New Devil of The Gremory House

Life 59: Revived

It seems like we're getting alerts again, so I tentatively hope you get this update and welcome you back!

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"Issei-senpai is coming back?!"

"Yeah, and he was coming back with Ophis and some giant ass red dragon they were both riding."

"That'd be Great Red, nya."

"Right, and he said they'd be here soon. So monsters are attacking the Underworld, the Hero faction is attacking the monsters and the Underworld with the Bijū, everyone is off fighting them, and I have maybe 2 or 3 hours left before I revert to my dying body." Naruto gulped before looking himself over, "I don't seem that different either."

[I…could only get you…the day before everything happened…tried to go further back but…t-too tired.]

"And that 2 to 3 hours thing might be generous," Kuroka added, "Because Foxy seemed pretty damn worn out even after we gave him energy."

[I'll be fine…just need…need…nap.]

He looked down at the Sacred Gear in his arm and knew his oldest partner was probably passed out from complete exhaustion. When he did wake up he was going to make sure to thank Kurama so much and find some way to get his body back.

"Senpai," Naruto slowly turned around and breathed a sigh of relief when he saw Koneko dressed back up in her clothes. The young freshman was sitting on the bed after their explanation was finished and looked down as her ears lowered on her head, "We brought you back, but it's on a time limit. And once it's done, I-I think that'll be it for you. Senpai, if we're not careful-"

She was interrupted when she felt his hand gently lift her chin to look at him. He smiled, softly cupping one cheek as he leaned in and kissed her. Kuroka rolled her eyes as her sister's ears and tail sprung up in surprise and elation. As their intimacy came to an end, Naruto pulled back and Koneko slowly opened her eyes with bright red cheeks.

"I need to be here. To get the Bijū back to their bodies…and because I couldn't stand not being here at a time like this." He grinned confidently, "There's a chance the time might run out…but I'm gonna do everything I can to not let that happen. For you, Rias, and everyone."

"Senpai…" Koneko squeezed his hand over her cheek and looked up at him with love and admiration. Her ears twitched and her tail rose behind her-

"Do I get a kiss?"

Naruto and Koneko turned to face Kuroka. Naruto immediately turned back around when he realized the older Nekomata was still naked with her kimono slung over her shoulder. Koneko could only pout as Naruto looked away, "D-Do you even want a kiss?"

"No. But you're over there smooching Shirone while it was my idea in the first place. Credit where credit is due at least, nya."

"Let's - let's just go already."

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Rias and the others gathered in the capital of the Underworld, Lilith, to witness the battles happening far out into the distance. The figures of the possessed Bijū and Bandersnatch monsters were being projected all around the city while the Jabberwocky was being fought back by a litany of Ultimate-Class Devils and teams that struggled to do any meaningful damage to the Longinus creation.

Rias instead focused on the possessed Bijū being displayed around them. Her expression softened in distress, "Son Goku, Chomei,

Gyūki…and Kurama. The last four Bijū under their control. And they're being used to attack the Underworld."

"And it looks like they each have one of the Hero faction members perched atop their head," Sona informed while surveying all the feeds and videos being projected from the battlefield. Since her team was not as combat-capable as Rias' peerage, Sona had opted to act as support from Lilith and help coordinate the battle efforts of the vanguard teams. She nodded, "With Beelzebub-sama's guidance and support, we'll be able to more efficiently handle the Bandersnatch part of this problem. Each of the attacking teams has been updated and turned the tides on-"

("So-tan! So-tan, can you see me now?! Levi-chan is beating the big bad monster with the power of love! Kyaa~, my love for my adorable little sister is going to smash your skull in like a-")

Sona quickly swiped her hand aside and dispelled the magical hologram of her sister. The Sitri heiress fixed her glasses over her pink cheeks and tried to regain her composure, "As I was saying, the Bandersnatch monsters are being dealt with. Multiple teams, as well as outside help and comrades, are whittling down their numbers. And as loath as I am to admit it, the Hero faction's attacking has also helped to reduce their numbers."

"But when will we deal with the possessed Bijū and Hero faction controlling them?"

"We have a sparse number of people keeping an eye on them and trying to hold them back at the moment. I've warned them against direct engagement because the Bijū's power is too vast and the Hero faction is too dangerous. However," Sona fixed her glasses as she felt the ground rumble, "It looks like our cavalry is starting to arrive."

From the distance, several giant animal figures started to appear in view. They rushed across the landscape and quickly approached before coming to a stop just outside of the building's perimeter.

"We're here!" Matatabi said as she and the other Bijū arrived to assist, "If the others are attacking, allow us to help!"

"Matatabi," Rias smiled in relief seeing the Bijū arrive to offer their assistance, "Kokuō and Isobu too. Thank you all for coming."

"Saiken-San!" Asia cheered as she came to the edge of the building and waved up to her slug friend, "Are you okay?! I-I'm sorry that I haven't been giving you many answers recently or been very attentive-"

"It's okay, Asia. I know you were suffering from great pain and loss. I am just glad to see you're in a better place now." The blonde nun smiled and nodded her head to show her partner she was alright, "We've brought some backup with us as well."

"B-Buchou!" Gasper called out from the top of Matatabi's head as he tried to steady himself on his shaky legs, "S-Sorry I'm late!" The little Dhmapir stretched his wings and flew down, "I'm glad you're all okay!"

"Everyone!" Xenovia called out to them as she and Irina flew down to meet them. Rossweisse and Baraqiel quickly joined them as well from Isobu and Saiken respectively. As the [Knight] landed with her new and improved Durandel in hand, she smiled seeing everyone together and okay, "It's a relief to see you all here."

"Xenovia-San! Irina-San!" No one was happier for their reunion than Asia, who quickly rushed over and hugged her friends tightly, "I'm so glad you're back! I-It was-"

"Asia-San!" Both Exorcists quickly hugged the nun girl back as tightly as they could. Irina sniffled with tears filling the corners of her eyes as she squeezed the blonde, "We heard what happened to Issei-kun! I'm so sorry you had to go through that!"

The others watched the scene sadly, and Rossweisse retracted her wings before looking at Rias, "We heard about Naruto-kun as well. And Koneko-chan is…?"

"She's trying to help him with the assistance of Kuroka," Rias answered, "We're not sure what they're doing but we have to trust that they can do whatever they're trying to accomplish. In the meantime, we have to do what we can."

"Indeed." Sona turned and faced the Bijū surrounding her, "I'm sorry to ask you all to fight after finally finding some peace in this world, but we greatly require your assistance. If I could bow my head and beg deeply enough-"

"Nonsense. You protect us in this world. The least we can do is help."

"I've never gotten more peace than when I'm in this world."

"And I love having a chance to rush through the land."

"Let us help!"

"Thank you all." Sona bowed her head before looking back, "Kiba-kun, I see your partner isn't here yet. Has he decided not to fight or-"

"Oh, he's already jumped into the fighting."

"WHAT?!"

"Yeah, I've been getting updates while it happened." The [Knight] said in a defeated tone as the others looked at him, "He said he was happy finally getting to fight and stretch his legs. I told him we needed to coordinate first. He called me a lying dick and said I promised to let him fight. He then proceeds to call me - call me things that shouldn't be said in polite company, and he's rushing into battle now."

Sona fixed her glasses and sighed, "Ugh, okay, we'll make due. There are Hero faction executives posted on the heads of each of the Bijū. If you all are going to go out there and fight, you should be prepared for interference along the way."

"I won't let that happen." Xenovia declared, hefting her Holy Sword up and onto her shoulder as she looked up at Kokuō, "If one of the Hero faction is with a Bijū, I'll join you in fighting them."

"I will too!" Rossweisse announced with a firm resolve, "They need to be stopped now!" The proud Valkyrie turned and looked up at her turtle partner, "Isobu-San, are you ready to fight?!"

"I guess. But I'll be able to sleep after this, okay Rose?"

Rossweisse let out a startled sound as she covered her mouth and flushing face. She looked back and noticed the curious look of her friends, "Rose?"

"T-That's a nickname of mine." Rossweisse tried to compose herself, despite her pink cheeks and unfocused eyes, "I-It's just something someone calls me back home-"

"I was having a hard time getting her name right and it was making her upset. But then I heard someone call her Rose instead and that

was a lot easier to remember. So we decided I could call her that."

"W-Which is just a nickname very few people ever call me! No reason to remember it-"

"It was your grandmother's name for you, right-"

"S-SHADDUP! W-WHAT'S WRONG WITH YA, ISOBU-SAN?! DON'T GO BRINGIN' UP MY GRANNY, ALRIGHT?!"

"Okay," Sona continued, pulling the conversation away from the embarrassed Rossweisse, "That covers two of the Bijū we'll be dealing with and the Hero faction accompanying them. I don't believe we should face Cao Cao or Kurama-San until we have more forces at our disposal. As for the last one-"

"I can fight!" Irina raised her hand, "If the soul of Saint Jeanne is causing havoc, I want to try and stop her!"

Akeno stepped up, "I can go too. If every member of their group is going to have a powerup like Siegfried did, then a numbers advantage will help us."

"I'll join you." Baraqiel said.

Rias nodded, "In that case then we should all-"

"Rias!"

The redhead stopped and looked back at Sona as the Sitri heiress pointed out ahead of her. Everyone followed her finger and spotted an approaching wave of black figures rushing towards Lilith.

A wave of people running along the ground on all fours like animals. A miasma of black and red energy covered their bodies and obscured their forms. And numerous tails sprouting from their back.

"Proto-Jinchūriki," Rias muttered. Some of the Devils rioting against their masters must have been convinced to eat the Bijū meat and transform. They probably weren't even aware of the drawbacks and consequences of doing it, "They're going to destroy Lilith."

"We have to stop them! Everyone, get ready to-"

"No!" Rias announced and held up her hand. She watched the approaching monsters rush forward and felt a tinge of fear through her entire body. But she quelled that fright and turned to face the others, "The rampaging of the Bandersnatch and Jabberwocky. The rampaging Bijū and the Hero faction controlling them. And these monsters attacking Lilith. There are a lot of situations going on right now, and we need to divide and conquer them."

"Buchou."

Her wings spread from her back, "Beelzebub-sama supplied a handy method for the Bandersnatch, so we can leave that to the other groups. Everyone who was going to go stop the Bijū, keep on your guard around the Hero faction, and stay safe. Everyone else," She flew off the building, her Destruction layering her hands as she faced the oncoming threat, "We have to protect the city!"

"Yes ma'am!"

Rias started flying off to face the oncoming horde as the others made their move. She felt someone following behind her and looked back to see Yuuto and Gasper joining her in defending the city. With a smile, she nodded and turned back to face the oncoming Proto-Jinchūriki rushing towards them.

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"Okay, smash that place next!"

The giant eight-tailed beast did as it was told and slammed its tails down into the landscape.

"Okay, now that one over there!"

It let out a roar and did the same thing again.

"Hehe, this is pretty cool." Jeanne stated while looking out over the destruction she could cause with just a command, "It's kinda like being in a video game. You can do whatever you want."

The destruction she caused wasn't doing much to wreck anything though. Most of the population had already been evacuated before the Bandersnatch could make its way through here. So even after they had killed it with the Bijū, the land was still empty and abandoned.

Jeanne felt…relieved? She had happily rushed into this fight and should have been elated at the chance to destroy Devils and their homes. Yet the more she thought about it the more she struggled trying to justify this as any more than a culling. Fighting willing, capable fighters was one thing, but razing homes?

Still, she had a team and they had a mission. To finish off the Underworld, resuscitate Leonardo, and claim glory as heroes of the new age. Jeanne raised her hand and prepared to call the attack-

A torrent of blue flames crashed into the eight-tailed Bijū she rode upon. Jeanne tried to steady herself and looked over as she spotted a blue two-tailed cat rushing in their direction. It slid to a stop, uprooting trees and ground in its path before stopping in front of them. Jeanne saw a glint of light for an instant and moved her head as a Spear of Light flew past her. A manic smile crossed her face, "Oh, Angel-chan, is that you?"

"Saint Jeanne!" Irina announced as she jumped off of Matatabi's head and flew over the gap with her sword in hand, "I've come to stop you! You've wreaked enough havoc as is!"

"Aww, it's good to see you too, Angel-chan!" Jeanne forged a sword in hand and prepared to meet her in battle, "If you've come all this way to meet me then-"

Before she could finish, she felt a tingle run through her hand from the sword and up her arm.

A bolt of lightning crashed down on Jeanne, drawn to the sword like a lightning rod and electrocuting the Hero faction executive.

Jeanne fell to her knees and toppled over, completely unprepared for the electric attack that shocked her to her core. Following up behind Irina, Akeno, and Baraqiel flew with sparks still jumping off their hands after their joint attack.

Despite her twitching and the pins and needles in her body, Jeanne looked up at her foes with curiosity and excitement. At the new challenge that had come to greet her, a more familiar elation filled her chest as she smiled, "Oh, this looks like fun."

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"Surround him!"

"We can overwhelm him with firepower!"

"Don't give up!"

Georg casually waved his hand around, countering the myriad of magical attacks being sent his way while atop the head of the seven-tailed bug with an array of simple but powerful defenses to protect them. The onslaught of attacks was probably powerful enough to rend landscapes if it landed, but Georg's barrier was even more powerful and weathered it without breaking.

The brilliant Magician stayed on guard for any updates from his team about what they would do next. With their efforts and the efforts of the Underworld citizens, most of the Annihilation Maker's creations should have been killed now. Leonardo would wake up and they could start making up the next part in their endeavor to become heroes-

"Chomei!"

Georg's eyes widened and he looked down as a giant three-tailed turtle arrived in the forest below. It reared its head back before firing several rapid and giant balls of water in their direction.

Georg immediately reacted, creating a stronger barrier to protect them that caused the orbs of water to impact and explode into a mist of droplets that flew up in every direction.

Georg let out a breath of relief…before his eyes widened when he spotted the water droplets suspending in the air before quickly accumulating. They gathered together to create magical seals and formations that surrounded him and his Tailed Beast from all sides. Suddenly, high-tier blasts of every kind of magic he'd ever seen rushed out from the surrounding magical array towards them.

Georg expanded his Lost Dimension to absorb some of the oncoming attacks, but the reach of his Longinus wasn't enough to cover the seven-tailed bug completely. The magical blasts pelted the body of the insect and caused it to fall out of the sky and land on the ground below.

Georg groaned, lifting himself atop the head of Chomei and fixing his glasses before he looked in the direction of his attacker.

The three-tailed turtle and the silver-haired Valkyrie posted atop its head. She stood valiantly at its crown and stared down the Magician defiantly.

Georg quickly realized that this wasn't going to be as easy as he thought.

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"HA! HA! HA! HA!"

With each punch from Heracles, he sent a missile flying that soared through the air before exploding around a horde of Devils and Fallen Angels trying to surround him. With a wave of his hand, the four-tailed beast roared and slammed its fists down, creating a wave of lava and magma that enveloped everything around it.

"G-Get back!"

"It's too dangerous!"

"Call for help! We can't handle this kind of power!"

"C'mon!" Heracles punched his chest with a resounding echo and laughed, "I came down here expecting a fight! Where's the desire to survive and keep your home intact?!" The massive Hero executive grinned, "Call Sairaorg Bael! Or one of your Ultimate-Class Devils! I want to face a challenge! Is there no one here who would-"

A sudden crash nearly knocked Heracles off the back of his beast. And a rush of steam so hot and powerful nearly succeeded in finishing the job. But Heracles weathered the rush and looked up to see a five-tailed horse that had come running over and crashed into them to interrupt their fighting. It reeled back, stomping its hooves before preparing to rush again

"Monster!" Heracles order, "Spread your lava!"

Son Goku mindlessly roared before the heat and magma he created around him peaked and spread. The horse Bijū was forced to stop before it could follow through and retreated before it could be burned by the lava.

"AHA!" Heracles chortled and jumped off the head of his Bijū, flying through the air and reeled his fist back with a missile primed to fire at the enemy Bijū, "If you think you can jump in and ruin the fight, think again! I'll knock you down and we'll take you back with us to-"

A blue blur rushed through the air and straight towards Heracles. His eyes widened and he fired his missile in desperation. It exploded in a collision with the rushing figure but wasn't enough to stop it, the figure knocking into Heracles and sending them both tumbling through the air before they hit the ground.

In a landscape of broken trees and spreading lava, Heracles slowly lifted himself up and dusted himself off. He looked across the distance at his foe-

"Sorry, mighty warrior, but the fight you were looking for is right here." Xenovia said with steeled determination as she hefted Durandal up and aimed it at Heracles, "The first of your twelve new labors stands in front of you." Xenovia's eyes changed and steam started rushing off her body, "Why don't you focus on me first before you try fighting anyone else?"

"Oho, a challenge?" Heracles pumped his fists and summoned his missiles, "I gladly accept!"

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Minato flashed into place on the back of Kurama and spotted his leader seated in place between the ears, "Cao Cao!"

"Minato, you're back." The True Longinus wielder welcomed his comrade, "How did things go? I know it was a tall offer trying to convince a Maou not to join the fight-"

"Sieg is dead."

The leader of the Hero faction made no outward response to the news. He stayed evenly composed as the sounds of raging battle continued to envelop everything around them. He finally spoke up with a question, "Was it Ajuka Beelzebub?"

"Yuuto Kiba of Rias Gremory's peerage." When Cao Cao looked back at his whiskered comrade in a mix of surprise and confusion, Minato clicked his teeth, "I don't know what happened. One moment Sieg had him on the back foot. He injected the blood of Shalba Beelzebub into himself and increased his power exponentially. He cut and slashed through the Holy Demonic Sword like paper maché! A-And then-"

"And then?"

"Then his eyes changed. His techniques and abilities were completely different." Minato grits his teeth and clenched his fists, "The knights he summoned were channeling another consciousness a-and he was controlling wind and sand."

"He allowed the influence of the Tailed Beast to take over. And he channeled that tanuki's spirit into his new Balance Breaker." Cao Cao surmised, "We've seen abilities like that before. And he showcased that connection during the Rating Game we saw."

"But we never saw what he was capable of doing! The extent of his power! We…we weren't ready when he started magnetizing everything. He channeled iron sand from the ground and structure. He magnetized the blood on Sieg's swords so they couldn't reach him anymore. He even took Sieg's swords. There…was barely anything left when he was done."

"You couldn't help him in time?"

"I tried…but he told me to stay out of it. That this was what he expected in a fight. That-"

"It was a hero's end?" Cao Cao silently nodded, the nine-tailed fox they rode roaring and slashing at Yasaka to force her back, "I suppose I can see his reasoning behind that. We wish to exemplify the heroes of old."

"That's not a reason to die!" Minato yelled, "I should have pushed through to reach him! I should have helped him! If I did-"

"Minato," Cao Cao cut him off, "It was Sieg's wish. You honored it. You don't have to regret it." The blond scowled and was prepared to bark a biting comment at his leader…before he saw his hand tightly gripping the staff of his spear until it was trembling, "But if you can't accept it…just finish the fight here in his place."

"AHAHAHA! FOUND YOU!" The two dueling foxes stopped and looked up as a shadowy figure dropped from above. With a mighty crash that shook the land, the one-tailed tanuki arrived with an insidious cackle, "OH! THERE ARE TWO DUMB FOXES?! DOUBLE THE BLOODSHED!"

"W-What?" Yasaka looked startled and confused in her giant fox form, "You're the creature Naruto saved in Kyoto, aren't you? What are you doing here?"

"I hate that stupid fox and I wanna rip him several new ones! You get in my way and I'll do the same to you!"

"I-I'm pretty sure we're on the same side!"

"I make it a habit not to work with nine-tailed foxes! None of them!"

"I - whatever!" Yasaka huffed and hunched on her four legs while Shukaku waved his claws, "Just focus on the crazed fox right now and we'll deal with your crazy ass later!"

Minato's eyes narrowed, "Those markings…it's the ones Yuuto Kiba channeled while facing Sieg."

"Then this monster had a hand in his death." Cao Cao knocked his spear against Kurama's head as the fox let out a mighty roar, "Let's avenge our friend, shall we?"

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"HA!"

"GAAAAHHH!"

The Proto-Jinchūriki was forced back with a line of Destruction cutting through the ground in front of it. As Rias caused them to stop and stagger, Yuuto rushed in and slashed them apart with a flurry of blades. A swarm of shadow bats rushed to carry them away before they could recover from their joint attack.

Rias panted and felt sweat form over her entire body after fighting off the wave of Porto-Jinchūriki that rushed Lilith. With their help, the help of other forces and Devils that arrived to fight, and with Asia and Saiken supporting them with defensive bubbles and healing, they were holding a firm front against the invading monsters.

They would protect Lilith. Her elders would fight back the Annihilation Maker's monsters. Her peerage would stop the Bijū and Hero faction members controlling them. They were holding strong but it would only be until the tide turned in or against their favor.

"Buchou!" Gasper called out to her while panting for breath, "I-I'll keep going! You can retract if you want!"

Rias wiped her chin, "I'm okay, Gasper!"

"Buchou!" Yuuto called out while raising a wall of iron sand and bringing it down atop the chakra-coated monsters, "They're trying to surround us!"

"Create a wall of sand they can't attack! Sona will figure out the best way to attack after that!"

"Buchou-San!" Asia called out from above as a green glow covered Rias and she felt some of the pain in her body ease, "Please don't exhaust yourself! T-There's nothing I can do for stamina!"

"I'm okay, Asia! Thank you!" Rias stood her ground, caught her breath, and allowed her red and black miasma to cover her hands. She had to make her stand and keep holding the line for the sake of the Underworld and her peerage.

They were fighting…and she would too!

Rias channeled her Destruction, facing down a group of charging monsters and preparing to attack-

Before a wave of blue flames dropped from above and overwhelmed the horde in front of her.

Rias stepped back and looked up as a little figure descended by her side. Koneko's hands were wreathed in blue flames, and she stared ahead with mismatched eyes before looking up at her with a small smile, "Sorry you had to wait."

"Koneko!"

"Koneko-chan!"

"You're here!"

"WAAAHHHHH! KONEKO-CHAN, I MISSED YOU! IT WAS SO SCARY AND LONELY BEING BY MYSELF THIS WHOLE TIME!"

"Roll it back, Gya-kun."

Rias quickly got her surprise under control, "Koneko, if you're here, what happened to Naruto? Did he-"

"RASENGAN!"

A meteor came flying down from above and slammed into the Proto-Jinchūriki being held off. A mighty explosion blew some of them back, and then a series of smoke bombs went off before an army of familiar blond clones rushed forward and forced them back. And from the dust cloud kicked up, a figure walked out to meet them.

Rias felt her breath hitch in surprise and relief.

"Hey guys!" Naruto greeted them with a grin, "Sorry I was gone for so long."

"SENPAI!" Gasper flew in and tackled Naruto with a hug, "YOU'RE HERE!"

Naruto tried to calm down the weeping Dhampir as Yuuto stepped over with a relieved smile, "I'm glad to see you on two feet again."

"Me too."

"Naruto-San!" Asia called out as she jumped off the building and flew down to reunite with her friends. The short blonde nun nearly stumbled on her feet but jumped over and hugged the whiskered man tightly, "I'm so glad to see you alright! H-How did this happen?"

"Heh, long story." Naruto gentler patted Asia's head, "Koneko and Kuroka worked something out with my Sacred Gear and gave me a few hours before I croak. So we gotta make the most of it." He turned with a smile, "So let's get into this and save…"

He stopped when he caught sight of Rias. She was trying to keep a strong face and determined expression, but the way her lip trembled and her eyes watered as she looked up at the whiskered blond that had finally come back to her made it clear what she was feeling.

Naruto quickly stepped up, pulling Rias into a hug and gently nestling her head by his neck as he rubbed her back. As he heard a soft sob slip out he rubbed her back, "I'm here. We're okay. I'm sorry for making you worry."

Her hands tightly balled up in his shirt and made sure he was real.

As he consoled Rias, Naruto looked to Yuuto, "How are things?"

"I think they're turning in our favor. Beelzebub-sama gave us a way to fight a Bandersnatch. The other Bijū are fighting off the possessed ones, and our friends are facing the Hero faction members who are left. We're trying to keep the capital safe and-"

"GYAAA-"

Yuuto effortlessly tossed a sword aside and embedded it in the head of a possessed Devil as the chakra finally parted and they toppled over dead, "And we're doing alright with that."

"The biggest problem is the Jabberwocky." Asia worriedly noted, "So many people are fighting it and holding it off, but there's no sure way to beat it."

"I-It's too big and strong!" Gasper fretted, "And all our strongest forces are split up at the moment!"

"We're not at full power either." They looked down as Koneko shook her head, "Issei-senpai still isn't back yet."

"Yeah, but he'll be here soon."

The others looked at Naruto and Koneko in surprise. Rias quickly dried her eyes, "Naruto, what are you talking about?"

"Well, I saw Issei with Ophis and this big dragon called Great Red while my spirit was making its way back to this world. Long story." He quickly said before they could ask the questions evident on their confused faces, "He was making his way back here to help fight."

A startled gasp came out of Asia's mouth before she quickly covered it, tears of joy pricking her eyes at the news, "H-He's coming back?"

"He is. I promise he is." Naruto smiled confidently, "And when he gets here I know this battle will take a turn for the better!"

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"I'm just-"

[No.]

"But it's right-"

[Don't.]

"This opportunity doesn't-"

[Issei, stop.]

"Just listen to me!"

[I'm afraid to hear the rest of what you have to say.]

"Any guy would ask the same thing if they were in this situation!"

[I doubt that.]

"My body is being recreated! My form was remade! Any person that doesn't ask if they can change the size of their dick is a liar!"

[I don't want to talk about this any-]

"What do you think, Ophis?! It's not an unreasonable request, right?!"

Issei's desperate plea fell on deaf ears as Ophis was still focused on smacking Great Red in a particular spot while they flew around. The young pervert sighed and hung his head, "Can't we hurry back to our world, please!"

"You must finish connecting back to your body." Ophis said while stopping her tapping, "Only then can we start trying to make our way back."

"Ugh!" Issei groaned, "We can't keep wasting time with this!"

[Issei, it's a process that'll come naturally as your soul connects to your new body again.]

"Well, isn't there anything that can speed this up?!"

[A powerful feeling or connection would do it. I'd suggest thinking of…ugh, of boobs.]

"I don't even think my love of boobies would help at a time like this! And I can't believe I'm saying that!" Issei paced, "I can't focus on boobs! I wanna get back and help my friends! And I wanna stop any attacks from happening! I wanna protect everyone in the Underworld!"

"And get back to your coitus."

Issei and Ddraig were confused at Ophis' strange addition, "What was that?"

"The coitus promised to you." The Dragon God repeated, "I believe you would be looking forward to that reward. That is what they all said you would do."

"What are you talking about?"

"The nice Christian follower who gave me candies and sweets. She said that after you passed your exam she would perform coitus with you as a reward."

Coitus? As in intercourse? As in fornication? As in copulation? As in boom-boom? As in…

"Asia…was going to have sex with me?"

[Issei?]

The light from the cocoon holding his body started to shine.

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The spirits of the Boosted Gear raised their heads as a brilliant light enveloped the space deep inside the Sacred Gear. The normally lifeless and emotionless husks looked up at the light spreading through their sanctuary and were mystified by the warmth of it.

For these souls…that had abandoned everything for power and strength from the Juggernaut Drive…to feel desire for something by the new wielder so strong that it stirred their hearts again…

The spirit of Naruto the White Dragon looked up at the light and smiled, "You've found your strength, Issei-kun."

||||||||Devil||||||||

Everywhere in the Underworld, people felt something stir and change in the air. No, not the air. Like the very atmosphere had changed.

Something inside them stirred and brightened.

Some people suddenly broke into tears.

A crack appeared in the sky, and from that crack, a giant red dragon burst through into their reality with a roar that shook the existence of everything that heard it. The True Dragon flew through the air, appearing over the Jabberwocky and all the forces holding it back.

Asia's breath hitched as she looked up at the glorious beast, and immediately noticed the armored figure standing on its back, "T-That's Issei-San! He made it back!"

Naruto cheered, "See! I told ya! Hahaha!"

Great Red flew over the heads of everyone and the Jabberwocky looked up at it. The Annihilation Maker's strongest creation waved its hands to catch the dragon and roared when it didn't.

Issei's mask vanished, revealing his face inside his Scale Mail as he looked down at the giant monster. His fist tightened at his side, "I am Issei Hyoudou. I am the Red Dragon Emperor. I am a [Pawn] in Rias Gremory-sama's peerage. I am the Oppai Dragon and the hero of the Underworld! I protect the dreams and hopes of the children of this land! And I will not let you make them live in fear anymore! And also…more than anything right now…"

"I WANT NOOKIE! SO DON'T GET IN THE FUCKING WAY!"

Great Red flew over the Jabberwocky and opened his maw. A brilliant light formed in his mouth before he unleashed it-

A giant pillar easily enveloped the Jabberwocky and dwarfed it in size before an explosion more powerful than anything the witnesses had ever seen erupted before their very eyes.

Asia blushed hearing Issei's announcement reverberate through the sky of the Underworld. But the others beside her stared blankly as their friend returned from death and helped kill the monster because he wanted to get laid.

Naruto sighed, "That's our Fuck-face."

Koneko frowned, "He's never not grody."

||||||||Devil||||||||

Hades rested on his throne with a bony hand to his cheekbone while being forced to listen to the most inane, most pointless, and most agonizing drivel he had ever heard in his countless eons of existence.

{aAND THIS ONE IS OF RIAS WITH HER BOYFRIEND, NARUTO-KUN, DURING THE SPORTS RALLY WE HAD BETWEEN THE THREE FACTIONSs. yYOU CAN SEE THAT THE GREMORY'S PENCHANT FOR LOVE IS STRONG IN HER EYESs.} The body of Destruction that was once Sirzechs Lucifer continued to flip through his phone for Hades, {tTHIS ONE IS OF MILLICAS PRACTICING WITH HIS DESTRUCTIONn. iI JUST KNOW HE'LL BE ONE OF THE BEST OF US WHEN HE'S ALL GROWN UPp.}

A few meters away, Dulio and Azazel sat on the ground listening to Sirzechs filibuster Hades from doing anything involving the riot upstairs. The youngest man present was glad to see things were working in their favor, however, if he was being honest he wished he was able to help everyone above instead of staying down here. But he would see his job through and keep waiting with the others.

Dulio looked over at Azazel lethargically as the Fallen Angel had his fingers aimed like a camera at Sirzechs and Hades, "What are you doing, Azazel-sama?"

"Just trying to combat boredom." Azazel whispered, "Now if Sirzechs was dancing around while he did this, it'd be perfect. ~Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right, here I am ~. ~Stuck in the middle with you, Yes I'm stuck in the middle with you~." Azazel chuckled heartedly before his hands fell into his lap lifelessly, "Fuck, this is just torture."

Suddenly everything around them shook and quaked violently. Everyone was startled by the shake that made Cocytus tremble to its core. Azazel and Dulio jumped to their feet and Hades and Sirzechs looked up in surprise.

"D-Did Cocytus just shake?!"

"Is that possible?"

{What is going on up there?}

"It must be a truly frightful battle." Azazel proposed with a barely contained excitement in his voice, "One so great and cataclysmic that we can feel it even down here in the deepest depths of Hell."

{oOH, LOST MY SPOTt. oOH WELL, I'LL JUST START FROM THE BEGINNING AGAINn. sSO THIS IS MY FAMILY-}

"AAAAHHHHHHHH!" Azazel pulled at his hair and screamed, "THIS WAS A MISTAKE! I NEVER SHOULD'VE COME DOWN HERE! AAAHHHHHH!"

||||||||Devil||||||||

Issei spotted his friends waving up at him from just outside of the city. He quickly dove down before floating to the ground, picking Ophis up off his back and putting her on the ground as his helmet disappeared, "Hey guys!" He grinned, "Sorry to keep you waiting! Issei Hyoudou has returned!"

His smile wavered as he looked around, "A-Are you guys not happy to see me?"

Naruto shook his head, "We are, but I already did the triumphant emotional return before you got here. So they're probably too drained to do it again with you."

"W-What?! C'mon, I came back from the dead!"

"I did too, technically."

"Nuh-uh! You still had a body! I had to make a new one! That's way worse!"

"My soul was in another world. I take the cake."

"Mine was possessing my armor! That's precarious! Y-You guys think so too, right-"

"Issei-San!" Asia broke the stalemate and jumped onto Issei, weeping and tightly hugging his chest, "I'm so glad you're back!"

"Issei-senpai!" Gasper cried out too and tried to dry his eyes.

Yuuto smiled, discretely drying one of his eyes after seeing his friend return.

Koneko's ears twitched in delight and her tail hovered behind her while looking up at the Oppai Dragon.

Naruto chuckled and Rias smiled as she stepped up to him, retrieving the 8 [Pawn] pieces that returned upon his death and holding them up to Issei, "Issei, we're glad to have you back. With this new body, I suppose you have a new lease on life. If you'd rather not take these back-"

"Buchou," Issei interrupted, putting his fist over his heart and lowering his head, "I am the loyal [Pawn] of Rias Gremory-sama. That will never change."

She smiled warmly and held up the [Evil Pieces], letting them rise into Issei's chest before they disappeared in a flash of crimson light. Once it was done, Issei had regained his [Pawn] status, and with a smirk, he pumped his fists and created a shockwave behind him.

"So what do we do now?"

"The Jabberwocky is dead. The Proto-Jinchūriki are starting to die from the side effects. All that's left for us to worry about are the Bijū and the Hero faction."

"Then let's go!" Naruto punched his palm and grinned with confidence, "Time to settle this once and for all!"

"Before that," Rias knelt by Ophis and picked her up before nodding up to the scout building in Lilith, "Let's head back up there for the moment."

Rias led her peerage back up to the spot where Sona was monitoring everything. The bespectacled Devil nodded with a pleased smile to see her friend's peerage safe and sound again. Rias set Ophis down before turning to her boyfriend, "Naruto, I need you to enter Sage Mode and create four clones. They need to be as ready for battle as possible."

"S-Sure, but why?"

"Because you're staying here."

"WHAT? RIAS, I-"

"Naruto," Rias quickly raised her hand and stopped his indignant outrage before it could start, "We have to stop the Hero faction and rescue the Bijū. There are four of them left for us to retrieve. And we have the entire forces of the Underworld left to help us. And you can send clones of yourself out to collect the Bijū safely without any more risk to yourself. You only have a little time left before your Balance Breaker turns off so please…just stay here, and be safe."

Naruto indignantly frowned at Rias' plan and looked around. But instead of conflicted or worried looks of disagreement, everyone present seemed to agree with her order. Except Ophis, but she was looking around blankly and staring in the direction Great Red disappeared to without a care in the world.

With a huff he complied, pouting as he created clones and channeled Sage Mode into all of them. Once that was done, everyone split up to join the fight and help where they could.

Except for Sona, Asia, Ophis, and the original Naruto. The whiskered blond remained seated on the roof with his arms crossed and a twitching eye.

"Don't worry, Naruto-San!" Asia cheerfully spoke, "We'll defeat the Hero faction and secure your safe recovery!"

"Uh-huh."

"Things are almost settled across the Underworld." Sona helpfully informed, "With this, I think we're past the worst of the crisis."

"Uh-huh."

Ophis looked out over the land, "Soon the new beasts will have their minds back, and the world will have a new species to accommodate."

"Uh-huh."

Sona frowned, "Naruto-kun, Rias' plan is sound. Are you just going to keep sitting there and pout?"

The whiskered blond huffed and grumpily readjusted in his seat.

||||||||Devil||||||||

Rossweisse swiped her hand in front of her, creating a series of magical arrays that released her attacks. And in front of those attacks were more magical arrays created from the surrounding water, enhancing the power of her spells severalfold as they flew up at Chomei and Georg.

"Damn!" Georg cursed as the fog of his Lost Dimension spread out and swallowed the enhanced attacks before they could reach him. The attacks disappeared before they could land, and he pressed his hand into the head of Chomei, "Get in the air!"

The mindless Bijū followed his order and rose into the air as a rush of wind spread through the land. Rossweisse and Isobu weathered it and the Valkyrie called out, "Isobu-San, can you get them back down here!"

Isobu reared his head back and fired several blasts of water into the sky. Chomei quickly moved out of the way as the water shots exploded behind them. Georg kept a grip on Chomei's body and started crafting a magical circle to attack the duo below. The Magician weaved his hands together and brought them down.

A massive bolt of lightning dropped from his circle straight towards his foes. Rossweisse called it out and Isobu quickly jumped aside to avoid the incoming bolt. But the moment of dodging left them both open as Chomei rushed down and tackled Isobu into the ground.

"AHH!" Rossweisse screamed as her wings stretched out and she steadied herself in the air, "Isobu-San, no!"

"Time's up, Valkyrie!" Rossweisse looked over and found a cloud of Lost Dimension's fog starting to cover her. Georg yelled, "I'm sending you into the Dimensional Gap and putting an end to this fight!"

He brought his hands together and the fog started to constrict as Rossweisse prepared to attack-

"Wind Demon's Rasengan!"

"GAAAHHH!" A rush of concentrated wind blew into Georg's unprotected side and knocked him off the back of Chomei. The fog surrounding Rossweisse started to fade before disappearing.

"Huh?" The silver-haired Valkyrie looked around in confusion before she spotted the incoming figure. Her heart soared with relief as she smiled, "Naruto-kun!"

"Hey, Rossweisse!" The blond Devil greeted his comrade as he floated by her side, "I'm glad you're here! Have you been fighting with Isobu to help Chomei?"

Small tears formed in the corners of Rossweisse's eyes and she quickly blinked away with a focused stare, "We need to separate the Magician from Chomei-San!" She closed her eyes and started to focus, "Naruto-kun, can you work with Isobu-San? He can allow you to connect and return his mind to him."

"You got it!" Naruto flew ahead, channeling the power of nature in his Elemental Nirvana as water started to form and stream around him like a natural creek. He flew across the sky, towards where Isobu was struggling with Chomei, and started to spin rapidly. As he became a spear of water crossing the sky, he roared, "CHOMEI, LET GO!"

He struck the side of the seven-tailed bug and loosened its grip from Isobu. The three-tailed turtle quickly acted, pushing Chomei off and landing an explosive ball of water against the mindless Bijū. As the dazed bug tried to steady itself in the air, Naruto took the opportunity to rush in and press his hand to Chomei's head.

Georg coughed and picked himself up out of the dirt after recovering from the surprise attack. He groggily looked up and spotted the whiskered Devil connecting with Chomei to awaken him again. The bespectacled Magician panicked, "No! No, you can't!" He summoned a magical circle underneath his feet and rose into the air to interrupt the process, "I won't let you-"

Georg froze when he noticed particles of water start to pull and attract in a single direction. The descendant of Faust turned and saw what looked like a whirlpool form in the air as Rossweisse had her arms raised. She slowly lowered them and the water started to drag and pool over her body. The liquid seemed to coalesce around her, forming along with her patches of armor to create a protective coat around her.

Georg stared in shock and disbelief at the sight in front of him, "What is this?"

"This is a technique built from my connection with Isobu-San, the guidance of the North's finest powers, and my desire to help my friends. Streaming Valkyrie's Protection." Rossweisse proudly announced as she held up her hand, the water forming over her gauntlet as she pushed out her palm, "Not sure if I can match up to a Longinus…but this won't be as easy for you now."

A powerful stream rushed out of her hand and straight towards Georg. He quickly conjured a barrier and blocked the rush of water that nearly broke through in an instant. Rossweisse closed her fingers and tightened the stream, causing cracks to form over one tiny area of the barrier that got weaker and weaker.

It broke, and he quickly used Lost Dimension to swallow up the water stream before it could hit him. However, the water quickly stopped and Georg saw the [Rook] slide into view in the corner of his eye. Her speed had jumped several notches with this new technique, and she was about to flank him with another attack. He spread the Lost Dimension out to the side as well, protecting him from any attack that would come from his flank.

But he blocked his view as a side-effect. And didn't notice when Rossweisse rushed into the air over his head and aimed her hand down.

Georg was blasted out of the air with an intense stream and slammed into the ground bodily. Rossweisse kept the flow going for a few more seconds before she finally stopped it. She looked down to see the talented Magician soaked and unconscious on the ground below. With a sigh of relief, Rossweisse's shoulders lowered and she didn't feel as stressed.

"Wow. Never seen a ninja do that before."

"EEP!" Rossweisse squealed and quickly turned around to attack. But when she did she found Naruto floating behind her with Isobu and an awakened Chomei on either side of him. She lowered her hand and looked up at the seven-tailed insect, "A-Are you-"

"I'm Chomei. I'm still confused about what is going on but Naruto and Isobu said that I've come to my senses. Whatever that means."

"Thanks for holding him back, Rossweisse. I never would've freed Chomei if you hadn't beaten him." The blond [Pawn] floated over to his friend with a grateful smile, "Is that a new technique too? You must've done a lot while you were away-"

Rossweisse flew forward and grabbed Naruto in a hug. The blond was startled for a second before his hands settled on her back. After a moment she pulled back, a small sniffle and some tears in her eyes as she whispered, "I had to hear from the other Bijū what happened. I was so worried about you."

"Sorry to make you worry. But I'm okay. And I'll be better once we save the others and finish Cao Cao." He smiled, "Still got some fight in you?"

Rossweisse dried her eyes, "Yes!"

"Rose, can I take a nap now? I'm tired."

"Rose?"

"Whose Rose?"

"N-No one is-"

"She's Rose."

"I thought she was Ross - R-Rosewe- what was your name?"

"It's too difficult to remember. Just call her Rose."

"Okay Rose."

"Um, are you okay with being called Rose-"

"D-Don't call me that!"

||||||||Devil||||||||

The shockwave of Kokuō's head slamming against Son Goku's reverberated through the land. The two Tailed Beasts struggled and pushed against each other, cracking the earth beneath them from the power struggle. But as the ground and foundation splintered and lifted, some of the lava growing around Son Goku's feet shot up and landed along Kokuo's legs.

The five-tailed Bijū reeled back and yelled in pain feeling the lava burn his flesh. And the mindless Son Goku grabbed him by the neck and started wildly punching him in the face while roaring. Kokuō took the punches in stride, suddenly forcing clouds of steam out of his body before the monkey could strike again. Son was forced to let go with the steam rushing into his face, and Kokuō took the moment of weakness to slam his head into the monkey's chest.

As the two Tailed Beasts continued to fight, a smaller but even more intense battle was occurring in the forest below them. Impacts and shockwaves were reverberating through the trees every instant as intense and powerful strikes collided faster than the eye could see.

Durandal clashed with Heracles' fists and blew away everything around their collision.

Xenovia knocked his foot back with her elbow.

She jumped aside as a massive explosion consumed everything around it.

Both fighters separated from each other, the blazing heat of the explosions and lava causing the trees around them to catch fire. The altered landscape would have forced most people to retreat from the danger or sheer heat emanating from the ground. But the two combatants were so focused and determined they barely noticed anything other than their foe.

Xenovia's eyes were still altered with Kokuō's influence, more slit and with red markings around the eyelids. Her Exorcist outfit was tattered and ripped, with the exposed skin either bruised or burned. Still, her hands tightly gripped the handle of Durandal and refused to let go of it as she faced the altered Heracles.

"Haha, now this is a fight!" The buff aspiring hero had injected himself with Maou blood and altered his body with his Sacred Gear. His body had grown in size, with some of the metal shells of his missiles forming into a crude discolored armoring over his body. At the top of his head, two small missiles formed horns from his forehead, making him look like a minotaur. One of the horns had been cut off in the battle but Heracles continued to chortle and cheer, "I didn't know you would be such a wonderful challenge, Durandal! You've stepped up since your bout in Kyoto!"

"This form of yours is new too, right?" Xenovia questioned, sweat pooling on her face from the heat but a confident smirk on her face as she circled across from the mighty fighter, "You were already quite powerful, so this is quite a surprise."

"I didn't want to do this at first," Heracles said while flexing his enhanced muscles, "But I could tell while fighting against your enhanced abilities that if I didn't do this, I'd be finished. As much as I want to finish this with my power, my comrades are expecting me to handle this how I can."

"I guess we're the same in that regard." Xenovia remarked, stopping in her movement and hefting Durandal up to fight, "Pride and excitement shouldn't get in the way of fulfilling our duties and promises to our comrades."

"Well said!" Heracles took a stance with his arms held out as he prepared to charge, "Get ready, Durandal, because here I-"

"HYAAAHHHH!"

A figure came crashing into the ground and made it ripple like a wave. Xenovia was close enough that she barely moved but the ripple grew and slammed into Heracles to knock him off his feet.

Xenovia looked over as Naruto stiffly stood up, "Okay, still hard to move while controlling Earth. Noted." He turned, "Hey Xenovia. I'm back-"

She immediately stepped in and pressed into his chest to kiss him. Naruto was stunned but his hand settled on her back and pulled her in as their lips locked and their kiss deepened. Their kiss lasted for several seconds before they pulled back.

"Yeah," Xenovia nodded contently, "That was much better than our last one."

Naruto smiled in return…before he grimaced…and then he gagged. When she looked at him oddly, he smacked his lips, "You taste like blood."

"Oh? Ah, I think I have a split lip. And my gums." Xenovia ran her tongue around her mouth before shrugging, "Should we try again? Shouldn't be as bad this-"

"Stop it."

"Hey!" Heracles shot back up to his feet and pointed accusingly at the blond, "Cao Cao stabbed you! How the hell are you still alive?!"

"Loophole - if only for a little longer." He finished under his breath before pumping his arms, "C'mon Xenovia, shall we finish this guy off?"

"No." She immediately said before raising Durandal towards the battle the Bijū were raging, "Go up there and help Kokuō with your friend. I'll handle the fight down here."

"You sure?"

"Positive."

"Got it!"

Naruto leaped off the ground with a titanic jump and sailed through the air. Heracles watched him disappear before sparing Xenovia a quizzical look, "You sure you don't want the help?"

"I'm the labor, Heracles," She reiterated with Durandal at her side, "Just focus on me for now."

Heracles bared his teeth and lowered his stance before rushing forward, tearing up the ground with each step he took. Xenovia kept her stance and lowered her center of gravity before jumping aside when he reached her. She slashed at his ribs and her sword scrapped against his metal coating in a shower of sparks.

Heracles twisted around and lashed out at her head with a fist. Xenovia narrowly avoided his punch and landed another glancing cut along his chest. The bulky hero continued to swing his arms wildly, each attack from him carrying enough force and power that he could rip a normal person's torso from their legs.

Yet Xenovia fearlessly stayed within his reach and weaved between his swipes while slashing at his chest. With each punch and swing he made, she turned her body and cut up across his chest as quickly as she could. The cuts only left sparks when they connected, but she refused to let up as she continued to cut him as fiercely as possible.

Heracles bellowed and slammed his foot on the ground, cracking the earth and unbalancing Xenovia. That moment was enough for him to swing a fist up into her ribs. The blue-haired girl gasped feeling her ribs strain under his knuckles. The force of his punches was nearly at Sairaorg's level. And of course-

A vicious explosion blew up across her body and sent her flying through a tree. Xenovia hit the ground in a bodily tumble before finding her footing and skidding to a stop. Even with drops of blood spilling from her lips and smoke coming off her body, Xenovia held Durandal tightly and never dropped to her knees.

Heracles charged towards her in a mad rush to finally crush his opponent. Xenovia took a deep breath…and gripped the handle with both hands.

Steam flooded out of her body at staggering speeds. Heracles was forced to stop in his sprint over as the intensity of the steam made him stop. Her muscles bulged and power filled her body.

The ground exploded behind her and the speed she rushed forward caused a trench to form under her feet. She slid to a stop in front of the distracted Heracles. Her prior slashes left several shallow but overlapping cuts in an x on his chest. She swung up-

The tip of her sword cut through the overlapping marks and tore through into his skin, leaving a cut from his abdomen up to his shoulder. Xenovia jumped off her feet and spun, her steam giving her extra speed as she turned and cut again from his other shoulder down to his abdomen.

A giant bloody x marked Heracles' chest and left the hero in disbelief.

"CROSS!"

Heracles toppled to his knees and fell on his face. The metal coating morphed him into a minotaur crumbling away and leaving him in his natural state as he lay unconscious.

Xenovia landed on her feet and stumbled before quickly finding her balance. She lowered Durandal and let out a sigh of relief, "I guess the labor won, huh?"

"WRAAAHHHHH!"

"Son Goku, stop!"

"Son, please calm down!"

Xenovia looked up and saw Naruto and Kokuō trying to calm the angry monkey Bijū as he stomped around, "I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON, BUT I JUST KNOW IT'S GOING TO PISS ME OFF!"

"Well…y-you're not wrong there."

Xenovia giggled as she watched the man she loved try to calm the giant beast down.

||||||||Devil||||||||

"H-ahahahaha!" Jeanne laughed wildly, her body altered with Maou's blood so she had a tail made from the swords she created. She screeched and the two Stake Victim Dragoons she had summoned roared in concert with her. The reincarnation of the Saint of Orleans' soul smiled brightly with elation, "C'mon, Angel-chan, don't retreat now! We're just getting started."

Irina, Akeno, and Baraqiel were worried that things were not going well. Not only had Jeanne injected herself with Maou's blood and altered her body, but the mindless Gyūki was proving too much for Matatabi to handle by herself. Even with each burst of fire she spewed at the bull, Gyūki had no problem and rushed in to attack her.

And while Akeno and Baraqiel were trying to overwhelm Jeanne with Holy Lightning, her Dragoons kept flying in to act as lightning rods before their attacks could land. So they were forced into a stalemate where the only hope was close-quarters combat, but with her lamia state and her Dragoons at her side, that method didn't have much hope.

"A-Akeno-San! Baraqiel-San! I'll try to hold off the dragons as long as I can! You handle her!"

"Irina, you can't-"

"I know I won't beat them, but this is the best chance I can give you! So please use it to finish the fight!"

Irina summoned more weapons of Light, Akeno looking conflicted as Baraqiel prepared to step in before she got hurt. Jeanne smiled and raised her hands-

Only to shield herself as a wave of red and blue flames washed over the area and nearly burned her. Her lamia tail skittered her across the ground and away from the flames as her Dragoons roared.

"Koneko, wanna try burning a dragon?"

"Senpai, fire doesn't usually work on dragons."

"Yeah, but I fought these things before. They're made of metal and don't use fire. It'll work with a hot enough flame."

"Then let's do it."

Everyone looked up to see Koneko channeling blue flames around her hands while Naruto's limbs were wreathed in red ones. Their comrades looked up at them in surprise and joy as Jeanne glowered in annoyance.

The two Devils separated and rushed toward the Dragoons. Naruto's natural energy caused the flames around him to burst and swell as he rained fire down on one of the manufactured beasts. It roared and fought back as flames burned its entire body and started smelting the swords together.

Koneko remembered her training with Ravel and brought her hands together. An orb of flames started forming between her hands before it grew in size and intensity. The little [Rook] dove towards the last Dragoon and sailed towards its head. It roared and snapped at her as she raised the flaming orb in front of her and lunged into the Dragoon's head.

The burning ball easily melted through the construct's head and caused the creature to topple over.

As one Dragoon was immediately destroyed while the other was steadily reduced to slag, Jeanne gritted her teeth and prepared to fight them off. But the glint of weapons made of Light flying towards her head gave her pause. She slithered away, avoiding the path of Irina's weapons as they burned into the ground they landed on. Jeanne tried to create a sword to combat her attacks-

A bolt of lightning crashed down on her from above with terrible force.

And another.

And another.

Akeno and her father threw bolt after bolt in unison, never letting more than a second pass between each crash of thunder as Jeanne's body writhed with each electric rush through her body.

The thunder finally stopped crashing and Jeanne toppled over unconscious, body twitching and steam coming out of her mouth. The Dragoons were melted and fading away with her loss of consciousness.

As the battle came to an end, Naruto dispelled the fire and flew through the air. The sound of violent crashing drew his eyes to where Matatabi was struggling against Gyūki. He quickly flew through the air, avoiding the rushing blue flames and swinging tails before he finally reached Gyūki-

"Wake up!" He pressed his hand into Gyūki's head and the bull came to a slow stop before going completely still.

"Naruto! You're awake!"

"Yeah, good to see you too, Matatabi!" Naruto grinned as he settled on Gyūki's head and started to bring his consciousness back. He felt his friends float up and land by his side as he was in the middle of the process, "I should be getting his mind back soon and we'll be set! I'm sure the other clones are getting along just fine and - ow!" He flinched when he felt a sharp nudge under his rib, "What was-"

"Stay focused." Akeno blandly stated before poking him under the rib with her foot again, "Don't want to miss a step."

"T-Then stop poking me!"

"You're in Sage Mode. You don't even feel these."

"But I'm a clone! Do it hard enough and I'll pop!"

"We know you'll be fine, Naruto-San." Irina assured him before she started poking his shoulder, "But you worried us like crazy so deal with it."

"D-Don't join in!"

"We were stressed, Senpai." Koneko said as she started pulling his cheek and joining in, "Just let us work some stuff out."

"Stop! STOP!"

"Hehe, that looks fun!"

"Matatabi, don't do it! I'll pop if you join in!"

Baraqiel smiled and was relieved to see his daughter and her friends a little more lively now that their friend returned.

||||||||Devil||||||||

"RRRAAAAAAAOOOWWWWW!"

"AAAAHHHHHHHH!"

"EH!" Yasaka groaned as she was forced back and Shukaku tumbled by her side, toppling part of the forest as he fell over. The tanuki and giant Yōkai were winded fighting the Bijū under Cao Cao's control. They couldn't properly coordinate an attack as Shukaku kept rushing in to fight and not listening to any warnings she or other Devils that were floating around were trying to give him. It was a divided front that the Hero faction and their rampaging beast were more than happy to take advantage of.

Minato scowled, "Shouldn't we be finishing them now? It should be easy."

"I've been trying, but it's harder than it looks." Cao Cao answered, "The kyūbi of Kyoto is more battle-hardened than I anticipated, and that tanuki is more persistent than expected." He scratched his chin with his spear still leaning against his shoulder, "This could be hard for just our beast…but not if we stepped in."

"Finally," Minato drew a knife and spun it in his hand, "I was waiting for-"

"HAAAA!"

Something slammed into Kurama's foot and unbalanced the titanic creature. Cao Cao and Minato nearly toppled over, the knife in his hand slipping out and tumbling towards the forest down below. The two heroes shared a look before running to the edge of Kurama's back and looking over the side.

They spotted a bulky man by the Bijū's paw after tackling it.

"Sairaorg Bael?!" Minato exclaimed, "What is he doing here?!"

"I was sure he was fighting off the Jabberwocky. Now that it's gone, that means we're going to get-"

"Cao Cao!" Minato pushed his leader aside and raised another knife, blocking a series of attacks flying over and sending them away. Multiple giant explosions went off by Kurama's feet as he transported the attacks to the knife that dropped down moments ago. Once the assault ended, the Hero faction members looked up…

An assortment of creatures started to appear in the air and came along to the horizon.

The Jabberwocky…all the Bandersnatch monsters…even the other Bijū…

They had all been settled. And while there were still dangers around the Underworld, a great number of the forces had gathered to handle the last great threat; the wild super-powered beast and the two Hero factions members riding on it.

Ultimate-Class Devils. Dragons and monsters. Groups and teams they had paid special interest to as threats were all gathering around to face them.

Minato and Cao Cao took up stances-

And saw a flash followed by a crash of thunder. And a furious scream that drowned out everything else.

"Cao Cao!" Rias pulled away from Naruto's clone as he channeled lighting through his body with Elemental Nirvana. The young Gremory flew forward and drew out her Destruction as she yelled, "No more running away! You're going to pay for what you've done!"

"Rias Gremory…and Naruto Uzumaki?" He almost felt the need to rub his eyes to see if what he was looking at was real. But Cao Cao knew his eyes weren't deceiving him, and the whiskered Devil had somehow found a way to survive his certain death, "How…is that possible?"

"A little help from some friends!" The electrified clone yelled before pumping his fists, lightning arcing off his arms when he did, "Now I'm only gonna say this one; GIVE ME BACK KURAMA!"

With supernatural speed, Naruto rushed forward with a burst of lightning. His hand reached out to touch Kurama and stir him from his mindless fugue state. Cao Cao could tell where he was going and knew if he reached the Bijū, he'd regain his power normally and the beast would regain control.

It…it would be…a battle unlike any he'd ever faced before-

A lighting knife flew forward and pierced through the clone, causing it to pop before it could reach Kurama's snout. While Rias called out in panic and the others flying around took that as the signal to attack, Cao Cao was stunned that Naruto was stopped just a few inches away from achieving his former power…

And Cao Cao felt disappointed by that.

"C'mon!" Minato grabbed Cao Cao's arm and pulled him out of his stupor, "We've gotta get out of here!"

Clarity returned to the young leader's mind and he quickly acted. He raised his beast hand and clenched it, causing a chill to run through Kurama's body before the mindless beast took action. He released a powerful roar that traveled for miles and started gathering chakra for a Bijūdama. Yasaka acted preemptively, grabbing the kyūbi's neck and forcing it up as chakra blasts fired indiscriminately in the air.

Minato pulled another lightning knife, and charged it up, before spiking it in a direction and watching it fly unheeded. He grabbed Cao Cao and they flashed away as everyone was busy stopping the rampaging Bijū.

They flashed over and over, following after the lightning knife that sailed for miles without stopping. Minato had started getting winded from so many repeated long-distance jumps but kept striving on while carrying his leader.

They finally reached a city street as the lightning knife fell into the concrete. Minato nearly fell to his knees but Cao Cao stopped him from toppling, "Are you alright?"

"Y-Yeah, I'm fine. Just not used to doing it at distances like that." The blond boy sighed and rubbed his cheek before catching his breath. He pulled out another knife before stepping away, "I'm gonna go collect the others and we can escape! I-It might be a retreat, but we can still win the day!"

Before Cao Cao could say anything, Minato disappeared in another flash of yellow. And the leader of the Hero faction was left alone in the empty city street.

What was wrong with him?

Why was he feeling this way?

He could have reacted and stopped Naruto from reaching the fox…but he went still instead.

He felt disappointed that Minato had interfered before he could regain his power.

What was that?! That wasn't what was important! That wasn't what he should have been focusing on!

This wasn't about getting a good fight or settling the score from before! None of that should have mattered!

Yet Cao Cao still thought about it. It bothered and irritated him for reasons he couldn't understand!

He needed to get it together! To make plans and help his comrades escape! That's what mattered! Not fighting some enemy that he exploited! That wasn't the kind of battle that mattered! That wasn't-

Cao Cao's inner turmoil came to a screeching halt as he felt a twinge through his Bijū arm. The orange fur of Kurama's flesh was pricked with goosebumps at the nearby figure that approached.

Cao Cao lowered his spear to his side and slowly turned around to look up.

To find Naruto standing atop a building and looking down at him from above.

The two stood in total silence…and never blinked as they tried to figure out what would happen next.

||||||||Devil|||||||||

Done

So your choice of hymn or angelic choir to accompany Issei's triumphant return. Personally I was listening to Green Bird from Cowboy Bebop while writing it. Now just imagine that solemn, dower art piece about a past and life of strife and pain…but for a guy wanting to get laid.

I think it works pretty well.

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