New Devil of The Gremory House

Life 48: Relief


"HAAAAA!" Xenovia roared at the top of her lungs, steam shooting off her body as her muscles bulged and she brought her sword down hard. The ground cracked and cratered under the force of her swing as she looked down in disappointment, "Damn."

"I told you, Xenovia," She looked up and found Yuuto standing completely unharmed and several feet away from her attack. He spun the sword in his hand around before taking a stance with it, "You have to have at least a few techniques under the belt."

"And I told you that I don't need techniques when I have power that crushes foes in a single swing!"

"But raw power should be coupled with refined technique. Otherwise, it's just a matter of escalating any counterattack necessary to match that increase of strength."

"Let's agree to disagree!"

"That's not-"

"HAAA!" The two [Knights] engaged each other again in a blinding display of swordplay that was carried out through the massive basement training level.

Just over to the side, a grand expanse of steam was growing ever wider as two opposing elements clashed. A raging pillar of fire pressed against a barrier of water that evaporated immediately. The two women facing each other continued to rage their elements against the other.

"How much longer, Rossweisse-San?" Koneko asked while keeping her output of fire constant against the Valkyrie's watery defense.

"Almost there, Koneko-chan!" The older [Rook] exclaimed while narrowing her eyes and trying to focus on the task at hand. Remembering what Azazel and the others said about her creating magical circles from the water, she started to focus on the center of the water shield she formed. As she did an intricate magical formation started to form inside the aqua.


The water shield she formed suddenly spun wildly before retreating into the center to concentrate around her magical circle. Once it did it swelled against the fire rushing against it briefly before spiking forward and through the flames.

Koneko's eyes widened and she ducked aside as a water projectile rushed through her fire and towards her head. Ravel was watching from the side and gasped in shock before looking towards the silver-haired beauty, "Was - was that a magical circle with automated countering?"

"That's right." Rossweisse said with a little swell of pride as she held up the thin screen of water floating over her hand and connected by a small stream coming out of her palm, "I tweaked with a magical formation I remembered from my school days used in barriers to absorb power and send it back as a counterforce. Utilizing it with my water manipulation, instead of waiting for attacks to land and provide the source of power to activate it, it can use the water to counter almost preemptively. It only works while I'm still providing water so I have to focus but I think it's a good step."

Ravel had to marvel and gawk at the Devil woman. The way she said it sounded like it was just a little tweaking over a lazy afternoon to get this result. But the kind of work needed to extract a certain characteristic out of a barrier spell for her purposes wasn't easy. Not only that but engraving that personalized magical circle into an unstable state of matter like water was nothing short of ingenious.

Ravel had heard people talk about Rossweisse in school and referred to her as the cute, ditzy teacher people loved to watch get flustered. But watching her now Ravel realized this woman was nothing short of a genius or a prodigy.

The heat swelled for a moment as Koneko whipped her hands out and tossed streams of fire at the Valkyrie. Her water shield immediately reacted and fired three high-pressure beams of water straight into the path of the flames and extinguished them in an instant. Koneko gave a respectful nod, "That's amazing Rossweisse-San."

"Thank you, Koneko-chan." The taller [Rook] smiled as she gathered an orb of water in her other hand, "But I'm not done yet!"

She fired it off at the Nekomata and forced her to create a curved barrier of flame to protect herself. The water impacted against her fire and created a swell of steam that spread out where they connected. Koneko kept her field of flame up until the water stopped. Once she did she lowered her hands as well.

Koneko didn't want her smug smile to show, but her lips did curve up a little as she turned to see Ravel's shocked expression at her superior-

"Wasteful!" Ravel exclaimed, marching up into Koneko's face and yelling out impudently, "You are so wasteful! I-I thought you bragged about being better with these flames than me but you aren't!"

The short freshman tried to keep her composure but a small vein throbbed under her white bangs, "Excuse me?"

"I said you are wasteful! Like someone with an all-powerful weapon and only uses it as a paperweight!" Ravel said metaphorically as she frowned at Koneko. The next moment the Phenex daughter held out her arms and summoned her flames as well, "Now granted the raw power you display is amazing, but that's all it is right now - raw power! Look at your flames!"

Koneko continued to glare and pout at the fire bird's attitude but reluctantly cast her gaze down along her arms. The blue flames coming off of them were large, bright, and powerful.

"There's so much wasted energy in your flames." Ravel warned her, "They aren't just fire; they're heat, energy, warmth, and life. But all you have coming out of your arms is big bursts of blue fire that are meant to burn." Ravel closed her hands and concentrated, bringing the wild red flames along her arms down into stronger, more concentrated flames that immediately became hotter, "If you could learn to control your flames more precisely like that, you would become remarkably stronger."

The Phenex girl blushed and then turned her head and nose up, "B-But I'll still have more experience and control than you ever could! So just remember that!"

Koneko pouted at her haughty attitude before looking down at her blue flames again. It was true that since she had received Matatabi's blessing she had mostly used it for raw power. And in hindsight, it did just seem…well, like a waste.

She turned back around, "Rossweisse-San," The Valkyrie perked up as she was addressed, "Please release another attack at me."

The junior [Rook] seemed to consider it for only a moment before agreeing. She whipped her arms around before firing a powerful stream of water at the little white-haired Devil. She kept her rush of water going for several seconds as she saw a rise of steam come up from the end of it. Rossweisse held that rush for several seconds before cutting it off.

And once the water stopped, she marveled at the sight of the medium-sized orb of blue flames Koneko had created between her hands. The orb was letting off such intense heat that it was evaporating the water before it could get within several inches. Koneko narrowed her eyes in deep concentration before her flames wavered.

"T-That's amazing, Koneko-chan!" Rossweisse cheered her little friend on with a big smile, "If you learned to harness power like that, your skill with fire will exceed all expectations."

"Yes," Koneko looked down at her hands excitedly, "I think so too."

"Uh-hum." Koneko looked up as Ravel crossed her arms, "Well?"

"Well what?"

"Don't I get some kind of thank you?"

"I refuse."

"W-What?!" Ravel squealed before pouting and turning up her nose, "That's fine. I guess I'll just take satisfaction in the fact I know you're super grateful."

"I'm not."

"And I'll know deep down that all victories and achievements you make with your flames will be attributed to my help."

"Oh you Kentucky Fried Cun-"

"G-Girls!" Rossweisse quickly rushed in to defuse the tension, "Now, now, no need for tension. Let's play nice."

And away from their argument taking place, Naruto watched as Asia tried to create a bubble from Saiken's power that she could project her Twilight Healing into for long-range assistance. Azazel overlooked her progress, nodding and adding in his two cents when the pretty nun asked for his guidance.

Gasper practiced his time abilities against Irina's launch of Light attacks. Even though the young Dhampir's instincts told him to run away, he persisted and tried to stop her Light weapons from getting any closer.

And finally, Rias and Akeno practiced together. The [Queen] gathered up handfuls of lighting in each hand before releasing them. And each time she did her [King] had to quickly react to block or destroy her lightning bolts. Rias' reflexes were not nearly fast enough to keep up with lightning so she had to take these opportunities to practice her ability to predict and react to her surroundings in battle.

She was coming a long way since their talk a few days ago. It wasn't a mind-boggling increase in skill, but Rias had certainly gotten better since she decided to start training.

"Senpai! How are you feeling?"

"Pretty good." Naruto answered, floating over Issei's head with a small vortex of wind around his lower body to keep him airborne, "I don't feel nearly as drained as I used to."

With the help of Issei's conditioning during their spars and focusing on one element to control at a time, Naruto had increased the efficacy of his technique. He had only been practicing with wind since Kyoto, and it still wasn't as flawless as the version Sun Wukong had assisted in perfecting but compared to the struggle he had controlling the formless element before Naruto was doing much better.

The green jets behind Issei's Scale Mail ignited as he took off from the ground to join him at his elevation. The Heavenly Dragon spoke as his helmet retreated to reveal his face, "So what do you think? Will you be able to use it in the Rating Game?"

"I'm still not at the level I was when that super monkey pumped me up. And I've barely touched the other elements since I started training again, even with my clones. But still…" Naruto looked down and clenched his fists, easily summoning vortexes of wind that stretched from his elbows to his knuckles. With a smirk, he twisted in the other direction and threw a punch.

A massive squall of wind released with his jab and sailed through the air for a good distance before petering out. Naruto grinned and nodded back at the Sekiryuutei, "I can use that."

"And do you think you'll be a match for Sairaorg-San with that?"

Naruto sucked his lip before looking back at the Red Dragon, "Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Even with my wind control, I'm not sure about that." He admitted bluntly, "I mean that guy tanked a hit from me when I was using earth and lightning. And the power behind those two was a lot more damning than what I can do with wind."

"Yeah, but you didn't have nearly as much control over that power as you do now." Issei argued, "I think better control over just one element would do a lot more than just haphazardly throwing out a few you could barely control."

"Well, I can't argue that." Naruto conceded the point, rubbing his neck before looking at his perverted friend, "But even so, that doesn't mean it would be easy. I'm not sure what else Sairaorg can pull out of his sleeve but I do know he hasn't shown us everything he can do in a fight yet."

"Yeah…he's gonna be tough."

"You might have to look out for that if you fight him."

"Pfft," Issei scoffed, "Senpai, we both know you'll be the one facing him down."

Naruto shrugged, "We don't know for sure. Once I go in on any fight…that's it. I'm done for the game."

It was the last restriction put on him in return for his participation in the Rating Game. If he was allowed to participate in the game, it would throw off the balance of the fight considering he was so strong and he was technically worth only 1 [Pawn]. As balances and restrictions were argued, it had come to a final decision…

Naruto was allowed to participate in any round of the Rating Game…but only once. That meant he could bolster the ranks of a generally weak ensemble or join Issei's side for a total powerhouse combo. But whenever he joined that would be his only participation in the match.

Which meant they had to hold off until it was worth his involvement.

"Naruto!" The two [Pawns] looked down as Rias and Akeno broke off their training to look up at them. Their [King] waved them down and both men descended to join them on the ground, "There's something I wanted to talk to you about. Do you feel ready for the Rating Game?"

"I mean yeah, pretty much." Naruto answered with a nod, "I mean I'll save up my energy on the day of the match but I still got tomorrow to fine-tune and workshop a few things."

"That's what I wanted to talk to you about." Rias shook her head, "I want to ask you not to use your Sacred Gear tomorrow before we reach our destination. And that you probably won't be able to train until we get back home."

"What?" Naruto looked at his girlfriend in confusion, "What for?"

"Because I want us to go to the Sitri territory together. There's something I want to talk to you about."


It was still an odd feeling riding around in a car in the Underworld. He and Rias could probably fly just as quickly, not to mention he could use some of his techniques to probably get there in faster.

But Rias wanted to use the time getting there to mentally prepare for what they were doing. And honestly…Naruto was feeling anxious as they came closer. He looked out the window and saw the beautiful, scenic landscape of the Sitri territory pass on by.

He hadn't been able to travel much outside of the Gremory territory to see what the rest of the Underworld looked like. If every territory was as big as the Gremory's - which equaled one of Japan's largest islands - then there was still a lot to see. Just looking outside he saw vast mountains surrounded by colorful trees he'd never seen before.

"Are you nervous?" Rias whispered to him as they rounded the corner, "If you don't feel comfortable doing this then we can call it off."

"No, no I'm fine." He reassured her, not exactly doing his best to hide the anxiety as his hands rubbed along his knees to try and focus his mind, "It's just…this will be a first. The first time I'm using it on someone outside of an accident or training with Azazel. And…the first time I'm using it for something as…as big as this."

"I'm sorry I dropped this on you yesterday." Rias apologized, lowering her gaze, "When Sairaorg's butler reached out through Okaa-sama I thought there was something we could do. I know this is a lot of pressure to put on you."

"A little." He admitted honestly before showing a faint smile, "But I never even thought of using this power like this before. It seems like such a better use of time."

"But it still might not work." Rias warned him, squeezing his shoulder to ease some of his tension, "So if it doesn't please don't blame yourself. This is a long shot we're taking."

"I know," He patted her hand and nodded, "But I can try."

The car took a turn and started to slow down before coming to a stop. Some people approached the car and opened their doors for them. Naruto stepped out and looked over the roof at the large hospital they had arrived at. Naruto stepped around the car and joined Rias' side as they looked up at the hospital ward.

"Rias-sama." They looked over as a finely dressed older man walked up and politely bowed his head, "It's good to see you again. I'm glad that you could make my request."

"Of course. It would be our pleasure to see if this idea was possible." She bowed respectfully in return before turning to Naruto, "Naruto, this is Sairaorg's butler. He's been watching over Sairaorg for years since his mother fell ill."

"Nice to meet you."

"So you're the boy with the remarkable ability Venelana-sama spoke of?" He walked closer and took Naruto's hand before gently squeezing it, "Thank you for coming here. If what you can do is real, then-"

"B-But I can't be sure that it will work." Naruto stressed the point of warning the butler, doing his best not to raise anyone's hopes in case it didn't work out, "So please don't expect a miracle."

"My dear boy, it means the world that you even came here to at least try it out. Thank you."

He bowed his head before turning back around and motioning for them to follow. Naruto and Rias trailed behind as they walked past the large hospital and started making their way out towards a wide expanse of small, cozy cottages spread out over the acres. It was special housing for certain cases so the people inside them could be comfy and at peace for…however their conditions turn out.

They arrived at a small home before the butler started to make his way up the stairs and opened the doors. Rias stepped through first and Naruto followed in after her. And when he did he saw there were already people in there waiting for them.

A group of doctors and nurses stood by the side. And on the couch sat Venelana and Sona waiting patiently for their arrival. They stood up as the young couple finally arrived, "Okaa-sama, I didn't know you would be waiting for us here?"

"I was the one who originally floated around the idea and reached out to you." The beautiful brunette noble answered, "It's only right that I should be here to see if anything happens."

Rias looked to her oldest friend, "And Sona? What are you doing here?"

"This is our facility. I think whatever experimental procedures are being done here are ones I should be present for."

"Fair enough. And where's Sairaorg?"

"He said he is coming along but was held up for a bit. He should be here soon." The butler answered before pointing towards a back room. Naruto took a deep, calming breath before following him to the back of the cottage. When he did the butler opened one last door and held it out for him to walk through.

And he saw a young but tired woman lying in a bed. She had medical equipment hooked up to her with IVs in her arms and a heart monitor keeping track of her heartbeat. Naruto gulped and stepped in closer before he realized it was just as the others had said.

She was asleep…and wasn't waking up in with others in the room.

"Misla Bael-obasama." Rias whispered as she walked up to his side, "Sairaorg's mother fell ill when he was young. She's been asleep like this for years now."

"And this is a sickness?"

"It is. The Sleeping Disease. A rare disorder where Devils suddenly find themselves weak and lethargic." Sona picked up as she walked in with them, "Their symptoms steadily get worse and worse until they enter a deep sleep that they never awaken from. If it wasn't for those machines and her caretakers, she'd have ended up dead a long time ago."

"She has been staying here in the Sitri foundation for years now." Venelana whispered sadly, "Because any support she would have received from the Bael family…would be lacking if she received any at all."

Naruto looked around at the people close to the ailing Devil woman and saw their downcast expressions. Everyone was heartbroken to see a person they knew and cared about in a position like this. He didn't have anyone fall sick from disease or illness back in Konoha so he had never gone through this before. But they were here because they believed there was a chance that he might be able to help her.

It lit a fire in his chest that wanted to help them.

"We've been informed of what this ability of yours can do." One of the doctors said as he walked up to her bedside, "You won't be able to cure her but if you can revert her to a point before her illness took over, there might be a chance that she wakes up."

"Her body won't be affected by the sickness, but what about her mind?" Naruto asked, "When I revert people their physical forms change but their minds and memories remain from their current selves. Will she be able to wake up even if the symptoms keeping her asleep are gone?"

"We believe so, but we won't be certain until we test it out. If this endeavor doesn't succeed, you can still cancel it out, correct?"

"Yeah." Naruto nodded, pulling up his sleeve as he summoned his Sacred Gear. He looked down at the sick woman sleeping away under the sheets before pointing out, "You might need to pull out the medical stuff attached to her. I'm not sure what's going to happen if we revert her body and she has needles inside her that weren't there before."

The nurses nodded and started to remove the equipment attached to her. If he did this and it didn't work he could cancel it out and they could return the IVs and stuff where they belong. He looked back at the others, "How long has she been like this?"

"More than a decade now."

"And she's older than she looks right?" He asked, "So if I went back about a ninth of her overall lifetime, she'd be back to normal?"

"Yes, that's right."

He nodded, turned back to the sickly Bael, and let out a deep breath, "Ready Kurama?"

[This is weird. Never had to use our powers to help people with a disease before.]

"I know."

[No telling if it will work either.]

"I know. But still…"

[Yeah, I figured. Still have to try.]

Naruto gripped his fist and held his arm out between him and Misla Bael. He nodded, "Do it."



Sairaorg rushed through the path to the Sitri medical facility as fast as he could. Each step he made left a deep imprint of his foot in the ground, and the wind rushed by wildly with his movement. If he kept traveling at this speed then there were bound to be complaints and worries from the people at the hospital.

Usually, he was more composed and logical. Usually, he would take into account other peoples' situations when he was using the upper limits of his power.

But not right now.

He had been coming here in a car. He was a tad bit nervous but had resigned that there was a chance that this miraculous idea may not work. Even Naruto Uzumaki's marvelous ability probably couldn't do anything against an age-old problem like the Sleeping Disease. Until he received a message on his way to the hospital.

And the moment he did he broke out the side of the car and rushed the rest of the way on foot.

He spotted the hospital and took a sharp turn. He dashed into the cottage villa for special treatments and sprinted towards his mother's facility. He pushed through the door and rushed for the backroom before nearly knocking the door off its hinges-

"And the last thing I remember is Sairaorg by my side before it went dark. And since then I-"

All eyes turned to him once he entered the room. Rias, Sona, Venelana, and his butler as their red-rimmed eyes regarded him after crying. The doctors and nurses looked on in amazement as they tried to record what they could about the miraculous situation. And Naruto Uzumaki stood to the side, younger and dressed differently than what Sairaorg had normally seen him in.

But the person he focused on most was the young brunette woman sitting on the bed surrounded by all these people. Without saying a word he slowly made his way over, the others stepping back to make room. He approached slowly…frightened that if he wasn't careful then the illusion would suddenly disappear.

But as he came to her bedside and she looked up at him he realized it wasn't just some illusion he was seeing. Sairaorg knelt so that he was closer to her height as she looked down at him.

Her hand slowly reached out and gently rubbed his cheek.

Misla Bael smiled softly as tears ran down her cheeks, "My sweet boy…look how big you've gotten."

Sairaorg Bael couldn't help the tears coming down his cheeks as well as he gently held her tiny hand in his massive one, "Hello Mother…it's been so long."


Naruto stood over a small bridge and looked down as a creek gently flowed under him. With a content smile, he enjoyed the peace and beauty of the moment before looking over at the impossible scene he helped create.

The Devils surrounded Misla and watched her carefully as she walked barefoot in the grass. After most of the first hour was taken up informing her of what was happening, trying to get her settled into the temporary relief from her disease, and having those gathered express their delight in seeing her again she insisted that she get a chance to walk around.

Naruto could only watch with a smile as he saw bright, warm expressions on Sairaorg, Venelana, and Rias' faces as they interacted with their long-lost relative.

"We did well here." Kurama spoke up from inside of him, "I'm surprised how well this went."

"Me too." Naruto leaned his arms on the railing of the bridge and looked down at them. He stared at his right arm where his Sacred Gear existed as he hummed, "I can't believe we could do this. In hindsight using it just for fighting and messing around seems so pointless. We could have been using it to help sick people."

"Temporarily." Kurama said, "As magical as this moment is and as high on victory as we can get, this miracle only lasts 2 to 3 hours. You can't forget that."

"I know, but think about all the people who would give anything to have that much time with a sick loved one or a dying friend." Naruto looked down along the creek and let his eyes follow the water, "Do you…do you think it could work on the dead? I mean if we revert their time-"

"Naruto, I know it's tempting to use this power, and there are many more ways to apply it than we first thought. But some places are best left untouched." Kurama warned, "You and I already have more than enough experience dealing with people who thought they could resurrect the long-deceased just because they could. I think in regards to whether we could do it…we let sleeping dogs lie."

Naruto looked down at his arm before gently nodding, "Yeah, you're right." He nodded, "Thanks Kurama. I think if people had this kind of power they'd like to see what they could do with it."

"That's an understatement." Naruto looked up as Sona and Rias came to join him on the small wooden bridge. The redhead got up close to his side and leaned her head on his shoulder as Sona stood on the other end of the bridge, "I'm amazed, Uzumaki-kun. I didn't believe anything in the world could reverse the Sleeping Disease's effect on a person. And yet there Misla-sama walks around as if she'd never been touched by the affliction in the first place."

"Yeah," Naruto nodded, "I just wish I could do more. It sucks to think she has maybe more than an hour to keep going before she has to…" He didn't say it, but he felt no need to. It was clear to him that even though everyone was amazed and overjoyed by her revival, it was underlined by a sense of fleetingness because it could only last so long. He shook his head, "Feels…almost cruel to be doing this. Like it's just a half measure. I wish there was something more I could do. Doing only this-"

"Hey," Rias nudged his shoulder to get his attention as she smiled, "I promise you this means the world to them. I got to see Obaa-sama walking around and talking again. Okaa-sama can lighten a bit of the guilt she feels for how awful her family treated her. Sairaorg…" She looked back over and saw the massive young Devil that always faced everything with a smirk wear a much lighter and childlike smile while looking at his mother on her feet again, "You have no idea how much this means to him. And Obaa-sama…" A small tear came to her eye and she wiped it away before smiling at him, "She gets to see how big and strong her son has gotten now."

"It might not be perfect," Sona faintly smiled as well, "But this was a truly good thing you were able to do today."

It didn't do as much to assuage the guilty feeling building up in his belly as he watched Sairaorg walking along with his mother. But he did try to find some bit of pride in the fact this gave them all some bit of relief.

"Still, it is very strange." They looked over to see Sona staring at Naruto with her head tilted, "I had heard the effect it had on you was to make you younger, but I hadn't put an image to the idea before now. You seem so different compared to your usual self. Shorter. Different expression." Her eyes lowered, "Different fashion sense."

"I liked wearing this."

"And I think it's cute." Rias circled her arms around his neck and pulled him in for a gentle hug, getting his head to rest just above her breasts and under her chin, "You only get to be like this when you fight so I never get a chance to enjoy it." Naruto grumbled as she giggled and rubbed his hair, "You're so cute like this. Like a little brother I could dote on."

"S-Stop it." He mumbled embarrassingly as he saw Sona look at them with a roll of her eyes. Naruto shimmied in Rias' smothering grasp, "I'm not even that much younger than you. I'm sixteen – I think – which is only two – oh."

"What is it?"

"Just realized my birthday is coming up." Rias released him and the blond young man looked over himself, "I'll be 19 soon. Which means this will be what I looked like 3 years ago." He blinked a few times before letting out a quick sigh, "Time sure flies."

"Your birthday is the 10th of October, correct?" Sona asked as she tried to remember some of the info from his class profile, "And when that comes-"

"That will be your second anniversary of coming to our world." Rias finished. She gently patted his head and ran her hand through his blond locks, "I know it wasn't easy coming here and being by yourself for so long, but I'm glad you're here now."

Naruto smiled as well, "Me too."

"Aww," Sona cooed, 'You know when you two aren't being sickeningly sweet around each other you're a relatively cute couple."

"We know."


"Today was amazing," Misla said happily as she settled back in her bed after the second hour was up. After that time limit had passed the remaining time of her revival was nebulous and uncertain. As such she, unfortunately, had to spend the remainder of her time awake in bed for when the inevitable stop would occur. Fortunately, she did get to spend it with loved ones, "I never thought I'd be able to open my eyes again and see all of you."

Sairaorg pulled up a seat next to her bed, being the one front and foremost to interact with his mother as he nodded, "I know Mother, today was truly a gift." The Bael heir wanted to keep a strong, firm smile on for his mother but found his vision becoming blurry the longer he spoke. He cleaned his eye before looking up at Misla, "I just wish we had more time."

"Now, now, don't go crying." Misla said warmly as she cupped her son's cheeks in her hands, "You need all your strength for your Rating Game tomorrow, don't you?" She looked over her son's shoulder and saw the young redhead on the other end of the room, "Rias-sama is going to face you with everything she has in that fight tomorrow, so it's your duty to answer her in kind, okay?"

Sairaorg held her hand over his face and nodded, "Of course, I will. You will definitely win one day-"

"If you don't give up." Misla finished, feeling a tear come to her eye as the young man she looked at growing up from the little boy she had to leave alone with only those words. To see him overcome and soar above the limitations of his birth caused her heart to swell with joy amidst a swirl of other emotions she couldn't quantify in only 2 hours of consciousness.

She looked up from her son and over the people watching them before she called out, "Young man?" The orange-clad blond pointed at himself as she nodded, "Can you come here for a moment?" Naruto walked up closer and Misla looked up at him with a smile, "You're the one who revived me like this, right?"

"Yes ma'am." He held up his right forearm, "It's because of my Sacred Gear that I could do it."

"Then I want to thank you very much for what you've done today." She squeezed Sairaorg's hand and smiled down at him, "The last time I looked at my son was the last time I thought I'd ever see him again. To see him grow up strong and reliable…a hero among Devils…I can't describe how happy I am."

"I," Naruto looked down at his arm before looking back at her, "I can only use this ability once a day, and it would only be for about this long, but if you want I can do this again. If you would like me to it would be like-"

"I never fell asleep." Misla understood his line of thought and smiled pleasantly before looking down at her son, "I think it would be best to let Sairaorg make that decision in my place. But personally…I don't think it would be a good idea."

The others looked at her in surprise as Sairaorg looked at his mother with sadness but…a reluctant acceptance of what she had in mind.

"Ideally I could wake up every day, walk around for a few hours, and it would be like I never fell asleep in the first place. But in the end, I would fall back asleep and the cycle would start over again. It would be like turning your back on reality and not facing the truth."

Naruto's eyes widened before he lowered his head, "Like an illusion…like a dream…a perfect idea of what you want…but not the reality."

Like Project Tsuki No Me.

Misla sadly smiled and lifted her son's chin to look at her, "Sairaorg, when this revival stops, I'll be asleep again. The choice will be yours after that. But I beg of you that you understand that it won't change the truth of my condition. Maybe someday I'll be lucky enough to wake up again. But there's also a chance I'll just continue to sleep. And also…" Her voice hitched as her eyes watered, "You may have to accept that you will need to say goodbye to me forever. And even if that time comes, I never want you to forget how much I love you. And how proud of you I am…now and always. I always knew you were amazing - that you were someone people could aspire and follow - and I know you still have so much more you can do."

The room stayed silent as the mother and son looked at each other. Sairaorg closed his eyes before looking at Naruto, "Naruto Uzumaki, do you know how much longer this technique will last?"


"I'm not certain, but I do feel the sensation of the limit nearing. I think maybe a few minutes - if not only one."

"He said it'll be soon. Maybe a few minutes."

"Then I would like to request the room for just my mother and me. Please."

No one made an argument. They quickly walked out of the room to give Sairaorg the last chance to be with Misla before she had to sleep again. They closed the door behind them and gave the two some privacy.

The Devils waited out in the hall for a few minutes, waiting for any response for them to make a move again, before-

[3! 2! 1!]

Naruto's body glowed, and even though they didn't see it another glow shined through the bottom of the door. Once it was gone Naruto had returned to his normal older self. And with a sad nod of his head, the doctors and nurses took this as their sign to walk back into the room.

To hook Misla Bael back up to the machines keeping her alive.

Not one person made any remark about Sairaorg or the tears he let fall silently down his cheeks.


Venelana returned to the Gremory territory with a somber expression.

Sona bid her farewell and made her way back home.

The doctors and nurses continued to diligently watch over Misla and her condition.

And Sairaorg sat with his butler for a time, a comfortable silence between the two as they came to terms with what had happened today.

Naruto and Rias had stayed behind, staring out into the stream until Sairaorg emerged to see them off. The large Bael Devil had some of his usual lightheartedness back as he approached them, "Ah, I'm glad you two are still here. I didn't want you to leave before I got the chance to thank you."

"Sairaorg," Rias spoke up as she looked at her cousin, "Are you alright? I know that must have been difficult."

"More than I anticipated." Sairaorg admitted with a small smile, "But I don't regret getting the chance to see her up and about, awake and well again. Truly, thank you both for doing this."

Rias shook her head, "It was Naruto who did it. I only told him about Obaa-sama and brought him here."

"And still, thank you." Sairaorg nodded his head gratefully before looking at the shorter blond, "Using that ability won't cost you during tomorrow's match, will it? Because I'm going to feel conflicted if I have to face you and you used your trump card to help my family."

"No worries." Naruto flexed his arm, "A good night's sleep and some time and I'll be recharged for tomorrow.

"Good. Then I look forward to what we'll see in the match."

Rias stepped forward, "So, have you thought about what Obaa-sama said? What you'll do about reviving her periodically?"

Sairaorg's expression lowered before he shook his head, "I can't. Mother was right about me refusing to face reality if I continued to do so. It's a remarkable opportunity but such time and effort would probably be better spent trying to find some cure to wake her up."

Naruto had to respect Misla's perspective and Sairaorg's conviction. In trying to help ease their unearned suffering Naruto had almost given them an answer that would never really fix the problem.

He hadn't meant to do it, but the answer Remote Looper's Balance Breaker would have offered would have been just like the illusionary dream Madara and Obito tried to sell. Just something to make people feel good and ignore the reality around them.

[The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Loses some of its meaning when we're walking on roads paved in Hell but the point gets across.]

Even trying to help with the best intentions can lead to problems along the way.

"Although…if I may be honest…" Sairaorg looked up wistfully as he crossed his arms, "Even with my mother's words and warnings, I can't help but feel tempted to do it anyway. Despite the pit of danger, such complacency may put me in…to see my mother about and healthy once more…" Sairaorg opened his eyes and stared at the sky, "I'm ashamed that I would think that."

"That's not the shame of weakness or character or anything. That's the desire of a child wanting to see their parent."

Sairaorg looked back down at Naruto as the blond looked up at him. He placed a hand over his stomach as he reminisced, "When I was younger, I had the opportunity to use Kurama's full power without any control. He and I were at odds with each other and using it like that would have brought a lot of risks. Even so, I was prepared to do so and when I did…my parents showed up to stop and help me."

Rias and Sairaorg looked at him thoughtfully as he continued, "The first time I tried taking Kurama's power without a thought to the consequence…my father showed. He stopped me, helped me get my mind in order, and talked with me for a bit. He told me about why he put Kurama in my body, who our energy truly was, and before he sent me off he told me how I could handle everything he never could. Because I was his son…and he believed in me."

"And then when the day came when I tried to control Kurama's power, I was nearly overwhelmed by the hatred and darkness in his heart. I was almost consumed by it until a voice reached out and I suddenly felt warm." He smiled, "It was my mother. I had no idea who she was, and at first, I thought she was Kurama trying to trick me until she knocked me upside the head. But in an instant, and when I heard her talk with such ferocity, I just…I knew it was her."

Naruto turned to look out over the stream and the light peeking through the trees on the horizon, "We talked for a bit. She helped me gain control over Kurama's power. Told me about the day I was born and how they died saving my village and me. And then before she left she told me how happy she was being my mother, if only for a short time."

He turned back to Rias and Sairaorg, seeing them both look at him with focused gazes even as his girlfriend's eyes watered hearing his story, "I got to meet my father one last time before I ended up here, but we were fighting off a terrible enemy so I couldn't talk with him. I got time with them both and understood just how much I meant to them. But still…" He looked up at Sairaorg, "I'd like to have more time with them. And you can follow your mother's advice if you want but don't consider it a weakness to think otherwise. It just…" He smiled and shrugged his shoulders, "It's just what any child wanting to see their parent again would feel."

Sairaorg considered Naruto's words for a moment before showing a melancholy but content smile. He stepped forward and patted the blond [Pawn] on the shoulder, "Thank you for your words of wisdom, and for everything you did today." They shared a friendly nod before Sairaorg turned to Rias and opened his arms. She walked in and quickly hugged her cousin before they separated as well, "I look forward to seeing you two tomorrow. Bring everything you can and I promise I'll do the same."

Sairaorg walked back towards the cottage as Naruto and Rias started making their way out. As they walked along, Rias tightly gripped Naruto's hand in hers and squeezed it. He smiled warmly at her affection as they made their way home.


They took a tram cart up through the sky as the tension of the day started to seep in. The young members of Rias' peerage and their friends and advisors joining them on the ride sat in relative silence as the gravity of the event to come weighed on them.

Until they spotted the island in the sky.

The newest members of the peerage and those unfamiliar with the Underworld leaned against the window and looked at its majesty, "Wow."

A massive patch of land hovering in the sky among the clouds. It had a large cityscape on one side with the other end covered by nature and natural beauty. The rivers cascaded off the side in magnificent waterfalls that poured down to the world below. And on this floating island was the dome that would house their battle against Sairaorg.

"Whoa!" Xenovia exclaimed, marveling at all the people from different factions and Mythologies that had come to observe their fight, "There are so many big names here."

"This is a big event." Azazel chuckled as he walked out along with the other youngsters, "You kids and Sairaorg are big-time celebrities now, so people from all over have come to see an exhibition of your strengths."

The teens marveled at the crowd they helped gather by participating. But Akeno looked over and noticed Azazel looking around intently, "And what's so interesting?"

"Just looking for~-"


They looked over to see the group of chibi Bijū running over to greet them. Koneko was instantly on her knees and scooped Matatabi into her arms, "What are you doing here, Matatabi?"

"We were invited to come and see the show," Kokuō stated as he walked up to Xenovia's feet. The blue-haired [Knight] got down on one knee to greet him with a gentle rub on his head, "It's a welcome change of pace, although I do miss exploring the new lands of this world."

"I was getting antsy." Saiken said from between Asia's arms as the nun warmly hugged the six-tailed slug, "It's nice being outside of the testing facility."

"Hey," Naruto nudged Azazel's elbow, "Are you sure they're going to be okay? Should we be worried about anyone looking to try and snatch them away?"

Azazel smirked, "Don't worry, they'll be in the skybox with some helpful neighbors."

"Hey, you three!" They looked as Baraqiel jogged with a grumpy Shukaku in one arm and a dazed Isobu in another, "I told you not to - oh, you found friends. That's a relief."

"Otou-sama?" Akeno was startled to see her father again, "What are you doing here?"

"Well, I didn't want to miss such an important match. And the Bijū needed a trusted travel guide between the laboratory and the stadium."

"Isobu-San!" Rossweisse called out her Bijū's name in joy after finally being able to interact with him. She scooped the turtle out of the Fallen Angel's grasp and held him up before her, 'I'm so glad you've finally come out of the sea to interact with people!"

"Yeah, I got dragged out here."

"Well, still I'm so happy that we can finally interact properly like the other set of partners get to." The Valkyrie cheered happily as she held the tired turtle out to look at him, "I hope you and I get along very well in the future."




"Please remember my name!" The [Rook] cried out emotionally, "How do you think it makes me feel that I'm the second Neo-Jinchūriki and yet I have the worst relationship with my partner!"

"Second worst," Yuuto grumbled as he frowned towards Shukaku and the tanuki just stuck his tongue out.

Tears ran down her face before her eyes snapped open, "Wait a second." She looked at the turtle, "Isobu-San, you're here." She looked at the Fallen Angels, "And Baraqiel-San, you came too. And if there are so many important figures to see the game today…" She tossed Isobu aside into Azazel's arms and stomped ahead with a fiery determination. Her head snapped left and right before she reeled her head back and took a deep breath-


Her deafening roar echoed down the halls and nearly across the whole stadium as everyone in the hall froze in surprise. They all stopped and looked in her direction…

The faint sound of a foot sliding on the ground was barely audible-

Her ear twitched and Rossweisse spun around, "THERE YOU ARE!"


"ODIN-SAMA!" Rossweisse sprinted down the hall and chased after the North God as he ran away, "WHY DID YOU LEAVE ME BEHIND! ANSWER MEEEEEEEEEEE!"

Azazel rubbed his neck, "Usually I'd say they should be left to work it out, but does she know where your break room is?"

"Ugh," He landed Isobu back to Baraqiel, "I'll be right back."



"Tannin-ossan!" Issei happily greeted the miniature Dragon King as he floated over, "I didn't think you would come."

"Are you kidding? I wouldn't miss this!" The old dragon said to his one-time pupil before turning in the air, "Speaking of which, I got to meet a few of your friends."



The ORC happily greeted the smiling little Kyūbi as she came running over with Yasaka following behind at a more reserved pace. The young Yōkai smiled brightly, "Azazel-dono and Lucifer-sama sent us tickets to come and see your match! I couldn't wait to watch you all fight and win!"

"Aw, we appreciate your kindness, Kunou." Rias said to the little fox before turning to the leader of the West Yōkai faction and bowing her head, "And it is a pleasure to be in your presence again today, Yasaka-sama."

"The pleasure is all mine, Gremory-sama." Yasaka returned the gesture with a bow of her own, "After your peerage came to Kyoto and saved all of us, it feels only right that we come during your hour of triumph and cheer you on." She gave a big smile to Issei, "Sekiryuutei-San, I hope to see just what you have to offer in battle today as well."

"Totally!" Issei replied in excitement as his eagerness bled through into his voice, "If I know you're watching then I promise I'll give you a show to remember!"

"Oho," Yasaka giggled, "Now that's promising."

Issei started getting jittery with glee as Asia, Irina, and Ravel looked at him with annoyed pouts. Yasaka then stepped forward and looked up at Naruto with a mischievous grin, "And what about you? Can we expect a good match from you too?"

"Y-Yeah." He looked aside meekly, "I mean of course I was going to-"

"Aww." She cooed and pinched his cheek, "Look at you getting all embarrassed. You don't have to act that way."


"Call me Aneue. I insist."

This time it was Rias, Koneko, and Xenovia who felt challenged by the Yōkai. The intent and affection between what she said to Issei and Naruto were vastly different, however, they still felt intimidated by the Kyūbi woman. Mostly because-

"G-Goodness." Ravel muttered in disbelief as she looked down at the vast, bouncing orbs, "T-Those can't be real."

"Don't stare directly into them." Koneko warned her not-exactly-friend before it was too late, "They suck you in and won't let you go."

"Mother, don't tease them! They need to stay focused!" Kunou reprimanded her mother before looking back to the group, "Irina, you aren't fighting in the match, right? Do you want to join us watching the match in the skybox?"

"Can I really?! Thank you, Kunou-chan!"

"U-Um," Ravel nervously raised her hand, "I-I am also not participating in the game today. I know we haven't met, b-but-"

"Any friend of our heroes is a friend of ours!" Koneko looked ready to add something insulting to that statement but Naruto lowered her hand and shook his head. Kunou turned and ran down the hall and corner, "C'mon, we should go get our seats and - ah!"

"Kunou!" Yasaka called out to her daughter and chased after her as the ORC immediately followed after. They turned the corner and found the little fox cowering on the floor-

And then the cold sensation of death rushed over them.

They all stopped and nearly froze in place before looking up. The giant figure towering over them was dressed in regal, ornamental white and gold robes with a long staff in hand. He was flanked on both sides by figures covered in heavy black cloaks.

And the most striking figure was that he was a skeleton, yet his presence was so intense it was choking them.

Tannin narrowed his eyes, "Hades."

"God of the Dead," Rias whispered under her breath for the benefit of her peerage. They all looked up at the skeletal figure as he looked over them…

{Oh, look at that. Fakes and bats and beasts alike. What a funny little menagerie I find ending up in front of me.}

The voice came through the skull's mouth, but it was so deep and unnatural that it sent shivers through some of their backs. Yasaka recovered her composure and bowed her head, "Hades-sama, it is an honor to meet you. I am the leader of the West Yōkai-"

{Yes, I'm certain you're very important to many people in some areas of the world and you're here to build relations. Throw a bloody stone in any direction and I'd hit a dozen more of you doing the same thing.} Hades rudely interrupted as he looked over the younger crowd, {More importantly, I sense many among you fakes whose souls have brushed with death before being so abruptly snatched away to the land of the living again. You damn bats and doves try to show your respect and then you walk around like I'm not supposed to take it as a spit to the face.}

"Hades-sama," Rias stepped forward, hiding her nervousness in face of the elderly God standing over her, "We mean no disrespect. But this was the method we determined to bolster our populations and save those we believe-"

{Don't sell me your pitch, girl. I've already heard it time and time again from your betters and it's still condescending nonsense.} Hades snidely remarked before his attention turned aside. He looked at Naruto and gave a deep, unsettling hum, {You taste different from the rest of the world.} One of his cloaked guards stepped forward and whispered something in a hush of wind, {Ah, the foreigner. I'm sure your world's death won't appreciate me snatching you away, but I'll enjoy it nonetheless.}

Naruto felt a bead of sweat run down his temple as he nodded, "Right, well excuse me if I don't plan on letting that happen anytime soon."

{Oh I've heard that excuse many times before. But it always happens. I feed on the dying breaths of every little soul that comes flying out, and every single one of you meets your end one way or another. I have the time.} They felt unnerved by God's words before he pointed at Naruto's chest, {And I'm interested in what that thing inside you will look like when it dies too.}

[Good luck. I don't die, freak. Even if I did I'd come back after a little bit of time. This is one existence you won't get to feast on.]

{Hahahaha!} A disturbing laugh echoed out of the skull before Hades sighed, {So you're immortal? Oh, I've heard the claims of many a creature that say they are undying and immortal. But do you know what my experience with them has been like?} A faint light glowed from within the skull's eye socket, {If you truly believe you cannot be killed, then you simply haven't died the right way yet.}

And with those last words, Hades turned around and walked away with his Grim Reapers flanking his sides. And the group was left unsettled by their sudden and undesired meeting with the God of Death.


"That was weird. I've never felt like that before. And I remember when I died!"

"I-It was unsettling being in his presence."

"I don't ever wanna do that again!"

After Hades left the Gremory peerage bid farewell to Yasaka, Kunou, Tannin, Irina, and Ravel before heading towards their designated location.

"I know that wasn't a particularly enjoyable meeting but you have to focus up." Rias warned her servants, "The big match is still coming up."

"Hey," Naruto tapped Akeno's shoulder and whispered to her, "Do you think that big bag of bones was right? That I taste differently compared to everyone else in this world?"

"Why are you asking me?" Akeno said before slyly smirking, "I think you should be asking Rias about what you taste like." His eye twitched in response before she shrugged, "Look I'm not sure. You come from a completely different world so there must be markers some people can use to tell the difference. You have the body of a human and you're identical anatomically to the rest of them but maybe there's a metaphysical or spiritual distinction they can detect."

Naruto looked over himself before gulping, "You…you don't think he'll come after me, do you?"

"Look, Hades-sama is a creepy and unsettling being, but as far as I know he doesn't bother getting involved in the matters of the factions or others. He reaps souls and that's the most of what he does." Akeno said to ease his mind. Only to then whisper out, "Although try not to cross his path again. I say that but I have no idea how he'll choose to act around you."

"Well, thanks for nothing."

[I didn't like the way he got excited about killing me.]

Akeno nodded, "Well don't get snarky with the God of Death. That seems like common sense."

[But he was being such a dick!]

Naruto sighed and scratched his neck as he moved along-

There. In the corner of his eye. Passing through the crowd.

Naruto came to a sudden stop and turned in that direction. Akeno stopped with him, "What is it?"

[Naruto? What's wrong?]

He didn't even answer as he immediately sprinted down the hall, "H-Hey! Naruto!"

He heard Akeno call out to him and the others realized he was gone as he rushed through the crowd. He slipped through the horde of people and rushed straight ahead with his eyes surveying everything that passed along the way.

I-It could have just been his eyes playing tricks. Or he could have seen someone at a certain angle to get a familiar look. A million possible reasons were running through his head as he turned a corner and rushed forward-

Only to skid to a stop before he could slam into a large man in a tropical shirt. Naruto quickly realized the path was blocked and desperately looked around the big man to peer further down the hall. But as he saw there was only space with a door at the end his suspicions started to wane.

"Hey, can I help you?" The large man in the aloha shirt turned to face him. He was also sporting a pair of sunglasses over his eyes and -oddly enough - a black crow on his shoulder.

"H-Hey, did you see a guy go past here?" Naruto said of the larger man, "I think he might have walked past you and into that room-"

"Uh, I'm the only one that's gone down this hallway." The man answered and pointed behind him, "And that's my skybox so I don't think anyone else would be in there."

B-But he swore he felt the familiar feeling come this way, "Are you sure?"

"Pretty sure. Sorry, buddy." The tall man apologized to the disappointed Devil. He lifted his sunglasses and gave the whiskered boy a once over before letting them fall back into place, "Hey, don't look so down. Aren't you fighting-"


"Ah!" Naruto snapped out of his funk and exclaimed as the crow started flapping by his face and trying to peck out his eyes, "W-What the fuck?!"

"Sorry!" The larger man snatched the bird out of the air and held it between his hands as it continued to struggle and squawk, "He gets irritated very easily and takes it out on others."

"Naruto!" Rias called out as she and the peerage finally caught up with him, "What are you - o-oh!" She quickly ran up to his side and lowered her head respectfully, "Hello, Indra-sama! I apologize for anything my servant may have done-"

"Oh, he didn't do anything." The man now identified as Indra waved off her concern as the crow flew back up to his shoulder, "This young man just came asking a question and I didn't have the answer for him."

"Well thank you for assisting him." Rias looked back to her followers, "Everyone, this is Indra-sama. King of the Gods of the Hindu Mythology and Emperor of Heaven."

"Wait I thought Mich-"

"Different Heaven."

"Nice to meet you all!" The Chief God greeted the youngsters with a laugh and vibrant smile, "I might be as old as the rest of those grumps you've met but I swear I'm not as much of a killjoy." Indra gave them a big thumbs-up, "I'm looking forward to your match."


"Ah sonuva bitch!" Naruto yelled as the crow started pecking again, "This rat with wings is pissing me off!"

Indra sighed and snatched him out of the air again, "This guy is ruining my introduction."


"Hmm?" He looked down at the little Dhampir, "What's up little guy?"

"W-Why do you have a crow with you?"

"Oh, he's something of a spiritual guide, I guess you could say."

Koneko tilted her head, "Doesn't match your image."

"It doesn't? Why? Would an owl be more appropriate for wisdom and stuff?"

"I mean you're dressed like you're vacationing on the beach. Something more tropical would do."

"More tropical?" He released the crow and it started pecking at Naruto again as Indra rubbed his chin, "Like what?"

"A fish?"

"A whale?"

"Maybe a seagull for the beach?"

"Get this fucking thing off me!"

"What about a crab?"

"Oh a crab! That sounds good!" Indra nodded enthusiastically at the ORC's suggestion before snapping his fingers-

The crow burst like a balloon filled with blood, viscera, and sinew.

The Devils all looked on in horror as the meat and bits of the crow then swirled together around a glowing core and created a crab instead. It fell into Indra's hands. It snapped at the air as he held it up, "Tada! More appropriate for my image now, right?"


"You're stunned silent. That's a good sign."

"Guys! There you are!" Azazel called out as he and Rossweisse ran over, "Finally found you. I pried Rossweisse off of Odin-sama just in time to - oh, Sakra-sama, nice to see you again."

"Hey, Azazel!" The Hindu God pleasantly greeted the Fallen Angel while holding the shipping crab by its claw, "Just having a nice conversation with the kids."

"Oh excellent. Kids, did you like meeting Sakra-sama?"

"H-He made the birdie pop like a ballon-"

"Fantastic, we're pushing the clock." He pulled on the traumatized Gasper and Asia's collars to pull them back, "We've got to go. Bye Sakra-sama!"

"Good luck in your match!"

As the Devils made their way back Akeno roughly pushed Naruto and snarled, "What the hell is wrong with you?! I was in the middle of talking with you and then you just ducked out! What was that?"

"I…" He looked back in confusion before shaking his head, "I thought I saw someone."


"Well…doesn't matter. They weren't there."


Indra closed the door to his skybox and let out a sigh of relief. He looked at the crab hanging from its claw before he looked over, "I thought being sneaky was your specialty."

His companion remained silent and stood by the window looking out to the dome as profiles of the participants flashed on the screen.

Indra rolled his eyes before tossing the crab, "Catch."

The other man caught it without even looking before staring down at it in confusion, "Why is he a crab?"

"Goes better with my image. Plus he was making a scene." Indra said as he pulled a complimentary drink out of the fridge, "He kept trying to poke this blond boy's eyes out."

"That makes sense." He balanced the crab on the back of its shell with one finger, "He's still angry because that guy halted his life's work and beat him before he could win."

"I thought you beat him."

"We beat him together."

"I knew it." He popped the drink open with a smirk, "One look at that kid and I could tell he comes from the same place and has the same legacy touch to his soul as you do. So that was Asura?"

"That's not his name."

"Well, he looked a little preoccupied after sneaking a peek at you. Do you think he'll be distracted during his match?"

Coincidentally a big hologram of the blond man appeared on the screen just over the center of the dome.

"No, he's too much of an idiot to let stuff like that get in the way."




Thank You and Bye