Rias Gremory POV
"Mother." I greeted as I entered the house, she gave a warm smile, wrapping me up in a hug. It was nice to see her, going to the human world for school made it so I would sometimes go days without even visiting mom or dad.
"Father." I looked towards the man who sold me away.
"Rias." He replied curtly, not even looking the least upset that I'm still barely speaking to him.
Well, I've known about the arranged marriage since I was a child, but recently he's completely stonewalled me from even bringing up any alternatives.
I wasn't against marrying someone….but why did it have to be that idiot Riser? He only sees me for either my Gremory name or my body. He couldn't even make a half-assed effort to get to know me before drooling all over my boobs.
Even if I didn't want to be here…mostly because of Dad, it was the first time we've all gotten together in weeks….since Takao went missing and everyone started fighting.
I walked into the dining room, seeing the maids start setting out dishes and silverware everywhere.
I turned, recognizing the voice. "Brother." I smiled towards Sirzechs who strolled in with Grayfia right behind him.
"How are you doing, Rias?" Sirzechs smiled, opening his arms for a hug. He wasn't wearing his formal 'Satan' clothing, that was a good sign.
"Good…considering." I embraced him briefly. "Grayfia." I looked towards my sister in law.
"Hello Rias." Grayfia gave a neutral smile, clearly not in her 'maid' mode. She prioritizes being a Queen and Maid over being brother's wife. Still though, she never takes off her maid outfit.
I was happy to see them…..but it just felt so awkward.
It was like everyone was forces themselves to keep up appearances.
The table was prepared rather quickly, everyone filling in. "Where's Millicas?"
"Father wanted to spend some time with him." Mother responded politely.
Oh, he's with Grandfather.
"Rias, we have some news." Dad broke the new silence. "The Phenex family is pushing to move up the marriage date."
"WHAT!?" I stood up slamming my hands on the table. "I was told I could wait until I'm done with College!"
"Rias, behave." Mother lightly chided. "Listen to everything before you get upset."
I took a deep breath, settling back down. Mother was actually on my side, not wanting me to be forced into a marriage I didn't want.
"As I was saying, the Phenex family was pushing to move up the date, we were talking about it in a few weeks…..but after everything that's happened – " He glanced towards brother. "It's going to be a few months instead, possibly up to half a year."
"I was promised until after college."
"No, you were not." Father sternly replied. "You were told we would let you continue through your schooling as long as you kept up with all your responsibilities."
"I have! I'm gone to every gathering you wanted me to, every party and every stupid political dinner." I threw my hands up.
"You have." He nodded. "But that's not everything, is it? Tell me, how's your peerage doing? How's your training coming along? It's been – a year, I believe, since the last time you showed off your power. I'm excited to see how much you've grown." He said dryly.
I winced at what he was implying. "I train every day." I countered.
"Rias, doing the same pitiful exercises every day does not count as training." He shook his head. "Not to mention your peerage."
"What's wrong with my peerage!?"
"Rias, your peerage is a complete mess. It's a reflection of you as a devil, and in essence, a reflection of our family. To call them dysfunctional would be generous." He sighed. "And I hear you added another piece, a pawn? How did that turn out?"
"I…made a mistake." I shrunk in my seat. "He was supposed to have a Sacred Gear...But he still has a dragon bloodline!"
"A dragon bloodline is impressive." Father agreed. "So what are you doing to bring out his full potential?"
"The same training you subject yourself to every day?" He raised an eyebrow. He picked up a napkin, wiping his mouth. "Rias, I know you don't agree with this marriage, and I have given you ample time to prepare, to fight for yourself, yet you squandered it playing around in the human world."
"What?" I looked at him in shock.
"Rias, it's obvious you were planning on using a rating game to decide your fate." He rolled his eyes. "Do you think I'm stupid? I didn't interfere because If you could get out of this mess yourself, then I would have no qualms about your future partner. Unfortunately, you seem intent on just wasting all your time away and just whining that life isn't fair, even with all the tools available for you to succeed."
"What tools!? You stopped anyone from helping me!" I raised my voice.
"I stopped your brother from using his political power because it would set a VERY bad precedent. And we both know he would have helped you without a second thought." We both glanced at Sirzechs who just gave a small smile and nodded. "And tools? Rias, I'm tempted to walk over there and smack you upside the head." He deadpanned. "You have nearly unlimited resources available to you in the form of money and manpower. You could have hired tutors, bought weapons, hell you could have found peerage members by just broadcasting your name all over the world!" He stood up slamming his hands on the table this time. "BUT YOU'VE DONE NOTHING! So you don't get to whine about this marriage, you don't get to prance around and pretend like you're some caged bird. You made your bed, it's time to lay in it." He sat back down. "You've been given a set allowance for now on. And any requests will be going through me."
My eyes widened as I stared at my father, he didn't even lift his head up to look at me and I turned towards mother. "Mom…?"
"Rias, I love you dearly, but you need to understand that actions have consequences." She calmly stated. "You have been too complacent for far too long."
"But…I'm the heir, wouldn't it look bad if I become some kind of…trophy wife for Riser of all people?" I tried to lean on the family angle.
"Rias, you will always be taken care of, but you are far from the only one able to shoulder the family." Mother replied. "Millicas is just as talented as you when it comes to his Power of Destruction, who knows how strong he'll be in the future." She explained. "Not to mention my other grandson…." She shot a look at Sirzechs, making him frown.
I didn't know what to say…..it seems like everything was suddenly falling apart.
"That reminds me, how is Okita, Sirzechs?" Mother stared intently at brother.
He took a deep breath. "He is recovering." Sirzechs said evenly.
"What happened to Uncle Okita?" I couldn't help but ask. Recovering? We have a store of Phoenix tears for things like this, are they not enough?
"Okita got in a bit of a scuffle...with your nephew." Mother spoke.
I turned towards Sirzechs who just stared down at his place and Grayfia who looked like she no longer wanted to be here.
"The news is spreading quite fast, though most people don't know who was able to put Okita into the hospital, even after a few Phoenix Tears were used he's still bedridden." Mother continued. "I've only been able to get a few pictures so far, but they show a lot of magic being thrown around."
"Yes, it's hard to miss a Goddess delivering the body of one of our most popular devils onto our front door." Grayfia spoke for the first time this evening, and it was only to take a jab at brother.
I guess they're still fighting.
"What happened?" I asked quietly.
"The details are a bit vague, but Okita and your nephew fought over in Kyoto, under the supervision of one of the Youkai Leaders, apparently Izanami-no-Mikoto was there as well and is quite close to our wayward grandson. She did not take too kindly to Okita being aggressive as he was."
"Japan's death goddess attacked Okita?" I couldn't help but ask in shock.
"No." Mother shook her head. "She merely delivered his body to us. He was beaten in a duel by Wilhelm."
"Whose Wilhelm?" I asked.
"Ah, that is your nephew, apparently he has a new name." Mother explained. "Don't worry, this is the first time I am learning of this as well." She shot another glare at brother.
"WHAT!?" I shouted in surprise. "How did he beat Okita!? Okita is like…..one of the strongest in the underworld!?" I mean, he can't compared to brother and Surtr….but he's still one of the strongest knights even if he isn't at the top.
"That is quite the mystery, isn't it? How did my grandson beat someone with centuries of experience and power under his belt? Unfortunately, we'll never know because he does not wish to come back."
"Mother." Sirzechs sighed. "Are you really going to do this right now?"
"What, do you expect me to stop bringing it up? To ignore the fact that I have a grandson whom I will probably never meet?" Mother narrowed her eyes. "Is it that he wasn't strong enough for you? That he didn't have any power of destruction. That didn't seem to matter when he promptly handed Okita his ass." She huffed. "You told me when you were first sending him away that he would be looked after and lead a normal life, not that he would be shuttled away to a corner in Kuoh and forgotten about."
"Okita held back." Sirzechs spat out, ignoring everything else she said. "There was no way he would have lost if he was fighting at his best."
"Oh, then why did he say that Wilhelm held back substantially as well?" Mother countered, earning a glare from brother. "I did go meet him you now, just because I am annoyed at you and by extension, him, doesn't mean I don't care for his wellbeing." She didn't back down form brother's clearly annoyed expression. "According to Okita, he was well versed in magic, and had a mastery of swordplay well beyond what his age and experience should have allowed."
"Your SON defeated your knight in single combat, and it's only a matter of time before everyone knows this. So, what exactly is your plan now? What even was your plan then? Grab him, force him back here where he clearly didn't want to be?"
"I would think of something." He muttered. "As long as he's back, then things would be fine."
"Because everything would fit back into your picturesque idea of a life? Strongest Devil, with the Strongest Queen as his wife, a genius son, sitting high up on his throne. What's missing from that picture? You have everything you could want, but here's this little black spot called Wilhelm, and you see it and can't help but try and hide it."
Sirzechs stood up, the screeching of his chair silenced the room. He took the napkin in his lap and threw it on the table, walking out of the room.
Mother just sighed. "That stupid son of mine, just doubles down with his stubbornness." She shook her head.
"You tried." Father gently pat her shoulder.
"I'll go try and stop him from doing anything foolish." Grayfia sighed, following after him.
How did Takao…..Wilhelm get so strong? Okita wasn't the strongest, nor even in the top twenty of the underworld, but he was definitely up there. I've seen him train Kiba a bit, I've watched videos of him fighting, yet….the thought of him losing to someone my age seemed impossible.
And now I have to deal with my marriage moving up…..what am I going to do?
Another interlude to see what's going on in the Gremory family right now. Also kind of sets a time table for events if they weren't derailed by the MC so far. Never planned on making Sirzechs some lol!evil father kind of thing, he did what he did out of some weird logic, but I don't plan on whitewashing that either. Basically, people do stupid things for stupid reasons, even if they aren't malicious in nature. So no plans on like 'redeeming' the relationship between the two. And I didn't want to come across as bashing Rias but the more I looked at it the more I was just like 'WTF Rias?'.
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