Something that I wanted to try and bring to the table that you don't seem to see any of, an issei with a child that you actually see him interact with. I may take this down and rewrite it at some if i decide to keep going with this one. I have the general arcs planned out until the peace treaty. This was written while i was at work mostly, so it might seem too shallow in a lot of parts. I had to keep leaving and coming back with my train of thought completely lost.
The member of the ORC were sitting in relative silence at the moment, the abrupt departure of their king Rias Gremory was uncommon. Especially with a look as stern as she had with the door closing behind her. The three other occupants were left in the dark at the moment. All that they knew, was that Sona Sitri had an urgent matter to discuss with the Gregory heiress. Something regarding a member of one of the pillar families.
“Stange….” The quiet and monotone voice of the short white haired Koneko was the one to break the silence once their Master had been gone for over an hour.
Akeno Himejima, walked in from the side room with drinks and snacks for the present group.
“I agree, it’s not like her to leave us completely in the dark like that. It must have important to remain just between her and Sona.” Akeno added her thoughts on the matter.
The only male in the room closed his book, looking up to grab the offered cup from his queen. Kiba gave his insight before taking a sip of his drink.
“If it comes down to us needing to do anything, i’m sure we’ll be briefed on the necessary information. I wouldn’t worry about it too much ladies.”
The silence took over once more, each member thinking of just what could cause that reaction from Rias.
“I can’t believe it took this long to find confirmation. Sona, have they given a description, anything to make identifying her any easier?” Rias sat in the office of her friend and rival Sona Sitri, the current president of the student council for Kuoh Academy.
The folder in the crimson haired ruin princesses hands held information on the last known descendant of a previously believed extinct pillar family. The last member had disappeared after a raid on their lands by a band of stray devils. The Purson household was left with few members after the great war, the civil war had dwindled it down to three members. After the raid on their lands, only two bodies of the main family could be found, the third was presumed dead…Until now. There was a report that came down from the office of the 4 Satans that detailed findings of a garden deep in a forest in a rural area of japan that had the energy signature of the Purson family. That initial report came out a year ago, and was being thoroughly investigated, and up until now it was reported that nothing concrete other than the residual magic in the area was found.
Sona shook her head to her friend. “Nothing absolute. The garden was the only thing to go on in the first place, no other evidence was found in the surrounding area. But thats not why I called you here.”
Rias set the folder down to give the Sitri heir her full attention, knowing that if Sona felt it was necessary to call her for an immediate private meeting, than it was an urgent matter.
Sona sat forward in her seat at her desk, elbows propped on the desk, and fingers laced together. She took a deep breath in before letting it out slowly. She was not one for speculation of to jump to conclusions, but she thought this was the best course of action.
“Last week, my peerage and I were on the outskirts of town for some group training. After dismissing everyone to go home, Tsubaki and I felt a small surge of magic close by and followed it. We found an exact replica of the garden in the report, and it was recently made….maybe a few hours before we found it.”
Rias’ eyes went wide at what Sona was implying. The last known member of the Person family could be in their territory, alive and well, but was hiding for some reason instead of returning home.
“I’m assuming you haven’t sent a report to your sister then? And why wait a week to share this with me?” Rias asked.
“I didn’t want to bring any more attention to either of us than we already get without reason. I’ve been monitoring that area since then with familiars. Nothing had come up until this morning. My familiar alerted me as soon as someone walked into the garden.”
Rias nodded in understanding, the eye contact between the two made it clear how important they felt it was to have another pillar house back on the map.
“I understand, so…What did you find?”
Sona’s face went from neutral to one of uncertainty. The daughter of the Purson family that had been missing was slightly older then them, so the info she gathered was both concerning and confusing.
“There were two people, both hidden by magical distortion. One was clearly male, about 5’8. The other was most definitely female, but….. she couldn’t be more than 3 or 4 years old…It was the little girl that altered the garden…its her magic that carries the Purson signature.”
Rias’ face took on a harder look. The raid on the Purson home was 7 years ago, Nora Purson was unmarried and had no children to the knowledge of anyone in the underworld. The rather unpleasant thoughts running through Rias’ mind needed to wait. If what Sona was saying was true, and the last Purson member was here in their land, and it happened that it was a small girl. The man with her had many questions to answer.
“Do you have a plan to find these two?” Rias asked. The smirk across Sona’s face said that she had already thought of that.
“Yes. And we will get to the bottom of this.”
Sitting on a small bed in a room painted with pinks and purples, and a variety of plants on shelves sat two figures. The larger was a young man, no more than 17, with a children's pop-up book in hand. As he read through it, he would occasionally glance over to the small girl under the blanket of her bed next to him. He could see that she was close to falling asleep, her deep green eyes were slowly giving in to the call of sleep.
The young man closed the book in his hands gently, placing on the book shelf beside the bed. Looking back to the young girl, he had a calm smile as he brushed her chocolate brown hair out her eyes. Leaning over he placed a gentle kiss on her forehead.
“Goodnight Mari, I love you.”
The young girls lips curled up into a tired smile. “nite daddy.” She replied quietly as sleep claimed her.
The young man got up off of the bed, switched the nightlight on and the overhead light off before walking out of the room, bringing the door to an almost closed position.
Walking down the hallway of his modest sized 2 story home, he came to his own bedroom. He entered and immediately stripped down to his boxers to ready himself for bed as well. And once in his bed, the same thoughts he had almost every night plagued his mind.
If only you could see her now.
She reminds me of you so much it hurts
I wish you could be a part of your daughters life.
We miss you….
His thoughts were interrupted as his bedroom door opened, revealing a short woman. Long black hair flowing down her back, her yellow eyes almost glowing even with the dim light in the room. The dark red nightgown she wore hung loosely on her shoulders, threatening to fall off at any moment.
She stepped in and put the door in the same position as he did for his daughter, then slowly made her way over to the opposite side of the bed, her eyes made contact with his with an unasked question. The young man simply lifted the blanket off of himself, making room for the small woman in bed beside him.
No words were exchanged, nor were they necessary, this was how things had been for the past few years after all.
Silently climbing into the bed beside him, the young woman was facing the opposite way, and had made her position cuddled with her back pressed tightly against him.
His arm came across her midsection, just under her breasts, and she grabbed hold of it with her own.
pulling the young woman as close to him as comfort would allow, he held her. And just like every night they did this, he whispered just quietly enough for her sensitive hearing to pick it up.
“Thank you for your help today Anna. I don’t know what we would do without you.”
Anna traced circles on his arm with her thumb that was placed on the back of his hand, basking in the warmth that permeated from the body behind her. Once more, she said nothing except for give his arm a gentle squeeze, to let him know that she was there for the two. No matter what. Anything that he asked of her, she would do willingly.
Rias Gremory walked into her clubroom deep in thought over what her and Sona had gone over the night prior. Learning of who just might be in her territory was equally exciting and scary. Exciting for the possibility of meeting a member of the family that had such great control over nature and plant life that it bordered on the ridiculous. Scary for the thought of just why this person was in hiding, and who might be after them…and therefore potentially drawn to this territory to find them.
She barely made it into the seat of her desk when the other members of her peerage came filing into the room as well. Akeno, Kiba and Koneko all looking to their king with questions faces. They hadn’t been told just what the meeting between Rias and Sona had been about, only that they would learn soon if anything came of it.
Rias was still deep in thought when Akeno placed a cup just in front of her hands, causing her to look up at her queen. She smiled as she picked up the drink offered to her.
“Thank you Akeno.” Rias said as she blew on the hot liquid and took a drink.
“You’re very welcome President.” Akeno replied with a smile and small bow of her head.
Rias finished her drinks as she gathered the words to share with her peerage. And as the last sip was swallowed, it was time to fill in the members of her small family.
“Akeno, Kiba, Koneko. I need to talk to you about my meeting with Sona yesterday.” Rias said, taking on her regal heiress persona.
The three members picked up on the tone and quickly filled in the seats around the room to await the briefing that Kiba had predicted.
“The information I will be sharing with you is strictly confidential to the heads and heirs of the pillar families, I need to be clear on that before we continue.”
Rias’ eyes swept the room, seeing her peerage members all nodding with serious expressions she continued.
“Okay. A year ago some evidence was found that might have suggested that there was a living member of what was thought of to be an extinct pillar house. The 4 Satans had an investigation started that only confirmed that the evidence indeed held the distinct magical signature of the Purson family. The surrounding areas didn’t yield any new information to go on, so the investigation was effectively dead until more was found. That brings me to my meeting with Sona… Until anything is confirmed, we are not to spread any information to give friends or distant relatives false hope. Sona told me that she may have found sufficient evidence to suggest that the Purson descendant may be living in this area, but is still in hiding. So we are to help Sona once she narrows down the location of this person, we want to approach them carefully. We don't want them to feel threatened in case they had been trying to escape someone. We want to make them feel safe around us.” Rias explained slowly, making sure that every word was carefully taken in and understood. This would be the absolute worst time to take things too far.
Once again her peerage all nodded, signaling that they all had a grasp of the situation. They had each been a part of her peerage long enough to know how devil society valued its pillar members, the pure bloods, and were vicious to punish those that dwindled their numbers without proper cause.
Ever the voice of caution and reason, Kiba spoke up.
“President, if Lady Sitri feels she has enough evidence, why not bring this to higher members of the court?” His question was valid, and by the looks of the two female members of her peerage, they hadn’t thought of the same thing.
Rias sighed, this potential mission had the chance to take a dark turn, but hoped beyond hope that it would all turn out alright.
“Because of who….or lack thereof, Sona saw in her video evidence.” Rias paused before continuing.
“Sona had her familiar along with her peerages, wathcing the area throughout the week to hopefully get visual confirmation of the individual. But… It wasn’t quite what matches up with the last known member of the Purson family. Nora Purson was reported to be 5’6 with brown shoulder length hair, green eyes and should be 20 years old now. The video Sona has was magically distorted to rid the video of any defining features. But it showed a male of approximately 5 foot 8….along with a little girl estimated to be 3 to 4 years old. And the Purson Magical energy came from the little girl. If the female figure were taller or at least appeared in their 20’s….we would have brought to either my brother or Sona’s sister. But that isn’t the case, so we need more proof before bringing the info forward.”
It was then that the bell signaling the approaching time for school to begin, rang. It was also at the same time that Rias had a magic circle appear next to her ear. As the members of her peerage gathered their belongings, they all had a feeling that this would be a long day. But before they could exit the club room, Rias spoke once more after she listened to the voice through the magical application.
“Everyone, we’ve been put on a search and destroy missive for a stray once dusk arrives. Meet back here after school for further info. Understood?”
“ “ “ YES PRESIDENT!” “ “
During the lunch break, the young man was sitting underneath a tree outside one of the older buildings on the campus. This was his favorite spot to spend the break, the position of the sun during lunch was just right in relation to the tree. The sunlight would warm most of his body up to his shoulders, and his face would be in the shade, allowing him to rest his eyes for a few minutes if he wanted.
It was also a spot that gave him a sense of peace, it was quiet, away from where most students liked to spend the break. Aside from that sense of peace, it also made him feel nostalgic. Remembering the times he’d been in a similar position, only then there was another with him.
The sound of light foot steps came into range, the young man opened an eye to see who was approaching. Had he been like almost any of the others male students, he’d be drinking in the image of beauty before him. Long black hair in ponytail, violet eyes, large bust all on a taller smooth and slender frame. Akeno Himejima was walking directly towards him.
But instead of eyeing the young woman up, Issei slowly closed his eye again, putting his head back into its resting spot against the tree. The footsteps could be heard coming closer, and a silky sweet voice spoke once the footsteps stopped.
“You’re Issei Hyoudou right?”
Without opening his eyes, Issei nodded his head.
“I am. Is there something I can do for you Ms. Himejima?” He asked politely. His outward tone was a complete reversal of what he was feeling inside. He wanted nothing to do with the more notable students of the school, he wanted to be invisible amongst the student body. Because if he didn’t stand out in any way, there’d be no reason for people to try and intrude on his life away from the academy. And it was the group that the young woman in front of him that he wanted to avoid the most.
“Do you mind if i sit with you?” The third year girl asked.
Issei took only a moment to think it over, and then nodded.
“If you would like to, be my guest.” He said, scooting over a foot to give Akeno enough to sit in the shade if she wanted to.
While he may want to avoid the supernatural groups in the school, it would also make him stand out if he refused her request without valid reasoning, of which he had none at the moment.
Akeno smiled serenely, not that Issei could see it, and sat with her legs curled to the right. She settled into her spot, which only left a few inches in between her and Issei, who had yet to once again open his eyes. Taking out a lunch box she started to eat, discreetly taking in the peaceful face of the boy next to her.
After a few minutes of silence between the two of them, Issei was the one to speak.
“I’m surprised you know who I am Ms. Himejima. I don't believe we’ve ever spoken to each other before.”
Akeno placed her lunch down, and turned to face Issei.
“I pride myself on knowing the names of most of the students here. However, I think most people at least know who you are. The elusive and mysterious Issei Hyoudou.” Akeno chuckled. Her eyes took on a calculating look as she thought she saw him flinch a little when she said people knew of him.
When he didn’t offer a response other a noncommittal grunt, she chose to ask the question many of the female student body had wondered at some point about him.
“Rumor has it that you don’t talk to anyone regularly, and no one can point out any close friends of yours. Is Kuoh’s silent prince not a people person?”
Issei opened his eyes, and sat up to set his gaze on Akeno. He wasn’t a fan of lies, but that didn’t mean he had to tell the whole truth. He thought through his words carefully, absentmindedly playing with the rings on a leather string around his neck.
“I prefer to have a smaller circle, easier to keep in touch with each other that way, when I eventually have to move.”
Akeno watched as his eyes seemed to lose a bit of focus, almost like he was reminiscing about times with a loved one. she caught the sight of what appeared to be a pair of white gold rings around his neck, and her curiosity almost got the better of her.
“You’ve only been here for a year, already looking to move away from me?” She said with a slight pout.
“Family circumstances. Can’t ever seem to stay in one place for very long, sometimes not even the same country.” Issei responded, trying to keep his answers vague and with just enough truth behind them to keep it believable.
“That’s a shame, I was hoping we could be good friends.”
“Heh, I’d rather avoid having your fan club set their sights on me. Although if any of them have seen us sitting here, its already too late.”
Their conversation was brought to a stop when the bell for classes to resume rang throughout the campus. Issei silently stood up and began walking away.
Above the tree he had just left, standing at a window looking over the grounds, Rias was watching Issei walk away from Akeno with a contemplative look. Her queens fascination with the boy was slightly confusing the the heiress.
“Daddy daddy daddy daddy!” the excited yells of Mari rang through the house as she heard her father walk in the door, and the sound of her small feet sprinting towards him gave Issei just enough time to set his bag down and hold his arms open with a smile on his face.
The small brunette girl came bounding down the stairs, her shoulder length brown hair bouncing with her movements, and jumped into her fathers arms. Issei’s arms changed position to hold Mari with his left arm, while she held herself steady with her arms around his neck, and nuzzled her face into his shoulder.
“Mari, did you have fun with Anna today?” He asked as he carried her into the living room. She nodded her head with vigor and a beaming smile that always melted away whatever worries Issei had for the moment. At that moment, his family was the only thing that mattered.
“Uh huh. We played hide and seek! It took Aunty Anna a long time to find me!” The three year old was almost bouncing up and down in his arms in her excitement of sharing her day with him.
Issei chuckled at his daughters antics. ‘So excitable, just like your mother.’ he thought.
The stairs creaked as Anna made her way down to the first floor to welcome Issei home. As she rounded the corner, Issei put Mari down on her own two feet, much to her vocal displeasure. Anna stepped up to Issei, looking up into his eyes. her hands cupped each side of his face, and pulled him down into a kiss.
Issei was fairly surprised by Anna’s actions, it was far from the first kiss they’d shared. The hungry and almost possessive way it felt was new though. Issei was close to letting himself get carried away in the moment, until he noticed her hands were shaking.
He pulled away from Anna, stepping to hold her at arms length to look her over from head to toe.
Her hair was pulled into a ponytail as it usually was during the day. She was wearing a gray slim fitting t-shirt with a low neck line that drew more attention to her Breasts that were large for someone of her height. The black skirt she wore was longer on the left side then the right, giving ample view of one of her smooth and toned legs.
Anna’s face was slightly flushed, and Issei could tell she was having trouble keeping her breathing under control. She didn’t feel abnormally cold or feverish, nor was she sweaty….So why was she shaking, what was wrong?
“Anna, are you alright?” His voice carried a heavy note of concern.
Anna’s lips curled into a smile he had only seen two other times, her eyes narrowing slightly to give him a look that said all too well what her intentions were. She leaned to his left ear, Issei could feel her ragged uncontrolled breath on his neck. Issei felt one of her hands slid under his shirt and rest on his bare chest, the other hand was trailing up his thigh over his pants.
“I put movement wards on Mari’s room. I’m not letting you sleep until every step I take hurts for the next week.” Her sensual tone along with what she was making Issei picture sent a shiver of anticipation down his spine.
Mari had been standing off to the side of her father, not liking being left out of the conversation. She crossed her arms and puffed her cheeks out to form an irritated pout.
“Aunty Anna Secrets aren’t allowed!”
Issei and Anna both let out a sigh as their fantasy of what the night would hold for them was brought to an end. Issei turned towards his daughter and picked her back up. Her pout was immediately replaced with that carefree smile.
“But Mari, Anna was just tell me of a really good hiding spot. So next time we play, I might be able to beat you.” Issei gave her a teasing smirk.
“Daddy, I always find you. I’m the best at hide and seek.” Mari retorted confidently.
Issei chuckled. “Yes you are sweetie. Now lets get you washed up before dinner alright?” As he carried Mari upstairs to the bathroom, he missed the look of longing in Anna’s eyes as she watched him interact with his daughter.
Night had fallen and the ORC were moving into the last known area the stray had been spotted. They moved along the edge of town where a few scattered houses came up to the large forest.
The stray was known to be agile, and liked to use forests like the one they were currently in to stay out of sight from both prey and any pursuers by jumping from tree to tree.
The information that the duke handed down said that the stray had once been a servant to the Shax family, but had kidnapped and killed a few other servants and taken off afterword.
As Rias, Akeno, Kiba and Koneko made their way through the forest, they picked up on the strays trail and made to follow it. The pace they kept was moderate, so they could keep an eye on their surroundings and not be taken by surprise.
The darkening forest was making that increasingly difficult, even with their better than average vision in the darkness.
The stench that was Koneko was following to lead the search party started to change, now having the iron hint in it that suggested blood had been shed in the area recently.
The group picked up that pace, worried that another victim had fallen to the stray. Making their way through the thick forestry, they spotted a set of bloody claw marks on one of the larger trees, which led them to a bloody trail from something being dragged along the ground.
As the trail of blood got thicker, the forest was thinning out, and the light of the moon illuminated the area around them.
“A little further this way.” Koneko told the group.
As they came around large boulder, they spotted their target, crouched over something on the ground.
Rias stepped in front of everyone else, struck a confident posture and raised her voice to the stray, who had yet to notice them.
“Stray servant of Lord Shax, You have been ordered to be put down for your crimes against the underworld!”
Rias prepared a ball of her families famed power of destruction in her hand, as the stray picked up its head to face the voice.
When it turned to face Rias and her peerage, its face somewhat resembled that of a wolf, and was covered in the blood of its victims. It had a strand of flesh hanging from one of the large canine teeth in its long mouth.
The Stray narrowed its large black eyes, and let a hateful growl escape.
The ORC all set themselves into combat positions, ready for the stray to charge at them.
Rias shot her ball of destruction at the stray’s head. The red and black orb of power passed over the stray as it leaned forward and onto all four limbs, before using its position to launch itself straight up into the tree line and jump from tree to tree faster than any its executioners could run on flat ground.
“President, its heading towards the neighborhood!” Akeno called out to her king. If they lost the stray in the midst of humans, the resulting bloodshed could have Rias removed from territory.
The group sprinted in the direction the stray had left, and hoped they could catch it before it reached the homes that were only a mile ahead.
Issei had just placed Mari in bed, having to carry her there after falling asleep watching a movie with Anna as Issei cleaned the dishes after dinner.
Once she was tucked in, he placed a kiss on her forehead like he did every night, and made his way back to his own room.
As his own door came into view, a nervous curiosity sprouted through him at seeing his door closed. It was almost never closed, he preferred to keep it open so he could here Mari call out to him.
He stepped up to the door slowly, grabbed the handle and twisted it. He went to open it slowly, but it was taken from his hand as it swung open, revealing Anna on the other side with a glossy look in her eyes that said she was tired of waiting.
Her hands grabbed onto his shirt and pulled him into the room, once he was clear of the door frame, she spun them around and closed the door with one of her legs extended behind her.
Without a moment to prepare, Anna pulled herself up to Issei with one hand behind his head and locked her lips onto his.
Issei’s felt his heart speed up, and his mind begin to shut down, and felt more primal urges swell up and take control.
Anna felt Issei brush his tongue over her bottom lip and parted hers, She pulled him a little tighter to her to deepen the kiss. Amidst her trying to steal the very air from his lungs, she started pushing him backwards towards the bed.
Once they reached it, she kept pushing, making them fall together onto the mattress with her on top.
Anna released Issei’s lips only long enough for her to throw her shirt off her body, revealing her bare chest to him before bending down for another deep kiss.
Issei’s hands grabbed Anna on the upper thigh and pulled her fully onto the bed and into position to straddle his hips.
He could feel Anna give a moan of approval come from his assertive action, and could feel her start to grind her hips onto his.
Issei’s hands slid up slowly from her upper thigh, over the taught but soft flesh of her backside, and grabbing onto it firmly with each hand.
With a firm grip, Issei quickly rolled to flip their positions at a slow enough speed so their kiss wouldn’t break.
With Anna now underneath him, Issei leaned back and saw the lustful smirk on her face. She reached her hands up to him, taking the bottom of his undershirt and quickly pulling it over his head and tossing it to the side.
Satisfied that they were both in an equal state of undress, Anna pulled Issei back down to her lips.
Issei’s left hand trailed up her inner thigh with a feather light touch, slipping underneath her skirt. His hand felt the silk of her panties at the top of her thigh and brought his hand between her legs and started to rub circular motions at the hot wet spot.
Anna gasped at the attention he was giving her moistened core over her thin silk panties. She spread her legs just bit further apart to give him better access. As his fingers made their motions, the heat, the desire she’d been holding onto was asking for more. This wasn’t enough, she wanted more. Needed more.
She bucked her hips to feel more pressure from his hand, and as his fingers traced up they slid across her clit, and it felt like her nerves were all firing at once with quick blast of pleasure.
She raised her hips again and brought her hands to the waistband of her panties, and started to slide them off.
Issei could feel the silk moving, he broke their kiss and brought both hands to take off the garment standing between him and the prize that was hidden underneath.
He slowly pulled them down below her knees and went to resume his attention to her body. As the silk fell from her legs to the floor his hand traced up her thigh again. Issei took his ring and middle fingers and slowly slid them inside the wet vice at Anna’s core, with his palm resting on the bundle of nerves just above, making every movement of his hand rub up against her clit.
Issei felt Anna clutch onto his back as her gasping breaths started getting louder. He could feel his own arousal start to become too much to handle, and was just about to lean back up and fully undress, when the ward Issei had placed on the new garden Mari had made alerted him to danger.
His eyes shot open at the feeling of not just one, but four signals, one of which had a twisted and malevolent feel to it. A stray.
Issei retracted his hands quickly, and Anna opened her eyes to see what he was doing. Once she saw the stern look on his face, all thoughts of continuing their night was lost. Issei got up from the bed quickly at feeling the evil presence continue to move in his direction. He saw Anna sit up on the bed and look at him questioningly.
“A stray at the garden moving this way. Stay here with Mari.” His normal kind and caring tone was lost. It was hard and commanding. His family could be in danger, there was no room for any pleasantries.
Anna nodded, got up to pull her shirt back on. Once it was on and in place, she grabbed Issei by the arm before he could rush out of the room. He turned back to look at her with a raised eyebrow.
While Anna understood the reason for him to leave, she really wished it hadn't been when things were getting to the best part, and she wanted to make her frustrations known.
She stepped in close to Issei so that she was almost pressing her breasts against him. Her free hand reached down to the bulge just under the belt line, and gave it a gentle rub and squeeze, feeling that it was still primed and ready.
“Hurry back, we’re not done here.”
Issei gave her a smile, and a kiss that ended too soon to Anna’s liking.
“I’ll deal with this as quick as I can.” Turning back towards the door, Issei quickly made his way out of the room, giving a quick glance over to Mari’s room before making his way downstairs towards the entryway.
“I’m ready partner.” spoke a deep and powerful voice inside of Issei’s mind.
Issei nodded down to his left arm as he reached the front door and stepped outside.
“Alright Ddraig, let’s do this!”
“ [ BALANCE BREAK ] “
A bright crimson aura lit up the immediate area, it quickly receded as a sound reminiscent of flapping wings replaced it. And Then he was gone, off to deal with the potential threat to Anna and Mari.
No matter how fast they ran, they just couldn’t keep up with the stray. Kiba could keep up with pure speed, but the stray would quickly change directions, something that Kiba couldn't do at those same speeds.
They had come out of the forest, and into what appeared to be a massive garden with a wide variety of flowers. If the situation had been any different, Rias was sure she could have stayed there all day just admiring the sights and smells.
The stray decided to use the garden as a means to lose his pursuers, taking cover in the mass of sunflowers, The tall flowers covered an area hundreds of feet wide an long, much like the other specific flowers spots.
The group from the ORC came to a slow stop just at the edge of the sunflowers, their eyes sweeping through the floral depths.
Rias stepped just in front of her peerage, readying her power of destruction in case of an attack. Even with the bright silver light peering down from the moon, the swaying of the sunflowers kept any movement behind them well hidden.
“I don’t see him.” Koneko spoke in her usual short monotone fashion.
Kiba spoke from a few feet off the the right of Rias. “Nothing here either.”
Akeno stood beside her king, as a queen should, with her fingers sparking with lightning. “As much as I would hate to do it, i could cut the flowers down with lightning.”
Rias considered the flowers in front of her, compared to the lives that could be lost if the stray was able to evade them. Flowers versus loss of life wasn’t really a hard choice to make.
“Go ahead Akeno.”
Akeno took one last look at the flowers basked in the moonlight, charging up the magic in her fingers while mentally apologizing to whoever planted such a beautiful garden. She thrust her hand forward with a continuos stream of electrical energy flowing from her fingertips.
The magic from Akeno’s hand cut the sunflowers, her hand sweeping back and forth to make sure all of them were leveled out so that finding their target would be a simple thing.
A deep strangled growl alerted the ORC members that the stray had been hit by the elemental magic. With bolts of electricity still arcing off of its body, the stray stood, looking furious but mostly unharmed.
The stray threw its head back and howled into the night sky, as its eyes came back to land on the young devils, what looked like a grim smile came over its face just as it vanished from sight in a show of incredible speeds.
The group of four backed into a circular formation with their backs to each other, looking around for their target. The only sound to be heard was the wind brushing past the trees and flora of the garden they were standing in. The gentle breeze died down for a moment, the leaves and flower petals stopped their rustling.
The eerie quiet was of no comfort to the ORC, getting a ‘calm before the storm’ feel from it. A soft patter of bare feet on soil came from the direction in between Akeno and Kiba, both turned their heads to it, but both were too slow.
A swift slice from a clawed hand caught both devils, cutting them in a sweeping upward motion from the hip to the shoulder. Kiba was thrown into the air, and landed hard on his back. Akeno was thrown into the air, but had regained enough composure to extend her bat-like wings to stay afloat.
The stray had never been seen during his attack. the only evidence that he’d been near them at all was the physical and bloody marks on their bodies.
Kiba started to slowly stir on the ground a few feet out from the formation of his comrades, the blood coming from his inch deep wounds coloring his uniform crimson. He used the sword in his hand for leverage to pick himself up off of the ground and regroup with the others.
As Akeno returned to her position in the circle, the breeze picked back up, and covered the sound of bare feet coming towards them again.
“Behind!” Koneko yelled out in a much louder voice than was typical for her.
The group all turned in the direction the small white haired girl motioned to, and saw the blur that was their missions objective closing the distance.
The strays claws were raised and ready to strike, but would never hit their mark.
“URK!” The stray yipped in pain as a burst of wind that carried a red figure slammed into it.
The stray tumbled on the ground for nearly a hundred feet, it hadn’t seen what it was that had attacked it out of the blue, but knew that someone new had entered the fight.
A collective gasp came from the mouths of the ORC, as they laid eyes on the legendary red suit of armor. The red figure was undoubtedly male, while his height was average, his posture spoke of power and confidence.
His feet were a bit wider than shoulder width apart, his left foot slightly behind the right. Knees slightly bent, torso leaned forward a few degrees. Shoulders and arms tense and ready to action. the helmet facing the stray, the eyes never straying from the malevolent creature.
The only thing that spoke of any kind of negative emotion was the tail connected to the suit, it thrashed its end onto the ground repeatedly. A motion that Koneko understood as an intense but controlled sense of anger towards the creature it faced.
“The Red Dragon Emperor….” Rias spoke in slight awe mixed with a hint of fear.
“Why is he here?” Akeno whispered to herself more than actually looking for an answer.
“….The Garden….” came Koneko’s reply. The other three members of her group looked at her with confusion clear on their faces, not understanding why the red dragon of domination would have anything to do with the garden they were standing in.
“Why makes you say that Koneko?” Rias asked of her rook.
“He smells like the garden. He must know who made it.” The short rook answered, her eyes still locked onto the red armored male standing defensively at the edge of the garden.
The Red Dragon Emperor eyed his opponent, which appeared to have been some kind of werewolf at an earlier date, before losing itself to madness.
The stray stumbled back to its feet and snarled at the new arrival, ignoring the instincts telling it to just run away and live another day.
[Boost!] emanated from the jewel on the left hand. Then the glyphs around the edges of the gems on each hand started to glow with a primal power.
The Red Dragon Emperor changed his stance, bringing his hands palm open and facing the sky as a green ball of dragon fire flickered into existence a few inches above each hand.
The orbs of green fire grew to the size of a soccer balls each, tendrils licked towards its target, like the fire was sentient and wanted to devour the stray in front of it.
The helmet glanced for the first time from its target, do to the flames in his hands for a brief moment, and then back to the stray. When he spoke, all who could hear him were frozen in place from the power radiating from his vocal cords.
Even as civilized as the devils may be, they are still one of the more instinct and desire driven factions.
“You….Have defiled her memorial with your presence. Burn…”
Rias, Akeno, Kiba and Koneko heard the words, but didn’t register them. The only thing they knew, was that he did not want the stray here. And its being here had made his life forfeit.
The red armor moved before any more thoughts on the matter of his words could be spoken. The ball of green living fire was tossed up and quickly punched forward and splashed over the legs of the stray like a ballon of water before engulfing its lower half.
The stray screamed in agony, but it was as if it had been nailed where it stood. The dragon fire flashed back and forth from green to the darkest of crimson as it consumed its target.
The left hand that still held the other ball of flame was pulsing in anticipation of watching its sibling flame being fed.
The dragon of legend stalked forward to the screaming stray, his strides weren’t rushed, but held purpose. The flame collapsed onto the armored hand, which held it tightly between the red talons.
The stray never stopped its screaming to notice that the red imposing figure was now only two feet in front of him, left arm pulled back for a punch.
The strike was swift, accurate, and deadly. the armor clad fist struck and pierced through the chest of the deformed werewolf and stopped just shy of its heart.
The screaming stopped, the strays eyes started to grow hollow, but not before the arm in its chest clenched and pulled out of the chest cavity it had embedded itself in.
The dingy black stray burst into a green flame that left no body part free, and it was released from its placed on the ground, only to fall over dead, as it continued to burn into nothing.
Its body was quickly turned to ash, only 15 seconds after the burst of fire from inside its own body.
Rias was the first to regain composure from seeing the display of brutal power. She took three steps towards the famed Red Dragon before stopping in fear and shock as its tail once more thrashed on the ground.
“Thank you for your assistance. My name is Rias Gremory, heiress to the house of Gremory. My peerage and I would li-“
“Leave. Now.” He spoke, tail still thrashing and leaving chunks torn from the soil beneath. He was not asking, he was giving an order with the threat of force hidden behind it.
Rias was taken back by the abrupt and rather rude comment. She was a pure born devil of noble birth, how dare he try and command her to do anything, and in her territory no less.
But, She knew the scale was tipped heavily in the favor of the Red Dragon as far as outcomes of a battle between him and her peerage. And quite honestly wanted to show her appreciation for his help, with an alternate goal of hopefully trying to persuade him to join her.
“I would only like to formally offer a thank you, and compensate you for your efforts and help this evening.”
Rias had a smile that would melt the hearts of men worldwide, her alluring clear blue-green eyes shone with the moonlight cascading across them.
That smile faltered as the Red Dragon turned around to face herself and her peerage. As he did, a wave of power washed over the area, making breathing a more taxing effort than anyone present had ever experienced.
A deep growl escaped the helmet, the eyes glowing in a vibrant emerald light.
The air around the dragon armor shimmered from building heat, his entire body looked as though he was struggling from lashing out.
A voice laced with the same power as before, but much deeper made itself known to the young Gremory group. It was instantly recognized by Rias as the voice of Ddraig, the Red Dragon of Domination due to her contact with the Blaze Meteor Dragon Tanin. His voice was only slightly calmer than his hosts.
[This garden was meant as a place to honor my hosts mate. Your fight has defiled this place with your thoughtless actions. If you wish to keep your limbs and your lives, I recommend you leave, and never return.]
Still taking in ragged deep breaths, Rias hesitantly met the blazing emerald gaze from her kneeling position.
“You mean….Nora Purson…Is dead?” The effort of speaking only made the light headedness stronger as it took a good portion of the oxygen she was able to pull in due to the flood of primal energy surrounding them.
That raised a new revelation in Rias’ mind, and it showed on her face through her wide eyes. If Nora was Dead..Then the little girl that Sona had seen here was…
“The little girl…Is your daughter…Nora’s daughter.”
That had been the wrong thing to say. Rias along with Kiba, Koneko and Akeno went from having trouble breathing to not being able to at all.
The roar that enveloped the garden was a mix of the first voice, from the dragons host, and the dragon himself. And they spoke in unison to the Gremory heiress, issuing their final and only warning.
[“ If I find you anywhere near her, you will find no mercy. You will welcome death by holy water graciously by the time i’m finished. Stay. Away. From my Family!”]
The overload to the groups senses had been too much, and they all quickly fainted. Koneko had been last one to fade into the darkness, and the last thing she remembered seeing was the hamlet pull back, all she could recall was the piercing light brown eyes.
Kuoh Academy was filled with whispers and rumors of what some people had heard coming from the far side of town last night.
“It sounded like a lion.”
“It shook my house it was so loud.”
“It felt so close, I fell into the bath water it scared me so bad.”
those were among the conversations by some of the groups gathering in front of the school before classes began.
As much as many of the theories differed, they agreed on one thing.
Whatever it was that made that sound, it was angry, and they needed to stay away from it.
While the students and faculty of Kuoh Academy went about their business, four of the students were not sharing conspiracy theories, but instead going over last nights events.
Inside the student council office, Sona with her queen were met by Rias and Akeno, the two ORC members looked like they could use a good 14 hour nap.
“Rias, what the hell happened last night? My familiars rushed out of the garden after you and stray entered.” Sona said to her rival. True to her word, Sona was alerted once the stray and Rias’ peerage entered the garden they sent word to their master. But soon after, they fled the area like a frightened animal in the face of a predator.
Rias gave a tired sigh, knowing just how Sona was going to take the information she was about to be told. She’d be angry that such a powerful potential enemy had been hidden here. And if there was one thing Sona hated, it was unknowns.
“The stray was quicker than we anticipated, we caught up to it in the garden. It managed to injure Akeno and Kiba. It almost had us in a bad spot, but someone else showed up before it could land another hit.”
Sona quirked an eyebrow, crossing her arms as she sat back in the chair behind her desk.
“And do you know the identity of this other individual?”
Rias mimicked Sona’s actions, an old habit from being close friends for the majority of their lives.
“His name, no. Title and relation to the garden….yes.”
Her interest piqued, Sona leaned her elbows onto her desk, fingers laced with her chin placed against them.
“So who is this individual? Do you feel we need to set precautions against them?”
“I think my peerage and I need to replace what we damaged as a sign of good faith, I hope that will ease any tensions between us.”
“Rias…Tell me who this person is. You know how important the pillar houses are to the underworld.”
Rias took a careful deep breath before giving Sona the information.
“The stray was killed by the Red Dragon Emperor.” She paused there, waiting to give the other, and possibly and more important information.
Sona’s eyes popped open as wide as her sockets would allow, slammed her hands on her desk as she shot up from her seat.
“WHAT?! YOU MEAN TO TELL ME SOMEONE WITH THE POWER TO LEVEL ENTIRE ARMIES IS HERE TOO?!” She screamed out.
Rias kept her composure, having already expected this response. Akeno and Tsubaki on the other hand, flinched from the sudden outburst and volume of the Sitri devil.
“ *sigh* what else Rias?”
Knowing how close Sona was to the brink of what she could handle, Rias decided to just lay everything out on the table quickly, and then deal with whatever aftermath would follow.
“Nora’s dead. The little girl in your video is the daughter of her and the Red Dragon Emperor.”
Koneko walked through the campus grounds having just left their clubroom in the old school building. A breeze picked up and carried a pleasant, but familiar scent to her sensitive nose. A scent of a plethora of flowers. Just like from last night.
Turning to face the direction the smell of flowers was coming from, only one figure was in her field of vision. A brown haired young man about the height Rias had said was in Sona’s video. He was standing under the tree closest to the old schoolhouse, leaning against it standing, and playing with a pair of rings on a leather string. But the final confirmation, was those light brown eyes.
Even with the neutral expression on his face, Koneko was too far connected to nature to not feel the sadness and longing radiating off of him. So going against her better judgement, and doing what Rias would probably berate her for later, Koneko walked towards him.
He didn’t appear to notice her approach, or maybe he just didn’t care at the moment, as he made no signs of moving his eyes or body from there current position.
Stopping a few feet to the side of his peripheral vision, she just stood there a few moments studying him, trying to get a better idea of what had him so lost in thought.
“Do you miss her?” Koneko spoke in her quiet and monotone manner that was typical for her.
Those light brown eyes hardened, but didn't move. If one listened closely, it almost sounded like an angry growl came from his chest, as his teeth were bared.
“She was my wife, the mother of my child. Of course I miss her.” He spat out venomously.
Koneko showed no outward reaction, but took careful notice of the increase in negative energy rising from the young man in front of her. But was surprised by how easy it was to get him to admit that it was him that they met last night.
She decided to push her luck just a little bit further, recalling Rias’ talk with them this morning about making amends.
“Will you let us fix the sunflowers, to apolo-“
But she was cut off before she finish.
“What do you want with her? Why are you looking for Nora now, after two years?”
His voice was more controlled, but the distrust and hint of anger were still there. Koneko the information he’d given away to give to Rias later.
“The northern garden last year. The pillars want to make sure she’s safe.”
Koneko rose an eyebrow as a dark chuckle came from his lips, he finally turned towards Koneko, and those piercing light brown eyes almost looked as if an eternal blaze was lit behind them.
“The Pillars? 7 of them are to blame for her death. I recommend you tell Rias Gremory and Sona Sitri not to share any information with the pillar court….If you value your lives. They’ll come after you just as they did her.”
Koneko was left soaking that in as the young man walked away. Only then did she realize that she hadn’t asked for his name, although she doubted that he would have freely given it. But it would be an easy task for them with access to the school records.
The bell for classes to begin rang through the grounds, drawing Koneko from her thoughts. She wanted to talk to Rias right away, but thought it better to wait, and choose the words she would say after classes carefully.