destruction.
Perhaps it was not too surprising, but Nyx survived having her chest impaled and being engulfed by the Power of Destruction. That said, she was a far cry from being whole. She lay on the ground, body covered in black burns and blood pooling beneath her, eyes glazed over as she stared up at the sky.
"It's over," Rias said to her.
Nyx blinked, eyes gaining clarity, and then she sighed.
"Yes, I suppose it is. You win."
Rias smiled as Asia walked over to her. High above in the sky, Akeno stopped fighting with Koneko, her expression morphing into one of dismay as she looked at the other girl. Koneko's body was covered in burns from near misses.
"Koneko… I am so sorry," Akeno said. "I was aware of what I was doing the whole time, but it was like my body refused to listen to me."
"Don't sweat it. I know you were being controlled by the cuntsickle down there," Koneko said.
"Thank you," Akeno said in a soft voice.
The two of them flew down to where Rias, Asia, and Fafnir were standing. Rias greeted the two, throwing her arms around both Akeno and Koneko.
"I'm so glad you're both okay. I'm sorry, Akeno. I was unable to protect you."
Akeno blinked back her tears. "Rias… it's fine. Thank you for being so concerned about me."
The two girls allowed the warmth of Rias's embrace to calm them. Meanwhile, Asia used Twilight Healing on both Koneko and Akeno to repair the damage that had been done during their battle.
It was during this time that someone descended from above. Rias let go of Akeno and Koneko, turned around, and faced Grayfia. The silver-haired queen looked around at the battlefield, then at Nyx on the ground, and then at Rias.
"I was told by Sirzechs to come and aid you, but it seems there was no need." Grayfia smiled. "You did a marvelous job, Rias. I'm pleased to see how much you've grown."
"Thank you, Grayfia," said Rias. "Tell me, what's going on with the rest of the battle?"
"It seems Ophis has transported Naruto and Yami into the Dimensional Gap," Grayfia began. "Since there is no longer any need to maintain the barrier, we have taken it down. Sirzechs, Ajuka, Brahma, and Indra are now helping out where they can, but they unfortunately cannot help battle against the Alliance of Hell. That's why Sirzechs has tasked myself and the other members of his peerage with helping defeat them." A wry smile twisted her lips. "It looks like my assistance wasn't necessary."
Rias listened and nodded. When Grayfia finished speaking, she smiled. "Well, I'm sure there are other battles you can help with."
"Indeed, though I would like to deal with this matter first. Since it looks like you and your peerage are exhausted, please allow me to take custody of Nyx."
"We'll leave it to you then."
Rias was more than happy to let Grayfia deal with the now defeated Nyx. She and her peerage left, traveling back toward the camp, which was no longer the sight of the battlefield. There they found Rossweisse, Ravel, Kiba, Irina, Gasper, Le Fay, and Xenovia. All of them looked like they had been put through a meat grinder, their bodies covered in lacerations and bruises. Asia immediately moved to heal them.
"I'm glad to see all of you are okay," Rias said.
"We have Sirzechs' peerage to thank for that," Kiba said. "We were unable to deal any permanent damage to Tartarous no matter what we did, we were beginning to run out of power, and then his peerage came and replaced us. I think they are still fighting Tartarous even now."
"It galls me to think that we weren't powerful enough to defeat one god by ourselves," Xenovia muttered bitterly.
"That one god just happens to be the primordial god of abyss," Rossweisse said dryly. "We're lucky we were able to last as long as we did against him."
Xenovia sighed. "I suppose."
Rias smiled as she gingerly sat beside her peerage, glad that they were all in good enough health to talk like this.
"By the way, where is Naruto?" asked Irina.
Rias tried to hide her grimace, and when that didn't work, she sighed and said, "It seems he's fighting against Yami in the Dimensional Gap."
Silence descended on the group. It was heavy and thick. However, this silence was broken by Kiba.
"I'm sure Naruto will be fine. He's the strongest person I know."
"Naruto is a true man," Gasper added.
"Yeah. Even I admire him," said Xenovia.
"I'm still a little concerned," Rossweisse admitted. "I know how strong he is, but he's up against Yami. I heard from Sirzechs' peerage that he has become the jinchurikki for Trihexa. I want to have faith in Naruto, but that doesn't stop me from worrying."
"I know how you feel," said Rias with a strained smile. "But that's really all we can do: have faith that he can beat Yami."
Rias reflected on all the times she had shared with Naruto. While there had been many bumps on the road, and he had done quite a number of dumb things that infuriated her, his presence had brightened her life. She knew how strong he was, and so she had faith that he could win.
"I wouldn't worry about Naruto too much," Ravel suddenly said. Everyone turned to her. "Naruto and I were talking about how to deal with Yami before this mission began. I can't say the plan we came up with is guaranteed to work, but it does have a good chance."
Everyone looked at Ravel curiously. Even Rias had not known the two had discussed how to deal with Yami, though perhaps she should have. Ravel was basically Naruto's manager and his strategist. The two often discussed things like that by themselves.
"How does Naruto plan on dealing with Yami?" asked Kiba.
"Yami is really just Naruto's other half. He is a mass of chakra given human form, which means he isn't made of flesh and blood like we are," Ravel began. "What's more, his chakra possesses the same unique signature that Naruto's does."
Everyone hung onto Ravel's words. Koneko and Irina were leaning forward. Rossweisse might not have looked like she was paying as much attention, but it was clear from the way she leaned slightly in that she wanted to know what Naruto's plan was. Le Fay and the others were much the same.
"So what's that got to do with how Naruto plans to defeat Yami?" asked Akeno.
Ravel smiled. "Since Naruto and Yami are the same person, it should be possible for Naruto to seal Yami inside of himself. He plans to create a seal that will force them to combine and become one again."
Naruto finally finished the last hand seal. The battle between Yami and Great Red halted to a standstill as the power he was releasing washed over them. He closed his eyes as an unpleasant sensation tugged on his body. It felt like he was being sucked through a tube, though Naruto understood this was just how it felt when he and Kurama traded places.
When Naruto opened his eyes again, he was located inside of an empty space that looked like a prairie. Grass was everywhere, trees could be seen in the distance, and mountains even further out spread out as far as the eye could see. He took in a deep breath and inhaled the scent of earth.
Then he sat down and began going through another string of hand seals.
"You're up, Kurama."
"Leave it to me."
In the outside world, it looked to Yami and Great Red like Naruto's body had transformed, though in truth he had just switched places with Kurama.
While Kurama was a fox and didn't have a human form, because Naruto was human, his current body had taken on the form of a red-haired young man. Eyes like rubies glinted in the kaleidoscopic twilight of the Dimensional Gap. His long, red hair was like a wild mane that descended down to the middle of his back. Meanwhile, ten bushy fox tails emerged from his tailbone.
He was naked at first, but with a simple application of chakra, Kurama was able to create a red hakama and haori to compliment his milky white skin. Since he disliked clothes, he forwent shoes and opted to create a pair of tabi sandals like the ones Naruto's perverted sensei wore. With his outfit complete, he strode over toward where the paused battle had taken place.
"Do you mind if I join this party?" he asked.
"Oi! Oi! Oi! What's going on here? I thought you were sealed inside of that kid!" Great Red exclaimed.
"I am sealed inside of Naruto, but he and I have temporarily traded places."
"Oh ho! Oh ho ho! I see! How interesting! How cool! Say, you wanna battle me?! It'd be great!"
Kurama smiled. "I would love to fight you, but first, I must take care of this pest."
Kurama was eying Yami, who looked like he'd just eaten dog shit. His face was all puckered and angry. Sweat trailed down his scalp, however, showing that he was also afraid, as well he should be. Kurama's power was easily on par with Ophis and Great Red.
"I should have known this was Naruto's goal," Yami spat. "But it doesn't matter! Even if you've been reverse summoned here, I won't let you win! I'll defeat you with Trihexa's powers!"
"You're free to try if you want. But I don't think you have what it takes to beat me."
Kurama's gaelic shrug, as if he didn't care about what Yami did, set Naruto's dark half off. He released a scream of rage and with it all the power he possessed. A shockwave slammed into Kurama and Great Red, though neither of them moved. Kurama's hair blew away from his face as dark miasma poured out of Yami and encased him in what could only be described as black armor.
"I see," Kurama murmured. "You are compressing Trihexa's power to form an empowering set of armor that increases all of your physical attributes. Don't tell me you're hoping to beat me by increasing your physical prowess? Heh. I guess I'll have to show you how foolish you are with my fists."
Yami's scream had become gurgled and indecipherable, but Kurama didn't need to understand him to know what this was. A scream of rage. A scream of hatred. Of discontent. Of an unwillingness to accept reality. Yami was synchronizing his hatred with Trihexa's to increase the amount of power he could bring to bear.
"It won't be enough. That power will never be enough."
Yami threw himself at Kurama. His hand became a sword that he swung down to slice Kurama in half, but it was blocked with a tail. Roaring in murderous rage, Yami tried to impale Kurama with his other hand, which had transformed into a lance, but it was blocked by another tail, which coiled around Yami's arm and restrained it. Snarling, the two hands transformed from weapons into animals. One was a snake and the other the stinger of a scorpion. They bit and stabbed Kurama, who released Yami, but they couldn't inflict any lasting injuries.
Leaping backward, Yami did not attack again right away. He must have been wary of Kurama. Of his power.
"If you won't attack me, then I will attack you. Prepare yourself."
Unlike Yami, Kurama didn't launch himself into a sprint. He simply appeared right next to Yami and extended his palm, which struck Yami in the chest, breaking through the armor he wore and snapping his ribs like twigs. An explosion of power sent him flying backward. While the attack was powerful, however, it was nowhere near enough to do Yami in. The armored figure flipped through the air and righted himself. Then he raised his hand.
His hand transformed into a massive barrel.
Kurama raised an eyebrow. "I guess you can use Trihexa's power in other ways too. Did you get this idea from Ise's Cardinal Crimson Promotion?"
Yami did not answer with words. Power gathered in the barrel and was released in a dark beam that covered several meters in width, large enough to engulf Kurama.
With an annoyed sigh, he gathered power into his fist and launched an uppercut that struck the beam and caused it to curve. The powerful attack flew into the atmosphere, creating distortions that caused psysmich tears to appear in the kaleidoscopic sky.
"If you wanted to play like that, you should have just said so."
Kurama brought all ten of his tails around and had them curl to form something similar to a gun barrel. Power gathered, coalescing into a single sphere of bright crimson that crackled and sparked, and then it was released. An incandescent beam of crimson destruction flew toward Yami, who flew out of the way and allowed the attack to pass him.
That was when Kurama appeared and decked him in the face. Yami spun like a top before righting himself. He proved his mettle by not falling unconscious and instead planting his hand onto a projected surface, lifting his leg, and kicking Kurama so hard that his head snapped back. It was an impressive kick. Blood leaked from Kurama's broken nose, but he just bent the nose back into place with a loud crack and let it heal.
The two continued to fight, but now it was hand to hand. Yami launched a series of rapid fire punches at Kurama, who weaved between them before wrapping one of Yami's arms up in his tail and pulling it from its socket. This did not deter Yami, who slammed a Rasengan into the tail, removed his arm, and pulled it back into place.
Spinning on the balls of his left foot, Kurama fired off a powerful reverse heel kick, though it was blocked by Yami's forearm. Using the force of Kurama's kick to increase his momentum, Yami spun around and snapped a kick that he delivered into Kurama's torso. The attack was powerful. It released a shockwave that spread across the Dimensional Gap. But Kurama remained mostly unharmed.
"Impressive. You're definitely Naruto. But you still lack his resolve and steely determination. I guess that's what happens when you let darkness consume you."
Yami seemed unable to respond with words. It was like he had become an incoherent beast. He roared at Kurama, which went to show him how lost this creature was.
As the battle continued, Kurama realized that Yami was not losing any power. His power might be weaker than Kurama's, but he seemed to have the ability to replenish his reserves instantly. Was this what it meant to be fueled by the world's hatred?
"If this keeps up, I will begin to lose. You about ready?"
"I'm ready. Can you hold him in place?"
"I can do that."
During their next exchange, Kurama wrapped his tails around Yami's arms, legs, and neck. The young man screamed incoherently and struggled. He released fire from his mouth, launched beams from his chest, and tried to claw at Kurama's tails. None of it worked.
"Now's your chance, Naruto!"
"Leave this to me! Dattebayo!"
"Don't dattebayo me! Hurry up!"
It might not have seemed like Kurama was struggling, but Yami was a scrapper, and it wouldn't be long before it became impossible to keep him contained. Fortunately, Naruto recognized this. Before Yami could struggle free, an ethereal hand shot from Kurama's stomach—from the seal—and slammed into the black armor. The hand seemed to burn the armor away, revealing the wide-eyed Yami.
"Noooo! No! Stop it! I don't want this! I want freedom! Damn it! Let go of me! Let! Go!"
The hand plunged into the chest of the still struggling Yami, but the man's struggles became weaker and weaker, until Yami's body just stopped working entirely. Seconds later, the body dissolved into chakra particles and the ethereal hand closed around a black ball of power and contempt. It brought the ball inside of Kurama's chest, where it disappeared with a ripple.
"You okay in there?"
"I-I am fine. But… hoooh. How do I say it? I wasn't expecting the… the hatred to be… this intense…"
"Well, you did just absorb Yami and Trihexa."
"Hmm. Yeah, guess I didn't think about that. It looks like I have to subdue Trihexa before I can integrate Yami. Er, this might take awhile."
"How long is awhile?"
"A couple of years… probably."
Kurama sighed. "Rias is going to be pissed."
"Hey, hey, hey! What was that just now?! What did you do?!"
In all the excitement, Kurama had completely forgotten about Great Red. He turned to the massive dragon. It was easily fifty times taller than he was right now. However, that could change if Kurama turned into his fox form.
"We simply sealed Yami and Trihexa inside of Naruto's body. Speaking of, Naruto is currently fighting to subdue Trihexa. It's gonna take a few years, so we'll be staying here until that happens. Hope you don't mind," Kurama said.
Great Red tilted his head and seemed to ponder this. "I guess it's fine. But! In exchange for letting you stay here, I demand you fight me."
"That is fine," Kurama agreed.
"Hey, Kurama. We need to let Rias know what's going on. Would you…?"
"Say no more. I've got this."
The battle was over. The Chaos Brigade was beaten and the Alliance of Hell had retreated. The battle was won, though not without heavy casualties.
Rias and the others were standing before a platform upon which the leaders of the alliance stood. All of them were present, even Michael and those who had fought against the Alliance of Hell during the initial surprise attack. They had not gotten off lightly. Michael's injuries had been healed, but Rias had seen the damage before it was repaired. It had been quite horrific.
"The battle is won. All of you have fought hard to achieve this victory. From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank each and every one of you, which is why we are going to host a party at the Gremory Estate and everyone here is invited!" Sirzechs announced, to the cheers of the crowd.
Because their means of transportation had been destroyed, Sirzechs needed to create transportation circles for everyone. Fortunately, Shiva was present to help. The god disguised as a young boy had decided to stick around for a while. He created the transportation circles using knowledge from Sirzechs to teleport everyone to the Gremory Estate.
The party that her father and mother hosted for everyone was massive and must have been prepared in advance. One of the ballrooms used to host large functions had been converted into a party space. Tables with loads of food were set up along the walls, the dance floor in the middle was free for anyone who wanted to dance, and a band playing modern music was situated on a stage near the back.
Since this was a party meant to celebrate their victory, everyone was still wearing the clothes they had battled in, including Rias and her party. Honestly, Rias just wanted to take a bath and go to sleep. Yet she knew sleep would not come right now. Naruto had yet to return home, after all.
Rias had snuck away from the party once she found herself able to. She walked onto the balcony, a glass of wine in hand, and looked at the night sky.
"Where are you, Naruto?" she asked.
"I'm right here."
Rias shrieked and spun around to find a blond man standing right next to her. The blue eyes, foxy grin, and whisker marks on each cheek were as familiar to her as her own face.
"Naruto?! You're back!"
Rias threw herself into him, hugging him for all he was worth. Naruto returned the hug. As she felt his arms wrap around her, a feeling of safety and security encapsulated Rias, who couldn't keep from sighing as she rubbed her face against his chest.
"Well, kind of."
Rias pulled back and looked into Naruto's eyes, but he just smiled and shrugged.
"I'm just a shadow clone. The real Naruto wanted me to deliver a message to you."
A feeling of trepidation filled her heart. "What's the message?"
"He says it's gonna take a bit more time integrating Yami back into himself than he expected. Might be a few years, actually. He wanted to ask if you would be willing to wait for him until then?"
"Oh…" That actually wasn't as bad as she thought it would be. She took a deep breath, placed a hand against her chest, and smiled at the Naruto clone. "Feel free to let him know that I'll wait for however long it takes. I'll wait forever if I have to."
The clone smiled. "I don't think you'll need to wait forever, but I'll let the boss know."
And just like that, the clone dispelled itself, smoke wafting from where he had been.
Rias moved to the balustrade and leaned against it, a frown marring her face as she realized that, once again, Naruto had done something stupid. This was all par for the course with him. She understood he didn't always think things through. He was the type of person who went with his gut. At the same time, she wished he would consult with her before doing stuff like this.
"Oh, well. I guess that's just how he is," she said.
"Naruto is going to be away for a while, I take it?"
Rias turned her head as Ophis walked up to her side. The Infinite Dragon God was not looking at Rias, but at the vast sky.
"Seems that way," Rias said.
"I wouldn't worry too much. Naruto isn't the type to break a promise. If he says he'll be back in a few years, then I believe him," Ophis said.
"I know." Rias tilted her head and drained the last of her wine. With a soft sigh and a small smile, she watched the fake stars twinkling in the sky. "I believe him too."
Rias Gremory woke up to a weight on her chest. She blinked several times to find herself staring at the familiar ceiling of her room. The weight on her chest was Ophis, bare as the day she'd been born. Ravel and Koneko were also sleeping with her, though they slept together on her left. She thought it was cute how Koneko slept with her face buried in Ravel's chest. Rossweisse, Ley Fay, and Irina were nowhere to be seen, but they were not as cuddly as these three were.
Yawning as she sat up and scooted backward until she was resting against the headboard, Rias stretched her arms before she began waking the other three girls up.
"Come on, you three. Time to get up. We've got a long day ahead of us."
"Just five more minutes," Ophis mumbled.
"I want five more years, please. Let me hibernate," Koneko added.
"Don't be lazy," Ravel said as she woke up. Like Rias, this girl was one of those early to bed, early to rise types. "Listen to Lady Rias and get your butt out of bed."
"Ugh, who the hell made you the boss?" asked Koneko.
"I became the boss because you don't do anything. Now get up," said Ravel.
Rias smiled as she climbed out from under Ophis, who was slowly waking up, and got dressed.
It had been four years since the battle to reclaim Agreas and stop Yami from resurrecting Trihexa. Rias had graduated from high school and was now in her senior year of college. Kuoh Academy was an elevator school, so she attended the college attached to it, which meant she still walked to school with her group every morning, though this would change starting next year after she graduated.
Next year, I'll have to assume my duties as the head of the Gremory Household.
Rias traveled downstairs with the other girls to find Akeno making breakfast and Rossweisse sipping a cup of coffee as she read the morning newspaper. The silver-haired Valkyrie looked up when they entered. A smile lit her face.
"Good morning, you four."
"Morning, Rossweisse. Akeno," Rias said as she sat down.
The other three sat with her, though Koneko's head came to rest on the table. It was technically bad manners, but this was their home, so Rias let it slide. Ravel sat with proper posture at least, but she expected nothing less from the woman who was looking to become Naruto's second wife. Well, his second wife once he returned and married Rias herself, of course.
Everyone had grown since that day four years ago. Koneko, Ravel, and Gasper were freshmen in college. Issei, Kiba, Xenovia, Irina, and Asia were sophomores. Rossweisse no longer worked as a teacher. She was now the accountant who the Rias's money and invested it in various business ventures. Also…
"Good morning, everyone!" said a sweet and cheerful voice.
A young girl walked into the kitchen, dressed in the high school uniform of Kuoh Academy. Her blonde hair was long and traveled all the way down to her butt, her chest filled out the dress well, and she had nine tails sticking out behind her. She was currently not wearing shoes or socks. She padded barefoot across the floor and sat in a chair opposite Rias.
"Good morning, Kunou. Ready for your first day as a senior?" asked Rias.
"I am!" Kunou said in a cheerful voice.
Everyone else soon filed into the kitchen and said their morning greetings. Issei sat between Xenovia and Asia. Raynare grumbled about it, but she had arrived late and missed her chance. Several other women entered the room, though none of them were a part of Rias's peerage. There was Ingvild Leviathan who Issei had made his Queen and Bennia Orcus who had been traded by Sona to become Issei's Knight. Xenovioa and Asia were also a part of Issei's peerage now.
Issei had not changed much over the years. He was a little more confident but no less perverted. Rias would say he was better at hiding his perversion, however. He was also a lot stronger now, having been promoted to High-Class Devil two years ago. His peerage lived with Rias and her peerage.
After getting dressed, eating breakfast, and walking to school with everyone, Rias found herself thinking about the future as she attended her classes. Her major was in political science and the culture. She figured it would help her once she became the Head of the House of Gremory, which had shifted most of their focus from expanding territory to fostering relationships with other mythologies and religions. Rias herself was currently in the middle of negotiations with the Vampires to increase trade and foster friendships.
School eventually ended. Rias was not part of the Occult Research Club anymore since that was a high school club and she had business to attend to. Now that she was an adult, Rias had begun accepting more work from her father to prepare her to become the Gremory House's leader. She traveled back home alongside Koneko and Ravel.
"Haaaaa… I'm so tired," Koneko grumbled as she munched on some manju.
"Why are you tired? You barely do anything in class," snapped Ravel.
"Watching you work so hard is tiring, Ms. Goody Two Shoes."
"I dare you to say that again!"
Rias could hardly contain her grin as the two fought. Watching them squabble like this was somehow calming. It had become such an integral part of their daily routine that she would feel weird if they ever stopped.
"Speaking of class, how are your studies going?" she asked.
"They're going fine," Ravel said. "I'm excelling in ancient history and polisci, but I'm not doing as well in math. I just dislike numbers and calculations, though I know math might end up being useful in Rating Games, so I'm still working hard."
"She says that, but she has an 80 to 89% average in math," Koneko said, yawning.
"Meanwhile, your average is only 70%. You could stand to try a little harder," Ravel said, scolding the girl.
"Why bother?" asked Koneko. "None of that is going to help me. Once Naruto returns, I'll go into heat, have his baby, and become a housewife."
"What kind of dream is that?!"
"The best kind of dream."
Rias shook her head and giggled as they turned the corner that led to their house… and stopped dead in her tracks. Koneko and Ravel had also stopped. She and the other two stared in shock at the two figures standing by the gate to their home.
One of the figures was a man with crimson hair that went down to his waist. He had eyes the color of blood, thick whisker marks on his cheeks, and stood at least two heads taller than the other person. He was handsome and looked somewhere in his mid to late-twenties. It was hard to tell. The outfit he wore was a traditional red hakama and haori that went well with his hair.
However, it was the other person who really captured her attention. Spiky blond hair. Bright blue eyes. Whisker marks lining his tanned face. The young man was wearing black pants, a black shirt, and an orange jacket that went over his broad shoulders. He didn't look like he had aged much at all since the last time she saw him four years ago. A chess piece was being rolled between his fingers. She recognized it as a Fairy Piece.
Tears welled up in her eyes as she hurried over to the gate. The two sensed her arrival. The blond man turned to her with a smile on his face.
"Hey there, Rias—woah!"
It wasn't just Rias who had screamed that name, but Koneko and Ravel too. All three of them had lunged at Naruto at nearly the same time. He must not have been prepared for a three-way assault because Naruto went down in a tumble as all three women landed on him.
"Ooof! You girls have grown. That hurt," Naruto muttered.
On any other occasion, these three would have smacked him for essentially saying they had gained weight, but none of that mattered right now. They were so happy to see Naruto that tears trailed down their faces as they looked up at him with big smiles.
"Welcome home, Naruto," Koneko, Ravel, and Rias said at the same time.
Naruto smiled as he reached out and began caressing their hair. Behind him, the mysterious redhead said nothing, though he looked like he was grinning at them.
"I'm home," Naruto said right before pulling them into a tight hug. "I'm finally home."
Everyone reacted excitedly when they came home to find that Naruto had finally returned. Kiba and Issei had slapped his back, and even Gasper had tried to act manly by giving him a firm handshake, tears in his eyes notwithstanding. Of course, the real prize had come from the women in his life. While both Irina and Rossweisse had smacked him, they had also given him a big kiss. Le Fay had kissed him too, but she was a bit more tentative since she had only joined him in bed once.
Rias decided to host a party to celebrate his return. It was just a small party between members of the Gremory Household. Ravel, Akeno, and Kunou made them a big dinner with all kinds of foods. Naruto was surprised to see Kunou again, but he learned from Rias that she returned to Kuoh a year after the war against the Chaos Brigade ended.
The party itself was lively, though he would say the highlight was when Kunou got drunk on grape juice of all things and began hitting on him. That had been fun. Oh. Who was he kidding. The highlight of his day wasn't even the party, but the sex that came after word.
A sweaty and exhausted Naruto lay amidst a pile of naked bodies. Rias, Ravel, Rossweisse, Koneko, Ophis, Le Fey, and Irina were lying in the middle of a large bed. They were using the special room Michael had created to allow Irina guilt free sex. This was her first time having group sex, and she'd been very shy, but everyone else had, uh, helped her get over that shyness real fast. Said angel was currently an inert pile of post-orgasmic flesh. He'd never seen such a dopey smile on an angel's face before.
"So why did it take you so long to return?" asked Rias as she rested her head on his chest.
Naruto was once more turning the Fairy Piece over in his hand. It was the same piece Rias had used to revive him.
"It's because Yami became Trihexa's jinchurikki. It meant I couldn't just integrate Yami back into myself. First, I had to defeat Yami and Trihexa in combat after they were sealed, and then I had to convert Trihexa's power into chakra that I could slowly integrate into my own reserves. Beating them alone took more than two years. The rest of that time was spent integrating their power."
"I have noticed that you seem a lot more powerful now than you were before," Koneko said. She was resting her head on his naked lap. "You also feel different… darker…"
Naruto gave her a strained smile. "That would be Trihexa's and Yami's influence. The darkness they represented has… stained my chakra, basically. It's hard to explain, but that's the reason."
"It hasn't changed you, has it?" asked Rossweisse. "Do you feel weird? More violent maybe?"
Naruto shook his head. "I learned to accept my darkness a long time ago, so it doesn't affect me. That said, I can't use Sage Mode anymore. The world's darkness will overwhelm me if I do. Course, it's not like I need Sage Mode anymore."
Naruto's power had received an explosive increase. Thanks to combining Yami and Trihexa's power with his own, he was now as powerful as Kurama, which meant there was probably nothing in this world that could harm him.
"And… why is your Evil Piece no longer inside of you?" asked Rias.
"Because… I'm no longer a Devil." Naruto sighed and placed the Fairy Piece in Rias's hand. "After integrating their power, my body transformed into something else. I guess you could say I've become a god, though that sounds pretty fucking arrogant."
"Damn right it sounds arrogant," Koneko muttered.
"It doesn't surprise me that you've become a god," Ophis said. "Gods are beings who have attained a certain level of power or divinity. They can be formed from the belief of humans like the Christian, Norse, and Greek Gods, but they can also be birthed from power like myself and Great Red. You are a lot like Great Red and myself."
"So you are no longer a Devil?" asked Ravel.
"Correct. Since I'm a god, my body was reborn, sort of. Even Kurama was expelled from my body." He paused to kiss Rias on the head. "I hope that won't change anything between us."
Rias closed her fingers around the Fairy Piece, then leaned up and kissed Naruto on the lips. It was soft, gentle, and went a long way toward reassuring him that her feelings hadn't changed.
"Of course not. I still have every intention of marrying you," Rias said.
"That is good," Naruto said with a relieved expression.
"I'm gonna marry you too," Koneko added. "I expect you to give me lots of babies."
"Is that all you think about now?" asked Ravel with a sigh.
"I wonder if I can actually have children," Ophis said, then grinned. "It would be interesting to find out."
"Hold on, you three," Rossweisse said. "Don't you think we've had enough sex for one night? Poor Irina and Le Fay have already fainted."
"If you don't want to have sex, you can just watch," Koneko said as she sat up and straddled Naruto.
"I refuse to just stand by and watch as you three have fun-erm, take advantage of Naruto like this!"
"She let her true emotions slip," Koneko said.
"She totally revealed her true intentions," Rias added.
"I sense jealousy," said Ophis.
Rossweisse's face turned red. "You three have become degenerates!"
Naruto raised his hand. "I don't mind being taken advantage of."
"You stay out of this! This is all your fault to begin with!"
While Rossweisse argued and complained a lot, Rias and Ophis tag teamed the poor Valkyrie and eventually seduced her into joining them again. Naruto didn't hesitate to begin pleasing the women he would eventually go on to create an empire with.
By the gods of ramen, he loved his life.
And here it is. The last chapter. While I can't say I'm completely satisfied with my ending, I can say that I'm glad this series has finally been completed.
I began writing Devil Ninja back in 2013 - a year before I published A Fox's Love, my first book. Looking back on it, I can recognize that there are a lot of problems with this series as a whole. The biggest one was that it's been such a long time since I wrote my earlier chapters that I can't remember half of what I wrote. And like an idiot, I never wrote any notes to keep my sorry ass on track. I think this led to a lot of inconsistencies within the story. That said, I would like to thank everyone who stuck with me and continued to read this series. I hope you enjoyed it.
This is just a reminder, but I actually work full-time as an author. If anyone wants to read my original works, feel free to look these series up on Amazon.
American Kitsune: A fourth-wall-breaking parody of harem anime. Join Kevin Swift as he tries to navigate his way through puberty, naked foxgirls, hostile yokai, war, and an author who is determined to give him a harem whether he wants one or not.
A Most Unlikely Hero: Alex always wanted to be a hero after his father's death, but thanks to his destructive tendencies, he's more likely to wind up in jail than become a hero. His life takes a turn when he meets an alien princess on the run. This series is a lot like To Love Ru, but with a more decisive protagonist who doesn't just fall face-first into the tits and crotch of every woman he meets.
Arcadia's Ignoble Knight: Step into the world of Terraria, a world where Sorceresses—women with the power to summon Spirits—reign supreme. Within this world is a country called Arcadia, and within this country, there is an academy: Arcadia's Knight Academy, the most prestigious academy in the entire world. Here, young noblemen train to become a Sorceress's Knight, the companion and protector of a Sorceress. Enter Caspian Ignis del Sol, a young knight-in-training. He's striving to become a Sorceress's Knight, to keep a promise that he made long ago. There's just one problem. Caspian is a peasant!
Catgirl Doctor: Catgirls have had a symbiotic relationship with humans since time immemorial. Many young men long to become breeders, humans who are responsible for quelling a catgirl's lust when they go into heat. Chris Redford was just a normal college student attending San Diego University for his Ph.D. in Catgirl Physiology and Medicine to become a catgirl doctor, but when he runs across an abused catgirl, Chris will find his purpose in life shifting to accommodate his new responsibilities. He may also be forced to confront the darker side of humanity when he learns about what happened to Silva, the young catgirl now in his care. WARNING: This is an R18 series for adult content, themes, and gratuitous sex scenes.
Incubus: In a world where therianthropes, succubus, vampires, ogres, and many other demons live side-by-side with humans, Anthony Amasius is a unique existence: the only incubus in the entire world. He tries to live a normal life despite being what he is. He goes to college, has friends, and occasionally helps his diminutive professor when she needs some extra muscle. However, his world is about to be flipped upside when a War Maiden from Custodes Daemonium comes knocking on his door. If Anthony doesn't learn to embrace what he has become, he will never survive the coming storm. WARNING: This series is rated R18 for numerous sex scenes. I mean, it's about a creature that can't live without sex, so...
Journey of a Betrayed Hero: The hero's journey doesn't always end after the Dark Lord has been slain. After being betrayed by the very kingdom he saved, Jacob Stone forsook his title of Hero. Now he lives the simple life of a barkeep. Yet even that life is irrevocably erased when a young woman named Enyo appears before him. She claims to be the daughter of the former Dark Lord and has come seeking his aid. He'd normally never consider lending her a hand, but when she tells him that she knows of a way for him to return home, he's left with little recourse. His journey will take him across the kingdom of Terrasole, toward the place where it all began. If he succeeds, he'll return to the home he'd been stolen from. If he fails… well, he won't live long enough to regret failing.
Man Made God: The birth of the virtual world was one of necessity. After more than three-fourths of the population was eradicated thanks to World War III and Mortems Disease, various world governments signed the WWIII Armistice, which states that any and all disputes, whether big or large, must be settled within the virtual world. However, for Adam Lancer, the virtual world means nothing. His only concern is saving his lover, who has the fatal Mortems Disease, of which there is no known cure. Just as he is giving up hope, a woman named Fayte comes to him with a proposal that could save his lover. All he has to do is play the latest VRMMORPG, Age of Gods, and help her win a bet against her father. Simple, right? WARNING: This series is rated R18 for explicit content and sex scenes in future volumes.
Swordsman of the Rift: Bryan Jenson is a former Marine with a haunted past, and his life is about to get weird. Portals have opened all over the world leading to the Rift Plains, a dimension that leads to hundreds if not thousands of other worlds. Now he's found himself teaming up with an archangel and a succubus. Monsters are trying to reach his world from beyond the Rift Plains, and he and his ladies must fight against these creatures to prevent them from invading his home. WARNING: This series is rated R18 for violence and sex.
The Executioner: Christin Crux is an Executioner working for the Catholic Church. His job is to slay the things that go bump in the night-in other words, supernatural creatures of extraordinary power, and he's damn good at what he does. Lilith is a young woman who's trying to earn a college degree in graphic design. Sadly, it's hard to get a degree when she's so afraid of men she can't even set foot on campus. When Christian is sent to slay Lilith, who the Church believes to be a succubus, everything they knew, or thought they knew, will be flipped onto its head. Can these two survive the coming storm?
WIEDERGEBURT: Legend of the Reincarnated Warrior: This is my #1 Best Selling wuxia series. In a world where Spiritualists hold all the power and might makes right, Eryk Veiger is thrust back to the past after losing against the Great Overlord of the Seventh Realm - the man who killed his wife and daughter. Now given a chance to change the past, Eryk must grasp this opportunity with both hands and struggle with everything he has to avoid the unwanted future he came from. If he cannot become an even more powerful Spiritualist than the one he seeks to defeat, then Eryk will have no choice but to watch as everything he has ever loved is once again taken from him. WARNING: This series is rated R18 for adult situations, harem relationships, sex, violence, nudity, and a lot of other things kids shouldn't read but probably do anyway.