Sirzechs Lucifer POV
"Well, that could have gone better." Serafall threw herself onto the couch in our lounge area.
"It could have been worse." Ajuka countered with a sigh, sitting down in his own seat.
"Yeah, that Fox could have stopped metaphorically dry fucking us and instead use those massive balls of hers to have a go at the real thing."
"It's not like you to be so crass, Serafall." I commented, taking my own seat to the side.
"Yeah, well, it just seems like every problem we've had since we took our positions was piled up and thrown in our faces today. And there wasn't a damn thing we could do about it except smile prettily and take it."
An annoyingly apt description.
"Admittedly, they are problems that we haven't quite dealt with." I pointed out.
"And it's not like we can just wave a magic wand to fix them." Serafall agreed. "That was some nice bullshit about the Evil Pieces you fed. Sounds like they believed we had actually came up with that idea beforehand and it wasn't just something you thought up right at that moment."
"What can I say? I have a few good ideas every now and then." I chuckled. "And honestly, it's only a few steps further than what we were doing already. I mean, we just keep watch for powerful Sacred Gears and anyone that was…..a potential political hazard. Otherwise, we didn't do much and kept our hands away."
I did think that all up on the spot. And it wouldn't be too hard to actually implement if we really wanted to.
"We're going to need to actually do it though." Ajuka frowned. "Not that I'm against it. Doubly so as the creator of the things. But they're going to be watching and wanting visible results. And a lot of the noble houses aren't going to be happy. You know how they get when we have to police them even if they aren't part of the problem."
"And we can parade Dio around to shut them up." I mirrored his frown, remembering the vivid details about that whole thing. "No offense."
"None taken." Ajuka scowled. "I want to wring his neck myself. That little bastard could have ruined us and that Youkai Leader knows it. She didn't press nearly as hard as she could have. You saw how Michael was acting after hearing what she said? One or two more steps back and he might have pulled out all together."
And he hissed a 'How did they even know?' under his breath.
What a mess. One of Ajuka's family members so blatantly stealing away Church Holy Maidens and Nuns, doing unspeakable things to them. And to top it all off, we were none the wiser about what was going on.
Maybe, we turned more of a blind eye to our own families than we should have when we took up our positions? I know some of Rias's Peerage were not technically .… acquired, through her own merit. I may have pushed her in a direction or two, and may have set up the circumstances that allowed her to gain a few powerful peerage members.
It's unlikely I'll be able to do that in the future with my own proposition on how to deal with the Evil Pieces.
Frankly, it's strange that they knew the intimate details about Dio's dealings. Would this 'Hero Faction' really have kept such detailed accounts of a lower end Devil? Then again with his familial connections such information could have been useful for any number of things, from blackmail to increasing tensions between factions.
I think we were all skeptical on their 'source' of information, even if it did technically make sense. They seemed way too confident for that to be their only card.
"….we have to thank Azazel." I let out a sigh. "And he's going to be insufferable."
"Probably not." Ajuka shared my sentiment. "His faction didn't really come out unscathed either. He had to sit there and bite his tongue when that Fox brought up their last meeting too. And you know Michael didn't approveof Azazel doing something like that right while he's trying to coax us all together."
I couldn't help but furrow my brow. "I thought there was a silent agreement to not cause any problems while we were trying to hash things out before deciding anything official. Why exactly did he go over to Japan, the Hero Faction's Sacred gears?"
"That's what he claims, but you never know what he's thinking." Ajuka nodded.
"No wonder Yasaka just ripped into us. We must look like complete assholes to her with how Azazel handled things. Even if we aren't the same, most others see us all as the 'Abrahamic Factions' rather than separate factions." Serafall let out a whine of annoyance.
"I don't think she thought any differently about us based on that singular example." I snorted.
Serafall threw her hands up. "Why the Youkai of all factions? Why were they the ones holding the paddle while we all had to bend over?!"
"Crude description aside, she isn't wrong." Ajuka leaned forward, looking thoughtful. "It really came out of nowhere. In hindsight, we could look at what's been happening in Japan to realize something was amiss, but not like this. They knew exactly what they were walking into, and they were well beyond prepared."
"Start to finish, they were playing us." Serafall huffed. "Whenever we thought we could gain the initiative, they just slapped us with something that we couldn't argue with. Something is definitely up and we need to know."
"Is that your pride speaking or your status as 'Foreign Affairs?"
"Yes." Serafall huffed again. "We can't be caught off guard again like this again, especially from a small faction like the Youkai. We need people on the inside now, we need to get spies over there."
"And how do you propose we do that? How many Youkai do we have that could sneak into the one of their factions, let alone both of them? Not to mention their borders are sealed up tight, and one of the points they didn't budge on was letting us and the other factions inside wantonly." Ajuka countered.
"I don't know!" Serafall threw up her hands. "We have to do something, though. We were played like amateurs, Ajuka. Even Odin and Lugh had to just bow to their whims. Which brings up the very important question. What the hell? And to answer it, we need to take action."
"As much as I want to figure out this enigma as well, we can't really afford to spend too much resources on it." Ajuka interjected. "We have much bigger problems to worry about."
"Speaking of resources, how bad is it?" I wasn't too familiar with our budget. That was Falbium's domain.
"Baldy gave me the run down before we left." Serafall uncharacteristically scowled. "It's not as bad as it could be. We aren't…..hurting, but we'll have to cut down on spending for a few projects while we reorientate out ourselves. The fact that they vehemently denied any manpower and only accepted more tangible stuff….well, just gotta tighten our belts for a little while."
"It's clear she did not like us." Ajuka grunted. "Compared to The Angels or the Grigori, we're definitely paying out more."
"I could have told you that." Serafall rolled her eyes. "I could have told you that decades ago! But every time I mentioned trying to resolve things with them, it was always pushed to the wayside as unimportant."
…..and it was, then.
No one could have predicted this turn around. They were so unimportant we didn't even bother to acknowledge them when we gained Kuoh as a territory. Granted, that whole process went through the Shinto Gods, one of the few times we even had any kind of back and forth with that Pantheon, but the point still stands.
"And again, another thing takes precedent. The Khaos Brigade." I breathed out. "Apparently, not so insignificant as we thought."
"Rizevim might be finally making a move." Serafall frowned again. "The Youkai did say that he's a part of it. You may need to finally move out and meet him, Sirzechs. I don't know if Ajuka or I could win if we fought."
"It's what I've been preparing for." I acknowledged.
By building a peerage without any Sacred Gear users. Not many knew about the ability that Rizevim inherited from his father, the original Lucifer. The ability that made him a true enemy of Heaven and actually managed to bring the war to the Angels and the Creator himself.
We don't know how he acquired it, somehow twisting the light-based abilities he originally had into something malefic in nature.
The Denial of Miracles.
To depower the creations of God. To weaken the faith and prayers of believers and to bring low the very essence of Heaven.
Sacred Gears were utterly useless in front of his ability. And that was on top of him being the first ever Super Devil.
"We have enough evidence to start pressing." Ajuka stated. "We just need to hit it at the right angle, don't give them an opportunity to weasel out of anything."
"….should we ask Zekram for help? He was oddly…..cooperative about this whole thing." Sera said hesitantly.
"Do we know what he wants? He was helping the Youkai too. And we weren't the only ones who noticed, so he must have done it that obvious on purpose." I added.
"Ugh, who knows what that old man wants." Serafall sighed. "All I know is that he was clearly helping Yasaka." She lifted her head up to look at me. "Think it has anything to do with Wilhelm?"
I still didn't know how to feel about him.
It was so easy to ignore him when he was living ignorantly in Kuoh. When not every Devil in the underworld knew about my indiscretion. And it didn't make it better knowing that so many of the newer generation of devils actually looked up to him.
…..He fought a God.
And from what we learned recently, he apparently killed another.
That's not something many can claim. But, Odin confirmed it himself, even if I was skeptical about the claim, I don't think he would lie about something that serious.
I didn't know what he meant by 'Usurping its Divine Authority', I would need to check with Ajuka about that. While it may sound obvious, the….mechanics behind something like that shouldn't be possible. Otherwise, we would have been hunting down stray Gods for the past few centuries.
And there was so much more that was thrown in our faces. The Wielder of the Boosted Gear and the True Longinus. The latter of which shouldn't be possible with his Devil Heritage. He claimed it was because of his Divinity, but...we don't really have anything to verify that with.
Ajuka said he was going to investigate that 'Aura' thing that Rias's Pawn received from him. He thinks it might be able to answer a question or two of ours when everything was said and done.
And the boosted Gear. It was a Longinus Sacred Gear for a reason. It wasn't something we could ignore by itself, and now it appeared in the hands of someone who...disliked us.
Again, it didn't even stop there….
Magic that even Ajuka can't figure out. A Magician he calls 'Grandfather' that we've never heard of. Women at his side that we also know nearly nothing about bar one in particular that introduced herself.
The name of Scáthach was known throughout the supernatural community. Another person who claimed the title of Godslayer.
"I wouldn't put it past Zekram to try and bring him to the Old Man's Side." I closed my eyes, rubbing the bridge of my nose. "You know how he is about his bloodline. I don't think he'd appreciate someone running around with it that he can't influence."
"Jeez, I didn't even think about that. How pissed was he when he heard about Lucifer JR?" Serafall asked.
"….do you really have to use that ridiculous name?" I sighed at her antics.
"I don't know, did you really have to scowl and stare at him nearly the whole meeting?" She snorted.
"...touché." I may have not been thinking clearly after seeing him in person.
I was about to respond, until a knock sounded on the other side of the door. I think we were all too preoccupied with our own thoughts to notice who it was.
"Come on in." Serafall let out a long breath, leaning back in her seat.
Normally, we wouldn't have been so careless with who we let over here while we were discussing these sorts of things, but it's not like this person wasn't untrustworthy.
"Hello kids." Mother stepped through the threshold. "Just came in to check to see if you need me any longer. I wanted to get back home soon."
I couldn't help but force down a smile as the words left her mouth. It was funny that she's probably the only person in the underworld who would dare address us in such a way. Then again, she did like to say how she babysat us as babies and actually changed our diapers.
"Momma Gremory, perfect timing!" Serafall perked up. "We were just discussing Wilhelm, anything you want to add?"
"Nothing in particular, no." Mother smiled evenly.
"Oh come on, no super secret information that you're privy to? No eavesdropping on their plans so we won't be so thoroughly fucked infront of everyone?"
Mother hummed noncommittedly. "I do know some things that are not public knowledge." We all leaned in a little. "However, I don't think you all want to hear about what I got up to in the bedroom."
I felt myself facepalming, a groan escaping my lips.
"Jokes aside." Serafall giggled. "What do you think about seducing Wilhelm to join our side?"
"Serafall." I sighed.
"Sirzechs, I'm being serious." Serafall was looking surprisingly earnest. "Old Zekram is obviously trying to win him over, so let's beat him to the punch. We have the biggest advantage right now." She jabbed her thumb towards mom. "So, Momma Gremory, you think you can lead him by the dick to join us?"
"….it's not a bad plan." Ajuka also admitted, earning a glare from me.
"It's a ridiculous plan, this whole thing is ridiculous!"
"Sorry, Serafall. Wilhelm and I agreed to keep these kinds of matters out of our relationship." Mother shook her head. "If you want to win him over, you'll have to do it without my help. I don't want to ruin the good thing I have going right now."
"Mother, how long are you going to keep this charade up?"
"Charade?" She tilted her head, looking oblivious.
"Please stop pretending." I sighed again. "I get it, you're upset with me. Can you please stop with this whole nonsense about dating my son?"
"Sirzechs, do you think I would lower myself to do something like this just to punish you?" Mother frowned, her voice one that I recognized from my childhood when I did something wrong. "Don't get me wrong, I'm enthused that it's making you uncomfortable, because you damn well deserve that much. But don't you dare assume I would treat myself so cheaply for that to be my sole motivator."
I didn't understand. Why my son of all people!
"Why?" She blinked. "I'm a Devil, I'm a woman. I have desires, I have wants, I have needs. He was charming, and the opportunity presented itself. He's treated me very well, and I enjoy the time we spend together."
"He's just using you to get back at me!" I spat out.
"Sirzechs." Mother said dryly. "I'm the one who initiated. He denied me when I offered a no-strings-attached night together with me as thanks. He said he didn't want a one night stand due to his own reasons. Which, I might add, stem heavily from how his childhood harmed him." She glared at me. "I was impressed that he turned me down, young man that he is when it was obvious that he desired me. So, I offered to try something more than just sex, he accepted."
I thought she was just saying those things to get a rise out of me.
How was I supposed to deal with the fact that my son was fucking my mom!?
"Don't worry, Sirzechs, I won't ever make you call him Daddy." Mom smiled innocently towards me, making my shiver in disgust. "That's my job, afterall."
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