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The Begining of the End

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Cruton
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Age : 35 Registration date : 2010-10-13 Number of posts : 54 Location : Clermont
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PostSubject: The Begining of the End   Sun 22 Feb 2015, 03:46

“Humans unremarkable beings of remarkable adaptability are believed to be the dominate race of this cesspool called earth. Sure there are those that can go their entire life without ever running into a Devil, Fallen angel or Angel. To be honest with you odds are more humans have run across us then they think. But here in this city the most fascinating thing is happening a truly diverse population has come together. Devils, Fallen, Angels and so much more are coexisting and downright prospering. Don’t get me wrong their feathers get ruffled together and skirmishes brake out but what is peace without a little ruff housing. I mean its sapient nature at its core, and without it how could we evolve past our violent primitive nature.”
“Looking down I must admit it’s quite the view, it’s got all the elements of a Historical disaster. Rome to be exact…”. Reigh

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Cruton
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Age : 35 Registration date : 2010-10-13 Number of posts : 54 Location : Clermont
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PostSubject: Re: The Begining of the End   Thu 11 Jun 2015, 05:47

What a beautiful sight, the horizon at the witching hour, the time between evenings and night as the sun sets and one catches its last glimpse. This is also the time when those of the night start to stir, some for mischief and others for excitement but all to enjoy the night air. Right now a raven is stretching its large wings flying through the wondrous horizon perhaps in search of food. A woman is admiring a fountain while possibly waiting for a lover. A young archer gets her last few shoots in before it gets to dark. A chef is prepping for his busy morning. A girl heads home after her clubs activities are concluded glancing at the first stars in the sky. All random incident with no connection right? Usually yes, but on the witching hour in this place, what one make a circumstantial conclusion for each is completely wrong due to one variable, a speck on the horizon heading to this location………

On a strange sort of a hot air balloon/glider a young man tinker with some scrap toward a device of which he came up with, “all most done just need this and that and complete.” What looks like a catapult he take to the end of his balloon glider and anchors it, now he loads it and gabs a bow and arrow. As the sky is starting to darken leading to night the young man steps on a switch and launches the objects in the catapult he draws and shoots, once and a second time the arrows come in contact with the objects and they explode into smoke. “Nicely done Fili, catapult with targets and arrows that go up in smoke, now I can do archery without littering as long as I don’t miss. I wonder how much longer till I get to Kuoh Academy? I hope I don’t keep Cleo waiting, from the map it seem it should be about twenty to thirty minutes.” Fili looks ahead and sees a fountain far in the distant as well as a large winged raven flying circling and he gets the feeling it’s looking at him. “Weird oh well on worries it seems she’s not there yet so that’s good now time to work on my marksmanship.” He continues shooting and making his way to Kuoh Academy.

A girl leaves the school as night begins to fall, she looks to the sky to the raven, vision appear to her as she looks through the ravens eyes. She sees Ingrid at the archery range shooting, smoke coming from Rooklyn’s restraint, some woman in black with a cross by the fountain, and then a strange craft on the horizon. The craft perks her interest so she has the raven focus on the craft, after seeing an arrow hit a ball and combust into flame she sees the familiar face, losing the vision she pauses as her mind races. “Calm down Jezibel, Jez that’s what he called me” Jezibel blushes then shakes her head “Focus you could be imagining things, I mean it is like the three year anniversary since that night where he left you without a word your probably just wish to take revenge, though it has been three years and you still thinking of him, no I’ve got to see who it really is,” she regains her focus and the vision returns with a second look it’s unmistakable him “Fili why must you show up now after all this time and at this moment, I must investigate Gaeta keep on Fili.”

Staring down the target the female archer zeros in and fip fip fip fip and fip five targets in various ranges all bulls’ eyes. Ingrid then pulls a lever and various automated target start popping up all over the range she draws, fip, fip, fip, fip fip, fip, fip, fip eight quick shots all pretty much the same as previously “When we face off again you will not beat me I don’t care if my father holds you in high regard, yes we did get the Taro card system to work even after all your failures and a few of ours but I still loath you for sealing dads favor.” In the distant she hears arrows being fired and then combustion blasts “you can’t be serous, two years not a thought and then you creep in, Fili you bastard, and ever worse you’re making your way here, I know your shot and I’ll be damned if I let you arrive unhindered.” With that she moves her sights in the direction of Fili’s shots spots the craft far in the distant and shoot at the balloon.

A young woman makes her to the fountain remember what her superior told her (“Now Cleorichi I know you think it beneath you to do this but Fili is of value and since the two of you already know each other you’re the best choice to show him around town.” “I guess I understand that much but Azazel sir, why meet at the fountain, I swear there is a hex on that place” Cleo responds “Now don’t go getting superstitious on me”) “Yeah easy for you to say you are not here waiting, you better hurry Fili I’m already uneasy as it is,” Cleo then sees a few balls of flames combust and then notices the craft.

Fili sees that Cleo is at the fountain after shooting some targets then senses danger, as an arrow hits his balloon he instantly turns and shoots at the assailant in the distant do to the sense of danger Sleipnir without a thought the arrow makes it to the mark stripping Ingrid. Fili looks at the arrow recognizing it as Ingrid’s “Well met Ingrid if I could just see the reaction on your face from me hitting you but right now I need to prepare for a crash-landing.” Fili pulls a lever and wings expand giving him a little control. He then glides the craft toward the fountain, the nose of the craft hits the hill flinging Fili face first into Cleorichi’s boobs. In the shadows Jezibel sees Fili fly into the cross girl’s cleavage and she was about to act when a hand touched her shoulder, she jolted and turned seeing Rooklyn with the food she order awaiting payment, she pays him the five gold, “thank you for your patronages” Rook replies and rides toward Fili and Cleo and jumps over them. Jez follows and Fili finally takes his head out of Cleo’s breast and responds “sorry I got shot down” Cleo shoves Fili away and get ready to punch him saying “Yeah right and where you landed was just a coincidence” “now Cleo that’s no way to treat someone your supposed to show around is it?”Azazel proclaims.



Last edited by Cruton on Sat 11 Jul 2015, 01:45; edited 1 time in total
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Ryerai
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PostSubject: Re: The Begining of the End   Sat 13 Jun 2015, 07:45

Prologue:
He twirls the obsidian chef blade in his fingers as he tosses Leeks, Chives, Basil, Thyme and Oregano into the air. With a flick of his wrist the blade dices them in seconds, as they fall into the skillet a black flame licks at the bottom. His thumb pops the top of a bottle which pours a steady stream of Virgin maiden juice into the skillet, he gives the skillet a few shakes causing the contents to flip inside. Then he turns to his cutting board, and he grabs a whole Vidalia and red onion; slices them into hair like strands he slides the side of the blade underneath the strands and lifts them before spinning to his right and dropping them into the skillet. The juice crackles in acceptance as he Cuts a Piece of Eden and Star fruit into chunks before effortlessly sliding the chunks into a pot that he places to his left, another flame appears beneath the pot. He quickly grabs a bottle which reads Inficio a fallen vintage, and pours it into the pot before taking a swig of it himself. “Just strong enough to enhance the flavor”, he then turns around and twists a valve that sends a torrent of Dead Sea water into a pot of rice which becomes engulfed in flames. Grabbing the handle of the skillet behind him, using his right hand, he dumps the contents into the cooking rice and flips the skillet over the pot and leaves it their like a lid as the flame covers the entire thing. He effortlessly cuts three slices of butter and throws it into the Eden and star fruit sauce, it melts instantly as he stirs it with a wooden spoon for a few seconds before weakening the flame to a simmer.

He walks to the fridge and grabs a pickled Basilisk tongue and a slab of pork fat that he slaps down on the cutting board. He stretches out the tongue to its full length and cuts it into rubbery strips like bacon and he does the same with the pork fat. He then oils a thin metal slate with the sweat of Harlots and heats it with the flame, then he then lays his strips upon the slate which instantly start to crackle. He then pulls out two Imp hearts and a 12oz Porter house steak: first he cuts the fat off the Porter house and melts it in a pan, then he cuts the hearts in half and throws the heart halves and the rest the steak into the pot of liquid fat. He then takes a powder made of Ghost peppers, Habaneros, Jalapenos, and Curry and seasons the meat before covering the pan and placing it into a wicked faced furnace in the center of the shop.

He drops two Crystallized fairy tears into a sauce pan and sets it to a high heat to break it down to its liquid form. As the tears slowly melt he filets a Celestial dove breast, and then blankets it in minced white onions and garlic. He tops this with whole leaves of Thyme, wraps the top of the pan and sets it in the wicked faced furnace. He takes a second to wipe the sweat from his brow before pulling a Kraken tentacle out of a bucket filled with ice. (What are you planning on doing with this?)He merely smiles and says to the hollow voice. “Were going to turn this hunk of calamari into noodles”, the hollow voice crackles with laughter. (You’re insane if you think this will work)He winks at the furnace and says “watch me”. With that he cuts the tentacle in half before peeling the skin off, he then cuts the halves into 1/6” of a inch strands. He sprinkles pepper and salt on them before dropping them into a pot of boiling water, as he waits for the food to cook he grabs four black oak bento boxes with ancient indentions carved into it.

The flames leave the pot of rice as he removes the skillet lid and shakes the contents of the pot before looking down at the perfectly steamed rice. He then unwraps a wicked cross of the Isholy family he closes his eyes and holds the cross over the rice. And says “etiam ferocissimos domari”(even the fiercest are overcome), a prayer of Marrcellus’s angel family. The words of the prayer cause the wound on his chest to glow. He then wraps up the cross and puts it up, before taking the rice and splitting it into the four bento boxes. He then takes the sauce dubbed “Forbidden juice” and pours it over all the rice turning the center pink. He then cracks four Roc eggs over the rice, the whites drip into the rice and cook instantly. While only the outer layer of the yolk cooks, he then takes the baconized basilisk tongue and pork fat and lays it over the rice in the first bento. He then places chopsticks made from a sacred olive brank in it before closing the top. He then pulls out the steak and Imp heart and cuts them into strips that he lays over of the second bento’s rice. This one gets Dire wolf bone chopsticks before being covered.

For the third he takes the Celestial Dive breast out and removes the thyme before pouring the contents of the pan on the rice. Doge chopsticks go into this one before he closes it, he then goes to the boiling pot and pulls out a Kraken noodle and places it on the table. He tries to twirl it with a fork but it remains to rubbery so he tosses it back into the pot. He closes his eyes and focuses on the noodles increasing the heat in the center of the pot. It only takes a few seconds for the water in the pot to become a frothing concoction. He then fishes a noodle out and successfully twirls it, he smiles and winks at the furnace before topping the fourth bento with it. He gives it Witcher bone chopsticks and then closes it before placing it in a delivery bag.

(A minute or two later)

(You feel that Rook?), “Yeah”……..(Were going in aren’t we?)”Was never a question Cal”. Rookly heads straight towards the eerie fountain as the sound of fighting fills the air. As they round the side of it he sees Mikal get sent flying into a tree, her welsh dragon gauntlet starting to glow.

She grunts in pain as Rook leaps off his bike landing in front of her as a scythe bounces off his back, he turns to look at the man who takes a few steps back. Before saying “the fuck you made of Vibrainium”, Rookly looks him over for a bit (someone leagues stronger then him is observing this fight be careful). Rookly nods and says “Luna get Mika out of here and deliver Marcellus his food”, at this his bike transforms.


“What about you” his bike asks, He smiles at her and says “I’ll be behind you before you know it Luna now go”. Luna scoops up Mika and runs off into the woods, the man with the scythe shouts “not so fast” but his attack gets diverted by a kick from Rookly. The two trade blows until Rookly feels the others are out of range he then Riposte’s at the guy and drops him. Rook turns to leave as a giant tail bursts through his chest and slams him into a tree before slamming him to the ground. Blood streams from the wound as a woman walks up to him and lifts his torso off the ground. She glares at him before saying “You are not my enemy but I had to punish you for interfering with my plans”, Rook tries to respond but the blood filing his lungs makes it impossible. The women strokes his hair as her eyes soften “I’ll make your passing easier foolish boy” she transforms into a buxom maiden and she places his face into her breasts. Rook starts to laugh although it sounds more like a tube of rushing water with air in it. He places his hand on her shoulder and lifts himself up to her face and kisses her. Blood pours out the side of his mouth as he starts to collapse. Only to bursts into a shimmer of shining black ash, the girl’s forms changes to that of a normal high school student. Rook’s blood on her lips sizzle with a slight heat as she stares at the ash with a sudden shock. “Ophis what’s wrong you seem a bit strange”, Ophis turned to look at her and pointed to the ash “Calcifer”. Sophia frowned and replied “this is going to be a very big problem, Marcellus will not take this very well”.Ophis got to her feet still staring at the ash “Why could I not sense your essence Calcifer”. Sophia places her hand on Ophis’s shoulder “the alliance feared the growth of power, he was forced to hide it especially after the coupe Gabriel pulled”. “You should have let me know it was you Cal, I wouldn’t have hurt you my friend”. After saying this Ophis turned around her eyes now filled with rage as she says. “Change of plan Sophia there are things I need to take care of, apologize to the Naberius boy for me”. Ophis then took one of her tears and breathed fire on it and places it were rook’s heart would be. Sophia asks “When will we meet again Ophis”, there is a silence before she said “I do not know his tea was the only one that didn’t taste like ash in my mouth”. With that his flies off leaving Sophia to stare over the ashes of Rook.

(Elsewhere)

The entire Otaku club stood over Marcellus’s prophetic manga of Rookly’s fate, the only one nor with them was Marcellus whom was in his office. All his papers, manga and other items were strewn across the floor. His furniture was in pieces by the walls, tears streamed down his face as he knelt in the center of the room with four unopened bento lay before him. He looked up to the heavens his heart heavy with the pain of loss. Ariel Isholy stood outside his window her hand against the window wishing she could take his pain away. Screams of shock and terror as the Otaku club reached the blurred pages of Rookly’s demise. They all turned to look at Marcellus’s room with tears in their eyes as their thoughts wondered on how hard this must be for Mar-chan.

(At the seat of Hell)

“Lady Gwyenth Lucifer I have news you will find most devastating” Gwyenth turned to look at her queen and said “then speak it Heimdall”. Heimdall rose to his feet and met her gaze as he said emotionlessly “he who bears the curse of Calcifer is no more”. The entire half of the underworld that the Seat of Hell was destroyed in .0000001 seconds.

(Back at the fountain)

Charon walked up to the ashes and took a knee as he ran his hands across the ashes his power bombarding it trying to get feedback. After an hour of nothing he rose to leave as Michael and Azazel appeared by him and asked “So is he gone”. Charon was about to say yes when they heard(re-forge initiated)echo faintly in their minds!

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Sangios
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PostSubject: Re: The Begining of the End   Thu 18 Jun 2015, 08:22

"Onii-sama..." Lenneth Naberius stared at the door to her brothers office.

"Sensei...really is taking it hard..." Irisviel Alsael said softly, hand held over her heart.

Yuuki Serena took a seat, wiping the tears from her eyes. "Of course he is... Rooklyn was like a brother to him..."

Orihara Izaya casually leaned against a wall, hands held behind his head. The smile that usually stretched across his face was gone, in favor of a blank expression. He remained silent, but it was obvious that the situation irked him more than just a bit. {Hmph. He's not going to be any fun for a while.}

Alice Fairchild was holding her best friend, Lenneth, around the waist from behind. "Is he really dead, Tannin...?"

The voice of the Blaze Meteor Dragon replied, heard by all as a dark purple bracelet manifested on Alice's wrist. "Unfortunately, so. You should know well by now, how spot on that boy's Clairvoyance is. Rooklyn is gone, as is Calcifer. Lady Lucifer seems to have not taken the news well herself. You should be glad that Marcellus is far more capable of controlling himself. It would likely prove impossible to contain the Azure Dragon Vessel without outside help. Of course, it would be easy if Alice could hurry up and achieve Balance Breaker."

He had also felt clearly, the presence of the Ouroboros Dragon, Ophis, but decided against mentioning it. Mainly because he knew that Marcellus was well acquainted with the Infinite Dragon God through the Illusive Woman.

Like the others, Cynthia Asgard watched the bracelet as the Dragon King spoke. She had been about to comment, when they all heard the loud stomping of feet. The next moment, two women stormed into the fray. "R-rinslet!?"

Rinslet Odin, daughter of the Norse Father, looked at her dearest friend Cynthia. "Is it true!? The God of the Kitchen has been sent off ahead of us?!"

Elena Focalor pushed Rinslet aside roughly, without a care for her status as a Goddess. She looked straight to her 'archnemesis'. "Lenneth! Is Marcel okay!?"

Lenneth averted her gaze from Elena, looking toward the office doors. "Onii-sama is..."

Just then, they once again heard a cry of anguish, along with a loud smashing sound.

"Senpai has been like that for a while..." Cynthia said softly.

Elena immediately grew quiet, knowing that not even Lenneth had been able to comfort him.

Rinslet crossed her arms, with a look of disappointment. "How pathetic. Throwing such a fit without paying heed to those who worry about him."

Serena was now standing, brandishing a lamp that she'd picked up from a table. The lamp was covered in a dark gray aura. "Rinslet-san, I must ask that you keep your opinion to yourself for the moment. It would be a shame if an ill fate were to befall you, now of all times."

"!" Rinslet felt a drop of sweat roll down her cheek, and she immediately waved her hands dismissively.

Izaya looked away from Serena, having developed a conditioned response to her calm rage, due to being the target of her ire most often.

"Mar Mar?" Yukina Amdusias was knocking on the office door, a worried look on her face. Similarly, her soft voice carried a worried tone.

"Whoa?!" Everyone blinked as they looked to her. "When did you even get here?!"

Yukina spared a glance for the group, before returning her attention to the door and knocking once again.

"S-stop that! Onii-sama doesn't wish to be disturbed!" Lenneth exclaimed, grabbing Yukina and pulling her away from the door. The poor introvert found herself unable to resist, and submitted to her.

"Well, if Seiryu went wild, she'd be able to stop him." Tannin noted.

Alice looked at her bracelet, "Tanny, can you shut up for a bit?"

Unnoticed by all, another guest had passed by and entered the office.

"Hm?" Izaya watched the doors close, being the only one to have noticed. {Sophia's here? If she came to check on Marc-chan, it's too much of a coincidence, even with her information network. That woman is definitely involved with Rook's death, somehow.}


"My my, they certainly are suffocatingly doting, aren't they?" Sophia Lantis remarked, walking toward the man who was on his knees in the center of the ruined room.

Marcellus Naberius clenched the ground with his fingers, digging through the wood. "Leave me alone, Sophia..."

"Normally, I would." The Fallen Angel replied, stepping around a trashed chair to stand in front of him. "But isn't it that you don't want to be alone right now?"

She glanced over her right shoulder, to the window, giving a mysterious smile to the mother of the man at her feet.

Marcellus blinked as Sophia got on her knees and embraced him. His tears flowed once again, as he leaned into and clung to her.

"There, there..." Sophia stroked his hair gently, a neutral smile on her lips.


Ariel Isholy's 12 golden wings sprouted as she took flight from the Naberius Mansion. Seeing her estranged son was the hardest thing for her, despite having been the one who decided to leave him to his own choices. The worst was being unable to do anything more than just watch his pain. Of course, she couldn't deny that it stung to see Sophia Lantis comforting him in her stead.

"Marcellus...I'm so sorry..."

Valeria Kryas approached her mistress, wings outstretched. "Lady Ariel, did you only come here to torture yourself? No matter how many times you see him, it won't change the fact that Mat no longer remembers you...or any of us, for that matter..."

"It's not that..." Came the soft response from Ariel, who decided to inform her Queen of the situation.

Valeria's eyes were now set upon the mansion, "So he's dead... Mat must be heartbroken..."

She looked to Ariel, who looked heartbroken herself. "Is there anything from the Oracle that stuck out? Bringing Rooklyn's murderer to justice might be the only thing we can do for Mat."

Closing her eyes, Ariel took a deep breath. When they opened, they were no longer the sad eyes of a mother, but the eyes of one the Ten Seraphs of Heaven. "As a matter of fact, yes. I saw the killer."

Valeria blinked in surprise, "You did? Do you know where to find him?"

"Not 'him', her." Ariel replied calmly. "Will you accompany me? I'm going to meet the Infinite Dragon God."

"Lady Ophis...?" Understandably, Valeria was confused.


One week later

Since the passing of Rook, Marcellus's presence had been scarce. He had been skipping school altogether, which Charon grudgingly permitted; Something that shocked everyone. The only ones who had even seen him were Lenneth and her family. He wouldn't even speak to them properly. At this point, Lenneth was starting to really show desperation in her desire to get her brother back.

"Onii-sama..." Lenneth laid her head atop the desk she had always shared with her beloved brother. She tuned out the voice of Charon, as he went on about ancient Egyptian life.

"I hate sitting at this desk...my seat is supposed to be Onii-sama's..." The Heiress of House Naberius was now drawing circles atop the desk with her finger.

Charon looked to the girl, growing quiet, which caused all to look over. Her Household members, bar Izaya, attempted to get her attention. His next action incited surprise, as he continued his lesson rather than chide the young lady. {It would be terribly cruel of me to chew her out when she's already down without...? Hm, well what do you know? Is he made of sterner stuff than we thought?}

He paused once again, looking to the door. This time, everyone followed his gaze as the door opened. "How nice of you to finally join us, Mr. Mathias. I was beginning to get jealous. Just who is the one who has been stealing your attention from me?"

"Ahahahaha..." Marcellus scratched his head with a slightly nervous smile. "Sorry, sorry, I won't do it again, Mr. C~"

"You'd best not," Charon suggested calmly, motioning toward Lenneth. Before the student advanced too far, the teacher's eyes drifted to his desk.

Marcellus met his gaze with a wry smile, striding over to the desk of the only teacher he paid much mind to, producing a stack of papers thicker than a university thesis. "Naturally, I did all the required homework. I even put my own personal touch and went a few extra steps. A few hands on studies about what life was like for influential Egyptian figures; Cleopatra VII, King Tut, Ramses III...the works. I even took the liberty of-"

He paused to take out another item, a book in usual tankoubon state. "-making my own adaptation of how their lives went, based off my personal interpretations of the actual events. I spent the most time on Cleopatra, since her life was so colorful."

Charon smirked in amusement, nodding to signal he was pleased, and would enjoy the content. "I'm interested in how you managed to research so much in such a short amount of time, Mr. Mathias."

The claim caused the adopted son of House Naberius to chuckle, "A good friend of mine is ridiculously knowledgeable of such things. Her insight into these matters is uncanny, as are her amusing opinions on events as they actually unfolded."

Charon nodded once again, his eyes suggesting that he make his greetings quick. {I've yet to attain the details of how he came to be so close to the Illusive Woman and even the Infinite Dragon God. Both, especially Sophia Lantis, are well known for their aloof natures. It was thought by all that they could be tied down by none but one another, yet Ariel's darling son seems to have the both of them wrapped around his gentle finger.}

"Onii-sama!" Lenneth shot to her feet as he finally approached. "W-what are you doing here!?"

The one known as Cocksquat eagerly waved at Marcellus, as if they were the closest of friends.

Marcellus waved back before he smiled at his friends and then looked at his little sister. "I think I've missed enough classes. I would've been here on time, but the meeting with my editor went on a bit long when we got to talking about Bitcher 3- I mean, Witcher 3."

Izaya smirked at him, "You're looking spry~"

"Well, I had a dream." Marcellus admitted, sitting at the desk. He smiled lovingly, as Lenneth immediately sat in his lap, her usual seat in the class. "In it, Rooky was laughing at me for being so distraught over him. The best way to honor his memory is to have tenfold the fun for him, right?"

"Yes, I wholeheartedly agree~" Lenneth said lyrically, fixing his tie with a happy smile.

Irisviel giggled, "It's nice to have you back, Sensei~"

"We're all glad to see you!" Serena smiled warmly at him.

Cynthia blushed a bit, "I'm happy to see you, Senpai~"

Alice reached over, poking him roughly. "No more being all depressed and lame! Got it?!"

"Ahaha...yeah. No more being lame." Marcellus smiled at them.

"All is right with the world again~" Lenneth claimed, rubbing her head against her brother's chest affectionately.

Marcellus pat his sister on the head, causing her to let out what seemed to be a content purr.

Charon chuckled lowly, "Now, shall we pick up where we left off? Cocksquat, eyes off Mr. Mathias' rear end, and back to me."

Cocksquat gasped as the rest of the class laughed. Well, except for Marcellus, who tilted his head, and Lenneth, who leveled an irritated glare at him. "I wasn't checking out his-"

"Don't you talk back to me, boy." Charon responded sharply, cutting the poor boy off. "Or do you want to see some visual evidence of what I did to your mom's rear last night?"

Marcellus smiled sympathetically as Cocksquat lowered his head in defeat, Izaya leading with the loudest laughter of all. {Has everyone gotten meaner to him while I was gone?}


Inside a popular cafe in the town.

Sophia sat at a table for two, across from her best friend. She observed in amusement, as her besty was rubbing her head in a manner that made her look even cuter than she always did. "Did you bump your head, Ophis~?"

"Yes, against Ariel Isholy's fist." Ophis replied with a pouty expression, reaching for a cup of tea and adding sugar. "Mari-chan's mother is very vindictive toward any who have wronged her son."

"Maybe I should have warned you in advance." Sophia pondered, smiling. "Ariel-chan's become quite a bit more willing to resort to violence again, with her inability to be with her beloved~"

Ophis shot her friend a sharp glare, thought it had no effect on her smile. "Mel, I'm tempted to hurt you more and more by the second."

"You're more than welcome to try," Sophia replied tauntingly.

Ophis shook her head, reminding herself that Sophia Lantis was an opponent that even she couldn't really best. "Incidentally, is Mari-boo aware that I killed one of his closest friends?"

Sophia tilted her head, "Yes, of course, I told him myself."

She laughed when Ophis glared again, "What? Didn't you tell me to apologize for you? I did, right after I told him what you did."

"Hm...does he hate me now?" Ophis inquired curiously.

Sophia looked up in thought, "I'm actually not sure, to be honest. I figured he would, but he didn't seem particularly angry when he found out. Disappointed, maybe? He's such a cutie~ To think his heart of gold could even win your affection~"

"Yes, perhaps I do possess affection for the boy." Ophis admitted calmly. "What shall I call your attachment to him then? Is it, dare I say, love? No, that can't possibly be it. There's no way that the vile, despised Sophia Lantis could ever have feelings for someone. After all, her hobby is to kidnap children and eat their livers. Infants are the best, right?"

"What am I, Hagoromo Gitsune?" Sophia deadpanned, before countering. "Besides, aren't you the one said to devour the very essence of the foes she's decimated, leaving naught a shred of their existence in passing? I'd say I'm relatively tame in comparison to that, when I merely incite chaos and disorder for amusement."

Ophis cracked a smile at last, causing Sophia's smile to return. "On a more serious note, I am truly interested. What exactly is it that you have planned for Mari-chan? You aren't the type to do things for no reason, despite what you would have everyone else believe. He's the only person whose calls you always answer. Is it because you're betting on him being the one who will replace God? In that case, could it be that you're buttering him up to take Michael's position when the time comes? Or perhaps you are simply using him for pleasure and joy, for the time being?"

"You seem to have given this quite a bit of thought," Sophia pointed out, literally, as she was now pointing her teaspoon at her friend. "You're suggesting that I'm obsessing over him, but isn't that exactly what you're doing? I mean, when has the Ouroboros Dragon ever cared about what a boy thought of her? Maybe you're the one in love~"

Ophis laughed in amusement, sipping her tea. "My sweet Sophy, have you ever stopped to think that I simply desire to share what is yours?"

Sophia stared at Ophis, caught off guard for once. "The worrying thing, is that I can't tell if you're serious or not right now. Anyway, Marcellus and I are only friends. We've never done anything you think we have, much less shared a simple kiss~"

"Mhm? But you want to." Ophis noted. "How strange that I kissed him before you did, even though you've lusted after him for a few years now."

Sophia smiled darkly at her friend, "Come again? You've kissed him? I never heard about this~"

Ophis ran a hand through her hair, "Well naturally, he didn't know it was me. My appearance was drastically different, when I ran into him at one of his signing events. I truly can't get enough of his stories...among other things."

Sophia took a breath, having come to a decision. Though she kept it to herself rather than share it.

"And you know, the fact that you are willing to designate Mari-chan as your friend is quite something, given that up to now I was the only one you ever had~" Ophis added, as she lifted a hand to signal for a refill to her tea.

"Oh? Do you really think you're my only friend?" Sophia replied with a smirk. "Just because you would be lonely without me, doesn't mean it goes both ways. I have many more friends beyond you, in fact~"

She closed her eyes as to avoid seeing her besty's reaction to her lie, thoughts wandering toward the boy they'd been discussing. {But still, what exactly IS he to me? I know clearly what it is that I want from him, ultimately, but... A friend? Are we friends? Can I even call him a friend, when I manipulate him so often?}


Two weeks after the death of Rooklyn.

Within a suspended space accessible through the Naberius Household, where they would often train and perform other activities. Time flowed differently here, making it possible for more to be done than normal.

Xavier Naberius stood atop a cliff within a landscape filled with hilly green meadows. Beneath him, a practice session raged on.

"Faster." Came the command from Daenerys Naberius, her sword currently targeting her little sister. The blade moved at speeds so great that they left afterimages in their wake. And this was her holding back.

"You must be faster when using magic to attack, even if you've distance between yourself and the enemy." She followed up, as the tip of her sword touched the throat of Lenneth, a massive gathering of fire, lightning and wind dying down. "Give the opponent the slightest opening, and they can turn the tides in an instant. Remember this. Our brother will not always be there to guard you. And it is only by his efforts that you came to be called the Untouchable Queen."

Lenneth felt a drop of sweat roll down her cheek, the tip of the cold weapon piercing her throat just enough to draw blood. "Y-yes, Onee-chan...I will strive to cast faster in the future..."

Marcellus appeared in a blur, beside his sisters, setting his hand atop Daenerys'. "There was no need to make her bleed, Dany."

"Marcel, you are Lenneth's Queen." Daenerys stated calmly, looking up into his eyes. "It is up to you to keep her at her best. She is not living up to her full potential, with you coddling her with affection at every turn. At some point, you must realize, it's necessary to kill the girl and let the woman be born."

Despite her sensible words, she was now lowering her sword anyway.

Marcellus blinked in surprise, staring at his big sister as Lenneth sighed in relief and moved behind him. "I feel like I've heard that somewhere before."

"Well naturally~" Izaya chimed in playfully, currently dancing about in a star formation, evading three girls as they attacked him furiously, unable to even graze him.

Marcellus shot a look to Izaya, "What do you mean by that?" Due to his sealed memories, he was unaware of the high ranked Angel that often used that line when talking to younger beings. Good old Aemon. As it happened, it was also a line from Game of Thrones.

"Wait, what are you doing protecting Lenneth when you're supposed to be fighting Cattleya...?" Daenerys turned from her little brother to the woman that was her Queen, blinking as she saw the girl in question, laying on the ground. "Cat? What happened?"

Cattleya sat up, running a hand through her hair with a laugh. "Marcel took me by surprise with Honjou Masamune, when he realized you were about to show your harsh side to little Lenneth~"


"Uh...sorry about that, Cat-chan..." Marcellus smiled apologetically at her, the Holy Sword brandished in one hand.

At that point, Daenerys looked at the hand that held her current sword, the one that was still within her brother's. Her body tensed, and her cheeks flushed pink, as her expression became a bit strained.

"Hm?" Marcellus tilted his head, confused at the odd reaction.

"Enough of that!" Lenneth exclaimed, snatching Marcel's hand from Daenerys', pulling his arm to her chest possessively. "Thank you oh so much, Onii-sama, for saving me again~"

Marcellus chuckled, his sword disappearing in a flash of light as he pat her on the head gently. "You know I'll always drop everything for you~"

Daenerys now wore an irritated glare, "This is the exact kind of coddling that I speak of. You had better get-"

"Ahahahaha!" Kirei Naberius strolled over with an exhausted Serena, and a pumped Alice, who was taking sneak strikes at him. He moved his left hand fluidly, pushing each strike aside as if it was nothing to him. "Relax, Dany~ You'll never make any progress if you act this way toward them~"

"Eh?" Marcellus looked at his big brother in confusion.

"Oh!" Kirei jumped, barely avoiding a swing from his twin sister.

"Whoa!?" Alice fell backwards, along with Serena, as the ground and air were cut apart between them, in a long line.

Daenerys lowered her sword, which dissolved into demonic dust as she closed her eyes. "Do not speak on matters you don't understand, Kirei."

Ahead of her, Izaya had just maneuvered to pull the girls assaulting him, out of harms way. They were the Pawns of Kirei's Household.

Kirei stood in the air, carried by his 8 Devil wings, an amused smile on his face. "Were you trying to kill me, dearest Dany?"

"Wow, you're so scary, Daenerys-senpai~" Izaya said playfully, smiling away like always.

Kirei landed as his girls jumped on him, and moved to console them. "There there, she wasn't aiming for you~"

Cynthia walked over, stopping near Alice and Serena, helping them up as she nervously observed Daenerys.

"?" Daenerys glanced over her shoulder at Cynthia, who jumped in fright.

"Onee-chan, please stop scaring my adorable Household." Lenneth requested rather sternly, while still gripping her beloved brother's arm.

Serena smiled, patting Cynthia on the back as Alice went to hug Daenerys cheerfully. "As always, the twin elders are far beyond us~"

"Ah, not at all." Kirei claimed, winking at Serena. "You've only been at this for a little while, but you show a lot of promise. And of course, Alice-chan is the Purple Dragon King. She's always been a wild child with inhuman strength, but she's got loads of potential. You'll all catch up at your own pace if you keep trying~"

"Kyaaaah, Kirei-sama~" The girls of his Household, currently only his 8 Pawns, all clung to him lovingly.

Marcellus laughed, "Yeah, Kirei-nii is right! Considering how far you've already come, you're both amazing, Ali-chan, Liz-chan~"

Lenneth looked at Serena and Alice, who both blushed when Marcellus smiled at them. "..."

"But still, Izaya-kun and Marcel-senpai are the most amazing..." Cynthia said softly, looking at them.

Izaya simply remained smiling, looking to Marcellus.

Lenneth nodded in agreement, "As irritating as it is, Izaya's stronger than me. Onii-sama is the most incredible of all, though~"

She stood on her tiptoes, kissing Marcellus on the cheek.

Marcellus smiled at Lenneth, who giggled giddily as she retreated a bit away from him. He turned around, looking to the group that was still busy practicing. The last one from Lenneth's Household, and the two Bishops of Daenerys'. They had been engaging in a contest of magic.

Irisviel had her hand stretched out, an amethyst purple cube barrier erected around her, staving off multiple magic attacks from the two Bishops.

Daenerys and the rest observed in surprise, all impressed that Irisviel was capable of protecting herself from both of them. "She can maintain that barrier, even under sustained assault from Meredith and Nybel?"

Meredith and Nybel Luxor, the Twin Bishops of Daenerys' Household, had been bombarding Irisviel with elemental blasts for a good while, and were shocked that they couldn't bring down the barrier.

"Staff of Preservation!" Irisviel called out, lifting her free hand as her Sacred Gear appeared. "Time, slow down!" It was just as her barrier finally broke, that time slowed down in the space before her. The magic attacks were moving toward her at a crawl now, and it also seemed like the twins were moving in slow motion. "Time, reverse!"

The atmosphere within the affected zone shifted, as everything within rewinded swiftly. Within a few seconds, it was as if the twins had never thrown their recent attacks.

"Time, flow." Irisviel said calmly, turning around and lowering her scepter as the effect ended.

"Huh?" Meredith looked at Nybel, then at Irisviel, who was walking toward the others now. "What just happened? Weren't we um..."


Nybel nodded, "I thought we were attacking her, but now... Oh! She used her Sacred Gear on us!?"


"Senseeeeei~" Irisviel skipped over to Marcellus, her Sacred Gear vanishing as she hugged his arm with an innocent smile up at him. "Did I do well~?"

"Yes, you were wonderful Iris~" Marcellus replied, hugging her tightly.

Cattleya whistled in awe, "Wow, I guess this is to be expected from a girl whose parents are both famous Magicians... She even took two Bishop Pieces. She's something else, huh?"

Daenerys crossed her arms as Nybel and Meredith joined them. "No. While I can't deny that she was already a decently talented Magician before Lenneth took her in, this isn't a simple matter of her lineage. She wasn't capable of such a thing when we held the practice session two weeks ago."

Izaya smirked as everyone observed. Irisviel was rubbing against Marcel as if she were a cat, while Lenneth gave her a horrifying glare, and Marcel stroked her hair. {I thought it was obvious, personally~ Iris was angry at herself after Rook died. She convinced herself that it could have been avoided had she been better. That if she could rewind time further than she can, she could have stopped Mar-chan and Lady Lucifer from experiencing the pain, sorrow and tears. She's been blaming herself for their pain all this time, pushing herself to advance as fast as she can, in order to avoid something like that ever happening again. She really is way too mature for a 14 year old girl. Mar-chan clearly sees how she feels too.}

"Even though she's younger than us, she's really powerful..." Meredith noted. "Given the proper amount of time, I think she might even become the highest ranked Bishop one day~"

Nybel frowned, "We have to train harder to beat her."

"She's really good, Kirei-sama!" The cute Pawns remarked, all wrapped around their King.

Kirei laughed, "She sure is! Iris-chan is such a cute little one~"

Alice pounded her fist into her palm, "I'm fired up now! I wanna get stronger too! I'll achieve Balance Breaker and beat up Iza-nii, Marcel Onii-chan, and even Kirei-nii!"

"Will you now?" Izaya gave her an amused smile.

"I'll keep getting stronger too, you know~" Marcellus winked at Alice as Kirei laughed in amusement.

Xavier was now walking over to the groups led by his children. "That was a splendid display! You children are advancing at a great pace, especially you, Irisviel. Your parents will be proud when I inform them."

"Teehee~" Irisviel giggled, pulling herself even closer to Marcellus, somehow. She wasn't aware that Lenneth had lifted her hand to strike, which was promptly grabbed by Cattleya.

Xavier nodded to himself, "Yes, for the moment, you are all safe from the Seven Hells Training Regiment." He smiled as he noticed all but Daenerys, Irisviel and Cynthia shiver and shrink away at the mention of the training which served as a major source of nightmares for all who ever took part.
Irisviel and Cynthia had never been subjected to the regiment, while Daenerys was simply unfazed as she thoroughly enjoyed the regiment unlike everyone else.

"Now, how about we celebrate your progress?" He suggested with a chuckle. "Shall we have dinner in Italy?"

"Mmm, I could go for some original pizza right about now~" Kirei admitted.

Daenerys crossed her arms, "I suppose, they do deserve a bit of luxury." Her eyes wandered toward Marcellus, who was now being swarmed by Alice and Lenneth, atop of Irisviel.

Cynthia tilted her head, "I've never been to Italy before...much less had pizza there..."

"Ah, you're in for a treat then, Cyn~" Marcellus slipped past the girls, putting his arm around Cynthia's neck affectionately. "We'll show you around while we're at it!"

"R-really?" Cynthia looked up at him, her face now bright red.

"Really," Marcellus assured her.

Xavier stroked his goatee in thought, eyes watching all the "children" before him, though they lingered over the son he had stolen from his rival. {Ariel's warnings have yet to show any sign of coming about. The Azure Dragon, Seiryu, chose Marcellus Mathias Isholy, the most loved rising star of the Angels, to grant Azure Genesis to. The Vermilion Bird, Suzaku, imparted his Vermilion Genesis to the Devil; Dorothea Lefiya Aym, Heiress to House Aym. The White Tiger, Byakko, took a liking to the Fallen Angel; Fianna Ray Ordesia, the favorite daughter of Azazel himself. The Black Tortoise, Genbu, was taken by that Human boy; Vestinel Urdaen Exeris, the mysterious Magician that seems to fancy himself a God.}

Lowering his hand, he crossed his arms. {It has always been the case that the Four Sacred Beasts would choose their Destined Champions with limitations of one to each major species. However, as Ariel claims, my grudge toward her led me to directly destroy that preserved balance. The Angels have lost their Champion, while we Devils have two; Marcellus and Dorothea. I had been worried that I may have unintentionally initiated the event the Norse Gods refer to as Ragnarok, however I neither see nor sense any threats in the world or the Destined. Hm, she always was too attached to him, so it's possible she was simply gambling that I would willingly send Marcel back to her. She miscalculated, though. I do not have a hold to relinquish over him. Her son chooses us of his own will, regardless of the circumstances. And given the love he holds for Lenneth, Daenerys, Kirei and everyone he has met after them, it is possible he would remain with us even if his memories resurface. How would she react then, if she knew that he remembered everything, yet decided to stay with us here? Would the shock be enough to return her to the way she once was? Or would it prove too much for her motherly heart to bear, leading her to end her own life?}

Waving a hand in front of Xavier's face, Marcellus called out again, as he had been. "Dad! Are you in there? Has your age finally caught up with you? You aren't going senile on us, are you~?"

Xavier chuckled, shaking his head. "Of course not, I'm certain to outlast a brash brat such as yourself." With this response he set his hand on the head of his son by bond, ruffling his hair.

"Well let's go then!" Kirei cheered as Marcellus laughed, followed by Alice and Irisviel. "Take it away, Lil Bro!"

Marcellus stepped forward, trying to fix his hair which had been made messy. "As you wish~" He lifted his hand, a dark red transport circle inscribing beneath the entire group. "We're off!"

In a flash of red light, they were all teleported to their destination in Italy.


Three weeks after the death of Rooklyn.

At Kuoh Academy, during lunch break.

Marcellus was sitting on the roof of the junior building, where he would often meet up with Rooklyn in the past. He watched the sky with a neutral expression, thoughts wandering to his dear departed friend.

Gwyneth Bael currently sat by his side, watching the sky with him. Previously, the two could never have been so peaceful together. Or rather, she couldn't stand him, since he was her natural enemy despite the friendly way he treated and trolled her. When her beloved Rooklyn perished, she had thought that she was the one who felt his absence the worst...until she was called by Marcellus, and saw that he was just as bad off as she was.
She had been surprised yet grateful, when Marcellus shared the bento that had been sent by Rooklyn himself. They had both indulged in his final dishes together, and in silent tears. Afterwards, he returned to Hell with her, and aided in the reconstruction of the territory she'd destroyed in her rage. In fact, she couldn't deny that it was because of him that it took only a few days to restore the land to the way it was. She knew well that Marcellus was one of the most beloved celebrities among Devils, Angels and Fallen Angels alike, due to his Manga, if not the most beloved in the eyes of many. All Devils had rallied to his aid when he requested it. Of course, the exclusive Gwent cards that he offered up were also a massive incentive...
They had ended up spending the week following Rook's death together, and Gwyneth had found herself honestly liking Marcellus for the first time since they'd met long ago, back when he was still Marcellus Isholy, Rising Star of the Angels. Even now, he couldn't help himself trolling her, but she knew that it was different, as she now loved him like a dear brother. Due to this, she had trouble keeping the promise that Ariel had pleaded for from all who knew Marcellus in the past, to keep that very past from him. As he had been open with her, talking about things he couldn't with others, she found it more and more difficult to continue lying to him as she had been.

"Luci-chan...are you okay?" Marcellus looked aside to her.

"Ah..." Gwyneth sweat a bit, crossing her arms. "Yeah, I'm fine. What about you?"

Marcellus scratched his head, "I'm not sure, actually... Well...to be honest, I'm about to meet someone that I haven't seen in a month now."

"Why does that bother you?" Gwyneth tilted her head. "You're the most sickeningly friendly person in the world, so I doubt there's an issue."

"Ahahaha...I am pretty friendly, aren't I~?" Marcellus smiled at her brightly for a moment, before it faded. "I'll just come out and say it. Sophia is forcing Ophis along with her, to see me. Right now."

Gwyneth's body became rigid and tense, at the mention of Ouroboros Dragon. "You...you're meeting with...the woman that killed my... The woman that killed our Rook?"

Marcellus looked away as Gwyn's body emanated a dark reddish black aura, "I know how you feel...but didn't you make the decision to let it go, rather than risk a cataclysm?"

"YES!" Gwyneth yelled, standing up and glaring at him angrily. "I did! I decided I would let it go, and not pursue her! Because YOU reminded me that making Ophis my enemy would make Sophia Lantis my enemy! YOU reminded me that it was for the sake of the continued peace between Devils, Angels and Fallen Angels! How the hell am I supposed to take it, when I hear that YOU'RE okay with seeing her?! I thought we were finally getting along after all this time! Do you even give a damn how this makes me feel at all?!"

"Gwyneth..." Marcellus looked up at her with a frown. "I...don't know how to feel about meeting Ophis. I decided to on a whim, hoping that I could find out where we stand... I do think that I should see her, even if I don't want to... But...if it's something you feel so strongly against, I'll...cut her out of my life..."

"Huh...?" Gwyneth blinked in surprise, her anger subsiding along with her destructive aura. "Seriously...?"

Marcellus stood up, staring at her and nodding. "I'm serious, Luci. If my being associated with Ophis will ruin our friendship, then I won't see her again. I owe it to Rook to always be there for you, after all. And without him, aren't I the only one that can make you smile now?"

Gwyneth took a step back, obviously caught off guard by his words. {I hate Ophis, I really do...but...dammit. Marcel is so worried about how I feel...he has been all this time. I've been self centered though, and never really gave much thought to his feelings... I doubt my love would ever forgive me if...I came between Marcel and someone he cared about... Even if that person is the one that killed Rook...dammit!}

She coughed a few times to clear her throat, blushing slightly as she looked away. "Very well, do as you please. While I would prefer it if you forsook Ouroboros, I refuse to be the one that stops you from meeting her. Go ahead and figure out how you feel. I sincerely hope that you hurt her somehow, but even if not, I...will not hold it against you. You're...y-your friendship is sort of important to me now, so..."

Marcellus couldn't help but laugh as she watched and listened to her. "You're so cute, Luci-chan~"

He waved his hands dismissively as she glared, showing he wasn't teasing her. "Thanks for being okay with this... I know it's hard for you."

"Whatever," Gwyneth sighed, turning her back on him. "Just let me know how it goes, later. And stop calling me that! It's Lucifer, Gwyneth, or Gwyn!"

"Sorry, I already have a Guin, and I can't stand that overlap! Besides, you know you love it!" Marcellus waved as Lady Lucifer returned to Hell with a transport circle; not before returning fire with a beautiful showing of her middle finger. "She certainly is full of surprises."

"Seriously, I thought she might attack you there~" Sophia admitted as she seemed to materialize into existence, right next to him.

"Gah!?" Marcellus fell over, backing away from her. "S-sophia! I told you not to show up like that!"

Sophia giggled, bending in front of him and leaning forward. "Yes you did, but I can't help it. Your reactions are too adorable~"

Marcellus blushed, scratching his head. "That's...ah. Where is she?"

"Right here," Ophis responded calmly, now standing right behind him. She looked up as he jumped from the ground with a yelp, nearly falling over again as Sophia burst out laughing.

"What is WITH you two?!" Marcellus demanded, taking a few breaths to get over his surprise.

He looked at Ophis, being surprised to see that she actually looked apprehensive. {Ophis is...scared? That's possible?}

Sophia stood nearby, in between the two, looking back and forth now. "Use your words, you two~"

"Mar- Marcellus, I...am sorry. I apologize for killing your friend." Ophis said softly, eyes downcast now. "It is no excuse, however, I did not realize who he was. Nor did I realize that I was also killing my old friend. I understand that nothing I say can make up for what I did, but I'm-"

Marcellus reached out, causing Ophis to stop talking, as she likely assumed he was going to hit her. Instead, he placed his hand atop her head, smiling a bit bitterly. "Well...that settles that..."

"...What?" Ophis looked up at him again, confused. "Are you not...furious?"

"I didn't know how I would feel," Marcellus admitted. "I wanted to yell at you, or something, but...I can't. Turns out, I can't hold grudges after all. I also don't like seeing you look so sad..."

Sophia watched as Marcellus bent down, hugging Ophis, who showed an expression of pure surprise. "Huh."

"As soon as I saw you, I realized that you're still the cutest." Marcellus admitted, his smile brightening somewhat. "Rook and I wouldn't have been so close, if I was the type of person who would make a girl cry. You already apologized, so that's enough. I just want to see you smile again, Ophy-chan~"

He stroked her hair as he felt her put her arms around him. {Sorry, Luci...I just can't bring myself to hate her. I'm not a very good Devil, am I? I can't hate her, but...}

"Of course, there's the matter of your punishment."

"Punishment...?" Ophis blinked as Marcellus stood and took a step back.

Marcellus smiled at her, "Well of course, you killed one of my best friends. I can't let you get off without reprimand~"

Sophia smiled in amusement, as Ophis again became nervous. {I guess she doesn't quite know how to feel about him either, hm? He's nothing like any other Devil, any other Angel, unlike anybody we've ever met. He doesn't hold grudges because he's incapable of it. If someone angers him, he'll subject them to some sort of punishment, then get over it forever. That ridiculous mindset of his...he really is an adorable boy~}

"What kind of punishment...?" Ophis asked hesitantly.

"Hm, as it happens, there's an event coming up." Marcellus admitted. "None of the other girls can pull off a certain character, so I want you to come and cosplay with me~ We'll take lots and lots of pictures together, and have a ton of fun~ That's your punishment~"

Ophis stared at him, "That's it? That's hardly a punishment for me."

"Well that's fine, I just want to enjoy seeing your cuteness shine, and capture it forever." Marcellus admitted. "On top of that, I'd like it if you would be a model for me whenever I need you~"

"Ohhh, so that's where he was going with this~" Sophia smirked as Ophis blinked. "I bet he wants you to model nude for him~"

Marcellus shrugged, "Well, that may certainly happen at some point."

"You want me to model as I am now?" Ophis wondered.

"Yeah, you're cutest in that form." Marcellus replied.

Ophis took a deep breath, smiling at him. "I see. I suppose this shouldn't be too surprising, considering that you're attracted to a 14 year old girl. Someone who looks 12 isn't really that big a step down for you, is it?"

Marcellus gasped, blushing. "I'm not attracted to- Iris isn't... I'm not-"

"The fact that you can't actually deny it, means she's right~" Sophia noted, giggling.

"You're just as bad as Meryn Trant, aren't you?" Ophis said teasingly, poking him in the stomach. "You're aroused by younger women, aren't you?"

"Don't compare me to that sick bastard!" Marcellus exclaimed. "I'm a very loving and gentle person! I'm not a sadistic pedophile!"

He paused a moment, "B-besides that, I may sleep with Iris sometimes, but I've never SLEPT with her, you know. Whenever she spends the night at our place, she stays with me. She can't help it, because she always used to sleep with her parents, and they're still off and about."

"Yes, I'm sure that's why she does it~" Sophia replied with a smile. {I must say I respect that girl. Using her insecurity to get what she wants. He's too trusting to see the truth, and far too nice to deny her advances.}


Later on, after school had ended and the Animation Appreciation Club had finished their club activities. In a nice diner at the edge of town.

Izaya sat across from Marcel, drinking a milkshake. His attention was split between his messing around on his laptop, and smirking at the man he was blatantly obsessed with.

"...Why are you staring at me like that?" Marcellus asked without looking up, as he was drinking a root beer float while drawing something at leisure. His idea of leisurely drawing was still at the same level as most professional Mangaka, if not beyond.

"I'm just waiting to hear about your meeting with creepy little Ophis~" Izaya admitted, looking back to his screen as he put the finishing touches on a short animation he'd thought of earlier.

Marcellus looked up slightly, "Ophy-tan isn't creepy, she's so cute it should be illegal. And how do you even know about that? I didn't tell anyone but Gwyneth, and I doubt you're chatting with her now."

"I have my ways," Izaya replied mysteriously, still smiling. "And you're the only one who thinks she's cute, you know~ Have you seen the way she dresses? Heh, I guess it's to your taste though? Do you like that Iris-chan is developed for her age, or do you wish she was more like Ophis?"

"I don't like where this conversation is going, change it." Marcellus demanded, lifting his right hand as a wicked blade of ice formed and pressed against his friend's neck. Naturally, he continued drawing with his left, without any issues.

Izaya pushed the blade aside calmly, using a black knife that materialized in his hand. "Chill~ Your views are relentlessly intriguing to me~ Now, how about our Lady King and Daenerys-senpai? Of your beloved sisters, which one do you desire most, again?"

Marcellus blushed, surprised at the question.

"Please don't bother denying it at this point~ I mean, it's perfectly obvious to every single person who knows you all~ Plus, I've had a front row seat to your sexy incestual relationship for a while now~" Izaya pointed out with a chuckle.

Marcellus sighed, the ice blade evaporating. "Can it even be called incest, if we're not bound by blood?"

Izaya laughed, "I guess not, technically, but it's still incest in our books~ You're really experienced with it, in between everything."

"Huh? What do you mean by that?" Marcel tilted his head in confusion.

Izaya remained smiling, {Whoops, I almost let the cat outta the bag about his mom~ I always get too carried away with him~} "Not a thing~"

Marcellus smiled suddenly, "You know, despite what you say about Sophia, you two are frighteningly similar~"

"What?" Izaya looked at him, smile fading.

"Heh, don't deny it. I've gotten to know you both extensively. If I say you're alike, then you totally are~" Marcel replied rather boldly, shrugging.

Izaya remained scowling for a few moments, before his smile returned. "Is that so? Well, the apple doesn't really fall that far from the tree after all~"

Marcellus blinked, "Huh? Huh? Are you two really related, like I've always suspected?! Siblings separated?!"

"You're free to continue believing that~" Izaya replied playfully, licking the last of the milkshake from his straw. {He's pretty sharp after all~ The relationship between Sophia and I is a lot more complicated than you can imagine, though~ Your relationships are complicated too, in a different way. Particularly, you and your mom. It really is uncanny how you're both the spitting image and mirror persona of your father~}

"Fine, I'll just ask Sophia herself next time I see her." Marcellus decided, smiling confidently. "Despite the way you and everyone else in the world feel about her, she's an honest girl~"

Izaya smiled calmly, "Actually, she's only that way for you."


Four weeks after Rooklyn's passing.

Marcellus was walking with one of his newer friends, having just been with Cocksquat.

"Wow, he really...likes you, doesn't he?" Valeria Kryas remarked, smiling at him.

Marcellus smiled a bit, "Yeah...he's not so bad. When he's not being...yeah."

"How has everything been?" Valeria asked curiously.

"Well, I haven't been sleeping as much lately, but that's by choice." Marcellus admitted. "I made one of my friends start modeling for me recently, so I'm milking it for as long as I can. She seems to enjoy it, too."

Valeria looked away from him, "I see...a female model, hm? You two must be very close?"

"Close? I like to think so." Marcellus replied with a chuckle. "It's sort of hard to tell how she feels, though. Her and her friend are both difficult like that."

"I see..." Valeria looked down at the ground.

Marcellus frowned, seeing that she was uncomfortable. {Why am I so sensitive to how she feels? Sometimes it feels like I've known her my whole life.} "Val, you aren't jealous, are you? Just because most of my friends are girls?"

Valeria stopped walking, blushing now. {Even without his memories, he's the exact same person... I hate having to hide the truth... I want him to remember that we were in love...that we were much more than friends...}

Marcellus was about to say something when she stayed quiet, until he noticed four girls hurrying over. "Ah, hey there~"

"Maaaarcy~" Guinevere Avnas jumped on him.

"Mar Mar." Yukina crashed into him at the same time, knocking him to the ground.

Marcellus winced, rubbing his head as the two stay atop him. "Guin-chan, Yuki...I'm glad to see you're getting along~"

"Guinevere, Yukina-san, please get off of him." Hisui Dynah requested politely as she approached with her twin.

Jade Dynah smiled as Yukina immediately moved to hide from them nearby. "She's SO weird."

"That's not very nice~ Guinevere replied, standing and helping Marcellus up. "Sorry about that, we were just so happy to see you~"

"You're always happy to see me then, aren't you?" Marcellus wondered.

Guinevere nodded, blissfully unaware of the irritated look she was getting from Valeria. "Of course we are!"

Jade touched Marcellus' arm with a smile, "Sorry, can we borrow Guin and Val?"

"Ah, sure." Marcellus scratched his head as Jade pulled Guinevere off.

Hisui bowed to Marcellus, before following Jade.

"...Later then, Marcellus." Valeria smiled at him sadly, before following the other three Angels.

Marcellus waved after them as Yukina moved behind him, touching his back and peeking out around him. "Bye Jade! Bye Hisui! Bye Val!"

"Mar Mar." Yukina tugged on his shirt once they were alone.

"Hm? What is it?" Marcellus turned to face her.

Yukina grabbed his hand, stepping in to kiss him.

Marcellus blushed slightly as Yukina moved to his side and held his hand. "Uh...thanks, Yuki..."

He smiled as she snuggled up close to him. "Do you want to skip English class with me today?"

"Yes, please..." Yukina replied, smiling at him.

Marcellus laughed as they started walking through the hall. "You're so cute, Yuki...?" He trailed off as he spotted someone through the windows as they walked. "Yuki? Have you ever seen that girl before?"

"...No." Yukina replied abruptly, as she looked.

"Hm...come on." Marcellus pulled Yukina along, heading downstairs and out of the building, over toward the main gate where he spotted the girl.


The girl stood by the main gate, staring at the academy as if she was searching for something. When she noticed a boy approaching with a girl, she set her eyes on them.

"Good afternoon!" Marcellus greeted, as Yukina stepped behind him, keeping hold of his hand.

The girl observed the two with interest for a few moments, before speaking up. "Good afternoon. This is Kuoh Academy, correct?"

"Yes, that's right." Marcellus confirmed. "Are you a transfer student, or something?"

"Hm, or something, yes." The girl responded mysteriously.

Marcellus stroked his chin as he took a better look at her, feeling something familiar, foreign and dangerous, at the same time. "Ah, could it be that you're...? Are you the guest of the Fallen Angels that I heard about from Azazel-sensei? He was pretty vague, after all."

"Azazel? You speak of the leader of the Fallen Angels?" The girl looked up at him. "I've yet to meet him, so I doubt that I am the guest you have heard talk of."

Marcellus scratched his head, "I see... Well uh... My name is Marcellus. Marcellus Naberius. This is Yukina Amdusias." He motioned behind him as Yukina peeked out at the girl with a blank stare.

The girl clapped upon hearing their names, surprise evident in her countenance. "Marcellus Naberius?! Yukina Amdusias?! You are two of the Super Devil Rookies!?" {To think I'd locate him so soon! God is surely smiling on me from the Ethereal Sky! Hm, I shouldn't be too forthcoming just yet. Better to ease him into this, rather than risk scaring him off.}

She smiled at Yukina, "You are the Bounded Queen, famed for having won two Rating Games by yourself, as you have no Household!"

Yukina looked less than amused with the girl, and pulled her head back to hide behind the man she loved.

"Don't mind her, she's like that to everyone but myself and our friend Guinevere." Marcellus explained with a slight smile.

"It is quite alright," The girl responded calmly, before her excitement returned. "You're the Frozen King! The Sacred Beast of the East, the Azure Dragon Seiryu! Wielder of the Honjo Masamune! The highest ranking Queen that remains in service to their King! Please tell me! Why do you stay under your little sister?! You are clearly more powerful, and you've earned the rank of Marquis! Surely, you would thrive under your own leadership!"

Marcellus took a breath, "That's a bit personal, actually. We're at a disadvantage since you know so much about us, though."

"Ah, right." The girl cleared her throat primly. "My name is Lilith Aeris Targaryen."

Lilith held the hem of her dress, performing a polite curtsy. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Lord Marcellus Naberius, Lady Yukina Amdusias."

"That's a beautiful name!" Marcellus smiled at her. "You can just call me Marcel. No need to be so polite~"

"You are even better than I had hoped you'd be. I am greatly pleased by this." Lilith claimed, standing up straight. "You may have the pleasure of using my given name, Marcel. Be honored."

"...Okay?" Marcellus scratched his head as she smiled proudly. {She...sort of reminds me of Rinslet. Elena isn't going to be happy if they're too much alike~}

"Who are you exactly?" Marcellus asked curiously. "I'd heard there was an actual Targaryen family out there, but I never expected to meet one."

Lilith flashed a beautiful smile, "I am me. Nothing more, and nothing less."

Marcellus sweat a bit as Yukina gave her a dark glare. "That's um...deep?"

"Yes, I am a very deep and complicated person indeed." Lilith replied, praising herself without concern.

{She might be worse than Rinslet...} Marcellus thought with a smile, reaching behind himself to rub Yukina's arm, knowing that her yandere side would come out soon if left unchecked.

"So, why are you here then?" Marcellus motioned to a bench, going to sit with Lilith.

Lilith took a seat with Marcellus in the middle, her on his left and Yukina on his right. "I'm here on...let's call it business of the utmost importance."

"Oooh, what kind of business?" Marcellus wondered, obviously interested if his tone was anything to go off of.

Lilith positioned herself with precise care, legs crossed in a perfectly graceful manner. "Normally, I would inform you that my business is none of yours, however that would certainly be a lie."

Yukina peeked around Marcellus, her eyes filled with suspicion.

Marcellus scratched his cheek, "M'kay...?"

This time, Lilith took notice of Yukina's displeasure, flashing her an oddly taunting smile. "I came here with the crucial goal of meeting an age old tradition of the group I have been chosen to represent. That goal is to find someone with specific qualifications."

She paused as both Devils stared at her, very curious about her goal now. "Qualifications that you meet most splendidly, Marcel."

"What are these qualifications?" Marcellus inquired. "I can't imagine that I've anything special enough to warrant being your goal."

"Modesty, a wonderful trait for a man to have. One that seems to elude the majority of those involved with our world." Lilith brushed her hair past her right ear. "Well, I would gladly inform you of these qualifications and my goal; you are the one, make no mistake of that. However, I would only deign to do so after being subjected to the miracle that is this town~"

Marcellus frowned a moment, before smiling nervously. "By that, you mean you'd like us to show you around?"

Lilith glanced at Yukina, before smiling calmly at him. "I would like for you to show me around, as a matter of fact."

Yukina was already standing, pitch black lightning crackling on her hands, staring at the new girl without an ounce of light in her eyes.

"!" Marcellus got to his feet immediately, turning to his yandere stalker. "Yuki-chan! I just realized! If I show Lilith around, I won't be heading to the club today! Can you please do me a favor and let Serena know? I'll repay you by taking you somewhere we can be alone, another time!"

The lightning was already a distant memory, along with Yukina's intention of killing the Human girl. With a sweet smile to Marcellus, she hugged him tightly. In the process, she gave a cold, frightening glare to Lilith.

Lilith smiled in amusement, watching Yukina release her love and turn about, hurrying off while humming. "She's certainly even more interesting than I had heard from the other girls. I've never received such a strange parting before. Is it customary to make such a face when saying goodbye in Japan?"

"Not even close..." Marcellus replied with a low sigh, "Yuki's just uh, special! So, shall we?"

"Indeed. Please lead the way." Responded the confident girl.

Marcellus started toward the exit, stopping at the gate. "You said that you're here for an age old tradition? Is it really so important that you'd come from another land?"

Lilith took a deep breath, sighing in minor distaste. "I had thought you would simply do as I ask for the time being, no questions asked. However, you are surprisingly stubborn, aren't you? Hm, they did suggest I find someone with at least one trait that I dislike, yours being that you're surprisingly pushy...even if I'd prefer you to be the smile and nod type."

Marcellus opened his mouth to speak, but stopped himself from voicing his comeback. {That's funny. You might be the pushiest girl I've ever met. That's saying something, considering... Why is it that she somehow reminds me of Iri? In some...twisted way.}

"Very well, Marcel." Lilith looked up into his eyes without blinking. "I am in the middle of the most important aspect of initiation into the group I have been with. You could call it a coming of age ceremony, I suppose, but it is something that will prevent me from being taken seriously, until completion. As for the exact details, along with the identity of said group, I trust that you will patiently wait until I deem it time to inform you? Fear not, for you will know all you need to, in due course."

Without letting the handsome Devil get a word in edgewise, she extended her hand out to her side, motioning him to lead on.

Marcellus' right eye twitched as he managed to crack an irked smile. "In due course...right. You've proven to be different than your first impression. I thought you to be more passionate and impulsive." {Not domineering and controlling.}

"Au contraire, I am more passionate and impulsive than you could possibly imagine, Marcel~" Lilith claimed, rubbing her lips slowly with her left index finger. "Besides that, I have faith that you and I will come to appreciate one another's company in the future. There is no need to rush our relationship, of which the seed has just been planted. Please give it time to grow and bloom, before you come to any definitive views of my character."

The response caused Marcellus to blink in surprise, "That's...well...okay. In that case, I'd ask that you kindly accept the fact that I can be pushy and stubborn. I'm constantly praised for my rational and understanding nature, so I'm sure that I'll also grow on you at some point."

Lilith couldn't help but laugh as Marcellus walked past her to lead, "Touche, Marcel, touche. I must award you top marks for your temperament, at the very least~"

As Marcellus left with Lilith, heading off in one direction, another girl came from the opposite direction.

Rinslet stared after Marcellus, looking at the girl he was with. "That girl...isn't she...? She is!"

She blinked as she watched the two chat while walking off. {The newest Sorceress Candidate of the Covenant of Azrael... Last I saw her, she was a guest of Father's, just a few weeks ago. She was searching for a VIP target of the Covenant, as part of her Alignment Rite, wasn't she? That target is here then? Hm, nobody comes to mind. At least, nobody that should be of such great concern to the almighty Sorceresses of Aern Cheyn. Hmph...leave it to that uncouth barbarian to extend a helping hand in aiding her search. Shouldn't he be in class like a good student? Of course, he...isn't a good student. Because he isn't good. Period.}

"...Right." The daughter of Odin nodded to herself.

"Rinslet? We haven't seen you in a while~" Cynthia announced as she ran over. "I thought I saw you from inside!"

"Ah, my darling Cynthia~" Rinslet turned, hugging Cynthia tightly, kissing her rather close to the lips. "I'm sorry, I was busy with Rossweisse~ She's decided to come here and stay while I remain~"

Cynthia smiled a bit nervously, recalling Rossweisse and her 'issues.' "I see...I'm sure she'll like it here~"

"Yes, certainly!" Rinslet agreed, pushing Cynthia gently along, so she wouldn't see Marcellus and Lilith leaving. "Incidentally, are you aware that a rather important figure in the Magician's Culture is currently among us?"

Cynthia looked at Rinslet, "An...important figure? Like Iris's parents?"

"Hm? No, even more important than them." Rinslet responded, now recalling that Irisviel could no longer be considered a Magician after being reincarnated as a Devil. "She's young, but even Father said she would become the most impressive Magician to ever live, one day."

Cynthia wore a bright expression of wonder and curiosity, "That's amazing! And such an incredible girl is in our town right now?"

"Mmm, with Marcellus Naberius right now." Rinslet admitted.

Cynthia froze where she stood, "W-what could she possibly have to do with Senpai?"

Rinslet shrugged, putting her arm around Cynthia's neck. "Don't worry about it, she's likely enlisted him to simply show her around town. I would assume she means to familiarize herself in order to locate the target sought by the Sorceresses."

"Sorceresses?" Cynthia tilted her head. "The most powerful female Magicians that band together?"

"Ah...you needn't concern yourself with that~" Rinslet claimed.

_________________
Vroom:
 

Izaya's The Boss:
 

Stomp That Shit!:
 

Shizu-chan's Seismic Toss:
 

Chill Izaya/Poor Izaya:
 


Last edited by Sangios on Mon 04 Sep 2017, 19:41; edited 2 times in total
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Age : 35 Registration date : 2010-10-13 Number of posts : 54 Location : Clermont
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PostSubject: Re: The Begining of the End   Tue 28 Jul 2015, 03:06

Scene set new kid start school today, this student has spent the last four weeks catching up for certain History classes work if the student has or hasn’t succeeded they are going to be exhausted. With this certain forces will get involved. What forces one might ask well here is a short list, a rival perhaps, a scorned ex could be another and if there is a scorned ex there could very well be a new romance that will be targeted. Then there is the unforetold factor of a disoriented whatever that lashes out at the first thing it sees without warning. No matter the factors this day will be rough and this student anything but ready for what is to come.

In his new room Fili is nearing the bottom of the mountain of work he was given four weeks ago “It’s been four weeks and I still have yet to explore this new area, damn, at least I’m about done” Fili exclaims with bloodshot eyes, he blinks a few times flooding his burning eye with tears. After wiping them with a tissue Fili notices that he has just one enormous book to get through and about two hundred twenty questions papers to answer then the five hundred word essay. “Let’s finish this and explore” Fili proclaims, an hour and a half later, at 7:30 am, he finishes passing out head on the table. “Fili wake up you start school today you don’t want to be late, now get your ass in the shower!” Cleorichi bursts through the door shouting, Fili looks at the clock 8:00 am “Sorry Cleo, I’m on my way, thanks.” Cleo taken aback by Fili’s uncharacteristic response watches as he gets up and grabs his uniform and heads to the shower. While in the shower Fili keeps noting off when he hears the door shut, too tired to make anything of Fili tries to finish then the shower door is yanked open. “I finally found you” Fili turns and sees a blond in a towel, “Oh, Kikieo, how you been?” “It’s been a month and you’re not even surprised…” As Kikieo responds Cleo opens the bathroom door saying “hurry up Fili there’s not much ti-me” She notices Kikieo “what are you doing here Kikieo, and why are you in a towel?” “Isn’t that what you wear in the bathroom when one’s about to take a shower? Anyway way are you here, Cleorichi, still trying to steal Fili from me, why would he want a cold bitch like you when he can have this” Kikieo answers, removing her towel in the end. Fili fell asleep while the girls were arguing his head directly under the shower head Cleo noticed and grab him jarring him up “Idiot trying to drown, you need to get dressed.” Just then Azazel comes in “What’s with all the shouting” he noticed Kikieo “Hi Kikieo may you’ve grown?” “Hey, Azazel, been a while,” Kikieo says then turns to Fili “What does she mean by ‘you need to get going’.” “I start school today.” Fili tells her as he dries off and get dressed “So, I guess I’ll see you later, Kiki, I’ve got to get going or I’ll be late.” As Fili leaves Kiki stares in wander “Sense when does Fili go to school?”

Fili Stone Forge rushes to meet up with the person who is going to show him around, they were meeting at the same fountain that he met Cleo four weeks ago. As he rounds the bend he sees her sitting on the edge of the fountain with her raven. As he got closer he recognized her as an old friend and classmate though she seem to be avoiding looking his way. Fili stopped next to her with a smile and says “What a surprise to see an old friend, so how have you been Jez?” “I’m sorry you seem to have me mistaken with someone else, my name is Jezibel and I was assigned to show you around the school nice to meet you, Fili.” Jezibel explains looking into Fili’s eyes with no reaction. “Your just messing with me right, first day hazing,” Fili asks with no response as she turns away “Jezibel Elaine Cooper, that really not you? The no sleep must really mess with my head, I wander if I imagined seeing Kiki in a towel this morning? “ At hearing her full name she lost her composure and was about to tell him the truth then she herd the remark about the girl in a towel and was going to slug him when a guy comes out of no were and punches Fili in the face and takes his pants. “Sorry I knocked out your boyfriend and took his pants” said the unknown assailant to Jezibel and ran off, dumbfounded for a second she didn’t respond. When she recuperated Jezibel shouts, “I’m just showing him around the school.” But the mystery guy was gone, she looked down at Fili blushing a little from him being pant less and contemplated leaving him. Then she recalled the dumb ass video about ‘The Proper Way to Greet New Students’ and took him to the nurses office.

“Did you hear, the new guy got knocked out by some dude by the dreaded fountain and got his pants stolen ha ha ha.” Two guys were talking and Cleo overheard while playing volleyball knowing instantly who they were talking about Fili. “I guess I should get him some pants,” she remarks after spiking the ball. After gym Cleo headed to the store room to get Fili some pants finding the all the uniform pants in his size were gone. She had to settle for gym pants “I guess with Rooklyn out of commission for the time the schools been short on somethings, well I better get these to him.” With that Cleo headed to the infirmary to give to Fili the pants, when she saw a girl sitting at the end of Fili’s bed, “Hello, I’m Cleorichi a friend of Fili’s and brought him some pants.” Cleo introduces herself and then recognizes the girl as someone Fili told her about from his past. “He must have been glad to see a friend from his past,” Cleo says. “I don’t understand what you mean I don’t know him,” Jezibel explains avoiding eye contact so Cleo couldn’t see she was lying. “You’re not Jezibel Elaine Cooper, you look just as Fili described she looked?” Cleo answers, “I am Jezibel but not the one you think I am, Fili made the same mistake,” Jez says a hint of farce in her voice. “If you say so Pinocchio but watch out your nose might grow,” Cleo retorts as she notices that Fili was sleeping. Jezibel’s face redden with anger and embarrassment as she is about to respond when Cleo punches Fili in the gut. “Damned fool, your sleeping on you first day of class What kind of first impression you trying to make?” With the punch Fili wakes up and looks at Cleo “Oh hey Cleo, time for school already?” He looks around the foreign surroundings and Jezibel then smiles "Jez how you been and what you doing here….” Then he remembers the morning and the fist, “Oh, right not Jezibel, damn, how long have I been out (he looks down) and where are my pants?” Fili wanders. “Whoever knocked you out took them and the only replacements I could find were these, you’ve been out for about an hour, you missed homeroom and a little bit of first period you better get moving.” Cleo explains as she hands him the pants. Fili gets up and puts the pants on which happen to look like Dervish pants and heads out with Cleo. “Wait, I’m supposed to show you around and Miss Cleorichi you should get back to class.” Jezibel declares. “Now you want to be helpful? I can take over from here and you can get on with your day, no need wasting you day.” Cleo responds. “No Cleo I don’t want you to get in trouble because of me, you’ve only been here for a couple of months go ahead, and Jezibel if you don’t want to show me around you can also carry on with your day I can figure things out on my own, no need to burden yourself.” Fili remits. “It’s my responsibility to show you around and I refuse to neglect my responsibility, now let’s get a move on Fili.” Jezibel demands and they part ways.

Jezibel showed Fili around the school and took him to each of his classes, as the day came to an end they arrived at the final class History, Professor Chiron’s class. The moment Fili enters the class Chiron stares him down, “Mister Stone I take it you have something for me and might you explain your attire?” Chiron asks as Jezibel gets some distance away from Fili. “Yes, this morning I was assaulted by the fountain and the assailant took my pants. I have the makeup work here in my backpack with there being numerous books and such I figured you would want me place them in a designated location, might I add the immense knowledge that you books contained were invaluable and I thank you for the opportunity to retain such knowledge.” Fili responds. Chiron indicates a location for Fili to put his work and replies “Very well, Mister Stone, since you are new I shall over look your attire for today and with you finishing the work I assigned you I will allow you to catch up on the four weeks you have missed and today in the my study hall. Miss Elaine would you show him the way then return to class so you don’t get behind.” With that Fili went to where Chiron indicated unzipped his backpack flipped it over and with a loud THUMP! The mountain of monstrous books neatly slid out. As Fili made his way back to Jezibel the room door few open and in the doorway on a bicycle stood Rooklyn Aeones Mcloud/Bael with a bento box glancing at Fili then looking at Chiron and Says “Nice pants, delivery for Chiron!”

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PostSubject: Re: The Begining of the End   Fri 18 Mar 2016, 10:33

(72 hours prior)

[In the depths of Hell]

“Gwyenth I know Rook had his flaws but he did have one thing right, you have to be true to who you are. You can’t please everyone and trying will just destroy everything around you.” States Marcellus
“Do you have the approval plan or not?” is Gwyenth’s response
Marcellus sighs and hands her a tome the size of a mini-fridge “Your reign as Lady Lucifer will never be held with approval like this. I hope you’ll realize that Gwyen”.

(Present)

Chiron tosses two coins onto the books he gave to Fili and in the instant they landed, Fili found himself pulled through a flaming hole. The two coins swirled around him glowing, keeping back the souls and skeletal beasts. He saw tormenters and estates as he fell deeper and deeper until his feet meet the ground as the flames become an open stone hall. Surrounded by personal hells Fili raises his gaze to see a glowing sigil that reads “Pit of Eternity”.
Meanwhile back in the classroom Chiron says, “Now Mr.Aeones I would like to inform you that Death legitimate or otherwise is not an excuse to miss class. It’s clearly stated in page fifty four of the Syllabus. Underlined and pull quoted for the slow ones, consider this your first and last warning”. The classroom is dead silent as Luna returns to human form and takes her seat, Rooklyn sigh and makes his way over to Chiron’s desk. And sets down a Devilish Delights delivery bag, “That’s it? You have nothing to say for yourself, after being gone for four weeks making Marcellus think you were dead. You have nothing to say at all you fucking bastard”! Shouts Cock-squat, Marcellus rises to a stand and says “That’s enough Cock-Squat” Lenneth clenches her fist before rising to a sitting position. She then glares at Cock-Squat as Rook walks up to him and sings “I’m Rooklyn Motherfucker and I’m back from the Dead”. Before another word can be spoken Chiron pegs Rook with six drachmas causing him to descend through the portal to P.O.E.

“Now that all the distractions are gone it’s time to return to the lesson at hand”, Marcellus is the first to sit down. Lenneth lays her head back upon his lap and Cock-Squat falls back into his seat, “unless you want it filled close your filthy mouth Cock-Squat”. Spouts Chiron before going back to his meal.

(Back in the POE)

“Welcome back onii-chan” says Yuki



“Ah Yuki how have you been?” asks Rooklyn as he picks up the six Drachmas, she smiles and says “All the better now that you have joined me as one of the undead, Lady Gohma will be most ecstatic for your return”. Miyuki bows politely before motioning as she says “If you’ll just follow me this way Onii-chan, we can rejoin your fellow classmate”. Miyuki then wraps her arm around Stein’s and leads him down the hall. She lays her head against Stein’s arm a smile on her face. As she says “Many were saddened by your passing on the river Styx’s, I could not count all the bountiful bosoms that you had touched.” Yuki’s voice faded as Stein’s arm began to feel wet causing him to gaze upon her. Tears ran down her face and Stein’s face softened as he said “Yuki”. They stopped moving and stared into one another’s eyes before Yuki said “Promise you’ll never leave us again”! Stein brought her into a hug and replied “I promise” causing Yuki to hug him back. (Liar) Stein took a step back as he said “You’ve grown in my absence, let Onii-chan have a feel”. As he reached Yuki shade stepped behind him saying “forgive my rudeness but Mistress Gohma is not known for forgiveness”. Yuki then grabbed Stein’s arm and returned to leading him down the hall until the came to a chamber. Labeled Gnaritas vis nescia vinci(Knowledge is a power that knows not defeat). Stein mysteriously stopped and crouched down picking up something off the ground. (A power so overwhelming from an Item so small) “What is it Onii-chan” asked Yuki, Stein stood up and showed her “It looks like a Hylain shield” As Yuki came to look at it Stein gave her a grope causing her to let out a whimper. (does your flame burn for any female) Stein then pushed her into the chamber pressing her against a bookshelf as his magic dissolved her top and he went in for a kiss. Her eyes went from pacified to shock as she let out a gasp. And from the reflection in her eyes he could see one of his eyes had become a dragons. She put her hand against his chest and said “Your chest is pulsating”!

(Meanwhile in an unknown Location)

“Lady Ophis are you listening to me” asked Arthur as he watched her examine her tail, “Yes” she responded back sharply. “Really because it looks like you’re obsessed with the scale you’re missing on your tail”. She slammed her tail through the table shattering the table and everything on it as she. Said “A SCALE IS MISSING!” , “Ming Dynasty only one of its kind said to have been used by Genghis Kahn himself”. “FORGET THE FUCKING TEAPOT ANDANSWER THE QUESTION”! Arthur Sighed and replied “you’re missing a scale near the tip of your tail, why does it matter’? “Shit that means it’s…..” , “In the corpse of our dear departed Tea maker” finished Arthur. “And what is the problem in that”, Ophis sighed as she went back to being a Lolita and said “it makes things awkward”. “How so” asked Arthur, “because a part of me is a part of him now” responded Ophis. “Aren’t you like wearing his sister or something?” ,Ophis glared at him and said “I’m not wearing his sister, I devoured her essence to gain a human form”. Arthur’s glasses slid of his face as he uttered “you ate her….. well there goes my appetite, is he going to what revenge for penetrating his chest?” Ophis chuckled “No”.

(Back in the POE)

Yuki’s top undissolved as Stein slams his fist into the shelf as he focused on calming down, and when he reopened his eye Yuki gave a sigh of relief. (Ophis seems to have left you a souvenir or should I say a nuisance). “Yo Fili I think you dropped this” said Stein as he threw the Shield charm to him. Fili catches it and says “Sorry to say but it choose you Rook” as he throws it back he shows he has a charm of his own. “Welcome to the team”. Stein pulls up a chair and looks Fili in the eye and asks “What you mean team”?

(Several hours later)

Fili finishes the last assignment and is shocked as all of it glows before dissipating into a shadowy flame. And just as he blinks he finds himself back in the classroom with all of his work in front of Chiron.
Stein on the other hand winks at Yuki before finishing and joining Fili back in the classroom, he smirks and knocks wrists with Fili before heading towards the door “See you tomorrow Chiron”. And with that he left the class as Fili took his seat by Jezebel and asked “where is Rook going class isn’t over”? Jezebel sighed and said “Stein isn’t a normal student like us, and lets just leave it at that”.
Stein made his way to his inbox and was surprised to not see it bursting at the seams, he opened it and found all the requests alphabetized and in neat little stacks. “Marcellus you fool” sighs Stein as he gathers them up.

(In the gymnasiums weight room)

A muscles bound stud in tight gyms shorts bursts through the door and pushes his way through all the other meatheads. Until he reaches
the person he’s looking for and he quickly bows down before saying. “Lady Gohma the freak Stein is ..he’s…..has returned to the school”. Weights are dropped to the ground with a sickening thud.



Gohma sits up and stares at him intently “Are.You.Sure.” she said her every word emphasized, the man quivers under her glance but raises his phone and says. “Yes here is his picture Lady Gohma”. She snatches the phone and stares at the picture intently.



She then crushes his phone into dust as she shouts “Someone get Miyuki and tell her to bring me something girly”. The entire weight room leaves as Gohma walks into the showers removing her sweaty workout gear before entering the shower letting it’s cold embrace run down the curves of her body making her nipples hard as she slowly rubs soap over them. She says to herself “not letting that ass go this time Gwyn be damned”.

(At the bleachers in the Swim clubs turf)

Stein stares at the girls as they swim laps their snug school swimsuits hugging their hips so tightly leaving no resistance at all. His hands sewing uniforms and outfits that were requested of him. It doesn’t take long for him to turn his gaze to Ophelia.



Her face didn’t have a smile on it like he remembered, his fault he knew but why was he so important to her. He didn’t have too much time to thin on it as he got hugged from behind with familiar black hair streaming across his bare skin. He smiled and said “Yue”



Slid into the seat beside him and laid her head on his shoulder as she said “I’m so glad you back Rook”. Stein smiled and pulled her closer as he looked down at her and saw, that she had unbuttoned the top three buttons of her shirt. Giving him a full view of her cleavage “Yue what are you doing”? She sat up abruptly giving him that Bael princess look as she said “I’m old enough to please you”. Stein’s gaze softened as he said again “Yue”, this time she plunged his hand into her shirt and had him grasp her breast. As she said “Gwynie didn’t put a ring on your finger so that makes you fair game”. Stein put down his work and groped her harder as he pulled her closer and kissed lips. She practically was putty in his hands and before he could continue he felt the power of Bael magic flying towards them. He quickly stood up and diverted the blast to the empty side of the bleachers.
“Hey watch the clothes” he shouted down to Ophelia whom was readying another blast she spit and said. “First you let me think your dead, now your fondling my little sister you got some nerve Rooklyn”. (She has a point you know) “You can be mad all you want but don’t you ever endanger my work”! (Well at least nothing changes for you it’s like you were never gone!)


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PostSubject: Re: The Begining of the End   Sat 19 Mar 2016, 08:09

Back during Charon's class, after Rook's return and sudden disappearance

Marcellus stroked Lenneth's hair with a smile, as they listened to their teacher's lecture.

Lenneth glanced at her brother's face, happy to see the expression he wore. {Onii-sama doesn't seem as surprised as he should be, but I'm so glad that Rooklyn-san is back.}

"Psst~" With a subtle nudge, Izaya leaned in toward the sibling pair. "What was up with all that~?"

"Who knows?" Marcel responded with a shrug.

Alice poked at Marcellus, a gleeful countenance about her. "Marcel Onii-chan, you must be suuuper psyched!"

"I am, but please~" Marcellus winked at her, lifting a finger over his lips.

In a single sharp movement, Charon turned his head just enough to look at Alice over his shoulder. "Something to share with the rest of the class, Ms. Chiffon?"

"Oh, uh, no~" The energetic girl replied with a nervous laugh.

"That was a rhetorical question," The teacher deadpanned with a blank facade.

Tilting her head, Alice looked at Serena.

"It means there's no need to answer," Serena explained in a soft voice.

Irisviel covered her mouth to hold back a laugh as she saw Alice snap her fingers.

Noticing a dire glance from the history teacher, Cynthia shifted nervously in her seat. "I think everyone should be quiet now..."

Biting his thumb rather firmly, Cocksquat gazed upon the only person in the world who genuinely cared about him, envious that he was too far away to engage in the minor commotion. {Rooklyn better have a good explanation! Marcel's best when he's smiling like that!}


Roughly 48 hours before Rooklyn's return from beyond the grave. Within the grand and gorgeous Naberius Mansion.

Marcellus stood outside a door made of pure, glistening gold, the edges decorated with glowing rubies. He looked nervous, hearing faint noises from within. "If it's a bad time, I can come back later..."

"No, it's fine. Please enter, Marcel." The voice of Daenerys responded gently.

Marcel took a breath, opening the door and entering to find his big sister sitting on her bed. Around her were the girls in her Household, seven in all. Cattleya Margrove, the Queen. Meredith and Nybel Luxor, the twin Bishops. He had seen them not long ago, during the training session between the Households of the Naberius Siblings. The other three were the last half of the Household. The Rook that took both pieces, the Knight that took both pieces and the Pawn that took 7.

The blue haired man looked at the girls who rested around their King, watching the original Evil Dead movie. All of the girls were dressed in different nightgowns. "That's a good choice~ I would've joined you if you told me what you were watching~"

"Good evening, Marcel~" Cattleya waved her fingers at him with a smile.

"How's it going~?" Meredith and Nybel blew kisses to him.

The Rook, Ahri Kitsunebi, jumped from the bed, hugging Marcellus affectionately. "It's been a while, hasn't it handsome~? I hope you missed me at least half as much as I missed you~"
She was one of the extremely rare and mystical members of the Kitsune Race, mythical fox creatures.


"Yes, I've missed you a lot as well, Ahri-chan~" Marcellus replied, stroking her hair and scratching her ears in the process.

Ahri purred, rubbing against him as her claws sharpened and tore through his shirt. "You really do have magic hands...!" A rather fierce wave of bloodlust filled the room, causing the girl to release Marcel and retreat to the side of the bed, where she took the form of a small white fox and sat obediently.

Marcel blinked in surprise, "What was that about?"

"You're imagining things, Dear Brother." Daenerys claimed, with a brilliant poker face. "Ahri simply finds the urge to become a fox at times. She can hardly help it."

"Y-yeah~" The Knight agreed with a nervous laugh and an even more nervous smile, as she was frozen in an awkward position. Her name was Emerald Sustrai, and she had been rather close to hugging him as well.
She was a natural born Devil from the Sustrai Family, a small yet elite House in Hell.


Marcellus tilted his head, "Are you okay, Emma?"

"Yeah...?" Emerald sweat slightly as she returned to a neutral sitting position. {Dany can be so scary...why did Ahri have to act like that?}

The Pawn, Akatsuki Tsukuyomi, smiled at Marcel. "I'm so happy to see you again~ I was hoping to steal some more plot points from you, to figure out what's going to happen next~"
Like Cattleya, Nybel and Meredith, she was originally Human before reincarnation.


"Nice try, Yomi-chan~" Marcel leaned in closer to her with a playful grin. "I never have and never WILL reveal anything to you~ You'll have to wait until the next chapters, just like everyone else~"

Tsukuyomi giggled, leaning in closer herself. "You're always such a tease, Marcel~ A girl can only take so much before-"

Clearing her throat to cut off her friend, Daenerys gave her a blank stare to shut her up. "Marcel, you're more than welcome to join us, however did you not have a purpose for coming to my room?"

"Uh, yeah." Marcellus stood up straight, scratching his head. "It's something really important though. It's not that I don't trust Cat-chan and everyone, but this is about Luci-chan, so I can't just talk about this with anyone..."

"We understand!" Cattleya exclaimed, getting up as the other girls followed her lead. "We'll hang out on the balcony until you're done~"

Marcellus smiled a bit, watching the girls head outside to the room's balcony. "They're so considerate, I love them~"

"Is that so?" Daenerys looked up at him, patting her bed. "Please sit."

"Thanks," Marcel took a seat next to his sister, leaning back a bit. "I know how much you hate it when people beat around the bush, so I'll get right to it."

Daenerys stroked her hair, currently tied in a ponytail, gently as it hang over her left shoulder. "That doesn't quite apply to you as I love the sound of your voice, but as you please."

Marcellus blinked twice, before laughing. "My voice isn't really anything to write home about, though I can honestly say I do love yours~"

He naturally didn't notice as she blushed, and went right into the issue he was dealing with in regards to Gwyneth Bael.

Having heard the details, Daenerys stared forward without blinking, not even noticing a commotion from the girls outside. "I see. Lady Lucifer attained her position through power and force, yet she now wishes to change her methods in order to gain approval. I understand her decision to have you draft the plan was because she's well aware how much Hell in general loves you, however the reason you are loved and she is both feared and respected..."

Marcel nodded with a sigh, "Exactly. She made me promise to come up with a plan that I myself would employ if I were King of Hell, but it's not a good decision at all. I thought she understood that she and I are completely different, so I can't imagine what she's thinking right now. I mean, her rule IS opposed by quite a few, some more vocal than others, but if she had just kept at the events I convinced her to greenlight... Together, Luci and I could have overturned almost all of her opposition, which would immediately silence the vocal ones as they'd lose everyone willing to listen."

"Marcel? Have you heard some of the rumors floating around regarding that issue?" Daenerys wondered. "Apparently, those same opposing forces seem to rally behind the same individual. Have you ever considered that you would indeed make a far greater Lucifer than Gwyneth Bael? You have the charisma, the power, the intelligence, and most importantly, the support of everyone you come in contact with. If you decided to stake a claim to the throne, I doubt anyone could lift a finger to stop you."

Marcellus sighed, "Come on, Dany...you sound just like Izaya and Sophia right now. I'll tell you what I keep telling them. I have no interest in that kind of position, and even if I did, I would never betray Luci-chan. Right now, I'm the person she needs and trusts most. Even if I wasn't, I'd never even consider double crossing her like that. In fact, I would burn the flames of my very life in order to keep her seated right where she is."

Daenerys sighed this time, "Yes, I'm well aware of your opinions on the matter. It would be nice if you possessed more drive to make something of yourself, instead of remaining in the same place, but there is nothing I can say to change your mind."

"Don't tell me you're going right back to me leaving Len and starting my own Household?" Marcel looked at her sternly.

"I apologize," Daenerys responded, sitting up straight with her legs crossed. "It is the case, however, that you are and always have been capable of things that others can only fantasize about."

She closed her eyes as he got silent, her mind racing with thoughts of the past. Back when he was the Rising Star of the Angels, Daenerys had had many chances to interact with him. Their first meeting had come during a duel to the death with his first girlfriend, Valeria Kryas, where Marcellus had interfered and stopped the two before they could cause one another irreparable harm. Dany had been angry to be interrupted, angrier still that Valeria had immediately agreed to stop fighting. All her life, she had rejected men, disregarded the vast majority of them. There had been countless compliments and flirty words, yet all had meant nothing. And so, it had come as a considerable shock to her, to find her heart set aflutter when the child of Ariel Isholy explained that he couldn't live with himself if he'd allowed a breathtaking woman like her to have her face blemished for all eternity. From then on, even the famed misandrist of the Naberius Family had known the feeling of love for the opposite sex. She was incapable of getting along with Valeria, however Marcellus Isholy had helped her, even saved her on many occasions, in more ways than he could imagine.

"Really...I'm sorry..." Daenerys added with a soft tone. "Please, forgive me for being so insensitive..."

Marcellus stared at her in surprise, having never heard the woman sound as weak as she did. "Dany...I... I'm not mad at you, so don't feel bad! I really do understand where you're coming from too! You just want me to live to my full potential, so I could never be upset with you for speaking from the heart..."

{The heart.} Daenerys looked down into her lap. From the day they met, to the day Xavier had brought Marcellus home, looking like an 8 year old boy after the strange spell he'd cast, to this day years later. Her feelings had never once changed. Not once did she ever see him as her brother. Nor did she ever think of him in a way that any sister should. She was just like Lenneth in that regard, unable to stop herself from being in love.

"Marcel..." She turned to him, staring into his eyes. "Would it be a terrible trouble if I requested you to tell me what you think of me?"

Marcel blushed, as from the angle she leaned, he could see her chest clearly down the gown. "W-well...you're...amazing. Brilliant, radiant, strong. The strongest woman I know, for sure. You're also one of the few that truly understand how I feel. I can't really explain how close I've always felt to you, nor can I put into words exactly how much I love you. You can be harsh at times, and you don't know how to say hard things without sounding cruel, but that's just who you are, and I love even that part of you. Because you really care about all of us. I've always admired you, to be honest."

"I also love you, Marcel..." Daenerys admitted. "I have since the day we met."

"What?" Marcellus looked surprised once again, aware of her intention even before she pressed her lips against his.

Instead of pulling away, he found himself kissing back, his tongue gently sliding into her mouth.


"Wow..." Cattleya and the girls stared into the room from outside.

Meredith turned bright red as Marcellus pushed Daenerys down rather forcefully, clothes coming off as they touched one another passionately. "T-that came out of nowhere!"

"Were you not paying attention the whole time?" Tsukuyomi looked at her. "I'm actually surprised it took this long."

Ahri's tail wagged behind her, back in her human form. "Do you think Dany would be mad if we joined in~?"

Emerald scratched her cheek, trying not to look at Marcel, who was now thrusting vigorously. "S-she just lost her virginity, so..."

"Yeah, let's be considerate." Nybel decided, looking at her phone as they heard their King moan loudly.

Cattleya glanced at the other five, "Marcel's stamina is wondrous, so...five rounds to let her enjoy her first time?"

"That sounds like torture for us," Tsukuyomi remarked. "Have we done something wrong?"

"I-it's about Dany, not us..." Meredith replied nervously.

Nybel nodded, "I guess we can read that hentai doujin Marcel drew for last month's event~"

"Sounds like more torture," Ahri noted with a frown.


Back in the present, following the end of the school day. At the small mansion where the members of the Isholy Family were staying while attending Kuoh Academy.

"So, what's this all about?" Inquired the Queen of Ariel Isholy's Household, Valeria.

Alongside the other three girls, she sat in the den on a sofa.

Guinevere shrugged nonchalantly, "I haven't the faintest idea~"

"No point in tiptoeing around the issue, I guess." Jade remarked, tossing a picture onto the table in the center.

Hisui set down cups of tea, taking a seat as the other two looked at the picture, showing obvious surprise. "Yes, Archer spotted her before school ended, and immediately reported it to Lady Ariel."

"The youngest Sorceress Candidate in history..." Valeria ran a hand through her hair. "Why is she here?"

Jade shook her head, "We don't know. Lady Ariel said she's seen scenes of the future where Miss Lilith and Marcel are together. While she doesn't know what the young Sorceress wants, she did point out something concerning..."

Hisui took a sip of her tea, setting it down. "Miss Lilith is a master of all forms of Magic. It wouldn't be very difficult for her to undo the seal that Xavier Naberius placed upon Master Marcellus' memories."

"O-oh..." Guin drank some tea nervously. "That's bad..."

Biting her lip, Valeria looked down at the tea in front of her. {I see. If she returns his memories, it will completely void all the efforts we've made to allow Mat the choice of how he lives his life. At this stage, it may skew his perception into remaining with the Naberius Family, instead of coming back to us.}

With a deep breath, she calmed her heart. "What shall we do then? We can hardly show disrespect to the Sorceress Candidate. The last thing we need now is for the Covenant of Azrael to treat us with hostility. The Isholy Family would be isolated."

"Yes, that is a concern." Hisui agreed, lifting a hand to brush some of her hair over her ear. "There's also one more piece of news, of equal importance."

Jade smiled at Guin and Val, "Rooklyn Bael has miraculously come back from the dead~"

"WHAT?!" Valeria and Guinevere gaped at the twins.

Guin blinked in disbelief, "Why didn't Marcy tell us?"

"I can see why..." Val admitted, quickly coming to terms with the news. "Mat probably wants to avoid Angels prying into the story. He would never chance disadvantaging one of his beloved friends."

"Makes sense," Jade claimed, relaxing in her seat. "So we'll also keep that to ourselves. What should we do about the Sorceress?"

"Have Archer continue watching her," Valeria ordered calmly. "This requires more thought. And we have to find out what she wants here."


One month ago, in the isolated world of Aern Cheyn. Home to the mighty Sorceresses of the Covenant of Azrael.

Within the hallowed walls of the Coven's unworldly palace abode, known as Celestia Veritas.

Lilith Aeris Targaryen sat in the chamber dedicated to various Deities, namely the Almighty One whom was commonly referred to as God.

Looking up from her set on a bench, she observed a large mural that mystically transcribed upon the ceiling, flowing to depict a grand scene revolving around an immaculate being surrounded by His faithful.

God. That was how everyone outside of the Coven, with the exception of a select few, knew the being. Only the Sorceresses, and the aforementioned few, could possibly know the name -he went by many- and true form of the being called God. However, that was neither here nor there, certainly important by no means at that precise moment.

After all, the young lady who had come to be known as the woman who would exceed all Magicians and Sorceresses, was finally about to receive news of the single thing she'd been aiming for. Her greatest goal since the day she was adopted into the Covenant of Azrael by the three of the Celestial Seers themselves.

While she hadn't received official notice, she was far too intelligent to be fooled into thinking that the reason for her summons was anything other than the fact that the terms for her Rite of Alignment had finally been uncovered.

In some ways, she felt bad. Throughout history, every Sorceress' Alignment was only disclosed on the day they turned 21, the age at which all Magicians would have fully matured. Even the Celestial Seers, the most powerful Sorceresses, strongest Magicians in existence by many accounts, were no exception.

Due to her peerless genius, Lilith Targaryen had soared beyond all other Sorceress Candidates with ease. At the age of 14, she was so sublimely ahead of her senior Candidate peers, that she was already gaining the chance to attain Alignment with the Cosmos. Even some who were already 21 had yet to earn their chance, yet she, the youngest Sorceress Candidate ever, was going to become one with the Ley Lines.
She had expected for her groundbreaking Rite to be disclosed when she was 16, so this was actually a surprise to her. Two years early? It would be easy for her to feign shock and awe when she received the news from her masters.

Speaking of, here they came now. As attuned as Lilith was, it was no issue for her to identify a fellow Magician by simply sensing the quality and nature of the energy flowing through them. These energies were easily the greatest she had ever known, three in all. The three Celestial Seers who had adopted and raised her.
The first, with a mane of beautiful, raven black hair, who always dressed in black and white; who had the distinct scent of lilac and gooseberries. Yennefer Vengerberg, the one she believed to be the most powerful all, due to her general mastery of all Arcane Arts. She was a sharp one with a sometimes wicked tongue, but sweet underneath her condescending tones. Sort of like that strict mother you can't help but adore.
The second, with a head of gorgeous red hair, that burned like the flames that seemed to cover the sun itself. Triss Marigold, the Magician with the single greatest mastery over the element of fire. She had it in her to baptize an entire planet in her primordial blazes, should she wish to. Of the three, she was the most gentle and understanding, as well as the most supportive in general. While Yennefer was like a strict mother, Triss was a warm and fun big sister.
The third, with luscious locks of golden blonde, which shone like the light from the stars in the expanses of space. Keira Metz, the Magician with the most sublime ability to bend air and lightning to her very will. Levitation was practically an entirely new phenomena in her hands. She held the power to shower entire WORLDS in endless, tempestuous storms of plasma. If Yen was the mother and Triss was the big sister, Keira was the eccentric aunt whose pride was most noticeable when you were successful. Look for her in times of failure, and you wouldn't find a very welcoming woman.

Of course, Lilith Targaryen knew not the meaning of the term "failure." Well, she did, obviously, she knew every word there was, far better than even the men who first thought of them. But for the sake of her dramatic flair and galactic ego, this young lady truly did not know what it meant to fail. She had seen others fail plenty of times, felt pity and sadness when seeing their pain in their failures. However it wasn't a feeling she herself knew. Nor one she ever would come to know. Surely, her absolute perfection was the reason that she was now awaiting the words of the three people she most loved and looked up to. Whatever trial she was to face, she would pass it with flying colors, just as she had the last thousand or so.

"As you requested, I have come~" Lilith announced, rising to her feet with a spin that ended halfway, allowing her to take a bow.

"You seem to be in high spirits this evening, Lily." Yennefer commented in a rather casual manner, while striding past her daughter.

Triss brushed a strand of hair from the face of her little sister, "She's always like this, Yen."

"Yes, she possesses a great deal more mettle and inner fortitude than the rest of her peers." Noted Keira, as she looked over her darling niece with an affectionate gaze.

Lilith smiled at Triss first, before the other two. "I can only be filled with delight, knowing that my three guardians have taken time out of their busy schedules to meet with me~"

"I do hope that your words are sincere, this time, Lily." Yennefer glanced toward her.

"They always are, Yen." Lilith claimed, bowing her head for a moment.

She grinned, more like a child, as her mother raised an eyebrow at her. "Okay, almost always~"

"Hm, come here, my love." Yennefer beckoned with a hand.

Keira took a seat as Lilith went as she was asked, Yennefer stroking her cheek gently. "You've grown up so fast, Lily. Before we knew it, 11 years had zoomed by and you were a young lady full of promise and knowledge."

Triss laughed heartily as Keira wiped her eyes, "And now, the time has already come for you to fly toward the Ethereal Sky~"

"What are you saying?" Lilith asked, feigning confusion.

Running a hand through the girl's hair, Yennefer touched her shoulder. "You have much growing to do, Lily, however your growth will be most exponential apart from us. Collectively, as of this moment, the Celestial Seers and the Covenant of Azrael have decided that you will begin your Rite of Alignment."

Taking a step back and covering her mouth, to enhance the act, Lilith let out a surprised shriek. "P-please don't fib me! Surely you jest? I, a Candidate of only 14 years of life?"

"We certainly do not jest," Keira responded, standing and walking over. "The time has come, darling."

Triss flashed a warm, inviting smile. "Will you listen to the details? Or would you like time to process?"

"I have processed it all, already." Lilith replied, a true statement considering. "Please, enlighten me to the rigorous task I must face!"

"Very well," Yennefer looked toward the stained glass, which shone and displayed real-time images.

Lilith looked up to spot a handsome man with beautiful blue hair, the kind of deep blue that one would rightly associate with the sea of Earth. "Who is he?"

"Marcellus Mathias Isholy," Triss answered, as they saw him with Ariel and the Angels.

Keira spoke as the image switched to show Marcel among the Naberius Family, "Or rather, Marcellus Naberius. He was once the Rising Star of the Angels, the youth loved by all. Xavier Naberius took him in, and Marcellus was reincarnated as a Devil."

Lilith tilted her head, "An Angel turned Devil? Is it not that a natural born Angel cannot become a Devil? The only fate should be to Fall."

"Yes, it was thought to be impossible until it happened." Yennefer noted. "His adoptive younger sister made him her Queen. Before you ask, no, he is not considered to be a Nephilim."

Lilith stroked her chin, "I see. Then what significance does he bear?"

"He was the Angel chosen by the Sacred Beast of the East," Triss explained. "Surely you understand?"

Genuine surprise was seen upon Lilith's face this time, "Then his reincarnation into a Devil has completely ruptured the balance! The Devils have two of the Genesis-class Sacred Gears now!"

"Yes," Keira nodded. "However, even that is not the main cause for concern. Marcellus' fate is sealed. At the very least, 6 months from now. At the very most, 1 year. By the time a year passes from this date, that boy will die."

Yennefer spoke before Lilith could get a word in, "Your Rite of Alignment... The condition for you, is to ensure that the event leading to his death never comes to pass."

"Wha- Why?" Lilith asked in disbelief. "Even if he's one of the potential four vessels...there are still the other three Destined Champions. Like Vestinel, correct?"

"We cannot answer specifics, for the details are yours to uncover." Keira claimed. "However, know this. It is our firm belief that Marcellus is not only a potential vessel, but rather THE vessel."

Lilith simply blinked this time, "You mean...he may be the only one who can contain Ananta the Infinite?"

"...We have already said too much, Lily." Yennefer admitted, sighing. "The short of it all, is that you must ensure that Marcellus is still alive a year from today. That will be the only condition for you to succeed."

Lilith took a few deep breaths, trying to keep her composure. "You say it so lightly... I have to accomplish something that no other being has been capable of? Preventing an event foreseen by the Celestial Seers is... I must pull the strings of fate in the direction of my choosing? Bend the forces of destiny to my will? How can you ask of me alone, something which not even the three of you together could ever achieve?"

"We understand your concerns," Triss pat her on the back. "We didn't want to tell you at all, honestly. But according to the scriptures, something...very, very bad will happen after Marcellus dies. Even we were unable to see exactly what, but we know that you're the only one who can do it."

Keira smiled at Lilith, "Quite frankly, yours will be the most difficult and painful Rite in all of history. Quite possibly, the harshest and cruelest that will ever be. But there is one fact to take solace in. Every Rite is designated for the individual, and relies upon their own ability to succeed. In other words, by whatever means, you have it in you to succeed once again. Time is against you, but...we have faith in you, Lily~"

Lilith looked from Triss to Keira, "Do you really believe I can?"

Yennefer looked into her eyes, "Lily? Were you not a woman who refuses to yield to any person or thing? If you're half the woman you have claimed yourself to be, then it isn't a question of whether you can or can't. The only factor here is HOW and WHEN. So tell us now, in no unclear terms. Will you accept your Rite?"

Lilith took a deep breath, exhaling slowly as she regained her senses. "Who do you think you're talking to, Yen? What cannot be done by you, Triss, Keira and the other Seers, I will accomplish on my own. I most certainly accept this Rite. I suppose I'll see you in a year then~"

"Yes, that's what we-" Yen, Triss and Keira gasped as Lilith turned on her heel and walked off. "W-wait! Wait! We didn't even tell you the most important part!"

"?" Tilting her head, Lilith looked at them. "I thought you had already said too much?"

Keira sighed in exasperation, "Yes, but... This and that are two different things. We have advice to share."

Triss nodded, wiping her forehead as Lilith turned to them. "Two things. First off, you will find him in the town we've all heard so much about. When you do meet him, everything will be in your hands so you must proceed as you think is best. Before heading there, we'd advise you to meet with the Norse Gods and the Angels. It will take some time, unfortunately, but if you do, you'll understand a lot more about Marcellus' situation."

"And you must take care not to tell them what you must do," Keira added. "Also, it is in your best interest to meet your old acquaintance, Vestinel."

Lilith smiled calmly, "I understand. As you suggest, I will take the time to meet their leaders. As will I grudgingly attempt to make contact with Vestinel. What is the last piece of advice?"

Yennefer walked toward Lily, setting her hands on her shoulders. "Marcellus is...as you will see for yourself, an entirely unique creature. He is incredibly charming, so charming in fact, that he has somehow become the one being with the Illusive Woman and the Infinite Dragon God at his beck and call. He may even be capable of winning the hearts of every last one of us Sorceresses, given that fact. Whatever you do, you must hold fast and strong. From what we have seen, your trial will become even more impossible and daunting if you fall in love with him."

"Love?" Lilith smiled warmly at her mother, touching her hands. "The only ones I have ever loved are the three of you. I have absolutely no desire to cozy up to any man, at any time. Marcellus Mathias Isholy... Or Naberius. He will be nothing more than a VIP target that must be preserved at all costs. You needn't worry about my being charmed. I will never allow emotions to cloud my judgment and get in the way of what I must do. In fact, I will look upon him as a fragile pet to be protected~"


In the present time, in the most popular downtown district of the city.

Lilith kept an even pace with the man she was sent to protect, observing the sights he offered, while absorbing the tidbits of knowledge he imparted. "It seems the city is quite...rich in culture."

"That might be a good way to put it," The former Angel remarked, running a hand through his hair. "As you can see for yourself, it really is a place where everyone can mostly tolerate one another."

"Indeed," The Sorceress Candidate crossed her arms, scanning the district with interest.

All about her, there were Humans, Angels, Fallen Angels, other Devils like Marcellus, and more. Truly, a wondrous place.

Upon spotting a familiar shop known for its coffee, Lilith revealed a calm smile to her guide. "Marcellus, I would grant you the chance to curry favor with me."

{Heh, she really does talk like some of the characters I write~} Marcel smiled back to her. "Oh yeah? And how do I accomplish that daunting task?"

The response incited a surprised reaction from the young Magician. {Is this sarcasm? Or perhaps he is treating me like a fool? Maybe he's even testing the waters, so to speak, to ascertain my own disposition. Is this to be a game of wits after all? I do hope he believes he can win then. It shall make it all the more satisfying to crush his belief~}

With a rather dainty hand motion toward the Starbucks, Lilith's smile grew more playful. "You may be pleased to purchase a sweet beverage with a slightly bitter aftertaste."

"I see, so you want a drink that's just like you initially appear to others." Nodding to himself, Marcellus Naberius turned his back on the girl and walked into the store.

"..." Lilith stared after him, surprised by his comeback. "This game may be hard fought after all. Nonetheless, make no mistake, Marcellus. You will become my pet, my manservant...my slave~"

She laughed lowly, "And when the time comes, I will shield you from your cruel fate, in much the same way that a master protects their property~"

"Marcellus, huh?" The voices called out from behind her.

It didn't even require the effort to look at the men who had just approached, for Lilith to know beyond a shadow of doubt, that they were about as insignificant as they sounded and likely looked. {Pathetic.}

"Oi! Did you just think something really rude just now!?" One of the men demanded, grabbing her shoulder roughly.

"Whoa, chill out dude!" Another pulled the rough one from the young lady, almost tossing him to the side.

The third fixed his glasses as a group of housewives whispered and pointed, "Er...we didn't mean to alarm you, Miss. We just couldn't help but see you with Marcellus Naberius."

"?" Lilith's ears perks up for a moment, as she deigned to face the waste's of space. "Could it be that you uncouth germs are friends of his?"

"Germs? The fuck?" The first growled at the girl hostilely.

The second sighed, "It's another way to say gentlemen."

{While that's true, you are free to believe that it was what I meant.} Lilith mentally noted.

"Wouldn't exactly call us his friends," Glasses admitted. "Acquaintances, rather. You see, we go way back. We'd been out of town for a few years, but we were rather intimate back in middle school."

Clapping, as if she'd come to some groundbreaking realization, Lilith's eyes sparkled. "I see! So this is what they call Boys Love! Wonderful!"

"Let me punch this uppity bitch in the face!" Mr. Rough shouted, drawing his fist back.

"Idiot!" The second pushed into him, holding him back.

The one with glasses felt a drop of sweat roll down his cheek as the girl remained oblivious, at least as far as he could tell. "N-no, nothing like that! I mean, I don't know about THEM, but I'm as straight as can be."

He paused, considering something as his expression shifted with a wink. "I'd happily prove that to you, if you'd like~"

"So this is what it's like for a man to flirt with a woman," Lilith remarked, brushing her hair over her left ear. "How filthy."

She continued, as even the other two men twitched visibly. "I am well aware of the stereotype surrounding Devils, how you're incapable of keeping your hot dog in its package, however I never thought it would prove true. Perhaps your acquaintance is the exception after all. Nonetheless, even through my utter disgust with the lot of you, I must confess something that may change your opinion of me. While I am indeed among the most beautiful and graceful of women, I am only 14 years old. As such, you may be capable of comprehending how disgusting it is for a pure maiden like myself to be subjected to such things."

Glasses...removed his glasses, eyes alight with anger. "No wonder you're hanging around him then. That bastard's a trash pedo who's fucking a girl your age! And a smartass piece of shit, just like you!"

"My, how easily you regress to inane insults." Lilith quipped, shrugging nonchalantly as she turned to her side. "I would appreciate you leaving before something unsightly occurs."

"ENOUGH OF THIS BITCH!" The first of the men yelled, knocking the other two aside before throwing a punch at the prissy hussy.

{Ah, violence then...?} Having been about to defend herself with a spell, the Sorceress Candidate realized one glaring mistake. The fact that she had actually never had the chance to face off with a Devil. Indeed, as she could now recall, their physical abilities were far beyond what a Human could muster.

Just before she felt her first taste of brutal physical abuse, another's fist shot past her head and connected with the face of her assailant. "..."

Feeling a rather strong wind in the aftermath, Lilith looked up and over her shoulder, where she spotted the man she'd claimed would become her pet.

Marcellus sighed as he pulled his fist back, opening his hand to touch Lilith's hair and settle it gently, while the man he struck hurtled through the air like a pebble; before colliding with a tree across the street. "As I feared, it isn't a good idea to leave you alone, is it Lilith?"

The girl's response came out rather jumbled, and rightfully so. Never before had she had the experience of an older man leaping to her rescue.

Taking note of the men, Marcel smiled very subtly. "You're from House Foras, aren't you? Please don't tell me that you're still harboring that grudge from middle school... If he's so offended, why doesn't your master come here himself? Is he just trying to blow off steam after losing to Elena in the last Rating Game he participated in?"

Stepping around her, he stood before Lilith. "Either way, don't you think it's in bad taste to attack a young woman like that? I mean, I can understand why you would, but-"

"S-s-shut up already, Marcel!" Glasses snapped. "Why are you always so fucking long winded?!"

The second interjected before the Naberius could speak his piece back, "As you guessed, we're here to fuck you up! House Foras can only accept so many slights!"

Marcellus held back the statement he was about to make, about how they were doing it to themselves, as a larger group approached. {Uh oh, can't get into a fight in the middle of the afternoon. Not here. Right now, there shouldn't be anyone at the river near the park.}

Turning to the Magician, he smiled apologetically, handing her the drink he'd bought. "Please don't get angry for what I'm about to do, okay? I promise, I'm not a pervert or a pedo okay?"

"What," Was the only word the girl could force herself to say, before the man lifted her princess style and sprinted off at such speed that the world around her became nothing more than a blur of paint on a blank canvas.

When everything became properly visible again, Lilith found herself at a grassy riverside. Holding the drink the her chest, her eyes darted back and forth.

Setting her down carefully, Marcellus turned around. "Stay right there, okay? It'll be over soon."

"What will?" Lilith inquired, her voice a bit shaky. "There's no way they could keep up with that ridiculous speed, right?"

"I see you underestimate what others are capable of, Lilith." Marcellus remarked, as the Devils descended upon the riverside in large number. "I could have escaped easily if I wasn't carrying you, but House Foras is known for their speed."

Despite her current nervous state, part of his reply had struck a nerve. "Pardon, but are you insinuating that I am overweight?"

"Over...? What? No, why on Earth would you think that?" Tilting his head, Marcel took a look back at her.

"It's go time, mother fucker!" Glasses called out, advancing to the head of the group, roughly 30 in all. "Get it? Because you literally fucked your mom!"

The Naberius boy was clearly taken aback, "I fu- What is WRONG with you people? This isn't even the first time I've heard that! Why the heck does that keep coming back to me in some way?! I don't have a mother in the first place!"

"Hmph, we'll send her your fingers later, don't worry." The second claimed with a grin.

The first grit his teeth, spitting blood at Marcel's feet. "After we're done with you, I'm gonna give that fucking slut the time of her life. And I'll fucking make you WATCH!"

{Did we really do something that warrants THIS level of extreme hate?} Marcellus wondered with a deep sigh, holding his left hand out to his side.

The space in front of his palm warped as a dimensional gate opened. Reaching inside, he pulled to produce a katana that shimmered with brilliant light.

Lilith's eyes glued to the sword as it entered her sight. A golden hilt with ancient symbols inscribed into it, a silver handguard with an oval shape, and a deep blue blade more beautiful than even sapphire, looking alive with an otherworldly energy flowing within its crystalline edge. {The Honjo Masamune!}

"Well, try it then." Taunted the swordsman, who pointed his Holy Sword at his foes.

"Get him!" Glasses spat venomously, as the group spread apart.

The first man glared, charging right in without waiting for any others, a black war hammer materializing in his hand. "I'll shove that stupid fucking sword so far up your ass that your mom'll feel it in Heaven!"

"Colorful, I might borrow that threat in my next chapter." Marcellus remarked, stepping forward with a swift swing.

Just before their weapons clashed, he spoke clearly. "25%"

In the next instant, the katana cleaved through the hammer, cutting the Devil across his torso as he was launched to the other side of the river. "I'll be sure to write a strongly worded letter to your House, after this is over."

Staring at the man defending her, Lilith could only blink. {He's strong... Even stronger than Vestinel?}


In the club room of the Animation Appreciation Club.

Lenneth groaned, as if she was physically pained, her head crashing atop her presidential desk. "Onii-sama...abandoning me to go flirt with a girl he just met..."

Serena rubbed Yukina's hand as she watched Lenneth, "..."

"Heh, Lilith Aeris Targaryen, huh?" Izaya whistled in amusement. {To think that she'd show up here when Ophis and Sophia have been so interested in her~ I wonder, can I hide her presence and use it to exploit them~?}

"Do you know that girl, Iza-nii?" Alice asked, her face now an inch from his as she leaned over his desk.

A smile stretched across his mouth, as Izaya shrugged. "Maybe, maybe not~"

"Lilith...hm." Irisviel looked to be in deep thought. {I know I've heard that name before...}

Cynthia tilted her head, having arrived with Rinslet just behind Yukina. "Are you sure she was here to see Senpai, Yukina-san?"

Yukina looked at Cynthia for a few seconds before nodding and moving further behind Serena, who remained standing to serve as a wall.

Rinslet bit her lip as Cynthia looked at her, {No way. Why would she want to see him? Perhaps...Marcellus is acquainted with the target? Yes, that could be it. After all, he was the closest male in the world to the God of the Kitchen. Ah, that's right! Marcellus, despite being insignificant on his own, is oddly in the center of every being that's ACTUALLY significant! So he would certainly be the one to speak with if Lady Targaryen is searching for one of them! Perhaps the Infinite Dragon God? Or the Illusive Woman? After all, Sophia Lantis is easily the most enigmatic being in existence. She could very well possess information that the Covenant of Azrael desires. Maybe she even wishes to eat Lord Rooklyn's food, now that he's back from the dead.}

Elena sat on Lenneth's desk at the corner, looking at her nails. "Hm, I dismissed the Cheer Club early so I could meet with my beloved Marcel. If he's off with this Lilith woman, I believe I will go home. Or perhaps, go to find him and intrude~"

She smiled at Lenneth, who's ears twitched. "Yeah, I guess it would be perfect if I came along to show that random hussy who Marcel REALLY loves~ It'll just be he and I, and her watching in envy from the sidelines~"

Serena smiled slightly, as Lenneth rose to her feet, her golden eyes glowing even more brightly than they usually did. {Elena-san really does know the right buttons to push.}

"Come! Let us see just who Onii-sama adores the most!" Lenneth stated boldly, extending her hand for dramatic effect. "Onii-sama will definitely drop that small woman when confronted by his most cherished little sister!"

"Ooooh! Let's do it!" Cheered Alice, who threw a punch excitedly. "I wanna see if Marcel Onii-chan loves me more than Lenny!"

Elena smiled enthusiastically at Alice, "I'm sure that's the case, Alice~"

Irisviel jumped to her feet, forgetting her thoughts. "I'd also like to know how Sensei feels about me in comparison to our Lady King!"

"I suppose we'll all go search then~" Serena suggested.

"Yeah, why not~?" Izaya stood with a smirk. {This should be enlightening.}

Yukina looked less than amused at that point, but she stuck close to Serena with full intention to pursue them.

Crossing her arms, Rinslet turned to Cynthia, who was watching everyone with a smile. "Let's go too, Cynthia."

"Yes, let's!" Cynthia agreed, following as they left the club room.


Lowering his sword to his right side, Marcellus focused on the remaining Devils, as he'd already cut down almost half of them. "Is it too late to request your surrender? We can always just walk away and pretend none of this ever happened."

"What the fuck do you think!?" The first man shouted in response, leaping across the river as his wings sprouted.

"I thought so," Marcellus replied in exasperation, snapping his fingers as the water in the river shifted.

Lilith looked at the man as the river water shot upward, in a dense stream, engulfing him and spitting him up into the sky, where he quickly became an afterthought. {And this is the power of Seiryu?}

Glasses' wings sprouted, as did the wings of the others, as he lunged in at sonic speed. A jade green spear was held in both hands as he thrust it, the tip aiming for the Naberius' heart.

Holding the Honjo Masamune outward at a diagonal angle, the swordsman's blade met the end of the spear. The moment the weapons connected, he pushed down with just enough force to parry the blow and send the assailant off balance before countering with a wide, horizontal swing. The katana cut through Glasses' body, no blood being shed as he was flung backward into his allies.

"I apologize if this hurts for a while, but I'm going to end this now." Announced Marcellus, as he raised the Honjo Masamune above his head.

The atmosphere grew extremely moist within a second, as currents of water flowed around the remaining Devils of House Foras. As the magic users decided to act -distracted when Glasses crashed into them-, the entire area was encased in a jagged coffin of ice, which shot off like twisted tree branches, stretching to entrap even those who had already been disabled.

Lowering the sword, which disappeared, Marcellus turned to Lilith just as the ice shattered and all the Devils dropped to the ground in visible pain. "That's that. Are you alright?"

"I..." Taking a sip of the drink at last, Lilith instantly regained her composure. "Yes, I am fine. I was merely caught off guard by how suddenly you dared to touch me."

"Lilith, you seem to be a powerful Magician, but you really don't know much about real fights, do you?" Marcel looked at her curiously. "Nobody will wait for you to cast a spell that requires time. If you plan on defending yourself, you would be well served learning the basics of close quarters combat."

{He was able to tell that I'm a powerful Magician, hm? I hate to admit it, but he's right.} Lilith took another sip, "I shall keep your words in mind, Marcellus."

"Good, and I really am sorry for picking you up like that, you know?" Marcel scratched his head nervously.

"I...was not bothered in the slightest." Claimed the girl, stubbornly. "It was a simple nuisance, not one that I will stew over. More over, why is it that you were referred to as a pedophile?"

Marcellus blushed as he looked away from her, "It's just something others like to say to annoy me... You see, I'm close to a girl your age. Even though she's like my protege, everyone says things like that despite the fact that I've never touched her."

"I see," Lilith replied after taking another sip, enjoying the flavor which she couldn't pin down. "Well, I will at least say that I appreciate your standing up for me. However, make no mistake. One of such perfection as I, would have easily slaughtered those worthless mooks. Especially if you expended little effort in doing so."

"Right, right." Marcel chuckled as she kept drinking.

Lilith bit her lip lightly for a second, "And I am the most incredible Magician you ever have and ever will meet. Please don't misunderstand. Powerful is a severe understatement, considering my inherent sublimity."

"I'm sure that's the case," Marcellus chirped cheerfully. "Shall we get out of here? There are some more places I can show you~"

"Er, yes." Responded Lilith with a nod. {This was just an odd first experience. I was flustered because it was my first time being protected by a boy. And the first time a boy touched me, much less carried me. And beyond that, it was the first time someone tried to hit me physically. Now that I have experienced these things first hand, I will never freeze up that way again. That was the first and final time he will ever have to defend me. Although, it is a good quality for my pet. Hm...he is slightly impressive, I suppose. I wonder how many white lies I can get away with before he grow suspicious of my intentions here.}

As the two left the riverside, they came upon another woman. Or rather, the woman approached them herself.

"Excuse me, Nii-san." The woman called out, her voice gentle and smooth. "Would you happen to be Lord Marcellus?"

"Huh? Well, yeah." Replied Marcel, with a confused expression. As he observed her, he had the sinking feeling that they had met. That they had been close at some point. In fact, it felt as if he was strongly connected her. {This is...weird. I've never encountered this before...}

Marcel, that feeling you got when you laid eyes on that girl. It is unmistakable. She is the host of Byakko, Sacred Beast of the West. The voice that called out, heard only by the Naberius child, was none other than that of Seiryu, the Sacred Beast of the East that was one with him.

{Sei-chan...she's Byakko's host? Then she also has a Genesis-class Sacred Gear like me?} Marcellus received no answer this time, looking to the girl.

Lilith gripped her cup as she stared up at the woman, {The power that flows within her is eerily similar to Marcellus'. Could she be another Vessel?}

"I'm relieved~" The woman claimed, smiling. "I'm glad that it was you and not one of our other two peers~ I've heard many unsavory things about them both, yet your reputation is exceedingly grand among others~"

"Hahaha..." Marcel scratched his head. "May I ask your name?"

The woman nodded, "Of course! My name is Fianna. Fianna Ray Ordesia, host of the White Tiger Byakko, Sacred Beast of the West. It would seem that fate has smiled upon us both, yes? It's very fortunate that we would encounter one another when we are opposite directions, Lord Marcellus~"

"Fianna... Fianna-chan then~" Marcellus smiled warmly at her. "Please, don't be so respectful when talking to me. It's sort of unnerving. And I agree that we're fortunate to meet one another first. While our directions are opposite, legends state that Byakko and Seiryu are close friends, even compared to the other two Sacred Beasts~"

"As you wish, Marcel-kun~" Fianna agreed. "And Byakko seems very excited to meet his old friend after all this time~"

"Hehehe, sounds like Byakko is more chatty than Seiryu then~" Marcel remarked.

Clearing her throat, Lilith spoke up. "Yes, this is quite interesting, however..."

Marcellus blinked once, "Ah, I'm sorry Lilith! I got carried away because I've never met someone else like me~"

"Lilith?" Fianna tilted her head curiously. "Lilith Targaryen? The Sorceress Candidate?"

"Sorceress Candidate...?" Marcel looked extremely confused. "What's that?"

Lilith coughed a single time, "Nothing that concerns you as of now. I shall explain another time, should I feel the need to."

Fianna covered her mouth, {That's right, he's probably forgotten many things about the world after what Duke Naberius did to him. Father did tell me to be mindful should I ever encounter Marcel. Something about a promise with Seraph Ariel?}

"This may be a bit direct, but would you be terribly opposed if I accompanied you?" Inquired Fianna, a hopeful expression on her face.

Shaking his head Marcellus smiled. "No, I'd be fine with that. But I'm in the middle of showing Lilith around. Are you okay with it?"

"Yes, of course. It would be interesting to observe two Sacred Beasts interact." Lilith responded coolly. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Lady Fianna."

"I feel the same, Lady Lilith~" Fianna curtsied politely, a few butterflies flying around her.

Marcellus looked at the butterflies, then at Lilith, who returned fire with her own curtsy. "Heh..."


At a cafe in the city with a rooftop lounging area.

Ophis let out a content sigh as she drank some tea, sitting across from her best and only friend once again. Or rather, her best and first friend, given that she'd recently changed her opinion of the boy she had grown fond of modeling for. "Tell me, Sophia, what did you put in this tea to make it taste so wonderful?"

"Roofies~" Claimed Sophia, sticking her tongue out as the Infinite Dragon God looked at her blankly. "A joke, obviously. To be honest, I'm not sure what it is~ I received this dust from a client, who told me to mix it in tea whenever I drank. Surprisingly, he wasn't trying to poison me~"

"Yes, that is quite the landmark for you." Ophis agreed, taking another sip. "Perhaps some sort of addictive drug?"

Sophia giggled at the comment, "How morbid you can be, dear Ophis~ Anyway, won't you tell me why you called me today? As much as I love you, there IS someone that I'm quite eager to watch~"

"Not Mari-boo, I hope?" Ophis raised an eyebrow at her.

"Contrary to what you seem to think, my world by no means revolves around Marcellus." Noted Sophia, with a calm smile. "As I said before, I believe that you're the one who's obsessed with that boy. Even if he called me right now, I would simply ignore it and call back when I find it convenient. I am the last woman who would drop everything to-"

Ophis looked at Sophia's phone on the table, as it rang. "Well, well, well~ Isn't that quite the impeccable timing? Is it Mari-chan after all? Will you answer? Or will you remain strong and pretend not to adore him?"

Sophia sketchily peeked at her phone, sighing in relief. "It isn't him."

"I just love how you prove my point for me," Ophis said playfully.

"You really are one to talk," Sophia replied, running a hand through her hair. "And you know what? Yes, I do indeed adore him. I believe we're of the same mind on the subject of how cute that boy always is. In your case, you get to pose nude for him regularly~ Have you made it to second base yet~?"

"No, he's very coy around me~" Ophis admitted, running her finger along the rim of her tea cup. "Because of his lolicon fetishes, I have actually come to feel most natural and like myself, when I retain this youthful appearance~"

"I'm glad for your symbiotic relationship," Sophia claimed. "You satisfy his desire to see little girls naked, while he satisfies your desire to eventually lose your virginity to him~"

The comment cause Ophis to tilt her head with a dark smile, "And exactly who says that I'm a virgin, Mel?"

"Who says that you aren't?" Countered Soph.

"And what of you, Mel?" Ophis wondered.

Sophia chuckled, "You shift the subject because I'm right, hm? And I have never claimed not to be, have I? I'm as pure a maiden, at this very moment, as I was the day I was born~ I am unblemished by the carnal and base desires of lesser beings. So long as one has the confidence to enjoy their life, sexual activity is quite pointless, don't you think?"

"Yes, of course. We are both above such things." Ophis agreed, drinking more tea calmly. {She won't fool me. If she so desired, she could have her way with Mari-boo without him even catching on. I won't allow that so easily.}

Sophia let out a content sigh as she drank her tea, "Indeed." {She expects me to believe that? She wasn't above such things when she decided to kiss Marcellus, was she? Considering her personality, and the fact that he might really desire her loli form, she would probably skip 2nd and 3rd base too. There's no way I'll allow her to advance any further than me.}

Ophis smiled at her besty, "Anyway, Mel, this is why I called you today."

Sophia looked forward as Ophis' tail waved in front of her face like a snake. "Oh, did you finally notice that you're missing a scale, Ophy~?"

The Ouroboros Dragon leveled a blank stare at her friend, "Of course you noticed and said nothing."

"Let me guess...this is because Rooklyn came back to life earlier~?" Sophia tilted her head. "The scale must naturally be within his body somewhere~ And now, you're feeling awkward~ After all, you lust after Marcellus with all your colossal heart, yet now a part of you is a part of his BEST FRIEND~ Which leads me to the true reason, you wish to consult me on what you should do~"

She paused, peeking at Ophis, who looked less than amused. "I can understand where you're coming from though. It may be one measly scale, but what if something resonates when you finally get what you truly want from Marcellus? In a way, it might be like he's sleeping with both you AND Rooklyn~ The various horrors following such a thing are blatant, no~?"

"...As you say, the possible obscene scenarios are rather troublesome." Replied Ophis, who remained calm. "Beyond that, it would be very awkward indeed, if I find myself thinking of him while I'm with Mari-chan. And so I ask officially, Mel. What should I do?"

"Since you're being direct for once, I'll be earnest." Sophia replied with a shrug. "Honestly, does it matter at this point? Regardless of the circumstances, it is the case that you kinda, sorta ate Rooklyn's sister a while back. And while it was for a good cause, the fact remains. So even if there is some sort of discomfort from this situation of a small part of you being part of him, I think you should just ignore it. After all, the only other option is to remove the scale from him by force."

Ophis let out a sigh, "Which would potentially kill him, again. And make Mari-boo said, again. He is frightening with his capacity for forgiveness, however I feel that even my delicious cinnamon roll would become burnt in my mouth if I killed his best friend a second time."

"Did you just call Marcellus a cinnamon roll?" Sophia tilted her head in a rather childish manner. "As in you want to eat him?"

"What? No. How could you be unaware? Calling someone a cinnamon roll has become popular online, to describe a character that one has become extremely attached to." The dragon girl explained casually. "I'm sure Mari would respond in kind by referring to me as his ooey gooey butter cake. He loves that cake, you know~"

The Illusive Woman nodded a few times, "I understand. And now, you've caused me to ask myself a question that neither of us may want to know the answer to. Which of us is Marcellus sweetest on anyway? And would he ever choose either of us over his precious Lenneth~?"

"Mel? You don't believe that I wouldn't dare ask, do you?" Ophis wondered.

"I said no such thing," Sophia responded. "Perhaps it will be something we ask together in the near future."

"Perhaps," Ophis remarked, looking at her friend. "But enough about Mari and my scale, we can visit him later. You are aware of the Sorceress Candidate's inquiries with Odin and Michael?"

Sophia set her cup down, "But of course, I've known since before she even met with them. What shall we do, now that she's arrived here? I don't believe it's an exaggeration that her presence is potentially damaging for both of our plans. Especially where Marcellus is concerned."

Ophis followed suit, setting her tea cup on the table. "Damaging, possibly. I'm more concerned about how our little playground fits into her Rite of Alignment. And beyond that, whether the Cows Brigade will be ready to begin the big plan before she succeeds in her goal. After all, once she becomes aligned with the Ley Lines, she would immediately surpass all of the Celestial Seers with a clear gap in ability. As of now, the thing limiting her is lack of experience and her inability to use the full range of her Magic without exhausting herself. I could control her through force right now, but that would change after her Rite."

"No matter how powerful she gets, she at least will never pose a real threat to me." Sophia pointed out. "If necessary, I could force her to behave the way we want. But really, the big problem is him isn't it? If Lilith gets close to Marcellus and triggers his adorable yet troublesome desire to protect his friends at any cost, we won't be able to do much."

Ophis smiled to herself, "Is it too much to hope that Mari-boo will grow to hate her~?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Begining of the End   Sun 17 Apr 2016, 05:36

School Day haze next thing you know schools out and freedom commences, some have clubs to still attend others jobs, but for the new kid this is a time of uncertainty. Attention is also sometimes brought to the new kid and then there are those who are always looking for new club members or those who are unwelcoming to new people. Random instances also occur when there is a person known before that may attend the new school and harbors resent or even ill will toward the new kid know before. Scorned lover or old rival whatever it may be with such situations the end of school then become quite an adventure for the new kid.

At the end of Chiron’s class Fili stands and turns to exit when Chiron addresses him, “Mr. Stone you should find Mr. Aeones about new pants cause if your attire isn’t right tomorrow you’ll see the darker side of P.O.E! Now do carrier on.” With a gulp Fili responds, “Understood, I appreciate your allowing me to partake in your infinite pool of knowledge, til the marrow.” and with that Fili exit. Jezibel was outside the room waiting for Fili “Well I hope you’re a bit more comfortable with the campus.” She informs. “Yes, thank you and sorry for all the trouble I may have caused you probably had better things to do. Sorry for mistaking you for my friend, just grasping dreams I guess anyway thanks again Jezibel, I’ll let you get on with your day,” Fili proclaims. Feeling bad and about to come clean Jezibel lets her guard down as Fili dowses off and cops a feel of her supple breasts, surprised at first she retreat to memories and indulges then comes to her senses and slams Fili to the ground. “What the hell” She shout as Fili shakes his head and responds, “Sorry if I startled you I must of fallen asleep and fell on my face, wouldn’t be the first time” unaware of what he actually did, ”would you mind pointing the way to the archery range I need to recharge my batteries.” Jezibel points covering her chest and red faced, Fili just turns and almost bumping into a girl running in mid change, avoiding her caused Fili to trip on his own feet and he nearly cause another to trip. Fili jumps up with his hands out saying, “Sorry, my bad I really need a recharge, see you Jez and ladies.” Then he runs off toward the range.

Suezanna running late as usual, was trying to save time by changing in transit to the club room due to the changing she almost collided with a boy but he avoided her. From their near collision Suezanna got hit with an over whelming sense of power as the boy trips. Phibie, Suezanna’s twin sister, is following and nearly trips over him, she also gets hit with the sense of power. As the boy jumps up Phibie notices her sister about to say something but stops her by putting a finger to her lips Sue didn’t notice that Jezibel, the boy apologized and said his good byes and runs off. “Well who was that Jez, you holding out on us?” Phibie asks “Oh that was the new boy Fili Stone Forge.” Jezibel explains “The Fili from your sensual dreams you have from time to time?” Suezanna reviles now in just her underwear, “No!!! He the one I had to show around campus today.” Jez proclaims “So that means he’s up for grabs, Sue you game?” Phibie asks “Definitely but first we need new outfits and lucky for us Roo came back from the dead, Jez, let the others at the club know what’s going on me and Phi have got to go get primed up.” Sue says now in a mini-dress as her and her sister seek out Rooklin.

An attractive raven colored haired young woman makes her way to the school with her arms under her quite impressive bust smiling to herself, “Kikieo will be occupied for hours with my wild goose chase.” Cleorichi says with a chuckle. “To bad I had to miss History for Azazel’s little errand now I have to deal with the repercussions of Chiron, I hope I’ll be able Fili home he’s not quite all there today to fall for Jezibel’s little ploy about not knowing him.” She makes her way to Chiron’s classroom takes a few breaths then enters. Chiron immediately turns, “Miss. Sable how nice of you to grace me with your presents BUT YOU MISSED MY CLASS!!!! (In saying this Chirons eyes are flames) and even the late Mr. Aeones made it to class thought he was a bit late so the question is how to make you understand not to let this happen again. I know due to some strange circumstances from the arrive of the new student, Mr. Stone, and the resurrection of Mr. Aeones your honorary little brother while you make up the work you missed today you will have to deal with your true feeling in P.O.E.” with that Chiron flicks a gold drachma at her and she descends to P.O.E.

Sue and Phi enter the swim team club room and find themselves stopped by a boy that looks like he jumped out of a kingdom hearts game.


“Non-club members aren’t allowed in while the president is inside”. Says the boy making the twins look at him like he’s crazy. As Sue points to the ladies changing room sign and says “But we’re women” the boy suddenly gets flustered. As Phi says “This dear sister is a long thought extinct virgin” the boy becomes quite flustered before quickly moving out of their way. The two of them made their way in, Phi smiled “it smells naughty in here dear sister”. Sue nodded as the two reached the last row and saw to their left two women wrapped around Rook. Sue gasped as phi whistled and says “you have quite a lot of Stamina Roo how many times”. “Six times each and another six with both,….I know it’s not my usual but it will do” says Rook as he sits up to greet them. “So what can I do for you ladies”, Sue answers “we need a ravishing number for a night time traipsing of sorts”. “a forging experience if you will” chimes in Phi as Rooklyn covers the Bael sisters. He then says “I have to make a delivery first and then I’m all yours ladies”. He then sticks out his arms as the ladies hook their own around and they exit the locker room, only to have. The KH boy brandish what looks like a keyblade at Rook, and say “Halt fiend how dare you intrude on Madam President”. “Ready yourself for you face Vincent Roy Gryphon”, Rook looks him in the eye and says “Listen kid. “I got work to do so we’ll just have to settle this later” and with that he batted the blade away and teleported them to the Archery clubs president building. “Gotta say I like the new look Ingrid” says Rook as they enter the room. Ingrid sighs and says “I bet you do Rook, now what brings you here…….with the twins”. Rook snaps his fingers and a new tournament outfit appears on the desk in front of her. “I made some adjustments you didn’t ask for but it will drastically reduce friction and resistance”. Replies Rook before cocking his head and asking “So what happened to your old one” “Um, well, you see, the thing is I accidently,” Ingrid tries to explain but is cut off by Rooklyn breathing in deeply, “Hmmm, Sleipnir ruminants are still upon it though it’s about four weeks old damn I sensed Fili was powerful but that damn powerful. What you do to get on his bad side.” He retorts. “I just shot his balloon craft out of the sky nothing that big…….. wait you’ve seen him, he’s at the school?” Ingrid inquires, “Yeah, he was in Chiron’s today,” Rook replies, “No time to waste I must find him and make him pay.” Ingrid declares and she storms off in search. “You’d think she’d want to change first, guess she wants to flaunt what she’s got.” Rook comments, “Couldn’t you have told her exactly where he is?” Sue asks, “Yeah, but where’s the fun in that.” Rook answers, “To be honest I think Fili was actually heading here, something about recharging his batteries.” Phi withdraws. “That is true but Ingrid doesn’t know that. So about those outfits?” Rook points out and they head back to the drama club.

“I guess I should have asked for directions to the archery range being new and have to catch on Chiron’s makeup work for the last four weeks I haven’t been able to gain any bearings of my new surroundings yet. Speaking Chiron what did he tell me before I left his class, damn I really need to recharge I’m getting forgetful it’s all downhill from there.” Fili perceives then he stops and looks around finding himself amongst grape vines. Down the row of grape vines Fili spots Brown haired beauty eating a grape from the vine to see if it’s ripe, she glances his way and they make eye contact “Well hello there would you like a grape or perhaps you’d like to return with me to the cellar and have some wine. (My gash you look so much like his father ‘she muttered under her breath’)” The lovely brunette states but due to Fili’s wariness his libido was taking control, “I’ll have a grape thing is I like mine peeled, naked amongst the vines sounds nice don’t you think?” Saying that Fili starts to advance, “And that would be his mother” she mutters again, “You’re quite presumptuous and your offer is tempting and though you are being more yourself now than you know I don’t think your rational side would approve of me taking advantage of your current state given we barely know each other.” At the girl’s long wind response Fili passes out and is about to hit the ground when vines grow to catch him. “And you’ve already passed out, way to go Penelope you could have just got naked and had some fun, his mother would have told me to go for it regardless of him being her son she’d probably urge me to go for her son. Well if I get to know him I’m sure I’ll get another chance.” Penelope withholds as she watches Fili sleep.

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PostSubject: Re: The Begining of the End   Mon 27 Jun 2016, 05:47

The Auditorium is a clamor with life as the members of the club and their colleagues acting out scenes together. The apprentices of the club run between the members and costume designers from the fashion club. Behind the stage Daughters of Darkness by Halestorm plays from the speakers, aside from the craftsmen club dropping off set pieces not much is going on back here. However in the drama clubs office an activity of sorts is going on. “Sue, if you don’t straighten your back and breathe the dress won’t fit.” States Rook quite coldly causing Sue to slump, so he drapes the measuring ribbon across her shoulders. Before pulling her shoulders back and firmly slamming his palm into her upper back causing her tits to stick out making Phi laugh. Rook then glides his hands across her body as he fixes her posture, Sue face gives off the getting probed feeling. Rook then grabs the ribbon and in three seconds her measurements are done, he gives her a pat on the ass and says “You can get dressed now”. Sue runs to her underwear and starts to slide into them as she sees her measurements burned into a requisition form on the table. Phi struts in front of Rook and says “Feel free to be as hands on as you want Rookie-poo”. Rook examined her posture before making a few short adjustments and saying “Relax yourself Phi you’re over posturing” before finishing her measurements.

As Phi’s measurements were burning into the requisition form, Phi joins her in getting dressed and the two start to talk about club affairs while rook made his way out of their office. As he navigates his way through the back until he finds the Material closet. He pulls three needles from the stitching of his coat as he makes himself comfortable and gets to work on the dresses.

At the local Arcade

Azazel walks in and spots a crowd forming around a Square Enix box, the air is filled with cheers for the Girl as she continues to kill it in the game. He sighs and begins to weave his way through the crowd he sees that his assumption was correct.

As he reached her she finished the game with the new high score, but before she could enter her initials he placed Azazel grabs her shoulder “Miss Miyasaki shouldn’t you be watching someone”. Her shoulders suddenly tense up as she turns round to face Azazel and says “Hey uncle Zazel how are you”. His calm look doesn’t put her at ease at all as he smiles and says “I’m good, but I’d be better if you were keeping an eye on Rook right now”. Ayane forced a smile and said “I was just about to have dinner with him uncle thanks for the reminder” and with that she makes her exit while the crowd boos him for making her leave. Azazel smiles and says “Who wants to see me beat her score” and the crowd roars in approval as he puts his quarters in the machine.

back at the Auditorium

Astaroth Gohma bursts through the doors causing the whole auditorium to go silent as they stare at her in a gorgeous blue dress with white lilacs and are shocked how womanly she looks. She struts down to the stage and asks “Where is Roo” but the drama geeks are to stunned to talk. When Jezebel suddenly comes out from behind the curtains and asks “What’s going on you guys are so quiet”, their response is to point to Gohma. She turns her gaze to lady Astaroth and nods in realization as she says “Follow me I’ll take you to him”, Jezebel then turns back around and heads behind the stage followed by Gohma. She weaves through the hallways behind the stage until the two find the materials room. Jezebel points to it and says “he’s been in there for two hours making dresses for the twins”, Gohma crosses her arms and stares at Jezebel who finally gets the message. Opening the door as Rook walks out with two dresses draped over his arm upon seeing Gohma he takes the needles from his mouth and sticks them in his collar before saying “You look beautiful in that dress Gogo”. Gohma blushes at the comment before saying “You’re so sweet Roo”, Rook smiles and hands the dresses to Jezebel as he replies “I know you didn’t come down here to be eye candy so what can I do for you”. Gohma takes a stride forward and states “If Gwyn won’t make her move then I will, I want you Roo and I won’t take no for an answer”. Jezebel rolled her eyes and started to leave when Rook said “I’m sorry but I can’t go on any dates till I help Jez reconcile with her love Fili I promised and you know I never break my word Gogo”. Jezebel stopped in her tracks dropping the dresses from shock before turning around her face bright with anger. Gohma turned her gaze towards Jezebel freezing her with her glare as she responded “Didn’t I tell you Jezie is joining us so all you have to do is bring Fili like a double date”. Jezebel tried to find words to speak as Rook responded “You are so thoughtful Gogo, of course me and my main man will be there”.

Phi and Sue appear beside Jezebel and stare at her as they say “well played using Rook as your in Jezie, almost had us believing that you had no interest game on girl” the twins then pick up their dresses and leave Jezebel boiling with rage. Rook then says “Well I will see you ladies tomorrow stay sexy now” and with that rook made his exit (and so the embers spark into flames) comments Calcifer making Rook smile as he made his way down the empty halls when his phone started to vibrate. He flicked it on to see Cynthia texted “So glad your back it makes Marcellus so happy, am I working with you today?”, Rook quickly replies “Yes you are, I’ll meet you their mind letting Penelope in she has our Liquor shipment”. Cynthia responds “Kay” and as Rook looks up he sees Cleorichi standing in the courtyard in front of Chiron’s classroom and can tell she seems a bit rattled. (A good friend would leave her be) Rook nods and heads straight towards her, and as she turns at the sounds of his footsteps he embraces her with a hug causing her to gasp for a second before returning the hug. “Cleo I know I always seem to be up to some mischief but I’ve always looked up to you like a sister and I know you only call me on it because you care about me even though you don’t like to show it”. (You are a soulless bastard) Genuine tears actually roll down his cheeks onto her shoulder and she pats him on the back before asking “what’s wrong Rook”, Rook steps back and wipes his eyes before saying. “It’s just that I noticed how you had your eye on the new kid Fili and I know it’s not my place to but I could tell you care for him”. Cleorichi turns her gaze away proving Rook hit the nail on the head and so he continued “but I just though you should know that she used Gogo to set up a date with him through me and I think she wants to take advantage of his kindness”. Cleorichi’s gaze snaps back oddly determined as she laces her hand on Rook’s shoulder and says “You did the right thing in telling me little brother, I’ll handle it”. And with that Cleorichi walked off towards her car as Rook shouted to her “Shops open tonight swing by if you got the time”. She waves back to him and he smiles (…..) Rook laughs and says “What speechless” and to from the woods a familiar voice says “No slightly appalled actually”.

Ophis made her way into the light as Rook leaned against the lamp his back still to her as she asked “It bothers you that much does it”, Rook turned to face her as she assumed a more adult form doing a little spin. As she asked “Is this better for you” Rook shrugged and responded “You here for the scale Ophi’ (don’t provoke her). She shook her head and held her arms out Rook walked over and hugged her as she said ‘I’m sorry I destroyed your body baby bro”. Rook patted her on the back and the two broke the embrace as he asked “You got no love for me so to what do I owe for this visit”, Ophis frowned and replied “you know it’s not like that you and Cal are dear friends”. “I need the Vanishing and Welsh dragons to complete my goals so I need you to stand aside just in that respect”, Rook shook his head in disbelief and said “that’s the one thing I just can’t do Ophi”. Ophis gave him an annoyed look and said “can’t you break one teensy promise just once”, Rook looked like he was going to say something when he suddenly grabbed Ophis’s hand and the two became surrounded by Flames. Ophis looked at him confused as he leaned in and said “I’m not going to budge on this Ophie I’m sorry but that’s just the way it is “Rook closed his eyes turned his head to the side. As Ophis stared at him a little peeved as she replied “How do you even keep track of who your loyal to or does it even matter to you”. Rook opened his eyes to reveal the flames within as he stated “On the day you find yourself alone in this world surrounded by the murderers of your entire family I’ll answer that question I Promise”. Ophis turned her gaze away from Rook for a second and when she went to look back at him she found herself in a room with a candle flickering in front of her. “When you call me I’ll be there Ophie” these last words echoed in her mind from Rook as she realized she actually struck that closet thing Rook had to a nerve and yet he still hid her from Heimdall’s gaze.

Outside Rook’s restaurant

A massive crowd of Angels, Fallen, Demons and humans surround the store forcing Cynthia to squeeze through them as she makes her way to the back door. Once she gets about halfway a hand reaches out to her and when she looks to see who it is. She sees that it is Miyasaki Ayane, so she takes her hand as Ayane pushes them the rest of the way to the door. Cynthia hustles to the door and unlocks the seven locks on the door and spins the portal knob three times before opening the door she then hustles in leaving the door open as Penelope's delivery heads toward the door and gets sucked in the restaurant. Some of the crowd notices the door open and try to rush it only to be knocked back by Ayane who shouts “Not today Candy Asses”, she holds the line as more Candy Asses try to rush a magic circle glowing around each of her fingers. By the time Penelope's truck finishes entering a bottle breaks and there is a large pile of unconscious people clumped around Ayane, upon seeing the delivery is complete Ayane makes her way inside as the door shuts behind her and locks itself. She dusts of the dirt and grit from the fight as she asks Cynthia “Roo here” Cynthia shakes her head and says “No but he asked me to prep the kitchen for tonight”. Ayane sighs “Figures, slippery bastard”, the start to pass by the door to a bedroom as Mika pokes her head out to see who it is and is depressed to see it’s not Rooklyn. She looks to two over and asks “Would you two happen to know where Rookly is”? Cythina chimed in “He said he’ll be here soon Miss”, Mika nodded thank you and closed the door to get dressed as Cynthia and Ayane make their way to the kitchen Cynthia quickly switches on the lights. As the kitchen Illuminates Rooklyn appears in front of the furnace shirtless with fire dancing across his upper body as walks up to them and says “It’s going to be a long night Cynthia hope you’re ready for it”. Cynthia nods yes as she puts on her apron and grabs her utensils as Rook says “got a lot of hungry folk now let’s feed them” and with that the front doors opened and the crowd swarmed in and the orders began to ring in.

Back with Ophis

A puzzled Ophis lay in the waning sunlight letting the sunlight warm her scales as Arthur walked up sipping on some tea as he asked “You seem stressed”. Ophis flicked her tail in agitation as she said “Oh really” Arthur took another sip and then said “I thought you’d be happy getting your scale back”. Ophis swung her tail round so that she can inspect it and notices that it is back, but how she asks herself as she remembers words that Calcifer once told her. All things burned by his flames become a part of him even if he remakes it, so she decides to touch it with her claw and her mind is suddenly filled with a memory she has never had. (“Do you know what I wish I had more than anything in the world even more than having a minute with my family…..didn’t think so, Well I’ll tell you just promise you won’t tell her I know it would make her cry *sigh* I wish I could be loved by someone as much as I love them…. Like what you and Mar have. And that’s why I need you to promise me something, something that no one else can do…… no matter what happens watch over Mar for me. Don’t ever let him go……) Tears actually roll down her cheek as she says to herself “He knows she’s gone right I ate her” and from the far reaches of her mind she heard (Our baby brother knows), “I need to know what he’s planning that message was almost like a will and that’s not like Roo at all”. Ophis turned back into her lolli form and got up as Arthur handed her a towel his eyes shut tight like a gentleman “I’m going out, and I don’t know when I’ll be back make sure the others behave” Arthur bowed and replied “Of course my lady, do use protection” Ophis gave him a look and he raised his hand in surrender before leaving. She began looking for an outfit as she continued to think things out “If I want answers about Roo there aren’t many people I can go to about this and even fewer that would actually speak with me. Well there is no helping it I have to probe Mar Mar for answers I hope he doesn’t get the wrong Idea or think that I’m using him”. She then finds the outfit she wants to wear and starts to slip it on as she texts Marcellus “Hey got time to chill” and as she fastens the last piece her phone Jingles with the reply she flicks it open and sees his response “Of Course meet us up at Rook’s restaurant me and some of the others getting some good eats”. Ophis shouts “Shit” into the air before replying “I can’t wait no one makes tea like he does”.





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PostSubject: Re: The Begining of the End   Fri 29 Jul 2016, 23:43

In the most popular park of the town, two elegant ladies were seated upon a bench, their eyes watching a man in the distance.

"So...how do you know Marcel-kun, Lady Lilith?" Fianna inquired, looking to the Sorceress Candidate curiously.

Lilith's arms were crossed as she watched Marcellus chat with some older women at a stand that sold drinks, the ladies clearly taken and making it difficult for him to leave immediately. "Like you, I have only just met him today. As he said, I've been having him show me around this place."

Fianna tapped her chin in thought, "I see... Daddy DID say that I would likely run into you, considering my luck."

"Daddy?" Lilith tilted her head.

Fianna looked to Marcellus with a smile, "He's extremely popular, isn't he? I've only known him for a few minutes, but it truly is easy to see why everyone around him loves him so much. He's very kind and charming~"

"Kind, yes, I must agree." Lilith noted, shrugging. "But charming? He's certainly handsome, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that myself."

Fianna blinked, "Really? He's totally adorable, though. And it's not just me, he's loved by everyone on Earth, in Hell, in Heaven, and he'd even be beloved by Valhalla and the rest if he visited. I even heard quite a few people in Hell would like to see him become the next Lucifer, replacing Lady Gwyneth Bael."

Lilith raised an eyebrow, "The next King of Hell? Him? Is it not traditionally a seat taken by the most powerful Devil alive? And would that not be strange? I mean, considering his ridiculous lineage..."

"Oh? You also know about his true identity?" Fianna asked in surprise.

Nodding, Lilith relaxed against the bench. "Yes, I learned about him in great detail from speaking to Seraph Michael and the All-father."

Fianna tilted her head this time, "You've met Michael and Odin? In person? As expected of the famous Sorceress Candidate!"

"It's hardly a big deal, really." Claimed Lilith with a calm tone.

"Hm," Fianna looked at Marcel again, watching him take pictures with the aforementioned women, who still refused to let him go. "Son by blood, of Seraph Ariel Isholy. Adopted son of Xavier Naberius, and the only Angel in history that was ever successfully reincarnated into a Devil. As incredible as that all is, isn't it really sad?"

"How so?" Lilith wondered, looking interested. "If, as you say, he's so popular because of all that, then what's there to be sad about? He's very fortunate."

"But he isn't, really." Fianna argued with a frown, holding her hand over her heart. "He doesn't know who he really is. In his mind he's just a Devil, doing his best to live his life while helping others in any way he can. And his mother made everyone promise to keep the truth from him, in order to let him make his own life choices. To say nothing of how much it must hurt her, how is it fair? How can he make a choice if he doesn't even know there's a choice to be made? He's the type of person that would sacrifice himself without hesitation to keep everyone around him happy. And all those people are hiding something so important from him. It's like...everyone in the world knows the truth about his past but him."

Lilith stared at the girl, surprised by what she'd said. "Lady Fianna, is this really the first time you've met him?"

Fianna blushed a bit, smiling and nodding. "Yes, it really is! It's strange to me too, honestly. I hardly know him, personally, but I feel a level of concern for him that I've never felt for anyone else... Like, his pain would be my pain."

"...Perhaps it's a bond between Byakko and Seiryu, which transcends your consciousness to connect you to Marcellus." Lilith suggested, waving a finger about as she spoke.

Fianna giggled in response, "You might be right~"

Lilith nodded, as if it was natural for her to be right. "Anyway, it may also be the case that 'everyone' is also unaware of the truth behind Marcellus' origins."

Fianna blinked a few times, "What do you mean by that?"

"Nothing in particular," Lilith claimed, crossing her legs. "It's just that my meetings with Odin and Michael raised a few questions for me. Their knowledge of Marcellus lines up more or less with what you and others know. However, when I asked them about his father...the conversations seemed to come to rather unnatural ends. Both of them essentially told me to go to the source."

"His father...? Now that you mention it, who IS his dad?" The Fallen Angel wondered, looking up in thought. "I don't think I've ever heard anything about him, not even from Daddy."

{This daddy again.} Lilith observed the girl a bit suspiciously. {Naturally, she's a Fallen Angel. Byakko always chooses the Fallen Angels. But who is she, really?}

Shifting side to side now, Fianna hummed aloud. "I really can't think of anything. I wonder if anyone knows who his father is?"

Sighing a bit, Lilith smiled. "You're very... Ahem, yes, I intend to find out."

Fianna nodded, "Okay. But why? I don't understand why the youngest Sorceress Candidate cares about the background of a Devil, no matter how special. If it was just because he's Seiryu, then wouldn't you have wanted to meet me and the other two as well?"

"It's true, what Yen always said." Lilith muttered. "Airheads can be incredibly sharp when it comes to important things."

She continued before Fianna could say something about being called an airhead. "I left Aern Cheyn on extremely important, highly classified business for the Covenant of Azrael. It just so happens that Marcellus somehow holds one of the keys to completing this business."

"Oh! Could it be that this is related to your Rite of Alignment? Wait, weren't you only 14?" Fianna looked confused now.

Before either girl could speak again, the man they were speaking off hurried over in a huff.

"S-sorry about that! It's like this everywhere I go!" Marcellus offered two cups of ice tea. "For some reason, people just can't stop talking to me~ I guess that being a good listener can sometimes be inconvenient~"

Fianna took the cup with a smile, "It's because you're really lovable, I think~"

Marcel blushed slightly, "You think so?"

Lilith took the ice tea quickly, "You seem to have your own gravitational pull, Marcellus. First, those uncouth Devils from earlier, then Lady Fianna, and now a pair of cougars? Perhaps you should learn to say no."

"Well, maybe." Marcellus answered a bit dismissively. "Anyway, what were you girls talking about so seriously?"

"Seriously? Were you keeping an eye on us?" Lilith asked in surprise.

Marcellus nodded calmly, "Yeah, I never took my eyes off of you in fact. Fianna-chan can probably handle herself, but I didn't want to chance letting you get into another fight."

"Wha-" Lilith stuttered a bit, caught off guard. "I already told you! I'm certainly the most powerful Magician you'll ever have the chance to meet! I'm likely even more powerful than you are!"

"You might be, I won't dismiss you on that." Marcellus noted. "But I couldn't really leave such a cute girl to her own devices, even if she could protect herself. It's just something I'm incapable of."

Fianna smiled innocently at Lilith, whose face turned red.

"You are rather irritating to converse with." Lilith admitted, standing up and walking past him. "Please continue the tour."

"Actually, I was wondering if you'd mind waiting until tomorrow to continue this." Marcel turned to look at her. "I'll give you info on the way of course, but I'm actually meeting with my friends this evening. One of my best friends actually...sort of... Well, came back from an extended trip. So we're heading to his restaurant to get great food and chat~"

Fianna's eyes sparkled, fully aware of who he was talking about. "Oh my! I've always wished to eat there in person! Please-"

Marcel pat her on the head with a chuckle, "I'd love it if you came with me, Fianna-chan~ I want to talk with you more~"

Lilith closed her eyes in thought, "I suppose meeting your close ones would prove enlightening. Very well, Marcellus. You have the pleasure of escorting two vibrant and breathtaking women to dinner."

"Ahaha...I don't know any vibrant and breathtaking women who would directly refer to themselves that way." Marcellus quipped, turning about. "Anyway, let's go~"

Lilith's eye twitched as Fianna cheerfully followed behind Marcel. {He's definitely mocking me.}

"?" Marcel pulled out his phone when he received a text, smiling as he saw it was from Ophis. {So cute, asking to hang out when she can just show up whenever she wants, just like Sophia. I doubt it'll be a problem, but I hope Rook-chan doesn't hold a grudge~}


Before the famed store's opening. Just after the Animation Appreciation Club had made their decision to track down Doge of the Cerberus.

"Sella~!" Irisviel called out lyrically, a pure white, cute canary appearing in her hands. "Can you find Sensei for us~?"

With a happy chirp, Sella lifted her left wing to salute. Her way of confirming a request.

"Thanks!" Iris kissed her Familiar on the head before tossing her upward.

"That bird is oddly resourceful." Elena admitted, hands on her hips as she watched Sella fly into the sky in search of Marcellus.

Izaya chuckled, "Yeah, she is~" {I wonder where he ended up leading the young Candidate to~}

Rinslet looked around as people started to fill the streets, mostly students. "Why don't you just call him?"

"If he knows we're coming, there's no point!" Alice claimed, throwing a punch toward the sky. "We have to catch him off guard, right?!"

"Yes! Onii-sama cannot be allowed to know our intentions in tracking him down!" Lenneth exclaimed, smiling brightly.

Serena sweat a bit as she looked to Yukina, whose hands sparked with black electricity. {Is she coming because she wants to kill the girl that's with Marcel?}

Cynthia blushed a bit, shifting nervously. "Is it really okay? Won't Senpai be disappointed if we interrupt his...date?"

"It's definitely not a date, my sweet sweet Cyn~" Rinslet said confidently. "Lady Lilith would literally have her pick of men, if she were interested in them, so why would she settle for Marcellus~?"

"...Settle?" Lenneth, Elena and Yukina glanced at the Norse Goddess of Destruction, their bloodlust toward her filling the street and causing others to avoid them.

"Er..." Rinslet looked away nervously, scratching her cheek.

Izaya smirked in amusement, "This chick never seems to learn~ Even God himself couldn't get away with insulting Marc-chan in front of his lovers~"

"L-lovers?!" Cynthia turned bright red.

Serena closed her eyes, "Lovers... That's a bit..."

"Senpai isn't my lover yet, though." Irisviel pointed out calmly.

"It's not very noble to say such a thing out loud, even if it is true." Elena remarked, smiling to herself. "But then, he definitely is my one and only~"

Yukina twiddled her thumbs together, sticking to Serena's back.

Alice smiled innocently, "Marcel Onii-chan really loves us~"

"That's not what he was..." Lenneth's face turned red. "B-but yes, Onii-sama does...love us all. And as we'll soon find out...he loves his little sister most."

Rinslet sighed in relief, as the other girls looked at Lenneth and argued. {Izaya's right. I must learn to hold my tongue, at least while I'm with Cyn's friends. Honestly, what do such perfect women see in the likes of him? Even Rossweisse seems heavily attracted to him. Sure, he's a bit strong, just a tad smarter than others, somewhat handsome, and he's a slightly above average auth...}

She blinked in surprise, finding that she couldn't even force herself to think of Marcellus as anything but the greatest author to ever live, in her genuine opinion. {I...guess he's...somewhat...impressive... B-but still! They could all do much better! I-in fact, I'd happily welcome them into MY harem!}

Cynthia looked up at her best friend silently, {Rin's thinking weird things again...}

All discussion and thought was interrupted by a loud song excerpt, the title screen music for Dark Souls 3.

"Oh, it's Marc-chan~" Izaya sang playfully, taking his phone out and reading the text. "You can probably leave him alone, ladies~ He wants us all to meet up at Rooky's store this evening~ Says he'll be bringing two new friends~"

Lenneth blinked, wondering if her brother had seen what they would do through his Clairvoyance. "Onii-sama...we can hardly go after him at this point."

"Yes, the graceful thing to do, would be to await the evening and revisit this matter then." Elena agreed. {Although I'd rather attack him head on by myself and force a definitive answer out of him.}

Izaya smirked as the ladies all got silent, aside from sighs.

"I guess I'll head over to the store then," Cynthia decided. "We'll be opening up soon."

"Oh, okay." Rinslet turned to kiss her on the cheek. "Do your best~"

Cynthia smiled at her, "I'll try~ See you a bit later, everyone!"

Everyone waved to the girl as she hurried off.


The next day, within the Naberius Mansion

Xavier sat behind the desk in his study, his eyes on the woman that sat before him. "Why have you come here, Lady Lantis?"

Sophia relaxed in a comfortable chair, smiling at the Head of House Naberius. "Please, Xavier, call me Sophia like everyone else~"

"I believe such familiarity should be reserved for one's friends," Xavier replied calmly. "Unless you have finally decided to come clean about your intentions for my son, then I haven't the faintest idea of your reason for coming to see me."

Sophia shut her left eye with a slight smile, "That was a bit cold, you know. Unfortunately for you, I've no intention of revealing my plans for Marcellus to you. If anything, I would only share said plans with him himself."

She closed both eyes, her smile fading. "Actually, this is about something else entirely. I can see you've truly begun to believe it yourself, but you are aware that he's NOT your son?"

Raising an eyebrow, Xavier stared at her. "If you've come to insult me, I'll remove you myself."

"You could try, and I could just decide to end you." Answered Sophia, with a tone so cold that it could send frigid winds through the hottest part of Hell.

"!" Xavier felt his heart tighten for a moment, as the woman gave him an almost disturbingly vacant look.

With a short breath, Sophia spoke calmly and seriously. "I'm very confident that I know everything there is to know about Marcellus. Everything...aside from the true identity of his father. His REAL father."

Xavier made a rather exasperated grunt in response.

"It's something that I would normally leave alone, however I've learned that the Sorceress Candidate asked Ophis about him last night." Sophia explained, motioning to Xavier. "His father is shrouded in even more mystery than myself. Nothing that anyone knows, what little there is, adds up in the least. He was the love of Ariel's life, a fearsome and invincible foe, yet a being so kind and compassionate that he drew in all around him. I understand that you've met him multiple times, and I've long suspected that he was a big part of the grudge against Ariel, which led you to kidnap her beloved son and make him yours with that questionable curse."

A grim expression now revealed itself on Xavier's face, "His father...yes, there is dark history between us, to be sure. I may not hold the answers you seek, Lady Lantis, but allow me to share with you our bloodstained past. Between myself, Ariel, and the man that stole from me, the love of MY life."

Sophia looked uncharacteristically surprised now, as she blinked a single time. "Marcellus' father is the one who killed Lenora?"

"It all began in the battle where I believed I'd finally slain Ariel Isholy." Xavier explained gruffly. "Our tale started the moment that Ariel fell from Heaven to Earth. Where she met HIM."


The previous evening, at Rooklyn's restaurant.

There was no need for words, as Marcel and Rook exchanged smiles, money for food, and shared a rather brotastic hug. To those who knew them, it was obvious that the two had mysteriously and wordlessly decided to catch up later at their leisure.

"What was that about?" Lilith asked curiously, watching Rooklyn go off to greet other guests.

Fianna set a hand on her cheek, blushing. "The relationship between close men is so wonderful~"

Marcel smiled at the two girls he'd just met that day. "Rook-chan's my best friend. In fact, it's more accurate to call him my brother~"

"Yes, as I heard~" Fianna replied.

Lilith glanced at the other girl, who had clearly been a bit aroused by seeing the two men embrace. "Right...anyway, where are these friends of yours?"

Marcel pointed to the most busy person in the restaurant, the young lady whose hair was tied back as she rushed to and fro, delivering food, taking orders and dealing with customer service with considerable efficiency. "That's Cynthia, a fellow Household member of mine."

"She's adorable~" Fianna chirped, watching Cynthia work with a smile. "And so bright!"

Marcel smiled proudly, "Yes, Cyn works herself to the limit in everything. That girl doesn't know what it means to take on a task with anything less than her best, and we all love her for it~"

Lilith stroked her chin as she observed Cynthia, who was serving up a platter of burgers to a table. "I'm a bit impressed, admittedly. Devoting oneself to such a mediocre job, simply on account of personal ethics is somewhat awe-inspiring."

"Fianna-chan, you can see why I don't want to leave her on her own, right?" Marcellus glanced at the host of Byakko.

Fianna nodded calmly, "Yes, Lady Lilith has no filters."

"I merely speak my mind, and in effect, the truth." Lilith argued with a calm smile.

"Senpai!" After managing to catch a breather, Cynthia immediately ran over to hug Mar.

Marcel pat Cynthia on the head gently, smiling warmly at her. "I love seeing you work so hard~"

Cynthia blushed as she looked up at him, "T-thank you... I um..."

She trailed off upon noticing his two companions. "Your new friends?"

"It's a bit complicated, really." Marcellus admitted, turning to the girls. "This is Fianna, a Fallen Angel and the host of Byakko."

"A pleasure~" Fianna bowed her head.

Cynthia blinked, "Wow! It's nice to meet you too!"

Marcel ran a hand through his hair, "Fianna-chan is definitely my friend."

He glanced at the other girl, who raised an eyebrow. "This is Lilith, and I don't know if I should call her my friend or not."

"How rude," Lilith quipped, crossing her arms. "It's wonderful to meet you, Miss Cynthia."

Cynthia opened her mouth to reply, but stopped as she noticed the group that just entered. "Ah."

"Oniiiii-samaaaa~~~" Charging boldly through the crowded restaurant, Lenneth leapt into her older brother.

Turning around, Marcel caught his sister with a laugh, hugging her. "Hey there, Len~"

"Senseeeeiiiiiiiii!"
"Marcel Onii-chan!"
"Marcel~"

Irisviel, Alice and then Elena called out, attacking in unison.

Izaya burst out laughing as he saw the man he was obsessed with get tackled to the ground. "Perfect landing~"

Serena sighed as she walked over, the entire restaurant looking at them now. "Why do you always insist on making such a scene, wherever we go? I believe you girls should calm down a bit."

Yukina nodded quickly, pumping her fist as she stuck behind Serena, who pulled Marcel and the girls up from the ground.

"Always so boisterous~" Rinslet remarked as she walked over.

Marcel chuckled, pulling Lenneth to his side when she tried to push Elena away from him. "It's fine, Lizzy, I don't mind. Besides, today's an incredibly good day!"

"Right, right!" Irisviel agreed, looking to Lilith and blinking. "Who's she, Sensei?"

Sitting down at a large table, the group made proper introductions to get acquainted.

Fianna smiled at Izaya, silently waving.

Lilith studied everyone curiously, noticing Izaya wave back. "I see. So you all are the ones that Odin's daughter has been so attached to."

Rinslet smiled at her, "It's great to finally meet you, Lady Lilith. Did my father say anything strange about me?"

"No, he had only praise for his beloved daughter." Lilith admitted, smiling back.

Cynthia was seated at the side of the table, in a position to get back to work as soon as she needed to. "Rin? Is Lilith-san the one you told me about earlier?"

Nodding, Rinslet looked at her. "Yes, that's right."

"Hey, Fianna-san~" Alice leaned in close to her. "If you're a Sacred Beast too, you must be as strong as Marcel Onii-chan~"

Fianna smiled, unaffected by Alice's lack of mindfulness for personal space. "Not at all~ I'm sure Marcel-kun is much stronger than I am~"

"Well naturally, Onii-sama is stronger than anyone~" Lenneth claimed, sitting in her brother's lap and holding on to him.

Lilith looked at Lenneth as Mar pat her on the head, "You are very close for siblings."

"These two are nothing like normal siblings," Elena remarked, smiling at Lilith.

"It's so wonderful to see such affection between siblings~" Fianna claimed, giggling.

Rinslet let out a light sigh, "Is it really?"

"Hey, hey, Lilith-chan!" Irisviel leaned a bit over the table toward her. "You're Lilith Targaryen, right? My parents have told me so much about you!"

Tilting her head slightly, Lilith's eyes trained on the girl who seemed to be her age. "Yes, that's right. Now that I take proper notice of you, you are the adored daughter of Mrs. Shireen and Mr. Emereth, are you not? You truly are the spitting image of your mother."

Irisviel giggled cheerfully, pleased to be likened to her mother. "Thanks~ Have you seen them recently? Daddy was always bragging about how he was able to be of service to the Covenant of Azrael~"

Lilith smiled at her warmly, "Indeed, your parents are both incredible Magicians indeed. They're both extremely proud of you, their daughter, even though you chose to become a Devil. I last met them 6 months ago, in fact."

"Covenant of...Azrael?" Marcel looked confused now.

Lenneth looked up at her brother, "Have you forgotten, Onii-sama? The Covenant of Azrael is the most powerful group of Sorceresses in existence. They make their home in a world of fairy tale beauty, training young ladies who show great talent as Magicians. Only Humans can join, but any self-respecting Magic User knows of them."

Marcel scratched his head, blinking. "I see... And you're a member of this Covenant, Lilith? Fianna-chan called you a Sorceress Candidate, right?"

Lilith nodded calmly in response, running a hand through her hair as others who overheard stared at her in surprise. "Yes, I was planning to explain it to you later, but I am the most recent Sorceress Candidate."

Irisviel's eyes sparkled, "So it was true! I really can't believe that you're the same age as me, yet you're a Candidate! You've broken so many records and standards!"

"W-wait, you're really...the Sorceress Candidate?" Elena stared at her in disbelief. "I mean, I've heard the rumors too, but...I thought they were just rumors..."

Lilith noticed Marcel's confusion growing, and cleared her throat. "Ahem, perhaps we should change subjects for now. From what I understand, you all gathered here to enjoy an entertaining evening?"

"Well yes, but..." Lenneth looked at her brother again, before smiling at Lilith. "We should eat!"

{I get the distinct feeling that they're trying to keep something from me, but I guess there's no point in pushing the issue.} Marcel thought to himself, nodding. "Yeah, let's get this party started!"

Izaya chuckled, looking to the restaurant entrance as the doors opened and a young lady entered in a hurry. "Oh? What are you doing here~?"

"Oh, you. I should have known you would also be here. Mari-chan does tend to keep questionable company." Ophis remarked, wearing a sky blue dress.

"Funny, that's my line~" Izaya quipped.

Marcel smiled at the girl warmly, "Hey there, Ophy~"

"Hello, my Mari." Ophis directed an equally warm smile to him, being greeted by glares from Lenneth and Yukina, who had snuck to Marcel's back unnoticed by all. "My my, what warm reception I always receive with you all."

"Lady Ophis!" Rinslet exclaimed, smiling at her. "It's great to see you again!"

Ophis raised an eyebrow, looking to Rinslet, Fianna and Lilith. "Oh my, so you've come back, little Rinsy."

"Rinsy?" Cynthia looked at her best friend curiously.

Rinslet blushed a bit in response, "That is...Lady Ophis' nickname for me."

"It's nice to see you again, Ophis-sama~" Fianna bowed her head.

Lilith studied the 12 year old girl intently, {This is the Ouroboros Dragon. She's certainly in possession of nigh bottomless power. Yen wasn't joking, when she said that Ophis could take on our entire Covenant and win. I had heard that she was oddly close to Marcel, along with the Illusive Woman. It would seem that rumor was true.}

Ophis smiled at Fianna, "It's nice to see you as well, Fia. How has your father been? I haven't seen him in a few months now, strangely."

Fianna giggled, "Daddy's the same as ever~ Always busy doing one thing or another~ I wonder if I'll have another new mommy soon."

"...What?" With the exception of Izaya and Ophis, all stared at the Fallen Angel in surprise.

Izaya laughed in amusement, "While we're at it, I guess I should point out that Fianna is Azazel's youngest daughter?"

He continued as they gasped, "His favorite to boot, too~"

Alice stared at Fianna in awe, "Whoa, you're Azazel-sensei's daughter!? Then you're totally super uber strong!"

"T-to think that Azazel's daughter was the Host of Byakko..." Rinslet mumbled.

Fianna smiled at them, "Yes, I suppose I'm a bit sheltered. I only recently earned the privilege of going out by myself~"

Izaya grinned at Marcel, "Yep yep, cuz Azazel's extremely overprotective of Fianna."

"Oh yes, you wouldn't believe how much he loves her." Ophis agreed, grinning at Marcel as she made Cynthia share her seat.

Marcellus blinked twice, shaking his head. "I don't think that's something you need to stress to me."

"So Azazel was the daddy you kept mentioning." Lilith noted, tapping her chin. "That makes a great deal of sense."

"Anyway, would you all mind if I ordered?" Ophis inquired.

Marcel smiled a bit, "No, go ahead. We can all share what I've already bought, too."

Upon unveiling the food that had been presented by his best friend a short while ago, salivating expressions were present on the faces of all. "Oh how I missed this pleasant scent..."

Rinslet blushed, "I-it seems you've done well for a change, having the foresight to have this prepared before we even arrived."

"Onii-sama always thinks one million steps ahead of everyone!" Lenneth claimed.

Elena nodded in agreement, hugging Marcel's arm. "That's right, my Marcel definitely made sure that his beloved Elena wouldn't go hungry~"

Yukina's arms were wrapped around Mar's neck, and she looked at Elena blankly.


After ordering, the party was waited on by Cynthia, as well as the other girls attending to guests.

When the main meals were served up, Rooklyn emerged to deliver them himself, stopping to chat for a few minutes.

"?" Marcel tilted his head as Rook returned to the kitchen with a theatric bow, having noticed that Ophis had said nothing and tensed up when he came out. "..."

Ophis relaxed with Calcifer's Host gone, taking a sip of the tea he'd made, a bright smile stretching across her face as her tail came out, wagging behind her.

"Everything okay, Ophy?" Mar asked in concern.

"Hm? Yes, just fine." Ophis responded with the same smile.

"I see. By the way, I've never seen you wear that dress before. It's really cute on you." Marcellus pointed out before tossing a piece of hell crab cake in his mouth. "Rook-chan's outdone himself again~~~~"

Lilith had been enjoying the food immensely, though her attention was caught when the Ouroboros Dragon's face turned red. {Was that...? Did I analyze that reaction properly?}

Izaya smiled to himself as their party lost themselves in the food while chatting in high spirits. {I wonder if he can make Sophia blush like that too~ It'd be nice to get a picture to blackmail her with~}

As the celebration carried on, the party shifted about around their table, allowing for interactions between the various members present.

Having ended up by Mar's side, Ophis glanced up at him. "Mari? I didn't get a chance to ask you yet, but how are you doing now that Rook is back?"

Marcellus laid his head atop his arms on the table, having taken a break from eating to pace himself before dessert. He revealed an innocent smile to her. "It might sound strange coming from me, but I don't have the words to describe how I'm feeling. Like a blazing inferno burns in my heart, while the cool morning dew, leftover from a midnight mist, refreshes my mind~"

Ophis' heart skipped a beat when she smiled at her, but copied his current relaxing pose. "...I'd say you described your feelings just fine."

"You're right, the words just came out before I could think of them." Marcel admitted.

"As expected of the great DotC, I suppose." Remarked Ophis, as she smiled back. "And so, have you noticed anything strange? Or uncharacteristic? After all, he did just come back from the dead."

Marcel's smile faded as his expression became thoughtful, "Did he really come back to life? Or did you never actually kill him?"

Ophis' eyes widened in surprise at his words, "What are you saying? I believe I would be well aware had I not killed..."

{But would I know for sure? Calcifer has always had an endless reserve of tricks up his sleeve. I suppose...it is possible that he only gave the illusion that Rook had been killed by me. It's something to consider, at the very least. But if so, I can't quite see why he would bother with such a ruse. The most blatant thing I can think of would be forcing a battle between myself and the current Lucifer, but I'd think he'd be aware that Mari wouldn't allow that to happen, even if he had ended up hating me.} Her eyes cast down upon the table as she went over her thoughts.

Marcellus stared at her face in silence, until speaking again. "You really do just get cuter, every time I see you."

Turning red again, Ophis smiled this time. "There's no need to blatantly speak of your very colorful tastes, Marin Trant."

Marcel's eye twitched visibly, "Please don't make that nickname a thing..."

He sighed as she giggled like a child, "Anyway, I haven't noticed anything particularly different. I haven't had any visions of Rook-chan since right before he came back to us, but that's probably because there's nothing to see. You'll probably be one of the first people I talk to though, if I do notice anything strange."

"In that case, I'll be counting on you. Of course, I hope you never have to come to me with such a thing." Ophis responded, smiling as Mar beamed at her again. {As much as I dislike lying to him, I can't just tell him about what Rook showed me after returning the scale... Sure, they haven't had time to really hang out, but if Mar hasn't noticed anything off, then maybe it's just something Rook has always felt, but kept hidden until now? It's still concerning, but I shouldn't push any further than this. He'll know something is wrong if I pursue the topic.}

"Marcel-kun, Marcel-kun!" Fianna exclaimed, poking at him.

"What is it, Fianna-cha-" Marcel lifted his head a bit, turning to look and immediately being met with a pair of lips against his.

Lilith stared in surprise, as everyone else did, just watching as Lenneth kissed her brother. {Huh? What? Is this...typical among Devils...? Even if they aren't related...}

Lenneth blushed, smiling as she ended the kiss after a few minutes. "Onii-sama, you love me the most, don't you~?"

Izaya smirked upon seeing Mar's expression of surprise, taking multiple pictures. "Just as they say, priceless~"

"Tell her how wrong she is, Marcel! I'm the one you love most, right!?" Elena pushed over Lenneth, gripping Mar's collar a bit menacingly.

Fianna stared in awe, her cheeks pink. "What a beautiful relationship Marcel-kun and Lenneth-chan have..."

"She's definitely got some screws loose..." Serena said softly, glancing at Fianna.

"I...love all of you. Don't make me choose who I love most, that's way too difficult." Marcellus replied as he regained his composure.

Rinslet watched as the girls swarmed Marcel immediately, "Impressive..."


Following the sudden kiss, the table positions rearranged as Marcellus was buried between or underneath his harem.

Ayane sighed as she brought tea to the two on the outskirts of the table, "They're being bolder than normal, today."

"Could it be that you're also...?" Lilith looked up at the woman, glancing at Marcel.

Ophis smiled to herself, shaking her head. "No, this is Miyasaki Ayane. She's involved with someone that isn't Mari."

Ayane cast a look of irritation on the girl who had come to like being a loli. "You know, if Marcel was angry at you or something, you'd be getting a totally different order right now."

"Spare me, Ayane." Ophis replied casually, not bothering to look at the woman as she shrugged. "I've already received the most unpleasant knuckle sandwich of the century from Ariel. You would only be disappointed to find you can't harm me as efficiently as she can."

Ayane smiled in amusement now, patting Ophis on the head in a condescending manner. "Oh yeah? I hope Lady Ariel really made the pain last then~"

Ophis just watched Ayane waltz off afterwards, tilting her head. "She used to be such a cute girl."

"What was that about?" Lilith asked curiously.

"Nothing that concerns you, little Sorceress Candidate." Ophis answered with a calm smile. "While we're able to chat on our own, why don't you go ahead and ask me what you've been so intent on? And while you're at it, I would assume you've learned that neat little spell from Keira, to obscure important conversations?"

Lilith took a short breath, smiling at Ophis. "I suppose proper introductions are unnecessary between women of our caliber? Anyway, did you think I would attempt to speak to you without doing so in advance?"

Ophis was taken aback for a moment, before touching a finger to her lower lip and smiling again. "I see, it seems you're everything the rumors made you out to be, after all. I didn't even notice you cast a spell. I don't typically miss much, you know~"

"Nor do I," Lilith responded with a wave of her hand. "I'm curious about your relationship with Marcel, but I'll put that aside and ask you about something far more important."

Ophis leaned forward on the table with a grin, "I do hope this won't be a disappointingly dull topic of discussion~"

Lilith crossed her arms, "As you'll quickly learn on your own, dull is a word that simply cannot be used in relation to me. To the heart of the matter, I would like you to tell me everything you know about Marcel's father.

Ophis' grin was replaced by a stern expression, "How much do you already know of him? I trust you asked the very same question to Odin and Michael."

"Whenever I brought up his father, Odin and Michael both seemed to become rather guarded, and our conversations came to strange ends." Lilith admitted, also looking more serious now. "Michael's reaction was particularly suspicious, but that's not important right now."

{If you only knew what made them freeze up like that, I wonder if you would still look at Michael's sketchy reaction the same way.} Ophis thought to herself as she contemplated her own response. "Mari's father is a strange one. According to some, he was a saint whose kindness and compassion, along with his gentle nature, drew in all manners of being without fail. At the same time, he was a frightening opponent, fierce and invincible, like a Wargod. Does that sound familiar?"

Lilith couldn't stop herself from glancing in Marcel's direction as he was being fed by the girls, Fianna having also joined in. "...Yes, I suppose it does."

Ophis closed her eyes, "Just to confirm, my knowledge of the man is completely my own speculation. Knowing this, would you still like to hear what I have to say?"

"Indeed I would," Lilith responded without hesitation. "I would feel indebted to you, in fact."

{What a smart young lady she is. She's already well aware that I want something from her, isn't she? In this case, telling her what I know may make her more willing to listen to me in the future. She's quite shrewd, just as expected of Yennefer's beloved disciple.} Ophis smiled to herself for a few moments, before nodding. "Very well, unfortunately there isn't too much to say, even for me."

"Marcellus' father...his name was also Marcellus, which makes my Mari actually Marcellus Jr." The Infinite Dragon God explained, motioning to Marcel subtly.

Lilith lifted a hand to her chin, nodding. "How curious. Marcel shared both the name of his father, as well as his personality and nature?"

Ophis nodded in response, "That isn't the only thing he shared either. You would understand if you saw the picture that Ariel Isholy keeps close to her at all times, but Mari is also the spitting image of his father. In fact, I honestly feel that from birth, he was the living reincarnation of his father. The ways they differ are very hard to see, though Ariel herself claims they aren't exactly the same."

Lilith tilted her head, "That...is certainly strange, but considering the way heredity works, it isn't out of the realm of possibility for a son to be just like his father in so many ways."

"True enough," Ophis agreed, resting her head atop her left palm. "Now, here's where things get interesting. From what I understand, Ariel met Marcellus after nearly losing her life in one of the greatest battles in Heaven. Marcellus was the one who found and nursed her back to health, which naturally led to their falling in love. Skipping forward, when Ariel returned alive, Marcellus accompanied her and served as her shield and her sword. The battle they interrupted was one where Heaven's momentum had been all but lost. The appearance of those two was enough to turn the tide of battle, and Heaven once again repelled the Devils of Hell. The Angels who spoke of that day, were the ones who first likened Marcellus to a Wargod. He became famous, as the wielder of the Honjou Masamune, a Human with immense battle capabilities."

"He was Human? And the previous master of the Honjou Masamune?" Lilith blinked a few times. "Marcel has also inherited the sword then?"

"...At the very least, he claimed to be Human." Ophis responded mysteriously, her eyes drifting off to her side somewhere. "Marcellus is a very interesting name, don't you think so too? The name it's derived from was probably Marcus. Marcus has its roots in the name Mars."

Lilith froze as she quickly realized where Ophis was going with the explanation, "Mars has come to be the name for the Roman counterpart of the Greek God of War, Ares. In which case, you believe that Marcellus was actually...?"

"Ah, no, I wasn't going that far." Ophis admitted with a slight smile. "It's been my belief that Marcellus was one of Ares' children, actually. Considering his overwhelming combat ability, it would make sense. That's all I was thinking."

Lilith glanced at Marcel again, as he drew something across an array of napkins on the table, with the others watching intently. "...That would make him the grandson of the God of War. What a fitting Host for Seiryu."

"Beyond that, do you understand my intentions in mentioning this possible root to you?" Ophis asked.

Lilith closed her eyes in thought for a few moments, opening them as she spoke. "If it's true, then Marcel has always been part God. In fact, he would have been born as an Angel with the divinity of the God of War. As far as I know, such a thing has never happened...an Angel bloodline being crossed with a direct descendant of a God. In which case, it could explain the reason it was possible for Marcel to be reincarnated as a Devil, something that has been impossible for Angels since the system was established thousands of years ago."

Ophis smiled again, "You really are a smart one, Lilith. You impress me once again. Yes, that's been my take on the situation from the beginning."

"Then what became of him?" Lilith wondered. "Did Marcellus perish?"

Ophis shrugged, "Unfortunately, I don't know. About a century ago, he disappeared under circumstances as mysterious as he was. But there is something extremely suspicious about that. You have heard of the rivalry between Ariel and Xavier Naberius, yes?"

Lilith nodded in response, "Yes, I've heard a lot about it. Odin told me that their rivalry took a shockingly vile turn at some point, but nobody knew the reason."

"As it happens, that coincides with the disappearance or death of Marcellus." Ophis noted. "Now this is what you should really take note of, because a variety of mysterious events took place within the same brief period of time. Ariel and Xavier allegedly had a duel, which lasted about 3 months. Following this, all accounts of Marcellus came to an abrupt end and he was never seen again. Mari mysteriously forgot all about his father, something which shocked Ariel, Michael and the other Seraphs, among others. Ariel and Mari became closer than ever before following this. From the side of the Naberius Family, Lenora Naberius died under unknown circumstances during this period of time."

She pointed at Lilith, who looked surprised. "By the way, this period of time took place over a century ago."

"Wha-" Stumbling in confusion, Lilith shook her head. "That's impossible, Lady Ophis. Lenneth Naberius is only 2 years older than I am. If her birth mother died over a century ago, then there's no way she could be 16 years old. Not unless she...was adopt-"

Ophis shook a finger quickly, "Nope, that's wrong. There's absolutely no doubt that Lenneth is the youngest child of Xavier and Lenora. The blood relation between them is undeniable. In fact, considering the immense power within Lenneth, the bloodline of Xavier and Lenora reached its zenith within her. And before you say it, there's also no doubt that Lenneth is just a 16 year old girl."

Lilith gave Ophis a rather intense look, "This makes no sense! How can she be 16 when she would have to have been born a century ago? The only option is that Xavier Naberius used the same curse he put on Marcel to make him his son!"

"That crossed my mind a few times, but it's also not the case." Ophis responded coolly. "Now, Lilith, this is where the conversation ends, as I've got some homework for you."

She motioned to the Naberius siblings, Lenneth currently gushing about the short story her brother had just drawn on the napkins. "14 years ago, Mari was cursed by Xavier, losing his memories and identity, being reincarnated as a Devil, and for all intents and purposes, actually becoming one. 16 years ago, Lenneth was born with immense power. Over 100 years ago, Marcellus disappeared and Lenora died, while Mari suddenly forgot his father completely. At the same time, Xavier was possessed by a hatred that would never allow him to forgive Ariel after their duel. I want you to consider all of this, and come up with an answer that can correctly tie it all together. It doesn't matter how you come to your conclusion, you simply have to come to the right one. It's very difficult homework for sure, but I'm sure the youngest Sorceress Candidate can pull through for the sake of her Rite of Alignment~"

Lilith looked dumbfound as Ophis suddenly joined in on the excitement of the rest of the party. {She knows about my Rite...? How? How much does she actually know? I'm so confused...it's been a while since I've been this mentally rattled... Marcel's father, Lenneth's mother...Ariel and Xavier... Where do I even begin to look for the thread that ties so many strange events together? And really, how is Lenneth only 16 if her mother died more than 100 years ago?}

"Hey Lilith, check this out." Marcel called out to her loudly, catching her attention.

"What?" Lilith looked at the napkins when they were turned, blinking as she saw the hours she spent with Marcel earlier in manga form. "...You're making fun of me again."

Fianna tilted her head, "Then did you not say that you were the most powerful Magician he'll ever meet?"

Lilith blushed slightly as Marcel smiled at her, "I did say that, but...these drawings simply do not capture my sublimity! I am far more attractive than this!"

"Really? I think it's perfectly accurate." Marcel noted, stroking his chin. "I even captured the way you furrow your eyebrows when you're acting tough."

Lilith twitched as she heard abrupt snickers, "...Goodbye, Marcel. It was a pleasure to meet you all."

"Ah, wait..." Marcellus reached after Lilith as she stood and left the restaurant. "Huh...I actually made her mad."

"You sent her running most gloriously~" Elena claimed, hugging him.

Izaya laughed, having snapped pictures as Lilith escaped. "So you two were having a strange conversation~ Have you always been interested in pets?"

"Pets...?" Ophis tilted her head for a few seconds, before smiling. "Yes, of course~ I adore small animals."

Irisviel stared at the drawings of Lilith, "Hm...what was she talking about? They really are spot on, just like always."

"That was just her pride talking, I'm sure." Rinslet suggested.

"Yeah, you'd definitely know." Lenneth quipped, causing Rinslet to frown.


Elsewhere, under the light of the moon...

A man of grand repute made his way through the town, having come on business from Hell.

"Oh, oh?" Another man called out from the first's side. "Aren't you Arenstear Agares? The current Head of House Agares, the Second Devil House?"

Arenstear Agares raised an eyebrow as he heard the familiar voice, stopping to look at the person leaning against a wall. As the light shifted, he quickly found he recognized the blue hair of the man. "Marcellus Naberius! What a boon it is to meet you here! I'm pleased that you remember me, when we only briefly spoke at that party in Lady Lucifer's home a few years ago."

"A boon?" Marcellus tilted his head with a smile. "Did you have business with me then?"

Arenstear nodded, "Don't pretend you don't know what this is about~"

Marcellus' head tilted further, "I...really don't know."

Arenstear smiled a bit bitterly, "Yes, of course... We have all heard that you and Lady Lucifer have become very close recently. It's natural that you'd try to avoid anything that can disadvantage her. But please, drop the act. What else could I want from meeting you? Are you truly uninterested after all? Do you feel no sense of pride and honor, that one of the leaders in your camp have come to entreat with you directly?"

Marcellus tapped his chin lightly, "My camp. Please, delineate further."

With a sigh, Arenstear chuckled. "As I've heard, you truly are a troll beyond compare~ You just want to hear me say it with my own mouth, don't you? Very well, I've come here with every intention of licking your feet if I must."

He took a respectful bow, "Please, Marcellus. Lady Lucifer is not in her right mind. You yourself told her not to pass the approval plan she employed in Hell, the one you drafted to humor her. However, she ignored the words of her wisest, most competent ally of all, even when you begged her. Surely, you must have finally seen reason? That our Lady Lucifer must be replaced with a far more suitable candidate...you, my boy. I, one of the most prominent leaders against the rule of the current Lucifer, Arenstear Agares, have come to formally request that you come forward as our champion. Marcellus Naberius, please..."

Taking a knee, he lowered his head. "Join us. Join us to overthrow Gwyneth Bael, and rise as the new leader of Hell. Become our Lord Lucifer, Marcellus. It can only be you. Of this, there is no doubt. There exists no other candidate with the strength and more importantly the influence to accomplish this with minimal resistance. Once you ascend to the Throne, we can all work together to make Hell great again~ This is my...our only desire!"

"Ah, ah, ah..." Marcellus crossed his arms as he pushed off the wall. "I see, I think I understand now. So that's what's been going on behind the scenes. I'd suspected as much, but I hoped I was wrong."

Arenstear looked up at him, confused. "What are you saying? There's no way you've gone without at least hearing that half of the 72 original Devil Houses wish for you to usurp the Throne..."

Marcellus sighed, scratching his head. "How annoying...to think that I was right all along. I thought the Devils had become more intelligent, but now they're trying to pressure such a naive and innocent boy into being their leader? But of course, it makes sense. After all, he'd just be your puppet..."

Arenstear opened his mouth, blinking as he noticed something. Marcellus wasn't wearing the scarf that he literally always wore. "Wait...you... Who are you?"

"Who am I?" Marcellus smiled politely at him. "Don't tell me you've forgotten me already, little Aren. Wasn't I often the one who took time to read you stories before tucking you in at night, when the original Archduke Agares was too busy getting laid?"

Arenstear stood quickly, backing away as he felt his blood freeze. "Y-you...! This can't be...! How are you...how are you still alive?! No...who are you really?!"

"Ahahahaha!" Marcellus' laughter echoed, as if it were rebounding against something close by. "How many ages has it been since someone demanded I introduce myself? What a fresh experience!"

Glancing around, Aren noticed the atmosphere had changed. {Dammit! I've been trapped without realizing it! When did he set up an isolation field? Before he revealed himself? Or after we started talking? If it happened while we were...no, I would definitely notice...}

"You...whoever you are, you've made a mistake." Arenstear said sternly, the ground cracking beneath him like glass under his feet. "You have trapped yourself in here, with an Ultimate-class Devil who has exceeded the original Agares!"

"Scary, scary~ You've really learned to talk nicely~" Marcellus remarked playfully as the earth itself shifted as if it would swallow him whole. "And you've definitely gotten to be really powerful~"

Extending his hand, a bright light flashed, a familiar sword appearing in his hand.

Arenstear froze once again, as he saw the sword. "Impossible...the Honjou Masamune belongs to Marcellus Naberius...how can you...?"

Spinning Honjou Masamune around a few times, Marcellus smiled innocently and pointed the sword at Archduke Agares. "Since I took the liberty of ignoring your previous inquiry, I'll go ahead and introduce myself. I am Marcellus, nothing more and nothing less. Please, regret your desire to ruin my son's life...as you rot in Purgatory."

"Then you really are...?" Aren bit his lip, glaring. "It doesn't matter! The likes of you will not best me!"

With that, the entire earth turned upon its head and seemed to implode.

"Is that so?" Marcellus remained smiling as he fell into an endless abyss. "I guess we'll just have to see about that, little Aren~"


Later in the night, a man emerged from beneath the ground, dusting himself off.

Marcellus took a deep breath, looking down. "You really were a tough one, Aren. Though maybe I can't really say that, considering that all of you are just like insects to me."

He frowned a bit, finding his clothes covered in blood. "Man, I like these too...oh well... This is the fate that awaits anyone who thinks to bring ruination to my beloved son~ I hope you rest in peace down there, little Aren. Nobody will ever find you."

_________________
Vroom:
 

Izaya's The Boss:
 

Stomp That Shit!:
 

Shizu-chan's Seismic Toss:
 

Chill Izaya/Poor Izaya:
 
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Cruton
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Age : 35 Registration date : 2010-10-13 Number of posts : 54 Location : Clermont
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PostSubject: Re: The Begining of the End   Thu 31 Aug 2017, 06:49

Ever have a day that was a blur, one that is so lackadaisical it seems unreal, like a dream. Most of the time it’s not a dream and upon awaking explanation is requirement for all parties for but the dreamer has the most to acquire and disperse. All the fun comes at the point when the dreamer wakes up in an unfamiliar place with an unusual connection with a stranger. Then there is the situation where the awaking is abrupt and unpleasant ending in pandemonium.

Search almost everywhere Ingrid is about to call it quits when suddenly she got a spike of Fili’s arura, “Thought you could hide but I can smell you stank for miles.” Ingrid proclaims, “Then why’d it take you all day to find him” Says a random from the club “Shut up Captain obviously he shrouded himself but this don’t concern you so get lost, I don’t know why you followed me in the first place” and with that she leaps off. Ingrid soon locates Fili on top of a delivery of Penelope’s wine “not sure what you’re doing with the wine, Fili, I’ll just assume your true colors are shining through allowing me to defend Penelope’s product from a thief.” And she goes in for an attack.

Fili rouses due to the fact that he is moving and an uneasy feeling, he noticed he was on top of cases of wine and he recollected the brown haired beauty he met earlier amongst the grape vines, (wish I got her name) he thought. Suddenly Fili sensed incoming danger, an arrow from above, he could have dodge but the then the wine would be destroyed so he took it in the shoulder. “You’ve gotten slow Fili I practically broadcasted that shot and you still got hit.” Ingrid laughs. “Ingrid, it has been awhile I got you welcoming gift two fortnights ago, have you missed me that much?” Fili asks,“ You pompous ass, I will defend this cargo from your grubby hands and put you in your place.” Ingrid proclaims. “I take you didn’t appreciate me returning the gift.” Fili responds, “You destroyed my tournament gear you bastard, had to do the last tournament damn near naked cause my tailor was unavailable.” Ingrid blurts out not thinking. “Damn I wish I could have seen that, I bet you’re the type that tapes your boobs down because you don’t except the fact that your female which is preposterous you are female be proud and flaunt what you got.” Fili remarks. “Pist, kah, ha, ahhh you don’t know anything you jerk, I wear skirt and blouse uniform combo like all the other girls.” She unconvincingly replies, “I’m sure, bet you wear black tights to afraid to show off your legs.” Fili shoots back. “Why don’t you just shut the hell up and prepare to become a pin cushion!” Ingrid retorts as she starts to attack.

Cleorichi is making her way home as she thinks to herself, (So, Jezibel thinks she can just claim Fili for herself, that bitch acting like she doesn’t know him all day and for what to fool me or some shit, well damn her) she then decides to go shopping for a dress because she doesn’t own one. As Cleo goes shopping Kikieo makes her way back being bored with the wild goose chase and gets intrigued by a gathering crowd at what seemed to be a restaurant. “That’s a lot of people, I think I’ll check it out.” Kikieo decides and head to the place. Jezibel accompanies Suezanna and Phibie to Rooklin’s restaurant for dinner “I can’t believe you Jez acting so coy when you were after the new guy yourself, I wouldn’t of thought that from you.” Phibie remarks. “It’s not like that Rook’s just putting on a farce I have no interest in Fili.” Jezibel answers. “Or is Rook able to see the truth you try so hard to hide? For when Phi called him the new guy you called him by his name.” Sue chimes in. “that doesn’t mean a thing I did have to show him around the school today and couldn’t call him new guy all day, it is true I knew him before but he left a lasting impression that makes me despise him.” Is Jez’s answer.” Love and Hate there is a thin line between, but enough about that what are we eating and who’s buying.” Phi ends with as they head to the restaurant.

Back at the delivery truck

Ingrid swings her bow a Fili who dodges backwards as she was hoping allowing her to nook and shoot three arrows in quick succession. Fili unable to dodge the arrows catches two of the arrows but gets the third in the other shoulder as it pierces his skin Fili can detect a foreign substance with it, (poison really) he thinks to himself, he quickly pulls the arrow out and refocuses his blood flow to bleed the poison out as two more arrows come fling at him. Aware of the poison Fili is sure to catch these tossing them to the side away from the wine. (I’ve got to get in close can’t risk contaminating the wine also don’t want to bleed anymore) Fili tears his shirt and uses it to sop up the poisoned blood tosses that away then makes a bandage for both shoulders, he notices the truck slowing they must be arriving at the delivery. Fili gets close to Ingrid he grabs he arms crosses them across her chest and stands behind her “know who’s in control.” With that Fili glances up to see the delivery truck come to an entrance too small for it, with that laps of attention Ingrid gets loose kicks Fili and jumps off the truck catching a bottle. Fili tries to get the bottle with no avail and it breaks as Fili and the truck get sucked into the entrance. Ingrid looks at the entrance as it closes realizing that it was Rooklyn’s restaurant, “Damn can’t pursue Fili well at least he’ll have to pay for the bottle I broke though Rook will probably still make me pay later. I will defeat you next time Fili.”

Inside Rooklyn’s Restaurant

Fili drops from the truck by the driver side door as Penelope gets out “Well hello you, sorry if you had a rude awaking but I didn’t know if you would have been able to find you way out of the grape vine labyrinth so I brought you along on my delivery. I’m Penelope by the way nice to meet you.” She explains. “Names Fili, Fili Stone Forge, it’s a pleasure only thing is, and I’m dreadfully sorry, but I was responsible for a bottle of your wine being knocked off your shipment and breaking just outside this building; I tried to catch it but was unsuccessful. I hope there is a way I can help pay for it though my funds are not the greatest at the moment.” Fili divulges “Well this shipment was payed for so the one you need to talk to is the owner of this establishment though I don’t think he is in at the moment.” She explains when all the sudden there was a crack like lighting striking the ground and Rooklyn appeared in the middle of the restaurant.

Elsewhere

Cleo leaves heads home being unsuccessful in finding a dress she likes “Not a damn descent dress though I don’t know why I cared to get one I the first place, stupid P.O.E messing me up Fili will pay for bring chaos into my life, Rook was my only craziness before now, why did Azazel bring Fili here after the craziness four months ago one would having things normal for a bit.” She remarks than her phone goes of informing her of a text, she reads it; “Hey Cleo, I know I asked you to stop by the shop later but it crazy here and I need your help serving. Could you help a brother out?” It was from Rook, she rolled her eyes and exhaled then responded “Be there soon” got in her car and headed to the restaurant. Kikieo makes her way to the restaurant and looks at the name: Devilish delights/Fallen Dishes /Angelic Delicacies. “hmmm sounds exotic I think I’ll give it a try.” She decides. Jezabel, Phibie and Suezanna find a table and look at the menu as Cleo pulls up “he wasn’t kidding this pace is packed.” She realizes then makes her way to the back entrance.

Back in the Restaurant

Fili walks toward Rooklyn when a girl pops her head out from a cubby hole smiling at Rooklyn when she turns sees Fili and retreat back in the cubby. Disregarding the girl Fili continues to Rooklyn recognizing him as the guy from P.O.E, “Hi Rooklyn wasn’t it, there was an incident and I was responsible for,” Fili was cut off “you owe me a debut, I take gold drachmas, labor, or souls which will you be paying today?” Rooklyn demands while gazing at Fili with a cold stare that would cause most to cower in fear. “Striate to the point I see; Labor” Fili answers as a hidden closet opens revealing six uniforms: three female uniforms and one male uniform “Will it fi” cut off again “It will, men’s room is in the back left you’ll see the sign.” As headed to the bathroom two girls walk to the uniforms which seemed to combust and the flames slithered around them and they were in the uniforms. Cleo entered through the rear walking to Rook “Ah Cleo thanks for the help to start I’ll need you to quick train a rookie but don’t make it too long cause as you can see we are swamped.” Rook explains as her uniform combusts and slithers on to her “Hey watch it! Who am I training?” Cleo asks. “Sorry but I did notice that you seem to have gained a few in the past four months might you of indulged in the fact that you need not work. You will be training that new guy Fili Stone Forge he owes me a debut and chose to pay in labor.” Rook tells her. “Don’t start with talk of my weight and I should have known Fili is about as good as you at getting in trouble.” And with that Fili exit the restroom changed.

“Hey Cleo, I didn’t know you worked here?” Fili comments. “Only occasionally. I will be quick training you so let’s get going” Cleo lead him to the dining room spotting Jezabel and the twins table thinking they’d be a good start cut Fili some slack since Jez knows him. “Alright we’ll start over there with the girl that showed you around the school today.” They headed over and Cleo had Fili start with introduction. “Hello there I’m Fili and I’ll be your server this evening, just a heads up I kind of came in debut and am paying with labor so I don’t know the menu so I hope you have an idea of what you want?” “You’re in luck we happen to be regulars but if you in debut we can maybe help if you do a little something for us,” Phibie explains as her and Suezanna pull a pouch of drachmas from their cleavage. In doing this a blue flame face appears behind Fili with word saying “Flirting with employees is prohibited.” And they dropped the pouches back with wearier looks. “excuse our flagrant promiscuousness will have the Daughters of Darkness special and Jez will have the Lonely Heart meal.” Fili looked back before they ordered thinking something freaked them out but there was nothing there and when they were done with the order put it in and delivered their food soon later. Then the next table was a bit more difficult Fili did the same intro and then it was time to take the order, “Can I get the Odes of Dismay with noodles instead of rice?” the customer asked “I’m not sure let me ask the chief and get back with you” Fili responds “I’ve been waiting for a very long time so I want to know now so I can get my food sooner!” She demands “Very sorry for the incognizance but as I explained. “Fili got cut off as he was pulled backwards to Rook who asked, “What seems to be the problem?” “Well the lady was asking about the menu and I am unfamiliar do to the circumstances” he was cut off again “here read the menu and take care of it” “but to get it down” “Just look at it” Fili did so and blue flames ignited as knowledge of the menu seemed to burn itself into my mind “Wow” Fili exasperated as he was pushed back to the table “all entrees are non-negotiable and served as is however if you wish to create your own meal the options are in the back.” Then all was well as the rest of the night went by in a blur and soon we were closed.

“You did good Fili and your debut is cleared. If you’re in need of a job, I could always use the help. Think on it and go ahead and change.” Rook tell Fili “that sound good thank you though you may be terrifying when owed money and while cooking you’re actually a cool guy I’d be glad to work here.” Fili says and then goes to change. Cleo walks over to the uniform rack and the flame slithers back to the rack and Cleo’s clothes return. “A hell of a night, thanks for the help Cleo. Here you go.” Rook proclaims as he hands her a dress with her tip share. “What’s with the dress” “Well I figured if you planned to intercede the double you should look the part I also know somebody who can aid you in getting new under” “alright stop right there” “garments” “I am fine with undergarments goodbye.” “Just trying to be helpful, ow and you may want to wait for Fili I don’t think he will be able to find his way home from here.” Rook suggests. “Your probably right, Fili Hurry Up!” Cleo yells “Sorry but thanks for waiting one last thing Rooklyn Chiron told me to ask you about school uniform pants.” Fili exclaims “ah yes here are a couple later.” Rook tosses Fili the pants and waves goodbye.

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Age : 28 Registration date : 2008-09-20 Number of posts : 737 Location : .............
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PostSubject: Re: The Begining of the End   Mon 23 Oct 2017, 09:36

As Fili and Cleroichi exit the back door Rook turns around to see Cynthia gathering her things up. “Need a ride home Cynthia?” he asks as she shakes her head and replies “Iyzaya is coming to get me”. Rook smiles as he lets her out the back door and waves to Iyzaya as he pulls up, he then closes the door. As the entire restaurant shudders as the lights begin to dim as he makes his way back into the kitchen. He sees something trying to form in it as a chilling voice proclaims “I…. can …feel….again…….I know you hear me Calcifer”. And with that it disappears and the restaurant returns to normal.{The seals are weakening soon one by one they will awaken and walk the earth once more}. Rook frowned as he closed his eyes and saw the ocean over Atlantis rippling. {Alucard will be the first to wake} “Damn, this looks to be the death of the alliance we’ve had for so long”. {The Leaders need to be informed of this escalation} “Telling them will only cause the peace to decay faster. Best if we kept it quiet at least for now” {you’ll just make her angrier at you}.

“Like she isn’t already angry with me Cal”, with that Rook walked into his room where he found Mika sleeping against the side of his bed. As he went to pick her up he felt an immense power enter his room and he turns to see


“Gwyn….” He utters as she slaps him down upon the bed her eyes glowing as she stalked forward. Her lips quivering as she said “You come back from the dead, you fuck my younger sisters. Arrange a date with my rival and fraternize with your assailant”, she swipes her hands to the side ripping the clothes of Rook as she moves ever closer. She then crawls across the bed towards him as her clothes are burned off her body. She holds herself up above him as tears well up in her eyes. And as one falls from her cheek she finds herself on her back as it lands on her breast. Rook is now pinning her to the bed as she looks into his eyes and whispers “I thought I lost you”. She wraps her legs around his back…….

At a clock tower over looking the town.



Tali sits just above the clock her legs dangling over the side as she watch’s Rook’s restaurant finding herself unable to approach it. Her phone suddenly goes off and as she flips it open she sees a text reading “Kingsfall”. She quickly closes it as she shouts “Shit!”, her rainbow colored wings erupt from her back as she flies off towards heaven.

Back in the bedroom.

Gwyneth awakes to the light of the sun on her skin, she looks around and sees Rook is not in the bed with her. She does find Mika and Ayane on her either side, she wraps herself in a sheet and walks towards the light. And as she exits the door at the top of the stairs she finds herself standing above the Stratosphere. The wind washes over her as she finds Rook watching the sun rise from the sea in silence. She makes her way to him as he says “Beautiful isn’t it?” , she stares at the sun and shrugs. Saying “I suppose”, he then appears behind her his flames removing the sheet. As pulls her into him his left arm across her abdomen as his left tilts her head to the perfect angle. And in an instant the world becomes a mass of color so broad in range that her mouth drops. Rook then flame wraith’s his upper torso so that he can kiss her without blocking out the spectrum. The sun then rises above the sea and the two are on the invisible floor, “I watch this every morning and it fills me with peace. If you wish it we could just stay up here forever” as the words leave his lips she pushes him away. “Again with this Rook, some of us have reasonability’s something you wouldn’t know anything about”. Her eye’s are filled with anger as she rises to leave. Rook jumps in front of her and yells “Oh I’m sorry Lady Lucifer I didn’t realize past contributions mean nothing to you”. Her eye’s nearly erupt in flames as she slaps him across the face and screams “You are one of my most cherished friends how dare you insult me”. “Then prove it, proclaim to the entire world that I am yours and you are mine”, Rook spits back as he refuses to back down. “Your ask too much you know my hand is a political move , but if your that greedy Piper then take this”. Gwyn then tosses three gold pieces at Rook as she reenters the restaurant. Rook closes his eyes as his shadow becomes a succubus behind him “master as we feared each faction is about to have a coo”. He waves her away and says “it looks like fate has finally decided to force your hand Gwyn”.

Gwyn gets dressed and exits out the back running into her younger siblings with tears in her eyes as they look at her in surprise. “You couldn’t let us have a day with him to ourselves could you sis”, spouts Ophelia obviously annoyed as Yue stamps her foot in frustration. “He is not yours to claim Lia” Gwyn retorts before teleporting back to her throne. Lia and Yue go to open the door but find it missing.

In an undisclosed location in Heaven/Hell/ and Earth

“So it is agreed we strike in the night and dethrone Michael,Gwyneth, and Azazel, at the same time so that we receive no resistance” says a hooded angel. “Agreed” chime in the other members of the resistance. As they turn to leave all three locations erupt in a powerful flame that leaves them all in ash. But also alerting the leaders of each faction to the user as its power signature is unique.

Chiron’s classroom

“Ophis really seemed worried about you”, said Marcellus as Rook cracked a soda and took a sip trying to hold back a laugh. “You’re saying the Infinity dragon who feels remorse for nothing is concerned about me”? Rook replies laughing at the thought, Marcel stamps his foot and says, “I’m telling you the truth it made me a bit concerned you aren’t messing with her are you”? After taking another gulp rook replies “I promise I’m not toying with your Lolita dream alright Marin Trant”. Marcellus slugged Rook in the arm playfully as he seemed to calm down a bit “So you down with chilling at the club after school”? Rook nodded as he finished the soda and let out a burp waking the sleeping Lenneth.

Amidst the clamor of the class a royal Trinity seal appears on the floor as moments later Michael , Gwyn and Azazel appear within it. The class grows silent as the three leaders turn their gaze to Rook with a solemnness to it. “Rook I think you know why we’re here” sighs Azazel as Gwyn gives him the most hated stare. “You will not disrupt my class rulers or not, take a seat and commence this at the bell”. Said Chiron in a slow and agitated voice as the rulers quickly followed his order. Marcellus grabbed Rook by his collar and slammed him against the wall “WHAT DID YOU DO?”, shouted Marcellus obviously very distressed Rook looked him in the eyes and said. “I thought you could see the future”, Marcellus exhaled sharply as it all came together in his head. His mind was filled with the drawing he made in his sleep of a shady figure ending an unbelievable amount of lives in mere seconds. And all he could here is Ophis asking if Rook seemed off. He released Rook and began to rock back and forth chanting “I can fix this”, Rook sighed and placed his hands on Marcellus’s shoulders. Saying “Not this time friend I’m afraid judgement has come for me”.

Before the two can continue the bell rings and the Lords of Heaven, Hell, and the Fallen rise to claim their quarry. Only to see two drachmas bounce off Rook’s back as he is pulled to POE before he can be grabbed. “My Lords I will hold onto the traitor until the trial I take it we can all agree to this”. “You have my vote, cause this one tugs pretty hard at the heart strings I mean come on who doesn’t love that kid”. Sighed Azazel as he teleported out followed by the pious Michael. Gwyn however stood there still steaming as Marcellus walked up to her as he asked “So what’s the plan Gwyn”? She looked into his eyes her mixed emotions showing as she said “he committed treason Mar, he betrayed us all”. Her voice was hollow like she was nothing more than a robot. “Rook wouldn’t betray us you know that Gwyn anything he does has a reason behind, and on top of that he would never break a promise”. Shouts Marcellus as Gwyn blinks and replies “What if he didn’t come back, what if he’s just a puppet of Calcifer”….

Meanwhile the tremors across the Atlantic ceased as the one once known as Vlad the Impaler rose from the shore. For he is the Immortal one that lives off the blood of those beneath him he is the one the only Alucard!


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Sangios
He Who Was Born With the First Troll and Shall Perish With the Last
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Age : 25 Registration date : 2011-08-16 Number of posts : 99 Location :
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PostSubject: Re: The Begining of the End   Mon 30 Oct 2017, 00:59

At an unspecified point of time… Or rather, an undefined moment which exists beyond the concept of time…

Within a shifting and teeming vortex of events unfolding across the space-time continuum. A chamber, a singularity from which all things branch within causality.
A group of 8 men sat around a perfectly symmetrical and circular table, one filled with all kinds of files, projecting many highly advanced screens depicting data the likes of which would be inconceivable to any beyond them. The 8 had the exact same face, the exact same voice, the exact same body. If there were anything to differentiate them, it was the manner with which they spoke, the color of their eyes, and their…numbers. These 8 men identified themselves by numbers, numbers which labeled them in the order in which they came into existence. #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7 and #8. They were in the middle of a discussion, one more crucial than any that had come before. A discussion so critical that it could be said to determine the very fate of the Universe. At least, that was what #4 kept saying.


“A bit of background, here. #1 is, of course, the first, the original; A caring, selfless and saintly persona who put everyone before himself and suffered for it every time. #2 came next; A strict, stern and no-play persona, all about the cold, hard facts, who didn’t give a damn about emotions. #3, and you get the idea here, but he’s the dark one; An existence defined by death and destruction, who lives for the sake of doing the things that no others want to dirty their hands with, rarely thinking for himself. #4 was the know-it-all jerk of a genius, whose illusions of grandeur tended to make others look at him skeptically; He’s brilliant, but his sketchy behavior made others hesitant to really listen to him. #5 is the foil to #4, a translator at times, but primarily a diplomatic man who serves the best interests of all; he always works to keep everyone on the same page and make sure they remain civil. #6 is the lunatic that nobody can really understand, he’s always talking gibberish, crazy shit; rarely does he contribute beyond disrupting everyone with his random musings, but it’s said that he ended up this way because of the same reason that 6 was afraid of 7. #7 is the loudmouth, hardcore shit talker who never really brings up anything new; he’s an absolute master in the art of bullshitting, wielding words as weapon to convince others of nearly anything with an aggressive yet compelling tone; his modus operandi is to rephrase things said by others in a way that makes it sound like he came up with something amazing…real piece of work, that guy. #8 is that encouraging and supportive sounding dude that just wants to be entertained; he tells everyone whatever they want to hear, says and does whatever he needs to, to make others dance for him; he would never do anything to put himself in danger, but he’s all too happy to watch others suffer for the sake of his own joy; a snake who smiles to your face while getting your best friend to stab you in the dick.
#9? Well, that’s me. What about me? Yeah, I don’t really exist anymore so you can just call me the Narrator. The Bridge, between them and you. What happened to me…? Don’t you know why 6 is afraid of 7? Look, I don’t like to talk about this, okay? So, uh, let’s just get on with this thing."


#5: Ahem! So, gentlemen. We all know why we’ve gathered here today, so let’s get down to business.
#8: To defeat the Huns?
#2: Shut up, #8.
#1: We’re here to discuss the future. Ours, specifically, and how it relates to the fate of everyone around us.
#7: Right, right, right! That good stuff! What’s new, eh?
#2: What’s…? Did you not read the report that #4 and I put together?
#7: Report? What’s that, exactly?
#4: Well, a report is something we use to relay information to others, on findings or anything else. A very important piece of the puzzle that is science-
#6: Alpha Protocol! Beta Production! Epsilon System!
#1-#5, #7 and #8: … “Yeah, that’s pretty much their default reaction to everything he says.”
#3: #7, we’re here to discuss our future. Our still bleak future. As things stand, there’s nothing we can do to protect ourselves from the Golden Reaper.
#7: I see, it’s still like that. Aren’t you, like, the greatest assassin in the Universe or something?
#8: Fair point, Archangel~ Why can’t you just out reap the reaper? It wouldn’t be the first time you’ve killed a God of Death~
#3: …The Golden Reaper is beyond my means. No matter how I prepare, no matter where I strike from and no matter the manner of approach, it ends with my death.
#7: Oh? Oh…well…yeah, that sounds kinda bad.
#2: Kinda, he says. Please keep your ignorant mouth shut, if you’ve nothing to add to our situation. Anyway, let’s look at the simple facts as a refresher. The Golden Reaper’s power is the extreme foil of our own. We can bypass it to an extent, however his ability to adapt is unparalleled. He’s not just a jack-of-all-trades, he’s a MASTER of all. He has no weaknesses.
#4: Indeed! Even relying on our vision, he overcomes and overwhelms us! His conviction is limitless, his resolve as infinite as Ouroboros itself. No matter what we do, we cannot make him falter. And we’ve not the time to waste trying to train, so don’t even-
#6: Excelsior! My name is Danny Rand! Danny Rand! Danny Rand! D-d-danny Rand!
#4: By the Gods, shut up! Why do you keep interrupting me?! Seriously, who invited this asshole?!
#5: I’m sorry, I thought #1 wanted all of us together, so…
#1: No, I’m sorry. I did desire us all to talk through this together, given that it does impact each of us. I was hoping that #6 would be in better shape, but…
#8: Hey don’t worry, I love his rambles~
#7: Yep, it’s like I always say! He who rambles most is the wisest of all!
#2: You’ve literally never said that in your life. It makes no sense either, so shut up.
#1: So, if everyone could direct their attention to the memory simulations I’ve been running nonstop…
“#1 showed them a bunch of screens. Them being killed by a gold shadow. Hundreds of thousands of different deaths, each in completely different circumstances.”
#1: As you can see, it’s hopeless. No matter what we come up with, the result is our death. It seems that, as things stand, this is the end of the line. Our ultimate destruction draws nearer and nearer with every breath we take, and there’s naught a thing we can do to stop it. The Golden Reaper has an answer to every single action. He’s-
#4: STRONG.
#3: Too strong…
#8: We’re weak.
#7: So weak!
#6: WE IMPOSE ORDER ON THE CHAOS OF ORGANIC EVOLUTION. YOU EXIST BECAUSE WE ALLOW IT. AND YOU WILL END BECAUSE WE DEMAND IT.
#4: Mother of God…did he just say something relevant?
#1: Scarily relevant… I don’t know what this organic evolution is about, but that gave me chills.
#6: There’s no use crying over every mistake, you just keep on trying until you run out of cake.
#5: …He’s right, let’s not lose sight of our goal. We’re at a dead end now, but surely there’s something we’re simply overlooking? A new path that leads to an unknown tomorrow? Why don’t we look over the facts again? Consider everyone of interest to us.
#2: Yes…you’re right. To think that #6 actually had some things worth saying.
#4: So, if we look at the facts…our trouble isn’t because we’re destined to die.
#8: Right~ It’s because everyone we love will die in vain, shortly after we do~
#7: And we can’t be having that now, right?
#3: Indeed. I gave myself over to the darkness, so that our loved ones could continue to live in the light. I’ve no qualms about my own death, I expect it and embrace it.
#1: Of course. We just can’t allow anyone to follow after us the way we know they will. That said, our biggest concern, as I’m sure we can all agree, is Mom.
#5: Mommy, yes. The one we can least bear to allow death to claim.
#2: And after her, everyone else. In the aftermath of our death, Mother is guaranteed to rush to her own death, lost to rage. No matter what we say to her, that won’t change, she’s just that kind of woman. And with she and us down, everyone soon follows. Everyone.
#1: A…cataclysmic storm of carnage, which drowns Heaven, Hell, Earth and the other Realms in blood.
#6: War. War never changes.
#7: Yep, it never does. I always say that, don’t I? War’s always shitty, the one our death will bring just isn’t worth it!
#4: Why don’t we look at a new venue? People we can ask for help, the ones who will survive the bloodbath. Ouroboros, the Illusive Woman, Great Red, even Trihexa or-
#2: Are you insane? Trihexa was the first we sealed for a reason! Conversing with it in any way, shape or form, is akin to suicide! Or what, were you next going to suggest we have a chat with good old Alucard? Azi Dahaka? Grim himself?!
“To say nothing of the fact that Ophis the Infinite Dragon God doesn’t like to be near us. Sophia Lantis, the Illusive Woman straight up hates us, as I recall. Ever since we talked to her about her father and brother. And Great Red, of course, is still hanging out in the Dimensional Gap. Even if Ophis would consider helping us, she’s more concerned with kicking him out and taking her house back. I don’t think she’d even bother giving us her Blessings.”
#8: Actually, doesn’t Grim owe us one?
#3: It’s best to not tell the Grim Reaper that he owes us a favor. What about Shiva?
#1: Oh! That’s right, we don’t have to limit ourselves, do we? Shiva, Brahma, Vishnu, Kali, Indra, Yama…
#5: Odin, Thor, Loki? Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Ares? As a matter of fact, Poseidon and Ares have always held us in very high regard, have they not?
#4: Correct, however their brand of aid would come with us being forced to marry their daughters. Can you feeble minded nincompoops comprehend the terror we’d face in that treacherous arrangement?
#1: That’s…true. I suppose this is all for naught, if we end up enslaved by the Greek Mythos.
#7: Speaking of daughters, I hear that Odin’s daughter’s a real spirited and crazy lady! Don’t we like them crazy?
#8: I know that I certainly do~
#3: I prefer quiet women…elegant women. It’s hard to imagine that young lady as either, from the information we already have on her.
#2: Hm. I’d suggest that we use Michael to make contact indirectly, but it would require us to share the truth with him. He already knows too much as is.
#6: For increaseth knowledge, increaseth sorrow.
#8: Ahahahaha! He’s on a roll! Yeah, we don’t want to kill good old Mikey now, do we?
#1: Who said anything about that…? The danger is that Mom would find out about us. At that point, we might as well just kill ourselves-
#4: That’s it!
#2: It? What’s it?
#4: What #1 just said!
#3: Kill ourselves? You really have gone mad.
#4: No, not at all! I’ve seen a new path forward! What if we resign ourselves to the fact that we’ll die? Isn’t the issue that we keep trying to avoid it?!
#6: This epidemic leads innocent people to their deaths, and yet its pathogen will never be eradicated. This is a disease called serenity, a form of death that people have wished for.
#4: Exactly, #6! Exactly! Well, maybe not EXACTLY, but you know, close enough?
#8: What…are you saying, exactly? I don’t want to die.
#1: Ah, I don’t think that’s what he’s saying. #6 caught on, somehow. Aren’t there things worse than death?
#6: When do you think people die? When they are shot through the heart by the bullet of a pistol? No. When they are ravaged by an incurable disease? No. When they drink a soup made from a poisonous mushroom!? No! It’s when they are forgotten.
#1: Ahaha…that’s also true.
#5: Certainly, it would be more painful to be forgotten than to die… Especially if we’re still alive. It would also be worse to see everyone we love die, than to simply die ourselves.
#7: I mean, I guess so? What then?
#4: What if we died without actually dying? Not a physical death, but a metaphorical one! We can die by the hand of one other than the Golden Reaper! And what if, this metaphorical death changes the way we interact with him when the time comes? If the circumstances are completely rewritten-
#1: It becomes a scenario that we’ve never seen! Let’s see how it plays out! Where do we begin?
#2: First, we should decide how we die our metaphorical death. By whose hands were you thinking?
#4: Cerberus. We were going to avoid him, weren’t we? Because we didn’t want to have to kill him. But what if we don’t avoid him at all? What if we give him what he wants?
#8: What he wants…is to make Mommy suffer…that’s the one thing I won’t allow!
#1: None of us want Mom to suffer, believe me. But if her pain now leads to her safety later, would you be okay with that? Isn’t it better to live in despair than to die in vain?
#3: I guess that’s true…
#8: Yeah, that’s true.
#5: But how do we manipulate someone like Cerberus? What can we give him, aside from our death?
#1: Cerberus has the power to conduct that ritual. The one his wife created on accident, while experimenting. We can convince him to use it on us.
#4: Oho! I see! I see, I see! I know what I said, but you took it in a different way! That works, yes, that’s even better! I was to fake our death, but you want to reset the entire board completely!
#7: Reset the…board? What’s that supposed to mean?
#1: What if we…US. What if the existence We comprise, ceases to exist in this state? In other words, we go back to zero.
#2: That sounds an awful lot like you’re suggesting we erase ourselves.
#6: The ones who accomplish something are the fools who keep pressing onward. The ones who accomplish nothing are the wise who cease advancing.
#3: You mean…it’s better to sacrifice ourselves for a new path forward than to die clinging to our lives? I agree. I don’t have any issue with disappearing, so long as we can find a way to save everyone.
#4: That’s right. It would effectively mean the end of us all. The birth of something completely new. We can give up our future, to ensure a future for the new Us. Zero.
#1: I think it’s the best option. We can run simulations to see how it’ll unfold before deciding, but don’t you think it’s worth a try? As we are, we’re incapable of saving anyone. Our new self…the possibilities are endless for them. The only thing, is that they’ll probably be born blind.
#8: Hehehehe… I’ve heard that the blind can often see the important things, far more clearly than anyone with eyes.
#2: I see…we’ve relied on our sight for far too long, haven’t we?
#7: I’d say that’s why we’re here in the first place.
#5: It’s possible, I think. We’ve been able to see everything for so long, that it’s caused our minds to narrow, along with our focus. If we put all of our hopes into Zero, and hope that they can carry on… Maybe being blind is exactly what We need.
#4: And to be clear, for as long as Zero is blind, we’ll still exist. Not physically, of course, but here. In this pocket in the space-time continuum. We can continue to exist outside of causality, working to link everything together. To guide Zero and those around him. To shape the world the way we need it to be shaped.
#1: Right, just because we’re erased, it doesn’t mean we’ll simply exit the stage. We’ll still be writing our own stories, trying to give Zero all the support we can.
#6: The only one who can decide your worth...is you. If you want to earn something, you need to reach out for it. Pro-athletes give up their teenage years to train. Business owners put up collateral to borrow money. That's how it always works. To make your ambitions come true, you have to take risks. The larger the ambition the greater the risk. That might involve time or enough work to affect your lifespan... So, make your choice. Live in peace as a wannabe, or risk losing it all to reach the very top. You're the one who needs to decide.
#5: He really is on a roll~ Alright, why don’t we do this?
#1: For the sake of a new future, one of infinite potential. Let’s see what kind of roots we can shake up in our reality.

“And there you have it, the moment it all began. The moment what began, you ask? Well, part of my job is to help you understand. And you will. But it’s not going to be so easy. There was a lot…I mean A LOT of detail that went into this plan. This most perfect yet most flawed plan. Whether it succeeds or fails is up to you, ultimately. But I’m here to give you all the support you need to make your choice. Whatever you decide, we’ll all be okay with it. Even if you do choose to give up after everything they did for you. Take your time, understand what’s important to you. Or rather…take the time to learn what’s really important to you. Nobody can tell you what you should do. Nobody but you yourself, Zero.”

Marcellus Naberius opened his eyes to find he was sitting up. Had he slept that way?

“I…think I’m just going to go back to sleep. Yeah…no, I’m probably still sleeping right now, so let’s just keep dreaming. Dreaming, yeah…”

Laying back down, he swiftly fell back into a slumber.


Within a mystical, enchanting, endless sea of gorgeous flowers, literally composed of sacred vermilion flames. Amidst the blazing blooms stood a single woman, the only being in the land capable of surviving the burning plains, given that she herself created them.

Dorothea Aym watched the blood red sky of Hell, her heart still in spite of the incredible beauty which she’d brought to life so many millennia ago.


In fact, no matter what sight greeted her eyes, her heart would remain still. For though she burned with the hottest and fiercest of flames, her heart was cold as stone.

Even memories of the only being she’d ever dared refer to as a friend, could do nothing to kindle her heart and soul. For the last decade or so, this friend, who had chosen to make the ultimate selfless gamble, had struggled. Struggled to fight for his normal life, the lives of those around him. Though she could see him any time had she wished it, she abstained, always. For she had made her friend a promise before his gamble.

“Uh…S-sister?” A nervous voice called out, a feminine voice which carried over from the start of the burning sea.

Her name was Junia Aym, one of the older sisters of Dorothea, and she felt her heart jump as her sister suddenly appeared in a flash, bringing immeasurable heat with her.

“What is it, Junia?” Inquired Dorothea, her tone just as lifeless and dull as her gaze.

Junia gulped nervously, sweating heavily. Aym was one of the most powerful Fire Users out there, and yet not one of them could bear the infinite heat which their Heiress brought with her. “Brother Tycho asked me to call for you. Your next opponents are here to discuss the terms of the Rating Game. You’re up against the rising team of House Caim, led by Quintinus Caim, the Deep-Sea Serpent…”

“Deep-Sea Serpent…” Repeated Dorothea, lifting a hand to her head as images came to mind, flashing through her head as if she were reliving them.

She saw, felt an intense battle, one more challenging and trying than any that came before. Vermilion and Azure clashed in an unyielding storm of tumultuous, elemental fury. Blade to blade, a phoenix’s talons and beak sparked against the fangs and claws of a serpentine dragon. On one side was the manifestation of flames, a living flare which outshone the sun itself. On the other was the icy personification of the deepest depths of the seas…

“Sis…ter?” Junia tilted her head as she observed.

Dorothea took a calm breath, stepping past her sister to enter the castle of House Aym.

Making her way to the entrance hall, she looked upon her opponents, all eager and full of glee upon witnessing her.

“Ah, Duchess Dorothea! I’ve looked forward to this moment!” Quintinus called out happily, motioning to her. “I’m sure your sister has already informed you, but we’ve come to set the date for-“

Walking past the guests without a care, Dorothea spoke. “There’s no need to wait. We fight today, right now. Right here. Tycho, prepare the proving grounds immediately.”

“Ah!” Tycho Aym jumped up straight, saluting. “Right away, Sister!”

“W-wait just a second, Lady Aym!” Quintinus exclaimed, hurrying to intercept her. “As I said, we’re here to set the date, not to fight! There’s a proper order to these things, and-“

Leveling a careless gaze upon the man, the Aloof Blaze spoke. “You may engage me on your own terms. I shall grant you a full hour to prepare for combat, with full access to the proving grounds. You may make any modifications you deem fit. So long as there is a witness, it is an official Rating Game.”

Quintinus blinked at the woman, running a hand through his hair. He knew that the chance she was offering was one which the vast majority would never dare to. “I see…then we can do as we please for the next hour… Very well, Duchess, we shall accept your invitation~”

He watched her turn around and leave without another word, before turning to his team. “Did you hear that? She’s just given us permission to make their proving grounds into the perfect playground! Sacred Beast or not, she’ll regret her arrogance!”

Tycho smiled blankly as the other members of Quint’s Household cheered, “If you actually manage to defeat our sister, I’ll give you half of our House’s fortune up front.”


On the coast of a tropical island in the Atlantic Ocean, just outside the Carribean.

Alucard stepped foot onto the shore, taking a deep breath. “Mmm, yes~ How nice it is to draw breath again~ The salty air of the sea is almost sweet, compared to the stale hell of the derelict Atlantis~”

He chuckled as he started forward, stretching out. “At long last, I’ve returned… While I’d like to immediately spark a revolution within those pathetic legions of bloodsuckers, maybe I should have a chat with those lovely ladies of Azrael first~ It’s been two decades since they came to offer tribute, could they have forgotten about little old me?”

“Not at all, Sir Alucard. In fact, it was I who asked that they no longer grant accommodations to an eyesore of an abomination like yourself~” A youthful, strong and bold male voice called out.

“Oh yeah?” With interest, the strongest Vampire looked off to the side, quickly spotting a lone man seated beneath a tree.

The man didn’t bother looking up from the book he was reading, fully aware of the Vampire’s predatory gaze. “Please wait there for a few more minutes, I’m nearly done with this beautiful novel~”


“Ah, that’s fine, no rush.” Alucard remarked with a shrug. “I’ll just uh…take a quick bite!”

Lunging forth at mach 2, he precisely sank his fangs into the throat of the Human. He awaited the orgasmic taste of fresh blood, but tasted dirt instead. “?”

“Tsk, tsk, tsk. Has your two decades of starvation left you so depraved that you’re incapable of recognizing when you’ve already been beaten?” The man closed his book after finishing, dropping it and lifting his hand to grip the chin of his assailant, holding him in place.

“What a startling lack of patience you show as well, without even the common courtesy to wait as I finish up the last 400 pages.”

Alucard just blinked, unable to pull away, unable to remove his teeth from a chunk of the earth between his fangs and the throat. {He read 400 pages just now? Nnnnice~}

“I see your time removed from the world has also left you senile, ancient monster. My name is Vestinel Urdaen Exeris, the God of Combat. I live to put filth like yourself where it belongs, back in the primordial sludge from whence you came.” Vestinel spoke calmly, exerting force in his fingers as his wrist was clutched, twisting his target’s chin and snapping his neck in one clean motion.

Rising to his feet, he released the Vampire, allowing him to fall to his knees weakly. “You…really couldn’t tell, could you? I am also the most illustrious Host of the Sacred Beast of the North, Genbu. In fact, you and I have met in the past, Alucard. I would have thought you would never forget the face of one of the beings who trapped you in that place.”

Alucard blinked in surprise, snapping his neck back into place. “Oh, that’s…that’s right… Now that you mention it, it’s all coming back to me…”

He looked up to study the gold haired man, “Vestinel, the arrogant Human. Dorothea, the waste of space of an otherwise sexy Devil. Fianna, the baby daughter of Azazel. Marcellus, the adorable Angel who rules Heaven~ Yes, your names and your faces, I remember them now~”

Chuckling in amusement, Vestinel ran a hand through his hair. “I am impressed, bloodsucker~ The four of us were positioned at the four vertices of your seal, far from your sight. And still, you managed to glean our identities and burn them into your memory while you writhed and struggled, pathetically and in pain? I suppose you truly are the greatest Vampire to ever live, Lord Vlad Tepes~”

“Aha…ahaha…ahahahaha…” Alucard held his stomach, tossing his head back and upward. “AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Closing his eyes, Vestinel extended his right hand to his side casually, a luminous golden gate-like portal opening in space as he reached inside, rummaging around for something. “Whenever you’re done, Vlad.”

“AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA-“ Stopping abruptly, Alucard shot to his feet, black and red bat swarms spewing off of his body as he took on the form of a black shadow with blood red eyes. “I’m sorry, it’s been a long time since I was able to enjoy the hubris of a mere mortal~ I’ll have you know that I did intend to take a measure of vengeance, after I was topped off. But I don’t mind having you as the appetizer~”

Smiling up at him, Vestinel looked amused. “When we sealed you so long ago, I only agreed because I, at the time, lacked a way to make you suffer on my own, before ending your life. Marcellus Isholy seemed to believe that you could be killed by a Holy Sword of the highest caliber, thus-“

Pulling his hand from the portal, he brandished a beautiful nodachi, 8 feet long with a glistening black blade. “Do you recognize it? This is the Blade of Genji, the weapon once wielded by the famed Hero, Gilgamesh the Blademaster~ I suppose it’s only fitting for it to end in my hands, when considering that he is my ancestor~”

Eyes widening as he looked upon the Holy Sword, the King of Vampires felt every nerve in his warped body screaming. His every last instinct yelled at him to flee, to run away as fast as he could, for in his state, death may be a real possibility. {Ahaha…well, this is bad. This kid’s gotten strong. Really strong. It’s not just the dessication, I see in him the shadows of both good ol’ Gilgamesh, as well as Faust. Guess he’s taken his skills up to eleven since I was sealed away~}

“Well alright, let’s see how you wield that thing~” He decided, his body expanding in every direction as wicked sickles tore free and stretched across the entire island.

Vestinel stepped back swiftly, lifting the blade defensively as he met the sickles head on.

The entire island was split apart, multiple times, hundreds of times, in countless directions, the sea growing violent as wind pressure blew out in every direction.

The sickles were sliced apart in red and gold flashes, as Vestinel landed atop a piece of the diced-up island. He immediately stepped forward, lifting the sword above his head as a violent crimson red aura surrounded it. With a grin, he brought it down in a flash, unleashing a gigantic scar of deep red, which tore through the shadowy body mass and pierced the ocean.

A swarm of bats gathered together in the sky as Alucard reformed with the appearance of a 13 year old boy with wings. He looked down, whistling sharply as he saw the seas divided so thoroughly that they refused to fill in. “Impressive, kiddo~”

With a warm smile, Vestinel hoisted and set his sword upon his shoulder casually, looking up. “I see, you tricked me with a flashy attack, to take my attention off of the bats. Will you run away then?”

“There’s no shame in fleeing when you’re outmatched~” Responded Alucard with a laugh. “You keep it up, kiddo! I’m sure we’ll be meeting again soon~”

Closing his eyes as the Vampire flew away at mach 3, Vestinel let out a breath as he spun his blade and put it through the ground. “Yes, we will meet again very soon.”

Vestinel…I told you that Alucard was a crafty monstrosity. Genbu declared, heard only by his host. You…

The Sacred Beast of the North trailed off as he realized his master was performing a Spell which pulled the spliced island together, repairing it in real time. You allowed him to escape, didn’t you? Thinking logically, it should have been easy for you to catch up to him. Even putting that aside, you could easily strike him down from any distance. Why? Will you allow him to pray on the weak Humans?

“He and I may have only met directly just then, however I know Lord Vlad well as things stand.” Vestinel responded coolly, pulling the Blade of Genji from the ground and pushing it back through the portal, which closed as the island fixed itself.

“Despite his abominable status, he is a man of intelligence.” He suggested. “He stated openly that he wishes to chastise the Vampires for the weakness they’ve allowed to fester within their community. Alucard knows that mindless bloodshed will be detrimental as he is now. If he feeds, he will not kill his victims. After all, he should be aware that, as Faust’s student, I’ve myriad ways of catching up with him. No, he’ll keep a low profile until he can recover more of his strength. And that is fine by me. I take no pleasure in slaughtering the weak, either~”

I see, well it is as you say, I suppose. Genbu remarked. What now?

“Now?” Vestinel turned, looking in the direction of peaceful Japan. “I have been removed from society myself, for a few centuries. Shall we check in and see how things are going with the Factions?”

A dark smile worked across his face, “I look forward to seeing their serenity with my own eyes…it’ll make it that much sweeter, when I plunge them all into the abyss~”


The morning of the day that Rooklyn was taken into custody. 7 AM.

Marcellus was eating breakfast with his siblings, staring down at his plate. His little sister was speaking, but he wasn’t listening. {Those two I saw…were they…fellow Sacred Beasts? Did I just have visions of their future…? What do you think, Sei-chan?}

…Yes. The gold haired boy was Genbu’s host. The red haired girl was Suzaku’s host. You have now seen all of your peers. Responded Seiryu, as always heard only by his host.

Marcel nodded slowly, {I thought so… The girl was getting ready for a Rating Game, right? The boy was…fighting…}

He winced, holding his head as he felt a sharp pain. {A Vampire…? Not just…a Vampire…what…WAS he?}

Seiryu hesitated, before answering. That was-

“Onii-sama!” Lenneth called out pleadingly, shaking his arm. “Are you okay?!”

“Ah…y-yeah, I am.” Marcel claimed, smiling at her. “Sorry to worry you, Len~”

Blushing brightly, Lenneth flashed a beautiful, joyful smile as hearts practically danced around her head. “Think nothing of it, my darling Onii-sama~”

With a deep sigh, Daenerys looked at the two. “I do hope that the two of you pay attention in Charon-sensei’s class, instead of flirting like this.”

Sticking her tongue out as Marcel laughed a bit, Lenneth smirked at her big sister. “You’re only jealous, because you wish you could be the one flirting with Onii-sama~ Isn’t that right, Onee-chan~?”

“Hoh~?” Kirei’s ears perked up as he grinned at his twin sister in amusement, his little brother blushing. “Is that what you want, sweetest Dany?”

Twitching erratically, Daenerys held her left hand at her side as if preparing to draw a katana with the Iai technique. As her little sister flinched and moved closer to her little brother, she relaxed and revealed a calm smile. “That is a sign of your immaturity, Lenneth. Marcel and I have no need for flirting, we’re connected by a bond far deeper and more intimate than you could possibly imagine, born from an act which you’ve yet to experience.”

“!!!” While Lenneth gasped and covered her mouth, the two brothers did the same while gagging and nearly choking.

Kirei grabbed Mar’s shoulder roughly, shaking him. “Lil Bro?! Does she mean what I think she means?! How?! When?! For real?! I know I’ve been shipping you two hardcore all this time, but-“

“O-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-onii…!!!!!!!!!!!” Lenneth choked up, her eyes teary as she stared at her beloved brother, pointing at Dany shakily.

Marcel looked pale now, looking from Kirei, to the distraught Lenneth, then to his big sister whose cheeks were as pink as her hair. {I…can’t believe she just said that…}

His own cheeks turned dark red, “Len? I…assure you, that’s not what she’s talking about~ Dany is…to be honest, Dany and I went to try out hypnotherapy together…and because of that, we…ended up closer than ever.”

Blinking as her blush grew more vivid, Daenerys cleared her throat. “Y-yes, that’s exactly what I was talking about. It was very…satisfying…”

Kirei snorted, quickly covering his mouth. {Holy shit, they really did! Marcel and Dany banged! How did I not know about this?! I thought for sure that Len-chan would get him first, but Dany must have thrown caution to the wind! That’s my sister for you!}

Lenneth stared at Marcel and Dany for a few minutes, before taking a breath. “I see~ You should be careful about the things you say, Onee-chan~ They can easily be misunderstood~”

{No…you were really accurate.} Daenerys and Kirei both sighed to themselves, as Lenneth clung to Marcellus.


The same morning, at the same time, within the sunlit sanctuary of Heaven. The Isholy Palace.

Ariel Isholy was in her son’s room, curled up atop his bed. She was clutching one of his jackets to her chest, able to clearly smell his unique scent, something which helped her to relax.

“Marcellus…” She whispered, closing her eyes as she felt them getting wet.

“Lady Ariel!?” A man burst into the room, dressed in an expensive charcoal colored Armani suit. His black hair was tinted a dark blue.

He blinked as he found her on the bed, “Uh…I had a feeling you’d be in here… You know…I miss him too. Like, a lot.”

Ariel sat up, rubbing her eyes and nodding slowly. “Yes…I know, Archer…”

She took a deep breath, keeping the jacket held close to her chest. “What’s the matter?”

“Ah, right, the problem.” Archer scratched his head. “So, uh…I was in the middle of a job for Hisui, when I heard some news through the ether, so to speak. It uh, it turns out that Rooklyn kinda slaughtered a bunch of Devils, Angels and Fallen Angels? And I guess that Lord Michael, Lady Gwyneth and Lord Azazel are currently convening to decide how to deal with him?”

Feeling a piercing chill, Ariel froze up. “Archer…are you guessing, or are you telling me that’s what happened…?”

“Oh. Well yeah, that’s exactly what happened, pretty much.” Archer responded, walking over to the dresser and pouring himself some scotch. “Man…he always bought the best stuff. Marcel had, like, the best taste, huh?”

He chugged the scotch down, pouring himself another glass and putting that one right down the hatch as well. With a loud burp, he poured yet another and glanced at her. “You uh…you want a drink?”

Setting the jacket down, Ariel got up and walked out of the room immediately. “Archer, we’re going to speak to them. No matter what happens, we cannot allow Rooklyn to be killed yet again.”

“Huh?!” Archer gasped, turning to her and looking at the scotch he just poured. “But, I- I can’t just- Ah, fuck it.”

Clearing the glass with a single gulp, he took the whole bottle as he ran out after his master.


That same morning, at the same time. In the five-star hotel where a certain Sorceress Candidate was living in a penthouse owned by the Covenant of Azrael.

Lilith Targaryen sat in the den of the penthouse, at a table with a world map in front of her. Her left index finger was held out straight above, droplets of water dripping down in the same spot and moving about to form a swirling pattern. “The cosmic shift I perceived earlier was correct. The Four Vertex Ley Line Seal in the Atlantic, it has been broken.”

She closed her eyes calmly, her mana flowing through her finger as she tapped the center of the pattern. Her vision was filled with images of one of the most dangerous beings in existence, his time within the refashioned prison of Atlantis, the brief moments in which he had the opportunity to interact with her beloved mentors, who had visited him in shift rotations. His boredom and frustration when all contact ceased without warning. The moment he managed to finally weaken and undo the seal, something which he seemed almost shocked he could do.

Opening her eyes, she took a deep breath and waved her hand over the map, the droplets shifting again and spreading to scan the entire map’s surface. {The Vampire King has returned. So this is one of the consequences which Yen, Triss and Keira warned me of before I left. With the balance which Xavier Naberius so carelessly destroyed, the seals placed on the Ancient Ones have weakened and deteriorated at a rapid pace. As of now, Alucard is the only one who has noticed, but it’s only a matter of time until the rest begin to.}

She observed the droplets as multiple swirling patterns formed, both on and off the map. {The seals in other Dimensions should be safe for longer, but will I be able to resolve this issue before anyone else can break free? Is it possible for me to complete my Rite so easily? No, likely not. I don’t quite know where to begin. It may be the case that Lady Ophis is my best lead at the moment.}

Looking up, she recalled the words of Ouroboros from the previous evening. {Marcel’s father disappearing, Lenneth’s mother dying. Lenneth’s mysterious and inconsistent birth and age, Marcel forgetting his father’s existence. Xavier’s seething desire to ruin Ariel’s life…I must locate the correct thread which ties these things together. At the very least, I know it means they’re all strongly connected events, but I don’t know where to begin looking. Marcel himself is blissfully ignorant…so unaware that he didn’t even know about the Covenant of Azrael until last night. Everyone around him is hiding things from him…and it’s crucial that I understand both him and Lenneth, in order to pass my Rite of Alignment. I would like to get in contact with the Illusive Woman, Sophia Lantis, however I don’t think I’ll be so lucky after meeting Ophis already. Perhaps…I should swallow my pride and contact Vestinel after all… I wonder what he’s even doing now…he’s still alive, right? He’d better not have tried to kill himself again…that idiot.}


That morning, later in the day. Shortly after Rooklyn was locked up by Charon.

“Luci!” Marcel growled angrily, shaking her by the shoulders roughly. “How could you even say that?! He’s NOT Calcifer’s puppet!”

Gwyneth clenched her fists, swatting his hands away. “How could YOU?! You saw it, didn’t you?! Just now!? How can you defend him after what he’s done?!”

“Because there’s always an explanation!” Shouted Marcel, fire and rage in his eyes, a sight which sent chills down the spines of all in the classroom.

“Onii-sama!” Lenneth exclaimed, hugging him tightly. “C-calm down! Please!”

Charon cleared his throat before the brother could respond to his sister, “Mr. Mathias, you should listen to Ms. Miria. Not everyone is lucky enough to have such a caring sister.”

At the mention of sisters, Gwyn bit her lip, shutting her eyes tightly as her anger toward her own sisters flared in her head.

Taking a few deep breaths, Marcellus kissed Lenneth on the forehead. “Thank you, Len…I’m sorry.”

“You have nothing to apologize for, Onii-sama~” Lenneth smiled up at him, her cheeks bright pink. “We must formulate a plan to defend Rook-chan and launch an offensive against the real culprit, yes~?”

“Yeah!” Alice shouted, throwing a punch at them. “There’s no way they’re right, right?! We just gotta prove it! With guts!”

Izaya chuckled in amusement, “If only it were as easy as you make it sound~”

Irisviel stroked her chin, “What can we do though? Even Lady Lucifer-chan is giving in…”

Cynthia frowned, “There’s no way that Rooklyn-san…right?”

Serena tapped her cheek thoughtfully, “Marcel, what exactly did you see to brand him a traitor?”

“…Unfortunately, what I saw was damning.” Marcellus admitted with a light grunt, sweating slightly. “Rook-chan burned a large number of Devils, Angels and Fallen Angels to death without warning.”

Biting her lip harder, Gwyn began to shake.

Marcel wrapped his arms around her tightly, shaking his head. “Luci-chan…please…don’t give up on him… You know, don’t you? For Rook-chan, you’re his everything…come on, tell me…do you REALLY believe that he would ever do anything to hurt all of us? You, especially? The answer is no, I’m sure of it.”

He released her, rubbing her shoulders gently. “I’m sorry I got mad at you, but I’m positive of this, okay? There’s a perfectly good reason that Rook-chan did this. It’s unfortunate that he was so serious about burning them to nonexistence, so there’s no physical evidence left there, but we can find out why he did it. I’ll find out why he did this, I promise. So…on our friendship, won’t you believe in Rook-chan? If he doesn’t have support from both of us, then there’s no point to trying to save him.”

Gritting her teeth loudly, Gwyneth let out a deep, exasperated breath. “Damn you, Mar…I really didn’t want to accept that you were always right…”

She rubbed her fist, “I should…really listen to you more often…maybe…”

{She’s talking about the approval plan…?} Marcel blinked at her a few times, before smacking her on the back playfully. “Hey, we’ll talk about that another time, okay? I’ll do anything and everything in my power to help you, both of you. Always~”

“Yes…I know.” With a faint smile, Gwyn nodded to him. “Unfortunately, I have a colossal shitstorm to deal with in Hell, so I won’t be able to help out right now. As soon as the date of the trial is set in stone, I’ll call you. If you need anything, let me know. No matter how busy I am, I’ll do whatever I can…because I don’t want to give up on him either…”

Nodding with an eager hum, Marcel grinned at her. “Of course, that’s what friends do! Naturally, you should call me if you need anything as well! But to be honest, I do have an idea of where to start. It’ll just require the cooperation of a certain cocky Goddess.”

“Alright,” Gwyn took a deep breath, smiling confidently. “When we clear that fool of mine of his charges, let’s celebrate.”

“Yeah, I’ll let you owe me one, just this once~” Marcel decided, winking at her.

Cocksquat stared in awe, starting to clap dramatically.

“Shut the hell up, Cocksquat.” Charon snarled viciously, the boy jumping in shock. “Well, well, Mr. Mathias. It isn’t every day that I get to see for myself why you’re so popular. Tell me, what do you plan to do in Valhalla?”

“Right, what are you planning?” Izaya wondered curiously. “If you need Rinslet’s help, then you’re definitely going to Valhalla, right?”

Marcel nodded, having no luxury to defend poor Cocksquat. “Yeah, the Valkyries have a special division, don’t they? Ross-chan told me about them before, she said that her work in that division is what originally got her on Odin’s radar. Their intelligence network will probably be the best place to start.”

“I agree~” Lenneth smiled at him. “Let’s call Rinslet-chan, then~”

“Ah, just to be clear, I’m going alone with her.” Marcel noted, smiling as they stared at him in shock. “I need you all to be my eyes and ears here in Kuoh. Izaya knows what you all can do while I’m gone.”

Izaya smirked a bit, “Yup, I can handle things here for now~ But Marcel~? You don’t think that’ll be your only destination, do you?”

“No. Not by a long shot.” Marcel answered sternly, looking at Charon. “Please tell Rook-chan to hang in there.”

“I will, but you aren’t going to talk to him yourself?” Charon inquired.

Marcel shook his head, “No, I know the look he had before. Rook-chan thinks there’s nothing he can say or do to save himself, he’s resigned to this. Talking to him while he’s like that will only waste my time. We need to do everything we can, as quickly as we can. The trial could be held as early as tomorrow morning, after all.”

“Indeed.” Charon couldn’t help but smile as he watched the Household go over their plan while Cynthia called Rinslet. {So, this is what the Rising Star of Heaven looked like to all of those fanatical Angels. I can understand the appeal, to be honest.}


The same day, a different place. Within an auction house which drifted between the different dimensions in Space-time.

Sophia Lantis walked down a long, surreally stretching hall, hearing the faint chatter of other bidders in every direction.

She felt eyes on her, curiosity, hostility. But she felt no fear. The emotion of fear was one she’d forgotten a long time ago. Fear ceased to control her, the moment she rid the world of her “dearest family” and embraced her Fall as the first.

Since then, many things had happened. She met and befriended the soulless Ouroboros Dragon, developed infinite connections in every world and every dimension. She had gained the trust of God himself. She had even found one she could think of as her little brother. After all, in her mind, family was the equivalent of bonds built on betrayal and backstabbing. Two concepts which could be said to epitomize her relationship with Izaya.

But back to the much more significant relationship, her connection to God. Their paths had crossed long, long ago, when God had come down to Earth to observe his children up close. With his eyes, it was a simple matter to see through each and every last one of them, even those who weren’t created by him, such as the Dragon born in the void of the Dimensional Gap. But he did lay eyes on one…one single being, a single woman whom he couldn’t see through. In fact, he found that he couldn’t “see” her whatsoever. Upon encountering this woman he was blind to, he called out in shock and awe. Thus began the long and colorful history between God and the Illusive Woman.


A long time ago, following the death of Jesus and the start of the war between Hell and Heaven.

“Sophia…are you there?” The being known as God called out.

“Yes…I am.” Sophia whispered, keeping her eyes off of him.

“It’s okay to look at me, Sophia. I would prefer it if you did, at least once.” God remarked.

Sophia bit her lip, “Yeah? Well, I would prefer it if I didn’t. If this is the final time we meet, I would like to remember you as you were…not as you are now…”

“…Fair enough.” God let out a light sigh. “I know you already promised, but I would feel better hearing you say it.”

This time it was Sophia’s turn to sigh, as she opened her mouth to speak. “When you removed your eyes, you severed your connection to them. This established them as artifacts of the highest order. One day, I’ll have to find your eyes and your successor, pass them on…and guide them…whoever it may be. Only the worthy may wield them...”

“But there’s something I’d like to know…” She continued. “Why me? Aren’t you concerned that I may deem myself worthy and take the All-Seeing Eyes for myself? Can you even imagine what would happen if I did that? Has it ever crossed your mind? That I could easily ruin everything you’ve put into motion, everything you hold dear, everything you wish for…?”

“Ahahaha…Sophia, I was hoping you would ask me that question.” God admitted, extending his hand to hold hers, even without knowing where she was. “The truth, Sophia, is that you could ruin it all at any time, even without my Eyes. You have always been the one who could uproot everything I ever worked for. Yes, I have considered it. But it matters not to me. For in the Universe, there is none that I trust more than you.”

“Are you serious…?” Sophia asked hesitantly.

God nodded calmly, “I am. The first time I saw you, was the first time I realized that Fallen Angels were a possibility in my children. It was also the first time I was blind in front of someone. You may not understand this, but it’s because I can’t see the real you, that I trust you. I don’t know when you lie, but still I trust you. I wish for your happiness, from the bottom of my heart. However, I am not the one who can give that to you. My successor…I believe that, after you interact with them, you will come to understand why it is that I trust you. The thrill of the unknown…I dearly hope that you also get to experience it, one day.”

He took a long, deep breath. “It seems the time has come.”

“Yes…” Sophia turned her back to him as she heard his breath get weaker. “I feel I should at least say this, before you leave… I…will do as you asked…you have my word. I’ll do anything I have to, to find your Eyes and deliver them to your rightful successor. I promise…”

“I know you will, my dear~” God smiled at her. “Please do one more thing for me, as well. When you meet my successor…no, when you meet someone who truly garners your interest, please. Allow them to guide you as well. Don’t run away, just because you’re scared~”

“I don’t…!” Turning around, Sophia’s eyes opened wide with horror as she saw his face, just before he disappeared. “I don’t get scared…you know that…”


Back in the drifting auction house, in the aftermath of the high octane bidding.

Sophia emerged from the drifting space into a more stable dimension, an artifact wrapped tightly in her hand.

A bitter smile was on her face as she looked down at it, “I wonder what you would think, Izaya. If I told you I was disappointed to get my hands on the real Apple of Eden. Perhaps I should be relieved…that it’s in my hands now, means that it’ll never be in yours. You’ll never have to risk falling to temptation like so many before.”

She rubbed her head, feeling faint as her black wings sprouted in a storm of midnight feathers. {Will I ever find them…?}

“?” She took her phone out as it suddenly buzzed. “That’s right, it didn’t work in there because of the fluctuations.”

Taking a breath, she read her messages, blinking. “Rooklyn slaughtered a number of Devils, Angels and Fallen? This was 12 hours ago… Marcel must have already begun to… I have to return immediately.”

With a beat of her wings, the first Fallen Angel was propelled at speeds beyond the sound barrier.


Back in Kuoh Town, just after Lenneth’s Household had split up.

Having grudgingly agreed to Marcellus’ idea, Rinslet agreed to accompany him back to Valhalla. After meeting him at the school, the two left together, planning to go to meet up with Rossweisse first. However, they were stopped by a group of Devils from House Agares.

"Who are these men?" Rinslet inquired, raising an eyebrow as they approached.

Marcellus looked them over quickly, before answering. "I remember them, they're members of House Agares."

"Lord Marcellus, it's a pleasure to meet you again!" The Devils proclaimed, taking a knee before him, to Rinslet's surprise.

"Right...listen, I'm in a hurry. I don't have time to discuss your revolution right now." Marcellus responded with a slight smile.

One of the Devils looked up at him, "Yes of course, we're aware of the circumstances. We're actually here to inquire about your meeting with Duke Agares, as he never returned to our in-town estate."

"Duke Agares?" Rinslet repeated in disbelief. "Why would such a high-ranking Devil be meeting with Marcellus?"

Marcel glanced at the arrogant Goddess for a moment, before shaking his head. "I don't know what you're talking about, I haven't met Duke Agares since the party that Luci threw a few years back."

"Huh...?" The Agares men gaped at the man they'd chosen to support, already aware that he wasn't the type to lie. "But...he left to meet you last night... If he didn't, then where...is he?"

"I...don't know..." Admitted Marcel, who rubbed his neck a bit nervously. "I can guess why he wanted to meet with me, but..."

"...Our apologies for bothering you." Another of the men remarked, as they stood. "Please, let us know if you hear anything from him."

Marcel nodded to them, "I will."

Crossing her arms as the men bowed before hurrying off, Rinslet looked at him. "What was that about?"

"It's...nothing worth discussing right now." Responded Marcel. "Come on, let's get over to Ross-chan."


Within the Realm of Valhalla, under beautiful, vivid skies of vibrant indigo. Led by the youngest Goddess of the Norse Pantheon, Daughter of Odin, along with her secretary Rossweisse, Marcellus was guided into the den of Norse Mythos. After climbing a high altitude path, they accessed the Bifrost in order to enter Asgard.

"Is this your first time in Valhalla, Marcel-kun~?" Rossweisse inquired, smiling warmly as she noticed him looking around.

Marcel nodded as he observed the area from the top of the Rainbow Bridge, "Yes, it is. Were the circumstances different, I'd be eager to explore this Realm~"

Blushing slightly and pushing her fingers together nervously, Rossweisse spoke again. "If you'd like...I would be more than happy to be your guide, the next time you come..."

"Really?" Marcel smiled at her. "That would be wonderful, thank you, Ross-chan~"

With a low growl, Rinslet cleared her throat. "Enough of your flirting, we're here for a much greater purpose, are we not? I've no need to be reminded of your abysmal taste in men, Rossweisse!"

"A-abysmal...!" Hanging her head in defeat, the oppressed Valkyrie whimpered weakly.

As they crossed into the proper territory of Asgard, Marcellus gave Rinslet a slightly irritated look. "Rinslet? I really appreciate what you're doing for me, but maybe you could at least stop acting like such an entitled brat for 5 minutes?"

"Indeed, Sister!" A booming voice called out, just as Rin shot Mar a heated look. Appearing in a flash of lightning, with luscious, majestic locks of dirty blond hair was the God of Thunder.

"Ross is a good, loyal lass! You should treat her more kindly for a change!" Thor suggested.

"Brother!" Rinslet's purple eyes glew with a similar shine to the sky, as she launched herself into her eldest brother.

Chuckling, Thor set a hand on her head while nodding to the other two, with Ross bowing. "Well met, Marcellus, Son of Xavier!"

Marcel smiled brightly at him, "It's a pleasure to meet you again, Thor-sama!"

The Norse God of Thunder... Whispered Seiryu, within his Host's mind. You truly have remarkable nerves, Master... Just being in the same domain as him could potentially spell your life's end...

Laughing a bit to himself, Marcel noticed Rinslet glaring at him suddenly. "Huh?"

"Tell my brother why you're here, Marcellus." Rinslet commanded sternly.

"Oh, sorry!" Sweating slightly, Marcellus nodded. "You're aware of what's happening, right Thor-sama? I asked Rinslet and Ross-chan to bring me here so I could speak with the Valkyries' Intelligence Division. I'm pretty sure this is the best place to start our investigation, in order to build up support for Rook."

Thor nodded along as he listened, stroking his little sister's hair gently as she laid her head on his chest. "Indeed, that is a sound first move to make. Were it me with a stake in this situation, I would free young Rooklyn with a showing of immeasurable might! But I'm aware that you're the type to choose diplomacy first. It's why Father adores you so!"

"...Come again?" Rinslet looked up at him in confusion.

Rossweisse was about to speak, but blinked as she noticed a portal of black and green energy open. {Eh?}

"My, my. So this is the one who's had little Rin's heart all twisted and turned?" A woman emerged through the portal, her long, raven black hair glistening and flowing past her back.

"L-lady Hela!" Rossweisse grew pale as she repeatedly bowed, with great vigor.

Frowning, Rinslet stepped away from Thor and looked at the new arrival. "Big Sister...I wasn't aware that you were home."

Marcel blinked a few times, feeling a chill as piercing green eyes focused on him. {So this is the Norse Goddess of Death... Ophy didn't exaggerate about how suffocating her presence was.}

Hela, the Goddess of Death, stepped past her siblings while waving to Ross casually. Moving in a circle around the child of Naberius, she ran a finger along his shoulders with an amused smile. "You're even more handsome than I had heard you were~ To think that little Rin had the same taste as her doting sister, all along~"

"...Eh?" Marcel and Rinslet both gaped at her, surprised by her remark.

Thor crossed his arms as he observed, "I see, so he's to your liking as well, Sister. It isn't as if I disapprove, his strength has been proven many a time, in many ways."

Her face turning bright red, Rinslet violently gripped her big sister's wrist, pulling her from Marcellus. "W-w-w-what are you talking about?! Do you- I mean, I don't have any interest in him whatsoever!"

"You're very uncute, Rin." Remarked Hela, who effortlessly pulled her wrist free and flicked her sister away by the forehead. "It's no wonder you're always treated like a child. Well, if you've no interest in Marcellus, then perhaps I'll take my time and put him through some rigorous activity."

Covering her mouth in shock, Rossweisse stared at the Norse siblings, Thor whistling in amusement as Rinslet gasped awkwardly and Hela chuckled. {Were the rumors true then?! Marcel-kun and Lady Hela were close when he was an Angel!?}

"You can't, Sister!" Exclaimed Rinslet, as she rubbed her head. "Marcellus is... He's...! He's already spoken for, by many women!"

"Well that is not a surprise at all, just look at him." Hela responded, stroking Mar's cheek tenderly.

Shivering, Marcel blushed a bit as he grabbed her hand gently. "Hela-sama, it's...truly a pleasure to make your acquaintance, but I don't have time for this..."

{Rinslet's behaving really strangely right now, but...} He spoke again as he calmed down. "My best friend's life is in danger, and I have to do whatever I can to save him, so..."

"Ah, yes, I'd just heard about that from my handmaidens." Hela admitted, withdrawing her hand with a smile. "You're very courageous, Marcellus. Few beings would dare to speak to me that way~"

She chuckled again as he bowed his head politely, "Well, I understand. Come, why don't we visit the Valkyries together and see what we can learn~"

"Ah...thank you, Hela-sama!" Marcellus smiled excitedly as she turned to lead the way, following quickly.

Rinslet was left behind as Thor followed, Rossweisse nervously trailing behind them. {What...was that about...? Was Big Sister...really insinuating that Marcellus and I are...? And why was she behaving that way? I've never even seen her treat any of her lovers the way she just treated him...}

"Come, Sister!" Thor called out, waving her over.

Snapping back to reality quickly, Rinslet hurried after them. {Just what's going on right now? Why did I react so strangely, when it's just Marcellus?}


Last edited by Sangios on Sun 31 Dec 2017, 10:18; edited 1 time in total
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Sangios
He Who Was Born With the First Troll and Shall Perish With the Last
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PostSubject: Re: The Begining of the End   Sun 31 Dec 2017, 10:17

In the headquarters of the Valkyrie Intelligence Division. Thanks to the presence of Thor, Hela and Rinslet, Marcellus was easily made privy to the intel gathered by the Valkyries. As he'd hoped, a small group had indeed been covertly investigating the Angels, Fallen Angels and Devils who were killed by Rooklyn. Unfortunately, they were led to a morgue without hearing more, as the team had been found dead.

Rossweisse frowned as she stared at the lifeless corpses of her former sisters-in-arms, "How horrible..."

"Yes..." One of the Valkyries frowned as well. "They went silent while on the case, to avoid spooking their marks. As a result, we don't know what happened to them in the end. The fact that they're still here in the physical sense, suggests that it wasn't Calcifer who killed them-"

"-of course not, Rook-chan would never kill anyone for no reason." Marcel interjected, drawing all eyes to him as he stepped forward.

Rinslet noticed him staring at the deceased women, "Are you...into dead girls, too?"

Twitching a bit as he resisted the urge to snap at her, Marcel shook his head. "I'm really sorry that they ended up this way...but their deaths probably weren't in vain, after all."

"How's that?" Thor asked curiously, not noticing a subtle smile from his elder sister.

Marcel turned to face them, "My main specialties in the arcane are Mind Control and Illusions. There's a special spell that I...picked up, while developing in both fields. Have you ever heard of Last Memory?"

"Last Memory?" Rossweisse blinked at him, the other Valkyrie seeming surprised as well. "Isn't that the lost spell which allows one to delve into the final moments of any deceased target?!"

"Yes, that's right, Ross-chan." Confirmed Marcel. "If it's alright with you, would you allow me to try to use it to read these ladies? If they were around when Rook-chan attacked, I might be able to confirm the truth of the situation at hand."

Rinslet stared at him, "You...can really do something like that? I would believe it more readily if it came from Lady Lilith..."

Hela cut in without hesitation, running a hand through her hair. "Please, act as you see fit, Marcellus. I am very curious to see this spell in action."

"Thank you." Marcel nodded to her, before turning to the dead Valkyries. "I'll tell you everything I see as I read their final moments, so I'd appreciate it if you could record my words."

"Right!" Rossweisse nodded, producing a recorder.

Taking a deep breath, Marcel carefully rearranged the women to stand in the center of them all. Spreading his hands out, a magic circle inscribed on the ground beneath him and them, glowing dimly as he shut his eyes. "Last Memory..."

Watching with interest, the three Gods stayed silent as Ross started the recording.

"Three separate locations, Hell, Heaven and Earth. The ladies had been conducting surveillance together, on a rather large group. As they split into three groups according to their Faction, so too did they. The Fallen Angels on Earth, Angels in Heaven and Devils in Hell. The ladies kept their distance very skillfully while observing and following. They felt tension as the three groups armed themselves with weaponry...they planned to strike the heart of each respective Faction...for the sake of overthrowing Azazel, Michael and Gwyneth at once, to minimize the risk of resistance. The girls were right about to retreat, likely to inform Odin, but were frozen in place simultaneously. They were all terrified, it was a sensation they never experienced before then. In their eyes, the flames of Calcifer erupted in all three locations at the same time, the usurpers were vanquished altogether. Almost directly afterwards, they all heard the same sound...some kind of singing...? Maybe humming... Their senses were dulled, and they felt pain...like needles...piercing their nerves... Unable to move, or even make a sound...they...suffered in silence...very...very...terribly...! And in the end, their...hearts...gave out..."

The magic circle faded as Marcellus collapsed to his knees, sweating heavily, wheezing in pain as he clutched at his chest.

"A-are you okay?!" Rinslet demanded, immediately approaching him.

Taking deep breaths as she touched his shoulder, he nodded. "Y-yeah...Last Memory synchronizes me with what the deceased was feeling, so...it's like reliving their deaths in real time..."

"You should have mentioned that first." Thor suggested, taking Marcel's hand and helping him to his feet.

Hela smiled mysteriously as she observed Marcel, {Interesting.}

Rossweisse walked over, putting the recorder in Marcellus' hands. "So they did see Rooklyn kill them all, but they were killed right after...why?"

"It's...close to what I theorized..." Marcel admitted, taking another deep breath as he gripped the recorder. "Rook-chan somehow learned about the impending coup, and spared no effort in wielding his power to destroy them all when they least expected it...he did it to protect the peace between the Factions, the best he could... He had nothing to do with these girls' deaths. Most likely...there was another party, perhaps the instigators who orchestrated the coup d'etat in the first place...? They wanted to make sure that Rook-chan would have no witnesses to save him, so..."

He stroked his chin in concern, "The instigator would have known that Rook-chan wouldn't attempt to speak up for himself, knowing how it looked from the outside looking in. They wouldn't have known that I could read the girls after they died, so they allowed the bodies to be discovered, maybe thinking it might also bring Valhalla against Rook-chan when the trial would begin?"

Rinslet bit her lip, "Certainly...without you, that would have been the most likely result..."

"Yes, we show no leniency toward those who kill our kin." Thor explained. "This instigator was very intelligent, hm?"

"Yeah, they made a lot of good moves." Marcel agreed.

Hela tilted her head a bit, "Well, their plan has been foiled on our end. We don't have much to go on for the instigator, but your description of their final moments suggests that Sirens were involved. Their Song of Death's effects very closely match your recollection, so they must have been used so the real mastermind wouldn't have to get their hands dirty. What now? I can see a number of paths for you to take next."

"Yes..." Whispered Marcel, who looked down for a moment. "May I ask you all for a favor?"

"A favor?" Rinslet looked at him.

Marcellus nodded, "I think it's best if we keep this between us for now. Just in case, would you be able to get Odin to agree to act as the mastermind hoped you would?"

"I see! You want to trick them by having Valhalla appear to connect the dots and try to bring Rooklyn to justice!" Rossweisse suggested.

"Yeah, if we can fool them until the last minute, where Valhalla sides with Rook's defense instead..." Marcel trailed off.

Hela chuckled in amusement, "You believe the mastermind will attend the trial, so having their plans blow up in front of them would be a very effective method to single them out. How delightfully shrewd~"

"What will you do next, then?" Thor inquired. "We'll convince father to behave as you request, so long as we can find the true perpetrator, but surely you've other moves to make?"

Marcel nodded again, "Yes. Even with the recording, it's me who delivered all the information. Rook's enemies will argue that I made all of this up, that even if I can really cast Last Memory, that I lied to save my best friend. Thankfully I've met Lilith, so if she's really as great as she seems to think she is, I can get her to act as a neutral party to confirm my testimony. Provided I get her on board, it'll be pretty easy to submit this as evidence in Rook-chan's favor. The issue beyond that are the Factions. I need to speak to all of the leaders directly, and try to get them on my side. Luci's the easiest, so I'll next get to Hell and get her looped in. I hate to use my friends, but I just befriended Azazel-sensei's most beloved daughter, so I'll ask her to help me meet him. The hardest part will be Michael-sama, but I know the Angels of Lady Ariel's Household, so I'll try to convince them to get me an audience..."

At the mention of Ariel, Thor, Hela, Rinslet and Rossweisse noticeably tensed up, growing quiet.

"?" Marcel glanced at them as they relaxed. "The thing is, I don't know how far this coup goes. The mastermind might actually be plural, they could be in very high places, in and out of the Factions. If I had the time, I would be very thorough about this, but I don't have that luxury. I have to act very carefully, in order to prevent my plans from being leaked and reaching the ones we're trying to outsmart. If they catch wind of this, they might be able to crush us. I'll have to act quickly though, because the trial will likely happen sooner, rather than later, probably at the urging of our foes."

"I see, then you won't be able to meet with Father now. It's a shame, but it's no matter." Thor assured him.

Hela smiled at Marcellus, "Yes, we'll do our part to support you from the background. I do hope you'll come back in the near future, though. I would like to entertain you properly. As my personal guest~"

Marcel smiled at her, "I would love that. When this is all over, I'd be happy to make plans with you~"

Rossweisse smiled weakly, "Lady Rinslet?"

Rinslet seemed irritated by the exchange between her sister and Marcel, "I'll...head back to Kuoh ahead of you, if you're going to Hell first. After this most helpful start we've provided, I won't forgive you if you mess this all up."

"I won't forgive me either, believe me." Marcellus replied sternly, looking into her eyes. "If I do screw up, I'll accept any punishment you deem fit, Rinslet. Of course, I have no intention of letting that come to pass in the first place."

"N-naturally!" Rinslet barked, looking away as she blushed slightly.

Hela grinned at Rin's reaction, nudging her.

Thor pat Mar on the back firmly, "Godspeed, friend."

"Thanks, look forward to me repaying you all for your help!" Marcel exclaimed, smiling at them all. "I'll be on my way now."

Hela stayed behind as Marcel was escorted away by Thor and Rinslet, {He's changed a great deal, from the way he was before. To think he could actually become even more of a selfless saint~ Let's see if his path leads to pain and despair, or happiness.}


Back on Earth, after Marcellus had visited Gwyneth and shared his findings and decisions with her. Agreeing to his proposed ruse, Gwyneth had kept what he told her between the two of them, while considering whether or not there were traitors in her midst. Upon returning to Kuoh, the young reborn Naberius made his way to the hotel of the Sorceress Candidate.

Lilith sat upon a cozy couch, holding a crystal which floated in hand. It connected her to an associate from the past, whom she'd been speaking to for a while. "So you're coming here too..."

"Indeed," The voice of Vestinel responded. "We shall speak more intimately when I arrive. Take care until then, Lilith. Do keep in mind that your Rite won't be so easily completed, so don't force yourself."

"...I'm well aware, thank you very much." Lilith replied, twirling some hair around her finger. "Vestinel...you also take care. Please don't behave too recklessly."

Vestinel was heard chuckling, "Are you concerned for me still?"

"No, I'm not. Whatever gave you that idea?" Lilith answered while cutting off the connection.

As the crystal fell into her palm, she stowed it in a dimensional storage and exhaled deeply. "Perhaps I should have spoken to him forcefully... Then again, it would be much more beneficial to speak to him in person about such sensitive matters... I know he was acquainted with Marcel in his original life."

Almost as if on cue, there was a knock at the door. The young Magician rose to her feet, going to answer...only to find the man she was just thinking about.

"Good evening, Lilith~" Marcellus smiled brightly at her, holding out a bag.

"What is this?" Lilith wondered suspiciously, taking the bag and stepping aside.

Marcel entered, closing the door behind him. "Croissants from that bakery that Fianna-chan and I were talking about yesterday. You should try them."

"I see. Well, I do appreciate the gesture. Thank you, Marcellus." Lilith smiled slightly as she walked to the kitchen and set the bag on the counter. She got out two plates, looking at him. "Would you like to eat as well?"

"Yes, please." Answered Marcel as he approached, leaning over the counter. "Lilith? You aren't still upset with me for teasing you last night, are you?"

Blinking once, Lilith shook her head. "Not at all. I don't expect you to understand, but a woman as elegant and sophisticated as myself, has neither the time nor the energy to waste on holding grudges. Especially over such silly caricatures as those you drew."

"I see, you're really going to refuse to admit that my drawings were perfect, hm?" Marcel chuckled as she glanced at him blankly. "Lilith...I know we barely know one another, but I need your help. I...I really, really need your help..."

"What with?" Asked Lilith, as she turned to face him properly.

Marcel took a breath, lowering his head. "Rook-chan, my best friend. You met him last night. He got himself into serious trouble, while trying to protect us all. He's been detained, and his trial will be held three days from now."

"Trial?" Lilith tilted her head. "Just what did he do? And how exactly do I fit into this?"

With another breath, Marcellus explained the situation, in clear detail, to the Sorceress Candidate.

Lilith had begun eating some croissants as she patiently listened, {Rooklyn killed all of those people for the sake of preserving the peace and keeping his loved ones safe. Someone, maybe multiple people in high places, put this coup into motion and had the Valkyries killed to make a scapegoat of Rooklyn. I never expected that he was capable of casting Last Memory, but Marcel clearly isn't the kind of man to lie about such things, so I can believe him. He'll need me to involve myself in the trial, in order to substantiate everything he says and make the judges accept his testimony. With my support, he'll have an easier time convincing Michael and Azazel as well, I suppose. It's only my second day here, and yet something so significant is already unfolding. I can't think of any reason for me not to lend him my aid. This could also prove to be beneficial to my own goals. After all, Rooklyn was also one of Marcel's closest friends in his first life. He may be able to shed some light on the mysteries which Lady Ophis dropped upon me.}

"Lilith?" Mar studied her carefully as she ate in silence, her thoughts hidden behind her expression.

"I dislike those who manipulate others to get what they want, while showing no sense of individual initiative, or willingness to risk themselves." Said Lilith, who elegantly wiped her mouth with a napkin.

She looked into her companion's eyes calmly, "I shall do everything in my power to help you, Marcel. You have my word."

"Lilith...thank you so much!" Marcel smiled brightly again, grabbing her hand excitedly.

Caught off guard by the sudden action, Lilith flinched, her cheeks turning a bit pink as she looked down at their joined hands. "You may think of it as my repaying the debt I incurred to you, yesterday."

Pulling her hand from his gently, she continued. "That said, I understand that I can't be seen directly aiding you, even if I would like to. Now that you can count on my support, what will you do next? Your enemy is likely sparing no time and effort as they build the case against your friend. As such, you must manage your own time very efficiently."

Marcel nodded in agreement, "Yes, it's as you say. I'm already on Earth, so I'm going to contact Fianna-chan now to get a meeting with Azazel. I'll also get in touch with my Angel friends, they're members of Lady Ariel's Household, so they're my best way into Heaven."

{Ariel Isholy's Household, his real family.} Lilith tapped her chin thoughtfully. {So they've befriended the new Marcellus, and he truly has no idea of who they really are to him. I wonder if Lady Ariel asked them to watch over him as he makes his decision. Though as Fianna said, he doesn't even seem to know that there is a decision to be made.}

"Yes, I believe that's best as well." She decided. "If all goes well, you may be able to garner support from Azazel and Michael before dawn, which would leave you roughly two and a half days to investigate more thoroughly or pursue other ventures."

"Actually, I'm leaving the rest of the investigations to my friends." Marcel admitted, scratching his head. "Izaya's a skilled information broker with many connections. He's been at this kind of thing for centuries, so he's coordinating the others to gather as much info as possible. Knowing him, he even found out about the Valkyries who died already. If I leave him to his own devices, he'll surprise me with something that I have no way of knowing~"

Lilith couldn't help but smile at his response, "It was clear even just last night, but you truly believe in all of them, don't you?"

"Of course, I trust them all with my life. They're my dear, beloved friends~" Marcel answered with a warm smile.

He looked at his phone, texting Fianna and Valeria, receiving an almost instant response from Byakko's Host. "Great, Fianna-chan's going to meet me soon so I'll talk to her about all this. Val is busy, but she'll get back to me ASAP..."

Tilting her head as he trailed off, Lilith spoke up. "Is something else wrong?"

Marcel shook his head, "No, not wrong per se. This morning, I had some strange dreams..."

"Dreams?" Lilith raised an eyebrow.

"I saw the Hosts of Suzaku and Genbu, but I don't know if it was prophetic or not..." Marcellus noted. "Maybe they weren't dreams at all...ah, that's right! I should check the Rating Games in Hell when I get the chance!"

"Anyway, I'll see you later Lilith! Thanks again!" He smiled at her before hurrying out of the penthouse.

Lilith watched him leave abruptly, "Marcellus saw Vestinel and Dorothea Aym... I'll have to ask him to go into more detail next time. I wonder if it was a bond as fellow Sacred Beasts..."


At Kuoh Academy, in the club room of the Animation Appreciation Club, where the Lenneth Household was busy at work. Izaya had managed them all, while skillfully handling the various girls that showed up to demand details about Rooklyn's incarceration. At the same time, he was dealing with his contacts and sending out feelers to fish more more information.

"Any news on the Faction Leaders?" Lenneth asked curiously, looking over to her Knight.

Izaya responded without looking, using a special program on his laptop to access the deep web and communicate with thousands of sources. "Yeah, Rook's trial will be in three days~ My guys are having trouble getting ears into the meetings though, seems like every Realm is all bent out of shape with this event~"

"You can sound less enthused about that." Serena said blankly, giving him a sharp look.

Irisviel looked over at Rinslet, who had returned earlier and filled them in on what Marcel was up to. "What do you think will happen when Sensei succeeds in getting everyone else on his side? If the masterminds get outed, won't they resist?"

"If they want a fight, we'll give it to them!" Alice exclaimed, throwing a random punch at her.

"You've got that right!" Elena agreed, throwing a punch at Alice. "We'll crush them for daring to hurt our dear!"

Rinslet smiled at them, "Valhalla likely won't accept anything short of their deaths as recompense, so violence is the most likely answer."

Yukina was sitting by Serena silently, observing the group as they conversed. {I want Mar Mar...}

"I wonder who the real perpetrators are..." Cynthia said softly, looking down. "What if they're really powerful? People from the Church or the Khaos Brigade might be involved, too..."

Lenneth cleared her throat, "There is nothing to worry about. Onii-sama is the brightest light which shines in this Universe, so incandescently that the sun itself is dull in comparison~ His victory is most certainly assured, so whoever these misguided fools are, they will perish swiftly~"

The Household, plus Elena and Yukina, laughed as their Lady King praised her beloved brother. For once, Rinslet didn't make any attempt to speak badly of Marcellus.

"Oh?" Izaya's attention was caught by something on his screen, the ladies looking to him curiously. "Well, turns out there was a lowkey Rating Game today~"

"Really? With who?" Lenneth inquired.

Izaya grinned at her, "Team Quintinus of House Caim challenged the Head of House Aym~"

Elena blinked, "My cousin and the Aloof Blaze? Why did such a battle happen with no attention?!"

"Probably because of the terms that Lady Dorothea set~" Izaya suggested, smirking in amusement. "Seems she gave them a whole hour to do whatever they wanted with her House's Proving Grounds~"

Yukina covered her mouth, tugging on Serena's arm and whispering to her.

"?" Serena listened carefully, conveying the shy girl's words. "House Caim is famed for their immense power over Water, so if they were really given an hour, they'd have made the Proving Grounds into a field where they had the absolute advantage. And against a woman whose weakness is Water..."

Izaya laughed heartily, "Yep, yep! Lady Dorothea crushed them all, anyway~ Quintinus Caim is in critical condition, and his older brother, Dario, Head of House Caim, paid a bunch of expensive Healers to come save his life~ His Household refuses to talk about the battle, and the other members of House Aym claim that there was never any doubt that their sister would win~"

"What a monster..." Elena mumbled, crossing her arms. "I'd been thinking my Household could best her if I practiced with my Water Magic, but if Cousin Quintinus lost when he and his Household are some of the most powerful Water Magic users..."

She glanced at Yukina, who shrugged at her. "Yes, Yukina-chan, I'm well aware that you've crushed every team in House Caim. You love mentioning that, don't you?"

"Huh?" Serena blinked as Yukina smiled faintly. "Elena-san, do you understand her too?"

"Hm? Of course I do, don't you?" Elena wondered.

"..." Lenneth, Rinslet and the others all shook their heads slowly.

Elena blinked at them, "So it's only my lovely Marcel and Guin-senpai who also understand her? How interesting."


At the same time, the Illusive Woman had returned to Earth after traversing different dimensions, going to meet with her best friend.

In one of the comfortable bases of the Khaos Brigade.

Sophia materialized behind Ophis, looking over her curiously to see a website with children's clothing. "My, aren't those clothes too small for you? Could it be that Marcellus' strange fetish is evolving? Or in this case, devolving?"

Ophis' ears twitched as her eyes widened, her tail shooting out at her back to destroy her chair and tear through the wall like it was paper.

Sophia had vanished upon being attacked, reappearing in front of the desk and whistling as she looked outside to see a wide line of destruction. "How touchy, Ophy. Do you dislike my teasing you and your...cinnamon roll~?"

"I apologize, partially." Ophis responded, running a hand through her hair. "I'm not sorry for trying to hit you, though."

"No, of course not." Sophia quipped with a smile. "On edge because of the circumstances?"

"Of course." Ophis answered calmly, her tail lowering as she sat atop it in place of her seat. "I'm shopping for Lyndis. Her physical age grew recently, so I'm going to see her tomorrow afternoon..."

Sophia sighed a bit, "Yes, I'm sure she'll pick up on it if you try to hide that her father is going to be put on trial for slaughter. Especially hearing that her own mother did nothing to try and protect him~"

Ophis sighed as well, "Sophia, what's your opinion of this? Mari still doesn't know about her, isn't that right? I'm aware he's working very hard to save Rooklyn right now, but what if the worst does happen?"

"Didn't Rooklyn tell you that Marcellus is Lyndis' godfather?" Sophia wondered. "It's up to you, of course, but I would suggest you share this with him regardless of what happens."

"I had a feeling you would say that," Ophis admitted, motioning her besty closer. "I'll think about it, so please help me pick out some clothes for that girl."

With a smile, Sophia went back to her friend's side, observing the screen. "Hm...she's still a tomboy, isn't she? Something cute, but not too girly."


In a popular park in Kuoh, under the setting sun, where Marcellus was set to meet Azazel's daughter.

Marcel was texting with Valeria, who agreed to meet him later on. "Thanks, Val-chan..."

"Marcel-kun!" Fianna shouted as she ran over, hugging him tightly.

"Fianna-chan..." Mar blinked, putting his arms around her as he felt her shaking. "Are you okay...?"

"No, I'm not!" Cried Fianna, pushing her head against his chest. "Your best friend is going to die! You must be so devastated! I was so scared for you, that I can't relax at all!"

How curious... Byakko's Host is already very attached to you. Perhaps this really is because of my bond to Byakko. Seiryu mused, surprised by Fianna's treatment of Marcel.

Marcel stared down at her for a few moments, smiling warmly as he stroked her hair gently. "Thanks, Fianna. It really means a lot that you're so concerned~ But it's not like Rook-chan's going to die, you know? I'm not going to let that happen, it's why I asked you to meet, actually!"

"Really?!" Fianna looked up at him in surprise, having settled down when he touched her hair.

Nodding, Marcellus spoke. "Yes, I was able to learn why Rook did what he did, and I've come up with a plan..."

He explained the situation to the girl, detailing his plan to save his friend and expose the true villain behind the coup. "Do you get it?"

"Mostly, yes." Answered Fianna with a nod, holding his hand with a bright smile. "You need me to get you in front of Daddy, right? I'd do anything to help you, Marcel-kun~ Let's go right now~"

"Just like that?" Marcel watched her in surprise as she pulled him to his feet.

"Yes, just like that!" Fianna confirmed, turning around. "Let me show you to our home!"

Marcellus smiled faintly as she pulled him along. {Fianna's...quite the unique girl.}


In an extravagant mansion owned by the Fallen Angels' leader, where his wives and daughters lived with him. It was a place as beautiful as it was secure, with rather serious looking, burly and surly men were stationed about on guard detail, both on the perimeter and within the grounds.

Marcellus felt nervous as he was led through the property, all the men showing rather jarring smiles to the girl who could be called the Fallen Princess, then venomous glares at him afterwards. {Sei-chan, I don't know if I'm gonna survive this...not a single one of them is even remotely okay with Fianna-chan acting so close to me...}

Stay strong, Master. I am sure that Lady Fianna will defend you, should something happen. Seiryu suggested calmly.

{It's not just that...if just the guards hate me, what's Azazel-sensei going to do? Ophy-tan and Izaya said that Fianna was his favorite, most beloved daughter... Azazel and I have always been friendly, but that's probably because I had nothing to do with his treasured daughter until now...} Marcel gulped a bit as Fianna smiled at him.

"It's okay, Marcel-kun, they're all just a bit overprotective~" Fianna claimed. "Once they get to know you, they'll be happy that we're friends~"

"I don't know about that, actually..." Marcel responded, glancing at a larger man, who slid a finger across his throat while glaring and mouthing something vile.

Fianna giggled cutely, her cheeks a bit pink. "You're adorable, Marcel-kun~ It's no wonder you're so darned popular~"

"Ahaha...you're really darned adorable yourself, Fianna-chan~" Marcellus answered without thinking, blinking as she giggled more, and he felt eyes burning into his back. {I'm gonna die here.}

"Anyway, here we are!" Fianna announced, pushing a door open as she led him into a large conference room. "Daddy? I know you're all busy, but can we please speak with you in private?"

Marcel gulped a bit, noticing that the others in the room were the closest subordinates of Azazel, who aided his management of the Faction. These subordinates were collectively referred to as the Grigori. {This is the first time I've seen them all together like this...}

"Lady Fianna! Good evening!" The men and women of Grigori all bowed with smiles as they greeted her.

Azazel beamed brightly at his daughter, "Daddy will always make time for you, sweetheart~ Everyone."

Fianna waved at the Fallen Angels as they left, closing the doors behind them.

Marcel felt a chill, noticing some of them had growled at him. He looked at Azazel, smiling a bit as he saw the man smothering his daughter and kissing her affectionately. {To think he had such a soft and...cute side.}

"Daddy, please~" Fianna playfully pushed away from him, skipping over to Marcellus. "I've brought a guest to speak with you~"

"?" Azazel's eyes narrowed as he saw his daughter touch the hand of her male guest, leading him up to the man's face. "Oh! Marcel! So it's you!"

He half glared at the boy, "What are you to my Fia, hm? Don't try to lie to me either, you-"

"W-we're just friends, I swear!" Marcel exclaimed, waving his hands dismissively.

Fianna's jaw hung open slightly with his response, an expression of disappointment on her face, which washed away after a moment to be replaced by a smile. "Yes, Marcel-kun is one of the friends I made when I was allowed to go out on my own, yesterday~"

"Ah, I see..." Stroking his goatee, Azazel nodded. "I suppose that, of all the shitstains out there, you're the only male I would trust with my Fia."

Marcel sweat as he noticed Azazel's eyes narrow again, {Is he calling me a shitstain, or praising me? Why is he glaring like that still...? Does he have some kind of grudge against me?}

{As if Gabriel and Ariel were never enough, this guy's always had disgusting luck with women. Seeing that Fia might like him that way, I can understand why so many guys loathed the old him.} Azazel shook his head. "So this is about Rooklyn, isn't it? I'm sorry I didn't stop to talk to you earlier."

"No, I get it. You were busy and didn't have time to stop and chat, I understand." Marcel smiled slightly at him. "Actually..."

Fianna smiled as Marcel explained what he'd told her, watching her father's expressions change as he listened. {It's like Ophis-sama said, Daddy truly does like Marcel-kun as much as I thought~}

Azazel whistled as the explanation ended, "You put a lot of thought into this, despite the short amount of time you had. I'm impressed~ Like you said, this is probably our best bet. I can't make any guarantees as to how things'll go, but you can count me in. If there really are other traitors in our midst, you can rest assured that I won't allow them to get off easy~"

"Thank you, Azazel-sensei, I knew I could count on you!" Marcel bowed to him respectfully, before smiling at Fianna. "Thanks again, Fianna-chan~"

"Any time~" Fianna responded cheerfully.

Azazel ran a hand through his hair, "So you're gonna find your way to Heaven next, eh? That one's gonna be...hm."

"What's wrong?" Marcel tilted his head.

Azazel scratched his head, "Nothing, you should just be careful there. You're a Devil, after all. If I were you, I'd try to aim for getting Gabriel's attention first. Like Michael, she doesn't discriminate against others."

"I see..." Marcel nodded a few times. "I was hoping that Val could get me in front of Lady Ariel first, though-"

"I don't think that's a good idea," Azazel interjected, glancing at Fianna as she frowned. "She's had a lot to deal with these last two decades, so she hasn't been very active in Heaven."

"Did something...happen?" Marcel wondered.

Fianna bit her lip, looking away from him. "She lost the person she loved most, Ariel-sama hasn't been the same ever since..."

"...Right." Azazel nodded in agreement. {She's done well to keep it from him...}

"...Um, thanks then..." Marcellus sighed a bit. "I'll check in after I finish up with Heaven."

Azazel nodded again, watching Fianna go to escort Marcel off the property. {Gabriel's the safest bet, but even she's very dangerous. Honestly, the entire thing is just dangerous. Guess we'll see what happens...hopefully this doesn't end up hurting Ariel even more.}


"Marcel-kun?" Fianna looked up at him as she stopped outside the mansion. "Have you heard about our fellow Sacred Beast?"

"You mean...Dorothea-san?" Marcel wondered, looking at her.

Fianna nodded with a smile, "She won a very disadvantageous Rating Game today~ I...just thought that you would like to know."

"I see, so she did win..." Marcel whispered, smiling back at her. "Thanks for telling me, Fianna. And thanks again for this, really. I owe you one~"

"Not at all, friends help friends. Isn't that right?" Replied Fianna.

Marcel nodded, "Yes, that's true. If you ever need anything, please don't hesitate to ask me. I'll do whatever I can for you~"

He waved as he hurried off, pulling out his phone to contact Valeria.


Shortly after Marcellus' meeting with Azazel. Within the Naberius Mansion grounds.

Xavier stood in his office, his back toward the doors as he stared out a large window, his eyes on the sun as it fell beyond the horizon.

He heard a knock at the door, speaking without looking. "Come in..."

"Father, I assume you already know?" Kirei wondered as he walked into the office alongside his twin.

Daenerys held in a sigh as she went to lean against the desk, at her father's right. "Of course he knows."

"Right, right." Kirei moved to their dad's left side, sitting on the desk as he looked out the window. "He went to Valhalla for the first time, but that's not too big a deal for us, is it? The true issue is where he's to go now."

Xavier shut his eyes, sitting in between his eldest children and putting his arms around them. "Yes, Marcel is returning to Heaven for the first time since..."

"And in the company of Valeria." Daenerys noted, clearly displeased by that fact.

Kirei smiled at his sister, "You still hate her, hm? Have things gotten even worse?"

Xavier looked between the two as Dany growled lowly, "My children, you have never once asked me about my relationship with Ariel Isholy. Of the hatred which led to my taking her only son for myself..."

"Because there's no need to." Daenerys claimed. "We do want to know, yes, but we're aware that speaking of it would be painful for you."

Kirei nodded, "We've already gathered that Lady Ariel is somehow involved with Mom's death, so we'll wait until the day you decide you're ready to tell us. We know you well enough to say for certain, that you had a very good reason for what you did to her. Besides, Marcel is a beloved part of our own family, isn't he? Dany?"

"Yes..." Daenerys agreed with a soft voice, her face turning red as she noticed her brother smirking at her.

"Thank you..." Xavier pulled them both close to him. "One day, I will share the truth with you. All of you. For the time being, my only desire is to see Lenneth and Marcellus remain happy..."

Kirei and Daenerys quietly nodded, hugging their father.


Shortly after the moment between the Naberius Family. After Marcellus had met up with the Isholy Family's main ladies to explain the predicament.

Having agreed easily, a lot more easily than Marcellus had anticipated, Valeria had set out to bring him to Heaven. Hisui, Jade and Guinevere immediately realized that Val had decided to try and cheat a bit, by using the opportunity that Marcel himself had offered them, in effort to try and get him back with them. While they also wanted to adhere to their Master's wishes, each of them couldn't deny that they felt the same impatience as their leader, and so they made no attempt to stop her.

The four girls had escorted the former Celestial Star of Heaven, currently passing through what could be described as the Angel equivalent of airport customs.

Unlike the other Realms, Heaven actually referred to a collective series of varying layers, each with different levels of importance and magnitude. The checkpoint the Isholy Family currently waited in was known as the Gateway. Traditionally, everyone entering the Realm did so from this connecting point. The Gateway Terminal also served as a grand hub by which all the Heavens were linked. Once within, high-ranking Angels could freely access the Gateway Terminal in order to traverse the Realm.
The First Heaven was where the Brave Saints, the general fighting force of Heaven, bound to different Families or Angels, made their home. Numerous low-ranking, average Angels also lived here. It could be called the front line defense of Heaven, as invaders would have no choice but to begin any assault from there.
The Second Heaven was a place filled with darkness, where the Angels observed the stars to monitor the state of the cosmos. It was also where they confined Angels who had sinned, and was thus doubled as both an observatory and prison.
The Third Heaven was home to the souls of the dead who had been taken to Heaven. According to Michael, it was so vast that it could be said to be almost immeasurable. It was the specific Heaven which the devout followers of the Church believed in. It is also connected to Purgatory, which a certain insane group had once infiltrated through in the past.
The Fourth Heaven was actually the Garden of Eden where the legend of Adam and Eve began. This was the place where the Trees of Life and Wisdom resided.
The Fifth Heaven was formerly the home of Grigori, before they fell and followed Azazel to Earth. It had since been converted into a haven of research centers, where intelligent Angels and their associates would lose themselves in the joy and pursuit of knowledge and enlightenment. Here, they performed countless experiments, both in mysticism and science.
The Sixth Heaven was also known as Zebel, the paradise which Michael, the other Seraphs and high-ranking Angels made their home. When people spoke of visiting Heaven, this was the specific location they were dreaming of entering.
The Seventh Heaven, as one might expect, was where God himself once resided. It was here that the Sacred Gear System and God's System were created and managed. As God was deceased, this Heaven was inaccessible to all but the current leader of the Angels, Michael. If Michael so chose, he could bring others with him, but his word was final and he could just as easily remove them. In times of catastrophe, it was where the Ten Seraphs would convene.

"Are you nervous, Marcy?" Guinevere wondered, looking up at him.

Marcel was sweating lightly, trying to stay calm. Due to his nerves, he was completely unaware that everyone in the zone were focused on him. "Of...course not, Guin-chan. I'm just a Devil that's about enter Heaven...for the first time... Is this even okay? Is it legal? Will I burst into flames or something as soon as the light touches me?"

"To the best of my knowledge, such a thing has never happened~" Hisui smiled softly at him. "And even were that a possibility, you are, in spite of being a Devil, the truest paragon of kindness and virtue, that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. I'm certain that you'll be fine, Marcellus~"

Jade nudged him playfully, "Yeah, you'll be fine Marcel~ Besides, aren't you made of water?"

She does raise a fair point, Master. Seiryu mused.

Marcel laughed a bit, nodding. "Sure..."

"Relax...Marcel." Valeria suggested, having had some trouble with avoiding referring to him by her personal nickname. "Everything will be okay, alright?"

"Right..." Marcel smiled at her. {As usual, I feel calmer when she talks to me.}


After passing through the checkpoint, the five made their way into the Realm of Heaven, specifically, the First Heaven. A breathtakingly gorgeous domain filled with beautiful angelic light and scenery, paradise as it existed in reality. Where Hell was the opposite and generally chaotic, and even Valhalla had a hint of chaos, this Realm felt to be completely at peace. Almost as if nobody would suffer there.

Marcellus was dumbfound as he looked around, able to see Earth from above, through the checkpoint below. "Wow...what a view..."

Valeria smiled as she watched him, with Jade and Guin by his side. {Welcome home, Mat~}

"Val, I think what we're doing is fine." Hisui noted. "But please, don't get carried away."

"I know, Hisui." Valeria responded, unable to take her eyes of Marcel as his excitement grew upon realizing that he was fine in the light of Heaven. "I won't say or do anything unnecessary."

She took a breath, "Anyway, did you manage to contact Lady Gabriel?"

"Yes, she said that she would meet us here." Hisui replied, glancing over her shoulder. "Ah, here she comes."

Valeria smiled slightly as she turned to face the Seraph as she flew over on beautiful wings of gold, 12 in all. "Lady Gabriel, it's a pleasure to see you again."

"Yes, if only it were under better circumstances..." Gabriel responded as she landed, her hair shimmering in the light as she looked past them. "Marcel..."

The sight of one of the Ten Seraphs, and more importantly one of the two most beautiful Angels in existence, immediately drew the attention of all those around.

"Hm?" Marcellus glanced over his shoulder to see her, blinking. "O-oh!"

He turned around, hurrying toward her and bowing. "Lady Gabriel! It's an honor to finally meet you! My name is-"

"Yes, I know who you are, Marcellus~" Gabriel smiled warmly, reaching out to touch his cheek as she made him stand up straight. {He really does look just like our Marcel. I suppose it doesn't matter what happens, he'll always be well-mannered~}


Marcel blinked as he looked into her eyes, blushing as she stroked his cheek tenderly. {This is like with Hela...well, it's not exactly same, but it's similar...}

"Lady Gabriel...thank you so much for agreeing to hear me out." He smiled slightly, keeping his hands to himself this time. {She's even more beautiful than Guin said she was.}

Gabriel giggled lightly, pulling her hand back. "Marcellus, the pleasure is mine. To be honest, I'm also a big fan of your work~"

"Seriously?" Marcel was a bit taken aback. "Even with the unorthodox light I paint Heaven in?"

"Perhaps especially because of that~" Gabriel responded teasingly, smiling in amusement. "Anyway, please don't be so formal, treat me as your equal~"

"I'll...try?" Marcel blushed again.

Valeria cleared her throat loudly, "Lady Gabriel, thank you for catering to us."

"You've nothing to thank me for, Val~" Gabriel responded, linking arms with Marcellus. "Please, go and check on Ariel. I would like to hear him out in private, for starters."

Hisui answered for the Isholy Family's Queen when she seemed to be at a loss, "Yes, we'll do that. Please take good care of him, Lady Gabriel~"

"We'll see you soon, Marcel!" Jade exclaimed.

Guinevere smiled brightly at Mar and Gabriel, "Enjoy yourselves~"

She held Val's hand as Gabriel led a flustered Marcellus away, all the Angels staring after the two, more shocked by Marcel's presence than Gabriel's beauty. "Val, keep in mind that Lady Gabriel hasn't been able to spend as much time with him as we have~ She can hardly be blamed for wanting to be alone with him~"

"I know that..." Valeria claimed with a sigh. "I just hope she doesn't get too...touchy."

Jade tilted her head a bit, "Touchy? Wait, did Lady Gabriel also have feelings for Mar?"

"Are you just realizing that now?" Val sighed again, shaking her head.

Hisui laughed a bit, "Come, let's check on Lady Ariel. We should be the ones to tell her that Master Marcellus is here right now, too."

"Yeah..." Valeria looked after Gabriel and Marcel, before following her family.


Within the Gateway Terminal, where Gabriel had led the young Naberius, who'd taken the time to explain everything he'd learned.

{So he really is incapable of using the All-Seeing Eyes. He stopped relying on Last Memory in the past, since it was far more efficient and safe to just look... Ariel would be upset if she knew he was using that spell again.} Gabriel twirled her braid around her finger as she sat on a bench in the terminal.

{What should I do? I want to help him- No, I will definitely help him. But is it possible for me to bring him before Michael under the current circumstances, without allowing Ariel to find out?} She brushed a finger against her lower lip lightly. {Everything was so easy back then...whenever there was trouble, Marcel would deal with it most effectively. Yes, he was practically the leader of Heaven already, in all but name... Perhaps we all...took his wisdom and ability for granted. Who is to say that we ever deserved his dutiful love, when we may have been the anchors which weighed down his ankles? My heart aches in his presence. Even though he had his dazzling, brilliant Light taken from him, here I am, still wishing I could rely on him. No, Gabriel, that simply will not do. For what reason would he ever choose to return to us, if I cannot light my own way forward?}

Marcellus observed the Seraph quietly, as she seemed to be deep in thought. {I really hope this works out... But man, was there no exaggeration at all... Ariel Isholy and Gabriel Sephirah, two women of the Ten Seraphs, who eternally vie for the title of the most beautiful Angel in the Universe. I wonder how pissed Izaya and the others would be, if they found out I was able to talk to her alone today...}

He couldn't stop himself from blushing, his eyes continuously fixing on her lips as she shifted and bit them every now and then. {If Rinslet was here right now, she'd tell me that I was a pathetic, horny animal, incapable of resisting my sexual desires. Ah, while we have the time, Sei-chan. Rinslet was...really different today, wasn't she? I could swear that she was actually worried about me, back in Valhalla.}

Yes, the fledgling Goddess of Destruction was uncharacteristically soft on you today. Seiryu agreed.

{If she acted like that more often, I daresay I could call her cute~} Marcel mused, holding in a chuckle to avoid alerting the beauty by his side. {I guess that was the sweet side that Cyn always mentions, whenever we get to talking about her~}

His expression hardened somewhat, as his thoughts shifted in the silence. {Sei-chan, about House Agares. I know you tried to talk to me about this before, but I blew you off since I didn't want to hear it. As the Second Devil House, they're the mediators between House Bael, the Four Great Satans, and the other Devil Houses. Their territory of Agreas is where the Evil Pieces are maintained and created as needed. You could say that, after Luci, House Agares is the true backbone of Hell, right?}

Seiryu was hesitant with the topic change, his Host hearing a contemplative hum. That is correct, Master. You are concerned with this morning's encounter?

{Yes, I am.} Marcel confirmed while closing his eyes and shifting in his seat. {I'm well aware of it all, you know. The desire of over half of the 72 Pillars of Hell, to see me take Luci's throne from her. I suppose I didn't want to really humor the thought, though. No matter how you slice it, Archduke Agares was going to talk to me about it, the revolution. I was desperate to protect and support Luci, so desperate that I allowed myself to gloss over the most glaring hole in her rule. Arenstear Agares and Arcelia Agares, they should be the two who support Luci the most, right? Yet they were the ones who first sparked the discontent within the other Houses. To be honest, it would have been the first time I met him since that party, but Arenstear has been sending me private letters since then, and Dany knew it. She's probably also aware that Arcelia has directly spoken to me about a revolution, numerous times at school.}

Resting his elbows atop his thighs, he leaned forward and low. {Ever since this coup thing began, I've had a pit in my stomach. That pit only got tighter when Arenstear's people came to me earlier. While both Arenstear and Arcelia had clearly shared the same vision and goal, I always had the feeling that those two had totally different methods in mind. The big brother was...passionate, it showed in his writings and it was the only reason I subtly humored him by responding. But accompanying his passion was compassion. I never got the sense that he would condone violence as our medium for change.}

And the same cannot be said for the little sister? Inquired Seiryu.

Unable to hold back a light sigh, Marcellus nodded to himself. {Right. Arcelia was passionate too, but though her words were always sweet, there was always something about her. Something...volatile...not toward me, though. And that's why, given this brief reprieve, I've gotten to thinking. Arenstear Agares, a man whom I can confidently state was intending to bring about a peaceful revolution, was coming in person to speak to me. This was last night, and he's mysteriously vanished. The Head of House Agares, a Devil on par with the Four Great Satans, disappeared suddenly. And the next day, this happens.}

{Remember how I said I didn't know how far this coup reached? I wasn't lying, but I did hide the fact that I know exactly where it began.} With a deep breath, he opened his eyes. {Arcelia Agares is probably the main mastermind, if not at least one of them. It's likely that Arenstear realized she'd gotten impatient, and chanced meeting me directly, regardless of the danger involved. She had her brother removed from the equation, just before the coup began. But it was stopped in its tracks by Rook-chan. If Arcelia is the main mastermind, then she didn't actually care about removing Azazel and Michael from power, she was only after Luci. She would have handled things this way, to hide her involvement. The Sirens who killed the Valkyries, they were probably forced into it by House Agares. When Rook-chan got involved, Arcelia...cunning as she is, knew he wouldn't be able to determine who the real villains were. She turned his love for Luci against him when he ruined her plans, and she might have actually created a chance that exceeds the coup's potential. Rook-chan is part of House Bael, and with his seemingly wanton slaughter, it could be pushed onto Luci. To reflect her inability to control her own House...to show that she isn't worthy of sitting atop Hell's Throne. If we don't play our cards right, it's possible that Arcelia will tear all the Factions apart, just to get me on the Throne.}

My Master...please forgive me if this question offends you. Seiryu remarked, continuing on. You speak as if these dots were just connected now, however that is not the case, is it? I would like to think that you have known since you spoke with Lady Lucifer. No, I am sure that you knew even before that. Tell me, when did you really realize this? After casting Last Memory? If so, why did you keep it to yourself? Had you shared the truth with the Norse Gods...

A bitter smile stretched across the Naberius's face as he looked down at the ground, seeing the Earth through it. {It's nearly just as you realized, Sei-chan. I knew, yes. I knew. I knew the truth, even before that. I had an inkling when I had those visions of what Rook-chan had done. The realization had dawned on me after meeting House Agares. I was certain, after Last Memory. I kept it from everyone...and I think that Hela realized I was hiding something. As for why...well...things between Arcelia and I are a bit complicated. In truth, she didn't always scratch that skeptical part of my brain. At first, she was very close in opinion to Arenstear, but something changed over time... She may be the main mind behind this scheme, but I can't say for certain if she's the real villain. And that uncertainty...prevents me from immediately condemning her. If possible, I...would like to protect her too, in all of this.}

Listening obediently, Seiryu responded. I don't understand. What is there between you two, that you cannot immediately choose Rooklyn over her?

{Arcelia is-} Marcel's response was interrupted as he felt a warm hand on his shoulder. "?"

Gabriel smiled warmly at him as he looked up at her, "I've decided, Marcellus. Shall we go to meet with Michael?"

"R-really?" Marcel sat up immediately, blinking at her.

"Indeed~" Answered Gabriel with a nod. "Shall we?"


In the Sixth Heaven. In the main hall of an extravagant building where the high-ranking Angels would handle important business.

Gabriel led her companion by the arm, stopping as she noticed a familiar face. "Archer? What are you doing here?"

"Oh!" Archer turned the moment he heard her voice, hiding a bottle behind his back. "Lady Gabriel, fancy meeting you here!"

"Shouldn't you be with Ariel?" Gabriel asked in confusion, tilting her head.

Archer nodded, "Uh, yeah, I am?"

He motioned with his free hand, "Lady Ariel's actually raising hell in there right now, so to speak. She's probably going off about how we can't allow Rooklyn to be executed and whatever, because it'll really hurt..."

He trailed off upon seeing the man behind the Seraph, his jaw dropping. "Marcel..."

"You are...?" Marcellus sweat slightly, upon seeing the man's reaction to him. "Oh that's right, Archer! You're the last member of the Isholy Family~ I've heard about you from Val and Hisui~"

He was about to speak again, but just blinked as he heard the sound of glass breaking...right after he was embraced with clear, great affection. "Uh...?"

Gabriel backed away, covering her mouth in surprise. She looked from the suspiciously familiar bottle of scotch, to the one who dropped it. {He's drunk! Wait, more importantly...Ariel's in the meeting? I was going to get Michael out alone because she should've been at home...what should I do? Should I hide Marcel at my home for now...? No, Archer is...and in that condition...}

Archer sniffled loudly, rubbing his head against the other man's. "I missed you, man...! I missed you so much! Like, the distance between America and Africa! No, screw that noise! The distance between the Sun and Pluto! By the way, you uh, you hear about Pluto? It's messed up, right?"

"I um...y-yes, what happened to Pluto was...messed up..." Marcel agreed nervously, gulping loudly as he froze up. "L-lady Gabriel? What's...happening right now?"

Gabriel blushed brightly, waving her hands dismissively. She stepped forward in a flash, separating the two men and pushing Archer aside. "I-I'm so, so sorry! He's drunk! He must have mistaken you for someone else! Y-you see, he recently lost his dearly beloved and-"

"What are you talking about, Lady Gabriel?" Archer wondered with a hiccup, walking back over. "There's no way I'd mistake Marcel when he's right in front of me-"

"ARCHER!" A furious shout cut across the hall from the entrance, seeming to get closer in a flash as a foot shot out.

Gabriel blinked, pulling Marcellus closer as Archer was kicked and launched far across the hall. "Val?"

Marcel's reaction to the sudden assault entrance was stifled as his face was pulled into the Seraph's ample bosom. {S-s-soft...}

"Marcel, I-" Valeria immediately cut off upon turning to see what was happening. "L-l-l-l-l-l-l-lady Gabriel!!!!!!!!!!!!"

"Oh...my..." Hisui whispered, covering her mouth as she entered to see the sight, alongside Jade and Guinevere.

Jade's jaw dropped, "T-t-touchy...right..."

Guinevere whistled in amusement, laughing as she skipped across the hall. "You're very skillful, Lady Gabriel~"

Gabriel's face turned bright red as she shook her head, "N-no, this isn't what it looks like! I was just surprised and-"

All of them immediately stopped what they were doing, as they heard the distinct sound of the grand forum's doors opening. They slowly turned to see the other Seraphs emerging.

"What is the meaning of all this noise?" Uriel demanded, her arms crossed as she walked over.


Michael laughed a bit nervously, scratching his head. "We were wondering where you got off to, Gabriel, but-"

He froze in his tracks, upon seeing the unforgettable head of blue hair, buried in his sister's breasts. "You...? Here...?"

"Mar...?" Raphael's jaw hung open loosely. {What is he doing here...?}

Metatron was the first to react properly, quickly looking over to the woman who would be most impacted. Surely enough, he saw in her face an expression of disbelief. {Oh Father, what is happening right now?}

Ariel stared at the blue haired man with wide eyes, all others silent as they watched her. Hesitantly, she stepped forward while extending her left hand.

Gabriel's red face grew darker as she quickly released Mar, "A-a-ariel! I swear, I just-"

Marcel quickly stood up straight, his eyes glued to the woman who looked lost upon glimpsing him. Without even realizing, he'd started walking toward her. {This is...Lady Ariel...? But she's...she's the one I saw at the events...}

Michael recovered his bearings swiftly, looking right at Valeria.

Val pulled her hands over her heart, shaking her head when she noticed Michael's eyes on her. The other Angels all kept quiet, just observing.

Even Archer, as he got up on a knee, silently watched as his two masters slowly approached one another. His eyes were drawn to a strange shimmer on the ground. {Oh...wait...?}

Blind to her surroundings, Ariel stepped right upon the glass, all of the Angels wincing as they realized that she had.

"Ari-" Gabriel had just begun to move as they saw her blood drawn, but felt as if she were frozen still with the speed which another passed her with.

Marcel caught the Seraph, even before she was seen stumbling, his mind blank and his heart racing.

"Mar...cellus..." Ignoring the glass that pierced her foot, Ariel reached up to touch his cheek.

She blinked upon actually touching him, as if she hadn't believed he was actually there. Feeling his hands against her, her eyes filled with tears as she threw herself atop him, arms wrapping around his torso.

The moment she embraced him in tears and the two fell over, Marcel felt his breath leave his body painfully. It hurt as he breathed, scenes flooding through his head in no particular order. Scenes of a young boy and a woman, scattered, disjointed, but always smiling together.

Everyone watched, surprised as the pair hit the ground, where they saw the man catch the woman safely, putting his arms around her.

Marcel hugged her tightly, opening his mouth as tears streamed down his face. As he croaked, he couldn't believe what was coming out. "Mom...?"


Roughly a year ago, during a large manga convention.

"Onii-sama! Onii-sama! Look!" Lenneth chirped rather loudly, while tugging on her brother's arm. She was pointing toward a massive gathering of people, all in line for the same thing.

"Everyone's here to buy your collector's volume~" She cheered, rubbing her head against his arm.

Marcellus chuckled as he stroked his sister's hair, happy to see her excitement. "I can see that, Len~ It's almost like you're the one who wrote SoD~"

Xavier peeked out from behind a pillar, already having purchased 10 of his son's volumes, the limit per individual. His face was "disguised" by a cheap gray beard. {If only they allowed me to buy them all... Well, it's good to see my son's popularity in person for a change.}

{I shall hang about a little while longer, yes. Just to observe my children in their time of glee, yes.} He nodded to himself while crossing his arms and withdrawing behind the pillar.

"What passionate fans you have, Lil Bro!" Kirei quipped as he inserted himself between his younger siblings, putting his arms around their necks. "They were so upset when I told them that their beloved God of Manga wasn't present, though~"

Lenneth's joy was replaced with anger, for all of a moment, before she smiled up at her eldest brother. "Yes, of course~ I'm sure it's their dearest dream, collectively, to meet Onii-sama in person. Of course, he belongs to us~"

"Right you are, my lovely Len-chan!" Kirei agreed while kissing her on the head. "Our brother is ours~"

"Ahaha...I'm glad you both live so vicariously through me~" Marcel responded teasingly, leaning into his brother. "Dany really didn't come?"

Blinking once, the eldest Naberius sibling shook his head and pointed his thumb toward the entrance. "Our sweet sister is pacing about with her Household, trying to decide whether she should come in or not~"

"Onee-chan always tries to put up such a tough facade, but as I thought, she can't truly be against Onii-sama's brilliant talents~" Lenneth cooed while rubbing her cheek. "Shall we go troll her a bit, for a change?"

"Do you even need to ask?" Kirei grinned, glancing over at the pillar he had noticed their father behind. {He's almost just as bad as Dany~}

Marcel chuckled as his siblings started off ahead of him, "Yeah, let's-"

He blinked as he caught something in the corner of his eye, turning his head to look across the large interior space, where he saw a woman with beautiful snow white hair, dyed in an alluring blue shade. {...Wow...}

He felt his heart stop as the woman stopped walking, glancing over her shoulder.

When their eyes met, it seemed as if time had stopped for the both of them.

"Lady Ariel, we should really keep moving." Hisui suggested, gently shaking her. "I've heard that Lord Xavier has a strange habit of stalking about for his children, so it wouldn't do to encounter him. More importantly..."

She looked behind her master, eyes opening wide as she spotted the man for whom she kept her feelings to herself for centuries. "Marcellus-sama... L-lady Ariel!"

Ariel snapped out of her trance as her Handmaid raised her voice, looking forward. "Y-yes, let us hasten away from this place. I was only able to purchase ten copies, but-"

"Worry not, Lady Ariel." Hisui bowed her head while corralling her along. "Jade and Guin are in line right now, Archer will come with Val later. If there still remain copies by the time they're all done, we shall have the others remedy that."

{Not that that should be a possibility. If anything, we were lucky to get in so quickly.} She glanced toward the crowd, the elated fans still teeming with more and more pouring in as the lines drastically grew. {Marcellus-sama is...so loved as an author.}

She couldn't help but smile as she looked at him again, noticing an expression of confusion on his face before his little sister returned to drag him along. {I wonder if Lady Ariel would be upset with me, if I told her that I thought it was okay for Marcellus-sama to stay here... I do want to be by his side like before, and I want to see her happy again, but...he is...truly happy with the Naberius Family. Lord Xavier may have taken him from us, but his children share none of that guilt... Do they not deserve his love as well? Val might kill me if she heard that, though~}

"Geez, Onii-sama! Why were you spacing out like that?" Lenneth inquired, looking up at her beloved brother.

Marcellus scratched his head, "Uh...no real reason? I guess I was just...mystified."

"Well of course, the turnout has completely shattered even the highest projections of the editorial department~" Kirei pointed out, waving a finger with a smirk. "It's only natural for you to be so flabbergasted before your many fans~"

Lenneth giggled as she nodded in agreement, "Izaya told me that even fans from overseas flew all this way, just to make sure they could get their hands on the collector's volumes~"

"R-really?" Marcel blinked in awe, glancing over his shoulder and feeling disappointment as the woman was unseen. "I didn't think I'd have fans THAT dedicated."

_________________
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Sangios
He Who Was Born With the First Troll and Shall Perish With the Last
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Age : 25 Registration date : 2011-08-16 Number of posts : 99 Location :
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PostSubject: Re: The Begining of the End   Mon 08 Jan 2018, 08:45

Over 24 hours later, news had leaked out from Heaven. The news spread like wildfire through the Factions, as they learned that a certain Seraph's son had evidently reunited with her, only to collapse soon after.

Within the territory of House Aym, which was drunkenly celebrating its Head's stomping of House Caim, an excuse to party.

Dorothea sat alone in her room, the noise of the party distant as she'd made them take it elsewhere. She was staring out at the open doors to her balcony, a pleasant wind blowing into the room.

Dorothea, are you concerned over the news of Marcellus Naberius meeting Ariel Isholy? Inquired Suzaku.

Dorothea answered aloud without hesitation, "Marcellus's first trigger from back then, was to meet his mother. When he awakens, he will likely have remembered nearly everything about the Isholy Family and Lady Ariel. The first trigger is one with two parts, as he will allegedly have the second part fulfilled with Lady Gabriel soon after."

Suzaku hummed lowly as he listened, And the next trigger was...?

"Me." Responded Dory in a calm manner. "I was instructed by him to force his direct meeting with Ariel, if he didn't happen upon her naturally in time. His timing was certainly curious, as I was to intervene next week. Now that he has encountered her on his own, I am to wait at least ten days before I myself meet him directly. Supposedly, he requires at least that much time to adjust to the shock his mind received."

She closed her eyes, "The memories I will trigger, are those revolving around our friendship, as well as our actions as the Hosts of the Sacred Beasts. I believe this includes our sealing of the ancient ones, as well as our battles together. After me comes Hela, the Goddess of Death. Apparently, she is the only one aware of what will trigger the next set of memories, and she knows she must wait until after our reunion. Following this is the next and most difficult trigger."

And that difficult trigger is what, exactly? Wondered Suzaku.

Dorothea grew quiet for a moment, aware that her Sacred Beast was only asking because he wanted to hear her talk about the only being she'd ever called friend, something she hadn't done since the day he went to Xavier to take on the curse. "I am unclear on the specifics of this one. Marcellus informed me that I was to aid him in granting Ouroboros and the Khaos Brigade's desire to remove Great Red from the Dimensional Gap. This will require me to help him convince the Sorceress Candidate to lend them her power. When Great Red and Ophis are reunited, the path to the End of the World will open through the Dimensional Gap. He was vague and told me that something would happen within the Khaos Brigade and serve as his next trigger. It was stressed that he required me there to ensure the Sorceress Candidate's safety and survival."

...Is it possible that Seiryu's Host actually...desires for Trihexa's seal to be compromised? It is the only thing which lies at the End of the World. Ouroboros and Great Red both have no desire to do battle with their rival again, and so...perhaps the Khaos Brigade are the ones aiming for it. In which case they may betray Ouroboros after handling Great Red, for the sake of reaching it. Perhaps it is this eventual betrayal which serves as the trigger... Suzaku mused in concern. The Sorceress Candidate is the one holding the Magic of the Rift, which is what will grant the Khaos Brigade safe and easy access to the Dimensional Gap. From within, it is likely that the Khaos Brigade, should they turn on Ouroboros, will force the Sorceress Candidate to open the way for Trihexa. In which case, your power would be instrumental in protecting her.

"It doesn't matter to me. So long as that path leads me to facing the strong, I don't even care if Trihexa is freed. If so, I will fight it." Decided Dorothea, her expression as vacant as ever.

...Of course... Suzaku whispered, his concern for his Host's future clear.

Taking a short breath, Dorothea continued. "The final trigger allegedly lies with Seiryu. He will handle it himself, perhaps by connecting to the personalities in their final moments. Following this, the Sorceress Candidate should have found a way to undo the curse placed by Xavier Naberius, leading to the conclusion of his plan and his proper rebirth."

Marcellus Isholy truly plays the long game. One more treacherous and potentially damaging than any other. Remarked Suzaku. Should his calculations skew too far in their actual execution, he may sentence the Universe to an early end, rather than salvation. Surely, you understand this as well, Dorothea. May I ask why you chose to be his partner in this ordeal, even knowing the risk?

Dorothea lifted a hand, running her fingers through her hair gently. "When I told him that he was the only friend I had, the only one that I would likely ever have, Marcellus seemed disappointed. He told me that he was my friend, but nothing more. That he was not the one who could be more than a friend to me. He seems to believe that the new self to rise in the aftermath of all of this, will be unique. I do not care for love, as you are well aware. However...perhaps it was momentary curiosity. Just what is there to find beyond his future friendship? At the very least, I would like to find out."

Suzaku was caught off guard, The potential for your heart to be warmed...I see. As the one who wishes for your happiness, far more than the safety of the Universe, I suppose I will also maintain faith in that boy's insane plan.


Within the Realm of Hell, following the news leaked from Heaven.

In the territory of House Agares, in their main palace. In the spacious residential wing of the House's second in command, the abode of Arenstear Tigre Agares' little sister and Queen, Arcelia Tyule Agares.

Having just sent her subordinates away, Arcelia sat before a large and elegant mirror, brushing her hair out. She had just heard of what had happened in Heaven. "Could it be that Matty has remembered that which was forgotten? Considering how close he and Lady Ariel were before, it's certainly possible."


"If so, what will this mean for the trial? I know he's been working against me, and unless something has recently changed, it's likely that he's already realized that I was the one who put this attempted coup in progress." She stopped brushing her hair, setting the brush down on her dresser.

"What became of Aren, though? I told him that I would only postpone this event if he succeeded in convincing Matty to move forward with the nonviolent version of the revolution, so what is he doing, pulling a vanishing act at a time like this? Considering the leverage we've got now, this works out even better than just the coup might have..." Leaning back in her chair, she looked up at her ceiling.

"Could it be that Aren...predicted this? Did he know that Rooklyn Bael would get involved and attack the central aggressors? If so, was he confident that I would be able to exploit the circumstances to destroy Gwyneth? He's certainly wise enough to potentially see such a thing, but no...Aren's too kind for that. Considering how insistent he's been that we proceed by openly backing Matty, why would he suddenly flip?" The woman sighed deeply, shaking her head. "Something must have happened when he left..."

A familiar chuckle was heard from behind, the Devil immediately turning around to see a man clad in flowing robes of darkness. "You truly do think highly of your big brother, don't you, Lady Arcelia~?"

Arcelia blinked at him, "Zeyo, I was wondering where you'd been...wait-"

"Why yes, Lady Arcelia, I DID get rid of your brother~" The man called Zeyo interjected cheerfully. "For the time being, at least~"

"I didn't even- Wait, what?! What did you do to him?!" The dutiful sister demanded, already gripping the collar of the robes roughly.

Zeyo waved his hands dismissively, as if pleading for her not to hurt him. "Please, Lady Arcelia~ Surely, you didn't actually want the peaceful route to win out? After all..."

A wide, toothy grin shone beneath his hood, fangs clearly visible. "With all the effort you and I put in, behind the scenes, these last few years, wouldn't it all be a waste? Raphael of the Ten Seraphs, Kokabiel and Peliel of the Grigori, Sigtheth Belial and his House, Argoriun Gusion and his House, Orgrad Zepar and his House, Mirella Paimon and her House, and even Adelaide Shax and her House~ In a single year, we garnered the support of a Seraph who served God himself, two of Azazel's most trusted friends, and five of the 72 Pillars of Hell, who have always been loyal to the Throne~"

"These influential, high-ranking beings cast their lot with you and I, under the united banner of House Agares, who has always taken the back seat to House Bael's tyrants~ Did we not work hard, Lady Arcelia? Too hard, in my mind, to justify the possibility of Arenstear swaying the mind of Marcellus~ Who, might I add, would possibly have turned around and told his dear friend Gwyneth?" He shrugged nonchalantly. "My Lady, I considered and weighed our options, envisioned a number of outcomes, and came to a decision that would benefit us all~ After all, is it not that the root of this entire matter, the one constant in a sea of variables, was the one which truly swayed them all~?"

Frowning slightly, Arcelia released him and stepped back. "You're right...whatever their personal stake, the ultimate desire we all shared was a common one. To see Matty take his rightful place as the first leader of a united Hell, Heaven and Earth. Doing things Aren's way would have probably worked eventually, but it would take centuries, at the very least. As things stand, we need only defeat Matty's best efforts in the Trial of Rooklyn Bael, to make him doubt the system he so admired. Disillusioned with his best friend being punished for a crime committed in service to the Three Factions, Matty's best option will be to accept our support and take the Throne of Hell, once Gwyneth falls and gets torn to shreds. After all, if she can't even control one single member of her House, Calcifer or not, then how can she possibly be fit to rule and entire Race which prides itself on expression of individualism?"

With a deep sigh, she tossed her arms up in defeat and turned away. "You made the right choice, Zeyo, I'm sorry I left the burden of it all on you, instead of stepping up myself."

Zeyo chuckled in amusement, "Not at all, Lady Arcelia! Don't forget that you were the one who cured me of my blindness, by introducing me to the brilliance of Marcellus Isholy~ As his most avid supporter this last millenia, it's only natural that you are the guide and architect of this revolution. I merely made a decision out of adoration and respect for your resolve and desire to see your beloved rise to the station most worthy of him~"

"...Thanks, Zeyo." Arcelia took a breath, smiling bitterly at him. "Our boldness will be remembered, when our vision is made reality. But please tell me the status of Aren. He is okay, right? Matty will need both of us by his side, when he changes the world."

"?" Zeyo scratched his head. "Er- Yes, of course, Lord Arenstear is safe and sound! I just had an age old associate...deliver him to a well deserved nap... Yes, your dear brother will return in a haze, once the Trial has concluded~"

Letting out another sigh, this one in relief, Arcelia sat down in front of her dresser again. "Glad to hear it, meeting you may have been the most fortuitous event of my long life, Zeyo...behind my fateful meeting with my beloved Matty, of course~"

She smiled warmly, "The end of our year long journey is close, we merely need to allow our cards to fall into place. That said, is there anything else I need to know? I would, of course, like Raphael's take on those news, as well as details on Matty's visit to Valhalla. Was there anything else that went awry, which we should work to remedy?"

{She really is a sharp little lass~ Good on you, Aggy, raising such smart little creatures~ Hell, they're an infinite improvement over you, old pal!} Zeyo stroked his chin contemplatively. "Let's see...while Calcifer was being apprehended, we made sure to get rid of any evidence of the main aggressors which remained. Nope! The only thing we've got to worry about is monitoring the fallout and reassuring our partners of the importance of young Rooklyn's defense falling apart in this Trial~"

"Good, that's very good." Arcelia claimed with a nod. "I'll speak to the others myself. It's of the utmost importance that Rooklyn isn't sentenced to death, otherwise Matty will go on the wrong kind of rampage after the Trial. I'll confer with them to ensure we reach the optimal outcome. Thank you again, Zeyo, I really look forward to introducing Matty to you at last~"

"Oh yes...believe me, I'm also eager to meet him~" Zeyo proclaimed with a toothy grin. "By your leave~"

"As if you care about my permission to begin with." Quipped Arcelia, a blank expression on her face.

Zeyo blinked a few times, "...True enough. Goodbye for now, Lady Arcelia~"

{Whew, so she really doesn't know about the Valkyries that died~ I should handle those Sirens I used quickly, so that information stays in Marcel's court~ I can't wait to see the spectacular spectacle of chaotic courtroom antics, exploding as both sides wage a war of their own~ I can't say for certain how this'll go, but I have to admit...I would love to see how Marcel reacts if Rook does get the death sentence. Would he kill his cute old flame in rage~?} He snickered lowly, raising a hand to wave before he teleported out of Hell.

Arcelia fanned herself off casually, "We're so close now...we just have to maintain the same level of discretion that we've observed this last year, and it'll all end the way we want."

She looked at her phone when a tone went off, checking the message, one which caused her to do a double take. "The Trial's date is being pushed back four whole days...? Why?!"


Around the same time, at the Naberius Mansion.

The Lenneth Household, alongside Elena, Yukina, Rinslet and Rossweisse, was gathered in the library, which they'd decided to use as their base for supporting Marcellus. After hearing the news from Heaven, they were in an understandably awkward state, namely because of the Lady King.

Cynthia watched nervously, as Lenneth paced back and forth restlessly. "Um...Lenneth-chan..."

Rinslet held her best friend's hand, "I'm sure that...we're all concerned, but-"

"Onii-sama was abducted by Ariel Isholy!" Lenneth snapped angrily, stomping her foot as lightning, wind and fire stormed through the library.

"H-how do you figure that?!" Serena asked in disbelief.

Lenneth pointed at her, steam rising from her head. "Surely, she used her legendary, bodacious body to seduce him! Onii-sama's terribly weak against strong, confident women, so he was putty in her hands! When he collapsed under the endless torrent of her slutty, angelic sex appeal, she took him away! He's been trapped in the Isholy Palace for over a day! Surely, he's being subjected to this and that at the hands of that deviant Household!"

Rossweisse's jaw dropped as she stared at Lenneth, her claims having gotten the others riled up. {Lady Lenneth has such a vivid imagination... Slutty yet angelic...wow...}

She looked over at Yukina and Izaya, the only other two who were aware of Marcel's past life. {Lady Rinslet really doesn't know then...so she really was that self-centered as she grew up. I guess it makes sense then, that she only became aware of the Faction politics in the last decade...}

Yukina wore a blank expression as she watched Lenneth, who'd gotten Alice, Elena, Irisviel, Rinslet, Cynthia and even Serena bent out of shape with concern over whatever the Isholy Family was allegedly doing to the MIA Naberius. While she hadn't ever had the chance to meet the original Marcellus, she'd heard a great deal of information about him in the past, due to the colossal splash he made all over the Realms. {How does Odin's daughter not even know? I guess Hela was right, Rinslet's not too smart.}

She looked from Ross to Izaya, {I wanna know if he heard more about Mar Mar...}

"You know what we should do?!" Alice shouted, throwing a punch at the ceiling. "Break into Heaven and find Marcel Onii-chan!"

"Agreed!" Elena cheered with a jump. "We can bust our way into that stuck up cesspool of holy bullshit, storm the Isholy Palace, blow away those sultry whores and rescue our man!"

Irisviel nodded eagerly, "Just because Lady Ariel's one of the two sexiest Angels, doesn't mean she can steal Sensei from us! We need him, so we should definitely go get him! If we work together, we can save him!"

Serena sweat a bit, "I don't typically condone this behavior, but...perhaps we should be bold. Marcel is a Devil, after all. What if he was taken into custody because of that? B-but, of course, we should certainly check in with Valeria-san before jumping to...conclusions...!"

As she gripped the lamp in front of her, the metal bent like a pretzel, the desk beneath shattering like glass on the surface, as a dark gray aura covered it and faded repeatedly.

"I-is this really a good idea, though...?" Cynthia wondered, looking at them. "M-maybe we should talk to Daenerys-san and Kirei-san first..."

Rinslet bit her lip, clearly conflicted. "On one hand...Marcellus's disappearance leaves his harem to me, but...on the other hand...I...don't think I want him to disappear...n-not completely, anyway..."

Lenneth grit her teeth as she listened to them, volatile elements discharging from her body like vibrant sparks. "Now that you've said all that, I can't help but feel that our best option IS to launch an all-out offensive! Should we just infiltrate Heaven, after all?! If we share our plan with Onee-chan and Kirei-nii would they stop us or join us...!?"

Izaya was shaking as he hunched over, struggling as he tried his best not to laugh. {D-dammit, this is too rich! Marc-chan being raped by Ariel and the others~? Hehehe, I'd pay good money to see that actually, especially with Gabriel joining in~ Anyway, as much as I'd love to see these crazy broads go off like a nuke in Heaven, Marc-chan's just fine. I wonder if he had his memory jogged by meeting that mega MILF mommy of his~ He's been out like a light since he collapsed, and the Isholy Family's going nuts over his condition, but I wonder if I should share that with them~ Is it a good idea to let them in on the secret now? Everyone else knows it, anyway~}

{Oh?} He paused for a single moment as he read a message from a trusted informant. {The Trial's being pushed back four days? The sooner the better, for them, so why?}

"If we do this, we should get Lady Ophis on our side!" Rinslet exclaimed, slamming her fist down atop one of the tables loudly. "She frequently refers to Marcellus as being hers, so surely she would jump at the chance to take on Heaven once again!"

Rossweisse gasped, moving in between the girls as they seriously entertained Rinslet's idea. "P-please settle down! I'm certain that nothing you girls are imagining is happening right now!"

"Oh yeah?" Elena gave her a suspicious look. "And what makes you say that, Rossweisse-san?"

"Yeah, why do you think that?!" Alice demanded, following Elena's lead.

At this point, Izaya was unsuccessful in restraining himself, his snickers leaking out lowly. As the women looked to him, he burst out laughing and fell out of his chair.

"Why is Izaya literally ROFLing right now?" Serena asked hesitantly, as the man rolled about in laughter.

"Izaya?" Lenneth stood over him menacingly, her hair mysteriously floating upward as the atmosphere bent around her, ominous spirits of the dead appearing in the space about her. "What do you know...? Don't make me ask you again...!"

Izaya immediately stopped laughing, his mouth hanging open awkwardly as he looked up at her, feeling a sharp chill upon seeing the spirits, a sight which caught the other ladies off guard as well. "Uh...maybe I do know a thing or two~"

{It's rare for that side of her power to leak out~} He sat up, clearing his throat as she settled down. "You see, you don't really have to worry about what you were talking about~ Marc-chan's not in any danger, he's just back in his real home~"

"...Come again?" Lenneth gaped at him, as Irisviel and the others immediately closed in.

Scratching his head, Izaya glanced at Ross and Yukina, who both shook their heads vigorously. {Well, I've kinda got no choice now. These chicks'll kill me a thousand times if I lie to them right now~}


A few hours after the Lenneth Household was confronted with the truth behind their beloved's nature.

Having stopped in a small village to feed on the unsuspecting innocents, Alucard sighed in relief.

"Man, do I feel ALIVE again!" The Vampire King boasted cheerfully, waving at the women he'd just preyed on. "Go on, I'm not allowed to kill any of you right now, so it's your lucky day~"

He chuckled as he found himself alone, the women leaving in a trance. "Now, what to do...? I'm not able to drink enough to get back to tip top shape like this, not when cocky brat might be following me. If I'm not up to par, there's no point in seeing the Azrael Bitches, so maybe I'll just check in to Kuoh? Let's see what those pathetic bastards have done with my precious villa~"

Rising to his feet, he stretched out. "Shouldn't be too long a trip~ I wonder who I'll find awaiting my arrival~"

Stepping outside, vampiric wings tore free from his back, propelling him into the sky and high above the clouds in a reddish black streak.


Around the same time, at the penthouse of the Sorceress Candidate.

Having received a guest a few hours earlier, Lilith had spent the proceeding time discussing sensitive topics.

"How curious." Remarked Vestinel, as he sipped on the tea his friend had made him. "So Marcellus Isholy is currently in that kind of precarious position~ This does explain why the seal weakened so inexplicably before~"

"It would seem that Xavier Naberius doesn't know what it means to ruin the balance~" He suggested with a chuckle.

Lilith sat with her legs elegantly crossed, hands atop her knee as she observed him calmly. "Perhaps so, the circumstances behind that event are unclear, even to those closest to both parties. It's more than possible that everything that anyone else knows is untrue, nothing more than hearsay, or misguided assumptions. All I know, is that it is all connected, just as Ophis implied. The important thing now, if to find out how."

"True enough, for you at least." Vestinel responded coolly, setting the teacup down. "In my case, nothing will change the way in which I interact with Marcellus."

"Speaking of, I'm told you have a long history with him." Lilith admitted. "Would you care to share, after I've taken my precious time catching you up?"

Chuckling, Vest nodded. "You never change, Lilith. I'm pleased. Marcellus Isholy and I, our relationship may be long, but it was never too special, if that's what you're hoping for. He and I were rivals from the day we met, foes who could cross blades with every encounter. He is the only being within all the abominable Factions, who I have ever felt respect for."

He smiled as the girl blinked at him, "Yes, you heard right, I hold the utmost respect for that man. He was nothing like the other filthy hypocrites of Heaven, no, he was a saint in the truest sense of the word. He held hatred and discrimination, for no being, even those who wronged him. He was perfectly content to live and let grudges die. By all rights, he was indeed the kind of companion whom I would be willing to share my past with, after all, his own was shrouded in mystery even as an Angel. However, perhaps it was for the very same reason that I respected him...that I could not bring myself to act friendly with him. After all, above all else, he was my greatest trial to overcome, for the sake of reaching my goal."

"Of course, hellbent as you are on the idea of becoming God, the chances of you two becoming close were slim to none." Lilith suggested, stroking her hair as she listened to him.

Vestinel was watching her as he spoke, noticing reactions which weren't quite natural as far as he knew. "...As you say. With every clash of ours, I did feel a strange sensation. It was not simply our mutual status as Sacred Beasts, for I had faced off with Dorothea Aym numerous times and never felt the same sensation. Perhaps it was in my head, I couldn't say for certain after so long. But it did feel as if Marcellus was never once willing to allow our battle to reach a conclusion. Every time, whether by his efforts or those who adored him, we were always stopped somehow. The most memorable cock tease I received in regards to him, came with the first and only time I had the good fortune of doing battle with the Thousand Empress."

"You mean...Marcel and Lenneth's older sister?" Lilith tilted her head. "Why would she...get in your way? She's a high-ranking Devil, Marcel was a high-ranking Angel."

"Ah of course, precious few were aware of their relationship." Noted Vestinel, stroking his chin. "In truth, Daenerys Naberius and Marcellus Isholy were close friends for over a century. And much more than friends as well, from what I myself saw. I'm fairly certain it was unrequited from Daenerys' side, however. If Marcellus knew how she felt for him, he simply refused to return her feelings."

Blinking again, Lilith covered her mouth. "Marcel and Daenerys were close before, and she was in love with him? And then he was made into her little brother...? How...concerning. I was unaware, but she may just be a strong lead toward the truth. Thank you for sharing, Vestinel."

She motioned to him calmly, "Is there anything you can tell me about Marcel's father, or Lenneth's mother?"

Chuckling in amusement, Vestinel nodded. "I did not interact with either of them very often, and I've no idea of how they met their ends, given how removed I was these last few centuries, however they were both very interesting individuals~ Marcellus Sr. was a very easygoing man of limitless patience, a bit similarly to his son. To be honest, he knew my identity from our first meeting. Even knowing that I was trained by Master Faust, that I intended to erase his kind and all similar, he still treated me well. He seemed to understand well, the pain I held in my heart, the desires which consumed me. Back when I was at my most reckless, he took the time to nurture me, protecting me from my own inexperience when it proved fatal. Master Faust would never answer my questions about that man, but it was clear they had a history, that Master respected him, much like I respected Marcellus. In fact, perhaps it was because of his father, that my opinion of him was so high from the start. After all, it was from Marcellus Sr. that I first learned of Jr.'s exploits. I felt great jealousy, when I saw those two together with Ariel Isholy. If ever there was a perfect family, it was those three. Separately, they each shone so incandescently, however when they united...they were blinding. So much so, that there were times when I felt as if my resolve might fade away, were I to spend too much time observing them."

Lilith smiled bitterly, "I see...Ophis did say they were the envy of all. If they had such an effect on you, of all people, they must have been a sight to behold."

"Indeed." Vestinel confirmed, running a hand through his hair. "Lenora Naberius...formerly Lenora Vinea, the former Head of House Vinea in the 72 Pillars of Hell. She was a complicated one. In many ways, she was the model Devil. Mischievous, cunning, diabolically intelligent. And at the same time, she was quite the opposite. Compassionate, kind, caring, understanding. She was a truly brilliant woman, a Magic User of such caliber that even Master Faust lamented that she was born a Devil."

"The Archmage himself praised her, in spite of being a Devil?" Her surprise apparent, Lilith stared at her companion while waiting for him to continue.

"Yes, she was truly masterful and innovative." Answered Vest with a light chuckle. "She was even able to teach me a few things. She was a Devil who surpassed the ability of the original Vinea who served Lucifer before and during the Great War. Had she the aspiration, she had the talent to become one of the Four Great Satans, even take the throne for herself. But the drive for conquest...a love for battle? She had neither of those, only innocent curiosity. Her only desire was to make new discoveries, to pioneer new breakthroughs in the mystic arts. The ritual which Xavier used to curse Marcellus, was nothing more than an unintended byproduct of one of her experiments, an accident which she decided to invest more time in. Unfortunately, she did not share the finer details of that accident with me. She was always very soft when it came to her children, gentle. The reason that I only faced the Thousand Empress one time, was that Lenora made me promise not to fight with her children after that incident. I, of course, could not refuse her, no matter how I desired to continue competing against Daenerys. While I was removed from society, Lenora and I kept in contact via letter exchange. We shared ideas as we pursued our own experiments, and she liked to write about her family, always gushing about them. The last letter I received was when she told me that she pregnant with a new child. She and Xavier had high hopes for another daughter, as Kirei Naberius was more than enough as a son. Of course, as Ouroboros informed you, this would have been over a century ago."

He tapped his chin thoughtfully, "Lenora...assuming for the sake of argument, that she may have been aware that she might die. She was certainly skilled enough to find some way to protect her unborn daughter. Of course, the fact that Lenneth Naberius is apparently only 16 years old...I must admit, this truly baffles me. Lenora died over 84 years before she was born, where the Lenora I knew would have protected her through the natural birth process. I am also very curious about how this discrepancy can be explained, as well as how it relates to Marcellus Isholy's circumstances."

Lilith took a deep breath, nodding. "It's very confounding. Once again, thank you for sharing. You've given me a lot to think about."

"I'll always be hard-pressed to deny you, my dear." Vestinel mused with a gentle smile. "I believe I'll step out of your way for the time being, since you require time to think, both on our conversation, as well as your promise with Marcellus. I would like to ask you one thing, before we part ways. Why is your interest in Marcellus? I have gathered that he's related to your Rite of Alignment, however to what extent?"

"That's..." Lilith hesitantly looked away from him. "I apologize, Vestinel. I was instructed to refrain from sharing my Rite's goal with anyone else..."

Glancing aside for a moment, Vestinel nodded. "I understand, your teachers were always strict when it came to you. Well, until the day we next meet. Take care, Lilith."

He kissed her on the forehead, before exiting immediately.

Blushing as she rubbed her forehead, Lilith looked down. {That's the first time that he's... I wonder how I would react if it were Marcel doing that instead...}

She was unaware, due to being holed up in the penthouse, that Marcellus had an eventful trip to Heaven.


Two hours after the Lenneth Household's conversation.

Within the Sixth Heaven, the Isholy Palace.
Things had been very interesting here, in the aftermath of the sudden reunion of the Isholy Family. After the moment between Ariel and her son, who passed out almost directly after calling her Mom so inquisitively, quite a few things happened. For starters, Marcellus remained unconscious regardless of his companions' best efforts, and over 24 hours had passed. At that time, roughly 42 hours had passed since Rooklyn Bael's confinement and 26 had passed since the setting of his Trial date, meaning there would have been barely two days remaining. During this period, the Goddess Anubis was announced to be presiding over the Trial, a decision made by Michael, Azazel and Gwyneth with counsel from Charon. The development caused the three Faction Leaders to push back the Trial's start by four days, meaning there were then roughly 6 days for everyone involved to gather their evidence and strategize. There were rumors, very quiet rumors, suggesting that perhaps the real reason was because Rooklyn's best friend was currently out of commission under mysterious circumstances. Either way, this did work out very well for young Marcellus and his comrades.
Two hours after this development, Marcellus Naberius awoke after 26 hours of slumber. As the Isholy Family hadn't left his side, they were the first thing that he saw. The boy was out of sorts, but he told them that he suddenly remembered things, memories from someone else's life. He knew that, beyond a doubt, they were his own memories, of that very family, of Ariel, of Heaven's holy denizens...however, those memories didn't feel like his. Although he remembered the majority of what he'd been through with them, it didn't feel personal. He knew Ariel as his real mom, for example, but he couldn't actually think of her as such. It was almost as if the strong bonds and emotions which were connected to those memories, hadn't come back to him.
Hearing that Marcellus had awoken, the other Seraphs insisted upon seeing him, but stayed back for the time being when Ariel requested they don't suffocate him. Known only to Ariel's Household, she had spent the last 18 years laying out her thoughts and feelings in a series of diaries, which could be better referred to as encyclopedias with their depth. The others had seen it as a coping mechanism for her, so they had never interfered, something which worked out. Informing Marcellus that she had written it all when she had nothing better to do, Ariel passed them along, hoping that maybe his emotional connection to them all could be triggered. Following this, news of his awakening passed through the other Factions only four hours after he got up.

Since then, the former Ace of Ariel had remained in his room, reading. Every hour or so, the Isholy Family's members would come in to check in with him, deliver refreshments and chat briefly. With every meeting, Marcel knew that his current state was hurting them, he could feel the pain they felt in their hearts, and yet he didn't feel emotionally attached at all. Not even during the moments he spent alone with his own mother. He didn't know how he felt, exactly, but he was caught up in it all, to a degree he couldn't explain, as it was a sensation he'd never experienced. The thought of contacting Lenneth, Rinslet, Gwyneth, Fianna, Lilith and the others hadn't crossed his mind, not even once. In fact, those people so important to him, currently had no place in his mind whatsoever, beyond passing thoughts as he read. He actually felt it best not to have contact on any level, until he could sort out the void of thoughts and feelings swirling around within him. The one thing he'd been concerned about, Rooklyn, was alleviated when Ariel assured him that there was far more time until the Trial than he'd planned for. As such, he was then completely focused, engrossed in reading every last word written by his clearly loving and doting mother.

Sipping some tea as he continued reading, Mar had noticed something which became more and more apparent with every chapter of his past life. Yes, there was notable gaps, which led him to realize that he was missing a ton of memories still. However, it was the way in which these logs of life were written. He marveled at Ariel Isholy's penmanship and her way with words, her poetic nuances strewn about within her writings. He knew that his own skills were most likely cultivated as a result of the time he remembered spending with her. While his own emotions toward these events were nonexistent, the same couldn't be said for the writer. In fact, as he read, he became aware that Ariel was, perhaps, an even more expressive writer than he was at his roots.

The first date he ever went on in his actual teen years, with the girl who was like a daughter to Ariel, Valeria Kryas; the woman who was his first true love. The time he spent in intensive training sessions alongside Hisui and Jade Dynah. The fateful month in which they'd befriended Guinevere Avnas and adopted her into the Family, making her one of a handful of Devils ever Reincarnated as an Angel. The foolish and perverted antics which Marcellus and Sterling Archer would get up to as the only males in the House, where hundreds more loyal Angel ladies roosted beneath the Seraph. Gabriel Sephirah informing Ariel that she was borrowing Marcel for romantic outings, much to her chagrin. Michael, the other Seraphs and Angels in general, showering Marcellus in love and praise for his unyielding service to Heaven. The easygoing and tranquil moments in which Ariel was allowed to have her beloved son all to herself, where they'd write and read together, go on walks, watch movies and sometimes spend hours upon hours just talking. These were things he remembered...

Fierce antagonism between Valeria and Daenerys Naberius, whom Ariel witnessed Marcellus putting himself between. Her son befriending the eldest daughter of her greatest rival and archnemesis. The first meeting of Dorothea Aym and Marcellus, which began with a fight to the death and ended with what Ariel described as the most important friendship in Mar's life. His many interactions with Rooklyn and Gwyneth Bael, usually a package deal back then, as well as many other Devils. Suspicion regarding the intentions of Arcelia Agares toward Marcellus, shared by all the Angels. Spiteful exchanges between Ophis, Sophia Lantis and Marcel. Alleged trysts between Marcel and Hela Odin, Goddess of Death. A number of heated and unfinished battles between Marcel and Vestinel Exeris, through which a mutual respect bloomed. Meetings and brutal battles with Alucard, Trihexa, Great Red and others, most of whom were ultimately sealed by the Sacred Beasts' Hosts. Interactions with the Fallen Faction, Azazel and his Grigori compatriots. Vastly varying points where his path would cross with special Humans: Arthur Pendragon, wielder of Caliburn and a candidate for strongest Holy Sword wielder. His little sister Le Fay Pendragon, a skilled Magician. Alexander Anderson, a Cardinal of the Church, with the second highest ranking and a fearsome reputation for being a monster of an Exorcist. Scathach, leader of the Hero Faction among the Humans descended from heroic bloodlines. Also of the Hero Faction, Karna, Son of the Sun God. Atalanta, the Chaste Huntress of the Hero Faction...

The vast majority of what was written, were things that Marcel had no recollection of whatsoever, even if he could put faces to the names he read, as a result of meeting the individuals in question in his current life. What really, truly caught his attention was the subtext behind every word, which painted a picture that only a handful of people could see.

Taking a breath as he closed the final book, Marcel looked to his side, at the Queen sleeping by his side. {It's not just my imagination, after all. Mom...mother...Ariel Isholy. She doesn't make any mention of my real father, beyond the suggestion that I forgot about him. More importantly...the tender word choice... Exactly...what kind of relationship did she and I really have?}

Flashbacks ran through his mind, of the confusing conversations he'd had, recently and even years back, most notably with House Foras. {No, actually this explains all of that very clearly. They weren't the first ones to make those claims so vulgarly. Is it true, then? Were Ariel and I in an...incestual relationship...? So strange...according to my memories, we were definitely closer than typical in a mother-child bond, but...I don't really remember having sex with her so...maybe...it's just a misunderstanding born of our former closeness?}

Valeria stirred lightly, opening her eyes and rubbing them, before sitting up. She smiled warmly upon seeing the man she'd always loved. "Matt...are you already done?"

"Oh...yes, I am." Marcel answered politely, setting the book down in front of her. Although he'd been getting close to the girl and her friends before, the recent situation made it difficult for him to treat them the same. As such, he'd been behaving rather standoffish with them.

Val giggled lightly, grabbing and flipping through the massive book. "You read as ridiculously fast as ever~ You know, it only took you 12 hours to read something that Lady Ariel spent over 18 years on~"

Scratching his head, Mar nodded. "I guess my reading speed is pretty unnatural, after all. Len and the others were always saying the same, always wondering if I really read properly."

At the mention of the Naberius Family, Valeria sat back, her smile fading. "Matt, did nothing at all change? Did you...really feel nothing...even after reading all of that...?"

"I...am sorry." Sweating nervously, Marcel looked down into his lap, a deep frown on his face. "I could...feel my Mom's love in those books. The pain she felt being away from me. The depression which Dad put her through... There's so much I don't remember about who I used to be. I can't...really put any emotion to what I myself recall. I don't know why...it feels as if they're memories of someone else's past, mistakenly transplanted into my mind..."

"In fact, the only thing I feel right now is disappointment, Val." He admitted with a sigh. "Because I just can't bring myself to act like I actually am the man that you and the rest of them spent so many centuries with... Honestly, knowing that there's centuries of memories that left me...is absolutely terrifying..."

Val gasped, grabbing his hand quickly and shaking her head with great vigor. "T-that's not right, Matt! You have nothing to feel bad about, this isn't even your fault! The fact that you're in this position now...it's all because of Xavier Naberius...and... Just how can you still think of that man so affectionately...? Are you not even the least bit bothered...?"

"I'm not bothered, I'm just utterly confused...and...knowing that almost everyone has been aware of all of this from the start...that all of you have been keeping the truth from me..." Marcel looked down at her hand. "It's not like I'm angry, I just...you know, the only thing that feels real is what I experienced myself. Even if I wanted to feel differently toward Dad, he's still Dad to me. Whatever happened between us, back then, he's...never...not even once...tried to harm me. He's never been anything but loving, even if he shows it in weird ways sometimes."

As Valeria opened her mouth to respond, the door opened and she looked over. "What?"

Hisui smiled softly as the two looked at her, "Val, we have a guest coming tomorrow. Lady Ariel would like to speak with you about her."

"Her...?" Valeria sighed deeply, standing up. "Alright...I'll see you later, Matt."

"Yeah...see you later, Val." Marcellus wore a melancholy expression as he watched her leave. He turned his attention to Hisui, as she shut the door and sat where Valeria had been. "Hisui, are you also bothered by the fact that I still feel that my real home is with the Naberius?"

Shaking her head, Hisui remained smiling. "No, not at all. Marcellus-sama, I was actually one of the Angels who didn't approve of anyone interfering with your situation. You see, for a very long time now...the only things that I desired were to see you and Lady Ariel happy. The latter, unfortunately, has been... But well, regardless of the circumstances, I could see that you were happy with them. It's clear that you truly love Lenneth, Daenerys, Kirei and Xavier, just as they each love you from the bottom of their hearts. So no, I am not bothered. because seeing you happy these last few years has been pure bliss for me~"

Marcel scratched his cheek, blushing as he watched her. "Really? That's...all you want? Nothing else? Val, she...well...and it's clear for Guin and Jade, but...um..."

Hisui's cheeks turned pink as she closed her eyes, "Marcellus-sama, you remember what our relationship was like, don't you? Within the Isholy Family, the strongest pair of all was always you and I. Guin may be your secretary, Val may be your first girlfriend, and Jade may be the one who supported your artwork most, but you and I always had an unbreakable bond. The thing most important to me, it's always been to be by your side. Being allowed to be your friend, once again in this new life of yours, was more than enough for me. So you shouldn't spend any time concerning yourself with my feelings at all~"

{Then she refuses to...act on whatever it is that she feels for me, deep down? No wonder...they always seemed to be projecting...but not her. Never...} Mar sighed in disappointment. "I see..."

He ran a hand through his hair, "Can I ask who the guest you're receiving is?"

"But of course~" Hisui opened her eyes, remaining with a calm smile. "At the request of your Household, Lady Targaryen is coming here to check on you. It seems Lenneth-san and the others have been extremely restless and worried, but it would be difficult for them to come here themselves right now. As such, Lady Targaryen agreed to act on their behalf."

"I see...so Lilith is coming here tomorrow..." Marcel scratched his head a bit nervously, looking to the window. "It's...evening, right?"

Covering her mouth, Hisui nodded. "It's amazing that you can tell right now, but yes. The Sorceress Candidate is scheduled to arrive tomorrow afternoon. I'm sure she has many messages to pass on for your loved ones. As for Rooklyn-san's Trial, tomorrow there'll be four days until it begins. You still have plenty of time, and from what I understand, Lady Ariel also passed on your plan to Lord Michael. As you hoped, the Three Factions and Valhalla are all of the same mind. Your allies have certainly been hard at work, even amidst their concern for you. The main challenge will likely be to present all of our cases in a united manner which benefits Rooklyn-san, without being able to openly converse. Of course, if you participate in the Trial yourself, I'm confident that you will definitely save him~"

Blushing again, Marcel looked back at her. "You really...believe in me. I...wish that I knew what my feelings were toward you..."

Hisui blinked in surprise, watching him. "Marcellus-sama...there's no need for you to-"

The door burst open, Guinevere leaping onto the bed to hug Mar. "Marcy~ Val said you finished reading~ Did you remember how madly in love we are~?"

Turning red as he pat her on the back, Marcel gulped a bit loudly. "S-sorry..."

"Wow...so even that wasn't good enough..." Clearly disappointed, Guin released him and got off the bed. "Well...dinner's ready, so...would you like to eat with all of us? Even if you don't really care about us, we..."

Marcel froze with her last statement, barely managing to respond. "Y-yeah..."

Hisui frowned as she got up, "Marcellus-sama...shall we?"

"Right..." Agreed Mar as he got out of bed, gripping his arm tightly as it shook. {It isn't as if I...don't care about any of them at all...I just...don't know how to...process all of this properly... I really don't know how I'm supposed to feel anymore... And now that I think about it...I wonder if Len knew too...}

Biting his lip in discomfort, he reluctantly trailed along behind the two Angels to eat his first supper with the Family he'd been separated from.


The next afternoon, when the Sorceress Candidate appeared promptly on time in Heaven.

Lilith Targaryen, upon arrival, was escorted by the Isholy Family's most loyal servants. She took a calm glance about, finding all eyes upon her as she walked.

"Please pardon their gawking, Lady Targaryen." Hisui smiled at her. "You're a rather big sensation within Heaven, by virtue of being the youngest Sorceress Candidate in history."

Jade chuckled a bit, "Yeah, they're all curious about you."

"I don't mind at all," Lilith responded coolly, running a hand through her hair. "I am quite used to being the center of attention, so it's no bother to me."

She looked up as they approached the Isholy Palace, her eyes practically glowing. "My, what an enchanting palace this is~ It's certainly fitting of the illustrious Isholy Family~"

Hisui giggled at her responses, "You are just as interesting as Marcellus-sama said you were~"

At the mention of Marcel, Lilith quickly calmed down, clearing her throat. "What exactly did that uncouth fool say about me?"

"Quite a bit, actually." Admitted Jade with a casual shrug.

"Welcome, Lady Targaryen." Valeria called out from the entrance as the doors opened up.

"It's a pleasure to meet you~" Guinivere curtsied as Val did.

"Sup?" Archer waved to her with a grin. {She's a lot cuter than Marcel claimed she was~ Was he covering his bases, like old times?}

Lilith answered with an elegant curtsy of her own, "The pleasure is all mine, thank you for accepting my presence."

Ariel came down the main stairs at the entrance hall, showing a smile to the Magician. "Welcome to Heaven, Lady Targaryen~"

"Ah, Lady Ariel!" Lilith bowed her head respectfully. "I've heard an innumerable of fantastic things about the Sunburst Huntress."

Ariel touched her cheek, still smiling. "I'm sure they're very exaggerated stories. Please, call me Ariel."

"Actually, I'm sure the stories are quite spot on, after taking my first look of you~" Lilith responded politely, standing up straight. "And please, call me Lilith, then~"

Valeria, Hisui, Jade, Guinivere and Archer exchanged glances, immediately realizing that the girl and their master had already hit it off.

"Lilith!" Marcellus' voice was heard first, as he shot down the stairs a moment later, a relieved smile on his face. "I'm so glad you made it okay. I thought for sure that you'd offend someone and get in trouble~"

Twitching slightly, Lilith's smile strained. "My, I see you have a surprisingly low opinion of me, Marcel."

Marcel chuckled at her reply, waving a hand dismissively. "Not at all, Lilith. If anything, our last meeting should be all the evidence you need to know how much I respect you~"

"Respect...you've a very contrary manner of showing it." Lilith whispered, sparking laughter from those with them. "Hm?"

Ariel smiled warmly, "Thank you for coming, Lilith. Your presence alone has been enough to help Marcellus relax~"

Mar blushed slightly, clearing his throat. "I've...been plenty relaxed... But it's relieving to see you, really..."

"Matt..." Val frowned as she looked at him.

"Shall we talk over tea?" Hisui suggested, motioning toward the living room.

"Yes, let's." Ariel answered with a slight smile.


In the living room, where the small group partook in tea and sweets.

"So...Angel snacks are pretty divine, aren't they?" Marcellus mused, watching the future Sorceress with a smile.

Lilith looked at him, her eyes focusing on his lips primarily. Her cheeks flushed a bit red, as she recalled her friend kissing her forehead, also imagining the lips in her sight upon her brow. "...Yes, they're quite delicious."

Clearing her throat, she spoke again. "May I get right to my purpose for visiting?"

"Yes, of course." Ariel answered with a nod. "Please, pay us no mind."

"...Thank you." Lilith looked around Marcel, seeing his mother and former Household were all sitting close around him, aside from Archer who was standing directly behind like a guard, and Hisui, who was seated by her instead.

{They must be indescribably happy and relieved to have him back home...I'll ask about this arrangement afterwards.} She looked at Mar again. "Lenneth and your friends were worried sick about you, Marcel. I would assume you would have told them about this properly, but they unfortunately learned of the hidden truth from Izaya."

"I see..." Marcellus nodded slowly, seemingly not bothered by the close proximity of those near him. "How are they doing?"

Taking a breath, Lilith answered. "They're distraught over the truth, of course. In fact, Izaya himself, Miss Rossweisse and Yukina are the only ones who knew before now."

Her response caught Mar off guard, "Wait, really? Len...Elena, and even Rinslet...they didn't know?"

Lilith nodded, before speaking. "Yes, that's right. But despite their concern for your condition, and whether or not you would return to them, they have been faithfully doing everything in their power to help you get things in order for the trial three days from now."

Unable to stop himself from smiling, Marcellus let out a sigh of relief. "So they didn't know...I'm glad... I should go speak with them."

"I agree," Admitted Lilith, motioning to him. "However, it's your little sister who asked me to tell you this. 'Don't feel obligated to come back to us. I can't even pretend to have the faintest inkling of the pain and confusion you're feeling now, but all that matters is that you're okay. We'll do whatever we can, for as long as we can, so please focus on trying to figure things out, if you can. Just know that we will always be waiting for your return, so at the very least, please don't forget about us.'"

Ariel blinked a few times, {Lenneth Naberius...she really is similar to Lenora...}

"Marcellus?" She looked at her son, surprised to see him in tears.

"S-sorry..." Marcel wiped his eyes quickly, a big smile on his face. "Len's grown up so much...that sister of mine..."

"Thank you, Lilith. This made all the difference for me." He bowed his head to her.

Lilith blushed again, tossing her hair over her shoulder. "There's no need to thank me, however I'll accept your gratitude anyway."

She noticed sadness in the rest, as they realized that Mar's feelings for his adoptive little sister hadn't changed even slightly. "...But about you...what exactly is it that you...recall now?"

"Um..." Mar glanced at his family a bit hesitantly, before answering. "I can recall...quite a lot of the memories I share with them, but...well..."

Hisui took a deep breath, "Marcellus-sama can remember much of our life together, however it feels to him as if the memories are foreign."

Lilith blinked once, "You remember, but you're lacking any of the emotions tied to the remembrance?"

"Right...and I don't know why." Marcel replied with a frown.

"I see...that explains a lot." Remarked Lilith, a contemplative expression on her face. {That is very unnatural. There must be something else at play here.}

Valeria was hesitating to say something, but stopped altogether as she noticed a new arrival. "Lady Gabriel."

"Hello, everyone~" Gabriel flashed a beautiful, alluring smile, one which seemed to produce a light of its own. "Ah, you must be Lady Targaryen! Michael told us much about you before, it's wonderful to meet you~"

"And I you, Lady Gabriel." Lilith responded, rising to her feet to curtsy primly.

Giggling a bit, Gabriel watched her. "You're very adorable~ And ah, please relax everyone! I apologize for intruding, Ariel."

"No, it's fine Gabe." Ariel responded with a slight smile. "I can guess why you're here."

Gabriel smiled at her, nodding as the others settled down before they could greet her normally. "Marcel? Uriel, Raphael and the others were all concerned about you, so they asked me to come and check on you in their place."

Marcel nodded to her, "I thought as much. Uriel, Raphael, Michael...after my mother, you and the Angels here, those three were the closest to me, right?"

"Ah, yes..." Gabriel replied, blushing slightly. "Could it be that you remember?"

"I do, but...that's all." Marcel replied. "I don't really feel like those old memories are mine yet...sorry..."

Shaking her head, Gabriel smiled at him. "There's nothing to apologize for, it's not your fault at all~"

Lilith looked between Ariel and Gabriel in awe, {So these are the two most beautiful Angels...arguably, the two most beautiful women in the Universe, depending on who you ask. How surreal it is to have met them both today.}

Marcellus took a breath, closing his eyes for a few moments. When he opened them, he looked at Gabriel and Lilith. "I'd like to go get some fresh air, if you two care to join me. Do you mind?"

Hisui smiled at him, "Not at all, Marcellus-sama. We shall all remain here and leave you to it."

"...Yes." Ariel agreed after a moment's hesitation.

Val, Guin, Jade and Archer frowned at Ariel and Hisui, though they quietly accepted an unspoken agreement to not interfere.

"We'll be back later," Mar decided, smiling at his former Family before leading Lilith and Gabriel out of the palace.

Hisui cleared her throat after they left, "Everyone...I do understand what it is that you're going through, however we shouldn't be smothering him like that. Lady Ariel, you were the one who wished to leave Marcellus-sama to his own choice. I get that things are different right now, but while he doesn't know how to treat us... Please, give him a bit more space, okay?"

"Yes..." Ariel sighed deeply. "You're right, Hisui. We...will stop being so clingy to him."

"We will?" Guinevere frowned at her. "I just want him to love us again..."

"That's what we all want..." Valeria replied with a sigh.
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Sangios
He Who Was Born With the First Troll and Shall Perish With the Last
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Age : 25 Registration date : 2011-08-16 Number of posts : 99 Location :
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PostSubject: Re: The Begining of the End   Sat 03 Mar 2018, 09:49

In the First Heaven.

Marcel walked in between Gabriel and Lilith, looking around the surprisingly urban area. "How...uniquely jarring."

"Certainly, in spite of its overall beauty, it's rather...out of place?" Lilith tilted her head a bit as she studied their surroundings.

Gabriel giggled at their musings, looking up at Mar. "The idea was that the difference between here and the rest of Heaven would throw off first time visitors and shatter their expectations~ Also, the design was meant to invoke a feeling of general familiarity, taking into consideration the Humans that are Reincarnated as Angels. And natural Angels would hopefully feel more comfortable journeying from Heaven to Earth and back~"

"Care to guess whose idea this was~?" She wondered with a beautifully innocent smile.

Lilith was caught off guard by the smile, blushing as she looked at the man between them. "I would assume..."

"Me? Really?" Marcel scratched his head as Gabriel nodded. "Well, I guess I do see the appeal to that thought process. It probably isn't enough to just...be Heaven, Realm of the Angels, right? This is probably the best blend between Angel and Human culture that one could hope for."

With his opinion delivered, Gabriel couldn't stop herself from giggling again. "That was your thought process a century ago, too~ I guess it really doesn't matter what happens, you'll always be the Marcel we treasured so much~"

Lilith brushed her hair over her ear as she watched Mar, who smiled bitterly. "Lady Gabriel? Did Marcel have some level of authority in Heaven, before?"

"Yes, you could say that..." Responded Gabriel with a sad smile of her own, all the people in the area focused on them from various directions. "When you took an active role in Heaven, Marcel, we were all spoiled. We have no idea what it was about you, but...you truly seemed to know more about everything than we Seraphs ever did. In times of certainty, in the face of the unknown, we never feared anything that might have come at us, because we all believed in you, with all our hearts. Michael once told Ariel and I that...he felt he was the leader of the Angels, in name only. That the true leader was you, Marcel, and he never once felt jealousy or resentment. In fact...like the rest of us, Michael always adored you. I think that he was hoping to one day make you his official successor, but...perhaps that was never your destiny."

Marcellus blinked as he listened to her, grasping at his heart, which ached the more he heard. "I..."

Lilith frowned at him, trying to figure out what she could say.

Taking a sorrowful breath, Gabriel touched Mar's arm gently. "I'm sorry, Marcel. I know you might not believe it, but I do understand how you're feeling. How you've been feeling. It...must be so difficult to be faced with so much history, and suddenly told that you're at the heart of it all. Ariel and your Family...they felt your loss even more keenly than the rest of us collectively. I know you don't know how to respond to all of this, but they can't help themselves. Ariel was the one who made everyone promise not to interfere with you, but now that you're back, and knowing that you do remember many of the important memories we all made together...they're just so desperate to be with you again..."

"I know that...I do..." Marcel replied softly, holding his head. "I want...to be able to tell them what they want to hear. I want to be able to put them at ease, to put you at ease too, Gabriel..."

"Huh?" Gabriel's eyes opened wider as she turned to him.

Marcel glanced aside, "Our former relationship was...special, wasn't it? You...must have been lonely without him- I mean, me..."

Covering her mouth, Lilith looked between the two as the Seraph blushed brightly. {He was...romantically involved with Lady Gabriel...? Yen did mention how he was so charming he'd won the hearts of Ophis and Sophia Lantis, while being capable of potentially doing the same for her and the other Sorceresses...but...}

Marcel's mouth hung open as he intended to say more, but no sound came out as he stopped and looked around.

He raised a hand to block Gabriel, when she recovered enough to respond. "Wait. Something is...off."

"Off...?" Lilith and Gabriel tilted their heads.

{This isn't exactly a new feeling, right? It's one I've experienced quite a few times.} Marcellus looked at the two girls, glancing in a few different directions. {This is definitely bloodlust. We're under attack.}

Master, they have us surrounded. Seiryu claimed.

The two ladies both tried to speak at the same time, and both were flustered as their male companion pulled them into his arms without warning.

Jumping back, Marcel's Devil wings sprouted as he looked down to see a bullet embed itself in the ground. The surprised cries and screams from the First Heaven's citizens were tuned out as he swiftly ascertained the angle it entered the floor. {From above, pretty high. Atop one of the biggest buildings? A sniper. But who were they aiming for? Gabriel, Lilith or me?}

Landing on his feet, he twisted around and sprinted into the nearest alley as a controlled swarm of bullets poured down about them.

{Bullets...? Suddenly, we're being shot at...?} Lilith just blinked, shocked by the sudden development.

{I was so distracted I didn't notice, but Marcel did. Is he using the All-Seeing Eyes?!} Gabriel looked up with hope, which was promptly dialed down as she saw his eyes were normal. {No...but then...? Could it be that Marcel was actually uncannily perceptive, even without them?}

"Thank you!" She exclaimed, as he set them down in the alley.

"Don't mention it! What should we do?" Marcellus inquired, looking at her.

Gabriel tapped her chin, "Typically, the response time in the First Heaven should be instantaneous, but..."

She closed her eyes for a moment, nodding. "As I thought, we've been trapped without realizing it. Whoever these assailants are, they prepared an Isolation Barrier. The only others with us are citizen Angels, so we're likely on our own for the time being."

"I was afraid you would say that..." Marcel admitted, moving close to the corner of the alley exit and cautiously peeking out. He quickly pulled back as bullets pelted the building, one stray nearly hitting his cheek. "I can't see any hostiles, so they were already laying in wait for an ambush. These guys are clearly professional soldiers. Their first move was to kill their target with a single shot, when that failed, they fired off a controlled burst, which stopped the moment they lost my beat. I felt bullets whizzing by for a few moments after I ran, so their target acquisition is extreme, something also evident from just then... It's safe to assume the same of their reaction time."

Gabriel blinked a few times, surprised by his analysis of their foes. "I see...and there's no time to ponder on how they could have planned this assault. Do you remember any of the similar situations you and I found ourselves in together?"

"Yes, I do." Marcel answered immediately, not bothering to remind her that the memory felt foreign.

"Gabriel and I will fight back defensively, but Lilith, could you-" He cut off as he looked to the Sorceress Candidate, who was curled up and shaking. {That's right, she...froze when she was about to be attacked by those idiots of House Foras, too. I give her a hard time, but it's easy to tell she's a truly powerful Magician. She may have power I can't imagine, but she's still just a young girl, a sheltered one, judging by the way she reacted to things during the tour...she's terrified.}

He glanced at Gabriel, moving when she nodded to him. "Lilith..."

He gently touched her shoulder, "I know you're scared, Lilith. Anyone would be in this situation. I would never expect anything of you in such circumstances, but...if you can, won't you gather a bit of courage? You don't have to fight at all, we'll handle that. But if you could...would you try to keep the people out of harm's way? There's no shame if you can't...but, well..."

Lilith quickly grabbed his hand in both of hers, her trembling made clearer. She opened her mouth to speak, but couldn't actually respond.

Smiling slightly, Marcel leaned in to kiss her head gently. "It's okay, Lilith...just stay put, okay? I'll protect you, I promise~"

His hand slipped from her grasp as he stood, "Gabriel?"

Gabriel glanced at him, having taken his position by the exit. "They seem to be waiting. If they're as good as you said, they're probably watching every angle on the alley. We'll be more vulnerable in the air, so we should fight back from the ground."

"Agreed," Marcel nodded to her, pointing to a building opposite the alley exit. "Let's put up shields and make a dash over there, once we're inside, we'll be able to look for a different approach, and we'll learn more about their positioning and their intent."

"We'll be back, Lilith!" He assured the girl, before leading the way out.

"W-wait!" Croaked Lilith, who reached for and failed to grab him before he and the Seraph moved. {I'm...I was sent here to protect him...but instead...?}


Gabriel and Marcel both ran straight to the building, both erecting shields of light and ice respectively. The moment they stepped out, they were greeted by a storm of gunfire from multiple directions.

As they advanced, they used any cover along the path to minimize their potential exposure.

Marcellus' eyes shot back and forth while running, taking in the directions from which the bullets were coming upon them. Kicking down the doors to the building as he reached it first, he reached back to pull his partner after him.

"They're mostly high up, but there are also some stationed ground level." He informed her. "We'll be in trouble if they find Lilith and the Angels in hiding."

Gabriel nodded, "And I noticed something too. The first bullet, that one was...strange when I looked. I could detect subtle traces of powerful Magic. But the ones just now, they were...just bullets."

"Is that so?" Marcel glanced at her in surprise. "That means they have a precious reserve that they'd rather not use. Let's assume that the special bullets are much more dangerous than the regular ones. It's not like regular bullets can't hurt Angels and Devils, but if they happen to be after me, then it should be obvious that I can't be hurt by them whatsoever."

"Right, then let's think that those bullets are designed to harm you properly. That means they'd be dangerous for an Angel of my caliber as well." Gabriel noted. "If only Ariel were with us..."

Marcel looked at his hand as he realized his birth mother's inordinate skill as an archer, something she'd passed on to both him and Hisui. "Right...but I wish I wasn't involving you at all."

"Are you worried for me?" Gabriel wondered.

"Well, yeah..." Marcel answered a bit hesitantly. "Regardless of what I feel, I can't stand the thought of you being hurt in front of me."

Gabriel couldn't help but smile, "You really are always going to be like that..."

She looked toward the building entrance, erecting a barrier of light as she spotted a few men with tactical gear.

Marcel felt a chill as they opened fire, grabbing her arm and roughly pulling her behind a wall. He glanced out, biting his lip as he watched the barrier get torn to shreds by the bullets. "Seems our theory was accurate..."

Gabriel blinked, "And they didn't seem to care about being mindful at all just now... What should we do? We'll be in a lot of trouble if they approach us here."

"Yeah..." Marcel nodded, looking at his hand again. {Maybe my short time here has changed something, after all. If I want to keep everyone here safe, then...just like normal, I should be bold.}

He extended his hand, a sheathed katana appearing in a flash of light.

Gabriel looked at the sword, surprised to see it so suddenly. "Honjou Masamune..."

"Hold on," Mar requested, drawing the weapon as the crystalline, sapphire blade shimmered prismatically.

As he took a breath, cold air was expelled, chilling the entire atmosphere almost instantly. Frost encased the area around them, spreading outward across the rest of the building toward the entrance, stretching beyond it and frosting the ground to trap the feet of the soldiers.

In what seemed to be a single movement, he stepped out from cover and lunged at and through the enemies, a few flashes of steel shining as he returned the blade to its scabbard, now crouching behind them. The soldiers grunted in pain, their hands and feet being separated from their bodies as they fell. He jumped right back as bullets sprayed at him, evading the bursts and returning into the building.

{So fast!} Gabriel watched in awe at his actions as he returned to her.

"I think I know where some of them are." Marcel noted, looking at her.


Lilith's anxiety grew as she heard more gunshots, gripping her arm tightly. {Come on, Lilith...don't just sit there...}

Biting her lip with enough force to draw blood, she settled down somewhat, getting to her feet. Moving to the alley exit, she carefully peeked out just as her ally had cut through the first of the enemies. The moment she saw their blood splash and their bodies fall, she retreated further back, her body tenser than ever before. {What should I do...? What can I do...?}


With some of the enemy positions pointed out, Gabriel produced a number of light-based spears, which launched off at their foes.

Marcel looked at the men he'd cut down, blinking once as runes began to glow on their backs. "Get down!"

He threw himself atop the Seraph, as the downed hostiles' bodies detonated, triggering a giant explosion that shook the whole zone.

"W-what was that...?" Gabriel wondered in confusion, opening her eyes to find her companion on top of her, something which normally would've made her heart skip a few beats.

Mar got off of her and helped her to her feet, a torrent of water and frost swirling around them protectively. "They just committed suicide to try and take us with them..."

He glanced around to find the building was collapsing around them, "Let's move!"


Lilith covered her mouth as the building collapsed, strangely dressed men drawing closer to it. {Are they...?}

She blinked as she heard more gunfire, {That...must mean they're alive?}

She looked down at her left wrist, at a prismatic bracelet made from an unworldly metal, with ancient runes etched into it. Closing her eyes, she focused on it. "...Font of Arcana."

The bracelet shone mysteriously, its light radiating and flowing into her. As the experience of a number of powerful Magicians coursed through her, her mind and her heart turned calm. As her eyes opened, she found herself with a remarkable level of clarity over the situation. {Marcel and Lady Gabriel can't just attack any way they'd like, because they're concerned for the people trapped with us. For the same reason, I shouldn't just involve myself and risk harming anyone. On the other hand, I can locate and gather the innocents together, while helping them locate the enemies.}

A few magic pulses emitted from her, canvassing the entire area within the Isolation Barrier. In her mind, the locations of every individual within were revealed. With a breath, she teleported to the nearest group of innocents.


It seems the Sorceress Candidate has managed to find it in herself to aid us. Seiryu pointed out, noticing Lilith's magic active nearby.

{I'm glad...} Marcel thought in response, running from a barrage of bullets alongside the Seraph.

Gabriel blinked as information was transmitted to her mind, "What is...?"

"It's Lilith!" Marcel exclaimed. "She's giving us a tactical advantage!"

"It doesn't seem like there are too many left, so let's clean them up in one go!" He suggested.

Gabriel nodded in agreement, "Let's!"

Extending her hand toward those nearest them, the ground beneath them shifted as thin spikes of light shot upward in bundles, piercing their flesh and binding their movements while lifting them high off the floor.

Marcel began to take a step, just as something new entered his mind, apart from Lilith's support. Images flashed vibrantly, scenes of bullets flying, with one large round piercing the woman beside him. "!"

Gripping the Honjou Masamune, he took the step properly, stopping in front of Gabriel. As bullets approached from various directions, he swung his blade to parry and deflect them. As a single sniper round was loosed, one which would strike her, he put himself between the bullet and his comrade. Without hesitation, he met the challenge head on, bringing the Holy Sword up to match with the trajectory of the sniper shot, steeling himself as the bullet connected with the edge, splitting in half as its inertia was reset from the contact.

Gabriel could hardly believe her eyes as she realized what he'd done, "Mar...cel?"

The Naberius' soul felt like it was lit aflame, as something flooded his brain and filled him with the emotion of anger. "You think you can target Jibril and get away with it...?"

In a flash he advanced, as if he were a bullet himself, his blade severing a number of limbs in a violent maelstrom of blood just beyond those who'd been impaled. He stopped there, as he felt more sniper shots being fired. "Give it...a rest!"

Instead of retreating this time, he spun in place and swung his blade, the blunt side smacking against the first bullet and deflecting it into the second, which in turn was redirected to strike the third, all three being sent right back to their owners, where they found their marks in the head of each. {There. That should be all of them, right?}

"Marcel...? What did you just... How did you do that?" Gabriel inquired in disbelief. {His Clairvoyance shouldn't be as readily available as Ariel's...but even if it was, how could he achieve that without the Eyes? And just now, did he...call me Jibril?}

Marcellus took a deep breath, lowering his sword as he turned to look at Gabriel. "I..."

"Marcel!" Lilith shouted as she ran over. "You did it!"

Marcel looked over, smiling as he saw the Angel citizens behind her. "Lilith, you did well to-"

Another image flashed into his mind as he cut off, turning again to look at the impaled men, whose bodies were emitting a volatile light. {Shit!}

He threw himself toward them as a much larger explosion was triggered. This one engulfed everything in sight, as he swung his blade without thinking.


A few hours later, in the aftermath of the ambush in Heaven. Within a detention center.

All of the Seraphs and the Isholy Family were gathered outside of another chamber.

Michael let out a deep sigh, perhaps his thousandth in the span of the few hours. "I can't believe such villains were able to bypass our defenses. And to think they'd target our own sister here... I apologize..."

"I know you feel guilty, but you shouldn't blame yourself, Brother Michael." Gabriel smiled warmly at him. "I don't believe that there was much we could do to prevent this particular situation. Besides, it was all solved without casualties on our side~"

"Thanks to...Matt..." Valeria whispered.

Ariel was standing by a one way screen, staring into a chamber as her son and her guest used Magic to interrogate the surviving attackers. {Marcellus...}

"About that, Gabriel." Uriel glanced at her sister. "What you told us...are you certain?"

Raphael bit his thumb, "Yeah, did Mar really...?"

A few hours ago, when the massive explosion had gone off... What should have been a devastating moment, was settled without further incident. As the blast threatened all within the Isolation Barrier, the former Celestial Star of Heaven had brandished his Holy Sword. According to Gabriel, Lilith and the Angels present, he'd repelled the entire blast and redirected it into the sky, where it went off without harming them. Following this, Lilith subdued the hostile survivors and subjugated their minds to prevent them from making any further attempts to kill themselves. Following this, she'd brought down the Isolation Barrier.

"It's true, really!" Gabriel exclaimed. "Marcel, he called me Jibril! He really did, I'm sure of it!"

"He was always the only person permitted to use that particular name for you, too..." Metatron pointed out.

Castiel stroked his chin, "Certainly, and Sister Gabriel is not the type to lie."

Harut ran a hand through her hair, "Right. So Mar protected Sister and the First Heaven, and the Sorceress Candidate managed to keep the people safe individually."

"And beyond that, now they're both handling the interrogation of those they captured." Vehuel remarked, scratching his head. "Not that we could deny them the right, after all they did."

Netzach took a deep breath, "That's right. And now we're stuck wondering what's going on with them. Marcel, especially."

Jade smiled at them, "I mean...if Mar really called Lady Gabriel Jibril, a name that nobody else would call her by..."

"Right, right!" Guinevere chirped happily. "Marcy must have become one with his past experiences, or something!"

"Or something, yes." Hisui agreed with a nod.

Archer grinned, "Yeah man, I'm telling you! I've seen him do that thing before, too! Where he like...sends something right back without a problem! Our Marcel's back, baby! Let's drink to it!"

"Save your celebratory drinks!" Valeria growled, causing many of the Angels to jump in surprise. "Until we hear it from him directly, we shouldn't get our hopes up! Isn't that what we were JUST discussing?!"

Ariel shut her eyes, holding her hands to her chest as everyone looked at Val, then her. "She's right...until Marcellus can confirm it for himself...it's best if we remain prepared to treat him more considerately."

"If Ariel and Valeria say so, that's what we should do." Michael decided.

Frowning, Gabriel nodded slowly. {But I know what I heard...definitely...}


Inside the interrogation room.

Marcellus was holding Lilith's hand firmly, watching the young girl, who was using Magic to invade the minds of their prisoners.

Opening her eyes, Lilith drew breath with relief. "Marcel...do you know of the group known as Femto?"

"Femto?" Marcel nodded in response. "They were becoming a bit famous a century ago. A group of elitist Magicians, who hate everything that isn't Human. They believe the Human race to be inherently superior to all others, maintaining that the maintenance of the Universe should be left to them. They hate we Angels the most, since they're aware that we're the ones in control of God's System. Of course, I'm not really an Angel anymore, but...it's definitely clear that they were aiming for Gabriel over me or you now. The question is how they knew when and how to organize..."

"...That's right." Lilith answered. "Unfortunately, these ones didn't know much. Someone higher in their organization called the shots, only giving information to those who needed to know it. They're very thorough, for a glorified terrorist organization...I did catch a hint that should lead us to one of their bases, though. At the very least, I did confirm that they don't have any other operatives stationed in Heaven at the moment."

She looked up at him, "So you...really remember?"

"It's not that I remember now, only..." Mar noted, looking at her. "I told you that I didn't feel like the memories were mine, but suddenly...they do. They are. I mean, there's a bunch I know I can't remember, but...what matters...I remember that, and that's enough for now."

He glanced over his shoulder, "I wonder how I should greet them..."

Lilith smiled slightly, "I'm...sure it'll come to you."

"...Talk to me, Lilith." Marcellus requested, taking a knee in front of her. "Are you okay? It was the first time your life was in danger like that, right?"

"I...have been in danger before, but...yes...that was...the first..." Lilith admitted, gripping his hand more tightly. "I was so...distraught. I didn't know what to do... I was so pathetic...that I couldn't do a thing without relying on my Sacred Gear...and still..."

Mar smiled at her calmly, "Lilith, there's nothing wrong with that. Being so scared that you're frozen, that you can't react...it's more common than you think. It's happened to everyone at least once, so you shouldn't feel ashamed. Sacred Gear or not, the fact remains that you did act in the end. And you're acting now, too. I know how you feel, but I wish you wouldn't feel so guilty...you did nothing wrong. You only helped, in fact. You're the youngest Sorceress Candidate ever...so maybe there's an incredible legacy you feel desperate to live up to, but holding yourself to such lofty standards will only hurt you in the end. You did just fine, especially for your first time in such a situation."

Shaking again, Lilith shook her head. "It's...not just that...I... I am supposed to...protect you...and yet, the role was reversed..."

"Protect me..." Marcel repeated in a whisper, before speaking louder. "Lilith, is that what your Rite of Alignment is? You have to protect me from something? That's why you went to Kuoh, specifically seeking me out?"

Blinking a few times, Lilith covered her mouth. "That's...that's...!"

"Right, the Rites are traditionally kept a secret." Marcel mused with a light chuckle. "I won't tell anyone, Lilith. And I won't pry either, okay? One day, I just hope you'll trust me enough to tell me everything. If you have to protect me, it means we'll have to be together for quite some time, doesn't it? Well, regardless of your intentions for me, I intend to protect you as well, Lilith. And if you'll accept my help, as someone who understands the vulnerability you feel, so much that it hurts...allow me to support you through your pain and disappointment. I know we only met a few days ago, but despite the way I teased you, I do think of you as my precious friend. I won't expect you to feel the same way, but it would make me happy if you were willing to try to be my friend as well. After all, friends help one another whenever they can~"

Blushing as she looked away from him, Lilith frowned. "You...are surprisingly domineering when you speak."

Mar laughed a bit, "I have been told that I tend to come on too strong sometimes. I'll dial it back, if you want me to."

"No, I...appreciate your candor." Lilith admitted, looking at him again. "Friend...you... I...would like us to be friends, too. And I would like to make a promise to you...that I'll protect you from whatever threatens you."

"Good, then I'll ask you to make another promise." Mar decided, reaching up to touch her cheek. "Will you try to relax around me, at least? It actually makes me feel anxious, when I see you so...on edge."

Lilith's face got redder as she nodded slowly, "I...can't make any guarantees, but I shall try. In that case, I demand a promise of you as well... If you really want me to be your friend...then I don't want you to hide things from me. I understand there are things you...just can't tell others, everyone has such secrets, yes? But...if we're going to be friends, then my only expectation is for you to confide in me whenever you can... In a way...we should be partners from now on, so..."

"That's a fair point, Lilith. I agree." Marcellus replied with a chuckle, standing up straight. He pulled his hands from hers, kissing her on the forehead gently. "I'll try to be open with you, just as you want."

This time, Lilith's face turned dark red, steam practically expelling from her ears as she pushed him away quickly.


A bit later, with the Sorceress Candidate calmed down.

After finishing with the enemy survivors, they were imprisoned until further notice, the others being informed of what was learned.

"So those bullets were enchanted?" Gabriel wondered.

Lilith nodded, holding one of the bullets between her fingers. "Correct. None of the men we encountered today were Magicians themselves, otherwise we would have had a much harder time. The level of skill required for such a powerful enchantment, one that's strongest against Angels at that...Femto has incredibly powerful Magicians in their ranks. One of them was also monitoring through their underlings, because those self-destruct Spells were triggered remotely. They were probably trying to hurt us as much as possible, while erasing evidence. Of course, they didn't know about Marcel's...ability."

Marcel looked at her, "Lilith, you know what Senjutsu is, don't you?"

"Yes, of course." Answered Lilith, who crossed her arms. "They're Sage Arts, skills which allow individuals to harness their own life force to strengthen themselves through rigorous training. Senjutsu is said to be a sign that one walks the true path of a warrior, isn't that right?"

Marcel nodded, patting her on the head and chuckling as she frowned at him. "Yep, you really are a smart one~ Senjutsu can also be used to develop special techniques. For example, Val's Senjutsu Technique is called Blink and lets her move to any place she can clearly see, in the blink of an eye. Archer's Senjutsu Technique is called Danger Zone, but it's a bit confusing and I honestly don't know the specifics. I'm pretty sure he doesn't either, though."

Archer scoffed a bit, "Hey man, I know exactly what Danger Zone is. I just don't know how to explain it!"

Valeria elbowed him in the side, forcing him to hunch over. "Wait, Matt...you..."

Mar smiled at Val for a moment, before looking to Lilith. "My Senjutsu Technique is called Full Counter, and though I can literally only use it when I'm attacked first, it allows me any and all Magic-based attacks. I didn't really use it in front of people in the past. I know that there was more I could do with it, but I can't remember right now."

"R-reflect all Magic?!" Lilith gasped, staring at him in disbelief as the others did.

"Yeah, it's how I saved us earlier." Marcel noted. "That explosion was magic-based, so I could reflect it however I pleased."

He turned to Val and the rest, smiling. "I...don't know whether to say that 'I'm home', or 'It's been a while.'"

"T-then you...do you really...are you feeling right?!" Guinevere asked energetically.

Marcel nodded, "I don't know why, but...shortly after realizing their target was Jibril, I felt extremely agitated. In that moment, everything just...clicked, all of the sudden. I can't explain it much better than that, really."

"I'm sorry that I worried all of you for so long, and I know there's a lot we need to discuss properly, but-" He was cut off as his mother jumped on him. He put his arms around her tightly as she clung to him. "Mom...I love you. Thank you for leaving me alone all that time, even though it hurt... I...don't want to let you get hurt that way, ever again...."

He kissed her on the cheek.

"Awwww~" Guinevere squealed, holding her cheeks as all eyes glued to the mother-son pair, both in tears together.

"I'm uh...not crying right now." Archer claimed, turning his back to everyone quickly.

Marcel wiped his eyes, letting his mother cry against him as she needed, aware that the rest were eager to pounce on him as well. "I really am sorry it took so long for me to find my way back to all of you. It's important that we go after Femto while we have time, since they might just be involved with Rook-chan's case, but...for now..."

Lilith was surprised when the Isholy Family jumped their master, even moreso when all the Seraphs joined in to the embrace. She found herself smiling as she observed. {So this is what Marcellus Isholy meant to all of them...to think even Lord Michael loved him so much. I wonder what this means for his adoptive family and friends, though...and I still have no clue about what Ophis tasked me with. But...I suppose there's no need to rush. Marcel is...my friend.}


Around the same time, within a secret bunker.

Zeyo whistled as he watched a magical recording of the conflict in the First Heaven, "What a monster Marcellus is, dodging, deflecting, cutting and even reflecting bullets like that~"

"You think this is funny?" A man spat venomously. "We spent months getting this very attack prepared, with your aid. Not only did we lose loyal men, we weren't able to kill our target, Gabriel, much less a single damn Angel!"

Zeyo scratched his head, "Don't be so serious, Makarov Ashford. Besides, I do believe I suggested that you send a number of your best Magicians? Didn't you disregard me because you thought I might be leading you into a trap? Because I'm a filthy Devil that's working for the Agares Family~?"

Makarov twitched, gritting his teeth. "DID you know this would happen?"

{Of course I did~} Zeyo thought, while speaking. "Huh? No way, of course not! What, do you think I can see the future or something?"

"I know your kind, Puppeteer...you have your fingers in so much, you think anyone can readily trust you?" Makarov growled.

"Fair point, I guess." Remarked Zeyo with a shrug. "Anyway, as I promised, you were given a chance to take out Gabriel. The fact that you failed is on you, not me. I was personally rooting for you. Even if you failed while she was alone, I've always thought she was more beautiful when covered in blood~"

Gritting his teeth once again, Makarov crossed his arms. "The Sorceress Candidate likely extracted information from our comrades. They didn't know much, but we should alert the base they were working out of, just in case we should see retaliation."

"Yes sir!" Some other members of Femto saluted.

Zeyo chuckled as he turned to make for the exit, {Things are really heating up. In all honesty, while I knew they'd likely fail without listening to me, I hadn't anticipated Marcellus and Lilith being there with Gabe. I thought I'd taken a lot of elaborate steps to ensure some measure of loss, but...could it be that someone else is pulling the strings behind the scenes, just like me?}

He smiled to himself, {Either way, this really is getting interesting! The main event will take place during the trial, when Marcel clashes with Arcelia and her cohorts. But in the meantime, there's so much to look forward to these next few days~ Marcel going after Femto for targeting his beloved Gabriel and attacking his precious Heaven, that interesting date, the reunion of the two most dangerous flames,
Alucard's actions in between, Vestinel's next steps that lead to confrontation, and a number of other fun antics. I certainly won't be bored any time soon~}


The following day, in Kuoh. The Naberius Mansion, inside the library

"Look, Len?" Kirei pat his little sister on the head. "We really are sorry we didn't tell you..."

"Yes..." Daenerys glanced at Lenneth repeatedly, unable to look at her directly out of guilt.

Xavier took a deep breath, speaking in a stern tone. "Blame only me, Lenneth. After all, the circumstances are as they stand, for but the fault of none but myself."

Lenneth looked down, softly touching her big brother's hand and keeping it against her head. "I'm...not mad at anyone...I just..."

"She wishes she had figured out something was wrong." Elena claimed, scratching her head as Len blinked at her. "I feel the same way Lenneth, so don't be too down on yourself."

"To be fair, there were really not many people that'd be willing to talk about this after the promise Ariel made us all keep." Izaya remarked with a shrug.

He shook his head when they all looked at him, "Nah, I haven't heard anything new. I know Lilith was received by the Isholy Family yesterday, so she's probably with Marc-chan right now. But none of my sources have gotten back to me with new info. I heard there was some commotion in Heaven, but they did really well to put the lid on it."

"I wonder when we'll see Senpai again..." Cynthia said softly.

Irisviel frowned, "Yeah...and if Sensei remembers his past, do you...think he'll...?"

"Leave us?" Kirei smiled a bit weakly at her. "That's entirely possible, it would be wrong to pretend otherwise. Until we meet Lil Bro again, we don't know."

Rinslet put her arm around Cyn comfortingly, "Hopefully he comes back soon...f-for all of you, of course. Seeing you so depressed is frustrating!"

"Lady Rinslet..." Rossweisse smiled nervously at her master.

Serena sighed deeply, "Because we don't know what we'll do if he never comes back..."

Alice frowned, letting out an irritated grunt. "So are we really just forgetting the option of busting into Heaven?"

"It's sometimes difficult to tell whether you're brave or just an idiot, Alice." Daenerys remarked with a sigh.

Lenneth couldn't help but smile as her best friend laughed a bit, "Alice, that wasn't a compliment."

Taking a deep breath, she looked around at all of them, taking notice of the fact that one was missing. "Whatever happens...we should...keep working. If there's anything at all that we can do for Rooklyn-san, then we should keep trying...even if..."

Xavier pat his daughter on the head gently, "Yes, allow us to aid you children in any way that we can."

"Yeah, whatever happens, we might as well do what we can!" Kirei claimed.

Daenerys smiled slightly at her sister, {Lenneth has...matured, somewhat. When did this happen?}


Outside the Naberius Mansion, in the gardens.

Yukina was sitting by an ornate fountain, in the middle of a phone call. "-and you really don't know anything, Hela?"

Hela was heard humming lightly in thought, before answering. "No, unfortunately. I'm as in the dark as you all are. Although, I am impressed by the restraint that Lenneth Naberius and her Household have shown, considering how notoriously impulsive they are, even by Devil standards~"

She paused a moment, "How are you holding up, Yuki? I hear from Rin and Ross that you've taken to stalking Mar Mar? Does he really draw you in so feverishly?"

She chuckled as she heard some sparks, "Are you short-circuiting?"

"No," Yukina answered without hesitation, in spite of the fact that black lightning was crackling, discharging from her body and electrifying everything around her as a number of small animals, bugs and insects instantly dropped dead in the garden.

It didn't take long for the electricity to fade, before she spoke again. "I don't really care about who Mar Mar used to be. I just want to stay with my Mar Mar."

"Even though he might already be gone?" Hela inquired, continuing before her old friend could get worked up again. "Fortunately, I can pretty confidently state that Mar Mar will always be Mar Mar. In fact, while he has changed in many ways, he's stayed the same in just as many. I'm positive he won't forget the home he made there, he just needs time to reconcile with the home he used to know. The best you can do is to wait patiently and embrace him when he does make his way back."

She grew silent for a moment, speaking when her conversation partner got quieter than usual. "Either way, I'll go ahead and inform you that I'm quite envious. After all, you'll be able to see him again before I get to."

"Why?" Yukina wondered.

"Let's just say that he and I have a...long-decided-upon date down the line." Hela answered coolly. "It's likely for the best if he and I avoid meeting until the proper time."

Tilting her head, Yukina spoke. "When...is the proper time?"

"You'll probably know when." Hela claimed calmly. "Anyway, if I do hear anything about him on my end, I'll let you know. Of course, knowing Izaya, he'll know before anyone else does, save for Sophia herself."

"Izaya..." Yukina said softly. "What was he like with Mar Mar? Before, I mean. Was he also in love?"

Hela couldn't help but laugh at her question, "You know, I might be lying if I denied that possibility. Izaya then was like Izaya now, when it came to Mar Mar. He was always antagonizing Marcellus Isholy in a number of ways, putting him through countless trials and tribulations of his own design. But you know what? Mar Mar always emerged on the other side of every fire lit, without so much as a scratch on him. I think that his obsession only grew over the years, since Mar Mar would never just ignore him. But whether or not they were friends, or if Izaya himself even knows what he wants from that man...I couldn't tell you. The only people, as far as I know, that can understand Orihara Izaya, are Sophia, Mar Mar and Ophis. He's always been almost irritatingly enigmatic."

"Anyway, we'll talk again later, Yuki." She decided. "Take care, will you? Don't just be a zombie because he isn't there to motivate you. Ah, and please hurry up and start singing again? I've been waiting for your album for about a century now, the excuse that you're afraid of modern trends can only carry you for so long."

Yukina had opened her mouth to respond, staying quiet as her friend hung up without waiting for her. {I hate it when she insists on having the last word.}

She looked up at the sky, {Hela's never known what it was like to be afraid of something. I wonder I can stand her at all, when she's always been that annoying. The only thing her and Mar Mar have in common is their forwardness and boldness. I like Guin, Serena and Elena too, but they're all different too. Is there a reason that I like them?}

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The Begining of the End

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