3 Chapter 3 - Lurkers in Black

Chapter 3: Lurkers in Black

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"Rias, as much as I appreciate your concern Saji is part of my peerage and I don't need you to get angry on my behalf, I'm sure Masaru-san here was simply apprehensive in regards to our numbers correct?" She turned towards me with an expecting gaze.

So she wants my help to diffuse the foreigner…interesting, I'll play along.

I faked a solemn expression and turned toward the blue-eyed beauty. "Indeed, though I do apologize for the harm I've caused your friend, please try to understand that you lot are the first supernaturals I've encountered and because of such I had no idea how I was meant to proceed, you can imagine my shock when I sensed eleven of you gathered in one spot, to me it looked more like an ambush rather than a meet-up"

I expected her to express shock in light of my sudden change in attitude, but instead I was greeted with a look of suspicion.

"You sensed us hm? Even if it was just our peerage members it would already be impressive enough, but for someone supposedly new to the world of supernaturals you must have quite the ability to be able to sense me and Sona"

I suppose I shouldn't have let that slip— no matter, I can still find a way out of this.

"Rias-san, I simply stated you were the first supernaturals I've encountered, I never said I was a stranger to my abilities" That should do the trick.

['Partner, I don't quite understand why you're bothering to play nice with them— when their friends were around they posed a threat, but now that it's just the two of them you could just bolt out of here whenever you please'.]

'And then what? Never return to school again and just stay cooped up in my house forever? No thanks— anyways, they don't seem to harbor any ill intent otherwise we'd already be fighting, and who knows— I might gain something out of this'.

"Your abilities…you're a human by the looks of it so I assume you have a Sacred Gear of sorts?" What…how did she come to that conclusion solely based on the fact I'm a human? Aren't magicians a thing as well?

['Ah, Partner it seems I wasn't clear enough whilst I was explaining what Sacred Gears are, when I said they're a power bestowed upon humans, I forgot to emphasize that they're given only to humans'.]

'Damnit Ddraig…' I hope they weren't lying about not being hostile, otherwise, I might be in quite the pinch here. If the president wasn't here I could just lie to her about it, but whilst we were talking I immediately noticed that she was not only paying attention to my words, but my gestures, expressions, and posture as well— in other words she's trying to look for signs that tell her whether I'm lying or not, and unfortunately, I'm no master-manipulator so I can't lie through my teeth with ease.

Why did I have to encounter someone just as paranoid as me? Truly unfortunate.

"That would be correct but I hope you understand I'm not exactly comfortable revealing the exact nature of my gear, I'm sure you'd feel the same if I asked you to tell me about your abilities no?" I have a feeling the President might already know what it is, but that doesn't mean I need to confirm it for either of them.

"I suppose that's fair enough, and I'd rather you call me Gremory rather than Rias" So she can have a reasonable side as well— perhaps I've judged her character too rashly.

"Very well Gremory-san, though I am still unsure as to why I was called here in the first place?" They have yet to propose any deal or transaction of sorts, is that a good or bad thing? I wonder…

It was now the Student President's turn to speak. "You see, the Underworld isn't just home to us Devils, it's split into two territories, one for our species, and another for those known as Fallen Angels"

And so the rabbit hole goes deeper, oh boy.

"And our factions aren't on the best…of terms to say the least" I furrowed my brow ever so slightly to express my discontent with her explanation.

"I suppose I should be more blunt— we're at war" I think I know where this is going, they most likely plan to recruit me onto their side, the question is what are they willing to give me?

['Hoh? I expected you to be more opposed to getting involved in such a predicament— good, war is a splendid way for you to bolster your growth'.]

'Don't get too impatient Ddraig— I have yet to hear what they have to offer, only then will I make my decision'. Hypothetically if I were to accept, they'd need to give me something to increase my strength, and by a considerable amount— Sitri-san mentioned something about nobility, which must make her pretty loaded.

"So, you want me to fight for your side? That's quite a tall ask in my opinion— not to mention a rather sudden one" To my surprise the president just shook her head with a knowing smile, it seems my assumption was incorrect.

"Allow me to finish— a group of Fallen Angels have taken residence in Kuoh, unauthorized obviously and unfortunately their target is…you" She impassively pointed towards me, I internally flinched a little upon hearing her words, me? But I have never met these figures before, what could have provoked them to make me their target?

Ah…it's obvious, isn't it? My Sacred Gear, though even with that it's not like I've made any moves against the group, hell I don't even know what they look like.

"And no it's not because of anything personal— sadly they became aware of your Sacred Gear before we did, and thus you have been deemed a threat to them"

A threat? A threat to what? They must be planning something if they're going to such extremes to get rid of any potential opposition.

"Two questions, how did they figure out that I have a Sacred Gear? And what's their goal? I find it hard to believe they want to get rid of me just for the sake of it" Here's to hoping her information-gathering skills are solid.

To my dismay it seemed that the Student President was feeling a sense of helplessness, that can't be good…

"To answer your first question, we have no idea, it's probably an ability of one of the Fallen Angels, as for the second— outside of getting rid of you we also are unsure as to what their end-game is" Great, so I'm basically a sitting duck.

"Well if it can't be helped there's no use brooding over it— so I imagine there's some sort of plan to get rid of them?" Both of them seemed to light up upon hearing my remark, which made utterly no sense to me.

"You'll fight?" They questioned simultaneously.

"Well they want me dead don't they? So naturally I want the same" And if I find out you're lying and manipulating me to get rid of your enemies, I'll render your existence naught.

"You know…for someone so new to the world of the supernatural your bravery deserves praise at the very least" Is that a compliment or is she calling me careless? I can't tell.

"For starters, you should take these" Both of them handed me what seemed to be a flier of sorts, they had weird inscriptions all over them like something out of Hogwarts.

"These are?"

"If you are ever in danger you can summon us with these— I imagine you won't let your pride stop you from calling upon two girls in your time of need?" Teasing me, are you?

"Of course not, I place a lot more value on my life than on something as meaningless as pride" After all, what good is pride if it leads to your death?

"As for our plan to get rid of them— we know where their base of operations is, but we also know how stupid it is to engage the enemy on their turf, that's why we're going to use you" Haha, how devious— they're Devils all right.

"So I'm bait huh?" If you can't go to them, let them come to you— I like it.

"You don't seem to be very aggrieved about being used as bait…you're an odd one that's for sure" That's because I'm too pissed to care about anything else right now, these "Fallen Angels" want me dead just for existing, I can't even begin to explain how unjust that is.

['Partner, are you really someone who should be talking about justice?'.]


"Who knows, maybe my Gear's beginning to change my mentality— anyhow, I've enjoyed this little meeting of ours but if I don't get going Fallen Angels are going to be the least of my concerns" If I sprint I might be able to make it in time for Fujita's classes.

"Likewise, until next time…Sekiryūtei" My footsteps came to a momentary halt upon realizing it was the red-head who had spoken, if it was the president it wouldn't have been as surprising…but it seems my assessment of Gremory-san was far more incorrect than I had originally imagined.

Though why is she using Ddraig's alias to refer to me? Strange.

"Hm? I'm afraid I haven't the faintest clue of what you're talking about" I responded jokingly, and with that, I closed the door and began to head over to the Kuoh Sports Centre.

Third POV

"So— what do you think of him?" The figure donned a pale gray trench coat over a white dress shirt with a matching ascot, black pants and shoes, a pair of black gloves, and a black fedora.

"I didn't get a good glimpse of it but it seemed to be Twice Critical, all in all, he shouldn't be much of a threat" The next who spoke was a tall and buxom woman with brown eyes and long, navy blue hair that obscured her right eye.

Furthermore, she sported a maroon, trench coat-like top with a wide collar, a matching miniskirt, and black-heeled shoes. Both of their expressions clearly showed how they were in the process of plotting something.

"I imagine the stray should be enough to get rid of him" The one who bore the trenchcoat seemed to agree.

"True, we should focus more of our efforts on getting our hands on that nun, you know how Raynare is when things don't go according to plan" Upon hearing the name the navy-haired individual expressed a mix of respect and fear.

"The fact that he now has a flier should make him more…motivated to do his job, though why Raynare chose such a luny like himself to be her subordinate is beyond me"

"If a tool can get the job done, I suppose its flaws can be overlooked"

All of a sudden, a pair of black feathery wings sprouted from the backs of the two individuals, and just like that they disappeared from their spot leaving only a flutter in their wake.

Endo POV

I'm being watched— or more accurately I was being watched, I don't know who it was or where they were but I could feel it.

Ddraig, did you sense anyone around us?

['It was a magic-bearing race, and since the presence they exuded differed significantly from those Devils you indulged— I can only assume they were Fallen Angels'.]

That means they're about to make their move, it's a good thing they gave me their summons because I doubt I'm going to have enough time to make any substantial gains prior to their attack.

"Endo! Stop zoning out— focus on the pads" Fujita's voice dragged me out of my train of thought, he was currently helping me work on my cross, as well as my one-two combination consisting of both a jab and cross.

"Sorry Coach, I was just lost in thought" I had taken to calling him Coach, he didn't ask me to— it's just that everyone else he trains does, thus I believed it only proper.

"If you're feeling unwell you can always take some time off— I won't take it off your payment so don't worry" Uh-huh, coming from the guy who's forcing me to work till my bones break. In all seriousness, Fujita is a phenomenal trainer, yes he makes you feel like you're on the brink of death, but the speed at which I'm learning is insane.

"No, I'm fine— let's continue" He was also helping me work on my dodging, he'll attack my right or left using the pads and I have to weave to either side in order to evade it— the ability to dodge is crucial as not only does it allow you to evade attacks but rewards you by occasionally giving you an opening to counter if you successfully do so.

I'm not afraid of being exhausted during a potential ambush as I've got the summons for a reason, and even if they're not enough I'll use them as meat shields to allow myself to [boost] and escape as fast as possible.

It's quite cynical of me, but I don't value those two over my own life, after all, we've only met for a grand total of ten minutes— and besides, they're Devils— if they're not strong enough they shouldn't be trying to fight the Fallen.

When it comes to the war they apparently have going on, whether the Devils win, or the Fallen Angels win— I can confidently state that I wholeheartedly do not care, as long as I'm alive, everything else is secondary.

I packed my things after a grueling session of training and performed a few cool-down stretches. It's important to do so not only to reduce the pain your muscles experience but to prevent injury, muscles that are still tense after a workout are more likely to succumb to things such as muscle tears.


'I know'.

As I was exiting the building I felt it again— the sensation of being watched, stalked by someone or something lurking behind the scenes.

'And off they go...'.

Just like that, it had disappeared once again— they seem to be taking their time when choosing their moment, though I'm quite exhausted at the moment, so now would be a perfect time to attack me. Unless…they know about the fliers? Seriously…I just got them today, how good are their sensory skills?

'Ddraig, do you have any way to hide my presence?'

['No, if I did I would have done it already— I'm sorry to say it's up to you and those brats to get through this, pray that you've managed to acquire strong allies'.]

I kept my hands in the pocket holding the fliers as I returned to my house. My eyes kept darting from figure to figure as I weaved through the crowd, which was quite unnecessary considering I have Ddraig to watch out for me, I suppose it was just my paranoia getting the better of me.

Once I arrived back home I was just about to open the doorknob when I noticed something that disturbed me greatly. Fingerprints on the doorknob— yeah, like I'm heading inside as I am now.

'Ddraig has whoever's inside sensed me?'.

['No, I'm sensing two presences inside one of them is human and the other is both human and not at the same time'.]

Yeah, that tells me a lot. 'Their strength?'.

['One of them has a holy artifact, the other seems to carry a Sacred Gear'.]

'Holy artifact?'.

['A Holy Sword in particular— though it seems to be an artificial one as the reading isn't authentic, they're extremely effective against Devils as the energy they contain is poison to them, I don't recommend summoning them'.]

Tch, I can't have them dying just yet— I need them to get rid of the Fallen. I guess I'm going solo.

["Boost!"] One.

And if it doesn't go well, I'll just run as fast as my legs can carry me— though if I really have to I'll just summon them as meat shields like I planned earlier.

I opened the door and the attention of two figures seemed to lock on to me.

"Kakakaka, so you're the fucker getting into bed with those piece of shit Devils huh? Well, it's fine I'll forgive you! Once I've gotten rid of you that is haha!" The crazed voice came from a snow-haired individual with crimson eyes not to mention he seemed to be cosplaying as someone from D-Gray man.

"Fa-father Freed, he's just a human, isn't he? I don't think you should harm him…" The trembling voice came from a petite girl with blonde hair dressed in a nun outfit, but what hit me was that her forehead was large enough for me to sketch the entire Grand Line onto it, weird.

['That one has the Sacred Gear'.]

That must make her valuable to some extent…I guess that depends on what exactly the gear is.

Whilst they're talking I might as well take advantage of the prep time they're giving me.

["Boost!"] Two.

"Human? No no no no no NO! He's a less-than-human piece of shit that conspires with Devils. What can't you understand about that?" Odd, he definitely senses my increased strength but isn't responding to it at all, either that or he's genuinely insane which is starting to become more apparent the more he talks.

["Boost!"] That's three.

His attention finally made its way back to me. "Now sit tight Asia-chan, and let this Father rid this scum from the face of the earth!"

["Boost!"] That's four, now then how shall I deal with our cliche psychotic villain over here?

He pulled out what seemed to be a lightsaber and dashed toward me. Hm, his speed isn't bad at all, actually, it's quite exceptional if I try to counter him now my death would be all but certain, in that case— how about a game of cat and mouse?

Before he could reach me I mustered up all my strength and bolted to the right, thank the heavens my living room is so spacious.


To my surprise there was a distinct stinging sensation coming from my knee, I looked down only to notice there was a nasty gash present on my leg…he's faster than I thought.

"Stop running and fight me Coward! Coward! Coward! Though I'm a fool for expecting even an ounce of bravery from someone who aligns themself with filth!" His voice is nauseating.

["Boost!"] That's five, c'mon Tom we still have a lot of chasing to do.

Strangely enough the blonde has yet to make any move of sorts— she's just kind of standing there shivering with fear, not that I'm opposed to having less trouble. But if she pisses on my carpet I'm killing her whether she's friendly or not.

The more I dodged the psychopath's attacks the more agitated he seemed to become, even I could tell his movements were becoming sloppier as time went on, how unprofessional.

Or so I thought— to my surprise he managed to get a clean cut on my shoulder blade, the fucker was just feigning incompetence, my senses were heightened enough to realize it in time before he managed to slice my neck but it still hurt like hell.

"God fucking damnit! You're like a cockroach! Stop prolonging the inevitable and let me kill you already!"

["Boost!"] That's six, I'm almost at my limit but even though dodging has become easier there's still no opening for me to attack, it's almost like he's programmed to read my moves— fucking monster.

Wait a minute…I'm wasting a very clear tactical advantage here.

My eyes shifted from the psycho-priest to the nun, I smirked as I dashed towards her using my advantage in speed to outpace him.

"Don't you fucking dare!" I knew it, he needs her alive— after all a Sacred Gear user must have immense value, he's quite the dumbass for bringing such a valuable asset to a fight, I suppose that's what he gets for underestimating my strength.

I flickered behind her and kicked her back with as much strength as I could muster— she went flying straight towards the deranged lunatic, he can't slice through her so he has to waste a movement to either dodge her or push her aside.

And he went for the former dodging to the right, it was now time to make my move.

["Boost!"] That's seven.

"Well then Father— can you keep up with me?" I took advantage of the wasted movement and closed the distance between us in a mere instant. I quickly adopted the stance Fujita had carved into my body and gave him a meaty cross to the chin in hopes of knocking him out.

"Shit! Getting hit by someone as scummy as you, unacceptable! It's just unacceptable!" What!? He's still conscious…even though my technique was off I've boosted seven times! Just go down already!

["Boost!"] That's all I got, let's hope it's enough.

This time I met his attacks head-on, he went for a horizontal slash aiming for my neck once again, I ducked down and slugged him straight in the gut, and though it didn't seem to wind him it still stunned him momentarily.

This time my fist was aimed straight for his face but instead, it only managed to meet his right shoulder— but that still might present an opportunity and a good one as well, hopefully, if I've dislocated it he probably won't be able to use that sword of his.

"That bitch! She fucking lied to me! Common Sacred Gear my ass! Next time I meet her I'm going to rape her and make her my dog!" She? Is he working with the Fallen? That's the only way I can assume he was aware of me having a Sacred Gear beforehand.

So at least one of the Fallen is a girl…not much to go off but still worth noting. Well there's also a chance that it isn't a Fallen he's referring to but either way, information is information.

And you know what they say, knowledge is power.

His confidence began to waver— as the fight went on he became less and less aggressive, starting to exude caution and perhaps…fear. Though I can't say for certain.

And it seems his shoulder was in fact dislocated, he put away his sword and brought out what looked like… a gun? And then it came, a barrage of illuminated pellets rushing towards me like miniature bullet-trains— this guy was carrying some serious weaponry.

I held my gauntlet in front of my chest and tucked my head behind it in order to protect my heart and brain. I dashed towards him doing my best to ignore the immense pain inflicted upon me by the pellets.

"Get away! Just drop dead allreeeeeeeeeadddddy!"

Curse my lack of training— throughout this whole fight my techniques have been sloppy, I've wasted potential momentum despite Fujita telling me not to, my punches are amateur at best, and my instincts are that of a goldfish, I've just been relying on Ddraig like a spoiled brat. Pathetic…it's just pathetic— no matter, I should be able to end it now.

I swung at his head once again, and managed to land a meaty blow against his cranium— please tell me he's dead now…

"Ow ow ow ow ow ow! That hurt! That fucking hurt you degenerate filth! Shit! I don't feel like dying today but I'll definitely come back! You aren't safe you hear me!? I'll be back for you and that nun!" I was about to chase after him until my body froze in response to the intense trauma it had just experienced.

['Don't bother, you're lucky he decided to retreat, if he had noticed your condition just a second earlier he would have finished you off'.]

Shit, an end like this is just too pathetic, I disengaged my gear and lay back down on the floor.

And then I felt it, a warm glow radiating throughout my body— all the pain I had just experienced seemed to slowly wash away…that nun I had kicked towards the lunatic was…healing me?

"Haha…I'm pretty sure I kicked you in the back not the head" I said dryly.


Will I do a romance with Asia? No.

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